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  1. The use of predictive lithostratigraphy to significantly improve the ability to forecast reservoir and source rocks? Final CRADA report.

    SciTech Connect

    Doctor, R. D.; Moore, T. L.; Energy Systems

    2010-06-29

    The purpose of this CRADA, which ended in 2003, was to make reservoir and source rock distribution significantly more predictable by quantifying the fundamental controls on stratigraphic heterogeneity. To do this, the relationships among insolation, climate, sediment supply, glacioeustasy, and reservoir and source rock occurrence were investigated in detail. Work current at the inception of the CRADA had uncovered previously unrecognized associations among these processes and properties that produce a phenomenon that, when properly analyzed, will make lithostratigraphic variability (including texture, porosity, and permeability) substantially more understandable. Computer climate simulations of selected time periods, compared with the global distribution of paleoclimatic indicators, documented spatial and temporal climate changes as a function of insolation and provided quantitative changes in runoff, lake level, and glacioeustasy. The effect of elevation and climate on sediment yield was assessed numerically by analyzing digital terrain and climate data. The phase relationships of climate, yield, and glacioeustatic cycles from the Gulf of Mexico and/or other sedimentary basins were assessed by using lacunarity, a statistical technique.

  2. Spatial Ability Improvement and Curriculum Content

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Connolly, Patrick E.

    2009-01-01

    There has been a significant history of research on spatial ability and visualization improvement and related curriculum content presented by members of the Engineering Design Graphics Division over the past decade. Recently, interest in this topic has again been heightened thanks to the work of several division members on research such as the…

  3. Improvement of Speaking Ability through Interrelated Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liao, Guoqiang

    2009-01-01

    How to improve students' ability of speaking English? That is the key point we are concerned about. This paper discusses the possibility and necessity of improving students' ability by combining the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing.

  4. Does music instruction improve fine motor abilities?

    PubMed

    Costa-Giomi, Eugenia

    2005-12-01

    The fine motor abilities of children who participated in two years of piano instruction and those who had never received formal music training were compared before and after the instruction. A significant improvement in fine motor skills was found only for the children who received the lessons, and a significant difference in the speed of response was found between the two groups at the end of the two years of instruction. The innumerable opportunities to assess, refine, and time their motor responses to specific stimuli during musical practice and the availability of constant evaluative feedback (i.e., sound) may allow musicians to improve the accuracy and speed of perceiving and responding to relevant stimuli.

  5. Does Spatial Training Improve Children's Mathematics Ability?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cheng, Yi-Ling; Mix, Kelly

    2011-01-01

    The authors' primary aim was to investigate a potential causal relationship between spatial ability and math ability. To do so, they used a pretest-training-posttest experimental design in which children received short-term spatial training and were tested on problem solving in math. They focused on first and second graders because earlier studies…

  6. Improving Spatial Ability with Mentored Sketching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mohler, James L.; Miller, Craig L.

    2008-01-01

    As the result of a qualitative investigation into spatial ability, a teaching technique called mentored sketching was found to be effective for teaching visualization skills to freshman engineering students. This contribution describes the technique, how it evolved, and comments made by students as to its effectiveness. While mentored sketching…

  7. Grid photocoagulation improves reading ability in diffuse diabetic macular oedema.

    PubMed

    McNaught, E I; Foulds, W S; Allan, D

    1988-01-01

    Forty-eight patients with diffuse diabetic macular oedema were treated with perifoveal blue/green Argon 'grid' laser photocoagulation. Clinical assessment of patients was supported by serial fluorescein angiography. Patients were followed up for one year after treatment, and a two year follow-up was obtained in 29 patients. Statistical analysis showed no significant improvement in distance acuity, but demonstrated clear benefit as regards reading ability.

  8. Chrysanthemum Cutting Productivity and Rooting Ability Are Improved by Grafting

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jing; Chen, Sumei; Liu, Ruixia; Jiang, Jiafu; Chen, Fadi; Fang, Weimin

    2013-01-01

    Chrysanthemum has been commercially propagated by rooting of cuttings, whereas the quality will decline over multiple collections from a single plant. Therefore, we compared the vigour, rooting ability, and some physiological parameters between cuttings harvested from nongrafted “Jinba” (non-grafted cuttings) with those collected from grafted “Jinba” plants onto Artemisia scoparia as a rootstock (grafted cuttings). The yield, length, node number, stem diameter, fresh weight, and dry weight of the grafted cuttings were superior to the non-grafted cuttings. Also grafted cuttings “Jinba” rooted 1 day earlier, but showing enhanced rooting quality including number, length, diameter, and dry weight of roots, where compared to the non-grafted. The physiological parameters that indicated contents of soluble protein, peroxidase activity, soluble sugar, and starch, ratios of soluble sugar/nitrogen ratio, and carbohydrate/nitrogen (C/N), as well as contents of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and abscisic acid (ABA), and IAA/ABA ratio were significantly increased in the grafted cuttings. This suggested their important parts in mediating rooting ability. Results from this study showed that grafting improved productivity and rooting ability related to an altered physiology, which provide a means to meet the increasing demand. PMID:23878523

  9. Chrysanthemum cutting productivity and rooting ability are improved by grafting.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jing; Chen, Sumei; Liu, Ruixia; Jiang, Jiafu; Chen, Fadi; Fang, Weimin

    2013-01-01

    Chrysanthemum has been commercially propagated by rooting of cuttings, whereas the quality will decline over multiple collections from a single plant. Therefore, we compared the vigour, rooting ability, and some physiological parameters between cuttings harvested from nongrafted "Jinba" (non-grafted cuttings) with those collected from grafted "Jinba" plants onto Artemisia scoparia as a rootstock (grafted cuttings). The yield, length, node number, stem diameter, fresh weight, and dry weight of the grafted cuttings were superior to the non-grafted cuttings. Also grafted cuttings "Jinba" rooted 1 day earlier, but showing enhanced rooting quality including number, length, diameter, and dry weight of roots, where compared to the non-grafted. The physiological parameters that indicated contents of soluble protein, peroxidase activity, soluble sugar, and starch, ratios of soluble sugar/nitrogen ratio, and carbohydrate/nitrogen (C/N), as well as contents of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and abscisic acid (ABA), and IAA/ABA ratio were significantly increased in the grafted cuttings. This suggested their important parts in mediating rooting ability. Results from this study showed that grafting improved productivity and rooting ability related to an altered physiology, which provide a means to meet the increasing demand. PMID:23878523

  10. A Study on Improving Information Processing Abilities Based on PBL

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Du Gyu; Lee, JaeMu

    2014-01-01

    This study examined an instruction method for the improvement of information processing abilities in elementary school students. Current elementary students are required to develop information processing abilities to create new knowledge for this digital age. There is, however, a shortage of instruction strategies for these information processing…

  11. Spatial Training Improves Children's Mathematics Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cheng, Yi-Ling; Mix, Kelly S.

    2014-01-01

    We tested whether mental rotation training improved math performance in 6- to 8-year-olds. Children were pretested on a range of number and math skills. Then one group received a single session of mental rotation training using an object completion task that had previously improved spatial ability in children this age (Ehrlich, Levine, &…

  12. Improving Students' Ability To Problem Solve through Social Skills Instruction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hopp, Mary Ann; Horn, Cheryl L.; McGraw, Kelleen; Meyer, Jenny

    When elementary and middle level students lack effective problem-solving skills, they may make poor behavior choices in social conflicts, contributing to a negative learning and instructional environment. This action research project evaluated the impact of using social skills instruction to improve students' ability to solve problems related to…

  13. Improving Student Writing Ability through the Use of Teacher Interventions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gouty, Jackie; Lid, Sandy

    This report described a program to improve student writing ability. The targeted population consisted of first and third grade students in a middle class community, located in the Midwest. The problem of inadequate writing and the results of the interventions were documented. Analysis of probable cause data revealed that students lacked positive…

  14. Improving Student Achievement by Measuring Ability, Not Content

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Malbert S., III

    2005-01-01

    Although significant federal funds are tied to student assessment, public education in this country is the responsibility of individual states. Subsequently, it seems as if there are as many approaches to measuring student ability and achievement as there are states. We now live in an increasingly mobile society in which today's families move from…

  15. Improving multi-tasking ability through action videogames.

    PubMed

    Chiappe, Dan; Conger, Mark; Liao, Janet; Caldwell, J Lynn; Vu, Kim-Phuong L

    2013-03-01

    The present study examined whether action videogames can improve multi-tasking in high workload environments. Two groups with no action videogame experience were pre-tested using the Multi-Attribute Task Battery (MATB). It consists of two primary tasks; tracking and fuel management, and two secondary tasks; systems monitoring and communication. One group served as a control group, while a second played action videogames a minimum of 5 h a week for 10 weeks. Both groups returned for a post-assessment on the MATB. We found the videogame treatment enhanced performance on secondary tasks, without interfering with the primary tasks. Our results demonstrate action videogames can increase people's ability to take on additional tasks by increasing attentional capacity.

  16. How reflective practice improves nurses' critical thinking ability.

    PubMed

    Cirocco, Maria

    2007-01-01

    Purposeful reflection is consistent with adult learning theory. It is known to lead to a deeper understanding of issues and to develop judgment and skill. Required by law to ensure members' competence in their professional practice, the College of Nurses of Ontario recommends and has developed a tool for evaluating reflective practice. The tool focuses on key attributes said to be demonstrated by competent practitioners, including critical thinking (CT) and job knowledge. This study aimed to determine whether nurses engage in reflective practice and whether they perceive that it enhances their CT ability. Surveys were sent to 60 gastroenterology nurses at a large teaching hospital; 34 surveys were anonymously returned. All respondents engaged in reflective practice, and 24 reported using the college's tool. Nineteen respondents strongly agreed that their nursing practice had improved as a result. Critical thinking is difficult to assess because of a lack of clear-cut performance criteria. Improvement of CT was difficult to evaluate from the responses, even though all respondents participated in reflective practice. Both CT and reflective practice need to be better defined in order to examine and explain their relationship. PMID:18156956

  17. [Determination of tolerance ability of platelet to the change of solution osmotic pressure and its significance].

    PubMed

    Ouyang, Xi-Lin; Liu, Jing-Han; Gao, Dayong

    2003-02-01

    In order to determine the tolerance ability of platelet to change of osmotic pressure in solution, the isotonic fresh platelets were exposed to a series of crystal salt solutions with osmotic pressure range from 47 to 611 mOsm for 15 minutes. Then the platelets were returned to isotonic condition and kept for 15 minutes. The expressions of phosphatidylserine and CD62p were assayed in platelets. The results showed that the phosphatidylserine and CD62p expressions were increased when the osmotic pressure of solution was below 238 mOsm, but no significant rise was detected when the platelets were exposed to 611 mOsm solution. No increases of positive rate of CD62p and phosphatidylserine were detected in platelets returned to isotonic condition. It is concluded that platelets are sensitive to hypoosmotic solution and tolerated to hyperosmotic solution. Exceeding the platelet safe volume limitation may lead to injure of platelet osmosis in crystal salt solution. PMID:12667298

  18. Osteoarthritis of the knee or hip significantly impairs driving ability (cross-sectional survey)

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Advising patients about when they can drive after surgery is common practice after arthroplasty of the knee or hip. In the literature, the preoperative braking performance values of the patients are frequently taken as the “safe” landmark. We hypothesised that osteoarthritis (OA), the most frequent reason for arthroplasty, already compromises the ability to perform an emergency stop. We expected that both Reaction Time (RT) and Movement Time (MT) as components of the Total Brake Response Time (TBRT), would be prolonged in patients with OA of the knee or hip in comparison with healthy subjects. We also expected maximum pressure levels on the brake pedal to be reduced in such cases. Methods A real car cabin was equipped with pressure sensors on the accelerator and brake pedals to measure RT, MT, TBRT and maximum Brake Force (BF) under realistic spatial constraints. Patients with OA of the knee (right n = 18, left n = 15) or hip (right n = 20, left n = 19) were compared with a healthy control group (n = 21). Results All measured values for TBRT in the control group remained below 600 ms. OA of the right hip or knee significantly prolonged the braking performance (right hip: TBRT p = 0.025, right knee: TBRT p < 0.001), whereas OA of the left hip did not impair driving ability (TBRT p = 0.228). Intriguingly, OA of the left knee prolonged RT and MT to the same degree as OA on the contralateral side (RT p = 0.001, MT p < 0.001). Conclusions This study demonstrates that depending on the localisation of OA, driving capability can be impaired; OA can significantly increase the total braking distance. To ensure safe traffic participation the safety margin for TBRT should be strictly set, under our experimental conditions, at around 600 ms. Moreover, therapeutic approaches to OA, such as physiotherapy, and patients receiving surgery of the left knee should take into account that left knee OA can also impair driving ability

  19. The intelligence of observation: improving high school students' spatial ability by means of intervention unit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patkin, Dorit; Dayan, Ester

    2013-03-01

    This case study of one class versus a control group focused on the impact of an intervention unit, which is not part of the regular curriculum, on the improvement of spatial ability of high school students (forty-six 12th-graders, aged 17-18, both boys and girls) in general as well as from a gender perspective. The study explored three sub-abilities: mental rotation (MR), spatial visualization (VS) and spatial orientation (SO). Findings indicated that the spatial orientation of the experimental group students had considerably improved. The findings also illustrated a significant gender-based advantage in favour of the boys in some of the spatial abilities even before the implementation of the intervention unit. The hypothesis relating to the reduction of the gender differences was not corroborated.

  20. Extending Sociological Theorising on High Ability: The Significance of Values and Lived Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mazzoli Smith, Laura

    2014-01-01

    Sociological work on high ability is framed by social constructionist theorising and/or takes a social justice approach, and hence particular analytical intellectual traditions are foregrounded. Whilst these approaches have contributed the main critique of essentialist psychological understandings of high ability, they can eclipse normative…

  1. Reciprocal Teaching of Comprehension Strategies Improves EFL Learners' Writing Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ghorbani, Mohammad Reza; Gangeraj, Atefeh Ardeshir; Alavi, Sahar Zahed

    2013-01-01

    Although the importance of reading in developing writing ability is undeniable, few competent readers in EFL contexts develop into competent writers. Since students are not aware that reading can assist them in writing, this study examined the effect of reciprocal teaching--which focuses on four reading comprehension strategies, namely…

  2. Using Blogs to Improve Students' Summary Writing Abilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kitchakarn, Orachorn

    2012-01-01

    The research compared students' summary writing ability before and after they were taught through blog, a new medium or tool for written communication and interaction in many different languages around the world. The research design is a kind of one group pretest posttest. Participants were 33 first-year students who studied EN 011 course (English…

  3. An Enhanced Concept Map Approach to Improving Children's Storytelling Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Chen-Chung; Chen, Holly S. L.; Shih, Ju-Ling; Huang, Guo-Ting; Liu, Baw-Jhiune

    2011-01-01

    Storytelling is an imperative and innovative pathway to enhance learning due to the fact that such activity prompts learners to reflect to construct meaning based on their observations and knowledge. Therefore, to develop and enhance students' storytelling ability has become an important issue for both educators and researchers. Since storytelling…

  4. Customizing orientation to improve the critical thinking ability of newly hired pediatric nurses.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Christina; Tatum, Kathy

    2013-04-01

    A descriptive, correlational study design was used to determine if a customized clinical education for orientation based on knowledge weaknesses identified from a prehire screening examination would reduce the length of orientation and improve the critical thinking ability of newly hired nurses. Results of the study demonstrated significant evidence that customized education based on this prehire assessment has a positive effect on both the length of orientation and critical thinking. PMID:23528686

  5. Customizing orientation to improve the critical thinking ability of newly hired pediatric nurses.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Christina; Tatum, Kathy

    2013-04-01

    A descriptive, correlational study design was used to determine if a customized clinical education for orientation based on knowledge weaknesses identified from a prehire screening examination would reduce the length of orientation and improve the critical thinking ability of newly hired nurses. Results of the study demonstrated significant evidence that customized education based on this prehire assessment has a positive effect on both the length of orientation and critical thinking.

  6. Investigating the ability of multiparametric MRI to exclude significant prostate cancer prior to transperineal biopsy

    PubMed Central

    Serrao, Eva M.; Barrett, Tristan; Wadhwa, Karan; Parashar, Deepak; Frey, Julia; Koo, Brendan C.; Warren, Anne Y.; Doble, Andrew; Kastner, Christof; Gallagher, Ferdia A.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: We characterized false negative prostate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) reporting by using histology derived from MRI-transrectal ultrasound (TRUS)-guided transperineal (MTTP) fusion biopsies. Methods: In total, 148 consecutive patients were retrospectively reviewed. Men underwent multiparametric MRI (mpMRI), reported by a consultant/attending radiologist in line with European Society of Urogenital Radiology (ESUR) standards. MTTP biopsy of the lesions was performed according to the Ginsburg recommendations. Cases with an MRI-histology mismatch were identified and underwent a second read by an experienced radiologist. A third review was performed with direct histology comparison to determine a true miss from an MRI-occult cancer. Statistical analysis was performed with McNemar’s test. Results: False negative lesions were identified in 29 MRI examinations (19.6%), with a total of 46 lesions. Most false negative lesions (21/46) were located in the anterior sectors of the prostate. The second read led to a significant decrease of false-negative lesions with 7/29 further studies identified as positive on a patient-by-patient basis (24.1% of studies, p = 0.016) and 11/46 lesions (23.9%; p = 0.001). Of these, 30 lesions following the first read and 23 lesions after the second read were considered significant cancer according to the University College London criteria. However, on direct comparison with histology, most lesions were MRI occult. Conclusion: We demonstrate that MRI can fail to detect clinically relevant lesions. Improved results were achieved with a second read but despite this, a number of lesions remain MRI-occult. Further advances in imaging are required to reduce false negative results. PMID:26788234

  7. Developing Teachers' Ability to Make Claims about Historical Significance: A Promising Practice from a Teaching American History Grant Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Mimi; Coughlin, Mimi

    2011-01-01

    Enhancing teachers' ability to assess and articulate claims of historical significance will provide a valuable compass that thoughtful teachers use to navigate large amounts of material in meaningful ways. This study explores how and to what extent--if any--teachers develop their ability to apply historical reasoning to determine the significance…

  8. Training directionally selective motion pathways can significantly improve reading efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawton, Teri

    2004-06-01

    This study examined whether perceptual learning at early levels of visual processing would facilitate learning at higher levels of processing. This was examined by determining whether training the motion pathways by practicing leftright movement discrimination, as found previously, would improve the reading skills of inefficient readers significantly more than another computer game, a word discrimination game, or the reading program offered by the school. This controlled validation study found that practicing left-right movement discrimination 5-10 minutes twice a week (rapidly) for 15 weeks doubled reading fluency, and significantly improved all reading skills by more than one grade level, whereas inefficient readers in the control groups barely improved on these reading skills. In contrast to previous studies of perceptual learning, these experiments show that perceptual learning of direction discrimination significantly improved reading skills determined at higher levels of cognitive processing, thereby being generalized to a new task. The deficits in reading performance and attentional focus experienced by the person who struggles when reading are suggested to result from an information overload, resulting from timing deficits in the direction-selectivity network proposed by Russell De Valois et al. (2000), that following practice on direction discrimination goes away. This study found that practicing direction discrimination rapidly transitions the inefficient 7-year-old reader to an efficient reader.

  9. The Significance of Digital Pedagogy: Teachers' Perceptions and the Factors Influencing Their Abilities as Digital Pedagogues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wadmany, Rivka; Kliachko, Sarah

    2014-01-01

    Information and Communication Technologies have brought widespread changes in all aspects of contemporary society and culture. Most scholars believe that the assimilation of processes of change in schools and the entire Educational system depends on the abilities and perceptions of teachers in the system. The present study examines how Graduates…

  10. The Practicality of Poetry: Using Sonnets to Improve Reading Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vallicelli, Arthur E.

    2012-01-01

    This dissertation examines the way in which sonnets improved reading comprehension through a case study. The study was conceptually framed around the ideas of the New Critics, who employed two particular fallacies to ensure the most accurate reading of literature. The purpose of the study was to see the potential benefits that could come from…

  11. Priming Ability-Relevant Social Categories Improves Intellectual Test Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lin, Phoebe S.; Kennette, Lynne N.; Van Havermaet, Lisa R.; Frank, Nichole M.; McIntyre, Rusty B.

    2012-01-01

    Research shows that priming affects behavioral tasks; fewer studies, however, have been conducted on how social category primes affect cognitive tasks. The present study aimed to examine the effects of social category primes on math performance and word recall. It was hypothesized that Asian prime words would improve math performance and word…

  12. Sonocrystallization yields monoclinic paracetamol with significantly improved compaction behavior.

    PubMed

    Bučar, Dejan-Krešimir; Elliott, James A; Eddleston, Mark D; Cockcroft, Jeremy K; Jones, William

    2015-01-01

    Ultrasound-assisted crystallization (sonocrystallization) was used to prepare a mixture of nano- and micrometer-sized crystals of the monoclinic form of paracetamol-a widely used analgesic known for its particularly problematic mechanical behavior under compression (i.e. poor tabletability). The nano- and micrometer-sized crystals yielded a powder which exhibits elastic moduli and bulk cohesions that are significantly higher than those observed in samples consisting of macrometer-sized crystals, thus leading to enhanced tabletability without the use of excipients, particle coating, salt, or cocrystal formation. Experimental compaction and finite element analysis were utilized to rationalize the significantly improved compaction behavior of the monoclinic form of paracetamol.

  13. Unexpected improvements of spatial learning and memory abilities in chronic rotenone intoxicated mice.

    PubMed

    Jia, Fengju; Song, Ning; Zhao, Chenyang; Xie, Junxia; Jiang, Hong

    2014-01-01

    The liposoluble insecticide rotenone is commonly used as a mitochondrial complex I inhibitor to replicate Parkinson's disease (PD) pathological features. However, there was no assessment of the spatial learning and memory abilities in chronic rotenone-induced PD models. In the present study, by rotarod test and Thioflavine T staining, we first noted the impairment of motor coordination in rotenone-treated group for 3 months, as well as alpha-synuclein inclusions in the nigral dopaminergic neurons in C57BL/6 mice with intragastrical delivery of rotenone (5 mg/Kg) for 3 months rather than 1 month. We then evaluated spatial learning and memory abilities by Morris water maze task in this model. The results showed escape latency reduced in rotenone-intoxicated mice for 3 months, indicating an improvement of learning ability. However, it was delayed slightly but not significantly in rotenone-intoxicated mice for 1 month. Similarly, we demonstrated that spatial memory ability was enhanced in 3-month-treatment group, but impaired in 1-month-treatment group. There were no proliferating cell nuclear antigen and doublecortin positive cells in the hippocampus by double immunofluorescent staining, indicating the absence of hippocampal neurogenesis in rotenone-intoxicated mice. These results suggest that spatial learning and memory abilities are disturbed in chronic rotenone-intoxicated PD model.

  14. Can the attention training technique turn one marshmallow into two? Improving children's ability to delay gratification.

    PubMed

    Murray, Joanne; Theakston, Anna; Wells, Adrian

    2016-02-01

    The seminal Marshmallow Test (Mischel & Ebbesen, 1970) has reliably demonstrated that children who can delay gratification are more likely to be emotionally stable and successful later in life. However, this is not good news for those children who can't delay. Therefore, this study aimed to explore whether a metacognitive therapy technique, Attention Training (ATT: Wells, 1990) can improve young children's ability to delay gratification. One hundred children participated. Classes of 5-6 year olds were randomly allocated to either the ATT or a no-intervention condition and were tested pre and post-intervention on ability to delay gratification, verbal inhibition (executive control), and measures of mood. The ATT intervention significantly increased (2.64 times) delay of gratification compared to the no-intervention condition. After controlling for age and months in school, the ATT intervention and verbal inhibition task performance were significant independent predictors of delay of gratification. These results provide evidence that ATT can improve children's self-regulatory abilities with the implication that this might reduce psychological vulnerability later in life. The findings highlight the potential contribution that the Self-Regulatory Executive Function (S-REF) model could make to designing techniques to enhance children's self-regulatory processes.

  15. Improving MEME via a two-tiered significance analysis

    PubMed Central

    Tanaka, Emi; Bailey, Timothy L.; Keich, Uri

    2014-01-01

    Motivation: With over 9000 unique users recorded in the first half of 2013, MEME is one of the most popular motif-finding tools available. Reliable estimates of the statistical significance of motifs can greatly increase the usefulness of any motif finder. By analogy, it is difficult to imagine evaluating a BLAST result without its accompanying E-value. Currently MEME evaluates its EM-generated candidate motifs using an extension of BLAST’s E-value to the motif-finding context. Although we previously indicated the drawbacks of MEME’s current significance evaluation, we did not offer a practical substitute suited for its needs, especially because MEME also relies on the E-value internally to rank competing candidate motifs. Results: Here we offer a two-tiered significance analysis that can replace the E-value in selecting the best candidate motif and in evaluating its overall statistical significance. We show that our new approach could substantially improve MEME’s motif-finding performance and would also provide the user with a reliable significance analysis. In addition, for large input sets, our new approach is in fact faster than the currently implemented E-value analysis. Contact: uri.keich@sydney.edu.au or emi.tanaka@sydney.edu.au Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:24665130

  16. Searching for Improved Photoreleasing Abilities of Organic Molecules.

    PubMed

    Šolomek, Tomáš; Wirz, Jakob; Klán, Petr

    2015-12-15

    Photoremovable protecting groups (PPGs) are chemical auxiliaries that provide spatial and temporal control over the release of various molecules: bioagents (neurotransmitters and cell-signaling molecules, Ca(2+) ions), acids, bases, oxidants, insecticides, pheromones, fragrances, etc. A major challenge for the improvement of PPGs lies in the development of organic chromophores that release the desired bioagents upon continuous irradiation at wavelengths above 650 nm, that is, in the tissue-transparent window. Understanding of the photorelease reaction mechanisms, investigated by laser flash photolysis and rationalized with the aid of quantum chemical calculations, allows for achieving this goal. In particular, simple Hückel calculations provide useful guidelines for designing new PPGs, because both the lowest excited singlet and triplet states of conjugated systems can be reasonably well described by a single electronic configuration formed by promotion of a single electron from the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) to the lowest unoccupied MO (LUMO) of the ground state configuration. Here we show that Hückel calculations permit rapid identification of common features in the nodal properties of the frontier orbitals of various chromophores that can be classified into distinct chromophore families. If the electronic excitation involves a substantial electron density transfer to an sp(2) carbon atom at which HOMO and LUMO are nearly disjoint, for example, by virtue of symmetry, favorable photoheterolysis can be expected when the corresponding atom carries a leaving group at the α-position. We show examples of photoheterolytic reactions that indicate that the efficiency of photoheterolysis diminishes for chromophores absorbing in the NIR region. We provide a rationale for more efficient photoheterolytic reactions occurring via the triplet state, and we demonstrate the advantages of this mechanistic pathway. Analogies in the structure

  17. Improving Early Career Science Teachers' Ability to Teach Space Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, G. R.; Slater, T. F.; Wierman, T.; Erickson, J. G.; Mendez, B. J.

    2012-12-01

    The GEMS Space Science Sequence is a high quality, hands-on curriculum for elementary and middle schools, created by a national team of astronomers and science educators with NASA funding and support. The standards-aligned curriculum includes 24 class sessions for upper elementary grades targeting the scale and nature of Earth's, shape, motion and gravity, and 36 class sessions for middle school grades focusing on the interactions between our Sun and Earth and the nature of the solar system and beyond. These materials feature extensive teacher support materials which results in pre-test to post-test content gains for students averaging 22%. Despite the materials being highly successful, there has been a less than desired uptake by teachers in using these materials, largely due to a lack of professional development training. Responding to the need to improve the quantity and quality of space science education, a collaborative of space scientists and science educators - from the University of California, Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) and Center for Science Education at the Space Sciences Laboratory (CSE@SSL), the Astronomical Society of the Pacific (ASP), the University of Wyoming, and the CAPER Center for Astronomy & Physics Education - experimented with a unique professional development model focused on helping master teachers work closely with pre-service teachers during their student teaching internship field experience. Research on the exodus of young teachers from the teaching profession clearly demonstrates that early career teachers often leave teaching because of a lack of mentoring support and classroom ready curriculum materials. The Advancing Mentor and Novice Teachers in Space Science (AMANTISS) team first identified master teachers who supervise novice, student teachers in middle school, and trained these master teachers to use the GEMS Space Science Sequence for Grades 6-8. Then, these master teachers were mentored in how to coach their

  18. Improvement of Spatial Ability Using Innovative Tools: Alternative View Screen and Physical Model Rotator

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kinsey, Brad L.; Towle, Erick; Onyancha, Richard M.

    2008-01-01

    Spatial ability, which is positively correlated with retention and achievement in engineering, mathematics, and science disciplines, has been shown to improve over the course of a Computer-Aided Design course or through targeted training. However, which type of training provides the most beneficial improvements to spatial ability and whether other…

  19. An improved optical identity authentication system with significant output images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Sheng; Liu, Ming-tang; Yao, Shu-xia; Xin, Yan-hui

    2012-06-01

    An improved method for optical identity authentication system with significant output images is proposed. In this method, a predefined image is digitally encoded into two phase-masks relating to a fixed phase-mask, and this fixed phase-mask acts as a lock to the system. When the two phase-masks, serving as the key, are presented to the system, the predefined image is generated at the output. In addition to simple verification, our method is capable of identifying the type of input phase-mask, and the duties of identity verification and recognition are separated and, respectively, assigned to the amplitude and phase of the output image. Numerical simulation results show that our proposed method is feasible and the output image with better image quality can be obtained.

  20. Warfarin improves neuropathy in monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance.

    PubMed

    Henry Gomez, Teny; Holkova, Beata; Noreika, Danielle; Del Fabbro, Egidio

    2016-01-01

    We report a case of a 60-year-old man who was referred to a palliative care clinic with monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS)-associated neuropathy, responding to a therapeutic trial of warfarin. Electromyography showed distal symmetric sensory axonal neuropathy. The patient reported having had improvement of his neuropathic symptoms while taking warfarin postoperatively for thromboprophylaxis 1 year prior, and recurrence of his symptoms after the warfarin was discontinued. The patient was rechallenged with a trial of warfarin, targeting an international normalised ratio of 1.5-2.0. His pain scores decreased from 5/10 to 3/10 at 1 month and symptom improvement was maintained through 24 months of follow-up. Warfarin had a remarkable impact on our patient's symptoms and quality of life. The mechanisms mediating the symptomatic benefit with warfarin are unclear; however, a placebo effect is unlikely. Further studies may help guide the use of warfarin for MGUS-associated neuropathy. PMID:27317760

  1. Neurofeedback training improves the dual-task performance ability in stroke patients.

    PubMed

    Lee, Young-Shin; Bae, Sea-Hyun; Lee, Sung-Hee; Kim, Kyung-Yoon

    2015-01-01

    Owing to the reduced capacity for information processing following a stroke, patients commonly present with difficulties in performing activities of daily living that combine two or more tasks. To address this problem, in the present study, we investigated the effects of neurofeedback training on the abilities of stroke patients to perform dual motor tasks. We randomly assigned 20 patients who had sustained a stroke within the preceding 6 months to either a pseudo-neurofeedback (n = 10) or neurofeedback (n = 10) group. Both groups participated in a general exercise intervention for 8 weeks, three times a week for 30 min per session, under the same conditions. An electrode was secured to the scalp over the region of the central lobe (Cz), in compliance with the International 10-20 System. The electrode was inactive for the pseudo-training group. Participants in the neurofeedback training group received the 30-min neurofeedback training per session for reinforcing the sensorimotor rhythm. Electroencephalographic activity of the two groups was compared. In addition, selected parameters of gait (velocity, cadence [step/min], stance phase [%], and foot pressure) were analyzed using a 10-m walk test, attention-demanding task, walk task and quantified by the SmartStep system. The neurofeedback group showed significantly improved the regulation of the sensorimotor rhythm (p < 0.001) and ability to execute dual tasks (p < 0.01). Significant improvements on selected gait parameters (velocity and cadence; p < 0.05) were also observed. We thus propose that the neurofeedback training is effective to improve the dual-task performance in stroke patients.

  2. Improving Cognition: A Multi-Cultural Approach. Final Report, MICA Project: Multi-Cultural Improvement of Cognitive Abilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De Avila, Edward; And Others

    Described and summarized are the results of a program designed to improve the intellectual, academic, and linguistic functioning of children in a linguistically and culturally mixed setting. The program, Multicultural Improvement of Cognitive Abilities (MICA), was installed and supported by project staff in nine participating classrooms under two…

  3. Is Education Associated with Improvements in General Cognitive Ability, or in Specific Skills?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ritchie, Stuart J.; Bates, Timothy C.; Deary, Ian J.

    2015-01-01

    Previous research has indicated that education influences cognitive development, but it is unclear what, precisely, is being improved. Here, we tested whether education is associated with cognitive test score improvements via domain-general effects on general cognitive ability ("g"), or via domain-specific effects on particular cognitive…

  4. Laparoscopic splenectomy can induce significant improvement in hypoplastic myelodysplastic syndrome.

    PubMed

    Gologan, R; Vasilescu, C; Dobrea, Camelia; Ostroveanu, Daniela; Georgescu, Daniela; Vasilache, Didona

    2007-01-01

    A 20 years old male patient was diagnosed as hypoplastic myelodysplastic syndrome (hMDS) - refractory cytopenia with multilineage dysplasia in November 2002. He received packed blood cells, methylprednisolon and dexamethason but no persistent improvement and even worsening of the thrombocytopenia and the appearance of neutropenia were registered. Laparoscopic splenectomy has been performed in January 2003, when the platelets were approximately 15000/mm3, without intraoperative incidents. After splenectomy, no other therapy or transfusions have been applied and a slow but continuous improvement of the peripheral blood counts up to normal values has been noted. In the bone marrow, a notable increase of cellular density was registered after more than three years from splenectomy, with the persistence of the other morphological dysplastic features.

  5. An RZ DPSK receiver design with significantly improved dispersion tolerance.

    PubMed

    Govan, Donald S; Doran, Nick

    2007-12-10

    We show an improved DPSK receiver design which can increase useful dispersion tolerance by up to a factor of two. The increased dispersion tolerance is achieved through optimization of the optical filter at the receiver and the delay of the Mach-Zehnder interferometer. In this paper we fully explain the concept, quantify the gain and provide an explanation for the operation of the receiver.

  6. Creating a Middle Grades Environment that Significantly Improves Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    L'Esperance, Mark E.; Lenker, Ethan; Bullock, Ann; Lockamy, Becky; Mason, Cathy

    2013-01-01

    This article offers an overview of the framework that Sampson County Public Schools (North Carolina) used to critically reflect on the current state of their middle grades schools. The article also highlights the changes that resulted from the district-wide analysis and the ways in which these changes led to a significant increase in the academic…

  7. Does mindfulness training improve cognitive abilities? A systematic review of neuropsychological findings.

    PubMed

    Chiesa, Alberto; Calati, Raffaella; Serretti, Alessandro

    2011-04-01

    Mindfulness meditation practices (MMPs) are a subgroup of meditation practices which are receiving growing attention. The present paper reviews current evidence about the effects of MMPs on objective measures of cognitive functions. Five databases were searched. Twenty three studies providing measures of attention, memory, executive functions and further miscellaneous measures of cognition were included. Fifteen were controlled or randomized controlled studies and 8 were case-control studies. Overall, reviewed studies suggested that early phases of mindfulness training, which are more concerned with the development of focused attention, could be associated with significant improvements in selective and executive attention whereas the following phases, which are characterized by an open monitoring of internal and external stimuli, could be mainly associated with improved unfocused sustained attention abilities. Additionally, MMPs could enhance working memory capacity and some executive functions. However, many of the included studies show methodological limitations and negative results have been reported as well, plausibly reflecting differences in study design, study duration and patients' populations. Accordingly, even though findings here reviewed provided preliminary evidence suggesting that MMPs could enhance cognitive functions, available evidence should be considered with caution and further high quality studies investigating more standardized mindfulness meditation programs are needed.

  8. The ability of onion extract gel to improve the cosmetic appearance of postsurgical scars.

    PubMed

    Draelos, Zoe Diana

    2008-06-01

    Superior wound healing with excellent cosmesis is critical in superficial dermal wounds created when cosmetically unacceptable lesions are removed from the body. Dermatologists frequently remove seborrheic keratoses, nevi, and angiomas from the body with a superficial shave excision. The excision is designed to minimize dermal scarring while removing the unsightly skin growth. This study was undertaken to evaluate the ability of an onion extract gel to improve the appearance of scars following excision. Sixty subjects with symmetrical seborrheic keratoses at least 8 mm in diameter on the right and left upper chest were enrolled. The lesions were removed with a scalpel shave, following local anesthesia with 2% lidocaine plus epinephrine. The surgical sites were allowed to heal for 2 to 3 weeks, at which time the subjects returned to the research center for randomization to either the onion gel treatment group or the no-treatment group. Forty-seven subjects in the active treatment group were further randomized as to the site of study product application. Thirteen control subjects applied nothing to either side. Subjects returned to the study center at weeks 2, 4, 6, and 10 for photography, subject evaluations, and investigator assessments. The study showed that the onion extract gel significantly improved scar softness, redness, texture, and global appearance at the excision site at study weeks 4, 6, and 10 as assessed by the blinded investigator. PMID:18482012

  9. Detection of improvement in the masticatory function from old to new removable partial dentures using mixing ability test.

    PubMed

    Asakawa, A; Fueki, K; Ohyama, T

    2005-09-01

    The aim of this study was to determine the sensitivity of the Mixing Ability Test to detect improvement of masticatory function in subjects on transition from old to new removable partial dentures. Thirty-two subjects (seven males, 25 females, mean age 65.0 years) with distal extension partially edentulous area in mandible and/or maxilla participated in the study. The following reasons were presented for replacing the old removable partial dentures with new ones: fracture and/or poor fitness of retainers, extraction of abutment teeth, poor fitness of denture base, severe wear of artificial teeth and request for metal base dentures. Masticatory function with old and new removable partial dentures after an adaptation period (mean 27.4 weeks) was evaluated by the Mixing Ability Test. Subjects were asked to masticate five two-coloured wax cubes with each removable partial denture. Mixing Ability Index was obtained from the colour mixture and shape of the masticated cubes. Wilcoxon signed-rank test was used to test the difference of Mixing Ability Indexes between old and new removable partial dentures. The mixing ability indexes with new removable partial dentures (mean+/- s.d.: 0.70+/- 0.68) was significantly higher (P<0.001) than those with old removable partial dentures (-0.11+/-1.13). The results suggest that the Mixing Ability Test was capable of detecting improvement in masticatory function with new removable partial dentures.

  10. Does hard insertion and space improve shock absorption ability of mouthguard?

    PubMed

    Takeda, Tomotaka; Ishigami, Keiichi; Handa, Jun; Naitoh, Kaoru; Kurokawa, Katsuhide; Shibusawa, Mami; Nakajima, Kazunori; Kawamura, Shintaro

    2006-04-01

    Mouthguards are expected to reduce sports-related orofacial injuries. Numerous studies have been conduced to improve the shock absorption ability of mouthguards using air cells, sorbothane, metal wire, or hard material insertion. Most of these were shown to be effective; however, the result of each study has not been applied to clinical use. The aim of this study was to develop mouthguards that have sufficient prevention ability and ease of clinical application with focus on a hard insertion and space. Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) mouthguard blank used was Drufosoft and the acrylic resin was Biolon (Dreve-Dentamid GMBH, Unna, Germany). Three types of mouthguard samples tested were constructed by means of a Dreve Drufomat (Type SO, Dreve-Dentamid) air pressure machine: the first was a conventional laminated type of EVA mouthguard material; the second was a three layer type with acrylic resin inner layer (hard-insertion); the third was the same as the second but with space that does not come into contact with tooth surfaces (hard + space). As a control, without any mouthguard condition (NOMG) was measured. A pendulum type impact testing machine with interchangeable impact object (steel ball and baseball) and dental study model (D17FE-NC.7PS, Nissin, Tokyo, Japan) with the strain gages (KFG-1-120-D171-11N30C2: Kyowa, Tokyo, Japan) applied to teeth and the accelerometer to the dentition (AS-A YG-2768 100G, Kyowa) were used to measure transmitted forces. Statistical analysis (anova, P < 0.01) showed significant differences among four conditions of NOMG and three different mouthguards in both objects and sensor. About acceleration: in a steel ball which was a harder impact object, shock absorption ability of about 40% was shown with conventional EVA and hard-insertion and about 50% with hard + space. In a baseball that was softer compared with steel ball, a decrease rate is smaller, reduction (EVA = approximately 4%, hard-insertion = approximately 12%, hard + space

  11. Does hard insertion and space improve shock absorption ability of mouthguard?

    PubMed

    Takeda, Tomotaka; Ishigami, Keiichi; Handa, Jun; Naitoh, Kaoru; Kurokawa, Katsuhide; Shibusawa, Mami; Nakajima, Kazunori; Kawamura, Shintaro

    2006-04-01

    Mouthguards are expected to reduce sports-related orofacial injuries. Numerous studies have been conduced to improve the shock absorption ability of mouthguards using air cells, sorbothane, metal wire, or hard material insertion. Most of these were shown to be effective; however, the result of each study has not been applied to clinical use. The aim of this study was to develop mouthguards that have sufficient prevention ability and ease of clinical application with focus on a hard insertion and space. Ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) mouthguard blank used was Drufosoft and the acrylic resin was Biolon (Dreve-Dentamid GMBH, Unna, Germany). Three types of mouthguard samples tested were constructed by means of a Dreve Drufomat (Type SO, Dreve-Dentamid) air pressure machine: the first was a conventional laminated type of EVA mouthguard material; the second was a three layer type with acrylic resin inner layer (hard-insertion); the third was the same as the second but with space that does not come into contact with tooth surfaces (hard + space). As a control, without any mouthguard condition (NOMG) was measured. A pendulum type impact testing machine with interchangeable impact object (steel ball and baseball) and dental study model (D17FE-NC.7PS, Nissin, Tokyo, Japan) with the strain gages (KFG-1-120-D171-11N30C2: Kyowa, Tokyo, Japan) applied to teeth and the accelerometer to the dentition (AS-A YG-2768 100G, Kyowa) were used to measure transmitted forces. Statistical analysis (anova, P < 0.01) showed significant differences among four conditions of NOMG and three different mouthguards in both objects and sensor. About acceleration: in a steel ball which was a harder impact object, shock absorption ability of about 40% was shown with conventional EVA and hard-insertion and about 50% with hard + space. In a baseball that was softer compared with steel ball, a decrease rate is smaller, reduction (EVA = approximately 4%, hard-insertion = approximately 12%, hard + space

  12. Low Dose Vaporized Cannabis Significantly Improves Neuropathic Pain

    PubMed Central

    Wilsey, Barth; Marcotte, Thomas D.; Deutsch, Reena; Gouaux, Ben; Sakai, Staci; Donaghe, Haylee

    2013-01-01

    We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study evaluating the analgesic efficacy of vaporized cannabis in subjects, the majority of whom were experiencing neuropathic pain despite traditional treatment. Thirty-nine patients with central and peripheral neuropathic pain underwent a standardized procedure for inhaling either medium dose (3.53%), low dose (1.29%), or placebo cannabis with the primary outcome being VAS pain intensity. Psychoactive side-effects, and neuropsychological performance were also evaluated. Mixed effects regression models demonstrated an analgesic response to vaporized cannabis. There was no significant difference between the two active dose groups’ results (p>0.7). The number needed to treat (NNT) to achieve 30% pain reduction was 3.2 for placebo vs. low dose, 2.9 for placebo vs. medium dose, and 25 for medium vs. low dose. As these NNT are comparable to those of traditional neuropathic pain medications, cannabis has analgesic efficacy with the low dose being, for all intents and purposes, as effective a pain reliever as the medium dose. Psychoactive effects were minimal and well-tolerated, and neuropsychological effects were of limited duration and readily reversible within 1–2 hours. Vaporized cannabis, even at low doses, may present an effective option for patients with treatment-resistant neuropathic pain. PMID:23237736

  13. A designer bleomycin with significantly improved DNA cleavage activity.

    PubMed

    Huang, Sheng-Xiong; Feng, Zhiyang; Wang, Liyan; Galm, Ute; Wendt-Pienkowski, Evelyn; Yang, Dong; Tao, Meifeng; Coughlin, Jane M; Duan, Yanwen; Shen, Ben

    2012-08-15

    The bleomycins (BLMs) are used clinically in combination with a number of other agents for the treatment of several types of tumors, and the BLM, etoposide, and cisplatin treatment regimen cures 90-95% of metastatic testicular cancer patients. BLM-induced pneumonitis is the most feared, dose-limiting side effect of BLM in chemotherapy, which can progress into lung fibrosis and affect up to 46% of the total patient population. There have been continued efforts to develop new BLM analogues in the search for anticancer drugs with better clinical efficacy and lower lung toxicity. We have previously cloned and characterized the biosynthetic gene clusters for BLMs from Streptomyces verticillus ATCC15003, tallysomycins from Streptoalloteichus hindustanus E465-94 ATCC31158, and zorbamycin (ZBM) from Streptomyces flavoviridis SB9001. Comparative analysis of the three biosynthetic machineries provided the molecular basis for the formulation of hypotheses to engineer novel analogues. We now report engineered production of three new analogues, 6'-hydroxy-ZBM, BLM Z, and 6'-deoxy-BLM Z and the evaluation of their DNA cleavage activities as a measurement for their potential anticancer activity. Our findings unveiled: (i) the disaccharide moiety plays an important role in the DNA cleavage activity of BLMs and ZBMs, (ii) the ZBM disaccharide significantly enhances the potency of BLM, and (iii) 6'-deoxy-BLM Z represents the most potent BLM analogue known to date. The fact that 6'-deoxy-BLM Z can be produced in reasonable quantities by microbial fermentation should greatly facilitate follow-up mechanistic and preclinical studies to potentially advance this analogue into a clinical drug.

  14. A Designer Bleomycin with Significantly Improved DNA Cleavage Activity

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Sheng-Xiong; Feng, Zhiyang; Wang, Liyan; Galm, Ute; Wendt-Pienkowski, Evelyn; Yang, Dong; Tao, Meifeng; Coughlin, Jane M; Duan, Yanwen; Shen, Ben

    2012-01-01

    The bleomycins (BLMs) are used clinically in combination with a number of other agents for the treatment of several types of tumors, and the BLM, etoposide, and cisplatin treatment regimen cures 90–95% of metastatic testicular cancer patients. BLM-induced pneumonitis is the most feared, dose-limiting side effect of BLM in chemotherapy, which can progress into lung fibrosis and affect up to 46% of the total patient population. There have been continued efforts to develop new BLM analogues in the search for anticancer drugs with better clinical efficacy and lower lung toxicity. We have previously cloned and characterized the biosynthetic gene clusters for BLMs from Streptomyces verticillus ATCC15003, tallysomycins from Streptoalloteichus hindustanus E465-94 ATCC31158, and zorbamycin (ZBM) from Streptomyces flavoviridis SB9001. Comparative analysis of the three biosynthetic machineries provided the molecular basis for the formulation of hypotheses to engineer novel analogues. We now report engineered production of three new analogues, 6′-hydroxy-ZBM, BLM Z, and 6′-deoxy-BLM Z and the evaluation of their DNA cleavage activities as a measurement for their potential anticancer activity. Our findings unveiled: (i) the disaccharide moiety plays an important role in the DNA cleavage activity of BLMs and ZBMs, (ii) the ZBM disaccharide significantly enhances the potency of BLM, and (iii) 6′-deoxy-BLM Z represents the most potent BLM analogue known to date. The fact that 6′-deoxy-BLM Z can be produced in reasonable quantities by microbial fermentation should greatly facilitate follow-up mechanistic and preclinical studies to potentially advance this analogue into a clinical drug. PMID:22831455

  15. Effects of working memory and reading acceleration training on improving working memory abilities and reading skills among third graders.

    PubMed

    Nevo, Einat; Breznitz, Zvia

    2014-01-01

    Working memory (WM) plays a crucial role in supporting learning, including reading. This study investigated the influence of reading acceleration and WM training programs on improving reading skills and WM abilities. Ninety-seven children in third grade were divided into three study groups and one control group. The three study groups each received a different combination of two training programs: only reading acceleration, WM followed by reading acceleration, and reading acceleration followed by WM. All training programs significantly improved reading skills and WM abilities. Compared with the control group, the group trained with only the reading acceleration program improved word accuracy, whereas the groups trained with a combination of reading and WM programs improved word and pseudo-word fluency. The reading-acceleration-alone group and the WM-program-followed-by-reading-acceleration group improved phonological complex memory. We conclude that a training program that combines a long reading acceleration program and a short WM program is the most effective for improving the abilities most related to scholastic achievement.

  16. Virtual Intervention to Improve Storytelling Ability among Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eden, Sigal

    2014-01-01

    Deaf and hard-of-hearing (D/HH) children reveal considerable difficulty in producing an organised and complete narrative. The current study conducted a three-month intervention to improve D/HH children's storytelling ability through training in arranging episodes of temporal scripts, and telling the stories they created. We examined 65 D/HH…

  17. Using the Think-Pair-Share Strategy to Improve Students' Speaking Ability at STAIN Ternate

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Usman, Abdurrahman Hi

    2015-01-01

    This research was conducted to improve students' English speaking ability by using the think-pair-share strategy designed in CAR. The findings in Cycle 1 was unsuccessful because the students' average scores was 74.18 and classroom atmospheres were "mid" that did not meet the criteria of success. Therefore, the implementation of the…

  18. ICALL for Improving Korean L2 Writers' Ability to Edit Grammatical Errors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowan, Ron; Choo, Jinhee; Lee, Gabseon Sunny

    2014-01-01

    This study illustrates how a synergy of two technologies--Intelligent Computer-Assisted Language Learning (ICALL) and corpus linguistic analysis--can produce a lasting improvement in L2 learners' ability to edit persistent grammatical errors from their writing. A large written English corpus produced by Korean undergraduate and graduate…

  19. Improving Student Attitudes and Writing Abilities through Increased Writing Time and Opportunities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gau, Elisabeth; Hermanson, Jennifer; Logar, Michele; Smerek, Christine

    This report describes a program for improving student abilities and attitudes toward writing through increased writing time and opportunities. The targeted population consists of second, third, fourth, and fifth grade students at the elementary level in a growing middle class community located in the northwest suburban area of Chicago, Illinois.…

  20. On Improving Spatial Ability through Computer-Mediated Engineering Drawing Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rafi, Ahmad; Samsudin, Khairul Anuar; Ismail, Azniah

    2006-01-01

    This study investigates the effectiveness of computer-mediated Engineering Drawing instruction in improving spatial ability namely spatial visualisation and mental rotation. A multi factorial quasi experimental design study was employed involving a cohort of 138, 20 year old average undergraduates. Three interventional treatments were…

  1. Several CASE Lessons Can Improve Students' Control of Variables Reasoning Scheme Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Babai, Reuven; Levit-Dori, Tamar

    2009-01-01

    This study addressed one aspect of scientific reasoning, the control of variables reasoning scheme. We explored whether a short intervention aimed at accelerating this reasoning scheme by CASE lessons would improve students' ability to apply this scheme in problems related to the biology curriculum. About 120 students from grade nine were assessed…

  2. Is education associated with improvements in general cognitive ability, or in specific skills?

    PubMed

    Ritchie, Stuart J; Bates, Timothy C; Deary, Ian J

    2015-05-01

    Previous research has indicated that education influences cognitive development, but it is unclear what, precisely, is being improved. Here, we tested whether education is associated with cognitive test score improvements via domain-general effects on general cognitive ability (g), or via domain-specific effects on particular cognitive skills. We conducted structural equation modeling on data from a large (n = 1,091), longitudinal sample, with a measure of intelligence at age 11 years and 10 tests covering a diverse range of cognitive abilities taken at age 70. Results indicated that the association of education with improved cognitive test scores is not mediated by g, but consists of direct effects on specific cognitive skills. These results suggest a decoupling of educational gains from increases in general intellectual capacity.

  3. Long-Term Impact of Improving Visualization Abilities of Minority Engineering and Technology Students: Preliminary Results

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Study, Nancy E.

    2011-01-01

    Previous studies found that students enrolled in introductory engineering graphics courses at a historically black university (HBCU) had significantly lower than average test scores on the Purdue Spatial Visualization Test: Visualization of Rotations (PSVT) when it was administered during the first week of class. Since the ability to visualize is…

  4. Oxytocin improves mentalizing - pronounced effects for individuals with attenuated ability to empathize.

    PubMed

    Feeser, Melanie; Fan, Yan; Weigand, Anne; Hahn, Adam; Gärtner, Matti; Böker, Heinz; Grimm, Simone; Bajbouj, Malek

    2015-03-01

    The ability to predict the behavior of others based on their mental states is crucial for social functioning. Previous studies have provided evidence for the role of Oxytocin (OXT) in enhancing the ability to mentalize. It has also been demonstrated that the effect of OXT seems to strongly depend on socio-cognitive skills with more pronounced effects in individuals with lower socio-cognitive skills. Although recent studies indicate that mentalizing is related to empathy, no study has yet examined whether the effects of OXT on mentalizing depend on the ability to empathize. 71 male participants participated in a double-blind, between-subjects, placebo-controlled experiment. The Reading the Mind in the Eye Test (RMET) was used to investigate mentalizing abilities. We analyzed the effect of OXT on easy and difficult items of the RMET depending on differential empathy scores of the participants as assessed with the Empathy Quotient (EQ). Our results showed that OXT improves mentalizing for difficult but not for easy items. We generally observed increased mentalizing accuracy in participants with higher empathy scores. Importantly, however, whereas the performance in participants with higher empathy scores was comparable in both OXT and placebo condition, OXT specifically enhanced mentalizing accuracy in participants with lower empathy scores. Our findings suggest that OXT enhances mentalizing abilities. However, we also demonstrate that not all participants benefited from OXT application. It seems that the effects of OXT strongly depend on baseline social-cognitive skills such as empathy. PMID:25638480

  5. Silica Modified Chitosan/Polyethylenimine Nanogel for Improved Stability and Gene Carrier Ability.

    PubMed

    Tian, Rui; Xian, Lei; Li, Yuan; Zheng, Xingwang

    2016-05-01

    Although chitosan-based hydrogel has been widely used as a gene carrier material, further improvement in this aspect is still needed. Herein a new method was proposed for preparing the effective chitosan-based gene carrier nanogel. The new method based on the fact that supra-molecular interactions between silica, polyethylenimine (PEI) and chitosan could be used to self-assemble them together to form a rigid and stable gene carrier material in the reverse microemulsion system. When compared with chemical cross-linking route, the proposed method is simple and easy to adjust components of the resulting nanogel and, therefore, can improve its gene carrying ability. Our results showed that, doping of the PEI and silica into the chitosan hydrogel obviously increased its strength, stability and gene carrying ability. PMID:27483943

  6. Using higher-level inquiry to improve spatial ability in an introductory geology course

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevens, Lacey A.

    Visuo-spatial skills, the ability to visually take in information and create a mental image are crucial for success in fields involving science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as well as fine arts. Unfortunately, due to a lack of curriculum focused on developing spatial skills, students enrolled in introductory college-level science courses tend to have difficulty with spatially-related activities. One of the best ways to engage students in science activities is through a learning and teaching strategy called inquiry. There are lower levels of inquiry wherein learning and problem-solving are guided by instructions and higher levels of inquiry wherein students have a greater degree of autonomy in learning and creating their own problem-solving strategy. A study involving 112 participants was conducted during the fall semester in 2014 at Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in an 1040 Introductory Geology Lab to determine if a new, high-level, inquiry-based lab would increase participants' spatial skills more than the traditional, low-level inquiry lab. The study also evaluated whether a higher level of inquiry differentially affected low versus high spatial ability participants. Participants were evaluated using a spatial ability assessment, and pre- and post-tests. The results of this study show that for 3-D to 2-D visualization, the higher-level inquiry lab increased participants' spatial ability more than the lower-level inquiry lab. For spatial rotational skills, all participants' spatial ability scores improved, regardless of the level of inquiry to which they were exposed. Low and high spatial ability participants were not differentially affected. This study demonstrates that a lab designed with a higher level of inquiry can increase students' spatial ability more than a lab with a low level of inquiry. A lab with a higher level of inquiry helped all participants, regardless of their initial spatial ability level. These findings show that curriculum

  7. Short-term high-altitude pre-exposure improves neurobehavioral ability

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Wenyun; Chen, Guozhu; Qin, Jun; Zhang, Jihang; Guo, Xubin; Yu, Jie; Song, Pan; Lu, Wei; Xu, Baida; Li, Jiabei; Ding, Xiaohan

    2016-01-01

    This study aims to evaluate the effect of the duration of high-altitude (HA) pre-exposure on human neurobehavioral parameters including mood states and cognitive performance at HA. One hundred and eleven healthy individuals (ranging in age from 18 to 35 years) were recruited to participate in this study. They were divided into two groups: a 4-day short-term HA pre-exposure group (n=57) and a 3-month long-term HA pre-exposure group (n=54). All participants lived in the area at 400 m altitude above sea level before pre-exposure to HA. They were then transported to 3700 m plateau for either a 4-day or a 3-month HA pre-exposure, and finally delivered to 4400 m plateau. On the last day of pre-exposure at 3700 m and on the 10th day at 4400 m, neurobehavioral parameters of the participants in the two groups were evaluated. At the end of pre-exposure and on the 10th day of HA exposure, participants in the short-term group had significantly lower negative mood states, better cognitive performance with higher sensorimotor, attention, and psychomotor abilities, and less acute mountain sickness in comparison with the participants in the long-term pre-exposure group. Our field study with large samples showed that in comparison with 3-month long-term pre-exposure, 4-day short-term HA pre-exposure at 3700 m has a better effect in improving human neurobehavioral parameters including mood states and cognitive performance and reducing acute mountain sickness when exposed to a HA at 4400 m. PMID:26966781

  8. Does improved decision-making ability reduce the physiological demands of game-based activities in field sport athletes?

    PubMed

    Gabbett, Tim J; Carius, Josh; Mulvey, Mike

    2008-11-01

    This study investigated the effects of video-based perceptual training on pattern recognition and pattern prediction ability in elite field sport athletes and determined whether enhanced perceptual skills influenced the physiological demands of game-based activities. Sixteen elite women soccer players (mean +/- SD age, 18.3 +/- 2.8 years) were allocated to either a video-based perceptual training group (N = 8) or a control group (N = 8). The video-based perceptual training group watched video footage of international women's soccer matches. Twelve training sessions, each 15 minutes in duration, were conducted during a 4-week period. Players performed assessments of speed (5-, 10-, and 20-m sprint), repeated-sprint ability (6 x 20-m sprints, with active recovery on a 15-second cycle), estimated maximal aerobic power (V O2 max, multistage fitness test), and a game-specific video-based perceptual test of pattern recognition and pattern prediction before and after the 4 weeks of video-based perceptual training. The on-field assessments included time-motion analysis completed on all players during a standardized 45-minute small-sided training game, and assessments of passing, shooting, and dribbling decision-making ability. No significant changes were detected in speed, repeated-sprint ability, or estimated V O2 max during the training period. However, video-based perceptual training improved decision accuracy and reduced the number of recall errors, indicating improved game awareness and decision-making ability. Importantly, the improvements in pattern recognition and prediction ability transferred to on-field improvements in passing, shooting, and dribbling decision-making skills. No differences were detected between groups for the time spent standing, walking, jogging, striding, and sprinting during the small-sided training game. These findings demonstrate that video-based perceptual training can be used effectively to enhance the decision-making ability of field

  9. Does improved decision-making ability reduce the physiological demands of game-based activities in field sport athletes?

    PubMed

    Gabbett, Tim J; Carius, Josh; Mulvey, Mike

    2008-11-01

    This study investigated the effects of video-based perceptual training on pattern recognition and pattern prediction ability in elite field sport athletes and determined whether enhanced perceptual skills influenced the physiological demands of game-based activities. Sixteen elite women soccer players (mean +/- SD age, 18.3 +/- 2.8 years) were allocated to either a video-based perceptual training group (N = 8) or a control group (N = 8). The video-based perceptual training group watched video footage of international women's soccer matches. Twelve training sessions, each 15 minutes in duration, were conducted during a 4-week period. Players performed assessments of speed (5-, 10-, and 20-m sprint), repeated-sprint ability (6 x 20-m sprints, with active recovery on a 15-second cycle), estimated maximal aerobic power (V O2 max, multistage fitness test), and a game-specific video-based perceptual test of pattern recognition and pattern prediction before and after the 4 weeks of video-based perceptual training. The on-field assessments included time-motion analysis completed on all players during a standardized 45-minute small-sided training game, and assessments of passing, shooting, and dribbling decision-making ability. No significant changes were detected in speed, repeated-sprint ability, or estimated V O2 max during the training period. However, video-based perceptual training improved decision accuracy and reduced the number of recall errors, indicating improved game awareness and decision-making ability. Importantly, the improvements in pattern recognition and prediction ability transferred to on-field improvements in passing, shooting, and dribbling decision-making skills. No differences were detected between groups for the time spent standing, walking, jogging, striding, and sprinting during the small-sided training game. These findings demonstrate that video-based perceptual training can be used effectively to enhance the decision-making ability of field

  10. Ecological constraints on the ability of precision agriculture to improve the environmental performance of agricultural production systems.

    PubMed

    Groffman, P M

    1997-01-01

    In this paper, I address three topics relevant to the ability of precision agriculture to improve the environmental performance of agricultural production systems. First, I describe the fundamental ecological factors that influence the environmental performance of these systems and address how precision agriculture practices can or cannot interact with these factors. Second, I review the magnitude of the ecological processes that we hope to manage with precision agriculture relative to agricultural inputs to determine whether managing these processes can significantly affect system environmental performance. Finally, I address scale incongruencies between ecological processes and precision agriculture techniques that could limit the ability of these techniques to manage variability in these processes. The analysis suggests that there are significant ecological constraints on the ability of precision agriculture techniques to improve the environmental performance of agricultural production systems. The primary constraint is that these techniques do not address many of the key factors that cause poor environmental performance in these systems. Further, the magnitude of the ecological processes that we hope to manage with precision agriculture are quite small relative to agricultural inputs and, finally, these processes vary on scales that are incongruent with precision management techniques.

  11. Validity of the General Conceptual Ability Score from the Differential Ability Scales as a Function of Significant and Rare Interfactor Variability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kotz, Kasey M.; Watkins, Marley W.; McDermott, Paul A.

    2008-01-01

    Some researchers have argued that discrepant broad index scores invalidate IQs, but others have questioned the fundamental logic of that argument. To resolve this debate, the present study used a nationally representative sample of children (N = 1,200) who were matched individually for IQ. Children with significantly uneven broad index score…

  12. Improving Science Student Teachers' Self-perceptions of Fluency with Innovative Technologies and Scientific Inquiry Abilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Çalik, Muammer; Ebenezer, Jazlin; Özsevgeç, Tuncay; Küçük, Zeynel; Artun, Hüseyin

    2015-08-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of "Environmental Chemistry" elective course via Technology-Embedded Scientific Inquiry (TESI) model on senior science student teachers' (SSSTs) self-perceptions of fluency with innovative technologies (InT) and scientific inquiry abilities. The study was conducted with 117 SSSTs (68 females and 49 males—aged 21-23 years) enrolled in the "Environmental Chemistry" elective course in spring semester of 2011-2012 academic year in a Turkish University. Within a simple (causal) experimental design, Innovative Technology Fluency Survey and the SSSTs' environmental research papers were employed to collect data. The results indicate that the "Environmental Chemistry" elective course via the TESI model improved the SSSTs' self-perceptions of fluency with InT and the scientific inquiry abilities. In light of the results, it is recommended that an undergraduate course for improving the SSSTs' higher-order scientific inquiry abilities and preparing academically papers should be devised and added into the science teacher-training programmes.

  13. Executive Functions and the Improvement of Thinking Abilities: The Intervention in Reading Comprehension.

    PubMed

    García-Madruga, Juan A; Gómez-Veiga, Isabel; Vila, José Ó

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a preliminary theory of executive functions that address in a specific way their relationship with working memory (WM) and higher-level cognition. It includes: (a) four core on-line WM executive functions that are involved in every novel and complex cognitive task; (b) two higher order off-line executive functions, planning and revision, that are required to resolving the most complex intellectual abilities; and (c) emotional control that is involved in any complex, novel and difficult task. The main assumption is that efficiency on thinking abilities may be improved by specific instruction or training on the executive functions necessary to solving novel and complex tasks involved in these abilities. Evidence for the impact of our training proposal on WM's executive functions involved in higher-level cognitive abilities comes from three studies applying an adaptive program designed to improve reading comprehension in primary school students by boosting the core WM's executive functions involved in it: focusing on relevant information, switching (or shifting) between representations or tasks, connecting incoming information from text with long-term representations, updating of the semantic representation of the text in WM, and inhibition of irrelevant information. The results are consistent with the assumption that cognitive enhancements from the training intervention may have affected not only a specific but also a more domain-general mechanism involved in various executive functions. We discuss some methodological issues in the studies of effects of WM training on reading comprehension. The perspectives and limitations of our approach are finally discussed.

  14. Executive Functions and the Improvement of Thinking Abilities: The Intervention in Reading Comprehension.

    PubMed

    García-Madruga, Juan A; Gómez-Veiga, Isabel; Vila, José Ó

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a preliminary theory of executive functions that address in a specific way their relationship with working memory (WM) and higher-level cognition. It includes: (a) four core on-line WM executive functions that are involved in every novel and complex cognitive task; (b) two higher order off-line executive functions, planning and revision, that are required to resolving the most complex intellectual abilities; and (c) emotional control that is involved in any complex, novel and difficult task. The main assumption is that efficiency on thinking abilities may be improved by specific instruction or training on the executive functions necessary to solving novel and complex tasks involved in these abilities. Evidence for the impact of our training proposal on WM's executive functions involved in higher-level cognitive abilities comes from three studies applying an adaptive program designed to improve reading comprehension in primary school students by boosting the core WM's executive functions involved in it: focusing on relevant information, switching (or shifting) between representations or tasks, connecting incoming information from text with long-term representations, updating of the semantic representation of the text in WM, and inhibition of irrelevant information. The results are consistent with the assumption that cognitive enhancements from the training intervention may have affected not only a specific but also a more domain-general mechanism involved in various executive functions. We discuss some methodological issues in the studies of effects of WM training on reading comprehension. The perspectives and limitations of our approach are finally discussed. PMID:26869961

  15. Executive Functions and the Improvement of Thinking Abilities: The Intervention in Reading Comprehension

    PubMed Central

    García-Madruga, Juan A.; Gómez-Veiga, Isabel; Vila, José Ó.

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, we propose a preliminary theory of executive functions that address in a specific way their relationship with working memory (WM) and higher-level cognition. It includes: (a) four core on-line WM executive functions that are involved in every novel and complex cognitive task; (b) two higher order off-line executive functions, planning and revision, that are required to resolving the most complex intellectual abilities; and (c) emotional control that is involved in any complex, novel and difficult task. The main assumption is that efficiency on thinking abilities may be improved by specific instruction or training on the executive functions necessary to solving novel and complex tasks involved in these abilities. Evidence for the impact of our training proposal on WM's executive functions involved in higher-level cognitive abilities comes from three studies applying an adaptive program designed to improve reading comprehension in primary school students by boosting the core WM's executive functions involved in it: focusing on relevant information, switching (or shifting) between representations or tasks, connecting incoming information from text with long-term representations, updating of the semantic representation of the text in WM, and inhibition of irrelevant information. The results are consistent with the assumption that cognitive enhancements from the training intervention may have affected not only a specific but also a more domain-general mechanism involved in various executive functions. We discuss some methodological issues in the studies of effects of WM training on reading comprehension. The perspectives and limitations of our approach are finally discussed. PMID:26869961

  16. Locomotor Adaptation Improves Balance Control, Multitasking Ability and Reduces the Metabolic Cost of Postural Instability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bloomberg, J. J.; Peters, B. T.; Mulavara, A. P.; Brady, R. A.; Batson, C. D.; Miller, C. A.; Ploutz-Snyder, R. J.; Guined, J. R.; Buxton, R. E.; Cohen, H. S.

    2011-01-01

    During exploration-class missions, sensorimotor disturbances may lead to disruption in the ability to ambulate and perform functional tasks during the initial introduction to a novel gravitational environment following a landing on a planetary surface. The overall goal of our current project is to develop a sensorimotor adaptability training program to facilitate rapid adaptation to these environments. We have developed a unique training system comprised of a treadmill placed on a motion-base facing a virtual visual scene. It provides an unstable walking surface combined with incongruent visual flow designed to enhance sensorimotor adaptability. Greater metabolic cost incurred during balance instability means more physical work is required during adaptation to new environments possibly affecting crewmembers? ability to perform mission critical tasks during early surface operations on planetary expeditions. The goal of this study was to characterize adaptation to a discordant sensory challenge across a number of performance modalities including locomotor stability, multi-tasking ability and metabolic cost. METHODS: Subjects (n=15) walked (4.0 km/h) on a treadmill for an 8 -minute baseline walking period followed by 20-minutes of walking (4.0 km/h) with support surface motion (0.3 Hz, sinusoidal lateral motion, peak amplitude 25.4 cm) provided by the treadmill/motion-base system. Stride frequency and auditory reaction time were collected as measures of locomotor stability and multi-tasking ability, respectively. Metabolic data (VO2) were collected via a portable metabolic gas analysis system. RESULTS: At the onset of lateral support surface motion, subj ects walking on our treadmill showed an increase in stride frequency and auditory reaction time indicating initial balance and multi-tasking disturbances. During the 20-minute adaptation period, balance control and multi-tasking performance improved. Similarly, throughout the 20-minute adaptation period, VO2 gradually

  17. Gait Adaptability Training Improves Both Postural Stability and Dual-Tasking Ability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Brady, Rachel A.; Batson, Crystal D.; Peters, Brian T.; Ploutz-Snyder, Robert J.; Mulavara, Ajitkumar P.; Bloomberg, Jacob J.

    2010-01-01

    After spaceflight, the process of readapting to Earth's gravity commonly presents crewmembers with a variety of locomotor challenges. Our recent work has shown that the ability to adapt to a novel discordant sensorimotor environment can be increased through preflight training, so one focus of our laboratory has been the development of a gait training countermeasure to expedite the return of normal locomotor function after spaceflight. We used a training system comprising a treadmill mounted on a motion base facing a virtual visual scene that provided a variety of sensory challenges. As part of their participation in a larger retention study, 10 healthy adults completed 3 training sessions during which they walked on a treadmill at 1.1 m/s while receiving discordant support-surface and visual manipulations. After a single training session, subjects stride frequencies improved, and after 2 training sessions their auditory reaction times improved, where improvement was indicated by a return toward baseline values. Interestingly, improvements in reaction time came after stride frequency improvements plateaued. This finding suggests that postural stability was given a higher priority than a competing cognitive task. Further, it demonstrates that improvement in both postural stability and dual-tasking can be achieved with multiple training exposures. We conclude that, with training, individuals become more proficient at walking in discordant sensorimotor conditions and are able to devote more attention to competing tasks.

  18. Improvement of gross motor and cognitive abilities by an exercise training program: three case reports

    PubMed Central

    Alesi, Marianna; Battaglia, Giuseppe; Roccella, Michele; Testa, Davide; Palma, Antonio; Pepi, Annamaria

    2014-01-01

    Background This work examined the efficacy of an integrated exercise training program (coach and family) in three children with Down syndrome to improve their motor and cognitive abilities, in particular reaction time and working memory. Methods The integrated exercise training program was used in three children with Down syndrome, comprising two boys (M1, with a chronological age of 10.3 years and a mental age of 4.7 years; M2, with a chronological age of 14.6 years and a mental age of less than 4 years) and one girl (F1, chronological age 14.0 years and a mental age of less than 4 years). Results Improvements in gross motor ability scores were seen after the training period. Greater improvements in task reaction time were noted for both evaluation parameters, ie, time and omissions. Conclusion There is a close interrelationship between motor and cognitive domains in individuals with atypical development. There is a need to plan intervention programs based on the simultaneous involvement of child and parents and aimed at promoting an active lifestyle in individuals with Down syndrome. PMID:24672238

  19. Improving working memory abilities in individuals with Down syndrome: a treatment case study

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Hiwet Mariam; Purser, Harry R. M.; Passolunghi, Maria Chiara

    2015-01-01

    Working memory (WM) skills of individuals with Down’s syndrome (DS) tend to be very poor compared to typically developing children of similar mental age. In particular, research has found that in individuals with DS visuo-spatial WM is better preserved than verbal WM. This study investigated whether it is possible to train short-term memory (STM) and WM abilities in individuals with DS. The cases of two teenage children are reported: EH, 17 years and 3 months, and AS, 15 years and 11 months. A school-based treatment targeting visuo-spatial WM was given to EH and AS for six weeks. Both prior to and after the treatment, they completed a set of assessments to measure WM abilities and their performance was compared with younger typically developing non-verbal mental age controls. The results showed that the trained participants improved their performance in some of the trained and non-trained WM tasks proposed, especially with regard to the tasks assessing visuo-spatial WM abilities. These findings are discussed on the basis of their theoretical, educational, and clinical implications. PMID:26441713

  20. Perceptions of Changes in Phonological Processing, Oral Fluency, and Spelling Ability after a Program for Dyslexics Designed to Improve Reading Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Donna T.

    2011-01-01

    Approximately 15-20% of the U.S. population has been diagnosed with dyslexia. The theory of automaticity implies that automatic decoding precedes fluency in reading, leading to better comprehension. The "Reading from Scratch" program is designed to assist dyslexics improve their reading ability. Research questions for this case study included…

  1. Has Stewart approach improved our ability to diagnose acid-base disorders in critically ill patients?

    PubMed

    Masevicius, Fabio D; Dubin, Arnaldo

    2015-02-01

    conventional methods. Although the introduction of the Stewart approach was a new insight into acid-base physiology, the method has not significantly improved our ability to understand, diagnose, and treat acid-base alterations in critically ill patients.

  2. Using Simulation to Improve First-Year Pharmacy Students’ Ability to Identify Medication Errors Involving the Top 100 Prescription Medications

    PubMed Central

    Awdishu, Linda; Namba, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    Objective. To evaluate first-year pharmacy students’ ability to identify medication errors involving the top 100 prescription medications. Design. In the first quarter of a 3-quarter pharmacy self-care course, a didactic lecture on the most common prescribing and dispensing prescription errors was presented to first-year pharmacy students (P1) in preparation for a prescription review simulation done individually and as a group. In the following quarter, they were given a formal prescription review workshop before a second simulation involving individual and group review of a different set of prescriptions. Students were evaluated based on the number of correctly checked prescriptions and a self-assessment of their confidence in reviewing prescriptions. Assessment. All 63 P1 students completed the prescription review simulations. The individual scores did not significantly change, but group scores improved from 79 (16.2%) in the fall quarter to 98.6 (4.7%) in the winter quarter. Students perceived improvement of their prescription checking skills, specifically in their ability to fill a prescription on their own, identify prescribing and dispensing errors, and perform pharmaceutical calculations. Conclusion. A prescription review module consisting of a didactic lecture, workshop and simulation-based methods to teach prescription analysis was successful at improving first year pharmacy students’ knowledge, confidence, and application of these skills. PMID:27402989

  3. Discriminating between climate observations in terms of their ability to improve an ensemble of climate predictions

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Yi; Leroy, Stephen; Goody, Richard M.

