Science.gov

Sample records for improved isolation protocol

  1. A Multiple Protocol to Improved Diagnosis and Isolation of Shiga toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC) from Human Stool Specimens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many enterohemorrhaegic colitis caused by STEC are undiagnosed. Even when properly diagnosed, a minimum of two weeks is required to identify an outbreak. We evaluated the use of multiple protocols to improve diagnosis, isolation and characterization of STEC strains. The IFH performed the initial...

  2. A Multiple Protocol to Improve Diagnosis and Isolation of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC) from Human Stool Specimens

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many enterohemorrhaegic colitis infections caused by Shiga toxin-producing are undiagnosed, particularly those belonging to non-O157 STEC serogroups. We evaluated the use of a multiple protocol approach to improve diagnosis, isolation and characterization of STEC strains from human stool specimens....

  3. An improved protocol for the isolation of total genomic DNA from Labyrinthulomycetes.

    PubMed

    Ranasinghe, Chaminda Padmashantha; Harding, Rob; Hargreaves, Megan

    2015-03-01

    Many protocols have been used for extraction of DNA from Thraustochytrids. These generally involve the use of CTAB, phenol/chloroform and ethanol. They also feature mechanical grinding, sonication, N2 freezing or bead beating. However, the resulting chemical and physical damage to extracted DNA reduces its quality. The methods are also unsuitable for large numbers of samples. Commercially-available DNA extraction kits give better quality and yields but are expensive. Therefore, an optimized DNA extraction protocol was developed which is suitable for Thraustochytrids to both minimise expensive and time-consuming steps prior to DNA extraction and also to improve the yield. The most effective method is a combination of single bead in TissueLyser (Qiagen) and Proteinase K. Results were conclusive: both the quality and the yield of extracted DNA were higher than with any other method giving an average yield of 8.5 µg/100 mg biomass. PMID:25355522

  4. Improved protocols for protein and RNA isolation from three-dimensional collagen sandwich cultures of primary hepatocytes.

    PubMed

    Heidebrecht, F; Schulz, I; Keller, M; Behrens, S-E; Bader, A

    2009-10-01

    The sandwich culture is the most widely used long-term culture system for functional primary hepatocytes. Despite its advantages, the currently available protocols for protein and RNA extraction are either time-consuming or contain steps that may skewer the results. This paper describes improved protocols for RNA and protein extraction from sandwich cultures that are easy to perform, require short working time, and use no additional enzymatic reactions that could change the expression profile of the cells. The quality of the RNA is excellent, allowing also applications requiring high purity such as microarrays. In general, the protocols are suited for any cells in 3D collagen culture. PMID:19539596

  5. Improved protocol for isolation of Campylobacter spp. from retail broiler meat and use of pulsed field gel electrophoresis for the typing of isolates.

    PubMed

    Oyarzabal, Omar A; Williams, Aretha; Zhou, Ping; Samadpour, Mansour

    2013-10-01

    To improve the detection of Campylobacter spp. in retail broiler meat, a reference method (R subsamples) based on the enrichment of 25 g of meat in Bolton broth at 42°C under microaerobiosis was compared with an alternative method (A subsamples) consisting in the rinsing of meat samples for 30s in buffered peptone water with antimicrobials with incubation at 42°C under aerobiosis. One piece of meat (breasts, tenderloins and thighs) was rinse in experiment 1 (A1) and two pieces in experiment 2 (A2). Campylobacter spp. were isolated on agar plates and identified by PCR. Retail samples in Alabama had less prevalence (P ≤ 0.05) than samples in the state of Washington. The percentage of positive was higher (P ≤ 0.05) in A than in R subsamples and rinsing two pieces of meat yielded the highest percentage of positive subsamples. R subsamples showed variations in the prevalence by product. However, A subsamples had similar prevalence of positives among products compare to the result from reference method. More Campylobacter coli isolates were collected in A2 subsamples. Pulse field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) was used as subtyping method to study the genome similarity among the isolates from all methods. A larger diversity of isolates were detected by PFGE in A2 subsamples. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analysis suggested that the initial bacterial populations of the meat samples impact the final bacterial profile after enrichment. Rinsing broiler meats was less time consuming, required less sample preparation and was more sensitive than the reference method for the isolation of naturally occurring Campylobacter spp. This new method could help with epidemiological and intervention studies to control Campylobacter spp. PMID:23545445

  6. An improved quantum key distribution protocol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Ting-wan; Wu, Guo-hua

    2008-08-01

    This paper presented an improved quantum key distribution protocol of the quantum cryptology. Using the same measure polarizer as BB84 protocol, the improved protocol we designed with not any classical channel, but a new looped quantum channel instead, so the job of sending and receiving can be finished only by one same person. It brings several good points: the utilization ratio of photons 100% in perfect condition, at least twice over other protocols, or even higher; the public channel easy to be attacked is avoided. Further, the improved protocol authenticates the legal communicators with pre-share information, so that no attacker can jump over the progress of authentication. Be alien from the protocol of BB84, the improved protocol uses message summary to detect whether messages intercepted by attacker. Because the message summary is encrypted by one-time-pad method using pre-share information, attacker could not alter the message summary and that not to be discovered. Moreover, some theoretical analysis to the improved protocol given with information theory: we used the measure channel concept for quantum detection, and calculated the information quantity obtained by attacker in the quantum secrecy communication. The analysis results provide the theory criterion for the legal communicators and the attackers.

  7. Improved RF Isolation Amplifier

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stevens, G. L.; Macconnell, J.

    1985-01-01

    Circuit has high reverse isolation and wide bandwidth. Wideband isolation amplifier has low intermodulation distortion and high reverse isolation. Circuit does not require selected or matched components or directional coupling device. Circuit used in applications requiring high reverse isolation such as receiver intermediate-frequency (IF) strips and frequency distribution systems. Also applicable in RF and video signaling.

  8. Protocol for miRNA isolation from biofluids.

    PubMed

    Lekchnov, Evgeny A; Zaporozhchenko, Ivan A; Morozkin, Evgeny S; Bryzgunova, Olga E; Vlassov, Valentin V; Laktionov, Pavel P

    2016-04-15

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have been identified as promising biomarkers in cancer and other diseases. Packaging of miRNAs into vesicles and complexes with proteins ensures their stability in biological fluids but also complicates their isolation. Conventional protocols used to isolate cell-free RNA are generally successful in overcoming these difficulties; however, they are costly, labor-intensive, or heavily reliant on the use of hazardous chemicals. Here we describe a protocol that is suitable for isolating miRNAs from biofluids, including blood plasma and urine. The protocol is based on precipitation of proteins, denaturation of miRNA-containing complexes with octanoic acid and guanidine isothiocyanate, and subsequent purification of miRNA on spin columns. The efficacy of miRNA extraction by phenol-chloroform extraction, miRCURY RNA isolation kit--biofluids (Exiqon), and the proposed protocol was compared by quantitative reverse-transcription PCR of miR-16 and miR-126. The proposed protocol was slightly more effective for isolating miRNA from plasma and significantly superior to the other two methods for miRNA isolation from urine. Spectrophotometry and SDS-PAGE data suggest that the disparity in performance between miRCURY Biofluids and the proposed protocol can be attributed to differences in precipitation mechanisms, as confirmed by the retention of different proteins in the supernatant. PMID:26874020

  9. Bedside Reporting: Protocols for Improving Patient Care.

    PubMed

    Ferguson, Teresa D; Howell, Teresa L

    2015-12-01

    Bedside reporting continues to gain much attention and is being investigated to support the premise that "hand-off" communications enhance efficacy in delivery of patient care. Patient inclusion in shift reports enhances good patient outcomes, increased satisfaction with care delivery, enhanced accountability for nursing professionals, and improved communications between patients and their direct care providers. This article discusses the multiple benefits of dynamic dialogue between patients and the health care team, challenges often associated with bedside reporting, and protocols for managing bedside reporting with the major aim of improving patient care. Nursing research supporting the concept of bedside reporting is examined. PMID:26596661

  10. Separable states improve protocols with finite randomness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bobby, Tan Kok Chuan; Paterek, Tomasz

    2014-09-01

    It is known from Bell's theorem that quantum predictions for some entangled states cannot be mimicked using local hidden variable (LHV) models. From a computer science perspective, LHV models may be interpreted as classical computers operating on a potentially infinite number of correlated bits originating from a common source. As such, Bell inequality violations achieved through entangled states are able to characterize the quantum advantage of certain tasks, so long as the task itself imposes no restriction on the availability of correlated bits. However, if the number of shared bits is limited, additional constraints are placed on the possible LHV models, and separable, i.e. disentangled states may become a useful resource. Bell violations are therefore no longer necessary to achieve a quantum advantage. Here we show that, in particular, separable states improve the so-called random access codes, which is a class of communication problem wherein one party tries to read a portion of the data held by another distant party in the presence of finite shared randomness and limited classical communication. We also show how the bias of classical bits can be used to avoid wrong answers in order to achieve the optimal classical protocol and how the advantage of quantum protocols is linked to quantum discord.

  11. REHABILITATION PROTOCOL AFTER ISOLATED POSTERIOR CRUCIATE LIGAMENT RECONSTRUCTION

    PubMed Central

    de Paula Leite Cury, Ricardo; Kiyomoto, Henry Dan; Rosal, Gustavo Fogolin; Bryk, Flávio Fernandes; de Oliveira, Victor Marques; de Camargo, Osmar Pedro Arbix

    2015-01-01

    To create a rehabilitation protocol following reconstruction of the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), through a literature review. The literature review was conducted in the Medline and Embase databases, to search for data on biomechanical concepts and analyses relating to the posterior cruciate ligament of the knee. The search strategy was set up using the following rules: problem or injury in association with anatomical location terms; or surgical intervention procedure in association with rehabilitation terms. We began the process in this manner and subsequently introduced restrictions on certain terms to improve the search specificity. To design the protocol, a table was created for better data assessment, based on the time that elapsed between surgery and the start of physiotherapy. A rehabilitation protocol was created to improve weight-bearing control in the initial weeks after surgery, with the aid of a knee brace. Our aim was to achieve gains in total range of motion of the knee, which should be attained by the third month, thereby avoiding contractures resulting from the tissue healing process. Strengthening exercises and sensory-motor training were guided accordingly, thus avoiding overload on the graft and respecting the healing phases. The protocol proposed through this review was based on the current evidence relating to this subject. PMID:27047844

  12. IMPROVED SAMPLE RECOVERY IN THERMOCYCLE SEQUENCING PROTOCOLS

    EPA Science Inventory

    DNA sequencing protocols which utilize multiple cycles of DNA synthesis by Taq DNA polymerase require recovery of small sample volumes from beneath a layer of mineral oil. owever, the small volume of aqueous phase and the high surface tension between the two phases makes complete...

  13. Assessing an improved protocol for plasma microRNA extraction.

    PubMed

    Moret, Inés; Sánchez-Izquierdo, Dolors; Iborra, Marisa; Tortosa, Luis; Navarro-Puche, Ana; Nos, Pilar; Cervera, José; Beltrán, Belén

    2013-01-01

    The first step in biomarkers discovery is to identify the best protocols for their purification and analysis. This issue is critical when considering peripheral blood samples (plasma and serum) that are clinically interesting but meet several methodological problems, mainly complexity and low biomarker concentration. Analysis of small molecules, such as circulating microRNAs, should overcome these disadvantages. The present study describes an optimal RNA extraction method of microRNAs from human plasma samples. Different reagents and commercially available kits have been analyzed, identifying also the best pre-analytical conditions for plasma isolation. Between all of them, the column-based approaches were shown to be the most effective. In this context, miRNeasy Serum/Plasma Kit (from Qiagen) rendered more concentrated RNA, that was better suited for microarrays studies and did not require extra purification steps for sample concentration and purification than phenol based extraction methods. We also present evidences that the addition of low doses of an RNA carrier before starting the extraction process improves microRNA purification while an already published carrier dose can result in significant bias over microRNA profiles. Quality controls for best protocol selection were developed by spectrophotometry measurement of contaminants and microfluidics electrophoresis (Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer) for RNA integrity. Selected donor and patient plasma samples and matched biopsies were tested by Affymetrix microarray technology to compare differentially expressed microRNAs. In summary, this study defines an optimized protocol for microRNA purification from human blood samples, increasing the performance of assays and shedding light over the best way to discover and use these biomarkers in clinical practice. PMID:24376572

  14. An Accurate Link Correlation Estimator for Improving Wireless Protocol Performance

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Zhiwei; Xu, Xianghua; Dong, Wei; Bu, Jiajun

    2015-01-01

    Wireless link correlation has shown significant impact on the performance of various sensor network protocols. Many works have been devoted to exploiting link correlation for protocol improvements. However, the effectiveness of these designs heavily relies on the accuracy of link correlation measurement. In this paper, we investigate state-of-the-art link correlation measurement and analyze the limitations of existing works. We then propose a novel lightweight and accurate link correlation estimation (LACE) approach based on the reasoning of link correlation formation. LACE combines both long-term and short-term link behaviors for link correlation estimation. We implement LACE as a stand-alone interface in TinyOS and incorporate it into both routing and flooding protocols. Simulation and testbed results show that LACE: (1) achieves more accurate and lightweight link correlation measurements than the state-of-the-art work; and (2) greatly improves the performance of protocols exploiting link correlation. PMID:25686314

  15. An accurate link correlation estimator for improving wireless protocol performance.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Zhiwei; Xu, Xianghua; Dong, Wei; Bu, Jiajun

    2015-01-01

    Wireless link correlation has shown significant impact on the performance of various sensor network protocols. Many works have been devoted to exploiting link correlation for protocol improvements. However, the effectiveness of these designs heavily relies on the accuracy of link correlation measurement. In this paper, we investigate state-of-the-art link correlation measurement and analyze the limitations of existing works. We then propose a novel lightweight and accurate link correlation estimation (LACE) approach based on the reasoning of link correlation formation. LACE combines both long-term and short-term link behaviors for link correlation estimation. We implement LACE as a stand-alone interface in TinyOS and incorporate it into both routing and flooding protocols. Simulation and testbed results show that LACE: (1) achieves more accurate and lightweight link correlation measurements than the state-of-the-art work; and (2) greatly improves the performance of protocols exploiting link correlation. PMID:25686314

  16. Algorithms for improved performance in cryptographic protocols.

    SciTech Connect

    Schroeppel, Richard Crabtree; Beaver, Cheryl Lynn

    2003-11-01

    Public key cryptographic algorithms provide data authentication and non-repudiation for electronic transmissions. The mathematical nature of the algorithms, however, means they require a significant amount of computation, and encrypted messages and digital signatures possess high bandwidth. Accordingly, there are many environments (e.g. wireless, ad-hoc, remote sensing networks) where public-key requirements are prohibitive and cannot be used. The use of elliptic curves in public-key computations has provided a means by which computations and bandwidth can be somewhat reduced. We report here on the research conducted in an LDRD aimed to find even more efficient algorithms and to make public-key cryptography available to a wider range of computing environments. We improved upon several algorithms, including one for which a patent has been applied. Further we discovered some new problems and relations on which future cryptographic algorithms may be based.

  17. IMPROVED ISOLATION & ELECTROSPINNING OF ZEIN

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The major historical use of zein, the predominant corn protein, has been in the fibers market. In order to evaluate new formulations of zein in the fibers market a simple means of isolating and generating fibers is necessary. We have evaluated the ability to electrospin zein from numerous solvents...

  18. Cryptanalysis and improvement of an improved two factor authentication protocol for telecare medical information systems.

    PubMed

    Chaudhry, Shehzad Ashraf; Naqvi, Husnain; Shon, Taeshik; Sher, Muhammad; Farash, Mohammad Sabzinejad

    2015-06-01

    Telecare medical information systems (TMIS) provides rapid and convenient health care services remotely. Efficient authentication is a prerequisite to guarantee the security and privacy of patients in TMIS. Authentication is used to verify the legality of the patients and TMIS server during remote access. Very recently Islam et al. (J. Med. Syst. 38(10):135, 2014) proposed a two factor authentication protocol for TMIS using elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) to improve Xu et al.'s (J. Med. Syst. 38(1):9994, 2014) protocol. They claimed their improved protocol to be efficient and provides all security requirements. However our analysis reveals that Islam et al.'s protocol suffers from user impersonation and server impersonation attacks. Furthermore we proposed an enhanced protocol. The proposed protocol while delivering all the virtues of Islam et al.'s protocol resists all known attacks. PMID:25912427

  19. Adult Rhabdomyosarcoma Survival Improved With Treatment on Multimodality Protocols

    SciTech Connect

    Gerber, Naamit Kurshan; Wexler, Leonard H.; Singer, Samuel; Alektiar, Kaled M.; Keohan, Mary Louise; Shi, Weiji; Zhang, Zhigang; Wolden, Suzanne

    2013-05-01

    Purpose: Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) is a pediatric sarcoma rarely occurring in adults. For unknown reasons, adults with RMS have worse outcomes than do children. Methods and Materials: We analyzed data from all patients who presented to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center between 1990 and 2011 with RMS diagnosed at age 16 or older. One hundred forty-eight patients met the study criteria. Ten were excluded for lack of adequate data. Results: The median age was 28 years. The histologic diagnoses were as follows: embryonal 54%, alveolar 33%, pleomorphic 12%, and not otherwise specified 2%. The tumor site was unfavorable in 67% of patients. Thirty-three patients (24%) were at low risk, 61 (44%) at intermediate risk, and 44 (32%) at high risk. Forty-six percent were treated on or according to a prospective RMS protocol. The 5-year rate of overall survival (OS) was 45% for patients with nonmetastatic disease. The failure rates at 5 years for patients with nonmetastatic disease were 34% for local failure and 42% for distant failure. Among patients with nonmetastatic disease (n=94), significant factors associated with OS were histologic diagnosis, site, risk group, age, and protocol treatment. On multivariate analysis, risk group and protocol treatment were significant after adjustment for age. The 5-year OS was 54% for protocol patients versus 36% for nonprotocol patients. Conclusions: Survival in adult patients with nonmetastatic disease was significantly improved for those treated on RMS protocols, most of which are now open to adults.

  20. HB - MAC: Improving the Random - HB # Authentication Protocol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rizomiliotis, Panagiotis

    The Random - HB # protocol is a significant improvement of the HB + protocol introduced by Juels and Weis for the authentication of low-cost RFID tags. Random - HB # improves HB + in terms of both security and practicality. It is provably resistant against man-in-the-middle attacks, where the adversary can modify messages send from the reader to the tag and performs significantly better than HB + , since it reduces the transmission costs and provides more practical error rates. The only problem with Random - HB # is that the storage costs for the secret keys are insurmountable to low cost tags. The designers of the protocol have proposed also an enhanced variant which has less storage requirements, but it is not supported by a security proof. They call this variant just HB #. In this paper we propose a variant of the Random - HB #. The new proposal maintains the performance of the Random - HB #, but it requires significantly less storage for the key. To achieve that we add a lightweight message authentication code to protect the integrity of all the exchanged messages.

  1. Optimized exosome isolation protocol for cell culture supernatant and human plasma

    PubMed Central

    Lobb, Richard J.; Becker, Melanie; Wen Wen, Shu; Wong, Christina S. F.; Wiegmans, Adrian P.; Leimgruber, Antoine; Möller, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Extracellular vesicles represent a rich source of novel biomarkers in the diagnosis and prognosis of disease. However, there is currently limited information elucidating the most efficient methods for obtaining high yields of pure exosomes, a subset of extracellular vesicles, from cell culture supernatant and complex biological fluids such as plasma. To this end, we comprehensively characterize a variety of exosome isolation protocols for their efficiency, yield and purity of isolated exosomes. Repeated ultracentrifugation steps can reduce the quality of exosome preparations leading to lower exosome yield. We show that concentration of cell culture conditioned media using ultrafiltration devices results in increased vesicle isolation when compared to traditional ultracentrifugation protocols. However, our data on using conditioned media isolated from the Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) SK-MES-1 cell line demonstrates that the choice of concentrating device can greatly impact the yield of isolated exosomes. We find that centrifuge-based concentrating methods are more appropriate than pressure-driven concentrating devices and allow the rapid isolation of exosomes from both NSCLC cell culture conditioned media and complex biological fluids. In fact to date, no protocol detailing exosome isolation utilizing current commercial methods from both cells and patient samples has been described. Utilizing tunable resistive pulse sensing and protein analysis, we provide a comparative analysis of 4 exosome isolation techniques, indicating their efficacy and preparation purity. Our results demonstrate that current precipitation protocols for the isolation of exosomes from cell culture conditioned media and plasma provide the least pure preparations of exosomes, whereas size exclusion isolation is comparable to density gradient purification of exosomes. We have identified current shortcomings in common extracellular vesicle isolation methods and provide a potential

  2. Improvements to the NIST network time protocol servers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levine, Judah

    2008-12-01

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) operates 22 network time servers at various locations. These servers respond to requests for time in a number of different formats and provide time stamps that are directly traceable to the NIST atomic clock ensemble in Boulder. The link between the servers at locations outside of the NIST Boulder Laboratories and the atomic clock ensemble is provided by the Automated Computer Time Service (ACTS) system, which has a direct connection to the clock ensemble and which transmits time information over dial-up telephone lines with a two-way protocol to measure the transmission delay. I will discuss improvements to the ACTS servers and to the time servers themselves. These improvements have resulted in an improvement of almost an order of magnitude in the performance of the system.

  3. An improved protocol for DNA extraction from alkaline soil and sediment samples for constructing metagenomic libraries.

    PubMed

    Verma, Digvijay; Satyanarayana, T

    2011-09-01

    An improved single-step protocol has been developed for extracting pure community humic substance-free DNA from alkaline soils and sediments. The method is based on direct cell lysis in the presence of powdered activated charcoal and polyvinylpolypyrrolidone followed by precipitation with polyethyleneglycol and isopropanol. The strategy allows simultaneous isolation and purification of DNA while minimizing the loss of DNA with respect to other available protocols for metagenomic DNA extraction. Moreover, the purity levels are significant, which are difficult to attain with any of the methods reported in the literature for DNA extraction from soils. The DNA thus extracted was free from humic substances and, therefore, could be processed for restriction digestion, PCR amplification as well as for the construction of metagenomic libraries. PMID:21519906

  4. Exosomes isolation protocols: facts and artifacts for cardiac regeneration.

    PubMed

    Angelini, Francesco; Ionta, Vittoria; Rossi, Fabrizio; Pagano, Francesca; Chimenti, Isotta; Messina, Elisa; Giacomello, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    In recent years, exosomes have attracted increasing scientific interest and are no longer considered just as containers for cell waste, but as important mediators of intercellular communication. Among many biomedical research topics, a possible direct role of exosomes in the regenerative medicine field has been underlined in recent studies, including those regarding the so called "paracrine hypothesis". In this perspective, a therapeutic role and/or use of exosomes for tissue regeneration seems to be plausible. However, the majority of the cells isolated and cultured in vitro are exposed to an exogenous exosomes source because of the wide use of foetal bovine serum as cell culture supplement. Bovine serum has been gradually considered as a major biological stimulus, but with still unknown outcome. In this review, we present the state of the art about the role of exosomes in regenerative medicine, particularly for the cardiovascular system. We also analyse the most commonly used exosome isolation techniques that, since their discovery, have undergone continuous development to reach the highest degree of scalability for future clinical translation. PMID:27100708

  5. An improved pyrite pretreatment protocol for kinetic and isotopic studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mirzoyan, Natella; Kamyshny, Alexey; Halevy, Itay

    2014-05-01

    An improved pyrite pretreatment protocol for kinetic and isotopic studies Natella Mirzoyan1, Alexey Kamyshny Jr.2, Itay Halevy1 1Earth and Planetary Sciences, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel 2Geological and Environmental Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva 84105, Israel Pyrite is one of the most abundant and widespread of the sulfide minerals with a central role in biogeochemical cycles of iron and sulfur. Due to its diverse roles in the natural and anthropogenic sulfur cycle, pyrite has been extensively studied in various experimental investigations of the kinetics of its dissolution and oxidation, the isotopic fractionations associated with these reactions, and the microbiological processes involved. Pretreatment of pyrite for removal of oxidation impurities to prevent experimental artifacts and inaccuracies is often practiced. While numerous pyrite-cleaning methods have been used in experiments, a common pyrite pretreatment method, often used to investigate pyrite chemistry by the isotopic fractionations associated with it, includes several rinses by HCl, acetone and deionized water. Elemental sulfur (S0) is a common product of incomplete pyrite oxidation. Removal of S0 is desirable to avoid experimental biases associated with its participation in pyrite transformations, but is more complicated than the removal of sulfate. Although rinsing with an organic solvent is in part aimed at removing S0, to the best of our knowledge, the extraction efficiency of S0 in existing protocols has not been assessed. We have developed and tested a new protocol for elemental sulfur removal from the surface of pyrite by ultrasonication with warm acetone. Our data demonstrate the presence of large fractions of S0 on untreated pyrite particle surfaces, of which only approximately 60% was removed by the commonly used pretreatment method. The new protocol described here was found to be more efficient at S0 removal than the commonly used method

  6. Simple algorithm for improved security in the FDDI protocol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lundy, G. M.; Jones, Benjamin

    1993-02-01

    We propose a modification to the Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) protocol based on a simple algorithm which will improve confidential communication capability. This proposed modification provides a simple and reliable system which exploits some of the inherent security properties in a fiber optic ring network. This method differs from conventional methods in that end to end encryption can be facilitated at the media access control sublayer of the data link layer in the OSI network model. Our method is based on a variation of the bit stream cipher method. The transmitting station takes the intended confidential message and uses a simple modulo two addition operation against an initialization vector. The encrypted message is virtually unbreakable without the initialization vector. None of the stations on the ring will have access to both the encrypted message and the initialization vector except the transmitting and receiving stations. The generation of the initialization vector is unique for each confidential transmission and thus provides a unique approach to the key distribution problem. The FDDI protocol is of particular interest to the military in terms of LAN/MAN implementations. Both the Army and the Navy are considering the standard as the basis for future network systems. A simple and reliable security mechanism with the potential to support realtime communications is a necessary consideration in the implementation of these systems. The proposed method offers several advantages over traditional methods in terms of speed, reliability, and standardization.

  7. Development of simple and efficient protocol for isolation of plasmids from mycobacteria using zirconia beads.

    PubMed

    Madiraju, M V; Qin, M H; Rajagopalan, M

    2000-01-01

    A two-step protocol has been developed for isolation of plasmids from recombinant mycobacteria via Escherichia coli. First either mycobacterial primary transformants or propagated cultures were lysed in a mini-bead beater using zirconia beads and the lysate thus obtained was used to transform E. coli recA mutant cells. Secondly, plasmid DNA was isolated from recombinant E. coli cells and analysed. Bead beating times of 2 min for Mycobacterium smegmatis, a rapid grower, and 4 min for M. bovis BCG, a slow grower, were found to be optimal for recovery of plasmid DNA. This protocol was also amenable to other mycobacterial species such as M. avium, M. fortuitum and M. tuberculosis H37Ra. Plasmid recovery from the recombinant M. bovis BCG using this protocol is approximately 300-fold higher than that reported for the electroduction method. PMID:10728558

  8. A Hybrid Quorum Protocol for Improved Availability, Capacity, Load and Reduced Overhead

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pandey, Parul; Tripathi, Maheshwari

    2016-06-01

    Data replication is playing a vital role in the design of distributed information systems. This paper presents a novel and efficient distributed algorithm for managing replicated data and for better performance and availability. This paper presents an extension to existing wheel protocol for improved performance. Wheel protocol imposes a logical wheel structure on the set of copies of an object and gives smallest read quorum. In addition to small read quorum size for read intensive applications, it is necessary to have good write availability as well. This paper proposes two hybrid wheel protocols, which superimpose logarithmic and ring protocols on top of the wheel protocol. It shows that, both protocols help in improving write availability, read capacity, load and message overhead and also compare their performances with wheel and other protocols. Hybrid protocols expand usage of wheel protocol to different type of applications.

  9. An improved method for isolation of epithelial and stromal cells from the human endometrium

    PubMed Central

    MASUDA, Ayako; KATOH, Noriko; NAKABAYASHI, Kazuhiko; KATO, Kiyoko; SONODA, Kenzo; KITADE, Mari; TAKEDA, Satoru; HATA, Kenichiro; TOMIKAWA, Junko

    2016-01-01

    We aimed to improve the efficiency of isolating endometrial epithelial and stromal cells (EMECs and EMSCs) from the human endometrium. We revealed by immunohistochemical staining that the large tissue fragments remaining after collagenase treatment, which are usually discarded after the first filtration in the conventional protocol, consisted of glandular epithelial and stromal cells. Therefore, we established protease treatment and cell suspension conditions to dissociate single cells from the tissue fragments and isolated epithelial (EPCAM-positive) and stromal (CD13-positive) cells by fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Four independent experiments showed that, on average, 1.2 × 106 of EMECs and 2.8 × 106 EMSCs were isolated from one hysterectomy specimen. We confirmed that the isolated cells presented transcriptomic features highly similar to those of epithelial and stromal cells obtained by the conventional method. Our improved protocol facilitates future studies to better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the dynamic changes of the endometrium during the menstrual cycle. PMID:26853786

  10. Improved Oocyte Isolation and Embryonic Development of Outbred Deer Mice

    PubMed Central

    Kyu Choi, Jung; He, Xiaoming

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we improved the protocol for isolating cumulus-oocyte complexes (COCs) from the outbred deer mice by using only one hormone (instead of the widely used combination of two hormones) with reduced dose. Moreover, we identified that significantly more metaphase II (MII) oocytes could be obtained by supplementing epidermal growth factor (EGF) and leukemia inhibition factor (LIF) into the previously established medium for in vitro maturation (IVM) of the COCs. Furthermore, we overcame the major challenge of two-cell block during embryonic development of deer mice after either in vitro fertilization (IVF) or parthenogenetic activation (PA) of the MII oocytes, by culturing the two-cell stage embryos on the feeder layer of inactivated mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) in the medium of mouse embryonic stem cells. Collectively, this work represents a major step forward in using deer mice as an outbred animal model for biomedical research on reproduction and early embryonic development. PMID:26184014

  11. Hypertension Improvement Project (HIP): study protocol and implementation challenges

    PubMed Central

    Dolor, Rowena J; Yancy, William S; Owen, William F; Matchar, David B; Samsa, Gregory P; Pollak, Kathryn I; Lin, Pao-Hwa; Ard, Jamy D; Prempeh, Maxwell; McGuire, Heather L; Batch, Bryan C; Fan, William; Svetkey, Laura P

    2009-01-01

    Background Hypertension affects 29% of the adult U.S. population and is a leading cause of heart disease, stroke, and kidney failure. Despite numerous effective treatments, only 53% of people with hypertension are at goal blood pressure. The chronic care model suggests that blood pressure control can be achieved by improving how patients and physicians address patient self-care. Methods and design This paper describes the protocol of a nested 2 × 2 randomized controlled trial to test the separate and combined effects on systolic blood pressure of a behavioral intervention for patients and a quality improvement-type intervention for physicians. Primary care practices were randomly assigned to the physician intervention or to the physician control condition. Physician randomization occurred at the clinic level. The physician intervention included training and performance monitoring. The training comprised 2 internet-based modules detailing both the JNC-7 hypertension guidelines and lifestyle modifications for hypertension. Performance data were collected for 18 months, and feedback was provided to physicians every 3 months. Patient participants in both intervention and control clinics were individually randomized to the patient intervention or to usual care. The patient intervention consisted of a 6-month behavioral intervention conducted by trained interventionists in 20 group sessions, followed by 12 monthly phone contacts by community health advisors. Follow-up measurements were performed at 6 and 18 months. The primary outcome was the mean change in systolic blood pressure at 6 months. Secondary outcomes were diastolic blood pressure and the proportion of patients with adequate blood pressure control at 6 and 18 months. Discussion Overall, 8 practices (4 per treatment group), 32 physicians (4 per practice; 16 per treatment group), and 574 patients (289 control and 285 intervention) were enrolled. Baseline characteristics of patients and providers and the

  12. A DNA extraction protocol for improved DNA yield from individual mosquitoes.

    PubMed

    Nieman, Catelyn C; Yamasaki, Youki; Collier, Travis C; Lee, Yoosook

    2015-01-01

    Typical DNA extraction protocols from commercially available kits provide an adequate amount of DNA from a single individual mosquito sufficient for PCR-based assays. However, next-generation sequencing applications and high-throughput SNP genotyping assays exposed the limitation of DNA quantity one usually gets from a single individual mosquito. Whole genome amplification could alleviate the issue but it also creates bias in genome representation. While trying to find alternative DNA extraction protocols for improved DNA yield, we found that a combination of the tissue lysis protocol from Life Technologies and the DNA extraction protocol from Qiagen yielded a higher DNA amount than the protocol using the Qiagen or Life Technologies kit only. We have not rigorously tested all the possible combinations of extraction protocols; we also only tested this on mosquito samples. Therefore, our finding should be noted as a suggestion for improving people's own DNA extraction protocols and not as an advertisement of a commercially available product. PMID:26937269

  13. DNA isolation protocol for the medicinal plant lemon balm (Melissa officinalis, Lamiaceae).

    PubMed

    Ghaffariyan, S; Mohammadi, S A; Aharizad, S

    2012-01-01

    Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a medicinal plant that is widely used as a sedative or calmant, spasmolytic and antibacterial agent and sleep aid. This has led to a high demand for lemon balm products, resulting in the extinction of this species in some of its natural habitats. Molecular techniques have increasingly been used in plant diversity conservation and isolation of PCR amplifiable genomic DNA is an important pre-requisite. Lemon balm contains high levels of polyphenols and polysaccharides, which pose a major challenge for the isolation of high-quality DNA. We compared different genomic DNA extraction protocols, including traditional phenol-chloroform DNA extraction protocols and two commercial kits for DNA purification for their ability to produce good-quality DNA from fresh leaves of five lemon balm genotypes. Quality and quantity of the DNA samples were determined using 0.8% agarose gel electrophoresis and a spectrophotometer. The DNA purity was further confirmed by PCR amplification using barley retrotransposon LTR base primers. The spectral quality of DNA as measured by the A(260)/A(280) ratio ranged from 1.46 to 2.37. The Fermentase genomic DNA purification kit and the CTAB extraction protocol using PVP and ammonium acetate to overcome the high levels of polyphenols and polysaccharides yielded high-quality DNA with a mean A(260)/A(280) ratio of 1.87. The quantity of DNA and its PCR purity were similar with all the protocols, but considering the time and cost required for extraction of DNA from a large number of samples, the CTAB protocol using PVP and ammonium acetate is suitable for lemon balm. PMID:22614273

  14. A protocol for the culture and isolation of murine synovial fibroblasts

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Jinjun; Ouyang, Qingqing; Hu, Ziyou; Huang, Qin; Wu, Jing; Wang, Ran; Yang, Min

    2016-01-01

    The culture of synovial fibroblasts (SFs) is one of the most effective tools for investigating the pathology and physiology of synovial tissues and should prove useful for identifying the importance of SFs in disease as well as for the development of novel therapeutic approaches for several chronic joint diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. However, thus far, a detailed protocol for the primary culture and isolation of murine SFs has not been established. Therefore, the present study describes an easy and convenient method for isolating and culturing SFs from C57BL/6 mice. This protocol can be divided into 4 stages: Isolation of synovial tissues, isolation of SFs, seeding of SFs for growth in culture and purity analysis of SFs using the four cell markers, vimentin, cluster of differentiation 90.2 (CD90.2; Thy-1.2), intracellular adhesion molecule 1 (CD54) and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (CD106). This method is efficient and a purified population of SFs can be obtained 10 days after the initiation of culture. PMID:27446536

  15. Evaluation of a new standardized enzymatic isolation protocol for human umbilical cord-derived stem cells.

    PubMed

    Buyl, Karolien; Vanhaecke, Tamara; Desmae, Terry; Lagneaux, Laurence; Rogiers, Vera; Najar, Mehdi; De Kock, Joery

    2015-09-01

    The umbilical cord (UC) represents an important source of mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). These human UC-derived MSC (UC-MSC) have already been isolated using a protocol based on the migratory and plastic adhesive properties of MSC (UC-MSC-Mig). The UC-MSC-Mig isolation method, however, is difficult to standardize. Therefore, we developed an enzymatic isolation protocol (UC-MSC-Enz) to overcome the above mentioned disadvantages. First, we investigated the UC-MSC-Enz for their MSC properties. We found that UC-MSC-Enz express the MSC markers CD73, CD90 and CD105 and are able to differentiate into osteoblasts, adipocytes and chondroblasts fulfilling the MSC criteria of the International Society for Cellular Therapy. Previously we found that UC-MSC-Mig are unique among MSCs due to their significant expression of several hepatic (progenitor) markers. Therefore, we also investigated the expression of hepatic transcription factors and other hepatic markers in UC-MSC-Enz at both the mRNA and protein level. We found that the expression of hepatic transcription factors (GATA4, GATA6, SOX9 and SOX17) and hepatic markers (AFP, DPP4, CX43, DKK1, DSG2, KRT18 and KRT19) in UC-MSC-Enz was not significantly different from those of UC-MSC-Mig. Consequently, this optimized enzyme-based method represents a fast, robust and standardized way to isolate UC-MSC for a broad range of applications. PMID:25541070

  16. Improving protocol design feasibility to drive drug development economics and performance.

    PubMed

    Getz, Kenneth

    2014-05-01

    Protocol design complexity has increased substantially during the past decade and this in turn has adversely impacted drug development economics and performance. This article reviews the results of two major Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development studies quantifying the direct cost of conducting less essential and unnecessary protocol procedures and of implementing amendments to protocol designs. Indirect costs including personnel time, work load and cycle time delays associated with complex protocol designs are also discussed. The author concludes with an overview of steps that research sponsors are taking to improve protocol design feasibility. PMID:24823665

  17. Improving Protocol Design Feasibility to Drive Drug Development Economics and Performance

    PubMed Central

    Getz, Kenneth

    2014-01-01

    Protocol design complexity has increased substantially during the past decade and this in turn has adversely impacted drug development economics and performance. This article reviews the results of two major Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development studies quantifying the direct cost of conducting less essential and unnecessary protocol procedures and of implementing amendments to protocol designs. Indirect costs including personnel time, work load and cycle time delays associated with complex protocol designs are also discussed. The author concludes with an overview of steps that research sponsors are taking to improve protocol design feasibility. PMID:24823665

  18. An Improved RSA Based User Authentication and Session Key Agreement Protocol Usable in TMIS.

    PubMed

    Amin, Ruhul; Biswas, G P

    2015-08-01

    Recently, Giri et al.'s proposed a RSA cryptosystem based remote user authentication scheme for telecare medical information system and claimed that the protocol is secure against all the relevant security attacks. However, we have scrutinized the Giri et al.'s protocol and pointed out that the protocol is not secure against off-line password guessing attack, privileged insider attack and also suffers from anonymity problem. Moreover, the extension of password guessing attack leads to more security weaknesses. Therefore, this protocol needs improvement in terms of security before implementing in real-life application. To fix the mentioned security pitfalls, this paper proposes an improved scheme over Giri et al.'s scheme, which preserves user anonymity property. We have then simulated the proposed protocol using widely-accepted AVISPA tool which ensures that the protocol is SAFE under OFMC and CL-AtSe models, that means the same protocol is secure against active and passive attacks including replay and man-in-the-middle attacks. The informal cryptanalysis has been also presented, which confirmed that the proposed protocol provides well security protection on the relevant security attacks. The performance analysis section compares the proposed protocol with other existing protocols in terms of security and it has been observed that the protocol provides more security and achieves additional functionalities such as user anonymity and session key verification. PMID:26123833

  19. A Simple Protocol for High Efficiency Protein Isolation After RNA Isolation from Mouse Thyroid and Other Very Small Tissue Samples.

    PubMed

    Ziros, Panos G; Chartoumpekis, Dionysios V; Sykiotis, Gerasimos P

    2016-01-01

    As a dedicated hormone-secreting organ, the thyroid gland possesses a complement of proteostatic systems, including antioxidant, unfolded protein, and autophagic responses. The vast majority of animal investigations of thyroid physiology and, more recently, proteostasis, have utilized as model the rat, rather than the mouse. This is due to the very small size of the thyroid gland in the latter, with a total weight of ~2 mg (~1 mg per thyroid lobe). However, this strategy has limited the utilization of genetic approaches, such as taking advantage of the various transgenic and knockout mouse models. Here, we describe a simple and highly efficient protocol for the simultaneous isolation of mRNA, micro-RNA and 150-200 μg of protein from as little as 1 mg of mouse thyroid tissue, the average weight of one of the two thyroid lobes, thus preserving the other lobe for immunohistochemical or other analyses. While our workflow is similar to other protocols published in the literature and/or proposed by commercial reagent providers, we have introduced a key modification that addresses efficiently the most challenging step of the protein isolation process: the solubilization of the protein pellet after RNA extraction and protein precipitation. We demonstrate the feasibility of our approach and its utility for downstream analyses (including Western blotting) that facilitate the comparative study of proteostatic pathways in the mouse thyroid. We have also successfully applied this protocol on samples from mouse liver, brown and white adipose tissue, as well as from rodent cell lines. PMID:27613051

  20. An automated reminder for perioperative glucose regulation improves protocol compliance.

    PubMed

    Polderman, Jorinde A W; de Groot, Fleur A; Zamanbin, Alaleh; Hollmann, Markus W; Holleman, Frits; Preckel, Benedikt; Hermanides, Jeroen

    2016-06-01

    A growing proportion of patients presenting for surgery have diabetes. Unfortunately, perioperative diabetes protocol compliance is low. Using digitalization of the perioperative environment, an automated reminder in the preoperative assessment platform proved to increase compliance and we advocate its use throughout the perioperative process. PMID:27321319

  1. An improved protocol to study the plant cell wall proteome

    PubMed Central

    Printz, Bruno; Dos Santos Morais, Raphaël; Wienkoop, Stefanie; Sergeant, Kjell; Lutts, Stanley; Hausman, Jean-Francois; Renaut, Jenny

    2015-01-01

    Cell wall proteins were extracted from alfalfa stems according to a three-steps extraction procedure using sequentially CaCl2, EGTA, and LiCl-complemented buffers. The efficiency of this protocol for extracting cell wall proteins was compared with the two previously published methods optimized for alfalfa stem cell wall protein analysis. Following LC-MS/MS analysis the three-steps extraction procedure resulted in the identification of the highest number of cell wall proteins (242 NCBInr identifiers) and gave the lowest percentage of non-cell wall proteins (about 30%). However, the three protocols are rather complementary than substitutive since 43% of the identified proteins were specific to one protocol. This three-step protocol was therefore selected for a more detailed proteomic characterization using 2D-gel electrophoresis. With this technique, 75% of the identified proteins were shown to be fraction-specific and 72.7% were predicted as belonging to the cell wall compartment. Although, being less sensitive than LC-MS/MS approaches in detecting and identifying low-abundant proteins, gel-based approaches are valuable tools for the differentiation and relative quantification of protein isoforms and/or modified proteins. In particular isoforms, having variations in their amino-acid sequence and/or carrying different N-linked glycan chains were detected and characterized. This study highlights how the extracting protocols as well as the analytical techniques devoted to the study of the plant cell wall proteome are complementary and how they may be combined to elucidate the dynamism of the plant cell wall proteome in biological studies. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD001927. PMID:25914713

  2. Improved protocol for the extraction of bacterial mRNA from soils.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Shilpi; Mehta, Ravikumar; Gupta, Rashi; Schloter, Michael

    2012-10-01

    An improved protocol for extraction of prokaryotic mRNA from soil samples was developed by modifying the extraction procedure to obtain higher yields of mRNA and to reduce co-extraction of humic acids. The modified protocol was found to be more robust and efficient compared to the original protocol by Griffiths et al. (2000) without compromising with the quality and quantity of RNA. PMID:22841738

  3. Security improvement on an anonymous key agreement protocol based on chaotic maps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xue, Kaiping; Hong, Peilin

    2012-07-01

    In 2009, Tseng et al. proposed a password sharing and chaotic map based key agreement protocol (Tseng et al.'s protocol). They claimed that the protocol provided mutual authentication between a server and a user, and allowed the user to anonymously interact with the server to establish a shared session key. However, in 2011, Niu et al. have proved that Tseng et al.'s protocol cannot guarantee user anonymity and protocol security when there is an internal adversary who is a legitimate user. Also it cannot provide perfect forward secrecy. Then Niu et al. introduced a trust third party (TTP) into their protocol designing (Niu et al.'s protocol). But according to our research, Niu et al.'s protocol is found to have several unsatisfactory drawbacks. Based on reconsidering Tseng et al.'s protocol without introducing TTP, we give some improvements to meet the original security and performance requirements. Meanwhile our proposed protocol overcomes the security flaws of Tseng et al.'s protocol.

  4. Isolation of osteogenic progenitors from human amniotic fluid using a single step culture protocol

    PubMed Central

    Antonucci, Ivana; Iezzi, Irene; Morizio, Elisena; Mastrangelo, Filiberto; Pantalone, Andrea; Mattioli-Belmonte, Monica; Gigante, Antonio; Salini, Vincenzo; Calabrese, Giuseppe; Tetè, Stefano; Palka, Giandomenico; Stuppia, Liborio

    2009-01-01

    Background Stem cells isolated from amniotic fluid are known to be able to differentiate into different cells types, being thus considered as a potential tool for cellular therapy of different human diseases. In the present study, we report a novel single step protocol for the osteoblastic differentiation of human amniotic fluid cells. Results The described protocol is able to provide osteoblastic cells producing nodules of calcium mineralization within 18 days from withdrawal of amniotic fluid samples. These cells display a complete expression of osteogenic markers (COL1, ONC, OPN, OCN, OPG, BSP, Runx2) within 30 days from withdrawal. In order to test the ability of these cells to proliferate on surfaces commonly used in oral osteointegrated implantology, we carried out cultures onto different test disks, namely smooth copper, machined titanium and Sandblasted and Acid Etching titanium (SLA titanium). Electron microscopy analysis evidenced the best cell growth on this latter surface. Conclusion The described protocol provides an efficient and time-saving tool for the production of osteogenic cells from amniotic fluid that in the future could be used in oral osteointegrated implantology. PMID:19220883

  5. Isolation of exosomes by differential centrifugation: Theoretical analysis of a commonly used protocol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Livshts, Mikhail A.; Khomyakova, Elena; Evtushenko, Evgeniy G.; Lazarev, Vassili N.; Kulemin, Nikolay A.; Semina, Svetlana E.; Generozov, Edward V.; Govorun, Vadim M.

    2015-11-01

    Exosomes, small (40-100 nm) extracellular membranous vesicles, attract enormous research interest because they are carriers of disease markers and a prospective delivery system for therapeutic agents. Differential centrifugation, the prevalent method of exosome isolation, frequently produces dissimilar and improper results because of the faulty practice of using a common centrifugation protocol with different rotors. Moreover, as recommended by suppliers, adjusting the centrifugation duration according to rotor K-factors does not work for “fixed-angle” rotors. For both types of rotors - “swinging bucket” and “fixed-angle” - we express the theoretically expected proportion of pelleted vesicles of a given size and the “cut-off” size of completely sedimented vesicles as dependent on the centrifugation force and duration and the sedimentation path-lengths. The proper centrifugation conditions can be selected using relatively simple theoretical estimates of the “cut-off” sizes of vesicles. Experimental verification on exosomes isolated from HT29 cell culture supernatant confirmed the main theoretical statements. Measured by the nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) technique, the concentration and size distribution of the vesicles after centrifugation agree with those theoretically expected. To simplify this “cut-off”-size-based adjustment of centrifugation protocol for any rotor, we developed a web-calculator.

  6. Isolation of exosomes by differential centrifugation: Theoretical analysis of a commonly used protocol.

    PubMed

    Livshits, Mikhail A; Livshts, Mikhail A; Khomyakova, Elena; Evtushenko, Evgeniy G; Lazarev, Vassili N; Kulemin, Nikolay A; Semina, Svetlana E; Generozov, Edward V; Govorun, Vadim M

    2015-01-01

    Exosomes, small (40-100 nm) extracellular membranous vesicles, attract enormous research interest because they are carriers of disease markers and a prospective delivery system for therapeutic agents. Differential centrifugation, the prevalent method of exosome isolation, frequently produces dissimilar and improper results because of the faulty practice of using a common centrifugation protocol with different rotors. Moreover, as recommended by suppliers, adjusting the centrifugation duration according to rotor K-factors does not work for "fixed-angle" rotors. For both types of rotors--"swinging bucket" and "fixed-angle"--we express the theoretically expected proportion of pelleted vesicles of a given size and the "cut-off" size of completely sedimented vesicles as dependent on the centrifugation force and duration and the sedimentation path-lengths. The proper centrifugation conditions can be selected using relatively simple theoretical estimates of the "cut-off" sizes of vesicles. Experimental verification on exosomes isolated from HT29 cell culture supernatant confirmed the main theoretical statements. Measured by the nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) technique, the concentration and size distribution of the vesicles after centrifugation agree with those theoretically expected. To simplify this "cut-off"-size-based adjustment of centrifugation protocol for any rotor, we developed a web-calculator. PMID:26616523

  7. Isolation of exosomes by differential centrifugation: Theoretical analysis of a commonly used protocol

    PubMed Central

    Livshts, Mikhail A.; Khomyakova, Elena; Evtushenko, Evgeniy G.; Lazarev, Vassili N.; Kulemin, Nikolay A.; Semina, Svetlana E.; Generozov, Edward V.; Govorun, Vadim M.

    2015-01-01

    Exosomes, small (40–100 nm) extracellular membranous vesicles, attract enormous research interest because they are carriers of disease markers and a prospective delivery system for therapeutic agents. Differential centrifugation, the prevalent method of exosome isolation, frequently produces dissimilar and improper results because of the faulty practice of using a common centrifugation protocol with different rotors. Moreover, as recommended by suppliers, adjusting the centrifugation duration according to rotor K-factors does not work for “fixed-angle” rotors. For both types of rotors – “swinging bucket” and “fixed-angle” – we express the theoretically expected proportion of pelleted vesicles of a given size and the “cut-off” size of completely sedimented vesicles as dependent on the centrifugation force and duration and the sedimentation path-lengths. The proper centrifugation conditions can be selected using relatively simple theoretical estimates of the “cut-off” sizes of vesicles. Experimental verification on exosomes isolated from HT29 cell culture supernatant confirmed the main theoretical statements. Measured by the nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) technique, the concentration and size distribution of the vesicles after centrifugation agree with those theoretically expected. To simplify this “cut-off”-size-based adjustment of centrifugation protocol for any rotor, we developed a web-calculator. PMID:26616523

  8. Improvement in Isolation and Identification of Mouse Oogonial Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Zhiyong; Wu, Meng; Zhang, Jinjin; Xiong, Jiaqiang; Cheng, Jing; Shen, Wei; Luo, Aiyue; Fang, Li; Wang, Shixuan

    2016-01-01

    Female germline stem cells (FGSCs) or oogonial stem cells (OSCs) have the capacity to generate newborn oocytes and thus open a new door to fight ovarian aging and female infertility. However, the production and identification of OSCs are difficult for investigators. Rare amount of these cells in the ovary results in the failure of the acquisition of OSCs. Furthermore, the oocyte formation by OSCs in vivo was usually confirmed using tissue sections by immunofluorescence or immunohistochemistry in previous studies. STO or MEF feeder cells are derived from mouse, not human. In our study, we modified the protocol. The cells were digested from ovaries and cultured for 2-3 days and then were purified by magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS). The ovaries and fetus of mice injected with EGFP-positive OSCs were prepared and put on the slides to directly visualize oocyte and progeny formation under microscope. Additionally, the human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUC-MSCs) were also used as feeder cells to support the proliferation of OSCs. The results showed that all the modified procedures can significantly improve and facilitate the generation and characterization of OSCs, and hUC-MSCs as feeder will be useful for isolation and proliferation of human OSCs avoiding contamination from mouse. PMID:26635882

  9. Improving security in the Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) protocol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Benjamin E.

    1992-09-01

    The arrival of high speed packet switched fiber optic LAN's has allowed local area design architectures to be used for larger metropolitan area network (MAN) implementations. The current LAN security mechanisms used in larger and faster fiber optic LAN's and MAN's are often inappropriate or unacceptable for use with emerging applications. The protocol of the Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) standard provides a natural means for message integrity and availability verification. However, privacy in FDDI is facilitated at higher layers through a generic LAN standard. This thesis proposes a modification to the FDDI protocol implemented at the medium access control (MAC) sublayer, which integrates a confidentiality mechanism for data transfer. The modification provides a simple comprehensive security package to meet the high performance needs of current and emerging applications. In the proposed modification, the inherent properties of the ring are exploited using a unique Central Key Translator to distribute initial session keys. A symmetric bit stream cipher based on modulo2 addition is used for encryption/decryption by the transmitting and receiving stations. Part of the plain text from transmitted message frames is used as feedback to generate new session keys.

  10. An improved protocol for micropropagation of saltbush (Atriplex) species

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Atriplex griffithsii Standl is a threatened halophytic shrub found in saline soils of isolated regions within the desert basins in Southern New Mexico and Arizona. A related species within the genus, A. canescens, has been successfully micropropagated, suggesting that clonal propagation may offer a...

  11. Protocol for Maximizing Energy Savings and Indoor Environmental Quality Improvements when Retrofiting Apartments

    SciTech Connect

    Noris, Federico; Delp, William W.; Vermeer, Kimberly; Adamkiewicz, Gary; Singer, Brett C.; Fisk, William J.

    2012-06-18

    The current focus on building energy retrofit provides an opportunity to simultaneously improve indoor environmental quality (IEQ). Toward this end, we developed a protocol for selecting packages of retrofits that both save energy and improve IEQ in apartments. The protocol specifies the methodology for selecting retrofits from a candidate list while addressing expected energy savings, IEQ impacts, and costs in an integrated manner. Interviews, inspections and measurements are specified to collect the needed input information. The protocol was applied to 17 apartments in three buildings in two different climates within California. Diagnostic measurements and surveys conducted before and after retrofit implementation indicate enhanced apartment performance.

  12. Protocol for maximizing energy savings and indoor environmental quality improvements when retrofitting apartments

    SciTech Connect

    Noris, Federico; Delp, William W.; Vermeer, Kimberly; Adamkiewicz, Gary; Singer, Brett C.; Fisk, William J.

    2013-06-01

    The current focus on building energy retrofit provides an opportunity to simultaneously improve indoor environmental quality (IEQ). Toward this end, we developed a protocol for selecting packages of retrofits that both save energy and improve IEQ in apartments. The protocol specifies the methodology for selecting retrofits from a candidate list while addressing expected energy savings, IEQ impacts, and costs in an integrated manner. Interviews, inspections and measurements are specified to collect the needed input information. The protocol was applied to 17 apartments in three buildings in two different climates within California. Diagnostic measurements and surveys conducted before and after retrofit implementation indicate enhanced apartment performance.

  13. An improved lookup protocol model for peer-to-peer networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, Wei; Ye, Dongfen

    2011-12-01

    With the development of the peer-to-peer (P2P) technology, file sharing is becoming the hottest, fastest growing application on the Internet. Although we can benefit from different protocols separately, our research shows that if there exists a proper model, most of the seemingly different protocols can be classified to a same framework. In this paper, we propose an improved Chord arithmetic based on the binary tree for P2P networks. We perform extensive simulations to study our proposed protocol. The results show that the improved Chord reduces the average lookup path length without increasing the joining and departing complexity.

  14. Intelligent QoS routing algorithm based on improved AODV protocol for Ad Hoc networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huibin, Liu; Jun, Zhang

    2016-04-01

    Mobile Ad Hoc Networks were playing an increasingly important part in disaster reliefs, military battlefields and scientific explorations. However, networks routing difficulties are more and more outstanding due to inherent structures. This paper proposed an improved cuckoo searching-based Ad hoc On-Demand Distance Vector Routing protocol (CSAODV). It elaborately designs the calculation methods of optimal routing algorithm used by protocol and transmission mechanism of communication-package. In calculation of optimal routing algorithm by CS Algorithm, by increasing QoS constraint, the found optimal routing algorithm can conform to the requirements of specified bandwidth and time delay, and a certain balance can be obtained among computation spending, bandwidth and time delay. Take advantage of NS2 simulation software to take performance test on protocol in three circumstances and validate the feasibility and validity of CSAODV protocol. In results, CSAODV routing protocol is more adapt to the change of network topological structure than AODV protocol, which improves package delivery fraction of protocol effectively, reduce the transmission time delay of network, reduce the extra burden to network brought by controlling information, and improve the routing efficiency of network.

  15. Optimisation of the protocol for detection of Aeromonas species in ready-to-eat salads, and its use to speciate isolates and establish their prevalence.

    PubMed

    Mattick, K L; Donovan, T J

    1998-12-01

    Aeromonas spp. are detected in more than 500 cases of gastrointestinal infection each year in England and Wales. This study aimed to identify their prevalence in ready-to-eat salads, which are a potential source of aeromonas infection. The protocol for isolation of mesophilic Aeromonas spp. from salads was optimised. Using the improved method, Aeromonas spp were isolated from 19 of 25 samples (25 g) of ready-to-eat salad products. Aeromonas organisms were counted, isolates were identified to species level, and the effect of pH on colonisation of salads was assessed. Aeromonas was present at high levels in six salads (> or = 100 cfu/g). The major species present in salads was Aeromonas caviae, but A.hydrophila and A.sobria, which have more pathogenic potential, were also isolated. It is hoped that this study will help to assess the risk to public health of aeromonas in salads. PMID:9854886

  16. Clinical Protocols for the Isolation and Expansion of Mesenchymal Stromal Cells

    PubMed Central

    Bieback, Karen; Schallmoser, Katharina; Klüter, Harald; Strunk, Dirk

    2008-01-01

    Summary Multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) are currently exploited in numerous clinical trials to investigate their potential in immune regulation, hematopoiesis, and tissue regeneration. The low frequency of MSCs necessitates cell expansion to achieve transplantable numbers. The challenge is to assure safe and high-quality cell production. GMP(Good Manufacturing Practice)-graded cell processing such as cell preparation, culture, and manipulation is mandatory for the progress of such advanced cell therapy. This review summarizes protocols to isolate MSCs from bone marrow and adipose tissue and to expand MSCs for clinical use focussing on culture media composition as well as culture devices and assays to ensure and control quality of the final product. PMID:21512644

  17. Two micro-scale protocols for the isolation of DNA from polysaccharide-rich plant tissue.

    PubMed

    Shepherd, Lara D; McLay, Todd G B

    2011-03-01

    The high polysaccharide content of some plant species hinders the successful isolation of their DNA. As an alternative to the macro-extraction methods previously published for polysaccharide-rich plants, we present two techniques (STE/CTAB and HEPES/CTAB), which are performed in microcentrifuge tubes. These protocols are suitable for small amounts of silica gel-preserved plant tissue such as are commonly available from endangered plants. The critical step to remove polysaccharides was performing initial washes in either STE (0.25 M sucrose, 0.03 M Tris, 0.05 M EDTA) or HEPES (2% β-mercaptoethanol, 0.2% PVP, 0.1 M HEPES, pH 8.0) buffer. Precipitating the DNA at room temperature with isopropanol also aided in decreasing polysaccharide co-precipitation. Of the two protocols we present the STE/CTAB method has the advantages of being more cost-effective and avoiding the use of the hazardous chemical β-mercaptoethanol. PMID:20927638

  18. Improving the security of a quantum secret sharing protocol between multiparty and multiparty without entanglement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Han, Lian-Fang; Liu, Yi-Min; Shi, Shou-Hua; Zhang, Zhan-Jun

    2007-01-01

    Recently Yan and Gao [F.L. Yan, T. Gao, Phys. Rev. A 72 (2005) 012304] have proposed a quantum secret sharing protocol which allows a secret message to be shared between one group of m parties and another group of n parties. The protocol is claimed to be secure. In this Letter, first we show that any subgroup consisting of evil cooperative parties (or one and only one evil party) can successfully cheat other parties to obtain the secret message without being detected. Then we improve the original Yan Gao protocol such that the insider's cheats are prevented.

  19. New research and tools lead to improved earthquake alerting protocols

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wald, David J.

    2009-01-01

    What’s the best way to get alerted about the occurrence and potential impact of an earthquake? The answer to that question has changed dramatically of late, in part due to improvements in earthquake science, and in part by the implementation of new research in the delivery of earthquake information

  20. Cryptanalysis and improvement of quantum private comparison of equality protocol without a third party

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Bo; Liu, Xingtong; Wang, Jian; Tang, Chaojing

    2015-12-01

    Recently, Lin et al. proposed a novel quantum private comparison protocol without a third party (Quantum Inf. Process. 13:239-247, 2014). This paper points out two security loopholes in Lin et al.'s protocol, in which one dishonest party can disclose the other's private information without being detected and the comparison result can be manipulated completely by either party. In addition, improvements are proposed to avoid these loopholes.

  1. Isolated Teres Major Rupture: A case report with a suggested dedicated imaging protocol and review of the literature.

    PubMed

    Fitzpatrick, Darren; Cagle, Paul; Flatow, Evan

    2016-04-01

    Isolated injuries to the teres major muscle occur in competitive sporting activities such as baseball pitching, hockey and tennis. We report a similar event of a physically fit man sustaining an isolated teres major rupture while waterskiing. Non-operative management was chosen, with pain resolution and no appreciable functional limitations at follow up. Because teres major muscle injury was suspected at the time of imaging, we present a dedicated imaging protocol to optimize assessment for teres major injury. PMID:27200170

  2. Isolated Teres Major Rupture: A case report with a suggested dedicated imaging protocol and review of the literature

    PubMed Central

    Fitzpatrick, Darren; Cagle, Paul; Flatow, Evan

    2016-01-01

    Isolated injuries to the teres major muscle occur in competitive sporting activities such as baseball pitching, hockey and tennis. We report a similar event of a physically fit man sustaining an isolated teres major rupture while waterskiing. Non-operative management was chosen, with pain resolution and no appreciable functional limitations at follow up. Because teres major muscle injury was suspected at the time of imaging, we present a dedicated imaging protocol to optimize assessment for teres major injury. PMID:27200170

  3. Improved protocol for laser microdissection of human pancreatic islets from surgical specimens.

    PubMed

    Sturm, Dorothée; Marselli, Lorella; Ehehalt, Florian; Richter, Daniela; Distler, Marius; Kersting, Stephan; Grützmann, Robert; Bokvist, Krister; Froguel, Philippe; Liechti, Robin; Jörns, Anne; Meda, Paolo; Baretton, Gustavo Bruno; Saeger, Hans-Detlev; Schulte, Anke M; Marchetti, Piero; Solimena, Michele

    2013-01-01

    sections were dehydrated each time: two were placed into a foil-wrapped 50 ml tube, to protect the tissue from moisture and bleaching; the remaining two were immediately microdissected. This procedure was performed using a PALM MicroBeam instrument (Zeiss) employing the Auto Laser Pressure Catapulting (AutoLPC) mode. The completion of beta cell/islet dissection from four cryosections required no longer than 40-60 min. Cells were collected into one AdhesiveCap and lysed with 10 μl lysis buffer. Each single RNA specimen for transcriptomic analysis was obtained by combining 10 cell microdissected samples, followed by RNA extraction using the Pico Pure RNA Isolation Kit (Arcturus). This protocol improves the intrinsic autofluorescence of human beta cells, thus facilitating their rapid and accurate recognition and collection. Further improvement of this procedure could enable the dissection of phenotypically different beta cells, with possible implications for better understanding the changes associated with type 2 diabetes. PMID:23329157

  4. ASRM accuracy improvement with error isolation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watson, T. J.; Jordan, F. W.

    1993-11-01

    The Aerojet Aerotherm and Ballistics Group uses a technique on the Advanced Solid Rocket Motor (ASRM) program called Error Isolation to verify data measurements. This technique requires two basic parts: 1) a reference data set and 2) a set of redundant equations. It is primarily used in verifying ballistics data used to obtain accurate solid propellant burn rates. Hence, the reference data set may be a block of sub-scale test motors cast from a single propellant batch or cast concurrently with an ASRM segment. The set of redundant equations are those normally used to predict or analyze solid propellant rocket motor ballistics performance. Although the concept is universal and can be used to evaluate any set of data subject to prediction by a set of redundant mathematical expressions, it is used in this paper only in the evaluation of data collected for sub-scale test motors. The mathematics consist of a set of equations used to predict interior ballistics for those motors. The sub-scale test motor contains a five inch diameter center perforated (5 inch CP) grain that burns on the bore and both ends but not on the outside surface. This motor configuration is variously called the 5C3-9 or 5 inch CP.

  5. Extending quantum error correction: New continuous measurement protocols and improved fault-tolerant overhead

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahn, Charlene Sonja

    Quantum mechanical applications range from quantum computers to quantum key distribution to teleportation. In these applications, quantum error correction is extremely important for protecting quantum states against decoherence. Here I present two main results regarding quantum error correction protocols. The first main topic I address is the development of continuous-time quantum error correction protocols via combination with techniques from quantum control. These protocols rely on weak measurement and Hamiltonian feedback instead of the projective measurements and unitary gates usually assumed by canonical quantum error correction. I show that a subclass of these protocols can be understood as a quantum feedback protocol, and analytically analyze the general case using the stabilizer formalism; I show that in this case perfect feedback can perfectly protect a stabilizer subspace. I also show through numerical simulations that another subclass of these protocols does better than canonical quantum error correction when the time between corrections is limited. The second main topic is development of improved overhead results for fault-tolerant computation. In particular, through analysis of topological quantum error correcting codes, it will be shown that the required blowup in depth of a noisy circuit performing a fault-tolerant computation can be reduced to a factor of O(log log L), an improvement over previous results. Showing this requires investigation into a local method of performing fault-tolerant correction on a topological code of arbitrary dimension.

  6. Improved regeneration and transformation protocols for three strawberry cultivars.

    PubMed

    Zakaria, Hossam; Hussein, Gihan M; Abdel-Hadi, Abdel-Hadi A; Abdallah, Naglaa A

    2014-01-01

    Strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa) is an economically important soft fruit crop with polyploid genome which makes the breeding of new cultivars difficult. Simple and efficient method for transformation and regeneration is required for cultivars improvement in strawberry. In the present study, adventitious shoot regeneration has been investigated in three cultivated strawberry plants, i.e., Festival, Sweet Charly and Florida via direct organogenesis using the in vitro juvenile leaves as explants. Explants were collected after sub-culturing on a propagation medium composed of MS supplemented with 0.5 mg/l BA; 0.1 mg/l GA3 and 0.1 mg/l IBA. To select the suitable organogenesis, the explants of the three cultivars were cultured on MS medium supplemented with different concentrations of TDZ (1, 2, 3, and 4 mg/l), then incubated at a temperature of 22 °C ± 2. Medium containing 2 mg/l TDZ revealed the best regeneration efficiency with the three cultivars (72% for Festival, and 73% for Sweet Charly and Florida). After 4 weeks, the produced shoots were cultured on MS medium with different concentrations of BA and Kin to enhance shoot elongation. Results showed that the medium containing 1.5 mg/l BA and 0.5 mg/l Kin revealed highest elongation efficiency (88% and 94%) for Festival and Sweet Charly, respectively. On the other hand, medium containing 1.5 mg/l BA and 0.1 mg/l Kin showed highest elongation efficiency (90%) in Florida. Elongated shoots were successfully rooted on MS medium containing 1.5 mg/l NAA. Furthermore, transformation of the two cultivars, Festival and Sweet Charly, has been established via Agrobacterium strain LBA44404 containing the plasmid pISV2678 with gus-intron and bar genes. Three days post co-cultivation, GUS activity was screening using the histochemical assay. The results showed 16% and 18% of the tested plant materials has changed into blue color for Festival and Sweet Charly, respectively. Out of 120 explants only 13 shoots were developed on

  7. Protocol to cryopreserve and isolate nuclei from adipose tissue without dimethyl sulfoxide.

    PubMed

    Almeida, M M; Caires, L C J; Musso, C M; Campos, J M S; Maranduba, C M C; Macedo, G C; Mendonça, J P R F; Garcia, R M G

    2014-01-01

    Cryopreservation injuries involve nuclear DNA damage. A protocol for cryopreserving and isolating adipocyte nuclei is proposed. Adipose tissue samples were directly analyzed (NoCRYO-0h), or stored at -196°C for 7 days without 10% dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) (CRYO-WO-DMSO) or with DMSO (CRYO-W-DMSO). To determine the effect of DMSO on cryopreservation treatment, adipose tissue samples were stored at 4°C for 24 h with 10% DMSO (NoCRYO-W-DMSO-24h) and without (NoCRYO-WO-DMSO-24h). Samples were processed in isolation buffer, and nuclear integrity was measured by flow cytometry. The coefficient of variation, forward scatter, side scatter, and number of nuclei analyzed were evaluated. Pea (Pisum sativum) was used to measure the amount of DNA. All groups contained similar amounts of DNA to previously reported values and a satisfactory number of nuclei were analyzed. CRYO-W-DMSO presented a higher coefficient of variation (3.19 ± 0.09) compared to NoCRYO-0h (1.85 ± 0.09) and CRYO-WO-DMSO (2.02 ± 0.02). The coefficient of variation was increased in NoCRYO-W-DMSO-24h (3.80 ± 0.01) compared to NoCRYO-WO-DMSO-24h (2.46 ± 0.03). These results relate DMSO presence to DNA damage independently of the cryopreservation process. CRYO-W-DMSO showed increased side scatter (93.46 ± 5.03) compared to NoCRYO-0h (41.13 ± 3.19) and CRYO-WO-DMSO (48.01 ± 2.28), indicating that cryopreservation with DMSO caused chromatin condensation and/or nuclear fragmentation. CRYO-W-DMSO and CRYO-WO-DMSO presented lower forward scatter (186.33 ± 9.33 and 196.89 ± 26.86, respectively) compared to NoCRYO-0h (322.80 ± 3.36), indicating that cryopreservation reduced nuclei size. Thus, a simple method for cryopreservation and isolation of adipocyte nuclei causing less damage to DNA integrity was proposed. PMID:25526213

  8. Substance Abuse Treatment And Family Therapy. A Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 39

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilbert, Jonathan Max; Oliff, Helen; Sutton, David; Bartlett, Catalina; Henderson, Randi

    2004-01-01

    This Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) addresses substance abuse treatment in the context of family therapy. TIPs are best-practice guidelines for the treatment of substance use disorders that make the latest research in substance abuse treatment available to counselors and educators. The content was generated by a panel of experts in the…

  9. Addressing Viral Hepatitis in People with Substance Use Disorders. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 53

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2011

    2011-01-01

    Treatment Improvement Protocols (TIPs) are developed by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), part of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Each TIP involves the development of topic-specific best-practice guidelines for the prevention and…

  10. Improving International-Level Chess Players' Performance with an Acceptance-Based Protocol: Preliminary Findings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruiz, Francisco J.; Luciano, Carmen

    2012-01-01

    This study compared an individual, 4-hr intervention based on acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) versus a no-contact control condition in improving the performance of international-level chess players. Five participants received the brief ACT protocol, with each matched to another chess player with similar characteristics in the control…

  11. Substance Abuse Treatment: Group Therapy. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 41

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilbert, Jonathan Max; Hills, Susan; Rife, Mary Lou

    2005-01-01

    This Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) presents an overview of the role and efficacy of group therapy in substance abuse treatment. TIPs are best-practice guidelines for the treatment of substance use disorders that make the latest research in substance abuse treatment available to counselors and educators. The content was generated by a panel…

  12. Substance Abuse Treatment for Persons with Co-Occurring Disorders. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 42

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2005

    2005-01-01

    Treatment Improvement Protocols (TIPs), developed by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT), part of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), are best-practice guidelines for the treatment of substance use disorders. CSAT draws on the experience…

  13. Protocols for Improvement of Black Pepper (Piper nigrum L.) Utilizing Biotechnological Tools.

    PubMed

    Nirmal Babu, K; Divakaran, Minoo; Yamuna, G; Ravindran, P N; Peter, K V

    2016-01-01

    Black pepper, Piper nigrum L., the "King of spices" is the most widely used spice growing in the South-Western region of India. The humid tropical evergreen forest bordering the Malabar Coast (Western Ghats is one of the hot spot areas of plant bio-diversity on earth) is its center of origin and diversity. However, the crop faces constraints like rampant fungal and viral diseases, lack of disease free planting material, hence biotechnological tools can be utilized to address these problems and strides have been made successfully. The standardization of micropropagation, somatic embryogenesis, in vitro conservation, protoplast isolation, and genetic transformation protocols are described here. The protocols could be utilized to achieve similar goals in the related species of Piper too. PMID:27108331

  14. A protocol for isolating insect mitochondrial genomes: a case study of NUMT in Melipona flavolineata (Hymenoptera: Apidae).

    PubMed

    Françoso, Elaine; Gomes, Fernando; Arias, Maria Cristina

    2016-07-01

    Nuclear mitochondrial DNA insertions (NUMTs) are mitochondrial DNA sequences that have been transferred into the nucleus and are recognized by the presence of indels and stop codons. Although NUMTs have been identified in a diverse range of species, their discovery was frequently accidental. Here, our initial goal was to develop and standardize a simple method for isolating NUMTs from the nuclear genome of a single bee. Subsequently, we tested our new protocol by determining whether the indels and stop codons of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) sequence of Melipona flavolineata are of nuclear origin. The new protocol successfully demonstrated the presence of a COI NUMT. In addition to NUMT investigations, the protocol described here will also be very useful for studying mitochondrial mutations related to diseases and for sequencing complete mitochondrial genomes with high read coverage by Next-Generation technology. PMID:26061343

  15. T Lymphocyte Density and Distribution in Human Colorectal Mucosa, and Inefficiency of Current Cell Isolation Protocols

    PubMed Central

    Preza, Gloria Cuevas; Yang, Otto O.; Elliott, Julie; Anton, Peter A.; Ochoa, Maria T.

