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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 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

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  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. 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

  14. 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

  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. 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

  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 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.

  5. 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.

  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 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  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. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  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. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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. ...

  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. 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...

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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

  16. 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

  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 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

  19. 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

  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. 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…

  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. 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 ...

  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. 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).

  7. 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

  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. 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

  14. 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

  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. 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...

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

  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. 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…

  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

    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 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

  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

    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 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

  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. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  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. 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

  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

    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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  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. 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

  5. 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

  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. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  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. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  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. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  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. 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

  16. 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

  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 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

  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. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  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. 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