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Sample records for ability improved significantly

  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. Significant Improvements to LOGIST.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wingersky, Marilyn S.

    The computer program LOGIST (Wingersky, Patrick, and Lord, 1988) estimates the item parameters and the examinee's abilities for Birnbaum's three-parameter logistic item response theory model using Newton's method for solving the joint maximum likelihood equations. In 1989, Martha Stocking discovered a problem with this procedure in that when the…

  3. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cheng, Yi-Ling; Mix, Kelly

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Improving Spatial Ability with Mentored Sketching

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mohler, James L.; Miller, Craig L.

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. 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…

  8. Recent BRCAPRO upgrades significantly improve calibration

    PubMed Central

    Mazzola, Emanuele; Chipman, Jonathan; Cheng, Su-Chun; Parmigiani, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    The recent release of version 2.0-8 of the BayesMendel package contains an updated BRCAPRO risk prediction model, which includes revised modeling of Contralateral Breast Cancer (CBC) penetrance, provisions for pedigrees of mixed ethnicity and an adjustment for mastectomies among family members. We estimated penetrance functions for contralateral breast cancer by a combination of parametric survival modeling of literature data and deconvolution of SEER9 data. We then validated the resulting updated model of CBC in BRCAPRO by comparing it with the previous release (BayesMendel 2.0-7), using pedigrees from the Cancer Genetics Network (CGN) Model Validation Study. Version 2.0-8 of BRCAPRO discriminates BRCA1/BRCA2 carriers from non-carriers with similar accuracy compared to the previous version (increase in AUC: 0.0043), is slightly more precise in terms of RMSE (decrease in RMSE: 0.0108), and it significantly improves calibration (ratio of observed to expected events of 0.9765 in version 2.0-8, compared to 0.8910 in version 2.0-7). We recommend that the new version be used in clinical counseling, particularly in settings where families with CBC are common. PMID:24891549

  9. 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, &…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

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

  11. Specifically designed physical exercise programs improve children's motor abilities.

    PubMed

    Chiodera, P; Volta, E; Gobbi, G; Milioli, M A; Mirandola, P; Bonetti, A; Delsignore, R; Bernasconi, S; Anedda, A; Vitale, M

    2008-04-01

    Physical activity in schools is declining in many countries and inactivity in childhood has become a recognized risk factor. Data from a program of professionally guided physical exercise in primary school children were collected before and after the academic year of training. Four thousand five hundred children (6-10 years) were enrolled, and conditional and coordinative motor abilities (speed, trunk flexibility, long jumping, somersault, Harre circuit test) were measured. Anthropometric measurements were focused on body mass index (BMI), weight and height. Females never showed a significant variation of BMI, whereas males in the first and fourth grades showed significant differences. On the contrary, when considering the motor abilities studied, all the comparisons were highly significant. At the end of training, both males and females did better than at the beginning, and males were constantly faster than females. Our data, generated on a large number of children, show that professionally guided programs of physical education in the primary school lead to significant progresses in the development of conditional and coordinative abilities, without altering BMI values, thus not interfering with the balanced progression of body weight and height. PMID:17490452

  12. Improving working memory in children with low language abilities

    PubMed Central

    Holmes, Joni; Butterfield, Sally; Cormack, Francesca; van Loenhoud, Anita; Ruggero, Leanne; Kashikar, Linda; Gathercole, Susan

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated whether working memory training is effective in enhancing verbal memory in children with low language abilities (LLA). Cogmed Working Memory Training was completed by a community sample of children aged 8–11 years with LLA and a comparison group with matched non-verbal abilities and age-typical language performance. Short-term memory (STM), working memory, language, and IQ were assessed before and after training. Significant and equivalent post-training gains were found in visuo-spatial short-term memory in both groups. Exploratory analyses across the sample established that low verbal IQ scores were strongly and highly specifically associated with greater gains in verbal STM, and that children with higher verbal IQs made greater gains in visuo-spatial short-term memory following training. This provides preliminary evidence that intensive working memory training may be effective for enhancing the weakest aspects of STM in children with low verbal abilities, and may also be of value in developing compensatory strategies. PMID:25983703

  13. Impaired ability to give a meaning to personally significant events in patients with schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Berna, Fabrice; Bennouna-Greene, Mehdi; Potheegadoo, Jevita; Verry, Paulina; Conway, Martin A; Danion, Jean-Marie

    2011-09-01

    Schizophrenia is a severe mental illness affecting sense of identity. Autobiographical memory deficits observed in schizophrenia could contribute to this altered sense of identity. The ability to give a meaning to personally significant events (meaning making) is also critical for identity construction and self-coherence. Twenty-four patients with schizophrenia and 24 control participants were asked to recall five self-defining memories. We assessed meaning making in participants' narratives (spontaneous meaning making) and afterwards asked them explicitly to give a meaning to their memories (cued meaning making). We found that both spontaneous and cued meaning making were impaired in patients with schizophrenia. This impairment was correlated with executive dysfunctions and level of negative symptoms. Our results suggest that patients' difficulties in drawing lessons about past experiences could contribute to explain the lack of coherence observed in their life trajectories and their impaired social adjustment abilities. Implications for psychotherapy are also discussed. PMID:21459619

  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. PMID:18156956

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-02-01

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

  16. 12-Mo Intervention of Physical Exercise Improved Work Ability, Especially in Subjects with Low Baseline Work Ability