    2015-01-01

    Mucosal tissues are critical immune effector sites containing complex populations of leukocytes in a tissue microenvironment that remains incompletely understood. We identify and quantify in human distal colorectal tissue absolute mucosal CD3+ lymphocytes, including CD4+ and CD8+ subsets, by direct visualization using immunohistochemistry (IHC), immunofluorescence (IF), and an automated counting protocol (r2=0.90). Sigmoid and rectal mucosal tissues are both densely packed with T lymphocytes in the mucosal compartment. Both compartments had similar densities of CD3+ T lymphocytes with 37,400 ± 2,801 cells/mm3 and 33,700 ± 4,324 cell/mm3, respectively. Sigmoid mucosa contained 57% CD3+CD4+ and 40% CD3+CD8+ T lymphocytes which calculates to 21,300 ± 1,476/mm3 and 15,000 ± 275/mm3 T lymphocytes, respectively. Rectal mucosa had 57% CD3+CD4+ and 42% CD3+CD8+ or 21,577 ± 332, and 17,090 ± 1,206 cells/mm3, respectively. By comparison, sigmoid mucosal biopsies subjected to conventional collagenase digestion, mononuclear cell (MMC) isolation and staining for flow cytometry yielded 4,549 ± 381/mm3 and 2,708 ± 245/mm3 CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes. These data suggest only ~20.7% recovery compared to IHC results for these markers. Further studies will determine if this reflects a selective bias in only CD3+, CD4+ and CD8+ T cells or can be generalized to all flow-analyzed cells from mucosal tissues for phenotyping and functional testing. PMID:25856343

  16. Perioperative glycemic control: use of a hospital-wide protocol to safely improve hyperglycemia.

    PubMed

    Michaelian, Nancy; Joshi, Renu; Gillman, Ed; Kratz, Ronald; Helmuth, Amy; Zimmerman, Karen; Klahre, Denise; Warner, Sandy; McBride, Vickie; Bailey, M Judy; Houseal, Linda

    2011-08-01

    Perioperative hyperglycemia impairs immunity and contributes to increased susceptibility to infection, higher incidence of multiorgan dysfunction, and greater mortality. Strict glycemic control is associated with lower infection rates, decreased length of stay (LOS), and faster recovery. A protocol that standardized preoperative education, testing, and treatment of elevated blood glucose (BG) safely improved perioperative glycemic control. Preoperative average BG improved from 191 to 155 mg/dL (P=.016); postoperative average BG decreased from 189 to 168 mg/dL (P=.094). The percentage of patients presenting with BG greater than 180 mg/dL preoperatively and achieving BG less than 180 mg/DL postoperatively increased from 21% to 43% (P = .09). Even though some results were statistically non-significant, the data showed a trend toward improvement with the new protocol. Good perioperative glycemic control, without an increased risk of hypoglycemia, is achievable. PMID:21803272

  17. An improved authenticated key agreement protocol for telecare medicine information system.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wenhao; Xie, Qi; Wang, Shengbao; Hu, Bin

    2016-01-01

    In telecare medicine information systems (TMIS), identity authentication of patients plays an important role and has been widely studied in the research field. Generally, it is realized by an authenticated key agreement protocol, and many such protocols were proposed in the literature. Recently, Zhang et al. pointed out that Islam et al.'s protocol suffers from the following security weaknesses: (1) Any legal but malicious patient can reveal other user's identity; (2) An attacker can launch off-line password guessing attack and the impersonation attack if the patient's identity is compromised. Zhang et al. also proposed an improved authenticated key agreement scheme with privacy protection for TMIS. However, in this paper, we point out that Zhang et al.'s scheme cannot resist off-line password guessing attack, and it fails to provide the revocation of lost/stolen smartcard. In order to overcome these weaknesses, we propose an improved protocol, the security and authentication of which can be proven using applied pi calculus based formal verification tool ProVerif. PMID:27218005

  18. In vitro selection and amplification protocols for isolation of aptameric sensors for small molecules.

    PubMed

    Yang, Kyung-Ae; Pei, Renjun; Stojanovic, Milan N

    2016-08-15

    We recently optimized a procedure that directly yields aptameric sensors for small molecules in so-called structure-switching format. The protocol has a high success rate, short time, and is sufficiently simple to be readily implemented in a non-specialist laboratory. We provide a stepwise guide to this selection protocol. PMID:27155227

  19. An Improved Method of RNA Isolation from Loblolly Pine (P. taeda L.) and Other Conifer Species

    PubMed Central

    Lorenz, W. Walter; Yu, Yuan-Sheng; Dean, Jeffrey F. D.

    2010-01-01

    Tissues isolated from conifer species, particularly those belonging to the Pinaceae family, such as loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.), contain high concentrations of phenolic compounds and polysaccharides that interfere with RNA purification. Isolation of high-quality RNA from these species requires rigorous tissue collection procedures in the field and the employment of an RNA isolation protocol comprised of multiple organic extraction steps in order to isolate RNA of sufficient quality for microarray and other genomic analyses. The isolation of high-quality RNA from field-collected loblolly pine samples can be challenging, but several modifications to standard tissue and RNA isolation procedures greatly improve results. The extent of general RNA degradation increases if samples are not properly collected and transported from the field, especially during large-scale harvests. Total RNA yields can be increased significantly by pulverizing samples in a liquid nitrogen freezer mill prior to RNA isolation, especially when samples come from woody tissues. This is primarily due to the presence of oxidizing agents, such as phenolic compounds, and polysaccharides that are both present at high levels in extracts from the woody tissues of most conifer species. If not removed, these contaminants can carry over leading to problems, such as RNA degradation, that result in low yields and a poor quality RNA sample. Carryover of phenolic compounds, as well as polysaccharides, can also reduce or even completely eliminate the activity of reverse transcriptase or other polymerases commonly used for cDNA synthesis. In particular, RNA destined to be used as template for double-stranded cDNA synthesis in the generation of cDNA libraries, single-stranded cDNA synthesis for PCR or qPCR's, or for the synthesis of microarray target materials must be of the highest quality if researchers expect to obtain optimal results. RNA isolation techniques commonly employed for many other plant species

  20. An improved isolation procedure for adult mouse cardiomyocytes.

    PubMed

    Pinz, Ilka; Zhu, Ming; Mende, Ulrike; Ingwall, Joanne S

    2011-09-01

    Isolated adult mouse cardiomyocytes are an important tool in cardiovascular research, but are challenging to prepare. Because the energy supply determines cell function and viability, we compared total creatine ([Cr]) and [ATP] in isolated cardiomyocytes with the intact mouse heart. Isolated myocytes suffered severe losses of Cr (-70%) and ATP (-53%). Myocytes were not able to replete [Cr] during a 5 h incubation period in medium supplemented with 1 mM Cr. In contrast, adding 20 mM Cr to the digestion buffers was sufficient to maintain normal [Cr]. Supplementing buffers with 5 mM of inosine (Ino) and adenosine (Ado) to prevent loss of cellular nucleosides partially protected against loss of ATP. To test whether maintaining [ATP] and [Cr] improves contractile function, myocytes were challenged by varying pacing rate from 0.5 to 10 Hz and by adding isoproterenol (Iso) at 5 and 10 Hz. All groups performed well up to 5 Hz, showing a positive cell shortening-frequency relationship; however, only 16% of myocytes isolated under standard conditions were able to sustain pacing with Iso challenge at 10 Hz. In contrast, 30-50% of the myocytes with normal Cr levels were able to contract and maintain low diastolic [Ca(2+)]. Cell yield also improved in Cr and the Cr/Ino/Ado-treated groups (85-90% vs. 70-75% rod shaped in untreated myocytes). These data suggest that viability and performance of isolated myocytes are improved when they are protected from the severe loss of Cr and ATP during the isolation, making them an even better research tool. PMID:21327944

  1. Protocols for Biotechnological Interventions in Improvement of Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia Andrews.).

    PubMed

    Divakaran, Minoo; Babu, K Nirmal; Peter, K V

    2016-01-01

    Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia Andrews (syn. V. fragrans Salisb.), a native of Central America, is the primary source of natural vanillin and plays a major role in the global economy. The gene pool of vanilla is threatened by deforestation and overcollection that has resulted in disappearance of natural habitats and wild species. Continuous vegetative propagation and lack of natural seed set and sufficient variations in the gene pool hamper crop improvement programs. In vitro techniques, one of the key tools of plant biotechnology, can be employed for overcoming specific problems, viz. production of disease-free clones, inducing somaclonal variations, developing hybrids, gene pool conservation, incorporating desired traits by distant hybridization, genetic engineering, etc. However, realization of these objectives necessitates standardization of protocols. This chapter describes the various protocols optimized for crop improvement in Vanilla species. PMID:27108309

  2. Protocol to Isolate a Large Amount of Functional Oligodendrocyte Precursor Cells from the Cerebral Cortex of Adult Mice and Humans

    PubMed Central

    Medina-Rodríguez, Eva María; Arenzana, Francisco Javier; Bribián, Ana; de Castro, Fernando

    2013-01-01

    During development, oligodendrocytes are generated from oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs), a cell type that is a significant proportion of the total cells (3-8%) in the adult central nervous system (CNS) of both rodents and humans. Adult OPCs are responsible for the spontaneous remyelination that occurs in demyelinating diseases like Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and they constitute an interesting source of cells for regenerative therapy in such conditions. However, there is little data regarding the neurobiology of adult OPCs isolated from mice since an efficient method to isolate them has yet to be established. We have designed a protocol to obtain viable adult OPCs from the cerebral cortex of different mouse strains and we have compared its efficiency with other well-known methods. In addition, we show that this protocol is also useful to isolate functional OPCs from human brain biopsies. Using this method we can isolate primary cortical OPCs in sufficient quantities so as to be able to study their survival, maturation and function, and to facilitate an evaluation of their utility in myelin repair. PMID:24303061

  3. Different exercise protocols improve metabolic syndrome markers, tissue triglycerides content and antioxidant status in rats

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background An increase in the prevalence of obesity entails great expenditure for governments. Physical exercise is a powerful tool in the combat against obesity and obesity-associated diseases. This study sought to determine the effect of three different exercise protocols on metabolic syndrome and lipid peroxidation markers and the activity of antioxidant enzymes in adult Wistar rats (120 days old). Methods Animals were randomly divided into four groups: the control (C) group was kept sedentary throughout the study; the aerobic group (A) swam1 h per day, 5 days per week, at 80% lactate threshold intensity; the strength group (S) performed strength training with four series of 10 jumps, 5 days per week; and the Concurrent group (AS) was trained using the aerobic protocol three days per week and the strength protocol two days per week. Results Groups A and S exhibited a reduction in body weight compared to group C. All exercised animals showed a reduction in triglyceride concentrations in fatty tissues and the liver. Exercised animals also exhibited a reduction in lipid peroxidation markers (TBARS) and an increase in serum superoxide dismutase activity. Animals in group A had increased levels of liver catalase and superoxide dismutase activities. Conclusions We concluded that all physical activity protocols improved the antioxidant systems of the animals and decreased the storage of triglycerides in the investigated tissues. PMID:22182600

  4. An improved unified network protocol framework for large-scale wireless sensor networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ding, Jin; Sivalingam, Krishna M.

    2004-08-01

    Rapid technological advances in wireless communication have made it possible for networking sensor devices. Given the low computation and battery power capacities of these sensor nodes, the key design factors of network protocols are self-configuring, energy-efficient, adaptive, and scalable. We presented the multi-hop infrastructure network architecture (MINA) for a wireless sensor network consisting of a few hundred sensors that communicate data to a base station (BS). We designed a Unified Network Protocol Framework for MINA that encompasses network organization, medium access control (MAC) and routing protocols. In this paper, we improve it by adaptively varying transmission range to maintain network connectivity. It is a derivative-free optimization algorithm. The BS periodically evaluates the objective function, chooses the appropriate transmission range and broadcasts it to the sensor nodes that then update the transmission range. The advantages are: (i) Avoids the disconnectivity; (ii) Maximizes the number of nodes that can be connected to the BS, (iii) Minimizes the energyxdelay metric and (iv) Avoids the "hot-spot" nodes in the network. The performance in terms of delay, throughput, energy consumption and network lifetimes, is studied in detail using discrete-event simulation compared with other protocol. The results show that it is energy efficient in a large scale network.

  5. A protocol for exosome isolation and characterization: evaluation of ultracentrifugation, density-gradient separation, and immunoaffinity capture methods.

    PubMed

    Greening, David W; Xu, Rong; Ji, Hong; Tauro, Bow J; Simpson, Richard J

    2015-01-01

    Exosomes are 40-150 nm extracellular vesicles that are released from a multitude of cell types, and perform diverse cellular functions including intercellular communication, antigen presentation, and transfer of tumorigenic proteins, mRNA and miRNA. Exosomes are important regulators of the cellular niche, and their altered characteristics in many diseases, such as cancer, suggest their importance for diagnostic and therapeutic applications, and as drug delivery vehicles. Exosomes have been purified from biological fluids and in vitro cell cultures using a variety of strategies and techniques. In this chapter, we reveal the protocol and key insights into the isolation, purification and characterization of exosomes, distinct from shed microvesicles and apoptotic blebs. Using the colorectal cancer cell line LIM1863 as a cell model, a comprehensive evaluation of exosome isolation methods including ultracentrifugation (UC-Exos), OptiPrep™ density-based separation (DG-Exos), and immunoaffinity capture using anti-EpCAM-coated magnetic beads (IAC-Exos) were examined. All exosome isolation methodologies contained 40-150 nm vesicles based on electron microscopy, and positive for exosome markers (Alix, TSG101, HSP70) based on immunoblotting. This protocol employed a proteomic profiling approach to characterize the protein composition of exosomes, and label-free spectral counting to evaluate the effectiveness of each method in exosome isolation. Based on the number of MS/MS spectra identified for exosome markers and proteins associated with their biogenesis, trafficking, and release, IAC-Exos was shown to be the most effective method to isolate exosomes. However, the use of density-based separation (DG-Exos) provides significant advantages for exosome isolation when the use of immunoaffinity capture is limited (due to antibody availability and suitability of exosome markers). PMID:25820723

  6. Protocol for Isolation of Primary Human Hepatocytes and Corresponding Major Populations of Non-parenchymal Liver Cells.

    PubMed

    Kegel, Victoria; Deharde, Daniela; Pfeiffer, Elisa; Zeilinger, Katrin; Seehofer, Daniel; Damm, Georg

    2016-01-01

    Beside parenchymal hepatocytes, the liver consists of non-parenchymal cells (NPC) namely Kupffer cells (KC), liver endothelial cells (LEC) and hepatic Stellate cells (HSC). Two-dimensional (2D) culture of primary human hepatocyte (PHH) is still considered as the "gold standard" for in vitro testing of drug metabolism and hepatotoxicity. It is well-known that the 2D monoculture of PHH suffers from dedifferentiation and loss of function. Recently it was shown that hepatic NPC play a central role in liver (patho-) physiology and the maintenance of PHH functions. Current research focuses on the reconstruction of in vivo tissue architecture by 3D- and co-culture models to overcome the limitations of 2D monocultures. Previously we published a method to isolate human liver cells and investigated the suitability of these cells for their use in cell cultures in Experimental Biology and Medicine(1). Based on the broad interest in this technique the aim of this article was to provide a more detailed protocol for the liver cell isolation process including a video, which will allow an easy reproduction of this technique. Human liver cells were isolated from human liver tissue samples of surgical interventions by a two-step EGTA/collagenase P perfusion technique. PHH were separated from the NPC by an initial centrifugation at 50 x g. Density gradient centrifugation steps were used for removal of dead cells. Individual liver cell populations were isolated from the enriched NPC fraction using specific cell properties and cell sorting procedures. Beside the PHH isolation we were able to separate KC, LEC and HSC for further cultivation. Taken together, the presented protocol allows the isolation of PHH and NPC in high quality and quantity from one donor tissue sample. The access to purified liver cell populations could allow the creation of in vivo like human liver models. PMID:27077489

  7. Combined use of N-acetylcysteine and Liberase improves the viability and metabolic function of human hepatocytes isolated from human liver

    PubMed Central

    Bartlett, David C.; Hodson, James; Bhogal, Ricky H.; Youster, Janine; Newsome, Phil N.

    2014-01-01

    Background aims Successful hepatocyte isolation is critical for continued development of cellular transplantation. However, most tissue available for research is from diseased liver, and the results of hepatocyte isolation from such tissue are inferior compared with normal tissue. Liberase and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) have been shown separately to improve viability of isolated hepatocytes. This study aims to determine the effect of Liberase and NAC in combination on human hepatocyte isolation from normal and diseased liver tissues. Methods Hepatocytes were isolated from 30 liver specimens through the use of a standard collagenase digestion technique (original protocol) and another 30 with the addition of NAC and standard collagenase substituted by Liberase (new protocol). Viability and success, defined as maintenance of cell adhesion and morphology for 48 hours, were assessed. Metabolic function was assessed by means of albumin and urea synthesis. Results Baseline factors were similar for both groups. The delay to tissue processing was slightly shorter in the new protocol group (median, 2 versus 4 hours; P = 0.007). The success rate improved from 12 of 30 (40.0%) to 21 of 30 (70.0%) with the use of the new protocol (P = 0.037), and median viable cell yield increased from 7.3 × 104 to 28.3 × 104 cells/g tissue (P = 0.003). After adjusting for delay, success rate (P = 0.014) and viable cell yield/g tissue (P = 0.001) remained significantly improved. Albumin and urea synthesis were similar or superior in the new protocol group. Conclusions NAC and Liberase improve the success of hepatocyte isolation, with a significantly higher yield of viable cells. The use of these agents may improve the availability of hepatocytes for transplantation and laboratory research. PMID:24642019

  8. An Improved Quantum Information Hiding Protocol Based on Entanglement Swapping of χ-type Quantum States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Shu-Jiang; Chen, Xiu-Bo; Wang, Lian-Hai; Ding, Qing-Yan; Zhang, Shu-Hui

    2016-06-01

    In 2011, Qu et al. proposed a quantum information hiding protocol based on the entanglement swapping of χ-type quantum states. Because a χ-type state can be described by the 4-particle cat states which have good symmetry, the possible output results of the entanglement swapping between a given χ-type state and all of the 16 χ-type states are divided into 8 groups instead of 16 groups of different results when the global phase is not considered. So it is difficult to read out the secret messages since each result occurs twice in each line (column) of the secret messages encoding rule for the original protocol. In fact, a 3-bit instead of a 4-bit secret message can be encoded by performing two unitary transformations on 2 particles of a χ-type quantum state in the original protocol. To overcome this defect, we propose an improved quantum information hiding protocol based on the general term formulas of the entanglement swapping among χ-type states. Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant Nos. 61572297, 61303199, 61272514, and 61373131, the Shandong Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant Nos. ZR2013FM025, ZR2013FQ001, ZR2014FM003, and ZY2015YL018, the Shandong Provincial Outstanding Research Award Fund for Young Scientists of China under Grant Nos. BS2015DX006 and BS2014DX007, the National Development Foundation for Cryptological Research, China under Grant No. MMJJ201401012, the Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions and Jiangsu Collaborative Innovation Center on Atmospheric Environment and Equipment Technology Funds, and the Shandong Academy of Sciences Youth Fund Project, China under Grant Nos. 2015QN003 and 2013QN007

  9. Treatment Protocols to Reduce Injury and Improve Stone Breakage in SWL

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McAteer, James A.; Evan, Andrew P.; Connors, Bret A.; Pishchalnikov, Yuri A.; Williams, James C.; Lingeman, James E.

    2008-09-01

    Here we provide a capsule summary of key observations showing that adverse effects can be reduced and stone breakage outcomes can be improved by the choice of the treatment protocol used in SWL. The take home message is—technique in lithotripsy can be used to significant advantage. SW-rate is key, and so is the sequence of SW delivery. Patient studies have shown that stone breakage is significantly improved at 60SW/min compared to a rate of 120SW/min, and laboratory experiments with pigs show that acute SWL injury to the kidney can be reduced dramatically by further slowing the SW firing rate to 30SW/min. The sequence of SW administration has a profound effect on the kidney, and renal injury is significantly reduced when the treatment protocol incorporates a priming dose of SW's followed by a brief pause before treatment is resumed. Continued developments in lithotripsy technology are welcome and will hopefully lead to improved SWL systems. Current experience suggests, however, that technology is not a substitute for expert technique, and attention to the fundamentals of SW delivery is essential to achieve the best possible outcomes regardless of the lithotripter at hand.

  10. Rate allocation protocol using competitive pricing for improving performance of multicast sessions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levy, Zohar; Dolev, Danny

    1998-10-01

    Rate allocation using the Max-Min fairness criterion may highly discriminate against multicast and long unicast sessions and may lead to sever network underutilization. In this paper, we present a solution for rate allocation that is based on competitive pricing. The resultant allocation increases fairness towards multicast sessions and improves network utilization considerably. The solution requires no re-routing of sessions. The economy on which we base our solution is simple enough, enabling its implementation for practical use. We present a distributed asynchronous protocol suitable for the ATM ABR service, which achieves the economy's allocation efficiently and with short convergence time.

  11. Development and validation of a PulseNet standardized protocol for subtyping isolates of Cronobacter species.

    PubMed

    Brengi, Silvina P; O'Brien, Stephen B; Pichel, Mariana; Iversen, Carol; Arduino, Matthew; Binsztein, Norma; Jensen, Bette; Pagotto, Franco; Ribot, Efrain M; Stephan, Roger; Cernela, Nicole; Cooper, Kara; Fanning, Séamus

    2012-09-01

    Cronobacter (formerly known as Enterobacter sakazakii) is a genus comprising seven species regarded as opportunistic pathogens that can be found in a wide variety of environments and foods, including powdered infant formula (PIF). Cronobacter sakazakii, the major species of this genus, has been epidemiologically linked to cases of bacteremia, meningitis in neonates, and necrotizing enterocolitis, and contaminated PIF has been identified as an important source of infection. Robust and reproducible subtyping methods are required to aid in the detection and investigation, of foodborne outbreaks. In this study, a pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) protocol was developed and validated for subtyping Cronobacter species. It was derived from an existing modified PulseNet protocol, wherein XbaI and SpeI were the primary and secondary restriction enzymes used, generating an average of 14.7 and 20.3 bands, respectively. The PFGE method developed was both reproducible and discriminatory for subtyping Cronobacter species. PMID:22891917

  12. Home Diuretic Protocol for Heart Failure: Partnering with Home Health to Improve Outcomes and Reduce Readmissions

    PubMed Central

    Veilleux, Richard P; Wight, Joseph N; Cannon, Ann; Whalen, Moira; Bachman, David

    2014-01-01

    Context: The management of heart failure (HF) is challenging, with high rates of readmission and no single solution. MaineHealth, a health care system serving southern Maine, has shown initial success with home health nurses partnering with physicians in the management of complex patients with HF using the MaineHealth Home Diuretic Protocol (HDP). Objective: To demonstrate that augmented diuretic therapy, both oral and intravenous, an evidence-based treatment for care of patients with HF experiencing fluid retention, can be delivered safely in the home setting using the HDP and can improve outcomes for recently hospitalized patients with HF. Design: In late 2011, the MaineHealth HDP was implemented in two hospitals and in the home health agency serving those hospitals. The patient population included recently hospitalized patients with a diagnosis of advanced HF, eligible for home health services and telemonitoring. Main Outcome Measures: Home health nurses reported data on the patients managed using the protocol, including interventions made, physical findings, lab values, and patient disposition after each episode of care. Questionnaires were used to determine patient and clinician satisfaction. Results: Sixty patients meeting the criteria above were enrolled between November 2011 and January 2014. The protocol was initiated 84 times for 30 of these patients. Sixteen patients had multiple activations. The readmission rate was 10% and no adverse outcomes were observed. Clinician and patient satisfaction was 97% or greater. Conclusion: The MaineHealth HDP can be delivered effectively and safely to improve outcomes, reducing readmissions and allowing patients to remain at home. PMID:25102518

  13. Does the presence of a condition-specific obstetric protocol lead to detectable improvements in pregnancy outcomes?

    PubMed Central

    Bailit, Jennifer L.; Grobman, William; McGee, Paula; Reddy, Uma M.; Wapner, Ronald J.; Varner, Michael W.; Thorp, John M.; Leveno, Kenneth J.; Iams, Jay D.; Tita, Alan T. N.; Saade, George; Sorokin, Yoram; Rouse, Dwight J.; Blackwell, Sean C.

    2015-01-01

    Objective To evaluate whether the presence of condition-specific obstetric protocols within a hospital was associated with better maternal and neonatal outcomes. Study Design Cohort study of a random sample of deliveries performed at 25 hospitals over three years. Condition-specific protocols were collected from all hospitals and categorized independently by two authors. Data on maternal and neonatal outcomes, as well as data necessary for risk adjustment were collected. Risk-adjusted outcomes were compared according to whether the patient delivered in a hospital with condition-specific obstetric protocols at the time of delivery. Results Hemorrhage-specific protocols were not associated with a lower rate of postpartum hemorrhage or with fewer cases of EBL >1000cc. Similarly, in the presence of a shoulder dystocia protocol, there were no differences in the frequency of shoulder dystocia or number of shoulder dystocia maneuvers used. Conversely, preeclampsia-specific protocols were associated with fewer ICU admissions (OR 0.28, 95% CI 0.18–0.44) and fewer cases of severe maternal hypertension (OR 0.86, 95% CI 0.77–0.96). Conclusion The presence of condition-specific obstetric protocols was not consistently shown to be associated with improved risk-adjusted outcomes. Our study would suggest that the presence or absence of a protocol does not matter and regulations to require protocols are not fruitful. PMID:25659468

  14. Improved High-Voltage Gas Isolator for Ion Thruster

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Banks, Bruce

    2007-01-01

    A report describes an improved high-voltage isolator for preventing electrical discharge along the flow path of a propellant gas being fed from a supply at a spacecraft chassis electrical potential to an ion thruster at a potential as high as multiple kilovolts. The isolator must survive launch vibration and must remain electrically nonconductive for thousands of hours under conditions that, in the absence of proper design, would cause formation of electrically conductive sputtered metal, carbon, and/or decomposed hydrocarbons on its surfaces. The isolator includes an alumina cylinder containing a spiral channel filled with a porous medium made from alumina microbeads fired together with an alumina slurry. Connections to gas-transport tubes are made at both ends of the alumina cylinder by means of metal caps containing fine-mesh screens to prevent passage of loose alumina particles. The outer surface of the alumina cylinder is convoluted to lengthen the electrical path between the metal caps and to afford shadow shielding to minimize the probability of formation of a continuous deposit that would electrically connect the ends. A flanged cylindrical metal cap that surrounds the alumina cylinder without touching one of the ends provides additional shadow shielding.

  15. Development of an improved vaccine evaluation protocol to compare the efficacy of Newcastle disease vaccines.

    PubMed

    Cardenas-Garcia, Stivalis; Diel, Diego G; Susta, Leonardo; Lucio-Decanini, Eduardo; Yu, Qingzhong; Brown, Corrie C; Miller, Patti J; Afonso, Claudio L

    2015-03-01

    While there is typically 100% survivability in birds challenged with vNDV under experimental conditions, either with vaccines formulated with a strain homologous or heterologous (different genotype) to the challenge virus, vaccine deficiencies are often noted in the field. We have developed an improved and more stringent protocol to experimentally evaluate live NDV vaccines, and showed for the first time under experimental conditions that a statistically significant reduction in mortality can be detected with genotype matched vaccines. Using both vaccine evaluation protocols (traditional and improved), birds were challenged with a vNDV of genotype XIII and the efficacy of live heterologous (genotype II) and homologous (genotype XIII) NDV vaccines was compared. Under traditional vaccination conditions there were no differences in survival upon challenge, but the homologous vaccine induced significantly higher levels of antibodies specific to the challenge virus. With the more stringent challenge system (multiple vaccine doses and early challenge with high titers of vNDV), the birds administered the homologous vaccine had superior humoral responses, reduced clinical signs, and reduced mortality levels than those vaccinated with the heterologous vaccine. These results provide basis for the implementation of more sensitive methods to evaluate vaccine efficacy. PMID:25511007

  16. Protocol for optimal quality and quantity pollen DNA isolation from honey samples.

    PubMed

    Lalhmangaihi, Ralte; Ghatak, Souvik; Laha, Ramachandra; Gurusubramanian, Guruswami; Kumar, Nachimuthu Senthil

    2014-12-01

    The present study illustrates an optimized sample preparation method for an efficient DNA isolation from low quantities of honey samples. A conventional PCR-based method was validated, which potentially enables characterization of plant species from as low as 3 ml bee-honey samples. In the present study, an anionic detergent was used to lyse the hard outer pollen shell, and DTT was used for isolation of thiolated DNA, as it might facilitate protein digestion and assists in releasing the DNA into solution, as well as reduce cross-links between DNA and other biomolecules. Optimization of both the quantity of honey sample and time duration for DNA isolation was done during development of this method. With the use of this method, chloroplast DNA was successfully PCR amplified and sequenced from honey DNA samples. PMID:25365793

  17. The protocol for the isolation and cryopreservation of osteoclast precursors from mouse bone marrow and spleen.

    PubMed

    Boraschi-Diaz, Iris; Komarova, Svetlana V

    2016-01-01

    Osteoclasts are responsible for physiological bone remodeling as well as pathological bone destruction in osteoporosis, periodontitis and rheumatoid arthritis, and thus represent a pharmacological target for drug development. We aimed to characterize and compare the cytokine-induced osteoclastogenesis of bone marrow and spleen precursors. Established protocols used to generate osteoclasts from bone marrow were modified to examine osteoclastogenesis of the spleen cells of healthy mice. Osteoclast formation was successfully induced from spleen precursors using receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (50 ng/ml) and macrophage colony stimulating factor (50 ng/ml). Compared to bone marrow cultures, differentiation from spleen required a longer cultivation time (9 days for spleen, as compared to 5 days for marrow cultures) and a higher plating density of non-adherent cells (75,000/cm(2) for spleen, as compared to 50,000/cm(2) for bone marrow). Osteoclasts generated from spleen precursors expressed osteoclast marker genes calcitonin receptor, cathepsin K and matrix metalloproteinase 9 and were capable of resorbing hydroxyapatite. The differentiation capacity of spleen and bone marrow precursors was comparable for BALB/c, C57BL/6 and FVB mice. We also developed and tested a cryopreservation protocol for the osteoclast precursors. While 70-80 % of cells were lost during the first week of freezing, during the subsequent 5 weeks the losses were within 2-5 % per week. Osteoclastogenesis from the recovered bone marrow precursors was successful up to 5 weeks after freezing. Spleen precursors retained their osteoclastogenic capacity for 1 week after freezing, but not thereafter. The described protocol is useful for the studies of genetically modified animals as well as for screening new osteoclast-targeting therapeutics. PMID:25245056

  18. Mobile phone text messaging for improving the uptake of vaccinations: a systematic review protocol

    PubMed Central

    Kalan, Robyn; Wiysonge, Charles S; Ramafuthole, Tshepiso; Allie, Kurt; Ebrahim, Fatima; Engel, Mark Emmanuel

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Low vaccine coverage is a major public health concern, the consequences of which contribute to around 1.5 million child deaths from vaccine-preventable diseases. Thus, innovative strategies to rapidly increase coverage and recall rates for vaccinations are urgently required. Mobile text messaging (or short messaging service, SMS) has the potential to help increase vaccination coverage and therefore we propose to conduct a review of the current best evidence for the use of SMS as an intervention to promote vaccination coverage. Methods and analysis This article describes the protocol for a systematic review of the effectiveness of SMS in improving the uptake of vaccination. Primary and secondary outcomes of interest are prespecified. We will preferably include randomised controlled trials (RCTs). However, non-randomised studies (NRS) will be considered if there is an inadequate number of RCTs. We will search several bibliographic databases (eg,PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, CENTRAL, Science Citation Index, Africa-Wide Information and WHOLIS electronic databases and search sources for grey literature. Following data extraction and assessment of risk of bias, we will meta-analyse studies and conduct subgroup analyses, according to intervention subtypes. We will assess clinical heterogeneity and statistical heterogeneity. For outcomes without quantitative data, a descriptive analysis will be used. This review protocol is registered in the PROSPERO International Prospective Register of systematic reviews, registration number 2014:CRD42014007531 Ethics and dissemination Ethics is not required for this study, given that this is a protocol for a systematic review, which uses published data. The findings of this study will be disseminated through peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations. We anticipate that the results could be used by researchers and policymakers to help inform them of the efficacy of mobile phone text messaging interventions to promote

  19. IDMA: improving the defense against malicious attack for mobile ad hoc networks based on ARIP protocol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Chaorong; Chen, Chang Wen

    2008-04-01

    Malicious nodes are mounting increasingly sophisticated attacking operations on the Mobile Ad Hoc Networks (MANETs). This is mainly because the IP-based MANETs are vulnerable to attacks by various malicious nodes. However, the defense against malicious attack can be improved when a new layer of network architecture can be developed to separate true IP address from disclosing to the malicious nodes. In this paper, we propose a new algorithm to improve the defense against malicious attack (IDMA) that is based on a recently developed Assignment Router Identify Protocol (ARIP) for the clustering-based MANET management. In the ARIP protocol, we design the ARIP architecture based on the new Identity instead of the vulnerable IP addresses to provide the required security that is embedded seamlessly into the overall network architecture. We make full use of ARIP's special property to monitor gateway forward packets by Reply Request Route Packets (RREP) without additional intrusion detection layer. We name this new algorithm IDMA because of its inherent capability to improve the defense against malicious attacks. Through IDMA, a watching algorithm can be established so as to counterattack the malicious node in the routing path when it unusually drops up packets. We provide analysis examples for IDMA for the defense against a malicious node that disrupts the route discovery by impersonating the destination, or by responding with state of corrupted routing information, or by disseminating forged control traffic. The IDMA algorithm is able to counterattack the malicious node in the cases when the node lunch DoS attack by broadcast a large number of route requests, or make Target traffic congestion by delivering huge mount of data; or spoof the IP addresses and send forge packets with a fake ID to the same Target causing traffic congestion at that destination. We have implemented IDMA algorism using the GloMoSim simulator and have demonstrated its performance under a variety of

  20. Improving cardiomyocyte model fidelity and utility via dynamic electrophysiology protocols and optimization algorithms.

    PubMed

    Krogh-Madsen, Trine; Sobie, Eric A; Christini, David J

    2016-05-01

    Mathematical models of cardiac electrophysiology are instrumental in determining mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias. However, the foundation of a realistic multiscale heart model is only as strong as the underlying cell model. While there have been myriad advances in the improvement of cellular-level models, the identification of model parameters, such as ion channel conductances and rate constants, remains a challenging problem. The primary limitations to this process include: (1) such parameters are usually estimated from data recorded using standard electrophysiology voltage-clamp protocols that have not been developed with model building in mind, and (2) model parameters are typically tuned manually to subjectively match a desired output. Over the last decade, methods aimed at overcoming these disadvantages have emerged. These approaches include the use of optimization or fitting tools for parameter estimation and incorporating more extensive data for output matching. Here, we review recent advances in parameter estimation for cardiomyocyte models, focusing on the use of more complex electrophysiology protocols and global search heuristics. We also discuss future applications of such parameter identification, including development of cell-specific and patient-specific mathematical models to investigate arrhythmia mechanisms and predict therapy strategies. PMID:26661516

  1. Improving analgesia in fractured neck of femur with a standardised fascia iliaca block protocol

    PubMed Central

    Watson, Paul; Rugonfalvi-Kiss, Szabolcs

    2016-01-01

    Fractured neck of femur (NOF) causes significant morbidity and pain for patients; adequate analgesia is an essential component of patient centred care. Patients experiencing greater pain during treatment for fractured NOF are slower to mobilise and have poorer health-related quality of life. NICE guidance suggests considering adding nerve blocks if paracetamol and opioids do not provide sufficient preoperative pain relief. We set out to audit pain levels in this group of patients in a small District General Hospital and to develop a protocol to improve analgesia provision if required. We identified that patients waiting a long time for fixation of fractured NOF could benefit from safe, effective analgesia by way of fascia iliaca compartment block (FICB). We drew up a protocol and held training sessions bringing about a culture change to provide an excellent standard of analgesia for these patients. Most patients reported much better levels of analgesia post-block and junior doctors felt more empowered. Further developments considered are training of senior ED nurses to administer FICB (in keeping with the AAGBI position statement) and a fascia iliaca catheter placement service. PMID:27239308

  2. Improving the efficiency of single and multiple teleportation protocols based on the direct use of partially entangled states

    SciTech Connect

    Fortes, Raphael; Rigolin, Gustavo

    2013-09-15

    We push the limits of the direct use of partially pure entangled states to perform quantum teleportation by presenting several protocols in many different scenarios that achieve the optimal efficiency possible. We review and put in a single formalism the three major strategies known to date that allow one to use partially entangled states for direct quantum teleportation (no distillation strategies permitted) and compare their efficiencies in real world implementations. We show how one can improve the efficiency of many direct teleportation protocols by combining these techniques. We then develop new teleportation protocols employing multipartite partially entangled states. The three techniques are also used here in order to achieve the highest efficiency possible. Finally, we prove the upper bound for the optimal success rate for protocols based on partially entangled Bell states and show that some of the protocols here developed achieve such a bound. -- Highlights: •Optimal direct teleportation protocols using directly partially entangled states. •We put in a single formalism all strategies of direct teleportation. •We extend these techniques for multipartite partially entangle states. •We give upper bounds for the optimal efficiency of these protocols.

  3. Improvement of halophilic cellulase production from locally isolated fungal strain

    PubMed Central

    Gunny, Ahmad Anas Nagoor; Arbain, Dachyar; Jamal, Parveen; Gumba, Rizo Edwin

    2014-01-01

    Halophilic cellulases from the newly isolated fungus, Aspergillus terreus UniMAP AA-6 were found to be useful for in situ saccharification of ionic liquids treated lignocelluloses. Efforts have been taken to improve the enzyme production through statistical optimization approach namely Plackett–Burman design and the Face Centered Central Composite Design (FCCCD). Plackett–Burman experimental design was used to screen the medium components and process conditions. It was found that carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), FeSO4·7H2O, NaCl, MgSO4·7H2O, peptone, agitation speed and inoculum size significantly influence the production of halophilic cellulase. On the other hand, KH2PO4, KOH, yeast extract and temperature had a negative effect on enzyme production. Further optimization through FCCCD revealed that the optimization approach improved halophilic cellulase production from 0.029 U/ml to 0.0625 U/ml, which was approximately 2.2-times greater than before optimization. PMID:26150755

  4. Improvement of halophilic cellulase production from locally isolated fungal strain.

    PubMed

    Gunny, Ahmad Anas Nagoor; Arbain, Dachyar; Jamal, Parveen; Gumba, Rizo Edwin

    2015-07-01

    Halophilic cellulases from the newly isolated fungus, Aspergillus terreus UniMAP AA-6 were found to be useful for in situ saccharification of ionic liquids treated lignocelluloses. Efforts have been taken to improve the enzyme production through statistical optimization approach namely Plackett-Burman design and the Face Centered Central Composite Design (FCCCD). Plackett-Burman experimental design was used to screen the medium components and process conditions. It was found that carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), FeSO4·7H2O, NaCl, MgSO4·7H2O, peptone, agitation speed and inoculum size significantly influence the production of halophilic cellulase. On the other hand, KH2PO4, KOH, yeast extract and temperature had a negative effect on enzyme production. Further optimization through FCCCD revealed that the optimization approach improved halophilic cellulase production from 0.029 U/ml to 0.0625 U/ml, which was approximately 2.2-times greater than before optimization. PMID:26150755

  5. A simple and cost-effective protocol for DNA isolation from buccal epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Aidar, Marisi; Line, Sergio Roberto Peres

    2007-01-01

    Buccal cells provide a convenient source of DNA for epidemiological studies. The goal of this study was to develop a convenient method to obtain buccal cells from mouthwash samples to be used as a source of DNA, and to evaluate the stability of the DNA in mouthwash solution over time. The procedures used in the method described in this paper avoid the use of any organic solvents. This is achieved by salting out the cellular proteins by dehydration and precipitation with a saturated ammonium acetate solution. The protocol described here is fast, simple to perform, sensitive, economical and several samples can be processed at the same time. The analyses provide consistent evidence that DNA extracted by this methodology is sufficient for several PCR amplifications. The total DNA yield ranged from 5 to 93 microg (median 15 microg, mean 20.71 microg). DNA can be extracted and PCR amplified after storage of mouthwash solution at room temperature for periods of up to 30 days. PMID:17982556

  6. Optimized dissociation protocol for isolating human glioma stem cells from tumorspheres via fluorescence-activated cell sorting.

    PubMed

    Lv, Donglai; Ma, Qing-Hua; Duan, Jiang-Jie; Wu, Hai-Bo; Zhao, Xi-Long; Yu, Shi-Cang; Bian, Xiu-Wu

    2016-07-10

    Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) based on the surface marker CD133 is the most common method for isolating glioma stem cells (GSCs) from heterogeneous glioma cell populations. Optimization of this method will have profound implications for the future of GSC research. Five commonly used digestion reagents, Liberase-TL, trypsin, TrypLE, Accutase, and non-enzymatic cell dissociation solution (NECDS), were used to dissociate glioma tumorspheres derived from two primary glioma specimens (091214 and 090116) and the cell lines U87 and T98G. The dissociation time, cell viability, retention of CD133, and stemness capacity were assessed. The results showed that single cells derived from the Liberase-TL (200 µg/ml) group exhibited high viability and less damage to the antigen CD133. However, the efficiency of NECDS for dissociating the tumorspheres into single cells was fairly low. Meanwhile, the use of this digestion reagent resulted in obvious cellular and antigenic impairments. Taken together, Liberase-TL (200 µg/ml) is an ideal reagent for isolating GSCs from tumorspheres. In contrast, the use of NECDS for such a protocol should be carefully considered. PMID:27091400

  7. Strength-Training Protocols to Improve Deficits in Participants With Chronic Ankle Instability: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Emily A.; Docherty, Carrie L.; Simon, Janet; Kingma, Jackie J.; Klossner, Joanne C.

    2015-01-01

    Context: Although lateral ankle sprains are common in athletes and can lead to chronic ankle instability (CAI), strength-training rehabilitation protocols may improve the deficits often associated with CAI. Objective: To determine whether strength-training protocols affect strength, dynamic balance, functional performance, and perceived instability in individuals with CAI. Design: Randomized controlled trial. Setting: Athletic training research laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: A total of 39 individuals with CAI (17 men [44%], 22 women [56%]) participated in this study. Chronic ankle instability was determined by the Identification of Functional Ankle Instability Questionnaire, and participants were randomly assigned to a resistance-band–protocol group (n = 13 [33%] age = 19.7 ± 2.2 years, height = 172.9 ± 12.8 cm, weight = 69.1 ± 13.5 kg), a proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation strength-protocol group (n = 13 [33%], age = 18.9 ± 1.3 years, height = 172.5 ± 5.9 cm, weight = 72.7 ± 14.6 kg), or a control group (n = 13 [33%], age = 20.5 ± 2.1 years, height = 175.2 ± 8.1 cm, weight = 70.2 ± 11.1 kg). Intervention(s): Both rehabilitation groups completed their protocols 3 times/wk for 6 weeks. The control group did not attend rehabilitation sessions. Main Outcome Measure(s): Before the interventions, participants were pretested by completing the figure-8 hop test for time, the triple-crossover hop test for distance, isometric strength tests (dorsiflexion, plantar flexion, inversion, and eversion), the Y-Balance test, and the visual analog scale for perceived ankle instability. Participants were again tested 6 weeks later. We conducted 2 separate, multivariate, repeated-measures analyses of variance, followed by univariate analyses on any significant findings. Results: The resistance-band protocol group improved in strength (dorsiflexion, inversion, and eversion) and on the visual analog scale (P < .05); the proprioceptive neuromuscular

  8. Early gonadotropin-releasing hormone antagonist start improves follicular synchronization and pregnancy outcome as compared to the conventional antagonist protocol

    PubMed Central

    Park, Chan Woo; Hwang, Yu Im; Koo, Hwa Seon; Kang, Inn Soo; Yang, Kwang Moon

    2014-01-01

    Objective To assess whether an early GnRH antagonist start leads to better follicular synchronization and an improved clinical pregnancy rate (CPR). Methods A retrospective cohort study. A total of 218 infertile women who underwent IVF between January 2011 and February 2013. The initial cohort (Cohort I) that underwent IVF between January 2011 and March 2012 included a total of 68 attempted IVF cycles. Thirty-four cycles were treated with the conventional GnRH antagonist protocol, and 34 cycles with an early GnRH antagonist start protocol. The second cohort (Cohort II) that underwent IVF between June 2012 and February 2013 included a total of 150 embryo-transfer (ET) cycles. Forty-three cycles were treated with the conventional GnRH antagonist protocol, 34 cycles with the modified early GnRH antagonist start protocol using highly purified human menopause gonadotropin and an addition of GnRH agonist to the luteal phase support, and 73 cycles with the GnRH agonist long protocol. Results The analysis of Cohort I showed that the number of mature oocytes retrieved was significantly higher in the early GnRH antagonist start cycles than in the conventional antagonist cycles (11.9 vs. 8.2, p=0.04). The analysis of Cohort II revealed higher but non-significant CPR/ET in the modified early GnRH antagonist start cycles (41.2%) than in the conventional antagonist cycles (30.2%), which was comparable to that of the GnRH agonist long protocol cycles (39.7%). Conclusion The modified early antagonist start protocol may improve the mature oocyte yield, possibly via enhanced follicular synchronization, while resulting in superior CPR as compared to the conventional antagonist protocol, which needs to be studied further in prospective randomized controlled trials. PMID:25599038

  9. Experimental Protocol for Biodiesel Production with Isolation of Alkenones as Coproducts from Commercial Isochrysis Algal Biomass.

    PubMed

    O'Neil, Gregory W; Williams, John R; Wilson-Peltier, Julia; Knothe, Gerhard; Reddy, Christopher M

    2016-01-01

    The need to replace petroleum fuels with alternatives from renewable and more environmentally sustainable sources is of growing importance. Biomass-derived biofuels have gained considerable attention in this regard, however first generation biofuels from edible crops like corn ethanol or soybean biodiesel have generally fallen out of favor. There is thus great interest in the development of methods for the production of liquid fuels from domestic and superior non-edible sources. Here we describe a detailed procedure for the production of a purified biodiesel from the marine microalgae Isochrysis. Additionally, a unique suite of lipids known as polyunsaturated long-chain alkenones are isolated in parallel as potentially valuable coproducts to offset the cost of biodiesel production. Multi-kilogram quantities of Isochrysis are purchased from two commercial sources, one as a wet paste (80% water) that is first dried prior to processing, and the other a dry milled powder (95% dry). Lipids are extracted with hexanes in a Soxhlet apparatus to produce an algal oil ("hexane algal oil") containing both traditional fats (i.e., triglycerides, 46-60% w/w) and alkenones (16-25% w/w). Saponification of the triglycerides in the algal oil allows for separation of the resulting free fatty acids (FFAs) from alkenone-containing neutral lipids. FFAs are then converted to biodiesel (i.e., fatty acid methyl esters, FAMEs) by acid-catalyzed esterification while alkenones are isolated and purified from the neutral lipids by crystallization. We demonstrate that biodiesel from both commercial Isochrysis biomasses have similar but not identical FAME profiles, characterized by elevated polyunsaturated fatty acid contents (approximately 40% w/w). Yields of biodiesel were consistently higher when starting from the Isochrysis wet paste (12% w/w vs. 7% w/w), which can be traced to lower amounts of hexane algal oil obtained from the powdered Isochrysis product. PMID:27404113

  10. Multisession Anodal tDCS Protocol Improves Motor System Function in an Aging Population

    PubMed Central

    Dumel, G.; Bourassa, M.-E.; Desjardins, M.; Voarino, N.; Charlebois-Plante, C.; Doyon, J.; De Beaumont, Louis

    2016-01-01

    Objectives. The primary objective of this study was to investigate the effects of five consecutive, daily 20-minute sessions of M1 a-tDCS on motor learning in healthy, cognitively intact, aging adults. Design. A total of 23 participants (51 to 69 years old) performed five consecutive, daily 20-minute sessions of a serial reaction time task (SRT task) concomitant with either anodal (n = 12) or sham (n = 11) M1 a-tDCS. Results. We found a significant group × training sessions interaction, indicating that whereas aging adults in the sham group exhibited little-to-no sequence-specific learning improvements beyond the first day of training, reproducible improvements in the ability to learn new motor sequences over 5 consecutive sessions were the net result in age-equivalent participants from the M1 a-tDCS group. A significant main effect of group on sequence-specific learning revealed greater motor learning for the M1 a-tDCS group when the five learning sessions were averaged. Conclusion. These findings raise into prominence the utility of multisession anodal TDCS protocols in combination with motor training to help prevent/alleviate age-associated motor function decline. PMID:26881118

  11. Improving patient care through implementation of nurse-driven restraint protocols.

    PubMed

    Winston, P A; Morelli, P; Bramble, J; Friday, A; Sanders, J B

    1999-08-01

    Nationally, much attention has been placed on the indiscriminate application and abuse of restraint usage. This was the impetus for health care institutions across the country to relook at the policy, practices, and procedures regarding restraints. Our health care system made changes to our restraint policy, practice guidelines, and procedures in an effort to assure protection of the patients' health and safety while preserving their dignity, rights, and well-being. The mission was to pursue a restraint-appropriate environment by restraining only those patients who were assessed as being at risk of harming self and to protect the patient or others from injury. Our overall goal was to reduce restraint usage. This article describes the current policies, practice guidelines, and procedures for identifying clinically appropriate and adequately justified situations for restraint usage. The focus is on implementation of nurse-driven restraint protocols to improve patient care. All efforts directed at improvements in restraint usage and management of a patient in restraints has reduced our overall numbers of patients in restraints as well as significantly reduced risk of incidence for patients in restraints. PMID:10476623

  12. Systematic study of cell isolation from bovine nucleus pulposus: Improving cell yield and experiment reliability.

    PubMed

    Lee, Juliana T Y; Cheung, Kenneth M C; Leung, Victor Y L

    2015-12-01

    Differences in matrix compositions in human nucleus pulposus (NP) clinical samples demand different cell isolation protocols for optimal results but there is no clear guide about this to date. Sub-optimal protocols may result in low cell yield, limited reliability of results or even failure of experiments. Cell yield, viability and attachment of cells isolated from bovine NP tissue with different protocols were estimated by cell counting, Trypan blue staining and cell culturing respectively. RNA was extracted from isolated cells and quantified by Nanodrop spectrometry and RT-qPCR. Higher collagenase concentration, longer digestion duration and pronase pre-treatment increased the cell yield. Cell viability remained high (<5% dead cells) even after 0.2% collagenase treatment for overnight. NP cells remained to have high ACAN, COL2A1, CDH2, KRT18, and KRT19 expression compared to muscle cells for different cell isolation conditions tested. Digestion by collagenase alone without the use of pronase could isolate cells from human degenerated NP tissue but clusters of cells were observed. We suggest the use of the disappearance of tissue as an indirect measure of cells released. This study provides a guide for researchers to decide the parameters involved in NP cell isolation for optimal outcome. PMID:26036782

  13. A standardized protocol to reduce cerebrospinal fluid shunt infection: The Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network Quality Improvement Initiative

    PubMed Central

    Kestle, John R. W.; Riva-Cambrin, Jay; Wellons, John C.; Kulkarni, Abhaya V.; Whitehead, William E.; Walker, Marion L.; Oakes, W. Jerry; Drake, James M.; Luerssen, Thomas G.; Simon, Tamara D.; Holubkov, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Object Quality improvement techniques are being implemented in many areas of medicine. In an effort to reduce the ventriculoperitoneal shunt infection rate, a standardized protocol was developed and implemented at 4 centers of the Hydrocephalus Clinical Research Network (HCRN). Methods The protocol was developed sequentially by HCRN members using the current literature and prior institutional experience until consensus was obtained. The protocol was prospectively applied at each HCRN center to all children undergoing a shunt insertion or revision procedure. Infections were defined on the basis of CSF, wound, or pseudocyst cultures; wound breakdown; abdominal pseudocyst; or positive blood cultures in the presence of a ventriculoatrial shunt. Procedures and infections were measured before and after protocol implementation. Results Twenty-one surgeons at 4 centers performed 1571 procedures between June 1, 2007, and February 28, 2009. The minimum follow-up was 6 months. The Network infection rate decreased from 8.8% prior to the protocol to 5.7% while using the protocol (p = 0.0028, absolute risk reduction 3.15%, relative risk reduction 36%). Three of 4 centers lowered their infection rate. Shunt surgery after external ventricular drainage (with or without prior infection) had the highest infection rate. Overall protocol compliance was 74.5% and improved over the course of the observation period. Based on logistic regression analysis, the use of BioGlide catheters (odds ratio [OR] 1.91, 95% CI 1.19–3.05; p = 0.007) and the use of antiseptic cream by any members of the surgical team (instead of a formal surgical scrub by all members of the surgical team; OR 4.53, 95% CI 1.43–14.41; p = 0.01) were associated with an increased risk of infection. Conclusions The standardized protocol for shunt surgery significantly reduced shunt infection across the HCRN. Overall protocol compliance was good. The protocol has established a common baseline within the Network, which will

  14. Learning from positively deviant wards to improve patient safety: an observational study protocol

    PubMed Central

    Baxter, Ruth; Taylor, Natalie; Kellar, Ian; Lawton, Rebecca

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Positive deviance is an asset-based approach to improvement which has recently been adopted to improve quality and safety within healthcare. The approach assumes that solutions to problems already exist within communities. Certain groups or individuals identify these solutions and succeed despite having the same resources as others. Within healthcare, positive deviance has previously been applied at individual or organisational levels to improve specific clinical outcomes or processes of care. This study explores whether the positive deviance approach can be applied to multidisciplinary ward teams to address the broad issue of patient safety among elderly patients. Methods and analysis Preliminary work analysed National Health Service (NHS) Safety Thermometer data from 34 elderly medical wards to identify 5 ‘positively deviant’ and 5 matched ‘comparison’ wards. Researchers are blinded to ward status. This protocol describes a multimethod, observational study which will (1) assess the concurrent validity of identifying positively deviant elderly medical wards using NHS Safety Thermometer data and (2) generate hypotheses about how positively deviant wards succeed. Patient and staff perceptions of safety will be assessed on each ward using validated surveys. Correlation and ranking analyses will explore whether this survey data aligns with the routinely collected NHS Safety Thermometer data. Staff focus groups and researcher fieldwork diaries will be completed and qualitative thematic content analysis will be used to generate hypotheses about the strategies, behaviours, team cultures and dynamics that facilitate the delivery of safe patient care. The acceptability and sustainability of strategies identified will also be explored. Ethics and dissemination The South East Scotland Research Ethics Committee 01 approved this study (reference: 14/SS/1085) and NHS Permissions were granted from all trusts. Findings will be published in peer

  15. A History of the Improvement of Internet Protocols Over Satellites Using ACTS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allman, Mark; Kruse, Hans; Ostermann, Shawn

    2000-01-01

    This paper outlines the main results of a number of ACTS experiments on the efficacy of using standard Internet protocols over long-delay satellite channels. These experiments have been jointly conducted by NASAs Glenn Research Center and Ohio University over the last six years. The focus of our investigations has been the impact of long-delay networks with non-zero bit-error rates on the performance of the suite of Internet protocols. In particular, we have focused on the most widely used transport protocol, the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), as well as several application layer protocols. This paper presents our main results, as well as references to more verbose discussions of our experiments.

  16. Improved methods for typing nontypeable isolates of group B streptococci.

    PubMed

    Benson, Jeffrey A; Flores, Aurea E; Baker, Carol J; Hillier, Sharon L; Ferrieri, Patricia

    2002-06-01

    Group B streptococci (GBS) are classified by capsular polysaccharide (CPS) type and by cell surface-expressed proteins (c and R). Isolates lacking detectable CPS are considered nontypeable (NT) although they frequently express surface proteins. Immunological and genetic methods were used to study 91 NT GBS isolates collected during surveillance studies for invasive disease or colonization in pregnant or non-pregnant women and neonates less than seven days of age. CPS production was upregulated by the addition of glucose and sodium phosphate to Todd-Hewitt broth (THB) and cells were extracted using hot HCl or mutanolysin. Extracts were tested with antisera for specific CPS types Ia, Ib, and II - VIII by double immunodiffusion (DD) in agarose. By mutanolysin extraction, 12 (13.2%) of the 91 isolates were typeable. In contrast, only four of these 12 newly typeable isolates tested positive for CPS with the HCl extracts of cells grown in modified THB. DNA was analyzed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) using SmaI restriction with NT isolates grouped by protein profile to facilitate analysis. PFGE results of the NT isolates were compared to DNA profiles of typeable isolates and were correlated with the DD results. The DNA profiles of the newly typeable isolates were similar to profiles of isolates with corresponding defined CPS type. Of the remaining 78 NT isolates digested by SmaI, 63 (80.8%) had DNA profiles that resembled those of specific types of GBS. These approaches will be useful for classification of NT isolates in continued epidemiological surveillance associated with GBS vaccine trials. PMID:12139427

  17. Improved (and Singular) Disinfectant Protocol for Indirectly Assessing Organic Precursor Concentrations of Trihalomethanes and Dihaloacetonitriles.

    PubMed

    Do, Thien D; Chimka, Justin R; Fairey, Julian L

    2015-08-18

    Measurements of disinfection byproduct (DBP) organic precursor concentrations (OPCs) are crucial to assess and improve DBP control processes. Typically, formation potential tests - specified in Standard Methods (SM) 5710-B/D - are used to measure OPCs. Here, we highlight several limitations of this protocol for dihaloacetonitriles and trihalomethanes and validate a novel Alternative Method (AM). The effects of pH, disinfectant type (free chlorine and monochloramine), and chlor(am)ine residual (CR) were examined on DBP formation in a suite of waters. Using the SM, DHAN decreased 43-47% as the CR increased from 3 to 5 mg L(-1) as Cl2, compromising OPC assessments. In contrast, a high monochloramine dose (250 mg L(-1) as Cl2) at pH 7.0 (the AM) accurately reflected OPCs. The two methods were compared for assessing DBP precursor removal through three granular activated carbon (GAC) columns in series. Breakthrough profiles assessed using the AM only showed DBP precursor sorption occurred in each column that decreased over time (p = 0.0001). Similarly, the AM facilitated ranking of three types of GAC compared in parallel columns, whereas the SM produced ambiguous results. Fluorescence intensity of a humic-like fluorophore (i.e., I345/425) correlated strongly to precursor removal in the GAC columns. The practical implications of the results are discussed. PMID:26167626

  18. Clinical Guidelines for the Use of Buprenorphine in the Treatment of Opioid Addiction. Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series 40

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boone, Margaret; Brown, Nancy J.; Moon, Mary A.; Schuman, Deborah J.; Thomas, Josephine; Wright, Denise L.

    2004-01-01

    This Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) addresses the clinical use of buprenorphine in the treatment of opioid addiction. TIPs are best-practice guidelines for the treatment of substance use disorders that make the latest research in substance abuse treatment available to counselors and educators. The content was generated by a panel of experts…

  19. From Human Monocytes to Genome-Wide Binding Sites - A Protocol for Small Amounts of Blood: Monocyte Isolation/ChIP-Protocol/Library Amplification/Genome Wide Computational Data Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Weiterer, Sebastian; Uhle, Florian; Bhuju, Sabin; Jarek, Michael; Weigand, Markus A.; Bartkuhn, Marek

    2014-01-01

    Chromatin immunoprecipitation in combination with a genome-wide analysis via high-throughput sequencing is the state of the art method to gain genome-wide representation of histone modification or transcription factor binding profiles. However, chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis in the context of human experimental samples is limited, especially in the case of blood cells. The typically extremely low yields of precipitated DNA are usually not compatible with library amplification for next generation sequencing. We developed a highly reproducible protocol to present a guideline from the first step of isolating monocytes from a blood sample to analyse the distribution of histone modifications in a genome-wide manner. Conclusion: The protocol describes the whole work flow from isolating monocytes from human blood samples followed by a high-sensitivity and small-scale chromatin immunoprecipitation assay with guidance for generating libraries compatible with next generation sequencing from small amounts of immunoprecipitated DNA. PMID:24732314

  20. Interventions to improve screening and appropriate referral of patients with cancer for distress: systematic review protocol

    PubMed Central

    McCarter, Kristen; Britton, Ben; Baker, Amanda; Halpin, Sean; Beck, Alison; Carter, Gregory; Wratten, Chris; Bauer, Judy; Booth, Debbie; Forbes, Erin; Wolfenden, Luke

    2015-01-01

    Introduction It is estimated that 35–40% of patients with cancer experience distress at some stage during their illness. Distress may affect functioning, capacity to cope, treatment compliance, quality of life and survival of patients with cancer. Best practice clinical guidelines recommend routine psychosocial distress screening and referral for further assessment and/or psychosocial support for patients with cancer. However, evidence suggests this care is not provided consistently. Methods and analysis We developed our methods following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) statement. The review is registered with PROSPERO and any amendments to the protocol will be tracked. The primary aim of this systematic review is to examine the impact of interventions delivered in healthcare settings that are aimed at (1) improving routine screening of patients for psychosocial distress and (2) referral of distressed patients with cancer for further assessment and/or psychosocial support. The effectiveness of such interventions in reducing psychosocial distress, and any unintended adverse effect of the intervention will also be assessed in patients with cancer. Data sources will include the bibliographic databases Cochrane Central Register of Controlled trials (CENTRAL) in the Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO and CINAHL. Eligible studies must compare an intervention (or two or more interventions) in a healthcare setting to improve the rate of screening for psychosocial distress and/or referral for further assessment and/or psychosocial support for patients with cancer with no intervention or ‘usual’ practice. Two investigators will independently review titles and abstracts, followed by full article reviews and data extraction. Disagreements will be resolved by consensus and if necessary, a third reviewer. Where studies are sufficiently homogenous, trial data will be pooled and meta-analyses performed. Ethics and

  1. Improving the implementation of tailored expectant management in subfertile couples: protocol for a cluster randomized trial

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Prognostic models in reproductive medicine can help to identify subfertile couples who would benefit from fertility treatment. Expectant management in couples with a good chance of natural conception, i.e., tailored expectant management (TEM), prevents unnecessary treatment and is therefore recommended in international fertility guidelines. However, current implementation is not optimal, leaving room for improvement. Based on barriers and facilitators for TEM that were recently identified among professionals and subfertile couples, we have developed a multifaceted implementation strategy. The goal of this study is to assess the effects of this implementation strategy on the guideline adherence on TEM. Methods/design In a cluster randomized trial, 25 clinics and their allied practitioners units will be randomized between the multifaceted implementation strategy and care as usual. Randomization will be stratified for in vitro fertilization (IVF) facilities (full licensed, intermediate/no IVF facilities). The effect of the implementation strategy, i.e., the percentage guideline adherence on TEM, will be evaluated by pre- and post-randomization data collection. Furthermore, there will be a process and cost evaluation of the strategy. The implementation strategy will focus on subfertile couples and their care providers i.e., general practitioners (GPs), fertility doctors, and gynecologists. The implementation strategy addresses three levels: patient level: education materials in the form of a patient information leaflet and a website; professional level: audit and feedback, educational outreach visit, communication training, and access to a digital version of the prognostic model of Hunault on a website; organizational level: providing a protocol based on the guideline. The primary outcome will be the percentage guideline adherence on TEM. Additional outcome measures will be treatment-, patient-, and process-related outcome measures. Discussion This study

  2. A Taste-intensity Visual Analog Scale: An Improved Zinc Taste-test Protocol

    PubMed Central

    Zdilla, Matthew J.; Starkey, Leah D.; Saling, Julia R.

    2015-01-01

    Context Studies employing methods for measurement of zinc sulfate taste acuity have had diverse results, and although the studies have had limitations in design and implementation, they have suggested salient findings beyond the assessment of taste acuity. These findings have included, but were not limited to, relationships between zinc sulfate taste acuity and weight, levels of serum zinc, diastolic hypertension, levels of salivary carbonic anhydrase 6, and frequency of illness. However, current protocols for zinc sulfate taste assessment are problematic and warrant improvement. Objective The current study intended to compare the ranking scale for the original Bryce-Smith and Simpson zinc taste test (BS-ZTT) with a novel, taste-intensity visual analog scale (TI-VAS) to explore the potential for improved zinc sulfate taste-acuity measurement. Design Participants were administered a 0.1% solution of zinc sulfate and assessed using the 2 scales. Setting The study took place at West Liberty University, in West Liberty, WV, USA. Participants Participants were 500 West Liberty University students who volunteered to participate in the study. Results A strong, statistically significant, positive correlation existed between the BS-ZTT and the TI-VAS scores (rs = 0.79; P < .0001; n = 491). Conclusions The study found that the BS-ZTT offered a limited number of ordinal variable ranks and depended on an examiner’s evaluation. Conversely, the TI-VAS had an expanded range of variables and was independent of the examiner. The TI-VAS can be used as a taste-acuity test for zinc sulfate and as a benchmark for future analyses of zinc sulfate taste acuity and zinc taste tests. PMID:26770137

  3. Improvement of conception rate in postpartum flaxseed supplemented buffalo with Ovsynch+CIDR protocol.

    PubMed

    Nazir, G; Ghuman, S P S; Singh, J; Honparkhe, M; Ahuja, C S; Dhaliwal, G S; Sangha, M K; Saijpaul, S; Agarwal, S K

    2013-02-01

    The present study was conducted on lactating Murrah buffalo to assess the effect of crushed flaxseed (a source of omega-3 fatty acids) supplementation (300g/100kg bwt/day for 60 days), over and above the routine feed, on luteolytic signal (PGF2α), luteal function (progesterone) and conception rate. In first experiment, on day 50 post-calving, six non-supplemented buffalo were treated to synchronize time of ovulation using an Ovsynch+Controlled Internal Drug Release (CIDR) protocol followed by intravenous oxytocin treatment (OT; 100IU) on day 15 post-ovulation. Blood samples were collected at 15min interval, 1h before to 4h after OT challenge. Thereafter, the same buffalo were supplemented with flaxseed, treated to synchronize time of ovulation starting on day 35 post-supplementation using the same protocol and subjected to OT treatment and blood sampling on day 15 post-ovulation. The PGF2α response was measured as the venous concentration of 13,14-dihydro-15-keto PGF2α (PGFM). The mean hourly concentration of PGFM subsequent to flaxseed supplemented was less (P<0.05) than in the pre-supplementation period at all the occasions. Flaxseed supplementation did not affect plasma fatty acids and other plasma metabolites except for an increase (P<0.05) in plasma cholesterol and plasma alanine transaminase. In the second experiment, 31 buffalo were randomly assigned to a control (n=16) and flaxseed supplemented (n=15) group. The latter group was supplemented with flaxseed starting from day 15 post-calving. On day 50-post-calving, buffalo of both groups were treated to synchronize time of ovulation among animals as described for the first experiment followed by artificial insemination (AI). Post-AI luteal phase plasma progesterone was greater (P<0.05) in the supplemented group compared to controls. Conception rate on day 63 post-AI was 66.7% in supplemented and 31.2% in controls (P<0.05). The present study indicated the beneficial impact of dietary supplementation of

  4. Communications protocol

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zhou, Xiaoming (Inventor); Baras, John S. (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

    The present invention relates to an improved communications protocol which increases the efficiency of transmission in return channels on a multi-channel slotted Alohas system by incorporating advanced error correction algorithms, selective retransmission protocols and the use of reserved channels to satisfy the retransmission requests.

  5. The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP): Protocols and Pilot Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenzweig, C.; Jones, J. W.; Hatfield, J. L.; Ruane, A. C.; Boote, K. J.; Thorburn, P.; Antle, J. M.; Nelson, G. C.; Porter, C.; Janssen, S.; Asseng, S.; Basso, B.; Ewert, F.; Wallach, D.; Baigorria, G.; Winter, J. M.

    2012-01-01

    The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) is a major international effort linking the climate, crop, and economic modeling communities with cutting-edge information technology to produce improved crop and economic models and the next generation of climate impact projections for the agricultural sector. The goals of AgMIP are to improve substantially the characterization of world food security due to climate change and to enhance adaptation capacity in both developing and developed countries. Analyses of the agricultural impacts of climate variability and change require a transdisciplinary effort to consistently link state-of-the-art climate scenarios to crop and economic models. Crop model outputs are aggregated as inputs to regional and global economic models to determine regional vulnerabilities, changes in comparative advantage, price effects, and potential adaptation strategies in the agricultural sector. Climate, Crop Modeling, Economics, and Information Technology Team Protocols are presented to guide coordinated climate, crop modeling, economics, and information technology research activities around the world, along with AgMIP Cross-Cutting Themes that address uncertainty, aggregation and scaling, and the development of Representative Agricultural Pathways (RAPs) to enable testing of climate change adaptations in the context of other regional and global trends. The organization of research activities by geographic region and specific crops is described, along with project milestones. Pilot results demonstrate AgMIP's role in assessing climate impacts with explicit representation of uncertainties in climate scenarios and simulations using crop and economic models. An intercomparison of wheat model simulations near Obregón, Mexico reveals inter-model differences in yield sensitivity to [CO2] with model uncertainty holding approximately steady as concentrations rise, while uncertainty related to choice of crop model increases with

  6. Same Initial States Attack in Yang et al.'s Quantum Private Comparison Protocol and the Improvement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Wen-Jie; Liu, Chao; Liu, Zhi-Hao; Liu, Jing-Fa; Geng, Huan-Tong

    2014-01-01

    In Yang et al.'s literatures (J. Phys. A: Math. 42, 055305, 2009; J. Phys. A: Math. 43, 209801, 2010), a quantum private comparison protocol based on Bell states and hash function is proposed, which aims to securely compare the equality of two participants' information with the help of a dishonest third party (TP). However, this study will point out their protocol cannot resist a special kind of attack, TP's same initial states attack, which is presented in this paper. That is, the dishonest TP can disturb the comparison result without being detected through preparing the same initial states. Finally, a simple improvement is given to avoid the attack.

  7. Improving adherence to web-based cessation programs: a randomized controlled trial study protocol

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Reducing smoking prevalence is a public health priority that can save more lives and money than almost any other known preventive intervention. Internet interventions have the potential for enormous public health impact given their broad reach and effectiveness. However, most users engage only minimally with even the best designed websites, diminishing their impact due to an insufficient ‘dose’. Two approaches to improve adherence to Internet cessation programs are integrating smokers into an online social network and providing free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). Active participation in online communities is associated with higher rates of cessation. Integrating smokers into an online social network can increase support and may also increase utilization of cessation tools and NRT. Removing barriers to NRT may increase uptake and adherence, and may also increase use of online cessation tools as smokers look for information and support while quitting. The combination of both strategies may exert the most powerful effects on adherence compared to either strategy alone. Methods/Design This study compares the efficacy of a smoking cessation website (WEB) alone and in conjunction with free NRT and a social network (SN) protocol designed to integrate participants into the online community. Using a 2 (SN, no SN) x 2 (NRT, no NRT) randomized, controlled factorial design with repeated measures at baseline, 3 months, and 9 months, this study will recruit N = 4,000 new members of an internet cessation program and randomize them to: 1) WEB, 2) WEB + SN, 3) WEB + NRT, or 4) WEB + SN + NRT. Hypotheses are that all interventions will outperform WEB and that WEB + SN + NRT will outperform WEB + NRT and WEB + SN on 30-day point prevalence abstinence at 9 months. Exploratory analyses will examine theory-driven hypotheses about the mediators and moderators of outcome. Discussion Addressing adherence in internet cessation programs is critical and timely to leverage

  8. Cryptanalysis and Improvement of Quantum Private Comparison Protocol Based on Bell Entangled States

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Wen-Jie; Liu, Chao; Chen, Han-Wu; Li, Zhi-Qiang; Liu, Zhi-Hao

    2014-08-01

    Recently, Liu et al. [Commun. Theor. Phys. 57 (2012) 583] proposed a quantum private comparison protocol based on entanglement swapping of Bell states, which aims to securely compare the equality of two participants' information with the help of a semi-honest third party (TP). However, the present study points out there is a fatal loophole in Liu et al.'s protocol, and TP can make Bell-basis measurement to know all the participants' secret inputs without being detected. To fix the problem, a simple solution, which uses one-time eavesdropper checking with decoy photons instead of twice eavesdropper checking with Bell states, is demonstrated. Compared with the original protocol, it not only reduces the Bell states consumption but also simplifies the protocol steps.

  9. Improving the performance of community health workers in humanitarian emergencies: a realist evaluation protocol for the PIECES programme

    PubMed Central

    Gilmore, Brynne; Adams, Ben Jack; Bartoloni, Alex; Alhaydar, Bana; McAuliffe, Eilish; Raven, Joanna; Taegtmeyer, Miriam; Vallières, Frédérique

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Understanding what enhances the motivation and performance of community health workers (CHWs) in humanitarian emergencies represents a key research gap within the field of human resources for health. This paper presents the research protocol for the Performance ImprovEment of CHWs in Emergency Settings (PIECES) research programme. Enhancing Learning and Research in Humanitarian Action (ELRHA) funded the development of this protocol as part of their Health in Humanitarian Crises (R2HC) call (No.19839). PIECES aims to understand what factors improve the performance of CHWs in level III humanitarian emergencies. Methods and analysis The suggested protocol uses a realist evaluation with multiple cases across the 3 country sites: Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon. Working with International Medical Corps (IMC), an initial programme theory was elicited through literature and document reviews, semistructured interviews and focus groups with IMC programme managers and CHWs. Based on this initial theory, this protocol proposes a combination of semistructured interviews, life histories and critical incident narratives, surveys and latent variable modelling of key constructs to explain how contextual factors work to trigger mechanisms for specific outcomes relating to IMC's 300+ CHWs' performance. Participants will also include programme staff, CHWs and programme beneficiaries. Realist approaches will be used to better understand ‘what works, for whom and under what conditions’ for improving CHW performance within humanitarian contexts. Ethics and dissemination Trinity College Dublin's Health Policy and Management/Centre for Global Health Research Ethics Committee gave ethical approval for the protocol development phase. For the full research project, additional ethical approval will be sought from: Université St. Joseph (Lebanon), the Ethics Committee of the Ministry of Health in Baghdad (Iraq) and the Middle East Technical University (Turkey). Dissemination

  10. Cross Layer Adaptation of Check Intervals in Low Power Listening MAC Protocols for Lifetime Improvement in Wireless Sensor Networks

    PubMed Central

    Escolar, Soledad; Chessa, Stefano; Carretero, Jesús; Marinescu, Maria-Cristina

    2012-01-01

    Preamble sampling-based MAC protocols designed for Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) are aimed at prolonging the lifetime of the nodes by scheduling their times of activity. This scheduling exploits node synchronization to find the right trade-off between energy consumption and delay. In this paper we consider the problem of node synchronization in preamble sampling protocols. We propose Cross Layer Adaptation of Check intervals (CLAC), a novel protocol intended to reduce the energy consumption of the nodes without significantly increasing the delay. Our protocol modifies the scheduling of the nodes based on estimating the delay experienced by a packet that travels along a multi-hop path. CLAC uses routing and MAC layer information to compute a delay that matches the packet arrival time. We have implemented CLAC on top of well-known routing and MAC protocols for WSN, and we have evaluated our implementation using the Avrora simulator. The simulation results confirm that CLAC improves the network lifetime at no additional packet loss and without affecting the end-to-end delay. PMID:23112613

  11. Study of accent-based music speech protocol development for improving voice problems in stroke patients with mixed dysarthria.

    PubMed

    Kim, Soo Ji; Jo, Uiri

    2013-01-01

    Based on the anatomical and functional commonality between singing and speech, various types of musical elements have been employed in music therapy research for speech rehabilitation. This study was to develop an accent-based music speech protocol to address voice problems of stroke patients with mixed dysarthria. Subjects were 6 stroke patients with mixed dysarthria and they received individual music therapy sessions. Each session was conducted for 30 minutes and 12 sessions including pre- and post-test were administered for each patient. For examining the protocol efficacy, the measures of maximum phonation time (MPT), fundamental frequency (F0), average intensity (dB), jitter, shimmer, noise to harmonics ratio (NHR), and diadochokinesis (DDK) were compared between pre and post-test and analyzed with a paired sample t-test. The results showed that the measures of MPT, F0, dB, and sequential motion rates (SMR) were significantly increased after administering the protocol. Also, there were statistically significant differences in the measures of shimmer, and alternating motion rates (AMR) of the syllable /K$\\inve$/ between pre- and post-test. The results indicated that the accent-based music speech protocol may improve speech motor coordination including respiration, phonation, articulation, resonance, and prosody of patients with dysarthria. This suggests the possibility of utilizing the music speech protocol to maximize immediate treatment effects in the course of a long-term treatment for patients with dysarthria. PMID:23422471

  12. Cryptanalysis and improvement of authentication and key agreement protocols for telecare medicine information systems.