    2011-01-01

    In view of the cost and complexity of climate-observing systems, it is a matter of concern to know which measurements, by satellite or in situ, can best improve the accuracy and precision of long-term ensembles of climate projections. We follow a statistical procedure to evaluate the relative capabilities of a wide variety of observable data types for improving the accuracy and precision of an ensemble of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) models. Thirty-two data types are evaluated for their potential for improving a 50-y surface air temperature trend prediction with data from earlier periods, with an emphasis on 20 y. Data types can be ordered in terms of their ability to increase the precision of a forecast. Results show that important conclusions can follow from this ordering. The small size of the IPCC model ensemble (20 members) creates uncertainties in these conclusions, which need to be substantiated with the larger ensembles expected in the future. But the larger issue of whether the methodology can provide useful answers is demonstrated. PMID:21670245

  4. Mutant Taq DNA polymerases with improved elongation ability as a useful reagent for genetic engineering

    PubMed Central

    Yamagami, Takeshi; Ishino, Sonoko; Kawarabayasi, Yutaka; Ishino, Yoshizumi

    2014-01-01

    DNA polymerases are widely used for DNA manipulation in vitro, including DNA cloning, sequencing, DNA labeling, mutagenesis, and other experiments. Thermostable DNA polymerases are especially useful and became quite valuable after the development of PCR technology. A DNA polymerase from Thermus aquaticus (Taq polymerase) is the most famous DNA polymerase as a PCR enzyme, and has been widely used all over the world. In this study, the gene fragments of the family A DNA polymerases were amplified by PCR from the DNAs from microorganisms within environmental soil samples, using a primer set for the two conserved regions. The corresponding region of the pol gene for Taq polymerase was substituted with the amplified gene fragments, and various chimeric DNA polymerases were prepared. Based on the properties of these chimeric enzymes and their sequences, two residues, E742 and A743, in Taq polymerase were found to be critical for its elongation ability. Taq polymerases with mutations at 742 and 743 actually showed higher DNA affinity and faster primer extension ability. These factors also affected the PCR performance of the DNA polymerase, and improved PCR results were observed with the mutant Taq polymerase. PMID:25232352

  5. A synthetic fragment of leptin increase hematopoietic stem cell population and improve its engraftment ability.

    PubMed

    Dias, Carolina C; Nogueira-Pedro, Amanda; Tokuyama, Paula Yumi; Martins, Marta N C; Segreto, Helena Regina Comodo; Buri, Marcus V; Miranda, Antonio; Paredes-Gamero, Edgar J

    2015-07-01

    Several studies have shown the important actions of cytokine leptin that regulates food intake and energy expenditure. Additionally, the ability to modulate hematopoiesis has also been demonstrated. Previous reports have shown that some synthetic sequences of leptin molecules can activate leptin receptor. Herein, decapeptides encompassing amino acids from positions 98 to 122 of the leptin molecule were constructed to evaluate their effects on hematopoiesis. Among them, the synthetic peptide Lep(110-119)-NH2 (LEP F) was the only peptide that possessed the ability to increase the percentage of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC). Moreover, LEP F also produced an increase of granulocyte/macrophage colony-forming units and activated leptin receptor. Furthermore, LEP F also improves the grafting of HSC in bone marrow, but did not accelerate the recovery of bone marrow after ablation with 5-fluorouracil. These results show that LEP F is a positive modulator of the in vivo expansion of HSC and could be useful in bone marrow transplantation.

  6. Improved self- and external assessment of the clinical abilities of medical students through structured improvement measures in an internal medicine bedside course

    PubMed Central

    Fünger, S. M.; Lesevic, H.; Rosner, S.; Ott, I.; Berberat, P.; Nikendei, C.; Sonne, C.

    2016-01-01

    Background: Bedside courses are of outstanding importance when training medical students. The fact that less and less teaching is taking place nowadays at the patient's bedside makes it all the more important that the available time be put to effective use. The aim of this study was to check whether structured improvement measures in the course (scripts, lecturer briefing, e-learning cases) would improve the abilities of the students on the basis of a subjective self-assessment as well as an external assessment by the lecturers with respect to clinical abilities. Methods: Bedside teaching takes place in the fourth study year in the Medical Clinics of the TU Munich. Both students and lecturers had the chance to hand in an anonymous, quantitative self- and external assessment of the clinical abilities of the students (German grading system) after every course date. This assessment took place online in the three categories "Medical history & examination", "Diagnosis" and "Therapy". An overall period of four semesters, each with 6 course dates, was investigated. After two of the total of four semesters in the study, the course was changed by introducing scripts, lecturer briefing as well as interactive e-learning cases. The self- and external assessment was compared both within the semester (date 1-3: A; date 4-6: B), during the course as well as before and after introducing the improvement measures ("before" (T0): SS 2012, SS 2013, "after" (T1): WS 2013/2014, SS 2014). Results: There was a significant improvement in one's own abilities on the basis of the self-assessment within each semester when comparing the first (A) and the last (B) course dates. Moreover, there was a significant improvement in the performances in all three categories when T0 was compared with T1, from both the point of view of the students ("Medical history & examination": T0 =2.5±0.9, T1=2.2±0.7, pp<0.001; "Diagnosis" T0=3.1±1.0, T1=2.8 ±0.9, pp<0.001; "Therapy": T0=3.8±1.3, T1=3.5±1.2, pp

  7. Analysis of Accumulating Ability of Heavy Metals in Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) Improved by Ion Implantation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jianhua; Wang, Naiyan; Zhang, Fengshou

    2012-05-01

    Heavy metals have seriously contaminated soil and water, and done harm to public health. Academician WANG Naiyan proposed that ion-implantation technique should be exploited for environmental bioremediation by mutating and breeding plants or microbes. By implanting N+ into Taikonglian No.1, we have selected and bred two lotus cultivars, Jingguang No.1 and Jingguang No.2. The present study aims at analyzing the feasibility that irradiation can be used for remediation of soil and water from heavy metals. Compared with parent Taikonglian No.1, the uptaking and accumulating ability of heavy metals in two mutated cultivars was obviously improved. So ion implantation technique can indeed be used in bioremediation of heavy metals in soil and water, but it is hard to select and breed a cultivar which can remedy the soil and water from all the heavy metals.

  8. [Dentists should improve the ability to deal with medical emergencies in dental clinic].

    PubMed

    Pan, Jian; Liao, Xuejuan; Zhang, Zhuang

    2015-08-01

    In recent years, the number of outpatients in stomatological hospital is in increasing year by year and being accompanied by the corresponding medical risks. One of the risks which may endanger the patient life is medical emergency which need emergency treatment by the dentists in dental clinical practice. The most common emergency type is syncope, followed by hyperventilation, drug overdose, adrenaline reaction and hypertension, etc. Unexpected events mainly occurred at the end of the treatment and before leaving the dental clinic, during or immediately after the local anesthesia, in the treatment process. Tooth extraction related emergency is the most frequently occurring emergency, followed by the local anesthesia related ones. It's strongly suggested that dentists should pay more attention to outpatient clinical emergency treatment, and related knowledge and skills training should be offered to improve the ability to handle medical emergencies.

  9. Effects of specific muscle imbalance improvement training on the balance ability in elite fencers

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Taewhan; Kil, Sekee; Chung, Jinwook; Moon, Jeheon; Oh, Eunyoung

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] The lunge Motion that occurs frequently in fencing training and matches results in imbalance of the upper and lower limbs muscles. This research focuses on the improvement of the imbalance that occurs in the national team fencers of the Republic of Korea through specific muscle imbalance improvement training. [Subjects] The subjects of this research were limited to right-handed male fencers. Nine male, right-handed national fencing athletes were selected for this study (4 epee, 5 sabre; age 28.2 ± 2.2 years; height 182.3 ± 4.0 cm; weight 76.5 ± 8.2 kg; experience 12.4 ± 3.0 years). [Methods] The specific muscle imbalance improvement training program was performed for 12 weeks and Pre-Post tests were to evaluate its effect on the experimental group. Measurements comprised anthropometry, test of balance, and movement analysis. [Results] After the training program, mediolateral sway of the nondominant lower limb and the balance scale showed statistically significant improvement. [Conclusion] The specific muscle imbalance improvement training program used in this research was proven to be effective for improving the muscle imbalance of elite fencers. PMID:26157269

  10. An Information-Summarising Instruction Strategy for Improving the Web-Based Problem Solving Abilities of Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hwang, Gwo-Jen; Kuo, Fan-Ray

    2011-01-01

    As knowledge rapidly expands and accumulates, training and assessing students' information searching ability for solving problems on the Internet has become an important and challenging issue. This research aims to improve the web-based problem solving abilities of primary school students by employing an information summarising approach for…

  11. Physical capacity and functional abilities improve in young adults with intellectual disabilities after functional training.

    PubMed

    Barwick, Ryan B; Tillman, Mark D; Stopka, Christine B; Dipnarine, Krishna; Delisle, Anthony; Sayedul Huq, Mona

    2012-06-01

    Individuals with an intellectual disability (ID) have higher rates of obesity, lower rates of physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness, and muscular endurance than do typically developed individuals (TDI) and are twice as likely to develop chronic disease, living half as long as TDIs do. The purpose of this study was to examine the improvements in physical capacity and functional ability in Special Olympic Athletes (SOAs) aged 19-22 years after participating in a functional training (FT) program and compare these scores with those of the SOAs in a resistance weight training (WT) program. Twenty SOAs (13 men, 7 women with mild to moderate ID) participated in a 1-hour FT program, twice a week, for 10 weeks, compared with 22 same-aged SOAs (14 men, 8 women) participating in a 1-hour WT program (2× week for 8 weeks). Prefitness and postfitness tests consisting of heart rate (HR) for the 3-minute step test, static plank, body weight squats, static bar hang, and knee push-ups were conducted. Two-tailed, paired sample t-tests (p < 0.05) were used to evaluate the differences in the FT group. Change scores were used to compare FTG with the WT group. The HR decreased by 31.8 b·min⁻¹ pre-post in the FTG (p < 0.001). Static plank duration improved by 22.4 seconds in the FTG (p = 0.016); static plank change scores improved (p = 0.037) for the FTG (26.5 ± 32.1 seconds compared with that for the WT group (4.6 ± 22 seconds). Height and weight values were unchanged in both the groups. The results of this study demonstrate the value of FT programs for this population, because weight equipment is not always available in many settings.

  12. Improvement of Prediction Ability for Genomic Selection of Dairy Cattle by Including Dominance Effects

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Chuanyu; VanRaden, Paul M.; Cole, John B.; O'Connell, Jeffrey R.

    2014-01-01

    Dominance may be an important source of non-additive genetic variance for many traits of dairy cattle. However, nearly all prediction models for dairy cattle have included only additive effects because of the limited number of cows with both genotypes and phenotypes. The role of dominance in the Holstein and Jersey breeds was investigated for eight traits: milk, fat, and protein yields; productive life; daughter pregnancy rate; somatic cell score; fat percent and protein percent. Additive and dominance variance components were estimated and then used to estimate additive and dominance effects of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The predictive abilities of three models with both additive and dominance effects and a model with additive effects only were assessed using ten-fold cross-validation. One procedure estimated dominance values, and another estimated dominance deviations; calculation of the dominance relationship matrix was different for the two methods. The third approach enlarged the dataset by including cows with genotype probabilities derived using genotyped ancestors. For yield traits, dominance variance accounted for 5 and 7% of total variance for Holsteins and Jerseys, respectively; using dominance deviations resulted in smaller dominance and larger additive variance estimates. For non-yield traits, dominance variances were very small for both breeds. For yield traits, including additive and dominance effects fit the data better than including only additive effects; average correlations between estimated genetic effects and phenotypes showed that prediction accuracy increased when both effects rather than just additive effects were included. No corresponding gains in prediction ability were found for non-yield traits. Including cows with derived genotype probabilities from genotyped ancestors did not improve prediction accuracy. The largest additive effects were located on chromosome 14 near DGAT1 for yield traits for both breeds; those SNPs also

  13. No age deficits in the ability to use attention to improve visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Souza, Alessandra S

    2016-08-01

    Maintenance of information in mind to the moment-to-moment cognition is accomplished by working memory (WM). WM capacity is reduced in old age, but the nature of this decline is yet not clear. The current study examined the hypothesis that the decline in visual WM performance with age is related to a reduced ability to use attention to control the contents of WM. Young (M = 26 years) and old (M = 71 years) adults performed a color reproduction task in which the precise color of a set of dots had to be maintained in mind over a brief interval and later reproduced using a continuous color wheel. Attention was manipulated by presenting a spatial cue before the onset of the memory array (a precue) or during the maintenance phase (retro-cue). The cue indicated with 100% certainty the item to be tested at the end of the trial. A precue allows the selective encoding of only the relevant item to WM, whereas a retro-cue allows WM contents to be updated by refreshing the relevant (cued) item and removing nonrelevant (noncued) items. Aging was associated with a lower capacity in the baseline (no-cue) condition. Precues and (to a smaller extent) retro-cues improved WM performance (in terms of probability of recall and memory precision). Critically, the benefits of cueing were of similar magnitude in young and older adults showing that the ability to use attention to selectively encode and update the contents of WM is preserved with aging. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:27253868

  14. Do Subjective Measures Improve the Ability to Identify Limited Health Literacy in a Clinical Setting?

    PubMed Central

    Goodman, Melody S.; Griffey, Richard T.; Carpenter, Christopher R.; Blanchard, Melvin; Kaphingst, Kimberly A.

    2016-01-01

    Background Existing health literacy assessments developed for research purposes have constraints that limit their utility for clinical practice, including time requirements and administration protocols. The Brief Health Literacy Screen (BHLS) consists of 3 self-administered Single-Item Literacy Screener (SILS) questions and obviates these clinical barriers. We assessed whether the addition of SILS items or the BHLS to patient demographics readily available in ambulatory clinical settings reaching underserved patients improves the ability to identify limited health literacy. Methods We analyzed data from 2 cross-sectional convenience samples of patients from an urban academic emergency department (n = 425) and a primary care clinic (n = 486) in St. Louis, Missouri. Across samples, health literacy was assessed using the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Medicine-Revised (REALM-R), Newest Vital Sign (NVS), and the BHLS. Our analytic sample consisted of 911 adult patients, who were primarily female (62%), black (66%), and had at least a high school education (82%); 456 were randomly assigned to the estimation sample and 455 to the validation sample. Results The analysis showed that the best REALM-R estimation model contained age, sex, education, race, and 1 SILS item (difficulty understanding written information). In validation analysis this model had a sensitivity of 62%, specificity of 81%, a positive likelihood ratio (LR+) of 3.26, and a negative likelihood ratio (LR−) of 0.47; there was a 28% misclassification rate. The best NVS estimation model contained the BHLS, age, sex, education and race; this model had a sensitivity of 77%, specificity of 72%, LR+ of 2.75, LR− of 0.32, and a misclassification rate of 25%. Conclusions Findings suggest that the BHLS and SILS items improve the ability to identify patients with limited health literacy compared with demographic predictors alone. However, despite being easier to administer in clinical settings, subjective

  15. Quality of life is social--towards an improvement of social abilities in patients with epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Szemere, Emily; Jokeit, Hennric

    2015-03-01

    Quality of life (QoL) for people with epilepsy is considered worse than the condition's clinical and medical prognosis would predict. Quantity and quality of social interaction considerably determine QoL. Research shows that a significant proportion of patients with epilepsy experience difficulties with social functioning that is thought to be related to impaired QoL. The aim of this review article is to provide an evidence base for conceptualising and developing interventions to improve quality of life through social functioning, for adults with epilepsy. Previous and current research is considered initially with regards to why such difficulties arise and established interventions that address social competence and functioning are reviewed and explored from the field of schizophrenia, a condition also associated with similar difficulties in social cognition, cognition and negative symptoms. The paper considers the advantages and disadvantages of these interventions, the outcomes and emerging research in this area. Positive findings are found from interventional studies in schizophrenia such as the enhancing potential and generalisation of training in social cognition, the benefits of an integrated approach to improving social functioning and proposal of 'online' interaction approaches. These findings provide interesting and exciting directions for the ultimate goal towards interventions for the improvement of social functioning and quality of life in patients with epilepsy. This is of particular significance as at present there is currently no such dedicated program for people with epilepsy.

  16. Ginsenoside Rd Improves Learning and Memory Ability in APP Transgenic Mice.

    PubMed

    Liu, Juanfang; Yan, Xiaodong; Li, Ling; Li, Yuan; Zhou, Linfu; Zhang, Xiaohui; Hu, Xinghua; Zhao, Gang

    2015-12-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a complicated neurodegenerative disease which causes memory loss and dementia. Many researchers have revealed the vital roles of β-amyloid proteins (Aβ) in the proceeds of AD. Aβ deposition in AD patients' brains might function as immune stimulus, and inflammation is believed to play an important role in AD pathologically. We experimentally used amyloid β-protein precursor (APP) transgenic (Tg) mice in this study to further clarify the neuroprotective effects of ginsenoside Rd on AD and its possible mechanisms. It was found that Rd could improve learning and memory ability in APP Tg mice, probably through inhibiting the transcription activity of NFκB. With the activation of the NFκB pathway being suppressed, the reduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the generation of protective factors had been increased ultimately. In conclusion, Rd had a neuroprotective effect on APP Tg mice, and it can be used as an alternative drug therapy in AD patients for their memory dysfunction.

  17. Contribution of emission control and atmospheric diffusion ability to the improved air quality in 2015 of China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, X.; Wang, K.

    2015-12-01

    China experiences extremely severe and frequent PM2.5 (fine particulate matters with diameters less than 2.5 µm) pollution in recent years, arousing unprecedented public concern. Tough targets have been set for three particularly smog-ridden regions: JingJinJi area, the Yangtze River Delta and Pearl River Delta, requiring these regions to reduce their atmospheric levels of PM2.5 by 25%, 20% and 15% respectively by the year 2017. A lot of mitigation actions have been taken to improve the air quality in China. In January 2013, China began to deploy instruments to measure PM2.5 nationally and released hourly observational data to the public. Observed PM2.5 concentrations showed a significant decrease in 2015 comparing to that of 2014 as shown in Fig.1. Many studies have attributed this kind of air quality improvement to the effect of emission control. However, air quality not only depends on the original emission, the atmospheric abilities of contaminant transfer, spread and wet deposition play a big role in reducing the ambient air pollutants and directly determined by the occurrence of pollution episodes. Here we used the first 2 years PM2.5 observation data in China to quantify the contribution of the effect of emission control and atmospheric ability of diffusing on reducing ambient PM2.5 concentrations. We found that PM2.5 decreased by 24% in 2015 winter (Dec. 2014-Feb. 2015) comparing to that in 2014; and 12% of decrease occurred for the spring time. The inconsistent seasonal improvement of air quality is mainly due to the favorable atmospheric background in 2015, with its frequent precipitation, infrequency of surface calm wind during the wintertime.

  18. Significant Improvement in Dynamic Visual Acuity after Cataract Surgery: A Promising Potential Parameter for Functional Vision

    PubMed Central

    Ao, Mingxin; Li, Xuemin; Huang, Chen; Hou, Zhiqiang; Qiu, Weiqiang; Wang, Wei

    2014-01-01

    Purpose Dynamic visual acuity (DVA) is a relatively independent parameter for evaluating the ability to distinguish details of a moving target. The present study has been designed to discuss the extent to which age-related cataract impacts DVA in elderly individuals and to determine whether it could be restored after bilateral phacoemulsification combined with intraocular lens implantation surgery. Methods Twenty-six elderly cataract patients scheduled for binocular cataract surgery and 30 elderly volunteers without cataract were enrolled in the study. DVA at 15, 30, 60 and 90 degree per second (dps) was assessed, and velocity-dependent visual acuity decreases between consecutive speed levels were calculated. Results Compared with the control group, the patient group exhibited significantly worse DVA performance at all speed levels (p<0.001), and the decreases in velocity-dependent visual acuity were more serious in the patient group at the intervals of 0–15 dps (p<0.001), 15–30 dps (p = 0.007) and 30–60 dps (p = 0.008). Postoperatively, DVA performance at every speed level in the patient group clearly improved (p<0.001) and recovered to levels compatible to the control group. The decrease in visual acuity with increasing speed was less pronounced than during the preoperative phase (p0–15 dps = 0.001, p15–30 dps<0.001 and p30–60 dps = 0.001) and became similar to that of the control group. The postoperative visual benefit regarding DVA was more pronounced than the improvement in static visual acuity (p15 dps = 0.001 and p<0.001 at 30 dps, 60 dps and 90 dps). Conclusions The impact of age-related cataract on DVA was more severe than its effects on static visual acuity. After cataract surgery, not only static vision of the patients was restored markedly, but also the dynamic vision. DVA could be an important adjunct to the current evaluation system of functional vision, thereby meriting additional attention in clinical assessment. PMID

  19. Using the Significant Learning Taxonomy and Active Learning to Improve Accounting Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Killian, Larita J.; Brandon, Christopher D.

    2009-01-01

    Like other members of the academy, accounting professors are challenged to improve student learning. We must help students move beyond the "bean counter" role and develop higher-level skills such as analysis, synthesis, and problem-solving. The Significant Learning Taxonomy was used as a template to improve learning in an introductory accounting…

  20. Feeling Better About Self After Receiving Negative Feedback: When the Sense That Ability Can Be Improved Is Activated.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xinyi; Chen, Yinghe; Tian, Baowei

    2016-01-01

    Past studies suggest that managers and educators often consider negative feedback as a motivator for individuals to think about their shortcomings and improve their work, but delivering negative feedback does not always achieve desired results. The present study, based on incremental theory, employed an intervention method to activate the belief that a particular ability could be improved after negative feedback. Three experiments tested the intervention effect on negative self-relevant emotion. Study 1 indicated conveying suggestions for improving ability reduced negative self-relevant emotion after negative feedback. Study 2 tested whether activating the sense of possible improvement in the ability could reduce negative self-relevant emotion. Results indicated activating the belief that ability could be improved reduced negative self-relevant emotion after failure, but delivering emotion management information alone did not yield the same effect. Study 3 extended the results by affirming the effort participants made in doing the test, and found the affirmation reduced negative self-relevant emotion. Collectively, the findings indicated focusing on the belief that the ability could be improved in the future can reduce negative self-relevant emotion after negative feedback.

  1. Feeling Better About Self After Receiving Negative Feedback: When the Sense That Ability Can Be Improved Is Activated.

    PubMed

    Hu, Xinyi; Chen, Yinghe; Tian, Baowei

    2016-01-01

    Past studies suggest that managers and educators often consider negative feedback as a motivator for individuals to think about their shortcomings and improve their work, but delivering negative feedback does not always achieve desired results. The present study, based on incremental theory, employed an intervention method to activate the belief that a particular ability could be improved after negative feedback. Three experiments tested the intervention effect on negative self-relevant emotion. Study 1 indicated conveying suggestions for improving ability reduced negative self-relevant emotion after negative feedback. Study 2 tested whether activating the sense of possible improvement in the ability could reduce negative self-relevant emotion. Results indicated activating the belief that ability could be improved reduced negative self-relevant emotion after failure, but delivering emotion management information alone did not yield the same effect. Study 3 extended the results by affirming the effort participants made in doing the test, and found the affirmation reduced negative self-relevant emotion. Collectively, the findings indicated focusing on the belief that the ability could be improved in the future can reduce negative self-relevant emotion after negative feedback. PMID:25699420

  2. Chronic α-Tocopherol Increases Central Monoamines Synthesis and Improves Cognitive and Motor Abilities in Old Rats.

    PubMed

    Ramis, Margarita R; Sarubbo, Fiorella; Terrasa, Juan L; Moranta, David; Aparicio, Sara; Miralles, Antonio; Esteban, Susana

    2016-04-01

    Limiting enzymes in the synthesis of brain monoamines seems to be susceptible to oxidative damage, one of the most important factors in aging. It has been suggested that the use of anti-oxidants can reduce the rate of free radical production related with aging and the associated damage. Therefore, this study aims to analyze the effects of the chronic treatments with the anti-oxidant α-tocopherol (vitamin E) on central monoamines (high-performance liquid chromatography [HPLC] analysis) mediating cognitive functions, as well as on the evaluation of memory and motor abilities in old rats measured by radial maze, Barnes maze, novel object recognition test, and rotarod test. Results show that α-tocopherol significantly increased in a dose- and/or time-dependent manner the synthesis rate and the levels of monoaminergic neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline) in the hippocampus and striatum, brain regions involved in memory processing and motor coordination. These positive neurochemical effects, largely due to an increased activity of the limiting enzymes in monoamines synthesis, tryptophan hydroxylase and tyrosine hydroxylase, were accompanied by an improvement in cognitive and motor abilities in old rats. Altogether these findings suggest that α-tocopherol exhibits neuroprotective actions in old rats; thus, diets with α-tocopherol might represent a promising strategy to mitigate or delay the cognitive and motor decline associate with aging and related-diseases.

  3. Chronic α-Tocopherol Increases Central Monoamines Synthesis and Improves Cognitive and Motor Abilities in Old Rats.

    PubMed

    Ramis, Margarita R; Sarubbo, Fiorella; Terrasa, Juan L; Moranta, David; Aparicio, Sara; Miralles, Antonio; Esteban, Susana

    2016-04-01

    Limiting enzymes in the synthesis of brain monoamines seems to be susceptible to oxidative damage, one of the most important factors in aging. It has been suggested that the use of anti-oxidants can reduce the rate of free radical production related with aging and the associated damage. Therefore, this study aims to analyze the effects of the chronic treatments with the anti-oxidant α-tocopherol (vitamin E) on central monoamines (high-performance liquid chromatography [HPLC] analysis) mediating cognitive functions, as well as on the evaluation of memory and motor abilities in old rats measured by radial maze, Barnes maze, novel object recognition test, and rotarod test. Results show that α-tocopherol significantly increased in a dose- and/or time-dependent manner the synthesis rate and the levels of monoaminergic neurotransmitters (serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline) in the hippocampus and striatum, brain regions involved in memory processing and motor coordination. These positive neurochemical effects, largely due to an increased activity of the limiting enzymes in monoamines synthesis, tryptophan hydroxylase and tyrosine hydroxylase, were accompanied by an improvement in cognitive and motor abilities in old rats. Altogether these findings suggest that α-tocopherol exhibits neuroprotective actions in old rats; thus, diets with α-tocopherol might represent a promising strategy to mitigate or delay the cognitive and motor decline associate with aging and related-diseases. PMID:26414867

  4. Elemental sulfur improves growth and phytoremediative ability of wheat grown in lead-contaminated calcareous soil.

    PubMed

    Saifullah; Khan, Muhammad Naeem; Iqbal, Muhammad; Naeem, Asif; Bibi, Sadia; Waraich, Ejaz Ahmad; Dahlawi, Saad

    2016-10-01

    Little is known about the effect of elemental sulfur on lead uptake and its toxicity in wheat. A pot experiment was conducted with the purpose to examine the impact of sulfur on improving Pb solubility in soil, and uptake and accumulation in wheat plants. The effect of three levels of lead (0, 50, and 100 mg/kg soil) and sulfur (0, 150, and 300 mmol/kg soil) was tested in all possible combinations. Root dry matter, straw, and grain yields, and the photosynthetic and transpiration rates decreased significantly with increase in the concentration of Pb in the soil. However, sulfur fertilization in the presence of Pb improved the photosynthetic and transpiration rates and consequently increased the straw and grain yields of wheat. It also enhanced Pb accumulation in roots, its translocation from roots to shoot, and accumulation in grain. S and Zn contents of different plant parts were also enhanced. Thus, by mitigating the toxic effect of Pb and improving wheat growth, sulfur enhances Pb accumulation by the aboveground plant parts and hence the phytoextraction capacity of wheat. However, total accumulation of Pb shows that wheat plant cannot be considered as a suitable candidate for phytoremediation. PMID:26852881

  5. Improving the Quality of Ability Estimates through Multidimensional Scoring and Incorporation of Ancillary Variables

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    de la Torre, Jimmy

    2009-01-01

    For one reason or another, various sources of information, namely, ancillary variables and correlational structure of the latent abilities, which are usually available in most testing situations, are ignored in ability estimation. A general model that incorporates these sources of information is proposed in this article. The model has a general…

  6. Significant Reading Improvement among Underachieving Adolescents Using LANGUAGE! A Structured Approach.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scheffel, Debora L.; Shroyer, Jennifer; Strongin, Dawn

    2003-01-01

    Determines the efficacy of a structured reading intervention program with adolescents identified as evidencing significant reading underachievement. Suggests that implementation of the "LANGUAGE!" intervention program was effective in significantly improving reading comprehension and spelling, word recognition for students in grades 7 and 10, and…

  7. Dosing profile profoundly influences nicotinic acid’s ability to improve metabolic control in rats

    PubMed Central

    Kroon, Tobias; Kjellstedt, Ann; Thalén, Pia; Gabrielsson, Johan; Oakes, Nicholas D.

    2015-01-01

    Acute nicotinic acid (NiAc) administration results in rapid reduction of plasma FFA concentrations. However, sustained NiAc exposure is associated with tolerance development resulting in return of FFA to pretreatment levels. The aim of this study was to determine whether a 12 h rectangular exposure profile (intermittent dose group) could avoid tolerance development and thereby reverse insulin resistance induced by lipid overload. FFA lowering was assessed in male Sprague Dawley (lean) and obese Zucker rats (obese) in response to a 5 h NiAc infusion, in either NiAc-naïve animals or after 5 days of continuous (24 h/day) or intermittent (12 h/day) NiAc dosing (via implantable, programmable minipump). We found that intermittent dosing over 5 days preserved NiAc-induced FFA lowering, comparable to dosing in NiAc-naïve animals. By contrast, following 5 days continuous administration, NiAc-induced FFA lowering was lost. The effect of intermittent NiAc infusion on insulin sensitivity was assessed in obese Zucker rats using hyperinsulinemic-isoglycemic clamps. The acute effect of NiAc to elevate glucose infusion rate (vs. saline control) was indeed preserved with intermittent dosing, while being lost upon continuous infusion. In conclusion, an intermittent but not continuous NiAc dosing strategy succeeded in retaining NiAc’s ability to lower FFA and improve insulin sensitivity in obese Zucker rats.—Kroon, T., A. Kjellstedt, P. Thalén, J. Gabrielsson, and N. D. Oakes. PMID:26168997

  8. Can Clinical Scenario Videos Improve Dental Students' Perceptions of the Basic Sciences and Ability to Apply Content Knowledge?

    PubMed

    Miller, Cynthia Jayne; Metz, Michael James

    2015-12-01

    Dental students often have difficulty understanding the importance of basic science classes, such as physiology, for their future careers. To help alleviate this problem, the aim of this study was to create and evaluate a series of video modules using simulated patients and custom-designed animations that showcase medical emergencies in the dental practice. First-year students in a dental physiology course formatively assessed their knowledge using embedded questions in each of the three videos; 108 to 114 of the total 120 first-year students answered the questions, for a 90-95% response rate. These responses indicated that while the students could initially recognize the cause of the medical emergency, they had difficulty in applying their knowledge of physiology to the scenario. In two of the three videos, students drastically improved their ability to answer high-level clinical questions at the conclusion of the video. Additionally, when compared to the previous year of the course, there was a significant improvement in unit exam scores on clinically related questions (6.2% increase). Surveys were administered to the first-year students who participated in the video modules and fourth-year students who had completed the course prior to implementation of any clinical material. The response rate for the first-year students was 96% (115/120) and for the fourth-year students was 57% (68/120). The first-year students indicated a more positive perception of the physiology course and its importance for success on board examinations and their dental career than the fourth-year students. The students perceived that the most positive aspects of the modules were the clear applications of physiology to real-life dental situations, the interactive nature of the videos, and the improved student comprehension of course concepts. These results suggest that online modules may be used successfully to improve students' perceptions of the basic sciences and enhance their ability to

  9. Ability of New Obturation Materials to Improve the Seal of the Root Canal System – A Review

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Wei; Olsen, Mark; De-Deus, Gustavo; Eid, Ashraf A.; Chen, Ji-hua; Pashley, David H.; Tay, Franklin R.

    2014-01-01

    Objectives New obturation biomaterials have been introduced over the past decade to improve the seal of the root canal system. However, it is not clear whether they have really produced a three-dimensional impervious seal that is important for reducing diseases associated with root canal treatment. Methods A review of the literature was performed to identify models that have been employed for evaluating the seal of the root canal system. Results and Significance In-vitro and in-vivo models are not totally adept at quantifying the seal of root canals obturated with classic materials. Thus, one has to resort to clinical outcomes to examine whether there are real benefits associated with the use of recently-introduced materials for obturating root canals. However, there is no facile answer because endodontic treatment outcomes are influenced by a host of other predictors that are more likely to take precedence over the influence of obturation materials. From the perspective of clinical performance, classic root filling materials have stood the test of time. Because many of the recently-introduced materials are so new, there is not enough evidence yet to support their ability to improve clinical performance. This emphasizes the need to translate anecdotal information into clinically relevant research data on new biomaterials. PMID:24321349

  10. Improved ability to perform strenuous activities after treatment with fluticasone propionate/salmeterol combination in patients with persistent asthma.

    PubMed

    Nathan, Robert A; Dorinsky, Paul; Rosenzweig, Jacqueline R Carranza; Shah, Tushar; Edin, Heather; Prillaman, Barbara

    2003-01-01

    Patients with asthma experience disruptions in usual activities that can impair their quality of life, and in patients whose daily routine involves an active lifestyle, these disruptions can be severe. We assessed the patient-perceived effect of treatment with fluticasone propionate/salmeterol combination (FSC), compared with fluticasone propionate (FP) or salmeterol (SAL) alone, on activity limitations, particularly strenuous physical activities. The Asthma Quality of Life Questionnaire (AQLQ) was administered in two 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials comparing FSC 100/50 or 250/50 microg twice daily vs. the individual components alone in 686 adults and adolescents with asthma. In one study, patients were stratified by prior treatment [low to medium doses of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) or SAL], and in the other study, all patients were previously treated with medium to high doses of ICS. Patients prospectively identified five activities they performed regularly and were asked how these activities were limited by their asthma. The effect of randomized treatment on strenuous activities (e.g., aerobics, cycling, hiking, and basketball) was assessed. In both studies, treatment with FSC resulted in clinically meaningful improvements (i.e., change in AQLQ of > or = 0.5) and was statistically significantly better than SAL in both studies and FP in one study. Treatment of the two main components of asthma--inflammation and bronchoconstriction--with FSC results in clinically meaningful improvements in the ability of patients with persistent asthma to perform not only their usual activities but also strenuous activities.

  11. Does peer learning or higher levels of e-learning improve learning abilities? A randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Worm, Bjarne Skjødt; Jensen, Kenneth

    2013-01-01

    Background and aims The fast development of e-learning and social forums demands us to update our understanding of e-learning and peer learning. We aimed to investigate if higher, pre-defined levels of e-learning or social interaction in web forums improved students’ learning ability. Methods One hundred and twenty Danish medical students were randomized to six groups all with 20 students (eCases level 1, eCases level 2, eCases level 2+, eTextbook level 1, eTextbook level 2, and eTextbook level 2+). All students participated in a pre-test, Group 1 participated in an interactive case-based e-learning program, while Group 2 was presented with textbook material electronically. The 2+ groups were able to discuss the material between themselves in a web forum. The subject was head injury and associated treatment and observation guidelines in the emergency room. Following the e-learning, all students completed a post-test. Pre- and post-tests both consisted of 25 questions randomly chosen from a pool of 50 different questions. Results All students concluded the study with comparable pre-test results. Students at Level 2 (in both groups) improved statistically significant compared to students at level 1 (p>0.05). There was no statistically significant difference between level 2 and level 2+. However, level 2+ was associated with statistically significant greater student's satisfaction than the rest of the students (p>0.05). Conclusions This study applies a new way of comparing different types of e-learning using a pre-defined level division and the possibility of peer learning. Our findings show that higher levels of e-learning does in fact provide better results when compared with the same type of e-learning at lower levels. While social interaction in web forums increase student satisfaction, learning ability does not seem to change. Both findings are relevant when designing new e-learning materials. PMID:24229729

  12. The European Academy laparoscopic “Suturing Training and Testing’’ (SUTT) significantly improves surgeons’ performance

    PubMed Central

    Sleiman, Z.; Tanos, V.; Van Belle, Y.; Carvalho, J.L.; Campo, R.

    2015-01-01

    The efficiency of suturing training and testing (SUTT) model by laparoscopy was evaluated, measuring the suturingskill acquisition of trainee gynecologists at the beginning and at the end of a teaching course. During a workshop organized by the European Academy of Gynecological Surgery (EAGS), 25 participants with three different experience levels in laparoscopy (minor, intermediate and major) performed the 4 exercises of the SUTT model (Ex 1: both hands stitching and continuous suturing, Ex 2: right hand stitching and intracorporeal knotting, Ex 3: left hand stitching and intracorporeal knotting, Ex 4: dominant hand stitching, tissue approximation and intracorporeal knotting). The time needed to perform the exercises is recorded for each trainee and group and statistical analysis used to note the differences. Overall, all trainees achieved significant improvement in suturing time (p < 0.005) as measured before and after completion of the training. Similar significantly improved suturing time differences (p < 0.005) were noted among the groups of trainees with different laparoscopic experience. In conclusion a short well-guided training course, using the SUTT model, improves significantly surgeon’s laparoscopic suturing ability, independently of the level of experience in laparoscopic surgery. Key words: Endoscopy, laparoscopic suturing, psychomotor skills, surgery, teaching, training suturing model. PMID:26977264

  13. Acute Improvement of Vertical Jump Performance After Isometric Squats Depends on Knee Angle and Vertical Jumping Ability.

    PubMed

    Tsoukos, Athanasios; Bogdanis, Gregory C; Terzis, Gerasimos; Veligekas, Panagiotis

    2016-08-01

    Tsoukos, A, Bogdanis, GC, Terzis, G, and Veligekas, P. Acute improvement of vertical jump performance after isometric squats depends on knee angle and vertical jumping ability. J Strength Cond Res 30(8): 2250-2257, 2016-This study examined the acute effects of maximum isometric squats at 2 different knee angles (90 or 140°) on countermovement jump (CMJ) performance in power athletes. Fourteen national-level male track and field power athletes completed 3 main trials (2 experimental and 1 control) in a randomized and counterbalanced order 1 week apart. Countermovement jump performance was evaluated using a force-plate before and 15 seconds, 3, 6, 9, and 12 minutes after 3 sets of 3 seconds maximum isometric contractions with 1-minute rest in between, from a squat position with knee angle set at 90 or 140°. Countermovement jump performance was improved compared with baseline only in the 140° condition by 3.8 ± 1.2% on the 12th minute of recovery (p = 0.027), whereas there was no change in CMJ height in the 90° condition. In the control condition, there was a decrease in CMJ performance over time, reaching -3.6 ± 1.2% (p = 0.049) after 12 minutes of recovery. To determine the possible effects of baseline jump performance on subsequent CMJ performance, subjects were divided into 2 groups ("high jumpers" and "low jumpers"). The baseline CMJ values of "high jumpers" and "low jumpers" differed significantly (CMJ: 45.1 ± 2.2 vs. 37.1 ± 3.9 cm, respectively, p = 0.001). Countermovement jump was increased only in the "high jumpers" group by 5.4 ± 1.4% (p = 0.001) and 7.4 ± 1.2% (p = 0.001) at the knee angles of 90 and 140°, respectively. This improvement was larger at the 140° angle (p = 0.049). Knee angle during isometric squats and vertical jumping ability are important determinants of the acute CMJ performance increase observed after a conditioning activity. PMID:26808841

  14. Inhibition of class IIb histone deacetylase significantly improves cloning efficiency in mice.

    PubMed

    Ono, Tetsuo; Li, Chong; Mizutani, Eiji; Terashita, Yukari; Yamagata, Kazuo; Wakayama, Teruhiko

    2010-12-01

    Since the first mouse clone was produced by somatic cell nuclear transfer, the success rate of cloning in mice has been extremely low. Some histone deacetylase inhibitors, such as trichostatin A and scriptaid, have improved the full-term development of mouse clones significantly, but the mechanisms allowing for this are unclear. Here, we found that two other specific inhibitors, suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid and oxamflatin, could also reduce the rate of apoptosis in blastocysts, improve the full-term development of cloned mice, and increase establishment of nuclear transfer-generated embryonic stem cell lines significantly without leading to obvious abnormalities. However, another inhibitor, valproic acid, could not improve cloning efficiency. Suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid, oxamflatin, trichostatin A, and scriptaid are inhibitors for classes I and IIa/b histone deacetylase, whereas valproic acid is an inhibitor for classes I and IIa, suggesting that inhibiting class IIb histone deacetylase is an important step for reprogramming mouse cloning efficiency.

  15. Spatial Reasoning: Improvement of Imagery and Abilities in Sophomore Organic Chemistry. Perspective to Enhance Student Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hornbuckle, Susan F.; Gobin, Latanya; Thurman, Stephanie N.

    2014-01-01

    Spatial reasoning has become a demanded skill for students pursuing a science emphasis to compete with the dynamic growth of our professional society. The ability to reason spatially includes explorations in memory recollection and problem solving capabilities as well as critical thinking and reasoning skills. With these advancements, educational…

  16. Evaluation and Improvement of Student's Question-Posing Ability in a Web-Based Learning Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lan, Yu-Feng; Lin, Pin-Chuan

    2011-01-01

    With the rapid development of web-based learning environments, question-posing activities have become an important teaching and learning mode. However, this learning approach has some difficulties, one being the lack of a practical approach to assist teachers in evaluating the question-posing ability of all learners. To remedy this problem, the…

  17. Improving Learners' Ability to Recognize Emergence with Embedded Assessment in a Virtual Watershed

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Erlandson, Benjamin E.

    2014-01-01

    Measures of participants' water cycle knowledge and ability to recognize emergence were taken at various points throughout a 2-h experience with the Cloverdale virtual watershed socioecological simulation. Multilevel growth models were estimated for analysis of hypothesized predictive relationships between measured variables. Significant…

  18. Improving Pupils' Mathematical Communication Abilities through Computer-Supported Reciprocal Peer Tutoring

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Euphony F. Y.; Chang, Ben; Cheng, Hercy N. H.; Chan, Tak-Wai

    2016-01-01

    This study examined how to foster pupils' mathematical communication abilities by using tablet PCs. Students were encouraged to generate math creations (including mathematical representation, solution, and solution explanation of word problems) as their teaching materials and reciprocally tutor classmates to increase opportunities for mathematical…

  19. Improving the Ability of Qualitative Assessments to Discriminate Student Achievement Levels

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mok, Jeffrey Chi Hoe; Toh, Anita Ann Lee

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: This paper aims to investigate the use of blind marking to increase the ability of criterion-referenced marking to discriminate students' varied levels of knowledge and skill mastery in a business communication skills course. Design/methodology/approach: The business communication course in this study involved more than 10 teachers and…

  20. Reconsidering English Grammar Teaching for Improving Non-English Majors' English Writing Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shen, Yuru

    2012-01-01

    With the globalization of world economy, English learners' writing ability has been attached less and less importance. As a result, many college students in China, especially the non-English majors, cannot express themselves effectively in written English. They make various kinds of mistakes, mostly grammar mistakes, such as writing sentence…

  1. The Challenge of Improving Children's Writing Ability: A Randomized Evaluation of "Writing Wings"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Puma, Michael; Tarkow, Allison; Puma, Anna

    2007-01-01

    Background: This study evaluated the impact on student's writing ability of a structured writing program, called "Writing Wings," for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders developed by the Success For All Foundation (SFAF). Writing is a critical skill for success in school. Purpose: The study was intended to answer one confirmatory question, "What is the…

  2. Improving Science Student Teachers' Self-Perceptions of Fluency with Innovative Technologies and Scientific Inquiry Abilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Çalik, Muammer; Ebenezer, Jazlin; Özsevgeç, Tuncay; Küçük, Zeynel; Artun, Hüseyin

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of "Environmental Chemistry" elective course via Technology-Embedded Scientific Inquiry (TESI) model on senior science student teachers' (SSSTs) self-perceptions of fluency with innovative technologies (InT) and scientific inquiry abilities. The study was conducted with 117 SSSTs (68…

  3. Improving Mathematical Communication Ability and Self Regulation Learning of Junior High Students by Using Reciprocal Teaching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Qohar, Abdul; Sumarmo, Utari

    2013-01-01

    This paper presents the findings from a posttest experiment control group design by using reciprocal teaching, conducted in Indonesia University of Education to investigate students' ability in mathematical communication and self regulated learning. Subject of the study were 254 of 9th grade students from three junior high schools of high, medium,…

  4. Podcasts: A Factor to Improve Iranian EFL Learners' Self-Regulation Ability and Use of Technology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Naseri, Somayeh; Motallebzadeh, Khalil

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the effect of listening to podcasts on Iranian upper- intermediate EFL learners' self-regulation ability and their perception toward the use of technology. To meet the objectives of the current study, 54 female Iranian EFL learners were selected. In experimental group they listened to podcast files while in the control…

  5. 20 CFR 220.178 - Determining medical improvement and its relationship to the annuitant's ability to do work.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... RETIREMENT BOARD REGULATIONS UNDER THE RAILROAD RETIREMENT ACT DETERMINING DISABILITY Continuing or Stopping... related to ability to work. If there is a decrease in medical severity as shown by the symptoms, signs and... capacity is based on changes in the signs, symptoms, or laboratory findings, any medical improvement...

  6. Online Speaking Strategy Assessment for Improving Speaking Ability in the Area of Language for Specific Purposes: The Case of Tourism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phaiboonnugulkij, Malinee; Prapphal, Kanchana

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to compare the differences in strategies used in an online language for specific purposes (LSP) speaking test in tourism with two proficiency groups of students, and to investigate the strategies that should be used for low-proficiency students to improve their LSP speaking ability. The Web-based Speaking Test in…

  7. Comparison of Two Oral Reading Feedback Strategies in Improving Reading Comprehension of School-Age Children with Low Reading Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crowe, Linda K.

    2005-01-01

    This study compared the effects of two oral reading feedback strategies in improving the reading comprehension of eight school-age children with low reading ability. Participants were assigned to one of two intervention groups matched on age, grade, gender, and general reading performance. Intervention 1 (I1) used traditional decoding-based…

  8. The Implementation of "The n-term" Formula to Improve Student Ability in Determining the Rules of a Numeric Sequence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    In'am, Akhsanul; Hajar, Siti

    2013-01-01

    A good-quality teacher may determines a good-quality learning, thus good-quality students will be the results. In order to have a good-quality learning, a lot of strategies and methods can be adopted. The objective of this research is to improve students' ability in determining the rules of a numeric sequence and analysing the effectiveness of the…

  9. Determination of significance in Ecological Impact Assessment: Past change, current practice and future improvements

    SciTech Connect

    Briggs, Sam; Hudson, Malcolm D.

    2013-01-15

    Ecological Impact Assessment (EcIA) is an important tool for conservation and achieving sustainable development. 'Significant' impacts are those which disturb or alter the environment to a measurable degree. Significance is a crucial part of EcIA, our understanding of the concept in practice is vital if it is to be effective as a tool. This study employed three methods to assess how the determination of significance has changed through time, what current practice is, and what would lead to future improvements. Three data streams were collected: interviews with expert stakeholders, a review of 30 Environmental Statements and a broad-scale survey of the United Kingdom Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (IEEM) members. The approach taken in the determination of significance has become more standardised and subjectivity has become constrained through a transparent framework. This has largely been driven by a set of guidelines produced by IEEM in 2006. The significance of impacts is now more clearly justified and the accuracy with which it is determined has improved. However, there are limitations to accuracy and effectiveness of the determination of significance. These are the quality of baseline survey data, our scientific understanding of ecological processes and the lack of monitoring and feedback of results. These in turn are restricted by the limited resources available in consultancies. The most notable recommendations for future practice are the implementation of monitoring and the publication of feedback, the creation of a central database for baseline survey data and the streamlining of guidance. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The assessment of significance has changed markedly through time. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The IEEM guidelines have driven a standardisation of practice. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Currently limited by quality of baseline data and scientific understanding. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Monitoring and

  10. Histone deacetylase inhibitor significantly improved the cloning efficiency of porcine somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yongye; Tang, Xiaochun; Xie, Wanhua; Zhou, Yan; Li, Dong; Yao, Chaogang; Zhou, Yang; Zhu, Jianguo; Lai, Liangxue; Ouyang, Hongsheng; Pang, Daxin

    2011-12-01

    Valproic acid (VPA), a histone deacetylase inbibitor, has been shown to generate inducible pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from mouse and human fibroblasts with a significant higher efficiency. Because successful cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) undergoes a full reprogramming process in which the epigenetic state of a differentiated donor nuclear is converted into an embryonic totipotent state, we speculated that VPA would be useful in promoting cloning efficiency. Therefore, in the present study, we examined whether VPA can promote the developmental competence of SCNT embryos by improving the reprogramming state of donor nucleus. Here we report that 1 mM VPA for 14 to 16 h following activation significantly increased the rate of blastocyst formation of porcine SCNT embryos constructed from Landrace fetal fibroblast cells compared to the control (31.8 vs. 11.4%). However, we found that the acetylation level of Histone H3 lysine 14 and Histone H4 lysine 5 and expression level of Oct4, Sox2, and Klf4 was not significantly changed between VPA-treated and -untreated groups at the blastocyst stage. The SCNT embryos were transferred to 38 surrogates, and the cloning efficiency in the treated group was significantly improved compared with the control group. Taken together, we have demonstrated that VPA can improve both in vitro and in vivo development competence of porcine SCNT embryos.

  11. International Consensus Diagnostic Criteria for Autoimmune Pancreatitis and Its Japanese Amendment Have Improved Diagnostic Ability over Existing Criteria

    PubMed Central

    Maruyama, Masahiro; Watanabe, Takayuki; Kanai, Keita; Oguchi, Takaya; Muraki, Takashi; Hamano, Hideaki; Arakura, Norikazu; Kawa, Shigeyuki

    2013-01-01

    Objectives. The recent International Consensus Diagnostic Criteria (ICDC) for autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) and its Japanese amendment developed by the Japanese Pancreas Society (JPS 2011) may have overcome the drawbacks of earlier criteria and achieved a higher diagnostic ability for AIP. The aim of the present study is to evaluate this possibility and identify the underlying causes of this change. Methods. We compared the diagnostic abilities of the ICDC and JPS 2011 with those of the Japanese diagnostic criteria 2006 (JPS 2006), Korean diagnostic criteria (Korean), Asian diagnostic criteria (Asian), and HISORt diagnostic criteria in 110 patients with AIP and 31 patients with malignant pancreatic cancer. Results. The ICDC achieved the highest diagnostic ability in terms of accuracy (95.0%), followed by JPS 2011 (92.9%), Korean (92.2%), HISORt (88.7%), Asian (87.2%), and JPS 2006 (85.1%). Nearly all criteria systems exhibited a high specificity of 100%, indicating that the enhanced diagnostic ability of the ICDC and JPS 2011 likely stemmed from increased sensitivity brought about by inclusion of diagnostic items requiring no endoscopic retrograde pancreatography. The diagnostic ability of JPS 2011 was nearly equivalent to that of the ICDC. Conclusions. The ICDC and JPS 2011 have improved diagnostic ability as compared with earlier criteria sets because of an increase in sensitivity. PMID:24348535

  12. Communication: Proper treatment of classically forbidden electronic transitions significantly improves detailed balance in surface hopping.

    PubMed

    Sifain, Andrew E; Wang, Linjun; Prezhdo, Oleg V

    2016-06-01

    Surface hopping is the most popular method for nonadiabatic molecular dynamics. Many have reported that it does not rigorously attain detailed balance at thermal equilibrium, but does so approximately. We show that convergence to the Boltzmann populations is significantly improved when the nuclear velocity is reversed after a classically forbidden hop. The proposed prescription significantly reduces the total number of classically forbidden hops encountered along a trajectory, suggesting that some randomization in nuclear velocity is needed when classically forbidden hops constitute a large fraction of attempted hops. Our results are verified computationally using two- and three-level quantum subsystems, coupled to a classical bath undergoing Langevin dynamics. PMID:27276938

  13. The influence of a physical ability intervention program on improved running time and increased sport motivation among Jerusalem schoolchildren.

    PubMed

    Halfon, S T; Bronner, S

    1988-01-01

    Several studies have demonstrated an inverse relationship between physical activity and coronary heart disease (CHD). Other studies have reported a negative correlation between aerobic capacity and obesity and CHD risk factors among adolescents. In this study, the possibility of modifying physical ability in adolescents aged 13 has been examined through a physical ability intervention program. During 1984-1985, all eligible eighth graders from five Jerusalem public schools participated in the program. Physical ability was defined in the biological dimension by the running time for 1000 meters, and in the psychological dimension by sport motivation. The intervention program involved a periodic and progressive increase of physical effort of children in 16 gym lessons during the regular curriculum. The major findings were that the test group improved their running time and had better sport motivation than did the control group, and there were differences between boys and girls and an influence of sexual maturation on running time in girls.

  14. Environmental enrichment preserved lifelong ocular dominance plasticity, but did not improve visual abilities.

    PubMed

    Greifzu, Franziska; Kalogeraki, Evgenia; Löwel, Siegrid

    2016-05-01

    In standard cage (SC)-raised mice, ocular dominance (OD) plasticity of the primary visual cortex (V1) induced by monocular deprivation (MD) is maximal in juveniles, declines in adults, and is absent beyond postnatal day (PD) 110. Raising mice in an enriched environment (EE) preserved a juvenile-like OD plasticity after 7 days of MD until at least PD196, mediated by reductions of deprived eye responses in V1. Whether the sensitive phase for OD plasticity can be prolonged into older age and whether long-term EE modifies visual abilities was not yet known. Here, we demonstrate that EE raising enables lifelong OD plasticity. In contrast to PD200 EE-mice, the preserved OD shift in both >PD400 and >PD700 EE-mice was mediated by increases in open eye responses in V1 (adult OD plasticity). When SC-mice were transferred to EE after PD110, OD plasticity was restored until PD922. Moreover, visual abilities tested by both optomotry and the visual water task and interindividual variability were not different between PD700 SC- and EE-mice. Taken together, EE raising enabled a lifelong OD plasticity but did not affect basic visual performance.

  15. Improved Creative Thinkers in a Class: A Model of Activity Based Tasks for Improving University Students' Creative Thinking Abilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oncu, Elif Celebi

    2016-01-01

    The main objective of this study was improving university students' from different faculties creativity thinking through a creativity education process. The education process took twelve weeks' time. As pretest, Torrance test of creative thinking (TTCT) figural form was used. Participants were 24 university students from different faculties who…

  16. Breeding signature of combining ability improvement revealed by a genomic variation map from recurrent selection population in Brassica napus

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Xinwang; Li, Bao; Zhang, Ka; Hu, Kaining; Yi, Bin; Wen, Jing; Ma, Chaozhi; Shen, Jinxiong; Fu, Tingdong; Tu, Jinxing

    2016-01-01

    Combining ability is crucial for parent selection in crop hybrid breeding. The present investigation and results had revealed the underlying genetic factors which might contribute in adequate combining ability, further assisting in enhancing heterosis and stability. Here, we conducted a large-scale analysis of genomic variation in order to define genomic regions affecting the combining ability in recurrent selection population of rapeseed. A population of 175 individuals was genotyped with the Brassica60K SNP chip. 525 hybrids were assembled with three different testers and used to evaluate the general combining ability (GCA) in three environments. By detecting the changes of the genomic variation, we identified 376 potential genome regions, spanning 3.03% of rapeseed genome which provided QTL-level resolution on potentially selected variants. More than 96% of these regions were located in the C subgenome, indicating that C subgenome had sustained stronger selection pressure in the breeding program than the A subgenome. In addition, a high level of linkage disequilibrium in rapeseed genome was detected, suggesting that marker-assisted selection for the population improvement might be easily implemented. This study outlines the evidence for high GCA on a genomic level and provided underlying molecular mechanism for recurrent selection improvement in B. napus. PMID:27412721

  17. Breeding signature of combining ability improvement revealed by a genomic variation map from recurrent selection population in Brassica napus.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xinwang; Li, Bao; Zhang, Ka; Hu, Kaining; Yi, Bin; Wen, Jing; Ma, Chaozhi; Shen, Jinxiong; Fu, Tingdong; Tu, Jinxing

    2016-01-01

    Combining ability is crucial for parent selection in crop hybrid breeding. The present investigation and results had revealed the underlying genetic factors which might contribute in adequate combining ability, further assisting in enhancing heterosis and stability. Here, we conducted a large-scale analysis of genomic variation in order to define genomic regions affecting the combining ability in recurrent selection population of rapeseed. A population of 175 individuals was genotyped with the Brassica60K SNP chip. 525 hybrids were assembled with three different testers and used to evaluate the general combining ability (GCA) in three environments. By detecting the changes of the genomic variation, we identified 376 potential genome regions, spanning 3.03% of rapeseed genome which provided QTL-level resolution on potentially selected variants. More than 96% of these regions were located in the C subgenome, indicating that C subgenome had sustained stronger selection pressure in the breeding program than the A subgenome. In addition, a high level of linkage disequilibrium in rapeseed genome was detected, suggesting that marker-assisted selection for the population improvement might be easily implemented. This study outlines the evidence for high GCA on a genomic level and provided underlying molecular mechanism for recurrent selection improvement in B. napus. PMID:27412721

  18. A new magnetorheological damper with improved displacement differential self-induced ability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Guoliang; Zhou, Wei; Li, Weihua

    2015-08-01

    This work is an extension of our previous study on the development of a linear variable differential sensor (LVDS)-based magnetorheological (MR) damper with self-sensing capability, where a new MR damper integrated with LVDS technology was developed and prototyped, then its self-induced performance under static and dynamic working conditions was experimentally evaluated. The results of the static and dynamic experiments indicated that the self-induced voltage was proportional to the displacement of the damper. Moreover, the damping performance of this new MR damper was also evaluated through an experimental study. Compared with our previous study, the new MR damper performed better in terms of its self-induced sensing ability and damping capacity.

  19. Active Hemovigilance Significantly Improves Reporting of Acute Non-infectious Adverse Reactions to Blood Transfusion.

    PubMed

    Agnihotri, Naveen; Agnihotri, Ajju

    2016-09-01

    One of the key purposes of a hemovigilance program is to improve reporting of transfusion related adverse events and subsequent data-driven improvement in blood transfusion (BT) practices. We conducted a study over 3 years to assess the impact of healthcare worker training and an active feedback programme on reporting of adverse reactions to BTs. All hospitalized patients who required a BT were included in the study. Healthcare workers involved in BT to patients were sensitized and trained in adverse reaction reporting by conducting training sessions and meetings. All the transfused patients were 'actively' monitored for any acute adverse reaction by using a uniquely coded blood issue form. A total of 18,914 blood components transfused to 5785 different patients resulted in 61 adverse reaction episodes. This incidence of 0.32 % in our study was found to be significantly higher (p < 0.005) than that reported from the same region in the past. Red blood cell units were the most frequently transfused component and thus most commonly involved in an adverse reaction (42.6 %), however apheresis platelets had the highest chance of reaction per unit transfused (0.66 %). There was no mortality associated with the BT during the study period. An active surveillance program significantly improves reporting and management of adverse reactions to BTs. PMID:27429527

  20. Storage of human pancreatic digest in University of Wisconsin solution significantly improves subsequent islet purification.

    PubMed

    Robertson, G S; Chadwick, D; Contractor, H; Rose, S; Chamberlain, R; Clayton, H; Bell, P R; James, R F; London, N J

    1992-09-01

    Density-gradient purification of human pancreatic islets from the collagenase-digested pancreas relies on the exocrine tissue being denser than the islets. Cold storage of the pancreas before and after digestion causes cell swelling, which can decrease the density of pancreatic exocrine tissue and adversely affect subsequent purification. Using 14 human pancreata (seven perfused in situ with hyperosmolar citrate (HOC) and seven with University of Wisconsin solution (UW)), it is shown that storage of the pancreatic digest in UW significantly increases the density of pancreatic exocrine tissue compared with storage in minimal essential medium (MEM) (P = 0.009). This results in an improvement in islet purity (P = 0.036) for HOC- but not UW-perfused pancreata. Storage in UW for 1 h not only prevented the deterioration that occurred in MEM, but resulted in an improvement in islet purity for five of the seven HOC-perfused pancreata. Most pancreata in the UK are perfused with HOC, but storage of the digest in UW results in significantly better islet purity and, when islets cannot be purified immediately, a period of storage will often improve separation and allow islets to be purified. PMID:1422750

  1. PXD101 significantly improves nuclear reprogramming and the in vitro developmental competence of porcine SCNT embryos

    SciTech Connect

    Jin, Jun-Xue; Kang, Jin-Dan; Li, Suo; Jin, Long; Zhu, Hai-Ying; Guo, Qing; Gao, Qing-Shan; Yan, Chang-Guo; Yin, Xi-Jun

    2015-01-02

    Highlights: • First explored that the effects of PXD101 on the development of SCNT embryos in vitro. • 0.5 μM PXD101 treated for 24 h improved the development of porcine SCNT embryos. • Level of AcH3K9 was significantly higher than control group at early stages. - Abstract: In this study, we investigated the effects of the histone deacetylase inhibitor PXD101 (belinostat) on the preimplantation development of porcine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos and their expression of the epigenetic markers histone H3 acetylated at lysine 9 (AcH3K9). We compared the in vitro developmental competence of SCNT embryos treated with various concentrations of PXD101 for 24 h. Treatment with 0.5 μM PXD101 significantly increased the proportion of SCNT embryos that reached the blastocyst stage, in comparison to the control group (23.3% vs. 11.5%, P < 0.05). We tested the in vitro developmental competence of SCNT embryos treated with 0.5 μM PXD101 for various amounts of times following activation. Treatment for 24 h significantly improved the development of porcine SCNT embryos, with a significantly higher proportion of embryos reaching the blastocyst stage in comparison to the control group (25.7% vs. 10.6%, P < 0.05). PXD101-treated SCNT embryos were transferred into two surrogate sows, one of whom became pregnant and four fetuses developed. PXD101 treatment significantly increased the fluorescence intensity of immunostaining for AcH3K9 in embryos at the pseudo-pronuclear and 2-cell stages. At these stages, the fluorescence intensities of immunostaining for AcH3K9 were significantly higher in PXD101-treated embryos than in control untreated embryos. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that PXD101 can significantly improve the in vitro and in vivo developmental competence of porcine SCNT embryos and can enhance their nuclear reprogramming.

  2. Virtual Environments as a Tool for Improving Sequence Ability of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eden, Sigal; Ingber, Sara

    2014-01-01

    The study examined the efficacy of an early intervention program to improve children's sequential time perception through virtual versus pictorial training in arranging episodes of temporal scripts. The researchers examined 65 deaf and hard of hearing children ages 4-7 years who were divided into two groups: (a) virtual environments technological…

  3. The Study Group: Faculty Helping Themselves to Improve Their Instructional Abilities. College Teaching Monograph.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slotnick, Henry B.

    The benefits of a study group to help faculty develop their competencies and expand their awareness of professional issues are described. Specifically, the Fargo Study Group, which included seven physicians interested in improving their instructional capabilities, is considered. The participants were responsible for teaching medical students in…

  4. Improving the Spelling Ability among Speakers of African American English through Explicit Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pittman, Ramona T.; Joshi, R. Malatesha; Carreker, Suzanne

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this eight week study was to provide explicit instruction to improve spelling to 124 sixth grade students who are speakers of African American English (AAE). Two classroom teachers taught 14 different language arts class sections. The research design was a pretest/posttest/posttest design using wait-list-control. The treatment group…

  5. Functional Ability Improved in Essential Tremor by IncobotulinumtoxinA Injections Using Kinematically Determined Biomechanical Patterns – A New Future

    PubMed Central

    Samotus, Olivia; Rahimi, Fariborz; Lee, Jack; Jog, Mandar

    2016-01-01

    Objective Effective treatment for functional disability caused by essential tremor is a significant unmet need faced by many clinicians today. Current literature regarding focal therapy by botulinum toxin type A (BoNT-A) injections uses fixed dosing regimens, which cannot be individualized, provides only limited functional benefit and unacceptable muscle weakness commonly occurs. This 38-week open label study, the longest to-date, demonstrates how kinematic technology addressed all these issues by guiding muscle selection. Method Participants (n = 24) were assessed at weeks 0, 6, 16, 22, 32, and 38 and injected with incobotulinumtoxinA at weeks 0, 16, and 32. Clinical assessments including UPDRS tremor items, Fahn-Tolosa-Marin (FTM) tremor rating scale assessing tremor severity, writing and functional ability, quality of life questionnaire (QUEST) and objective kinematic assessments were completed at every visit. Participants performed two postural and two weight-bearing scripted tasks with motion sensors placed over the wrist, elbow and shoulder joints. These sensors captured angular tremor amplitude (RMS units) and acceleration joint motion that was segmented into directional components: flexion-extension (F/E), pronation-supination and radial-ulnar at the wrist, F/E at the elbow, and F/E and adduction-abduction at the shoulder. Injection parameters were determined using kinematics, followed by the clinician’s determination of which muscles would contribute to the specific upper limb tremor biomechanics and dosing per participant. Results Multi-joint biomechanical recordings allowed individualized muscle selection and showed significant improvement in whole-arm function, FTM parts A-C scores, at week 6 which continued throughout the study. By week 38, the total FTM score statistically significantly reduced from 16.2±4.6 at week 0 to 9.5±6.3 (p<0.0005). UPDRS item 21 score rating action tremor was significantly reduced from 2.6±0.5 at week 0 to 1.6±1.1 (p

  6. Intestinal-borne dermatoses significantly improved by oral application of Escherichia coli Nissle 1917

    PubMed Central

    Manzhalii, Elina; Hornuss, Daniel; Stremmel, Wolfgang

    2016-01-01

    AIM: To evaluate the effect of oral Escherichia coli (E. coli) Nissle application on the outcome of intestinal-borne dermatoses. METHODS: In a randomized, controlled, non-blinded prospective clinical trial 82 patients with intestinal-borne facial dermatoses characterized by an erythematous papular-pustular rash were screened. At the initiation visit 37 patients entered the experimental arm and 20 patients constituted the control arm. All 57 patients were treated with a vegetarian diet and conventional topical therapy of the dermatoses with ointments containing tetracycline, steroids and retinoids. In the experimental arm patients received a one month therapy with oral E. coli Nissle at a maintenance dose of 2 capsules daily. The experimental group was compared to a non-treatment group only receiving the diet and topical therapy. The primary outcome parameter was improvement of the dermatoses, secondary parameters included life quality and adverse events. In addition the immunological reaction profile (IgA, interleucin-8 and interferon-α) was determined. Furthermore the changes of stool consistency and the microbiota composition over the time of intervention were recorded. RESULTS: Eighty-nine percent of the patients with acne, papular-pustular rosacea and seborrhoic dermatitis responded to E. coli Nissle therapy with significant amelioration or complete recovery in contrast to 56% in the control arm (P < 0.01). Accordingly, in the E. coli Nissle treated patients life quality improved significantly (P < 0.01), and adverse events were not recorded. The clinical improvement was associated with a significant increase of IgA levels to normal values in serum as well as suppression of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-8 (P < 0.01 for both parameters). In the E. coli Nissle treated group a shift towards a protective microbiota with predominance of bifidobacteria and lactobacteria (> 107 CFU/g stool) was observed in 79% and 63% of the patients, respectively (P < 0

  7. Improved walking ability with wearable robot-assisted training in patients suffering chronic stroke.

    PubMed

    Li, Lifang; Ding, Li; Chen, Na; Mao, Yurong; Huang, Dongfeng; Li, Le

    2015-01-01

    Wearable robotic devices provide safe and intensive rehabilitation, enabling repeated motions for motor function recovery in stroke patients. The aim of this small case series was to demonstrate the training effects of a three-week robotic leg orthosis, and to investigate possible mechanisms of the sensory-motor alterations and improvements by using gait analysis and EMG. Three survivors of chronic strokes participated in robot-assisted gait therapy for three weeks. EMG signals from the rectus femoris (RF), tibialis anterior (TA), biceps femoris (BF), and medial gastrocnemius (MG), as well as kinetics and kinematics data of the lower limb, were recorded before and after the training. The normalized root mean squared (RMS) values of the muscles, the joint moments, joint angles, and the results of two clinical scales (Berg Balance scale, BBS, and the lower extremity subscale of Fugl-Meyer assessment, LE-FMA) were used for analysis. All participants experienced improved balance and functional performances and increased BBS and LE-FMA scores. The EMG results showed there was an increase of the normalized RMS values of the MG and BF on the affected side. Additionally, EMG activities of the agonist and antagonist pair (i.e. RF and BF) appeared to return to similar levels after training. The peak moment of hip flexor, knee extensor, and plantar flexor, which all contributed to push-off power, were found to have increased after training. In summary, the three-week training period using the wearable RLO improved the three participants' gait performance by regaining push-off power and improved muscle activation and walking speed. PMID:26406020

  8. Improved walking ability with wearable robot-assisted training in patients suffering chronic stroke.

    PubMed

    Li, Lifang; Ding, Li; Chen, Na; Mao, Yurong; Huang, Dongfeng; Li, Le

    2015-01-01

    Wearable robotic devices provide safe and intensive rehabilitation, enabling repeated motions for motor function recovery in stroke patients. The aim of this small case series was to demonstrate the training effects of a three-week robotic leg orthosis, and to investigate possible mechanisms of the sensory-motor alterations and improvements by using gait analysis and EMG. Three survivors of chronic strokes participated in robot-assisted gait therapy for three weeks. EMG signals from the rectus femoris (RF), tibialis anterior (TA), biceps femoris (BF), and medial gastrocnemius (MG), as well as kinetics and kinematics data of the lower limb, were recorded before and after the training. The normalized root mean squared (RMS) values of the muscles, the joint moments, joint angles, and the results of two clinical scales (Berg Balance scale, BBS, and the lower extremity subscale of Fugl-Meyer assessment, LE-FMA) were used for analysis. All participants experienced improved balance and functional performances and increased BBS and LE-FMA scores. The EMG results showed there was an increase of the normalized RMS values of the MG and BF on the affected side. Additionally, EMG activities of the agonist and antagonist pair (i.e. RF and BF) appeared to return to similar levels after training. The peak moment of hip flexor, knee extensor, and plantar flexor, which all contributed to push-off power, were found to have increased after training. In summary, the three-week training period using the wearable RLO improved the three participants' gait performance by regaining push-off power and improved muscle activation and walking speed.

  9. Environmental enrichment promotes improved spatial abilities and enhanced dendritic growth in the rat.

    PubMed

    Leggio, Maria Giuseppa; Mandolesi, Laura; Federico, Francesca; Spirito, Francesca; Ricci, Benedetta; Gelfo, Francesca; Petrosini, Laura

    2005-08-30

    An enriched environment consists of a combination of enhanced social relations, physical exercise and interactions with non-social stimuli that leads to behavioral and neuronal modifications. In the present study, we analyzed the behavioral effects of environmental complexity on different facets of spatial function, and we assessed dendritic arborisation and spine density in a cortical area mainly involved in the spatial learning, as the parietal cortex. Wistar rat pups (21 days old) were housed in enriched conditions (10 animals in a large cage with toys and a running wheel), or standard condition (two animals in a standard cage, without objects). At the age of 3 months, both groups were tested in the radial maze task and Morris water maze (MWM). Morphological analyses on layer-III pyramidal neurons of parietal cortex were performed in selected animals belonging to both experimental groups. In the radial maze task, enriched animals exhibited high performance levels, by exploiting procedural competencies and working memory abilities. Furthermore, when the requirements of the context changed, they promptly reorganized their strategies by shifting from prevalently using spatial procedures to applying mnesic competencies. In the Morris water maze, enriched animals more quickly acquired tuned navigational strategies. Environmental enrichment provoked increased dendritic arborisation as well as increased density of dendritic spines in layer-III parietal pyramidal neurons.

  10. Using a Support Vector Machine (SVM) to Improve Generalization Ability of Load Model Parameters

    SciTech Connect

    Ma, Jian; Dong, Zhao Yang; Zhang, Pei

    2009-04-24

    Load modeling plays an important role in power system stability analysis and planning studies. The parameters of load models may experience variations in different application situations. Choosing appropriate parameters is critical for dynamic simulation and stability studies in power system. This paper presents a method to select the parameters with good generalization ability based on a given large number of available parameters that have been identified from dynamic simulation data in different scenarios. Principal component analysis is used to extract the major features of the given parameter sets. Reduced feature vectors are obtained by mapping the given parameter sets into principal component space. Then support vectors are found by implementing a classification problem. Load model parameters based on the obtained support vectors are built to reflect the dynamic property of the load. All of the given parameter sets were identified from simulation data based on the New England 10-machine 39-bus system, by taking into account different situations, such as load types, fault locations, fault types, and fault clearing time. The parameters obtained by support vector machine have good generalization capability, and can represent the load more accurately in most situations.

  11. Significant Improvements in the Practice Patterns of Adult Related Donor Care in US Transplantation Centers.

    PubMed

    Anthias, Chloe; Shaw, Bronwen E; Kiefer, Deidre M; Liesveld, Jane L; Yared, Jean; Kamble, Rammurti T; D'Souza, Anita; Hematti, Peiman; Seftel, Matthew D; Norkin, Maxim; DeFilipp, Zachariah; Kasow, Kimberly A; Abidi, Muneer H; Savani, Bipin N; Shah, Nirali N; Anderlini, Paolo; Diaz, Miguel A; Malone, Adriana K; Halter, Joerg P; Lazarus, Hillard M; Logan, Brent R; Switzer, Galen E; Pulsipher, Michael A; Confer, Dennis L; O'Donnell, Paul V

    2016-03-01

    Recent investigations have found a higher incidence of adverse events associated with hematopoietic cell donation in related donors (RDs) who have morbidities that if present in an unrelated donor (UD) would preclude donation. In the UD setting, regulatory standards ensure independent assessment of donors, one of several crucial measures to safeguard donor health and safety. A survey conducted by the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) Donor Health and Safety Working Committee in 2007 reported a potential conflict of interest in >70% of US centers, where physicians had simultaneous responsibility for RDs and their recipients. Consequently, several international organizations have endeavored to improve practice through regulations and consensus recommendations. We hypothesized that the changes in the 2012 Foundation for the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy and the Joint Accreditation Committee-International Society for Cellular Therapy and European Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation standards resulting from the CIBMTR study would have significantly impacted practice. Accordingly, we conducted a follow-up survey of US transplantation centers to assess practice changes since 2007, and to investigate additional areas where RD care was predicted to differ from UD care. A total of 73 centers (53%), performing 79% of RD transplantations in the United States, responded. Significant improvements were observed since the earlier survey; 62% centers now ensure separation of RD and recipient care (P < .0001). This study identifies several areas where RD management does not meet international donor care standards, however. Particular concerns include counseling and assessment of donors before HLA typing, with 61% centers first disclosing donor HLA results to an individual other than the donor, the use of unlicensed mobilization agents, and the absence of long-term donor follow-up. Recommendations for improvement are made.