    PubMed Central

    Kettunen, Oili; Vuorimaa, Timo; Vasankari, Tommi

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: This study’s objective was to assess the effects of a 12-month physical exercise intervention on work ability (WAI) and cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) in healthy working adults. Methods: The study group had 371 participants, of which 338 (212 women and 126 men) were allocated in the exercise group and 33 (17 women and 16 men) in the control group. The exercise group underwent a 12-month exercise program followed by a 12-month follow-up. WAI and CRF were evaluated at baseline, and at 4, 8, 12, and 24 study months, in both exercise and control groups. The exercise group was divided into subgroups according to baseline WAI classifications (poor/moderate, good, excellent). Results: During the 12-month exercise intervention, the exercise group increased their leisure-time physical activity by 71% (p = 0.016) and improved the mean WAI by 3% and CRF by 7% (p < 0.0001, in both), while WAI and CRF decreased in the control group (ANCOVA using age, sex and BMI as covariates, for WAI, p = 0.013 and for CRF, p = 0.008). The changes in WAI and CRF between the exercise group and control group were significantly different during the intervention (baseline vs. 12-months, p = 0.028 and p = 0.007) and after the follow-up (p = 0.001 and p = 0.040), respectively. A light positive correlation between the changes in WAI and in CRF (r = 0.19, p < 0.01) existed. WAI improvement was the highest (13%, p < 0.0001) in the subgroup having poor/moderate WAI at baseline (ANCOVA, p < 0.001). Conclusions: The improvement of WAI associated with CRF. These results suggest that a physical exercise intervention may improve work ability. PMID:24714059

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. Improving Student Motivation in Mixed Ability Classrooms Using Differentiated Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Danzi, Jamie; Reul, Kelly; Smith, Rana

    2008-01-01

    This action research project report summarizes the methods used to reduce boredom and frustration and increase students' academic motivation in three mixed-ability classrooms. This action research project included 21 third grade students, 23 fifth grade students, and 28 eighth grade students (n=72) during the dates of September 10, 2007, through…

  20. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  3. Women who know their place : sex-based differences in spatial abilities and their evolutionary significance.

    PubMed

    Burke, Ariane; Kandler, Anne; Good, David

    2012-06-01

    Differences between men and women in the performance of tests designed to measure spatial abilities are explained by evolutionary psychologists in terms of adaptive design. The Hunter-Gatherer Theory of Spatial Ability suggests that the adoption of a hunter-gatherer lifestyle (assuming a sexual division of labor) created differential selective pressure on the development of spatial skills in men and women and, therefore, cognitive differences between the sexes. Here, we examine a basic spatial skill-wayfinding (the ability to plan routes and navigate a landscape)-in men and women in a natural, real-world setting as a means of testing the proposition that sex-based differences in spatial ability exist outside of the laboratory. Our results indicate that when physical differences are accounted for, men and women with equivalent experience perform equally well at complex navigation tasks in a real-world setting. We conclude that experience, gendered patterns of activity, and self-assessment are contributing factors in producing previously reported differences in spatial ability. PMID:22648664

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Mimi; Coughlin, Mimi

    2011-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wadmany, Rivka; Kliachko, Sarah

    2014-01-01

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

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. Improving Preschoolers' Numerical Abilities by Enhancing the Home Numeracy Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Niklas, Frank; Cohrssen, Caroline; Tayler, Collette

    2016-01-01

    Research Findings: Young children develop numeracy competencies during interactions with more knowledgeable others. Such interactions typically occur in the home numeracy environment (HNE). In this study a nonintensive intervention procedure was developed to improve both the HNE and numerical competencies. All parents of 113 Australian children…

  10. Significant improvements in long trace profiler measurement performance

    SciTech Connect

    Takacs, P.Z.; Bresloff, C.J.

    1996-07-01

    A Modifications made to the Long Trace Profiler (LTP II) system at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory have significantly improved the accuracy and repeatability of the instrument The use of a Dove prism in the reference beam path corrects for phasing problems between mechanical efforts and thermally-induced system errors. A single reference correction now completely removes both error signals from the measured surface profile. The addition of a precision air conditioner keeps the temperature in the metrology enclosure constant to within {+-}0.1{degrees}C over a 24 hour period and has significantly improved the stability and repeatability of the system. We illustrate the performance improvements with several sets of measurements. The improved environmental control has reduced thermal drift error to about 0.75 microradian RMS over a 7.5 hour time period. Measurements made in the forward scan direction and the reverse scan direction differ by only about 0.5 microradian RMS over a 500mm, trace length. We are now able to put 1-sigma error bar of 0.3 microradian on an average of 10 slope profile measurements over a 500mm long trace length, and we are now able to put a 0.2 microradian error bar on an average of 10 measurements over a 200mm trace length. The corresponding 1-sigma height error bar for this measurement is 1.1 run.

  11. Significant improvements in Long Trace Profiler measurement performance

    SciTech Connect

    Takacs, P.Z.; Bresloff, C.J.

    1996-12-31

    Modifications made to the Long Trace Profiler (LTP II) system at the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory have significantly improved the accuracy and repeatability of the instrument. The use of a Dove prism in the reference beam path corrects for phasing problems between mechanical errors and thermally-induced system errors. A single reference correction now completely removes both error signals from the measured surface profile. The addition of a precision air conditioner keeps the temperature in the metrology enclosure constant to within {+-} 0.1 C over a 24 hour period and has significantly improved the stability and repeatability of the system. The authors illustrate the performance improvements with several sets of measurements. The improved environmental control has reduced thermal drift error to about 0.75 microradian RMS over a 7.5 hour time period. Measurements made in the forward scan direction and the reverse scan direction differ by only about 0.5 microradian RMS over a 500 mm trace length. They are now able to put 1-sigma error bar of 0.3 microradian on an average of 10 slope profile measurements over a 500 mm long trace length, and they are now able to put a 0.2 microradian error bar on an average of 10 measurements over a 200 mm trace length. The corresponding 1-sigma height error bar for this measurement is 1.1 nm.