    PubMed

    Islam, S K Hafizul; Khan, Muhammad Khurram

    2014-10-01

    Recently, many authentication protocols have been presented using smartcard for the telecare medicine information system (TMIS). In 2014, Xu et al. put forward a two-factor mutual authentication with key agreement protocol using elliptic curve cryptography (ECC). However, the authors have proved that the protocol is not appropriate for practical use as it has many problems (1) it fails to achieve strong authentication in login and authentication phases; (2) it fails to update the password correctly in the password change phase; (3) it fails to provide the revocation of lost/stolen smartcard; and (4) it fails to protect the strong replay attack. We then devised an anonymous and provably secure two-factor authentication protocol based on ECC. Our protocol is analyzed with the random oracle model and demonstrated to be formally secured against the hardness assumption of computational Diffie-Hellman problem. The performance evaluation demonstrated that our protocol outperforms from the perspective of security, functionality and computation costs over other existing designs. PMID:25190590

  13. Improved protocol for rapid identification of certain spa types using high resolution melting curve analysis.

    PubMed

    Mayerhofer, Benjamin; Stöger, Anna; Pietzka, Ariane T; Fernandez, Haizpea Lasa; Prewein, Bernhard; Sorschag, Sieglinde; Kunert, Renate; Allerberger, Franz; Ruppitsch, Werner

    2015-01-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most significant pathogens associated with health care. For efficient surveillance, control and outbreak investigation, S. aureus typing is essential. A high resolution melting curve analysis was developed and evaluated for rapid identification of the most frequent spa types found in an Austrian hospital consortium covering 2,435 beds. Among 557 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates 38 different spa types were identified by sequence analysis of the hypervariable region X of the protein A gene (spa). Identification of spa types through their characteristic high resolution melting curve profiles was considerably improved by double spiking with genomic DNA from spa type t030 and spa type t003 and allowed unambiguous and fast identification of the ten most frequent spa types t001 (58%), t003 (12%), t190 (9%), t041 (5%), t022 (2%), t032 (2%), t008 (2%), t002 (1%), t5712 (1%) and t2203 (1%), representing 93% of all isolates within this hospital consortium. The performance of the assay was evaluated by testing samples with unknown spa types from the daily routine and by testing three different high resolution melting curve analysis real-time PCR instruments. The ten most frequent spa types were identified from all samples and on all instruments with 100% specificity and 100% sensitivity. Compared to classical spa typing by sequence analysis, this gene scanning assay is faster, cheaper and can be performed in a single closed tube assay format. Therefore it is an optimal screening tool to detect the most frequent endemic spa types and to exclude non-endemic spa types within a hospital. PMID:25768007

  14. Improved Protocol for Rapid Identification of Certain Spa Types Using High Resolution Melting Curve Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Mayerhofer, Benjamin; Stöger, Anna; Pietzka, Ariane T.; Fernandez, Haizpea Lasa; Prewein, Bernhard; Sorschag, Sieglinde; Kunert, Renate; Allerberger, Franz; Ruppitsch, Werner

    2015-01-01

    Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most significant pathogens associated with health care. For efficient surveillance, control and outbreak investigation, S. aureus typing is essential. A high resolution melting curve analysis was developed and evaluated for rapid identification of the most frequent spa types found in an Austrian hospital consortium covering 2,435 beds. Among 557 methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus isolates 38 different spa types were identified by sequence analysis of the hypervariable region X of the protein A gene (spa). Identification of spa types through their characteristic high resolution melting curve profiles was considerably improved by double spiking with genomic DNA from spa type t030 and spa type t003 and allowed unambiguous and fast identification of the ten most frequent spa types t001 (58%), t003 (12%), t190 (9%), t041 (5%), t022 (2%), t032 (2%), t008 (2%), t002 (1%), t5712 (1%) and t2203 (1%), representing 93% of all isolates within this hospital consortium. The performance of the assay was evaluated by testing samples with unknown spa types from the daily routine and by testing three different high resolution melting curve analysis real-time PCR instruments. The ten most frequent spa types were identified from all samples and on all instruments with 100% specificity and 100% sensitivity. Compared to classical spa typing by sequence analysis, this gene scanning assay is faster, cheaper and can be performed in a single closed tube assay format. Therefore it is an optimal screening tool to detect the most frequent endemic spa types and to exclude non-endemic spa types within a hospital. PMID:25768007

  15. Isolation of 1E4 IgM Anti-Fasciola hepatica Rediae Monoclonal Antibody from Ascites: Comparison of Two Purification Protocols.

    PubMed

    Alba, Annia; Marcet, Ricardo; Otero, Oscar; Hernández, Hilda M; Figueredo, Mabel; Sarracent, Jorge

    2016-02-01

    Purification of immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies could be challenging, and is often characterized by the optimization of the purification protocol to best suit the particular features of the molecule. Here, two different schemes were compared to purify, from ascites, the 1E4 IgM monoclonal antibody (mAb) previously raised against the stage of redia of the trematode Fasciola hepatica. This immunoglobulin is used as capture antibody in an immunoenzymatic assay to detect parasite ongoing infection in its intermediate hosts. The first purification protocol of the 1E4 mAb involved two chromatographic steps: an affinity chromatography on a Concanavalin A matrix followed by size exclusion chromatography. An immunoaffinity chromatography was selected as the second protocol for one-step purification of the antibody using the crude extract of adult parasites coupled to a commercial matrix. Immunoreactivity of the fractions during purification schemes was assessed by indirect immunoenzymatic assays against the crude extract of F. hepatica rediae, while purity was estimated by protein electrophoresis. Losses on the recovery of the antibody isolated by the first purification protocol occurred due to protein precipitation during the concentration of the sample and to low resolution of the size exclusion molecular chromatography step regarding this particular immunoglobulin. The immunoaffinity chromatography using F. hepatica antigens as ligands proved to be the most suitable protocol yielding a pure and immunoreactive antibody. The purification protocols used are discussed regarding efficiency and difficulties. PMID:26828226

  16. Innovative Approaches Using Lichen Enriched Media to Improve Isolation and Culturability of Lichen Associated Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Biosca, Elena G.; Flores, Raquel; Santander, Ricardo D.; Díez-Gil, José Luis; Barreno, Eva

    2016-01-01

    Lichens, self-supporting mutualistic associations between a fungal partner and one or more photosynthetic partners, also harbor non-photosynthetic bacteria. The diversity and contribution of these bacteria to the functioning of lichen symbiosis have recently begun to be studied, often by culture-independent techniques due to difficulties in their isolation and culture. However, culturing as yet unculturable lichenic bacteria is critical to unravel their potential functional roles in lichen symbiogenesis, to explore and exploit their biotechnological potential and for the description of new taxa. Our objective was to improve the recovery of lichen associated bacteria by developing novel isolation and culture approaches, initially using the lichen Pseudevernia furfuracea. We evaluated the effect of newly developed media enriched with novel lichen extracts, as well as the influence of thalli washing time and different disinfection and processing protocols of thalli. The developed methodology included: i) the use of lichen enriched media to mimic lichen nutrients, supplemented with the fungicide natamycin; ii) an extended washing of thalli to increase the recovery of ectolichenic bacteria, thus allowing the disinfection of thalli to be discarded, hence enhancing endolichenic bacteria recovery; and iii) the use of an antioxidant buffer to prevent or reduce oxidative stress during thalli disruption. The optimized methodology allowed significant increases in the number and diversity of culturable bacteria associated with P. furfuracea, and it was also successfully applied to the lichens Ramalina farinacea and Parmotrema pseudotinctorum. Furthermore, we provide, for the first time, data on the abundance of culturable ecto- and endolichenic bacteria that naturally colonize P. furfuracea, R. farinacea and P. pseudotinctorum, some of which were only able to grow on lichen enriched media. This innovative methodology is also applicable to other microorganisms inhabiting these

  17. Innovative Approaches Using Lichen Enriched Media to Improve Isolation and Culturability of Lichen Associated Bacteria.

    PubMed

    Biosca, Elena G; Flores, Raquel; Santander, Ricardo D; Díez-Gil, José Luis; Barreno, Eva

    2016-01-01

    Lichens, self-supporting mutualistic associations between a fungal partner and one or more photosynthetic partners, also harbor non-photosynthetic bacteria. The diversity and contribution of these bacteria to the functioning of lichen symbiosis have recently begun to be studied, often by culture-independent techniques due to difficulties in their isolation and culture. However, culturing as yet unculturable lichenic bacteria is critical to unravel their potential functional roles in lichen symbiogenesis, to explore and exploit their biotechnological potential and for the description of new taxa. Our objective was to improve the recovery of lichen associated bacteria by developing novel isolation and culture approaches, initially using the lichen Pseudevernia furfuracea. We evaluated the effect of newly developed media enriched with novel lichen extracts, as well as the influence of thalli washing time and different disinfection and processing protocols of thalli. The developed methodology included: i) the use of lichen enriched media to mimic lichen nutrients, supplemented with the fungicide natamycin; ii) an extended washing of thalli to increase the recovery of ectolichenic bacteria, thus allowing the disinfection of thalli to be discarded, hence enhancing endolichenic bacteria recovery; and iii) the use of an antioxidant buffer to prevent or reduce oxidative stress during thalli disruption. The optimized methodology allowed significant increases in the number and diversity of culturable bacteria associated with P. furfuracea, and it was also successfully applied to the lichens Ramalina farinacea and Parmotrema pseudotinctorum. Furthermore, we provide, for the first time, data on the abundance of culturable ecto- and endolichenic bacteria that naturally colonize P. furfuracea, R. farinacea and P. pseudotinctorum, some of which were only able to grow on lichen enriched media. This innovative methodology is also applicable to other microorganisms inhabiting these

  18. Improved method for simultaneous isolation of proteins and nucleic acids.

    PubMed

    Chey, Soroth; Claus, Claudia; Liebert, Uwe Gerd

    2011-04-01

    Guanidinium thiocyanate-phenol-chloroform extraction (GTPC extraction) is widely used in molecular biology for isolating DNA, RNA, and proteins. Protein isolation by commercially available GTPC solutions is time consuming and the resulting pellets are only incompletely soluble. In this study ethanol-bromochloropropane-water was used for precipitation of proteins from the phenol-ethanol phase after GTPC extraction of RNA and DNA. The precipitated proteins can be readily dissolved in 4% SDS for subsequent analysis. This technique allows a fast (30min) and efficient (with a protein recovery of up to 95%) extraction of proteins for the study of transcriptional and posttranscriptional events from the same sample. PMID:21094121

  19. How blockchain-timestamped protocols could improve the trustworthiness of medical science

    PubMed Central

    Irving, Greg; Holden, John

    2016-01-01

    Trust in scientific research is diminished by evidence that data are being manipulated. Outcome switching, data dredging and selective publication are some of the problems that undermine the integrity of published research. Methods for using blockchain to provide proof of pre-specified endpoints in clinical trial protocols were first reported by Carlisle. We wished to empirically test such an approach using a clinical trial protocol where outcome switching has previously been reported. Here we confirm the use of blockchain as a low cost, independently verifiable method to audit and confirm the reliability of scientific studies. PMID:27239273

  20. How blockchain-timestamped protocols could improve the trustworthiness of medical science.

    PubMed

    Irving, Greg; Holden, John

    2016-01-01

    Trust in scientific research is diminished by evidence that data are being manipulated. Outcome switching, data dredging and selective publication are some of the problems that undermine the integrity of published research. Methods for using blockchain to provide proof of pre-specified endpoints in clinical trial protocols were first reported by Carlisle. We wished to empirically test such an approach using a clinical trial protocol where outcome switching has previously been reported. Here we confirm the use of blockchain as a low cost, independently verifiable method to audit and confirm the reliability of scientific studies. PMID:27239273

  1. A novel multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) protocol for Leuconostoc lactis isolates from traditional dairy products in China and Mongolia

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Economically, Leuconostoc lactis is one of the most important species in the genus Leuconostoc. It plays an important role in the food industry including the production of dextrans and bacteriocins. Currently, traditional molecular typing approaches for characterisation of this species at the isolate level are either unavailable or are not sufficiently reliable for practical use. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) is a robust and reliable method for characterising bacterial and fungal species at the molecular level. In this study, a novel MLST protocol was developed for 50 L. lactis isolates from Mongolia and China. Results Sequences from eight targeted genes (groEL, carB, recA, pheS, murC, pyrG, rpoB and uvrC) were obtained. Sequence analysis indicated 20 different sequence types (STs), with 13 of them being represented by a single isolate. Phylogenetic analysis based on the sequences of eight MLST loci indicated that the isolates belonged to two major groups, A (34 isolates) and B (16 isolates). Linkage disequilibrium analyses indicated that recombination occurred at a low frequency in L. lactis, indicating a clonal population structure. Split-decomposition analysis indicated that intraspecies recombination played a role in generating genotypic diversity amongst isolates. Conclusions Our results indicated that MLST is a valuable tool for typing L. lactis isolates that can be used for further monitoring of evolutionary changes and population genetics. PMID:24912963

  2. Disseminating quality improvement: study protocol for a large cluster-randomized trial

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Dissemination is a critical facet of implementing quality improvement in organizations. As a field, addiction treatment has produced effective interventions but disseminated them slowly and reached only a fraction of people needing treatment. This study investigates four methods of disseminating quality improvement (QI) to addiction treatment programs in the U.S. It is, to our knowledge, the largest study of organizational change ever conducted in healthcare. The trial seeks to determine the most cost-effective method of disseminating quality improvement in addiction treatment. Methods The study is evaluating the costs and effectiveness of different QI approaches by randomizing 201 addiction-treatment programs to four interventions. Each intervention used a web-based learning kit plus monthly phone calls, coaching, face-to-face meetings, or the combination of all three. Effectiveness is defined as reducing waiting time (days between first contact and treatment), increasing program admissions, and increasing continuation in treatment. Opportunity costs will be estimated for the resources associated with providing the services. Outcomes The study has three primary outcomes: waiting time, annual program admissions, and continuation in treatment. Secondary outcomes include: voluntary employee turnover, treatment completion, and operating margin. We are also seeking to understand the role of mediators, moderators, and other factors related to an organization's success in making changes. Analysis We are fitting a mixed-effect regression model to each program's average monthly waiting time and continuation rates (based on aggregated client records), including terms to isolate state and intervention effects. Admissions to treatment are aggregated to a yearly level to compensate for seasonality. We will order the interventions by cost to compare them pair-wise to the lowest cost intervention (monthly phone calls). All randomized sites with outcome data will be

  3. The IMPROVE_A temperature protocol for thermal/optical carbon analysis: maintaining consistency with a long-term database.

    PubMed

    Chow, Judith C; Watson, John G; Chen, L W Antony; Chang, M C Oliver; Robinson, Norman F; Trimble, Dana; Kohl, Steven

    2007-09-01

    Thermally derived carbon fractions including organic carbon (OC) and elemental carbon (EC) have been reported for the U.S. Interagency Monitoring of PROtected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) network since 1987 and have been found useful in source apportionment studies and to evaluate quartz-fiber filter adsorption of organic vapors. The IMPROVE_A temperature protocol defines temperature plateaus for thermally derived carbon fractions of 140 degrees C for OC1, 280 degrees C for OC2, 480 degrees C for OC3, and 580 degrees C for OC4 in a helium (He) carrier gas and 580 degrees C for EC1, 740 degrees C for EC2, and 840 degrees C for EC3 in a 98% He/2% oxygen (O2) carrier gas. These temperatures differ from those used previously because new hardware used for the IMPROVE thermal/optical reflectance (IMPROVE_TOR) protocol better represents the sample temperature than did the old hardware. A newly developed temperature calibration method demonstrates that these temperatures better represent sample temperatures in the older units used to quantify IMPROVE carbon fractions from 1987 through 2004. Only the thermal fractions are affected by changes in temperature. The OC and EC by TOR are insensitive to the change in temperature protocol, and therefore the long-term consistency of the IMPROVE database is conserved. A method to detect small quantities of O2 in the pure He carrier gas shows that O2 levels above 100 ppmv also affect the comparability of thermal carbon fractions but have little effect on the IMPROVE_TOR split between OC and EC. PMID:17912920

  4. Towards an Improved LAI Collection Protocol via Simulated and Field-Based PAR Sensing

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Wei; Kelbe, David; van Leeuwen, Martin; Romanczyk, Paul; van Aardt, Jan

    2016-01-01

    In support of NASA’s next-generation spectrometer—the Hyperspectral Infrared Imager (HyspIRI)—we are working towards assessing sub-pixel vegetation structure from imaging spectroscopy data. Of particular interest is Leaf Area Index (LAI), which is an informative, yet notoriously challenging parameter to efficiently measure in situ. While photosynthetically-active radiation (PAR) sensors have been validated for measuring crop LAI, there is limited literature on the efficacy of PAR-based LAI measurement in the forest environment. This study (i) validates PAR-based LAI measurement in forest environments, and (ii) proposes a suitable collection protocol, which balances efficiency with measurement variation, e.g., due to sun flecks and various-sized canopy gaps. A synthetic PAR sensor model was developed in the Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing Image Generation (DIRSIG) model and used to validate LAI measurement based on first-principles and explicitly-known leaf geometry. Simulated collection parameters were adjusted to empirically identify optimal collection protocols. These collection protocols were then validated in the field by correlating PAR-based LAI measurement to the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) extracted from the “classic” Airborne Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS-C) data (R2 was 0.61). The results indicate that our proposed collecting protocol is suitable for measuring the LAI of sparse forest (LAI < 3–5 (m2/m2)). PMID:27428969

  5. Progressive Mobility Protocol Reduces Venous Thromboembolism Rate in Trauma Intensive Care Patients: A Quality Improvement Project.

    PubMed

    Booth, Kathryn; Rivet, Josh; Flici, Richelle; Harvey, Ellen; Hamill, Mark; Hundley, Douglas; Holland, Katelyn; Hubbard, Sandra; Trivedi, Apurva; Collier, Bryan

    2016-01-01

    The intensive care unit (ICU) trauma population is at high risk for complications associated with immobility. The purpose of this project was to compare ICU trauma patient outcomes before and after implementation of a structured progressive mobility (PM) protocol. Outcomes included hospital and ICU stays, ventilator days, falls, respiratory failure, pneumonia, or venous thromboembolism (VTE). In the preintervention cohort, physical therapy (PT) consults were placed 53% of the time. This rose to more than 90% during the postintervention period. PT consults seen within 24 hr rose from a baseline 23% pre- to 74%-94% in the 2 highest compliance postintervention months. On average, 40% of patients were daily determined to be too unstable for mobility per protocol guidelines-most often owing to elevated intracranial pressure. During PM sessions, there were no adverse events (i.e., extubation, hypoxia, fall). There were no significant differences in clinical outcomes between the 2 cohorts regarding hospital and ICU stays, average ventilator days, mortality, falls, respiratory failure, or pneumonia overall or within ventilated patients specifically. There was, however, a difference in the incidence of VTE between the preintervention cohort (21%) and postintervention cohort (7.5%) (p = .0004). A PM protocol for ICU trauma patients is safe and may reduce patient deconditioning and VTE complications in this high-risk population. Multidisciplinary commitment, daily protocol reinforcement, and active engagement of patients/families are the cornerstones to success in this ICU PM program. PMID:27618376

  6. Towards an Improved LAI Collection Protocol via Simulated and Field-Based PAR Sensing.

    PubMed

    Yao, Wei; Kelbe, David; Leeuwen, Martin van; Romanczyk, Paul; Aardt, Jan van

    2016-01-01

    In support of NASA's next-generation spectrometer-the Hyperspectral Infrared Imager (HyspIRI)-we are working towards assessing sub-pixel vegetation structure from imaging spectroscopy data. Of particular interest is Leaf Area Index (LAI), which is an informative, yet notoriously challenging parameter to efficiently measure in situ. While photosynthetically-active radiation (PAR) sensors have been validated for measuring crop LAI, there is limited literature on the efficacy of PAR-based LAI measurement in the forest environment. This study (i) validates PAR-based LAI measurement in forest environments, and (ii) proposes a suitable collection protocol, which balances efficiency with measurement variation, e.g., due to sun flecks and various-sized canopy gaps. A synthetic PAR sensor model was developed in the Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing Image Generation (DIRSIG) model and used to validate LAI measurement based on first-principles and explicitly-known leaf geometry. Simulated collection parameters were adjusted to empirically identify optimal collection protocols. These collection protocols were then validated in the field by correlating PAR-based LAI measurement to the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) extracted from the "classic" Airborne Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS-C) data ( R 2 was 0.61). The results indicate that our proposed collecting protocol is suitable for measuring the LAI of sparse forest (LAI < 3-5 ( m 2 / m 2 )). PMID:27428969

  7. Towards an improved LAI collection protocol via simulated field-based PAR sensing

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Yao, Wei; Van Leeuwen, Martin; Romanczyk, Paul; van Aardt, Jan; Kelbe, David

    2016-07-14

    In support of NASA’s next-generation spectrometer—the Hyperspectral Infrared Imager (HyspIRI)—we are working towards assessing sub-pixel vegetation structure from imaging spectroscopy data. Of particular interest is Leaf Area Index (LAI), which is an informative, yet notoriously challenging parameter to efficiently measure in situ. While photosynthetically-active radiation (PAR) sensors have been validated for measuring crop LAI, there is limited literature on the efficacy of PAR-based LAI measurement in the forest environment. This study (i) validates PAR-based LAI measurement in forest environments, and (ii) proposes a suitable collection protocol, which balances efficiency with measurement variation, e.g., due to sun flecks and various-sized canopymore » gaps. A synthetic PAR sensor model was developed in the Digital Imaging and Remote Sensing Image Generation (DIRSIG) model and used to validate LAI measurement based on first-principles and explicitly-known leaf geometry. Simulated collection parameters were adjusted to empirically identify optimal collection protocols. Furthermore, these collection protocols were then validated in the field by correlating PAR-based LAI measurement to the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) extracted from the “classic” Airborne Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS-C) data (R2 was 0.61). The results indicate that our proposed collecting protocol is suitable for measuring the LAI of sparse forest (LAI < 3–5 ( m2/m2)).« less

  8. Modified CTAB and TRIzol protocols improve RNA extraction from chemically complex Embryophyta1

    PubMed Central

    Jordon-Thaden, Ingrid E.; Chanderbali, Andre S.; Gitzendanner, Matthew A.; Soltis, Douglas E.

    2015-01-01

    Premise of the study: Here we present a series of protocols for RNA extraction across a diverse array of plants; we focus on woody, aromatic, aquatic, and other chemically complex taxa. Methods and Results: Ninety-one taxa were subjected to RNA extraction with three methods presented here: (1) TRIzol/TURBO DNA-free kits using the manufacturer’s protocol with the addition of sarkosyl; (2) a combination method using cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) and TRIzol/sarkosyl/TURBO DNA-free; and (3) a combination of CTAB and QIAGEN RNeasy Plant Mini Kit. Bench-ready protocols are given. Conclusions: After an iterative process of working with chemically complex taxa, we conclude that the use of TRIzol supplemented with sarkosyl and the TURBO DNA-free kit is an effective, efficient, and robust method for obtaining RNA from 100 mg of leaf tissue of land plant species (Embryophyta) examined. Our protocols can be used to provide RNA of suitable stability, quantity, and quality for transcriptome sequencing. PMID:25995975

  9. A protocol for evaluation of Rett Syndrome symptom improvement by metabolic modulators in Mecp2-mutant mice

    PubMed Central

    Buchovecky, Christie M; Hill, Misty G; Borkey, Jennifer M; Kyle, Stephanie M; Justice, Monica J

    2014-01-01

    Mouse models recapitulate many symptoms of Rett Syndrome, an X-linked disorder caused by mutations in methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 (MECP2). The study of Mecp2-null male mice has provided insight into pathogenesis of the disorder; most recently, dysregulation of cholesterol and lipid metabolism. Perisymptomatic treatment with statin drugs successfully mitigates the effects of this metabolic syndrome, increases longevity and improves motor function. Described here is a metabolic drug screening protocol and timeline for symptom evaluation in Mecp2-mutant mice. Specifically, mice are treated twice weekly with a compound of interest alongside subjective health assessments, bi-weekly body composition measurements and blood chemistries. Throughout treatment, behavioral phenotyping tests are carried out at specific time points. This protocol is highly adaptable to other neurological diseases; however, the time for completion depends on the specific mutant model under study. The protocol highlights the use of several different CPMo protocols to carry out testing in a preclinical model. PMID:25506514

  10. Cryptanalysis and improvement of quantum broadcast communication and authentication protocol with a quantum one-time pad

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Zhi-Hao; Chen, Han-Wu

    2016-08-01

    The security of quantum broadcast communication (QBC) and authentication protocol based on Greenberger–Horne–Zeilinger (GHZ) state and quantum one-time pad is analyzed. It is shown that there are some security issues in this protocol. Firstly, an external eavesdropper can take the intercept–measure–resend attack strategy to eavesdrop on 0.369 bit of every bit of the identity string of each receiver without being detected. Meanwhile, 0.524 bit of every bit of the secret message can be eavesdropped on without being detected. Secondly, an inner receiver can take the intercept–measure–resend attack strategy to eavesdrop on half of the identity string of the other’s definitely without being checked. In addition, an alternative attack called the CNOT-operation attack is discussed. As for the multi-party QBC protocol, the attack efficiency increases with the increase of the number of users. Finally, the QBC protocol is improved to a secure one. Project supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 61502101 and 61170321), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province, China (Grant No. BK20140651), the Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education, China (Grant No. 20110092110024), and the Project Funded by PAPD and CICAEET.

  11. Butterfly survival on an isolated island by improved grip.

    PubMed

    Duplouy, Anne; Hanski, Ilkka

    2013-04-23

    On small isolated islands, natural selection is expected to reduce the dispersal capacity of organisms, as short distances do not require a high rate of dispersal, which might lead to accidental emigration from the population. In addition, individuals foregoing the high cost of maintaining flight capacity may instead allocate resources to other functions. However, in butterflies and many other insects, flight is necessary not only for dispersal but also for most other activities. A weakly flying individual would probably do worse and have an elevated rather than reduced probability of accidental emigration. Here, we report results consistent with the hypothesis that a butterfly population on an isolated island, instead of having lost its flight capacity, has evolved better grip to resist the force of wind and to avoid being blown off the island. Our study suggests that local adaptation has occurred in this population in spite of its very small size (Ne ∼ 100), complete isolation, low genetic variation and high genetic load. PMID:23445946

  12. A simplified and cost-effective enrichment protocol for the isolation of Campylobacter spp. from retail broiler meat without microaerobic incubation

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background To simplify the methodology for the isolation of Campylobacter spp. from retail broiler meat, we evaluated 108 samples (breasts and thighs) using an unpaired sample design. The enrichment broths were incubated under aerobic conditions (subsamples A) and for comparison under microaerobic conditions (subsamples M) as recommended by current reference protocols. Sensors were used to measure the dissolved oxygen (DO) in the broth and the percentage of oxygen (O2) in the head space of the bags used for enrichment. Campylobacter isolates were identified with multiplex PCR assays and typed using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Ribosomal intergenic spacer analyses (RISA) and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) were used to study the bacterial communities of subsamples M and A after 48 h enrichment. Results The number of Campylobacter positive subsamples were similar for A and M when all samples were combined (P = 0.81) and when samples were analyzed by product (breast: P = 0.75; thigh: P = 1.00). Oxygen sensors showed that DO values in the broth were around 6 ppm and O2 values in the head space were 14-16% throughout incubation. PFGE demonstrated high genomic similarity of isolates in the majority of the samples in which isolates were obtained from subsamples A and M. RISA and DGGE results showed a large variability in the bacterial populations that could be attributed to sample-to-sample variations and not enrichment conditions (aerobic or microaerobic). These data also suggested that current sampling protocols are not optimized to determine the true number of Campylobacter positive samples in retail boiler meat. Conclusions Decreased DO in enrichment broths is naturally achieved. This simplified, cost-effective enrichment protocol with aerobic incubation could be incorporated into reference methods for the isolation of Campylobacter spp. from retail broiler meat. PMID:21812946

  13. Improved cryopreservation protocol for Blanca-Celtibérica buck semen collected by electroejaculation.

    PubMed

    Jiménez-Rabadán, Pilar; Ramón, Manuel; García-Álvarez, Olga; Maroto-Morales, Alejandro; Alvaro-García, Pablo J; Del Olmo, Enrique; Pérez-Guzmán, M Dolores; Fernández-Santos, M Rocio; Julián Garde, J; Soler, Ana J

    2013-12-01

    The collection of sperm samples by electroejaculation (EE) leads to an increase of the production of seminal plasma which could modify the tolerance of spermatozoa to the cryopreservation procedure. This study aims to compare a standard sperm cryopreservation protocol for samples collected by artificial vagina (AV) with the same protocol and modifications to this for samples obtained by EE. Semen from six males of Blanca-Celtibérica goat breed was collected by AV (control) and EE, and three experiments were conducted. In Experiment 1, it was examined the effects of egg yolk concentration contained in freezing extender (0%, 1.5%, 10% and 20% of egg yolk); in Experiment 2, it was evaluated the cooling rate from 30 to 5 °C (fast: 10 min and slow: 90 min) and the temperature of glycerol addition (30 and 5 °C); and in Experiment 3, it was examined the time of equilibration at 5 °C (0, 1, 2 or 3h). A heterologous in vitro fertilization test was carried out in order to compare the fertility of control samples with that resulting from the EE protocol which showed the highest sperm quality. Results showed greater sperm motility parameters after thawing for control samples cryopreserved in standard conditions in the three experiments. For samples collected by EE, extender with 20% egg yolk, a slow cooling rate and a longer equilibration time (3h) provided higher sperm quality, and no differences were observed between temperatures of glycerol addition. Samples collected by EE and cryopreserved with the protocol which yielded the best sperm quality after thawing showed higher fertility compared to AV. PMID:23958413

  14. An optimised protocol to isolate high-quality genomic DNA from seed tissues streamlines the workflow to obtain direct estimates of seed dispersal distances in gymnosperms.

    PubMed

    García, C; Escribano-Ávila, G

    2016-05-01

    Genotyping of maternally derived seed tissues from georefered seeds that moved away from their source tree yield direct estimates of seed dispersal distances when the location and the genotype of the fruiting tree are available. These estimates are instrumental in forecasting the response of plant communities to drivers of global change, such as fragmentation or the expansion of invasive species. Obtaining robust assessments of seed dispersal distances requires comparing reliable multilocus genotypes of maternally derived seed tissues and fruiting trees, as previously shown for angiosperm species. However, robust estimates of seed dispersal distances based on direct methods are rare in non-model gymnosperms due to the difficulty in isolating high quality DNA from inconspicuous maternally derived seed tissues. These tissues tend to yield low DNA quantities that increase the frequency of genotyping errors. Here, we deliver a step-by-step visual protocol used to identify and isolate different seed tissues of interest for dispersal studies: embryos (2n, bi-parentally derived), seed coats (2n, maternally derived), and megagametophytes (n, maternally derived). We also provide an optimised lab protocol used to obtain multilocus genotypes from the target seed tissue. These broadly applicable protocols proved successful both in avoiding contamination among different seed tissues and providing reliable multilocus genotypes. PMID:26943162

  15. Improving the capacity of the Boström-Felbinger protocol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cai, Qing-Yu; Li, Bai-Wen

    2004-05-01

    We show that the capacity of the Boström-Felbinger (ping-pong) protocol [

    Phys. Rev. Lett. 89, 187902 (2002)
    ] can be doubled by introducing two additional unitary operations. In message mode, Alice can use one of the four unitary operations to encode two classical bits of information. Bob can decode Alice’s information by using a Bell-basis measurement. Security against eavesdropping attack can be ensured by using two conjugate measurement bases in control mode. A message authentification method can protect this communication against a man-in-the-middle attack without eavesdropping.

  16. IMPROVED COMPUTATIONAL NEUTRONICS METHODS AND VALIDATION PROTOCOLS FOR THE ADVANCED TEST REACTOR

    SciTech Connect

    David W. Nigg; Joseph W. Nielsen; Benjamin M. Chase; Ronnie K. Murray; Kevin A. Steuhm

    2012-04-01

    The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is in the process of modernizing the various reactor physics modeling and simulation tools used to support operation and safety assurance of the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR). Key accomplishments so far have encompassed both computational as well as experimental work. A new suite of stochastic and deterministic transport theory based reactor physics codes and their supporting nuclear data libraries (HELIOS, KENO6/SCALE, NEWT/SCALE, ATTILA, and an extended implementation of MCNP5) has been installed at the INL. Corresponding models of the ATR and ATRC are now operational with all five codes, demonstrating the basic feasibility of the new code packages for their intended purpose. Of particular importance, a set of as-run core depletion HELIOS calculations for all ATR cycles since August 2009 was successfully completed during 2011. This demonstration supported a decision late in the year to proceed with the phased incorporation of the HELIOS methodology into the ATR fuel cycle management process beginning in 2012. On the experimental side of the project, new hardware was fabricated, measurement protocols were finalized, and the first four of six planned physics code validation experiments based on neutron activation spectrometry were conducted at the ATRC facility. Data analysis for the first three experiments, focused on characterization of the neutron spectrum in one of the ATR flux traps, has been completed. The six experiments will ultimately form the basis for a flexible, easily-repeatable ATR physics code validation protocol that is consistent with applicable ASTM standards.

  17. Lingual orthodontics for children and adolescents: improvement of the indirect bonding protocol

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Demineralization of the dental enamel is a finding associated with fixed orthodontic treatment. When an indirect bonding procedure is used in children and adolescents the area beneath the bracket base may be affected. Aim To evaluate if the addition of an extra layer of a hydrophilic resin, to a conventional indirect bonding protocol, can reduce the incidence of demineralization beneath the bracket base. Methods 40 patients under 18 years of age were treated with completely customized lingual appliances. Two different bonding protocols were used either with or without the application of an additional layer of hydrophilic resin. Demineralization beneath the bracket base, after de-bonding, was evaluated by standardized intra-oral photographs. Results The addition of an extra layer of a hydrophilic resin helps to reduce the number of demineralized areas beneath the bracket bases significantly (three times less). The severity of the few remaining defects were minor and without any clinical consequence. Conclusion When bonding a completely customized lingual appliance in children and adolescents, an extra layer of a hydrophilic resin should be added to the teeth. PMID:24025345

  18. Improved computational neutronics methods and validation protocols for the advanced test reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Nigg, D. W.; Nielsen, J. W.; Chase, B. M.; Murray, R. K.; Steuhm, K. A.; Unruh, T.

    2012-07-01

    The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is in the process of updating the various reactor physics modeling and simulation tools used to support operation and safety assurance of the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR). Key accomplishments so far have encompassed both computational as well as experimental work. A new suite of stochastic and deterministic transport theory based reactor physics codes and their supporting nuclear data libraries (HELIOS, KENO6/SCALE, NEWT/SCALE, ATTILA, and an extended implementation of MCNP5) has been installed at the INL. Corresponding models of the ATR and ATRC are now operational with all five codes, demonstrating the basic feasibility of the new code packages for their intended purposes. On the experimental side of the project, new hardware was fabricated, measurement protocols were finalized, and the first four of six planned physics code validation experiments based on neutron activation spectrometry have been conducted at the ATRC facility. Data analysis for the first three experiments, focused on characterization of the neutron spectrum in one of the ATR flux traps, has been completed. The six experiments will ultimately form the basis for flexible and repeatable ATR physics code validation protocols that are consistent with applicable national standards. (authors)

  19. A New Cecal Slurry Preparation Protocol with Improved Long-Term Reproducibility for Animal Models of Sepsis

    PubMed Central

    Starr, Marlene E.; Steele, Allison M.; Saito, Mizuki; Hacker, Bill J.; Evers, B. Mark; Saito, Hiroshi

    2014-01-01

    Sepsis, a life-threatening systemic inflammatory response syndrome induced by infection, is widely studied using laboratory animal models. While cecal-ligation and puncture (CLP) is considered the gold standard model for sepsis research, it may not be preferable for experiments comparing animals of different size or under different dietary regimens. By comparing cecum size, shape, and cecal content characteristics in mice under different experimental conditions (aging, diabetes, pancreatitis), we show that cecum variability could be problematic for some CLP experiments. The cecal slurry (CS) injection model, in which the cecal contents of a laboratory animal are injected intraperitoneally to other animals, is an alternative method for inducing polymicrobial sepsis; however, the CS must be freshly prepared under conventional protocols, which is a major disadvantage with respect to reproducibility and convenience. The objective of this study was to develop an improved CS preparation protocol that allows for long-term storage of CS with reproducible results. Using our new CS preparation protocol we found that bacterial viability is maintained for at least 6 months when the CS is prepared in 15% glycerol-PBS and stored at -80°C. To test sepsis-inducing efficacy of stored CS stocks, various amounts of CS were injected to young (4–6 months old), middle-aged (12–14 months old), and aged (24–26 months old) male C57BL/6 mice. Dose- and age-dependent mortality was observed with high reproducibility. Circulating bacteria levels strongly correlated with mortality suggesting an infection-mediated death. Further, injection with heat-inactivated CS resulted in acute hypothermia without mortality, indicating that CS-mediated death is not due to endotoxic shock. This new CS preparation protocol results in CS stocks which are durable for freezing preservation without loss of bacterial viability, allowing experiments to be performed more conveniently and with higher

  20. Improving Packet Delivery Performance of Publish/Subscribe Protocols in Wireless Sensor Networks

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Ernesto García; Calveras, Anna; Demirkol, Ilker

    2013-01-01

    MQTT-S and CoAP are two protocols able to use the publish/subscribe model in Wireless Sensor Networks (WSNs). The high scalability provided by the publish/subscribe model may incur a high packet loss and therefore requires an efficient reliability mechanism to cope with this situation. The reliability mechanism of MQTT-S and CoAP employs a method which defines a fixed value for the retransmission timeout (RTO). This article argues that this method is not efficient for deploying publish/subscribe in WSN, because it may be unable to recover a packet, therefore resulting in a lower packet delivery ratio (PDR) at the subscriber nodes. This article proposes and evaluates an adaptive RTO method, which consists in using a Smooth Round-trip Time and multiplying it by a constant parameter (K). Thanks to this method, the reliability mechanism of MQTT-S and CoAP would be able to react properly to packet loss and would also be lightweight in terms of energy, memory and computing for sensor nodes where these resources are critical. We present a detailed evaluation of the effects of the K value on the calculation of the adaptive RTO method. We also establish the setting for obtaining the highest PDR on the subscriber nodes for single-hop and multi-hop scenarios. The results for single-hop scenario show that use of the appropriate K value for the adaptive RTO method increases the PDR up to 76% for MQTT-S and up to 38% for CoAP when compared with the use of fixed RTO method for both protocols, respectively. Meanwhile the same comparison for multi-hop scenario, the adaptive RTO method increases the PDR up to 36% for MQTT-S and up to 14% for CoAP. PMID:23291579

  1. Protocol Improvements for Low Concentration DNA-Based Bioaerosol Sampling and Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Ng, Chun Kiat; Miller, Dana; Cao, Bin

    2015-01-01

    Introduction As bioaerosol research attracts increasing attention, there is a need for additional efforts that focus on method development to deal with different environmental samples. Bioaerosol environmental samples typically have very low biomass concentrations in the air, which often leaves researchers with limited options in choosing the downstream analysis steps, especially when culture-independent methods are intended. Objectives This study investigates the impacts of three important factors that can influence the performance of culture-independent DNA-based analysis in dealing with bioaerosol environmental samples engaged in this study. The factors are: 1) enhanced high temperature sonication during DNA extraction; 2) effect of sampling duration on DNA recoverability; and 3) an alternative method for concentrating composite samples. In this study, DNA extracted from samples was analysed using the Qubit fluorometer (for direct total DNA measurement) and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). Results and Findings The findings suggest that additional lysis from high temperature sonication is crucial: DNA yields from both high and low biomass samples increased up to 600% when the protocol included 30-min sonication at 65°C. Long air sampling duration on a filter media was shown to have a negative impact on DNA recoverability with up to 98% of DNA lost over a 20-h sampling period. Pooling DNA from separate samples during extraction was proven to be feasible with margins of error below 30%. PMID:26619279

  2. An improved protocol for flow cytometry analysis of phytoplankton cultures and natural samples.

    PubMed

    Marie, Dominique; Rigaut-Jalabert, Fabienne; Vaulot, Daniel

    2014-11-01

    Preservation of cells, choice of fixative, storage, and thawing conditions are recurrent issues for the analysis of phytoplankton by flow cytometry. We examined the effects of addition of the surfactant Pluronic F68 to glutaraldehyde-fixed photosynthetic organisms in cultures and natural samples. In particular, we examined cell losses and modifications of side scatter (a proxy of cell size) and fluorescence of natural pigments. We found that different marine phytoplankton species react differently to the action of Pluronic F68. In particular, photosynthetic prokaryotes are less sensitive than eukaryotes. Observed cell losses may result from cell lysis or from cell adhesion to the walls of plastic tubes that are commonly used for flow cytometry analysis. The addition of the surfactant, Pluronic F68, has a positive effect on cells for long-term storage. We recommend to modify current protocols for preservation of natural marine planktonic samples, by fixing them with glutaraldehyde 0.25% (final concentration) and adding Pluronic F68 at a final concentration of 0.01% in the samples before preservation. Pluronic F68 also appears effective for preserving samples without fixation for subsequent sorting, e.g. for molecular biology analyses. © 2014 International Society for Advancement of Cytometry. PMID:25155102

  3. Primary culture of human Schwann and schwannoma cells: Improved and simplified protocol

    PubMed Central

    Dilwali, Sonam; Patel, Pratik B.; Roberts, Daniel S.; Basinsky, Gina M.; Harris, Gordon J.; Emerick, Kevin; Stankovic, Konstantina M.

    2014-01-01

    Primary culture of human Schwann cells (SCs) and vestibular schwannoma (VS) cells are invaluable tools to investigate SC physiology and VS pathobiology, and to devise effective pharmacotherapies against VS, which are sorely needed. However, existing culture protocols, in aiming to create robust, pure cultures, employ methods that can lead to loss of biological characteristics of the original cells, potentially resulting in misleading biological findings. We have developed a minimally manipulative method to culture primary human SC and VS cells, without the use of selective mitogens, toxins, or time-consuming and potentially transformative laboratory techniques. Schwann cell purity was quantified longitudinally using S100 staining in SC cultures derived from the great auricular nerve and VS cultures followed for 7 and 12 weeks, respectively. SC cultures retained approximately ≥85% purity for 2 weeks. VS cultures retained approximately ≥80% purity for the majority of the span of 12 weeks, with maximal purity of 87% at 2 weeks. The VS cultures showed high level of biological similarity (68% on average) to their respective parent tumors, as assessed using a protein array featuring 41 growth factors and receptors. Apoptosis rate in vitro negatively correlated with tumor volume. Our results, obtained using a faster, simplified culturing method than previously utilized, indicate that highly pure, primary human SC and VS cultures can be established with minimal manipulation, reaching maximal purity at 2 weeks of culture. The VS cultures recapitulate the parent tumors' biology to a great degree, making them relevant models to investigate VS pathobiology. PMID:24910344

  4. New protocols to improve the deposition and hatching of Sepia officinalis' eggs.

    PubMed

    Barile, Nadia B; Cappabianca, Sabatino; Antonetti, Luigi; Scopa, Mariaspina; Nerone, Eliana; Mascilongo, Giuseppina; Recchi, Sara; D'Aloise, Antonio

    2013-01-01

    The objective of this study was the development of hatching protocols in controlled conditions to obtain juveniles, in order to restock and increase the resource of Sepia officinalis. The study was divided into the following phases: development and application of artificial surfaces at specific sites of the Molise coast in Italy; induction of eggs hatching and juveniles maintenance under controlled condition; juveniles introduction into specific sites and assessment their increment; experimental data elaboration. The obtained results concerned both the effectiveness of the artificial surfaces tasted during the study and the importance of the recovery of the eggs laid on artificial surfaces (artefacts and fishing gear) for preservation and the management of the Sepia officinalis resource. The induction tests conducted on eggs hatching under controlled conditions confirmed what described in the extant literature. Water salinity was detected as the only limiting factor, with values ≤ 20% related to the absence of hatching. The described practices for harvesting and induction of hatching for the production of juvenile cuttlefish may be endorsed by the operators at relatively low cost and throughout the year, with obvious economic benefits. PMID:24362778

  5. An improved cryopreservation protocol for pineapple apices using encapsulation-vitrification.

    PubMed

    Gámez-Pastrana, R; Martínez-Ocampo, Y; Beristain, C I; González-Arnao, M T

    2004-01-01

    Several modifications to the cryogenic protocols previously described for pineapple apices were performed using vitrification and encapsulation-vitrification. Pregrowth of apices in sucrose-proline before loading significantly reduced the exposure duration to PVS2 and PVS3 required for successful cryopreservation. Encapsulation and treatments with PVS3 at 0 degree C gave the highest survival before and after cooling. Optimal conditions involved the encapsulation of pineapple apices in calcium alginate (3 percent) followed by a 2-d preculture in liquid medium with 0.16 M sucrose + 0.3 M proline for 24 h and then transfer to 0.3 M sucrose + 0.3 M proline for an additional 24 h. After preculture, samples were loaded in 0.75 M sucrose + 1 M glycerol solution at room temperature (25 min) and dehydrated with PVS3 at 0 degree C for 60 min before immersion into liquid nitrogen. Following this procedure 54 percent and 83 percent of apices from MD-2 and Puerto Rico varieties respectively survived. PMID:15660167

  6. A Swallow Preservation Protocol Improves Function for Veterans Receiving Chemoradiation for Head and Neck Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Kevin A.; Kuan, Edward C.; Unger, Lindsey; Lorentz, William C.; Wang, Marilene B.; Long, Jennifer L.

    2016-01-01

    Objective Determine the efficacy of a swallow preservation protocol (SPP) on maintaining swallow function in patients undergoing chemoradiation (CRT) or radiation therapy alone (RT) for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). Study design Retrospective case series. Setting Veterans Affairs medical center. Subjects and Methods Patients treated with CRT or RT for HNSCC between February 2006 and November 2013 were studied. Those enrolled in the SPP participated in swallowing, jaw, and tongue exercises during cancer therapy. The comparator group received no swallowing intervention during CRT. A previously described functional outcome swallowing scale (FOSS; 0 = no symptoms and 5 = nonoral feeding for all nutrition) was used to quantify dysphagia prior to and at the completion of cancer therapy, and an analysis was performed to compare swallowing function. Results Forty-one (all male; mean age, 66 years) and 66 patients (all male; mean age, 61 years) were included in the SPP and comparator groups, respectively. In the SPP group, mean pre- and posttreatment FOSS scores were 2.2 and 2.2, respectively, while the corresponding scores in the comparator group were 1.8 and 2.7, respectively, with posttreatment FOSS scores being significantly worse than pre-treatment FOSS scores in the comparator group only. Conclusion Patients enrolled in the SPP demonstrated preserved swallowing function over the course of cancer treatment compared with a comparator group. This confirms the importance of early evaluation and intervention for dysphagia prior to and during CRT or RT alone. PMID:25829388

  7. Network protocol changes can improve DisCom WAN performance : evaluating TCP modifications and SCTP in the ASC tri-lab environment.

    SciTech Connect

    Tolendino, Lawrence F.; Hu, Tan Chang

    2005-06-01

    The Advanced Simulation and Computing (ASC) Distance Computing (DisCom) Wide Area Network (WAN) is a high performance, long distance network environment that is based on the ubiquitous TCP/IP protocol set. However, the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and the algorithms that govern its operation were defined almost two decades ago for a network environment vastly different from the DisCom WAN. In this paper we explore and evaluate possible modifications to TCP that purport to improve TCP performance in environments like the DisCom WAN. We also examine a much newer protocol, SCTP (Stream Control Transmission Protocol) that claims to provide reliable network transport while also implementing multi-streaming, multi-homing capabilities that are appealing in the DisCom high performance network environment. We provide performance comparisons and recommendations for continued development that will lead to network communications protocol implementations capable of supporting the coming ASC Petaflop computing environments.

  8. A decade of improvements in Mimiviridae and Marseilleviridae isolation from amoeba.

    PubMed

    Pagnier, Isabelle; Reteno, Dorine-Gaelle Ikanga; Saadi, Hanene; Boughalmi, Mondher; Gaia, Morgan; Slimani, Meriem; Ngounga, Tatsiana; Bekliz, Meriem; Colson, Philippe; Raoult, Didier; La Scola, Bernard

    2013-01-01

    Since the isolation of the first giant virus, the Mimivirus, by T.J. Rowbotham in a cooling tower in Bradford, UK, and after its characterisation by our group in 2003, we have continued to develop novel strategies to isolate additional strains. By first focusing on cooling towers using our original time-consuming procedure, we were able to isolate a new lineage of giant virus called Marseillevirus and a new Mimivirus strain called Mamavirus. In the following years, we have accumulated the world's largest unique collection of giant viruses by improving the use of antibiotic combinations to avoid bacterial contamination of amoeba, developing strategies of preliminary screening of samples by molecular methods, and using a high-throughput isolation method developed by our group. Based on the inoculation of nearly 7,000 samples, our collection currently contains 43 strains of Mimiviridae (14 in lineage A, 6 in lineage B, and 23 in lineage C) and 17 strains of Marseilleviridae isolated from various environments, including 3 of human origin. This study details the procedures used to build this collection and paves the way for the high-throughput isolation of new isolates to improve the record of giant virus distribution in the environment and the determination of their pangenome. PMID:24157882

  9. A two-step protocol for isolation of influenza A (H7N7) virions and their RNA for PCR diagnostics based on modified paramagnetic particles.

    PubMed

    Michalek, Petr; Dostalova, Simona; Buchtelova, Hana; Cernei, Natalia; Krejcova, Ludmila; Hynek, David; Milosavljevic, Vedran; Jimenez, Ana Maria Jimenez; Kopel, Pavel; Heger, Zbynek; Adam, Vojtech

    2016-07-01

    Annual epidemics of influenza cause death of hundreds of thousands people and they also have a significant economic impact. Hence, a need for fast and cheap influenza diagnostic method is arising. The conventional methods for an isolation of the viruses are time-consuming and require expensive instrumentation as well as trained personnel. In this study, we modified the surface of nanomaghemite (γ-Fe2 O3 ) paramagnetic core with tetraethyl orthosilicate and (3-aminopropyl)triethoxysilane and the resulting particles were utilized for the isolation of H7N7 influenza virions. Consequently, we designed γ-Fe2 O3 paramagnetic core modified with calcium tripolyphosphate which was employed for the isolation of viral nucleic acid after virion's lysis. Both of these procedures can be performed rapidly in less than 10 min and, in combination with the RT-PCR, the whole influenza detection can be shortened to few hours. Moreover, the whole protocol could be easily automated and/or miniaturized, and thus can serve as a basis for use in a lab-on-a-chip device. We assume that magnetic isolation is an exceptional procedure which can significantly accelerate the diagnostic possibilities of a broad spectrum of diseases. PMID:27130152

  10. Equine chorionic gonadotropin improves the efficacy of a timed artificial insemination protocol in buffalo during the nonbreeding season.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, N A T; Soares, J G; Porto Filho, R M; Gimenes, L U; Souza, D C; Nichi, M; Sales, J S; Baruselli, P S

    2013-02-01

    Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) treatment on ovarian follicular response, luteal function, and pregnancy in buffaloes subjected to a timed artificial insemination (TAI) protocol during the nonbreeding season. In experiment 1, 59 buffalo cows were randomly assigned to two groups (with and without eCG). On the first day of the synchronization protocol (Day 0), cows received an intravaginal progesterone (P4) device plus 2.0 mg estradiol benzoate im. On Day 9, the P4 device was removed, all cows were given 0.150 mg PGF(2α) im, and half were given 400 IU eCG im. On Day 11, all cows were given 10 μg of buserelin acetate im (GnRH). Transrectal ultrasonography of the ovaries was performed on Days 0 and 9 to determine the presence and diameter of the largest follicle; between Days 11 and 14 (12 hours apart), to evaluate the dominant follicle diameter and the interval from device removal to ovulation; and on Days 16, 20, and 24 to measure CL diameter. Blood samples were collected on Days 16, 20, and 24 to measure serum P4. In experiment 2, 256 buffaloes were assigned to the same treatments described in experiment 1, and TAI was performed 16 hours after GnRH treatment. Pregnancy diagnosis was performed by ultrasonography 30 days after TAI. Treatment with eCG increased the maximum diameter of dominant follicles (P = 0.09), ovulation rate (P = 0.05), CL diameter (P = 0.03), and P4 concentrations (P = 0.01) 4 days after TAI, and pregnancy per AI (52.7%, 68/129 vs. 39.4%, 50/127; P = 0.03). Therefore, eCG improved ovarian follicular response, luteal function during the subsequent diestrus, and fertility for buffalo subjected to a TAI synchronization protocol during the nonbreeding season. PMID:23154144

  11. Implementing performance improvement in New Zealand emergency departments: the six hour time target policy national research project protocol

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background In May 2009, the New Zealand government announced a new policy aimed at improving the quality of Emergency Department care and whole hospital performance. Governments have increasingly looked to time targets as a mechanism for improving hospital performance and from a whole system perspective, using the Emergency Department waiting time as a performance measure has the potential to see improvements in the wider health system. However, the imposition of targets may have significant adverse consequences. There is little empirical work examining how the performance of the wider hospital system is affected by such a target. This project aims to answer the following questions: How has the introduction of the target affected broader hospital performance over time, and what accounts for these changes? Which initiatives and strategies have been successful in moving hospitals towards the target without compromising the quality of other care processes and patient outcomes? Is there a difference in outcomes between different ethnic and age groups? Which initiatives and strategies have the greatest potential to be transferred across organisational contexts? Methods/design The study design is mixed methods; combining qualitative research into the behaviour and practices of specific case study hospitals with quantitative data on clinical outcomes and process measures of performance over the period 2006-2012. All research activity is guided by a Kaupapa Māori Research methodological approach. A dynamic systems model of acute patient flows was created to frame the study. Consequences of the target (positive and negative) will be explored by integrating analyses and insights gained from the quantitative and qualitative streams of the study. Discussion At the time of submission of this protocol, the project has been underway for 12 months. This time was necessary to finalise both the case study sites and the secondary outcomes through key stakeholder consultation. We

  12. Improved negative selection protocol for Plasmodium berghei in the rodent malarial model

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    An improved methodology is presented here for transgenic Plasmodium berghei lines that express the negative selectable marker yFCU (a bifunctional protein that combines yeast cytosine deaminase and uridyl phosphoribosyl transferase (UPRT)) and substitutes delivery of selection drug 5-fluorocytosine (5FC) by intraperitoneal injection for administration via the drinking water of the mice. The improved methodology is shown to be as effective, less labour-intensive, reduces animal handling and animal numbers required for successful selection thereby contributing to two of the "three Rs" of animal experimentation, namely refinement and reduction. PMID:22463060

  13. Improvement of Electrical Stimulation Protocol for Simultaneous Measurement of Extracellular Potential with On-Chip Multi-Electrode Array System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaneko, Tomoyuki; Nomura, Fumimasa; Hattori, Akihiro; Yasuda, Kenji

    2012-06-01

    Cardiotoxicity testing with a multi-electrode array (MEA) system requires the stable beating of cardiomyocytes for the measurement of the field potential duration (FPD), because different spontaneous beating rates cause different responses of FPD prolongation induced by drugs, and the beating rate change effected by drugs complicates the FPD prolongation assessment. We have developed an on-chip MEA system with electrical stimulation for the measurement of the FPD during the stable beating of human embryonic stem (ES) cell-derived cardiomyocyte clusters. Using a conventional bipolar stimulation protocol, we observed such large artifacts in electrical stimulation that we could not estimate the FPD quantitatively. Therefore, we improved the stimulation protocol by using sequential rectangular pulses in which the positive and negative stimulation voltages and number of pulses could be changed flexibly. The balanced voltages and number of pulses for sequential rectangular pulses enabled the recording of small negative artifacts only, which hardly affected the FPD measurement of human-ES-cell-derived cardiomyocyte clusters. These conditions of electrical stimulation are expected to find applications for the control of constant beating for cardiotoxicity testing.

  14. A modified ultra-long pituitary downregulation protocol improved endometrial receptivity and clinical outcome for infertile patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome

    PubMed Central

    GONG, FEI; LI, XIHONG; ZHANG, SHUNJI; MA, HAINAN; CAI, SUFEN; LI, JUAN; LIN, GE; LU, GUANGXIU

    2015-01-01

    There are currently various protocols for in vitro fertilization (IVF). For patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), an optimized protocol for the downregulation of pituitary follicle stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone via gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (GnRHa) remains a challenge. In the present study, the primary endpoint of an ultra-long and a conventional long GnRHa protocol for intracytoplasmic sperm injection/IVF treatments of patients with PCOS was retrospectively compared. In the modified ultra-long protocol group, endometrial thickness, morphology, and blood flow were significantly improved, as compared with in the conventional long protocol group. Furthermore, the serum progestogen (P) concentrations and P/estrogen (E2) [(Px1,000/E2)] ratio on the day of human chorionic gonadotrophin administration were significantly decreased in the modified ultra-long downregulation group, whereas the pregnancy and implantation rates were significantly higher. There were no significant differences in the average number of obtained oocytes, good quality embryo rates, cancel rates, fertilization rates, abortion rates, serious ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome incidences, ectopic pregnancy rates or gonadotropin (Gn) dosages between the two groups. These results suggest that the modified ultra-long protocol plus human menopausal Gn medication may be superior to the conventional long protocol, and may lead to improved implantation and pregnancy outcomes for infertile patients with PCOS. PMID:26640563

  15. EQUIPping Teachers: A Protocol to Guide and Improve Inquiry-Based Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marshall, Jeff; Horton, Robert; White, Chris

    2009-01-01

    For many years, publications such as the "National Science Education Standards" (NRC 1996) and "The Science Teacher" (TST) have encouraged teachers to focus science classes more heavily on inquiry-based instructional practice. One way to improve our teaching practice is to use a benchmark assessment to obtain a solid point of reference that…

  16. Development of an improved vaccine evaluation protocol to compare the efficacy of Newcastle disease vaccines

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The failure to control and to eradicate Newcastle Disease (ND) with vaccination alone in countries where the etiological agent of the disease, virulent Newcastle Disease Virus (vNDV) is endemic underscores the need to improve the efficacy of currently available NDV vaccines and vaccination approache...

  17. A Comprehensive Protocol for Improving the Description of Saprolegniales (Oomycota): Two Practical Examples (Saprolegnia aenigmatica sp. nov. and Saprolegnia racemosa sp. nov.).

    PubMed

    Sandoval-Sierra, Jose Vladimir; Diéguez-Uribeondo, Javier

    2015-01-01

    The description, identification and classification of organisms are the pillar in biodiversity and evolutionary studies. The fungal-like organism Saprolegnia contains important animal pathogens. However, its taxonomy is weak, making it difficult to perform further studies. This problem mainly arises from the unavailability of suitable holotypes. We propose a standardized protocol for describing Saprolegnia spp. that includes good cultural practices and proper holotype preservation. In order to illustrate this new proposal, we describe two species, Saprolegnia aenigmatica sp. nov. and Saprolegnia racemosa sp. nov., based on the recently described molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs), phylogenetic relationships, and the analyses of morphological features. We show that they belong to two different MOTUs that are grouped into two sister clades. Morphologically, we find that S. racemosa exhibits a species-specific character, i.e., aggrupation of oogonia in racemes, while S. aenigmatica does not have any specific characters. Analyses of a combined set of characters, i.e., length and breadth of sporangia, length/breadth ratio (l/b) of oogonia, cyst and oospore diameter, and the number of oospores per oogomium, allow distinguishing these two species. To improve Saprolegnia taxonomy, we propose to incorporate into the protologue: (i) several isolates of the new species; (ii) the rDNA sequences to compare them to data-bases of Saprolegnia sequences of reference; (iii) a phylogenetic analysis to check relationships with other species; (iv) to preserve holotypes in absolute ethanol and to include lyophilized material from holotype; and (v) the ex-type as a pure culture from single-spore isolates stored in at least two different collections. PMID:26186364

  18. A Comprehensive Protocol for Improving the Description of Saprolegniales (Oomycota): Two Practical Examples (Saprolegnia aenigmatica sp. nov. and Saprolegnia racemosa sp. nov.)

    PubMed Central

    Sandoval-Sierra, Jose Vladimir; Diéguez-Uribeondo, Javier

    2015-01-01

    The description, identification and classification of organisms are the pillar in biodiversity and evolutionary studies. The fungal-like organism Saprolegnia contains important animal pathogens. However, its taxonomy is weak, making it difficult to perform further studies. This problem mainly arises from the unavailability of suitable holotypes. We propose a standardized protocol for describing Saprolegnia spp. that includes good cultural practices and proper holotype preservation. In order to illustrate this new proposal, we describe two species, Saprolegnia aenigmatica sp. nov. and Saprolegnia racemosa sp. nov., based on the recently described molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs), phylogenetic relationships, and the analyses of morphological features. We show that they belong to two different MOTUs that are grouped into two sister clades. Morphologically, we find that S. racemosa exhibits a species-specific character, i.e., aggrupation of oogonia in racemes, while S. aenigmatica does not have any specific characters. Analyses of a combined set of characters, i.e., length and breadth of sporangia, length/breadth ratio (l/b) of oogonia, cyst and oospore diameter, and the number of oospores per oogomium, allow distinguishing these two species. To improve Saprolegnia taxonomy, we propose to incorporate into the protologue: (i) several isolates of the new species; (ii) the rDNA sequences to compare them to data-bases of Saprolegnia sequences of reference; (iii) a phylogenetic analysis to check relationships with other species; (iv) to preserve holotypes in absolute ethanol and to include lyophilized material from holotype; and (v) the ex-type as a pure culture from single-spore isolates stored in at least two different collections. PMID:26186364

  19. An Improved Culture Method for Selective Isolation of Campylobacter jejuni from Wastewater.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jinyong; Oh, Euna; Banting, Graham S; Braithwaite, Shannon; Chui, Linda; Ashbolt, Nicholas J; Neumann, Norman F; Jeon, Byeonghwa

    2016-01-01

    Campylobacter jejuni is one of the leading foodborne pathogens worldwide. C. jejuni is isolated from a wide range of foods, domestic animals, wildlife, and environmental sources. The currently available culture-based isolation methods are not highly effective for wastewater samples due to the low number of C. jejuni in the midst of competing bacteria. To detect and isolate C. jejuni from wastewater samples, in this study, we evaluated a few different enrichment conditions using five different antibiotics (i.e., cefoperazone, vancomycin, trimethoprim, polymyxin B, and rifampicin), to which C. jejuni is intrinsically resistant. The selectivity of each enrichment condition was measured with C t value using quantitative real-time PCR, and multiplex PCR to determine Campylobacter species. In addition, the efficacy of Campylobacter isolation on different culture media after selective enrichment was examined by growing on Bolton and Preston agar plates. The addition of polymyxin B, rifampicin, or both to the Bolton selective supplements enhanced the selective isolation of C. jejuni. The results of 16S rDNA sequencing also revealed that Enterococcus spp. and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are major competing bacteria in the enrichment conditions. Although it is known to be difficult to isolate Campylobacter from samples with heavy contamination, this study well exhibited that the manipulation of antibiotic selective pressure improves the isolation efficiency of fastidious Campylobacter from wastewater. PMID:27617011

  20. An Improved Culture Method for Selective Isolation of Campylobacter jejuni from Wastewater

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Jinyong; Oh, Euna; Banting, Graham S.; Braithwaite, Shannon; Chui, Linda; Ashbolt, Nicholas J.; Neumann, Norman F.; Jeon, Byeonghwa

    2016-01-01

    Campylobacter jejuni is one of the leading foodborne pathogens worldwide. C. jejuni is isolated from a wide range of foods, domestic animals, wildlife, and environmental sources. The currently available culture-based isolation methods are not highly effective for wastewater samples due to the low number of C. jejuni in the midst of competing bacteria. To detect and isolate C. jejuni from wastewater samples, in this study, we evaluated a few different enrichment conditions using five different antibiotics (i.e., cefoperazone, vancomycin, trimethoprim, polymyxin B, and rifampicin), to which C. jejuni is intrinsically resistant. The selectivity of each enrichment condition was measured with Ct value using quantitative real-time PCR, and multiplex PCR to determine Campylobacter species. In addition, the efficacy of Campylobacter isolation on different culture media after selective enrichment was examined by growing on Bolton and Preston agar plates. The addition of polymyxin B, rifampicin, or both to the Bolton selective supplements enhanced the selective isolation of C. jejuni. The results of 16S rDNA sequencing also revealed that Enterococcus spp. and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are major competing bacteria in the enrichment conditions. Although it is known to be difficult to isolate Campylobacter from samples with heavy contamination, this study well exhibited that the manipulation of antibiotic selective pressure improves the isolation efficiency of fastidious Campylobacter from wastewater. PMID:27617011

  1. Complex social intervention for multidisciplinary teams to improve patient referrals in obstetrical care: protocol for a stepped wedge study design

    PubMed Central

    Romijn, Anita; de Bruijne, Martine C; Teunissen, Pim W; de Groot, Christianne J M; Wagner, Cordula

    2016-01-01

    Introduction In obstetrics, patients often experience referral situations between different care professionals. In these multidisciplinary teams, a focus on communication and interprofessional collaboration is needed to ensure care of high quality. Crew resource management team training is increasingly being applied in healthcare settings to improve team performance and coordination. Efforts to improve communication also include tools for standardisation such as SBAR (situation, background, assessment, recommendation). Despite the growing adoption of these interventions, evidence on their effectiveness is limited, especially on patient outcomes. This article describes a study protocol to examine the effectiveness of a crew resource management team training intervention aimed at implementing the SBAR tool for structured communication during patient referrals in obstetrical care. Methods and analysis The intervention is rolled out sequentially in five hospitals and surrounding primary care midwifery practices in the Netherlands, using a stepped wedge design. The intervention involves three phases over a period of 24 months: (1) preparation, (2) training and (3) follow-up with repeated measurements. The primary outcomes are perinatal and maternal outcomes calculated using the Adverse Outcome Index. The secondary outcomes are the reaction of participating professionals to the training programme, attitudes towards safety and teamwork (Safety Attitudes Questionnaire), cohesion (Interprofessional Collaboration Measurement Scale), use of the tool for structured communication (self-reported questionnaire) and patient experiences. These secondary outcomes from professional and patient level allow triangulation and an increased understanding of the effect of the intervention on patient outcomes. Ethics and dissemination The study was approved by the Medical Ethical Committee of the VU University Medical Centre in the Netherlands and the protocol is in accordance with Dutch

  2. Implementation of observational pain management protocol to improve pain management for long-term institutionalized older care residents with dementia: study protocol for a cluster-randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Systematic use of observational pain tools has been advocated as a means to improve pain management for care home residents with dementia. Pain experts suggest that any observational tool should be used as part of a comprehensive pain management protocol, which should include score interpretation and verification with appropriately suggested treatments. The Observational Pain Management Protocol (Protocol) was therefore developed. This study aims to investigate the extent to which the implementation of this Protocol can improve pain management in care home residents with dementia. Methods/design In this two-group, single-blinded, cluster-randomized controlled trial, 122 care home residents with dementia and pain-related diagnoses will be recruited from eight care homes (that is 15 to 16 residents from each care home). Invitations will be sent to all local care homes who meet the home selection criteria. The eight care homes will be randomly selected from all care homes that agree to join this trial. They will then be randomized to either the control or experimental conditions. Participants from each care home will be placed into their home’s corresponding group to avoid ‘contamination’ effects across participants. Each intervention cycle will take 16 weeks (that is, baseline assessment and care home staff training for 4 weeks and Protocol implementation for 12 weeks). The Protocol will guide the pain management of the participants in the experimental care homes. Meanwhile, the control care homes will continue their usual pain management strategies. Intervention effects will be measured weekly during the protocol implementation period and compared with the baseline measurements, as well as between the experimental and control conditions. Discussion Although similar pain protocols have been suggested previously, the recommendations were based on experts’ opinions rather than evaluation of research studies. The feasibility and effectiveness of this

  3. Text Messaging to Improve Hypertension Medication Adherence in African Americans: BPMED Intervention Development and Study Protocol

    PubMed Central

    Artinian, Nancy T; Schwiebert, Loren; Yarandi, Hossein; Levy, Phillip D

    2015-01-01

    Background Hypertension (HTN) is a major public health concern in the United States, with almost 78 million Americans age 20 years and over suffering from the condition. Moreover, HTN is a key risk factor for health disease and stroke. African Americans disproportionately shoulder the burdens of HTN, with greater prevalence, disease severity, earlier onset, and more HTN-related complications than age-matched whites. Medication adherence for the treatment of HTN is poor, with estimates indicating that only about half of hypertensive patients are adherent to prescribed medication regimens. Although no single intervention for improving medication adherence has emerged as superior to others, text message medication reminders have the potential to help improve medication adherence in African Americans with uncontrolled HTN as mobile phone adoption is very high in this population. Objective The purpose of this two-phased study was to develop (Phase I) and test in a randomized controlled trial (RCT) (Phase II) a text message system, BPMED, to improve the quality of medication management through increasing medication adherence in African Americans with uncontrolled HTN. Methods In Phase I, we recruited 16 target end-users from a primary care clinic, to assist in the development of BPMED through participating in one of three focus groups. Focus groups sought to gain patient perspectives on HTN, medication adherence, mobile phone use, and the use of text messaging to support medication adherence. Potential intervention designs were presented to participants, and feedback on the designs was solicited. In Phase II, we conducted two pilot RCTs to determine the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of BPMED in primary care and emergency department settings. Both pilot studies recruited approximately 60 participants, who were randomized equally between usual care and the BPMED intervention. Results Although data collection is now complete, data analysis from the

  4. Triton Hodge Test: Improved Protocol for Modified Hodge Test for Enhanced Detection of NDM and Other Carbapenemase Producers

    PubMed Central

    Pasteran, Fernando; Gonzalez, Lisandro J.; Albornoz, Ezequiel; Bahr, Guillermo; Vila, Alejandro J.

    2015-01-01

    Accurate detection of carbapenemase-producing Gram-negative bacilli is of utmost importance for the control of nosocomial spread and the initiation of appropriate antimicrobial therapy. The modified Hodge test (MHT), a carbapenem inactivation assay, has shown poor sensitivity in detecting the worldwide spread of New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase (NDM). Recent studies demonstrated that NDM is a lipoprotein anchored to the outer membrane in Gram-negative bacteria, unlike all other known carbapenemases. Here we report that membrane anchoring of β-lactamases precludes detection of carbapenemase activity by the MHT. We also show that this limitation can be overcome by the addition of Triton X-100 during the test, which allows detection of NDM. We propose an improved version of the assay, called the Triton Hodge test (THT), which allows detection of membrane-bound carbapenemases with the addition of this nonionic surfactant. This test was challenged with a panel of 185 clinical isolates (145 carrying known carbapenemase-encoding genes and 40 carbapenemase nonproducers). The THT displayed test sensitivity of >90% against NDM-producing clinical isolates, while improving performance against other carbapenemases. Ertapenem provided the highest sensitivity (97 to 100%, depending on the type of carbapenemase), followed by meropenem (92.5 to 100%). Test specificity was not affected by the addition of Triton (87.5% and 92.5% with ertapenem and meropenem, respectively). This simple inexpensive test confers a large improvement to the sensitivity of the MHT for the detection of NDM and other carbapenemases. PMID:26719442

  5. Improving the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Primary Health Care: The Model for Prevention Study Protocol

    PubMed Central

    Davey, Rachel C; Cochrane, Thomas; Williams, Lauren T; Clancy, Tanya

    2014-01-01

    Background Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death globally, and accounted for nearly 31% of all deaths in Australia in 2011. The primary health care sector is at the frontline for addressing CVD, however, an evidence-to-practice gap exists in CVD risk assessment and management. General practice plays a key role in CVD risk assessment and management, but this sector cannot provide ongoing lifestyle change support in isolation. Community-based lifestyle modification services and programs provided outside the general practice setting have a key role in supporting and sustaining health behavior change. Fostering linkages between the health sector and community-based lifestyle services, and creating sustainable systems that support these sectors is important. Objective The objective of the study Model for Prevention (MoFoP) is to take a case study approach to examine a CVD risk reduction intervention in primary health care, with the aim of identifying the key elements required for an effective and sustainable approach to coordinate CVD risk reduction across the health and community sectors. These elements will be used to consider a new systems-based model for the prevention of CVD that informs future practice. Methods The MoFoP study will use a mixed methods approach, comprising two complementary research elements: (1) a case study, and (2) a pre/post quasi-experimental design. The case study will consider the organizations and systems involved in a CVD risk reduction intervention as a single case. The pre/post experimental design will be used for HeartLink, the intervention being tested, where a single cohort of patients between 45 and 74 years of age (or between 35 and 74 years of age if Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander) considered to be at high risk for a CVD event will be recruited through general practice, provided with enhanced usual care and additional health behavior change support. A range of quantitative and qualitative data will be

  6. Improved explant method to isolate umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells and their immunosuppressive properties.

    PubMed

    Mori, Yuka; Ohshimo, Jun; Shimazu, Takahisa; He, Haiping; Takahashi, Atsuko; Yamamoto, Yuki; Tsunoda, Hajime; Tojo, Arinobu; Nagamura-Inoue, Tokiko

    2015-04-01

    The umbilical cord (UC) has become one of the major sources of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). The common explant method of isolating UC-derived MSCs (UC-MSCs) involves mincing the UCs into small fragments, which are then attached to a culture dish bottom from which the MSCs migrate. However, the fragments frequently float up from the bottom of the dish, thereby reducing the cell recovery rate. To overcome this problem, we demonstrate an improved explant method for UC-MSC isolation, which involves the use of a stainless steel mesh (Cellamigo(®); Tsubakimoto Chain Co.), to protect the tissue from floating after the minced fragments are aligned at regular intervals in culture dishes. The culture medium was refreshed every 3 days and the adherent cells and tissue fragments were harvested using trypsin. The number of UC-MSCs isolated from 1 g of UC using the explant method with Cellamigo was 2.9 ± 1.4 × 10(6)/g, which was significantly higher than that obtained without Cellamigo (0.66 ± 0.53 × 10(6)/g) (n = 6, p < 0.01) when cells reached 80-90% confluence. In addition, the processing and incubation time required to reach 80-90% confluence was reduced in the improved explant method compared with the conventional method. The UC-MSCs isolated using the improved method were positive for CD105, CD73, CD90, and HLA class I expression and negative for CD45 and HLA class II expression. The isolated UC-MSCs efficiently inhibited the responder T cells induced by allogeneic dendritic cells in a mixed lymphocyte reaction. Conclusively, we demonstrated that the use of Cellamigo improves the explant method for isolating UC-MSCs. PMID:25220032

  7. Improved isolation of zein from corn gluten meal using acetic acid as solvent

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    To develop new uses for corn zein, an improved means of isolating zein is needed. We have evaluated the ability of acetic acid to remove zein from corn gluten meal, distillers dried grains and ground corn. Acetic acid removed zein more quickly, at lower temperatures and in higher yields when compa...