  12. Can the gradient method improve our ability to predict soil respiration?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, Claire; Nickerson, Nicholas; Risk, Dave

    2015-04-01

    Soil surface flux measurements integrate respiration across steep vertical gradients of soil texture, moisture, temperature, and carbon substrates. Although there are benefits to integrating complex soil processes in a single surface measure, i.e. for constructing soil carbon budgets, one serious drawback of studying only surface respiration is the difficulty in generating predictive relationships from environmental drivers. For example, the relationship between depth-integrated soil respiration and temperature measured at a single discreet depth (apparent temperature sensitivity) can bear little resemblance to the temperature sensitivity of soil respiration within soil layers (actual temperature sensitivity). Here we present several examples of how the inferred environmental sensitivity of soil respiration can be improved from observations of CO2 flux profiles in contrast to surface fluxes alone. We present a theoretical approach for estimating the temperature sensitivity of soil respiration in situ, called the weighted heat flux approach, which avoids much of the hysteresis produced by typical respiration-temperature comparisons. The weighted heat flux approach gives more accurate estimates of within-soil temperature sensitivity, and is arguably the most theoretically robust analytical temperature model available. We also show how soil drying influences the effectiveness of the weighted heat flux approach, as well as the relative activity of discreet soil layers and specific soil organisms, such as mycorrhizal fungi. The additional information provided by within-soil flux profiles can improve the fidelity of both probabilistic and mechanistic soil respiration models

  13. Carfilzomib significantly improves the progression-free survival of high-risk patients in multiple myeloma

    PubMed Central

    Fonseca, Rafael; Siegel, David; Dimopoulos, Meletios A.; Špička, Ivan; Masszi, Tamás; Hájek, Roman; Rosiñol, Laura; Goranova-Marinova, Vesselina; Mihaylov, Georgi; Maisnar, Vladimír; Mateos, Maria-Victoria; Wang, Michael; Niesvizky, Ruben; Oriol, Albert; Jakubowiak, Andrzej; Minarik, Jiri; Palumbo, Antonio; Bensinger, William; Kukreti, Vishal; Ben-Yehuda, Dina; Stewart, A. Keith; Obreja, Mihaela; Moreau, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    The presence of certain high-risk cytogenetic abnormalities, such as translocations (4;14) and (14;16) and deletion (17p), are known to have a negative impact on survival in multiple myeloma (MM). The phase 3 study ASPIRE (N = 792) demonstrated that progression-free survival (PFS) was significantly improved with carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (KRd), compared with lenalidomide and dexamethasone (Rd) in relapsed MM. This preplanned subgroup analysis of ASPIRE was conducted to evaluate KRd vs Rd by baseline cytogenetics according to fluorescence in situ hybridization. Of 417 patients with known cytogenetic risk status, 100 patients (24%) were categorized with high-risk cytogenetics (KRd, n = 48; Rd, n = 52) and 317 (76%) were categorized with standard-risk cytogenetics (KRd, n = 147; Rd, n = 170). For patients with high-risk cytogenetics, treatment with KRd resulted in a median PFS of 23.1 months, a 9-month improvement relative to treatment with Rd. For patients with standard-risk cytogenetics, treatment with KRd led to a 10-month improvement in median PFS vs Rd. The overall response rates for KRd vs Rd were 79.2% vs 59.6% (high-risk cytogenetics) and 91.2% vs 73.5% (standard-risk cytogenetics); approximately fivefold as many patients with high- or standard-risk cytogenetics achieved a complete response or better with KRd vs Rd (29.2% vs 5.8% and 38.1% vs 6.5%, respectively). KRd improved but did not abrogate the poor prognosis associated with high-risk cytogenetics. This regimen had a favorable benefit-risk profile in patients with relapsed MM, irrespective of cytogenetic risk status, and should be considered a standard of care in these patients. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01080391. PMID:27439911

  14. Carfilzomib significantly improves the progression-free survival of high-risk patients in multiple myeloma.

    PubMed

    Avet-Loiseau, Hervé; Fonseca, Rafael; Siegel, David; Dimopoulos, Meletios A; Špička, Ivan; Masszi, Tamás; Hájek, Roman; Rosiñol, Laura; Goranova-Marinova, Vesselina; Mihaylov, Georgi; Maisnar, Vladimír; Mateos, Maria-Victoria; Wang, Michael; Niesvizky, Ruben; Oriol, Albert; Jakubowiak, Andrzej; Minarik, Jiri; Palumbo, Antonio; Bensinger, William; Kukreti, Vishal; Ben-Yehuda, Dina; Stewart, A Keith; Obreja, Mihaela; Moreau, Philippe

    2016-09-01

    The presence of certain high-risk cytogenetic abnormalities, such as translocations (4;14) and (14;16) and deletion (17p), are known to have a negative impact on survival in multiple myeloma (MM). The phase 3 study ASPIRE (N = 792) demonstrated that progression-free survival (PFS) was significantly improved with carfilzomib, lenalidomide, and dexamethasone (KRd), compared with lenalidomide and dexamethasone (Rd) in relapsed MM. This preplanned subgroup analysis of ASPIRE was conducted to evaluate KRd vs Rd by baseline cytogenetics according to fluorescence in situ hybridization. Of 417 patients with known cytogenetic risk status, 100 patients (24%) were categorized with high-risk cytogenetics (KRd, n = 48; Rd, n = 52) and 317 (76%) were categorized with standard-risk cytogenetics (KRd, n = 147; Rd, n = 170). For patients with high-risk cytogenetics, treatment with KRd resulted in a median PFS of 23.1 months, a 9-month improvement relative to treatment with Rd. For patients with standard-risk cytogenetics, treatment with KRd led to a 10-month improvement in median PFS vs Rd. The overall response rates for KRd vs Rd were 79.2% vs 59.6% (high-risk cytogenetics) and 91.2% vs 73.5% (standard-risk cytogenetics); approximately fivefold as many patients with high- or standard-risk cytogenetics achieved a complete response or better with KRd vs Rd (29.2% vs 5.8% and 38.1% vs 6.5%, respectively). KRd improved but did not abrogate the poor prognosis associated with high-risk cytogenetics. This regimen had a favorable benefit-risk profile in patients with relapsed MM, irrespective of cytogenetic risk status, and should be considered a standard of care in these patients. This trial was registered at www.clinicaltrials.gov as #NCT01080391. PMID:27439911

  15. Mini-trampoline exercise related to mechanisms of dynamic stability improves the ability to regain balance in elderly.

    PubMed

    Aragão, Fernando Amâncio; Karamanidis, Kiros; Vaz, Marco Aurélio; Arampatzis, Adamantios

    2011-06-01

    Falls have been described by several studies as the major cause of hip and femur fractures among the elderly. Therefore, interventions to reduce fall risks, improve dynamic stability and the falling recovery strategies in the elderly population are highly relevant. This study aimed at investigating the effects of a 14-week mini-trampoline exercise intervention regarding the mechanisms of dynamic stability on elderly balance ability during sudden forward falls. Twenty-two elderly subjects participated on mini-trampoline training and 12 subjects were taken as controls. The subjects of the experimental group were evaluated before and after the 14-week trampoline training (exercised group), whereas control subjects were evaluated twice in the forward fall task with a three-month interval. The applied exercise intervention increased the plantarflexors muscle strength (∼10%) as well as the ability to regain balance during the forward falls (∼35%). The 14-week mini-trampoline training intervention increased elderly abilities to recover balance during forward falls; the improvement was attributed to the higher rate of hip moment generation. PMID:21306917

  16. Cold stress improves the ability of Lactobacillus plantarum L67 to survive freezing.

    PubMed

    Song, Sooyeon; Bae, Dong-Won; Lim, Kwangsei; Griffiths, Mansel W; Oh, Sejong

    2014-11-17

    The stress resistance of bacteria is affected by the physiological status of the bacterial cell and environmental factors such as pH, salts and temperature. In this study, we report on the stress response of Lactobacillus plantarum L67 after four consecutive freeze-thaw cycles. The cold stress response of the cold-shock protein genes (cspC, cspL and cspP) and ATPase activities were then evaluated. The cold stress was adjusted to 5 °C when the bacteria were growing at the mid-exponential phase. A comparative proteomic analysis was performed with two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2D SDS-PAGE) and a matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization-mass spectrometer. Only 56% of the L. plantarum L67 cells without prior exposure to cold stress survived after four consecutive freeze-thaw cycles. However, 78% of the L. plantarum L67 cells that were treated with cold stress at 5 °C for 6 h survived after freeze-thaw conditions. After applying cold stress to the culture for 6h, the cells were then stored for 60 days at 5 °C, 25 °C and 35 °C separately. The cold-stressed culture of L. plantarum L67 showed an 8% higher viability than the control culture. After applying cold stress for 6h, the transcript levels of two genes (cspP and cspL) were up-regulated 1.4 (cspP) and 1.2 (cspL) times compared to the control. However, cspC was not up-regulated. A proteomic analysis showed that the proteins increased after a reduction of the incubation temperature to 5 °C. The importance of the expression of 13 other relevant proteins was also determined through the study. The exposure of L. plantarum cells to low temperatures aids their ability to survive through subsequent freeze-thaw processes and lyophilization.

  17. Zebularine and scriptaid significantly improve epigenetic reprogramming of yak fibroblasts and cloning efficiency.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Xianrong; Lan, Daoliang; Li, Jian; Zhong, Jincheng; Zi, Xiangdong; Ma, Li; Wang, Yong

    2013-08-01

    Abnormal epigenetic reprogramming of the donor nucleus after somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is thought to be the main cause of low cloning efficiency. Following SCNT, the donor nucleus often fails to express early embryonic genes and establish a normal embryonic pattern of chromatin modification. Therefore, in this study, we have attempted to improve epigenetic reprogramming of the donor nucleus and cloned embryos with Zebularine and Scriptaid. Yak fibroblasts were treated with 20 μM Zebularine alone or 20 μM Zebularine plus 0.5 μM Scriptaid for 24 h, whereas yak cloned embryos were treated exclusively with 0.5 μM Scriptaid for 12 h. There was no effect on cellular viability and proliferation after drug treatment. The treatment of fibroblasts with Zebularine or Zebularine plus Scriptaid increased histone acetylation of histone 3 lysine 9 (H3K9), but decreased the level of DNA methylation of Oct-4 and Sox-2 promoter regions. When donor cells were used after Zebularine plus Scriptaid treatment to reconstruct cloned embryos and then treated with Scriptaid, the developmental competence and cryosurvival of embryos were improved significantly. In addition, the relative expression of Oct-4 and Sox-2 were increased significantly. The expression levels of Dnmt-1 and Hdac-1 were significantly decreased when fibroblasts and cloned embryos were treated with Zebularine or Scriptaid. This work provides functional evidence that treatment with Zebularine and Scriptaid modifies the epigenetic status of yak fibroblasts, subsequently enhancing in vitro developmental potential and the quality of yak cloned embryos.

  18. Intensity-Modulated Radiation Therapy Significantly Improves Acute Gastrointestinal Toxicity in Pancreatic and Ampullary Cancers

    SciTech Connect

    Yovino, Susannah; Poppe, Matthew; Jabbour, Salma; David, Vera; Garofalo, Michael; Pandya, Naimesh; Alexander, Richard; Hanna, Nader; Regine, William F.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: Among patients with upper abdominal malignancies, intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) can improve dose distributions to critical dose-limiting structures near the target. Whether these improved dose distributions are associated with decreased toxicity when compared with conventional three-dimensional treatment remains a subject of investigation. Methods and Materials: 46 patients with pancreatic/ampullary cancer were treated with concurrent chemoradiation (CRT) using inverse-planned IMRT. All patients received CRT based on 5-fluorouracil in a schema similar to Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) 97-04. Rates of acute gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity for this series of IMRT-treated patients were compared with those from RTOG 97-04, where all patients were treated with three-dimensional conformal techniques. Chi-square analysis was used to determine if there was a statistically different incidence in acute GI toxicity between these two groups of patients. Results: The overall incidence of Grade 3-4 acute GI toxicity was low in patients receiving IMRT-based CRT. When compared with patients who had three-dimensional treatment planning (RTOG 97-04), IMRT significantly reduced the incidence of Grade 3-4 nausea and vomiting (0% vs. 11%, p = 0.024) and diarrhea (3% vs. 18%, p = 0.017). There was no significant difference in the incidence of Grade 3-4 weight loss between the two groups of patients. Conclusions: IMRT is associated with a statistically significant decrease in acute upper and lower GI toxicity among patients treated with CRT for pancreatic/ampullary cancers. Future clinical trials plan to incorporate the use of IMRT, given that it remains a subject of active investigation.

  19. Bench model surgical skill training improves novice ability to multitask: a randomized controlled study.

    PubMed

    Grierson, Lawrence; Melnyk, Megan; Jowlett, Nathan; Backstein, David; Dubrowski, Adam

    2011-01-01

    Skills training in simulation laboratories is becoming increasingly common. However, the educational benefit of these laboratories remains unclear. This study examined whether such training enables better performance on the simultaneous execution of technical skill and knowledge retention. Twenty-four novice trainees completed the elliptical excision on baseline testing. Following baseline testing twelve of the novices completed a technical practice (simulation training group) session, while the other twelve did not (control group). One week later, all participants returned for dual-task follow up testing in which they performed the excision while listening to a didactic lesson on the staging and treatment of cutaneous melanoma. The dual-tasking during the post test was standardized, whereby excision sutures 3 and 5 were performed alone (single), and sutures 4 and 6 were performed concurrently with the didactic lecture (dual). Seven additional trainees also participated as controls that were randomized to listen to the didactic lesson alone (knowledge retention alone group). Knowledge retention was assessed by a multiple choice questionnaire (MCQ). Technical performance was evaluated with computer and expert-based measures. Time to complete the performance improved among both groups completing the elliptical excision on follow-up testing (p<0.01). The simulation training group demonstrated superior hand motion performance on simultaneous didactic lesson testing (p<0.01). Novices from the no-training group performed statistically worse while suturing concurrently with the didactic lesson (p<0.01). The pretraining of novices in surgical skills laboratories leads to improved technical performance during periods of increased attention demands.

  20. An experimental test of "the mozart effect": does listening to his music improve spatial ability?

    PubMed

    Newman, J; Rosenbach, J H; Burns, K L; Latimer, B C; Matocha, H R; Vogt, E R

    1995-12-01

    This experiment was designed as a test of the 1993 findings of Rauscher, Shaw, and Ky who reported a positive effect of listening to classical music on spatial reasoning. Present results do not demonstrate the "Mozart effect." In our study, 114 students were pretested on items from the Raven's Progressive Matrices--Advanced Form, then instructed to listen to either 8 min. of Mozart's music, relaxation instructions, or silence. Then subjects were posttested on an equivalent set of Raven's items. The subjects were also asked to provide information about their musical background and preferences. All instructions and treatments were audiotaped and played to individual subjects through earphones in the university language laboratory, ensuring standardization of procedures. Subjects in all 3 treatment groups showed a practice effect, but this improvement in Raven's scores was not dependent on the type of treatment received. There were no differences in Raven's scores among groups before or after treatment so our results do not confirm the prior ones. There was no evidence that the brief music had a different effect on subsequent problem solving according to listeners' musical background and training. PMID:8684937

  1. Improving the selective cancer killing ability of ZnO nanoparticles using Fe doping.

    PubMed

    Thurber, Aaron; Wingett, Denise G; Rasmussen, John W; Layne, Janet; Johnson, Lydia; Tenne, Dmitri A; Zhang, Jianhui; Hanna, Charles B; Punnoose, Alex

    2012-06-01

    This work reports a new method to improve our recent demonstration of zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles (NPs) selectively killing certain human cancer cells, achieved by incorporating Fe ions into the NPs. Thoroughly characterized cationic ZnO NPs (∼6 nm) doped with Fe ions (Zn(1-x )Fe (x) O, x = 0-0.15) were used in this work, applied at a concentration of 24 μg/ml. Cytotoxicity studies using flow cytometry on Jurkat leukemic cancer cells show cell viability drops from about 43% for undoped ZnO NPs to 15% for ZnO NPs doped with 7.5% Fe. However, the trend reverses and cell viability increases with higher Fe concentrations. The non-immortalized human T cells are markedly more resistant to Fe-doped ZnO NPs than cancerous T cells, confirming that Fe-doped samples still maintain selective toxicity to cancer cells. Pure iron oxide samples displayed no appreciable toxicity. Reactive oxygen species generated with NP introduction to cells increased with increasing Fe up to 7.5% and decreased for >7.5% doping. PMID:21635174

  2. Handling of boar spermatozoa during and after flow cytometric sex-sorting process to improve their in vitro fertilizing ability.

    PubMed

    del Olmo, D; Parrilla, I; Gil, M A; Maside, C; Tarantini, T; Angel, M A; Roca, J; Martinez, E A; Vazquez, J M

    2013-09-01

    The objective of this study was to develop an adequate sperm handling protocol in order to obtain a sex-sorted sperm population with an optimal fertilizing ability. For this purpose, different aspects of the sorting procedure were examined. The effects of the high dilution rates (experiment 1), type of collection medium used (experiment 2), and sheath fluid composition (experiment 3) on sorted boar sperm quality and function were evaluated. Sperm quality was assessed by motility and viability tests, whereas sperm function was evaluated by an in vitro fertilization assay which determined the penetration and polyspermy rates as well as the mean number of sperm penetrating each oocyte. In experiment 1, the results obtained indicated that the high dilution rates did not cause a decrease either in the sperm quality parameters evaluated or the in vitro fertilization ability of spermatozoa. In experiment 2, although sperm quality was not affected, fertilizing ability was compromised after sorting, regardless of the collection medium that was used. In the experiment 3, all groups displayed adequate sperm quality values, but higher in vitro fertility parameters were obtained for spermatozoa sorted in presence of EDTA in the sheath fluid and egg yolk (EY) in the collection media when compared with those sorted in absence of these protective agents. No differences in penetration rates between unsorted highly diluted (control) and sorted sperm in the presence of EDTA and EY were observed. In conclusion, fertilizing ability was compromised in sex-sorted sperm. The addition of EDTA to sheath fluid and EY to collection medium improved boar sperm fertilizing ability, and both agents should be included as essential media components in future studies. PMID:23746874

  3. Handling of boar spermatozoa during and after flow cytometric sex-sorting process to improve their in vitro fertilizing ability.

    PubMed

    del Olmo, D; Parrilla, I; Gil, M A; Maside, C; Tarantini, T; Angel, M A; Roca, J; Martinez, E A; Vazquez, J M

    2013-09-01

    The objective of this study was to develop an adequate sperm handling protocol in order to obtain a sex-sorted sperm population with an optimal fertilizing ability. For this purpose, different aspects of the sorting procedure were examined. The effects of the high dilution rates (experiment 1), type of collection medium used (experiment 2), and sheath fluid composition (experiment 3) on sorted boar sperm quality and function were evaluated. Sperm quality was assessed by motility and viability tests, whereas sperm function was evaluated by an in vitro fertilization assay which determined the penetration and polyspermy rates as well as the mean number of sperm penetrating each oocyte. In experiment 1, the results obtained indicated that the high dilution rates did not cause a decrease either in the sperm quality parameters evaluated or the in vitro fertilization ability of spermatozoa. In experiment 2, although sperm quality was not affected, fertilizing ability was compromised after sorting, regardless of the collection medium that was used. In the experiment 3, all groups displayed adequate sperm quality values, but higher in vitro fertility parameters were obtained for spermatozoa sorted in presence of EDTA in the sheath fluid and egg yolk (EY) in the collection media when compared with those sorted in absence of these protective agents. No differences in penetration rates between unsorted highly diluted (control) and sorted sperm in the presence of EDTA and EY were observed. In conclusion, fertilizing ability was compromised in sex-sorted sperm. The addition of EDTA to sheath fluid and EY to collection medium improved boar sperm fertilizing ability, and both agents should be included as essential media components in future studies.

  4. Concept mapping. Does it improve critical thinking ability in practical nursing students?

    PubMed

    Maneval, Rhonda E; Filburn, Monica J; Deringer, Susan O; Lum, Glen D

    2011-01-01

    Critical thinking is an essential skill taught at all levels of nursing education. This article reports on a study designed to determine if concept mapping is superior to traditional care planning as a teaching method for practical nursing students. Specifically, the study evaluated the effects of concept mapping as a teaching methodology on the development of critical thinking skills. A control group consisting of students taught through the traditional methodology was compared to two groups of students taught with concept mapping. Data were collected using the National League for Nursing Critical Thinking in Clinical Nursing Practice/PN Examination. Results indicated that students who were taught the nursing process using the traditional care planning method scored statistically significantly better on the examination than students taught with the concept mapping method.

  5. Liquid human milk fortifier significantly improves docosahexaenoic and arachidonic acid status in preterm infants.

    PubMed

    Berseth, C L; Harris, C L; Wampler, J L; Hoffman, D R; Diersen-Schade, D A

    2014-09-01

    We report the fatty acid composition of mother׳s own human milk from one of the largest US cohorts of lactating mothers of preterm infants. Milk fatty acid data were used as a proxy for intake at enrollment in infants (n=150) who received human milk with a powder human milk fortifier (HMF; Control) or liquid HMF [LHMF; provided additional 12mg docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), 20mg arachidonic acid (ARA)/100mL human milk]. Mothers provided milk samples (n=129) and reported maternal DHA consumption (n=128). Infant blood samples were drawn at study completion (Study Day 28). Human milk and infant PPL fatty acids were analyzed using capillary column gas chromatography. DHA and ARA were within ranges previously published for US term and preterm human milk. Compared to Control HMF (providing no DHA or ARA), human milk fortified with LHMF significantly increased infant PPL DHA and ARA and improved preterm infant DHA and ARA status.

  6. Significantly improved cyclability of lithium manganese oxide under elevated temperature by an easily oxidized electrolyte additive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Yunmin; Rong, Haibo; Mai, Shaowei; Luo, Xueyi; Li, Xiaoping; Li, Weishan

    2015-12-01

    Spinel lithium manganese oxide, LiMn2O4, is a promising cathode for lithium ion battery in large-scale applications, because it possesses many advantages compared with currently used layered lithium cobalt oxide (LiCoO2) and olivine phosphate (LiFePO4), including naturally abundant resource, environmental friendliness and high and long work potential plateau. Its poor cyclability under high temperature, however, limits its application. In this work, we report a significant cyclability improvement of LiMn2O4 under elevated temperature by using dimethyl phenylphonite (DMPP) as an electrolyte additive. Charge/discharge tests demonstrate that the application of 0.5 wt.% DMPP yields a capacity retention improvement from 16% to 82% for LiMn2O4 after 200 cycles under 55 °C at 1 C (1C = 148 mAh g-1) between 3 and 4.5 V. Electrochemical and physical characterizations indicate that DMPP is electrochemically oxidized at the potential lower than that for lithium extraction, forming a protective cathode interphase on LiMn2O4, which suppresses the electrolyte decomposition and prevents LiMn2O4 from crystal destruction.

  7. Improving the ability of a water market to efficiently manage drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Characklis, Gregory W.; Griffin, Ronald C.; Bedient, Philip B.

    1999-03-01

    Some water markets maintain institutional elements that provide allocative advantages to specified water users. In the Lower Rio Grande Valley, water rights are designated as either municipal or agricultural (irrigation), with certain prioritization advantages afforded to municipal accounts. While sales of rights between municipalities and irrigators are allowed, the priority disparity results in a prohibition on leasing between sectors. Concern over meeting future urban demand has led municipalities to purchase rights well in excess of current needs. The inability to lease municipal water to irrigators removes a significant and growing fraction of available water from the market. The additional flexibility provided by leasing provides a valuable tool for managing seasonal drought. In this analysis the justification for prioritized municipal water is investigated. Results indicate that the added security municipalities may derive from higher prioritization during drought is accompanied by economic inefficiencies in regional water allocation. It is argued that eliminating municipal protection and the consequent allowance of intersectoral leasing would contribute to regional well-being at small cost to municipal water users.

  8. Significant improvement in one-dimensional cursor control using Laplacian electroencephalography over electroencephalography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boudria, Yacine; Feltane, Amal; Besio, Walter

    2014-06-01

    Objective. Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) based on electroencephalography (EEG) have been shown to accurately detect mental activities, but the acquisition of high levels of control require extensive user training. Furthermore, EEG has low signal-to-noise ratio and low spatial resolution. The objective of the present study was to compare the accuracy between two types of BCIs during the first recording session. EEG and tripolar concentric ring electrode (TCRE) EEG (tEEG) brain signals were recorded and used to control one-dimensional cursor movements. Approach. Eight human subjects were asked to imagine either ‘left’ or ‘right’ hand movement during one recording session to control the computer cursor using TCRE and disc electrodes. Main results. The obtained results show a significant improvement in accuracies using TCREs (44%-100%) compared to disc electrodes (30%-86%). Significance. This study developed the first tEEG-based BCI system for real-time one-dimensional cursor movements and showed high accuracies with little training.

  9. Music-to-language transfer effect: may melodic ability improve learning of tonal languages by native nontonal speakers?

    PubMed

    Delogu, Franco; Lampis, Giulia; Olivetti Belardinelli, Marta

    2006-09-01

    In tonal languages, as Mandarin Chinese and Thai, word meaning is partially determined by lexical tones. Previous studies suggest that lexical tones are processed by native listeners as linguistic information and not as pure tonal information. This study aims at verifying if, in nontonal languages speakers, the discrimination of lexical Mandarin tones varies in function of the melodic ability. Forty-six students with no previous experience of Mandarin or any other tonal language were presented with two short lists of spoken monosyllabic Mandarin words and invited to perform a same-different task trying to identify whether the variation were phonological or tonal. Main results show that subjects perform significantly better in identifying phonological variations rather than tonal ones and interestingly, the group with a high melodic ability (assessed by Wing subtest 3) shows a better performance exclusively in detecting tonal variations.

  10. The Development of Learning Devices Based Guided Discovery Model to Improve Understanding Concept and Critical Thinking Mathematically Ability of Students at Islamic Junior High School of Medan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yuliani, Kiki; Saragih, Sahat

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this research was to: 1) development of learning devices based guided discovery model in improving of understanding concept and critical thinking mathematically ability of students at Islamic Junior High School; 2) describe improvement understanding concept and critical thinking mathematically ability of students at MTs by using…

  11. Significantly Improving Regional Seismic Amplitude Tomography at Higher Frequencies by Determining S -Wave Bandwidth

    DOE PAGES

    Fisk, Mark D.; Pasyanos, Michael E.

    2016-05-03

    Characterizing regional seismic signals continues to be a difficult problem due to their variability. Calibration of these signals is very important to many aspects of monitoring underground nuclear explosions, including detecting seismic signals, discriminating explosions from earthquakes, and reliably estimating magnitude and yield. Amplitude tomography, which simultaneously inverts for source, propagation, and site effects, is a leading method of calibrating these signals. A major issue in amplitude tomography is the data quality of the input amplitude measurements. Pre-event and prephase signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) tests are typically used but can frequently include bad signals and exclude good signals. The deficiencies ofmore » SNR criteria, which are demonstrated here, lead to large calibration errors. To ameliorate these issues, we introduce a semi-automated approach to assess the bandwidth of a spectrum where it behaves physically. We determine the maximum frequency (denoted as Fmax) where it deviates from this behavior due to inflections at which noise or spurious signals start to bias the spectra away from the expected decay. We compare two amplitude tomography runs using the SNR and new Fmax criteria and show significant improvements to the stability and accuracy of the tomography output for frequency bands higher than 2 Hz by using our assessments of valid S-wave bandwidth. We compare Q estimates, P/S residuals, and some detailed results to explain the improvements. Lastly, for frequency bands higher than 4 Hz, needed for effective P/S discrimination of explosions from earthquakes, the new bandwidth criteria sufficiently fix the instabilities and errors so that the residuals and calibration terms are useful for application.« less

  12. Discovery of Highly Potent Tyrosinase Inhibitor, T1, with Significant Anti-Melanogenesis Ability by zebrafish in vivo Assay and Computational Molecular Modeling

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Wang-Chuan; Tseng, Tien-Sheng; Hsiao, Nai-Wan; Lin, Yun-Lian; Wen, Zhi-Hong; Tsai, Chin-Chuan; Lee, Yu-Ching; Lin, Hui-Hsiung; Tsai, Keng-Chang

    2015-01-01

    Tyrosinase is involved in melanin biosynthesis and the abnormal accumulation of melanin pigments leading to hyperpigmentation disorders that can be treated with depigmenting agents. A natural product T1, bis(4-hydroxybenzyl)sulfide, isolated from the Chinese herbal plant, Gastrodia elata, is a strong competitive inhibitor against mushroom tyrosinase (IC50 = 0.53 μM, Ki = 58 ± 6 nM), outperforms than kojic acid. The cell viability and melanin quantification assay demonstrate that 50 μM of T1 apparently attenuates 20% melanin content of human normal melanocytes without significant cell toxicity. Moreover, the zebrafish in vivo assay reveals that T1 effectively reduces melanogenesis with no adverse side effects. The acute oral toxicity study evidently confirms that T1 molecule is free of discernable cytotoxicity in mice. Furthermore, the molecular modeling demonstrates that the sulfur atom of T1 coordinating with the copper ions in the active site of tyrosinase is essential for mushroom tyrosinase inhibition and the ability of diminishing the human melanin synthesis. These results evident that T1 isolated from Gastrodia elata is a promising candidate in developing pharmacological and cosmetic agents of great potency in skin-whitening. PMID:25613357

  13. Discovery of Highly Potent Tyrosinase Inhibitor, T1, with Significant Anti-Melanogenesis Ability by zebrafish in vivo Assay and Computational Molecular Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Wang-Chuan; Tseng, Tien-Sheng; Hsiao, Nai-Wan; Lin, Yun-Lian; Wen, Zhi-Hong; Tsai, Chin-Chuan; Lee, Yu-Ching; Lin, Hui-Hsiung; Tsai, Keng-Chang

    2015-01-01

    Tyrosinase is involved in melanin biosynthesis and the abnormal accumulation of melanin pigments leading to hyperpigmentation disorders that can be treated with depigmenting agents. A natural product T1, bis(4-hydroxybenzyl)sulfide, isolated from the Chinese herbal plant, Gastrodia elata, is a strong competitive inhibitor against mushroom tyrosinase (IC50 = 0.53 μM, Ki = 58 +/- 6 nM), outperforms than kojic acid. The cell viability and melanin quantification assay demonstrate that 50 μM of T1 apparently attenuates 20% melanin content of human normal melanocytes without significant cell toxicity. Moreover, the zebrafish in vivo assay reveals that T1 effectively reduces melanogenesis with no adverse side effects. The acute oral toxicity study evidently confirms that T1 molecule is free of discernable cytotoxicity in mice. Furthermore, the molecular modeling demonstrates that the sulfur atom of T1 coordinating with the copper ions in the active site of tyrosinase is essential for mushroom tyrosinase inhibition and the ability of diminishing the human melanin synthesis. These results evident that T1 isolated from Gastrodia elata is a promising candidate in developing pharmacological and cosmetic agents of great potency in skin-whitening.

  14. Using intermediate states to improve the ability of the Arden Syntax to implement care plans and reuse knowledge.

    PubMed Central

    Sherman, E. H.; Hripcsak, G.; Starren, J.; Jenders, R. A.; Clayton, P.

    1995-01-01

    The Arden Syntax is one of a few knowledge representation languages currently in use for clinical decision support. While some of these languages are being used in active patient care settings, none have gained widespread acceptance as a clinical tool. Prior attempts to represent temporally complex care plans in the Arden Syntax have revealed difficulties in representing and tracking series of consecutive time-oriented events and recommendations, in sharing and reusing knowledge and in dealing with unobtainable data. In an attempt to improve Arden's ability to deal with these problems and demonstrate the importance of these factors, the clinical event monitor has been adapted to store coded data representing Intermediate States in the Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center (CPMC) central data repository. The Intermediate States define the current state of the patient as laid out in the care plan. Four care plans were constructed. The findings include an improved ability to track complex series of events and recommendations over long periods of time. The knowledge generated by the electronic care plans was able to be reused by the care plan that generated it, by other elements of the knowledge base and by non-decision support applications. Modular development, facilitated by the changes, simplified dealing with data not available to the central data repository by aiding the implementation of those parts of the care plan for which sufficient data is available. PMID:8563276

  15. Flavonol-rich dark cocoa significantly decreases plasma endothelin-1 and improves cognition in urban children.

    PubMed

    Calderón-Garcidueñas, Lilian; Mora-Tiscareño, Antonieta; Franco-Lira, Maricela; Cross, Janet V; Engle, Randall; Aragón-Flores, Mariana; Gómez-Garza, Gilberto; Jewells, Valerie; Medina-Cortina, Humberto; Solorio, Edelmira; Chao, Chih-Kai; Zhu, Hongtu; Mukherjee, Partha S; Ferreira-Azevedo, Lara; Torres-Jardón, Ricardo; D'Angiulli, Amedeo

    2013-01-01

    Air pollution exposures are linked to systemic inflammation, cardiovascular and respiratory morbidity and mortality, neuroinflammation and neuropathology in young urbanites. In particular, most Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) children exhibit subtle cognitive deficits, and neuropathology studies show 40% of them exhibiting frontal tau hyperphosphorylation and 51% amyloid-β diffuse plaques (compared to 0% in low pollution control children). We assessed whether a short cocoa intervention can be effective in decreasing plasma endothelin 1 (ET-1) and/or inflammatory mediators in MCMA children. Thirty gram of dark cocoa with 680 mg of total flavonols were given daily for 10.11 ± 3.4 days (range 9-24 days) to 18 children (10.55 years, SD = 1.45; 11F/7M). Key metabolite ratios in frontal white matter and in hippocampus pre and during cocoa intervention were quantified by magnetic resonance spectroscopy. ET-1 significantly decreased after cocoa treatment (p = 0.0002). Fifteen children (83%) showed a marginally significant individual improvement in one or both of the applied simple short memory tasks. Endothelial dysfunction is a key feature of exposure to particulate matter (PM) and decreased endothelin-1 bioavailability is likely useful for brain function in the context of air pollution. Our findings suggest that cocoa interventions may be critical for early implementation of neuroprotection of highly exposed urban children. Multi-domain nutraceutical interventions could limit the risk for endothelial dysfunction, cerebral hypoperfusion, neuroinflammation, cognitive deficits, structural volumetric detrimental brain effects, and the early development of the neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. PMID:23986703

  16. Flavonol-rich dark cocoa significantly decreases plasma endothelin-1 and improves cognition in urban children

    PubMed Central

    Calderón-Garcidueñas, Lilian; Mora-Tiscareño, Antonieta; Franco-Lira, Maricela; Cross, Janet V.; Engle, Randall; Aragón-Flores, Mariana; Gómez-Garza, Gilberto; Jewells, Valerie; Weili, Lin; Medina-Cortina, Humberto; Solorio, Edelmira; Chao, Chih-kai; Zhu, Hongtu; Mukherjee, Partha S.; Ferreira-Azevedo, Lara; Torres-Jardón, Ricardo; D'Angiulli, Amedeo

    2013-01-01

    Air pollution exposures are linked to systemic inflammation, cardiovascular and respiratory morbidity and mortality, neuroinflammation and neuropathology in young urbanites. In particular, most Mexico City Metropolitan Area (MCMA) children exhibit subtle cognitive deficits, and neuropathology studies show 40% of them exhibiting frontal tau hyperphosphorylation and 51% amyloid-β diffuse plaques (compared to 0% in low pollution control children). We assessed whether a short cocoa intervention can be effective in decreasing plasma endothelin 1 (ET-1) and/or inflammatory mediators in MCMA children. Thirty gram of dark cocoa with 680 mg of total flavonols were given daily for 10.11 ± 3.4 days (range 9–24 days) to 18 children (10.55 years, SD = 1.45; 11F/7M). Key metabolite ratios in frontal white matter and in hippocampus pre and during cocoa intervention were quantified by magnetic resonance spectroscopy. ET-1 significantly decreased after cocoa treatment (p = 0.0002). Fifteen children (83%) showed a marginally significant individual improvement in one or both of the applied simple short memory tasks. Endothelial dysfunction is a key feature of exposure to particulate matter (PM) and decreased endothelin-1 bioavailability is likely useful for brain function in the context of air pollution. Our findings suggest that cocoa interventions may be critical for early implementation of neuroprotection of highly exposed urban children. Multi-domain nutraceutical interventions could limit the risk for endothelial dysfunction, cerebral hypoperfusion, neuroinflammation, cognitive deficits, structural volumetric detrimental brain effects, and the early development of the neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. PMID:23986703

  17. Improved bowel preparation increases polyp detection and unmasks significant polyp miss rate

    PubMed Central

    Papanikolaou, Ioannis S; Sioulas, Athanasios D; Magdalinos, Nektarios; Beintaris, Iosif; Lazaridis, Lazaros-Dimitrios; Polymeros, Dimitrios; Malli, Chrysoula; Dimitriadis, George D; Triantafyllou, Konstantinos

    2015-01-01

    AIM: To retrospectively compare previous-day vs split-dose preparation in terms of bowel cleanliness and polyp detection in patients referred for polypectomy. METHODS: Fifty patients underwent two colonoscopies: one diagnostic in a private clinic and a second for polypectomy in a University Hospital. The latter procedures were performed within 12 wk of the index ones. Examinations were accomplished by two experienced endoscopists, different in each facility. Twenty-seven patients underwent screening/surveillance colonoscopy, while the rest were symptomatic. Previous day bowel preparation was utilized initially and split-dose for polypectomy. Colon cleansing was evaluated using the Aronchick scale. We measured the number of detected polyps, and the polyp miss rates per-polyp. RESULTS: Excellent/good preparation was reported in 38 cases with previous-day preparation (76%) vs 46 with split-dose (92%), respectively (P = 0.03). One hundred and twenty-six polyps were detected initially and 169 subsequently (P < 0.0001); 88 vs 126 polyps were diminutive (P < 0.0001), 25 vs 29 small (P = 0.048) and 13 vs 14 equal or larger than 10 mm. The miss rates for total, diminutive, small and large polyps were 25.4%, 30.1%, 13.7% and 6.6%, respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed that split-dose preparation was significantly associated (OR, P) with increased number of polyps detected overall (0.869, P < 0.001), in the right (0.418, P = 0.008) and in the left colon (0.452, P = 0.02). CONCLUSION: Split-dose preparation improved colon cleansing, enhanced polyp detection and unmasked significant polyp miss rates. PMID:26488024

  18. Activation of Big Grain1 significantly improves grain size by regulating auxin transport in rice.

    PubMed

    Liu, Linchuan; Tong, Hongning; Xiao, Yunhua; Che, Ronghui; Xu, Fan; Hu, Bin; Liang, Chengzhen; Chu, Jinfang; Li, Jiayang; Chu, Chengcai

    2015-09-01

    Grain size is one of the key factors determining grain yield. However, it remains largely unknown how grain size is regulated by developmental signals. Here, we report the identification and characterization of a dominant mutant big grain1 (Bg1-D) that shows an extra-large grain phenotype from our rice T-DNA insertion population. Overexpression of BG1 leads to significantly increased grain size, and the severe lines exhibit obviously perturbed gravitropism. In addition, the mutant has increased sensitivities to both auxin and N-1-naphthylphthalamic acid, an auxin transport inhibitor, whereas knockdown of BG1 results in decreased sensitivities and smaller grains. Moreover, BG1 is specifically induced by auxin treatment, preferentially expresses in the vascular tissue of culms and young panicles, and encodes a novel membrane-localized protein, strongly suggesting its role in regulating auxin transport. Consistent with this finding, the mutant has increased auxin basipetal transport and altered auxin distribution, whereas the knockdown plants have decreased auxin transport. Manipulation of BG1 in both rice and Arabidopsis can enhance plant biomass, seed weight, and yield. Taking these data together, we identify a novel positive regulator of auxin response and transport in a crop plant and demonstrate its role in regulating grain size, thus illuminating a new strategy to improve plant productivity. PMID:26283354

  19. Activation of Big Grain1 significantly improves grain size by regulating auxin transport in rice.

    PubMed

    Liu, Linchuan; Tong, Hongning; Xiao, Yunhua; Che, Ronghui; Xu, Fan; Hu, Bin; Liang, Chengzhen; Chu, Jinfang; Li, Jiayang; Chu, Chengcai

    2015-09-01

    Grain size is one of the key factors determining grain yield. However, it remains largely unknown how grain size is regulated by developmental signals. Here, we report the identification and characterization of a dominant mutant big grain1 (Bg1-D) that shows an extra-large grain phenotype from our rice T-DNA insertion population. Overexpression of BG1 leads to significantly increased grain size, and the severe lines exhibit obviously perturbed gravitropism. In addition, the mutant has increased sensitivities to both auxin and N-1-naphthylphthalamic acid, an auxin transport inhibitor, whereas knockdown of BG1 results in decreased sensitivities and smaller grains. Moreover, BG1 is specifically induced by auxin treatment, preferentially expresses in the vascular tissue of culms and young panicles, and encodes a novel membrane-localized protein, strongly suggesting its role in regulating auxin transport. Consistent with this finding, the mutant has increased auxin basipetal transport and altered auxin distribution, whereas the knockdown plants have decreased auxin transport. Manipulation of BG1 in both rice and Arabidopsis can enhance plant biomass, seed weight, and yield. Taking these data together, we identify a novel positive regulator of auxin response and transport in a crop plant and demonstrate its role in regulating grain size, thus illuminating a new strategy to improve plant productivity.

  20. Activation of Big Grain1 significantly improves grain size by regulating auxin transport in rice

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Linchuan; Tong, Hongning; Xiao, Yunhua; Che, Ronghui; Xu, Fan; Hu, Bin; Liang, Chengzhen; Chu, Jinfang; Li, Jiayang; Chu, Chengcai

    2015-01-01

    Grain size is one of the key factors determining grain yield. However, it remains largely unknown how grain size is regulated by developmental signals. Here, we report the identification and characterization of a dominant mutant big grain1 (Bg1-D) that shows an extra-large grain phenotype from our rice T-DNA insertion population. Overexpression of BG1 leads to significantly increased grain size, and the severe lines exhibit obviously perturbed gravitropism. In addition, the mutant has increased sensitivities to both auxin and N-1-naphthylphthalamic acid, an auxin transport inhibitor, whereas knockdown of BG1 results in decreased sensitivities and smaller grains. Moreover, BG1 is specifically induced by auxin treatment, preferentially expresses in the vascular tissue of culms and young panicles, and encodes a novel membrane-localized protein, strongly suggesting its role in regulating auxin transport. Consistent with this finding, the mutant has increased auxin basipetal transport and altered auxin distribution, whereas the knockdown plants have decreased auxin transport. Manipulation of BG1 in both rice and Arabidopsis can enhance plant biomass, seed weight, and yield. Taking these data together, we identify a novel positive regulator of auxin response and transport in a crop plant and demonstrate its role in regulating grain size, thus illuminating a new strategy to improve plant productivity. PMID:26283354

  1. An extended bioreaction database that significantly improves reconstruction and analysis of genome-scale metabolic networks.

    PubMed

    Stelzer, Michael; Sun, Jibin; Kamphans, Tom; Fekete, Sándor P; Zeng, An-Ping

    2011-11-01

    The bioreaction database established by Ma and Zeng (Bioinformatics, 2003, 19, 270-277) for in silico reconstruction of genome-scale metabolic networks has been widely used. Based on more recent information in the reference databases KEGG LIGAND and Brenda, we upgrade the bioreaction database in this work by almost doubling the number of reactions from 3565 to 6851. Over 70% of the reactions have been manually updated/revised in terms of reversibility, reactant pairs, currency metabolites and error correction. For the first time, 41 spontaneous sugar mutarotation reactions are introduced into the biochemical database. The upgrade significantly improves the reconstruction of genome scale metabolic networks. Many gaps or missing biochemical links can be recovered, as exemplified with three model organisms Homo sapiens, Aspergillus niger, and Escherichia coli. The topological parameters of the constructed networks were also largely affected, however, the overall network structure remains scale-free. Furthermore, we consider the problem of computing biologically feasible shortest paths in reconstructed metabolic networks. We show that these paths are hard to compute and present solutions to find such paths in networks of small and medium size.

  2. Significant effect of Ca2+ on improving the heat resistance of lactic acid bacteria.

    PubMed

    Huang, Song; Chen, Xiao Dong

    2013-07-01

    The heat resistance of lactic acid bacteria (LAB) has been extensively investigated due to its highly practical significance. Reconstituted skim milk (RSM) has been found to be one of the most effective protectant wall materials for microencapsulating microorganisms during convective drying, such as spray drying. In addition to proteins and carbohydrate, RSM is rich in calcium. It is not clear which component is critical in the RSM protection mechanism. This study investigated the independent effect of calcium. Ca(2+) was added to lactose solution to examine its influence on the heat resistance of Lactobacillus rhamnosus ZY, Lactobacillus casei Zhang, Lactobacillus plantarum P8 and Streptococcus thermophilus ND03. The results showed that certain Ca(2+) concentrations enhanced the heat resistance of the LAB strains to different extents, that is produced higher survival and shorter regrowth lag times of the bacterial cells. In some cases, the improvements were dramatic. More scientifically insightful and more intensive instrumental study of the Ca(2+) behavior around and in the cells should be carried out in the near future. In the meantime, this work may lead to the development of more cost-effective wall materials with Ca(2+) added as a prime factor. PMID:23617813

  3. Structuralized box-trainer laparoscopic training significantly improves performance in complex virtual reality laparoscopic tasks

    PubMed Central

    Stefaniak, Tomasz J.; Makarewicz, Wojciech; Proczko, Monika; Gruca, Zbigniew; Śledziński, Zbigniew

    2011-01-01

    Introduction In the era of flowering minimally invasive surgical techniques there is a need for new methods of teaching surgery and supervision of progress in skills and expertise. Virtual and physical box-trainers seem especially fit for this purpose, and allow for improvement of proficiency required in laparoscopic surgery. Material and methods The study included 34 students who completed the authors‘ laparoscopic training on physical train-boxes. Progress was monitored by accomplishment of 3 exercises: moving pellets from one place to another, excising and clipping. Analysed parameters included time needed to complete the exercise and right and left hand movement tracks. Students were asked to do assigned tasks prior to, in the middle and after the training. Results The duration of the course was 28 h in total. Significant shortening of the time to perform each exercise and reduction of the left hand track were achieved. The right hand track was shortened only in exercise number 1. Conclusions Exercises in the laboratory setting should be regarded as an important element of the process of skills acquisition by a young surgeon. Virtual reality laparoscopic training seems to be a new, interesting educational tool, and at the same time allows for reliable control and assessment of progress. PMID:23255997

  4. [Follow-up study in traditional Chinese medicine of reinforcing kidney and resolving stasis and thinking of improving women's ability of high-quality fertility and pregnancy].

    PubMed

    Ma, Kun; Li, Min

    2015-10-01

    High quality of fertility and pregancy is a specific presentation of family planning in this new historic environment. Our country adopted two-child policy from November, 2013. This symbolized an adjustive stage of reproduction policy in 21st century. It is a major adjustment in the development of national population. As a contry of tremendous population, it is very important to have a high- quality fertility and pregancy for the future of the whole nation, which would improve population quality and restrict development of population. The morbidity of infertility has increased significantly, which brings a huge crisis for national population. Under the guidance of high-quality fertility and pregancy in Chinese medicine theory, improving fertile women's ability of high-quality fertility and pregancy, and follow-up studying is of vital importance for evaluating the treatment of abortion prevention by traditional Chinese medicine and human health of high-quality fertility and pregancy.

  5. Using gas modifiers to significantly improve sensitivity and selectivity in a cylindrical FAIMS device.

    PubMed

    Purves, Randy W; Ozog, Allison R; Ambrose, Stephen J; Prasad, Satendra; Belford, Michael; Dunyach, Jean-Jacques

    2014-07-01

    Recent reports describing enhanced performance when using gas additives in a DMS device (planar electrodes) have indicated that comparable benefits are not attainable using FAIMS (cylindrical electrodes), owing to the non-homogeneous electric fields within the analyzer region. In this study, a FAIMS system (having cylindrical electrodes) was modified to allow for controlled delivery of gas additives. An experiment was carried out that illustrates the important distinction between gas modifiers present as unregulated contaminants and modifiers added in a controlled manner. The effect of contamination was simulated by adjusting the ESI needle position to promote incomplete desolvation, thereby permitting ESI solvent vapor into the FAIMS analyzer region, causing signal instability and irreproducible CV values. However, by actively controlling the delivery of the gas modifier, reproducible CV spectra were obtained. The effects of adding different gas modifiers were examined using 15 positive ions having mass-to-charge (m/z) values between 90 and 734. Significant improvements in peak capacity and increases in ion transmission were readily attained by adding acetonitrile vapor, even at trace levels (≤0.1%). Increases in signal intensity were greatest for the low m/z ions; for the six lowest molecular weight species, signal intensities increased by ∼10- to over 100-fold compared with using nitrogen without gas additives, resulting in equivalent or better signal intensities compared with ESI without FAIMS. These results confirm that analytical benefits derived from the addition of gas modifiers reported with a uniform electric field (DMS) also are observed using a non-homogenous electric field (FAIMS) in the analyser region.

  6. Significant contribution of realistic vegetation representation to improved simulation and prediction of climate anomalies over land

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alessandri, Andrea; Catalano, Franco; De Felice, Matteo; Doblas-Reyes, Francisco; van den Hurk, Bart; Miller, Paul

    2015-04-01

    The EC-Earth earth system model has been recently developed to include the dynamics of vegetation through the coupling with the LPJ-Guess model. In its original formulation, the coupling between atmosphere and vegetation variability is simply operated by the vegetation Leaf Area Index (LAI), which affects climate by only changing the vegetation physiological resistance to evapotranspiration. This coupling with no implied change of the vegetation fractional coverage has been reported to have a weak effect on the surface climate modeled by EC-Earth (e.g.: also Weiss et al. 2012). The effective sub-grid vegetation fractional coverage can vary seasonally and at interannual time-scales as a function of leaf-canopy growth, phenology and senescence, and therefore affect biophysical parameters such as the surface roughness, albedo and soil field capacity. To adequately represent this effect in EC-Earth, we included an exponential dependence of the vegetation densitiy to the LAI, based on a Lambert-Beer formulation. By comparing historical 20th century simulations and retrospective forecasts performed applying the new effective fractional-coverage parameterization with the respective reference simulations using the original constant vegetation-fraction, we showed an increased effect of vegetation on the EC-Earth surface climate. The analysis shows considerable sensitivity of EC-Earth surface climate at seasonal to interannual time-scales due to the variability of vegetation effective fractional coverage. Particularly large effects are shown over boreal winter middle-to-high latitudes, where the cooling effect of the new parameterization corrects the warm biases of the control simulations over land. For boreal winter, the realistic representation of vegetation variability leads to a significant improvement of the skill in predicting surface climate over land at seasonal time-scales. A potential predictability experiment extended to longer time-scales also indicates the

  7. Mapping Soil Properties of Africa at 250 m Resolution: Random Forests Significantly Improve Current Predictions.

    PubMed

    Hengl, Tomislav; Heuvelink, Gerard B M; Kempen, Bas; Leenaars, Johan G B; Walsh, Markus G; Shepherd, Keith D; Sila, Andrew; MacMillan, Robert A; Mendes de Jesus, Jorge; Tamene, Lulseged; Tondoh, Jérôme E

    2015-01-01

    80% of arable land in Africa has low soil fertility and suffers from physical soil problems. Additionally, significant amounts of nutrients are lost every year due to unsustainable soil management practices. This is partially the result of insufficient use of soil management knowledge. To help bridge the soil information gap in Africa, the Africa Soil Information Service (AfSIS) project was established in 2008. Over the period 2008-2014, the AfSIS project compiled two point data sets: the Africa Soil Profiles (legacy) database and the AfSIS Sentinel Site database. These data sets contain over 28 thousand sampling locations and represent the most comprehensive soil sample data sets of the African continent to date. Utilizing these point data sets in combination with a large number of covariates, we have generated a series of spatial predictions of soil properties relevant to the agricultural management--organic carbon, pH, sand, silt and clay fractions, bulk density, cation-exchange capacity, total nitrogen, exchangeable acidity, Al content and exchangeable bases (Ca, K, Mg, Na). We specifically investigate differences between two predictive approaches: random forests and linear regression. Results of 5-fold cross-validation demonstrate that the random forests algorithm consistently outperforms the linear regression algorithm, with average decreases of 15-75% in Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) across soil properties and depths. Fitting and running random forests models takes an order of magnitude more time and the modelling success is sensitive to artifacts in the input data, but as long as quality-controlled point data are provided, an increase in soil mapping accuracy can be expected. Results also indicate that globally predicted soil classes (USDA Soil Taxonomy, especially Alfisols and Mollisols) help improve continental scale soil property mapping, and are among the most important predictors. This indicates a promising potential for transferring pedological

  8. Mapping Soil Properties of Africa at 250 m Resolution: Random Forests Significantly Improve Current Predictions.

    PubMed

    Hengl, Tomislav; Heuvelink, Gerard B M; Kempen, Bas; Leenaars, Johan G B; Walsh, Markus G; Shepherd, Keith D; Sila, Andrew; MacMillan, Robert A; Mendes de Jesus, Jorge; Tamene, Lulseged; Tondoh, Jérôme E

    2015-01-01

    80% of arable land in Africa has low soil fertility and suffers from physical soil problems. Additionally, significant amounts of nutrients are lost every year due to unsustainable soil management practices. This is partially the result of insufficient use of soil management knowledge. To help bridge the soil information gap in Africa, the Africa Soil Information Service (AfSIS) project was established in 2008. Over the period 2008-2014, the AfSIS project compiled two point data sets: the Africa Soil Profiles (legacy) database and the AfSIS Sentinel Site database. These data sets contain over 28 thousand sampling locations and represent the most comprehensive soil sample data sets of the African continent to date. Utilizing these point data sets in combination with a large number of covariates, we have generated a series of spatial predictions of soil properties relevant to the agricultural management--organic carbon, pH, sand, silt and clay fractions, bulk density, cation-exchange capacity, total nitrogen, exchangeable acidity, Al content and exchangeable bases (Ca, K, Mg, Na). We specifically investigate differences between two predictive approaches: random forests and linear regression. Results of 5-fold cross-validation demonstrate that the random forests algorithm consistently outperforms the linear regression algorithm, with average decreases of 15-75% in Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) across soil properties and depths. Fitting and running random forests models takes an order of magnitude more time and the modelling success is sensitive to artifacts in the input data, but as long as quality-controlled point data are provided, an increase in soil mapping accuracy can be expected. Results also indicate that globally predicted soil classes (USDA Soil Taxonomy, especially Alfisols and Mollisols) help improve continental scale soil property mapping, and are among the most important predictors. This indicates a promising potential for transferring pedological

  9. Mapping Soil Properties of Africa at 250 m Resolution: Random Forests Significantly Improve Current Predictions

    PubMed Central

    Hengl, Tomislav; Heuvelink, Gerard B. M.; Kempen, Bas; Leenaars, Johan G. B.; Walsh, Markus G.; Shepherd, Keith D.; Sila, Andrew; MacMillan, Robert A.; Mendes de Jesus, Jorge; Tamene, Lulseged; Tondoh, Jérôme E.

    2015-01-01

    80% of arable land in Africa has low soil fertility and suffers from physical soil problems. Additionally, significant amounts of nutrients are lost every year due to unsustainable soil management practices. This is partially the result of insufficient use of soil management knowledge. To help bridge the soil information gap in Africa, the Africa Soil Information Service (AfSIS) project was established in 2008. Over the period 2008–2014, the AfSIS project compiled two point data sets: the Africa Soil Profiles (legacy) database and the AfSIS Sentinel Site database. These data sets contain over 28 thousand sampling locations and represent the most comprehensive soil sample data sets of the African continent to date. Utilizing these point data sets in combination with a large number of covariates, we have generated a series of spatial predictions of soil properties relevant to the agricultural management—organic carbon, pH, sand, silt and clay fractions, bulk density, cation-exchange capacity, total nitrogen, exchangeable acidity, Al content and exchangeable bases (Ca, K, Mg, Na). We specifically investigate differences between two predictive approaches: random forests and linear regression. Results of 5-fold cross-validation demonstrate that the random forests algorithm consistently outperforms the linear regression algorithm, with average decreases of 15–75% in Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) across soil properties and depths. Fitting and running random forests models takes an order of magnitude more time and the modelling success is sensitive to artifacts in the input data, but as long as quality-controlled point data are provided, an increase in soil mapping accuracy can be expected. Results also indicate that globally predicted soil classes (USDA Soil Taxonomy, especially Alfisols and Mollisols) help improve continental scale soil property mapping, and are among the most important predictors. This indicates a promising potential for transferring pedological

  10. An optimized procedure for plant recovery from somatic embryos significantly facilitates the genetic improvement of Vitis

    PubMed Central

    Li, Zhijian T; Kim, Kyung-Hee; Dhekney, Sadanand A; Jasinski, Jonathan R; Creech, Matthew R; Gray, Dennis J

    2014-01-01

    Plant regeneration from grapevine (Vitis spp.) via somatic embryogenesis typically is poor. Recovery of plants from Vitis rotundifolia Michx. (muscadine grape) is particularly problematic due to extremely low efficiency, including extended culture durations required for embryo–plant conversion. Poor plant recovery is an obstacle to the selection of improved genetically modified lines. Somatic embryos (SEs) of V. rotundifolia cultivar Delicious (Del-HS) and Vitis vinifera L cultivar Thompson Seedless (TS) were used to identify culture media and conditions that promoted embryo differentiation and plant conversion; this resulted in a two-step culture system. In comparative culture experiments, C2D medium containing 6% sucrose was the most effective, among four distinct formulae tested, for inducing precocious SE germination and cell differentiation. This medium, further supplemented with 4 µM 6-benzylaminopurine (C2D4B), was subsequently determined to enhance post-germinative growth of SE. MS medium supplemented with 0.5 µM 1-naphthaleneacetic acid (MSN) was then utilized to stimulate root and shoot growth of germinated SE. An average of 35% and 80% ‘Del-HS’ and ‘TS’ SE, respectively, developed into plants. All plants developed robust root and shoot systems and exhibited excellent survival following transfer to soil. Over 150 plants of ‘Del-HS’ were regenerated and established within 2.5 months, which is a dramatic reduction from the 6- to 12-month time period previously required. Similarly, 88 ‘TS’ plant lines were obtained within the same time period. Subsequently, seven out of eight Vitis cultivars exhibited significantly increased plant conversion percentages, demonstrating broad application of the two-step culture system to produce the large numbers of independent plant lines needed for selection of desired traits. PMID:26504540

  11. Improving Student Writing Abilities in Geography: Examining the Benefits of Criterion-Based Assessment and Detailed Feedback

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leydon, Joseph; Wilson, Kathi; Boyd, Cleo

    2014-01-01

    Poor quality writing skills among undergraduate geography students is a significant concern among university instructors. This article reports on a multipronged strategy aimed at improving student writing in a large, first-year human geography course. The strategy emphasized ways to provide effective feedback through teaching assistant training,…

  12. Improving the damping ability by the addition of Nano SiO2 to the concrete materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zou, Dujian; Liu, Tiejun; Teng, Jun

    2009-07-01

    Damping in structures is commonly provided by viscoelastic nonstructural materials. Due to the large volume of structural materials in a structure, the contribution of a structural material to damping can be substantial. In this paper, the experimental investigation on damping ability of concrete materials and its members with Nana SiO2 was carried out by the method of 3-point bending beam damping measurement and cantilever beam free vibration respectively. The microstructure of concrete mix with Nano SiO2 was observed by XRD and SEM, then damping mechanism was discussed. The experimental results show that the damping reinforced effect achieved best with the 4% mixture ratio of Nana SiO2, but the optimal adulteration quantity of Nano SiO2 was 3% of cement weight by the comprehensive consideration of cost, workability, strength and dynamic properties. Nano materials as a mixture increase interfaces, and the non-uniform stress distribution under external force improves frictional damping energy consumption ability of concrete. The experimental results on the damping ratio and the loss tangent of the concrete materials with Nano materials are consistent.

  13. A Teaching Strategy with a Focus on Argumentation to Improve Undergraduate Students' Ability to Read Research Articles.

    PubMed

    Van Lacum, Edwin B; Ossevoort, Miriam A; Goedhart, Martin J

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study is to evaluate a teaching strategy designed to teach first-year undergraduate life sciences students at a research university how to learn to read authentic research articles. Our approach-based on the work done in the field of genre analysis and argumentation theory-means that we teach students to read research articles by teaching them which rhetorical moves occur in research articles and how they can identify these. Because research articles are persuasive by their very nature, we focused on the rhetorical moves that play an important role in authors' arguments. We designed a teaching strategy using cognitive apprenticeship as the pedagogical approach. It was implemented in a first-year compulsory course in the life sciences undergraduate program. Comparison of the results of a pretest with those of the posttest showed that students' ability to identify these moves had improved. Moreover, students themselves had also perceived that their ability to read and understand a research article had increased. The students' evaluations demonstrated that they appreciated the pedagogical approach used and experienced the assignments as useful. On the basis of our results, we concluded that students had taken a first step toward becoming expert readers.

  14. A Teaching Strategy with a Focus on Argumentation to Improve Undergraduate Students’ Ability to Read Research Articles

    PubMed Central

    Lacum, Edwin B. Van; Goedhart, Martin J.

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this study is to evaluate a teaching strategy designed to teach first-year undergraduate life sciences students at a research university how to learn to read authentic research articles. Our approach—based on the work done in the field of genre analysis and argumentation theory—means that we teach students to read research articles by teaching them which rhetorical moves occur in research articles and how they can identify these. Because research articles are persuasive by their very nature, we focused on the rhetorical moves that play an important role in authors’ arguments. We designed a teaching strategy using cognitive apprenticeship as the pedagogical approach. It was implemented in a first-year compulsory course in the life sciences undergraduate program. Comparison of the results of a pretest with those of the posttest showed that students’ ability to identify these moves had improved. Moreover, students themselves had also perceived that their ability to read and understand a research article had increased. The students’ evaluations demonstrated that they appreciated the pedagogical approach used and experienced the assignments as useful. On the basis of our results, we concluded that students had taken a first step toward becoming expert readers. PMID:26086657

  15. Pro: benchmarking is the absolute prerequisite for timely and significant business process improvement.

    PubMed

    Hill, Bradford T; Workman, Ronald

    2006-11-28

    Benchmarking in industry has been around for nearly a century, helping companies in nearly every sector imaginable improve their overall performance. Benchmarking's importance in health care, and specifically the clinical laboratory, can be summed up in one simple phrase--"If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it." Here is why.

  16. Occupational therapy interventions to improve the reading ability of older adults with low vision: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Smallfield, Stacy; Clem, Kari; Myers, Ashley

    2013-01-01

    This systematic review of the literature examined available evidence regarding the effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions for improving the reading performance of older adults with low vision. We reviewed 32 studies and found strong evidence supporting low vision programs that included occupational therapy and moderately strong evidence supporting the use of electronic magnification. Moderate evidence supported the influence of illumination on reading ability. Limited evidence was found to support eccentric viewing training and optical magnification. More evidence of higher quality is needed to validate the effectiveness of optical magnifiers, text eccentric viewing, characteristic preferences, and line guides within optical magnification. Additionally, further research is needed to develop a standard low vision rehabilitation program. The results of this review support the need for occupational therapy to be included in low vision rehabilitation. The implications of the findings for occupational therapy practice, research, and education are discussed.

  17. The effect of physical parameters of inertial stabilization platform on disturbance rejection ability and its improvement method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mao, Yao; Deng, Chao; Gan, Xun; Tian, Jing

    2015-10-01

    The development of space optical communication requires arcsecond precision or even higher precision of the tracking performance of ATP(Acquisition, Tracking and Pointing) system under the condition of base disturbance. ATP system supported by stabilized reference beam which is provided by inertial stabilization platform with high precision and high bandwidth, can effectively restrain the influence of base angular disturbance on the line of sight. To get better disturbance rejection ability, this paper analyzes the influence of transfer characteristics and physical parameters of stabilization platform on disturbance stabilization performance, the result shows that the stabilization characteristics of inertial stabilization platform equals to the product of rejection characteristics of control loop and disturbance transfer characteristics of the platform, and improving isolation characteristics of the platform or extending control bandwidth can both achieve the result of getting a better rejection ability. Limited by factors such as mechanical characteristics of stabilization platform, bandwidth/noise of the sensor, and so on, as the control bandwidth of the LOS stabilization platform is limited, and high frequency disturbance can not be effectively rejected, so the rejection of high frequency disturbance mainly depends on the isolation characteristics of the platform itself. This paper puts forward three methods of improving the isolation characteristics of the platform itself, which includes 1) changing mechanical structure, such as reducing elastic coefficient, increasing moment of inertia of the platform, and so on; 2) changing electrical structure of the platform, such as increasing resistance, adding current loop, and so on; 3)adding a passive vibration isolator between the inertial stabilization platform and the base. The result of the experiment shows that adding current loop or adding a passive vibration isolator can effectively reject high frequency

  18. Can reading rate acceleration improve error monitoring and cognitive abilities underlying reading in adolescents with reading difficulties and in typical readers?

    PubMed

    Horowitz-Kraus, Tzipi; Breznitz, Zvia

    2014-01-28

    Dyslexia is characterized by slow, inaccurate reading and by deficits in executive functions. The deficit in reading is exemplified by impaired error monitoring, which can be specifically shown through neuroimaging, in changes in Error-/Correct-related negativities (ERN/CRN). The current study aimed to investigate whether a reading intervention program (Reading Acceleration Program, or RAP) could improve overall reading, as well as error monitoring and other cognitive abilities underlying reading, in adolescents with reading difficulties. Participants with reading difficulties and typical readers were trained with the RAP for 8 weeks. Their reading and error monitoring were characterized both behaviorally and electrophysiologically through a lexical decision task. Behaviorally, the reading training improved "contextual reading speed" and decreased reading errors in both groups. Improvements were also seen in speed of processing, memory and visual screening. Electrophysiologically, ERN increased in both groups following training, but the increase was significantly greater in the participants with reading difficulties. Furthermore, an association between the improvement in reading speed and the change in difference between ERN and CRN amplitudes following training was seen in participants with reading difficulties. These results indicate that improving deficits in error monitoring and speed of processing are possible underlying mechanisms of the RAP intervention. We suggest that ERN is a good candidate for use as a measurement in evaluating the effect of reading training in typical and disabled readers.

  19. Lipid-rich bovine serum albumin improves the viability and hatching ability of porcine blastocysts produced in vitro

    PubMed Central

    SUZUKI, Chie; SAKAGUCHI, Yosuke; HOSHI, Hiroyoshi; YOSHIOKA, Koji

    2015-01-01

    The effects of lipid-rich bovine serum albumin (LR-BSA) on the development of porcine blastocysts produced in vitro were examined. Addition of 0.5 to 5 mg/ml LR-BSA to porcine blastocyst medium (PBM) from Day 5 (Day 0 = in vitro fertilization) significantly increased the hatching rates of blastocysts on Day 7 and the total cell numbers in Day-7 blastocysts. When Day-5 blastocysts were cultured with PBM alone, PBM containing LR-BSA, recombinant human serum albumin or fatty acid-free BSA, addition of LR-BSA significantly enhanced hatching rates and the cell number in blastocysts that survived compared with other treatments. The diameter, ATP content and numbers of both inner cell mass and total cells in Day-6 and Day-7 blastocysts cultured with PBM containing LR-BSA were significantly higher than in blastocysts cultured with PBM alone, whereas LR-BSA had no effect on mitochondrial membrane potential. The mRNA levels of enzymes involved in fatty acid metabolism and β-oxidation (ACSL1, ACSL3, CPT1, CPT2 and KAT) in Day-7 blastocysts were significantly upregulated by the addition of LR-BSA. The results indicated that LR-BSA enhanced hatching ability and quality of porcine blastocysts produced in vitro, as determined by ATP content, blastocyst diameter and expression levels of the specific genes, suggesting that the stimulatory effects of LR-BSA arise from lipids bound to albumin. PMID:26582048

  20. New oxygen-fuel burner significantly improves electric arc furnace productivity with less energy consumption

    SciTech Connect

    Untz, J.; Knowles, D.

    1984-11-01

    This article describes a new system of electric arc steelmaking based on use of oxygen with newly designed burner for increased productivity and reduced energy consumption. The need for the oxygen-fuel burner has been recognized for years. Because of the shape of the flux lines of the arc between electrodes, some areas receive much more heat than others and consequently melt faster, leaving portions of the furnace charge unmelted for some time. Until these cold areas are melted into the bath, the arcing process must continue in a less efficient mode, delaying the completion of the process and therefore reducing productivity and using more energy. Steelmakers have been looking for a heat source to apply to these cold areas so that all material would melt at the same time. The oxygen-fuel burner was chosen because of its ability to deliver a directed flame at temperatures nearing 5000/sup 0/F.

  1. Investigating the Improvement of Decoding Abilities and Working Memory in Children with Incremental or Entity Personal Conceptions of Intelligence: Two Case Reports

    PubMed Central

    Alesi, Marianna; Rappo, Gaetano; Pepi, Annamaria

    2016-01-01

    One of the most significant current discussions has led to the hypothesis that domain-specific training programs alone are not enough to improve reading achievement or working memory abilities. Incremental or Entity personal conceptions of intelligence may be assumed to be an important prognostic factor to overcome domain-specific deficits. Specifically, incremental students tend to be more oriented toward change and autonomy and are able to adopt more efficacious strategies. This study aims at examining the effect of personal conceptions of intelligence to strengthen the efficacy of a multidimensional intervention program in order to improve decoding abilities and working memory. Participants included two children (M age = 10 years) with developmental dyslexia and different conceptions of intelligence. The children were tested on a whole battery of reading and spelling tests commonly used in the assessment of reading disabilities in Italy. Afterwards, they were given a multimedia test to measure motivational factors such as conceptions of intelligence and achievement goals. The children took part in the T.I.R.D. Multimedia Training for the Rehabilitation of Dyslexia (Rappo and Pepi, 2010) reinforced by specific units to improve verbal working memory for 3 months. This training consisted of specific tasks to rehabilitate both visual and phonological strategies (sound blending, word segmentation, alliteration test and rhyme test, letter recognition, digraph recognition, trigraph recognition, and word recognition as samples of visual tasks) and verbal working memory (rapid words and non-words recognition). Posttest evaluations showed that the child holding the incremental theory of intelligence improved more than the child holding a static representation. On the whole this study highlights the importance of treatment programs in which both specificity of deficits and motivational factors are both taken into account. There is a need to plan multifaceted intervention

  2. Improvement of gait ability with a short-term intensive gait rehabilitation program using body weight support treadmill training in community dwelling chronic poststroke survivors.

    PubMed

    Takao, Toshifumi; Tanaka, Naoki; Iizuka, Noboru; Saitou, Hideyuki; Tamaoka, Akira; Yanagi, Hisako

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] Most previous studies have shown that body weight support treadmill training (BWSTT) can improve gait speed poststroke patients. The purpose of this study was to evaluate effectiveness of a short-term intensive program using BWSTT among community dwelling poststroke survivors. [Subjects] Eighteen subjects participated in this study. The treatment group was composed of 10 subjects (2 women; 8 men; mean age, 59.1 ± 12.5 years; time since stroke onset, 35.3 ± 33.2 months), whereas the control group was made up of 8 subjects (3 women; 5 men; mean age, 59.8 ± 6.3 years; time since stroke onset, 39.3 ± 27.3 months). [Methods] The treatment group received BWSTT 3 times a week for 4 weeks (a total of 12 times), with each session lasting 20 minutes. The main outcome measures were maximum gait speed on a flat floor, cadence, and step length. [Results] No differences were observed in the baseline clinical data between the 2 groups. The gait speed in the treatment group was significantly improved compared with that in the control by 2-way ANOVA, while the other parameters showed no significant interaction. [Conclusion] These results suggested that short-term intensive gait rehabilitation using BWSTT was useful for improving gait ability among community dwelling poststroke subjects.

  3. Improvement of gait ability with a short-term intensive gait rehabilitation program using body weight support treadmill training in community dwelling chronic poststroke survivors

    PubMed Central

    Takao, Toshifumi; Tanaka, Naoki; Iizuka, Noboru; Saitou, Hideyuki; Tamaoka, Akira; Yanagi, Hisako

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] Most previous studies have shown that body weight support treadmill training (BWSTT) can improve gait speed poststroke patients. The purpose of this study was to evaluate effectiveness of a short-term intensive program using BWSTT among community dwelling poststroke survivors. [Subjects] Eighteen subjects participated in this study. The treatment group was composed of 10 subjects (2 women; 8 men; mean age, 59.1 ± 12.5 years; time since stroke onset, 35.3 ± 33.2 months), whereas the control group was made up of 8 subjects (3 women; 5 men; mean age, 59.8 ± 6.3 years; time since stroke onset, 39.3 ± 27.3 months). [Methods] The treatment group received BWSTT 3 times a week for 4 weeks (a total of 12 times), with each session lasting 20 minutes. The main outcome measures were maximum gait speed on a flat floor, cadence, and step length. [Results] No differences were observed in the baseline clinical data between the 2 groups. The gait speed in the treatment group was significantly improved compared with that in the control by 2-way ANOVA, while the other parameters showed no significant interaction. [Conclusion] These results suggested that short-term intensive gait rehabilitation using BWSTT was useful for improving gait ability among community dwelling poststroke subjects. PMID:25642063

  4. A chemically reactive spinning dope for significant improvements in wet spun carbon nanotube fibres.

    PubMed

    González-Domínguez, Jose M; Neri, Wilfrid; Maugey, Maryse; Poulin, Philippe; Ansón-Casaos, Alejandro; Martínez, M Teresa

    2013-05-11

    Single-walled carbon nanotubes can be spun in a polyvinyl alcohol stream to produce nanocomposite fibres. We use a facile ester linking between both elements to create improved fibres which exhibit outstanding enhancements in the absence of post-processing stages, providing a promising alternative based on a chemical method. PMID:23471091

  5. Interactive Research and Development on Schooling: Antecedents, Purposes, and Significance for School Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Griffin, Gary A.

    This paper introduces the antecedents and concepts underlying a 2-year investigation of Interactive Research and Development on Schooling (IR&DS). IR&DS is an alternative means of conducting school-based research and development and is seen as a means to: (1) involve school personnel in systematic inquiry; (2) improve the utility of research…

  6. Significant improvement in electronic properties of transparent amorphous indium zinc oxide through yttrium doping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Jian; Yu, Zhigen; Huang, Yanhua; Xia, Yijie; Lai, Weng Soon; Gong, Hao

    2014-04-01

    One big challenge in transparent conducting oxides (TCOs) is to achieve high conductivity and mobility at a low processing temperature. Although optimized conductivity has been achieved in indium zinc oxide (IZO) without doping, it is still interesting to find whether doping can improve conductivity of IZO further. In this paper, we report a low processing temperature achievement of high conductivity and mobility of IZO through yttrium (Y) doping. We found that with different Y doping levels, room temperature fabricated amorphous IZO (a-IZO) samples can be controlled to exhibit either metallic or semiconductor characteristics. Y2O3 is demonstrated to be an effective doping source to achieve conductivity 300% higher than the non-doped IZO sample. Anomalously improved mobility of certain Y2O3-doped IZO samples compared with the non-doped IZO sample is found and analyzed. Besides, a low-temperature resistivity anomaly (semiconductor metal transition) phenomenon is observed and discussed.

