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Sample records for functional level evaluated

  1. Comparative Candidate Evaluation as a Function of Election Level and Candidate Incumbency.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hellweg, Susan A.; And Others

    A study examined the evaluative structures employed by voters in making decisions about political contenders, specifically as a function of the level of the election involved and the incumbent-challenger status of the candidates. Data were obtained by questionnaires administered within two weeks prior to the 1984 general election to 550…

  2. Evaluation of Model Selection Strategies for Cross-Level Two-Way Differential Item Functioning Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patarapichayatham, Chalie; Kamata, Akihito; Kanjanawasee, Sirichai

    2012-01-01

    Model specification issues on the cross-level two-way differential item functioning model were previously investigated by Patarapichayatham et al. (2009). Their study clarified that an incorrect model specification can easily lead to biased estimates of key parameters. The objective of this article is to provide further insights on the issue by…

  3. Evaluation of an Australian indigenous housing programme: community level impact on crowding, infrastructure function and hygiene

    PubMed Central

    McDonald, Elizabeth L; Stevens, Matthew; Guthridge, Steven; Brewster, David R

    2010-01-01

    Background and Aim Housing programmes in indigenous Australian communities have focused largely on achieving good standards of infrastructure function. The impact of this approach was assessed on three potentially important housing-related influences on child health at the community level: (1) crowding, (2) the functional state of the house infrastructure and (3) the hygienic condition of the houses. Methods A before-and-after study, including house infrastructure surveys and structured interviews with the main householder, was conducted in all homes of young children in 10 remote Australian indigenous communities. Results Compared with baseline, follow-up surveys showed (1) a small non-significant decrease in the mean number of people per bedroom in the house on the night before the survey (3.4, 95% CI 3.1 to 3.6 at baseline vs 3.2, 95% CI 2.9 to 3.4 at follow-up; natural logarithm transformed t test, t=1.3, p=0.102); (2) a marginally significant overall improvement in infrastructure function scores (Kruskal–Wallis test, χ2=3.9, p=0.047); and (3) no clear overall improvement in hygiene (Kruskal–Wallis test, χ2=0.3, p=0.605). Conclusion Housing programmes of this scale that focus on the provision of infrastructure alone appear unlikely to lead to more hygienic general living environments, at least in this study context. A broader ecological approach to housing programmes delivered in these communities is needed if potential health benefits are to be maximised. This ecological approach would require a balanced programme of improving access to health hardware, hygiene promotion and creating a broader enabling environment in communities. PMID:20466712

  4. Identification of APC mutations and evaluation of their expression level using a functional screening assay

    SciTech Connect

    Varesco, L.; Gismondi, V.; Bafico, A.

    1994-09-01

    A functional screen for chain-terminating mutations in the APC gene recently has been developed. It is based on the PCR and cloning of a segment of the gene in-frame with a colorimetric marker gene (lacz) followed by screening for the level of activity of the marker polypeptide (beta-galactosidase). This method scores colony number with different blue colors that are produced by bacteria containing normal and mutant APC segments. In the present work this method was used to screen the entire APC coding region by using eight primer pairs. DNA segments with known APC mutations at different positions in the gene were used as controls and were clearly identifiable with this assay. In addition, the entire APC coding region has been examined in 21 APC patients in whom PCR-SSCP did not identify an APC mutation. Novel mutations (n=14) were identified by the blue/white assay and were all confirmed by sequence analysis. This method also was used to quantitate the expression of paternal and maternal APC alleles taking advantage of an RsaI site polymorphism at position 1458 in a small number of informative individuals. Differential expression of some known mutant APC mRNAs was observed.

  5. Application of image entropy evaluation function for the leveling of large aperture components in auto defects detecting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cao, Pin; Liu, Dong; Zhao, Peng; Yang, Yong-ying; Wang, Shi-tong

    2012-10-01

    In large aperture component's dark-field scattering defects imaging system, the component's size is large and part with a wedge. When the component is in the completely level position, the surface defects image can be clearly acquired by a high magnification microscope. Otherwise, fuzzy defects image would be gained because of defocusing which makes digital identification can't be able to be done. For the problem of leveling large aperture, wedge component, this paper proposes a method that using image information entropy as focusing evaluation function for leveling large aperture components. Firstly, in three different points of component surface acquiring multi-images by the same continuous steps. Then calculating the images' entropy and fitting a curve to it. Based on minimum image information entropy value criterion, the focal plane can be found and each point's defocusingamount of the fist acquisition position can be gained. Relay on the relation model of acquisition points, adjust points and defocusingamount that has been built, each adjust point's adjustment can be got. The component's level position can be achieved by adjusting the adjust points. In the experiment that using a high magnification (of 16) microscope scans over the whole surface of the component with the size of 430mm×430mm. The image microscope is always in the depth of focus which shows that the leveling precision has achieved 20μm. Until now, this method has been successfully used in large aperture component's dark-field scattering defects imaging system.

  6. Effects of environmental levels of cadmium, lead and mercury on human renal function evaluated by structural equation modeling

    PubMed Central

    Trzeciakowski, Jerome P.; Gardiner, Lesley; Parrish, Alan R.

    2014-01-01

    A relationship between exposure to heavy metals, including lead and cadmium, and renal dysfunction has long been suggested. However, modeling of the potential additive, or synergistic, impact of metals on renal dysfunction has proven to be challenging. In these studies, we used structural equation modeling (SEM), to investigate the relationship between heavy metal burden (serum and urine levels of lead, cadmium and mercury) and renal function using data from the NHANES database. We were able to generate a model with goodness of fit indices consistent with a well-fitting model. This model demonstrated that lead and cadmium had a negative relationship with renal function, while mercury did not contribute to renal dysfunction. Interestingly, a linear relationship between lead and loss of renal function was observed, while the maximal impact of cadmium occurred at or above serum cadmium levels of 0.8 µg/L. The interaction of lead and cadmium in loss of renal function was also observed in the model. These data highlight the use of SEM to model interaction between environmental contaminants and pathophysiology, which has important implications in mechanistic and regulatory toxicology. PMID:24769258

  7. Evaluation of Functional Limitations in Female Soccer Players and Their Relationship with Sports Level – A Cross Sectional Study

    PubMed Central

    Grygorowicz, Monika; Piontek, Tomasz; Dudzinski, Witold

    2013-01-01

    The main objective(s) of the study The aim of this study was to analyze: a) abnormalities in the length of lower limb muscles, b) the correctness of movement patterns, and c) the impact of functional limitations of muscles on the correctness of fundamental movement patterns in a group of female soccer players, in relation to their skill level. Materials and Methods 21 female soccer players from Polish Ekstraklasa and 22 players from the 1st Division were tested for lower limb muscle length restrictions and level of fundamental movement skills (with the Fundamental Movement Screen™ test concept by Gray Cook). Chi-square test was used for categorical unrelated variables. Differences between groups in absolute point values were analyzed using the non-parametric Mann-Whitney U test. Statistical significance was set at p<0.05. Results Statistically significant higher number of measurements indicating an abnormal length of rectus femoris was observed in the 1st Division group (p = 0.0433). In the group of Ekstraklasa the authors obtained a significantly higher number of abnormal hamstring test results (p = 0.0006). Ekstraklasa players scored higher in the rotational stability test of the trunk (p = 0.0008), whereas the 1st Division players scored higher in the following tests: deep squat (p = 0.0220), in-line lunge (p = 0.0042) and active straight leg raise (p = 0.0125). The results suggest that there are different functional reasons affecting point values obtained in the FMS™ tests in both analyzed groups. Conclusions The differences in the flexibility of rectus femoris and hamstring muscle observed between female soccer players with different levels of training, may result from a long-term impact of soccer training on the muscle-tendon system and articular structures. Different causes of abnormalities in fundamental movement patterns in both analyzed groups suggest the need for tailoring prevention programs to the level of sport skills

  8. Evaluation of serum pesticide residue levels and liver function in persons exposed to dairy products contaminated with heptachlor

    SciTech Connect

    Stehr-Green, P.A.; Wohlleb, J.C.; Royce, W.; Head, S.L.

    1988-01-15

    The authors studied a group of 45 dairy farm family members who had consumed undiluted raw milk products known to be contaminated with residues of the pesticide heptachlor at concentrations as high as 89.2 ppm (fat basis). They compared results of serum pesticide assays for these exposed persons with results for an unexposed group of 94 persons from the same geographic area and the results from the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The exposed group had significantly higher mean levels of primary heptachlor metabolites-i.e., heptachlor epoxide and oxychlordane than the unexposed group. In the exposed group, 21.2% had evaluated serum concentrations of these same metabolites; this rate was significantly greater than the rates in both the unexposed farm family members (heptachlor epoxide, 3.8%; oxychlordane, 6.3%) and the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey sample (2.5% for both metabolites). However they found no evidence of related acute and/or subacute hepatic effects in these exposed persons regardless of their serum concentrations of pesticide residues.

  9. Evaluation of the toxicity of superfine materials to change the physiological functions of aquatic organisms of different trophic levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgalev, S.; Morgaleva, T.; Gosteva, I.; Morgalev, Yu

    2015-11-01

    We assessed ecological and biological effects caused by the physical and chemical properties of nanomaterials on the basis of the laboratory researches into water test-organisms of different trophic levels. We studied the physiological functions of water organisms on adding into the environment superfine materials of various chemical nature and structural characteristics: metallic nanoparticles of nikel (nNi), argentum (nAg), platinum (nPt), aurum (nAu), binary NPs (powder of titanium dioxide - nTiO2, aluminum oxide - nAl2O3, zink oxide - nZnO, silicon nitride - nSi3N4, silicon carbide (nSiC) and carbon nanotubes (BT-50, MCD- material). We observed the dependence of developing the complex of unfavourable biological effects in water plants and entomostracans’ organisms on the physical and chemical properties of superfine materials. We determined the values of NOEC, L(E)C20 and L(E)C50 for aquatic organisms of various regular groups. We found out the most vulnerable elements of the communities’ trophic structure and the possibility of a breakdown in the water ecosystem food pyramid.

  10. Levels of Evaluation: Beyond Kirkpatrick.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaufman, Roger; Keller, John M.

    1994-01-01

    Expands Kirkpatrick's four-level evaluation model (reaction, learning, behavior, results) to five levels: enabling/reaction, acquisition, application, organizational outputs, and societal outcomes. The expanded model enables consideration of the value and worth of training resources as well as the broader social consequences. (SK)

  11. Functional Performance Evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greenisen, Michael C.; Hayes, Judith C.; Siconolfi, Steven F.; Moore, Alan D.

    1999-01-01

    The Extended Duration Orbiter Medical Project (EDOMP) was established to address specific issues associated with optimizing the ability of crews to complete mission tasks deemed essential to entry, landing, and egress for spaceflights lasting up to 16 days. The main objectives of this functional performance evaluation were to investigate the physiological effects of long-duration spaceflight on skeletal muscle strength and endurance, as well as aerobic capacity and orthostatic function. Long-duration exposure to a microgravity environment may produce physiological alterations that affect crew ability to complete critical tasks such as extravehicular activity (EVA), intravehicular activity (IVA), and nominal or emergency egress. Ultimately, this information will be used to develop and verify countermeasures. The answers to three specific functional performance questions were sought: (1) What are the performance decrements resulting from missions of varying durations? (2) What are the physical requirements for successful entry, landing, and emergency egress from the Shuttle? and (3) What combination of preflight fitness training and in-flight countermeasures will minimize in-flight muscle performance decrements? To answer these questions, the Exercise Countermeasures Project looked at physiological changes associated with muscle degradation as well as orthostatic intolerance. A means of ensuring motor coordination was necessary to maintain proficiency in piloting skills, EVA, and IVA tasks. In addition, it was necessary to maintain musculoskeletal strength and function to meet the rigors associated with moderate altitude bailout and with nominal or emergency egress from the landed Orbiter. Eight investigations, referred to as Detailed Supplementary Objectives (DSOs) 475, 476, 477, 606, 608, 617, 618, and 624, were conducted to study muscle degradation and the effects of exercise on exercise capacity and orthostatic function (Table 3-1). This chapter is divided into

  12. [Evaluation of sudomotor function].

    PubMed

    Asahina, Masato

    2014-01-01

    From the aspect of physiological roles, sweating on the hairy skin is an important for thermoregulation of body, and that on glabrous skin (the palm or sole) works as an anti-skid material when gripping something or performing a delicate task using the fingertips (emotional sweating). Abnormal sweating, which can be global or localized, is classified into hyperhidrosis and hypohidrosis, and detection of abnormal sweating, such as Horner's syndrome and Harlequin syndrome, is clinically useful for regional diagnosis of neurological lesions. In addition, sudomotor function tests, where sweat secretion is induced by physiological or pharmacological stimuli, are useful for diagnosis of neurological disorders. In this manuscript, clinical evaluation of abnormal sweating from the aspect of neurological diagnosis is reviewed. PMID:25672702

  13. Evaluations of average level spacings

    SciTech Connect

    Liou, H.I.

    1980-01-01

    The average level spacing for highly excited nuclei is a key parameter in cross section formulas based on statistical nuclear models, and also plays an important role in determining many physics quantities. Various methods to evaluate average level spacings are reviewed. Because of the finite experimental resolution, to detect a complete sequence of levels without mixing other parities is extremely difficult, if not totally impossible. Most methods derive the average level spacings by applying a fit, with different degrees of generality, to the truncated Porter-Thomas distribution for reduced neutron widths. A method that tests both distributions of level widths and positions is discussed extensivey with an example of /sup 168/Er data. 19 figures, 2 tables.

  14. A multi-level approach of evaluating crew resource management training: a laboratory-based study examining communication skills as a function of team congruence.

    PubMed

    Sauer, J; Darioly, A; Mast, M Schmid; Schmid, P C; Bischof, N

    2010-11-01

    The article proposes a multi-level approach for evaluating communication skills training (CST) as an important element of crew resource management (CRM) training. Within this methodological framework, the present work examined the effectiveness of CST in matching or mismatching team compositions with regard to hierarchical status and competence. There is little experimental research that evaluated the effectiveness of CRM training at multiple levels (i.e. reaction, learning, behaviour) and in teams composed of members of different status and competence. An experiment with a two (CST: with vs. without) by two (competence/hierarchical status: congruent vs. incongruent) design was carried out. A total of 64 participants were trained for 2.5 h on a simulated process control environment, with the experimental group being given 45 min of training on receptiveness and influencing skills. Prior to the 1-h experimental session, participants were assigned to two-person teams. The results showed overall support for the use of such a multi-level approach of training evaluation. Stronger positive effects of CST were found for subjective measures than for objective performance measures. STATEMENT OF RELEVANCE: This work provides some guidance for the use of a multi-level evaluation of CRM training. It also emphasises the need to collect objective performance data for training evaluation in addition to subjective measures with a view to gain a more accurate picture of the benefits of such training approaches. PMID:20967655

  15. Transfer function-noise modeling and spatial interpolation to evaluate the risk of extreme (shallow) water-table levels in the Brazilian Cerrados

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manzione, Rodrigo L.; Knotters, Martin; Heuvelink, Gerard B. M.; von Asmuth, Jos R.; Camara, Gilberto

    2010-12-01

    Water regimes in the Brazilian Cerrados are sensitive to climatological disturbances and human intervention. The risk that critical water-table levels are exceeded over long periods of time can be estimated by applying stochastic methods in modeling the dynamic relationship between water levels and driving forces such as precipitation and evapotranspiration. In this study, a transfer function-noise model, the so called PIRFICT-model, is applied to estimate the dynamic relationship between water-table depth and precipitation surplus/deficit in a watershed with a groundwater monitoring scheme in the Brazilian Cerrados. Critical limits were defined for a period in the Cerrados agricultural calendar, the end of the rainy season, when extremely shallow levels (<0.5-m depth) can pose a risk to plant health and machinery before harvesting. By simulating time-series models, the risk of exceeding critical thresholds during a continuous period of time (e.g. 10 days) is described by probability levels. These simulated probabilities were interpolated spatially using universal kriging, incorporating information related to the drainage basin from a digital elevation model. The resulting map reduced model uncertainty. Three areas were defined as presenting potential risk at the end of the rainy season. These areas deserve attention with respect to water-management and land-use planning.

  16. Design of a Functional Competence Training Program for Development, Dissemination, and Evaluation Personnel at Professional and Paraprofessional Levels in Education. Volumes I and II; Attachments One and Two.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hood, Paul D.; Banathy, Bela H.

    The mission of the Far West Consortium for DD&E training is to design, develop, implement, and evaluate a comprehensive and transportable training program to meet the demand for trained personnel in educational development, dissemination, and evaluation (DD&E). The program provides both preservice training and continuing education to upgrade those…

  17. [Clinical evaluation of thymic function].

    PubMed

    Castermans, E; Morrhaye, G; Marchand, S; Martens, H; Moutschen, M; Baron, F; Beguin, Y; Geenen, V

    2007-11-01

    The essential role of the thymus is to install an extremely diverse repertoire of T lymphocytes that are self-tolerant and competent against non-self, as well as to generate self-antigen specific regulatory T cells (Treg) able to inactivate in periphery self-reactive T cells having escaped the thymic censorship. Although indirect, techniques of medical imaging and phenotyping of peripheral T cells may help in the investigation of thymic function. Nowadays however, thymopoiesis is better evaluated through quantification by PCR of T-cell receptor excision circles (TREC) generated by intrathymic random recombination of the gene segments coding for the variable parts of the T-cell receptor for antigen (TCR). The TREC methodology is very valuable in the circumstances not associated with intense proliferation or apoptosis of peripheral T lymphocytes. PMID:18217644

  18. Development and Preliminary Psychometric Evaluation of a Brief Self-Report Questionnaire for the Assessment of the DSM-5 level of Personality Functioning Scale: The LPFS Brief Form (LPFS-BF).

    PubMed

    Hutsebaut, Joost; Feenstra, Dine J; Kamphuis, Jan H

    2016-04-01

    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) alternative model for personality disorders (PDs) introduced a new paradigm for the assessment of PDs that includes levels of personality functioning indexing the severity of personality pathology irrespective of diagnosis. In this study, we describe the development and preliminary psychometric evaluation of a newly developed brief self-report questionnaire to assess levels of personality functioning, the Level of Personality Functioning Scale-Brief Form (LPFS-BF; Bender, Morey, & Skodol, 2011). Patients (N = 240) referred to a specialized setting for the assessment and treatment of PDs completed the LPFS-BF, the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI; Derogatis, 1975), the Severity Indices of Personality Problems (SIPP-118; Verheul et al., 2008), and were administered the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Personality Disorders (SCID-I; APA, 1994; First, Spitzer, Gibbon, & Williams, 1997) and the SCID Axis II Personality Disorders (SCID-II; First, Spitzer, Gibbon, Williams, & Benjamin, 1996). When constrained to a 2-factor oblique solution, the LPFS-BF yielded a structure that corresponded well to an interpretation of Self- and Interpersonal Functioning scales. The instrument demonstrated fair to satisfactory internal consistency and promising construct validity. The LPFS-BF constitutes a short, user-friendly instrument that provides a quick impression of the severity of personality pathology, specifically oriented to the DSM-5 model. Clearly, more research is needed to test its validity and clinical utility. PMID:26595344

  19. Walkyourplace - Evaluating Neighbourhood Accessibility at Street Level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Steiniger, S.; Poorazizi, M. E.; Hunter, A. J. S.

    2013-05-01

    The popularity of a neighbourhood is often explained by its perceived "higher" quality of life. Good access to shops, restaurants, parks, etc., is seen as an indicator that reflects improved quality of life. We present a web-based tool for assessment of accessibility to such services. The system evaluates in real time an area that is accessible using pedestrian, transit, and cycling infrastructure. The accessible area is evaluated using "quality of life" indicators, such as the number of grocery stores, shopping and recreation facilities, and local crime within that area. This tool sets itself apart from pre-computed and neighbourhood-level walkability indices, because it makes use of detailed street-level data, rather than block-level generalizations. It uses real network travel time, and, when transit data are provided, permits the creation and evaluation of accessibility areas for a combination of travel modes such as walking with transit use.

  20. Making Evaluation "Operational" in Functional Literacy Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bhola, H. S.

    Steps to be taken to "operationalize" evaluation, i.e., to make evaluation work, are discussed and applied to the Unesco program of functional literacy. Evaluation is seen as an important social concern, as well as a field of study and an area of competence. Four types of evaluation applied to the Unesco program are context evaluation, input…

  1. Functional optical imaging at the microscopic level

    PubMed Central

    Salazar Vázquez, Beatriz Y.; Hightower, Ciel Makena; Sapuppo, Francesca; Tartakovsky, Daniel M.; Intaglietta, Marcos

    2010-01-01

    Functional microscopic imaging of in vivo tissues aims at characterizing parameters at the level of the unitary cellular components under normal conditions, in the presence of blood flow, to understand and monitor phenomena that lead to maintaining homeostatic balance. Of principal interest are the setting of shear stress on the endothelium; formation of the plasma layer, where the balance between nitric oxide production and scavenging is established; and formation of the oxygen gradients that determine the distribution of oxygen from blood into the tissue. Optical techniques that enable the analysis of functional microvascular processes are the measurement of blood vessel dimensions by image shearing, the photometric analysis of the extent of the plasma layer, the dual-slit methodology for measuring blood flow velocity, and the direct measurement of oxygen concentration in blood and tissue. Each of these technologies includes the development of paired, related mathematical approaches that enable characterizing the transport properties of the blood tissue system. While the technology has been successful in analyzing the living tissue in experimental conditions, deployment to clinical settings remains an elusive goal, due to the difficulty of obtaining optical access to the depth of the tissue. PMID:20210428

  2. Feeding, evaluating, and controlling rumen function

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Optimal rumen function is pivotal to health, production, and profit in dairy systems. Achieving that function requires an understanding of feeds and systems of nutritional evaluation. A key influence on optimal rumen function includes dry matter intake. The function of feeds in the rumen depends on ...

  3. Evaluation of Language Function under Awake Craniotomy

    PubMed Central

    KANNO, Aya; MIKUNI, Nobuhiro

    2015-01-01

    Awake craniotomy is the only established way to assess patients’ language functions intraoperatively and to contribute to their preservation, if necessary. Recent guidelines have enabled the approach to be used widely, effectively, and safely. Non-invasive brain functional imaging techniques, including functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging, have been used preoperatively to identify brain functional regions corresponding to language, and their accuracy has increased year by year. In addition, the use of neuronavigation that incorporates this preoperative information has made it possible to identify the positional relationships between the lesion and functional regions involved in language, conduct functional brain mapping in the awake state with electrical stimulation, and intraoperatively assess nerve function in real time when resecting the lesion. This article outlines the history of awake craniotomy, the current state of pre- and intraoperative evaluation of language function, and the clinical usefulness of such functional evaluation. When evaluating patients’ language functions during awake craniotomy, given the various intraoperative stresses involved, it is necessary to carefully select the tasks to be undertaken, quickly perform all examinations, and promptly evaluate the results. As language functions involve both input and output, they are strongly affected by patients’ preoperative cognitive function, degree of intraoperative wakefulness and fatigue, the ability to produce verbal articulations and utterances, as well as perform synergic movement. Therefore, it is essential to appropriately assess the reproducibility of language function evaluation using awake craniotomy techniques. PMID:25925758

  4. Systematic evaluation of skeletal mechanical function

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Lauren; Bigelow, Erin M.R.; Jepsen, Karl J.

    2013-01-01

    Many genetic and environmental perturbations lead to measurable changes in bone morphology, matrix composition, and matrix organization. The skeletal system is highly adaptive, such that genetic and environmental perturbations affecting one trait are often accompanied by compensatory changes in other traits. This adaptation should be considered when attempting to draw meaningful conclusions about the role of a gene, for example. The challenge is to figure out which alterations can be attributed to the perturbation and which result from adaptive changes associated with establishing mechanical function. The goal of this chapter is to describe straight-forward biomechanical methods that can be used to determine whether a genetic or environmental perturbation affected bone strength. We introduce a systematic method for evaluating how bone strength was altered in the context of morphology and tissue-level mechanical properties, which are determined in large part from matrix composition, matrix organization, and porosity. We present this work as a first step toward screening mice for a phenotypic effect and for establishing the associated biomechanical mechanism by which function was altered. The outcome of these analyses generally provides insight into the next set of experiments required to further connect the cellular perturbation with the functional changes. The protocols were written to enable researchers without a background in engineering to conduct the assays or to enable researchers to better understand the outcomes of similar assays conducted by colleagues knowledgeable in engineering. PMID:24634803

  5. Interpersonal Functions of EFL Teachers' Evaluative Discourse

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lai, Junming

    2010-01-01

    As an important dimension of interpersonal function in SFL, appraisal has attracted a lot of attentions from the linguists home and abroad. This thesis is an attempt to analyze the interpersonal functions of EFL teachers' evaluative discourse with in the framework of Palladian Systemic-functional Grammar (SFG) and Martin's Appraisal theory. The…

  6. Multi-level Expression Design Language: Requirement level (MEDL-R) system evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    An evaluation of the Multi-Level Expression Design Language Requirements Level (MEDL-R) system was conducted to determine whether it would be of use in the Goddard Space Flight Center Code 580 software development environment. The evaluation is based upon a study of the MEDL-R concept of requirement languages, the functions performed by MEDL-R, and the MEDL-R language syntax. Recommendations are made for changes to MEDL-R that would make it useful in the Code 580 environment.

  7. Association between serum fetuin-A level and erectile function.

    PubMed

    Karabakan, M; Bozkurt, A; Gunay, M; Aktas, B K; Hirik, E; Aydın, M; Nuhoglu, B

    2016-09-01

    Recent studies have shown that ED is an early symptom of atherosclerosis. Fetuin-A, a glycoprotein secreted by the liver, kidneys and choroid plexus, has been linked to systemic fibrosis and calcification in human and rat studies. Deficiency of this compound may play a role in atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease progression. The aim of the study was to examine whether serum fetuin-A level is related to erectile function or severity of ED. Sixty ED patients without cardiovascular disease were assigned to one of the three groups (mild, moderate or severe ED) depending on ED severity. Twenty healthy volunteers were included as the control group. The International Index of Erectile Function-5 questionnaire was used to measure erection quality in all four groups. Mean age, body mass index, total testosterone, low- and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglyceride levels did not significantly differ between the three erectile dysfunction and control groups (P > 0.05). The group with severe ED had a significantly lower mean fetuin-A level than the mild ED and control groups. For both mild and moderate ED groups, the mean serum fetuin-A level was significantly lower in comparison with the control group (P < 0.001). Serum fetuin-A level may be used as a supplemental biochemical parameter in preliminary evaluation of ED. PMID:26685713

  8. Feeding, evaluating, and controlling rumen function.

    PubMed

    Lean, Ian J; Golder, Helen M; Hall, Mary Beth

    2014-11-01

    Achieving optimal rumen function requires an understanding of feeds and systems of nutritional evaluation. Key influences on optimal function include achieving good dry matter intake. The function of feeds in the rumen depends on other factors including chemical composition, rate of passage, degradation rate of the feed, availability of other substrates and cofactors, and individual animal variation. This article discusses carbohydrate, protein, and fat metabolism in the rumen, and provides practical means of evaluation of rations in the field. Conditions under which rumen function is suboptimal (ie, acidosis and bloat) are discussed, and methods for control examined. PMID:25249402

  9. Serum thyrotropin (TSH) levels in patients with suppressed pituitary function

    SciTech Connect

    Vasavada, P.; Chen, I.; Maxon, H.; Barnes, E.; Sperling, M.

    1984-01-01

    The diagnosis of borderline hyperthyroidism is difficult. A sensitive radioimmunoassay capable of detecting subnormal levels of serum TSH may be of value in confirming this diagnosis because of the suppressed pituitary function in this disease state. This sensitive assay may also be useful in monitoring the suppression of pituitary function in thyroid cancer patients receiving thyroid hormone therapy. A sensitive radioimmunoassay capable of detecting serum TSH levels as low as 0.25 ..mu..U/m1 with coefficients of variation less than 17.2% was used to measure serum TSH levels in 80 healthy subjects, 44 hyperthyroid patients, and 25 athyrotic thyroid cancer patients on daily suppressive doses of thyroxine. All healthy subjects had detectable TSH levels with a mean value of 1.17 and two standard deviation ranges of 0.41 - 2.70 ..mu..U/m1 (lognormal distribution). Although the mean +-1 SEM value of 0.63 +- 0.003 ..mu..Um1 for hyperthyroid patients and 0.76 +- 0.08 ..mu..U/ml for thyroid cancer patients were significantly lower than that of healthy subjects (t-test, p<0.05), subnormal levels of serum TSH were found in only 28.6% (12/42) and 24% (6/25) of hyperthyroid and thyroid cancer patients, respectively. TSH stimulation tests performed in 6 of the cancer patients all gave suppressed responses. Because of considerable overlap, serum TSH levels alone cannot distinguish hyperthyroidsm from euthyroidism. However, a sensitive TSH radioimmunoassay such as the one described here may be of value in evaluating the extent of pituitary suppression in thyroid cancer therapy.

  10. Efficient Credit Assignment through Evaluation Function Decomposition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Agogino, Adrian; Turner, Kagan; Mikkulainen, Risto

    2005-01-01

    Evolutionary methods are powerful tools in discovering solutions for difficult continuous tasks. When such a solution is encoded over multiple genes, a genetic algorithm faces the difficult credit assignment problem of evaluating how a single gene in a chromosome contributes to the full solution. Typically a single evaluation function is used for the entire chromosome, implicitly giving each gene in the chromosome the same evaluation. This method is inefficient because a gene will get credit for the contribution of all the other genes as well. Accurately measuring the fitness of individual genes in such a large search space requires many trials. This paper instead proposes turning this single complex search problem into a multi-agent search problem, where each agent has the simpler task of discovering a suitable gene. Gene-specific evaluation functions can then be created that have better theoretical properties than a single evaluation function over all genes. This method is tested in the difficult double-pole balancing problem, showing that agents using gene-specific evaluation functions can create a successful control policy in 20 percent fewer trials than the best existing genetic algorithms. The method is extended to more distributed problems, achieving 95 percent performance gains over tradition methods in the multi-rover domain.