  8. A Personalized Automated Messaging System to Improve Adherence to Prostate Cancer Screening: Research Protocol

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Public adherence to cancer screening guidelines is poor. Patient confusion over multiple recommendations and modalities for cancer screening has been found to be a major barrier to screening adherence. Such problems will only increase as screening guidelines and timetables become individualized. Objective We propose to increase compliance with cancer screening through two-way rich media mobile messaging based on personalized risk assessment. Methods We propose to develop and test a product that will store algorithms required to personalize cancer screening in a central database managed by a rule-based workflow engine, and implemented via messaging to the patient’s mobile phone. We will conduct a randomized controlled trial focusing on prostate cancer screening to study the hypothesis that mobile reminders improve adherence to screening guidelines. We will also explore a secondary hypothesis that patients who reply to the messaging reminders are more engaged and at lower risk of non-adherence. We will conduct a randomized controlled trial in a sample of males between 40 and 75 years (eligible for prostate cancer screening) who are willing to receive text messages, email, or automated voice messages. Participants will be recruited from a primary care clinic and asked to schedule prostate cancer screening at the clinic within the next 3 weeks. The intervention group will receive reminders and confirmation communications for making an appointment, keeping the appointment, and reporting the test results back to the investigators. Three outcomes will be evaluated: (1) the proportion of participants who make an appointment with a physician following a mobile message reminder, (2) the proportion of participants who keep the appointment, and (3) the proportion of participants who report the results of the screening (via text or Web). Results This is an ongoing project, supported by by a small business commercialization grant from the National Center for

  9. Intervention to improve social and family support for caregivers of dependent patients: ICIAS study protocol

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Despite the existence of formal professional support services, informal support (mainly family members) continues to be the main source of eldercare, especially for those who are dependent or disabled. Professionals on the primary health care are the ideal choice to educate, provide psychological support, and help to mobilize social resources available to the informal caregiver. Controversy remains concerning the efficiency of multiple interventions, taking a holistic approach to both the patient and caregiver, and optimum utilization of the available community resources. .For this reason our goal is to assess whether an intervention designed to improve the social support for caregivers effectively decreases caregivers burden and improves their quality of life. Methods/design Design: Controlled, multicentre, community intervention trial, with patients and their caregivers randomized to the intervention or control group according to their assigned Primary Health Care Team (PHCT). Study area: Primary Health Care network (9 PHCTs). Study participants: Primary informal caregivers of patients receiving home health care from participating PHCTs. Sample: Required sample size is 282 caregivers (141 from PHCTs randomized to the intervention group and 141 from PHCTs randomized to the control group. Intervention: a) PHCT professionals: standardized training to implement caregivers intervention. b) Caregivers: 1 individualized counselling session, 1 family session, and 4 educational group sessions conducted by participating PHCT professionals; in addition to usual home health care visits, periodic telephone follow-up contact and unlimited telephone support. Control: Caregivers and dependent patients: usual home health care, consisting of bimonthly scheduled visits, follow-up as needed, and additional attention upon request. Data analysis Dependent variables: Caregiver burden (short-form Zarit test), caregivers’ social support (Medical Outcomes Study), and

  10. Improving physician hand hygiene compliance using behavioural theories: a study protocol

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Healthcare-associated infections affect 10% of patients in Canadian acute-care hospitals and are significant and preventable causes of morbidity and mortality among hospitalized patients. Hand hygiene is among the simplest and most effective preventive measures to reduce these infections. However, compliance with hand hygiene among healthcare workers, specifically among physicians, is consistently suboptimal. We aim to first identify the barriers and enablers to physician hand hygiene compliance, and then to develop and pilot a theory-based knowledge translation intervention to increase physicians’ compliance with best hand hygiene practice. Design The study consists of three phases. In Phase 1, we will identify barriers and enablers to hand hygiene compliance by physicians. This will include: key informant interviews with physicians and residents using a structured interview guide, informed by the Theoretical Domains Framework; nonparticipant observation of physician/resident hand hygiene audit sessions; and focus groups with hand hygiene experts. In Phase 2, we will conduct intervention mapping to develop a theory-based knowledge translation intervention to improve physician hand hygiene compliance. Finally, in Phase 3, we will pilot the knowledge translation intervention in four patient care units. Discussion In this study, we will use a behavioural theory approach to obtain a better understanding of the barriers and enablers to physician hand hygiene compliance. This will provide a comprehensive framework on which to develop knowledge translation interventions that may be more successful in improving hand hygiene practice. Upon completion of this study, we will refine the piloted knowledge translation intervention so it can be tested in a multi-site cluster randomized controlled trial. PMID:23379466

  11. An Internet Intervention to Improve Asthma Management: Rationale and Protocol of a Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Lau, Annie YS; Dennis, Sarah; Liaw, Siaw-Teng; Coiera, Enrico

    2013-01-01

    Background Many studies have shown the effectiveness of self-management for patients with asthma. In particular, possession and use of a written asthma action plan provided by a doctor has shown to significantly improve patients’ asthma control. Yet, uptake of a written asthma action plan and preventative asthma management is low in the community, especially amongst adults. Objective A Web-based personally controlled health management system (PCHMS) called Healthy.me will be evaluated in a 2010 CONSORT-compliant 2-group (static websites verse PCHMS) parallel randomized controlled trial (RCT) (allocation ratio 1:1). Methods The PCHMS integrates an untethered personal health record with consumer care pathways and social forums. After eligibility assessment, a sample of 300 adult patients with moderate persistent asthma will be randomly assigned to one of these arms. After 12 months of using either Healthy.me or information websites (usual care arm), a post-study assessment will be conducted. Results The primary outcome measure is possession of or revision of an asthma action plan during the study. Secondary outcome measures include: (1) adherence to the asthma action plan, (2) rate of planned and unplanned visits to healthcare providers for asthma issues, (3) usage patterns of Healthy.me and attrition rates, (4) asthma control and asthma exacerbation scores, and (5) impact of asthma on life and competing demands, and days lost from work. Conclusions This RCT will provide insights into whether access to an online PCHMS will improve uptake of a written asthma action plan and preventative asthma actions. Trial Registration Trial Registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12612000716864; https://www.anzctr.org.au/Trial/Registration/TrialReview.aspx?id=362714 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6IYBJGRnW). PMID:23942523

  12. Manual-Protocol Inspired Technique for Improving Automated MR Image Segmentation during Label Fusion.

    PubMed

    Bhagwat, Nikhil; Pipitone, Jon; Winterburn, Julie L; Guo, Ting; Duerden, Emma G; Voineskos, Aristotle N; Lepage, Martin; Miller, Steven P; Pruessner, Jens C; Chakravarty, M Mallar

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances in multi-atlas based algorithms address many of the previous limitations in model-based and probabilistic segmentation methods. However, at the label fusion stage, a majority of algorithms focus primarily on optimizing weight-maps associated with the atlas library based on a theoretical objective function that approximates the segmentation error. In contrast, we propose a novel method-Autocorrecting Walks over Localized Markov Random Fields (AWoL-MRF)-that aims at mimicking the sequential process of manual segmentation, which is the gold-standard for virtually all the segmentation methods. AWoL-MRF begins with a set of candidate labels generated by a multi-atlas segmentation pipeline as an initial label distribution and refines low confidence regions based on a localized Markov random field (L-MRF) model using a novel sequential inference process (walks). We show that AWoL-MRF produces state-of-the-art results with superior accuracy and robustness with a small atlas library compared to existing methods. We validate the proposed approach by performing hippocampal segmentations on three independent datasets: (1) Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Database (ADNI); (2) First Episode Psychosis patient cohort; and (3) A cohort of preterm neonates scanned early in life and at term-equivalent age. We assess the improvement in the performance qualitatively as well as quantitatively by comparing AWoL-MRF with majority vote, STAPLE, and Joint Label Fusion methods. AWoL-MRF reaches a maximum accuracy of 0.881 (dataset 1), 0.897 (dataset 2), and 0.807 (dataset 3) based on Dice similarity coefficient metric, offering significant performance improvements with a smaller atlas library (< 10) over compared methods. We also evaluate the diagnostic utility of AWoL-MRF by analyzing the volume differences per disease category in the ADNI1: Complete Screening dataset. We have made the source code for AWoL-MRF public at: https://github.com/CobraLab/AWoL-MRF. PMID:27486386

  13. Manual-Protocol Inspired Technique for Improving Automated MR Image Segmentation during Label Fusion

    PubMed Central

    Bhagwat, Nikhil; Pipitone, Jon; Winterburn, Julie L.; Guo, Ting; Duerden, Emma G.; Voineskos, Aristotle N.; Lepage, Martin; Miller, Steven P.; Pruessner, Jens C.; Chakravarty, M. Mallar

    2016-01-01

    Recent advances in multi-atlas based algorithms address many of the previous limitations in model-based and probabilistic segmentation methods. However, at the label fusion stage, a majority of algorithms focus primarily on optimizing weight-maps associated with the atlas library based on a theoretical objective function that approximates the segmentation error. In contrast, we propose a novel method—Autocorrecting Walks over Localized Markov Random Fields (AWoL-MRF)—that aims at mimicking the sequential process of manual segmentation, which is the gold-standard for virtually all the segmentation methods. AWoL-MRF begins with a set of candidate labels generated by a multi-atlas segmentation pipeline as an initial label distribution and refines low confidence regions based on a localized Markov random field (L-MRF) model using a novel sequential inference process (walks). We show that AWoL-MRF produces state-of-the-art results with superior accuracy and robustness with a small atlas library compared to existing methods. We validate the proposed approach by performing hippocampal segmentations on three independent datasets: (1) Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Database (ADNI); (2) First Episode Psychosis patient cohort; and (3) A cohort of preterm neonates scanned early in life and at term-equivalent age. We assess the improvement in the performance qualitatively as well as quantitatively by comparing AWoL-MRF with majority vote, STAPLE, and Joint Label Fusion methods. AWoL-MRF reaches a maximum accuracy of 0.881 (dataset 1), 0.897 (dataset 2), and 0.807 (dataset 3) based on Dice similarity coefficient metric, offering significant performance improvements with a smaller atlas library (< 10) over compared methods. We also evaluate the diagnostic utility of AWoL-MRF by analyzing the volume differences per disease category in the ADNI1: Complete Screening dataset. We have made the source code for AWoL-MRF public at: https://github.com/CobraLab/AWoL-MRF. PMID

  14. Study protocol: The Improving Care of Acute Lung Injury Patients (ICAP) study

    PubMed Central

    Needham, Dale M; Dennison, Cheryl R; Dowdy, David W; Mendez-Tellez, Pedro A; Ciesla, Nancy; Desai, Sanjay V; Sevransky, Jonathan; Shanholtz, Carl; Scharfstein, Daniel; Herridge, Margaret S; Pronovost, Peter J

    2006-01-01

    Introduction The short-term mortality benefit of lower tidal volume ventilation (LTVV) for patients with acute lung injury/acute respiratory distress syndrome (ALI/ARDS) has been demonstrated in a large, multi-center randomized trial. However, the impact of LTVV and other critical care therapies on the longer-term outcomes of ALI/ARDS survivors remains uncertain. The Improving Care of ALI Patients (ICAP) study is a multi-site, prospective cohort study that aims to evaluate the longer-term outcomes of ALI/ARDS survivors with a particular focus on the effect of LTVV and other critical care therapies. Methods Consecutive mechanically ventilated ALI/ARDS patients from 11 intensive care units (ICUs) at four hospitals in the city of Baltimore, MD, USA, will be enrolled in a prospective cohort study. Exposures (patient-based, clinical management, and ICU organizational) will be comprehensively collected both at baseline and throughout patients' ICU stay. Outcomes, including mortality, organ impairment, functional status, and quality of life, will be assessed with the use of standardized surveys and testing at 3, 6, 12, and 24 months after ALI/ARDS diagnosis. A multi-faceted retention strategy will be used to minimize participant loss to follow-up. Results On the basis of the historical incidence of ALI/ARDS at the study sites, we expect to enroll 520 patients over two years. This projected sample size is more than double that of any published study of long-term outcomes in ALI/ARDS survivors, providing 86% power to detect a relative mortality hazard of 0.70 in patients receiving higher versus lower exposure to LTVV. The projected sample size also provides sufficient power to evaluate the association between a variety of other exposure and outcome variables, including quality of life. Conclusion The ICAP study is a novel, prospective cohort study that will build on previous critical care research to improve our understanding of the longer-term impact of ALI/ARDS, LTVV and

  15. Improved protocol for somatic embryogenesis and calcium alginate encapsulation in Anethum graveolens L.: a medicinal herb.

    PubMed

    Dhir, Richa; Shekhawat, G S; Alam, Afroz

    2014-08-01

    An improved procedure has been developed for efficient somatic embryogenesis in Anethum graveolens. Green friable embryogenic callus was obtained from hypocotyl segments on medium augmented with 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). The highest embryogenic callus induction frequency of 87 % was obtained on Murashige and Skoog (MS) medium containing 1.13 μM 2,4-D. At lower concentration of 2,4-D (0.34 μM) callus turned dark in color and slow growing. Embryogenic cultures (76 %) responded with a mean number of 43 globular and 18 heart stage embryos. Somatic embryo maturation and subsequent conversion into plantlets took place on MS lacking growth regulators. Maximum number of somatic embryos developed on MS medium was 128.3 (per flask) and a plantlet conversion of 82 % was observed. Calcium alginate beads were produced by encapsulating somatic embryos. Highest percent germination (83 %) was observed on 0.8 % agar solidified MS medium with the plantlets acquiring an average length of 2.1 cm. Encapsulated somatic embryos could be stored at 4 °C up to 60 days with a conversion frequency of 49.3 %. Highest protein and proline content has been observed in embryogenic callus with small globular embryos. During morphological differentiation of the somatic embryos, changes in the antioxidant enzymatic system were observed. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity increased during initial stages and decreased catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POD), and ascorbate peroxidase (APX) activities were detected. PMID:24974170

  16. Rational approaches to improving the isolation of endophytic actinobacteria from Australian native trees.

    PubMed

    Kaewkla, Onuma; Franco, Christopher M M

    2013-02-01

    In recent years, new actinobacterial species have been isolated as endophytes of plants and shrubs and are sought after both for their role as potential producers of new drug candidates for the pharmaceutical industry and as biocontrol inoculants for sustainable agriculture. Molecular-based approaches to the study of microbial ecology generally reveal a broader microbial diversity than can be obtained by cultivation methods. This study aimed to improve the success of isolating individual members of the actinobacterial population as pure cultures as well as improving the ability to characterise the large numbers obtained in pure culture. To achieve this objective, our study successfully employed rational and holistic approaches including the use of isolation media with low concentrations of nutrients normally available to the microorganism in the plant, plating larger quantities of plant sample, incubating isolation plates for up to 16 weeks, excising colonies when they are visible and choosing Australian endemic trees as the source of the actinobacteria. A hierarchy of polyphasic methods based on culture morphology, amplified 16S rRNA gene restriction analysis and limited sequencing was used to classify all 576 actinobacterial isolates from leaf, stem and root samples of two eucalypts: a Grey Box and Red Gum, a native apricot tree and a native pine tree. The classification revealed that, in addition to 413 Streptomyces spp., isolates belonged to 16 other actinobacterial genera: Actinomadura (two strains), Actinomycetospora (six), Actinopolymorpha (two), Amycolatopsis (six), Gordonia (one), Kribbella (25), Micromonospora (six), Nocardia (ten), Nocardioides (11), Nocardiopsis (one), Nonomuraea (one), Polymorphospora (two), Promicromonospora (51), Pseudonocardia (36), Williamsia (two) and a novel genus Flindersiella (one). In order to prove novelty, 12 strains were characterised fully to the species level based on polyphasic taxonomy. One strain represented a novel

  17. A cluster randomized trial of an organizational process improvement intervention for improving the assessment and case planning of offenders: a Study Protocol

    PubMed Central

    Shafer, Michael S; Prendergast, Michael; Melnick, Gerald; Stein, Lynda A; Welsh, Wayne N

    2014-01-01

    Background The Organizational Process Improvement Intervention (OPII), conducted by the NIDA-funded Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies consortium of nine research centers, examined an organizational intervention to improve the processes used in correctional settings to assess substance abusing offenders, develop case plans, transfer this information to community-based treatment agencies, and monitor the services provided by these community based treatment agencies. Methods/Design A multi-site cluster randomized design was used to evaluate an inter-agency organizational process improvement intervention among dyads of correctional agencies and community based treatment agencies. Linked correctional and community based agencies were clustered among nine (9) research centers and randomly assigned to an early or delayed intervention condition. Participants included administrators, managers, and line staff from the participating agencies; some participants served on interagency change teams while other participants performed agency tasks related to offender services. A manualized organizational intervention that includes the use of external organizational coaches was applied to create and support interagency change teams that proceeded through a four-step process over a planned intervention period of 12 months. The primary outcome of the process improvement intervention was to improve processes associated with the assessment, case planning, service referral and service provision processes within the linked organizations. Discussion Providing substance abuse offenders with coordinated treatment and access to community-based services is critical to reducing offender recidivism. Results from this study protocol will provide new and critical information on strategies and processes that improve the assessment and case planning for such offenders as they transition between correctional and community based systems and settings. Further, this study extends current

  18. MHealth to Improve Measles Immunization in Guinea-Bissau: Study Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Ravn, Henrik; Batista, Celso Soares Pereira; Rodrigues, Amabelia

    2016-01-01

    Background Recent studies have revealed a low measles vaccination (MV) rate in the Republic of Guinea-Bissau (West Africa) that has not increased in accordance with the increasing coverage of other vaccinations. Measles is the deadliest of all childhood rash/fever illnesses and spreads easily, implying that if the vaccination coverage is declining there is a significant risk of new measles outbreaks [27]. Meanwhile, mobile health (mHealth; the use of mobile phones for health interventions) has generated much enthusiasm, and shown potential in improving health service delivery in other contexts. Objective The aim of this study is to evaluate the efficiency of mHealth as a tool for improving MV coverage while contributing to the mHealth evidence base. Methods This study will take place at three health centers in different regions of Guinea-Bissau. Participants, defined as mothers of the children receiving the MV, will be enrolled when they arrive with their children at the health center to receive the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin vaccination, usually within one month of the child’s birth. Enrolment will continue until a study population of 990 children has been reached. The participants will be randomly assigned to a control arm or one of two intervention arms. Each of the three groups will have 330 participants, distributed equally between health centers. Participants in the first intervention arm will receive a scheduled short message service (SMS) text message reminding them of the MV. Participants in the second intervention arm will receive a voice call in addition to the SMS message, while the control arm will receive no interventions. The MV is scheduled to be administered at 9 months of age. Although the vaccine would still be effective after 12 months, local policy in Guinea-Bissau prevents children aged >12 months from receiving the vaccination, and thus the study will follow-up with participants after the children reach 12 months of age. Children who have

  19. The Microgravity Isolation Mount (MGIM): A Columbus facility for improving the microgravity quality of payloads

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Owen, R. G.; Jones, D. I.; Owens, A. R.; Roberts, G.; Hadfield, P.

    1992-01-01

    The Microgravity Isolation Mount (MGIM) is a facility for providing active vibration isolation for sensitive experiments on the Columbus Attached Laboratory and the Columbus Free-Flying Laboratory. The facility is designed to be accommodated in a standard Columbus rack, and it iterfaces with existing rack utility services. The design is based on a non-contact strategy, whereby the payload 'floats' inside the rack, and its position is controlled by a number of magnetic actuators. The main advantage of using this non-contact strategy is the improved microgravity quality available. The overall design of the facility and a description of its elements are given.

  20. Improving practice in community-based settings: a randomized trial of supervision – study protocol

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    provide descriptive information, currently unavailable in the literature, about commonly used supervision strategies in community mental health. The Phase II randomized controlled trial of gold standard supervision strategies is, to our knowledge, the first experimental study of gold standard supervision strategies in community mental health and will yield needed information about how to leverage supervision to improve clinician fidelity and client outcomes. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01800266 PMID:23937766

  1. Roles of Smartphone App Use in Improving Social Capital and Reducing Social Isolation.

    PubMed

    Cho, Jaehee

    2015-06-01

    This study investigated the relationships among smartphone app use, social capital, and social isolation. It focused on two different smartphone apps--communication and social networking site (SNS) apps--and their effects on bonding and bridging social capital. Generational differences in smartphone use were also considered. Results from hierarchical regression analyses indicated that individuals' use of communication apps was helpful for increasing social capital and that this effect of using communication apps was stronger among those of the millennial generation than among older users. Moreover, bonding and bridging social capital was found to reduce individuals' social isolation significantly. These results imply the notable role of smartphone apps in reducing social isolation and improving the personal lives of individuals. PMID:26075923

  2. Study protocol: a randomised controlled trial of a theory-based online intervention to improve sun safety among Australian adults

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The effects of exposure to ultraviolet radiation are a significant concern in Australia which has one of the highest incidences of skin cancer in the world. Despite most skin cancers being preventable by encouraging consistent adoption of sun-protective behaviours, incidence rates are not decreasing. There is a dearth of research examining the factors involved in engaging in sun-protective behaviours. Further, online multi-behavioural theory-based interventions have yet to be explored fully as a medium for improving sun-protective behaviour in adults. This paper presents the study protocol of a randomised controlled trial of an online intervention based on the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) that aims to improve sun safety among Australian adults. Methods/Design Approximately 420 adults aged 18 and over and predominantly from Queensland, Australia, will be recruited and randomised to the intervention (n = 200), information only (n = 200) or the control group (n = 20). The intervention focuses on encouraging supportive attitudes and beliefs toward sun-protective behaviour, fostering perceptions of normative support for sun protection, and increasing perceptions of control/self-efficacy over sun protection. The intervention will be delivered online over a single session. Data will be collected immediately prior to the intervention (Time 1), immediately following the intervention (Time 1b), and one week (Time 2) and one month (Time 3) post-intervention. Primary outcomes are intentions to sun protect and sun-protective behaviour. Secondary outcomes are the participants’ attitudes toward sun protection, perceptions of normative support for sun protection (i.e. subjective norms, group norms, personal norms and image norms) and perceptions of control/self-efficacy toward sun protection. Discussion The study will contribute to an understanding of the effectiveness of a TPB-based online intervention to improve Australian adults’ sun

  3. Vibration control of platform structures with magnetorheological elastomer isolators based on an improved SAVS law

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Zhao-Dong; Suo, Si; Lu, Yong

    2016-06-01

    This paper presents a study on the vibration control of platform structures with magnetorheological elastomer (MRE) isolators. Firstly, a novel MRE isolator design is put forward based on the mechanical properties of MREs, and subsequently a single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) dynamic model and a multiple-degree-of-freedom (MDOF) dynamic model for platform systems incorporating such isolators are developed. In order to overcome the shortcomings of the conventional on–off control law, an improved semi-active variable stiffness (SAVS) control law is proposed. The proposed SAVS scheme makes full use of the continuously variable stiffness of MREs, and it takes into account the influence of the sampling interval such that the field-dependent restoring force is made to do negative work during the whole sampling interval as far as possible. The results of numerical simulations demonstrate that the improved SAVS control law can achieve better vibration-control effectiveness than the on–off control law. The comparative results are discussed through examining the mechanisms of these two control laws in light of the power spectral density and the energy input. For an MDOF platform a simplified approach is proposed to combine the local response signals with an equivalent SDOF representation to generate the control parameters for individual isolators, and the effectiveness of such a scheme is also verified through numerical simulation.

  4. Clinical study protocol for the ARCH project - computational modeling for improvement of outcome after vascular access creation.

    PubMed

    Bode, Aron; Caroli, Anna; Huberts, Wouter; Planken, Nils; Antiga, Luca; Bosboom, Marielle; Remuzzi, Andrea; Tordoir, Jan

    2011-01-01

    Despite clinical guidelines and the possibility of diagnostic vascular imaging, creation and maintenance of a vascular access (VA) remains problematic: avoiding short- and long-term VA dysfunction is challenging. Although prognostic factors for VA dysfunction have been identified in previous studies, their potential interplay at a systemic level is disregarded. Consideration of multiple prognostic patient specific factors and their complex interaction using dedicated computational modeling tools might improve outcome after VA creation by enabling a better selection of VA configuration. These computational modeling tools are developed and validated in the ARCH project: a joint initiative of four medical centers and three industrial partners (FP7-ICT-224390). This paper reports the rationale behind computational modeling and presents the clinical study protocol designed for calibrating and validating these modeling tools. The clinical study is based on the pre-operative collection of structural and functional data at a vascular level, as well as a VA functional evaluation during the follow-up period. The strategy adopted to perform the study and for data collection is also described here. PMID:21667457

  5. A Qualitative Study of the Treatment Improvement Protocols (TIPs): An Assessment of the Use of TIPs by Individuals Affiliated with the Addiction Technology Transfer Centers (ATTCs).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hayashi, Susan W.; Suzuki, Marcia; Hubbard, Susan M.; Huang, Judy Y.; Cobb, Anita M.

    2003-01-01

    Evaluated the Addiction Technology Transfer Centers (ATTCs) of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) as a means of diffusion of innovations, focusing on use of the Treatment Improvement Protocols (TIPs). Qualitative studies at 6 ATTCs that included 57 interviews show that the CSAT is at the forefront of providing resources to the…

  6. Electronic and postal reminders for improving immunisation coverage in children: protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis

    PubMed Central

    Chachou, Martel J; Mukinda, Fidele K; Motaze, Villyen; Wiysonge, Charles S

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Worldwide, suboptimal immunisation coverage causes the deaths of more than one million children under five from vaccine-preventable diseases every year. Reasons for suboptimal coverage are multifactorial, and a combination of interventions is needed to improve compliance with immunisation schedules. One intervention relies on reminders, where the health system prompts caregivers to attend immunisation appointments on time or re-engages caregivers who have defaulted on scheduled appointments. We undertake this systematic review to investigate the potential of reminders using emails, phone calls, social media, letters or postcards to improve immunisation coverage in children under five. Methods and analysis We will search for published and unpublished randomised controlled trials and non-randomised controlled trials in PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, CENTRAL, Science Citation Index, WHOLIS, Clinicaltrials.gov and the WHO International Clinical Trials Platform. We will conduct screening of search results, study selection, data extraction and risk-of-bias assessment in duplicate, resolving disagreements by consensus. In addition, we will pool data from clinically homogeneous studies using random-effects meta-analysis; assess heterogeneity of effects using the χ2 test of homogeneity; and quantify any observed heterogeneity using the I2 statistic. Ethics and dissemination This protocol does not need approval by an ethics committee because we will use publicly available data, without directly involving human participants. The results will provide updated evidence on the effects of electronic and postal reminders on immunisation coverage, and we will discuss the applicability of the findings to low and middle-income countries. We plan to disseminate review findings through publication in a peer-reviewed journal and presentation at relevant conferences. In addition, we will prepare a policymaker-friendly summary using a validated format (eg, SUPPORT Summary) and

  7. Using Green Star Metrics to Optimize the Greenness of Literature Protocols for Syntheses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duarte, Rita C. C.; Ribeiro, M. Gabriela T. C.; Machado, Adélio A. S. C.

    2015-01-01

    A procedure to improve the greenness of a synthesis, without performing laboratory work, using alternative protocols available in the literature is presented. The greenness evaluation involves the separate assessment of the different steps described in the available protocols--reaction, isolation, and purification--as well as the global process,…

  8. Does a Water Protocol Improve the Hydration and Health Status of Individuals with Thin Liquid Aspiration Following Stroke? A Randomized Controlled Trial.

    PubMed

    Murray, Jo; Doeltgen, Sebastian; Miller, Michelle; Scholten, Ingrid

    2016-06-01

    The benefit of water protocols for individuals with thin liquid aspiration remains controversial, with mixed findings from a small number of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). This study aimed to contribute to the evidence of the effectiveness of water protocols with a particular emphasis on health outcomes, especially hydration. An RCT was conducted with patients with known thin liquid aspiration post stroke randomized to receiving thickened liquids only or a water protocol. For the 14 participants in rehabilitation facilities whose data proceeded to analysis, there was no difference in the total amount of beverages consumed between the water protocol group (mean = 1103 ml per day, SD = 215 ml) and the thickened liquids only group (mean = 1103 ml, SD = 247 ml). Participants in the water protocol group drank on average 299 ml (SD 274) of water but offset this by drinking less of the thickened liquids. Their hydration improved over time compared with participants in the thickened liquids only group, but differences between groups were not significant. Twenty-one percent of the total sample was diagnosed with dehydration, and no participants in either group were diagnosed with pneumonia. There were significantly more diagnoses of urinary tract infection in the thickened liquids only group compared to the water protocol group (χ (2) = 5.091, p = 0.024), but no differences between groups with regard to diagnoses of dehydration (χ (2) = 0.884, p = 0.347) or constipation (χ (2) = 0.117, p = 0.733). The findings reinforce evidence about the relative safety of water protocols for patients in rehabilitation post stroke and provide impetus for future research into the potential benefits for hydration status and minimizing adverse health outcomes. PMID:26886370

  9. Promoting male involvement to improve PMTCT uptake and reduce antenatal HIV infection: a cluster randomized controlled trial protocol

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Despite the availability of a dual therapy treatment protocol and infant feeding guidelines designed to prevent mother to child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV, of the over 1 million babies born in South Africa each year, only 70% of those born to HIV positive mothers receive dual therapy. Similar to other resource-poor nations facing the integration of PMTCT into routine pregnancy and infant care, efforts in South Africa to scale up PMTCT and reduce transmission to < 5% have fallen far short of the United Nation's goal of 50% reductions in paediatric HIV by 80% coverage of mothers. Methods/Design This study proposes to evaluate the impact of combining two evidence-based interventions: a couple's risk reduction intervention with an evidence based medication adherence intervention to enhance male participation in combination with improving medication and PMTCT adherence in antenatal clinics to increase PMTCT overall reach and effectiveness. The study will use a group-randomized design, recruiting 240 couples from 12 clinics. Clinics will be randomly assigned to experimental and control conditions and effectiveness of the combined intervention to enhance PMTCT as well as reduce antenatal seroconversion by both individuals and clinics will be examined. Discussion Shared intervention elements may decrease sexual risk and enhance PMTCT uptake, e.g., increased male participation, enhanced communication, HIV counselling and testing, adherence, serostatus disclosure, suggest that a combined sexual risk reduction and adherence intervention plus PMTCT can increase male participation, increase couples' communication and encourage adherence to the PMTCT process. The findings will impact public health and will enable the health ministry to formulate policy related to male involvement in PMTCT, which will result in PMTCT. Trial registration PACTR201109000318329 PMID:21985332

  10. Downhill Running-Based Overtraining Protocol Improves Hepatic Insulin Signaling Pathway without Concomitant Decrease of Inflammatory Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Pauli, José R.; Cintra, Dennys E.; de Souza, Claudio T.; Ropelle, Eduardo R.; R. da Silva, Adelino S.

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to verify the effects of overtraining (OT) on insulin, inflammatory and gluconeogenesis signaling pathways in the livers of mice. Rodents were divided into control (CT), overtrained by downhill running (OTR/down), overtrained by uphill running (OTR/up) and overtrained by running without inclination (OTR). Rotarod, incremental load, exhaustive and grip force tests were used to evaluate performance. Thirty-six hours after a grip force test, the livers were extracted for subsequent protein analyses. The phosphorylation of insulin receptor beta (pIRbeta), glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (pGSK3beta) and forkhead box O1 (pFoxo1) increased in OTR/down versus CT. pGSK3beta was higher in OTR/up versus CT, and pFoxo1 was higher in OTR/up and OTR versus CT. Phosphorylation of protein kinase B (pAkt) and insulin receptor substrate 1 (pIRS–1) were higher in OTR/up versus CT and OTR/down. The phosphorylation of IκB kinase alpha and beta (pIKKalpha/beta) was higher in all OT protocols versus CT, and the phosphorylation of stress-activated protein kinases/Jun amino-terminal kinases (pSAPK-JNK) was higher in OTR/down versus CT. Protein levels of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator 1alpha (PGC-1alpha) and hepatocyte nuclear factor 4alpha (HNF-4alpha) were higher in OTR versus CT. In summary, OTR/down improved the major proteins of insulin signaling pathway but up-regulated TRB3, an Akt inhibitor, and its association with Akt. PMID:26445495

  11. A Structured Forensic Interview Protocol Improves the Quality and Informativeness of Investigative Interviews with Children: A Review of Research Using the NICHD Investigative Interview Protocol

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lamb, Michael; Orbach, Yael; Hershkowitz, Irit; Esplin, Phillip W.; Horowitz, Dvora

    2007-01-01

    Objective: To show how the results of research on children's memory, communicative skills, social knowledge, and social tendencies can be translated into guidelines that improve the quality of forensic interviews of children. Method: We review studies designed to evaluate children's capacities as witnesses, explain the development of the…

  12. [Improvement of the method of isolation of hydrogen-forming bacteria of Clostridium genus].

    PubMed

    Pritula, I R; Tashirev, A B

    2012-01-01

    The method of isolation and quantitative account of pure cultures of obligate anaerobic hydrogen-forming clostridia is improved. A strain of hydrogen-forming bacteria Clostridium sp. BY-11 has been isolated from the association of sporulating bacteria. Quantitative indices of hydrogen synthesis and starch fermentation have been determined when growing the strain in the liquid medium. Concentration of H2 in the gas phase was 49%, microorganisms synthesized 128 1 of H2 from 1 kg of starch, the mass of starch decreased 7 times for 6 days. The mentioned indices for hydrogen synthesis and starch fermentation and for other organic model substrates in the future are the basis for creating the industrial biotechnology for production of hydrogen as the energy carrier under disposal of ecologically dangerous solid food waste. PMID:23293828

  13. Characterization of the cultivable bacterial populations associated with field grown Brassica napus L.: an evaluation of sampling and isolation protocols.

    PubMed

    Croes, Sarah; Weyens, Nele; Colpaert, Jan; Vangronsveld, Jaco

    2015-07-01

    Plant-associated bacteria are intensively investigated concerning their characteristics for plant growth promotion, biocontrol mechanisms and enhanced phytoremediation efficiency. To obtain endophytes, different sampling and isolation protocols are used although their representativeness is not always clearly demonstrated. The objective of this study was to acquire representative pictures of the cultivable bacterial root, stem and leaf communities for all Brassica napus L. individuals growing on the same field. For each plant organ, genotypic identifications of the endophytic communities were performed using three replicates. Root replicates were composed of three total root systems, whereas stem and leaf replicates needed to consist of six independent plant parts in order to be representative. Greater variations between replicates were found when considering phenotypic characteristics. Correspondence analysis revealed reliable phenotypic results for roots and even shoots, but less reliable ones for leaves. Additionally, realistic Shannon-Wiener biodiversity indices were calculated for all three organs and showed similar Evenness factors. Furthermore, it was striking that all replicates and thus the whole plant contained Pseudomonas and Bacillus strains although aboveground and belowground plant tissues differed in most dominant bacterial genera and characteristics. PMID:25367683

  14. Low–dose RUTF protocol and improved service delivery lead to good programme outcomes in the treatment of uncomplicated SAM: a programme report from Myanmar

    PubMed Central

    James, Philip T; Van den Briel, Natalie; Rozet, Aurélie; Israël, Anne-Dominique; Fenn, Bridget; Navarro-Colorado, Carlos

    2015-01-01

    The treatment of uncomplicated severe acute malnutrition (SAM) requires substantial amounts of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF). In 2009, Action Contre la Faim anticipated a shortfall of RUTF for their nutrition programme in Myanmar. A low-dose RUTF protocol to treat children with uncomplicated SAM was adopted. In this protocol, RUTF was dosed according to beneficiary's body weight, until the child reached a Weight-for-Height z-score of ≥−3 and mid-upper arm circumference ≥110 mm. From this point, the child received a fixed quantity of RUTF per day, independent of body weight until discharge. Specific measures were implemented as part of this low-dose RUTF protocol in order to improve service quality and beneficiary support. We analysed individual records of 3083 children treated from July 2009 to January 2010. Up to 90.2% of children recovered, 2.0% defaulted and 0.9% were classified as non-responders. No deaths were recorded. Among children who recovered, median [IQR] length of stay and weight gain were 42 days [28; 56] and 4.0 g kg–1 day–1 [3.0; 5.7], respectively. Multivariable logistic regression showed that children older than 48 months had higher odds of non-response to treatment than younger children (adjusted odds ratio: 3.51, 95% CI: 1.67–7.42). Our results indicate that a low-dose RUTF protocol, combined with specific measures to ensure good service quality and beneficiary support, was successful in treating uncomplicated SAM in this setting. This programmatic experience should be validated by randomised studies aiming to test, quantify and attribute the effect of the protocol adaptation and programme improvements presented here. PMID:25850698

  15. Low-dose RUTF protocol and improved service delivery lead to good programme outcomes in the treatment of uncomplicated SAM: a programme report from Myanmar.

    PubMed

    James, Philip T; Van den Briel, Natalie; Rozet, Aurélie; Israël, Anne-Dominique; Fenn, Bridget; Navarro-Colorado, Carlos

    2015-10-01

    The treatment of uncomplicated severe acute malnutrition (SAM) requires substantial amounts of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF). In 2009, Action Contre la Faim anticipated a shortfall of RUTF for their nutrition programme in Myanmar. A low-dose RUTF protocol to treat children with uncomplicated SAM was adopted. In this protocol, RUTF was dosed according to beneficiary's body weight, until the child reached a Weight-for-Height z-score of ≥-3 and mid-upper arm circumference ≥110 mm. From this point, the child received a fixed quantity of RUTF per day, independent of body weight until discharge. Specific measures were implemented as part of this low-dose RUTF protocol in order to improve service quality and beneficiary support. We analysed individual records of 3083 children treated from July 2009 to January 2010. Up to 90.2% of children recovered, 2.0% defaulted and 0.9% were classified as non-responders. No deaths were recorded. Among children who recovered, median [IQR] length of stay and weight gain were 42 days [28; 56] and 4.0 g kg(-1) day(-1) [3.0; 5.7], respectively. Multivariable logistic regression showed that children older than 48 months had higher odds of non-response to treatment than younger children (adjusted odds ratio: 3.51, 95% CI: 1.67-7.42). Our results indicate that a low-dose RUTF protocol, combined with specific measures to ensure good service quality and beneficiary support, was successful in treating uncomplicated SAM in this setting. This programmatic experience should be validated by randomised studies aiming to test, quantify and attribute the effect of the protocol adaptation and programme improvements presented here. PMID:25850698

  16. Improved oil recovery using bacteria isolated from North Sea petroleum reservoirs

    SciTech Connect

    Davey, R.A.; Lappin-Scott, H.

    1995-12-31

    During secondary oil recovery, water is injected into the formation to sweep out the residual oil. The injected water, however, follows the path of least resistance through the high-permeability zones, leaving oil in the low-permeability zones. Selective plugging of these their zones would divert the waterflood to the residual oil and thus increase the life of the well. Bacteria have been suggested as an alternative plugging agent to the current method of polymer injection. Starved bacteria can penetrate deeply into rock formations where they attach to the rock surfaces, and given the right nutrients can grow and produce exo-polymer, reducing the permeability of these zones. The application of microbial enhanced oil recovery has only been applied to shallow, cool, onshore fields to date. This study has focused on the ability of bacteria to enhance oil recovery offshore in the North Sea, where the environment can be considered extreme. A screen of produced water from oil reservoirs (and other extreme subterranean environments) was undertaken, and two bacteria were chosen for further work. These two isolates were able to grow and survive in the presence of saline formation waters at a range of temperatures above 50{degrees}C as facultative anaerobes. When a solution of isolates was passed through sandpacks and nutrients were added, significant reductions in permeabilities were achieved. This was confirmed in Clashach sandstone at 255 bar, when a reduction of 88% in permeability was obtained. Both isolates can survive nutrient starvation, which may improve penetration through the reservoir. Thus, the isolates show potential for field trials in the North Sea as plugging agents.

  17. Isolation of an oxalate-resistant Ashbya gossypii strain and its improved riboflavin production.

    PubMed

    Sugimoto, Takashi; Morimoto, Aki; Nariyama, Masashi; Kato, Tatsuya; Park, Enoch Y

    2010-01-01

    An oxalate-resistant strain of Ashbya gossypii was naturally isolated from spores grown on an oxalate-containing medium, and its medium was optimized to improve riboflavin production. Riboflavin production by the resistant strain was three-fold higher than that by the wild-type organism when grown in flask cultures. Medium optimization increased the riboflavin production by the resistant strain to 5 g l(-1), which was five-fold higher than that obtained by the wild-type strain. The productivity was reproduced in a 3-l bioreactor. During the early growth phase, the specific activity of isocitrate lyase in the oxalate-resistant strain was slightly higher than that in the wild-type strain. Proteomic analysis of the oxalate-resistant strain revealed that the expression of aldose reductase and cobalamin-independent methionine synthase decreased significantly. This is the first report that describes the natural isolation of a riboflavin producer using an antimetabolite-containing medium to enhance the riboflavin production level. This method should also be useful for improving the productivity of other bioproducts since it does not require any mutations or genetic modifications of the microorganism. PMID:19826846

  18. The Ontological Perspectives of the Semantic Web and the Metadata Harvesting Protocol: Applications of Metadata for Improving Web Search.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fast, Karl V.; Campbell, D. Grant

    2001-01-01

    Compares the implied ontological frameworks of the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting and the World Wide Web Consortium's Semantic Web. Discusses current search engine technology, semantic markup, indexing principles of special libraries and online databases, and componentization and the distinction between data and…

  19. An improved protocol and a new grinding device for extraction of genomic DNA from microorganisms by a two-step extraction procedure.

    PubMed

    Zhang, S S; Chen, D; Lu, Q

    2012-01-01

    Current protocols to extract genomic DNA from microorganisms are still laborious, tedious and costly, especially for the species with thick cell walls. In order to improve the effectiveness of extracting DNA from microbial samples, a novel protocol, defined as two-step extraction method, along with an improved tissue-grinding device, was developed. The protocol included two steps, disruption of microbial cells or spores by grinding the sample together with silica sand in a new device and extraction of DNA with an effective buffer containing cell lysis chemicals. The device was prepared by using a commercial electric mini-grinder, adapted with a grinding stone, and a sample cup processed by lathing from a polytetrafluoroethylene rod. We tested the method with vegetative cells of four microbial species and two microbial spores that have thick cell walls and are therefore hard to process; these included Escherichia coli JM109, Bacillus subtilis WB600, Sacchromyces cerevisiae INVSc1, Trichoderma viride AS3.3711, and the spores of S. cerevisiae and T. viride, respectively, representing Gram-positive bacteria, Gram-negative bacteria, yeast, filamentous fungi. We found that this new method and device extracted usable quantities of genomic DNA from the samples. The DNA fragments that were extracted exceeded 23 kb. The target sequences up to about 5 kb were successfully and exclusively amplified by PCR using extracted DNA as the template. In addition, the DNA extraction was finalized within 1.5 h. Thus, we conclude that this two-step extraction method is an effective and improved protocol for extraction of genomic DNA from microbial samples. PMID:22653603

  20. A service-level action research intervention to improve identification and treatment of cannabis and related mental health issues in young Indigenous Australians: a study protocol

    PubMed Central

    Bohanna, India; Bird, Katrina; Copeland, Jan; Roberts, Nicholas; Clough, Alan

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Regular cannabis use is associated with negative mental health impacts including psychosis, depression and anxiety. Rates of cannabis use have increased in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in northern Australia within the last two decades, presenting a significant increased risk to young people's mental health in these regions. Improved screening, early detection and treatment for cannabis-related mental health issues are urgently required. This paper describes a service-level action research intervention and evaluation protocol for use in the few services where it is possible to engage young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. Methods/Design The protocol is being developed in two services where youth mental health is core business: a primary healthcare centre and a youth service in the Cairns and hinterland region, far north Queensland. The protocol calls first for baseline data to be collected using staff and client surveys; network mapping; and analysis of screening, treatment and referral rates. The protocol's intervention phase is driven by service needs identified from baseline data. Intervention strategies focus on implementing/enhancing cannabis screening instruments and processes in line with current best practice; enhancing networks with external drug and mental health services; developing culturally acceptable training and resources; developing activities aiming to reduce cannabis use in young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients using the services. The protocol requires implementation of the multilevel intervention within each service for 1 year, with follow-up data then collected and compared to baseline. Process evaluation identifies the more effective intervention strategies and documents the challenges to be overcome for full implementation. Ethics and dissemination Ethics approval was provided by The James Cook University, Human Research Ethics Committee. Ethics Approval Number H5322. Peer

  1. Isolation and identification of bacteria to improve the strength of concrete.

    PubMed

    Krishnapriya, S; Venkatesh Babu, D L; G, Prince Arulraj

    2015-05-01

    The objective of this research work is to isolate and identify calcite precipitating bacteria and to check the suitability of these bacteria for use in concrete to improve its strength. Bacteria to be incorporated in concrete should be alkali resistant to endure the high pH of concrete and endospore forming to withstand the mechanical stresses induced in concrete during mixing. They must exhibit high urease activity to precipitate calcium carbonate in the form of calcite. Bacterial strains were isolated from alkaline soil samples of a cement factory and were tested for urease activity, potential to form endospores and precipitation of calcium carbonate. Based on these results, three isolates were selected and identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. They were identified as Bacillus megaterium BSKAU, Bacillus licheniformis BSKNAU and Bacillus flexus BSKNAU. The results were compared with B. megaterium MTCC 1684 obtained from Microbial Type Culture Collection and Gene Bank, Chandigarh, India. Experimental work was carried out to assess the influence of bacteria on the compressive strength and tests revealed that bacterial concrete specimens showed enhancement in compressive strength. The efficiency of bacteria toward crack healing was also tested. Substantial increase in strength and complete healing of cracks was observed in concrete specimens cast with B. megaterium BSKAU, B. licheniformis BSKNAU and B. megaterium MTCC 1684. This indicates the suitability of these bacterial strains for use in concrete. The enhancement of strength and healing of cracks can be attributed to the filling of cracks in concrete by calcite which was visualized by scanning electron microscope. PMID:25946328

  2. Improvement of Isolated Myoclonus Phenotype in Myoclonus Dystonia after Pallidal Deep Brain Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Ramdhani, Ritesh A.; Frucht, Steven J.; Behnegar, Anousheh; Kopell, Brian H.

    2016-01-01

    Background Myoclonus–dystonia is a condition that manifests predominantly as myoclonic jerks with focal dystonia. It is genetically heterogeneous with most mutations in the epsilon sarcoglycan gene (SGCE). In medically refractory cases, deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been shown to provide marked sustainable clinical improvement, especially in SGCE-positive patients. We present two patients with myoclonus–dystonia (one SGCE positive and the other SGCE negative) who have the isolated myoclonus phenotype and had DBS leads implanted in the bilateral globus pallidus internus (GPi). Methods We review their longitudinal Unified Myoclonus Rating Scale scores along with their DBS programming parameters and compare them with published cases in the literature. Results Both patients demonstrated complete amelioration of all aspects of myoclonus within 6–12 months after surgery. The patient with the SGCE-negative mutation responded just as well as the patient who was SGCE positive. High-frequency stimulation (130 Hz) with amplitudes greater than 2.5 V provided therapeutic benefit. Discussion This case series demonstrates that high frequency GPi-DBS is effective in treating isolated myoclonus in myoclonus–dystonia, regardless of the presence of SGCE mutation. PMID:26989574

  3. Isolation and characterization of an Ashbya gossypii mutant for improved riboflavin production.

    PubMed

    Wei, Shiping; Hurley, James; Jiang, Zhenglong; Wang, Siwen; Wang, Yuanyuan

    2012-04-01

    The use of the filamentous fungus, Ashbya gossypii, to improve riboflavin production at an industrial scale is described in this paper. A riboflavin overproducing strain was isolated by ultraviolet irradiation. Ten minutes after spore suspensions of A. gossypii were irradiated by ultraviolet light, a survival rate of 5.5% spores was observed, with 10% of the surviving spores giving rise to riboflavin-overproducing mutants. At this time point, a stable mutant of the wild strain was isolated. Riboflavin production of the mutant was two fold higher than that of the wild strain in flask culture. When the mutant was growing on the optimized medium, maximum riboflavin production could reach 6.38 g/l. It has even greater promise to increase its riboflavin production through dynamic analysis of its growth phase parameters, and riboflavin production could reach 8.12 g/l with pH was adjusted to the range of 6.0-7.0 using KH2PO4 in the later growth phase. This mutant has the potential to be used for industrial scale riboflavin production. PMID:24031850

  4. Isolation and characterization of an Ashbya gossypii mutant for improved riboflavin production

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Shiping; Hurley, James; Jiang, Zhenglong; Wang, Siwen; Wang, Yuanyuan

    2012-01-01

    The use of the filamentous fungus, Ashbya gossypii, to improve riboflavin production at an industrial scale is described in this paper. A riboflavin overproducing strain was isolated by ultraviolet irradiation. Ten minutes after spore suspensions of A. gossypii were irradiated by ultraviolet light, a survival rate of 5.5% spores was observed, with 10% of the surviving spores giving rise to riboflavin-overproducing mutants. At this time point, a stable mutant of the wild strain was isolated. Riboflavin production of the mutant was two fold higher than that of the wild strain in flask culture. When the mutant was growing on the optimized medium, maximum riboflavin production could reach 6.38 g/l. It has even greater promise to increase its riboflavin production through dynamic analysis of its growth phase parameters, and riboflavin production could reach 8.12 g/l with pH was adjusted to the range of 6.0-7.0 using KH2PO4 in the later growth phase. This mutant has the potential to be used for industrial scale riboflavin production. PMID:24031850

  5. The Use of Variable Q1 Isolation Windows Improves Selectivity in LC-SWATH-MS Acquisition.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ying; Bilbao, Aivett; Bruderer, Tobias; Luban, Jeremy; Strambio-De-Castillia, Caterina; Lisacek, Frédérique; Hopfgartner, Gérard; Varesio, Emmanuel

    2015-10-01

    As tryptic peptides and metabolites are not equally distributed along the mass range, the probability of cross fragment ion interference is higher in certain windows when fixed Q1 SWATH windows are applied. We evaluated the benefits of utilizing variable Q1 SWATH windows with regards to selectivity improvement. Variable windows based on equalizing the distribution of either the precursor ion population (PIP) or the total ion current (TIC) within each window were generated by an in-house software, swathTUNER. These two variable Q1 SWATH window strategies outperformed, with respect to quantification and identification, the basic approach using a fixed window width (FIX) for proteomic profiling of human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MDDCs). Thus, 13.8 and 8.4% additional peptide precursors, which resulted in 13.1 and 10.0% more proteins, were confidently identified by SWATH using the strategy PIP and TIC, respectively, in the MDDC proteomic sample. On the basis of the spectral library purity score, some improvement warranted by variable Q1 windows was also observed, albeit to a lesser extent, in the metabolomic profiling of human urine. We show that the novel concept of "scheduled SWATH" proposed here, which incorporates (i) variable isolation windows and (ii) precursor retention time segmentation further improves both peptide and metabolite identifications. PMID:26302369

  6. Improvement of polyvinyl alcohol properties by adding nanocrystalline cellulose isolated from banana pseudostems.

    PubMed

    Pereira, André Luís S; do Nascimento, Diego M; Souza Filho, Men de Sá M; Morais, João Paulo S; Vasconcelos, Niedja F; Feitosa, Judith P A; Brígida, Ana Iraidy S; Rosa, Morsyleide de F

    2014-11-01

    Cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) isolated from banana pseudostems fibers (BPF) of the Pacovan variety were used as fillers in a polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) matrix to yield a nanocomposite. The fibers from the external fractions of the BPF were alkaline bleached and hydrolyzed under acidic conditions (H2SO4 62% w/w, 70 min, 45 °C) to obtain CNCs with a length (L) of 135.0 ± 12.0 nm and a diameter (D) of 7.2 ± 1.9 nm to yield an aspect ratio (L/D) of 21.2. The CNCs were applied to PVOH films at different concentrations (0%, 1%, 3%, and 5% w/w, dry basis). With higher concentrations of CNCs, the water-vapor barrier of the films increased, while the optical properties changed very little. Increasing the concentration of the CNCs up to 3% significantly improved the mechanical properties of the nanocomposite. PMID:25129731

  7. Isolation and characterization of brewer's yeast variants with improved fermentation performance under high-gravity conditions.

    PubMed

    Blieck, Lies; Toye, Geert; Dumortier, Françoise; Verstrepen, Kevin J; Delvaux, Freddy R; Thevelein, Johan M; Van Dijck, Patrick

    2007-02-01

    To save energy, space, and time, today's breweries make use of high-gravity brewing in which concentrated medium (wort) is fermented, resulting in a product with higher ethanol content. After fermentation, the product is diluted to obtain beer with the desired alcohol content. While economically desirable, the use of wort with an even higher sugar concentration is limited by the inability of brewer's yeast (Saccharomyces pastorianus) to efficiently ferment such concentrated medium. Here, we describe a successful strategy to obtain yeast variants with significantly improved fermentation capacity under high-gravity conditions. We isolated better-performing variants of the industrial lager strain CMBS33 by subjecting a pool of UV-induced variants to consecutive rounds of fermentation in very-high-gravity wort (>22 degrees Plato). Two variants (GT336 and GT344) showing faster fermentation rates and/or more-complete attenuation as well as improved viability under high ethanol conditions were identified. The variants displayed the same advantages in a pilot-scale stirred fermenter under high-gravity conditions at 11 degrees C. Microarray analysis identified several genes whose altered expression may be responsible for the superior performance of the variants. The role of some of these candidate genes was confirmed by genetic transformation. Our study shows that proper selection conditions allow the isolation of variants of commercial brewer's yeast with superior fermentation characteristics. Moreover, it is the first study to identify genes that affect fermentation performance under high-gravity conditions. The results are of interest to the beer and bioethanol industries, where the use of more-concentrated medium is economically advantageous. PMID:17158628

  8. Isolation and Characterization of Brewer's Yeast Variants with Improved Fermentation Performance under High-Gravity Conditions▿

    PubMed Central

    Blieck, Lies; Toye, Geert; Dumortier, Françoise; Verstrepen, Kevin J.; Delvaux, Freddy R.; Thevelein, Johan M.; Van Dijck, Patrick

    2007-01-01

    To save energy, space, and time, today's breweries make use of high-gravity brewing in which concentrated medium (wort) is fermented, resulting in a product with higher ethanol content. After fermentation, the product is diluted to obtain beer with the desired alcohol content. While economically desirable, the use of wort with an even higher sugar concentration is limited by the inability of brewer's yeast (Saccharomyces pastorianus) to efficiently ferment such concentrated medium. Here, we describe a successful strategy to obtain yeast variants with significantly improved fermentation capacity under high-gravity conditions. We isolated better-performing variants of the industrial lager strain CMBS33 by subjecting a pool of UV-induced variants to consecutive rounds of fermentation in very-high-gravity wort (>22° Plato). Two variants (GT336 and GT344) showing faster fermentation rates and/or more-complete attenuation as well as improved viability under high ethanol conditions were identified. The variants displayed the same advantages in a pilot-scale stirred fermenter under high-gravity conditions at 11°C. Microarray analysis identified several genes whose altered expression may be responsible for the superior performance of the variants. The role of some of these candidate genes was confirmed by genetic transformation. Our study shows that proper selection conditions allow the isolation of variants of commercial brewer's yeast with superior fermentation characteristics. Moreover, it is the first study to identify genes that affect fermentation performance under high-gravity conditions. The results are of interest to the beer and bioethanol industries, where the use of more-concentrated medium is economically advantageous. PMID:17158628

  9. Effectiveness of a Vestibular Rehabilitation Protocol to Improve the Health-Related Quality of Life and Postural Balance in Patients with Vertigo

    PubMed Central

    Tsukamoto, Heloísa Freiria; Costa, Viviane de Souza Pinho; Silva, Rubens Alexandre da; Pelosi, Gislaine Garcia; Marchiori, Luciana Lozza de Moraes; Vaz, Cláudia Regina Sanches; Fernandes, Karen Barros Parron

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Dizziness can be characterized as a balance disorder that causes discomfort, leading to several functional limitations. Currently, vestibular rehabilitation has been highlighted as a possible treatment. Objective Analyze the effects of completing a vestibular rehabilitation treatment protocol on quality of life and postural balance in patients with vestibular complaints, as well as to compare these effects between the patients taking or not taking antivertigo drugs. Methods A nonrandomized controlled trial was performed with 20 patients previously diagnosed with vestibular diseases. Information regarding vertigo symptoms, quality of life as assessed through the Dizziness Handicap Inventory, visual analog scale of dizziness, and stabilometry using force platform was collected. Patients were treated for 12 weeks by a custom protocol. The sample was divided into two groups according to the use (medicated group, n = 9) or not (control group, n = 11) of antivertigo drugs. Results There was improvement in quality of life (p < 0.001) and intensity of dizziness (p = 0.003) with the intervention. An improvement of postural balance was observed through functional tests. However, no statistically significant difference was noted in stabilometry. When both groups were compared, no statistically significant differences between the variations of the variables analyzed were found in the re-evaluation session. Conclusion Quality of life and postural balance are improved with intervention. However, this improvement is not associated with pharmacologic treatment. PMID:26157499

  10. Improved functional properties of glycosylated soy protein isolate using D-glucose and xanthan gum.

    PubMed

    Li, Ruiqi; Hettiarachchy, Navam; Rayaprolu, Srinivas; Davis, Mike; Eswaranandam, Satchithanandam; Jha, Alok; Chen, Pengyin

    2015-09-01

    Functional properties of the soy protein need to improve to have better applications in food industry. Alkali extracted and acid precipitated soy protein isolate (SPI) was glycosylated using D-glucose (G) and Xanthan gum (X) via Maillard reaction to improve solubility. The effects of SPI to G and SPI to X ratios (SPI:G = 2:1, 1:1, and 1:2; SPI:X = 100:1 and 10:1) and incubation time (0, 6, 12, and 24 h) on the solubility and functional properties of glycosylated SPI were evaluated. The SPI:G ratio of 1:2 yielded a maximum degree of glycosylation of 71.1 %. The solubility of SPI after glycosylation significantly increased (P < 0.05) at pH 4.0-8.0 compared to SPI alone. Although the emulsion stability of glycosylated SPIs has not significantly increased (P > 0.05), the emulsifying activity improved significantly (P < 0.05). Glycosylation with SPI-X at a ratio of 10: 1 showed maximum emulsifying activity of 191.6 m(2)/g (SPI alone: 66.3 m(2)/g). Moreover, the SPI:X (ratio of 100:1) showed the maximum foaming activity (205 mL) compared to SPI alone (155 mL). The foaming stability of SPI (2.6 %) increased to 5.5 and 8.2 % when using xanthan gum at the ratio of 100:1 and 10:1, respectively. Glycosylated SPI with enhanced emulsifying and foaming properties has potential to improve the functional quality of the food products. PMID:26345030

  11. Patient education interventions to improve physical activity in patients with intermittent claudication: a protocol for a systematic mixed-studies review

    PubMed Central

    Abaraogu, Ukachukwu Okoroafor; Dall, Philippa Margaret; Seenan, Christopher Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and intermittent claudication (IC) decrease an individual's capacity to engage in physical activity (PA) with potentially negative effects on PA behaviour. Strategies to improve PA among this population may provide a range of positive health benefits. We present a protocol to assess the components of patient education interventions that improve PA capacity and PA behaviour in patients with PAD and IC. Methods and analysis Published peer-reviewed studies will be searched in the following databases: CINAHL, the Cochrane Library, OVID, ProQuest, AMED, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, Web of Science Core Collection and PEDro, to identify literature investigating the effect of patient education on PA of patients with PAD and IC, or studies that investigated patients' perceptions or experience with these interventions. Two authors will independently perform screening for study eligibility, result synthesis and then appraise study quality. For interventions without follow-up, primary outcome measures will include change in PA capacity, or change in free-living PA behaviour; where there was a follow-up postintervention, the primary outcome will be rate of adherence to PA behaviour improvement. A three-phase sequential explanatory synthesis of mixed studies will be employed to answer the research questions. Homogenous quantitative data will be analysed using a random-effects model of meta-analysis with results presented as relative risk for dichotomous outcomes and as weighted or standardised means for continuous outcomes. Qualitative data will be analysed using thematic synthesis. This review protocol is reported according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic review and Meta-Analysis Protocols (PRISMA-P) 2015 guidelines. Trial registration number CRD42015027314. PMID:27207628

  12. Common pitfalls of stem cell differentiation: a guide to improving protocols for neurodegenerative disease models and research.

    PubMed

    Engel, Martin; Do-Ha, Dzung; Muñoz, Sonia Sanz; Ooi, Lezanne

    2016-10-01

    Induced pluripotent stem cells and embryonic stem cells have revolutionized cellular neuroscience, providing the opportunity to model neurological diseases and test potential therapeutics in a pre-clinical setting. The power of these models has been widely discussed, but the potential pitfalls of stem cell differentiation in this research are less well described. We have analyzed the literature that describes differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into three neural cell types that are commonly used to study diseases, including forebrain cholinergic neurons for Alzheimer's disease, midbrain dopaminergic neurons for Parkinson's disease and cortical astrocytes for neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. Published protocols for differentiation vary widely in the reported efficiency of target cell generation. Additionally, characterization of the cells by expression profile and functionality differs between studies and is often insufficient, leading to highly variable protocol outcomes. We have synthesized this information into a simple methodology that can be followed when performing or assessing differentiation techniques. Finally we propose three considerations for future research, including the use of physiological O2 conditions, three-dimensional co-culture systems and microfluidics to control feeding cycles and growth factor gradients. Following these guidelines will help researchers to ensure that robust and meaningful data is generated, enabling the full potential of stem cell differentiation for disease modeling and regenerative medicine. PMID:27154043

  13. Continuous Improvement and the Safety Case for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Geologic Repository - 13467

    SciTech Connect

    Van Luik, Abraham; Patterson, Russell; Nelson, Roger; Leigh, Christi

    2013-07-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is a geologic repository 2150 feet (650 m) below the surface of the Chihuahuan desert near Carlsbad, New Mexico. WIPP permanently disposes of transuranic waste from national defense programs. Every five years, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) submits an application to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to request regulatory-compliance re-certification of the facility for another five years. Every ten years, DOE submits an application to the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) for the renewal of its hazardous waste disposal permit. The content of the applications made by DOE to the EPA for re-certification, and to the NMED for permit-renewal, reflect any optimization changes made to the facility, with regulatory concurrence if warranted by the nature of the change. DOE points to such changes as evidence for its having taken seriously its 'continuous improvement' operations and management philosophy. Another opportunity for continuous improvement is to look at any delta that may exist between the re-certification and re-permitting cases for system safety and the consensus advice on the nature and content of a safety case as being developed and published by the Nuclear Energy Agency's Integration Group for the Safety Case (IGSC) expert group. DOE at WIPP, with the aid of its Science Advisor and teammate, Sandia National Laboratories, is in the process of discerning what can be done, in a reasonably paced and cost-conscious manner, to continually improve the case for repository safety that is being made to the two primary regulators on a recurring basis. This paper will discuss some aspects of that delta and potential paths forward to addressing them. (authors)

  14. Performance improvements of MOEMS-based diffractive arrays: address isolation and optical switching

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Panaman, Ganesh; Madison, Seth; Sano, Michael; Castracane, James

    2005-01-01

    Micro-Opto-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MOEMS) have found a variety of applications in fields such as telecommunications, spectroscopy and display technology. MOEMS-based optical switching is currently under investigation for the increased flexibility that such devices provide for reconfiguration of the I/O network for inter-chip communication applications. This potential not only adds an additional degree of freedom for adjustment of transmitter/receiver links but also allows for fine alignment of individual channels in the network link. Further, this use of diffractive arrays for specific applications combines beam steering/adjustment capabilities with the inherent wavelength dependence of the diffractive approach for channel separation and de-multiplexing. Research and development has been concentrated on the progression from single MOEMS components to parallel arrays integrated with optical source arrays for a successful feasibility demonstration. Successful development of such an approach will have a major impact of the next generation communication protocols. This paper will focus on the current status of the MOEMS research program for Free Space Optical inter-chip communication at the College of NanoScale Science and Engineering, University at Albany-SUNY (CNSE). New versions of diffractive arrays stemming from the basic MEMS Compound Grating (MCG; patent #5,999,319) have been produced through various fabrication methods including the MUMPs process1. Most MEMS components relying on electrostatic actuation tend to require high actuation voltages (>20V) compared to the typical 5V levels prevalent in conventional integrated circuits. The specific goal is to yield improved performance while minimizing the power consumption of the components. Structural modifications through the variation in the ruling/electrode spacing distance and array wiring layout through individually addressable gratings have been studied to understand effects on the actuation voltage and

  15. Application of a standardised protocol for hepatic venous pressure gradient measurement improves quality of readings and facilitates reduction of variceal bleeding in cirrhotics

    PubMed Central

    Tey, Tze Tong; Gogna, Apoorva; Irani, Farah Gillan; Too, Chow Wei; Lo, Hoau Gong Richard; Tan, Bien Soo; Tay, Kiang Hiong; Lui, Hock Foong; Chang, Pik Eu Jason

    2016-01-01

    INTRODUCTION Hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) measurement is recommended for prognostic and therapeutic indications in centres with adequate resources and expertise. Our study aimed to evaluate the quality of HVPG measurements at our centre before and after introduction of a standardised protocol, and the clinical relevance of the HVPG to variceal bleeding in cirrhotics. METHODS HVPG measurements performed at Singapore General Hospital from 2005–2013 were retrospectively reviewed. Criteria for quality HVPG readings were triplicate readings, absence of negative pressure values and variability of ≤ 2 mmHg. The rate of variceal bleeding was compared in cirrhotics who achieved a HVPG response to pharmacotherapy (reduction of the HVPG to < 12 mmHg or by ≥ 20% of baseline) and those who did not. RESULTS 126 HVPG measurements were performed in 105 patients (mean age 54.7 ± 11.4 years; 55.2% men). 80% had liver cirrhosis and 20% had non-cirrhotic portal hypertension (NCPH). The mean overall HVPG was 13.5 ± 7.2 mmHg, with a significant difference between the cirrhosis and NCPH groups (p < 0.001). The proportion of quality readings significantly improved after the protocol was introduced. HVPG response was achieved in 28 (33.3%, n = 84) cirrhotics. Nine had variceal bleeding over a median follow-up of 29 months. The rate of variceal bleeding was significantly lower in HVPG responders compared to nonresponders (p = 0.025). CONCLUSION The quality of HVPG measurements in our centre improved after the introduction of a standardised protocol. A HVPG response can prognosticate the risk of variceal bleeding in cirrhotics. PMID:26996384

  16. Early Intervention with a Parent-Delivered Massage Protocol Directed at Tactile Abnormalities Decreases Severity of Autism and Improves Child-to-Parent Interactions: A Replication Study

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Louisa M. T.; Gabrielsen, Kristen R.; Budden, Sarojini S.; Buenrostro, Martha; Horton, Gretchen

    2015-01-01

    Tactile abnormalities are severe and universal in preschool children with autism. They respond well to treatment with a daily massage protocol directed at tactile abnormalities (QST massage for autism). Treatment is based on a model for autism proposing that tactile impairment poses a barrier to development. Two previous randomized controlled trials evaluating five months of massage treatment reported improvement of behavior, social/communication skills, and tactile and other sensory symptoms. This is the first report from a two-year replication study evaluating the protocol in 103 preschool children with autism. Parents gave daily treatment; trained staff gave weekly treatment and parent support. Five-month outcomes replicated earlier studies and showed normalization of receptive language (18%, P = .03), autistic behavior (32%, P = .006), total sensory abnormalities (38%, P = .0000005), tactile abnormalities (49%, P = .0002), and decreased autism severity (medium to large effect size, P = .008). In addition, parents reported improved child-to-parent interactions, bonding, and decreased parenting stress (44%, P = .00008). Early childhood special education programs are tasked with addressing sensory abnormalities and engaging parents in effective home programs. Until now, they have lacked research-based methods to do so. This program fulfills the need. It is recommended to parents and ECSE programs (ages 3–5) at autism diagnosis. PMID:25878901

  17. Early Intervention with a Parent-Delivered Massage Protocol Directed at Tactile Abnormalities Decreases Severity of Autism and Improves Child-to-Parent Interactions: A Replication Study.

    PubMed

    Silva, Louisa M T; Schalock, Mark; Gabrielsen, Kristen R; Budden, Sarojini S; Buenrostro, Martha; Horton, Gretchen

    2015-01-01

    Tactile abnormalities are severe and universal in preschool children with autism. They respond well to treatment with a daily massage protocol directed at tactile abnormalities (QST massage for autism). Treatment is based on a model for autism proposing that tactile impairment poses a barrier to development. Two previous randomized controlled trials evaluating five months of massage treatment reported improvement of behavior, social/communication skills, and tactile and other sensory symptoms. This is the first report from a two-year replication study evaluating the protocol in 103 preschool children with autism. Parents gave daily treatment; trained staff gave weekly treatment and parent support. Five-month outcomes replicated earlier studies and showed normalization of receptive language (18%, P = .03), autistic behavior (32%, P = .006), total sensory abnormalities (38%, P = .0000005), tactile abnormalities (49%, P = .0002), and decreased autism severity (medium to large effect size, P = .008). In addition, parents reported improved child-to-parent interactions, bonding, and decreased parenting stress (44%, P = .00008). Early childhood special education programs are tasked with addressing sensory abnormalities and engaging parents in effective home programs. Until now, they have lacked research-based methods to do so. This program fulfills the need. It is recommended to parents and ECSE programs (ages 3-5) at autism diagnosis. PMID:25878901

  18. Improved Low pH Emulsification Properties of Glycated Peanut Protein Isolate by Ultrasound Maillard Reaction.

    PubMed

    Chen, Lin; Chen, Jianshe; Wu, Kegang; Yu, Lin

    2016-07-13

    In this work, peanut protein isolate (PPI) was grafted with maltodextrin (MD) through the ultrasound-assisted Maillard reaction. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) analysis showed a link between PPI and MD. The substantially increased accessibility of the major subunits (conarachin, acidic subunit of arachin, and basic subunit of arachin) in PPI under high-intensity ultrasound treatment led to changes in the degree of graft (DG), zeta-potential, protein solubility, and surface hydrophobicity of conjugates. Emulsion systems (20% v/v oil, 2.0% w/v PPI equivalent, pH 3.8) formed by untreated PPI, PPI-MDC (PPI-MD conjugates obtained with wet-heating alone), and UPPI-MDC (PPI-MD conjugates obtained with ultrasound-assisted wet heating) were characterized using a light-scatter particle size analyzer and confocal laser scanning microscope. Results showed that emulsions of untreated PPI and PPI-MDC were not stable due to immediate bridging flocculation and coalescence of droplets, whereas that formed by UPPI-MDC with 32.4% DG was stable with a smaller mean droplet size. It was believed that high-intensity ultrasound promoted production of glycated PPI, which was soluble and surface active at pH 3.8 and thus improved emulsification properties for UPPI-MDC. This study shows that glycated PPI by ultrasound-assisted Maillard reaction is an effective emulsifying agent for low pH applications. PMID:27329355

  19. Improved production of isomaltulose by a newly isolated mutant of Serratia sp. cells immobilized in calcium alginate.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yonghwan; Koo, Bong-Seong; Lee, Hyeon-Cheol; Yoon, Youngdae

    2015-03-01

    Isomaltulose, also known as palatinose, is produced by sucrose isomerase and has been highlighted as a sugar substitute due to a number of advantageous properties. For the massive production of isomaltulose, high resistance to sucrose and stability of sucrose isomerase as well as sucrose conversion yields would be critical factors. We describe a series of screening procedures to isolate the mutant strain of Serratia sp. possessing enhanced isomaltulose production with improved stability. The new Serratia sp. isolated from a series of screening procedures allowed us to produce isomaltulose from 60% sucrose solution, with over 90% conversion yield. Moreover, when this strain was immobilized in calcium alginate beads and placed in a medium containing 60% sucrose, it showed over 70% sucrose conversion yields for 30 cycles of repeated-batch reactions. Thus, improved conversion activity and stability of the newly isolated Serratia sp. strain in the present study would be highly valuable for industries related to isomaltulose production. PMID:25660398

  20. Improving the communication reliability of body sensor networks based on the IEEE 802.15.4 protocol.

    PubMed

    Gomes, Diogo; Afonso, José A

    2014-03-01

    Body sensor networks (BSNs) enable continuous monitoring of patients anywhere, with minimum constraints to daily life activities. Although the IEEE 802.15.4 and ZigBee(®) (ZigBee Alliance, San Ramon, CA) standards were mainly developed for use in wireless sensors network (WSN) applications, they are also widely used in BSN applications because of device characteristics such as low power, low cost, and small form factor. However, compared with WSNs, BSNs present some very distinctive characteristics in terms of traffic and mobility patterns, heterogeneity of the nodes, and quality of service requirements. This article evaluates the suitability of the carrier sense multiple access-collision avoidance protocol, used by the IEEE 802.15.4 and ZigBee standards, for data-intensive BSN applications, through the execution of experimental tests in different evaluation scenarios, in order to take into account the effects of contention, clock drift, and hidden nodes on the communication reliability. Results show that the delivery ratio may decrease substantially during transitory periods, which can last for several minutes, to a minimum of 90% with retransmissions and 13% without retransmissions. This article also proposes and evaluates the performance of the BSN contention avoidance mechanism, which was designed to solve the identified reliability problems. This mechanism was able to restore the delivery ratio to 100% even in the scenario without retransmissions. PMID:24350805

  1. Improved permeabilization protocols for fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) of mycolic-acid-containing bacteria found in foams.

    PubMed

    Carr, Emma L; Eales, Kathryn; Soddell, Jacques; Seviour, Robert J

    2005-04-01

    Formation of thick, stable foams and scums on activated sludge wastewater treatment plants is a worldwide problem, and to better understand what causes this foam and to cure it, there is a need to identify and quantify the bacteria present there. Fluorescence in situ hybridisation (FISH) overcomes the difficulties experienced with microscopic methods of identification for the mycolic-acid-containing actinomycetes (the mycolata), which are present in foams, where many share the morphotype of right-angled branching filaments. However, the presence of hydrophobic mycolic acids in their cell wall makes this group of bacteria particularly difficult to permeabilise, which greatly reduces the usefulness of FISH. While several permeabilisation treatments have been described, none appear to adequately permeabilise all genera of the mycolata. In this study several protocols for permeabilisation were assessed with both pure cultures of selected genera of the mycolata and foam samples. Combining mild acid hydrolysis with enzyme treatments (either mutanolysin/lysozyme or lipase/proteinase K) was found to be the most effective method, although other evidence presented here suggests that negative FISH results can not always be explained in terms of cell permeability to the probes. PMID:15676195

  2. Improving the efficiency of isolated microspore culture in six-row spring barley: II-exploring novel growth regulators to maximize embryogenesis and reduce albinism.