  7. Targeted agri-environment schemes significantly improve the population size of common farmland bumblebee species.

    PubMed

    Wood, Thomas J; Holland, John M; Hughes, William O H; Goulson, Dave

    2015-04-01

    Changes in agricultural practice across Europe and North America have been associated with range contractions and local extinction of bumblebees (Bombus spp.). A number of agri-environment schemes have been implemented to halt and reverse these declines, predominantly revolving around the provision of additional forage plants. Although it has been demonstrated that these schemes can attract substantial numbers of foraging bumblebees, it remains unclear to what extent they actually increase bumblebee populations. We used standardized transect walks and molecular techniques to compare the size of bumblebee populations between Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) farms implementing pollinator-friendly schemes and Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) control farms. Bumblebee abundance on the transect walks was significantly higher on HLS farms than ELS farms. Molecular analysis suggested maximum foraging ranges of 566 m for Bombus hortorum, 714 m for B. lapidarius, 363 m for B. pascuorum and 799 m for B. terrestris. Substantial differences in maximum foraging range were found within bumblebee species between farm types. Accounting for foraging range differences, B. hortorum (47 vs 13 nests/km(2) ) and B. lapidarius (45 vs 22 nests/km(2) ) were found to nest at significantly greater densities on HLS farms than ELS farms. There were no significant differences between farm type for B. terrestris (88 vs 38 nests/km(2) ) and B. pascuorum (32 vs 39 nests/km(2) ). Across all bumblebee species, HLS management had a significantly positive effect on bumblebee nest density. These results show that targeted agri-environment schemes that increase the availability of suitable forage can significantly increase the size of wild bumblebee populations.

  8. Targeted agri-environment schemes significantly improve the population size of common farmland bumblebee species.

    PubMed

    Wood, Thomas J; Holland, John M; Hughes, William O H; Goulson, Dave

    2015-04-01

    Changes in agricultural practice across Europe and North America have been associated with range contractions and local extinction of bumblebees (Bombus spp.). A number of agri-environment schemes have been implemented to halt and reverse these declines, predominantly revolving around the provision of additional forage plants. Although it has been demonstrated that these schemes can attract substantial numbers of foraging bumblebees, it remains unclear to what extent they actually increase bumblebee populations. We used standardized transect walks and molecular techniques to compare the size of bumblebee populations between Higher Level Stewardship (HLS) farms implementing pollinator-friendly schemes and Entry Level Stewardship (ELS) control farms. Bumblebee abundance on the transect walks was significantly higher on HLS farms than ELS farms. Molecular analysis suggested maximum foraging ranges of 566 m for Bombus hortorum, 714 m for B. lapidarius, 363 m for B. pascuorum and 799 m for B. terrestris. Substantial differences in maximum foraging range were found within bumblebee species between farm types. Accounting for foraging range differences, B. hortorum (47 vs 13 nests/km(2) ) and B. lapidarius (45 vs 22 nests/km(2) ) were found to nest at significantly greater densities on HLS farms than ELS farms. There were no significant differences between farm type for B. terrestris (88 vs 38 nests/km(2) ) and B. pascuorum (32 vs 39 nests/km(2) ). Across all bumblebee species, HLS management had a significantly positive effect on bumblebee nest density. These results show that targeted agri-environment schemes that increase the availability of suitable forage can significantly increase the size of wild bumblebee populations. PMID:25753513

  9. Pseudomonas fluorescens F113 mutant with enhanced competitive colonization ability and improved biocontrol activity against fungal root pathogens.

    PubMed

    Barahona, Emma; Navazo, Ana; Martínez-Granero, Francisco; Zea-Bonilla, Teresa; Pérez-Jiménez, Rosa María; Martín, Marta; Rivilla, Rafael

    2011-08-01

    Motility is one of the most important traits for efficient rhizosphere colonization by Pseudomonas fluorescens F113rif (F113). In this bacterium, motility is a polygenic trait that is repressed by at least three independent pathways, including the Gac posttranscriptional system, the Wsp chemotaxis-like pathway, and the SadB pathway. Here we show that the kinB gene, which encodes a signal transduction protein that together with AlgB has been implicated in alginate production, participates in swimming motility repression through the Gac pathway, acting downstream of the GacAS two-component system. Gac mutants are impaired in secondary metabolite production and are unsuitable as biocontrol agents. However, the kinB mutant and a triple mutant affected in kinB, sadB, and wspR (KSW) possess a wild-type phenotype for secondary metabolism. The KSW strain is hypermotile and more competitive for rhizosphere colonization than the wild-type strain. We have compared the biocontrol activity of KSW with those of the wild-type strain and a phenotypic variant (F113v35 [V35]) which is hypermotile and hypercompetitive but is affected in secondary metabolism since it harbors a gacS mutation. Biocontrol experiments in the Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici/Lycopersicum esculentum (tomato) and Phytophthora cactorum/Fragaria vesca (strawberry) pathosystems have shown that the three strains possess biocontrol activity. Biocontrol activity was consistently lower for V35, indicating that the production of secondary metabolites was the most important trait for biocontrol. Strain KSW showed improved biocontrol compared with the wild-type strain, indicating that an increase in competitive colonization ability resulted in improved biocontrol and that the rational design of biocontrol agents by mutation is feasible. PMID:21685161

  10. Hybrid nanoparticle–microcavity-based plasmonic nanosensors with improved detection resolution and extended remote-sensing ability

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Markus A.; Lei, Dang Yuan; Wondraczek, Lothar; Nazabal, Virginie; Maier, Stefan A.

    2012-01-01

    Optical nanosensors based on plasmonic nanoparticles have great potential for chemical and biological sensing applications, but their spectral detection resolution is severely constrained by their broad resonance linewidth, and their spatial sensing depth is limited to several tens of nanometres. Here we demonstrate that coupling a strong dipolar plasmonic resonance of a single metallic nanoparticle to the narrow bandwidth resonances of an optical microcavity creates a hybrid mode and discretizes the broad localized resonance, boosting the sensing figure-of-merit by up to 36 times. This cavity–nanoparticle system effectively combines the advantages of Fabry–Perot microresonators with those of plasmonic nanoparticles, providing interesting features such as remote-sensing ability, incident-angle independent resonances, strong polarization dependence, lateral ultra small sensing volume and strongly improved detection resolution. Such a hybrid system can be used not only to locally monitor specific dynamic processes in biosensing, but also to remotely sense important film parameters in thin-film nanometrology. PMID:23047666

  11. Significant improvement of mouse cloning technique by treatment with trichostatin A after somatic nuclear transfer

    SciTech Connect

    Kishigami, Satoshi . E-mail: kishigami@cdb.riken.jp; Mizutani, Eiji; Ohta, Hiroshi; Hikichi, Takafusa; Thuan, Nguyen Van; Wakayama, Sayaka; Bui, Hong-Thuy; Wakayama, Teruhiko

    2006-02-03

    The low success rate of animal cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is believed to be associated with epigenetic errors including abnormal DNA hypermethylation. Recently, we elucidated by using round spermatids that, after nuclear transfer, treatment of zygotes with trichostatin A (TSA), an inhibitor of histone deacetylase, can remarkably reduce abnormal DNA hypermethylation depending on the origins of transferred nuclei and their genomic regions [S. Kishigami, N. Van Thuan, T. Hikichi, H. Ohta, S. Wakayama. E. Mizutani, T. Wakayama, Epigenetic abnormalities of the mouse paternal zygotic genome associated with microinsemination of round spermatids, Dev. Biol. (2005) in press]. Here, we found that 5-50 nM TSA-treatment for 10 h following oocyte activation resulted in more efficient in vitro development of somatic cloned embryos to the blastocyst stage from 2- to 5-fold depending on the donor cells including tail tip cells, spleen cells, neural stem cells, and cumulus cells. This TSA-treatment also led to more than 5-fold increase in success rate of mouse cloning from cumulus cells without obvious abnormality but failed to improve ES cloning success. Further, we succeeded in establishment of nuclear transfer-embryonic stem (NT-ES) cells from TSA-treated cloned blastocyst at a rate three times higher than those from untreated cloned blastocysts. Thus, our data indicate that TSA-treatment after SCNT in mice can dramatically improve the practical application of current cloning techniques.

  12. Work improvement factors for the amelioration of work ability, with a focus on individual capacity to deal with stress in an IT company.

    PubMed

    Ohta, Masanori; Higuchi, Yoshiyuki; Kumashiro, Masaharu; Yamato, Hiroshi; Sugimura, Hisamichi

    2015-03-01

    The aim of this study was to explore factors that ameliorate work ability by focusing on workers' capacity to deal with stress.The subjects were 1,330 workers from the Japanese information technology (IT) sector. Each subject completed questionnaires in 2011 and 2012 that consisted of the work ability index (WAI), the three-item sense of coherence (SOC), and the Mental Health Improvement and Reinforcement Research of Recognition (MIRROR). The results of the WAI were also obtained in 2013. The median SOC score in 2011 was used to divide the subjects into two groups, the Low SOC group and the High SOC group, then we verified the factors that contributed to improved work ability in both of these groups over a two-year period. Results indicate that an improvement in work ability in the Low SOC group could be predicted by giving workers opportunities for education or training, by making efforts to reduce the stress of commuting, by clarifying their assignments, and by establishing support systems when troubles occur. For the High SOC group, such improvements could be predicted by giving workers job control, by giving education or training for the promotion of their abilities, and by establishing a system for assuming responsibility. In conclusion, improvements in the work environment can increase the work ability of Japanese IT workers in conformity with their capacity to deal with stress.

  13. Work improvement factors for the amelioration of work ability, with a focus on individual capacity to deal with stress in an IT company.

    PubMed

    Ohta, Masanori; Higuchi, Yoshiyuki; Kumashiro, Masaharu; Yamato, Hiroshi; Sugimura, Hisamichi

    2015-03-01

    The aim of this study was to explore factors that ameliorate work ability by focusing on workers' capacity to deal with stress.The subjects were 1,330 workers from the Japanese information technology (IT) sector. Each subject completed questionnaires in 2011 and 2012 that consisted of the work ability index (WAI), the three-item sense of coherence (SOC), and the Mental Health Improvement and Reinforcement Research of Recognition (MIRROR). The results of the WAI were also obtained in 2013. The median SOC score in 2011 was used to divide the subjects into two groups, the Low SOC group and the High SOC group, then we verified the factors that contributed to improved work ability in both of these groups over a two-year period. Results indicate that an improvement in work ability in the Low SOC group could be predicted by giving workers opportunities for education or training, by making efforts to reduce the stress of commuting, by clarifying their assignments, and by establishing support systems when troubles occur. For the High SOC group, such improvements could be predicted by giving workers job control, by giving education or training for the promotion of their abilities, and by establishing a system for assuming responsibility. In conclusion, improvements in the work environment can increase the work ability of Japanese IT workers in conformity with their capacity to deal with stress. PMID:25787099

  14. Significant improvements in the area of stroke timing of motor-operated valves for nuclear plants

    SciTech Connect

    Wohld, P.R. ); Newsome, R.C. )

    1990-01-01

    This paper reports on valve stroke timing test equipment developed and tested for use in a nuclear power plant main control room that can provide significant advantages to the user for valve surveillance testing required by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The equipment is particularly suitable for Motor-Operated Valves (MOVs) because of its accuracy and repeatability that is necessary to detect the effects of small changes in actuator motor RPM.

  15. A patient/family-centered strategic plan can drive significant improvement.

    PubMed

    Brilli, Richard J; Crandall, Wallace V; Berry, Janet C; Stoverock, Linda; Rosen, Kerry; Budin, Lee; Kelleher, Kelly J; Gleeson, Sean P; Davis, J Terrance

    2014-08-01

    The use of a PFCSP, as a road map to operationalize the hospital's vision, has been a compelling paradigm to achieve significant QI results. The framework is simple yet directly aligns with the IOM domains of quality. It has inspired and helped actively engage hospital personnel in the work required to achieve the goals and vision of the hospital system. Five years after initiating this type of plan, activity is flourishing in each of the domains and midterm results are substantial. We think that the nature of this strategic plan has been an important aspect of our success to date.

  16. Rehabilitation of Communicative Abilities in Patients with a History of TBI: Behavioral Improvements and Cerebral Changes in Resting-State Activity.

    PubMed

    Sacco, Katiuscia; Gabbatore, Ilaria; Geda, Elisabetta; Duca, Sergio; Cauda, Franco; Bara, Bruno G; Bosco, Francesca M

    2016-01-01

    A targeted training program for the rehabilitation of communicative abilities-Cognitive Pragmatic Treatment (CPT)-has been developed and previously tested on a sample of patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), whose performance was found to have improved. Since cortical plasticity has been recognized as the main mechanism of functional recovery, we investigated whether and how behavioral improvements following the training program are accompanied by brain modifications. Eight TBI patients took part in the training program and were behaviorally assessed pre- and post-treatment; six of these patients were also evaluated with pre- and post-treatment resting state (rs) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). At the end of the rehabilitation program patients showed improvement in overall communicative performance, in both comprehension and production tasks. A follow-up retest revealed the stability of these results 3 months after completing the training program. At the brain level, we found significant increases in the amplitude of low frequency fluctuation (ALFF) index in the bilateral precentral gyrus, in the right middle and superior temporal gyri, in the right cingulate gyrus, and in the left inferior parietal lobule. We discuss these differences of brain activity in terms of their possible contribution to promoting recovery. PMID:27047353

  17. Improving speech-in-noise recognition for children with hearing loss: Potential effects of language abilities, binaural summation, and head shadow

    PubMed Central

    Nittrouer, Susan; Caldwell-Tarr, Amanda; Tarr, Eric; Lowenstein, Joanna H.; Rice, Caitlin; Moberly, Aaron C.

    2014-01-01

    Objective: This study examined speech recognition in noise for children with hearing loss, compared it to recognition for children with normal hearing, and examined mechanisms that might explain variance in children’s abilities to recognize speech in noise. Design: Word recognition was measured in two levels of noise, both when the speech and noise were co-located in front and when the noise came separately from one side. Four mechanisms were examined as factors possibly explaining variance: vocabulary knowledge, sensitivity to phonological structure, binaural summation, and head shadow. Study sample: Participants were 113 eight-year-old children. Forty-eight had normal hearing (NH) and 65 had hearing loss: 18 with hearing aids (HAs), 19 with one cochlear implant (CI), and 28 with two CIs. Results: Phonological sensitivity explained a significant amount of between-groups variance in speech-in-noise recognition. Little evidence of binaural summation was found. Head shadow was similar in magnitude for children with NH and with CIs, regardless of whether they wore one or two CIs. Children with HAs showed reduced head shadow effects. Conclusion: These outcomes suggest that in order to improve speech-in-noise recognition for children with hearing loss, intervention needs to be comprehensive, focusing on both language abilities and auditory mechanisms. PMID:23834373

  18. Lysostaphin-coated mesh prevents staphylococcal infection and significantly improves survival in a contaminated surgical field.

    PubMed

    Belyansky, Igor; Tsirline, Victor B; Montero, Paul N; Satishkumar, Rohan; Martin, Terry R; Lincourt, Amy E; Shipp, John I; Vertegel, Alexey; Heniford, B Todd

    2011-08-01

    Mesh and wound infections during hernia repair are predominantly caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Human acellular dermis (HAD) is known to lose its integrity in the face of large bacterial loads. The goal of this study was to determine if lysostaphin (LS), a naturally occurring anti-Staphylococcal protein, can protect HAD mesh from S. aureus infection. HAD samples, 3 cm × 3 cm, were implanted in the onlay fashion on the anterior abdominal wall of rats (n = 75). Subjects were grouped based on presence of antimicrobial bound to HAD (none or LS) and presence of S. aureus inoculum (sterile, 10⁶, 10⁸ CFU). At 60 days, meshes were explanted, and bacterial growth, histology, and mesh tensile strength were examined. None of the controls receiving bacterial inoculation without LS survived to 60 days. All LS-HAD sterile and LS-10⁶ animals survived to explantation. The LS-HAD 10⁸ group had a mortality rate of 50 per cent. All surviving LS-treated animals (n = 25) had negative wound and mesh cultures. Blinded gross and histologic evaluation and measured tensile strengths between all LS groups were comparable. Animals implanted with LS-HAD had a dramatically improved rate of survival. All animals surviving to 60 days had completely cleared S. aureus from their wounds with maintenance of mesh integrity and tensile strength. These findings strongly suggest the clinical use of LS-treated mesh in contaminated fields may translate into a more durable hernia repair.

  19. "Passive-bending colonoscope" significantly improves cecal intubation in difficult cases.

    PubMed

    Mizukami, Takeshi; Ogata, Haruhiko; Hibi, Toshihumi

    2012-08-28

    Colonoscopy sometimes causes pain during insertion, especially in difficult cases. Over-insufflation of air causes elongation or acute angulations of the colon, making passage of the scope difficult and causing pain. We previously reported a sedative-risk-free colonoscopy insertion technique, namely, "Water Navigation Colonoscopy". Complete air suction after water infusion not only improves the vision, but also makes water flow down to the descending colon, while the sigmoid colon collapses and shortens. While non-sedative colonoscopy can be carried out without pain in most cases, some patients do complain of pain. Most of these patients have abnormal colon morphology, and the pain is caused while negotiating the "hairpin" bends of the colon. The "hairpin" bends of the colon should be negotiated by gently pushing the full-angled colonoscope. The proximal 10-20 cm from the angulated part of the conventional colonoscope is stiff, with a wide turning radius, therefore, a conventional colonoscope cannot be negotiated through the "hairpin" bends of the colon without stretching them and causing pain. The "passive-bending colonoscope" has a flexible tip with a narrow turning radius, so that the scope can be negotiated through the "hairpin" bends of the colon with a minimum turning radius and minimal discomfort. Therefore, the intubation and pain-reducing performance of the "passive-bending colonoscope" was assessed in difficult cases.

  20. Pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions to improve cognitive dysfunction and functional ability in clinical depression--a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Baune, Bernhard T; Renger, Lisa

    2014-09-30

    Cognitive dysfunction is of clinical significance and exerts longstanding implication on patients׳ function. Pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments of cognitive dysfunction are emerging. This review evaluates pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments of cognitive impairment primarily in the domains of memory, attention, processing speed and executive function in clinical depression. A total of 35 studies were retrieved from Pubmed, PsycInfo and Scopus after applying inclusion and exclusion criteria. Results show that various classes of antidepressants exert improving effects on cognitive function across several cognitive domains. Specifically, studies suggest that SSRIs, the SSRE tianeptine, the SNRI duloxetine, vortioxetine and other antidepressants such as bupropion and moclobemide may exert certain improving effects on cognitive function in depression, such as in learning and memory and executive function. Class-specific cognitive domains or specific dose-response relationships were not identified yet. The few non-pharmacological studies conducted employing cognitive orientated treatments and cognitive remediation therapy show promising results for the improvement of cognitive impairment in depression. However, several methodological constraints of studies limit generalizability of the results and caution the interpretation. Future direction should consider the development of a neuropsychological consensus cognitive battery to support the discovery, clinical assessment, comparison of studies and registration of new agents in clinical depression. PMID:24863864

  1. A thermophilic α-galactosidase from Neosartorya fischeri P1 with high specific activity, broad substrate specificity and significant hydrolysis ability of soymilk.

    PubMed

    Wang, Huimin; Shi, Pengjun; Luo, Huiying; Huang, Huoqing; Yang, Peilong; Yao, Bin

    2014-02-01

    An extracellular α-galactosidase (Gal27A) with high specific activity of 423Umg(-1) was identified in thermophilic Neosartorya fischeri P1. Its coding gene (1680bp) was cloned and functionally expressed in Pichia pastoris. Sequence analysis indicated that deduced Gal27A contains a catalytic domain of glycoside hydrolase family 27. The native and recombinant enzymes shared some similar properties, such as pH optima at 4.5, temperature optima at 60-70°C, resistance to most chemicals and saccharides, and great abilities to degrade raffinose and stachyose in soymilk. Considering the high yield (3.1gL(-1)) in P. pastoris, recombinant rGal27A is more favorable for industrial applications. This is the first report on purification and gene cloning of Neosartorya α-galactosidase.

  2. Significant improvement of pig cloning efficiency by treatment with LBH589 after somatic cell nuclear transfer.

    PubMed

    Jin, Jun-Xue; Li, Suo; Gao, Qing-Shan; Hong, Yu; Jin, Long; Zhu, Hai-Ying; Yan, Chang-Guo; Kang, Jin-Dan; Yin, Xi-Jun

    2013-10-01

    The low success rate of animal cloning by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) associates with epigenetic aberrancy, including the abnormal acetylation of histones. Altering the epigenetic status by histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) enhances the developmental potential of SCNT embryos. In the current study, we examined the effects of LBH589 (panobinostat), a novel broad-spectrum HDACi, on the nuclear reprogramming and development of pig SCNT embryos in vitro. In experiment 1, we compared the in vitro developmental competence of nuclear transfer embryos treated with different concentrations of LBH589. Embryos treated with 50 nM LBH589 for 24 hours showed a significant increase in the rate of blastocyst formation compared with the control or embryos treated with 5 or 500 nM LBH589 (32.4% vs. 11.8%, 12.1%, and 10.0%, respectively, P < 0.05). In experiment 2, we examined the in vitro developmental competence of nuclear transfer embryos treated with 50 nM LBH589 for various intervals after activation and 6-dimethylaminopurine. Embryos treated for 24 hours had higher rates of blastocyst formation than the other groups. In experiment 3, when the acetylation of H4K12 was examined in SCNT embryos treated for 6 hours with 50 nM LBH589 by immunohistochemistry, the staining intensities of these proteins in LBH589-treated SCNT embryos were significantly higher than in the control. In experiment 4, LBH589-treated nuclear transfer and control embryos were transferred into surrogate mothers, resulting in three (100%) and two (66.7%) pregnancies, respectively. In conclusion, LBH589 enhances the nuclear reprogramming and developmental potential of SCNT embryos by altering the epigenetic status and expression, and increasing blastocyst quality.

  3. Global regulator engineering significantly improved Escherichia coli tolerances toward inhibitors of lignocellulosic hydrolysates.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jianqing; Zhang, Yan; Chen, Yilu; Lin, Min; Lin, Zhanglin

    2012-12-01

    Lignocellulosic biomass is regarded as the most viable source of feedstock for industrial biorefinery, but the harmful inhibitors generated from the indispensable pretreatments prior to fermentation remain a daunting technical hurdle. Using an exogenous regulator, irrE, from the radiation-resistant Deinococcus radiodurans, we previously showed that a novel global regulator engineering (GRE) approach significantly enhanced tolerances of Escherichia coli to alcohol and acetate stresses. In this work, an irrE library was subjected to selection under various stresses of furfural, a typical hydrolysate inhibitor. Three furfural tolerant irrE mutants including F1-37 and F2-1 were successfully obtained. The cells containing these mutants reached OD(600) levels of 4- to 16-fold of that for the pMD18T cells in growth assay under 0.2% (v/v) furfural stress. The cells containing irrE F1-37 and F2-1 also showed considerably reduced intracellular oxygen species (ROS) levels under furfural stress. Moreover, these two irrE mutants were subsequently found to confer significant cross tolerances to two other most common inhibitors, 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furaldehyde (HMF), vanillin, as well as real lignocellulosic hydrolysates. When evaluated in Luria-Bertani (LB) medium supplemented with corn stover cellulosic hydrolysate (prepared with a solid loading of 30%), the cells containing the mutants exhibited lag phases markedly shortened by 24-44 h in comparison with the control cells. This work thus presents a promising step forward to resolve the inhibitor problem for E. coli. From the view of synthetic biology, irrE can be considered as an evolvable "part" for various stresses. Furthermore, this GRE approach can be extended to exploit other exogenous global regulators from extremophiles, and the native counterparts in E. coli, for eliciting industrially useful phenotypes.

  4. Improved predictive ability of climate-human-behaviour interactions with modifications to the COMFA outdoor energy budget model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanos, J. K.; Warland, J. S.; Gillespie, T. J.; Kenny, N. A.

    2012-11-01

    The purpose of this paper is to implement current and novel research techniques in human energy budget estimations to give more accurate and efficient application of models by a variety of users. Using the COMFA model, the conditioning level of an individual is incorporated into overall energy budget predictions, giving more realistic estimations of the metabolism experienced at various fitness levels. Through the use of VO2 reserve estimates, errors are found when an elite athlete is modelled as an unconditioned or a conditioned individual, giving budgets underpredicted significantly by -173 and -123 W m-2, respectively. Such underprediction can result in critical errors regarding heat stress, particularly in highly motivated individuals; thus this revision is critical for athletic individuals. A further improvement in the COMFA model involves improved adaptation of clothing insulation ( I cl), as well clothing non-uniformity, with changing air temperature ( T a) and metabolic activity ( M act). Equivalent T a values (for I cl estimation) are calculated in order to lower the I cl value with increasing M act at equal T a. Furthermore, threshold T a values are calculated to predict the point at which an individual will change from a uniform I cl to a segmented I cl (full ensemble to shorts and a T-shirt). Lastly, improved relative velocity ( v r) estimates were found with a refined equation accounting for the degree angle of wind to body movement. Differences between the original and improved v r equations increased with higher wind and activity speeds, and as the wind to body angle moved away from 90°. Under moderate microclimate conditions, and wind from behind a person, the convective heat loss and skin temperature estimates were 47 W m-2 and 1.7°C higher when using the improved v r equation. These model revisions improve the applicability and usability of the COMFA energy budget model for subjects performing physical activity in outdoor environments

  5. The Strasbourg Large Refractor and Dome: Significant Improvements and Failed Attempts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heck, Andre

    2009-01-01

    Founded by the German Empire in the late 19th century, Strasbourg Astronomical Observatory featured several novelties from the start. According to Mueller (1978), the separation of observing buildings from the study area and from the astronomers' residence was a revolution in observatory construction. The instruments were, as much as possible, isolated from the vibrations of the buildings themselves. "Gas flames" and water were used to reduce temperature effects. Thus the Large Dome (ca 11m diameter), housing the Large Refractor (ca 49cm, then the largest in Germany) and covered by zinc over wood, could be cooled down by water running from the top. Reports (including by the French who took over the observatory after World War I) are however somehow nonexistent on the effective usage and actual efficiency of such a system (which must have generated locally a significant amount of humidity). The paper will detail these technical attempts as well as the specificities of the instruments installed in that new observatory intended as a showcase of German astronomy.

  6. Administration of vaccinia virus complement control protein shows significant cognitive improvement in a mild injury model.

    PubMed

    Pillay, Nirvana S; Kellaway, Laurie A; Kotwal, Girish J

    2005-11-01

    Previous studies have shown that traumatic mild brain injury in a rat model is accompanied by breakdown of the blood brain barrier and the accumulation of inflammatory cells. A therapeutic agent, vaccinia virus complement control protein (VCP), inhibits both the classic and the alternative pathways of the complement system and, in so doing, prevents cell death and inflammation. With the use of a rat mild injury model, the effects of VCP on spatial learning and memory were tested. Training in a Morris water maze consisted of a total of 16 trials over a 2-day period before rats were anesthetized and subjected to mild (1.0-1.1 atm) lateral fluid percussion injury (FPI) 3.0 mm lateral to the sagittal suture and 4.5 mm posterior to bregma. Ten microl of VCP (1.7 mg/ml) was injected into the injury site immediately after FPI. Two weeks post-FPI the rats were assessed in the Morris water maze for spatial learning and memory. Neurologic motor function tests were carried out after FPI for 14 consecutive days and again after 28 days. The Morris water maze data show that FPI plus saline-injected rats spent a significantly (P <0.05) larger amount of time in one of the incorrect quadrants than did the FPI plus VCP-injected group. Neurologic evaluations 24 hours postinjury revealed differences in sensorimotor function between groups. The results suggest that in a mild injury model, VCP influences neurologic outcome and offers some enhancement in spatial memory and learning.

  7. Depletion of Mouse Cells from Human Tumor Xenografts Significantly Improves Downstream Analysis of Target Cells.

    PubMed

    Agorku, David J; Tomiuk, Stefan; Klingner, Kerstin; Wild, Stefan; Rüberg, Silvia; Zatrieb, Lisa; Bosio, Andreas; Schueler, Julia; Hardt, Olaf

    2016-01-01

    The use of in vitro cell line models for cancer research has been a useful tool. However, it has been shown that these models fail to reliably mimic patient tumors in different assays(1). Human tumor xenografts represent the gold standard with respect to tumor biology, drug discovery, and metastasis research (2-4). Tumor xenografts can be derived from different types of material like tumor cell lines, tumor tissue from primary patient tumors(4) or serially transplanted tumors. When propagated in vivo, xenografted tissue is infiltrated and vascularized by cells of mouse origin. Multiple factors such as the tumor entity, the origin of xenografted material, growth rate and region of transplantation influence the composition and the amount of mouse cells present in tumor xenografts. However, even when these factors are kept constant, the degree of mouse cell contamination is highly variable. Contaminating mouse cells significantly impair downstream analyses of human tumor xenografts. As mouse fibroblasts show high plating efficacies and proliferation rates, they tend to overgrow cultures of human tumor cells, especially slowly proliferating subpopulations. Mouse cell derived DNA, mRNA, and protein components can bias downstream gene expression analysis, next-generation sequencing, as well as proteome analysis (5). To overcome these limitations, we have developed a fast and easy method to isolate untouched human tumor cells from xenografted tumor tissue. This procedure is based on the comprehensive depletion of cells of mouse origin by combining automated tissue dissociation with the benchtop tissue dissociator and magnetic cell sorting. Here, we demonstrate that human target cells can be can be obtained with purities higher than 96% within less than 20 min independent of the tumor type. PMID:27501218

  8. Improvement in generic problem-solving abilities of students by use of tutor-less problem-based learning in a large classroom setting.

    PubMed

    Klegeris, Andis; Bahniwal, Manpreet; Hurren, Heather

    2013-01-01

    Problem-based learning (PBL) was originally introduced in medical education programs as a form of small-group learning, but its use has now spread to large undergraduate classrooms in various other disciplines. Introduction of new teaching techniques, including PBL-based methods, needs to be justified by demonstrating the benefits of such techniques over classical teaching styles. Previously, we demonstrated that introduction of tutor-less PBL in a large third-year biochemistry undergraduate class increased student satisfaction and attendance. The current study assessed the generic problem-solving abilities of students from the same class at the beginning and end of the term, and compared student scores with similar data obtained in three classes not using PBL. Two generic problem-solving tests of equal difficulty were administered such that students took different tests at the beginning and the end of the term. Blinded marking showed a statistically significant 13% increase in the test scores of the biochemistry students exposed to PBL, while no trend toward significant change in scores was observed in any of the control groups not using PBL. Our study is among the first to demonstrate that use of tutor-less PBL in a large classroom leads to statistically significant improvement in generic problem-solving skills of students.

  9. Improving Significant Wave Height detection for Coastal Satellite Altimetry: validation in the German Bight.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Passaro, Marcello; Benveniste, Jérôme; Cipollini, Paolo; Fenoglio-Marc, Luciana

    For more than two decades, it has been possible to map the Significant Wave Height (SWH) globally through Satellite Altimetry. SWH estimation is possible because the shape of an altimetric waveform, which usually presents a sharp leading edge and a slowly decaying trailing edge, depends on the sea state: in particular, the higher the sea state, the longer the rising time of the leading edge. The algorithm for SWH also depends on the width of the point target response (PTR) function, which is usually approximated by a constant value that contributes to the rising time. Particularly challenging for SWH detection are coastal data and low sea states. The first are usually flagged as unreliable due to land and calm water interference in the altimeter footprint; the second are characterized by an extremely sharp leading edge that is consequently poorly sampled in the digitalized waveform. ALES, a new algorithm for reprocessing altimetric waveforms, has recently been validated for sea surface height estimation (Passaro et al. 2014). The aim of this work is to check its validity also for SWH estimation in a particularly challenging area. The German Bight region presents both low sea state and coastal issues and is particularly suitable for validation, thanks to the extended network of buoys of the Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie (BSH). In-situ data include open sea, off-shore and coastal sea conditions, respectively at the Helgoland, lighthouse Alte Weser and Westerland locations. Reprocessed data from Envisat, Jason-1 and Jason-2 tracks are validated against those three buoys. The in-situ validation is applied both at the nearest point and at points along-track. The skill metrics is based on bias, standard deviation, slope of regression line, scatter index, number of cycles with correlation larger than 90%. The same metrics is applied to the altimeter data obtained by standard processing and the validation results are compared. Data are evaluated at high

  10. Tai Chi Exercise can Improve the Obstacle Negotiating Ability of People with Parkinson’s Disease: A Preliminary Study

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Hyeong-Dong; Jae, Hyun Dong; Jeong, Ji Hoon

    2014-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of Tai Chi (TC)-based exercise on dynamic postural control during obstacle negotiation by subjects with mild or moderate Parkinson’s disease (PD). [Subjects] Twelve subjects (mean age, 65.3±6.1 years) diagnosed with idiopathic PD were enrolled for this study. [Methods] All the subjects were tested a week before and 12 weeks after the initiation of the TC exercise. In the test, they were instructed to negotiate an obstacle from the position of quiet stance at a normal speed. They were trained with TC exercise that emphasized multidirectional shift in weight bearing from bilateral to unilateral support, challenging the postural stability, three times per week for 12 weeks. Center of pressure (COP) trajectory variables before and after TC exercise were measured using two force plates. [Results] A comparison of the results between pre- and post-intervention showed a statistically significant improvement in anteroposterior and mediolateral displacement of COP. [Conclusion] Twelve weeks of TC exercise may be an effective and safe form of stand-alone behavioral intervention for improving the dynamic postural stability of patients with PD. PMID:25140088

  11. Binding of acetylcholine and tetramethylammonium to flexible cyclophane receptors: improving on binding ability by optimizing host's geometry.

    PubMed

    Sarri, Paolo; Venturi, Francesca; Cuda, Francesco; Roelens, Stefano

    2004-05-28

    The structure of a cyclophanic tetraester (1), previously employed for investigations on the cation-pi interaction, has been optimized to better accommodate acetylcholine (ACh) and tetramethylammonium (TMA) guests. Following indications from molecular modeling calculations, a flexible cyclophane receptor of significantly improved binding properties has been obtained by removing the four carbonyl groups of the parent host. 2,11,20,29-Tetraoxa[3.3.3.3]paracyclophane (2) was prepared by an improved procedure, which was conveniently devised to avoid the formation of contiguous cyclooligomers that caused serious separation issues. Association of 2 with TMA picrate was measured in CDCl(3) at T = 296 K by (1)H NMR titrations and compared to binding data obtained for a set of reference hosts, including the parent tetraester 1, the corresponding cyclophanic tetraamine, the open-chain counterpart of 2, and its cyclooligomers from pentamer to octamer. Binding enhancements ranging from 15-fold (with respect to the tetraester and the tetraamine) to over 80-fold (with respect to the open-chain tetraether) were achieved by geometry optimization of the host. Binding of 2 to ACh and TMA was investigated for a variety of counterions. A constant binding free energy increment of nearly 8 kJ mol(-1) with respect to 1 was observed, independent from the anion and irrespective of the different structure of the cationic guests. Results showed that the electrostatic inhibiting contribution of the counterion to the cation's binding is a characteristic constant of each anion. The value of -Delta G degrees = 44.9 kJ mol(-1) extrapolated for TMA in the absence of a counterion indicates that 28-34 kJ mol(-1) of binding free energy are lost in ion pairing.

  12. Natalizumab Significantly Improves Cognitive Impairment over Three Years in MS: Pattern of Disability Progression and Preliminary MRI Findings

    PubMed Central

    Mattioli, Flavia; Stampatori, Chiara; Bellomi, Fabio; Scarpazza, Cristina; Capra, Ruggero

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies reported that Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients treated with natalizumab for one or two years exhibit a significant reduction in relapse rate and in cognitive impairment, but the long term effects on cognitive performance are unknown. This study aimed to evaluate the effects of natalizumab on cognitive impairment in a cohort of 24 consecutive patients with relapsing remitting MS treated for 3 years. The neuropsychological tests, as well as relapse number and EDSS, were assessed at baseline and yearly for three years. The impact on cortical atrophy was also considered in a subgroup of them, and are thus to be considered as preliminary. Results showed a significant reduction in the number of impaired neuropsychological tests after three years, a significant decrease in annualized relapse rate at each time points compared to baseline and a stable EDSS. In the neuropsychological assessment, a significant improvement in memory, attention and executive function test scores was detected. Preliminary MRI data show that, while GM volume did not change at 3 years, a significantly greater parahippocampal and prefrontal gray matter density was noticed, the former correlating with neuropsychological improvement in a memory test. This study showed that therapy with Natalizumab is helpful in improving cognitive performance, and is likely to have a protective role on grey matter, over a three years follow-up. PMID:26148120

  13. Capsules from pathogenic and non-pathogenic Cryptococcus spp. manifest significant differences in structure and ability to protect against phagocytic cells.

    PubMed

    Araujo, Glauber de S; Fonseca, Fernanda L; Pontes, Bruno; Torres, Andre; Cordero, Radames J B; Zancopé-Oliveira, Rosely M; Casadevall, Arturo; Viana, Nathan B; Nimrichter, Leonardo; Rodrigues, Marcio L; Garcia, Eloi S; Souza, Wanderley de; Frases, Susana

    2012-01-01

    Capsule production is common among bacterial species, but relatively rare in eukaryotic microorganisms. Members of the fungal Cryptococcus genus are known to produce capsules, which are major determinants of virulence in the highly pathogenic species Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii. Although the lack of virulence of many species of the Cryptococcus genus can be explained solely by the lack of mammalian thermotolerance, it is uncertain whether the capsules from these organisms are comparable to those of the pathogenic cryptococci. In this study, we compared the characteristic of the capsule from the non-pathogenic environmental yeast Cryptococcus liquefaciens with that of C. neoformans. Microscopic observations revealed that C. liquefaciens has a capsule visible in India ink preparations that was also efficiently labeled by three antibodies generated to specific C. neoformans capsular antigens. Capsular polysaccharides of C. liquefaciens were incorporated onto the cell surface of acapsular C. neoformans mutant cells. Polysaccharide composition determinations in combination with confocal microscopy revealed that C. liquefaciens capsule consisted of mannose, xylose, glucose, glucuronic acid, galactose and N-acetylglucosamine. Physical chemical analysis of the C. liquefaciens polysaccharides in comparison with C. neoformans samples revealed significant differences in viscosity, elastic properties and macromolecular structure parameters of polysaccharide solutions such as rigidity, effective diameter, zeta potential and molecular mass, which nevertheless appeared to be characteristics of linear polysaccharides that also comprise capsular polysaccharide of C. neoformans. The environmental yeast, however, showed enhanced susceptibility to the antimicrobial activity of the environmental phagocytes, suggesting that the C. liquefaciens capsular components are insufficient in protecting yeast cells against killing by amoeba. These results suggest that capsular

  14. Capsules from Pathogenic and Non-Pathogenic Cryptococcus spp. Manifest Significant Differences in Structure and Ability to Protect against Phagocytic Cells

    PubMed Central

    Araujo, Glauber de S.; Fonseca, Fernanda L.; Pontes, Bruno; Torres, Andre; Cordero, Radames J. B.; Zancopé-Oliveira, Rosely M.; Casadevall, Arturo; Viana, Nathan B.; Nimrichter, Leonardo; Rodrigues, Marcio L.; Garcia, Eloi S.; de Souza, Wanderley; Frases, Susana

    2012-01-01

    Capsule production is common among bacterial species, but relatively rare in eukaryotic microorganisms. Members of the fungal Cryptococcus genus are known to produce capsules, which are major determinants of virulence in the highly pathogenic species Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii. Although the lack of virulence of many species of the Cryptococcus genus can be explained solely by the lack of mammalian thermotolerance, it is uncertain whether the capsules from these organisms are comparable to those of the pathogenic cryptococci. In this study, we compared the characteristic of the capsule from the non-pathogenic environmental yeast Cryptococcus liquefaciens with that of C. neoformans. Microscopic observations revealed that C. liquefaciens has a capsule visible in India ink preparations that was also efficiently labeled by three antibodies generated to specific C. neoformans capsular antigens. Capsular polysaccharides of C. liquefaciens were incorporated onto the cell surface of acapsular C. neoformans mutant cells. Polysaccharide composition determinations in combination with confocal microscopy revealed that C. liquefaciens capsule consisted of mannose, xylose, glucose, glucuronic acid, galactose and N-acetylglucosamine. Physical chemical analysis of the C. liquefaciens polysaccharides in comparison with C. neoformans samples revealed significant differences in viscosity, elastic properties and macromolecular structure parameters of polysaccharide solutions such as rigidity, effective diameter, zeta potential and molecular mass, which nevertheless appeared to be characteristics of linear polysaccharides that also comprise capsular polysaccharide of C. neoformans. The environmental yeast, however, showed enhanced susceptibility to the antimicrobial activity of the environmental phagocytes, suggesting that the C. liquefaciens capsular components are insufficient in protecting yeast cells against killing by amoeba. These results suggest that capsular

  15. Capsules from pathogenic and non-pathogenic Cryptococcus spp. manifest significant differences in structure and ability to protect against phagocytic cells.

    PubMed

    Araujo, Glauber de S; Fonseca, Fernanda L; Pontes, Bruno; Torres, Andre; Cordero, Radames J B; Zancopé-Oliveira, Rosely M; Casadevall, Arturo; Viana, Nathan B; Nimrichter, Leonardo; Rodrigues, Marcio L; Garcia, Eloi S; Souza, Wanderley de; Frases, Susana

    2012-01-01

    Capsule production is common among bacterial species, but relatively rare in eukaryotic microorganisms. Members of the fungal Cryptococcus genus are known to produce capsules, which are major determinants of virulence in the highly pathogenic species Cryptococcus neoformans and Cryptococcus gattii. Although the lack of virulence of many species of the Cryptococcus genus can be explained solely by the lack of mammalian thermotolerance, it is uncertain whether the capsules from these organisms are comparable to those of the pathogenic cryptococci. In this study, we compared the characteristic of the capsule from the non-pathogenic environmental yeast Cryptococcus liquefaciens with that of C. neoformans. Microscopic observations revealed that C. liquefaciens has a capsule visible in India ink preparations that was also efficiently labeled by three antibodies generated to specific C. neoformans capsular antigens. Capsular polysaccharides of C. liquefaciens were incorporated onto the cell surface of acapsular C. neoformans mutant cells. Polysaccharide composition determinations in combination with confocal microscopy revealed that C. liquefaciens capsule consisted of mannose, xylose, glucose, glucuronic acid, galactose and N-acetylglucosamine. Physical chemical analysis of the C. liquefaciens polysaccharides in comparison with C. neoformans samples revealed significant differences in viscosity, elastic properties and macromolecular structure parameters of polysaccharide solutions such as rigidity, effective diameter, zeta potential and molecular mass, which nevertheless appeared to be characteristics of linear polysaccharides that also comprise capsular polysaccharide of C. neoformans. The environmental yeast, however, showed enhanced susceptibility to the antimicrobial activity of the environmental phagocytes, suggesting that the C. liquefaciens capsular components are insufficient in protecting yeast cells against killing by amoeba. These results suggest that capsular

  16. Diazoxide preconditioning of endothelial progenitor cells from streptozotocin-induced type 1 diabetic rats improves their ability to repair diabetic cardiomyopathy.

    PubMed

    Ali, Muhammad; Mehmood, Azra; Anjum, Muhammad Sohail; Tarrar, Moazzam Nazir; Khan, Shaheen N; Riazuddin, Sheikh

    2015-12-01

    Type 1 diabetes mellitus (DM) is a strong risk factor for the development of diabetic cardiomyopathy (DCM) which is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the type 1 diabetic patients. Stem cells may act as a therapeutic agent for the repair of DCM. However, deteriorated functional abilities and survival of stem cells derived from type 1 diabetic subjects need to be overcome for obtaining potential outcome of the stem cell therapy. Diazoxide (DZ) a highly selective mitochondrial ATP-sensitive K(+) channel opener has been previously shown to improve the ability of mesenchymal stem cells for the repair of heart failure. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of DZ preconditioning in improving the ability of streptozotocin-induced type 1 diabetes affected bone marrow-derived endothelial progenitor cells (DM-EPCs) for the repair of DCM in the type 1 diabetic rats. DM-EPCs were characterized by immunocytochemistry, flow cytometry, and reverse transcriptase PCR for endothelial cell-specific markers like vWF, VE cadherin, VEGFR2, PECAM, CD34, and eNOS. In vitro studies included preconditioning of DM-EPCs with 200 μM DZ for 30 min followed by exposure to either 200 μM H2O2 for 2 h (for oxidative stress induction) or 30 mM glucose media (for induction of hyperglycemic stress) for 48 h. Non-preconditioned EPCs with and without exposure to H2O2 and 30 mM high glucose served as controls. These cells were then evaluated for survival (by MTT and XTT cell viability assays), senescence, paracrine potential (by ELISA for VEGF), and alteration in gene expression [VEGF, stromal derived factor-1α (SDF-1α), HGF, bFGF, Bcl2, and Caspase-3]. DZ preconditioned DM-EPCs demonstrated significantly increased survival and VEGF release while reduced cell injury and senescence. Furthermore, DZ preconditioned DM-EPCs exhibited up-regulated expression of prosurvival genes (VEGF, SDF-1α, HGF, bFGF, and Bcl2) on exposure to H2O2, and VEGF and Bcl2 on exposure to hyperglycemia

  17. Biochemical characterization of an acidophilic β-mannanase from Gloeophyllum trabeum CBS900.73 with significant transglycosylation activity and feed digesting ability.

    PubMed

    Wang, Caihong; Zhang, Jiankang; Wang, Yuan; Niu, Canfang; Ma, Rui; Wang, Yaru; Bai, Yingguo; Luo, Huiying; Yao, Bin

    2016-04-15

    Acidophilic β-mannanases have been attracting much attention due to their excellent activity under extreme acidic conditions and significant industrial applications. In this study, a β-mannanase gene of glycoside hydrolase family 5, man5A, was cloned from Gloeophyllum trabeum CBS900.73, and successfully expressed in Pichia pastoris. Purified recombinant Man5A was acidophilic with a pH optimum of 2.5 and exhibited great pH adaptability and stability (>80% activity over pH 2.0-6.0 and pH 2.0-10.0, respectively). It had a high specific activity (1356 U/mg) against locust bean gum, was able to degrade galactomannan and glucomannan in a classical four-site binding mode, and catalyzed the transglycosylation of mannotetrose to mannooligosaccharides with higher degree of polymerization. Besides, it had great resistance to pepsin and trypsin and digested corn-soybean meal based diet in a comparable way with a commercial β-mannanase under the simulated gastrointestinal conditions of pigs. This acidophilic β-mannanase represents a valuable candidate for wide use in various industries, especially in the feed.

  18. The chemical digestion of Ti6Al7Nb scaffolds produced by Selective Laser Melting reduces significantly ability of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to form biofilm.

    PubMed

    Junka, Adam F; Szymczyk, Patrycja; Secewicz, Anna; Pawlak, Andrzej; Smutnicka, Danuta; Ziółkowski, Grzegorz; Bartoszewicz, Marzenna; Chlebus, Edward

    2016-01-01

    In our previous work we reported the impact of hydrofluoric and nitric acid used for chemical polishing of Ti-6Al-7Nb scaffolds on decrease of the number of Staphylococcus aureus biofilm forming cells. Herein, we tested impact of the aforementioned substances on biofilm of Gram-negative microorganism, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, dangerous pathogen responsible for plethora of implant-related infections. The Ti-6Al-7Nb scaffolds were manufactured using Selective Laser Melting method. Scaffolds were subjected to chemical polishing using a mixture of nitric acid and fluoride or left intact (control group). Pseudomonal biofilm was allowed to form on scaffolds for 24 hours and was removed by mechanical vortex shaking. The number of pseudomonal cells was estimated by means of quantitative culture and Scanning Electron Microscopy. The presence of nitric acid and fluoride on scaffold surfaces was assessed by means of IR and rentgen spetorscopy. Quantitative data were analysed using the Mann-Whitney test (P ≤ 0.05). Our results indicate that application of chemical polishing correlates with significant drop of biofilm-forming pseudomonal cells on the manufactured Ti-6Al-7Nb scaffolds ( p = 0.0133, Mann-Whitney test) compared to the number of biofilm-forming cells on non-polished scaffolds. As X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy revealed the presence of fluoride and nitrogen on the surface of scaffold, we speculate that drop of biofilm forming cells may be caused by biofilm-supressing activity of these two elements.

  19. The chemical digestion of Ti6Al7Nb scaffolds produced by Selective Laser Melting reduces significantly ability of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to form biofilm.

    PubMed

    Junka, Adam F; Szymczyk, Patrycja; Secewicz, Anna; Pawlak, Andrzej; Smutnicka, Danuta; Ziółkowski, Grzegorz; Bartoszewicz, Marzenna; Chlebus, Edward

    2016-01-01

    In our previous work we reported the impact of hydrofluoric and nitric acid used for chemical polishing of Ti-6Al-7Nb scaffolds on decrease of the number of Staphylococcus aureus biofilm forming cells. Herein, we tested impact of the aforementioned substances on biofilm of Gram-negative microorganism, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, dangerous pathogen responsible for plethora of implant-related infections. The Ti-6Al-7Nb scaffolds were manufactured using Selective Laser Melting method. Scaffolds were subjected to chemical polishing using a mixture of nitric acid and fluoride or left intact (control group). Pseudomonal biofilm was allowed to form on scaffolds for 24 hours and was removed by mechanical vortex shaking. The number of pseudomonal cells was estimated by means of quantitative culture and Scanning Electron Microscopy. The presence of nitric acid and fluoride on scaffold surfaces was assessed by means of IR and rentgen spetorscopy. Quantitative data were analysed using the Mann-Whitney test (P ≤ 0.05). Our results indicate that application of chemical polishing correlates with significant drop of biofilm-forming pseudomonal cells on the manufactured Ti-6Al-7Nb scaffolds ( p = 0.0133, Mann-Whitney test) compared to the number of biofilm-forming cells on non-polished scaffolds. As X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy revealed the presence of fluoride and nitrogen on the surface of scaffold, we speculate that drop of biofilm forming cells may be caused by biofilm-supressing activity of these two elements. PMID:27150429

  20. Significantly enhanced heme retention ability of myoglobin engineered to mimic the third covalent linkage by nonaxial histidine to heme (vinyl) in synechocystis hemoglobin.

    PubMed

    Uppal, Sheetal; Salhotra, Shikha; Mukhi, Nitika; Zaidi, Fatima Kamal; Seal, Manas; Dey, Somdatta Ghosh; Bhat, Rajiv; Kundu, Suman

    2015-01-23

    Heme proteins, which reversibly bind oxygen and display a particular fold originally identified in myoglobin (Mb), characterize the "hemoglobin (Hb) superfamily." The long known and widely investigated Hb superfamily, however, has been enriched by the discovery and investigation of new classes and members. Truncated Hbs typify such novel classes and exhibit a distinct two-on-two α-helical fold. The truncated Hb from the freshwater cyanobacterium Synechocystis exhibits hexacoordinate heme chemistry and bears an unusual covalent bond between the nonaxial His(117) and a heme porphyrin 2-vinyl atom, which remains tightly associated with the globin unlike any other. It seems to be the most stable Hb known to date, and His(117) is the dominant force holding the heme. Mutations of amino acid residues in the vicinity did not influence this covalent linkage. Introduction of a nonaxial His into sperm whale Mb at the topologically equivalent position and in close proximity to vinyl group significantly increased the heme stability of this prototype globin. Reversed phase chromatography, electrospray ionization-MS, and MALDI-TOF analyses confirmed the presence of covalent linkage in Mb I107H. The Mb mutant with the engineered covalent linkage was stable to denaturants and exhibited ligand binding and auto-oxidation rates similar to the wild type protein. This indeed is a novel finding and provides a new perspective to the evolution of Hbs. The successful attempt at engineering heme stability holds promise for the production of stable Hb-based blood substitute. PMID:25451928

  1. Biochemical characterization of an acidophilic β-mannanase from Gloeophyllum trabeum CBS900.73 with significant transglycosylation activity and feed digesting ability.

    PubMed

    Wang, Caihong; Zhang, Jiankang; Wang, Yuan; Niu, Canfang; Ma, Rui; Wang, Yaru; Bai, Yingguo; Luo, Huiying; Yao, Bin

    2016-04-15

    Acidophilic β-mannanases have been attracting much attention due to their excellent activity under extreme acidic conditions and significant industrial applications. In this study, a β-mannanase gene of glycoside hydrolase family 5, man5A, was cloned from Gloeophyllum trabeum CBS900.73, and successfully expressed in Pichia pastoris. Purified recombinant Man5A was acidophilic with a pH optimum of 2.5 and exhibited great pH adaptability and stability (>80% activity over pH 2.0-6.0 and pH 2.0-10.0, respectively). It had a high specific activity (1356 U/mg) against locust bean gum, was able to degrade galactomannan and glucomannan in a classical four-site binding mode, and catalyzed the transglycosylation of mannotetrose to mannooligosaccharides with higher degree of polymerization. Besides, it had great resistance to pepsin and trypsin and digested corn-soybean meal based diet in a comparable way with a commercial β-mannanase under the simulated gastrointestinal conditions of pigs. This acidophilic β-mannanase represents a valuable candidate for wide use in various industries, especially in the feed. PMID:26616977

  2. How Indirect Supportive Digital Help during and after Solving Physics Problems Can Improve Problem-Solving Abilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pol, Henk J.; Harskamp, Egbert G.; Suhre, Cor J. M.; Goedhart, Martin J.

    2009-01-01

    This study investigates the effectiveness of computer-delivered hints in relation to problem-solving abilities in two alternative indirect instruction schemes. In one instruction scheme, hints are available to students immediately after they are given a new problem to solve as well as after they have completed the problem. In the other scheme,…

  3. Improving Teaching Quality and Problem Solving Ability through Contextual Teaching and Learning in Differential Equations: A Lesson Study Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Khotimah, Rita Pramujiyanti; Masduki

    2016-01-01

    Differential equations is a branch of mathematics which is closely related to mathematical modeling that arises in real-world problems. Problem solving ability is an essential component to solve contextual problem of differential equations properly. The purposes of this study are to describe contextual teaching and learning (CTL) model in…

  4. Implementing CLIL in Higher Education in Thailand: The Extent to Which CLIL Improves Agricultural Students' Writing Ability, Agricultural Content, and Cultural Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chansri, Charinee; Wasanasomsithi, Punchalee

    2016-01-01

    The present study aimed to investigate the extent to which a CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning) course at university level in Thailand improves undergraduate Agricultural students' writing ability, agricultural content, and cultural knowledge. The study sample consisted of 27 students majoring in Agriculture at a public university in…

  5. Regulated expression of an isopentenyltransferase gene (IPT) in peanut significantly improves drought tolerance and increases yield under field conditions.

    PubMed

    Qin, Hua; Gu, Qiang; Zhang, Junling; Sun, Li; Kuppu, Sundaram; Zhang, Yizheng; Burow, Mark; Payton, Paxton; Blumwald, Eduardo; Zhang, Hong

    2011-11-01

    Isopentenyltransferase (IPT) is a critical enzyme in the cytokinin biosynthetic pathway. The expression of IPT under the control of a maturation- and stress-induced promoter was shown to delay stress-induced plant senescence that resulted in an enhanced drought tolerance in both monocot and dicot plants. This report extends the earlier findings in tobacco and rice to peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.), an important oil crop and protein source. Regulated expression of IPT in peanut significantly improved drought tolerance in both laboratory and field conditions. Transgenic peanut plants maintained higher photosynthetic rates, higher stomatal conductance and higher transpiration than wild-type control plants under reduced irrigation conditions. More importantly, transgenic peanut plants produced significantly higher yields than wild-type control plants in the field, indicating a great potential for the development of crops with improved performance and yield in water-limited areas of the world.

  6. Improvement of fermentation ability under baking-associated stress conditions by altering the POG1 gene expression in baker's yeast.

    PubMed

    Sasano, Yu; Haitani, Yutaka; Hashida, Keisuke; Oshiro, Satoshi; Shima, Jun; Takagi, Hiroshi

    2013-08-01

    During the bread-making process, yeast cells are exposed to many types of baking-associated stress. There is thus a demand within the baking industry for yeast strains with high fermentation abilities under these stress conditions. The POG1 gene, encoding a putative transcription factor involved in cell cycle regulation, is a multicopy suppressor of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae E3 ubiquitin ligase Rsp5 mutant. The pog1 mutant is sensitive to various stresses. Our results suggested that the POG1 gene is involved in stress tolerance in yeast cells. In this study, we showed that overexpression of the POG1 gene in baker's yeast conferred increased fermentation ability in high-sucrose-containing dough, which is used for sweet dough baking. Furthermore, deletion of the POG1 gene drastically increased the fermentation ability in bread dough after freeze-thaw stress, which would be a useful characteristic for frozen dough baking. Thus, the engineering of yeast strains to control the POG1 gene expression level would be a novel method for molecular breeding of baker's yeast.

  7. Improvement of fermentation ability under baking-associated stress conditions by altering the POG1 gene expression in baker's yeast.

    PubMed

    Sasano, Yu; Haitani, Yutaka; Hashida, Keisuke; Oshiro, Satoshi; Shima, Jun; Takagi, Hiroshi

    2013-08-01

    During the bread-making process, yeast cells are exposed to many types of baking-associated stress. There is thus a demand within the baking industry for yeast strains with high fermentation abilities under these stress conditions. The POG1 gene, encoding a putative transcription factor involved in cell cycle regulation, is a multicopy suppressor of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae E3 ubiquitin ligase Rsp5 mutant. The pog1 mutant is sensitive to various stresses. Our results suggested that the POG1 gene is involved in stress tolerance in yeast cells. In this study, we showed that overexpression of the POG1 gene in baker's yeast conferred increased fermentation ability in high-sucrose-containing dough, which is used for sweet dough baking. Furthermore, deletion of the POG1 gene drastically increased the fermentation ability in bread dough after freeze-thaw stress, which would be a useful characteristic for frozen dough baking. Thus, the engineering of yeast strains to control the POG1 gene expression level would be a novel method for molecular breeding of baker's yeast. PMID:23800735

  8. Treadmill exercise improves spatial learning ability by enhancing brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression in the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder rats.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Hye Im; Ji, Eun-Sang; Kim, Su-Hyun; Kim, Tae-Wook; Baek, Sang-Bin; Choi, Seung Wook

    2014-06-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) patients show learning difficulty and impulsiveness. Exercise is known to improve learning ability and memory function. In the present study, we investigated the duration-dependence of the effect of treadmill exercise on spatial learning ability in relation with brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression in ADHD rats. For this study, radial 8-arm maze test and western blot for BDNF and tyrosine kinase B (TrkB) were performed. Spontaneous hypertensive rats were used as the ADHD rats and Wistar-Kyoto rats were used as the control rats. The rats in the exercise groups were forced to run on a treadmill for 10 min, 30 min, and 60 min once a day for 28 consecutive days. ADHD rats displayed impairment of spatial learning ability, in contrast treadmill exercise ameliorated impairment of spatial learning ability. Treadmill exercise for 30 min per day showed most potent ameliorating effect on impairment of spatial learning ability. BDNF and TrkB expressions in the hippocampus were decreased in the ADHD rats, in contrast treadmill exercise enhanced BDNF and TrkB expressions. Treadmill exercise for 30 min and for 60 min per day showed enhancing effects on BDNF and TrkB expressions. Treadmill exercise alleviated deficits in the spatial learning ability through enhancing BDNF and TrkB expressions in the ADHD rats. Treadmill exercise for 30 min per day can be considered as the most effective therapeutic modality for the ADHD symptoms. PMID:25061595

  9. Treadmill exercise improves spatial learning ability by enhancing brain-derived neurotrophic factor expression in the attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder rats.

    PubMed

    Jeong, Hye Im; Ji, Eun-Sang; Kim, Su-Hyun; Kim, Tae-Wook; Baek, Sang-Bin; Choi, Seung Wook

    2014-06-01

    Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) patients show learning difficulty and impulsiveness. Exercise is known to improve learning ability and memory function. In the present study, we investigated the duration-dependence of the effect of treadmill exercise on spatial learning ability in relation with brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression in ADHD rats. For this study, radial 8-arm maze test and western blot for BDNF and tyrosine kinase B (TrkB) were performed. Spontaneous hypertensive rats were used as the ADHD rats and Wistar-Kyoto rats were used as the control rats. The rats in the exercise groups were forced to run on a treadmill for 10 min, 30 min, and 60 min once a day for 28 consecutive days. ADHD rats displayed impairment of spatial learning ability, in contrast treadmill exercise ameliorated impairment of spatial learning ability. Treadmill exercise for 30 min per day showed most potent ameliorating effect on impairment of spatial learning ability. BDNF and TrkB expressions in the hippocampus were decreased in the ADHD rats, in contrast treadmill exercise enhanced BDNF and TrkB expressions. Treadmill exercise for 30 min and for 60 min per day showed enhancing effects on BDNF and TrkB expressions. Treadmill exercise alleviated deficits in the spatial learning ability through enhancing BDNF and TrkB expressions in the ADHD rats. Treadmill exercise for 30 min per day can be considered as the most effective therapeutic modality for the ADHD symptoms.

  10. Sirolimus-based therapy following early cyclosporine withdrawal provides significantly improved renal histology and function at 3 years.

    PubMed

    Mota, Alfredo; Arias, Manuel; Taskinen, Eero I; Paavonen, Timo; Brault, Yves; Legendre, Christophe; Claesson, Kerstin; Castagneto, Marco; Campistol, Josep M; Hutchison, Brian; Burke, James T; Yilmaz, Sedar; Häyry, Pekka; Neylan, John F

    2004-06-01

    Graft function and histology are predictive of renal transplant survival. The Rapamune Maintenance Regimen study demonstrated that early cyclosporine (CsA) withdrawal from a sirolimus (SRL)-CsA-steroid (ST) regimen improved renal function and blood pressure. We report the protocol-mandated biopsy findings from that study. Renal transplant patients (n = 430) receiving SRL-CsA-ST were randomized at 3 months after transplantation to remain on SRL-CsA-ST, or to have CsA withdrawn (SRL-ST group). Protocol-mandated biopsies were performed at engraftment and at 12 and 36 months. Two pathologists blindly evaluated 484 biopsies to obtain the Chronic Allograft Damage Index (CADI) scores. At 36 months among patients with serial biopsies (n = 63), the mean CADI score was significantly lower with SRL-ST(4.70 vs. 3.20, p = 0.003), as was the mean tubular atrophy score (0.77 vs. 0.32, p < 0.001). All six components of the CADI score were numerically lower in SRL-ST group; moreover, inflammation and the tubular atrophy scores decreased significantly in the SRL-ST group between 12 and 36 months. The calculated glomerular filtration rate at 36 months was significantly better in the CsA-withdrawal group (54.8 vs. 68.2 mL/min, p = 0.009). In conclusion, withdrawing CsA from the SRL-CsA-ST regimen resulted in improved renal histology and function.

  11. Improvement rate of acute otitis media caused by Haemophilus influenzae at 1 week is significantly associated with time to recovery.

    PubMed

    Yano, Hisakazu; Yamazaki, Yoshitaka; Qin, Liang; Okitsu, Naohiro; Yahara, Koji; Irimada, Mihoko; Hirakata, Yoichi; Kaku, Mitsuo; Kobayashi, Toshimitsu; Watanabe, Hiroshi

    2013-11-01

    Acute otitis media (AOM) is the most common upper respiratory tract infection in childhood. Children with AOM were enrolled at Tohoku Rosai Hospital between July 2006 and June 2011 if their middle ear fluid cultures after tympanocentesis yielded only Haemophilus influenzae. The susceptibilities of the isolates to ampicillin were determined, and microtiter biofilm assays and invasion assays using BEAS-2B cells were performed. The association between these bacterial characteristics and clinical relapses of AOM and treatment failures was evaluated. Seventy-four children (39 boys and 35 girls) with a median age of 1 year (interquartile range [IQR], 0.25 to 2 years) were enrolled. Among 74 H. influenzae isolates, 37 showed intermediate resistance or resistance to ampicillin (MIC, ≥ 2 μg/ml). In the microtiter biofilm assay, the median optical density at 600 nm (OD600) was 0.68 (IQR, 0.24 to 1.02), and 70 isolates formed biofilms. The median invasion rate was 15% (IQR, 0 to 10%), and 46 isolates invaded BEAS-2B cells. Relapses and treatment failures occurred in 19 and 6 children, respectively. There was no significant difference in the invasion rates between patients with and those without relapses or treatment failures. Also, there was no significant association between biofilm formation and relapse or treatment failure. The improvements in the severity scores after 1 week were significantly associated with the recovery time (P < 0.0001). We did not identify any significant association between relapse or treatment failure and bacterial factors. AOM has a multifactorial etiology, and this may explain why we could not find a significant association. An improvement in the severity score after 1 week of treatment may be a useful predictor of the outcome of AOM.

  12. Significant improvement of GaN crystal quality with ex-situ sputtered AlN nucleation layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Shuo-Wei; Yang, Young; Wen, Wei-Chih; Li, Heng; Lu, Tien-Chang

    2016-03-01

    Ex-situ sputtered AlN nucleation layer has been demonstrated effective to significantly improve crystal quality and electrical properties of GaN epitaxy layers for GaN based Light-emitting diodes (LEDs). In this report, we have successfully reduced X-ray (102) FWHM from 240 to 110 arcsec, and (002) FWHM from 230 to 101 arcsec. In addition, reverse-bias voltage (Vr) increased around 20% with the sputtered AlN nucleation layer. Furthermore, output power of LEDs grown on sputtered AlN nucleation layer can be improved around 4.0% compared with LEDs which is with conventional GaN nucleation layer on pattern sapphire substrate (PSS).

  13. Long-term treatment with naproxcinod significantly improves skeletal and cardiac disease phenotype in the mdx mouse model of dystrophy

    PubMed Central

    Uaesoontrachoon, Kitipong; Quinn, James L; Tatem, Kathleen S; Van Der Meulen, Jack H; Yu, Qing; Phadke, Aditi; Miller, Brittany K; Gordish-Dressman, Heather; Ongini, Ennio; Miglietta, Daniela; Nagaraju, Kanneboyina

    2014-01-01

    In Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) patients and the mouse model of DMD, mdx, dystrophin deficiency causes a decrease and mislocalization of muscle-specific neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOSμ), leading to functional impairments. Previous studies have shown that nitric oxide (NO) donation associated with anti-inflammatory action has beneficial effects in dystrophic mouse models. In this study, we have systematically investigated the effects of naproxcinod, an NO-donating naproxen derivative, on the skeletal and cardiac disease phenotype in mdx mice. Four-week-old mdx and C57BL/10 mice were treated with four different concentrations (0, 10, 21 and 41 mg/kg) of naproxcinod and 0.9 mg/kg of prednisolone in their food for 9 months. All mice were subjected to twice-weekly treadmill sessions, and functional and behavioral parameters were measured at 3, 6 and 9 months of treatment. In addition, we evaluated in vitro force contraction, optical imaging of inflammation, echocardiography and blood pressure (BP) at the 9-month endpoint prior to sacrifice. We found that naproxcinod treatment at 21 mg/kg resulted in significant improvement in hindlimb grip strength and a 30% decrease in inflammation in the fore- and hindlimbs of mdx mice. Furthermore, we found significant improvement in heart function, as evidenced by improved fraction shortening, ejection fraction and systolic BP. In addition, the long-term detrimental effects of prednisolone typically seen in mdx skeletal and heart function were not observed at the effective dose of naproxcinod. In conclusion, our results indicate that naproxcinod has significant potential as a safe therapeutic option for the treatment of muscular dystrophies. PMID:24463621

  14. Surface modification by argon plasma treatment improves antioxidant defense ability of CHO-k1 cells on titanium surfaces.

    PubMed

    de Queiroz, Jana Dara Freires; Leal, Angélica Maria de Sousa; Terada, Maysa; Agnez-Lima, Lucymara Fassarela; Costa, Isolda; Pinto, Nadja Cristhina de Souza; de Medeiros, Silvia Regina Batistuzzo

    2014-04-01

    Titanium is one of the most used materials in implants and changes in its surface can modify the cellular functional response to better implant fixation. An argon plasma treatment generates a surface with improved mechanical proprieties without modifying its chemical composition. Oxidative stress induced by biomaterials is considered one of the major causes of implant failure and studies in this field are fundamental to evaluate the biocompatibility of a new material. Therefore, in this work, induction of oxidative stress by titanium surfaces subjected to plasma treatment (PTTS) was evaluated. The viability of CHO-k1 cells was higher on PTTS discs. Cells grown on titanium surfaces are subjected to intracellular oxidative stress. Titanium discs subjected to the plasma treatment induced less oxidative stress than the untreated ones, which resulted in improved cellular survival. These were associated with improved cellular antioxidant response in Plasma Treated Titanium Surface (PTTS). Furthermore, a decrease in protein and DNA oxidative damage was observed on cells grown on the roughed surface when compared to the smooth one. In conclusion, our data suggest that the treatment of titanium with argon plasma may improve its biocompatible, thus improving its performance as implants or as a scaffold in tissue engineering.

  15. Improving the ability of image sensors to detect faint stars and moving objects using image deconvolution techniques.

    PubMed

    Fors, Octavi; Núñez, Jorge; Otazu, Xavier; Prades, Albert; Cardinal, Robert D

    2010-01-01

    In this paper we show how the techniques of image deconvolution can increase the ability of image sensors as, for example, CCD imagers, to detect faint stars or faint orbital objects (small satellites and space debris). In the case of faint stars, we show that this benefit is equivalent to double the quantum efficiency of the used image sensor or to increase the effective telescope aperture by more than 30% without decreasing the astrometric precision or introducing artificial bias. In the case of orbital objects, the deconvolution technique can double the signal-to-noise ratio of the image, which helps to discover and control dangerous objects as space debris or lost satellites. The benefits obtained using CCD detectors can be extrapolated to any kind of image sensors. PMID:22294896

  16. Improving the ability of image sensors to detect faint stars and moving objects using image deconvolution techniques.

    PubMed

    Fors, Octavi; Núñez, Jorge; Otazu, Xavier; Prades, Albert; Cardinal, Robert D

    2010-01-01

    In this paper we show how the techniques of image deconvolution can increase the ability of image sensors as, for example, CCD imagers, to detect faint stars or faint orbital objects (small satellites and space debris). In the case of faint stars, we show that this benefit is equivalent to double the quantum efficiency of the used image sensor or to increase the effective telescope aperture by more than 30% without decreasing the astrometric precision or introducing artificial bias. In the case of orbital objects, the deconvolution technique can double the signal-to-noise ratio of the image, which helps to discover and control dangerous objects as space debris or lost satellites. The benefits obtained using CCD detectors can be extrapolated to any kind of image sensors.

  17. Implementation of a Multidisciplinary Bleeding and Transfusion Protocol Significantly Decreases Perioperative Blood Product Utilization and Improves Some Bleeding Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Timpa, Joseph G.; O’Meara, L. Carlisle; Goldberg, Kellen G.; Phillips, Jay P.; Crawford, Jack H.; Jackson, Kimberly W.; Alten, Jeffrey A.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract: Perioperative transfusion of blood products is associated with increased morbidity and mortality after pediatric cardiac surgery. We report the results of a quality improvement project aimed at decreasing perioperative blood product administration and bleeding after pediatric cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) surgery. A multidisciplinary team evaluated baseline data from 99 consecutive CPB patients, focusing on the variability in transfusion management and bleeding outcomes, to create a standardized bleeding and transfusion management protocol. A total of 62 subsequent patients were evaluated after implementation of the protocol: 17 with single pass hemoconcentrated (SPHC) blood transfusion and 45 with modified ultrafiltration (MUF). Implementation of the protocol with SPHC blood led to significant decrease in transfusion of every blood product in the cardiovascular operating room and first 6 hours in cardiovascular intensive care unit ([CVICU] p < .05). Addition of MUF to the protocol led to further decrease in transfusion of all blood products compared to preprotocol. Patients <2 months old had 49% decrease in total blood product administration: 155 mL/kg preprotocol, 117 mL/kg protocol plus SPHC, and 79 mL/kg protocol plus MUF (p < .01). There were significant decreases in postoperative bleeding in the first hour after CVICU admission: 6 mL/kg preprotocol, 3.8 mL/kg protocol plus SPHC, and 2 mL/kg protocol plusMUF (p = .02). There was also significantly decreased incidence of severe postoperative bleeding (>10 mL/kg) in the first CVICU hour for protocol plus MUF patients (p < .01). Implementation of a multidisciplinary bleeding and transfusion protocol significantly decreases perioperative blood product transfusion and improves some bleeding outcomes. PMID:27134303

  18. APD125, a Selective Serotonin 5-HT2A Receptor Inverse Agonist, Significantly Improves Sleep Maintenance in Primary Insomnia

    PubMed Central

    Rosenberg, Russell; Seiden, David J.; Hull, Steven G.; Erman, Milton; Schwartz, Howard; Anderson, Christen; Prosser, Warren; Shanahan, William; Sanchez, Matilde; Chuang, Emil; Roth, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    Introduction: Insomnia is a condition affecting 10% to 15% of the adult population and is characterized by difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, or nonrestorative sleep, accompanied by daytime impairment or distress. This study evaluates APD125, a selective inverse agonist of the 5-HT2A receptor, for treatment of chronic insomnia, with particular emphasis on sleep maintenance. In phase 1 studies, APD125 improved sleep maintenance and was well tolerated. Methodology: Adult subjects (n = 173) with DSM-IV defined primary insomnia were randomized into a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 3-way crossover study to compare 2 doses of APD125 (10 mg and 40 mg) with placebo. Each treatment period was 7 days with a 7- to 9-day washout period between treatments. Polysomnographic recordings were performed at the initial 2 screening nights and at nights (N) 1/2 and N 6/7 of each treatment period. Results: APD125 was associated with significant improvements in key sleep maintenance parameters measured by PSG. Wake time after sleep onset decreased (SEM) by 52.5 (3.2) min (10 mg) and 53.5 (3.5) min (40 mg) from baseline to N 1/2 vs. 37.8 (3.4) min for placebo, (P < 0.0001 for both doses vs placebo), and by 51.7 (3.4) min (P = 0.01) and 48.0 (3.6) min (P = 0.2) at N 6/7 vs. 44.0 (3.8) min for placebo. Significant APD125 effects on wake time during sleep were also seen (P < 0.0001 N 1/2, P < 0.001 N 6/7). The number of arousals and number of awakenings decreased significantly with APD125 treatment compared to placebo. Slow wave sleep showed a statistically significant dose-dependent increase. There was no significant decrease in latency to persistent sleep. No serious adverse events were reported, and no meaningful differences in adverse event profiles were observed between either dose of APD125 and placebo. APD125 was not associated with next-day psychomotor impairment as measured by Digit Span, Digit Symbol Copy, and Digit Symbol Coding Tests

  19. Significant improvements in InGaN/GaN nano-photoelectrodes for hydrogen generation by structure and polarization optimization

    PubMed Central

    Tao, Tao; Zhi, Ting; Liu, Bin; Li, Mingxue; Zhuang, Zhe; Dai, Jiangping; Li, Yi; Jiang, Fulong; Luo, Wenjun; Xie, Zili; Chen, Dunjun; Chen, Peng; Li, Zhaosheng; Zou, Zhigang; Zhang, Rong; Zheng, Youdou

    2016-01-01

    The photoelectrodes based on III-nitride semiconductors with high energy conversion efficiency especially for those self-driven ones are greatly desirable for hydrogen generation. In this study, highly ordered InGaN/GaN multiple-quantum-well nanorod-based photoelectrodes have been fabricated by a soft UV-curing nano-imprint lithography and a top-down etching technique, which improve the incident photon conversion efficiency (IPCE) from 16% (planar structure) to 42% (@ wavelength = 400 nm). More significantly, the turn-on voltage is reduced low to −0.6 V, which indicates the possibility of achieving self-driven. Furthermore, SiO2/Si3N4 dielectric distributed Bragg reflectors are employed to further improve the IPCE up to 60%. And the photocurrent (@ 1.1 V) is enhanced from 0.37 mA/cm2 (original planar structure) to 1.5 mA/cm2. These improvements may accelerate the possible applications for hydrogen generation with high energy-efficiency. PMID:26853933

  20. Significant improvements in InGaN/GaN nano-photoelectrodes for hydrogen generation by structure and polarization optimization.

