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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. Improving Intuitive Abilities for a More Wholistic Approach to Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maycock, George A.

    Whether intuitive abilities can be improved through purposeful training for a more holistic approach to education was the object of this study. It was hypothesized that individuals participating in a mental training program designed to improve right-brain intuitive abilities would show significant improvement in such abilities, while a control…

  5. Improving Learning Ability Through Compensatory Physical Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Humphrey, James H.

    This book presents a procedure for improving, through the medium of physical education activities, the learning ability of children. Rather than using systematic exercises for the correction of certain perceptual-motor deficiencies, learning ability can be enhanced through active games, rhythmic activities, and self-testing activities. Covering a…

  6. 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, &…

  7. Working memory training improves emotion regulation ability: Evidence from HRV.

    PubMed

    Xiu, Lichao; Zhou, Renlai; Jiang, Yihan

    2016-03-01

    Emotion regulation during social situations plays a pivotal role in health and interpersonal functioning. In this study, we propose a working memory training approach to improve emotion regulation ability. This training promotes an updating function that is a crucial modulated process for emotion regulation. In the present study, the participants in the training group completed a running memory task over 20 days of training. Their working memory capability and high-frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV) data on pretest and posttest were assessed and analyzed. Compared with the control group, the training group's reaction time in the 2-back working memory task was reduced significantly. In addition, the HF-HRV in the emotion regulation condition was increased after the 20-day training, which indicates that the working memory training effect could transfer to emotion regulation. In other words, working memory training improved emotion regulation ability.

  8. 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…

  9. Improving the EFL Learners' Speaking Ability through Interactive Storytelling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marzuki; Prayogo, Johannes Ananto; Wahyudi, Arwijati

    2016-01-01

    This present research was aimed to improve the EFL learners' speaking ability and their classroom activities through the implementation of Interactive Storytelling Strategy. Therefore, this study was directed to explore the beneficial of Interactive Storytelling that closely related to the EFL learners' everyday activities at their home and…

  10. 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…

  11. Improving the Manager’s Ability to Identify Alternative Technologies.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1980-03-01

    how to avoid lon& term committments to a single type of tech - nological process, and the organization usually does so by creating multiple...ACM 415 NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA F/6 3/1 IMPROVING THE MANAGER*S ABILITY TO IDENTIFY ALTERNATIVE TECH .64L--ETC(U) I I MAR 80 W J...knowledge. How - ever knowledge that is not applied towards a new method, means or capacity to perform a given activity is, in itself, of arguable monetary

  12. [Tracking study to improve basic academic ability in chemistry for freshmen].

    PubMed

    Sato, Atsuko; Morone, Mieko; Azuma, Yutaka

    2010-08-01

    The aims of this study were to assess the basic academic ability of freshmen with regard to chemistry and implement suitable educational guidance measures. At Tohoku Pharmaceutical University, basic academic ability examinations are conducted in chemistry for freshmen immediately after entrance into the college. From 2003 to 2009, the examination was conducted using the same questions, and the secular changes in the mean percentage of correct response were statistically analyzed. An experience survey was also conducted on 2007 and 2009 freshmen regarding chemical experiments at senior high school. Analysis of the basic academic ability examinations revealed a significant decrease in the mean percentage of correct responses after 2007. With regard to the answers for each question, there was a significant decrease in the percentage of correct answers for approximately 80% of questions. In particular, a marked decrease was observed for calculation questions involving percentages. A significant decrease was also observed in the number of students who had experiences with chemical experiments in high school. However, notable results have been achieved through the implementation of practice incorporating calculation problems in order to improve calculation ability. Learning of chemistry and a lack of experimental experience in high school may be contributory factors in the decrease in chemistry academic ability. In consideration of the professional ability demanded of pharmacists, the decrease in calculation ability should be regarded as a serious issue and suitable measures for improving calculation ability are urgently required.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Inhaler Reminders Significantly Improve Asthma Patients' Use of Controller Medications

    MedlinePlus

    ... of controller medications Share | Inhaler reminders significantly improve asthma patients’ use of controller medications Published Online: July ... effective in reducing the burden and risk of asthma, but many patients do not use them regularly. ...

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. Homeland Security Research Improves the Nation's Ability to ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Technical Brief Homeland Security (HS) Research develops data, tools, and technologies to minimize the impact of accidents, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and other incidents that can result in toxic chemical, biological or radiological (CBR) contamination. HS Research develops ways to detect contamination, sampling strategies, sampling and analytical methods, cleanup methods, waste management approaches, exposure assessment methods, and decision support tools (including water system models). These contributions improve EPA’s response to a broad range of environmental disasters.

  3. 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.

  4. Accuracy of pitch matching significantly improved by live voice model.

    PubMed

    Granot, Roni Y; Israel-Kolatt, Rona; Gilboa, Avi; Kolatt, Tsafrir

    2013-05-01

    Singing is, undoubtedly, the most fundamental expression of our musical capacity, yet an estimated 10-15% of Western population sings "out-of-tune (OOT)." Previous research in children and adults suggests, albeit inconsistently, that imitating a human voice can improve pitch matching. In the present study, we focus on the potentially beneficial effects of the human voice and especially the live human voice. Eighteen participants varying in their singing abilities were required to imitate in singing a set of nine ascending and descending intervals presented to them in five different randomized blocked conditions: live piano, recorded piano, live voice using optimal voice production, recorded voice using optimal voice production, and recorded voice using artificial forced voice production. Pitch and interval matching in singing were much more accurate when participants repeated sung intervals as compared with intervals played to them on the piano. The advantage of the vocal over the piano stimuli was robust and emerged clearly regardless of whether piano tones were played live and in full view or were presented via recording. Live vocal stimuli elicited higher accuracy than recorded vocal stimuli, especially when the recorded vocal stimuli were produced in a forced vocal production. Remarkably, even those who would be considered OOT singers on the basis of their performance when repeating piano tones were able to pitch match live vocal sounds, with deviations well within the range of what is considered accurate singing (M=46.0, standard deviation=39.2 cents). In fact, those participants who were most OOT gained the most from the live voice model. Results are discussed in light of the dual auditory-motor encoding of pitch analogous to that found in speech.

  5. 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

  6. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-17

    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.

  8. Dietary Information Improves Model Performance and Predictive Ability of a Noninvasive Type 2 Diabetes Risk Model

    PubMed Central

    Han, Tianshu; Tian, Shuang; Wang, Li; Liang, Xi; Cui, Hongli; Du, Shanshan; Na, Guanqiong; Na, Lixin; Sun, Changhao

    2016-01-01

    There is no diabetes risk model that includes dietary predictors in Asia. We sought to develop a diet-containing noninvasive diabetes risk model in Northern China and to evaluate whether dietary predictors can improve model performance and predictive ability. Cross-sectional data for 9,734 adults aged 20–74 years old were used as the derivation data, and results obtained for a cohort of 4,515 adults with 4.2 years of follow-up were used as the validation data. We used a logistic regression model to develop a diet-containing noninvasive risk model. Akaike’s information criterion (AIC), area under curve (AUC), integrated discrimination improvements (IDI), net classification improvement (NRI) and calibration statistics were calculated to explicitly assess the effect of dietary predictors on a diabetes risk model. A diet-containing type 2 diabetes risk model was developed. The significant dietary predictors including the consumption of staple foods, livestock, eggs, potato, dairy products, fresh fruit and vegetables were included in the risk model. Dietary predictors improved the noninvasive diabetes risk model with a significant increase in the AUC (delta AUC = 0.03, P<0.001), an increase in relative IDI (24.6%, P-value for IDI <0.001), an increase in NRI (category-free NRI = 0.155, P<0.001), an increase in sensitivity of the model with 7.3% and a decrease in AIC (delta AIC = 199.5). The results of the validation data were similar to the derivation data. The calibration of the diet-containing diabetes risk model was better than that of the risk model without dietary predictors in the validation data. Dietary information improves model performance and predictive ability of noninvasive type 2 diabetes risk model based on classic risk factors. Dietary information may be useful for developing a noninvasive diabetes risk model. PMID:27851788

  9. Ceramic Composite Intermediate Temperature Stress-Rupture Properties Improved Significantly

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morscher, Gregory N.; Hurst, Janet B.

    2002-01-01

    Silicon carbide (SiC) composites are considered to be potential materials for future aircraft engine parts such as combustor liners. It is envisioned that on the hot side (inner surface) of the combustor liner, composites will have to withstand temperatures in excess of 1200 C for thousands of hours in oxidizing environments. This is a severe condition; however, an equally severe, if not more detrimental, condition exists on the cold side (outer surface) of the combustor liner. Here, the temperatures are expected to be on the order of 800 to 1000 C under high tensile stress because of thermal gradients and attachment of the combustor liner to the engine frame (the hot side will be under compressive stress, a less severe stress-state for ceramics). Since these composites are not oxides, they oxidize. The worst form of oxidation for strength reduction occurs at these intermediate temperatures, where the boron nitride (BN) interphase oxidizes first, which causes the formation of a glass layer that strongly bonds the fibers to the matrix. When the fibers strongly bond to the matrix or to one another, the composite loses toughness and strength and becomes brittle. To increase the intermediate temperature stress-rupture properties, researchers must modify the BN interphase. With the support of the Ultra-Efficient Engine Technology (UEET) Program, significant improvements were made as state-of-the-art SiC/SiC composites were developed during the Enabling Propulsion Materials (EPM) program. Three approaches were found to improve the intermediate-temperature stress-rupture properties: fiber-spreading, high-temperature silicon- (Si) doped boron nitride (BN), and outside-debonding BN.

  10. Could schizophrenic subjects improve their social cognition abilities only with observation and imitation of social situations?

    PubMed

    Mazza, Monica; Lucci, Giuliana; Pacitti, Francesca; Pino, Maria Chiara; Mariano, Melania; Casacchia, Massimo; Roncone, Rita

    2010-10-01

    Schizophrenics display impairments in domains of social cognition such as theory of mind and emotion recognition. Recent studies, showing that the relationship of social cognition abilities with functional outcome is more significant than other neuro-cognitive functions, have considered these abilities as a target for intervention research. This article describes preliminary data from a new group-based study focused on Emotion and ToM Imitation Training (ETIT), an imitation treatment aimed at improving social cognition and social functioning in schizophrenia. In the present study, 16 outpatients with schizophrenia completed ETIT assessment and were compared with 17 outpatients who participated to a Problem Solving Training group. Participants were assessed at pre- and post-test on measures of emotion recognition, theory of mind, cognition, flexibility and social functioning. We compared the rehabilitation training effects on neuro-physiological activation through the event-related potentials (ERPs) method, which was recorded pre- and post-rehabilitation training. The results showed that when compared to the control group, ETIT participants improved on every social cognitive measure and showed better social functioning at post-test. Improvement in social cognition, in particular in emotion recognition, is also supported by ERP responses: we recorded an increase in electroactivity of medio-frontal areas only after ETIT treatment. Action observation and imitation could be regarded as a new frontier in rehabilitation.

  11. Planning ability improves in a yogic education system compared to a modern

    PubMed Central

    Rangan, R; Nagendra, H R; Bhat, G Ramachandra

    2008-01-01

    Background: Planning skills play a key role in higher developmental processes. The Tower of London test not only measures planning skills, but also the ability to execute plans. Yoga practices aim to bring about higher development. Can a Yoga-based education system be shown to meet this challenge? Aim: This study was aimed at comparing a Modern Education System (MES) with the ancient Yoga-based system of education, the Gurukula Education System (GES), in developing planning skills. Materials and Methods: Forty-nine boys with ages ranging from 11 to 13 years were selected from each of two residential schools, one MES and the other GES, providing similar ambience and daily routines. The boys were matched for age and socio-economic status. The GES educational program is based around integrated yoga modules while the MES provides a conventional modern education program. Planning and executive abilities were assessed using the Tower of London test at the start and the end of an academic year. Results: Within groups, the pre-post test differences were significant for both groups. However, the between-groups results showed improvement in the GES group compared to the MES group at a P < 0.001 significance level. Conclusions: The study suggests that whereas both MES and GES Yoga-based education improve planning and execution skills in school boys, GES is more effective of the two systems. PMID:21829286

  12. The nootropic compound BMY-21502 improves spatial learning ability in brain injured rats.

    PubMed

    Pierce, J E; Smith, D H; Eison, M S; McIntosh, T K

    1993-10-08

    Although long-lasting cognitive dysfunction often follows clinical traumatic brain injury (TBI), few pharmacologic regimens have been developed to treat post-traumatic cognitive deficits. We have previously shown that, in the rat, experimental lateral fluid-percussion (FP) brain injury induces a profound impairment in retrograde memory. In the present study, we characterized alterations in the ability of rats to learn a novel task following lateral FP brain injury and examined the potential modulatory effects of the nootropic cognitive enhancer BMY-21502 on post-injury learning. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to lateral (parasagittal) FP brain injury of moderate severity (2.4 atm) or sham surgery (no injury). On days 7 and 8 post-injury, animals were tested in a Morris water maze for their ability to learn to navigate to a submerged, invisible platform using external visual cues. BMY-21502 (10 mg/kg) or vehicle was administered 30 min prior to the first trial on both days. A highly significant (P < 0.001) impairment in post-injury learning was observed in vehicle-treated brain-injured animals compared with vehicle-treated sham animals. Injured animals treated with BMY-21502 at one week post-injury showed significantly (P < 0.05) improvement in post-injury learning ability compared to injured animals treated with vehicle. Paradoxically, in uninjured control animals BMY-21502 treatment appeared to worsen learning scores. The results of this study indicate that BMY-21502 may be useful for attenuating the dysfunction in learning ability that occurs following TBI.

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. Corticosteroid transdermal delivery significantly improves arthritis pain and functional disability.

    PubMed

    Iannitti, Tommaso; McDermott, Michael F; Laurino, Carmen; Malagoli, Andrea; Palmieri, Beniamino

    2017-02-01

    Arthritis is characterized by pain and functional limitation affecting the patients' quality of life. We performed a clinical study to investigate the efficacy of a betamethasone valerate medicated plaster (Betesil) in improving pain and functional disability in patients with arthritis and osteoarthritis. We enrolled 104 patients affected by osteoarthritis (n = 40) or arthritis (n = 64) in different joints. Patients received diclofenac sodium cream (2 g, four times a day) or a 2.25-mg dose of Betesil applied to the painful joint every night before bedtime for 10 days. Pain and functional disability were assessed, by the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and Western Ontario McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) scores. Redness was assessed by clinical inspection, and edema by the "fovea sign" method. C-reactive protein (CRP) was also measured; CRP can be used to cost-effectively monitor the pharmacological treatment efficacy and is increased during the acute-phase response, returning to physiological values after tissue recovery and functional restoration. All measurements were at baseline and at 10-day follow-up. At 10-day follow-up, a greater improvement in VAS and WOMAC pain and WOMAC stiffness and functional limitation scores from baseline was observed in patients treated with Betesil compared with diclofenac (all p < 0.01). At 10-day follow-up, improvement in redness, edema, and CRP levels from baseline was also greater in patients treated with Betesil compared with diclofenac (all p < 0.01). This study demonstrates the safety and efficacy of transdermal delivery of betamethasone valerate in patients affected by arthritis and osteoarthritis.

  16. A significantly improved membrane for vanadium redox flow battery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Chuankun; Liu, Jianguo; Yan, Chuanwei

    A novel sandwich-type sulfonated poly(ether ether ketone) (SPEEK)/tungstophosphoric acid (TPA)/polypropylene (PP) composite membrane for a vanadium redox flow battery (VRB) has been developed with improved properties: the permeability of vanadium ions is greatly reduced and the performance of the VRB cell is greatly increased. The membrane is based on a traditional SPEEK membrane embedded with TPA but PP is used to enhance the membrane for the first time. Although its voltage efficiency (VE) is a little lower than that of a Nafion 212 membrane, it is expected to have good prospects for VRB systems because of its low cost and good performance.

  17. 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…

  18. An improved Hochberg procedure for multiple tests of significance.

    PubMed

    Rom, Dror M

    2013-02-01

    We propose a simple modification of Hochberg's step-up Bonferroni procedure for multiple tests of significance. The proposed procedure is always more powerful than Hochberg's procedure for more than two tests, and is more powerful than Hommel's procedure for three and four tests. A numerical analysis of the new procedure indicates that its Type I error is controlled under independence of the test statistics, at a level equal to or just below the nominal Type I error. Examination of various non-null configurations of hypotheses shows that the modified procedure has a power advantage over Hochberg's procedure which increases in relationship to the number of false hypotheses.

  19. Solifenacin significantly improves all symptoms of overactive bladder syndrome

    PubMed Central

    CHAPPLE, C R; CARDOZO, L; STEERS, W D; GOVIER, F E

    2006-01-01

    Overactive bladder syndrome (OAB) is a chronic condition characterised by urgency, with or without associated urge incontinence. Solifenacin succinate is a once daily, bladder selective antimuscarinic available in two doses (5 and 10 mg). The recommended dose is 5 mg once daily and can be increased to 10 mg once daily if 5 mg is well tolerated. This article presents pooled efficacy and safety data from four large, placebo-controlled, multinational phase III trials of solifenacin succinate with a total enrolment of over 2800 patients. Data from these trials show that solifenacin 5 and 10 mg once daily is significantly more effective than placebo at reducing urgency, incontinence, micturition frequency and nocturia and at increasing volume voided per micturition. Adverse events were mainly mild-to-moderate in all treatment groups. The results of these phase III trials support the use of solifenacin in the treatment of OAB. PMID:16893438

  20. Reconstruction of the System for Technical Education and Improvement of Teachers' Abilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shioiri, Mutsuo

    It is necessary to reconstruct the system for technical education and to improve teachers' abilities in order to educate children who have a great interest in creation. This paper describes that, the revised education ministry guidelines, the relation between the reconstruction of system for technical education and the combined primary and junior-high school, the improvement of teachers' abilities, the change of teacher service examination, the technical education in junior high school, and the advertisement of the importance of technical education according to the report of the central education council.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Improvement of Electromagnetic Wave Absorption Ability by Reducing Impedance Oscillation Characteristics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Itoh, Masahiro; Terada, Masao; Sasada, Masaaki; Machida, Ken-ichi

    2012-01-01

    Improvement of the electromagnetic wave absorption ability was examined from the electromagnetic point of view. The oscillation behavior in relation to incident impedance derived from a hyperbolic tangent function can be reduced by increasing the imaginary part, i.e., loss value, of permeability and/or permittivity owing to its mathematical characteristics. It was demonstrated that the electromagnetic wave absorption ability was obviously enhanced by inserting the lossy magnetic layer between the electromagnetic wave absorber and a reflector. The absorption ability was improved further by pilling the polyurethane foam plate having lower permittivity to provide -9.6 dB (ca. 89% absorption) for the frequency range above 0.75 GHz with a total absorber thickness of 15.15 mm.

  4. 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 students…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. A Therapeutic Technique for the Improvement of Lingua-Alveolar Valving Abilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dworkin, James Paul

    1978-01-01

    The study was designed to determine if a remedial program using a bite-block device could inhibit hypermandibular activity and thereby improve the lingua-alveolar valving abilities of four boys (mean age 7.2 years-old) who demonstrated multiple lingua-alveolar phonemic errors. (Author/PHR)

  8. 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…

  9. Developing Student-Centered Learning Model to Improve High Order Mathematical Thinking Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saragih, Sahat; Napitupulu, Elvis

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this research was to develop student-centered learning model aiming to improve high order mathematical thinking ability of junior high school students of based on curriculum 2013 in North Sumatera, Indonesia. The special purpose of this research was to analyze and to formulate the purpose of mathematics lesson in high order…

  10. 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.

  11. Bamboo leaf extract improves spatial learning ability in a rat model with senile dementia*

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Jian-xiang; Zhu, Min-ying; Feng, Ci-yuan; Ding, Hai-bin; Zhan, Ying; Zhao, Zhan; Ding, Yue-min

    2015-01-01

    Senile dementia (SD) is a syndrome characterized by progressive neurological deterioration. Treatment for the disease is still under investigation. Bamboo leaf extract (B-extract) has been known for its biological efficacy in anti-oxidant and anti-cancer activities. However, study on B-extract for its protection against dementia is very limited. The effect of B-extract on a rat model with SD was examined. B-extract improved spatial learning ability of the dementia rats. The hippocampus of dementia model rats showed reduced levels of acetylcholine (ACh), epinephrine (E), norepinephrine (NE), and dopamine (DA), and increased activities of acetylcholine esterase (AChE) and monoamine oxidase (MAO). Treatment with B-extract 20 mg/(kg·d) for 7 weeks significantly inhibited the enzyme activity compared with untreated dementia rats, and raised the levels of ACh, E, and DA in the hippocampus. In addition, treatment with B-extract elevated the level of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), but reduced the level of glutamate (Glu) in the brain. These data suggest that B-extract might be a potential drug in treating impairment of spatial memory in dementia rats by regulating the central neurotransmitter function. PMID:26160717

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. [Flight from reality or resilience factor? The significance of the ability of imagination in the psychotherapy with children and adolescents].

    PubMed

    Bräutigam, Barbara

    2009-01-01

    The power of imagination refers to the ability of obtaining mental access to an inner world of vision and potential in which change can be believed to be possible. The ability to create inner pictures is dependent on a capacity for symbolisation which is often impaired in deprived or traumatised children and adolescents or those with attachment disorders. Psychotherapy should help foster the ability to create inner pictures, while at the same time remembering that the work of integrating wishes and visions into the real life structure of patients presents a special therapeutic challenge.

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Understanding the concept of a reflective surface: can sheep improve navigational ability through the use of a mirror?

    PubMed

    McBride, S D; Perentos, N; Morton, A J

    2015-01-01

    Mirror image-induced stimulation and the ability to use the mirror to improve navigational ability for the purpose of object location are considered measures of animal cognitive ability. The purpose of this study was to assess these cognitive abilities in sheep (Ovis aries) as part of a larger programme profiling the cognitive ability of this animal species. Three separate groups of sheep [(n = 29); 10 Welsh Mountain, 8 Norfolk Horned and 11 Borderdale] were trained (≥80 % criterion) to locate a salient object (yellow bucket containing cereal-based food) in one of two possible positions, from one of two possible starting points. Each group of sheep was then divided into two sub-groups. One sub-group was exposed to a mirror over a period of 15 days (mirror exposed), whilst the other group remained mirror naïve. All animals were then retested within the choice maze using the mirror, where two out of the possible four bucket positions were now 'apparent' (as reflections in the mirror), in order to assess whether mirror-exposed animals had a more accurate representation of the real bucket position. Sheep exhibited two out of the three archetypal stages of mirror-induced behaviour, namely social/exploratory and contingency behaviour, with differences existing between breeds. Welsh Mountain sheep spent significantly more time fixating on the self-image and touching the self-image with their muzzle than the other two breeds. During the test phase, no overall differences in performance were observed between the mirror-exposed and mirror-naïve groups. However, Welsh Mountain sheep did perform significantly more correct responses overall, compared to the other two breeds. Although the data did not convincingly demonstrate that sheep could use a reflective surface to improve their navigational ability, the observed differences between groups suggests that some breeds of sheep may demonstrate better navigational ability as well as having a greater engagement with the

  3. 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.

  4. The counterintuitive effect of multiple injuries in severity scoring: a simple variable improves the predictive ability of NISS

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Injury scoring is important to formulate prognoses for trauma patients. Although scores based on empirical estimation allow for better prediction, those based on expert consensus, e.g. the New Injury Severity Score (NISS) are widely used. We describe how the addition of a variable quantifying the number of injuries improves the ability of NISS to predict mortality. Methods We analyzed 2488 injury cases included into the trauma registry of the Italian region Emilia-Romagna in 2006-2008 and assessed the ability of NISS alone, NISS plus number of injuries, and the maximum Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) to predict in-hospital mortality. Hierarchical logistic regression was used. We measured discrimination through the C statistics, and calibration through Hosmer-Lemeshow statistics, Akaike's information criterion (AIC) and calibration curves. Results The best discrimination and calibration resulted from the model with NISS plus number of injuries, followed by NISS alone and then by the maximum AIS (C statistics 0.775, 0.755, and 0.729, respectively; AIC 1602, 1635, and 1712, respectively). The predictive ability of all the models improved after inclusion of age, gender, mechanism of injury, and the motor component of Glasgow Coma Scale (C statistics 0.889, 0.898, and 0.901; AIC 1234, 1174, and 1167). The model with NISS plus number of injuries still showed the best performances, this time with borderline statistical significance. Conclusions In NISS, the same weight is assigned to the three worst injuries, although the contribution of the second and third to the probability of death is smaller than that of the worst one. An improvement of the predictive ability of NISS can be obtained adjusting for the number of injuries. PMID:21504567

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

    Masevicius, Fabio D; Dubin, Arnaldo

    2015-02-04

    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.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    Atayee, Rabia S; Awdishu, Linda; Namba, Jennifer

    2016-06-25

    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.

  9. 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

  10. Tumor vessel-injuring ability improves antitumor effect of cytotoxic T lymphocytes in adoptive immunotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Kanagawa, N; Yanagawa, T; Nakagawa, T; Okada, N; Nakagawa, S

    2013-01-01

    Angiogenesis is required for normal physiologic processes, but it is also involved in tumor growth, progression and metastasis. Here, we report the development of an immune-based antiangiogenic strategy based on the generation of T lymphocytes that possess killing specificity for cells expressing vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (VEGFR2). To target VEGFR2-expressing cells, we engineered cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) expressing chimeric T-cell receptors (cTCR–CTL) comprised of a single-chain variable fragment (scFv) against VEGFR2 linked to an intracellular signaling sequence derived from the CD3ζ chain of the TCR and CD28 by retroviral gene transduction methods. The cTCR–CTL exhibited efficient killing specificity against VEGFR2 and a tumor-targeting function in vitro and in vivo. Reflecting such abilities, we confirmed that the cTCR–CTL strongly inhibited the growth of a variety of syngeneic tumors after adoptive transfer into tumor-bearing mice without consequent damage to normal tissue. In addition, CTL expressing both cTCR and tumor-specific TCR induced complete tumor regression due to enhanced tumor infiltration by the CTL and long-term antigen-specific function. These findings provide evidence that the tumor vessel-injuring ability improved the antitumor effect of CTLs in adoptive immunotherapy for a broad range of cancers by inducing immune-mediated destruction of the tumor neovasculature. PMID:23175243

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

    [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.

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Improvement of the atmospheric discharge laser-triggered ability using multiple pulses from a kilohertz KrF laser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yamaura, Michiteru

    2005-08-01

    The potential ability of lasers to control lightning can be improved by using a train of pulses with submillisecond separations. Laser-triggered experiments in a small-scale (10-mm gap) atmospheric discharge facility show that the triggering is dramatically enhanced when a five-pulse train of sub-Joule energy is used instead of a single pulse. This effect increases rapidly as the pulse interval is reduced. It appears that at a submillisecond pulse interval, sufficient positive and negative ions survive in subsequent pulses, thus enabling easy deionization. Hence, significant plasma buildup occurs from one pulse to the next. However, this persistence of ions would appear to imply that the rate of recombination (effectively a charge transfer between ions) is considerably lower than previously believed.

  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. Gonadal Hormones and Voluntary Exercise Interact to Improve Discrimination Ability in a Set-Shift Task

    PubMed Central

    Eddy, Meghan C.; Rifken, Katharine M.; Toufexis, Donna J.; Green, John T.

    2014-01-01

    Exercise has been demonstrated to improve multiple facets of health, including cognitive function. Rodent studies have suggested that exercise has robust effects on the hippocampus, and on tasks that require the hippocampus. However, studies of the effects of exercise in humans often focus on the benefits to cognitive processes that engage areas outside of the hippocampus, such as executive function. Additionally, when exercise’s cognitive benefits are examined, consideration of both males and females, and gonadal hormones, is rarely made. Here we looked at the interaction of gonadal hormones and exercise in terms of the ability of male and female rats to learn to discriminate rewarded from unrewarded arms in a T-maze based on either brightness (white vs. black) or texture (rough vs. smooth), and then to set-shift (a measure of executive function), where this required discrimination based on the opposite dimension. Gonadectomized or intact males and females had access to running wheels for two weeks before being tested. Intact males and females given access to unlocked running wheels performed better at the initial discrimination (Set 1) compared to intact males and females with locked running wheels, but not at the set-shift (Set 2). No advantage of exercise was observed in gonadectomized rats. PMID:23978149

  1. Engineering Ethics Education on the Basis of Continuous Education to Improve Communication Ability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takahara, Kenji; Kajiwara, Toshinori

    The paper proposes the engineering ethics education method for students on the basis of continuous education to improve communication ability. First, through a debate, the students acquire the fundamental skills required to marshal their arguments, to construct the rebuttals and to summarize the debates. Secondly, the students study the fundamental techniques to make a presentation on technical subjects related to electrical engineering. Following these classes, in the lecture of engineering ethics, the students probe the cause of each accident and consider the better means for avoiding such an accident, each other. In most cases, the students can express right and commonsensical opinions from an ethical standpoint. However, they can hardly make judgments when the situations such as the human relations in the above accidents are set concretely. During the engineering ethics class, the students come to know that human relations behind the case make the ethical matters more complicated. Furthermore, they come to understand that facilitating daily communications with co-workers and/or bosses is very important in order to avoid the accidents. The recognition of the students is just the results of the continuous education through three years. It can be said that the engineering ethics education thus constructed makes the students raise such spontaneous awareness and their ethical qualities as engineers.

  2. Improving abiotic reducing ability of hydrothermal biochar by low temperature oxidation under air.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yunfeng; Lou, Zhenjun; Yi, Peng; Chen, Junyu; Ma, Xianlong; Wang, Yang; Li, Mi; Chen, Wen; Liu, Qiang; Zhou, Jizhi; Zhang, Jia; Qian, Guangren

    2014-11-01

    Oxidized hydrothermal biochar was prepared by hydrothermal carbonization of Spartina alterniflora biomass (240°C for 4h) and subsequent oxidization (240°C for 10min) under air. Oxidized hydrochar achieved a Fe(III) reducing capacity of 2.15mmol/g at pH 2.0 with 120h, which is 1.2 times higher than un-oxidized hydrochar. Low temperature oxidization increases the contents of carboxyl and carbonyl groups on hydrochar surface. It is supposed that carboxyl groups provide bonding sites for soluble Fe species and carbonyl groups are responsible for Fe(3+) reduction. A Fenton-like process was established with Fe(2+) replaced by oxidized hydrochar and tested for methylene blue (MB) decoloration. Oxidized hydrochar achieved a MB decolorization (200mg/L, pH 7.0) rate of 99.21% within 3h and demonstrates prominent prevail over H2O2 absent control test. This study reveals low temperature oxidization is an effective way to improve and restore abiotic reducing ability of hydrochar.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Nitric oxide synthase mediates the ability of darbepoetin alpha to improve the cognitive performance of STOP null mice.

    PubMed

    Kajitani, Kosuke; Thorne, Michael; Samson, Michel; Robertson, George S

    2010-07-01

    STOP (stable tubule only polypeptide) null mice display neurochemical and behavioral abnormalities that resemble several well-recognized features of schizophrenia. Recent evidence suggests that the hematopoietic growth factor erythropoietin improves the cognitive performance of schizophrenics. The mechanism, however, by which erythropoietin is able to improve the cognition of schizophrenics is unclear. To address this question, we first determined whether acute administration of the erythropoietin analog known as darbepoetin alpha (D. alpha) improved performance deficits of STOP null mice in the novel objective recognition task (NORT). NORT performance of STOP null mice, but not wild-type littermates, was enhanced 3 h after a single injection of D. alpha (25 microg/kg, i.p.). Improved NORT performance was accompanied by elevated NADPH diaphorase staining in the ventral hippocampus as well as medial and cortical aspects of the amygdala, indicative of increased nitric oxide synthase (NOS) activity in these structures. NOS generates the intracellular messenger nitric oxide (NO) implicated in learning and memory. In keeping with this hypothesis, D. alpha significantly increased NO metabolite levels (nitrate and nitrite, NOx) in the hippocampus of both wild-type and STOP null mice. The NOS inhibitor, N (G)-nitro-L- arginine methyl ester (L-NAME; 25 mg/kg, i.p.), completely reversed the increase in hippocampal NOx levels produced by D. alpha. Moreover, L-NAME also inhibited the ability of D. alpha to improve the NORT performance of STOP null mice. Taken together, these observations suggest D. alpha enhances the NORT performance of STOP null mice by increasing production of NO.

  6. Robotic-assisted gait training improves walking abilities in diplegic children with cerebral palsy.

    PubMed

    Wallard, L; Dietrich, G; Kerlirzin, Y; Bredin, J

    2017-02-02

    The robotic-assisted gait training therapy (RAGT), based on intensity and repetition of movement, presents beneficial effects on recovery and improvement of postural and locomotor functions of the patient. This study sought to highlight the effect of this RAGT on the dynamic equilibrium control during walking in children with Cerebral Palsy (CP) by analyzing the different postural strategies of the fullbody (upper/lower body) before and after this RAGT in order to generate forward motion while maintaining balance. Data were collected by a motion analysis system (Vicon(®) - Oxford Metrics). Thirty children with bilateral spastic CP were evaluated using a full-body marker set which allows assessing both the lower and upper limb kinematics. The children were divided into two groups in such a way as to obtain a randomized controlled population: i) a group of fourteen children (Treated Group) underwent 20 sessions of RAGT using the driven gait orthosis Lokomat(®)Pediatric (Hocoma) compared to ii) a group of sixteen children without sessions of Lokomat(®)Pediatric (Control Group) receiving only daily physiotherapy. Significant improvements are observed between the TG pre- and post-test values of i) the kinematic data of the full-body in the sagittal and frontal planes and ii) the Gross Motor Function Measure test (D and E). This study shows the usefulness of this RAGT mainly in the balance control in gait. Indeed, the Treated Group use new dynamic strategies of gait that are especially characterized by a more appropriate control of the upper body associated with an improvement of the lower limbs kinematics.

  7. Tetrahydroxystilbene glucoside improves learning and (or) memory ability of aged rats and may be connected to the APP pathway.