  11. Ergonomic Evaluation of Biomechanical Hand Function

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Kyung-Sun; Jung, Myung-Chul

    2014-01-01

    The human hand is a complex structure that performs various functions for activities of daily living and occupations. This paper presents a literature review on the methodologies used to evaluate hand functions from a biomechanics standpoint, including anthropometry, kinematics, kinetics, and electromyography (EMG). Anthropometry describes the dimensions and measurements of the hand. Kinematics includes hand movements and the range of motion of finger joints. Kinetics includes hand models for tendon and joint force analysis. EMG is used on hand muscles associated with hand functions and with signal-processing technology. PMID:25830064

  12. Urban noise functional stratification for estimating average annual sound level.

    PubMed

    Rey Gozalo, Guillermo; Barrigón Morillas, Juan Miguel; Prieto Gajardo, Carlos

    2015-06-01

    Road traffic noise causes many health problems and the deterioration of the quality of urban life; thus, adequate spatial noise and temporal assessment methods are required. Different methods have been proposed for the spatial evaluation of noise in cities, including the categorization method. Until now, this method has only been applied for the study of spatial variability with measurements taken over a week. In this work, continuous measurements of 1 year carried out in 21 different locations in Madrid (Spain), which has more than three million inhabitants, were analyzed. The annual average sound levels and the temporal variability were studied in the proposed categories. The results show that the three proposed categories highlight the spatial noise stratification of the studied city in each period of the day (day, evening, and night) and in the overall indicators (L(And), L(Aden), and L(A24)). Also, significant differences between the diurnal and nocturnal sound levels show functional stratification in these categories. Therefore, this functional stratification offers advantages from both spatial and temporal perspectives by reducing the sampling points and the measurement time. PMID:26093410

  13. Noise levels in PICU: an evaluative study.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Elizabeth; Timmons, Stephen

    2005-12-01

    High levels of noise in the hospital environment can have an impact on patients and staff increasing both recovery time and stress respectively. When our seven-bedded paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) is full, noise levels seem to increase significantly. This study measured noise levels at various times and places within a PICU using Tenma sound level meter which simulates the subjective response of a human ear. Noise levels were often excessive, exceeding international guidelines. Staff conversation was responsible for most of the noise produced; medical equipment, patient interventions, telephones, doorbell and the air shoot system were also responsible for causing high levels of noise. More can be done to reduce noise and its effects on patients and staff. PMID:16372705

  14. Biological cluster evaluation for gene function prediction.

    PubMed

    Klie, Sebastian; Nikoloski, Zoran; Selbig, Joachim

    2014-06-01

    Recent advances in high-throughput omics techniques render it possible to decode the function of genes by using the "guilt-by-association" principle on biologically meaningful clusters of gene expression data. However, the existing frameworks for biological evaluation of gene clusters are hindered by two bottleneck issues: (1) the choice for the number of clusters, and (2) the external measures which do not take in consideration the structure of the analyzed data and the ontology of the existing biological knowledge. Here, we address the identified bottlenecks by developing a novel framework that allows not only for biological evaluation of gene expression clusters based on existing structured knowledge, but also for prediction of putative gene functions. The proposed framework facilitates propagation of statistical significance at each of the following steps: (1) estimating the number of clusters, (2) evaluating the clusters in terms of novel external structural measures, (3) selecting an optimal clustering algorithm, and (4) predicting gene functions. The framework also includes a method for evaluation of gene clusters based on the structure of the employed ontology. Moreover, our method for obtaining a probabilistic range for the number of clusters is demonstrated valid on synthetic data and available gene expression profiles from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Finally, we propose a network-based approach for gene function prediction which relies on the clustering of optimal score and the employed ontology. Our approach effectively predicts gene function on the Saccharomyces cerevisiae data set and is also employed to obtain putative gene functions for an Arabidopsis thaliana data set. PMID:20059365

  15. Empirical evaluation of interest-level criteria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sahar, Sigal; Mansour, Yishay

    1999-02-01

    Efficient association rule mining algorithms already exist, however, as the size of databases increases, the number of patterns mined by the algorithms increases to such an extent that their manual evaluation becomes impractical. Automatic evaluation methods are, therefore, required in order to sift through the initial list of rules, which the datamining algorithm outputs. These evaluation methods, or criteria, rank the association rules mined from the dataset. We empirically examined several such statistical criteria: new criteria, as well as previously known ones. The empirical evaluation was conducted using several databases, including a large real-life dataset, acquired from an order-by-phone grocery store, a dataset composed from www proxy logs, and several datasets from the UCI repository. We were interested in discovering whether the ranking performed by the various criteria is similar or easily distinguishable. Our evaluation detected, when significant differences exist, three patterns of behavior in the eight criteria we examined. There is an obvious dilemma in determining how many association rules to choose (in accordance with support and confidence parameters). The tradeoff is between having stringent parameters and, therefore, few rules, or lenient parameters and, thus, a multitude of rules. In many cases, our empirical evaluation revealed that most of the rules found by the comparably strict parameters ranked highly according to the interestingness criteria, when using lax parameters (producing significantly more association rules). Finally, we discuss the association rules that ranked highest, explain why these results are sound, and how they direct future research.

  16. Evaluating success levels of mega-projects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kumaraswamy, Mohan M.

    1994-01-01

    Today's mega-projects transcend the traditional trajectories traced within national and technological limitations. Powers unleashed by internationalization of initiatives, in for example space exploration and environmental protection, are arguably only temporarily suppressed by narrower national, economic, and professional disagreements as to how best they should be harnessed. While the world gets its act together there is time to develop the technologies of such supra-mega-project management that will synergize truly diverse resources and smoothly mesh their interfaces. Such mega-projects and their management need to be realistically evaluated, when implementing such improvements. This paper examines current approaches to evaluating mega-projects and questions the validity of extrapolations to the supra-mega-projects of the future. Alternatives to improve such evaluations are proposed and described.

  17. Levels of Evaluation for Computer-Based Instruction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reeves, Thomas C.; Lent, Richard M.

    The uses and methods of four levels of evaluation which can be conducted during the development and implementation phases of computer-based instruction (CBI) programs are discussed in this paper. The levels of evaluation presented are: (1) documentation, (2) formative evaluation, (3) assessment of immediate learner effectiveness, and (4) impact…

  18. Evaluating a Training Using the "Four Levels Model"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steensma, Herman; Groeneveld, Karin

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: The aims of this study are: to present a training evaluation based on the "four levels model"; to demonstrate the value of experimental designs in evaluation studies; and to take a first step in the development of an evidence-based training program. Design/methodology/approach: The Kirkpatrick four levels model was used to evaluate the…

  19. Improving landscape-level environmental impact evaluations.

    SciTech Connect

    Walston, L.J.; LaGory, K.E.; Vinikour, W.; Van Lonkhuyzen, R.L.; Cantwell, B.

    2012-04-01

    New spatial data and advancements in GIS tools allow much more comprehensive and quantitative analyses of the large datasets required when making programmatic evaluations of the ecological effects of proposed activities that cover a large area or region. Understanding the environmental impacts of proposed human developments is critical to making appropriate siting decisions and designing mitigation strategies to reduce impacts on important resources. Impact analyses conducted under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) or Environmental Assessments (EAs) are intended to determine the resource-specific impacts of proposed activities of federal agencies and their alternatives using the best available information. Impacts to ecological resources are often a primary focus of these analyses. Information used in NEPA analyses include some measure of the known or probable presence of plants and wildlife in the project area, with special emphasis placed on threatened, endangered, and other special-status species. Site-specific information pertaining to ecological resources is usually easier to obtain for small-scale activities such as a local facility, road, or transmission upgrade project, where the ability to conduct fieldwork is more often feasible. However, site-specific data is more difficult-and sometimes impossible-to obtain for proposed activities that could affect a large area or region. These types of analyses often are considered in programmatic NEPA documents, in which a federal agency evaluates the implementation of a broad program or plan. Under these programmatic evaluations, the exact location and size of developments are often not known. Because obtaining quantitative information for ecological resources at such large spatial scales is difficult, programmatic impact evaluations typically rely on sketchy or partial information such as recorded species occurrences, species ranges, and general habitat

  20. Evaluation of Stress Levels of Professionals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schnorr, Janet K.; McWilliams, Jettie M.

    This study was conducted to analyze levels and areas of stress of professionals in selected service professions and to establish national norms of stress for these professions. The 60-item Tennessee Stress Scale-R (TSS-R) is a work-related stress inventory for professionals which provides a measure of stress in three areas: stress producers,…

  1. [Nuclear medicine for evaluation of liver functions].

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, K

    1994-05-01

    The clinical usefulness of colloid liver scintigraphy to detect space occupying lesions in the liver has been reduced by X-ray CT and ultrasonography. However, scintigraphic examinations have potentials for characteristic diagnosis of liver tumors, such as 99mTc RBC SPECT for hepatic hemangioma, 99mTc PMT for positive imaging of hepatocellular carcinoma and its extrahepatic metastasis, and radioimmunoscintigraphy for metastatic tumors. Moreover, prediction of the prognosis and monitoring therapeutic effect to liver cancer can be made by the use of nuclear medicine techniques. Recently, 99mTc galactosyl serum albumin (GSA), a newly developed radiotracer to evaluate hepatocyte function, has become commercially available. Quantitative parameters of liver functions can be obtained by analysis of time-activity curve in blood and liver after 99mTc-GSA administration. In several cases, 99mTc-GSA study showed intrahepatic unevenness of function, which could not be depicted by other imaging examinations. Positron emission tomography (PET) with 18F-fluoro-2-deoxy glucose (FDG) is useful to detect malignant tumors in the liver. Since PET can provide absolutely quantitative data in better resolution, it is expected that regional true metabolic functions in the liver may be able to be quantitatively evaluated with PET in near future. PMID:8028225

  2. Innovative Evaluation: Creating Speed and Efficiency in Your Level 3 Evaluation Processes.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riley, Thomas; Davani, Holly; Chason, Pat; Findley, Ken; Druyor, Dale

    2003-01-01

    Discusses level 3 evaluation from Donald Kirkpatrick's Four Level Evaluation Model (level: 1-reaction; 2-learning; 3-behavior; 4-results) to measure training program performance. Highlights include an evaluation planning matrix; increasing evaluation data accuracy and reliability; data collection method selection; designing data collection…

  3. A unified sea-level response function to global warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winkelmann, Ricarda; Mengel, Matthias; Reese, Ronja; Levermann, Anders

    2015-04-01

    Linear response functions provide an alternative to process-based models to project future sea-level rise. They are designed to capture the sea-level response to a certain forcing in a comprehensive manner without relying on the full understanding but comprising all processes involved. Here, we propose one unified sea-level response function to global warming as a synthesis of different response functions of the major contributors: oceanic thermal expansion, ice loss from mountain glaciers as well as ice loss from the two ice-sheets on Greenland and Antarctica both through changes in the surface mass balance and dynamic discharge. Except for surface mass balance changes of the ice sheets which occur instantaneously, each response function is inherently time-dependent and accounts for the fact that past climate change will continue to influence sea-level rise in the future. The proposed functions separately estimate the contributions from the main sea-level components on a centennial time scale. The validity of the approach is assessed by comparing the sea-level estimates obtained via the response functions to observations as well as projections from comprehensive models. Total sea level rise and the observed contributions in the past decades are reasonably well reproduced by our approach. Provided that the underlying dynamic mechanisms do not undergo a qualitative change within the 21st century, the response functions found for the individual components can therefore be merged into a single response function in order to project global sea-level rise for a given global mean temperature anomaly.

  4. PEAPOL (Program Evaluation at the Performance Objective Level) Outside Evaluation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Auvil, Mary S.

    In evaluating this pilot project, which developed a computer system for assessing student progress and cost effectiveness as related to achievement of performance objectives, interviews were conducted with project participants, including project staff, school administrators, and the auto shop instructors. Project documents were reviewed and a…

  5. New Generation Nuclear Plant -- High Level Functions and Requirements

    SciTech Connect

    J. M. Ryskamp; E. J. Gorski; E. A. Harvego; S. T. Khericha; G. A. Beitel

    2003-09-01

    This functions and requirements (F&R) document was prepared for the Next Generation Nuclear Plant (NGNP) Project. The highest-level functions and requirements for the NGNP preconceptual design are identified in this document, which establishes performance definitions for what the NGNP will achieve. NGNP designs will be developed based on these requirements by commercial vendor(s).

  6. A Top Level Analysis of Training Management Functions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ackerson, Jack

    1995-01-01

    Discusses how to conduct a top-level analysis of training management functions to identify problems within a training system resulting from rapid growth, the acquisition of new departments, or mergers. The data gathering process and analyses are explained, training management functions and activities are described, and root causes and solutions…

  7. Relationship between Functional Classification Levels and Anaerobic Performance of Wheelchair Basketball Athletes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Molik, Bartosz; Laskin, James J.; Kosmol, Andrzej; Skucas, Kestas; Bida, Urszula

    2010-01-01

    Wheelchair basketball athletes are classified using the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) functional classification system. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between upper extremity anaerobic performance (AnP) and all functional classification levels in wheelchair basketball. Ninety-seven male athletes…

  8. Concurrent and Predictive Relations between Hormone Levels and Social-Emotional Functioning in Early Adolescence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nottelmann, Editha D.; And Others

    Hormone levels and changes in hormone levels were evaluated three times across a 1-year period as concurrent and predictive correlates of the socio-emotional functioning of 56 boys 10- to 14-years-old and 52 girls 9- to 14-years-old who represented the five stages of Tanner's criteria of pubertal development. The hormone measures were serum levels…

  9. Neuropsychological Characteristics and Their Association with Higher-Level Functional Capacity in Parkinson's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Miura, Kayoko; Matsui, Mie; Takashima, Shutaro; Tanaka, Kortaro

    2015-01-01

    Background/Aims Little is known about the relationship between cognitive functions and higher-level functional capacity (e.g. intellectual activity, social role, and social participation) in Parkinson's disease (PD). The purpose of this study was to clarify neuropsychological characteristics and their association with higher-level functional capacity in PD patients. Methods Participants were 31 PD patients and 23 demographically matched healthy controls. Neuropsychological tests were conducted. One year later, a questionnaire survey evaluated higher-level functional capacity in daily living. Results The PD group scored significantly lower than the control group in all cognitive domains, particularly executive function and processing. Executive function, processing speed, language, and memory were significantly correlated with higher-level functional capacity in PD patients. Stepwise regression showed that only executive function (Trail Making Test-B), together with disease severity (HY stage), predicted the higher-level functional capacity. Conclusion Our findings provide evidence of a relationship between executive function and higher-level functional capacity in patients with PD. PMID:26273243

  10. Evaluation of abnormal liver function tests.

    PubMed

    Agrawal, Swastik; Dhiman, Radha K; Limdi, Jimmy K

    2016-04-01

    Incidentally detected abnormality in liver function tests is a common situation encountered by physicians across all disciplines. Many of these patients do not have primary liver disease as most of the commonly performed markers are not specific for the liver and are affected by myriad factors unrelated to liver disease. Also, many of these tests like liver enzyme levels do not measure the function of the liver, but are markers of liver injury, which is broadly of two types: hepatocellular and cholestatic. A combination of a careful history and clinical examination along with interpretation of pattern of liver test abnormalities can often identify type and aetiology of liver disease, allowing for a targeted investigation approach. Severity of liver injury is best assessed by composite scores like the Model for End Stage Liver Disease rather than any single parameter. In this review, we discuss the interpretation of the routinely performed liver tests along with the indications and utility of quantitative tests. PMID:26842972

  11. 40 CFR 141.626 - Operational evaluation levels.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 23 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Operational evaluation levels. 141.626 Section 141.626 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) WATER PROGRAMS (CONTINUED) NATIONAL PRIMARY DRINKING WATER REGULATIONS Stage 2 Disinfection Byproducts Requirements § 141.626 Operational evaluation levels....

  12. 40 CFR 141.626 - Operational evaluation levels.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 22 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Operational evaluation levels. 141.626 Section 141.626 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) WATER PROGRAMS (CONTINUED) NATIONAL PRIMARY DRINKING WATER REGULATIONS Stage 2 Disinfection Byproducts Requirements § 141.626 Operational evaluation levels....

  13. Examining the Levels of Job Satisfaction among Peer Evaluators

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walker, Althea Rochelle

    2013-01-01

    This study focused on assessing the levels of job satisfaction among peer evaluators in a large, metropolitan public K-12 school district in Florida. Peer evaluators were defined as former classroom teachers with five or more years of teaching experience who observe and evaluate teachers with two or more years of teaching experience. Seventy-eight…

  14. Maternal Evaluations of Children's Emergent Literacy Level, Maternal Mediation in Book Reading, and Children's Emergent Literacy Level: A Comparison Between SES Groups

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Korat, Ofra; Haglili, Sharon

    2007-01-01

    This study examined whether maternal evaluations of children's emergent literacy (EL) levels, maternal mediation during a book-reading activity with children, and the children's EL levels differ as a function of socioeconomic status (SES; low vs. high), and whether the relationships between these variables differ as a function of SES levels. Study…

  15. Immunoglobulin levels and cellular immune function in lead exposed workers.

    PubMed

    Queiroz, M L; Perlingeiro, R C; Bincoletto, C; Almeida, M; Cardoso, M P; Dantas, D C

    1994-02-01

    The immunological status of lead acid battery workers with blood lead levels and urinary delta-aminolevulinic acid (ALA-U) concentrations ranging from safe to toxic levels has been examined and compared with those of non-exposed, age and sex matched controls. No differences in the serum concentrations of IgG, IgA and IgM between the populations were observed and there existed no correlation between blood lead level or ALA-U concentrations and serum immunoglobulin levels. In addition assessment was made of the capacity of peripheral blood mononuclear cells to respond to the mitogen phytohaemagglutinin (PHA), a correlate of T cell function. As before, there was no difference between exposed and control populations and no correlation between reactivity and blood lead concentration. Our data suggest that chronic exposure to lead fail to compromise lymphocyte function in man. PMID:8169320

  16. Sustainable development level evaluation based on ecosystem services welfare index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, W.; Shi, Z.

    2015-12-01

    Rapidly economic development makes global ecosystem degradation and ecosystem services descent, which aroused people's concern increasingly. A serious of disastrous weather such as sandstorm, haze, and floods become the focus of public. Take an example of the impact on natural ecosystems, firstly, human are over-dependence on the supply services provided by ecosystem, especially the grain, fibers, forest and so on, resulting other ecosystem services decline. Secondly, the raising artificial ecosystems lead to the simplification of system structure and function. End up with environment pollution and habitat fragmentation, which endanger human well-being. Ecosystem Services Welfare Index was introduced into this study. Evaluating the sustainable development level of regional ecology and society by calculating the efficiency of per unit ecosystem services consumption contributes to the human welfare. Welfare is the degree of human satisfaction, including not only the economic level, but also the education, health, and housing. This study will select the human development index (HDI) as the representation of human welfare, and ecosystem services footprint index (ESFI) presenting the ecosystem services consumption. According the results, 31 province in China could be divided into several different type, "high development- low efficiency- high consumption", "low development - high efficiency- low consumption" and "low development- high efficiency- low consumption", which could be evidence for decision makers.

  17. Orbit targeting specialist function: Level C formulation requirements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dupont, A.; Mcadoo, S.; Jones, H.; Jones, A. K.; Pearson, D.

    1978-01-01

    A definition of the level C requirements for onboard maneuver targeting software is provided. Included are revisions of the level C software requirements delineated in JSC IN 78-FM-27, Proximity Operations Software; Level C Requirements, dated May 1978. The software supports the terminal phase midcourse (TPM) maneuver, braking and close-in operations as well as supporting computation of the rendezvous corrective combination maneuver (NCC), and the terminal phase initiation (TPI). Specific formulation is contained here for the orbit targeting specialist function including the processing logic, linkage, and data base definitions for all modules. The crew interface with the software is through the keyboard and the ORBIT-TGT display.

  18. Integrated Locomotor Function Tests for Countermeasure Evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bloomberg, J. J.; Mulavara, A. P.; Peters, B. T.; Cohen, H. S.; Landsness, E. C.; Black, F. O.

    2005-01-01

    Following spaceflight crewmembers experience locomotor dysfunction due to inflight adaptive alterations in sensorimotor function. Countermeasures designed to mitigate these postflight gait alterations need to be assessed with a new generation of tests that evaluate the interaction of various sensorimotor sub-systems central to locomotor control. The goal of the present study was to develop new functional tests of locomotor control that could be used to test the efficacy of countermeasures. These tests were designed to simultaneously examine the function of multiple sensorimotor systems underlying the control of locomotion and be operationally relevant to the astronaut population. Traditionally, gaze stabilization has been studied almost exclusively in seated subjects performing target acquisition tasks requiring only the involvement of coordinated eye-head movements. However, activities like walking involve full-body movement and require coordination between lower limbs and the eye-head-trunk complex to achieve stabilized gaze during locomotion. Therefore the first goal of this study was to determine how the multiple, interdependent, full-body sensorimotor gaze stabilization subsystems are functionally coordinated during locomotion. In an earlier study we investigated how alteration in gaze tasking changes full-body locomotor control strategies. Subjects walked on a treadmill and either focused on a central point target or read numeral characters. We measured: temporal parameters of gait, full body sagittal plane segmental kinematics of the head, trunk, thigh, shank and foot, accelerations along the vertical axis at the head and the shank, and the vertical forces acting on the support surface. In comparison to the point target fixation condition, the results of the number reading task showed that compensatory head pitch movements increased, peak head acceleration was reduced and knee flexion at heel-strike was increased. In a more recent study we investigated the

  19. Ecosystem functions across trophic levels are linked to functional and phylogenetic diversity.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Patrick L; Davies, T Jonathan; Gonzalez, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    In experimental systems, it has been shown that biodiversity indices based on traits or phylogeny can outperform species richness as predictors of plant ecosystem function. However, it is unclear whether this pattern extends to the function of food webs in natural ecosystems. Here we tested whether zooplankton functional and phylogenetic diversity explains the functioning of 23 natural pond communities. We used two measures of ecosystem function: (1) zooplankton community biomass and (2) phytoplankton abundance (Chl a). We tested for diversity-ecosystem function relationships within and across trophic levels. We found a strong correlation between zooplankton diversity and ecosystem function, whereas local environmental conditions were less important. Further, the positive diversity-ecosystem function relationships were more pronounced for measures of functional and phylogenetic diversity than for species richness. Zooplankton and phytoplankton biomass were best predicted by different indices, suggesting that the two functions are dependent upon different aspects of diversity. Zooplankton community biomass was best predicted by zooplankton trait-based functional richness, while phytoplankton abundance was best predicted by zooplankton phylogenetic diversity. Our results suggest that the positive relationship between diversity and ecosystem function can extend across trophic levels in natural environments, and that greater insight into variation in ecosystem function can be gained by combining functional and phylogenetic diversity measures. PMID:25693188

  20. Levels of Use Interviews: A Successful Formative Evaluation Tool [Revised].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roecks, Alan L.; Andrews, John H.

    Levels of Use (LOU) interviews can be used for formative evaluation purposes in an intermediate education agency. Programs and services for training teachers provided to districts are evaluated. LOU interviews give program staff unique information for improving programs. Program improvement is aided by LOU interviews because information is…

  1. Relationship between static postural control and the level of functional abilities in children with cerebral palsy

    PubMed Central

    Pavão, Sílvia L.; Nunes, Gabriela S.; Santos, Adriana N.; Rocha, Nelci A. C. F.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Postural control deficits can impair functional performance in children with cerebral palsy (CP) in daily living activities. Objective: To verify the relationship between standing static postural control and the functional ability level in children with CP. Method: The postural control of 10 children with CP (gross motor function levels I and II) was evaluated during static standing on a force platform for 30 seconds. The analyzed variables were the anteroposterior (AP) and mediolateral (ML) displacement of the center of pressure (CoP) and the area and velocity of the CoP oscillation. The functional abilities were evaluated using the mean Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI) scores, which evaluated self-care, mobility and social function in the domains of functional abilities and caregiver assistance. Results: Spearman's correlation test found a relationship between postural control and functional abilities. The results showed a strong negative correlation between the variables of ML displacement of CoP, the area and velocity of the CoP oscillation and the PEDI scores in the self-care and caregiver assistance domains. Additionally, a moderate negative correlation was found between the area of the CoP oscillation and the mobility scores in the caregiver assistance domain. We used a significance level of 5% (p <0.05). Conclusions: We observed that children with cerebral palsy with high CoP oscillation values had lower caregiver assistance scores for activities of daily living (ADL) and consequently higher levels of caregiver dependence. These results demonstrate the repercussions of impairments to the body structure and function in terms of the activity levels of children with CP such that postural control impairments in these children lead to higher requirements for caregiver assistance. PMID:25054383

  2. Quantitative Evaluation of the Reticuloendothelial System Function with Dynamic MRI

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ting; Choi, Hoon; Zhou, Rong; Chen, I-Wei

    2014-01-01

    Purpose To evaluate the reticuloendothelial system (RES) function by real-time imaging blood clearance as well as hepatic uptake of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticle (SPIO) using dynamic magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with two-compartment pharmacokinetic modeling. Materials and Methods Kinetics of blood clearance and hepatic accumulation were recorded in young adult male 01b74 athymic nude mice by dynamic T2* weighted MRI after the injection of different doses of SPIO nanoparticles (0.5, 3 or 10 mg Fe/kg). Association parameter, Kin, dissociation parameter, Kout, and elimination constant, Ke, derived from dynamic data with two-compartment model, were used to describe active binding to Kupffer cells and extrahepatic clearance. The clodrosome and liposome were utilized to deplete macrophages and block the RES function to evaluate the capability of the kinetic parameters for investigation of macrophage function and density. Results The two-compartment model provided a good description for all data and showed a low sum squared residual for all mice (0.27±0.03). A lower Kin, a lower Kout and a lower Ke were found after clodrosome treatment, whereas a lower Kin, a higher Kout and a lower Ke were observed after liposome treatment in comparison to saline treatment (P<0.005). Conclusion Dynamic SPIO-enhanced MR imaging with two-compartment modeling can provide information on RES function on both a cell number and receptor function level. PMID:25090653

  3. Core level binding energies of functionalized and defective graphene.

    PubMed

    Susi, Toma; Kaukonen, Markus; Havu, Paula; Ljungberg, Mathias P; Ayala, Paola; Kauppinen, Esko I

    2014-01-01

    X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) is a widely used tool for studying the chemical composition of materials and it is a standard technique in surface science and technology. XPS is particularly useful for characterizing nanostructures such as carbon nanomaterials due to their reduced dimensionality. In order to assign the measured binding energies to specific bonding environments, reference energy values need to be known. Experimental measurements of the core level signals of the elements present in novel materials such as graphene have often been compared to values measured for molecules, or calculated for finite clusters. Here we have calculated core level binding energies for variously functionalized or defected graphene by delta Kohn-Sham total energy differences in the real-space grid-based projector-augmented wave density functional theory code (GPAW). To accurately model extended systems, we applied periodic boundary conditions in large unit cells to avoid computational artifacts. In select cases, we compared the results to all-electron calculations using an ab initio molecular simulations (FHI-aims) code. We calculated the carbon and oxygen 1s core level binding energies for oxygen and hydrogen functionalities such as graphane-like hydrogenation, and epoxide, hydroxide and carboxylic functional groups. In all cases, we considered binding energy contributions arising from carbon atoms up to the third nearest neighbor from the functional group, and plotted C 1s line shapes by using experimentally realistic broadenings. Furthermore, we simulated the simplest atomic defects, namely single and double vacancies and the Stone-Thrower-Wales defect. Finally, we studied modifications of a reactive single vacancy with O and H functionalities, and compared the calculated values to data found in the literature. PMID:24605278

  4. Core level binding energies of functionalized and defective graphene

    PubMed Central

    Kaukonen, Markus; Havu, Paula; Ljungberg, Mathias P; Ayala, Paola; Kauppinen, Esko I

    2014-01-01

    Summary X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) is a widely used tool for studying the chemical composition of materials and it is a standard technique in surface science and technology. XPS is particularly useful for characterizing nanostructures such as carbon nanomaterials due to their reduced dimensionality. In order to assign the measured binding energies to specific bonding environments, reference energy values need to be known. Experimental measurements of the core level signals of the elements present in novel materials such as graphene have often been compared to values measured for molecules, or calculated for finite clusters. Here we have calculated core level binding energies for variously functionalized or defected graphene by delta Kohn–Sham total energy differences in the real-space grid-based projector-augmented wave density functional theory code (GPAW). To accurately model extended systems, we applied periodic boundary conditions in large unit cells to avoid computational artifacts. In select cases, we compared the results to all-electron calculations using an ab initio molecular simulations (FHI-aims) code. We calculated the carbon and oxygen 1s core level binding energies for oxygen and hydrogen functionalities such as graphane-like hydrogenation, and epoxide, hydroxide and carboxylic functional groups. In all cases, we considered binding energy contributions arising from carbon atoms up to the third nearest neighbor from the functional group, and plotted C 1s line shapes by using experimentally realistic broadenings. Furthermore, we simulated the simplest atomic defects, namely single and double vacancies and the Stone–Thrower–Wales defect. Finally, we studied modifications of a reactive single vacancy with O and H functionalities, and compared the calculated values to data found in the literature. PMID:24605278

  5. Why functions are not special dispositions: an improved classification of realizables for top-level ontologies

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The concept of function is central to both biology and technology, but neither in philosophy nor in formal ontology is there a generally accepted theory of functions. In particular, there is no consensus how to include functions into a top-level ontology or whether to include them at all. Methods We first review current conceptions of functions in philosophy and formal ontology and evaluate them against a set of criteria. These evaluation criteria are derived from a synopsis of theoretical and practical requirements that have been suggested for formal accounts of functions. In a second step, we elucidate in particular the relation between functions and dispositions. Results We argue that functions should not be taken as a subtype of dispositions. The strongest reason for this is that any view that identifies functions with certain dispositions cannot account for malfunctioning, which is having a function but lacking the matching disposition. As a result, we suggest a cross-classification of realizables with dispositions supervening on the physical structure of their bearer, whereas both functions and roles also have some external grounding. While bearers can survive the gain, loss and change of roles, functions are rigid properties that are essentially connected to their particular bearers. Therefore, Function should not be regarded as a subtype of Disposition; rather, the classes of functions and dispositions are disjoint siblings of Realizable. PMID:25009736

  6. Variation in spectral-shape discrimination weighting functions at different stimulus levels and signal strengths.

    PubMed

    Lentz, Jennifer J

    2007-09-01

    This study evaluated whether weights for spectral-shape discrimination depend on overall stimulus level and signal strength (the degree of spectral-shape change between two stimuli). Five listeners discriminated between standard stimuli that were the sum of six equal-amplitude tones and signal stimuli created by decreasing the amplitudes of three low-frequency components and increasing the amplitudes of three high-frequency components. Weighting functions were influenced by stimulus level in that the relative contribution of the low-frequency (decremented) components to the high-frequency (incremented) components decreased with increasing stimulus level. Although individual variability was present, a follow-up experiment suggested that the level dependence was due to greater reliance on high-frequency components rather than incremented components. Excitation-pattern analyses indicated that the level dependence is primarily, but not solely, driven by cochlear factors. In general, different signal strengths had no effect on the weighting functions (when normalized), but two of the five listeners showed variability in the shape of the weighting function across signal strengths. Results suggest that the effects of stimulus level on weighting functions and individual variability in the shapes of the weighting functions should be considered when comparing weighting functions across conditions and groups that might require different stimulus levels and signal strengths. PMID:17927430

  7. Evaluation and selection of candidate high-level waste forms

    SciTech Connect

    Bernadzikowski, T. A.; Allender, J. S.; Butler, J. L.; Gordon, D. E.; Gould, Jr., T. H.; Stone, J. A.

    1982-03-01

    Seven candidate waste forms being developed under the direction of the Department of Energy's National High-Level Waste (HLW) Technology Program, were evaluated as potential media for the immobilization and geologic disposal of high-level nuclear wastes. The evaluation combined preliminary waste form evaluations conducted at DOE defense waste-sites and independent laboratories, peer review assessments, a product performance evaluation, and a processability analysis. Based on the combined results of these four inputs, two of the seven forms, borosilicate glass and a titanate based ceramic, SYNROC, were selected as the reference and alternative forms for continued development and evaluation in the National HLW Program. Both the glass and ceramic forms are viable candidates for use at each of the DOE defense waste-sites; they are also potential candidates for immobilization of commercial reprocessing wastes. This report describes the waste form screening process, and discusses each of the four major inputs considered in the selection of the two forms.