    PubMed

    Esteves, Patricio; Clermont, Isabelle; Marchand, Suzanne; Belzile, François

    2014-06-01

    Two alternative cytokinins, thidiazuron and meta-topoline, were tested in isolated microspore culture on recalcitrant barley genotypes (six-row, spring), and green plant regeneration was improved substantially. Doubled-haploid (DH) plants are coveted in plant breeding and in genetic studies, since they are rapidly obtained and perfectly homozygous. In barley, DHs are produced mainly via androgenesis, and isolated microspore culture (IMC) constitutes the method offering the greatest potential efficiency. However, IMC can often be challenging in some genotypes because of low yield of microspores, low regeneration and high incidence of albinism. Six-row spring-type barleys, the predominant type grown in Eastern Canada, are considered recalcitrant in this regard. Our general objective was to optimize an IMC protocol for DH production in six-row spring barley. In particular, we explored the use of alternative hormones in the induction medium (thidiazuron and dicamba), and in the regeneration medium (meta-topoline). This optimization was performed on two typical six-row spring (ACCA and Léger), a two-row spring (Gobernadora) and a two-row winter (Igri) barley cultivar. When 6-benzyl-aminopurine (BAP) was replaced by a combination of thidiazuron and dicamba in the induction medium, a 5.1-fold increase (P < 0.01) in the production of green plants resulted. This increase was mainly achieved by a reduction of albinism. Moreover, a 2.9-fold increase (P < 0.01) in embryo differentiation into green plants was obtained using meta-topoline instead of BAP in the regeneration medium. Together, these innovations allowed us to achieve a substantial improvement in the efficiency of IMC in this recalcitrant type of barley. These results were later successfully validated using sets of F1s from a six-row spring barley breeding program. PMID:24519013

  3. Robust Optimization of Biological Protocols

    PubMed Central

    Flaherty, Patrick; Davis, Ronald W.

    2015-01-01

    When conducting high-throughput biological experiments, it is often necessary to develop a protocol that is both inexpensive and robust. Standard approaches are either not cost-effective or arrive at an optimized protocol that is sensitive to experimental variations. We show here a novel approach that directly minimizes the cost of the protocol while ensuring the protocol is robust to experimental variation. Our approach uses a risk-averse conditional value-at-risk criterion in a robust parameter design framework. We demonstrate this approach on a polymerase chain reaction protocol and show that our improved protocol is less expensive than the standard protocol and more robust than a protocol optimized without consideration of experimental variation. PMID:26417115

  4. A manual-based individual therapy to improve metacognition in schizophrenia: protocol of a multi-center RCT

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Metacognitive dysfunction has been widely recognized as a feature of schizophrenia. As it is linked with deficits in several aspects of daily life functioning, improvement of metacognition may lead to improvement in functioning. Individual psychotherapy might be a useful form of treatment to improve metacognition in patients with schizophrenia; multiple case reports and a pilot study show promising results. The present study aims to measure the effectiveness of an individual, manual-based therapy (Metacognitive Reflection and Insight Therapy, MERIT) in improving metacognition in patients with schizophrenia. We also want to examine if improvement in metacognitive abilities is correlated with improvements in aspects of daily life functioning namely social functioning, experience of symptoms, quality of life, depression, work readiness, insight and experience of stigma. Methods/Design MERIT is currently evaluated in a multicenter randomized controlled trial. Thirteen therapists in six mental health institutions in the Netherlands participate in this study. Patients are randomly assigned to either MERIT or the control condition: treatment as usual (TAU). Discussion If proven effective, MERIT can be a useful addition to the care for schizophrenia patients. The design brings along some methodological difficulties, these issues are addressed in the discussion of this paper. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials: ISRCTN16659871. PMID:24490942

  5. Effects of different Brush Border Membrane Vesicle isolation protocols on proteomic analysis of Cry1Ac binding proteins from the midgut of Helicoverpa armigera

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The brush border membrane vesicles (BBMV) isolated from midgut cells of insect have been widely used for studying of the binding receptors and action mode of Cry proteins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). There are several methods for isolating insect BBMV used in one-dimension electrophoresi...

  6. Optimising text messaging to improve adherence to web-based smoking cessation treatment: a randomised control trial protocol

    PubMed Central

    Graham, Amanda L; Jacobs, Megan A; Cohn, Amy M; Cha, Sarah; Abroms, Lorien C; Papandonatos, George D; Whittaker, Robyn

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Millions of smokers use the Internet for smoking cessation assistance each year; however, most smokers engage minimally with even the best designed websites. The ubiquity of mobile devices and their effectiveness in promoting adherence in other areas of health behaviour change make them a promising tool to address adherence in Internet smoking cessation interventions. Text messaging is used by most adults, and messages can proactively encourage use of a web-based intervention. Text messaging can also be integrated with an Internet intervention to facilitate the use of core Internet intervention components. Methods and analysis We identified four aspects of a text message intervention that may enhance its effectiveness in promoting adherence to a web-based smoking cessation programme: personalisation, integration, dynamic tailoring and message intensity. Phase I will use a two-level full factorial design to test the impact of these four experimental features on adherence to a web-based intervention. The primary outcome is a composite metric of adherence that incorporates general utilisation metrics (eg, logins, page views) and specific feature utilisation shown to predict abstinence. Participants will be N=860 adult smokers who register on an established Internet cessation programme and enrol in its text message programme. Phase II will be a two-arm randomised trial to compare the efficacy of the web-based cessation programme alone and in conjunction with the optimised text messaging intervention on 30-day point prevalence abstinence at 9 months. Phase II participants will be N=600 adult smokers who register to use an established Internet cessation programme and enrol in text messaging. Secondary analyses will explore whether adherence mediates the effect of treatment condition on outcome. Ethics and dissemination This protocol was approved by Chesapeake IRB. We will disseminate study results through peer-reviewed manuscripts and conference

  7. Investigating the organisational impacts of quality improvement: a protocol for a realist evaluation of improvement approaches drawing on the Resource Based View of the Firm

    PubMed Central

    Burton, Christopher R; Rycroft Malone, Jo; Robert, Glenn; Willson, Alan; Hopkins, Angela

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Little is understood about the role of quality improvement in enabling health organisations to survive and thrive in the contemporary context of financial and economic challenges. We will draw on the theoretical foundations of the ‘Resource Based View of the Firm’ (RBV) to develop insights into why health organisations engage in improvement work, how impacts are conceptualised, and ‘what works’ in delivering these impacts. Specifically, RBV theorises that the mix and use of resources across different organisations may explain differences in performance. Whether improvement work influences these resources is unclear. Methods and analysis Case study research will be conducted across health organisations participating in four approaches to improvement, including: a national improvement programme; a multiorganisational partnership around implementation; an organisational strategy for quality improvement; and a coproduction project designed to enhance the experience of a clinical service from the perspective of patients. Data will comprise in-depth interviews with key informants, observation of key events and documents; analysed within and then across cases. Adopting a realist perspective, the core tenets of RBV will be evaluated as a programme theory, focusing on the interplay between organisational conditions and behavioural or resource responses that are reported through engagement in improvement. Ethics and dissemination The study has been approved by Bangor University Ethics Committee. The investigation will not judge the relative merits of different approaches to healthcare quality improvement. Rather, we will develop unique insights into the organisational consequences, and dependencies of quality improvement, providing an opportunity to add to the explanatory potential of RBV in this and other contexts. In addition to scientific and lay reports of the study findings, research outputs will include a framework for constructing the economic

  8. Normalization of coagulopathy is associated with improved outcome after isolated traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Epstein, Daniel S; Mitra, Biswadev; Cameron, Peter A; Fitzgerald, Mark; Rosenfeld, Jeffrey V

    2016-07-01

    Acute traumatic coagulopathy (ATC) has been reported in the setting of isolated traumatic brain injury (iTBI) and is associated with poor outcomes. We aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of procoagulant agents administered to patients with ATC and iTBI during resuscitation, hypothesizing that timely normalization of coagulopathy may be associated with a decrease in mortality. A retrospective review of the Alfred Hospital trauma registry, Australia, was conducted and patients with iTBI (head Abbreviated Injury Score [AIS] ⩾3 and all other body AIS <3) and coagulopathy (international normalized ratio ⩾1.3) were selected for analysis. Data on procoagulant agents used (fresh frozen plasma, platelets, cryoprecipitate, prothrombin complex concentrates, tranexamic acid, vitamin K) were extracted. Among patients who had achieved normalization of INR or survived beyond 24hours and were not taking oral anticoagulants, the association of normalization of INR and death at hospital discharge was analyzed using multivariable logistic regression analysis. There were 157 patients with ATC of whom 68 (43.3%) received procoagulant products within 24hours of presentation. The median time to delivery of first products was 182.5 (interquartile range [IQR] 115-375) minutes, and following administration of coagulants, time to normalization of INR was 605 (IQR 274-1146) minutes. Normalization of INR was independently associated with significantly lower mortality (adjusted odds ratio 0.10; 95% confidence interval 0.03-0.38). Normalization of INR was associated with improved mortality in patients with ATC in the setting of iTBI. As there was a substantial time lag between delivery of products and eventual normalization of coagulation, specific management of coagulopathy should be implemented as early as possible. PMID:26947341

  9. Isolation of bacteria-containing phagosomes by magnetic selection

    PubMed Central

    Lönnbro, Per; Nordenfelt, Pontus; Tapper, Hans

    2008-01-01

    Background There is a growing awareness of the importance of intracellular events in determining the outcome of infectious disease. To improve the understanding of such events, like phagosome maturation, we set out to develop a versatile technique for phagosome isolation that is rapid and widely applicable to different pathogens. Results We developed two different protocols to isolate phagosomes containing dead or live bacteria modified with small magnetic particles, in conjunction with a synchronized phagocytosis protocol and nitrogen cavitation. For dead bacteria, we performed analysis of the phagosome samples by microscopy and immunoblot, and demonstrated the appearance of maturation markers on isolated phagosomes. Conclusion We have presented detailed protocols for phagosome isolation, which can be adapted for use with different cell types and prey. The versatility and simplicity of the approach allow better control of phagosome isolation, the parameters of which are critical in studies of host-bacteria interaction and phagosome maturation. PMID:18588680

  10. Spatial and temporal variability of compound-specific stable isotope (CSSI) biomarkers in soil and sediment tracing: towards improved sampling protocols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reiffarth, Dominic; Petticrew, Ellen; Owens, Philip; Lobb, David

    2016-04-01

    The use of CSSI in biomarkers, specifically fatty acids and derivatives thereof, has recently been investigated as a potential tracer in soil and sediment fingerprinting. The use of CSSIs is of interest because of the potential to discern sediment providence based on land use, which is often difficult or not possible with other tracing techniques alone, such as geochemistry and fallout radionuclides. However, challenges exist in producing a representative sample of potential source materials. This presentation focuses on the development of improved protocols for sample collection. The data presented here are part of a larger investigation into using CSSIs as tracers in an agricultural watershed (South Tobacco Creek) in southern Manitoba, Canada. Extensive sampling was performed throughout the 2012 and 2013 growing seasons in several locations within the watershed, with a focus on capturing within and between field spatial and temporal variability in one particular sub-watershed (the "Stepler" watershed). The Stepler watershed provided a unique opportunity to perform sampling in a natural environment where agricultural crops were hydrologically separated, thereby allowing for a sampling regime of transects strategically placed with little influence from nearby crops. A portion of the data which has been analyzed, showing temporal and spatial variability in terms of carbon stable isotope signal, biomarker concentrations and soil organic carbon, is presented. As CSSI protocols for tracing are still in development, these data aid in determining the robustness of the technique as well as helping to inform sampling approaches.

  11. Improvement of device isolation using field implantation for GaN MOSFETs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jiang, Ying; Wang, Qingpeng; Zhang, Fuzhe; Li, Liuan; Shinkai, Satoko; Wang, Dejun; Ao, Jin-Ping

    2016-03-01

    Gallium nitride (GaN) metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) with boron field implantation isolation and mesa isolation were fabricated and characterized. The process of boron field implantation was altered and subsequently conducted after performing high-temperature ohmic annealing and gate oxide thermal treatment. Implanted regions with high resistivity were achieved. The circular MOSFET fabricated in the implanted region showed an extremely low current of 6.5 × 10-12 A under a gate voltage value up to 10 V, thus demonstrating that the parasitic MOSFET in the isolation region was eliminated by boron field implantation. The off-state drain current of the rectangular MOSFET with boron field implantation was 5.5 × 10-11 A, which was only one order of magnitude higher than the 6.6 × 10-12 A of the circular device. By contrast, the rectangular MOSFET with mesa isolation presented an off-state drain current of 3.2 × 10-9 A. The field isolation for GaN MOSFETs was achieved by using boron field implantation. The implantation did not reduce the field-effect mobility. The isolation structure of both mesa and implantation did not influence the subthreshold swing, whereas the isolation structure of only the implantation increased the subthreshold swing. The breakdown voltage of the implanted region with 5 μm spacing was up to 901.5 V.

  12. Communication complexity protocols for qutrits

    SciTech Connect

    Tamir, Boaz

    2007-03-15

    Consider a function where its entries are distributed among many parties. Suppose each party is allowed to send only a limited amount of information to a referee. The referee can use a classical protocol to compute the value of the global function. Is there a quantum protocol improving the results of all classical protocols? In a recent work Brukner et al. showed the deep connection between such problems and the theory of Bell inequalities. Here we generalize the theory to trits. There, the best classical protocol fails whereas the quantum protocol yields the correct answer.

  13. Blocking histamine H(1) improves learning and mnemonic dysfunction in mice with social isolation plus repeated methamphetamine injection.

    PubMed

    Jia, Feiyong; Mobarakeh, Jalal Izadi; Dai, Hongmei; Kato, Motohisa; Xu, Ajing; Okuda, Tomohiro; Sakurai, Eiko; Okamura, Nobuyuki; Takahashi, Kazuhiro; Yanai, Kazuhiko

    2008-06-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of histamine H(1) and H(3) antagonists on learning and mnemonic dysfunction in mice. Two H(1) antagonists, pyrilamine and clozapine, and the prototypic H(3) antagonist thioperamide were used to study the role of histamine in mice with social isolation and repeated methamphetamine administration. Mice with social isolation and repeated methamphetamine administration showed significant disruption of prepulse inhibition as compared to both the socially-housed mice and isolation-housing mice. Furthermore, social isolation and repeated methamphetamine administration caused significant learning and mnemonic dysfunctions. Treatment with clozapine improved learning and mnemonic ability in all of the tasks. Pyrilamine treatment ameliorated performance in all the tests examined except for the passive avoidance test. Thioperamide, however, did not change the learning and mnemonic ability. Donepezil, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, reversed the learning and mnemonic dysfunction in all four tasks. The present study has shown that blockade of histamine H(1) receptor improved the learning and mnemonic ability in mice, raising the possibility that treatment with clozapine or pyrilamine may improve learning and mnemonic performance in certain patients with psychiatric diseases such as schizophrenic patients with cognitive dysfunction. PMID:18544893

  14. Improved Picture Naming in Chronic Aphasia after Tms to Part of Right Broca's Area: An Open-Protocol Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naeser, M.A.; Martin, P.I.; Nicholas, M.; Baker, E.H.; Seekins, H.; Kobayashi, M.; Theoret, H.; Fregni, F.; Maria-Tormos, J.; Kurland, J.; Doron, K.W.; Pascual-Leone, A.

    2005-01-01

    Functional imaging studies with nonfluent aphasia patients have observed ''over-activation'' in right (R) language homologues. This may represent a maladaptive strategy; suppression may result in language improvement. We applied slow, 1 Hz repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to an anterior portion of R Broca's homologue daily, for…

  15. The Internal Coherence Assessment Protocol & Developmental Framework: Building the Organizational Capacity for Instructional Improvement in Schools. Research Paper

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elmore, Richard F.; Forman, Michelle L.; Stosich, Elizabeth L.; Bocala, Candice

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: In this paper we describe the Internal Coherence (IC) model of assessment and professional development, a set of clinical tools and practices designed to help practitioners foster the organizational conditions required for whole-school instructional improvement. Proposed Conceptual Argument: We argue that the data captured by the IC…

  16. Determining Specificity of Motor Imagery Training for Upper Limb Improvement in Chronic Stroke Patients: A Training Protocol and Pilot Results

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Craje, Celine

    2010-01-01

    Motor imagery (MI) refers to the mental rehearsal of a movement without actual motor output. MI training has positive effects on upper limb recovery after stroke. However, until now it is unclear whether this effect is specific to the trained task or a more general motor skill improvement. This study was set up to advance our insights into the…

  17. A multi-level system quality improvement intervention to reduce racial disparities in hypertension care and control: study protocol

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Racial disparities in blood pressure control have been well documented in the United States. Research suggests that many factors contribute to this disparity, including barriers to care at patient, clinician, healthcare system, and community levels. To date, few interventions aimed at reducing hypertension disparities have addressed factors at all of these levels. This paper describes the design of Project ReD CHiP (Reducing Disparities and Controlling Hypertension in Primary Care), a multi-level system quality improvement project. By intervening on multiple levels, this project aims to reduce disparities in blood pressure control and improve guideline concordant hypertension care. Methods Using a pragmatic trial design, we are implementing three complementary multi-level interventions designed to improve blood pressure measurement, provide patient care management services and offer expanded provider education resources in six primary care clinics in Baltimore, Maryland. We are staggering the introduction of the interventions and will use Statistical Process Control (SPC) charting to determine if there are changes in outcomes at each clinic after implementation of each intervention. The main hypothesis is that each intervention will have an additive effect on improvements in guideline concordant care and reductions in hypertension disparities, but the combination of all three interventions will result in the greatest impact, followed by blood pressure measurement with care management support, blood pressure measurement with provider education, and blood pressure measurement only. This study also examines how organizational functioning and cultural competence affect the success of the interventions. Discussion As a quality improvement project, Project ReD CHiP employs a novel study design that specifically targets multi-level factors known to contribute to hypertension disparities. To facilitate its implementation and improve its sustainability, we have

  18. A protocol to generate phthaloyl peroxide in flow for the hydroxylation of arenes.

    PubMed

    Eliasen, Anders M; Thedford, Randal P; Claussen, Karin R; Yuan, Changxia; Siegel, Dionicio

    2014-07-18

    A flow protocol for the generation of phthaloyl peroxide has been developed. This process directly yields phthaloyl peroxide in high purity (>95%) and can be used to bypass the need to isolate and recrystallize phthaloyl peroxide, improving upon earlier batch procedures. The flow protocol for the formation of phthaloyl peroxide can be combined with arene hydroxylation reactions and provides a method for the consumption of peroxide as it is generated to minimize the accumulation of large quantities of peroxide. PMID:24988535

  19. Evidence-based improvement of the National Trauma Triage Protocol: The Glasgow Coma Scale versus Glasgow Coma Scale motor subscale

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Joshua B.; Forsythe, Raquel M.; Stassen, Nicole A.; Peitzman, Andrew B.; Billiar, Timothy R.; Sperry, Jason L.; Gestring, Mark L.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND Ideal triage uses simple criteria to identify severely injured patients. Glasgow Coma Scale motor (GCSm) may be easier for field use and was considered for the National Trauma Triage Protocol (NTTP). This study evaluated performance of the NTTP if GCSm is substituted for the current GCS score ≤ 13 criterion. METHODS Subjects in the National Trauma Data Bank undergoing scene transport were included. Presence of NTTP physiologic (Step 1) and anatomic (Step 2) criteria was determined. GCSm score ≤ 5 was defined as a positive criterion. Trauma center need (TCN) was defined as Injury Severity Score (ISS) > 15, intensive care unit admission, urgent operation, or emergency department death. Test characteristics were calculated to predict TCN. Area under the curve was compared between GCSm and GCS scores, individually and within the NTTP. Logistic regression was used to determine the association of GCSm score ≤ 5 and GCS score ≤ 13 with TCN after adjusting for other triage criteria. Predicted versus actual TCN was compared. RESULTS There were 811,143 subjects. Sensitivity was lower (26.7% vs. 30.3%), specificity was higher (95.1% vs. 93.1%), and accuracy was similar (66.1% vs. 66.3%) for GCSm score ≤ 5 compared with GCS score ≤ 13. Incorporated into the NTTP Steps 1 + 2, GCSm score ≤ 5 traded sensitivity (60.4% vs. 62.1%) for specificity (67.1% vs. 65.7%) with similar accuracy (64.2% vs. 64.2%) to GCS score ≤ 13. There was no difference in the area under the curve between GCSm score ≤ 5 and GCS score ≤ 13 when incorporated into the NTTP Steps 1 + 2 (p = 0.10). GCSm score ≤ 5 had a stronger association with TCN (odds ratio, 3.37; 95% confidence interval, 3.27–3.48; p < 0.01) than GCS score ≤ 13 (odds ratio, 3.03; 95% confidence interval, 2.94–3.13; p < 0.01). GCSm had a better fit of predicted versus actual TCN than GCS at the lower end of the scales. CONCLUSION GCSm score ≤ 5 increases specificity at the expense of sensitivity

  20. An improved representation of geographically isolated wetlands in a watershed-scale hydrologic model

    EPA Science Inventory

    Geographically isolated wetlands (GIWs), defined as wetlands surrounded by uplands, provide an array of ecosystem goods and services. Within the United States, federal regulatory protections for GIWs are contingent, in part, on the quantification of their singular or aggregate ef...

  1. REFLEX, a social-cognitive group treatment to improve insight in schizophrenia: study protocol of a multi-center RCT

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Insight is impaired in a majority of people with schizophrenia. Impaired insight is associated with poorer outcomes of the disorder. Based on existing literature, we developed a model that explains which processes may possibly play a role in impaired insight. This model was the starting point of the development of REFLEX: a brief psychosocial intervention to improve insight in schizophrenia. REFLEX is a 12-sessions group training, consisting of three modules of four sessions each. Modules in this intervention are: "coping with stigma", "you and your personal narrative", and "you in the present". Methods/Design REFLEX is currently evaluated in a multicenter randomized controlled trial. Eight mental health institutions in the Netherlands participate in this evaluation. Patients are randomly assigned to either REFLEX or an active control condition, existing of cognitive remediation exercises in a group. In a subgroup of patients, fMRI scans are made before and after training in order to assess potential haemodynamic changes associated with the effects of the training. Discussion REFLEX is one of the few interventions aiming specifically to improving insight in schizophrenia and has potential value for improving insight. Targeting insight in schizophrenia is a complex task, that comes with several methodological issues. These issues are addressed in the discussion of this paper. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials: ISRCTN50247539 PMID:21975132

  2. Improvement of a selective media for the isolation of B. anthracis from soils.

    PubMed

    Luna, Vicki A; Gulledge, Jenny; Cannons, Andrew C; Amuso, Philip T

    2009-12-01

    To prove linkage between an environmental sample and an anthrax case, there must be isolates obtained from both that can be compared. Although Bacillus anthracis is easily isolated from powder samples, isolating it from soil is difficult because of the high bacterial count in it. Formulations of PLET were prepared, inoculated with B. anthracis, B. cereus and B. thuringiensis and examined for growth. Two hundred eighty-three isolates including 23 B. anthracis were placed onto one formulation while MICs against trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole were determined. The media supported B. anthracis growth at 30 degrees C and inhibited almost all other bacterial growth, including closely-related species. Sensitivity for B. anthracis and selectivity against other Bacillus and against non-Bacillus were 96.8%, 100% and 97.2% respectively. Isolates that grew had MICs >4 and >76 microg mL(-1) against trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole, respectively. Soils spiked with 10(2)B. anthracis spores and suspended in PLET broth yielded a 6-7 log(10) increase in B. anthracis. Other growth was inhibited. PLET supplemented with sulfamethoxazole (38 microg mL(-1)), trimethoprim (2 microg mL(-1)), polymyxin B (15,000 U L(-1)), and lysozyme (150,000 U L(-1)) can successfully select for B. anthracis and will facilitate agricultural, environmental and forensic investigations of B. anthracis isolates. PMID:19808058

  3. Effectiveness of a tailored intervention to improve cardiovascular risk management in primary care: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is an important worldwide cause of mortality. In The Netherlands, CVD is the leading cause of death for women and the second cause of death for men. Recommendations for diagnosis and treatment of CVD are not well implemented in primary care. In this study, we aim to examine the effectiveness of a tailored implementation program targeted at practice nurses to improve healthcare for patients with (high risk for) CVD. Methods/design A two-arm cluster randomized trial is planned. We offer practice nurses a tailored program to improve adherence to six specific recommendations related to blood pressure and cholesterol target values, risk profiling and lifestyle advice. Practice nurses are offered training and feedback on their motivational interviewing technique and an e-learning program on cardiovascular risk management (CVRM). They are also advised to screen for the presence and severity of depressive symptoms in patients. We also advise practice nurses to use selected E-health options (selected websites and Twitter-consult) in patients without symptoms of depression. Patients with mild depressive symptoms are referred to a physical exercise group. We recommend referring patients with major depressive symptoms for assessment and treatment of depressive symptoms if appropriate before starting CVRM. Data from 900 patients at high risk of CVD or with established CVD will be collected in 30 general practices in several geographical areas in The Netherlands. The primary outcome measure is performance of practice nurses in CVRM and reflects application of recommendations for personalized counselling and education of CVRM patients. Patients’ health-related lifestyles (physical exercise, diet and smoking status) will be measured with validated questionnaires and medical record audit will be performed to document estimated CVD risk. Additionally, we will survey and interview participating healthcare professionals for exploration of

  4. The effectiveness of M-health technologies for improving health and health services: a systematic review protocol

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The application of mobile computing and communication technology is rapidly expanding in the fields of health care and public health. This systematic review will summarise the evidence for the effectiveness of mobile technology interventions for improving health and health service outcomes (M-health) around the world. Findings To be included in the review interventions must aim to improve or promote health or health service use and quality, employing any mobile computing and communication technology. This includes: (1) interventions designed to improve diagnosis, investigation, treatment, monitoring and management of disease; (2) interventions to deliver treatment or disease management programmes to patients, health promotion interventions, and interventions designed to improve treatment compliance; and (3) interventions to improve health care processes e.g. appointment attendance, result notification, vaccination reminders. A comprehensive, electronic search strategy will be used to identify controlled studies, published since 1990, and indexed in MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Global Health, Web of Science, the Cochrane Library, or the UK NHS Health Technology Assessment database. The search strategy will include terms (and synonyms) for the following mobile electronic devices (MEDs) and a range of compatible media: mobile phone; personal digital assistant (PDA); handheld computer (e.g. tablet PC); PDA phone (e.g. BlackBerry, Palm Pilot); Smartphone; enterprise digital assistant; portable media player (i.e. MP3 or MP4 player); handheld video game console. No terms for health or health service outcomes will be included, to ensure that all applications of mobile technology in public health and health services are identified. Bibliographies of primary studies and review articles meeting the inclusion criteria will be searched manually to identify further eligible studies. Data on objective and self-reported outcomes and study quality will be independently

  5. Study protocol: using the Q-STEPS to assess and improve the quality of physical activity programmes for the elderly

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Aging is one of the most important and obvious phenomenon observed in our society. In the past years, there has been a growing concern in designing physical activity (PA) programmes for elderly people, because evidence suggests that such health promotion interventions may reduce the deleterious effects of the ageing process. Accordingly, a growing body of literature points to the importance of a sound approach to planning and evaluation in order to improve the quality of PA programmes. However, while numerous PA programmes have been designed for the elderly in recent years, their evaluation has been scarce. Quality management processes and tools provide a practical way for organisations to assess, identify and shed light on the areas requiring improvement. The Quality Self-assessment Tool for Exercise Programmes for Seniors (Q-STEPS) seems to provide a framework tailored to evaluate PA programmes for the elderly. Findings The primary purpose of this study is 1) to determine feasibility, acceptability and usability of the Q-STEPS. Secondary purposes of the study are: 2) to examine the quality of the PA programmes for elderly people developed by the Portuguese Local Administration over a three-year period of self-assessments in terms of: a) Enabler domains (Leadership, Policy and Strategy, People, Partnership and Resources, Processes); b) Result domains (Customer Results, People Results, Society Results and Key Performance Results); 3) to estimate the association between the use of Q-STEPS and some indicators relating to the elderly participants, during the three self-assessments, such as: attendance rates, physical fitness, health-related quality of life and the elderly’s perceived quality of the programme. The study will be conducted in PA programmes for elderly adults from mainland Portuguese municipalities over a three-year period. The project will adopt a participative quality improvement approach that features annual learning cycles of: 1) self

  6. Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial to assess the feasibility of an open label intervention to improve hydroxyurea adherence in youth with sickle cell disease

    PubMed Central

    Smaldone, Arlene; Findley, Sally; Bakken, Suzanne; Matiz, L. Adriana; Rosenthal, Susan L.; Jia, Haomiao; Matos, Sergio; Manwani, Deepa; Green, Nancy S.

    2016-01-01

    Background Community health workers (CHW) are increasingly recognized as a strategy to improve health outcomes for the underserved with chronic diseases but has not been formally explored in adolescents with sickle cell disease (SCD). SCD primarily affects African American, Hispanic and other traditionally underserved populations. Hydroxyurea (HU), an oral, once-daily medication, is the only approved therapeutic drug for sickle cell disease and markedly reduces symptoms, morbidity and mortality and improves quality of life largely by increasing hemoglobin F blood levels. This paper presents the rationale, study design and protocol for an open label randomized controlled trial to improve parent-youth partnerships in self-management and medication adherence to HU in adolescents with SCD. Methods/Design A CHW intervention augmented by text messaging was designed for adolescents with SCD ages 10–18 years and their parents to improve daily HU adherence. Thirty adolescent parent dyads will be randomized with 2:1 intervention group allocation. Intervention dyads will establish a relationship with a culturally aligned CHW to identify barriers to HU use, identify cues to build a habit, and develop a dyad partnership to improve daily HU adherence and achieve their individualized “personal best” hemoglobin F target. Intervention feasibility, acceptability and efficacy will be assessed via a 2-site trial. Outcomes of interest are HU adherence, dyad self-management communication, quality of life, and resource use. Discussion Despite known benefits, poor HU adherence is common. If feasible and acceptable, the proposed intervention may improve health of underserved adolescents with SCD by enhancing long-term HU adherence. PMID:27327779

  7. Effectiveness of a smartphone application for improving healthy lifestyles, a randomized clinical trial (EVIDENT II): study protocol

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background New technologies could facilitate changes in lifestyle and improve public health. However, no large randomized, controlled studies providing scientific evidence of the benefits of their use have been made. The aims of this study are to develop and validate a smartphone application, and to evaluate the effect of adding this tool to a standardized intervention designed to improve adherence to the Mediterranean diet and to physical activity. An evaluation is also made of the effect of modifying habits upon vascular structure and function, and therefore on arterial aging. Methods/Design A randomized, double-blind, multicenter, parallel group clinical trial will be carried out. A total of 1215 subjects under 70 years of age from the EVIDENT trial will be included. Counseling common to both groups (control and intervention) will be provided on adaptation to the Mediterranean diet and on physical activity. The intervention group moreover will receive training on the use of a smartphone application designed to promote a healthy diet and increased physical activity, and will use the application for three months. The main study endpoints will be the changes in physical activity, assessed by accelerometer and the 7-day Physical Activity Recall (PAR) interview, and adaptation to the Mediterranean diet, as evaluated by an adherence questionnaire and a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ). Evaluation also will be made of vascular structure and function based on central arterial pressure, the radial augmentation index, pulse velocity, the cardio-ankle vascular index, and carotid intima-media thickness. Discussion Confirmation that the new technologies are useful for promoting healthier lifestyles and that their effects are beneficial in terms of arterial aging will have important clinical implications, and may contribute to generalize their application in favor of improved population health. Trial registration Clinical Trials.gov Identifier: NCT02016014 PMID:24628961

  8. Effectiveness of implementation strategies in improving physician adherence to guideline recommendations in heart failure: a systematic review protocol

    PubMed Central

    Van Spall, Harriette G C; Shanbhag, Deepti; Gabizon, Itzhak; Ibrahim, Quazi; Graham, Ian D; Harlos, Karen; Haynes, R Brian; Connolly, Stuart J

    2016-01-01

    Introduction The uptake of Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) recommendations that improve outcomes in heart failure (HF) remains suboptimal. We will conduct a systematic review to identify implementation strategies that improve physician adherence to class I recommendations, those with clear evidence that benefits outweigh the risks. We will use American, Canadian and European HF guidelines as our reference. Methods and analysis We will conduct a literature search in the databases of MEDLINE, EMBASE, HEALTHSTAR, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, Campbell Collaboration, Joanna Briggs Institute Evidence Based Practice, Centre for Reviews and Dissemination and Evidence Based Practice Centres. We will include prospective studies evaluating implementation interventions aimed at improving uptake of class I CPG recommendations in HF. We will extract data in duplicate. We will classify interventions according to their level of application (ie, provider, organisation, systems level) and common underlying characteristics (eg, education, decision-support, financial incentives) using the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Taxonomy. We will assess the impact of the intervention on adherence to the CPGs. Outcomes will include proportion of eligible patients who were: prescribed a CPG-recommended pharmacological treatment; referred for device consideration; provided self-care education at discharge; and provided left ventricular function assessment. We will include clinical outcomes such as hospitalisations, readmissions and mortality, if data is available. We will identify the common elements of successful and failing interventions, and examine the context in which they were applied, using the Process Redesign contextual framework. We will synthesise the results narratively and, if appropriate, will pool results for meta-analysis. Discussion and dissemination In this review, we will assess the impact of implementation strategies and contextual factors on physician

  9. Treating Adult Asthma Exacerbations With a 2-Day Course of Dexamethasone in the Emergency Department: New Protocols to Improve Compliance.

    PubMed

    Evans, Dian Dowling; Clinton Shedd, Glenn

    2016-01-01

    The Research to Practice column is intended to improve the research critique skills of the advanced practice registered nurse and emergency nurse (RN) and to assist with the translation of research into practice. For each column, a topic and a research study are selected. The stage is set with a case presentation. The research article is then reviewed and critiqued, and the findings are discussed in relation to the case presented. In the current column, we examine the findings of from their article, titled "Two Days of Dexamethasone Versus 5 Days of Prednisone in the Treatment of Acute Asthma: A Randomized Controlled Trial." PMID:27482988

  10. Home based exercise to improve turning and mobility performance among community dwelling older adults: protocol for a randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Turning is a common activity for older people, and is one of the activities commonly associated with falls during walking. Falls that occur while walking and turning have also been associated with an increased risk of hip fracture in older people. Despite the importance of stability during turning, there has been little focus on identifying this impairment in at risk older people, or in evaluating interventions aiming to improve this outcome. This study will evaluate the effectiveness of a 16 week tailored home based exercise program in older adults aged (50 years and above) who were identified as having unsteadiness during turning. Methods/Design A single blind randomized controlled trial will be conducted, with assessors blind to group allocation. Study participants will be aged 50 years and above, living in the community and have been identified as having impaired turning ability [outside of age and gender normal limits on the Step Quick Turn (180 degree turn) task on the Neurocom® Balance Master with long plate]. After a comprehensive baseline assessment, those classified as having balance impairment while turning will be randomized to intervention or control group. The intervention group will receive a 16 week individualized balance and strength home exercise program, based on the Otago Exercise Program with additional exercises focused on improving turning ability. Intervention group will attend four visit to the assessment centre over 16 weeks period, for provision, monitoring, modification of the exercise and encourage ongoing participation. Participants in the control group will continue with their usual activities. All participants will be re-assessed on completion of the 16 week program. Primary outcome measures will be the Step Quick Turn Test and Timed-Up and Go test. Secondary outcomes will include other clinical measures of balance, psychological aspects of falls, incidence of falls and falls risk factors. Discussion Results of this study

  11. Improved online δ18O measurements of nitrogen- and sulfur-bearing organic materials and a proposed analytical protocol

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Qi, H.; Coplen, T.B.; Wassenaar, L.I.

    2011-01-01

    It is well known that N2 in the ion source of a mass spectrometer interferes with the CO background during the δ18O measurement of carbon monoxide. A similar problem arises with the high-temperature conversion (HTC) analysis of nitrogenous O-bearing samples (e.g. nitrates and keratins) to CO for δ18O measurement, where the sample introduces a significant N2 peak before the CO peak, making determination of accurate oxygen isotope ratios difficult. Although using a gas chromatography (GC) column longer than that commonly provided by manufacturers (0.6 m) can improve the efficiency of separation of CO and N2 and using a valve to divert nitrogen and prevent it from entering the ion source of a mass spectrometer improved measurement results, biased δ18O values could still be obtained. A careful evaluation of the performance of the GC separation column was carried out. With optimal GC columns, the δ18O reproducibility of human hair keratins and other keratin materials was better than ±0.15 ‰ (n = 5; for the internal analytical reproducibility), and better than ±0.10 ‰ (n = 4; for the external analytical reproducibility).

  12. Improved online δ18O measurements of nitrogen- and sulfur-bearing organic materials and a proposed analytical protocol.

    PubMed

    Qi, Haiping; Coplen, Tyler B; Wassenaar, Leonard I

    2011-07-30

    It is well known that N(2) in the ion source of a mass spectrometer interferes with the CO background during the δ(18)O measurement of carbon monoxide. A similar problem arises with the high-temperature conversion (HTC) analysis of nitrogenous O-bearing samples (e.g. nitrates and keratins) to CO for δ(18)O measurement, where the sample introduces a significant N(2) peak before the CO peak, making determination of accurate oxygen isotope ratios difficult. Although using a gas chromatography (GC) column longer than that commonly provided by manufacturers (0.6 m) can improve the efficiency of separation of CO and N(2) and using a valve to divert nitrogen and prevent it from entering the ion source of a mass spectrometer improved measurement results, biased δ(18)O values could still be obtained. A careful evaluation of the performance of the GC separation column was carried out. With optimal GC columns, the δ(18)O reproducibility of human hair keratins and other keratin materials was better than ± 0.15 ‰ (n=5; for the internal analytical reproducibility), and better than ± 0.10 ‰ (n=4; for the external analytical reproducibility). PMID:21698688

  13. Can a management pathway for chronic cough in children improve clinical outcomes: protocol for a multicentre evaluation

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Chronic cough is common and is associated with significant economic and human costs. While cough can be a problematic symptom without serious consequences, it could also reflect a serious underlying illness. Evidence shows that the management of chronic cough in children needs to be improved. Our study tests the hypothesis that the management of chronic cough in children with an evidence-based management pathway is feasible and reliable, and improves clinical outcomes. Methods/Design We are conducting a multicentre randomised controlled trial based in respiratory clinics in 5 major Australian cities. Children (n = 250) fulfilling inclusion criteria (new patients with chronic cough) are randomised (allocation concealed) to the standardised clinical management pathway (specialist starts clinical pathway within 2 weeks) or usual care (existing care until review by specialist at 6 weeks). Cough diary, cough-specific quality of life (QOL) and generic QOL are collected at baseline and at 6, 10, 14, 26, and 52 weeks. Children are followed-up for 6 months after diagnosis and cough resolution (with at least monthly contact from study nurses). A random sample from each site will be independently examined to determine adherence to the pathway. Primary outcomes are group differences in QOL and proportion of children that are cough free at week 6. Discussion The clinical management pathway is based on data from Cochrane Reviews combined with collective clinical experience (250 doctor years). This study will provide additional evidence on the optimal management of chronic cough in children. Trial registration ACTRN12607000526471 PMID:21054884

  14. Improving Well-being and Health for People with Dementia (WHELD): study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background People with dementia living in care homes often have complex mental health problems, disabilities and social needs. Providing more comprehensive training for staff working in care home environments is a high national priority. It is important that this training is evidence based and delivers improvement for people with dementia residing in these environments. Well-being and Health for People with Dementia (WHELD) combines the most effective elements of existing approaches to develop a comprehensive but practical staff training intervention. This optimised intervention is based on a factorial study and qualitative evaluation, to combine: training on person-centred care, promoting person-centred activities and interactions, and providing care home staff and general practitioners with updated knowledge regarding the optimal use of psychotropic medications for persons with dementia in care homes. Design The trial will be a randomised controlled two-arm cluster single blind trial that will take place for nine months across 80 care homes in the United Kingdom. Discussion The overarching goal of this trial is to determine whether this optimised WHELD intervention is more effective in improving the quality of life and mental health than the usual care provided to people with dementia living in nursing homes. This study will be the largest and best powered randomised controlled trial (RCT) evaluating the benefits of an augmented person-centred care training intervention in care homes worldwide. Trial registration Current controlled trials ISRCTN62237498 Date registered: 5 September 2013 PMID:25016303

  15. CONNECT for quality: protocol of a cluster randomized controlled trial to improve fall prevention in nursing homes

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Quality improvement (QI) programs focused on mastery of content by individual staff members are the current standard to improve resident outcomes in nursing homes. However, complexity science suggests that learning is a social process that occurs within the context of relationships and interactions among individuals. Thus, QI programs will not result in optimal changes in staff behavior unless the context for social learning is present. Accordingly, we developed CONNECT, an intervention to foster systematic use of management practices, which we propose will enhance effectiveness of a nursing home Falls QI program by strengthening the staff-to-staff interactions necessary for clinical problem-solving about complex problems such as falls. The study aims are to compare the impact of the CONNECT intervention, plus a falls reduction QI intervention (CONNECT + FALLS), to the falls reduction QI intervention alone (FALLS), on fall-related process measures, fall rates, and staff interaction measures. Methods/design Sixteen nursing homes will be randomized to one of two study arms, CONNECT + FALLS or FALLS alone. Subjects (staff and residents) are clustered within nursing homes because the intervention addresses social processes and thus must be delivered within the social context, rather than to individuals. Nursing homes randomized to CONNECT + FALLS will receive three months of CONNECT first, followed by three months of FALLS. Nursing homes randomized to FALLS alone receive three months of FALLs QI and are offered CONNECT after data collection is completed. Complexity science measures, which reflect staff perceptions of communication, safety climate, and care quality, will be collected from staff at baseline, three months after, and six months after baseline to evaluate immediate and sustained impacts. FALLS measures including quality indicators (process measures) and fall rates will be collected for the six months prior to baseline and the six months after the

  16. Periodontal treatment to improve glycaemic control in diabetic patients: study protocol of the randomized, controlled DIAPERIO trial

    PubMed Central

    Vergnes, Jean-Noel; Arrivé, Elise; Gourdy, Pierre; Hanaire, Hélène; Rigalleau, Vincent; Gin, Henri; Sédarat, Cyril; Dorignac, Georges; Bou, Christophe; Sixou, Michel; Nabet, Cathy

    2009-01-01

    Background Periodontitis is a common, chronic inflammatory disease caused by gram-negative bacteria leading to destruction of tissues supporting the teeth. Epidemiological studies have consistently shown increased frequency, extent and severity of periodontitis among diabetic adults. More recently, some controlled clinical trials have also suggested that periodontal treatment could improve glycaemic control in diabetic patients. However current evidence does not provide sufficient information on which to confidently base any clinical recommendations. The main objective of this clinical trial is to assess whether periodontal treatment could lead to a decrease in glycated haemoglobin levels in metabolically unbalanced diabetic patients suffering from chronic periodontitis. Methods The DIAPERIO trial is an open-label, 13-week follow-up, randomized, controlled trial. The total target sample size is planned at 150 participants, with a balanced (1:1) treatment allocation (immediate treatment vs delayed treatment). Periodontal treatment will include full mouth non-surgical scaling and root planing, systemic antibiotherapy, local antiseptics (chlorhexidine 0.12%) and oral health instructions. The primary outcome will be the difference in change of HbA1c between the two groups after the 13-weeks' follow-up. Secondary outcomes will be the difference in change of fructosamine levels and quality of life between the two groups. Discussion The DIAPERIO trial will provide insight into the question of whether periodontal treatment could lead to an improvement in glycaemic control in metabolically unbalanced diabetic patients suffering from periodontitis. The results of this trial will help to provide evidence-based recommendations for clinicians and a draft framework for designing national health policies. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN15334496 PMID:19646281

  17. Improving the management of multimorbidity in general practice: protocol of a cluster randomised controlled trial (The 3D Study)

    PubMed Central

    Chaplin, Katherine; Bower, Peter; Brookes, Sara; Fitzpatrick, Bridie; Guthrie, Bruce; Shaw, Alison; Mercer, Stewart; Rafi, Imran; Thorn, Joanna

    2016-01-01

    Introduction An increasing number of people are living with multimorbidity. The evidence base for how best to manage these patients is weak. Current clinical guidelines generally focus on single conditions, which may not reflect the needs of patients with multimorbidity. The aim of the 3D study is to develop, implement and evaluate an intervention to improve the management of patients with multimorbidity in general practice. Methods and analysis This is a pragmatic two-arm cluster randomised controlled trial. 32 general practices around Bristol, Greater Manchester and Glasgow will be randomised to receive either the ‘3D intervention’ or usual care. 3D is a complex intervention including components affecting practice organisation, the conduct of patient reviews, integration with secondary care and measures to promote change in practice organisation. Changes include improving continuity of care and replacing reviews of each disease with patient-centred reviews with a focus on patients' quality of life, mental health and polypharmacy. We aim to recruit 1383 patients who have 3 or more chronic conditions. This provides 90% power at 5% significance level to detect an effect size of 0.27 SDs in the primary outcome, which is health-related quality of life at 15 months using the EQ-5D-5L. Secondary outcome measures assess patient centredness, illness burden and treatment burden. The primary analysis will be a multilevel regression model adjusted for baseline, stratification/minimisation, clustering and important co-variables. Nested process evaluation will assess implementation, mechanisms of effectiveness and interaction of the intervention with local context. Economic analysis of cost-consequences and cost-effectiveness will be based on quality-adjusted life years. Ethics and dissemination This study has approval from South-West (Frenchay) National Health Service (NHS) Research Ethics Committee (14/SW/0011). Findings will be disseminated via final report, peer

  18. Trunk muscle exercises as a means of improving postural stability in people with Parkinson's disease: a protocol for a randomised controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Hubble, Ryan P; Naughton, Geraldine A; Silburn, Peter A; Cole, Michael H

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Exercise has been shown to improve clinical measures of strength, balance and mobility, and in some cases, has improved symptoms of tremor and rigidity in people with Parkinson's disease (PD). However, to date, no research has examined whether improvements in trunk control can remedy deficits in dynamic postural stability in this population. The proposed randomised controlled trial aims to establish whether a 12-week exercise programme aimed at improving dynamic postural stability in people with PD; (1) is more effective than education; (2) is more effective when training frequency is increased; and (3) provides greater long-term benefits than education. Methods/design Forty-five community-dwelling individuals diagnosed with idiopathic PD with a falls history will be recruited. Participants will complete baseline assessments including tests of cognition, vision, disease severity, fear of falling, mobility and quality of life. Additionally, participants will complete a series of standing balance tasks to evaluate static postural stability, while dynamic postural control will be measured during walking using head and trunk-mounted three-dimensional accelerometers. Following baseline testing, participants will be randomly-assigned to one of three intervention groups, who will receive either exercise once per week, exercise 3 days/week, or education. Participants will repeat the same battery of tests conducted at baseline after the 12-week intervention and again following a further 12-week sustainability period. Discussion This study has the potential to show that low-intensity and progressive trunk exercises can provide a non-invasive and effective means for maintaining or improving postural stability for people with PD. Importantly, if the programme is noted to be effective, it could be easily performed by patients within their home environment or under the guidance of available allied health professionals. Trial registration number The protocol for

  19. Xenogenic transfer of isolated murine mitochondria into human rho0 cells can improve respiratory function.

    PubMed

    Katrangi, Eyad; D'Souza, Gerard; Boddapati, Sarathi V; Kulawiec, Mariola; Singh, Keshav K; Bigger, Brian; Weissig, Volkmar

    2007-12-01

    Mitochondrial DNA mutations are the direct cause of several physiological disorders and are also associated with the aging process. The modest progress made over the past two decades towards manipulating the mitochondrial genome and understanding its function within living mammalian cells means that cures for mitochondrial DNA mutations are still elusive. Here, we report that transformed mammalian cells internalize exogenous isolated mitochondria upon simple co-incubation. We first demonstrate the physical presence of internalized mitochondria within recipient cells using fluorescence microscopy. Second, we show that xenogenic transfer of murine mitochondria into human cells lacking functional mitochondria can functionally restore respiration in cells lacking mtDNA. Third, utilizing the natural competence of isolated mitochondria to take up linear DNA molecules, we demonstrate the feasibility of using cellular internalization of isolated exogenous mitochondria as a potential tool for studying mitochondrial genetics in living mammalian cells. PMID:18069915

  20. Improving outcomes of preschool language delay in the community: protocol for the Language for Learning randomised controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Early language delay is a high-prevalence condition of concern to parents and professionals. It may result in lifelong deficits not only in language function, but also in social, emotional/behavioural, academic and economic well-being. Such delays can lead to considerable costs to the individual, the family and to society more widely. The Language for Learning trial tests a population-based intervention in 4 year olds with measured language delay, to determine (1) if it improves language and associated outcomes at ages 5 and 6 years and (2) its cost-effectiveness for families and the health care system. Methods/Design A large-scale randomised trial of a year-long intervention targeting preschoolers with language delay, nested within a well-documented, prospective, population-based cohort of 1464 children in Melbourne, Australia. All children received a 1.25-1.5 hour formal language assessment at their 4th birthday. The 200 children with expressive and/or receptive language scores more than 1.25 standard deviations below the mean were randomised into intervention or ‘usual care’ control arms. The 20-session intervention program comprises 18 one-hour home-based therapeutic sessions in three 6-week blocks, an outcome assessment, and a final feed-back/forward planning session. The therapy utilises a ‘step up-step down’ therapeutic approach depending on the child’s language profile, severity and progress, with standardised, manualised activities covering the four language development domains of: vocabulary and grammar; narrative skills; comprehension monitoring; and phonological awareness/pre-literacy skills. Blinded follow-up assessments at ages 5 and 6 years measure the primary outcome of receptive and expressive language, and secondary outcomes of vocabulary, narrative, and phonological skills. Discussion A key strength of this robust study is the implementation of a therapeutic framework that provides a standardised yet tailored approach for

  1. Continuous quality improvement (CQI) in addiction treatment settings: design and intervention protocol of a group randomized pilot study

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Few studies have designed and tested the use of continuous quality improvement approaches in community based substance use treatment settings. Little is known about the feasibility, costs, efficacy, and sustainment of such approaches in these settings. Methods/Design A group-randomized trial using a modified stepped wedge design is being used. In the first phase of the study, eight programs, stratified by modality (residential, outpatient) are being randomly assigned to the intervention or control condition. In the second phase, the initially assigned control programs are receiving the intervention to gain additional information about feasibility while sustainment is being studied among the programs initially assigned to the intervention. Discussion By using this design in a pilot study, we help inform the field about the feasibility, costs, efficacy and sustainment of the intervention. Determining information at the pilot stage about costs and sustainment provides value for designing future studies and implementation strategies with the goal to reduce the time between intervention development and translation to real world practice settings. PMID:24467770

  2. Significant Improvements in Cognitive Performance Post-Transcranial, Red/Near-Infrared Light-Emitting Diode Treatments in Chronic, Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: Open-Protocol Study

    PubMed Central

    Zafonte, Ross; Krengel, Maxine H.; Martin, Paula I.; Frazier, Judith; Hamblin, Michael R.; Knight, Jeffrey A.; Meehan, William P.; Baker, Errol H.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract This pilot, open-protocol study examined whether scalp application of red and near-infrared (NIR) light-emitting diodes (LED) could improve cognition in patients with chronic, mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Application of red/NIR light improves mitochondrial function (especially in hypoxic/compromised cells) promoting increased adenosine triphosphate (ATP) important for cellular metabolism. Nitric oxide is released locally, increasing regional cerebral blood flow. LED therapy is noninvasive, painless, and non-thermal (cleared by the United States Food and Drug Administration [FDA], an insignificant risk device). Eleven chronic, mTBI participants (26–62 years of age, 6 males) with nonpenetrating brain injury and persistent cognitive dysfunction were treated for 18 outpatient sessions (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, for 6 weeks), starting at 10 months to 8 years post- mTBI (motor vehicle accident [MVA] or sports-related; and one participant, improvised explosive device [IED] blast injury). Four had a history of multiple concussions. Each LED cluster head (5.35 cm diameter, 500 mW, 22.2 mW/cm2) was applied for 10 min to each of 11 scalp placements (13 J/cm2). LEDs were placed on the midline from front-to-back hairline; and bilaterally on frontal, parietal, and temporal areas. Neuropsychological testing was performed pre-LED, and at 1 week, and 1 and 2 months after the 18th treatment. A significant linear trend was observed for the effect of LED treatment over time for the Stroop test for Executive Function, Trial 3 inhibition (p=0.004); Stroop, Trial 4 inhibition switching (p=0.003); California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT)-II, Total Trials 1–5 (p=0.003); and CVLT-II, Long Delay Free Recall (p=0.006). Participants reported improved sleep, and fewer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, if present. Participants and family reported better ability to perform social, interpersonal, and occupational functions. These open-protocol data suggest

  3. Significant improvements in cognitive performance post-transcranial, red/near-infrared light-emitting diode treatments in chronic, mild traumatic brain injury: open-protocol study.

    PubMed

    Naeser, Margaret A; Zafonte, Ross; Krengel, Maxine H; Martin, Paula I; Frazier, Judith; Hamblin, Michael R; Knight, Jeffrey A; Meehan, William P; Baker, Errol H

    2014-06-01

    This pilot, open-protocol study examined whether scalp application of red and near-infrared (NIR) light-emitting diodes (LED) could improve cognition in patients with chronic, mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Application of red/NIR light improves mitochondrial function (especially in hypoxic/compromised cells) promoting increased adenosine triphosphate (ATP) important for cellular metabolism. Nitric oxide is released locally, increasing regional cerebral blood flow. LED therapy is noninvasive, painless, and non-thermal (cleared by the United States Food and Drug Administration [FDA], an insignificant risk device). Eleven chronic, mTBI participants (26-62 years of age, 6 males) with nonpenetrating brain injury and persistent cognitive dysfunction were treated for 18 outpatient sessions (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, for 6 weeks), starting at 10 months to 8 years post- mTBI (motor vehicle accident [MVA] or sports-related; and one participant, improvised explosive device [IED] blast injury). Four had a history of multiple concussions. Each LED cluster head (5.35 cm diameter, 500 mW, 22.2 mW/cm(2)) was applied for 10 min to each of 11 scalp placements (13 J/cm(2)). LEDs were placed on the midline from front-to-back hairline; and bilaterally on frontal, parietal, and temporal areas. Neuropsychological testing was performed pre-LED, and at 1 week, and 1 and 2 months after the 18th treatment. A significant linear trend was observed for the effect of LED treatment over time for the Stroop test for Executive Function, Trial 3 inhibition (p=0.004); Stroop, Trial 4 inhibition switching (p=0.003); California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT)-II, Total Trials 1-5 (p=0.003); and CVLT-II, Long Delay Free Recall (p=0.006). Participants reported improved sleep, and fewer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, if present. Participants and family reported better ability to perform social, interpersonal, and occupational functions. These open-protocol data suggest that placebo

  4. Can virtual nature improve patient experiences and memories of dental treatment? A study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Dental anxiety and anxiety-related avoidance of dental care create significant problems for patients and the dental profession. Distraction interventions are used in daily medical practice to help patients cope with unpleasant procedures. There is evidence that exposure to natural scenery is beneficial for patients and that the use of virtual reality (VR) distraction is more effective than other distraction interventions, such as watching television. The main aim of this randomized controlled trial is to determine whether the use of VR during dental treatment can improve the overall dental experience and recollections of treatment for patients, breaking the negative cycle of memories of anxiety leading to further anxiety, and avoidance of future dental appointments. Additionally, the aim is to test whether VR benefits dental patients with all levels of dental anxiety or whether it could be especially beneficial for patients suffering from higher levels of dental anxiety. The third aim is to test whether the content of the VR distraction can make a difference for its effectiveness by comparing two types of virtual environments, a natural environment and an urban environment. Methods/design The effectiveness of VR distraction will be examined in patients 18 years or older who are scheduled to undergo dental treatment for fillings and/or extractions, with a maximum length of 30 minutes. Patients will be randomly allocated into one of three groups. The first group will be exposed to a VR of a natural environment. The second group will be exposed to a VR of an urban environment. A third group consists of patients who receive standard care (control group). Primary outcomes relate to patients’ memories of the dental treatment one week after treatment: (a) remembered pain, (b) intrusive thoughts and (c) vividness of memories. Other measures of interest are the dental experience, the treatment experience and the VR experience. Trial registration Current

  5. Improving Post-Hospitalization Transition Outcomes through Accessible Health Information Technology and Caregiver Support: Protocol for a Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Piette, John D; Striplin, Dana; Marinec, Nicolle; Chen, Jenny; Gregory, Lynn A; Sumerlin, Denise L; DeSantis, Angela M; Gibson, Carolyn; Crause, Ingrid; Rouse, Marylena; Aikens, James E

    2015-01-01

    Objective The goal of this trial is to evaluate a novel intervention designed to improve post-hospitalization support for older adults with chronic conditions via: (a) direct tailored communication to patients using regular automated calls post discharge, (b) support for informal caregivers outside of the patient’s household via structured automated feedback about the patient’s status plus advice about how caregivers can help, and (c) support for care management including a web-based disease management tool and alerts about potential problems. Methods 846 older adults with common chronic conditions are being identified upon hospital admission. Patients are asked to identify a “CarePartner” (CP) living outside their household, i.e., an adult child or other social network member willing to play an active role in their post-discharge transition support. Patient-CP pairs are randomized to the intervention or usual care. Intervention patients receive automated assessment and behavior change calls, and their CPs receives structured feedback and advice via email and automated calls following each assessment. Clinical teams have access to assessment results via the web and receive automated reports about urgent health problems. Patients complete surveys at baseline, 30 days, and 90 days post discharge; utilization data is obtained from hospital records. CPs, other caregivers, and clinicians are interviewed to evaluate intervention effects on processes of self-care support, caregiver stress and communication, and the intervention’s potential for broader implementation. The primary outcome is 30-day readmission rates; other outcomes measured at 30 days and 90 days include functional status, self-care behaviors, and mortality risk. Conclusion This trial uses accessible health technologies and coordinated communication among informal caregivers and clinicians to fill the growing gap between what discharged patients need and available resources. A unique feature of

  6. Improved short-term toxicity test protocol to assess metal tolerance in phototrophic periphyton: toward standardization of PICT approaches.

    PubMed

    Lambert, Anne Sophie; Pesce, Stéphane; Foulquier, Arnaud; Gahou, Josiane; Coquery, Marina; Dabrin, Aymeric

    2015-03-01

    Pollution-induced community tolerance (PICT) approaches involve comparing tolerance levels of natural communities to a particular contaminant or a contaminant mixture using short-term toxicity tests performed under controlled conditions. However, results from toxicity tests can be modulated by various environmental and experimental conditions, raising questions about their reproducibility and comparability. In this context, the present study aimed to determine the influence of exposure duration, periphyton suspension concentration, and periphyton maturation stage on the measurement of short-term effects of copper on phototrophic periphyton communities. Our results showed the very weak influence of exposure duration in the tested range (2-6 h) on toxicity level, whereas periphyton biomass in the tested suspension (in terms of both chlorophyll a concentrations and dry weight), proved a crucial determinant in toxicity assessment. Results also highlighted the potential tolerance increase with the periphyton maturation stage. This parameter conditioned the positive linear relationship between tolerance level and periphyton suspension concentration, leading to an increase in the linear regression slope with the maturation stage. This suggests that such a relationship is probably highly periphyton-dependent. Consequently, to enable data toxicity comparisons, an a priori normalization of the periphyton suspension biomass is necessary, and PICT approaches require the use, as much of possible, of periphyton with similar maturation stage. Finally, the present study clearly shows that a better standardization of PICT approaches could help to improve reproducibility. It could thus facilitate the comparison of tolerance levels measured in the same study (e.g., spatial and/or temporal and/or inter-treatment comparison) as well as the comparison obtained from different experimental and in situ research. PMID:25167827

  7. Wavelet methodology to improve single unit isolation in primary motor cortex cells.

    PubMed

    Ortiz-Rosario, Alexis; Adeli, Hojjat; Buford, John A

    2015-05-15

    The proper isolation of action potentials recorded extracellularly from neural tissue is an active area of research in the fields of neuroscience and biomedical signal processing. This paper presents an isolation methodology for neural recordings using the wavelet transform (WT), a statistical thresholding scheme, and the principal component analysis (PCA) algorithm. The effectiveness of five different mother wavelets was investigated: biorthogonal, Daubachies, discrete Meyer, symmetric, and Coifman; along with three different wavelet coefficient thresholding schemes: fixed form threshold, Stein's unbiased estimate of risk, and minimax; and two different thresholding rules: soft and hard thresholding. The signal quality was evaluated using three different statistical measures: mean-squared error, root-mean squared, and signal to noise ratio. The clustering quality was evaluated using two different statistical measures: isolation distance, and L-ratio. This research shows that the selection of the mother wavelet has a strong influence on the clustering and isolation of single unit neural activity, with the Daubachies 4 wavelet and minimax thresholding scheme performing the best. PMID:25794461

  8. Supporting the improvement and management of prescribing for urinary tract infections (SIMPle): protocol for a cluster randomized trial

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The overuse of antimicrobials is recognized as the main selective pressure driving the emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance in human bacterial pathogens. Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are among the most common infections presented in primary care and empirical antimicrobial treatment is currently recommended. Previous research has identified that a substantial proportion of Irish general practitioners (GPs) prescribe antimicrobials for UTIs that are not in accordance with the Guidelines for Antimicrobial Prescribing in Primary Care in Ireland. The aim of this trial is to design, implement and evaluate the effectiveness of a complex intervention on GP antimicrobial prescribing and adult (18 years of age and over) patients’ antimicrobial consumption when presenting with a suspected UTI. Methods/design The Supporting the Improvement and Management of Prescribing for urinary tract infections (SIMPle) study is a three-armed intervention with practice-level randomization. Adult patients presenting with suspected UTIs in primary care will be included in the study. The intervention integrates components for both GPs and patients. For GPs the intervention includes interactive workshops, audit and feedback reports and automated electronic prompts summarizing recommended first-line antimicrobial treatment and, for one intervention arm, a recommendation to consider delayed antimicrobial treatment. For patients, multimedia applications and information leaflets are included. Thirty practices will be recruited to the study; laboratory data indicate that 2,038 patients will be prescribed an antimicrobial in the study. The primary outcome is a change in prescribing of first-line antimicrobials for UTIs in accordance with the Guidelines for Antimicrobial Prescribing in Primary Care in Ireland. The study will take place over 15 months with a six-month intervention period. Data will be collected through a remote electronic anonymized data-extraction system

  9. Improvements on Restricted Insecticide Application Protocol for Control of Human and Animal African Trypanosomiasis in Eastern Uganda

    PubMed Central

    Muhanguzi, Dennis; Picozzi, Kim; Hatendorf, Jan; Thrusfield, Michael; Welburn, Susan Christina; Kabasa, John David; Waiswa, Charles

    2014-01-01

    Background African trypanosomes constrain livestock and human health in Sub-Saharan Africa, and aggravate poverty and hunger of these otherwise largely livestock-keeping communities. To solve this, there is need to develop and use effective and cheap tsetse control methods. To this end, we aimed at determining the smallest proportion of a cattle herd that needs to be sprayed on the legs, bellies and ears (RAP) for effective Human and Animal African Trypanosomiasis (HAT/AAT) control. Methodology/Principal finding Cattle in 20 villages were ear-tagged and injected with two doses of diminazene diaceturate (DA) forty days apart, and randomly allocated to one of five treatment regimens namely; no treatment, 25%, 50%, 75% monthly RAP and every 3 month Albendazole drench. Cattle trypanosome re-infection rate was determined by molecular techniques. ArcMap V10.3 was used to map apparent tsetse density (FTD) from trap catches. The effect of graded RAP on incidence risk ratios and trypanosome prevalence was determined using Poisson and logistic random effect models in R and STATA V12.1 respectively. Incidence was estimated at 9.8/100 years in RAP regimens, significantly lower compared to 25.7/100 years in the non-RAP regimens (incidence rate ratio: 0.37; 95% CI: 0.22–0.65; P<0.001). Likewise, trypanosome prevalence after one year of follow up was significantly lower in RAP animals than in non-RAP animals (4% vs 15%, OR: 0.20, 95% CI: 0.08–0.44; P<0.001). Contrary to our expectation, level of protection did not increase with increasing proportion of animals treated. Conclusions/significance Reduction in RAP coverage did not significantly affect efficacy of treatment. This is envisaged to improve RAP adaptability to low income livestock keepers but needs further evaluation in different tsetse challenge, HAT/AAT transmission rates and management systems before adopting it for routine tsetse control programs. PMID:25356758

  10. A Comparative experimental study of media access protocols for wireless radio networks

    SciTech Connect

    Barrett, C. L.; Drozda, M.; Marathe, M. V.

    2001-05-24

    ) Performance analysis of protocols at a given level in the protocol stack need to be studied not locally in isolation but as a part of the complete protocol stack. The results suggest that in order to improve the performance of a communication network, it will be important to study the entire protocol stuck as a single algorithmic construct; optimizing individual layers in the 7 layer OSI stack will not yield performance improvements beyond a point.

  11. Patients With Isolated PCL Injuries Improve From Surgery as Much as Patients With ACL Injuries After 2 Years

    PubMed Central

    Owesen, Christian; Sivertsen, Einar Andreas; Engebretsen, Lars; Granan, Lars-Petter; Årøen, Asbjørn

    2015-01-01

    Background: Reports on outcome after posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) reconstruction often contain both isolated PCL and combined knee ligament injuries. This makes it difficult to conclude on the outcome after reconstruction of isolated PCL injuries. Purpose: To investigate the outcome after PCL reconstruction in patients with an isolated PCL injury and to compare this with the outcome of patients treated with reconstruction after isolated anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: Seventy-one patients with an isolated PCL injury that was reconstructed surgically and who had registered in the Norwegian Knee Ligament Registry between 2004 and 2010 were included in this study. Patients with isolated ACL reconstructions (n = 9661) who had registered in the same period were included for comparison. Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) was used as the patient-reported outcome measure. Preoperative and 2-year postoperative KOOS scores were compared. Changes in KOOS score reported by the PCL patients were compared with changes reported by the ACL patients. Results: At the 2-year postoperative follow-up of the PCL-reconstructed patients, the patient-reported outcome was improved, measured by KOOS as follows: pain, 15.1 (95% CI, 8.5-21.8; P < .001); symptoms, 0.9 (95% CI, –6.6 to 8.3; P = .82); activities of daily living, 13.2 (95% CI, 6.6-13.9; P < .001); sports, 20.7 (95% CI, 11.8-29.4; P < .001); and quality of life, 26.6 (95% CI, 18.9-34.2; P < .001). According to the KOOS, the incremental improvements were similar for PCL and ACL patients. Time from injury to surgery was longer for the PCL patients compared with ACL patients (median, 21.5 vs 8.0 months; P < .001). Conclusion: Patients undergoing PCL reconstruction can expect the same improvements in KOOS score as patients undergoing ACL reconstruction. However, PCL patients start out with an inferior score on average and consequently end up

  12. A cluster randomized controlled trial aimed at implementation of local quality improvement collaboratives to improve prescribing and test ordering performance of general practitioners: Study Protocol

    PubMed Central

    Trietsch, Jasper; van der Weijden, Trudy; Verstappen, Wim; Janknegt, Rob; Muijrers, Paul; Winkens, Ron; van Steenkiste, Ben; Grol, Richard; Metsemakers, Job

    2009-01-01

    Background The use of guidelines in general practice is not optimal. Although evidence-based methods to improve guideline adherence are available, variation in physician adherence to general practice guidelines remains relatively high. The objective for this study is to transfer a quality improvement strategy based on audit, feedback, educational materials, and peer group discussion moderated by local opinion leaders to the field. The research questions are: is the multifaceted strategy implemented on a large scale as planned?; what is the effect on general practitioners' (GPs) test ordering and prescribing behaviour?; and what are the costs of implementing the strategy? Methods In order to evaluate the effects, costs and feasibility of this new strategy we plan a multi-centre cluster randomized controlled trial (RCT) with a balanced incomplete block design. Local GP groups in the south of the Netherlands already taking part in pharmacotherapeutic audit meeting groups, will be recruited by regional health officers. Approximately 50 groups of GPs will be randomly allocated to two arms. These GPs will be offered two different balanced sets of clinical topics. Each GP within a group will receive comparative feedback on test ordering and prescribing performance. The feedback will be discussed in the group and working agreements will be created after discussion of the guidelines and barriers to change. The data for the feedback will be collected from existing and newly formed databases, both at baseline and after one year. Discussion We are not aware of published studies on successes and failures of attempts to transfer to the stakeholders in the field a multifaceted strategy aimed at GPs' test ordering and prescribing behaviour. This pragmatic study will focus on compatibility with existing infrastructure, while permitting a certain degree of adaptation to local needs and routines. Trial registration Nederlands Trial Register ISRCTN40008171 PMID:19222840

  13. Improved Simplified Methods for Effective Seismic Analysis and Design of Isolated and Damped Bridges in Western and Eastern North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koval, Viacheslav

    The seismic design provisions of the CSA-S6 Canadian Highway Bridge Design Code and the AASHTO LRFD Seismic Bridge Design Specifications have been developed primarily based on historical earthquake events that have occurred along the west coast of North America. For the design of seismic isolation systems, these codes include simplified analysis and design methods. The appropriateness and range of application of these methods are investigated through extensive parametric nonlinear time history analyses in this thesis. It was found that there is a need to adjust existing design guidelines to better capture the expected nonlinear response of isolated bridges. For isolated bridges located in eastern North America, new damping coefficients are proposed. The applicability limits of the code-based simplified methods have been redefined to ensure that the modified method will lead to conservative results and that a wider range of seismically isolated bridges can be covered by this method. The possibility of further improving current simplified code methods was also examined. By transforming the quantity of allocated energy into a displacement contribution, an idealized analytical solution is proposed as a new simplified design method. This method realistically reflects the effects of ground-motion and system design parameters, including the effects of a drifted oscillation center. The proposed method is therefore more appropriate than current existing simplified methods and can be applicable to isolation systems exhibiting a wider range of properties. A multi-level-hazard performance matrix has been adopted by different seismic provisions worldwide and will be incorporated into the new edition of the Canadian CSA-S6-14 Bridge Design code. However, the combined effect and optimal use of isolation and supplemental damping devices in bridges have not been fully exploited yet to achieve enhanced performance under different levels of seismic hazard. A novel Dual-Level Seismic

  14. ISOLATION OF MOUSE NEUTROPHILS

    PubMed Central

    Swamydas, Muthulekha; Luo, Yi; Dorf, Martin E.; Lionakis, Michail S.

    2015-01-01

    Neutrophils represent the first line of defense against bacterial and fungal pathogens. Indeed, patients with inherited and acquired qualitative and quantitative neutrophil defects are at high risk for developing bacterial and fungal infections and suffering adverse outcomes from these infections. Therefore, research aiming at defining the molecular factors that modulate neutrophil effector function under homeostatic conditions and during infection is essential for devising strategies to augment neutrophil function and improve the outcome of infected individuals. This unit describes a reproducible density gradient centrifugation-based protocol that can be applied in any laboratory to harvest large numbers of highly enriched and highly viable neutrophils from the bone marrow of mice both at the steady state and following infection with Candida albicans as described in UNIT 19.6. In another protocol, we also present a method that combines gentle enzymatic tissue digestion with a positive immunomagnetic selection technique or Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) to harvest highly pure and highly viable preparations of neutrophils directly from mouse tissues such as the kidney, the liver or the spleen. Finally, methods for isolating neutrophils from mouse peritoneal fluid and peripheral blood are included. Mouse neutrophils isolated by these protocols can be used for examining several aspects of cellular function ex vivo including pathogen binding, phagocytosis and killing, neutrophil chemotaxis, oxidative burst, degranulation and cytokine production, and for performing neutrophil adoptive transfer experiments. PMID:26237011

  15. A randomised controlled trial of a theory-based intervention to improve sun protective behaviour in adolescents ('you can still be HOT in the shade'): study protocol

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Most skin cancers are preventable by encouraging consistent use of sun protective behaviour. In Australia, adolescents have high levels of knowledge and awareness of the risks of skin cancer but exhibit significantly lower sun protection behaviours than adults. There is limited research aimed at understanding why people do or do not engage in sun protective behaviour, and an associated absence of theory-based interventions to improve sun safe behaviour. This paper presents the study protocol for a school-based intervention which aims to improve the sun safe behaviour of adolescents. Methods/design Approximately 400 adolescents (aged 12-17 years) will be recruited through Queensland, Australia public and private schools and randomized to the intervention (n = 200) or 'wait-list' control group (n = 200). The intervention focuses on encouraging supportive sun protective attitudes and beliefs, fostering perceptions of normative support for sun protection behaviour, and increasing perceptions of control/self-efficacy over using sun protection. It will be delivered during three × one hour sessions over a three week period from a trained facilitator during class time. Data will be collected one week pre-intervention (Time 1), and at one week (Time 2) and four weeks (Time 3) post-intervention. Primary outcomes are intentions to sun protect and sun protection behaviour. Secondary outcomes include attitudes toward performing sun protective behaviours (i.e., attitudes), perceptions of normative support to sun protect (i.e., subjective norms, group norms, and image norms), and perceived control over performing sun protective behaviours (i.e., perceived behavioural control). Discussion The study will provide valuable information about the effectiveness of the intervention in improving the sun protective behaviour of adolescents. PMID:22212211

  16. Improving physical functional and quality of life in older adults with multiple sclerosis via a DVD-delivered exercise intervention: a study protocol

    PubMed Central

    Wójcicki, Thomas R; Roberts, Sarah A; Learmonth, Yvonne C; Hubbard, Elizabeth A; Kinnett-Hopkins, Dominque; Motl, Robert W; McAuley, Edward

    2014-01-01

    Introduction There is a need to identify innovative, low-cost and broad-reaching strategies for promoting exercise and improving physical function in older adults with multiple sclerosis (MS). Methods and analysis This randomised controlled pilot trial will test the efficacy of a 6-month, DVD-delivered exercise intervention to improve functional performance and quality of life in older adults with MS. Participants will be randomised either into a DVD-delivered exercise condition or an attentional control condition. This novel approach to programme delivery provides participants with detailed exercise instructions which are presented in a progressive manner and includes a variety of modifications to better meet varying levels of physical abilities. The targeted exercises focus on three critical elements of functional fitness: flexibility, strength and balance. It is hypothesised that participants who are randomised to the exercise DVD condition will demonstrate improvements in physical function compared with participants assigned to the attentional control condition. Data analysis will include a 2 (condition)×2 (time) mixed factor analysis of variance (ANOVA) that follows intent-to-treat principles, as well as an examination of effect sizes. Participants will take part in qualitative interviews about perspectives on physical activity and programme participation. Ethics and dissemination The study protocol was approved by a university institutional review board and registered with a federal database. Participants will be asked to read and sign a detailed informed consent document and will be required to provide a physician's approval to participate in the study. The exercise DVDs include an overview of safety-related concerns and recommendations relative to exercise participation, as well as detailed instructions highlighting the proper execution of each exercise presented on screen. Following completion of this trial, data will be immediately analysed and results

  17. Evaluation of an internet-based aftercare program to improve vocational reintegration after inpatient medical rehabilitation: study protocol for a cluster-randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Mental disorders are the main reasons for rising proportions of premature pension in most high-income countries. Although inpatient medical rehabilitation has increasingly targeted work-related stress, there is still a lack of studies on the transfer of work-specific interventions into work contexts. Therefore, we plan to evaluate an online aftercare program aiming to improve vocational reintegration after medical rehabilitation. Methods Vocationally strained patients (n = 800) aged between 18 and 59 years with private internet access are recruited in psychosomatic, orthopedic and cardiovascular rehabilitation clinics in Germany. During inpatient rehabilitation, participants in stress management group training are cluster-randomized to the intervention or control group. The intervention group (n = 400) is offered an internet-based aftercare with weekly writing tasks and therapeutic feedback, a patient forum, a self-test and relaxation exercises. The control group (n = 400) obtains regular e-mail reminders with links to publicly accessible information about stress management and coping. Assessments are conducted at the beginning of inpatient rehabilitation, the end of inpatient rehabilitation, the end of aftercare, and 9 months later. The primary outcome is a risk score for premature pension, measured by a screening questionnaire at follow-up. Secondary outcome measures include level of vocational stress, physical and mental health, and work capacity at follow-up. Discussion We expect the intervention group to stabilize the improvements achieved during inpatient rehabilitation concerning stress management and coping, resulting in an improved vocational reintegration. The study protocol demonstrates the features of internet-based aftercare in rehabilitation. Trial registration International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number Register (ISRCTN:ISRCTN33957202) PMID:23351836

  18. Improving the network management of integrated primary mental healthcare for older people in a rural Australian region: protocol for a mixed methods case study

    PubMed Central

    Fuller, Jeffrey; Oster, Candice; Dawson, Suzanne; O'Kane, Deb; Lawn, Sharon; Henderson, Julie; Gerace, Adam; Reed, Richard; Nosworthy, Ann; Galley, Philip; McPhail, Ruth; Cochrane, Eimear Muir

    2014-01-01

    Introduction An integrated approach to the mental healthcare of older people is advocated across health, aged care and social care sectors. It is not clear, however, how the management of integrated servicing should occur, although interorganisational relations theory suggests a reflective network approach using evaluation feedback. This research will test a network management approach to help regional primary healthcare organisations improve mental health service integration. Methods and analysis This mixed methods case study in rural South Australia will test facilitated reflection within a network of health and social care services to determine if this leads to improved integration. Engagement of services will occur through a governance group and a series of three 1-day service stakeholder workshops. Facilitated reflection and evaluation feedback will use information from a review of health sector and local operational policies, a network survey about current service links, gaps and enablers and interviews with older people and their carers about their help seeking journeys. Quantitative and qualitative analysis will describe the policy enablers and explore the current and ideal links between services. The facilitated reflection will be developed to maximise engagement of senior management in the governance group and the service staff at the operational level in the workshops. Benefit will be assessed through indicators of improved service coordination, collective ownership of service problems, strengthened partnerships, agreed local protocols and the use of feedback for accountability. Ethics, benefits and dissemination Ethics approval will deal with the sensitivities of organisational network research where data anonymity is not preserved. The benefit will be the tested utility of a facilitated reflective process for a network of health and social care services to manage linked primary mental healthcare for older people in a rural region. Dissemination will

  19. Ease-of-use protocol for the rapid detection of third-generation cephalosporin resistance in Enterobacteriaceae isolated from blood cultures using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Foschi, C; Compri, M; Smirnova, V; Denicolò, A; Nardini, P; Tamburini, M V; Lombardo, D; Landini, M P; Ambretti, S

    2016-06-01

    An ease-of-use protocol for the identification of resistance against third-generation cephalosporins in Enterobacteriaceae isolated from blood culture bottles was evaluated using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight mass spectrometry. A cefotaxime hydrolysis assay from chocolate agar subcultures using antibiotic discs and without inoculum standardization was developed for routine work flow, with minimal hands-on time. This assay showed good performance in distinguishing between cefotaxime-susceptible and cefotaxime-resistant strains, with excellent results for Escherichia coli (sensitivity 94.7%, specificity 100%). However, cefotaxime resistance was not detected reliably in Enterobacteriaceae expressing AmpC genes or carbapenemase-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae. PMID:27105753

  20. The Use of Metal Filled Via Holes for Improving Isolation in LTCC RF and Wireless Multichip Packages

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ponchak, George E.; Chun, Donghoon; Yook, Jong-Gwan; Katehi, Linda P. B.