    PubMed

    Hou, Ying; Yang, Qidong; Zhou, Lin; Du, Xiaoping; Li, Min; Yuan, Mei; Zhou, Zhiwen; Li, Zhenguo

    2011-11-01

    The aim of this study is to evaluate the protective effects of 2,3,5,4'-tetrahydroxystilbene-2-O-β-D-glucoside (TSG) on learning and (or) memory deficit in aged rats, as well as to explore the possible connection between TSG and the β-amyloid precursor protein (APP) pathway. Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into a young control group (age, 4 months), an aged control group (age, 22 months), and a TSG-treated group (age, 22 months). TSG at doses of 50 mg·kg(-1)·day(-1) was intragastrically administered to 22-month-old rats for 4 weeks. The learning and (or) memory ability was measured using the Morris water maze (MWM) test, and the mRNA and protein expression of APP pathway proteins was measured by real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blot, respectively. The aged rats exhibited obvious learning and (or) memory deficit when compared with the young rats, but TSG treatment significantly improved the learning and (or) memory ability in the aged rats, as noted from the MWM test. RT-PCR and Western blot analysis showed an increase in the expression of beta-site APP cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) and A Disintegrin And Metalloproteinase 17 (ADAM17) in aged rats, and a decrease in ADAM10; however, TSG treatment significantly increased the mRNA and protein expression of ADAM10 (p < 0.01, compared with aged control rats). These results provide solid evidence for the therapeutic effect of TSG on age-related cognitive impairment, especially spatial learning and memory deficit. TSG might exert this effect through the APP pathway, although further studies on the topic are required.

  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. Thamnolia vermicularis extract improves learning ability in APP/PS1 transgenic mice by ameliorating both Aβ and Tau pathologies

    PubMed Central

    Li, Cong; Guo, Xiao-dan; Lei, Min; Wu, Jia-yi; Jin, Jia-zhen; Shi, Xiao-fan; Zhu, Zhi-yuan; Rukachaisirikul, Vatcharin; Hu, Li-hong; Wen, Tie-qiao; Shen, Xu

    2017-01-01

    Considering the complicated pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD), multi-targets have become a focus in the discovery of drugs for treatment of this disease. In the current work, we established a multi-target strategy for discovering active reagents capable of suppressing both Aβ level and Tau hyperphosphorylation from natural products, and found that the ethanol extract of Thamnolia vermicularis (THA) was able to improve learning ability in APP/PS1 transgenic mice by inhibiting both Aβ levels and Tau hyperphosphorylation. SH-SY5Y and CHO-APP/BACE1 cells and primary astrocytes were used in cell-based assays. APP/PS1 transgenic mice [B6C3-Tg(APPswe, PS1dE9)] were administered THA (300 mg·kg−1·d−1, ig) for 100 d. After the administration was completed, the learning ability of the mice was detected using a Morris water maze (MWM) assay; immunofluorescence staining, Congo red staining and Thioflavine S staining were used to detect the senile plaques in the brains of the mice. ELISA was used to evaluate Aβ and sAPPβ contents, and Western blotting and RT-PCR were used to investigate the relevant signaling pathway regulation in response to THA treatment. In SH-SY5Y cells, THΑ (1, 10, 20 μg/mL) significantly stimulated PI3K/AKT/mTOR and AMPK/raptor/mTOR signaling-mediated autophagy in the promotion of Aβ clearance as both a PI3K inhibitor and an AMPK indirect activator, and restrained Aβ production as a suppressor against PERK/eIF2α-mediated BACE1 expression. Additionally, THA functioned as a GSK3β inhibitor with an IC50 of 1.32±0.85 μg/mL, repressing Tau hyperphosphorylation. Similar effects on Aβ accumulation and Tau hyperphosphorylation were observed in APP/PS1 transgenic mice treated with THA. Furthermore, administration of THA effectively improved the learning ability of APP/PS1 transgenic mice, and markedly reduced the number of senile plaques in their hippocampus and cortex. The results highlight the potential of the natural product THA for the

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

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Automatic coronary lumen segmentation with partial volume modeling improves lesions' hemodynamic significance assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freiman, M.; Lamash, Y.; Gilboa, G.; Nickisch, H.; Prevrhal, S.; Schmitt, H.; Vembar, M.; Goshen, L.

    2016-03-01

    The determination of hemodynamic significance of coronary artery lesions from cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA) based on blood flow simulations has the potential to improve CCTA's specificity, thus resulting in improved clinical decision making. Accurate coronary lumen segmentation required for flow simulation is challenging due to several factors. Specifically, the partial-volume effect (PVE) in small-diameter lumina may result in overestimation of the lumen diameter that can lead to an erroneous hemodynamic significance assessment. In this work, we present a coronary artery segmentation algorithm tailored specifically for flow simulations by accounting for the PVE. Our algorithm detects lumen regions that may be subject to the PVE by analyzing the intensity values along the coronary centerline and integrates this information into a machine-learning based graph min-cut segmentation framework to obtain accurate coronary lumen segmentations. We demonstrate the improvement in hemodynamic significance assessment achieved by accounting for the PVE in the automatic segmentation of 91 coronary artery lesions from 85 patients. We compare hemodynamic significance assessments by means of fractional flow reserve (FFR) resulting from simulations on 3D models generated by our segmentation algorithm with and without accounting for the PVE. By accounting for the PVE we improved the area under the ROC curve for detecting hemodynamically significant CAD by 29% (N=91, 0.85 vs. 0.66, p<0.05, Delong's test) with invasive FFR threshold of 0.8 as the reference standard. Our algorithm has the potential to facilitate non-invasive hemodynamic significance assessment of coronary lesions.

  16. Can measures of prey availability improve our ability to predict the abundance of large marine predators?

    PubMed

    Wirsing, Aaron J; Heithaus, Michael R; Dill, Lawrence M

    2007-09-01

    Apex marine predators can structure marine communities, so factors underlying their abundance are of broad interest. However, such data are almost completely lacking for large sharks. We assessed the relationship between tiger shark abundance, water temperature, and the availability of a variety of known prey over 5 years in Western Australia. Abundance of sharks in four size categories and the density of prey (cormorants, dugongs, sea snakes, sea turtles) were indexed using daily catch rates and transects, respectively. Across all sizes, thermal conditions were a determinant of abundance, with numerical peaks coinciding with periods of high water temperature. However, for sharks exceeding 300 cm total length, the inclusion of dugong density significantly improved temperature-based models, suggesting that use of particular areas by large tiger sharks is influenced by availability of this sirenian. We conclude that large marine predator population models may benefit from the inclusion of measures of prey availability, but only if such measures consider prey types separately and account for ontogenetic shifts in the diet of the predator in question.

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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,…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. Improving Junior High School Students' Mathematical Analogical Ability Using Discovery Learning Method

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maarif, Samsul

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to identify the influence of discovery learning method towards the mathematical analogical ability of junior high school's students. This is a research using factorial design 2x2 with ANOVA-Two ways. The population of this research included the entire students of SMPN 13 Jakarta (State Junior High School 13 of Jakarta)…

  3. Improving Students' English Pronunciation Ability through Go Fish Game and Maze Game

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nurhayati, Dwi Astuti Wahyu

    2015-01-01

    The problem highlighted in this research is the low pronunciation ability of Kindergarten students in Al-Irsyad Madiun that is caused by (1) the uninteresting activities in learning English; (2) the students' difficulties of English pronunciation; (3) the students' low motivation in learning. The theoretical review includes the young learners…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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,…

  8. 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…

  9. The Intelligence of Observation: Improving High School Students' Spatial Ability by Means of Intervention Unit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patkin, Dorit; Dayan, Ester

    2013-01-01

    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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. Evaluation of Selected Interview Data in Improving the Predictive Validity of a Verbal Ability Test with Psychiatric Aide Trainees.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Distefano, M. K., Jr.; Pryer, Margaret W.

    1987-01-01

    From 13 objective interview items, five with adequate response variability were studied to determine if they would improve the validity of a verbal ability selection test in predicting work performance of 181 psychiatric aide trainees. In a multiple regression analysis, the verbal test correlated .27 with the weighted composite rating score.…

  13. 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.

  14. Improvement of Predictive Ability by Uniform Coverage of the Target Genetic Space

    PubMed Central

    Bustos-Korts, Daniela; Malosetti, Marcos; Chapman, Scott; Biddulph, Ben; van Eeuwijk, Fred

    2016-01-01

    Genome-enabled prediction provides breeders with the means to increase the number of genotypes that can be evaluated for selection. One of the major challenges in genome-enabled prediction is how to construct a training set of genotypes from a calibration set that represents the target population of genotypes, where the calibration set is composed of a training and validation set. A random sampling protocol of genotypes from the calibration set will lead to low quality coverage of the total genetic space by the training set when the calibration set contains population structure. As a consequence, predictive ability will be affected negatively, because some parts of the genotypic diversity in the target population will be under-represented in the training set, whereas other parts will be over-represented. Therefore, we propose a training set construction method that uniformly samples the genetic space spanned by the target population of genotypes, thereby increasing predictive ability. To evaluate our method, we constructed training sets alongside with the identification of corresponding genomic prediction models for four genotype panels that differed in the amount of population structure they contained (maize Flint, maize Dent, wheat, and rice). Training sets were constructed using uniform sampling, stratified-uniform sampling, stratified sampling and random sampling. We compared these methods with a method that maximizes the generalized coefficient of determination (CD). Several training set sizes were considered. We investigated four genomic prediction models: multi-locus QTL models, GBLUP models, combinations of QTL and GBLUPs, and Reproducing Kernel Hilbert Space (RKHS) models. For the maize and wheat panels, construction of the training set under uniform sampling led to a larger predictive ability than under stratified and random sampling. The results of our methods were similar to those of the CD method. For the rice panel, all training set construction

  15. How to improve repetition ability in patients with Wernicke's aphasia: the effect of a disguised task.

    PubMed

    Otsuki, M; Soma, Y; Yoshimura, N; Miyashita, K; Nagatsuka, K; Naritomi, H

    2005-05-01

    Dissociation "automatico-voluntaire" is a symptom observed in aphasic patients. We elucidated the difference between voluntary and involuntary speech output in a quantitative manner using the same task materials in nine patients with Wernicke's aphasia. All the patients exhibited better ability and less paraphasias in a repetition task elicited in a disguised condition than in an ordinary repetition condition. This result indicates that the output difficulty in Wernicke's aphasia might be a disability of volitional control over the language system.

  16. Sex, Arts and Verbal Abilities: Three Further Indicators of How American Life Is Not Improving

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, John P.

    2010-01-01

    Despite clear evidence that Americans' economic standard of living has improved over the last half-century in terms of income, ownership of technology and housing among other indicators, there is scant evidence from non-economic quality-of-life (QOL) indicators of improved life quality to parallel these economic gains. The present article adds to…

  17. Does sharing the same class in school improve cognitive abilities of twins?

    PubMed

    Webbink, Dinand; Hay, David; Visscher, Peter M

    2007-08-01

    This article analyzes the effect of classroom separation of twins on their cognitive abilities, measured at different ages in Dutch primary education. We use a large longitudinal school-based sample of twins and their classmates. The analysis tries to reduce the bias by unobserved factors due to the nonrandom assignment of twins by taking into account differences in school environment, previous test scores and variation in class assignment between years. We find that classroom separation matters for language in Grade 2. Nonseparated twins score higher on language, and the difference is larger for same-sex pairs. This finding is robust for various methods that take unobserved effects into account. In addition, there is some evidence for higher scores in arithmetic in Grade 2. For the higher grades we find no effect of classroom separation on cognitive ability. In the analysis of the effect of a separation of at least 3 years we find that separation increases language performance between Grade 6 and 8 for opposite-sex pairs.

  18. A novel reagent significantly improved assay robustness in imaged capillary isoelectric focusing.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xin; Voronov, Sergey; Mussa, Nesredin; Li, Zhengjian

    2017-03-15

    Imaged Capillary Isoelectric Focusing (icIEF) has been used as primary method for charge variants analysis of therapeutic antibodies and proteins [1], [9]. Proteins tend to precipitate around their pI values during focusing [14], which directly affects the reproducibility of their charge profiles. Protein concentration, focusing time and various supplementing additives are key parameters to minimize the protein precipitation and aggregation. Urea and sucrose are common additives to reduce protein aggregation, solubilize proteins in sample matrix and therefore improve assay repeatability [15]. However some proteins and antibodies are exceptions, we found urea and sucrose are not sufficient for a typical fusion protein (Fusion protein A) in icIEF assay and high variability is observed. We report a novel reagent, formamide, significantly improved reproducibility of protein charge profiles. Our results show formamide is a good supplementary reagent to reduce aggregation and stabilize proteins in isoelectric focusing. We further confirmed the method robustness, linearity, accuracy and precision after introducing the new reagent; extremely tight pI values, significantly improved method precision and sample on-board stability are achieved by formamide. Formamide is also proven to be equally functional to multiple antibodies as urea, which makes it an extra tool in icIEF method development.

  19. A peptide-retrieval strategy enables significant improvement of quantitative performance without compromising confidence of identification.

    PubMed

    Tu, Chengjian; Shen, Shichen; Sheng, Quanhu; Shyr, Yu; Qu, Jun

    2017-01-30

    Reliable quantification of low-abundance proteins in complex proteomes is challenging largely owing to the limited number of spectra/peptides identified. In this study we developed a straightforward method to improve the quantitative accuracy and precision of proteins by strategically retrieving the less confident peptides that were previously filtered out using the standard target-decoy search strategy. The filtered-out MS/MS spectra matched to confidently-identified proteins were recovered, and the peptide-spectrum-match FDR were re-calculated and controlled at a confident level of FDR≤1%, while protein FDR maintained at ~1%. We evaluated the performance of this strategy in both spectral count- and ion current-based methods. >60% increase of total quantified spectra/peptides was respectively achieved for analyzing a spike-in sample set and a public dataset from CPTAC. Incorporating the peptide retrieval strategy significantly improved the quantitative accuracy and precision, especially for low-abundance proteins (e.g. one-hit proteins). Moreover, the capacity of confidently discovering significantly-altered proteins was also enhanced substantially, as demonstrated with two spike-in datasets. In summary, improved quantitative performance was achieved by this peptide recovery strategy without compromising confidence of protein identification, which can be readily implemented in a broad range of quantitative proteomics techniques including label-free or labeling approaches.

  20. Pretreatment of bovine sperm with dithiobutylamine (DTBA) significantly improves embryo development after ICSI

    PubMed Central

    SUTTIROJPATTANA, Tayita; SOMFAI, Tamas; MATOBA, Satoko; NAGAI, Takashi; PARNPAI, Rangsun; GESHI, Masaya

    2016-01-01

    We assessed the effect of pretreating sperm with dithiobutylamine (DTBA) to improve embryo development by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) in cows. Acridine Orange staining revealed that when applied at different concentrations (2.5, 5, and 10 mM) and exposure times (5 min, 20 min, 1 h, and 2 h), DTBA reduced disulfide bonds in spermatozoa with the highest efficacy at 5 mM for 5 min. DTBA enhanced the percentage of spermatozoa with free protamine thiol groups compared with untreated spermatozoa (control) (P < 0.05); however, this result did not differ from that of dithiothreitol (DTT) treatment. The percentage of live spermatozoa after DTBA treatment was identical to that in the control, but significantly higher than that after DTT treatment (P < 0.05). After ICSI, DTBA treatment tended to improve male pronuclear formation rate (P = 0.071) compared with non-treated sperm injection. Blastocyst formation rate was significantly improved by DTBA treatment compared with that in DTT, control, and sham injection groups (P < 0.05). Blastocyst quality in terms of cell numbers and ploidy was not different among these groups. In conclusion, DTBA increases the efficacy of blastocyst production by ICSI even if DTT treatment does not work. PMID:27523189

  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. 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…

  3. Significant Improvement in Survival after Unrelated Donor Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation in the Recent Era

    PubMed Central

    Majhail, Navneet S; Chitphakdithai, Pintip; Logan, Brent; King, Roberta; Devine, Steven; Rossmann, Susan N; Hale, Gregory; Hartzman, Robert J; Karanes, Chatchada; Laport, Ginna G; Nemecek, Eneida; Snyder, Edward L; Switzer, Galen E; Miller, John; Navarro, Willis; Confer, Dennis L; Levine, John E

    2014-01-01

    Patients and physicians may defer unrelated donor hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) as curative therapy due to mortality risk associated with the procedure. Therefore, it is important for physicians to know the current outcomes data when counseling potential candidates. To provide this information, we evaluated 15,059 unrelated donor HCT recipients between 2000-2009. We compared outcomes before and after 2005 for four cohorts: age <18 years with malignant diseases (N=1,920), 18-59 years with malignant diseases (N=9,575), ≥60 years with malignant diseases (N=2,194), and non-malignant diseases (N=1,370). Three-year overall survival in 2005-2009 was significantly better in all four cohorts (<18 years: 55% vs. 45%, 18-59 years: 42% vs. 35%, ≥60 years: 35% vs. 25%, non-malignant diseases: 69% vs. 60%, P<0.001 for all comparisons). Multivariate analyses in leukemia patients receiving HLA 7-8/8 matched transplants showed significant reduction in overall and non-relapse mortality in the first 1-year after HCT among patients transplanted in 2005-2009; however, risks for relapse did not change over time. Significant survival improvements after unrelated donor HCT have occurred over the recent decade and can be partly explained by better patient selection (e.g., HCT earlier in the disease course and lower disease risk), improved donor selection (e.g., more precise allele-level matched unrelated donors) and changes in transplant practices. PMID:25445638

  4. 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.

  5. [Molecular mechanisms for the improvement of wound healing ability of periodontal ligament in Marfan's syndrome].

    PubMed

    Saito, Masahiro; Tsuji, Takashi

    2012-01-01

    Marfan's syndrome (MFS) is a systemic disorder of the connective tissues caused by insufficient fibrillin-1 microfibril formation and can cause cardiac complications, emphysema, ocular lens dislocation and severe periodontal disease. ADAMTSL6β, a microfibril-associated extracellular matrix protein that has been implicated in fibrillin-1 microfibril assembly is able to improve microfibril insufficiency in MFS mice model. These findings suggest a new therapeutic strategy for the treatment of MFS through ADAMTSL6β-mediated fibrillin-1 microfibril assembly. We here review effect on ADAMTSL6β to the improvement of microfibril insufficiency in periodontal tissue as a model.

  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. Do Learning Activities Improve Students' Ability to Construct Explanatory Models with a Prism Foil Problem?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gojkošek, Mihael; Sliško, Josip; Planinšic, Gorazd

    2013-01-01

    The transfer of knowledge is considered to be a fundamental goal of education; therefore, knowing and understanding the conditions that influence the efficiency of the transfer from learning activity to problem solving play a decisive role in the improvement of science education. In this article, the results of a study of 196 high school students'…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. Active engagement improves primary auditory cortical neurons' ability to discriminate temporal modulation.

    PubMed

    Niwa, Mamiko; Johnson, Jeffrey S; O'Connor, Kevin N; Sutter, Mitchell L

    2012-07-04

    The effect of attention on single neuron responses in the auditory system is unresolved. We found that when monkeys discriminated temporally amplitude modulated (AM) from unmodulated sounds, primary auditory cortical (A1) neurons better discriminated those sounds than when the monkeys were not discriminating them. This was observed for both average firing rate and vector strength (VS), a measure of how well neurons temporally follow the stimulus' temporal modulation. When data were separated by nonsynchronized and synchronized responses, the firing rate of nonsynchronized responses best distinguished AM- noise from unmodulated noise, followed by VS for synchronized responses, with firing rate for synchronized neurons providing the poorest AM discrimination. Firing rate-based AM discrimination for synchronized neurons, however, improved most with task engagement, showing that the least sensitive code in the passive condition improves the most with task engagement. Rate coding improved due to larger increases in absolute firing rate at higher modulation depths than for lower depths and unmodulated sounds. Relative to spontaneous activity (which increased with engagement), the response to unmodulated sounds decreased substantially. The temporal coding improvement--responses more precisely temporally following a stimulus when animals were required to attend to it--expands the framework of possible mechanisms of attention to include increasing temporal precision of stimulus following. These findings provide a crucial step to understanding the coding of temporal modulation and support a model in which rate and temporal coding work in parallel, permitting a multiplexed code for temporal modulation, and for a complementary representation of rate and temporal coding.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Significant improvements in the practice patterns of adult related donor care in US transplant centers

    PubMed Central

    MBChB, Chloe Anthias; Shaw, Bronwen E; Kiefer, Deidre M; Liesveld, Jane L; Yared, Jean; Kambl, Rammurti T; D'Souza, Anita; Hematti, Peiman; Seftel, Matthew D; Norkin, Maxim; DeFilipp, Zachariah M; 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

    2016-01-01

    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% 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 FACT-JACIE Standards, resulting from the CIBMTR study, will have significantly impacted practice. Accordingly, a follow-up survey of US transplant centers was conducted to assess practice changes since 2007, and investigate additional areas where RD care was predicted to differ from UD care. 73 centers (53%), performing 79% of US RD transplants responded. Significant improvements were observed since the earlier survey; 62% centers now ensure separation of RD and recipient care (P<0.0001). However, this study identifies several areas where RD management does not meet international donor care standards. 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 described. PMID:26597080

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. [A new method of anti-jamming ability improvement for Michelson Interferometer].

    PubMed

    Li, Yang-Jun; Lian, Su-Jie; Shi, Jia; Guo, Ya-Fei; Wang, Gao

    2014-05-01

    In order to improve anti-jamming capability of Michelson interferometer system, replace the traditional structure of the moving mirror scanning was replaced, an interference system based on electro-optic modulation of crystal refractive index was designed to achieve optical path scanning. The system modulated voltage signal on the variable refractive crystal, to generate cyclical changes, changed the refractive index to control optical path difference in the original optical path system. Using electronic scanning to replace of mechanical scanning, improved the system's noise immunity was improved. In the electro-optic modulation process, computed the maximum optical path difference of the system was computed, and analyzed of the crystal thickness and crystal diffraction efficiency of the modulation process were analyzed. The simulation experiment shows that, with the modulation voltage range increasing, the available range of the optical path is also increased, and the system spectrum resolving power will also increase accordingly. Meanwhile, in the modulation process set the modulation range was set to make the energy of diffraction energy losses less than 10% of the total energy, so as to ensure a better signal to noise ratio. Experimental results show that, as the modulation voltage changes, interference fringes occurred continuously moved. When the voltage is further increased, the nonlinear error appears. After non-linear error correction for the system, spectrum resolution reached to 7. 2 cm-1, slightly lower than the original system. But its anti-jamming capability is greatly enhanced, as in the absence of experimental platform for seismic conditions, conventional interferometer relative error is more than 20%, while the relative error of the system is less than 5%, in line with the design requirements. It was proved that the anti-jamming capability of the system was enhanced greatly, when the static electro-optical modulation was used.

  18. Significant improvement of survival by intrasplenic hepatocyte transplantation in totally hepatectomized rats.

    PubMed

    Vogels, B A; Maas, M A; Bosma, A; Chamuleau, R A

    1996-01-01

    The effect of intrasplenic hepatocyte transplantation (HTX) was studied in an experimental model of acute liver failure in rats with chronic liver atrophy. Rats underwent a portacaval shunt operation on Day -14 to induce liver atrophy, and underwent total hepatectomy on Day 0 as a start of acute liver failure. Intrasplenic hepatocyte or sham transplantation was performed on Day -7,-3, or -1 (n = 4 to 6 per group). During the period following hepatectomy, mean arterial blood pressure was maintained above 80 mm Hg and hypoglycaemia was prevented. Severity of hepatic encephalopathy was assessed by clinical grading and EEG spectral analysis, together with determination of blood ammonia and plasma amino acid concentrations, and "survival" time. Histological examination of the spleen and lungs was performed after sacrifice. Intrasplenic hepatocyte transplantation resulted in a significant improvement in clinical grading in all transplanted groups (p < 0.05), whereas a significant improvement in EEG left index was seen only in the group with transplantation on Day -1 (p < 0.05). In contrast to hepatocyte transplantation 1 day before total hepatectomy, rats with hepatocyte transplantation 3 and 7 days before total hepatectomy showed a significant 3- and 2-fold increase in "survival" time compared to sham transplanted controls: HTX at Day -1: 7.5 +/- 0.3 h vs. 5.9 +/- 0.6 h (p > 0.05), HTX at Day -3: 19.7 +/- 3.7 h vs. 6.5 +/- 0.3 h (p < 0.05), and HTX at Day -7: 13.8 +/- 3.2 h vs. 6.3 +/- 0.3 h (p < 0.05). Furthermore, rats with hepatocyte transplantation on Day -3 and -7 showed significantly lower blood ammonia concentrations after total hepatectomy (p < 0.0001). Histological examination of the spleens after sacrifice showed clusters of hepatocytes in the red pulp. Hepatocytes present in the spleen for 3 and 7 days showed bile accumulation and spots of beginning necrosis. The present data show that in a hard model of complete liver failure in portacaval shunted rats

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Implementation of a novel emergency surgical unit significantly improves the management of gallstone pancreatitis

    PubMed Central

    Kulendran, M; Liasis, L; Qurashi, K; Sen, M; Gould, S

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Emergency surgery is changing rapidly with a greater workload, early subspecialisation and centralisation of emergency care. We describe the impact of a novel emergency surgical unit (ESU) on the definitive management of patients with gallstone pancreatitis (GSP). Methods A comparative audit was undertaken for all admissions with GSP before and after the introduction of the ESU over a six-month period. The impact on compliance with British Society of Gastroenterology (BSG) guidelines was assessed. Results Thirty-five patients were treated for GSP between December 2013 and May 2014, after the introduction of the ESU. This was twice the nationally reported average for a UK trust over a six-month period. All patients received definitive management for their GSP and 100% of all suitable patients received treatment during the index admission or within two weeks of discharge. This was a significantly greater proportion than that prior to the introduction of the ESU (57%, p=0.0001) as well as the recently reported national average (34%). The mean length of total inpatient stay was reduced significantly after the ESU was introduced from 13.7 ± 4.7 days to 7.8 ± 2.1 days (p=0.03). The mean length of postoperative stay also fell significantly from 6.7 ± 2.6 days to 1.8 ± 0.8 days (p=0.001). Conclusions A dedicated ESU following national recommendations for emergency surgery care by way of using dedicated emergency surgeons and a streamlined protocol for common presentations has been shown by audit of current practice to significantly improve the management of patients presenting to a busy district general hospital with GSP. PMID:26263941

  3. 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.

  4. The Sensitivity of Adolescent School-Based Hearing Screens Is Significantly Improved by Adding High Frequencies.

    PubMed

    Sekhar, Deepa L; Zalewski, Thomas R; Beiler, Jessica S; Czarnecki, Beth; Barr, Ashley L; King, Tonya S; Paul, Ian M

    2016-12-01

    High frequency hearing loss (HFHL), often related to hazardous noise, affects one in six U.S. adolescents. Yet, only 20 states include school-based hearing screens for adolescents. Only six states test multiple high frequencies. Study objectives were to (1) compare the sensitivity of state school-based hearing screens for adolescents to gold standard sound-treated booth testing and (2) consider the effect of adding multiple high frequencies and two-step screening on sensitivity/specificity. Of 134 eleventh-grade participants (2013-2014), 43 of the 134 (32%) did not pass sound-treated booth testing, and 27 of the 43 (63%) had HFHL. Sensitivity/specificity of the most common protocol (1,000, 2,000, 4,000 Hz at 20 dB HL) for these hearing losses was 25.6% (95% confidence interval [CI] = [13.5, 41.2]) and 85.7% (95% CI [76.8, 92.2]), respectively. A protocol including 500, 1,000, 2,000, 4,000, 6,000 Hz at 20 dB HL significantly improved sensitivity to 76.7% (95% CI [61.4, 88.2]), p < .001. Two-step screening maintained specificity (84.6%, 95% CI [75.5, 91.3]). Adolescent school-based hearing screen sensitivity improves with high frequencies.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Pantoea alhagi, a novel endophytic bacterium with ability to improve growth and drought tolerance in wheat

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chaoqiong; Xin, Kaiyun; Liu, Hao; Cheng, Juanli; Shen, Xihui; Wang, Yao; Zhang, Lei

    2017-01-01

    A novel strain LTYR-11ZT that exhibited multiple plant growth promoting (PGP) traits was isolated from the surface-sterilized leaves of Alhagi sparsifolia Shap. (Leguminosae), which reprsents one of the top drought tolerant plants in north-west China. Phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences and multilocus sequence analysis based on partial sequences of atpD, gyrB, infB and rpoB genes revealed that strain LTYR-11ZT was a member of the genus Pantoea, with Pantoea theicola NBRC 110557T and Pantoea intestinalis DSM 28113T as the closest phylogenetic relatives. The results of DNA–DNA hybridization, phenotypic tests and fatty acid analysis confirmed that strain LTYR-11ZT represents a novel species of the genus Pantoea, for which we propose the name Pantoea alhagi sp. nov. Confocal microscopy observation revealed that strain LTYR-11ZT effectively colonizes the rhizoplane of both Arabidopsis and wheat. Strain LTYR-11ZT was able to promote the growth of wheat enhancing its resistance to drought stress. Strain LTYR-11ZT led to increased accumulation of soluble sugars, decreased accumulation of proline and malondialdehyde (MDA), and decreased degradation of chlorophyll in leaves of drought-stressed wheat. Our findings will contribute to the development of a novel biotechnological agent to improve the adaptation of crop plants to drought in arid ecosystems. PMID:28128318

  8. Aerodynamic Improvements of an Empty Timber Truck can Have the Potential of Significantly Reducing Fuel Consumption

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andersson, Magnus; Marashi, Seyedeh Sepideh; Karlsson, Matts

    2012-11-01

    In the present study, aerodynamic drag (AD) has been estimated for an empty and a fully loaded conceptual timber truck (TT) using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). The increasing fuel prices have challenged heavy duty vehicle (HDV) manufactures to strive for better fuel economy, by e.g. utilizing drag reducing external devices. Despite this knowledge, the TT fleets seem to be left in the dark. Like HDV aerodynamics, similarities can be observed as a large low pressure wake is formed behind the tractor (unloaded) and downstream of the trailer (full load) thus generating AD. As TTs travel half the time without any cargo, focus on drag reduction is important. The full scaled TTs where simulated using the realizable k-epsilon model with grid adaption techniques for mesh independence. Our results indicate that a loaded TT reduces the AD significantly as both wake size and turbulence kinetic energy are lowered. In contrast to HDV the unloaded TTs have a much larger design space available for possible drag reducing devices, e.g. plastic wrapping and/or flaps. This conceptual CFD study has given an indication of the large AD difference between the unloaded and fully loaded TT, showing the potential for significant AD improvements.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Cyclosporin A significantly improves preeclampsia signs and suppresses inflammation in a rat model.

    PubMed

    Hu, Bihui; Yang, Jinying; Huang, Qian; Bao, Junjie; Brennecke, Shaun Patrick; Liu, Huishu

    2016-05-01

    Preeclampsia is associated with an increased inflammatory response. Immune suppression might be an effective treatment. The aim of this study was to examine whether Cyclosporin A (CsA), an immunosuppressant, improves clinical characteristics of preeclampsia and suppresses inflammation in a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced preeclampsia rat model. Pregnant rats were randomly divided into 4 groups: group 1 (PE) rats each received LPS via tail vein on gestational day (GD) 14; group 2 (PE+CsA5) rats were pretreated with LPS (1.0 μg/kg) on GD 14 and were then treated with CsA (5mg/kg, ip) on GDs 16, 17 and 18; group 3 (PE+CsA10) rats were pretreated with LPS (1.0 μg/kg) on GD 14 and were then treated with CsA (10mg/kg, ip) on GDs 16, 17 and 18; group 4 (pregnant control, PC) rats were treated with the vehicle (saline) used for groups 1, 2 and 3. Systolic blood pressure, urinary albumin, biometric parameters and the levels of serum cytokines were measured on day 20. CsA treatment significantly reduced LPS-induced systolic blood pressure and the mean 24-h urinary albumin excretion. Pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-17, IFN-γ and TNF-α were increased in the LPS treatment group but were reduced in (LPS+CsA) group (P<0.05). Anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-4 was decreased in the LPS group but was increased in (LPS+CsA) group (P<0.05). Cyclosporine A improved preeclampsia signs and attenuated inflammatory responses in the LPS induced preeclampsia rat model which suggests that immunosuppressant might be an alternative management option for preeclampsia.

  12. 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

  13. Significant improvements in stability and reproducibility of atomic-scale atomic force microscopy in liquid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akrami, S. M. R.; Nakayachi, H.; Watanabe-Nakayama, T.; Asakawa, H.; Fukuma, T.

    2014-11-01

    Recent advancement of dynamic-mode atomic force microscopy (AFM) for liquid-environment applications enabled atomic-scale studies on various interfacial phenomena. However, instabilities and poor reproducibility of the measurements often prevent systematic studies. To solve this problem, we have investigated the effect of various tip treatment methods for atomic-scale imaging and force measurements in liquid. The tested methods include Si coating, Ar plasma, Ar sputtering and UV/O3 cleaning. We found that all the methods provide significant improvements in both the imaging and force measurements in spite of the tip transfer through the air. Among the methods, we found that the Si coating provides the best stability and reproducibility in the measurements. To understand the origin of the fouling resistance of the cleaned tip surface and the difference between the cleaning methods, we have investigated the tip surface properties by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and contact angle measurements. The results show that the contaminations adsorbed on the tip during the tip transfer through the air should desorb from the surface when it is immersed in aqueous solution due to the enhanced hydrophilicity by the tip treatments. The tip surface prepared by the Si coating is oxidized when it is immersed in aqueous solution. This creates local spots where stable hydration structures are formed. For the other methods, there is no active mechanism to create such local hydration sites. Thus, the hydration structure formed under the tip apex is not necessarily stable. These results reveal the desirable tip properties for atomic-scale AFM measurements in liquid, which should serve as a guideline for further improvements of the tip treatment methods.

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Significantly improving trace thallium removal from surface waters during coagulation enhanced by nanosized manganese dioxide.