  8. Normalization of Naxos plakoglobin levels restores cardiac function in mice.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhiwei; Stroud, Matthew J; Zhang, Jianlin; Fang, Xi; Ouyang, Kunfu; Kimura, Kensuke; Mu, Yongxin; Dalton, Nancy D; Gu, Yusu; Bradford, William H; Peterson, Kirk L; Cheng, Hongqiang; Zhou, Xinmin; Chen, Ju

    2015-04-01

    Arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy (AC) is associated with mutations in genes encoding intercalated disc proteins and ultimately results in sudden cardiac death. A subset of patients with AC have the autosomal recessive cardiocutaneous disorder Naxos disease, which is caused by a 2-base pair deletion in the plakoglobin-encoding gene JUP that results in a truncated protein with reduced expression. In mice, cardiomyocyte-specific plakoglobin deficiency recapitulates many aspects of human AC, and overexpression of the truncated Naxos-associated plakoglobin also results in an AC-like phenotype; therefore, it is unclear whether Naxos disease results from loss or gain of function consequent to the plakoglobin mutation. Here, we generated 2 knockin mouse models in which endogenous Jup was engineered to express the Naxos-associated form of plakoglobin. In one model, Naxos plakoglobin bypassed the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay pathway, resulting in normal levels of the truncated plakoglobin. Moreover, restoration of Naxos plakoglobin to WT levels resulted in normal heart function. Together, these data indicate that a gain of function in the truncated form of the protein does not underlie the clinical phenotype of patients with Naxos disease and instead suggest that insufficiency of the truncated Naxos plakoglobin accounts for disease manifestation. Moreover, these results suggest that increasing levels of truncated or WT plakoglobin has potential as a therapeutic approach to Naxos disease. PMID:25705887

  9. Distributed Evaluation Functions for Fault Tolerant Multi-Rover Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Agogino, Adrian; Turner, Kagan

    2005-01-01

    The ability to evolve fault tolerant control strategies for large collections of agents is critical to the successful application of evolutionary strategies to domains where failures are common. Furthermore, while evolutionary algorithms have been highly successful in discovering single-agent control strategies, extending such algorithms to multiagent domains has proven to be difficult. In this paper we present a method for shaping evaluation functions for agents that provide control strategies that both are tolerant to different types of failures and lead to coordinated behavior in a multi-agent setting. This method neither relies of a centralized strategy (susceptible to single point of failures) nor a distributed strategy where each agent uses a system wide evaluation function (severe credit assignment problem). In a multi-rover problem, we show that agents using our agent-specific evaluation perform up to 500% better than agents using the system evaluation. In addition we show that agents are still able to maintain a high level of performance when up to 60% of the agents fail due to actuator, communication or controller faults.

  10. Maternal blood metal levels and fetal markers of metabolic function

    SciTech Connect

    Ashley-Martin, Jillian; Dodds, Linda; Arbuckle, Tye E.; Ettinger, Adrienne S.; Shapiro, Gabriel D.; Fisher, Mandy; Taback, Shayne; Bouchard, Maryse F.; Monnier, Patricia; Dallaire, Renee; Fraser, William D.

    2015-01-15

    Exposure to metals commonly found in the environment has been hypothesized to be associated with measures of fetal growth but the epidemiological literature is limited. The Maternal–Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) study recruited 2001 women during the first trimester of pregnancy from 10 Canadian sites. Our objective was to assess the association between prenatal exposure to metals (lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury) and fetal metabolic function. Average maternal metal concentrations in 1st and 3rd trimester blood samples were used to represent prenatal metals exposure. Leptin and adiponectin were measured in 1363 cord blood samples and served as markers of fetal metabolic function. Polytomous logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the association between metals and both high (≥90%) and low (≤10%) fetal adiponectin and leptin levels. Leptin levels were significantly higher in female infants compared to males. A significant relationship between maternal blood cadmium and odds of high leptin was observed among males but not females in adjusted models. When adjusting for birth weight z-score, lead was associated with an increased odd of high leptin. No other significant associations were found at the top or bottom 10th percentile in either leptin or adiponectin models. This study supports the proposition that maternal levels of cadmium influence cord blood adipokine levels in a sex-dependent manner. Further investigation is required to confirm these findings and to determine how such findings at birth will translate into childhood anthropometric measures. - Highlights: • We determined relationships between maternal metal levels and cord blood adipokines. • Cord blood leptin levels were higher among female than male infants. • Maternal cadmium was associated with elevated leptin in male, not female infants. • No significant associations were observed between metals and

  11. Investigating the Photon Strength Function to Discrete Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiedeking, M.; Bernstein, L. A.; Bleuel, D. L.; Burke, J. T.; Hatarik, R.; Lesher, S. R.; Scielzo, N. D.; Krtička, M.; Allmond, J. M.; Basunia, M. S.; Fallon, P.; Firestone, R. B.; Goldblum, B. L.; Lake, P. T.; Lee, I.-Y.; Paschalis, S.; Petri, M.; Phair, L.

    2015-11-01

    Over the last decade several measurements in medium mass nuclei have reported a low-energy enhancement in the photon strength function. Although, much effort has been invested in unravelling the mysteries of this effect, its physical origin is still not understood. Here, a completely model-independent experimental approach to investigate the possible existence of this enhancement is presented. The experiment was designed to study statistical feeding from the quasi-continuum (below the neutron separation energy) to individual low-lying discrete levels in 95Mo produced in the (d,p) reaction. A key aspect to successfully study gamma decay from the region of high level-density is the detection and extraction of correlated particle-gamma-gamma events which was accomplished using an array of Clover HPGe detectors and large area annular silicon detectors. The entrance channel excitation energy into the residual nucleus produced in the reaction was inferred from the detected proton energies in the silicon detectors. Gating on gamma-transitions originating from low-lying discrete levels specifies the state fed by statistical gamma-rays. Any particle-gamma-gamma event in combination with specific energy sum requirements ensures a clean and unambiguous determination of the initial and final state of the observed gamma rays. With these requirements the statistical feeding to individual discrete levels is extracted on an event-by-event basis. The latest results are presented and compared to 95Mo photon strength function data measured at the University of Oslo by Guttormsen et al. In particular, questions regarding the existence of the low-energy enhancement in the photon strength function are addressed.

  12. Network-level reorganisation of functional connectivity following arm amputation

    PubMed Central

    Makin, Tamar R.; Filippini, Nicola; Duff, Eugene P.; Henderson Slater, David; Tracey, Irene; Johansen-Berg, Heidi

    2015-01-01

    One of the most striking demonstrations of plasticity in the adult human brain follows peripheral injury, such as amputation. In the primary sensorimotor cortex, arm amputation results in massive local remapping of the missing hands' cortical territory. However, little is known about the consequences of sensorimotor deprivation on global brain organisation. Here, we used resting-state fMRI to identify large-scale reorganisation beyond the primary sensorimotor cortex in arm amputees, compared with two-handed controls. Specifically, we characterised changes in functional connectivity between the cortical territory of the missing hand in the primary sensorimotor cortex (‘missing hand cortex’) and two networks of interest: the sensorimotor network, which is typically strongly associated with the hand cortex, and the default mode network (DMN), which is normally dissociated from it. Functional connectivity values between the missing hand cortex and the sensorimotor network were reduced in amputees, and connectivity was weaker in individuals amputated for longer periods. Lower levels of functional coupling between the missing hand cortex and the sensorimotor network were also associated with emerged coupling of this cortex with the DMN. Our results demonstrate that plasticity following arm amputation is not restricted to local remapping occurring within the sensorimotor homunculus of the missing hand but rather produces a cascade of cortical reorganisation at a network-level scale. These findings may provide a new framework for understanding how local deprivation following amputation could elicit complex perceptual experiences of phantom sensations, such as phantom pain. PMID:25776216

  13. Network-level reorganisation of functional connectivity following arm amputation.

    PubMed

    Makin, Tamar R; Filippini, Nicola; Duff, Eugene P; Henderson Slater, David; Tracey, Irene; Johansen-Berg, Heidi

    2015-07-01

    One of the most striking demonstrations of plasticity in the adult human brain follows peripheral injury, such as amputation. In the primary sensorimotor cortex, arm amputation results in massive local remapping of the missing hands' cortical territory. However, little is known about the consequences of sensorimotor deprivation on global brain organisation. Here, we used resting-state fMRI to identify large-scale reorganisation beyond the primary sensorimotor cortex in arm amputees, compared with two-handed controls. Specifically, we characterised changes in functional connectivity between the cortical territory of the missing hand in the primary sensorimotor cortex ('missing hand cortex') and two networks of interest: the sensorimotor network, which is typically strongly associated with the hand cortex, and the default mode network (DMN), which is normally dissociated from it. Functional connectivity values between the missing hand cortex and the sensorimotor network were reduced in amputees, and connectivity was weaker in individuals amputated for longer periods. Lower levels of functional coupling between the missing hand cortex and the sensorimotor network were also associated with emerged coupling of this cortex with the DMN. Our results demonstrate that plasticity following arm amputation is not restricted to local remapping occurring within the sensorimotor homunculus of the missing hand but rather produces a cascade of cortical reorganisation at a network-level scale. These findings may provide a new framework for understanding how local deprivation following amputation could elicit complex perceptual experiences of phantom sensations, such as phantom pain. PMID:25776216

  14. Low level CO2 effects on pulmonary function in humans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sexton, J.; Mueller, K.; Elliott, A.; Gerzer, D.; Strohl, K. P.; West, J. B. (Principal Investigator)

    1998-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to determine whether chamber exposure to low levels of CO2 results in functional alterations in gas mixing and closing volume in humans. Four healthy volunteer subjects were exposed to 0.7% CO2 and to 1.2% CO2. Spirometry, lung volumes, single breath nitrogen washout, diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO) by two methods, and cardiac output were measured in triplicate. Values were obtained over two non-consecutive days during the training period (control) and on days 2 or 3, 4, 6, 10, 13, and 23 of exposure to each CO2 level. Measurements were made during the same time of day. There was one day of testing after exposure, while still in the chamber but off carbon dioxide. The order of testing, up until measurements of DLCO and cardiac output, were randomized to avoid presentation effects. The consistent findings were a reduction in diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide and a fall in cardiac output, occurring to a similar degree with both exposures. For the group as a whole, there was no indication of major effects on spirometry, lung volumes, gas mixing or dead space. We conclude that small changes may occur in the function of distal gas exchanging units; however, these effects were not associated with any adverse health effects. The likelihood of pathophysiologic changes in lung function or structure with 0.7 or 1.2% CO2 exposure for this period of time, is therefore, low.

  15. Fast construction of voxel-level functional connectivity graphs

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Graph-based analysis of fMRI data has recently emerged as a promising approach to study brain networks. Based on the assessment of synchronous fMRI activity at separate brain sites, functional connectivity graphs are constructed and analyzed using graph-theoretical concepts. Most previous studies investigated region-level graphs, which are computationally inexpensive, but bring along the problem of choosing sensible regions and involve blurring of more detailed information. In contrast, voxel-level graphs provide the finest granularity attainable from the data, enabling analyses at superior spatial resolution. They are, however, associated with considerable computational demands, which can render high-resolution analyses infeasible. In response, many existing studies investigating functional connectivity at the voxel-level reduced the computational burden by sacrificing spatial resolution. Methods Here, a novel, time-efficient method for graph construction is presented that retains the original spatial resolution. Performance gains are instead achieved through data reduction in the temporal domain based on dichotomization of voxel time series combined with tetrachoric correlation estimation and efficient implementation. Results By comparison with graph construction based on Pearson’s r, the technique used by the majority of previous studies, we find that the novel approach produces highly similar results an order of magnitude faster. Conclusions Its demonstrated performance makes the proposed approach a sensible and efficient alternative to customary practice. An open source software package containing the created programs is freely available for download. PMID:24947161

  16. Tests of Functional Adult Literacy: An Evaluation of Currently Available Instruments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nafziger, Dean H.; And Others

    Currently available measures of functional literacy for adults are reviewed and evaluated. This report concentrates on tests that are referenced to literary skills important to an adequately functioning adult, such as life skills, coping skills, etc. Because functional literacy has frequently been defined in terms of a grade level equivalent or…

  17. Non-functional genes repaired at the RNA level.

    PubMed

    Burger, Gertraud

    2016-01-01

    Genomes and genes continuously evolve. Gene sequences undergo substitutions, deletions or nucleotide insertions; mobile genetic elements invade genomes and interleave in genes; chromosomes break, even within genes, and pieces reseal in reshuffled order. To maintain functional gene products and assure an organism's survival, two principal strategies are used - either repair of the gene itself or of its product. I will introduce common types of gene aberrations and how gene function is restored secondarily, and then focus on systematically fragmented genes found in a poorly studied protist group, the diplonemids. Expression of their broken genes involves restitching of pieces at the RNA-level, and substantial RNA editing, to compensate for point mutations. I will conclude with thoughts on how such a grotesquely unorthodox system may have evolved, and why this group of organisms persists and thrives since tens of millions of years. PMID:27180109

  18. Personal Striving Level and Self-Evaluation Process.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Orias, John; Leung, Lisa; Dosanj, Shikha; McAnlis, JoAnna; Levy, Gal; Sheposh, John P.

    Three studies were conducted to determine if goal striving level was related to accurate self-knowledge. The purpose of the research was to determine if the tendency of high strivers to confront stressful stimuli extends to self-evaluation processes. Three experiments were designed to investigate whether high strivers differ from low strivers in…

  19. The usefulness of serum troponin levels in evaluating cardiac injury.

    PubMed

    Collins, J N; Cole, F J; Weireter, L J; Riblet, J L; Britt, L D

    2001-09-01

    The diagnosis and clinical significance of blunt cardiac injury remains controversial. Cardiac troponin I is not found in skeletal muscle and has a high sensitivity for myocardial ischemia or injury. We hypothesized that normal troponin levels 4 to 6 hours postinjury would effectively exclude the diagnosis of cardiac contusion. A prospective evaluation of all blunt trauma patients older than 16 and admitted with the possible diagnosis of blunt cardiac injury was undertaken. Patients in whom this diagnosis was considered had an electrocardiogram (EKG) on admission, serum troponin, CPK and isoenzymes 4 to 6 hours postinjury, and admission with overnight telemetry. Other laboratory data and radiographic imaging was obtained as indicated. Seventy-two patients met criteria for entry into the study. Data was incomplete or inaccurately obtained on six patients, and they were excluded. Forty patients had normal troponins and normal EKG's on admission and were discharged the following day without any untoward effect. Sixteen patients were admitted with abnormal EKGs. All of these 16 patients had normal troponins 4 to 6 hours after their injury. They all did well and were discharged the following day. Ten patients had elevated troponins 4 to 6 hours after injury. One died two days later from refractory cardiogenic shock. Another was noted to have severely depressed left ventricular function by echocardiography. The other eight patients sustained no cardiac sequelae and were discharged once recovered from injuries. In the hemodynamically stable patient a normal troponin 4 to 6 hours after injury excludes clinically significant blunt cardiac injury. This holds true whether the admission EKG is normal or not. An elevated troponin does not definitively diagnose a clinically significant contusion. However, these patients should be monitored at least for 24 hours. Patients suspicious for cardiac contusions who have normal troponins and no other serious injuries may be safely

  20. Functional Capacity Evaluation Research: Report from the Second International Functional Capacity Evaluation Research Meeting.

    PubMed

    James, C L; Reneman, M F; Gross, D P

    2016-03-01

    Introduction Functional capacity evaluations are an important component of many occupational rehabilitation programs and can play a role in facilitating reintegration to work thus improving health and disability outcomes. The field of functional capacity evaluation (FCE) research has continued to develop over recent years, with growing evidence on the reliability, validity and clinical utility of FCE within different patient and healthy worker groups. The second International FCE Research Conference was held in Toronto, Canada on October 2nd 2014 adjacent to the 2014 Work Disability Prevention Integration conference. This paper describes the outcomes of the conference. Report Fifty-four participants from nine countries attended the conference where eleven research projects and three workshops were presented. The conference provided an opportunity to discuss FCE practice, present new research and provide a forum for discourse around the issues pertinent to FCE use. Conference presentations covered aspects of FCE use including the ICF-FCE interface, aspects of reliability and validity, consideration of specific injury populations, comparisons of FCE components and a lively debate on the merits of 'Man versus Machine' in FCE's. Future directions Researchers, clinicians, and other professionals in the FCE area have a common desire to improve the content and quality of FCE research and to collaborate to further develop research across systems, cultures and countries. PMID:26108156

  1. Efficient Evaluation Functions for Multi-Rover Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Agogino, Adrian; Tumer, Kagan

    2004-01-01

    Evolutionary computation can be a powerful tool in cresting a control policy for a single agent receiving local continuous input. This paper extends single-agent evolutionary computation to multi-agent systems, where a collection of agents strives to maximize a global fitness evaluation function that rates the performance of the entire system. This problem is solved in a distributed manner, where each agent evolves its own population of neural networks that are used as the control policies for the agent. Each agent evolves its population using its own agent-specific fitness evaluation function. We propose to create these agent-specific evaluation functions using the theory of collectives to avoid the coordination problem where each agent evolves a population that maximizes its own fitness function, yet the system has a whole achieves low values of the global fitness function. Instead we will ensure that each fitness evaluation function is both "aligned" with the global evaluation function and is "learnable," i.e., the agents can readily see how their behavior affects their evaluation function. We then show how these agent-specific evaluation functions outperform global evaluation methods by up to 600% in a domain where a set of rovers attempt to maximize the amount of information observed while navigating through a simulated environment.

  2. Training Professionals' Usage and Understanding of Kirkpatrick's Level 3 and Level 4 Evaluations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kennedy, Perri Estes; Chyung, Seung Youn; Winiecki, Donald J.; Brinkerhoff, Robert O.

    2014-01-01

    Training professionals have long acknowledged the necessity of conducting behavior-based (Level 3) and results-based (Level 4) evaluations, yet organizations do not frequently conduct such evaluations. This research examined training professionals' perceptions of the utility of Level 3 and Level 4 evaluations and the factors that facilitate…

  3. Executive functions in kindergarteners with high levels of disruptive behaviours.

    PubMed

    Monette, Sébastien; Bigras, Marc; Guay, Marie-Claude

    2015-11-01

    Executive function (EF) deficits have yet to be demonstrated convincingly in children with disruptive behaviour disorders (DBD), as only a few studies have reported these. The presence of EF weaknesses in children with DBD has often been contested on account of the high comorbidity between DBD and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and of methodological shortcomings regarding EF measures. Against this background, the link between EF and disruptive behaviours in kindergarteners was investigated using a carefully selected battery of EF measures. Three groups of kindergarteners were compared: (1) a group combining high levels of disruptive behaviours and ADHD symptoms (COMB); (2) a group presenting high levels of disruptive/aggressive behaviours and low levels of ADHD symptoms (AGG); and (3) a normative group (NOR). Children in the COMB and AGG groups presented weaker inhibition capacities compared with normative peers. Also, only the COMB group showed weaker working memory capacities compared with the NOR group. Results support the idea that preschool children with DBD have weaker inhibition capacities and that this weakness could be common to both ADHD and DBD. PMID:26198079

  4. Melatonin in Plants - Diversity of Levels and Multiplicity of Functions.

    PubMed

    Hardeland, Rüdiger

    2016-01-01

    Melatonin has been detected in numerous plant species. A particularly surprising finding concerns the highly divergent levels of melatonin that vary between species, organs and environmental conditions, from a few pg/g to over 20 μg/g, reportedly up to 200 μg/g. Highest values have been determined in oily seeds and in plant organs exposed to high UV radiation. The divergency of melatonin concentrations is discussed under various functional aspects and focused on several open questions. This comprises differences in precursor availability, catabolism, the relative contribution of isoenzymes of the melatonin biosynthetic pathway, and differences in rate limitation by either serotonin N-acetyltransferase or N-acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase. Other differences are related to the remarkable pleiotropy of melatonin, which exhibits properties as a growth regulator and morphogenetic factor, actually debated in terms of auxin-like effects, and as a signaling molecule that modulates pathways of ethylene, abscisic, jasmonic and salicylic acids and is involved in stress tolerance, pathogen defense and delay of senescence. In the context of high light/UV intensities, elevated melatonin levels exceed those required for signaling via stress-related phytohormones and may comprise direct antioxidant and photoprotectant properties, perhaps with a contribution of its oxidatively formed metabolites, such as N (1)-acetyl-N (2)-formyl-5-methoxykynuramine and its secondary products. High melatonin levels in seeds may also serve antioxidative protection and have been shown to promote seed viability and germination capacity. PMID:26925091

  5. Adult Roles & Functions. Objective Based Evaluation System.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    West Virginia State Vocational Curriculum Lab., Cedar Lakes.

    This book of objective-based test items is designed to be used with the Adult Roles and Functions curriculum for a non-laboratory home economic course for grades eleven and twelve. It contains item banks for each cognitive objective in the curriculum. In addition, there is a form for the table of specifications to be developed for each unit. This…

  6. Evaluation of Eyelid Function and Aesthetics.

    PubMed

    Neimkin, Michael G; Holds, John B

    2016-05-01

    The eyes and periocular area are the central aesthetic unit of the face. Facial aging is a dynamic process that involves skin, subcutaneous soft tissues, and bony structures. An understanding of what is perceived as youthful and beautiful is critical for success. Knowledge of the functional aspects of the eyelid and periocular area can identify pre-preoperative red flags. PMID:27105795

  7. Relationship between plasma matrix metalloproteinase levels, pulmonary function, bronchodilator response, and emphysema severity

    PubMed Central

    Koo, Hyeon-Kyoung; Hong, Yoonki; Lim, Myoung Nam; Yim, Jae-Joon; Kim, Woo Jin

    2016-01-01

    Objective Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by chronic inflammation in the airway and lung. A protease–antiprotease imbalance has been suggested as a possible pathogenic mechanism for COPD. We evaluated the relationship between matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) levels and COPD severity. Methods Plasma levels of MMP-1, MMP-8, MMP-9, and MMP-12 were measured in 57 COPD patients and 36 normal controls. The relationship between MMP levels and lung function, emphysema index, bronchial wall thickness, pulmonary artery pressure, and quality of life was examined using general linear regression analyses. Results There were significant associations of MMP-1 with bronchodilator reversibility and of MMP-8 and MMP-9 with lung function. Also, MMP-1, MMP-8, and MMP-9 levels were correlated with the emphysema index, independent of lung function. However, MMP-12 was not associated with lung function or emphysema severity. Associations between MMP levels and bronchial wall thickness, pulmonary artery pressure, and quality of life were not statistically significant. Conclusion Plasma levels of MMP-1, MMP-8, and MMP-9 are associated with COPD severity and can be used as a biomarker to better understand the characteristics of COPD patients. PMID:27313452

  8. Risk evaluation - conventional and low level effects of radiation

    SciTech Connect

    Bond, V.P.; Varma, M.N.

    1984-04-01

    Any discussion of the risk of exposure to potentially-hazardous agents in the environment inevitably involves the question of whether the dose effect curve is of the threshold or linear, non-threshold type. A principal objective of this presentation is to show that the function is actually two separate relationships, each representing distinctly different functions with differing variables on the axes, and each characteristic of quite different functions with differing variables on the axes, and each characteristic of quite different disciplines (i.e., the threshold function, of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Medicine (PTM); the linear, non-threshold function, of Public Health including safety and accident statistics (PHS)). It is shown that low-level exposure (LLE) to radiation falls clearly in the PHS category. A function for cell dose vs. the fraction of single cell quantal responses is characterized, which reflects the absolute and relative sensitivities of cells. Acceptance of this function would obviate any requirement for the use in Radiation Protection of the concepts of a standard radiation, Q, dose equivalent and rem. 9 references, 4 figures.

  9. An Evaluation of Generalization of Mands during Functional Communication Training

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Falcomata, Terry S.; Wacker, David P.; Ringdahl, Joel E.; Vinquist, Kelly; Dutt, Anuradha

    2013-01-01

    The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the generalization of mands during functional communication training (FCT) and sign language training across functional contexts (i.e., positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement). A secondary purpose was to evaluate a training procedure based on stimulus control to teach manual signs. During…

  10. Distributed implementation of functional program evaluation

    SciTech Connect

    Fasel, J.H.; Douglass, R.J.; Michelsen, R.; Hudak, P.

    1985-01-01

    In this paper, we explore the potential of the functional model, particularly as it pertains to architecture. In Section 2, we describe the graph-reduction operational model of computation and its relation to AI problems. In Section 3, we discuss a class of architectures that implement graph reduction and a prototype implementation in this class being developed at Los Alamos. Finally, we speculate on the applicability of graph reduction to some other classes of architecture.

  11. Evaluating cerebellar functions using optogenetic transgenic mice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welsh, John P.; Turecek, Josef; Turner, Eric E.

    2013-03-01

    We employed a transgenic mouse having conditional expression of ChR2(H134R) in neurons of the inferior olive to facilitate understanding of the role of electrical coupling and oscillation in central nervous system function. Two-photon excitation of ChR2-expressing neurons using 64 laser beams restricted to single inferior olive cell bodies depolarized neurons and evoked voltage deflections in neighboring neurons demonstrating electrical coupling. Broader illumination of neuronal ensembles using blue light induced an optical clamp of endogenous electrical rhythms in the inferior olive of acutely-prepared brain slices, which when applied in vivo directly modulated the local field potential activity and induced tremor. The experiments demonstrate novel methods to optically manipulate electrically coupled potentials and rhythmogenesis within a neuronal ensemble. From a functional perspective, the experiments shed light on the cellular and circuitry mechanisms of essential tremor, a prevalent neurological condition, by indicating time- and frequencydependence of tremor upon varying rhythms of inferior olive stimulation. The experiments indicate analog control of a brain rhythm that may be used to enhance our understanding of the functional consequences of central rhythmogenesis.

  12. Methodology for Prototyping Increased Levels of Automation for Spacecraft Rendezvous Functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hart, Jeremy J.; Valasek, John

    2007-01-01

    The Crew Exploration Vehicle necessitates higher levels of automation than previous NASA vehicles, due to program requirements for automation, including Automated Rendezvous and Docking. Studies of spacecraft development often point to the locus of decision-making authority between humans and computers (i.e. automation) as a prime driver for cost, safety, and mission success. Therefore, a critical component in the Crew Exploration Vehicle development is the determination of the correct level of automation. To identify the appropriate levels of automation and autonomy to design into a human space flight vehicle, NASA has created the Function-specific Level of Autonomy and Automation Tool. This paper develops a methodology for prototyping increased levels of automation for spacecraft rendezvous functions. This methodology is used to evaluate the accuracy of the Function-specific Level of Autonomy and Automation Tool specified levels of automation, via prototyping. Spacecraft rendezvous planning tasks are selected and then prototyped in Matlab using Fuzzy Logic techniques and existing Space Shuttle rendezvous trajectory algorithms.

  13. The Evaluation of Burnout Levels of Sports Sciences Faculty Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kocaeksi, Serdar

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this research is to evaluate the burnout levels of sports sciences faculty students in terms of some other variables. 46 Female (Age, M: 20.88 ± 1.86) and 107 male (Age, M: 22.15 ± 2.15) in total 153 students participated in this research. Maslach Burnout Inventory-Student Form (MBI-SF) was used for data collection. Descriptive…

  14. Evaluation of strain levels in the IFSF rack

    SciTech Connect

    Richins, W.D.; Miller, G.K.

    1997-06-01

    An evaluation has been performed on strain levels determined for the IFSF fuel storage rack for seismic loading. The storage rack had been previously analyzed by a consulting company, Advanced Engineering Consultants (AEC), who reported significant strain levels in several members of the rack. The purpose for the study conducted herein was to refine the method for calculating strain levels, and then to assess the acceptability of the refined strain values. This was accomplished by making a modification to AEC`s model to more realistically represent plastic behavior in all locations where material yields. An analysis was performed where this modified model was subjected to the same seismic loadings as applied in AEC`s analysis. It was expected that the more realistic representation of plastic behavior in the modified model would result in reduced maximum calculated strains for the rack. Results of the analysis showed that the more realistic representation of plastic behavior in rack members did reduce the calculated maximum strains from those reported by AEC. These modified strains were evaluated for acceptability according to ductility criteria of the governing standard (i.e. ANSI/AISC N690-1994, as specified by the project Criteria Application Document). This evaluation showed that the strains meet these acceptance criteria. The analysis described herein was performed only to investigate this issue. AEC`s analysis stands as the analysis of record for the rack.

  15. 48 CFR 736.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... DEVELOPMENT SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Services 736.602-3 Evaluation board functions. Agency architect-engineer evaluation boards shall perform... information specified in 736.602-3(c). (b) In evaluating architect-engineer firms, the...

  16. 48 CFR 736.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... DEVELOPMENT SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Services 736.602-3 Evaluation board functions. Agency architect-engineer evaluation boards shall perform... information specified in 736.602-3(c). (b) In evaluating architect-engineer firms, the...

  17. 48 CFR 736.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... DEVELOPMENT SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Services 736.602-3 Evaluation board functions. Agency architect-engineer evaluation boards shall perform... information specified in 736.602-3(c). (b) In evaluating architect-engineer firms, the...

  18. Retrospective analysis of medicolegal cases and evaluation for erectile function.

    PubMed

    Ozkara, H; Aşicioglu, F; Alici, B; Akkuş, E; Hattat, H

    1999-06-01

    Erectile function (EF) is an important question in lawsuits for divorce, rape, and damages. In this study, a method to evaluate medicolegal cases is defined, and the characteristics of the 265 cases screened for EF between 1989 and 1997 were analyzed. Interview, physical examination, psychometric evaluation, nocturnal penile tumescence, serum hormone levels and blood chemistry, intracavernosal drug injection, penile Doppler ultrasonography, and pharmacocavernosometry and pharmacocavernosography tests were used for diagnosis. The tests performed were selected according to the age of the subject. Of the 265 cases 128 (48.3%) were for divorce, 116 (43.7%) were for rape, and 21 (8%) were for indemnity relating to lawsuits for damages. In only 7 cases (2.7%) was the defendant <15 years of age. Organic pathology for erectile dysfunction (ED) was present in 22% of lawsuits for divorce, 40.5% of lawsuits for rape, and 33.4% of lawsuits for damages. Three men in cases of divorce and 2 men after genital trauma due to traffic accident suffered psychological ED. This study indicates that lawyers may abuse the assertion of ED in lawsuits for divorce and rape. In 128 divorce cases the defendant was accused of being impotent, but evaluation proved that 75.8% had normal EF. In lawsuits for rape, 59.5% of defendants had normal EF although the lawyers of the rapist claimed their clients were impotent. The investigation, interpretation, and characteristics of medicolegal cases may differ in countries with different cultures. PMID:10414654

  19. A comparison of the level of functioning in chronic schizophrenia with coping and burden in caregivers

    PubMed Central

    Creado, Dean A.; Parkar, Shubhangi R.; Kamath, Ravindra M.