  12. Improvement of foaming ability of egg white product by irradiation and its application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Hyun-Pa; Kim, Binna; Choe, Jun-Ho; Jung, Samooel; Kim, Kyong-Su; Kim, Dong-Ho; Jo, Cheorun

    2009-03-01

    To investigate the enhancement of foaming abilities of liquid egg white (LEW) and egg white powder (EWP) by irradiation and its application for bakery product, LEW and EWP were irradiated at 0, 1, 2, and 5 kGy by Co-60 gamma ray. There was no pH change found among treatments in both LEW and EWP. The viscosity of LEW decreased significantly by irradiation ( P<0.05), whereas that of EWP was not affected by irradiation. The foaming ability of LEW and EWP was significantly increased by irradiation as a dose-dependent manner ( P<0.05). The volume and the height of angel cake baked with irradiated LEW were significantly higher than those of unirradiated control ( P<0.05). For EWP, the volume and the height of angel cake were greater at 2 kGy only than those of control. A significant decrease in hardness, chewiness, and gumminess values and an increase in Hunter L* value were observed in the angel cakes prepared from irradiated egg white products ( P<0.05). Results indicated that irradiation of egg white could offer advantages in increasing foaming ability and improving quality of final bakery products.

  13. 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. PMID:26708331

  14. Searching for Improved Photoreleasing Abilities of Organic Molecules.

    PubMed

    Šolomek, Tomáš; Wirz, Jakob; Klán, Petr

    2015-12-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    Ultrasound-assisted crystallization (sonocrystallization) was used to prepare a mixture of nano- and micrometer-sized crystals of the monoclinic form of paracetamol-a widely used analgesic known for its particularly problematic mechanical behavior under compression (i.e. poor tabletability). The nano- and micrometer-sized crystals yielded a powder which exhibits elastic moduli and bulk cohesions that are significantly higher than those observed in samples consisting of macrometer-sized crystals, thus leading to enhanced tabletability without the use of excipients, particle coating, salt, or cocrystal formation. Experimental compaction and finite element analysis were utilized to rationalize the significantly improved compaction behavior of the monoclinic form of paracetamol. PMID:25370777

  16. 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

  17. 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…

  18. 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. PMID:23528675

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. SHIFTX2: significantly improved protein chemical shift prediction.

    PubMed

    Han, Beomsoo; Liu, Yifeng; Ginzinger, Simon W; Wishart, David S

    2011-05-01

    A new computer program, called SHIFTX2, is described which is capable of rapidly and accurately calculating diamagnetic (1)H, (13)C and (15)N chemical shifts from protein coordinate data. Compared to its predecessor (SHIFTX) and to other existing protein chemical shift prediction programs, SHIFTX2 is substantially more accurate (up to 26% better by correlation coefficient with an RMS error that is up to 3.3× smaller) than the next best performing program. It also provides significantly more coverage (up to 10% more), is significantly faster (up to 8.5×) and capable of calculating a wider variety of backbone and side chain chemical shifts (up to 6×) than many other shift predictors. In particular, SHIFTX2 is able to attain correlation coefficients between experimentally observed and predicted backbone chemical shifts of 0.9800 ((15)N), 0.9959 ((13)Cα), 0.9992 ((13)Cβ), 0.9676 ((13)C'), 0.9714 ((1)HN), 0.9744 ((1)Hα) and RMS errors of 1.1169, 0.4412, 0.5163, 0.5330, 0.1711, and 0.1231 ppm, respectively. The correlation between SHIFTX2's predicted and observed side chain chemical shifts is 0.9787 ((13)C) and 0.9482 ((1)H) with RMS errors of 0.9754 and 0.1723 ppm, respectively. SHIFTX2 is able to achieve such a high level of accuracy by using a large, high quality database of training proteins (>190), by utilizing advanced machine learning techniques, by incorporating many more features (χ(2) and χ(3) angles, solvent accessibility, H-bond geometry, pH, temperature), and by combining sequence-based with structure-based chemical shift prediction techniques. With this substantial improvement in accuracy we believe that SHIFTX2 will open the door to many long-anticipated applications of chemical shift prediction to protein structure determination, refinement and validation. SHIFTX2 is available both as a standalone program and as a web server ( http://www.shiftx2.ca ). PMID:21448735

  3. Rosmarinic acid improves function and in vitro fertilising ability of boar sperm after cryopreservation.

    PubMed

    Luño, Victoria; Gil, Lydia; Olaciregui, Maite; González, Noelia; Jerez, Rodrigo Alberto; de Blas, Ignacio

    2014-08-01

    During cryopreservation, oxidative stress exerts physical and chemical changes on sperm functionality. In the present study we investigated the antioxidant effect of rosmarinic acid (RA) on quality and fertilising ability of frozen-thawed boar spermatozoa. Ejaculates collected from mature boar were cryopreserved in lactose-egg yolk buffer supplemented with different concentrations of RA (0 μM, 26.25 μM, 52.5 μM and 105 μM). Motion parameters, acrosome and plasma membrane integrity, lipoperoxidation levels, DNA oxidative damage (8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine base lesion) and in vitro fertilisation ability were evaluated. Total and progressive motility were significantly higher in experimental extenders with RA than in the control (P<0.05) at 0 and 120 min post-thawing. The plasma and acrosomal membrane integrity were improved by supplementation with 105 μMRA (P<0.05). Negative correlation between RA and malondialdehyde (MDA) concentration were determined (P<0.05). After thawing, the percentage of spermatozoa with oxidised DNA did not differ between extenders, however, at 120 and 240 min post-thawing, the samples supplemented with 105 μMRA showed the lowest DNA oxidation rate (P<0.05). The penetration rate was significantly higher on spermatozoa cryopreserved with 105 μMRA (P<0.05). The results suggest that RA provides a protection for boar spermatozoa against oxidative stress during cryopreservation by their antioxidant properties. PMID:25019219

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De Avila, Edward; And Others

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

  5. Improving Bayesian Reasoning: The Effects of Phrasing, Visualization, and Spatial Ability.

    PubMed

    Ottley, Alvitta; Peck, Evan M; Harrison, Lane T; Afergan, Daniel; Ziemkiewicz, Caroline; Taylor, Holly A; Han, Paul K J; Chang, Remco