    PubMed

    Tao, Tao; Zhi, Ting; Liu, Bin; Li, Mingxue; Zhuang, Zhe; Dai, Jiangping; Li, Yi; Jiang, Fulong; Luo, Wenjun; Xie, Zili; Chen, Dunjun; Chen, Peng; Li, Zhaosheng; Zou, Zhigang; Zhang, Rong; Zheng, Youdou

    2016-02-08

    The photoelectrodes based on III-nitride semiconductors with high energy conversion efficiency especially for those self-driven ones are greatly desirable for hydrogen generation. In this study, highly ordered InGaN/GaN multiple-quantum-well nanorod-based photoelectrodes have been fabricated by a soft UV-curing nano-imprint lithography and a top-down etching technique, which improve the incident photon conversion efficiency (IPCE) from 16% (planar structure) to 42% (@ wavelength = 400 nm). More significantly, the turn-on voltage is reduced low to -0.6 V, which indicates the possibility of achieving self-driven. Furthermore, SiO2/Si3N4 dielectric distributed Bragg reflectors are employed to further improve the IPCE up to 60%. And the photocurrent (@ 1.1 V) is enhanced from 0.37 mA/cm(2) (original planar structure) to 1.5 mA/cm(2). These improvements may accelerate the possible applications for hydrogen generation with high energy-efficiency.

  1. Annonaceous acetogenins (ACGs) nanosuspensions based on a self-assembly stabilizer and the significantly improved anti-tumor efficacy.

    PubMed

    Hong, Jingyi; Li, Yanhong; Xiao, Yao; Li, Yijing; Guo, Yifei; Kuang, Haixue; Wang, Xiangtao

    2016-09-01

    Annonaceous acetogenins (ACGs) have exhibited antitumor activity against various cancers. However, these substances' poor solubility has limited clinical applications. In this study, hydroxypropyl-beta-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD) and soybean lecithin (SPC) were self-assembled into an amphiphilic complex. ACGs nanosuspensions (ACGs-NSps) were prepared with a mean particle size of 144.4nm, a zeta potential of -22.9mV and a high drug payload of 46.17% using this complex as stabilizer. The ACGs-NSps demonstrated sustained release in vitro and good stability in plasma as well as simulated gastrointestinal fluid, and met the demand of both intravenous injection and oral administration. The ACGs-NSps demonstrated significantly increased cytotoxicity against Hela and HepG2 cancer cell lines compared to ACGs in solution (in vitro cytotoxicity assay). An in vivo study with H22-tumor bearing mice demonstrated that nanosuspensions significantly improved ACGs' antitumor activity. When orally administered, ACGs-NSps achieved a similar tumor inhibition rate at 1/10th the dose of ACGs in an oil solution (47.94% vs. 49.74%, p>0.05). Improved therapeutic efficacy was further achieved when the ACGs-NSps were intravenously injected into mice (70.31%). With the help of nanosuspension technology, ACGs may be an effective antitumor drug for clinic use.

  2. Annonaceous acetogenins (ACGs) nanosuspensions based on a self-assembly stabilizer and the significantly improved anti-tumor efficacy.

    PubMed

    Hong, Jingyi; Li, Yanhong; Xiao, Yao; Li, Yijing; Guo, Yifei; Kuang, Haixue; Wang, Xiangtao

    2016-09-01

    Annonaceous acetogenins (ACGs) have exhibited antitumor activity against various cancers. However, these substances' poor solubility has limited clinical applications. In this study, hydroxypropyl-beta-cyclodextrin (HP-β-CD) and soybean lecithin (SPC) were self-assembled into an amphiphilic complex. ACGs nanosuspensions (ACGs-NSps) were prepared with a mean particle size of 144.4nm, a zeta potential of -22.9mV and a high drug payload of 46.17% using this complex as stabilizer. The ACGs-NSps demonstrated sustained release in vitro and good stability in plasma as well as simulated gastrointestinal fluid, and met the demand of both intravenous injection and oral administration. The ACGs-NSps demonstrated significantly increased cytotoxicity against Hela and HepG2 cancer cell lines compared to ACGs in solution (in vitro cytotoxicity assay). An in vivo study with H22-tumor bearing mice demonstrated that nanosuspensions significantly improved ACGs' antitumor activity. When orally administered, ACGs-NSps achieved a similar tumor inhibition rate at 1/10th the dose of ACGs in an oil solution (47.94% vs. 49.74%, p>0.05). Improved therapeutic efficacy was further achieved when the ACGs-NSps were intravenously injected into mice (70.31%). With the help of nanosuspension technology, ACGs may be an effective antitumor drug for clinic use. PMID:27209384

  3. Significantly improved piezoelectric thermal stability of cellular polypropylene films by high pressure fluorination and post-treatments

    SciTech Connect

    An Zhenlian; Mao Mingjun; Cang Jun; Zhang Yewen; Zheng Feihu

    2012-01-15

    Cellular polypropylene (PP) films were fluorinated under a high pressure of 13 bar of the F{sub 2}/N{sub 2} mixture and were post-treated by nitrous oxide and isothermal crystallization. The fluorinated and post-treated PP films after being expanded and corona charged exhibit a significantly improved piezoelectric thermal stability. After annealing at 70 deg. C for 151 h or at 90 deg. C for 224 h, the piezoelectric d{sub 33} value of the fluorinated and post-treated piezoelectric sample still retains 58% or 45% of its initial d{sub 33} value, while the corresponding value of the virgin piezoelectric sample has decreased to 29% or 15% of the initial value. Chemical composition analysis of the cross section of the fluorinated and post-treated film by energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy indicates that the internal layers have been fluorinated, in spite of a lower degree of fluorination compared with the fluorinated surface layer. Short-circuit and open-circuit TSD current measurements reveal that the fluorinated internal layers, like the fluorinated surface layer, also have very deep charge traps, although there probably is a difference in density of the deep traps between them. The deeply trapped charge on the internal layers of the fluorinated and post-treated piezoelectric sample is responsible for its significantly improved piezoelectric thermal stability.

  4. Improving Growth and Productivity of Oleiferous Brassicas under Changing Environment: Significance of Nitrogen and Sulphur Nutrition, and Underlying Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Anjum, Naser A.; Gill, Sarvajeet S.; Umar, Shahid; Ahmad, Iqbal; Duarte, Armando C.; Pereira, Eduarda

    2012-01-01

    Mineral nutrients are the integral part of the agricultural systems. Among important plant nutrients, nitrogen (N) and sulphur (S) are known essential elements for growth, development, and various physiological functions in plants. Oleiferous brassicas (rapeseed and mustard) require higher amounts of S in addition to N for optimum growth and yield. Therefore, balancing S-N fertilization, optimization of nutrient replenishment, minimization of nutrient losses to the environment, and the concept of coordination in action between S and N could be a significant strategy for improvement of growth and productivity of oleiferous brassicas. Additionally, positive interaction between S and N has been reported to be beneficial for various aspects of oilseed brassicas. The current paper updates readers on the significance of N and S for the improvement of plant growth, development, and productivity in detail. In addition, S-N nutrition-mediated control of major plant antioxidant defense system components involved in the removal and/or metabolism of stress-induced/generated reactive oxygen species in plants (hence, the control of plant growth, development, and productivity) has been overviewed. PMID:22629181

  5. Improving growth and productivity of Oleiferous Brassicas under changing environment: significance of nitrogen and sulphur nutrition, and underlying mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Anjum, Naser A; Gill, Sarvajeet S; Umar, Shahid; Ahmad, Iqbal; Duarte, Armando C; Pereira, Eduarda

    2012-01-01

    Mineral nutrients are the integral part of the agricultural systems. Among important plant nutrients, nitrogen (N) and sulphur (S) are known essential elements for growth, development, and various physiological functions in plants. Oleiferous brassicas (rapeseed and mustard) require higher amounts of S in addition to N for optimum growth and yield. Therefore, balancing S-N fertilization, optimization of nutrient replenishment, minimization of nutrient losses to the environment, and the concept of coordination in action between S and N could be a significant strategy for improvement of growth and productivity of oleiferous brassicas. Additionally, positive interaction between S and N has been reported to be beneficial for various aspects of oilseed brassicas. The current paper updates readers on the significance of N and S for the improvement of plant growth, development, and productivity in detail. In addition, S-N nutrition-mediated control of major plant antioxidant defense system components involved in the removal and/or metabolism of stress-induced/generated reactive oxygen species in plants (hence, the control of plant growth, development, and productivity) has been overviewed.

  6. Sputtering graphite coating to improve the elevated-temperature cycling ability of the LiMn2O4 electrode.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jiexi; Zhang, Qiaobao; Li, Xinhai; Wang, Zhixing; Guo, Huajun; Xu, Daguo; Zhang, Kaili

    2014-08-14

    To improve the cycle performance of LiMn2O4 at elevated temperature, a graphite layer is introduced to directly cover the surface of a commercial LiMn2O4-based electrode via room-temperature DC magnetron sputtering. The as-modified cathodes display improved capacity retention as compared to the bare LiMn2O4 cathode (BLMO) at 55 °C. When sputtering graphite for 30 min, the sample shows the best cycling performance at 55 °C, maintaining 96.2% capacity retention after 200 cycles. Reasons with respect to the graphite layer for improving the elevated-temperature performance of LiMn2O4 are systematically investigated via the methods of cyclic voltammetry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectrometry, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry. The results demonstrate that the graphite coated LiMn2O4 cathode has much less increased electrode polarization and electrochemical impedance than BLMO during the elevated-temperature cycling process. Furthermore, the graphite layer is able to alleviate the severe dissolution of manganese ions into the electrolyte and mitigate the morphological and structural degradation of LiMn2O4 during cycling. A model for the electrochemical kinetics process is also suggested for explaining the roles of the graphite layer in suppressing the Mn dissolution.

  7. Accounting for size-specific predation improves our ability to predict the strength of a trophic cascade.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, Christine F; Demes, Kyle W; Salomon, Anne K

    2016-02-01

    Predation can influence the magnitude of herbivory that grazers exert on primary producers by altering both grazer abundance and their per capita consumption rates via changes in behavior, density-dependent effects, and size. Therefore, models based solely on changes in abundance may miss key components of grazing pressure. We estimated shifts in grazing pressure associated with changes in the abundance and per capita consumption rates of sea urchins triggered by size-selective predation by sea otters (Enhydra lutris). Field surveys suggest that sea otters dramatically decreased the abundance and median size of sea urchins. Furthermore, laboratory experiments revealed that kelp consumption by sea urchins varied nonlinearly as a function of urchin size such that consumption rates increased to the 0.56 and 0.68 power of biomass for red and green urchins, respectively. This reveals that shifts in urchin size structure due to size-selective predation by sea otters alter sea urchin per capita grazing rates. Comparison of two quantitative models estimating total consumptive capacity revealed that a model incorporating shifts in urchin abundance while neglecting urchin size structure overestimated grazing pressure compared to a model that incorporated size. Consequently, incorporating shifts in urchin size better predicted field estimates of kelp abundance compared to equivalent models based on urchin abundance alone. We provide strong evidence that incorporating size-specific parameters increases our ability to describe and predict trophic interactions.

  8. Accounting for size-specific predation improves our ability to predict the strength of a trophic cascade.

    PubMed

    Stevenson, Christine F; Demes, Kyle W; Salomon, Anne K

    2016-02-01

    Predation can influence the magnitude of herbivory that grazers exert on primary producers by altering both grazer abundance and their per capita consumption rates via changes in behavior, density-dependent effects, and size. Therefore, models based solely on changes in abundance may miss key components of grazing pressure. We estimated shifts in grazing pressure associated with changes in the abundance and per capita consumption rates of sea urchins triggered by size-selective predation by sea otters (Enhydra lutris). Field surveys suggest that sea otters dramatically decreased the abundance and median size of sea urchins. Furthermore, laboratory experiments revealed that kelp consumption by sea urchins varied nonlinearly as a function of urchin size such that consumption rates increased to the 0.56 and 0.68 power of biomass for red and green urchins, respectively. This reveals that shifts in urchin size structure due to size-selective predation by sea otters alter sea urchin per capita grazing rates. Comparison of two quantitative models estimating total consumptive capacity revealed that a model incorporating shifts in urchin abundance while neglecting urchin size structure overestimated grazing pressure compared to a model that incorporated size. Consequently, incorporating shifts in urchin size better predicted field estimates of kelp abundance compared to equivalent models based on urchin abundance alone. We provide strong evidence that incorporating size-specific parameters increases our ability to describe and predict trophic interactions. PMID:26941943

  9. Complete Au@ZnO core-shell nanoparticles with enhanced plasmonic absorption enabling significantly improved photocatalysis.

    PubMed

    Sun, Yiqiang; Sun, Yugang; Zhang, Tao; Chen, Guozhu; Zhang, Fengshou; Liu, Dilong; Cai, Weiping; Li, Yue; Yang, Xianfeng; Li, Cuncheng

    2016-05-19

    Nanostructured ZnO exhibits high chemical stability and unique optical properties, representing a promising candidate among photocatalysts in the field of environmental remediation and solar energy conversion. However, ZnO only absorbs the UV light, which accounts for less than 5% of total solar irradiation, significantly limiting its applications. In this article, we report a facile and efficient approach to overcome the poor wettability between ZnO and Au by carefully modulating the surface charge density on Au nanoparticles (NPs), enabling rapid synthesis of Au@ZnO core-shell NPs at room temperature. The resulting Au@ZnO core-shell NPs exhibit a significantly enhanced plasmonic absorption in the visible range due to the Au NP cores. They also show a significantly improved photocatalytic performance in comparison with their single-component counterparts, i.e., the Au NPs and ZnO NPs. Moreover, the high catalytic activity of the as-synthesized Au@ZnO core-shell NPs can be maintained even after many cycles of photocatalytic reaction. Our results shed light on the fact that the Au@ZnO core-shell NPs represent a promising class of candidates for applications in plasmonics, surface-enhanced spectroscopy, light harvest devices, solar energy conversion, and degradation of organic pollutants. PMID:27160795

  10. Combination of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation Improves Gait Ability in a Patient in Chronic Stage of Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Satow, Takeshi; Kawase, Tomotaka; Kitamura, Atsushi; Kajitani, Yuki; Yamaguchi, Takuya; Tanabe, Nobuhiko; Otoi, Reiko; Komuro, Taro; Kobayashi, Akira; Nagata, Hirokazu; Mima, Tatsuya

    2016-01-01

    Background Walking ability is important in stroke patients to maintain daily life. Nevertheless, its improvement is limited with conventional physical therapy in chronic stage. We report the case of a chronic stroke patient showing a remarkable improvement in gait function after a new neurorehabilitation protocol using transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES). Case Presentation A 62-year-old male with left putaminal hemorrhage suffered from severe right hemiparesis. He could move by himself with a wheelchair 1 year after the ictus. Anodal tDCS at the vertex (2 mA, 20 min) with NMES at the anterior tibialis muscle had been applied for 3 weeks. The Timed Up and Go test and 10-meter walk test improved after the intervention, which had been maintained for at least 1 month. Conclusion This single case suggests the possibility that tDCS with NMES could be a new rehabilitation approach to improve the gait ability in chronic stroke patients. PMID:27293403

  11. Significant improvement of thermal stability for CeZrPrNd oxides simply by supercritical CO(2) drying.

    PubMed

    Fan, Yunzhao; Wang, Zizi; Xin, Ying; Li, Qian; Zhang, Zhaoliang; Wang, Yingxia

    2014-01-01

    Pr and Nd co-doped Ce-Zr oxide solid solutions (CZPN) were prepared using co-precipitation and microemulsion methods. It is found that only using supercritical CO(2) drying can result in a significant improvement of specific surface area and oxygen storage capacity at lower temperatures for CZPN after aging at 1000°C for 12 h in comparison with those using conventional air drying and even supercritical ethanol drying. Furthermore, the cubic structure was obtained in spite of the fact that the atomic ratio of Ce/(Ce+Zr+Pr+Nd) is as low as 29%. The high thermal stability can be attributed to the loosely aggregated morphology and the resultant Ce enrichment on the nanoparticle surface, which are caused by supercritical CO(2) drying due to the elimination of surface tension effects on the gas-liquid interface.

  12. Significant Improvement of Thermal Stability for CeZrPrNd Oxides Simply by Supercritical CO2 Drying

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Yunzhao; Wang, Zizi; Xin, Ying; Li, Qian; Zhang, Zhaoliang; Wang, Yingxia

    2014-01-01

    Pr and Nd co-doped Ce-Zr oxide solid solutions (CZPN) were prepared using co-precipitation and microemulsion methods. It is found that only using supercritical CO2 drying can result in a significant improvement of specific surface area and oxygen storage capacity at lower temperatures for CZPN after aging at 1000°C for 12 h in comparison with those using conventional air drying and even supercritical ethanol drying. Furthermore, the cubic structure was obtained in spite of the fact that the atomic ratio of Ce/(Ce+Zr+Pr+Nd) is as low as 29%. The high thermal stability can be attributed to the loosely aggregated morphology and the resultant Ce enrichment on the nanoparticle surface, which are caused by supercritical CO2 drying due to the elimination of surface tension effects on the gas-liquid interface. PMID:24516618

  13. Significant improvement of thermal stability for CeZrPrNd oxides simply by supercritical CO(2) drying.

    PubMed

    Fan, Yunzhao; Wang, Zizi; Xin, Ying; Li, Qian; Zhang, Zhaoliang; Wang, Yingxia

    2014-01-01

    Pr and Nd co-doped Ce-Zr oxide solid solutions (CZPN) were prepared using co-precipitation and microemulsion methods. It is found that only using supercritical CO(2) drying can result in a significant improvement of specific surface area and oxygen storage capacity at lower temperatures for CZPN after aging at 1000°C for 12 h in comparison with those using conventional air drying and even supercritical ethanol drying. Furthermore, the cubic structure was obtained in spite of the fact that the atomic ratio of Ce/(Ce+Zr+Pr+Nd) is as low as 29%. The high thermal stability can be attributed to the loosely aggregated morphology and the resultant Ce enrichment on the nanoparticle surface, which are caused by supercritical CO(2) drying due to the elimination of surface tension effects on the gas-liquid interface. PMID:24516618

  14. A new strategy to improve the predictive ability of the local lazy regression and its application to the QSAR study of melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 antagonists.

    PubMed

    Li, Jiazhong; Li, Shuyan; Lei, Beilei; Liu, Huanxiang; Yao, Xiaojun; Liu, Mancang; Gramatica, Paola

    2010-04-15

    In the quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) study, local lazy regression (LLR) can predict the activity of a query molecule by using the information of its local neighborhood without need to produce QSAR models a priori. When a prediction is required for a query compound, a set of local models including different number of nearest neighbors are identified. The leave-one-out cross-validation (LOO-CV) procedure is usually used to assess the prediction ability of each model, and the model giving the lowest LOO-CV error or highest LOO-CV correlation coefficient is chosen as the best model. However, it has been proved that the good statistical value from LOO cross-validation appears to be the necessary, but not the sufficient condition for the model to have a high predictive power. In this work, a new strategy is proposed to improve the predictive ability of LLR models and to access the accuracy of a query prediction. The bandwidth of k neighbor value for LLR is optimized by considering the predictive ability of local models using an external validation set. This approach was applied to the QSAR study of a series of thienopyrimidinone antagonists of melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1. The obtained results from the new strategy shows evident improvement compared with the commonly used LOO-CV LLR methods and the traditional global linear model.

  15. Zero valent iron significantly enhances methane production from waste activated sludge by improving biochemical methane potential rather than hydrolysis rate.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yiwen; Wang, Qilin; Zhang, Yaobin; Ni, Bing-Jie

    2015-02-05

    Anaerobic digestion has been widely applied for waste activated sludge (WAS) treatment. However, methane production from anaerobic digestion of WAS is usually limited by the slow hydrolysis rate and/or poor biochemical methane potential of WAS. This work systematically studied the effects of three different types of zero valent iron (i.e., iron powder, clean scrap and rusty scrap) on methane production from WAS in anaerobic digestion, by using both experimental and mathematical approaches. The results demonstrated that both the clean and the rusty iron scrap were more effective than the iron powder for improving methane production from WAS. Model-based analysis showed that ZVI addition significantly enhanced methane production from WAS through improving the biochemical methane potential of WAS rather than its hydrolysis rate. Economic analysis indicated that the ZVI-based technology for enhancing methane production from WAS is economically attractive, particularly considering that iron scrap can be freely acquired from industrial waste. Based on these results, the ZVI-based anaerobic digestion process of this work could be easily integrated with the conventional chemical phosphorus removal process in wastewater treatment plant to form a cost-effective and environment-friendly approach, enabling maximum resource recovery/reuse while achieving enhanced methane production in wastewater treatment system.

  16. Zero Valent Iron Significantly Enhances Methane Production from Waste Activated Sludge by Improving Biochemical Methane Potential Rather Than Hydrolysis Rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yiwen; Wang, Qilin; Zhang, Yaobin; Ni, Bing-Jie

    2015-02-01

    Anaerobic digestion has been widely applied for waste activated sludge (WAS) treatment. However, methane production from anaerobic digestion of WAS is usually limited by the slow hydrolysis rate and/or poor biochemical methane potential of WAS. This work systematically studied the effects of three different types of zero valent iron (i.e., iron powder, clean scrap and rusty scrap) on methane production from WAS in anaerobic digestion, by using both experimental and mathematical approaches. The results demonstrated that both the clean and the rusty iron scrap were more effective than the iron powder for improving methane production from WAS. Model-based analysis showed that ZVI addition significantly enhanced methane production from WAS through improving the biochemical methane potential of WAS rather than its hydrolysis rate. Economic analysis indicated that the ZVI-based technology for enhancing methane production from WAS is economically attractive, particularly considering that iron scrap can be freely acquired from industrial waste. Based on these results, the ZVI-based anaerobic digestion process of this work could be easily integrated with the conventional chemical phosphorus removal process in wastewater treatment plant to form a cost-effective and environment-friendly approach, enabling maximum resource recovery/reuse while achieving enhanced methane production in wastewater treatment system.

  17. The crystallization of apo-form UMP kinase from Xanthomonas campestris is significantly improved in a strong magnetic field

    SciTech Connect

    Tu, Jhe-Le; Chin, Ko-Hsin; Wang, Andrew H.-J.; Chou, Shan-Ho

    2007-05-01

    A bacterial UMP kinase from the plant pathogen X. campestris pathovar campestris has been overexpressed in E. coli, purified and crystallized in a strong magnetic field. The crystals diffracted to 2.35 Å. Bacterial UMP kinases (UMPKs) are crucial enzymes that are responsible for microbial UTP biosynthesis. Interestingly, eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells use different enzymes for UMP-phosphorylation reactions. Prokaryotic UMPKs are thus believed to be potential targets for antimicrobial drug development. Here, the cloning, expression and crystallization of SeMet-substituted XC1936, a bacterial UMPK from Xanthomonas campestris pathovar campestris, are reported. The crystallization of the apo-form UMPK was found to be significantly improved in a strong magnetic field; the crystals diffracted to a resolution of 2.35 Å, a dramatic improvement over the original value of 3.6 Å. Preliminary structural analyses of apo-form XC1936 using crystals grown in a strong magnetic field clearly reveal well defined loop regions involved in substrate-analogue binding that were previously not visible. Crystallization in a strong magnetic field thus was found to be indispensable in determining the flexible region of the XC1936 UMPK structure.

  18. Moving the needle: a retrospective pre- and post-analysis of improving perceived abilities across 20 leadership skills.

    PubMed

    Fernandez, Claudia S P; Noble, Cheryl C; Jensen, Elizabeth; Steffen, David

    2015-02-01

    To assess the influence of intensive focused leadership training on self-evaluation of leadership skills among Maternal and Child Health (MCH) professionals enrolled in the Maternal and Child Health Public Health Leadership Institute (MCH PHLI). Senior-level MCH leaders (n = 54) participated in the first two cohorts of the MCH PHLI, a senior-level training program funded through the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. Participants were asked to complete a retrospective pre- and post-test rating inventory at program completion. Participants self-identified their skill level across 20 leadership skills that were the focus of the training program. These skills were derived from the MCH Leadership Competencies, 3.0 and literature reviews, and then divided into two domains: Core leadership skills and Organizational/Institutional leadership skills. Data were analyzed to determine whether participants perceived skill level increased by the end of their training year. A one-sided (upper) paired T Test and a Wilcoxen Signed Rank Sum Test were used to determine statistical significance. Increases in perceived skill levels were found to be statistically significant at the alpha = .01 level for all 20 target skills. The MCH PHLI model of intensive leadership development, incorporating a hybrid approach of onsite and distance-based learning, was broadly effective in building targeted leadership skills as perceived by participants.

  19. Complete Au@ZnO core-shell nanoparticles with enhanced plasmonic absorption enabling significantly improved photocatalysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Yiqiang; Sun, Yugang; Zhang, Tao; Chen, Guozhu; Zhang, Fengshou; Liu, Dilong; Cai, Weiping; Li, Yue; Yang, Xianfeng; Li, Cuncheng

    2016-05-01

    Nanostructured ZnO exhibits high chemical stability and unique optical properties, representing a promising candidate among photocatalysts in the field of environmental remediation and solar energy conversion. However, ZnO only absorbs the UV light, which accounts for less than 5% of total solar irradiation, significantly limiting its applications. In this article, we report a facile and efficient approach to overcome the poor wettability between ZnO and Au by carefully modulating the surface charge density on Au nanoparticles (NPs), enabling rapid synthesis of Au@ZnO core-shell NPs at room temperature. The resulting Au@ZnO core-shell NPs exhibit a significantly enhanced plasmonic absorption in the visible range due to the Au NP cores. They also show a significantly improved photocatalytic performance in comparison with their single-component counterparts, i.e., the Au NPs and ZnO NPs. Moreover, the high catalytic activity of the as-synthesized Au@ZnO core-shell NPs can be maintained even after many cycles of photocatalytic reaction. Our results shed light on the fact that the Au@ZnO core-shell NPs represent a promising class of candidates for applications in plasmonics, surface-enhanced spectroscopy, light harvest devices, solar energy conversion, and degradation of organic pollutants.Nanostructured ZnO exhibits high chemical stability and unique optical properties, representing a promising candidate among photocatalysts in the field of environmental remediation and solar energy conversion. However, ZnO only absorbs the UV light, which accounts for less than 5% of total solar irradiation, significantly limiting its applications. In this article, we report a facile and efficient approach to overcome the poor wettability between ZnO and Au by carefully modulating the surface charge density on Au nanoparticles (NPs), enabling rapid synthesis of Au@ZnO core-shell NPs at room temperature. The resulting Au@ZnO core-shell NPs exhibit a significantly enhanced plasmonic

  20. Bovine Oviduct Epithelial Cells Dedifferentiate Partly in Culture, While Maintaining their Ability to Improve Early Embryo Development Rate and Quality.

    PubMed

    Schmaltz-Panneau, B; Locatelli, Y; Uzbekova, S; Perreau, C; Mermillod, P

    2015-10-01

    There are convincing arguments to suggest that the success of early reproductive events is reliant on a satisfactory dialogue between gametes-embryo and the oviduct epithelium. The aim of this study was to develop and characterize an in vitro model to study these interactions. Cattle zygotes produced in vitro were cultured in either SOF or TCM-199 in the presence or absence of bovine oviduct cell monolayers (BOEC), under 20% or 5% O2 . The embryonic development rate and its quality (cell numbers, cryosurvival) were evaluated, as were the BOEC contents in 11 candidate transcripts (real-time PCR) at different time points. A BOEC co-culture did indeed increase the rate of development in both media under 5% O2 (41 vs 27% and 28 vs 10% of Day 8 blastocysts in SOF and TCM-199, respectively; p < 0.05). The effect of BOEC on the developmental rate was more pronounced under 20% O2 (35 vs 6% and 27 vs 4% of Day 8 blastocysts in SOF and TCM-199, respectively; p < 0.05). BOEC significantly increased the embryonic cell count in TCM-199 (122.5 ± 11.1 vs 70.3 ± 9.6; p < 0.05) and embryonic cryosurvival in both media. The expression levels of SOD, FGF2 and TGF-β1 in BOEC remained steady during culture, although mRNA levels of OGP, C3, PGR and ESR2 were clearly reduced, suggesting a dedifferentiation of BOEC during culture. However, SSP1 and GPX4 transcripts were slightly increased during culture, this rise becoming significant by the end of the culture period. In conclusion, our co-culture system with bovine oviduct epithelial cells used for the development of bovine zygotes produced in vitro enhanced blastocyst formation and above all the quality of the resulting embryos, which was associated with specific transcriptomic changes.

  1. A matter of timing: identifying significant multi-dose radiotherapy improvements by numerical simulation and genetic algorithm search.

    PubMed

    Angus, Simon D; Piotrowska, Monika Joanna

    2014-01-01

    of significantly improving clinical efficacy.

  2. Significant improvement in cloning efficiency of an inbred miniature pig by histone deacetylase inhibitor treatment after somatic cell nuclear transfer.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jianguo; Ross, Jason W; Hao, Yanhong; Spate, Lee D; Walters, Eric M; Samuel, Melissa S; Rieke, August; Murphy, Clifton N; Prather, Randall S

    2009-09-01

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) miniature pig was developed specifically for xenotransplantation and has been extensively used as a large-animal model in many other biomedical experiments. However, the cloning efficiency of this pig is very low (<0.2%), and this has been an obstacle to the promising application of these inbred swine genetics for biomedical research. It has been demonstrated that increased histone acetylation in somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos, by applying a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor such as trichostatin A (TSA), significantly enhances the developmental competence in several species. However, some researchers also reported that TSA treatment had various detrimental effects on the in vitro and in vivo development of the SCNT embryos. Herein, we report that treatment with 500 nM 6-(1,3-dioxo-1H, 3H-benzo[de]isoquinolin-2-yl)-hexanoic acid hydroxyamide (termed scriptaid), a novel HDAC inhibitor, significantly enhanced the development of SCNT embryos to the blastocyst stage when NIH inbred fetal fibroblast cells (FFCs) were used as donors compared with the untreated group (21% vs. 9%, P < 0.05). Scriptaid treatment resulted in eight pregnancies from 10 embryo transfers (ETs) and 14 healthy NIH miniature pigs from eight litters, while no viable piglets (only three mummies) were obtained from nine ETs in the untreated group. Thus, scriptaid dramatically increased the cloning efficiency when using inbred genetics from 0.0% to 1.3%. In contrast, scriptaid treatment decreased the blastocyst rate in in vitro fertilization embryos (from 37% to 26%, P < 0.05). In conclusion, the extremely low cloning efficiency in the NIH miniature pig may be caused by its inbred genetic background and can be improved by alteration of genomic histone acetylation patterns.

  3. Sequestration of soil nitrogen as tannin-protein complexes may improve the competitive ability of sheep laurel (Kalmia angustifolia) relative to black spruce (Picea mariana).

    PubMed

    Joanisse, G D; Bradley, R L; Preston, C M; Bending, G D

    2009-01-01

    The role of litter tannins in controlling soil nitrogen (N) cycling may explain the competitive ability of Kalmia relative to black spruce (Picea mariana), although this has not been demonstrated experimentally. Here, the protein-precipitation capacities of purified tannins and leaf extracts from Kalmia and black spruce were compared. The resistance to degradation of tannin-protein precipitates from both species were compared by monitoring carbon (C) and N dynamics in humus amended with protein, purified tannins or protein-tannin precipitates. The purity of the precipitates was verified using solid-state (13)C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra. The ability of mycorrhizal fungi associated with both species to grow on media amended with tannin-protein complexes as the principal N source was also compared. The protein precipitation capacity of Kalmia tannins was superior to those of black spruce. Humus amended with protein increased both mineral and microbial N, whereas humus amended with tannin-protein precipitates increased dissolved organic N. Mycorrhizal fungi associated with Kalmia showed better growth than those associated with black spruce when N was provided as tannin-protein precipitates. These data suggest that Kalmia litter increases the amount of soil N sequestered as tannin-protein complexes, which may improve the competitive ability of Kalmia relative to black spruce by favouring N uptake by mycorrhizas associated with the former.

  4. Novel ventilation design of combining spacer and mesh structure in sports T-shirt significantly improves thermal comfort.

    PubMed

    Sun, Chao; Au, Joe Sau-chuen; Fan, Jintu; Zheng, Rong

    2015-05-01

    This paper reports on novel ventilation design in sports T-shirt, which combines spacer and mesh structure, and experimental evidence on the advantages of design in improving thermal comfort. Evaporative resistance (Re) and thermal insulation (Rc) of T-shirts were measured using a sweating thermal manikin under three different air velocities. Moisture permeability index (i(m)) was calculated to compare the different designed T-shirts. The T-shirts of new and conventional designs were also compared by wearer trials, which were comprised of 30 min treadmill running followed by 10 min rest. Skin temperature, skin relative humidity, heart rate, oxygen inhalation and energy expenditure were monitored, and subjective sensations were asked. Results demonstrated that novel T-shirt has 11.1% significant lower im than control sample under windy condition. The novel T-shirt contributes to reduce the variation of skin temperature and relative humidity up to 37% and 32%, as well as decrease 3.3% energy consumption during exercise.

  5. Proposed fish passage improvements at Three Mile Falls Diversion Dam, Umatilla River, Oregon: Finding of no significant impact

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-05-01

    The Bureau of Reclamation proposes to administer the construction of fish passage and protective facilities at Three Mile Falls Diversion Dam on the Umatilla River in Oregon to increase the numbers of anadromous fish. The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) proposes to provide funding for the project. These agencies' actions would implement section 904(d) of the Northwest Power Planning Council's Columbia River Basin Fish and Wildlife Program which addresses the provision of offsite enhancement to compensate for fish and wildlife losses caused by hydroelectric project development and operations throughout the Columbia River Basin. This Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) is the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) decision document for both agencies. The proposed action would improve both upstream and downstream passage by providing a new right bank ladder on Three Mile Falls Diversion Dam, modifying the existing left bank ladder, and installing rotary drum fish screens and related structures on the adjacent West Extension Irrigation District (WEID) Canal. Four other alternatives are considered in the environmental assessment (EA): a concrete apron plus a left bank ladder; a cap on the crest of the dam plus a left bank ladder; dam removal; and no action. 5 figs., 6 tabs.

  6. Preprocessing significantly improves the peptide/protein identification sensitivity of high-resolution isobarically labeled tandem mass spectrometry data.

    PubMed

    Sheng, Quanhu; Li, Rongxia; Dai, Jie; Li, Qingrun; Su, Zhiduan; Guo, Yan; Li, Chen; Shyr, Yu; Zeng, Rong

    2015-02-01

    Isobaric labeling techniques coupled with high-resolution mass spectrometry have been widely employed in proteomic workflows requiring relative quantification. For each high-resolution tandem mass spectrum (MS/MS), isobaric labeling techniques can be used not only to quantify the peptide from different samples by reporter ions, but also to identify the peptide it is derived from. Because the ions related to isobaric labeling may act as noise in database searching, the MS/MS spectrum should be preprocessed before peptide or protein identification. In this article, we demonstrate that there are a lot of high-frequency, high-abundance isobaric related ions in the MS/MS spectrum, and removing isobaric related ions combined with deisotoping and deconvolution in MS/MS preprocessing procedures significantly improves the peptide/protein identification sensitivity. The user-friendly software package TurboRaw2MGF (v2.0) has been implemented for converting raw TIC data files to mascot generic format files and can be downloaded for free from https://github.com/shengqh/RCPA.Tools/releases as part of the software suite ProteomicsTools. The data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD000994. PMID:25435543

  7. Preprocessing significantly improves the peptide/protein identification sensitivity of high-resolution isobarically labeled tandem mass spectrometry data.

    PubMed

    Sheng, Quanhu; Li, Rongxia; Dai, Jie; Li, Qingrun; Su, Zhiduan; Guo, Yan; Li, Chen; Shyr, Yu; Zeng, Rong

    2015-02-01

    Isobaric labeling techniques coupled with high-resolution mass spectrometry have been widely employed in proteomic workflows requiring relative quantification. For each high-resolution tandem mass spectrum (MS/MS), isobaric labeling techniques can be used not only to quantify the peptide from different samples by reporter ions, but also to identify the peptide it is derived from. Because the ions related to isobaric labeling may act as noise in database searching, the MS/MS spectrum should be preprocessed before peptide or protein identification. In this article, we demonstrate that there are a lot of high-frequency, high-abundance isobaric related ions in the MS/MS spectrum, and removing isobaric related ions combined with deisotoping and deconvolution in MS/MS preprocessing procedures significantly improves the peptide/protein identification sensitivity. The user-friendly software package TurboRaw2MGF (v2.0) has been implemented for converting raw TIC data files to mascot generic format files and can be downloaded for free from https://github.com/shengqh/RCPA.Tools/releases as part of the software suite ProteomicsTools. The data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD000994.

  8. First significant image improvement from a sodium-layer laser guide star adaptive optics system at Lick Observatory

    SciTech Connect

    Olivier, S.S.; Max, C.E.; Friedman, H.W.; An, J.; Avicola, K.; Beeman, B.V.; Bissinger, H.D.; Brase, J.M.; Erbert, G.V.; Gavel, D.T.; Kanz, K.; Macintosh, B.; Neeb, K.P.; Waltjen, K.E.

    1997-07-14

    Atmospheric turbulence severely limits the resolution of ground-based telescopes. Adaptive optics can correct for the aberrations caused by the atmosphere, but requires a bright wavefront reference source in close angular proximity to the object being imaged. Since natural reference stars of the necessary brightness are relatively rare, methods of generating artificial reference beacons have been under active investigation for more than a decade. In this paper, we report the first significant image improvement achieved using a sodium-layer laser guide star as a wavefront reference for a high- order adaptive optics system. An artificial beacon was created by resonant scattering from atomic sodium in the mesosphere, at an altitude of 95 km. Using this laser guide star, an adaptive optics system on the 3 m Shane Telescope at Lick Observatory produced a factor of 2.4 increase in peak intensity and a factor of 2 decrease in full width at half maximum of a stellar image, compared with image motion compensation alone. The Strehl ratio when using the laser guide star as the reference was 65% of that obtained with a natural guide star, and the image full widths at half maximum were identical, 0.3 arc sec, using either the laser or the natural guide star. This sodium-layer laser guide star technique holds great promise for the world`s largest telescopes. 24 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  9. Extended-release niacin/laropiprant significantly improves lipid levels in type 2 diabetes mellitus irrespective of baseline glycemic control

    PubMed Central

    Bays, Harold E; Brinton, Eliot A; Triscari, Joseph; Chen, Erluo; Maccubbin, Darbie; MacLean, Alexandra A; Gibson, Kendra L; Ruck, Rae Ann; Johnson-Levonas, Amy O; O’Neill, Edward A; Mitchel, Yale B

    2015-01-01

    Background The degree of glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) may alter lipid levels and may alter the efficacy of lipid-modifying agents. Objective Evaluate the lipid-modifying efficacy of extended-release niacin/laropiprant (ERN/LRPT) in subgroups of patients with T2DM with better or poorer glycemic control. Methods Post hoc analysis of clinical trial data from patients with T2DM who were randomized 4:3 to double-blind ERN/LRPT or placebo (n=796), examining the lipid-modifying effects of ERN/LRPT in patients with glycosylated hemoglobin or fasting plasma glucose levels above and below median baseline levels. Results At Week 12 of treatment, ERN/LRPT significantly improved low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, and lipoprotein (a), compared with placebo, with equal efficacy in patients above or below median baseline glycemic control. Compared with placebo, over 36 weeks of treatment more patients treated with ERN/LRPT had worsening of their diabetes and required intensification of antihyperglycemic medication, irrespective of baseline glycemic control. Incidences of other adverse experiences were generally low in all treatment groups. Conclusion The lipid-modifying effects of ERN/LRPT are independent of the degree of baseline glycemic control in patients with T2DM (NCT00485758). PMID:25750540

  10. An ensemble strategy that significantly improves de novo assembly of microbial genomes from metagenomic next-generation sequencing data

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Xutao; Naccache, Samia N.; Ng, Terry; Federman, Scot; Li, Linlin; Chiu, Charles Y.; Delwart, Eric L.

    2015-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing (NGS) approaches rapidly produce millions to billions of short reads, which allow pathogen detection and discovery in human clinical, animal and environmental samples. A major limitation of sequence homology-based identification for highly divergent microorganisms is the short length of reads generated by most highly parallel sequencing technologies. Short reads require a high level of sequence similarities to annotated genes to confidently predict gene function or homology. Such recognition of highly divergent homologues can be improved by reference-free (de novo) assembly of short overlapping sequence reads into larger contigs. We describe an ensemble strategy that integrates the sequential use of various de Bruijn graph and overlap-layout-consensus assemblers with a novel partitioned sub-assembly approach. We also proposed new quality metrics that are suitable for evaluating metagenome de novo assembly. We demonstrate that this new ensemble strategy tested using in silico spike-in, clinical and environmental NGS datasets achieved significantly better contigs than current approaches. PMID:25586223

  11. Novel ventilation design of combining spacer and mesh structure in sports T-shirt significantly improves thermal comfort.

    PubMed

    Sun, Chao; Au, Joe Sau-chuen; Fan, Jintu; Zheng, Rong

    2015-05-01

    This paper reports on novel ventilation design in sports T-shirt, which combines spacer and mesh structure, and experimental evidence on the advantages of design in improving thermal comfort. Evaporative resistance (Re) and thermal insulation (Rc) of T-shirts were measured using a sweating thermal manikin under three different air velocities. Moisture permeability index (i(m)) was calculated to compare the different designed T-shirts. The T-shirts of new and conventional designs were also compared by wearer trials, which were comprised of 30 min treadmill running followed by 10 min rest. Skin temperature, skin relative humidity, heart rate, oxygen inhalation and energy expenditure were monitored, and subjective sensations were asked. Results demonstrated that novel T-shirt has 11.1% significant lower im than control sample under windy condition. The novel T-shirt contributes to reduce the variation of skin temperature and relative humidity up to 37% and 32%, as well as decrease 3.3% energy consumption during exercise. PMID:25683541

  12. In vitro activity of colistin against biofilm by Pseudomonas aeruginosa is significantly improved under "cystic fibrosis-like" physicochemical conditions.

    PubMed

    Pompilio, Arianna; Crocetta, Valentina; Pomponio, Stefano; Fiscarelli, Ersilia; Di Bonaventura, Giovanni

    2015-08-01

    The impact of physicochemical conditions observed in cystic fibrosis (CF) lung on colistin activity against both planktonic and biofilm P. aeruginosa cells was evaluated. MIC, minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC), and minimum biofilm eradication concentration (MBEC) values were assessed against 12 CF strains both under "CF-like" (anaerobiosis, pH6.4) and "standard" (aerobiosis, pH7.4) conditions. The activity of colistin was significantly higher under "CF-like" conditions compared to "standard" ones, both against planktonic (MIC90: 1 and 4 μg/mL, respectively) and biofilm (MBEC90: 512 and 1.024 μg/mL, respectively) cells, as confirmed by scanning electron microscopy. Improved activity was not related to biofilm matrix amount. It may be necessary to adequately "rethink" the protocols used for in vitro assessment of colistin activity, by considering physicochemical and microbiological features in the CF lung at the site of infection. This could provide a more favorable therapeutic index, rationale for administration of lower doses, probably resulting in reduced toxicity and emergence of resistant clones.

  13. Describing Assay Precision – Reciprocal of Variance is correct, not CV percent: its use should significantly improve laboratory performance

    PubMed Central

    Jelliffe, Roger W.; Schumitzky, Alan; Bayard, David; Fu, Xiaowei; Neely, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Background Describing assay error as percent coefficient of variation (CV%) fails as measurements approach zero [1]. Results are censored if below some arbitrarily chosen lower limit of quantification (LLOQ). CV% gives incorrect weighting to data obtained by therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM), with incorrect parameter values in the resulting pharmacokinetic models, and incorrect dosage regimens for patient care. Methods CV% was compared with the reciprocal of the variance (1/var) of each assay measurement. This method [2] has not been considered by the laboratory community. A simple description of assay standard deviation (SD) as a polynomial function of the assay measurement over its working range was developed, the reciprocal of the assay variance determined, and its results compared with CV%. Results CV% does not provide correct weighting of measured serum concentrations as required for optimal TDM. It does not permit optimally individualized models of the behavior of a drug in a patient, resulting in incorrect dosage regimens. The assay error polynomial described here, using 1/var, provides correct weighting of such data, all the way down to and including zero. There is no need to censor low results, and no need to set any arbitrary lower limit of quantification (LLOQ). Conclusion Reciprocal of variance is the correct measure of assay precision, and should replace CV%. The information is easily stored as an assay error polynomial. The laboratory can serve the medical community better. There is no longer any need for LLOQ, a significant improvement. Regulatory agencies should implement this more informed policy. PMID:25970509

  14. Significant Improvement of Puncture Accuracy and Fluoroscopy Reduction in Percutaneous Transforaminal Endoscopic Discectomy With Novel Lumbar Location System

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Guoxin; Guan, Xiaofei; Zhang, Hailong; Wu, Xinbo; Gu, Xin; Gu, Guangfei; Fan, Yunshan; He, Shisheng

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Prospective nonrandomized control study. The study aimed to investigate the implication of the HE's Lumbar LOcation (HELLO) system in improving the puncture accuracy and reducing fluoroscopy in percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic discectomy (PTED). Percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic discectomy is one of the most popular minimally invasive spine surgeries that heavily depend on repeated fluoroscopy. Increased fluoroscopy will induce higher radiation exposure to surgeons and patients. Accurate puncture in PTED can be achieved by accurate preoperative location and definite trajectory. The HELLO system mainly consists of self-made surface locator and puncture-assisted device. The surface locator was used to identify the exact puncture target and the puncture-assisted device was used to optimize the puncture trajectory. Patients who had single L4/5 or L5/S1 lumbar intervertebral disc herniation and underwent PTED were included the study. Patients receiving the HELLO system were assigned in Group A, and those taking conventional method were assigned in Group B. Study primary endpoint was puncture times and fluoroscopic time, and the secondary endpoint was location time and operation time. A total of 62 patients who received PTED were included in this study. The average age was 45.35 ± 8.70 years in Group A and 46.61 ± 7.84 years in Group B (P = 0.552). There were no significant differences in gender, body mass index, conservative time, and surgical segment between the 2 groups (P > 0.05). The puncture time(s) were 1.19 ± 0.48 in Group A and 6.03 ± 1.87 in Group B (P < 0.001). The fluoroscopic times were 14.03 ± 2.54 in Group A and 25.19 ± 4.28 in Group B (P < 0.001). The preoperative location time was 4.67 ± 1.41 minutes in Group A and 6.98 ± 0.94 minutes in Group B (P < 0.001). The operation time was 79.42 ± 10.15 minutes in Group A and 89.65 ± 14.06 minutes in Group B (P

  15. Fortified Iodine Milk Improves Iodine Status and Cognitive Abilities in Schoolchildren Aged 7-9 Years Living in a Rural Mountainous Area of Morocco.

    PubMed

    Zahrou, Fatima Ezzahra; Azlaf, Mehdi; El Menchawy, Imane; El Mzibri, Mohamed; El Kari, Khalid; El Hamdouchi, Asmaa; Mouzouni, Fatima-Zahra; Barkat, Amina; Aguenaou, Hassan

    2016-01-01

    Iodine is required for the production of the thyroid hormones essential for the growth and development of the brain. All forms of iodine deficiency (ID) affect the mental development of the child. Our study aims to assess the impact of ID on the intellectual development of Moroccan schoolchildren and to evaluate the effect of consumption of fortified milk on reducing ID. In a double-blind controlled trial conducted on schoolchildren, children were divided into two groups to receive fortified milk (30% of cover of RDI iodine) or nonfortified milk for 9 months. Urinary iodine was analyzed using the Sandell-Kolthoff reaction, a dynamic cognitive test using Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices to assess learning potential was performed at baseline and end line, and anthropometric assessment was done only at baseline. The study included schoolchildren who were severely iodine deficient. The prevalence of malnutrition was high in both groups; in this study, we found improvements in iodine status and in cognitive abilities among Moroccan schoolchildren. Our study showed that the consumption of fortified milk led to a clear improvement in iodine status and also appeared to have a favorable effect on the cognitive ability of Moroccan schoolchildren in a rural mountainous region. PMID:27069679

  16. Fortified Iodine Milk Improves Iodine Status and Cognitive Abilities in Schoolchildren Aged 7–9 Years Living in a Rural Mountainous Area of Morocco

    PubMed Central

    Zahrou, Fatima Ezzahra; Azlaf, Mehdi; El Menchawy, Imane; El Mzibri, Mohamed; El Kari, Khalid; El Hamdouchi, Asmaa; Mouzouni, Fatima-Zahra; Barkat, Amina; Aguenaou, Hassan

    2016-01-01

    Iodine is required for the production of the thyroid hormones essential for the growth and development of the brain. All forms of iodine deficiency (ID) affect the mental development of the child. Our study aims to assess the impact of ID on the intellectual development of Moroccan schoolchildren and to evaluate the effect of consumption of fortified milk on reducing ID. In a double-blind controlled trial conducted on schoolchildren, children were divided into two groups to receive fortified milk (30% of cover of RDI iodine) or nonfortified milk for 9 months. Urinary iodine was analyzed using the Sandell-Kolthoff reaction, a dynamic cognitive test using Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices to assess learning potential was performed at baseline and end line, and anthropometric assessment was done only at baseline. The study included schoolchildren who were severely iodine deficient. The prevalence of malnutrition was high in both groups; in this study, we found improvements in iodine status and in cognitive abilities among Moroccan schoolchildren. Our study showed that the consumption of fortified milk led to a clear improvement in iodine status and also appeared to have a favorable effect on the cognitive ability of Moroccan schoolchildren in a rural mountainous region. PMID:27069679

  17. Clinical holistic medicine (mindful, short-term psychodynamic psychotherapy complemented with bodywork) improves quality of life, health, and ability by induction of Antonovsky-salutogenesis.

    PubMed

    Ventegodt, Søren; Thegler, Suzette; Andreasen, Tove; Struve, Flemming; Enevoldsen, Lars; Bassaine, Laila; Torp, Margrethe; Merrick, Joav

    2007-01-01

    We had a success rate of treating low, self-assessed, global quality of life (measured by QOL1: How would you assess the quality of your life now?) with clinical holistic medicine of 56.4% (95% CI: 42.3-69.7%) and calculated from this the Number Needed to Treat (NNT) as 1.43-2.36. We found that during treatment, (in average 20 sessions of psychodynamic psychotherapy complemented with bodywork at a cost of 1600 EURO), the patients entered a state of Antonovsky-salutogenesis (holistic, existential healing), which also improved their self-assessed health and general ability one whole step up a 5-point Likert Scale. The treatment responders radically improved their self-assessed physical health (0.6 step), self-assessed mental health (1.6 step), their relation to self (1.2 step), friends (0.3 step), and partner (2.1 step on a 6-step scale), and their ability to love (1.2 step) and work (0.8 step), and to function socially (1.0 step) and sexually (0.8 step). It seems that treatment with clinical holistic medicine is the cure of choice when the patients (1) present the triad of low quality of life, poor self-assessed physical and/or mental health, and poor ability to function; and (2) are willing to suffer during the therapy by confronting and integrating old emotional problems and trauma(s) from the past. For these patients, the treatment provided lasting benefits, without the negative side effects of drugs. A lasting, positive effect might also prevent many different types of problems in the future. The therapy was "mindful" in its focus on existential and spiritual issues. PMID:17334623

  18. Cyproheptadine significantly improves the overall and progression-free survival of sorafenib-treated advanced HCC patients

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Yu-Min; Feng, Chin-Wen; Lu, Chin-Li; Lee, Ming-Yang; Chen, Chi-Yi; Chen, Solomon Chih-Cheng

    2015-01-01

    Objective Sorafenib is a recommended treatment for advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. The study is to evaluate the efficacy of sorafenib plus cyproheptadine compared with sorafenib alone in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. Methods A retrospective cohort study reviewed all consecutive advanced hepatocellular carcinoma cases with Child-Pugh Class A disease starting sorafenib treatment at our hospital from August 2012 to March 2013. They were followed up until 31 December 2013. A total of 52 patients were enrolled: 32 patients in the combination (sorafenib–cyproheptadine) group and 20 patients in the control (sorafenib alone) group. The response to treatment, overall survival and progression-free survival were compared. Results The median overall survival was 11.0 months (95% confidence interval: 6.8–15.1 months) in the combination group compared with 4.8 months (95% confidence interval: 3.1–6.6 months) in the control group (crude hazard ratio = 0.45, 95% confidence interval: 0.22–0.82). The median progression-free survival time was 7.5 months (95% confidence interval: 5.1–10.0 months) in the combination group compared with 1.7 months (95% confidence interval: 1.4–2.1 months) in the control group (crude hazard ratio = 0.43, 95% confidence interval: 0.22–0.86). Kaplan–Meier survival analysis revealed that both overall survival and progression-free survival in the combination group were significantly longer than that in the control group. The multivariate model found patients in the combination group were 76% less likely to die (adjusted hazard ratio = 0.24, 95% confidence interval: 0.10–0.58) and 82% less likely to have progression (adjusted hazard ratio = 0.18, 95% confidence interval: 0.08–0.44) during the 17 months of follow-up. Conclusion Cyproheptadine may significantly improve survival outcomes of sorafenib-treated advanced hepatocellular carcinoma patients. PMID:25646358

  19. Delayed Administration of Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cell Conditioned Medium Significantly Improves Outcome After Retinal Ischemia in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Dreixler, John C.; Poston, Jacqueline N.; Balyasnikova, Irina; Shaikh, Afzhal R.; Tupper, Kelsey Y.; Conway, Sineadh; Boddapati, Venkat; Marcet, Marcus M.; Lesniak, Maciej S.; Roth, Steven

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. Delayed treatment after ischemia is often unsatisfactory. We hypothesized that injection of bone marrow stem cell (BMSC) conditioned medium after ischemia could rescue ischemic retina, and in this study we characterized the functional and histological outcomes and mechanisms of this neuroprotection. Methods. Retinal ischemia was produced in adult Wistar rats by increasing intraocular pressure for 55 minutes. Conditioned medium (CM) from rat BMSCs or unconditioned medium (uCM) was injected into the vitreous 24 hours after the end of ischemia. Recovery was assessed 7 days after ischemia using electroretinography, at which time we euthanized the animals and then prepared 4-μm-thick paraffin-embedded retinal sections. TUNEL and Western blot were used to identify apoptotic cells and apoptosis-related gene expression 24 hours after injections; that is, 48 hours after ischemia. Protein content in CM versus uCM was studied using tandem mass spectrometry, and bioinformatics methods were used to model protein interactions. Results. Intravitreal injection of CM 24 hours after ischemia significantly improved retinal function and attenuated cell loss in the retinal ganglion cell layer. CM attenuated postischemic apoptosis and apoptosis-related gene expression. By spectral counting, 19 proteins that met stringent identification criteria were increased in the CM compared to uCM; the majority were extracellular matrix proteins that mapped into an interactional network together with other proteins involved in cell growth and adhesion. Conclusions. By restoring retinal function, attenuating apoptosis, and preventing retinal cell loss after ischemia, CM is a robust means of delayed postischemic intervention. We identified some potential candidate proteins for this effect. PMID:24699381

  20. AbilityOne Improvements Act

    THOMAS, 112th Congress

    Sen. Cardin, Benjamin L. [D-MD

    2011-05-19

    05/19/2011 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works. (text of measure as introduced: CR S3179) (All Actions) Tracker: This bill has the status IntroducedHere are the steps for Status of Legislation:

  1. Enhancement of lipid metabolism with L-carnitine during in vitro maturation improves nuclear maturation and cleavage ability of follicular porcine oocytes.

    PubMed

    Somfai, Tamás; Kaneda, Masahiro; Akagi, Satoshi; Watanabe, Shinya; Haraguchi, Seiki; Mizutani, Eiji; Dang-Nguyen, Thanh Quang; Geshi, Masaya; Kikuchi, Kazuhiro; Nagai, Takashi

    2011-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of L-carnitine, an enhancer of lipid metabolism and mitochondrial activity, during in vitro maturation (IVM) on nuclear maturation and in vitro fertilisation of porcine follicular oocytes and subsequent embryo development. Mitochondrial functions, intracellular lipid content and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels in oocytes were also investigated. L-carnitine supplementation in 0.6-5mgmL(-1) concentration during IVM significantly improved (P<0.05) the rates of metaphase-II (MII) stage oocytes compared with the control; however, fertilisation rates and monospermy were not improved. Although supplementation of IVM medium with L-carnitine significantly increased oocyte cleavage (P<0.05), further development to the blastocyst stage was not improved. The density of active mitochondria was significantly higher and the density of lipid droplets was significantly lower (P<0.05) in L-carnitine-treated oocytes compared with the control. Furthermore, the ROS levels in L-carnitine-treated oocytes were significantly lower than those in the control. In conclusion, enhancing mitochondrial functions by L-carnitine improved oocyte maturation and cleavage underlining the importance of lipid metabolism for nuclear and cytoplasmic maturation of porcine oocytes. PMID:21871210

  2. Understanding Teacher Effectiveness: Significant State Data Capacity Is Required to Measure and Improve Teacher Effectiveness. Data for Action 2012

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Data Quality Campaign, 2012

    2012-01-01

    States are increasingly focused on understanding and improving teacher effectiveness. There are several funding opportunities that incentivize states to use data to inform measurements of teacher effectiveness. Local, state, and federal efforts support using data to improve teacher preparation programs. Preparation programs seek "access to data…

  3. Gait rehabilitation with a high tech platform based on virtual reality conveys improvements in walking ability of children suffering from acquired brain injury.

    PubMed

    Biffi, E; Beretta, E; Diella, E; Panzeri, D; Maghini, C; Turconi, A C; Strazzer, S; Reni, G

    2015-01-01

    The Gait Real-time Analysis Interactive Lab (GRAIL) is an instrumented multi-sensor platform based on immersive virtual reality for gait training and rehabilitation. Few studies have been included GRAIL to evaluate gait patterns in normal and disabled people and to improve gait in adults, while at our knowledge no evidence on its use for the rehabilitation of children is available. In this study, 4 children suffering from acquired brain injury (ABI) underwent a 5 session treatment with GRAIL, to improve walking and balance ability in engaging VR environments. The first and the last sessions were partially dedicated to gait evaluation. Results are promising: improvements were recorded at the ankle level, selectively at the affected side, and at the pelvic level, while small changes were measured at the hip and knee joints, which were already comparable to healthy subjects. All these changes also conveyed advances in the symmetry of the walking pattern. In the next future, a longer intervention will be proposed and more children will be enrolled to strongly prove the effectiveness of GRAIL in the rehabilitation of children with ABI.

  4. Impoverishment and patients' "willingness" and "ability" to pay for improving the quality of health care in Palestine: an assessment using the contingent valuation method.

    PubMed

    Mataria, Awad; Giacaman, Rita; Khatib, Rana; Moatti, Jean-Paul

    2006-02-01

    This paper examines the impact of impoverishment on patients' preferences with respect to improving the quality of health care, by focusing on the sudden impoverishment experience that affected the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) since the beginning of the second Palestinian Uprising of September 2000. Two random samples of patients (352 and 353 individuals, respectively) were interviewed about their willingness to pay for improving a set of quality attributes in delivery of primary health care, prior and after the occurrence of this crisis situation, using a contingent valuation questionnaire. Impoverishment did not seem to affect the structure of patients' preferences vis-à-vis some essential quality attributes such as "doctor-patient relationship" and "drug availability". However, preferences toward "luxury" quality attributes, e.g., "geographical proximity" and "waiting time", suffered from both income-dependent and income-independent negative impoverishment effects. We conclude that impoverishment might not only affect individuals' availability of resources but also the ability of certain groups of patients, notably women, villagers and the elderly, to adequately express their preferences toward improving the quality of health care delivery. The issue of how willingness to pay results should be interpreted in the light of our study for policy implications was discussed. The study raises strong doubts about the current policy of introducing patients' cost recovery schemes for funding primary health care in the current crisis situation of the OPT.

  5. Balance ability and athletic performance.

    PubMed

    Hrysomallis, Con

    2011-03-01

    The relationship between balance ability and sport injury risk has been established in many cases, but the relationship between balance ability and athletic performance is less clear. This review compares the balance ability of athletes from different sports, determines if there is a difference in balance ability of athletes at different levels of competition within the same sport, determines the relationship of balance ability with performance measures and examines the influence of balance training on sport performance or motor skills. Based on the available data from cross-sectional studies, gymnasts tended to have the best balance ability, followed by soccer players, swimmers, active control subjects and then basketball players. Surprisingly, no studies were found that compared the balance ability of rifle shooters with other athletes. There were some sports, such as rifle shooting, soccer and golf, where elite athletes were found to have superior balance ability compared with their less proficient counterparts, but this was not found to be the case for alpine skiing, surfing and judo. Balance ability was shown to be significantly related to rifle shooting accuracy, archery shooting accuracy, ice hockey maximum skating speed and simulated luge start speed, but not for baseball pitching accuracy or snowboarding ranking points. Prospective studies have shown that the addition of a balance training component to the activities of recreationally active subjects or physical education students has resulted in improvements in vertical jump, agility, shuttle run and downhill slalom skiing. A proposed mechanism for the enhancement in motor skills from balance training is an increase in the rate of force development. There are limited data on the influence of balance training on motor skills of elite athletes. When the effectiveness of balance training was compared with resistance training, it was found that resistance training produced superior performance results for

  6. A writing-intensive course improves biology undergraduates' perception and confidence of their abilities to read scientific literature and communicate science.

    PubMed

    Brownell, Sara E; Price, Jordan V; Steinman, Lawrence

    2013-03-01

    Most scientists agree that comprehension of primary scientific papers and communication of scientific concepts are two of the most important skills that we can teach, but few undergraduate biology courses make these explicit course goals. We designed an undergraduate neuroimmunology course that uses a writing-intensive format. Using a mixture of primary literature, writing assignments directed toward a layperson and scientist audience, and in-class discussions, we aimed to improve the ability of students to 1) comprehend primary scientific papers, 2) communicate science to a scientific audience, and 3) communicate science to a layperson audience. We offered the course for three consecutive years and evaluated its impact on student perception and confidence using a combination of pre- and postcourse survey questions and coded open-ended responses. Students showed gains in both the perception of their understanding of primary scientific papers and of their abilities to communicate science to scientific and layperson audiences. These results indicate that this unique format can teach both communication skills and basic science to undergraduate biology students. We urge others to adopt a similar format for undergraduate biology courses to teach process skills in addition to content, thus broadening and strengthening the impact of undergraduate courses.

  7. Electroacupuncture Treatment Improves Learning-Memory Ability and Brain Glucose Metabolism in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease: Using Morris Water Maze and Micro-PET

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Jing; Gao, Kai; Zhou, Yuan; Xu, Anping; Shi, Suhua; Liu, Gang; Li, Zhigang

    2015-01-01

    Introduction. Alzheimer's disease (AD) causes progressive hippocampus dysfunctions leading to the impairment of learning and memory ability and low level of uptake rate of glucose in hippocampus. What is more, there is no effective treatment for AD. In this study, we evaluated the beneficial and protective effects of electroacupuncture in senescence-accelerated mouse prone 8 (SAMP8). Method. In the electroacupuncture paradigm, electroacupuncture treatment was performed once a day for 15 days on 7.5-month-old SAMP8 male mice. In the normal control paradigm and AD control group, 7.5-month-old SAMR1 male mice and SAMP8 male mice were grabbed and bandaged while electroacupuncture group therapy, in order to ensure the same treatment conditions, once a day, 15 days. Results. From the Morris water maze (MWM) test, we found that the treatment of electroacupuncture can improve the spatial learning and memory ability of SAMP8 mouse, and from the micro-PET test, we proved that after the electroacupuncture treatment the level of uptake rate of glucose in hippocampus was higher than normal control group. Conclusion. These results suggest that the treatment of electroacupuncture may provide a viable treatment option for AD. PMID:25821477

  8. A writing-intensive course improves biology undergraduates' perception and confidence of their abilities to read scientific literature and communicate science.

    PubMed

    Brownell, Sara E; Price, Jordan V; Steinman, Lawrence

    2013-03-01

    Most scientists agree that comprehension of primary scientific papers and communication of scientific concepts are two of the most important skills that we can teach, but few undergraduate biology courses make these explicit course goals. We designed an undergraduate neuroimmunology course that uses a writing-intensive format. Using a mixture of primary literature, writing assignments directed toward a layperson and scientist audience, and in-class discussions, we aimed to improve the ability of students to 1) comprehend primary scientific papers, 2) communicate science to a scientific audience, and 3) communicate science to a layperson audience. We offered the course for three consecutive years and evaluated its impact on student perception and confidence using a combination of pre- and postcourse survey questions and coded open-ended responses. Students showed gains in both the perception of their understanding of primary scientific papers and of their abilities to communicate science to scientific and layperson audiences. These results indicate that this unique format can teach both communication skills and basic science to undergraduate biology students. We urge others to adopt a similar format for undergraduate biology courses to teach process skills in addition to content, thus broadening and strengthening the impact of undergraduate courses. PMID:23471252

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  12. Improvement of glass forming ability and magnetic properties of a Gd55Al20Co25 bulk metallic glass by minor Fe substitution for Co

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guan, Q.; Yu, P.; Chan, K. C.; Xia, L.

    2015-11-01

    Gd55Al20Co25 bulk metallic glass (BMG) exhibits good glass forming ability (GFA) and excellent magneto-caloric effect (MCE). In order to further improve the GFA and MCE of the Gd55Al20Co25 BMG, we attempted to add small amount of Fe as a replacement of Co in the BMG and obtained Gd55Al20Co23Fe2 glassy rod using a traditional suction casting method. The Gd55Al20Co23Fe2 BMG shows a better GFA and MCE than the Gd55Al20Co25 BMG. The magneto-caloric behavior of the Gd55Al20Co23Fe2 BMG was investigated by studying the field dependence of the magnetic entropy change peak and the refrigeration capacity.

  13. Significant Improvement in Sleep in People with Intellectual Disabilities Living in Residential Settings by Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hylkema, T.; Vlaskamp, C.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Although about 15 to 50 percent of people with intellectual disabilities (ID) living in residential settings suffer from sleep problems, scant attention is paid to these problems. Most available studies focus on pharmaceutical solutions. In this study we focus on improving sleep in people with intellectual disabilities living in…

  14. Transfection of CXCR-4 using microbubble-mediated ultrasound irradiation and liposomes improves the migratory ability of bone marrow stromal cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Gong; Zhuo, Zhongxiong; Zhang, Qian; Xu, Yali; Wu, Shengzheng; Li, Lu; Xia, Hongmei; Gao, Yunhua

    2015-01-01

    Bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) have proven useful for the treatment of various human diseases and injuries. However, their reparative capacity is limited by their poor migration and homing ability, which are primarily dependent on the SDF-1/CXCR4 axis. Most subcultured BMSCs lack CXCR4 receptor expression on the cell surface and exhibit impaired migratory capacity. To increase responsiveness to SDF-1 and promote cell migration and survival of cultured BMSCs, we used a combination of ultrasound-targeted microbubble destruction (UTMD) and liposomes to increase CXCR4 expression in vitro. We isolated and cultured rat BMSCs to their third passage and transduced them with recombinant plasmid pDsRed-CXCR4 using microbubble-mediated ultrasound irradiation and liposomes. Compared to some viral vectors, the method we employed here resulted in significantly better transfection efficiency, CXCR4 expression, and technical reproducibility. The benefits of this approach are likely due to the combination of "sonoporation" caused by shockwaves and microjet flow resulting from UTMD-generated cavitation. Following transfection, we performed a transwell migration assay and found that the migration ability of CXCR4-modified BMSCs was 9-fold higher than controls. The methods we describe here provide an effective, safe, non-viral means to achieve high levels of CXCR4 expression. This is associated with enhanced migration of subcultured BMSCs and may be useful for clinical application as well.

  15. Brief Communication: Upper-air relaxation in RACMO2 significantly improves modelled interannual surface mass balance variability in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van de Berg, Willem Jan; Medley, Brooke

    2016-03-01

    The Regional Atmospheric Climate Model (RACMO2) has been a powerful tool for improving surface mass balance (SMB) estimates from GCMs or reanalyses. However, new yearly SMB observations for West Antarctica show that the modelled interannual variability in SMB is poorly simulated by RACMO2, in contrast to ERA-Interim, which resolves this variability well. In an attempt to remedy RACMO2 performance, we included additional upper-air relaxation (UAR) in RACMO2. With UAR, the correlation to observations is similar for RACMO2 and ERA-Interim. The spatial SMB patterns and ice-sheet-integrated SMB modelled using UAR remain very similar to the estimates of RACMO2 without UAR. We only observe an upstream smoothing of precipitation in regions with very steep topography like the Antarctic Peninsula. We conclude that UAR is a useful improvement for regional climate model simulations, although results in regions with steep topography should be treated with care.

  16. Soybean isoflavone alleviates β-amyloid 1-42 induced inflammatory response to improve learning and memory ability by down regulation of Toll-like receptor 4 expression and nuclear factor-κB activity in rats.

    PubMed

    Ding, B J; Ma, W W; He, L L; Zhou, X; Yuan, L H; Yu, H L; Feng, J F; Xiao, R

    2011-08-01

    β-amyloid 1-42 (Aβ1-42)-induced learning and memory impairment in rats is believed to be associated with inflammation. Cytokine production is a key pathologic event in the progression of inflammatory processes. In this rat study, soybean isoflavones (SIF) was used to investigate it's protective effects on inflammation caused by β-amyloid 1-42 (Aβ1-42), which is associated with learning and memory impairment in Alzheimer disease. We characterized the learning and memory ability. cytokine profiles of circulating interleukin-1β (IL-1β), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in the serum and the expression of Toll like receptor4 (TLR4) and nuclear factor-κB p65 (NF-κB p65) mRNA and protein in the brain tissue following intracerebroventricular administration of Aβ1-42 by miniosmotic pump for 14 days. The results showed that functional deficits of learning and memory in SIF treatment groups were significantly improved compared to the control group without SIF treatment in water maze test. The serum IL-1β and TNF-α level were significantly increased, and the expressions of TLR4 and NF-κB p65 mRNA and protein in the brain were up-regulated, indicating inflammation response was initiated following administration of Aβ1-42. After intragastric pre-treatment with SIF, inflammatory cytokines was significantly reduced and also SIF reversed the Aβ1-42 induced up-regulation of TLR4 and NF-κB p65 mRNA and protein expression in the brain and expression of NF-κB p65 in nuclei. These results suggested that SIF reduced the cytokine cascade and inflammatory response induced by Aβ1-42 which could result in the improvement of spatial learning and memory ability impairment in the rats.

  17. Development of an activity-directed selection system enabled significant improvement of the carboxylation efficiency of Rubisco.

    PubMed

    Cai, Zhen; Liu, Guoxia; Zhang, Junli; Li, Yin

    2014-07-01

    Photosynthetic CO(2) fixation is the ultimate source of organic carbon on earth and thus is essential for crop production and carbon sequestration. Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) catalyzes the first step of photosynthetic CO(2) fixation. However, the extreme low carboxylation efficiency of Rubisco makes it the most attractive target for improving photosynthetic efficiency. Extensive studies have focused on re-engineering a more efficient enzyme, but the effort has been impeded by the limited understanding of its structure-function relationships and the lack of an efficient selection system towards its activity. To address the unsuccessful molecular engineering of Rubisco, we developed an Escherichia coli-based activity-directed selection system which links the growth of host cell solely to the Rubisco activity therein. A Synechococcus sp. PCC7002 Rubisco mutant with E49V and D82G substitutions in the small subunit was selected from a total of 15,000 mutants by one round of evolution. This mutant showed an 85% increase in specific carboxylation activity and a 45% improvement in catalytic efficiency towards CO(2). The small-subunit E49V mutation was speculated to influence holoenzyme catalysis through interaction with the large-subunit Q225. This interaction is conserved among various Rubisco from higher plants and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Knowledge of these might provide clues for engineering Rubisco from higher plants, with the potential of increasing the crop yield.

  18. Early Attempts to Eradicate Helicobacter pylori after Endoscopic Resection of Gastric Neoplasm Significantly Improve Eradication Success Rates

    PubMed Central

    Huh, Cheal Wung; Youn, Young Hoon; Jung, Da Hyun; Park, Jae Jun; Kim, Jie-Hyun; Park, Hyojin

    2016-01-01

    Purpose After endoscopic resection (ER) of gastric tumors, eradication of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is advised to reduce metachronous recurrence. Optimal timing of such therapy (yet to be established) was investigated herein, examining early active and late scarring stages of post-ER iatrogenic ulcers. Materials and Methods Analysis included 514 patients who received proton-pump inhibitor (PPI)-based triple therapy for H. pylori eradication after ER for gastric neoplasms between January 2008 and June 2015. Clinicopathologic characteristics, particularly the timing of triple therapy, were used to compare eradication rates, assigning patients to early- (≤2 weeks), intermediate- (2–8 weeks), and late-phase (≥8 weeks) treatment groups. Results H. pylori eradication rates differed significantly by timing of triple therapy after ER (early, 90.0%; intermediate, 76.2%, late, 72.4%; p <.001). However, eradication success rates were not significantly affected by age, smoking, alcohol consumption, preexisting comorbidity, method of ER, size and location of iatrogenic ulcer, and duration of therapeutic regimen. Early initiation of H. pylori eradication was also identified as a significant independent predictor of eradication success in multivariate analysis (Odds ratio = 3.67, 95% CI 2.18–6.16; p <.001). Conclusion In patients undergoing ER of gastric tumors, early post-ER attempts at eradication of H. pylori offer the best chance of eradication success. PMID:27588679

  19. Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact: Proposed Improvements at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility Newport News, Virginia

    SciTech Connect

    N /A

    2002-07-13

    The U. S. Department of Energy (DOE), in this Environmental Assessment (EA), reports the results of an analysis of the potential environmental impacts from the proposed construction of various site improvements and the proposed installation and operation of the Helios light source at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) in Newport News, Virginia. Jefferson Lab is operated by the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. (SURA) under contract to DOE. With this proposal, DOE intends to construct no more than four major two or three story additions totaling about 151,000 sq. ft. (square feet) to CEBAF Center, the main facility administration building, and the addition of three new single story and one two story operations support structures on the accelerator site. The structures are a 28,000 sq. ft. storage building, a 15,100 sq. ft. technical support building, a 3,500 sq. ft. refrigeration service building, and a two-story 22,600 sq. ft addition to the Free Electron Laser (FEL) facility. The proposed action also involves the installation and operation of the Helios (High-Energy Lithography Source) accelerator in the FEL Addition. DOE proposes to take this action to provide Jefferson Lab with improved staff and operations support facilities that, along with the operation of Helios, will provide an increased capability to facilitate accelerator and physics program operations. Support activities necessary to effect the installation and operation of Helios would begin in Fiscal Year (FY) 03. It is expected that the Helios machine should be available to serve developmental and operational activities in support of the physics program later in FY 04. In this EA, DOE presents the no action alternative, alternatives considered and dismissed, and the proposed action alternative. It also evaluates the impacts of each.