    2006-01-01

    Background: A chronic mental illness such as schizophrenia is a challenging task for caregivers especially in the current era of de-institutionalization. In India, few studies have attempted to directly determine the relationship between coping mechanisms and burden; in the West, studies have found that improved coping in family members can decrease the perceived burden. Aim: To evaluate the burden and coping of caregivers in relation to the level of functioning in patients with chronic schizophrenia. Methods: The sample was 100 patients with their primary caregivers attending a Psychiatry OPD. Patients were assessed on the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale while caregivers were administered the Burden Assessment Schedule (BAS) and Mechanisms of Coping (MOC) scale. Results: Fatalism and problem-solving were the two most preferred ways of coping. Problem-focused coping, i.e. problem-solving and expressive-action decreased the burden of caregivers, while emotion-focused coping, i.e. fatalism and passivity, increased it. As the level of functioning of the patient decreased, the significance with which the coping mechanisms influenced the burden, increased. The use of problem-solving coping by caregivers showed a significant correlation with higher level of functioning in patients. Conclusion: Coping mechanisms such as problem-solving can decrease the burden of illness on caregivers and may even improve the level of functioning of patients. PMID:20703411

  20. Antisecretory therapy with no improvement in functional level in Ménière's disease.

    PubMed

    Ingvardsen, Charlotte J; Klokker, Mads

    2016-01-01

    Conclusion Antisecretory factor-inducing (AF) specially processed cereals (SPC) were not shown to significantly improve the functional level in patients with MD. Objectives The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of AF-inducing SPC in patients suffering from Ménière's disease (MD). Methods A randomized double-blinded, placebo-controlled cross-over study was conducted. All patients had a 2 months intake of SPC and control cereal with a 2 months washout period in between. The severity of MD was classified according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AOO-HNS) functional scale, and the frequency of attacks was registered. Results Thirty-two patients completed the study. No carryover effect was found. In both functional level and frequency of attacks no significant effect of SPC was found. Seventeen patients showed improvement in functional level when treated with SPC (mean improvement = 0.9 points) and 14 when treated with placebo (mean improvements = 0.7 points). No patients showed worsening in functional level during treatment with SPC, but three showed worsening when treated with placebo. Seventeen patients reported fewer attacks when treated with SPC, and 22 when treated with placebo. Three patients reported more frequent attacks when treated with SPC, and three when treated with placebo. A non-parametric comparison and a parametric analysis supported the findings. PMID:26635204

  1. Overview of platelet physiology and laboratory evaluation of platelet function.

    PubMed

    Rodgers, G M

    1999-06-01

    Appropriate laboratory testing for the platelet-type bleeding disorders hinges on an adequate assessment in the history and physical examination. Patients with histories and screening laboratory results consistent with coagulation disorders (hemophilia, disseminated intravascular coagulation) are not appropriate candidates for platelet function testing. In contrast, patients with a lifelong history of platelet-type bleeding symptoms and perhaps a positive family history of bleeding would be appropriate for testing. Figure 6 depicts one strategy to evaluate these patients. Platelet morphology can easily be evaluated to screen for two uncommon qualitative platelet disorders: Bernard-Soulier syndrome (associated with giant platelets) and gray platelet syndrome, a subtype of storage pool disorder in which platelet granulation is morphologically abnormal by light microscopy. If the bleeding disorder occurred later in life (no bleeding with surgery or trauma early in life), the focus should be on acquired disorders of platelet function. For those patients thought to have an inherited disorder, testing for vWD should be done initially because approximately 1% of the population has vWD. The complete vWD panel (factor VIII coagulant activity, vWf antigen, ristocetin cofactor activity) should be performed because many patients will have abnormalities of only one particular panel component. Patients diagnosed with vWD should be classified using multimeric analysis to identify the type 1 vWD patients likely to respond to DDAVP. If vWD studies are normal, platelet aggregation testing should be performed, ensuring that no antiplatelet medications have been ingested at least 1 week before testing. If platelet aggregation tests are normal and if suspicion for an inherited disorder remains high, vWD testing should be repeated. The evaluation of thrombocytopenia may require bone marrow examination to exclude primary hematologic disorders. If future studies with thrombopoietin assays

  2. Influencing factors on the functional level of haemophilic patients assessed by FISH.

    PubMed

    Kachooei, A R; Badiei, Z; Zandinezhad, M E; Ebrahimzadeh, M H; Mazloumi, S M; Omidi-Kashani, F; Moradi, A; Mahdavian-Naghashzargar, R; Razi, S

    2014-03-01

    Joint destruction in early adulthood brings the patients to the orthopaedic clinics. If a haemophilic patient becomes disabled, it shows a number of factors such as timely diagnosis, availability of appropriate treatment depending on the country, access and affordability to treatments and equally importantly the responsibility of the patient in managing self care by remaining compliant by prescribed treatment regimen. We assessed the functional level by functional independence score in haemophilia (FISH). Overall, 104 patients with haemophilia A and 29 with haemophilia B were evaluated. We assessed the function of the patients by FISH. We divided the sum scores into weak (FISH score 8-16), moderate (17-24), and good (25-32). For evaluating the level of functional deficit in a 2 × 2 table, we categorized the weak and moderate levels into Disordered Group and the good level into Not-Disordered Group. The average age was 26.9 ± 14.24. Each 1 year increase in age can increase 1.07 fold the possibility of being placed in Disordered Function Group. Severe haemophilia can increase 7.34 fold, presence of inhibitor can increase 9.75 fold and home self-care increases 3.89 fold the possibility of being placed in Disordered Function Group. To decrease the burden of the cost on patient, family and the government, education plays the most important role. We suggest that we send a trained team of physician and nurses to the deprived villages and cities instead of waiting for the patient to refer to our Care Center. PMID:24118441

  3. Detailed evaluation of the analytical resolution function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wittmaack, K.

    2003-01-01

    The analytical resolution or response function (ARF) suggested by Dowsett et al. for describing measured secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) depth profiles of delta doping distributions in solids was analysed with the aim of identifying the relevance and the physical meaning of the upslope length λu and the Gaussian broadening parameter σ. It was found that it is difficult to determine the upslope length safely as long as λu/ σ<0.3. For an accurate determination of λu it will usually be necessary to measure the profile of (ideal) delta markers over four orders of magnitude or more. Measured delta profiles with very sharp leading edges as well as delta profiles calculated on the basis of the diffusion approximation of atomic mixing were compared with the ARF. Irrespective of the true value of λu, the peak height of the ARF was found to be too high by up to 12% and the width too small. The results suggest directions for improving the ARF.

  4. Evaluating forensic biology results given source level propositions.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Duncan; Abarno, Damien; Hicks, Tacha; Champod, Christophe

    2016-03-01

    The evaluation of forensic evidence can occur at any level within the hierarchy of propositions depending on the question being asked and the amount and type of information that is taken into account within the evaluation. Commonly DNA evidence is reported given propositions that deal with the sub-source level in the hierarchy, which deals only with the possibility that a nominated individual is a source of DNA in a trace (or contributor to the DNA in the case of a mixed DNA trace). We explore the use of information obtained from examinations, presumptive and discriminating tests for body fluids, DNA concentrations and some case circumstances within a Bayesian network in order to provide assistance to the Courts that have to consider propositions at source level. We use a scenario in which the presence of blood is of interest as an exemplar and consider how DNA profiling results and the potential for laboratory error can be taken into account. We finish with examples of how the results of these reports could be presented in court using either numerical values or verbal descriptions of the results. PMID:26720813

  5. Diversity of Matriptase Expression Level and Function in Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Welman, Arkadiusz; Sproul, Duncan; Mullen, Peter; Muir, Morwenna; Kinnaird, Andrew R.; Harrison, David J.; Faratian, Dana; Brunton, Valerie G.; Frame, Margaret C.

    2012-01-01

    Overexpression of matriptase has been reported in a variety of human cancers and is sufficient to trigger tumor formation in mice, but the importance of matriptase in breast cancer remains unclear. We analysed matriptase expression in 16 human breast cancer cell lines and in 107 primary breast tumors. The data revealed considerable diversity in the expression level of this protein indicating that the significance of matriptase may vary from case to case. Matriptase protein expression was correlated with HER2 expression and highest expression was seen in HER2-positive cell lines, indicating a potential role in this subgroup. Stable overexpression of matriptase in two breast cancer cell lines had different consequences. In MDA-MB-231 human breast carcinoma cells the only noted consequence of matriptase overexpression was modestly impaired growth in vivo. In contrast, overexpression of matriptase in 4T1 mouse breast carcinoma cells resulted in visible changes in morphology, actin staining and cell to cell contacts. This correlated with downregulation of the cell-cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin. These results suggest that the functions of matriptase in breast cancer are likely to be variable and cell context dependent. PMID:22514623

  6. Above-Level Test Item Functioning across Examinee Age Groups

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warne, Russell T.; Doty, Kristine J.; Malbica, Anne Marie; Angeles, Victor R.; Innes, Scott; Hall, Jared; Masterson-Nixon, Kelli

    2016-01-01

    "Above-level testing" (also called "above-grade testing," "out-of-level testing," and "off-level testing") is the practice of administering to a child a test that is designed for an examinee population that is older or in a more advanced grade. Above-level testing is frequently used to help educators design…

  7. A direct search algorithm for optimization with noisy function evaluations

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, E.; Ferris, M.

    1994-12-31

    In this paper we describe a new direct search algorithm, reminiscent of the Nelder-Mead method, and related to a more recent pattern search algorithm proposed by Torczon. We believe that this method has applications in situations in which each function evaluation is noisy, but in which repeated function evaluations at the same point can be used to progressively reduce the error. For example, this will occur if the objective function value is given as a result of a simulation experiment. We investigate the convergence behaviour of the new algorithm for problems in which each function evaluation returns the true value of the function plus a random error drawn from a Normal distribution.

  8. Evaluation of the Voigt function to arbitrary precision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boyer, W.; Lynas-Gray, A. E.

    2014-11-01

    Accurate and rapid Voigt function evaluations are an essential component of synthetic stellar spectrum calculations and the development of improved algorithms continues to be a priority. Multiprecision arithmetic was applied to obtain Voigt functions evaluated to 56 digits, which could be extended to arbitrarily high precision if required. While the technique cannot be used in practical applications, it provides results against which fast routines may be benchmarked for accuracy.

  9. Level 2 and level 2.5 large deviation functionals for systems with and without detailed balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoppenau, J.; Nickelsen, D.; Engel, A.

    2016-08-01

    Large deviation functions are an essential tool in the statistics of rare events. Often they can be obtained by contraction from a so-called level 2 or level 2.5 large deviation functional characterizing the empirical density and current of the underlying stochastic process. For Langevin systems obeying detailed balance, the explicit form of the level 2 functional has been known ever since the mathematical work of Donsker and Varadhan. We rederive the Donsker–Varadhan result using stochastic path-integrals. We than generalize the derivation to level 2.5 large deviation functionals for non-equilibrium steady states and elucidate the relation between the large deviation functionals and different notions of entropy production in stochastic thermodynamics. Finally, we discuss some aspects of the contractions to level 1 large deviation functions and illustrate our findings with examples.

  10. ONELOOP: For the evaluation of one-loop scalar functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Hameren, A.

    2011-11-01

    ONELOOP is a program to evaluate the one-loop scalar 1-point, 2-point, 3-point and 4-point functions, for all kinematical configurations relevant for collider-physics, and for any non-positive imaginary parts of the internal squared masses. It deals with all UV and IR divergences within dimensional regularization. Furthermore, it provides routines to evaluate these functions using straightforward numerical integration. Program summaryProgram title: OneLOop Catalogue identifier: AEJO_v1_0 Program summary URL:http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/summaries/AEJO_v1_0.html Program obtainable from: CPC Program Library, Queen's University, Belfast, N. Ireland Licensing provisions: Standard CPC licence, http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/licence/licence.html No. of lines in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 12 061 No. of bytes in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 74 163 Distribution format: tar.gz Programming language: Fortran Computer: Workstations Operating system: Linux, Unix RAM: Negligible Classification: 4.4, 11.1 Nature of problem: In order to reach next-to-leading order precision in the calculation of cross sections of hard scattering processes, one-loop amplitudes have to be evaluated. This is done by expressing them as linear combination of one-loop scalar functions. In a concrete calculation, these functions eventually have to be evaluated. If the scattering process involves unstable particles, consistency requires the evaluation of these functions with complex internal masses. Solution method: Expressions for the one-loop scalar functions in terms of single-variable analytic functions existing in literature have been implemented. Restrictions: The applicability is restricted to the kinematics occurring in collider-physics. Running time: The evaluation of the most general 4-point function with 4 complex masses takes about 180 μs, and the evaluation of the 4-point function with 4 real masses takes about 18 μs on a 2.80 GHz Intel Xeon processor.

  11. 48 CFR 736.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 5 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 736.602-3 Section 736.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Services 736.602-3 Evaluation board...

  12. Evaluation of Low-Level Laser Therapy in TMD Patients

    PubMed Central

    Ayyildiz, Simel; Emir, Faruk; Sahin, Cem

    2015-01-01

    Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation (laser) is one of the most recent treatment modalities in dentistry. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is suggested to have biostimulating and analgesic effects through direct irradiation without causing thermal response. There are few studies that have investigated the efficacy of laser therapy in temporomandibular disorders (TMD), especially in reduced mouth opening. The case report here evaluates performance of LLLT with a diode laser for temporomandibular clicking and postoperative findings were evaluated in two cases of TMD patients. First patient had a history of limited mouth opening and pain in temporomandibular joint (TMJ) region since nine months. Second patient's main complaint was his restricted mouth opening, which was progressed in one year. LLLT was performed with a 685 nm red probed diode laser that has an energy density of 6.2 J/cm2, three times a week for one month, and application time was 30 seconds (685 nm, 25 mW, 30 s, 0.02 Hz, and 6.2 J/cm2) (BTL-2000, Portative Laser Therapy Device). The treatment protocol was decided according to the literature. One year later patients were evaluated and there were no changes. This application suggested that LLLT is an appropriate treatment for TMD related pain and limited mouth opening and should be considered as an alternative to other methods. PMID:26587294

  13. Evaluating Functional Decline in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosenblum, Sara; Weiss, Patrice L.

    2010-01-01

    Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease with a wide-ranging impact on functional status. The aim of the study was to examine the added value of simultaneously evaluating fatigue, personal ADL and handwriting performance as indicators for functional decline among patients with MS. Participants were 50 outpatients with MS and 26 matched healthy…

  14. Green's function evaluation for three-dimensional exponentially graded elasticity

    SciTech Connect

    Criado Portero, Rafael M; Gray, Leonard J; Mantic, Vladislav; Paris, Federico

    2008-01-01

    The numerical implementation of the Green's function for an isotropic exponentially graded three dimensional elastic solid is reported. The formulas for the nonsingular {\\lq}grading term{\\rq} in this Green's function, originally deduced by Martin et al., \\emph{Proc. R. Soc. Lond. A, 458, 1931-1947, 2000}, are quite complicated, and a small error in one of the formulas is corrected. The evaluation of the fundamental solution is tested by employing indirect boundary integral formulation using a Galerkin approximation to solve several problems having analytic solutions. The numerical results indicate that the Green's function formulas, and their evaluation, are correct.

  15. Evaluation of hearing functions in patients with euthyroid Hashimoto's thyroiditis.

    PubMed

    Arduc, Ayse; Isık, Serhat; Allusoglu, Serpil; Iriz, Ayse; Dogan, Bercem Aycicek; Gocer, Celil; Tuna, Mazhar Muslim; Berker, Dilek; Guler, Serdar

    2015-12-01

    Sensorineural hearing loss has been reported in various autoimmune diseases. The relationship between Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT) and the auditory system has not been previously evaluated. In this study, we investigated the effect of euthyroid HT on the hearing ability of adult patients. The study included 30 patients with newly diagnosed euthyroid HT and 30 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. All subjects had a normal otoscopic examination and tympanometry, and they were negative for rheumatoid factor, antinuclear, anti-smooth muscle, antimitochondrial, antineutrophilcytoplasmic, and antigliadin antibodies. Pure tone audiometry exams at 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 4000, 6000, and 8000 Hertz (Hz) were performed in both groups. Thyroid peroxidase antibody and thyroglobulin antibody (anti-Tg) levels were higher in HT group while TSH, free T4, free T3, plasma electrolytes, glucose, lipid profile, vitamin B12, and blood pressure measurements were similar between the two groups. Higher audiometric thresholds and a higher prevalence of hearing loss at 250, 500, and 6000 Hz were detected in the HT patients than in the healthy controls (P < 0.05). Hearing levels at 250 and 500 Hz correlated positively with anti-Tg levels (ρ = 0.650, P = 0.002; ρ = 0.719, P < 0.001, respectively), and this association remained significant in linear regression analysis. Anti-Tg-positive HT patients had higher hearing thresholds at 250 and 500 Hz than anti-Tg-negative HT patients. Hearing thresholds were similar between anti-Tg-negative HT patients and the control subjects. This study demonstrated that hearing functions are impaired in HT patients. Thyroid autoimmunity seems to have an important impact on a decreased hearing ability, particularly at lower frequencies, in this population of patients. PMID:25963023

  16. A function for quality evaluation of retinal vessel segmentations.

    PubMed

    Gegúndez-Arias, Manuel Emilio; Aquino, Arturo; Bravo, José Manuel; Marín, Diego

    2012-02-01

    Retinal blood vessel assessment plays an important role in the diagnosis of ophthalmic pathologies. The use of digital images for this purpose enables the application of a computerized approach and has fostered the development of multiple methods for automated vascular tree segmentation. Metrics based on contingency tables for binary classification have been widely used for evaluating the performance of these algorithms. Metrics from this family are based on the measurement of a success or failure rate in the detected pixels, obtained by means of pixel-to-pixel comparison between the automated segmentation and a manually-labeled reference image. Therefore, vessel pixels are not considered as a part of a vascular structure with specific features. This paper contributes a function for the evaluation of global quality in retinal vessel segmentations. This function is based on the characterization of vascular structures as connected segments with measurable area and length. Thus, its design is meant to be sensitive to anatomical vascularity features. Comparison of results between the proposed function and other general quality evaluation functions shows that this proposal renders a high matching degree with human quality perception. Therefore, it can be used to enhance quality evaluation in retinal vessel segmentations, supplementing the existing functions. On the other hand, from a general point of view, the applied concept of measuring descriptive properties may be used to design specialized functions aimed at segmentation quality evaluation in other complex structures. PMID:21926018

  17. Network-Level Structure-Function Relationships in Human Neocortex.

    PubMed

    Mišić, Bratislav; Betzel, Richard F; de Reus, Marcel A; van den Heuvel, Martijn P; Berman, Marc G; McIntosh, Anthony R; Sporns, Olaf

    2016-07-01

    The dynamics of spontaneous fluctuations in neural activity are shaped by underlying patterns of anatomical connectivity. While numerous studies have demonstrated edge-wise correspondence between structural and functional connections, much less is known about how large-scale coherent functional network patterns emerge from the topology of structural networks. In the present study, we deploy a multivariate statistical technique, partial least squares, to investigate the association between spatially extended structural networks and functional networks. We find multiple statistically robust patterns, reflecting reliable combinations of structural and functional subnetworks that are optimally associated with one another. Importantly, these patterns generally do not show a one-to-one correspondence between structural and functional edges, but are instead distributed and heterogeneous, with many functional relationships arising from nonoverlapping sets of anatomical connections. We also find that structural connections between high-degree hubs are disproportionately represented, suggesting that these connections are particularly important in establishing coherent functional networks. Altogether, these results demonstrate that the network organization of the cerebral cortex supports the emergence of diverse functional network configurations that often diverge from the underlying anatomical substrate. PMID:27102654

  18. Network-Level Structure-Function Relationships in Human Neocortex

    PubMed Central

    Mišić, Bratislav; Betzel, Richard F.; de Reus, Marcel A.; van den Heuvel, Martijn P.; Berman, Marc G.; McIntosh, Anthony R.; Sporns, Olaf

    2016-01-01

    The dynamics of spontaneous fluctuations in neural activity are shaped by underlying patterns of anatomical connectivity. While numerous studies have demonstrated edge-wise correspondence between structural and functional connections, much less is known about how large-scale coherent functional network patterns emerge from the topology of structural networks. In the present study, we deploy a multivariate statistical technique, partial least squares, to investigate the association between spatially extended structural networks and functional networks. We find multiple statistically robust patterns, reflecting reliable combinations of structural and functional subnetworks that are optimally associated with one another. Importantly, these patterns generally do not show a one-to-one correspondence between structural and functional edges, but are instead distributed and heterogeneous, with many functional relationships arising from nonoverlapping sets of anatomical connections. We also find that structural connections between high-degree hubs are disproportionately represented, suggesting that these connections are particularly important in establishing coherent functional networks. Altogether, these results demonstrate that the network organization of the cerebral cortex supports the emergence of diverse functional network configurations that often diverge from the underlying anatomical substrate. PMID:27102654

  19. Evaluation of Biomass Availability for Biogas Production at Regional Level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dzene, I.; Bodescu, F.

    2009-01-01

    Currently available data were used in an integrated deterministic modelling approach to assess the total biomass availability. The conceptual approach of combining the benefits of relational database and GIS modelling was tested in two eastern European countries - in Latvia and Romania, both located in different bio-geographical regions. The developed system has proven its efficiency in dealing with heterogeneity in different levels of complexity regarding environmental and ecological structures. The overall approach of assessing the biomass resources was first to estimate the quantity of material generated from municipal waste and agricultural practices in each of research areas. The quantity of material that could be recovered from these practices was then taken into account and the technical and environmental constraints associated with other site factors were evaluated. As a result, the particular areas with high, medium and low potential in each country were identified.

  20. Image-Based Evaluation of Vascular Function and Hemodynamics

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jongmin

    2013-01-01

    The noticeable characteristics of the blood vascular structure are the inconsistent viscosity of blood and the stiffness of the vascular wall. If we can control these two factors, we can solve more problems related to hemodynamics and vascular wall function. Understanding the properties of hemodynamics and vascular wall function may provide more information applicable to clinical practice for cardiovascular disease. The bedside techniques evaluating vascular function usually measure indirect parameters. In contrast, some medical imaging techniques provide clear and direct depictions of functional cardiovascular characteristics. In this review, image-based evaluation of hemodynamic and vascular wall functions is discussed from the perspective of blood flow velocity, flow volume, flow pattern, peripheral vascular resistance, intraluminal pressure, vascular wall stress, and wall stiffness. PMID:26587430

  1. Tuning sum rules with window functions for optical constant evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez-de Marcos, Luis V.; Méndez, José A.; Larruquert, Juan I.

    2016-07-01

    Sum rules are a useful tool to evaluate the global consistency of a set of optical constants. We present a procedure to spectrally tune sum rules to evaluate the local consistency of optical constants. It enables enhancing the weight of a desired spectral range within the sum-rule integral. The procedure consists in multiplying the complex refractive index with an adapted function, which is named window function. Window functions are constructed through integration of Lorentz oscillators. The asymptotic decay of these window functions enables the derivation of a multiplicity of sum rules akin to the inertial sum rule, along with one modified version of f-sum rule. This multiplicity of sum rules combined with the free selection of the photon energy range provides a double way to tune the spectral contribution within the sum rule. Window functions were applied to reported data of SrF2 and of Al films in order to check data consistency over the spectrum. The use of window functions shows that the optical constants of SrF2 are consistent in a broad spectrum. Regarding Al, some spectral ranges are seen to present a lower consistency, even though the standard sum rules with no window function did not detect inconsistencies. Hence window functions are expected to be a helpful tool to evaluate the local consistency of optical constants.

  2. Achievement as a Function of Abstractness and Cognitive Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tanner, David E.

    A multiple choice achievement test was constructed in which both cognitive level and degree of abstractness were controlled. Subjects were 75 students from a major university in the Southwest. A group of 13 judges, also university students, classified the concepts for degree of abstractness. Results indicated that both cognitive level and degree…

  3. Estimating the level of functional ability of children identified as likely to have an intellectual disability.

    PubMed

    Murray, Aja; McKenzie, Karen; Booth, Tom; Murray, George

    2013-11-01

    Screening tools can provide an indication of whether a child may have an intellectual disability (ID). Item response theory (IRT) analyses can be used to assess whether the statistical properties of the tools are such that their utility extends beyond their use as a screen for ID. We used non-parametric IRT scaling analyses to investigate whether the Child and Adolescent Intellectual Disability Screening Questionnaire (CAIDS-Q) possessed the statistical properties that would suggest its use could be extended to estimate levels of functional ability and to estimate which (if any) features associated with intellectual impairment are consistently indicative of lower or higher levels of functional ability. The validity of the two proposed applications was assessed by evaluating whether the CAIDS-Q conformed to the properties of the Monotone Homogeneity Model (MHM), characterised by uni-dimensionality, local independence and latent monotonicity and the Double Monotone Model (DMM), characterised by the assumptions of the MHM and, in addition, of non-intersecting item response functions. We analysed these models using CAIDS-Q data from 319 people referred to child clinical services. Of these, 148 had a diagnosis of ID. The CAIDS-Q was found to conform to the properties of the MHM but not the DMM. In practice, this means that the CAIDS-Q total scores can be used to quickly estimate the level of a person's functional ability. However, items of the CAIDS-Q did not show invariant item ordering, precluding the use of individual items in isolation as accurate indices of a person's level of functional ability. PMID:24036121

  4. A study on the quantitative evaluation of skin barrier function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maruyama, Tomomi; Kabetani, Yasuhiro; Kido, Michiko; Yamada, Kenji; Oikaze, Hirotoshi; Takechi, Yohei; Furuta, Tomotaka; Ishii, Shoichi; Katayama, Haruna; Jeong, Hieyong; Ohno, Yuko

    2015-03-01

    We propose a quantitative evaluation method of skin barrier function using Optical Coherence Microscopy system (OCM system) with coherency of near-infrared light. There are a lot of skin problems such as itching, irritation and so on. It has been recognized skin problems are caused by impairment of skin barrier function, which prevents damage from various external stimuli and loss of water. To evaluate skin barrier function, it is a common strategy that they observe skin surface and ask patients about their skin condition. The methods are subjective judgements and they are influenced by difference of experience of persons. Furthermore, microscopy has been used to observe inner structure of the skin in detail, and in vitro measurements like microscopy requires tissue sampling. On the other hand, it is necessary to assess objectively skin barrier function by quantitative evaluation method. In addition, non-invasive and nondestructive measuring method and examination changes over time are needed. Therefore, in vivo measurements are crucial for evaluating skin barrier function. In this study, we evaluate changes of stratum corneum structure which is important for evaluating skin barrier function by comparing water-penetrated skin with normal skin using a system with coherency of near-infrared light. Proposed method can obtain in vivo 3D images of inner structure of body tissue, which is non-invasive and non-destructive measuring method. We formulate changes of skin ultrastructure after water penetration. Finally, we evaluate the limit of performance of the OCM system in this work in order to discuss how to improve the OCM system.

  5. Optimization of High-Dimensional Functions through Hypercube Evaluation

    PubMed Central

    Abiyev, Rahib H.; Tunay, Mustafa

    2015-01-01

    A novel learning algorithm for solving global numerical optimization problems is proposed. The proposed learning algorithm is intense stochastic search method which is based on evaluation and optimization of a hypercube and is called the hypercube optimization (HO) algorithm. The HO algorithm comprises the initialization and evaluation process, displacement-shrink process, and searching space process. The initialization and evaluation process initializes initial solution and evaluates the solutions in given hypercube. The displacement-shrink process determines displacement and evaluates objective functions using new points, and the search area process determines next hypercube using certain rules and evaluates the new solutions. The algorithms for these processes have been designed and presented in the paper. The designed HO algorithm is tested on specific benchmark functions. The simulations of HO algorithm have been performed for optimization of functions of 1000-, 5000-, or even 10000 dimensions. The comparative simulation results with other approaches demonstrate that the proposed algorithm is a potential candidate for optimization of both low and high dimensional functions. PMID:26339237

  6. Effects of ration level on immune functions in chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Alcorn, S.W.; Pascho, R.J.; Murray, A.L.; Shearer, K.D.

    2003-01-01

    The relationship between nutritional status and disease resistance in cultured salmonids can be affected by dietary manipulations. Careful attention to feeding levels may be important to avoid imbalances in nutrient levels that could ultimately impair a fish's ability to resist infectious microorganisms. In the current study, fish in three feed-level groups were fed an experimental diet either to satiation, 64% of satiation or 40% of satiation. A fourth group of fish were fed a commercial diet at the 64% of satiation level and served as controls. To evaluate certain indices of disease resistance in the test and control fish, a panel of assays was employed to measure humoral and cellular immune functions 30, 39 and 54 weeks after starting the dietary treatments. The panel included measures of blood hematocrit and leucocrit levels, plasma protein concentration and serum lysozyme and complement activity. Cellular analyses included differential blood leucocyte counts, NBT reduction and phagocytosis by pronephros macrophages and myeloperoxidase activity of pronephros neutrophils. No differences were observed in those indices between fish tested from the control-diet group (commercial diet fed at the 64% rate) and fish tested from the 64% feed-level group, except that fish fed the commercial diet had a greater concentration of plasma protein. Leucocrit values and plasma protein concentrations tended to increase among the experimental feed groups as the ration increased from 40% to satiation. More importantly, phagocytic activity by anterior kidney leucocytes was found to be inversely proportional to the feed level. Whereas the results of this study provide evidence that the salmonid immune system may be fairly robust with regard to available metabolic energy, the significant changes observed in phagocytic cell activity suggest that some cellular immune functions may be affected by the feed level.

  7. HANOIPC3: a computer program to evaluate executive functions.

    PubMed

    Guevara, M A; Rizo, L; Ruiz-Díaz, M; Hernández-González, M

    2009-08-01

    This article describes a computer program (HANOIPC3) based on the Tower of Hanoi game that, by analyzing a series of parameters during execution, allows a fast and accurate evaluation of data related to certain executive functions, especially planning, organizing and problem-solving. This computerized version has only one level of difficulty based on the use of 3 disks, but it stipulates an additional rule: only one disk may be moved at a time, and only to an adjacent peg (i.e., no peg can be skipped over). In the original version--without this stipulation--the minimum number of movements required to complete the task is 7, but under the conditions of this computerized version this increases to 26. HANOIPC3 has three important advantages: (1) it allows a researcher or clinician to modify the rules by adding or removing certain conditions, thus augmenting the utility and flexibility in test execution and the interpretation of results; (2) it allows to provide on-line feedback to subjects about their execution; and, (3) it creates a specific file to store the scores that correspond to the parameters obtained during trials. The parameters that can be measured include: latencies (time taken for each movement, measured in seconds), total test time, total number of movements, and the number of correct and incorrect movements. The efficacy and adaptability of this program has been confirmed. PMID:19303660

  8. Implicit function-based phantoms for evaluation of registration algorithms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gopalakrishnan, Girish; Poston, Timothy; Nagaraj, Nithin; Mullick, Rakesh; Knoplioch, Jerome

    2005-04-01

    Medical image fusion is increasingly enhancing diagnostic accuracy by synergizing information from multiple images, obtained by the same modality at different times or from complementary modalities such as structural information from CT and functional from PET. An active, crucial research topic in fusion is validation of the registration (point-to-point correspondence) used. Phantoms and other simulated studies are useful in the absence of, or as a preliminary to, definitive clinical tests. Software phantoms in specific have the added advantage of robustness, repeatability and reproducibility. Our virtual-lung-phantom-based scheme can test the accuracy of any registration algorithm and is flexible enough for added levels of complexity (addition of blur/anti-alias, rotate/warp, and modality-associated noise) to help evaluate the robustness of an image registration/fusion methodology. Such a framework extends easily to different anatomies. The feature of adding software-based fiducials both within and outside simulated anatomies prove more beneficial when compared to experiments using data from external fiducials on a patient. It would help the diagnosing clinician make a prudent choice of registration algorithm.