    2016-01-01

    Decades of research have repeatedly shown that people perform poorly at estimating and understanding conditional probabilities that are inherent in Bayesian reasoning problems. Yet in the medical domain, both physicians and patients make daily, life-critical judgments based on conditional probability. Although there have been a number of attempts to develop more effective ways to facilitate Bayesian reasoning, reports of these findings tend to be inconsistent and sometimes even contradictory. For instance, the reported accuracies for individuals being able to correctly estimate conditional probability range from 6% to 62%. In this work, we show that problem representation can significantly affect accuracies. By controlling the amount of information presented to the user, we demonstrate how text and visualization designs can increase overall accuracies to as high as 77%. Additionally, we found that for users with high spatial ability, our designs can further improve their accuracies to as high as 100%. By and large, our findings provide explanations for the inconsistent reports on accuracy in Bayesian reasoning tasks and show a significant improvement over existing methods. We believe that these findings can have immediate impact on risk communication in health-related fields. PMID:26390491

  6. Long-term musical training may improve different forms of visual attention ability.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Ana Carolina; Loureiro, Maurício Alves; Caramelli, Paulo

    2013-08-01

    Many studies have suggested that structural and functional cerebral neuroplastic processes result from long-term musical training, which in turn may produce cognitive differences between musicians and non-musicians. We aimed to investigate whether intensive, long-term musical practice is associated with improvements in three different forms of visual attention ability: selective, divided and sustained attention. Musicians from symphony orchestras (n=38) and non-musicians (n=38), who were comparable in age, gender and education, were submitted to three neuropsychological tests, measuring reaction time and accuracy. Musicians showed better performance relative to non-musicians on four variables of the three visual attention tests, and such an advantage could not solely be explained by better sensorimotor integration. Moreover, in the group of musicians, significant correlations were observed between the age at the commencement of musical studies and reaction time in all visual attention tests. The results suggest that musicians present augmented ability in different forms of visual attention, thus illustrating the possible cognitive benefits of long-term musical training. PMID:23694752

  7. 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…

  8. Significant improvement in IR surface-temperature measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Briles, S.D.; Bennett, G.A.; Larkin, T.H.; Worcester, P.

    1989-06-01

    Obtaining infrared (IR) surface-temperature measurements of miniature square targets on the order of 1.6 mm with a spatial resolution of 15 ..mu..m has recently become possible using the Barnes Engineering Computherm System, but the accuracy and precision of the measurements have been limited. The objective of this work is to provide a calibration procedure that will improve by a factor of 8 the accuracy and precision of the two-dimensional temperature measurement. The IR microscope detects energy emitted by the target and displays it as a radiance image. Heating the target to two known temperatures permits calculation of the target emissivity using the radiances at each pixel in the two-dimensional field. An error is induced in the emissivity calculation by substituting the thermal-well temperature for the known target surface temperature. At the same time, the radiance image is distorted by two functions that affect the measurement accuracy. The precision of the instrument is altered by a random noise field function. The noise functions were investigated to determine whether they were added to or multiplied by the radiance equation. A plot of image-radiance means shows the same trends as the added noise functions suggested by the prediction. Correction of the induced distortions improved the accuracy noticeably. Further improvement in the accuracy is accomplished by using a syringe thermocouple to measure the actual surface temperatures used for the emissivity calculations. Investigation of the random noise field shows that it is zero-mean and Gaussian in nature. We can therefore average images over time to improve the precision. 9 refs., 12 figs., 1 tab.

  9. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Draelos, Zoe Diana

    2008-06-01

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

  11. Rehearsal significantly improves immediate and delayed recall on the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test.

    PubMed

    Hessen, Erik

    2011-10-01

    A repeated observation during memory assessment with the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) is that patients who spontaneously employ a memory rehearsal strategy by repeating the word list more than once achieve better scores than patients who only repeat the word list once. This observation led to concern about the ability of the standard test procedure of RAVLT and similar tests in eliciting the best possible recall scores. The purpose of the present study was to test the hypothesis that a rehearsal recall strategy of repeating the word list more than once would result in improved scores of recall on the RAVLT. We report on differences in outcome after standard administration and after experimental administration on Immediate and Delayed Recall measures from the RAVLT of 50 patients. The experimental administration resulted in significantly improved scores for all the variables employed. Additionally, it was found that patients who failed effort screening showed significantly poorer improvement on Delayed Recall compared with those who passed the effort screening. The general clear improvement both in raw scores and T-scores demonstrates that recall performance can be significantly influenced by the strategy of the patient or by small variations in instructions by the examiner. PMID:22074064

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Low Dose Vaporized Cannabis Significantly Improves Neuropathic Pain

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Direct ChIP-Seq significance analysis improves target prediction

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Background Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing of protein-bound DNA fragments (ChIP-Seq) is an effective high-throughput methodology for the identification of context specific DNA fragments that are bound by specific proteins in vivo. Despite significant progress in the bioinformatics analysis of this genome-scale data, a number of challenges remain as technology-dependent biases, including variable target accessibility and mappability, sequence-dependent variability, and non-specific binding affinity must be accounted for. Results and discussion We introduce a nonparametric method for scoring consensus regions of aligned immunoprecipitated DNA fragments when appropriate control experiments are available. Our method uses local models for null binding; these are necessary because binding prediction scores based on global models alone fail to properly account for specialized features of genomic regions and chance pull downs of specific DNA fragments, thus disproportionally rewarding some genomic regions and decreasing prediction accuracy. We make no assumptions about the structure or amplitude of bound peaks, yet we show that our method outperforms leading methods developed using either global or local null hypothesis models for random binding. We test prediction performance by comparing analyses of ChIP-seq, ChIP-chip, motif-based binding-site prediction, and shRNA assays, showing high reproducibility, binding-site enrichment in predicted target regions, and functional regulation of predicted targets. Conclusions Given appropriate controls, a direct nonparametric method for identifying transcription-factor targets from ChIP-Seq assays may lead to both higher sensitivity and higher specificity, and should be preferred or used in conjunction with methods that use parametric models for null binding. PMID:26040656

  16. Improving Children's Reading Ability through Volunteer Reading Tutoring Programs. Issue Brief.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Invernizzi, Marcia; Ouellette, Mark

    Governors and other state policymakers are turning to volunteer reading tutoring programs to improve children's reading ability. The Committee for Economic Development, a nonpartisan organization of business leaders and educators, reports a steady rise in the number of businesses that are volunteering personnel to participate in business-school…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Babai, Reuven; Levit-Dori, Tamar

    2009-01-01

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

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. Automated Quantification of Neuropad Improves Its Diagnostic Ability in Patients with Diabetic Neuropathy.