  20. Significantly improved expression and biochemical properties of recombinant Serratia marcescens lipase as robust biocatalyst for kinetic resolution of chiral ester.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yi; Zhao, Jian; Xu, Jian-He; Fan, Li-Qiang; Li, Su-Xia; Zhao, Li-Li; Mao, Xiao-Bo

    2010-12-01

    A lipase gene from Serratia marcescens ECU1010 was cloned into expression vector pET28a, sequenced, and overexpressed as an N terminus His-tag fusion protein in Escherichia coli. Through the optimization of culture conditions in shake flask, the lipase activity was improved up to 1.09 x 10⁵ U/l, which is a great improvement compared to our previous reports. It was purified to homogeneity by Ni-NTA affinity chromatography with an overall yield of 59.4% and a purification factor of 2.4-fold. This recombinant lipase displayed excellent stability below 30 °C and within the pH range of 5.0-6.8, giving temperature and pH optima at 40 °C and pH 9.0, respectively. The lipase activity was found to increase in the presence of metal ions such as Ca²+, Cu²+, and some nonionic surfactants such as PEG series. In addition, among p-nitrophenyl esters of fatty acids with varied chain length, the recombinant lipase showed the maximum activity on p-nitrophenyl laurate (C₁₂). Using racemic trans-3-(4'-methoxy-phenyl)-glycidyl methyl ester [(±)-MPGM] as substrate, which is a key chiral synthon for production of diltiazem, a 50% conversion yield was achieved after 4 h in toluene-water (100 mM KPB phosphate buffer, pH 7.5) biphasic system (5:5 ml) at 30 °C under shaking condition (160 rpm), affording (-)-MPGM in nearly 100% ee. The K(m) and V(max) values of the lipase for (±)-MPGM were 222 mM and 1.24 mmol min⁻¹  mg⁻¹, respectively. The above-mentioned features make the highly enantioselective lipase from Serratia marcescens ECU1010 a robust biocatalyst for practical use in large-scale production of diltiazem intermediate.

  1. Improving winter leaf area index estimation in coniferous forests and its significance in estimating the land surface albedo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Rong; Chen, Jing M.; Pavlic, Goran; Arain, Altaf

    2016-09-01

    Winter leaf area index (LAI) of evergreen coniferous forests exerts strong control on the interception of snow, snowmelt and energy balance. Simulation of winter LAI and associated winter processes in land surface models is challenging. Retrieving winter LAI from remote sensing data is difficult due to cloud contamination, poor illumination, lower solar elevation and higher radiation reflection by snow background. Underestimated winter LAI in evergreen coniferous forests is one of the major issues limiting the application of current remote sensing LAI products. It has not been fully addressed in past studies in the literature. In this study, we used needle lifespan to correct winter LAI in a remote sensing product developed by the University of Toronto. For the validation purpose, the corrected winter LAI was then used to calculate land surface albedo at five FLUXNET coniferous forests in Canada. The RMSE and bias values for estimated albedo were 0.05 and 0.011, respectively, for all sites. The albedo map over coniferous forests across Canada produced with corrected winter LAI showed much better agreement with the GLASS (Global LAnd Surface Satellites) albedo product than the one produced with uncorrected winter LAI. The results revealed that the corrected winter LAI yielded much greater accuracy in simulating land surface albedo, making the new LAI product an improvement over the original one. Our study will help to increase the usability of remote sensing LAI products in land surface energy budget modeling.

  2. Significantly improving stellar mass and radius estimates: a new reference function for the Δν scaling relation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guggenberger, Elisabeth; Hekker, Saskia; Basu, Sarbani; Bellinger, Earl

    2016-08-01

    The scaling relations between global asteroseismic observables and stellar properties are widely used to estimate masses and radii of stars exhibiting solar-like oscillations. Since the mass and radius of the Sun are known independently, the Sun is commonly used as a reference to scale to. However, the validity of the scaling relations depends on the homology between the star under study and the reference star. Solar-like oscillators span a wide range of masses and metallicities, as well as evolutionary phases. Most of these stars are therefore not homologous to the Sun. This leads to errors of up to 10 per cent (5 per cent) in mass (radius) when using the asteroseismic scaling relations with the Sun as the reference. In this paper, we derive a reference function to replace the solar-reference value used in the large-frequency separation scaling relation. Our function is the first that depends on both effective temperature and metallicity, and is applicable from the end of the main sequence to just above the bump on the red giant branch. This reference function improves the estimates of masses and radii determined through scaling relations by a factor of 2, i.e. allows masses and radii to be recovered with an accuracy of 5 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively.

  3. Improvement of the prediction ability of multivariate calibration by a method based on the combination of data fusion and least squares support vector machines.

    PubMed

    Ren, Shouxin; Gao, Ling

    2011-03-21

    This paper suggests a novel method named DF-LS-SVM, which is based on least squares support vector machines (LS-SVM) regression combined with data fusion (DF) to enhance the ability to extract characteristic information and improve the quality of the regression. Simultaneous multicomponent determination of Fe(III), Co(II) and Cu(II) was conducted for the first time by using the proposed method. Data fusion is a technique that integrates information from disparate sources to produce a single model or decision. The LS-SVM technique allows for learning a high-dimensional feature with fewer training data, and reduces the computational complexity by only requiring the solution of a set of linear equations instead of a quadratic programming problem. Experimental results showed that the DF-LS-SVM method was successful for simultaneous multicomponent determination even when severe overlap of spectra existed. The DF-LS-SVM method is an attractive and promising hybrid approach that combines the best properties of the two techniques. The results obtained from an additional test case, simultaneous differential pulse voltammetric determination of o-nitrophenol, m-nitrophenol and p-nitrophenol, also demonstrated that the DF-LS-SVM method performed somewhat better than LS-SVM and PLS methods. PMID:21243169

  4. Methyl-β-Cyclodextrin Improves Sperm Capacitation Status Assessed by Flow Cytometry Analysis and Zona Pellucida-Binding Ability of Frozen/Thawed Bovine Spermatozoa.

    PubMed

    Águila, L; Arias, M E; Vargas, T; Zambrano, F; Felmer, R

    2015-12-01

    Mammalian sperm undergo a series of biochemical transformations in the female reproductive tract that are collectively known as capacitation. Cyclodextrins added to the sperm culture medium have been described to induce in vitro sperm capacitation, enabling its use in protein-free media. However, the additive capacitating effect of methyl-β-cyclodextrin (MβCD) in the medium containing bovine serum albumin (BSA) is unknown in the bovine species. In this study, we evaluated the effects of incubating frozen-thawed bovine spermatozoa in a BSA-containing medium supplemented with MβCD on different sperm quality and functional parameters. Sperm viability decreased with the addition of MβCD in a dose-dependent manner (p < 0.05), and DNA damage could be observed but only with the highest concentration of MβCD. However, pre-incubation of spermatozoa in MβCD-supplemented medium improved the capacitation status as assessed by the increase in plasma membrane fluidity, intracellular calcium concentration, induced acrosome reactivity and zona pellucida (ZP)-binding ability (p < 0.05). Thus, we conclude that MβCD supplementation is able to enhance the capacitation status of frozen-thawed bovine spermatozoa cultured in capacitation medium containing BSA and could result in a valid strategy for its application on artificial reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization or intracytoplasmic sperm injection.

  5. Systematic chemical modifications of single stranded siRNAs significantly improved CTNNB1 mRNA silencing.

    PubMed

    Chang, Wonsuk; Pei, Yi; Guidry, Erin N; Zewge, Daniel; Parish, Craig A; Sherer, Edward C; DiMuzio, Jillian; Zhang, Hangchun; South, Victoria J; Strapps, Walter R; Sepp-Lorenzino, Laura; Colletti, Steven L; Stanton, Matthew G

    2016-09-15

    Single-stranded silencing RNAs (ss siRNA), while not as potent as duplex RNAs, have the potential to become a novel platform technology in RNA interference based gene silencing by virtue of their simplicity and plausibly favorable characteristics in pharmacokinetics and biodistribution. Like other therapeutic pharmaceutical agents, ss siRNA can be optimized to achieve higher potency through a structure-activity based approach. Systematic chemical modification at each position of a 21-mer oligonucleotide identified 2',5'-linked 3'-deoxythymidine (3dT) at position 1 and locked nucleic acids (LNAs) at the seed region as key components to afford significant enhancement in knockdown activity both in vitro and in vivo. Further optimization by additional chemical modifications should enable ss siRNA as an alternative gene silencing modality. PMID:27503684

  6. Towards an improved prediction of the free radical scavenging potency of flavonoids: the significance of double PCET mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Amić, Ana; Marković, Zoran; Dimitrić Marković, Jasmina M; Stepanić, Višnja; Lučić, Bono; Amić, Dragan

    2014-01-01

    The 1H(+)/1e(-) and 2H(+)/2e(-) proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) processes of free radical scavenging by flavonoids were theoretically studied for aqueous and lipid environments using the PM6 and PM7 methods. The results reported here indicate that the significant contribution of the second PCET mechanism, resulting in the formation of a quinone/quinone methide, effectively discriminates the active from inactive flavonoids. The predictive potency of descriptors related to the energetics of second PCET mechanisms (the second O-H bond dissociation enthalpy (BDE2) related to hydrogen atom transfer (HAT) mechanism, and the second electron transfer enthalpy (ETE2) related to sequential proton loss electron transfer (SPLET) mechanism) are superior to the currently used indices, which are related to the first 1H(+)/1e(-) processes, and could serve as primary descriptors in development of the QSAR (quantitative structure-activity relationships) of flavonoids.

  7. Dimension Reduction via Unsupervised Learning Yields Significant Computational Improvements for Support Vector Machine Based Protein Family Classification.

    SciTech Connect

    Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M.; Matzke, Melissa M.; Oehmen, Christopher S.

    2009-02-26

    Reducing the dimension of vectors used in training support vector machines (SVMs) results in a proportional speedup in training time. For large-scale problems this can make the difference between tractable and intractable training tasks. However, it is critical that classifiers trained on reduced datasets perform as reliably as their counterparts trained on high-dimensional data. We assessed principal component analysis (PCA) and sequential project pursuit (SPP) as dimension reduction strategies in the biology application of classifying proteins into well-defined functional ‘families’ (SVM-based protein family classification) by their impact on run-time, sensitivity and selectivity. Homology vectors of 4352 elements were reduced to approximately 2% of the original data size without significantly affecting accuracy using PCA and SPP, while leading to approximately a 28-fold speedup in run-time.

  8. Significantly improved dehydrogenation of ball-milled MgH2 doped with CoFe2O4 nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shan, Jiawei; Li, Ping; Wan, Qi; Zhai, Fuqiang; Zhang, Jun; Li, Ziliang; Liu, Zhaojiang; Volinsky, Alex A.; Qu, Xuanhui

    2014-12-01

    CoFe2O4 nanoparticles are added to magnesium hydride (MgH2) by high-energy ball milling in order to improve its hydriding properties. The hydrogen storage properties and catalytic mechanism are investigated by pressure-composition-temperature (PCT), differential thermal analysis (DTA), X-ray diffraction (XRD), field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The nonisothermal desorption results show that the onset desorption temperature of the MgH2 + 7 mol% CoFe2O4 is 160 °C, which is 200 °C lower than of the as-received MgH2. The dehydrogenation process of the MgH2 doped with the CoFe2O4 nanoparticles includes two steps. DTA curves and XRD patterns reveal that a chemical reaction happens between MgH2 and CoFe2O4, forming the final products of the ternary combination, corresponding to Co3Fe7, MgO and Co. The onset desorption temperature of the ball-milled MgH2 doped with Co3Fe7, MgO and Co is about 260 °C, approximately 100 °C lower than the un-doped MgH2, demonstrating that the ternary combination (Co3Fe7, MgO, and Co) also has a great catalytic effect on the MgH2 hydrogen storage properties. It is also confirmed that the various methods of adding the ternary combination have different effects on the MgH2 hydriding-dehydriding process.

  9. Pt-decorated GaN nanowires with significant improvement in H2 gas-sensing performance at room temperature.

    PubMed

    Abdullah, Q N; Yam, F K; Hassan, Z; Bououdina, M

    2015-12-15

    Superior sensitivity towards H2 gas was successfully achieved with Pt-decorated GaN nanowires (NWs) gas sensor. GaN NWs were fabricated via chemical vapor deposition (CVD) route. Morphology (field emission scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy) and crystal structure (high resolution X-ray diffraction) characterizations of the as-synthesized nanostructures demonstrated the formation of GaN NWs having a wurtzite structure, zigzaged shape and an average diameter of 30-166nm. The Pt-decorated GaN NWs sensor shows a high response of 250-2650% upon exposure to H2 gas concentration from 7 to 1000ppm respectively at room temperature (RT), and then increases to about 650-4100% when increasing the operating temperature up to 75°C. The gas-sensing measurements indicated that the Pt-decorated GaN NWs based sensor exhibited efficient detection of H2 at low concentration with excellent sensitivity, repeatability, and free hysteresis phenomena over a period of time of 100min. The large surface-to-volume ratio of GaN NWs and the catalytic activity of Pt metal are the most influential factors leading to the enhancement of H2 gas-sensing performances through the improvement of the interaction between the target molecules (H2) and the sensing NWs surface. The attractive low-cost, low power consumption and high-performance of the resultant decorated GaN NWs gas sensor assure their uppermost potential for H2 gas sensor working at low operating temperature.

  10. Concave Pit-Containing Scaffold Surfaces Improve Stem Cell-Derived Osteoblast Performance and Lead to Significant Bone Tissue Formation

    PubMed Central

    Cusella-De Angelis, Maria Gabriella; Laino, Gregorio; Piattelli, Adriano; Pacifici, Maurizio; De Rosa, Alfredo; Papaccio, Gianpaolo

    2007-01-01

    Background Scaffold surface features are thought to be important regulators of stem cell performance and endurance in tissue engineering applications, but details about these fundamental aspects of stem cell biology remain largely unclear. Methodology and Findings In the present study, smooth clinical-grade lactide-coglyolic acid 85:15 (PLGA) scaffolds were carved as membranes and treated with NMP (N-metil-pyrrolidone) to create controlled subtractive pits or microcavities. Scanning electron and confocal microscopy revealed that the NMP-treated membranes contained: (i) large microcavities of 80–120 µm in diameter and 40–100 µm in depth, which we termed primary; and (ii) smaller microcavities of 10–20 µm in diameter and 3–10 µm in depth located within the primary cavities, which we termed secondary. We asked whether a microcavity-rich scaffold had distinct bone-forming capabilities compared to a smooth one. To do so, mesenchymal stem cells derived from human dental pulp were seeded onto the two types of scaffold and monitored over time for cytoarchitectural characteristics, differentiation status and production of important factors, including bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). We found that the microcavity-rich scaffold enhanced cell adhesion: the cells created intimate contact with secondary microcavities and were polarized. These cytological responses were not seen with the smooth-surface scaffold. Moreover, cells on the microcavity-rich scaffold released larger amounts of BMP-2 and VEGF into the culture medium and expressed higher alkaline phosphatase activity. When this type of scaffold was transplanted into rats, superior bone formation was elicited compared to cells seeded on the smooth scaffold. Conclusion In conclusion, surface microcavities appear to support a more vigorous osteogenic response of stem cells and should be used in the design of therapeutic substrates to improve bone repair and

  11. Significant improvement of critical current density in MgB2 doped with ferromagnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qu, B.; Sun, X. D.; Li, J.-G.; Xiu, Z. M.; Liu, S. H.; Xue, C. P.

    2009-01-01

    Ferromagnetic Fe3O4-doped MgB2 bulks were first fabricated in this work by the hot pressing method. It was found that Fe3O4 does not react with Mg or B during the fabrication process. Peak Jc values of the 5 wt% Fe3O4-doped MgB2 are higher than 106 A cm-2 in the temperature range 5-30 K. Especially at 30 K, the peak Jc is 1.02 × 106 A cm-2 for the 5 wt% Fe3O4-doped MgB2, the highest values at 30 K found in the literature, and about seven times that of the 5 wt% SiC-doped MgB2 sample. The drop in Jc with increasing field for the Fe3O4-doped MgB2 is significantly slower than that of the SiC-doped MgB2 at 30 K. These results indicate that the Fe3O4-doped MgB2 is a potential superconductor to be used at temperatures greater than 25 K which is a critical temperature for large-scale practical applications.

  12. Appropriate Fe (II) Addition Significantly Enhances Anaerobic Ammonium Oxidation (Anammox) Activity through Improving the Bacterial Growth Rate

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yiwen; Ni, Bing-Jie

    2015-01-01

    The application of anaerobic ammonium oxidation (Anammox) process is often limited by the slow growth rate of Anammox bacteria. As the essential substrate element that required for culturing Anammox sludge, Fe (II) is expected to affect Anammox bacterial growth. This work systematically studied the effects of Fe (II) addition on Anammox activity based on the kinetic analysis of specific growth rate using data from batch tests with an enriched Anammox sludge at different dosing levels. Results clearly demonstrated that appropriate Fe (II) dosing (i.e., 0.09 mM) significantly enhanced the specific Anammox growth rate up to 0.172 d−1 compared to 0.118 d−1 at regular Fe (II) level (0.03 mM). The relationship between Fe (II) concentration and specific Anammox growth rate was found to be well described by typical substrate inhibition kinetics, which was integrated into currently well-established Anammox model to describe the enhanced Anammox growth with Fe (II) addition. The validity of the integrated Anammox model was verified using long-term experimental data from three independent Anammox reactors with different Fe (II) dosing levels. This Fe (II)-based approach could be potentially implemented to enhance the process rate for possible mainstream application of Anammox technology, in order for an energy autarchic wastewater treatment. PMID:25644239

  13. Combined Statistical Analyses of Peptide Intensities and Peptide Occurrences Improves Identification of Significant Peptides from MS-based Proteomics Data

    SciTech Connect

    Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M.; McCue, Lee Ann; Waters, Katrina M.; Matzke, Melissa M.; Jacobs, Jon M.; Metz, Thomas O.; Varnum, Susan M.; Pounds, Joel G.

    2010-11-01

    Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based (LC-MS) proteomics uses peak intensities of proteolytic peptides to infer the differential abundance of peptides/proteins. However, substantial run-to-run variability in peptide intensities and observations (presence/absence) of peptides makes data analysis quite challenging. The missing abundance values in LC-MS proteomics data are difficult to address with traditional imputation-based approaches because the mechanisms by which data are missing are unknown a priori. Data can be missing due to random mechanisms such as experimental error, or non-random mechanisms such as a true biological effect. We present a statistical approach that uses a test of independence known as a G-test to test the null hypothesis of independence between the number of missing values and the experimental groups. We pair the G-test results evaluating independence of missing data (IMD) with a standard analysis of variance (ANOVA) that uses only means and variances computed from the observed data. Each peptide is therefore represented by two statistical confidence metrics, one for qualitative differential observation and one for quantitative differential intensity. We use two simulated and two real LC-MS datasets to demonstrate the robustness and sensitivity of the ANOVA-IMD approach for assigning confidence to peptides with significant differential abundance among experimental groups.

  14. Appropriate Fe (II) Addition Significantly Enhances Anaerobic Ammonium Oxidation (Anammox) Activity through Improving the Bacterial Growth Rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yiwen; Ni, Bing-Jie

    2015-02-01

    The application of anaerobic ammonium oxidation (Anammox) process is often limited by the slow growth rate of Anammox bacteria. As the essential substrate element that required for culturing Anammox sludge, Fe (II) is expected to affect Anammox bacterial growth. This work systematically studied the effects of Fe (II) addition on Anammox activity based on the kinetic analysis of specific growth rate using data from batch tests with an enriched Anammox sludge at different dosing levels. Results clearly demonstrated that appropriate Fe (II) dosing (i.e., 0.09 mM) significantly enhanced the specific Anammox growth rate up to 0.172 d-1 compared to 0.118 d-1 at regular Fe (II) level (0.03 mM). The relationship between Fe (II) concentration and specific Anammox growth rate was found to be well described by typical substrate inhibition kinetics, which was integrated into currently well-established Anammox model to describe the enhanced Anammox growth with Fe (II) addition. The validity of the integrated Anammox model was verified using long-term experimental data from three independent Anammox reactors with different Fe (II) dosing levels. This Fe (II)-based approach could be potentially implemented to enhance the process rate for possible mainstream application of Anammox technology, in order for an energy autarchic wastewater treatment.

  15. Appropriate Fe (II) addition significantly enhances anaerobic ammonium oxidation (Anammox) activity through improving the bacterial growth rate.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yiwen; Ni, Bing-Jie

    2015-01-01

    The application of anaerobic ammonium oxidation (Anammox) process is often limited by the slow growth rate of Anammox bacteria. As the essential substrate element that required for culturing Anammox sludge, Fe (II) is expected to affect Anammox bacterial growth. This work systematically studied the effects of Fe (II) addition on Anammox activity based on the kinetic analysis of specific growth rate using data from batch tests with an enriched Anammox sludge at different dosing levels. Results clearly demonstrated that appropriate Fe (II) dosing (i.e., 0.09 mM) significantly enhanced the specific Anammox growth rate up to 0.172 d(-1) compared to 0.118 d(-1) at regular Fe (II) level (0.03 mM). The relationship between Fe (II) concentration and specific Anammox growth rate was found to be well described by typical substrate inhibition kinetics, which was integrated into currently well-established Anammox model to describe the enhanced Anammox growth with Fe (II) addition. The validity of the integrated Anammox model was verified using long-term experimental data from three independent Anammox reactors with different Fe (II) dosing levels. This Fe (II)-based approach could be potentially implemented to enhance the process rate for possible mainstream application of Anammox technology, in order for an energy autarchic wastewater treatment. PMID:25644239

  16. Improving Sprouting Ability of White Yam Minisetts (Dioscorea alata Poir) Var Pona and Dente Using Different Disinfectants and Protectants in Sterilized Saw Dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asare-Bediako, E.; Showemimo, F. A.; Opoku-Asiama, Y.; Amewowor, D. H. A. K.

    The present study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of different disinfectants and protectants in improving sprouting and controlling rotting of yam minisetts. Results revealed that disinfection of both the sprouting medium and yam minisetts increase significantly the percentage sprouting of the Pona minisetts. Benlate was more effective in reducing the incidence of minisett rot and enhanced sprouting of the minisetts in roasted sawdust than the other protectants or disinfectants. Benlate-treated Pona minisetts gave high percentage sprouting and low percentage rotting in the roasted sawdust compare to that of Dente minisetts. Quicklime and neem wood ash were also effective in reducing incidence of minisett rot and increased sprouting of yam minisetts significantly compared with sodium hypochlorite, aqueous neem leaf extract and untreated minisetts (control).

  17. Malignant rhabdoid tumor of the kidney: significantly improved response to pre-operative treatment intensified with doxorubicin.

    PubMed

    Furtwängler, Rhoikos; Nourkami-Tutdibi, Nasinien; Leuschner, Ivo; Vokuhl, Christian; Niggli, Felix; Kager, Leo; Ebinger, Martin; Frühwald, Michael C; Graf, Norbert

    2014-09-01

    Case reports and in vitro testing suggest sensitivity of malignant rhabdoid tumor of the kidney (MRTK) to anthracyclines. Prospective study data supporting doxorubicin's efficacy is lacking. We compared the change of tumor volume in the kidney to upfront treatment with either actinomycin D and vincristine (AV) or doxorubicin-intensified AV (AVD) in all patients with MRTK, who had been treated from 1991-2013 in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany in the framework of three prospective Société International d'Oncologie Pédiatrique/Gesellschaft für Pädiatrische Onkologie und Hämatologie nephroblastoma studies. A total of 37 patients with MRTK received pre-operative chemotherapy (AV, n = 19; AVD, n = 18). Initial and tumor volume after pre-operative treatment was reported in all patients who received AV and 15 of 18 (83%) patients who received AVD. Mean tumor volume at diagnosis was 247 (±48) mL in the AV cohort and 345 (±47) mL in the AVD cohort. Mean volume at surgery was 249 (±46) mL and 137 (±27) mL, respectively. Relative change in tumor volume was +19 (±16)% in patients who received AV and -63 (±26)% in patients who received AVD (P < 0.001). Change in volume to AV ranged from -60 to +224%, whereas the change to AVD ranged from -9 to -92%. We provide good evidence of doxorubicin's activity in MRTK in vivo by demonstrating a significantly better response to neoadjuvant AVD compared with AV alone.

  18. Constitutive overexpression of the TaNF-YB4 gene in transgenic wheat significantly improves grain yield

    PubMed Central

    Yadav, Dinesh; Shavrukov, Yuri; Bazanova, Natalia; Chirkova, Larissa; Borisjuk, Nikolai; Kovalchuk, Nataliya; Ismagul, Ainur; Parent, Boris; Langridge, Peter; Hrmova, Maria; Lopato, Sergiy

    2015-01-01

    Heterotrimeric nuclear factors Y (NF-Ys) are involved in regulation of various vital functions in all eukaryotic organisms. Although a number of NF-Y subunits have been characterized in model plants, only a few have been functionally evaluated in crops. In this work, a number of genes encoding NF-YB and NF-YC subunits were isolated from drought-tolerant wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. RAC875), and the impact of the overexpression of TaNF-YB4 in the Australian wheat cultivar Gladius was investigated. TaNF-YB4 was isolated as a result of two consecutive yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) screens, where ZmNF-YB2a was used as a starting bait. A new NF-YC subunit, designated TaNF-YC15, was isolated in the first Y2H screen and used as bait in a second screen, which identified two wheat NF-YB subunits, TaNF-YB2 and TaNF-YB4. Three-dimensional modelling of a TaNF-YB2/TaNF-YC15 dimer revealed structural determinants that may underlie interaction selectivity. The TaNF-YB4 gene was placed under the control of the strong constitutive polyubiquitin promoter from maize and introduced into wheat by biolistic bombardment. The growth and yield components of several independent transgenic lines with up-regulated levels of TaNF-YB4 were evaluated under well-watered conditions (T1–T3 generations) and under mild drought (T2 generation). Analysis of T2 plants was performed in large deep containers in conditions close to field trials. Under optimal watering conditions, transgenic wheat plants produced significantly more spikes but other yield components did not change. This resulted in a 20–30% increased grain yield compared with untransformed control plants. Under water-limited conditions transgenic lines maintained parity in yield performance. PMID:26220082

  19. Post-exposure Treatment with Anti-rabies VHH and Vaccine Significantly Improves Protection of Mice from Lethal Rabies Infection

    PubMed Central

    Terryn, Sanne; Francart, Aurélie; Rommelaere, Heidi; Stortelers, Catelijne; Van Gucht, Steven

    2016-01-01

    Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) against rabies infection consists of a combination of passive immunisation with plasma-derived human or equine immune globulins and active immunisation with vaccine delivered shortly after exposure. Since anti-rabies immune globulins are expensive and scarce, there is a need for cheaper alternatives that can be produced more consistently. Previously, we generated potent virus-neutralising VHH, also called Nanobodies, against the rabies glycoprotein that are effectively preventing lethal disease in an in vivo mouse model. The VHH domain is the smallest antigen-binding functional fragment of camelid heavy chain-only antibodies that can be manufactured in microbial expression systems. In the current study we evaluated the efficacy of half-life extended anti-rabies VHH in combination with vaccine for PEP in an intranasal rabies infection model in mice. The PEP combination therapy of systemic anti-rabies VHH and intramuscular vaccine significantly delayed the onset of disease compared to treatment with anti-rabies VHH alone, prolonged median survival time (35 versus 14 days) and decreased mortality (60% versus 19% survival rate), when treated 24 hours after rabies virus challenge. Vaccine alone was unable to rescue mice from lethal disease. As reported also for immune globulins, some interference of anti-rabies VHH with the antigenicity of the vaccine was observed, but this did not impede the synergistic effect. Post exposure treatment with vaccine and human anti-rabies immune globulins was unable to protect mice from lethal challenge. Anti-rabies VHH and vaccine act synergistically to protect mice after rabies virus exposure, which further validates the possible use of anti-rabies VHH for rabies PEP. PMID:27483431

  20. Post-exposure Treatment with Anti-rabies VHH and Vaccine Significantly Improves Protection of Mice from Lethal Rabies Infection.

    PubMed

    Terryn, Sanne; Francart, Aurélie; Rommelaere, Heidi; Stortelers, Catelijne; Van Gucht, Steven

    2016-08-01

    Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) against rabies infection consists of a combination of passive immunisation with plasma-derived human or equine immune globulins and active immunisation with vaccine delivered shortly after exposure. Since anti-rabies immune globulins are expensive and scarce, there is a need for cheaper alternatives that can be produced more consistently. Previously, we generated potent virus-neutralising VHH, also called Nanobodies, against the rabies glycoprotein that are effectively preventing lethal disease in an in vivo mouse model. The VHH domain is the smallest antigen-binding functional fragment of camelid heavy chain-only antibodies that can be manufactured in microbial expression systems. In the current study we evaluated the efficacy of half-life extended anti-rabies VHH in combination with vaccine for PEP in an intranasal rabies infection model in mice. The PEP combination therapy of systemic anti-rabies VHH and intramuscular vaccine significantly delayed the onset of disease compared to treatment with anti-rabies VHH alone, prolonged median survival time (35 versus 14 days) and decreased mortality (60% versus 19% survival rate), when treated 24 hours after rabies virus challenge. Vaccine alone was unable to rescue mice from lethal disease. As reported also for immune globulins, some interference of anti-rabies VHH with the antigenicity of the vaccine was observed, but this did not impede the synergistic effect. Post exposure treatment with vaccine and human anti-rabies immune globulins was unable to protect mice from lethal challenge. Anti-rabies VHH and vaccine act synergistically to protect mice after rabies virus exposure, which further validates the possible use of anti-rabies VHH for rabies PEP. PMID:27483431

  1. Rehabilitation of Communicative Abilities in Patients with a History of TBI: Behavioral Improvements and Cerebral Changes in Resting-State Activity

    PubMed Central

    Sacco, Katiuscia; Gabbatore, Ilaria; Geda, Elisabetta; Duca, Sergio; Cauda, Franco; Bara, Bruno G.; Bosco, Francesca M.

    2016-01-01

    A targeted training program for the rehabilitation of communicative abilities—Cognitive Pragmatic Treatment (CPT)—has been developed and previously tested on a sample of patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), whose performance was found to have improved. Since cortical plasticity has been recognized as the main mechanism of functional recovery, we investigated whether and how behavioral improvements following the training program are accompanied by brain modifications. Eight TBI patients took part in the training program and were behaviorally assessed pre- and post-treatment; six of these patients were also evaluated with pre- and post-treatment resting state (rs) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). At the end of the rehabilitation program patients showed improvement in overall communicative performance, in both comprehension and production tasks. A follow-up retest revealed the stability of these results 3 months after completing the training program. At the brain level, we found significant increases in the amplitude of low frequency fluctuation (ALFF) index in the bilateral precentral gyrus, in the right middle and superior temporal gyri, in the right cingulate gyrus, and in the left inferior parietal lobule. We discuss these differences of brain activity in terms of their possible contribution to promoting recovery. PMID:27047353

  2. A strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae evolved for fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass displays improved growth and fermentative ability in high solids concentrations and in the presence of inhibitory compounds

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Softwoods are the dominant source of lignocellulosic biomass in the northern hemisphere, and have been investigated worldwide as a renewable substrate for cellulosic ethanol production. One challenge to using softwoods, which is particularly acute with pine, is that the pretreatment process produces inhibitory compounds detrimental to the growth and metabolic activity of fermenting organisms. To overcome the challenge of bioconversion in the presence of inhibitory compounds, especially at high solids loading, a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae was subjected to evolutionary engineering and adaptation for fermentation of pretreated pine wood (Pinus taeda). Results An industrial strain of Saccharomyces, XR122N, was evolved using pretreated pine; the resulting daughter strain, AJP50, produced ethanol much more rapidly than its parent in fermentations of pretreated pine. Adaptation, by preculturing of the industrial yeast XR122N and the evolved strains in 7% dry weight per volume (w/v) pretreated pine solids prior to inoculation into higher solids concentrations, improved fermentation performance of all strains compared with direct inoculation into high solids. Growth comparisons between XR122N and AJP50 in model hydrolysate media containing inhibitory compounds found in pretreated biomass showed that AJP50 exited lag phase faster under all conditions tested. This was due, in part, to the ability of AJP50 to rapidly convert furfural and hydroxymethylfurfural to their less toxic alcohol derivatives, and to recover from reactive oxygen species damage more quickly than XR122N. Under industrially relevant conditions of 17.5% w/v pretreated pine solids loading, additional evolutionary engineering was required to decrease the pronounced lag phase. Using a combination of adaptation by inoculation first into a solids loading of 7% w/v for 24 hours, followed by a 10% v/v inoculum (approximately equivalent to 1 g/L dry cell weight) into 17.5% w/v solids, the final

  3. Higher Level Thinking Abilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mills, Barbara, Ed.

    This report describes two systems designed to improve teaching competencies and to develop higher level thinking abilities, and presents the evaluation design, statistical results, and a brief history of the major events which occurred during development. The McCollum-Davis Model is designed to develop understanding of and skill in relating a…

  4. Significantly improved luminescence properties of nitrogen-polar (0001̅) InGaN multiple quantum wells grown by pulsed metalorganic chemical vapor deposition.

    PubMed

    Song, Jie; Chang, Shih-Pang; Zhang, Cheng; Hsu, Ta-Cheng; Han, Jung

    2015-01-14

    We have demonstrated nitrogen-polar (0001̅) (N-polar) InGaN multiple quantum wells (MQWs) with significantly improved luminescence properties prepared by pulsed metalorganic chemical vapor deposition. During the growth of InGaN quantum wells, Ga and N sources are alternately injected into the reactor to alter the surface stoichiometry. The influence of flow duration in pulsed growth mode on the luminescence properties has been studied. We find that use of pulsed-mode creates a high density of hexagonal mounds with an increased InGaN growth rate and enhanced In composition around screw-type dislocations, resulting in remarkably improved luminescence properties. The mechanism of enhanced luminescence caused by the hexagonal mounds is discussed. Luminescence properties of N-polar InGaN MQWs grown with short pulse durations have been significantly improved in comparison with a sample grown by a conventional continuous growth method.

  5. Predictive ability of waist-to-height in relation to adiposity in children is not improved with age and sex-specific values.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Rachael W; Williams, Sheila M; Grant, Andrea M; Taylor, Barry J; Goulding, Ailsa

    2011-05-01

    A waist-to-height ratio (WHtR) ≥0.5 indicates increased health risk in children and adults. However, because of residual correlation between WHtR and height in children, dividing waist circumference by height to the power of one may be insufficient to correctly adjust for height during growth. This study aimed to determine whether age and sex-specific exponents which properly adjust for height affect the predictive ability of WHtR to correctly discriminate between children with differing fat distribution. Total and regional body fat was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in 778 (49% male) children and adolescents. WHtR was calculated as waist/height(1) (WHtR(a)), and using two published age and sex-specific exponents for height (WHtR(b)) (1) (WHtR(c)) (2), and compared with various DXA indexes of body composition using receiver operating curve analysis. 15% of males and 17% of females had a WHtR(a) ≥0.5, with corresponding figures of 8% and 27% for WHtR(b), and 23% and 17% for WHtR(c). WHtR(a) was significantly different from WHtR(b) (males only, P < 0.001) but not WHtR(c) (P = 0.121). Areas under the receiver operating curve (AUC) for WHtR(a) were significantly higher than AUCs for WHtR(b) or WHtR(c) in relation to DXA-measured body composition (AUCs ≥0.89 for WHtR(a) compared with AUCs of 0.71-0.84 for WHtR(b) and WHtR(c)). Simply dividing waist circumference by height (WHtR(a)) correctly discriminates between children and adolescents with low and high levels of total and central fat at least 90% of the time. Keeping your waist circumference to less than half your height provides an effective screening index of body composition during growth.

  6. Use of hyaluronan in the selection of sperm for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): significant improvement in clinical outcomes—multicenter, double-blinded and randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Worrilow, K.C.; Eid, S.; Woodhouse, D.; Perloe, M.; Smith, S.; Witmyer, J.; Ivani, K.; Khoury, C.; Ball, G.D.; Elliot, T.; Lieberman, J.

    2013-01-01

    STUDY QUESTION Does the selection of sperm for ICSI based on their ability to bind to hyaluronan improve the clinical pregnancy rates (CPR) (primary end-point), implantation (IR) and pregnancy loss rates (PLR)? SUMMARY ANSWER In couples where ≤65% of sperm bound hyaluronan, the selection of hyaluronan-bound (HB) sperm for ICSI led to a statistically significant reduction in PLR. WHAT IS KNOWN AND WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS HB sperm demonstrate enhanced developmental parameters which have been associated with successful fertilization and embryogenesis. Sperm selected for ICSI using a liquid source of hyaluronan achieved an improvement in IR. A pilot study by the primary author demonstrated that the use of HB sperm in ICSI was associated with improved CPR. The current study represents the single largest prospective, multicenter, double-blinded and randomized controlled trial to evaluate the use of hyaluronan in the selection of sperm for ICSI. DESIGN Using the hyaluronan binding assay, an HB score was determined for the fresh or initial (I-HB) and processed or final semen specimen (F-HB). Patients were classified as >65% or ≤65% I-HB and stratified accordingly. Patients with I-HB scores ≤65% were randomized into control and HB selection (HYAL) groups whereas patients with I-HB >65% were randomized to non-participatory (NP), control or HYAL groups, in a ratio of 2:1:1. The NP group was included in the >65% study arm to balance the higher prevalence of patients with I-HB scores >65%. In the control group, oocytes received sperm selected via the conventional assessment of motility and morphology. In the HYAL group, HB sperm meeting the same visual criteria were selected for injection. Patient participants and clinical care providers were blinded to group assignment. PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING Eight hundred two couples treated with ICSI in 10 private and hospital-based IVF programs were enrolled in this study. Of the 484 patients stratified to the I-HB > 65% arm, 115

  7. Treatment with zinc, d-aspartate, and coenzyme Q10 protects bull sperm against damage and improves their ability to support embryo development.

    PubMed

    Gualtieri, R; Barbato, V; Fiorentino, I; Braun, S; Rizos, D; Longobardi, S; Talevi, R

    2014-09-01

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are physiologically generated during mitochondrial respiration and are involved in several signaling mechanisms. However, under pathological conditions, the concentration of ROS may exceed the antioxidant scavenging systems and subsequently lead to cell damage. High ROS levels have been proven to be detrimental to spermatozoa and furthermore compromise sperm function through lipid peroxidation, protein damage, and DNA strand breakage. Although the oral administration of antioxidants has been demonstrated to improve the semen quality in subfertile men, it is still a matter of debate if it can positively influence fertilization outcome and embryo developmental competence. Studies carried out in suitable animal models could resolve these fundamental questions. Hence, the main aims of the present study were to evaluate: (1) the effects of zinc, d-aspartate, and coenzyme Q10, included in the dietary supplement Genadis (Merck Serono), on bull sperm motility and DNA fragmentation; and (2) whether treated spermatozoa have a superior competence in fertilization and in supporting the development of healthy embryos. Our data indicate that this treatment prevents the loss of sperm motility and the rise in sperm DNA fragmentation over time. Moreover, blastocyst rate was found to be significantly higher in oocytes fertilized by treated spermatozoa, and these blastocysts harbored a significantly lower percentage of apoptotic cells.

  8. An educational intervention to improve the endoscopist’s ability to correctly diagnose small gastric lesions using magnifying endoscopy with narrow-band imaging

    PubMed Central

    Mabe, Katsuhiro; Yao, Kenshi; Nojima, Masanori; Tanuma, Tokuma; Kato, Mototsugu

    2014-01-01

    Background Magnifying endoscopy with narrow-band imaging (ME-NBI) and a simple and systematic classification system based on microvascular and microsurface patterns, the “VS” classification system (VSCS), have been shown to be useful for the diagnosis of early gastric cancer. The aim of this study was to clarify whether an educational lecture about the VSCS improves performance with ME-NBI. Methods Sixty-four gastrointestinal endoscopists took the 1st exam before receiving the lecture about the VSCS, the 2nd exam immediately after the lecture, and the 3rd exam 2 months after the lecture. We compared the VSCS-based diagnostic accuracy among the participants before and after the lecture. Results The proportion of correct diagnoses was significantly higher, at 70.8% in the 2nd exam than in the 1st exam, at 53.1% (P<0.001). The correct diagnosis rate in the 3rd exam was significantly lower than that in the 2nd exam (60.9% vs. 70.8%; P<0.001) but was still higher than that in the 1st exam (60.9% vs. 53.1%; P<0.001). The difference in proportion of correct diagnosis between the 2nd and the 3rd exams was smaller among routine ME-NBI practitioners (n=6; 79.2% and 76.1%, respectively), compared to that among non-routine practitioners (n=34; 71.6% and 59.8%, respectively) or non-practitioners (n=24; 67.5% and 58.8%, respectively). Conclusion This study revealed that an educational intervention increased correct diagnosis rate of small gastric lesions using the VSCS, diagnosis criteria based on ME-NBI and also showed that the routine use of the modality and the diagnosis criteria was necessary to maintain diagnostic skills. PMID:24733047

  9. Optimization of Deep Drilling Performance - Development and Benchmark Testing of Advanced Diamond Product Drill Bits & HP/HT Fluids to Significantly Improve Rates of Penetration

    SciTech Connect

    Alan Black; Arnis Judzis

    2005-09-30

    This document details the progress to date on the OPTIMIZATION OF DEEP DRILLING PERFORMANCE--DEVELOPMENT AND BENCHMARK TESTING OF ADVANCED DIAMOND PRODUCT DRILL BITS AND HP/HT FLUIDS TO SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE RATES OF PENETRATION contract for the year starting October 2004 through September 2005. The industry cost shared program aims to benchmark drilling rates of penetration in selected simulated deep formations and to significantly improve ROP through a team development of aggressive diamond product drill bit--fluid system technologies. Overall the objectives are as follows: Phase 1--Benchmark ''best in class'' diamond and other product drilling bits and fluids and develop concepts for a next level of deep drilling performance; Phase 2--Develop advanced smart bit-fluid prototypes and test at large scale; and Phase 3--Field trial smart bit--fluid concepts, modify as necessary and commercialize products. As of report date, TerraTek has concluded all Phase 1 testing and is planning Phase 2 development.

  10. Effectiveness of the IMPACT:Ability Program to Improve Safety and Self-Advocacy Skills in High School Students with Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dryden, Eileen M.; Desmarais, Jeffery; Arsenault, Lisa

    2014-01-01

    Background: Individuals with disabilities experience higher rates of abuse than the nondisabled. Few evidence-based prevention interventions have been published despite a need for such work. This study evaluated IMPACT:Ability, a safety and self-advocacy training for individuals with cognitive and/or physical disabilities. Methods: A…

  11. Improving Students' Summary Writing Ability through Collaboration: A Comparison between Online Wiki Group and Conventional Face-To-Face Group

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wichadee, Saovapa

    2013-01-01

    Wikis, as one of the Web 2.0 social networking tools, have been increasingly integrated into second language (L2) instruction to promote collaborative writing. The current study examined and compared summary writing abilities between students learning by wiki-based collaboration and students learning by traditional face-to-face collaboration.…

  12. Significantly enhanced tumor cellular and lysosomal hydroxychloroquine delivery by smart liposomes for optimal autophagy inhibition and improved antitumor efficiency with liposomal doxorubicin.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yang; Shi, Kairong; Zhang, Li; Hu, Guanlian; Wan, Jingyu; Tang, Jiajing; Yin, Sheng; Duan, Jiandong; Qin, Ming; Wang, Neng; Xie, Dandan; Gao, Xinle; Gao, Huile; Zhang, Zhirong; He, Qin

    2016-06-01

    Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) inhibits autophagy and therefore can sensitize some cancer cells to chemotherapy, but the high doses required limit its clinical use. Here we show that loading HCQ into liposomes (HCQ/Lip) decorated with a pH-sensitive TH-RGD targeting peptide (HCQ/Lip-TR) can concentrate HCQ in B16F10 tumor cells and lysosomes. HCQ/Lip-TR was efficiently internalized as a result of its ability to bind ITGAV-ITGB3/integrin αvβ3 receptors highly expressed on the tumor cell surface and to undergo charge reversal from anionic at pH 7.4 to cationic at pH 6.5. Studies in vitro at pH 6.5 showed that the intracellular HCQ concentration was 35.68-fold higher, and lysosomal HCQ concentration 32.22-fold higher, after treating cultures with HCQ/Lip-TR than after treating them with free HCQ. The corresponding enhancements observed in mice bearing B16F10 tumors were 15.16-fold within tumor cells and 14.10-fold within lysosomes. HCQ/Lip-TR was associated with milder anemia and milder myosuppressive reductions in white blood cell and platelet counts than free HCQ, as well as less accumulation in the small intestine, which may reduce risk of intestinal side effects. In addition, co-delivering HCQ/Lip-TR with either free doxorubicin (DOX) or liposomal DOX improved the ability of DOX to inhibit tumor growth. Biochemical, electron microscopy and immunofluorescence experiments confirmed that HCQ/Lip-TR blocked autophagic flux in tumor cells. Our results suggest that loading HCQ into Lip-TR liposomes may increase the effective concentration of the inhibitor in tumor cells, allowing less toxic doses to be used. PMID:27123811

  13. Using an Extended Dynamic Drag-and-Drop Assistive Program to Assist People with Multiple Disabilities and Minimal Motor Control to Improve Computer Drag-and-Drop Ability through a Mouse Wheel

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shih, Ching-Hsiang

    2012-01-01

    Software technology is adopted by the current research to improve the Drag-and-Drop abilities of two people with multiple disabilities and minimal motor control. This goal was realized through a Dynamic Drag-and-Drop Assistive Program (DDnDAP) in which the complex dragging process is replaced by simply poking the mouse wheel and clicking. However,…

  14. Co-overexpressing a Plasma Membrane and a Vacuolar Membrane Sodium/Proton Antiporter Significantly Improves Salt Tolerance in Transgenic Arabidopsis Plants

    PubMed Central

    Pehlivan, Necla; Sun, Li; Jarrett, Philip; Yang, Xiaojie; Mishra, Neelam; Chen, Lin; Kadioglu, Asim; Shen, Guoxin; Zhang, Hong

    2016-01-01

    The Arabidopsis gene AtNHX1 encodes a vacuolar membrane-bound sodium/proton (Na+/H+) antiporter that transports Na+ into the vacuole and exports H+ into the cytoplasm. The Arabidopsis gene SOS1 encodes a plasma membrane-bound Na+/H+ antiporter that exports Na+ to the extracellular space and imports H+ into the plant cell. Plants rely on these enzymes either to keep Na+ out of the cell or to sequester Na+ into vacuoles to avoid the toxic level of Na+ in the cytoplasm. Overexpression of AtNHX1 or SOS1 could improve salt tolerance in transgenic plants, but the improved salt tolerance is limited. NaCl at concentration >200 mM would kill AtNHX1-overexpressing or SOS1-overexpressing plants. Here it is shown that co-overexpressing AtNHX1 and SOS1 could further improve salt tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis plants, making transgenic Arabidopsis able to tolerate up to 250 mM NaCl treatment. Furthermore, co-overexpression of AtNHX1 and SOS1 could significantly reduce yield loss caused by the combined stresses of heat and salt, confirming the hypothesis that stacked overexpression of two genes could substantially improve tolerance against multiple stresses. This research serves as a proof of concept for improving salt tolerance in other plants including crops. PMID:26985021

  15. Stabilization of collagen nanofibers with L-lysine improves the ability of carbodiimide cross-linked amniotic membranes to preserve limbal epithelial progenitor cells.

    PubMed

    Lai, Jui-Yang; Wang, Pei-Ran; Luo, Li-Jyuan; Chen, Si-Tan

    2014-01-01

    To overcome the drawbacks associated with limited cross-linking efficiency of carbodiimide modified amniotic membrane, this study investigated the use of L-lysine as an additional amino acid bridge to enhance the stability of a nanofibrous tissue matrix for a limbal epithelial cell culture platform. Results of ninhydrin assays and zeta potential measurements showed that the amount of positively charged amino acid residues incorporated into the tissue collagen chains is highly correlated with the L-lysine-pretreated concentration. The cross-linked structure and hydrophilicity of amniotic membrane scaffolding materials affected by the lysine molecular bridging effects were determined. With an increase in the L-lysine-pretreated concentration from 1 to 30 mM, the cross-linking density was significantly increased and water content was markedly decreased. The variations in resistance to thermal denaturation and enzymatic degradation were in accordance with the number of cross-links per unit mass of amniotic membrane, indicating L-lysine-modulated stabilization of collagen molecules. It was also noteworthy that the carbodiimide cross-linked tissue samples prepared using a relatively high L-lysine-pretreated concentration (ie, 30 mM) appeared to have decreased light transmittance and biocompatibility, probably due to the influence of a large nanofiber size and a high charge density. The rise in stemness gene and protein expression levels was dependent on improved cross-link formation, suggesting the crucial role of amino acid bridges in constructing suitable scaffolds to preserve limbal progenitor cells. It is concluded that mild to moderate pretreatment conditions (ie, 3-10 mM L-lysine) can provide a useful strategy to assist in the development of carbodiimide cross-linked amniotic membrane as a stable stem cell niche for corneal epithelial tissue engineering. PMID:25395849

  16. Stabilization of collagen nanofibers with L-lysine improves the ability of carbodiimide cross-linked amniotic membranes to preserve limbal epithelial progenitor cells.

    PubMed

    Lai, Jui-Yang; Wang, Pei-Ran; Luo, Li-Jyuan; Chen, Si-Tan

    2014-01-01

    To overcome the drawbacks associated with limited cross-linking efficiency of carbodiimide modified amniotic membrane, this study investigated the use of L-lysine as an additional amino acid bridge to enhance the stability of a nanofibrous tissue matrix for a limbal epithelial cell culture platform. Results of ninhydrin assays and zeta potential measurements showed that the amount of positively charged amino acid residues incorporated into the tissue collagen chains is highly correlated with the L-lysine-pretreated concentration. The cross-linked structure and hydrophilicity of amniotic membrane scaffolding materials affected by the lysine molecular bridging effects were determined. With an increase in the L-lysine-pretreated concentration from 1 to 30 mM, the cross-linking density was significantly increased and water content was markedly decreased. The variations in resistance to thermal denaturation and enzymatic degradation were in accordance with the number of cross-links per unit mass of amniotic membrane, indicating L-lysine-modulated stabilization of collagen molecules. It was also noteworthy that the carbodiimide cross-linked tissue samples prepared using a relatively high L-lysine-pretreated concentration (ie, 30 mM) appeared to have decreased light transmittance and biocompatibility, probably due to the influence of a large nanofiber size and a high charge density. The rise in stemness gene and protein expression levels was dependent on improved cross-link formation, suggesting the crucial role of amino acid bridges in constructing suitable scaffolds to preserve limbal progenitor cells. It is concluded that mild to moderate pretreatment conditions (ie, 3-10 mM L-lysine) can provide a useful strategy to assist in the development of carbodiimide cross-linked amniotic membrane as a stable stem cell niche for corneal epithelial tissue engineering.

  17. Stabilization of collagen nanofibers with l-lysine improves the ability of carbodiimide cross-linked amniotic membranes to preserve limbal epithelial progenitor cells

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Jui-Yang; Wang, Pei-Ran; Luo, Li-Jyuan; Chen, Si-Tan

    2014-01-01

    To overcome the drawbacks associated with limited cross-linking efficiency of carbodiimide modified amniotic membrane, this study investigated the use of l-lysine as an additional amino acid bridge to enhance the stability of a nanofibrous tissue matrix for a limbal epithelial cell culture platform. Results of ninhydrin assays and zeta potential measurements showed that the amount of positively charged amino acid residues incorporated into the tissue collagen chains is highly correlated with the l-lysine-pretreated concentration. The cross-linked structure and hydrophilicity of amniotic membrane scaffolding materials affected by the lysine molecular bridging effects were determined. With an increase in the l-lysine-pretreated concentration from 1 to 30 mM, the cross-linking density was significantly increased and water content was markedly decreased. The variations in resistance to thermal denaturation and enzymatic degradation were in accordance with the number of cross-links per unit mass of amniotic membrane, indicating l-lysine-modulated stabilization of collagen molecules. It was also noteworthy that the carbodiimide cross-linked tissue samples prepared using a relatively high l-lysine-pretreated concentration (ie, 30 mM) appeared to have decreased light transmittance and biocompatibility, probably due to the influence of a large nanofiber size and a high charge density. The rise in stemness gene and protein expression levels was dependent on improved cross-link formation, suggesting the crucial role of amino acid bridges in constructing suitable scaffolds to preserve limbal progenitor cells. It is concluded that mild to moderate pretreatment conditions (ie, 3–10 mM l-lysine) can provide a useful strategy to assist in the development of carbodiimide cross-linked amniotic membrane as a stable stem cell niche for corneal epithelial tissue engineering. PMID:25395849

  18. Early Workplace Intervention to Improve the Work Ability of Employees with Musculoskeletal Disorders in a German University Hospital-Results of a Pilot Study.

    PubMed

    Schwarze, Monika; Egen, Christoph; Gutenbrunner, Christoph; Schriek, Stephanie

    2016-01-01

    Health promotion is becoming increasingly important in work life. Healthcare workers seem to be at special risk, experiencing musculoskeletal disorders (MSD); their situation is strongly influenced by demographic changes. The aim of this study is to evaluate the feasibility and outcome of a worksite intervention. In a one-group pretest-posttest design, 118 employees of a hospital were recruited from 2010 to 2011. The raised parameters were satisfaction with the program, work ability (Work Ability Index), and sickness absence (provided by human resource management). Patient-reported questionnaire data was raised at baseline (t1) and after three months (t2). Sickness leave was evaluated in the period six months prior to and six months after the intervention. Means, frequencies, standardized effect sizes (SES), analysis of variance, and regression analysis were carried out. Participants were found to be highly satisfied. Work ability increased with moderate effects (SES = 0.34; p < 0.001) and prognosis of gainful employment (SES = -0.19; p ≤ 0.047) with small effects. Days of MSD-related sickness absence were reduced by 38.5% after six months. The worksite intervention program is transferable to a hospital setting and integration in occupational health management is recommended. The use of a control group is necessary to demonstrate the effectiveness. PMID:27618120

  19. Synthesis and characterization of F-doped Cs0.33WO3-xFx particles with improved near infrared shielding ability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jingxiao; Luo, Jiayu; Shi, Fei; Liu, Suhua; Fan, Chuanyan; Xu, Qiang; Shao, Guolin

    2015-01-01

    F-doped Cs0.33WO3-xFx particles were successfully synthesized by the hydrothermal method with hydrofluoric acid as fluorine source, and a new kind of heat insulating films were prepared from dispersion of Cs0.33WO3-xFx nanoparticles in polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) aqueous solution. The effects of F doping on the crystal structure and morphology of Cs0.33WO3-xFx particles as well as the near-infrared (NIR) shielding ability and heat insulation properties of Cs0.33WO3-xFx films were investigated. The results indicated that HF acid addition could promote the formation of rod-like Cs0.33WO3-xFx particles during hydrothermal synthesis and increase the yield of Cs0.33WO3-xFx powders. Moreover, the as-prepared films from dispersion solution of Cs0.33WO3-xFx particles exhibited higher near-infrared (NIR) shielding ability and heat insulating properties than that of the undoped Cs0.33WO3 film. Particularly, the as-prepared Cs0.33WO3-xFx sample with F/W (molar ratio)=0.45 showed best NIR shielding ability and transparent heat insulating performance. The formation mechanism of nanorod-like particles and the effects of F doping on the properties of Cs0.33WO3-xFx products were discussed.

  20. Early Workplace Intervention to Improve the Work Ability of Employees with Musculoskeletal Disorders in a German University Hospital—Results of a Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Schwarze, Monika; Egen, Christoph; Gutenbrunner, Christoph; Schriek, Stephanie

    2016-01-01

    Health promotion is becoming increasingly important in work life. Healthcare workers seem to be at special risk, experiencing musculoskeletal disorders (MSD); their situation is strongly influenced by demographic changes. The aim of this study is to evaluate the feasibility and outcome of a worksite intervention. In a one-group pretest-posttest design, 118 employees of a hospital were recruited from 2010 to 2011. The raised parameters were satisfaction with the program, work ability (Work Ability Index), and sickness absence (provided by human resource management). Patient-reported questionnaire data was raised at baseline (t1) and after three months (t2). Sickness leave was evaluated in the period six months prior to and six months after the intervention. Means, frequencies, standardized effect sizes (SES), analysis of variance, and regression analysis were carried out. Participants were found to be highly satisfied. Work ability increased with moderate effects (SES = 0.34; p < 0.001) and prognosis of gainful employment (SES = −0.19; p ≤ 0.047) with small effects. Days of MSD-related sickness absence were reduced by 38.5% after six months. The worksite intervention program is transferable to a hospital setting and integration in occupational health management is recommended. The use of a control group is necessary to demonstrate the effectiveness. PMID:27618120

  1. Significant Improvement of Optoelectronic and Photovoltaic Properties by Incorporating Thiophene in a Solution-Processable D-A-D Modular Chromophore.

    PubMed

    Raynor, Aaron M; Gupta, Akhil; Plummer, Christopher M; Jackson, Sam L; Bilic, Ante; Patil, Hemlata; Sonar, Prashant; Bhosale, Sheshanath V

    2015-01-01

    Through the incorporation of a thiophene functionality, a novel solution-processable small organic chromophore was designed, synthesized and characterized for application in bulk-heterojunction solar cells. The new chromophore, (2Z,2'Z)-2,2'-(1,4-phenylene)bis(3-(5-(4-(diphenylamino)phenyl)thiophen-2-yl)acrylonitrile) (coded as AS2), was based on a donor-acceptor-donor (D-A-D) module where a simple triphenylamine unit served as an electron donor, 1,4-phenylenediacetonitrile as an electron acceptor, and a thiophene ring as the π-bridge embedded between the donor and acceptor functionalities. AS2 was isolated as brick-red, needle-shaped crystals, and was fully characterized by ¹H- and (13)C-NMR, IR, mass spectrometry and single crystal X-ray diffraction. The optoelectronic and photovoltaic properties of AS2 were compared with those of a structural analogue, (2Z,2'Z)-2,2'-(1,4-phenylene)bis(3-(4-(diphenylamino)phenyl)-acrylonitrile) (AS1). Benefiting from the covalent thiophene bridges, compared to AS1 thin solid film, the AS2 film showed: (1) an enhancement of light-harvesting ability by 20%; (2) an increase in wavelength of the longest wavelength absorption maximum (497 nm vs. 470 nm) and (3) a narrower optical band-gap (1.93 eV vs. 2.17 eV). Studies on the photovoltaic properties revealed that the best AS2-[6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PC61BM)-based device showed an impressive enhanced power conversion efficiency of 4.10%, an approx. 3-fold increase with respect to the efficiency of the best AS1-based device (1.23%). These results clearly indicated that embodiment of thiophene functionality extended the molecular conjugation, thus enhancing the light-harvesting ability and short-circuit current density, while further improving the bulk-heterojunction device performance. To our knowledge, AS2 is the first example in the literature where a thiophene unit has been used in conjunction with a 1,4-phenylenediacetonitrile accepting functionality to extend

  2. Significant Improvement of Optoelectronic and Photovoltaic Properties by Incorporating Thiophene in a Solution-Processable D-A-D Modular Chromophore.

    PubMed

    Raynor, Aaron M; Gupta, Akhil; Plummer, Christopher M; Jackson, Sam L; Bilic, Ante; Patil, Hemlata; Sonar, Prashant; Bhosale, Sheshanath V

    2015-01-01

    Through the incorporation of a thiophene functionality, a novel solution-processable small organic chromophore was designed, synthesized and characterized for application in bulk-heterojunction solar cells. The new chromophore, (2Z,2'Z)-2,2'-(1,4-phenylene)bis(3-(5-(4-(diphenylamino)phenyl)thiophen-2-yl)acrylonitrile) (coded as AS2), was based on a donor-acceptor-donor (D-A-D) module where a simple triphenylamine unit served as an electron donor, 1,4-phenylenediacetonitrile as an electron acceptor, and a thiophene ring as the π-bridge embedded between the donor and acceptor functionalities. AS2 was isolated as brick-red, needle-shaped crystals, and was fully characterized by ¹H- and (13)C-NMR, IR, mass spectrometry and single crystal X-ray diffraction. The optoelectronic and photovoltaic properties of AS2 were compared with those of a structural analogue, (2Z,2'Z)-2,2'-(1,4-phenylene)bis(3-(4-(diphenylamino)phenyl)-acrylonitrile) (AS1). Benefiting from the covalent thiophene bridges, compared to AS1 thin solid film, the AS2 film showed: (1) an enhancement of light-harvesting ability by 20%; (2) an increase in wavelength of the longest wavelength absorption maximum (497 nm vs. 470 nm) and (3) a narrower optical band-gap (1.93 eV vs. 2.17 eV). Studies on the photovoltaic properties revealed that the best AS2-[6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PC61BM)-based device showed an impressive enhanced power conversion efficiency of 4.10%, an approx. 3-fold increase with respect to the efficiency of the best AS1-based device (1.23%). These results clearly indicated that embodiment of thiophene functionality extended the molecular conjugation, thus enhancing the light-harvesting ability and short-circuit current density, while further improving the bulk-heterojunction device performance. To our knowledge, AS2 is the first example in the literature where a thiophene unit has been used in conjunction with a 1,4-phenylenediacetonitrile accepting functionality to extend

  3. Synergistic Effects in Nanoengineered HNb3O8/Graphene Hybrids with Improved Photocatalytic Conversion Ability of CO2 into Renewable Fuels.

    PubMed

    Liu, He; Zhang, Haitao; Shen, Peng; Chen, Feixiong; Zhang, Suojiang

    2016-01-12

    Layered HNb3O8/graphene hybrids with numerous heterogeneous interfaces and hierarchical pores were fabricated via the reorganization of exfoliated HNb3O8 nanosheets with graphene nanosheets (GNs). Numerous interfaces and pores were created by the alternative stacking of HNb3O8 nanosheets with limited size and GNs with a buckling and folding feature. The photocatalytic conversation of CO2 into renewable fuels by optimized HNb3O8/G hybrids yields 8.0-fold improvements in CO evolution amounts than that of commercial P25 and 8.6-fold improvements than that of HNb3O8 bulk powders. The investigation on the relationships between microstructures and improved photocatalytic performance demonstrates that the improved photocatalytic performance is attributed to the exotic synergistic effects via the combination of enhanced specific BET surface area, increased strong acid sites and strong acid amounts, narrowed band gap energy, depressed electron-hole recombination rate, and heterogeneous interfaces.

  4. Synergistic Effects in Nanoengineered HNb3O8/Graphene Hybrids with Improved Photocatalytic Conversion Ability of CO2 into Renewable Fuels.

    PubMed

    Liu, He; Zhang, Haitao; Shen, Peng; Chen, Feixiong; Zhang, Suojiang

    2016-01-12

    Layered HNb3O8/graphene hybrids with numerous heterogeneous interfaces and hierarchical pores were fabricated via the reorganization of exfoliated HNb3O8 nanosheets with graphene nanosheets (GNs). Numerous interfaces and pores were created by the alternative stacking of HNb3O8 nanosheets with limited size and GNs with a buckling and folding feature. The photocatalytic conversation of CO2 into renewable fuels by optimized HNb3O8/G hybrids yields 8.0-fold improvements in CO evolution amounts than that of commercial P25 and 8.6-fold improvements than that of HNb3O8 bulk powders. The investigation on the relationships between microstructures and improved photocatalytic performance demonstrates that the improved photocatalytic performance is attributed to the exotic synergistic effects via the combination of enhanced specific BET surface area, increased strong acid sites and strong acid amounts, narrowed band gap energy, depressed electron-hole recombination rate, and heterogeneous interfaces. PMID:26695348

  5. Improvement of stress tolerance and leavening ability under multiple baking-associated stress conditions by overexpression of the SNR84 gene in baker's yeast.

    PubMed

    Lin, Xue; Zhang, Cui-Ying; Bai, Xiao-Wen; Feng, Bing; Xiao, Dong-Guang

    2015-03-16

    During the bread-making process, industrial baker's yeast cells are exposed to multiple baking-associated stresses, such as elevated high-temperature, high-sucrose and freeze-thaw stresses. There is a high demand for baker's yeast strains that could withstand these stresses with high leavening ability. The SNR84 gene encodes H/ACA snoRNA (small nucleolar RNA), which is known to be involved in pseudouridylation of the large subunit rRNA. However, the function of the SNR84 gene in baker's yeast coping with baking-associated stresses remains unclear. In this study, we explored the effect of SNR84 overexpression on baker's yeast which was exposed to high-temperature, high-sucrose and freeze-thaw stresses. These results suggest that overexpression of the SNR84 gene conferred tolerance of baker's yeast cells to high-temperature, high-sucrose and freeze-thaw stresses and enhanced their leavening ability in high-sucrose and freeze-thaw dough. These findings could provide a valuable insight for breeding of novel stress-resistant baker's yeast strains that are useful for baking.

  6. Improvement of stress tolerance and leavening ability under multiple baking-associated stress conditions by overexpression of the SNR84 gene in baker's yeast.

    PubMed

    Lin, Xue; Zhang, Cui-Ying; Bai, Xiao-Wen; Feng, Bing; Xiao, Dong-Guang

    2015-03-16

    During the bread-making process, industrial baker's yeast cells are exposed to multiple baking-associated stresses, such as elevated high-temperature, high-sucrose and freeze-thaw stresses. There is a high demand for baker's yeast strains that could withstand these stresses with high leavening ability. The SNR84 gene encodes H/ACA snoRNA (small nucleolar RNA), which is known to be involved in pseudouridylation of the large subunit rRNA. However, the function of the SNR84 gene in baker's yeast coping with baking-associated stresses remains unclear. In this study, we explored the effect of SNR84 overexpression on baker's yeast which was exposed to high-temperature, high-sucrose and freeze-thaw stresses. These results suggest that overexpression of the SNR84 gene conferred tolerance of baker's yeast cells to high-temperature, high-sucrose and freeze-thaw stresses and enhanced their leavening ability in high-sucrose and freeze-thaw dough. These findings could provide a valuable insight for breeding of novel stress-resistant baker's yeast strains that are useful for baking. PMID:25555226

  7. Mutants of bacteriophage T4 deficient in the ability to induce nuclear disruption: shutoff of host DNA and protein synthesis gene dosage experiments, identification of a restrictive host, and possible biological significance.

    PubMed

    Snustad, D P; Bursch, C J; Parson, K A; Hefeneider, S H

    1976-04-01

    The shutoff of host DNA synthesis is delayed until about 8 to 10 min after infection when Escherichia coli B/5 cells were infected with bacteriophage T4 mutants deficient in the ability to induce nuclear disruption (ndd mutants). The host DNA synthesized after infection with ndd mutants is stable in the absence of T4 endonucleases II and IV, but is unstable in the presence of these nucleases. Host protein synthesis, as indicated by the inducibility of beta-galactosidase and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel patterns of isoptopically labeled proteins synthesize after infection, is shut off normally in ndd-infected cells, even in the absence of host DNA degradation. The Cal Tech wild-type strain of E. coli CT447 was found to restrict growth of the ndd mutants. Since T4D+ also has a very low efficiency of plating on CT447, we have isolated a nitrosoguanidine-induced derivative of CT447 which yields a high T4D+ efficiency of plating while still restricting the ndd mutants. Using this derivative, CT447 T4 plq+ (for T4 plaque+), we have shown that hos DNA degradation and shutoff of host DNA synthesis occur after infection with either ndd98 X 5 (shutoff delayed) or T4D+ (shutoff normal) with approximately the same kinetics as in E. coli strain B/5. Nuclear disruption occurs after infection of CT447 with ndd+ phage, but not after infection with ndd- phage. The rate of DNA synthesis after infection of CT447 T4 plq+ with ndd98 X 5 is about 75% of the rate observed after infection with T4D+ while the burst size of ndd98 X 5 is only 3.5% of that of T4D+. The results of gene dosage experiments using the ndd restrictive host C5447 suggest that the ndd gene product is required in stoichiometric amounts. The observation by thin-section electron microscopy of two distinct pools of DNA, one apparently phage DNA and the other host DNA, in cells infected with nuclear disruption may be a compartmentalization mechanism which separates the pathways of host DNA degradation and

  8. An Industry/DOE Program to Develop and Benchmark Advanced Diamond Product Drill Bits and HP/HT Drilling Fluids to Significantly Improve Rates of Penetration

    SciTech Connect

    TerraTek

    2007-06-30

    A deep drilling research program titled 'An Industry/DOE Program to Develop and Benchmark Advanced Diamond Product Drill Bits and HP/HT Drilling Fluids to Significantly Improve Rates of Penetration' was conducted at TerraTek's Drilling and Completions Laboratory. Drilling tests were run to simulate deep drilling by using high bore pressures and high confining and overburden stresses. The purpose of this testing was to gain insight into practices that would improve rates of penetration and mechanical specific energy while drilling under high pressure conditions. Thirty-seven test series were run utilizing a variety of drilling parameters which allowed analysis of the performance of drill bits and drilling fluids. Five different drill bit types or styles were tested: four-bladed polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC), 7-bladed PDC in regular and long profile, roller-cone, and impregnated. There were three different rock types used to simulate deep formations: Mancos shale, Carthage marble, and Crab Orchard sandstone. The testing also analyzed various drilling fluids and the extent to which they improved drilling. The PDC drill bits provided the best performance overall. The impregnated and tungsten carbide insert roller-cone drill bits performed poorly under the conditions chosen. The cesium formate drilling fluid outperformed all other drilling muds when drilling in the Carthage marble and Mancos shale with PDC drill bits. The oil base drilling fluid with manganese tetroxide weighting material provided the best performance when drilling the Crab Orchard sandstone.

  9. The synthesis of lamellar nano MgB2 grains with nanoimpurities, flux pinning centers and their significantly improved critical current density.

    PubMed

    Ma, Zongqing; Liu, Yongchang; Cai, Qi

    2012-03-21

    MgB(2) superconductors with unique microstructures were rapidly fabricated at low temperatures, and exhibited significantly improved critical current density (J(c)). According to the microstructure observations, the prepared samples consisted of lamellar nano MgB(2) grains with many embedded nanoimpurities (about 10 nm). The formation of these lamellar nano MgB(2) grains is associated with the presence of a local Mg-Cu liquid at sintering temperatures as low as 575 °C. The ball milling treatment of the original powders also plays a positive role in the growth of lamellar grains. Based on an analysis of the relationship between resistivity and temperature, the lamellar nano MgB(2) grains in the prepared sample possess better grain connectivity than the typical morphology of MgB(2) samples prepared by traditional high-temperature sintering. Furthermore, the presence of many nano MgB(2) grain boundaries and nano impurities in the prepared sample can obviously increase the flux pinning centers in accordance with the analysis of flux pinning behavior. Both factors mentioned above contribute to the significant improvement in J(c) from low field to relative high field. The method developed in the present work is an effective and low-cost way to further enhance J(c) in MgB(2) superconductors across a wide range of applied magnetic fields without using expensive nanometer-sized dopants.

  10. Successful Application of a Canadian Mental Health Curriculum Resource by Usual Classroom Teachers in Significantly and Sustainably Improving Student Mental Health Literacy

    PubMed Central

    Kutcher, Stan; Wei, Yifeng; Morgan, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To investigate whether the significant and substantive findings from a previous study of youth mental health literacy (MHL) could be replicated using the same methods in another population. Method: We examined the impact of a curriculum resource, the Mental Health and High School Curriculum Guide (The Guide), taught by usual classroom teachers on students’ knowledge and attitudes related to mental health and mental illness in Canadian secondary schools. Survey data were collected before, immediately after, and 2 months after implementation of The Guide by teachers in usual classroom teaching. We conducted paired-sample t tests and calculated the Cohen d value to determine outcomes and impact of the curriculum resource application. Results: One hundred fourteen students were matched for analysis of knowledge data and 112 students were matched for analysis of attitude data at pre-intervention, post-intervention, and 2-month follow-up time periods. Following classroom exposure to the curriculum resource, students’ knowledge scores increased significantly and substantively, compared with baseline (P < 0.001, d = 1.11), and this was maintained at 2-month follow-up (P < 0.001, d = 0.91). Similar findings for attitude improvement were found (P < 0.001, d = 0.66), and this improvement was maintained at 2-month follow-up (P < 0.001, d = 0.52). Conclusions: These findings corroborate those from a previous study conducted in a different location. Taken together these results suggest a simple but effective approach to improving MHL in young people by embedding a classroom resource, delivered by usual classroom teachers in usual school settings. PMID:26720827

  11. A high-enrollment course-based undergraduate research experience improves student conceptions of scientific thinking and ability to interpret data.

    PubMed

    Brownell, Sara E; Hekmat-Scafe, Daria S; Singla, Veena; Chandler Seawell, Patricia; Conklin Imam, Jamie F; Eddy, Sarah L; Stearns, Tim; Cyert, Martha S

    2015-01-01

    We present an innovative course-based undergraduate research experience curriculum focused on the characterization of single point mutations in p53, a tumor suppressor gene that is mutated in more than 50% of human cancers. This course is required of all introductory biology students, so all biology majors engage in a research project as part of their training. Using a set of open-ended written prompts, we found that the course shifts student conceptions of what it means to think like a scientist from novice to more expert-like. Students at the end of the course identified experimental repetition, data analysis, and collaboration as important elements of thinking like a scientist. Course exams revealed that students showed gains in their ability to analyze and interpret data. These data indicate that this course-embedded research experience has a positive impact on the development of students' conceptions and practice of scientific thinking. PMID:26033869

  12. A high-enrollment course-based undergraduate research experience improves student conceptions of scientific thinking and ability to interpret data.

    PubMed

    Brownell, Sara E; Hekmat-Scafe, Daria S; Singla, Veena; Chandler Seawell, Patricia; Conklin Imam, Jamie F; Eddy, Sarah L; Stearns, Tim; Cyert, Martha S

    2015-01-01

    We present an innovative course-based undergraduate research experience curriculum focused on the characterization of single point mutations in p53, a tumor suppressor gene that is mutated in more than 50% of human cancers. This course is required of all introductory biology students, so all biology majors engage in a research project as part of their training. Using a set of open-ended written prompts, we found that the course shifts student conceptions of what it means to think like a scientist from novice to more expert-like. Students at the end of the course identified experimental repetition, data analysis, and collaboration as important elements of thinking like a scientist. Course exams revealed that students showed gains in their ability to analyze and interpret data. These data indicate that this course-embedded research experience has a positive impact on the development of students' conceptions and practice of scientific thinking.

  13. A High-Enrollment Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experience Improves Student Conceptions of Scientific Thinking and Ability to Interpret Data

    PubMed Central

    Brownell, Sara E.; Hekmat-Scafe, Daria S.; Singla, Veena; Chandler Seawell, Patricia; Conklin Imam, Jamie F.; Eddy, Sarah L.; Stearns, Tim; Cyert, Martha S.

    2015-01-01

    We present an innovative course-based undergraduate research experience curriculum focused on the characterization of single point mutations in p53, a tumor suppressor gene that is mutated in more than 50% of human cancers. This course is required of all introductory biology students, so all biology majors engage in a research project as part of their training. Using a set of open-ended written prompts, we found that the course shifts student conceptions of what it means to think like a scientist from novice to more expert-like. Students at the end of the course identified experimental repetition, data analysis, and collaboration as important elements of thinking like a scientist. Course exams revealed that students showed gains in their ability to analyze and interpret data. These data indicate that this course-embedded research experience has a positive impact on the development of students’ conceptions and practice of scientific thinking. PMID:26033869

  14. AgrAbility Project

    MedlinePlus

    ... It’s About Hope AgrAbility on Twitter AgrAbility on Facebook AgrAbility on You Tube AgrAbility… It’s About Hope ... anniversary throughout 2016... AgrAbility Harvest Get a copy Facebook Posts National AgrAbility Project 5 days ago AgrAbility's ...