  9. Serum levels of 12 renal function and injury markers in patients with glomerulonephritis.

    PubMed

    Serwin, Natalia M; Wiśniewska, Magda; Jesionowska, Anna; Skwirczyńska, Edyta; Marcinowska, Zuzanna; Dołęgowska, Barbara

    2016-08-01

    INTRODUCTION    Glomerulonephritis (GN) is a complex disease that affects the function of the whole nephron. There are few data on the serum levels of the most common biomarkers of kidney function and injury in GN, or the studies provide ambiguous results. OBJECTIVES    The aim of the study was to evaluate the levels of known kidney-specific and nonspecific markers of renal function or injury in the serum of patients with diagnosed primary or secondary GN, with or without the presence of nephrotic syndrome (NS) and arterial hypertension (AH). PATIENTS AND METHODS    The study included 58 patients with diagnosed GN and 6 patients with congenital defects (CD) of the kidney and AH (CD+AH). The serum levels of β2-microglobulin (β2M), neutrophil‑gelatinase associated lipocalin (NGAL), osteopontin, trefoil factor 3 (TFF-3), calbindin, glutathione-S‑transferase- π (GST-π), interleukin 18 (IL-18), kidney injury molecule 1 (KIM-1), and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) were measured with Kidney Toxicity Panels 1 and 2 using the Bio-Plex method. Renalase levels were measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. RESULTS    In the whole group and in the subgroups (GN, GN+AH, GN+NS, CD+AH), NGAL, KIM-1, TFF-3, IL-18, β2M, and calbindin levels correlated with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). In patients with NS, this correlation for calbindin was reversed. Renalase, MCP-1, GST-π, and osteopontin levels were independent of eGFR. Increase in IL-18 levels in the group with GN was assiociated with lower odds of the kidney disease. When this group was divided according to eGFR into subgroups G1-G5, TFF-3, NGAL, and β2M levels increased with the stage of the disease. CONCLUSIONS In patients with NS, renalase and MCP-1 might regulate each other's levels. Further studies are needed to investigate associations between renalase, MCP-1, and osteopontin as factors unrelated to eGFR in GN. NS may contribute to the loss of calbindin from

  10. Merit function for the evaluation of color uniformity in the far field of LED spot lights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teupner, Anne; Bergenek, Krister; Wirth, Ralph; Miñano, Juan C.; Benítez, Pablo

    2014-02-01

    The scope of the present paper is the derivation of a merit function which predicts the visual perception of LED spot lights. The color uniformity level Usl is described by a linear regression function of the spatial color distribution in the far field. Hereby, the function is derived from four basic functions. They describe the color uniformity of spot lights through different features. The result is a reliable prediction for the perceived color uniformity in spot lights. A human factor experiment was performed to evaluate the visual preferences for colors and patterns. A perceived rank order was derived from the subjects' answers and compared with the four basic functions. The correlation between the perceived rank order and the basic functions was calculated resulting in the definition of the merit function Usl. The application of this function is shown by a comparison of visual evaluations and measurements of LED retrofit spot lamps. The results enable a prediction of color uniformity levels of simulations and measurements concerning the visual perception. The function provides a possibility to evaluate the far field of spot lights without individual subjective judgment.

  11. Vitamin D levels and left ventricular diastolic function

    PubMed Central

    Pandit, Anil; Mookadam, Farouk; Boddu, Sailaja; Aryal Pandit, Aashrayata; Tandar, Anwar; Chaliki, Hari; Cha, Stephen; Lee, Howard R

    2014-01-01

    Objective To determine the association between serum vitamin D level and left ventricular (LV) diastolic dysfunction. Background Vitamin D deficiency has been shown in observational and prospective studies to be associated with cardiovascular diseases including coronary artery disease, LV hypertrophy and systolic heart failure. Even though diastolic LV dysfunction is an early manifestation of cardiac disease, there is no study that examines whether a deficiency of vitamin D is associated with LV diastolic dysfunction. Method A retrospective observational review of 1011 patients (679 women) was conducted to examine if low 25-OH-vitamin D levels were associated with LV diastolic dysfunction. Results All the LV diastolic dysfunction parameters: left atrial volume index, E/e', e' velocity, LV mass index and deceleration time were not significantly different between patients with 25-OH vitamin D level ≤20 ng/mL vs 25-OH vitamin D level >20 ng/mL. Conclusions Despite growing medical literature suggesting vitamin D deficiency is associated with cardiovascular disease, in this present study there is no significant association of vitamin D levels and LV diastolic performance, including left atrial volume index. PMID:25332778

  12. Impact of sea level rise on tide gate function.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Sean; Miskewitz, Robert

    2013-01-01

    Sea level rise resulting from climate change and land subsidence is expected to severely impact the duration and associated damage resulting from flooding events in tidal communities. These communities must continuously invest resources for the maintenance of existing structures and installation of new flood prevention infrastructure. Tide gates are a common flood prevention structure for low-lying communities in the tidal zone. Tide gates close during incoming tides to prevent inundation from downstream water propagating inland and open during outgoing tides to drain upland areas. Higher downstream mean sea level elevations reduce the effectiveness of tide gates by impacting the hydraulics of the system. This project developed a HEC-RAS and HEC-HMS model of an existing tide gate structure and its upland drainage area in the New Jersey Meadowlands to simulate the impact of rising mean sea level elevations on the tide gate's ability to prevent upstream flooding. Model predictions indicate that sea level rise will reduce the tide gate effectiveness resulting in longer lasting and deeper flood events. The results indicate that there is a critical point in the sea level elevation for this local area, beyond which flooding scenarios become dramatically worse and would have a significantly negative impact on the standard of living and ability to do business in one of the most densely populated areas of America. PMID:23379951

  13. Functional evaluation before stone surgery: Is it mandatory?

    PubMed Central

    Nayyar, Rishi; Khattar, Nikhil; Sood, Rajeev

    2012-01-01

    Functional evaluation of the renal unit has often been quoted as a standard practice for management of stone disease of the upper urinary tract. However, there is very little available evidence from the existing literature to directly support or refute this practice. Here we try to critically review the existing literature on related questions, put into perspective its clinical utility and attempt to rationalize the concept of functional evaluation in patients of renal stone disease in the contemporary era of minimally invasive surgery. PMID:23204650

  14. A Multi-Level Model of Moral Functioning Revisited

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reed, Don Collins

    2009-01-01

    The model of moral functioning scaffolded in the 2008 "JME" Special Issue is here revisited in response to three papers criticising that volume. As guest editor of that Special Issue I have formulated the main body of this response, concerning the dynamic systems approach to moral development, the problem of moral relativism and the role of…

  15. Development and evaluation of a water level proportional water sampler

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneider, P.; Lange, A.; Doppler, T.

    2013-12-01

    We developed and adapted a new type of sampler for time-integrated, water level proportional water quality sampling (e.g. nutrients, contaminants and stable isotopes). Our samplers are designed for sampling small to mid-size streams based on the law of Hagen-Poiseuille, where a capillary (or a valve) limits the sampling aliquot by reducing the air flux out of a submersed plastic (HDPE) sampling container. They are good alternatives to battery-operated automated water samplers when working in remote areas, or at streams that are characterized by pronounced daily discharge variations such as glacier streams. We evaluated our samplers against standard automated water samplers (ISCO 2900 and ISCO 6712) during the snowmelt in the Black Forest and the Alps and tested them in remote glacial catchments in Iceland, Switzerland and Kyrgyzstan. The results clearly showed that our samplers are an adequate tool for time-integrated, water level proportional water sampling at remote test sites, as they do not need batteries, are relatively inexpensive, lightweight, and compact. They are well suited for headwater streams - especially when sampling for stable isotopes - as the sampled water is perfectly protected against evaporation. Moreover, our samplers have a reduced risk of icing in cold environments, as they are installed submersed in water, whereas automated samplers (typically installed outside the stream) may get clogged due to icing of hoses. Based on this study, we find these samplers to be an adequate replacement for automated samplers when time-integrated sampling or solute load estimates are the main monitoring tasks.

  16. Evaluation of Climate Variability of Sea Level from the ESA CCI product and ECMWF ocean reanalyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuo, Hao; Balmaseda, Magdalena

    2016-07-01

    The ESA CCI initiative has provided an improved monthly averaged sea level anomalies (SLA) product (ECV1.1) in 1/4 degree resolution and from 1993 to 2014. The evaluation of ECV1.1 has been carried out by comparison with previous ECV versions, and with new ECMWF ocean and sea-ice reanalyses (ORAS5), which assimilates in-situ temperature and salinity observations, in different resolutions (1/4 of degree and 1 degree). The robustness of the sea level climate variability from ECV1.1 and its attribution to physical processes are evaluated using ocean reanalysis. Spatial distributions of uncertainties on regional sea level trends from ECV1.1 are also evaluated against ensemble spread from ORAS5. An Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) analysis show that the amplitude, phase, and spatial patterns of the interannual signals of sea level in the new ESA CCI SL are more consistent with the ocean reanalyses than previous SL products. The relation between the leading EOF modes of sea-level and climate variability processes is discussed, at a global and regional scale, with a special focus in the North Atlantic.

  17. Evaluation of the level of nicotine dependence among adolescent smokers.

    PubMed

    Hrubá, D; Zachovalová, L; Fiala, J; Kyasová, M

    2003-09-01

    The questionnaire containing ten items evaluated the degree of dependence in students-volunteers from Brno secondary and vocational schools (ages ranging from 15 to 17 years) and the anamnestic data were compared with the specific (urinary cotinine) and non-specific (CO in the air exhaled) biological tests of exposure to smoking. The sample of 147 students examined contained 42% non-smokers, 25% occasional smokers and almost 33% of those who smoked every day. Almost 10% children smoked more than 10 cigarettes a day, and more than 20% children stated that they smoked 60 and more cigarettes a week. In accordance with the pre-developed degrees of dependence, compiled by the scores of the individual responses, 59% of the respondents (including the non-smokers) were ranked among the non-dependent. The second most frequent group contained the "strongly dependent" (almost 17% of all persons, e.g. 30% of smokers), 3.4% of examined persons (6% of smokers) were ranked in the sub-group of persons with a very high degree of dependence. Highly positive correlations were found between the evaluation of the dependence degree according to the anamnestic data and the exposure bio-markers (urinary cotinine/creatinine and CO in the air exhaled): the values of correlation coefficients were 0.615 and 0.764, resp. Both bio-markers also correlated negatively with the time of the last exposure to both active and passive smoking. The individual items in the dependence questionnaire had positive correlations with the objective exposure indicators which had statistical significance. The strongest relationship was observed in the question about the first morning cigarette--the highest correlation coefficients, being followed by signs evaluating the smoking frequency and the usual number of cigarettes smoked per day and in a week. The lowest relationships concerned the occasions for smoking and the unpleasant symptoms associated with the withdrawal. The anamnestic questionnaire could explain

  18. Urinary NGAL Levels Correlate with Differential Renal Function in Patients with Ureteropelvic Junction Obstruction Undergoing Pyeloplasty

    PubMed Central

    Cost, Nicholas G.; Noh, Paul H.; Devarajan, Prasad; Ivancic, Vesna; Reddy, Pramod P.; Minevich, Eugene; Bennett, Michael; Haffner, Christopher; Schulte, Marion; DeFoor, W. Robert

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: Recent investigations described the use of NGAL, a sensitive biomarker for kidney injury, in the setting of ureteropelvic junction obstruction. We prospectively evaluated urinary NGAL levels in the affected renal pelvis and bladder of children with ureteropelvic junction obstruction undergoing unilateral dismembered pyeloplasty. Our hypothesis was that higher NGAL in the kidney and bladder would correlate with decreased ipsilateral differential function. Materials and Methods: We performed a prospective cohort study in patients treated with unilateral dismembered pyeloplasty from 2010 to 2012. Urine was obtained intraoperatively from the bladder and obstructed renal pelvis. A control population of unaffected children was recruited to provide a voided bladder specimen. Bladder NGAL levels were compared between the study and control populations. We tested our study hypothesis by correlating bladder and renal pelvic NGAL levels with the differential renal function of the affected kidney. Results: A total of 61 patients with a median age at surgery of 1.62 years (range 0.12 to 18.7) were enrolled in the study. Median bladder NGAL was 18.6 ng/mg (range 1.4-1,650.8) and median renal pelvic NGAL was 26.2 ng/mg (range 1.2-18,034.5, p = 0.004). Median bladder NGAL was significantly higher than in controls (p = 0.004). The correlation of bladder and renal pelvic NGAL with differential renal function was r = −0.359 (p = 0.004) and r = −0.383 (p = 0.002), respectively. Conclusions: Bladder NGAL is increased in children with ureteropelvic junction obstruction. Renal pelvic and bladder normalized urinary NGAL levels correlate inversely with the relative function of the affected kidney in cases of unilateral ureteropelvic junction obstruction. PMID:23791906

  19. Multi-level methods and approximating distribution functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, D.; Baker, R. E.

    2016-07-01

    Biochemical reaction networks are often modelled using discrete-state, continuous-time Markov chains. System statistics of these Markov chains usually cannot be calculated analytically and therefore estimates must be generated via simulation techniques. There is a well documented class of simulation techniques known as exact stochastic simulation algorithms, an example of which is Gillespie's direct method. These algorithms often come with high computational costs, therefore approximate stochastic simulation algorithms such as the tau-leap method are used. However, in order to minimise the bias in the estimates generated using them, a relatively small value of tau is needed, rendering the computational costs comparable to Gillespie's direct method. The multi-level Monte Carlo method (Anderson and Higham, Multiscale Model. Simul. 10:146-179, 2012) provides a reduction in computational costs whilst minimising or even eliminating the bias in the estimates of system statistics. This is achieved by first crudely approximating required statistics with many sample paths of low accuracy. Then correction terms are added until a required level of accuracy is reached. Recent literature has primarily focussed on implementing the multi-level method efficiently to estimate a single system statistic. However, it is clearly also of interest to be able to approximate entire probability distributions of species counts. We present two novel methods that combine known techniques for distribution reconstruction with the multi-level method. We demonstrate the potential of our methods using a number of examples.

  20. The Relationship Between Hemoglobin Level and Intellectual Function.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Munro, Nancy

    In a study to learn whether or not poor nutrition, as indicated by low hemoglobin levels, affects intelligence and behavior, 113 Head Start children in Missoula, Montana took part. Group testing with the Lorge Thorndike Intelligence Test and individual testing with the Wechsler and Primary Scale of Intelligence or Wechsler Intelligence Scale for…

  1. Blood lead levels in relation to cognitive function in older U.S. adults.

    PubMed

    van Wijngaarden, Edwin; Winters, Paul C; Cory-Slechta, Deborah A

    2011-01-01

    Studies suggest that cumulative exposure to lead, as measured in the bone, is associated with accelerated cognitive decline at older age. It is presently unclear, however, whether current blood lead levels (BLLs) are adversely related to cognitive functioning in older adults. We evaluated BLLs in relation to cognition in the continuous National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The current study was limited to adults age 60 and older. We examined two measures of cognitive functioning: self-reported functional limitation due to difficulty remembering or periods of confusion (NHANES 1999-2008; n=7277) and performance on the Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST; NHANES 1999-2002; n=2299). We evaluated quintiles of BLL (<1.30, 1.79-<2.30, 2.30-<3.20, and ≥3.20μg/dL) in relation to cognitive functioning using logistic (functional limitation) and linear (DSST scores) regression in SUDAAN, adjusting for age, sex, race, poverty-income ratio, education, and self-reported general health status. BLLs were not associated with self-reported confusion or memory problems in crude and adjusted analyses, with adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of 1.0 (ref.), 0.9 (CI=0.7-1.3), 0.8 (CI=0.6-1.2), 1.0 (CI=0.7-1.3), 1.0 (CI=0.7-1.4), respectively, in increasing quintiles. Similarly, there was no clear association between performance on the DSST and BLL after accounting for all covariates. Our findings add to the inconsistent evidence regarding the association between concurrent BLLs and cognitive function in older adults. Early-life or long-term, accumulated lead exposures may be etiologically more relevant to accelerated cognitive decline at older age. PMID:21093481

  2. Functional assessment of high level ice-dancing.

    PubMed

    Roi, G S; Mevio, M; Occhi, G; Gemma, S; Facchini, R

    1989-06-01

    In these studies the anthropometric characteristics and some functional characteristics of ice-dancers are analysed. It has been shown that the maximum oxygen uptake is similar to that of classical ballet dancers. Tests effected on the ice revealed a high production of lactate, the involvement of the anaerobic metabolism, and high heart rates. It is concluded that the high production of lactate during the free dance on ice is due to the isometric muscular contraction, necessary to maintain certain positions. PMID:2593659

  3. An evaluation of an interprofessional master's level programme in children's palliative care: The students' evaluation.

    PubMed

    Nicholl, Honor; Price, Jayne; Tracey, Catherine

    2016-03-01

    In 2010/12 an innovative children's palliative care interprofessional educational project funded by the Irish Hospice Foundation was undertaken in a University faculty (Trinity College Dublin). This initiative responded to international educational recommendations to meet the palliative care needs of children. The project involved the development and delivery of 3 standalone modules at Master's level and a substantive research evaluation of the project to examine stakeholders and students perspectives to provide an insight into their experiences and to gather data for future developments. The research evaluation was conducted in two parts, part one sought students' evaluation and part two sought stakeholders', curriculum developers and lecturers' feedback. This paper reports the students' evaluation. Findings indicate that students perceived undertaking the modules provided them with the opportunity for improved interprofessional learning and they found modular content and assessment challenging. They also found the modules met their educational needs and also promoted an awareness of interprofessional education and the collaborative teamwork involved in children's palliative care. These students already experienced in children's palliative care indicated that those teaching on programmes at this level need expertise and programme time needs to be available for sharing experiences and for consolidation of learning. PMID:24746903

  4. Evaluation of computing systems using functionals of a Stochastic process

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meyer, J. F.; Wu, L. T.

    1980-01-01

    An intermediate model was used to represent the probabilistic nature of a total system at a level which is higher than the base model and thus closer to the performance variable. A class of intermediate models, which are generally referred to as functionals of a Markov process, were considered. A closed form solution of performability for the case where performance is identified with the minimum value of a functional was developed.

  5. 48 CFR 436.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 436.602-3 Section 436.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Service...

  6. 48 CFR 36.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 1 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 36.602-3 Section 36.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System FEDERAL ACQUISITION REGULATION SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS...

  7. 48 CFR 2936.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 2936.602-3 Section 2936.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF LABOR GENERAL CONTRACTING REQUIREMENTS CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Services...

  8. 48 CFR 1436.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 1436.602-3 Section 1436.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Services...

  9. Making Choices in Functional Vision Evaluations: "Noodles, Needles, and Haystacks."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bishop, V. E.

    1988-01-01

    An approach to functional vision evaluations clarifies the types of data collection and suggests protocols for three broad categories of visually handicapped children: "normal" school-age students, "normal" preschoolers, and multiply handicapped pupils. Visually impaired infants are classified with multiply handicapped pupils because evaluation…

  10. Evaluating the Magnitude of Differential Item Functioning in Polytomous Items.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zwick, Rebecca; Thayer, Dorothy T.

    1996-01-01

    Two possible standard error formulas for the polytomous differential item functioning index proposed by N. J. Dorans and A. P. Schmitt (1991) were derived. These standard errors, and associated hypothesis-testing procedures, were evaluated through simulated data. The standard error that performed better is based on N. Mantel's (1963)…

  11. An Evaluation of Routines Analyses within Functional Behavior Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barnes, Aaron C.

    2009-01-01

    Procedures for direct observation as part of functional behavior assessment (FBA) in natural settings continue to be an important area of inquiry and evaluation in the field of education. Spread across a continuum of control and rigor, various direct FBA methods involve a variety of strengths and limitations. The purpose of this study was to…

  12. 48 CFR 2936.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 7 2013-10-01 2012-10-01 true Evaluation board functions. 2936.602-3 Section 2936.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF LABOR GENERAL CONTRACTING REQUIREMENTS CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Services...

  13. 48 CFR 36.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 1 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 36.602-3 Section 36.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System FEDERAL ACQUISITION REGULATION SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS...

  14. 48 CFR 436.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 4 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 436.602-3 Section 436.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Service...

  15. 48 CFR 2936.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 7 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 2936.602-3 Section 2936.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF LABOR GENERAL CONTRACTING REQUIREMENTS CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Services...

  16. 48 CFR 1436.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 5 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 1436.602-3 Section 1436.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Services...

  17. 48 CFR 1436.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 5 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 1436.602-3 Section 1436.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Services...

  18. 48 CFR 436.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 4 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 436.602-3 Section 436.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Service...

  19. 48 CFR 436.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 4 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 436.602-3 Section 436.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Service...

  20. Generalized pattern search algorithms with adaptive precision function evaluations

    SciTech Connect

    Polak, Elijah; Wetter, Michael

    2003-05-14

    In the literature on generalized pattern search algorithms, convergence to a stationary point of a once continuously differentiable cost function is established under the assumption that the cost function can be evaluated exactly. However, there is a large class of engineering problems where the numerical evaluation of the cost function involves the solution of systems of differential algebraic equations. Since the termination criteria of the numerical solvers often depend on the design parameters, computer code for solving these systems usually defines a numerical approximation to the cost function that is discontinuous with respect to the design parameters. Standard generalized pattern search algorithms have been applied heuristically to such problems, but no convergence properties have been stated. In this paper we extend a class of generalized pattern search algorithms to a form that uses adaptive precision approximations to the cost function. These numerical approximations need not define a continuous function. Our algorithms can be used for solving linearly constrained problems with cost functions that are at least locally Lipschitz continuous. Assuming that the cost function is smooth, we prove that our algorithms converge to a stationary point. Under the weaker assumption that the cost function is only locally Lipschitz continuous, we show that our algorithms converge to points at which the Clarke generalized directional derivatives are nonnegative in predefined directions. An important feature of our adaptive precision scheme is the use of coarse approximations in the early iterations, with the approximation precision controlled by a test. Such an approach leads to substantial time savings in minimizing computationally expensive functions.

  1. Syntactic Functions in Functional Discourse Grammar and Role and Reference Grammar: An Evaluative Comparison

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butler, Christopher S.

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to compare the treatment of syntactic functions, and more particularly those traditionally labelled as Subject and Object, in Functional Discourse Grammar and Role and Reference Grammar. Relevant aspects of the overall structure of the two theories are briefly described. The concept of alignment between levels of the…

  2. Functional outcomes for clinical evaluation of implant restorations.

    PubMed

    Bassi, Francesco; Carr, Alan B; Chang, Ting-Ling; Estafanous, Emad W; Garrett, Neal R; Happonen, Risto-Pekka; Koka, Sreenivas; Laine, Juhani; Osswald, Martin; Reintsema, Harry; Rieger, Jana; Roumanas, Eleni; Salinas, Thomas J; Stanford, Clark M; Wolfaardt, Johan

    2013-01-01

    The functional outcomes related to treating patients afflicted with tooth loss are an important hallmark in substantiating prosthodontic intervention. The Oral Rehabilitation Outcomes Network (ORONet) conducted two international workshops to develop a core set of outcome measures, including a functional domain. The process followed the general format used in the Outcome Measures in Rheumatology (OMERACT) workshops to develop consensus for clinical outcome measures in arthritis research, which included: developing a comprehensive list of potential outcomes in the literature; submitting them to a filter for validity, clinical discrimination, and feasibility; and ranking those measures meeting all the filter criteria for relative value. The search was conducted to include functional assessments of speech, swallowing, mastication, nutrition, sensation, and motor function as they relate to dental implant therapies. This literature review surveyed 173 papers that produced some result of these descriptors in the functional domain. Of these, 67 papers reported on functional assessments and further defined objective and subjective outcomes. Many of these results were patient-perceived improvements in function, while others were objective assessments based on established methodologies and instruments. Objective evaluations of masticatory function and speech may meet criteria for validity and discriminability for selected interventions, but are generally not feasible for routine use in clinical care settings. The current recommendation is to employ a well-validated survey instrument that covers mastication and speech, such as the Oral Health Impact Profile (OHIP-14, short form), recognizing that patient perceptions of function may differ from objective ability. PMID:23998137

  3. Evaluating Student Writing in Art Education: Intermediate Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Necci, Catherine

    Research of evaluation techniques shows that assessment of student achievement in art education is a neglected and undeveloped area of curriculum. This thesis reviews the reasons for curriculum reform, examines the need for evaluation tools in art education, reports current trends toward improving evaluation of student achievement in art…

  4. Ankle-foot orthosis function in low-level myelomeningocele.

    PubMed

    Hullin, M G; Robb, J E; Loudon, I R

    1992-01-01

    Six children with low-level myelomeningocele underwent gait analysis. All showed excessive ankle dorsiflexion and knee flexion when walking barefoot. A rigid thermoplastic ankle-foot orthosis (AFO) improved gait by preventing ankle dorsiflexion and reducing knee flexion. Biomechanically, the AFO caused a reduction in external knee moment by aligning the knee with the ground reaction force. Small changes in the foot-shank angle of the orthosis had profound effects on knee mechanics. Knee hyperextension could be controlled by a rocker sole. Kinetic gait analysis permits understanding of the biomechanical effects of orthoses. PMID:1613099

  5. Creativity Lost: The Importance of Testing Higher-Level Executive Functions in School-Age Children and Adolescents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Delis, Dean C.; Lansing, Amy; Houston, Wes S.; Wetter, Spencer; Han, S. Duke; Jacobson, Mark; Holdnack, James; Kramer, Joel

    2007-01-01

    In school settings, students are typically evaluated using group achievement tests, IQ scales, and college entrance exams that focus more on rote-verbal skills (e.g., vocabulary, mathematical facts) than on higher level executive functions (e.g., abstract thinking, problem solving). However, recent neuropsychological findings suggest that…

  6. Evaluation of sexual function in patients submitted to ureteroscopic procedures

    PubMed Central

    Eryildirim, Bilal; Tuncer, Murat; Sahin, Cahit; Yucetas, Ugur; Sarica, Kemal

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT Objective: We aimed to evaluate the possible effects of ureteroscopic procedures on the sexual function of both genders. Materials and Methods: A total of 102 sexually active cases (60 male, 42 female) undergoing ureteroscopic procedures were included in this study. Sexual function has been evaluated in detail by using International Index of Erectile Function (IIEF) in male and Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) forms in female cases both before and 1-month after the procedures. Pre-and postoperative data were evaluated in a comparative manner. Results: The pre-and postoperative mean IIEF scores were 57.86±2.26 and 54.57±2.48 (p=0.19) in males and the mean FSFI scores were 13.58±1.46 and 14.46±1.52 (p=0.41), respectively in females. Evaluation of these values showed that regarding the effects of this procedure on male cases although the total scores for sexual function were not influenced it was observed a significant reduction in the intercourse satisfaction sub-domain (IIEF-IS) in males (p<0.05). In female cases however, unlike the male cases no statistically significant alterations with respect to these scores were noted (p=0.418). Conclusion: Ureteroscopic interventions could have some adverse effects on the sexual function particularly in male cases. However, it is clear that further prospective studies in both genders with large population of cases are certainly needed in order to outline this unresolved but important subject. PMID:26401873

  7. Exhaled nitric oxide levels in childhood asthma: a more reliable indicator of asthma severity than lung function measurement?

    PubMed

    Piacentini, G L; Suzuki, Y; Bodini, A

    2000-04-01

    The level of exhaled nitric oxide (NO) has been demonstrated to reflect the degree of airway inflammation in patients with asthma and to be related to the severity of asthma, as well as to the efficacy of treatment. In contrast, lung function tests provide information about airway volumes and flows reflecting the level of airway obstruction, but do not allow any direct information about the degree of airway inflammation. Several studies have evaluated the relationships between the level of airway inflammation assessed by exhaled NO and the levels of airway obstruction and/or bronchial hyperresponsiveness in asthmatic adults and children. These studies highlight the complex pathophysiology of asthma and suggest that exhaled NO may have a promising role in addition to lung function measurement in the evaluation of asthma severity in children. PMID:18034534

  8. A large-scale evaluation of computational protein function prediction

    PubMed Central

    Radivojac, Predrag; Clark, Wyatt T; Ronnen Oron, Tal; Schnoes, Alexandra M; Wittkop, Tobias; Sokolov, Artem; Graim, Kiley; Funk, Christopher; Verspoor, Karin; Ben-Hur, Asa; Pandey, Gaurav; Yunes, Jeffrey M; Talwalkar, Ameet S; Repo, Susanna; Souza, Michael L; Piovesan, Damiano; Casadio, Rita; Wang, Zheng; Cheng, Jianlin; Fang, Hai; Gough, Julian; Koskinen, Patrik; Törönen, Petri; Nokso-Koivisto, Jussi; Holm, Liisa; Cozzetto, Domenico; Buchan, Daniel W A; Bryson, Kevin; Jones, David T; Limaye, Bhakti; Inamdar, Harshal; Datta, Avik; Manjari, Sunitha K; Joshi, Rajendra; Chitale, Meghana; Kihara, Daisuke; Lisewski, Andreas M; Erdin, Serkan; Venner, Eric; Lichtarge, Olivier; Rentzsch, Robert; Yang, Haixuan; Romero, Alfonso E; Bhat, Prajwal; Paccanaro, Alberto; Hamp, Tobias; Kassner, Rebecca; Seemayer, Stefan; Vicedo, Esmeralda; Schaefer, Christian; Achten, Dominik; Auer, Florian; Böhm, Ariane; Braun, Tatjana; Hecht, Maximilian; Heron, Mark; Hönigschmid, Peter; Hopf, Thomas; Kaufmann, Stefanie; Kiening, Michael; Krompass, Denis; Landerer, Cedric; Mahlich, Yannick; Roos, Manfred; Björne, Jari; Salakoski, Tapio; Wong, Andrew; Shatkay, Hagit; Gatzmann, Fanny; Sommer, Ingolf; Wass, Mark N; Sternberg, Michael J E; Škunca, Nives; Supek, Fran; Bošnjak, Matko; Panov, Panče; Džeroski, Sašo; Šmuc, Tomislav; Kourmpetis, Yiannis A I; van Dijk, Aalt D J; ter Braak, Cajo J F; Zhou, Yuanpeng; Gong, Qingtian; Dong, Xinran; Tian, Weidong; Falda, Marco; Fontana, Paolo; Lavezzo, Enrico; Di Camillo, Barbara; Toppo, Stefano; Lan, Liang; Djuric, Nemanja; Guo, Yuhong; Vucetic, Slobodan; Bairoch, Amos; Linial, Michal; Babbitt, Patricia C; Brenner, Steven E; Orengo, Christine; Rost, Burkhard; Mooney, Sean D; Friedberg, Iddo

    2013-01-01

    Automated annotation of protein function is challenging. As the number of sequenced genomes rapidly grows, the overwhelming majority of protein products can only be annotated computationally. If computational predictions are to be relied upon, it is crucial that the accuracy of these methods be high. Here we report the results from the first large-scale community-based Critical Assessment of protein Function Annotation (CAFA) experiment. Fifty-four methods representing the state-of-the-art for protein function prediction were evaluated on a target set of 866 proteins from eleven organisms. Two findings stand out: (i) today’s best protein function prediction algorithms significantly outperformed widely-used first-generation methods, with large gains on all types of targets; and (ii) although the top methods perform well enough to guide experiments, there is significant need for improvement of currently available tools. PMID:23353650

