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Sample records for mimicking quantitative assessment

  1. Quantitatively mimicking wet colloidal suspensions with dry granular media.

    PubMed

    Messina, René; Aljawhari, Sarah; Bécu, Lydiane; Schockmel, Julien; Lumay, Geoffroy; Vandewalle, Nicolas

    2015-01-01

    Athermal two-dimensional granular systems are exposed to external mechanical noise leading to Brownian-like motion. Using tunable repulsive interparticle interaction, it is shown that the same microstructure as that observed in colloidal suspensions can be quantitatively recovered at a macroscopic scale. To that end, experiments on granular and colloidal systems made up of magnetized particles as well as computer simulations are performed and compared. Excellent agreement throughout the range of the magnetic coupling parameter is found for the pair distribution as well as the bond-orientational correlation functions. This finding opens new ways to efficiently and very conveniently explore phase transitions, crystallization, nucleation, etc in confined geometries. PMID:26030718

  2. Microbiological Quantitative Risk Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dominguez, Silvia; Schaffner, Donald W.

    The meat and poultry industry faces ongoing challenges due to the natural association of pathogens of concern (e.g., Salmonella, Campylobacter jejuni, Escherichia coli O157:H7) with a variety of domesticated food animals. In addition, pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes pose a significant cross-contamination risk during further meat and poultry processing, distribution, and storage. Furthermore, the meat and poultry industries are constantly changing with the addition of new products, use of new raw materials, and targeting of new consumer populations, each of which may give rise to potential new risks. National and international regulations are increasingly using a “risk-based” approach to food safety (where the regulatory focus is driven by the magnitude of the risk), so risk assessment is becoming a valuable tool to systematically organize and evaluate the potential public health risk posed by food processing operations.

  3. Towards quantitative assessment of calciphylaxis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deserno, Thomas M.; Sárándi, István.; Jose, Abin; Haak, Daniel; Jonas, Stephan; Specht, Paula; Brandenburg, Vincent

    2014-03-01

    Calciphylaxis is a rare disease that has devastating conditions associated with high morbidity and mortality. Calciphylaxis is characterized by systemic medial calcification of the arteries yielding necrotic skin ulcerations. In this paper, we aim at supporting the installation of multi-center registries for calciphylaxis, which includes a photographic documentation of skin necrosis. However, photographs acquired in different centers under different conditions using different equipment and photographers cannot be compared quantitatively. For normalization, we use a simple color pad that is placed into the field of view, segmented from the image, and its color fields are analyzed. In total, 24 colors are printed on that scale. A least-squares approach is used to determine the affine color transform. Furthermore, the card allows scale normalization. We provide a case study for qualitative assessment. In addition, the method is evaluated quantitatively using 10 images of two sets of different captures of the same necrosis. The variability of quantitative measurements based on free hand photography is assessed regarding geometric and color distortions before and after our simple calibration procedure. Using automated image processing, the standard deviation of measurements is significantly reduced. The coefficients of variations yield 5-20% and 2-10% for geometry and color, respectively. Hence, quantitative assessment of calciphylaxis becomes practicable and will impact a better understanding of this rare but fatal disease.

  4. Characterisation of a PVCP-based tissue-mimicking phantom for quantitative photoacoustic imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fonseca, Martina; Zeqiri, Bajram; Beard, Paul; Cox, Ben

    2015-07-01

    Photoacoustic imaging can provide high resolution images of tissue structure, pathology and function. As these images can be obtained at multiple wavelengths, quantitatively accurate, spatially resolved, estimates for chromophore concentration, for example, may be obtainable. Such a capability would find a wide range of clinical and pre-clinical applications. However, despite a growing body of theoretical papers on how this might be achieved, there is a noticeable lack of studies providing validated evidence that it can be achieved experimentally, either in vitro or in vivo. Well-defined, versatile and stable phantom materials are essential to assess the accuracy, robustness and applicability of multispectral Quantitative Photoacoustic Imaging (qPAI) algorithms in experimental scenarios. This study assesses the potential of polyvinyl chloride plastisol (PVCP) as a phantom material for qPAI, building on previous work that focused on using PVCP for quality control. Parameters that might be controlled or tuned to assess the performance of qPAI algorithms were studied: broadband acoustic properties, multiwavelength optical properties with added absorbers and scatterers, and photoacoustic efficiency. The optical and acoustic properties of PVCP can be tuned to be broadly representative of soft tissue. The Grüneisen parameter is larger than expected in tissue, which is an advantage as it increases the signal-to-noise ratio of the photoacoustic measurements. Interestingly, when the absorption was altered by adding absorbers, the absorption spectra measured using high peak power nanosecond-pulsed sources (typical in photoacoustics) were repeatably different from the ones measured using the low power source in the spectrophotometer, indicative of photochemical reactions taking place.

  5. Quantitative risk assessment system (QRAS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weinstock, Robert M (Inventor); Smidts, Carol S (Inventor); Mosleh, Ali (Inventor); Chang, Yung-Hsien (Inventor); Swaminathan, Sankaran (Inventor); Groen, Francisco J (Inventor); Tan, Zhibin (Inventor)

    2001-01-01

    A quantitative risk assessment system (QRAS) builds a risk model of a system for which risk of failure is being assessed, then analyzes the risk of the system corresponding to the risk model. The QRAS performs sensitivity analysis of the risk model by altering fundamental components and quantifications built into the risk model, then re-analyzes the risk of the system using the modifications. More particularly, the risk model is built by building a hierarchy, creating a mission timeline, quantifying failure modes, and building/editing event sequence diagrams. Multiplicities, dependencies, and redundancies of the system are included in the risk model. For analysis runs, a fixed baseline is first constructed and stored. This baseline contains the lowest level scenarios, preserved in event tree structure. The analysis runs, at any level of the hierarchy and below, access this baseline for risk quantitative computation as well as ranking of particular risks. A standalone Tool Box capability exists, allowing the user to store application programs within QRAS.

  6. Integrated Environmental Modeling: Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    The presentation discusses the need for microbial assessments and presents a road map associated with quantitative microbial risk assessments, through an integrated environmental modeling approach. A brief introduction and the strengths of the current knowledge are illustrated. W...

  7. Teaching quantitative biology: goals, assessments, and resources

    PubMed Central

    Aikens, Melissa L.; Dolan, Erin L.

    2014-01-01

    More than a decade has passed since the publication of BIO2010, calling for an increased emphasis on quantitative skills in the undergraduate biology curriculum. In that time, relatively few papers have been published that describe educational innovations in quantitative biology or provide evidence of their effects on students. Using a “backward design” framework, we lay out quantitative skill and attitude goals, assessment strategies, and teaching resources to help biologists teach more quantitatively. Collaborations between quantitative biologists and education researchers are necessary to develop a broader and more appropriate suite of assessment tools, and to provide much-needed evidence on how particular teaching strategies affect biology students' quantitative skill development and attitudes toward quantitative work. PMID:25368425

  8. Quantitative assessment of scientific quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinzl, Harald; Bloching, Philipp

    2012-09-01

    Scientific publications, authors, and journals are commonly evaluated with quantitative bibliometric measures. Frequently-used measures will be reviewed and their strengths and weaknesses will be highlighted. Reflections about conditions for a new, research paper-specific measure will be presented.

  9. Environmental probabilistic quantitative assessment methodologies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Crovelli, R.A.

    1995-01-01

    In this paper, four petroleum resource assessment methodologies are presented as possible pollution assessment methodologies, even though petroleum as a resource is desirable, whereas pollution is undesirable. A methodology is defined in this paper to consist of a probability model and a probabilistic method, where the method is used to solve the model. The following four basic types of probability models are considered: 1) direct assessment, 2) accumulation size, 3) volumetric yield, and 4) reservoir engineering. Three of the four petroleum resource assessment methodologies were written as microcomputer systems, viz. TRIAGG for direct assessment, APRAS for accumulation size, and FASPU for reservoir engineering. A fourth microcomputer system termed PROBDIST supports the three assessment systems. The three assessment systems have different probability models but the same type of probabilistic method. The type of advantages of the analytic method are in computational speed and flexibility, making it ideal for a microcomputer. -from Author

  10. Use of chemostat cultures mimicking different phases of wine fermentations as a tool for quantitative physiological analysis

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Saccharomyces cerevisiae is the most relevant yeast species conducting the alcoholic fermentation that takes place during winemaking. Although the physiology of this model organism has been extensively studied, systematic quantitative physiology studies of this yeast under winemaking conditions are still scarce, thus limiting the understanding of fermentative metabolism of wine yeast strains and the systematic description, modelling and prediction of fermentation processes. In this study, we implemented and validated the use of chemostat cultures as a tool to simulate different stages of a standard wine fermentation, thereby allowing to implement metabolic flux analyses describing the sequence of metabolic states of S. cerevisae along the wine fermentation. Results Chemostat cultures mimicking the different stages of standard wine fermentations of S. cerevisiae EC1118 were performed using a synthetic must and strict anaerobic conditions. The simulated stages corresponded to the onset of the exponential growth phase, late exponential growth phase and cells just entering stationary phase, at dilution rates of 0.27, 0.04, 0.007 h−1, respectively. Notably, measured substrate uptake and product formation rates at each steady state condition were generally within the range of corresponding conversion rates estimated during the different batch fermentation stages. Moreover, chemostat data were further used for metabolic flux analysis, where biomass composition data for each condition was considered in the stoichiometric model. Metabolic flux distributions were coherent with previous analyses based on batch cultivations data and the pseudo-steady state assumption. Conclusions Steady state conditions obtained in chemostat cultures reflect the environmental conditions and physiological states of S. cerevisiae corresponding to the different growth stages of a typical batch wine fermentation, thereby showing the potential of this experimental approach to

  11. Therapeutic ultrasound in physical medicine and rehabilitation: characterization and assessment of its physical effects on joint-mimicking phantoms.

    PubMed

    Lioce, Elisa Edi Anna Nadia; Novello, Matteo; Durando, Gianni; Bistolfi, Alessandro; Actis, Maria Vittoria; Massazza, Giuseppe; Magnetto, Chiara; Guiot, Caterina

    2014-11-01

    The aim of the study described here was to quantitatively assess thermal and mechanical effects of therapeutic ultrasound (US) by sonicating a joint-mimicking phantom, made of muscle-equivalent material, using clinical US equipment. The phantom contains two bone disks simulating a deep joint (treated at 1 MHz) and a superficial joint (3 MHz). Thermal probes were inserted in fixed positions. To test the mechanical (cavitational) effects, we used a latex balloon filled with oxygen-loaded nanobubbles; the dimensions of the oxygen-loaded nanobubbles were determined before and after sonication. Significant increases in temperature (up to 17°C) with fixed field using continuous waves were detected both in front of and behind the bones, depending on the US mode (continuous wave vs. pulsed wave) and on the treatment modality (fixed vs. massage). We found no significant differences in mechanical effects. Although limited by the in vitro design (no blood perfusion, no metabolic compensation), the results can be used to guide operators in their choice of the best US treatment modality for a specific joint. PMID:25220275

  12. Quantitative assessment of fluorescent proteins.

    PubMed

    Cranfill, Paula J; Sell, Brittney R; Baird, Michelle A; Allen, John R; Lavagnino, Zeno; de Gruiter, H Martijn; Kremers, Gert-Jan; Davidson, Michael W; Ustione, Alessandro; Piston, David W

    2016-07-01

    The advent of fluorescent proteins (FPs) for genetic labeling of molecules and cells has revolutionized fluorescence microscopy. Genetic manipulations have created a vast array of bright and stable FPs spanning blue to red spectral regions. Common to autofluorescent FPs is their tight β-barrel structure, which provides the rigidity and chemical environment needed for effectual fluorescence. Despite the common structure, each FP has unique properties. Thus, there is no single 'best' FP for every circumstance, and each FP has advantages and disadvantages. To guide decisions about which FP is right for a given application, we have quantitatively characterized the brightness, photostability, pH stability and monomeric properties of more than 40 FPs to enable straightforward and direct comparison between them. We focus on popular and/or top-performing FPs in each spectral region. PMID:27240257

  13. Quantitative assessment of skin aging.

    PubMed

    Lévêque, J L

    2001-11-01

    Noninvasive methods have allowed physicians to give an objective description of aged skin in terms of functional and esthetic properties. The relative influence of environment (mainly sun) on the true aging process can be assessed through the obtained data. It is also possible to measure the efficacy of topical preparations (cosmetics or drugs) designed for treating the various cutaneous aging marks. PMID:11535423

  14. Assessment of tissue Doppler imaging measurements of arterial wall motion using a tissue mimicking test rig.

    PubMed

    Thrush, Abigail J; Brewin, Mark P; Birch, Malcolm J

    2008-03-01

    The aim of this in vitro study is to assess the accuracy of the tissue Doppler imaging arterial wall motion (TDI AWM) technique in measuring dilation over a range of distances and velocities. A test rig, consisting of two parallel blocks of tissue mimicking material (TMM), has been developed to generate known wall motion. One block remains stationary while the other moves in a cyclical motion. A calibrated laser range finder was used to measure the TMM motion. The TDI AWM measurements were found to underestimate the dilation by 21% +/- 4.7% when using the recommended scanner parameters. The size of the error was found to increase with a decrease in ultrasound output power. Results suggested that errors in the TDI AWM dilation measurements relate to underestimates in the velocity measured by the TDI technique. The error demonstrated in this study indicates a limitation in the value of TDI AWM result obtained in vivo. (E-mail: abigail.thrush@bartsandthelondon.nhs.uk). PMID:17964065

  15. Accuracy of quantitative visual soil assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Leeuwen, Maricke; Heuvelink, Gerard; Stoorvogel, Jetse; Wallinga, Jakob; de Boer, Imke; van Dam, Jos; van Essen, Everhard; Moolenaar, Simon; Verhoeven, Frank; Stoof, Cathelijne

    2016-04-01

    Visual soil assessment (VSA) is a method to assess soil quality visually, when standing in the field. VSA is increasingly used by farmers, farm organisations and companies, because it is rapid and cost-effective, and because looking at soil provides understanding about soil functioning. Often VSA is regarded as subjective, so there is a need to verify VSA. Also, many VSAs have not been fine-tuned for contrasting soil types. This could lead to wrong interpretation of soil quality and soil functioning when contrasting sites are compared to each other. We wanted to assess accuracy of VSA, while taking into account soil type. The first objective was to test whether quantitative visual field observations, which form the basis in many VSAs, could be validated with standardized field or laboratory measurements. The second objective was to assess whether quantitative visual field observations are reproducible, when used by observers with contrasting backgrounds. For the validation study, we made quantitative visual observations at 26 cattle farms. Farms were located at sand, clay and peat soils in the North Friesian Woodlands, the Netherlands. Quantitative visual observations evaluated were grass cover, number of biopores, number of roots, soil colour, soil structure, number of earthworms, number of gley mottles and soil compaction. Linear regression analysis showed that four out of eight quantitative visual observations could be well validated with standardized field or laboratory measurements. The following quantitative visual observations correlated well with standardized field or laboratory measurements: grass cover with classified images of surface cover; number of roots with root dry weight; amount of large structure elements with mean weight diameter; and soil colour with soil organic matter content. Correlation coefficients were greater than 0.3, from which half of the correlations were significant. For the reproducibility study, a group of 9 soil scientists and 7

  16. Integrated regional assessment: qualitative and quantitative issues

    SciTech Connect

    Malone, Elizabeth L.

    2009-11-19

    Qualitative and quantitative issues are particularly significant in integrated regional assessment. This chapter examines the terms “qualitative” and “quantitative” separately and in relation to one another, along with a discussion of the degree of interdependence or overlap between the two. Strategies for integrating the two general approaches often produce uneasy compromises. However, integrated regional assessment provides opportunities for strong collaborations in addressing specific problems in specific places.

  17. Quantitative Assessment of Image Retrieval Effectiveness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, John R.

    2001-01-01

    Examines the problems of developing a framework and testbed for quantitative assessment of image retrieval effectiveness. To better harness the extensive research on content-based retrieval and improve capabilities of image retrieval systems, this article advocates the establishment of common image retrieval testbeds consisting of standardized…

  18. Quantitative assessment of growth plate activity

    SciTech Connect

    Harcke, H.T.; Macy, N.J.; Mandell, G.A.; MacEwen, G.D.

    1984-01-01

    In the immature skeleton the physis or growth plate is the area of bone least able to withstand external forces and is therefore prone to trauma. Such trauma often leads to premature closure of the plate and results in limb shortening and/or angular deformity (varus or valgus). Active localization of bone seeking tracers in the physis makes bone scintigraphy an excellent method for assessing growth plate physiology. To be most effective, however, physeal activity should be quantified so that serial evaluations are accurate and comparable. The authors have developed a quantitative method for assessing physeal activity and have applied it ot the hip and knee. Using computer acquired pinhole images of the abnormal and contralateral normal joints, ten regions of interest are placed at key locations around each joint and comparative ratios are generated to form a growth plate profile. The ratios compare segmental physeal activity to total growth plate activity on both ipsilateral and contralateral sides and to adjacent bone. In 25 patients, ages 2 to 15 years, with angular deformities of the legs secondary to trauma, Blount's disease, and Perthes disease, this technique is able to differentiate abnormal segmental physeal activity. This is important since plate closure does not usually occur uniformly across the physis. The technique may permit the use of scintigraphy in the prediction of early closure through the quantitative analysis of serial studies.

  19. Hydrogen quantitative risk assessment workshop proceedings.

    SciTech Connect

    Groth, Katrina M.; Harris, Aaron P.

    2013-09-01

    The Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) Toolkit Introduction Workshop was held at Energetics on June 11-12. The workshop was co-hosted by Sandia National Laboratories (Sandia) and HySafe, the International Association for Hydrogen Safety. The objective of the workshop was twofold: (1) Present a hydrogen-specific methodology and toolkit (currently under development) for conducting QRA to support the development of codes and standards and safety assessments of hydrogen-fueled vehicles and fueling stations, and (2) Obtain feedback on the needs of early-stage users (hydrogen as well as potential leveraging for Compressed Natural Gas [CNG], and Liquefied Natural Gas [LNG]) and set priorities for %E2%80%9CVersion 1%E2%80%9D of the toolkit in the context of the commercial evolution of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV). The workshop consisted of an introduction and three technical sessions: Risk Informed Development and Approach; CNG/LNG Applications; and Introduction of a Hydrogen Specific QRA Toolkit.

  20. Quantitative Methods for Assessing Drug Synergism

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Two or more drugs that individually produce overtly similar effects will sometimes display greatly enhanced effects when given in combination. When the combined effect is greater than that predicted by their individual potencies, the combination is said to be synergistic. A synergistic interaction allows the use of lower doses of the combination constituents, a situation that may reduce adverse reactions. Drug combinations are quite common in the treatment of cancers, infections, pain, and many other diseases and situations. The determination of synergism is a quantitative pursuit that involves a rigorous demonstration that the combination effect is greater than that which is expected from the individual drug’s potencies. The basis of that demonstration is the concept of dose equivalence, which is discussed here and applied to an experimental design and data analysis known as isobolographic analysis. That method, and a related method of analysis that also uses dose equivalence, are presented in this brief review, which provides the mathematical basis for assessing synergy and an optimization strategy for determining the dose combination. PMID:22737266

  1. Quantitative Risk Assessment for Enhanced Geothermal Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowry, T. S.; McKenna, S. A.; Hadgu, T.; Kalinina, E.

    2011-12-01

    This study uses a quantitative risk-assessment approach to place the uncertainty associated with enhanced geothermal systems (EGS) development into meaningful context and to identify points of attack that can reduce risk the most. Using the integrated geothermal assessment tool, GT-Mod, we calculate the complimentary cumulative distribution function of the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) that results from uncertainty in a variety of geologic and economic input parameter values. EGS is a developing technology that taps deep (2-10km) geologic heat sources for energy production by "enhancing" non-permeable hot rock through hydraulic stimulation. Despite the promise of EGS, uncertainties in predicting the physical end economic performance of a site has hindered its development. To address this, we apply a quantitative risk-assessment approach that calculates risk as the sum of the consequence, C, multiplied by the range of the probability, ΔP, over all estimations of a given exceedance probability, n, over time, t. The consequence here is defined as the deviation from the best estimate LCOE, which is calculated using the 'best-guess' input parameter values. The analysis assumes a realistic but fictitious EGS site with uncertainties in the exploration success rate, the sub-surface thermal gradient, the reservoir fracture pattern, and the power plant performance. Uncertainty in the exploration, construction, O&M, and drilling costs are also included. The depth to the resource is calculated from the thermal gradient and a target resource temperature of 225 °C. Thermal performance is simulated using the Gringarten analytical solution. The mass flow rate is set to produce 30 MWe of power for the given conditions and is adjusted over time to maintain that rate over the plant lifetime of 30 years. Simulations are conducted using GT-Mod, which dynamically links the physical systems of a geothermal site to simulate, as an integrated, multi-system component, the

  2. Quantitative risk assessment of durable glass fibers.

    PubMed

    Fayerweather, William E; Eastes, Walter; Cereghini, Francesco; Hadley, John G

    2002-06-01

    This article presents a quantitative risk assessment for the theoretical lifetime cancer risk from the manufacture and use of relatively durable synthetic glass fibers. More specifically, we estimate levels of exposure to respirable fibers or fiberlike structures of E-glass and C-glass that, assuming a working lifetime exposure, pose a theoretical lifetime cancer risk of not more than 1 per 100,000. For comparability with other risk assessments we define these levels as nonsignificant exposures. Nonsignificant exposure levels are estimated from (a) the Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM) chronic rat inhalation bioassay of durable E-glass microfibers, and (b) the Research Consulting Company (RCC) chronic inhalation bioassay of durable refractory ceramic fibers (RCF). Best estimates of nonsignificant E-glass exposure exceed 0.05-0.13 fibers (or shards) per cubic centimeter (cm3) when calculated from the multistage nonthreshold model. Best estimates of nonsignificant C-glass exposure exceed 0.27-0.6 fibers/cm3. Estimates of nonsignificant exposure increase markedly for E- and C-glass when non-linear models are applied and rapidly exceed 1 fiber/cm3. Controlling durable fiber exposures to an 8-h time-weighted average of 0.05 fibers/cm3 will assure that the additional theoretical lifetime risk from working lifetime exposures to these durable fibers or shards is kept below the 1 per 100,000 level. Measured airborne exposures to respirable, durable glass fibers (or shards) in glass fiber manufacturing and fabrication operations were compared with the nonsignificant exposure estimates described. Sampling results for B-sized respirable E-glass fibers at facilities that manufacture or fabricate small-diameter continuous-filament products, from those that manufacture respirable E-glass shards from PERG (process to efficiently recycle glass), from milled fiber operations, and from respirable C-glass shards from Flakeglass operations indicate very low median exposures of 0

  3. Quantitative Assessment of Autistic Symptomatology in Preschoolers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pine, Elyse; Luby, Joan; Abbacchi, Anna; Constantino, John N.

    2006-01-01

    Given a growing emphasis on early intervention for children with autism, valid quantitative tools for measuring treatment response are needed. The Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) is a brief (15-20 minute) quantitative measure of autistic traits in 4-to 18-year-olds, for which a version for 3-year-olds was recently developed. We obtained serial…

  4. Quantitative ultrasound assessment of cervical microstructure.

    PubMed

    Feltovich, Helen; Nam, Kibo; Hall, Timothy J

    2010-07-01

    The objective of this preliminary study was to determine whether quantitative ultrasound (QUS) can provide insight into, and characterization of, uterine cervical microstructure. Throughout pregnancy, cervical collagen reorganizes (from aligned and anisotropic to disorganized and isotropic) as the cervix changes in preparation for delivery. Premature changes in collagen are associated with premature birth in mammals. Because QUS is able to detect structural anisotropy/isotropy, we hypothesized that it may provide a means of noninvasively assessing cervical microstructure. Thorough study of cervical microstructure has been limited by lack of technology to detect small changes in collagen organization, which has in turn limited our ability to detect abnormal and/or premature changes in collagen that may lead to preterm birth. In order to determine whether QUS may be useful for detection of cervical microstructure, radiofrequency (rf) echo data were acquired from the cervices of human hysterectomy specimens (n = 10). The angle between the acoustic beam and tissue was used to assess anisotropic acoustic propagation by control of transmit/receive angles from -20 degrees to +20 degrees. The power spectrum of the echo signals from within a region of interest was computed in order to investigate the microstructure of the tissue. An identical analysis was performed on a homogeneous phantom with spherical scatterers for system calibration. Power spectra of backscattered rf from the cervix were 6 dB higher for normal (0 degree) than steered (+/- 20 degrees) beams. The spectral power for steered beams decreased monotonically (0.4 dB at +5 degrees to 3.6 dB at +20 degrees). The excess difference (compared to similar analysis for the phantom) in normally-incident (0 degree) versus steered beams is consistent with scattering from an aligned component of the cervical microstructure. Therefore, QUS appears to reliably identify an aligned component of cervical microstructure

  5. A Quantitative Approach to Assessing System Evolvability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Christian, John A., III

    2004-01-01

    When selecting a system from multiple candidates, the customer seeks the one that best meets his or her needs. Recently the desire for evolvable systems has become more important and engineers are striving to develop systems that accommodate this need. In response to this search for evolvability, we present a historical perspective on evolvability, propose a refined definition of evolvability, and develop a quantitative method for measuring this property. We address this quantitative methodology from both a theoretical and practical perspective. This quantitative model is then applied to the problem of evolving a lunar mission to a Mars mission as a case study.

  6. Bayes` theorem and quantitative risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Kaplan, S.

    1994-12-31

    This paper argues that for a quantitative risk analysis (QRA) to be useful for public and private decision making, and for rallying the support necessary to implement those decisions, it is necessary that the QRA results be ``trustable.`` Trustable means that the results are based solidly and logically on all the relevant evidence available. This, in turn, means that the quantitative results must be derived from the evidence using Bayes` theorem. Thus, it argues that one should strive to make their QRAs more clearly and explicitly Bayesian, and in this way make them more ``evidence dependent`` than ``personality dependent.``

  7. Assessing Quantitative Reasoning in Young Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nunes, Terezinha; Bryant, Peter; Evans, Deborah; Barros, Rossana

    2015-01-01

    Before starting school, many children reason logically about concepts that are basic to their later mathematical learning. We describe a measure of quantitative reasoning that was administered to children at school entry (mean age 5.8 years) and accounted for more variance in a mathematical attainment test than general cognitive ability 16 months…

  8. Quantitative Ultrasound Assessment of the Rat Cervix

    PubMed Central

    McFarlin, Barbara L.; O’Brien, William D.; Oelze, Michael L.; Zachary, James F.; White-Traut, Rosemary C.

    2009-01-01

    Objective The purpose of this research was to detect cervical ripening with a new quantitative ultrasound technique. Methods Cervices of 13 nonpregnant and 65 timed pregnant (days 15, 17, 19, 20, and 21 of pregnancy) Sprague Dawley rats were scanned ex vivo with a 70-MHz ultrasound transducer. Ultrasound scatterer property estimates (scatterer diameter [SD], acoustic concentration [AC], and scatterer strength factor [SSF]) from the cervices were quantified and then compared to hydroxyproline and water content. Insertion loss (attenuation) was measured in 3 rats in each of the 6 groups. Discriminant analysis was used to predict gestational age group (cervical ripening) from the ultrasound variables SD, SSF, and AC. Results Differences were observed between the groups (SD, AC, and SSF; P < .0001). Quantitative ultrasound measures changed as the cervix ripened: (1) SD increased from days 15 to 21; (2) AC decreased from days 15 to 21; and (3) SSF was the greatest in the nonpregnant group and the least in the day 21 group. Cervix hydroxyproline content increased as pregnancy progressed (P < .003) and correlated with group, SD, AC, and SSF (P < .001). Discriminant analysis of ultrasound variables predicted 56.4% of gestational group assignment (P < .001) and increased to 77% within 2 days of the predicted analysis. Cervix insertion loss was greatest for the nonpregnant group and least for the day 21 group. Conclusions Quantitative ultrasound predicted cervical ripening in the rat cervix, but before use in humans, quantitative ultrasound will need to predict gestational age in the later days of gestation with more precision. PMID:16870896

  9. A quantitative phosphorus loss assessment tool for agricultural fields

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Conservation and nutrient management planners need an assessment tool to accurately predict phosphorus (P) loss from agricultural lands. Available tools are either qualitative indices with limited capability to quantify offsite water quality impacts or prohibitively complex quantitative process-bas...

  10. A Quantitative Software Risk Assessment Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Alice

    2002-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews a risk assessment model as applied to software development. the presentation uses graphs to demonstrate basic concepts of software reliability. It also discusses the application to the risk model to the software development life cycle.

  11. Quantitative statistical methods for image quality assessment.

    PubMed

    Dutta, Joyita; Ahn, Sangtae; Li, Quanzheng

    2013-01-01

    Quantitative measures of image quality and reliability are critical for both qualitative interpretation and quantitative analysis of medical images. While, in theory, it is possible to analyze reconstructed images by means of Monte Carlo simulations using a large number of noise realizations, the associated computational burden makes this approach impractical. Additionally, this approach is less meaningful in clinical scenarios, where multiple noise realizations are generally unavailable. The practical alternative is to compute closed-form analytical expressions for image quality measures. The objective of this paper is to review statistical analysis techniques that enable us to compute two key metrics: resolution (determined from the local impulse response) and covariance. The underlying methods include fixed-point approaches, which compute these metrics at a fixed point (the unique and stable solution) independent of the iterative algorithm employed, and iteration-based approaches, which yield results that are dependent on the algorithm, initialization, and number of iterations. We also explore extensions of some of these methods to a range of special contexts, including dynamic and motion-compensated image reconstruction. While most of the discussed techniques were developed for emission tomography, the general methods are extensible to other imaging modalities as well. In addition to enabling image characterization, these analysis techniques allow us to control and enhance imaging system performance. We review practical applications where performance improvement is achieved by applying these ideas to the contexts of both hardware (optimizing scanner design) and image reconstruction (designing regularization functions that produce uniform resolution or maximize task-specific figures of merit). PMID:24312148

  12. Quantitative Statistical Methods for Image Quality Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Dutta, Joyita; Ahn, Sangtae; Li, Quanzheng

    2013-01-01

    Quantitative measures of image quality and reliability are critical for both qualitative interpretation and quantitative analysis of medical images. While, in theory, it is possible to analyze reconstructed images by means of Monte Carlo simulations using a large number of noise realizations, the associated computational burden makes this approach impractical. Additionally, this approach is less meaningful in clinical scenarios, where multiple noise realizations are generally unavailable. The practical alternative is to compute closed-form analytical expressions for image quality measures. The objective of this paper is to review statistical analysis techniques that enable us to compute two key metrics: resolution (determined from the local impulse response) and covariance. The underlying methods include fixed-point approaches, which compute these metrics at a fixed point (the unique and stable solution) independent of the iterative algorithm employed, and iteration-based approaches, which yield results that are dependent on the algorithm, initialization, and number of iterations. We also explore extensions of some of these methods to a range of special contexts, including dynamic and motion-compensated image reconstruction. While most of the discussed techniques were developed for emission tomography, the general methods are extensible to other imaging modalities as well. In addition to enabling image characterization, these analysis techniques allow us to control and enhance imaging system performance. We review practical applications where performance improvement is achieved by applying these ideas to the contexts of both hardware (optimizing scanner design) and image reconstruction (designing regularization functions that produce uniform resolution or maximize task-specific figures of merit). PMID:24312148

  13. CUMULATIVE RISK ASSESSMENT FOR QUANTITATIVE RESPONSE DATA

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Relative Potency Factor approach (RPF) is used to normalize and combine different toxic potencies among a group of chemicals selected for cumulative risk assessment. The RPF method assumes that the slopes of the dose-response functions are all equal; but this method depends o...

  14. QUANTITATIVE RISK ASSESSMENT FOR MICROBIAL AGENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Compared to chemical risk assessment, the process for microbial agents and infectious disease is more complex because of host factors and the variety of settings in which disease transmission can occur. While the National Academy of Science has established a paradigm for performi...

  15. Asbestos exposure--quantitative assessment of risk

    SciTech Connect

    Hughes, J.M.; Weill, H.

    1986-01-01

    Methods for deriving quantitative estimates of asbestos-associated health risks are reviewed and their numerous assumptions and uncertainties described. These methods involve extrapolation of risks observed at past relatively high asbestos concentration levels down to usually much lower concentration levels of interest today--in some cases, orders of magnitude lower. These models are used to calculate estimates of the potential risk to workers manufacturing asbestos products and to students enrolled in schools containing asbestos products. The potential risk to workers exposed for 40 yr to 0.5 fibers per milliliter (f/ml) of mixed asbestos fiber type (a permissible workplace exposure limit under consideration by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) ) are estimated as 82 lifetime excess cancers per 10,000 exposed. The risk to students exposed to an average asbestos concentration of 0.001 f/ml of mixed asbestos fiber types for an average enrollment period of 6 school years is estimated as 5 lifetime excess cancers per one million exposed. If the school exposure is to chrysotile asbestos only, then the estimated risk is 1.5 lifetime excess cancers per million. Risks from other causes are presented for comparison; e.g., annual rates (per million) of 10 deaths from high school football, 14 from bicycling (10-14 yr of age), 5 to 20 for whooping cough vaccination. Decisions concerning asbestos products require participation of all parties involved and should only be made after a scientifically defensible estimate of the associated risk has been obtained. In many cases to date, such decisions have been made without adequate consideration of the level of risk or the cost-effectiveness of attempts to lower the potential risk. 73 references.

  16. Quantitative assessment of protein function prediction programs.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, B N; Steffens, M B R; Raittz, R T; Santos-Weiss, I C R; Marchaukoski, J N

    2015-01-01

    Fast prediction of protein function is essential for high-throughput sequencing analysis. Bioinformatic resources provide cheaper and faster techniques for function prediction and have helped to accelerate the process of protein sequence characterization. In this study, we assessed protein function prediction programs that accept amino acid sequences as input. We analyzed the classification, equality, and similarity between programs, and, additionally, compared program performance. The following programs were selected for our assessment: Blast2GO, InterProScan, PANTHER, Pfam, and ScanProsite. This selection was based on the high number of citations (over 500), fully automatic analysis, and the possibility of returning a single best classification per sequence. We tested these programs using 12 gold standard datasets from four different sources. The gold standard classification of the databases was based on expert analysis, the Protein Data Bank, or the Structure-Function Linkage Database. We found that the miss rate among the programs is globally over 50%. Furthermore, we observed little overlap in the correct predictions from each program. Therefore, a combination of multiple types of sources and methods, including experimental data, protein-protein interaction, and data mining, may be the best way to generate more reliable predictions and decrease the miss rate. PMID:26782400

  17. Quantitative estimation in Health Impact Assessment: Opportunities and challenges

    SciTech Connect

    Bhatia, Rajiv; Seto, Edmund

    2011-04-15

    Health Impact Assessment (HIA) considers multiple effects on health of policies, programs, plans and projects and thus requires the use of diverse analytic tools and sources of evidence. Quantitative estimation has desirable properties for the purpose of HIA but adequate tools for quantification exist currently for a limited number of health impacts and decision settings; furthermore, quantitative estimation generates thorny questions about the precision of estimates and the validity of methodological assumptions. In the United States, HIA has only recently emerged as an independent practice apart from integrated EIA, and this article aims to synthesize the experience with quantitative health effects estimation within that practice. We use examples identified through a scan of available identified instances of quantitative estimation in the U.S. practice experience to illustrate methods applied in different policy settings along with their strengths and limitations. We then discuss opportunity areas and practical considerations for the use of quantitative estimation in HIA.

  18. Sensitive Quantitative Assessment of Balance Disorders

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paloski, Willilam H.

    2007-01-01

    Computerized dynamic posturography (CDP) has become a standard technique for objectively quantifying balance control performance, diagnosing the nature of functional impairments underlying balance disorders, and monitoring clinical treatment outcomes. We have long used CDP protocols to assess recovery of sensory-motor function in astronauts following space flight. The most reliable indicators of post-flight crew performance are the sensory organization tests (SOTs), particularly SOTs 5 and 6, which are sensitive to changes in availability and/or utilization of vestibular cues. We have noted, however, that some astronauts exhibiting obvious signs of balance impairment after flight are able to score within clinical norms on these tests, perhaps as a result of adopting competitive strategies or by their natural skills at substituting alternate sensory information sources. This insensitivity of the CDP protocol could underestimate of the degree of impairment and, perhaps, lead to premature release of those crewmembers to normal duties. To improve the sensitivity of the CDP protocol we have introduced static and dynamic head tilt SOT trials into our protocol. The pattern of postflight recovery quantified by the enhanced CDP protocol appears to more aptly track the re-integration of sensory-motor function, with recovery time increasing as the complexity of sensory-motor/biomechanical task increases. The new CDP protocol therefore seems more suitable for monitoring post-flight sensory-motor recovery and for indicating to crewmembers and flight surgeons fitness for return to duty and/or activities of daily living. There may be classes of patients (e.g., athletes, pilots) having motivation and/or performance characteristics similar to astronauts whose sensory-motor treatment outcomes would also be more accurately monitored using the enhanced CDP protocol. Furthermore, the enhanced protocol may be useful in early detection of age-related balance disorders.

  19. A comparison of risk assessment techniques from qualitative to quantitative

    SciTech Connect

    Altenbach, T.J.

    1995-02-13

    Risk assessment techniques vary from purely qualitative approaches, through a regime of semi-qualitative to the more traditional quantitative. Constraints such as time, money, manpower, skills, management perceptions, risk result communication to the public, and political pressures all affect the manner in which risk assessments are carried out. This paper surveys some risk matrix techniques, examining the uses and applicability for each. Limitations and problems for each technique are presented and compared to the others. Risk matrix approaches vary from purely qualitative axis descriptions of accident frequency vs consequences, to fully quantitative axis definitions using multi-attribute utility theory to equate different types of risk from the same operation.

  20. Quantitative Assessment of Lung Using Hyperpolarized Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Emami, Kiarash; Stephen, Michael; Kadlecek, Stephen; Cadman, Robert V.; Ishii, Masaru; Rizi, Rahim R.

    2009-01-01

    Improvements in the quantitative assessment of structure, function, and metabolic activity in the lung, combined with improvements in the spatial resolution of those assessments, enhance the diagnosis and evaluation of pulmonary disorders. Radiologic methods are among the most attractive techniques for the comprehensive assessment of the lung, as they allow quantitative assessment of this organ through measurements of a number of structural, functional, and metabolic parameters. Hyperpolarized nuclei magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has opened up new territories for the quantitative assessment of lung function and structure with an unprecedented spatial resolution and sensitivity. This review article presents a survey of recent developments in the field of pulmonary imaging using hyperpolarized nuclei MRI for quantitative imaging of different aspects of the lung, as well as preclinical applications of these techniques to diagnose and evaluate specific pulmonary diseases. After presenting a brief overview of various hyperpolarization techniques, this survey divides the research activities of the field into four broad areas: lung microstructure, ventilation, oxygenation, and perfusion. Finally, it discusses the challenges currently faced by researchers in this field to translate this rich body of methodology into wider-scale clinical applications. PMID:19687215

  1. Acoustic Assessment of a Konjac–Carrageenan Tissue-Mimicking Material at 5–60 MHz

    PubMed Central

    Kenwright, David A.; Sadhoo, Neelaksh; Rajagopal, Srinath; Anderson, Tom; Moran, Carmel M.; Hadoke, Patrick W.; Gray, Gillian A.; Zeqiri, Bajram; Hoskins, Peter R.

    2014-01-01

    The acoustic properties of a robust tissue-mimicking material based on konjac–carrageenan at ultrasound frequencies in the range 5–60 MHz are described. Acoustic properties were characterized using two methods: a broadband reflection substitution technique using a commercially available preclinical ultrasound scanner (Vevo 770, FUJIFILM VisualSonics, Toronto, ON, Canada), and a dedicated high-frequency ultrasound facility developed at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL, Teddington, UK), which employed a broadband through-transmission substitution technique. The mean speed of sound across the measured frequencies was found to be 1551.7 ± 12.7 and 1547.7 ± 3.3 m s−1, respectively. The attenuation exhibited a non-linear dependence on frequency, f (MHz), in the form of a polynomial function: 0.009787f2 + 0.2671f and 0.01024f2 + 0.3639f, respectively. The characterization of this tissue-mimicking material will provide reference data for designing phantoms for preclinical systems, which may, in certain applications such as flow phantoms, require a physically more robust tissue-mimicking material than is currently available. PMID:25438864

  2. Quantitative Assessment of a Senge Learning Organization Intervention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kiedrowski, P. Jay

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: To quantitatively assess a Senge learning organization (LO) intervention to determine if it would result in improved employee satisfaction. Design/methodology/approach: A Senge LO intervention in Division 123 of Company ABC was undertaken in 2000. Three employee surveys using likert-scale questions over five years and correlation analysis…

  3. Measurement of guided mode wavenumbers in soft tissue-bone mimicking phantoms using ultrasonic axial transmission.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jiangang; Foiret, Josquin; Minonzio, Jean-Gabriel; Talmant, Maryline; Su, Zhongqing; Cheng, Li; Laugier, Pascal

    2012-05-21

    Human soft tissue is an important factor that influences the assessment of human long bones using quantitative ultrasound techniques. To investigate such influence, a series of soft tissue-bone phantoms (a bone-mimicking plate coated with a layer of water, glycerol or silicon rubber) were ultrasonically investigated using a probe with multi-emitter and multi-receiver arrays in an axial transmission configuration. A singular value decomposition signal processing technique was applied to extract the frequency-dependent wavenumbers of several guided modes. The results indicate that the presence of a soft tissue-mimicking layer introduces additional guided modes predicted by a fluid waveguide model. The modes propagating in the bone-mimicking plate covered by the soft-tissue phantom are only slightly modified compared to their counterparts in the free bone-mimicking plate, and they are still predicted by an elastic transverse isotropic two-dimensional waveguide. Altogether these observations suggest that the soft tissue-bone phantoms can be modeled as two independent waveguides. Even in the presence of the overlying soft tissue-mimicking layer, the modes propagating in the bone-mimicking plate can still be extracted and identified. These results suggest that our approach can be applied for the purpose of the characterization of the material and structural properties of cortical bone. PMID:22538382

  4. Some suggested future directions of quantitative resource assessments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Singer, D.A.

    2001-01-01

    Future quantitative assessments will be expected to estimate quantities, values, and locations of undiscovered mineral resources in a form that conveys both economic viability and uncertainty associated with the resources. Historically, declining metal prices point to the need for larger deposits over time. Sensitivity analysis demonstrates that the greatest opportunity for reducing uncertainty in assessments lies in lowering uncertainty associated with tonnage estimates. Of all errors possible in assessments, those affecting tonnage estimates are by far the most important. Selecting the correct deposit model is the most important way of controlling errors because the dominance of tonnage-deposit models are the best known predictor of tonnage. Much of the surface is covered with apparently barren rocks and sediments in many large regions. Because many exposed mineral deposits are believed to have been found, a prime concern is the presence of possible mineralized rock under cover. Assessments of areas with resources under cover must rely on extrapolation from surrounding areas, new geologic maps of rocks under cover, or analogy with other well-explored areas that can be considered training tracts. Cover has a profound effect on uncertainty and on methods and procedures of assessments because geology is seldom known and geophysical methods typically have attenuated responses. Many earlier assessment methods were based on relationships of geochemical and geophysical variables to deposits learned from deposits exposed on the surface-these will need to be relearned based on covered deposits. Mineral-deposit models are important in quantitative resource assessments for two reasons: (1) grades and tonnages of most deposit types are significantly different, and (2) deposit types are present in different geologic settings that can be identified from geologic maps. Mineral-deposit models are the keystone in combining the diverse geoscience information on geology, mineral

  5. Assessment of and standardization for quantitative nondestructive test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neuschaefer, R. W.; Beal, J. B.

    1972-01-01

    Present capabilities and limitations of nondestructive testing (NDT) as applied to aerospace structures during design, development, production, and operational phases are assessed. It will help determine what useful structural quantitative and qualitative data may be provided from raw materials to vehicle refurbishment. This assessment considers metal alloys systems and bonded composites presently applied in active NASA programs or strong contenders for future use. Quantitative and qualitative data has been summarized from recent literature, and in-house information, and presented along with a description of those structures or standards where the information was obtained. Examples, in tabular form, of NDT technique capabilities and limitations have been provided. NDT techniques discussed and assessed were radiography, ultrasonics, penetrants, thermal, acoustic, and electromagnetic. Quantitative data is sparse; therefore, obtaining statistically reliable flaw detection data must be strongly emphasized. The new requirements for reusable space vehicles have resulted in highly efficient design concepts operating in severe environments. This increases the need for quantitative NDT evaluation of selected structural components, the end item structure, and during refurbishment operations.

  6. Quantitative computed tomography for spinal mineral assessment: current status

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Genant, H. K.; Cann, C. E.; Ettinger, B.; Gordan, G. S.; Kolb, F. O.; Reiser, U.; Arnaud, C. D.

    1985-01-01

    Quantitative CT (QCT) is an established method for the noninvasive assessment of bone mineral content in the vertebral spongiosum and other anatomic locations. The potential strengths of QCT relative to dual photon absorptiometry (DPA) are its capability for precise three-dimensional anatomic localization providing a direct density measurement and its capability for spatial separation of highly responsive cancellous bone from less responsive cortical bone. The extraction of this quantitative information from the CT image, however, requires sophisticated calibration and positioning techniques and careful technical monitoring.

  7. Status and future of Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment in China

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Q.L.; Barker, G.C.; Gorris, L.G.M.; Tian, M.S.; Song, X.Y.; Malakar, P.K.

    2015-01-01

    Since the implementation of the Food Safety Law of the People's Republic of China in 2009 use of Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment (QMRA) has increased. QMRA is used to assess the risk posed to consumers by pathogenic bacteria which cause the majority of foodborne outbreaks in China. This review analyses the progress of QMRA research in China from 2000 to 2013 and discusses 3 possible improvements for the future. These improvements include planning and scoping to initiate QMRA, effectiveness of microbial risk assessment utility for risk management decision making, and application of QMRA to establish appropriate Food Safety Objectives. PMID:26089594

  8. The quantitative assessment of normal canine small intestinal mucosa.

    PubMed

    Hart, I R; Kidder, D E

    1978-09-01

    Quanitative methods of assessing the architecture of small intestinal mucosa have been applied to biopsy material from normal dogs. Mucosal samples taken from four predetermined sites show that there are significant quantitative differences between the various levels of the small bowel. Animals of one year of age and older show no correlation between age or weight and mucosal dimensions. The significance of these findings, in relation to examination of biopsy material from cases of clinical small intestinal disease, is discussed. PMID:364574

  9. Validation of biological markers for quantitative risk assessment.

    PubMed Central

    Schulte, P; Mazzuckelli, L F

    1991-01-01

    The evaluation of biological markers is recognized as necessary to the future of toxicology, epidemiology, and quantitative risk assessment. For biological markers to become widely accepted, their validity must be ascertained. This paper explores the range of considerations that compose the concept of validity as it applies to the evaluation of biological markers. Three broad categories of validity (measurement, internal study, and external) are discussed in the context of evaluating data for use in quantitative risk assessment. Particular attention is given to the importance of measurement validity in the consideration of whether to use biological markers in epidemiologic studies. The concepts developed in this presentation are applied to examples derived from the occupational environment. In the first example, measurement of bromine release as a marker of ethylene dibromide toxicity is shown to be of limited use in constructing an accurate quantitative assessment of the risk of developing cancer as a result of long-term, low-level exposure. This example is compared to data obtained from studies of ethylene oxide, in which hemoglobin alkylation is shown to be a valid marker of both exposure and effect. PMID:2050067

  10. Quantitative assessment of visual behavior in disorders of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Trojano, L; Moretta, P; Loreto, V; Cozzolino, A; Santoro, L; Estraneo, A

    2012-09-01

    The study of eye behavior is of paramount importance in the differential diagnosis of disorders of consciousness (DoC). In spite of this, assessment of eye movement patterns in patients with vegetative state (VS) or minimally conscious state (MCS) only relies on clinical evaluation. In this study we aimed to provide a quantitative assessment of visual tracking behavior in response to moving stimuli in DoC patients. Nine VS patients and nine MCS patients were recruited in a Neurorehabilitation Unit for patients with chronic DoC; 11 matched healthy subjects were tested as the control group. All participants under went a quantitative evaluation of eye-tracking pattern by means of a computerized infrared eye-tracker system; stimuli were represented by a red circle or a small color picture slowly moving on a PC monitor. The proportion of on- or off-target fixations differed significantly between MCS and VS. Most importantly, the distribution of fixations on or off the target in all VS patients was at or below the chance level, whereas in the MCS group seven out of nine patients showed a proportion of on-target fixations significantly higher than the chance level. Fixation length did not differ among the three groups significantly. The present quantitative assessment of visual behaviour in a tracking task demonstrated that MCS and VS patients differ in the proportion of on-target fixations. These results could have important clinical implications since the quantitative analysis of visual behavior might provide additional elements in the differential diagnosis of DoC. PMID:22302277

  11. DREAM: a method for semi-quantitative dermal exposure assessment.

    PubMed

    Van-Wendel-de-Joode, Berna; Brouwer, Derk H; Vermeulen, Roel; Van Hemmen, Joop J; Heederik, Dick; Kromhout, Hans

    2003-01-01

    This paper describes a new method (DREAM) for structured, semi-quantitative dermal exposure assessment for chemical or biological agents that can be used in occupational hygiene or epidemiology. It is anticipated that DREAM could serve as an initial assessment of dermal exposure, amongst others, resulting in a ranking of tasks and subsequently jobs. DREAM consists of an inventory and evaluation part. Two examples of dermal exposure of workers of a car-construction company show that DREAM characterizes tasks and gives insight into exposure mechanisms, forming a basis for systematic exposure reduction. DREAM supplies estimates for exposure levels on the outside clothing layer as well as on skin, and provides insight into the distribution of dermal exposure over the body. Together with the ranking of tasks and people, this provides information for measurement strategies and helps to determine who, where and what to measure. In addition to dermal exposure assessment, the systematic description of dermal exposure pathways helps to prioritize and determine most adequate measurement strategies and methods. DREAM could be a promising approach for structured, semi-quantitative, dermal exposure assessment. PMID:12505908

  12. Binary Imaging Analysis for Comprehensive Quantitative Assessment of Peripheral Nerve

    PubMed Central

    Hunter, Daniel A.; Moradzadeh, Arash; Whitlock, Elizabeth L.; Brenner, Michael J.; Myckatyn, Terence M.; Wei, Cindy H.; Tung, Thomas H.H.; Mackinnon, Susan E.

    2007-01-01

    Quantitative histomorphometry is the current gold standard for objective measurement of nerve architecture and its components. Many methods still in use rely heavily upon manual techniques that are prohibitively time consuming, predisposing to operator fatigue, sampling error, and overall limited reproducibility. More recently, investigators have attempted to combine the speed of automated morphometry with the accuracy of manual and semi-automated methods. Systematic refinements in binary imaging analysis techniques combined with an algorithmic approach allow for more exhaustive characterization of nerve parameters in the surgically relevant injury paradigms of regeneration following crush, transection, and nerve gap injuries. The binary imaging method introduced here uses multiple bitplanes to achieve reproducible, high throughput quantitative assessment of peripheral nerve. Number of myelinated axons, myelinated fiber diameter, myelin thickness, fiber distributions, myelinated fiber density, and neural debris can be quantitatively evaluated with stratification of raw data by nerve component. Results of this semi-automated method are validated by comparing values against those obtained with manual techniques. The use of this approach results in more rapid, accurate, and complete assessment of myelinated axons than manual techniques. PMID:17675163

  13. Combining qualitative and quantitative methods in assessing hospital learning environments.

    PubMed

    Chan, D S

    2001-08-01

    Clinical education is a vital component in the curricula of pre-registration nursing courses and provides student nurses with the opportunity to combine cognitive, psychomotor, and affective skills. Clinical practice enables the student to develop competencies in the application of knowledge, skills, and attitudes to clinical field situations. It is, therefore, vital that the valuable clinical time be utilised effectively and productively. Nursing students' perception of the hospital learning environment were assessed by combining quantitative and qualitative approaches. The Clinical Learning Environment Inventory, based on the theoretical framework of learning environment studies, was developed and validated. The quantitative and qualitative findings reinforced each other. It was found that there were significant differences in students' perceptions of the actual clinical learning environment and their preferred learning environment. Generally, students preferred a more positive and favourable clinical environment than they perceived as being actually present. PMID:11470103

  14. Quantitative Assessment of Myocardial Blood Flow with SPECT.

    PubMed

    Petretta, Mario; Storto, Giovanni; Pellegrino, Teresa; Bonaduce, Domenico; Cuocolo, Alberto

    2015-01-01

    The quantitative assessment of myocardial blood flow (MBF) and coronary flow reserve (CFR) may be useful for the functional evaluation of coronary artery disease, allowing judgment of its severity, tracking of disease progression, and evaluation of the anti-ischemic efficacy of therapeutic strategies. Quantitative estimates of myocardial perfusion and CFR can be derived from single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) myocardial perfusion images by use of equipment, tracers, and techniques that are available in most nuclear cardiology laboratories. However, this method underestimates CFR, particularly at high flow rates. The recent introduction of cardiac-dedicated gamma cameras with solid-state detectors provides very fast perfusion imaging with improved resolution, allowing fast acquisition of serial dynamic images during the first pass of a flow agent. This new technology holds great promise for MBF and CFR quantification with dynamic SPECT. Future studies will clarify the effectiveness of dynamic SPECT flow imaging. PMID:25560327

  15. Quantitative risk assessment in aerospace: Evolution from the nuclear industry

    SciTech Connect

    Frank, M.V.

    1996-12-31

    In 1987, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the aerospace industry relied on failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) and hazards analysis as the primary tools for safety and reliability of their systems. The FMEAs were reviewed to provide critical items using a set of qualitative criteria. Hazards and critical items judged the worst, by a qualitative method, were to be either eliminated by a design change or controlled by the addition of a safeguard. However, it is frequently the case that limitations of space, weight, technical feasibility, and cost left critical items and hazards unable to be eliminated or controlled. In these situations, program management accepted the risk. How much risk was being accepted was unknown because quantitative risk assessment methods were not used. Perhaps the greatest contribution of the nuclear industry to NASA and the aerospace industry was the introduction of modern (i.e., post-WASH-1400) quantitative risk assessment concepts and techniques. The concepts of risk assessment that have been most useful in the aerospace industry are the following: 1. combination of accident sequence diagrams, event trees, and fault trees to model scenarios and their causative factors; 2. use of Bayesian analysis of system and component failure data; 3. evaluation and presentation of uncertainties in the risk estimates.

  16. Quantitative objective assessment of peripheral nociceptive C fibre function.

    PubMed Central

    Parkhouse, N; Le Quesne, P M

    1988-01-01

    A technique is described for the quantitative assessment of peripheral nociceptive C fibre function by measurement of the axon reflex flare. Acetylcholine, introduced by electrophoresis, is used to stimulate a ring of nociceptive C fibre endings at the centre of which the increase in blood flow is measured with a laser Doppler flowmeter. This flare (neurogenic vasodilatation) has been compared with mechanically or chemically stimulated non-neurogenic cutaneous vasodilation. The flare is abolished by local anaesthetic and is absent in denervated skin. The flare has been measured on the sole of the foot of 96 healthy subjects; its size decreases with age in males, but not in females. Images PMID:3351528

  17. Short Course Introduction to Quantitative Mineral Resource Assessments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Singer, Donald A.

    2007-01-01

    This is an abbreviated text supplementing the content of three sets of slides used in a short course that has been presented by the author at several workshops. The slides should be viewed in the order of (1) Introduction and models, (2) Delineation and estimation, and (3) Combining estimates and summary. References cited in the slides are listed at the end of this text. The purpose of the three-part form of mineral resource assessments discussed in the accompanying slides is to make unbiased quantitative assessments in a format needed in decision-support systems so that consequences of alternative courses of action can be examined. The three-part form of mineral resource assessments was developed to assist policy makers evaluate the consequences of alternative courses of action with respect to land use and mineral-resource development. The audience for three-part assessments is a governmental or industrial policy maker, a manager of exploration, a planner of regional development, or similar decision-maker. Some of the tools and models presented here will be useful for selection of exploration sites, but that is a side benefit, not the goal. To provide unbiased information, we recommend the three-part form of mineral resource assessments where general locations of undiscovered deposits are delineated from a deposit type's geologic setting, frequency distributions of tonnages and grades of well-explored deposits serve as models of grades and tonnages of undiscovered deposits, and number of undiscovered deposits are estimated probabilistically by type. The internally consistent descriptive, grade and tonnage, deposit density, and economic models used in the design of the three-part form of assessments reduce the chances of biased estimates of the undiscovered resources. What and why quantitative resource assessments: The kind of assessment recommended here is founded in decision analysis in order to provide a framework for making decisions concerning mineral

  18. Rock Slide Risk Assessment: A Semi-Quantitative Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duzgun, H. S. B.

    2009-04-01

    Rock slides can be better managed by systematic risk assessments. Any risk assessment methodology for rock slides involves identification of rock slide risk components, which are hazard, elements at risk and vulnerability. For a quantitative/semi-quantitative risk assessment for rock slides, a mathematical value the risk has to be computed and evaluated. The quantitative evaluation of risk for rock slides enables comparison of the computed risk with the risk of other natural and/or human-made hazards and providing better decision support and easier communication for the decision makers. A quantitative/semi-quantitative risk assessment procedure involves: Danger Identification, Hazard Assessment, Elements at Risk Identification, Vulnerability Assessment, Risk computation, Risk Evaluation. On the other hand, the steps of this procedure require adaptation of existing or development of new implementation methods depending on the type of landslide, data availability, investigation scale and nature of consequences. In study, a generic semi-quantitative risk assessment (SQRA) procedure for rock slides is proposed. The procedure has five consecutive stages: Data collection and analyses, hazard assessment, analyses of elements at risk and vulnerability and risk assessment. The implementation of the procedure for a single rock slide case is illustrated for a rock slope in Norway. Rock slides from mountain Ramnefjell to lake Loen are considered to be one of the major geohazards in Norway. Lake Loen is located in the inner part of Nordfjord in Western Norway. Ramnefjell Mountain is heavily jointed leading to formation of vertical rock slices with height between 400-450 m and width between 7-10 m. These slices threaten the settlements around Loen Valley and tourists visiting the fjord during summer season, as the released slides have potential of creating tsunami. In the past, several rock slides had been recorded from the Mountain Ramnefjell between 1905 and 1950. Among them

  19. Assessment of metabolic bone diseases by quantitative computed tomography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Richardson, M. L.; Genant, H. K.; Cann, C. E.; Ettinger, B.; Gordan, G. S.; Kolb, F. O.; Reiser, U. J.

    1985-01-01

    Advances in the radiologic sciences have permitted the development of numerous noninvasive techniques for measuring the mineral content of bone, with varying degrees of precision, accuracy, and sensitivity. The techniques of standard radiography, radiogrammetry, photodensitometry, Compton scattering, neutron activation analysis, single and dual photon absorptiometry, and quantitative computed tomography (QCT) are described and reviewed in depth. Results from previous cross-sectional and longitudinal QCT investigations are given. They then describe a current investigation in which they studied 269 subjects, including 173 normal women, 34 patients with hyperparathyroidism, 24 patients with steroid-induced osteoporosis, and 38 men with idiopathic osteoporosis. Spinal quantitative computed tomography, radiogrammetry, and single photon absorptiometry were performed, and a spinal fracture index was calculated on all patients. The authors found a disproportionate loss of spinal trabecular mineral compared to appendicular mineral in the men with idiopathic osteoporosis and the patients with steroid-induced osteoporosis. They observed roughly equivalent mineral loss in both the appendicular and axial regions in the hyperparathyroid patients. The appendicular cortical measurements correlated moderately well with each other but less well with spinal trabecular QCT. The spinal fracture index correlated well with QCT and less well with the appendicular measurements. Knowledge of appendicular cortical mineral status is important in its own right but is not a valid predictor of axial trabecular mineral status, which may be disproportionately decreased in certain diseases. Quantitative CT provides a reliable means of assessing the latter region of the skeleton, correlates well with the spinal fracture index (a semiquantitative measurement of end-organ failure), and offers the clinician a sensitive means of following the effects of therapy.

  20. Performance Assessment in Fingerprinting and Multi Component Quantitative NMR Analyses.

    PubMed

    Gallo, Vito; Intini, Nicola; Mastrorilli, Piero; Latronico, Mario; Scapicchio, Pasquale; Triggiani, Maurizio; Bevilacqua, Vitoantonio; Fanizzi, Paolo; Acquotti, Domenico; Airoldi, Cristina; Arnesano, Fabio; Assfalg, Michael; Benevelli, Francesca; Bertelli, Davide; Cagliani, Laura R; Casadei, Luca; Cesare Marincola, Flaminia; Colafemmina, Giuseppe; Consonni, Roberto; Cosentino, Cesare; Davalli, Silvia; De Pascali, Sandra A; D'Aiuto, Virginia; Faccini, Andrea; Gobetto, Roberto; Lamanna, Raffaele; Liguori, Francesca; Longobardi, Francesco; Mallamace, Domenico; Mazzei, Pierluigi; Menegazzo, Ileana; Milone, Salvatore; Mucci, Adele; Napoli, Claudia; Pertinhez, Thelma; Rizzuti, Antonino; Rocchigiani, Luca; Schievano, Elisabetta; Sciubba, Fabio; Sobolev, Anatoly; Tenori, Leonardo; Valerio, Mariacristina

    2015-07-01

    An interlaboratory comparison (ILC) was organized with the aim to set up quality control indicators suitable for multicomponent quantitative analysis by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. A total of 36 NMR data sets (corresponding to 1260 NMR spectra) were produced by 30 participants using 34 NMR spectrometers. The calibration line method was chosen for the quantification of a five-component model mixture. Results show that quantitative NMR is a robust quantification tool and that 26 out of 36 data sets resulted in statistically equivalent calibration lines for all considered NMR signals. The performance of each laboratory was assessed by means of a new performance index (named Qp-score) which is related to the difference between the experimental and the consensus values of the slope of the calibration lines. Laboratories endowed with a Qp-score falling within the suitable acceptability range are qualified to produce NMR spectra that can be considered statistically equivalent in terms of relative intensities of the signals. In addition, the specific response of nuclei to the experimental excitation/relaxation conditions was addressed by means of the parameter named NR. NR is related to the difference between the theoretical and the consensus slopes of the calibration lines and is specific for each signal produced by a well-defined set of acquisition parameters. PMID:26020452

  1. Extending the quantitative assessment of industrial risks to earthquake effects.

    PubMed

    Campedel, Michela; Cozzani, Valerio; Garcia-Agreda, Anita; Salzano, Ernesto

    2008-10-01

    In the general framework of quantitative methods for natural-technological (NaTech) risk analysis, a specific methodology was developed for assessing risks caused by hazardous substances released due to earthquakes. The contribution of accidental scenarios initiated by seismic events to the overall industrial risk was assessed in three case studies derived from the actual plant layout of existing oil refineries. Several specific vulnerability models for different equipment classes were compared and assessed. The effect of differing structural resistances for process equipment on the final risk results was also investigated. The main factors influencing the final risk values resulted from the models for equipment vulnerability and the assumptions for the reference damage states of the process equipment. The analysis of case studies showed that in seismic zones the additional risk deriving from damage caused by earthquakes may be up to more than one order of magnitude higher than that associated to internal failure causes. Critical equipment was determined to be mainly pressurized tanks, even though atmospheric tanks were more vulnerable to containment loss. Failure of minor process equipment having a limited hold-up of hazardous substances (such as pumps) was shown to have limited influence on the final values of the risk increase caused by earthquakes. PMID:18657068

  2. Assessing the Reliability of Quantitative Imaging of Sm-153

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poh, Zijie; Dagan, Maáyan; Veldman, Jeanette; Trees, Brad

    2013-03-01

    Samarium-153 is used for palliation of and recently has been investigated for therapy for bone metastases. Patient specific dosing of Sm-153 is based on quantitative single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and knowing the accuracy and precision of image-based estimates of the in vivo activity distribution. Physical phantom studies are useful for estimating these in simple objects, but do not model realistic activity distributions. We are using realistic Monte Carlo simulations combined with a realistic digital phantom modeling human anatomy to assess the accuracy and precision of Sm-153 SPECT. Preliminary data indicates that we can simulate projection images and reconstruct them with compensation for various physical image degrading factors, such as attenuation and scatter in the body as well as non-idealities in the imaging system, to provide realistic SPECT images.

  3. Quantitative Elastography for Cervical Stiffness Assessment during Pregnancy

    PubMed Central

    Fruscalzo, A.; Londero, A. P.; Fröhlich, C.; Möllmann, U.; Schmitz, R.

    2014-01-01

    Aim. Feasibility and reliability of tissue Doppler imaging-(TDI-) based elastography for cervical quantitative stiffness assessment during all three trimesters of pregnancy were evaluated. Materials and Methods. Prospective case-control study including seventy-four patients collected between the 12th and 42nd weeks of gestation. The tissue strain (TS) was measured by two independent operators as natural strain. Intra- and interoperator intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) agreements were evaluated. Results. TS measurement was always feasible and exhibited a high performance in terms of reliability (intraoperator ICC-agreement = 0.93; interoperator ICC agreement = 0.89 and 0.93 for a single measurement and for the average of two measurements, resp.). Cervical TS showed also a significant correlation with gestational age, cervical length, and parity. Conclusions. TS measurement during pregnancy demonstrated high feasibility and reliability. Furthermore, TS significantly correlated with gestational age, cervical length, and parity. PMID:24734246

  4. Quantitative nonlinear optical assessment of atherosclerosis progression in rabbits.

    PubMed

    Mostaço-Guidolin, Leila B; Kohlenberg, Elicia K; Smith, Michael; Hewko, Mark; Major, Arkady; Sowa, Michael G; Ko, Alex C-T

    2014-07-01

    Quantification of atherosclerosis has been a challenging task owing to its complex pathology. In this study, we validated a quantitative approach for assessing atherosclerosis progression in a rabbit model using a numerical matrix, optical index for plaque burden, derived directly from the nonlinear optical microscopic images captured on the atherosclerosis-affected blood vessel. A positive correlation between this optical index and the severity of atherosclerotic lesions, represented by the age of the rabbits, was established based on data collected from 21 myocardial infarction-prone Watanabe heritable hyperlipidemic rabbits with age ranging between new-born and 27 months old. The same optical index also accurately identified high-risk locations for atherosclerotic plaque formation along the entire aorta, which was validated by immunohistochemical fluorescence imaging. PMID:24892226

  5. Quantitative Security Risk Assessment and Management for Railway Transportation Infrastructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flammini, Francesco; Gaglione, Andrea; Mazzocca, Nicola; Pragliola, Concetta

    Scientists have been long investigating procedures, models and tools for the risk analysis in several domains, from economics to computer networks. This paper presents a quantitative method and a tool for the security risk assessment and management specifically tailored to the context of railway transportation systems, which are exposed to threats ranging from vandalism to terrorism. The method is based on a reference mathematical model and it is supported by a specifically developed tool. The tool allows for the management of data, including attributes of attack scenarios and effectiveness of protection mechanisms, and the computation of results, including risk and cost/benefit indices. The main focus is on the design of physical protection systems, but the analysis can be extended to logical threats as well. The cost/benefit analysis allows for the evaluation of the return on investment, which is a nowadays important issue to be addressed by risk analysts.

  6. Preschool Temperament Assessment: A Quantitative Assessment of the Validity of Behavioral Style Questionnaire Data

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huelsman, Timothy J.; Gagnon, Sandra Glover; Kidder-Ashley, Pamela; Griggs, Marissa Swaim

    2014-01-01

    Research Findings: Child temperament is an important construct, but its measurement has been marked by a number of weaknesses that have diminished the frequency with which it is assessed in practice. We address this problem by presenting the results of a quantitative construct validation study. We calculated validity indices by hypothesizing the…

  7. A Framework for General Education Assessment: Assessing Information Literacy and Quantitative Literacy with ePortfolios

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hubert, David A.; Lewis, Kati J.

    2014-01-01

    This essay presents the findings of an authentic and holistic assessment, using a random sample of one hundred student General Education ePortfolios, of two of Salt Lake Community College's (SLCC) college-wide learning outcomes: quantitative literacy (QL) and information literacy (IL). Performed by four faculty from biology, humanities, and…

  8. Thermography as a quantitative imaging method for assessing postoperative inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Christensen, J; Matzen, LH; Vaeth, M; Schou, S; Wenzel, A

    2012-01-01

    Objective To assess differences in skin temperature between the operated and control side of the face after mandibular third molar surgery using thermography. Methods 127 patients had 1 mandibular third molar removed. Before the surgery, standardized thermograms were taken of both sides of the patient's face using a Flir ThermaCam™ E320 (Precisions Teknik AB, Halmstad, Sweden). The imaging procedure was repeated 2 days and 7 days after surgery. A region of interest including the third molar region was marked on each image. The mean temperature within each region of interest was calculated. The difference between sides and over time were assessed using paired t-tests. Results No significant difference was found between the operated side and the control side either before or 7 days after surgery (p > 0.3). The temperature of the operated side (mean: 32.39 °C, range: 28.9–35.3 °C) was higher than that of the control side (mean: 32.06 °C, range: 28.5–35.0 °C) 2 days after surgery [0.33 °C, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.22–0.44 °C, p < 0.001]. No significant difference was found between the pre-operative and the 7-day post-operative temperature (p > 0.1). After 2 days, the operated side was not significantly different from the temperature pre-operatively (p = 0.12), whereas the control side had a lower temperature (0.57 °C, 95% CI: 0.29–0.86 °C, p < 0.001). Conclusions Thermography seems useful for quantitative assessment of inflammation between the intervention side and the control side after surgical removal of mandibular third molars. However, thermography cannot be used to assess absolute temperature changes due to normal variations in skin temperature over time. PMID:22752326

  9. In vivo quantitative assessment of catheter patency in rats

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jun; Maarek, Jean-Michel I; Holschneider, Daniel P

    2014-01-01

    Summary Formation of fibrin sleeves around catheter tips is a central factor in catheter failure during chronic implantation, and such tissue growth can occur despite administration of anticoagulants. We developed a novel method for monitoring catheter patency. This method recognizes the progressive nature of catheter occlusion, and tracks this process over time through measurement of changes in catheter resistance to a standardized 1 mL bolus infusion from a pressurized reservoir. Two indirect measures of catheter patency were used: (a) reservoir residual pressure and (b) reservoir discharge time. This method was applied to the study of catheter patency in rats comparing the effect of catheter material (silastic, polyurethane, Microrenathane™), lock solution (heparin, heparin/dexamethasone) and two different cannulation sites (superior vena cava via the external jugular vein, inferior vena cava via the femoral vein). Our findings reveal that application of flexible smaller-size silastic catheters and a dexamethasone lock solution resulted in prolonged catheter patency. Patency could be maintained over nine weeks with the femoral vein catheters, compared with five weeks with the external jugular vein catheters. The current method for measuring catheter patency provides a useful index for the assessment of tissue growth around the catheter tip. The method also provides an objective and quantitative way of comparing changes in catheter patency for different surgical methods and catheter types. Our method improves on the conventional method of assessing catheter occlusion by judging the ability to aspirate from the catheter. PMID:16004684

  10. The potential optical coherence tomography in tooth bleaching quantitative assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ni, Y. R.; Guo, Z. Y.; Shu, S. Y.; Zeng, C. C.; Zhong, H. Q.; Chen, B. L.; Liu, Z. M.; Bao, Y.

    2011-12-01

    In this paper, we report the outcomes from a pilot study on using OCT functional imaging method to evaluate and quantify color alteration in the human teeth in vitro. The image formations of the dental tissues without and with treatment 35% hydrogen peroxide were obtained by an OCT system at a 1310 nm central wavelength. One parameter for the quantification of optical properties from OCT measurements is introduced in our study: attenuate coefficient (μ). And the attenuate coefficient have significant decrease ( p < 0.001) in dentine as well as a significant increase ( p < 0.001) in enamel was observed during tooth bleaching process. From the experimental results, it is found that attenuate coefficient could be useful to assess color alteration of the human tooth samples. OCT has a potential to become an effective tool for the assessment tooth bleaching. And our experiment offer a now method to evaluate color change in visible region by quantitative analysis of the infrared region information from OCT.

  11. Towards Alignment Independent Quantitative Assessment of Homology Detection

    PubMed Central

    Kliger, Yossef

    2006-01-01

    Identification of homologous proteins provides a basis for protein annotation. Sequence alignment tools reliably identify homologs sharing high sequence similarity. However, identification of homologs that share low sequence similarity remains a challenge. Lowering the cutoff value could enable the identification of diverged homologs, but also introduces numerous false hits. Methods are being continuously developed to minimize this problem. Estimation of the fraction of homologs in a set of protein alignments can help in the assessment and development of such methods, and provides the users with intuitive quantitative assessment of protein alignment results. Herein, we present a computational approach that estimates the amount of homologs in a set of protein pairs. The method requires a prevalent and detectable protein feature that is conserved between homologs. By analyzing the feature prevalence in a set of pairwise protein alignments, the method can estimate the number of homolog pairs in the set independently of the alignments' quality. Using the HomoloGene database as a standard of truth, we implemented this approach in a proteome-wide analysis. The results revealed that this approach, which is independent of the alignments themselves, works well for estimating the number of homologous proteins in a wide range of homology values. In summary, the presented method can accompany homology searches and method development, provides validation to search results, and allows tuning of tools and methods. PMID:17205117

  12. An Assessment of the Quantitative Literacy of Undergraduate Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilkins, Jesse L. M.