    PubMed

    Ponirakis, Georgios; Fadavi, Hassan; Petropoulos, Ioannis N; Azmi, Shazli; Ferdousi, Maryam; Dabbah, Mohammad A; Kheyami, Ahmad; Alam, Uazman; Asghar, Omar; Marshall, Andrew; Tavakoli, Mitra; Al-Ahmar, Ahmed; Javed, Saad; Jeziorska, Maria; Malik, Rayaz A

    2015-01-01

    Neuropad is currently a categorical visual screening test that identifies diabetic patients at risk of foot ulceration. The diagnostic performance of Neuropad was compared between the categorical and continuous (image-analysis (Sudometrics)) outputs to diagnose diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). 110 subjects with type 1 and 2 diabetes underwent assessment with Neuropad, Neuropathy Disability Score (NDS), peroneal motor nerve conduction velocity (PMNCV), sural nerve action potential (SNAP), Deep Breathing-Heart Rate Variability (DB-HRV), intraepidermal nerve fibre density (IENFD), and corneal confocal microscopy (CCM). 46/110 patients had DPN according to the Toronto consensus. The continuous output displayed high sensitivity and specificity for DB-HRV (91%, 83%), CNFD (88%, 78%), and SNAP (88%, 83%), whereas the categorical output showed high sensitivity but low specificity. The optimal cut-off points were 90% for the detection of autonomic dysfunction (DB-HRV) and 80% for small fibre neuropathy (CNFD). The diagnostic efficacy of the continuous Neuropad output for abnormal DB-HRV (AUC: 91%, P = 0.0003) and CNFD (AUC: 82%, P = 0.01) was better than for PMNCV (AUC: 60%). The categorical output showed no significant difference in diagnostic efficacy for these same measures. An image analysis algorithm generating a continuous output (Sudometrics) improved the diagnostic ability of Neuropad, particularly in detecting autonomic and small fibre neuropathy. PMID:26064991

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

    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

  5. Ortho-ordent initialization of feedforward artificial neural networks (FFANNs) to improve their generalization ability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarkar, Dilip

    1995-04-01

    There are several models for neurons and their interconnections. Among them, feedforward artificial neural networks (FFANNs) are very popular for being quite simple. However, to make them truly reliable and smart information processing systems, such characteristics as learning speed, local minima, and generalization ability need more understanding. Difficulties such as long learning-time and local minima, may not affect them as much as the question of generalization ability, because in many applications a network needs only one training, and then it may be used for a long time. However, the question of generalization ability of ANNs is of great interest for both theoretical understanding and practical use, because generalization ability is a measure of a learning system that indicates how closely its actual output approximates to the desired output for an input that it has never seen. We investigate novel techniques for systematic initializations (as opposed to purely random initializations) of FFANN architectures for possible improvement of their generalization ability. Our preliminary work has successfully employed row-vectors of Hadamard matrices to generate initializations; this initialization method has produced networks with better generalization ability.

  6. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  8. 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…

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Influence of increased amount of exercise on improvements in walking ability of convalescent patients with post-stroke hemiplegia

    PubMed Central

    Kawakami, Kenji; Tanino, Genichi; Tomida, Ken; Kato, Yohei; Watanabe, Makoto; Okuyama, Yuko; Sonoda, Shigeru

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] This study aimed to determine the effects of increased amount of physical therapy exercise on improvements in the walking ability of patients with stroke. [Subjects and Methods] The subjects were selected from patients with stroke who were hospitalized in the convalescent rehabilitation ward, and included 91 patients who received physical therapy for 2.5–3 exercise sessions per day during 2005–2006 (PT3unit group), and 86 patients who received physical therapy for 4.5–6 exercise sessions per day during 2010–2015 (PT6unit group). The functional independence measure (FIM) score evaluates the walking ability of patients during hospital admission, 2 and 4 weeks after admission, and at discharge. The FIM score was stratified according to the degree of lower limb motor paralysis and subsequently compared between groups. [Results] Among the patients with complete paralysis and severe paralysis, the FIM-Walking scores at 4 weeks after admission and at discharge were significantly higher in the PT6unit group than in the PT3unit group. No significant differences were found between the PT6unit and PT3unit groups for patients with mild and moderate paralysis. [Conclusion] Higher amounts of physical therapy exercise contributed to improvements in the walking ability of patients with complete and severe lower limb paralysis. PMID:27065551

  13. Manipulation of hidden layers to improve the generalization ability of neural networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wongsinlatam, Wullapa

    2016-02-01

    This paper proposed a new algorithm (IM-COH) which was developed based on backpropagation algorithm on neural network (BPNN). This kind of algorithm improved the generalization ability on neural networks to optimize its structure in regularization method. The IM-COH algorithm controls the outputs of nodes in the hidden layers which were manipulated to eliminate the distribution weights problem and enhance the ability to move toward target problems. Furthermore, the IM-COH algorithm maintains the ability to reduce the random noise in the input sample. In this research, the IM-COH algorithm is simulated with two-spiral classification problem and Mackey-Glass time series prediction to compare with Gaussian regularizer (GR) and Laplace regularizer (LR). The results show that the generalization ability of the IM-COH algorithm is better than GR and LR in testing data samples and noise data. In addition, the IM-COH algorithm performs better in solving the two-spiral classification problem comparing to Mackey-Glass time series prediction.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Donna T.