  15. Spirulina Supplements Improved the Nutritional Status of Undernourished Children Quickly and Significantly: Experience from Kisantu, the Democratic Republic of the Congo

    PubMed Central

    Takaisi, Kikuni; Nkuadiolandu, Adolphine Bedi; Kazadi Lukusa, Aimé; Aloni, Michel Ntetani

    2016-01-01

    Aim. Despite high levels of malnutrition, there is still very little information on the nutritional benefits of Spirulina, a natural alga that provides essential amino acids, rare essential lipids, and numerous minerals and vitamins, to undernourished children in the world. Methods. We carried out a prospective study of 50 children aged between six and 60 months. The intervention group consisted of 16 children who received 10 g of Spirulina daily, as well as the local diet administered by the nutritional centre, and the control group of 34 children who just received the local diet. Both groups of children were assessed on day zero, day 15, and day 30. Results. After treatment, the weight-for-age Z scores and weight-for-height Z scores increased significantly in the intervention group. At day 15, there was a statistically significant difference between the mean corpuscular volume, total proteins, and albumin (p < 0.05) in both groups, in favour of the intervention group, and at day 30, this difference extended to all of the studied parameters (p < 0.05). Conclusion. This study found that the nutritional status of undernourished children who received Spirulina supplements as well as the local diet administered by the nutritional centre improved quickly and significantly. PMID:27777589

  16. Using Graded Peer Evaluation to Improve Students' Writing Skills, Critical Thinking Ability, and Comprehension of Material in a Principles of Public Relations Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Todd, Vicki; Hudson, Jerry C.

    2007-01-01

    This peer-evaluation assignment encouraged students to think critically, synthesize information and write about public relations course material rather than incorporate surface information into written assignments. Because peer reviewers can improve the grades on their final papers by offering concrete suggestions to the original authors, students…

  17. The Effect of Using Socio-Scientific Issues Approach in Teaching Environmental Issues on Improving the Students' Ability of Making Appropriate Decisions towards These Issues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zo'bi, Abdallah Salim

    2014-01-01

    This study aimed to identify nature of students' decisions patterns towards environmental issues and the possibility to improve these decisions during teaching process using Socio-Scientific Issues Approach. And to achieve this, the researcher prepared and developed tools of the study represented by a test of open questions focused on…

  18. Does the new American Diabetes Association definition for impaired fasting glucose improve its ability to predict type 2 diabetes mellitus in Spanish persons? The Asturias Study.

    PubMed

    Valdés, Sergio; Botas, Patricia; Delgado, Elías; Alvarez, Francisco; Cadórniga, Francisco Diaz

    2008-03-01

    In 2003, the American Diabetes Association reduced the lower limit defining impaired fasting glucose (IFG) to 100 mg/dL. The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of this change in the definition of IFG in a low-risk white population from northern Spain. The Asturias Study is a prospective, population-based survey of diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors. The baseline examination was carried out between 1998 and 1999 when 1034 individuals (age range, 30-75 years) were randomly selected to determine the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus and prediabetes in the Principality of Asturias (northern Spain). In 2004 to 2005, these same subjects were invited for a follow-up examination. All participants without known diabetes underwent an oral glucose tolerance test both at baseline and follow-up. Application of the new American Diabetes Association definition resulted in 3 times more persons having IFG. The incidence rates of diabetes were 3.8, 19.5, and 58.0 per 1000 person-years in subjects with initial FPG values <100, 100 to 109, and 110 to 125 mg/dL, respectively. Inclusion of persons with an intermediate risk in the 100- to 109-mg/dL zone to the definition of IFG changed its positive predictive value, specificity, and sensitivity to predict diabetes from 36.5%, 94.5%, and 43.2% to 19.9%, 77.3%, and 75%, respectively. Receiver operating characteristics curve analysis including all the baseline fasting plasma glucose levels from 64 to 125 mg/dL depending on their ability to predict diabetes showed that the point closest to the ideal of 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity was 100 mg/dL. In conclusion, this study indicated that lowering the cutoff point for IFG optimizes its ability to predict diabetes in this Spanish population. The addition of other risk factors such as impaired glucose tolerance, hypertriglyceridemia, and overweight to IFG can stratify diabetes risk better.

  19. Intrarectal Amifostine During External Beam Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer Produces Significant Improvements in Quality of Life Measured by EPIC Score

    SciTech Connect

    Simone, Nicole L.; Menard, Cynthia; Soule, Benjamin P.; Albert, Paul S.; Guion, Peter; Smith, Sharon; Godette, Denise; Crouse, Nancy S.; Sciuto, Linda C.; Cooley-Zgela, Theresa; Camphausen, Kevin; Coleman, C. Norman; Singh, Anurag K. E-mail: singan@mail.nih.gov

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: To test whether intrarectal amifostine limits symptoms of radiation proctitis, measured by using the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity score and the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC) score. Methods and Materials: Patients with localized prostate cancer received amifostine as a rectal suspension 30-45 minutes before daily three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy. The first 18 patients received 1 g of amifostine, and the next 12 patients received 2 g. Toxicity was assessed at baseline, during treatment, and at follow-up visits by using RTOG grading and the EPIC Quality of Life (QoL) 50-item questionnaire. The Bowel Function subset of the bowel domain (EPIC-BF), which targets symptom severity, and the Bowel Bother subset of the bowel domain (EPIC-BB), which assesses QoL, were evaluated and compared with the RTOG GI toxicity score. Results: Median follow-up was 30 months (range, 18-36 months). Overall, EPIC-BF and EPIC-BB scores both tracked closely with the RTOG GI toxicity score. Seven weeks after the start of radiation therapy, the incidence of RTOG Grade 2 toxicity was 33% in the 1-g group (6/18 patients) compared with 0% (0/12 patients) in the 2-g group and trended toward statistical significance (p = 0.06). A significant difference between amifostine groups was observed using the EPIC-BF score at 7 weeks (p = 0.04). A difference in EPIC-BB scores between dose groups was evident at 7 weeks (p = 0.07) and was significant at 12 months (p = 0.04). Conclusions: Higher doses of amifostine produced significant improvements in acute and late bowel QoL (up to 1 year after therapy), measured using the EPIC score.

  20. Varying protein source and quantity does not significantly improve weight loss, fat loss, or satiety in reduced energy diets amongmidlife adults.1

    PubMed Central

    Aldrich, Noel D; Reicks, Marla M; Sibley, Shalamar D; Redmon, J Bruce; Thomas, William; Raatz, Susan K

    2011-01-01

    We hypothesized that a whey protein diet would result in greater weight loss and improved body compositioncompared to standard weight loss diets. Weight change, body composition, and renin angiotensin aldosterone system activity in midlife adults was compared between diet groups. Eighteen subjects enrolled ina5 month study of8 weeks controlled food intake followed by 12 weeks ad libitum intake. Subjects were randomized to one of three treatment groups: control diet (CD) (55% carbohydrate: 15% protein: 30% fat), mixed protein (MP) (40% carbohydrate: 30% protein: 30% fat), or whey protein (WP) (40% carbohydrate: 15% mixed protein: 15% whey protein: 30% fat). Measurements included weight, metabolic measures, body composition by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and resting energy expenditure. No statistically significant differences in total weight loss or total fat loss were observed between treatments, however, a trend toward greater total weight loss (p = 0.08) and total fat loss (p=0.09) was observed in the WP group compared to the CD group. Fat loss in the leg and gynoid regions was greater (p < 0.05) in the WP group than the CD group. No RAAS mediated response was observed, but a decrease in systolic blood pressure was significantly greater (p <0.05) in the WP group compared to the CD group. In summary, increased whey protein intake did not result in statistically significant differences in weight loss or in total fat loss, but significant differences in regional fat loss and in decreased blood pressure were observed in the WP group. PMID:21419314

  1. OPTIMIZATION OF DEEP DRILLING PERFORMANCE--DEVELOPMENT AND BENCHMARK TESTING OF ADVANCED DIAMOND PRODUCT DRILL BITS & HP/HT FLUIDS TO SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE RATES OF PENETRATION

    SciTech Connect

    Alan Black; Arnis Judzis

    2004-10-01

    The industry cost shared program aims to benchmark drilling rates of penetration in selected simulated deep formations and to significantly improve ROP through a team development of aggressive diamond product drill bit--fluid system technologies. Overall the objectives are as follows: Phase 1--Benchmark ''best in class'' diamond and other product drilling bits and fluids and develop concepts for a next level of deep drilling performance; Phase 2--Develop advanced smart bit-fluid prototypes and test at large scale; and Phase 3--Field trial smart bit-fluid concepts, modify as necessary and commercialize products. As of report date, TerraTek has concluded all major preparations for the high pressure drilling campaign. Baker Hughes encountered difficulties in providing additional pumping capacity before TerraTek's scheduled relocation to another facility, thus the program was delayed further to accommodate the full testing program.

  2. Improvement by sodium dl-α-tocopheryl-6-O-phosphate treatment of moisture-retaining ability in stratum corneum through increased ceramide levels.

    PubMed

    Kato, Eiko; Takahashi, Noriko

    2012-06-15

    Sodium dl-α-tocopheryl-6-O-phosphate (1), a water-soluble derivative of vitamin E (dl-α-tocopherol, 2), exhibits protective effects against various type of skin damage. As reported herein, we found that topical application of 1 improves hygroscopicity and water holding capacity in the stratum corneum of hairless mice in vivo by increasing the ceramide content. In normal human epidermal keratinocytes, treatment with 1 increases ceramide levels and enhances gene expression of serine palmitoyltransferase, which catalyzes the first step of ceramide synthesis in vitro. In addition, 1 increases gene expressions of differentiation markers (transglutaminase 1, cytokeratin 10, involucrin and loricrin), and intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations. These results suggest that 1 could be an excellent agent for improving skin moisture-retention by enhancing ceramide synthesis through the induction of differentiation.

  3. Steam cooking significantly improves in vitro bile acid binding of collard greens, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, green bell pepper, and cabbage.

    PubMed

    Kahlon, Talwinder Singh; Chiu, Mei-Chen M; Chapman, Mary H

    2008-06-01

    Bile acid binding capacity has been related to the cholesterol-lowering potential of foods and food fractions. Lowered recirculation of bile acids results in utilization of cholesterol to synthesize bile acid and reduced fat absorption. Secondary bile acids have been associated with increased risk of cancer. Bile acid binding potential has been related to lowering the risk of heart disease and that of cancer. Previously, we have reported bile acid binding by several uncooked vegetables. However, most vegetables are consumed after cooking. How cooking would influence in vitro bile acid binding of various vegetables was investigated using a mixture of bile acids secreted in human bile under physiological conditions. Eight replicate incubations were conducted for each treatment simulating gastric and intestinal digestion, which included a substrate only, a bile acid mixture only, and 6 with substrate and bile acid mixture. Cholestyramine (a cholesterol-lowering, bile acid binding drug) was the positive control treatment and cellulose was the negative control. Relative to cholestyramine, in vitro bile acid binding on dry matter basis was for the collard greens, kale, and mustard greens, 13%; broccoli, 10%; Brussels sprouts and spinach, 8%; green bell pepper, 7%; and cabbage, 5%. These results point to the significantly different (P < or = .05) health-promoting potential of collard greens = kale = mustard greens > broccoli > Brussels sprouts = spinach = green bell pepper > cabbage as indicated by their bile acid binding on dry matter basis. Steam cooking significantly improved the in vitro bile acid binding of collard greens, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, green bell pepper, and cabbage compared with previously observed bile acid binding values for these vegetables raw (uncooked). Inclusion of steam-cooked collard greens, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, green bell pepper, and cabbage in our daily diet as health-promoting vegetables should be emphasized. These green

  4. Optimization of Deep Drilling Performance--Development and Benchmark Testing of Advanced Diamond Product Drill Bits & HP/HT Fluids to Significantly Improve Rates of Penetration

    SciTech Connect

    Alan Black; Arnis Judzis

    2003-10-01

    This document details the progress to date on the OPTIMIZATION OF DEEP DRILLING PERFORMANCE--DEVELOPMENT AND BENCHMARK TESTING OF ADVANCED DIAMOND PRODUCT DRILL BITS AND HP/HT FLUIDS TO SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE RATES OF PENETRATION contract for the year starting October 2002 through September 2002. The industry cost shared program aims to benchmark drilling rates of penetration in selected simulated deep formations and to significantly improve ROP through a team development of aggressive diamond product drill bit--fluid system technologies. Overall the objectives are as follows: Phase 1--Benchmark ''best in class'' diamond and other product drilling bits and fluids and develop concepts for a next level of deep drilling performance; Phase 2--Develop advanced smart bit--fluid prototypes and test at large scale; and Phase 3--Field trial smart bit--fluid concepts, modify as necessary and commercialize products. Accomplishments to date include the following: 4Q 2002--Project started; Industry Team was assembled; Kick-off meeting was held at DOE Morgantown; 1Q 2003--Engineering meeting was held at Hughes Christensen, The Woodlands Texas to prepare preliminary plans for development and testing and review equipment needs; Operators started sending information regarding their needs for deep drilling challenges and priorities for large-scale testing experimental matrix; Aramco joined the Industry Team as DEA 148 objectives paralleled the DOE project; 2Q 2003--Engineering and planning for high pressure drilling at TerraTek commenced; 3Q 2003--Continuation of engineering and design work for high pressure drilling at TerraTek; Baker Hughes INTEQ drilling Fluids and Hughes Christensen commence planning for Phase 1 testing--recommendations for bits and fluids.

  5. Steam cooking significantly improves in vitro bile acid binding of collard greens, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, green bell pepper, and cabbage.

    PubMed

    Kahlon, Talwinder Singh; Chiu, Mei-Chen M; Chapman, Mary H

    2008-06-01

    Bile acid binding capacity has been related to the cholesterol-lowering potential of foods and food fractions. Lowered recirculation of bile acids results in utilization of cholesterol to synthesize bile acid and reduced fat absorption. Secondary bile acids have been associated with increased risk of cancer. Bile acid binding potential has been related to lowering the risk of heart disease and that of cancer. Previously, we have reported bile acid binding by several uncooked vegetables. However, most vegetables are consumed after cooking. How cooking would influence in vitro bile acid binding of various vegetables was investigated using a mixture of bile acids secreted in human bile under physiological conditions. Eight replicate incubations were conducted for each treatment simulating gastric and intestinal digestion, which included a substrate only, a bile acid mixture only, and 6 with substrate and bile acid mixture. Cholestyramine (a cholesterol-lowering, bile acid binding drug) was the positive control treatment and cellulose was the negative control. Relative to cholestyramine, in vitro bile acid binding on dry matter basis was for the collard greens, kale, and mustard greens, 13%; broccoli, 10%; Brussels sprouts and spinach, 8%; green bell pepper, 7%; and cabbage, 5%. These results point to the significantly different (P < or = .05) health-promoting potential of collard greens = kale = mustard greens > broccoli > Brussels sprouts = spinach = green bell pepper > cabbage as indicated by their bile acid binding on dry matter basis. Steam cooking significantly improved the in vitro bile acid binding of collard greens, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, green bell pepper, and cabbage compared with previously observed bile acid binding values for these vegetables raw (uncooked). Inclusion of steam-cooked collard greens, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, green bell pepper, and cabbage in our daily diet as health-promoting vegetables should be emphasized. These green

  6. Dairy Streptococcus thermophilus improves cell viability of Lactobacillus brevis NPS-QW-145 and its γ-aminobutyric acid biosynthesis ability in milk

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Qinglong; Law, Yee-Song; Shah, Nagendra P.

    2015-01-01

    Most high γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) producers are Lactobacillus brevis of plant origin, which may be not able to ferment milk well due to its poor proteolytic nature as evidenced by the absence of genes encoding extracellular proteinases in its genome. In the present study, two glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) genes, gadA and gadB, were found in high GABA-producing L. brevis NPS-QW-145. Co-culturing of this organism with conventional dairy starters was carried out to manufacture GABA-rich fermented milk. It was observed that all the selected strains of Streptococcus thermophilus, but not Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, improved the viability of L. brevis NPS-QW-145 in milk. Only certain strains of S. thermophilus improved the gadA mRNA level in L. brevis NPS-QW-145, thus enhanced GABA biosynthesis by the latter. These results suggest that certain S. thermophilus strains are highly recommended to co-culture with high GABA producer for manufacturing GABA-rich fermented milk. PMID:26245488

  7. Dairy Streptococcus thermophilus improves cell viability of Lactobacillus brevis NPS-QW-145 and its γ-aminobutyric acid biosynthesis ability in milk.

    PubMed

    Wu, Qinglong; Law, Yee-Song; Shah, Nagendra P

    2015-08-06

    Most high γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) producers are Lactobacillus brevis of plant origin, which may be not able to ferment milk well due to its poor proteolytic nature as evidenced by the absence of genes encoding extracellular proteinases in its genome. In the present study, two glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) genes, gadA and gadB, were found in high GABA-producing L. brevis NPS-QW-145. Co-culturing of this organism with conventional dairy starters was carried out to manufacture GABA-rich fermented milk. It was observed that all the selected strains of Streptococcus thermophilus, but not Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus, improved the viability of L. brevis NPS-QW-145 in milk. Only certain strains of S. thermophilus improved the gadA mRNA level in L. brevis NPS-QW-145, thus enhanced GABA biosynthesis by the latter. These results suggest that certain S. thermophilus strains are highly recommended to co-culture with high GABA producer for manufacturing GABA-rich fermented milk.

  8. Grey Matter Density Predicts the Improvement of Naming Abilities After tDCS Intervention in Agrammatic Variant of Primary Progressive Aphasia.

    PubMed

    Cotelli, Maria; Manenti, Rosa; Paternicò, Donata; Cosseddu, Maura; Brambilla, Michela; Petesi, Michela; Premi, Enrico; Gasparotti, Roberto; Zanetti, Orazio; Padovani, Alessandro; Borroni, Barbara

    2016-09-01

    Agrammatic variant primary progressive aphasia is a neurodegenerative disorder specifically characterized by language deficits. A recent study has demonstrated a beneficial effect of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in combination with language training on naming accuracy in these patients. The aim of the study was to evaluate whether the improvement of naming accuracy after tDCS during language training was related to regional grey matter (GM) density. Eighteen avPPA patients underwent a brain magnetic resonance imaging before receiving a treatment that consisted of tDCS over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during individualized language training (10 daily therapy sessions, 5 days per week from Monday to Friday). Performances on neuropsychological tests and naming of objects (treated and untreated) and actions were assessed at baseline, post-treatment  and 3 months after treatment. Correlations between individual changes after treatment on neuropsychological tests and on picture naming task and voxel-based GM volume at baseline were performed. We found that the improvement in the naming of treated objects was positively correlated with GM volume in the left fusiform, left middle temporal, and right inferior temporal gyri whereas action naming change was related to GM density in the left middle temporal gyrus. In conclusion baseline density of GM in these brain regions was associated with greater treatment response on naming performances, suggesting that intervention in early disease stages might be most successful. These findings have implication for designing future rehabilitation protocols in language variants of frontotemporal dementia. PMID:27194245

  9. The abilities of improved schizophrenia patients to work and live independently in the community: a 10-year long-term outcome study from Mumbai, India

    PubMed Central

    Srivastava, Amresh Kumar; Stitt, Larry; Thakar, Meghana; Shah, Nilesh; Chinnasamy, Gurusamy

    2009-01-01

    Background The outcome of first episode schizophrenia has several determinants. Socioecological factors, particularly living conditions, migration, community and culture, not only affect the level of risk but also the outcome. Mega cities around the world show a unique socioecological condition that has several challenges for mental health. The present study reports on the long-term status of patients with schizophrenia in such a mega city: Mumbai, India. Aim This study aims to reveal the long-term outcome of patients suffering from schizophrenia with special reference to clinical symptoms and social functioning. Methods The cohort for this study was drawn from a 10-year follow-up of first episode schizophrenia. Patients having completed 10 years of consistent treatment after first hospitalisation were assessed on psychopathological and recovery criteria. Clinical as well as social parameters of recovery were evaluated. Descriptive statistics with 95% confidence intervals are provided. Results Of 200 patients recruited at the beginning of this study, 122 patients (61%) were present in the city of Mumbai at the end of 10-year follow-up study period. Among 122 available patients, 101 patients (50.5%) were included in the assessment at the end of 10-year follow-up study period, 6 patients (3.0%) were excluded from the study due to changed diagnosis, and 15 patients (7.5%) were excluded due to admission into long-term care facilities. This indicates that 107 out of 122 available patients (87.7%) were living in the community with their families. Out of 101 (50.5%) patients assessed at the end of 10 years, 61 patients (30.5%) showed improved recovery on the Clinical Global Impression Scale, 40 patients (20%) revealed no improvement in the recovery, 43 patients (72.9%) were able to live independently, and 24 patients (40%) were able to find employment. Conclusion With 10 years of treatment, the recovery rate among schizophrenia patients in Mumbai was 30.5%. Among the

  10. Omega-conotoxin MVIIC attenuates neuronal apoptosis in vitro and improves significant recovery after spinal cord injury in vivo in rats

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, Karen M; Lavor, Mário Sérgio L; Silva, Carla Maria O; Fukushima, Fabíola B; Rosado, Isabel R; Silva, Juneo F; Martins, Bernardo C; Guimarães, Laís B; Gomez, Marcus Vinícius; Melo, Marília M; Melo, Eliane G

    2014-01-01

    Excessive accumulation of intracellular calcium is the most critical step after spinal cord injury (SCI). Reducing the calcium influx should result in a better recovery from SCI. Calcium channel blockers have been shown a great potential in reducing brain and spinal cord injury. In this study, we first tested the neuroprotective effect of MVIIC on slices of spinal cord subjected to ischemia evaluating cell death and caspase-3 activation. Thereafter, we evaluated the efficacy of MVIIC in ameliorating damage following SCI in rats, for the first time in vivo. The spinal cord slices subjected a pretreatment with MVIIC showed a cell protection with a reduction of dead cells in 24.34% and of caspase-3-specific protease activation. In the in vivo experiment, Wistar rats were subjected to extradural compression of the spinal cord at the T12 vertebral level using a weigh of 70 g/cm, following intralesional treatment with either placebo or MVIIC in different doses (15, 30 and 60 pmol) five minutes after injury. Behavioral testing of hindlimb function was done using the Basso Beattie Bresnahan locomotor rating scale, and revealed significant recovery with 15 pmol (G15) compared to other trauma groups. Also, histological bladder structural revealed significant outcome in G15, with no morphological alterations, and anti-NeuN and TUNEL staining showed that G15 provided neuron preservation and indicated that this group had fewer neuron cell death, similar to sham. These results showed the neuroprotective effects of MVIIC in in vitro and in vivo model of SCI with neuronal integrity, bladder and behavioral improvements. PMID:25120731

  11. Ga doping to significantly improve the performance of all-electrochemically fabricated Cu2O-ZnO nanowire solar cells.

    PubMed

    Xie, Jiale; Guo, Chunxian; Li, Chang Ming

    2013-10-14

    Cu2O-ZnO nanowire solar cells have the advantages of light weight and high stability while possessing a large active material interface for potentially high power conversion efficiencies. In particular, electrochemically fabricated devices have attracted increasing attention due to their low-cost and simple fabrication process. However, most of them are "partially" electrochemically fabricated by vacuum deposition onto a preexisting ZnO layer. There are a few examples made via all-electrochemical deposition, but the power conversion efficiency (PCE) is too low (0.13%) for practical applications. Herein we use an all-electrochemical approach to directly deposit ZnO NWs onto FTO followed by electrochemical doping with Ga to produce a heterojunction solar cell. The Ga doping greatly improves light utilization while significantly suppressing charge recombination. A 2.5% molar ratio of Ga to ZnO delivers the best performance with a short circuit current density (Jsc) of 3.24 mA cm(-2) and a PCE of 0.25%, which is significantly higher than in the absence of Ga doping. Moreover, the use of electrochemically deposited ZnO powder-buffered Cu2O from a mixed Cu(2+)-ZnO powder solution and oxygen plasma treatment could reduce the density of defect sites in the heterojunction interface to further increase Jsc and PCE to 4.86 mA cm(-2) and 0.34%, respectively, resulting in the highest power conversion efficiency among all-electrochemically fabricated Cu2O-ZnO NW solar cells. This approach offers great potential for a low-cost solution-based process to mass-manufacture high-performance Cu2O-ZnO NW solar cells. PMID:23945632

  12. Improvement of Cellular Uptake and Transfection Ability of pDNA Using α-Cyclodextrin-Polyamidoamine Conjugates as Gene Delivery System.

    PubMed

    Qin, Linghao; Cao, Duanwen; Huang, Huan; Ji, Gangjian; Feng, Min; Chen, Jianhai; Pan, Shirong

    2016-02-01

    Polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers are a class of unique nanomaterials which attracted attention because of their extraordinary properties, such as highly branched structure and types of terminal primary groups. In addition, development in PAMAM chemical modification has broadened its biological application especially for drug and gene delivery. In this study, PAMAMs are covalently conjugated onto α-Cyclodextrin (α-CD) via amide bonds obtaining the starburst cationic polymers (CD-PG2). The chemical structure and composition of CD-PG2 was characterized by IH NMR. Physicochemical and biological properties of CD-PG2/pDNA polyplex were evaluated by agarose gel retardation, stability test against DNasecñ, MTT assay, DLS measurement, CLSM observation, LDH leakage test, cellular uptake route analysis and in-vitro cell transfection. Results showed that CD-PG2 can efficiently condense pDNA into nanoscale particles with a narrow size distribution, and protect pDNA form DNase I degradation. Compared with free PEI-25K and commercial product Lipofectamine2000, CD-PG2 shows excellent gene transfection efficiency without serum interference as well as relatively low cytotoxicity. Cellular uptake of CD-PG2/pDNA polyplex is mainly through CME and CvME route and further investigations demonstrate that α-CD can regulate CvME pathway to improve polyplex transfection behavior. In conclusion, CD-PG2 can be considered as a versatile tool for gene delivery, especially for gene transfer in-vivo. PMID:27305760

  13. Significant Improvement of Puncture Accuracy and Fluoroscopy Reduction in Percutaneous Transforaminal Endoscopic Discectomy With Novel Lumbar Location System: Preliminary Report of Prospective Hello Study.

    PubMed

    Fan, Guoxin; Guan, Xiaofei; Zhang, Hailong; Wu, Xinbo; Gu, Xin; Gu, Guangfei; Fan, Yunshan; He, Shisheng

    2015-12-01

    Prospective nonrandomized control study.The study aimed to investigate the implication of the HE's Lumbar LOcation (HELLO) system in improving the puncture accuracy and reducing fluoroscopy in percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic discectomy (PTED).Percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic discectomy is one of the most popular minimally invasive spine surgeries that heavily depend on repeated fluoroscopy. Increased fluoroscopy will induce higher radiation exposure to surgeons and patients. Accurate puncture in PTED can be achieved by accurate preoperative location and definite trajectory.The HELLO system mainly consists of self-made surface locator and puncture-assisted device. The surface locator was used to identify the exact puncture target and the puncture-assisted device was used to optimize the puncture trajectory. Patients who had single L4/5 or L5/S1 lumbar intervertebral disc herniation and underwent PTED were included the study. Patients receiving the HELLO system were assigned in Group A, and those taking conventional method were assigned in Group B. Study primary endpoint was puncture times and fluoroscopic times, and the secondary endpoint was location time and operation time.A total of 62 patients who received PTED were included in this study. The average age was 45.35 ± 8.70 years in Group A and 46.61 ± 7.84 years in Group B (P = 0.552). There were no significant differences in gender, body mass index, conservative time, and surgical segment between the 2 groups (P > 0.05). The puncture times were 1.19 ± 0.48 in Group A and 6.03 ± 1.87 in Group B (P < 0.001). The fluoroscopic times were 14.03 ± 2.54 in Group A and 25.19 ± 4.28 in Group B (P < 0.001). The preoperative location time was 4.67 ± 1.41 minutes in Group A and 6.98 ± 0.94 minutes in Group B (P < 0.001). The operation time was 79.42 ± 10.15 minutes in Group A and 89.65 ± 14.06 minutes in Group B (P = 0.002). The

  14. Significant Improvement of Puncture Accuracy and Fluoroscopy Reduction in Percutaneous Transforaminal Endoscopic Discectomy With Novel Lumbar Location System: Preliminary Report of Prospective Hello Study.

    PubMed

    Fan, Guoxin; Guan, Xiaofei; Zhang, Hailong; Wu, Xinbo; Gu, Xin; Gu, Guangfei; Fan, Yunshan; He, Shisheng

    2015-12-01

    Prospective nonrandomized control study.The study aimed to investigate the implication of the HE's Lumbar LOcation (HELLO) system in improving the puncture accuracy and reducing fluoroscopy in percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic discectomy (PTED).Percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic discectomy is one of the most popular minimally invasive spine surgeries that heavily depend on repeated fluoroscopy. Increased fluoroscopy will induce higher radiation exposure to surgeons and patients. Accurate puncture in PTED can be achieved by accurate preoperative location and definite trajectory.The HELLO system mainly consists of self-made surface locator and puncture-assisted device. The surface locator was used to identify the exact puncture target and the puncture-assisted device was used to optimize the puncture trajectory. Patients who had single L4/5 or L5/S1 lumbar intervertebral disc herniation and underwent PTED were included the study. Patients receiving the HELLO system were assigned in Group A, and those taking conventional method were assigned in Group B. Study primary endpoint was puncture times and fluoroscopic times, and the secondary endpoint was location time and operation time.A total of 62 patients who received PTED were included in this study. The average age was 45.35 ± 8.70 years in Group A and 46.61 ± 7.84 years in Group B (P = 0.552). There were no significant differences in gender, body mass index, conservative time, and surgical segment between the 2 groups (P > 0.05). The puncture times were 1.19 ± 0.48 in Group A and 6.03 ± 1.87 in Group B (P < 0.001). The fluoroscopic times were 14.03 ± 2.54 in Group A and 25.19 ± 4.28 in Group B (P < 0.001). The preoperative location time was 4.67 ± 1.41 minutes in Group A and 6.98 ± 0.94 minutes in Group B (P < 0.001). The operation time was 79.42 ± 10.15 minutes in Group A and 89.65 ± 14.06 minutes in Group B (P = 0.002). The

  15. An Evidence-Based Education Program for Adults about Child Sexual Abuse (“Prevent It!”) That Significantly Improves Attitudes, Knowledge, and Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Erin K.; Silverstone, Peter H.

    2016-01-01

    Here we describe the development of an evidence-based education program for adults about childhood sexual abuse (CSA), called Prevent It! Uniquely, the primary goal of this program was to change the behavior of participants, as well as to increase knowledge about CSA and positive attitudes toward it. A comprehensive review shows no previous similar approach. The program includes a detailed manual to allow standardized administration by trained facilitators, as well as multiple video segments from CSA survivors and professionals. A total of 23 program workshops were run, with 366 adults participating. Of these, 312 (85%) agreed to take part in the study. All completed baseline ratings prior to the program and 195 (63% of study sample) completed follow-up assessments at 3-months. There were no significant differences between the demographic make-up of the baseline group and the follow-up group. Assessments included demographic data, knowledge, attitudes, and several measures of behavior (our primary outcome variable). Behavioral questions asked individuals to select behaviors used in the previous 3-months from a list of options. Questions also included asking “how many times in the previous 3-months” have you “talked about healthy sexual development or Child sexual abuse (CSA) with a child you know”; “suspected a child was sexually abused”; “taken steps to protect a child”; or “reported suspected sexual abuse to police or child welfare”? The majority of attendees were women, with the commonest age group being between 30 and 39 years old. Approximately 33% had experienced CSA themselves. At 3-month follow-up there were highly statistically significant improvements in several aspects of behavior and knowledge, and attitudes regarding CSA. For example, the number of subjects actively looking for evidence of CSA increased from 46% at baseline to 81% at follow-up, while the number of subjects who actively took steps to protect children increased from

  16. An Evidence-Based Education Program for Adults about Child Sexual Abuse (“Prevent It!”) That Significantly Improves Attitudes, Knowledge, and Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Erin K.; Silverstone, Peter H.

    2016-01-01

    Here we describe the development of an evidence-based education program for adults about childhood sexual abuse (CSA), called Prevent It! Uniquely, the primary goal of this program was to change the behavior of participants, as well as to increase knowledge about CSA and positive attitudes toward it. A comprehensive review shows no previous similar approach. The program includes a detailed manual to allow standardized administration by trained facilitators, as well as multiple video segments from CSA survivors and professionals. A total of 23 program workshops were run, with 366 adults participating. Of these, 312 (85%) agreed to take part in the study. All completed baseline ratings prior to the program and 195 (63% of study sample) completed follow-up assessments at 3-months. There were no significant differences between the demographic make-up of the baseline group and the follow-up group. Assessments included demographic data, knowledge, attitudes, and several measures of behavior (our primary outcome variable). Behavioral questions asked individuals to select behaviors used in the previous 3-months from a list of options. Questions also included asking “how many times in the previous 3-months” have you “talked about healthy sexual development or Child sexual abuse (CSA) with a child you know”; “suspected a child was sexually abused”; “taken steps to protect a child”; or “reported suspected sexual abuse to police or child welfare”? The majority of attendees were women, with the commonest age group being between 30 and 39 years old. Approximately 33% had experienced CSA themselves. At 3-month follow-up there were highly statistically significant improvements in several aspects of behavior and knowledge, and attitudes regarding CSA. For example, the number of subjects actively looking for evidence of CSA increased from 46% at baseline to 81% at follow-up, while the number of subjects who actively took steps to protect children increased from

  17. An Evidence-Based Education Program for Adults about Child Sexual Abuse ("Prevent It!") That Significantly Improves Attitudes, Knowledge, and Behavior.

    PubMed

    Martin, Erin K; Silverstone, Peter H

    2016-01-01

    Here we describe the development of an evidence-based education program for adults about childhood sexual abuse (CSA), called Prevent It! Uniquely, the primary goal of this program was to change the behavior of participants, as well as to increase knowledge about CSA and positive attitudes toward it. A comprehensive review shows no previous similar approach. The program includes a detailed manual to allow standardized administration by trained facilitators, as well as multiple video segments from CSA survivors and professionals. A total of 23 program workshops were run, with 366 adults participating. Of these, 312 (85%) agreed to take part in the study. All completed baseline ratings prior to the program and 195 (63% of study sample) completed follow-up assessments at 3-months. There were no significant differences between the demographic make-up of the baseline group and the follow-up group. Assessments included demographic data, knowledge, attitudes, and several measures of behavior (our primary outcome variable). Behavioral questions asked individuals to select behaviors used in the previous 3-months from a list of options. Questions also included asking "how many times in the previous 3-months" have you "talked about healthy sexual development or Child sexual abuse (CSA) with a child you know"; "suspected a child was sexually abused"; "taken steps to protect a child"; or "reported suspected sexual abuse to police or child welfare"? The majority of attendees were women, with the commonest age group being between 30 and 39 years old. Approximately 33% had experienced CSA themselves. At 3-month follow-up there were highly statistically significant improvements in several aspects of behavior and knowledge, and attitudes regarding CSA. For example, the number of subjects actively looking for evidence of CSA increased from 46% at baseline to 81% at follow-up, while the number of subjects who actively took steps to protect children increased from 25% at baseline to 48

  18. An Evidence-Based Education Program for Adults about Child Sexual Abuse ("Prevent It!") That Significantly Improves Attitudes, Knowledge, and Behavior.

    PubMed

    Martin, Erin K; Silverstone, Peter H

    2016-01-01

    Here we describe the development of an evidence-based education program for adults about childhood sexual abuse (CSA), called Prevent It! Uniquely, the primary goal of this program was to change the behavior of participants, as well as to increase knowledge about CSA and positive attitudes toward it. A comprehensive review shows no previous similar approach. The program includes a detailed manual to allow standardized administration by trained facilitators, as well as multiple video segments from CSA survivors and professionals. A total of 23 program workshops were run, with 366 adults participating. Of these, 312 (85%) agreed to take part in the study. All completed baseline ratings prior to the program and 195 (63% of study sample) completed follow-up assessments at 3-months. There were no significant differences between the demographic make-up of the baseline group and the follow-up group. Assessments included demographic data, knowledge, attitudes, and several measures of behavior (our primary outcome variable). Behavioral questions asked individuals to select behaviors used in the previous 3-months from a list of options. Questions also included asking "how many times in the previous 3-months" have you "talked about healthy sexual development or Child sexual abuse (CSA) with a child you know"; "suspected a child was sexually abused"; "taken steps to protect a child"; or "reported suspected sexual abuse to police or child welfare"? The majority of attendees were women, with the commonest age group being between 30 and 39 years old. Approximately 33% had experienced CSA themselves. At 3-month follow-up there were highly statistically significant improvements in several aspects of behavior and knowledge, and attitudes regarding CSA. For example, the number of subjects actively looking for evidence of CSA increased from 46% at baseline to 81% at follow-up, while the number of subjects who actively took steps to protect children increased from 25% at baseline to 48

  19. Plerixafor on-demand combined with chemotherapy and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor: significant improvement in peripheral blood stem cells mobilization and harvest with no increase in costs.

    PubMed

    Milone, Giuseppe; Martino, Massimo; Spadaro, Andrea; Leotta, Salvatore; Di Marco, Annalia; Scalzulli, Potito; Cupri, Alessandra; Di Martina, Valentina; Schinocca, Elena; Spina, Eleonora; Tripepi, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    To date, no prospective study on Plerixafor 'on-demand' in combination with chemotherapy and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) has been reported. We present an interim analysis of the first prospective study in which Plerixafor was administered on-demand in patients affected by multiple myeloma and lymphoma who received high dose cyclophosphamide or DHAP (dexamethasone, cytarabine, cisplatin) plus G-CSF to mobilize peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC). One hundred and two patients were evaluable for response. A cohort of 240 patients receiving the same mobilizing chemotherapy was retrospectively studied. Failure to mobilize CD34(+) cells in peripheral blood was reduced by 'on-demand' strategy compared to conventional mobilization; from 13·0 to 3·0% (P = 0·004). Failure to harvest CD34(+) cells 2 × 10(6) /kg decreased from 20·9 to 4·0% (P = 0·0001). The on-demand Plerixafor strategy also resulted in a lower rate of mobilization failure (P = 0·03) and harvest failure (P = 0·0008) when compared to a 'bias-adjusted set of controls'. Evaluation of economic costs of the two strategies showed that the overall cost of the two treatments were comparable when salvage mobilizations were taken into account. When in combination with cyclophosphamide or DHAP plus G-CSF, the 'on-demand' use of Plerixafor showed, in comparison to conventionally treated patients, a significant improvement in mobilization of PBSC with no increase in overall cost. PMID:24138497

  20. Adding blood to agitated saline significantly improves detection of right-to-left shunt by contrast-transcranial color-coded duplex sonography.

    PubMed

    Gentile, Mauro; De Vito, Alessandro; Azzini, Cristiano; Tamborino, Carmine; Casetta, Ilaria

    2014-11-01

    Contrast-transcranial Doppler and contrast-transcranial color-coded duplex sonography (c-TCCD) have been reported to have high sensitivity in detecting patent foramen ovale as compared with transesophageal echocardiography. An international consensus meeting (Jauss and Zanette 2000) recommended that the contrast agent for right-to left-shunt (RLS) detection using contrast-transcranial Doppler be prepared by mixing 9 mL of isotonic saline solution and 1 mL of air. The aim of our study was to determine whether adding blood to the contrast agent results in improved detection of RLS. We enrolled all consecutive patients admitted to our neurosonology laboratory for RLS diagnosis. For each patient, we performed c-TCCD both at rest and during the Valsalva maneuver using two different contrast agents: ANSs (1 mL of air mixed with 9 mL of normal saline) and ANSHBs (1 mL of air mixed with 8 mL of normal saline and 1 mL of the patient's blood). To classify RLS, we used a four-level visual categorization: (i) no occurrence of micro-embolic signals; (ii) grade I, 1-10 signals; (iii) grade II, >10 signals but no curtain; grade III, curtain pattern. We included 80 patients, 33 men and 47 women. RLS was detected in 18.8% at rest and in 35% during the Valsalva maneuver using ANSs, and in 31.3% and in 46.3% using ANSHBs, respectively (p < 0.0001). There was a statistically significant increase in the number of micro-embolic signals with the use of ANSHBs. The use of blood mixed with saline solution and air as a c-TCCD contrast agent produced an increase in positive tests and a higher grade of RLS compared with normal saline and air alone, either with or without the Valsalva maneuver.

  1. Improved Planning Abilities in Binge Eating

    PubMed Central

    Neveu, Rémi; Neveu, Dorine; Barsumian, Franck; Fouragnan, Elsa; Carrier, Edouard; Lai, Massimo; Sultan, Jocelyne; Nicolas, Alain; Coricelli, Giorgio

    2014-01-01

    Objective The role of planning in binge eating episodes is unknown. We investigated the characteristics of planning associated with food cues in binging patients. We studied planning based on backward reasoning, reasoning that determines a sequence of actions back to front from the final outcome. Method A cross-sectional study was conducted with 20 healthy participants, 20 bulimia nervosa (BN), 22 restrictive (ANR) and 23 binging anorexia nervosa (ANB), without any concomitant impulsive disorder. In neutral/relaxing, binge food and stressful conditions, backward reasoning was assessed with the Race game, promotion of delayed large rewards with an intertemporal discounting task, attention with the Simon task, and repeating a dominant behavior with the Go/No-go task. Results BN and to a lower extent ANB patients succeeded more at the Race game in food than in neutral condition. This difference discriminated binging from non-binging participants. Backward reasoning in the food condition was associated with lower approach behavior toward food in BN patients, and higher food avoidance in ANB patients. Enhanced backward reasoning in the food condition related to preferences for delayed large rewards in BN patients. In BN and ANB patients the enhanced success rate at the Race game in the food condition was associated with higher attention paid to binge food. Conclusion These findings introduce a novel process underlying binges: planning based on backward reasoning is associated with binges. It likely aims to reduce craving for binge foods and extend binge refractory period in BN patients, and avoid binging in ANB patients. Shifts between these goals might explain shifts between eating disorder subtypes. PMID:25148580

  2. The Significance of Emotions and Professional Relations for Accommodating a Web-Based Ulcer Record and Improving Home-Based Care

    PubMed Central

    Ekeland, Anne G.

    2015-01-01

    Evidence of technological performance, medical improvements and economic effectiveness is generally considered sufficient for judging advances in healthcare. In this paper, I aim to add knowledge about the ways human emotions and professional relations play roles in the processes of accommodating new technologies for quality improvements. A newly-implemented, web-based ulcer record service for patients with chronic skin ulcers constitutes the case. After one year, only a few home care nurses were using the service, interacting with a specialist team. The result was disappointing, but the few users were enthusiastic. An explorative, qualitative study was initiated to understand the users, the processes that accounted for use and how improvements were enacted. In the paper, I expose the emotional aspects of the record accommodation by analyzing the ways emotions were translated in the process and how they influenced the improvements. I contend that use came about through a heterogeneous assemblage of ethical engagement and compassionate emotions stemming from frustration, combined with technological affordances and relations between different professionals. Certain aspects of the improvements are exposed. These are discussed as: (1) reconciliations between the medical facts and rational judgments, on one side, and the emotional and subjective values for judging quality, on the other; and (2) mediation between standardized and personalized care. The healing of ulcers was combined with a sense of purpose and wellbeing to validate improvements. Emotions were strongly involved, and the power of evaluative emotions and professional relations should be further explored to add to the understanding of innovation processes and to validate quality improvements. PMID:27417745

  3. Learning Anatomy Enhances Spatial Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vorstenbosch, Marc A. T. M.; Klaassen, Tim P. F. M.; Donders, A. R. T.; Kooloos, Jan G. M.; Bolhuis, Sanneke M.; Laan, Roland F. J. M.

    2013-01-01

    Spatial ability is an important factor in learning anatomy. Students with high scores on a mental rotation test (MRT) systematically score higher on anatomy examinations. This study aims to investigate if learning anatomy also oppositely improves the MRT-score. Five hundred first year students of medicine ("n" = 242, intervention) and…

  4. Dynamic Analysis of Problem-Solving by Average and High Ability Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kanevsky, Lannie; Rapagna, Socrates O.

    1990-01-01

    Forty children were divided into four groups and administered the Tower of Hanoi puzzle using static and dynamic approaches. The benefits of age and ability were indicated by significant improvement from the general failure of the four- to five-year olds to the success of the majority of the high ability seven- to eight-year olds. (Author/JDD)

  5. Prostate Health Index (Phi) and Prostate Cancer Antigen 3 (PCA3) significantly improve prostate cancer detection at initial biopsy in a total PSA range of 2-10 ng/ml.

    PubMed

    Ferro, Matteo; Bruzzese, Dario; Perdonà, Sisto; Marino, Ada; Mazzarella, Claudia; Perruolo, Giuseppe; D'Esposito, Vittoria; Cosimato, Vincenzo; Buonerba, Carlo; Di Lorenzo, Giuseppe; Musi, Gennaro; De Cobelli, Ottavio; Chun, Felix K; Terracciano, Daniela

    2013-01-01

    Many efforts to reduce prostate specific antigen (PSA) overdiagnosis and overtreatment have been made. To this aim, Prostate Health Index (Phi) and Prostate Cancer Antigen 3 (PCA3) have been proposed as new more specific biomarkers. We evaluated the ability of phi and PCA3 to identify prostate cancer (PCa) at initial prostate biopsy in men with total PSA range of 2-10 ng/ml. The performance of phi and PCA3 were evaluated in 300 patients undergoing first prostate biopsy. ROC curve analyses tested the accuracy (AUC) of phi and PCA3 in predicting PCa. Decision curve analyses (DCA) were used to compare the clinical benefit of the two biomarkers. We found that the AUC value of phi (0.77) was comparable to those of %p2PSA (0.76) and PCA3 (0.73) with no significant differences in pairwise comparison (%p2PSA vs phi p = 0.673, %p2PSA vs. PCA3 p = 0.417 and phi vs. PCA3 p = 0.247). These three biomarkers significantly outperformed fPSA (AUC = 0.60), % fPSA (AUC = 0.62) and p2PSA (AUC = 0.63). At DCA, phi and PCA3 exhibited a very close net benefit profile until the threshold probability of 25%, then phi index showed higher net benefit than PCA3. Multivariable analysis showed that the addition of phi and PCA3 to the base multivariable model (age, PSA, %fPSA, DRE, prostate volume) increased predictive accuracy, whereas no model improved single biomarker performance. Finally we showed that subjects with active surveillance (AS) compatible cancer had significantly lower phi and PCA3 values (p<0.001 and p = 0.01, respectively). In conclusion, both phi and PCA3 comparably increase the accuracy in predicting the presence of PCa in total PSA range 2-10 ng/ml at initial biopsy, outperforming currently used %fPSA.

  6. The effects of sole vibration stimulation on Korean male professional volleyball players' jumping and balance ability.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yong-Youn; Min, Kyoung-Ok; Choi, Jung-Hyun; Kim, Soon-Hee

    2016-05-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in jumping ability and lower limb balance ability elicited by plyometric training and vibration exercise, of volleyball players with and without ankle injuries, which frequently occur among Korean professional volleyball players. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-eight volleyball players were divided into the following groups: plyometric with ankle injury (PAI) group; plyometric with non-ankle injury (PAN) group; vibrator with ankle injury (VAI) group; and vibrator with non-ankle injury (VAN) group. After exercise and whole body vibration stimulation, their vertical jumping abilities, side step, and static equilibrium ability were measured. [Results] The vibration exercise group which had experienced ankle injuries showed significant improvements in the sidestep test after the intervention compared to before the intervention. In vertical jumping as well, significant improvements were observed in the VAI group and the VAN group following vibration exercise. In the balance ability test, significant improvesments in the PAN group and the PAI group were observed after the intervention. According to the results of the right side, there was significant change in the left/back side test and the right/back side test before and after the intervention; and in the test of one-leg standing with eyes closed, there were significant group, timing, and interaction effects. [Conclusions] The training method which effectively improved the jumping ability of volleyball players was plyometric training, and for balance ability improvement, whole body vibration exercise was effective. PMID:27313344

  7. The effects of sole vibration stimulation on Korean male professional volleyball players’ jumping and balance ability

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Yong-Youn; Min, Kyoung-Ok; Choi, Jung-Hyun; Kim, Soon-Hee

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in jumping ability and lower limb balance ability elicited by plyometric training and vibration exercise, of volleyball players with and without ankle injuries, which frequently occur among Korean professional volleyball players. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-eight volleyball players were divided into the following groups: plyometric with ankle injury (PAI) group; plyometric with non-ankle injury (PAN) group; vibrator with ankle injury (VAI) group; and vibrator with non-ankle injury (VAN) group. After exercise and whole body vibration stimulation, their vertical jumping abilities, side step, and static equilibrium ability were measured. [Results] The vibration exercise group which had experienced ankle injuries showed significant improvements in the sidestep test after the intervention compared to before the intervention. In vertical jumping as well, significant improvements were observed in the VAI group and the VAN group following vibration exercise. In the balance ability test, significant improvesments in the PAN group and the PAI group were observed after the intervention. According to the results of the right side, there was significant change in the left/back side test and the right/back side test before and after the intervention; and in the test of one-leg standing with eyes closed, there were significant group, timing, and interaction effects. [Conclusions] The training method which effectively improved the jumping ability of volleyball players was plyometric training, and for balance ability improvement, whole body vibration exercise was effective. PMID:27313344

  8. Synthesis and characterization of F-doped Cs{sub 0.33}WO{sub 3−x}F{sub x} particles with improved near infrared shielding ability

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Jingxiao; Luo, Jiayu; Shi, Fei Liu, Suhua; Fan, Chuanyan; Xu, Qiang; Shao, Guolin

    2015-01-15

    Cs{sub x}WO{sub 3} film. Particularly, the as-prepared Cs{sub 0.33}WO{sub 3−x}F{sub x} sample with F/W (molar ratio)=0.45 showed best NIR shielding ability and transparent heat insulating performance. - Highlights: • F-doped Cs{sub 0.33}WO{sub 3−x}F{sub x} powders were successfully synthesized by the hydrothermal method. • HF acid addition could promote the formation of rod-like Cs{sub 0.33}WO{sub 3−x}F{sub x} particles. • The near infrared shielding ability of Cs{sub 0.33}WO{sub 3} was further improved by F doping. • The Cs{sub 0.33}WO{sub 3−x}F{sub x} films exhibited higher transparent heat insulation than Cs{sub 0.33}WO{sub 3}.

  9. Varying protein source and quantity does not significantly improve weight loss, fat loss, or satiety in reduced energy diets among midlife adults

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This pilot study tested whether varying protein source and quantity in a reduced energy diet would result in significant differences in weight, body composition, and renin angiotensin aldosterone system activity in midlife adults. Eighteen subjects enrolled in a 5 month weight reduction study, invol...

  10. [A Case of Advanced Gastric Cancer with Severe Jaundice from Multiple Liver Metastases That Was Significantly Improved after Capecitabine plus Oxaliplatin Treatment].

    PubMed

    Takagi, Hiroaki; Ando, Takayuki; Hosokawa, Ayumu; Nishino, Takaaki; Mihara, Hiroshi; Yoshita, Hiroki; Nakada, Naokatsu; Nanjo, Sohachi; Miura, Yoshiaki; Kajiura, Shinya; Fujinami, Haruka; Sugiyama, Toshiro

    2016-09-01

    A 74-year-old man with advanced gastric cancer was admitted to our hospital. His liver function was impaired(total bilirubin 1.6mg/dL)with multiple liver metastases. He was treated with chemotherapy of S-1 plus cisplatin but it was discon- tinued due to severe diarrhea(CTCAE Grade 3)on day 6 and his liver dysfunction progressed(total bilirubin 10.3mg/dL). After his diarrhea improved, he was treated with capecitabine plus oxaliplatin(capecitabine 3,600mg/day on day 1-14, oxaliplatin 130mg/m2 on day 1, q3 weeks). His severe jaundice and general condition improved without severe non-hematological toxicity, and he was ultimately discharged. He achieved a partial response(RECIST v1.1)after capecitabine plus oxaliplatin treatment, and this therapy has been continued for 15 months. This case suggests that capecitabine plus oxaliplatin may be beneficial even in advanced gastric cancer patients with impaired liver function from multiple liver metastases. PMID:27628556

  11. Soft-Etching Copper and Silver Electrodes for Significant Device Performance Improvement toward Facile, Cost-Effective, Bottom-Contacted, Organic Field-Effect Transistors.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zongrui; Dong, Huanli; Zou, Ye; Zhao, Qiang; Tan, Jiahui; Liu, Jie; Lu, Xiuqiang; Xiao, Jinchong; Zhang, Qichun; Hu, Wenping

    2016-03-01

    Poor charge injection and transport at the electrode/semiconductor contacts has been so far a severe performance hurdle for bottom-contact bottom-gate (BCBG) organic field-effect transistors (OFETs). Here, we have developed a simple, economic, and effective method to improve the carrier injection efficiency and obtained high-performance devices with low cost and widely used source/drain (S/D) electrodes (Ag/Cu). Through the simple electrode etching process, the work function of the electrodes is more aligned with the semiconductors, which reduces the energy barrier and facilitates the charge injection. Besides, the formation of the thinned electrode edge with desirable micro/nanostructures not only leads to the enlarged contact side area beneficial for the carrier injection but also is in favor of the molecular self-organization for continuous crystal growth at the contact/active channel interface, which is better for the charge injection and transport. These effects give rise to the great reduction of contact resistance and the amazing improvement of the low-cost bottom-contact configuration OFETs performance.

  12. Low-level radioactive waste from commercial nuclear reactors. Volume 1. Recommendations for technology developments with potential to significantly improve low-level radioactive waste management

    SciTech Connect

    Rodgers, B.R.; Jolley, R.L.

    1986-02-01

    The overall task of this program was to provide an assessment of currently available technology for treating commercial low-level radioactive waste (LLRW), to initiate development of a methodology for choosing one technology for a given application, and to identify research needed to improve current treatment techniques and decision methodology. The resulting report is issued in four volumes. Volume 1 provides an executive summary and a general introduction to the four-volume set, in addition to recommendations for research and development (R and D) for low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) treatment. Generic, long-range, and/or high-risk programs identified and prioritized as needed R and D in the LLRW field include: (1) systems analysis to develop decision methodology; (2) alternative processes for dismantling, decontaminating, and decommissioning; (3) ion exchange; (4) incinerator technology; (5) disposal technology; (6) demonstration of advanced technologies; (7) technical assistance; (8) below regulatory concern materials; (9) mechanical treatment techniques; (10) monitoring and analysis procedures; (11) radical process improvements; (12) physical, chemical, thermal, and biological processes; (13) fundamental chemistry; (14) interim storage; (15) modeling; and (16) information transfer. The several areas are discussed in detail.

  13. Using silica nanoparticles for modifying sulfonated poly(phthalazinone ether ketone) membrane for direct methanol fuel cell: A significant improvement on cell performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Yu-Huei; Liu, Ying-Ling; Sun, Yi-Ming; Lai, Juin-Yih; Guiver, Michael D.; Gao, Yan

    Sulfonated poly(phthalazinone ether ketone) (sPPEK) with a degree of sulfonation of 1.23 was mixed with silica nanoparticles to form hybrid materials for using as proton exchange membranes. The nanoparticles were found homogeneously dispersed in the polymer matrix and a high 30 phr (parts per hundred resin) loading of silica nanoparticles can be achieved. The hybrid membranes exhibited improved swelling behavior, thermal stability, and mechanical properties. The methanol crossover behavior of the membrane was also depressed such that these membranes are suitable for a high methanol concentration in feed (3 M) in cell test. The membrane with 5 phr silica nanoparticles showed an open cell potential of 0.6 V and an optimum power density of 52.9 mW cm -2 at a current density of 264.6 mA cm -2, which is better than the performance of the pristine sPPEK membrane and Nafion ® 117.

  14. Using edge-preserving algorithm with non-local mean for significantly improved image-domain material decomposition in dual-energy CT.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Wei; Niu, Tianye; Xing, Lei; Xie, Yaoqin; Xiong, Guanglei; Elmore, Kimberly; Zhu, Jun; Wang, Luyao; Min, James K

    2016-02-01

    Increased noise is a general concern for dual-energy material decomposition. Here, we develop an image-domain material decomposition algorithm for dual-energy CT (DECT) by incorporating an edge-preserving filter into the Local HighlY constrained backPRojection reconstruction (HYPR-LR) framework. With effective use of the non-local mean, the proposed algorithm, which is referred to as HYPR-NLM, reduces the noise in dual-energy decomposition while preserving the accuracy of quantitative measurement and spatial resolution of the material-specific dual-energy images. We demonstrate the noise reduction and resolution preservation of the algorithm with an iodine concentrate numerical phantom by comparing the HYPR-NLM algorithm to the direct matrix inversion, HYPR-LR and iterative image-domain material decomposition (Iter-DECT). We also show the superior performance of the HYPR-NLM over the existing methods by using two sets of cardiac perfusing imaging data. The DECT material decomposition comparison study shows that all four algorithms yield acceptable quantitative measurements of iodine concentrate. Direct matrix inversion yields the highest noise level, followed by HYPR-LR and Iter-DECT. HYPR-NLM in an iterative formulation significantly reduces image noise and the image noise is comparable to or even lower than that generated using Iter-DECT. For the HYPR-NLM method, there are marginal edge effects in the difference image, suggesting the high-frequency details are well preserved. In addition, when the search window size increases from to , there are no significant changes or marginal edge effects in the HYPR-NLM difference images. The reference drawn from the comparison study includes: (1) HYPR-NLM significantly reduces the DECT material decomposition noise while preserving quantitative measurements and high-frequency edge information, and (2) HYPR-NLM is robust with respect to parameter selection.

  15. Using edge-preserving algorithm with non-local mean for significantly improved image-domain material decomposition in dual-energy CT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Wei; Niu, Tianye; Xing, Lei; Xie, Yaoqin; Xiong, Guanglei; Elmore, Kimberly; Zhu, Jun; Wang, Luyao; Min, James K.

    2016-02-01

    Increased noise is a general concern for dual-energy material decomposition. Here, we develop an image-domain material decomposition algorithm for dual-energy CT (DECT) by incorporating an edge-preserving filter into the Local HighlY constrained backPRojection reconstruction (HYPR-LR) framework. With effective use of the non-local mean, the proposed algorithm, which is referred to as HYPR-NLM, reduces the noise in dual-energy decomposition while preserving the accuracy of quantitative measurement and spatial resolution of the material-specific dual-energy images. We demonstrate the noise reduction and resolution preservation of the algorithm with an iodine concentrate numerical phantom by comparing the HYPR-NLM algorithm to the direct matrix inversion, HYPR-LR and iterative image-domain material decomposition (Iter-DECT). We also show the superior performance of the HYPR-NLM over the existing methods by using two sets of cardiac perfusing imaging data. The DECT material decomposition comparison study shows that all four algorithms yield acceptable quantitative measurements of iodine concentrate. Direct matrix inversion yields the highest noise level, followed by HYPR-LR and Iter-DECT. HYPR-NLM in an iterative formulation significantly reduces image noise and the image noise is comparable to or even lower than that generated using Iter-DECT. For the HYPR-NLM method, there are marginal edge effects in the difference image, suggesting the high-frequency details are well preserved. In addition, when the search window size increases from 11× 11 to 19× 19 , there are no significant changes or marginal edge effects in the HYPR-NLM difference images. The reference drawn from the comparison study includes: (1) HYPR-NLM significantly reduces the DECT material decomposition noise while preserving quantitative measurements and high-frequency edge information, and (2) HYPR-NLM is robust with respect to parameter selection.

  16. Facilitating endoscopic submucosal dissection: the suture-pulley method significantly improves procedure time and minimizes technical difficulty compared with conventional technique: an ex vivo study (with video)

    PubMed Central

    Aihara, Hiroyuki; Kumar, Nitin; Ryou, Marvin; Abidi, Wasif; Ryan, Michele B.; Thompson, Christopher C.

    2015-01-01

    Background The lack of countertraction in endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) results in increased technical demand and procedure time. Although the suture-pulley method for countertraction has been reported, its effectiveness compared with the traditional ESD technique remains unclear. Objective To objectively analyze efficacy of countertraction using the suture-pulley method for ESD. Design Prospective ex vivo animal study. Setting Animal laboratory. Interventions Twenty simulated gastric lesions were created in porcine stomachs by using a standard circular template 30 mm in diameter. In the control arm (n = 10), ESD was performed by using the standard technique. In the suture-pulley arm (N = 10), a circumferential incision was made, and an endoscopic suturing device was used to place the suture pulley. Main Outcome Measurements The primary outcome of this study was total procedure time. Results The median total procedure time with the suture-pulley method was significantly shorter than the traditional ESD technique (median, 25% to 75%, interquartile range [IQR]: 531 seconds [474.3–549.3 seconds] vs 845 seconds [656.3–1547.5 seconds], P < .001). The median time (IQR) for suture-pulley placement was 160.5 seconds (150.0–168.8 seconds). Although there was a significantly longer procedure time for proximal versus middle/lower stomach lesions with traditional ESD (median, 1601 seconds; IQR, 1547.5–1708.8 seconds vs median, 663 seconds; IQR, 627.5–681.8 seconds; P =.01), there was no significant difference in procedure time for lesions of various locations when using the suture-pulley method. Compared with traditional ESD, the suture-pulley method was less demanding in all categories evaluated by the NASA Task Load Index. Limitations Ex vivo study. Conclusions The suture-pulley method facilitates direct visualization of the submucosal layer during ESD and significantly reduces procedure time and technical difficulty. In addition, the benefit of the suture

  17. Scientific Ability and Creativity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heller, Kurt A.

    2007-01-01

    Following an introductory definition of "scientific ability and creativity", product-oriented, personality and social psychological approaches to studying scientific ability are examined with reference to competence and performance. Studies in the psychometric versus cognitive psychological paradigms are dealt with in more detail. These two…

  18. Mixed Ability Teaching.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Skov, Poul

    1986-01-01

    As a basis for taking a position on the future school structure in grades 8-10 in Denmark, an extensive study was carried out on mixed ability teaching (teaching in heterogeneous classes) on these grade levels. Results showed that mixed ability teaching gave at least as good results as teaching in differentiated classes. (Author/LMO)

  19. Fairness and Ability Grouping.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strike, Kenneth A.

    1983-01-01

    A recent controversy regarding ability grouping is that it is often perceived as a means whereby racial or class bias can be subtly transformed into mechanisms of discrimination which exhibit the appearance of fairness and objectivity. This article addresses the question of fairness in ability grouping. (CJB)

  20. Inclusion of S-sepharose beads in the culture medium significantly improves recovery of secreted rBPI(21) from transfected CHO-K1 cells.

    PubMed

    Horwitz, A H; Carroll, S F; Williams, R E; Liu, P S

    2000-02-01

    rBPI(23), a recombinant N-terminal fragment of human bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein (BPI), kills gram-negative bacteria and binds endotoxin. rBPI(21), a variant, in which cysteine 132 is changed to alanine, retains the activities of rBPI(23). Initial attempts using conventional ion-exchange chromatography to purify rBPI(23) from culture supernatants of transfected CHO-K1 cells resulted in lower than expected yields. Also, ELISA of supernatants from CHO-K1 transfectants expressing rBPI(23) or rBPI(21) yielded variable signals. Results from pulse-chase experiments using [(35)S]methionine had indicated that rBPI(23) could not be detected in the culture medium by 7 h of chase, suggesting that these proteins were degraded and/or bound to cells, media components, or vessel surfaces. To address these issues, we developed a novel process whereby sterile S-Sepharose beads were added directly to the cell culture medium. For attached cells, the beads were added to confluent cultures with serum-free medium for the expression phase, while for suspension-adapted cells, beads were added at the beginning of culture growth. The S-Sepharose was then separated from cells and media and washed, and BPI was eluted with high-salt buffer. This approach yielded up to a 50-fold improvement in recovery of rBPI(23) and rBPI(21) from roller bottles, shake flasks, and 2-liter fermenters. It also resulted in improved detection and quantitation of secreted rBPI(23) and rBPI(21) by ELISA. Results of competition binding studies with iodinated rBPI(21) in conjunction with unlabeled rBPI(21) and rBPI(23) or with heparin demonstrated that these proteins bound specifically and with high affinity to heparan-containing sites on the surface of the CHO-K1 cells. We conclude that the S-Sepharose included in the culture medium captures the BPI protein products as they are secreted and protects them from degradation and/or irreversible binding to cell surfaces. This method has been scaled up to

  1. PolySearch2: a significantly improved text-mining system for discovering associations between human diseases, genes, drugs, metabolites, toxins and more.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yifeng; Liang, Yongjie; Wishart, David

    2015-07-01

    PolySearch2 (http://polysearch.ca) is an online text-mining system for identifying relationships between biomedical entities such as human diseases, genes, SNPs, proteins, drugs, metabolites, toxins, metabolic pathways, organs, tissues, subcellular organelles, positive health effects, negative health effects, drug actions, Gene Ontology terms, MeSH terms, ICD-10 medical codes, biological taxonomies and chemical taxonomies. PolySearch2 supports a generalized 'Given X, find all associated Ys' query, where X and Y can be selected from the aforementioned biomedical entities. An example query might be: 'Find all diseases associated with Bisphenol A'. To find its answers, PolySearch2 searches for associations against comprehensive collections of free-text collections, including local versions of MEDLINE abstracts, PubMed Central full-text articles, Wikipedia full-text articles and US Patent application abstracts. PolySearch2 also searches 14 widely used, text-rich biological databases such as UniProt, DrugBank and Human Metabolome Database to improve its accuracy and coverage. PolySearch2 maintains an extensive thesaurus of biological terms and exploits the latest search engine technology to rapidly retrieve relevant articles and databases records. PolySearch2 also generates, ranks and annotates associative candidates and present results with relevancy statistics and highlighted key sentences to facilitate user interpretation.

  2. PolySearch2: a significantly improved text-mining system for discovering associations between human diseases, genes, drugs, metabolites, toxins and more

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yifeng; Liang, Yongjie; Wishart, David

    2015-01-01

    PolySearch2 (http://polysearch.ca) is an online text-mining system for identifying relationships between biomedical entities such as human diseases, genes, SNPs, proteins, drugs, metabolites, toxins, metabolic pathways, organs, tissues, subcellular organelles, positive health effects, negative health effects, drug actions, Gene Ontology terms, MeSH terms, ICD-10 medical codes, biological taxonomies and chemical taxonomies. PolySearch2 supports a generalized ‘Given X, find all associated Ys’ query, where X and Y can be selected from the aforementioned biomedical entities. An example query might be: ‘Find all diseases associated with Bisphenol A’. To find its answers, PolySearch2 searches for associations against comprehensive collections of free-text collections, including local versions of MEDLINE abstracts, PubMed Central full-text articles, Wikipedia full-text articles and US Patent application abstracts. PolySearch2 also searches 14 widely used, text-rich biological databases such as UniProt, DrugBank and Human Metabolome Database to improve its accuracy and coverage. PolySearch2 maintains an extensive thesaurus of biological terms and exploits the latest search engine technology to rapidly retrieve relevant articles and databases records. PolySearch2 also generates, ranks and annotates associative candidates and present results with relevancy statistics and highlighted key sentences to facilitate user interpretation. PMID:25925572

  3. Site-specific replacement of the thymine methyl group by fluorine in thrombin binding aptamer significantly improves structural stability and anticoagulant activity.

    PubMed

    Virgilio, Antonella; Petraccone, Luigi; Vellecco, Valentina; Bucci, Mariarosaria; Varra, Michela; Irace, Carlo; Santamaria, Rita; Pepe, Antonietta; Mayol, Luciano; Esposito, Veronica; Galeone, Aldo

    2015-12-15

    Here we report investigations, based on circular dichroism, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, molecular modelling, differential scanning calorimetry and prothrombin time assay, on analogues of the thrombin binding aptamer (TBA) in which individual thymidines were replaced by 5-fluoro-2'-deoxyuridine residues. The whole of the data clearly indicate that all derivatives are able to fold in a G-quadruplex structure very similar to the 'chair-like' conformation typical of the TBA. However, only ODNs TBA-F4: and TBA-F13: have shown a remarkable improvement both in the melting temperature (ΔTm ≈ +10) and in the anticoagulant activity in comparison with the original TBA. These findings are unusual, particularly considering previously reported studies in which modifications of T4 and T13 residues in TBA sequence have clearly proven to be always detrimental for the structural stability and biological activity of the aptamer. Our results strongly suggest the possibility to enhance TBA properties through tiny straightforward modifications. PMID:26582916

  4. Disruption of the 5S RNP-Mdm2 interaction significantly improves the erythroid defect in a mouse model for Diamond-Blackfan anemia.

    PubMed

    Jaako, P; Debnath, S; Olsson, K; Zhang, Y; Flygare, J; Lindström, M S; Bryder, D; Karlsson, S

    2015-11-01

    Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA) is a congenital erythroid hypoplasia caused by haploinsufficiency of genes encoding ribosomal proteins (RPs). Perturbed ribosome biogenesis in DBA has been shown to induce a p53-mediated ribosomal stress response. However, the mechanisms of p53 activation and its relevance for the erythroid defect remain elusive. Previous studies have indicated that activation of p53 is caused by the inhibition of mouse double minute 2 (Mdm2), the main negative regulator of p53, by the 5S ribonucleoprotein particle (RNP). Meanwhile, it is not clear whether this mechanism solely mediates the p53-dependent component found in DBA. To approach this question, we crossed our mouse model for RPS19-deficient DBA with Mdm2(C305F) knock-in mice that have a disrupted 5S RNP-Mdm2 interaction. Upon induction of the Rps19 deficiency, Mdm2(C305F) reversed the p53 response and improved expansion of hematopoietic progenitors in vitro, and ameliorated the anemia in vivo. Unexpectedly, disruption of the 5S RNP-Mdm2 interaction also led to selective defect in erythropoiesis. Our findings highlight the sensitivity of erythroid progenitor cells to aberrations in p53 homeostasis mediated by the 5S RNP-Mdm2 interaction. Finally, we provide evidence indicating that physiological activation of the 5S RNP-Mdm2-p53 pathway may contribute to functional decline of the hematopoietic system in a cell-autonomous manner over time.

  5. Site-specific replacement of the thymine methyl group by fluorine in thrombin binding aptamer significantly improves structural stability and anticoagulant activity

    PubMed Central

    Virgilio, Antonella; Petraccone, Luigi; Vellecco, Valentina; Bucci, Mariarosaria; Varra, Michela; Irace, Carlo; Santamaria, Rita; Pepe, Antonietta; Mayol, Luciano; Esposito, Veronica; Galeone, Aldo

    2015-01-01

    Here we report investigations, based on circular dichroism, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, molecular modelling, differential scanning calorimetry and prothrombin time assay, on analogues of the thrombin binding aptamer (TBA) in which individual thymidines were replaced by 5-fluoro-2′-deoxyuridine residues. The whole of the data clearly indicate that all derivatives are able to fold in a G-quadruplex structure very similar to the ‘chair-like’ conformation typical of the TBA. However, only ODNs TBA-F4 and TBA-F13 have shown a remarkable improvement both in the melting temperature (ΔTm ≈ +10) and in the anticoagulant activity in comparison with the original TBA. These findings are unusual, particularly considering previously reported studies in which modifications of T4 and T13 residues in TBA sequence have clearly proven to be always detrimental for the structural stability and biological activity of the aptamer. Our results strongly suggest the possibility to enhance TBA properties through tiny straightforward modifications. PMID:26582916

  6. Site-specific replacement of the thymine methyl group by fluorine in thrombin binding aptamer significantly improves structural stability and anticoagulant activity.

    PubMed

    Virgilio, Antonella; Petraccone, Luigi; Vellecco, Valentina; Bucci, Mariarosaria; Varra, Michela; Irace, Carlo; Santamaria, Rita; Pepe, Antonietta; Mayol, Luciano; Esposito, Veronica; Galeone, Aldo

    2015-12-15

    Here we report investigations, based on circular dichroism, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, molecular modelling, differential scanning calorimetry and prothrombin time assay, on analogues of the thrombin binding aptamer (TBA) in which individual thymidines were replaced by 5-fluoro-2'-deoxyuridine residues. The whole of the data clearly indicate that all derivatives are able to fold in a G-quadruplex structure very similar to the 'chair-like' conformation typical of the TBA. However, only ODNs TBA-F4: and TBA-F13: have shown a remarkable improvement both in the melting temperature (ΔTm ≈ +10) and in the anticoagulant activity in comparison with the original TBA. These findings are unusual, particularly considering previously reported studies in which modifications of T4 and T13 residues in TBA sequence have clearly proven to be always detrimental for the structural stability and biological activity of the aptamer. Our results strongly suggest the possibility to enhance TBA properties through tiny straightforward modifications.

  7. PolySearch2: a significantly improved text-mining system for discovering associations between human diseases, genes, drugs, metabolites, toxins and more.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yifeng; Liang, Yongjie; Wishart, David

    2015-07-01

    PolySearch2 (http://polysearch.ca) is an online text-mining system for identifying relationships between biomedical entities such as human diseases, genes, SNPs, proteins, drugs, metabolites, toxins, metabolic pathways, organs, tissues, subcellular organelles, positive health effects, negative health effects, drug actions, Gene Ontology terms, MeSH terms, ICD-10 medical codes, biological taxonomies and chemical taxonomies. PolySearch2 supports a generalized 'Given X, find all associated Ys' query, where X and Y can be selected from the aforementioned biomedical entities. An example query might be: 'Find all diseases associated with Bisphenol A'. To find its answers, PolySearch2 searches for associations against comprehensive collections of free-text collections, including local versions of MEDLINE abstracts, PubMed Central full-text articles, Wikipedia full-text articles and US Patent application abstracts. PolySearch2 also searches 14 widely used, text-rich biological databases such as UniProt, DrugBank and Human Metabolome Database to improve its accuracy and coverage. PolySearch2 maintains an extensive thesaurus of biological terms and exploits the latest search engine technology to rapidly retrieve relevant articles and databases records. PolySearch2 also generates, ranks and annotates associative candidates and present results with relevancy statistics and highlighted key sentences to facilitate user interpretation. PMID:25925572

  8. Significantly improving enzymatic saccharification of high crystallinity index's corn stover by combining ionic liquid [Bmim]Cl-HCl-water media with dilute NaOH pretreatment.

    PubMed

    He, Yu-Cai; Liu, Feng; Gong, Lei; Zhu, Zheng-Zhong; Ding, Yun; Wang, Cheng; Xue, Yu-Feng; Rui, Huan; Tao, Zhi-Cheng; Zhang, Dan-Ping; Ma, Cui-Luan

    2015-01-01

    In this study, a pretreatment by combining acidified aqueous ionic liquid 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride (IL [Bmim]Cl) solution with dilute NaOH extraction was employed to pretreat high crystallinity index (CrI) of corn stover before its enzymatic saccharification. After NaOH extraction, [Bmim]Cl-HCl-water (78.8:1.2:20, w/w/w) media was used for further pretreatment at 130 °C for 30 min. After being enzymatically hydrolyzed for 48 h, corn stover pretreated could be biotransformed into reducing sugars in the yield of 95.1%. Furthermore, SEM, XRD and FTIR analyses of untreated and pretreated corn stovers were examined. It was found that the intact structure was disrupted by combination pretreatment and resulted in a porous and amorphous regenerated cellulosic material that greatly improved enzymatic hydrolysis. Finally, the recovered hydrolyzates obtained from the enzymatic hydrolysis of pretreated corn stovers could be fermented into ethanol efficiently. In conclusion, the combination pretreatment shows high potential application in future.