    2016-01-01

    Quantitative literacy (QLT) represents an underlying higher-order construct that accounts for a person's willingness to engage in quantitative situations in everyday life. The purpose of this study is to retest the construct validity of a model of quantitative literacy (Wilkins, 2010). In this model, QLT represents a second-order factor that…

  13. Assessing the mechanical properties of tissue-mimicking phantoms at different depths as an approach to measure biomechanical gradient of crystalline lens

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Shang; Aglyamov, Salavat; Karpiouk, Andrei; Li, Jiasong; Emelianov, Stanislav; Manns, Fabrice; Larin, Kirill V.

    2013-01-01

    We demonstrate the feasibility of using the dominant frequency of the sample surface response to a mechanical stimulation as an effective indicator for sensing the depthwise distribution of elastic properties in transparent layered phantom samples simulating the cortex and nucleus of the crystalline lens. Focused ultrasound waves are used to noninvasively interrogate the sample surface. A phase-sensitive optical coherence tomography system is utilized to capture the surface dynamics over time with nanometer scale sensitivity. Spectral analysis is performed on the sample surface response to ultrasound stimulation and the dominant frequency is calculated under particular loading parameters. Pilot experiments were conducted on homogeneous and layered tissue-mimicking phantoms. Results indicate that the mechanical layers located at different depths introduce different frequencies to the sample surface response, which are correlated with the depth-dependent elasticity of the sample. The duration and the frequency of the ultrasound excitation are also investigated for their influences on this spectrum-based detection. This noninvasive method may be potentially applied for localized and rapid assessment of the depth dependence of the mechanical properties of the crystalline lens. PMID:24409379

  14. Quantitative assessment of computational models for retinotopic map formation.

    PubMed

    Hjorth, J J Johannes; Sterratt, David C; Cutts, Catherine S; Willshaw, David J; Eglen, Stephen J

    2015-06-01

    Molecular and activity-based cues acting together are thought to guide retinal axons to their terminal sites in vertebrate optic tectum or superior colliculus (SC) to form an ordered map of connections. The details of mechanisms involved, and the degree to which they might interact, are still not well understood. We have developed a framework within which existing computational models can be assessed in an unbiased and quantitative manner against a set of experimental data curated from the mouse retinocollicular system. Our framework facilitates comparison between models, testing new models against known phenotypes and simulating new phenotypes in existing models. We have used this framework to assess four representative models that combine Eph/ephrin gradients and/or activity-based mechanisms and competition. Two of the models were updated from their original form to fit into our framework. The models were tested against five different phenotypes: wild type, Isl2-EphA3(ki/ki), Isl2-EphA3(ki/+), ephrin-A2,A3,A5 triple knock-out (TKO), and Math5(-/-) (Atoh7). Two models successfully reproduced the extent of the Math5(-/-) anteromedial projection, but only one of those could account for the collapse point in Isl2-EphA3(ki/+). The models needed a weak anteroposterior gradient in the SC to reproduce the residual order in the ephrin-A2,A3,A5 TKO phenotype, suggesting either an incomplete knock-out or the presence of another guidance molecule. Our article demonstrates the importance of testing retinotopic models against as full a range of phenotypes as possible, and we have made available MATLAB software, we wrote to facilitate this process. PMID:25367067

  15. Quantitative assessment of computational models for retinotopic map formation

    PubMed Central

    Sterratt, David C; Cutts, Catherine S; Willshaw, David J; Eglen, Stephen J

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Molecular and activity‐based cues acting together are thought to guide retinal axons to their terminal sites in vertebrate optic tectum or superior colliculus (SC) to form an ordered map of connections. The details of mechanisms involved, and the degree to which they might interact, are still not well understood. We have developed a framework within which existing computational models can be assessed in an unbiased and quantitative manner against a set of experimental data curated from the mouse retinocollicular system. Our framework facilitates comparison between models, testing new models against known phenotypes and simulating new phenotypes in existing models. We have used this framework to assess four representative models that combine Eph/ephrin gradients and/or activity‐based mechanisms and competition. Two of the models were updated from their original form to fit into our framework. The models were tested against five different phenotypes: wild type, Isl2‐EphA3 ki/ki, Isl2‐EphA3 ki/+, ephrin‐A2,A3,A5 triple knock‐out (TKO), and Math5 −/− (Atoh7). Two models successfully reproduced the extent of the Math5 −/− anteromedial projection, but only one of those could account for the collapse point in Isl2‐EphA3 ki/+. The models needed a weak anteroposterior gradient in the SC to reproduce the residual order in the ephrin‐A2,A3,A5 TKO phenotype, suggesting either an incomplete knock‐out or the presence of another guidance molecule. Our article demonstrates the importance of testing retinotopic models against as full a range of phenotypes as possible, and we have made available MATLAB software, we wrote to facilitate this process. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 75: 641–666, 2015 PMID:25367067

  16. A quantitative assessment of chemical perturbations in thermotropic cyanobiphenyls.

    PubMed

    Guerra, Sebastiano; Dutronc, Thibault; Terazzi, Emmanuel; Guénée, Laure; Piguet, Claude

    2016-05-25

    Chemical programming of the temperature domains of existence of liquid crystals is greatly desired by both academic workers and industrial partners. This contribution proposes to combine empirical approaches, which rely on systematic chemical substitutions of mesogenic molecules followed by thermal characterizations, with a rational thermodynamic assessment of the effects induced by chemical perturbations. Taking into account the similarities which exist between temperature-dependent cohesive Gibbs free energy densities (CFEDs) and pressure-temperature phase diagrams modeled with the Clapeyron equation, chemical perturbations are considered as pressure increments along phase boundaries, which control the thermotropic liquid crystalline properties. Taking the familiar calamitic amphiphilic cyanobiphenyl-type mesogens as models, the consequences of (i) methyl substitution of the aromatic polar heads and (ii) connections of bulky silyl groups at the termini of the apolar flexible alkyl chain on the melting and clearing temperatures are quantitatively analyzed. Particular efforts were focused on the translation of the thermodynamic rationalization into a predictive tool accessible to synthetic chemists mainly interested in designing liquid crystals with specific technological applications. PMID:27173940

  17. Modeling logistic performance in quantitative microbial risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Rijgersberg, Hajo; Tromp, Seth; Jacxsens, Liesbeth; Uyttendaele, Mieke

    2010-01-01

    In quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA), food safety in the food chain is modeled and simulated. In general, prevalences, concentrations, and numbers of microorganisms in media are investigated in the different steps from farm to fork. The underlying rates and conditions (such as storage times, temperatures, gas conditions, and their distributions) are determined. However, the logistic chain with its queues (storages, shelves) and mechanisms for ordering products is usually not taken into account. As a consequence, storage times-mutually dependent in successive steps in the chain-cannot be described adequately. This may have a great impact on the tails of risk distributions. Because food safety risks are generally very small, it is crucial to model the tails of (underlying) distributions as accurately as possible. Logistic performance can be modeled by describing the underlying planning and scheduling mechanisms in discrete-event modeling. This is common practice in operations research, specifically in supply chain management. In this article, we present the application of discrete-event modeling in the context of a QMRA for Listeria monocytogenes in fresh-cut iceberg lettuce. We show the potential value of discrete-event modeling in QMRA by calculating logistic interventions (modifications in the logistic chain) and determining their significance with respect to food safety. PMID:20055976

  18. Quantitative assessment of healthy and reconstructed cleft lip using ultrasonography

    PubMed Central

    Devadiga, Sumana; Desai, Anil Kumar; Joshi, Shamsunder; Gopalakrishnan, K.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: This study is conducted to investigate the feasibility of echographic imaging of tissue thickness of healthy and reconstructed cleft lip. Design: Prospective study. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted in SDM Craniofacial Unit, Dharwad and was approved by Local Institutional Review Board. A total of 30 patients, age group ranging from 4 to 25 years, of which 15 postoperative unilateral cleft lip constituted the test group. The remaining 15 with no cleft deformities, no gross facial asymmetry, constituted the control group. The thickness of the mucosa, submucosa, muscle and full thickness of the upper lip were measured with the transversal images using ultrasonography at midpoint of philtrum, right and left side philtral ridges and vermillion border, at 1, 3, 6 months interval. Results: There was an increase in muscle thickness at the vermillion border (mean = 6.9 mm) and philtral ridge (5.9 mm). Equal muscle thickness were found between the normal and test group at 6 months follow-up in a relaxed position, which was statistically significant (P = 0.0404). Conclusion: Quantitative assessment of thickness and echo levels of various lip tissues are done with proper echographic calibration. Diagnostic potentials of this method for noninvasive evaluation of cleft lip reconstructions were achieved by this study. PMID:27134448

  19. Assessment of breast tumor margins via quantitative diffuse reflectance imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, J. Quincy; Bydlon, Torre M.; Kennedy, Stephanie A.; Geradts, Joseph; Wilke, Lee G.; Barry, William; Richards, Lisa M.; Junker, Marlee K.; Gallagher, Jennifer; Ramanujam, Nimmi

    2010-02-01

    A particular application of interest for tissue reflectance spectroscopy in the UV-Visible is intraoperative detection of residual cancer at the margins of excised breast tumors, which could prevent costly and unnecessary repeat surgeries. Our multi-disciplinary group has developed an optical imaging device, which is capable of surveying the entire specimen surface down to a depth of 1-2mm, all within a short time as required for intraoperative use. In an IRB-approved study, reflectance spectral images were acquired from 54 margins in 48 patients. Conversion of the spectral images to quantitative tissue parameter maps was facilitated by a fast scalable inverse Monte-Carlo model. Data from margin parameter images were reduced to image-descriptive scalar values and compared to gold-standard margin pathology. The utility of the device for classification of margins was determined via the use of a conditional inference tree modeling approach, and was assessed both as a function of type of disease present at the margin, as well as a function of distance of disease from the issue surface. Additionally, the influence of breast density on the diagnostic parameters, as well as the accuracy of the device, was evaluated.

  20. Quantitative assessment of computed radiography quality control parameters.

    PubMed

    Rampado, O; Isoardi, P; Ropolo, R

    2006-03-21

    Quality controls for testing the performance of computed radiography (CR) systems have been recommended by manufacturers and medical physicists' organizations. The purpose of this work was to develop a set of image processing tools for quantitative assessment of computed radiography quality control parameters. Automatic image analysis consisted in detecting phantom details, defining regions of interest and acquiring measurements. The tested performance characteristics included dark noise, uniformity, exposure calibration, linearity, low-contrast and spatial resolution, spatial accuracy, laser beam function and erasure thoroughness. CR devices from two major manufacturers were evaluated. We investigated several approaches to quantify the detector response uniformity. We developed methods to characterize the spatial accuracy and resolution properties across the entire image area, based on the Fourier analysis of the image of a fine wire mesh. The implemented methods were sensitive to local blurring and allowed us to detect a local distortion of 4% or greater in any part of an imaging plate. The obtained results showed that the developed image processing tools allow us to implement a quality control program for CR with short processing time and with absence of subjectivity in the evaluation of the parameters. PMID:16510964

  1. Melorheostosis mimicking synovial osteochondromatosis.

    PubMed

    Wadhwa, Vibhor; Chhabra, Avneesh; Samet, Jonathan D

    2014-01-01

    Melorheostosis is an uncommon, sporadic, sclerosing bone lesion that may affect the adjacent soft tissues. It has been associated with many entities such as osteopoikilosis, soft tissue vascular malformations, bone and soft tissue tumors, nephrotic syndrome, segmental limb contractures, osteosarcoma, desmoid tumor, and mesenteric fibromatosis. Synovial osteochondromatosis is a benign neoplasia of the hyaline cartilage presenting as nodules in the subsynovial tissue of a joint or tendon sheath. The intra-articular extension of melorheostosis mimicking synovial osteochondromatosis has not been reported before. In this article, the authors describe an unusual case mimicking synovial chondromatosis arising as a result of melorheostosis and their characteristic imaging findings. PMID:25971832

  2. Quantitative assessment of the effectiveness of a rockfall warning system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bründl, Michael; Sättele, Martina; Krautblatter, Michael; Straub, Daniel

    2016-04-01

    Rockslides and rockfalls can pose high risk to human settlements and traffic infrastructure. In addition to structural mitigation measures like rockfall nets, warning systems are increasingly installed to reduce rockfall risks. Whereas for structural mitigation measures with reducing effects on the spatial extent a structured evaluation method is existing, no or only few approaches to assess the effectiveness for warning systems are known. Especially for higher magnitude rockfalls structural mitigation measures are not effective, and reliable early warning systems will be essential in future. In response to that, we developed a classification and a framework to assess the reliability and effectiveness of early warning systems (Sättele et al, 2015a; 2016). Here, we demonstrate an application for the rockfall warning system installed in Preonzo prior to a major rockfall in May 2012 (Sättele et al., 2015b). We show that it is necessary to design such a warning system as fail-safe construction, which has to incorporate components with low failure probabilities, high redundancy, low warning thresholds, and additional control systems. With a hypothetical probabilistic analysis, we investigate the effect of the risk attitude of decision makers and of the number of sensors on the probability of detecting an event and on initiating a timely evacuation, as well as on related intervention cost. We conclude that it is possible to quantitatively assess the effectiveness of warning systems, which helps to optimize mitigation strategies against rockfall events. References Sättele, M., Bründl, M., and Straub, D.: Reliability and effectiveness of warning systems for natural hazards: concept and application to debris flow warning, Rel. Eng. Syst. Safety, 142, 192-202, 2015a. Sättele, M., Krautblatter, M., Bründl, M., and Straub, D.: Forecasting rock slope failure: How reliable and effective are warning systems?, Landslides, 605, 1-14, 2015b. Sättele, M., Bründl, M., and

  3. Is there a place for quantitative risk assessment?

    PubMed

    Hall, Eric J

    2009-06-01

    The use of ionising radiations is so well established, especially in the practice of medicine, that it is impossible to imagine contemporary life without them. At the same time, ionising radiations are a known and proven human carcinogen. Exposure to radiation in some contexts elicits fear and alarm (nuclear power for example) while in other situations, until recently at least, it was accepted with alacrity (diagnostic x-rays for example). This non-uniform reaction to the potential hazards of radiation highlights the importance of quantitative risk estimates, which are necessary to help put things into perspective. Three areas will be discussed where quantitative risk estimates are needed and where uncertainties and limitations are a problem. First, the question of diagnostic x-rays. CT usage over the past quarter of a century has increased about 12 fold in the UK and more than 20 fold in the US. In both countries, more than 90% of the collective population dose from diagnostic x-rays comes from the few high dose procedures, such as interventional radiology, CT scans, lumbar spine x-rays and barium enemas. These all involve doses close to the lower limit at which there are credible epidemiological data for an excess cancer incidence. This is a critical question; what is the lowest dose at which there is good evidence of an elevated cancer incidence? Without low dose risk estimates the risk-benefit ratio of diagnostic procedures cannot be assessed. Second, the use of new techniques in radiation oncology. IMRT is widely used to obtain a more conformal dose distribution, particularly in children. It results in a larger total body dose, due to an increased number of monitor units and to the application of more radiation fields. The Linacs used today were not designed for IMRT and are based on leakage standards that were decided decades ago. It will be difficult and costly to reduce leakage from treatment machines, and a necessary first step is to refine the available

  4. Comparison of biorelevant simulated media mimicking the intestinal environment to assess the solubility profiles of poorly soluble drugs.

    PubMed

    Prasad, Dev; Gu, Chong-Hui; Kuldipkumar, Anuj

    2016-01-01

    During the discovery stage in lead identification/optimization, compounds are characterized for their solubilities in biorelevant media and these data are often used to model the in vivo behavior of the compounds and predict the fraction absorbed. These media are selected to closely approximate the composition of human intestinal fluid. Owing to the complexity and variability in human intestinal fluid composition, it is essential that the chosen simulated media mimic the in vivo condition as closely as possible. Several recipes have been developed and are routinely used in assessing the solubilities of compounds. It is necessary to revisit these recipes and modify them as the understanding of the human GI tract increases. In the present work, we have evaluated the solubilities of six model compounds in several media and have proposed slight modifications to the currently used recipes based on our own data and that reported in the literature. PMID:25703029

  5. Quantitative risk assessment of Cryptosporidium in tap water in Ireland.

    PubMed

    Cummins, E; Kennedy, R; Cormican, M

    2010-01-15

    Cryptosporidium species are protozoan parasites associated with gastro-intestinal illness. Following a number of high profile outbreaks worldwide, it has emerged as a parasite of major public health concern. A quantitative Monte Carlo simulation model was developed to evaluate the annual risk of infection from Cryptosporidium in tap water in Ireland. The assessment considers the potential initial contamination levels in raw water, oocyst removal and decontamination events following various process stages, including coagulation/flocculation, sedimentation, filtration and disinfection. A number of scenarios were analysed to represent potential risks from public water supplies, group water schemes and private wells. Where surface water is used additional physical and chemical water treatment is important in terms of reducing the risk to consumers. The simulated annual risk of illness for immunocompetent individuals was below 1 x 10(-4) per year (as set by the US EPA) except under extreme contamination events. The risk for immunocompromised individuals was 2-3 orders of magnitude greater for the scenarios analysed. The model indicates a reduced risk of infection from tap water that has undergone microfiltration, as this treatment is more robust in the event of high contamination loads. The sensitivity analysis highlighted the importance of watershed protection and the importance of adequate coagulation/flocculation in conventional treatment. The frequency of failure of the treatment process is the most important parameter influencing human risk in conventional treatment. The model developed in this study may be useful for local authorities, government agencies and other stakeholders to evaluate the likely risk of infection given some basic input data on source water and treatment processes used. PMID:19945145

  6. Quantitative ultrasound (QUS) assessment of tissue properties for Achilles tendons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Yi-Chun; Chen, Yung-Fu; Chen, Pei-Jarn; Lin, Yu-Ching; Chen, Tainsong; Lin, Chii-Jeng

    2007-09-01

    Quantitative ultrasound (QUS) techniques have recently been widely applied for the characterization of tissues. For example, they can be used for the quantification of Achilles tendon properties based on the broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) and the speed of sound (SOS) when the ultrasound wave passes through the tissues. This study is to develop an integrated system to investigate the properties of Achilles tendons using QUS images from UBIS 5000 (DMS, Montpellier, France) and B-mode ultrasound images from HDI 5000 (ATL, Ultramark, USA). Subjects including young (32 females and 17 males; mean age: 23.7 ± 2.0) and middle-aged groups (8 female and 8 males; mean age: 47.3 ± 8.5 s) were recruited and tested for this study. Only subjects who did not exercise regularly and had no record of tendon injury were studied. The results show that the BUA is significantly higher for the young group (45.2 ± 1.6 dB MHz-1) than the middle-age group (40.5 ± 1.9 dB MHz-1), while the SOS is significantly lower for the young (1601.9 ± 11.2 ms-1) compared to the middle-aged (1624.1 ± 8.7 m s-1). On the other hand, the thicknesses of Achilles tendons for both groups (young: 4.31 ± 0.23 mm; middle age: 4.24 ± 0.23 mm) are very similar. For one patient who had an Achilles tendon lengthening (ATL) surgery, the thickness of the Achilles tendon increased from 4 mm to 4.33 mm after the surgery. In addition, the BUA increased by about 7.2% while the SOS decreased by about 0.6%. In conclusion, noninvasive ultrasonic assessment of Achilles tendons is useful for assisting clinical diagnosis and for the evaluation of a therapeutic regimen.

  7. A Quantitative Assessment Method for Ascaris Eggs on Hands

    PubMed Central

    Jeandron, Aurelie; Ensink, Jeroen H. J.; Thamsborg, Stig M.; Dalsgaard, Anders; Sengupta, Mita E.

    2014-01-01

    The importance of hands in the transmission of soil transmitted helminths, especially Ascaris and Trichuris infections, is under-researched. This is partly because of the absence of a reliable method to quantify the number of eggs on hands. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop a method to assess the number of Ascaris eggs on hands and determine the egg recovery rate of the method. Under laboratory conditions, hands were seeded with a known number of Ascaris eggs, air dried and washed in a plastic bag retaining the washing water, in order to determine recovery rates of eggs for four different detergents (cationic [benzethonium chloride 0.1% and cetylpyridinium chloride CPC 0.1%], anionic [7X 1% - quadrafos, glycol ether, and dioctyl sulfoccinate sodium salt] and non-ionic [Tween80 0.1% -polyethylene glycol sorbitan monooleate]) and two egg detection methods (McMaster technique and FLOTAC). A modified concentration McMaster technique showed the highest egg recovery rate from bags. Two of the four diluted detergents (benzethonium chloride 0.1% and 7X 1%) also showed a higher egg recovery rate and were then compared with de-ionized water for recovery of helminth eggs from hands. The highest recovery rate (95.6%) was achieved with a hand rinse performed with 7X 1%. Washing hands with de-ionized water resulted in an egg recovery rate of 82.7%. This washing method performed with a low concentration of detergent offers potential for quantitative investigation of contamination of hands with Ascaris eggs and of their role in human infection. Follow-up studies are needed that validate the hand washing method under field conditions, e.g. including people of different age, lower levels of contamination and various levels of hand cleanliness. PMID:24802859

  8. Use of Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment to Improve Interpretation of a Recreational Water Epidemiological Study

    EPA Science Inventory

    We conducted a supplemental water quality monitoring study and quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) to complement the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (U.S. EPA) National Epidemiological and Environmental Assessment of Recreational Water study at Boq...

  9. QUANTITATIVE CANCER RISK ASSESSMENT METHODOLOGY USING SHORT-TERM GENETIC BIOASSAYS: THE COMPARATIVE POTENCY METHOD

    EPA Science Inventory

    Quantitative risk assessment is fraught with many uncertainties. The validity of the assumptions underlying the methods employed are often difficult to test or validate. Cancer risk assessment has generally employed either human epidemiological data from relatively high occupatio...

  10. Qualitative and quantitative procedures for health risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Lohman, P H

    1999-07-16

    Numerous reactive mutagenic electrophiles are present in the environment or are formed in the human body through metabolizing processes. Those electrophiles can directly react with DNA and are considered to be ultimate carcinogens. In the past decades more than 200 in vitro and in vivo genotoxic tests have been described to identify, monitor and characterize the exposure of humans to such agents. When the responses of such genotoxic tests are quantified by a weight-of-evidence analysis, it is found that the intrinsic potency of electrophiles being mutagens does not differ much for the majority of the agents studied. Considering the fact that under normal environmental circumstances human are exposed to low concentration of about a million electrophiles, the relation between exposure to such agents and adverse health effects (e.g., cancer) will become a 'Pandora's box'. For quantitative risk assessment it will be necessary not only to detect whether the agent is genotoxic, but also understand the mechanism of interaction of the agent with the DNA in target cells needs to be taken into account. Examples are given for a limited group of important environmental and carcinogenic agents for which such an approach is feasible. The groups identified are agents that form cross-links with DNA or are mono-alkylating agents that react with base-moieties in the DNA strands. Quantitative hazard ranking of the mutagenic potency of these groups of chemical can be performed and there is ample evidence that such a ranking corresponds with the individual carcinogenic potency of those agents in rodents. Still, in practice, with the exception of certain occupational or accidental exposure situations, these approaches have not be successful in preventing cancer death in the human population. However, this is not only due to the described 'Pandora's box' situation. At least three other factors are described. Firstly, in the industrial world the medical treatment of cancer in patients

  11. Urticaria mimickers in children.

    PubMed

    Mathur, Anubhav N; Mathes, Erin F

    2013-01-01

    Acute urticaria is a self-limited cutaneous condition marked by transient, erythematous, and pruritic wheals. It is a hypersensitivity response that is often secondary to infection, medications, or food allergies in children. In contrast, the urticarial "mimickers" described in this review article are often seen in the context of fever and extracutaneous manifestations in pediatric patients. The differential diagnosis ranges from benign and self-limited hypersensitivity responses to multisystem inflammatory diseases. Establishing the correct diagnosis of an urticarial rash in a pediatric patient is necessary to both prevent an unnecessary work up for self-limited conditions and to appropriately recognize and evaluate multisystem inflammatory disorders. Herein, we describe two cases to illustrate the clinical manifestations, laboratory findings, histopathology and differential diagnoses for several mimickers of acute urticaria including: urticaria multiforme, serum sickness like reaction, Henoch-Schönlein purpura, acute hemorrhagic edema of infancy, systemic onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis, cryopyrin associated periodic syndromes, and urticarial vasculitis. PMID:24552410

  12. A Comparative Assessment of Greek Universities' Efficiency Using Quantitative Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Katharaki, Maria; Katharakis, George

    2010-01-01

    In part due to the increased demand for higher education, typical evaluation frameworks for universities often address the key issue of available resource utilisation. This study seeks to estimate the efficiency of 20 public universities in Greece through quantitative analysis (including performance indicators, data envelopment analysis (DEA) and…

  13. Assessing association between protein truncating variants and quantitative traits

    PubMed Central

    Rivas, Manuel A.; Pirinen, Matti; Neville, Matthew J.; Gaulton, Kyle J.; Moutsianas, Loukas; Lindgren, Cecilia M.; Karpe, Fredrik; McCarthy, Mark I.; Donnelly, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Motivation: In sequencing studies of common diseases and quantitative traits, power to test rare and low frequency variants individually is weak. To improve power, a common approach is to combine statistical evidence from several genetic variants in a region. Major challenges are how to do the combining and which statistical framework to use. General approaches for testing association between rare variants and quantitative traits include aggregating genotypes and trait values, referred to as ‘collapsing’, or using a score-based variance component test. However, little attention has been paid to alternative models tailored for protein truncating variants. Recent studies have highlighted the important role that protein truncating variants, commonly referred to as ‘loss of function’ variants, may have on disease susceptibility and quantitative levels of biomarkers. We propose a Bayesian modelling framework for the analysis of protein truncating variants and quantitative traits. Results: Our simulation results show that our models have an advantage over the commonly used methods. We apply our models to sequence and exome-array data and discover strong evidence of association between low plasma triglyceride levels and protein truncating variants at APOC3 (Apolipoprotein C3). Availability: Software is available from http://www.well.ox.ac.uk/~rivas/mamba Contact: donnelly@well.ox.ac.uk PMID:23860716

  14. Quantitative assessment and reduction of long-term autoradiographic background

    SciTech Connect

    Traub, R.K.; Famous, L.; Krishnan, R.; Olson, K.R.

    1990-01-01

    Quantitative autoradiography can measure distribution patterns in an animal exposed to radiolabeled compounds. A comparison of autoradiographs of rat brain containing low levels of 14C showed that a highly variable background signal had been produced. This resulted in several overexposed autoradiographs which could not be quantitatively compared. The background, believed to be produced by light emanating from the phosphor coating in the X-ray cassette, was a major impediment because it hindered correct analysis of the specimen. this article details our experiments demonstrating the sources of variance contributing to background and offers methods for its reduction. We found that placement of black polyethylene plastic between the slides and phosphor in the X-ray film cassette minimized autoradiographic background and effectively eliminated the effects caused by inherently different levels of radioactivity in the glass slides.

  15. Quantitative assessment of hemadsorption by myxoviruses: virus hemadsorption assay.

    PubMed

    Hahon, N; Booth, J A; Eckert, H L

    1973-04-01

    The standardization and quantitative evaluation of an assay for myxoviruses, based on the enumeration of individual infected clone 1-5C-4 cells manifesting hemadsorption within 24 h of infection, are described. Hemadsorption was detectable earlier than immunofluorescence in infected cells or hemagglutinins in culture medium. The relationship between virus concentration and cells exhibiting hemadsorption was linear. The assay was highly precise, sensitive, and reproducible. PMID:4349248

  16. Calibration assessment in quantitative electroencephalographic brainmapping and evoked potential studies.

    PubMed

    Richards, A K; Hamilton-Bruce, M A

    1994-09-01

    Acquisition of a Cadwell Spectrum 32 resulted in the introduction of quantitative electrophysiological brainmapping techniques in our neurophysiology laboratory. To ascertain the accuracy and consistency of our equipment, we performed the following tests: inputting a calibration signal and measuring the resultant amplitudes for quantitative electroencephalographs (qEEGs) and evoked potentials (EPs) in the mapping and standard montages, inputting a synchronous calibration signal and mapping it at varying times for qEEGs and EPs, as well as re-analysing the same electroencephalographic (EEG) epochs previously selected from 20 control subjects. QEEG amplitudes varied from -5.4% to +5.8% and EPs by 9.5% or less, and after an EP software upgrade, by 5.5% or less. QEEG voltage mapping showed variation of only one color increment across the map, which could, in our example, represent up to 25.2% of the scale used. Re-analysis of previously selected epochs yielded identical results. We have established some of the accuracy and consistency limits of the hard- and software of our system with respect to the quantitative and topographic data. We conclude that such systems need to be calibration-checked in the laboratories in which they are used, with an independent signal generator. Users also need to be aware that scaling of topographic maps could lead to erroneous conclusions, as perceived amplitude changes could affect the interpretation of both initial and serial studies. PMID:7980205

  17. Quantitative Assessment of Countermeasure Efficacy for Long-Term Space Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feiveson, Alan H.

    2000-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the development of quantitative assessments of the effectiveness of countermeasures (CM) for the effects of space travel on humans for long term space missions. An example of bone mineral density (BMD) is examined to show specific quantitative measures for failure and success.

  18. Quantitative Assessment of Neuromotor Function in Adolescents with High Functioning Autism and Asperger Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freitag, Christine M.; Kleser, Christina; Schneider, Marc; von Gontard, Alexander

    2007-01-01

    Background: Motor impairment in children with Asperger Syndrome (AS) or High functioning autism (HFA) has been reported previously. This study presents results of a quantitative assessment of neuromotor skills in 14-22 year old HFA/AS. Methods: 16 HFA/AS and 16 IQ-matched controls were assessed by the Zurich Neuromotor Assessment (ZNA). Results:…

  19. I Vivo Quantitative Ultrasound Imaging and Scatter Assessments.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Zheng Feng

    There is evidence that "instrument independent" measurements of ultrasonic scattering properties would provide useful diagnostic information that is not available with conventional ultrasound imaging. This dissertation is a continuing effort to test the above hypothesis and to incorporate quantitative ultrasound methods into clinical examinations for early detection of diffuse liver disease. A well-established reference phantom method was employed to construct quantitative ultrasound images of tissue in vivo. The method was verified by extensive phantom tests. A new method was developed to measure the effective attenuation coefficient of the body wall. The method relates the slope of the difference between the echo signal power spectrum from a uniform region distal to the body wall and the echo signal power spectrum from a reference phantom to the body wall attenuation. The accuracy obtained from phantom tests suggests further studies with animal experiments. Clinically, thirty-five healthy subjects and sixteen patients with diffuse liver disease were studied by these quantitative ultrasound methods. The average attenuation coefficient in normals agreed with previous investigators' results; in vivo backscatter coefficients agreed with the results from normals measured by O'Donnell. Strong discriminating power (p < 0.001) was found for both attenuation and backscatter coefficients between fatty livers and normals; a significant difference (p < 0.01) was observed in the backscatter coefficient but not in the attenuation coefficient between cirrhotic livers and normals. An in vivo animal model of steroid hepatopathy was used to investigate the system sensitivity in detecting early changes in canine liver resulting from corticosteroid administration. The average attenuation coefficient slope increased from 0.7 dB/cm/MHz in controls to 0.82 dB/cm/MHz (at 6 MHz) in treated animals on day 14 into the treatment, and the backscatter coefficient was 26times 10^{ -4}cm^{-1}sr

  20. Quantitative phylogenetic assessment of microbial communities indiverse environments

    SciTech Connect

    von Mering, C.; Hugenholtz, P.; Raes, J.; Tringe, S.G.; Doerks,T.; Jensen, L.J.; Ward, N.; Bork, P.

    2007-01-01

    The taxonomic composition of environmental communities is an important indicator of their ecology and function. Here, we use a set of protein-coding marker genes, extracted from large-scale environmental shotgun sequencing data, to provide a more direct, quantitative and accurate picture of community composition than traditional rRNA-based approaches using polymerase chain reaction (PCR). By mapping marker genes from four diverse environmental data sets onto a reference species phylogeny, we show that certain communities evolve faster than others, determine preferred habitats for entire microbial clades, and provide evidence that such habitat preferences are often remarkably stable over time.

  1. Using integrated environmental modeling to automate a process-based Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    Integrated Environmental Modeling (IEM) organizes multidisciplinary knowledge that explains and predicts environmental-system response to stressors. A Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) is an approach integrating a range of disparate data (fate/transport, exposure, an...

  2. Using Integrated Environmental Modeling to Automate a Process-Based Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (presentation)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Integrated Environmental Modeling (IEM) organizes multidisciplinary knowledge that explains and predicts environmental-system response to stressors. A Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) is an approach integrating a range of disparate data (fate/transport, exposure, and...

  3. Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment Tutorial: Installation of Software for Watershed Modeling in Support of QMRA

    EPA Science Inventory

    This tutorial provides instructions for accessing, retrieving, and downloading the following software to install on a host computer in support of Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) modeling:• SDMProjectBuilder (which includes the Microbial Source Module as part...

  4. Disordered Speech Assessment Using Automatic Methods Based on Quantitative Measures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gu, Lingyun; Harris, John G.; Shrivastav, Rahul; Sapienza, Christine

    2005-12-01

    Speech quality assessment methods are necessary for evaluating and documenting treatment outcomes of patients suffering from degraded speech due to Parkinson's disease, stroke, or other disease processes. Subjective methods of speech quality assessment are more accurate and more robust than objective methods but are time-consuming and costly. We propose a novel objective measure of speech quality assessment that builds on traditional speech processing techniques such as dynamic time warping (DTW) and the Itakura-Saito (IS) distortion measure. Initial results show that our objective measure correlates well with the more expensive subjective methods.

  5. Assessment of metabolic bone diseases by quantitative computed tomography

    SciTech Connect

    Richardson, M.L.; Genant, H.K.; Cann, C.E.; Ettinger, B.; Gordan, G.S.; Kolb, F.O.; Reiser, U.J.

    1985-05-01

    Advances in the radiologic sciences have permitted the development of numerous noninvasive techniques for measuring the mineral content of bone, with varying degrees of precision, accuracy, and sensitivity. The techniques of standard radiography, radiogrammetry, photodensitometry, Compton scattering, neutron activation analysis, single and dual photon absorptiometry, and quantitative computed tomography (QCT) are described and reviewed in depth. Results from previous cross-sectional and longitudinal QCT investigations are given. They then describe a current investigation in which they studied 269 subjects, including 173 normal women, 34 patients with hyperparathyroidism, 24 patients with steroid- induced osteoporosis, and 38 men with idiopathic osteoporosis. Spinal quantitative computed tomography, radiogrammetry, and single photon absorptiometry were performed, and a spinal fracture index was calculated on all patients. The authors found a disproportionate loss of spinal trabecular mineral compared to appendicular mineral in the men with idiopathic osteoporosis and the patients with steroid-induced osteoporosis. They observed roughly equivalent mineral loss in both the appendicular and axial regions in the hyperparathyroid patients. The appendicular cortical measurements correlated moderately well with each other but less well with spinal trabecular QCT. The spinal fracture index correlated well with QCT and less well with the appendicular measurements.

  6. Quantitative Assessment of Neurite Outgrowth in PC12 Cells

    EPA Science Inventory

    In vitro test methods can provide a rapid approach for the screening of large numbers of chemicals for their potential to produce toxicity. In order to identify potential developmental neurotoxicants, assessment of critical neurodevelopmental processes such as neuronal differenti...

  7. Quantitative risk assessment: an emerging tool for emerging foodborne pathogens.

    PubMed Central

    Lammerding, A. M.; Paoli, G. M.

    1997-01-01

    New challenges to the safety of the food supply require new strategies for evaluating and managing food safety risks. Changes in pathogens, food preparation, distribution, and consumption, and population immunity have the potential to adversely affect human health. Risk assessment offers a framework for predicting the impact of changes and trends on the provision of safe food. Risk assessment models facilitate the evaluation of active or passive changes in how foods are produced, processed, distributed, and consumed. PMID:9366601

  8. A quantitative assessment of Arctic shipping in 2010–2014

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eguíluz, Victor M.; Fernández-Gracia, Juan; Irigoien, Xabier; Duarte, Carlos M.

    2016-08-01

    Rapid loss of sea ice is opening up the Arctic Ocean to shipping, a practice that is forecasted to increase rapidly by 2050 when many models predict that the Arctic Ocean will largely be free of ice toward the end of summer. These forecasts carry considerable uncertainty because Arctic shipping was previously considered too sparse to allow for adequate validation. Here, we provide quantitative evidence that the extent of Arctic shipping in the period 2011–2014 is already significant and that it is concentrated (i) in the Norwegian and Barents Seas, and (ii) predominantly accessed via the Northeast and Northwest Passages. Thick ice along the forecasted direct trans-Arctic route was still present in 2014, preventing transit. Although Arctic shipping remains constrained by the extent of ice coverage, during every September, this coverage is at a minimum, allowing the highest levels of shipping activity. Access to Arctic resources, particularly fisheries, is the most important driver of Arctic shipping thus far.

  9. Quantitative Cherenkov emission spectroscopy for tissue oxygenation assessment

    PubMed Central

    Axelsson, Johan; Glaser, Adam K.; Gladstone, David J.; Pogue, Brian W.

    2012-01-01

    Measurements of Cherenkov emission in tissue during radiation therapy are shown to enable estimation of hemoglobin oxygen saturation non-invasively, through spectral fitting of the spontaneous emissions from the treated tissue. Tissue oxygenation plays a critical role in the efficacy of radiation therapy to kill tumor tissue. Yet in-vivo measurement of this has remained elusive in routine use because of the complexity of oxygen measurement techniques. There is a spectrally broad emission of Cherenkov light that is induced during the time of irradiation, and as this travels through tissue from the point of the radiation deposition, the tissue absorption and scatter impart spectral changes. These changes can be quantified by diffuse spectral fitting of the signal. Thus Cherenkov emission spectroscopy is demonstrated for the first time quantitatively in vitro and qualitatively in vivo, and has potential for real-time online tracking of tissue oxygen during radiation therapy when fully characterized and developed. PMID:22418319

  10. Quantitative Assessment of Spray Deposition with Water-Sensitive Paper

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Spray droplets, discharged from the lower six nozzles of an airblast sprayer, were sampled on pairs of absorbent filter and water-sensitive papers at nine distances from sprayer. Spray deposition on filter targets were measured by fluorometry and spray distribution on WSP targets were assessed by t...

  11. INCORPORATION OF MOLECULAR ENDPOINTS INTO QUANTITATIVE RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently released its Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment. These new guidelines benefit from the significant progress that has been made in understanding the cancer process and also from the more than 20 years experience that EPA...

  12. Developing a Quantitative Tool for Sustainability Assessment of HEIs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waheed, Bushra; Khan, Faisal I.; Veitch, Brian

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: Implementation of a sustainability paradigm demands new choices and innovative ways of thinking. The main objective of this paper is to provide a meaningful sustainability assessment tool for make informed decisions, which is applied to higher education institutions (HEIs). Design/methodology/approach: The objective is achieved by…

  13. INTEGRATED QUANTITATIVE CANCER RISK ASSESSMENT OF INORGANIC ARSENIC

    EPA Science Inventory

    This paper attempts to make an integrated risk assessment of arsenic, using data on humans exposed to arsenic via inhalation and ingestion. he data useful for making an integrated analysis and data gaps are discussed. rsenic provides a rare opportunity to compare the cancer risk ...

  14. Validation of a quantitative phosphorus loss assessment tool

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Pasture Phosphorus Management Plus (PPM Plus) is a tool that allows nutrient management and conservation planners to evaluate phosphorus loss from agricultural fields. This tool is a modified version of the widely used Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model with a vastly simplified interface. ...

  15. A quantitative assessment of Arctic shipping in 2010-2014.

    PubMed

    Eguíluz, Victor M; Fernández-Gracia, Juan; Irigoien, Xabier; Duarte, Carlos M

    2016-01-01

    Rapid loss of sea ice is opening up the Arctic Ocean to shipping, a practice that is forecasted to increase rapidly by 2050 when many models predict that the Arctic Ocean will largely be free of ice toward the end of summer. These forecasts carry considerable uncertainty because Arctic shipping was previously considered too sparse to allow for adequate validation. Here, we provide quantitative evidence that the extent of Arctic shipping in the period 2011-2014 is already significant and that it is concentrated (i) in the Norwegian and Barents Seas, and (ii) predominantly accessed via the Northeast and Northwest Passages. Thick ice along the forecasted direct trans-Arctic route was still present in 2014, preventing transit. Although Arctic shipping remains constrained by the extent of ice coverage, during every September, this coverage is at a minimum, allowing the highest levels of shipping activity. Access to Arctic resources, particularly fisheries, is the most important driver of Arctic shipping thus far. PMID:27477878

  16. A quantitative assessment of Arctic shipping in 2010–2014

    PubMed Central

    Eguíluz, Victor M.; Fernández-Gracia, Juan; Irigoien, Xabier; Duarte, Carlos M.

    2016-01-01

    Rapid loss of sea ice is opening up the Arctic Ocean to shipping, a practice that is forecasted to increase rapidly by 2050 when many models predict that the Arctic Ocean will largely be free of ice toward the end of summer. These forecasts carry considerable uncertainty because Arctic shipping was previously considered too sparse to allow for adequate validation. Here, we provide quantitative evidence that the extent of Arctic shipping in the period 2011–2014 is already significant and that it is concentrated (i) in the Norwegian and Barents Seas, and (ii) predominantly accessed via the Northeast and Northwest Passages. Thick ice along the forecasted direct trans-Arctic route was still present in 2014, preventing transit. Although Arctic shipping remains constrained by the extent of ice coverage, during every September, this coverage is at a minimum, allowing the highest levels of shipping activity. Access to Arctic resources, particularly fisheries, is the most important driver of Arctic shipping thus far. PMID:27477878

  17. Quantitative ultrasound assessment of thermal damage in excised liver

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kemmerer, Jeremy P.; Ghoshal, Goutam; Oelze, Michael L.

    2012-10-01

    Quantitative ultrasound (QUS) is a novel approach for characterizing tissue microstructure and changes in tissue microstructure due to therapy. In this report, we discuss changes in QUS parameters in liver tissues after being exposed to thermal insult. Effective scatterer diameter (ESD) and effective acoustic concentration (EAC) from the normalized backscattered power spectrum were examined in rat liver specimens heated in a degassed saline bath. Individual liver samples were bisected, with half of each sample heated to a therapeutic temperature of 60°C for 10 minutes and the other half held at 37°C. The ultrasonic backscatter and attenuation coefficient were then estimated at 37°C from both halves. ESD was observed to decrease by an average of 34% in exposed compared to unexposed sample sections, EAC increased by 18 dB, and the attenuation coefficient increased by 70%. Histological slides from these samples indicate cell size and/or concentration may be affected by heating. This work was supported by NIH R01-EB008992.

  18. Quantitative statistical assessment of conditional models for synthetic aperture radar.

    PubMed

    DeVore, Michael D; O'Sullivan, Joseph A

    2004-02-01

    Many applications of object recognition in the presence of pose uncertainty rely on statistical models-conditioned on pose-for observations. The image statistics of three-dimensional (3-D) objects are often assumed to belong to a family of distributions with unknown model parameters that vary with one or more continuous-valued pose parameters. Many methods for statistical model assessment, for example the tests of Kolmogorov-Smirnov and K. Pearson, require that all model parameters be fully specified or that sample sizes be large. Assessing pose-dependent models from a finite number of observations over a variety of poses can violate these requirements. However, a large number of small samples, corresponding to unique combinations of object, pose, and pixel location, are often available. We develop methods for model testing which assume a large number of small samples and apply them to the comparison of three models for synthetic aperture radar images of 3-D objects with varying pose. Each model is directly related to the Gaussian distribution and is assessed both in terms of goodness-of-fit and underlying model assumptions, such as independence, known mean, and homoscedasticity. Test results are presented in terms of the functional relationship between a given significance level and the percentage of samples that wold fail a test at that level. PMID:15376934

  19. Quantitative Computed Tomography and Image Analysis for Advanced Muscle Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Edmunds, Kyle Joseph; Gíslason, Magnus K.; Arnadottir, Iris D.; Marcante, Andrea; Piccione, Francesco; Gargiulo, Paolo

    2016-01-01

    Medical imaging is of particular interest in the field of translational myology, as extant literature describes the utilization of a wide variety of techniques to non-invasively recapitulate and quantity various internal and external tissue morphologies. In the clinical context, medical imaging remains a vital tool for diagnostics and investigative assessment. This review outlines the results from several investigations on the use of computed tomography (CT) and image analysis techniques to assess muscle conditions and degenerative process due to aging or pathological conditions. Herein, we detail the acquisition of spiral CT images and the use of advanced image analysis tools to characterize muscles in 2D and 3D. Results from these studies recapitulate changes in tissue composition within muscles, as visualized by the association of tissue types to specified Hounsfield Unit (HU) values for fat, loose connective tissue or atrophic muscle, and normal muscle, including fascia and tendon. We show how results from these analyses can be presented as both average HU values and compositions with respect to total muscle volumes, demonstrating the reliability of these tools to monitor, assess and characterize muscle degeneration. PMID:27478562

  20. Floods characterization: from impact data to quantitative assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Llasat, Maria-Carmen; Gilabert, Joan; Llasat-Botija, Montserrat; Marcos, Raül; Quintana-Seguí, Pere; Turco, Marco

    2015-04-01

    This study is based on the following flood databases from Catalonia: INUNGAMA (1900-2010) which considers 372 floods (Llasat et al, 2014), PRESSGAMA (1981-2010) and HISTOGAMA (from XIV Century on) - built as part of SPHERE project and recently updated. These databases store information about flood impacts (among others) and classify them by their severity (catastrophic, extraordinary and ordinary) by means of an indicators matrix based on other studies (i.e. Petrucci et al, 2013; Llasat et al, 2013). On this research we present a comparison between flood impacts, flow data and rainfall data on a Catalan scale and particularly for the basins of Segre, Muga, Ter and Llobregat (Western Mediterranean). From a bottom-up approach, a statistical methodology has been built (trend analysis, measures of position, cumulative distribution functions and geostatistics) in order to identify quantitative thresholds that will make possible to classify the floods. The purpose of this study is to establish generic thresholds for the whole Catalan region, for this we have selected rainfall maximums of flooding episodes stored at INUNGAMA and they have been related to flood categories by boxplot diagrams. Regarding the stream flow, we have established a relation between impacts and return periods at the day when the flow is maximum. The aim is to homogenize and compare the different drainage basins and to obtain general thresholds. It is also presented detailed analyses of relations between flooding episodes, flood classification and weather typing schemes - based in Jenkinson and Collison classification (applied to the Iberian Peninsula by Spellmann, 2000). In this way it could be analyzed whether patterns for the different types of floods exist or not. Finally, this work has pointed out the need of defining a new category for the most severe episodes.

  1. Quantitative phase imaging technologies to assess neuronal activity (Conference Presentation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thouvenin, Olivier; Fink, Mathias; Boccara, Claude

    2016-03-01

    Active neurons tends to have a different dynamical behavior compared to resting ones. Non-exhaustively, vesicular transport towards the synapses is increased, since axonal growth becomes slower. Previous studies also reported small phase variations occurring simultaneously with the action potential. Such changes exhibit times scales ranging from milliseconds to several seconds on spatial scales smaller than the optical diffraction limit. Therefore, QPI systems are of particular interest to measure neuronal activity without labels. Here, we report the development of two new QPI systems that should enable the detection of such activity. Both systems can acquire full field phase images with a sub nanometer sensitivity at a few hundreds of frames per second. The first setup is a synchronous combination of Full Field Optical Coherence Tomography (FF-OCT) and Fluorescence wide field imaging. The latter modality enables the measurement of neurons electrical activity using calcium indicators. In cultures, FF-OCT exhibits similar features to Digital Holographic Microscopy (DHM), except from complex computational reconstruction. However, FF-OCT is of particular interest in order to measure phase variations in tissues. The second setup is based on a Quantitative Differential Interference Contrast setup mounted in an epi-illumination configuration with a spectrally incoherent illumination. Such a common path interferometer exhibits a very good mechanical stability, and thus enables the measurement of phase images during hours. Additionally, such setup can not only measure a height change, but also an optical index change for both polarization. Hence, one can measure simultaneously a phase change and a birefringence change.

  2. An integrated environmental modeling framework for performing Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessments

    EPA Science Inventory

    Standardized methods are often used to assess the likelihood of a human-health effect from exposure to a specified hazard, and inform opinions and decisions about risk management and communication. A Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) is specifically adapted to detail ...

  3. An integrated environmental modeling framework for performing quantitative microbial risk assessments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Standardized methods are often used to assess the likelihood of a human-health effect from exposure to a specified hazard, and inform opinions and decisions about risk management and communication. A Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) is specifically adapted to detail potential human-heal...

  4. Quantitative Assessment of a Field-Based Course on Integrative Geology, Ecology and Cultural History

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sheppard, Paul R.; Donaldson, Brad A.; Huckleberry, Gary

    2010-01-01

    A field-based course at the University of Arizona called Sense of Place (SOP) covers the geology, ecology and cultural history of the Tucson area. SOP was quantitatively assessed for pedagogical effectiveness. Students of the Spring 2008 course were given pre- and post-course word association surveys in order to assess awareness and comprehension…

  5. A quantitative assessment of results with the Angelchik prosthesis.

    PubMed Central

    Wyllie, J. H.; Edwards, D. A.

    1985-01-01

    The Angelchik antireflux prosthesis was assessed in 15 unpromising patients, 12 of whom had peptic strictures of the oesophagus. Radiological techniques were used to show the effect of the device on gastro-oesophageal reflux, and on the bore and length of strictures. Twelve months later (range 6-24) most patients were well satisfied with the operation, and all considered it had been worthwhile; there was radiological evidence of reduction in reflux and remission of strictures. The device never surrounded the oesophageal sphincter; in all but 1 case it encircled a tube of stomach. Images Fig. 5 Fig. 6 PMID:4037629

  6. New Trends in Quantitative Assessment of the Corneal Barrier Function

    PubMed Central

    Guimerà, Anton; Illa, Xavi; Traver, Estefania; Herrero, Carmen; Maldonado, Miguel J.; Villa, Rosa

    2014-01-01

    The cornea is a very particular tissue due to its transparency and its barrier function as it has to resist against the daily insults of the external environment. In addition, maintenance of this barrier function is of crucial importance to ensure a correct corneal homeostasis. Here, the corneal epithelial permeability has been assessed in vivo by means of non-invasive tetrapolar impedance measurements, taking advantage of the huge impact of the ion fluxes in the passive electrical properties of living tissues. This has been possible by using a flexible sensor based in SU-8 photoresist. In this work, a further analysis focused on the validation of the presented sensor is performed by monitoring the healing process of corneas that were previously wounded. The obtained impedance measurements have been compared with the damaged area observed in corneal fluorescein staining images. The successful results confirm the feasibility of this novel method, as it represents a more sensitive in vivo and non-invasive test to assess low alterations of the epithelial permeability. Then, it could be used as an excellent complement to the fluorescein staining image evaluation. PMID:24841249

  7. Quantitative assessment of human body shape using Fourier analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friess, Martin; Rohlf, F. J.; Hsiao, Hongwei

    2004-04-01

    Fall protection harnesses are commonly used to reduce the number and severity of injuries. Increasing the efficiency of harness design requires the size and shape variation of the user population to be assessed as detailed and as accurately as possible. In light of the unsatisfactory performance of traditional anthropometry with respect to such assessments, we propose the use of 3D laser surface scans of whole bodies and the statistical analysis of elliptic Fourier coefficients. Ninety-eight male and female adults were scanned. Key features of each torso were extracted as a 3D curve along front, back and the thighs. A 3D extension of Elliptic Fourier analysis4 was used to quantify their shape through multivariate statistics. Shape change as a function of size (allometry) was predicted by regressing the coefficients onto stature, weight and hip circumference. Upper and lower limits of torso shape variation were determined and can be used to redefine the design of the harness that will fit most individual body shapes. Observed allometric changes are used for adjustments to the harness shape in each size. Finally, the estimated outline data were used as templates for a free-form deformation of the complete torso surface using NURBS models (non-uniform rational B-splines).

  8. Quantitative Assessment of Workload and Stressors in Clinical Radiation Oncology

    SciTech Connect

    Mazur, Lukasz M.; Mosaly, Prithima R.; Jackson, Marianne; Chang, Sha X.; Burkhardt, Katharin Deschesne; Adams, Robert D.; Jones, Ellen L.; Hoyle, Lesley; Xu, Jing; Rockwell, John; Marks, Lawrence B.

    2012-08-01

    Purpose: Workload level and sources of stressors have been implicated as sources of error in multiple settings. We assessed workload levels and sources of stressors among radiation oncology professionals. Furthermore, we explored the potential association between workload and the frequency of reported radiotherapy incidents by the World Health Organization (WHO). Methods and Materials: Data collection was aimed at various tasks performed by 21 study participants from different radiation oncology professional subgroups (simulation therapists, radiation therapists, physicists, dosimetrists, and physicians). Workload was assessed using National Aeronautics and Space Administration Task-Load Index (NASA TLX). Sources of stressors were quantified using observational methods and segregated using a standard taxonomy. Comparisons between professional subgroups and tasks were made using analysis of variance ANOVA, multivariate ANOVA, and Duncan test. An association between workload levels (NASA TLX) and the frequency of radiotherapy incidents (WHO incidents) was explored (Pearson correlation test). Results: A total of 173 workload assessments were obtained. Overall, simulation therapists had relatively low workloads (NASA TLX range, 30-36), and physicists had relatively high workloads (NASA TLX range, 51-63). NASA TLX scores for physicians, radiation therapists, and dosimetrists ranged from 40-52. There was marked intertask/professional subgroup variation (P<.0001). Mental demand (P<.001), physical demand (P=.001), and effort (P=.006) significantly differed among professional subgroups. Typically, there were 3-5 stressors per cycle of analyzed tasks with the following distribution: interruptions (41.4%), time factors (17%), technical factors (13.6%), teamwork issues (11.6%), patient factors (9.0%), and environmental factors (7.4%). A positive association between workload and frequency of reported radiotherapy incidents by the WHO was found (r = 0.87, P value=.045

  9. Quantitative risk assessment of FMD virus transmission via water.

    PubMed

    Schijven, Jack; Rijs, Gerard B J; de Roda Husman, Ana Maria

    2005-02-01

    Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a viral disease of domesticated and wild cloven-hoofed animals. FMD virus is known to spread by direct contact between infected and susceptible animals, by animal products such as meat and milk, by the airborne route, and mechanical transfer on people, wild animals, birds, and by vehicles. During the outbreak of 2001 in the Netherlands, milk from dairy cattle was illegally discharged into the sewerage as a consequence of transport prohibition. This may lead to contaminated discharges of biologically treated and raw sewage in surface water that is given to cattle to drink. The objective of the present study was to assess the probability of infecting dairy cows that were drinking FMD virus contaminated surface water due to illegal discharges of contaminated milk. So, the following data were collected from literature: FMD virus inactivation in aqueous environments, FMD virus concentrations in milk, dilution in sewage water, virus removal by sewage treatment, dilution in surface water, water consumption of cows, size of a herd in a meadow, and dose-response data for ingested FMD virus by cattle. In the case of 1.6 x 10(2) FMD virus per milliliter in milk and discharge of treated sewage in surface water, the probability of infecting a herd of cows was estimated to be 3.3 x 10(-7) to 8.5 x 10(-5), dependent on dilution in the receiving surface water. In the case of discharge of raw sewage, all probabilities of infection were 100 times higher. In the case of little dilution in small rivers, the high level of 8.5 x 10(-3) is reached. For 10(4) times higher FMD virus concentrations in milk, the probabilities of infecting a herd of cows are high in the case of discharge of treated sewage (3.3 x 10(-3) to 5.7 x 10(-1)) and very high in the case of discharge of raw sewage (0.28-1.0). It can be concluded that illegal and uncontrolled discharges of contaminated milk into the sewerage system may lead to high risks to other cattle farms at 6-50 km

  10. Compressed natural gas bus safety: a quantitative risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Chamberlain, Samuel; Modarres, Mohammad

    2005-04-01

    This study assesses the fire safety risks associated with compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle systems, comprising primarily a typical school bus and supporting fuel infrastructure. The study determines the sensitivity of the results to variations in component failure rates and consequences of fire events. The components and subsystems that contribute most to fire safety risk are determined. Finally, the results are compared to fire risks of the present generation of diesel-fueled school buses. Direct computation of the safety risks associated with diesel-powered vehicles is possible because these are mature technologies for which historical performance data are available. Because of limited experience, fatal accident data for CNG bus fleets are minimal. Therefore, this study uses the probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) approach to model and predict fire safety risk of CNG buses. Generic failure data, engineering judgments, and assumptions are used in this study. This study predicts the mean fire fatality risk for typical CNG buses as approximately 0.23 fatalities per 100-million miles for all people involved, including bus passengers. The study estimates mean values of 0.16 fatalities per 100-million miles for bus passengers only. Based on historical data, diesel school bus mean fire fatality risk is 0.091 and 0.0007 per 100-million miles for all people and bus passengers, respectively. One can therefore conclude that CNG buses are more prone to fire fatality risk by 2.5 times that of diesel buses, with the bus passengers being more at risk by over two orders of magnitude. The study estimates a mean fire risk frequency of 2.2 x 10(-5) fatalities/bus per year. The 5% and 95% uncertainty bounds are 9.1 x 10(-6) and 4.0 x 10(-5), respectively. The risk result was found to be affected most by failure rates of pressure relief valves, CNG cylinders, and fuel piping. PMID:15876211

  11. Quantitative assessment of the retinal microvasculature using optical coherence tomography angiography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, Zhongdi; Lin, Jason; Gao, Chen; Xin, Chen; Zhang, Qinqin; Chen, Chieh-Li; Roisman, Luis; Gregori, Giovanni; Rosenfeld, Philip J.; Wang, Ruikang K.

    2016-06-01

    Optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) is clinically useful for the qualitative assessment of the macular microvasculature. However, there is a need for comprehensive quantitative tools to help objectively analyze the OCT angiograms. Few studies have reported the use of a single quantitative index to describe vessel density in OCT angiograms. In this study, we introduce a five-index quantitative analysis of OCT angiograms in an attempt to detect and assess vascular abnormalities from multiple perspectives. The indices include vessel area density, vessel skeleton density, vessel diameter index, vessel perimeter index, and vessel complexity index. We show the usefulness of the proposed indices with five illustrative cases. Repeatability is tested on both a healthy case and a stable diseased case, giving interclass coefficients smaller than 0.031. The results demonstrate that our proposed quantitative analysis may be useful as a complement to conventional OCTA for the diagnosis of disease and monitoring of treatment.

  12. Quantitative assessment of the serve speed in tennis.

    PubMed

    Vaverka, Frantisek; Cernosek, Miroslav

    2016-01-01

    A method is presented for assessing the serve speeds of tennis players based on their body height. The research involved a sample of top world players (221 males and 215 females) who participated in the Grand Slam tournaments in 2008 and 2012. The method is based on the linear regression analysis of the association between the player's body height and the serve speed (fastest serve, average first-serve, and second-serve speed). The coefficient of serve speed (CSS) was calculated as the quotient of the measured and the theoretical value of the serve speed on a regression line relative to the player's body height. The CSS of >1, 1 and <1 indicate above-average, average, and below-average serve speeds, respectively, relative to the top world tennis players with the same body height. The CSS adds a new element to the already existing statistics about a tennis match, and provides additional information about the performance of tennis players. The CSS can be utilised e.g. for setting the target serve speed of a given player to achieve based on his/her body height, choosing the most appropriate match strategy against a particular player, and a long-term monitoring of the effectiveness of training focused on the serve speed. PMID:26879039

  13. Quantitative assessment of gene expression network module-validation methods.

    PubMed

    Li, Bing; Zhang, Yingying; Yu, Yanan; Wang, Pengqian; Wang, Yongcheng; Wang, Zhong; Wang, Yongyan

    2015-01-01

    Validation of pluripotent modules in diverse networks holds enormous potential for systems biology and network pharmacology. An arising challenge is how to assess the accuracy of discovering all potential modules from multi-omic networks and validating their architectural characteristics based on innovative computational methods beyond function enrichment and biological validation. To display the framework progress in this domain, we systematically divided the existing Computational Validation Approaches based on Modular Architecture (CVAMA) into topology-based approaches (TBA) and statistics-based approaches (SBA). We compared the available module validation methods based on 11 gene expression datasets, and partially consistent results in the form of homogeneous models were obtained with each individual approach, whereas discrepant contradictory results were found between TBA and SBA. The TBA of the Zsummary value had a higher Validation Success Ratio (VSR) (51%) and a higher Fluctuation Ratio (FR) (80.92%), whereas the SBA of the approximately unbiased (AU) p-value had a lower VSR (12.3%) and a lower FR (45.84%). The Gray area simulated study revealed a consistent result for these two models and indicated a lower Variation Ratio (VR) (8.10%) of TBA at 6 simulated levels. Despite facing many novel challenges and evidence limitations, CVAMA may offer novel insights into modular networks. PMID:26470848

  14. Validation of a quantitative phosphorus loss assessment tool.

    PubMed

    White, Michael J; Storm, Daniel E; Smolen, Michael D; Busteed, Philip R; Zhang, Hailin; Fox, Garey A

    2014-01-01

    Pasture Phosphorus Management Plus (PPM Plus) is a tool that allows nutrient management and conservation planners to evaluate phosphorus (P) loss from agricultural fields. This tool uses a modified version of the widely used Soil and Water Assessment Tool model with a vastly simplified interface. The development of PPM Plus has been fully described in previous publications; in this article we evaluate the accuracy of PPM Plus using 286 field-years of runoff, sediment, and P validation data from runoff studies at various locations in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, and Georgia. Land uses include pasture, small grains, and row crops with rainfall ranging from 630 to 1390 mm yr, with and without animal manure application. PPM Plus explained 68% of the variability in total P loss, 56% of runoff, and 73% of the variability of sediment yield. An empirical model developed from these data using soil test P, total applied P, slope, and precipitation only accounted for 15% of the variability in total P loss, which implies that a process-based model is required to account for the diversity present in these data. PPM Plus is an easy-to-use conservation planning tool for P loss prediction, which, with modification, could be applicable at the regional and national scales. PMID:25602555

  15. A Quantitative Measure of Handwriting Dysfluency for Assessing Tardive Dyskinesia

    PubMed Central

    Caligiuri, Michael P.; Teulings, Hans-Leo; Dean, Charles E.; Lohr, James B.

    2015-01-01

    Tardive dyskinesia (TD) is movement disorder commonly associated with chronic exposure to antidopaminergic medications which may be in some cases disfiguring and socially disabling. The consensus from a growing body of research on the incidence and prevalence of TD in the modern era of antipsychotics indicates that this disorder has not disappeared continues to challenge the effective management of psychotic symptoms in patients with schizophrenia. A fundamental component in an effective strategy for managing TD is its reliable and accurate assessment. In the present study, we examined the clinical utility of a brief handwriting dysfluency measure for quantifying TD. Digitized samples of handwritten circles and loops were obtained from 62 psychosis patients with or without TD and from 50 healthy subjects. Two measures of dysfluent pen movements were extracted from each vertical pen stroke, including normalized jerk and the number of acceleration peaks. TD patients exhibited significantly higher dysfluency scores than non-TD patients and controls. Severity of handwriting movement dysfluency was correlated with AIMS severity ratings for some tasks. The procedure yielded high degrees of test-retest reliability. These results suggest that measures of handwriting movement dysfluency may be particularly useful for objectively evaluating the efficacy of pharmacotherapeutic strategies for treating TD. PMID:25679121

  16. Real Time Quantitative Radiological Monitoring Equipment for Environmental Assessment

    SciTech Connect

    John R. Giles; Lyle G. Roybal; Michael V. Carpenter

    2006-03-01

    The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has developed a suite of systems that rapidly scan, analyze, and characterize radiological contamination in soil. These systems have been successfully deployed at several Department of Energy (DOE) laboratories and Cold War Legacy closure sites. Traditionally, these systems have been used during the characterization and remediation of radiologically contaminated soils and surfaces; however, subsequent to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the applications of these systems have expanded to include homeland security operations for first response, continuing assessment and verification of cleanup activities in the event of the detonation of a radiological dispersal device. The core system components are a detector, a spectral analyzer, and a global positioning system (GPS). The system is computer controlled by menu-driven, user-friendly custom software designed for a technician-level operator. A wide variety of detectors have been used including several configurations of sodium iodide (NaI) and high-purity germanium (HPGe) detectors, and a large area proportional counter designed for the detection of x-rays from actinides such as Am-241 and Pu-238. Systems have been deployed from several platforms including a small all-terrain vehicle (ATV), hand-pushed carts, a backpack mounted unit, and an excavator mounted unit used where personnel safety considerations are paramount. The INL has advanced this concept, and expanded the system functionality to create an integrated, field-deployed analytical system through the use of tailored analysis and operations software. Customized, site specific software is assembled from a supporting toolbox of algorithms that streamline the data acquisition, analysis and reporting process. These algorithms include region specific spectral stripping, automated energy calibration, background subtraction, activity calculations based on measured detector efficiencies, and on-line data quality checks

  17. Reliability of Quantitative Ultrasonic Assessment of Normal-Tissue Toxicity in Breast Cancer Radiotherapy

    SciTech Connect

    Yoshida, Emi J.; Chen Hao; Torres, Mylin; Andic, Fundagul; Liu Haoyang; Chen Zhengjia; Sun, Xiaoyan; Curran, Walter J.; Liu Tian

    2012-02-01

    Purpose: We have recently reported that ultrasound imaging, together with ultrasound tissue characterization (UTC), can provide quantitative assessment of radiation-induced normal-tissue toxicity. This study's purpose is to evaluate the reliability of our quantitative ultrasound technology in assessing acute and late normal-tissue toxicity in breast cancer radiotherapy. Method and Materials: Our ultrasound technique analyzes radiofrequency echo signals and provides quantitative measures of dermal, hypodermal, and glandular tissue toxicities. To facilitate easy clinical implementation, we further refined this technique by developing a semiautomatic ultrasound-based toxicity assessment tool (UBTAT). Seventy-two ultrasound studies of 26 patients (720 images) were analyzed. Images of 8 patients were evaluated for acute toxicity (<6 months postradiotherapy) and those of 18 patients were evaluated for late toxicity ({>=}6 months postradiotherapy). All patients were treated according to a standard radiotherapy protocol. To assess intraobserver reliability, one observer analyzed 720 images in UBTAT and then repeated the analysis 3 months later. To assess interobserver reliability, three observers (two radiation oncologists and one ultrasound expert) each analyzed 720 images in UBTAT. An intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was used to evaluate intra- and interobserver reliability. Ultrasound assessment and clinical evaluation were also compared. Results: Intraobserver ICC was 0.89 for dermal toxicity, 0.74 for hypodermal toxicity, and 0.96 for glandular tissue toxicity. Interobserver ICC was 0.78 for dermal toxicity, 0.74 for hypodermal toxicity, and 0.94 for glandular tissue toxicity. Statistical analysis found significant changes in dermal (p < 0.0001), hypodermal (p = 0.0027), and glandular tissue (p < 0.0001) assessments in the acute toxicity group. Ultrasound measurements correlated with clinical Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) toxicity scores of patients

  18. Genetic toxicology at the crossroads-from qualitative hazard evaluation to quantitative risk assessment.

    PubMed

    White, Paul A; Johnson, George E

    2016-05-01

    Applied genetic toxicology is undergoing a transition from qualitative hazard identification to quantitative dose-response analysis and risk assessment. To facilitate this change, the Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) Genetic Toxicology Technical Committee (GTTC) sponsored a workshop held in Lancaster, UK on July 10-11, 2014. The event included invited speakers from several institutions and the contents was divided into three themes-1: Point-of-departure Metrics for Quantitative Dose-Response Analysis in Genetic Toxicology; 2: Measurement and Estimation of Exposures for Better Extrapolation to Humans and 3: The Use of Quantitative Approaches in Genetic Toxicology for human health risk assessment (HHRA). A host of pertinent issues were discussed relating to the use of in vitro and in vivo dose-response data, the development of methods for in vitro to in vivo extrapolation and approaches to use in vivo dose-response data to determine human exposure limits for regulatory evaluations and decision-making. This Special Issue, which was inspired by the workshop, contains a series of papers that collectively address topics related to the aforementioned themes. The Issue includes contributions that collectively evaluate, describe and discuss in silico, in vitro, in vivo and statistical approaches that are facilitating the shift from qualitative hazard evaluation to quantitative risk assessment. The use and application of the benchmark dose approach was a central theme in many of the workshop presentations and discussions, and the Special Issue includes several contributions that outline novel applications for the analysis and interpretation of genetic toxicity data. Although the contents of the Special Issue constitutes an important step towards the adoption of quantitative methods for regulatory assessment of genetic toxicity, formal acceptance of quantitative methods for HHRA and regulatory decision-making will require consensus regarding the

  19. Productive Factors in School Learning: A Quantitative Synthesis of National Assessment Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Borger, Jeanne B.; Walberg, Herbert J.

    To integrate findings concerning the influence of productive factors on student achievement and attitudes across various disciplines and ages, nine regression studies of National Assessment of Educational Progress samples containing a total of 15,802 students were quantitatively synthesized. Correlations and standardized regression weights for…

  20. The value of quantitative patient preferences in regulatory benefit-risk assessment

    PubMed Central

    Egbrink, Mart oude; IJzerman, Maarten

    2014-01-01

    Quantitative patient preferences are a method to involve patients in regulatory benefit-risk assessment. Assuming preferences can be elicited, there might be multiple advantages to their use. Legal, methodological and procedural issues do however imply that preferences are currently at most part of the solution on how to best involve patients in regulatory decision making. Progress is recently made on these issues.

  1. Integrating a Qualitative and Quantitative Assessment of the Quality of Academic Life: Political and Logistical Issues.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marshall, Catherine; And Others

    1991-01-01

    Efforts to assess quality of academic life at Vanderbilt University (Tennessee) resulted in a plan to merge qualitative and quantitative measures and uncovered political, logistical, and fiscal issues in collection and use of the two kinds of data. Although qualitative databases are costly, they are also very useful in different ways. (Author/MSE)

  2. Quantitative Assessment of Disinfectant Activity Against Listeria monocytogenes Biofilms Under Flow Conditions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Listeria monocytogenes has a high mortality in humans and is responsible for most food recalls involving bacterial contamination. Our objective was to develop methods to quantitatively assess the pathogen under flow conditions to mimic wet food processing. A reactor was used to grow the bacteria on ...

  3. QUANTITATIVE ASSESSMENT OF CORAL DISEASES IN THE FLORIDA KEYS: STRATEGY AND METHODOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Most studies of coral disease have focused on the incidence of a single disease within a single location. Our overall objective is to use quantitative assessments to characterize annual patterns in the distribution and frequency of scleractinian and gorgonian coral diseases over ...

  4. Quantitative Approach to Collaborative Learning: Performance Prediction, Individual Assessment, and Group Composition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cen, Ling; Ruta, Dymitr; Powell, Leigh; Hirsch, Benjamin; Ng, Jason

    2016-01-01

    The benefits of collaborative learning, although widely reported, lack the quantitative rigor and detailed insight into the dynamics of interactions within the group, while individual contributions and their impacts on group members and their collaborative work remain hidden behind joint group assessment. To bridge this gap we intend to address…

  5. Climate Change Education: Quantitatively Assessing the Impact of a Botanical Garden as an Informal Learning Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sellmann, Daniela; Bogner, Franz X.

    2013-01-01

    Although informal learning environments have been studied extensively, ours is one of the first studies to quantitatively assess the impact of learning in botanical gardens on students' cognitive achievement. We observed a group of 10th graders participating in a one-day educational intervention on climate change implemented in a botanical…

  6. DOSIMETRY MODELING OF INHALED FORMALDEHYDE: BINNING NASAL FLUX PREDICTIONS FOR QUANTITATIVE RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Dosimetry Modeling of Inhaled Formaldehyde: Binning Nasal Flux Predictions for Quantitative Risk Assessment. Kimbell, J.S., Overton, J.H., Subramaniam, R.P., Schlosser, P.M., Morgan, K.T., Conolly, R.B., and Miller, F.J. (2001). Toxicol. Sci. 000, 000:000.

    Interspecies e...

  7. A quantitative microbial risk assessment for center pivot irrigation of dairy wastewaters

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the western United States where livestock wastewaters are commonly land applied, there are concerns over individuals being exposed to airborne pathogens. In response, a quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) was performed to estimate infectious risks from inhaling pathogens aerosolized dur...

  8. Penumbra Pattern Assessment in Acute Stroke Patients: Comparison of Quantitative and Non-Quantitative Methods in Whole Brain CT Perfusion

    PubMed Central

    Baumann, Alena B.; Meinel, Felix G.; Helck, Andreas D.; Opherk, Christian; Straube, Andreas; Reiser, Maximilian F.; Sommer, Wieland H.