    2011-01-01

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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    Masevicius, Fabio D; Dubin, Arnaldo

    2015-02-01

    conventional methods. Although the introduction of the Stewart approach was a new insight into acid-base physiology, the method has not significantly improved our ability to understand, diagnose, and treat acid-base alterations in critically ill patients. PMID:25685724

  3. 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

  4. 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. PMID:27402989

  5. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Jianhua; Wang, Naiyan; Zhang, Fengshou

    2012-05-01

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

  7. Significant expansion of fluorescent protein sensing ability through the genetic incorporation of superior photo-induced electron-transfer quenchers.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaohong; Jiang, Li; Li, Jiasong; Wang, Li; Yu, Yang; Zhou, Qing; Lv, Xiaoxuan; Gong, Weimin; Lu, Yi; Wang, Jiangyun

    2014-09-24

    Photo-induced electron transfer (PET) is ubiquitous for photosynthesis and fluorescent sensor design. However, genetically coded PET sensors are underdeveloped, due to the lack of methods to site-specifically install PET probes on proteins. Here we describe a family of acid and Mn(III) turn-on fluorescent protein (FP) sensors, named iLovU, based on PET and the genetic incorporation of superior PET quenchers in the fluorescent flavoprotein iLov. Using the iLovU PET sensors, we monitored the cytoplasmic acidification process, and achieved Mn(III) fluorescence sensing for the first time. The iLovU sensors should be applicable for studying pH changes in living cells, monitoring biogentic Mn(III) in the environment, and screening for efficient manganese peroxidase, which is highly desirable for lignin degradation and biomass conversion. Our work establishes a platform for many more protein PET sensors, facilitates the de novo design of metalloenzymes harboring redox active residues, and expands our ability to probe protein conformational dynamics. PMID:25197956

  8. 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…

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

    PubMed

    Souza, Alessandra S

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Yamaura, Michiteru

    2005-08-15

    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.

  12. 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. PMID:25799896

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hu, Xinyi; Chen, Yinghe; Tian, Baowei

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  19. Directed evolution to produce sludge communities with improved oxygen uptake abilities.

    PubMed

    Kunkel, Stephanie A; Pagilla, Krishna R; Stark, Benjamin C

    2015-12-01

    Two activated sludge cultures, seeded with activated sludge from the same source, were cultivated for 370 days in synthetic wastewater. Both cultures were transferred weekly to fresh medium; one culture was operated at high dissolved oxygen (DO) (near saturation) and the other at low DO (0.25 mg O2/L). There were significant changes in the abundances of bacterial species and phyla present in each culture throughout the 370-day operational period. In the low DO culture, over time, there was a continuously increasing proportion of cells of species known to encode truncated hemoglobins (Hbs). These are the types of Hbs which may enhance delivery of oxygen to the respiratory chain, to enhance ATP production, especially under low aeration conditions. The levels of heme b, the heme found in Vitreoscilla hemoglobin, increased in parallel to the increase in Hb-encoding species, to much higher levels in the low DO culture than in the high DO culture. Specific oxygen uptake rates increased by 3 % for the high DO culture near the end of the 370-day period, while those for the low DO culture increased steadily to a level 28 % higher than that of the starting culture. Thus, imposition of low DO conditions may, due to selection for Hb-expressing species, be useful in developing bacterial communities with enhanced ability to function efficiently in aerobic wastewater treatment, especially under low aeration conditions. PMID:26278534

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    de la Torre, Jimmy

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Can multi-subpopulation reference sets improve the genomic predictive ability for pigs?

    PubMed

    Fangmann, A; Bergfelder-Drüing, S; Tholen, E; Simianer, H; Erbe, M

    2015-12-01

    In most countries and for most livestock species, genomic evaluations are obtained from within-breed analyses. To achieve reliable breeding values, however, a sufficient reference sample size is essential. To increase this size, the use of multibreed reference populations for small populations is considered a suitable option in other species. Over decades, the separate breeding work of different pig breeding organizations in Germany has led to stratified subpopulations in the breed German Large White. Due to this fact and the limited number of Large White animals available in each organization, there was a pressing need for ascertaining if multi-subpopulation genomic prediction is superior compared with within-subpopulation prediction in pigs. Direct genomic breeding values were estimated with genomic BLUP for the trait "number of piglets born alive" using genotype data (Illumina Porcine 60K SNP BeadChip) from 2,053 German Large White animals from five different commercial pig breeding companies. To assess the prediction accuracy of within- and multi-subpopulation reference sets, a random 5-fold cross-validation with 20 replications was performed. The five subpopulations considered were only slightly differentiated from each other. However, the prediction accuracy of the multi-subpopulations approach was not better than that of the within-subpopulation evaluation, for which the predictive ability was already high. Reference sets composed of closely related multi-subpopulation sets performed better than sets of distantly related subpopulations but not better than the within-subpopulation approach. Despite the low differentiation of the five subpopulations, the genetic connectedness between these different subpopulations seems to be too small to improve the prediction accuracy by applying multi-subpopulation reference sets. Consequently, resources should be used for enlarging the reference population within subpopulation, for example, by adding genotyped females

  2. Improved Endurance and Resistive Switching Stability in Ceria Thin Films Due to Charge Transfer Ability of Al Dopant.

    PubMed

    Ismail, M; Ahmed, E; Rana, A M; Hussain, F; Talib, I; Nadeem, M Y; Panda, D; Shah, N A