    PubMed

    Huangfu, Xiaoliu; Ma, Chengxue; Ma, Jun; He, Qiang; Yang, Chun; Jiang, Jin; Wang, Yaan; Wu, Zhengsong

    2017-02-01

    Thallium (Tl) is an element of high toxicity and significant accumulation in human body. There is an urgent need for the development of appropriate strategies for trace Tl removal in drinking water treatment plants. In this study, the efficiency and mechanism of trace Tl (0.5 μg/L) removal by conventional coagulation enhanced by nanosized manganese dioxide (nMnO2) were explored in simulated water and two representative surface waters (a river water and a reservoir water obtained from Northeast China). Experimental results showed that nMnO2 significantly improve Tl(I) removal from selected waters. The removal efficiency was dramatically higher in the simulated water, demonstrating by less than 0.1 μg/L Tl residual. The enhancement of trace Tl removal in the surface waters decreased to a certain extent. Both adjusting water pH to alkaline condition and preoxidation of Tl(I) to Tl(III) benefit trace Tl removal from surface waters. Data also indicated that competitive cation of Ca(2+) decreased the efficiency of trace Tl removal, resulting from the reduction of Tl adsorption on nMnO2. Humic acid could largely low Tl removal efficiency during nMnO2 enhanced coagulation processes. Trace elemental Tl firstly adsorbed on nMnO2 and then removed accompanying with nMnO2 settling. The information obtained in the present study may provide a potential strategy for drinking water treatment plants threatened by trace Tl.

  19. Codon Optimization Significantly Improves the Expression Level of a Keratinase Gene in Pichia pastoris

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Hong; Gao, Jie; He, Jun; Yu, Bing; Zheng, Ping; Huang, Zhiqing; Mao, Xiangbing; Yu, Jie; Han, Guoquan; Chen, Daiwen

    2013-01-01

    The main keratinase (kerA) gene from the Bacillus licheniformis S90 was optimized by two codon optimization strategies and expressed in Pichia pastoris in order to improve the enzyme production compared to the preparations with the native kerA gene. The results showed that the corresponding mutations (synonymous codons) according to the codon bias in Pichia pastoris were successfully introduced into keratinase gene. The highest keratinase activity produced by P. pastoris pPICZαA-kerAwt, pPICZαA-kerAopti1 and pPICZαA-kerAopti2 was 195 U/ml, 324 U/ml and 293 U/ml respectively. In addition, there was no significant difference in biomass concentration, target gene copy numbers and relative mRNA expression levels of every positive strain. The molecular weight of keratinase secreted by recombinant P. pastori was approx. 39 kDa. It was optimally active at pH 7.5 and 50°C. The recombinant keratinase could efficiently degrade both α-keratin (keratin azure) and β-keratin (chicken feather meal). These properties make the P. pastoris pPICZαA-kerAopti1 a suitable candidate for industrial production of keratinases. PMID:23472192

  20. 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.

  1. Mn-doped TiO2 thin films with significantly improved optical and electrical properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Liu; Xia, Xiaohong; Luo, J. K.; Shao, G.

    2012-12-01

    TiO2 thin films with various Mn doping contents were fabricated by reactive magnetron sputtering deposition at 550 °C and their structural, optical and electrical properties were characterized. All films were made of densely packed columnar grains with a fibrous texture along the normal direction of the substrate. The as-deposited structure in the pure TiO2 film consisted of anatase grains with the [1 0 1] texture. Mn incorporation stabilized the rutile phase and induced lattice contraction in the [1 0 0] direction. The texture in the Mn-doped films changed from [1 1 0] to [2 0 0] with increasing Mn content. The incorporation of Mn in the TiO2 lattice introduced intermediate bands into its narrowed forbidden gap, leading to remarkable red-shifts in the optical absorption edges, together with significantly improved electrical conductivity of the thin films. Hall measurement showed that the incorporation of Mn-induced p-type conductivity, with hole mobility in heavily doped TiO2 (˜40% Mn) being about an order higher than electron mobility in single-crystal rutile TiO2. Oxygen vacancies, on the other hand, interacted with substitutional Mn atoms to reduce its effect on optical and electrical properties.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Does von Willebrand factor improve the predictive ability of current risk stratification scores in patients with atrial fibrillation?

    PubMed Central

    García-Fernández, Amaya; Roldán, Vanessa; Rivera-Caravaca, José Miguel; Hernández-Romero, Diana; Valdés, Mariano; Vicente, Vicente; Lip, Gregory Y. H.; Marín, Francisco

    2017-01-01

    Von Willebrand factor (vWF) is a biomarker of endothelial dysfunction. We investigated its role on prognosis in anticoagulated atrial fibrillation (AF) patients and determined whether its addition to clinical risk stratification schemes improved event-risk prediction. Consecutive outpatients with non-valvular AF were recruited and rates of thrombotic/cardiovascular events, major bleeding and mortality were recorded. The effect of vWF on prognosis was calculated using a Cox regression model. Improvements in predictive accuracy over current scores were determined by calculating the integrated discrimination improvement (IDI), net reclassification improvement (NRI), comparison of receiver-operator characteristic (ROC) curves and Decision Curve Analysis (DCA). 1215 patients (49% males, age 76 (71–81) years) were included. Follow-up was almost 7 years. Significant associations were found between vWF and cardiovascular events, stroke, mortality and bleeding. Based on IDI and NRI, addition of vWF to CHA2DS2-VASc statistically improved its predictive value, but c-indexes were not significantly different. For major bleeding, the addition of vWF to HAS-BLED improved the c-index but not IDI or NRI. DCA showed minimal net benefit. vWF acts as a simple prognostic biomarker in AF and, whilst its addition to current scores statistically improves prediction for some endpoints, absolute changes and impact on clinical decision-making are marginal. PMID:28134282

  6. A small change in the design of a slit bioaerosol impactor significantly improves its collection characteristics.

    PubMed

    Grinshpun, Sergey A; Adhikari, Atin; Cho, Seung-Hyun; Kim, Ki-Youn; Lee, Taekhee; Reponen, Tiina

    2007-08-01

    While several methods are available for bioaerosol monitoring, impaction remains the most common one, particularly for collecting fungal spores. Earlier studies have shown that the collection efficiency of many conventional single-stage bioaerosol impactors falls below 50% for spores with an aerodynamic diameter between 1.7 and 2.5 microm because their cut-off size is 2.5 microm or greater. The cut-off size reduction is primarily done by substantially increasing the sampling flow rate or decreasing the impaction jet size, W, to a fraction of a millimetre, with both measures often impractical to implement. Some success has recently been reported on the utilization of an ultra-low jet-to-plate distance, S (S/W < 0.1), in circular impactors. This paper describes a laboratory evaluation and some field testing of two single-stage, single-nozzle, slit bioaerosol impactors, Allergenco-D and Air-O-Cell, which feature the same jet dimensions and flow rate but have some design configuration differences that were initially thought to be of low significance. The collection efficiency and the spore deposit characteristics were determined in the laboratory using real-time aerosol spectrometry and different microscopic enumeration methods as the test impactors were challenged with the non-biological polydisperse NaCl aerosol and the aerosolized fungal spores of Cladosporium cladosporioides, Aspergillus versicolor, and Penicillium melinii. The tests showed that a relatively small reduction in the jet-to-plate distance of a single-stage, single-nozzle impactor with a tapered inlet nozzle, combined with adding a straight section of sufficient length, can significantly decrease the cut-off size to the level that is sufficient to efficiently collect spores of all fungal species. Furthermore, it appears that the slit jet design may improve the application of partial spore counting methodologies with respect to those applied to circular deposits. Data from a demonstration field study

  7. Globular protein-coated Paclitaxel nanosuspensions: interaction mechanism, direct cytosolic delivery, and significant improvement in pharmacokinetics.

    PubMed

    Li, Yongji; Wu, Zhannan; He, Wei; Qin, Chao; Yao, Jing; Zhou, Jianping; Yin, Lifang

    2015-05-04

    About 40% of the marketed drugs and 70-90% of new drug candidates are insoluble in water and therefore poorly bioavailable, which significantly compromises their therapeutic effects. A formulation of nanosuspensions achieved by reducing the pure drug particle size down to seb-micron range is one of the most promising approaches to overcome the insolubility. However, the nanosuspension formulations are subject to instability because of nucleation and particle growth. Therefore, a stabilizer is needed to be incorporated into the nanosuspension formulation during the preparation process to suppress the aggregation of drug particles. β-LG, a globular protein, is broken by heat-induced denaturation, and its hydrophobic area is exposed, which allows it to associate with organic particles. PTX, an insoluble drug, is widely used for the clinical treatment of human cancer. However, this drug's clinical application is greatly limited by intrinsic defects including poor solubility, adverse side effects, and poor tumor penetration. In this study, we prepared β-LG-stabilized PTX nanosuspensions (PTX-NS) by coating the protein onto nanoscaled drug particles, investigating the stabilization effect of β-LG on PTX-NS, and evaluating its in vitro and in vivo performance. PTX-NS with a diameter of approximately 200 nm was easily prepared. β-LG produced significantly stabilized effect on PTX-NS via the interaction between the hydrophobic area of the protein and the hydrophobic surface of the drug particles, which resulted in a conformational change of the protein, the loss of both secondary and tertiary structures, and the transition of Trp residues to a less hydrophobic condition. Importantly, unlike other conventional nanoparticles, PTX-NS could directly translocated across the membrane into the cytosol in an energy-independent manner, without entrapment within the endosomal-lysosomal system. Moreover, compared with Taxol, PTX-NS increased AUC and Cmax by 26- and 16-fold

  8. Improvements in Orientation and Balancing Abilities in Response to One Month of Intensive Slackline-Training. A Randomized Controlled Feasibility Study.

    PubMed

    Dordevic, Milos; Hökelmann, Anita; Müller, Patrick; Rehfeld, Kathrin; Müller, Notger G

    2017-01-01

    Background: Slackline-training has been shown to improve mainly task-specific balancing skills. Non-task specific effects were assessed for tandem stance and preferred one-leg stance on stable and perturbed force platforms with open eyes. It is unclear whether transfer effects exist for other balancing conditions and which component of the balancing ability is affected. Also, it is not known whether slackline-training can improve non-visual-dependent spatial orientation abilities, a function mainly supported by the hippocampus. Objective: To assess the effect of one-month of slackline-training on different components of balancing ability and its transfer effects on non-visual-dependent spatial orientation abilities. Materials and Methods: Fifty subjects aged 18-30 were randomly assigned to the training group (T) (n = 25, 23.2 ± 2.5 years; 12 females) and the control group (C) (n = 25, 24.4 ± 2.8 years; 11 females). Professional instructors taught the intervention group to slackline over four consecutive weeks with three 60-min-trainings in each week. Data acquisition was performed (within 2 days) by blinded investigators at the baseline and after the training. Main outcomes Improvement in the score of a 30-item clinical balance test (CBT) developed at our institute (max. score = 90 points) and in the average error distance (in centimeters) in an orientation test (OT), a triangle completion task with walking and wheelchair conditions for 60°, 90°, and 120°. Results: Training group performed significantly better on the closed-eyes conditions of the CBT (1.6 points, 95% CI: 0.6 to 2.6 points vs. 0.1 points, 95% CI: -1 to 1.1 points; p = 0.011, [Formula: see text] = 0.128) and in the wheelchair (vestibular) condition of the OT (21 cm, 95% CI: 8-34 cm vs. 1 cm, 95% CI: -14-16 cm; p = 0.049, [Formula: see text] = 0.013). Conclusion: Our results indicate that one month of intensive slackline training is a novel approach for enhancing clinically relevant balancing

  9. Improvements in Orientation and Balancing Abilities in Response to One Month of Intensive Slackline-Training. A Randomized Controlled Feasibility Study

    PubMed Central

    Dordevic, Milos; Hökelmann, Anita; Müller, Patrick; Rehfeld, Kathrin; Müller, Notger G.

    2017-01-01

    Background: Slackline-training has been shown to improve mainly task-specific balancing skills. Non-task specific effects were assessed for tandem stance and preferred one-leg stance on stable and perturbed force platforms with open eyes. It is unclear whether transfer effects exist for other balancing conditions and which component of the balancing ability is affected. Also, it is not known whether slackline-training can improve non-visual-dependent spatial orientation abilities, a function mainly supported by the hippocampus. Objective: To assess the effect of one-month of slackline-training on different components of balancing ability and its transfer effects on non-visual-dependent spatial orientation abilities. Materials and Methods: Fifty subjects aged 18–30 were randomly assigned to the training group (T) (n = 25, 23.2 ± 2.5 years; 12 females) and the control group (C) (n = 25, 24.4 ± 2.8 years; 11 females). Professional instructors taught the intervention group to slackline over four consecutive weeks with three 60-min-trainings in each week. Data acquisition was performed (within 2 days) by blinded investigators at the baseline and after the training. Main outcomes Improvement in the score of a 30-item clinical balance test (CBT) developed at our institute (max. score = 90 points) and in the average error distance (in centimeters) in an orientation test (OT), a triangle completion task with walking and wheelchair conditions for 60°, 90°, and 120°. Results: Training group performed significantly better on the closed-eyes conditions of the CBT (1.6 points, 95% CI: 0.6 to 2.6 points vs. 0.1 points, 95% CI: –1 to 1.1 points; p = 0.011, ηp2 = 0.128) and in the wheelchair (vestibular) condition of the OT (21 cm, 95% CI: 8–34 cm vs. 1 cm, 95% CI: –14–16 cm; p = 0.049, ηp2 = 0.013). Conclusion: Our results indicate that one month of intensive slackline training is a novel approach for enhancing clinically relevant balancing abilities in conditions

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. A Smartphone Application Significantly Improved Diabetes Self-Care Activities with High User Satisfaction

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Yu Jin; Byun, Jong Kyu; Park, So Young; Hong, Soo Min; Chin, Sang Ouk; Chon, Suk; Oh, Seungjoon; Woo, Jeong-taek; Kim, Sung Woon; Kim, Young Seol

    2015-01-01

    Background We developed for the first time a smartphone application designed for diabetes self-management in Korea and registered a patent for the relevant algorithm. We also investigated the user satisfaction with the application and the change in diabetes related self-care activities after using the application. Methods We conducted a questionnaire survey on volunteers with diabetes who were using the application. Ninety subjects responded to the questionnaire between June 2012 and March 2013. A modified version of the Summary of Diabetes Self-Care Activities (SDSCA) was used in this study. Results The survey results exhibited a mean subject age of 44.0 years old, and males accounted for 78.9% of the subjects. Fifty percent of the subjects had diabetes for less than 3 years. The majority of respondents experienced positive changes in their clinical course after using the application (83.1%) and were satisfied with the structure and completeness of the application (86.7%). Additionally, the respondents' answers indicated that the application was easy to use (96.7%) and recommendable to others (97.7%) and that they would continue using the application to manage their diabetes (96.7%). After using the Diabetes Notepad application, diabetes related self-care activities assessed by SDSCA displayed statistically significant improvements (P<0.05), except for the number of days of drinking. Conclusion This smartphone-based application can be a useful tool leading to positive changes in diabetes related self-care activities and increase user satisfaction. PMID:26124991

  14. Significant improvement of Serratia marcescens lipase fermentation, by optimizing medium, induction, and oxygen supply.

    PubMed

    Long, Zhang-De; Xu, Jian-He; Pan, Jiang

    2007-08-01

    Production of an extracellular lipase from Serratia marcescens ECU1010, which is an industrially important biocatalyst for the stereospecific synthesis of Diltiazem precursor, was carefully optimized in both shake flasks and a fermenter, using Tween-80 as the enzyme inducer. Dextrin and beef extract combined with ammonium sulfate were indicated to be the best carbon and nitrogen sources, respectively. With the increase of Tween-80 from 0 to 10 g l-1, the lipase production was greatly enhanced from merely 250 U l-1 to a maximum of 3,340 U l-1, giving the highest lipase yield of ca 640 U g-1 dry cell mass (DCW), although the maximum biomass (6.0 g DCW l-1) was achieved at 15 g l-1 of Tween-80. When the medium loading in shake flasks was reduced from 20 to 10% (v / v), the lipase production was significantly enhanced. The increase in shaking speed also resulted in an improvement of the lipase production, although the cell growth was slightly repressed, suggesting that the increase of dissolved oxygen (DO) concentration contributed to the enhancements of lipase yield. When the lipase fermentation was carried out in a 5-l fermenter, the lipase production reached a new maximum of 11,060 U l-1 by simply raising the aeration rate from 0.5 to 1.0 vvm, while keeping the dissolved oxygen above 20% saturation via intermittent adjustment of the agitation speed (> or =400 rpm), in the presence of a relatively low concentration (2 g l-1) of Tween-80 to prevent a potential foaming problem, which is easy to occur in the intensively aerated fermenter.

  15. 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

  16. Using Gas Modifiers to Significantly Improve Sensitivity and Selectivity in a Cylindrical FAIMS Device

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  17. Incorporating the human gene annotations in different databases significantly improved transcriptomic and genetic analyses.

    PubMed

    Chen, Geng; Wang, Charles; Shi, Leming; Qu, Xiongfei; Chen, Jiwei; Yang, Jianmin; Shi, Caiping; Chen, Long; Zhou, Peiying; Ning, Baitang; Tong, Weida; Shi, Tieliu

    2013-04-01

    Human gene annotation is crucial for conducting transcriptomic and genetic studies; however, the impacts of human gene annotations in diverse databases on related studies have been less evaluated. To enable full use of various human annotation resources and better understand the human transcriptome, here we systematically compare the human annotations present in RefSeq, Ensembl (GENCODE), and AceView on diverse transcriptomic and genetic analyses. We found that the human gene annotations in the three databases are far from complete. Although Ensembl and AceView annotated more genes than RefSeq, more than 15,800 genes from Ensembl (or AceView) are within the intergenic and intronic regions of AceView (or Ensembl) annotation. The human transcriptome annotations in RefSeq, Ensembl, and AceView had distinct effects on short-read mapping, gene and isoform expression profiling, and differential expression calling. Furthermore, our findings indicate that the integrated annotation of these databases can obtain a more complete gene set and significantly enhance those transcriptomic analyses. We also observed that many more known SNPs were located within genes annotated in Ensembl and AceView than in RefSeq. In particular, 1033 of 3041 trait/disease-associated SNPs involved in about 200 human traits/diseases that were previously reported to be in RefSeq intergenic regions could be relocated within Ensembl and AceView genes. Our findings illustrate that a more complete transcriptome generated by incorporating human gene annotations in diverse databases can strikingly improve the overall results of transcriptomic and genetic studies.

  18. 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.

  19. Waste Minimization Improvements Achieved Through Six Sigma Analysis Result In Significant Cost Savings

    SciTech Connect

    Mousseau, Jeffrey, D.; Jansen, John, R.; Janke, David, H.; Plowman, Catherine, M.

    2003-02-26

    Improved waste minimization practices at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) are leading to a 15% reduction in the generation of hazardous and radioactive waste. Bechtel, BWXT Idaho, LLC (BBWI), the prime management and operations contractor at the INEEL, applied the Six Sigma improvement process to the INEEL Waste Minimization Program to review existing processes and define opportunities for improvement. Our Six Sigma analysis team: composed of an executive champion, process owner, a black belt and yellow belt, and technical and business team members used this statistical based process approach to analyze work processes and produced ten recommendations for improvement. Recommendations ranged from waste generator financial accountability for newly generated waste to enhanced employee recognition programs for waste minimization efforts. These improvements have now been implemented to reduce waste generation rates and are producing positive results.

  20. 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,…

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Chie; Sakaguchi, Yosuke; Hoshi, Hiroyoshi; Yoshioka, Koji

    2016-01-01

    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.

  6. 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

  7. Gender-related risk factors improve mortality predictive ability of VACS Index among HIV-infected women

    PubMed Central

    COHEN, Mardge H; HOTTON, Anna L; HERSHOW, Ronald C; LEVINE, Alexandra; BACCHETTI, Peter; GOLUB, Elizabeth T.; ANASTOS, Kathryn; YOUNG, Mary; GUSTAFSON, Deborah; WEBER, Kathleen M

    2015-01-01

    Background Adding gender-related modifiable characteristics or behaviors to the Veterans Aging Cohort Study (VACS) Index might improve the accuracy of predicting mortality among HIV-infected women on treatment. We evaluated the VACS Index in women with HIV, determined whether additional variables would improve mortality prediction, and quantified the potential for improved survival associated with reduction in these additional risk factors. Methods The VACS Index (based on age, CD4 count, HIV-1 RNA, hemoglobin, AST, ALT, platelets, creatinine and Hepatitis C status) was validated in HIV-infected women in the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) who initiated antiretroviral therapy (ART) between January 1996 and December 2007. Models were constructed adding race, depression, abuse, smoking, substance use, transactional sex, and comorbidities to determine whether predictability improved. Population attributable fractions were calculated. Results The VACS Index accurately predicted 5-year mortality in 1057 WIHS women with 1 year on HAART with c-index 0.83 (95% CI 0.79–0.87). In multivariate analysis, the VACS Index score (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] for 5-point increment 1.30; 95% CI 1.25–1.35), depressive symptoms (aHR 1.73; 95% CI 1.17–2.56) and history of transactional sex (aHR 1.93; 95% CI 1.33–1.82) were independent statistically significant predictors of mortality. Conclusions Including depression and transactional sex significantly improved the performance of the VACS Index in predicting mortality among HIV-infected women. Providing treatment for depression and addressing economic and psychosocial instability in HIV infected women would improve health and perhaps point to a broader public health approach to reducing HIV mortality. PMID:26284531

  8. 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

  9. Neonatal diagnosis of severe combined immunodeficiency leads to significantly improved survival outcome: the case for newborn screening.

    PubMed

    Brown, Lucinda; Xu-Bayford, Jinhua; Allwood, Zoe; Slatter, Mary; Cant, Andrew; Davies, E Graham; Veys, Paul; Gennery, Andrew R; Gaspar, H Bobby

    2011-03-17

    Severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) carries a poor prognosis without definitive treatment by hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. The outcome for transplantation varies and is dependent on donor status and the condition of the child at the time of transplantation. Diagnosis at birth may allow for better protection of SCID babies from infection and improve transplantation outcome. In this comparative study conducted at the 2 designated SCID transplantation centers in the United Kingdom, we show that SCID babies diagnosed at birth because of a positive family history have a significantly improved outcome compared with the first presenting family member. The overall improved survival of more than 90% is related to a reduced rate of infection and significantly improved transplantation outcome irrespective of donor choice, conditioning regimen used, and underlying genetic diagnosis. Neonatal screening for SCID would significantly improve the outcome in this otherwise potentially devastating condition.

  10. tDCS application over the STG improves the ability to recognize and appreciate elements involved in humor processing.

    PubMed

    Manfredi, Mirella; Proverbio, Alice Mado; Gonçalves Donate, Ana Paula; Macarini Gonçalves Vieira, Sofia; Comfort, William Edgar; De Araújo Andreoli, Mariana; Boggio, Paulo Sérgio

    2017-03-15

    The superior temporal gyrus (STG) has been found to play a crucial role in the recognition of actions and facial expressions and may, therefore, be critical for the processing of humorous information. Here we investigated whether tDCS application to the STG would modulate the ability to recognize and appreciate the comic element in serious and comedic situations of misfortune. To this aim, the effects of different types of tDCS stimulation on the STG were analyzed during a task in which the participants were instructed to categorize various misfortunate situations as "comic" or "not comic". Participants underwent three different tDCS conditions: Anodal-right/Cathodal-left; Cathodal-right/Anodal-left; Sham. Images depicting people involved in accidents were grouped into three categories based on the facial expression of the victim: angry or painful (Affective); bewildered and funny (Comic); and images that did not contain the victim's face (No Face). An improvement in mean reaction times in response to both the Comic and No Face stimuli was observed following Anodal-left/Cathodal-right stimulation when compared to sham stimulation. This suggests that this stimulation type reduced the reaction times to socio-emotional complex scenes, regardless of facial expression. The Anodal-right/Cathodal-left stimulation reduced the mean reaction times for Comic stimuli only, suggesting that specifically the right STG may be involved in facial expression recognition and in the appreciation of the comic element in misfortunate situations. These results suggest a functional hemispheric asymmetry in STG response to social stimuli: the left STG might have a role in a general comprehension of social complex situations, while the right STG may be involved in the ability to recognize and integrate specific emotional aspects in a complex scene.

  11. AERONET Version 3 Release: Providing Significant Improvements for Multi-Decadal Global Aerosol Database and Near Real-Time Validation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holben, Brent; Slutsker, Ilya; Giles, David; Eck, Thomas; Smirnov, Alexander; Sinyuk, Aliaksandr; Schafer, Joel; Sorokin, Mikhail; Rodriguez, Jon; Kraft, Jason; Scully, Amy

    2016-01-01

    Aerosols are highly variable in space, time and properties. Global assessment from satellite platforms and model predictions rely on validation from AERONET, a highly accurate ground-based network. Ver. 3 represents a significant improvement in accuracy and quality.

  12. A significant improvement of luminance vs current density efficiency of a BioLED

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grykien, Remigiusz; Luszczynska, Beata; Glowacki, Ireneusz; Ulanski, Jacek; Kajzar, Francois; Zgarian, Roxana; Rau, Ileana

    2014-04-01

    We report on fabrication and characterization of an organic light emitting diode by incorporating a pure DNA as electron blocking layer. As emission layer a thin film of phosphorescent Ir(ppy)3 luminophore, embedded in the poly(N-vinylcarbazole) (PVK)/2-(4-tert-butylphenyl)-5-(4-biphenylyl)-1,3,4-oxadiazole (PBD) is used. The BioLED shows a good stability and its luminance efficiency vs current density is improved by ca 40% in comparison with the case without EBL.

  13. The Use (and Misuse) of Statistical Significance Testing: Some Recommendations for Improved Editorial Policy and Practice.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, Bruce

    This paper evaluates the logic underlying various criticisms of statistical significance testing and makes specific recommendations for scientific and editorial practice that might better increase the knowledge base. Reliance on the traditional hypothesis testing model has led to a major bias against nonsignificant results and to misinterpretation…

  14. Significant Advancements in Technology to Improve Instruction for All Students: Including Those with Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meyen, Edward

    2015-01-01

    Sharing thoughts on what represents significant advancements involving the education of persons for whom typical instruction is not effective seems simple enough. You think about the work you are engaged in and reflect on how you came to do what you are doing. If you have a record of being persistent in your work, then that becomes the context for…

  15. 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.

  16. Nitrite addition to acidified sludge significantly improves digestibility, toxic metal removal, dewaterability and pathogen reduction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Du, Fangzhou; Keller, Jürg; Yuan, Zhiguo; Batstone, Damien J.; Freguia, Stefano; Pikaar, Ilje

    2016-12-01

    Sludge management is a major issue for water utilities globally. Poor digestibility and dewaterability are the main factors determining the cost for sludge management, whereas pathogen and toxic metal concentrations limit beneficial reuse. In this study, the effects of low level nitrite addition to acidified sludge to simultaneously enhance digestibility, toxic metal removal, dewaterability and pathogen reduction were investigated. Waste activated sludge (WAS) from a full-scale waste water treatment plant was treated at pH 2 with 10 mg NO2‑-N/L for 5 h. Biochemical methane potential tests showed an increase in the methane production of 28%, corresponding to an improvement from 247 ± 8 L CH4/kg VS to 317 ± 1 L CH4/kg VS. The enhanced removal of toxic metals further increased the methane production by another 18% to 360 ± 6 L CH4/kg VS (a total increase of 46%). The solids content of dewatered sludge increased from 14.6 ± 1.4% in the control to 18.2 ± 0.8%. A 4-log reduction for both total coliforms and E. coli was achieved. Overall, this study highlights the potential of acidification with low level nitrite addition as an effective and simple method achieving multiple improvements in terms of sludge management.

  17. Nitrite addition to acidified sludge significantly improves digestibility, toxic metal removal, dewaterability and pathogen reduction

    PubMed Central

    Du, Fangzhou; Keller, Jürg; Yuan, Zhiguo; Batstone, Damien J.; Freguia, Stefano; Pikaar, Ilje

    2016-01-01

    Sludge management is a major issue for water utilities globally. Poor digestibility and dewaterability are the main factors determining the cost for sludge management, whereas pathogen and toxic metal concentrations limit beneficial reuse. In this study, the effects of low level nitrite addition to acidified sludge to simultaneously enhance digestibility, toxic metal removal, dewaterability and pathogen reduction were investigated. Waste activated sludge (WAS) from a full-scale waste water treatment plant was treated at pH 2 with 10 mg NO2−-N/L for 5 h. Biochemical methane potential tests showed an increase in the methane production of 28%, corresponding to an improvement from 247 ± 8 L CH4/kg VS to 317 ± 1 L CH4/kg VS. The enhanced removal of toxic metals further increased the methane production by another 18% to 360 ± 6 L CH4/kg VS (a total increase of 46%). The solids content of dewatered sludge increased from 14.6 ± 1.4% in the control to 18.2 ± 0.8%. A 4-log reduction for both total coliforms and E. coli was achieved. Overall, this study highlights the potential of acidification with low level nitrite addition as an effective and simple method achieving multiple improvements in terms of sludge management. PMID:28004811

  18. 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.

  19. The community-based Health Extension Program significantly improved contraceptive utilization in West Gojjam Zone, Ethiopia

    PubMed Central

    Yitayal, Mezgebu; Berhane, Yemane; Worku, Alemayehu; Kebede, Yigzaw

    2014-01-01

    Background Ethiopia has implemented a nationwide primary health program at grassroots level (known as the Health Extension Program) since 2003 to increase public access to basic health services. This study was conducted to assess whether households that fully implemented the Health Extension Program have improved current contraceptive use. Methods A cross-sectional community-based survey was conducted to collect data from 1,320 mothers using a structured questionnaire. A multivariate logistic regression was used to identify the predictors of current contraceptive utilization. A propensity score analysis was used to determine the contribution of the Health Extension Program “model households” on current contraceptive utilization. Result Mothers from households which fully benefited from the Health Extension Program (“model households”) were 3.97 (adjusted odds ratio, 3.97; 95% confidence interval, 3.01–5.23) times more likely to use contraceptives compared with mothers from non-model households. Model household status contributed to 29.3% (t=7.08) of the increase in current contraceptive utilization. Conclusion The Health Extension Program when implemented fully could help to increase the utilization of contraceptives in the rural community and improve family planning. PMID:24868165

  20. Melatonin significantly improves the developmental competence of bovine somatic cell nuclear transfer embryos.

    PubMed

    Su, Jianmin; Wang, Yongsheng; Xing, Xupeng; Zhang, Lei; Sun, Hongzheng; Zhang, Yong

    2015-11-01

    Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is a promising technology, but its application is hampered by its low efficiency. Hence, the majority of SCNT embryos fail to develop to term. In this study, the antioxidant melatonin reduced apoptosis and reactive oxygen species (ROS) in bovine SCNT embryos. It also increased cell number, inner cell mass (ICM) cell numbers, and the ratio of ICM to total cells while improving the development of bovine SCNT embryos in vitro and in vivo. Gene expression analysis showed that melatonin suppressed the expression of the pro-apoptotic genes p53 and Bax and stimulated the expression of the antioxidant genes SOD1 and Gpx4, the anti-apoptotic gene BCL2L1, and the pluripotency-related gene SOX2 in SCNT blastocysts. We also analyzed the epigenetic modifications in bovine in vitro fertilization, melatonin-treated, and untreated SCNT embryos. The global H3K9ac levels of melatonin-treated SCNT embryos at the four-cell stage were higher than those of the untreated SCNT embryos. We conclude that exogenous melatonin affects the expression of genes related to apoptosis, antioxidant function, and development. Moreover, melatonin reduced apoptosis and ROS in bovine SCNT embryos and enhanced blastocyst quality, thereby ultimately improving bovine cloning efficiency.

  1. Hypoxic-Preconditioned Bone Marrow Stem Cell Medium Significantly Improves Outcome After Retinal Ischemia in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Roth, Steven; Dreixler, John C.; Mathew, Biji; Balyasnikova, Irina; Mann, Jacob R.; Boddapati, Venkat; Xue, Lai; Lesniak, Maciej S.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose We have previously demonstrated the protective effect of bone marrow stem cell (BMSC)-conditioned medium in retinal ischemic injury. We hypothesized here that hypoxic preconditioning of stem cells significantly enhances the neuroprotective effect of the conditioned medium and thereby augments the protective effect in ischemic retina. Methods Rats were subjected to retinal ischemia by increasing intraocular pressure to 130 to 135 mm Hg for 55 minutes. Hypoxic-preconditioned, hypoxic unconditioned, or normoxic medium was injected into the vitreous 24 hours after ischemia ended. Recovery was assessed 7 days after injections by comparing electroretinography measurements, histologic examination, and apoptosis (TUNEL, terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase–mediated dUTP nick end labeling assay). To compare proteins secreted into the medium in the groups and the effect of hypoxic exposure, we used rat cytokine arrays. Results Eyes injected with hypoxic BMSC–conditioned medium 24 hours after ischemia demonstrated significantly enhanced return of retinal function, decreased retinal ganglion cell layer loss, and attenuated apoptosis compared to those administered normoxic or hypoxic unconditioned medium. Hypoxic-preconditioned medium had 21 significantly increased protein levels compared to normoxic medium. Conclusions The medium from hypoxic-preconditioned BMSCs robustly restored retinal function and prevented cell loss after ischemia when injected 24 hours after ischemia. The protective effect was even more pronounced than in our previous studies of normoxic conditioned medium. Prosurvival signals triggered by the secretome may play a role in this neuroprotective effect. PMID:27367588

  2. Possible breakthrough: Significant improvement of signal to noise ratio by stochastic resonance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiss, L. B.

    1996-06-01

    The simplest stochastic resonator is used, a level crossing detector (LCD), to investigate key properties of stochastic resonance (SR). It is pointed out that successful signal processing and biological applications of SR require to work in the large signal limit (nonlinear transfer limit) which requires a completely new approach: wide band input signal and a new, generalised definition of output noise. The new way of approach is illustrated by a new arrangement. The arrangement employs a special LCD, white input noise and a special, large, subthreshold wide band signal. First time in the history of SR (for a wide band input noise), the signal to noise ratio becomes much higher at the output of a stochastic resonator than at its input. In that way, SR is proven to have a potential to improve signal transfer. Note, that the new arrangement seems to have resemblance to neurone models, therefore, it has a potential also for biological applications.

  3. 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.