  9. A large-scale evaluation of computational protein function prediction.

    PubMed

    Radivojac, Predrag; Clark, Wyatt T; Oron, Tal Ronnen; Schnoes, Alexandra M; Wittkop, Tobias; Sokolov, Artem; Graim, Kiley; Funk, Christopher; Verspoor, Karin; Ben-Hur, Asa; Pandey, Gaurav; Yunes, Jeffrey M; Talwalkar, Ameet S; Repo, Susanna; Souza, Michael L; Piovesan, Damiano; Casadio, Rita; Wang, Zheng; Cheng, Jianlin; Fang, Hai; Gough, Julian; Koskinen, Patrik; Törönen, Petri; Nokso-Koivisto, Jussi; Holm, Liisa; Cozzetto, Domenico; Buchan, Daniel W A; Bryson, Kevin; Jones, David T; Limaye, Bhakti; Inamdar, Harshal; Datta, Avik; Manjari, Sunitha K; Joshi, Rajendra; Chitale, Meghana; Kihara, Daisuke; Lisewski, Andreas M; Erdin, Serkan; Venner, Eric; Lichtarge, Olivier; Rentzsch, Robert; Yang, Haixuan; Romero, Alfonso E; Bhat, Prajwal; Paccanaro, Alberto; Hamp, Tobias; Kaßner, Rebecca; Seemayer, Stefan; Vicedo, Esmeralda; Schaefer, Christian; Achten, Dominik; Auer, Florian; Boehm, Ariane; Braun, Tatjana; Hecht, Maximilian; Heron, Mark; Hönigschmid, Peter; Hopf, Thomas A; Kaufmann, Stefanie; Kiening, Michael; Krompass, Denis; Landerer, Cedric; Mahlich, Yannick; Roos, Manfred; Björne, Jari; Salakoski, Tapio; Wong, Andrew; Shatkay, Hagit; Gatzmann, Fanny; Sommer, Ingolf; Wass, Mark N; Sternberg, Michael J E; Škunca, Nives; Supek, Fran; Bošnjak, Matko; Panov, Panče; Džeroski, Sašo; Šmuc, Tomislav; Kourmpetis, Yiannis A I; van Dijk, Aalt D J; ter Braak, Cajo J F; Zhou, Yuanpeng; Gong, Qingtian; Dong, Xinran; Tian, Weidong; Falda, Marco; Fontana, Paolo; Lavezzo, Enrico; Di Camillo, Barbara; Toppo, Stefano; Lan, Liang; Djuric, Nemanja; Guo, Yuhong; Vucetic, Slobodan; Bairoch, Amos; Linial, Michal; Babbitt, Patricia C; Brenner, Steven E; Orengo, Christine; Rost, Burkhard; Mooney, Sean D; Friedberg, Iddo

    2013-03-01

    Automated annotation of protein function is challenging. As the number of sequenced genomes rapidly grows, the overwhelming majority of protein products can only be annotated computationally. If computational predictions are to be relied upon, it is crucial that the accuracy of these methods be high. Here we report the results from the first large-scale community-based critical assessment of protein function annotation (CAFA) experiment. Fifty-four methods representing the state of the art for protein function prediction were evaluated on a target set of 866 proteins from 11 organisms. Two findings stand out: (i) today's best protein function prediction algorithms substantially outperform widely used first-generation methods, with large gains on all types of targets; and (ii) although the top methods perform well enough to guide experiments, there is considerable need for improvement of currently available tools. PMID:23353650

  10. Intrinsic Functional Connectivity Patterns Predict Consciousness Level and Recovery Outcome in Acquired Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xuehai; Zou, Qihong; Hu, Jin; Tang, Weijun; Mao, Ying; Gao, Liang; Zhu, Jianhong; Jin, Yi; Wu, Xin; Lu, Lu; Zhang, Yaojun; Zhang, Yao; Dai, Zhengjia; Gao, Jia-Hong; Weng, Xuchu; Northoff, Georg; Giacino, Joseph T.; He, Yong

    2015-01-01

    For accurate diagnosis and prognostic prediction of acquired brain injury (ABI), it is crucial to understand the neurobiological mechanisms underlying loss of consciousness. However, there is no consensus on which regions and networks act as biomarkers for consciousness level and recovery outcome in ABI. Using resting-state fMRI, we assessed intrinsic functional connectivity strength (FCS) of whole-brain networks in a large sample of 99 ABI patients with varying degrees of consciousness loss (including fully preserved consciousness state, minimally conscious state, unresponsive wakefulness syndrome/vegetative state, and coma) and 34 healthy control subjects. Consciousness level was evaluated using the Glasgow Coma Scale and Coma Recovery Scale-Revised on the day of fMRI scanning; recovery outcome was assessed using the Glasgow Outcome Scale 3 months after the fMRI scanning. One-way ANOVA of FCS, Spearman correlation analyses between FCS and the consciousness level and recovery outcome, and FCS-based multivariate pattern analysis were performed. We found decreased FCS with loss of consciousness primarily distributed in the posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus (PCC/PCU), medial prefrontal cortex, and lateral parietal cortex. The FCS values of these regions were significantly correlated with consciousness level and recovery outcome. Multivariate support vector machine discrimination analysis revealed that the FCS patterns predicted whether patients with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome/vegetative state and coma would regain consciousness with an accuracy of 81.25%, and the most discriminative region was the PCC/PCU. These findings suggest that intrinsic functional connectivity patterns of the human posteromedial cortex could serve as a potential indicator for consciousness level and recovery outcome in individuals with ABI. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Varying degrees of consciousness loss and recovery are commonly observed in acquired brain injury patients, yet the

  11. Evaluation of a method for assessing pulmonary function in laryngectomees.

    PubMed

    Castro, M A; Dedivitis, R A; Macedo, A G

    2011-08-01

    In total laryngectomies the impairment of pulmonary function reflects the sum of pre- and post-operative ventilatory changes. Objective information on the respiratory condition in laryngectomees, as assessed in the pulmonary function laboratory is somewhat limited, perhaps because of difficulties related to methodology. The aim of our study was to evaluate the reproducibility of a method employed to assess the pulmonary function in laryngectomized patients. The experimental extra-tracheal device was set up with a silicone adapter through a cardboard tube to the skin around the tracheostoma. Pulmonary function tests included measurements of forced vital capacity, force expiratory volume at 1 second and Tiffeneau index in 3 consecutive evaluations, in 11 patients who underwent total laryngectomy. The control group comprised 11 patients, not laryngectomized, evaluated by conventional spirometry. Those responsible for evaluating were asked to report possible technical failures and to demonstrate the reproducibility of the curves resulting from the tests. The use of the silicone adapter and skin adhesive provided a complete, airtight seal of the system, in all cases. The presence of the tracheo-oesophageal prosthesis did not negatively affect the test results. All patients attributed a maximum value, both for comfort and acceptance, of the device. The values are comparable in both groups, thus indicating the accuracy of the proposed methodology. All examinations were reproducible. After total laryngectomy, pulmonary function testing, with an extra-tracheal device, is not only reliable but also easy to perform in a routine out-patient setting. The methodology did not present air leaks and was, therefore, well accepted by all patients tested. PMID:22065707

  12. Impaired neuromotor functions in hospital laboratory workers exposed to low levels of organic solvents.

    PubMed

    Herpin, Guillaume; Gauchard, Gerome C; Vouriot, Alexandre; Hannhart, Bernard; Barot, Alain; Mur, Jean-Marie; Zmirou-Navier, Denis; Perrin, Philippe P

    2008-01-01

    Solvents are ubiquitous in industrial societies in a wide range of processes, and long-term exposure to these organic compounds may impair neuromotor functions such as equilibrium function. However, there is limited knowledge of effects on posture and gaze control after organic solvent exposures below workplace threshold limit values. The aim of this study was to evaluate the consequences of low-level co-exposure to organic solvents on balance and gaze control in hospital laboratory workers. Twelve hospital laboratory female subjects mainly exposed to toluene and ethanol, with median exposure duration of 24 years, and 12 non-exposed female controls were submitted to posturography and oculomotricity testings including sensory organization and motor control tests and saccade and smooth pursuit tests. Although current measured exposure values to toluene and ethanol were much below workplace threshold limit values (current median exposure levels of 32.5 mg/cubic meter and 39.9 mg/cubic meter, respectively), exposed workers displayed a weaker balance and a less precise gaze control. They presented, on the one hand, a reduced ability to resolve sensorial conflict situations compared to controls, particularly when situations were managed by the vestibular information, and, on the other hand, longer saccadic reaction time. Organic solvents might have an impact on vestibular pathways involved in postural control and exert a depressant central pathway effect implicated in the management of oculomotor response. Evaluating balance control in sensory conflicting situations and saccadic reaction time is proposed as a way to reveal subclinical neurotoxicological effects due to low-level exposure to organic solvents. PMID:18522898

  13. Efficient technique to evaluate the Lindhard dielectric function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ancarani, L. U.; Jouin, H.

    2016-04-01

    In this work, we consider the evaluation of the Lindhard dielectric function which is the basic ingredient of many theories in various areas of physics like Solid State Physics, Plasma Physics, Atomic Physics in plasmas and Nuclear Physics. The typical divergency of the real part is removed through a simple but efficient mathematical transformation. The remaining integral is trouble-free, and can be dealt with any standard numerical quadrature. Due to the very wide use of the Lindhard dielectric function (and its extensions) in many branches of Physics, we believe that the present work will be useful to many researchers.

  14. Evaluation of neurotoxicity potential in rats: the functional observational battery.

    PubMed

    Boucard, Aurélie; Bétat, Anne-Marie; Forster, Roy; Simonnard, Alain; Froget, Guillaume

    2010-12-01

    This unit describes the functional observational battery (FOB), a behavioral screening procedure commonly used in safety pharmacology and toxicology studies to assess potentially adverse effects of test agents on the central nervous system. The battery includes general observations and the determination of reactivity to various stimuli. Also presented is the severity score index for analyzing individual measurements and evaluations over a range of endpoints. The severity score index can be used to identify, quantify, and describe the effects of compounds on neurological, autonomic, and behavioral functions. PMID:21935896

  15. Impact of plasma transaminase levels on the peripheral blood glutamate levels and memory functions in healthy subjects☆

    PubMed Central

    Kamada, Yoshihiro; Hashimoto, Ryota; Yamamori, Hidenaga; Yasuda, Yuka; Takehara, Tetsuo; Fujita, Yuko; Hashimoto, Kenji; Miyoshi, Eiji

    2016-01-01

    Background & aims Blood aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine transaminase (ALT) levels are the most frequently reliable biomarkers of liver injury. Although AST and ALT play central roles in glutamate production as transaminases, peripheral blood levels of AST and ALT have been regarded only as liver injury biomarkers. Glutamate is a principal excitatory neurotransmitter, which affects memory functions in the brain. In this study, we investigated the impact of blood transaminase levels on blood glutamate concentration and memory. Methods Psychiatrically, medically, and neurologically healthy subjects (n = 514, female/male: 268/246) were enrolled in this study through local advertisements. Plasma amino acids (glutamate, glutamine, glycine, d-serine, and l-serine) were measured using a high performance liquid chromatography system. The five indices, verbal memory, visual memory, general memory, attention/concentration, and delayed recall of the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised were used to measure memory functions. Results Both plasma AST and ALT had a significant positive correlation with plasma glutamate levels. Plasma AST and ALT levels were significantly negatively correlated with four of five memory functions, and plasma glutamate was significantly negatively correlated with three of five memory functions. Multivariate analyses demonstrated that plasma AST, ALT, and glutamate levels were significantly correlated with memory functions even after adjustment for gender and education. Conclusions As far as we know, this is the first report which could demonstrate the impact of blood transaminase levels on blood glutamate concentration and memory functions in human. These findings are important for the interpretation of obesity-induced metabolic syndrome with elevated transaminases and cognitive dysfunction. PMID:27051595

  16. The evaluation of vitamin D levels in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome.

    PubMed

    Gürsoy, Azize Esra; Bilgen, Halide Rengin; Dürüyen, Hümeyra; Altıntaş, Özge; Kolukisa, Mehmet; Asil, Talip

    2016-07-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). 25(OH)D levels were checked in 108 consecutive patients with CTS symptoms and 52 healthy controls. All patients underwent nerve conduction studies and completed Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire (BQ) symptom severity and functional status scales to quantify symptom severity, pain status and functional status. There were 57 patients with electrophysiological confirmed CTS (EP+ group) and 51 electrophysiological negative symptomatic patients (EP- group). 25(OH) D deficiency (25(OH)D < 20 ng/ml) was found in 96.1 % of EP- group, in 94.7 % of EP+ group and in 73.8 % of control group. 25(0H) D level was found significantly lower both in EP+ and EP- groups compared to control group (p = 0.006, p < 0.001, respectively). Although mean vitamin D level in EP- group was lower than EP+ group, statistically difference was not significant between EP+ and EP- groups (p = 0.182). BQ symptom severity and functional status scores and BQ pain sum score were not significantly different between EP+ and EP- groups. We found no correlation with 25(OH) D level for BQ symptom severity, functional status and pain sum scores. 25(OH) D deficiency is a common problem in patients with CTS symptoms. As evidenced by the present study, assessment of serum 25(OH)D is recommended in CTS patients even with electrophysiological negative results. PMID:26939675

  17. Functional trait diversity across trophic levels determines herbivore impact on plant community biomass.

    PubMed

    Deraison, Hélène; Badenhausser, Isabelle; Loeuille, Nicolas; Scherber, Christoph; Gross, Nicolas

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the consequences of trophic interactions for ecosystem functioning is challenging, as contrasting effects of species and functional diversity can be expected across trophic levels. We experimentally manipulated functional identity and diversity of grassland insect herbivores and tested their impact on plant community biomass. Herbivore resource acquisition traits, i.e. mandible strength and the diversity of mandibular traits, had more important effects on plant biomass than body size. Higher herbivore functional diversity increased overall impact on plant biomass due to feeding niche complementarity. Higher plant functional diversity limited biomass pre-emption by herbivores. The functional diversity within and across trophic levels therefore regulates the impact of functionally contrasting consumers on primary producers. By experimentally manipulating the functional diversity across trophic levels, our study illustrates how trait-based approaches constitute a promising way to tackle existing links between trophic interactions and ecosystem functioning. PMID:26439435

  18. Evaluation of ventricular function in patients with coronary artery disease

    SciTech Connect

    Rocco, T.P.; Dilsizian, V.; Fischman, A.J.; Strauss, H.W.

    1989-07-01

    The recent expansion of interventional cardiovascular technologies has stimulated a concomitant expansion of noninvasive cardiac studies, both to assist in diagnosis and to evaluate treatment outcomes. Radionuclide ventricular function studies provide a reliable, reproducible means to quantify global left ventricular systolic performance, a critical determinant of prognosis in patients with cardiovascular disease. In addition, the ability to evaluate regional left ventricular wall motion and to assess ventricular performance during exercise have secured a fundamental role for such studies in the screening and treatment of patients with coronary artery disease. Radionuclide techniques have been extended to the evaluation of left ventricular relaxation/filling events, left ventricular systolic/diastolic function in the ambulatory setting, and with appropriate technical modifications, to the assessment of right ventricular performance at rest and with exercise. As a complement to radionuclide perfusion studies, cardiac blood-pool imaging allows for thorough noninvasive description of cardiac physiology and function in both normal subjects and in patients with a broad range of cardiovascular diseases. 122 references.

  19. Quantitative evaluation of phonetograms in the case of functional dysphonia.

    PubMed

    Airainer, R; Klingholz, F

    1993-06-01

    According to the laryngeal clinical findings, figures making up a scale were assigned to vocally trained and vocally untrained persons suffering from different types of functional dysphonia. The different types of dysphonia--from the manifested hypofunctional to the extreme hyperfunctional dysphonia--were classified by means of this scale. Besides, the subjects' phonetograms were measured and approximated by three ellipses, what rendered possible the definition of phonetogram parameters. The combining of selected phonetogram parameters to linear combinations served the purpose of a phonetographic evaluation. The linear combinations were to bring phonetographic and clinical evaluations into correspondence as accurately as possible. It was necessary to use different kinds of linear combinations for male and female singers and nonsingers. As a result of the reclassification of 71 and the new classification of 89 patients, it was possible to graduate the types of functional dysphonia by means of computer-aided phonetogram evaluation with a clinically acceptable error rate. This method proved to be an important supplement to the conventional diagnostics of functional dysphonia. PMID:8353627

  20. Moments of spectral functions: Monte Carlo evaluation and verification.

    PubMed

    Predescu, Cristian

    2005-11-01

    The subject of the present study is the Monte Carlo path-integral evaluation of the moments of spectral functions. Such moments can be computed by formal differentiation of certain estimating functionals that are infinitely differentiable against time whenever the potential function is arbitrarily smooth. Here, I demonstrate that the numerical differentiation of the estimating functionals can be more successfully implemented by means of pseudospectral methods (e.g., exact differentiation of a Chebyshev polynomial interpolant), which utilize information from the entire interval . The algorithmic detail that leads to robust numerical approximations is the fact that the path-integral action and not the actual estimating functional are interpolated. Although the resulting approximation to the estimating functional is nonlinear, the derivatives can be computed from it in a fast and stable way by contour integration in the complex plane, with the help of the Cauchy integral formula (e.g., by Lyness' method). An interesting aspect of the present development is that Hamburger's conditions for a finite sequence of numbers to be a moment sequence provide the necessary and sufficient criteria for the computed data to be compatible with the existence of an inversion algorithm. Finally, the issue of appearance of the sign problem in the computation of moments, albeit in a milder form than for other quantities, is addressed. PMID:16383787

  1. Increased plasma neopterin levels are associated with reduced endothelial function and arterial elasticity in hypertension.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Y-Y; Tong, X-Z; Xia, W-H; Xie, W-L; Yu, B-B; Zhang, B; Chen, L; Tao, J

    2016-07-01

    Inflammation has been shown to play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis and development of hypertensive vascular injury. Neopterin is a novel marker of immune activation produced mainly by activated macrophages. Few data are available to show the association between neopterin and vascular function in hypertension. The present study was designed to investigate the relationship between neopterin levels related to arterial stiffness and endothelial function in patients with hypertension, and their changes after blood pressure-lowering treatment. Twenty-four hypertensive patients and 30 age- and gender-matched healthy volunteers were recruited. Plasma neopterin levels were higher in hypertensive patients compared with their counterparts (log-neopterin: 0.77±0.18 versus 0.61±0.16, P=0.003). Increased neopterin levels were correlated with increased brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (baPWV; control: r=0.659, P<0.001; hypertension: r=0.487, P=0.021), and inversely associated with impaired brachial flow-mediated dilation (FMD; control: r=-0.735, P<0.001; hypertension: r=-0.557, P=0.005). Fifteen hypertensives received 3 months of standard antihypertensive treatment. Three months later, their plasma neopterin levels decreased (log-neopterin: 0.63±0.17 versus 0.50±0.19, P=0.001), whereas arterial elasticity (baPWV: 1764±101 versus 1685±96 cm s(-1), P=0.272) and endothelial function (FMD: 5.92±1.43% versus 7.73±1.31%, P<0.05) were improved. The decline in neopterin levels was linearly correlated with baPWV decrease (r=0.800, P<0.001), FMD improvement (r=0.670, P=0.006) and blood pressure reduction (r=0.548, P=0.042). Our present study demonstrated for the first time that neopterin is closely correlated with vascular dysfunctions, and measurement of plasma neopterin levels might be used as a surrogate biomarker for the clinical evaluation of vascular damage and risk stratification of future atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in patients with hypertension. PMID

  2. A novel objective evaluation method for trunk function

    PubMed Central

    Kinoshita, Kazuaki; Hashimoto, Masashi; Ishida, Kazunari; Yoneda, Yuki; Naka, Yuta; Kitanishi, Hideyuki; Oyagi, Hirotaka; Hoshino, Yuichi; Shibanuma, Nao

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] To investigate whether an objective evaluation method for trunk function, namely the “trunk righting test”, is reproducible and reliable by testing on different observers (from experienced to beginners) and by confirming the test-retest reliability. [Subjects] Five healthy subjects were evaluated in this correlation study. [Methods] A handheld dynamometer was used in the assessments. The motor task was a trunk righting motion by moving the part with the sensor pad 10 cm outward from the original position. During measurement, the posture was held at maximum effort for 5 s. Measurement was repeated three times. Interexaminer reproducibility was examined in two physical therapists with 1 year experience and one physical therapist with 7 years of experience. The measured values were evaluated for reliability by using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC 1.1) and interclass correlation coefficients (ICC 2.1). [Results] The test-retest reliability ICC 1.1 and ICC 2.1 were all high. The ICC 1.1 was >0.90. The ICC 2.1 was 0.93. [Conclusion] We developed the trunk righting test as a novel objective evaluation method for trunk function. As the study included inexperienced therapists, the results suggest that the trunk righting test could be used in the clinic, independent of the experience of the therapists. PMID:26157279

  3. Effect of the transdermal low-level laser therapy on endothelial function.

    PubMed

    Szymczyszyn, Alicja; Doroszko, Adrian; Szahidewicz-Krupska, Ewa; Rola, Piotr; Gutherc, Radosław; Jasiczek, Jakub; Mazur, Grzegorz; Derkacz, Arkadiusz

    2016-09-01

    The effect of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on the cardiovascular system is not fully established. Since the endothelium is an important endocrine element, establishing the mechanisms of LLLT action is an important issue.The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of transdermal LLLT on endothelial function.In this study, healthy volunteers (n = 40, age = 20-40 years) were enrolled. N = 30 (14 female, 16 male, mean age 30 ± 5 years) constituted the laser-irradiated group (LG). The remaining 10 subjects (6 women, 4 men, mean age 28 ± 5 years) constituted the control group (CG). Participants were subjected to LLLT once a day for three consecutive days. Blood for biochemical assessments was drawn before the first irradiation and 24 h after the last session. In the LG, transdermal illumination of radial artery was conducted (a semiconductor laser λ = 808 nm, irradiation 50 mW, energy density 1.6 W/cm(2) and a dose 20 J/day, a total dose of 60 J). Biochemical parameters (reflecting angiogenesis: vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), angiostatin; antioxidative status: glutathione (GSH) and the nitric oxide metabolic pathway: symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA), asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) and L-arginine) were assessed. In the LG, a significant increase in GSH levels and considerable decrease in angiostatin concentration following the LLLT were observed. No significant differences in levels of the VEGF, FGF, SDMA, ADMA were observed.LLLT modifies vascular endothelial function by increasing its antioxidant and angiogenic potential. We found no significant differences in levels of the nitric oxide pathway metabolites within 24 h following the LLLT irradiation. PMID:27299570

  4. Evaluation of Esophageal Motor Function With High-resolution Manometry

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    For several decades esophageal manometry has been the test of choice to evaluate disorders of esophageal motor function. The recent introduction of high-resolution manometry for the study of esophageal motor function simplified performance of esophageal manometry, and revealed previously unidentified patterns of normal and abnormal esophageal motor function. Presentation of pressure data as color contour plots or esophageal pressure topography led to the development of new tools for analyzing and classifying esophageal motor patterns. The current standard and still developing approach to do this is the Chicago classification. While this methodical approach is improving our diagnosis of esophageal motor disorders, it currently does not address all motor abnormalities. We will explore the Chicago classification and disorders that it does not address. PMID:23875094

  5. Sensory profile of a model energy drink with varying levels of functional ingredients-caffeine, ginseng, and taurine.

    PubMed

    Tamamoto, Lauren C; Schmidt, Shelly J; Lee, Soo-Yeun

    2010-08-01

    Energy drinks have increased in popularity in recent years due to the claimed energy boost provided by functional ingredients. A multitude of functional ingredients have been utilized; however, there is limited research on their sensory effects in energy drink formulations. A 13-member descriptive analysis panel was conducted to investigate the effects on the sensory and rheological properties of 3 common functional ingredients-caffeine, ginseng, and taurine-in a noncarbonated model energy drink solution. Combinations of these functional ingredients at 3 levels (low, medium, high) were added to create a total of 27 different solutions (3 x 3 x 3 factorial design). Analysis of variance was performed to evaluate the sensory effects of the varying concentrations of functional ingredients in solution. Principal component analysis (PCA) was performed to summarize the relationship among the attributes and solutions. In general, high levels of caffeine in solution resulted in low ratings of fruity attributes and high ratings of bitter tea and fruit bitter attributes. The high level of ginseng in solution was characterized by high ratings of bitter attributes. A horns effect was observed as the sweet, artificial lemon-lime, pear, mango, and pineapple attributes were rated lower in intensity with increased ginseng levels. Taurine levels of up to 416 mg/100 mL had no significant effect on the sensory attribute ratings of the model energy drink solutions. These findings can be utilized to predict the changes in sensory characteristics when formulating energy drinks containing these popular functional ingredients. PMID:20722948

  6. Emergy evaluation of contrasting dairy systems at multiple levels.

    PubMed

    Vigne, Mathieu; Peyraud, Jean-Louis; Lecomte, Philippe; Corson, Michael S; Wilfart, Aurélie

    2013-11-15

    Emergy accounting (EmA) was applied to a range of dairy systems, from low-input smallholder systems in South Mali (SM), to intermediate-input systems in two regions of France, Poitou-Charentes (PC) and Bretagne (BR), to high-input systems on Reunion Island (RI). These systems were studied at three different levels: whole-farm (dairy system and cropping system), dairy-system (dairy herd and forage land), and herd (animals only). Dairy farms in SM used the lowest total emergy at all levels and was the highest user of renewable resources. Despite the low quality of resources consumed (crop residues and natural pasture), efficiency of their use was similar to that of industrialised inputs by intensive systems in RI, PC and BR. In addition, among the systems studied, SM dairy farms lay closest to environmental sustainability, contradicting the usual image of high environmental impact of cattle production in developing countries. EmA also revealed characteristics of the three intensive systems. Systems from RI and PC had lower resource transformation efficiency and higher environmental impacts than those from BR, due mainly to feeding strategies that differed due to differing socio-climatic constraints. Application of EmA at multiple levels revealed the importance of a multi-level analysis. While the whole-farm level assesses the overall contribution of the system to its environment, the dairy-system level is suitable for comparison of multi-product systems. In contrast, the herd level focuses on herd management and bypasses debates about definition of system boundaries by excluding land management. Combining all levels highlights the contribution of livestock to the global agricultural system and identifies inefficiencies and influences of system components on the environment. PMID:23792889

  7. Evaluation of parathyroid autograft growth and function in hemodialysis patients

    SciTech Connect

    Karsenty, G.; Petraglia, A.; Bourdeau, A.; Gambini, D.J.; Moreau, J.F.; Lecharpentier, Y.; Zingraff, J.; Bournerias, F.; Buisson, C.; Dubost, C.

    1986-07-01

    The aim of our study was to evaluate the function and growth of parathyroid tissue autografted into the forearm of hemodialysis patients using several presently available methods. In a dynamic study, the secretory function of autografted tissue was evaluated in seven patients using either zero calcium dialysate or calcium infusion. In an additional prospective study, seven patients had repeated determinations of plasma immunoreactive parathyroid hormone (iPTH) concentration on samples from both forearms, a radionuclide evaluation of autograft function using thallium-201 chloride, and real time ultrasonography. Light microscopy analysis was performed in two patients. The dynamic study demonstrated that induction of hypocalcemia was followed by an increase, and induction of hypercalcemia by a decrease in circulating iPTH in both forearms using three different radioimmunoassays similar to what has been reported for normal parathyroid tissue. A significant gradient (ie, greater than 2.0) of plasma iPTH concentration in samples from both forearms was observed in only three out of the seven patients of the prospective study. Two of these patients disclosed an increased uptake of /sup 201/TI chloride at the site of autografted tissue and had an echographically detectable mass. In both, hyperplastic parathyroid tissue was removed. At present, the remaining third patient does not have other features of recurrent hyperparathyroidism. In conclusion, autotransplanted parathyroid tissue of hemodialysis patients shows an adequate response to physiologic stimuli such as hypo- and hypercalcemia. Dynamic tests, therefore, appear to be a useful tool in the assessment of its function. In addition, radionuclide and echographic studies may be reliable adjuncts in the detection of marked parathyroid autograft hyperplasia.

  8. Evaluation of stereoscopic display with visual function and interview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okuyama, Fumio

    1999-05-01

    The influence of binocular stereoscopic (3D) television display on the human eye were compared with one of a 2D display, using human visual function testing and interviews. A 40- inch double lenticular display was used for 2D/3D comparison experiments. Subjects observed the display for 30 minutes at a distance 1.0 m, with a combination of 2D material and one of 3D material. The participants were twelve young adults. Main optometric test with visual function measured were visual acuity, refraction, phoria, near vision point, accommodation etc. The interview consisted of 17 questions. Testing procedures were performed just before watching, just after watching, and forty-five minutes after watching. Changes in visual function are characterized as prolongation of near vision point, decrease of accommodation and increase in phoria. 3D viewing interview results show much more visual fatigue in comparison with 2D results. The conclusions are: 1) change in visual function is larger and visual fatigue is more intense when viewing 3D images. 2) The evaluation method with visual function and interview proved to be very satisfactory for analyzing the influence of stereoscopic display on human eye.

  9. The Factorial Measurment of Master's Level Clinical Functions in Mental Health Agencies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bogart, Lynn C.; Smith, Ronald G.

    This research is part of an effort to assess the job functions required of master's level clinical psychologists, to simplify their relationships through factor analysis, and to develop factor scales for the measurement of job functions required at mental health agencies. In response to an earlier questionnaire, 20 master's level clinical…

  10. The Rett Syndrome Complex: Communicative Functions in Relation to Developmental Level and Autistic Features.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sandberg, Annika Dahlgren; Ehlers, Stephan; Hagberg, Bengt; Gillberg, Christopher

    2000-01-01

    Communicative functions, overall developmental level, and autistic features were studied in eight females (ages 11-36) with Rett Syndrome. Low levels of communicative abilities and overall functioning were demonstrated, and joint attention behaviors and expression of communicative intent were rare. Six subjects, however, showed clear examples of…

  11. Multi-level functionality of social media in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

    PubMed

    Jung, Joo-Young; Moro, Munehito

    2014-07-01

    This study examines the multi-level functionalities of social media in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake of 11 March 2011. Based on a conceptual model of multi-level story flows of social media (Jung and Moro, 2012), the study analyses the multiple functionalities that were ascribed to social media by individuals, organisations, and macro-level social systems (government and the mass media) after the earthquake. Based on survey data, a review of Twitter timelines and secondary sources, the authors derive five functionalities of social media: interpersonal communications with others (micro level); channels for local governments; organisations and local media (meso level); channels for mass media (macro level); information sharing and gathering (cross level); and direct channels between micro-/meso- and macro-level agents. The study sheds light on the future potential of social media in disaster situations and suggests how to design an effective communication network to prepare for emergency situations. PMID:24905811

  12. EVALUATION OF RZWQM UNDER VARYING IRRIGATION LEVELS IN EASTERN COLORADO

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The ability to predict and manage crop growth under varying available water conditions are of vital importance to the agricultural community since water is the most important limiting factor for agricultural productivity in semi-arid regions. This study evaluated an agricultural system model, the US...

  13. Advanced Inverter Functions to Support High Levels of Distributed Solar: Policy and Regulatory Considerations (Brochure)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2014-11-01

    This paper explains how advanced inverter functions (sometimes called 'smart inverters') contribute to the integration of high levels of solar PV generation onto the electrical grid and covers the contributions of advanced functions to maintaining grid stability. Policy and regulatory considerations associated with the deployment of advanced inverter functions are also introduced.

  14. Rural Electrification and Level of Living: Evaluation of Impact.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, J. Michael; Saunders, John

    Utilizing an ex-post-facto experimental design, all occupied households located within the rural area of Canton San Carlos in Costa Rica (La Fortuna) were studied in August of 1972 for purposes of testing the hypothesis that electricity use is positively associated with level of living. Interviews with 452 heads of households (when possible)…

  15. Middle Level Technician/Higher Technical & Business Skills. Evaluation Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    European Social Fund, Dublin (Ireland).