    2016-03-01

    An improvement in resistive switching (RS) characteristics of CeO2-based devices has been reported by charge transfer through Al metal as a dopant. Moreover, density functional theory (DFT) calculations have been performed to investigate the role of Al-layer sandwiched between CeO2 layers by the Vienna ab initio simulation package (VASP). Total density of states (TDOS) and partial electron density of states (PDOS) have been calculated and analyzed with respect to resistive switching. It is established that the oxygen vacancy based conductive filaments are formed and ruptured in the upper region of CeO2 layer, because of the fact that maximum transport of charge takes place in this region by Al and Ti (top electrode), while the lower region revealed less capability to generate conductive filaments because minimum charge transfer takes place in this region by Al and/or Pt (bottom electrode). The effect of Al and Al2O3 on both the electronic charge transfer from valence to conduction bands and the formation stability of oxygen vacancies in conductive filament have been discussed in detail. Experimental results demonstrated that the Ti/CeO2:Al/Pt sandwich structure exhibits significantly better switching characteristics including lower forming voltage, improved and stable SET/RESET voltages, enhanced endurance of more than 10(4) repetitive switching cycles and large memory window (ROFF/RON > 10(2)) as compared to undoped Ti/CeOx/Pt device. This improvement in memory switching behavior has been attributed to a significant decrease in the formation energy of oxygen vacancies and to the enhanced oxygen vacancies generation within the CeO2 layers owing to charge transferring and oxygen gettering ability of Al-dopant. PMID:26881895

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  7. 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. PMID:17549522

  8. 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,…

  9. 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)…

  10. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Puma, Michael; Tarkow, Allison; Puma, Anna

    2007-01-01

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

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. The Influence of a Physical Ability Intervention Program on Improved Running Time and Increased Sport Motivation among Jerusalem Schoolchildren.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halfon, Siman-Tov; Bronner, Shmuel

    1988-01-01

    Eighth graders from five Jerusalem schools participated in physical ability intervention program which involved periodic and progressive increase of physical effort of students in physical education classes. Test group improved running time and had better sport motivation than did control group. Found gender differences and influence of sexual…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    In'am, Akhsanul; Hajar, Siti

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Evaluation of the ability of partially autolyzed yeast and Grobiotic-A to improve disease resistance in rainbow trout.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We evaluated the ability of partially autolyzed yeast and Grobiotic-A to improve immune response and disease resistance in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss. Experimental diets were prepared by adding partially autolyzed yeast or Grobiotic-A to a practical trout diet at the manufacturer-recommended ...

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 20 CFR 220.178 - Determining medical improvement and its relationship to the annuitant's ability to do work.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... related to ability to work. If there is a decrease in medical severity as shown by the symptoms, signs and... capacity is based on changes in the signs, symptoms, or laboratory findings, any medical improvement that... determination, based on the symptoms, signs and laboratory findings as they then existed. (4) Impairment...

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

    ... related to ability to work. If there is a decrease in medical severity as shown by the symptoms, signs and... capacity is based on changes in the signs, symptoms, or laboratory findings, any medical improvement that... determination, based on the symptoms, signs and laboratory findings as they then existed. (4) Impairment...

  6. 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.

  7. Group mindfulness-based therapy significantly improves sexual desire in women.

    PubMed

    Brotto, Lori A; Basson, Rosemary

    2014-06-01

    At least a third of women across reproductive ages experience low sexual desire and impaired arousal. There is increasing evidence that mindfulness, defined as non-judgmental present moment awareness, may improve women's sexual functioning. The goal of this study was to test the effectiveness of mindfulness-based therapy, either immediately or after a 3-month waiting period, in women seeking treatment for low sexual desire and arousal. Women participated in four 90-min group sessions that included mindfulness meditation, cognitive therapy, and education. A total of 117 women were assigned to either the immediate treatment (n = 68, mean age 40.8 yrs) or delayed treatment (n = 49, mean age 42.2 yrs) group, in which women had two pre-treatment baseline assessments followed by treatment. A total of 95 women completed assessments through to the 6-month follow-up period. Compared to the delayed treatment control group, treatment significantly improved sexual desire, sexual arousal, lubrication, sexual satisfaction, and overall sexual functioning. Sex-related distress significantly decreased in both conditions, regardless of treatment, as did orgasmic difficulties and depressive symptoms. Increases in mindfulness and a reduction in depressive symptoms predicted improvements in sexual desire. Mindfulness-based group therapy significantly improved sexual desire and other indices of sexual response, and should be considered in the treatment of women's sexual dysfunction. PMID:24814472

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

    SciTech Connect

    Briggs, Sam; Hudson, Malcolm D.

    2013-01-15

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

  9. 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…

  10. Significant Improvement of Metabolic Characteristics and Bioactivities of Clopidogrel and Analogs by Selective Deuteration.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xueyu; Zhao, Xue; Yang, Zhichao; Wang, Hao; Meng, Xiangjun; Su, Chong; Liu, Mingyuan; Fawcett, John Paul; Yang, Yan; Gu, Jingkai

    2016-01-01

    In the search for prodrug analogs of clopidogrel with improved metabolic characteristics and antiplatelet bioactivity, a group of clopidogrel and vicagrel analogs selectively deuterated at the benzylic methyl ester group were synthesized, characterized, and evaluated. The compounds included clopidogrel-d₃ (8), 2-oxoclopidogrel-d₃ (9), vicagrel-d₃ (10a), and 12 vicagrel-d₃ analogs (10b-10m) with different alkyl groups in the thiophene ester moiety. The D₃C-O bond length in 10a was shown by X-ray single crystal diffraction to be shorter than the H₃C-O bond length in clopidogrel, consistent with the slower rate of hydrolysis of 8 than of clopidogrel in rat whole blood in vitro. A study of the ability of the compounds to inhibit ADP-induced platelet aggregation in fresh rat whole blood collected 2 h after oral dosing of rats with the compounds (7.8 μmol/kg) showed that deuteration increased the activity of clopidogrel and that increasing the size of the alkyl group in the thiophene ester moiety reduced activity. A preliminary pharmacokinetic study comparing 10a with vicagrel administered simultaneously as single oral doses (72 μmol/kg of each drug) to male Wistar rats showed 10a generated more of its active metabolite than vicagrel. These results suggest that 10a is a potentially superior antiplatelet agent with improved metabolic characteristics and bioactivity, and less dose-related toxicity. PMID:27248988

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  12. Significantly Improved Mechanical Properties of Bi- Sn Solder Alloys by Ag- Doping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCormack, M.; Chen, H. S.; Kammlott, G. W.; Jin, S.