  4. Santosomes as natural and efficient carriers for the improvement of phycocyanin reepithelising ability in vitro and in vivo.

    PubMed

    Castangia, Ines; Manca, Maria Letizia; Caddeo, Carla; Bacchetta, Gianluigi; Pons, Ramon; Demurtas, Davide; Diez-Sales, Octavio; Fadda, Anna Maria; Manconi, Maria

    2016-06-01

    New biocarriers, named santosomes, were formulated using Santolina insularis essential oil and hydrogenated phosphatidylcholine. They were modified by adding propylene glycol, a hydrophylic penetration enhancer, and loaded with phycocyanin, a protein found in cyanobacteria, which possesses antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties. The essential oil was expected to modify the bilayer structure and improve the delivery and efficacy of the protein due to a synergistic effect of the phospholipid and S. insularis terpenes. Santosomes were small in size (∼118nm), unilamellar and with polyhedral shape. SAXS patterns showed that phycocyanin strongly interacted with the polar heads of the vesicle bilayer. Phycocyanin-loaded vesicles did not show any toxic effect in vitro: cell viability was ∼100% in endothelial cells and ∼120% in keratinocytes, at all the concentrations tested. In addition, phycocyanin-loaded vesicles protected the cells against free radical damage. In vivo studies were performed to evaluate the ability of santosomes to inhibit chemically-induced oedema and inflammation in mice. Results demonstrated that the application of phycocyanin-loaded santosomes produced an evident amelioration of the skin lesion, confirming their great potential for wound healing.

  5. Possible breakthrough: Significant improvement of signal to noise ratio by stochastic resonance

    SciTech Connect

    Kiss, L.B.

    1996-06-01

    The {ital simplest} {ital stochastic} {ital resonator} {ital is} {ital used}, {ital a} {ital level} {ital crossing} {ital detector} (LCD), to investigate key properties of stochastic resonance (SR). It is pointed out that successful signal processing and biological applications of SR require to work in the {ital large} {ital signal} {ital limit} (nonlinear transfer limit) which requires a completely new approach: {ital wide} {ital band} {ital input} {ital signal} and a {ital new}, {ital generalised} {ital definition} {ital of} {ital output} {ital noise}. The new way of approach is illustrated by a new arrangement. The arrangement employs a special LCD, white input noise and a special, large, subthreshold wide band signal. {ital First} {ital time} {ital in} {ital the} {ital history} {ital of} {ital SR} (for a wide band input noise), the {ital signal} {ital to} {ital noise} {ital ratio} {ital becomes} {ital much} {ital higher} {ital at} {ital the} {ital output} of a stochastic resonator than {ital at} {ital its} {ital input}. In that way, SR is proven to have a potential to improve signal transfer. Note, that the new arrangement seems to have resemblance to {ital neurone} {ital models}, therefore, it has a potential also for biological applications. {copyright} {ital 1996 American Institute of Physics.}

  6. Significant improvement in Mn2O3 transition metal oxide electrical conductivity via high pressure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Fang; Yue, Binbin; Hirao, Naohisa; Liu, Zhenxian; Chen, Bin

    2017-03-01

    Highly efficient energy storage is in high demand for next-generation clean energy applications. As a promising energy storage material, the application of Mn2O3 is limited due to its poor electrical conductivity. Here, high-pressure techniques enhanced the electrical conductivity of Mn2O3 significantly. In situ synchrotron micro X-Ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy and resistivity measurement revealed that resistivity decreased with pressure and dramatically dropped near the phase transition. At the highest pressure, resistivity reduced by five orders of magnitude and the sample showed metal-like behavior. More importantly, resistivity remained much lower than its original value, even when the pressure was fully released. This work provides a new method to enhance the electronic properties of Mn2O3 using high-pressure treatment, benefiting its applications in energy-related fields.

  7. Significant improvement in Mn2O3 transition metal oxide electrical conductivity via high pressure

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Fang; Yue, Binbin; Hirao, Naohisa; Liu, Zhenxian; Chen, Bin

    2017-01-01

    Highly efficient energy storage is in high demand for next-generation clean energy applications. As a promising energy storage material, the application of Mn2O3 is limited due to its poor electrical conductivity. Here, high-pressure techniques enhanced the electrical conductivity of Mn2O3 significantly. In situ synchrotron micro X-Ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy and resistivity measurement revealed that resistivity decreased with pressure and dramatically dropped near the phase transition. At the highest pressure, resistivity reduced by five orders of magnitude and the sample showed metal-like behavior. More importantly, resistivity remained much lower than its original value, even when the pressure was fully released. This work provides a new method to enhance the electronic properties of Mn2O3 using high-pressure treatment, benefiting its applications in energy-related fields. PMID:28276479

  8. Significant improvement in Mn2O3 transition metal oxide electrical conductivity via high pressure.

    PubMed

    Hong, Fang; Yue, Binbin; Hirao, Naohisa; Liu, Zhenxian; Chen, Bin

    2017-03-09

    Highly efficient energy storage is in high demand for next-generation clean energy applications. As a promising energy storage material, the application of Mn2O3 is limited due to its poor electrical conductivity. Here, high-pressure techniques enhanced the electrical conductivity of Mn2O3 significantly. In situ synchrotron micro X-Ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy and resistivity measurement revealed that resistivity decreased with pressure and dramatically dropped near the phase transition. At the highest pressure, resistivity reduced by five orders of magnitude and the sample showed metal-like behavior. More importantly, resistivity remained much lower than its original value, even when the pressure was fully released. This work provides a new method to enhance the electronic properties of Mn2O3 using high-pressure treatment, benefiting its applications in energy-related fields.

  9. 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.

  10. [Significant improved anthocyanins biosynthesis in suspension cultures of Vitis vinifera by process intensification].

    PubMed

    Qu, Jun-Ge; Yu, Xing-Ju; Zhang, Wei; Jin, Mei-Fang

    2006-03-01

    The low-production is a ubiquitous problem and has prevented the commercialization of secondary metabolite production in plant cell culture. In order to examine the effective approaches to improvement of secondary metabolite production in plant cell culture, the investigation of anthocyanins accumulation in suspension cultures of Vitis vinifera, as a model system, had been initiated in our laboratory. In this present research, various elicitors and the precursor of phenylalanine were used in combination to enhance the anthocyanins production in suspension cultures of Vitis vinifera. And an integrated process with the combination of elicitation, precursor feeding and light irradiation was reported for rational bioprocess design. Among the combination treatment of phenylalanine feeding and several elicitors (methyl-beta-cyclodextrin, dextran T-40, methyl jasmonate, extracts of Aspergillus niger and Fusarium orthoceras), the combination with methyl jasmonate gave the highest anthocyanins production in suspension cultures of Vitis vinifera. When compared to the controls, the anthocyanins content (CV/g, FCW) and production (CV/L) increased by 2.7-fold and 3.4-fold, respectively. The optimum time for the addition of phenylalanine and methyl jasmonate was 4 days after inoculation. Two cell lines with different anthocyanins-producing capacity responded differently to the optimum combination treatment of 30 micromol/L phenylalanine feeding, 218 micromol/L methyl jasmonate elicitation and 3000 to approximately 4000 1x light illumination. The high-and low-anthocyanins-producing cell lines of VV05 and VV06 produced the maximum of 2975 and 4090 CV/L of anthocyanins that were 2.5- and 5.2-fold of the controls, respectively.

  11. Bayesian Species Identification under the Multispecies Coalescent Provides Significant Improvements to DNA Barcoding Analyses.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ziheng; Rannala, Bruce

    2017-03-09

    DNA barcoding methods use a single locus (usually the mitochondrial COI gene) to assign unidentified specimens to known species in a library based on a genetic distance threshold that distinguishes between-species divergence from within-species diversity. Recently developed species delimitation methods based on the multispecies coalescent (MSC) model offer an alternative approach to individual assignment using either single-locus or multi-loci sequence data. Here we use simulations to demonstrate three features of an MSC method implemented in the program bpp. First, we show that with one locus, MSC can accurately assign individuals to species without the need for arbitrarily determined distance thresholds (as required for barcoding methods). We provide an example in which no single threshold or barcoding gap exists that can be used to assign all specimens without incurring high error rates. Second, we show that bpp can identify cryptic species that may be mis-identified as a single species within the library, potentially improving the accuracy of barcoding libraries. Third, we show that taxon rarity does not present any particular problems for species assignments using bpp, and that accurate assignments can be achieved even when only one or a few loci are available. Thus, concerns that have been raised that MSC methods may have problems analyzing rare taxa (singletons) are unfounded. Currently barcoding methods enjoy a huge computational advantage over MSC methods and may be the only approach feasible for massively large datasets, but MSC methods may offer a more stringent test for species that are tentatively assigned by barcoding. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. A New Mother-Child Play Activity Program to Decrease Parenting Stress and Improve Child Cognitive Abilities: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Tachibana, Yoshiyuki; Fukushima, Ai; Saito, Hitomi; Yoneyama, Satoshi; Ushida, Kazuo; Yoneyama, Susumu; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2012-01-01

    Background We propose a new play activity intervention program for mothers and children. Our interdisciplinary program integrates four fields of child-related sciences: neuroscience, preschool pedagogy, developmental psychology, and child and maternal psychiatry. To determine the effect of this intervention on child and mother psychosocial problems related to parenting stress and on the children's cognitive abilities, we performed a cluster randomized controlled trial. Methodology/Principal Findings Participants were 238 pairs of mothers and typically developing preschool children (ages 4–6 years old) from Wakakusa kindergarten in Japan. The pairs were asked to play at home for about 10 min a day, 5 days a week for 3 months. Participants were randomly assigned to the intervention or control group by class unit. The Parenting Stress Index (PSI) (for mothers), the Goodenough Draw-a-Man intelligence test (DAM), and the new S-S intelligence test (NS-SIT) (for children) were administered prior to and 3 months after the intervention period. Pre–post changes in test scores were compared between the groups using a linear mixed-effects model analysis. The primary outcomes were the Total score on the child domain of the PSI (for child psychosocial problems related to parenting stress), Total score on the parent domain of the PSI (for maternal psychosocial problems related to parenting stress), and the score on the DAM (for child cognitive abilities). The results of the PSI suggested that the program may reduce parenting stress. The results of the cognitive tests suggested that the program may improve the children's fluid intelligence, working memory, and processing speed. Conclusions/Significance Our intervention program may ameliorate the children's psychosocial problems related to parenting stress and increase their cognitive abilities. Trial Registration UMIN Clinical Trials Registry UMIN000002265 PMID:22848340

  15. Significant improvements to the GBT surface accuracy via high-resolution radio holography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunter, Todd R.; Schwab, Fred R.; White, Steve D.; Ford, John M.; Ghigo, Frank D.; Maddalena, Ron J.; Mason, Brian S.; Nelson, J. D.; Ray, Jason; Simon, Bob

    2010-01-01

    The 100-m diameter Green Bank Telescope (GBT) was built with an active surface of 2209 actuators in order to achieve and maintain an accurate paraboloidal shape. The actuator home positions were set originally via photogrammetry performed 10 years ago, which resulted in a surface accuracy of about 400 microns rms. In order to improve this performance, in late Fall 2008 we installed a Ku-band holography system on the telescope, composed of two external-reference low-noise block converters attached to linearly-polarized feeds, and followed by down conversion stages, anti-aliasing filters, and a digital correlator. The primary receiver illuminates the subreflector from the standard Gregorian focus while the reference receiver is coupled to an upward-looking 30cm diameter feed located at the tip of the vertical feed arm (above the subreflector). The system is tunable over the typical geostationary satellite downlink frequency band (11.7-12.2 GHz) and the correlated bandwidth is 10 kHz. We performed a spectral survey of a few dozen satellites visible from Green Bank, and identified a number of strong and stable continuous wave beacons near 11.700 GHz suitable for holographic mapping. The typical phase stability of the system is 2 degrees rms in 36 millisecond integrations, and is mostly limited by atmosphere. We began the holography campaign in January 2009. Maps are made with on-the-fly raster scanning over a 2 degree region with 1400 points in the scan direction and 201 points in the perpendicular direction, requiring approximately 3 hours. Surface features as small as 0.5m are visible, compared to the typical panel size of 2m by 2.5m. A number of large features coincident with specific actuators were identified, and traced to electrical problems either with the actuator motors, position sensors or cabling. These problems were repaired during the following months as the campaign continued through several iterations of holography mapping, surface adjustments, and

  16. 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

  17. Adaptation to Abundant Low Quality Food Improves the Ability to Compete for Limited Rich Food in Drosophila melanogaster

    PubMed Central

    Vijendravarma, Roshan K.; Narasimha, Sunitha; Kawecki, Tadeusz J.

    2012-01-01

    The rate of food consumption is a major factor affecting success in scramble competition for a limited amount of easy-to-find food. Accordingly, several studies report positive genetic correlations between larval competitive ability and feeding rate in Drosophila; both become enhanced in populations evolving under larval crowding. Here, we report the experimental evolution of enhanced competitive ability in populations of D. melanogaster previously maintained for 84 generations at low density on an extremely poor larval food. In contrast to previous studies, greater competitive ability was not associated with the evolution of higher feeding rate; if anything, the correlation between the two traits across lines tended to be negative. Thus, enhanced competitive ability may be favored by nutritional stress even when competition is not intense, and competitive ability may be decoupled from the rate of food consumption. PMID:22292007

  18. Adaptation to abundant low quality food improves the ability to compete for limited rich food in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Vijendravarma, Roshan K; Narasimha, Sunitha; Kawecki, Tadeusz J

    2012-01-01

    The rate of food consumption is a major factor affecting success in scramble competition for a limited amount of easy-to-find food. Accordingly, several studies report positive genetic correlations between larval competitive ability and feeding rate in Drosophila; both become enhanced in populations evolving under larval crowding. Here, we report the experimental evolution of enhanced competitive ability in populations of D. melanogaster previously maintained for 84 generations at low density on an extremely poor larval food. In contrast to previous studies, greater competitive ability was not associated with the evolution of higher feeding rate; if anything, the correlation between the two traits across lines tended to be negative. Thus, enhanced competitive ability may be favored by nutritional stress even when competition is not intense, and competitive ability may be decoupled from the rate of food consumption.

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

    PubMed

    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 VO(2) 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

  20. 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

  1. Improvement of POCIS ability to quantify pesticides in natural water by reducing polyethylene glycol matrix effects from polyethersulfone membranes.

    PubMed

    Guibal, Robin; Lissalde, Sophie; Charriau, Adeline; Guibaud, Gilles

    2015-11-01

    The presence of polyethylene glycol compounds (PEG) in extracts from polar organic chemical integrative samplers (POCIS) was shown by high resolution time-of-flight mass spectrometry. PEG compounds, which are released by polyethersulfone (PES) membranes used to build POCIS, can induce matrix effects during quantification of performance reference compounds (PRC, DIA-d5) and target pesticides by mass detection, even after chromatographic separation. Dilution of POCIS extracts can reduce this matrix effect, but dilution may induce a decrease in POCIS performance, primarily for quantification limits. To reduce PEG interference during chromatographic analysis, a simple non-damaging washing protocol for PES membranes is proposed. The method consists of 2 successive baths of washing solution (140 mL per membrane) of ultrapure water (UPW) and methanol (50/50), stirred at 300 rotations per minute (rpm), followed by a final membrane rinse with UPW (140 mL). The signal from PEG compounds was significantly decreased for washed membranes (between 4 and 6 fold lower). After field deployment, total ion current chromatograms of extracts from POCIS built with washed PES membranes did not display a significant PEG fingerprint. This led to improved quantification accuracy for compounds co-eluting with PEG, i.e. PRC (performance and reference compound, DIA-d5) and some pesticides and metabolites. With washed membranes, an accurate quantification of PRC and pesticides sampled by POCIS was indeed possible without a large extract dilution; 10 times instead of the 25 times needed in unwashed conditions. Assuming that the PRC approach corrects for environmental conditions and sampling rates (Rs), a proper PRC (DIA-d5) quantification significantly improved pesticide time weighted average concentration (TWAC) determination in natural water after field deployment.

  2. Improvement in Generic Problem-Solving Abilities of Students by Use of Tutor-less Problem-Based Learning in a Large Classroom Setting

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23463230

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

    [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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. n-3 fatty acids effectively improve the reference memory-related learning ability associated with increased brain docosahexaenoic acid-derived docosanoids in aged rats.

    PubMed

    Hashimoto, Michio; Katakura, Masanori; Tanabe, Yoko; Al Mamun, Abdullah; Inoue, Takayuki; Hossain, Shahdat; Arita, Makoto; Shido, Osamu

    2015-02-01

    We investigated whether a highly purified eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and a concentrated n-3 fatty acid formulation (prescription TAK-085) containing EPA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) ethyl ester could improve the learning ability of aged rats and whether this specific outcome had any relation with the brain levels of EPA-derived eicosanoids and DHA-derived docosanoids. The rats were tested for reference memory errors (RMEs) and working memory errors (WMEs) in an eight-arm radial maze. Fatty acid compositions were analyzed by GC, whereas brain eicosanoid/docosanoids were measured by LC-ESI-MS-MS-based analysis. The levels of lipid peroxides (LPOs) were measured by thiobarbituric acid reactive substances. The administration of TAK-085 at 300 mg·kg⁻¹day⁻¹ for 17 weeks reduced the number of RMEs in aged rats compared with that in the control rats. Both TAK-085 and EPA administration increased plasma EPA and DHA levels in aged rats, with concurrent increases in DHA and decreases in arachidonic acid in the corticohippocampal brain tissues. TAK-085 administration significantly increased the formation of EPA-derived 5-HETE and DHA-derived 7-, 10-, and 17-HDoHE, PD1, RvD1, and RvD2. ARA-derived PGE2, PGD2, and PGF2α significantly decreased in TAK-085-treated rats. DHA-derived mediators demonstrated a significantly negative correlation with the number of RMEs, whereas EPA-derived mediators did not exhibit any relationship. Furthermore, compared with the control rats, the levels of LPO in the plasma, cerebral cortex, and hippocampus were significantly reduced in TAK-085-treated rats. The findings of the present study suggest that long-term EPA+DHA administration may be a possible preventative strategy against age-related cognitive decline.

  9. 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.

  10. 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,…

  11. 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…

  12. 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.…

  13. 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…

  14. 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.

  15. Continuous Flow Left Ventricular Assist Device Implant Significantly Improves Pulmonary Hypertension, Right Ventricular Contractility, and Tricuspid Valve Competence

    PubMed Central

    Atluri, Pavan; Fairman, Alexander S.; MacArthur, John W.; Goldstone, Andrew B.; Cohen, Jeffrey E.; Howard, Jessica L.; Zalewski, Christyna M.; Shudo, Yasuhiro; Woo, Y. Joseph

    2014-01-01

    Background Continuous flow left ventricular assist devices (CF LVAD) are being implanted with increasing frequency for end-stage heart failure. At the time of LVAD implant, a large proportion of patients have pulmonary hypertension, right ventricular (RV) dysfunction, and tricuspid regurgitation (TR). RV dysfunction and TR can exacerbate renal dysfunction, hepatic dysfunction, coagulopathy, edema, and even prohibit isolated LVAD implant. Repairing TR mandates increased cardiopulmonary bypass time and bicaval cannulation, which should be reserved for the time of orthotopic heart transplantation. We hypothesized that CF LVAD implant would improve pulmonary artery pressures, enhance RV function, and minimize TR, obviating need for surgical tricuspid repair. Methods One hundred fourteen continuous flow LVADs implanted from 2005 through 2011 at a single center, with medical management of functional TR, were retrospectively analyzed. Pulmonary artery pressures were measured immediately prior to and following LVAD implant. RV function and TR were graded according to standard echocardiographic criteria, prior to, immediately following, and long-term following LVAD. Results There was a significant improvement in post-VAD mean pulmonary arterial pressures (26.6 ± 4.9 vs. 30.2 ± 7.4 mmHg, p = 0.008) with equivalent loading pressures (CVP = 12.0 ± 4.0 vs. 12.1 ± 5.1 p = NS). RV function significantly improved, as noted by right ventricular stroke work index (7.04 ± 2.60 vs. 6.05 ± 2.54, p = 0.02). There was an immediate improvement in TR grade and RV function following LVAD implant, which was sustained long term. Conclusion Continuous flow LVAD implant improves pulmonary hypertension, RV function, and tricuspid regurgitation. TR may be managed nonoperatively during CF LVAD implant. PMID:24118109

  16. 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.

  17. Significantly improved long-cycle stability in high-rate Li-S batteries enabled by coaxial graphene wrapping over sulfur-coated carbon nanofibers.

    PubMed

    Lu, Songtao; Cheng, Yingwen; Wu, Xiaohong; Liu, Jie

    2013-06-12

    Long-term instability of Li-S batteries is one of their major disadvantages compare to other secondary batteries. The reasons for the instability include dissolution of polysulfide intermediates and mechanical instability of the electrode film caused by volume changes during charging/discharging cycles. In this paper, we report a novel graphene-sulfur-carbon nanofibers (G-S-CNFs) multilayer and coaxial nanocomposite for the cathode of Li-S batteries with increased capacity and significantly improved long-cycle stability. Electrodes made with such nanocomposites were able to deliver a reversible capacity of 694 mA h g(-1) at 0.1C and 313 mA h g(-1) at 2C, which are both substantially higher than electrodes assembled without graphene wrapping. More importantly, the long-cycle stability was significantly improved by graphene wrapping. The cathode made with G-S-CNFs with a initial capacity of 745 mA h g(-1) was able to maintain ~273 mA h g(-1) even after 1500 charge-discharge cycles at a high rate of 1C, representing an extremely low decay rate (0.043% per cycle after 1500 cycles). In contrast, the capacity of an electrode assembled without graphene wrapping decayed dramatically with a 10 times high rate (~0.40% per cycle after 200 cycles). These results demonstrate that the coaxial nanocomposites are of great potential as the cathode for high-rate rechargeable Li-S batteries. Such improved rate capability and cycle stability could be attributed to the unique coaxial architecture of the nanocomposite, in which the contributions from graphene and CNFs enable electrodes with improved electrical conductivity, better ability to trap soluble the polysulfides intermediate and accommodate volume expansion/shrinkage of sulfur during repeated charge/discharge cycles.

  18. 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).

  19. A small electron donor in cobalt complex electrolyte significantly improves efficiency in dye-sensitized solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hao, Yan; Yang, Wenxing; Zhang, Lei; Jiang, Roger; Mijangos, Edgar; Saygili, Yasemin; Hammarström, Leif; Hagfeldt, Anders; Boschloo, Gerrit

    2016-12-01

    Photoelectrochemical approach to solar energy conversion demands a kinetic optimization of various light-induced electron transfer processes. Of great importance are the redox mediator systems accomplishing the electron transfer processes at the semiconductor/electrolyte interface, therefore affecting profoundly the performance of various photoelectrochemical cells. Here, we develop a strategy--by addition of a small organic electron donor, tris(4-methoxyphenyl)amine, into state-of-art cobalt tris(bipyridine) redox electrolyte--to significantly improve the efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells. The developed solar cells exhibit efficiency of 11.7 and 10.5%, at 0.46 and one-sun illumination, respectively, corresponding to a 26% efficiency improvement compared with the standard electrolyte. Preliminary stability tests showed the solar cell retained 90% of its initial efficiency after 250 h continuous one-sun light soaking. Detailed mechanistic studies reveal the crucial role of the electron transfer cascade processes within the new redox system.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2014-06-15

    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.

  1. Easy fabrication of a new type of mouthguard incorporating a hard insert and space and offering improved shock absorption ability.

    PubMed

    Takeda, Tomotaka; Ishigami, Keiichi; Mishima, Osamu; Karasawa, Kensuke; Kurokawa, Katsuhide; Kajima, Takaki; Nakajima, Kazunori

    2011-12-01

    The positive effects of wearing a mouthguard have been indicated in various epidemiological surveys and experiments, and their usage appears to be increasing in many sports. However, many preventable sports-related dental injuries still occur even with the use of a conventional mouthguard. We have developed a mouthguard (the Hard & Space mouthguard) with sufficient injury prevention ability (more than 95% shock absorption ability against impact with a steel ball carrying 15.2 kg m(2) S(-2) potential energy) and ease of clinical application. This mouthguard consists of an outer and an inner EVA layer and a middle layer of acrylic resin (hard insert), with a space to prevent contact between the inner surface of the mouthguard and the buccal surfaces of the maxillary front teeth or teeth already weakened through prior damage or treatment. The purpose of this article is to describe the method by which the Hard & Space mouthguard may easily be fabricated. We believe that this new type of mouthguard has the potential to reduce sports-related dental injuries.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-05-01

    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. The proposed fish passage improvements would have effects on the anadromous and resident fish populations which, viewed in the context of the Umatilla River basin, would be beneficial. Resident fish would receive incidental benefits from reduced mortalities at the diversion structures. However, given the regional context, as specified in the Northwest Power Planning Council's Fish and Wildlife Program, in which the proposed passage improvements would be implemented and the large increase in anadromous fish production necessary to restore historical population levels, the proposed actions are not considered to have significant environmental impacts.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Methylphenidate significantly improves driving performance of adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: a randomized crossover trial.

    PubMed

    Verster, Joris C; Bekker, Evelijne M; de Roos, Marlise; Minova, Anita; Eijken, Erik J E; Kooij, J J Sandra; Buitelaar, Jan K; Kenemans, J Leon; Verbaten, Marinus N; Olivier, Berend; Volkerts, Edmund R

    2008-05-01

    Although patients with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have reported improved driving performance on methylphenidate, limited evidence exists to support an effect of treatment on driving performance and some regions prohibit driving on methylphenidate. A randomized, crossover trial examining the effects of methylphenidate versus placebo on highway driving in 18 adults with ADHD was carried out. After three days of no treatment, patients received either their usual methylphenidate dose (mean: 14.7 mg; range: 10-30 mg) or placebo and then the opposite treatment after a six to seven days washout period. Patients performed a 100 km driving test during normal traffic, 1.5 h after treatment administration. Standard deviation of lateral position (SDLP), the weaving of the car, was the primary outcome measure. Secondary outcome measurements included the standard deviation of speed and patient reports of driving performance. Driving performance was significantly better in the methylphenidate than in the placebo condition, as reflected by the SDLP difference (2.3 cm, 95% CI = 0.8-3.8, P = 0.004). Variation in speed was similar on treatment and on placebo (-0.05 km/h, 95% CI = -0.4 to 0.2, P = 0.70). Among adults with ADHD, with a history of a positive clinical response to methylphenidate, methylphenidate significantly improves driving performance.

  10. Improving the Ability of Image Sensors to Detect Faint Stars and Moving Objects Using Image Deconvolution Techniques

    PubMed Central

    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

  11. 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.

  12. RH-01THE SIGNIFICANCE OF ACUTE INPATIENT REHABILITATION FOR GLIOMA PATIENTS: IMPROVING THE PHYSICAL FUNCTION, QUALITY OF LIFE AND SURVIVAL

    PubMed Central

    Beverly Fu, D.; Bota, Daniela A.

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To assess the effects of inpatient acute rehabilitation on overall function, quality of life and overall survival for glioma patients. DESIGN: A retrospective study of glioma patients treated at UCI Neuro-Oncology Program. PARTICIPANTS: We have identified 12 patients with glioma diagnosis who underwent inpatient acute rehabilitation program using our IRB approved neuro-oncology database. OUTCOME ASSESSMENT TOOLS: Functional status based upon Karnofsky performance scale (KPS), quality of life as assessed by Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy Brain (FACT-Br) and overall survival. RESULTS: We identified on our study 3 patients with glioblastoma, 7 patients with anaplastic gliomas, and 2 patients with low grade gliomas. All of them had radiation and chemotherapy, except 2 patients with low grade gliomas who had radiation treatment only. The age range is from 26 to 77 and the mean age is 49-year-old. All the patients who underwent the acute inpatient rehabilitation program at our institution, not only improved their KPS scale significantly, but also enhanced their social and emotional well-being. The median KPS improvement is 30 points from a 3-6 weeks stay. Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy Brain (FACT-Br) is obtained from 4 patients at this time (further information will be presented at SNO conference). The mean FACT-Br TOI is 60.8, and the total FACT0Br Score is 119.6. Survival data are still collected. CONCLUSIONS: The patients who underwent acute inpatient rehabilitation program, showed significant improvements in their functional status and quality of life. The observation from this pilot study warrants further research and demonstrates the acute inpatient rehabilitation may be beneficial to glioma patients with good physical functions and tolerance for 3 hours a day of physical, occupation and speech therapies.

  13. In situ earthworm breeding in orchards significantly improves the growth, quality and yield of papaya (Carica papaya L.)

    PubMed Central

    Xiang, Huimin; Guo, Lei; Zhao, Benliang

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to compare the effects of four fertilizer applications—control (C), chemical fertilizer (F), compost (O), and in situ earthworm breeding (E)—on the growth, quality and yield of papaya (Carica papaya L.). In this study, 5 g plant−1 urea (CH4N2O, %N = 46.3%) and 100 g plant−1 microelement fertilizer was applied to each treatment. The fertilizer applications of these four treatments are different from each other. The results showed that the E treatment had the highest growth parameters over the whole growth period. At 127 days after transplantation, the order of plant heights from greatest to smallest was E > F > O > C, and the stem diameters were E > F > O > C, with significant differences between all treatments. Soluble-solid, sugar, vitamin C, and protein content significantly increased in the E treatment. In addition, the total acid and the electrical conductivity of the fruit significantly decreased in the E treatment. Fruit firmness clearly increased in the O treatment, and decreased in the F treatment. The fresh individual fruit weights, fruit numbers, and total yields were greatly improved in the F and E treatments, and the total yield of the E treatment was higher than that in the F treatment. In conclusion, the in situ earthworm breeding treatment performed better than conventional compost and chemical fertilizer treatments. Furthermore, in situ earthworm breeding may be a potential organic fertilizer application in orchards because it not only improves the fruit quality and yield but also reduces the amount of organic wastes from agriculture as a result of the activities of earthworms. PMID:27994969

  14. An Evaluation of the Ability of the Peripheral Vasodilator Buflomedil to Improve Vascular Patency after Acute Frostbite

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-06-21

    groups three and seven. It therefore appears that, in this acute model for frostbite, buflomedil does not improve vascular patency. a --a - mm mm-wm...rewarmed. In the firstpart of his study, animls In groups one, two and three received intravenous injections of either saline or buflomedil (supplied by...the vascular network, especially vessels on the plantar surface and from the toes, that is characteristic of the injury, as represented in this model

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Significant improvement in dopant emission and lifetime in water soluble Cu:ZnSe/ZnS nanocrystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saikia, K.; Deb, P.; Mondal, B.; Kalita, E.

    2014-03-01

    We report here the enhanced dopant emission in Cu:ZnSe/ZnS core-shell nanocrystals (NCs) through an aqueous route in ambient conditions. A three-fold quantum enhancement in luminescence has been achieved by developing a ZnS inert shell as compared to the pristine doped NCs. The internal doping of Cu after shell growth, signifying localization of Cu2+ t2 energy states in the deep band gap, has shown a significant improvement in dopant excited state lifetime. The long lifetime related to Cu dopant emission is the longest lifetime ever reported for copper doped zinc based NCs developed through an aqueous route. The good colloidal as well as the luminescence stability of these highly efficient doped NCs mean they have great potential for use in biomedical imaging applications.

  19. Codon Optimization Significantly Improves the Expression Level of α -Amylase Gene from Bacillus licheniformis in Pichia pastoris.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jian-Rong; Li, Yang-Yuan; Liu, Dan-Ni; Liu, Jing-Shan; Li, Peng; Chen, Li-Zhi; Xu, Shu-De

    2015-01-01

    α-Amylase as an important industrial enzyme has been widely used in starch processing, detergent, and paper industries. To improve expression efficiency of recombinant α-amylase from Bacillus licheniformis (B. licheniformis), the α-amylase gene from B. licheniformis was optimized according to the codon usage of Pichia pastoris (P. pastoris) and expressed in P. pastoris. Totally, the codons encoding 305 amino acids were optimized in which a total of 328 nucleotides were changed and the G+C content was increased from 47.6 to 49.2%. The recombinants were cultured in 96-deep-well microplates and screened by a new plate assay method. Compared with the wild-type gene, the optimized gene is expressed at a significantly higher level in P. pastoris after methanol induction for 168 h in 5- and 50-L bioreactor with the maximum activity of 8100 and 11000 U/mL, which was 2.31- and 2.62-fold higher than that by wild-type gene. The improved expression level makes the enzyme a good candidate for α-amylase production in industrial use.

  20. A small electron donor in cobalt complex electrolyte significantly improves efficiency in dye-sensitized solar cells.

    PubMed

    Hao, Yan; Yang, Wenxing; Zhang, Lei; Jiang, Roger; Mijangos, Edgar; Saygili, Yasemin; Hammarström, Leif; Hagfeldt, Anders; Boschloo, Gerrit

    2016-12-21

    Photoelectrochemical approach to solar energy conversion demands a kinetic optimization of various light-induced electron transfer processes. Of great importance are the redox mediator systems accomplishing the electron transfer processes at the semiconductor/electrolyte interface, therefore affecting profoundly the performance of various photoelectrochemical cells. Here, we develop a strategy-by addition of a small organic electron donor, tris(4-methoxyphenyl)amine, into state-of-art cobalt tris(bipyridine) redox electrolyte-to significantly improve the efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells. The developed solar cells exhibit efficiency of 11.7 and 10.5%, at 0.46 and one-sun illumination, respectively, corresponding to a 26% efficiency improvement compared with the standard electrolyte. Preliminary stability tests showed the solar cell retained 90% of its initial efficiency after 250 h continuous one-sun light soaking. Detailed mechanistic studies reveal the crucial role of the electron transfer cascade processes within the new redox system.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25652244

  3. A small electron donor in cobalt complex electrolyte significantly improves efficiency in dye-sensitized solar cells

    PubMed Central

    Hao, Yan; Yang, Wenxing; Zhang, Lei; Jiang, Roger; Mijangos, Edgar; Saygili, Yasemin; Hammarström, Leif; Hagfeldt, Anders; Boschloo, Gerrit

    2016-01-01

    Photoelectrochemical approach to solar energy conversion demands a kinetic optimization of various light-induced electron transfer processes. Of great importance are the redox mediator systems accomplishing the electron transfer processes at the semiconductor/electrolyte interface, therefore affecting profoundly the performance of various photoelectrochemical cells. Here, we develop a strategy—by addition of a small organic electron donor, tris(4-methoxyphenyl)amine, into state-of-art cobalt tris(bipyridine) redox electrolyte—to significantly improve the efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells. The developed solar cells exhibit efficiency of 11.7 and 10.5%, at 0.46 and one-sun illumination, respectively, corresponding to a 26% efficiency improvement compared with the standard electrolyte. Preliminary stability tests showed the solar cell retained 90% of its initial efficiency after 250 h continuous one-sun light soaking. Detailed mechanistic studies reveal the crucial role of the electron transfer cascade processes within the new redox system. PMID:28000672

  4. Modifications to the AOAC use-dilution test for quaternary ammonium compound-based disinfectants that significantly improve method reliability.