    1999-01-01

    LTCC MCMs (Low Temperature Cofired Ceramic MultiChip Module) for RF and wireless systems often use metal filled via holes to improve isolation between the stripline and microstrip interconnects. In this paper, results from a 3D-FEM electromagnetic characterization of microstrip and stripline interconnects with metal filled via fences for isolation are presented. It is shown that placement of a via hole fence closer than three times the substrate height to the transmission lines increases radiation and coupling. Radiation loss and reflections are increased when a short via fence is used in areas suspected of having high radiation. Also, via posts should not be separated by more than three times the substrate height for low radiation loss, coupling, and suppression of higher order modes in a package.

  1. A group randomized trial of a complexity-based organizational intervention to improve risk factors for diabetes complications in primary care settings: study protocol

    PubMed Central

    Parchman, Michael L; Pugh, Jacqueline A; Culler, Steven D; Noel, Polly H; Arar, Nedal H; Romero, Raquel L; Palmer, Raymond F

    2008-01-01

    Background Most patients with type 2 diabetes have suboptimal control of their glucose, blood pressure (BP), and lipids – three risk factors for diabetes complications. Although the chronic care model (CCM) provides a roadmap for improving these outcomes, developing theoretically sound implementation strategies that will work across diverse primary care settings has been challenging. One explanation for this difficulty may be that most strategies do not account for the complex adaptive system (CAS) characteristics of the primary care setting. A CAS is comprised of individuals who can learn, interconnect, self-organize, and interact with their environment in a way that demonstrates non-linear dynamic behavior. One implementation strategy that may be used to leverage these properties is practice facilitation (PF). PF creates time for learning and reflection by members of the team in each clinic, improves their communication, and promotes an individualized approach to implement a strategy to improve patient outcomes. Specific objectives The specific objectives of this protocol are to: evaluate the effectiveness and sustainability of PF to improve risk factor control in patients with type 2 diabetes across a variety of primary care settings; assess the implementation of the CCM in response to the intervention; examine the relationship between communication within the practice team and the implementation of the CCM; and determine the cost of the intervention both from the perspective of the organization conducting the PF intervention and from the perspective of the primary care practice. Intervention The study will be a group randomized trial conducted in 40 primary care clinics. Data will be collected on all clinics, with 60 patients in each clinic, using a multi-method assessment process at baseline, 12, and 24 months. The intervention, PF, will consist of a series of practice improvement team meetings led by trained facilitators over 12 months. Primary hypotheses

  2. Engagement, Alignment, and Rigor as Vital Signs of High-Quality Instruction: A Classroom Visit Protocol for Instructional Improvement and Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Early, Diane M.; Rogge, Ronald D.; Deci, Edward L.

    2014-01-01

    This paper investigates engagement (E), alignment (A), and rigor (R) as vital signs of high-quality teacher instruction as measured by the EAR Classroom Visit Protocol, designed by the Institute for Research and Reform in Education (IRRE). Findings indicated that both school leaders and outside raters could learn to score the protocol with…

  3. How to Improve the Peer Review Method: Free-Selection vs Assigned-Pair Protocol Evaluated in a Computer Networking Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Papadopoulos, Pantelis M.; Lagkas, Thomas D.; Demetriadis, Stavros N.

    2012-01-01

    This study provides field research evidence on the efficiency of a "free-selection" peer review assignment protocol as compared to the typically implemented "assigned-pair" protocol. The study employed 54 sophomore students who were randomly assigned into three groups: Assigned-Pair (AP) (the teacher assigns student works for review to student…

  4. Improved Method for Isolation of Microbial RNA from Biofuel Feedstock for Metatranscriptomics

    SciTech Connect

    Piao, Hailan; Markillie, Lye Meng; Culley, David E.; Mackie, Roderick I.; Hess, Matthias

    2013-03-28

    Metatranscriptomics—gene express profiling via DNA sequencing—is a powerful tool to identify genes that are ac- tively expressed and might contribute to the phenotype of individual organisms or the phenome (the sum of several phenotypes) of a microbial community. Furthermore, metatranscriptome studies can result in extensive catalogues of genes that encode for enzymes of industrial relevance. In both cases, a major challenge for generating a high quality metatranscriptome is the extreme lability of RNA and its susceptibility to ubiquitous RNAses. The microbial commu- nity (the microbiome) of the cow rumen efficiently degrades lignocelullosic biomass, generates significant amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas twenty times more potent than carbon dioxide, and is of general importance for the physio- logical wellbeing of the host animal. Metatranscriptomes of the rumen microbiome from animals kept under different conditions and from various types of rumen-incubated biomass can be expected to provide new insights into these highly interesting phenotypes and subsequently provide the framework for an enhanced understanding of this socio- economically important ecosystem. The ability to isolate large amounts of intact RNA will significantly facilitate accu- rate transcript annotation and expression profiling. Here we report a method that combines mechanical disruption with chemical homogenization of the sample material and consistently yields 1 mg of intact RNA from 1 g of rumen-in- cubated biofuel feedstock. The yield of total RNA obtained with our method exceeds the RNA yield achieved with pre- viously reported isolation techniques, which renders RNA isolated with the method presented here as an ideal starting material for metatranscriptomic analyses and other molecular biology applications that require significant amounts of starting material.

  5. Rational Protocols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cachin, Christian

    Security research continues to provide a plethora of new protocols and mechanisms; these solutions patch either existing vulnerabilities found in practical systems or solve hypothetical security problems in the sense that the problem is often conceived at the same time when the first solution is proposed. Yet only a very small fraction of this research is relevant to ordinary users in the sense that they are willing to actually deploy the technology.

  6. Gallic acid isolated from Spirogyra sp. improves cardiovascular disease through a vasorelaxant and antihypertensive effect.

    PubMed

    Kang, Nalae; Lee, Ji-Hyeok; Lee, WonWoo; Ko, Ju-Young; Kim, Eun-A; Kim, Jin-Soo; Heu, Min-Soo; Kim, Gwang Hoon; Jeon, You-Jin

    2015-03-01

    In this study, we investigated the vasorelaxant and antihypertensive effects of gallic acid (GA), a polyphenol isolated from the green alga Spirogyra sp., to assess its suitability as a therapeutic for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). We examined the effect of GA on endothelium-dependent vasorelaxation in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). GA increased nitric oxide (NO) levels by increasing phosphorylation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS), and its effect on NO production was attenuated by pretreatment with the eNOS inhibitor N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME). We also investigated its antihypertensive effect by examining GA-mediated inhibition of angiotensin-I converting enzyme (ACE). GA inhibited ACE with a half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) value of 37.38 ± 0.39 μg/ml. In silico simulations revealed that GA binds to the active site of ACE (PDB: 1O86) with a binding energy of -270.487 kcal/mol. Furthermore, GA clearly reduced blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) to an extent comparable to captopril. These results suggest that GA isolated from Spirogyra sp. exerts multiple therapeutic effects and has potential as a CVD treatment. PMID:25727171

  7. Improved Cultivation Systems for Isolation of the Colorado Potato Beetle Spiroplasma

    PubMed Central

    Konai, M.; Hackett, K. J.; Williamson, D. L.; Lipa, J. J.; Pollack, J. D.; Gasparich, G. E.; Clark, E. A.; Vacek, D. C.; Whitcomb, R. F.

    1996-01-01

    In North America, the Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata, is often infected with the host-specific, gut-inhabiting Colorado potato beetle spiroplasma (CPBS). CPBS is apparently a commensal, but it may be useful in biocontrol if it can be transformed to express an insect-lethal gene. Difficulty in cultivating the organism, however, has hindered the development of a suitable transformation system. In this study, we eliminated the need for coculturing CPBS with insect cells. CPBS was reliably isolated with the BBL Anaerobic GasPak Jar system (low redox, enhanced CO(inf2)), which was easier to use and less expensive than insect cell coculture methods. A further advantage is a reduction in contaminating insect cell components. Use of anaerobiosis should facilitate early-passage screening of isolates for extrachromosomal elements, for use in gene vector constructs. The unique spiral (decreasing amplitude of coils) morphology of CPBS was preserved by anaerobiosis. The use of low-pH (6.0 to 6.5) media allowed aerobic adaptation of CPBS to M1D and SP-4 broth media. These formulations permitted the first cultivation of CPBS on solid media, an accomplishment that will simplify the selection of molecular transformants. Potato beetles collected at four sites in Poland yielded CPBS strains similar to those previously obtained from populations in North America. PMID:16535407

  8. Improved protocol to purify untagged amelogenin – Application to murine amelogenin containing the equivalent P70→T point mutation observed in human amelogenesis imperfecta

    SciTech Connect

    Buchko, Garry W.; Shaw, Wendy J.

    2015-01-01

    Amelogenin is the predominant extracellular protein responsible for converting carbonated hydroxyapatite into dental enamel, the hardest and most heavily mineralized tissue in vertebrates. Despite much effort, the precise mechanism by which amelogenin regulates enamel formation is not fully understood. To assist efforts aimed at understanding the biochemical mechanism of enamel formation, more facile protocols to purify recombinantly expressed amelogenin, ideally without any tag to assist affinity purification, are advantageous. Here we describe an improved method to purify milligram quantities of amelogenin that exploits its high solubility in 2% glacial acetic acid under conditions of low ionic strength. The method involves heating the frozen cell pellet for two 15 min periods at ~70 ºC with two minutes of sonication in between, dialysis twice in 2% acetic acid (1:250 v/v), and reverse phase chromatography. A further improvement in yield is obtained by resuspending the frozen cell pellet in 6 M guanidine hydrochloride in the first step. The acetic acid heating method is illustrated with a murine amelogenin containing the corresponding P70→T point mutation observed in an human amelogenin associated with amelogenesis imperfecta (P71T), while the guanidine hydrochloride heating method is illustrated with wild type murine amelogenin (M180). The self-assembly properties of P71T were probed by NMR chemical shift perturbation studies as a function of protein (0.1 to 1.8 mM) and NaCl (0 to 367 mM) concentration. Relative to similar studies with wild type murine amelogenin, P71T self-associates at lower protein or salt concentrations with the interactions initiated near the N-terminus.

  9. Portrait of trauma care in Quebec's rural emergency departments and identification of priority intervention needs to improve the quality of care: a study protocol

    PubMed Central

    Fleet, Richard; Tounkara, Fatoumata Korika; Ouimet, Mathieu; Dupuis, Gilles; Poitras, Julien; Tanguay, Alain; Fortin, Jean Paul; Trottier, Jean-Guy; Ouellet, Jean; Lortie, Gilles; Plant, Jeff; Morris, Judy; Chauny, Jean Marc; Lauzier, François; Légaré, France

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Trauma remains the primary cause of death in individuals under 40 years of age in Canada. In Quebec, the Trauma Care Continuum (TCC) has been demonstrated to be effective in decreasing the mortality rate among trauma victims. Although rural citizens are at greater risk for trauma and trauma death, no empirical data concerning the effectiveness of the TCC for the rural population in Quebec are available. The emergency departments (EDs) are important safety nets for rural citizens. However, our data indicate that access to diagnostic support services, such as intensive care units and CT is limited in rural areas. The objectives are to (1) draw a portrait of trauma services in rural EDs; (2) explore geographical variations in trauma care in Quebec; (3) identify adaptable factors that could reduce variation; and (4) establish consensus solutions for improving the quality of care. Methods and analysis The study will take place from November 2015 to November 2018. A mixed methodology (qualitative and quantitative) will be used. We will include data (2009–2013) from all trauma victims treated in the 26 rural EDs and tertiary/secondary care centres in Quebec. To meet objectives 1 and 2, data will be gathered from the Ministry's Database of the Quebec Trauma Registry Information System. For objectives 3 and 4, the project will use the Delphi method to develop consensus solutions for improving the quality of trauma care in rural areas. Data will be analysed using a Poisson regression to compare mortality rate during hospital stay or death on ED arrival (objectives 1 and 2). Average scores and 95% CI will be calculated for the Delphi questionnaire (objectives 3 and 4). Ethics and dissemination This protocol has been approved by CSSS Alphonse-Desjardins research ethics committee (Project MP-HDL-2016-003). The results will be published in peer-reviewed journals. PMID:27098826

  10. Improved protocol to purify untagged amelogenin – Application to murine amelogenin containing the equivalent P70→T point mutation observed in human amelogenesis imperfecta

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Buchko, Garry W.; Shaw, Wendy J.

    2014-10-13

    Amelogenin is the predominant extracellular protein responsible for converting carbonated hydroxyapatite into dental enamel, the hardest and most heavily mineralized tissue in vertebrates. Despite much effort, the precise mechanism by which amelogenin regulates enamel formation is not fully understood. To assist efforts aimed at understanding the biochemical mechanism of enamel formation, more facile protocols to purify recombinantly expressed amelogenin, ideally without any tag to assist affinity purification, are advantageous. Here we describe an improved method to purify milligram quantities of amelogenin that exploits its high solubility in 2% glacial acetic acid under conditions of low ionic strength. The method involvesmore » heating the frozen cell pellet for two 15 min periods at ~70 ºC with two minutes of sonication in between, dialysis twice in 2% acetic acid (1:250 v/v), and reverse phase chromatography. A further improvement in yield is obtained by resuspending the frozen cell pellet in 6 M guanidine hydrochloride in the first step. The acetic acid heating method is illustrated with a murine amelogenin containing the corresponding P70→T point mutation observed in an human amelogenin associated with amelogenesis imperfecta (P71T), while the guanidine hydrochloride heating method is illustrated with wild type murine amelogenin (M180). The self-assembly properties of P71T were probed by NMR chemical shift perturbation studies as a function of protein (0.1 to 1.8 mM) and NaCl (0 to 367 mM) concentration. In conclusion, relative to similar studies with wild type murine amelogenin, P71T self-associates at lower protein or salt concentrations with the interactions initiated near the N-terminus.« less

  11. Improved protocol to purify untagged amelogenin – Application to murine amelogenin containing the equivalent P70→T point mutation observed in human amelogenesis imperfecta

    SciTech Connect

    Buchko, Garry W.; Shaw, Wendy J.

    2014-10-13

    Amelogenin is the predominant extracellular protein responsible for converting carbonated hydroxyapatite into dental enamel, the hardest and most heavily mineralized tissue in vertebrates. Despite much effort, the precise mechanism by which amelogenin regulates enamel formation is not fully understood. To assist efforts aimed at understanding the biochemical mechanism of enamel formation, more facile protocols to purify recombinantly expressed amelogenin, ideally without any tag to assist affinity purification, are advantageous. Here we describe an improved method to purify milligram quantities of amelogenin that exploits its high solubility in 2% glacial acetic acid under conditions of low ionic strength. The method involves heating the frozen cell pellet for two 15 min periods at ~70 ºC with two minutes of sonication in between, dialysis twice in 2% acetic acid (1:250 v/v), and reverse phase chromatography. A further improvement in yield is obtained by resuspending the frozen cell pellet in 6 M guanidine hydrochloride in the first step. The acetic acid heating method is illustrated with a murine amelogenin containing the corresponding P70→T point mutation observed in an human amelogenin associated with amelogenesis imperfecta (P71T), while the guanidine hydrochloride heating method is illustrated with wild type murine amelogenin (M180). The self-assembly properties of P71T were probed by NMR chemical shift perturbation studies as a function of protein (0.1 to 1.8 mM) and NaCl (0 to 367 mM) concentration. In conclusion, relative to similar studies with wild type murine amelogenin, P71T self-associates at lower protein or salt concentrations with the interactions initiated near the N-terminus.

  12. Improved protocol to purify untagged amelogenin - Application to murine amelogenin containing the equivalent P70→T point mutation observed in human amelogenesis imperfecta.

    PubMed

    Buchko, Garry W; Shaw, Wendy J

    2015-01-01

    Amelogenin is the predominant extracellular protein responsible for converting carbonated hydroxyapatite into dental enamel, the hardest and most heavily mineralized tissue in vertebrates. Despite much effort, the precise mechanism by which amelogenin regulates enamel formation is not fully understood. To assist efforts aimed at understanding the biochemical mechanism of enamel formation, more facile protocols to purify recombinantly expressed amelogenin, ideally without any tag to assist affinity purification, are advantageous. Here we describe an improved method to purify milligram quantities of amelogenin that exploits its high solubility in 2% glacial acetic acid under conditions of low ionic strength. The method involves heating the frozen cell pellet for two 15min periods at ∼70°C with 2min of sonication in between, dialysis twice in 2% acetic acid (1:250 v/v), and reverse phase chromatography. A further improvement in yield is obtained by resuspending the frozen cell pellet in 6M guanidine hydrochloride in the first step. The acetic acid heating method is illustrated with a murine amelogenin containing the corresponding P70→T point mutation observed in an human amelogenin associated with amelogenesis imperfecta (P71T), while the guanidine hydrochloride heating method is illustrated with wild type murine amelogenin (M180). The self-assembly properties of P71T were probed by NMR chemical shift perturbation studies as a function of protein (0.1-1.8mM) and NaCl (0-367mM) concentration. Relative to similar studies with wild type murine amelogenin, P71T self-associates at lower protein or salt concentrations with the interactions initiated near the N-terminus. PMID:25306873

  13. Very small embryonic-like stem-cell optimization of isolation protocols: an update of molecular signatures and a review of current in vivo applications

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Dong-Myung; Suszynska, Malwina; Mierzejewska, Kasia; Ratajczak, Janina; Ratajczak, Mariusz Z

    2013-01-01

    As the theory of stem cell plasticity was first proposed, we have explored an alternative hypothesis for this phenomenon: namely that adult bone marrow (BM) and umbilical cord blood (UCB) contain more developmentally primitive cells than hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). In support of this notion, using multiparameter sorting we were able to isolate small Sca1+Lin−CD45− cells and CD133+Lin−CD45− cells from murine BM and human UCB, respectively, which were further enriched for the detection of various early developmental markers such as the SSEA antigen on the surface and the Oct4 and Nanog transcription factors in the nucleus. Similar populations of cells have been found in various organs by our team and others, including the heart, brain and gonads. Owing to their primitive cellular features, such as the high nuclear/cytoplasm ratio and the presence of euchromatin, they are called very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs). In the appropriate in vivo models, VSELs differentiate into long-term repopulating HSCs, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), lung epithelial cells, cardiomyocytes and gametes. In this review, we discuss the most recent data from our laboratory and other groups regarding the optimal isolation procedures and describe the updated molecular characteristics of VSELs. PMID:24232255

  14. Novel enabling technologies of gene isolation and plant transformation for improved crop protection

    SciTech Connect

    Torok, Tamas

    2013-02-04

    Meeting the needs of agricultural producers requires the continued development of improved transgenic crop protection products. The completed project focused on developing novel enabling technologies of gene discovery and plant transformation to facilitate the generation of such products.

  15. Application of In Situ Fiberization for fabrication of improved strain isolation pads and graphite epoxy composites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosser, R. W.; Seibold, R. W.; Basiulis, D. I.

    1982-01-01

    The feasibility of applying the in situ fiberization process to the fabrication of strain isolation pads (SIP) for the Space Shuttle and to the fabrication of graphite-epoxy composites was evaluated. The ISF process involves the formation of interconnected polymer fiber networks by agitation of dilute polymer solutions under controlled conditions. High temperature polymers suitable for SIP use were fiberized and a successful fiberization of polychloro trifluoroethylene, a relatively high melting polymer, was achieved. Attempts to fiberize polymers with greater thermal stability were unsuccessful, apparently due to characteristics caused by the presence of aromaticity in the backbone of such materials. Graphite-epoxy composites were fabricated by interconnecting two dimensional arrays of graphite fiber with polypropylene IS fibers with subsequent epoxy resin impregnation. Mechanical property tests were performed on laminated panels of this material to evaluate intralaminar and interlaminar shear strength, and thus fracture toughness. Test results were generally unpromising.

  16. Dichloromethane dehalogenase with improved catalytic activity isolated from a fast-growing dichloromethane-utilizing bacterium

    SciTech Connect

    Scholtz, R.; Egli, C.; Cook, A.M.; Leisinger, T. ); Wackett, L.P. )

    1988-12-01

    A methylotrophic bacterium, denoted strain DM11, was isolated from groundwater and shown to utilize dichloromethane or dibromomethane as the sole carbon and energy source. The new isolate grew at the high rate of 0.22 h{sup {minus}1} compared with 11 previously characterized dichloromethane-utilizing bacteria ({mu}{sub max}, 0.08 h{sup {minus}1}). The dichloromethane dehalogenase from strain DM11 (group B enzyme) was purified by anion-exchange chromatography. It was shown to be substantially different from the set of dichloromethane dehalogenases from the 11 slow-growing strains (group A enzymes) that had previously been demonstrated to be identical. The V{sub max} for the group B enzyme was 97 mkat/kg of protein, some 5.6-fold higher than that of the group A enzymes. The group A dehalogenases showed hyperbolic saturation with the cosubstrate glutathione, whereas the group B enzyme showed positive cooperativity in glutathione binding. Only 1 of 15 amino acids occupied common positions at the N termini, and amino acid contents were substantially different in group A and group B dehalogenases. Immunological assays demonstrated weak cross-reactivity between the two enzymes. Despite the observed structural and kinetic differences, there is potentially evolutionary relatedness between group A and group B enzymes, as indicated by (i) hybridization of DM11 DNA with a gene probe of the group A enzyme, (ii) a common requirement for glutathione in catalysis, and (iii) similar subunit molecular weights of about 34,000.

  17. Trichuris suis ova in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and clinically isolated syndrome (TRIOMS): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Trichuris suis ova is a probiotic treatment based on the hygiene hypothesis. It has been demonstrated as safe and effective in autoimmune inflammatory bowel diseases and clinical trials indicate that helminth infections also have an immunomodulatory effect in multiple sclerosis. We hypothesize that administering 2,500 Trichuris suis ova eggs orally every two weeks for 12 months is - due to its immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effect - significantly more effective than oral placebo in preventing new T2 and Gd+ lesions, as quantified by cerebral MRI and clinical examination, in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and clinically isolated syndrome. Methods/Design Fifty patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis or clinically isolated syndrome with clinical activity, not undergoing any standard therapies, will be randomized 1:1 to Trichuris suis ova 2,500 eggs every two weeks or matching placebo. The safety, tolerability and effect on disease activity and in vivo mechanisms of action of Trichuris suis ova in MS will be assessed by neurological, laboratory and immunological exams and magnetic resonance imaging throughout the 12-month treatment period and over a follow-up period of 6 months. Various immunological analyses will be used to assess the overall patient immune response prior to and at varying time points following treatment with Trichuris suis ova. Discussion We anticipate that Trichuris suis ova will be well tolerated and more effective than the placebo in preventing new T2 and Gd+ lesions, as quantified by MRI. We also expect the Th1/Th17 proinflammatory response to shift towards the more anti-inflammatory Th2 response. This study has important clinical implications and will involve extensive research on the immunology of helminth therapy. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01413243 PMID:23782752

  18. Can primary care team-based transition to insulin improve outcomes in adults with type 2 diabetes: the stepping up to insulin cluster randomized controlled trial protocol

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Type 2 diabetes (T2D) brings significant human and healthcare costs. Its progressive nature means achieving normoglycaemia is increasingly difficult, yet critical to avoiding long term vascular complications. Nearly one-half of people with T2D have glycaemic levels out of target. Insulin is effective in achieving glycaemic targets, yet initiation of insulin is often delayed, particularly in primary care. Given limited access to specialist resources and the size of the diabetes epidemic, primary care is where insulin initiation must become part of routine practice. This would also support integrated holistic care for people with diabetes. Our Stepping Up Program is based on a general practitioner (GP) and practice nurse (PN) model of care supported appropriately by endocrinologists and credentialed diabetes educator-registered nurses. Pilot work suggests the model facilitates integration of the technical work of insulin initiation within ongoing generalist care. Methods This protocol is for a cluster randomized controlled trial to examine the effectiveness of the Stepping Up Program to enhance the role of the GP-PN team in initiating insulin and improving glycaemic outcomes for people with T2D. 224 patients between the ages of 18 and 80 years with T2D, on two or more oral hypoglycaemic agents and with an HbA1c ≥7.5% in the last six months will be recruited from 74 general practices. The unit of randomization is the practice. Primary outcome is change in glycated haemoglobin HbA1c (measured as a continuous variable). We hypothesize that the intervention arm will achieve an absolute HbA1c mean difference of 0.5% lower than control group at 12 months follow up. Secondary outcomes include the number of participants who successfully transfer to insulin and the proportion who achieve HbA1c measurement of <7.0%. We will also collect data on patient psychosocial outcomes and healthcare utilization and costs. Discussion The study is a pragmatic translational

  19. Improved dose calculation accuracy for low energy brachytherapy by optimizing dual energy CT imaging protocols for noise reduction using sinogram affirmed iterative reconstruction.

    PubMed

    Landry, Guillaume; Gaudreault, Mathieu; van Elmpt, Wouter; Wildberger, Joachim E; Verhaegen, Frank

    2016-03-01

    The goal of this study was to evaluate the noise reduction achievable from dual energy computed tomography (CT) imaging (DECT) using filtered backprojection (FBP) and iterative image reconstruction algorithms combined with increased imaging exposure. We evaluated the data in the context of imaging for brachytherapy dose calculation, where accurate quantification of electron density ρe and effective atomic number Zeff is beneficial. A dual source CT scanner was used to scan a phantom containing tissue mimicking inserts. DECT scans were acquired at 80 kVp/140Sn kVp (where Sn stands for tin filtration) and 100 kVp/140Sn kVp, using the same values of the CT dose index CTDIvol for both settings as a measure for the radiation imaging exposure. Four CTDIvol levels were investigated. Images were reconstructed using FBP and sinogram affirmed iterative reconstruction (SAFIRE) with strength 1,3 and 5. From DECT scans two material quantities were derived, Zeff and ρe. DECT images were used to assign material types and the amount of improperly assigned voxels was quantified for each protocol. The dosimetric impact of improperly assigned voxels was evaluated with Geant4 Monte Carlo (MC) dose calculations for an (125)I source in numerical phantoms. Standard deviations for Zeff and ρe were reduced up to a factor ∼2 when using SAFIRE with strength 5 compared to FBP. Standard deviations on Zeff and ρe as low as 0.15 and 0.006 were achieved for the muscle insert representing typical soft tissue using a CTDIvol of 40 mGy and 3mm slice thickness. Dose calculation accuracy was generally improved when using SAFIRE. Mean (maximum absolute) dose errors of up to 1.3% (21%) with FBP were reduced to less than 1% (6%) with SAFIRE at a CTDIvol of 10 mGy. Using a CTDIvol of 40mGy and SAFIRE yielded mean dose calculation errors of the order of 0.6% which was the MC dose calculation precision in this study and no error was larger than ±2.5% as opposed to errors of up to -4% with FPB. This

  20. Feasibility of the Enhancing Participation In the Community by improving Wheelchair Skills (EPIC Wheels) program: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Many older adults rely on a manual wheelchair for mobility but typically receive little, if any, training on how to use their wheelchair effectively and independently. Standardized skill training is an effective intervention, but limited access to clinician trainers is a substantive barrier. Enhancing Participation in the Community by Improving Wheelchair Skills (EPIC Wheels) is a 1-month monitored home training program for improving mobility skills in older novice manual wheelchair users, integrating principles from andragogy and social cognitive theory. The purpose of this study is to determine whether feasibility indicators and primary clinical outcome measures of the EPIC Wheels program are sufficiently robust to justify conducting a subsequent multi-site randomized controlled trial. Methods A 2 × 2 factorial randomized controlled trial at two sites will compare improvement in wheelchair mobility skills between an EPIC Wheels treatment group and a computer-game control group, with additional wheelchair use introduced as a second factor. A total of 40 community-dwelling manual wheelchair users at least 55 years old and living in two Canadian metropolitan cities (n = 20 × 2) will be recruited. Feasibility indicators related to study process, resources, management, and treatment issues will be collected during data collection and at the end of the study period, and evaluated against proposed criteria. Clinical outcome measures will be collected at baseline (pre-randomization) and post-intervention. The primary clinical outcome measure is wheelchair skill capacity, as determined by the Wheelchair Skills Test, version 4.1. Secondary clinical outcome measures include wheelchair skill safety, satisfaction with performance, wheelchair confidence, life-space mobility, divided-attention, and health-related quality of life. Discussion The EPIC Wheels training program offers several innovative features. The convenient, portable, economical, and adaptable

  1. Effectiveness of Motivational Interviewing in improving lipid level in patients with dyslipidemia assisted by general practitioners: Dislip-EM study protocol

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The non-pharmacological approach to cholesterol control in patients with hyperlipidemia is based on the promotion of a healthy diet and physical activity. Thus, to help patients change their habits, it is essential to identify the most effective approach. Many efforts have been devoted to explain changes in or adherence to specific health behaviors. Such efforts have resulted in the development of theories that have been applied in prevention campaigns, and that include brief advice and counseling services. Within this context, Motivational Interviewing has proven to be effective in changing health behaviors in specific cases. However, more robust evidence is needed on the effectiveness of Motivational Interviewing in treating chronic pathologies -such as dyslipidemia- in patients assisted by general practitioners. This article describes a protocol to assess the effectiveness of MI as compared with general practice (brief advice), with the aim of improving lipid level control in patients with dyslipidemia assisted by a general practitioner. Methods/Design An open, two-arm parallel, multicentre, cluster, controlled, randomized, clinical trial will be performed. A total of 48-50 general practitioners from 35 public primary care centers in Spain will be randomized and will recruit 436 patients with dyslipidemia. They will perform an intervention based either on Motivational Interviewing or on the usual brief advice. After an initial assessment, follow-ups will be performed at 2, 4, 8 and 12 months. Primary outcomes are lipid levels (total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides) and cardiovascular risk. The study will assess the degree of dietary and physical activity improvement, weight loss in overweight patients, and adherence to treatment guidelines. Discussion Motivational interview skills constitute the primary strategies GPs use to treat their patients. Having economical, simple, effective and applicable techniques is essential

  2. A study protocol of a randomised controlled trial to investigate if a community based strength training programme improves work task performance in young adults with Down syndrome

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Muscle strength is important for young people with Down syndrome as they make the transition to adulthood, because their workplace activities typically emphasise physical rather than cognitive skills. Muscle strength is reduced up to 50% in people with Down syndrome compared to their peers without disability. Progressive resistance training improves muscle strength and endurance in people with Down syndrome. However, there is no evidence on whether it has an effect on work task performance or physical activity levels. The aim of this study is to investigate if a student-led community-based progressive resistance training programme can improve these outcomes in adolescents and young adults with Down syndrome. Methods A randomised controlled trial will compare progressive resistance training with a control group undertaking a social programme. Seventy adolescents and young adults with Down syndrome aged 14-22 years and mild to moderate intellectual disability will be randomly allocated to the intervention or control group using a concealed method. The intervention group will complete a 10-week, twice a week, student-led progressive resistance training programme at a local community gymnasium. The student mentors will be undergraduate physiotherapy students. The control group will complete an arts/social programme with a student mentor once a week for 90 minutes also for 10 weeks to control for the social aspect of the intervention. Work task performance (box stacking, pail carry), muscle strength (1 repetition maximum for chest and leg press) and physical activity (frequency, duration, intensity over 7-days) will be assessed at baseline (Week 0), following the intervention (Week 11), and at 3 months post intervention (Week 24) by an assessor blind to group allocation. Data will be analysed using ANCOVA with baseline measures as covariates. Discussion This paper outlines the study protocol for a randomised controlled trial on the effects of progressive

  3. Analyzing the effect of routing protocols on media access control protocols in radio networks

    SciTech Connect

    Barrett, C. L.; Drozda, M.; Marathe, A.; Marathe, M. V.

    2002-01-01

    We study the effect of routing protocols on the performance of media access control (MAC) protocols in wireless radio networks. Three well known MAC protocols: 802.11, CSMA, and MACA are considered. Similarly three recently proposed routing protocols: AODV, DSR and LAR scheme 1 are considered. The experimental analysis was carried out using GloMoSim: a tool for simulating wireless networks. The main focus of our experiments was to study how the routing protocols affect the performance of the MAC protocols when the underlying network and traffic parameters are varied. The performance of the protocols was measured w.r.t. five important parameters: (i) number of received packets, (ii) average latency of each packet, (iii) throughput (iv) long term fairness and (v) number of control packets at the MAC layer level. Our results show that combinations of routing and MAC protocols yield varying performance under varying network topology and traffic situations. The result has an important implication; no combination of routing protocol and MAC protocol is the best over all situations. Also, the performance analysis of protocols at a given level in the protocol stack needs to be studied not locally in isolation but as a part of the complete protocol stack. A novel aspect of our work is the use of statistical technique, ANOVA (Analysis of Variance) to characterize the effect of routing protocols on MAC protocols. This technique is of independent interest and can be utilized in several other simulation and empirical studies.

  4. Improved pancreatic islet isolation outcome in autologous transplantation for chronic pancreatitis.

    PubMed

    Naziruddin, Bashoo; Matsumoto, Shinichi; Noguchi, Hirofumi; Takita, Morihito; Shimoda, Masayuki; Fujita, Yasutaka; Chujo, Daisuke; Tate, Chad; Onaca, Nicholas; Lamont, Jeffrey; Kobayashi, Naoya; Levy, Marlon F

    2012-01-01

    Total or partial pancreatectomy followed by autologous islet transplantation is a therapeutic option for the treatment of refractory chronic pancreatitis (CP). Maximization of islet yields from fibrotic and inflamed organs is crucial for prevention of posttransplant diabetes. We adapted technical advancements developed for islet allotransplantation toward islet autotransplantation. Eight patients (two men, six women; ages 24-58 years) underwent total (n = 7) or partial (n = 1) pancreatectomy for the treatment of CP refractory to maximal medical management. Pancreata were preserved in UW solution (UW group) in initial three cases and the last five pancreata were preserved with pancreatic ductal injection followed by ET-Kyoto/oxygenated PFC solutions (DI+TLM group). Islets were isolated by modified Ricordi method and were purified only in one case. All islet infusions were performed under general anesthesia via direct vein injection into the portal venous system with pressure monitoring. Total islet yields (129,314 ± 51,627 vs. 572,841 ± 116,934 IEQ, p < 0.04), islet yield/pancreas weight (1,233 ± 359 vs. 6,848 ± 847 IEQ/g, p < 0.003), and islet yield/patient body weight (1,951 ± 762 vs. 7,305 ± 1,531 IEQ/kg, p < 0.05) were significantly higher in the DI+TLM group when compared to the UW group. Pellet size was also higher (5.3 ± 0.3 vs. 13.5 ± 3.4 ml) in the DI+TLM group, suggesting that this method of preservation effectively protected pancreatic tissue against autolysis. First month posttransplant basal C-peptide and the secretory unit of islet transplant objects (SUITO) index were also higher in the DI+TLM group when compared to the UW group (2.0 ± 0.3 vs. 1.4 ± 0.4 ng/ml and 42.6 ± 12.7 vs. 14.6 ± 5.6, respectively). There were no technical complications related to the infusion. Our results suggest that higher islet yields can be achieved even from chronically inflamed and fibrotic organs using DI+TLM. The techniques applied for islet isolations from

  5. Study protocol: an early intervention program to improve motor outcome in preterm infants: a randomized controlled trial and a qualitative study of physiotherapy performance and parental experiences

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Background Knowledge about early physiotherapy to preterm infants is sparse, given the risk of delayed motor development and cerebral palsy. Methods/Design A pragmatic randomized controlled study has been designed to assess the effect of a preventative physiotherapy program carried out in the neonatal intensive care unit. Moreover, a qualitative study is carried out to assess the physiotherapy performance and parents' experiences with the intervention. The aim of the physiotherapy program is to improve motor development i.e. postural control and selective movements in these infants. 150 infants will be included and randomized to either intervention or standard follow-up. The infants in the intervention group will be given specific stimulation to facilitate movements based on the individual infant's development, behavior and needs. The physiotherapist teaches the parents how to do the intervention and the parents receive a booklet with photos and descriptions of the intervention. Intervention is carried out twice a day for three weeks (week 34, 35, 36 postmenstrual age). Standardized tests are carried out at baseline, term age and at three, six, 12 and 24 months corrected age. In addition eight triads (infant, parent and physiotherapist) are observed and videotaped in four clinical encounters each to assess the process of physiotherapy performance. The parents are also interviewed on their experiences with the intervention and how it influences on the parent-child relationship. Eight parents from the follow up group are interviewed about their experience. The interviews are performed according to the same schedule as the standardized measurements. Primary outcome is at two years corrected age. Discussion The paper presents the protocol for a randomized controlled trial designed to study the effect of physiotherapy to preterm infants at neonatal intensive care units. It also studies physiotherapy performance and the parent's experiences with the intervention

  6. A new improved protocol for in vitro intratubular dentinal bacterial contamination for antimicrobial endodontic tests: standardization and validation by confocal laser scanning microscopy

    PubMed Central

    de ANDRADE, Flaviana Bombarda; ARIAS, Marcela Paola Castro; MALIZA, Amanda Garcia Alves; DUARTE, Marco Antonio Hungaro; GRAEFF, Márcia Sirlene Zardin; AMOROSO-SILVA, Pablo Andrés; MIDENA, Raquel Zanin; de MORAES, Ivaldo Gomes

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To compare three methods of intratubular contamination that simulate endodontic infections using confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM). Material and Methods Two pre-existing models of dentinal contamination were used to induce intratubular infection (groups A and B). These methods were modified in an attempt to improve the model (group C). Among the modifications it may be included: specimen contamination for five days, ultrasonic bath with BHI broth after specimen sterilization, use of E. faecalis during the exponential growth phase, greater concentration of inoculum, and two cycles of centrifugation on alternate days with changes of culture media. All specimens were longitudinally sectioned and stained with of LIVE/DEAD® for 20 min. Specimens were assessed using CLSM, which provided images of the depth of viable bacterial proliferation inside the dentinal tubules. Additionally, three examiners used scores to classify the CLSM images according to the following parameters: homogeneity, density, and depth of the bacterial contamination inside the dentinal tubules. Kruskal-Wallis and Dunn’s tests were used to evaluate the live and dead cells rates, and the scores obtained. Results The contamination scores revealed higher contamination levels in group C when compared with groups A and B (p<0.05). No differences were observed between group A and B (p>0.05). The volume of live cells in group C was higher than in groups A and B (p<0.05). Conclusion The new protocol for intratubular infection resulted in high and uniform patterns of bacterial contamination and higher cell viability in all specimens when compared with the current methods. PMID:26200524

  7. Improved methods for isolating DNA from Ostertagia ostertagi eggs in cattle feces.

    PubMed

    Harmon, Aaron F; Zarlenga, Dante S; Hildreth, Michael B

    2006-02-18

    A multiplex PCR assay for differentiating strongyle eggs from cattle has recently been described; however, the egg disruption and DNA extraction procedures, though effective, are inadequate for large studies or clinical application. The purpose of this research was to evaluate methods for disrupting trichostrongyle eggs, then assess commercial kits for extracting egg DNA using Ostertagia ostertagi as a model species. Egg disruption procedures tested included probe sonication, bath sonication, bead beating, boiling, microwaving, proteinase K/SDS digestion, freezing, and various combinations of the above with the incorporation of sodium dodecyl sulfate. These procedures were evaluated in conjunction with four commercial DNA extraction kits: DNA Stool mini kit and DNeasy Plant kit (Qiagen), Fast DNA kit (QBiogene), and the MAP extraction kit (Tetracore). Results showed that egg disruption was best accomplished with the bead beater and ceramic beads, resulting in 100% disruption within 1min. When DNA extraction was preceded by the isolation of eggs from feces, all procedures except the Fast DNA kit produced PCR-ready DNA from at least two eggs. The DNeasy Plant kit allowed consistent detection of DNA released from one egg. Due to the morphological similarities among trichostrongyle eggs in ruminants, strongyle eggs in equids, and hookworm eggs, the methods described herein may have broad application to other nematodes. PMID:16303253

  8. Improving mental health of adolescents with Type 1 diabetes: protocol for a randomized controlled trial of the Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained online adolescent and parenting support intervention

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Management of Type 1 diabetes comes with substantial personal and psychological demands particularly during adolescence, placing young people at significant risk for mental health problems. Supportive parenting can mitigate these risks, however the challenges associated with parenting a child with a chronic illness can interfere with a parent’s capacity to parent effectively. Interventions that provide support for both the adolescent and their parents are needed to prevent mental health problems in adolescents; to support positive parent-adolescent relationships; and to empower young people to better self-manage their illness. This paper presents the research protocol for a study evaluating the efficacy of the Nothing Ventured Nothing Gained online adolescent and parenting intervention which aims to improve the mental health outcomes of adolescents with Type 1 diabetes. Method/Design A randomized controlled trial using repeated measures with two arms (intervention and wait-list control) will be used to evaluate the efficacy and acceptability of the online intervention. Approximately 120 adolescents with Type 1 diabetes, aged 13–18 years and one of their parents/guardians will be recruited from pediatric diabetes clinics across Victoria, Australia. Participants will be randomized to receive the intervention immediately or to wait 6 months before accessing the intervention. Adolescent, parent and family outcomes will be assessed via self-report questionnaires at three time points (baseline, 6 weeks and 6 months). The primary outcome is improved adolescent mental health (depression and anxiety). Secondary outcomes include adolescent behavioral (diabetes self-management and risk taking behavior), psychosocial (diabetes relevant quality of life, parent reported child well-being, self-efficacy, resilience, and perceived illness benefits and burdens); metabolic (HbA1c) outcomes; parent psychosocial outcomes (negative affect and fatigue, self

  9. Characterizing the Interaction Between Routing and MAC Protocols in Ad-Hoc Networks

    SciTech Connect

    Barrett, C. L.; Drozda, M.; Marathe, A.; Marathe, M. V.

    2002-01-01

    We empirically study the effect of mobility on the performance of protocols designed for wireless ad-hoc networks. An important objective is to study the interaction of the Routing and MAC layer protocols under different mobility parameters. We use three basic mobility models: grid mobility model, random waypoint model, and exponential correlated random model. The performance of protocols is measured in terms of (i) latency, (ii) throughput, (iii) number of packets received, (iv) long term fairness and (v) number of control packets at the MAC and routing layer level. Three different commonly studied routing protocols are used: AODV, DSR and LAR1. Similarly three well known MAC protocols are used: MACA, 802.1 1 and CSMA. Our main contribution is simulation based experiments coupled with rigorous statistical analysis to characterize the interaction of MAC layer protocols with routing layer protocols in ad-hoc networks. From the results, we can conclude the following: e No single MAC or Routing protocol dominated the other protocols in their class. Probably more interestingly, no MAURouting protocol combination was better than other combinations over all scenarios and response variables. 0 In general, it is not meaningful to speak about a MAC or a routing protocol in isolation. Presence of interaction leads to trade-offs between the amount of control packets generated by each layer. The results raise the possibility of improving the performance of a particular MAC layer protocol by using a cleverly designed routing protocol or vice-versa. Thus in order to improve the performanceof a communication network, it is important to study the entire protocol stack as a single algorithmic construct; optimizing individual layers in the seven layer OS1 stack will not yield performance improvements beyond a point. A methodological contribution of this paper is the use of statistical methods such as analysis of variance (ANOVA), to characterize the interaction between the protocols

  10. An environmental disinfection odyssey: evaluation of sequential interventions to improve disinfection of Clostridium difficile isolation rooms.

    PubMed

    Sitzlar, Brett; Deshpande, Abhishek; Fertelli, Dennis; Kundrapu, Sirisha; Sethi, Ajay K; Donskey, Curtis J

    2013-05-01

    OBJECTIVE. Effective disinfection of hospital rooms after discharge of patients with Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is necessary to prevent transmission. We evaluated the impact of sequential cleaning and disinfection interventions by culturing high-touch surfaces in CDI rooms after cleaning. DESIGN. Prospective intervention. SETTING. A Veterans Affairs hospital. INTERVENTIONS. During a 21-month period, 3 sequential tiered interventions were implemented: (1) fluorescent markers to provide monitoring and feedback on thoroughness of cleaning facility-wide, (2) addition of an automated ultraviolet radiation device for adjunctive disinfection of CDI rooms, and (3) enhanced standard disinfection of CDI rooms, including a dedicated daily disinfection team and implementation of a process requiring supervisory assessment and clearance of terminally cleaned CDI rooms. To determine the impact of the interventions, cultures were obtained from CDI rooms after cleaning and disinfection. RESULTS. The fluorescent marker intervention improved the thoroughness of cleaning of high-touch surfaces (from 47% to 81% marker removal; P < .0001). Relative to the baseline period, the prevalence of positive cultures from CDI rooms was reduced by 14% (P=.024), 48% (P <.001), and 89% (P=.006) with interventions 1, 2, and 3, respectively. During the baseline period, 67% of CDI rooms had positive cultures after disinfection, whereas during interventions periods 1, 2, and 3 the percentages of CDI rooms with positive cultures after disinfection were reduced to 57%, 35%, and 7%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS. An intervention that included formation of a dedicated daily disinfection team and implementation of a standardized process for clearing CDI rooms achieved consistent CDI room disinfection. Culturing of CDI rooms provides a valuable tool to drive improvements in environmental disinfection. PMID:23571361

  11. Improvement in The Function of Isolated Rat Pancreatic Islets through Reduction of Oxidative Stress Using Traditional Iranian Medicine

    PubMed Central

    Mahroui, Neda; Mirzaei, Sanaz; Siahpoosh, Zahra; D.4, Pharm.; Nili-Ahmadabadi, Amir; Mohammadirad, Azadeh; Baeeri, Maryam; Hajiaghaie, Reza; Abdollahi, Mohammad

    2014-01-01

    Objective Pancreatic islets have fewer antioxidant enzymes than other tissues and thus are vulnerable to oxidative stress. In the present study, the effects of nine specifically selected Iranian medical plants on the mitochondria function and survival of isolated rat islets were examined. Materials and Methods In this experimental study, following laparotomy, pancreases of rats were removed and the islets isolated and incubated in vitro for 24 hours. Logarithmic doses of plant materials were added to the islets and incubated for an additional 24 hours after which the viability of the cells and production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were measured. Levels of insulin production in relation to static and stimulated glucose concen- trations were also determined. Results The tested compounds markedly increased survival of the islet cells, their mi- tochondrial activity, and insulin levels at the same time as reducing production of ROS. Greatest effects were observed in the following order: Peganum harmala, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Satureja hortensis, Rosmarinus officinalis, Teucrium scordium, Aloe vera, Zingiber officinale, Silybum marianum, and Hypericum perforatum at doses of 10, 103, 104, 10, 102, 102, 10-1, 10 and 103μgmL-1, respectively. Conclusion Based on these results, we suggest that pretreatment with these select- ed Iranian medical plants can improve the outcomes of pancreas transplants and grafts through the control of oxidative stress damage. PMID:24567945

  12. Choosing GnRH Antagonist Protocol Shows Improved Oocyte and Embryo Quality, Coherent with the Perifollicular Vascularity (PFV) in Assisted Reproductive Techniques

    PubMed Central

    Ramachandran, Amar; Kumar, Pratap

    2015-01-01

    Introduction The parent oocyte from which the embryo is derived, determines its quality and the perifollicular vascularity (PFV) determines the micro-environment of the developing ovum. The PFV correlates well with the follicular oxygenation, oocyte maturation and embryo viability. PFV is imaged with Power Doppler Ultrasound. Aim To study and compare the association of the PFV of follicles with the quality of the oocytes and embryos in agonist and antagonist protocol, employed in Assisted Reproductive techniques (ART). Study Design A prospective observational study was conducted on 75 patients, who were recruited for ART cycles, out of which 25 were given the Agonist protocol and the remaining 50 received the Antagonist protocol. Materials and Methods The patients underwent the stimulation protocol. The PFV of preovulatory follicles were studied with Transvaginal Power Doppler and graded. Each oocyte retrieved carried the same label of its parent follicle. Embryos were cultured. The embryologist was blinded. The oocyte and embryo quality were assessed and compared with the PFV of parent follicle. Results Follicles with grade 1 and 2 PFV were predominantly observed. The yield of oocytes was independent of PFV. The mean yield of good quality embryos in conjunction with the PFV of the parent follicle was found to be highly significant in both the groups. The antagonist group had statistically significant yield of mature oocytes and embryos, compared to the agonist group. Conclusion Antagonist protocol had favourable outcomes compared with the agonist protocol. The retrieval of oocytes, even the mature ones and the yield of high grade embryos were found higher. As the PFV increased, the yield and overall pregnancy rates were higher. PFV as assessed by Power Doppler is a useful non-invasive biomarker of embryo quality and can be employed in conjunction with other biomarkers in ART to predict successful outcome. PMID:26674932

  13. Ultra-High Pressure Homogenization improves oxidative stability and interfacial properties of soy protein isolate-stabilized emulsions.

    PubMed

    Fernandez-Avila, C; Trujillo, A J

    2016-10-15

    Ultra-High Pressure Homogenization (100-300MPa) has great potential for technological, microbiological and nutritional aspects of fluid processing. Its effect on the oxidative stability and interfacial properties of oil-in-water emulsions prepared with 4% (w/v) of soy protein isolate and soybean oil (10 and 20%, v/v) were studied and compared to emulsions treated by conventional homogenization (15MPa). Emulsions were characterized by particle size, emulsifying activity index, surface protein concentration at the interface and by transmission electron microscopy. Primary and secondary lipid oxidation products were evaluated in emulsions upon storage. Emulsions with 20% oil treated at 100 and 200MPa exhibited the most oxidative stability due to higher amount of oil and protein surface load at the interface. This manuscript addresses the improvement in oxidative stability in emulsions treated by UHPH when compared to conventional emulsions. PMID:27173541

  14. Publishing protocols for partnered research.

    PubMed

    Hysong, Sylvia J; Woodard, LeChauncy; Garvin, Jennifer H; Murawsky, Jeffrey; Petersen, Laura A

    2014-12-01

    Published scientific protocols are advocated as a means of controlling bias in research reporting. Indeed, many journals require a study protocol with manuscript submission. However, publishing protocols of partnered research (PPR) can be challenging in light of the research model's dynamic nature, especially as no current reporting standards exist. Nevertheless, as these protocols become more prevalent, a priori documentation of methods in partnered research studies becomes increasingly important. Using as illustration a suite of studies aimed at improving coordination and communication in the primary care setting, we sought to identify challenges in publishing PPR relative to traditional designs, present alternative solutions to PPR publication, and propose an initial checklist of content to be included in protocols of partnered research. Challenges to publishing PPR include reporting details of research components intended to be co-created with operational partners, changes to sampling and entry strategy, and alignment of scientific and operational goals. Proposed solutions include emulating reporting standards of qualitative research, participatory action research, and adaptive trial designs, as well as embracing technological tools that facilitate publishing adaptive protocols, with version histories that are able to be updated as major protocol changes occur. Finally, we present a proposed checklist of reporting elements for partnered research protocols. PMID:25355092

  15. A genotype-specific, randomized controlled behavioral intervention to improve the neuroemotional outcome of cardiac surgery: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Cardiac surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgical procedures worldwide with >700,000 surgeries in 2006 in the US alone. Cardiac surgery results in a considerable exposure to physical and emotional stress; stress-related disorders such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder are the most common adverse outcomes of cardiac surgery, seen in up to 20% of patients. Using information from a genome-wide association study to characterize genetic effects on emotional memory, we recently identified a single nucleotide polymorphism of the glucocorticoid receptor gene (the Bcll single nucleotide polymorphism) as a significant genetic risk factor for traumatic memories from cardiac surgery and symptoms of post-traumaticstress disorder. The Bcll high-risk genotype (Bcll GG) has a prevalence of 16.6% in patients undergoing cardiac surgery and is associated with increased glucocorticoid receptor signaling under stress. Concomitant animal experiments have confirmed an essential role of glucocorticoid receptor activation for traumatic memory formation during stressful experiences. Early cognitive behavioral intervention has been shown to prevent stress-related disorders after heart surgery. Methods/Design The proposed study protocol is based on the above mentioned earlier findings from animal experiments and preclinical studies in volunteers. Patients (n = 872) will be genotyped for the Bcll single nucleotide polymorphism before surgery, which should result in 120 homozygous high-risk carriers of the Bcll GG allele and 240 randomly selected low-risk heterozygous or non-carriers of the single nucleotide polymorphism. All patients will then undergo randomization to either cognitive behavioral intervention or a control intervention consisting of non-specific general information about the role of stress in heart disease. The primary efficacy endpoint will be post-traumatic stress levels at one year after surgery as determined by a standardized

  16. Does Interpersonal Psychotherapy improve clinical care for adolescents with depression attending a rural child and adolescent mental health service? Study protocol for a cluster randomised feasibility trial

    PubMed Central

    Bearsley-Smith, Cate; Browne, Mark Oakley; Sellick, Ken; Villanueva, Elmer V; Chesters, Janice; Francis, Karen; Reddy, Prasuna

    2007-01-01

    Background Depression amongst adolescents is a costly societal problem. Little research documents the effectiveness of public mental health services in mapping this problem. Further, it is not clear whether usual care in such services can be improved via clinician training in a relevant evidence based intervention. One such intervention, found to be effective and easily learned amongst novice clinicians, is Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT). The study described in the current paper has two main objectives. First, it aims to investigate the impact on clinical care of implementing Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Adolescents for the treatment of adolescent depression within a rural mental health service compared with Treatment as Usual (TAU). The second objective is to record the process and challenges (i.e. feasibility, acceptability, sustainability) associated with implementing and evaluating an evidence-based intervention within a community service. This paper outlines the study rationale and design for this community based research trial. Methods/design The study involves a cluster randomisation trial to be conducted within a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in rural Australia. All clinicians in the service will be invited to participate. Participating clinicians will be randomised via block design at each of four sites to (a) training and delivery of IPT, or (b) TAU. The primary measure of impact on care will be a clinically significant change in depressive symptomatology, with secondary outcomes involving treatment satisfaction and changes in other symptomatology. Participating adolescents with significant depressive symptomatology, aged 12 to 18 years, will complete assessment measures at Weeks 0, 12 and 24 of treatment. They will also complete a depression inventory once a month during that period. This study aims to recruit 60 adolescent participants and their parent/guardian/s. A power analysis is not indicated as an intra-class correlation

  17. Study protocol of a randomized controlled trial to improve cancer prevention behaviors in adolescents and adults using a web-based intervention supplemented with SMS

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The overall number of cancer cases is increasing and, therefore, strengthening cancer prevention has become a priority. The institutions responsible for its control establish guidelines for primary prevention. These include recommendations, such as: not smoking, following a healthy diet, doing daily physical exercise or avoiding overweight. Adolescence is a period of adoption and/or consolidation of health behaviors, and both school- and family-based interventions have proven effective to improve them. Furthermore, online and mobile phone educational interventions are encouraging. Consequently, the main aim of this study is to assess the efficacy of an intervention in which these requirements (school, family, the Internet and SMS) are combined to prevent behavioral cancer risk. Methods This protocol describes the design and implementation of a complex online program that includes a randomized controlled trial put into practice in two countries: Spain and Mexico. Adolescents and adults of their environment (relatives and teachers) who voluntarily participate will be randomly assigned to the experimental group or to the control group once they have completed the online pre-test. The experimental group members will have free access to a tailor-made and interactive website (http://www.alertagrumete.com). During the academic year, this website will be periodically updated with different school and leisure activities related to the avoidance of risk behaviors. To encourage participation, the program includes a competition that gives rewards to the winners. SMS are also sent to students to stimulate the adoption of healthy behaviors and as a reminder of participation. Finished the intervention, an online post-test is performed in both groups and the impact on the risk behaviors is therefore assessed. Discussion The program is pioneer, since it combines many components which have already proven effective in previous researches. Moreover, it aims to compare

  18. Randomised controlled trial of an automated, interactive telephone intervention to improve type 2 diabetes self-management (Telephone-Linked Care Diabetes Project): study protocol

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background An estimated 285 million people worldwide have diabetes and its prevalence is predicted to increase to 439 million by 2030. For the year 2010, it is estimated that 3.96 million excess deaths in the age group 20-79 years are attributable to diabetes around the world. Self-management is recognised as an integral part of diabetes care. This paper describes the protocol of a randomised controlled trial of an automated interactive telephone system aiming to improve the uptake and maintenance of essential diabetes self-management behaviours. Methods/Design A total of 340 individuals with type 2 diabetes will be randomised, either to the routine care arm, or to the intervention arm in which participants receive the Telephone-Linked Care (TLC) Diabetes program in addition to their routine care. The intervention requires the participants to telephone the TLC Diabetes phone system weekly for 6 months. They receive the study handbook and a glucose meter linked to a data uploading device. The TLC system consists of a computer with software designed to provide monitoring, tailored feedback and education on key aspects of diabetes self-management, based on answers voiced or entered during the current or previous conversations. Data collection is conducted at baseline (Time 1), 6-month follow-up (Time 2), and 12-month follow-up (Time 3). The primary outcomes are glycaemic control (HbA1c) and quality of life (Short Form-36 Health Survey version 2). Secondary outcomes include anthropometric measures, blood pressure, blood lipid profile, psychosocial measures as well as measures of diet, physical activity, blood glucose monitoring, foot care and medication taking. Information on utilisation of healthcare services including hospital admissions, medication use and costs is collected. An economic evaluation is also planned. Discussion Outcomes will provide evidence concerning the efficacy of a telephone-linked care intervention for self-management of diabetes. Furthermore

  19. Improvement of forage production in Calliandra calothyrsus: methodology for the identification of an effective inoculum containing Rhizobium strains and arbuscular mycorrhizal isolates.

    PubMed

    Lesueur, D; Ingleby, K; Odee, D; Chamberlain, J; Wilson, J; Tiki Manga, T; Sarrailh, J M; Pottinger, A

    2001-10-01

    The overall aim of this paper is to describe the selection of effective rhizobia and arbuscular mycorrhizas (AM), which after inoculation, will significantly improve the forage production of Calliandra calothyrsus under field conditions. To achieve this objective, the following activities were carried out: (i) establishment from both nodules and soil samples of a collection of microsymbionts (rhizobium and AM) of C. calothyrsus from Central America (Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Costa Rica), also from outside its native range in Cameroon, Kenya and New Caledonia; (ii) identification under glasshouse conditions of the most effective rhizobia and AM isolates; (iii) production of a solid selected inoculum for field trials; (iv) examination of the impact of the inoculation on the growth of C. calothyrsus monitored under nursery conditions. We have screened 446 rhizobia strains in the nursery and identified six as being very effective at nodulating the host plant. They originated from Costa Rica (CCCR15 and CCCR1), from New Caledonia (CCNC26), from Cameroon (CCC22) and from Kenya (KWN35 and KCC6). In relation to AM, five isolates have been selected for the ability to infect and promote growth of the host plant--two isolates of Gigaspora albida isolated from Kenya (GA1b and GA2); one isolate of Scutellospora verrucosa isolated from Kenya (SV2c); one isolate of Scutellospora calospora isolated from Guatemala (SC2) and one isolate of Glomus etunicatum isolated from Honduras (GE1). Further experiments will test these selected inocula, singly and in mixtures, in order to obtain an inoculant which significantly improves the growth of C. calothyrsus and to enable its distribution to farmers who use this woody legume for forage production on their farms. PMID:11566397

  20. An improved CTC isolation scheme for pairing with downstream genomics: Demonstrating clinical utility in metastatic prostate, lung and pancreatic cancer.

    PubMed

    Premasekharan, Gayatri; Gilbert, Elizabeth; Okimoto, Ross A; Hamirani, Ashiya; Lindquist, Karla J; Ngo, Vy T; Roy, Ritu; Hough, Jeffrey; Edwards, Matthew; Paz, Rosa; Foye, Adam; Sood, Riddhi; Copren, Kirsten A; Gubens, Matthew; Small, Eric J; Bivona, Trever G; Collisson, Eric A; Friedlander, Terence W; Paris, Pamela L

    2016-09-28

    Improvements in technologies to yield purer circulating tumor cells (CTCs) will enable a broader range of clinical applications. We have previously demonstrated the use of a commercially available cell-adhesion matrix (CAM) assay to capture invasive CTCs (iCTCs). To improve the purity of the isolated iCTCs, here we used fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) in combination with the CAM assay (CAM + FACS). Our results showed an increase of median purity from the CAM assay to CAM + FACS for the spiked-in cell lines and patient samples analyzed from three different metastatic cancer types: castration resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC), non-small cell lung cancer (mNSCLC) and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cancer (mPDAC). Copy number profiles for spiked-in mCRPC cell line and mCRPC patient iCTCs were similar to expected mCRPC profiles and a matched biopsy. A somatic epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation specific to mNSCLC was observed in the iCTCs recovered from EGFR(+) mNSCLC cell lines and patient samples. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) of spiked-in pancreatic cancer cell line and mPDAC patient iCTCs showed mPDAC common mutations. CAM + FACS iCTC enrichment enables multiple downstream genomic characterizations across different tumor types. PMID:27343980

  1. Study on biodegradation of Mazut by newly isolated strain Enterobacter cloacae BBRC10061: improving and kinetic investigation

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Mazut as a source content of various hydrocarbons is hard to be degraded and its cracking could turn mazut into useful materials. Nevertheless degradation of mazut by routine methods is too expensive but application of indigenous microorganisms as biocatalysts could be effective and important to lower the costs and expand its consumption. Mazut biodegradation can be improved using various strategies; Therefore in this study newly isolated strain Enterobacter cloacae BBRC 10061 was used in a method of gradual addition of mazut into medium and its results were compared with simple addition method. To investigate degradation of mazut by BBRC 10061, influence of increase of mazut concentration was assayed based on gradual addition method. Also different kinetic models were used to evaluate kinetics of the process. Results showed that gradual addition method has been a beneficial technique for improvement of mazut degradation because bacterial induction to produce biosurfactant and essential enzymes for cracking mazut was higher during process. Although addition of more mazut increased the rate of biodegradation but percentage of degradation decreased. pH of medium decreased during biodegradation period while electric potential increased. Also the biodegradation kinetics was not fitted with the biokinetic models; therefore kinetics of biodegradation of mazut has to be studied by new models. PMID:23369455

  2. Development of an improved isolation approach and simple sequence repeat markers to characterize Phytophthora capsici populations in irrigation ponds in southern Georgia.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ziying; Langston, David B; Csinos, Alexander S; Gitaitis, Ronald D; Walcott, Ronald R; Ji, Pingsheng

    2009-09-01

    Phytophthora capsici, the causal agent of Phytophthora blight, is a major concern in vegetable production in Georgia and many other states in the United States. Contamination of irrigation water sources by P. capsici may be an important source of inoculum for the pathogen. A simple method was developed in this study to improve the efficiency of recovering P. capsici from fruits used as baits in irrigation ponds. In contrast to direct isolation on agar plates, infected fruit tissues were used to inoculate stems of pepper seedlings, and the infected pepper stems were used for isolation on agar plates. With isolation through inoculation of pepper stems, the frequency of recovering P. capsici from infected eggplant and pear fruits increased from 13.9% to 77.7% and 8.1% to 53.5%, respectively, compared with direct isolation on agar plates. P. capsici was isolated from seven out of nine irrigation ponds evaluated, with most of the ponds containing both A1 and A2 mating types and a 4:5 ratio of A1 to A2 when isolates from all ponds were calculated. All P. capsici isolates were pathogenic on squash plants, and only a small proportion (8.2%) of the isolates were resistant or intermediately sensitive to mefenoxam. Simple sequence repeats (SSRs) were identified through bioinformatics mining of 55,848 publicly available expressed sequence tags of P. capsici in dbEST GenBank. Thirty-one pairs of SSR primers were designed, and SSR analysis indicated that the 61 P. capsici isolates from irrigation ponds were genetically distinct. Cluster analysis separated the isolates into five genetic clusters with no more than two genetic groups in one pond, indicating relatively low P. capsici genetic diversity in each pond. The isolation method and SSR markers developed for P. capsici in this study could contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the genetic diversity of this important pathogen. PMID:19581483

  3. Effect of oral nitrates on pulse pressure and arterial elasticity in patients aged over 65 years with refractory isolated systolic hypertension: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Isolated systolic hypertension is a highly prevalent disease among the elderly. The little available evidence on the efficacy of nitrates for treating the disease is based on small experimental studies. Methods/design We performed a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, phase III, placebo-controlled trial in 154 patients aged over 65 years with refractory isolated systolic hypertension. Patients were randomized to placebo or 40 mg/day of extended-release isosorbide mononitrate added to standard therapy and titrated to 60 mg/day at week 6 if blood pressure exceeded 140/90 mmHg. The primary objective was to assess the effect on clinical pulse pressure of extended-release isosorbide mononitrate added to standard therapy in patients aged over 65 years with refractory isolated systolic hypertension after 3 months of treatment. The secondary objectives were as follows: to quantify the effect of adding the study drug on central blood pressure and vascular compliance using the augmentation index and pulse wave velocity; to evaluate the safety profile by recording adverse effects (frequency, type, severity) and the percentage of patients who had to withdraw from the trial because of adverse events; to quantify the percentage of patients who reach a clinical systolic blood pressure <140 mmHg or <130 mmHg measured by ambulatory blood pressure monitoring; and to quantify the change in pulse pressure measured by ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. Discussion Few clinical trials have been carried out to test the effect of oral nitrates on isolated systolic hypertension, even though these agents seem to be effective. Treatment with extended-release isosorbide mononitrate could improve control of systolic blood pressure without severe side effects, thus helping to reduce the morbidity and mortality of the disease. Trial registration EUDRACT Number: 2012-002988-10 PMID:24228894

  4. Equal Improvement in Men and Women in the Treatment of Urologic Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome Using a Multi-modal Protocol with an Internal Myofascial Trigger Point Wand.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Rodney U; Wise, David; Sawyer, Tim; Nathanson, Brian H; Nevin Smith, J

    2016-06-01

    Both men and women require treatment for urologic chronic pelvic pain syndromes (UCPPS), which includes interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome, pelvic floor dysfunction, and chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome. However, it is unknown if men and women respond differently to a protocol that includes specific physical therapy self-treatment using an internal trigger point wand and training in paradoxical relaxation. We performed a retrospective analysis by gender in a single arm, open label, single center clinical trial designed to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a protocol for the treatment of UCPPS from October, 2008 to May, 2011. 314 adult men (79.9 %) and 79 (20.1 %) women met inclusion criteria. The median duration of symptoms was 60 months. The protocol required an initial 6-day clinic for training followed by a 6-month self-treatment period. The treatment included self-administered pelvic floor trigger point release with an internal trigger point device for physical therapy along with paradoxical relaxation training. Notable gender differences in prior treatments were observed. Men had a lower median [Interquartile Range] NIH-CPSI score at baseline than women (27 [21, 31] vs. 29 [22, 33], p = 0.04). Using a 1-10 scale with 10 = Most Severe, the median reduction in trigger point sensitivity was 3 units for both men and women after 6 months therapy (p = 0.74). A modified Intention to Treat analysis and a multivariate regression analysis found similar results. We conclude that men and women have similar, significant reductions in trigger point sensitivity with this protocol. PMID:26721470

  5. EFFECT OF MOBILITY ON PERFORMANCE OF WIRELESS AD-HOC NETWORK PROTOCOLS.

    SciTech Connect

    Barrett, C. L.; Drozda, M.; Marathe, M. V.; Marathe, A.

    2001-01-01

    We empirically study the effect of mobility on the performance of protocols designed for wireless adhoc networks. An important ohjective is to study the interaction of the Routing and MAC layer protocols under different mobility parameters. We use three basic mobility models: grid mobility model, random waypoint model, and exponential correlated random model. The performance of protocols was measured in terms of (i) latency, (ii) throughput, (iii) number of packels received, (iv) long term fairness and (v) number of control packets at the MAC layer level. Three different commonly studied routing protocols were used: AODV, DSR and LAR1. Similarly three well known MAC protocols were used: MACA, 802.1 1 and CSMA. The inair1 conclusion of our study include the following: 1. 'I'he performance of the: network varies widely with varying mobility models, packet injection rates and speeds; and can ba in fact characterized as fair to poor depending on the specific situation. Nevertheless, in general, it appears that the combination of AODV and 802.1 I is far better than other combination of routing and MAC protocols. 2. MAC layer protocols interact with routing layer protocols. This concept which is formalized using statistics implies that in general it is not meaningful to speak about a MAC or a routing protocol in isolation. Such an interaction leads to trade-offs between the amount of control packets generated by each layer. More interestingly, the results wise the possibility of improving the performance of a particular MAC layer protocol by using a cleverly designed routing protocol or vice-versa. 3. Routing prolocols with distributed knowledge about routes are more suitable for networks with mobility. This is seen by comparing the performance of AODV with DSR or LAR scheme 1. In DSli and IAR scheme 1, information about a computed path is being stored in the route query control packct. 4. MAC layer protocols have varying performance with varying mobility models. It is

  6. Delta Coherence Protocols: The Home Update Protocol

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, C.; Reynolds, P.F.; de Supinoki, B.

    2000-07-21

    We describe a new class of directory coherence protocols called delta coherence protocols that use network guarantees to support a new and highly concurrent approach to maintain a consistent shared memory. Delta coherence protocols are more concurrent than other coherence protocols in that they allow processes to pipeline memory accesses without violating sequential consistency; support multiple concurrent readers and writers to the same cache block; and allow processes to access multiple shared variables atomically without invalidating the copies held by other processes or otherwise obtaining exclusive access to the referenced variables. Delta protocols include both update and invalidate protocols. In this paper we describe the simplest, most basic delta protocol, an update protocol called the home update protocol. Delta protocols are based on isotach network guarantees. An isotach network maintains a logical time system that allows each process to predict and control the logical time at which its messages are received. Processes use isotach guarantees to control the logical time at which their requests on shared memory appear to be executed. We prove the home update protocol is correct using logical time to reason about the order in which requests are executed.

  7. Security and SCADA protocols

    SciTech Connect

    Igure, V. M.; Williams, R. D.

    2006-07-01

    Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) networks have replaced discrete wiring for many industrial processes, and the efficiency of the network alternative suggests a trend toward more SCADA networks in the future. This paper broadly considers SCADA to include distributed control systems (DCS) and digital control systems. These networks offer many advantages, but they also introduce potential vulnerabilities that can be exploited by adversaries. Inter-connectivity exposes SCADA networks to many of the same threats that face the public internet and many of the established defenses therefore show promise if adapted to the SCADA differences. This paper provides an overview of security issues in SCADA networks and ongoing efforts to improve the security of these networks. Initially, a few samples from the range of threats to SCADA network security are offered. Next, attention is focused on security assessment of SCADA communication protocols. Three challenges must be addressed to strengthen SCADA networks. Access control mechanisms need to be introduced or strengthened, improvements are needed inside of the network to enhance security and network monitoring, and SCADA security management improvements and policies are needed. This paper discusses each of these challenges. This paper uses the Profibus protocol as an example to illustrate some of the vulnerabilities that arise within SCADA networks. The example Profibus security assessment establishes a network model and an attacker model before proceeding to a list of example attacks. (authors)

  8. A simple, reliable, and fast protocol for thraustochytrid DNA extraction.

    PubMed

    Mo, C; Rinkevich, B

    2001-03-01

    DNA extraction of thraustochytrids, common marine unicellular organisms, is usually accomplished by either the cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) or proteinase K protocols. A novel lysis buffer protocol for thraustochytrid total DNA extraction is described. The average isolated total DNA is 20 to 40 kb, and DNA samples are suitable for a variety of uses including 18S-ribosomal DNA polymerase chain reaction, restriction enzyme digestions, and amplified fragment length polymorphism analyses. The new protocol is also faster than the other protocols. PMID:14961371

  9. Improved culturability of cellulolytic rumen bacteria and phylogenetic diversity of culturable cellulolytic and xylanolytic bacteria newly isolated from the bovine rumen.