  9. Visually Estimated MRI Targeted Prostate Biopsy Could Improve the Detection of Significant Prostate Cancer in Patients with a PSA Level <10 ng/mL

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Dong Hoon; Nam, Jong Kil; Park, Sung Woo; Lee, Seung Soo; Han, Ji-Yeon; Lee, Sang Don; Lee, Joon Woo

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To compare prostate cancer detection rates between 12 cores transrectal ultrasound-guided prostate biopsy (TRUS-Bx) and visually estimated multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mp-MRI)-targeted prostate biopsy (MRI-visual-Bx) for patients with prostate specific antigen (PSA) level less than 10 ng/mL. Materials and Methods In total, 76 patients with PSA levels below 10 ng/mL underwent 3.0 Tesla mp-MRI and TRUS-Bx prospectively in 2014. In patients with abnormal lesions on mp-MRI, we performed additional MRI-visual-Bx. We compared pathologic results, including the rate of clinically significant prostate cancer cores (cancer length greater than 5 mm and/or any Gleason grade greater than 3 in the biopsy core). Results The mean PSA was 6.43 ng/mL. In total, 48 of 76 (63.2%) patients had abnormal lesions on mp-MRI, and 116 targeted biopsy cores, an average of 2.42 per patient, were taken. The overall detection rates of prostate cancer using TRUS-Bx and MRI-visual-Bx were 26/76 (34.2%) and 23/48 (47.9%), respectively. In comparing the pathologic results of TRUS-Bx and MRI-visual-Bx cores, the positive rates were 8.4% (77 of 912 cores) and 46.6% (54 of 116 cores), respectively (p<0.001). Mean cancer core lengths and mean cancer core percentages were 3.2 mm and 24.5%, respectively, in TRUS-Bx and 6.3 mm and 45.4% in MRI-visual-Bx (p<0.001). In addition, Gleason score ≥7 was noted more frequently using MRI-visual-Bx (p=0.028). The detection rate of clinically significant prostate cancer was 27/77 (35.1%) and 40/54 (74.1%) for TRUS-Bx and MRI-visual-Bx, respectively (p<0.001). Conclusion MRI-visual-Bx showed better performance in the detection of clinically significant prostate cancer, compared to TRUS-Bx among patients with a PSA level less than 10 ng/mL. PMID:26996553

  10. Low-dose tertiary prophylactic therapy reduces total number of bleeds and improves the ability to perform activities of daily living in adults with severe haemophilia A: a single-centre experience from Beijing.

    PubMed

    Hua, Baolai; Lian, Xiaoyun; Li, Kuixing; Lee, Adrienne; Poon, Man-Chiu; Zhao, Yongqiang

    2016-03-01

    Full-dose prophylaxis treatment for persons with haemophilia is not affordable in China due to its economic constraints, particularly in adults requiring higher clotting factor (CFC) doses. Low-dose tertiary prophylaxis for adults with severe haemophilia A (SHA) in Beijing became feasible and implemented when government insurance covering 85% CFC cost in Beijing began in December 2009. The aim of this study was to evaluate the benefits of low-dose tertiary prophylaxis in SHA adults. Analysis of data on 33 patients on low-dose tertiary prophylaxis (5-10 IU/kg, two to three times per week) at the Haemophilia Treatment Center, Peking Union Medical College Hospital between December 2009 and December 2013. The 33 patients (age 18-60 years, mean 33.4) were on prophylaxis for 20.8 ± 9.9 months (compared with prior on-demand therapy for 20.0 ± 11.7 months). Prophylaxis resulted in significant decrease in annual bleeding rate (ABR, 11.8 ± 7.6 vs. 41.5 ± 20.7, 71.1% reduction, P < 0.0001), and significant improvement in Functional Independence Score in Haemophilia (FISH) measurement reflecting improvement in self-care and mobility. Radiologic (Pettersson) joint score was neither improved nor deteriorated. Ten of the 33 patients originally wheel chair and bed-bound began to walk and function independently in their daily lives. Low-dose tertiary prophylaxis for adults with SHA in China is feasible and beneficial. Although the average ABR remained high, a significant improvement in self-care and mobility measured by FISH was observed. These promising clinical experiences form the basis for further formal studies with more defined therapeutic protocol and outcome measures for affordable prophylaxis regimens in haemophilia adults in China.

  11. Poor Linkage to Care Despite Significant Improvement in Access to Early cART in Central Poland – Data from Test and Keep in Care (TAK) Project

    PubMed Central

    Kowalska, Justyna D.; Shepherd, Leah; Ankiersztejn-Bartczak, Magdalena; Cybula, Aneta; Czeszko-Paprocka, Hanna; Firląg-Burkacka, Ewa; Mocroft, Amanda; Horban, Andrzej

    2016-01-01

    Background The main objective of the TAK project is investigating barriers in accessing HIV care after HIV-diagnosis at the CBVCTs of central Poland. Here we describe factors associated with and changes over time in linkage to care and access to cART. Method Data collected in 2010–2013 in CBVCTs were linked with HIV clinics records using unique identifiers. Individuals were followed from the day of CBVCTs visit until first clinical visit or 4/06/2014. Cox-proportional hazard models were used to identify factors associated with being linked to care and starting cART. Results In total 232 persons were diagnosed HIV-positive and 144 (62.1% 95%CI: 55.5–68.3) persons were linked to care. There was no change over time in linkage to care (p = 0.48), while time to starting cART decreased (p = 0.02). Multivariate factors associated with a lower rate of linkage to care were hetero/bisexual sexual orientation, lower education, not having an HIV-positive partner and not using condoms in a stable relationship. Multivariate factors associated with starting cART were lower education, recent year of linked to care, and first HIV RNA and CD4 cell count. Conclusions Benefits of linkage to care, measured by access to early treatment, steadily improved in recent years. However at least 1 in 3 persons aware of their HIV status in central Poland remained outside professional healthcare. Persons at higher risk of remaining outside care, thus target population for future interventions, are bi/heterosexuals and those with lower levels of education. PMID:27711159

  12. Significantly improving oxygen barrier properties of polylactide via constructing parallel-aligned shish-kebab-like crystals with well-interlocked boundaries.

    PubMed

    Bai, Hongwei; Huang, Chunmei; Xiu, Hao; Zhang, Qin; Deng, Hua; Wang, Ke; Chen, Feng; Fu, Qiang

    2014-04-14

    Recently, some attempts have been made to enhance the gas barrier properties of semicrystalline polymers by precisely controlling the arrangement of their impermeable crystalline lamellae. However, it is still a great challenge to achieve regular arrangement of the lamellae along the direction perpendicular to the gas diffusion path, especially using conventional polymer processing technologies. This work presents a novel and simple strategy to dramatically improve oxygen barrier performance of biobased and biodegradable polylactide (PLA) through constructing parallel-aligned shish-kebab-like crystals with well-interlocked boundaries with the aid of a highly active nucleating agent. The nucleating agent was introduced into PLA by melting compounding and the sheet-like specimens were fabricated by compression molding. We demonstrate that the fibrillar nucleating agent dispersed in PLA melt can serve as shish to induce the change of crystallization habit of PLA from isotopic spherulitic crystals to unique shish-kebab-like crystals and the shear flow in the compression molding can induce the highly ordered alignment of the nucleating agent fibrils as well as the subsequent shish-kebab-like crystals along the direction parallel to the sheet surface. More importantly, the growing lamellae are found to interpenetrate and tightly interlock with each other at the boundary regions of the shish-kebab-like crystals in the later stage of the crystallization, forming a densely packed nanobrick wall structure to prevent gas molecules from permeating through the crystals and thus imparting the PLA sheets with unprecedentedly low oxygen permeability. This work provides not only a successful example of preparing semicrystalline polymer with super gas barrier properties by tailoring crystal superstructure but also a promising route to rapidly fabricate high-performance food packaging materials via industrially meaningful melt processing.

  13. A novel liposomal irinotecan formulation with significant anti-tumour activity: use of the divalent cation ionophore A23187 and copper-containing liposomes to improve drug retention.

    PubMed

    Ramsay, Euan; Alnajim, Jehan; Anantha, Malathi; Zastre, Jason; Yan, Hong; Webb, Murray; Waterhouse, Dawn; Bally, Marcel

    2008-03-01

    We determined whether the method used to encapsulate irinotecan into 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-phosphocholine/cholesterol (DSPC/Chol; 55:45 mol%) liposomes influenced: (i) irinotecan release rate and (ii) therapeutic efficacy. DSPC/Chol (55:45 mol%) liposomes were prepared with: (i) unbuffered CuSO4; (ii) buffered (pH 7.5) CuSO4; (iii) unbuffered MnSO4 and the ionophore A23187 (exchanges internal metal2+ with external 2H+ to establish and maintain a transmembrane pH gradient); and (iv) unbuffered CuSO4 and ionophore A23187. All formulations exhibited >98% irinotecan encapsulation (0.2 drug-to-lipid molar ratio; 10 min incubation at 50 degrees C). Following a single intravenous injection (100mg/kg irinotecan) into Balb/c mice, the unbuffered CuSO4 plus A23187 formulation mediated a half-life of irinotecan release of 44.4h; a >or=4-fold increase compared to the other liposome formulations. This surprising observation demonstrated that the CuSO4 plus A23187 formulation enhanced irinotecan retention compared to the MnSO4 plus A23187 formulation, indicating the importance of the divalent metal. A single dose of the CuSO4 plus A23187 formulation (50mg/kg irinotecan) mediated an 18-fold increase in median T-C (the difference in days for treated and control subcutaneous human LS 180 adenocarcinoma xenografts to increase their initial volume by 400%) when compared to a comparable dose of Camptosar. Improved irinotecan retention was associated with increased therapeutic activity. PMID:17904831

  14. Measuring creative imagery abilities

    PubMed Central

    Jankowska, Dorota M.; Karwowski, Maciej

    2015-01-01

    Over the decades, creativity and imagination research developed in parallel, but they surprisingly rarely intersected. This paper introduces a new theoretical model of creative visual imagination, which bridges creativity and imagination research, as well as presents a new psychometric instrument, called the Test of Creative Imagery Abilities (TCIA), developed to measure creative imagery abilities understood in accordance with this model. Creative imagination is understood as constituted by three interrelated components: vividness (the ability to create images characterized by a high level of complexity and detail), originality (the ability to produce unique imagery), and transformativeness (the ability to control imagery). TCIA enables valid and reliable measurement of these three groups of abilities, yielding the general score of imagery abilities and at the same time making profile analysis possible. We present the results of nine studies on a total sample of more than 1700 participants, showing the factor structure of TCIA using confirmatory factor analysis, as well as provide data confirming this instrument's validity and reliability. The availability of TCIA for interested researchers may result in new insights and possibilities of integrating the fields of creativity and imagination science. PMID:26539140

  15. Physicochemical state of the nanotopographic surface of commercially pure titanium following anodization-hydrothermal treatment reveals significantly improved hydrophilicity and surface energy profiles.

    PubMed

    Takebe, Jun; Ito, Shigeki; Miura, Shingo; Miyata, Kyohei; Ishibashi, Kanji

    2012-01-01

    A method of coating commercially pure titanium (cpTi) implants with a highly crystalline, thin hydroxyapatite (HA) layer using discharge anodic oxidation followed by hydrothermal treatment (Spark discharged Anodic oxidation treatment ; SA-treated cpTi) has been reported for use in clinical dentistry. We hypothesized that a thin HA layer with high crystallinity and nanostructured anodic titanium oxide film on such SA-treated cpTi implant surfaces might be a crucial function of their surface-specific potential energy. To test this, we analyzed anodic oxide (AO) cpTi and SA-treated cpTi disks by SEM and AFM. Contact angles and surface free energy of each disk surface was measured using FAMAS software. High-magnification SEM and AFM revealed the nanotopographic structure of the anodic titanium oxide film on SA-treated cpTi; however, this was not observed on the AO cpTi surface. The contact angle and surface free energy measurements were also significantly different between AO cpTi and SA-treated cpTi surfaces (Tukey's, P<0.05). These data indicated that the change of physicochemical properties of an anodic titanium oxide film with HA crystals on an SA-treated cpTi surface may play a key role in the phenomenon of osteoconduction during the process of osseointegration.

  16. A 12-week medical exercise therapy program leads to significant improvement in knee function after degenerative meniscectomy: a randomized controlled trial with one year follow-up.

    PubMed

    Østerås, Håvard

    2014-07-01

    There is no consensus in the postoperative rehabilitation regimen for patients who have undergone surgery for medial meniscus damage. The aim of this study was to examine whether it is necessary to undergo postoperative physiotherapy treatment these patients. A prospective randomized controlled clinical trial was performed. 42 participants (26 males, 16 women) were randomly assigned into an exercise group (EG) (n = 22) or a control group (CG) (n = 20). Prognostic variables were similar between the groups at baseline. The EG achieved significantly better outcome effects than the CG at pain (VAS reduced 1.9 in TG and 0.6 in CG, p < 0.01) and function (KOOS decreased 18.0 in TG and only 6.5 in CG, p < 0.01) during the 12 week intervention period. The results after a 12-month follow-up indicated the same results as at posttest 3 months postoperatively. In patients with surgery for degenerative meniscus damage, postoperative medical exercise therapy - as a model of physiotherapy - is an efficient treatment alternative compared to no systematic rehabilitation.

  17. Tribological characteristics of bisphenol AF bis(diphenyl phosphate) as an antiwear additive in polyalkylene glycol and polyurea grease for significantly improved lubrication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Lili; Wu, Xinhu; Zhao, Gaiqing; Wang, Xiaobo

    2016-02-01

    A new antiwear additive of Bisphenol AF bis(diphenyl phosphate) (BAFDP) was synthesized and characterized. The tribological behaviors of the additive for polyalkylene glycol (PAG) and polyurea grease (PG) application in steel/steel contacts were evaluated on an Optimol SRV-IV oscillating reciprocating friction and wear tester at elevated temperature. The results revealed that BAFDP could drastically reduce friction and wear of sliding pairs in both PAG and also in PG at 100 °C. The tribological properties of BAFDP are superior to the normally used zinc dialkyldithiophosphate-based additive package (ZDDP) in PAG and PG. Moreover, BAFDP as additive for PAG and PG displays relatively significant tribological properties in temperature-ramp tests by performing well at 50-300 °C, indicating the excellent high temperature friction reduction and anti-wear capacity of BAFDP. XPS results showed that boundary lubrication films composed of Fe(OH)O, Fe3O4, FePO4, FeF2, FeF3, compounds containing the Psbnd O bonds, nitrogen oxide, and so forth, were formed on the worn surface, which contributed to excellent friction reduction and antiwear performance.

  18. TqPCR: A Touchdown qPCR Assay with Significantly Improved Detection Sensitivity and Amplification Efficiency of SYBR Green qPCR

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Qian; Wang, Jing; Deng, Fang; Yan, Zhengjian; Xia, Yinglin; Wang, Zhongliang; Ye, Jixing; Deng, Youlin; Zhang, Zhonglin; Qiao, Min; Li, Ruifang; Denduluri, Sahitya K.; Wei, Qiang; Zhao, Lianggong; Lu, Shun; Wang, Xin; Tang, Shengli; Liu, Hao; Luu, Hue H.; Haydon, Rex C.; He, Tong-Chuan; Jiang, Li

    2015-01-01

    The advent of fluorescence-based quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) has revolutionized the quantification of gene expression analysis in many fields, including life sciences, agriculture, forensic science, molecular diagnostics, and medicine. While SYBR Green-based qPCR is the most commonly-used platform due to its inexpensive nature and robust chemistry, quantifying the expression of genes with low abundance or RNA samples extracted from highly restricted or limited sources can be challenging because the detection sensitivity of SYBR Green-based qPCR is limited. Here, we develop a novel and effective touchdown qPCR (TqPCR) protocol by incorporating a 4-cycle touchdown stage prior to the quantification amplification stage. Using the same cDNA templates, we find that TqPCR can reduce the average Cq values for Gapdh, Rps13, and Hprt1 reference genes by 4.45, 5.47, and 4.94 cycles, respectively, when compared with conventional qPCR; the overall average Cq value reduction for the three reference genes together is 4.95. We further find that TqPCR can improve PCR amplification efficiency and thus increase detection sensitivity. When the quantification of Wnt3A-induced target gene expression in mesenchymal stem cells is analyzed, we find that, while both conventional qPCR and TqPCR can detect the up-regulation of the relatively abundant target Axin2, only TqPCR can detect the up-regulation of the lowly-expressed targets Oct4 and Gbx2. Finally, we demonstrate that the MRQ2 and MRQ3 primer pairs derived from mouse reference gene Tbp can be used to validate the RNA/cDNA integrity of qPCR samples. Taken together, our results strongly suggest that TqPCR may increase detection sensitivity and PCR amplification efficiency. Overall, TqPCR should be advantageous over conventional qPCR in expression quantification, especially when the transcripts of interest are lowly expressed, and/or the availability of total RNA is highly restricted or limited. PMID:26172450

  19. Significant Improvement in Thermal and UV Resistances of UHMWPE Fabric through in Situ Formation of Polysiloxane-TiO2 Hybrid Layers.

    PubMed

    Hu, Jiangtao; Gao, Qianhong; Xu, Lu; Zhang, Mingxing; Xing, Zhe; Guo, Xiaojing; Zhang, Kuo; Wu, Guozhong

    2016-09-01

    Anatase nanocrystalline titanium dioxide coatings were produced on ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fabric by radiation-induced graft polymerization of γ-methacryloxypropyl trimethoxysilane (MAPS) and subsequent cohydrolysis of the graft chains (PMAPS) with tetrabutyl titanate, followed by boiling water treatment for 180 min. The resulting material was coded as UHMWPE-g-PMAPS/TiO2 and characterized by attenuated total reflection infrared spectrometry, differential scanning calorimetry, X-ray diffraction, thermal gravimetry, and ultraviolet absorption spectroscopy, among others. The predominant form of TiO2 in the thin film was anatase. The coating layer was composed of two sublayers: an inner part consisting of an organic-inorganic hybrid layer to prevent photocatalytic degradation of the matrix by TiO2 film, and an outer part consisting of anatase nanocrystalline TiO2 capable of UV absorption. This UHMWPE-g-PMAPS/TiO2 composite exhibited much better thermal resistance than conventional UHMWPE fabric, as reflected by the higher melting point, decreased maximum degradation rate, and higher char yield at 700 °C. Compared with UHMWPE fabric, UHMWPE-g-PMAPS/TiO2 exhibited significantly enhanced UV absorption and excellent duration of UV illumination. Specifically, the UV absorption intensity was 2.4-fold higher than that of UHMWPE fabric; the retention of the break strength of UHMWPE-g-PMAPS/TiO2 reached 92.3% after UV irradiation. This work provides an approach for addressing the issue of self-degradation of TiO2-coated polymeric materials due to the inherent photoactivity of TiO2. PMID:27513017

  20. BZYX, a novel acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, significantly improved chemicals-induced learning and memory impairments on rodents and protected PC12 cells from apoptosis induced by hydrogen peroxide.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jing; Zhu, Difeng; Sheng, Rong; Wu, Honghai; Hu, Yongzhou; Wang, Feng; Cai, Tianyu; Yang, Bo; He, Qiaojun

    2009-06-24

    BZYX was designed as a dual-binding-site acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor and selected from series of indanone derivatives. The present study was designed to examine the cognition-enhanced, anti-cholinesterase, and neuroprotective effects of BZYX. In the passive avoidance performance and radial arm maze, BZYX showed a comparable effect to donepezil and rivastigmine on memory deficits in different stages induced by scopolamine, NaNO(2) and ethanol, respectively. Ellman's assay indicated BZYX exhibited high inhibition on AChE activity. IC(50) values for BZYX: 0.058+/-0.022 microM; donepezil: 0.019+/-0.004 microM; rivastigmine: 3.81+/-2.81 microM; glantamine: 3.01+/-1.85 microM and huperzine A: 0.053+/-0.016 microM. BZYX also presented great neuroprotecive function from apoptosis induced by hydrogen peroxide(H(2)O(2)) in PC12 cells. MTT assay and Annexin V-FITC Apoptosis Detection showed the viability of PC12 cells remarkably decreased with 400 microM H(2)O(2), while it significantly increased when the cells were pretreated with 0.1-1.0 microM BZYX. BZYX pretreatment remarkably reversed the loss of mitochondria membrane potential (DeltaPsim), scavenged reactive oxygen species formation induced by H(2)O(2) and resulted in up-regulation of procaspase3 and xIAP protein level and down-regulation of phosphorylated JNK protein, p53 protein level and cleavage of caspase 3. It is speculated that the mitochondrial pathway, mediated by Bcl-2 family and Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinases (MAPKs), might involved in the neuroprotection of BZYX. These results first demonstrated that BZYX had neuroprotective effects as well as cognition enhancement and acetylcholinesterase inhibition. It is hopeful that BZYX becomes a potential candidate for use in the intervention for neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:19345205

  1. Significant Improvement in Thermal and UV Resistances of UHMWPE Fabric through in Situ Formation of Polysiloxane-TiO2 Hybrid Layers.

    PubMed

    Hu, Jiangtao; Gao, Qianhong; Xu, Lu; Zhang, Mingxing; Xing, Zhe; Guo, Xiaojing; Zhang, Kuo; Wu, Guozhong

    2016-09-01

    Anatase nanocrystalline titanium dioxide coatings were produced on ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fabric by radiation-induced graft polymerization of γ-methacryloxypropyl trimethoxysilane (MAPS) and subsequent cohydrolysis of the graft chains (PMAPS) with tetrabutyl titanate, followed by boiling water treatment for 180 min. The resulting material was coded as UHMWPE-g-PMAPS/TiO2 and characterized by attenuated total reflection infrared spectrometry, differential scanning calorimetry, X-ray diffraction, thermal gravimetry, and ultraviolet absorption spectroscopy, among others. The predominant form of TiO2 in the thin film was anatase. The coating layer was composed of two sublayers: an inner part consisting of an organic-inorganic hybrid layer to prevent photocatalytic degradation of the matrix by TiO2 film, and an outer part consisting of anatase nanocrystalline TiO2 capable of UV absorption. This UHMWPE-g-PMAPS/TiO2 composite exhibited much better thermal resistance than conventional UHMWPE fabric, as reflected by the higher melting point, decreased maximum degradation rate, and higher char yield at 700 °C. Compared with UHMWPE fabric, UHMWPE-g-PMAPS/TiO2 exhibited significantly enhanced UV absorption and excellent duration of UV illumination. Specifically, the UV absorption intensity was 2.4-fold higher than that of UHMWPE fabric; the retention of the break strength of UHMWPE-g-PMAPS/TiO2 reached 92.3% after UV irradiation. This work provides an approach for addressing the issue of self-degradation of TiO2-coated polymeric materials due to the inherent photoactivity of TiO2.

  2. Ionic liquid integrated multiwalled carbon nanotube in a poly(vinylidene fluoride) matrix: formation of a piezoelectric β-polymorph with significant reinforcement and conductivity improvement.

    PubMed

    Mandal, Amit; Nandi, Arun K

    2013-02-01

    Multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) are functionalized covalently with ionic liquid (IL, 3-aminoethyl imidazolium bromide) which helps good dispersion of IL-functionalized MWNTs (MWNT-IL) in the poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) matrix. Analysis of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) micrographs suggests ∼10 nm coating thickness of MWNTs by ILs, and the covalent linkage of ILs with MWNTs is confirmed from FT-IR and Raman spectra. PVDF nanocomposites with full β-polymorphic (piezoelectric) form are prepared using MWNT-IL by both the solvent cast and melt-blending methods. The FE-SEM and TEM micrographs indicate that IL-bound MWNTs are homogeneously dispersed within the PVDF matrix. Increasing MWNT-IL concentration in the composites results in increased β polymorph formation with a concomitant decrease of the α polymorph, and a 100% β polymorph formation occurs for 1 wt % MWNT-IL in both the fabrication conditions. A differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) study shows that the MWNT-ILs are an efficient nucleating agent for PVDF crystallization preferentially nucleating the β form due to its dipolar interactions with PVDF. The glass transition temperature (T(g)) gradually increases with an increase in MWNT-IL concentration, and the storage modulus (G') of the composites increases significantly, showing a maximum increase of 101.3% for 0.5 wt % MWNT-IL. The Young's modulus increases with MWNT-IL concentration, and analysis of the data using the Halpin-Tsai equation suggests that at low concentration they adopt an orientation parallel to the film surface; however, at higher MWNT-IL concentration it is randomly oriented. The tensile strength also increases with an increase in MWNT-IL concentration, and both the Young's modulus and the tensile strength of solvent cast films are lower than melt-blended samples. The elongation at break in the solvent cast samples shows a maximum, but in melt-blended samples it decreases continuously with increasing MWNT

  3. Human abilities: emotional intelligence.

    PubMed

    Mayer, John D; Roberts, Richard D; Barsade, Sigal G

    2008-01-01

    Emotional intelligence (EI) involves the ability to carry out accurate reasoning about emotions and the ability to use emotions and emotional knowledge to enhance thought. We discuss the origins of the EI concept, define EI, and describe the scope of the field today. We review three approaches taken to date from both a theoretical and methodological perspective. We find that Specific-Ability and Integrative-Model approaches adequately conceptualize and measure EI. Pivotal in this review are those studies that address the relation between EI measures and meaningful criteria including social outcomes, performance, and psychological and physical well-being. The Discussion section is followed by a list of summary points and recommended issues for future research. PMID:17937602

  4. Combining ability of tropical and temperate inbred lines of popcorn.

    PubMed

    da Silva, V Q R; do Amaral Júnior, A T; Gonçalves, L S A; Freitas Júnior, S P; Candido, L S; Vittorazzi, C; Moterle, L M; Vieira, R A; Scapim, C A

    2010-01-01

    In Brazil, using combining ability of popcorn genotypes to achieve superior hybrids has been unsuccessful because the local genotypes are all members of the same heterotic group. To overcome this constraint, 10 lines (P(1) to P(10)) with different adaptations to tropical or temperate edaphoclimatic environments were used to obtain 45 F(1) hybrids in a complete diallel. These hybrids and three controls were evaluated in two environments in Rio de Janeiro State. Grain yield (GY), popping expansion (PE), plant height (PH), ear height (EH), and days to silking (FL) were evaluated in randomized complete blocks with three replications. Significant differences between genotypes (P ability was significant for EH, PH, PE, and GY, and specific combining ability was significant only for PE and GY. The most promising inbred lines that improved GY were P(3) and P(4), unlike P(8), P(9) and P(10), which improved PE, and P(2), which improved both PE and GY. The additive effects were much more important for PE than for GY. The hybrid combinations gave positive estimates of heterosis for GY but not for PE. PMID:20812195

  5. Priming Ability Emotional Intelligence

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schutte, Nicola S.; Malouff, John M.

    2012-01-01

    Two studies examined whether priming self-schemas relating to successful emotional competency results in better emotional intelligence performance. In the first study participants were randomly assigned to a successful emotional competency self-schema prime condition or a control condition and then completed an ability measure of emotional…

  6. A Specific Calculating Ability.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Mike; O'Connor, Neil; Hermelin, Beate

    1998-01-01

    Studied the calculating ability used by a low IQ savant to identify prime numbers in two experiments comparing him to control subjects, one involving reaction time and the other involving inspection time. Concludes that this individual uses a complex computational algorithm to identify primes and discusses the apparent contradiction of his low IQ.…

  7. Pharmacy Students’ Ability to Identify Plagiarism After an Educational Intervention

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Kira; Kehr, Heather; Ford, Carolyn; Lane, Daniel C.; Nuzum, Donald S.; Compton, Cynthia; Gibson, Whitney

    2014-01-01

    Objective. To determine if an educational intervention in a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program increases pharmacy students’ ability to identify plagiarism. Methods. First-year (P1), second-year (P2), and third-year (P3) pharmacy students attended an education session during which types of plagiarism and methods for avoiding plagiarism were reviewed. Students completed a preintervention assessment immediately prior to the session and a postintervention assessment the following semester to measure their ability. Results. Two hundred fifty-two students completed both preintervention and postintervention assessments. There was a 4% increase from preintervention to postintervention in assessment scores for the overall student sample (p<0.05). The mean change was greatest for P1 and P2 students (5% and 4.8%, respectively). Conclusion. An educational intervention about plagiarism can significantly improve students’ ability to identify plagiarism. PMID:24672066

  8. Pharmacy students' ability to identify plagiarism after an educational intervention.

    PubMed

    Degeeter, Michelle; Harris, Kira; Kehr, Heather; Ford, Carolyn; Lane, Daniel C; Nuzum, Donald S; Compton, Cynthia; Gibson, Whitney

    2014-03-12

    Objective. To determine if an educational intervention in a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program increases pharmacy students' ability to identify plagiarism. Methods. First-year (P1), second-year (P2), and third-year (P3) pharmacy students attended an education session during which types of plagiarism and methods for avoiding plagiarism were reviewed. Students completed a preintervention assessment immediately prior to the session and a postintervention assessment the following semester to measure their ability. Results. Two hundred fifty-two students completed both preintervention and postintervention assessments. There was a 4% increase from preintervention to postintervention in assessment scores for the overall student sample (p<0.05). The mean change was greatest for P1 and P2 students (5% and 4.8%, respectively). Conclusion. An educational intervention about plagiarism can significantly improve students' ability to identify plagiarism.

  9. 45 CFR 1616.7 - Language ability.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... § 1616.7 Language ability. In areas where a significant number of clients speak a language other than English as their principal language, a recipient shall adopt employment policies that insure that legal... 45 Public Welfare 4 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Language ability. 1616.7 Section 1616.7...

  10. 45 CFR 1616.7 - Language ability.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... § 1616.7 Language ability. In areas where a significant number of clients speak a language other than English as their principal language, a recipient shall adopt employment policies that insure that legal... 45 Public Welfare 4 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Language ability. 1616.7 Section 1616.7...

  11. 45 CFR 1616.7 - Language ability.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... § 1616.7 Language ability. In areas where a significant number of clients speak a language other than English as their principal language, a recipient shall adopt employment policies that insure that legal... 45 Public Welfare 4 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Language ability. 1616.7 Section 1616.7...

  12. 45 CFR 1616.7 - Language ability.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Language ability. 1616.7 Section 1616.7 Public... § 1616.7 Language ability. In areas where a significant number of clients speak a language other than English as their principal language, a recipient shall adopt employment policies that insure that...

  13. Effect of case-based learning on the development of graduate nurses' problem-solving ability.

    PubMed

    Yoo, Moon-Sook; Park, Jin-Hee

    2014-01-01

    Case-based learning (CBL) is a teaching strategy which promotes clinical problem-solving ability. This research was performed to investigate the effects of CBL on problem-solving ability of graduate nurses. This research was a quasi-experimental design using pre-test, intervention, and post-test with a non-synchronized, non-equivalent control group. The study population was composed of 190 new graduate nurses from university hospital A in Korea. Results of the research indicate that there was a statistically significant difference in objective problem-solving ability scores of CBL group demonstrating higher scores. Subjective problem-solving ability was also significantly higher in CBL group than in the lecture-based group. These results may suggest that CBL is a beneficial and effective instructional method of training graduate nurses to improve their clinical problem-solving ability.

  14. Enhancing Readers' Analysis-by-Synthesis Abilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McIntosh, Margaret E.

    A variety of techniques for improving readers' analysis-by-synthesis abilities (rapid, efficient reading typical of highly skilled readers) are presented in this paper. The techniques discussed in the first part emphasize improving reading comprehension and include the following: (1) modifications of the cloze procedure (encouraging readers to use…

  15. Implicit learning as an ability.

    PubMed

    Kaufman, Scott Barry; Deyoung, Colin G; Gray, Jeremy R; Jiménez, Luis; Brown, Jamie; Mackintosh, Nicholas

    2010-09-01

    The ability to automatically and implicitly detect complex and noisy regularities in the environment is a fundamental aspect of human cognition. Despite considerable interest in implicit processes, few researchers have conceptualized implicit learning as an ability with meaningful individual differences. Instead, various researchers (e.g., Reber, 1993; Stanovich, 2009) have suggested that individual differences in implicit learning are minimal relative to individual differences in explicit learning. In the current study of English 16-17year old students, we investigated the association of individual differences in implicit learning with a variety of cognitive and personality variables. Consistent with prior research and theorizing, implicit learning, as measured by a probabilistic sequence learning task, was more weakly related to psychometric intelligence than was explicit associative learning, and was unrelated to working memory. Structural equation modeling revealed that implicit learning was independently related to two components of psychometric intelligence: verbal analogical reasoning and processing speed. Implicit learning was also independently related to academic performance on two foreign language exams (French, German). Further, implicit learning was significantly associated with aspects of self-reported personality, including intuition, Openness to Experience, and impulsivity. We discuss the implications of implicit learning as an ability for dual-process theories of cognition, intelligence, personality, skill learning, complex cognition, and language acquisition.

  16. Cognitive abilities in reading-disabled children: a longitudinal study.

    PubMed

    Baker, L A; Decker, S N; DeFries, J C

    1984-01-01

    Longitudinal psychometric test data collected at two different ages (9.4 +/- 1.3 and 14.8 +/- 1.2 years) were utilized to compare the developmental rates of 69 pairs of reading-disabled and matched control children. Results of a two-factor (GROUP X TIME), mixed-model, multivariate analysis of variance indicated that reading-disabled children manifested deficits on measures of academic achievement, symbolic processing speed and spatial reasoning abilities at both ages. Although both reading-disabled and control children were found to improve significantly between the two testing sessions, the lack of a significant GROUP X TIME interaction on measures of academic achievement and spatial reasoning abilities indicated that the rate of development was similar for the two groups. For measures of symbolic processing speed, however, differences between reading-disabled and control children were somewhat greater at the later age.

  17. General English Ability, Specific Purpose English Ability, and Computer Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prapphal, Kanchana

    2003-01-01

    Aims to answer the following research questions: (1) Are general English ability and specific purpose English ability related to computer skills? and (2) Is general English ability transferable to specific purpose English ability? Subjects were third year science students enrolled in an English for academic purposes course. (Author/VWL)

  18. The addition of rituximab to fludarabine and cyclophosphamide chemotherapy results in a significant improvement in overall survival in patients with newly diagnosed mantle cell lymphoma: results of a randomized UK National Cancer Research Institute trial

    PubMed Central

    Rule, Simon; Smith, Paul; Johnson, Peter W.M.; Bolam, Simon; Follows, George; Gambell, Joanne; Hillmen, Peter; Jack, Andrew; Johnson, Stephen; Kirkwood, Amy A; Kruger, Anton; Pocock, Christopher; Seymour, John F.; Toncheva, Milena; Walewski, Jan; Linch, David

    2016-01-01

    Mantle cell lymphoma is an incurable and generally aggressive lymphoma that is more common in elderly patients. Whilst a number of different chemotherapeutic regimens are active in this disease, there is no established gold standard therapy. Rituximab has been used widely to good effect in B-cell malignancies but there is no evidence that it improves outcomes when added to chemotherapy in this disease. We performed a randomized, open-label, multicenter study looking at the addition of rituximab to the standard chemotherapy regimen of fludarabine and cyclophosphamide in patients with newly diagnosed mantle cell lymphoma. A total of 370 patients were randomized. With a median follow up of six years, rituximab improved the median progression-free survival from 14.9 to 29.8 months (P<0.001) and overall survival from 37.0 to 44.5 months (P=0.005). This equates to absolute differences of 9.0% and 22.1% for overall and progression-free survival, respectively, at two years. Overall response rates were similar, but complete response rates were significantly higher in the rituximab arm: 52.7% vs. 39.9% (P=0.014). There was no clinically significant additional toxicity observed with the addition of rituximab. Overall, approximately 18% of patients died of non-lymphomatous causes, most commonly infections. The addition of rituximab to fludarabine and cyclophosphamide chemotherapy significantly improves outcomes in patients with mantle cell lymphoma. However, these regimens have significant late toxicity and should be used with caution. This trial has been registered (ISRCTN81133184 and clinicaltrials.gov:00641095) and is supported by the UK National Cancer Research Network. PMID:26611473

  19. Effects of extracorporeal shockwave therapy on patients with chronic low back pain and their dynamic balance ability.

    PubMed

    Lee, Sangyong; Lee, Daehee; Park, Jungseo

    2014-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) for patients with chronic low back pain and their dynamic balance ability. [Subjects] Twenty-eight patients with chronic low back were divided into an extracorporeal shockwave therapy group (ESWTG: n=13) and a conservative physical therapy group (CPTG, n=15). [Methods] An exercise program that included Williams' exercises and McKenzie's exercises was performed by both groups. The program was implemented twice a week for six weeks. The visual analog scale (VAS) was used to measure the chronic low back pain of the patients. Their dynamic balance ability was measured with BioRescue. [Results] The within-group comparison of the VAS of the ESWTG and the CPTG showed significant improvements after the intervention. In the VAS comparison between the groups after the treatment, the ESWTG showed a significantly larger improvement. In the within-group comparison of dynamic balance ability, the ESWTG showed significant improvements after the intervention in SAPLS, SAPRS, SAPFS, SAPBS, and TSA, and the CPTG showed significant improvements in SAPLS and SAPBS. In the between-group comparison of the dynamic balance ability after the treatment, the ESWTG showed significantly larger improvements in their SAPLS, SAPRS, SAPFS, and TSA. [Conclusion] The exercise program combined with the ESWT relieved chronic back pain more than the exercise program combined with the CPT. The former was also more effective at improving the patients' dynamic balance ability in terms of SAPLS, SAPRS, SAPFS, and TSA.

  20. Structure-Guided Systems-Level Engineering of Oxidation-Prone Methionine Residues in Catalytic Domain of an Alkaline α-Amylase from Alkalimonas amylolytica for Significant Improvement of Both Oxidative Stability and Catalytic Efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Haiquan; Liu, Long; Shin, Hyun-dong; Li, Jianghua; Du, Guocheng; Chen, Jian

    2013-01-01

    High oxidative stability and catalytic efficiency are required for the alkaline α-amylases to keep the enzymatic performance under the harsh conditions in detergent industries. In this work, we attempted to significantly improve both the oxidative stability and catalytic efficiency of an alkaline α-amylase from Alkalimonas amylolytica by engineering the five oxidation-prone methionine residues around the catalytic domain via a systematic approach. Specifically, based on the tertiary structure analysis, five methionines (Met 145, Met 214, Met 229, Met 247 and Met 317) were individually substituted with oxidation-resistant threonine, isoleucine and alaline, respectively. Among the created 15 mutants, 7 mutants M145A, M145I, M214A, M229A, M229T, M247T and M317I showed significantly enhanced oxidative stability or catalytic efficiency. In previous work, we found that the replacement of M247 with leucine could significantly improve the oxidative stability. Thus, these 8 positive mutants (M145A, M145I, M214A, M229A, M229T, M247T, M247L and M317I) were used to conduct the second round of combinational mutations. Among the constructed 85 mutants (25 two-point mutants, 36 three-point mutants, 16 four-point mutants and 8 five-point mutants), the mutant M145I-214A-229T-247T-317I showed a 5.4-fold increase in oxidative stability and a 3.0-fold increase in catalytic efficiency. Interestingly, the specific activity, alkaline stability and thermal stability of this mutant were also increased. The increase of salt bridge and hydrogen bonds around the catalytic domain contributed to the significantly improved catalytic efficiency and stability, as revealed by the three-dimensional structure model of wild-type alkaline α-amylase and its mutant M145I-214A-229T-247T-317I. With the significantly improved oxidative stability and catalytic efficiency, the mutant M145I-214A-229T-247T-317I has a great potential as a detergent additive, and this structure-guided systems engineering

  1. Effects of ankle exercises on balance ability when using shoe height insoles

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Daehee; Han, Seulki; Lee, Sangyong

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of ankle exercises on balance ability when using shoe height insoles. [Subjects and Methods] Thirty adults in their 20s, who were students, were randomly divided into an experimental group and a control group (n=15/group). Individuals in the experimental group wore height-adjustable silicon insoles measuring 3, 5, and 7 cm three times per week for four weeks. The ankle exercise program consisted of stretching exercises, resistance training, and a balance exercise. [Results] There was a significant improvement in the balance ability of the experimental group for all height insoles (3, 5, and 7 cm) following the exercise program, as compared with before the exercise program. There was no significant improvement in the balance ability of the control group for all height insoles following the exercise program as compared with before the exercise program. The experimental group exhibited a significant improvement in balance ability following the exercise program for all the height insoles as compared with the control group. [Conclusion] According to the results of this study, active ankle exercises are helpful in preventing ankle joint damage, as they improve balance ability. PMID:27799702

  2. Impairment and Training of Static Balance Ability in Educationally Handicapped Children. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kohen-Raz, Reuven

    A sample of 247 Educationally Handicapped (EH) children at ages 6-10 was investigated to determine the role of static balance impairment in learning disabilities and the possibility of improving reading through balance training. Significant correlations between balance ability and reading level were found in only about 40% of the sample,…

  3. VISION AND READING ABILITY.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MANGRUM, CHARLES T.

    SIGNIFICANT RESEARCH ON THE PHYSIOLOGICAL AND FUNCTIONAL ASPECTS OF VISION AND READING DISABILITY IS SURVEYED. CONCLUSIONS BASED ON THE LITERATURE IN THE FIELD ARE DISCUSSED. A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF 70 REFERENCES AND A GLOSSARY OF TERMS ARE APPENDED. A TABLE SUMMARIZING REFRACTIVE ERRORS AND EYE DEFECTS CONTRIBUTING TO READING DISABILITY IS INCLUDED.…

  4. [Adverse events prevention ability].

    PubMed

    Aparo, Ugo Luigi; Aparo, Andrea

    2007-03-01

    The issue of how to address medical errors is the key to improve the health care system performances. Operational evidence collected in the last five years shows that the solution is only partially linked to future technological developments. Cultural and organisational changes are mandatory to help to manage and drastically reduce the adverse events in health care organisations. Classical management, merely based on coordination and control, is inadequate. Proactive, self-organising network based structures must be put in place and managed using adaptive, fast evolving management tools. PMID:17484160

  5. [Adverse events prevention ability].

    PubMed

    Aparo, Ugo Luigi; Aparo, Andrea

    2007-03-01

    The issue of how to address medical errors is the key to improve the health care system performances. Operational evidence collected in the last five years shows that the solution is only partially linked to future technological developments. Cultural and organisational changes are mandatory to help to manage and drastically reduce the adverse events in health care organisations. Classical management, merely based on coordination and control, is inadequate. Proactive, self-organising network based structures must be put in place and managed using adaptive, fast evolving management tools.

  6. The effects of trunk kinesio taping on balance ability and gait function in stroke patients

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Yang Jin; Kim, Ji Young; Kim, Seong Yoel; Kim, Kyung Hoon

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] Kinesio taping is a therapeutic method used in the treatment of various musculoskeletal and neuromuscular deficits, but there is limited evidence of the effects of trunk kinesio taping in neurologic patients. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the effects of trunk kinesio taping on balance ability and gait function in persons after a stroke. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-five post-stroke patients were included in this study. Kinesio tape was applied to four trunk muscles. Before and after the taping, in all subjects, the balance ability was measured using the Wii Balance Board, and gait function was assessed using the GAITRite system. [Results] The difference in gait function before and after trunk taping was not statistically significant. However, a variability of balance ability showed statistically significant differences. [Conclusion] These results suggest that taping may be a helpful method during rehabilitation programs for stroke patients. Its application to the trunk muscles is especially useful for improving balance ability.

  7. The effects of trunk kinesio taping on balance ability and gait function in stroke patients

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Yang Jin; Kim, Ji Young; Kim, Seong Yoel; Kim, Kyung Hoon

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] Kinesio taping is a therapeutic method used in the treatment of various musculoskeletal and neuromuscular deficits, but there is limited evidence of the effects of trunk kinesio taping in neurologic patients. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the effects of trunk kinesio taping on balance ability and gait function in persons after a stroke. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-five post-stroke patients were included in this study. Kinesio tape was applied to four trunk muscles. Before and after the taping, in all subjects, the balance ability was measured using the Wii Balance Board, and gait function was assessed using the GAITRite system. [Results] The difference in gait function before and after trunk taping was not statistically significant. However, a variability of balance ability showed statistically significant differences. [Conclusion] These results suggest that taping may be a helpful method during rehabilitation programs for stroke patients. Its application to the trunk muscles is especially useful for improving balance ability. PMID:27630439

  8. The effects of trunk kinesio taping on balance ability and gait function in stroke patients.

    PubMed

    Lee, Yang Jin; Kim, Ji Young; Kim, Seong Yoel; Kim, Kyung Hoon

    2016-08-01

    [Purpose] Kinesio taping is a therapeutic method used in the treatment of various musculoskeletal and neuromuscular deficits, but there is limited evidence of the effects of trunk kinesio taping in neurologic patients. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the effects of trunk kinesio taping on balance ability and gait function in persons after a stroke. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-five post-stroke patients were included in this study. Kinesio tape was applied to four trunk muscles. Before and after the taping, in all subjects, the balance ability was measured using the Wii Balance Board, and gait function was assessed using the GAITRite system. [Results] The difference in gait function before and after trunk taping was not statistically significant. However, a variability of balance ability showed statistically significant differences. [Conclusion] These results suggest that taping may be a helpful method during rehabilitation programs for stroke patients. Its application to the trunk muscles is especially useful for improving balance ability.

  9. Effects of Lower-Leg Kinesiology Taping on Balance Ability in Stroke Patients with Foot Drop

    PubMed Central

    Bae, Young-Hyeon; Kim, Hyeong Geun; Min, Kyung Sam; Lee, Suk Min

    2015-01-01

    Objective. The purpose of this study was to observe the effects of lower-leg kinesiology taping on balance ability in stroke patients with foot drop. Design. Randomized controlled trial study. Method. Thirty stroke patients with foot drop were randomly divided into two groups. The experimental group underwent kinesiology taping, and the control group underwent placebo taping. Balance ability was assessed before and after taping in both groups. Results. No difference was observed over time in the Berg Balance Scale score between the two groups, and a significant difference in the Berg Balance Scale score was observed only in the experimental group. Additionally, there were significant differences in the center of pressure area and limits of stability over time. Conclusion. Kinesiology taping temporarily improved static balance ability in stroke patients. However, its effect on dynamic balance was not verified. Therefore, further research on the influence of long-term kinesiology taping on dynamic balance and gait ability is suggested. PMID:26579200

  10. Effects of Lower-Leg Kinesiology Taping on Balance Ability in Stroke Patients with Foot Drop.

    PubMed

    Bae, Young-Hyeon; Kim, Hyeong Geun; Min, Kyung Sam; Lee, Suk Min

    2015-01-01

    Objective. The purpose of this study was to observe the effects of lower-leg kinesiology taping on balance ability in stroke patients with foot drop. Design. Randomized controlled trial study. Method. Thirty stroke patients with foot drop were randomly divided into two groups. The experimental group underwent kinesiology taping, and the control group underwent placebo taping. Balance ability was assessed before and after taping in both groups. Results. No difference was observed over time in the Berg Balance Scale score between the two groups, and a significant difference in the Berg Balance Scale score was observed only in the experimental group. Additionally, there were significant differences in the center of pressure area and limits of stability over time. Conclusion. Kinesiology taping temporarily improved static balance ability in stroke patients. However, its effect on dynamic balance was not verified. Therefore, further research on the influence of long-term kinesiology taping on dynamic balance and gait ability is suggested.

  11. Quality of life and audiologic performance through the ability to phone of cochlear implant users.

    PubMed

    Rumeau, Cécile; Frère, Julien; Montaut-Verient, Bettina; Lion, Alexis; Gauchard, Gérome; Parietti-Winkler, Cécile

    2015-12-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the impact of cochlear implantation on quality of life (QoL), using general and cochlear implant (CI) specific questionnaires and to determine the relationship of phone ability with QoL, speech recognition abilities and tinnitus. Twenty-six adult volunteers with a post-lingual profound deafness, unilaterally implanted with a CI, were included in this study. All subjects had used a CI for at least 1 year. The Glasgow benefit inventory (GBI) and Nijmegen cochlear implant questionnaire (NCIQ) were administered to assess QoL. Speech recognition was tested using phonemic Lafon's lists. The subjective tinnitus severity scale (STSS) questionnaire was used to determine the effects of tinnitus. CI users were split into four groups according to their phone ability. There was an improvement in QoL after cochlear implantation. The NCIQ showed significant (p < 0.001) improvements in the total score and in all subdomains after CI. A significant relationship between phone ability, QoL and speech recognition was found. Improving phone ability led to higher QoL (p < 0.05) and speech recognition (p < 0.01) scores. The CI use decreased significantly the occurrence of tinnitus, but its severity was not correlated with QoL. Post-surgery assessment should include speech recognition measures and QoL evaluation. The NCIQ appeared more effective than the GBI in its ability to detect improvements in QoL. Assessing phone ability represents an easy and fast approach to evaluate hearing performances and QoL, and may reflect global outcomes of CI.

  12. Different Dimensions of Spatial Ability.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eliot, John; Hauptman, Anna

    1981-01-01

    Indicates that spatial ability describes a variety of different behaviors and briefly reviews efforts to define intelligence factors and identify processes involved in solving tasks requiring spatial ability. (DS)

  13. Spatial Ability through Engineering Graphics Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marunic, Gordana; Glazar, Vladimir

    2013-01-01

    Spatial ability has been confirmed to be of particular importance for successful engineering graphics education and to be a component of human intelligence that can be improved through instruction and training. Consequently, the creation and communication by means of graphics demand careful development of spatial skills provided by the balanced…

  14. Relationship between Work Ability Index and Cognitive Failure among Nurses

    PubMed Central

    Abbasi, Milad; Zakerian, Abolfazl; Kolahdouzi, Malihe; Mehri, Ahmad; Akbarzadeh, Arash; Ebrahimi, Mohammad Hossein

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Frequent nursing errors are considered as factors that affect the quality of healthcare of patients. Capable nurses who are compatible with work conditions are more focused on their tasks, and this reduces their errors and cognitive failures. Therefore, this study was conducted with the aim of investigating the relationship between work ability index (WAI) and cognitive failures (CFs) as well as some factors that affect them in nurses working in the ICU, CCU, and emergency wards. Methods This descriptive-analytical and cross-sectional study was conducted with 750 nurses at educational hospitals affiliated with the Tehran University of Medical Sciences in 2015. A questionnaire of work ability index and cognitive failures was used to collect data. The data were analyzed using SPSS 20 and the Pearson and Spearman correlation coefficients, chi-squared, ANOVA, and the Kruskal-Wallis tests. Results Using the Pearson correlation test, the results of this study showed that there is a significant, inverse relationship between WAI, personal prognosis of work ability, and mental resources with CFs along with all its subscales in nurses (p < 0.05). In addition, there was an inverse and significant relationship between the total score of CFs and the estimated work impairment due to diseases (p < 0.05). There was a significant positive correlation of CFs with age and experience, while WAI was inversely related to age, work experience, and body mass index (BMI) (p < 0.05). WAI and CFs were related significantly to working units (p < 0.05). Conclusion Considering the results obtained in this study, WAI and the cognitive status of nurses were lower than the specified limit. It is suggested that the work ability of nurses be improved and that their CFs be reduced through various measures, including pre-employment examinations, proper management of work-shift conditions, and using engineering and administrative strategies to ensure the safety of hospitalized patients

  15. Water collection behavior and hanging ability of bioinspired fiber.

    PubMed

    Hou, Yongping; Chen, Yuan; Xue, Yan; Zheng, Yongmei; Jiang, Lei

    2012-03-13

    Since the water-collecting ability of the wetted cribellate spider capture silk is the result of a unique fiber structure, bioinspired fibers have been researched significantly so as to expose a new water-acquiring route in fogging-collection projects. However, the design of the geometry of bioinspired fiber is related to the ability of hanging drops, which has not been investigated in depth so far. Here, we fabricate bioinspired fibers to investigate the water collection behavior and the influence of geometry (i.e., periodicity of spindle knot) on the hanging-drop ability. We especially discuss water collection related to the periodicity of geometry on the bioinspired fiber. We reveal the length of the three phase contact line (TCL) at threshold conditions in conjunction with the maximal volume of a hanging drop at different modes. The study demonstrates that the geometrical structure of bioinspired fiber induces much stronger water hanging ability than that of uniform fiber, attributed to such special geometry that offers effectively an increasing TCL length or limits the contact length to be shorted. In addition, the geometry also improves the fog-collection efficiency by controlling tiny water drops to be collected in the large water drops at a given location.

  16. An effective method for incoherent scattering radar's detecting ability evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Ziqing; Yao, Ming; Deng, Xiaohua

    2016-06-01

    Ionospheric incoherent scatter radar (ISR), which is used to detect ionospheric electrons and ions, generally, has megawatt class transmission power and hundred meter level antenna aperture. The crucial purpose of this detecting technology is to get ionospheric parameters by acquiring the autocorrelation function and power spectrum of the target ionospheric plasma echoes. Whereas the ISR's echoes are very weak because of the small radar cross section of its target, estimating detecting ability will be significantly instructive and meaningful for ISR system design. In this paper, we evaluate the detecting ability through signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). The soft-target radar equation is deduced to be applicable to ISR, through which we use data from International Reference Ionosphere model to simulate signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of echoes, and then comparing the measured SNR from European Incoherent Scatter Scientific Association and Advanced Modular Incoherent Scatter Radar with the simulation. The simulation results show good consistency with the measured SNR. For ISR, the topic of this paper is the first comparison between the calculated SNR and radar measurements; the detecting ability can be improved through increasing SNR. The effective method for ISR's detecting ability evaluation provides basis for design of radar system.

  17. Water collection behavior and hanging ability of bioinspired fiber.

    PubMed

    Hou, Yongping; Chen, Yuan; Xue, Yan; Zheng, Yongmei; Jiang, Lei

    2012-03-13

    Since the water-collecting ability of the wetted cribellate spider capture silk is the result of a unique fiber structure, bioinspired fibers have been researched significantly so as to expose a new water-acquiring route in fogging-collection projects. However, the design of the geometry of bioinspired fiber is related to the ability of hanging drops, which has not been investigated in depth so far. Here, we fabricate bioinspired fibers to investigate the water collection behavior and the influence of geometry (i.e., periodicity of spindle knot) on the hanging-drop ability. We especially discuss water collection related to the periodicity of geometry on the bioinspired fiber. We reveal the length of the three phase contact line (TCL) at threshold conditions in conjunction with the maximal volume of a hanging drop at different modes. The study demonstrates that the geometrical structure of bioinspired fiber induces much stronger water hanging ability than that of uniform fiber, attributed to such special geometry that offers effectively an increasing TCL length or limits the contact length to be shorted. In addition, the geometry also improves the fog-collection efficiency by controlling tiny water drops to be collected in the large water drops at a given location. PMID:22335626

  18. Ageing, working hours and work ability.

    PubMed

    Costa, G; Sartori, S

    2007-11-01

    The current paper reports the main results of several studies carried out on Italian workers using the work ability index as a complementary tool for workers' periodical health surveillance. The work ability index shows a general decreasing trend over the years, but it changes differently according to working conditions and personal health status. In jobs with higher mental involvement and autonomy, but lower physical constraint, it remains quite constant and high over the years, while it significantly decreases with a steeper trend the higher the physical work load and the lower the job control are. Sex and working hours appear to act concurrently in influencing work ability, particularly in association with more physically demanding jobs. It is therefore necessary to adopt flexible interventions, able to give ageing shift workers a proper support for maintaining a satisfactory work ability, by means of actions addressed both to work organization and psycho-physical conditions.

  19. Competitive ability in male house mice (Mus musculus): genetic influences.

    PubMed

    Cunningham, Christopher B; Ruff, James S; Chase, Kevin; Potts, Wayne K; Carrier, David R

    2013-03-01

    Conspecifics of many animal species physically compete to gain reproductive resources and thus fitness. Despite the importance of competitive ability across the animal kingdom, specific traits that influence or underpin competitive ability are poorly characterized. Here, we investigate whether there are genetic influences on competitive ability within male house mice. Additionally, we examined if litter demographics (litter size and litter sex ratio) influence competitive ability. We phenotyped two generations for a male's ability to possess a reproductive resource--a prime nesting site--using semi-natural enclosures with mixed sex groupings. We used the "Animal Model" coupled with an extensive pedigree to estimate several genetic parameters. Competitive ability was found to be highly heritable, but only displayed a moderate genetic correlation to body mass. Interestingly, litter sex ratio had a weak negative influence on competitive ability. Litter size had no significant influence on competitive ability. Our study also highlights how much remains unknown about the proximal causes of competitive ability.

  20. Identities of Dis/Ability and Music

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watts, Michael; Ridley, Barbara

    2012-01-01

    Centring on a small-scale capability-based case study of music provision for adults with profound dis/abilities, this paper considers the significance of music and music education in people's lives. It offers a philosophical defence of music's importance in enjoying a truly human life and then, drawing on an overview of the work of dis/abled…

  1. 45 CFR 1616.7 - Language ability.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... Welfare Regulations Relating to Public Welfare (Continued) LEGAL SERVICES CORPORATION ATTORNEY HIRING § 1616.7 Language ability. In areas where a significant number of clients speak a language other than... assistance will be provided in the language spoken by such clients....

  2. Math Ability: Proof of Sexual Parity?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herbert, W.

    1982-01-01

    A test of 1,366 high school students revealed no significant sex differences in the ability to perform geometrical proofs. Boys did outscore girls on overall achievement in geometry, but the results are believed to reflect differential exposure to mathematics outside the classroom. (MP)

  3. The ability of children to generalize selected science concepts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdullah, Kemal Bin; Lowell, Walter E.

    The study investigated the ability of primary and elementary school subjects to generalize two science concepts, Insect and Animal with and without instruction in the form of a mental set. It also examined the effects of age, IQ, and sex on the ability of the children to generalize these concepts. Two instruments measuring the ability to generalize the concepts Insect and Animal were developed. The results indicate that of the independent variables investigated, age and mental set significantly affected the ability to generalize the concepts Insect and Animal. It was found that the younger children's concepts were least developed and with age these concepts became more developed and more conceptual in nature. The ability to use information given in a mental set was found to be a function of age. The children in this study were more able to generalize the concept Insect than the concept Animal. The results suggest that children with age and instruction axe better able to master less general concepts than more geaeral ones. In addition, the study demonstrated that children are able to improve their learning of general concepts provided a great number and variety of instances and noninstances of the concept are used in the instruction.It was also found that the younger children were more perceptually bound than the older children. The younger children were unable to overcome the pull of perceptual attractiveness that the noninstances held for them despite instruction. The results suggest that teachers of such children should be aware of the conceptual level of the content being taught to such children to ensure appropriate and meaningful learning takes place.

  4. Planning Ability across Ranges of Intellectual Ability: An Examination of the Luria-Das Information-Processing Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCallum, R. Steve; And Others

    1988-01-01

    Based on Luria-Das information processing theory, hypothesized that 26 educable mentally retarded children would score significantly less well on relatively pure measures of planning ability than would 13 younger average ability students after students were matched on cognitive processing ability. Hypothesis was not supported by study. (Author/NB)

  5. Cultural views, language ability, and mammography use in Chinese American women.

    PubMed

    Liang, Wenchi; Wang, Judy; Chen, Mei-Yuh; Feng, Shibao; Yi, Bin; Mandelblatt, Jeanne S

    2009-12-01

    Mammography screening rates among Chinese American women have been reported to be low. This study examines whether and how culture views and language ability influence mammography adherence in this mostly immigrant population. Asymptomatic Chinese American women (n = 466) aged 50 and older, recruited from the Washington, D.C. area, completed a telephone interview. Regular mammography was defined as having two mammograms at age-appropriate recommended intervals. Cultural views were assessed by 30 items, and language ability measured women's ability in reading, writing, speaking, and listening to English. After controlling for risk perception, worry, physician recommendation, family encouragement, and access barriers, women holding a more Chinese/Eastern cultural view were significantly less likely to have had regular mammograms than those having a Western cultural view. English ability was positively associated with mammography adherence. The authors' results imply that culturally sensitive and language-appropriate educational interventions are likely to improve mammography adherence in this population.

  6. Multisensory information boosts numerical matching abilities in young children.

    PubMed

    Jordan, Kerry E; Baker, Joseph

    2011-03-01

    This study presents the first evidence that preschool children perform more accurately in a numerical matching task when given multisensory rather than unisensory information about number. Three- to 5-year-old children learned to play a numerical matching game on a touchscreen computer, which asked them to match a sample numerosity with a numerically equivalent choice numerosity. Samples consisted of a series of visual squares on some trials, a series of auditory tones on other trials, and synchronized squares and tones on still other trials. Children performed at chance on this matching task when provided with either type of unisensory sample, but improved significantly when provided with multisensory samples. There was no speed–accuracy tradeoff between unisensory and multisensory trial types. Thus, these findings suggest that intersensory redundancy may improve young children’s abilities to match numerosities.

  7. A Comparison of Student Spatial Abilities Across STEM Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loftis, Thad; Cid, Xiimena; Lopez, Ramon

    2011-10-01

    It has been shown that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) students have higher spatial abilities than students in the liberal arts or humanities. In order to track the change in spatial abilities within a group, studies in physics have examined topics in kinematics, chemistry has examined topics on molecular diagrams, mathematics has examined topics related to geometry, and engineering has developed courses specifically targeting students' spatial abilities. It is understood that students in STEM fields improve their spatial abilities while taking STEM courses, but very few studies have done comparisons amongst the different STEM fields. I will be presenting data comparing different STEM students' spatial ability, assessed using the Mental Rotation Test.

  8. The Measurement of Translation Ability.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stansfield, Charles W.; And Others

    1992-01-01

    Variables that constitute translation ability are discussed, based on a two-year development and validation study of job-related tests of translation ability for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The project involved the development of two parallel forms of the Spanish into English Verbatim Translation Exam (SEVTE). (five references) (LB)

  9. Assessment of English Speaking Ability.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nakamura, Yuji

    1996-01-01

    The purpose of this research is to examine the detailed components of Japanese students' English speaking ability in terms of communicative competence by using an oral proficiency test based on Bachman's Communicative Language Ability model (included in an appendix). Eighty college students were tested on four tasks--speech making, visual material…

  10. Implicit Learning as an Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaufman, Scott Barry; DeYoung, Caroline G.; Gray, Jeremy R.; Jimenez, Luis; Brown, Jamie; Mackintosh, Nicholas

    2010-01-01

    The ability to automatically and implicitly detect complex and noisy regularities in the environment is a fundamental aspect of human cognition. Despite considerable interest in implicit processes, few researchers have conceptualized implicit learning as an ability with meaningful individual differences. Instead, various researchers (e.g., Reber,…

  11. The Effect of Reflective Activities on Reflective Thinking Ability in an Undergraduate Pharmacy Curriculum

    PubMed Central

    Bosnic-Anticevich, Sinthia; Schneider, Carl R.; Smith, Lorraine

    2016-01-01

    Objective. To determine the effectiveness of integrating reflective practice activities into a second-year undergraduate pharmacy curriculum and their impact on reflective thinking ability. Design. A cross-over design with repeated measures was employed. Newly developed reflective modules based on real hospital and community pharmacy cases were integrated into the second-year pharmacy practice curriculum. A novel strategy, the Reflective Ability Clinical Assessment (RACA), was introduced to enhance self- and peer reflection. Assessment. Student responses (n=214) to the adapted Kember et al1 Reflective Thinking Questionnaire (RTQ) were compared before and after reflective activities were undertaken. Significant improvement in three indicators of reflective thinking was shown after students engaged in reflective activities. Conclusion. Integration of reflective activities into a pharmacy curriculum increased the reflective thinking capacity of students. Enhancing reflective thinking ability may help students make better informed decisions and clinical judgments, thus improving future practice. PMID:27293232

  12. The Effect of Reflective Activities on Reflective Thinking Ability in an Undergraduate Pharmacy Curriculum.

    PubMed

    Tsingos-Lucas, Cherie; Bosnic-Anticevich, Sinthia; Schneider, Carl R; Smith, Lorraine

    2016-05-25

    Objective. To determine the effectiveness of integrating reflective practice activities into a second-year undergraduate pharmacy curriculum and their impact on reflective thinking ability. Design. A cross-over design with repeated measures was employed. Newly developed reflective modules based on real hospital and community pharmacy cases were integrated into the second-year pharmacy practice curriculum. A novel strategy, the Reflective Ability Clinical Assessment (RACA), was introduced to enhance self- and peer reflection. Assessment. Student responses (n=214) to the adapted Kember et al(1) Reflective Thinking Questionnaire (RTQ) were compared before and after reflective activities were undertaken. Significant improvement in three indicators of reflective thinking was shown after students engaged in reflective activities. Conclusion. Integration of reflective activities into a pharmacy curriculum increased the reflective thinking capacity of students. Enhancing reflective thinking ability may help students make better informed decisions and clinical judgments, thus improving future practice. PMID:27293232

  13. [Work ability: a literature review].

    PubMed

    Martinez, Maria Carmen; Latorre, Maria do Rosário Dias de Oliveira; Fischer, Frida Marina

    2010-06-01

    The aim of this article is to present a literature review on work ability and functional ageing. An extensive search of publications from 1966 to 2006 was conducted using the databases MEDLINE, LILACS and SciELO. Several aspects of work ability are presented in this manuscript: the historical context when the theme emerged, the theoretical framework, the determinant factors and an explanatory model, the current methodology to evaluate and monitor the work ability, the importance of its promotion. Highlights of the current situation about the research, practice and future perspectives regarding the theme are also discussed. In the context of the workforce aging, the work ability became an important indicator because their consequences to the worker's health, well-being and employability, with impacts to the individuals, organizations and society. In spite of their relevance, there is a lack of attention to the issues about work ability and functional ageing.

  14. Change in ambulatory ability of adolescents and young adults with cerebral palsy.

    PubMed

    Day, Steven M; Wu, Yvonne W; Strauss, David J; Shavelle, Robert M; Reynolds, Robert J

    2007-09-01

    This study aimed to determine the probability that a child with cerebral palsy (CP) will lose or gain ambulatory ability through adolescence and young adulthood. We analyzed retrospectively data from 1987 to 2002 on Californians with CP initially aged 10 years (SD 0.9y; n=7550 [4304 males, 3246 females]) and 25 years (SD 0.8y; n=5721 [3261 males, 2460 females]) who had varying levels of ambulatory ability (initial Gross Motor Function Classification System Levels I-IV). We used the Aalen-Johansen estimator to estimate probabilities of transition to other levels of ambulatory ability in the future. Those who walked and climbed stairs without difficulty at age 10 had only a 23% chance of decline (to requiring a handrail to manage stairs, or worse) 15 years later. Those who ambulated with some difficulty but did not use a wheelchair had a significant chance (33%) of improvement (to being able to walk unsteadily alone at least 3m or better) and only a small chance (11%) of becoming non-ambulatory. Those who used a wheelchair were more likely to lose ambulatory ability (34%) or die (6%). Those who walked and climbed stairs well at age 25 were likely to maintain that ability 15 years later (76%), while those needing support to climb stairs were more likely to lose ability. Improvement in ambulation after age 25 was unlikely. Children and young adults with CP are likely to maintain their ambulatory ability during their next 15 years. Some who ambulate with difficulty at age 10 may improve through adolescence, but those who use a wheelchair are more likely to decline. By age 25 improvement in ambulation is unlikely and decline more likely. Most, however, will not change over the next 15 years. PMID:17718819

  15. Changing Reasoning Ability in College Students

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pyper, Brian

    2011-10-01

    Data from several years and several different classes have shown that student scores on the Lawson Classroom Test of Scientific Reasoning don't change much over the course of a single semester, and are strongly correlated with FCI gains. So what does change Lawson scores? We have new data that we think shows that more interaction with materials that demand reasoning (and not just clicker questions and end of chapter Homework problems) improves reasoning ability and subsequently conceptual development.

  16. Motor abilities and aerobic fitness of obese children.

    PubMed

    Korsten-Reck, U; Kaspar, T; Korsten, K; Kromeyer-Hauschild, K; Bös, K; Berg, A; Dickhuth, H-H

    2007-09-01

    Obesity is considered to be epidemic worldwide. Stopping further progression interdisciplinary, outpatient intervention therapy programs for obese children have become increasingly important. FITOC (Freiburg Intervention Trial for Obese Children) consists of a combination of organized sports, behavioral therapy and nutritional advice. The effectiveness of the therapy is determined on the basis of anthropometrical and physical performance data. The purpose of this report is to give a differentiated view of the motor abilities of obese children and to describe changes in the course of the therapy program FITOC. Data were collected on n = 49 obese children (BMI > 97th percentile) aged 8 - 12 in a pretest at the beginning and posttest at the end of the intensive phase of the therapy. These data were compared with an age-matched German reference group. Besides the General Sports-Motor Test (Allgemeiner Sportmotorischer Test [AST]), the BMI-SDS values, the body fat mass (FM %) and the aerobic capacity (Watt/kg body weight) were recorded. In the pretest, the running exercise results and the aerobic capacity checked ranged significantly below the values of the reference group. The performance in the coordinative tests of the AST was differentiated. The medicine-ball toss was significantly above average of the reference group. In the posttest, the BMI-SDS values and the body fat mass (% FM) decreased (p < 0.001) and the aerobic capacity improved (p < 0.001). Performance in all motor abilities tests improved and the difference between the strength of the obese children and the strength of the reference group decreased. This study demonstrates that in obese children weight-bearing activities are below average but not all motor abilities.

  17. Basketball ability testing and category for players with mental retardation: 8-month training effect.

    PubMed

    Franciosi, Emanuele; Gallotta, Maria Chiara; Baldari, Carlo; Emerenziani, Gian Pietro; Guidetti, Laura

    2012-06-01

    Although sport for athletes with mental retardation (MR) is achieving an important role, the literature concerning basketball tests and training is still poor. The aims of this study were to verify whether the basketball test battery could be an appropriate modality to classify the players in the Promotion (Pro) category, to assess basketball abilities before (PRE) and after (POST) an 8-month training in players with MR in relation to Competitive (Comp) and Pro categories, to analyze the variation of specific basketball abilities based on subjects' MR diagnosis. Forty-one male basketball players with MR (17 Comp and 24 Pro; age range 18-45 years; MR: 15% mild, 54% moderate, 29% severe, and 2% profound) were assessed PRE and POST training through the basketball test battery, which assessed 4 ability levels of increasing difficulty (from I to IV), each one characterized by the analysis of fundamental areas (ball handling, reception, passing, and shooting). Level I was significantly changed after the intervention period regardless of the Category, whereas shooting was affected by the interaction between Category and Intervention. The results showed significant differences between categories in the scores of individual global, level I, level II, level III, and in all fundamental areas. Individual global score in both categories significantly increased. The players of Comp significantly improved in level III, in ball handling, reception, passing, and shooting scores. The players of Pro improved significantly in level II, in ball handling, reception, and passing scores. Individual global, ability levels I-III, and fundamental area scores were negatively correlated to the MR level indicating that the players with a lower MR obtained higher ability scores. In conclusion, it was found that the basketball test battery could be useful for improving and monitoring training in both Comp and Pro players.

  18. Quality of Life, Motor Ability, and Weight Status among School-aged Children of Tehran

    PubMed Central

    Khodaverdi, F; Bahram, A; Jafarabadi, M Asghari

    2012-01-01

    Background: This study aimed to investigate the relationship between health Related quality of life (HRQOL), motor ability and weight status in children. Methods: Two hundred forty children ages 9–11 yr who were selected via multi stage cluster sampling design from primary schools in the Shahre Qods at Tehran, Iran in 2007. HRQOL was assessed by the pediatric quality of life inventory (PedsQL). Motor abilities were determined by a Basic Motor Ability Test (BMAT). Body mass index was calculated to determine weight status. Results: Psychosocial, physical, and total health related qualities of life (all P< 0.05) were significantly lowered for obese when compared to normal weight participants. In contrast, the mean scores for each HRQOL domain in motor ability category were not significant. No significant interaction was apparent when examining HRQOL scores, BMAT variables and weight status. Conclusion: Regardless of motor ability levels, reducing body weight among children is a potential avenue for promoting improved HRQOL. Over weight boys reported significantly worse school performance than over weight girls, suggesting the importance in considering such dimensions in programs aimed at further understanding obesity in children. PMID:23113200

  19. Two-point tactile discrimination ability is influenced by temporal features of stimulation.

    PubMed

    Boldt, Robert; Gogulski, Juha; Gúzman-Lopéz, Jessica; Carlson, Synnöve; Pertovaara, Antti

    2014-07-01

    Two-point discrimination threshold is commonly used for assessing tactile spatial resolution. Since the effect of temporal features of cutaneous test stimulation on spatial discrimination ability is not yet well known, we determined whether the ability to discriminate between two stimulus locations varies with the interstimulus interval (ISI) of sequentially presented tactile stimuli or the length of the stimulus train. Electrotactile stimuli were applied to one or two locations on the skin of the thenar eminence of the hand in healthy human subjects. Tactile discrimination ability was determined using methods based on the signal detection theory allowing the assessment of sensory performance, independent of the subject's response criterion. With stimulus pairs, the ability to discriminate spatial features of stimulation (one location vs. two stimulus locations 4 cm apart) was improved when the ISI was equal to or longer than that required for tactile temporal discrimination. With stimulus trains, the ability to discriminate spatial features of stimulation was significantly improved with an increase in the stimulus train (from 3 to 11 pulses corresponding to train lengths from 40 to 200 ms). These results indicate that temporal features of tactile stimulation significantly influence sensory performance in a tactile spatial discrimination task. Precise control of temporal stimulus parameters should help to reduce variations in results on the two-point discrimination threshold. PMID:24668131

  20. Two-point tactile discrimination ability is influenced by temporal features of stimulation.

    PubMed

    Boldt, Robert; Gogulski, Juha; Gúzman-Lopéz, Jessica; Carlson, Synnöve; Pertovaara, Antti

    2014-07-01

    Two-point discrimination threshold is commonly used for assessing tactile spatial resolution. Since the effect of temporal features of cutaneous test stimulation on spatial discrimination ability is not yet well known, we determined whether the ability to discriminate between two stimulus locations varies with the interstimulus interval (ISI) of sequentially presented tactile stimuli or the length of the stimulus train. Electrotactile stimuli were applied to one or two locations on the skin of the thenar eminence of the hand in healthy human subjects. Tactile discrimination ability was determined using methods based on the signal detection theory allowing the assessment of sensory performance, independent of the subject's response criterion. With stimulus pairs, the ability to discriminate spatial features of stimulation (one location vs. two stimulus locations 4 cm apart) was improved when the ISI was equal to or longer than that required for tactile temporal discrimination. With stimulus trains, the ability to discriminate spatial features of stimulation was significantly improved with an increase in the stimulus train (from 3 to 11 pulses corresponding to train lengths from 40 to 200 ms). These results indicate that temporal features of tactile stimulation significantly influence sensory performance in a tactile spatial discrimination task. Precise control of temporal stimulus parameters should help to reduce variations in results on the two-point discrimination threshold.