    PubMed

    Arlea, Crystal; King, Sharon; Bennie, Barbara; Kemp, Kere; Mertz, Erin; Staub, Richard

    2008-01-01

    The AOAC use-dilution test (UDT) for bactericidal disinfectant efficacy (Method 964.02) has often been criticized for its extreme variability in test results, particularly for quaternary ammonium compound (QAC)-based disinfectants against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. While efforts are under way to develop a new and better test method for hospital disinfectant products that is globally acceptable, U.S. manufacturers and formulators of QAC products must continue in the interim to measure their product performance against the current UDT method. Therefore, continued variability in the UDT places an unnecessary and unfair burden on U.S. QAC product manufacturers to ensure that their products perform against an, at best, unreliable test method. This article reports on evaluations that were conducted to attempt to identify key sources of UDT method variability and to find ways to mitigate their impact on test outcomes for the method. The results of testing across 4 laboratories, involving over 6015 carriers, determined that operator error was a key factor in test variability. This variability was found to be significantly minimized by the inclusion of a simple culture dilution step. The findings from this study suggest possible refinements to the current AOAC UDT method that would serve to improve the overall ruggedness and reliability of the method and to optimize recovery of cells from the carrier surface, thereby further improving the accuracy and reproducibility of counts and test outcomes until such time as a replacement method is implemented.

  5. Significant sensitivity improvement of alternating current driven-liquid discharge by using formic acid medium for optical determination of elements.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Qing; Zhu, Zhenli; Zheng, Hongtao; He, Haiyang; Huang, Chunying; Hu, Shenghong

    2013-03-15

    A method has been developed to improve the performance of alternating-current electrolyte atmospheric liquid discharge (ac-EALD) optical emission spectrometry for the determination of elements. Significant enhancement of emission intensity was achieved by adding organic substance into the nitric acid electrolyte solutions. Under the optimized conditions, 3% (v/v) formic acid in nitric acid (pH 1.0) produced 13 times enhancement for Ag and 7% (v/v) formic acid resulted in 17 times enhancement for Cd. The emission of Pb was even enhanced 78 times in the presence of 3% formic acid. In addition, the signal stability was also improved compared with that in the absence of organic substances. Repeatability was 0.8% for 0.1 mg L(-1) Ag, 0.7% for 0.2 mg L(-1) Cd and 2.6% for 1 mg L(-1) Pb standard solutions (n=5). The limits of detection of Ag, Cd and Pb were 1, 17 and 45 μg L(-1), respectively. The accuracy of the method was demonstrated by determination of elements in simulated natural water samples (GBW(E)080402 and GBW(E)080399).

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Both CD133(+) cells and monocytes provide significant improvement for hindlimb ischemia, although they do not transdifferentiate into endothelial cells.

    PubMed

    Sanchez-Guijo, Fermin M; Oterino, Enrique; Barbado, Maria-Victoria; Carrancio, Soraya; Lopez-Holgado, Natalia; Muntion, Sandra; Hernandez-Campo, Pilar; Sanchez-Abarca, Luis-Ignacio; Perez-Simon, Jose A; San Miguel, Jesús F; Briñon, Jesús G; del Cañizo, Maria-Consuelo

    2010-01-01

    To address a number of questions regarding the experimental use of bone marrow (BM) stem cells in hindlimb ischemia, including which is the best cell type (e.g., purified hematopoietic stem cell or monocytes), the best route of delivery [intramuscular (IM) or intravenous (IV)], and the mechanism of action (transdifferentiation or paracrine effects), we have compared the neovascularization capacities of CD133(+) stem cells and monocytes (CD11b(+)) from the BM of Tie2-GFP mice either via IV or IM in a murine severe hindlimb ischemia model. To test the effect of cytokine administration, an extra group received BM conditioned medium. Peripheral blood flow as well as capillary density and GPF-positivity detection in ischemic muscles was evaluated 7, 14, and 21 days postinjection. In addition, CD133(+) and CD11b(+) cells from transgenic animals were cultured in vitro with angiogenic media for 7, 14, and 21 days to assess GFP expression. In all four cell-treated groups, blood flow and capillary density significantly recovered compared with the mice that received no cells or conditioned medium. There were no differences with respect to cell types or administration routes, with the exception of a faster flow recovery in the CD133(+)-treated cell group. We did not find GFP(+) cells in the ischemic muscles and there was no GFP expression after in vitro proangiogenic culture. Our study shows that both purified CD133(+) stem cells and myeloid mononuclear cells, either IM or IV administered, have similar neoangiogenic ability. Nevertheless, transdifferentiation into endothelial cells is not the mechanism responsible for their beneficial effect.

  9. Formative evaluation of the STAR intervention: improving teachers' ability to provide psychosocial support for vulnerable individuals in the school community.

    PubMed

    Ferreira, Ronél; Ebersöhn, Liesel

    2011-04-01

    The article describes the pilot phase of a participatory reflection and action (PRA) study. The longitudinal investigation explores teachers' ability to provide psychosocial support within the context of HIV/AIDS following an asset-based intervention. The study ensued from our desire to understand and contribute to knowledge about the changed roles of teachers due to adversity in the community, specifically in relation to HIV/AIDS and education. The supportive teachers, assets and resilience (STAR) intervention was facilitated from November 2003 to October 2005 and consisted of the research team undertaking nine field visits and facilitating 20 intervention sessions (2-3 hours each), and 12 post-intervention research visits have been conducted to date. Ten female teachers were selected for participation through random purposeful sampling at a primary school in an informal settlement outside Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Data-generation included PRA activities, observation, informal interactive interviews, and focus group discussions. The data were analysed by means of inductive thematic analysis. We found that the teachers did not view vulnerability as being related to children or HIV/AIDS in isolation, but rather that their psychosocial support to children and the school community was inclusive across a spectrum of vulnerabilities and services. We argue that teachers who are inclined to provide such support will fulfil this role irrespective of understanding policy or receiving training. We contend that teachers are well-positioned to manage school-based psychosocial support in order to create relevant and caring spaces for vulnerable individuals in the school community.

  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 survival improvement of patients with recurrent breast cancer in the periods 2001-2008 vs. 1992-2000

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background It is unclear whether individualized treatments based on biological factors have improved the prognosis of recurrent breast cancer. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the survival improvement of patients with recurrent breast cancer after the introduction of third generation aromatase inhibitors (AIs) and trastuzumab. Methods A total of 407 patients who received first diagnosis of recurrent breast cancer and treatment at National Kyushu Cancer Center between 1992 and 2008 were retrospectively evaluated. As AIs and trastuzumab were approved for clinical use in Japan in 2001, the patients were divided into two time cohorts depending on whether the cancer recurred before or after 2001. Cohort A: 170 patients who were diagnosed between 1992 and 2000. Cohort B: 237 patients who were diagnosed between 2001 and 2008. Tumor characteristics, treatments, and outcome were compared. Results Fourteen percent of cohort A and 76% of cohort B received AIs and/or trastuzumab (P < 0.001). The median overall survival (OS) times after breast cancer recurrence were 1.7 years and 4.2 years for these respective cohorts (P < 0.001). Both the time period and treatment of AIs and/or trastuzumab for recurrent disease were significant prognostic factors in multivariate analysis (cohort B vs. cohort A: HR = 0.70, P = 0.01; AIs and/or trastuzumab for recurrent disease: yes vs. no: HR = 0.46, P < 0.001). When patients were categorized into 4 subgroups by the expression of hormone receptor (HR) and HER-2 status, the median OS times of the HR-positive/HER-2-negative, HR-positive/HER-2-positive, HR-negative/HER-2-positive, and HR-negative/HER-2-negative subtypes were 2.2, 2.4, 1.6, and 1.0 years in cohort A and 4.5, 5.1, 5.0, and 1.4 years in cohort B. Conclusions The prognosis of patients with recurrent breast cancer was improved over time following the introduction of AIs and trastuzumab and the survival improvement was apparent in HR- and/or HER-2-positive tumors. PMID:21453503

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Electroacupuncture improves cognitive ability following cerebral ischemia reperfusion injury via CaM-CaMKIV-CREB signaling in the rat hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yun; Lin, Ruhui; Tao, Jing; Wu, Yunan; Chen, Bin; Yu, Kunqiang; Chen, Jixiang; Li, Xiaojie; Chen, Li-Dian

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) on cognitive deficits, and the underlying mechanism following cerebral ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) via the calmodulin (CaM)-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase type IV (CaMKIV)-cyclic adenosine monophosphate response elements binding protein (CREB) intracellular signaling pathway in the hippocampus. In total, 45 adult female Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into three groups, namely the sham group, the middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) group and the MCAO + EA group. Rats in the MCAO and MCAO + EA groups were modeled for post-stroke cognitive impairment. EA was performed at the Baihui and Shenting acupuncture points for 30 min/day for one week in the MCAO + EA group. Behavioral testing was analyzed using a step-down apparatus, while 2,3,5-triphenyl tetrazolium chloride was used to detect the infarct volume and lesion size. In addition, CaM activity was assessed by cyclic nucleotide-dependent phosphodiesterase analysis, and the protein expression levels of CaM, CaMKIV, phosphorylated (p)-CaMKIV, CREB and p-CREB were analyzed by western blot analysis. The cerebral I/R injured rat model in the MCAO group was established successfully with regard to the infarct volume and neuronal lesion size, as compared with the sham group. EA was demonstrated to effectively improve the cognitive ability, as measured by the step-down apparatus test, and decrease the infarct volume when compared with the MCAO group (P<0.05). The step-down apparatus test for the EA-treated rats revealed improved learning and reduced memory impairment when compared with the MCAO group. Furthermore, CaM activity and CaM protein expression levels in the MCAO + EA group were lower compared with those in the MCAO group (P<0.05). By contrast, the protein expression levels of CaMKIV, p-CaMKIV, CREB and p-CREB were significantly reduced in the MCAO group when compared with the sham group (P<0.05), although the

  15. Combat-Related Intradural Gunshot Wound to the Thoracic Spine: Significant Improvement and Neurologic Recovery Following Bullet Removal

    PubMed Central

    Louwes, Thijs M; Ward, William H; Lee, Kendall H

    2015-01-01

    The vast majority of combat-related penetrating spinal injuries from gunshot wounds result in severe or complete neurological deficit. Treatment is based on neurological status, the presence of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) fistulas, and local effects of any retained fragment(s). We present a case of a 46-year-old male who sustained a spinal gunshot injury from a 7.62-mm AK-47 round that became lodged within the subarachnoid space at T9-T10. He immediately suffered complete motor and sensory loss. By 24-48 hours post-injury, he had recovered lower extremity motor function fully but continued to have severe sensory loss (posterior cord syndrome). On post-injury day 2, he was evacuated from the combat theater and underwent a T9 laminectomy, extraction of the bullet, and dural laceration repair. At surgery, the traumatic durotomy was widened and the bullet, which was laying on the dorsal surface of the spinal cord, was removed. The dura was closed in a water-tight fashion and fibrin glue was applied. Postoperatively, the patient made a significant but incomplete neurological recovery. His stocking-pattern numbness and sub-umbilical searing dysthesia improved. The spinal canal was clear of the foreign body and he had no persistent CSF leak. Postoperative magnetic resonance imaging of the spine revealed contusion of the spinal cord at the T9 level. Early removal of an intra-canicular bullet in the setting of an incomplete spinal cord injury can lead to significant neurological recovery following even high-velocity and/or high-caliber gunshot wounds. However, this case does not speak to, and prior experience does not demonstrate, significant neurological benefit in the setting of a complete injury. PMID:25705346

  16. Combat-related intradural gunshot wound to the thoracic spine: significant improvement and neurologic recovery following bullet removal.

    PubMed

    Louwes, Thijs M; Ward, William H; Lee, Kendall H; Freedman, Brett A

    2015-02-01

    The vast majority of combat-related penetrating spinal injuries from gunshot wounds result in severe or complete neurological deficit. Treatment is based on neurological status, the presence of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) fistulas, and local effects of any retained fragment(s). We present a case of a 46-year-old male who sustained a spinal gunshot injury from a 7.62-mm AK-47 round that became lodged within the subarachnoid space at T9-T10. He immediately suffered complete motor and sensory loss. By 24-48 hours post-injury, he had recovered lower extremity motor function fully but continued to have severe sensory loss (posterior cord syndrome). On post-injury day 2, he was evacuated from the combat theater and underwent a T9 laminectomy, extraction of the bullet, and dural laceration repair. At surgery, the traumatic durotomy was widened and the bullet, which was laying on the dorsal surface of the spinal cord, was removed. The dura was closed in a water-tight fashion and fibrin glue was applied. Postoperatively, the patient made a significant but incomplete neurological recovery. His stocking-pattern numbness and sub-umbilical searing dysthesia improved. The spinal canal was clear of the foreign body and he had no persistent CSF leak. Postoperative magnetic resonance imaging of the spine revealed contusion of the spinal cord at the T9 level. Early removal of an intra-canicular bullet in the setting of an incomplete spinal cord injury can lead to significant neurological recovery following even high-velocity and/or high-caliber gunshot wounds. However, this case does not speak to, and prior experience does not demonstrate, significant neurological benefit in the setting of a complete injury.

  17. Adsorbed Tween 80 is unique in its ability to improve the stability of gold nanoparticles in solutions of biomolecules.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yuyun; Wang, Zhuo; Zhang, Wei; Jiang, Xingyu

    2010-10-01

    This report shows that, of the Tween series (Tween 20, Tween 40, Tween 60 and Tween 80) of nonionic surfactants adsorbed on gold nanoparticles (NPs), Tween 80 makes the NPs most stably dispersed in aqueous solutions with or without the presence of representative biological molecules, such as nucleic acids or proteins of different sizes, isoelectric points (pIs) and shapes. In addition, the stability of gold NPs already modified with poly(L-lysine)-graft-poly(ethylene glycol) (PLL-PEG) or hexa(ethylene glycol)-terminated undecanylthiol (HS(CH(2))(11)EG(6)OH) is further improved in solutions of proteins when Tween 80 is co-adsorbed on the gold NPs. This strategy is the most effective when adsorption of Tween 80 on gold NPs precedes the coating of PLL-PEG or HS(CH(2))(11)EG(6)OH on the NPs.

  18. Adsorbed Tween 80 is unique in its ability to improve the stability of gold nanoparticles in solutions of biomolecules

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Yuyun; Wang, Zhuo; Zhang, Wei; Jiang, Xingyu

    2010-10-01

    This report shows that, of the Tween series (Tween 20, Tween 40, Tween 60 and Tween 80) of nonionic surfactants adsorbed on gold nanoparticles (NPs), Tween 80 makes the NPs most stably dispersed in aqueous solutions with or without the presence of representative biological molecules, such as nucleic acids or proteins of different sizes, isoelectric points (pIs) and shapes. In addition, the stability of gold NPs already modified with poly(L-lysine)-graft-poly(ethylene glycol) (PLL-PEG) or hexa(ethylene glycol)-terminated undecanylthiol (HS(CH2)11EG6OH) is further improved in solutions of proteins when Tween 80 is co-adsorbed on the gold NPs. This strategy is the most effective when adsorption of Tween 80 on gold NPs precedes the coating of PLL-PEG or HS(CH2)11EG6OH on the NPs.This report shows that, of the Tween series (Tween 20, Tween 40, Tween 60 and Tween 80) of nonionic surfactants adsorbed on gold nanoparticles (NPs), Tween 80 makes the NPs most stably dispersed in aqueous solutions with or without the presence of representative biological molecules, such as nucleic acids or proteins of different sizes, isoelectric points (pIs) and shapes. In addition, the stability of gold NPs already modified with poly(L-lysine)-graft-poly(ethylene glycol) (PLL-PEG) or hexa(ethylene glycol)-terminated undecanylthiol (HS(CH2)11EG6OH) is further improved in solutions of proteins when Tween 80 is co-adsorbed on the gold NPs. This strategy is the most effective when adsorption of Tween 80 on gold NPs precedes the coating of PLL-PEG or HS(CH2)11EG6OH on the NPs. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: Chemical structures and physicochemical properties of nonionic surfactants of Tween series, transmission electron microscopy of gold NPs stabilized by citrate and size distribution. See DOI: 10.1039/c0nr00309c

  19. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    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 of 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Click synthesis of quaternized poly(dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) functionalized graphene oxide with improved antibacterial and antifouling ability.

    PubMed

    Tu, Qin; Tian, Chang; Ma, Tongtong; Pang, Long; Wang, Jinyi

    2016-05-01

    A quaternized poly(dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) functionalized graphene oxide (GO-QPDMAEMA) was successfully prepared in this study via click chemistry. Alkyne-functionalized graphene oxide (GO-alkyne) was first synthesized through a two-step amidation reaction of GO-COOH. Meanwhile, azide-terminated poly(dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) (PDMAEMA-N3) was prepared via the atom-transfer radical-polymerization of dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate (DMAEMA). Subsequently, PDMAEMA-N3 was grafted onto the GO-alkyne through click chemistry to obtain PDMAEMA modified graphene oxide (GO-PDMAEMA). Finally, the tertiary amino groups of GO-PDMAEMA were quaternized by ethyl bromide to provide a quaternized poly(dimethylaminoethyl methacrylate) functionalized graphene oxide (GO-QPDMAEMA). Various characterization techniques, including Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, UV-vis spectrometry, ζ potential, Raman, contact angle analyses and field emission scanning electron microscope were used to ascertain the successful preparation of the quaternized GO-QPDMAEMA. Furthermore, antibacterial and antifouling activities of GO-QPDMAEMA were investigated via protein adsorption, as well as bacterial and cell adhesion studies. The results suggest that the GO-QPDMAEMA surface exhibited significant antibacterial and antifouling properties, compared with the GO-COOH and GO-PDMAEMA surfaces.

  3. 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.

  4. Dimethyl Fumarate Therapy Significantly Improves the Responsiveness of T Cells in Multiple Sclerosis Patients for Immunoregulation by Regulatory T Cells

    PubMed Central

    Schlöder, Janine; Berges, Carsten; Luessi, Felix; Jonuleit, Helmut

    2017-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease caused by an insufficient suppression of autoreactive T lymphocytes. One reason for the lack of immunological control is the reduced responsiveness of T effector cells (Teff) for the suppressive properties of regulatory T cells (Treg), a process termed Treg resistance. Here we investigated whether the disease-modifying therapy of relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) with dimethyl fumarate (DMF) influences the sensitivity of T cells in the peripheral blood of patients towards Treg-mediated suppression. We demonstrated that DMF restores responsiveness of Teff to the suppressive function of Treg in vitro, presumably by down-regulation of interleukin-6R (IL-6R) expression on T cells. Transfer of human immune cells into immunodeficient mice resulted in a lethal graft-versus-host reaction triggered by human CD4+ Teff. This systemic inflammation can be prevented by activated Treg after transfer of immune cells from DMF-treated MS patients, but not after injection of Treg-resistant Teff from therapy-naïve MS patients. Furthermore, after DMF therapy, proliferation and expansion of T cells and the immigration into the spleen of the animals is reduced and modulated by activated Treg. In summary, our data reveals that DMF therapy significantly improves the responsiveness of Teff in MS patients to immunoregulation. PMID:28134847

  5. 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

  6. Proposal of an improved histological sub-typing system for lung adenocarcinoma – significant prognostic values for stage I disease

    PubMed Central

    Okudela, Koji; Woo, Tetsukan; Mitsui, Hideaki; Yazawa, Takuya; Shimoyamada, Hiroaki; Tajiri, Michihiko; Ogawa, Nobuo; Masuda, Munetaka; Kitamura, Hitoshi

    2010-01-01

    We have established a concise sub-typing system suitable for predicting the postoperative outcome in cases of stage I lung adenocarcinoma (ADC), using morphometric profiling. The association between postoperative disease recurrence and a variety of morphological features including histological architecture, cell type, cytoplasmic color/internal structure, nuclear shape/size, chromatin pattern, and nucleoli count/remarkableness, was analyzed. Histological architecture had the most prognostic value and could be subdivided into low-grade (bronchioloalveolar, papillary and tubular: “tubular” in this paper is defined as a tubular or glandular structure lined with single-layered neoplastic cells) and high-grade (acinar and solid: “acinar” is defined as a tubular or glandular structure lined with poly-layered neoplastic cells or as a fused glandular structure such as the cribriform pattern) components. The subgroups separated based on a cut-off value, 71.5% of the high-grade component comprised by a tumor, which was calculated according to a relative operating characteristic curve, exhibited a significant difference in disease recurrence [estimated 5-year disease-free survival rate, 95.3% in the low-grade group versus 66.7% in the high-grade group, hazard ratio 7.35, Log-rank test p = 0.002]. The sub-grouping system is concise and suitable for practical use. It will improve the histological classification of ADC. PMID:20490327

  7. Significant improvement of thermal stability of glucose 1-dehydrogenase by introducing disulfide bonds at the tetramer interface.

    PubMed

    Ding, Haitao; Gao, Fen; Liu, Danfeng; Li, Zeli; Xu, Xiaohong; Wu, Min; Zhao, Yuhua

    2013-12-10

    Rational design was applied to glucose 1-dehydrogenase (LsGDH) from Lysinibacillus sphaericus G10 to improve its thermal stability by introduction of disulfide bridges between subunits. One out of the eleven mutants, designated as DS255, displayed significantly enhanced thermal stability with considerable soluble expression and high specific activity. It was extremely stable at pH ranging from 4.5 to 10.5, as it retained nearly 100% activity after incubating at different buffers for 1h. Mutant DS255 also exhibited high thermostability, having a half-life of 9900min at 50°C, which was 1868-fold as that of its wild type. Moreover, both of the increased free energy of denaturation and decreased entropy of denaturation of DS255 suggested that the enzyme structure was stabilized by the engineered disulfide bonds. On account of its robust stability, mutant DS255 would be a competitive candidate in practical applications of chiral chemicals synthesis, biofuel cells and glucose biosensors.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. X-ray-induced chromosome damage in live mammalian cells, and improved measurements of its effects on their colony-forming ability.

    PubMed

    Joshi, G P; Nelson, W J; Revell, S H; Shaw, C A

    1982-02-01

    We have improved the precision of the technique described by Grote et al. (1981 a,b) for the observation of the radiation responses of live cultured mammalian cells with an incubated phase-contrast microscope: the colony-forming abilities of single cells obtained by selective detachment of mitoses (instead of cell pairs as previously) may now be followed individually and may be directly compared with chromosome damage detected after post-radiation mitosis (M1). An X-ray dose of 1.4 Gy to diploid Syrian hamster cells (BHK 21 C13) in G1 had no effect on cell ability to reach M1. If chromosome fragment loss was then detected (as micronuclei) in the daughter-cell pair then colony-forming ability nearly always deteriorated, and either a stop-growth (79 per cent) or a slow-growth (21 per cent) colony resulted; but chromosomal bridges which persisted beyond M1 broke during interphase 1 and themselves caused no detectable cell damage additional to that attributable to the micronuclei which accompanied them.

  13. The visible transmittance and solar modulation ability of VO2 flexible foils simultaneously improved by Ti doping: an optimization and first principle study.

    PubMed

    Chen, Shi; Dai, Lei; Liu, Jianjun; Gao, Yanfeng; Liu, Xinling; Chen, Zhang; Zhou, Jiadong; Cao, Chuanxiang; Han, Penggang; Luo, Hongjie; Kanahira, Minoru

    2013-10-28

    The Mott phase transition compound vanadium dioxide (VO2) shows promise as a thermochromic smart material for the improvement of energy efficiency and comfort in a number of applications. However, the use of VO2 has been restricted by its low visible transmittance (Tvis) and limited solar modulation ability (ΔTsol). Many efforts have been made to improve both of these limitations, but progress towards the optimization of one aspect has always come at the expense of the other. This paper reports that Ti doping results in the improvement of both the Tvis and ΔTsol of VO2-nanoparticle-derived flexible foils to the best levels yet reported. Compared with an undoped VO2 foil, a 15% increase (from 46.1% to 53%) in Tvis and a 28% increase (from 13.4% to 17.2%) in ΔTsol are achieved at a Ti doping level of 1.1%, representing the best performance reported for similar foils or films prepared using various methods. Only a defined doping level of less than 3% is beneficial for simultaneous improvement in Tvis and ΔTsol. First principle calculations suggest that an increase in the intrinsic band gap of VO2 (M) and the reduced electron density at Fermi level of VO2 (R) cooperate to result in the improvement of ΔTsol and that an enhancement in the optical band gap of VO2 (M) leads to the increase of Tvis.

  14. Determining donor-specific antibody C1q-binding ability improves the prediction of antibody-mediated rejection in human leucocyte antigen-incompatible kidney transplantation.

    PubMed

    Malheiro, Jorge; Tafulo, Sandra; Dias, Leonídio; Martins, La Salete; Fonseca, Isabel; Beirão, Idalina; Castro-Henriques, António; Cabrita, António

    2017-04-01

    Detrimental impact of preformed donor-specific antibodies (DSAs) against human leucocyte antigens on outcomes after kidney transplantation are well documented, however, the value of their capacity to bind complement for predicting antibody-mediated rejection (AMR) and graft survival still needs to be confirmed. We aimed to study DSA characteristics (strength and C1q binding) that might distinguish harmful DSA from clinically irrelevant ones. We retrospectively studied 60 kidney-transplanted patients with preformed DSA detected by single antigen bead (SAB) assays (IgG and C1q kits), from a cohort of 517 kidney graft recipients (124 with detectable anti-HLA antibodies). Patients were divided into DSA strength (MFI < vs. ≥ 15 000) and C1q-binding ability. AMR frequency was high (30%) and it increased with DSA strength (P = 0.002) and C1q+ DSA (P < 0.001). The performance of DSA C1q-binding ability as a predictor of AMR was better than DSA strength (diagnostic odds ratio 16.3 vs. 6.4, respectively). Furthermore, a multivariable logistic regression showed that C1q+ DSA was a risk factor for AMR (OR = 16.80, P = 0.001), while high MFI DSAs were not. Graft survival was lower in high MFI C1q+ DSA in comparison with patients with C1q- high or low MFI DSA (at 6 years, 38%, 83% and 80%, respectively; P = 0.001). Both DSA strength and C1q-binding ability assessment seem valuable for improving pretransplant risk assessment. Since DSA C1q-binding ability was a better predictor of AMR and correlated with graft survival, C1q-SAB may be a particularly useful tool.

  15. Novel one-stop multidisciplinary follow-up clinic significantly improves cancer risk management in BRCA1/2 carriers.

    PubMed

    Pichert, G; Jacobs, C; Jacobs, I; Menon, U; Manchanda, R; Johnson, M; Hamed, H; Firth, C; Evison, M; Tutt, A; de Silva, L; Langman, C; Izatt, L

    2010-09-01

    The purpose of this study is to measure the impact of a multidisciplinary one-stop follow-up clinic (MDOSC) on breast and ovarian surveillance, risk reducing surgery and enrolment in clinical trials in BRCA1/2 carriers. All BRCA1/2 carriers in our region were invited and chose which specialists to see in our MDOSC offering best practice using clinical protocols based on national guidelines and published data. Uptake was evaluated over 24 months recording numbers of individuals undergoing breast and ovarian surveillance, risk reducing surgery, newly diagnosed cancers, their method of detection and participation in clinical trials. 172 (60%) of invited BRCA1/2 carriers chose to attend the MDOSC. Breast surveillance was initiated in 88% and screening frequency altered in 14% of women to comply with national guidelines. Risk reducing salpingo-oophorectomy was chosen by 47% of women and an additional 39% were considering it. The rate of failure to remove fallopian tubes fell from 15 to 3% of procedures (P < 0.01) and peritoneal washings and serial sectioning of tubes and ovaries rose from 25% and 14% before, to 67% (P < 0.001) and 63% (P < 0.001) procedures, respectively, after initiation of our MDOSC. 24% of women considered and 18% decided to undergo risk reducing mastectomy during the follow-up period. Participation in clinical trials increased significantly from 51 to 229 enrolments (P < 0.001). Our novel MDOSC designed to devise an individually tailored cancer risk management strategy had a high uptake amongst our BRCA1/2 carriers. Attendance resulted in improved breast and ovarian cancer risk management.

  16. Three dimensional electrospun PCL/PLA blend nanofibrous scaffolds with significantly improved stem cells osteogenic differentiation and cranial bone formation.

    PubMed

    Yao, Qingqing; Cosme, Jaqueline G L; Xu, Tao; Miszuk, Jacob M; Picciani, Paulo H S; Fong, Hao; Sun, Hongli

    2017-01-01

    Nanofibrous scaffolds that are morphologically/structurally similar to natural ECM are highly interested for tissue engineering; however, the electrospinning technique has the difficulty in directly producing clinically relevant 3D nanofibrous scaffolds with desired structural properties. To address this challenge, we have developed an innovative technique of thermally induced nanofiber self-agglomeration (TISA) recently. The aim of this work was to prepare (via the TISA technique) and evaluate 3D electrospun PCL/PLA blend (mass ratio: 4/1) nanofibrous scaffolds having high porosity of ∼95.8% as well as interconnected and hierarchically structured pores with sizes from sub-micrometers to ∼300 μm for bone tissue engineering. The hypothesis was that the incorporation of PLA (with higher mechanical stiffness/modulus and bioactivity) into PCL nanofibers would significantly improve human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) osteogenic differentiation in vitro and bone formation in vivo. Compared to neat PCL-3D scaffolds, PCL/PLA-3D blend scaffolds had higher mechanical properties and in vitro bioactivity; as a result, they not only enhanced the cell viability of hMSCs but also promoted the osteogenic differentiation. Furthermore, our in vivo studies revealed that PCL/PLA-3D scaffolds considerably facilitated new bone formation in a critical-sized cranial bone defect mouse model. In summary, both in vitro and in vivo results indicated that novel 3D electrospun PCL/PLA blend nanofibrous scaffolds would be strongly favorable/desired for hMSCs osteogenic differentiation and cranial bone formation.

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  19. Improving the Comprehension of Students with Significant Developmental Disabilities: Systematic Instruction on the Steps for Completing and Using a Graphic Organizer

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Britt, Alexander P.

    2015-01-01

    A single-subject, multiple-baseline across participants design was used to examine the functional relation between systematic instruction and the ability to complete a graphic organizer and recall facts about informational texts by students with significant development disabilities. Four high school students enrolled in an adapted academic program…

  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 the proline and nitric oxide synthetic pathway improves fermentation ability under multiple baking-associated stress conditions in industrial baker's yeast

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    plays an important role in baking-associated stress tolerance. Conclusions In this work, we clarified the importance of Put1- and Mpr1-mediated NO generation from proline to the baking-associated stress tolerance in industrial baker's yeast. We also demonstrated that baker's yeast that enhances the proline and NO synthetic pathway by expressing the Pro1-I150T and Mpr1-F65L variants showed improved fermentation ability under multiple baking-associated stress conditions. From a biotechnological perspective, the enhancement of proline and NO synthesis could be promising for breeding novel baker's yeast strains. PMID:22462683

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

    PubMed

    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

  3. Musical ability.

    PubMed

    Sloboda, J

    1993-01-01

    Musical ability is the ability to 'make sense' of music, and develops in most people over the first decade of life through normal enculturation. Whether this ability is developed to a high level usually depends on the decision to start learning a musical instrument, which forces high levels of focused cognitive engagement (practice) with musical materials. Performance ability has both technical and expressive aspects. These aspects are not always developed equally well. Factors contributing to the development of a well-balanced musical performer include (a) lengthy periods of engagement with music through practice and exploration, (b) high levels of material and emotional support from parents and other adults, (c) relationships with early teachers characterized by warmth and mutual liking, and (d) early experiences with music that promote, rather than inhibit, intense sensuous/affective experiences. It is argued that much formal education inhibits the development of musical ability through over-emphasis on assessment, creating performance anxiety, coupled with class and sex stereotyping of approved musical activities. Early free exploration of a medium is a necessity for the development of high levels of musicality.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. Military Personnel: DOD Needs to Establish a Strategy and Improve Transparency over Reserve and National Guard Compensation to Manage Significant Growth in Cost

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-06-01

    Comments and Our Evaluation 37 Appendix I Updated Active Duty Compensation Costs 40 Appendix II Scope and Methodology 43 Appendix III Pay and...Integrated Military Human Resources System, to consolidate their personnel and pay systems. This consolidation may improve transparency by...Establish a Strategy and Improve Transparency over Reserve and National Guard Compensation to Manage Significant Growth in Cost June 2007

  9. 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.

  10. Disease-specific survival for patients with multiple myeloma: significant improvements over time in all age groups.

    PubMed

    Libby, Edward; Garcia, David; Quintana, Dulcinea; Fekrazad, M Houman; Bauman, Julie; Ebaid, Ala; Hromas, Robert; Rabinowitz, Ian; Wiggins, Charles

    2014-12-01

    This study analyzed the survival of patients with multiple myeloma. Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) databases were queried to calculate myeloma cause-specific survival curves by the Kaplan and Meier product-limit method. The Cox proportional hazards model was used to assess univariate and multivariate predictors of myeloma cause-specific survival. The outcome of interest was death due to myeloma. Results from a Cox proportional hazards model restricted to age and time period at diagnosis demonstrated that the magnitude of improvement in survival by time period varied by age at diagnosis. Among patients under 60 years at diagnosis, hazard ratios for myeloma cause-specific death decreased by more 50% from the first interval of observation to the last. Hazard ratios decreased during the study period by 39% among patients 60-69 years of age and by 27% among patients who were 70 years of age and older. Survival is improving in patients with myeloma of all ages.