    2014-01-01

    Background And Purpose While penumbra assessment has become an important part of the clinical decision making for acute stroke patients, there is a lack of studies measuring the reliability and reproducibility of defined assessment techniques in the clinical setting. Our aim was to determine reliability and reproducibility of different types of three-dimensional penumbra assessment methods in stroke patients who underwent whole brain CT perfusion imaging (WB-CTP). Materials And Methods We included 29 patients with a confirmed MCA infarction who underwent initial WB-CTP with a scan coverage of 100 mm in the z-axis. Two blinded and experienced readers assessed the flow-volume-mismatch twice and in two quantitative ways: Performing a volumetric mismatch analysis using OsiriX imaging software (MMVOL) and visual estimation of mismatch (MMEST). Complementarily, the semiquantitative Alberta Stroke Programme Early CT Score for CT perfusion was used to define mismatch (MMASPECTS). A favorable penumbral pattern was defined by a mismatch of ≥30% in combination with a cerebral blood flow deficit of ≤90 ml and an MMASPECTS score of ≥1, respectively. Inter- and intrareader agreement was determined by Kappa-values and ICCs. Results Overall, MMVOL showed considerably higher inter-/intrareader agreement (ICCs: 0.751/0.843) compared to MMEST (0.292/0.749). In the subgroup of large (≥50 mL) perfusion deficits, inter- and intrareader agreement of MMVOL was excellent (ICCs: 0.961/0.942), while MMEST interreader agreement was poor (0.415) and intrareader agreement was good (0.919). With respect to penumbra classification, MMVOL showed the highest agreement (interreader agreement: 25 agreements/4 non-agreements/κ: 0.595; intrareader agreement 27/2/0.833), followed by MMEST (22/7/0.471; 23/6/0.577), and MMASPECTS (18/11/0.133; 21/8/0.340). Conclusion The evaluated approach of volumetric mismatch assessment is superior to pure visual and ASPECTS penumbra pattern assessment in WB

  9. Development and Assessment of Modules to Integrate Quantitative Skills in Introductory Biology Courses

    PubMed Central

    Hoffman, Kathleen; Leupen, Sarah; Dowell, Kathy; Kephart, Kerrie; Leips, Jeff

    2016-01-01

    Redesigning undergraduate biology courses to integrate quantitative reasoning and skill development is critical to prepare students for careers in modern medicine and scientific research. In this paper, we report on the development, implementation, and assessment of stand-alone modules that integrate quantitative reasoning into introductory biology courses. Modules are designed to improve skills in quantitative numeracy, interpreting data sets using visual tools, and making inferences about biological phenomena using mathematical/statistical models. We also examine demographic/background data that predict student improvement in these skills through exposure to these modules. We carried out pre/postassessment tests across four semesters and used student interviews in one semester to examine how students at different levels approached quantitative problems. We found that students improved in all skills in most semesters, although there was variation in the degree of improvement among skills from semester to semester. One demographic variable, transfer status, stood out as a major predictor of the degree to which students improved (transfer students achieved much lower gains every semester, despite the fact that pretest scores in each focus area were similar between transfer and nontransfer students). We propose that increased exposure to quantitative skill development in biology courses is effective at building competency in quantitative reasoning. PMID:27146161

  10. Development and Assessment of Modules to Integrate Quantitative Skills in Introductory Biology Courses.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, Kathleen; Leupen, Sarah; Dowell, Kathy; Kephart, Kerrie; Leips, Jeff

    2016-01-01

    Redesigning undergraduate biology courses to integrate quantitative reasoning and skill development is critical to prepare students for careers in modern medicine and scientific research. In this paper, we report on the development, implementation, and assessment of stand-alone modules that integrate quantitative reasoning into introductory biology courses. Modules are designed to improve skills in quantitative numeracy, interpreting data sets using visual tools, and making inferences about biological phenomena using mathematical/statistical models. We also examine demographic/background data that predict student improvement in these skills through exposure to these modules. We carried out pre/postassessment tests across four semesters and used student interviews in one semester to examine how students at different levels approached quantitative problems. We found that students improved in all skills in most semesters, although there was variation in the degree of improvement among skills from semester to semester. One demographic variable, transfer status, stood out as a major predictor of the degree to which students improved (transfer students achieved much lower gains every semester, despite the fact that pretest scores in each focus area were similar between transfer and nontransfer students). We propose that increased exposure to quantitative skill development in biology courses is effective at building competency in quantitative reasoning. PMID:27146161

  11. Photon-tissue interaction model for quantitative assessment of biological tissues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Seung Yup; Lloyd, William R.; Wilson, Robert H.; Chandra, Malavika; McKenna, Barbara; Simeone, Diane; Scheiman, James; Mycek, Mary-Ann

    2014-02-01

    In this study, we describe a direct fit photon-tissue interaction model to quantitatively analyze reflectance spectra of biological tissue samples. The model rapidly extracts biologically-relevant parameters associated with tissue optical scattering and absorption. This model was employed to analyze reflectance spectra acquired from freshly excised human pancreatic pre-cancerous tissues (intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasm (IPMN), a common precursor lesion to pancreatic cancer). Compared to previously reported models, the direct fit model improved fit accuracy and speed. Thus, these results suggest that such models could serve as real-time, quantitative tools to characterize biological tissues assessed with reflectance spectroscopy.

  12. Food Consumption and Handling Survey for Quantitative Microbiological Consumer Phase Risk Assessments.

    PubMed

    Chardon, Jurgen; Swart, Arno

    2016-07-01

    In the consumer phase of a typical quantitative microbiological risk assessment (QMRA), mathematical equations identify data gaps. To acquire useful data we designed a food consumption and food handling survey (2,226 respondents) for QMRA applications that is especially aimed at obtaining quantitative data. For a broad spectrum of food products, the survey covered the following topics: processing status at retail, consumer storage, preparation, and consumption. Questions were designed to facilitate distribution fitting. In the statistical analysis, special attention was given to the selection of the most adequate distribution to describe the data. Bootstrap procedures were used to describe uncertainty. The final result was a coherent quantitative consumer phase food survey and parameter estimates for food handling and consumption practices in The Netherlands, including variation over individuals and uncertainty estimates. PMID:27357043

  13. Repeatability Assessment by ISO 11843-7 in Quantitative HPLC for Herbal Medicines.

    PubMed

    Chen, Liangmian; Kotani, Akira; Hakamata, Hideki; Tsutsumi, Risa; Hayashi, Yuzuru; Wang, Zhimin; Kusu, Fumiyo

    2015-01-01

    We have proposed an assessment methods to estimate the measurement relative standard deviation (RSD) of chromatographic peaks in quantitative HPLC for herbal medicines by the methodology of ISO 11843 Part 7 (ISO 11843-7:2012), which provides detection limits stochastically. In quantitative HPLC with UV detection (HPLC-UV) of Scutellaria Radix for the determination of baicalin, the measurement RSD of baicalin by ISO 11843-7:2012 stochastically was within a 95% confidence interval of the statistically obtained RSD by repetitive measurements (n = 6). Thus, our findings show that it is applicable for estimating of the repeatability of HPLC-UV for determining baicalin without repeated measurements. In addition, the allowable limit of the "System repeatability" in "Liquid Chromatography" regulated in a pharmacopoeia can be obtained by the present assessment method. Moreover, the present assessment method was also successfully applied to estimate the measurement RSDs of quantitative three-channel liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection (LC-3ECD) of Chrysanthemi Flos for determining caffeoylquinic acids and flavonoids. By the present repeatability assessment method, reliable measurement RSD was obtained stochastically, and the experimental time was remarkably reduced. PMID:26353956

  14. Rapid quantitative assessment of visible injury to vegetation and visual amenity effects of fluoride air pollution.

    PubMed

    Doley, D

    2010-01-01

    Quantitative measures of visible injury are proposed for the protection of the aesthetic acceptability and health of ecosystems. Visible indications of air pollutant injury symptoms can be assessed rapidly and economically over large areas of mixed species such as native ecosystems. Reliable indication requires close attention to the criteria for assessment, species selection, and the influence of other environmental conditions on plant response to a pollutant. The estimation of fluoride-induced visible injury in dicotyledonous species may require techniques that are more varied than the measurement of necrosis in linear-leaved monocotyledons and conifers. A scheme is described for quantitative estimates of necrosis, chlorosis and deformation of leaves using an approximately geometric series of injury categories that permits rapid and sufficiently consistent determination and recognises degrees of aesthetic offence associated with foliar injury to plants. PMID:19067198

  15. Quantitative assessment of radiation force effect at the dielectric air-liquid interface

    PubMed Central

    Capeloto, Otávio Augusto; Zanuto, Vitor Santaella; Malacarne, Luis Carlos; Baesso, Mauro Luciano; Lukasievicz, Gustavo Vinicius Bassi; Bialkowski, Stephen Edward; Astrath, Nelson Guilherme Castelli

    2016-01-01

    We induce nanometer-scale surface deformation by exploiting momentum conservation of the interaction between laser light and dielectric liquids. The effect of radiation force at the air-liquid interface is quantitatively assessed for fluids with different density, viscosity and surface tension. The imparted pressure on the liquids by continuous or pulsed laser light excitation is fully described by the Helmholtz electromagnetic force density. PMID:26856622

  16. The Quantitative Reasoning for College Science (QuaRCS) Assessment in non-Astro 101 Courses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirkman, Thomas W.; Jensen, Ellen

    2016-06-01

    The innumeracy of American students and adults is a much lamented educational problem. The quantitative reasoning skills of college students may be particularly addressed and improved in "general education" science courses like Astro 101. Demonstrating improvement requires a standardized instrument. Among the non-proprietary instruments the Quantitative Literacy and Reasoning Assessment[1] (QRLA) and the Quantitative Reasoning for College Science (QuaRCS) Assessment[2] stand out.Follette et al. developed the QuaRCS in the context of Astro 101 at University of Arizona. We report on QuaRCS results in different contexts: pre-med physics and pre-nursing microbiology at a liberal arts college. We report on the mismatch between students' contemporaneous report of a question's difficulty and the actual probability of success. We report correlations between QuaRCS and other assessments of overall student performance in the class. We report differences in attitude towards mathematics in these two different but health-related student populations .[1] QLRA, Gaze et al., 2014, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/1936-4660.7.2.4[2] QuaRCS, Follette, et al., 2015, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5038/1936-4660.8.2.2

  17. Xanthogranulomatous cholecystitis mimicking gallbladder cancer.

    PubMed

    Ewelukwa, Ofor; Ali, Omair; Akram, Salma

    2014-01-01

    Xanthogranulomatous cholecystitis (XGC) is a benign, uncommon variant of chronic cholecystitis characterised by focal or diffuse destructive inflammatory process of the gallbladder (GB). Macroscopically, it appears like yellowish tumour-like masses in the wall of the GB. This article reports on a 74-year-old woman with XGC mimicking GB cancer. PMID:24811556

  18. Xanthogranulomatous cholecystitis mimicking gallbladder cancer

    PubMed Central

    Ewelukwa, Ofor; Ali, Omair; Akram, Salma

    2014-01-01

    Xanthogranulomatous cholecystitis (XGC) is a benign, uncommon variant of chronic cholecystitis characterised by focal or diffuse destructive inflammatory process of the gallbladder (GB). Macroscopically, it appears like yellowish tumour-like masses in the wall of the GB. This article reports on a 74-year-old woman with XGC mimicking GB cancer. PMID:24811556

  19. Atypical Cogan's syndrome mimicking encephalitis.

    PubMed

    Lepur, Dragan; Vranjican, Zoran; Himbele, Josip; Barsić, Bruno; Klinar, Igor

    2004-01-01

    Cogan's syndrome is a rare autoimmune multisystem disease. The main clinical features of typical Cogan's syndrome are vestibuloauditory dysfunction and interstitial keratitis. The authors present a case of atypical Cogan's syndrome with headache, fever, deafness, trigeminal neuralgia and electroencephalographic abnormality which mimicked viral encephalitis. PMID:15307593

  20. Kawasaki Disease Mimicking Retropharyngeal Abscess

    PubMed Central

    Srividhya, Vazhkudai Sridharan; Vasanthi, Thiruvengadam; Shivbalan, Somu

    2010-01-01

    Kawasaki disease is an acute, self-limiting febrile mucocutaneous vasculitis of infants and young children. Retropharyngeal lymphadenopathy is a rare presentation of Kawasaki disease. We present a case of Kawasaki disease mimicking a retropharyngeal abscess, with upper airway obstruction resulting in delayed diagnosis. PMID:20635457

  1. Sugar concentration in nectar: a quantitative metric of crop attractiveness for refined pollinator risk assessments.

    PubMed

    Knopper, Loren D; Dan, Tereza; Reisig, Dominic D; Johnson, Josephine D; Bowers, Lisa M

    2016-10-01

    Those involved with pollinator risk assessment know that agricultural crops vary in attractiveness to bees. Intuitively, this means that exposure to agricultural pesticides is likely greatest for attractive plants and lowest for unattractive plants. While crop attractiveness in the risk assessment process has been qualitatively remarked on by some authorities, absent is direction on how to refine the process with quantitative metrics of attractiveness. At a high level, attractiveness of crops to bees appears to depend on several key variables, including but not limited to: floral, olfactory, visual and tactile cues; seasonal availability; physical and behavioral characteristics of the bee; plant and nectar rewards. Notwithstanding the complexities and interactions among these variables, sugar content in nectar stands out as a suitable quantitative metric by which to refine pollinator risk assessments for attractiveness. Provided herein is a proposed way to use sugar nectar concentration to adjust the exposure parameter (with what is called a crop attractiveness factor) in the calculation of risk quotients in order to derive crop-specific tier I assessments. This Perspective is meant to invite discussion on incorporating such changes in the risk assessment process. © 2016 The Authors. Pest Management Science published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry. PMID:27197566

  2. A framework for quantitative assessment of impacts related to energy and mineral resource development

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Haines, Seth S.; Diffendorfer, James; Balistrieri, Laurie S.; Berger, Byron R.; Cook, Troy A.; Gautier, Donald L.; Gallegos, Tanya J.; Gerritsen, Margot; Graffy, Elisabeth; Hawkins, Sarah; Johnson, Kathleen; Macknick, Jordan; McMahon, Peter; Modde, Tim; Pierce, Brenda; Schuenemeyer, John H.; Semmens, Darius; Simon, Benjamin; Taylor, Jason; Walton-Day, Katie

    2013-01-01

    Natural resource planning at all scales demands methods for assessing the impacts of resource development and use, and in particular it requires standardized methods that yield robust and unbiased results. Building from existing probabilistic methods for assessing the volumes of energy and mineral resources, we provide an algorithm for consistent, reproducible, quantitative assessment of resource development impacts. The approach combines probabilistic input data with Monte Carlo statistical methods to determine probabilistic outputs that convey the uncertainties inherent in the data. For example, one can utilize our algorithm to combine data from a natural gas resource assessment with maps of sage grouse leks and piñon-juniper woodlands in the same area to estimate possible future habitat impacts due to possible future gas development. As another example: one could combine geochemical data and maps of lynx habitat with data from a mineral deposit assessment in the same area to determine possible future mining impacts on water resources and lynx habitat. The approach can be applied to a broad range of positive and negative resource development impacts, such as water quantity or quality, economic benefits, or air quality, limited only by the availability of necessary input data and quantified relationships among geologic resources, development alternatives, and impacts. The framework enables quantitative evaluation of the trade-offs inherent in resource management decision-making, including cumulative impacts, to address societal concerns and policy aspects of resource development.

  3. A methodology for the quantitative risk assessment of major accidents triggered by seismic events.

    PubMed

    Antonioni, Giacomo; Spadoni, Gigliola; Cozzani, Valerio

    2007-08-17

    A procedure for the quantitative risk assessment of accidents triggered by seismic events in industrial facilities was developed. The starting point of the procedure was the use of available historical data to assess the expected frequencies and the severity of seismic events. Available equipment-dependant failure probability models (vulnerability or fragility curves) were used to assess the damage probability of equipment items due to a seismic event. An analytic procedure was subsequently developed to identify, evaluate the credibility and finally assess the expected consequences of all the possible scenarios that may follow the seismic events. The procedure was implemented in a GIS-based software tool in order to manage the high number of event sequences that are likely to be generated in large industrial facilities. The developed methodology requires a limited amount of additional data with respect to those used in a conventional QRA, and yields with a limited effort a preliminary quantitative assessment of the contribution of the scenarios triggered by earthquakes to the individual and societal risk indexes. The application of the methodology to several case-studies evidenced that the scenarios initiated by seismic events may have a relevant influence on industrial risk, both raising the overall expected frequency of single scenarios and causing specific severe scenarios simultaneously involving several plant units. PMID:17276591

  4. Quantitative Assessment of Parkinsonian Tremor Based on an Inertial Measurement Unit

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Houde; Zhang, Pengyue; Lueth, Tim C.

    2015-01-01

    Quantitative assessment of parkinsonian tremor based on inertial sensors can provide reliable feedback on the effect of medication. In this regard, the features of parkinsonian tremor and its unique properties such as motor fluctuations and dyskinesia are taken into account. Least-square-estimation models are used to assess the severities of rest, postural, and action tremors. In addition, a time-frequency signal analysis algorithm for tremor state detection was also included in the tremor assessment method. This inertial sensor-based method was verified through comparison with an electromagnetic motion tracking system. Seven Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients were tested using this tremor assessment system. The measured tremor amplitudes correlated well with the judgments of a neurologist (r = 0.98). The systematic analysis of sensor-based tremor quantification and the corresponding experiments could be of great help in monitoring the severity of parkinsonian tremor. PMID:26426020

  5. Quantitative Assessment of Parkinsonian Tremor Based on an Inertial Measurement Unit.

    PubMed

    Dai, Houde; Zhang, Pengyue; Lueth, Tim C

    2015-01-01

    Quantitative assessment of parkinsonian tremor based on inertial sensors can provide reliable feedback on the effect of medication. In this regard, the features of parkinsonian tremor and its unique properties such as motor fluctuations and dyskinesia are taken into account. Least-square-estimation models are used to assess the severities of rest, postural, and action tremors. In addition, a time-frequency signal analysis algorithm for tremor state detection was also included in the tremor assessment method. This inertial sensor-based method was verified through comparison with an electromagnetic motion tracking system. Seven Parkinson's disease (PD) patients were tested using this tremor assessment system. The measured tremor amplitudes correlated well with the judgments of a neurologist (r = 0.98). The systematic analysis of sensor-based tremor quantification and the corresponding experiments could be of great help in monitoring the severity of parkinsonian tremor. PMID:26426020

  6. Teratodermoid mimicking cholecystitis.

    PubMed

    Iftikhar, Hina; Idu, Shareen; Omer, Abdel

    2016-05-01

    An acute abdomen assessment in pregnancy is complicated. Pain can have obstetric and nonobstetric causes. Cholecystitis is a common cause of pain in pregnancy with significant morbidity if not managed promptly. We report a case of a ruptured, torted, right ovarian teratodermoid erroneously diagnosed as cholecystitis in pregnancy. PMID:27190615

  7. Quantitative assessment of microvasculopathy in arcAβ mice with USPIO-enhanced gradient echo MRI

    PubMed Central

    Deistung, Andreas; Ielacqua, Giovanna D; Seuwen, Aline; Kindler, Diana; Schweser, Ferdinand; Vaas, Markus; Kipar, Anja; Reichenbach, Jürgen R; Rudin, Markus

    2015-01-01

    Magnetic resonance imaging employing administration of iron oxide-based contrast agents is widely used to visualize cellular and molecular processes in vivo. In this study, we investigated the ability of R2* and quantitative susceptibility mapping to quantitatively assess the accumulation of ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide (USPIO) particles in the arcAβ mouse model of cerebral amyloidosis. Gradient-echo data of mouse brains were acquired at 9.4 T after injection of USPIO. Focal areas with increased magnetic susceptibility and R2* values were discernible across several brain regions in 12-month-old arcAβ compared to 6-month-old arcAβ mice and to non-transgenic littermates, indicating accumulation of particles after USPIO injection. This was concomitant with higher R2* and increased magnetic susceptibility differences relative to cerebrospinal fluid measured in USPIO-injected compared to non-USPIO-injected 12-month-old arcAβ mice. No differences in R2* and magnetic susceptibility were detected in USPIO-injected compared to non-injected 12-month-old non-transgenic littermates. Histological analysis confirmed focal uptake of USPIO particles in perivascular macrophages adjacent to small caliber cerebral vessels with radii of 2–8 µm that showed no cerebral amyloid angiopathy. USPIO-enhanced R2* and quantitative susceptibility mapping constitute quantitative tools to monitor such functional microvasculopathies. PMID:26661253

  8. Quantitative assessment of microvasculopathy in arcAβ mice with USPIO-enhanced gradient echo MRI.

    PubMed

    Klohs, Jan; Deistung, Andreas; Ielacqua, Giovanna D; Seuwen, Aline; Kindler, Diana; Schweser, Ferdinand; Vaas, Markus; Kipar, Anja; Reichenbach, Jürgen R; Rudin, Markus

    2016-09-01

    Magnetic resonance imaging employing administration of iron oxide-based contrast agents is widely used to visualize cellular and molecular processes in vivo. In this study, we investigated the ability of [Formula: see text] and quantitative susceptibility mapping to quantitatively assess the accumulation of ultrasmall superparamagnetic iron oxide (USPIO) particles in the arcAβ mouse model of cerebral amyloidosis. Gradient-echo data of mouse brains were acquired at 9.4 T after injection of USPIO. Focal areas with increased magnetic susceptibility and [Formula: see text] values were discernible across several brain regions in 12-month-old arcAβ compared to 6-month-old arcAβ mice and to non-transgenic littermates, indicating accumulation of particles after USPIO injection. This was concomitant with higher [Formula: see text] and increased magnetic susceptibility differences relative to cerebrospinal fluid measured in USPIO-injected compared to non-USPIO-injected 12-month-old arcAβ mice. No differences in [Formula: see text] and magnetic susceptibility were detected in USPIO-injected compared to non-injected 12-month-old non-transgenic littermates. Histological analysis confirmed focal uptake of USPIO particles in perivascular macrophages adjacent to small caliber cerebral vessels with radii of 2-8 µm that showed no cerebral amyloid angiopathy. USPIO-enhanced [Formula: see text] and quantitative susceptibility mapping constitute quantitative tools to monitor such functional microvasculopathies. PMID:26661253

  9. Combining quantitative and qualitative measures of uncertainty in model-based environmental assessment: the NUSAP system.

    PubMed

    van der Sluijs, Jeroen P; Craye, Matthieu; Funtowicz, Silvio; Kloprogge, Penny; Ravetz, Jerry; Risbey, James

    2005-04-01

    This article discusses recent experiences with the Numeral Unit Spread Assessment Pedigree (NUSAP) system for multidimensional uncertainty assessment, based on four case studies that vary in complexity. We show that the NUSAP method is applicable not only to relatively simple calculation schemes but also to complex models in a meaningful way and that NUSAP is useful to assess not only parameter uncertainty but also (model) assumptions. A diagnostic diagram can be used to synthesize results of quantitative analysis of parameter sensitivity and qualitative review (pedigree analysis) of parameter strength. It provides an analytic tool to prioritize uncertainties according to quantitative and qualitative insights in the limitations of available knowledge. We show that extension of the pedigree scheme to include societal dimensions of uncertainty, such as problem framing and value-laden assumptions, further promotes reflexivity and collective learning. When used in a deliberative setting, NUSAP pedigree assessment has the potential to foster a deeper social debate and a negotiated management of complex environmental problems. PMID:15876219

  10. Fibrosis assessment: impact on current management of chronic liver disease and application of quantitative invasive tools.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yan; Hou, Jin-Lin

    2016-05-01

    Fibrosis, a common pathogenic pathway of chronic liver disease (CLD), has long been indicated to be significantly and most importantly associated with severe prognosis. Nowadays, with remarkable advances in understanding and/or treatment of major CLDs such as hepatitis C, B, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, there is an unprecedented requirement for the diagnosis and assessment of liver fibrosis or cirrhosis in various clinical settings. Among the available approaches, liver biopsy remains the one which possibly provides the most direct and reliable information regarding fibrosis patterns and changes in the parenchyma at different clinical stages and with different etiologies. Thus, many endeavors have been undertaken for developing methodologies based on the strategy of quantitation for the invasive assessment. Here, we analyze the impact of fibrosis assessment on the CLD patient care based on the data of recent clinical studies. We discuss and update the current invasive tools regarding their technological features and potentials for the particular clinical applications. Furthermore, we propose the potential resolutions with application of quantitative invasive tools for some major issues in fibrosis assessment, which appear to be obstacles against the nowadays rapid progress in CLD medicine. PMID:26742762

  11. A Compressed Sensing-Based Wearable Sensor Network for Quantitative Assessment of Stroke Patients.

    PubMed

    Yu, Lei; Xiong, Daxi; Guo, Liquan; Wang, Jiping

    2016-01-01

    Clinical rehabilitation assessment is an important part of the therapy process because it is the premise for prescribing suitable rehabilitation interventions. However, the commonly used assessment scales have the following two drawbacks: (1) they are susceptible to subjective factors; (2) they only have several rating levels and are influenced by a ceiling effect, making it impossible to exactly detect any further improvement in the movement. Meanwhile, energy constraints are a primary design consideration in wearable sensor network systems since they are often battery-operated. Traditionally, for wearable sensor network systems that follow the Shannon/Nyquist sampling theorem, there are many data that need to be sampled and transmitted. This paper proposes a novel wearable sensor network system to monitor and quantitatively assess the upper limb motion function, based on compressed sensing technology. With the sparse representation model, less data is transmitted to the computer than with traditional systems. The experimental results show that the accelerometer signals of Bobath handshake and shoulder touch exercises can be compressed, and the length of the compressed signal is less than 1/3 of the raw signal length. More importantly, the reconstruction errors have no influence on the predictive accuracy of the Brunnstrom stage classification model. It also indicated that the proposed system can not only reduce the amount of data during the sampling and transmission processes, but also, the reconstructed accelerometer signals can be used for quantitative assessment without any loss of useful information. PMID:26861337

  12. A Compressed Sensing-Based Wearable Sensor Network for Quantitative Assessment of Stroke Patients

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Lei; Xiong, Daxi; Guo, Liquan; Wang, Jiping

    2016-01-01

    Clinical rehabilitation assessment is an important part of the therapy process because it is the premise for prescribing suitable rehabilitation interventions. However, the commonly used assessment scales have the following two drawbacks: (1) they are susceptible to subjective factors; (2) they only have several rating levels and are influenced by a ceiling effect, making it impossible to exactly detect any further improvement in the movement. Meanwhile, energy constraints are a primary design consideration in wearable sensor network systems since they are often battery-operated. Traditionally, for wearable sensor network systems that follow the Shannon/Nyquist sampling theorem, there are many data that need to be sampled and transmitted. This paper proposes a novel wearable sensor network system to monitor and quantitatively assess the upper limb motion function, based on compressed sensing technology. With the sparse representation model, less data is transmitted to the computer than with traditional systems. The experimental results show that the accelerometer signals of Bobath handshake and shoulder touch exercises can be compressed, and the length of the compressed signal is less than 1/3 of the raw signal length. More importantly, the reconstruction errors have no influence on the predictive accuracy of the Brunnstrom stage classification model. It also indicated that the proposed system can not only reduce the amount of data during the sampling and transmission processes, but also, the reconstructed accelerometer signals can be used for quantitative assessment without any loss of useful information. PMID:26861337

  13. A quantitative assessment of alkaptonuria: testing the reliability of two disease severity scoring systems.

    PubMed

    Cox, Trevor F; Ranganath, Lakshminarayan

    2011-12-01

    Alkaptonuria (AKU) is due to excessive homogentisic acid accumulation in body fluids due to lack of enzyme homogentisate dioxygenase leading in turn to varied clinical manifestations mainly by a process of conversion of HGA to a polymeric melanin-like pigment known as ochronosis. A potential treatment, a drug called nitisinone, to decrease formation of HGA is available. However, successful demonstration of its efficacy in modifying the natural history of AKU requires an effective quantitative assessment tool. We have described two potential tools that could be used to quantitate disease burden in AKU. One tool describes scoring the clinical features that includes clinical assessments, investigations and questionnaires in 15 patients with AKU. The second tool describes a scoring system that only includes items obtained from questionnaires used in 44 people with AKU. Statistical analyses were carried out on the two patient datasets to assess the AKU tools; these included the calculation of Chronbach's alpha, multidimensional scaling and simple linear regression analysis. The conclusion was that there was good evidence that the tools could be adopted as AKU assessment tools, but perhaps with further refinement before being used in the practical setting of a clinical trial. PMID:21744089

  14. Quantitative MRI assessments of white matter in children treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reddick, Wilburn E.; Glass, John O.; Helton, Kathleen J.; Li, Chin-Shang; Pui, Ching-Hon

    2005-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to use objective quantitative MR imaging methods to prospectively assess changes in the physiological structure of white matter during the temporal evolution of leukoencephalopathy (LE) in children treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The longitudinal incidence, extent (proportion of white matter affect), and intensity (elevation of T1 and T2 relaxation rates) of LE was evaluated for 44 children. A combined imaging set consisting of T1, T2, PD, and FLAIR MR images and white matter, gray matter and CSF a priori maps from a spatially normalized atlas were analyzed with a neural network segmentation based on a Kohonen Self-Organizing Map (SOM). Quantitative T1 and T2 relaxation maps were generated using a nonlinear parametric optimization procedure to fit the corresponding multi-exponential models. A Cox proportional regression was performed to estimate the effect of intravenous methotrexate (IV-MTX) exposure on the development of LE followed by a generalized linear model to predict the probability of LE in new patients. Additional T-tests of independent samples were performed to assess differences in quantitative measures of extent and intensity at four different points in therapy. Higher doses and more courses of IV-MTX placed patients at a higher risk of developing LE and were associated with more intense changes affecting more of the white matter volume; many of the changes resolved after completion of therapy. The impact of these changes on neurocognitive functioning and quality of life in survivors remains to be determined.

  15. Automated Tracking of Quantitative Assessments of Tumor Burden in Clinical Trials1

    PubMed Central

    Rubin, Daniel L; Willrett, Debra; O'Connor, Martin J; Hage, Cleber; Kurtz, Camille; Moreira, Dilvan A

    2014-01-01

    There are two key challenges hindering effective use of quantitative assessment of imaging in cancer response assessment: 1) Radiologists usually describe the cancer lesions in imaging studies subjectively and sometimes ambiguously, and 2) it is difficult to repurpose imaging data, because lesion measurements are not recorded in a format that permits machine interpretation and interoperability. We have developed a freely available software platform on the basis of open standards, the electronic Physician Annotation Device (ePAD), to tackle these challenges in two ways. First, ePAD facilitates the radiologist in carrying out cancer lesion measurements as part of routine clinical trial image interpretation workflow. Second, ePAD records all image measurements and annotations in a data format that permits repurposing image data for analyses of alternative imaging biomarkers of treatment response. To determine the impact of ePAD on radiologist efficiency in quantitative assessment of imaging studies, a radiologist evaluated computed tomography (CT) imaging studies from 20 subjects having one baseline and three consecutive follow-up imaging studies with and without ePAD. The radiologist made measurements of target lesions in each imaging study using Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors 1.1 criteria, initially with the aid of ePAD, and then after a 30-day washout period, the exams were reread without ePAD. The mean total time required to review the images and summarize measurements of target lesions was 15% (P < .039) shorter using ePAD than without using this tool. In addition, it was possible to rapidly reanalyze the images to explore lesion cross-sectional area as an alternative imaging biomarker to linear measure. We conclude that ePAD appears promising to potentially improve reader efficiency for quantitative assessment of CT examinations, and it may enable discovery of future novel image-based biomarkers of cancer treatment response. PMID:24772204

  16. Multiple-Strain Approach and Probabilistic Modeling of Consumer Habits in Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment: A Quantitative Assessment of Exposure to Staphylococcal Enterotoxin A in Raw Milk.

    PubMed

    Crotta, Matteo; Rizzi, Rita; Varisco, Giorgio; Daminelli, Paolo; Cunico, Elena Cosciani; Luini, Mario; Graber, Hans Ulrich; Paterlini, Franco; Guitian, Javier

    2016-03-01

    Quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) models are extensively applied to inform management of a broad range of food safety risks. Inevitably, QMRA modeling involves an element of simplification of the biological process of interest. Two features that are frequently simplified or disregarded are the pathogenicity of multiple strains of a single pathogen and consumer behavior at the household level. In this study, we developed a QMRA model with a multiple-strain approach and a consumer phase module (CPM) based on uncertainty distributions fitted from field data. We modeled exposure to staphylococcal enterotoxin A in raw milk in Lombardy; a specific enterotoxin production module was thus included. The model is adaptable and could be used to assess the risk related to other pathogens in raw milk as well as other staphylococcal enterotoxins. The multiplestrain approach, implemented as a multinomial process, allowed the inclusion of variability and uncertainty with regard to pathogenicity at the bacterial level. Data from 301 questionnaires submitted to raw milk consumers were used to obtain uncertainty distributions for the CPM. The distributions were modeled to be easily updatable with further data or evidence. The sources of uncertainty due to the multiple-strain approach and the CPM were identified, and their impact on the output was assessed by comparing specific scenarios to the baseline. When the distributions reflecting the uncertainty in consumer behavior were fixed to the 95th percentile, the risk of exposure increased up to 160 times. This reflects the importance of taking into consideration the diversity of consumers' habits at the household level and the impact that the lack of knowledge about variables in the CPM can have on the final QMRA estimates. The multiple-strain approach lends itself to use in other food matrices besides raw milk and allows the model to better capture the complexity of the real world and to be capable of geographical

  17. Experimental assessment of bone mineral density using quantitative computed tomography in holstein dairy cows.

    PubMed

    Maetani, Ayami; Itoh, Megumi; Nishihara, Kahori; Aoki, Takahiro; Ohtani, Masayuki; Shibano, Kenichi; Kayano, Mitsunori; Yamada, Kazutaka

    2016-08-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the measurement of bone mineral density (BMD) by quantitative computed tomography (QCT), comparing the relationships of BMD between QCT and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and between QCT and radiographic absorptiometry (RA) in the metacarpal bone of Holstein dairy cows (n=27). A significant positive correlation was found between QCT and DXA measurements (r=0.70, P<0.01), and a significant correlation was found between QCT and RA measurements (r=0.50, P<0.01). We conclude that QCT provides quantitative evaluation of BMD in dairy cows, because BMD measured by QCT showed positive correlations with BMD measured by the two conventional methods: DXA and RA. PMID:27075115

  18. A quantitative collagen fibers orientation assessment using birefringence measurements: calibration and application to human osteons.

    PubMed

    Spiesz, Ewa M; Kaminsky, Werner; Zysset, Philippe K

    2011-12-01

    Even though mechanical properties depend strongly on the arrangement of collagen fibers in mineralized tissues, it is not yet well resolved. Only a few semi-quantitative evaluations of the fiber arrangement in bone, like spectroscopic techniques or circularly polarized light microscopy methods are available. In this study the out-of-plane collagen arrangement angle was calibrated to the linear birefringence of a longitudinally fibered mineralized turkey leg tendon cut at variety of angles to the main axis. The calibration curve was applied to human cortical bone osteons to quantify the out-of-plane collagen fibers arrangement. The proposed calibration curve is normalized to sample thickness and wavelength of the probing light to enable a universally applicable quantitative assessment. This approach may improve our understanding of the fibrillar structure of bone and its implications on mechanical properties. PMID:21970947

  19. Experimental assessment of bone mineral density using quantitative computed tomography in holstein dairy cows

    PubMed Central

    MAETANI, Ayami; ITOH, Megumi; NISHIHARA, Kahori; AOKI, Takahiro; OHTANI, Masayuki; SHIBANO, Kenichi; KAYANO, Mitsunori; YAMADA, Kazutaka

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the measurement of bone mineral density (BMD) by quantitative computed tomography (QCT), comparing the relationships of BMD between QCT and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and between QCT and radiographic absorptiometry (RA) in the metacarpal bone of Holstein dairy cows (n=27). A significant positive correlation was found between QCT and DXA measurements (r=0.70, P<0.01), and a significant correlation was found between QCT and RA measurements (r=0.50, P<0.01). We conclude that QCT provides quantitative evaluation of BMD in dairy cows, because BMD measured by QCT showed positive correlations with BMD measured by the two conventional methods: DXA and RA. PMID:27075115

  20. Quantitative Assessment of Protein Interaction with Methyl-Lysine Analogues by Hybrid Computational and Experimental Approaches

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    In cases where binding ligands of proteins are not easily available, structural analogues are often used. For example, in the analysis of proteins recognizing different methyl-lysine residues in histones, methyl-lysine analogues based on methyl-amino-alkylated cysteine residues have been introduced. Whether these are close enough to justify quantitative interpretation of binding experiments is however questionable. To systematically address this issue, we developed, applied, and assessed a hybrid computational/experimental approach that extracts the binding free energy difference between the native ligand (methyl-lysine) and the analogue (methyl-amino-alkylated cysteine) from a thermodynamic cycle. Our results indicate that measured and calculated binding differences are in very good agreement and therefore allow the correction of measured affinities of the analogues. We suggest that quantitative binding parameters for defined ligands in general can be derived by this method with remarkable accuracy. PMID:21991995

  1. Valuation of ecotoxicological impacts from tributyltin based on a quantitative environmental assessment framework.

    PubMed

    Noring, Maria; Håkansson, Cecilia; Dahlgren, Elin

    2016-02-01

    In the scientific literature, few valuations of biodiversity and ecosystem services following the impacts of toxicity are available, hampered by the lack of ecotoxicological documentation. Here, tributyltin is used to conduct a contingent valuation study as well as cost-benefit analysis (CBA) of measures for improving the environmental status in Swedish coastal waters of the Baltic Sea. Benefits considering different dimensions when assessing environmental status are highlighted and a quantitative environmental assessment framework based on available technology, ecological conditions, and economic valuation methodology is developed. Two scenarios are used in the valuation study: (a) achieving good environmental status by 2020 in accordance with EU legislation (USD 119 household(-1) year(-1)) and (b) achieving visible improvements by 2100 due to natural degradation (USD 108 household(-1) year(-1)) during 8 years. The later scenario was used to illustrate an application of the assessment framework. The CBA results indicate that both scenarios might generate a welfare improvement. PMID:26178630

  2. High-throughput and quantitative assessment of enhancer activity in mammals by CapStarr-seq.

    PubMed

    Vanhille, Laurent; Griffon, Aurélien; Maqbool, Muhammad Ahmad; Zacarias-Cabeza, Joaquin; Dao, Lan T M; Fernandez, Nicolas; Ballester, Benoit; Andrau, Jean Christophe; Spicuglia, Salvatore

    2015-01-01

    Cell-type specific regulation of gene expression requires the activation of promoters by distal genomic elements defined as enhancers. The identification and the characterization of enhancers are challenging in mammals due to their genome complexity. Here we develop CapStarr-Seq, a novel high-throughput strategy to quantitatively assess enhancer activity in mammals. This approach couples capture of regions of interest to previously developed Starr-seq technique. Extensive assessment of CapStarr-seq demonstrates accurate quantification of enhancer activity. Furthermore, we find that enhancer strength is associated with binding complexity of tissue-specific transcription factors and super-enhancers, while additive enhancer activity isolates key genes involved in cell identity and function. The CapStarr-Seq thus provides a fast and cost-effective approach to assess the activity of potential enhancers for a given cell type and will be helpful in decrypting transcription regulation mechanisms. PMID:25872643

  3. The edaphic quantitative protargol stain: a sampling protocol for assessing soil ciliate abundance and diversity.

    PubMed

    Acosta-Mercado, Dimaris; Lynn, Denis H

    2003-06-01

    It has been suggested that species loss from microbial groups low in diversity that occupy trophic positions close to the base of the detrital food web could be critical for terrestrial ecosystem functioning. Among the protozoans within the soil microbial loop, ciliates are presumably the least abundant and of low diversity. However, the lack of a standardized method to quantitatively enumerate and identify them has hampered our knowledge about the magnitude of their active and potential diversity, and about the interactions in which they are involved. Thus, the Edaphic Quantitative Protargol Staining (EQPS) method is provided to simultaneously account for ciliate species richness and abundance in a quantitative and qualitative way. This direct method allows this rapid and simultaneous assessment by merging the Non-flooded Petri Dish (NFPD) method [Prog. Protistol. 2 (1987) 69] and the Quantitative Protargol Stain (QPS) method [Montagnes, D.J.S., Lynn, D.H., 1993. A quantitative protargol stain (QPS) for ciliates and other protists. In: Kemp, P.F., Sherr, B.F., Sherr, E.B., Cole, J.J. (Eds.), Handbook of Methods in Aquatic Microbial Ecology. Lewis Publishers, Boca Raton, FL, pp. 229-240]. The abovementioned protocols were refined by experiments examining the spatial distribution of ciliates under natural field conditions, sampling intensity, the effect of storage, and the use of cytological preparations versus live observations. The EQPS could be useful in ecological studies since it provides both a "snapshot" of the active and effective diversity and a robust estimate of the potential diversity. PMID:12689714

  4. Qualitative and quantitative approaches in the dose-response assessment of genotoxic carcinogens.

    PubMed

    Fukushima, Shoji; Gi, Min; Kakehashi, Anna; Wanibuchi, Hideki; Matsumoto, Michiharu

    2016-05-01

    Qualitative and quantitative approaches are important issues in field of carcinogenic risk assessment of the genotoxic carcinogens. Herein, we provide quantitative data on low-dose hepatocarcinogenicity studies for three genotoxic hepatocarcinogens: 2-amino-3,8-dimethylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline (MeIQx), 2-amino-3-methylimidazo[4,5-f]quinoline (IQ) and N-nitrosodiethylamine (DEN). Hepatocarcinogenicity was examined by quantitative analysis of glutathione S-transferase placental form (GST-P) positive foci, which are the preneoplastic lesions in rat hepatocarcinogenesis and the endpoint carcinogenic marker in the rat liver medium-term carcinogenicity bioassay. We also examined DNA damage and gene mutations which occurred through the initiation stage of carcinogenesis. For the establishment of points of departure (PoD) from which the cancer-related risk can be estimated, we analyzed the above events by quantitative no-observed-effect level and benchmark dose approaches. MeIQx at low doses induced formation of DNA-MeIQx adducts; somewhat higher doses caused elevation of 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyquanosine levels; at still higher doses gene mutations occurred; and the highest dose induced formation of GST-P positive foci. These data indicate that early genotoxic events in the pathway to carcinogenesis showed the expected trend of lower PoDs for earlier events in the carcinogenic process. Similarly, only the highest dose of IQ caused an increase in the number of GST-P positive foci in the liver, while IQ-DNA adduct formation was observed with low doses. Moreover, treatment with DEN at low doses had no effect on development of GST-P positive foci in the liver. These data on PoDs for the markers contribute to understand whether genotoxic carcinogens have a threshold for their carcinogenicity. The most appropriate approach to use in low dose-response assessment must be approved on the basis of scientific judgment. PMID:26152227

  5. Validity of Quantitative Lymphoscintigraphy as a Lymphedema Assessment Tool for Patients With Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Yoo, Ji-Na; Cheong, Youn-Soo; Min, Yu-Sun; Lee, Sang-Woo; Park, Ho Yong

    2015-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the validity of quantitative lymphoscintigraphy as a useful lymphedema assessment tool for patients with breast cancer surgery including axillary lymph node dissection (ALND). Methods We recruited 72 patients with lymphedema after breast cancer surgery that included ALND. Circumferences in their upper limbs were measured in five areas: 15 cm proximal to the lateral epicondyle (LE), the elbow, 10 cm distal to the LE, the wrist, and the metacarpophalangeal joint. Then, maximal circumference difference (MCD) was calculated by subtracting the unaffected side from the affected side. Quantitative asymmetry indices (QAI) were defined as the radiopharmaceutical uptake ratios of the affected side to the unaffected side. Patients were divided into 3 groups by qualitative lymphoscintigraphic patterns: normal, decreased function, and obstruction. Results The MCD was highest in the qualitative obstruction (2.76±2.48) pattern with significant differences from the normal (0.69±0.78) and decreased function (1.65±1.17) patterns. The QAIs of the axillary LNs showed significant differences among the normal (0.82±0.29), decreased function (0.42±0.41), and obstruction (0.18±0.16) patterns. As the QAI of the axillary LN increased, the MCD decreased. The QAIs of the upper limbs were significantly higher in the obstruction (3.12±3.07) pattern compared with the normal (1.15±0.10) and decreased function (0.79±0.30) patterns. Conclusion Quantitative lymphoscintigraphic analysis is well correlated with both commonly used qualitative lymphoscintigraphic analysis and circumference differences in the upper limbs of patients with breast cancer surgery with ALND. Quantitative lymphoscintigraphy may be a good alternative assessment tool for diagnosing lymphedema after breast cancer surgery with ALND. PMID:26798607

  6. Quantitative muscle strength assessment in duchenne muscular dystrophy: longitudinal study and correlation with functional measures

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The aim of this study was to perform a longitudinal assessment using Quantitative Muscle Testing (QMT) in a cohort of ambulant boys affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and to correlate the results of QMT with functional measures. This study is to date the most thorough long-term evaluation of QMT in a cohort of DMD patients correlated with other measures, such as the North Star Ambulatory Assessment (NSAA) or thee 6-min walk test (6MWT). Methods This is a single centre, prospective, non-randomised, study assessing QMT using the Kin Com® 125 machine in a study cohort of 28 ambulant DMD boys, aged 5 to 12 years. This cohort was assessed longitudinally over a 12 months period of time with 3 monthly assessments for QMT and with assessment of functional abilities, using the NSAA and the 6MWT at baseline and at 12 months only. QMT was also used in a control group of 13 healthy age-matched boys examined at baseline and at 12 months. Results There was an increase in QMT over 12 months in boys below the age of 7.5 years while in boys above the age of 7.5 years, QMT showed a significant decrease. All the average one-year changes were significantly different than those experienced by healthy controls. We also found a good correlation between quantitative tests and the other measures that was more obvious in the stronger children. Conclusion Our longitudinal data using QMT in a cohort of DMD patients suggest that this could be used as an additional tool to monitor changes, providing additional information on segmental strength. PMID:22974002

  7. A relative quantitative assessment of myocardial perfusion by first-pass technique: animal study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Jun; Zhang, Zhang; Yu, Xuefang; Zhou, Kenneth J.

    2015-03-01

    The purpose of this study is to quantitatively assess the myocardial perfusion by first-pass technique in swine model. Numerous techniques based on the analysis of Computed Tomography (CT) Hounsfield Unit (HU) density have emerged. Although these methods proposed to be able to assess haemodynamically significant coronary artery stenosis, their limitations are noticed. There are still needs to develop some new techniques. Experiments were performed upon five (5) closed-chest swine. Balloon catheters were placed into the coronary artery to simulate different degrees of luminal stenosis. Myocardial Blood Flow (MBF) was measured using color microsphere technique. Fractional Flow Reserve (FFR) was measured using pressure wire. CT examinations were performed twice during First-pass phase under adenosine-stress condition. CT HU Density (HUDCT) and CT HU Density Ratio (HUDRCT) were calculated using the acquired CT images. Our study presents that HUDRCT shows a good (y=0.07245+0.09963x, r2=0.898) correlation with MBF and FFR. In receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses, HUDRCT provides excellent diagnostic performance for the detection of significant ischemia during adenosine-stress as defined by FFR indicated by the value of Area Under the Curve (AUC) of 0.927. HUDRCT has the potential to be developed as a useful indicator of quantitative assessment of myocardial perfusion.

  8. Impact assessment of abiotic resources in LCA: quantitative comparison of selected characterization models.

    PubMed

    Rørbech, Jakob T; Vadenbo, Carl; Hellweg, Stefanie; Astrup, Thomas F

    2014-10-01

    Resources have received significant attention in recent years resulting in development of a wide range of resource depletion indicators within life cycle assessment (LCA). Understanding the differences in assessment principles used to derive these indicators and the effects on the impact assessment results is critical for indicator selection and interpretation of the results. Eleven resource depletion methods were evaluated quantitatively with respect to resource coverage, characterization factors (CF), impact contributions from individual resources, and total impact scores. We included 2247 individual market inventory data sets covering a wide range of societal activities (ecoinvent database v3.0). Log-linear regression analysis was carried out for all pairwise combinations of the 11 methods for identification of correlations in CFs (resources) and total impacts (inventory data sets) between methods. Significant differences in resource coverage were observed (9-73 resources) revealing a trade-off between resource coverage and model complexity. High correlation in CFs between methods did not necessarily manifest in high correlation in total impacts. This indicates that also resource coverage may be critical for impact assessment results. Although no consistent correlations between methods applying similar assessment models could be observed, all methods showed relatively high correlation regarding the assessment of energy resources. Finally, we classify the existing methods into three groups, according to method focus and modeling approach, to aid method selection within LCA. PMID:25208267

  9. Disseminated histoplasmosis mimicking secondary syphilis.

    PubMed

    Pastor, Tony A; Holcomb, Maura J; Motaparthi, Kiran; Grekin, Sarah J; Hsu, Sylvia

    2011-01-01

    A 34-year-old, HIV-positive man living in Texas presented with a 2-week history of fever, malaise, myalgias, oral ulcers, and papules on his chest, back, face, and extremities, including the palms. Initially secondary syphilis was suspected. However, RPR was negative. Histopathologic examination revealed a lymphocytic infiltrate with numerous intra-histiocytic fungal organisms. GMS and PAS stains were positive, consistent with the diagnosis of histoplasmosis. We report a case of disseminated histoplasmosis clinically mimicking secondary syphilis. PMID:22136866

  10. Quantitative assessment of emphysema from whole lung CT scans: comparison with visual grading

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keller, Brad M.; Reeves, Anthony P.; Apanosovich, Tatiyana V.; Wang, Jianwei; Yankelevitz, David F.; Henschke, Claudia I.

    2009-02-01

    Emphysema is a disease of the lungs that destroys the alveolar air sacs and induces long-term respiratory dysfunction. CT scans allow for imaging of the anatomical basis of emphysema and for visual assessment by radiologists of the extent present in the lungs. Several measures have been introduced for the quantification of the extent of disease directly from CT data in order to add to the qualitative assessments made by radiologists. In this paper we compare emphysema index, mean lung density, histogram percentiles, and the fractal dimension to visual grade in order to evaluate the predictability of radiologist visual scoring of emphysema from low-dose CT scans through quantitative scores, in order to determine which measures can be useful as surrogates for visual assessment. All measures were computed over nine divisions of the lung field (whole lung, individual lungs, and upper/middle/lower thirds of each lung) for each of 148 low-dose, whole lung scans. In addition, a visual grade of each section was also given by an expert radiologist. One-way ANOVA and multinomial logistic regression were used to determine the ability of the measures to predict visual grade from quantitative score. We found that all measures were able to distinguish between normal and severe grades (p<0.01), and between mild/moderate and all other grades (p<0.05). However, no measure was able to distinguish between mild and moderate cases. Approximately 65% prediction accuracy was achieved from using quantitative score to predict visual grade, with 73% if mild and moderate cases are considered as a single class.

  11. Quantitative Assessment of Murine Articular Cartilage and Bone Using X-Ray Phase-Contrast Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jun; Yuan, Huihui; Wu, Mingshu; Dong, Linan; Zhang, Lu; Shi, Hongli; Luo, Shuqian

    2014-01-01

    Murine models for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) research can provide important insights for understanding RA pathogenesis and evaluating the efficacy of novel treatments. However, simultaneously imaging both murine articular cartilage and subchondral bone using conventional techniques is challenging because of low spatial resolution and poor soft tissue contrast. X-ray phase-contrast imaging (XPCI) is a new technique that offers high spatial resolution for the visualisation of cartilage and skeletal tissues. The purpose of this study was to utilise XPCI to observe articular cartilage and subchondral bone in a collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) murine model and quantitatively assess changes in the joint microstructure. XPCI was performed on the two treatment groups (the control group and CIA group, n = 9 per group) to monitor the progression of damage to the femur from the knee joint in a longitudinal study (at 0, 4 and 8 weeks after primary injection). For quantitative assessment, morphologic parameters were measured in three-dimensional (3D) images using appropriate image analysis software. Our results showed that the average femoral cartilage volume, surface area and thickness were significantly decreased (P<0.05) in the CIA group compared to the control group. Meanwhile, these decreases were accompanied by obvious destruction of the surface of subchondral bone and a loss of trabecular bone in the CIA group. This study confirms that XPCI technology has the ability to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate microstructural changes in mouse joints. This technique has the potential to become a routine analysis method for accurately monitoring joint damage and comprehensively assessing treatment efficacy. PMID:25369528

  12. Quantitative assessment of autonomic dysreflexia with combined spectroscopic and perfusion probes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramella-Roman, Jessica C.; Pfefer, Allison; Hidler, Joseph

    2009-02-01

    Autonomic Dysreflexia (AD) is an uncontrolled response of sympathetic output occurring in individuals with an injury at the sixth thoracic (T6) neurologic level. Any noxious stimulus below the injury level can trigger an AD episode. Progression of an AD attack can result in severe vasoconstriction below the injury level. Skin oxygenation can decrease up to 40% during an AD event. We present a quantitative and non-invasive method of assessing the progression of an AD event by measuring patient's skin oxygen levels and blood flow using a fiber optic based system.

  13. Quantitative Assessment of the Effects of Oxidants on Antigen-Antibody Binding In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Han, Shuang; Wang, Guanyu; Xu, Naijin; Liu, Hui

    2016-01-01

    Objective. We quantitatively assessed the influence of oxidants on antigen-antibody-binding activity. Methods. We used several immunological detection methods, including precipitation reactions, agglutination reactions, and enzyme immunoassays, to determine antibody activity. The oxidation-reduction potential was measured in order to determine total serum antioxidant capacity. Results. Certain concentrations of oxidants resulted in significant inhibition of antibody activity but had little influence on total serum antioxidant capacity. Conclusions. Oxidants had a significant influence on interactions between antigen and antibody, but minimal effect on the peptide of the antibody molecule. PMID:27313823

  14. Hydrostratigraphic Drilling Record Assessment (HyDRA): Assessing the Consistency and Quantitative Utility of Water Well Drillers' Logs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bohling, G.; Helm, C. F.; Butler, J. J., Jr.

    2014-12-01

    The Hydrostratigraphic Drilling Record Assessment (HyDRA) project is a three-year study to develop improved methods for building groundwater flow models from drillers' logs. Lithologic logs recorded by water well drillers represent a voluminous source of information regarding hydrostratigraphy. However, developing quantitative models from drillers' logs is challenging due to the idiosyncratic nature of each driller's approach to describing sediments and lithologies as well as variability in the amount of care invested in the description process. This presentation uses three approaches to assess the consistency and utility of drillers' logs from 250 wells in the vicinity of a continuously monitored "index" well in the High Plains Aquifer in Thomas County, Kansas. The first assessment procedure will examine logs from wells in the vicinity of the index well to determine whether they show evidence of lateral confinement of a region immediately surrounding the index well, as seems to be indicated by the index well hydrograph. The second will apply a cross-validation procedure to determine the degree of consistency among logs at different wells and identify logs that are most out of keeping with logs at nearby wells. The logs are cast in quantitative terms by first representing the sediment descriptions using 72 standardized lithology terms, further categorizing the standardized lithologies into five hydraulic property categories, and then computing the proportions of the hydraulic property categories over regular ten-foot-intervals in each well. The cross-validation procedure involves using a cross-entropy measure to compare the actual category proportions in each well to those interpolated from neighboring wells. Finally, results of a groundwater flow model using property fields developed from the drillers' logs will be briefly discussed. Comparisons between observed and simulated water levels at the index well and other continuously and annually monitored wells in the

  15. Monitoring and quantitative assessment of tumor burden using in vivo bioluminescence imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Chia-Chi; Hwang, Jeng-Jong; Ting, Gann; Tseng, Yun-Long; Wang, Shyh-Jen; Whang-Peng, Jaqueline

    2007-02-01

    In vivo bioluminescence imaging (BLI) is a sensitive imaging modality that is rapid and accessible, and may comprise an ideal tool for evaluating tumor growth. In this study, the kinetic of tumor growth has been assessed in C26 colon carcinoma bearing BALB/c mouse model. The ability of BLI to noninvasively quantitate the growth of subcutaneous tumors transplanted with C26 cells genetically engineered to stably express firefly luciferase and herpes simplex virus type-1 thymidine kinase (C26/ tk-luc). A good correlation ( R2=0.998) of photon emission to the cell number was found in vitro. Tumor burden and tumor volume were monitored in vivo over time by quantitation of photon emission using Xenogen IVIS 50 and standard external caliper measurement, respectively. At various time intervals, tumor-bearing mice were imaged to determine the correlation of in vivo BLI to tumor volume. However, a correlation of BLI to tumor volume was observed when tumor volume was smaller than 1000 mm 3 ( R2=0.907). γ Scintigraphy combined with [ 131I]FIAU was another imaging modality used for verifying the previous results. In conclusion, this study showed that bioluminescence imaging is a powerful and quantitative tool for the direct assay to monitor tumor growth in vivo. The dual reporter genes transfected tumor-bearing animal model can be applied in the evaluation of the efficacy of new developed anti-cancer drugs.

  16. An Analytical Pipeline for Quantitative Characterization of Dietary Intake: Application To Assess Grape Intake.

    PubMed

    Garcia-Perez, Isabel; Posma, Joram M; Chambers, Edward S; Nicholson, Jeremy K; C Mathers, John; Beckmann, Manfred; Draper, John; Holmes, Elaine; Frost, Gary

    2016-03-23

    Lack of accurate dietary assessment in free-living populations requires discovery of new biomarkers reflecting food intake qualitatively and quantitatively to objectively evaluate effects of diet on health. We provide a proof-of-principle for an analytical pipeline to identify quantitative dietary biomarkers. Tartaric acid was identified by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy as a dose-responsive urinary biomarker of grape intake and subsequently quantified in volunteers following a series of 4-day dietary interventions incorporating 0 g/day, 50 g/day, 100 g/day, and 150 g/day of grapes in standardized diets from a randomized controlled clinical trial. Most accurate quantitative predictions of grape intake were obtained in 24 h urine samples which have the strongest linear relationship between grape intake and tartaric acid excretion (r(2) = 0.90). This new methodological pipeline for estimating nutritional intake based on coupling dietary intake information and quantified nutritional biomarkers was developed and validated in a controlled dietary intervention study, showing that this approach can improve the accuracy of estimating nutritional intakes. PMID:26909845

  17. Automated quantitative assessment of three-dimensional bioprinted hydrogel scaffolds using optical coherence tomography

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ling; Xu, Mingen; Zhang, LieLie; Zhou, QingQing; Luo, Li

    2016-01-01

    Reconstructing and quantitatively assessing the internal architecture of opaque three-dimensional (3D) bioprinted hydrogel scaffolds is difficult but vital to the improvement of 3D bioprinting techniques and to the fabrication of functional engineered tissues. In this study, swept-source optical coherence tomography was applied to acquire high-resolution images of hydrogel scaffolds. Novel 3D gelatin/alginate hydrogel scaffolds with six different representative architectures were fabricated using our 3D bioprinting system. Both the scaffold material networks and the interconnected flow channel networks were reconstructed through volume rendering and binarisation processing to provide a 3D volumetric view. An image analysis algorithm was developed based on the automatic selection of the spatially-isolated region-of–interest. Via this algorithm, the spatially-resolved morphological parameters including pore size, pore shape, strut size, surface area, porosity, and interconnectivity were quantified precisely. Fabrication defects and differences between the designed and as-produced scaffolds were clearly identified in both 2D and 3D; the locations and dimensions of each of the fabrication defects were also defined. It concludes that this method will be a key tool for non-destructive and quantitative characterization, design optimisation and fabrication refinement of 3D bioprinted hydrogel scaffolds. Furthermore, this method enables investigation into the quantitative relationship between scaffold structure and biological outcome. PMID:27231597

  18. Quantitative sonoelastography for the in vivo assessment of skeletal muscle viscoelasticity

    PubMed Central

    Hoyt, Kenneth; Kneezel, Timothy; Castaneda, Benjamin; Parker, Kevin J

    2015-01-01

    A novel quantitative sonoelastography technique for assessing the viscoelastic properties of skeletal muscle tissue was developed. Slowly propagating shear wave interference patterns (termed crawling waves) were generated using a two-source configuration vibrating normal to the surface. Theoretical models predict crawling wave displacement fields, which were validated through phantom studies. In experiments, a viscoelastic model was fit to dispersive shear wave speed sonoelastographic data using nonlinear least-squares techniques to determine frequency-independent shear modulus and viscosity estimates. Shear modulus estimates derived using the viscoelastic model were in agreement with that obtained by mechanical testing on phantom samples. Preliminary sonoelastographic data acquired in healthy human skeletal muscles confirm that high-quality quantitative elasticity data can be acquired in vivo. Studies on relaxed muscle indicate discernible differences in both shear modulus and viscosity estimates between different skeletal muscle groups. Investigations into the dynamic viscoelastic properties of (healthy) human skeletal muscles revealed that voluntarily contracted muscles exhibit considerable increases in both shear modulus and viscosity estimates as compared to the relaxed state. Overall, preliminary results are encouraging and quantitative sonoelastography may prove clinically feasible for in vivo characterization of the dynamic viscoelastic properties of human skeletal muscle. PMID:18612176

  19. Automated quantitative assessment of three-dimensional bioprinted hydrogel scaffolds using optical coherence tomography.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ling; Xu, Mingen; Zhang, LieLie; Zhou, QingQing; Luo, Li

    2016-03-01

    Reconstructing and quantitatively assessing the internal architecture of opaque three-dimensional (3D) bioprinted hydrogel scaffolds is difficult but vital to the improvement of 3D bioprinting techniques and to the fabrication of functional engineered tissues. In this study, swept-source optical coherence tomography was applied to acquire high-resolution images of hydrogel scaffolds. Novel 3D gelatin/alginate hydrogel scaffolds with six different representative architectures were fabricated using our 3D bioprinting system. Both the scaffold material networks and the interconnected flow channel networks were reconstructed through volume rendering and binarisation processing to provide a 3D volumetric view. An image analysis algorithm was developed based on the automatic selection of the spatially-isolated region-of-interest. Via this algorithm, the spatially-resolved morphological parameters including pore size, pore shape, strut size, surface area, porosity, and interconnectivity were quantified precisely. Fabrication defects and differences between the designed and as-produced scaffolds were clearly identified in both 2D and 3D; the locations and dimensions of each of the fabrication defects were also defined. It concludes that this method will be a key tool for non-destructive and quantitative characterization, design optimisation and fabrication refinement of 3D bioprinted hydrogel scaffolds. Furthermore, this method enables investigation into the quantitative relationship between scaffold structure and biological outcome. PMID:27231597

  20. Survey of Quantitative Research Metrics to Assess Pilot Performance in Upset Recovery

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Le Vie, Lisa R.

    2016-01-01

    Accidents attributable to in-flight loss of control are the primary cause for fatal commercial jet accidents worldwide. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) conducted a literature review to determine and identify the quantitative standards for assessing upset recovery performance. This review contains current recovery procedures for both military and commercial aviation and includes the metrics researchers use to assess aircraft recovery performance. Metrics include time to first input, recognition time and recovery time and whether that input was correct or incorrect. Other metrics included are: the state of the autopilot and autothrottle, control wheel/sidestick movement resulting in pitch and roll, and inputs to the throttle and rudder. In addition, airplane state measures, such as roll reversals, altitude loss/gain, maximum vertical speed, maximum/minimum air speed, maximum bank angle and maximum g loading are reviewed as well.

  1. Disc Degeneration Assessed by Quantitative T2* (T2 star) Correlated with Functional Lumbar Mechanics

    PubMed Central

    Ellingson, Arin M.; Mehta, Hitesh; Polly, David W.; Ellermann, Jutta; Nuckley, David J.

    2013-01-01

    Study Design Experimental correlation study design to quantify features of disc health, including signal intensity and distinction between the annulus fibrosus (AF) and nucleus pulposus (NP), with T2* magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and correlate with the functional mechanics in corresponding motion segments. Objective Establish the relationship between disc health assessed by quantitative T2* MRI and functional lumbar mechanics. Summary of Background Data Degeneration leads to altered biochemistry in the disc, affecting the mechanical competence. Clinical routine MRI sequences are not adequate in detecting early changes in degeneration and fails to correlate with pain or improve patient stratification. Quantitative T2* relaxation time mapping probes biochemical features and may offer more sensitivity in assessing disc degeneration. Methods Cadaveric lumbar spines were imaged using quantitative T2* mapping, as well as conventional T2-weighted MRI sequences. Discs were graded by the Pfirrmann scale and features of disc health, including signal intensity (T2* Intensity Area) and distinction between the AF and NP (Transition Zone Slope), were quantified by T2*. Each motion segment was subjected to pure moment bending to determine range of motion (ROM), neutral zone (NZ), and bending stiffness. Results T2* Intensity Area and Transition Zone Slope were significantly correlated with flexion ROM (p=0.015; p=0.002), ratio of NZ/ROM (p=0.010; p=0.028), and stiffness (p=0.044; p=0.026), as well as lateral bending NZ/ROM (p=0.005; p=0.010) and stiffness (p=0.022; p=0.029). T2* Intensity Area was also correlated with LB ROM (p=0.023). Pfirrmann grade was only correlated with lateral bending NZ/ROM (p=0.001) and stiffness (p=0.007). Conclusions T2* mapping is a sensitive quantitative method capable of detecting changes associated with disc degeneration. Features of disc health quantified with T2* predicted altered functional mechanics of the lumbar spine better than

  2. Quantitative microbial risk assessment for Staphylococcus aureus in natural and processed cheese in Korea.

    PubMed

    Lee, Heeyoung; Kim, Kyunga; Choi, Kyoung-Hee; Yoon, Yohan

    2015-09-01

    This study quantitatively assessed the microbial risk of Staphylococcus aureus in cheese in Korea. The quantitative microbial risk assessment was carried out for natural and processed cheese from factory to consumption. Hazards for S. aureus in cheese were identified through the literature. For exposure assessment, the levels of S. aureus contamination in cheeses were evaluated, and the growth of S. aureus was predicted by predictive models at the surveyed temperatures, and at the time of cheese processing and distribution. For hazard characterization, a dose-response model for S. aureus was found, and the model was used to estimate the risk of illness. With these data, simulation models were prepared with @RISK (Palisade Corp., Ithaca, NY) to estimate the risk of illness per person per day in risk characterization. Staphylococcus aureus cell counts on cheese samples from factories and markets were below detection limits (0.30-0.45 log cfu/g), and pert distribution showed that the mean temperature at markets was 6.63°C. Exponential model [P=1 - exp(7.64×10(-8) × N), where N=dose] for dose-response was deemed appropriate for hazard characterization. Mean temperature of home storage was 4.02°C (log-logistic distribution). The results of risk characterization for S. aureus in natural and processed cheese showed that the mean values for the probability of illness per person per day were higher in processed cheese (mean: 2.24×10(-9); maximum: 7.97×10(-6)) than in natural cheese (mean: 7.84×10(-10); maximum: 2.32×10(-6)). These results indicate that the risk of S. aureus-related foodborne illness due to cheese consumption can be considered low under the present conditions in Korea. In addition, the developed stochastic risk assessment model in this study can be useful in establishing microbial criteria for S. aureus in cheese. PMID:26162789

  3. Quantitative photoacoustic assessment of ex-vivo lymph nodes of colorectal cancer patients

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sampathkumar, Ashwin; Mamou, Jonathan; Saegusa-Beercroft, Emi; Chitnis, Parag V.; Machi, Junji; Feleppa, Ernest J.

    2015-03-01

    Staging of cancers and selection of appropriate treatment requires histological examination of multiple dissected lymph nodes (LNs) per patient, so that a staggering number of nodes require histopathological examination, and the finite resources of pathology facilities create a severe processing bottleneck. Histologically examining the entire 3D volume of every dissected node is not feasible, and therefore, only the central region of each node is examined histologically, which results in severe sampling limitations. In this work, we assess the feasibility of using quantitative photoacoustics (QPA) to overcome the limitations imposed by current procedures and eliminate the resulting under sampling in node assessments. QPA is emerging as a new hybrid modality that assesses tissue properties and classifies tissue type based on multiple estimates derived from spectrum analysis of photoacoustic (PA) radiofrequency (RF) data and from statistical analysis of envelope-signal data derived from the RF signals. Our study seeks to use QPA to distinguish cancerous from non-cancerous regions of dissected LNs and hence serve as a reliable means of imaging and detecting small but clinically significant cancerous foci that would be missed by current methods. Dissected lymph nodes were placed in a water bath and PA signals were generated using a wavelength-tunable (680-950 nm) laser. A 26-MHz, f-2 transducer was used to sense the PA signals. We present an overview of our experimental setup; provide a statistical analysis of multi-wavelength classification parameters (mid-band fit, slope, intercept) obtained from the PA signal spectrum generated in the LNs; and compare QPA performance with our established quantitative ultrasound (QUS) techniques in distinguishing metastatic from non-cancerous tissue in dissected LNs. QPA-QUS methods offer a novel general means of tissue typing and evaluation in a broad range of disease-assessment applications, e.g., cardiac, intravascular

  4. Changes in transmural distribution of myocardial perfusion assessed by quantitative intravenous myocardial contrast echocardiography in humans

    PubMed Central

    Fukuda, S; Muro, T; Hozumi, T; Watanabe, H; Shimada, K; Yoshiyama, M; Takeuchi, K; Yoshikawa, J

    2002-01-01

    Objective: To clarify whether changes in transmural distribution of myocardial perfusion under significant coronary artery stenosis can be assessed by quantitative intravenous myocardial contrast echocardiography (MCE) in humans. Methods: 31 patients underwent dipyridamole stress MCE and quantitative coronary angiography. Intravenous MCE was performed by continuous infusion of Levovist. Images were obtained from the apical four chamber view with alternating pulsing intervals both at rest and after dipyridamole infusion. Images were analysed offline by placing regions of interest over both endocardial and epicardial sides of the mid-septum. The background subtracted intensity versus pulsing interval plots were fitted to an exponential function, y = A (1 − e−βt), where A is plateau level and β is rate of rise. Results: Of the 31 patients, 16 had significant stenosis (> 70%) in the left anterior descending artery (group A) and 15 did not (group B). At rest, there were no differences in the A endocardial to epicardial ratio (A-EER) and β-EER between the two groups (mean (SD) 1.2 (0.6) v 1.2 (0.8) and 1.2 (0.7) v 1.1 (0.6), respectively, NS). During hyperaemia, β-EER in group A was significantly lower than that in group B (1.0 (0.5) v 1.4 (0.5), p < 0.05) and A-EER did not differ between the two groups (1.0 (0.5) v 1.2 (0.4), NS). Conclusions: Changes in transmural distribution of myocardial perfusion under significant coronary artery stenosis can be assessed by quantitative intravenous MCE in humans. PMID:12231594

  5. Quantitative imaging and sigmoidoscopy to assess distribution of rectal microbicide surrogates.

    PubMed

    Hendrix, C W; Fuchs, E J; Macura, K J; Lee, L A; Parsons, T L; Bakshi, R P; Khan, W A; Guidos, A; Leal, J P; Wahl, R

    2008-01-01

    Understanding the distribution of microbicide and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) within the gastrointestinal tract is critical to development of rectal HIV microbicides. A hydroxyethylcellulose-based microbicide surrogate or viscosity-matched semen surrogate, labeled with gadolinium-DTPA (diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid) and 99mTechnetium-sulfur colloid, was administered to three subjects under varying experimental conditions to evaluate effects of enema, coital simulation, and microbicide or semen simulant over 5 h duration. Quantitative assessment used single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT)/computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) imaging, and sigmoidoscopic sampling. Over 4 h, radiolabel migrated cephalad in all studies by a median (interquartile range) of 50% (29-102%; P<0.001), as far as the splenic flexure (approximately 60 cm) in 12% of studies. There was a correlation in concentration profile between endoscopic sampling and SPECT assessments. HIV-sized particles migrate retrograde, 60 cm in some studies, 4 h after simulated ejaculation in our model. SPECT/CT, MRI, and endoscopy can be used quantitatively to facilitate rational development of microbicides for rectal use. PMID:17507921

  6. Quantitative volumetric assessment of pulmonary involvement in patients with systemic sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Göya, Cemil; Hamidi, Cihad; Tekbaş, Güven; Abakay, Özlem; Batmaz, İbrahim; Hattapoğlu, Salih; Yavuz, Alpaslan; Bilici, Aslan

    2016-01-01

    Background Computed tomography (CT) is the gold standard for assessing interstitial lung disease (ILD) in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). In this study, we performed a quantitative calculation of ILD severity by examining the lung volume of SSc patients. Methods The present study was performed retrospectively on 38 patients with SSc who were referred to our clinic. Patients were divided into two groups based on high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT): patients with ILD and patients without ILD.The percentage of lower lobe volume (PLLV) was calculated using HRCT. In addition, we evaluated the PLLV in all patients according to age, diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DLCO) and spirometric findings, and assessed the relationships among these factors. Results PLLV of the right lung in patients with ILD was reduced when compared with patients without ILD (P=0.041). The PLLV of the right lung in patients with ILD was negatively correlated with age and forced vital capacity (FVC; P=0.01 and P=0.012, respectively). Conclusions The PLLV of the right lung may decrease in SSc patients with ILD. In these patients, the PLLV may be a quantitative parameter indicating damage in the lung. PMID:26981455

  7. Consistencies and inconsistencies underlying the quantitative assessment of leukemia risk from benzene exposure

    SciTech Connect

    Lamm, S.H.; Walters, A.S. ); Wilson, R. ); Byrd, D.M. ); Grunwald, H. )

    1989-07-01

    This paper examines recent risk assessments for benzene and observes a number of inconsistencies within the study and consistencies between studies that should effect the quantitative determination of the risk from benzene exposure. Comparisons across studies show that only acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is found to be consistently in excess with significant benzene exposure. The data from the Pliofilm study that forms the basis of most quantitative assessments reveal that all the AML cases came from only one of the three studied plants and that all the benzene exposure data came from the other plants. Hematological data from the 1940s from the plant from which almost all of the industrial hygiene exposure data come do not correlate well with the originally published exposure estimates but do correlate well with an alternative set of exposure estimates that are much greater than those estimates originally published. Temporal relationships within the study are not consistent with those of other studies. The dose-response relationship is strongly nonlinear. Other data suggest that the leukemogenic effect of benzene is nonlinear and may derive from a threshold toxicity.