    A study examined European Social Fund (ESF)-funded middle-level technician (MLT) and higher technical and business skills (HTBS) courses at Irish technical colleges. Data were obtained from the following: review of relevant literature; review of all program-monitoring documents submitted by Ireland's Department of Education since 1990; interviews…

  16. A Research into Evaluation of Basketball Athletes' Risk Perception Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karatas, Ozgur

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study is to compare the risk perception levels of Basketball athletes in Turkish League teams according to some variables. In this research the "general screening model," which is one of the descriptive screening methods, was used. While the population of the study consists of athletes actively engaged in the Turkish…

  17. Economic evaluations of healthcare programmes and decision making: the influence of economic evaluations on different healthcare decision-making levels.

    PubMed

    van Velden, Marieke E; Severens, Johan L; Novak, Annoesjka

    2005-01-01

    Given the potential role of economic information in healthcare decision making, it is of interest to assess its influence on decisions at a national or regional level (macro level), at a healthcare facility level (meso level) and at the healthcare provider level (micro level). This literature review summarises 36 empirical studies that examined the influence of economic evaluations on these three healthcare decision-making levels. Economic evaluations are considered useful and important; however, their direct influence on decision making (instrumental use) is moderate, especially at the macro and micro levels. A major influence was observed at the meso level, leading to the conclusion that economic evaluations have the most pronounced influence on decision making within healthcare organisations. However, unexpectedly, our literature search did not reveal an empirical study analysing the considerable influence of economic evaluations on decisions by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence in the UK. Our findings indicate that results of economic evaluations cannot be considered the dominant decision criterion for healthcare decision makers at either the macro, meso or micro levels. Enlightenment use (where scientific evidence provides a background of information, ideas and concepts that affect the way policy makers view problems and solutions) of economic evaluations in decision making remains to be proven. PMID:16277545

  18. Evaluating the Level of Degree Programmes in Higher Education: The Case of Nursing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rexwinkel, Trudy; Haenen, Jacques; Pilot, Albert

    2013-01-01

    The European Quality Assurance system demands that the degree programme level is represented in terms of quantitative outcomes to be valid and reliable. To meet this need the Educational Level Evaluator (ELE) was devised. This conceptually designed procedure with instrumentation aiming to evaluate the level of a degree validly and reliably still…

  19. The correct renal function evaluation in patients with thyroid dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Simeoni, Mariadelina; Cerantonio, Annamaria; Pastore, Ida; Liguori, Rossella; Greco, Marta; Foti, Daniela; Gulletta, Elio; Brunetti, Antonio; Fuiano, Giorgio

    2016-05-01

    Thyroid dysfunction induces several renal derangements involving all nephron portions. Furthermore, dysthyroidism is a recognized risk factor associated with the development of chronic kidney disease. Current data, in fact, demonstrate that either subclinical or overt thyroid disease is associated with significant changes in creatinine, estimated glomerular filtration rate, measured glomerular filtration rate and Cystatin C. Herein, we systematically reviewed several relevant studies aiming at the identification of the most sensitive and specific parameter for the correct renal function evaluation in patients with thyroid dysfunction, that are usually treated as outpatients. Our systematic review indicates that estimated glomerular filtration rate, preferably with CKD-EPI equation, appears to be the most reliable and wieldy renal function parameter. Instead, Cystatin C should be better used in the grading of thyroid dysfunction severity. PMID:26511999

  20. Backup flight control system functional evaluator software manual

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Helmke, C. A.; Hasara, S. H.; Mount, F. E.

    1977-01-01

    The software for the Backup Flight Control System Functional Evaluator (BFCSFE) on a Data General Corporation Nova 1200 computer consists of three programs: the ground support program, the operational flight program (OFP), and the ground pulse code modulation (PCM) program. The Nova OFP software is structurally as close as possible to the AP101 code; therefore, this document highlights and describes only those areas of the Nova OFP that are significantly different from the AP101. Since the Ground Support Program was developed to meet BFCSFE requirements and differs considerably from the AP101 code, it is described in detail.

  1. Evaluation of Second-Level Inference in fMRI Analysis.

    PubMed

    Roels, Sanne P; Loeys, Tom; Moerkerke, Beatrijs

    2016-01-01

    We investigate the impact of decisions in the second-level (i.e., over subjects) inferential process in functional magnetic resonance imaging on (1) the balance between false positives and false negatives and on (2) the data-analytical stability, both proxies for the reproducibility of results. Second-level analysis based on a mass univariate approach typically consists of 3 phases. First, one proceeds via a general linear model for a test image that consists of pooled information from different subjects. We evaluate models that take into account first-level (within-subjects) variability and models that do not take into account this variability. Second, one proceeds via inference based on parametrical assumptions or via permutation-based inference. Third, we evaluate 3 commonly used procedures to address the multiple testing problem: familywise error rate correction, False Discovery Rate (FDR) correction, and a two-step procedure with minimal cluster size. Based on a simulation study and real data we find that the two-step procedure with minimal cluster size results in most stable results, followed by the familywise error rate correction. The FDR results in most variable results, for both permutation-based inference and parametrical inference. Modeling the subject-specific variability yields a better balance between false positives and false negatives when using parametric inference. PMID:26819578

  2. Evaluation of Olfactory and Gustatory Function of HIV Infected Women

    PubMed Central

    Kuti, Kehinde Mobolanle; Nwaorgu, Onyekwere George; Akinyinka, Olusina Olusegun

    2016-01-01

    Background. Compliance with medication requires good sense of smell and taste. Objective. To evaluate the olfactory and gustatory function of HIV infected women in Ibadan, Nigeria. Methods. A case control study of women comprising 83 HIV infected women and 79 HIV uninfected women. Subjective self-rating of taste and smell function was by visual analogue scale. Olfactory function was measured via olfactory threshold (OT), olfactory discrimination (OD), olfactory identification (OI), and TDI using “Sniffin' sticks” kits and taste function (Total Taste Strips (TTS) score) measurement was by taste strips. Results. The mean age of the HIV infected women was 43.67 years ± 10.72 and control was 41.48 years ± 10.99. There was no significant difference in the self-reported assessment of smell (p = 0.67) and taste (p = 0.84) of HIV infected and uninfected women. Although the mean OT, OD, OI, TDI, and TTS scores of HIV infected and uninfected women were within the normosmic and normogeusic values, the values were significantly higher in the controls (p < 0.05). Hyposmia was in 39.7% of subjects and 12.6% of controls while hypogeusia was in 15.7% of subjects and 1.3% of controls. Conclusions. Hyposmia and hypogeusia are commoner among the HIV infected women than the HIV uninfected women and the risk increases with an increased duration of highly active antiretroviral therapy. PMID:27047688

  3. FUNCTIONAL EVALUATION OF AUTISM-ASSOCIATED MUTATIONS IN NHE9

    PubMed Central

    Kondapalli, Kalyan C.; Hack, Anniesha; Schushan, Maya; Landau, Meytal; Ben-Tal, Nir; Rao, Rajini

    2013-01-01

    Summary NHE9 (SLC9A9) is an endosomal cation/proton antiporter with orthologs in yeast and bacteria. Rare, missense substitutions in NHE9 are genetically linked with autism, but have not been functionally evaluated. Here we use evolutionary conservation analysis to build a model-structure of NHE9 based on the crystal structure of bacterial NhaA and use it to screen autism-associated variants in the human population first by phenotype complementation in yeast, followed by functional analysis in primary cortical astrocytes from mouse. NHE9-GFP localizes to recycling endosomes where it significantly alkalinizes luminal pH, elevates uptake of transferrin and the neurotransmitter glutamate, and stabilizes surface expression of transferrin receptor and GLAST transporter. In contrast, autism associated variants L236S, S438P and V176I lack function in astrocytes. Thus, we establish a neurobiological cell model of a candidate gene in autism. Loss of function mutations in NHE9 may contribute to autistic phenotype by modulating synaptic membrane protein expression and neurotransmitter clearance. PMID:24065030

  4. A preliminary evaluation of alternatives for disposal of INEL low-level waste and low-level mixed waste

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, T.H.; Roesener, W.S.; Jorgenson-Waters, M.J.

    1993-07-01

    The Mixed and Low-Level Waste Disposal Facility (MLLWDF) project was established in 1992 by the US Department of Energy Idaho Operations Office to provide enhanced disposal capabilities for Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) low-level mixed waste and low-level waste. This Preliminary Evaluation of Alternatives for Disposal of INEL Low-Level Waste and Low-Level Mixed Waste identifies and evaluates-on a preliminary, overview basis-the alternatives for disposal of that waste. Five disposal alternatives, ranging from of no-action`` to constructing and operating the MLLWDF, are identified and evaluated. Several subalternatives are formulated within the MLLWDF alternative. The subalternatives involve various disposal technologies as well as various scenarios related to the waste volumes and waste forms to be received for disposal. The evaluations include qualitative comparisons of the projected isolation performance for each alternative, and facility, health and safety, environmental, institutional, schedule, and rough order-of-magnitude life-cycle cost comparisons. The performance of each alternative is evaluated against lists of ``musts`` and ``wants.`` Also included is a discussion of other key considerations for decisionmaking. The analysis of results indicated further study is necessary to obtain the best estimate of long-term future waste volume and characteristics from the INEL Environmental Restoration activities and the expanded INEL Decontamination and Decommissioning Program.

  5. Hanford high-level waste evaporator/crystallizer corrosion evaluation

    SciTech Connect

    Ohl, P.C.; Carlos, W.C.

    1993-10-01

    The US Department of Energy, Hanford Site nuclear reservation, located in Southeastern Washington State, is currently home to 61 Mgal of radioactive waste stored in 177 large underground storage tanks. As an intermediate waste volume reduction, the 242-A Evaporator/Crystallizer processes waste solutions from most of the operating laboratories and plants on the Hanford Site. The waste solutions are concentrated in the Evaporator/Crystallizer to a slurry of liquid and crystallized salts. This concentrated slurry is returned to Hanford Site waste tanks at a significantly reduced volume. The Washington State Department of Ecology Dangerous Waste Regulations, WAC 173-393 require that a tank system integrity assessment be completed and maintained on file at the facility for all dangerous waste tank systems. This corrosion evaluation was performed in support of the 242-A Evaporator/Crystallizer Tank System Integrity Assessment Report. This corrosion evaluation provided a comprehensive compatibility study of the component materials and corrosive environments. Materials used for the Evaporator components and piping include austenitic stainless steels (SS) (primarily ASTM A240, Type 304L) and low alloy carbon steels (CS) (primarily ASTM A53 and A106) with polymeric or asbestos gaskets at flanged connections. Building structure and secondary containment is made from ACI 301-72 Structural Concrete for Buildings and coated with a chemically resistant acrylic coating system.

  6. The relationship between form and function level receptive prosodic abilities in autism.

    PubMed

    Järvinen-Pasley, Anna; Peppé, Susan; King-Smith, Gavin; Heaton, Pamela

    2008-08-01

    Prosody can be conceived as having form (auditory-perceptual characteristics) and function (pragmatic/linguistic meaning). No known studies have examined the relationship between form- and function-level prosodic skills in relation to the effects of stimulus length and/or complexity upon such abilities in autism. Research in this area is both insubstantial and inconclusive. Children with autism and controls completed the receptive tasks of the Profiling Elements of Prosodic Systems in Children (PEPS-C) test, which examines both form- and function-level skills, and a sentence-level task assessing the understanding of intonation. While children with autism were unimpaired in both form and function tasks at the single-word level, they showed significantly poorer performance in the corresponding sentence-level tasks than controls. Implications for future research are discussed. PMID:18172749

  7. A motion control function evaluation system employing a pen tablet.

    PubMed

    Iwamoto, Junichi; Yonezawa, Yoshiharu; Maki, Hiromichi; Ogawa, Hidekuni; Ninomiya, Ishio; Sata, Koji; Nomura, Naonobu; Hamada, Shingo; Hahn, Allen W; Caldwell, W Morton

    2005-01-01

    We have developed a new pen tablet based system for evaluation of hand motion control function as influenced by brain disease. The system consists of a laptop computer and a pen tablet data entry device. The pen tablet is placed in front of the subject who is instructed to tap the pen at a constant location. When the subject taps the pen, the tablet transfers the pen position to the laptop computer. The computer then saves the tap position, along with the time elapsed between each tap. The subject is instructed to tap 50 times with each hand with the eyes closed. The absolute distance moved between each two successive tap positions is detected. Tapping period, total tapping time and total distance moved are also calculated. Measurements were performed on ten normal subjects and three subjects with cerebral infarction. The results indicate that cerebral infarction subjects' average total tap point distance moved and absolute distance moved are greater than in the normal subjects. Conversely, all subjects in both groups produced only normal variations in tapping period and total tapping time. Our system can therefore quantitatively evaluate hand motion control function by the total and absolute distance moved. PMID:15850121

  8. Evaluation of ventricular function with gated cardiac magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Osbakken, M; Yuschok, T

    1986-01-01

    To determine the feasibility of using planar images obtained with gated cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to evaluate ventricular contractile function, cardiac chamber volume (V), and ejection fraction (EF) were calculated using MR images obtained in five previously catheterized patients. Patients were imaged with a .15-Tesla 55-cm bore magnet using the ECG to gate the images. Spin echo pulse sequences (30/500, TE/TR) were used to produce images in the transverse (T), coronal (C), and sagittal (S) planes at end diastole (ED) and end systole (ES). Slice thickness was 1.5 cm, with 2-mm resolution. A calibration grid was imaged in each plane to determine correction factors. Cardiac chamber areas were determined via planimetry. An area-length-volume algorithm was used to obtain EDV and ESV. Three combinations of biplane images in ES and ED were used (T/C, T/S, C/S). Volume data were used to calculate EF. Contrast ventriculogram volumes tended to be greater than MRI volumes, but EFs were similar with both techniques. In conclusion, gated cardiac MR images can be used to evaluate the ventricular function parameters of volume and ejection fraction. PMID:3731263

  9. Terahertz spectroscopy of concrete for evaluating the critical hydration level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dash, Jyotirmayee; Ray, Shaumik; Nallappan, Kathirvel; Sasmal, Saptarshi; Pesala, Bala

    2014-03-01

    Concrete, a mixture of cement, coarse aggregate, sand and filler material (if any), is widely used in the construction industry. Cement, mainly composed of Tricalcium Silicate (C3S) and Dicalcium Silicate (C2S) reacts readily with water, a process known as hydration. The hydration process forms a solid material known as hardened cement paste which is mainly composed of Calcium Silicate Hydrate (C-S-H), Calcium Hydroxide and Calcium Carbonate. To quantify the critical hydration level, an accurate and fast technique is highly desired. However, in conventional XRD technique, the peaks of the constituents of anhydrated and hydrated cement cannot be resolved properly, where as Mid-infrared (MIR) spectroscopy has low penetration depth and hence cannot be used to determine the hydration level of thicker concrete samples easily. Further, MIR spectroscopy cannot be used to effectively track the formation of Calcium Hydroxide, a key by-product during the hydration process. This paper describes a promising approach to quantify the hydration dynamics of cement using Terahertz (THz) spectroscopy. This technique has been employed to track the time dependent reaction mechanism of the key constituents of cement that react with water and form the products in the hydrated cement, viz., C-S-H, Calcium Hydroxide and Calcium Carbonate. This study helps in providing an improved understanding on the hydration kinetics of cement and also to optimise the physio-mechanical characteristics of concrete.

  10. [Evaluation of miR-122 level in the plasma of chronically HCV infected patients].

    PubMed

    Gholami, M; Ravanshad, M; Alavian, S-M; Baesi, K; Moallemi, S

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA molecules, which have an important function in regulating RNA stability and gene expression. They also can circulate in a cell-free form in the blood thatmakes them potential disease markers. The liver contains various classes of miRNAs in which miR-122 accounts for about 70% of all miRNAs and it has been proved that its level increases in case of liver damage. Here, we investigated plasma levels of miR-122 as a useful disease parameter in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) infection. Thirty five hemophilia and thalassemia patients with CHC were studied. The total RNA was extracted from plasma samples, and miR-122 levels were measured by qPCR and then compared with the specific liver markers. The plasma levels of alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase(AST) were correlated with plasma miR-122 level in CHC patients, and the level of circulating miR-122 in healthy individual groups were rarely lower than those of patients with CHC. In our study, miR-122 levels correlated well with markers of liver inflammatory activity. Plasma miR-122 can be assumed to be another marker in liver similar to the currently used specific markers such as ALT and AST for evaluation of liver damage in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected patients. Moreover, the correlation between miR-122 and ALT was shown to be higher than between miR-122 and AST. PMID:27239848

  11. Extensive Functional Evaluations to Monitor Aerobic Training in Becker Muscular Dystrophy: A Case Report

    PubMed Central

    Tramonti, Caterina; Rossi, Bruno; Chisari, Carmelo

    2016-01-01

    Low-intensity aerobic training seems to have positive effects on muscle strength, endurance and fatigue in Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD) patients. We describe the case of a 33-year old BMD man, who performed a four-week aerobic training. Extensive functional evaluations were executed to monitor the efficacy of the rehabilitative treatment. Results evidenced an increased force exertion and an improvement in muscle contraction during sustained exercise. An improvement of walk velocity, together with agility, endurance capacity and oxygen consumption during exercise was observed. Moreover, an enhanced metabolic efficiency was evidenced, as shown by reduced lactate blood levels after training. Interestingly, CK showed higher levels after the training protocol, revealing possible muscle damage. In conclusion, aerobic training may represent an effective method improving exercise performance, functional status and metabolic efficiency. Anyway, a careful functional assessment should be taken into account as a useful approach in the management of the disease’s rehabilitative treatment. PMID:27478558

  12. Equal variations of the Fermi level and work function in graphene at the nanoscale.

    PubMed

    Samaddar, Sayanti; Coraux, Johann; Martin, Sylvain C; Grévin, Benjamin; Courtois, Hervé; Winkelmann, Clemens B

    2016-08-18

    If surface effects are neglected, any change of the Fermi level in a semiconductor is expected to result in an equal and opposite change of the work function. However, this is in general not observed in three-dimensional semiconductors, because of Fermi level pinning at the surface. By combining Kelvin probe force microscopy and scanning tunneling spectroscopy on single layer graphene, we measure both the local work function and the charge carrier density. The one-to-one equivalence of changes in the Fermi level and the work function is demonstrated to accurately hold in single layer graphene down to the nanometer scale. PMID:27503569

  13. Understanding the atomic-level Green-Kubo stress correlation function for a liquid through phonons in a model crystal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levashov, V. A.

    2014-11-01

    In order to gain insight into the connection between the vibrational dynamics and the atomic-level Green-Kubo stress correlation function in liquids, we consider this connection in a model crystal instead. Of course, vibrational dynamics in liquids and crystals are quite different and it is not expected that the results obtained on a model crystal should be valid for liquids. However, these considerations provide a benchmark to which the results of the previous molecular dynamics simulations can be compared. Thus, assuming that vibrations are plane waves, we derive analytical expressions for the atomic-level stress correlation functions in the classical limit and analyze them. These results provide, in particular, a recipe for analysis of the atomic-level stress correlation functions in Fourier space and extraction of the wave-vector and frequency-dependent information. We also evaluate the energies of the atomic-level stresses. The energies obtained are significantly smaller than the energies previously determined in molecular dynamics simulations of several model liquids. This result suggests that the average energies of the atomic-level stresses in liquids and glasses are largely determined by the structural disorder. We discuss this result in the context of equipartition of the atomic-level stress energies. Analysis of the previously published data suggests that it is possible to speak about configurational and vibrational contributions to the average energies of the atomic-level stresses in a glass state. However, this separation in a liquid state is problematic. We also introduce and briefly consider the atomic-level transverse current correlation function. Finally, we address the broadening of the peaks in the pair distribution function with increase of distance. We find that the peaks' broadening (by ≈40 % ) occurs due to the transverse vibrational modes, while contribution from the longitudinal modes does not change with distance.

  14. Evaluation of Analytical Modeling Functions for the Phonation Onset Process.

    PubMed

    Petermann, Simon; Kniesburges, Stefan; Ziethe, Anke; Schützenberger, Anne; Döllinger, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The human voice originates from oscillations of the vocal folds in the larynx. The duration of the voice onset (VO), called the voice onset time (VOT), is currently under investigation as a clinical indicator for correct laryngeal functionality. Different analytical approaches for computing the VOT based on endoscopic imaging were compared to determine the most reliable method to quantify automatically the transient vocal fold oscillations during VO. Transnasal endoscopic imaging in combination with a high-speed camera (8000 fps) was applied to visualize the phonation onset process. Two different definitions of VO interval were investigated. Six analytical functions were tested that approximate the envelope of the filtered or unfiltered glottal area waveform (GAW) during phonation onset. A total of 126 recordings from nine healthy males and 210 recordings from 15 healthy females were evaluated. Three criteria were analyzed to determine the most appropriate computation approach: (1) reliability of the fit function for a correct approximation of VO; (2) consistency represented by the standard deviation of VOT; and (3) accuracy of the approximation of VO. The results suggest the computation of VOT by a fourth-order polynomial approximation in the interval between 32.2 and 67.8% of the saturation amplitude of the filtered GAW. PMID:27066108

  15. Repeated mobility testing for later artificial visual function evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Velikay-Parel, M.; Ivastinovic, D.; Koch, M.; Hornig, R.; Dagnelie, G.; Richard, G.; Langmann, A.

    2007-03-01

    The study investigates the utility of a newly designed mobility test for repeated testing of visual function in patients with severe visual impairment and future application in evaluating functional progress in patients with artificial vision. Ten subjects divided into three groups based on visual acuity (VA) ranging from light perception to 20/200 and reduced visual field (VF) were included in the study. The mobility test consisted of using a set of four different but structurally similar and relatively short mazes having a constant number of obstacles of various sizes. The subjects, divided into three groups by acuity, passed through each course several times. In general, the patients with better VA had a larger extent of VF. Average speed and number of contacts were recorded as measures of performance. The average passing times of the groups through the courses were significantly different (p = 0.03), which was influenced by VA and VF. There was no significant difference in average number of contacts between the groups (p = 0.15). The mobility test proved to be appropriate for gaining statistically relevant results in repeated individual testing of patients with severe vision impairment. Results show promise for use this mobility test as a tool for assessing visual function of patients undergoing implantation of a visual prosthesis for artificial vision.

  16. Methamphetamine Dependence and Neuropsychological Functioning: Evaluating Change During Early Abstinence*

    PubMed Central

    Simon, Sara L.; Dean, Andy C.; Cordova, Xochitl; Monterosso, John R.; London, Edythe D.

    2010-01-01

    Objective: The purpose of this work was to assess neuropsychological functioning of individuals in early abstinence from methamphetamine dependence and to test for cognitive change over the first month of abstinence. Method: Methamphetamine-dependent subjects in very early abstinence from methamphetamine (4–9 days; n = 27) were compared with healthy comparison subjects (n = 28) on a test battery that evaluated five cognitive domains (attention/processing speed, learning/memory, working memory, timed executive functioning, and untimed executive functioning). A subsample of the methamphetamine-dependent subjects (n = 18), who maintained abstinence for 1 month, as well as a subsample of the comparison subjects (n = 21), were retested. Results: At the first assessment, the methamphetamine-dependent subjects showed significantly worse performance than the comparison group on a test of processing speed; they also performed 0.31 SDs worse than the control group on a global battery composite score (p < .05). After a month of abstinence, methamphetamine-dependent subjects demonstrated slightly more cognitive improvement than healthy control subjects on the entire cognitive battery, but this difference did not approach statistical significance (p = .33). Conclusions: Our findings suggest that methamphetamine-dependent subjects do not show considerable cognitive gains in the first month of abstinence. A greater length of abstinence may be needed for cognitive improvement. PMID:20409426

  17. Evaluation of Analytical Modeling Functions for the Phonation Onset Process

    PubMed Central

    Petermann, Simon; Kniesburges, Stefan; Ziethe, Anke; Schützenberger, Anne; Döllinger, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The human voice originates from oscillations of the vocal folds in the larynx. The duration of the voice onset (VO), called the voice onset time (VOT), is currently under investigation as a clinical indicator for correct laryngeal functionality. Different analytical approaches for computing the VOT based on endoscopic imaging were compared to determine the most reliable method to quantify automatically the transient vocal fold oscillations during VO. Transnasal endoscopic imaging in combination with a high-speed camera (8000 fps) was applied to visualize the phonation onset process. Two different definitions of VO interval were investigated. Six analytical functions were tested that approximate the envelope of the filtered or unfiltered glottal area waveform (GAW) during phonation onset. A total of 126 recordings from nine healthy males and 210 recordings from 15 healthy females were evaluated. Three criteria were analyzed to determine the most appropriate computation approach: (1) reliability of the fit function for a correct approximation of VO; (2) consistency represented by the standard deviation of VOT; and (3) accuracy of the approximation of VO. The results suggest the computation of VOT by a fourth-order polynomial approximation in the interval between 32.2 and 67.8% of the saturation amplitude of the filtered GAW. PMID:27066108

  18. Development of a new instrument for determining the level of chewing function in children.

    PubMed

    Serel Arslan, S; Demir, N; Barak Dolgun, A; Karaduman, A A

    2016-07-01

    This study aimed to develop a chewing performance scale that classifies chewing from normal to severely impaired and to investigate its validity and reliability. The study included the developmental phase and reported the content, structural, criterion validity, interobserver and intra-observer reliability of the chewing performance scale, which was called the Karaduman Chewing Performance Scale (KCPS). A dysphagia literature review, other questionnaires and clinical experiences were used in the developmental phase. Seven experts assessed the steps for content validity over two Delphi rounds. To test structural, criterion validity, interobserver and intra-observer reliability, two swallowing therapists evaluated chewing videos of 144 children (Group I: 61 healthy children without chewing disorders, mean age of 42·38 ± 9·36 months; Group II: 83 children with cerebral palsy who have chewing disorders, mean age of 39·09 ± 22·95 months) using KCPS. The Behavioral Pediatrics Feeding Assessment Scale (BPFAS) was used for criterion validity. The KCPS steps arranged between 0-4 were found to be necessary. The content validity index was 0·885. The KCPS levels were found to be different between groups I and II (χ(2) = 123·286, P < 0·001). A moderately strong positive correlation was found between the KCPS and the subscales of the BPFAS (r = 0·444-0·773, P < 0·001). An excellent positive correlation was detected between two swallowing therapists and between two examinations of one swallowing therapist (r = 0·962, P < 0·001; r = 0·990, P < 0·001, respectively). The KCPS is a valid, reliable, quick and clinically easy-to-use functional instrument for determining the level of chewing function in children. PMID:27043312

  19. Evaluation of effect of impaired renal function on lamivudine pharmacokinetics

    PubMed Central

    Bouazza, Naïm; Tréluyer, Jean-Marc; Ghosn, Jade; Hirt, Déborah; Benaboud, Sihem; Foissac, Frantz; Viard, Jean-Paul; Urien, Saik

    2014-01-01

    Aims This study aimed to describe lamivudine pharmacokinetics in patients with impaired renal function and to evaluate the consistency of current dosing recommendations. Methods A total of 244 patients, ranging in age from 18 to 79 years (median 40 years) and in bodyweight from 38 to 117 kg (median 71 kg), with 344 lamivudine plasma concentrations, were analysed using a population pharmacokinetic analysis. Serum creatinine clearance (CLCR) was calculated using the Cockcroft–Gault formula; 177 patients had normal renal function (CLCR > 90 ml min−1), 50 patients had mild renal impairment (CLCR = 60–90 ml min−1), 20 patients had moderate renal impairment (CLCR = 30–60 ml min−1), and five patients had severe renal impairment (CLCR < 30 ml min−1). Results A two-compartment model adequately described the data. Typical population estimates (percentage interindividual variability) of the apparent clearance (CL/F), central (Vc/F) and peripheral volumes of distribution (Vp/F), intercompartmental clearance (Q/F) and absorption rate constant (Ka) were 29.7 l h−1 (32%), 68.2 l, 114 l, 10.1 l h−1 (85%) and 1 h−1, respectively. Clearance increased significantly and gradually with CLCR. Our simulations showed that a dose of 300 mg day−1 in patients with mild renal impairment could overexpose them. A dose of 200 mg day−1 maintained an exposure close to that of adults with normal renal function. However, the current US Food and Drug Administration recommendations for lamivudine in other categories of patients (from severe to moderate renal impairment) provided optimal exposures. Conclusions Lamivudine elimination clearance is related to renal function. To provide optimal exposure, patients with mild renal impairment should receive 200 mg day−1 instead of 300 mg day−1. PMID:24750102

  20. An Evaluation of Manding Across Functions Prior to Functional Communication Training

    PubMed Central

    Schieltz, Kelly M.; Wacker, David P.; Harding, Jay W.; Berg, Wendy K.; Lee, John F.; Dalmau, Yaniz C. Padilla

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether destructive behavior and manding were maintained by the same social reinforcers. A summary of 10 participants that met criteria for differentiated functional analysis and mand analysis results were included in this study. All participants were preschool-aged children with developmental disabilities who engaged in destructive behavior. All procedures were conducted in the participants’ homes by their parent with investigator coaching. Functional analyses (attention, escape, and tangible test conditions) of destructive behavior and manding were conducted within multielement designs and showed social functions. The functional analysis of destructive behavior and functional analysis of mands identified the same reinforcers for only 2 of the 10 participants. The analysis of mands identified a reinforcer that was not identified by the analysis of destructive behavior for 5 participants (over-identification), did not identify a reinforcer that was identified by the analysis of destructive behavior for 2 participants (under-identification), and identified mixed reinforcers (combination of over-identification and under-identification) for 1 participant. Results suggest that the analysis of destructive behavior and the analysis of mands identified different reinforcers and are not interchangeable. PMID:20606720

  1. System-level biomechanical approach for the evaluation of term and preterm pregnancy maintenance.

    PubMed

    Mahmoud, Hussam; Wagoner Johnson, Amy; Chien, Edward K; Poellmann, Michael J; McFarlin, Barbara

    2013-02-01

    Preterm birth is the primary contributor to perinatal morbidity and mortality, with those born prior to 32 weeks disproportionately contributing compared to those born at 32-37 weeks. Outcomes for babies born prematurely can be devastating. Parturition is recognized as a mechanical process that involves the two processes that are required to initiate labor: rhythmic myometrial contractions and cervical remodeling with subsequent dilation. Studies of parturition tend to separate these two processes rather than evaluate them as a unified system. The mechanical property characterization of the cervix has been primarily performed on isolated cervical tissue, with an implied understanding of the contribution from the uterine corpus. Few studies have evaluated the function of the uterine corpus in the absence of myometrial contractions or in relationship to retaining the fetus. Therefore, the cervical-uterine interaction has largely been neglected in the literature. We suggest that a system-level biomechanical approach is needed to understand pregnancy maintenance. To that end, this paper has two main goals. One goal is to highlight the gaps in current knowledge that need to be addressed in order to develop any comprehensive and clinically relevant models of the system. The second goal is to illustrate the utility of finite element models in understanding pregnancy maintenance of the cervical-uterine system. The paper targets an audience that includes the reproductive biologist/clinician and the engineer/physical scientist interested in biomechanics and the system level behavior of tissues. PMID:23445054

  2. Increased serum inhibin B levels in postmenopausal women with altered thyroid function.

    PubMed

    Viceconti, N; Luisi, S; Nardo, S; Gargano, L; Franchi, A; Sibilla, R; Canettieri, G; Petraglia, F; Centanni, M

    2003-08-01

    Hyper- and hypothyroidism have significant effects on the female reproductive system. However, little in the way of data is available on the relationship between ovarian paracrine control and thyroid function. This study was aimed at characterising the serum levels of inhibin B in relation to altered thyroid function. Serum inhibin B and FSH levels were measured in 91 women (51 regularly cycling and 40 postmenopausal). The mean serum concentration of inhibin B in euthyroid cycling women (0.025 +/- 0.018 microg/l) was similar to that observed in hyper- and hypothyroid patients (0.022 +/- 0.015 and 0.018 +/- 0.014 microg/l, respectively, p=ns). Inhibin B levels were obviously reduced (-72%) in euthyroid postmenopausal women. In contrast, in hyper- and hypothyroid postmenopausal women, inhibin B levels remained substantially at the premenopausal level. So far, serum inhibin B appeared to be significantly increased in both hyperthyroid patients (0.025 +/- 0.014 microg/l; p<0.0001) and in hypothyroid patients (0.016 +/- 0.006 microg/l; p=0.0006). Altered thyroid function did not affect FSH levels at fertile age. However, a significant decrease of FSH levels was observed in hyper- and hypothyroid (-52% and -43%, respectively) postmenopausal women. Nevertheless, these FSH levels remained in the postmenopausal range. These results indicate that an altered thyroid function affects serum inhibin B levels in postmenopausal women. PMID:12953168

  3. Differences in neonatal exposure to estradiol or testosterone on ovarian function and hormonal levels.

    PubMed

    Marcondes, Rodrigo R; Carvalho, Kátia C; Duarte, Daniele C; Garcia, Natália; Amaral, Vinícius C; Simões, Manuel J; Lo Turco, Edson G; Soares, José M; Baracat, Edmund C; Maciel, Gustavo A R

    2015-02-01

    Exposure to an excess of androgen or estrogen can induce changes in reproductive function in adult animals that resemble polycystic ovary syndrome in humans. However, considerable differences exist among several types of animal models. Little is known about the molecular features of steroidogenesis and folliculogenesis in the ovaries of rats exposed to different sex steroids as neonates. Here, we evaluated the impact of androgen and estrogen exposure on the ovaries of adult female rats during their neonatal period in the gene expression of Lhr and Cyp17a1, two key players of steroidogenesis. We also assessed hormone levels, folliculogenesis and the theca-interstitial cell population. The study was performed on the second postnatal day in thirty female Wistar rats that were sorted into the following three intervention groups: testosterone, estradiol and vehicle (control group). The animals were euthanized 90 days after birth. The main outcomes were hormone serum levels, ovary histomorphometry and gene expression of Lhr and Cyp17a1 as analyzed via quantitative real-time PCR. We found that exposure to excess testosterone in early life increased the LH and testosterone serum levels, the LH/FSH ratio, ovarian theca-interstitial area and gene expression of Lhr and Cyp17a1 in adult rats. Estrogen induced an increase in the ovarian theca-interstitial area, the secondary follicle population and gene expression of Lhr and Cyp17a1. All animals exposed to the sex steroids presented with closed vaginas. Our data suggest that testosterone resulted in more pronounced reproductive changes than did estrogen exposure. Our results might provide some insight into the role of different hormones on reproductive development and on the heterogeneity of clinical manifestations of conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome. PMID:25623143

  4. Energy level alignment and quantum conductance of functionalized metal-molecule junctions: Density functional theory versus GW calculations

    SciTech Connect

    Jin, Chengjun; Markussen, Troels; Thygesen, Kristian S.; Strange, Mikkel; Solomon, Gemma C.