  11. Defect criticality index (DCI): a new methodology to significantly improve DOI sampling rate in a 45nm production environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sato, Yoshiyuki; Yamada, Yasuyuki; Kaga, Yasuhiro; Yamazaki, Yuuichiro; Aoki, Masami; Tsui, David; Young, Chris; Chang, Ellis

    2008-03-01

    Increasing inspection sensitivity may be necessary for capturing the smaller defects of interest (DOI) dictated by reduced minimum design features. Unfortunately, higher inspection sensitivity can result in a greater percentage of non-DOI or nuisance defect types during inline monitoring in a mass production environment. Due to the time and effort required, review sampling is usually limited to 50 to 100 defects per wafer. Determining how to select and identify critical defect types under very low sampling rate conditions, so that more yield-relevant defect Paretos can be created after SEM review, has become very important. By associating GDS clip (design layout) information with every defect, and including defect attributes such as size and brightness, a new methodology called Defect Criticality Index (DCI) has demonstrated improved DOI sampling rates.

  12. A study to determine whether targeted education significantly improves the perception of human torture in medical students in India.

    PubMed

    Husain, Munawwar; Ghaffar, Usama B; Usmani, Jawed Ahmad; Rivzi, Shameem Jahan

    2010-08-01

    This study was undertaken to find out the knowledge of torture in MBBS students. A fair comparison was done by selecting two groups of medical students; one, to whom torture was not taught ie, pretaught group (PrTG, n = 125), and second, to whom torture was taught in classroom ie, post-taught group (PoTG, n = 110) in more than one sessions. The topic on torture was taught under many headings maximising the effort to cover as much as possible; namely, definition, geographical distribution, types of torture (physical, psychological and sexual), post-torture sequelae, sociopolitical environment prevailing in the country, doctors' involvement in torture, rehabilitation of torture victims and the UNO's role in containment of torture. In all a questionnaire was designed having MCQ types on these aspects. It was found that significant level of difference in perception and knowledge about torture existed amongst the groups, and this was further accentuated in medical and non-medical intratopics. 'P' value of each question was computed separately. It was found that the study was statistically significant and reestablished the need of fortifying the gossameric firmament of education specific to torture.

  13. Icariin combined with human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells significantly improve the impaired kidney function in chronic renal failure.

    PubMed

    Li, Wen; Wang, Li; Chu, Xiaoqian; Cui, Huantian; Bian, Yuhong

    2017-04-01

    At present, the main therapy for chronic renal failure (CRF) is dialysis and renal transplantation, but neither obtains satisfactory results. Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (huMSCs) are isolated from the fetal umbilical cord which has a high self-renewal and multi-directional differentiation potential. Icariin (ICA), a kidney-tonifying Chinese Medicine can enhance the multipotency of huMSCs. Therefore, this work seeks to employ the use of ICA-treated huMSCs for the treatment of chronic renal failure. Blood urea nitrogen and creatinine (Cr) analyses showed amelioration of functional parameters in ICA-treated huMSCs for the treatment of CRF rats at 3, 7, and 14 days after transplantation. ICA-treated huMSCs can obviously increase the number of cells in injured renal tissues at 3, 7, and 14 days after transplantation by optical molecular imaging system. Hematoxylin-eosin staining demonstrated that ICA-treated huMSCs reduced the levels of fibrosis in CRF rats at 14 days after transplantation. Superoxide dismutase and Malondialdehyde analyses showed that ICA-treated huMSCs reduced the oxidative damage in CRF rats. Moreover, transplantation with ICA-treated huMSCs decreased inflammatory responses, promoted the expression of growth factors, and protected injured renal tissues. Taken together, our findings suggest that ICA-treated huMSCs could improve the kidney function in CRF rats.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Immunomagnetic separation significantly improves the sensitivity of polymerase chain reaction in detecting Giardia duodenalis and Cryptosporidium spp. in dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    Coklin, Tatjana; Farber, Jeffrey M; Parrington, Lorna J; Bin Kingombe, Cesar I; Ross, William H; Dixon, Brent R

    2011-03-01

    The effectiveness of molecular methods for the detection of species of Giardia and Cryptosporidium in fecal samples is often reduced by low or intermittent cyst and oocyst shedding, and/or the presence of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) inhibitors. The present study investigates the use of immunomagnetic separation (IMS) as an additional concentration step before PCR in the detection of these common protozoan parasites in dairy cattle. The IMS-PCR assays were optimized for amplifying fragments of the 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA), β-giardin, and glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) genes of Giardia duodenalis, as well as fragments of the 18S rRNA, heat shock protein (HSP)-70, and Cryptosporidium oocyst wall protein (COWP) genes of Cryptosporidium spp. In all cases, IMS-PCR was more sensitive than PCR alone. A significantly greater number of Giardia-positive samples were identified using IMS-PCR of the 16S rRNA gene (P < 0.01) and of the GDH gene (P < 0.01), as compared with PCR without any additional concentration step. In the case of Cryptosporidium, IMS-PCR of the COWP gene (P  =  0.02) resulted in a significantly greater number of positives than did PCR without the IMS concentration step. The greatest number of positives, however, was obtained using IMS-PCR to amplify a portion of the 16S rRNA gene of Giardia and a portion of the HSP-70 gene of Cryptosporidium. A further comparison of the optimized IMS-PCR assays to immunofluorescence microscopy suggested that the IMS-PCR assays were considerably more sensitive than microscopy was in the detection of Giardia cysts and Cryptosporidium oocysts in fecal samples.

  17. 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

  18. 'In-Format' screening of a novel bispecific antibody format reveals significant potency improvements relative to unformatted molecules.

    PubMed

    Scott, Martin J; Lee, Jennifer A; Wake, Matthew S; Batt, Kelly V; Wattam, Trevor A; Hiles, Ian D; Batuwangala, Thil D; Ashman, Claire I; Steward, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Bispecific antibodies (BsAbs) are emerging as an important class of biopharmaceutical. The majority of BsAbs are created from conventional antibodies or fragments engineered into more complex configurations. A recurring challenge in their development, however, is the identification of components that are optimised for inclusion in the final format in order to deliver both efficacy and robust biophysical properties. Using a modular BsAb format, the mAb-dAb, we assessed whether an 'in-format' screening approach, designed to select format-compatible domain antibodies, could expedite lead discovery. Human nerve growth factor (NGF) was selected as an antigen to validate the approach; domain antibody (dAb) libraries were screened, panels of binders identified, and binding affinities and potencies compared for selected dAbs and corresponding mAb-dAbs. A number of dAbs that exhibited high potency (IC50) when assessed in-format were identified. In contrast, the corresponding dAb monomers had ∼1000-fold lower potency than the formatted dAbs; such dAb monomers would therefore have been omitted from further characterization. Subsequent stoichiometric analyses of mAb-dAbs bound to NGF, or an additional target antigen (vascular endothelial growth factor), suggested different target binding modes; this indicates that the observed potency improvements cannot be attributed simply to an avidity effect offered by the mAb-dAb format. We conclude that, for certain antigens, screening naïve selection outputs directly in-format enables the identification of a subset of format-compatible dAbs, and that this offers substantial benefits in terms of molecular properties and development time.

  19. 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.

  20. Significant improvement in photoluminescence of ZnSe(S) alloyed quantum dots prepared in high pH solution.

    PubMed

    Zan, Feng; Ren, Jicun

    2010-01-01

    In this paper, we described a simple approach for aqueous synthesis of highly luminescent ZnSe(S) alloyed quantum dots (QDs) in the presence of 3-mercaptopropionic acid as stabilizers using zinc chloride and NaHSe as precursors. The synthesis conditions were systematically investigated. We observed that the pH value of the Zn precursor solution had significant influence on the optical properties and the structure of the as-prepared ZnSe(S) QDs. The optimal pH value and molar ratio of Zn(2+) to HSe(-) were 12.0 and 25 : 1 respectively. Under the optimal conditions, we prepared highly photoluminescent ZnSe(S) QDs at up to 31% quantum yield (compared with Rhodamine 6G). The characterization of HRTEM and XRD showed that the ZnSe(S) QDs had good monodispersity and nice crystal structure. The fluorescence life time spectra demonstrated that ZnSe(S) QDs had a long lifetime in contrast to fluorescent dyes. Compared with the currently used organometallic approach, our method was 'green', the reaction condition was mild and the as-prepared ZnSe(S) QDs were water-soluble. More importantly, our method was low cost, and was very suitable for large-scale synthesis of highly luminescent ZnSe(S) QDs for the future applications.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Improvement of cellulose-degrading ability of a yeast strain displaying Trichoderma reesei endoglucanase II by recombination of cellulose-binding domains.

    PubMed

    Ito, Junji; Fujita, Yasuya; Ueda, Mitsuyoshi; Fukuda, Hideki; Kondo, Akihiko

    2004-01-01

    To improve the cellulolytic activity of a yeast strain displaying endoglucanase II (EGII) from the filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei QM9414, the genes encoding the cellulose-binding domain (CBD) of EGII, cellobiohydrolase I (CBHI) and cellobiohydrolase II (CBHII) from T. reesei QM9414, were fused with the catalytic domain of EGII and expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Display of each of the recombinant EGIIs was confirmed using immunofluorescence microscopy. In the case of EGII-displaying yeast strains in which the CBD of EGII was replaced with the CBD of CBHI or CBHII, the binding affinity to Avicel and hydrolytic activity toward phosphoric acid swollen Avicel were similar to that of a yeast strain displaying wild-type EGII. On the other hand, the three yeast strains displaying EGII with two or three tandemly aligned CBDs showed binding affinity and hydrolytic activity higher than that of the yeast strain displaying wild-type EGII. This result indicates that the hydrolytic activity of yeast strains displaying recombinant EGII increases with increased binding ability to cellulose.

  4. How the Affordable Care Act Has Improved Americans’ Ability to Buy Health Insurance on Their Own: Findings from the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, 2016.

    PubMed

    Collins, Sara R; Gunja, Munira Z; Doty, Michelle M; Beutel, Sophie

    2017-01-01

    Issue: Since 2001, long before the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey has examined health coverage and consumers’ experiences buying insurance and using health care. Goals: To examine long-term trends and to make comparisons before and after passage of health reform. Methods: Analysis of the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, 2016. Findings and Conclusions: There have been dramatic improvements in people’s ability to buy health plans on their own following the passage of the ACA. For adults with family incomes less than $48,500, uninsured rates dropped about 17 percentage points below their 2010 peak. Lower-income whites, blacks, and Latinos have experienced drops this large, though Latinos are uninsured at higher rates. Among working-age adults who had shopped for plans in the individual market and ACA marketplaces over the prior three years, the percentage who reported it was very difficult to find affordable plans fell by nearly half from 2010, prior to the ACA reforms, to 2016. Coverage gains are helping working-age Americans get the care they need: the number of adults who reported problems getting needed health care and filling prescriptions because of costs fell from a high of 80 million in 2012 to an estimated 63 million in 2016.

  5. Analysis of Light Gathering Abilities of Dynamically Solidified Micro-lenses, and Their Implementation to Improve Sensitivity of Fluorescent PCR Micro-detectors.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jian; Guo, Wei; Wang, Chunyan; Yu, Kuanxin; Chen, Tao; Li, Yinghui

    2015-06-01

    Fluorescent polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is becoming the preferred method of quantitative analysis due to its high specificity and sensitivity. We propose to use a new kind of micro-lens, dynamically solidified with optic glue, to improve the sensitivity of fluorescent PCR micro-detector. We developed light ray track equations for these lenses and used them to calculate relative light intensity distribution curve for stimulation lenses and illumination point probability distribution curve for detection lenses. We manufactured dynamically solidified micro-lenses using optic glue NOA61, and measured their light gathering ability. Lenses with radius/thickness (R/H) ratio of 4 reached light focusing ratio of 3.85 (stimulation lens) and photon collection efficiency of 0.86 (detection lens). We then used dynamically solidified lenses in PCR fluorescence micro-detector and analyzed their effect on the detector sensitivity. We showed that the use of dynamically solidified micro-lenses with R/H = 4 resulted in over 4.4-fold increased sensitivity of the detector.

  6. Improvement of the developmental ability of nuclear transfer embryos by using blastomeres from in vitro fertilized embryos selected according to the early developmental stage and cell division status as donor cells in cattle.

    PubMed

    Goto, Yuji; Matoba, Satoko; Imai, Kei; Geshi, Masaya

    2011-04-01

    This study was conducted to improve the developmental ability of nuclear transfer (NT) embryos by using blastomeres from in vitro fertilized (IVF) embryos with high quality as donor cells. The IVF embryos selected at the 2-cell stage at 24-h postinsemination (hpi) and again at the ≥8-cell stage at 48 hpi (Selected-IVF-embryos) showed the highest blastocyst formation rate among embryos. When blastomeres from the Selected-IVF-embryos (Selected-NT group) or Nonselected-IVF-embryos (Non-selected-NT group) were used as donor cells for NT, the blastocyst formation rate in the Selected-NT group (25.6%) was significantly higher than that in the Non-selected-NT group (13.5%). When blastomeres from the Selected-IVF-embryos at 108 (contained many cells before cell division) and 126 hpi (contained many cells immediately after cell division) were used as donor cells for NT (108- and 126-NT groups, respectively), the 126-NT group showed a significantly higher blastocyst formation rate (32.1%) than the 108-NT group (16.8%). Embryo transfer of blastocysts in the 126-NT group showed that 11 of 23 recipients became pregnant; nine calves were obtained. For the NT embryos reconstructed using in vivo derived embryos, 9 of 20 recipients became pregnant; seven calves were obtained. These results indicate that the blastocyst formation rate of NT embryos can be improved by using blastomeres from IVF embryos selected at the early developmental stage, especially immediately after cell division, and that the resultant NT embryos have a high developmental ability to progress to term that is comparable to NT embryos reconstructed using in vivo derived embryos.

  7. 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

  8. Constitutive overexpression of the TaNF-YB4 gene in transgenic wheat significantly improves grain yield.

    PubMed

    Yadav, Dinesh; Shavrukov, Yuri; Bazanova, Natalia; Chirkova, Larissa; Borisjuk, Nikolai; Kovalchuk, Nataliya; Ismagul, Ainur; Parent, Boris; Langridge, Peter; Hrmova, Maria; Lopato, Sergiy

    2015-11-01

    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.

  9. ASAS40 and ASDAS clinical responses in the ABILITY-1 clinical trial translate to meaningful improvements in physical function, health-related quality of life and work productivity in patients with non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis

    PubMed Central

    Joshi, Avani; Pangan, Aileen L.; Chen, Naijun; Betts, Keith; Mittal, Manish; Bao, Yanjun

    2016-01-01

    Objective. To assess the impact of achieving Assessment in SpondyloArthritis international Society 40% (ASAS40) response or an Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score inactive disease (ASDAS-ID) state on patient-reported outcomes (PROs) among patients with non-radiographic axial SpA (nr-axSpA). Methods. Data are from ABILITY-1, a phase 3 trial of adalimumab vs placebo in nr-axSpA patients. PROs included the HAQ for Spondyloarthropathies (HAQ-S), 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) physical component summary (PCS) score and Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire. Patients were grouped by clinical response using ASAS40 response and ASDAS disease states at week 12. Changes in PROs from baseline to week 12 were compared between groups using analysis of covariance with adjustment for baseline scores. Results. At week 12, 47 of 179 patients were ASAS40 responders and 26 of 176 patients achieved ASDAS-ID (ASDAS <1.3). Compared with non-responders (n = 132), ASAS40 responders (n = 47) had a significantly greater improvement in mean HAQ-S (–0.65 vs -0.05, P < 0.0001), SF-36 PCS (12.4 vs 0.7, P < 0.0001), presenteeism (–24.7 vs -2.2, P < 0.0001), overall work impairment (–23.9 vs -2.5, P < 0.0001) and activity impairment (–33.5 vs -0.9, P < 0.0001) at week 12. Similarly, ASDAS-ID, ASDAS clinically important improvement (ASDAS-CII; improvement >1.1) and major improvement (ASDAS-MI; improvement >2.0) were associated with significantly greater improvements from baseline in the majority of the PROs. Conclusion. Among nr-axSpA patients, ASAS40, ASDAS-CII and ASDAS-MI response and achievement of ASDAS-ID were associated with statistically significant and clinically meaningful improvements in physical function, health-related quality of life and work productivity in a higher percentage of patients. PMID:26316575

  10. A Passive Heat Maintenance Strategy Implemented during a Simulated Half-Time Improves Lower Body Power Output and Repeated Sprint Ability in Professional Rugby Union Players

    PubMed Central

    Russell, Mark; West, Daniel J.; Briggs, Marc A.; Bracken, Richard M.; Cook, Christian J.; Giroud, Thibault; Gill, Nicholas; Kilduff, Liam P.

    2015-01-01

    Reduced physical performance has been observed following the half-time period in team sports players, likely due to a decrease in muscle temperature during this period. We examined the effects of a passive heat maintenance strategy employed between successive exercise bouts on core temperature (Tcore) and subsequent exercise performance. Eighteen professional Rugby Union players completed this randomised and counter-balanced study. After a standardised warm-up (WU) and 15 min of rest, players completed a repeated sprint test (RSSA 1) and countermovement jumps (CMJ). Thereafter, in normal training attire (Control) or a survival jacket (Passive), players rested for a further 15 min (simulating a typical half-time) before performing a second RSSA (RSSA 2) and CMJ’s. Measurements of Tcore were taken at baseline, post-WU, pre-RSSA 1, post-RSSA 1 and pre-RSSA 2. Peak power output (PPO) and repeated sprint ability was assessed before and after the simulated half-time. Similar Tcore responses were observed between conditions at baseline (Control: 37.06±0.05°C; Passive: 37.03±0.05°C) and for all other Tcore measurements taken before half-time. After the simulated half-time, the decline in Tcore was lower (-0.74±0.08% vs. -1.54±0.06%, p<0.001) and PPO was higher (5610±105 W vs. 5440±105 W, p<0.001) in the Passive versus Control condition. The decline in PPO over half-time was related to the decline in Tcore (r = 0.632, p = 0.005). In RSSA 2, best, mean and total sprint times were 1.39±0.17% (p<0.001), 0.55±0.06% (p<0.001) and 0.55±0.06% (p<0.001) faster for Passive versus Control. Passive heat maintenance reduced declines in Tcore that were observed during a simulated half-time period and improved subsequent PPO and repeated sprint ability in professional Rugby Union players. PMID:25785393

  11. 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

  12. β-Alanine Supplementation Improves Throwing Velocities in Repeated Sprint Ability and 200-m Swimming Performance in Young Water Polo Players.

    PubMed

    Claus, Gabriel Machado; Redkva, Paulo Eduardo; Brisola, Gabriel Mota Pinheiro; Malta, Elvis Sousa; de Poli, Rodrigo de Araujo Bonetti; Miyagi, Willian Eiji; Zagatto, Alessandro Moura

    2017-01-25

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of β-alanine supplementation on specific tests for water polo. Fifteen young water polo players (16±2years) underwent a 200-m swimming performance, repeated-sprint ability test (RSA) with free throw (shooting), and 30-s maximal teth-ered eggbeater kicks. Participants were randomly allocated into two groups (placebo x β-alanine) and supplemented with 6.4g∙day(-1) of β-alanine or a placebo for six weeks. The mean and total RSA times, the magnitude based inference analysis showed a likely beneficial effect for β-alanine sup-plementation (both 79.9%). The ball velocity measured in the throwing performance after each sprint in the RSA presented a very like beneficial inference in the β-alanine group for mean (96.4%) and percentage decrement of ball velocity (92.5%, likely beneficial). Furthermore, the percentage change for mean ball velocity was different between groups (β-alanine=+2.5% and placebo=-3.5%) (p=.034). In the 30-s maximal tethered eggbeater kicks the placebo group presented decreased peak force, mean force, and fatigue index, while the β-alanine group maintained performance in mean force (44.1%, possibly beneficial), only presenting decreases in peak force. The 200-m swimming performance showed a possibly beneficial effect (68.7%). Six weeks of β-alanine supplementation was effective for improving ball velocity shooting in the RSA, maintaining performance in the 30-s test, and providing possibly beneficial effects in the 200-m swimming performance.

  13. Improvement in speech-reading ability by auditory training: Evidence from gender differences in normally hearing, deaf and cochlear implanted subjects.

    PubMed

    Strelnikov, K; Rouger, J; Lagleyre, S; Fraysse, B; Deguine, O; Barone, P

    2009-03-01

    Several neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies on gender differences in speech processing lead to the suggestion that women use the neural network of predictive and integrative analysis of speech to a larger extent than men. During speech-reading there is indeed a lack of reliable clues for word recognition which should emphasize predictive and integrative strategies of the brain. Our study aimed to explore gender differences in deaf and cochlear implanted (CI) patients at different levels during speech-reading, for words or phonemes, that we consider, correspond to increased involvement of predictive and integrative analysis. We collected speech-reading scores in a control group of normally hearing subjects (n=42) and in a group of deaf patients - who are good speech-readers - tested before, early after and late after cochlear implantation (n=97). Patient groups were almost equally distributed between follow-up and new patients. In normally hearing controls, women speech-read words better than men. This difference was also observed in all patients but not in experienced cochlear implant users. We did not observe a gender difference during speech-reading of isolated phonemes neither for controls nor for patients. We conclude that the better speech-reading ability of women for words but not for phonemes is in line with their greater use of predictive and integrative strategies for speech processing. Furthermore, we observed a progressive cross-modal compensation in male CI users after cochlear implantation which suggests a synergetic perceptual facilitation involving the visual and the recovering auditory modalities. This could lead to an improved performance in both auditory and visual modalities, the latter being constantly recruited to complement the crude information provided by the implant. Altogether, our data provide insights into cross-modal compensation in the adult brain following sensory privation.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Atomic Layer Deposition Al2O3 Coatings Significantly Improve Thermal, Chemical, and Mechanical Stability of Anodic TiO2 Nanotube Layers

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    We report on a very significant enhancement of the thermal, chemical, and mechanical stability of self-organized TiO2 nanotubes layers, provided by thin Al2O3 coatings of different thicknesses prepared by atomic layer deposition (ALD). TiO2 nanotube layers coated with Al2O3 coatings exhibit significantly improved thermal stability as illustrated by the preservation of the nanotubular structure upon annealing treatment at high temperatures (870 °C). In addition, a high anatase content is preserved in the nanotube layers against expectation of the total rutile conversion at such a high temperature. Hardness of the resulting nanotube layers is investigated by nanoindentation measurements and shows strongly improved values compared to uncoated counterparts. Finally, it is demonstrated that Al2O3 coatings guarantee unprecedented chemical stability of TiO2 nanotube layers in harsh environments of concentrated H3PO4 solutions. PMID:28291942

  17. 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.

  18. Atomic Layer Deposition Al2O3 Coatings Significantly Improve Thermal, Chemical, and Mechanical Stability of Anodic TiO2 Nanotube Layers.

    PubMed

    Zazpe, Raul; Prikryl, Jan; Gärtnerova, Viera; Nechvilova, Katerina; Benes, Ludvik; Strizik, Lukas; Jäger, Ales; Bosund, Markus; Sopha, Hanna; Macak, Jan M

    2017-04-04

    We report on a very significant enhancement of the thermal, chemical, and mechanical stability of self-organized TiO2 nanotubes layers, provided by thin Al2O3 coatings of different thicknesses prepared by atomic layer deposition (ALD). TiO2 nanotube layers coated with Al2O3 coatings exhibit significantly improved thermal stability as illustrated by the preservation of the nanotubular structure upon annealing treatment at high temperatures (870 °C). In addition, a high anatase content is preserved in the nanotube layers against expectation of the total rutile conversion at such a high temperature. Hardness of the resulting nanotube layers is investigated by nanoindentation measurements and shows strongly improved values compared to uncoated counterparts. Finally, it is demonstrated that Al2O3 coatings guarantee unprecedented chemical stability of TiO2 nanotube layers in harsh environments of concentrated H3PO4 solutions.

  19. Improvements of Sound Localization Abilities by the Facial Ruff of the Barn Owl (Tyto alba) as Demonstrated by Virtual Ruff Removal

    PubMed Central

    Hausmann, Laura; von Campenhausen, Mark; Endler, Frank; Singheiser, Martin; Wagner, Hermann

    2009-01-01

    Background When sound arrives at the eardrum it has already been filtered by the body, head, and outer ear. This process is mathematically described by the head-related transfer functions (HRTFs), which are characteristic for the spatial position of a sound source and for the individual ear. HRTFs in the barn owl (Tyto alba) are also shaped by the facial ruff, a specialization that alters interaural time differences (ITD), interaural intensity differences (ILD), and the frequency spectrum of the incoming sound to improve sound localization. Here we created novel stimuli to simulate the removal of the barn owl's ruff in a virtual acoustic environment, thus creating a situation similar to passive listening in other animals, and used these stimuli in behavioral tests. Methodology/Principal Findings HRTFs were recorded from an owl before and after removal of the ruff feathers. Normal and ruff-removed conditions were created by filtering broadband noise with the HRTFs. Under normal virtual conditions, no differences in azimuthal head-turning behavior between individualized and non-individualized HRTFs were observed. The owls were able to respond differently to stimuli from the back than to stimuli from the front having the same ITD. By contrast, such a discrimination was not possible after the virtual removal of the ruff. Elevational head-turn angles were (slightly) smaller with non-individualized than with individualized HRTFs. The removal of the ruff resulted in a large decrease in elevational head-turning amplitudes. Conclusions/Significance The facial ruff a) improves azimuthal sound localization by increasing the ITD range and b) improves elevational sound localization in the frontal field by introducing a shift of iso–ILD lines out of the midsagittal plane, which causes ILDs to increase with increasing stimulus elevation. The changes at the behavioral level could be related to the changes in the binaural physical parameters that occurred after the virtual

  20. Neodymium yttrium-aluminium-garnet laser resection significantly improves quality of life in patients with malignant central airway obstruction due to lung cancer.

    PubMed

    Zaric, B; Kovacevic, T; Stojsic, V; Sarcev, T; Kocic, M; Urosevic, M; Kalem, D; Perin, B

    2015-07-01

    Neodymium yttrium-aluminium-garnet (Nd : YAG) laser resection is one of the mostly used interventional pulmonology techniques for urgent desobstruction of malignant central airway obstruction (CAO). The major aim of this trial was to evaluate potential influence of Nd : YAG laser resection on overall quality of life (QoL) in patients with central lung cancer. Patients with malignant CAO scheduled for Nd : YAG laser resection were prospectively recruited in the trial. All patients were given European Organization for Research and Treatment, Quality of Life questionnaire (EORTC QLQ-30 v.3) before the procedure and approximately 2 weeks after the treatment. There were 37 male and 10 female patients, average age 54 ± 10 years. Most common tumour type was adenocarcinoma diagnosed in 51% of patients. Majority of patients were diagnosed in stage IIIB (53.2%) and stage IV (25.5%). Most common Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status was 1 (72.3%). Nd : YAG laser resection significantly improved (P<0.0001) QoL and overall health according to EORTC QLQ-30. However, in some of the questions dealing with nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, constipation, family life, social activities and financial situation, we did not observe statistically significant improvement. Nd : YAG laser resection of malignant CAO significantly improves QoL and overall health in patients with lung cancer.

  1. 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

  2. Co-overexpressing a Plasma Membrane and a Vacuolar Membrane Sodium/Proton Antiporter Significantly Improves Salt Tolerance in Transgenic Arabidopsis Plants.

    PubMed

    Pehlivan, Necla; Sun, Li; Jarrett, Philip; Yang, Xiaojie; Mishra, Neelam; Chen, Lin; Kadioglu, Asim; Shen, Guoxin; Zhang, Hong

    2016-05-01

    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.

  3. Significant immediate and long-term improvement in quality of life and disease coping in patients with vitiligo after group climatotherapy at the Dead Sea.

    PubMed

    Krüger, Christian; Smythe, Jim W; Spencer, Jennifer D; Hasse, Sybille; Panske, Angela; Chiuchiarelli, Giorgia; Schallreuter, Karin U

    2011-03-01

    Quality of life in patients with vitiligo is impaired. This study explored the immediate effect of 20 days of climatotherapy at the Dead Sea on quality of life, coping with the disease, general well-being and individual stress levels in a group of 71 patients with vitiligo and 42 matched controls. The long-term effect was assessed after 12 months in 33/71 patients and 12/42 controls. Study instruments were Dermatology Life Quality Index, Beck Depression Inventory and the Adjustment to Chronic Skin Disorders Questionnaire. Stress measurements were based on cortisol and β-endorphin concentrations in saliva samples. Quality of life was significantly improved at day 20 at the Dead Sea compared with day 1, and this was still significant after 12 months. Moreover, social anxiety/avoidance, anxious-depressive mood and helplessness as measured by the Adjustment to Chronic Skin Disorders Questionnaire were significantly reduced. There was no difference in levels of cortisol and β-endorphin between patients and controls, indicating that stress per se is not a significant contributor in vitiligo. In conclusion, therapy in patient groups offers an effective tool for long-lasting improvement in quality of life and patients' well-being.

  4. 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…

  5. Effectiveness of IMPACT:Ability to Improve Safety and Self-Advocacy Skills in Students with Disabilities--Follow-Up Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dryden, Eileen M.; Desmarais, Jeffrey; Arsenault, Lisa

    2017-01-01

    Background: Research shows that individuals with disabilities are more likely to experience abuse than their peers without disabilities. Yet, few evidenced-based abuse prevention interventions exist. This study examines whether positive outcomes identified previously in an evaluation of IMPACT:Ability were maintained 1 year later. Methods: A…

  6. 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,…

  7. Significant improvement of olfactory performance in sleep apnea patients after three months of nasal CPAP therapy – Observational study and randomized trial

    PubMed Central

    Boerner, Bettina; Tini, Gabrielo M.; Fachinger, Patrick; Graber, Sereina M.; Irani, Sarosh

    2017-01-01

    Objectives The olfactory function highly impacts quality of life (QoL). Continuous positive airway pressure is an effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and is often applied by nasal masks (nCPAP). The influence of nCPAP on the olfactory performance of OSA patients is unknown. The aim of this study was to assess the sense of smell before initiation of nCPAP and after three months treatment, in moderate and severe OSA patients. Methods The sense of smell was assessed in 35 patients suffering from daytime sleepiness and moderate to severe OSA (apnea/hypopnea index ≥ 15/h), with the aid of a validated test battery (Sniffin’ Sticks) before initiation of nCPAP therapy and after three months of treatment. Additionally, adherent subjects were included in a double-blind randomized three weeks CPAP-withdrawal trial (sub-therapeutic CPAP pressure). Results Twenty five of the 35 patients used the nCPAP therapy for more than four hours per night, and for more than 70% of nights (adherent group). The olfactory performance of these patients improved significantly (p = 0.007) after three months of nCPAP therapy. When considering the entire group of patients, olfaction also improved significantly (p = 0.001). In the randomized phase the sense of smell of six patients deteriorated under sub-therapeutic CPAP pressure (p = 0.046) whereas five patients in the maintenance CPAP group showed no significant difference (p = 0.501). Conclusions Olfactory performance improved significantly after three months of nCPAP therapy in patients suffering from moderate and severe OSA. It seems that this effect of nCPAP is reversible under sub-therapeutic CPAP pressure. Trial registration ISRCTN11128866 PMID:28158212

  8. The number and distances of positive charges of polyamine side chains in a series of perylene diimides significantly influence their ability to induce G-quadruplex structures and inhibit human telomerase.

    PubMed

    Franceschin, Marco; Lombardo, Caterina Maria; Pascucci, Emanuela; D'Ambrosio, Danilo; Micheli, Emanuela; Bianco, Armandodoriano; Ortaggi, Giancarlo; Savino, Maria

    2008-03-01

    We have synthesized eight polyamine perylene diimides to conjugate the efficiency of perylene derivatives in stabilizing G-quadruplex structures and the polyamines' biological activity, due to specific interactions with different DNA domains. Our study was carried out by investigating the ability of these derivatives to induce inter- and intramolecular G-quadruplex structures by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) and to inhibit telomerase in a modified TRAP assay. The two properties appear to be satisfactorily correlated and they show that the number and distances of positive charges in the side chains dramatically influence both these features. Although our previous studies on perylene derivatives with mono-positively charged side chains indicated that self assembly in aqueous solution leads to a major efficiency, the result observed with the spermine derivative suggests that a too strong aggregation is unfavourable, because it determines a lower solubility of the compounds.

  9. A pattern- and optics-independent compact model of Mask3D under off-axis illumination with significant efficiency and accuracy improvements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Hongbo; Yan, Qiliang; Wei, David; Croffie, Ebo

    2015-03-01

    As the critical dimension keeps shrinking, mask topography effect (Mask3D) becomes considerable to impact the lithography modeling accuracy and the quality of full-chip OPC. Among many challenges in Mask3D modeling, it is critical and particularly demanding to treat off-axis illumination (OAI) properly. In this paper, we present a novel Mask3D model that is completely test pattern- and optics- independent. Such model property enables greatly improved performance in terms of accuracy and consistency on various pattern types (1D/2D) and through a wide range of focus conditions, while no runtime overhead is incurred. The novel model and formulation will be able to save significant modeling time and greatly improve the model reliability, predictability and ease of use. Experimental results validate the claims and demonstrate the superiority to the current state-of-the-art Mask3D modeling method. This is a new generation Mask3D modeling process.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Back pain improvement after decompression without fusion or stabilization in patients with lumbar spinal stenosis and clinically significant preoperative back pain.