    PubMed

    Nyonyo, Thet; Shinkai, Takumi; Mitsumori, Makoto

    2014-06-01

    The phylotypes of rumen bacteria have increased by the accumulation of 16S rRNA gene sequences, and they show a complex microbial community structure in the rumen. However, most of the biochemical properties of rumen bacteria defined by phylotypes are still unknown. We attempted to improve the culturability of cellulolytic bacteria from the rumen using an agar medium (CA) and a gellan gum medium (CG) containing azo-carboxymethylcellulose as a carbon source. We isolated 129 strains from these media, and the numbers of isolates that showed filter paperase, carboxymethylcellulase and xylanase activity were 51, 117 and 105, respectively. The isolates were classified into six phyla by 16S rRNA gene sequences. In accordance with other studies, fibre-adherent rumen bacteria from the phylum Firmicutes were the most abundant cultured isolates obtained (82.2%). Isolates that were unclassified (< 97% similarity) totalled 19.4%, indicating that the media used in this study was successfully able to improve the culturability of rumen cellulolytic bacteria. Moreover, as the Chao1 richness of CG was higher than that of CA, we estimated that, compared with CA, CG supports the growth of a wide variety of rumen bacteria. These results demonstrate that culturable species of ruminal cellulolytic bacteria can be increased using improved culture media. PMID:24612331

  10. Balance of insulin and FSH concentrations improves the in vitro development of isolated goat preantral follicles in medium containing GH.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, A C A; Maside, C; Sá, N A R; Guerreiro, D D; Correia, H H V; Leiva-Revilla, J; Lobo, C H; Araújo, V R; Apgar, G A; Brandão, F Z; Figueiredo, J R; Campello, C C

    2016-02-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of different combinations of insulin and FSH concentrations in culture media containing GH on the in vitro follicle morphology, antrum formation, growth rates, estradiol (E2) production, oocyte viability and maturation as well as gene expression for FSHR, GHR, INSR, CYP19A1, CYP17, 3ßHSD. Secondary follicles were individually cultured for 18 days in a basic medium containing 50ng/mL GH supplemented with low insulin concentration (INS-LW: 10ng/mL) or high insulin concentration (INS-HG: 10μg/mL) alone or with a fixed FSH concentration (FSH100: 100ng/mL) or with increasing FSH concentrations (FSH-SEQ: 100ng/mL, days 0-6; 500ng/mL, days 6-12; 1000ng/mL days 12-18). In the INS-LW treatment was observed a higher (P<0.05) incidence of normal follicles at day 18 of culture. However, overall higher (P<0.05) follicular growth, oocyte diameter and meiotic resumption rates were obtained using INS-HG+FSH 100. The INS-HG and INS-HG+FSH100 treatments showed higher E2 production and mRNA levels for CYP19A1, CYP17, 3βHSD when compared to INS-LW and INS-LW+FSH100. However, the addition of increasing FSH concentration, regardless of insulin concentration, did not improve the follicular growth, meotic resumption, E2 production or gene expression of steroidogenic enzymes when compared with INS-HG+FSH100. In conclusion, in presence of GH, a basic medium supplemented with 10μg/mL insulin and 100μg/mL FSH throughout the culture period, improves follicular and oocyte growth, oocyte meiotic resumption and E2 production from isolated preantral caprine follicles cultured in vitro. PMID:26723481

  11. A novel stress isolation guard-ring design for the improvement of a three-axis piezoresistive accelerometer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hsieh, Hsieh-Shen; Chang, Heng-Chung; Hu, Chih-Fan; Cheng, Chao-Lin; Fang, Weileun

    2011-10-01

    This study designs and implements a stress isolation guard-ring structure to improve the performances of the existing single proof-mass three-axis piezoresistive accelerometer. Thus, the environment disturbances, such as temperature variation and force/deflection transmittance, for a packaged three-axis piezoresistive accelerometer are significantly reduced. In application, the three-axis piezoresistive accelerometer has been fabricated using the bulk micromachining process on the SOI wafer. Experimental results show that the out-of-plane deformation of the suspended spring mass on the packaged accelerometer is reduced from 0.72 to 0.10 µm at a 150 °C temperature elevation. The temperature coefficient of zero-g offset for the presented sensor is reduced, and the temperature-induced sensitivity variation is minimized as well. Measurements also demonstrate that the guard-ring design successfully reduces the false signals induced by the force and displacement transmittance disturbances for one order of magnitude. Moreover, the three-axis acceleration sensing for the presented accelerometer with guard ring has also been demonstrated with sensitivities of 0.12-0.17 mV V-1 g-1 and nonlinearity < 1.02%.

  12. Electrophysiological Characterization of Ts6 and Ts7, K+ Channel Toxins Isolated through an Improved Tityus serrulatus Venom Purification Procedure

    PubMed Central

    Cerni, Felipe A.; Pucca, Manuela B.; Peigneur, Steve; Cremonez, Caroline M.; Bordon, Karla C. F.; Tytgat, Jan; Arantes, Eliane C.

    2014-01-01

    In Brazil, Tityus serrulatus (Ts) is the species responsible for most of the scorpion related accidents. Among the Ts toxins, the neurotoxins with action on potassium channels (α-KTx) present high interest, due to their effect in the envenoming process and the ion channel specificity they display. The α-KTx toxins family is the most relevant because its toxins can be used as therapeutic tools for specific target cells. The improved isolation method provided toxins with high resolution, obtaining pure Ts6 and Ts7 in two chromatographic steps. The effects of Ts6 and Ts7 toxins were evaluated in 14 different types of potassium channels using the voltage-clamp technique with two-microelectrodes. Ts6 toxin shows high affinity for Kv1.2, Kv1.3 and Shaker IR, blocking these channels in low concentrations. Moreover, Ts6 blocks the Kv1.3 channel in picomolar concentrations with an IC50 of 0.55 nM and therefore could be of valuable assistance to further designing immunosuppressive therapeutics. Ts7 toxin blocks multiple subtypes channels, showing low selectivity among the channels analyzed. This work also stands out in its attempt to elucidate the residues important for interacting with each channel and, in the near future, to model a desired drug. PMID:24590385

  13. Suberin fatty acids isolated from outer birch bark improve moisture barrier properties of cellulose ether films intended for tablet coatings.

    PubMed

    Heinämäki, Jyrki; Halenius, Anna; Paavo, Maaja; Alakurtti, Sami; Pitkänen, Pauliina; Pirttimaa, Minni; Paaver, Urve; Kirsimäe, Kalle; Kogermann, Karin; Yliruusi, Jouko

    2015-07-15

    We showed that the addition of suberin fatty acids (SFAs) even at small concentrations significantly improves the water vapor barrier properties of hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) films. SFAs were isolated from the outer birch bark using extractive hydrolysis. The effects of SFAs on the film formation of aqueous HPMC were investigated with free films plasticized with polyethylene glycol (PEG 400). Special attention was paid on the physical solid-state, moisture barrier and mechanical stress-strain properties of films intended for tablet film coatings. Topography and surface morphology, glass transition temperature (Tg), tensile strength, Young's modulus, and water vapor permeation (WVP) of films were studied. The addition of SFAs lowered the Tg of films suggesting partial enhancement in film plasticization. The WVP of films decreased with increasing SFAs concentration up to 15% (calculated as a % w/w from a polymer weight). The WVP value for a non-suberized reference film and suberized film plasticized with PEG 400 was 2.13×10(-6) and 0.69[×10(-6) g/(mm(2)×h)×mm/Pa], respectively. The addition of SFAs impaired the mechanical stress-strain properties of HPMC films by reducing the deformation capacity of film. In conclusion, the film properties and performance of aqueous HPMC can be modified by including SFAs in the films. PMID:25936623

  14. Optimization of chondrocyte isolation and phenotype characterization for cartilage tissue engineering.

    PubMed

    Lau, Ting Ting; Peck, Yvonne; Huang, Weiliang; Wang, Dong-An

    2015-02-01

    Current protocols for chondrocyte isolation are inconsistent, resulting in suboptimal cell yield and compromised cell quality. Thus, there is a need for an improved isolation protocol that is able to give a maximum yield with optimal cell viability while preserving the chondrocyte phenotype. In light of this, we developed an improved isolation protocol based on enzymatic digestion using 0.1% (w/v) collagenase II. Different from existing methods of digesting minced cartilage for a prolonged period (usually 14-16 h), we performed two additional digestions, with a 5- and 3-h interval in between. The results showed that this multiple digestion method was able to yield a total number of cells that are more than a fivefold increase as compared to any of the common isolation protocols. More importantly, a high percentage of the isolated cells remained viable. Furthermore, an evaluation of the effect of additional digestions on chondrocyte phenotype indicated that cells harvested from the second and third digestion showed a comparable or higher proliferative capacity than the first digestion and all the cells expressed chondrocyte-specific markers tested, with cells from the third digestion showing exceptionally high gene expression levels for collagen type II (Col II), aggrecan, and COMP. Additionally, their ability to produce collagen type II as well as their morphology were not affected by the two additional digestions. Taken together, the results suggested that the use of this isolation protocol resulted in a higher cell yield and the quality of the isolated cells was maintained. Hence, we recommend this isolation protocol to be employed for more efficient cell harvesting especially from limited biopsied cartilage tissue samples. PMID:24918498

  15. Isolation of Mouse Pancreatic Islets of Langerhans.

    PubMed

    Ramírez-Domínguez, Miriam

    2016-01-01

    The aim of any pancreatic islet isolation is obtaining pure, viable and functional pancreatic islets, either for in vitro or in vivo purposes. The islets of Langerhans are complex microorgans with the important role of regulating glucose homeostasis. Imbalances in glucose homeostasis lead to diabetes, which is defined by the American Diabetes Association as a "group of metabolic diseases characterized by hyperglycemia resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action or both" (American Diabetes Association 2011). Currently, the rising demand of human islets is provoking a shortage of this tissue, limiting research and clinical practice on this field. In this scenario, it is essential to investigate and improve islet isolation procedures in animal models, while keeping in mind the anatomical and functional differences between species. This chapter discusses the main aspects of mouse islet isolation research, highlighting the critical factors and shortcomings to take into account for the selection and/or optimization of a mouse islet isolation protocol. PMID:27586420

  16. Prior to Conception: The Role of an Acupuncture Protocol in Improving Women's Reproductive Functioning Assessed by a Pilot Pragmatic Randomised Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Cochrane, Suzanne; Smith, Caroline A.; Possamai-Inesedy, Alphia; Bensoussan, Alan

    2016-01-01

    The global average of couples with fertility problems is 9%. Assisted reproductive technologies are often inaccessible. Evidence points to acupuncture offering an opportunity to promote natural fertility. This study asked whether providing a multiphasic fertility acupuncture protocol to women with sub/infertility would increase their awareness of fertility and achieve normalisation of their menstrual cycle compared with a lifestyle control. In a pragmatic randomised controlled trial sub/infertile women were offered an intervention of acupuncture and lifestyle modification or lifestyle modification only. There was a statistically significant increase in fertility awareness in the acupuncture group (86.4%, 19) compared to 40% (n = 8) of the lifestyle only participants (Relative Risk (RR) 2.38, 95% confidence interval (CI) of 1.25, 4.50), with an adjusted p value of 0.011. Changes in menstrual regularity were not statistically significant. There was no statistical difference in the pregnancy rate with seven women (adjusted p = 0.992) achieving pregnancy during the course of the study intervention. Those receiving the acupuncture conceived within an average of 5.5 weeks compared to 10.67 weeks for the lifestyle only group (p = 0.422). The acupuncture protocol tested influenced women who received it compared to women who used lifestyle modification alone: their fertility awareness and wellbeing increased, and those who conceived did so in half the time. PMID:27242910

  17. Can the Isolated-Elements Strategy Be Improved by Targeting Points of High Cognitive Load for Additional Practice?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ayres, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Reducing problem complexity by isolating elements has been shown to be an effective instructional strategy. Novices, in particular, benefit from learning from worked examples that contain partially interacting elements rather than worked examples that provide full interacting elements. This study investigated whether the isolating-elements…

  18. Improving of the operation efficiency of the vehicle due to using of the neodymium magnets inside the vibration isolation devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gurova, E. G.

    2015-09-01

    In this paper the isolation suspension with stiffness compensator based on neodymium magnets is suggested. It was found that the passive vibration isolators not completely sufficient of modern requirement of the vibration isolation. It was determined that the neodymium magnets with the same initial parameters are most effective in comparison with DC current electromagnets. The mathematical model of the vibration isolation suspension has been developed. In this research the traction characteristics for given magnets are presented. Also the design of the vibration isolation suspension with compensator of the stiffness based on neodymium magnets has been developed. This research has been performed under support of the President scholarship for young scientists under the order of Russian Federation Ministry of the education and science No 184 from 10th of March 2015.

  19. An improved method for the isolation of rat alveolar type II lung cells: Use in the Comet assay to determine DNA damage induced by cigarette smoke.

    PubMed

    Dalrymple, Annette; Ordoñez, Patricia; Thorne, David; Dillon, Debbie; Meredith, Clive

    2015-06-01

    Smoking is a cause of serious diseases, including lung cancer, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and heart disease. DNA damage is thought to be one of the mechanisms by which cigarette smoke (CS) initiates disease in the lung. Indeed, CS induced DNA damage can be measured in vitro and in vivo. The potential of the Comet assay to measure DNA damage in isolated rat lung alveolar type II epithelial cells (AEC II) was explored as a means to include a genotoxicity end-point in rodent sub-chronic inhalation studies. In this study, published AEC II isolation methods were improved to yield viable cells suitable for use in the Comet assay. The improved method reduced the level of basal DNA damage and DNA repair in isolated AEC II. CS induced DNA damage could also be quantified in isolated cells following a single or 5 days CS exposure. In conclusion, the Comet assay has the potential to determine CS or other aerosol induced DNA damage in AEC II isolated from rodents used in sub-chronic inhalation studies. PMID:25846365

  20. Interpolation of recurrence and hashing entanglement distillation protocols

    SciTech Connect

    Vollbrecht, Karl Gerd H.; Verstraete, Frank

    2005-06-15

    We construct interesting entanglement distillation protocols by interpolating between the recurrence and hashing protocols. This leads to asymptotic two-way distillation protocols, resulting in an improvement of the distillation rate for all mixed Bell diagonal entangled states, even for the ones with very high fidelity. We also present a method for how entanglement-assisted distillation protocol can be converted into nonentanglement-assisted protocols with the same yield.

  1. Improvement of methyl orange dye biotreatment by a novel isolated strain, Aeromonas veronii GRI, by SPB1 biosurfactant addition.

    PubMed

    Mnif, Inès; Maktouf, Sameh; Fendri, Raouia; Kriaa, Mouna; Ellouze, Semia; Ghribi, Dhouha

    2016-01-01

    Aeromonas veronii GRI (KF964486), isolated from acclimated textile effluent after selective enrichment on azo dye, was assessed for methyl orange biodegradation potency. Results suggested the potential of this bacterium for use in effective treatment of azo-dye-contaminated wastewaters under static conditions at neutral and alkaline pH value, characteristic of typical textile effluents. The strain could tolerate higher doses of dyes as it was able to decolorize up to 1000 mg/l. When used as microbial surfactant to enhance methyl orange biodecolorization, Bacillus subtilis SPB1-derived lipopeptide accelerated the decolorization rate and maximized slightly the decolorization efficiency at an optimal concentration of about 0.025%. In order to enhance the process efficiency, a Taguchi design was conducted. Phytotoxicity bioassay using sesame and radish seeds were carried out to assess the biotreatment effectiveness. The bacterium was able to effectively decolorize the azo dye when inoculated with an initial optical density of about 0.5 with 0.25% sucrose, 0.125% yeast extract, 0.01% SPB1 biosurfactant, and when conducting an agitation phase of about 24 h after static incubation. Germination potency showed an increase toward the nonoptimized conditions indicating an improvement of the biotreatment. When comparing with synthetic surfactants, a drastic decrease and an inhibition of orange methyl decolorization were observed in the presence of CTAB and SDS. The nonionic surfactant Tween 80 had a positive effect on methyl orange biodecolorization. Also, studies ensured that methyl orange removal by this strain could be due to endocellular enzymatic activities. To conclude, the addition of SPB1 bioemulsifier reduced energy costs by reducing effective decolorization period, biosurfactant stimulated bacterial decolorization method may provide highly efficient, inexpensive, and time-saving procedure in treatment of textile effluents. PMID:26396008

  2. Does a fall prevention educational programme improve knowledge and change exercise prescribing behaviour in health and exercise professionals? A study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Tiedemann, A; Sturnieks, D L; Hill, A-M; Lovitt, L; Clemson, L; Lord, S R; Harvey, L; Sherrington, C

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Falling in older age is a serious and costly problem. At least one in three older people fall annually. Although exercise is recognised as an effective fall prevention intervention, low numbers of older people engage in suitable programmes. Health and exercise professionals play a crucial role in addressing fall risk in older adults. This trial aims to evaluate the effect of participation in a fall prevention educational programme, compared with a wait-list control group, on health and exercise professionals’ knowledge about fall prevention and the effect on fall prevention exercise prescription behaviour and confidence to prescribe the exercises to older people. Methods and analysis A randomised controlled trial involving 220 consenting health and exercise professionals will be conducted. Participants will be individually randomised to an intervention group (n=110) to receive an educational workshop plus access to internet-based support resources, or a wait-list control group (n=110). The two primary outcomes, measured 3 months after randomisation, are: (1) knowledge about fall prevention and (2) self-perceived change in fall prevention exercise prescription behaviour. Secondary outcomes include: (1) participants’ confidence to prescribe fall prevention exercises; (2) the proportion of people aged 60+ years seen by trial participants in the past month who were prescribed fall prevention exercise; and (3) the proportion of fall prevention exercises prescribed by participants to older people in the past month that comply with evidence-based guidelines. Outcomes will be measured with a self-report questionnaire designed specifically for the trial. Ethics and dissemination The trial protocol was approved by the Human Research Ethics Committee, The University of Sydney, Australia. Trial results will be disseminated via peer reviewed journals, presentations at international conferences and participants’ newsletters. Trial registration number Trial

  3. Massive transfusion and massive transfusion protocol

    PubMed Central

    Patil, Vijaya; Shetmahajan, Madhavi

    2014-01-01

    Haemorrhage remains a major cause of potentially preventable deaths. Rapid transfusion of large volumes of blood products is required in patients with haemorrhagic shock which may lead to a unique set of complications. Recently, protocol based management of these patients using massive transfusion protocol have shown improved outcomes. This section discusses in detail both management and complications of massive blood transfusion. PMID:25535421

  4. One-Step RT-PCR protocols improve the rate of dengue diagnosis compared to Two-Step RT-PCR approaches.

    PubMed

    De Paula, Sérgio Oliveira; de Melo Lima, Cristiane; Torres, Maria Paula; Pereira, Márcia Rodrigues Garbin; Lopes da Fonseca, Benedito Antônio

    2004-08-01

    Dengue is the most important arboviral disease transmitted to humans. In our laboratory, we have been working on the standardization of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnosis of this disease. In this work, we compared five commercial kits regularly used on reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) protocols: two Two-Step kits (SuperScript II RT/Super Mix kit and reverse transcription system/Taq DNA polymerase) and three One-Step kits (ready-to-go RT-PCR Beads kit, QIAGEN One-Step RT-PCR kit, and AcessQuick RT-PCR system). Thirty-one serum samples of patients with clinical diagnosis of dengue fever (DF) were analyzed by RT-PCR and serology. RNA extraction was done with the QIAamp Viral RNA kit, and cDNA synthesis and PCR done according to the manufacturer's protocol for the five kits. Out of the 31 serum samples collected from patients suspected of having dengue, 27 were IgM-positive, confirming the dengue diagnosis. Out of those, 24 were positive by the ready-to-go RT-PCR Beads kit, 25 were positive by AcessQuick RT-PCR system and 27 were positive by QIAGEN One-Step RT-PCR kit. On the other hand, only six samples were positive by the SuperScript II RT/Super Mix kits and 10 were positive by reverse transcription system/Taq DNA polymerase kit. The best performance observed with the One-Step kits was confirmed in spiked samples with known quantities of dengue-1 virus since they detected up 1 x 10(2) PFU/ml, while the most sensitive Two-Step kit detected up 1 x 10(4) PFU/ml. These data show that One-Step RT-PCR kits yielded a higher rate of dengue virus detection than the Two-Step kits and correlated well with the serological diagnosis. PMID:15163417

  5. Supplemented base medium containing Amburana cearensis associated with FSH improves in vitro development of isolated goat preantral follicles.

    PubMed

    Gouveia, B B; Macedo, T J S; Santos, J M S; Barberino, R S; Menezes, V G; Müller, M C; Almeida, J R G S; Figueiredo, J R; Matos, M H T

    2016-09-15

    The effects of Amburana cearensis ethanolic extract, with or without addition of a mix of supplements associated or not with FSH, on in vitro morphology and development of caprine secondary follicles were evaluated. In experiment 1, isolated follicles (250 μm in diameter) were cultured for 12 days in alpha-modified minimal essential medium (α-MEM) alone (control) or in medium composed of different concentrations of A. cearensis extract (Amb 0.1; 0.2, or 0.4 mg/mL). In experiment 2, culture media were α-MEM or Amb 0.2 mg/mL (both without supplements), or these same media supplemented with BSA, insulin, transferrin, selenium, glutamine, hypoxanthine, and ascorbic acid (referred as α-MEM(+) and Amb 0.2(+), respectively), or these last groups also supplemented with sequential FSH (100 ng/mL from Day 0 to Day 6; 500 ng/mL from Day 6 to Day 12), constituting groups α-MEM(+) + FSH and Amb 0.2(+) + FSH. At the end of culture in experiment 1, control medium (α-MEM) and Amb 0.2 mg/mL had higher percentages (P < 0.05) of morphologically normal follicles and percentage of fully grown oocytes, i.e., oocyte greater than 110 μm, compared to the other A. cearensis extract concentrations. In experiment 2, all supplemented media had higher percentages (P < 0.05) of normal follicles and antrum formation than nonsupplemented media. In addition, follicles cultured in Amb 0.2(+) + FSH showed an average increase in diameter higher (P < 0.05) than the other treatments. Oocytes cultured in both treatments supplemented with FSH showed greater glutathione and active mitochondria levels than nonsupplemented media but similar to the other treatments. In conclusion, A. cearensis extract (0.2 mg/mL) added by supplements and FSH improves follicular growth. Therefore, it can be an alternative culture medium for goat preantral follicle development. PMID:27287468

  6. Comparison of seven protocols to identify fecal contamination sources using Escherichia coli

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stoeckel, D.M.; Mathes, M.V.; Hyer, K.E.; Hagedorn, C.; Kator, H.; Lukasik, J.; O'Brien, T. L.; Fenger, T.W.; Samadpour, M.; Strickler, K.M.; Wiggins, B.A.

    2004-01-01

    Microbial source tracking (MST) uses various approaches to classify fecal-indicator microorganisms to source hosts. Reproducibility, accuracy, and robustness of seven phenotypic and genotypic MST protocols were evaluated by use of Escherichia coli from an eight-host library of known-source isolates and a separate, blinded challenge library. In reproducibility tests, measuring each protocol's ability to reclassify blinded replicates, only one (pulsed-field gel electrophoresis; PFGE) correctly classified all test replicates to host species; three protocols classified 48-62% correctly, and the remaining three classified fewer than 25% correctly. In accuracy tests, measuring each protocol's ability to correctly classify new isolates, ribotyping with EcoRI and PvuII approached 100% correct classification but only 6% of isolates were classified; four of the other six protocols (antibiotic resistance analysis, PFGE, and two repetitive-element PCR protocols) achieved better than random accuracy rates when 30-100% of challenge isolates were classified. In robustness tests, measuring each protocol's ability to recognize isolates from nonlibrary hosts, three protocols correctly classified 33-100% of isolates as "unknown origin," whereas four protocols classified all isolates to a source category. A relevance test, summarizing interpretations for a hypothetical water sample containing 30 challenge isolates, indicated that false-positive classifications would hinder interpretations for most protocols. Study results indicate that more representation in known-source libraries and better classification accuracy would be needed before field application. Thorough reliability assessment of classification results is crucial before and during application of MST protocols.

  7. Development of a standardized process improvement protocol to address elevated health care-associated infection rates on an incented quality scorecard.

    PubMed

    Yegge, Jeanne A; Gase, Kathleen A; Hopkins-Broyles, Diane; Leone, Carole L; Trovillion, Ellen W; Babcock, Hilary M

    2014-02-01

    This practice forum report details a standardized improvement process that was created both to improve patient outcomes related to various hospital-acquired infections and to address leadership concerns related to incented quality metrics. A 3-year retrospective review identified common issues to guide future interventions and confirmed that this methodology reduced the rate of recurrent infections across the health care system. Process tool samples are provided. PMID:24485374

  8. Defined Palladium-Phthalimidato Catalysts for Improved Oxidative Amination.

    PubMed

    Martínez, Claudio; Muñiz, Kilian

    2016-05-23

    New palladium(II)-phthalimidato complexes have been synthesized, isolated, and structurally characterized. As demonstrated from over 30 examples, they constitute superior catalysts for oxidative amination reactions of alkenes with phthalimide as the nitrogen source. This work streamlines vicinal difunctionalization of alkenes and provides access to significantly improved and experimentally simplified synthetic protocols. PMID:26990013

  9. An innovative telemedicine knowledge translation program to improve quality of care in intensive care units: protocol for a cluster randomized pragmatic trial

    PubMed Central

    Scales, Damon C; Dainty, Katie; Hales, Brigette; Pinto, Ruxandra; Fowler, Robert A; Adhikari, Neill KJ; Zwarenstein, Merrick

    2009-01-01

    Background There are challenges to timely adoption of, and ongoing adherence to, evidence-based practices known to improve patient care in the intensive care unit (ICU). Quality improvement initiatives using a collaborative network approach may increase the use of such practices. Our objective is to evaluate the effectiveness of a novel knowledge translation program for increasing the proportion of patients who appropriately receive the following six evidence-based care practices: venous thromboembolism prophylaxis; ventilator-associated pneumonia prevention; spontaneous breathing trials; catheter-related bloodstream infection prevention; decubitus ulcer prevention; and early enteral nutrition. Methods and design We will conduct a pragmatic cluster randomized active control trial in 15 community ICUs and one academic ICU in Ontario, Canada. The intervention is a multifaceted videoconferenced educational and problem-solving forum to organize knowledge translation strategies, including comparative audit and feedback, educational sessions from content experts, and dissemination of algorithms. Fifteen individual ICUs (clusters) will be randomized to receive quality improvement interventions targeting one of the best practices during each of six study phases. Each phase lasts four months during the first study year and three months during the second. At the end of each study phase, ICUs are assigned to an intervention for a best practice not yet received according to a random schedule. The primary analysis will use patient-level process-of-care data to measure the intervention's effect on rates of adoption and adherence of each best practice in the targeted ICU clusters versus controls. Discussion This study design evaluates a new system for knowledge translation and quality improvement across six common ICU problems. All participating ICUs receive quality improvement initiatives during every study phase, improving buy-in. This study design could be considered for other

  10. Using patients’ experiences of adverse events to improve health service delivery and practice: protocol of a data linkage study of Australian adults age 45 and above

    PubMed Central

    Walton, Merrilyn; Smith-Merry, Jennifer; Harrison, Reema; Manias, Elizabeth; Iedema, Rick; Kelly, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Evidence of patients’ experiences is fundamental to creating effective health policy and service responses, yet is missing from our knowledge of adverse events. This protocol describes explorative research redressing this significant deficit; investigating the experiences of a large cohort of recently hospitalised patients aged 45 years and above in hospitals in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Methods and analysis The 45 and Up Study is a cohort of 265 000 adults aged 45 years and above in NSW. Patients who were hospitalised between 1 January and 30 June 2014 will be identified from this cohort using data linkage and a random sample of 20 000 invited to participate. A cross-sectional survey (including qualitative and quantitative components) will capture patients’ experiences in hospital and specifically of adverse events. Approximately 25% of respondents are likely to report experiencing an adverse event. Quantitative components will capture the nature and type of events as well as common features of patients’ experiences. Qualitative data provide contextual knowledge of their condition and care and the impact of the event on individuals. Respondents who do not report an adverse event will report their experience in hospital and be the control group. Statistical and thematic analysis will be used to present a patient perspective of their experiences in hospital; the characteristics of patients experiencing an adverse event; experiences of information sharing after an event (open disclosure) and the other avenues of redress pursued. Interviews with key policymakers and a document analysis will be used to create a map of the current practice. Ethics and dissemination Dissemination via a one-day workshop, peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations will enable effective clinical responses and service provision and policy responses to adverse events to be developed. PMID:25311039

  11. Improving access to high-quality primary care for socioeconomically disadvantaged older people in rural areas: a mixed method study protocol

    PubMed Central

    Ford, John A; Jones, Andrew P; Wong, Geoff; Clark, Allan B; Porter, Tom; Shakespeare, Tom; Swart, Ann Marie; Steel, Nicholas

    2015-01-01

    Introduction The UK has an ageing population, especially in rural areas, where deprivation is high among older people. Previous research has identified this group as at high risk of poor access to healthcare. The aim of this study is to generate a theory of how socioeconomically disadvantaged older people from rural areas access primary care, to develop an intervention based on this theory and test it in a feasibility trial. Methods and analysis On the basis of the MRC Framework for Developing and Evaluating Complex Interventions, three methods will be used to generate the theory. First, a realist review will elucidate the patient pathway based on existing literature. Second, an analysis of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing will be completed using structural equation modelling. Third, 15 semistructured interviews will be undertaken with patients and four focus groups with health professionals. A triangulation protocol will be used to allow each of these methods to inform and be informed by each other, and to integrate data into one overall realist theory. Based on this theory, an intervention will be developed in discussion with stakeholders to ensure that the intervention is feasible and practical. The intervention will be tested within a feasibility trial, the design of which will depend on the intervention. Lessons from the feasibility trial will be used to refine the intervention and gather the information needed for a definitive trial. Ethics and dissemination Ethics approval from the regional ethics committee has been granted for the focus groups with health professionals and interviews with patients. Ethics approval will be sought for the feasibility trial after the intervention has been designed. Findings will be disseminated to the key stakeholders involved in intervention development, to researchers, clinicians and health planners through peer-reviewed journal articles and conference publications, and locally through a dissemination event. PMID

  12. Development of a stringent ELISA protocol to evaluate anti-viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus-specific antibodies in olive flounder Paralichthys olivaceus with improved specificity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hyoung Jun; Park, Jeong Su; Kwon, Se Ryun

    2015-07-01

    Olive flounder were vaccinated with polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid [Poly (I:C)] to prevent viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS). Vaccine efficacy was verified by detection of anti- VHS virus (VHSV) antibodies using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In the study, ELISA absorbance values of the negative control group [Poly (I:C)-MEM10] were saturated when an ELISA protocol, that includes pretreatment of the fish sera with 5% skim milk, was used. However, the saturated OD values in the negative control did not correlate with a specific immune response against VHSV, because the group showed low survival rate (only 10%) following the VHSV challenge. Also, OD values of Poly (I:C)- VHSV group were high, and the group showed high survival rate (97.5%) against VHSV challenge test. It was suggested that the high OD values were possibly due to the presence of anti-fetal bovine serum (FBS) cross-reactivity. To compensate this, we subtracted the absorbance of infectious hematopoietic necrosis (IHNV)-Ag plates from those of the VHSV-Ag plates. However, the average value for the Poly (I:C)-VHSV group (0.167) was lower than expected even though high survival rate. We used an advanced ELISA system to pre-treat fish sera with 5% skim milk and two novirhabdoviruses as capture antigens as well as 50% FBS. The corrected absorbance values for pre-treated fish sera from the negative control Poly (I:C)-MEM10 and experimental Poly (I:C)-VHSV groups averaged 0.033 and 0.579, respectively. The specific VHSV antibody response of the vaccinated group was assessed using fish sera pretreated with skim milk and FBS and by calculating the corrected absorbance values from ELISA with two novirhabdovirus capture antigens. PMID:26115998

  13. Duration of luteal support (DOLS) with progesterone pessaries to improve the success rates in assisted conception: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Luteal support with progesterone is necessary for successful implantation of the embryo following egg collection and embryo transfer in an in-vitro fertilization (IVF) cycle. Progesterone has been used for as little as 2 weeks and for as long as 12 weeks of gestation. The optimal length of treatment is unresolved at present and it remains unclear how long to treat women receiving luteal supplementation. Design The trial is a prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to investigate the effect of the duration of luteal support with progesterone in IVF cycles. Following 2 weeks standard treatment and a positive biochemical pregnancy test, this randomized control trial will allocate women to a supplementary 8 weeks treatment with vaginal progesterone or 8 weeks placebo. Further studies would be required to investigate whether additional supplementation with progesterone is beneficial in early pregnancy. Discussion Currently at the Hewitt Centre, approximately 32.5% of women have a positive biochemical pregnancy test 2 weeks after embryo transfer. It is this population that is eligible for trial entry and randomization. Once the patient has confirmed a positive urinary pregnancy test they will be invited to join the trial. Once the consent form has been completed by the patient a trial prescription sheet will be sent to pharmacy with a stated collection time. The patient can then be randomized and the drugs dispensed according to pharmacy protocol. A blood sample will then be drawn for measurement of baseline hormone levels (progesterone, estradiol, free beta-human chorionic gonadotrophin, pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A, Activin A, Inhibin A and Inhibin B). The primary outcome measure is the proportion of all randomized women that continue successfully to a viable pregnancy (at least one fetus with fetal heart rate >100 beats/minute) on transabdominal/transvaginal ultrasound at 10 weeks post embryo transfer/12 weeks gestation

  14. Can paramedics use FRAX (the WHO Fracture Risk Assessment Tool) to help GPs improve future fracture risk in patients who fall? Protocol for a randomised controlled feasibility study

    PubMed Central

    Clarke, Shane; Bradley, Rachel; Simmonds, Bethany; Salisbury, Chris; Benger, Jonathan; Marques, Elsa; Greenwood, Rosemary; Shepstone, Lee; Robinson, Maria; Appleby-Fleming, John; Gooberman-Hill, Rachael

    2014-01-01

    Introduction Currently identification, and therefore, management of patients at risk of osteoporotic fracture in the UK is suboptimal. As the majority of patients who fracture have fallen, it follows that people who fall can usefully be targeted in any programme that aims to reduce osteoporotic fracture. Targeting vulnerable patients who are likely to benefit from intervention may help shift the management of fracture prevention into primary care, away from emergency departments. Paramedics who attend to patients who have fallen may be well placed to assess future fracture risk, using the Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX) and communicate that information directly to general practitioners (GPs). Methods and analysis This feasibility study takes the form of a pragmatic, randomised controlled trial aimed at exploring and refining issues of study design, recruitment, retention, sample size and acceptability preceding a large-scale study with fracture as the end point. Patients (aged >50) who fall, call an ambulance, are attended by a study paramedic and give verbal consent will be asked FRAX and fall questions. Patients who subsequently formally consent to participation will be randomised to control (usual care) or intervention groups. Intervention will constitute transmission of calculated future fracture risk to the patients’ GP with suitable, evidence-based recommendations for investigation or treatment. 3 months after the index fall, data (proportion of patients in each group undergoing investigation or starting new treatment, quality of life and health economic) will be collected and analysed using descriptive statistics. A nested qualitative study will explore issues of acceptability and study design with patients, paramedics and GPs. Ethics and dissemination This protocol was approved by NRES Committee South Central Oxford C in October 2012. Research Ethics Committee ref.12/SC/0604. The study findings will be disseminated through peer-reviewed journals

  15. Alternative parallel ring protocols

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mukkamala, R.; Foudriat, E. C.; Maly, Kurt J.; Kale, V.

    1990-01-01

    Communication protocols are know to influence the utilization and performance of communication network. The effect of two token ring protocols on a gigabit network with multiple ring structure is investigated. In the first protocol, a mode sends at most one message on receiving a token. In the second protocol, a mode sends all the waiting messages when a token is received. The behavior of these protocols is shown to be highly dependent on the number of rings as well as the load in the network.

  16. Rice Protein isolate improves lipid and glucose homeostasis in rats fed high fat/high cholesterol diets

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Hundreds of phytochemicals are bound to rice protein isolate (RPI) and many are bioactive. To determine the metabolic effects of feeding RPI in early development, weanling rats were fed AIN-93G diets made with casein or RPI for 14 d. Reduced growth rate and adiposity prior to puberty in RPI-fed ra...

  17. Improved method for the isolation and sub-typing of avian influenza viruses from oropharyngeal samples of ducks.

    PubMed

    El Zowalaty, Mohamed E; Abin, Martha; Chander, Yogesh; Redig, Patrick T; Goyal, Sagar M

    2011-09-01

    Waterfowl are the natural reservoirs of avian influenza viruses (AIVs), from which the virus can spread to other species including humans, poultry, and swine. For the surveillance of AIV in their natural reservoir, most laboratories initially screen the samples using real-time reverse-transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction because of its high speed and sensitivity. Thereafter, virus isolation is used to isolate viruses from positive samples. Although many studies point to the need of testing both cloacal and oropharyngeal (OP) samples in AIV surveillance programs, most laboratories focus only on cloacal samples. This study was undertaken to determine the utility of OP samples as target samples in AIV surveillance programs under a strict cold chain of samples from the field to the laboratory. A total of 16 AIV (15.1%) were isolated from the 106 OP samples examined. Upon subtyping, four hemagglutinin subtypes (H1, H3, H4, and H6) and three neuraminidase subtypes (N1, N2, and N8) were detected in nine different combinations. Mixed infection with two different subtypes was found in four samples. No AIVs were isolated from the corresponding cloacal samples. These results highlight the fact that testing of properly frozen OP samples could add value to the understanding of the epidemiology and ecology of AIV in waterfowl populations. PMID:22017043

  18. Evaluations and modifications of semi-selective media for improved isolation of Agrobacterium tumefaciens biovar 1 from cultivated walnut

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agrobacterium tumefaciens, the causal agent of crown gall of walnut, is an aerobic, Gram negative bacterium belonging to the family Rhizobiaceae. Like many in this group, A. tumefaciens is a common inhabitant of soil and plant host tissue. Isolation from these complex environments is difficult even ...

  19. Improved In Vitro Culture of Plasmodium falciparum Permits Establishment of Clinical Isolates with Preserved Multiplication, Invasion and Rosetting Phenotypes

    PubMed Central

    Albrecht, Letusa; Ahmed Ismail, Hodan; Normark, Johan; Flaberg, Emilie; Szekely, Laszlo; Hultenby, Kjell; Persson, Kristina E. M.; Egwang, Thomas G.; Wahlgren, Mats

    2013-01-01

    To be able to robustly propagate P. falciparum at optimal conditions in vitro is of fundamental importance for genotypic and phenotypic studies of both established and fresh clinical isolates. Cryo-preserved P. falciparum isolates from Ugandan children with severe or uncomplicated malaria were investigated for parasite phenotypes under different in vitro growth conditions or studied directly from the peripheral blood. The parasite cultures showed a minimal loss of parasite-mass and preserved percentage of multiple infected pRBCs to that in peripheral blood, maintained adhesive phenotypes and good outgrowth and multiplication rates when grown in suspension and supplemented with gas. In contrast, abnormal and greatly fluctuating levels of multiple infections were observed during static growth conditions and outgrowth and multiplication rates were inferior. Serum, as compared to Albumax, was found necessary for optimal presentation of PfEMP1 at the pRBC surface and/or for binding of serum proteins (immunoglobulins). Optimal in vitro growth conditions of P. falciparum therefore include orbital shaking (50 rev/min), human serum (10%) and a fixed gas composition (5% O2, 5% CO2, 90% N2). We subsequently established 100% of 76 frozen patient isolates and found rosetting with schizont pRBCs in every isolate (>26% schizont rosetting rate). Rosetting during schizogony was often followed by invasion of the bound RBC as seen by regular and time-lapse microscopy as well as transmission electron microscopy. The peripheral parasitemia, the level of rosetting and the rate of multiplication correlated positively to one another for individual isolates. Rosetting was also more frequent with trophozoite and schizont pRBCs of children with severe versus uncomplicated malaria (p<0.002; p<0.004). The associations suggest that rosetting enhances the ability of the parasite to multiply within the human host. PMID:23894537

  20. Improving implementation of evidence-based practice in mental health service delivery: protocol for a cluster randomised quasi-experimental investigation of staff-focused values interventions

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    files and staff work samples are reviewed for each condition to determine the impact of implementation. Self-determination theory and theories of organisational change are used to interpret the data. Discussion The research adds to the current knowledge base related to worker motivation and uptake of workplace practice. It describes a structured protocol that aims to enhance worker autonomy for imposed workplace practices. The research will inform how best to measure and conceptualise transfer. These findings will apply particularly to contexts where individuals are not ‘volunteers’ in requisite change processes. Trial registration ACTRN: ACTRN12613000353796. PMID:23819816

  1. A multi-centre randomised controlled trial of rehabilitation aimed at improving outdoor mobility for people after stroke: Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    . Discussion This study protocol describes a pragmatic randomised controlled trial that will hopefully provide robust evidence of the benefit of outdoor mobility interventions after stroke for clinicians working in the community. The results will be available towards the end of 2012. Trial registration ISRCTN58683841 PMID:22721452

  2. A protocol for improving mapping and assessing of seagrass abundance along the West Central Coast of Florida using Landsat TM and EO-1 ALI/Hyperion images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pu, Ruiliang; Bell, Susan

    2013-09-01

    Seagrass habitats are characteristic features of shallow waters worldwide and provide a variety of ecosystem functions. Remote sensing techniques can help collect spatial and temporal information about seagrass resources. In this study, we evaluate a protocol that utilizes image optimization algorithms followed by atmospheric and sunglint corrections to the three satellite sensors [Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM), Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) Advanced Land Imager (ALI) and Hyperion (HYP)] and a fuzzy synthetic evaluation technique to map and assess seagrass abundance in Pinellas County, FL, USA. After image preprocessed with image optimization algorithms and atmospheric and sunglint correction approaches, the three sensors' data were used to classify the submerged aquatic vegetation cover (%SAV cover) into 5 classes with a maximum likelihood classifier. Based on three biological metrics [%SAV, leaf area index (LAI), and Biomass] measured from the field, nine multiple regression models were developed for estimating the three biometrics with spectral variables derived from the three sensors' data. Then, five membership maps were created with the three biometrics along with two environmental factors (water depth and distance-to-shoreline). Finally, seagrass abundance maps were produced by using a fuzzy synthetic evaluation technique and five membership maps. The experimental results indicate that the HYP sensor produced the best results of the 5-class classification of %SAV cover (overall accuracy = 87% and Kappa = 0.83 vs. 82% and 0.77 by ALI and 79% and 0.73 by TM) and better multiple regression models for estimating the three biometrics (R2 = 0.66, 0.62 and 0.61 for %SAV, LAI and Biomass vs. 0.62, 0.61 and 0.55 by ALI and 0.58, 0.56 and 0.52 by TM) for creating seagrass abundance maps along with two environmental factors. Combined our results demonstrate that the image optimization algorithms and the fuzzy synthetic evaluation technique were effective in mapping

  3. Improving advance care planning for English-speaking and Spanish-speaking older adults: study protocol for the PREPARE randomised controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Sudore, Rebecca L; Barnes, Deborah E; Le, Gem M; Ramos, Roberto; Osua, Stacy J; Richardson, Sarah A; Boscardin, John; Schillinger, Dean

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Advance care planning (ACP) is a process that allows patients to identify their goals for medical care. Traditionally, ACP has focused on completing advance directives; however, we have expanded the ACP paradigm to also prepare patients to communicate their wishes and make informed decisions. To this end, we created an ACP website called PREPARE (http://www.prepareforyourcare.org) to prepare diverse English-speaking and Spanish-speaking older adults for medical decision-making. Here, we describe the study protocol for a randomised controlled efficacy trial of PREPARE in a safety-net setting. The goal is to determine the efficacy of PREPARE to engage diverse English-speaking and Spanish-speaking older adults in a full spectrum of ACP behaviours. Methods and analysis We include English-speaking and Spanish-speaking adults from an urban public hospital who are ≥55 years old, have ≥2 chronic medical conditions and have seen a primary care physician ≥2 times in the last year. Participants are randomised to the PREPARE intervention (review PREPARE and an easy-to-read advance directive) or the control arm (only the easy-to-read advance directive). The primary outcome is documentation of an advance directive and/or ACP discussion. Secondary outcomes include ACP behaviour change processes measured with validated surveys (eg, self-efficacy, readiness) and a broad range of ACP actions (eg, choosing a surrogate, identifying goals for care, discussing ACP with clinicians and/or surrogates). Using blinded outcome ascertainment, outcomes will be measured at 1 week and at 3, 6 and 12 months, and compared between study arms using mixed-effects logistic regression and mixed-effects linear, Poisson or negative binomial regression. Ethics and dissemination This study has been approved by the appropriate Institutional Review Boards and is guided by input from patient and clinical advisory boards and a data safety monitoring board. The results of this study will

  4. Licklider Transmission Protocol Implementation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burleigh, Scott C.; Krupiarz, Chris

    2011-01-01

    This software is an implementation of the Licklider Transmission Protocol (LTP), a communications protocol intended to support the Bundle Protocol in Delay-Tolerant Network (DTN) operations. LTP is designed to provide retransmission-based reliability over links characterized by extremely long message round-trip times and/or frequent interruptions in connectivity. Communication in interplanetary space is the most prominent example of this sort of environment, and LTP is principally aimed at supporting long-haul reliable transmission over deep-space RF links. Like any reliable transport service employing ARQ (Automatic Repeat re-Quests), LTP is stateful. In order to assure the reception of a block of data it has sent, LTP must retain for possible retransmission all portions of that block which might not have been received yet. In order to do so, it must keep track of which portions of the block are known to have been received so far, and which are not, together with any additional information needed for purposes of retransmitting part, or all, of the block. Long round-trip times mean substantial delay between the transmission of a block of data and the reception of an acknowledgement from the block s destination, signaling arrival of the block. If LTP postponed transmission of additional blocks of data until it received acknowledgement of the arrival of all prior blocks, valuable opportunities to use what little deep space transmission bandwidth is available would be forever lost. For this reason, LTP is based in part on a notion of massive state retention. Any number of requested transmission conversations (sessions) may be concurrently in flight at various displacements along the link between two LTP engines, and the LTP engines must necessarily retain transmission status and retransmission resources for all of them. Moreover, if any of the data of a given block are lost en route, it will be necessary to retain the state of that transmission during an additional

  5. Improvement of hospital care for patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma: protocol for a cluster randomized controlled trial (PEARL study)

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Malignant lymphomas constitute a diverse group of cancers of lymphocytes. One well-known disease is Hodgkin’s lymphoma; the others are classified as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). NHLs are the most common hematologic neoplasms in adults worldwide, and in 2012 over 170,000 new cases were estimated in the United States and Europe. In previous studies, several practice gaps in hospital care for patients with NHL have been identified. To decrease this variation in care, the present study aims to perform a problem analysis in which barriers to and facilitators for optimal NHL care will be identified and, based on these findings, to develop (tailored) improvement strategies. Subsequently, we will assess the effectiveness, feasibility and costs of the improvement strategies. Methods/design Barriers and facilitators will be explored using the literature, using interviews and questionnaires among physicians involved in NHL care, and patients diagnosed with NHL. The results will be used to develop a tailored improvement strategy. A cluster randomized controlled trial involving 19 Dutch hospitals will be conducted. Hospitals will be randomized to receive either an improvement strategy tailored to the barriers and facilitators found or, a standard strategy of audit and feedback. The effects of both strategies will be evaluated using previously developed quality indicators. Adherence to the indicators will be measured before and after the intervention period based on medical records from newly diagnosed NHL patients. To study the feasibility of both strategies, a process evaluation will be additionally performed. Data about exposure to the different elements of the strategies will be collected using questionnaires. Economic evaluation from a healthcare perspective will compare the two implementation strategies, where the costs of the implementation strategy and changes in healthcare consumption will be assessed. Discussion The presence of variation in the use of

  6. The braided single-stage protocol for quantum secure communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Darunkar, Bhagyashri; Verma, Pramode K.

    2014-05-01

    This paper presents the concept and implementation of a Braided Single-stage Protocol for quantum secure communication. The braided single-stage protocol is a multi-photon tolerant secure protocol. This multi-photon tolerant protocol has been implemented in the laboratory using free-space optics technology. The proposed protocol capitalizes on strengths of the three-stage protocol and extends it with a new concept of braiding. This protocol overcomes the limitations associated with the three-stage protocol in the following ways: It uses the transmission channel only once as opposed to three times in the three-stage protocol, and it is invulnerable to man-in-the-middle attack. This paper also presents the error analysis resulting from the misalignment of the devices in the implementation. The experimental results validate the efficient use of transmission resources and improvement in the data transfer rate.

  7. Study protocol for a randomized, controlled trial comparing the efficacy of two educational interventions to improve inhalation techniques in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): TIEPOC Study

    PubMed Central

    Leiva-Fernández, José; Leiva-Fernández, Francisca; Vázquez-Alarcón, Rubén L; García-Ruiz, Antonio; Prados-Torres, Daniel; Barnestein-Fonseca, Pilar

    2014-01-01

    Background: An appropriate inhalation technique and adherence to treatment are both critical determinants of the success of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) management. We have observed that up to 75% of patients do not use a successful inhalation technique. Knowledge evaluation and frequent reassessment of inhaler use, together with education of patients and healthcare professionals, can significantly improve the benefits that patients with COPD will derive from inhaler therapy. The objective of this study is to test the efficacy of two educational interventions to improve inhalation techniques in patients with COPD. Methods: Multicenter randomized controlled trial with 296 patients diagnosed with COPD selected by a non-probabilistic method of sampling from seven Spanish Primary Care Centers. The patients will be divided into three groups by block randomization. The three groups are: 1) control; 2) Intervention A; and 3) Intervention B. The control group will comprise patients with no explanations or written information; the Intervention A group will comprise patients to whom we give written information only; and the Intervention B group will comprise patients to whom we give written information plus instructor training. Every patient in each group will be visited four times during the year of the study at the health centers. Discussion: Our hypothesis is that the application of educational interventions (A or B) in patients with COPD who use inhaler therapy will increase the number of patients who perform a correct inhalation technique by at least 25%. We will evaluate the effectiveness of these interventions on patient inhalation technique improvement, where feasible within the context of clinical practice. PMID:24991223

  8. Functionality and feedback: a protocol for a realist synthesis of the collation, interpretation and utilisation of PROMs data to improve patient care

    PubMed Central

    Greenhalgh, Joanne; Pawson, Ray; Wright, Judy; Black, Nick; Valderas, Jose Maria; Meads, David; Gibbons, Elizabeth; Wood, Laurence; Wood, Charlotte; Mills, Chris; Dalkin, Sonia

    2014-01-01

    Introduction The feedback and public reporting of PROMs data aims to improve the quality of care provided to patients. Existing systematic reviews have found it difficult to draw overall conclusions about the effectiveness of PROMs feedback. We aim to execute a realist synthesis of the evidence to understand by what means and in what circumstances the feedback of PROMs data leads to the intended service improvements. Methods and analysis Realist synthesis involves (stage 1) identifying the ideas, assumptions or ‘programme theories’ which explain how PROMs feedback is supposed to work and in what circumstances and then (stage 2) reviewing the evidence to determine the extent to which these expectations are met in practice. For stage 1, six provisional ‘functions’ of PROMs feedback have been identified to structure our review (screening, monitoring, patient involvement, demand management, quality improvement and patient choice). For each function, we will identify the different programme theories that underlie these different goals and develop a logical map of the respective implementation processes. In stage 2, we will identify studies that will provide empirical tests of each component of the programme theories to evaluate the circumstances in which the potential obstacles can be overcome and whether and how the unintended consequences of PROMs feedback arise. We will synthesise this evidence to (1) identify the implementation processes which support or constrain the successful collation, interpretation and utilisation of PROMs data; (2) identify the implementation processes through which the unintended consequences of PROMs data arise and those where they can be avoided. Ethics and dissemination The study will not require NHS ethics approval. We have secured ethical approval for the study from the University of Leeds (LTSSP-019). We will disseminate the findings of the review through a briefing paper and dissemination event for National Health Service

  9. Investigating community ownership of a text message programme to improve adherence to antiretroviral therapy and provider-client communication: a mixed methods research protocol

    PubMed Central

    Mbuagbaw, Lawrence; Ongolo-Zogo, Pierre; Thabane, Lehana

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Mobile phone ownership and use are growing fastest in sub-Saharan Africa, and there is evidence that mobile phone text messages can be used successfully to significantly improve adherence to antiretroviral therapy and reduce treatment interruptions. However, the effects of many mobile health interventions are often reduced by human resource shortages within health facilities. Also, research projects generating evidence for health interventions in developing countries are most often conducted using external funding sources, with limited sustainability and adoption by local governments following completion of the projects. Strong community participation driven by active outreach programmes and mobilisation of community resources are the key to successful adoption and long-term sustainability of effective interventions. Our aim was to develop a framework for community ownership of a text messaging programme to improve adherence to antiretroviral therapy; improve communication between patients and doctors and act as a reminder for appointments. Methods and analysis We will use the exploratory sequential mixed methods approach. The first qualitative phase will entail focus group discussions with people living with HIV at the Yaoundé Central Hospital in Yaoundé, Cameroon (6–10 participants/group). The second quantitative phase will involve a cross-sectional survey (n=402). In this study, binary logistic regression techniques will be used to determine the factors associated with community readiness and acceptability of ownership. Data from both phases will be merged. Ethics and dissemination This study has been approved by the Yaoundé Central Hospital Institutional Review Board. The results of this paper will be disseminated as peer-reviewed publications at conferences and as part of a doctoral thesis. PMID:23801710

  10. Feasibility intervention trial of two types of improved cookstoves in three resource-limited settings: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Exposure to biomass fuel smoke is one of the leading risk factors for disease burden worldwide. International campaigns are currently promoting the widespread adoption of improved cookstoves in resource-limited settings, yet little is known about the cultural and social barriers to successful improved cookstove adoption and how these barriers affect environmental exposures and health outcomes. Design We plan to conduct a one-year crossover, feasibility intervention trial in three resource-limited settings (Kenya, Nepal and Peru). We will enroll 40 to 46 female primary cooks aged 20 to 49 years in each site (total 120 to 138). Methods At baseline, we will collect information on sociodemographic characteristics and cooking practices, and measure respiratory health and blood pressure for all participating women. An initial observational period of four months while households use their traditional, open-fire design cookstoves will take place prior to randomization. All participants will then be randomized to receive one of two types of improved, ventilated cookstoves with a chimney: a commercially-constructed cookstove (Envirofit G3300/G3355) or a locally-constructed cookstove. After four months of observation, participants will crossover and receive the other improved cookstove design and be followed for another four months. During each of the three four-month study periods, we will collect monthly information on self-reported respiratory symptoms, cooking practices, compliance with cookstove use (intervention periods only), and measure peak expiratory flow, forced expiratory volume at 1 second, exhaled carbon monoxide and blood pressure. We will also measure pulmonary function testing in the women participants and 24-hour kitchen particulate matter and carbon monoxide levels at least once per period. Discussion Findings from this study will help us better understand the behavioral, biological, and environmental changes that occur with a cookstove

  11. Expanded Quality Management Using Information Power (EQUIP): protocol for a quasi-experimental study to improve maternal and newborn health in Tanzania and Uganda

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Maternal and newborn mortality remain unacceptably high in sub-Saharan Africa. Tanzania and Uganda are committed to reduce maternal and newborn mortality, but progress has been limited and many essential interventions are unavailable in primary and referral facilities. Quality management has the potential to overcome low implementation levels by assisting teams of health workers and others finding local solutions to problems in delivering quality care and the underutilization of health services by the community. Existing evidence of the effect of quality management on health worker performance in these contexts has important limitations, and the feasibility of expanding quality management to the community level is unknown. We aim to assess quality management at the district, facility, and community levels, supported by information from high-quality, continuous surveys, and report effects of the quality management intervention on the utilization and quality of services in Tanzania and Uganda. Methods In Uganda and Tanzania, the Expanded Quality Management Using Information Power (EQUIP) intervention is implemented in one intervention district and evaluated using a plausibility design with one non-randomly selected comparison district. The quality management approach is based on the collaborative model for improvement, in which groups of quality improvement teams test new implementation strategies (change ideas) and periodically meet to share results and identify the best strategies. The teams use locally-generated community and health facility data to monitor improvements. In addition, data from continuous health facility and household surveys are used to guide prioritization and decision making by quality improvement teams as well as for evaluation of the intervention. These data include input, process, output, coverage, implementation practice, and client satisfaction indicators in both intervention and comparison districts. Thus, intervention districts

  12. Accuracy of NHANES periodontal examination protocols.

    PubMed

    Eke, P I; Thornton-Evans, G O; Wei, L; Borgnakke, W S; Dye, B A

    2010-11-01

    This study evaluates the accuracy of periodontitis prevalence determined by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) partial-mouth periodontal examination protocols. True periodontitis prevalence was determined in a new convenience sample of 454 adults ≥ 35 years old, by a full-mouth "gold standard" periodontal examination. This actual prevalence was compared with prevalence resulting from analysis of the data according to the protocols of NHANES III and NHANES 2001-2004, respectively. Both NHANES protocols substantially underestimated the prevalence of periodontitis by 50% or more, depending on the periodontitis case definition used, and thus performed below threshold levels for moderate-to-high levels of validity for surveillance. Adding measurements from lingual or interproximal sites to the NHANES 2001-2004 protocol did not improve the accuracy sufficiently to reach acceptable sensitivity thresholds. These findings suggest that NHANES protocols produce high levels of misclassification of periodontitis cases and thus have low validity for surveillance and research. PMID:20858782

  13. Cryptanalysis of the arbitrated quantum signature protocols

    SciTech Connect

    Gao Fei; Qin Sujuan; Guo Fenzhuo; Wen Qiaoyan

    2011-08-15

    As a new model for signing quantum messages, arbitrated quantum signature (AQS) has recently received a lot of attention. In this paper we study the cryptanalysis of previous AQS protocols from the aspects of forgery and disavowal. We show that in these protocols the receiver, Bob, can realize existential forgery of the sender's signature under known message attack. Bob can even achieve universal forgery when the protocols are used to sign a classical message. Furthermore, the sender, Alice, can successfully disavow any of her signatures by simple attack. The attack strategies are described in detail and some discussions about the potential improvements of the protocols are given. Finally we also present several interesting topics on AQS protocols that can be studied in future.

  14. Cryptanalysis of the arbitrated quantum signature protocols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Fei; Qin, Su-Juan; Guo, Fen-Zhuo; Wen, Qiao-Yan

    2011-08-01

    As a new model for signing quantum messages, arbitrated quantum signature (AQS) has recently received a lot of attention. In this paper we study the cryptanalysis of previous AQS protocols from the aspects of forgery and disavowal. We show that in these protocols the receiver, Bob, can realize existential forgery of the sender's signature under known message attack. Bob can even achieve universal forgery when the protocols are used to sign a classical message. Furthermore, the sender, Alice, can successfully disavow any of her signatures by simple attack. The attack strategies are described in detail and some discussions about the potential improvements of the protocols are given. Finally we also present several interesting topics on AQS protocols that can be studied in future.

  15. Security Weaknesses in Arbitrated Quantum Signature Protocols

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Feng; Zhang, Kejia; Cao, Tianqing

    2014-01-01

    Arbitrated quantum signature (AQS) is a cryptographic scenario in which the sender (signer), Alice, generates the signature of a message and then a receiver (verifier), Bob, can verify the signature with the help of a trusted arbitrator, Trent. In this paper, we point out there exist some security weaknesses in two AQS protocols. Our analysis shows Alice can successfully disavow any of her signatures by a simple attack in the first protocol. Furthermore, we study the security weaknesses of the second protocol from the aspects of forgery and disavowal. Some potential improvements of this kind of protocols are given. We also design a new method to authenticate a signature or a message, which makes AQS protocols immune to Alice's disavowal attack and Bob's forgery attack effectively.

  16. Study protocol: Improving patient choice in treating low back pain (IMPACT - LBP): A randomised controlled trial of a decision support package for use in physical therapy

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Low back pain is a common and costly condition. There are several treatment options for people suffering from back pain, but there are few data on how to improve patients' treatment choices. This study will test the effects of a decision support package (DSP), designed to help patients seeking care for back pain to make better, more informed choices about their treatment within a physiotherapy department. The package will be designed to assist both therapist and patient. Methods/Design Firstly, in collaboration with physiotherapists, patients and experts in the field of decision support and decision aids, we will develop the DSP. The work will include: a literature and evidence review; secondary analysis of existing qualitative data; exploration of patients' perspectives through focus groups and exploration of experts' perspectives using a nominal group technique and a Delphi study. Secondly, we will carry out a pilot single centre randomised controlled trial within NHS Coventry Community Physiotherapy. We will randomise physiotherapists to receive either training for the DSP or not. We will randomly allocate patients seeking treatment for non specific low back pain to either a physiotherapist trained in decision support or to receive usual care. Our primary outcome measure will be patient satisfaction with treatment at three month follow-up. We will also estimate the cost-effectiveness of the intervention, and assess the value of conducting further research. Discussion Informed shared decision-making should be an important part of any clinical consultation, particularly when there are several treatments, which potentially have moderate effects. The results of this pilot will help us determine the benefits of improving the decision-making process in clinical practice on patient satisfaction. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN46035546 PMID:21352528

  17. minSKIN Does a multifaceted intervention improve the competence in the diagnosis of skin cancer by general practitioners? Study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background In Switzerland, skin cancer is one of the most common neoplasms. Melanoma is the most aggressive one and can be lethal if not detected and removed on time. Nonmelanoma skin cancer is more frequent as melanoma; it is seldom lethal but can disfigure patients in advanced stages. General practitioners (GPs) are often faced with suspicious skin lesions of their patients. Methods/Design Design: Randomised controlled trial (RCT). Population: 60 GPs, randomised into intervention group and control group. Intervention: GPs get a Lumio loupe, a digital camera and continuous feedback based on pictures of skin lesions they send to the Dermatologist. Primary outcome: Competence in the diagnosis of skin cancer by GPs, measured as the percentage of correctly classified pictures of skin lesions. Measurements: At baseline, and prior to any intervention (T0), GPs will be asked to rate 36 pictures of skin lesions according to their likelihood of malignancy on a visual analogue scale (VAS). After a full day training course with both groups (T1) and after one year of continuous feedback (T2) with the intervention group, we will repeat the picture scoring session with both groups, using new pictures. Discussion We want to determine whether a multifaceted intervention (including technical equipment and a continuous feedback on skin lesions) leads to an improved competence in the diagnosis of skin cancer by GPs. This study addresses the hypothesis that an additional feedback loop, based on pictures performed in daily practice by GPs is superior to a simple educational intervention regarding diagnostic competence. We expect an improvement of the competence in skin cancer diagnosis by GPs in both groups after the full day training course. Beside this immediate effect, we also expect a long term effect in the intervention group because of the continuous problem based feedback. Trial registration ISRCTN: ISRCTN29854485 PMID:21718520

  18. Multistrategy childcare-based intervention to improve compliance with nutrition guidelines versus usual care in long day care services: a study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Seward, Kirsty; Finch, Meghan; Wiggers, John; Wyse, Rebecca; Jones, Jannah; Gillham, Karen; Yoong, Sze Lin

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Interventions to improve child diet are recommended as dietary patterns developed in childhood track into adulthood and influence the risk of chronic disease. For child health, childcare services are required to provide foods to children consistent with nutrition guidelines. Research suggests that foods and beverages provided by services to children are often inconsistent with nutrition guidelines. The primary aim of this study is to assess, relative to a usual care control group, the effectiveness of a multistrategy childcare-based intervention in improving compliance with nutrition guidelines in long day care services. Methods and analysis The study will employ a parallel group randomised controlled trial design. A sample of 58 long day care services that provide all meals (typically includes 1 main and 2 mid-meals) to children while they are in care, in the Hunter New England region of New South Wales, Australia, will be randomly allocated to a 6-month intervention to support implementation of nutrition guidelines or a usual care control group in a 1:1 ratio. The intervention was designed to overcome barriers to the implementation of nutrition guidelines assessed using the theoretical domains framework. Intervention strategies will include the provision of staff training and resources, audit and feedback, ongoing support and securing executive support. The primary outcome of the trial will be the change in the proportion of long day care services that have a 2-week menu compliant with childcare nutrition guidelines, measured by comprehensive menu assessments. As a secondary outcome, child dietary intake while in care will also be assessed. To assess the effectiveness of the intervention, the measures will be undertaken at baseline and ∼6 months postbaseline. Ethics and dissemination The study was approved by the Hunter New England Human Research Ethics Committee. Study findings will be disseminated widely through peer-reviewed publications. PMID

  19. Efficacy and safety of a multifactor intervention to improve therapeutic adherence in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): protocol for the ICEPOC study

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Low therapeutic adherence to medication is very common. Clinical effectiveness is related to dose rate and route of administration and so poor therapeutic adherence can reduce the clinical benefit of treatment. The therapeutic adherence of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is extremely poor according to most studies. The research about COPD adherence has mainly focussed on quantifying its effect, and few studies have researched factors that affect non-adherence. Our study will evaluate the effectiveness of a multifactor intervention to improve the therapeutic adherence of COPD patients. Methods/Design A randomized controlled clinical trial with 140 COPD diagnosed patients selected by a non-probabilistic method of sampling. Subjects will be randomly allocated into two groups, using the block randomization technique. Every patient in each group will be visited four times during the year of the study. Intervention: Motivational aspects related to adherence (beliefs and behaviour): group and individual interviews; cognitive aspects: information about illness; skills: inhaled technique training. Reinforcement of the cognitive-emotional aspects and inhaled technique training will be carried out in all visits of the intervention group. Discussion Adherence to a prescribed treatment involves a behavioural change. Cognitive, emotional and motivational aspects influence this change and so we consider the best intervention procedure to improve adherence would be a cognitive and emotional strategy which could be applied in daily clinical practice. Our hypothesis is that the application of a multifactor intervention (COPD information, dose reminders and reinforcing audiovisual material, motivational aspects and inhalation technique training) to COPD patients taking inhaled treatment will give a 25% increase in the number of patients showing therapeutic adherence in this group compared to the control group. We will evaluate the effectiveness

  20. Improving access to preparatory information for children undergoing general anaesthesia for tooth extraction and their families: study protocol for a Phase III randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Children can find anaesthesia induction especially distressing and postoperative psychological and physical morbidity are common. Preparation programmes for general anaesthesia (GA) are highly effective in reducing this distress. A Phase II study has already verified the effectiveness of a prototype preoperative GA-coping computer game to help children cope with induction in a dental GA setting. The biggest patient users of pediatric GA services in the UK are children who need to have teeth removed (estimated to be 100,000 yearly). Tooth decay is the most common disease in children worldwide. This study is a Phase III randomized controlled trial (RCT) and will evaluate the effectiveness of the new internet version of this game. Methods/design The Phase III RCT will use a double-blind three-armed design. The clinical trial will recruit up to 210 children and will compare the web-based game against standard care and another non-medical game. At least 53 patients in each group will be required for 90% statistical power. Distress will be assessed through an evaluation of the child’s behaviour during the visit and later parental reports of physical and psychological morbidity. The satisfaction of parents and children will be measured; the mode of usage of the web-based game will be automatically recorded and the impact on the service (for example, recovery time and throughput) will be reported. The Phase III study primary outcome will measure: (1) patient experience: acceptance of anaesthetic induction, child cooperation and distress, reduction of peri- and postoperative morbidity, child and family satisfaction, and (2) service improvement: anaesthetic time and improvement in throughput. Measures will be administered at baseline, at the time of the GA treatment visit, and at 48 hours and one week postoperatively. Discussion This study aims to determine the effectiveness of an online GA-coping game for children and families undergoing tooth extraction under

  1. Telehealth system (e-CUIDATE) to improve quality of life in breast cancer survivors: rationale and study protocol for a randomized clinical trial

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Breast cancer survivors suffer physical impairment after oncology treatment. This impairment reduces quality of life (QoL) and increase the prevalence of handicaps associated to unhealthy lifestyle (for example, decreased aerobic capacity and strength, weight gain, and fatigue). Recent work has shown that exercise adapted to individual characteristics of patients is related to improved overall and disease-free survival. Nowadays, technological support using telerehabilitation systems is a promising strategy with great advantage of a quick and efficient contact with the health professional. It is not known the role of telerehabilitation through therapeutic exercise as a support tool to implement an active lifestyle which has been shown as an effective resource to improve fitness and reduce musculoskeletal disorders of these women. Methods / Design This study will use a two-arm, assessor blinded, parallel randomized controlled trial design. People will be eligible if: their diagnosis is of stages I, II, or IIIA breast cancer; they are without chronic disease or orthopedic issues that would interfere with ability to participate in a physical activity program; they had access to the Internet and basic knowledge of computer use or living with a relative who has this knowledge; they had completed adjuvant therapy except for hormone therapy and not have a history of cancer recurrence; and they have an interest in improving lifestyle. Participants will be randomized into e-CUIDATE or usual care groups. E-CUIDATE give participants access to a range of contents: planning exercise arranged in series with breathing exercises, mobility, strength, and stretching. All of these exercises will be assigned to women in the telerehabilitation group according to perceived needs. The control group will be asked to maintain their usual routine. Study endpoints will be assessed after 8 weeks (immediate effects) and after 6 months. The primary outcome will be QoL measured by The

  2. e-Monitoring of Asthma Therapy to Improve Compliance in children using a real-time medication monitoring system (RTMM): the e-MATIC study protocol

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Many children with asthma do not have sufficient asthma control, which leads to increased healthcare costs and productivity loss of parents. One of the causative factors are adherence problems. Effective interventions improving medication adherence may therefore improve asthma control and reduce costs. A promising solution is sending real time text-messages via the mobile phone network, when a medicine is about to be forgotten. As the effect of real time text-messages in children with asthma is unknown, the primary aim of this study is to determine the effect of a Real Time Medication Monitoring system (RTMM) with text-messages on adherence to inhaled corticosteroids (ICS). The secondary objective is to study the effects of RTMM on asthma control, quality of life and cost-effectiveness of treatment. Methods A multicenter, randomized controlled trial involving 220 children (4–11 years) using ICS for asthma. All children receive an RTMM-device for one year, which registers time and date of ICS doses. Children in the intervention group also receive tailored text-messages, sent only when a dose is at risk of omission. Primary outcome measure is the proportion of ICS dosages taken within the individually predefined time-interval. Secondary outcome measures include asthma control (monthly Asthma Control Tests), asthma exacerbations, healthcare use (collected from hospital records, patient reports and pharmacy record data), and disease-specific quality of life (PAQLQ questionnaire). Parental and children’s acceptance of RTMM is evaluated with online focus groups and patient questionnaires. An economic evaluation is performed adopting a societal perspective, including relevant healthcare costs and parental productivity loss. Furthermore, a decision-analytic model is developed in which different levels of adherence are associated with clinical and financial outcomes. Also, sensitivity analyses are carried out on different price levels for RTMM. Discussion

  3. Feedback versus no feedback in improving patient outcome in group psychotherapy for eating disorders (F-EAT): protocol for a randomized clinical trial

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Continuous feedback on patient improvement and the therapeutic alliance may reduce the number of dropouts and increase patient outcome. There are, however, only three published randomized trials on the effect of feedback on the treatment of eating disorders, showing inconclusive results, and there are no randomized trials on the effect of feedback in group therapy. Accordingly the current randomized clinical trial, initiated in September 2012 at the outpatient clinic for eating disorders at Stolpegaard Psychotherapy Centre, aims to investigate the impact of continuous feedback on attendance and outcome in group psychotherapy. Methods/design The hypothesis is that continuous feedback to both patient and therapist on treatment progress and alliance will increase attendance and treatment outcome. The trial is set up using a randomized design with a minimum of 128 patients allocated to either an experimental or control group at a ratio of 1:1. The experimental group will receive standard treatment (systemic and narrative group psychotherapy) with feedback intervention, whereas the control group will receive standard treatment only. The participants are diagnosed with bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, or an eating disorder not otherwise specified, according to the DSM-IV. In the experimental group feedback to the participants, based on the Outcome Rating Scale (ORS) and the Group Session Rating Scale (GSRS), is actively added to standard treatment. The ORS assesses areas of life functioning known to change as a result of therapeutic intervention. The GSRS assesses key dimensions of effective therapeutic relationships. In the control group, the patients fill out the Outcome Rating Scale only, and feedback is not provided. The primary outcome is the rate of attendance to treatment sessions. The secondary outcome is the severity of eating disorder symptoms. Exploratory outcomes are the level of psychological and social functioning, and suicide or self

  4. Connecting Health and Technology (CHAT): protocol of a randomized controlled trial to improve nutrition behaviours using mobile devices and tailored text messaging in young adults

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Increasing intakes of fruits and vegetables intake, in tandem with reducing consumption of energy-dense and nutrient poor foods and beverages are dietary priorities to prevent chronic disease. Although most adults do not eat enough fruit and vegetables, teenagers and young adults tend to have the lowest intakes. Young adults typically consume a diet which is inconsistent with the dietary recommendations. Yet little is known about the best approaches to improve dietary intakes and behaviours among this group. This randomised controlled trial aims to evaluate the effectiveness of using a mobile device to assess dietary intake, provide tailored dietary feedback and text messages to motivate changes in fruit, vegetable and junk food consumption among young adults. Methods/design The CHAT project will involve the development of the mobile device food record (MDFR), and evaluation of dietary feedback and implementation of a 6-month intervention in young adults aged 18 to 30 years. The participants will be randomly assigned to one of three groups (1) Intervention Group 1: MDFR + Text Messages + Dietary Feedback; (2) Intervention Group 2: MDFR + Dietary Feedback; (3) Control Group 3: MDFR, no feedback. All groups will undertake a 3-day dietary record using the MDFR but only the Intervention Groups 1 and 2 will receive tailored dietary feedback at baseline and at 6-months which will consist of assessment of serves of fruits, vegetables and junk food in comparison to dietary recommendations. Tailored nutrition text messages will be sent to Intervention Group 1 over the 6 months. Data will be collected at baseline and again at the 6-month completion. Discussion This trial will test if applications running on mobile devices have potential to assess diet, provide tailored feedback and nutrition messages as an effective way of improving fruit and vegetable consumption and reducing energy-dense nutrient poor foods in young adults. The CHAT project will assess the

  5. Happy@Work: protocol for a web-based randomized controlled trial to improve mental well-being among an Asian working population

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Mental health issues pose a serious concern in the workplace for the huge productivity loss and financial burden associated with it. Unlike the traditional ‘fixing-what-is-wrong’ approach, positive psychology offers a less-stigmatized way to promote mental health. Psychological capital, a concept originated from positive psychology, has been proven effective in improving mental well-being and work performance. However, little evidence exists for its implementation among Asian working population or its cost-benefit for organizations adopting such promotion strategy. The current study is designed to assess the protective effects of a web-based psychology capital intervention among Hong Kong working population on individuals’ mental health and work performance, as well as organizations’ return-on-investment. Methods/Design A two-arm randomized controlled trial design will be adopted. Eligible working adults will be randomly allocated to either the intervention group or the waiting-list control group, with 177 participants in each arm. The intervention, which consists of four web-based training sessions, each targeting one of the psychological capital components (hope, efficacy, optimism and resilience), will be implemented over a 4-week period. On-line surveys will assess the participants in each group at baseline, intervention completion, 1 and 3 months after the completion. The primary outcome is individuals’ psychological capital level; secondary outcomes include individuals’ well-being, depressive symptoms, work engagement and productivity. Return-on-investment will be calculated from the employers’ perspective based on productivity gain, savings in medical expenditure, as well as operation and time costs. Analysis will follow the intention-to-treat principle. Discussion This is the first experimental study that explores the applicability of psychological capital development among Asian population. Through investigating changes in

  6. A combined approach of VNTR and MLST analysis: improving molecular typing of Argentinean isolates of Leptospira interrogans.