  8. Using Non-Invasive Multi-Spectral Imaging to Quantitatively Assess Tissue Vasculature

    SciTech Connect

    Vogel, A; Chernomordik, V; Riley, J; Hassan, M; Amyot, F; Dasgeb, B; Demos, S G; Pursley, R; Little, R; Yarchoan, R; Tao, Y; Gandjbakhche, A H

    2007-10-04

    This research describes a non-invasive, non-contact method used to quantitatively analyze the functional characteristics of tissue. Multi-spectral images collected at several near-infrared wavelengths are input into a mathematical optical skin model that considers the contributions from different analytes in the epidermis and dermis skin layers. Through a reconstruction algorithm, we can quantify the percent of blood in a given area of tissue and the fraction of that blood that is oxygenated. Imaging normal tissue confirms previously reported values for the percent of blood in tissue and the percent of blood that is oxygenated in tissue and surrounding vasculature, for the normal state and when ischemia is induced. This methodology has been applied to assess vascular Kaposi's sarcoma lesions and the surrounding tissue before and during experimental therapies. The multi-spectral imaging technique has been combined with laser Doppler imaging to gain additional information. Results indicate that these techniques are able to provide quantitative and functional information about tissue changes during experimental drug therapy and investigate progression of disease before changes are visibly apparent, suggesting a potential for them to be used as complementary imaging techniques to clinical assessment.

  9. Second derivative multispectral algorithm for quantitative assessment of cutaneous tissue oxygenation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Jiwei; Zhang, Shiwu; Gnyawali, Surya; Sen, Chandan K.; Xu, Ronald X.

    2015-03-01

    We report a second derivative multispectral algorithm for quantitative assessment of cutaneous tissue oxygen saturation (StO2). The algorithm is based on a forward model of light transport in multilayered skin tissue and an inverse algorithm for StO2 reconstruction. Based on the forward simulation results, a parameter of a second derivative ratio (SDR) is derived as a function of cutaneous tissue StO2. The SDR function is optimized at a wavelength set of 544, 552, 568, 576, 592, and 600 nm so that cutaneous tissue StO2 can be derived with minimal artifacts by blood concentration, tissue scattering, and melanin concentration. The proposed multispectral StO2 imaging algorithm is verified in both benchtop and in vivo experiments. The experimental results show that the proposed multispectral imaging algorithm is able to map cutaneous tissue StO2 in high temporal resolution with reduced measurement artifacts induced by different skin conditions in comparison with other three commercial tissue oxygen measurement systems. These results indicate that the multispectral StO2 imaging technique has the potential for noninvasive and quantitative assessment of skin tissue oxygenation with a high temporal resolution.

  10. Semi-quantitative assessment of pulmonary perfusion in children using dynamic contrast-enhanced MRI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fetita, Catalin; Thong, William E.; Ou, Phalla

    2013-03-01

    This paper addresses the study of semi-quantitative assessment of pulmonary perfusion acquired from dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) in a study population mainly composed of children with pulmonary malformations. The automatic analysis approach proposed is based on the indicator-dilution theory introduced in 1954. First, a robust method is developed to segment the pulmonary artery and the lungs from anatomical MRI data, exploiting 2D and 3D mathematical morphology operators. Second, the time-dependent contrast signal of the lung regions is deconvolved by the arterial input function for the assessment of the local hemodynamic system parameters, ie. mean transit time, pulmonary blood volume and pulmonary blood flow. The discrete deconvolution method implements here a truncated singular value decomposition (tSVD) method. Parametric images for the entire lungs are generated as additional elements for diagnosis and quantitative follow-up. The preliminary results attest the feasibility of perfusion quantification in pulmonary DCE-MRI and open an interesting alternative to scintigraphy for this type of evaluation, to be considered at least as a preliminary decision in the diagnostic due to the large availability of the technique and to the non-invasive aspects.

  11. Second derivative multispectral algorithm for quantitative assessment of cutaneous tissue oxygenation

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Jiwei; Zhang, Shiwu; Gnyawali, Surya; Sen, Chandan K.; Xu, Ronald X.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract. We report a second derivative multispectral algorithm for quantitative assessment of cutaneous tissue oxygen saturation (StO2). The algorithm is based on a forward model of light transport in multilayered skin tissue and an inverse algorithm for StO2 reconstruction. Based on the forward simulation results, a parameter of a second derivative ratio (SDR) is derived as a function of cutaneous tissue StO2. The SDR function is optimized at a wavelength set of 544, 552, 568, 576, 592, and 600 nm so that cutaneous tissue StO2 can be derived with minimal artifacts by blood concentration, tissue scattering, and melanin concentration. The proposed multispectral StO2 imaging algorithm is verified in both benchtop and in vivo experiments. The experimental results show that the proposed multispectral imaging algorithm is able to map cutaneous tissue StO2 in high temporal resolution with reduced measurement artifacts induced by different skin conditions in comparison with other three commercial tissue oxygen measurement systems. These results indicate that the multispectral StO2 imaging technique has the potential for noninvasive and quantitative assessment of skin tissue oxygenation with a high temporal resolution. PMID:25734405

  12. Quantitative Risk Assessment of Human Trichinellosis Caused by Consumption of Pork Meat Sausages in Argentina.

    PubMed

    Sequeira, G J; Zbrun, M V; Soto, L P; Astesana, D M; Blajman, J E; Rosmini, M R; Frizzo, L S; Signorini, M L

    2016-03-01

    In Argentina, there are three known species of genus Trichinella; however, Trichinella spiralis is most commonly associated with domestic pigs and it is recognized as the main cause of human trichinellosis by the consumption of products made with raw or insufficiently cooked pork meat. In some areas of Argentina, this disease is endemic and it is thus necessary to develop a more effective programme of prevention and control. Here, we developed a quantitative risk assessment of human trichinellosis following pork meat sausage consumption, which may be used to identify the stages with greater impact on the probability of acquiring the disease. The quantitative model was designed to describe the conditions in which the meat is produced, processed, transported, stored, sold and consumed in Argentina. The model predicted a risk of human trichinellosis of 4.88 × 10(-6) and an estimated annual number of trichinellosis cases of 109. The risk of human trichinellosis was sensitive to the number of Trichinella larvae that effectively survived the storage period (r = 0.89), the average probability of infection (PPinf ) (r = 0.44) and the storage time (Storage) (r = 0.08). This model allowed assessing the impact of different factors influencing the risk of acquiring trichinellosis. The model may thus help to select possible strategies to reduce the risk in the chain of by-products of pork production. PMID:26227185

  13. A quantitative model to assess Social Responsibility in Environmental Science and Technology.

    PubMed

    Valcárcel, M; Lucena, R

    2014-01-01

    The awareness of the impact of human activities in society and environment is known as "Social Responsibility" (SR). It has been a topic of growing interest in many enterprises since the fifties of the past Century, and its implementation/assessment is nowadays supported by international standards. There is a tendency to amplify its scope of application to other areas of the human activities, such as Research, Development and Innovation (R + D + I). In this paper, a model of quantitative assessment of Social Responsibility in Environmental Science and Technology (SR EST) is described in detail. This model is based on well established written standards as the EFQM Excellence model and the ISO 26000:2010 Guidance on SR. The definition of five hierarchies of indicators, the transformation of qualitative information into quantitative data and the dual procedure of self-evaluation and external evaluation are the milestones of the proposed model, which can be applied to Environmental Research Centres and institutions. In addition, a simplified model that facilitates its implementation is presented in the article. PMID:23892022

  14. Comprehensive, Quantitative Risk Assessment of CO{sub 2} Geologic Sequestration

    SciTech Connect

    Lepinski, James

    2013-09-30

    A Quantitative Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (QFMEA) was developed to conduct comprehensive, quantitative risk assessments on CO{sub 2} capture, transportation, and sequestration or use in deep saline aquifers, enhanced oil recovery operations, or enhanced coal bed methane operations. The model identifies and characterizes potential risks; identifies the likely failure modes, causes, effects and methods of detection; lists possible risk prevention and risk mitigation steps; estimates potential damage recovery costs, mitigation costs and costs savings resulting from mitigation; and ranks (prioritizes) risks according to the probability of failure, the severity of failure, the difficulty of early failure detection and the potential for fatalities. The QFMEA model generates the necessary information needed for effective project risk management. Diverse project information can be integrated into a concise, common format that allows comprehensive, quantitative analysis, by a cross-functional team of experts, to determine: What can possibly go wrong? How much will damage recovery cost? How can it be prevented or mitigated? What is the cost savings or benefit of prevention or mitigation? Which risks should be given highest priority for resolution? The QFMEA model can be tailored to specific projects and is applicable to new projects as well as mature projects. The model can be revised and updated as new information comes available. It accepts input from multiple sources, such as literature searches, site characterization, field data, computer simulations, analogues, process influence diagrams, probability density functions, financial analysis models, cost factors, and heuristic best practices manuals, and converts the information into a standardized format in an Excel spreadsheet. Process influence diagrams, geologic models, financial models, cost factors and an insurance schedule were developed to support the QFMEA model. Comprehensive, quantitative risk assessments

  15. Zebrafish Caudal Fin Angiogenesis Assay—Advanced Quantitative Assessment Including 3-Way Correlative Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Correa Shokiche, Carlos; Schaad, Laura; Triet, Ramona; Jazwinska, Anna; Tschanz, Stefan A.; Djonov, Valentin

    2016-01-01

    Background Researchers evaluating angiomodulating compounds as a part of scientific projects or pre-clinical studies are often confronted with limitations of applied animal models. The rough and insufficient early-stage compound assessment without reliable quantification of the vascular response counts, at least partially, to the low transition rate to clinics. Objective To establish an advanced, rapid and cost-effective angiogenesis assay for the precise and sensitive assessment of angiomodulating compounds using zebrafish caudal fin regeneration. It should provide information regarding the angiogenic mechanisms involved and should include qualitative and quantitative data of drug effects in a non-biased and time-efficient way. Approach & Results Basic vascular parameters (total regenerated area, vascular projection area, contour length, vessel area density) were extracted from in vivo fluorescence microscopy images using a stereological approach. Skeletonization of the vasculature by our custom-made software Skelios provided additional parameters including “graph energy” and “distance to farthest node”. The latter gave important insights into the complexity, connectivity and maturation status of the regenerating vascular network. The employment of a reference point (vascular parameters prior amputation) is unique for the model and crucial for a proper assessment. Additionally, the assay provides exceptional possibilities for correlative microscopy by combining in vivo-imaging and morphological investigation of the area of interest. The 3-way correlative microscopy links the dynamic changes in vivo with their structural substrate at the subcellular level. Conclusions The improved zebrafish fin regeneration model with advanced quantitative analysis and optional 3-way correlative morphology is a promising in vivo angiogenesis assay, well-suitable for basic research and preclinical investigations. PMID:26950851

  16. Quantitative assessment of biological impact using transcriptomic data and mechanistic network models

    SciTech Connect

    Thomson, Ty M.; Sewer, Alain; Martin, Florian; Belcastro, Vincenzo; Frushour, Brian P.; Gebel, Stephan; Park, Jennifer; Schlage, Walter K.; Talikka, Marja; Vasilyev, Dmitry M.; Westra, Jurjen W.; Hoeng, Julia; Peitsch, Manuel C.

    2013-11-01

    Exposure to biologically active substances such as therapeutic drugs or environmental toxicants can impact biological systems at various levels, affecting individual molecules, signaling pathways, and overall cellular processes. The ability to derive mechanistic insights from the resulting system responses requires the integration of experimental measures with a priori knowledge about the system and the interacting molecules therein. We developed a novel systems biology-based methodology that leverages mechanistic network models and transcriptomic data to quantitatively assess the biological impact of exposures to active substances. Hierarchically organized network models were first constructed to provide a coherent framework for investigating the impact of exposures at the molecular, pathway and process levels. We then validated our methodology using novel and previously published experiments. For both in vitro systems with simple exposure and in vivo systems with complex exposures, our methodology was able to recapitulate known biological responses matching expected or measured phenotypes. In addition, the quantitative results were in agreement with experimental endpoint data for many of the mechanistic effects that were assessed, providing further objective confirmation of the approach. We conclude that our methodology evaluates the biological impact of exposures in an objective, systematic, and quantifiable manner, enabling the computation of a systems-wide and pan-mechanistic biological impact measure for a given active substance or mixture. Our results suggest that various fields of human disease research, from drug development to consumer product testing and environmental impact analysis, could benefit from using this methodology. - Highlights: • The impact of biologically active substances is quantified at multiple levels. • The systems-level impact integrates the perturbations of individual networks. • The networks capture the relationships between

  17. Basic concepts in three-part quantitative assessments of undiscovered mineral resources

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Singer, D.A.

    1993-01-01

    Since 1975, mineral resource assessments have been made for over 27 areas covering 5??106 km2 at various scales using what is now called the three-part form of quantitative assessment. In these assessments, (1) areas are delineated according to the types of deposits permitted by the geology,(2) the amount of metal and some ore characteristics are estimated using grade and tonnage models, and (3) the number of undiscovered deposits of each type is estimated. Permissive boundaries are drawn for one or more deposit types such that the probability of a deposit lying outside the boundary is negligible, that is, less than 1 in 100,000 to 1,000,000. Grade and tonnage models combined with estimates of the number of deposits are the fundamental means of translating geologists' resource assessments into a language that economists can use. Estimates of the number of deposits explicitly represent the probability (or degree of belief) that some fixed but unknown number of undiscovered deposits exist in the delineated tracts. Estimates are by deposit type and must be consistent with the grade and tonnage model. Other guidelines for these estimates include (1) frequency of deposits from well-explored areas, (2) local deposit extrapolations, (3) counting and assigning probabilities to anomalies and occurrences, (4) process constraints, (5) relative frequencies of related deposit types, and (6) area spatial limits. In most cases, estimates are made subjectively, as they are in meteorology, gambling, and geologic interpretations. In three-part assessments, the estimates are internally consistent because delineated tracts are consistent with descriptive models, grade and tonnage models are consistent with descriptive models, as well as with known deposits in the area, and estimates of number of deposits are consistent with grade and tonnage models. All available information is used in the assessment, and uncertainty is explicitly represented. ?? 1993 Oxford University Press.

  18. Spilled Gallstones Mimicking Peritoneal Metastases

    PubMed Central

    Loan, William; Carey, Declan P.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Spillage of bile and gallstones due to accidental perforation of the gallbladder wall is often encountered during laparoscopic cholecystectomy. Although spilled stones were once considered harmless, there is increasing evidence that they can result in septic or other potential complications. Case Report: We report a case of spilled gallstones mimicking peritoneal metastases on radiological investigations; diagnosis was confirmed by diagnostic laparoscopy. Conclusion: Every effort should be made to retrieve spilled gallstones during laparoscopic cholecystectomy. When all the stones cannot be retrieved, it should be documented in the patient's medical records to avoid delay in the diagnosis of late complications. Diagnostic laparoscopy is useful when the radiological investigations are inconclusive. PMID:19366546

  19. [Severe PERM syndrom mimicking tetanus].

    PubMed

    Wallet, F; Didelot, A; Delannoy, B; Leray, V; Guerin, C

    2014-01-01

    We report the case of a 55-year-old man without significant medical history admitted to the ICU for a progressive paralysis mimicking life-threatening tetanus. Evolution with classical tetanus treatment was negative, with the need for ventilator support and worsening condition being life threatening. Uncommon evolution revealed a rare glycin antibody-associated hyperekplexia (progressive encephalomyelitis with rigidity syndrome). Patient dramatically improved with immunosuppressive therapy including plasmatic exchanges, cyclophasmid and high dose corticoid infusions. Intensivists should be aware of this very rare syndrome whose treatment is the opposite of tetanus while presentation is very close. Optimal and treatment could lead to prolonged survival. PMID:25168299

  20. Assessment of Nutritional Status of Nepalese Hemodialysis Patients by Anthropometric Examinations and Modified Quantitative Subjective Global Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Sedhain, Arun; Hada, Rajani; Agrawal, Rajendra Kumar; Bhattarai, Gandhi R; Baral, Anil

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVE To assess the nutritional status of patients on maintenance hemodialysis by using modified quantitative subjective global assessment (MQSGA) and anthropometric measurements. METHOD We Conducted a cross sectional descriptive analytical study to assess the nutritional status of fifty four patients with chronic kidney disease undergoing maintenance hemodialysis by using MQSGA and different anthropometric and laboratory measurements like body mass index (BMI), mid-arm circumference (MAC), mid-arm muscle circumference (MAMC), triceps skin fold (TSF) and biceps skin fold (BSF), serum albumin, C-reactive protein (CRP) and lipid profile in a government tertiary hospital at Kathmandu, Nepal. RESULTS Based on MQSGA criteria, 66.7% of the patients suffered from mild to moderate malnutrition and 33.3% were well nourished. None of the patients were severely malnourished. CRP was positive in 56.3% patients. Serum albumin, MAC and BMI were (mean + SD) 4.0 + 0.3 mg/dl, 22 + 2.6 cm and 19.6 ± 3.2 kg/m2 respectively. MQSGA showed negative correlation with MAC (r = −0.563; P = <0.001), BMI (r = −0.448; P = <0.001), MAMC (r = −0.506; P = <.0001), TSF (r = −0.483; P = <.0002), and BSF (r = −0.508; P = <0.0001). Negative correlation of MQSGA was also found with total cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol without any statistical significance. CONCLUSION Mild to moderate malnutrition was found to be present in two thirds of the patients undergoing hemodialysis. Anthropometric measurements like BMI, MAC, MAMC, BSF and TSF were negatively correlated with MQSGA. Anthropometric and laboratory assessment tools could be used for nutritional assessment as they are relatively easier, cheaper and practical markers of nutritional status. PMID:26327781

  1. Quantitative assessment of changes in landslide risk using a regional scale run-out model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hussin, Haydar; Chen, Lixia; Ciurean, Roxana; van Westen, Cees; Reichenbach, Paola; Sterlacchini, Simone

    2015-04-01

    The risk of landslide hazard continuously changes in time and space and is rarely a static or constant phenomena in an affected area. However one of the main challenges of quantitatively assessing changes in landslide risk is the availability of multi-temporal data for the different components of risk. Furthermore, a truly "quantitative" landslide risk analysis requires the modeling of the landslide intensity (e.g. flow depth, velocities or impact pressures) affecting the elements at risk. Such a quantitative approach is often lacking in medium to regional scale studies in the scientific literature or is left out altogether. In this research we modelled the temporal and spatial changes of debris flow risk in a narrow alpine valley in the North Eastern Italian Alps. The debris flow inventory from 1996 to 2011 and multi-temporal digital elevation models (DEMs) were used to assess the susceptibility of debris flow triggering areas and to simulate debris flow run-out using the Flow-R regional scale model. In order to determine debris flow intensities, we used a linear relationship that was found between back calibrated physically based Flo-2D simulations (local scale models of five debris flows from 2003) and the probability values of the Flow-R software. This gave us the possibility to assign flow depth to a total of 10 separate classes on a regional scale. Debris flow vulnerability curves from the literature and one curve specifically for our case study area were used to determine the damage for different material and building types associated with the elements at risk. The building values were obtained from the Italian Revenue Agency (Agenzia delle Entrate) and were classified per cadastral zone according to the Real Estate Observatory data (Osservatorio del Mercato Immobiliare, Agenzia Entrate - OMI). The minimum and maximum market value for each building was obtained by multiplying the corresponding land-use value (€/msq) with building area and number of floors

  2. Assessment of the sources of error affecting the quantitative accuracy of SPECT imaging in small animals

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Andrew B; Franc, Benjamin L; Gullberg, Grant T; Hasegawa, Bruce H

    2009-01-01

    Small animal SPECT imaging systems have multiple potential applications in biomedical research. Whereas SPECT data are commonly interpreted qualitatively in a clinical setting, the ability to accurately quantify measurements will increase the utility of the SPECT data for laboratory measurements involving small animals. In this work, we assess the effect of photon attenuation, scatter and partial volume errors on the quantitative accuracy of small animal SPECT measurements, first with Monte Carlo simulation and then confirmed with experimental measurements. The simulations modeled the imaging geometry of a commercially available small animal SPECT system. We simulated the imaging of a radioactive source within a cylinder of water, and reconstructed the projection data using iterative reconstruction algorithms. The size of the source and the size of the surrounding cylinder were varied to evaluate the effects of photon attenuation and scatter on quantitative accuracy. We found that photon attenuation can reduce the measured concentration of radioactivity in a volume of interest in the center of a rat-sized cylinder of water by up to 50% when imaging with iodine-125, and up to 25% when imaging with technetium-99m. When imaging with iodine-125, the scatter-to-primary ratio can reach up to approximately 30%, and can cause overestimation of the radioactivity concentration when reconstructing data with attenuation correction. We varied the size of the source to evaluate partial volume errors, which we found to be a strong function of the size of the volume of interest and the spatial resolution. These errors can result in large (>50%) changes in the measured amount of radioactivity. The simulation results were compared with and found to agree with experimental measurements. The inclusion of attenuation correction in the reconstruction algorithm improved quantitative accuracy. We also found that an improvement of the spatial resolution through the use of resolution

  3. Malignant gliomas: current perspectives in diagnosis, treatment, and early response assessment using advanced quantitative imaging methods

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed, Rafay; Oborski, Matthew J; Hwang, Misun; Lieberman, Frank S; Mountz, James M

    2014-01-01

    Malignant gliomas consist of glioblastomas, anaplastic astrocytomas, anaplastic oligodendrogliomas and anaplastic oligoastrocytomas, and some less common tumors such as anaplastic ependymomas and anaplastic gangliogliomas. Malignant gliomas have high morbidity and mortality. Even with optimal treatment, median survival is only 12–15 months for glioblastomas and 2–5 years for anaplastic gliomas. However, recent advances in imaging and quantitative analysis of image data have led to earlier diagnosis of tumors and tumor response to therapy, providing oncologists with a greater time window for therapy management. In addition, improved understanding of tumor biology, genetics, and resistance mechanisms has enhanced surgical techniques, chemotherapy methods, and radiotherapy administration. After proper diagnosis and institution of appropriate therapy, there is now a vital need for quantitative methods that can sensitively detect malignant glioma response to therapy at early follow-up times, when changes in management of nonresponders can have its greatest effect. Currently, response is largely evaluated by measuring magnetic resonance contrast and size change, but this approach does not take into account the key biologic steps that precede tumor size reduction. Molecular imaging is ideally suited to measuring early response by quantifying cellular metabolism, proliferation, and apoptosis, activities altered early in treatment. We expect that successful integration of quantitative imaging biomarker assessment into the early phase of clinical trials could provide a novel approach for testing new therapies, and importantly, for facilitating patient management, sparing patients from weeks or months of toxicity and ineffective treatment. This review will present an overview of epidemiology, molecular pathogenesis and current advances in diagnoses, and management of malignant gliomas. PMID:24711712

  4. Assessment of the sources of error affecting the quantitative accuracy of SPECT imaging in small animals

    SciTech Connect

    Joint Graduate Group in Bioengineering, University of California, San Francisco and University of California, Berkeley; Department of Radiology, University of California; Gullberg, Grant T; Hwang, Andrew B.; Franc, Benjamin L.; Gullberg, Grant T.; Hasegawa, Bruce H.

    2008-02-15

    Small animal SPECT imaging systems have multiple potential applications in biomedical research. Whereas SPECT data are commonly interpreted qualitatively in a clinical setting, the ability to accurately quantify measurements will increase the utility of the SPECT data for laboratory measurements involving small animals. In this work, we assess the effect of photon attenuation, scatter and partial volume errors on the quantitative accuracy of small animal SPECT measurements, first with Monte Carlo simulation and then confirmed with experimental measurements. The simulations modeled the imaging geometry of a commercially available small animal SPECT system. We simulated the imaging of a radioactive source within a cylinder of water, and reconstructed the projection data using iterative reconstruction algorithms. The size of the source and the size of the surrounding cylinder were varied to evaluate the effects of photon attenuation and scatter on quantitative accuracy. We found that photon attenuation can reduce the measured concentration of radioactivity in a volume of interest in the center of a rat-sized cylinder of water by up to 50percent when imaging with iodine-125, and up to 25percent when imaging with technetium-99m. When imaging with iodine-125, the scatter-to-primary ratio can reach up to approximately 30percent, and can cause overestimation of the radioactivity concentration when reconstructing data with attenuation correction. We varied the size of the source to evaluate partial volume errors, which we found to be a strong function of the size of the volume of interest and the spatial resolution. These errors can result in large (>50percent) changes in the measured amount of radioactivity. The simulation results were compared with and found to agree with experimental measurements. The inclusion of attenuation correction in the reconstruction algorithm improved quantitative accuracy. We also found that an improvement of the spatial resolution through the

  5. Quantitative assessment of developmental levels in overarm throwing using wearable inertial sensing technology.

    PubMed

    Grimpampi, Eleni; Masci, Ilaria; Pesce, Caterina; Vannozzi, Giuseppe

    2016-09-01

    Motor proficiency in childhood has been recently recognised as a public health determinant, having a potential impact on the physical activity level and possible sedentary behaviour of the child later in life. Among fundamental motor skills, ballistic skills assessment based on in-field quantitative observations is progressively needed in the motor development community. The aim of this study was to propose an in-field quantitative approach to identify different developmental levels in overarm throwing. Fifty-eight children aged 5-10 years performed an overarm throwing task while wearing three inertial sensors located at the wrist, trunk and pelvis level and were then categorised using a developmental sequence of overarm throwing. A set of biomechanical parameters were defined and analysed using multivariate statistics to evaluate whether they can be used as developmental indicators. Trunk and pelvis angular velocities and time durations before the ball release showed increasing/decreasing trends with increasing developmental level. Significant differences between developmental level pairs were observed for selected biomechanical parameters. The results support the suitability and feasibility of objective developmental measures in ecological learning contexts, suggesting their potential supportiveness to motor learning experiences in educational and youth sports training settings. PMID:26818205

  6. Rapid quantitative assessment of myocardial perfusion: spectral analysis of myocardial contrast echocardiographic images.

    PubMed

    Bae, Richard Y; Belohlavek, Marek; Greenleaf, James F; Seward, James B

    2002-01-01

    We described a novel rapid spectral analysis technique performed on raw digital in-phase quadrature (IQ) data that quantitatively differentiated perfused from nonperfused myocardium based on the simultaneous comparison of local fundamental and harmonic frequency band intensity levels. In open-chest pigs after ligation of the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) and continuous venous contrast infusion, the fundamental-to-harmonic intensity ratio (FHIR) for samples placed within the left ventricular (LV) cavity (10.8 +/- 1.7 dB) and perfused myocardium (13.7 +/- 1.6 dB) were significantly (P <.001) lower than for nonperfused myocardium (27.1 +/- 2.9 dB). In attenuated images, the FHIR for the LV cavity and perfused myocardium were also significantly (P <.05) lower than for the nonperfused myocardium (21.4 +/- 3.0 dB, 34.4 +/- 3.2 dB, and 40.2 +/- 4.4 dB, respectively). Spectral properties of contrast microbubbles, as characterized by the FHIR, allow for rapid quantitative assessment of myocardial perfusion from data contained in a single-image frame, without requiring background image subtraction and image averaging. PMID:11781556

  7. Multiparametric MRI Assessment of Human Articular Cartilage Degeneration: Correlation with Quantitative Histology and Mechanical Properties

    PubMed Central

    Rautiainen, Jari; Nissi, Mikko J.; Salo, Elli-Noora; Tiitu, Virpi; Finnilä, Mikko A.J.; Aho, Olli-Matti; Saarakkala, Simo; Lehenkari, Petri; Ellermann, Jutta; Nieminen, Miika T.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose To evaluate the sensitivity of quantitative MRI techniques (T1, T1,Gd, T2, continous wave (CW) T1ρ dispersion, adiabatic T1ρ, adiabatic T2ρ, RAFF and inversion-prepared magnetization transfer (MT)) for assessment of human articular cartilage with varying degrees of natural degeneration. Methods Osteochondral samples (n = 14) were obtained from the tibial plateaus of patients undergoing total knee replacement. MRI of the specimens was performed at 9.4 T and the relaxation time maps were evaluated in the cartilage zones. For reference, quantitative histology, OARSI grading and biomechanical measurements were performed and correlated with MRI findings. Results All MRI parameters, except T1,Gd, showed statistically significant differences in tangential and full-thickness ROIs between early and advanced osteoarthritis (OA) groups, as classified by OARSI grading. CW-T1ρ showed significant dispersion in all ROIs and featured classical laminar structure of cartilage with spin-lock powers below 1000 Hz. Adiabatic T1ρ, T2ρ, CW-T1ρ, MT and RAFF correlated strongly with OARSI grade and biomechanical parameters. Conclusion MRI parameters were able to differentiate between early and advanced OA. Furthermore, rotating frame methods, namely adiabatic T1ρ, adiabatic T2ρ, CW-T1ρ and RAFF, as well as MT experiment correlated strongly with biomechanical parameters and OARSI grade, suggesting high sensitivity of the parameters for cartilage degeneration. PMID:25104181

  8. Quantitative MR assessment of structural changes in white matter of children treated for ALL

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reddick, Wilburn E.; Glass, John O.; Mulhern, Raymond K.

    2001-07-01

    Our research builds on the hypothesis that white matter damage resulting from therapy spans a continuum of severity that can be reliably probed using non-invasive MR technology. This project focuses on children treated for ALL with a regimen containing seven courses of high-dose methotrexate (HDMTX) which is known to cause leukoencephalopathy. Axial FLAIR, T1-, T2-, and PD-weighted images were acquired, registered and then analyzed with a hybrid neural network segmentation algorithm to identify normal brain parenchyma and leukoencephalopathy. Quantitative T1 and T2 maps were also analyzed at the level of the basal ganglia and the centrum semiovale. The segmented images were used as mask to identify regions of normal appearing white matter (NAWM) and leukoencephalopathy in the quantitative T1 and T2 maps. We assessed the longitudinal changes in volume, T1 and T2 in NAWM and leukoencephalopathy for 42 patients. The segmentation analysis revealed that 69% of patients had leukoencephalopathy after receiving seven courses of HDMTX. The leukoencephalopathy affected approximately 17% of the patients' white matter volume on average (range 2% - 38%). Relaxation rates in the NAWM were not significantly changed between the 1st and 7th courses. Regions of leukoencephalopathy exhibited a 13% elevation in T1 and a 37% elevation in T2 relaxation rates.

  9. Dynamic and quantitative assessment of blood coagulation using optical coherence elastography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Xiangqun; Zhu, Jiang; Chen, Zhongping

    2016-04-01

    Reliable clot diagnostic systems are needed for directing treatment in a broad spectrum of cardiovascular diseases and coagulopathy. Here, we report on non-contact measurement of elastic modulus for dynamic and quantitative assessment of whole blood coagulation using acoustic radiation force orthogonal excitation optical coherence elastography (ARFOE-OCE). In this system, acoustic radiation force (ARF) is produced by a remote ultrasonic transducer, and a shear wave induced by ARF excitation is detected by the optical coherence tomography (OCT) system. During porcine whole blood coagulation, changes in the elastic property of the clots increase the shear modulus of the sample, altering the propagating velocity of the shear wave. Consequently, dynamic blood coagulation status can be measured quantitatively by relating the velocity of the shear wave with clinically relevant coagulation metrics, including reaction time, clot formation kinetics and maximum shear modulus. The results show that the ARFOE-OCE is sensitive to the clot formation kinetics and can differentiate the elastic properties of the recalcified porcine whole blood, blood added with kaolin as an activator, and blood spiked with fibrinogen.

  10. Enantiomeric fractionation as a tool for quantitative assessment of biodegradation: The case of metoprolol.

    PubMed

    Souchier, Marine; Benali-Raclot, Dalel; Casellas, Claude; Ingrand, Valérie; Chiron, Serge

    2016-05-15

    An efficient chiral liquid chromatography high resolution mass spectrometry method has been developed for the determination of metoprolol (MTP) and three of its major metabolites, namely O-desmethylmetoprolol (O-DMTP), α-hydroxymetoprolol (α-HMTP) and metoprolol acid (MTPA) in wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) influents and effluents. The optimized analytical method has been validated with good quality parameters including resolution >1.3 and method quantification limits down to the ng/L range except for MTPA. On the basis of this newly developed analytical method, the stereochemistry of MTP and its metabolites was studied over time in effluent/sediment biotic and sterile microcosms under dark and light conditions and in influents and effluents of 5 different WWTPs. MTP stereoselective degradation was exclusively observed under biotic conditions, confirming the specificity of enantiomeric fraction variations to biodegradation processes. MTP was always biotransformed into MTPA with a (S)-enantiomer enrichment. The results of enantiomeric enrichment pointed the way for a quantitative assessment of in situ biodegradation processes due to a good fit (R(2) > 0.98) of the aerobic MTP biodegradation to the Rayleigh dependency in all the biotic microcosms and in WWTPs because both MTP enantiomers followed the same biodegradation kinetic profiles. These results demonstrate that enantiomeric fractionation constitutes a very interesting quantitative indicator of MTP biodegradation in WWTPs and probably in the environment. PMID:26978718

  11. Dynamic and quantitative assessment of blood coagulation using optical coherence elastography.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiangqun; Zhu, Jiang; Chen, Zhongping

    2016-01-01

    Reliable clot diagnostic systems are needed for directing treatment in a broad spectrum of cardiovascular diseases and coagulopathy. Here, we report on non-contact measurement of elastic modulus for dynamic and quantitative assessment of whole blood coagulation using acoustic radiation force orthogonal excitation optical coherence elastography (ARFOE-OCE). In this system, acoustic radiation force (ARF) is produced by a remote ultrasonic transducer, and a shear wave induced by ARF excitation is detected by the optical coherence tomography (OCT) system. During porcine whole blood coagulation, changes in the elastic property of the clots increase the shear modulus of the sample, altering the propagating velocity of the shear wave. Consequently, dynamic blood coagulation status can be measured quantitatively by relating the velocity of the shear wave with clinically relevant coagulation metrics, including reaction time, clot formation kinetics and maximum shear modulus. The results show that the ARFOE-OCE is sensitive to the clot formation kinetics and can differentiate the elastic properties of the recalcified porcine whole blood, blood added with kaolin as an activator, and blood spiked with fibrinogen. PMID:27090437

  12. Quantitative method to assess caries via fluorescence imaging from the perspective of autofluorescence spectral analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Q. G.; Zhu, H. H.; Xu, Y.; Lin, B.; Chen, H.

    2015-08-01

    A quantitative method to discriminate caries lesions for a fluorescence imaging system is proposed in this paper. The autofluorescence spectral investigation of 39 teeth samples classified by the International Caries Detection and Assessment System levels was performed at 405 nm excitation. The major differences in the different caries lesions focused on the relative spectral intensity range of 565-750 nm. The spectral parameter, defined as the ratio of wavebands at 565-750 nm to the whole spectral range, was calculated. The image component ratio R/(G + B) of color components was statistically computed by considering the spectral parameters (e.g. autofluorescence, optical filter, and spectral sensitivity) in our fluorescence color imaging system. Results showed that the spectral parameter and image component ratio presented a linear relation. Therefore, the image component ratio was graded as <0.66, 0.66-1.06, 1.06-1.62, and >1.62 to quantitatively classify sound, early decay, established decay, and severe decay tissues, respectively. Finally, the fluorescence images of caries were experimentally obtained, and the corresponding image component ratio distribution was compared with the classification result. A method to determine the numerical grades of caries using a fluorescence imaging system was proposed. This method can be applied to similar imaging systems.

  13. Dynamic and quantitative assessment of blood coagulation using optical coherence elastography

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Xiangqun; Zhu, Jiang; Chen, Zhongping

    2016-01-01

    Reliable clot diagnostic systems are needed for directing treatment in a broad spectrum of cardiovascular diseases and coagulopathy. Here, we report on non-contact measurement of elastic modulus for dynamic and quantitative assessment of whole blood coagulation using acoustic radiation force orthogonal excitation optical coherence elastography (ARFOE-OCE). In this system, acoustic radiation force (ARF) is produced by a remote ultrasonic transducer, and a shear wave induced by ARF excitation is detected by the optical coherence tomography (OCT) system. During porcine whole blood coagulation, changes in the elastic property of the clots increase the shear modulus of the sample, altering the propagating velocity of the shear wave. Consequently, dynamic blood coagulation status can be measured quantitatively by relating the velocity of the shear wave with clinically relevant coagulation metrics, including reaction time, clot formation kinetics and maximum shear modulus. The results show that the ARFOE-OCE is sensitive to the clot formation kinetics and can differentiate the elastic properties of the recalcified porcine whole blood, blood added with kaolin as an activator, and blood spiked with fibrinogen. PMID:27090437

  14. Noninvasive Qualitative and Quantitative Assessment of Spoilage Attributes of Chilled Pork Using Hyperspectral Scattering Technique.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Leilei; Peng, Yankun

    2016-08-01

    The objective of this research was to develop a rapid noninvasive method for quantitative and qualitative determination of chilled pork spoilage. Microbiological, physicochemical, and organoleptic characteristics such as the total viable count (TVC), Pseudomonas spp., total volatile basic-nitrogen (TVB-N), pH value, and color parameter L* were determined to appraise pork quality. The hyperspectral scattering characteristics from 54 meat samples were fitted by four-parameter modified Gompertz function accurately. Support vector machines (SVM) was applied to establish quantitative prediction model between scattering fitting parameters and reference values. In addition, partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) and Bayesian analysis were utilized as supervised and unsupervised techniques for the qualitative identification of meat spoilage. All stored chilled meat samples were classified into three grades: "fresh," "semi-fresh," and "spoiled." Bayesian classification model was superior to PLS-DA with overall classification accuracy of 92.86%. The results demonstrated that hyperspectral scattering technique combined with SVM and Bayesian possessed a powerful capability for meat spoilage assessment rapidly and noninvasively. PMID:27340214

  15. Quantitative Assessment of Thermodynamic Constraints on the Solution Space of Genome-Scale Metabolic Models

    PubMed Central

    Hamilton, Joshua J.; Dwivedi, Vivek; Reed, Jennifer L.

    2013-01-01

    Constraint-based methods provide powerful computational techniques to allow understanding and prediction of cellular behavior. These methods rely on physiochemical constraints to eliminate infeasible behaviors from the space of available behaviors. One such constraint is thermodynamic feasibility, the requirement that intracellular flux distributions obey the laws of thermodynamics. The past decade has seen several constraint-based methods that interpret this constraint in different ways, including those that are limited to small networks, rely on predefined reaction directions, and/or neglect the relationship between reaction free energies and metabolite concentrations. In this work, we utilize one such approach, thermodynamics-based metabolic flux analysis (TMFA), to make genome-scale, quantitative predictions about metabolite concentrations and reaction free energies in the absence of prior knowledge of reaction directions, while accounting for uncertainties in thermodynamic estimates. We applied TMFA to a genome-scale network reconstruction of Escherichia coli and examined the effect of thermodynamic constraints on the flux space. We also assessed the predictive performance of TMFA against gene essentiality and quantitative metabolomics data, under both aerobic and anaerobic, and optimal and suboptimal growth conditions. Based on these results, we propose that TMFA is a useful tool for validating phenotypes and generating hypotheses, and that additional types of data and constraints can improve predictions of metabolite concentrations. PMID:23870272

  16. Specific and quantitative assessment of naphthalene and salicylate bioavailability by using a bioluminescent catabolic reporter bacterium

    SciTech Connect

    Heitzer, A.; Thonnard, J.E.; Sayler, G.S.; Webb, O.F. )

    1992-06-01

    A bioassay was developed and standardized for the rapid, specific, and quantitative assessment of naphthalene and salicylate bioavailability by use of bioluminescence monitoring of catabolic gene expression. The bioluminescent reporter strain Pseudomonas fluorescens HK44, which carries a transcriptional nahG-luxCDABE fusion for naphthalene and salicylate catabolism, was used. The physiological state of the reporter cultures as well as the intrinsic regulatory properties of the naphthalene degradation operon must be taken into account to obtain a high specificity at low target substrate concentrations. Experiments have shown that the use of exponentially growing reporter cultures has advantages over the use of carbon-starved, resting cultures. In aqueous solutions for both substrates, naphthalene and salicylate, linear relationships between initial substrate concentration and bioluminescence response were found over concentration ranges of 1 to 2 orders of magnitude. Naphthalene could be detected at a concentration of 45 ppb. Studies conducted under defined conditions with extracts and slurries of experimentally contaminated sterile soils and identical uncontaminated soil controls demonstrated that this method can be used for specific and quantitative estimations of target pollutant presence and bioavailability in soil extracts and for specific and qualitative estimations of napthalene in soil slurries.

  17. Quantitative risk assessment for skin sensitisation: consideration of a simplified approach for hair dye ingredients.

    PubMed

    Goebel, Carsten; Diepgen, Thomas L; Krasteva, Maya; Schlatter, Harald; Nicolas, Jean-Francois; Blömeke, Brunhilde; Coenraads, Pieter Jan; Schnuch, Axel; Taylor, James S; Pungier, Jacquemine; Fautz, Rolf; Fuchs, Anne; Schuh, Werner; Gerberick, G Frank; Kimber, Ian

    2012-12-01

    With the availability of the local lymph node assay, and the ability to evaluate effectively the relative skin sensitizing potency of contact allergens, a model for quantitative-risk-assessment (QRA) has been developed. This QRA process comprises: (a) determination of a no-expected-sensitisation-induction-level (NESIL), (b) incorporation of sensitization-assessment-factors (SAFs) reflecting variations between subjects, product use patterns and matrices, and (c) estimation of consumer-exposure-level (CEL). Based on these elements an acceptable-exposure-level (AEL) can be calculated by dividing the NESIL of the product by individual SAFs. Finally, the AEL is compared with the CEL to judge about risks to human health. We propose a simplified approach to risk assessment of hair dye ingredients by making use of precise experimental product exposure data. This data set provides firmly established dose/unit area concentrations under relevant consumer use conditions referred to as the measured-exposure-level (MEL). For that reason a direct comparison is possible between the NESIL with the MEL as a proof-of-concept quantification of the risk of skin sensitization. This is illustrated here by reference to two specific hair dye ingredients p-phenylenediamine and resorcinol. Comparison of these robust and toxicologically relevant values is therefore considered an improvement versus a hazard-based classification of hair dye ingredients. PMID:23069142

  18. Quantitative assessment of reactive hyperemia using laser speckle contrast imaging at multiple wavelengths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Anthony; Vishwanath, Karthik

    2016-03-01

    Reactive hyperemia refers to an increase of blood flow in tissue post release of an occlusion in the local vasculature. Measuring the temporal response of reactive hyperemia, post-occlusion in patients has the potential to shed information about microvascular diseases such as systemic sclerosis and diabetes. Laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI) is an imaging technique capable of sensing superficial blood flow in tissue which can be used to quantitatively assess reactive hyperemia. Here, we employ LSCI using coherent sources in the blue, green and red wavelengths to evaluate reactive hyperemia in healthy human volunteers. Blood flow in the forearms of subjects were measured using LSCI to assess the time-course of reactive hyperemia that was triggered by a pressure cuff applied to the biceps of the subjects. Raw speckle images were acquired and processed to yield blood-flow parameters from a region of interest before, during and after application of occlusion. Reactive hyperemia was quantified via two measures - (1) by calculating the difference between the peak LSCI flow during the hyperemia and baseline flow, and (2) by measuring the amount of time that elapsed between the release of the occlusion and peak flow. These measurements were acquired in three healthy human participants, under the three laser wavelengths employed. The studies shed light on the utility of in vivo LSCI-based flow sensing for non-invasive assessment of reactive hyperemia responses and how they varied with the choice source wavelength influences the measured parameters.

  19. Assessing the toxic effects of ethylene glycol ethers using Quantitative Structure Toxicity Relationship models

    SciTech Connect

    Ruiz, Patricia; Mumtaz, Moiz; Gombar, Vijay

    2011-07-15

    Experimental determination of toxicity profiles consumes a great deal of time, money, and other resources. Consequently, businesses, societies, and regulators strive for reliable alternatives such as Quantitative Structure Toxicity Relationship (QSTR) models to fill gaps in toxicity profiles of compounds of concern to human health. The use of glycol ethers and their health effects have recently attracted the attention of international organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO). The board members of Concise International Chemical Assessment Documents (CICAD) recently identified inadequate testing as well as gaps in toxicity profiles of ethylene glycol mono-n-alkyl ethers (EGEs). The CICAD board requested the ATSDR Computational Toxicology and Methods Development Laboratory to conduct QSTR assessments of certain specific toxicity endpoints for these chemicals. In order to evaluate the potential health effects of EGEs, CICAD proposed a critical QSTR analysis of the mutagenicity, carcinogenicity, and developmental effects of EGEs and other selected chemicals. We report here results of the application of QSTRs to assess rodent carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, and developmental toxicity of four EGEs: 2-methoxyethanol, 2-ethoxyethanol, 2-propoxyethanol, and 2-butoxyethanol and their metabolites. Neither mutagenicity nor carcinogenicity is indicated for the parent compounds, but these compounds are predicted to be developmental toxicants. The predicted toxicity effects were subjected to reverse QSTR (rQSTR) analysis to identify structural attributes that may be the main drivers of the developmental toxicity potential of these compounds.

  20. Quantitative Gait Measurement With Pulse-Doppler Radar for Passive In-Home Gait Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Skubic, Marjorie; Rantz, Marilyn; Cuddihy, Paul E.

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a pulse-Doppler radar system for in-home gait assessment of older adults. A methodology has been developed to extract gait parameters including walking speed and step time using Doppler radar. The gait parameters have been validated with a Vicon motion capture system in the lab with 13 participants and 158 test runs. The study revealed that for an optimal step recognition and walking speed estimation, a dual radar set up with one radar placed at foot level and the other at torso level is necessary. An excellent absolute agreement with intraclass correlation coefficients of 0.97 was found for step time estimation with the foot level radar. For walking speed, although both radars show excellent consistency they all have a system offset compared to the ground truth due to walking direction with respect to the radar beam. The torso level radar has a better performance (9% offset on average) in the speed estimation compared to the foot level radar (13%–18% offset). Quantitative analysis has been performed to compute the angles causing the systematic error. These lab results demonstrate the capability of the system to be used as a daily gait assessment tool in home environments, useful for fall risk assessment and other health care applications. The system is currently being tested in an unstructured home environment. PMID:24771566

  1. Quantitative assessment of resilience of a water supply system under rainfall reduction due to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amarasinghe, Pradeep; Liu, An; Egodawatta, Prasanna; Barnes, Paul; McGree, James; Goonetilleke, Ashantha

    2016-09-01

    A water supply system can be impacted by rainfall reduction due to climate change, thereby reducing its supply potential. This highlights the need to understand the system resilience, which refers to the ability to maintain service under various pressures (or disruptions). Currently, the concept of resilience has not yet been widely applied in managing water supply systems. This paper proposed three technical resilience indictors to assess the resilience of a water supply system. A case study analysis was undertaken of the Water Grid system of Queensland State, Australia, to showcase how the proposed indicators can be applied to assess resilience. The research outcomes confirmed that the use of resilience indicators is capable of identifying critical conditions in relation to the water supply system operation, such as the maximum allowable rainfall reduction for the system to maintain its operation without failure. Additionally, resilience indicators also provided useful insight regarding the sensitivity of the water supply system to a changing rainfall pattern in the context of climate change, which represents the system's stability when experiencing pressure. The study outcomes will help in the quantitative assessment of resilience and provide improved guidance to system operators to enhance the efficiency and reliability of a water supply system.

  2. A quantitative health assessment index for rapid evaluation of fish condition in the field

    SciTech Connect

    Adams, S.M. ); Brown, A.M. ); Goede, R.W. )

    1993-01-01

    The health assessment index (HAI) is an extension and refinement of a previously published field necropsy system. The HAI is a quantitative index that allows statistical comparisons of fish health among data sets. Index variables are assigned numerical values based on the degree of severity or damage incurred by an organ or tissue from environmental stressors. This approach has been used to evaluate the general health status of fish populations in a wide range of reservoir types in the Tennessee River basin (North Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky), in Hartwell Reservoir (Georgia, South Carolina) that is contaminated by polychlorinated biphenyls, and in the Pigeon River (Tennessee, North Carolina) that receives effluents from a bleaches kraft mill. The ability of the HAI to accurately characterize the health of fish in these systems was evaluated by comparing this index to other types of fish health measures (contaminant, bioindicator, and reproductive analysis) made at the same time as the HAI. In all cases, the HAI demonstrated the same pattern of fish health status between sites as did each of the other more sophisticated health assessment methods. The HAI has proven to be a simple and inexpensive means of rapidly assessing general fish health in field situations. 29 refs., 5 tabs.

  3. Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment in Occupational Settings Applied to the Airborne Human Adenovirus Infection.

    PubMed

    Carducci, Annalaura; Donzelli, Gabriele; Cioni, Lorenzo; Verani, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) methodology, which has already been applied to drinking water and food safety, may also be applied to risk assessment and management at the workplace. The present study developed a preliminary QMRA model to assess microbial risk that is associated with inhaling bioaerosols that are contaminated with human adenovirus (HAdV). This model has been applied to air contamination data from different occupational settings, including wastewater systems, solid waste landfills, and toilets in healthcare settings and offices, with different exposure times. Virological monitoring showed the presence of HAdVs in all the evaluated settings, thus confirming that HAdV is widespread, but with different average concentrations of the virus. The QMRA results, based on these concentrations, showed that toilets had the highest probability of viral infection, followed by wastewater treatment plants and municipal solid waste landfills. Our QMRA approach in occupational settings is novel, and certain caveats should be considered. Nonetheless, we believe it is worthy of further discussions and investigations. PMID:27447658

  4. Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment in Occupational Settings Applied to the Airborne Human Adenovirus Infection

    PubMed Central

    Carducci, Annalaura; Donzelli, Gabriele; Cioni, Lorenzo; Verani, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA) methodology, which has already been applied to drinking water and food safety, may also be applied to risk assessment and management at the workplace. The present study developed a preliminary QMRA model to assess microbial risk that is associated with inhaling bioaerosols that are contaminated with human adenovirus (HAdV). This model has been applied to air contamination data from different occupational settings, including wastewater systems, solid waste landfills, and toilets in healthcare settings and offices, with different exposure times. Virological monitoring showed the presence of HAdVs in all the evaluated settings, thus confirming that HAdV is widespread, but with different average concentrations of the virus. The QMRA results, based on these concentrations, showed that toilets had the highest probability of viral infection, followed by wastewater treatment plants and municipal solid waste landfills. Our QMRA approach in occupational settings is novel, and certain caveats should be considered. Nonetheless, we believe it is worthy of further discussions and investigations. PMID:27447658

  5. Quantitative Assessment of Eye Phenotypes for Functional Genetic Studies Using Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Iyer, Janani; Wang, Qingyu; Le, Thanh; Pizzo, Lucilla; Grönke, Sebastian; Ambegaokar, Surendra S; Imai, Yuzuru; Srivastava, Ashutosh; Troisí, Beatriz Llamusí; Mardon, Graeme; Artero, Ruben; Jackson, George R; Isaacs, Adrian M; Partridge, Linda; Lu, Bingwei; Kumar, Justin P; Girirajan, Santhosh

    2016-01-01

    About two-thirds of the vital genes in the Drosophila genome are involved in eye development, making the fly eye an excellent genetic system to study cellular function and development, neurodevelopment/degeneration, and complex diseases such as cancer and diabetes. We developed a novel computational method, implemented as Flynotyper software (http://flynotyper.sourceforge.net), to quantitatively assess the morphological defects in the Drosophila eye resulting from genetic alterations affecting basic cellular and developmental processes. Flynotyper utilizes a series of image processing operations to automatically detect the fly eye and the individual ommatidium, and calculates a phenotypic score as a measure of the disorderliness of ommatidial arrangement in the fly eye. As a proof of principle, we tested our method by analyzing the defects due to eye-specific knockdown of Drosophila orthologs of 12 neurodevelopmental genes to accurately document differential sensitivities of these genes to dosage alteration. We also evaluated eye images from six independent studies assessing the effect of overexpression of repeats, candidates from peptide library screens, and modifiers of neurotoxicity and developmental processes on eye morphology, and show strong concordance with the original assessment. We further demonstrate the utility of this method by analyzing 16 modifiers of sine oculis obtained from two genome-wide deficiency screens of Drosophila and accurately quantifying the effect of its enhancers and suppressors during eye development. Our method will complement existing assays for eye phenotypes, and increase the accuracy of studies that use fly eyes for functional evaluation of genes and genetic interactions. PMID:26994292

  6. Quantitative gait measurement with pulse-Doppler radar for passive in-home gait assessment.

    PubMed

    Wang, Fang; Skubic, Marjorie; Rantz, Marilyn; Cuddihy, Paul E

    2014-09-01

    In this paper, we propose a pulse-Doppler radar system for in-home gait assessment of older adults. A methodology has been developed to extract gait parameters including walking speed and step time using Doppler radar. The gait parameters have been validated with a Vicon motion capture system in the lab with 13 participants and 158 test runs. The study revealed that for an optimal step recognition and walking speed estimation, a dual radar set up with one radar placed at foot level and the other at torso level is necessary. An excellent absolute agreement with intraclass correlation coefficients of 0.97 was found for step time estimation with the foot level radar. For walking speed, although both radars show excellent consistency they all have a system offset compared to the ground truth due to walking direction with respect to the radar beam. The torso level radar has a better performance (9% offset on average) in the speed estimation compared to the foot level radar (13%-18% offset). Quantitative analysis has been performed to compute the angles causing the systematic error. These lab results demonstrate the capability of the system to be used as a daily gait assessment tool in home environments, useful for fall risk assessment and other health care applications. The system is currently being tested in an unstructured home environment. PMID:24771566

  7. Quantitative Assessment of Eye Phenotypes for Functional Genetic Studies Using Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Iyer, Janani; Wang, Qingyu; Le, Thanh; Pizzo, Lucilla; Grönke, Sebastian; Ambegaokar, Surendra S.; Imai, Yuzuru; Srivastava, Ashutosh; Troisí, Beatriz Llamusí; Mardon, Graeme; Artero, Ruben; Jackson, George R.; Isaacs, Adrian M.; Partridge, Linda; Lu, Bingwei; Kumar, Justin P.; Girirajan, Santhosh

    2016-01-01

    About two-thirds of the vital genes in the Drosophila genome are involved in eye development, making the fly eye an excellent genetic system to study cellular function and development, neurodevelopment/degeneration, and complex diseases such as cancer and diabetes. We developed a novel computational method, implemented as Flynotyper software (http://flynotyper.sourceforge.net), to quantitatively assess the morphological defects in the Drosophila eye resulting from genetic alterations affecting basic cellular and developmental processes. Flynotyper utilizes a series of image processing operations to automatically detect the fly eye and the individual ommatidium, and calculates a phenotypic score as a measure of the disorderliness of ommatidial arrangement in the fly eye. As a proof of principle, we tested our method by analyzing the defects due to eye-specific knockdown of Drosophila orthologs of 12 neurodevelopmental genes to accurately document differential sensitivities of these genes to dosage alteration. We also evaluated eye images from six independent studies assessing the effect of overexpression of repeats, candidates from peptide library screens, and modifiers of neurotoxicity and developmental processes on eye morphology, and show strong concordance with the original assessment. We further demonstrate the utility of this method by analyzing 16 modifiers of sine oculis obtained from two genome-wide deficiency screens of Drosophila and accurately quantifying the effect of its enhancers and suppressors during eye development. Our method will complement existing assays for eye phenotypes, and increase the accuracy of studies that use fly eyes for functional evaluation of genes and genetic interactions. PMID:26994292

  8. Coherent and consistent decision making for mixed hazardous waste management: The application of quantitative assessment techniques

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, G.M.; Little, R.H.; Torres, C.

    1994-12-31

    This paper focuses on predictive modelling capacity for post-disposal safety assessments of land-based disposal facilities, illustrated by presentation of the development and application of a comprehensive, yet practicable, assessment framework. The issues addressed include: (1) land-based disposal practice, (2) the conceptual and mathematical representation of processes leading to release, migration and accumulation of contaminants, (3) the identification and evaluation of relevant assessment end-points, including human health, health of non-human biota and eco-systems, and property and resource effects, (4) the gap between data requirements and data availability, and (5) the application of results in decision making, given the uncertainties in assessment results and the difficulty of comparing qualitatively different impacts arising in different temporal and spatial scales. The paper illustrates the issues with examples based on disposal of metals and radionuclides to shallow facilities. The types of disposal facility considered include features consistent with facilities for radioactive wastes as well as other types of design more typical of hazardous wastes. The intention is to raise the question of whether radioactive and other hazardous wastes are being consistently managed, and to show that assessment methods are being developed which can provide quantitative information on the levels of environmental impact as well as a consistent approach for different types of waste, such methods can then be applied to mixed hazardous wastes contained radionuclides as well as other contaminants. The remaining question is whether the will exists to employ them. The discussion and worked illustrations are based on a methodology developed and being extended within the current European Atomic Energy Community`s cost-sharing research program on radioactive waste management and disposal, with co-funding support from Empresa Nacional de Residuous Radiactivos SA, Spain.

  9. Quantitative Assessment of Participant Knowledge and Evaluation of Participant Satisfaction in the CARES Training Program

    PubMed Central

    Goodman, Melody S.; Si, Xuemei; Stafford, Jewel D.; Obasohan, Adesuwa; Mchunguzi, Cheryl

    2016-01-01

    Background The purpose of the Community Alliance for Research Empowering Social change (CARES) training program was to (1) train community members on evidence-based public health, (2) increase their scientific literacy, and (3) develop the infrastructure for community-based participatory research (CBPR). Objectives We assessed participant knowledge and evaluated participant satisfaction of the CARES training program to identify learning needs, obtain valuable feedback about the training, and ensure learning objectives were met through mutually beneficial CBPR approaches. Methods A baseline assessment was administered before the first training session and a follow-up assessment and evaluation was administered after the final training session. At each training session a pretest was administered before the session and a posttest and evaluation were administered at the end of the session. After training session six, a mid-training evaluation was administered. We analyze results from quantitative questions on the assessments, pre- and post-tests, and evaluations. Results CARES fellows knowledge increased at follow-up (75% of questions were answered correctly on average) compared with baseline (38% of questions were answered correctly on average) assessment; post-test scores were higher than pre-test scores in 9 out of 11 sessions. Fellows enjoyed the training and rated all sessions well on the evaluations. Conclusions The CARES fellows training program was successful in participant satisfaction and increasing community knowledge of public health, CBPR, and research method ology. Engaging and training community members in evidence-based public health research can develop an infrastructure for community–academic research partnerships. PMID:22982849

  10. Assessing the Expected Impact of Global Health Treaties: Evidence From 90 Quantitative Evaluations

    PubMed Central

    Røttingen, John-Arne

    2015-01-01

    We assessed what impact can be expected from global health treaties on the basis of 90 quantitative evaluations of existing treaties on trade, finance, human rights, conflict, and the environment. It appears treaties consistently succeed in shaping economic matters and consistently fail in achieving social progress. There are at least 3 differences between these domains that point to design characteristics that new global health treaties can incorporate to achieve positive impact: (1) incentives for those with power to act on them; (2) institutions designed to bring edicts into effect; and (3) interests advocating their negotiation, adoption, ratification, and domestic implementation. Experimental and quasiexperimental evaluations of treaties would provide more information about what can be expected from this type of global intervention. PMID:25393196

  11. Quantitative mass spectrometric analysis and post-extraction stability assessment of the euglenoid toxin euglenophycin.

    PubMed

    Gutierrez, Danielle B; Rafalski, Alexandra; Beauchesne, Kevin; Moeller, Peter D; Triemer, Richard E; Zimba, Paul V

    2013-09-01

    Euglenophycin is a recently discovered toxin produced by at least one species of euglenoid algae. The toxin has been responsible for several fish mortality events. To facilitate the identification and monitoring of euglenophycin in freshwater ponds, we have developed a specific mass spectrometric method for the identification and quantitation of euglenophycin. The post-extraction stability of the toxin was assessed under various conditions. Euglenophycin was most stable at room temperature. At 8 °C there was a small, but statistically significant, loss in toxin after one day. These methods and knowledge of the toxin's stability will facilitate identification of the toxin as a causative agent in fish kills and determination of the toxin's distribution in the organs of exposed fish. PMID:24051554

  12. Quantitative assessment of pupillary light reflex in normal and anesthetized dogs: a preliminary study.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jury; Heo, Jiseong; Ji, Dongbeom; Kim, Min-Su

    2015-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to quantitatively assess the pupillary light reflex (PLR) in normal and anesthetized dogs using a pupillometer. Eleven dogs (20 eyes) of various breeds were included. PLRs were measured with a handheld pupillometer in dim light before and during anesthesia. Anesthesia was conducted with atropine, xylazine and ketamine. Parameters of pupillometry included neurological pupil index (NPi), pupil size, percent of change (%CH), latency (LAT), constriction velocity (CV), maximum constriction velocity (MCV) and dilation velocity (DV). NPi,%CH, CV and MCV were significantly decreased during anesthesia compared with the pre-anesthesia data. The results suggest that atropine-xylazine-ketamine combination anesthesia depresses the PLR. Additionally, this study demonstrates the feasibility of the use of a pupillometer in dogs. PMID:25648149

  13. A quantitative structure-activity relationship approach for assessing toxicity of mixture of organic compounds.

    PubMed

    Chang, C M; Ou, Y H; Liu, T-C; Lu, S-Y; Wang, M-K

    2016-06-01

    Four types of reactivity indices were employed to construct quantitative structure-activity relationships for the assessment of toxicity of organic chemical mixtures. Results of analysis indicated that the maximum positive charge of the hydrogen atom and the inverse of the apolar surface area are the most important descriptors for the toxicity of mixture of benzene and its derivatives to Vibrio fischeri. The toxicity of mixture of aromatic compounds to green alga Scenedesmus obliquus is mainly affected by the electron flow and electrostatic interactions. The electron-acceptance chemical potential and the maximum positive charge of the hydrogen atom are found to be the most important descriptors for the joint toxicity of aromatic compounds. PMID:27426856

  14. Quantitative assessment of motion correction for high angular resolution diffusion imaging.

    PubMed

    Sakaie, Ken E; Lowe, Mark J

    2010-02-01

    Several methods have been proposed for motion correction of high angular resolution diffusion imaging (HARDI) data. There have been few comparisons of these methods, partly due to a lack of quantitative metrics of performance. We compare two motion correction strategies using two figures of merit: displacement introduced by the motion correction and the 95% confidence interval of the cone of uncertainty of voxels with prolate tensors. What follows is a general approach for assessing motion correction of HARDI data that may have broad application for quality assurance and optimization of postprocessing protocols. Our analysis demonstrates two important issues related to motion correction of HARDI data: (1) although neither method we tested was dramatically superior in performance, both were dramatically better than performing no motion correction, and (2) iteration of motion correction can improve the final results. Based on the results demonstrated here, iterative motion correction is strongly recommended for HARDI acquisitions. PMID:19695824

  15. Quantitative assessment of steroid hormone binding sites by thaw-mount autoradiography

    SciTech Connect

    Stumpf, W.E.; Sar, M.; Zuber, T.J.; Soini, E.; Tuohimaa, P.

    1981-01-01

    A procedure for the quantitative assessment of nuclear receptors for steroid hormones--and other substances--in individual cells is presented. Thaw-mount autoradiography, a procedure developed earlier in our laboratory, is utilized. The silver grain yield (specific activity) is 16.6 disintegrations per silver as determined fo tritium in guinea pig uterine tissues. An integrated formula is presented and applied for /sup 3/H-estradiol, /sup 3/H-diethylstilbestrol, and /sup 3/H-aldosterone in sampled tissue. A comparison with data derived from the literature that are based on the homogenization of whole uteri and biochemical analysis shows comparable values wtih the autoradiographic data if the latter are pooled. The pooled ata indicated 12-14,00 molecules of /sup 3/H-estradiol per uterine nucleus, while subpopulations of target cells vary between 5,000 and 28,000 per nucleus.

  16. Evaluation of dental enamel caries assessment using Quantitative Light Induced Fluorescence and Optical Coherence Tomography.

    PubMed

    Maia, Ana Marly Araújo; de Freitas, Anderson Zanardi; de L Campello, Sergio; Gomes, Anderson Stevens Leônidas; Karlsson, Lena

    2016-06-01

    An in vitro study of morphological alterations between sound dental structure and artificially induced white spot lesions in human teeth, was performed through the loss of fluorescence by Quantitative Light-Induced Fluorescence (QLF) and the alterations of the light attenuation coefficient by Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT). To analyze the OCT images using a commercially available system, a special algorithm was applied, whereas the QLF images were analyzed using the software available in the commercial system employed. When analyzing the sound region against white spot lesions region by QLF, a reduction in the fluorescence intensity was observed, whilst an increase of light attenuation by the OCT system occurred. Comparison of the percentage of alteration between optical properties of sound and artificial enamel caries regions showed that OCT processed images through the attenuation of light enhanced the tooth optical alterations more than fluorescence detected by QLF System. QLF versus OCT imaging of enamel caries: a photonics assessment. PMID:26351155

  17. Auditory-prefrontal axonal connectivity in the macaque cortex: quantitative assessment of processing streams.

    PubMed

    Bezgin, Gleb; Rybacki, Konrad; van Opstal, A John; Bakker, Rembrandt; Shen, Kelly; Vakorin, Vasily A; McIntosh, Anthony R; Kötter, Rolf

    2014-08-01

    Primate sensory systems subserve complex neurocomputational functions. Consequently, these systems are organised anatomically in a distributed fashion, commonly linking areas to form specialised processing streams. Each stream is related to a specific function, as evidenced from studies of the visual cortex, which features rather prominent segregation into spatial and non-spatial domains. It has been hypothesised that other sensory systems, including auditory, are organised in a similar way on the cortical level. Recent studies offer rich qualitative evidence for the dual stream hypothesis. Here we provide a new paradigm to quantitatively uncover these patterns in the auditory system, based on an analysis of multiple anatomical studies using multivariate techniques. As a test case, we also apply our assessment techniques to more ubiquitously-explored visual system. Importantly, the introduced framework opens the possibility for these techniques to be applied to other neural systems featuring a dichotomised organisation, such as language or music perception. PMID:24980416

  18. Quantitative Mass Spectrometric Analysis and Post-Extraction Stability Assessment of the Euglenoid Toxin Euglenophycin

    PubMed Central

    Gutierrez, Danielle B.; Rafalski, Alexandra; Beauchesne, Kevin; Moeller, Peter D.; Triemer, Richard E.; Zimba, Paul V.

    2013-01-01

    Euglenophycin is a recently discovered toxin produced by at least one species of euglenoid algae. The toxin has been responsible for several fish mortality events. To facilitate the identification and monitoring of euglenophycin in freshwater ponds, we have developed a specific mass spectrometric method for the identification and quantitation of euglenophycin. The post-extraction stability of the toxin was assessed under various conditions. Euglenophycin was most stable at room temperature. At 8 °C there was a small, but statistically significant, loss in toxin after one day. These methods and knowledge of the toxin’s stability will facilitate identification of the toxin as a causative agent in fish kills and determination of the toxin’s distribution in the organs of exposed fish. PMID:24051554

  19. Quantitative risk assessment & leak detection criteria for a subsea oil export pipeline

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Fang-Yuan; Bai, Yong; Badaruddin, Mohd Fauzi; Tuty, Suhartodjo

    2009-06-01

    A quantitative risk assessment (QRA) based on leak detection criteria (LDC) for the design of a proposed subsea oil export pipeline is presented in this paper. The objective of this QRA/LDC study was to determine if current leak detection methodologies were sufficient, based on QRA results, while excluding the use of statistical leak detection; if not, an appropriate LDC for the leak detection system would need to be established. The famous UK PARLOC database was used for the calculation of pipeline failure rates, and the software POSVCM from MMS was used for oil spill simulations. QRA results revealed that the installation of a statistically based leak detection system (LDS) can significantly reduce time to leak detection, thereby mitigating the consequences of leakage. A sound LDC has been defined based on QRA study results and comments from various LDS vendors to assist the emergency response team (ERT) to quickly identify and locate leakage and employ the most effective measures to contain damage.

  20. MO-G-12A-01: Quantitative Imaging Metrology: What Should Be Assessed and How?

    SciTech Connect

    Giger, M; Petrick, N; Obuchowski, N; Kinahan, P

    2014-06-15

    The first two symposia in the Quantitative Imaging Track focused on 1) the introduction of quantitative imaging (QI) challenges and opportunities, and QI efforts of agencies and organizations such as the RSNA, NCI, FDA, and NIST, and 2) the techniques, applications, and challenges of QI, with specific examples from CT, PET/CT, and MR. This third symposium in the QI Track will focus on metrology and its importance in successfully advancing the QI field. While the specific focus will be on QI, many of the concepts presented are more broadly applicable to many areas of medical physics research and applications. As such, the topics discussed should be of interest to medical physicists involved in imaging as well as therapy. The first talk of the session will focus on the introduction to metrology and why it is critically important in QI. The second talk will focus on appropriate methods for technical performance assessment. The third talk will address statistically valid methods for algorithm comparison, a common problem not only in QI but also in other areas of medical physics. The final talk in the session will address strategies for publication of results that will allow statistically valid meta-analyses, which is critical for combining results of individual studies with typically small sample sizes in a manner that can best inform decisions and advance the field. Learning Objectives: Understand the importance of metrology in the QI efforts. Understand appropriate methods for technical performance assessment. Understand methods for comparing algorithms with or without reference data (i.e., “ground truth”). Understand the challenges and importance of reporting results in a manner that allows for statistically valid meta-analyses.