    2013-11-14

    We study the effect of functional groups (CH{sub 3}*4, OCH{sub 3}, CH{sub 3}, Cl, CN, F*4) on the electronic transport properties of 1,4-benzenediamine molecular junctions using the non-equilibrium Green function method. Exchange and correlation effects are included at various levels of theory, namely density functional theory (DFT), energy level-corrected DFT (DFT+Σ), Hartree-Fock and the many-body GW approximation. All methods reproduce the expected trends for the energy of the frontier orbitals according to the electron donating or withdrawing character of the substituent group. However, only the GW method predicts the correct ordering of the conductance amongst the molecules. The absolute GW (DFT) conductance is within a factor of two (three) of the experimental values. Correcting the DFT orbital energies by a simple physically motivated scissors operator, Σ, can bring the DFT conductances close to experiments, but does not improve on the relative ordering. We ascribe this to a too strong pinning of the molecular energy levels to the metal Fermi level by DFT which suppresses the variation in orbital energy with functional group.

  5. Dominant Functional Group Effects on the Invasion Resistance at Different Resource Levels

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jiang; Ge, Yuan; Zhang, Chong B.; Bai, Yi; Du, Zhao K.

    2013-01-01

    Background Functional group composition may affect invasion in two ways the effect of abundance, i.e. dominance of functional group; and the effect of traits, i.e. identity of functional groups. However, few studies have focused on the role of abundance of functional group on invasion resistance. Moreover, how resource availability influences the role of the dominant functional group in invasion resistance is even less understood. Methodology/Principal Findings In this experiment, we established experimental pots using four different functional groups (annual grass, perennial grass, deciduous shrub or arbor and evergreen shrub or arbor), and the dominant functional group was manipulated. These experimental pots were respectively constructed at different soil nitrogen levels (control and fertilized). After one year of growth, we added seeds of 20 different species (five species per functional group) to the experimental pots. Fertilization significantly increased the overall invasion success, while dominant functional group had little effect on overall invasion success. When invaders were grouped into functional groups, invaders generally had lower success in pots dominated by the same functional group in the control pots. However, individual invaders of the same functional group exhibited different invasion patterns. Fertilization generally increased success of invaders in pots dominated by the same than by another functional group. However, fertilization led to great differences for individual invaders. Conclusions/Significance The results showed that the dominant functional group, independent of functional group identity, had a significant effect on the composition of invaders. We suggest that the limiting similarity hypothesis may be applicable at the functional group level, and limiting similarity may have a limited role for individual invaders as shown by the inconsistent effects of dominant functional group and fertilization. PMID:24167565

  6. A preliminary evaluation of alternatives for treatment of INEL Low-Level Waste and low-level mixed waste

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, T.H.; Roesener, W.S.; Jorgensen-Waters, M.J.; Edinborough, C.R.

    1992-06-01

    The Mixed and Low-Level Waste Treatment Facility (MLLWTF) project was established in 1991 by the US Department of Energy Idaho Field Office to provide treatment capabilities for Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) low-level mixed waste and low-level waste. This report identifies and evaluates the alternatives for treating that waste. Twelve treatment alternatives, ranging from ``no-action`` to constructing and operating the MLLWTF, are identified and evaluated. Evaluations include facility performance, environmental, safety, institutional, schedule, and rough order-of-magnitude cost comparisons. The performance of each alternative is evaluated against lists of ``musts`` and ``wants.`` Also included is a discussion of other key considerations for decision making. Analysis of results indicated further study is necessary to obtain the best estimate of future waste volumes and characteristics from the expanded INEL Decontamination and Decommissioning Program. It is also recommended that conceptual design begin as scheduled on the MLLWTF, maximum treatment alternative while re-evaluating the waste volume projections.

  7. Functional and behavioral metrics for evaluating laser retinal damage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DiCarlo, Cheryl D.; Martinsen, Gary L.; Garza, Thomas; Grado, Andres; Morin, Juan; Brown, Araceli; Stolarski, David; Cain, Clarence

    2006-02-01

    The use of lasers by both the military and civilian community is rapidly expanding. Thus, the potential for and severity of laser eye injury and retinal damage is increasing. Sensitive and accurate methods to evaluate and follow laser retinal damage are needed. The multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG) has the potential to meet these criteria. In this study, the mfERG was used to evaluate changes to retinal function following laser exposure. Landolt C contrast acuity was also measured in the six behaviorally trained Rhesus monkeys. The monkeys then received Nd:YAG laser lesions (1064 nm, 9 ns pulse width) in each eye. One eye received a single foveal lesion of approximately 0.13 mJ total intraocular exposure (TIE) and the other received six parafoveal lesions which varied in TIE from 0.13 to 4 mJ. mfERGs and behavioral data were collected both pre- and post-exposure. mfERGs were recorded using stimuli that contained 103, 241, and 509 hexagons. Landolt C contrast acuity was measured with five sizes of Landolt C (0.33 to 11.15 cycles/degree) of varying contrast. mfERG response densities were sensitive to the functional retinal changes caused by the laser insult. In general, larger lesions showed greater mfERG abnormalities than smaller laser lesions. Deficits in contrast acuity were found to be more severe in the eyes with foveal injuries. Although the mfERG and contrast acuity assess different areas of the visual system, both are sensitive to laser-induced retinal damage and may be complementary tests for laser eye injury triage.

  8. [Functional groups of high trophic level communities in adjacent waters of Changjiang estuary].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Bo; Jin, Xian-Shi; Tang, Qi-Sheng

    2009-02-01

    Based on the three bottom trawl surveys in adjacent waters of Changjiang estuary in June, August and October 2006, the composition and variation of the functional groups of high trophic level communities in the waters were studied. According to diet analysis, the high trophic level communities in the waters included six functional groups, i.e., piscivore, shrimp predator, crab predator, benthivore, planktivore, and generalist predator. Due to the variation of marine environment and fish migration behavior, the composition and trophic level of the high trophic level communities had greater monthly change. In June, fishes, acetes, and crabs dominated the communities, and planktivore was the major functional group, with its trophic level being the lowest (3.06); in August, fishes were dominant, and shrimp predator was the major functional group, with its trophic level being the highest (3.78); and in October, fishes also dominated the communities, the proportion of shrimp and crab increased, and planktivore and benthivore were the major functional groups, with a trophic level of 3.58. PMID:19459374

  9. The Role of High Level Play as a Predictor Social Functioning in Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manning, Margaret M.; Wainwright, Laurel D.

    2010-01-01

    Play and social abilities of a group of children diagnosed with high functioning autism were compared to a second group diagnosed with a variety of developmental language disorders (DLD). The children with autism engaged in fewer acts of high level play. The children with autism also had significantly lower social functioning than the DLD group…

  10. Associations between Parents' Marital Functioning, Maternal Parenting Quality, Maternal Emotion and Child Cortisol Levels

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pendry, Patricia; Adam, Emma K.

    2007-01-01

    Associations between family functioning and children's stress hormone levels are explored, by examining how aspects of the interparental relationship (parents' marital satisfaction and parent conflict styles), the mother-child relationship (maternal involvement and warmth) and maternal emotional functioning (depression, anxiety and self-esteem)…

  11. An Evaluation of the High Level Architecture (HLA) as a Framework for NASA Modeling and Simulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reid, Michael R.; Powers, Edward I. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The High Level Architecture (HLA) is a current US Department of Defense and an industry (IEEE-1516) standard architecture for modeling and simulations. It provides a framework and set of functional rules and common interfaces for integrating separate and disparate simulators into a larger simulation. The goal of the HLA is to reduce software costs by facilitating the reuse of simulation components and by providing a runtime infrastructure to manage the simulations. In order to evaluate the applicability of the HLA as a technology for NASA space mission simulations, a Simulations Group at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) conducted a study of the HLA and developed a simple prototype HLA-compliant space mission simulator. This paper summarizes the prototyping effort and discusses the potential usefulness of the HLA in the design and planning of future NASA space missions with a focus on risk mitigation and cost reduction.

  12. An Analysis of Grades, Class Level and Faculty Evaluation Scores in the United Arab Emirates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waller, Lee

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the results of a student evaluation of faculty against the grades awarded and the level of the course for a higher education institution in the United Arab Emirates. The purpose of the study was to determine if the grades awarded in the course and/or level of the course impacted the evaluation scores awarded to the faculty…

  13. 77 FR 58416 - Comparative Environmental Evaluation of Alternatives for Handling Low-Level Radioactive Waste...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-20

    ... Spent Ion Exchange Resins From Commercial Nuclear Power Plants AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission... Environmental Evaluation of Alternatives for Handling Low-Level Radioactive Waste Spent Ion Exchange Resins from... Comparative Environmental Evaluation of Alternatives for Handling Low-Level Radioactive Waste Spent...

  14. Evaluating the Level of Degree Programmes in Higher Education: Conceptual Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rexwinkel, Trudy; Haenen, Jacques; Pilot, Albert

    2013-01-01

    Evaluating the level of degree programmes became crucial with the Bologna Agreement in 1999 when European ministers agreed to implement common bachelor's and master's degree programmes and a common system of quality assurance. The European Quality Assurance system demands evaluation of the degree programme level based on valid and…

  15. Quantitative evaluation of interaction force between functional groups in protein and polymer brush surfaces.

    PubMed

    Sakata, Sho; Inoue, Yuuki; Ishihara, Kazuhiko

    2014-03-18

    To understand interactions between polymer surfaces and different functional groups in proteins, interaction forces were quantitatively evaluated by force-versus-distance curve measurements using atomic force microscopy with a functional-group-functionalized cantilever. Various polymer brush surfaces were systematically prepared by surface-initiated atom transfer radical polymerization as well-defined model surfaces to understand protein adsorption behavior. The polymer brush layers consisted of phosphorylcholine groups (zwitterionic/hydrophilic), trimethylammonium groups (cationic/hydrophilic), sulfonate groups (anionic/hydrophilic), hydroxyl groups (nonionic/hydrophilic), and n-butyl groups (nonionic/hydrophobic) in their side chains. The interaction forces between these polymer brush surfaces and different functional groups (carboxyl groups, amino groups, and methyl groups, which are typical functional groups existing in proteins) were quantitatively evaluated by force-versus-distance curve measurements using atomic force microscopy with a functional-group-functionalized cantilever. Furthermore, the amount of adsorbed protein on the polymer brush surfaces was quantified by surface plasmon resonance using albumin with a negative net charge and lysozyme with a positive net charge under physiological conditions. The amount of proteins adsorbed on the polymer brush surfaces corresponded to the interaction forces generated between the functional groups on the cantilever and the polymer brush surfaces. The weakest interaction force and least amount of protein adsorbed were observed in the case of the polymer brush surface with phosphorylcholine groups in the side chain. On the other hand, positive and negative surfaces generated strong forces against the oppositely charged functional groups. In addition, they showed significant adsorption with albumin and lysozyme, respectively. These results indicated that the interaction force at the functional group level might be

  16. Nutritional evaluation and functional properties of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) flour.

    PubMed

    Ogungbenle, H N

    2003-03-01

    The proximate analysis, evaluation of nutritionally valuable minerals, sugars, chemical properties of the oil and functional properties of the seed flour of quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) were studied. The results showed that the quinoa flour contained 11.2% moisture, 13.5% crude protein, 6.3% ether extract, 9.5% crude fibre, 1.2% total ash and 58.3% carbohydrate. The quinoa has a high proportion of D-xylose (120.0 mg in 100 g sample) and maltose (101.0 mg in 100 g sample), and a low content of glucose (19.0 mg in 100 g sample) and fructose (19.6 mg in 100 g sample), suggesting that it would be useful in malted drink formulations. The values for the chemical properties of the oil extracted were: acid value, 0.50%; iodine value, 54.0%; peroxide value, 2.44%; and saponification value, 192.0%. Quinoa has a high water absorption capacity (147.0%) and low foaming capacity and stability (9.0%, 2.0%). The flour has a least gelation concentration of 16% w/v. Protein solubility of the flour was also evaluated and found to be pH dependent, with minimum solubility at about pH 6.0. PMID:12701372

  17. Hexabromocyclododecane Decreases the Lytic Function and ATP Levels of Human Natural Killer Cells

    PubMed Central

    Hinkson, Natasha C.; Whalen, Margaret M.

    2009-01-01

    This study investigates the effect of Hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) on the lytic function of human natural killer (NK) cells and on ATP levels in NK cells. NK cells are capable of lysing tumor cells, virally infected cells, and antibody-coated cells. HBCD is a, brominated cyclic alkane used primarily as an additive flame retardant. If HBCD interferes with NK cell function, this could increase risk of tumor development and/or viral infection. NK cells were exposed to various concentrations of HBCD for 24 h, 48 h, and 6 days before determining lytic function and ATP levels. ATP levels and lytic function were also determined in NK cells that were exposed to HBCD for 1 h followed by 24 h, 48 h, and 6 days in HBCD-free media. The results indicated that exposure of NK cells to 10 μM HBCD for 24 h causes a very significant decrease in both NK cell lytic function and ATP levels (93.5% and 90.5%, respectively). Exposure of NK cells to 10 μM HBCD for 1 h followed by 24 h in HBCD-free media showed a progressive and persistent loss of lytic function (89.3%) as well as a decrease in ATP levels (46.1%). The results indicate that HBCD exposures decreased lytic function as well as ATP levels. However, a decrease in lytic function was not necessarily accompanied by a similar decrease in ATP. Importantly, these results also indicate that a brief (1 h) exposure to HBCD causes a progressive loss of lytic function over a 6 d period. PMID:19551757

  18. Functional evaluation of the Galileo attitude and articulation control subsystem using FUNSIM. [Functional Simulator

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Namiri, M. K.

    1984-01-01

    The functional performance of the Galileo spacecraft's attitude and articulation control subsystem is evaluated. The tests are performed utilizing the simulation program developed on an IBM 370 system known as the Functional Simulation (FUNSIM). FUNSIM is an entirely software-based simulation which uses the actual flight software in HAL/S and simulated spacecraft dynamics in FORTRAN language. A description of how the test cases were selected to verify that the algorithms perform functionally correctly, and a summary of the problems encountered are included in the paper. The benefits of having an alternative test bed such as FUNSIM to the real-time simulation test beds which utilize the spacecraft hardware components in discovering the problems are described. A sample test case which shows that the desired tasks were performed functionally correctly is included in the paper. The commands in this test are selected to start the dual-spin spacecraft initially in launch mode and lead it all the way to inertial mode. Major attitude control algorithms such as rotor and platform attitude estimators, clock and core platform attitude estimators, clock and core platform controllers, and the command turn and burn are examined.

  19. Evaluation of Fermented Sausages Manufactured with Reduced-fat and Functional Starter Cultures on Physicochemical, Functional and Flavor Characteristics

    PubMed Central

    Yoo, Seung Seok

    2014-01-01

    Fermented foods with probiotics having functional properties may provide beneficial effects on health. These effects are varied, depending on the type of lactic acid bacteria (LAB). Different probiotic LAB might have different functional properties. Thus, this study was performed to evaluate the quality of fermented sausages manufactured with functional starter cultures (Lactobacillus plantarum 115 and 167, and Pediococcus damnosus L12) and different fat levels, and to determine the optimum condition for the manufacture of these products. Medium-fat (~15%) fermented sausages reduced the drying time and cholesterol contents, as compared to regular-fat counterparts. In proximate analysis, the contents of moisture and protein of regular-fat products were lower than medium-fat with reduced fat content. The regular-fat products also had a lighter color and less redness, due to reduced fat content. Approximately 35 volatile compounds were identified in functional fermented sausages, and hexanal, trans-caryophyllene, and tetradecanal were the major volatile compounds. Selected mixed starter culture showed the potential possibility of replacing the commercial starter culture (LK30 plus) in flavor profiles. However, medium-fat fermented sausage containing selected mixed starter culture tended to be less acceptable than their high-fat counterparts, due to excess dry ring developed in the surface. These results indicate that the use of combinations of L. plantarum 115 and 167, and P. damnosus L12 as a starter culture, will prove useful for manufacturing the fermented sausage. PMID:26761176

  20. Evaluating the performance of the quick CSF method in detecting contrast sensitivity function changes.

    PubMed

    Hou, Fang; Lesmes, Luis Andres; Kim, Woojae; Gu, Hairong; Pitt, Mark A; Myung, Jay I; Lu, Zhong-Lin

    2016-01-01

    The contrast sensitivity function (CSF) has shown promise as a functional vision endpoint for monitoring the changes in functional vision that accompany eye disease or its treatment. However, detecting CSF changes with precision and efficiency at both the individual and group levels is very challenging. By exploiting the Bayesian foundation of the quick CSF method (Lesmes, Lu, Baek, & Albright, 2010), we developed and evaluated metrics for detecting CSF changes at both the individual and group levels. A 10-letter identification task was used to assess the systematic changes in the CSF measured in three luminance conditions in 112 naïve normal observers. The data from the large sample allowed us to estimate the test-retest reliability of the quick CSF procedure and evaluate its performance in detecting CSF changes at both the individual and group levels. The test-retest reliability reached 0.974 with 50 trials. In 50 trials, the quick CSF method can detect a medium 0.30 log unit area under log CSF change with 94.0% accuracy at the individual observer level. At the group level, a power analysis based on the empirical distribution of CSF changes from the large sample showed that a very small area under log CSF change (0.025 log unit) could be detected by the quick CSF method with 112 observers and 50 trials. These results make it plausible to apply the method to monitor the progression of visual diseases or treatment effects on individual patients and greatly reduce the time, sample size, and costs in clinical trials at the group level. PMID:27120074

  1. Evaluating the performance of the quick CSF method in detecting contrast sensitivity function changes

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Fang; Lesmes, Luis Andres; Kim, Woojae; Gu, Hairong; Pitt, Mark A.; Myung, Jay I.; Lu, Zhong-Lin

    2016-01-01

    The contrast sensitivity function (CSF) has shown promise as a functional vision endpoint for monitoring the changes in functional vision that accompany eye disease or its treatment. However, detecting CSF changes with precision and efficiency at both the individual and group levels is very challenging. By exploiting the Bayesian foundation of the quick CSF method (Lesmes, Lu, Baek, & Albright, 2010), we developed and evaluated metrics for detecting CSF changes at both the individual and group levels. A 10-letter identification task was used to assess the systematic changes in the CSF measured in three luminance conditions in 112 naïve normal observers. The data from the large sample allowed us to estimate the test–retest reliability of the quick CSF procedure and evaluate its performance in detecting CSF changes at both the individual and group levels. The test–retest reliability reached 0.974 with 50 trials. In 50 trials, the quick CSF method can detect a medium 0.30 log unit area under log CSF change with 94.0% accuracy at the individual observer level. At the group level, a power analysis based on the empirical distribution of CSF changes from the large sample showed that a very small area under log CSF change (0.025 log unit) could be detected by the quick CSF method with 112 observers and 50 trials. These results make it plausible to apply the method to monitor the progression of visual diseases or treatment effects on individual patients and greatly reduce the time, sample size, and costs in clinical trials at the group level. PMID:27120074

  2. Evaluation of the Performance of Smoothing Functions in Generalized Additive Models for Spatial Variation in Disease

    PubMed Central

    Siangphoe, Umaporn; Wheeler, David C.

    2015-01-01

    Generalized additive models (GAMs) with bivariate smoothing functions have been applied to estimate spatial variation in risk for many types of cancers. Only a handful of studies have evaluated the performance of smoothing functions applied in GAMs with regard to different geographical areas of elevated risk and different risk levels. This study evaluates the ability of different smoothing functions to detect overall spatial variation of risk and elevated risk in diverse geographical areas at various risk levels using a simulation study. We created five scenarios with different true risk area shapes (circle, triangle, linear) in a square study region. We applied four different smoothing functions in the GAMs, including two types of thin plate regression splines (TPRS) and two versions of locally weighted scatterplot smoothing (loess). We tested the null hypothesis of constant risk and detected areas of elevated risk using analysis of deviance with permutation methods and assessed the performance of the smoothing methods based on the spatial detection rate, sensitivity, accuracy, precision, power, and false-positive rate. The results showed that all methods had a higher sensitivity and a consistently moderate-to-high accuracy rate when the true disease risk was higher. The models generally performed better in detecting elevated risk areas than detecting overall spatial variation. One of the loess methods had the highest precision in detecting overall spatial variation across scenarios and outperformed the other methods in detecting a linear elevated risk area. The TPRS methods outperformed loess in detecting elevated risk in two circular areas. PMID:25983545

  3. Level densities of iron isotopes and low-energy enhancement of {gamma}-strength function

    SciTech Connect

    Voinov, A. V.; Grimes, S. M.; Brune, C. R.; Hornish, M. J.; Massey, T. N.; Agvaanluvsan, U.; Algin, E.; Belgya, T.; Guttormsen, M.; Rekstad, J.; Siem, S.; Mitchell, G. E.; Schiller, A.

    2006-03-13

    The neutron spectrum from the 55Mn(d, n)56Fe reaction has been measured at Ed = 7 MeV. The level density of 56Fe obtained from neutron evaporation spectrum has been compared to the level density obtained from Oslo-type 57Fe(3He, {alpha}{gamma})56Fe experiment. The good agreement supports the recent results including the low-energy enhancement in the {gamma}-strength function for iron isotopes. The new level density function allowed us to investigate an excitation energy dependence of this enhancement, which is shown to increase with increasing excitation energy.

  4. Utilization of functional near infrared spectroscopy for non-invasive evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halim, A. A. A.; Laili, M. H.; Aziz, N. A.; Laili, A. R.; Salikin, M. S.; Rusop, M.

    2016-07-01

    The goal of this brief review is to report the techniques of functional near infrared spectroscopy for non-invasive evaluation in human study. The development of functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) technologies has advanced quantification signal using multiple wavelength and detector to solve the propagation of light inside the tissues including the absorption, scattering coefficient and to define the light penetration into tissues multilayers. There are a lot of studies that demonstrate signal from fNIRS which can be used to evaluate the changes of oxygenation level and measure the limitation of muscle performance in human brain and muscle tissues. Comprehensive reviews of diffuse reflectance based on beer lambert law theory were presented in this paper. The principle and development of fNIRS instrumentation is reported in detail.

  5. Learning A Superpixel-Driven Speed Function for Level Set Tracking.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xue; Li, Xi; Hu, Weiming

    2016-07-01

    A key problem in level set tracking is to construct a discriminative speed function for effective contour evolution. In this paper, we propose a level set tracking method based on a discriminative speed function, which produces a superpixel-driven force for effective level set evolution. Based on kernel density estimation and metric learning, the speed function is capable of effectively encoding the discriminative information on object appearance within a feasible metric space. Furthermore, we introduce adaptive object shape modeling into the level set evolution process, which leads to the tracking robustness in complex scenarios. To ensure the efficiency of adaptive object shape modeling, we develop a simple but efficient weighted non-negative matrix factorization method that can online learn an object shape dictionary. Experimental results on a number of challenging video sequences demonstrate the effectiveness and robustness of the proposed tracking method. PMID:26292353

  6. Complex-valued multistate associative memory with nonlinear multilevel functions for gray-level image reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Gouhei; Aihara, Kazuyuki

    2009-09-01

    A widely used complex-valued activation function for complex-valued multistate Hopfield networks is revealed to be essentially based on a multilevel step function. By replacing the multilevel step function with other multilevel characteristics, we present two alternative complex-valued activation functions. One is based on a multilevel sigmoid function, while the other on a characteristic of a multistate bifurcating neuron. Numerical experiments show that both modifications to the complex-valued activation function bring about improvements in network performance for a multistate associative memory. The advantage of the proposed networks over the complex-valued Hopfield networks with the multilevel step function is more outstanding when a complex-valued neuron represents a larger number of multivalued states. Further, the performance of the proposed networks in reconstructing noisy 256 gray-level images is demonstrated in comparison with other recent associative memories to clarify their advantages and disadvantages. PMID:19643705

  7. Physical Activity Level and Physical Functionality in Nonagenarians Compared to Individuals Aged 60–74 Years

    PubMed Central

    Frisard, Madlyn I.; Fabre, Jennifer M.; Russell, Ryan D.; King, Christina M.; DeLany, James P.; Wood, Robert H.; Ravussin, Eric

    2009-01-01

    Background Functional dependence and the risks of disability increase with age. The loss of independence is thought to be partially due to a decrease in physical activity. However, in populations, accurate measurement of physical activity is challenging and may not provide information on functional impairment. Methods This study therefore assessed physical functionality and physical activity level in a group of nonagenarians (11 men/11 women; 93 ± 1 years, 66.6 ± 2.4 kg, body mass index [BMI] = 24 ± 1 kg/m2) and a group of participants aged 60–74 years (17 men/15 women; 70 ± 1 years, 83.3 ± 3.0 kg, BMI = 29 ± 1 kg/m2) from the Louisiana Healthy Aging Study. Physical activity level was calculated from total energy expenditure (TEE) and resting metabolic rate (RMR). Physical functionality was assessed using the Reduced Continuous Scale Physical Functional Performance Test (CS-PFP10). Results Nonagenarians had lower absolute ( p < .001) and adjusted ( p < .007) TEE compared to participants aged 60–74 years which was attributed to a reduction in both RMR and physical activity level. Nonagenarians also had reduced functional performance ( p < .001) which was correlated with activity level (r = 0.68, p < .001). Conclusions When compared to individuals aged 60–74 years, 73% of the reduction in TEE in nonagenarians can be attributed to a reduction in physical activity level, the remaining being accounted for by a reduction in RMR. The reduced physical activity in nonagenarians is associated with less physical functionality. This study provides the first objective comparison of physical functionality and actual levels of physical activity in older individuals. PMID:17634327

  8. Physicochemical evaluation of sheep milk yogurts containing different levels of inulin.

    PubMed

    Balthazar, C F; Conte Júnior, C A; Moraes, J; Costa, M P; Raices, R S L; Franco, R M; Cruz, A G; Silva, A C O

    2016-06-01

    The present study aimed to evaluate the physicochemical parameters of sheep milk yogurt smoothies (SMY) containing inulin at different levels (0, 2, 4, and 6%). Titratable acidity and pH, yogurt bacteria counts, fatty acids profile, and healthy lipid indices were evaluated during 28 d of refrigerated storage. As expected for yogurts, Streptococcus thermophilus counts decreased 1 to 3 log cycles and Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus counts decreased 1 to 2 cycles from d 1 to 28. The protective effect of inulin on bacteria survival and viability in the food matrix was not verified in the prebiotic SMY during storage, regardless of inulin level. Although lower post-acidification was observed in prebiotic SMY due to inulin addition, no changes were verified in short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) or polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). In contrast, an increase in medium- and long-chain fatty acids (MCFA and LCFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) was observed during storage in all SMY. The most significant levels of fatty acids in SMY were oleic acid, followed by palmitic and myristic acids. A high positive correlation between conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and oleic acid (r=0.978) was observed. The cis-9,trans-11 CLA isomer represented approximately 78% of total PUFA and 2% of total fatty acids, whereas α-linoleic acid comprised about 22% PUFA and 1% of total fatty acids in SMY. The fatty acid changes during storage were associated with the metabolic activity of the starter bacteria, especially for oleic acid and cis-9,trans-11 CLA isomer. Thus, the SMY represented a great source of these compounds. We observed that inulin levels did not affect fatty acids. A nonsignificant decrease in atherogenic index was observed during storage in all SMY, and a positive correlation (r=0.973) was found between atherogenic index and thrombogenic index of SMY. High correlations were observed between lauric and myristic acids and saturated fatty acids (r=0.907 and r=0

  9. Using Bloom's Taxonomy to Evaluate the Cognitive Levels of Master Class Textbook's Questions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Assaly, Ibtihal R.; Smadi, Oqlah M.

    2015-01-01

    This study aimed at evaluating the cognitive levels of the questions following the reading texts of Master Class textbook. A checklist based on Bloom's Taxonomy was the instrument used to categorize the cognitive levels of these questions. The researchers used proper statistics to rank the cognitive levels of the comprehension questions. The…

  10. An Alternative Paradigm to Evaluate the Acquisition of the Van Hiele Levels.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gutierrez, Angel; And Others

    1991-01-01

    Presented is an alternative method for analyzing the van Hiele level of students' geometrical reasoning. The accuracy of students' answers may afford a description of acquisition and/or expertise for each of the van Hiele levels simultaneously rather than the traditional assignment and evaluation of one level at a time. (JJK)