    PubMed

    Caimi, Karina; Varni, Vanina; Melendez, Yamil; Koval, Ariel; Brihuega, Bibiana; Ruybal, Paula

    2012-08-01

    Leptospirosis is an emerging infectious disease that has been identified as both a human and animal health problem worldwide. Regular outbreaks associated with specific risk factors have been reported in Argentina. However, there are no available data concerning the genetic population level for this pathogen. Therefore, the aim of this work was to describe the genetic diversity of Leptospira interrogans through the application of two molecular typing strategies: variable number of tandem repeats (VNTR) and multilocus sequence typing (MLST). For this purpose, seven reference strains and 18 non-epidemiologically related isolates from diverse hosts and Argentinean regions were analysed. Among them, nine genotypes and seven sequence types (STs), including three unreported STs, were described using VNTR and MLST, respectively. eBURST analysis demonstrated that ST37 was the most frequent and founder genotype of a clonal complex (CCs) containing STN1 and STN3, suggesting the importance of studying the serovars belonging to this CC in Argentina. The data from maximum parsimony analysis, which combined both techniques, achieved intra-serovar discrimination, surmounted microscopic agglutination test discrepancies and increased the discriminatory power of each technique applied separately. This study is the first to combine both strategies for L. interrogans typing to generate a more comprehensive molecular genotyping of isolates from Argentina in a global context. PMID:22850955

  7. Odor-enriched environment rescues long-term social memory, but does not improve olfaction in social isolated adult mice.

    PubMed

    Gusmão, Isabela D; Monteiro, Brisa M M; Cornélio, Guilherme O S; Fonseca, Cristina S; Moraes, Márcio F D; Pereira, Grace S

    2012-03-17

    Prolonged permanence of animals under social isolation (SI) arouses a variety of psychological symptoms like aggression, stress, anxiety and depression. However, short-term SI is commonly used to evaluate social memory. Interestingly, the social memory cannot be accessed with delays higher than 30min in SI mice. Our hypothesis is that SI with intermediate duration, like one week (1w), impairs the long-term storage of new social information (S-LTM), without affecting anxiety or other types of memories, because the SI compromises the olfactory function of the animal. Our results demonstrated that SI impaired S-LTM, without affecting other kinds of memory or anxiety. In addition, the SI increased the latency in the buried-food finding task, but did not affect the habituation or the discrimination of odors. Next, we postulated that if continuous input to the olfactory system is fundamental for the maintenance of the olfactory function and social memory persistence, isolated mice under odor-enriched environment (OEE) should behave like group-housed (GH) animals. In fact, the OEE prevented the S-LTM deficit imposed by the SI. However, OEE did not restore the SI mice olfaction to the GH mice level. Our results suggest that SI modulates olfaction and social memory persistence, probably, by independent mechanisms. We also showed for the first time that OEE rescued S-LTM in SI mice through a mechanism not necessarily involved with olfaction. PMID:22226622

  8. An improved method of DNA isolation suitable for PCR-based detection of begomoviruses from jute and other mucilaginous plants.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Raju; Paul, Sujay; Ghosh, Subrata Kumar; Roy, Anirban

    2009-07-01

    A relatively quick and inexpensive modified cetyl trimethylammonium bromide method for extraction of DNA from leaf materials containing large quantities of mucilage is described. The modification including use of more volume of extraction buffer and dissolving crude nucleic acid pellet in 1 M NaCl, reduced markedly the viscosity of the mucilage and thus in the final purification step yielded a larger quantity of mucilage-free DNA suitable for subsequent PCR-based detection of begomoviruses. The method was standardized with jute samples with yellow mosaic disease and validated with different other mucilaginous-hosts with low titre of begomoviruses. DNA isolated using this method showed consistency in yield and compatibility with PCR for detection of begomoviruses from different mucilaginous plant species. The method was compared for efficacy with other reported methods and it was found to be superior over the existing methods described for isolation of DNA from mucilaginous hosts. Thus the method described could be used on a wider scale for reliable and consistent detection of begomoviruses from mucilaginous hosts for characterization and variability study. PMID:19442842

  9. Improving the care of people with traumatic brain injury through the Neurotrauma Evidence Translation (NET) program: protocol for a program of research.

    PubMed

    Green, Sally E; Bosch, Marije; McKenzie, Joanne E; O'Connor, Denise A; Tavender, Emma J; Bragge, Peter; Chau, Marisa; Pitt, Veronica; Rosenfeld, Jeffrey V; Gruen, Russell L

    2012-01-01

    The Neurotrauma Evidence Translation (NET) program was funded in 2009 to increase the uptake of research evidence in the clinical care of patients who have sustained traumatic brain injury. This paper reports the rationale and plan for this five-year knowledge translation research program. The overarching aims of the program are threefold: to improve outcomes for people with traumatic brain injury; to create a network of neurotrauma clinicians and researchers with expertise in knowledge translation and evidence-based practice; and to contribute knowledge to the field of knowledge translation research. The program comprises a series of interlinked projects spanning varying clinical environments and disciplines relevant to neurotrauma, anchored within four themes representing core knowledge translation activities: reviewing research evidence; understanding practice; developing and testing interventions for practice change; and building capacity for knowledge translation in neurotrauma. The program uses a range of different methods and study designs, including: an evidence fellowship program; conduct of and training in systematic reviews; mixed method study designs to describe and understand factors that influence current practices (e.g., semi-structured interviews and surveys); theory-based methods to develop targeted interventions aiming to change practice; a cluster randomised trial to test the effectiveness of a targeted theory-informed intervention; stakeholder involvement activities; and knowledge translation events such as consensus conferences. PMID:22866892

  10. Study to Improve Cardiovascular Outcomes in high-risk older patieNts (ICON1) with acute coronary syndrome: study design and protocol of a prospective observational study

    PubMed Central

    Kunadian, Vijay; Neely, R Dermot G; Sinclair, Hannah; Batty, Jonathan A; Veerasamy, Murugapathy; Ford, Gary A; Qiu, Weiliang

    2016-01-01

    Introduction The ICON1 study (a study to Improve Cardiovascular Outcomes in high-risk older patieNts with acute coronary syndrome) is a prospective observational study of older patients (≥75 years old) with non-ST-elevation acute coronary syndrome managed by contemporary treatment (pharmacological and invasive). The aim of the study was to determine the predictors of poor cardiovascular outcomes in this age group and to generate a risk prediction tool. Methods and analysis Participants are recruited from 2 tertiary hospitals in the UK. Baseline evaluation includes frailty, comorbidity, cognition and quality-of-life measures, inflammatory status assessed by a biomarker panel, including microRNAs, senescence assessed by telomere length and telomerase activity, cardiovascular status assessed by arterial stiffness, endothelial function, carotid intima media thickness and left ventricular systolic and diastolic function, and coronary plaque assessed by virtual histology intravascular ultrasound and optical coherence tomography. The patients are followed-up at 30 days and at 1 year for primary outcome measures of death, myocardial infarction, stroke, unplanned revascularisation, bleeding and rehospitalisation. Ethics and dissemination The study has been approved by the regional ethics committee (REC 12/NE/016). Findings of the study will be presented in scientific sessions and will be published in peer-reviewed journals. Trial registration number NCT01933581: Pre-results. PMID:27554105

  11. Encapsulation of carvacrol, a monoterpene present in the essential oil of oregano, with β-cyclodextrin, improves the pharmacological response on cancer pain experimental protocols.

    PubMed

    Guimarães, Adriana Gibara; Oliveira, Marlange Almeida; Alves, Rafael dos Santos; Menezes, Paula dos Passos; Serafini, Mairim Russo; Araújo, Adriano Antunes de Souza; Bezerra, Daniel Pereira; Quintans Júnior, Lucindo José

    2015-02-01

    Cancer pain is a major public health problem worldwide due to the strong impact on the quality of life of patients and side effects of the existing therapeutic options. Monoterpenes, as carvacrol (CARV), have been extensively studied about their therapeutic properties, especially their importance in the control of painful conditions and inflammation, which can be improved through the use of inclusion complexes of β-cyclodextrin (β-CD). We evaluated the effect of encapsulation of CARV in β-CD (CARV/β-CD) on the nociception induced by tumor cells (Sarcoma 180) in rodents. Inclusion complexes were prepared in two different procedures and characterized through thermal analysis and scanning electron microscopy. CARV/β-CD complex was administered (50 mg/kg, p.o.) in mice with tumor on the hind paw and was able to reduce the hyperalgesia (von Frey) during 24 h, unlike the free CARV (100 mg/kg, p.o.), which promoted effects until 9 h. Administration on alternate days of complex of CARV/β-CD (12.5-50 mg/kg, p.o.) reduced hyperalgesia, as well as spontaneous and palpation-induced nociception. However, pure CARV (50 mg/kg) did not cause significant changes in nociceptive responses. Together, these results produced evidence that the encapsulation of carvacrol in β-cyclodextrin can be useful for the development of new options for pain management. PMID:25557507

  12. Pre-consultation educational group intervention to improve shared decision-making in postmastectomy breast reconstruction: study protocol for a pilot randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The Pre-Consultation Educational Group Intervention pilot study seeks to assess the feasibility and inform the optimal design for a definitive randomized controlled trial that aims to improve the quality of decision-making in postmastectomy breast reconstruction patients. Methods/design This is a mixed-methods pilot feasibility randomized controlled trial that will follow a single-center, 1:1 allocation, two-arm parallel group superiority design. Setting: The University Health Network, a tertiary care cancer center in Toronto, Canada. Participants: Adult women referred to one of three plastic and reconstructive surgeons for delayed breast reconstruction or prophylactic mastectomy with immediate breast reconstruction. Intervention: We designed a multi-disciplinary educational group workshop that incorporates the key components of shared decision-making, decision-support, and psychosocial support for cancer survivors prior to the initial surgical consult. The intervention consists of didactic lectures by a plastic surgeon and nurse specialist on breast reconstruction choices, pre- and postoperative care; a value-clarification exercise led by a social worker; and discussions with a breast reconstruction patient. Control: Usual care includes access to an informational booklet, website, and patient volunteer if desired. Outcomes: Expected pilot outcomes include feasibility, recruitment, and retention targets. Acceptability of intervention and full trial outcomes will be established through qualitative interviews. Trial outcomes will include decision-quality measures, patient-reported outcomes, and service outcomes, and the treatment effect estimate and variability will be used to inform the sample size calculation for a full trial. Discussion Our pilot study seeks to identify the (1) feasibility, acceptability, and design of a definitive RCT and (2) the optimal content and delivery of our proposed educational group intervention. Thirty patients have been

  13. Lung cancer diagnosed following emergency admission: a mixed methods study protocol to improve understanding of patients’ characteristics, needs, experiences and outcomes

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer in England. About 40% of patients with lung cancer are diagnosed following an emergency admission (DFEA) to hospital. DFEA is more common in women, and more likely with increasing age and deprivation. Most have advanced disease and survival is poor, but little else is known about this group. The aim of this study is to obtain a detailed understanding of the characteristics, needs, experiences and outcomes of this group. Methods/Design This is a single centre study with quantitative and qualitative work packages (WP). WP1 gathers basic details about all patients diagnosed with lung cancer during a 12 month period, focusing on demographics, diagnostic and treatment pathways and selected outcomes. WP2 obtains information from those patients DFEA or, when unable, their carers, about their holistic needs and experiences, using the Sheffield Profile for Assessment and Referral to Care questionnaire and selected questions from the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey. WP3 uses in-depth qualitative interviews with patients and carers to obtain detailed accounts of their symptoms, help-seeking behaviours prior to admission and subsequent experiences of care. Discussion Relatively little is known about the experiences of lung cancer patients DFEA and this study will provide detailed information about their needs, characteristics, experiences and outcomes. It should identify areas in the diagnostic and treatment pathway where there is scope to improve the care provided to this group of patients and their carers. The findings will also inform the need for further focused research. PMID:23714682

  14. CoMPASs: IOn programme (Care Of Memory Problems in Advanced Stages of dementia: Improving Our Knowledge): protocol for a mixed methods study

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Louise; Harrington, Jane; Scott, Sharon; Davis, Sarah; Lord, Kathryn; Vickerstaff, Victoria; Round, Jeff; Candy, Bridget; Sampson, Elizabeth L

    2012-01-01

    Introduction Approximately 700 000 people in the UK have dementia, rising to 1.2 million by 2050; one-third of people aged over 65 will die with dementia. Good end-of-life care is often neglected, and detailed UK-based research on symptom burden and needs is lacking. Our project examines these issues from multiple perspectives using a rigorous and innovative design, collecting data which will inform the development of pragmatic interventions to improve care. Methods and analysis To define in detail symptom burden, service provision and factors affecting care pathways we shall use mixed methods: prospective cohort studies of people with advanced dementia and their carers; workshops and interactive interviews with health professionals and carers, and a workshop with people with early stage dementia. Interim analyses of cohort data will inform new scenarios for workshops and interviews. Final analysis will include cohort demographics, the symptom burden and health service use over the follow-up period. We shall explore the level and nature of unmet needs, describing how comfort and quality of life change over time and differences between those living in care homes and those remaining in their own homes. Data from workshops and interviews will be analysed for thematic content assisted by textual grouping software. Findings will inform the development of a complex intervention in the next phase of the research programme. Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval was granted by National Health Service ethical committees for studies involving people with dementia and carers (REC refs. 12/EE/0003; 12/LO/0346), and by university ethics committee for work with healthcare professionals (REC ref. 3578/001). We shall present our findings at conferences, and in peer-reviewed journals, prepare detailed reports for organisations involved with end-of-life care and dementia, publicising results on the Marie Curie website. A summary of the research will be provided to participants

  15. A cost-effectiveness analysis of provider and community interventions to improve the treatment of uncomplicated malaria in Nigeria: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background There is mounting evidence of poor adherence by health service personnel to clinical guidelines for malaria following a symptomatic diagnosis. In response to this, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that in all settings clinical suspicion of malaria should be confirmed by parasitological diagnosis using microscopy or Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT). The Government of Nigeria plans to introduce RDTs in public health facilities over the coming year. In this context, we will evaluate the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of two interventions designed to support the roll-out of RDTs and improve the rational use of ACTs. It is feared that without supporting interventions, non-adherence will remain a serious impediment to implementing malaria treatment guidelines. Methods/design A three-arm stratified cluster randomized trial is used to compare the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of: (1) provider malaria training intervention versus expected standard practice in malaria diagnosis and treatment; (2) provider malaria training intervention plus school-based intervention versus expected standard practice; and (3) the combined provider plus school-based intervention versus provider intervention alone. RDTs will be introduced in all arms of the trial. The primary outcome is the proportion of patients attending facilities that report a fever or suspected malaria and receive treatment according to malaria guidelines. This will be measured by surveying patients (or caregivers) as they exit primary health centers, pharmacies, and patent medicine dealers. Cost-effectiveness will be presented in terms of the primary outcome and a range of secondary outcomes, including changes in provider and community knowledge. Costs will be estimated from both a societal and provider perspective using standard economic evaluation methodologies. Trial registration Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01350752 PMID:22682276

  16. Improving adolescent mental health and resilience through a resilience-based intervention in schools: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Research investigating the effectiveness of universal interventions to reduce the risk of mental health problems remains limited. Schools are a promising setting within which adolescents can receive interventions aimed at promoting their mental health. The aim of this study is to assess the effectiveness of a resilience-based prevention-focused intervention in reducing the risk of mental health problems among adolescents attending secondary school in socio-economically disadvantaged areas. Methods/design A cluster randomised control trial will be conducted, with schools as the unit of randomisation. Initially, 32 secondary schools will be randomly allocated to a control or intervention group (12 control and 20 intervention). An intervention focused on improving student internal and external resilience factors will be implemented in intervention schools. A survey of students in Grade 7 in both intervention and control schools will be conducted (baseline) and repeated three years later when the students are in Grade 10. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire will be used to measure the risk of mental health problems. At follow-up, the risk of mental health problems will be compared between Grade 10 students in intervention and control schools to determine intervention effectiveness. Discussion The study presents an opportunity to determine the effectiveness of a comprehensive resilience-based intervention in reducing the risk of mental health problems in adolescents attending secondary schools. The outcomes of the trial are of importance to youth, schools, mental health clinicians and policymakers. Trial registration Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry, ACTRN12611000606987, registered 14 June 2011. PMID:25037455

  17. Improved method for the isolation, characterization and examination of neuromuscular and toxic properties of selected polypeptide fractions from the crude venom of the Taiwan cobra Naja naja atra.

    PubMed

    Ständker, L; Harvey, A L; Fürst, S; Mathes, I; Forssmann, W G; Escalona de Motta, G; Béress, L

    2012-09-15

    An improved chromatographic method was developed to isolate and purify polypeptides and proteins from the crude venom of the Taiwan cobra Naja naja atra. The procedure devised is simple, easy to reproduce, and enables large scale isolation of almost all polypeptides and proteins in this cobra venom. Six pure polypeptide fractions of the venom were isolated and characterized using gel filtration on Sephadex G50 (medium), ion exchange chromatography on SP-Sephadex C25, desalting on Sephadex G25 (fine) and preparative HPLC on a RPC 18 column. The neuromuscular activity of these fractions was tested on the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation and their toxicity (LD(50)) was determined after i.v. administration in mice. Their antinociceptive activity was tested in the mouse abdominal test by i.v. application. Two of these polypeptide samples had major physiological effects: one acted as a cardiotoxin causing reversible myocardial contractures with no effect on muscle twitches elicited by nerve stimulation (NS); another was a neurotoxin that blocked muscle contractions in response to NS and exogenously added acetylcholine. The cardiotoxic fraction was identified as CTX I, a well-known cardiotoxin present in this venom, and the neurotoxin was identified as neurotoxin-α with an LD50 in mice of 0.075 mg/kg. PMID:22677803

  18. National Sample Assessment Protocols

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (NJ1), 2012

    2012-01-01

    These protocols represent a working guide for planning and implementing national sample assessments in connection with the national Key Performance Measures (KPMs). The protocols are intended for agencies involved in planning or conducting national sample assessments and personnel responsible for administering associated tenders or contracts,…

  19. Protocol to Exploit Waiting Resources for UASNs.

    PubMed

    Hung, Li-Ling; Luo, Yung-Jeng

    2016-01-01

    The transmission speed of acoustic waves in water is much slower than that of radio waves in terrestrial wireless sensor networks. Thus, the propagation delay in underwater acoustic sensor networks (UASN) is much greater. Longer propagation delay leads to complicated communication and collision problems. To solve collision problems, some studies have proposed waiting mechanisms; however, long waiting mechanisms result in low bandwidth utilization. To improve throughput, this study proposes a slotted medium access control protocol to enhance bandwidth utilization in UASNs. The proposed mechanism increases communication by exploiting temporal and spatial resources that are typically idle in order to protect communication against interference. By reducing wait time, network performance and energy consumption can be improved. A performance evaluation demonstrates that when the data packets are large or sensor deployment is dense, the energy consumption of proposed protocol is less than that of existing protocols as well as the throughput is higher than that of existing protocols. PMID:27005624

  20. WELLFOCUS PPT – modified positive psychotherapy to improve well-being in psychosis: study protocol for a pilot randomised controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    allow optimisation of trial processes and inform the evaluation strategy, including sample size calculation, for a future definitive RCT. Trial registration Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN04199273 – WELLFOCUS study: an intervention to improve well-being in people with psychosis, Date registered: 27 March 2013, first participant randomised on 26 April 2013. PMID:24888479

  1. SMS reminders to improve the tuberculosis cure rate in developing countries (TB-SMS Cameroon): a protocol of a randomised control study

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    . This study explores the potential of mHealth to support DOTS strategy. It will gather new evidence on the effectiveness of mHealth-based interventions and SMS reminders in the improvement of treatment adherence and the cure rate of tuberculosis patients, especially in a low-resource country such as Cameroon. Trial registration The trial is registered on the Pan-African Clinical Trials Registry (http://www.pactr.org) under unique identification number: PACTR201307000583416. PMID:24460827

  2. Physiotherapy to improve physical activity in community-dwelling older adults with mobility problems (Coach2Move): study protocol for a randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Older adults can benefit from physical activity in numerous ways. Physical activity is considered to be one of the few ways to influence the level of frailty. Standardized exercise programs do not necessarily lead to more physical activity in daily life, however, and a more personalized approach seems appropriate. The main objective of this study is to investigate whether a focused, problem-oriented coaching intervention (‘Coach2Move’) delivered by a physiotherapist specializing in geriatrics is more effective for improving physical activity, mobility and health status in community-dwelling older adults than usual physiotherapy care. In addition, cost-effectiveness will be determined. Methods/Design The design of this study is a single-blind randomized controlled trial in thirteen physiotherapy practices. Randomization will take place at the individual patient level. The study population consists of older adults, ≥70 years of age, with decreased physical functioning and mobility and/or a physically inactive lifestyle. The intervention group will receive geriatric physiotherapy according to the Coach2Move strategy. The control group will receive the usual physiotherapy care. Measurements will be performed by research assistants not aware of group assignment. The results will be evaluated on the amount of physical activity (LASA Physical Activity Questionnaire), mobility (modified ‘get up and go’ test, walking speed and six-minute walking test), quality of life (SF-36), degree of frailty (Evaluative Frailty Index for Physical Activity), fatigue (NRS-fatigue), perceived effect (Global Perceived Effect and Patient Specific Complaints questionnaire) and health care costs. Discussion Most studies on the effect of exercise or physical activity consist of standardized programs. In this study, a personalized approach is evaluated within a group of frail older adults, many of whom suffer from multiple and complex diseases and problems. A complicating

  3. Lay health supporters aided by a mobile phone messaging system to improve care of villagers with schizophrenia in Liuyang, China: protocol for a randomised control trial

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Wenjie; Caine, Eric D; Xiao, Shuiyuan; Hughes, James P; Ng, Marie; Simoni, Jane; He, Hua; Smith, Kirk L; Brown, Henry Shelton; Gloyd, Stephen

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Schizophrenia is a severe, chronic and disabling mental illness. Non-adherence to medication and relapse may lead to poorer patient function. This randomised controlled study, under the acronym LEAN (Lay health supporter, e-platform, award, and iNtegration), is designed to improve medication adherence and high relapse among people with schizophrenia in resource poor settings. Methods/analysis The community-based LEAN has four parts: (1) Lay health supporters (LHSs), mostly family members who will help supervise patient medication, monitor relapse and side effects, and facilitate access to care, (2) an E-platform to support two-way mobile text and voice messaging to remind patients to take medication; and alert LHSs when patients are non-adherent, (3) an Award system to motivate patients and strengthen LHS support, and (4) iNtegration of the efforts of patients and LHSs with those of village doctors, township mental health administrators and psychiatrists via the e-platform. A random sample of 258 villagers with schizophrenia will be drawn from the schizophrenic ‘686’ Program registry for the 9 Xiang dialect towns of the Liuyang municipality in China. The sample will be further randomised into a control group and a treatment group of equal sizes, and each group will be followed for 6 months after launch of the intervention. The primary outcome will be medication adherence as measured by pill counts and supplemented by pharmacy records. Other outcomes include symptoms and level of function. Outcomes will be assessed primarily when patients present for medication refill visits scheduled every 2 months over the 6-month follow-up period. Data from the study will be analysed using analysis of covariance for the programme effect and an intent-to-treat approach. Ethics and dissemination University of Washington: 49464 G; Central South University: CTXY-150002-6. Results will be published in peer-reviewed journals with deidentified data made available on

  4. A stepped wedge, cluster controlled trial of an intervention to improve safety and quality on medical wards: the HEADS-UP study protocol

    PubMed Central

    Pannick, Samuel; Beveridge, Iain; Ashrafian, Hutan; Long, Susannah J; Athanasiou, Thanos; Sevdalis, Nick

    2015-01-01

    Introduction The majority of preventable deaths in healthcare are due to errors on general wards. Staff perceptions of safety correlate with patient survival, but effectively translating ward teams’ concerns into tangibly improved care remains problematic. The Hospital Event Analysis Describing Significant Unanticipated Problems (HEADS-UP) trial evaluates a structured, multidisciplinary team briefing, capturing safety threats and adverse events, with rapid feedback to clinicians and service managers. This is the first study to rigorously assess a simpler intervention for general medical units, alongside an implementation model applicable to routine clinical practice. Methods/analysis 7 wards from 2 hospitals will progressively incorporate the intervention into daily practice over 14 months. Wards will adopt HEADS-UP in a pragmatic sequence, guided by local clinical enthusiasm. Initial implementation will be facilitated by a research lead, but rapidly delegated to clinical teams. The primary outcome is excess length of stay (a surplus stay of 24 h or more, compared to peer institutions’ Healthcare Resource Groups-predicted length of stay). Secondary outcomes are 30-day readmission or excess length of stay; in-hospital death or death/readmission within 30 days; healthcare-acquired infections; processes of escalation of care; use of traditional incident-reporting systems; and patient safety and teamwork climates. HEADS-UP will be analysed as a stepped wedge cluster controlled trial. With 7840 patients, using best and worst case predictions, the study would achieve between 75% and 100% power to detect a 2–14% absolute risk reduction in excess length of stay (two-sided p<0.05). Regression analysis will use generalised linear mixed models or generalised estimating equations, and a time-to-event regression model. A qualitative analysis will evaluate facilitators and barriers to HEADS-UP implementation and impact. Ethics and dissemination Participating

  5. Protocol for the Effective Feedback to Improve Primary Care Prescribing Safety (EFIPPS) study: a cluster randomised controlled trial using ePrescribing data

    PubMed Central

    Guthrie, Bruce; Treweek, Shaun; Petrie, Dennis; Barnett, Karen; Ritchie, Lewis D; Robertson, Chris; Bennie, Marion

    2012-01-01

    Introduction High-risk prescribing in primary care is common and causes considerable harm. Feedback interventions to improve care are attractive because they are relatively cheap to widely implement. There is good evidence that feedback has small to moderate effects, but the most recent Cochrane review called for more high-quality, large trials that explicitly test different forms of feedback. Methods and analysis The study is a three-arm cluster-randomised trial with general practices being randomised and outcomes measured at patient level. 262 practices in three Scottish Health Board areas have been randomised (94% of all possible practices). The two active arms receive different forms of prescribing safety data feedback, with rates of high-risk prescribing compared with a ‘usual care’ arm. Sample size estimation used baseline data from participating practices. With 85 practices randomised to each arm, then there is 93% power to detect a 25% difference in the percentage of high-risk prescribing (from 6.1% to 4.5%) between the usual care arm and each intervention arm. The primary outcome is a composite of six high-risk prescribing measures (antipsychotic prescribing to people aged ≥75 years; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) prescribing to people aged ≥75 without gastroprotection; NSAID prescribing to people prescribed aspirin/clopidogrel without gastroprotection; NSAID prescribing to people prescribed an ACE inhibitor/angiotensin receptor blocker and a diuretic; NSAID prescription to people prescribed an oral anticoagulant without gastroprotection; aspirin/clopidogrel prescription to people prescribed an oral anticoagulant without gastroprotection). The primary analysis will use multilevel modelling to account for repeated measurement of outcomes in patients clustered within practices. Ethics and dissemination The study was reviewed and approved by the NHS Tayside Committee on Medical Research Ethics B (11/ES/0001). The study will be

  6. Quantum key distribution protocol using random bases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meslouhi, A.; Amellal, H.; Hassouni, Y.; El Baz, M.; El Allati, A.

    2016-04-01

    In order to enhance the quantum key distribution (QKD) security, a new protocol, “QKDPRB” based on random bases is proposed. It consists of using standard encoding bases moving circularly with a variable rotational angle α which depends on angular velocity ω(t); thus, the traditional bases turn into relative ones. To prove the security and the efficiency of the protocol, we present a universal demonstration which proves a high level security of the proposed protocol, even in the presence of the intercept and resend attack. Finally, the QKDPRB may improve the security of QKD.

  7. Isolation and identification of phytate-degrading rhizobacteria with activity of improving growth of poplar and Masson pine.

    PubMed

    Li, Gui-E; Wu, Xiao-Qin; Ye, Jian-Ren; Hou, Liang; Zhou, Ai-Dong; Zhao, Liu

    2013-11-01

    A number of soil microorganisms can convert insoluble forms of phosphorus (P) to an accessible form to increase plant yields. Phytate is such a large kind of insoluble organic phosphorus that plants cannot absorb directly in soil, so the objectives of this study were to isolate, screen phytate-degrading rhizobacteria (PDRB), and to select potential microbial inocula that could increase the P uptake by plants. In this study, a total of 24 soil samples were collected from natural habitats of eight poplar and pine planting areas from the eastern to southern China. 17 PDRB strains were preliminarily screened from the rhizosphere soil of poplars and pines by the visible decolorization in the phytate selective medium. The highest ratio of the total diameter (colony + halo zone) to the colony diameter of the isolates was JZ-GX1, 3.85. Afterward, 17 PDRB strains were further determined for their abilities to degrade sodium phytate based on the amount of liberated inorganic P in liquid phytate specific medium. The results showed that the phytase ability of the three highest PDRB strains: JZ-GX1, JZ-DZ1 and JZ-ZJ1 were up to 2.58, 2.36 and 2.24 U/mL, respectively, much better than most of the bacteria reported in previous studies. In the soil-plant experiment, compared to CK, the best three strains of PDRB all could significantly promote growth of poplar and Masson pine under container growing. The three efficient PDRB strains were identified as follow: JZ-GX1, Rahnella aquatilis, both JZ-DZ1 and JZ-ZJ1 being autofluorescent, Pseudomonas fluorescens, by 16S rDNA gene sequencing technology, Biolog Identification System and biological characterization. The present study suggests that the three screened PDRB strains would have great potential application as biological fertilizers in the future. PMID:23709169

  8. Improved method for rapid and efficient determination of genome replication and protein expression of clinical hepatitis B virus isolates.

    PubMed

    Qin, Yanli; Zhang, Jiming; Garcia, Tamako; Ito, Kiyoaki; Gutelius, Danielle; Li, Jisu; Wands, Jack; Tong, Shuping

    2011-04-01

    Different hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotypes and variants are associated with different clinical outcomes and/or response to antiviral therapy, yet the comparison of the in vitro replication capacity of a large number of clinical isolates remains technically challenging and time-consuming. Although the full-length HBV genome can be amplified from high-titer blood samples by PCR using High Fidelity(plus) DNA polymerase and primers targeting the conserved precore region, the HBV clones thus generated are replication deficient due to the inability to generate the terminally redundant pregenomic RNA essential for genome replication. The transfection experiment is further complicated by PCR errors and the presence of viral quasispecies. A previous study found that the precise removal of non-HBV sequence by SapI digestion led to HBV replication in transfected cells, possibly due to low-level genome circularization by a cellular enzyme. We released HBV genome from the cloning vector using BspQI, an inexpensive isoschizomer of SapI, and increased the efficiency of genome replication by an extra step of in vitro DNA ligation. The uncut plasmid DNA can be used for transfection if the sole purpose is to study envelope protein expression. We found significant PCR errors associated with the High Fidelity(plus) DNA polymerase, which could be greatly diminished using Phusion DNA polymerase or masked by the use of a clone pool. The reduced PCR error and modified enzymatic steps prior to transfection should facilitate a more widespread functional characterization of clinical HBV isolates, while the clone pool approach is useful for samples with significant sequence heterogeneity. PMID:21289153

  9. Comparison of XAD with other dissolved lignin isolation techniques and a compilation of analytical improvements for the analysis of lignin in aquatic settings

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Spencer, R.G.M.; Aiken, G.R.; Dyda, R.Y.; Butler, K.D.; Bergamaschi, B.A.; Hernes, P.J.

    2010-01-01

    This manuscript highlights numerous incremental improvements in dissolved lignin measurements over the nearly three decades since CuO oxidation of lignin phenols was first adapted for environmental samples. Intercomparison of the recovery efficiency of three common lignin phenol concentration and isolation techniques, namely XAD, C18 with both CH3OH (C18M) and CH3CN (C18A) used independently for priming and elution steps, and tangential flow filtration (TFF) for a range of aquatic samples including fresh, estuarine and marine waters, was undertaken. With freshwater samples XAD8-1, C18M and TFF were all observed to recover ca. 80-90% of the lignin phenols and showed no fractionation effects with respect to diagnostic lignin parameters. With estuarine and marine samples more lignin phenols were recovered with C18M and XAD8-1 than TFF because of the increased prevalence of low molecular weight lignin phenols in marine influenced samples. For marine systems, differences were also observed between diagnostic lignin parameters isolated via TFF vs. C18M and XAD8-1 as a result of the high molecular weight lignin phenols being less degraded than the bulk. Therefore, it is recommended for future studies of marine systems that only one technique is utilized for ease of intercomparison within studies. It is suggested that for studies solely aimed at recovering bulk dissolved lignin in marine environments that C18M and XAD8-1 appear to be more suitable than TFF as they recover more lignin. Our results highlight that, for freshwater samples, all three common lignin phenol concentration and isolation techniques are comparable to whole water concentrated by rotary evaporation (i.e. not isolated) but, that for marine systems, the choice of concentration and isolation techniques needs to be taken into consideration with respect to both lignin concentration and diagnostic parameters. Finally, as the study highlights XAD8-1 to be a suitable method for the isolation of dissolved lignin

  10. Reliable broadcast protocols

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Joseph, T. A.; Birman, Kenneth P.

    1989-01-01

    A number of broadcast protocols that are reliable subject to a variety of ordering and delivery guarantees are considered. Developing applications that are distributed over a number of sites and/or must tolerate the failures of some of them becomes a considerably simpler task when such protocols are available for communication. Without such protocols the kinds of distributed applications that can reasonably be built will have a very limited scope. As the trend towards distribution and decentralization continues, it will not be surprising if reliable broadcast protocols have the same role in distributed operating systems of the future that message passing mechanisms have in the operating systems of today. On the other hand, the problems of engineering such a system remain large. For example, deciding which protocol is the most appropriate to use in a certain situation or how to balance the latency-communication-storage costs is not an easy question.

  11. Montreal protocol: Business opportunites

    SciTech Connect

    1998-12-31

    The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed by 24 countries in 1987, establishing measures for controlling the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances. This publication begins with some background information on ozone depletion and the history of the Protocol. It then describes aspects of the Protocol`s Multilateral Fund, created to assist developing countries to meet Protocol deadlines: Its administration, structure, and how projects are initiated. Names, addresses, and phone/fax numbers of Fund contacts are provided. Canadian projects under the Fund are then reviewed and opportunities for Canadian environmental companies are noted. Finally, information sheets are presented which summarize Fund-related Canadian bilateral projects undertaken to date.

  12. Nucleic acid isolation

    DOEpatents

    Longmire, J.L.; Lewis, A.K.; Hildebrand, C.E.

    1988-01-21

    A method is provided for isolating DNA from eukaryotic cell and flow sorted chromosomes. When DNA is removed from chromosome and cell structure, detergent and proteolytic digestion products remain with the DNA. These products can be removed with organic extraction, but the process steps associated with organic extraction reduces the size of DNA fragments available for experimental use. The present process removes the waste products by dialyzing a solution containing the DNA against a solution containing polyethylene glycol (PEG). The waste products dialyze into the PEG leaving isolated DNA. The remaining DNA has been prepared with fragments containing more than 160 kb. The isolated DNA has been used in conventional protocols without effect on the protocol.

  13. Nucleic acid isolation process

    DOEpatents

    Longmire, Jonathan L.; Lewis, Annette K.; Hildebrand, Carl E.

    1990-01-01

    A method is provided for isolating DNA from eukaryotic cell and flow sorted chromosomes. When DNA is removed from chromosome and cell structure, detergent and proteolytic digestion products remain with the DNA. These products can be removed with organic extraction, but the process steps associated with organic extraction reduce the size of DNA fragments available for experimental use. The present process removes the waste products by dialyzing a solution containing the DNA against a solution containing polyethylene glycol (PEG). The waste products dialyze into the PEG leaving isolated DNA. The remaining DNA has been prepared with fragments containing more than 160 kb. The isolated DNA has been used in conventional protocols without affect on the protocol.

  14. Potential anesthesia protocols for space exploration missions.

    PubMed

    Komorowski, Matthieu; Watkins, Sharmila D; Lebuffe, Gilles; Clark, Jonathan B

    2013-03-01

    In spaceflight beyond low Earth's orbit, medical conditions requiring surgery are of a high level of concern because of their potential impact on crew health and mission success. Whereas surgical techniques have been thoroughly studied in spaceflight analogues, the research focusing on anesthesia is limited. To provide safe anesthesia during an exploration mission will be a highly challenging task. The research objective is thus to describe specific anesthesia procedures enabling treatment of pre-identified surgical conditions. Among the medical conditions considered by the NASA Human Research Program Exploration Medical Capability element, those potentially necessitating anesthesia techniques have been identified. The most appropriate procedure for each condition is thoroughly discussed. The substantial cost of training time necessary to implement regional anesthesia is pointed out. Within general anesthetics, ketamine combines the unique advantages of preservation of cardiovascular stability, the protective airway reflexes, and spontaneous ventilation. Ketamine side effects have for decades tempered enthusiasm for its use, but recent developments in mitigation means broadened its indications. The extensive experience gathered in remote environments, with minimal equipment and occasionally by insufficiently trained care providers, confirms its high degree of safety. Two ketamine-based anesthesia protocols are described with their corresponding indications. They have been designed taking into account the physiological changes occurring in microgravity and the specific constraints of exploration missions. This investigation could not only improve surgical care during long-duration spaceflights, but may find a number of terrestrial applications in isolated or austere environments. PMID:23513283

  15. Improved plant growth and Zn accumulation in grains of rice (Oryza sativa L.) by inoculation of endophytic microbes isolated from a Zn Hyperaccumulator, Sedum alfredii H.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuyan; Yang, Xiaoe; Zhang, Xincheng; Dong, Lanxue; Zhang, Jie; Wei, Yanyan; Feng, Ying; Lu, Lingli

    2014-02-26

    This study is to investigate the possibility of zinc (Zn) biofortification in the grains of rice (Oryza sativa L.) by inoculation of endophytic strains isolated from a Zn hyperaccumulator, Sedum alfredii Hance. Five endophytic strains, Burkholderia sp. SaZR4, Burkholderia sp. SaMR10, Sphingomonas sp. SaMR12, Variovorax sp. SaNR1, and Enterobacter sp. SaCS20, isolated from S. alfredii, were inoculated in the roots of Japonica rice Nipponbare under hydroponic condition. Fluorescence images showed that endophytic strains successfully colonized rice roots after 72 h. Improved root morphology and plant growth of rice was observed after inoculation with endophytic strains especially SaMR12 and SaCS20. Under hydroponic conditions, endophytic inoculation with SaMR12 and SaCS20 increased Zn concentration by 44.4% and 51.1% in shoots, and by 73.6% and 83.4% in roots, respectively. Under soil conditions, endophytic inoculation with SaMR12 and SaCS20 resulted in an increase of grain yields and elevated Zn concentrations by 20.3% and 21.9% in brown rice and by 13.7% and 11.2% in polished rice, respectively. After inoculation of SaMR12 and SaCS20, rhizosphere soils of rice plants contained higher concentration of DTPA-Zn by 10.4% and 20.6%, respectively. In situ micro-X-ray fluorescence mapping of Zn confirmed the elevated Zn content in the rhizosphere zone of rice treated with SaMR12 as compared with the control. The above results suggested that endophytic microbes isolated from S. alfredii could successfully colonize rice roots, resulting in improved root morphology and plant growth, increased Zn bioavailability in rhizosphere soils, and elevated grain yields and Zn densities in grains. PMID:24447030

  16. Characterization of a salt-tolerant aminopeptidase from marine Bacillus licheniformis SWJS33 that improves hydrolysis and debittering efficiency for soy protein isolate.

    PubMed

    Lei, Fenfen; Zhao, Qiangzhong; Sun-Waterhouse, Dongxiao; Zhao, Mouming

    2017-01-01

    An aminopeptidase was isolated from the marine Bacillus licheniformis SWJS33 (BLAP) and purified. According to the tandem mass spectrometry, the enzyme displayed 11% amino acid identity with the aminopeptidase from Bacillus (gi|496687392). BLAP exhibited maximum activity at 60°C and pH 8.0-8.5 and had a molecular mass of 100kDa. The presence of NaCl enabled 50% improvement of enzyme activity with 10-15% NaCl being the best. The observed inactivation by EDTA and bestatin and activation by Co(2+) and Ag(+) indicated that the obtained enzyme was a metalloaminopeptidase. Such an aminopeptidase could further improve the hydrolysis degree of soy protein isolate hydrolysates catalyzed by papain, Alcalase 2.4L or Flavourzyme 500MG from 8.5%, 9.5% or 14.4-18.8%, 18.7% or 20.1%, respectively, while decreasing the bitter intensity score of the SPI hydrolysates catalyzed by Alcalase 2.4L from 3.6 to 0.4. PMID:27507484

  17. A Secure and Efficient Handover Authentication Protocol for Wireless Networks

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Weijia; Hu, Lei

    2014-01-01

    Handover authentication protocol is a promising access control technology in the fields of WLANs and mobile wireless sensor networks. In this paper, we firstly review an efficient handover authentication protocol, named PairHand, and its existing security attacks and improvements. Then, we present an improved key recovery attack by using the linearly combining method and reanalyze its feasibility on the improved PairHand protocol. Finally, we present a new handover authentication protocol, which not only achieves the same desirable efficiency features of PairHand, but enjoys the provable security in the random oracle model. PMID:24971471

  18. Improving mood with psychoanalytic and cognitive therapies (IMPACT): a pragmatic effectiveness superiority trial to investigate whether specialised psychological treatment reduces the risk for relapse in adolescents with moderate to severe unipolar depression: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Up to 70% of adolescents with moderate to severe unipolar major depression respond to psychological treatment plus Fluoxetine (20-50 mg) with symptom reduction and improved social function reported by 24 weeks after beginning treatment. Around 20% of non responders appear treatment resistant and 30% of responders relapse within 2 years. The specific efficacy of different psychological therapies and the moderators and mediators that influence risk for relapse are unclear. The cost-effectiveness and safety of psychological treatments remain poorly evaluated. Methods/Design Improving Mood with Psychoanalytic and Cognitive Therapies, the IMPACT Study, will determine whether Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or Short Term Psychoanalytic Therapy is superior in reducing relapse compared with Specialist Clinical Care. The study is a multicentre pragmatic effectiveness superiority randomised clinical trial: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy consists of 20 sessions over 30 weeks, Short Term Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy 30 sessions over 30 weeks and Specialist Clinical Care 12 sessions over 20 weeks. We will recruit 540 patients with 180 randomised to each arm. Patients will be reassessed at 6, 12, 36, 52 and 86 weeks. Methodological aspects of the study are systematic recruitment, explicit inclusion criteria, reliability checks of assessments with control for rater shift, research assessors independent of treatment team and blind to randomization, analysis by intention to treat, data management using remote data entry, measures of quality assurance, advanced statistical analysis, manualised treatment protocols, checks of adherence and competence of therapists and assessment of cost-effectiveness. We will also determine whether time to recovery and/or relapse are moderated by variations in brain structure and function and selected genetic and hormone biomarkers taken at entry. Discussion The objective of this clinical trial is to determine whether there are specific

  19. Patient Engagement and Coaching for Health: The PEACH study – a cluster randomised controlled trial using the telephone to coach people with type 2 diabetes to engage with their GPs to improve diabetes care: a study protocol

    PubMed Central

    Young, Doris; Furler, John; Vale, Margarite; Walker, Christine; Segal, Leonie; Dunning, Patricia; Best, James; Blackberry, Irene; Audehm, Ralph; Sulaiman, Nabil; Dunbar, James; Chondros, Patty

    2007-01-01

    Background The PEACH study is based on an innovative 'telephone coaching' program that has been used effectively in a post cardiac event trial. This intervention will be tested in a General Practice setting in a pragmatic trial using existing Practice Nurses (PN) as coaches for people with type 2 diabetes (T2D). Actual clinical care often fails to achieve standards, that are based on evidence that self-management interventions (educational and psychological) and intensive pharmacotherapy improve diabetes control. Telephone coaching in our study focuses on both. This paper describes our study protocol, which aims to test whether goal focused telephone coaching in T2D can improve diabetes control and reduce the treatment gap between guideline based standards and actual clinical practice. Methods/design In a cluster randomised controlled trial, general practices employing Practice Nurses (PNs) are randomly allocated to an intervention or control group. We aim to recruit 546 patients with poorly controlled T2D (HbA1c >7.5%) from 42 General Practices that employ PNs in Melbourne, Australia. PNs from General Practices allocated to the intervention group will be trained in diabetes telephone coaching focusing on biochemical targets addressing both patient self-management and engaging patients to work with their General Practitioners (GPs) to intensify pharmacological treatment according to the study clinical protocol. Patients of intervention group practices will receive 8 telephone coaching sessions and one face-to-face coaching session from existing PNs over 18 months plus usual care and outcomes will be compared to the control group, who will only receive only usual care from their GPs. The primary outcome is HbA1c levels and secondary outcomes include cardiovascular disease risk factors, behavioral risk factors and process of care measures. Discussion Understanding how to achieve comprehensive treatment of T2D in a General Practice setting is the focus of the PEACH

  20. Evaluation of antimicrobial edible coatings from a whey protein isolate base to improve the shelf life of cheese.

    PubMed

    Ramos, Ó L; Pereira, J O; Silva, S I; Fernandes, J C; Franco, M I; Lopes-da-Silva, J A; Pintado, M E; Malcata, F X

    2012-11-01

    The objective of this work was to evaluate the effectiveness of antimicrobial edible coatings to wrap cheeses, throughout 60 d of storage, as an alternative to commercial nonedible coatings. Coatings were prepared using whey protein isolate, glycerol, guar gum, sunflower oil, and Tween 20 as a base matrix, together with several combinations of antimicrobial compounds-natamycin and lactic acid, natamycin and chitooligosaccharides (COS), and natamycin, lactic acid, and COS. Application of coating on cheese decreased water loss (~10%, wt/wt), hardness, and color change; however, salt and fat contents were not significantly affected. Moreover, the antimicrobial edible coatings did not permit growth of pathogenic or contaminant microorganisms, while allowing regular growth of lactic acid bacteria throughout storage. Commercial nonedible coatings inhibited only yeasts and molds. The antimicrobial edible coating containing natamycin and lactic acid was the best in sensory terms. Because these antimicrobial coatings are manufactured from food-grade materials, they can be consumed as an integral part of cheese, which represents a competitive advantage over nonedible coatings. PMID:22939797

  1. 1-deoxynojirimycin isolated from Bacillus subtilis improves hepatic lipid metabolism and mitochondrial function in high-fat-fed mice.

    PubMed

    Do, Hyun Ju; Chung, Ji Hyung; Hwang, Ji Won; Kim, Oh Yoen; Lee, Jae-Yeon; Shin, Min-Jeong

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to determine whether 1-deoxynojirimycin (DNJ) isolated from Bacillus subtilis MORI beneficially influences lipid metabolism and mitochondrial function in the liver of mice fed a high-fat diet in addition to the anti-obesity properties of DNJ. Male C57BL/6 mice (n = 29; 5 weeks old) were randomly assigned to three groups: normal control diet (CTL, n = 10), high-fat diet (HF, n = 10), and high-fat diet supplemented with DNJ (DNJ, n = 9). After 12 weeks, the HF group exhibited higher overall weight gain, of the liver, and of various fat pads than the CTL and DNJ groups did. The HF group also showed greater expression of C/EBPα and CD36 mRNA in the liver than that in the CTL and/or DNJ groups. In addition, mRNA expressions of AAC and FAS were lower, while mRNA expression of PGC-1β was higher in the liver of the DNJ group than that of the HF group. The hepatic expression of p-AMPK/AMPK was higher in the DNJ group than in the HF group. This study provides novel insight into the protective effect of DNJ supplementation against obesity-induced hepatic lipid abnormalities and mitochondrial dysfunction. PMID:25445511

  2. Rapid isolation, reliable characterization, and water solubility improvement of polymethoxyflavones from cold-pressed mandarin essential oil.

    PubMed

    Russo, Marina; Rigano, Francesca; Arigò, Adriana; Sciarrone, Danilo; Calabrò, Maria Luisa; Farnetti, Sara; Dugo, Paola; Mondello, Luigi

    2016-06-01

    Polymethoxyflavones possess many biological properties, as lipid-lowering, hypoglycaemic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anticancer activities, therefore, they may be employed as nutraceuticals or therapeutic agents. The scarcity of pure polymethoxyflavones on the market as well as their low water solubility limited in vivo studies and the use of polymethoxyflavones as food or pharmaceutical supplements. Since mandarin peels are a rich source of polymethoxyflavones, tangeretin, nobiletin, sinensetin, tetra-O-methyl scutellarein, and heptamethoxyflavone were purified from a nonvolatile residue of a cold-pressed mandarin essential oil using a multidimensional preparative liquid chromatographic system coupled with a photodiode array detector and a single quadrupole mass spectrometer. A new prototype, consisting of a nano-liquid chromatography system coupled with an electron ionization mass spectrometer, was used for the characterization of the pure isolated molecules. Finally, due to the collection of highly pure nobiletin and tangeretin, the ability of 2-hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin to enhance the water solubility of both polymethoxyflavones was evaluated by phase solubility studies and Job's plot method. PMID:27060470

  3. Reliable multicast protocol specifications protocol operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Callahan, John R.; Montgomery, Todd; Whetten, Brian

    1995-01-01

    This appendix contains the complete state tables for Reliable Multicast Protocol (RMP) Normal Operation, Multi-RPC Extensions, Membership Change Extensions, and Reformation Extensions. First the event types are presented. Afterwards, each RMP operation state, normal and extended, is presented individually and its events shown. Events in the RMP specification are one of several things: (1) arriving packets, (2) expired alarms, (3) user events, (4) exceptional conditions.

  4. Improved facility and sensitivity in the use of guinea pigs for the isolation of Legionella pneumophila from cooling tower water

    SciTech Connect

    Leinbach, E.D.; Winkler, H.H.; Wood, D.O.; Coggin, J.H. Jr.

    1983-03-01

    The established criteria for the determination of the optimum time for the sacrifice of guinea pigs inoculated with samples of cooling tower water were found to be inadequate for the detection of low levels of Legionella pneumophila. By ignoring the requirement for fever and by sequentially sacrificing the infected guinea pigs on days 3 through 5 postinoculation, we simplified the procedure, and the sensitivity of detection was improved a great deal.

  5. Folic Acid Improves Acetylcholine-induced Vasoconstriction of Coronary Vessels Isolated from hyperhomocysteinemic mice: An Implication to Coronary Vasospasm*

    PubMed Central

    Qipshidze, Natia; Metreveli, Naira; Lominadze, David; Tyagi, Suresh C.

    2011-01-01

    Human atherosclerotic coronary vessels elicited vasoconstriction to acetylcholine (Ach) and revealed a phenomenon of vasospasm. Homocysteine (Hcy) levels are elevated in the atherosclerotic plaque tissue, suggesting its pathological role in endothelial damage in atherosclerotic diseases. Accordingly, we examined the role hyperhomocysteinemia (HHcy) in coronary endothelial dysfunction, vessel wall thickness, lumen narrowing, leading to acute/chronic coronary vasospasm. The therapeutic potential and mechanisms of folic acid using hyperhomocysteinemic cystathionine beta synthase heterozygote (CBS-/+) and wild type (CBS+/+) mice were addressed. The CBS-/+ and CBS+/+ mice were treated with or without a Hcy lowering agent folic acid (FA) in drinking water (0.03 g/L) for 4 weeks. The isolated mouse septum coronary artery was cannulated and pressurized at 60 mmHg. The wall thickness and lumen diameters were measured by Ion-Optic. The vessels were treated with Ach (10-8-10-5 M) and, for comparison, with nonendothelial vasodilator sodium nitroprusside (10-5 M).The endothelium-impaired arteries from CBC-/+ mice constricted in response to Ach and this vasoconstriction was mitigated with FA supplementation. The level of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) was lower in coronary artery in CBS-/+ than of CBS+/+ mice. Treatment with FA increased the levels of Ach-induced NO generation in the coronary artery of CBS-/+ mice. The results suggest that Ach induced coronary vasoconstriction in CBS-/+ mice and this vasoconstriction was ameliorated by folic acid treatment. The mechanisms for the impairment of vascular function and therapeutic effects of folic acid may be related to the regulation of eNOS expression, NO availability and tissue homocysteine. PMID:21792928

  6. Occupational therapy protocol for amputees with targeted muscle reinnervation

    PubMed Central

    Stubblefield, Kathy A.; Miller, Laura A.; Lipschutz, Robert D.; Kuiken, Todd A.

    2011-01-01

    Targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR) is a surgical intervention to improve the control of myoelectric prostheses in high-level upper-limb amputation. This article briefly describes the procedure and presents the protocol for postoperative, preprosthetic care. We also recommend a guide to patient training using standard-of-care prosthetic devices controlled by up to four intuitive, independent, and isolated myoelectric signals. We discuss the advantages of this new control paradigm and methods for optimizing clinical outcomes for patients with high-level upper-limb amputations. This material is based on more than 6 years of experience treating patients with TMR in a research setting. Detailed results of this research are reported elsewhere. PMID:19882483

  7. Skeletal Muscle Satellite Cells: Background and Methods for Isolation and Analysis in a Primary Culture System

    PubMed Central

    Danoviz, Maria Elena; Yablonka-Reuveni, Zipora

    2012-01-01

    Summary Repair of adult skeletal muscle depends on satellite cells, myogenic stem cells located between the basal lamina and the plasmalemma of the myofiber. Standardized protocols for the isolation and culture of satellite cells are key tools for understanding cell autonomous and extrinsic factors that regulate their performance. Knowledge gained from such studies can contribute important insights to developing strategies for the improvement of muscle repair following trauma and in muscle wasting disorders. This chapter provides an introduction to satellite cell biology and further describes the basic protocol used in our laboratory to isolate and culture satellite cells from adult skeletal muscle. The cell culture conditions detailed herein support proliferation and differentiation of satellite cell progeny and the development of reserve cells, which are thought to reflect the in vivo self-renewal ability of satellite cells. Additionally, this chapter describes our standard immunostaining protocol that allows the characterization of satellite cell progeny by the temporal expression of characteristic transcription factors and structural proteins associated with different stages of myogenic progression. While emphasis is given here to the isolation and characterization of satellite cells from mouse hindlimb muscles, the protocols are suitable for other muscle types (such as diaphragm and extraocular muscles) and for muscles from other species, including chicken and rat. Altogether, the basic protocols described are straightforward and facilitate the study of diverse aspects of skeletal muscle stem cells. PMID:22130829

  8. Quantum deniable authentication protocol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, Wei-Min; Zhou, Yi-Hua; Yang, Yu-Guang

    2014-07-01

    The proposed quantum identity authentication schemes only involved authentication between two communicators, but communications with deniability capability are often desired in electronic applications such as online negotiation and electronic voting. In this paper, we proposed a quantum deniable authentication protocol. According to the property of unitary transformation and quantum one-way function, this protocol can provide that only the specified receiver can identify the true source of a given message and the specified receiver cannot prove the source of the message to a third party by a transcript simulation algorithm. Moreover, the quantum key distribution and quantum encryption algorithm guarantee the unconditional security of this scheme. Security analysis results show that this protocol satisfies the basic security requirements of deniable authentication protocol such as completeness and deniability and can withstand the forgery attack, impersonation attack, inter-resend attack.

  9. Mechanism of phosphate solubilization and antifungal activity of Streptomyces spp. isolated from wheat roots and rhizosphere and their application in improving plant growth.

    PubMed

    Jog, Rahul; Pandya, Maharshi; Nareshkumar, G; Rajkumar, Shalini

    2014-04-01

    The application of plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) at field scale has been hindered by an inadequate understanding of the mechanisms that enhance plant growth, rhizosphere incompetence and the inability of bacterial strains to thrive in different soil types and environmental conditions. Actinobacteria with their sporulation, nutrient cycling, root colonization, bio-control and other plant-growth-promoting activities could be potential field bio-inoculants. We report the isolation of five rhizospheric and two root endophytic actinobacteria from Triticum aestivum (wheat) plants. The cultures exhibited plant-growth-promoting activities, namely phosphate solubilization (1916 mg l(-1)), phytase (0.68 U ml(-1)), chitinase (6.2 U ml(-1)), indole-3-acetic acid (136.5 mg l(-1)) and siderophore (47.4 mg l(-1)) production, as well as utilizing all the rhizospheric sugars under test. Malate (50-55 mmol l(-1)) was estimated in the culture supernatant of the highest phosphate solublizer, Streptomyces mhcr0816. The mechanism of malate overproduction was studied by gene expression and assays of key glyoxalate cycle enzymes - isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH), isocitrate lyase (ICL) and malate synthase (MS). The significant increase in gene expression (ICL fourfold, MS sixfold) and enzyme activity (ICL fourfold, MS tenfold) of ICL and MS during stationary phase resulted in malate production as indicated by lowered pH (2.9) and HPLC analysis (retention time 13.1 min). Similarly, the secondary metabolites for chitinase-independent biocontrol activity of Streptomyces mhcr0817, as identified by GC-MS and (1)H-NMR spectra, were isoforms of pyrrole derivatives. The inoculation of actinobacterial isolate mhce0811 in T. aestivum (wheat) significantly improved plant growth, biomass (33%) and mineral (Fe, Mn, P) content in non-axenic conditions. Thus the actinobacterial isolates reported here were efficient PGPR possessing significant antifungal activity and may have potential field

  10. The Improving Rural Cancer Outcomes (IRCO) Trial: a factorial cluster-randomised controlled trial of a complex intervention to reduce time to diagnosis in rural patients with cancer in Western Australia: a study protocol

    PubMed Central

    Emery, Jon D; Gray, Victoria; Walter, Fiona M; Cheetham, Shelley; Croager, Emma J; Slevin, Terry; Saunders, Christobel; Threlfall, Tim; Auret, Kirsten; Nowak, Anna K; Geelhoed, Elizabeth; Bulsara, Max; Holman, C D'Arcy J

    2014-01-01

    Introduction While overall survival for most common cancers in Australia is improving, the rural–urban differential has been widening, with significant excess deaths due to lung, colorectal, breast and prostate cancer in regional Australia. Internationally a major focus on understanding variations in cancer outcomes has been later presentation to healthcare and later diagnosis. Approaches to reducing time to diagnosis of symptomatic cancer include public symptom awareness campaigns and interventions in primary care to improve early cancer detection. This paper reports the protocol of a factorial cluster-randomised trial of community and general practice (GP) level interventions to reduce the time to diagnosis of cancer in rural Western Australia (WA). Methods and analysis The community intervention is a symptom awareness campaign tailored for rural Australians delivered through a community engagement model. The GP intervention includes a resource card with symptom risk assessment charts and local referral pathways implemented through multiple academic detailing visits and case studies. Participants are eligible if recently diagnosed with breast, colorectal, lung or prostate cancer who reside in specific regions of rural WA with a planned sample size of 1350. The primary outcome is the Total Diagnostic Interval, defined as the duration from first symptom (or date of cancer screening test) to cancer diagnosis. Secondary outcomes include cancer stage, healthcare utilisation, disease-free status, survival at 2 and 5 years and cost-effectiveness. Ethics and dissemination Ethics approval has been granted by the University of Western Australia and from all relevant hospital recruitment sites in WA. Results Results of this trial will be reported in peer-reviewed publications and in conference presentations. Trial registration number Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR). ACTRN12610000872033. PMID:25231496

  11. Isolation and Physiological Analysis of Mouse Cardiomyocytes

    PubMed Central

    Roth, Gretchen M.; Bader, David M.; Pfaltzgraff, Elise R.

    2014-01-01

    Cardiomyocytes, the workhorse cell of the heart, contain exquisitely organized cytoskeletal and contractile elements that generate the contractile force used to pump blood. Individual cardiomyocytes were first isolated over 40 years ago in order to better study the physiology and structure of heart muscle. Techniques have rapidly improved to include enzymatic digestion via coronary perfusion. More recently, analyzing the contractility and calcium flux of isolated myocytes has provided a vital tool in the cellular and sub-cellular analysis of heart failure. Echocardiography and EKGs provide information about the heart at an organ level only. Cardiomyocyte cell culture systems exist, but cells lack physiologically essential structures such as organized sarcomeres and t-tubules required for myocyte function within the heart. In the protocol presented here, cardiomyocytes are isolated via Langendorff perfusion. The heart is removed from the mouse, mounted via the aorta to a cannula, perfused with digestion enzymes, and cells are introduced to increasing calcium concentrations. Edge and sarcomere detection software is used to analyze contractility, and a calcium binding fluorescent dye is used to visualize calcium transients of electrically paced cardiomyocytes; increasing understanding of the role cellular changes play in heart dysfunction. Traditionally used to test drug effects on cardiomyocytes, we employ this system to compare myocytes from WT mice and mice with a mutation that causes dilated cardiomyopathy. This protocol is unique in its comparison of live cells from mice with known heart function and known genetics. Many experimental conditions are reliably compared, including genetic or environmental manipulation, infection, drug treatment, and more. Beyond physiologic data, isolated cardiomyocytes are easily fixed and stained for cytoskeletal elements. Isolating cardiomyocytes via perfusion is an extremely versatile method, useful in studying cellular changes

  12. Are isolated wetlands isolated?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, Loren M.; Euliss, Ned H.; Haukos, David A.

    2011-01-01

    While federal regulations during the past 10 years have treated isolated wetlands as unconnected to aquatic resources protected by the Clean Water Act, they provide critical ecosystem services to society that extend well beyond their wetland boundaries. The authors offer well-documented examples from the scientific literature on some of the ecosystem services provided by isolated wetlands to society and other ecosystems.

  13. Improved Enzyme Catalytic Characteristics upon Glutaraldehyde Cross-Linking of Alginate Entrapped Xylanase Isolated from Aspergillus flavus MTCC 9390

    PubMed Central

    Bhushan, Bharat; Pal, Ajay; Jain, Veena

    2015-01-01

    Purified fungal xylanase was entrapped in alginate beads. Its further cross-linking using glutaraldehyde resulted in large enzyme aggregates which may function as both a catalyst and a support material for numerous substrate molecules. Enzyme cross-linking presented a negative impact on enzyme leaching during repeated washings and recovery of enzyme activity was substantial after twelve cycles of usage. The entrapment followed by cross-linking doubled the total bound activity and also greatly improved the enzyme stability at extreme chemical environment. The wide pH stability, better thermo- and storage stability, lowered Km value, and protection from some metal ions are salient achievements of present immobilization. The study shows the efficacy, durability, and sustainability of immobilized catalytic system which could be efficiently used for various juice processing operations. PMID:26347814

  14. Incorporating ethical principles into clinical research protocols: a tool for protocol writers and ethics committees

    PubMed Central

    Li, Rebecca H; Wacholtz, Mary C; Barnes, Mark; Boggs, Liam; Callery-D'Amico, Susan; Davis, Amy; Digilova, Alla; Forster, David; Heffernan, Kate; Luthin, Maeve; Lynch, Holly Fernandez; McNair, Lindsay; Miller, Jennifer E; Murphy, Jacquelyn; Van Campen, Luann; Wilenzick, Mark; Wolf, Delia; Woolston, Cris; Aldinger, Carmen; Bierer, Barbara E

    2016-01-01

    A novel Protocol Ethics Tool Kit (‘Ethics Tool Kit’) has been developed by a multi-stakeholder group of the Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Center of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard. The purpose of the Ethics Tool Kit is to facilitate effective recognition, consideration and deliberation of critical ethical issues in clinical trial protocols. The Ethics Tool Kit may be used by investigators and sponsors to develop a dedicated Ethics Section within a protocol to improve the consistency and transparency between clinical trial protocols and research ethics committee reviews. It may also streamline ethics review and may facilitate and expedite the review process by anticipating the concerns of ethics committee reviewers. Specific attention was given to issues arising in multinational settings. With the use of this Tool Kit, researchers have the opportunity to address critical research ethics issues proactively, potentially speeding the time and easing the process to final protocol approval. PMID:26811365

  15. Incorporating ethical principles into clinical research protocols: a tool for protocol writers and ethics committees.

    PubMed

    Li, Rebecca H; Wacholtz, Mary C; Barnes, Mark; Boggs, Liam; Callery-D'Amico, Susan; Davis, Amy; Digilova, Alla; Forster, David; Heffernan, Kate; Luthin, Maeve; Lynch, Holly Fernandez; McNair, Lindsay; Miller, Jennifer E; Murphy, Jacquelyn; Van Campen, Luann; Wilenzick, Mark; Wolf, Delia; Woolston, Cris; Aldinger, Carmen; Bierer, Barbara E

    2016-04-01

    A novel Protocol Ethics Tool Kit ('Ethics Tool Kit') has been developed by a multi-stakeholder group of the Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Center of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard. The purpose of the Ethics Tool Kit is to facilitate effective recognition, consideration and deliberation of critical ethical issues in clinical trial protocols. The Ethics Tool Kit may be used by investigators and sponsors to develop a dedicated Ethics Section within a protocol to improve the consistency and transparency between clinical trial protocols and research ethics committee reviews. It may also streamline ethics review and may facilitate and expedite the review process by anticipating the concerns of ethics committee reviewers. Specific attention was given to issues arising in multinational settings. With the use of this Tool Kit, researchers have the opportunity to address critical research ethics issues proactively, potentially speeding the time and easing the process to final protocol approval. PMID:26811365

  16. Improved purification of brine-shrimp (Artemia saline) (Na+ + K+)-activated adenosine triphosphatase and amino-acid and carbohydrate analyses of the isolated subunits.

    PubMed

    Peterson, G L; Hokin, L E

    1980-10-15

    Purification of the (Na+ + K+)-activated ATPase has been improved 2-fold the respect to both purity and yield over the previous method [Peterson, Ewing, Hootman & Conte (1978) J. Biol. Chem. 253, 4762-4770] by using Lubrol WX and non-denaturing concentrations of sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS). The enzyme was purified 200-fold over the homogenate. The preparation had a specific activity of about 600 mumol of Pi/h per mg of protein, and was about 60% pure according to quantification of Coomassie Blue-stained SDS/polyacrylamide gels. The yield of purified enzyme was about 10 mg of protein per 100g of dry brine-shrimp (Artemia salina) cysts. The method is highly suitable for purification either on a small scale (10-25g of dry cysts) or on a large scale (900g of dry cysts) and methods are described for both. The large (Na+ + K+)-activated ATPase subunit (alpha-subunit) was isolated in pure form by SDS-gel filtration on Bio-Gel A 1.5m. The small subunit (beta-subunit) was eluted with other contaminating proteins on the Bio-Gel column, but was isolated in pure form by extraction from SDS/polyacrylamide gels. The amino acid and carbohydrate compositions of both subunits are reported. The alpha-subunit contained 5.2% carbohydrate by weight, and the beta-subunit 9.2%. Sialic acid was absent from both subunits. PMID:6272692

  17. Optical protocols for terabit networks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chua, P. L.; Lambert, J. L.; Morookian, J. M.; Bergman, L. A.

    1991-01-01

    This paper describes a new fiber-optic local area network technology providing 100X improvement over current technology, has full crossbar funtionality, and inherent data security. Based on optical code-division multiple access (CDMA), using spectral phase encoding/decoding of optical pulses, networking protocols are implemented entirely in the optical domain and thus conventional networking bottlenecks are avoided. Component and system issues for a proof-of-concept demonstration are discussed, as well as issues for a more practical and commercially exploitable system. Possible terrestrial and aerospace applications of this technology, and its impact on other technologies are explored. Some initial results toward realization of this concept are also included.

  18. Experience of islet isolation without neutral protease supplementation

    PubMed Central

    O'Gorman, Doug; Senior, Peter; Shapiro, AM James

    2010-01-01

    We have reported improved islet isolation outcomes using a new digestion protocol where the pancreas is perfused only with collagenase, and neutral protease (NP) is administered during the digestion phase. Since the inception of this protocol, we have had some cases where administration of NP was not required. Our new protocol was utilized in 94 islet isolations. The timing of adding NP was dependent on the progression of digestion but in 10 cases the progression was rapid and most islets in the assessment samples were free from the exocrine tissue. As a result NP was not added at all for these isolations (no-NP group). In the remaining 84 isolations, NP was added during digestion phase (control group). Pancreata in the each group were digested with a similar collagenase dose. Digestion time was shorter in the no-NP (15.0 ± 1.8 vs. 19.5 ± 0.6 min, p = 0.004). At post-digestion, the no-NP had fewer trapped islets (10.9 ± 2.8 vs. 28.1 ± 2.4%, p = 0.009). Post-purification islet yield was similar (355 ± 45 × 103 vs. 318 ± 17 × 103 IE, p = 0.29). Five preparations in the no-NP were used for clinical transplantation, leading to a 64.3 ± 15.2% reduction in insulin usage. Interestingly, cold ischemia time was longer in the no-NP (10.3 ± 0.9 vs. 7.9 ± 0.4 h, p = 0.04). One particular collagenase lot having the highest NP activity contamination was used in 7 isolations in the no-NP. Our experience indicates that supplementation of collagenase with NP is not always necessary for effective isolation. Cold ischemia time and NP contamination should be evaluated for optimal NP dosage. PMID:21099325

  19. Human platelet dense granules: Improved isolation preliminary characterization of ( sup 3 H)-serotonin uptake and tetrabanazine-displaceable ( sup 3 H)-ketanserin binding

    SciTech Connect

    Chatterjee, D.; Anderson, G.M.; Chakraborty, M.; Cohen, D.J. )

    1990-01-01

    An improved method for the isolation of human platelet dense granules was developed. A good yield of highly enriched dense granules was obtained after mild sonication and Percoll gradient centrifugation. The method has facilitated characterization of the granule, permitting the first report of K{sub m} and V{sub max} values for ({sup 3}H)-serotonin uptake, as well as the first determination of K{sub d} and B{sub max} values for tetrabenazine-displaceable ({sup 3}H)-ketanserin binding, in the human platelet dense granule. The rates and affinities of ({sup 3}H)-serotonin uptake were similar to those previously reported for porcine dense granules. Tetrabenazine-displaceable ({sup 3}H)-ketanserin binding was observed with a K{sub d} similar to, and a B{sub max} approximately 10-fold lower than, that previously seen in bovine chromaffin granules.

  20. Isolation of the Ubiquitin-Proteome from Tumor Cell Lines and Primary Cells Using TUBEs.

    PubMed

    Xolalpa, Wendy; Mata-Cantero, Lydia; Aillet, Fabienne; Rodriguez, Manuel S

    2016-01-01

    Tandem ubiquitin-binding entities (TUBEs) act as molecular traps to isolate polyubiquitylated proteins facilitating the study of this highly reversible posttranslational modification. We provide here sample preparation and adaptations required for TUBE-based enrichment of the ubiquitin proteome from tumor cell lines or primary cells. Our protocol is suitable to identify ubiquitin substrates, enzymes involved in the ubiquitin proteasome pathway, as well as proteasome subunits by mass spectrometry. This protocol was adapted to prepare affinity columns, reduce background, and improve the protein recovery depending on the sample source and necessities. PMID:27613034

  1. Optimal protocols for nonlocality distillation

    SciTech Connect

    Hoeyer, Peter; Rashid, Jibran

    2010-10-15

    Forster et al. recently showed that weak nonlocality can be amplified by giving the first protocol that distills a class of nonlocal boxes (NLBs) [Phys. Rev. Lett. 102, 120401 (2009)] We first show that their protocol is optimal among all nonadaptive protocols. We next consider adaptive protocols. We show that the depth-2 protocol of Allcock et al. [Phys. Rev. A 80, 062107 (2009)] performs better than previously known adaptive depth-2 protocols for all symmetric NLBs. We present a depth-3 protocol that extends the known region of distillable NLBs. We give examples of NLBs for which each of the Forster et al., the Allcock et al., and our protocols perform best. The understanding we develop is that there is no single optimal protocol for NLB distillation. The choice of which protocol to use depends on the noise parameters for the NLB.

  2. InterGroup Protocols

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2003-04-02

    Existing reliable ordered group communication protocols have been developed for local-area networks and do not in general scale well to a large number of nodes and wide-area networks. The InterGroup suite of protocols is a scalable group communication system that introduces an unusual approach to handling group membership, and supports a receiver-oriented selection of service. The protocols are intended for a wide-area network, with a large number of nodes, that has highly variable delays andmore » a high message loss rate, such as the Internet. The levels of the message delivery service range from unreliable unordered to reliable timestamp ordered.« less

  3. Microencapsulation of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG by Transglutaminase Cross-Linked Soy Protein Isolate to Improve Survival in Simulated Gastrointestinal Conditions and Yoghurt.

    PubMed

    Li, Chun; Wang, Chun-Ling; Sun, Yu; Li, Ai-Li; Liu, Fei; Meng, Xiang-Chen

    2016-07-01

    Microencapsulation is an effective way to improve the survival of probiotics in simulated gastrointestinal (GI) conditions and yoghurt. In this study, microencapsulation of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) was prepared by first cross-linking of soy protein isolate (SPI) using transglutaminase (TGase), followed by embedding the bacteria in cross-linked SPI, and then freeze-drying. The survival of microencapsulated LGG was evaluated in simulated GI conditions and yoghurt. The results showed that a high microencapsulation yield of 67.4% was obtained. The diameter of the microencapsulated LGG was in the range of 52.83 to 275.16 μm. Water activity did not differ between free and microencapsulated LGG after freeze-drying. The survival of microencapsulated LGG under simulated gastric juice (pH 2.5 and 3.6), intestinal juice (0.3% and 2% bile salt) and storage at 4 °C were significantly higher than that of free cells. The survival of LGG in TGase cross-linked SPI microcapsules was also improved to 14.5 ± 0.5% during storage in yoghurt. The microencapsulation of probiotics by TGase-treated SPI can be a suitable alternative to polysaccharide gelation technologies. PMID:27228279

  4. An Update on Maternal Hydration Strategies for Amniotic Fluid Improvement in Isolated Oligohydramnios and Normohydramnios: Evidence from a Systematic Review of Literature and Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Gizzo, Salvatore; Noventa, Marco; Vitagliano, Amerigo; Dall’Asta, Andrea; D’Antona, Donato; Aldrich, Clive J.; Quaranta, Michela; Frusca, Tiziana; Patrelli, Tito Silvio

    2015-01-01

    Objective Several trials aimed at evaluating the efficacy of maternal hydration (MH) in increasing amniotic-fluid-volume (AFV) in pregnancies with isolated oligohydramnios or normohydramnos have been conducted. Unfortunately, no evidences support this intervention in routine-clinical-practice. The aim of this systematic-literature-review and meta-analysis was to collect all data regarding proposed strategies and their efficacy in relation to each clinical condition for which MH-therapy was performed with the aim of increasing amniotic-fluid (AF) and improving perinatal outcomes. Materials and Methods A systematic literature search was conducted in electronic-database MEDLINE, EMBASE, ScienceDirect and the