  1. Quantitative assessment of the stent/scaffold strut embedment analysis by optical coherence tomography.

    PubMed

    Sotomi, Yohei; Tateishi, Hiroki; Suwannasom, Pannipa; Dijkstra, Jouke; Eggermont, Jeroen; Liu, Shengnan; Tenekecioglu, Erhan; Zheng, Yaping; Abdelghani, Mohammad; Cavalcante, Rafael; de Winter, Robbert J; Wykrzykowska, Joanna J; Onuma, Yoshinobu; Serruys, Patrick W; Kimura, Takeshi

    2016-06-01

    The degree of stent/scaffold embedment could be a surrogate parameter of the vessel wall-stent/scaffold interaction and could have biological implications in the vascular response. We have developed a new specific software for the quantitative evaluation of embedment of struts by optical coherence tomography (OCT). In the present study, we described the algorithm of the embedment analysis and its reproducibility. The degree of embedment was evaluated as the ratio of the embedded part versus the whole strut height and subdivided into quartiles. The agreement and the inter- and intra-observer reproducibility were evaluated using the kappa and the interclass correlation coefficient (ICC). A total of 4 pullbacks of OCT images in 4 randomly selected coronary lesions with 3.0 × 18 mm devices [2 lesions with Absorb BVS and 2 lesions with XIENCE (both from Abbott Vascular, Santa Clara, CA, USA)] from Absorb Japan trial were evaluated by two investigators with QCU-CMS software version 4.69 (Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands). Finally, 1481 polymeric struts in 174 cross-sections and 1415 metallic struts in 161 cross-sections were analyzed. Inter- and intra-observer reproducibility of quantitative measurements of embedment ratio and categorical assessment of embedment in Absorb BVS and XIENCE had excellent agreement with ICC ranging from 0.958 to 0.999 and kappa ranging from 0.850 to 0.980. The newly developed embedment software showed excellent reproducibility. Computer-assisted embedment analysis could be a feasible tool to assess the strut penetration into the vessel wall that could be a surrogate of acute injury caused by implantation of devices. PMID:26898315

  2. Quantitative assessment of hemodynamic changes during spinal dural arteriovenous fistula surgery.

    PubMed

    Shi, Wei; Qiao, Guangyu; Sun, Zhenghui; Shang, Aijia; Wu, Chen; Xu, Bainan

    2015-07-01

    We aimed to evaluate the efficacy of FLOW 800 (Carl Zeiss Meditec, Jena, Thuringia, Germany) with indocyanine green (ICG) videoangiography for the quantitative assessment of flow dynamics in spinal dural arteriovenous fistula (dAVF) surgeries. We prospectively enrolled nine patients with spinal dAVF diagnosed within the past year and performed FLOW 800 analyses using ICG videoangiography before and after surgical obliteration of the fistula. A color-coded map was semi-automatically generated by FLOW 800 and used for high-resolution visualization of the vasculature and instant interpretation of the dynamic flow changes. The FLOW 800-specific hemodynamic parameters were employed for real-time measurements of parenchymal perfusion alterations. Overall, 18 intraoperative FLOW 800 analyses using ICG videoangiography were performed in nine patients. The color-coded map aided the detection and complete obliteration of the fistulas in all patients and the results were verified by postoperative spinal digital subtraction angiography. The transit time parameter was significantly shorter in the preobliteration phase than in the postobliteration phase (p < 0.01), the rise time parameter exhibited the same pattern (p = 0.08) and maximum intensity and blood flow index were not significantly different between these phases. FLOW 800 with ICG videoangiography provided an intuitive and objective understanding of blood flow dynamics intraoperatively and enabled easy and confident identification and treatment of this pathology. The FLOW 800-specific hemodynamic analyses provided additional perfusion information that enabled real-time measurements of parenchymal perfusion alterations. FLOW 800 with ICG videoangiography is useful for intraoperative quantitative assessment of flow dynamics, facilitating safety and confidence in the treatment of spinal dAVF. PMID:25934113

  3. Quantitative Assessment of MRI T2 Response to Kainic Acid Neurotoxicity in Rats in vivo.

    PubMed

    Liachenko, Serguei; Ramu, Jaivijay; Konak, Tetyana; Paule, Merle G; Hanig, Joseph

    2015-07-01

    The aim of this study was to assess quantitative changes in T2 relaxation using magnetic resonance imaging approaches in rats exposed to kainic acid to assess the utility of such endpoints as biomarkers of neurotoxicity. Quantitative T2 mapping was performed in 21 rats before and 2, 24, and 48 h after a single ip injection of 10 mg/kg of kainic acid. Three methods of quantifying T2 changes were explored: (1) Thresholding: all voxels exhibiting T2 ≤ 72 ms were designated normal tissue, whereas voxels exhibiting T2 > 72 ms were designated as lesioned tissue; (2) Statistical mapping: T2 maps obtained after treatment were statistically compared with averaged "baseline" maps, voxel-by-voxel; (3) Within-subject difference from baseline: for each individual the baseline T2 map was subtracted from the T2 map obtained after treatment. Based on the follow-up histopathological response there were 9 responders, 7 nonresponders, and 5 animals were not classified due to early sacrifice at 2 h which was too soon after treatment to detect any morphological evidence. The "thresholding" method (1) detected differences between groups only at the later time point of 48 h, the "statistical mapping" approach (2) detected differences 24 and 48 h after treatment, and the "within-subject difference from baseline" method (3) detected statistically significant differences between groups at each time point (2, 24, and 48 h). T2 mapping provides an easily quantifiable biomarker and the quantification method employing the use of the same animal as its own control provides the most sensitive metrics. PMID:25904105

  4. Quantitative approach using multiple single parameters versus visual assessment in dobutamine stress echocardiography

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background A number of myocardial Doppler-derived velocity, strain myocardial imaging parameters (DMI) and speckle tracking imaging (STI) have been proposed for the quantification of myocardial ischemia during stress echocardiography. The purpose of the study was to identify the best single ultrasound quantitative parameter for prediction of significant coronary stenosis and compare it with visual assessment during dobutamine stress echocardiography (DSE). Methods Prospective analysis included data of 151 patients (age 61.8 ± 9.2) who underwent dobutamine stress echocardiography for known (n = 35) or suspected coronary artery disease (CAD) (n = 36) or symptomatic chest pain (n = 80), excluding patients with previous myocardial infarction. Systolic, post-systolic and diastolic velocities, strain and strain rate parameters were obtained at rest and at peak dobutamine challenge. Derivative markers as E'/A' ratio, post-systolic index and changes from rest to stress were calculated (98 parameters overall, predominantly longitudinal). Coronary angiography was chosen as reference method considering at least one stenosis ≥70% per patient as significant CAD. The predictive value of quantitative parameters and wall motion score index (WMSI) was obtained using logistic regression and ROC analysis. Results The value of single parameters discriminated as independent predictors of CAD appeared to be modest (area under the curve [AUC] ranged from 0.63 to 0.72 for 16 PW-DMI, 12 CC-DMI and 12 STI markers), comparing to AUC of WMSI 0.88. Sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of visual DSE evaluation was 82.4% (95%CI 77.4%; 85.2%), 92.6% (95%CI 83.4%; 97.5%) and 86.0% (95%CI 79.5%; 89.6%), respectively, Youden index 0.75. Sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of single predictors ranged from 40.0% to 93.3% (95% CI 22.7%; 99.2%), from 34.2% to 88.7% (95% CI 25.6%; 94.1%) and from 45.8% to 80.0% (95% CI 37.5%; 87.2%) respectively, Youden index ranged from 0.20 to 0

  5. Databases applicable to quantitative hazard/risk assessment-Towards a predictive systems toxicology

    SciTech Connect

    Waters, Michael Jackson, Marcus

    2008-11-15

    The Workshop on The Power of Aggregated Toxicity Data addressed the requirement for distributed databases to support quantitative hazard and risk assessment. The authors have conceived and constructed with federal support several databases that have been used in hazard identification and risk assessment. The first of these databases, the EPA Gene-Tox Database was developed for the EPA Office of Toxic Substances by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and is currently hosted by the National Library of Medicine. This public resource is based on the collaborative evaluation, by government, academia, and industry, of short-term tests for the detection of mutagens and presumptive carcinogens. The two-phased evaluation process resulted in more than 50 peer-reviewed publications on test system performance and a qualitative database on thousands of chemicals. Subsequently, the graphic and quantitative EPA/IARC Genetic Activity Profile (GAP) Database was developed in collaboration with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). A chemical database driven by consideration of the lowest effective dose, GAP has served IARC for many years in support of hazard classification of potential human carcinogens. The Toxicological Activity Profile (TAP) prototype database was patterned after GAP and utilized acute, subchronic, and chronic data from the Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards. TAP demonstrated the flexibility of the GAP format for air toxics, water pollutants and other environmental agents. The GAP format was also applied to developmental toxicants and was modified to represent quantitative results from the rodent carcinogen bioassay. More recently, the authors have constructed: 1) the NIEHS Genetic Alterations in Cancer (GAC) Database which quantifies specific mutations found in cancers induced by environmental agents, and 2) the NIEHS Chemical Effects in Biological Systems (CEBS) Knowledgebase that integrates genomic and other biological data including

  6. Assessment and Mission Planning Capability For Quantitative Aerothermodynamic Flight Measurements Using Remote Imaging

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Horvath, Thomas; Splinter, Scott; Daryabeigi, Kamran; Wood, William; Schwartz, Richard; Ross, Martin

    2008-01-01

    assessment study focused on increasing the probability of returning spatially resolved scientific/engineering thermal imagery. This paper provides an overview of the assessment task and the systematic approach designed to establish confidence in the ability of existing assets to reliably acquire, track and return global quantitative surface temperatures of the Shuttle during entry. A discussion of capability demonstration in support of a potential Shuttle boundary layer transition flight test is presented. Successful demonstration of a quantitative, spatially resolved, global temperature measurement on the proposed Shuttle boundary layer transition flight test could lead to potential future applications with hypersonic flight test programs within the USAF and DARPA along with flight test opportunities supporting NASA s project Constellation.

  7. Quantitative Assessment of Regional Wall Motion Abnormalities Using Dual-Energy Digital Subtraction Intravenous Ventriculography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCollough, Cynthia H.

    Healthy portions of the left ventricle (LV) can often compensate for regional dysfunction, thereby masking regional disease when global indices of LV function are employed. Thus, quantitation of regional function provides a more useful method of assessing LV function, especially in diseases that have regional effects such as coronary artery disease. This dissertation studied the ability of a phase -matched dual-energy digital subtraction angiography (DE -DSA) technique to quantitate changes in regional LV systolic volume. The potential benefits and a theoretical description of the DE imaging technique are detailed. A correlated noise reduction algorithm is also presented which raises the signal-to-noise ratio of DE images by a factor of 2 -4. Ten open-chest dogs were instrumented with transmural ultrasonic crystals to assess regional LV function in terms of systolic normalized-wall-thickening rate (NWTR) and percent-systolic-thickening (PST). A pneumatic occluder was placed on the left-anterior-descending (LAD) coronary artery to temporarily reduce myocardial blood flow, thereby changing regional LV function in the LAD bed. DE-DSA intravenous left ventriculograms were obtained at control and four levels of graded myocardial ischemia, as determined by reductions in PST. Phase-matched images displaying changes in systolic contractile function were created by subtracting an end-systolic (ES) control image from ES images acquired at each level of myocardial ischemia. The resulting wall-motion difference signal (WMD), which represents a change in regional systolic volume between the control and ischemic states, was quantitated by videodensitometry and compared with changes in NWTR and PST. Regression analysis of 56 data points from 10 animals shows a linear relationship between WMD and both NWTR and PST: WMD = -2.46 NWTR + 13.9, r = 0.64, p < 0.001; WMD = -2.11 PST + 18.4, r = 0.54, p < 0.001. Thus, changes in regional ES LV volume between rest and ischemic states, as

  8. Quantitative crystalline silica exposure assessment for a historical cohort epidemiologic study in the German porcelain industry.

    PubMed

    Birk, Thomas; Guldner, Karlheinz; Mundt, Kenneth A; Dahmann, Dirk; Adams, Robert C; Parsons, William

    2010-09-01

    A time-dependent quantitative exposure assessment of silica exposure among nearly 18,000 German porcelain workers was conducted. Results will be used to evaluate exposure-response disease risks. Over 8000 historical industrial hygiene (IH) measurements with original sampling and analysis protocols from 1954-2006 were obtained from the German Berufs- genossenschaft der keramischen-und Glas-Industrie (BGGK) and used to construct a job exposure matrix (JEM). Early measurements from different devices were converted to modern gravimetric equivalent values. Conversion factors were derived from parallel historical measurements and new side-by-side measurements using historical and modern devices in laboratory dust tunnels and active workplace locations. Exposure values were summarized and smoothed using LOESS regression; estimates for early years were derived using backward extrapolation techniques. Employee work histories were merged with JEM values to determine cumulative crystalline silica exposures for cohort members. Average silica concentrations were derived for six primary similar exposure groups (SEGs) for 1938-2006. Over 40% of the cohort accumulated <0.5 mg; just over one-third accumulated >1 mg/m(3)-years. Nearly 5000 workers had cumulative crystalline silica estimates >1.5 mg/m(3)-years. Similar numbers of men and women fell into each cumulative exposure category, except for 1113 women and 1567 men in the highest category. Over half of those hired before 1960 accumulated >3 mg/m(3)-years crystalline silica compared with 4.9% of those hired after 1960. Among those ever working in the materials preparation area, half accumulated >3 mg/m(3)-year compared with 12% of those never working in this area. Quantitative respirable silica exposures were estimated for each member of this cohort, including employment periods for which sampling used now obsolete technologies. Although individual cumulative exposure estimates ranged from background to about 40 mg/m(3)-years

  9. NPEC Sourcebook on Assessment: Definitions and Assessment Methods for Communication, Leadership, Information Literacy, Quantitative Reasoning, and Quantitative Skills. NPEC 2005-0832

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Elizabeth A.; RiCharde, Stephen

    2005-01-01

    Faculty, instructional staff, and assessment professionals are interested in student outcomes assessment processes and tools that can be used to improve learning experiences and academic programs. How can students' skills be assessed effectively? What assessments measure skills in communication? Leadership? Information literacy? Quantitative…

  10. Assessing Quantitative Resistance against Leptosphaeria maculans (Phoma Stem Canker) in Brassica napus (Oilseed Rape) in Young Plants

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Yong-Ju; Qi, Aiming; King, Graham J.; Fitt, Bruce D. L.

    2014-01-01

    Quantitative resistance against Leptosphaeria maculans in Brassica napus is difficult to assess in young plants due to the long period of symptomless growth of the pathogen from the appearance of leaf lesions to the appearance of canker symptoms on the stem. By using doubled haploid (DH) lines A30 (susceptible) and C119 (with quantitative resistance), quantitative resistance against L. maculans was assessed in young plants in controlled environments at two stages: stage 1, growth of the pathogen along leaf veins/petioles towards the stem by leaf lamina inoculation; stage 2, growth in stem tissues to produce stem canker symptoms by leaf petiole inoculation. Two types of inoculum (ascospores; conidia) and three assessment methods (extent of visible necrosis; symptomless pathogen growth visualised using the GFP reporter gene; amount of pathogen DNA quantified by PCR) were used. In stage 1 assessments, significant differences were observed between lines A30 and C119 in area of leaf lesions, distance grown along veins/petioles assessed by visible necrosis or by viewing GFP and amount of L. maculans DNA in leaf petioles. In stage 2 assessments, significant differences were observed between lines A30 and C119 in severity of stem canker and amount of L. maculans DNA in stem tissues. GFP-labelled L. maculans spread more quickly from the stem cortex to the stem pith in A30 than in C119. Stem canker symptoms were produced more rapidly by using ascospore inoculum than by using conidial inoculum. These results suggest that quantitative resistance against L. maculans in B. napus can be assessed in young plants in controlled conditions. Development of methods to phenotype quantitative resistance against plant pathogens in young plants in controlled environments will help identification of stable quantitative resistance for control of crop diseases. PMID:24454767

  11. Quantitative assessment of scatter correction techniques incorporated in next generation dual-source computed tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mobberley, Sean David

    Accurate, cross-scanner assessment of in-vivo air density used to quantitatively assess amount and distribution of emphysema in COPD subjects has remained elusive. Hounsfield units (HU) within tracheal air can be considerably more positive than -1000 HU. With the advent of new dual-source scanners which employ dedicated scatter correction techniques, it is of interest to evaluate how the quantitative measures of lung density compare between dual-source and single-source scan modes. This study has sought to characterize in-vivo and phantom-based air metrics using dual-energy computed tomography technology where the nature of the technology has required adjustments to scatter correction. Anesthetized ovine (N=6), swine (N=13: more human-like rib cage shape), lung phantom and a thoracic phantom were studied using a dual-source MDCT scanner (Siemens Definition Flash. Multiple dual-source dual-energy (DSDE) and single-source (SS) scans taken at different energy levels and scan settings were acquired for direct quantitative comparison. Density histograms were evaluated for the lung, tracheal, water and blood segments. Image data were obtained at 80, 100, 120, and 140 kVp in the SS mode (B35f kernel) and at 80, 100, 140, and 140-Sn (tin filtered) kVp in the DSDE mode (B35f and D30f kernels), in addition to variations in dose, rotation time, and pitch. To minimize the effect of cross-scatter, the phantom scans in the DSDE mode was obtained by reducing the tube current of one of the tubes to its minimum (near zero) value. When using image data obtained in the DSDE mode, the median HU values in the tracheal regions of all animals and the phantom were consistently closer to -1000 HU regardless of reconstruction kernel (chapters 3 and 4). Similarly, HU values of water and blood were consistently closer to their nominal values of 0 HU and 55 HU respectively. When using image data obtained in the SS mode the air CT numbers demonstrated a consistent positive shift of up to 35 HU

  12. Application of Pain Quantitative Analysis Device for Assessment of Postoperative Pain after Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair

    PubMed Central

    Mifune, Yutaka; Inui, Atsuyuki; Nagura, Issei; Sakata, Ryosuke; Muto, Tomoyuki; Harada, Yoshifumi; Takase, Fumiaki; Kurosaka, Masahiro; Kokubu, Takeshi

    2015-01-01

    Purpose : The PainVision™ system was recently developed for quantitative pain assessment. Here, we used this system to evaluate the effect of plexus brachialis block on postoperative pain after arthroscopic rotator cuff repair. Methods : Fifty-five patients who underwent arthroscopic rotator cuff repair were included in this study. First 26 cases received no plexus brachialis block (control group), and the next 29 cases received the plexus brachialis block before surgery (block group). Patients completed the visual analog scale at 4, 8, 16, and 24 hours after surgery, and the intensity of postoperative pain was assessed with PainVision™ at 16 hours. The postoperative use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents was also recorded. Results : The pain intensity at 16 hours after surgery assessed by PainVision™ was significantly lower in the block group than in the control group (block, 252.0 ± 47.8, control, 489.0 ± 89.1, P < 0.05). However, there were no differences in the VAS values at 16 hours between the 2 groups (block, 4.3 ± 0.6, control, 5.7 ± 0.4, P = N.S.). The pain intensity and VAS at 16 hours after surgery were highly correlated (r = 0.59, P = 0.006 in the block group and r = 0.62, P = 0.003 in the control group). The effect size of the assessment by PainVision™ was bigger than that of VAS (r=0.31 in VAS and 0.51 in Pain vision). Conclusion : The PainVision™ system could be useful to evaluate postoperative pain because it enables the quantification and comparison of pain intensity independent of individual pain thresholds. PMID:26157522

  13. Implementation and validation of an ultrasonic tissue characterization technique for quantitative assessment of normal-tissue toxicity in radiation therapy

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou Jun; Zhang Pengpeng; Osterman, K. Sunshine; Woodhouse, Shermian A.; Schiff, Peter B.; Yoshida, Emi J.; Lu Zheng Feng; Pile-Spellman, Eliza R.; Kutcher, Gerald J.; Liu Tian

    2009-05-15

    The goal of this study was to implement and validate a noninvasive, quantitative ultrasonic technique for accurate and reproducible measurement of normal-tissue toxicity in radiation therapy. The authors adapted an existing ultrasonic tissue characterization (UTC) technique that used a calibrated 1D spectrum based on region-of-interest analysis. They modified the calibration procedure by using a reference phantom instead of a planar reflector. This UTC method utilized ultrasonic radio-frequency echo signals to generate spectral parameters related to the physical properties (e.g., size, shape, and relative acoustic impedance) of tissue microstructures. Three spectral parameters were investigated for quantification of normal-tissue injury: Spectral slope, intercept, and midband fit. They conducted a tissue-mimicking phantom study to verify the reproducibility of UTC measurements and initiated a clinical study of radiation-induced breast-tissue toxicity. Spectral parameter values from measurements on two phantoms were reproducible within 1% of each other. Eleven postradiation breast-cancer patients were studied and significant differences between the irradiated and untreated (contralateral) breasts were observed for spectral intercept (p=0.003) and midband fit (p<0.001) but not for slope (p=0.14). In comparison to the untreated breast, the average difference in the spectral intercept was 2.99{+-}0.75 dB and the average difference in the midband fit was 3.99{+-}0.65 dB. The preliminary clinical study demonstrated the feasibility of using the quantitative ultrasonic method to evaluate normal-tissue toxicity in radiation therapy.

  14. Black hole mimickers: Regular versus singular behavior

    SciTech Connect

    Lemos, Jose P. S.; Zaslavskii, Oleg B.

    2008-07-15

    Black hole mimickers are possible alternatives to black holes; they would look observationally almost like black holes but would have no horizon. The properties in the near-horizon region where gravity is strong can be quite different for both types of objects, but at infinity it could be difficult to discern black holes from their mimickers. To disentangle this possible confusion, we examine the near-horizon properties, and their connection with far away asymptotic properties, of some candidates to black mimickers. We study spherically symmetric uncharged or charged but nonextremal objects, as well as spherically symmetric charged extremal objects. Within the uncharged or charged but nonextremal black hole mimickers, we study nonextremal {epsilon}-wormholes on the threshold of the formation of an event horizon, of which a subclass are called black foils, and gravastars. Within the charged extremal black hole mimickers we study extremal {epsilon}-wormholes on the threshold of the formation of an event horizon, quasi-black holes, and wormholes on the basis of quasi-black holes from Bonnor stars. We elucidate whether or not the objects belonging to these two classes remain regular in the near-horizon limit. The requirement of full regularity, i.e., finite curvature and absence of naked behavior, up to an arbitrary neighborhood of the gravitational radius of the object enables one to rule out potential mimickers in most of the cases. A list ranking the best black hole mimickers up to the worst, both nonextremal and extremal, is as follows: wormholes on the basis of extremal black holes or on the basis of quasi-black holes, quasi-black holes, wormholes on the basis of nonextremal black holes (black foils), and gravastars. Since in observational astrophysics it is difficult to find extremal configurations (the best mimickers in the ranking), whereas nonextremal configurations are really bad mimickers, the task of distinguishing black holes from their mimickers seems to

  15. Quantitative assessment of the differential impacts of arbuscular and ectomycorrhiza on soil carbon cycling.

    PubMed

    Soudzilovskaia, Nadejda A; van der Heijden, Marcel G A; Cornelissen, Johannes H C; Makarov, Mikhail I; Onipchenko, Vladimir G; Maslov, Mikhail N; Akhmetzhanova, Asem A; van Bodegom, Peter M

    2015-10-01

    A significant fraction of carbon stored in the Earth's soil moves through arbuscular mycorrhiza (AM) and ectomycorrhiza (EM). The impacts of AM and EM on the soil carbon budget are poorly understood. We propose a method to quantify the mycorrhizal contribution to carbon cycling, explicitly accounting for the abundance of plant-associated and extraradical mycorrhizal mycelium. We discuss the need to acquire additional data to use our method, and present our new global database holding information on plant species-by-site intensity of root colonization by mycorrhizas. We demonstrate that the degree of mycorrhizal fungal colonization has globally consistent patterns across plant species. This suggests that the level of plant species-specific root colonization can be used as a plant trait. To exemplify our method, we assessed the differential impacts of AM : EM ratio and EM shrub encroachment on carbon stocks in sub-arctic tundra. AM and EM affect tundra carbon stocks at different magnitudes, and via partly distinct dominant pathways: via extraradical mycelium (both EM and AM) and via mycorrhizal impacts on above- and belowground biomass carbon (mostly AM). Our method provides a powerful tool for the quantitative assessment of mycorrhizal impact on local and global carbon cycling processes, paving the way towards an improved understanding of the role of mycorrhizas in the Earth's carbon cycle. PMID:26011828

  16. Quantitative risk assessment for the induction of allergic contact dermatitis: uncertainty factors for mucosal exposures.

    PubMed

    Farage, Miranda A; Bjerke, Donald L; Mahony, Catherine; Blackburn, Karen L; Gerberick, G Frank

    2003-09-01

    The quantitative risk assessment (QRA) paradigm has been extended to evaluating the risk of induction of allergic contact dermatitis from consumer products. Sensitization QRA compares product-related, topical exposures to a safe benchmark, the sensitization reference dose. The latter is based on an experimentally or clinically determined 'no observable adverse effect level' (NOAEL) and further refined by incorporating 'sensitization uncertainty factors' (SUFs) that address variables not adequately reflected in the data from which the threshold NOAEL was derived. A critical area of uncertainty for the risk assessment of oral care or feminine hygiene products is the extrapolation from skin to mucosal exposures. Most sensitization data are derived from skin contact, but the permeability of vulvovaginal and oral mucosae is greater than that of keratinized skin. Consequently, the QRA for some personal products that are exposed to mucosal tissue may require the use of more conservative SUFs. This article reviews the scientific basis for SUFs applied to topical exposure to vulvovaginal and oral mucosae. We propose a 20-fold range in the default uncertainty factor used in the contact sensitization QRA when extrapolating from data derived from the skin to situations involving exposure to non-keratinized mucosal tissue. PMID:14678210

  17. Quantitative assessment of the probability of bluetongue virus overwintering by horizontal transmission: application to Germany

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Even though bluetongue virus (BTV) transmission is apparently interrupted during winter, bluetongue outbreaks often reappear in the next season (overwintering). Several mechanisms for BTV overwintering have been proposed, but to date, their relative importance remain unclear. In order to assess the probability of BTV overwintering by persistence in adult vectors, ruminants (through prolonged viraemia) or a combination of both, a quantitative risk assessment model was developed. Furthermore, the model allowed the role played by the residual number of vectors present during winter to be examined, and the effect of a proportion of Culicoides living inside buildings (endophilic behaviour) to be explored. The model was then applied to a real scenario: overwintering in Germany between 2006 and 2007. The results showed that the limited number of vectors active during winter seemed to allow the transmission of BTV during this period, and that while transmission was favoured by the endophilic behaviour of some Culicoides, its effect was limited. Even though transmission was possible, the likelihood of BTV overwintering by the mechanisms studied seemed too low to explain the observed re-emergence of the disease. Therefore, other overwintering mechanisms not considered in the model are likely to have played a significant role in BTV overwintering in Germany between 2006 and 2007. PMID:21314966

  18. Quantitative Assessment of Local Collagen Matrix Remodeling in 3-D Culture: The Role of Rho Kinase

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Areum; Lakshman, Neema; Petroll, W.Matthew

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to quantitatively assess the role of Rho kinase in modulating the pattern and amount of local cell-induced collagen matrix remodeling. Human corneal fibroblasts were plated inside 100 μm thick fibrillar collagen matrices and cultured for 24 hours in media with or without the Rho kinase inhibitor Y-27632. Cells were then fixed and stained with phalloidin. Fluorescent (for f-actin) and reflected light (for collagen fibrils) 3-D optical section images were acquired using laser confocal microscopy. Fourier transform analysis was used to assess collagen fibril alignment, and 3-D cell morphology and local collagen density were measured using MetaMorph. Culture in serum-containing media induced significant global matrix contraction, which was inhibited by blocking Rho kinase (p < 0.001). Fibroblasts generally had a bipolar morphology and intracellular stress fibers. Collagen fibrils were compacted and aligned parallel to stress fibers and pseudopodia. When Rho kinase was inhibited, cells had a more cortical f-actin distribution and dendritic morphology. Both local collagen fibril density and alignment were significantly reduced (p<0.01). Overall, the data suggests that Rho kinase dependent contractile force generation leads to co-alignment of cells and collagen fibrils along the plane of greatest resistance, and that this process contributes to global matrix contraction. PMID:16978606

  19. [Multi-component quantitative analysis combined with chromatographic fingerprint for quality assessment of Onosma hookeri].

    PubMed

    Aga, Er-bu; Nie, Li-juan; Dongzhi, Zhuo-ma; Wang, Ju-le

    2015-11-01

    A method for simultaneous determination of the shikonin, acetyl shikonin and β, β'-dimethylpropene shikonin in Onosma hookeri and the chromatographic fingerprint was estabished by HPLC-DAD on an Agilent Zorbax SB-column with a gradient elution of acetonitrile and water at 0.8 mL x min(-1), 30 degrees C. The quality assessment was conducted by comparing the content difference of three naphthoquinone constituents, in combination with chromatographic fingerprint analysis and systems cluster analysis among 7 batches of radix O. hookeri. The content of the three naphthoquinone constituents showed wide variations in 7 bathces. The similarity value of the fingerprints of sample 5, 6 and 7 was above 0.99, sample 2 and 3 above 0.97, sample 3 and 4 above 0.90, and other samples larger than 0.8, which was in concert with the content of three naphthoquinone constituents. The 7 samples were roughly divided into 4 categories. The results above indicated that the using of this medicine is complex and rather spotty. The established HPLC fingerprints and the quantitative analysis method can be used efficiently for quality assessment of O. hookeri. PMID:27097421

  20. Application of quantitative uncertainty analysis for human health risk assessment at Rocky Flats

    SciTech Connect

    Duncan, F.L.W.; Gordon, J.W. ); Smith, D. ); Singh, S.P. )

    1993-01-01

    The characterization of uncertainty is an important component of the risk assessment process. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) [open quotes]Guidance on Risk Characterization for Risk Managers and Risk Assessors,[close quotes] point estimates of risk [open quotes]do not fully convey the range of information considered and used in developing the assessment.[close quotes] Furthermore, the guidance states that the Monte Carlo simulation may be used to estimate descriptive risk percentiles. To provide information about the uncertainties associated with the reasonable maximum exposure (RME) estimate and the relation of the RME to other percentiles of the risk distribution for Operable Unit 1 (OU-1) at Rocky Flats, uncertainties were identified and quantitatively evaluated. Monte Carlo simulation is a technique that can be used to provide a probability function of estimated risk using random values of exposure factors and toxicity values in an exposure scenario. The Monte Carlo simulation involves assigning a joint probability distribution to the input variables (i.e., exposure factors) of an exposure scenario. Next, a large number of independent samples from the assigned joint distribution are taken and the corresponding outputs calculated. Methods of statistical inference are used to estimate, from the output sample, some parameters of the output distribution, such as percentiles and the expected value.

  1. Disability adjusted life year (DALY): a useful tool for quantitative assessment of environmental pollution.

    PubMed

    Gao, Tingting; Wang, Xiaochang C; Chen, Rong; Ngo, Huu Hao; Guo, Wenshan

    2015-04-01

    Disability adjusted life year (DALY) has been widely used since 1990s for evaluating global and/or regional burden of diseases. As many environmental pollutants are hazardous to human health, DALY is also recognized as an indicator to quantify the health impact of environmental pollution related to disease burden. Based on literature reviews, this article aims to give an overview of the applicable methodologies and research directions for using DALY as a tool for quantitative assessment of environmental pollution. With an introduction of the methodological framework of DALY, the requirements on data collection and manipulation for quantifying disease burdens are summarized. Regarding environmental pollutants hazardous to human beings, health effect/risk evaluation is indispensable for transforming pollution data into disease data through exposure and dose-response analyses which need careful selection of models and determination of parameters. Following the methodological discussions, real cases are analyzed with attention paid to chemical pollutants and pathogens usually encountered in environmental pollution. It can be seen from existing studies that DALY is advantageous over conventional environmental impact assessment for quantification and comparison of the risks resulted from environmental pollution. However, further studies are still required to standardize the methods of health effect evaluation regarding varied pollutants under varied circumstances before DALY calculation. PMID:25549348

  2. Multi-observation PET image analysis for patient follow-up quantitation and therapy assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    David, S.; Visvikis, D.; Roux, C.; Hatt, M.

    2011-09-01

    In positron emission tomography (PET) imaging, an early therapeutic response is usually characterized by variations of semi-quantitative parameters restricted to maximum SUV measured in PET scans during the treatment. Such measurements do not reflect overall tumor volume and radiotracer uptake variations. The proposed approach is based on multi-observation image analysis for merging several PET acquisitions to assess tumor metabolic volume and uptake variations. The fusion algorithm is based on iterative estimation using a stochastic expectation maximization (SEM) algorithm. The proposed method was applied to simulated and clinical follow-up PET images. We compared the multi-observation fusion performance to threshold-based methods, proposed for the assessment of the therapeutic response based on functional volumes. On simulated datasets the adaptive threshold applied independently on both images led to higher errors than the ASEM fusion and on clinical datasets it failed to provide coherent measurements for four patients out of seven due to aberrant delineations. The ASEM method demonstrated improved and more robust estimation of the evaluation leading to more pertinent measurements. Future work will consist in extending the methodology and applying it to clinical multi-tracer datasets in order to evaluate its potential impact on the biological tumor volume definition for radiotherapy applications.

  3. Estimation of undiscovered deposits in quantitative mineral resource assessments-examples from Venezuela and Puerto Rico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cox, D.P.

    1993-01-01

    Quantitative mineral resource assessments used by the United States Geological Survey are based on deposit models. These assessments consist of three parts: (1) selecting appropriate deposit models and delineating on maps areas permissive for each type of deposit; (2) constructing a grade-tonnage model for each deposit model; and (3) estimating the number of undiscovered deposits of each type. In this article, I focus on the estimation of undiscovered deposits using two methods: the deposit density method and the target counting method. In the deposit density method, estimates are made by analogy with well-explored areas that are geologically similar to the study area and that contain a known density of deposits per unit area. The deposit density method is useful for regions where there is little or no data. This method was used to estimate undiscovered low-sulfide gold-quartz vein deposits in Venezuela. Estimates can also be made by counting targets such as mineral occurrences, geophysical or geochemical anomalies, or exploration "plays" and by assigning to each target a probability that it represents an undiscovered deposit that is a member of the grade-tonnage distribution. This method is useful in areas where detailed geological, geophysical, geochemical, and mineral occurrence data exist. Using this method, porphyry copper-gold deposits were estimated in Puerto Rico. ?? 1993 Oxford University Press.

  4. Swept source optical coherence tomography for quantitative and qualitative assessment of dental composite restorations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadr, Alireza; Shimada, Yasushi; Mayoral, Juan Ricardo; Hariri, Ilnaz; Bakhsh, Turki A.; Sumi, Yasunori; Tagami, Junji

    2011-03-01

    The aim of this work was to explore the utility of swept-source optical coherence tomography (SS-OCT) for quantitative evaluation of dental composite restorations. The system (Santec, Japan) with a center wavelength of around 1300 nm and axial resolution of 12 μm was used to record data during and after placement of light-cured composites. The Fresnel phenomenon at the interfacial defects resulted in brighter areas indicating gaps as small as a few micrometers. The gap extension at the interface was quantified and compared to the observation by confocal laser scanning microscope after trimming the specimen to the same cross-section. Also, video imaging of the composite during polymerization could provide information about real-time kinetics of contraction stress and resulting gaps, distinguishing them from those gaps resulting from poor adaptation of composite to the cavity prior to polymerization. Some samples were also subjected to a high resolution microfocus X-ray computed tomography (μCT) assessment; it was found that differentiation of smaller gaps from the radiolucent bonding layer was difficult with 3D μCT. Finally, a clinical imaging example using a newly developed dental SS-OCT system with an intra-oral scanning probe (Panasonic Healthcare, Japan) is presented. SS-OCT is a unique tool for clinical assessment and laboratory research on resin-based dental restorations. Supported by GCOE at TMDU and NCGG.

  5. Large-Scale Quantitative Assessment of Binding Preferences in Protein-Nucleic Acid Complexes.

    PubMed

    Jakubec, Dávid; Hostas, Jirí; Laskowski, Roman A; Hobza, Pavel; Vondrásek, Jirí

    2015-04-14

    The growing number of high-quality experimental (X-ray, NMR) structures of protein–DNA complexes has sufficient enough information to assess whether universal rules governing the DNA sequence recognition process apply. While previous studies have investigated the relative abundance of various modes of amino acid–base contacts (van der Waals contacts, hydrogen bonds), relatively little is known about the energetics of these noncovalent interactions. In the present study, we have performed the first large-scale quantitative assessment of binding preferences in protein–DNA complexes by calculating the interaction energies in all 80 possible amino acid–DNA base combinations. We found that several mutual amino acid–base orientations featuring bidentate hydrogen bonds capable of unambiguous one-to-one recognition correspond to unique minima in the potential energy space of the amino acid–base pairs. A clustering algorithm revealed that these contacts form a spatially well-defined group offering relatively little conformational freedom. Various molecular mechanics force field and DFT-D ab initio calculations were performed, yielding similar results. PMID:26894243

  6. Tracking Epidermal Nerve Fiber Changes in Asian Macaques: Tools and Techniques for Quantitative Assessment.

    PubMed

    Mangus, Lisa M; Dorsey, Jamie L; Weinberg, Rachel L; Ebenezer, Gigi J; Hauer, Peter; Laast, Victoria A; Mankowski, Joseph L

    2016-08-01

    Quantitative assessment of epidermal nerve fibers (ENFs) has become a widely used clinical tool for the diagnosis of small fiber neuropathies such as diabetic neuropathy and human immunodeficiency virus-associated sensory neuropathy (HIV-SN). To model and investigate the pathogenesis of HIV-SN using simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected Asian macaques, we adapted the skin biopsy and immunostaining techniques currently employed in human patients and then developed two unbiased image analysis techniques for quantifying ENF in macaque footpad skin. This report provides detailed descriptions of these tools and techniques for ENF assessment in macaques and outlines important experimental considerations that we have identified in the course of our long-term studies. Although initially developed for studies of HIV-SN in the SIV-infected macaque model, these methods could be readily translated to a range of studies involving peripheral nerve degeneration and neurotoxicity in nonhuman primates as well as preclinical investigations of agents aimed at neuroprotection and regeneration. PMID:27235324

  7. Quantitative microbial risk assessment of human illness from exposure to marine beach sand.

    PubMed

    Shibata, Tomoyuki; Solo-Gabriele, Helena M

    2012-03-01

    Currently no U.S. federal guideline is available for assessing risk of illness from sand at recreational sites. The objectives of this study were to compute a reference level guideline for pathogens in beach sand and to compare these reference levels with measurements from a beach impacted by nonpoint sources of contamination. Reference levels were computed using quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) coupled with Monte Carlo simulations. In order to reach an equivalent level of risk of illness as set by the U.S. EPA for marine water exposure (1.9 × 10(-2)), levels would need to be at least about 10 oocysts/g (about 1 oocyst/g for a pica child) for Cryptosporidium, about 5 MPN/g (about 1 MPN/g for pica) for enterovirus, and less than 10(6) CFU/g for S. aureus. Pathogen levels measured in sand at a nonpoint source recreational beach were lower than the reference levels. More research is needed in evaluating risk from yeast and helminth exposures as well as in identifying acceptable levels of risk for skin infections associated with sand exposures. PMID:22296573

  8. Quantitative assessment of human and pet exposure to Salmonella associated with dry pet foods.

    PubMed

    Lambertini, Elisabetta; Buchanan, Robert L; Narrod, Clare; Ford, Randall M; Baker, Robert C; Pradhan, Abani K

    2016-01-01

    Recent Salmonella outbreaks associated with dry pet foods and treats highlight the importance of these foods as previously overlooked exposure vehicles for both pets and humans. In the last decade efforts have been made to raise the safety of this class of products, for instance by upgrading production equipment, cleaning protocols, and finished product testing. However, no comprehensive or quantitative risk profile is available for pet foods, thus limiting the ability to establish safety standards and assess the effectiveness of current and proposed Salmonella control measures. This study sought to develop an ingredients-to-consumer quantitative microbial exposure assessment model to: 1) estimate pet and human exposure to Salmonella via dry pet food, and 2) assess the impact of industry and household-level mitigation strategies on exposure. Data on prevalence and concentration of Salmonella in pet food ingredients, production process parameters, bacterial ecology, and contact transfer in the household were obtained through literature review, industry data, and targeted research. A probabilistic Monte Carlo modeling framework was developed to simulate the production process and basic household exposure routes. Under the range of assumptions adopted in this model, human exposure due to handling pet food is null to minimal if contamination occurs exclusively before extrusion. Exposure increases considerably if recontamination occurs post-extrusion during coating with fat, although mean ingested doses remain modest even at high fat contamination levels, due to the low percent of fat in the finished product. Exposure is highly variable, with the distribution of doses ingested by adult pet owners spanning 3Log CFU per exposure event. Child exposure due to ingestion of 1g of pet food leads to significantly higher doses than adult doses associated with handling the food. Recontamination after extrusion and coating, e.g., via dust or equipment surfaces, may also lead to

  9. Three-Dimensional Quantitative Validation of Breast Magnetic Resonance Imaging Background Parenchymal Enhancement Assessments.

    PubMed

    Ha, Richard; Mema, Eralda; Guo, Xiaotao; Mango, Victoria; Desperito, Elise; Ha, Jason; Wynn, Ralph; Zhao, Binsheng

    2016-01-01

    The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) background parenchymal enhancement (BPE) and its clinical significance as a biomarker of breast cancer risk has been proposed based on qualitative studies. Previous BPE quantification studies lack appropriate correlation with BPE qualitative assessments. The purpose of this study is to validate our three-dimensional BPE quantification method with standardized BPE qualitative cases. An Institutional Review Board-approved study reviewed 500 consecutive magnetic resonance imaging cases (from January 2013-December 2014) using a strict inclusion criteria and 120 cases that best represented each of the BPE qualitative categories (minimal or mild or moderate or marked) were selected. Blinded to the qualitative data, fibroglandular tissue contours of precontrast and postcontrast images were delineated using an in-house, proprietary segmentation algorithm. Metrics of BPE were calculated including %BPE ([ratio of BPE volume to fibroglandular tissue volume] × 100) at multiple threshold levels to determine the optimal cutoff point for BPE quantification that best correlated with the reference BPE qualitative cases. The highest positive correlation was present at ×1.5 precontrast average signal intensity threshold level (r = 0.84, P < 0.001). At this level, the BPE qualitative assessment of minimal, mild, moderate, and marked correlated with the mean quantitative %BPE of 14.1% (95% CI: 10.9-17.2), 26.1% (95% CI: 22.8-29.3), 45.9% (95% CI: 40.2-51.7), and 74.0% (95% CI: 68.6-79.5), respectively. A one-way analysis of variance with post-hoc analysis showed that at ×1.5 precontrast average signal intensity level, the quantitative %BPE measurements best differentiated the four reference BPE qualitative groups (F [3,117] = 106.8, P < 0.001). Our three-dimensional BPE quantification methodology was validated using the reference BPE qualitative cases and could become an invaluable clinical tool to more accurately assess breast cancer risk and to

  10. Quantitative assessment of in vivo breast masses using ultrasound attenuation and backscatter.

    PubMed

    Nam, Kibo; Zagzebski, James A; Hall, Timothy J

    2013-04-01

    Clinical analysis of breast ultrasound imaging is done qualitatively, facilitated with the ultrasound breast imaging-reporting and data system (US BI-RADS) lexicon, which helps to standardize imaging assessments. Two descriptors in that lexicon, "posterior acoustic features" and the "echo pattern" within a mass, are directly related to quantitative ultrasound (QUS) parameters, namely, ultrasound attenuation and the average backscatter coefficient (BSC). The purpose of this study was to quantify ultrasound attenuation and backscatter in breast masses and to investigate these QUS properties as potential differential diagnostic markers. Radio frequency (RF) echo signals were from patients with breast masses during a special ultrasound imaging session prior to core biopsy. Data were also obtained from a well characterized phantom using identical system settings. Masses include 14 fibroadenomas and 10 carcinomas. Attenuation for the acoustic path lying proximal to the tumor was estimated offline using a least squares method with constraints. BSCs were estimated using a reference phantom method (RPM). The attenuation coefficient within each mass was assessed using both the RPM and a hybrid method, and effective scatterer diameters (ESDs) were estimated using a Gaussian form factor model. Attenuation estimates obtained with the RPM were consistent with estimates done using the hybrid method in all cases except for two masses. The mean slope of the attenuation coefficient versus frequency for carcinomas was 20% greater than the mean slope value for the fibroadenomas. The product of the attenuation coefficient and anteroposterior dimension of the mass was computed to estimate the total attenuation for each mass. That value correlated well with the BI-RADS assessment of "posterior acoustic features" judged qualitatively from gray scale images. Nearly all masses were described as "hypoechoic," so no strong statements could be made about the correlation of echo pattern

  11. Comparison of Diagnostic Performance Between Visual and Quantitative Assessment of Bone Scintigraphy Results in Patients With Painful Temporomandibular Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Bong-Hoi; Yoon, Seok-Ho; Song, Seung-Il; Yoon, Joon-Kee; Lee, Su Jin; An, Young-Sil

    2016-01-01

    Abstract This retrospective clinical study was performed to evaluate whether a visual or quantitative method is more valuable for assessing painful temporomandibular disorder (TMD) using bone scintigraphy results. In total, 230 patients (172 women and 58 men) with TMD were enrolled. All patients were questioned about their temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain. Bone scintigraphic data were acquired in all patients, and images were analyzed by visual and quantitative methods using the TMJ-to-skull uptake ratio. The diagnostic performances of both bone scintigraphic assessment methods for painful TMD were compared. In total, 241 of 460 TMJs (52.4%) were finally diagnosed with painful TMD. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and accuracy of the visual analysis for diagnosing painful TMD were 62.8%, 59.6%, 58.6%, 63.8%, and 61.1%, respectively. The quantitative assessment showed the ability to diagnose painful TMD with a sensitivity of 58.8% and specificity of 69.3%. The diagnostic ability of the visual analysis for diagnosing painful TMD was not significantly different from that of the quantitative analysis. Visual bone scintigraphic analysis showed a diagnostic utility similar to that of quantitative assessment for the diagnosis of painful TMD. PMID:26765456

  12. Groundwater availability in the United States: the value of quantitative regional assessments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dennehy, Kevin F.; Reilly, Thomas E.; Cunningham, William L.

    2015-01-01

    The sustainability of water resources is under continued threat from the challenges associated with a growing population, competing demands, and a changing climate. Freshwater scarcity has become a fact in many areas. Much of the United States surface-water supplies are fully apportioned for use; thus, in some areas the only potential alternative freshwater source that can provide needed quantities is groundwater. Although frequently overlooked, groundwater serves as the principal reserve of freshwater in the US and represents much of the potential supply during periods of drought. Some nations have requirements to monitor and characterize the availability of groundwater such as the European Union’s Water Framework Directive (EPCEU 2000). In the US there is no such national requirement. Quantitative regional groundwater availability assessments, however, are essential to document the status and trends of groundwater availability for the US and make informed water-resource decisions possible now and in the future. Barthel (2014) highlighted that the value of regional groundwater assessments goes well beyond just quantifying the resource so that it can be better managed. The tools and techniques required to evaluate these unique regional systems advance the science of hydrogeology and provide enhanced methods that can benefit local-scale groundwater investigations. In addition, a significant, yet under-utilized benefit is the digital spatial and temporal data sets routinely generated as part of these studies. Even though there is no legal or regulatory requirement for regional groundwater assessments in the US, there is a logical basis for their implementation. The purpose of this essay is to articulate the rationale for and reaffirm the value of regional groundwater assessments primarily in the US; however, the arguments hold for all nations. The importance of the data sets and the methods and model development that occur as part of these assessments is stressed

  13. Adaptive female-mimicking behavior in a scorpionfly.

    PubMed

    Thornhill, R

    1979-07-27

    This study provides a clear example of female-mimicking behavior by males in insects and evaluates quantitatively the adaptive significance of this behavior, which is poorly understood in many other organisms. Males of Hylobittacus apicalis provide females with a prey arthropod during copulation. Some males mimic female behavior when interacting with males that have captured nuptial prey, resulting in males stealing prey which they will use for copulation. Males that pirate prey copulate more frequently and probably incur fewer predation-related risks. PMID:17790854

  14. Odontogenic Keratocyst Mimicking Paradental Cyst

    PubMed Central

    Borgonovo, Andrea Enrico; Bernardini, Luigi; Francinetti, Paola

    2014-01-01

    Objective. The aim of this paper is to present an uncommon clinical and radiographic aspect of odontogenic keratocyst (OKC) mimicking paradental cyst. Methods. A 32-year-old female patient showed a well-delimited radiolucent lesion connected with the root of the left third molar with close anatomical relationship with the mandibular canal. The clinical, radiographic, and anamnestic features lead us to diagnose a paradental cyst that was treated by enucleation after extraction of the partially impacted tooth. Results. Histological analysis showed typical histological features of PKC such as the presence of a lining of stratified squamous epithelium with a well-defined basal layer of palisading columnar of cuboidal cells. Conclusion. Initial X-ray analysis and the position of the lesion related to the third mandibular tooth caused us to mistakenly diagnose a paradental cyst. We were only able to identify the cyst as an PKC rather than a paradental cyst after histological analysis. PMID:25114809

  15. Subaortic membrane mimicking hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Mark Joseph; Arruda-Olson, Adelaide; Gersh, Bernard; Geske, Jeffrey

    2015-01-01

    A 34-year-old man was referred for progressive angina and exertional dyspnoea refractory to medical therapy, with a presumptive diagnosis of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Transthoracic echocardiography (TTE) revealed asymmetric septal hypertrophy without systolic anterior motion of the mitral valve leaflet and with no dynamic left ventricular outflow tract (LVOT) obstruction. However, the LVOT velocity was elevated at rest as well as with provocation, without the characteristic late peaking obstruction seen in HCM. Focused TTE to evaluate for suspected fixed obstruction demonstrated a subaortic membrane 2.2 cm below the aortic valve. Coronary CT angiography confirmed the presence of the subaortic membrane and was negative for concomitant coronary artery disease. Surgical resection of the subaortic membrane and septal myectomy resulted in significant symptomatic relief and lower LVOT velocities on postoperative TTE. This case reminds the clinician to carefully evaluate for alternative causes of LVOT obstruction, especially subaortic membrane, as a cause of symptoms mimicking HCM. PMID:26538250

  16. Quantitative MRI of the spinal cord and brain in adrenomyeloneuropathy: in vivo assessment of structural changes.

    PubMed

    Castellano, Antonella; Papinutto, Nico; Cadioli, Marcello; Brugnara, Gianluca; Iadanza, Antonella; Scigliuolo, Graziana; Pareyson, Davide; Uziel, Graziella; Köhler, Wolfgang; Aubourg, Patrick; Falini, Andrea; Henry, Roland G; Politi, Letterio S; Salsano, Ettore

    2016-06-01

    Adrenomyeloneuropathy is the late-onset form of X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy, and is considered the most frequent metabolic hereditary spastic paraplegia. In adrenomyeloneuropathy the spinal cord is the main site of pathology. Differently from quantitative magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, little is known about the feasibility and utility of advanced neuroimaging in quantifying the spinal cord abnormalities in hereditary diseases. Moreover, little is known about the subtle pathological changes that can characterize the brain of adrenomyeloneuropathy subjects in the early stages of the disease. We performed a cross-sectional study on 13 patients with adrenomyeloneuropathy and 12 age-matched healthy control subjects who underwent quantitative magnetic resonance imaging to assess the structural changes of the upper spinal cord and brain. Total cord areas from C2-3 to T2-3 level were measured, and diffusion tensor imaging metrics, i.e. fractional anisotropy, mean, axial and radial diffusivity values were calculated in both grey and white matter of spinal cord. In the brain, grey matter regions were parcellated with Freesurfer and average volume and thickness, and mean diffusivity and fractional anisotropy from co-registered diffusion maps were calculated in each region. Brain white matter diffusion tensor imaging metrics were assessed using whole-brain tract-based spatial statistics, and tractography-based analysis on corticospinal tracts. Correlations among clinical, structural and diffusion tensor imaging measures were calculated. In patients total cord area was reduced by 26.3% to 40.2% at all tested levels (P < 0.0001). A mean 16% reduction of spinal cord white matter fractional anisotropy (P ≤ 0.0003) with a concomitant 9.7% axial diffusivity reduction (P < 0.009) and 34.5% radial diffusivity increase (P < 0.009) was observed, suggesting co-presence of axonal degeneration and demyelination. Brain tract-based spatial statistics showed a marked reduction

  17. A simplified method for quantitative assessment of the relative health and safety risk of environmental management activities

    SciTech Connect

    Eide, S.A.; Smith, T.H.; Peatross, R.G.; Stepan, I.E.

    1996-09-01

    This report presents a simplified method to assess the health and safety risk of Environmental Management activities of the US Department of Energy (DOE). The method applies to all types of Environmental Management activities including waste management, environmental restoration, and decontamination and decommissioning. The method is particularly useful for planning or tradeoff studies involving multiple conceptual options because it combines rapid evaluation with a quantitative approach. The method is also potentially applicable to risk assessments of activities other than DOE Environmental Management activities if rapid quantitative results are desired.

  18. A Platform for Rapid, Quantitative Assessment of Multiple Drug Combinations Simultaneously in Solid Tumors In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Grenley, Marc O.; Casalini, Joseph R.; Tretyak, Ilona; Ditzler, Sally H.; Thirstrup, Derek J.; Frazier, Jason P.; Pierce, Daniel W.; Carleton, Michael; Klinghoffer, Richard A.

    2016-01-01

    While advances in high-throughput screening have resulted in increased ability to identify synergistic anti-cancer drug combinations, validation of drug synergy in the in vivo setting and prioritization of combinations for clinical development remain low-throughput and resource intensive. Furthermore, there is currently no viable method for prospectively assessing drug synergy directly in human patients in order to potentially tailor therapies. To address these issues we have employed the previously described CIVO platform and developed a quantitative approach for investigating multiple combination hypotheses simultaneously in single living tumors. This platform provides a rapid, quantitative and cost effective approach to compare and prioritize drug combinations based on evidence of synergistic tumor cell killing in the live tumor context. Using a gemcitabine resistant model of pancreatic cancer, we efficiently investigated nine rationally selected Abraxane-based combinations employing only 19 xenografted mice. Among the drugs tested, the BCL2/BCLxL inhibitor ABT-263 was identified as the one agent that synergized with Abraxane® to enhance acute induction of localized apoptosis in this model of human pancreatic cancer. Importantly, results obtained with CIVO accurately predicted the outcome of systemic dosing studies in the same model where superior tumor regression induced by the Abraxane/ABT-263 combination was observed compared to that induced by either single agent. This supports expanded use of CIVO as an in vivo platform for expedited in vivo drug combination validation and sets the stage for performing toxicity-sparing drug combination studies directly in cancer patients with solid malignancies. PMID:27359113

  19. Quantitative assessment of inhalation exposure and deposited dose of aerosol from nanotechnology-based consumer sprays†

    PubMed Central

    Nazarenko, Yevgen; Lioy, Paul J.; Mainelis, Gediminas

    2015-01-01

    This study provides a quantitative assessment of inhalation exposure and deposited aerosol dose in the 14 nm to 20 μm particle size range based on the aerosol measurements conducted during realistic usage simulation of five nanotechnology-based and five regular spray products matching the nano-products by purpose of application. The products were also examined using transmission electron microscopy. In seven out of ten sprays, the highest inhalation exposure was observed for the coarse (2.5–10 μm) particles while being minimal or below the detection limit for the remaining three sprays. Nanosized aerosol particles (14–100 nm) were released, which resulted in low but measurable inhalation exposures from all of the investigated consumer sprays. Eight out of ten products produced high total deposited aerosol doses on the order of 101–103 ng kg−1 bw per application, ~85–88% of which were in the head airways, only <10% in the alveolar region and <8% in the tracheobronchial region. One nano and one regular spray produced substantially lower total deposited doses (by 2–4 orders of magnitude less), only ~52–64% of which were in the head while ~29–40% in the alveolar region. The electron microscopy data showed nanosized objects in some products not labeled as nanotechnology-based and conversely did not find nano-objects in some nano-sprays. We found no correlation between nano-object presence and abundance as per the electron microscopy data and the determined inhalation exposures and deposited doses. The findings of this study and the reported quantitative exposure data will be valuable for the manufacturers of nanotechnology-based consumer sprays to minimize inhalation exposure from their products, as well as for the regulators focusing on protecting the public health. PMID:25621175

  20. Chromatic distortion during angioscopy: assessment and correction by quantitative colorimetric angioscopic analysis.

    PubMed

    Lehmann, K G; Oomen, J A; Slager, C J; deFeyter, P J; Serruys, P W

    1998-10-01

    Angioscopy represents a diagnostic tool with the unique ability of assessing the true color of intravascular structures. Current angioscopic interpretation is entirely subjective, however, and the visual interpretation of color has been shown to be marginal at best. The quantitative colorimetric angioscopic analysis system permits the full characterization of angioscopic color using two parameters (C1 and C2), derived from a custom color coordinate system, that are independent of illuminating light intensity. Measurement variability was found to be low (coefficient of variation = 0.06-0.64%), and relatively stable colorimetric values were obtained even at the extremes of illumination power. Variability between different angioscopic catheters was good (maximum difference for C1, 0.022; for C2, 0.015). Catheter flexion did not significantly distort color transmission. Although the fiber optic illumination bundle was found to impart a slight yellow tint to objects in view (deltaC1 = 0.020, deltaC2 = 0.024, P < 0.0001) and the imaging bundle in isolation imparted a slight red tint (deltaC1 = 0.043, deltaC2 = -0.027, P < 0.0001), both of these artifacts could be corrected by proper white balancing. Finally, evaluation of regional chromatic characteristics revealed a radially symmetric and progressive blue shift in measured color when moving from the periphery to the center of an angioscopic image. An algorithm was developed that could automatically correct 93.0-94.3% of this error and provide accurate colorimetric measurements independent of spatial location within the angioscopic field. In summary, quantitative colorimetric angioscopic analysis provides objective and highly reproducible measurements of angioscopic color. This technique can correct for important chromatic distortions present in modern angioscopic systems. It can also help overcome current limitations in angioscopy research and clinical use imposed by the reliance on visual perception of color. PMID

  1. A quantitative assessment of the eating capability in the elderly individuals.

    PubMed

    Laguna, Laura; Sarkar, Anwesha; Artigas, Gràcia; Chen, Jianshe

    2015-08-01

    Ageing process implies physiologically weakened muscles, loss of natural teeth and movement coordination, causing difficulties in the eating process. A term "eating capability" has been proposed to measure objectively how capable an elderly individual is in overall food management. Our objectives were to establish feasible methodologies of eating capability assessment, examine correlations between hand and oro-facial muscle strengths and grade elderly subjects into groups based on their eating capabilities. This study was performed with 203 elderly subjects living in the UK (n=103, 7 community centres, 2 sheltered accommodation) and Spain (n=100, 3 nursing homes, 1 community centre). Hand gripping force, finger gripping force, biting force, lip sealing pressure, tongue pressing pressure and touching sensitivity were measured for elderly subjects. Measured parameters were normalised and scored between 1 and 5, with 1 being the weakest. Subjects were then grouped into 4 groups based on their eating capability scores, being participants of cluster 1 the weakest group and 4 the strongest. Perception of oral processing difficulty was assessed by showing food images. Hand gripping force showed a strong linear correlation with tongue pressure (UK: 0.35; Spain: 0.326) and biting force (UK: 0.351; Spain: 0.427). Biting force was strongly dependent on the denture status. Elderly of the first three groups perceived food products with more hardness and/or fibrous structure as difficult to process orally. The objective measurements of various physiological factors enabled quantitative characterisation of the eating capabilities of elderly people. The observed relationship between hand and oro-facial muscle strengths provides possibility of using non-invasive hand gripping force measurement for eating capability assessment. PMID:25936821

  2. Quick, non-invasive and quantitative assessment of small fiber neuropathy in patients receiving chemotherapy.

    PubMed

    Saad, Mehdi; Psimaras, Dimitri; Tafani, Camille; Sallansonnet-Froment, Magali; Calvet, Jean-Henri; Vilier, Alice; Tigaud, Jean-Marie; Bompaire, Flavie; Lebouteux, Marie; de Greslan, Thierry; Ceccaldi, Bernard; Poirier, Jean-Michel; Ferrand, François-Régis; Le Moulec, Sylvestre; Huillard, Olivier; Goldwasser, François; Taillia, Hervé; Maisonobe, Thierry; Ricard, Damien

    2016-04-01

    Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neurotoxicity (CIPN) is a common, potentially severe and dose-limiting adverse effect; however, it is poorly investigated at an early stage due to the lack of a simple assessment tool. As sweat glands are innervated by small autonomic C-fibers, sudomotor function testing has been suggested for early screening of peripheral neuropathy. This study aimed to evaluate Sudoscan, a non-invasive and quantitative method to assess sudomotor function, in the detection and follow-up of CIPN. Eighty-eight patients receiving at least two infusions of Oxaliplatin only (45.4%), Paclitaxel only (14.8%), another drug only (28.4%) or two drugs (11.4%) were enrolled in the study. At each chemotherapy infusion the accumulated dose of chemotherapy was calculated and the Total Neuropathy Score clinical version (TNSc) was carried out. Small fiber neuropathy was assessed using Sudoscan (a 3-min test). The device measures the Electrochemical Skin Conductance (ESC) of the hands and feet expressed in microSiemens (µS). For patients receiving Oxaliplatin mean hands ESC changed from 73 ± 2 to 63 ± 2 and feet ESC from 77 ± 2 to 66 ± 3 µS (p < 0.001) while TNSc changed from 2.9 ± 0.5 to 4.3 ± 0.4. Similar results were observed in patients receiving Paclitaxel or another neurotoxic chemotherapy. During the follow-up, ESC values of both hands and feet with a corresponding TNSc < 2 were 70 ± 2 and 73 ± 2 µS respectively while they were 59 ± 1.4 and 64 ± 1.5 µS with a corresponding TNSc ≥ 6 (p < 0.0001 and p = 0.0003 respectively). This preliminary study suggests that small fiber neuropathy could be screened and followed using Sudoscan in patients receiving chemotherapy. PMID:26749101

  3. A Rapid Murine Coma and Behavior Scale for Quantitative Assessment of Murine Cerebral Malaria

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, Ryan W.; Wainwright, Mark S.; Kim, Kwang-Youn; Kidambi, Trilokesh; Gómez, Noé D.; Taylor, Terrie; Haldar, Kasturi

    2010-01-01

    Background Cerebral malaria (CM) is a neurological syndrome that includes coma and seizures following malaria parasite infection. The pathophysiology is not fully understood and cannot be accounted for by infection alone: patients still succumb to CM, even if the underlying parasite infection has resolved. To that effect, there is no known adjuvant therapy for CM. Current murine CM (MCM) models do not allow for rapid clinical identification of affected animals following infection. An animal model that more closely mimics the clinical features of human CM would be helpful in elucidating potential mechanisms of disease pathogenesis and evaluating new adjuvant therapies. Methodology/Principal Findings A quantitative, rapid murine coma and behavior scale (RMCBS) comprised of 10 parameters was developed to assess MCM manifested in C57BL/6 mice infected with Plasmodium berghei ANKA (PbA). Using this method a single mouse can be completely assessed within 3 minutes. The RMCBS enables the operator to follow the evolution of the clinical syndrome, validated here by correlations with intracerebral hemorrhages. It provides a tool by which subjects can be identified as symptomatic prior to the initiation of trial treatment. Conclusions/Significance Since the RMCBS enables an operator to rapidly follow the course of disease, label a subject as affected or not, and correlate the level of illness with neuropathologic injury, it can ultimately be used to guide the initiation of treatment after the onset of cerebral disease (thus emulating the situation in the field). The RMCBS is a tool by which an adjuvant therapy can be objectively assessed. PMID:20957049

  4. Quantitative 13C NMR of whole and fractionated Iowa Mollisols for assessment of organic matter composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, Xiaowen; Chua, Teresita; Schmidt-Rohr, Klaus; Thompson, Michael L.

    2010-01-01

    Both the concentrations and the stocks of soil organic carbon vary across the landscape. Do the amounts of recalcitrant components of soil organic matter (SOM) vary with landscape position? To address this question, we studied four Mollisols in central Iowa, two developed in till and two developed in loess. Two of the soils were well drained and two were poorly drained. We collected surface-horizon samples and studied organic matter in the particulate organic matter (POM) fraction, the clay fractions, and the whole, unfractionated samples. We treated the soil samples with 5 M HF at ambient temperature or at 60 °C for 30 min to concentrate the SOM. To assess the composition of the SOM, we used solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, in particular, quantitative 13C DP/MAS (direct-polarization/magic-angle spinning), with and without recoupled dipolar dephasing. Spin counting by correlation of the integral NMR intensity with the C concentration by elemental analysis showed that NMR was ⩾85% quantitative for the majority of the samples studied. For untreated whole-soil samples with <2.5 wt.% C, which is considerably less than in most previous quantitative NMR analyses of SOM, useful spectra that reflected ⩾65% of all C were obtained. The NMR analyses allowed us to conclude (1) that the HF treatment (with or without heat) had low impact on the organic C composition in the samples, except for protonating carboxylate anions to carboxylic acids, (2) that most organic C was observable by NMR even in untreated soil materials, (3) that esters were likely to compose only a minor fraction of SOM in these Mollisols, and (4) that the aromatic components of SOM were enriched to ˜53% in the poorly drained soils, compared with ˜48% in the well drained soils; in plant tissue and particulate organic matter (POM) the aromaticities were ˜18% and ˜32%, respectively. Nonpolar, nonprotonated aromatic C, interpreted as a proxy for charcoal C, dominated the

  5. Disaster Metrics: A Proposed Quantitative Assessment Tool in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies - The Public Health Impact Severity Scale (PHISS)

    PubMed Central

    Bayram, Jamil D.; Kysia, Rashid; Kirsch, Thomas D.

    2012-01-01

    Background: Complex Humanitarian Emergencies (CHE) result in rapid degradation of population health and quickly overwhelm indigenous health resources. Numerous governmental, non-governmental, national and international organizations and agencies are involved in the assessment of post-CHE affected populations. To date, there is no entirely quantitative assessment tool conceptualized to measure the public health impact of CHE. Methods: Essential public health parameters in CHE were identified based on the Sphere Project "Minimum Standards", and scoring rubrics were proposed based on the prevailing evidence when applicable. Results: 12 quantitative parameters were identified, representing the four categories of “Minimum Standards for Disaster Response” according to the Sphere Project; health, shelter, food and nutrition, in addition to water and sanitation. The cumulative tool constitutes a quantitative scale, referred to as the Public Health Impact Severity Scale (PHISS), and the score on this scale ranges from a minimum of 0 to a maximum of 100. Conclusion: Quantitative measurement of the public health impact of CHE is germane to accurate assessment, in order to identify the scale and scope of the critical response required for the relief efforts of the affected populations. PHISS is a new conceptual metric tool, proposed to add an objective quantitative dimension to the post-CHE assessment arsenal. PHISS has not yet been validated, and studies are needed with prospective data collection to test its validity, feasibility and reliability. Citation: Bayram JD, Kysia R, Kirsch TD. Disaster Metrics: A Proposed Quantitative Assessment Tool in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies – The Public Health Impact Severity Scale (PHISS). PLOS Currents Disasters. 2012 Aug 21. doi: 10.1371/4f7b4bab0d1a3. PMID:22984643

  6. Quantitative Assessment of Fat Infiltration in the Rotator Cuff Muscles using water-fat MRI

    PubMed Central

    Nardo, Lorenzo; Karampinos, Dimitrios C.; Lansdown, Drew A.; Carballido-Gamio, Julio; Lee, Sonia; Maroldi, Roberto; Ma, C. Benjamin; Link, Thomas M.; Krug, Roland

    2013-01-01

    Purpose To evaluate a chemical shift-based fat quantification technique in the rotator cuff muscles in comparison with the semi-quantitative Goutallier fat infiltration classification (GC) and to assess their relationship with clinical parameters. Materials and Methods The shoulders of 57 patients were imaged using a 3T MR scanner. The rotator cuff muscles were assessed for fat infiltration using GC by two radiologists and an orthopedic surgeon. Sequences included oblique-sagittal T1-, T2- and proton density-weighted fast spin echo, and six-echo gradient echo. The iterative decomposition of water and fat with echo asymmetry and least-squares estimation (IDEAL) was used to measure fat fraction. Pain and range of motion of the shoulder were recorded. Results Fat fraction values were significantly correlated with GC grades (p< 0.0001, kappa>0.9) showing consistent increase with GC grades (grade=0, 0%–5.59%; grade=1, 1.1%–9.70%; grade=2, 6.44%–14.86%; grade=3, 15.25%–17.77%; grade=4, 19.85%–29.63%). A significant correlation between fat infiltration of the subscapularis muscle quantified with IDEAL versus a) deficit in internal rotation (Spearman Rank Correlation Coefficient=0.39, 95% CI 0.13–0.60, p<0.01) and b) pain (Spearman Rank Correlation coefficient=0.313, 95% CI 0.049–0.536, p=0.02) was found but was not seen between the clinical parameters and GC grades. Additionally, only quantitative fat infiltration measures of the supraspinatus muscle were significantly correlated with a deficit in abduction (Spearman Rank Correlation Coefficient=0.45, 95% CI 0.20–0.60, p<0.01). Conclusion We concluded that an accurate and highly reproducible fat quantification in the rotator cuff muscles using water-fat MRI techniques is possible and significantly correlates with shoulder pain and range of motion. PMID:24115490

  7. Bone tumor mimickers: A pictorial essay

    PubMed Central

    Mhuircheartaigh, Jennifer Ni; Lin, Yu-Ching; Wu, Jim S

    2014-01-01

    Focal lesions in bone are very common and many of these lesions are not bone tumors. These bone tumor mimickers can include numerous normal anatomic variants and non-neoplastic processes. Many of these tumor mimickers can be left alone, while others can be due to a significant disease process. It is important for the radiologist and clinician to be aware of these bone tumor mimickers and understand the characteristic features which allow discrimination between them and true neoplasms in order to avoid unnecessary additional workup. Knowing which lesions to leave alone or which ones require workup can prevent misdiagnosis and reduce patient anxiety. PMID:25114385

  8. Assessment of phalangeal bone loss in patients with rheumatoid arthritis by quantitative ultrasound

    PubMed Central

    Roben, P; Barkmann, R; Ullrich, S; Gause, A; Heller, M; Gluer, C

    2001-01-01

    OBJECTIVE—Periarticular osteopenia is an early radiological sign of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Quantitative ultrasound (QUS) devices have recently been shown to be useful for assessing osteoporosis. In this study the capability of a transportable and easy to use QUS device to detect skeletal impairment of the finger phalanges in patients with RA was investigated.
METHODS—In a cross sectional study 83 women (30 controls, 29 with glucocorticosteroid (GC) treated RA, and 24 with GC treated vasculitis) were examined. QUS measurements were obtained at the metaphyses of the proximal phalanges II-V and directly at the proximal interphalangeal joints II-IV with a DBM Sonic 1200 (IGEA, Italy) QUS device. Amplitude dependent speed of sound (AD-SoS) was evaluated. In 23 of the patients with RA, hand radiographs were evaluated.
RESULTS—Significant differences between patients with RA and the other groups were found for AD-SoS at both measurement sites. Compared with age matched controls, the AD-SoS of patients with RA was lowered by two and three standard deviations at the metaphysis and joint, respectively. Fingers of patients with RA without erosions (Larsen score 0-I) already had significantly decreased QUS values, which deteriorated further with the development of erosions (Larsen II-V).
CONCLUSION—This study indicates that QUS is sensitive to phalangeal periarticular bone loss in RA. QUS is a quick, simple, and inexpensive method free of ionising radiation that appears to be suited to detection of early stages of periarticular bone loss. Its clinical use in the assessment of early RA should be further evaluated in prospective studies.

 PMID:11406521

  9. Predicting pathogen risks to aid beach management: the real value of quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA).

    PubMed

    Ashbolt, Nicholas J; Schoen, Mary E; Soller, Jeffrey A; Roser, David J

    2010-09-01

    There has been an ongoing dilemma for agencies that set criteria for safe recreational waters in how to provide for a seasonal assessment of a beach site versus guidance for day-to-day management. Typically an overall 'safe' criterion level is derived from epidemiologic studies of sewage-impacted beaches. The decision criterion is based on a percentile value for a single sample or a moving median of a limited number (e.g. five per month) of routine samples, which are reported at least the day after recreator exposure has occurred. The focus of this paper is how to better undertake day-to-day recreational site monitoring and management. Internationally, good examples exist where predictive empirical regression models (based on rainfall, wind speed/direction, etc.) may provide an estimate of the target faecal indicator density for the day of exposure. However, at recreational swimming sites largely impacted by non-sewage sources of faecal indicators, there is concern that the indicator-illness associations derived from studies at sewage-impacted beaches may be inappropriate. Furthermore, some recent epidemiologic evidence supports the relationship to gastrointestinal (GI) illness with qPCR-derived measures of Bacteroidales/Bacteroides spp. as well as more traditional faecal indicators, but we understand less about the environmental fate of these molecular targets and their relationship to bather risk. Modelling pathogens and indicators within a quantitative microbial risk assessment framework is suggested as a way to explore the large diversity of scenarios for faecal contamination and hydrologic events, such as from waterfowl, agricultural animals, resuspended sediments and from the bathers themselves. Examples are provided that suggest that more site-specific targets derived by QMRA could provide insight, directly translatable to management actions. PMID:20638095

  10. A quantitative integrated assessment of pollution prevention achieved by integrated pollution prevention control licensing.

    PubMed

    Styles, David; O'Brien, Kieran; Jones, Michael B

    2009-11-01

    This paper presents an innovative, quantitative assessment of pollution avoidance attributable to environmental regulation enforced through integrated licensing, using Ireland's pharmaceutical-manufacturing sector as a case study. Emissions data reported by pharmaceutical installations were aggregated into a pollution trend using an Environmental Emissions Index (EEI) based on Lifecycle Assessment methodologies. Complete sectoral emissions data from 2001 to 2007 were extrapolated back to 1995, based on available data. Production volume data were used to derive a sectoral production index, and determine 'no-improvement' emission trends, whilst questionnaire responses from 20 industry representatives were used to quantify the contribution of integrated licensing to emission avoidance relative to these trends. Between 2001 and 2007, there was a 40% absolute reduction in direct pollution from 27 core installations, and 45% pollution avoidance relative to hypothetical 'no-improvement' pollution. It was estimated that environmental regulation avoided 20% of 'no-improvement' pollution, in addition to 25% avoidance under business-as-usual. For specific emissions, avoidance ranged from 14% and 30 kt a(-1) for CO(2) to 88% and 598 t a(-1) for SO(x). Between 1995 and 2007, there was a 59% absolute reduction in direct pollution, and 76% pollution avoidance. Pollution avoidance was dominated by reductions in emissions of VOCs, SO(x) and NO(x) to air, and emissions of heavy metals to water. Pollution avoidance of 35% was attributed to integrated licensing, ranging from between 8% and 2.9 t a(-1) for phosphorus emissions to water to 49% and 3143 t a(-1) for SO(x) emissions to air. Environmental regulation enforced through integrated licensing has been the major driver of substantial pollution avoidance achieved by Ireland's pharmaceutical sector - through emission limit values associated with Best Available Techniques, emissions monitoring and reporting requirements, and

  11. High Resolution Peripheral Quantitative Computed Tomography for Assessment of Bone Quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazakia, Galateia

    2014-03-01

    The study of bone quality is motivated by the high morbidity, mortality, and societal cost of skeletal fractures. Over 10 million people are diagnosed with osteoporosis in the US alone, suffering 1.5 million osteoporotic fractures and costing the health care system over 17 billion annually. Accurate assessment of fracture risk is necessary to ensure that pharmacological and other interventions are appropriately administered. Currently, areal bone mineral density (aBMD) based on 2D dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) is used to determine osteoporotic status and predict fracture risk. Though aBMD is a significant predictor of fracture risk, it does not completely explain bone strength or fracture incidence. The major limitation of aBMD is the lack of 3D information, which is necessary to distinguish between cortical and trabecular bone and to quantify bone geometry and microarchitecture. High resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) enables in vivo assessment of volumetric BMD within specific bone compartments as well as quantification of geometric and microarchitectural measures of bone quality. HR-pQCT studies have documented that trabecular bone microstructure alterations are associated with fracture risk independent of aBMD.... Cortical bone microstructure - specifically porosity - is a major determinant of strength, stiffness, and fracture toughness of cortical tissue and may further explain the aBMD-independent effect of age on bone fragility and fracture risk. The application of finite element analysis (FEA) to HR-pQCT data permits estimation of patient-specific bone strength, shown to be associated with fracture incidence independent of aBMD. This talk will describe the HR-pQCT scanner, established metrics of bone quality derived from HR-pQCT data, and novel analyses of bone quality currently in development. Cross-sectional and longitudinal HR-pQCT studies investigating the impact of aging, disease, injury, gender, race, and

  12. Pharmacology-based toxicity assessment: towards quantitative risk prediction in humans.

    PubMed

    Sahota, Tarjinder; Danhof, Meindert; Della Pasqua, Oscar

    2016-05-01

    Despite ongoing efforts to better understand the mechanisms underlying safety and toxicity, ~30% of the attrition in drug discovery and development is still due to safety concerns. Changes in current practice regarding the assessment of safety and toxicity are required to reduce late stage attrition and enable effective development of novel medicines. This review focuses on the implications of empirical evidence generation for the evaluation of safety and toxicity during drug development. A shift in paradigm is needed to (i) ensure that pharmacological concepts are incorporated into the evaluation of safety and toxicity; (ii) facilitate the integration of historical evidence and thereby the translation of findings across species as well as between in vitro and in vivo experiments and (iii) promote the use of experimental protocols tailored to address specific safety and toxicity questions. Based on historical examples, we highlight the challenges for the early characterisation of the safety profile of a new molecule and discuss how model-based methodologies can be applied for the design and analysis of experimental protocols. Issues relative to the scientific rationale are categorised and presented as a hierarchical tree describing the decision-making process. Focus is given to four different areas, namely, optimisation, translation, analytical construct and decision criteria. From a methodological perspective, the relevance of quantitative methods for estimation and extrapolation of risk from toxicology and safety pharmacology experimental protocols, such as points of departure and potency, is discussed in light of advancements in population and Bayesian modelling techniques (e.g. non-linear mixed effects modelling). Their use in the evaluation of pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic relationships (PKPD) has enabled great insight into the dose rationale for medicines in humans, both in terms of efficacy and adverse events. Comparable benefits

  13. Quantitative dose-response assessment of inhalation exposures to toxic air pollutants

    SciTech Connect

    Jarabek, A.M.; Foureman, G.L.; Gift, J.S.; Guth, D.J.