    PubMed

    Crawford, Charles H; Glassman, Steven D; Mummaneni, Praveen V; Knightly, John J; Asher, Anthony L

    2016-11-01

    OBJECTIVE The relief of leg symptoms by surgical decompression for lumbar stenosis is well supported by the literature. Less is known about the effect on back pain. Some surgeons believe that the relief of back pain should not be an expected outcome of decompression and that substantial back pain may be a contraindication to decompression only; therefore, stabilization may be recommended for patients with substantial preoperative back pain even in the absence of well-accepted indications for stabilization such as spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, or sagittal malalignment. The purpose of this study is to determine if patients with lumbar stenosis and substantial back pain-in the absence of spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, or sagittal malalignment-can obtain significant improvement after decompression without fusion or stabilization. METHODS Analysis of the National Neurosurgery Quality and Outcomes Database (N(2)QOD) identified 726 patients with lumbar stenosis (without spondylolisthesis or scoliosis) and a baseline back pain score ≥ 5 of 10 who underwent surgical decompression only. No patient was reported to have significant spondylolisthesis, scoliosis, or sagittal malalignment. Standard demographic and surgical variables were collected, as well as patient outcomes including back and leg pain scores, Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and EuroQoL 5D (EQ-5D) at baseline and 3 and 12 months postoperatively. RESULTS The mean age of the cohort was 65.6 years, and 407 (56%) patients were male. The mean body mass index was 30.2 kg/m(2), and 40% of patients had 2-level decompression, 29% had 3-level decompression, 24% had 1-level decompression, and 6% had 4-level decompression. The mean estimated blood loss was 130 ml. The mean operative time was 100.85 minutes. The vast majority of discharges (88%) were routine home discharges. At 3 and 12 months postoperatively, there were significant improvements from baseline for back pain (7.62 to 3.19 to 3.66), leg pain (7.23 to 2.85 to

  16. 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.

  17. Improved Culture Medium (TiKa) for Mycobacterium avium Subspecies Paratuberculosis (MAP) Matches qPCR Sensitivity and Reveals Significant Proportions of Non-viable MAP in Lymphoid Tissue of Vaccinated MAP Challenged Animals

    PubMed Central

    Bull, Tim J.; Munshi, Tulika; Mikkelsen, Heidi; Hartmann, Sofie B.; Sørensen, Maria R.; Garcia, Joanna S.; Lopez-Perez, Paula M.; Hofmann, Sven; Hilpert, Kai; Jungersen, Gregers

    2017-01-01

    The quantitative detection of viable pathogen load is an important tool in determining the degree of infection in animals and contamination of foodstuffs. Current conventional culture methods are limited in their ability to determine these levels in Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) due to slow growth, clumping and low recoverability issues. The principle goal of this study was to evaluate a novel culturing process (TiKa) with unique ability to stimulate MAP growth from low sample loads and dilutions. We demonstrate it was able to stimulate a mean 29-fold increase in recoverability and an improved sensitivity of up to three logs when compared with conventional culture. Using TiKa culture, MAP clumping was minimal and produced visible colonies in half the time required by standard culture methods. Parallel quantitative evaluation of the TiKa culture approach and qPCR on MAP loads in tissue and gut mucosal samples from a MAP vaccine-challenge study, showed good correlations between colony counts (cfu) and qPCR derived genome equivalents (Geq) over a large range of loads with a 30% greater sensitivity for TiKa culture approach at low loads (two logs). Furthermore, the relative fold changes in Geq and cfu from the TiKa culture approach suggests that non-mucosal tissue loads from MAP infected animals contained a reduced proportion of non-viable MAP (mean 19-fold) which was reduced significantly further (mean 190-fold) in vaccinated “reactor” calves. This study shows TiKa culture equates well with qPCR and provides important evidence that accuracy in estimating viable MAP load using DNA tests alone may vary significantly between samples of mucosal and lymphatic origin. PMID:28101082

  18. Improved Culture Medium (TiKa) for Mycobacterium avium Subspecies Paratuberculosis (MAP) Matches qPCR Sensitivity and Reveals Significant Proportions of Non-viable MAP in Lymphoid Tissue of Vaccinated MAP Challenged Animals.

    PubMed

    Bull, Tim J; Munshi, Tulika; Mikkelsen, Heidi; Hartmann, Sofie B; Sørensen, Maria R; Garcia, Joanna S; Lopez-Perez, Paula M; Hofmann, Sven; Hilpert, Kai; Jungersen, Gregers

    2016-01-01

    The quantitative detection of viable pathogen load is an important tool in determining the degree of infection in animals and contamination of foodstuffs. Current conventional culture methods are limited in their ability to determine these levels in Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) due to slow growth, clumping and low recoverability issues. The principle goal of this study was to evaluate a novel culturing process (TiKa) with unique ability to stimulate MAP growth from low sample loads and dilutions. We demonstrate it was able to stimulate a mean 29-fold increase in recoverability and an improved sensitivity of up to three logs when compared with conventional culture. Using TiKa culture, MAP clumping was minimal and produced visible colonies in half the time required by standard culture methods. Parallel quantitative evaluation of the TiKa culture approach and qPCR on MAP loads in tissue and gut mucosal samples from a MAP vaccine-challenge study, showed good correlations between colony counts (cfu) and qPCR derived genome equivalents (Geq) over a large range of loads with a 30% greater sensitivity for TiKa culture approach at low loads (two logs). Furthermore, the relative fold changes in Geq and cfu from the TiKa culture approach suggests that non-mucosal tissue loads from MAP infected animals contained a reduced proportion of non-viable MAP (mean 19-fold) which was reduced significantly further (mean 190-fold) in vaccinated "reactor" calves. This study shows TiKa culture equates well with qPCR and provides important evidence that accuracy in estimating viable MAP load using DNA tests alone may vary significantly between samples of mucosal and lymphatic origin.

  19. Spirulina Supplements Improved the Nutritional Status of Undernourished Children Quickly and Significantly: Experience from Kisantu, the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    PubMed

    Matondo, Féfé Khuabi; 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.

  20. Novel sulfated glucomannan-barium-alginate microcapsules in islet transplantation: significantly decreased the secretion of monocyte chemotactic protein 1 and improved the activity of islet in rats.

    PubMed

    Chen, X; Zhang, L; Qi, Z; Guo, B; Zhong, L; Shen, B; Yan, Z; Zhang, J

    2009-12-01

    The sulfated glucomannan can be used to filter the heparin-binding properties of cytokines. In this study, novel sulfated glucomannan-barium-alginate (SGA) microcapsules were prepared to encapsulate islets with barium-alginate (ABa) and calcium alginate-poly-l-lysine (APA) microcapsules as controls. SD rat islets were purified as donor cells to Lewis rats that had been treated with streptozotocin. Intraperitoneal transplantation was performed with about 3000 islet equivalent (IEQ) rat. At week three after transplantation, the concentrations of monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1), interleukin (IL)-1 beta, interferon (IFN)-gamma, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha in intraperitoneal fluid were determined using ELISA. At week 8, the islet cell mass in the abdominal microcapsules was excised to test insulin release. The EB-FDA fluorescence staining method was used to observe the functional activity of the islet cells. Compared with ABa and APA microcapsules, SGA microcapsules showed significantly decreased MCP-1 secretion by beta-cells. Also, the concentrations of cytokines IL-1beta, IFN-gamma, and TNF-alpha were decreased significantly. The activity of the transplanted islets was significantly improved in SGA microcapsules, which shielded against cytokines better than ABa or APA microcapsules and may serve as novel method.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  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

    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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  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

    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.

  10. Most effective way to improve the hydrogen storage abilities of Na-decorated BN sheets: applying external biaxial strain and an electric field.

    PubMed

    Tang, Chunmei; Zhang, Xue; Zhou, Xiaofeng

    2017-02-15

    Density functional calculations were used to investigate the hydrogen storage abilities of Na-atoms-decorated BN sheets under both external biaxial strain and a vertical electric field. The Na atom generally has the weakest binding strength to a given substrate compared with the other elements in the periodic table [PANS, 2016, 113, 3735]. Consequently, it is understudied in comparison to other elements and there are few reports about the hydrogen storage abilities of Na-decorated nanomaterials. We calculated that the average binding energy (Eb) of Na atoms to the pure BN sheet is 1.08 eV, which is smaller than the cohesive energy of bulk Na (1.11 eV). However, the Eb can be increased to 1.15 eV under 15% biaxial strain, and further up to 1.53 eV with the control of both 15% biaxial strain and a 5.14 V nm(-1) electric field (E-field). Therefore, the application of biaxial strain and an external upward E-field can prevent clustering of the Na atoms on the surface of a BN sheet, which is crucial for the hydrogen storage. Each Na atom on the surface of a BN sheet can adsorb only one H2 molecule when no strain or E-field is applied; however, the absorption increases to five H2 molecules under 15% biaxial strain and six H2 molecules under both 15% biaxial strain combined with a 5.14 V nm(-1)E-field. The average adsorption energies for H2 of BN-(Na-mH2) (m = 1-6) are within the range of practical applications (0.2-0.6 eV). The hydrogen gravimetric density of the periodic BN-(Na-6H2)4 structure is 9 wt%, which exceeds the 5.5 wt% value that should be met by 2017 as specified by the US Department of Energy. On the other side, removal of the biaxial strain and E-field can help to desorb the H2 molecule. These findings suggest a new route to design hydrogen storage materials under near-ambient conditions.

  11. 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.

  12. MO-FG-204-03: Using Edge-Preserving Algorithm for Significantly Improved Image-Domain Material Decomposition in Dual Energy CT

    SciTech Connect

    Zhao, W; Niu, T; Xing, L; Xiong, G; Elmore, K; Min, J; Zhu, J; Wang, L

    2015-06-15

    Purpose: To significantly improve dual energy CT (DECT) imaging by establishing a new theoretical framework of image-domain material decomposition with incorporation of edge-preserving techniques. Methods: The proposed algorithm, HYPR-NLM, combines the edge-preserving non-local mean filter (NLM) with the HYPR-LR (Local HighlY constrained backPRojection Reconstruction) framework. Image denoising using HYPR-LR framework depends on the noise level of the composite image which is the average of the different energy images. For DECT, the composite image is the average of high- and low-energy images. To further reduce noise, one may want to increase the window size of the filter of the HYPR-LR, leading resolution degradation. By incorporating the NLM filtering and the HYPR-LR framework, HYPR-NLM reduces the boost material decomposition noise using energy information redundancies as well as the non-local mean. We demonstrate the noise reduction and resolution preservation of the algorithm with both iodine concentration numerical phantom and clinical patient data by comparing the HYPR-NLM algorithm to the direct matrix inversion, HYPR-LR and iterative image-domain material decomposition (Iter-DECT). Results: The results show iterative material decomposition method reduces noise to the lowest level and provides improved DECT images. HYPR-NLM significantly reduces noise while preserving the accuracy of quantitative measurement and resolution. For the iodine concentration numerical phantom, the averaged noise levels are about 2.0, 0.7, 0.2 and 0.4 for direct inversion, HYPR-LR, Iter- DECT and HYPR-NLM, respectively. For the patient data, the noise levels of the water images are about 0.36, 0.16, 0.12 and 0.13 for direct inversion, HYPR-LR, Iter-DECT and HYPR-NLM, respectively. Difference images of both HYPR-LR and Iter-DECT show edge effect, while no significant edge effect is shown for HYPR-NLM, suggesting spatial resolution is well preserved for HYPR-NLM. Conclusion: HYPR

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. High-dose electron beam sterilization of soft-tissue grafts maintains significantly improved biomechanical properties compared to standard gamma treatment.

    PubMed

    Hoburg, A; Keshlaf, S; Schmidt, T; Smith, M; Gohs, U; Perka, C; Pruss, A; Scheffler, S

    2015-06-01

    Gy: 0.50 ± 0.34 mm; 34 kGy: 0.26 ± 0.24 mm) and control (0.20 ± 0.18 mm) group that did not differ significantly. Strain difference was not different between either control or study groups (controls: 1.0 ± 0.03; Ebeam 34 kGy 1.04 ± 0.018; Gamma 34 kGy 1.0 ± 0.028; 25 kGy: 1.4 ± 2,0; 34 kGy: 1.1 ± 1.1). The most important result of this study was that ebeam irradiation showed significantly less impairment of the biomechanical properties than gamma irradiation. Considering the results of this study and the improved control of irradiation application with electronic beam, this technique might be a promising alternative in soft-tissue sterilization.

  16. Prescription n-3 fatty acids, but not eicosapentaenoic acid alone, improve reference memory-related learning ability by increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels in SHR.Cg-Lepr(cp)/NDmcr rats, a metabolic syndrome model.

    PubMed

    Hashimoto, Michio; Inoue, Takayuki; Katakura, Masanori; Tanabe, Yoko; Hossain, Shahdat; Tsuchikura, Satoru; Shido, Osamu

    2013-10-01

    Metabolic syndrome is implicated in the decline of cognitive ability. We investigated whether the prescription n-3 fatty acid administration improves cognitive learning ability in SHR.Cg-Lepr(cp)/NDmcr (SHR-cp) rats, a metabolic syndrome model, in comparison with administration of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA, C20:5, n-3) alone. Administration of TAK-085 [highly purified and concentrated n-3 fatty acid formulation containing EPA ethyl ester and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, C22:6, n-3) ethyl ester] at 300 mg/kg body weight per day for 13 weeks reduced the number of reference memory-related errors in SHR-cp rats, but EPA alone had no effect, suggesting that long-term TAK-085 administration improves cognitive learning ability in a rat model of metabolic syndrome. However, the working memory-related errors were not affected in either of the rat groups. TAK-085 and EPA administration increased plasma EPA and DHA levels of SHR-cp rats, associating with an increase in EPA and DHA in the cerebral cortex. The TAK-085 administration decreased the lipid peroxide levels and reactive oxygen species in the cerebral cortex and hippocampus of SHR-cp rats, suggesting that TAK-085 increases antioxidative defenses. Its administration also increased the brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels in the cortical and hippocampal tissues of TAK-085-administered rats. The present study suggests that long-term TAK-085 administration is a possible therapeutic strategy for protecting against metabolic syndrome-induced learning decline.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. AgrAbility Project

    MedlinePlus

    ... It’s About Hope AgrAbility on Twitter AgrAbility on Facebook AgrAbility on You Tube AgrAbility… It’s About Hope ... summary report available... AgrAbility Harvest Get a copy Facebook Posts National AgrAbility Project 12 hours ago Good ...

  20. Significant improvement in the critical current density of MgB2 bulks in situ sintered at low temperature by excess Mg addition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Zongqing; Liu, Yongchang; Cai, Qi; Yu, Liming

    2014-01-01

    MgB2 bulks with excess Mg addition were rapidly synthesized by sintering at low temperature in present work. It is found that even after ball milling treatment of original powders, the reaction between Mg and B during subsequent low temperature sintering process was uncompleted within 5 h and there is still some residual Mg. On the other hand, the presence of residual Mg can make the sintering microstructure more homogeneous and dense, and also reduce lattice defects and mechanical strains. All the factors are contributed to the improvement of the grain connectivity in the samples with excess Mg addition sintered at low temperature compared to the reference MgB2 sample sintered at high temperature. Hence, Jc of these prepared samples is enhanced significantly across the whole measured fields. Especially, at 20 K, 2 T, the value of Jc in the 5 h-sintered MgB2 bulk with Mg addition is above 1 × 105 A cm-2. The technique developed in present work is an effective and low-cost way to further enhance Jc in the MgB2 superconductors without using expensive nanometer-size dopants.

  1. Significantly improving the yield of recombinant proteins in Bacillus subtilis by a novel powerful mutagenesis tool (ARTP): Alkaline α-amylase as a case study.

    PubMed

    Ma, Yingfang; Yang, Haiquan; Chen, Xianzhong; Sun, Bo; Du, Guocheng; Zhou, Zhemin; Song, Jiangning; Fan, You; Shen, Wei

    2015-10-01

    In this study, atmospheric and room temperature plasma (ARTP), a promising mutation breeding technique, was successfully applied to generate Bacillus subtilis mutants that yielded large quantities of recombinant protein. The high throughput screening platform was implemented to select those mutants with the highest yield of recombinant alkaline α-amylase (AMY), including the preferred mutant B. subtilis WB600 mut-12#. The yield and productivity of recombinant AMY in B. subtilis WB600 mut-12# increased 35.0% and 8.8%, respectively, the extracellular protein concentration of which increased 37.9%. B. subtilis WB600 mut-12# exhibited good genetic stability. Cells from B. subtilis WB600 mut-12# became shorter and wider than those from the wild-type. This study is the first to report a novel powerful mutagenesis tool (ARTP) that significantly improves the yield of recombinant proteins in B. subtilis and may therefore play an important role in the high expression level of proteins in recombinant microbial hosts.

  2. Very low amount of TiO2 on N-doped carbon nanotubes significantly improves oxygen reduction activity and stability of supported Pt nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Anqi; Masa, Justus; Xia, Wei

    2015-04-28

    Electrochemical corrosion is a major problem for carbon materials used in electrocatalysis. Highly dispersed TiO2 was deposited on O-functionalized and N-doped carbon nanotubes by chemical vapour deposition to tackle the carbon corrosion problem. Very low Ti loadings of about 1 wt% were applied to minimize the negative influence of TiO2 as a semiconductor on the high conductivity of carbon materials. Both N doping and TiO2 coating facilitate strong metal-support interactions and favour the formation of small Pt particles. N doping improved the intrinsic catalytic activity of the carbon support and enhanced the conductivity due to the removal of surface oxygen groups, while the negative effect of TiO2 on conductivity is counterbalanced by its promoting effect on metal-support interactions leading to enhanced overall catalytic performance. Pt/TiO2/NCNTs showed the highest ORR activity, and significantly outperformed Pt/NCNTs in electrochemical stability tests.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Rhizosphere Organic Anions Play a Minor Role in Improving Crop Species' Ability to Take Up Residual Phosphorus (P) in Agricultural Soils Low in P Availability.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yanliang; Krogstad, Tore; Clarke, Jihong L; Hallama, Moritz; Øgaard, Anne F; Eich-Greatorex, Susanne; Kandeler, Ellen; Clarke, Nicholas

    2016-01-01

    improving P availability and uptake.

  6. Rhizosphere Organic Anions Play a Minor Role in Improving Crop Species' Ability to Take Up Residual Phosphorus (P) in Agricultural Soils Low in P Availability

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yanliang; Krogstad, Tore; Clarke, Jihong L.; Hallama, Moritz; Øgaard, Anne F.; Eich-Greatorex, Susanne; Kandeler, Ellen; Clarke, Nicholas

    2016-01-01

    improving P availability and uptake. PMID:27872635

  7. 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

  8. Derivation of primordial germ cells from human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells is significantly improved by coculture with human fetal gonadal cells.

    PubMed

    Park, Tae Sub; Galic, Zoran; Conway, Anne E; Lindgren, Anne; van Handel, Benjamin J; Magnusson, Mattias; Richter, Laura; Teitell, Michael A; Mikkola, Hanna K A; Lowry, William E; Plath, Kathrin; Clark, Amander T

    2009-04-01

    The derivation of germ cells from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) or human induced pluripotent stem (hIPS) cells represents a desirable experimental model and potential strategy for treating infertility. In the current study, we developed a triple biomarker assay for identifying and isolating human primordial germ cells (PGCs) by first evaluating human PGC formation during the first trimester in vivo. Next, we applied this technology to characterizing in vitro derived PGCs (iPGCs) from pluripotent cells. Our results show that codifferentiation of hESCs on human fetal gonadal stromal cells significantly improves the efficiency of generating iPGCs. Furthermore, the efficiency was comparable between various pluripotent cell lines regardless of origin from the inner cell mass of human blastocysts (hESCs), or reprogramming of human skin fibroblasts (hIPS). To better characterize the iPGCs, we performed Real-time polymerase chain reaction, microarray, and bisulfite sequencing. Our results show that iPGCs at day 7 of differentiation are transcriptionally distinct from the somatic cells, expressing genes associated with pluripotency and germ cell development while repressing genes associated with somatic differentiation (specifically multiple HOX genes). Using bisulfite sequencing, we show that iPGCs initiate imprint erasure from differentially methylated imprinted regions by day 7 of differentiation. However, iPGCs derived from hIPS cells do not initiate imprint erasure as efficiently. In conclusion, our results indicate that triple positive iPGCs derived from pluripotent cells differentiated on hFGS cells correspond to committed first trimester germ cells (before 9 weeks) that have initiated the process of imprint erasure.

  9. A patient with medication-resistant epilepsy featuring psychosensorial and psychotic symptoms presenting with significant functional improvement on psychotherapeutic treatment: a case report

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Partial complex epilepsy with psychosensorial and psychotic symptoms remains a relatively rare condition that can sometimes be mistaken for an axis I psychiatric disorder. There is no specific treatment for this particular type of epilepsy, anti-epileptic medication being the cornerstone of therapeutic intervention with the occasional addition of neuroleptics. Lack of response to anti-epileptic agents is often a sign of poor prognosis and requires risky and sometimes invasive interventions with high morbidity for patients. Case presentation We report the case of a 21-year-old right-handed Caucasian man of French-Canadian descent who was living with his mother immediately before being hospitalized in a psychiatric setting for the first time. He seemed obsessed with developing new concepts to reach a more ‘perfect’ existence. He also claimed feeling odd sensations in his mind and in his body that could be linked to some sort of ‘evolutionary’ process resulting from spiritual uplift. He reported non-specific visual hallucinations and what sounded like auditory hallucinations and telepathic powers. The first diagnosis was a possible schizophreniform disorder and our patient was hospitalized. Shortly afterwards, an electroencephalogram showed an important subcortical epileptic activity, compatible with partial complex epilepsy with psychosensorial and psychotic symptoms. Despite a negative response to medication, symptoms proper to this type of epilepsy were substantially alleviated using a psychotherapeutical treatment intended for patients with psychotic disorders, namely integrated psychological therapy (IPT). Significant functional improvement in our patient has been achieved since then. Conclusions This case report illustrates that despite a negative response to medication, symptoms proper to this type of epilepsy could be substantially alleviated using psychotherapeutical treatment modalities. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time

  10. 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.

  11. Conceptions of Ability.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jagacinski, Carolyn M.; Nicholls, John G.

    Two different conceptions of ability are proposed. The first conception of ability is more differentiated and generally employed by adults and older children. Here ability level is defined with reference to the performance of others assuming that optimum effort was employed. High ability means higher than others. The second conception of ability…

  12. Long-term schisandrin B treatment mitigates age-related impairments in mitochondrial antioxidant status and functional ability in various tissues, and improves the survival of aging C57BL/6J mice.

    PubMed

    Ko, Kam Ming; Chen, Na; Leung, Hoi Yan; Leong, Eriol P K; Poon, Michel K T; Chiu, Po Yee

    2008-01-01

    Mitochondrial decay is a major cause of aging, leading to the subsequent death of aerobic organisms including humans. In the present study, we examined the effects of supplementation with schisandrin B (Sch B, a dibenzocyclooctadiene derivative isolated from the fruit of Schisandra chinensis), administered at 0.012% (w/w) of diet, starting from the age of 36 weeks, on age-dependent changes in mouse mitochondrial antioxidant status and functional ability in various tissues (brain, heart, liver, and kidney) up to the age of 120 weeks. We also monitored survival of male and female C57BL/6J mice. Aging caused progressive impairment in mitochondrial antioxidant status in various tissues, as evidenced by decreases in reduced glutathione and alpha-tocopherol levels, and Mn-superoxide dismutase activity. Impairments in mitochondrial antioxidant status were invariably associated with increases in mitochondria-driven reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in tissue homogenates, as well as decreased mitochondrial ATP-generation capacities (ATP-GCs), in all tested tissues. Diet supplementation with Sch B ameliorated impairment in mitochondrial antioxidant status during aging. The effects were more pronounced in younger than in older mice, when compared to age-matched non-supplemented controls. Sch B supplementation also suppressed mitochondria-driven ROS production and enhanced mitochondrial ATP-GC in various tissues during aging. The beneficial effects of Sch B supplementation on mitochondrial antioxidant status and functional ability were paralleled by survival improvement in aging male mice, when compared with controls. Sch B supplementation also improved the survival in female mice. In conclusion, long-term Sch B supplementation mitigated age-dependent impairments in mitochondrial antioxidant capacity and functional ability, thereby retarding the aging process in mice, particularly during early aging.

  13. MRI-Guided 3D Optimization Significantly Improves DVH Parameters of Pulsed-Dose-Rate Brachytherapy in Locally Advanced Cervical Cancer

    SciTech Connect

    Lindegaard, Jacob C. Tanderup, Kari; Nielsen, Soren Kynde; Haack, Soren; Gelineck, John

    2008-07-01

    {sub 90} was 91 {+-} 8 Gy{sub {alpha}}{sub /{beta}}{sub 10} and D{sub 100} was 76 {+-} 5 Gy{sub {alpha}}{sub /{beta}}{sub 10}. The minimal dose to 2 cm{sup 3} for the bladder, rectum, and sigmoid was 73 {+-} 6, 67 {+-} 6, and 69 {+-} 6 Gy{sub {alpha}}{sub /{beta}}{sub 3}, respectively. Conclusion: The results of our study have shown that magnetic resonance imaging-guided optimization of PDR-BT for locally advanced cervical cancer significantly improved the dose-volume histogram parameters.

  14. Improving Student's Ability To Resolve Conflict.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Julia; Reed, Faye

    This Master's project was designed to implement and evaluate classroom intervention and training in conflict resolution for elementary school students. Subjects were first and third graders from a rural community in north central Illinois. To document the extent of existing student conflict, a teacher survey and journal, playground behavior…

  15. 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

  16. 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…

  17. Indictment of Ability Grouping

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tuckman, Bruce

    1972-01-01

    The use of ability grouping restricts students to interact with others who have been identified as similar in ability and carries with it the stigma of failure and the operation of the self-fulfilling prophecy. (Author)

  18. 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)

  19. Improving social functioning and challenging behaviors in adolescents with ASD and significant ID: A randomized pilot feasibility trial of reciprocal imitation training in a residential setting.

    PubMed

    Ingersoll, Brooke; Berger, Natalie; Carlsen, Danielle; Hamlin, Theresa

    2016-08-11

    There is a lack of effective social interventions for youths with ASD and co-morbid intellectual disability (ID). A previous single-case design study indicated that reciprocal imitation training (RIT) may improve social interaction and challenging behavior in this population. The current pilot study examined the feasibility of conducting an RCT to investigate the effectiveness of RIT for improving social functioning and challenging behaviors in 20 adolescents with ASD and severe ID in a residential program. The assessment protocol was feasible. RIT was well-tolerated by the adolescents and implemented with fidelity by teaching staff. Preliminary findings indicate that treatment had moderate to large effects on social functioning and challenging behavior, with mixed findings for imitation skills. A larger RCT of RIT for this population is feasible and warranted.

  20. Nanoparticle-Assisted Targeted Delivery of Eye-Specific Genes to Eyes Significantly Improves the Vision of Blind Mice In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Application of viruses as a carrier, though not safe, to deliver genes to eye tissue was successful. However, a safer, nonviral, biocompatible lipid-based nanoparticle has never been tested to treat blinding eye diseases. We created an artificial virus using a nanoparticle, liposome-protamine-DNA complex (LPD), modified with a cell permeable peptide and a nuclear localization signaling (NLS) peptide, to deliver a functional gene for eye disease treatment. In the eye, a photochemical, 11-cis-retinal, allows the visual pigment rhodopsin to absorb light in the visible range. Without the photochemical, we lose the ability to see light. Retinal pigment epithelium protein 65 (Rpe65) is the key enzyme in regulating the availability of photochemical; deficiency of this gene results in a blinding eye disease. Here we show for the first time that LPD promotes efficient delivery in a cell specific-manner, and a long-term expression of Rpe65 gene to mice lacking Rpe65 gene, leading to in vivo correction of blindness. Thus, LPD nanoparticles could provide a promising, efficient, nonviral method of gene delivery with clinical applications in eye disease treatment. PMID:25115433

  1. Nanoparticle-assisted targeted delivery of eye-specific genes to eyes significantly improves the vision of blind mice in vivo.

    PubMed

    Rajala, Ammaji; Wang, Yuhong; Zhu, Ye; Ranjo-Bishop, Michelle; Ma, Jian-Xing; Mao, Chuanbin; Rajala, Raju V S

    2014-09-10

    Application of viruses as a carrier, though not safe, to deliver genes to eye tissue was successful. However, a safer, nonviral, biocompatible lipid-based nanoparticle has never been tested to treat blinding eye diseases. We created an artificial virus using a nanoparticle, liposome-protamine-DNA complex (LPD), modified with a cell permeable peptide and a nuclear localization signaling (NLS) peptide, to deliver a functional gene for eye disease treatment. In the eye, a photochemical, 11-cis-retinal, allows the visual pigment rhodopsin to absorb light in the visible range. Without the photochemical, we lose the ability to see light. Retinal pigment epithelium protein 65 (Rpe65) is the key enzyme in regulating the availability of photochemical; deficiency of this gene results in a blinding eye disease. Here we show for the first time that LPD promotes efficient delivery in a cell specific-manner, and a long-term expression of Rpe65 gene to mice lacking Rpe65 gene, leading to in vivo correction of blindness. Thus, LPD nanoparticles could provide a promising, efficient, nonviral method of gene delivery with clinical applications in eye disease treatment.

  2. Highly improved electroluminescence from a series of novel Eu(III) complexes with functional single-coordinate phosphine oxide ligands: tuning the intramolecular energy transfer, morphology, and carrier injection ability of the complexes.

    PubMed

    Xu, Hui; Yin, Kun; Huang, Wei

    2007-01-01

    The functional single-coordinate phosphine oxide ligands (4-diphenylaminophenyl)diphenylphosphine oxide (TAPO), (4-naphthalen-1-yl-phenylaminophenyl)diphenylphosphine oxide (NaDAPO), and 9-[4-(diphenylphosphinoyl)phenyl]-9H-carbazole (CPPO), as the direct combinations of hole-transporting moieties, and electron-transporting triphenylphosphine oxide (TPPO) were designed and synthesized (amines or carbazole), together with their Eu(III) complexes [Eu(tapo)(2)(tta)(3)] (1), [Eu(nadapo)(2)(tta)(3)] (2), and [Eu(cppo)(2)(tta)(3)] (3; TTA: 2-thenoyltrifluoroacetonate). The investigation indicated that by taking advantage of the modification inertia of the phosphine oxide ligands, the direct introduction of the hole-transport groups as chromophore made TAPO, NaDAPO, and CPPO obtain the most compact structure and mezzo S(1) and T(1) energy levels, which improved the intramolecular energy transfer in their Eu(III) complexes. The amorphous phase of 1-3 proved the weak intermolecular interaction, which resulted in extraordinarily low self-quenching of the complexes. The excellent double-carrier transport ability of the ligands was studied with Gaussian calculations, and the bipolar structure of TAPO and CPPO was proved. The great improvement of the double-carrier transport ability of 1-3 was shown by cyclic voltammetry. Their HOMO and LUMO energy levels of around 5.3 and 3.0 eV, respectively, are the best results for Eu(III) complexes reported so far. A single-layer organic light-emitting diode of 2 had the impressive brightness of 59 cd m(-2) which, to the best of our knowledge, is the highest reported so far. Both of the four-layer devices based on pure 1 and 2 had a maximum brightness of more than 1000 cd m(-2), turn-on voltages lower than 5 V, maximum external quantum yields of more than 3 % and excellent spectral stability.

  3. 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...

  4. 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}.

  5. Significantly improved photovoltaic performance in polymer bulk heterojunction solar cells with graphene oxide /PEDOT:PSS double decked hole transport layer

    PubMed Central

    Rafique, Saqib; Abdullah, Shahino Mah; Shahid, Muhammad Mehmood; Ansari, Mohammad Omaish; Sulaiman, Khaulah

    2017-01-01

    This work demonstrates the high performance graphene oxide (GO)/PEDOT:PSS doubled decked hole transport layer (HTL) in the PCDTBT:PC71BM based bulk heterojunction organic photovoltaic device. The devices were tested on merits of their power conversion efficiency (PCE), reproducibility, stability and further compared with the devices with individual GO or PEDOT:PSS HTLs. Solar cells employing GO/PEDOT:PSS HTL yielded a PCE of 4.28% as compared to either of individual GO or PEDOT:PSS HTLs where they demonstrated PCEs of 2.77 and 3.57%, respectively. In case of single GO HTL, an inhomogeneous coating of ITO caused the poor performance whereas PEDOT:PSS is known to be hygroscopic and acidic which upon direct contact with ITO reduced the device performance. The improvement in the photovoltaic performance is mainly ascribed to the increased charge carriers mobility, short circuit current, open circuit voltage, fill factor, and decreased series resistance. The well matched work function of GO and PEDOT:PSS is likely to facilitate the charge transportation and an overall reduction in the series resistance. Moreover, GO could effectively block the electrons due to its large band-gap of ~3.6 eV, leading to an increased shunt resistance. In addition, we also observed the improvement in the reproducibility and stability. PMID:28084304

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Development and significance of SCAR marker QG12-5 for Canarium album (Lour.) Raeusch by molecular cloning from improved RAPD amplification.

    PubMed

    Cheng, J L; Yin, Z C; Mei, Z Q; Wei, C L; Chen, H C; Wu, X S; Fu, J J

    2016-08-26

    Sequence-characterized amplified region (SCAR) is a valuable molecular marker for the genetic identification of any species. This marker is mainly derived from molecular cloning of random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD). We have previously reported the use of an improved RAPD technique for the genetic characterization of different samples of Canarium album (Lour.) Raeusch (C. album). In this study, DNA fragments were amplified using improved RAPD amplified from different samples of C. album. The amplified DNA fragment was excised, purified from an agarose gel and cloned into a pGM-T vector; subsequently, a positive clone, called QG12-5 was identified by PCR amplification and enzymatic digestion and sequenced by Sanger di-deoxy sequencing method. This clone was revealed consisting of 510 nucleotides of C. album. The SCAR marker QG12-5 was developed using specifically designed PCR primers and optimized PCR conditions. This SCAR marker expressed seven continuous "TATG" [(TATG)n] tandem repeats, which was found to characterize C. album. Subsequently, this novel SCAR marker was deposited in GenBank with accession No. KT359568. Therefore, we successfully developed a C. album-specific SCAR marker for the identification and authentication of different C. album species in this study.