    1997-12-31

    Implementation of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, including evaluation of residual risks. requires accurate human health risk estimates of both acute and chronic inhalation exposures to toxic air pollutants. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency`s National Center for Environmental Assessment, Research Triangle Park, NC, has a research program that addresses several key issues for development of improved quantitative approaches for dose-response assessment. This paper describes three projects underway in the program. Project A describes a Bayesian approach that was developed to base dose-response estimates on combined data sets and that expresses these estimates as probability density functions. A categorical regression model has been developed that allows for the combination of all available acute data, with toxicity expressed as severity categories (e.g., mild, moderate, severe), and with both duration and concentration as governing factors. Project C encompasses two refinements to uncertainty factors (UFs) often applied to extrapolate dose-response estimates from laboratory animal data to human equivalent concentrations. Traditional UFs have been based on analyses of oral administration and may not be appropriate for extrapolation of inhalation exposures. Refinement of the UF applied to account for the use of subchronic rather than chronic data was based on an analysis of data from inhalation exposures (Project C-1). Mathematical modeling using the BMD approach was used to calculate the dose-response estimates for comparison between the subchronic and chronic data so that the estimates were not subject to dose-spacing or sample size variability. The second UF that was refined for extrapolation of inhalation data was the adjustment for the use of a LOAEL rather than a NOAEL (Project C-2).

  14. Automated quantitative assessment of cardiovascular magnetic resonance-derived atrioventricular junction velocities.

    PubMed

    Leng, Shuang; Zhao, Xiao-Dan; Huang, Fei-Qiong; Wong, Jia-Ing; Su, Bo-Yang; Allen, John Carson; Kassab, Ghassan S; Tan, Ru-San; Zhong, Liang

    2015-12-01

    The assessment of atrioventricular junction (AVJ) deformation plays an important role in evaluating left ventricular systolic and diastolic function in clinical practice. This study aims to demonstrate the effectiveness and consistency of cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) for quantitative assessment of AVJ velocity compared with tissue Doppler echocardiography (TDE). A group of 145 human subjects comprising 21 healthy volunteers, 8 patients with heart failure, 17 patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, 52 patients with myocardial infarction, and 47 patients with repaired Tetralogy of Fallot were prospectively enrolled and underwent TDE and CMR scan. Six AVJ points were tracked with three CMR views. The peak systolic velocity (Sm1), diastolic velocity during early diastolic filling (Em), and late diastolic velocity during atrial contraction (Am) were extracted and analyzed. All CMR-derived septal and lateral AVJ velocities correlated well with TDE measurements (Sm1: r = 0.736; Em: r = 0.835; Am: r = 0.701; Em/Am: r = 0.691; all p < 0.001) and demonstrated excellent reproducibility [intrastudy: r = 0.921-0.991, intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC): 0.918-0.991; interstudy: r = 0.900-0.970, ICC: 0.887-0.957; all p < 0.001]. The evaluation of three-dimensional AVJ motion incorporating measurements from all views better differentiated normal and diseased states [area under the curve (AUC) = 0.918] and provided further insights into mechanical dyssynchrony diagnosis in HF patients (AUC = 0.987). These findings suggest that the CMR-based method is feasible, accurate, and consistent in quantifying the AVJ deformation, and subsequently in diagnosing systolic and diastolic cardiac dysfunction. PMID:26408537

  15. The Strategic Environment Assessment bibliographic network: A quantitative literature review analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Caschili, Simone; De Montis, Andrea; Ganciu, Amedeo; Ledda, Antonio; Barra, Mario

    2014-07-01

    Academic literature has been continuously growing at such a pace that it can be difficult to follow the progression of scientific achievements; hence, the need to dispose of quantitative knowledge support systems to analyze the literature of a subject. In this article we utilize network analysis tools to build a literature review of scientific documents published in the multidisciplinary field of Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA). The proposed approach helps researchers to build unbiased and comprehensive literature reviews. We collect information on 7662 SEA publications and build the SEA Bibliographic Network (SEABN) employing the basic idea that two publications are interconnected if one cites the other. We apply network analysis at macroscopic (network architecture), mesoscopic (sub graph) and microscopic levels (node) in order to i) verify what network structure characterizes the SEA literature, ii) identify the authors, disciplines and journals that are contributing to the international discussion on SEA, and iii) scrutinize the most cited and important publications in the field. Results show that the SEA is a multidisciplinary subject; the SEABN belongs to the class of real small world networks with a dominance of publications in Environmental studies over a total of 12 scientific sectors. Christopher Wood, Olivia Bina, Matthew Cashmore, and Andrew Jordan are found to be the leading authors while Environmental Impact Assessment Review is by far the scientific journal with the highest number of publications in SEA studies. - Highlights: • We utilize network analysis to analyze scientific documents in the SEA field. • We build the SEA Bibliographic Network (SEABN) of 7662 publications. • We apply network analysis at macroscopic, mesoscopic and microscopic network levels. • We identify SEABN architecture, relevant publications, authors, subjects and journals.

  16. A quantitative methodology to assess the risks to human health from CO 2 leakage into groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siirila, Erica R.; Navarre-Sitchler, Alexis K.; Maxwell, Reed M.; McCray, John E.

    2012-02-01

    Leakage of CO 2 and associated gases into overlying aquifers as a result of geologic carbon capture and sequestration may have adverse impacts on aquifer drinking-water quality. Gas or aqueous-phase leakage may occur due to transport via faults and fractures, through faulty well bores, or through leaky confining materials. Contaminants of concern include aqueous salts and dissolved solids, gaseous or aqueous-phase organic contaminants, and acidic gas or aqueous-phase fluids that can liberate metals from aquifer minerals. Here we present a quantitative risk assessment framework to predict potential human health risk from CO 2 leakage into drinking water aquifers. This framework incorporates the potential release of CO 2 into the drinking water aquifer; mobilization of metals due to a decrease in pH; transport of these metals down gradient to municipal receptors; distributions of contaminated groundwater to multiple households; and exposure and health risk to individuals using this water for household purposes. Additionally, this framework is stochastic, incorporates detailed variations in geological and geostatistical parameters and discriminates between uncertain and variable parameters using a two-stage, or nested, Monte Carlo approach. This approach is demonstrated using example simulations with hypothetical, yet realistic, aquifer characteristics and leakage scenarios. These example simulations show a greater risk for arsenic than for lead for both cancer and non-cancer endpoints, an unexpected finding. Higher background groundwater gradients also yield higher risk. The overall risk and the associated uncertainty are sensitive to the extent of aquifer stratification and the degree of local-scale dispersion. These results all highlight the importance of hydrologic modeling in risk assessment. A linear relationship between carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic risk was found for arsenic and suggests action levels for carcinogenic risk will be exceeded in exposure

  17. A Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment for Salmonella in Pigs for the European Union.

    PubMed

    Snary, Emma L; Swart, Arno N; Simons, Robin R L; Domingues, Ana Rita Calado; Vigre, Hakan; Evers, Eric G; Hald, Tine; Hill, Andrew A

    2016-03-01

    A farm-to-consumption quantitative microbiological risk assessment (QMRA) for Salmonella in pigs in the European Union has been developed for the European Food Safety Authority. The primary aim of the QMRA was to assess the impact of hypothetical reductions of slaughter-pig prevalence and the impact of control measures on the risk of human Salmonella infection. A key consideration during the QMRA development was the characterization of variability between E.U. Member States (MSs), and therefore a generic MS model was developed that accounts for differences in pig production, slaughterhouse practices, and consumption patterns. To demonstrate the parameterization of the model, four case study MSs were selected that illustrate the variability in production of pork meat and products across MSs. For the case study MSs the average probability of illness was estimated to be between 1 in 100,000 and 1 in 10 million servings given consumption of one of the three product types considered (pork cuts, minced meat, and fermented ready-to-eat sausages). Further analyses of the farm-to-consumption QMRA suggest that the vast majority of human risk derives from infected pigs with a high concentration of Salmonella in their feces (≥10(4) CFU/g). Therefore, it is concluded that interventions should be focused on either decreasing the level of Salmonella in the feces of infected pigs, the introduction of a control step at the abattoir to reduce the transfer of feces to the exterior of the pig, or a control step to reduce the level of Salmonella on the carcass post-evisceration. PMID:27002672

  18. Quantitative Evaluation of MODIS Fire Radiative Power Measurement for Global Smoke Emissions Assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ichoku, Charles; Ellison, Luke

    2011-01-01

    Satellite remote sensing is providing us tremendous opportunities to measure the fire radiative energy (FRE) release rate or power (FRP) from open biomass burning, which affects many vegetated regions of the world on a seasonal basis. Knowledge of the biomass burning characteristics and emission source strengths of different (particulate and gaseous) smoke constituents is one of the principal ingredients upon which the assessment, modeling, and forecasting of their distribution and impacts depend. This knowledge can be gained through accurate measurement of FRP, which has been shown to have a direct relationship with the rates of biomass consumption and emissions of major smoke constituents. Over the last decade or so, FRP has been routinely measured from space by both the MODIS sensors aboard the polar orbiting Terra and Aqua satellites, and the SEVIRI sensor aboard the Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) geostationary satellite. During the last few years, FRP has steadily gained increasing recognition as an important parameter for facilitating the development of various scientific studies and applications relating to the quantitative characterization of biomass burning and their emissions. To establish the scientific integrity of the FRP as a stable quantity that can be measured consistently across a variety of sensors and platforms, with the potential of being utilized to develop a unified long-term climate data record of fire activity and impacts, it needs to be thoroughly evaluated, calibrated, and validated. Therefore, we are conducting a detailed analysis of the FRP products from MODIS to evaluate the uncertainties associated with them, such as those due to the effects of satellite variable observation geometry and other factors, in order to establish their error budget for use in diverse scientific research and applications. In this presentation, we will show recent results of the MODIS FRP uncertainty analysis and error mitigation solutions, and demonstrate

  19. Quantitative microbial risk assessment applied to irrigation of salad crops with waste stabilization pond effluents.

    PubMed

    Pavione, D M S; Bastos, R K X; Bevilacqua, P D

    2013-01-01

    A quantitative microbial risk assessment model for estimating infection risks arising from consuming crops eaten raw that have been irrigated with effluents from stabilization ponds was constructed. A log-normal probability distribution function was fitted to a large database from a comprehensive monitoring of an experimental pond system to account for variability in Escherichia coli concentration in irrigation water. Crop contamination levels were estimated using predictive models derived from field experiments involving the irrigation of several crops with different effluent qualities. Data on daily intake of salad crops were obtained from a national survey in Brazil. Ten thousand-trial Monte Carlo simulations were used to estimate human health risks associated with the use of wastewater for irrigating low- and high-growing crops. The use of effluents containing 10(3)-10(4) E. coli per 100 ml resulted in median rotavirus infection risk of approximately 10(-3) and 10(-4) pppy when irrigating, respectively, low- and high-growing crops; the corresponding 95th percentile risk estimates were around 10(-2) in both scenarios. Sensitivity analyses revealed that variations in effluent quality, in the assumed ratios of pathogens to E. coli, and in the reduction of pathogens between harvest and consumption had great impact upon risk estimates. PMID:23508143

  20. Quantitative Assessment of Turbulence and Flow Eccentricity in an Aortic Coarctation: Impact of Virtual Interventions.

    PubMed

    Andersson, Magnus; Lantz, Jonas; Ebbers, Tino; Karlsson, Matts

    2015-09-01

    Turbulence and flow eccentricity can be measured by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and may play an important role in the pathogenesis of numerous cardiovascular diseases. In the present study, we propose quantitative techniques to assess turbulent kinetic energy (TKE) and flow eccentricity that could assist in the evaluation and treatment of stenotic severities. These hemodynamic parameters were studied in a pre-treated aortic coarctation (CoA) and after several virtual interventions using computational fluid dynamics (CFD), to demonstrate the effect of different dilatation options on the flow field. Patient-specific geometry and flow conditions were derived from MRI data. The unsteady pulsatile flow was resolved by large eddy simulation including non-Newtonian blood rheology. Results showed an inverse asymptotic relationship between the total amount of TKE and degree of dilatation of the stenosis, where turbulent flow proximal the constriction limits the possible improvement by treating the CoA alone. Spatiotemporal maps of TKE and flow eccentricity could be linked to the characteristics of the jet, where improved flow conditions were favored by an eccentric dilatation of the CoA. By including these flow markers into a combined MRI-CFD intervention framework, CoA therapy has not only the possibility to produce predictions via simulation, but can also be validated pre- and immediate post treatment, as well as during follow-up studies. PMID:26577361

  1. Quantitative assessments of residual stress fields at the surface of alumina hip joints.

    PubMed

    Pezzotti, Giuseppe; Munisso, Maria Chiara; Lessnau, Kristina; Zhu, Wenliang

    2010-11-01

    In-depth and in-plane response functions of photo- and electro-stimulated probes have been modeled and quantitatively evaluated in order to assess their suitability to detect the highly graded residual stress fields generated at the surface of alumina hip joints. Optical calibrations revealed large differences in probe size, which strongly affected the detected magnitude of residual stress. A comparison between the responses of Raman and fluorescence probes in polycrystalline alumina showed that the depth of those probes spread to an extent in the order of the tens of microns even with using a confocal probe configuration. On the other hand, the electro-stimulated luminescence emitted by oxygen vacancy sites (F(+) center) in the alumina lattice represented the most suitable choice for confining to a shallow volume the stress probe. This latter probe enabled us to reduce the measurement depth to the order of the tens of nanometers. We show maps of surface residual stress as collected on both main-wear and nonwear zones of an alumina femoral head. A comparison among stress maps taken at exactly the same location, but employing different probes, revealed averaging effects on the stress magnitude detected with photo-stimulated probes, while proving the superior spatial resolution of the electron probe. PMID:20848660

  2. A real-time, quantitative PCR protocol for assessing the relative parasitemia of Leucocytozoon in waterfowl.

    PubMed

    Smith, Matthew M; Schmutz, Joel; Apelgren, Chloe; Ramey, Andrew M

    2015-04-01

    Microscopic examination of blood smears can be effective at diagnosing and quantifying hematozoa infections. However, this method requires highly trained observers, is time consuming, and may be inaccurate for detection of infections at low levels of parasitemia. To develop a molecular methodology for identifying and quantifying Leucocytozoon parasite infection in wild waterfowl (Anseriformes), we designed a real-time, quantitative PCR protocol to amplify Leucocytozoon mitochondrial DNA using TaqMan fluorogenic probes and validated our methodology using blood samples collected from waterfowl in interior Alaska during late summer and autumn (n=105). By comparing our qPCR results to those derived from a widely used nested PCR protocol, we determined that our assay showed high levels of sensitivity (91%) and specificity (100%) in detecting Leucocytozoon DNA from host blood samples. Additionally, results of a linear regression revealed significant correlation between the raw measure of parasitemia produced by our qPCR assay (Ct values) and numbers of parasites observed on blood smears (R(2)=0.694, P=0.003), indicating that our assay can reliably determine the relative parasitemia levels among samples. This methodology provides a powerful new tool for studies assessing effects of haemosporidian infection in wild avian species. PMID:25655779

  3. Australia’s first national level quantitative environmental justice assessment of industrial air pollution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chakraborty, Jayajit; Green, Donna

    2014-04-01

    This study presents the first national level quantitative environmental justice assessment of industrial air pollution in Australia. Specifically, our analysis links the spatial distribution of sites and emissions associated with industrial pollution sources derived from the National Pollution Inventory, to Indigenous status and social disadvantage characteristics of communities derived from Australian Bureau of Statistics indicators. Our results reveal a clear national pattern of environmental injustice based on the locations of industrial pollution sources, as well as volume, and toxicity of air pollution released at these locations. Communities with the highest number of polluting sites, emission volume, and toxicity-weighted air emissions indicate significantly greater proportions of Indigenous population and higher levels of socio-economic disadvantage. The quantities and toxicities of industrial air pollution are particularly higher in communities with the lowest levels of educational attainment and occupational status. These findings emphasize the need for more detailed analysis in specific regions and communities where socially disadvantaged groups are disproportionately impacted by industrial air pollution. Our empirical findings also underscore the growing necessity to incorporate environmental justice considerations in environmental planning and policy-making in Australia.

  4. Purity Assessment of Aryltetralin Lactone Lignans by Quantitative 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yan-Jun; Zhang, Yan-Li; Wang, Yu; Wang, Jun-Min; Zhao, Xuan; Gong, Jian-Hong; Gao, Wei; Guan, Yan-Bin

    2015-01-01

    In the present work, a quantitative 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (qHNMR) was established for purity assessment of six aryltetralin lactone lignans. The validation of the method was carried out, including specificity, selectivity, linearity, accuracy, precision, and robustness. Several experimental parameters were optimized, including relaxation delay (D1), scan numbers (NS), and pulse angle. 1,4-Dinitrobenzene was used as internal standard (IS), and deuterated dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO-d6) as the NMR solvent. The purities were calculated by the area ratios of H-2,6 from target analytes vs. aromatic protons from IS. Six aryltetralin lactone lignans (deoxypodophyllotoxin, podophyllotoxin, 4-demethylpodophyllotoxin, podophyllotoxin-7'-O-β-d-glucopyranoside, 4-demethylpodophyllotoxin-7'-O-β-d-glucopyranoside, and 6''-acetyl-podophyllotoxin-7'-O-β -d-glucopyranoside) were analyzed. The analytic results of qHNMR were further validated by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Therefore, the qHNMR method was a rapid, accurate, reliable tool for monitoring the purity of aryltetralin lactone lignans. PMID:26016553

  5. Utilization of quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) in risk assessment: Alkylphenols

    SciTech Connect

    Beck, B.D.; Toole, A.P.; Callahan, B.G.; Siddhanti, S.K. )

    1991-12-01

    Alkylphenols are a class of environmentally pervasive compounds, found both in natural (e.g., crude oils) and in anthropogenic (e.g., wood tar, coal gasification waste) materials. Despite the frequent environmental occurrence of these chemicals, there is a limited toxicity database on alkylphenols. The authors have therefore developed a 'toxicity equivalence approach' for alkylphenols which is based on their ability to inhibit, in a specific manner, the enzyme cyclooxygenase. Enzyme-inhibiting ability for individual alkylphenols can be estimated based on the quantitative structure-activity relationship developed by Dewhirst (1980) and is a function of the free hydroxyl group, electron-donating ring substituents, and hydrophobic aromatic ring substituents. The authors evaluated the toxicological significance of cyclooxygenase inhibition by comparison of the inhibitory capacity of alkylphenols with the inhibitory capacity of acetylsalicylic acid, or aspirin, a compound whose low-level effects are due to cyclooxygenase inhibition. Since nearly complete absorption for alkylphenols and aspirin is predicted, based on estimates of hydrophobicity and fraction of charged molecules at gastrointestinal pHs, risks from alkylphenols can be expressed directly in terms of 'milligram aspirin equivalence,' without correction for absorption differences. They recommend this method for assessing risks of mixtures of alkylphenols, especially for those compounds with no chronic toxicity data.38 references.

  6. A real-time, quantitative PCR protocol for assessing the relative parasitemia of Leucocytozoon in waterfowl

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Smith, Matthew M.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Apelgren, Chloe; Ramey, Andy M.

    2015-01-01

    Microscopic examination of blood smears can be effective at diagnosing and quantifying hematozoa infections. However, this method requires highly trained observers, is time consuming, and may be inaccurate for detection of infections at low levels of parasitemia. To develop a molecular methodology for identifying and quantifying Leucocytozoon parasite infection in wild waterfowl (Anseriformes), we designed a real-time, quantitative PCR protocol to amplify Leucocytozoon mitochondrial DNA using TaqMan fluorogenic probes and validated our methodology using blood samples collected from waterfowl in interior Alaska during late summer and autumn (n = 105). By comparing our qPCR results to those derived from a widely used nested PCR protocol, we determined that our assay showed high levels of sensitivity (91%) and specificity (100%) in detecting Leucocytozoon DNA from host blood samples. Additionally, results of a linear regression revealed significant correlation between the raw measure of parasitemia produced by our qPCR assay (Ct values) and numbers of parasites observed on blood smears (R2 = 0.694, P = 0.003), indicating that our assay can reliably determine the relative parasitemia levels among samples. This methodology provides a powerful new tool for studies assessing effects of haemosporidian infection in wild avian species.

  7. A method for rapid quantitative assessment of biofilms with biomolecular staining and image analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Larimer, Curtis J.; Winder, Eric M.; Jeters, Robert T.; Prowant, Matthew S.; Nettleship, Ian; Addleman, Raymond S.; Bonheyo, George T.

    2015-12-07

    Here, the accumulation of bacteria in surface attached biofilms, or biofouling, can be detrimental to human health, dental hygiene, and many industrial processes. A critical need in identifying and preventing the deleterious effects of biofilms is the ability to observe and quantify their development. Analytical methods capable of assessing early stage fouling are cumbersome or lab-confined, subjective, and qualitative. Herein, a novel photographic method is described that uses biomolecular staining and image analysis to enhance contrast of early stage biofouling. A robust algorithm was developed to objectively and quantitatively measure surface accumulation of Pseudomonas putida from photographs and results were compared to independent measurements of cell density. Results from image analysis quantified biofilm growth intensity accurately and with approximately the same precision of the more laborious cell counting method. This simple method for early stage biofilm detection enables quantifiable measurement of surface fouling and is flexible enough to be applied from the laboratory to the field. Broad spectrum staining highlights fouling biomass, photography quickly captures a large area of interest, and image analysis rapidly quantifies fouling in the image.

  8. An Overview of Quantitative Risk Assessment of Space Shuttle Propulsion Elements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Safie, Fayssal M.

    1998-01-01

    Since the Space Shuttle Challenger accident in 1986, NASA has been working to incorporate quantitative risk assessment (QRA) in decisions concerning the Space Shuttle and other NASA projects. One current major NASA QRA study is the creation of a risk model for the overall Space Shuttle system. The model is intended to provide a tool to estimate Space Shuttle risk and to perform sensitivity analyses/trade studies, including the evaluation of upgrades. Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is a part of the NASA team conducting the QRA study; MSFC responsibility involves modeling the propulsion elements of the Space Shuttle, namely: the External Tank (ET), the Solid Rocket Booster (SRB), the Reusable Solid Rocket Motor (RSRM), and the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME). This paper discusses the approach that MSFC has used to model its Space Shuttle elements, including insights obtained from this experience in modeling large scale, highly complex systems with a varying availability of success/failure data. Insights, which are applicable to any QRA study, pertain to organizing the modeling effort, obtaining customer buy-in, preparing documentation, and using varied modeling methods and data sources. Also provided is an overall evaluation of the study results, including the strengths and the limitations of the MSFC QRA approach and of qRA technology in general.

  9. Assessment of Quantitative and Allelic MGMT Methylation Patterns as a Prognostic Marker in Glioblastoma.

    PubMed

    Kristensen, Lasse S; Michaelsen, Signe R; Dyrbye, Henrik; Aslan, Derya; Grunnet, Kirsten; Christensen, Ib J; Poulsen, Hans S; Grønbæk, Kirsten; Broholm, Helle

    2016-03-01

    Methylation of the O(6)-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) gene is a predictive and prognostic marker in newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients treated with temozolomide but how MGMT methylation should be assessed to ensure optimal detection accuracy is debated. We developed a novel quantitative methylation-specific PCR (qMSP) MGMT assay capable of providing allelic methylation data and analyzed 151 glioblastomas from patients receiving standard of care treatment (Stupp protocol). The samples were also analyzed by immunohistochemistry (IHC), standard bisulfite pyrosequencing, and genotyped for the rs1690252 MGMT promoter single nucleotide polymorphism. Monoallelic methylation was observed more frequently than biallelic methylation, and some cases with monoallelic methylation expressed the MGMT protein whereas others did not. The presence of MGMT methylation was associated with better overall survival (p = 0.006; qMSP and p = 0.002; standard pyrosequencing), and the presence of the protein was associated with worse overall survival (p = 0.009). Combined analyses of qMSP and standard pyrosequencing or IHC identified additional patients who benefited from temozolomide treatment. Finally, low methylation levels were also associated with better overall survival (p = 0.061; qMSP and p = 0.02; standard pyrosequencing). These data support the use of both MGMT methylation and MGMT IHC but not allelic methylation data as prognostic markers in patients with temozolomide-treated glioblastoma. PMID:26883115

  10. A Quantitative Assay Using Mycelial Fragments to Assess Virulence of Mycosphaerella fijiensis.

    PubMed

    Donzelli, Bruno Giuliano Garisto; Churchill, Alice C L

    2007-08-01

    ABSTRACT We describe a method to evaluate the virulence of Mycosphaerella fijiensis, the causal agent of black leaf streak disease (BLSD) of banana and plantain. The method is based on the delivery of weighed slurries of fragmented mycelia by camel's hair brush to 5-by-5-cm areas on the abaxial surface of banana leaf blades. Reliable BLSD development was attained in an environmental growth chamber with stringent lighting and humidity controls. By localizing inoculum onto small areas of large leaves, we achieved a dramatic increase in the number of strains that can be tested on each leaf and plant, which is critical for comparing the virulence of numerous strains concurrently. Image analysis software was used to measure the percentage of each inoculated leaf section showing BLSD symptoms over time. We demonstrated that the level of disease of four isolates was correlated with the weight of the mycelium applied and relatively insensitive to the degree of fragmentation of hyphae. This is the first report demonstrating that weighed mycelial inoculum, combined with image analysis software to measure disease severity, can be used to quantitatively assess the virulence of M. fijiensis under rigorously controlled environmental conditions. PMID:18943631

  11. Bioaerosol Deposition to Food Crops near Manure Application: Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment.

    PubMed

    Jahne, Michael A; Rogers, Shane W; Holsen, Thomas M; Grimberg, Stefan J; Ramler, Ivan P; Kim, Seungo

    2016-03-01

    Production of both livestock and food crops are central priorities of agriculture; however, food safety concerns arise where these practices intersect. In this study, we investigated the public health risks associated with potential bioaerosol deposition to crops grown in the vicinity of manure application sites. A field sampling campaign at dairy manure application sites supported the emission, transport, and deposition modeling of bioaerosols emitted from these lands following application activities. Results were coupled with a quantitative microbial risk assessment model to estimate the infection risk due to consumption of leafy green vegetable crops grown at various distances downwind from the application area. Inactivation of pathogens ( spp., spp., and O157:H7) on both the manure-amended field and on crops was considered to determine the maximum loading of pathogens to plants with time following application. Overall median one-time infection risks at the time of maximum loading decreased from 1:1300 at 0 m directly downwind from the field to 1:6700 at 100 m and 1:92,000 at 1000 m; peak risks (95th percentiles) were considerably greater (1:18, 1:89, and 1:1200, respectively). Median risk was below 1:10,000 at >160 m downwind. As such, it is recommended that a 160-m setback distance is provided between manure application and nearby leafy green crop production. Additional distance or delay before harvest will provide further protection of public health. PMID:27065414

  12. Community Capacity for Watershed Conservation: A Quantitative Assessment of Indicators and Core Dimensions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brinkman, Elliot; Seekamp, Erin; Davenport, Mae A.; Brehm, Joan M.

    2012-10-01

    Community capacity for watershed management has emerged as an important topic for the conservation of water resources. While much of the literature on community capacity has focused primarily on theory construction, there have been few efforts to quantitatively assess community capacity variables and constructs, particularly for watershed management and conservation. This study seeks to identify predictors of community capacity for watershed conservation in southwestern Illinois. A subwatershed-scale survey of residents from four communities located within the Lower Kaskaskia River watershed of southwestern Illinois was administered to measure three specific capacity variables: community empowerment, shared vision and collective action. Principal component analysis revealed key dimensions of each variable. Specifically, collective action was characterized by items relating to collaborative governance and social networks, community empowerment was characterized by items relating to community competency and a sense of responsibility and shared vision was characterized by items relating to perceptions of environmental threats, issues with development, environmental sense of place and quality of life. From the emerging factors, composite measures were calculated to determine the extent to which each variable contributed to community capacity. A stepwise regression revealed that community empowerment explained most of the variability in the composite measure of community capacity for watershed conservation. This study contributes to the theoretical understanding of community capacity by quantifying the role of collective action, community empowerment and shared vision in community capacity, highlighting the need for multilevel interaction to address watershed issues.

  13. Quantitative CT assessment of bone mineral density in dogs with hyperadrenocorticism.

    PubMed

    Lee, Donghoon; Lee, Youngjae; Choi, Wooshin; Chang, Jinhwa; Kang, Ji-Houn; Na, Ki-Jeong; Chang, Dong-Woo

    2015-01-01

    Canine hyperadrenocorticism (HAC) is one of the most common causes of general osteopenia. In this study, quantitative computed tomography (QCT) was used to compare the bone mineral densities (BMD) between 39 normal dogs and 8 dogs with HAC (6 pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism [PDH]; pituitary dependent hyperadrenocorticism, 2 adrenal hyperadrenocorticism [ADH]; adrenal dependent hyperadrenocorticism) diagnosed through hormonal assay. A computed tomogaraphy scan of the 12th thoracic to 7th lumbar vertebra was performed and the region of interest was drawn in each trabecular and cortical bone. Mean Hounsfield unit values were converted to equivalent BMD with bone-density phantom by linear regression analysis. The converted mean trabecular BMDs were significantly lower than those of normal dogs. ADH dogs showed significantly lower BMDs at cortical bone than normal dogs. Mean trabecular BMDs of dogs with PDH using QCT were significantly lower than those of normal dogs, and both mean trabecular and cortical BMDs in dogs with ADH were significantly lower than those of normal dogs. Taken together, these findings indicate that QCT is useful to assess BMD in dogs with HAC. PMID:26040613

  14. Quantitative CT assessment of bone mineral density in dogs with hyperadrenocorticism

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Donghoon; Lee, Youngjae; Choi, Wooshin; Chang, Jinhwa; Kang, Ji-Houn; Na, Ki-Jeong

    2015-01-01

    Canine hyperadrenocorticism (HAC) is one of the most common causes of general osteopenia. In this study, quantitative computed tomography (QCT) was used to compare the bone mineral densities (BMD) between 39 normal dogs and 8 dogs with HAC (6 pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism [PDH]; pituitary dependent hyperadrenocorticism, 2 adrenal hyperadrenocorticism [ADH]; adrenal dependent hyperadrenocorticism) diagnosed through hormonal assay. A computed tomogaraphy scan of the 12th thoracic to 7th lumbar vertebra was performed and the region of interest was drawn in each trabecular and cortical bone. Mean Hounsfield unit values were converted to equivalent BMD with bone-density phantom by linear regression analysis. The converted mean trabecular BMDs were significantly lower than those of normal dogs. ADH dogs showed significantly lower BMDs at cortical bone than normal dogs. Mean trabecular BMDs of dogs with PDH using QCT were significantly lower than those of normal dogs, and both mean trabecular and cortical BMDs in dogs with ADH were significantly lower than those of normal dogs. Taken together, these findings indicate that QCT is useful to assess BMD in dogs with HAC. PMID:26040613

  15. Quantitative risk assessment for lung cancer from exposure to metal ore dust

    SciTech Connect

    Fu, H.; Jing, X.; Yu, S.; Gu, X.; Wu, K.; Yang, J.; Qiu, S. )

    1992-09-01

    To quantitatively assess risk for lung cancer of metal miners, a historical cohort study was conducted. The cohort consisted of 1113 miners who were employed to underground work for at least 12 months between January 1, 1960 and December 12, 1974. According to the records of dust concentration, a cumulative dust dose of each miner in the cohort was estimated. There were 162 deaths in total and 45 deaths from lung cancer with a SMR of 2184. The SMR for lung cancer increased from 1019 for those with cumulative dust dose of less than 500 mg-year to 2469 for those with the dose of greater than 4500 mg-year. Furthermore, the risk in the highest category of combined cumulative dust dose and cigarette smoking was 46-fold greater than the lowest category of dust dose and smoking. This study showed that there was an exposure-response relationship between metal ore dust and lung cancer, and an interaction of lung cancer between smoking and metal ore dust exposure.

  16. A method for rapid quantitative assessment of biofilms with biomolecular staining and image analysis.

    PubMed

    Larimer, Curtis; Winder, Eric; Jeters, Robert; Prowant, Matthew; Nettleship, Ian; Addleman, Raymond Shane; Bonheyo, George T

    2016-01-01

    The accumulation of bacteria in surface-attached biofilms can be detrimental to human health, dental hygiene, and many industrial processes. Natural biofilms are soft and often transparent, and they have heterogeneous biological composition and structure over micro- and macroscales. As a result, it is challenging to quantify the spatial distribution and overall intensity of biofilms. In this work, a new method was developed to enhance the visibility and quantification of bacterial biofilms. First, broad-spectrum biomolecular staining was used to enhance the visibility of the cells, nucleic acids, and proteins that make up biofilms. Then, an image analysis algorithm was developed to objectively and quantitatively measure biofilm accumulation from digital photographs and results were compared to independent measurements of cell density. This new method was used to quantify the growth intensity of Pseudomonas putida biofilms as they grew over time. This method is simple and fast, and can quantify biofilm growth over a large area with approximately the same precision as the more laborious cell counting method. Stained and processed images facilitate assessment of spatial heterogeneity of a biofilm across a surface. This new approach to biofilm analysis could be applied in studies of natural, industrial, and environmental biofilms. PMID:26643074

  17. Quantitative immunohistochemical assessment of blood and lymphatic microcirculation in cutaneous lichen planus lesions.

    PubMed

    Výbohová, Desanka; Mellová, Yvetta; Adamicová, Katarína; Adamkov, Marián; Hešková, Gabriela

    2015-06-01

    Latest advances have brought to light the hypothesis that angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis are tightly connected to some chronic inflammatory diseases. The present study focuses on immunohistochemical assessment of the quantitative changes in the blood and lymphatic microcirculatory bed in common chronic dermatosis - cutaneous lichen planus. Double immunohistochemistry with CD34 and podoplanin antibodies was used to detect blood and lymphatic endothelium, while anti-human VEGF was used for the observation of a key angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis inducer. Morphometric analysis was performed with QuickPhoto Micro image analysis software. Results confirmed statistically significant enlargement of both the blood and lymphatic microcirculatory beds. Compared to healthy skin, cutaneous lichen planus lesions revealed 1.6 times enlarged blood microcirculatory bed and 1.8 times enlarged lymphatic microcirculatory bed. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in lesional skin was significantly higher in the epidermis (19.1 times increase) than in the dermis (10.3 times increase). These findings indicate a tight association of angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis with the pathogenesis of cutaneous lichen planus. PMID:25504638

  18. Quantitative assessment of chemical artefacts produced by propionylation of histones prior to mass spectrometry analysis.

    PubMed

    Soldi, Monica; Cuomo, Alessandro; Bonaldi, Tiziana

    2016-07-01

    Histone PTMs play a crucial role in regulating chromatin structure and function, with impact on gene expression. MS is nowadays widely applied to study histone PTMs systematically. Because histones are rich in arginine and lysine, classical shot-gun approaches based on trypsin digestion are typically not employed for histone modifications mapping. Instead, different protocols of chemical derivatization of lysines in combination with trypsin have been implemented to obtain "Arg-C like" digestion products that are more suitable for LC-MS/MS analysis. Although widespread, these strategies have been recently described to cause various side reactions that result in chemical modifications prone to be misinterpreted as native histone marks. These artefacts can also interfere with the quantification process, causing errors in histone PTMs profiling. The work of Paternoster V. et al. is a quantitative assessment of methyl-esterification and other side reactions occurring on histones after chemical derivatization of lysines with propionic anhydride [Proteomics 2016, 16, 2059-2063]. The authors estimate the effect of different solvents, incubation times, and pH on the extent of these side reactions. The results collected indicate that the replacement of methanol with isopropanol or ACN not only blocks methyl-esterification, but also significantly reduces other undesired unspecific reactions. Carefully titrating the pH after propionic anhydride addition is another way to keep methyl-esterification under control. Overall, the authors describe a set of experimental conditions that allow reducing the generation of various artefacts during histone propionylation. PMID:27373704

  19. Assessment of Quantitative and Allelic MGMT Methylation Patterns as a Prognostic Marker in Glioblastoma

    PubMed Central

    Michaelsen, Signe R.; Dyrbye, Henrik; Aslan, Derya; Grunnet, Kirsten; Christensen, Ib J.; Poulsen, Hans S.; Grønbæk, Kirsten; Broholm, Helle

    2016-01-01

    Methylation of the O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase (MGMT) gene is a predictive and prognostic marker in newly diagnosed glioblastoma patients treated with temozolomide but how MGMT methylation should be assessed to ensure optimal detection accuracy is debated. We developed a novel quantitative methylation-specific PCR (qMSP) MGMT assay capable of providing allelic methylation data and analyzed 151 glioblastomas from patients receiving standard of care treatment (Stupp protocol). The samples were also analyzed by immunohistochemistry (IHC), standard bisulfite pyrosequencing, and genotyped for the rs1690252 MGMT promoter single nucleotide polymorphism. Monoallelic methylation was observed more frequently than biallelic methylation, and some cases with monoallelic methylation expressed the MGMT protein whereas others did not. The presence of MGMT methylation was associated with better overall survival (p = 0.006; qMSP and p = 0.002; standard pyrosequencing), and the presence of the protein was associated with worse overall survival (p = 0.009). Combined analyses of qMSP and standard pyrosequencing or IHC identified additional patients who benefited from temozolomide treatment. Finally, low methylation levels were also associated with better overall survival (p = 0.061; qMSP and p = 0.02; standard pyrosequencing). These data support the use of both MGMT methylation and MGMT IHC but not allelic methylation data as prognostic markers in patients with temozolomide-treated glioblastoma. PMID:26883115

  20. A method for rapid quantitative assessment of biofilms with biomolecular staining and image analysis

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Larimer, Curtis J.; Winder, Eric M.; Jeters, Robert T.; Prowant, Matthew S.; Nettleship, Ian; Addleman, Raymond S.; Bonheyo, George T.

    2015-12-07

    Here, the accumulation of bacteria in surface attached biofilms, or biofouling, can be detrimental to human health, dental hygiene, and many industrial processes. A critical need in identifying and preventing the deleterious effects of biofilms is the ability to observe and quantify their development. Analytical methods capable of assessing early stage fouling are cumbersome or lab-confined, subjective, and qualitative. Herein, a novel photographic method is described that uses biomolecular staining and image analysis to enhance contrast of early stage biofouling. A robust algorithm was developed to objectively and quantitatively measure surface accumulation of Pseudomonas putida from photographs and results weremore » compared to independent measurements of cell density. Results from image analysis quantified biofilm growth intensity accurately and with approximately the same precision of the more laborious cell counting method. This simple method for early stage biofilm detection enables quantifiable measurement of surface fouling and is flexible enough to be applied from the laboratory to the field. Broad spectrum staining highlights fouling biomass, photography quickly captures a large area of interest, and image analysis rapidly quantifies fouling in the image.« less

  1. Problems of a thermionic space NPS reactor unit quantitative reliability assessment on the basis of ground development results

    SciTech Connect

    Ponomarev-Stepnoi, Nikolai N.; Nechaev, Yuri A.; Khazanovich, Igor M.; Samodelov, Victor N.; Pavlov, Konstantin A.

    1997-01-10

    The paper sets forth major problems that arose in the course of a quantitative assessment of reliability of a TOPAZ-2 space NPS reactor unit performed on the basis of ground development results. Proposals are made on the possible ways to solve those problems through development and introduction of individual standards especially for the ground development stage, which would specify the assessment algorithm and censoring rules, and exclude a number of existing uncertainties when making a decision on going to flight testing.

  2. Quantitative Muscle MRI as an Assessment Tool for Monitoring Disease Progression in LGMD2I: A Multicentre Longitudinal Study

    PubMed Central

    Coombs, Anna; Sveen, Marie-Louise; Andersen, Søren; Stojkovic, Tanya; Eagle, Michelle; Mayhew, Anna; de Sousa, Paulo L.; Dewar, Liz; Morrow, Jasper M.; Sinclair, Christopher D. J.; Thornton, John S.; Bushby, Kate; Lochmüller, Hanns; Hanna, Michael G.; Hogrel, Jean-Yves; Carlier, Pierre G.; Vissing, John; Straub, Volker

    2013-01-01

    Background Outcome measures for clinical trials in neuromuscular diseases are typically based on physical assessments which are dependent on patient effort, combine the effort of different muscle groups, and may not be sensitive to progression over short trial periods in slow-progressing diseases. We hypothesised that quantitative fat imaging by MRI (Dixon technique) could provide more discriminating quantitative, patient-independent measurements of the progress of muscle fat replacement within individual muscle groups. Objective To determine whether quantitative fat imaging could measure disease progression in a cohort of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy 2I (LGMD2I) patients over a 12 month period. Methods 32 adult patients (17 male;15 female) from 4 European tertiary referral centres with the homozygous c.826C>A mutation in the fukutin-related protein gene (FKRP) completed baseline and follow up measurements 12 months later. Quantitative fat imaging was performed and muscle fat fraction change was compared with (i) muscle strength and function assessed using standardized physical tests and (ii) standard T1-weighted MRI graded on a 6 point scale. Results There was a significant increase in muscle fat fraction in 9 of the 14 muscles analyzed using the quantitative MRI technique from baseline to 12 months follow up. Changes were not seen in the conventional longitudinal physical assessments or in qualitative scoring of the T1w images. Conclusions Quantitative muscle MRI, using the Dixon technique, could be used as an important longitudinal outcome measure to assess muscle pathology and monitor therapeutic efficacy in patients with LGMD2I. PMID:23967145

  3. OMICS DATA IN THE QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE CHARACTERIZATION OF THE MODE OF ACTION IN SUPPORT OF IRIS ASSESSMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Knowledge and information generated using new tools/methods collectively called "Omics" technologies could have a profound effect on qualitative and quantitative characterizations of human health risk assessments.

    The suffix "Omics" is a descriptor used for a series of e...

  4. ADVANCING EPA WETLAND SCIENCE: DEVELOPING TOOLS FOR QUANTITATIVE ASSESSMENT OF WETLAND FUNCTION AND CONDITION AT THE REGIONAL LEVEL

    EPA Science Inventory

    The EPA Office of Water has recognized a critical need for tribes, states and federal agencies to be able to quantitatively assess the condition of the nations wetland resources. Currently, greater than 85% of states, tribes, and territories are lacking even rudimentary biologic...

  5. Elementary Writing Assessment Platforms: A Quantitative Examination of Online versus Offline Writing Performance of Fifth-Grade Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heath, Vickie L.

    2013-01-01

    This quantitative study explored if significant differences exist between how fifth-grade students produce a written response to a narrative prompt using online versus offline writing platforms. The cultural and social trend of instructional and assessment writing paradigms in education is shifting to online writing platforms (National Assessment…

  6. An evaluation of skin snip techniques used in the quantitative assessment of microfilarial densities of Onchocerca volvulus*

    PubMed Central

    Kale, O. O.; Bammeke, A. O.; Ayeni, O.

    1974-01-01

    A study was undertaken to determine whether significant variations occur in the quantitative assessment of onchocercal microfilarial densities when different methods of treating skin snips are used. The results show that teasing of the snip should be avoided because it reduces the sensitivity of the method. PMID:4549504

  7. A quantitative assessment of reliability of the TOPAZ-2 space NPS reactor unit based on ground development results

    SciTech Connect

    Ponomarev-Stepnoi, Nikolai N.; Nechaev, Yuri A.; Khazanovich, Igor M.; Samodelov, Victor N.; Zakharov, Sergei M.

    1997-01-10

    The paper discusses life-limiting factors (parameters) and statistics of random sudden failures, revealed in the course of ground development, for 4 given subsystems of the TOPAZ-2 space NPS reactor unit. Results are presented of a quantitative assessment of the lower confidence limits of the probability of failure-free operation.

  8. A quantitative assessment of reliability of the TOPAZ-2 space NPS reactor unit based on ground development results

    SciTech Connect

    Ponomarev-Stepnoi, N.N.; Nechaev, Y.A.; Khazanovich, I.M.; Samodelov, V.N.; Zakharov, S.M.

    1997-01-01

    The paper discusses life-limiting factors (parameters) and statistics of random sudden failures, revealed in the course of ground development, for 4 given subsystems of the TOPAZ-2 space NPS reactor unit. Results are presented of a quantitative assessment of the lower confidence limits of the probability of failure-free operation. {copyright} {ital 1997 American Institute of Physics.}

  9. The Moment of Learning: Quantitative Analysis of Exemplar Gameplay Supports CyGaMEs Approach to Embedded Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reese, Debbie Denise; Tabachnick, Barbara G.

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, the authors summarize a quantitative analysis demonstrating that the CyGaMEs toolset for embedded assessment of learning within instructional games measures growth in conceptual knowledge by quantifying player behavior. CyGaMEs stands for Cyberlearning through GaME-based, Metaphor Enhanced Learning Objects. Some scientists of…

  10. Closing the Loop: Involving Faculty in the Assessment of Scientific and Quantitative Reasoning Skills of Biology Majors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hurney, Carol A.; Brown, Justin; Griscom, Heather Peckham; Kancler, Erika; Wigtil, Clifton J.; Sundre, Donna

    2011-01-01

    The development of scientific and quantitative reasoning skills in undergraduates majoring in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is an objective of many courses and curricula. The Biology Department at James Madison University (JMU) assesses these essential skills in graduating biology majors by using a multiple-choice exam…

  11. Study Quality in SLA: An Assessment of Designs, Analyses, and Reporting Practices in Quantitative L2 Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Plonsky, Luke

    2013-01-01

    This study assesses research and reporting practices in quantitative second language (L2) research. A sample of 606 primary studies, published from 1990 to 2010 in "Language Learning and Studies in Second Language Acquisition," was collected and coded for designs, statistical analyses, reporting practices, and outcomes (i.e., effect…

  12. Quantitative 3D breast magnetic resonance imaging fibroglandular tissue analysis and correlation with qualitative assessments: a feasibility study

    PubMed Central

    Mema, Eralda; Guo, Xiaotao; Mango, Victoria; Desperito, Elise; Ha, Jason; Wynn, Ralph; Zhao, Binsheng

    2016-01-01

    Background The amount of fibroglandular tissue (FGT) has been linked to breast cancer risk based on mammographic density studies. Currently, the qualitative assessment of FGT on mammogram (MG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is prone to intra and inter-observer variability. The purpose of this study is to develop an objective quantitative FGT measurement tool for breast MRI that could provide significant clinical value. Methods An IRB approved study was performed. Sixty breast MRI cases with qualitative assessment of mammographic breast density and MRI FGT were randomly selected for quantitative analysis from routine breast MRIs performed at our institution from 1/2013 to 12/2014. Blinded to the qualitative data, whole breast and FGT contours were delineated on T1-weighted pre contrast sagittal images using an in-house, proprietary segmentation algorithm which combines the region-based active contours and a level set approach. FGT (%) was calculated by: [segmented volume of FGT (mm3)/(segmented volume of whole breast (mm3)] ×100. Statistical correlation analysis was performed between quantified FGT (%) on MRI and qualitative assessments of mammographic breast density and MRI FGT. Results There was a significant positive correlation between quantitative MRI FGT assessment and qualitative MRI FGT (r=0.809, n=60, P<0.001) and mammographic density assessment (r=0.805, n=60, P<0.001). There was a significant correlation between qualitative MRI FGT assessment and mammographic density assessment (r=0.725, n=60, P<0.001). The four qualitative assessment categories of FGT correlated with the calculated mean quantitative FGT (%) of 4.61% (95% CI, 0–12.3%), 8.74% (7.3–10.2%), 18.1% (15.1–21.1%), 37.4% (29.5–45.3%). Conclusions Quantitative measures of FGT (%) were computed with data derived from breast MRI and correlated significantly with conventional qualitative assessments. This quantitative technique may prove to be a valuable tool in clinical use by

  13. Ultrasonic propagation in inhomogeneous media: Toward quantitative ultrasonic imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trousil, Rebecca Leigh

    The goal of this dissertation is to explore the physics underpinning the use of quantitative acoustic measurements to extend the role of ultrasonic imaging. In the 30 year history of medical ultrasonic imaging, the diagnostic use of this modality has primarily relied upon morphology and motion to differentiate healthy from diseased tissue. Significant improvements in the bandwidth and dynamic range of clinical ultrasonic imaging systems in recent years offer the possibility of complementing existing qualitative information with truly quantitative information, derived from measurements of the acoustic properties of soft tissue. The phase velocity, attenuation coefficient, and backscatter coefficient are three such acoustic properties that are often employed to characterize the state of soft tissues. One goal of this dissertation was to investigate the reliability of these measurements, based on systematic laboratory studies performed on well-characterized tissue-mimicking media. To this end, quantitative measurements of the frequency dependence of phase velocity, attenuation coefficient, and backscatter coefficient were performed in tissue-mimicking phantoms as part of a national, multi-center study, sponsored by the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. Both the intra- and inter-laboratory variability associated with these measurements were addressed. In addition to assessing the reproducibility of quantitative estimates of these acoustic parameters, this dissertation introduces and experimentally validates a novel measurement technique, based on the Kramers-Kronig dispersion relations, that improves the robustness of frequency domain phase velocity estimates in tissue-like media.

  14. Differentiation of Brain Tumor Recurrence from Post-Radiotherapy Necrosis with 11C-Methionine PET: Visual Assessment versus Quantitative Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Minamimoto, Ryogo; Saginoya, Toshiyuki; Kondo, Chisato; Tomura, Noriaki; Ito, Kimiteru; Matsuo, Yuka; Matsunaga, Shigeo; Shuto, Takashi; Akabane, Atsuya; Miyata, Yoko; Sakai, Shuji; Kubota, Kazuo

    2015-01-01

    Purpose The aim of this multi-center study was to assess the diagnostic capability of visual assessment in L-methyl-11C-methionine positron emission tomography (MET-PET) for differentiating a recurrent brain tumor from radiation-induced necrosis after radiotherapy, and to compare it to the accuracy of quantitative analysis. Methods A total of 73 brain lesions (glioma: 31, brain metastasis: 42) in 70 patients who underwent MET-PET were included in this study. Visual analysis was performed by comparison of MET uptake in the brain lesion with MET uptake in one of four regions (around the lesion, contralateral frontal lobe, contralateral area, and contralateral cerebellar cortex). The concordance rate and logistic regression analysis were used to evaluate the diagnostic ability of visual assessment. Receiver-operating characteristic curve analysis was used to compare visual assessment with quantitative assessment based on the lesion-to-normal (L/N) ratio of MET uptake. Results Interobserver and intraobserver κ-values were highest at 0.657 and 0.714, respectively, when assessing MET uptake in the lesion compared to that in the contralateral cerebellar cortex. Logistic regression analysis showed that assessing MET uptake in the contralateral cerebellar cortex with brain metastasis was significantly related to the final result. The highest area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve (AUC) with visual assessment for brain metastasis was 0.85, showing no statistically significant difference with L/Nmax of the contralateral brain (AUC = 0.89) or with L/Nmean of the contralateral cerebellar cortex (AUC = 0.89), which were the areas that were the highest in the quantitative assessment. For evaluation of gliomas, no specific candidate was confirmed among the four areas used in visual assessment, and no significant difference was seen between visual assessment and quantitative assessment. Conclusion The visual assessment showed no significant difference from

  15. Assessment of dermal exposure during airless spray painting using a quantitative visualisation technique.

    PubMed

    Brouwer, D H; Lansink, C M; Cherrie, J W; van Hemmen, J J

    2000-10-01

    The range of dermal exposure to non-volatile compounds during spray painting was studied in a semi-experimental study involving three enterprises and 12 painters. A fluorescent tracer was added to the paint and deposition of the tracer on clothing and uncovered parts of the skin was assessed using video imaging and processing techniques. A container (volume 36 m(3)) was sprayed with a colourless laquer (varnish) containing 66.7 mg/l fluorescent whitening agent. All painters sprayed the outside of the container. Nine painters repeated the painting a second time and five also sprayed the inside of the container. The painters wore white Tyvek coveralls, but no gloves. Duration of spraying the outside ranged from 4 to 21 min with a mean of 10 min and the amount of paint sprayed ranged from 3.0 to 12.8 l (mean 6.6 l). The mass of tracer deposited on the coverall ranged from 2.2 to 471 microg (90th percentile 256 microg), whereas, mass deposited on skin (i.e. the hands, wrists, and face) ranged from 0.01 to 52 microg tracer (90th percentile 20 microg). The quantity of tracer on the coverall was three times higher after spraying the inside of the container compared to spraying the outside, whereas the quantity on the skin was similar in both cases. On average 10% of the surface area of the coverall and skin was exposed during spraying the outside. Exposures, expressed in units of mass per area exposed were slightly higher for skin compared to coverall. In this study, deposited mass of tracer was correlated with an alternative exposure metric, i.e. surface area exposed multiplied by the duration of exposure, which has been proposed as a surrogate for uptake. Using a quantitative fluorescent tracer technique, it could be demonstrated that body parts which showed the lowest mass of tracer had the highest exposure as mass per surface area. Compared to other techniques which only determine mass, the ability to identify and quantify the actual surface area exposed is a clear

  16. Rapid quantitative assessment of land patterns change and erupted volumes by spaceborne SAR

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villeneuve, N.; Bianchi, M.; Cigna, F.; di Muro, A.; Fortunato, G.; Sedze, M.; Ferrucci, F.

    2013-12-01

    Synthetic Aperture Radar observations do not apply frequently to the quantitative mapping of lava flows and of eruptive patterns, as multispectral mid-to-high spatial/temporal resolution observations are naturally best suited for high-temperature contouring and eruptive rate assessment. However, in case of urgent need for quantitative geographical information, high-spatial and high-temporal resolution SAR data may become essential or unique in providing timely information support to officials in charge of volcano emergencies. This was the case of the early weeks of the 2011-2012 Nyiamulagira eruption (DR Congo), whose fast and large lava flow developed in an area off-limited by the ongoing military unrest, and persistent cloud cover spoiled the ground view to electro-optical high-resolution payloads. A combination of two automated techniques - one non-interferometric and one interferometric - on very-high resolution X-band images acquired during less-than-weekly revisits by the Cosmo SkyMED constellation, allowed locating the eruption site, highlighting the inherent landscape modifications, mapping the progression of the ~22 km lava flow, and carrying out volume estimates by precise DEM subtractions. The interferometric technique is based on the application of the PS-InSAR derived SqueeSAR procedure (Ferretti et al., IEEE Trans. Geosci. Rem. Sens.,49-9, 3460-3470; 2011) to series of Cosmo-SkyMED tandem pairs for obtaining high-precision/high-resolution DEMs anywhere-anytime within a limited time framework. Validation against a recent LiDAR DEM of the summit areas of Piton de la Fournaise (Reunion Island) returned a typical accuracy of 0.4m × 2.3m in one-orbit geometry. The non-interferometric technique exploits amplitude and coherence changes to single out, map and measure newly appeared volcanic features of significant dimensions. The overall observation-and-processing strategy was developed in the framework and under the specifications of project EVOSS (European

  17. Quantitative assessment of direct and indirect landslide risk along transportation lines in southern India

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaiswal, P.; van Westen, C. J.; Jetten, V.

    2010-06-01

    A quantitative approach for landslide risk assessment along transportation lines is presented and applied to a road and a railway alignment in the Nilgiri hills in southern India. The method allows estimating direct risk affecting the alignments, vehicles and people, and indirect risk resulting from the disruption of economic activities. The data required for the risk estimation were obtained from historical records. A total of 901 landslides were catalogued initiating from cut slopes along the railway and road alignment. The landslides were grouped into three magnitude classes based on the landslide type, volume, scar depth, run-out distance, etc and their probability of occurrence was obtained using frequency-volume distribution. Hazard, for a given return period, expressed as the number of landslides of a given magnitude class per kilometre of cut slopes, was obtained using Gumbel distribution and probability of landslide magnitude. In total 18 specific hazard scenarios were generated using the three magnitude classes and six return periods (1, 3, 5, 15, 25, and 50 years). The assessment of the vulnerability of the road and railway line was based on damage records whereas the vulnerability of different types of vehicles and people was subjectively assessed based on limited historic incidents. Direct specific loss for the alignments (railway line and road), vehicles (train, bus, lorry, car and motorbike) was expressed in monetary value (US), and direct specific loss of life of commuters was expressed in annual probability of death. Indirect specific loss (US) derived from the traffic interruption was evaluated considering alternative driving routes, and includes losses resulting from additional fuel consumption, additional travel cost, loss of income to the local business, and loss of revenue to the railway department. The results indicate that the total loss, including both direct and indirect loss, from 1 to 50 years return period, varies from US 90 840 to US

  18. Quantitative assessment of automatic reconstructions of branching systems obtained from laser scanning

    PubMed Central

    Boudon, Frédéric; Preuksakarn, Chakkrit; Ferraro, Pascal; Diener, Julien; Nacry, Philippe; Nikinmaa, Eero; Godin, Christophe

    2014-01-01

    Background and Aims Automatic acquisition of plant architecture is a major challenge for the construction of quantitative models of plant development. Recently, 3-D laser scanners have made it possible to acquire 3-D images representing a sampling of an object's surface. A number of specific methods have been proposed to reconstruct plausible branching structures from this new type of data, but critical questions remain regarding their suitability and accuracy before they can be fully exploited for use in biological applications. Methods In this paper, an evaluation framework to assess the accuracy of tree reconstructions is presented. The use of this framework is illustrated on a selection of laser scans of trees. Scanned data were manipulated by experienced researchers to produce reference tree reconstructions against which comparisons could be made. The evaluation framework is given two tree structures and compares both their elements and their topological organization. Similar elements are identified based on geometric criteria using an optimization algorithm. The organization of these elements is then compared and their similarity quantified. From these analyses, two indices of geometrical and structural similarities are defined, and the automatic reconstructions can thus be compared with the reference structures in order to assess their accuracy. Key Results The evaluation framework that was developed was successful at capturing the variation in similarities between two structures as different levels of noise were introduced. The framework was used to compare three different reconstruction methods taken from the literature, and allowed sensitive parameters of each one to be determined. The framework was also generalized for the evaluation of root reconstruction from 2-D images and demonstrated its sensitivity to higher architectural complexity of structure which was not detected with a global evaluation criterion. Conclusions The evaluation framework

  19. Hydraulic fracturing in unconventional reservoirs - Identification of hazards and strategies for a quantitative risk assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helmig, R.; Kissinger, A.; Class, H.; Ebigbo, A.

    2012-12-01

    fractured reservoir, fracture propagation, fault zones and their role in regard to fluid migration into shallow aquifers). A quantitative risk assessment which should be the main aim of future work in this field has much higher demands, especially on site specific data, as the estimation of statistical parameter uncertainty requires site specific parameter distributions. There is already ongoing research on risk assessment in related fields like CO2 sequestration. We therefore propose these methodologies to be transferred to risk estimation relating to the use of the hydraulic fracking method, be it for unconventional gas or enhanced geothermal energy production. The overall aim should be to set common and transparent standards for different uses of the subsurface and their involved risks and communicate those to policy makers and stake holders.

  20. Tracheobronchial Amyloidosis Mimicking Tracheal Tumor.

    PubMed

    Tanrıverdi, Elif; Özgül, Mehmet Akif; Uzun, Oğuz; Gül, Şule; Çörtük, Mustafa; Yaşar, Zehra; Acat, Murat; Arda, Naciye; Çetinkaya, Erdoğan

    2016-01-01

    Tracheobronchial amyloidosis is a rare presentation and accounts for about 1% of benign tumors in this area. The diagnosis of disease is delayed due to nonspecific pulmonary symptoms. Therapeutic approaches are required to control progressive pulmonary symptoms for most of the patients. Herein, we report a case of a 68-year-old man admitted with progressive dyspnea to our institution for further evaluation and management. He was initially diagnosed with and underwent management for bronchial asthma for two years but had persistent symptoms despite optimal medical therapy. Pulmonary computed tomography scan revealed severe endotracheal stenosis. Bronchoscopy was performed and showed endotracheal mass obstructing 70% of the distal trachea and mimicking a neoplastic lesion. The mass was successfully resected by mechanical resection, argon plasma coagulation (APC), and Nd-YAG laser during rigid bronchoscopy. Biopsy materials showed deposits of amorphous material by hematoxylin and eosin staining and these deposits were selectively stained with Congo Red. Although this is a rare clinical condition, this case indicated that carrying out a bronchoscopy in any patient complaining of atypical bronchial symptoms or with uncontrolled asthma is very important. PMID:27594885

  1. Tracheobronchial Amyloidosis Mimicking Tracheal Tumor

    PubMed Central

    Özgül, Mehmet Akif; Uzun, Oğuz; Yaşar, Zehra; Acat, Murat; Arda, Naciye; Çetinkaya, Erdoğan

    2016-01-01

    Tracheobronchial amyloidosis is a rare presentation and accounts for about 1% of benign tumors in this area. The diagnosis of disease is delayed due to nonspecific pulmonary symptoms. Therapeutic approaches are required to control progressive pulmonary symptoms for most of the patients. Herein, we report a case of a 68-year-old man admitted with progressive dyspnea to our institution for further evaluation and management. He was initially diagnosed with and underwent management for bronchial asthma for two years but had persistent symptoms despite optimal medical therapy. Pulmonary computed tomography scan revealed severe endotracheal stenosis. Bronchoscopy was performed and showed endotracheal mass obstructing 70% of the distal trachea and mimicking a neoplastic lesion. The mass was successfully resected by mechanical resection, argon plasma coagulation (APC), and Nd-YAG laser during rigid bronchoscopy. Biopsy materials showed deposits of amorphous material by hematoxylin and eosin staining and these deposits were selectively stained with Congo Red. Although this is a rare clinical condition, this case indicated that carrying out a bronchoscopy in any patient complaining of atypical bronchial symptoms or with uncontrolled asthma is very important. PMID:27594885

  2. Humanlike Robots - Synthetically Mimicking Humans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bar-Cohen, Yoseph

    2012-01-01

    Nature inspired many inventions and the field of technology that is based on the mimicking or inspiration of nature is widely known as Biomimetics and it is increasingly leading to many new capabilities. There are numerous examples of biomimetic successes including the copying of fins for swimming, and the inspiration of the insects and birds flight. More and more commercial implementations of biomimetics are appearing and behaving lifelike and applications are emerging that are important to our daily life. Making humanlike robots is the ultimate challenge to biomimetics and, for many years, it was considered science fiction, but such robots are becoming an engineering reality. Advances in producing such robot are allowing them to perform impressive functions and tasks. The development of such robots involves addressing many challenges and is raising concerns that are related to fear of their application implications and potential ethical issues. In this paper, the state-of-the-art of humanlike robots, potential applications and challenges will be reviewed.

  3. Standardizing evaluation of pQCT image quality in the presence of subject movement: qualitative versus quantitative assessment.

    PubMed

    Blew, Robert M; Lee, Vinson R; Farr, Joshua N; Schiferl, Daniel J; Going, Scott B

    2014-02-01

    Peripheral quantitative computed tomography (pQCT) is an essential tool for assessing bone parameters of the limbs, but subject movement and its impact on image quality remains a challenge to manage. The current approach to determine image viability is by visual inspection, but pQCT lacks a quantitative evaluation. Therefore, the aims of this study were to (1) examine the reliability of a qualitative visual inspection scale and (2) establish a quantitative motion assessment methodology. Scans were performed on 506 healthy girls (9-13 years) at diaphyseal regions of the femur and tibia. Scans were rated for movement independently by three technicians using a linear, nominal scale. Quantitatively, a ratio of movement to limb size (%Move) provided a measure of movement artifact. A repeat-scan subsample (n = 46) was examined to determine %Move's impact on bone parameters. Agreement between measurers was strong (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.732 for tibia, 0.812 for femur), but greater variability was observed in scans rated 3 or 4, the delineation between repeat and no repeat. The quantitative approach found ≥95% of subjects had %Move <25 %. Comparison of initial and repeat scans by groups above and below 25% initial movement showed significant differences in the >25 % grouping. A pQCT visual inspection scale can be a reliable metric of image quality, but technicians may periodically mischaracterize subject motion. The presented quantitative methodology yields more consistent movement assessment and could unify procedure across laboratories. Data suggest a delineation of 25% movement for determining whether a diaphyseal scan is viable or requires repeat. PMID:24077875

  4. Assessing the risk of impact of farming intensification on calcareous grasslands in Europe: a quantitative implementation of the MIRABEL framework.

    PubMed

    Petit, Sandrine; Elbersen, Berien

    2006-09-01

    Intensification of farming practices is still a major driver of biodiversity loss in Europe, despite the implementation of policies that aim to reverse this trend. A conceptual framework called MIRABEL was previously developed that enabled a qualitative and expert-based assessment of the impact of agricultural intensification on ecologically valuable habitats. We present a quantitative update of the previous assessment that uses newly available pan-European spatially explicit data on pressures and habitats at risk. This quantitative assessment shows that the number of calcareous grasslands potentially at risk of eutrophication and overgrazing is rapidly increasing in Europe. Decreases in nitrogen surpluses and stocking densities that occurred between 1990 and 2000 have rarely led to values that were below the ecological thresholds. At the same time, a substantial proportion of calcareous grassland that has so far experienced low values for indicators of farming intensification has faced increases between 1990 and 2000 and could well become at high risk from farming intensification in the near future. As such, this assessment is an early warning signal, especially for habitats located in areas that have traditionally been farmed extensively. When comparing the outcome of this assessment with the previous qualitative MIRABEL assessment, it appears that if pan-European data are useful to assess the intensity of the pressures, more work is needed to identify regional variations in the response of biodiversity to such pressures. This is where a qualitative approach based on regional expertise should be used to complement data-driven assessments. PMID:17240762

  5. Integrating quantitative and qualitative methodologies for the assessment of health care systems: emergency medicine in post-conflict Serbia

    PubMed Central

    Nelson, Brett D; Dierberg, Kerry; Šćepanović, Milena; Mitrović, Mihajlo; Vuksanović, Miloš; Milić, Ljiljana; VanRooyen, Michael J

    2005-01-01

    Background Due to the complexity of health system reform in the post-conflict, post-disaster, and development settings, attempts to restructure health services are fraught with pitfalls that are often unanticipated because of inadequate preliminary assessments. Our proposed Integrated Multimodal Assessment – combining quantitative and qualitative methodologies – may provide a more robust mechanism for identifying programmatic priorities and critical barriers for appropriate and sustainable health system interventions. The purpose of this study is to describe this novel multimodal assessment using emergency medicine in post-conflict Serbia as a model. Methods Integrated quantitative and qualitative methodologies – system characterization and observation, focus group discussions, free-response questionnaires, and by-person factor analysis – were used to identify needs, problems, and potential barriers to the development of emergency medicine in Serbia. Participants included emergency and pre-hospital personnel from all emergency medical institutions in Belgrade. Results Demographic data indicate a loosely ordered network of part-time emergency departments supported by 24-hour pre-hospital services and an academic emergency center. Focus groups and questionnaires reveal significant impediments to delivery of care and suggest development priorities. By-person factor analysis subsequently divides respondents into distinctive attitudinal types, compares participant opinions, and identifies programmatic priorities. Conclusions By combining quantitative and qualitative methodologies, our Integrated Multimodal Assessment identified critical needs and barriers to emergency medicine development in Serbia and may serve as a model for future health system assessments in post-conflict, post-disaster, and development settings. PMID:15715917

  6. Quantitative assessment of ischemia and reactive hyperemia of the dermal layers using multi - spectral imaging on the human arm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kainerstorfer, Jana M.; Amyot, Franck; Demos, Stavros G.; Hassan, Moinuddin; Chernomordik, Victor; Hitzenberger, Christoph K.; Gandjbakhche, Amir H.; Riley, Jason D.

    2009-07-01

    Quantitative assessment of skin chromophores in a non-invasive fashion is often desirable. Especially pixel wise assessment of blood volume and blood oxygenation is beneficial for improved diagnostics. We utilized a multi-spectral imaging system for acquiring diffuse reflectance images of healthy volunteers' lower forearm. Ischemia and reactive hyperemia was introduced by occluding the upper arm with a pressure cuff for 5min with 180mmHg. Multi-spectral images were taken every 30s, before, during and after occlusion. Image reconstruction for blood volume and blood oxygenation was performed, using a two layered skin model. As the images were taken in a non-contact way, strong artifacts related to the shape (curvature) of the arms were observed, making reconstruction of optical / physiological parameters highly inaccurate. We developed a curvature correction method, which is based on extracting the curvature directly from the intensity images acquired and does not require any additional measures on the object imaged. The effectiveness of the algorithm was demonstrated, on reconstruction results of blood volume and blood oxygenation for in vivo data during occlusion of the arm. Pixel wise assessment of blood volume and blood oxygenation was made possible over the entire image area and comparison of occlusion effects between veins and surrounding skin was performed. Induced ischemia during occlusion and reactive hyperemia afterwards was observed and quantitatively assessed. Furthermore, the influence of epidermal thickness on reconstruction results was evaluated and the exact knowledge of this parameter for fully quantitative assessment was pointed out.

  7. Abdominal Mondor disease mimicking acute appendicitis

    PubMed Central

    Schuppisser, Myriam; Khallouf, Joe; Abbassi, Ziad; Erne, Michel; Vettorel, Denise; Paroz, Alexandre; Naiken, Surennaidoo P.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Mondor disease (MD), a superficial thrombophlebitis of the thoraco-epigastric veins and their confluents is rarely reported in the literature. The superior epigastric vein is the most affected vessel but involvement of the inferior epigastric vessels or their branches have also been described. There is no universal consensus on treatment in the literature but most authors suggest symptomatic treatment with non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Case report We report the case of a marathon runner who presented with right iliac fossa pain mimicking the clinical symptomatology of an acute appendicitis. The history and the calculated Alvarado score were not in favor of an acute appendicitis. This situation motivated multiple investigations and we finally arrived at the diagnosis of MD. Discussion Acute appendicitis (AA) is the most common cause of surgical emergencies and one of the most frequent indications for an urgent abdominal surgical procedure around the world. In some cases, right lower quadrant pain remains unclear in spite of US, CT scan, and exclusion of urological and gynecological causes, thus we need to think of some rare pathologies like MD. Conclusion MD is often mentioned in the differential diagnosis of breast pathologies but rarely in abdominal pain assessment. It should be mentioned in the differential diagnosis of the right lower quadrant pain when the clinical presentation is unclear and when acute appendicitis has been excluded. Awareness of MD can avoid misdiagnosis and decrease extra costs by sparing unnecessary imaging. PMID:26803533

  8. REDUCING UNCERTAINTY IN CHILDREN&RSQUO;S RISK ASSESSMENT: DEVELOPMENT OF A QUANTITATIVE APPROACH FOR ASSESSING INTERNAL DOSIMETRY THROUGH PHYSIOLOGICALLY-BASED PHARMACOKINETIC MODELING

    EPA Science Inventory

    The overall objective of the proposed project is to develop and validate a systematic quantitative approach for reducing uncertainty in risk assessments of pesticide exposures of children. Vulnerability of infants and children may be the result of exposure during p...

  9. Quantitative hazard assessment at Vulcano (Aeolian islands): integration of geology, event statistics and physical modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dellino, Pierfrancesco; de Astis, Gianfilippo; La Volpe, Luigi; Mele, Daniela; Sulpizio, Roberto

    2010-05-01

    The analysis of stratigraphy and of pyroclastic deposits particle features allowed the reconstruction of the volcanic history of La Fossa di Vulcano. An eruptive scenario driven by superficial phreatomagmatic explosions emerged. A statistical analysis of the pyroclastic Successions led to define a repetitive sequence of dilute pyroclastic density currents as the most probable events at short term, followed by fallout of dense ballistic blocks. The scale of such events is related to the amount of magma involved in each explosion. Events involving a million of cubic meters of magma are probable in view of what happened in the most recent eruptions. They led to the formation of hundreds of meters thick dilute pyroclastic density currents, moving down the volcano slope at velocities exceeding 50 m/sec. The dispersion of desnity currents affected the whole Vulcano Porto area, the Vulcanello area and also overrode the Fossa Caldera's rim, spreading over the Piano area. Similarly, older pyroclastic deposits erupted at different times (Piano Grotte dei Rossi formation, ~20-7.7 ka) from vents within La Fossa Caldera and before La Fossa Cone formation. They also were phreatomagmatic in origin and fed dilute pyroclastic density currents (PDC). They represent the eruptions with the highest magnitude on the Island. Therefore, for the aim of hazard assessment, these deposits from La Fossa Cone and La Fossa Caldera were used to depict eruptive scenarios at short term and at long term. On the base of physical models that make use of pyroclastic deposits particle features, the impact parameters for each scenario have been calculated. They are dynamic pressure and particle volumetric concentration of density currents, and impact energy of ballistic blocks. On this base, a quantitative hazard map is presented, which could be of direct use for territory planning and for the calculation of the expected damage.

  10. Assessment of Suitable Reference Genes for Quantitative Gene Expression Studies in Melon Fruits

    PubMed Central

    Kong, Qiusheng; Gao, Lingyun; Cao, Lei; Liu, Yue; Saba, Hameed; Huang, Yuan; Bie, Zhilong

    2016-01-01

    Melon (Cucumis melo L.) is an attractive model plant for investigating fruit development because of its morphological, physiological, and biochemical diversity. Quantification of gene expression by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) with stably expressed reference genes for normalization can effectively elucidate the biological functions of genes that regulate fruit development. However, the reference genes for data normalization in melon fruits have not yet been systematically validated. This study aims to assess the suitability of 20 genes for their potential use as reference genes in melon fruits. Expression variations of these genes were measured in 24 samples that represented different developmental stages of fertilized and parthenocarpic melon fruits by qRT-PCR analysis. GeNorm identified ribosomal protein L (CmRPL) and cytosolic ribosomal protein S15 (CmRPS15) as the best pair of reference genes, and as many as five genes including CmRPL, CmRPS15, TIP41-like family protein (CmTIP41), cyclophilin ROC7 (CmCYP7), and ADP ribosylation factor 1 (CmADP) were required for more reliable normalization. NormFinder ranked CmRPS15 as the best single reference gene, and RAN GTPase gene family (CmRAN) and TATA-box binding protein (CmTBP2) as the best combination of reference genes in melon fruits. Their effectiveness was further validated by parallel analyses on the activities of soluble acid invertase and sucrose phosphate synthase, and expression profiles of their respective encoding genes CmAIN2 and CmSPS1, as well as sucrose contents during melon fruit ripening. The validated reference genes will help to improve the accuracy of gene expression studies in melon fruits. PMID:27536316

  11. The bias associated with amplicon sequencing does not affect the quantitative assessment of bacterial community dynamics.

    PubMed

    Ibarbalz, Federico M; Pérez, María Victoria; Figuerola, Eva L M; Erijman, Leonardo

    2014-01-01

    The performance of two sets of primers targeting variable regions of the 16S rRNA gene V1-V3 and V4 was compared in their ability to describe changes of bacterial diversity and temporal turnover in full-scale activated sludge. Duplicate sets of high-throughput amplicon sequencing data of the two 16S rRNA regions shared a collection of core taxa that were observed across a series of twelve monthly samples, although the relative abundance of each taxon was substantially different between regions. A case in point was the changes in the relative abundance of filamentous bacteria Thiothrix, which caused a large effect on diversity indices, but only in the V1-V3 data set. Yet the relative abundance of Thiothrix in the amplicon sequencing data from both regions correlated with the estimation of its abundance determined using fluorescence in situ hybridization. In nonmetric multidimensional analysis samples were distributed along the first ordination axis according to the sequenced region rather than according to sample identities. The dynamics of microbial communities indicated that V1-V3 and the V4 regions of the 16S rRNA gene yielded comparable patterns of: 1) the changes occurring within the communities along fixed time intervals, 2) the slow turnover of activated sludge communities and 3) the rate of species replacement calculated from the taxa-time relationships. The temperature was the only operational variable that showed significant correlation with the composition of bacterial communities over time for the sets of data obtained with both pairs of primers. In conclusion, we show that despite the bias introduced by amplicon sequencing, the variable regions V1-V3 and V4 can be confidently used for the quantitative assessment of bacterial community dynamics, and provide a proper qualitative account of general taxa in the community, especially when the data are obtained over a convenient time window rather than at a single time point. PMID:24923665

  12. Characterizing trabecular bone structure for assessing vertebral fracture risk on volumetric quantitative computed tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagarajan, Mahesh B.; Checefsky, Walter A.; Abidin, Anas Z.; Tsai, Halley; Wang, Xixi; Hobbs, Susan K.; Bauer, Jan S.; Baum, Thomas; Wismüller, Axel

    2015-03-01

    While the proximal femur is preferred for measuring bone mineral density (BMD) in fracture risk estimation, the introduction of volumetric quantitative computed tomography has revealed stronger associations between BMD and spinal fracture status. In this study, we propose to capture properties of trabecular bone structure in spinal vertebrae with advanced second-order statistical features for purposes of fracture risk assessment. For this purpose, axial multi-detector CT (MDCT) images were acquired from 28 spinal vertebrae specimens using a whole-body 256-row CT scanner with a dedicated calibration phantom. A semi-automated method was used to annotate the trabecular compartment in the central vertebral slice with a circular region of interest (ROI) to exclude cortical bone; pixels within were converted to values indicative of BMD. Six second-order statistical features derived from gray-level co-occurrence matrices (GLCM) and the mean BMD within the ROI were then extracted and used in conjunction with a generalized radial basis functions (GRBF) neural network to predict the failure load of the specimens; true failure load was measured through biomechanical testing. Prediction performance was evaluated with a root-mean-square error (RMSE) metric. The best prediction performance was observed with GLCM feature `correlation' (RMSE = 1.02 ± 0.18), which significantly outperformed all other GLCM features (p < 0.01). GLCM feature correlation also significantly outperformed MDCTmeasured mean BMD (RMSE = 1.11 ± 0.17) (p< 10-4). These results suggest that biomechanical strength prediction in spinal vertebrae can be significantly improved through characterization of trabecular bone structure with GLCM-derived texture features.

  13. Quantitative Assessment of a Framework for Creating Anatomical Brain Networks via Global Tractography

    PubMed Central

    Li, Longchuan; Rilling, James K.; Preuss, Todd M.; Glasser, Matthew F.; Damen, Frederick W.; Hu, Xiaoping

    2012-01-01

    Interregional connections of the brain measured with diffusion tractography can be used to infer valuable information regarding both brain structure and function. However, different tractography algorithms can generate networks that exhibit different characteristics, resulting in poor reproducibility across studies. Therefore, it is important to benchmark different tractography algorithms to quantitatively assess their performance. Here we systematically evaluated a newly introduced tracking algorithm, global tractography, to derive anatomical brain networks in a fiber phantom, 2 post-mortem macaque brains, and 20 living humans, and compared the results with an established local tracking algorithm. Our results demonstrated that global tractography accurately characterized the phantom network in terms of graph-theoretic measures, and significantly outperformed the local tracking approach. Results in brain tissues (post-mortem macaques and in vivo humans), however, showed that although the performance of global tractography demonstrated a trend of improvement, the results were not vastly different than that of local tractography, possibly resulting from the increased fiber complexity of real tissues. When using macaque tracer-derived connections as the ground truth, we found that both global and local algorithms generated non-random patterns of false negative and false positive connections that were probably related to specific fiber systems and largely independent of the tractography algorithm or tissue type (post-mortem vs. in vivo) used in the current study. Moreover, a close examination of the transcallosal motor connections, reconstructed via either global or local tractography, demonstrated that the lateral transcallosal fibers in humans and macaques did not exhibit the denser homotopic connections found in primate tracer studies, indicating the need for more robust brain mapping techniques based on diffusion MRI data. PMID:22484406

  14. Comparison of six DNA extraction methods for recovery of fungal DNA as assessed by quantitative PCR.

    PubMed

    Fredricks, David N; Smith, Caitlin; Meier, Amalia

    2005-10-01

    The detection of fungal pathogens in clinical samples by PCR requires the use of extraction methods that efficiently lyse fungal cells and recover DNA suitable for amplification. We used quantitative PCR assays to measure the recovery of DNA from two important fungal pathogens subjected to six DNA extraction methods. Aspergillus fumigatus conidia or Candida albicans yeast cells were added to bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and subjected to DNA extraction in order to assess the recovery of DNA from a defined number of fungal propagules. In order to simulate hyphal growth in tissue, Aspergillus fumigatus conidia were allowed to form mycelia in tissue culture media and then harvested for DNA extraction. Differences among the DNA yields from the six extraction methods were highly significant (P<0.0001) in each of the three experimental systems. An extraction method based on enzymatic lysis of fungal cell walls (yeast cell lysis plus the use of GNOME kits) produced high levels of fungal DNA with Candida albicans but low levels of fungal DNA with Aspergillus fumigatus conidia or hyphae. Extraction methods employing mechanical agitation with beads produced the highest yields with Aspergillus hyphae. The Master Pure yeast method produced high levels of DNA from C. albicans but only moderate yields from A. fumigatus. A reagent from one extraction method was contaminated with fungal DNA, including DNA from Aspergillus and Candida species. In conclusion, the six extraction methods produce markedly differing yields of fungal DNA and thus can significantly affect the results of fungal PCR assays. No single extraction method was optimal for all organisms. PMID:16207973

  15. Evaluating interventions against Salmonella in broiler chickens: applying synthesis research in support of quantitative exposure assessment.

    PubMed

    Bucher, O; Fazil, A; Rajić, A; Farrar, A; Wills, R; McEwen, S A

    2012-05-01

    A scoping study and systematic review-meta-analyses (SR-MAs) were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of various interventions for Salmonella in broiler chicken, from grow-out farm to secondary processing. The resulting information was used to inform a quantitative exposure assessment (QEA) comparing various control options within the context of broiler chicken production in Ontario, Canada. Multiple scenarios, including use of two separate on-farm interventions (CF3 competitive exclusion culture and a 2% lactose water additive), a package of processing interventions (a sodium hydroxide scald water disinfectant, a chlorinated post-evisceration spray, a trisodium phosphate pre-chill spray and chlorinated immersion chilling) a package consisting of these farm and processing interventions and a hypothetical scenario (reductions in between-flock prevalence and post-transport concentration), were simulated and compared to a baseline scenario. The package of on-farm and processing interventions was the most effective in achieving relative reductions (compared to baseline with no interventions) in the concentration and prevalence of Salmonella by the end of chilling ranging from 89·94% to 99·87% and 43·88% to 87·78%, respectively. Contaminated carcasses entering defeathering, reductions in concentration due to scalding and post-evisceration washing, and the potential for cross-contamination during chilling had the largest influence on the model outcomes under the current assumptions. Scoping study provided a transparent process for mapping out and selecting promising interventions, while SR-MA was useful for generating more precise and robust intervention effect estimates for QEA. Realization of the full potential of these methods was hampered by low methodological soundness and reporting of primary research in this area. PMID:21781371

  16. Quantitative Neuroimaging Software for Clinical Assessment of Hippocampal Volumes on MR Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Ahdidan, Jamila; Raji, Cyrus A.; DeYoe, Edgar A.; Mathis, Jedidiah; Noe, Karsten Ø.; Rimestad, Jens; Kjeldsen, Thomas K.; Mosegaard, Jesper; Becker, James T.; Lopez, Oscar

    2015-01-01

    Background: Multiple neurological disorders including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), mesial temporal sclerosis, and mild traumatic brain injury manifest with volume loss on brain MRI. Subtle volume loss is particularly seen early in AD. While prior research has demonstrated the value of this additional information from quantitative neuroimaging, very few applications have been approved for clinical use. Here we describe a US FDA cleared software program, NeuroreaderTM, for assessment of clinical hippocampal volume on brain MRI. Objective: To present the validation of hippocampal volumetrics on a clinical software program. Method: Subjects were drawn (n = 99) from the Alzheimer Disease Neuroimaging Initiative study. Volumetric brain MR imaging was acquired in both 1.5 T (n = 59) and 3.0 T (n = 40) scanners in participants with manual hippocampal segmentation. Fully automated hippocampal segmentation and measurement was done using a multiple atlas approach. The Dice Similarity Coefficient (DSC) measured the level of spatial overlap between NeuroreaderTM and gold standard manual segmentation from 0 to 1 with 0 denoting no overlap and 1 representing complete agreement. DSC comparisons between 1.5 T and 3.0 T scanners were done using standard independent samples T-tests. Results: In the bilateral hippocampus, mean DSC was 0.87 with a range of 0.78–0.91 (right hippocampus) and 0.76–0.91 (left hippocampus). Automated segmentation agreement with manual segmentation was essentially equivalent at 1.5 T (DSC = 0.879) versus 3.0 T (DSC = 0.872). Conclusion: This work provides a description and validation of a software program that can be applied in measuring hippocampal volume, a biomarker that is frequently abnormal in AD and other neurological disorders. PMID:26484924

  17. Contouring Variability of the Penile Bulb on CT Images: Quantitative Assessment Using a Generalized Concordance Index

    SciTech Connect

    Carillo, Viviana; Cozzarini, Cesare; Perna, Lucia; Calandra, Mauro; Gianolini, Stefano; Rancati, Tiziana; Spinelli, Antonello Enrico; Vavassori, Vittorio; Villa, Sergio; Valdagni, Riccardo; Fiorino, Claudio

    2012-11-01

    Purpose: Within a multicenter study (DUE-01) focused on the search of predictors of erectile dysfunction and urinary toxicity after radiotherapy for prostate cancer, a dummy run exercise on penile bulb (PB) contouring on computed tomography (CT) images was carried out. The aim of this study was to quantitatively assess interobserver contouring variability by the application of the generalized DICE index. Methods and Materials: Fifteen physicians from different Institutes drew the PB on CT images of 10 patients. The spread of DICE values was used to objectively select those observers who significantly disagreed with the others. The analyses were performed with a dedicated module in the VODCA software package. Results: DICE values were found to significantly change among observers and patients. The mean DICE value was 0.67, ranging between 0.43 and 0.80. The statistics of DICE coefficients identified 4 of 15 observers who systematically showed a value below the average (p value range, 0.013 - 0.059): Mean DICE values were 0.62 for the 4 'bad' observers compared to 0.69 of the 11 'good' observers. For all bad observers, the main cause of the disagreement was identified. Average DICE values were significantly worse from the average in 2 of 10 patients (0.60 vs. 0.70, p < 0.05) because of the limited visibility of the PB. Excluding the bad observers and the 'bad' patients,' the mean DICE value increased from 0.67 to 0.70; interobserver variability, expressed in terms of standard deviation of DICE spread, was also reduced. Conclusions: The obtained values of DICE around 0.7 shows an acceptable agreement, considered the small dimension of the PB. Additional strategies to improve this agreement are under consideration and include an additional tutorial of the so-called bad observers with a recontouring procedure, or the recontouring by a single observer of the PB for all patients included in the DUE-01 study.

  18. Quantitative estimation of aesthesiometric thresholds for assessing impaired tactile sensation in workers exposed to vibration.

    PubMed

    Bovenzi, M; Zadini, A

    1989-01-01

    To evaluate the usefulness of aesthesiometric threshold testing in the quantitative assessment of peripheral sensorineural disorders occurring in the hand-arm vibration syndrome, two point discrimination (TPD) and depth sense perception (DSP) thresholds were measured by means of two aesthesiometers in the fingertips of 65 forestry workers exposed to chain saw vibration and 91 healthy males unexposed to local vibration or neurotoxic chemicals. Among the healthy subjects, divided into three age groups, there was no difference in the mean values of TPD and DSP thresholds. Assuming 1.28 or 2 standard deviations above the mean to be the upper limits of normality, in the present study the threshold values for TPD were 2.5 and 3.13 mm, respectively. Using the same assumptions, the normal threshold values for DSP were 0.36 and 0.49 mm. Among the 65 chain saw operators the prevalence of peripheral sensory disturbances was 70.8%. On the basis of the aesthesiometric results obtained for the group of 46 chain sawyers affected with sensorineural symptoms and a control group of 46 manual workers, the specificity of the aesthesiometric testing method was found to range between 93.4 and 100%, while the sensitivity varied from 52.2 to 71.7%. In its predictive value aesthesiometry had a positive accuracy of 84.6-96.0% and a negative accuracy of 42.8-50.0%. Aesthesiometric testing was able to differentiate between normals and vibration workers with sensory disturbances on a group basis (P less than 0.001), but due to the high rate of false negatives among vibration exposed patients, it was unsuitable to confirm objectively sensorineural symptoms on an individual basis.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:2777386

  19. Assessment of Suitable Reference Genes for Quantitative Gene Expression Studies in Melon Fruits.

    PubMed

    Kong, Qiusheng; Gao, Lingyun; Cao, Lei; Liu, Yue; Saba, Hameed; Huang, Yuan; Bie, Zhilong

    2016-01-01

    Melon (Cucumis melo L.) is an attractive model plant for investigating fruit development because of its morphological, physiological, and biochemical diversity. Quantification of gene expression by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) with stably expressed reference genes for normalization can effectively elucidate the biological functions of genes that regulate fruit development. However, the reference genes for data normalization in melon fruits have not yet been systematically validated. This study aims to assess the suitability of 20 genes for their potential use as reference genes in melon fruits. Expression variations of these genes were measured in 24 samples that represented different developmental stages of fertilized and parthenocarpic melon fruits by qRT-PCR analysis. GeNorm identified ribosomal protein L (CmRPL) and cytosolic ribosomal protein S15 (CmRPS15) as the best pair of reference genes, and as many as five genes including CmRPL, CmRPS15, TIP41-like family protein (CmTIP41), cyclophilin ROC7 (CmCYP7), and ADP ribosylation factor 1 (CmADP) were required for more reliable normalization. NormFinder ranked CmRPS15 as the best single reference gene, and RAN GTPase gene family (CmRAN) and TATA-box binding protein (CmTBP2) as the best combination of reference genes in melon fruits. Their effectiveness was further validated by parallel analyses on the activities of soluble acid invertase and sucrose phosphate synthase, and expression profiles of their respective encoding genes CmAIN2 and CmSPS1, as well as sucrose contents during melon fruit ripening. The validated reference genes will help to improve the accuracy of gene expression studies in melon fruits. PMID:27536316

  20. Quantitative assessment of the efficacy of spiral-wound membrane cleaning procedures to remove biofilms.

    PubMed

    Hijnen, W A M; Castillo, C; Brouwer-Hanzens, A H; Harmsen, D J H; Cornelissen, E R; van der Kooij, D

    2012-12-01

    Cleaning of high pressure RO/NF membranes is an important operational tool to control biofouling. Quantitative information on the efficacy of cleaning agents and protocols to remove biomass is scarce. Therefore, a laboratory cleaning test to assess the efficiency of cleaning procedures to remove attached biomass was developed. The major components of the test are (i) production of uniform biofilm samples, (ii) the quantification of the biomass concentrations with robust parameters and (iii) a simple test procedure with optimal exposure of the biofilm samples to the chemicals. The results showed that PVC-P is a suitable substratum for the production of uniform biofilm samples. ATP and carbohydrates (CH) as major components of the biofilm matrix for nucleotides (living bacterial cells) and extracellular polymeric substances EPS, respectively, were selected as robust biomass parameters. The removal of ATP and CH with the NaOH/Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate (SDS) mixture, selected as a standard treatment at pH 12.0, was reproducible. The resistance of the EPS matrix against chemical cleaning was demonstrated by a low CH removal (32.8 ± 6.0%) compared to the ATP removal (70.5 ± 15.1%). The inverse relationship of biomass removal with the CH to ATP ratio (μg/ng) of the biofilms demonstrated the influence of the biomass characteristics on cleaning. None of the 27 chemicals tested (analytical-grade and commercial brands) in single step or in double-step treatments were significantly more effective than NaOH/SDS. Oxidizing agents NaOCl and H(2)O(2), the latter in combination with SDS, both tested as common agents in biofilm control, showed a significantly higher efficiency (70%) to remove biofilms. In the test, simultaneously, the efficiency of agents to remove precipitated minerals such as Fe can be assessed. Validation tests with Cleaning in Place (CIP) in 8 and 2.5-inch RO membrane pilot plant experiments showed similar ranking of the cleaning efficiency of cleaning protocols

  1. Quantitative and qualitative assessment of the bovine abortion surveillance system in France.

    PubMed

    Bronner, Anne; Gay, Emilie; Fortané, Nicolas; Palussière, Mathilde; Hendrikx, Pascal; Hénaux, Viviane; Calavas, Didier

    2015-06-01

    Bovine abortion is the main clinical sign of bovine brucellosis, a disease of which France has been declared officially free since 2005. To ensure the early detection of any brucellosis outbreak, event-driven surveillance relies on the mandatory notification of bovine abortions and the brucellosis testing of aborting cows. However, the under-reporting of abortions appears frequent. Our objectives were to assess the aptitude of the bovine abortion surveillance system to detect each and every bovine abortion and to identify factors influencing the system's effectiveness. We evaluated five attributes defined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control with a method suited to each attribute: (1) data quality was studied quantitatively and qualitatively, as this factor considerably influences data analysis and results; (2) sensitivity and representativeness were estimated using a unilist capture-recapture approach to quantify the surveillance system's effectiveness; (3) acceptability and simplicity were studied through qualitative interviews of actors in the field, given that the surveillance system relies heavily on abortion notifications by farmers and veterinarians. Our analysis showed that (1) data quality was generally satisfactory even though some errors might be due to actors' lack of awareness of the need to collect accurate data; (2) from 2006 to 2011, the mean annual sensitivity - i.e. the proportion of farmers who reported at least one abortion out of all those who detected such events - was around 34%, but was significantly higher in dairy than beef cattle herds (highlighting a lack of representativeness); (3) overall, the system's low sensitivity was related to its low acceptability and lack of simplicity. This study showed that, in contrast to policy-makers, most farmers and veterinarians perceived the risk of a brucellosis outbreak as negligible. They did not consider sporadic abortions as a suspected case of brucellosis and usually reported abortions only to

  2. Quantitative risk assessment of entry of contagious bovine pleuropneumonia through live cattle imported from northwestern Ethiopia.

    PubMed

    Woube, Yilkal Asfaw; Dibaba, Asseged Bogale; Tameru, Berhanu; Fite, Richard; Nganwa, David; Robnett, Vinaida; Demisse, Amsalu; Habtemariam, Tsegaye

    2015-11-01

    Contagious bovine pleuropneumonia (CBPP) is a highly contagious bacterial disease of cattle caused by Mycoplasma mycoides subspecies mycoides small colony (SC) bovine biotype (MmmSC). It has been eradicated from many countries; however, the disease persists in many parts of Africa and Asia. CBPP is one of the major trade-restricting diseases of cattle in Ethiopia. In this quantitative risk assessment the OIE concept of zoning was adopted to assess the entry of CBPP into an importing country when up to 280,000 live cattle are exported every year from the northwestern proposed disease free zone (DFZ) of Ethiopia. To estimate the level of risk, a six-tiered risk pathway (scenario tree) was developed, evidences collected and equations generated. The probability of occurrence of the hazard at each node was modelled as a probability distribution using Monte Carlo simulation (@RISK software) at 10,000 iterations to account for uncertainty and variability. The uncertainty and variability of data points surrounding the risk estimate were further quantified by sensitivity analysis. In this study a single animal destined for export from the northwestern DFZ of Ethiopia has a CBPP infection probability of 4.76×10(-6) (95% CI=7.25×10(-8) 1.92×10(-5)). The probability that at least one infected animal enters an importing country in one year is 0.53 (90% CI=0.042-0.97). The expected number of CBPP infected animals exported any given year is 1.28 (95% CI=0.021-5.42). According to the risk estimate, an average of 2.73×10(6) animals (90% CI=10,674-5.9×10(6)) must be exported to get the first infected case. By this account it would, on average, take 10.15 years (90% CI=0.24-23.18) for the first infected animal to be included in the consignment. Sensitivity analysis revealed that prevalence and vaccination had the highest impact on the uncertainty and variability of the overall risk. PMID:26427634

  3. A quantitative methodology to assess the risks to human health from CO2 leakage into groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siirila, E.; Sitchler, A.; Maxwell, R. M.; McCray, J. E.

    2010-12-01

    Leakage of CO2 and associated gases into overlying aquifers as a result of geologic carbon capture and sequestration may have adverse impacts on aquifer drinking-water quality. Gas or aqueous-phase leakage may occur due to transport via faults and fractures, through faulty well bores, or through leaky confining materials. Contaminants of concern include aqueous salts and dissolved solids, gaseous or aqueous-phase organic contaminants, and acidic gas or aqueous-phase fluids that can liberate metals from aquifer minerals. Here we present a quantitative risk assessment framework to predict potential human health risk from CO2 leakage into drinking water aquifers. This framework incorporates the potential release of CO2 into the drinking water aquifer; mobilization of metals due to a decrease in pH; transport of these metals down gradient to municipal receptors; distributions of contaminated groundwater to multiple households; and exposure and health risk to individuals using this water for household purposes. Additionally, this framework is stochastic, incorporates detailed variations in geological and geostatistical parameters and discriminates between uncertain and variable parameters using a two-stage, or nested, Monte Carlo approach. This approach is demonstrated using example simulations with hypothetical, yet realistic, aquifer characteristics and leakage scenarios. These example simulations show a greater risk for arsenic than for lead for both cancer and non-cancer endpoints, an unexpected finding given greater toxicity of lead at lower doses than arsenic. It was also found that higher background groundwater gradients also yield higher risk. The overall risk and the associated uncertainty are sensitive to the extent of aquifer stratification and the degree of local-scale dispersion. These results all highlight the importance of hydrologic modeling in risk assessment. A linear relationship between carcinogenic and noncarcinogenic risk was found for arsenic and

  4. Bispecific antibody mimicking factor VIII.

    PubMed

    Nogami, Keiji

    2016-05-01

    There are some issues in the current factor (F)VIII replacement therapy for severe hemophilia A. One is mental and physical burden for the multiple intravenous infusions, and the other is difficulty in the hemostatic treatment for the patients with FVIII inhibitor. The development of novel drug with fully hemostatic effect, simply procedure, and long-acting reaction has been expected. Recently, FVIIIa-mimicking humanized recombinant bispecific antibody (ACE910) against FIXa and FX was developed. In the non-human clinical study, primate model of acquired hemophilia A demonstrated that the ACE910 was effective on both on-going and spontaneous bleedings. A phase I clinical study was conducted in healthy adults by single subcutaneous infusion of ACE910, followed by the patients' part study, Japanese patients with severe hemophilia A without or with inhibitor were treated with once-weekly subcutaneous injection of ACE910 at three dose levels for 12 successive weeks. There was no significant adverse event related to ACE910 in the clinical and laboratorial findings, and t1/2 of ACE910 was ∼30 days. The median annual bleeding rates were reduced very markedly dose-dependently, independently of inhibitor. Furthermore, among the patients with dose escalation, bleeding rate was decreased as ACE910 dose was increased. In conclusion, ACE910 would have a number of promising features: its high subcutaneous bioavailability and long half-life make the patients possible to be injected subcutaneously with a once-a-week or less frequency. In addition, ACE910 would provide the bleeding prophylactic efficacy, independently of inhibitor. PMID:27207420

  5. Analysis of Experts’ Quantitative Assessment of Adolescent Basketball Players and the Role of Anthropometric and Physiological Attributes

    PubMed Central

    Štrumbelj, Erik; Erčulj, Frane

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we investigated two questions: (1) can measurements of anthropometric and physiological attributes substitute for expert assessment of adolescent basketball players, and (2) how much does the quantitative assessment of a player vary among experts? The first question is relevant to the potential simplification of the player selection process. The second question pertains directly to the validity of expert quantitative assessment. Our research was based on data from 148 U14 female and male basketball players. For each player, an array of anthropometric and physiological attributes was recorded, including body height, body mass, BMI, and several motor skill tests. Furthermore, each player’s current ability and potential ability were quantitatively evaluated by two different experts from a group of seven experts. Analysis of the recorded data showed that the anthropometric and physiological attributes explained between 15% and 40% of the variance in experts’ scores. The primary predictive attributes were speed and agility (for predicting current ability) and body height and growth potential (for predicting potential ability). We concluded that these attributes were not sufficiently informative to act as a substitute for expert assessment of the players’ current or potential ability. There is substantial variability in different experts’ scores of the same player’s ability. However, the differences between experts are mostly in scale, and the relationships between experts’ scores are monotonic. That is, different experts rank players on ability very similarly, but their scores are not well calibrated. PMID:25414759

  6. EnviroLand: A Simple Computer Program for Quantitative Stream Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunnivant, Frank; Danowski, Dan; Timmens-Haroldson, Alice; Newman, Meredith

    2002-01-01

    Introduces the Enviroland computer program which features lab simulations of theoretical calculations for quantitative analysis and environmental chemistry, and fate and transport models. Uses the program to demonstrate the nature of linear and nonlinear equations. (Author/YDS)

  7. Multi-modality gellan gum-based tissue-mimicking phantom with targeted mechanical, electrical, and thermal properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Roland K.; Shih, A. J.

    2013-08-01

    This study develops a new class of gellan gum-based tissue-mimicking phantom material and a model to predict and control the elastic modulus, thermal conductivity, and electrical conductivity by adjusting the mass fractions of gellan gum, propylene glycol, and sodium chloride, respectively. One of the advantages of gellan gum is its gelling efficiency allowing highly regulable mechanical properties (elastic modulus, toughness, etc). An experiment was performed on 16 gellan gum-based tissue-mimicking phantoms and a regression model was fit to quantitatively predict three material properties (elastic modulus, thermal conductivity, and electrical conductivity) based on the phantom material's composition. Based on these material properties and the regression model developed, tissue-mimicking phantoms of porcine spinal cord and liver were formulated. These gellan gum tissue-mimicking phantoms have the mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties approximately equivalent to those of the spinal cord and the liver.

  8. Towards a Quantitative Performance Measurement Framework to Assess the Impact of Geographic Information Standards

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vandenbroucke, D.; Van Orshoven, J.; Vancauwenberghe, G.

    2012-12-01

    Over the last decennia, the use of Geographic Information (GI) has gained importance, in public as well as in private sector. But even if many spatial data and related information exist, data sets are scattered over many organizations and departments. In practice it remains difficult to find the spatial data sets needed, and to access, obtain and prepare them for using in applications. Therefore Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDI) haven been developed to enhance the access, the use and sharing of GI. SDIs consist of a set of technological and non-technological components to reach this goal. Since the nineties many SDI initiatives saw light. Ultimately, all these initiatives aim to enhance the flow of spatial data between organizations (users as well as producers) involved in intra- and inter-organizational and even cross-country business processes. However, the flow of information and its re-use in different business processes requires technical and semantic interoperability: the first should guarantee that system components can interoperate and use the data, while the second should guarantee that data content is understood by all users in the same way. GI-standards within the SDI are necessary to make this happen. However, it is not known if this is realized in practice. Therefore the objective of the research is to develop a quantitative framework to assess the impact of GI-standards on the performance of business processes. For that purpose, indicators are defined and tested in several cases throughout Europe. The proposed research will build upon previous work carried out in the SPATIALIST project. It analyzed the impact of different technological and non-technological factors on the SDI-performance of business processes (Dessers et al., 2011). The current research aims to apply quantitative performance measurement techniques - which are frequently used to measure performance of production processes (Anupindi et al., 2005). Key to reach the research objectives

  9. Mass Spectrometry-Based Quantitative Strategies for Assessing the Biological Consequences and Repair of DNA Adducts.

    PubMed

    You, Changjun; Wang, Yinsheng

    2016-02-16

    The genetic integrity of living organisms is constantly threatened by environmental and endogenous sources of DNA damaging agents that can induce a plethora of chemically modified DNA lesions. Unrepaired DNA lesions may elicit cytotoxic and mutagenic effects and contribute to the development of human diseases including cancer and neurodegeneration. Understanding the deleterious outcomes of DNA damage necessitates the investigation about the effects of DNA adducts on the efficiency and fidelity of DNA replication and transcription. Conventional methods for measuring lesion-induced replicative or transcriptional alterations often require time-consuming colony screening and DNA sequencing procedures. Recently, a series of mass spectrometry (MS)-based strategies have been developed in our laboratory as an efficient platform for qualitative and quantitative analyses of the changes in genetic information induced by DNA adducts during DNA replication and transcription. During the past few years, we have successfully used these MS-based methods for assessing the replicative or transcriptional blocking and miscoding properties of more than 30 distinct DNA adducts. When combined with genetic manipulation, these methods have also been successfully employed for revealing the roles of various DNA repair proteins or translesion synthesis DNA polymerases (Pols) in modulating the adverse effects of DNA lesions on transcription or replication in mammalian and bacterial cells. For instance, we found that Escherichia coli Pol IV and its mammalian ortholog (i.e., Pol κ) are required for error-free bypass of N(2)-(1-carboxyethyl)-2'-deoxyguanosine (N(2)-CEdG) in cells. We also found that the N(2)-CEdG lesions strongly inhibit DNA transcription and they are repaired by transcription-coupled nucleotide excision repair in mammalian cells. In this Account, we focus on the development of MS-based approaches for determining the effects of DNA adducts on DNA replication and transcription

  10. Fully automated, quantitative, noninvasive assessment of collagen fiber content and organization in thick collagen gels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bayan, Christopher; Levitt, Jonathan M.; Miller, Eric; Kaplan, David; Georgakoudi, Irene

    2009-05-01

    Collagen is the most prominent protein of human tissues. Its content and organization define to a large extent the mechanical properties of tissue as well as its function. Methods that have been used traditionally to visualize and analyze collagen are invasive, provide only qualitative or indirect information, and have limited use in studies that aim to understand the dynamic nature of collagen remodeling and its interactions with the surrounding cells and other matrix components. Second harmonic generation (SHG) imaging emerged as a promising noninvasive modality for providing high-resolution images of collagen fibers within thick specimens, such as tissues. In this article, we present a fully automated procedure to acquire quantitative information on the content, orientation, and organization of collagen fibers. We use this procedure to monitor the dynamic remodeling of collagen gels in the absence or presence of fibroblasts over periods of 12 or 14 days. We find that an adaptive thresholding and stretching approach provides great insight to the content of collagen fibers within SHG images without the need for user input. An additional feature-erosion and feature-dilation step is useful for preserving structure and noise removal in images with low signal. To quantitatively assess the orientation of collagen fibers, we extract the orientation index (OI), a parameter based on the power distribution of the spatial-frequency-averaged, two-dimensional Fourier transform of the SHG images. To measure the local organization of the collagen fibers, we access the Hough transform of small tiles of the image and compute the entropy distribution, which represents the probability of finding the direction of fibers along a dominant direction. Using these methods we observed that the presence and number of fibroblasts within the collagen gel significantly affects the remodeling of the collagen matrix. In the absence of fibroblasts, gels contract, especially during the first few

  11. Quantitative assessment of hydrocarbon contamination in soil using reflectance spectroscopy: a "multipath" approach.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Guy; Ben-Dor, Eyal; Eshel, Gil

    2013-11-01

    Petroleum hydrocarbons are contaminants of great significance. The commonly used analytic method for assessing total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) in soil samples is based on extraction with 1,1,2-Trichlorotrifluoroethane (Freon 113), a substance prohibited to use by the Environmental Protection Agency. During the past 20 years, a new quantitative methodology that uses the reflected radiation of solids has been widely adopted. By using this approach, the reflectance radiation across the visible, near infrared-shortwave infrared region (400-2500 nm) is modeled against constituents determined using traditional analytic chemistry methods and then used to predict unknown samples. This technology is environmentally friendly and permits rapid and cost-effective measurements of large numbers of samples. Thus, this method dramatically reduces chemical analytical costs and secondary pollution, enabling a new dimension of environmental monitoring. In this study we adapted this approach and developed effective steps in which hydrocarbon contamination in soils can be determined rapidly, accurately, and cost effectively solely from reflectance spectroscopy. Artificial contaminated samples were analyzed chemically and spectrally to form a database of five soils contaminated with three types of petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs), creating 15 datasets of 48 samples each at contamination levels of 50-5000 wt% ppm (parts per million). A brute force preprocessing approach was used by combining eight different preprocessing techniques with all possible datasets, resulting in 120 different mutations for each dataset. The brute force was done based on an innovative computing system developed for this study. A new parameter for evaluating model performance scoring (MPS) is proposed based on a combination of several common statistical parameters. The effect of dividing the data into training validation and test sets on modeling accuracy is also discussed. The results of this study clearly show

  12. Quantitative Risk Assessment of CO2 Sequestration in a commerical-scale EOR Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, F.; McPherson, B. J. O. L.; Dai, Z.; Jia, W.; Lee, S. Y.; Ampomah, W.; Viswanathan, H. S.

    2015-12-01

    Enhanced Oil Recovery with CO2 (CO2-EOR) is perhaps the most feasible option for geologic CO2 sequestration (GCS), if only due to existing infrastructure and economic opportunities of associated oil production. Probably the most significant source of uncertainty of CO2 storage forecasts is heterogeneity of reservoir properties. Quantification of storage forecast uncertainty is critical for accurate assessment of risks associated with GCS in EOR fields. This study employs a response surface methodology (RSM) to quantify uncertainties of CO2 storage associated with oil production in an active CO2-EOR field. Specifically, the Morrow formation, a clastic reservoir within the Farnsworth EOR Unit (FWU) in Texas, was selected as a case study. Four uncertain parameters (i.e., independent variables) are reservoir permeability, anisotropy ratio of permeability, water-alternating-gas (WAG) time ratio, and initial oil saturation. Cumulative oil production and net CO2 injection are the output dependent variables. A 3-D FWU reservoir model, including a representative 5-spot well pattern, was constructed for CO2-oil-water multiphase flow analysis. A total of 25 permutations of 3-D reservoir simulations were executed using Eclipse simulator. After performing stepwise regression analysis, a series of response surface models of the output variables at each step were constructed and verified using appropriate goodness-of-fit measures. The R2 values are larger than 0.9 and NRMSE values are less than 5% between the simulated and predicted oil production and net CO2 injection, suggesting that the response surface (or proxy) models are sufficient for predicting CO2-EOR system behavior for FWU case. Given the range of uncertainties in the independent variables, the cumulative distribution functions (CDFs) of dependent variables were estimated using the proxy models. The predicted cumulative oil production and net CO2 injection at 95th percentile after 5 years are about 3.65 times, and 1

  13. The Bias Associated with Amplicon Sequencing Does Not Affect the Quantitative Assessment of Bacterial Community Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Figuerola, Eva L. M.; Erijman, Leonardo

    2014-01-01

    The performance of two sets of primers targeting variable regions of the 16S rRNA gene V1–V3 and V4 was compared in their ability to describe changes of bacterial diversity and temporal turnover in full-scale activated sludge. Duplicate sets of high-throughput amplicon sequencing data of the two 16S rRNA regions shared a collection of core taxa that were observed across a series of twelve monthly samples, although the relative abundance of each taxon was substantially different between regions. A case in point was the changes in the relative abundance of filamentous bacteria Thiothrix, which caused a large effect on diversity indices, but only in the V1–V3 data set. Yet the relative abundance of Thiothrix in the amplicon sequencing data from both regions correlated with the estimation of its abundance determined using fluorescence in situ hybridization. In nonmetric multidimensional analysis samples were distributed along the first ordination axis according to the sequenced region rather than according to sample identities. The dynamics of microbial communities indicated that V1–V3 and the V4 regions of the 16S rRNA gene yielded comparable patterns of: 1) the changes occurring within the communities along fixed time intervals, 2) the slow turnover of activated sludge communities and 3) the rate of species replacement calculated from the taxa–time relationships. The temperature was the only operational variable that showed significant correlation with the composition of bacterial communities over time for the sets of data obtained with both pairs of primers. In conclusion, we show that despite the bias introduced by amplicon sequencing, the variable regions V1–V3 and V4 can be confidently used for the quantitative assessment of bacterial community dynamics, and provide a proper qualitative account of general taxa in the community, especially when the data are obtained over a convenient time window rather than at a single time point. PMID:24923665

  14. A quantitative microbiological exposure assessment model for Bacillus cereus in REPFEDs.

    PubMed

    Daelman, Jeff; Membré, Jeanne-Marie; Jacxsens, Liesbeth; Vermeulen, An; Devlieghere, Frank; Uyttendaele, Mieke

    2013-09-16

    One of the pathogens of concern in refrigerated and processed foods of extended durability (REPFED) is psychrotrophic Bacillus cereus, because of its ability to survive pasteurisation and grow at low temperatures. In this study a quantitative microbiological exposure assessment (QMEA) of psychrotrophic B. cereus in REPFEDs is presented. The goal is to quantify (i) the prevalence and concentration of B. cereus during production and shelf life, (ii) the number of packages with potential emetic toxin formation and (iii) the impact of different processing steps and consumer behaviour on the exposure to B. cereus from REPFEDs. The QMEA comprises the entire production and distribution process, from raw materials over pasteurisation and up to the moment it is consumed or discarded. To model this process the modular process risk model (MPRM) was used (Nauta, 2002). The product life was divided into nine modules, each module corresponding to a basic process: (1) raw material contamination, (2) cross contamination during handling, (3) inactivation during preparation, (4) growth during intermediate storage, (5) partitioning of batches in portions, (6) mixing portions to create the product, (7) recontamination during assembly and packaging, (8) inactivation during pasteurisation and (9) growth during shelf life. Each of the modules was modelled and built using a combination of newly gathered and literature data, predictive models and expert opinions. Units (batch/portion/package) with a B. cereus concentration of 10(5)CFU/g or more were considered 'risky' units. Results show that the main drivers of variability and uncertainty are consumer behaviour, strain variability and modelling error. The prevalence of B. cereus in the final products is estimated at 48.6% (±0.01%) and the number of packs with too high B. cereus counts at the moment of consumption is estimated at 4750 packs per million (0.48%). Cold storage at retail and consumer level is vital in limiting the exposure

  15. A quantitative microbial risk assessment for meatborne Toxoplasma gondii infection in The Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Opsteegh, Marieke; Prickaerts, Saskia; Frankena, Klaas; Evers, Eric G

    2011-11-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an important foodborne pathogen, and the cause of a high disease burden due to congenital toxoplasmosis in The Netherlands. The aim of this study was to quantify the relative contribution of sheep, beef and pork products to human T. gondii infections by Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA). Bradyzoite concentration and portion size data were used to estimate the bradyzoite number in infected unprocessed portions for human consumption. The reduction factors for salting, freezing and heating as estimated based on published experiments in mice, were subsequently used to estimate the bradyzoite number in processed portions. A dose-response relation for T. gondii infection in mice was used to estimate the human probability of infection due to consumption of these originally infected processed portions. By multiplying these probabilities with the prevalence of T. gondii per livestock species and the number of portions consumed per year, the number of infections per year was calculated for the susceptible Dutch population and the subpopulation of susceptible pregnant women. QMRA results predict high numbers of infections per year with beef as the most important source. Although many uncertainties were present in the data and the number of congenital infections predicted by the model was almost twenty times higher than the number estimated based on the incidence in newborns, the usefulness of the advice to thoroughly heat meat is confirmed by our results. Forty percent of all predicted infections is due to the consumption of unheated meat products, and sensitivity analysis indicates that heating temperature has the strongest influence on the predicted number of infections. The results also demonstrate that, even with a low prevalence of infection in cattle, consumption of beef remains an important source of infection. Developing this QMRA model has helped identify important gaps of knowledge and resulted in the following recommendations for

  16. Assessment of Riboflavin as a Tracer Substance: Comparison of a Qualitative to a Quantitative Method of Riboflavin Measurement

    PubMed Central

    Herron, Abigail J.; Mariani, John J.; Pavlicova, Martina; Parinello, Christina M.; Bold, Krysten W.; Levin, Frances R.; Nunes, Edward V.; Sullivan, Maria A.; Raby, Wilfred N.; Bisaga, Adam

    2013-01-01

    Background Noncompliance with medications may have major impacts on outcomes measured in research, potentially distorting the validity of controlled clinical trials. Riboflavin is frequently used in trials as a marker of adherence. It can be combined with study medication and is excreted in urine where it fluoresces under UV light. This study compares qualitative visual inspection of fluorescence to quantitative fluorometric analysis of riboflavin concentration in its ability to detect the presence of riboflavin in urine. Methods Twenty-four volunteers received 0 mg, 25 mg, and 50 mg doses of riboflavin under single-blind conditions, with 20 also receiving a 100 mg dose. Five serial urine samples were collected over the following 36 hours. Quantitative measurement of riboflavin by fluorometric analysis and qualitative assessment of each sample using visual inspection were performed. Results The overall false positive rate for qualitative assessment was 53%. For quantitative assessment, a riboflavin concentration of 900 ng/mL was established to classify positive samples. More than 80% of samples were positive 2 to 24 hours following ingestion of 25 mg and 50 mg, and less than 80% were positive at 36 hours. At least 95% of observations for the 100 mg dose were above 900 ng/mL at all timepoints. Conclusions Quantitative fluorometric assessment is superior to qualitative visual inspection alone in determining medication adherence. The combination of 25–50 mg of daily riboflavin and a cut-off level of 900 ng/mL allows for the acceptable sensitivity of missing detection of non-compliant participants while preserving a high level of power to detect all cases of medication compliance. PMID:22921475

  17. Quantitative assessment of historical coastal landfill contamination using in-situ field portable XRF (FPXRF)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Shea, Francis; Spencer, Kate; Brasington, James

    2014-05-01

    in the field to determine the presence, location and extent of the sub-surface contaminant plume. Although XRF analysis has gained acceptance in the study of in-situ metal contamination (Kalnicky and Singhvi 2001; Martin Peinado et al. 2010) field moisture content and sample heterogeneity can suppress X-ray signals. Therefore, sediment samples were also collected and returned to the laboratory and analysed by ICP OES for comparison. Both wet and dry certified reference materials were also analysed in the laboratory using XRF and ICP OES to observe the impact of moisture content and to produce a correction factor allowing quantitative data to be collected in the field. In-situ raw XRF data identified the location of contamination plumes in the field in agreement with ICP data, although the data were systematically suppressed compared to ICP data, under-estimating the levels of contamination. Applying a correction factor for moisture content provided accurate measurements of concentration. The use of field portable XRF with the application of a moisture content correction factor enables the rapid screening of sediment fronting coastal landfill sites, goes some way towards providing a national baseline dataset and can contribute to the development of risk assessments.

  18. Problems of a thermionic space NPS reactor unit quantitative reliability assessment on the basis of ground development results

    SciTech Connect

    Ponomarev-Stepnoi, N.N.; Nechaev, Y.A.; Khazanovich, I.M.; Samodelov, V.N.; Pavlov, K.A.

    1997-01-01

    The paper sets forth major problems that arose in the course of a quantitative assessment of reliability of a TOPAZ-2 space NPS reactor unit performed on the basis of ground development results. Proposals are made on the possible ways to solve those problems through development and introduction of individual standards especially for the ground development stage, which would specify the assessment algorithm and censoring rules, and exclude a number of existing uncertainties when making a decision on going to flight testing. {copyright} {ital 1997 American Institute of Physics.}

  19. Primary Renal Lymphoma Mimicking a Subcapsular Hematoma: A Case Report

    PubMed Central

    Dedekam, Erik; Graham, Jess; Strenge, Karen; Mosier, Andrew D.

    2013-01-01

    Primary renal lymphoma (PRL) is a rare entity with a history of controversy regarding its existence. Lymphomatous involvement of the kidney is more commonly seen secondarily to spread from an adjacent lymphomatous mass, rather than arising primarily from the kidney. PRL can mimic other renal lesions such as renal cell carcinoma, renal abscess, and metastasis; therefore, an early diagnosis is crucial to guide treatment and properly assess prognosis. We present a rare case of a 77 year-old male who presented with hematuria and PRL mimicking a subcapsular hematoma. PMID:24421949

  20. Primary renal lymphoma mimicking a subcapsular hematoma: a case report.

    PubMed

    Dedekam, Erik; Graham, Jess; Strenge, Karen; Mosier, Andrew D

    2013-08-01

    Primary renal lymphoma (PRL) is a rare entity with a history of controversy regarding its existence. Lymphomatous involvement of the kidney is more commonly seen secondarily to spread from an adjacent lymphomatous mass, rather than arising primarily from the kidney. PRL can mimic other renal lesions such as renal cell carcinoma, renal abscess, and metastasis; therefore, an early diagnosis is crucial to guide treatment and properly assess prognosis. We present a rare case of a 77 year-old male who presented with hematuria and PRL mimicking a subcapsular hematoma. PMID:24421949

  1. A correlative imaging based methodology for accurate quantitative assessment of bone formation in additive manufactured implants.

    PubMed

    Geng, Hua; Todd, Naomi M; Devlin-Mullin, Aine; Poologasundarampillai, Gowsihan; Kim, Taek Bo; Madi, Kamel; Cartmell, Sarah; Mitchell, Christopher A; Jones, Julian R; Lee, Peter D

    2016-06-01

    A correlative imaging methodology was developed to accurately quantify bone formation in the complex lattice structure of additive manufactured implants. Micro computed tomography (μCT) and histomorphometry were combined, integrating the best features from both, while demonstrating the limitations of each imaging modality. This semi-automatic methodology registered each modality using a coarse graining technique to speed the registration of 2D histology sections to high resolution 3D μCT datasets. Once registered, histomorphometric qualitative and quantitative bone descriptors were directly correlated to 3D quantitative bone descriptors, such as bone ingrowth and bone contact. The correlative imaging allowed the significant volumetric shrinkage of histology sections to be quantified for the first time (~15 %). This technique demonstrated the importance of location of the histological section, demonstrating that up to a 30 % offset can be introduced. The results were used to quantitatively demonstrate the effectiveness of 3D printed titanium lattice implants. PMID:27153828

  2. Quantitative proteomics: assessing the spectrum of in-gel protein detection methods

    PubMed Central

    Gauci, Victoria J.; Wright, Elise P.

    2010-01-01

    Proteomics research relies heavily on visualization methods for detection of proteins separated by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Commonly used staining approaches involve colorimetric dyes such as Coomassie Brilliant Blue, fluorescent dyes including Sypro Ruby, newly developed reactive fluorophores, as well as a plethora of others. The most desired characteristic in selecting one stain over another is sensitivity, but this is far from the only important parameter. This review evaluates protein detection methods in terms of their quantitative attributes, including limit of detection (i.e., sensitivity), linear dynamic range, inter-protein variability, capacity for spot detection after 2D gel electrophoresis, and compatibility with subsequent mass spectrometric analyses. Unfortunately, many of these quantitative criteria are not routinely or consistently addressed by most of the studies published to date. We would urge more rigorous routine characterization of stains and detection methodologies as a critical approach to systematically improving these critically important tools for quantitative proteomics. In addition, substantial improvements in detection technology, particularly over the last decade or so, emphasize the need to consider renewed characterization of existing stains; the quantitative stains we need, or at least the chemistries required for their future development, may well already exist. PMID:21686332

  3. Assessment of Soil Microbial Community Structure by Use of Taxon-Specific Quantitative PCR Assays

    PubMed Central

    Fierer, Noah; Jackson, Jason A.; Vilgalys, Rytas; Jackson, Robert B.

    2005-01-01

    Here we describe a quantitative PCR-based approach to estimating the relative abundances of major taxonomic groups of bacteria and fungi in soil. Primers were thoroughly tested for specificity, and the method was applied to three distinct soils. The technique provides a rapid and robust index of microbial community structure. PMID:16000830

  4. QUANTITATIVE ASSESSMENT OF CANCER RISK FROM EXPOSURE TO DIESEL ENGINE EMISSIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Quantitative estimates of lung cancer risk from exposure to diesel engine emissions were developed using data from three chronic bioassays with Fischer 344 rats. uman target organ dose was estimated with the aid of a comprehensive dosimetry model. his model accounted for rat-huma...

  5. Assessing the Validity of Diagnostic Quantitative PCR Assays for Phakopsora pachyrhizi and P. meibomiae

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    There are 123 confirmed species in the genus Phakopsora worldwide, with 19 species reported in the continental United States. In 2002, a quantitative PCR (qPCR) diagnostic assay was developed by Frederick et al. that has been used for detecting Phakopsora pachyrhizi in spore trapping studies. Based ...

  6. Tissue mimicking materials for dental ultrasound.

    PubMed

    Singh, Rahul S; Culjat, Martin O; Grundfest, Warren S; Brown, Elliott R; White, Shane N

    2008-04-01

    While acoustic tissue mimicking materials have been explored for a variety of soft and hard biological tissues, no dental hard tissue mimicking materials have been characterized. Tooth phantoms are necessary to better understand acoustic phenomenology within the tooth environment and to accelerate the advancement of dental ultrasound imaging systems. In this study, soda lime glass and dental composite were explored as surrogates for human enamel and dentin, respectively, in terms of compressional velocity, attenuation, and acoustic impedance. The results suggest that a tooth phantom consisting of glass and composite can effectively mimic the acoustic behavior of a natural human tooth. PMID:18396919

  7. Quantitative Assessment of Detection Frequency for the INL Ambient Air Monitoring Network

    SciTech Connect

    A. Jeffrey Sondrup; Arthur S. Rood

    2014-11-01

    A quantitative assessment of the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) air monitoring network was performed using frequency of detection as the performance metric. The INL air monitoring network consists of 37 low-volume air samplers in 31 different locations. Twenty of the samplers are located on INL (onsite) and 17 are located off INL (offsite). Detection frequencies were calculated using both BEA and ESER laboratory minimum detectable activity (MDA) levels. The CALPUFF Lagrangian puff dispersion model, coupled with 1 year of meteorological data, was used to calculate time-integrated concentrations at sampler locations for a 1-hour release of unit activity (1 Ci) for every hour of the year. The unit-activity time-integrated concentration (TICu) values were calculated at all samplers for releases from eight INL facilities. The TICu values were then scaled and integrated for a given release quantity and release duration. All facilities modeled a ground-level release emanating either from the center of the facility or at a point where significant emissions are possible. In addition to ground-level releases, three existing stacks at the Advanced Test Reactor Complex, Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center, and Material and Fuels Complex were also modeled. Meteorological data from the 35 stations comprising the INL Mesonet network, data from the Idaho Falls Regional airport, upper air data from the Boise airport, and three-dimensional gridded data from the weather research forecasting model were used for modeling. Three representative radionuclides identified as key radionuclides in INL’s annual National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants evaluations were considered for the frequency of detection analysis: Cs-137 (beta-gamma emitter), Pu-239 (alpha emitter), and Sr-90 (beta emitter). Source-specific release quantities were calculated for each radionuclide, such that the maximum inhalation dose at any publicly accessible sampler or the National

  8. QUANTITATION OF MOLECULAR ENDPOINTS FOR THE DOSE-RESPONSE COMPONENT OF CANCER RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cancer risk assessment involves the steps of hazard identification, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment and risk characterization. The rapid advances in the use of molecular biology approaches has had an impact on all four components, but the greatest overall current...

  9. Assessing Student Teachers' Reflective Writing through Quantitative Content Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poldner, Eric; Van der Schaaf, Marieke; Simons, P. Robert-Jan; Van Tartwijk, Jan; Wijngaards, Guus

    2014-01-01

    Students' reflective essay writing can be stimulated by the formative assessments provided to them by their teachers. Such assessments contain information about the quality of students' reflective writings and offer suggestions for improvement. Despite the importance of formatively assessing students' reflective writings in teacher…

  10. Quantitative assessment of wound-healing process as a response to laser-induced micro-injuries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yang; Bargo, Paulo; Kollias, Nikiforos

    2009-02-01

    Currently, most investigations of wound healing rely on invasive biopsy followed by histology and immunohistochemistry staining. There is a great need to develop non-invasive techniques for in vivo diagnostic, clinical and scientific evaluation. Here, we performed a comprehensive investigation on the dynamic wound healing process as a response to laser-induced microinjuries using non-invasive imaging techniques such as reflectance laser-scanning confocal microscopy and video microscopy. Eight healthy subjects ranging from Fitzpatrick skin type II-VI with age from 27 to 57 years were recruited. The volar forearm of each subject was treated with a laser device that generates an array of microbeams with an infrared wavelength. The microscopic changes of epidermal cells and collagen during the wound healing process were assessed non-invasively using confocal microscopy. We also developed a quantitative method to evaluate the dynamic wound healing process at the microscopic level in three areas of interest: (1) treated micro-wounding zone, (2) surrounding collateral damage zone and (3) normal area. The depth-dependent intensity profile derived from reflectance confocal microscope images clearly distinguishes the three areas of interest and quantitatively measures the cellular structure-associated changes. A progressive change in depth-dependent intensity profiles in subjects with different ages parallels the clinical observation of wound healing rate. The quantitative analysis developed in this study may find broad applications in assessing the skin response to treatment at a microscopic level.

  11. A quantitative method to analyze the quality of EIA information in wind energy development and avian/bat assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Chang, Tony; Nielsen, Erik; Auberle, William; Solop, Frederic I.

    2013-01-15

    The environmental impact assessment (EIA) has been a tool for decision makers since the enactment of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Since that time, few analyses have been performed to verify the quality of information and content within EIAs. High quality information within assessments is vital in order for decision makers, stake holders, and the public to understand the potential impact of proposed actions on the ecosystem and wildlife species. Low quality information has been a major cause for litigation and economic loss. Since 1999, wind energy development has seen an exponential growth with unknown levels of impact on wildlife species, in particular bird and bat species. The purpose of this article is to: (1) develop, validate, and apply a quantitative index to review avian/bat assessment quality for wind energy EIAs; and (2) assess the trends and status of avian/bat assessment quality in a sample of wind energy EIAs. This research presents the development and testing of the Avian and Bat Assessment Quality Index (ABAQI), a new approach to quantify information quality of ecological assessments within wind energy development EIAs in relation to avian and bat species based on review areas and factors derived from 23 state wind/wildlife siting guidance documents. The ABAQI was tested through a review of 49 publicly available EIA documents and validated by identifying high variation in avian and bat assessments quality for wind energy developments. Of all the reviewed EIAs, 66% failed to provide high levels of preconstruction avian and bat survey information, compared to recommended factors from state guidelines. This suggests the need for greater consistency from recommended guidelines by state, and mandatory compliance by EIA preparers to avoid possible habitat and species loss, wind energy development shut down, and future lawsuits. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We developed, validated, and applied a quantitative index to review

  12. A no-gold-standard technique for objective assessment of quantitative nuclear-medicine imaging methods.

    PubMed

    Jha, Abhinav K; Caffo, Brian; Frey, Eric C

    2016-04-01

    The objective optimization and evaluation of nuclear-medicine quantitative imaging methods using patient data is highly desirable but often hindered by the lack of a gold standard. Previously, a regression-without-truth (RWT) approach has been proposed for evaluating quantitative imaging methods in the absence of a gold standard, but this approach implicitly assumes that bounds on the distribution of true values are known. Several quantitative imaging methods in nuclear-medicine imaging measure parameters where these bounds are not known, such as the activity concentration in an organ or the volume of a tumor. We extended upon the RWT approach to develop a no-gold-standard (NGS) technique for objectively evaluating such quantitative nuclear-medicine imaging methods with patient data in the absence of any ground truth. Using the parameters estimated with the NGS technique, a figure of merit, the noise-to-slope ratio (NSR), can be computed, which can rank the methods on the basis of precision. An issue with NGS evaluation techniques is the requirement of a large number of patient studies. To reduce this requirement, the proposed method explored the use of multiple quantitative measurements from the same patient, such as the activity concentration values from different organs in the same patient. The proposed technique was evaluated using rigorous numerical experiments and using data from realistic simulation studies. The numerical experiments demonstrated that the NSR was estimated accurately using the proposed NGS technique when the bounds on the distribution of true values were not precisely known, thus serving as a very reliable metric for ranking the methods on the basis of precision. In the realistic simulation study, the NGS technique was used to rank reconstruction methods for quantitative single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) based on their performance on the task of estimating the mean activity concentration within a known volume of interest

  13. A no-gold-standard technique for objective assessment of quantitative nuclear-medicine imaging methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jha, Abhinav K.; Caffo, Brian; Frey, Eric C.

    2016-04-01

    The objective optimization and evaluation of nuclear-medicine quantitative imaging methods using patient data is highly desirable but often hindered by the lack of a gold standard. Previously, a regression-without-truth (RWT) approach has been proposed for evaluating quantitative imaging methods in the absence of a gold standard, but this approach implicitly assumes that bounds on the distribution of true values are known. Several quantitative imaging methods in nuclear-medicine imaging measure parameters where these bounds are not known, such as the activity concentration in an organ or the volume of a tumor. We extended upon the RWT approach to develop a no-gold-standard (NGS) technique for objectively evaluating such quantitative nuclear-medicine imaging methods with patient data in the absence of any ground truth. Using the parameters estimated with the NGS technique, a figure of merit, the noise-to-slope ratio (NSR), can be computed, which can rank the methods on the basis of precision. An issue with NGS evaluation techniques is the requirement of a large number of patient studies. To reduce this requirement, the proposed method explored the use of multiple quantitative measurements from the same patient, such as the activity concentration values from different organs in the same patient. The proposed technique was evaluated using rigorous numerical experiments and using data from realistic simulation studies. The numerical experiments demonstrated that the NSR was estimated accurately using the proposed NGS technique when the bounds on the distribution of true values were not precisely known, thus serving as a very reliable metric for ranking the methods on the basis of precision. In the realistic simulation study, the NGS technique was used to rank reconstruction methods for quantitative single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) based on their performance on the task of estimating the mean activity concentration within a known volume of interest

  14. Quantitative Assessment of Commutability for Clinical Viral Load Testing Using a Digital PCR-Based Reference Standard.

    PubMed

    Tang, L; Sun, Y; Buelow, D; Gu, Z; Caliendo, A M; Pounds, S; Hayden, R T

    2016-06-01

    Given recent advances in the development of quantitative standards, particularly WHO international standards, efforts to better understand the commutability of reference materials have been made. Existing approaches in evaluating commutability include prediction intervals and correspondence analysis; however, the results obtained from existing approaches may be ambiguous. We have developed a "deviation-from-ideal" (DFI) approach to evaluate commutability of standards and applied it to the assessment of Epstein-Bar virus (EBV) load testing in four quantitative PCR assays, treating digital PCR as a reference assay. We then discuss advantages and limitations of the DFI approach as well as experimental design to best evaluate the commutability of an assay in practice. PMID:27076654

  15. Quantitative assessment of in situ microbial communities affecting nuclear waste disposal

    SciTech Connect

    White, D.C. |

    1996-05-01

    Microbes in the environments surrounding nuclear waste depositories pose several questions regarding the protection of the surrounding communities. microbes can facilitate microbially influenced corrosion (MIC), mobilize and facilitate the transport of nuclides as well as produce gaseous emissions which can compromise containment. We have developed an analysis of the extant microbiota that is independent of quantitative recovery and subsequent growth, based on signature biomarkers analysis (SBA).

  16. Quantitative assessment of hemadsorption by myxoviruses: anti-immunoglobulin G hemadsorption-inhibition test.

    PubMed

    Hahon, N; Stewart, J D; Eckert, H L

    1973-04-01

    A quantitative hemadsorption-inhibition test was developed to estimate myxovirus serum antibodies within 24 h by determining the serum dilution inhibiting hemadsorption in 50% of the infected cells. The test depends on the interactions of virus-infected cell monolayers with antiviral serum and of the resultant complexes with antiimmunoglobulin G serum. The incorporation of species-specific anti-immunoglobulin G serum into the test significantly increased sensitivity. PMID:4349249

  17. Quantitative assessment of the multiple processes responsible for bilirubin homeostasis in health and disease

    PubMed Central

    Levitt, David G; Levitt, Michael D

    2014-01-01

    Serum bilirubin measurements are commonly obtained for the evaluation of ill patients and to screen for liver disease in routine physical exams. An enormous research effort has identified the multiple mechanisms involved in the production and metabolism of conjugated (CB) and unconjugated bilirubin (UB). While the qualitative effects of these mechanisms are well understood, their expected quantitative influence on serum bilirubin homeostasis has received less attention. In this review, each of the steps involved in bilirubin production, metabolism, hepatic cell uptake, and excretion is quantitatively examined. We then attempt to predict the expected effect of normal and defective function on serum UB and CB levels in health and disease states including hemolysis, extra- and intrahepatic cholestasis, hepatocellular diseases (eg, cirrhosis, hepatitis), and various congenital defects in bilirubin conjugation and secretion (eg, Gilbert’s, Dubin–Johnson, Crigler–Najjar, Rotor syndromes). Novel aspects of this review include: 1) quantitative estimates of the free and total UB and CB in the plasma, hepatocyte, and bile; 2) detailed discussion of the important implications of the recently recognized role of the hepatic OATP transporters in the maintenance of CB homeostasis; 3) discussion of the differences between the standard diazo assay versus chromatographic measurement of CB and UB; 4) pharmacokinetic implications of the extremely high-affinity albumin binding of UB; 5) role of the enterohepatic circulation in physiologic jaundice of newborn and fasting hyperbilirubinemia; and 6) insights concerning the clinical interpretation of bilirubin measurements. PMID:25214800

  18. Quantitative RT-PCR profiling of the Rabbit Immune Response: Assessment of Acute Shigella flexneri Infection

    PubMed Central

    Schnupf, Pamela; Sansonetti, Philippe J.

    2012-01-01

    Quantitative reverse transcription PCR analysis is an important tool to monitor changes in gene expression in animal models. The rabbit is a widely accepted and commonly used animal model in the study of human diseases and infections by viral, fungal, bacterial and protozoan pathogens. Only a limited number of rabbit genes have, however, been analyzed by this method as the rabbit genome sequence remains unfinished. Recently, increasing coverage of the genome has permitted the prediction of a growing number of genes that are relevant in the context of the immune response. We hereby report the design of twenty-four quantitative PCR primer pairs covering common cytokines, chemoattractants, antimicrobials and enzymes for a rapid, sensitive and quantitative analysis of the rabbit immune response. Importantly, all primer pairs were designed to be used under identical experimental conditions, thereby enabling the simultaneous analysis of all genes in a high-throughput format. This tool was used to analyze the rabbit innate immune response to infection with the human gastrointestinal pathogen Shigella flexneri. Beyond the known inflammatory mediators, we identified IL-22, IL-17A and IL-17F as highly upregulated cytokines and as first responders to infection during the innate phase of the host immune response. This set of qPCR primers also provides a convenient tool for monitoring the rabbit immune response during infection with other pathogens and other inflammatory conditions. PMID:22675469

  19. Quantitative approaches for assessment of white matter hyperintensities in elderly populations

    PubMed Central

    Brickman, Adam M.; Sneed, Joel R.; Provenzano, Frank A.; Garcon, Ernst; Johnert, Lauren; Muraskin, Jordan; Yeung, Lok-Kin; Zimmerman, Molly E.; Roose, Steven P.

    2011-01-01

    White matter hyperintensities (WMH) are areas of increased signal on T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), including fluid attenuated inverse recovery sequences. Total and regional WMH burden (i.e., volume or severity) has been associated with myriad cognitive, neurological, and psychiatric conditions among older adults. In the current report, we illustrate two approaches to quantify periventricular, deep, and total WMH and examine their reliability and criterion validity among 28 elderly patients enrolled in a depression treatment trial. The first approach, an operator-driven quantitative approach, involves visual inspection of individual MRI scans and manual labeling using a three-step series of procedures. The second approach, a fully automated quantitative approach, uses a processing stream that involves image segmentation, voxel intensity thresholding, and seed growing to label WMH and calculate their volume automatically. There was good agreement in WMH quantification between the two approaches (Cronbach’s alpha values from 0.835 to 0.968). Further, severity of WMH was significantly associated with worse depression and increased age, and these associations did not differ significantly between the two quantification approaches. We provide evidence for good reliability and criterion validity for two approaches for WMH volume determination. The operator-driven approach may be better suited for smaller studies with highly trained raters, whereas the fully automated quantitative approach may be more appropriate for larger, high-throughput studies. PMID:21680159

  20. Rare Mimickers of Exostosis: A Case Series

    PubMed Central

    Perubhotla, Lakshmi Manasa

    2016-01-01

    Exophytic growths from bones are a common entity. Osteochondroma is the most common benign exophytic lesion and we tend to diagnose every benign looking exophytic lesion as osteochondroma. Here we reported two entities of cases, one was Nora’s lesion and another one was supracondylar process of humerus, both of which were mimickers of osteochondroma and their salient and differentiating features from osteochondromas.

  1. A Quantitative Toxicogenomics Assay for High-throughput and Mechanistic Genotoxicity Assessment and Screening of Environmental Pollutants.

    PubMed

    Lan, Jiaqi; Gou, Na; Rahman, Sheikh Mokhles; Gao, Ce; He, Miao; Gu, April Z

    2016-03-15

    The ecological and health concern of mutagenicity and carcinogenicity potentially associated with an overwhelmingly large and ever-increasing number of chemicals demands for cost-effective and feasible method for genotoxicity screening and risk assessment. This study proposed a genotoxicity assay using GFP-tagged yeast reporter strains, covering 38 selected protein biomarkers indicative of all the seven known DNA damage repair pathways. The assay was applied to assess four model genotoxic chemicals, eight environmental pollutants and four negative controls across six concentrations. Quantitative molecular genotoxicity end points were derived based on dose response modeling of a newly developed integrated molecular effect quantifier, Protein Effect Level Index (PELI). The molecular genotoxicity end points were consistent with multiple conventional in vitro genotoxicity assays, as well as with in vivo carcinogenicity assay results. Further more, the proposed genotoxicity end point PELI values quantitatively correlated with both comet assay in human cell and carcinogenicity potency assay in mice, providing promising evidence for linking the molecular disturbance measurements to adverse outcomes at a biological relevant level. In addition, the high-resolution DNA damaging repair pathway alternated protein expression profiles allowed for chemical clustering and classification. This toxicogenomics-based assay presents a promising alternative for fast, efficient and mechanistic genotoxicity screening and assessment of drugs, foods, and environmental contaminants. PMID:26855253

  2. Global and local health burden trade-off through the hybridisation of quantitative microbial risk assessment and life cycle assessment to aid water management.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Yumi; Peters, Greg M; Ashbolt, Nicholas J; Heimersson, Sara; Svanström, Magdalena; Khan, Stuart J

    2015-08-01

    Life cycle assessment (LCA) and quantitative risk assessment (QRA) are commonly used to evaluate potential human health impacts associated with proposed or existing infrastructure and products. Each approach has a distinct objective and, consequently, their conclusions may be inconsistent or contradictory. It is proposed that the integration of elements of QRA and LCA may provide a more holistic approach to health impact assessment. Here we examine the possibility of merging LCA assessed human health impacts with quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) for waterborne pathogen impacts, expressed with the common health metric, disability adjusted life years (DALYs). The example of a recent large-scale water recycling project in Sydney, Australia was used to identify and demonstrate the potential advantages and current limitations of this approach. A comparative analysis of two scenarios - with and without the development of this project - was undertaken for this purpose. LCA and QMRA were carried out independently for the two scenarios to compare human health impacts, as measured by DALYs lost per year. LCA results suggested that construction of the project would lead to an increased number of DALYs lost per year, while estimated disease burden resulting from microbial exposures indicated that it would result in the loss of fewer DALYs per year than the alternative scenario. By merging the results of the LCA and QMRA, we demonstrate the advantages in providing a more comprehensive assessment of human disease burden for the two scenarios, in particular, the importance of considering the results of both LCA and QRA in a comparative assessment of decision alternatives to avoid problem shifting. The application of DALYs as a common measure between the two approaches was found to be useful for this purpose. PMID:25965885

  3. Quantitative Assessment of Motor and Sensory/Motor Acquisition in Handicapped and Nonhandicapped Infants and Young Children. Volume IV: Application of the Procedures.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guess, Doug; And Others

    Three studies that applied quantitative procedures to measure motor and sensory/motor acquisition among handicapped and nonhandicapped infants and children are presented. In addition, a study concerning the replication of the quantitative procedures for assessing rolling behavior is described in a fourth article. The first study, by C. Janssen,…

  4. Quantitative assessment of desertification using landsat data on a regional scale - a case study in the ordos plateau, china.