  9. Significantly improved photovoltaic performance in polymer bulk heterojunction solar cells with graphene oxide /PEDOT:PSS double decked hole transport layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rafique, Saqib; Abdullah, Shahino Mah; Shahid, Muhammad Mehmood; Ansari, Mohammad Omaish; Sulaiman, Khaulah

    2017-01-01

    This work demonstrates the high performance graphene oxide (GO)/PEDOT:PSS doubled decked hole transport layer (HTL) in the PCDTBT:PC71BM based bulk heterojunction organic photovoltaic device. The devices were tested on merits of their power conversion efficiency (PCE), reproducibility, stability and further compared with the devices with individual GO or PEDOT:PSS HTLs. Solar cells employing GO/PEDOT:PSS HTL yielded a PCE of 4.28% as compared to either of individual GO or PEDOT:PSS HTLs where they demonstrated PCEs of 2.77 and 3.57%, respectively. In case of single GO HTL, an inhomogeneous coating of ITO caused the poor performance whereas PEDOT:PSS is known to be hygroscopic and acidic which upon direct contact with ITO reduced the device performance. The improvement in the photovoltaic performance is mainly ascribed to the increased charge carriers mobility, short circuit current, open circuit voltage, fill factor, and decreased series resistance. The well matched work function of GO and PEDOT:PSS is likely to facilitate the charge transportation and an overall reduction in the series resistance. Moreover, GO could effectively block the electrons due to its large band-gap of ~3.6 eV, leading to an increased shunt resistance. In addition, we also observed the improvement in the reproducibility and stability.

  10. 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

  11. Significant increases in pulping efficiency in C4H-F5H-transformed poplars: improved chemical savings and reduced environmental toxins.

    PubMed

    Huntley, Shannon K; Ellis, Dave; Gilbert, Margarita; Chapple, Clint; Mansfield, Shawn D

    2003-10-08

    The gene encoding ferulate 5-hydroxylase (F5H) was overexpressed in poplar (Populus tremula x Populus alba) using the cinnamate-4-hydroxylase (C4H) promoter to drive expression specifically in cells involved in the lignin biosynthetic pathway and was shown to significantly alter the mole percentage of syringyl subunits in the lignin, as determined by thioacidolysis. Analysis of poplar transformed with a C4H-F5H construct demonstrated significant increases in chemical (kraft) pulping efficiency from greenhouse-grown trees. Compared to wild-type wood, decreases of 23 kappa units and increases of >20 ISO brightness units were observed in trees exhibiting high syringyl monomer concentrations. These changes were associated with no significant modification in total lignin content and no observed phenotypic differences. C4H-F5H-transformed trees could increase pulp throughputs at mills by >60% while concurrently decreasing chemicals employed during processing (chemical pulping and bleaching) and, consequently, the amount of deleterious byproducts released into the environment.

  12. ESP-102, a standardized combined extract of Angelica gigas, Saururus chinensis and Schizandra chinensis, significantly improved scopolamine-induced memory impairment in mice.

    PubMed

    Kang, So Young; Lee, Ki Yong; Koo, Kyung Ah; Yoon, Jeong Seon; Lim, Song Won; Kim, Young Choong; Sung, Sang Hyun

    2005-02-25

    We assessed the effects of oral treatments of ESP-102, a standardized combined extract of Angelica gigas, Saururus chinensis and Schizandra chinensis, on learning and memory deficit. The cognition-enhancing effect of ESP-102 was investigated in scopolamine-induced (1 mg/kg body weight, s.c.) amnesic mice with both passive avoidance and Morris water maze performance tests. Acute oral treatment (single administration prior to scopolamine treatment) of mice with ESP-102 (doses in the range of 10 to 100 mg/kg body weight) significantly reduced scopolamine-induced memory deficits in the passive avoidance performance test. Another noteworthy result included the fact that prolonged oral daily treatments of mice with much lower amounts of ESP-102 (1 and 10 mg/kg body weight) for ten days reversed scopolamine-induced memory deficits. In the Morris water maze performance test, both acute and prolonged oral treatments with ESP-102 (single administration of 100 mg/kg body weight or prolonged daily administration of 1 and 10 mg/kg body weight for ten days, respectively, significantly ameliorated scopolamine-induced memory deficits as indicated by the formation of long-term and/or short-term spatial memory. In addition, we investigated the effects of ESP-102 on neurotoxicity induced by amyloid-beta peptide (Abeta25-35) or glutamate in primary cultured cortical neurons of rats. Pretreatment of cultures with ESP-102 (0.001, 0.01 and 0.1 mug/ml) significantly protected neurons from neurotoxicity induced by either glutamate or Abeta25-35. These results suggest that ESP-102 may have some protective characteristics against neuronal cell death and cognitive impairments often observed in Alzheimer's disease, stroke, ischemic injury and other neurodegenerative diseases.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Urine concentrating and diluting ability during aging.

    PubMed

    Sands, Jeff M

    2012-12-01

    Urine concentrating ability is reduced during normal aging in people and rats. The abundance of many of the key transport proteins that contribute to urine concentrating ability is reduced in the kidney medulla of aged rats. The reductions in water, sodium, and urea transport protein abundances, and their reduced response to water restriction, contribute to the reduced ability of aged rats to concentrate their urine and conserve water. If similar mechanisms occur in human kidneys, it would provide a molecular explanation for the reduced urine concentrating ability in aging and may provide opportunities for novel therapeutic approaches to improve urine concentrating ability and/or nocturnal polyuria.

  2. TqPCR: A Touchdown qPCR Assay with Significantly Improved Detection Sensitivity and Amplification Efficiency of SYBR Green qPCR.

    PubMed

    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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Integrated study of fermentation and downstream processing in a miniplant significantly improved the microbial 1,3-propanediol production from raw glycerol.

    PubMed

    Kaeding, Thomas; DaLuz, Julian; Kube, Jürgen; Zeng, An-Ping

    2015-03-01

    In this work, an integrated and optimized production process for 99 % pure 1,3-propanediol (PDO) from raw glycerol is presented. Glycerol fermentation is carried out applying a newly isolated strain Clostridium pasteurianum K1 under non-sterile conditions without any complex ingredients in the fermentation media. In this environment over 55 g/L PDO, yields of 0.52 g/g and space time yields over 2.3 g/(Lh) were achieved in up to 1 m(3) pilot scale. The downstream process for PDO purification consists of an ultrafiltration for biomass and protein separation, an evaporation step for concentration of PDO and a two-step rectification for final purification. For a proof of concept, process optimization and especially investigation of interactions of individual steps, the downstream process was performed in miniplant scale. A minimum salt input into the downstream process was shown to be important to overcome precipitation in evaporation as well as rectification. Thus, raw glycerol is desalinated before fermentation and the fermentation medium was minimized and complex nutrients, such as yeast extract, were avoided totally to prevent furthermore dark color formation. Furthermore, by titration of fermentation with ammonia instead of sodium hydroxide, the later separation of the major by-products, organic acids, in the evaporation step was significantly enhanced.

  7. Treatment with hydroxyurea and tyrphostin-1 significantly improves the transduction efficiency of recombinant adeno-associated viruses in human cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sung Jin; Nam, Young Ran; Shin, Ohkyu; Choi, Jene; Lee, Boyoung; Chang, Jin Woo; Kwon, Yunhee Kim; Park, Keerang; Lee, Heuiran

    2005-12-01

    To enhance the transduction efficiency (TE) of a recombinant adeno-associated virus 2 (rAAV2) in human cancer cells, we examined the combined effects of various chemicals known to influence the rAAV2 transduction process at distinct steps. Among the agents tested were trichostatin A, a histone deacetylase inhibitor, MG-132, a proteosome inhibitor, the genotoxic agents hydroxyurea, aphidicolin, etoposide and camptothecin, and tyrphostin-1, an epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor. During or after chemical treatment, various human cancer cells were infected with rAAV2 expressing beta-galactosidase. Treatment with hydroxy-urea or etoposide plus tyrphostin-1 dramatically increased the TE in most cell lines. The combination of hydroxyurea plus tyrphostin-1 increased TE to 37.7+/-7.9%, 32.8+/-2.0% and 31.8+/-2.1% in SK-Hep1, HeLa, and HCT116 cells, respectively. In addition, following rAAV2 infection and treatment with hydroxyurea plus tyrphostin-1, long-term transgene expression was observed for up to 6 months, with no damage to the transduced cells. These results indicate that rAAV2 transgene expression can be significantly enhanced by a combination of chemical agents with distinct activity and prolonged gene expression can occur following rAAV2 gene transfer into human cancer cells.

  8. 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)

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    2016-09-07

    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.

  11. 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

  12. Adolescents' Conceptions of Ability and Intelligence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nicholls, John G.

    Adolescents' developing sense of competence is based on two domains, ability and intelligence. Intelligence testing generally presumes a conception of ability as current capacity that limits the extent to which effort can improve performance. Conceptions of intelligence, and other skills, involve implications about the nature of different forms of…

  13. The Development of Geometri Teaching Materials Based on Constructivism to Improve the Students' Mathematic Reasoning Ability through Cooperative Learing Jigsaw at the Class VIII of SMP Negeri 3 Padangsidimpuan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dewi, Izwita; Harahap, Muhammad Syahri

    2016-01-01

    The purposes of this research were to know the validity, practicality, and effectivity of geometrical learning material based on the constructivism to Increase students' mathematic reasoning ability and increasing students' mathematic reasoning ability by using learning material at the grade VIII of SMP Negeri 3 Padangsidimpuan. Type of the…

  14. 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.

  15. Ability Is Ageless.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wooten, Andrea

    2002-01-01

    Experience Works is a national organization that provides training and employment services to older adults. Its Prime Time Awards Program honors contributions of older workers in their 70s and beyond, demonstrating the continued ability and productivity of this population as well as the benefits they derive from productive work. (SK)

  16. Computerized Adaptive Ability Measurement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weiss, David J.

    The general objective of a research program on adaptive testing was to identify several sources of potential error in test scores, and to study adaptive testing as a means for reducing these errors. Errors can result from the mismatch of item difficulty to the individual's ability; the psychological effects of testing and the test environment; the…

  17. 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…

  18. Promoting Logical Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Osborne, Alan R.

    1973-01-01

    This article reports one search for factors or conditions shaping the child's growth in logical ability. The search indicated the existence of a relationship between the quantity of teacher talk that contains the language of logic and the change exhibited by students. Implications for classroom practice are discussed. (JA)

  19. Conservatism and Cognitive Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stankov, Lazar

    2009-01-01

    Conservatism and cognitive ability are negatively correlated. The evidence is based on 1254 community college students and 1600 foreign students seeking entry to United States' universities. At the individual level of analysis, conservatism scores correlate negatively with SAT, Vocabulary, and Analogy test scores. At the national level of…

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

    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

    2016-02-01

    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.

  5. [Visual perceptual abilities of children with low motor abilities--a pilot study].

    PubMed

    Werpup-Stüwe, Lina; Petermann, Franz

    2015-01-01

    The results of many studies show visual perceptual deficits in children with low motor abilities. This study aims to indicate the correlation between visual-perceptual and motor abilities. The correlation of visual-perceptual and motor abilities of 41 children is measured by using the German versions of the Developmental Test of Visual Perception--Adolescent and Adult (DTVP-A) and the Movement Assessment Battery for Children--Second Edition (M-ABC-2). The visual-perceptual abilities of children with low motor abilities (n=21) are also compared to the visual-perceptual abilities of children with normal motor abilities (the control group, n=20). High correlations between the visual-perceptual and motor abilities are found. The perceptual abilities of the groups differ significantly. Nearly half of the children with low motor abilities show visual-perceptual deficits. Visual perceptual abilities of children suffering coordination disorders should always be assessed. The DTVP-A is useful, because it provides the possibilities to compare motor-reduced visual-perceptual abilities and visualmotor integration abilities and to estimate the deficit's degree.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    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

  8. Helicobacter pylori infection has no impact on manometric and pH-metric findings in adolescents and young adults with gastroesophageal reflux and antral gastritis: eradication results to no significant clinical improvement.

    PubMed

    Xinias, Ioannis; Maris, Theophanis; Mavroudi, Antigoni; Panteliadis, Christos; Vandenplas, Yvan

    2013-02-05

    The relationship between Helicobacter pylori (Hp) gastritis and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) remains controversial. The aim was to investigate the association between Hp infection and gastroesophageal reflux (GER) and the impact of Hp eradication on esophageal acid exposure and motility in adolescents and young adults with Hp gastritis and GERD. Sixty-four patients with symptoms suggestive for GERD, of which 40 Hp-positive (group A) and 24 Hp-negative (group B), underwent endoscopy-biopsy, esophageal manometry and 24-hour pH-metry. All group A patients received eradication treatment and were re-evaluated six months later again with 24-hour pH-metry, esophageal manometry, endoscopy-biopsy and clinical assessment. At inclusion, there were no significant differences between the two groups regarding sex, age, grade of endoscopic esophagitis, manometric and pH-metry findings. All Hp-positive patients had an antral predominant gastritis. Eradication of Hp was successful in all patients, and gastritis and esophagitis were healed in all patients. The mean lower esophageal sphincter pressure (LESP) increased significantly from 11.25 mmHg before to 11.71 mmHg after eradication (P<0.05). A significant decrease in reflux index was observed (mean RI 6.02% before versus 4.96% after eradication (P<0.05). However clinical symptoms of GER improved not significantly after 6 months follow up. Conclusively, in children and young adults with GER symptoms and GERD, the presence or absence of Hp has no impact on manometric and pH-metric findings. Eradication of Hp infection results in increase in LESP with a consequent decrease in esophageal acid exposure but not significant clinical improvement.

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. Chewing ability, nutritional status and quality of life.

    PubMed

    Lee, I-C; Yang, Y-H; Ho, P-S; Lee, I-C

    2014-02-01

    In the literature, most researchers evaluate individuals' nutritional status and chewing ability by types of foods chosen or blood test. However, most of previous researches enrolled small sample size and the results might be influenced by personal preference of foods as well as the individuals' response to invasive examination. In this study, researchers assessed individuals' nutritional status and chewing ability with non-invasive test and excluded the personal preference of foods. This study had two aims: first, to explore associations between chewing ability, edentulous or dentulous, self-perceived oral health and individuals' nutritional status and quality of life; second, to assess whether the association proposed by Locker's model is valid. This study used the database of Phase I 'Publicly-funded Denture Installation Plan for the Elderly' of Kaohsiung City Government. Nine hundred and fifty-four subjects aged 65 years and older completed the questionnaires for data analysis. The research results supported and verified the theoretical model proposed by Locker. Individual's chewing ability associated significantly with his/her nutritional status and quality of life. The results demonstrated that better chewing ability of the elderly leads to better nutritional status and quality of life. The appropriateness of the indicators and measurements of individual's chewing ability and nutritional status used in this study has been evaluated and presented. These indicators and measurements are suggested to be generally used for clinical or research application on future-related issues. Consequently, the maintenance or improvement in the chewing ability of the elderly is extremely beneficial to healthy ageing.

  12. Ability Grouping in Physical Education.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kneer, Marian E.

    1982-01-01

    Psychomotor ability differences in students are a result of innate motor ability, fitness, neurologic development, psychology, experience, and students' interests and goals. Models and procedures for serving students with ability differences, in the areas of ability identification, curriculum development, and instruction, are described. (CJ)

  13. The Effect of a Complex Training Program on Skating Abilities in Ice Hockey Players

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Changyoung; Lee, Sookyung; Yoo, Jaehyun

    2014-01-01

    [Purpose] Little data exist on systemic training programs to improve skating abilities in ice hockey players. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of a complex training program on skating abilities in ice hockey players. [Methods] Ten male ice hockey players (training group) that engaged in 12 weeks of complex training and skating training and ten male players (control group) that only participated in 12 weeks of skating training completed on-ice skating tests including a 5 time 18 meters shuttle, t-test, Rink dash 5 times, and line drill before, during, and the training. [Results] Significant group-by-time interactions were found in all skating ability tests. [Conclusion] The complex training program intervention for 12 weeks improved their skating abilities of the ice hockey players. PMID:24764628

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Cardioprotective abilities of white wine.

    PubMed

    Cui, Jianhua; Tosaki, Arpad; Cordis, Gerald A; Bertelli, Alberto A E; Bertelli, Aldo; Maulik, Nilanjana; Das, Dipak K

    2002-05-01

    To study if white wines, like red wine, can also protect the heart from ischemia reperfusion injury, ethanol-free extracts of three different white wines (WW1, WW2 and WW3) (100 mg/100 g body weight) were given orally to Sprague Dawley rats (200 g body weight) for three weeks. Control rats were given water only for the same period of time. After three weeks, rats were anesthetized and sacrificed, and the hearts excised for the preparation of isolated working rat heart. All hearts were subjected to 30 min global ischemia followed by two hours of reperfusion. The results demonstrated that among the three different white wines, only WW2 showed cardioprotection as evidenced by improved post-ischemic ventricular recovery compared to control. The amount of malonaldehyde production in white wine-fed rat hearts were lower compared to that found in control hearts indicating reduced formation of the reactive oxygen species. In vitro studies using chemiluminescence technique revealed that these white wines scavenged both superoxide anions and hydroxyl radicals. The results of our study demonstrated that only WW2 white wine provided cardioprotection as evidenced by the improved the post-ischemic contractile recovery and reduced myocardial infarct size. The cardioprotective effect of this white wine may be attributed, at least in part, from its ability to function as an in vivo antioxidant.

  18. The mathematical abilities of children with cochlear implants.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Alexandra; Edwards, Lindsey; Langdon, Dawn

    2013-01-01

    Research has shown that cochlear implants give rise to improvements in speech recognition and production in children with profound hearing loss but very few studies have explored mathematical abilities in these children. The current study compared the mathematical abilities of 24 children with cochlear implants (mean age 10 years 1 month) to a control group of 22 hearing children (mean age 9 years 8 months). The math questions were categorized into questions that tapped into arithmetic or geometrical reasoning. It was predicted that the cochlear implant group would perform below the hearing group on the arithmetic questions but not the geometrical reasoning questions. Unexpectedly, the results showed that the cochlear implant group performed significantly below the hearing group on both types of math questions, but that this difference was mediated by language skill as assessed by vocabulary knowledge. The clinical implications of these results and possible future research results are considered.

  19. Underwater treadmill training and gait ability in the normal adult

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Myoung-Kwon; Lee, Si-A

    2017-01-01

    [Purpose] Our working hypothesis is that underwater treadmill training improves normal people’s gait ability. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-five healthy subjects with no orthopedic history of lower extremity were recruited. Gait training is performed using an underwater treadmill (HydroTrack® Underwater Treadmill System, Conray, Inc., Phoenix, AZ, USA), for twenty minutes per session, five sessions a week for four weeks. The water temperature was set at about 33 °C and the depth was fixed to reach between the subjects’ xiphoid process and the navel. [Results] After the intervention, step length, velocity, and cadence increased significantly. [Conclusion] This study conducted underwater treadmill training with normal people, with positive effects on gait ability. PMID:28210041

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Specific Abilities May Increment Psychometric g for High Ability Populations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-04-14

    factoring of cognitive ability batteries yields primary group factors that are highly g-loaded ( Carroll , 1993). Using military data, Ree and Earles... Carroll , J. B. (1993). Human Cognitive Abilities. New York: Cambridge University Press. Detterman, D. K., Daniel, M. H. (1989). Correlations of

  4. 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.

  5. 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)

  6. Effect of Piracetam on Dyslexic's Reading Ability.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilsher, C.; And Others

    1985-01-01

    Forty-six dyslexic boys (aged eight to 13) were administered Piracetam or placebo in a double-blind, parallel experiment. Although, overall, there were no significant group effects, the within-subject design revealed improvements in reading speed and accuracy in Piracetam Ss. Dyslexics with higher reading ages improved significantly compared to…

  7. Age Norms for Straw-Drinking Ability.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hunt, Lauren; Lewis, Danielle; Reisel, Sharon; Waldrup, Lanae; Wooster, Donna M. Adam

    2000-01-01

    A study of 28 infants (ages 8-12 months) investigated their ability to drink from a straw. Results indicate 22 percent were not able to drink from a straw, whereas 78 percent were able to do so. Data failed to reveal any significant differences based on gender, age, or ethnicity. (Contains nine references.) (Author/CR)

  8. Immigrants, English Ability and the Digital Divide

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ono, Hiroshi; Zavodny, Madeline

    2008-01-01

    This study examines the extent and causes of inequalities in information technology ownership and use between natives and immigrants in the United States, with particular focus on the role of English ability. The results indicate that, during the period 1997-2003, immigrants were significantly less likely to have access to or use a computer and…

  9. 45 CFR 1616.7 - Language ability.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... § 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 assistance will be provided in the language spoken by such clients....

  10. 45 CFR 1616.7 - Language ability.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... § 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 assistance will be provided in the language spoken by such clients....

  11. 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 assistance will be provided in the language spoken by such clients....

  12. 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 assistance will be provided in the language spoken by such clients....

  13. 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 assistance will be provided in the language spoken by such clients....

  14. 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…

  15. Kinesthetic Ability in Children with Spastic Hemiplegia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chrysagis, Nikolaos K.; Skordilis, Emmanouil K.; Koutsouki, Dimitra; Evans, Elizabeth

    2007-01-01

    The purpose was to examine the differences in kinesthetic ability, at the elbow joint, between children with (n = 15) and without (n = 15) spastic hemiplegia. The Kin Com 125 AP isokinetic dynamometer Configuration Chattanooga was used. Results revealed significant (p less than 0.05) interaction between participant groups and side which was a…

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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,…

  19. 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)

  20. Strategies of Adaptive Ability Measurement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weiss, David J.

    A number of strategies are described for adapting ability test items to individual differences in ability levels of testees. Each strategy consists of a different set of rules for selecting the sequence of test items to be administered to a given testee. Advantages and disadvantages of each strategy are discussed, and research issues unique to the…

  1. 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.

  2. Enhancing inferential abilities in adolescence: new hope for students in poverty

    PubMed Central

    Gamino, Jacquelyn F.; Motes, Michael M.; Riddle, Russell; Lyon, G. Reid; Spence, Jeffrey S.; Chapman, Sandra B.

    2014-01-01

    The ability to extrapolate essential gist through the analysis and synthesis of information, prediction of potential outcomes, abstraction of ideas, and integration of relationships with world knowledge is critical for higher-order learning. The present study investigated the efficacy of cognitive training to elicit improvements in gist reasoning and fact recall ability in 556 public middle school students (grades seven and eight), vs. a sample of 357 middle school students who served as a comparison group, to determine if changes in gist reasoning and fact recall were demonstrated without cognitive training. The results showed that, in general, cognitive training increased gist reasoning and fact recall abilities in students from families in poverty as well as students from families living above poverty. However, the magnitude of gains in gist reasoning varied as a function of gender and grade level. Our primary findings were that seventh and eighth grade girls and eighth grade boys showed significant increases in gist reasoning after training regardless of socioeconomic status (SES). There were no significant increases in gist reasoning or fact recall ability for the 357 middle school students who served as a comparison group. We postulate that cognitive training in middle school is efficacious for improving gist reasoning ability and fact recall in students from all socioeconomic levels. PMID:25505393

  3. 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.

  4. The Effect of Underwater Gait Training on Balance Ability of Stroke Patients

    PubMed Central

    Park, Seok Woo; Lee, Kyoung Jin; Shin, Doo Chul; Shin, Seung Ho; Lee, Myung Mo; Song, Chang Ho

    2014-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of underwater treadmill gait training on the balance ability of stroke patients. [Subjects] Twenty-two patients with stroke were randomly assigned to an underwater treadmill group (n =11) or a control group (n =11). [Methods] Both groups received general rehabilitation for 30 min per session, 5 times per week, over a 4-week period. The underwater treadmill group received additional underwater gait training for 30 min per session, 5 times per week, over the same 4-week period. Static and dynamic balances were evaluated before and after the intervention. [Results] The means of static and dynamic balance ability increased significantly in both groups, but there was no significant difference between the two groups. [Conclusion] Compared to the general rehabilitation program, underwater treadmill gait training was not more effective at improving the balance ability of stroke patients than land-based training. PMID:25013292

  5. Effects of fetal testosterone on visuospatial ability.

    PubMed

    Auyeung, Bonnie; Knickmeyer, Rebecca; Ashwin, Emma; Taylor, Kevin; Hackett, Gerald; Baron-Cohen, Simon

    2012-06-01

    This study investigated whether fetal testosterone (FT) measured from second trimester amniotic fluid was related to specific aspects of visuospatial ability, in children aged 7-10 years (35 boys, 29 girls). A series of tasks were used: the children's Embedded Figures Test (EFT) (a test of attention to detail), a ball targeting task (measuring hand-eye coordination), and a computerized mental rotation task (measuring rotational ability). FT was a significant predictor for EFT scores in both boys and girls, with boys also showing a clear advantage for this task. No significant sex differences were observed in targeting. Boys scored higher than girls on mental rotation. However, no significant relationships were observed between FT and targeting or mental rotation. Girls' performance on the mental rotation and targeting tasks was significantly related to age, indicating that these tasks may have been too difficult for the younger children. These results indicate that FT has a significant role in some aspects of cognitive development but that further work is needed to understand its effect on the different aspects of visuospatial ability.

  6. Self-Reported Spatial Hearing Abilities Across Different Cochlear Implant Profiles

    PubMed Central

    Perreau, Ann E.; Ou, Hua; Tyler, Richard; Dunn, Camille

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The goal of this study was to determine how self-reported spatial hearing abilities differ across various cochlear implant (CI) profiles and to examine the degree of subjective benefit following cochlear implantation across different groups of CI users. Method This was a retrospective study of subjective spatial hearing ability of CI recipients. The subjects consisted of 99 unilateral CI users, 49 bilateral CI users, 32 subjects with a CI and contralateral hearing aid (bimodal users), and 37 short-electrode CI users. All subjects completed the Spatial Hearing Questionnaire (Tyler, Perreau, & Ji, 2009), a questionnaire assessing spatial hearing ability, after implantation, and a subset of the subjects completed the questionnaire pre- and postimplantation. Results Subjective spatial hearing ability was rated higher for the bilateral and short electrode CI users compared to the unilateral and bimodal users. There was no significant difference in subjective spatial hearing performance between the bilateral and short electrode CI users and the unilateral CI and bimodal users. A separate analysis of pre- and postimplant performance revealed that all CI groups reported significant improvements in spatial hearing ability after implantation. Conclusion This study suggests that there are substantial differences in perceived spatial hearing ability among unilateral and bimodal CI users compared with bilateral and short electrode CI users. PMID:25093507

  7. [Driving ability with multiple sclerosis].

    PubMed

    Küst, J; Dettmers, C

    2014-07-01

    Driving is an important issue for young patients, especially for those whose walking capacity is impaired. Driving might support the patient's social and vocational participation. The question as to whether a patient with multiple sclerosis (MS) is restricted in the ability to drive a car depends on neurological and neuropsychological deficits, self-awareness, insight into deficits and ability to compensate for loss of function. Because of the enormous variability of symptoms in MS the question is highly individualized. A practical driving test under supervision of a driving instructor (possibly accompanied by a neuropsychologist) might be helpful in providing both patient and relatives adequate feedback on driving abilities.

  8. Discrepancies between academic achievement and intellectual ability in higher-functioning school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Estes, Annette; Rivera, Vanessa; Bryan, Matthew; Cali, Philip; Dawson, Geraldine

    2011-08-01

    Academic achievement patterns and their relationships with intellectual ability, social abilities, and problem behavior are described in a sample of 30 higher-functioning, 9-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Both social abilities and problem behavior have been found to be predictive of academic achievement in typically developing children but this has not been well studied in children with ASD. Participants were tested for academic achievement and intellectual ability at age 9. Problem behaviors were assessed through parent report and social functioning through teacher report at age 6 and 9. Significant discrepancies between children's actual academic achievement and their expected achievement based on their intellectual ability were found in 27 of 30 (90%) children. Both lower than expected and higher than expected achievement was observed. Children with improved social skills at age 6 demonstrated higher levels of academic achievement, specifically word reading, at age 9. No relationship was found between children's level of problem behavior and level of academic achievement. These results suggest that the large majority of higher-functioning children with ASD show discrepancies between actual achievement levels and levels predicted by their intellectual ability. In some cases, children are achieving higher than expected, whereas in others, they are achieving lower than expected. Improved social abilities may contribute to academic achievement. Future studies should further explore factors that can promote strong academic achievement, including studies that examine whether intervention to improve social functioning can support academic achievement in children with ASD.

  9. Effects of Pilates core stability exercises on the balance abilities of archers

    PubMed Central

    Park, Jeong-Min; Hyun, Gwang-Suk; Jee, Yong-Seok

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to provide fundamental data contributing to archery performance improvement and stabilization of shooting posture in archers by examining the influence of Pilates core stability (PCS) exercises on dynamic and static balance. The study was conducted from December 2015 to March 2016 on high school archers who were registered as archers in the Korea Archery Association with 5 or more years of archery experience. Twenty voluntary subjects (exercise group n=10; control group n=10) with an understanding toward the aims of this study were selected and their body composition, static and dynamic balance abilities, before and after the PCS program, were measured. As for the static balance ability, there were no significant differences between pre- and postvalues in the exercise group after completing the PCS program. Similarly, these results were also represented in the control group. In the aspect of comparisons between postvalues in both groups, there were significant improvements in only the exercise group. As for the dynamic balance ability, there were significant differences between pre- and postvalues in the exercise group, except for up-right and left postures, whereas, there were no changes or decreases between pre- and postvalues in the control group after completing the PCS program. Meanwhile, in the aspect of comparisons between postvalues in both groups, there were significant improvements in up, and up right, and down right part and overall dynamic scores of the exercise groups. PMID:28119877

  10. Effects of Pilates core stability exercises on the balance abilities of archers.

    PubMed

    Park, Jeong-Min; Hyun, Gwang-Suk; Jee, Yong-Seok

    2016-12-01

    This study aimed to provide fundamental data contributing to archery performance improvement and stabilization of shooting posture in archers by examining the influence of Pilates core stability (PCS) exercises on dynamic and static balance. The study was conducted from December 2015 to March 2016 on high school archers who were registered as archers in the Korea Archery Association with 5 or more years of archery experience. Twenty voluntary subjects (exercise group n=10; control group n=10) with an understanding toward the aims of this study were selected and their body composition, static and dynamic balance abilities, before and after the PCS program, were measured. As for the static balance ability, there were no significant differences between pre- and postvalues in the exercise group after completing the PCS program. Similarly, these results were also represented in the control group. In the aspect of comparisons between postvalues in both groups, there were significant improvements in only the exercise group. As for the dynamic balance ability, there were significant differences between pre- and postvalues in the exercise group, except for up-right and left postures, whereas, there were no changes or decreases between pre- and postvalues in the control group after completing the PCS program. Meanwhile, in the aspect of comparisons between postvalues in both groups, there were significant improvements in up, and up right, and down right part and overall dynamic scores of the exercise groups.

  11. Numerical ability predicts mortgage default.

    PubMed

    Gerardi, Kristopher; Goette, Lorenz; Meier, Stephan

    2013-07-09

    Unprecedented levels of US subprime mortgage defaults precipitated a severe global financial crisis in late 2008, plunging much of the industrialized world into a deep recession. However, the fundamental reasons for why US mortgages defaulted at such spectacular rates remain largely unknown. This paper presents empirical evidence showing that the ability to perform basic mathematical calculations is negatively associated with the propensity to default on one's mortgage. We measure several aspects of financial literacy and cognitive ability in a survey of subprime mortgage borrowers who took out loans in 2006 and 2007, and match them to objective, detailed administrative data on mortgage characteristics and payment histories. The relationship between numerical ability and mortgage default is robust to controlling for a broad set of sociodemographic variables, and is not driven by other aspects of cognitive ability. We find no support for the hypothesis that numerical ability impacts mortgage outcomes through the choice of the mortgage contract. Rather, our results suggest that individuals with limited numerical ability default on their mortgage due to behavior unrelated to the initial choice of their mortgage.

  12. Impact of a Required Pharmaceutical Calculations Course on Mathematics Ability and Knowledge Retention

    PubMed Central

    Buring, Shauna M.; Papas, Elizabeth

    2013-01-01

    Objective. To assess doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) students’ mathematics ability by content area before and after completing a required pharmaceutical calculations course and to analyze changes in scores. Methods. A mathematics skills assessment was administered to 2 cohorts of pharmacy students (class of 2013 and 2014) before and after completing a pharmaceutical calculations course. The posttest was administered to the second cohort 6 months after completing the course to assess knowledge retention. Results. Both cohorts performed significantly better on the posttest (cohort 1, 13% higher scores; cohort 2, 15.9% higher scores). Significant improvement on posttest scores was observed in 6 of the 10 content areas for cohorts 1 and 2. Both cohorts scored lower in percentage calculations on the posttest than on the pretest. Conclusions. A required, 1-credit-hour pharmaceutical calculations course improved PharmD students’ overall ability to perform fundamental and application-based calculations. PMID:23966727

  13. Preschoolers' dot enumeration abilities are markers of their arithmetic competence.

    PubMed

    Gray, Sarah A; Reeve, Robert A

    2014-01-01

    The abilities to enumerate small sets of items (e.g., dots) and to compare magnitudes are claimed to be indexes of core numerical competences that scaffold early math development. Insofar as this is correct, these abilities may be diagnostic markers of math competence in preschoolers. However, unlike magnitude comparison abilities, little research has examined preschoolers' ability to enumerate small sets, or its significance for emerging math abilities; which is surprising since dot enumeration is a marker of school-aged children's math competence. It is nevertheless possible that general cognitive functions (working memory, response inhibition in particular) are associated with preschoolers' math abilities and underlie nascent dot enumeration abilities. We investigated whether preschoolers' dot enumeration abilities predict their non-verbal arithmetic ability, over and above the influence of working memory and response inhibition. Two measures of dot enumeration ability were examined-inverse efficiency and paradigm specific (response time profiles) measures-to determine which has the better diagnostic utility as a marker of math competence. Seventy-eight 42-to-57 month-olds completed dot enumeration, working memory, response inhibition, and non-verbal addition and subtraction tasks. Dot enumeration efficiency predicted arithmetic ability over and above the influence of general cognitive functions. While dot enumeration efficiency was a better predictor of arithmetic ability than paradigm specific response time profiles; the response time profile displaying the smallest subitizing range and steepest subitizing slope, also displayed poor addition abilities, suggesting a weak subitizing profile may have diagnostic significance in preschoolers. Overall, the findings support the claim that dot enumeration abilities and general cognitive functions are markers of preschoolers' math ability.

  14. Fac