    PubMed

    Xu, Duanyang; Kang, Xiangwu; Qiu, Dongsheng; Zhuang, Dafang; Pan, Jianjun

    2009-01-01

    Desertification is a serious threat to the ecological environment and social economy in our world and there is a pressing need to develop a reasonable and reproducible method to assess it at different scales. In this paper, the Ordos Plateau in China was selected as the research region and a quantitative method for desertification assessment was developed by using Landsat MSS and TM/ETM+ data on a regional scale. In this method, NDVI, MSDI and land surface albedo were selected as assessment indicators of desertification to represent land surface conditions from vegetation biomass, landscape pattern and micrometeorology. Based on considering the effects of vegetation type and time of images acquired on assessment indictors, assessing rule sets were built and a decision tree approach was used to assess desertification of Ordos Plateau in 1980, 1990 and 2000. The average overall accuracy of three periods was higher than 90%. The results showed that although some local places of Ordos Plateau experienced an expanding trend of desertification, the trend of desertification of Ordos Plateau was an overall decrease in from 1980 to 2000. By analyzing the causes of desertification processes, it was found that climate change could benefit for the reversion of desertification from 1980 to 1990 at a regional scale and human activities might explain the expansion of desertification in this period; however human conservation activities were the main driving factor that induced the reversion of desertification from 1990 to 2000. PMID:22573984

  5. Quantitative Assessment of Desertification Using Landsat Data on a Regional Scale – A Case Study in the Ordos Plateau, China

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Duanyang; Kang, Xiangwu; Qiu, Dongsheng; Zhuang, Dafang; Pan, Jianjun

    2009-01-01

    Desertification is a serious threat to the ecological environment and social economy in our world and there is a pressing need to develop a reasonable and reproducible method to assess it at different scales. In this paper, the Ordos Plateau in China was selected as the research region and a quantitative method for desertification assessment was developed by using Landsat MSS and TM/ETM+ data on a regional scale. In this method, NDVI, MSDI and land surface albedo were selected as assessment indicators of desertification to represent land surface conditions from vegetation biomass, landscape pattern and micrometeorology. Based on considering the effects of vegetation type and time of images acquired on assessment indictors, assessing rule sets were built and a decision tree approach was used to assess desertification of Ordos Plateau in 1980, 1990 and 2000. The average overall accuracy of three periods was higher than 90%. The results showed that although some local places of Ordos Plateau experienced an expanding trend of desertification, the trend of desertification of Ordos Plateau was an overall decrease in from 1980 to 2000. By analyzing the causes of desertification processes, it was found that climate change could benefit for the reversion of desertification from 1980 to 1990 at a regional scale and human activities might explain the expansion of desertification in this period; however human conservation activities were the main driving factor that induced the reversion of desertification from 1990 to 2000. PMID:22573984

  6. Quantitative and Qualitative Assessment of Solfege in a Brazilian Higher Educational Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Teixeira Dos Santos, Regina Antunes; Del-Ben, Luciana

    2010-01-01

    This article reports on the feasibility of using the assessment criteria for solfege proposed by Davidson, Scripp, and Meyaard as a way to assess a group of Brazilian undergraduate students. The experiment was carried out in 2003, with 16 first-year students in a variety of majors, each with different levels of previous music experience. The…

  7. Exploring new quantitative CT image features to improve assessment of lung cancer prognosis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Emaminejad, Nastaran; Qian, Wei; Kang, Yan; Guan, Yubao; Lure, Fleming; Zheng, Bin

    2015-03-01

    Due to the promotion of lung cancer screening, more Stage I non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLC) are currently detected, which usually have favorable prognosis. However, a high percentage of the patients have cancer recurrence after surgery, which reduces overall survival rate. To achieve optimal efficacy of treating and managing Stage I NSCLC patients, it is important to develop more accurate and reliable biomarkers or tools to predict cancer prognosis. The purpose of this study is to investigate a new quantitative image analysis method to predict the risk of lung cancer recurrence of Stage I NSCLC patients after the lung cancer surgery using the conventional chest computed tomography (CT) images and compare the prediction result with a popular genetic biomarker namely, protein expression of the excision repair cross-complementing 1 (ERCC1) genes. In this study, we developed and tested a new computer-aided detection (CAD) scheme to segment lung tumors and initially compute 35 tumor-related morphologic and texture features from CT images. By applying a machine learning based feature selection method, we identified a set of 8 effective and non-redundant image features. Using these features we trained a naïve Bayesian network based classifier to predict the risk of cancer recurrence. When applying to a test dataset with 79 Stage I NSCLC cases, the computed areas under ROC curves were 0.77±0.06 and 0.63±0.07 when using the quantitative image based classifier and ERCC1, respectively. The study results demonstrated the feasibility of improving accuracy of predicting cancer prognosis or recurrence risk using a CAD-based quantitative image analysis method.

  8. Tentative method for the qualitative detection and quantitative assessment of air contamination by drugs.

    PubMed

    Buogo, A; Eboli, V

    1972-06-01

    A method for detecting and measuring air contamination by drugs is described which uses an electrostatic bacterial air sampler, sprayers for micronizing drugs, and Mueller-Hinton medium seeded with a highly susceptible strain of Sarcina lutea. Three antibiotics (penicillin, tetracycline, aminosidine) and a sulfonamide (sulfapyrazine) were identified by pretreating portions of medium, showing no bacterial growth, with penicillinase or p-aminobenzoic acid solution and subsequently determining how both drug(-) susceptible and drug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus were affected by this pretreatment. Quantitative determinations were also attempted by measuring the size of the inhibition zones. PMID:4483536

  9. Quantitative assessment of hyaline cartilage elasticity during optical clearing using optical coherence elastography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Chih-Hao; Singh, Manmohan; Li, Jiasong; Han, Zhaolong; Wu, Chen; Wang, Shang; Idugboe, Rita; Raghunathan, Raksha; Zakharov, Valery P.; Sobol, Emil N.; Tuchin, Valery V.; Twa, Michael; Larin, Kirill V.

    2015-03-01

    We report the first study on using optical coherence elastography (OCE) to quantitatively monitor the elasticity change of the hyaline cartilage during the optical clearing administrated by glucose solution. The measurement of the elasticity is verified using uniaxial compression test, demonstrating the feasibility of using OCE to quantify the Young's modulus of the cartilage tissue. As the results, we found that the stiffness of the hyaline cartilage increases during the optical clearing of the tissue. This study might be potentially useful for the early detection of osteoarthritis disease.

  10. Tentative Method for the Qualitative Detection and Quantitative Assessment of Air Contamination by Drugs

    PubMed Central

    Buogo, A.; Eboli, V.

    1972-01-01

    A method for detecting and measuring air contamination by drugs is described which uses an electrostatic bacterial air sampler, sprayers for micronizing drugs, and Mueller-Hinton medium seeded with a highly susceptible strain of Sarcina lutea. Three antibiotics (penicillin, tetracycline, aminosidine) and a sulfonamide (sulfapyrazine) were identified by pretreating portions of medium, showing no bacterial growth, with penicillinase or p-aminobenzoic acid solution and subsequently determining how both drug- susceptible and drug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus were affected by this pretreatment. Quantitative determinations were also attempted by measuring the size of the inhibition zones. Images PMID:4483536

  11. A Quantitative Climate-Match Score for Risk-Assessment Screening of Reptile and Amphibian Introductions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Wilgen, Nicola J.; Roura-Pascual, Núria; Richardson, David M.

    2009-09-01

    Assessing climatic suitability provides a good preliminary estimate of the invasive potential of a species to inform risk assessment. We examined two approaches for bioclimatic modeling for 67 reptile and amphibian species introduced to California and Florida. First, we modeled the worldwide distribution of the biomes found in the introduced range to highlight similar areas worldwide from which invaders might arise. Second, we modeled potentially suitable environments for species based on climatic factors in their native ranges, using three sources of distribution data. Performance of the three datasets and both approaches were compared for each species. Climate match was positively correlated with species establishment success (maximum predicted suitability in the introduced range was more strongly correlated with establishment success than mean suitability). Data assembled from the Global Amphibian Assessment through NatureServe provided the most accurate models for amphibians, while ecoregion data compiled by the World Wide Fund for Nature yielded models which described reptile climatic suitability better than available point-locality data. We present three methods of assigning a climate-match score for use in risk assessment using both the mean and maximum climatic suitabilities. Managers may choose to use different methods depending on the stringency of the assessment and the available data, facilitating higher resolution and accuracy for herpetofaunal risk assessment. Climate-matching has inherent limitations and other factors pertaining to ecological interactions and life-history traits must also be considered for thorough risk assessment.

  12. Development, validation and quantitative assessment of an enzymatic assay suitable for small molecule screening and profiling: A case-study

    PubMed Central

    Sancenon, Vicente; Goh, Wei Hau; Sundaram, Aishwarya; Er, Kai Shih; Johal, Nidhi; Mukhina, Svetlana; Carr, Grant; Dhakshinamoorthy, Saravanakumar

    2015-01-01

    The successful discovery and subsequent development of small molecule inhibitors of drug targets relies on the establishment of robust, cost-effective, quantitative, and physiologically relevant in vitro assays that can support prolonged screening and optimization campaigns. The current study illustrates the process of developing and validating an enzymatic assay for the discovery of small molecule inhibitors using alkaline phosphatase from bovine intestine as model target. The assay development workflow includes an initial phase of optimization of assay materials, reagents, and conditions, continues with a process of miniaturization and automation, and concludes with validation by quantitative measurement of assay performance and signal variability. The assay is further evaluated for dose–response and mechanism-of-action studies required to support structure–activity-relationship studies. Emphasis is placed on the most critical aspects of assay optimization and other relevant considerations, including the technology, assay materials, buffer constituents, reaction conditions, liquid handling equipment, analytical instrumentation, and quantitative assessments. Examples of bottlenecks encountered during assay development and strategies to address them are provided. PMID:27077032

  13. Quantitative autoradiographic assessment of sup 55 Fe-RBC distribution in rat brain

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, S.Z.; Nakata, H.; Tajima, A.; Gruber, K.; Acuff, V.; Patlak, C.; Fenstermacher, J. )

    1990-11-01

    A simple in vivo technique of labeling erythrocytes (RBCs) with {sup 55}Fe was developed for quantitative autoradiography (QAR). This procedure involved injecting 5-6 ml of ({sup 55}Fe)ferrous citrate solution (1 mCi/ml) intraperitoneally into donor rats. The number of labeled RBCs reached a maximum at around 7 days and declined very slowly thereafter. Labeled RBCs were harvested from donor rats and used for RBC volume measurement in awake rats. Brain radioactivity was assayed by QAR, which yielded spatial resolution of greater than 50 microns. Tight nearly irreversible binding of {sup 55}Fe to RBCs was found in vivo and in vitro. More than 99.5% of the {sup 55}Fe in the blood of donor rats was bound to RBCs. Because of this, labeled blood can be taken from donors and injected into recipients without further preparation. The tissue absorption of {sup 55}Fe emissions was the same in gray and white matter. Microvascular RBC volumes measured with {sup 55}Fe-labeled RBCs agreed with those assayed with {sup 51}Cr-labeled RBCs for many, but not all, brain areas. In conclusion, {sup 55}Fe-RBCs can be readily prepared by this technique and accurately quantitated in brain tissue by QAR.

  14. Quantitative assessment of antibody internalization with novel monoclonal antibodies against Alexa fluorophores.

    PubMed

    Liao-Chan, Sindy; Daine-Matsuoka, Barbara; Heald, Nathan; Wong, Tiffany; Lin, Tracey; Cai, Allen G; Lai, Michelle; D'Alessio, Joseph A; Theunissen, Jan-Willem

    2015-01-01

    Antibodies against cell surface antigens may be internalized through their specific interactions with these proteins and in some cases may induce or perturb antigen internalization. The anti-cancer efficacy of antibody-drug conjugates is thought to rely on their uptake by cancer cells expressing the surface antigen. Numerous techniques, including microscopy and flow cytometry, have been used to identify antibodies with desired cellular uptake rates. To enable quantitative measurements of internalization of labeled antibodies, an assay based on internalized and quenched fluorescence was developed. For this approach, we generated novel anti-Alexa Fluor monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) that effectively and specifically quench cell surface-bound Alexa Fluor 488 or Alexa Fluor 594 fluorescence. Utilizing Alexa Fluor-labeled mAbs against the EphA2 receptor tyrosine kinase, we showed that the anti-Alexa Fluor reagents could be used to monitor internalization quantitatively over time. The anti-Alexa Fluor mAbs were also validated in a proof of concept dual-label internalization assay with simultaneous exposure of cells to two different mAbs. Importantly, the unique anti-Alexa Fluor mAbs described here may also enable other single- and dual-label experiments, including label detection and signal enhancement in macromolecules, trafficking of proteins and microorganisms, and cell migration and morphology. PMID:25894652

  15. Performance Assessment of Human and Cattle Associated Quantitative Real-time PCR Assays - slides

    EPA Science Inventory

    The presentation overview is (1) Single laboratory performance assessment of human- and cattle associated PCR assays and (2) A Field Study: Evaluation of two human fecal waste management practices in Ohio watershed.

  16. Personal Exposure Monitoring Wearing Protocol Compliance: An Initial Assessment of Quantitative Measurements

    EPA Science Inventory

    Personal exposure sampling provides the most accurate and representative assessment of exposure to a pollutant, but only if measures are implemented to minimize exposure misclassification and reduce confounders that may cause misinterpretation of the collected data. Poor complian...

  17. Quantitative assessment of gestational sac shape: the gestational sac shape score

    PubMed Central

    Deter, R.L.; Li, J.; Lee, W.; Liu, S.; Romero, R.

    2012-01-01

    Objective To develop a quantitative method for characterizing gestational sac shape. Methods Twenty first-trimester gestational sacs in normal pregnancies were studied with three-dimensional (3D) ultrasonography. The 3D coordinates of surface-point sets were obtained for each sac using 30-, 15- and six-slice sampling. Cubic spline interpolation was used with the 15- and six-slice surface-point samples to generate coordinates for those 30-slice surface points not measured. Interpolated and measured values, the latter from the 30-slice sample, were compared and the percent error calculated. Cubic spline interpolation was used to determine the coordinates of a standard surface-point sample (3660) for each sac in each slice sample. These coordinate data were used to give each sac a standard configuration by moving its center of gravity to the origin, aligning its inertial axes along the coordinate axes and converting its volume to 1.0 mL. In this form, a volume shape descriptor could be generated for each sac that was then transformed into a vector containing only shape information. The 20 shape vectors of each slice sample were subjected to principal components analysis, and principal component scores (PCSs) calculated. The first four PCSs were used to define a gestational sac shape score (GSSS-30, GSSS-15 or GSSS-6) for each sac in a given slice sample. The characteristics of each set of GSSSs were determined and those for the GSSS-15 and GSSS-6 were compared with the GSSS-30 characteristics. Results Cubic spline interpolations were very accurate in most cases, with means close to 0%, and approximately 95% of the errors being less than 10%. GSSS-30 accounted for 67.6% of the shape variance, had a mean of zero and an SD of 1.1, was normally distributed and was not related to menstrual age (R = −0.16, P = 0.51). GSSS-15 and GSSS-6 had essentially the same characteristics. No significant differences between individual GSSS-30 values and those for GSSS-15 or GSSS-6

  18. Using wide-field quantitative diffuse reflectance spectroscopy in combination with high-resolution imaging for margin assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kennedy, Stephanie; Mueller, Jenna; Bydlon, Torre; Brown, J. Quincy; Ramanujam, Nimmi

    2011-03-01

    Due to the large number of women diagnosed with breast cancer and the lack of intra-operative tools, breast cancer margin assessment presents a significant unmet clinical need. Diffuse reflectance spectral imaging provides a method for quantitatively interrogating margins of lumpectomy specimens. We have previously found that [β- carotene]/μs' is a diagnostically important parameter but both parameters, [β-carotene] and μs', were derived from a low resolution parameter map and are subject to the tissue type and heterogeneity present in the breast. In this study, we used diffuse reflectance measurements from individual sites co-registered with high resolution microendoscopy (HRME) images to determine if the combined performance of these technologies could improve margin assessment. By comparing the optical parameters of [β-carotene] and μs' to the quantitative HRME image endpoints of feature size, feature density and normalized fluorescence, we determined that adding HRME to spectral imaging can improve the specificity of our diffuse reflectance spectral imaging system.

  19. Quantitative Assessment of RNA-Protein Interactions with High Throughput Sequencing - RNA Affinity Profiling (HiTS-RAP)

    PubMed Central

    Ozer, Abdullah; Tome, Jacob M.; Friedman, Robin C.; Gheba, Dan; Schroth, Gary P.; Lis, John T.

    2016-01-01

    Because RNA-protein interactions play a central role in a wide-array of biological processes, methods that enable a quantitative assessment of these interactions in a high-throughput manner are in great demand. Recently, we developed the High Throughput Sequencing-RNA Affinity Profiling (HiTS-RAP) assay, which couples sequencing on an Illumina GAIIx with the quantitative assessment of one or several proteins’ interactions with millions of different RNAs in a single experiment. We have successfully used HiTS-RAP to analyze interactions of EGFP and NELF-E proteins with their corresponding canonical and mutant RNA aptamers. Here, we provide a detailed protocol for HiTS-RAP, which can be completed in about a month (8 days hands-on time) including the preparation and testing of recombinant proteins and DNA templates, clustering DNA templates on a flowcell, high-throughput sequencing and protein binding with GAIIx, and finally data analysis. We also highlight aspects of HiTS-RAP that can be further improved and points of comparison between HiTS-RAP and two other recently developed methods, RNA-MaP and RBNS. A successful HiTS-RAP experiment provides the sequence and binding curves for approximately 200 million RNAs in a single experiment. PMID:26182240

  20. Quantitative assessment of Naegleria fowleri and Escherichia coli concentrations within a Texas reservoir.

    PubMed

    Painter, Stephanie M; Pfau, Russell S; Brady, Jeff A; McFarland, Anne M S

    2013-06-01

    Previous presence/absence studies have indicated a correlation between the presence of the pathogenic amoeba Naegleria fowleri and the presence of bacteria, such as the fecal indicator Escherichia coli, in environmental surface waters. The objective of this study was to use quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) methodologies to measure N. fowleri and E. coli concentrations within a Texas reservoir in late summer, and to determine if concentrations of N. fowleri and E. coli were statistically correlated. N. fowleri was detected in water samples from 67% of the reservoir sites tested, with concentrations ranging up to an estimated 26 CE (cell equivalents)/100 mL. E. coli was detected in water samples from 60% of the reservoir sites tested, with concentrations ranging up to 427 CE/100 mL. In this study, E. coli concentrations were not indicative of N. fowleri concentrations. PMID:23708581

  1. Quantitative MR assessment of longitudinal parenchymal changes in children treated for medulloblastoma

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reddick, Wilburn E.; Glass, John O.; Wu, Shingjie; Palmer, Shawna L.; Mulhern, Raymond K.; Gajjar, Amar

    2002-05-01

    Our research builds on the hypothesis that white matter damage, in children treated for cancer with cranial spinal irradiation, spans a continuum of severity that can be reliably probed using non-invasive MR technology and results in potentially debilitating neurological and neuropsychological problems. This longitudinal project focuses on 341 quantitative volumetric MR examinations from 58 children treated for medulloblastoma (MB) with cranial irradiation (CRT) of 35-40 Gy. Quadratic mixed effects models were used to fit changes in tissue volumes (white matter, gray matter, CSF, and cerebral) with time since CRT and age at CRT as covariates. We successfully defined algorithms that are useful in the prediction of brain development among children treated for MB.

  2. Assessing the activity of sarcoidosis: quantitative /sup 67/Ga-citrate imaging

    SciTech Connect

    Fajman, W.A.; Greenwald, L.V.; Staton, G.; Check, I.J.; Pine, J.; Gilman, M.; Scheidt, K.A.; McClees, E.C.

    1984-04-01

    Three different methods of quantitating /sup 67/Ga-citrate lung images - a visual index, a computer-assisted index, and the total-lung-to-background ratio - were compared in 71 studies of patients with biopsy-proven sarcoidosis. Fifty consecutive cases were analyzed independently by two different observers using all three methods. In these studies, each index was correlated with the cell differential in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. The total-lung-to-background ratio proved to be the simplest to perform; correlated best with the original visual index and the percentage of lymphocytes obtained in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Sensitivity for detecting active disease was 84% compared with 64% and 58% for the visual and computer-assisted indices, respectively, with no sacrifice in specificity.

  3. Quantitative assessment of electrostatic embedding in Density Functional Theory calculations of biomolecular systems

    SciTech Connect

    Fattebert, J; Law, R J; Bennion, B; Lau, E Y; Schwegler, E; Lightstone, F C

    2009-04-24

    We evaluate the accuracy of density functional theory quantum calculations of biomolecular subsystems using a simple electrostatic embedding scheme. Our scheme is based on dividing the system of interest into a primary and secondary subsystem. A finite difference discretization of the Kohn-Sham equations is used for the primary subsystem, while its electrostatic environment is modeled with a simple one-electron potential. Force-field atomic partial charges are used to generate smeared Gaussian charge densities and to model the secondary subsystem. We illustrate the utility of this approach with calculations of truncated dipeptide chains. We analyze quantitatively the accuracy of this approach by calculating atomic forces and comparing results with fullQMcalculations. The impact of the choice made in terminating dangling bonds at the frontier of the QM region is also investigated.

  4. Reverse Phase Protein Arrays—Quantitative Assessment of Multiple Biomarkers in Biopsies for Clinical Use

    PubMed Central

    Boellner, Stefanie; Becker, Karl-Friedrich

    2015-01-01

    Reverse Phase Protein Arrays (RPPA) represent a very promising sensitive and precise high-throughput technology for the quantitative measurement of hundreds of signaling proteins in biological and clinical samples. This array format allows quantification of one protein or phosphoprotein in multiple samples under the same experimental conditions at the same time. Moreover, it is suited for signal transduction profiling of small numbers of cultured cells or cells isolated from human biopsies, including formalin fixed and paraffin embedded (FFPE) tissues. Owing to the much easier sample preparation, as compared to mass spectrometry based technologies, and the extraordinary sensitivity for the detection of low-abundance signaling proteins over a large linear range, RPPA have the potential for characterization of deregulated interconnecting protein pathways and networks in limited amounts of sample material in clinical routine settings. Current aspects of RPPA technology, including dilution curves, spotting, controls, signal detection, antibody validation, and calculation of protein levels are addressed.

  5. Quantitative assessment of molecular dynamics-grown amorphous silicon and germanium films on silicon (111)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Käshammer, Peter; Borgardt, Nikolai I.; Seibt, Michael; Sinno, Talid

    2016-09-01

    Molecular dynamics based on the empirical Tersoff potential was used to simulate the deposition of amorphous silicon and germanium on silicon(111) at various deposition rates and temperatures. The resulting films were analyzed quantitatively by comparing one-dimensional atomic density profiles to experimental measurements. It is found that the simulations are able to capture well the structural features of the deposited films, which exhibit a gradual loss of crystalline order over several monolayers. A simple mechanistic model is used to demonstrate that the simulation temperature may be used to effectively accelerate the surface relaxation processes during deposition, leading to films that are consistent with experimental samples grown at deposition rates many orders-of-magnitude slower than possible in a molecular dynamics simulation.

  6. Bone loss: Quantitative imaging techniques for assessing bone mass in rheumatoid arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Njeh, Christopher F; Genant, Harry K

    2000-01-01

    Osteoporosis is associated with low bone mass and microarchitectural deterioration of bone tissue with clinical manifestation of low trauma fractures. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a risk factor due to generalized and articular bone loss. This minireview presents past and current bone mass measurement techniques in RA. These techniques include: plain radiographs, absorptiometry, quantitative computed tomography (QCT) and ultrasound. The most widely used technique is dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). RA patients have lower bone mass as compared with normals and substantial bone loss may occur early after the onset of disease. Measurement of bone mineral density (BMD) at the hand using either DXA or ultrasound maybe a useful tool in the management of RA patients. PMID:11094457

  7. Intraoperative laser speckle contrast imaging with retrospective motion correction for quantitative assessment of cerebral blood flow

    PubMed Central

    Richards, Lisa M.; Towle, Erica L.; Fox, Douglas J.; Dunn, Andrew K.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract. Although multiple intraoperative cerebral blood flow (CBF) monitoring techniques are currently available, a quantitative method that allows for continuous monitoring and that can be easily integrated into the surgical workflow is still needed. Laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI) is an optical imaging technique with a high spatiotemporal resolution that has been recently demonstrated as feasible and effective for intraoperative monitoring of CBF during neurosurgical procedures. This study demonstrates the impact of retrospective motion correction on the quantitative analysis of intraoperatively acquired LSCI images. LSCI images were acquired through a surgical microscope during brain tumor resection procedures from 10 patients under baseline conditions and after a cortical stimulation in three of those patients. The patient’s electrocardiogram (ECG) was recorded during acquisition for postprocess correction of pulsatile artifacts. Automatic image registration was retrospectively performed to correct for tissue motion artifacts, and the performance of rigid and nonrigid transformations was compared. In baseline cases, the original images had 25%±27% noise across 16 regions of interest (ROIs). ECG filtering moderately reduced the noise to 20%±21%, while image registration resulted in a further noise reduction of 15%±4%. Combined ECG filtering and image registration significantly reduced the noise to 6.2%±2.6% (p<0.05). Using the combined motion correction, accuracy and sensitivity to small changes in CBF were improved in cortical stimulation cases. There was also excellent agreement between rigid and nonrigid registration methods (15/16 ROIs with <3% difference). Results from this study demonstrate the importance of motion correction for improved visualization of CBF changes in clinical LSCI images. PMID:26157974

  8. Quantitative assessment of chromosome instability induced through chemical disruption of mitotic progression

    PubMed Central

    Markossian, Sarine; Arnaoutov, Alexei; Saba, Nakhle S.; Larionov, Vladimir; Dasso, Mary

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Most solid tumors are aneuploid, carrying an abnormal number of chromosomes, and they frequently missegregate whole chromosomes in a phenomenon termed chromosome instability (CIN). While CIN can be provoked through disruption of numerous mitotic pathways, it is not clear which of these mechanisms are most critical, or whether alternative mechanisms could also contribute significantly in vivo. One difficulty in determining the relative importance of candidate CIN regulators has been the lack of a straightforward, quantitative assay for CIN in live human cells: While gross mitotic abnormalities can be detected visually, moderate levels of CIN may not be obvious, and are thus problematic to measure. To address this issue, we have developed the first Human Artificial Chromosome (HAC)-based quantitative live-cell assay for mitotic chromosome segregation in human cells. We have produced U2OS-Phoenix cells carrying the alphoidtetO-HAC encoding copies of eGFP fused to the destruction box (DB) of anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) substrate hSecurin and sequences encoding the tetracycline repressor fused to mCherry (TetR-mCherry). Upon HAC missegregation, daughter cells that do not obtain a copy of the HAC are GFP negative in the subsequent interphase. The HAC can also be monitored live following the TetR-mCherry signal. U2OS-Phoenix cells show low inherent levels of CIN, which can be enhanced by agents that target mitotic progression through distinct mechanisms. This assay allows direct detection of CIN induced by clinically important agents without conspicuous mitotic defects, allowing us to score increased levels of CIN that fall below the threshold required for discernable morphological disruption. PMID:27104376

  9. Quantitative assessment of chromosome instability induced through chemical disruption of mitotic progression.

    PubMed

    Markossian, Sarine; Arnaoutov, Alexei; Saba, Nakhle S; Larionov, Vladimir; Dasso, Mary

    2016-07-01

    Most solid tumors are aneuploid, carrying an abnormal number of chromosomes, and they frequently missegregate whole chromosomes in a phenomenon termed chromosome instability (CIN). While CIN can be provoked through disruption of numerous mitotic pathways, it is not clear which of these mechanisms are most critical, or whether alternative mechanisms could also contribute significantly in vivo. One difficulty in determining the relative importance of candidate CIN regulators has been the lack of a straightforward, quantitative assay for CIN in live human cells: While gross mitotic abnormalities can be detected visually, moderate levels of CIN may not be obvious, and are thus problematic to measure. To address this issue, we have developed the first Human Artificial Chromosome (HAC)-based quantitative live-cell assay for mitotic chromosome segregation in human cells. We have produced U2OS-Phoenix cells carrying the alphoid(tetO)-HAC encoding copies of eGFP fused to the destruction box (DB) of anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome (APC/C) substrate hSecurin and sequences encoding the tetracycline repressor fused to mCherry (TetR-mCherry). Upon HAC missegregation, daughter cells that do not obtain a copy of the HAC are GFP negative in the subsequent interphase. The HAC can also be monitored live following the TetR-mCherry signal. U2OS-Phoenix cells show low inherent levels of CIN, which can be enhanced by agents that target mitotic progression through distinct mechanisms. This assay allows direct detection of CIN induced by clinically important agents without conspicuous mitotic defects, allowing us to score increased levels of CIN that fall below the threshold required for discernable morphological disruption. PMID:27104376

  10. Skill Assessment of An Hybrid Technique To Estimate Quantitative Precipitation Forecast For Galicia (nw Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lage, A.; Taboada, J. J.

    Precipitation is the most obvious of the weather elements in its effects on normal life. Numerical weather prediction (NWP) is generally used to produce quantitative precip- itation forecast (QPF) beyond the 1-3 h time frame. These models often fail to predict small-scale variations of rain because of spin-up problems and their coarse spatial and temporal resolution (Antolik, 2000). Moreover, there are some uncertainties about the behaviour of the NWP models in extreme situations (de Bruijn and Brandsma, 2000). Hybrid techniques, combining the benefits of NWP and statistical approaches in a flexible way, are very useful to achieve a good QPF. In this work, a new technique of QPF for Galicia (NW of Spain) is presented. This region has a percentage of rainy days per year greater than 50% with quantities that may cause floods, with human and economical damages. The technique is composed of a NWP model (ARPS) and a statistical downscaling process based on an automated classification scheme of at- mospheric circulation patterns for the Iberian Peninsula (J. Ribalaygua and R. Boren, 1995). Results show that QPF for Galicia is improved using this hybrid technique. [1] Antolik, M.S. 2000 "An Overview of the National Weather Service's centralized statistical quantitative precipitation forecasts". Journal of Hydrology, 239, pp:306- 337. [2] de Bruijn, E.I.F and T. Brandsma "Rainfall prediction for a flooding event in Ireland caused by the remnants of Hurricane Charley". Journal of Hydrology, 239, pp:148-161. [3] Ribalaygua, J. and Boren R. "Clasificación de patrones espaciales de precipitación diaria sobre la España Peninsular". Informes N 3 y 4 del Servicio de Análisis e Investigación del Clima. Instituto Nacional de Meteorología. Madrid. 53 pp.

  11. Quantitative Ultrasound Imaging Using Acoustic Backscatter Coefficients.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boote, Evan Jeffery

    Current clinical ultrasound scanners render images which have brightness levels related to the degree of backscattered energy from the tissue being imaged. These images offer the interpreter a qualitative impression of the scattering characteristics of the tissue being examined, but due to the complex factors which affect the amplitude and character of the echoed acoustic energy, it is difficult to make quantitative assessments of scattering nature of the tissue, and thus, difficult to make precise diagnosis when subtle disease effects are present. In this dissertation, a method of data reduction for determining acoustic backscatter coefficients is adapted for use in forming quantitative ultrasound images of this parameter. In these images, the brightness level of an individual pixel corresponds to the backscatter coefficient determined for the spatial position represented by that pixel. The data reduction method utilized rigorously accounts for extraneous factors which affect the scattered echo waveform and has been demonstrated to accurately determine backscatter coefficients under a wide range of conditions. The algorithms and procedures used to form backscatter coefficient images are described. These were tested using tissue-mimicking phantoms which have regions of varying scattering levels. Another phantom has a fat-mimicking layer for testing these techniques under more clinically relevant conditions. Backscatter coefficient images were also formed of in vitro human liver tissue. A clinical ultrasound scanner has been adapted for use as a backscatter coefficient imaging platform. The digital interface between the scanner and the computer used for data reduction are described. Initial tests, using phantoms are presented. A study of backscatter coefficient imaging of in vivo liver was performed using several normal, healthy human subjects.

  12. Questioning western assessment of trauma among Tibetan torture survivors. A quantitative assessment study with comments from Buddhist Lamas.

    PubMed

    Elsass, Peter; Carlsson, Jessica; Jespersen, Kristian; Phuntsok, Kalsang

    2009-01-01

    Our study falls in line with the numerous studies providing a critique of the use of western diagnostic instruments for assessing trauma in a cross-cultural context. Our purpose has been to give evidence for the Tibetan torture survivors' degree of traumatisation and for their use of spirituality to overcome their difficult situation. In addition we wanted to question the use of our western methods in an Asian context. 102 tortured refugees attended a formalised needs assessment including neuropsychological and psychological measures of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the Hopkins Symptom Checklist 25 (HSCL-25). Even though significant correlations between the amount of the measures of organized violence and neuropsychological and psychological distress were found in our data, the division of the material into different subgroups according to e.g. religious and non-religious groups did not have an influence on the level of distress. After the assessment study, eight Tibetan lamas were interviewed about their views on our methods and results. They questioned the validity of our western rating scales and explained that our results might be influenced by the Tibetan culture, which among other things can be characterized as having a view and articulation of suffering much more complex than the units of our study's rating scales. PMID:20065538

  13. QUANTITATIVE MORPHOLOGY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract: In toxicology, the role of quantitative assessment of brain morphology can be understood in the context of two types of treatment-related alterations. One type of alteration is specifically associated with treatment and is not observed in control animals. Measurement ...

  14. Qualitative and quantitative assessment of video transmitted by DVTS (digital video transport system) in surgical telemedicine.

    PubMed

    Shima, Yoichiro; Suwa, Akina; Gomi, Yuichiro; Nogawa, Hiroki; Nagata, Hiroshi; Tanaka, Hiroshi

    2007-01-01

    Real-time video pictures can be transmitted inexpensively via a broadband connection using the DVTS (digital video transport system). However, the degradation of video pictures transmitted by DVTS has not been sufficiently evaluated. We examined the application of DVTS to remote consultation by using images of laparoscopic and endoscopic surgeries. A subjective assessment by the double stimulus continuous quality scale (DSCQS) method of the transmitted video pictures was carried out by eight doctors. Three of the four video recordings were assessed as being transmitted with no degradation in quality. None of the doctors noticed any degradation in the images due to encryption by the VPN (virtual private network) system. We also used an automatic picture quality assessment system to make an objective assessment of the same images. The objective DSCQS values were similar to the subjective ones. We conclude that although the quality of video pictures transmitted by the DVTS was slightly reduced, they were useful for clinical purposes. Encryption with a VPN did not degrade image quality. PMID:17519057

  15. A Quantitative Study Exploring Grading and Assessment Practices in the Middle School Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wiles, Greg

    2013-01-01

    Educators are committed to providing students the best possible education by using the practices and tools they know (Zmuda, Kuklis, & Kline, 2004). Unfortunately, the status quo for grading and assessment practices is faulty, outdated, and ineffective. Current practices have unwittingly hindered student progress and motivation (O'Connor,…

  16. Review of Measurement Instruments and Procedures for Assessing Visual Behaviors: Implications for Quantitative Measurement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Janssen, Cynthia M.

    The assessment of vision as it relates to and interacts with motor development is reviewed. The focus is on eye readiness skills normally occuring in infants' first few months of life and preceding eye-hand coordination. These visual skills fall into three categories: fixation, tracking, and scanning. Six standardized scales are reviewed and…

  17. Neuropsychological assessment of a case of early right hemiplegia: qualitative and quantitative analysis.

    PubMed

    Brizzolara, D; Chilosi, A M; de Nobili, G L; Ferretti, G

    1984-12-01

    Evidence for normal development of linguistic but poor visuo-perceptual skills has been obtained with the neuropsychological assessment of a case of early left-brain injury. Data suggest the transfer of linguistic functions from the left to the right hemisphere at the expense of visuo-perceptual capacities for which the right hemisphere is potentially specialized. PMID:6522185

  18. Quantitative and Qualitative Research Approaches to Assess Student Well-Being

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hascher, Tina

    2008-01-01

    Although there is dissimiliarity in theoretical research approaches to subjective well-being and to assessments of well-being, there is agreement regarding the value of well-being, especially among student populations. In the highly structured, achievement-oriented, non-optimal context of a classroom, individual well-being is a necessary…

  19. Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment Tutorial: Land-applied Microbial Loadings within a 12-Digit HUC

    EPA Science Inventory

    This tutorial reviews screens, icons, and basic functions of the SDMProjectBuilder (SDMPB). It demonstrates how one chooses a 12-digit HUC for analysis, performs an assessment of land-applied microbes by simulating microbial fate and transport using HSPF, and analyzes and visuali...

  20. Predicting pathogen risks to aid beach management: the real value of quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA)

    EPA Science Inventory

    There has been an ongoing dilemma for agencies who set criteria for safe recreational waters in how to provide for a seasonal assessment of a beach site versus guidance for day-to-day management. Typically an overall 'safe' criterion level is derived from epidemiologic studies o...

  1. Quantitative Assessment of Medical Student Learning through Effective Cognitive Bayesian Representation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Zhidong; Lu, Jingyan

    2014-01-01

    The changes of learning environments and the advancement of learning theories have increasingly demanded for feedback that can describe learning progress trajectories. Effective assessment should be able to evaluate how learners acquire knowledge and develop problem solving skills. Additionally, it should identify what issues these learners have…

  2. A Quantitative Approach to Assessment of Work-Based Learning Outcomes: An Urban Planning Application

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Freestone, Robert; Williams, Peter; Thompson, Susan; Trembath, Kerry

    2007-01-01

    Assessing student perceptions and opinions of their university education is now standard in quality assurance processes for learning and teaching. In Australia, the Course Experience Questionnaire (CEQ) has been institutionalised as a national survey of graduand opinion and is used as the key indicator of tertiary teaching quality. A little-used…

  3. A Quantitative Assessment of the Cultural Knowledge, Attitudes, and Experiences of Junior and Senior Dietetics Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McArthur, Laura H.; Greathouse, Karen R.; Smith, Erskine R.; Holbert, Donald

    2011-01-01

    Objective: To assess the cultural competence of dietetics majors. Design: Self-administered questionnaire. Setting: Classrooms at 7 universities. Participants: Two hundred eighty-three students--98 juniors (34.6%) and 185 seniors (65.4%)--recruited during class time. Main Outcome Measures: Knowledge was measured using a multiple-choice test,…

  4. Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment Tutorial: Navigate the SDMPB and Identify an 8-digit HUC of Interest

    EPA Science Inventory

    This tutorial reviews some of the screens, icons, and basic functions of the SDMProjectBuilder (SDMPB) that allow a user to identify a watershed of interest that can be used to choose a pour point or 12-digit HUC (HUC-12) for a microbial assessment. It demonstrates how to identif...

  5. Quantitative physical models of volcanic phenomena for hazards assessment of critical infrastructures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Costa, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    Volcanic hazards may have destructive effects on economy, transport, and natural environments at both local and regional scale. Hazardous phenomena include pyroclastic density currents, tephra fall, gas emissions, lava flows, debris flows and avalanches, and lahars. Volcanic hazards assessment is based on available information to characterize potential volcanic sources in the region of interest and to determine whether specific volcanic phenomena might reach a given site. Volcanic hazards assessment is focussed on estimating the distances that volcanic phenomena could travel from potential sources and their intensity at the considered site. Epistemic and aleatory uncertainties strongly affect the resulting hazards assessment. Within the context of critical infrastructures, volcanic eruptions are rare natural events that can create severe hazards. In addition to being rare events, evidence of many past volcanic eruptions is poorly preserved in the geologic record. The models used for describing the impact of volcanic phenomena generally represent a range of model complexities, from simplified physics based conceptual models to highly coupled thermo fluid dynamical approaches. Modelling approaches represent a hierarchy of complexity, which reflects increasing requirements for well characterized data in order to produce a broader range of output information. In selecting models for the hazard analysis related to a specific phenomenon, questions that need to be answered by the models must be carefully considered. Independently of the model, the final hazards assessment strongly depends on input derived from detailed volcanological investigations, such as mapping and stratigraphic correlations. For each phenomenon, an overview of currently available approaches for the evaluation of future hazards will be presented with the aim to provide a foundation for future work in developing an international consensus on volcanic hazards assessment methods.

  6. Quantitative risk assessment of CO2 transport by pipelines--a review of uncertainties and their impacts.

    PubMed

    Koornneef, Joris; Spruijt, Mark; Molag, Menso; Ramírez, Andrea; Turkenburg, Wim; Faaij, André

    2010-05-15

    A systematic assessment, based on an extensive literature review, of the impact of gaps and uncertainties on the results of quantitative risk assessments (QRAs) for CO(2) pipelines is presented. Sources of uncertainties that have been assessed are: failure rates, pipeline pressure, temperature, section length, diameter, orifice size, type and direction of release, meteorological conditions, jet diameter, vapour mass fraction in the release and the dose-effect relationship for CO(2). A sensitivity analysis with these parameters is performed using release, dispersion and impact models. The results show that the knowledge gaps and uncertainties have a large effect on the accuracy of the assessed risks of CO(2) pipelines. In this study it is found that the individual risk contour can vary between 0 and 204 m from the pipeline depending on assumptions made. In existing studies this range is found to be between <1m and 7.2 km. Mitigating the relevant risks is part of current practice, making them controllable. It is concluded that QRA for CO(2) pipelines can be improved by validation of release and dispersion models for high-pressure CO(2) releases, definition and adoption of a universal dose-effect relationship and development of a good practice guide for QRAs for CO(2) pipelines. PMID:20022693

  7. Hemostatic assessment, treatment strategies, and hematology consultation in massive postpartum hemorrhage: results of a quantitative survey of obstetrician-gynecologists

    PubMed Central

    James, Andra H; Cooper, David L; Paidas, Michael J

    2015-01-01

    Objective To assess potential diagnostic and practice barriers to successful management of massive postpartum hemorrhage (PPH), emphasizing recognition and management of contributing coagulation disorders. Study design A quantitative survey was conducted to assess practice patterns of US obstetrician-gynecologists in managing massive PPH, including assessment of coagulation. Results Nearly all (98%) of the 50 obstetrician-gynecologists participating in the survey reported having encountered at least one patient with “massive” PPH in the past 5 years. Approximately half (52%) reported having previously discovered an underlying bleeding disorder in a patient with PPH, with disseminated intravascular coagulation (88%, n=23/26) being identified more often than von Willebrand disease (73%, n=19/26). All reported having used methylergonovine and packed red blood cells in managing massive PPH, while 90% reported performing a hysterectomy. A drop in blood pressure and ongoing visible bleeding were the most commonly accepted indications for rechecking a “stat” complete blood count and coagulation studies, respectively, in patients with PPH; however, 4% of respondents reported that they would not routinely order coagulation studies. Forty-two percent reported having never consulted a hematologist for massive PPH. Conclusion The survey findings highlight potential areas for improved practice in managing massive PPH, including earlier and more consistent assessment, monitoring of coagulation studies, and consultation with a hematologist. PMID:26604829

  8. Diffuse peritoneal deciduosis mimicking metastatic lesions

    PubMed Central

    Baroni Cruz, Dennis; Dhamer, Thricy; da Rocha, Vívian Wünderlich; Dupont, Roberta Finkler

    2014-01-01

    A 32-year-old woman with an uneventful antenatal period underwent a caesarean section for breech presentation. At laparotomy, there were multiple yellowish elastic nodules distributed along the parietal peritoneal surface, totalling over 30 lesions and worrying the surgical team. The conclusive diagnosis of peritoneal deciduosis was supported by pathological analysis (histology and immunohistochemistry). The present case reports an uncommon presentation of diffuse peritoneal deciduosis mimicking metastatic lesions. PMID:24526201

  9. Intracranial capillary hemangioma mimicking a dissociative disorder

    PubMed Central

    John, Santosh G.; Pillai, Unnikrishnan; Lacasse, Alexander

    2012-01-01

    Capillary hemangiomas, hamartomatous proliferation of vascular endothelial cells, are rare in the central nervous system (CNS). Intracranial capillary hemangiomas presenting with reversible behavioral abnormalities and focal neurological deficits have rarely been reported. We report a case of CNS capillary hemangioma presenting with transient focal neurological deficits and behavioral abnormalities mimicking Ganser's syndrome. Patient underwent total excision of the vascular malformation, resulting in complete resolution of his symptoms. PMID:24765434

  10. Foreign Body Mimicking a Dental Implant Radiographically.

    PubMed

    Demirkol, Mehmet

    2015-11-01

    Foreign bodies are often encountered in the maxillofacial region and can present in several ways. They frequently occur as a result of accidents, explosions, and gunshot injuries or because of iatrogenic factors in therapeutic interventions in daily dental practice. This report describes an unusual case of a broken elevator blade mimicking a dental implant embedded in alveolar bone radiographically, within the maxillary palatal mucosa during a traumatic maxillary right first molar extraction. PMID:26594991

  11. Quantitative airway assessment on computed tomography in patients with alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency.

    PubMed

    Yamashiro, Tsuneo; Matsuoka, Shin; Estépar, Raúl San José; Diaz, Alejandro; Newell, John D; Sandhaus, Robert A; Mergo, Patricia J; Brantly, Mark L; Murayama, Sadayuki; Reilly, John J; Hatabu, Hiroto; Silverman, Edwin K; Washko, George R

    2009-12-01

    The relationship between quantitative airway measurements on computed tomography (CT) and airflow limitation in individuals with severe alpha (1)-antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is undefined. Thus, we planned to clarify the relationship between CT-based airway indices and airflow limitation in AATD. 52 patients with AATD underwent chest CT and pre-bronchodilator spirometry at three institutions. In the right upper (RUL) and lower (RLL) lobes, wall area percent (WA%) and luminal area (Ai) were measured in the third, fourth, and fifth generations of the bronchi. The severity of emphysema was also calculated in each lobe and expressed as low attenuation area percent (LAA%). Correlations between obtained measurements and FEV(1)% predicted (FEV(1)%P) were evaluated by the Spearman rank correlation test. In RUL, WA% of all generations was significantly correlated with FEV(1)%P (3rd, R = -0.33, p = 0.02; 4th, R = -0.39, p = 0.004; 5th, R = -0.57, p < 0.001; respectively). Ai also showed significant correlations (3rd, R = 0.32, p = 0.02; 4th, R = 0.34, p = 0.01; 5th, R = 0.56, p < 0.001; respectively). Measured correlation coefficients improved when the airway progressed distally from the third to fifth generations. LAA% also correlated with FEV(1)%P (R = -0.51, p < 0.001). In RLL, WA% showed weak correlations with FEV(1)%P in all generations (3rd, R = -0.34, p = 0.01; 4th, R = -0.30, p = 0.03; 5th, R = -0.31, p = 0.03; respectively). Only Ai from the fifth generation significantly correlated with FEV(1)%P in this lobe (R = 0.34, p = 0.01). LAA% strongly correlated with FEV(1)%P (R = -0.71, p < 0.001). We conclude therefore that quantitative airway measurements are significantly correlated with airflow limitation in AATD, particularly in the distal airways of RUL. Emphysema of the lower lung is the predominant component; however, airway disease also has a significant impact on airflow limitation in AATD. PMID:19938971

  12. A framework for the quantitative assessment of climate change impacts on water-related activities at the basin scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anghileri, D.; Pianosi, F.; Soncini-Sessa, R.

    2011-01-01

    While quantitative assessment of the climate change impact on hydrology at the basin scale is quite addressed in the literature, extension of quantitative analysis to impact on the ecological, economic and social sphere is still limited, although well recognized as a key issue to support water resource planning and promote public participation. In this paper we propose a framework for assessing climate change impact on water-related activities at the basin scale. The peculiarities of our approach are that: (i) the impact quantification is based on a set of performance indicators defined together with the stakeholders, thus explicitly taking into account the water-users preferences; (ii) the management policies are obtained by optimal control techniques, linking stakeholder expectations and decision-making; (iii) the multi-objective nature of the management problem is fully preserved by simulating a set of Pareto-optimal management policies, which allows for evaluating not only variations in the indicator values but also tradeoffs among conflicting objectives. The framework is demonstrated by application to a real world case study, Lake Como basin (Italy). We show that the most conflicting water-related activities within the basin (i.e. hydropower production and agriculture) are likely to be negatively impacted by climate change. An uncertainty analysis is performed in order to assess how the climate natural variability and approximations in modeling the physical system (climate and hydrology) and the socio-economic system (management policy) affect the robustness of the estimated impacts. We demonstrate that the contribution of natural climate uncertainty is rather significant and that, among different modelling uncertainty sources, the one from climate modeling is very significant.

  13. Approaches to advancing quantitative human health risk assessment of environmental chemicals in the post-genomic era

    SciTech Connect

    Chiu, Weihsueh A.; Euling, Susan Y.; Scott, Cheryl Siegel; Subramaniam, Ravi P.

    2013-09-15

    The contribution of genomics and associated technologies to human health risk assessment for environmental chemicals has focused largely on elucidating mechanisms of toxicity, as discussed in other articles in this issue. However, there is interest in moving beyond hazard characterization to making more direct impacts on quantitative risk assessment (QRA) — i.e., the determination of toxicity values for setting exposure standards and cleanup values. We propose that the evolution of QRA of environmental chemicals in the post-genomic era will involve three, somewhat overlapping phases in which different types of approaches begin to mature. The initial focus (in Phase I) has been and continues to be on “augmentation” of weight of evidence — using genomic and related technologies qualitatively to increase the confidence in and scientific basis of the results of QRA. Efforts aimed towards “integration” of these data with traditional animal-based approaches, in particular quantitative predictors, or surrogates, for the in vivo toxicity data to which they have been anchored are just beginning to be explored now (in Phase II). In parallel, there is a recognized need for “expansion” of the use of established biomarkers of susceptibility or risk of human diseases and disorders for QRA, particularly for addressing the issues of cumulative assessment and population risk. Ultimately (in Phase III), substantial further advances could be realized by the development of novel molecular and pathway-based biomarkers and statistical and in silico models that build on anticipated progress in understanding the pathways of human diseases and disorders. Such efforts would facilitate a gradual “reorientation” of QRA towards approaches that more directly link environmental exposures to human outcomes.

  14. Evaluation of Quantitative Exposure Assessment Method for Nanomaterials in Mixed Dust Environments: Application in Tire Manufacturing Facilities.

    PubMed

    Kreider, Marisa L; Cyrs, William D; Tosiano, Melissa A; Panko, Julie M

    2015-11-01

    Current recommendations for nanomaterial-specific exposure assessment require adaptation in order to be applied to complicated manufacturing settings, where a variety of particle types may contribute to the potential exposure. The purpose of this work was to evaluate a method that would allow for exposure assessment of nanostructured materials by chemical composition and size in a mixed dust setting, using carbon black (CB) and amorphous silica (AS) from tire manufacturing as an example. This method combined air sampling with a low pressure cascade impactor with analysis of elemental composition by size to quantitatively assess potential exposures in the workplace. This method was first pilot-tested in one tire manufacturing facility; air samples were collected with a Dekati Low Pressure Impactor (DLPI) during mixing where either CB or AS were used as the primary filler. Air samples were analyzed via scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) coupled with energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) to identify what fraction of particles were CB, AS, or 'other'. From this pilot study, it was determined that ~95% of all nanoscale particles were identified as CB or AS. Subsequent samples were collected with the Dekati Electrical Low Pressure Impactor (ELPI) at two tire manufacturing facilities and analyzed using the same methodology to quantify exposure to these materials. This analysis confirmed that CB and AS were the predominant nanoscale particle types in the mixing area at both facilities. Air concentrations of CB and AS ranged from ~8900 to 77600 and 400 to 22200 particles cm(-3), respectively. This method offers the potential to provide quantitative estimates of worker exposure to nanoparticles of specific materials in a mixed dust environment. With pending development of occupational exposure limits for nanomaterials, this methodology will allow occupational health and safety practitioners to estimate worker exposures to specific materials, even in scenarios

  15. Quantitative assessment of interradicular bone density in the maxilla and mandible: implications in clinical orthodontics

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Bone density at the interradicular area plays an important role during orthodontic treatment. In view of this fact, the study was designed to quantitatively evaluate the bone density at the interradicular areas of the alveolar and basal bones of maxilla and mandible by computed tomography. Methods One hundred and nine computed tomographic images were randomly selected, and bone density was measured in Hounsfield units (HU) with bone mineral density software (Siemens VA20A_SP3A). The sample consisted of 78 males (mean age 29.5 years, range 20 to 40 years) and 31 females (mean age 27.6 years, range 20 to 40 years). Cortical and cancellous bone density was measured at the interradicular areas at the alveolar and basal bone levels of the maxilla and mandible, and the data was subjected to statistical analysis for comparisons. Results The highest cortical bone density was observed between the second premolar and first molar at the alveolar bone level and between the first and second molars at the basal bone level in the maxilla. Maxillary tuberosity showed the least bone density. The density of the cortical bone was greater in the mandible than in the maxilla and showed a progressive increase from the incisor to the retromolar area. The basal bone showed a higher density thanthe alveolar bone. Conclusion Different qualities of the bone were found in the anatomic regions studied, which confirms the importance of knowledge of site-specific bone tissue density to correlate with various clinical findings. PMID:24325883

  16. Assessment of quantitative cortical biomarkers in the developing brain of preterm infants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moeskops, Pim; Benders, Manon J. N. L.; Pearlman, Paul C.; Kersbergen, Karina J.; Leemans, Alexander; Viergever, Max A.; Išgum, Ivana

    2013-02-01

    The cerebral cortex rapidly develops its folding during the second and third trimester of pregnancy. In preterm birth, this growth might be disrupted and influence neurodevelopment. The aim of this work is to extract quantitative biomarkers describing the cortex and evaluate them on a set of preterm infants without brain pathology. For this study, a set of 19 preterm - but otherwise healthy - infants scanned coronally with 3T MRI at the postmenstrual age of 30 weeks were selected. In ten patients (test set), the gray and white matter were manually annotated by an expert on the T2-weighted scans. Manual segmentations were used to extract cortical volume, surface area, thickness, and curvature using voxel-based methods. To compute these biomarkers per region in every patient, a template brain image has been generated by iterative registration and averaging of the scans of the remaining nine patients. This template has been manually divided in eight regions, and is transformed to every test image using elastic registration. In the results, gray and white matter volumes and cortical surface area appear symmetric between hemispheres, but small regional differences are visible. Cortical thickness seems slightly higher in the right parietal lobe than in other regions. The parietal lobes exhibit a higher global curvature, indicating more complex folding compared to other regions. The proposed approach can potentially - together with an automatic segmentation algorithm - be applied as a tool to assist in early diagnosis of abnormalities and prediction of the development of the cognitive abilities of these children.

  17. Quantitative assessment of ventilation-perfusion mismatch by radioxenon imaging of the lung.

    PubMed

    Ishii, Y; Itoh, H; Suzuki, T; Yonekura, Y; Mukai, T; Torizuka, K

    1978-06-01

    By the use of xenon-133 and a scintillation camera with digital data storage and processing system, a topographic relationship between ventilation distribution (V) and perfusion distribution (Q) was examined quantitatively in two groups of normal nonsmokers and one of older smokers, all healthy. In addition, subjects with a variety of cardiopulmonary disease were tested. The fractional regional ventilation (VR) and regional perfusion (QR) were plotted against the V/Q ratio on a logarithmic abscissa for the normal subjects; both were distributed log-normally with a narrow standard deviation, and were dissociated slightly from each other. However, with smoking and with increasing age, the s.d. and the dissociation became wider, suggesting an impairment of gas exchange as estimated by alveolar-atrial gas-pressure differences (A-aD), which were calculated by putting these topographic relationships into a gas-exchange program in a computer. In various cardiopulmonary diseases a good correlation was found between the estimated A-aDO2 thus obtained and the actual A-aDO2 derived from analysis of the blood gases. PMID:660273

  18. Variability Assessment of Aromatic and Fine Rice Germplasm in Bangladesh Based on Quantitative Traits

    PubMed Central

    Islam, M. Z.; Khalequzzaman, M.; Bashar, M. K.; Ivy, N. A.; Haque, M. M.; Mian, M. A. K.

    2016-01-01

    The study was conducted to investigate genetic variability among 113 aromatic and fine local rice genotypes of which five were exotic in origin. The test genotypes were evaluated for 19 growth traits, yield components, and yield. All the quantitative traits varied significantly among the test genotypes. High heritability along with high genetic advance was observed for flag leaf area, secondary branches per panicle, filled grains per panicle, grain length, grain breadth, grain length breadth ratio, and 1000 grain weight. Such findings suggested preponderance of additive gene action in gene expression for these characters. Grain yield was significantly and positively correlated with days to flowering, days to maturity, panicle length, filled grains per panicle, and 1000 grain weight. According to D2 cluster analysis, 113 test genotypes formed 10 clusters. Selection of parents from the clusters V and X followed by hybridization would possibly result in desirable heterosis for the development of heterotic rice hybrids. Finally, molecular characterizations of the studied germplasm are required for high resolution QTL mapping and validating the presence of candidate genes responsible for valuable characters. PMID:27127800

  19. Normalized mean shapes and reference index values for computerized quantitative assessment indices of chest wall deformities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Ho Chul; Park, Man Sik; Lee, Seong Keon; Nam, Ki Chang; Park, Hyung Joo; Kim, Min Gi; Song, Jae-Jun; Choi, Hyuk

    2015-11-01

    We previously proposed a computerized index (eccentricity index [EI]) for chest-wall deformity measurements, such as pectus excavatum. We sought to define mean shapes based on normal chest walls and to propose for computerized index reference values of that are used in the quantitative analysis of the severity of chest-wall deformities. A total of 584 patients were classified into 18 groups, and a database of their chest-wall computed tomography (CT) scan images was constructed. The boundaries of the chest wall were extracted by using a segmentation algorithm, and the mean shapes were subsequently developed. The reference index values were calculated from the developed mean shapes. Reference index values for the EI were compared with a conventional index, the Haller index (HI). A close association has been shown between the two indices in multiple subjects (r = 0.974, P < 0.001). The newly developed mean shapes and reference index values supply both reliability and objectivity to the diagnosis, analysis, and treatment of chest-wall deformities. They promise to be highly useful in clinical settings.

  20. Quantitative assessment of image motion blur in diffraction images of moving biological cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, He; Jin, Changrong; Feng, Yuanming; Qi, Dandan; Sa, Yu; Hu, Xin-Hua

    2016-02-01

    Motion blur (MB) presents a significant challenge for obtaining high-contrast image data from biological cells with a polarization diffraction imaging flow cytometry (p-DIFC) method. A new p-DIFC experimental system has been developed to evaluate the MB and its effect on image analysis using a time-delay-integration (TDI) CCD camera. Diffraction images of MCF-7 and K562 cells have been acquired with different speed-mismatch ratios and compared to characterize MB quantitatively. Frequency analysis of the diffraction images shows that the degree of MB can be quantified by bandwidth variations of the diffraction images along the motion direction. The analytical results were confirmed by the p-DIFC image data acquired at different speed-mismatch ratios and used to validate a method of numerical simulation of MB on blur-free diffraction images, which provides a useful tool to examine the blurring effect on diffraction images acquired from the same cell. These results provide insights on the dependence of diffraction image on MB and allow significant improvement on rapid biological cell assay with the p-DIFC method.

  1. Quantitative assessment of sample stiffness and sliding friction from force curves in atomic force microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Pratt, Jon R.; Shaw, Gordon A.; Kumanchik, Lee; Burnham, Nancy A.

    2010-02-15

    It has long been recognized that the angular deflection of an atomic force microscope (AFM) cantilever under ''normal'' loading conditions can be profoundly influenced by the friction between the tip and the surface. It is shown here that a remarkably quantifiable hysteresis occurs in the slope of loading curves whenever the normal flexural stiffness of the AFM cantilever is greater than that of the sample. This situation arises naturally in cantilever-on-cantilever calibration, but also when trying to measure the stiffness of nanomechanical devices or test structures, or when probing any type of surface or structure that is much more compliant along the surface normal than in transverse directions. Expressions and techniques for evaluating the coefficient of sliding friction between the cantilever tip and sample from normal force curves, as well as relations for determining the stiffness of a mechanically compliant specimen are presented. The model is experimentally supported by the results of cantilever-on-cantilever spring constant calibrations. The cantilever spring constants determined here agree with the values determined using the NIST electrostatic force balance within the limits of the largest uncertainty component, which had a relative value of less than 2.5%. This points the way for quantitative testing of micromechanical and nanomechanical components, more accurate calibration of AFM force, and provides nanotribologists access to information about contact friction from normal force curves.

  2. A quantitative assessment of the relationship between precipitation deficits and air temperature variations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, B.; Wang, H. L.; Wang, Q. F.; Di, Z. H.

    2015-06-01

    Previous studies have reported precipitation deficits related to temperature extremes. However, how and to what extent precipitation deficits affect surface air temperatures is still poorly understood. In this study, the relationship between precipitation deficits and surface temperatures was examined in China from 1960 to 2012 based on monthly temperature and precipitation records from 565 stations. Significant negative correlations were identified in each season, with the strongest relationships in the summer, indicating that higher temperatures usually accompanied water-deficient conditions and lower temperatures usually accompanied wet conditions. The examination of the correlations based on 30 year moving windows suggested that the interaction between the two variables has declined over the past three decades. Further investigation indicated a higher impact of extreme dry conditions on temperature than that of extreme wet conditions. In addition, a new simple index (Dry Temperature Index, DTI) was developed and used to quantitatively describe the relationship between water deficits and air temperature variations. We tested and compared the DTI in the coldest month (January) and the hottest month (July) of the year, station by station. In both months, the number of stations with a DThighI ≥ 50% was greater than those with a DThighI < 50%, indicating that a greater proportion of higher temperatures occurred during dry conditions. Based on the results, we conclude that water deficits in China are usually correlated to high temperatures but not to low temperatures.

  3. Quantitative assessment of the multivalent protein-carbohydrate interactions on silicon.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jie; Chazalviel, Jean-Noël; Siriwardena, Aloysius; Boukherroub, Rabah; Ozanam, François; Szunerits, Sabine; Gouget-Laemmel, Anne Chantal

    2014-10-21

    A key challenge in the development of glycan arrays is that the sensing interface be fabricated reliably so as to ensure the sensitive and accurate analysis of the protein-carbohydrate interaction of interest, reproducibly. These goals are complicated in the case of glycan arrays as surface sugar density can influence dramatically the strength and mode of interaction of the sugar ligand at any interface with lectin partners. In this Article, we describe the preparation of carboxydecyl-terminated crystalline silicon (111) surfaces onto which are grafted either mannosyl moieties or a mixture of mannose and spacer alcohol molecules to provide "diluted" surfaces. The fabrication of the silicon surfaces was achieved efficiently through a strategy implicating a "click" coupling step. The interactions of these newly fabricated glycan interfaces with the lectin, Lens culinaris, have been characterized using quantitative infrared (IR) spectroscopy in the attenuated total geometry (ATR). The density of mannose probes and lectin targets was precisely determined for the first time by the aid of special IR calibration experiments, thus allowing for the interpretation of the distribution of mannose and its multivalent binding with lectins. These experimental findings were accounted for by numerical simulations of lectin adsorption. PMID:25216376

  4. Integrated multiplatform method for in vitro quantitative assessment of cellular uptake for fluorescent polymer nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferrari, Raffaele; Lupi, Monica; Falcetta, Francesca; Bigini, Paolo; Paolella, Katia; Fiordaliso, Fabio; Bisighini, Cinzia; Salmona, Mario; D'Incalci, Maurizio; Morbidelli, Massimo; Moscatelli, Davide; Ubezio, Paolo

    2014-01-01

    Studies of cellular internalization of nanoparticles (NPs) play a paramount role for the design of efficient drug delivery systems, but so far they lack a robust experimental technique able to quantify the NP uptake in terms of number of NPs internalized in each cell. In this work we propose a novel method which provides a quantitative evaluation of fluorescent NP uptake by combining flow cytometry and plate fluorimetry with measurements of number of cells. Single cell fluorescence signals measured by flow cytometry were associated with the number of internalized NPs, exploiting the observed linearity between average flow cytometric fluorescence and overall plate fluorimeter measures, and previous calibration of the microplate reader with serial dilutions of NPs. This precise calibration has been made possible by using biocompatible fluorescent NPs in the range of 20-300 nm with a narrow particle size distribution, functionalized with a covalently bonded dye, Rhodamine B, and synthesized via emulsion free-radical polymerization. We report the absolute number of NPs internalized in mouse mammary tumor cells (4T1) as a function of time for different NP dimensions and surface charges and at several exposure concentrations. The obtained results indicate that 4T1 cells incorporated 103-104 polymer NPs in a short time, reaching an intracellular concentration 15 times higher than the external one.

  5. Variability Assessment of Aromatic and Fine Rice Germplasm in Bangladesh Based on Quantitative Traits.

    PubMed

    Islam, M Z; Khalequzzaman, M; Bashar, M K; Ivy, N A; Haque, M M; Mian, M A K

    2016-01-01

    The study was conducted to investigate genetic variability among 113 aromatic and fine local rice genotypes of which five were exotic in origin. The test genotypes were evaluated for 19 growth traits, yield components, and yield. All the quantitative traits varied significantly among the test genotypes. High heritability along with high genetic advance was observed for flag leaf area, secondary branches per panicle, filled grains per panicle, grain length, grain breadth, grain length breadth ratio, and 1000 grain weight. Such findings suggested preponderance of additive gene action in gene expression for these characters. Grain yield was significantly and positively correlated with days to flowering, days to maturity, panicle length, filled grains per panicle, and 1000 grain weight. According to D (2) cluster analysis, 113 test genotypes formed 10 clusters. Selection of parents from the clusters V and X followed by hybridization would possibly result in desirable heterosis for the development of heterotic rice hybrids. Finally, molecular characterizations of the studied germplasm are required for high resolution QTL mapping and validating the presence of candidate genes responsible for valuable characters. PMID:27127800

  6. 3D reconstruction and quantitative assessment method of mitral eccentric regurgitation from color Doppler echocardiography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Qi; Ge, Yi Nan; Wang, Tian Fu; Zheng, Chang Qiong; Zheng, Yi

    2005-10-01

    Based on the two-dimensional color Doppler image in this article, multilane transesophageal rotational scanning method is used to acquire original Doppler echocardiography while echocardiogram is recorded synchronously. After filtering and interpolation, the surface rendering and volume rendering methods are performed. Through analyzing the color-bar information and the color Doppler flow image's superposition principle, the grayscale mitral anatomical structure and color-coded regurgitation velocity parameter were separated from color Doppler flow images, three-dimensional reconstruction of mitral structure and regurgitation velocity distribution was implemented separately, fusion visualization of the reconstructed regurgitation velocity distribution parameter with its corresponding 3D mitral anatomical structures was realized, which can be used in observing the position, phase, direction and measuring the jet length, area, volume, space distribution and severity level of the mitral regurgitation. In addition, in patients with eccentric mitral regurgitation, this new modality overcomes the inherent limitations of two-dimensional color Doppler flow image by depicting the full extent of the jet trajectory, the area of eccentric regurgitation on three-dimensional image was much larger than that on two-dimensional image, the area variation tendency and volume variation tendency of regurgitation have been shown in figure at different angle and different systolic phase. The study shows that three-dimensional color Doppler provides quantitative measurements of eccentric mitral regurgitation that are more accurate and reproducible than conventional color Doppler.

  7. Laboratory design and test procedures for quantitative evaluation of infrared sensors to assess thermal anomalies

    SciTech Connect

    Chang, Y.M.; Grot, R.A.; Wood, J.T.

    1985-06-01

    This report presents the description of the laboratory apparatus and preliminary results of the quantitative evaluation of three high-resolution and two low-resolution infrared imaging systems. These systems which are commonly used for building diagnostics are tested under various background temperatures (from -20/sup 0/C to 25/sup 0/C) for their minimum resolvable temperature differences (MRTD) at spatial frequencies from 0.03 to 0.25 cycles per milliradian. The calibration curves of absolute and differential temperature measurements are obtained for three systems. The signal transfer function and line spread function at ambient temperature of another three systems are also measured. Comparisons of the dependence of the MRTD on background temperatures from the measured data with the predicted values given in ASHRAE Standards 101-83 are also included. The dependence of background temperatures for absolute temperature measurements are presented, as well as comparison of measured data and data given by the manufacturer. Horizontal on-axis magnification factors of the geometric transfer function of two systems are also established to calibrate the horizontal axis for the measured line spread function to obtain the modulation transfer function. The variation of the uniformity for horizontal display of these two sensors are also observed. Included are detailed descriptions of laboratory design, equipment setup, and evaluation procedures of each test. 10 refs., 38 figs., 12 tabs.

  8. On the generation of a bubbly universe - A quantitative assessment of the CfA slice

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ostriker, J. P.; Strassler, M. J.

    1989-01-01

    A first attempt is made to calculate the properties of the matter distribution in a universe filled with overlapping bubbles produced by multiple explosions. Each spherical shell follows the cosmological Sedov-Taylor solution until it encounters another shell. Thereafter, mergers are allowed to occur in pairs on the basis of N-body results. At the final epoch, the matrix of overlapping shells is populated with 'galaxies' and the properties of slices through the numerically constructed cube compare well with CfA survey results for specified initial conditions. A statistic is found which measures the distance distribution from uniformly distributed points to the nearest galaxies on the projected plane which appears to provide a good measure of the bubbly character of the galaxy distribution. In a quantitative analysis of the CfA 'slice of the universe', a very good match is found between simulation and the real data for final average bubble radii of (13.5 + or - 1.5)/h Mpc with formal filling factor 1.0-1.5 or actual filling factor of 65-80 percent.

  9. Assessing the ceRNA hypothesis with quantitative measurements of miRNA and target abundance

    PubMed Central

    Denzler, Rémy; Agarwal, Vikram; Stefano, Joanna; Bartel, David P; Stoffel, Markus

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Recent studies have reported that competitive endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs) can act as sponges for a microRNA (miRNA) through their binding sites and that changes in ceRNA abundances from individual genes can modulate the miRNA’s activity. Consideration of this hypothesis would benefit from knowing the quantitative relationship between a miRNA and its endogenous target sites. Here, we altered intracellular target-site abundance through expression of a miR-122 target in hepatocytes and livers, and analyzed the effects on miR-122 target genes. Target repression was released in a threshold-like manner at high target-site abundance (≥1.5×105 added target sites per cell), and this threshold was insensitive to the effective levels of the miRNA. Furthermore, in response to extreme metabolic liver disease models, global target-site abundance of hepatocytes did not change sufficiently to affect miRNA-mediated repression. Thus, modulation of miRNA target abundance is unlikely to cause significant effects on gene expression and metabolism through a ceRNA effect. PMID:24793693

  10. Assessing the ceRNA hypothesis with quantitative measurements of miRNA and target abundance.

    PubMed

    Denzler, Rémy; Agarwal, Vikram; Stefano, Joanna; Bartel, David P; Stoffel, Markus

    2014-06-01

    Recent studies have reported that competitive endogenous RNAs (ceRNAs) can act as sponges for a microRNA (miRNA) through their binding sites and that changes in ceRNA abundances from individual genes can modulate the activity of miRNAs. Consideration of this hypothesis would benefit from knowing the quantitative relationship between a miRNA and its endogenous target sites. Here, we altered intracellular target site abundance through expression of an miR-122 target in hepatocytes and livers and analyzed the effects on miR-122 target genes. Target repression was released in a threshold-like manner at high target site abundance (≥1.5 × 10(5) added target sites per cell), and this threshold was insensitive to the effective levels of the miRNA. Furthermore, in response to extreme metabolic liver disease models, global target site abundance of hepatocytes did not change sufficiently to affect miRNA-mediated repression. Thus, modulation of miRNA target abundance is unlikely to cause significant effects on gene expression and metabolism through a ceRNA effect. PMID:24793693

  11. Quantitative assessment of medical waste generation in the capital city of Bangladesh

    SciTech Connect

    Patwary, Masum A. O'Hare, William Thomas Street, Graham Maudood Elahi, K. Hossain, Syed Shahadat Sarker, Mosharraf H.

    2009-08-15

    There is a concern that mismanagement of medical waste in developing countries may be a significant risk factor for disease transmission. Quantitative estimation of medical waste generation is needed to estimate the potential risk and as a basis for any waste management plan. Dhaka City, the capital of Bangladesh, is an example of a major city in a developing country where there has been no rigorous estimation of medical waste generation based upon a thorough scientific study. These estimates were obtained by stringent weighing of waste in a carefully chosen, representative, sample of HCEs, including non-residential diagnostic centres. This study used a statistically designed sampling of waste generation in a broad range of Health Care Establishments (HCEs) to indicate that the amount of waste produced in Dhaka can be estimated to be 37 {+-} 5 ton per day. The proportion of this waste that would be classified as hazardous waste by World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines was found to be approximately 21%. The amount of waste, and the proportion of hazardous waste, was found to vary significantly with the size and type of HCE.

  12. Quantitative assessment of MS plaques and brain atrophy in multiple sclerosis using semiautomatic segmentation method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinonen, Tomi; Dastidar, Prasun; Ryymin, Pertti; Lahtinen, Antti J.; Eskola, Hannu; Malmivuo, Jaakko

    1997-05-01

    Quantitative magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the brain is useful in multiple sclerosis (MS) in order to obtain reliable indices of disease progression. The goal of this project was to estimate the total volume of gliotic and non gliotic plaques in chronic progressive multiple sclerosis with the help of a semiautomatic segmentation method developed at the Ragnar Granit Institute. Youth developed program running on a PC based computer provides de displays of the segmented data, in addition to the volumetric analyses. The volumetric accuracy of the program was demonstrated by segmenting MR images of fluid filed syringes. An anatomical atlas is to be incorporated in the segmentation system to estimate the distribution of MS plaques in various neural pathways of the brain. A total package including MS plaque volume estimation, estimation of brain atrophy and ventricular enlargement, distribution of MS plaques in different neural segments of the brain has ben planned for the near future. Our study confirmed that total lesion volumes in chronic MS disease show a poor correlation to EDSS scores but show a positive correlation to neuropsychological scores. Therefore accurate total volume measurements of MS plaques using the developed semiautomatic segmentation technique helped us to evaluate the degree of neuropsychological impairment.

  13. Using Modified Contour Deformable Model to Quantitatively Estimate Ultrasound Parameters for Osteoporosis Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yung-Fu; Du, Yi-Chun; Tsai, Yi-Ting; Chen, Tainsong

    Osteoporosis is a systemic skeletal disease, which is characterized by low bone mass and micro-architectural deterioration of bone tissue, leading to bone fragility. Finding an effective method for prevention and early diagnosis of the disease is very important. Several par