    1997-08-01

    The addition of small amounts of Ag (less than ~;0.5 wt. %) is found to significantly improve the ductility of the binary Bi-Sn eutectic solder. The ductility improvement, more than a threefold increase in tensile elongation, is observed even at a relatively high strain rate (0.01 s-1). As the Bi-Sn binary eutectic alloy tends to fail catastrophically by brittle fracture at high strain rates, the reduced strain-rate sensitivity in the Ag-containing alloy is beneficial for improving solder reliability on sudden impacting as might be encountered during device assembly, shipping, or thermal shock/cycling. The observed increase in alloy ductility by Ag additions is attributed to a substantial refinement of the solidification microstructure.

  13. Comparison of improved operating parameters of five different wavelength LEDs for significantly brighter illumination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mueller, Eduard K.; Lee, Susanne M.; Van de Workeen, Brian C.; Mueller, Otward M.

    2001-05-01

    Although light-emitting diodes exhibit much higher efficiencies and greatly reduced power consumption compared to incandescent light sources, the use of LEDs in lighting applications is limited by their smaller size and subsequently lower light output. However, it has been found that these parameters can be increased significantly by cooling the diodes to cryogenic temperatures. This may make their use feasible for several applications requiring more efficient and brighter illumination for much less cost. In this paper, we compare the temperature-dependent behavior of five commercially available LEDs of different wavelengths down to liquid nitrogen temperatures. It was found that three AlInGaP diodes (red, yellow, and green) demonstrated significant operating improvements. The performance of InGaN-based blue LEDs declined at low temperatures, and because most white LEDs are simply blue LEDs coated with YAG, these exhibited similar behavior. However, the three AlInGaP LEDs demonstrated at least an order of magnitude improvement in illuminance, absolute intensity, and maximum operating current. The green LEDs showed the largest improvement factors, while the yellow LEDs produced the brightest illumination at low temperatures. The emissions of all five LEDs shifted to shorter wavelengths at low temperatures. This is significant in terms of lighting applications since the low-temperature AlInGaP diodes emitted more visible spectra.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Agnihotri, Naveen; Agnihotri, Ajju

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1992-09-01

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

  20. 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…

  1. Improving Reading Abilities of Average and Below Average Readers through Peer Tutoring.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Galezio, Marne; And Others

    A program was designed to improve the progress of average and below average readers in a first-grade, a second-grade, and a sixth-grade classroom in a multicultural, multi-social economic district located in a three-county area northwest of Chicago, Illinois. Classroom teachers noted that students were having difficulty making adequate progress in…

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. Surgically-Induced Weight Loss Significantly Improves Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and the Metabolic Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Mattar, Samer G.; Velcu, Laura M.; Rabinovitz, Mordechai; Demetris, A J.; Krasinskas, A M.; Barinas-Mitchell, Emma; Eid, George M.; Ramanathan, Ramesh; Taylor, Debra S.; Schauer, Philip R.

    2005-01-01

    Objective: To evaluate the effects of surgical weight loss on fatty liver disease in severely obese patients. Summary Background Data: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a spectrum that extends to liver fibrosis and cirrhosis, is rising at an alarming rate. This increase is occurring in conjunction with the rise of severe obesity and is probably mediated in part by metabolic syndrome (MS). Surgical weight loss operations, probably by reversing MS, have been shown to result in improvement in liver histology. Methods: Patients who underwent laparoscopic surgical weight loss operations from March 1999 through August 2004, and who agreed to have an intraoperative liver biopsy followed by at least one postoperative liver biopsy, were included. Results: There were 70 patients who were eligible. All patients underwent laparoscopic operations, the majority being laparoscopic Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. The mean excess body weight loss at time of second biopsy was 59% ± 22% and the time interval between biopsies was 15 ± 9 months. There was a reduction in prevalence of metabolic syndrome, from 70% to 14% (P < 0.001), and a marked improvement in liver steatosis (from 88% to 8%), inflammation (from 23% to 2%), and fibrosis (from 31% to 13%; all P < 0.001). Inflammation and fibrosis resolved in 37% and 20% of patients, respectively, corresponding to improvement of 82% (P < 0.001) in grade and 39% (P < 0.001) in stage of liver disease. Conclusion: Surgical weight loss results in significant improvement of liver morphology in severely obese patients. These beneficial changes may be associated with a significant reduction in the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome. PMID:16192822

  5. 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

  6. Active engagement improves primary auditory cortical neurons’ ability to discriminate temporal modulation

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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 non-synchronized and synchronized responses, the firing rate of non-synchronized 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 where rate and temporal coding work in parallel, permitting a multiplexed code for temporal modulation, and for a complementary representation of rate and temporal coding. PMID:22764239

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2009-04-24

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

  8. Improving the Prognostic Ability through Better Use of Standard Clinical Data - The Nottingham Prognostic Index as an Example

    PubMed Central

    Winzer, Klaus-Jürgen; Buchholz, Anika; Schumacher, Martin; Sauerbrei, Willi

    2016-01-01

    Background Prognostic factors and prognostic models play a key role in medical research and patient management. The Nottingham Prognostic Index (NPI) is a well-established prognostic classification scheme for patients with breast cancer. In a very simple way, it combines the information from tumor size, lymph node stage and tumor grade. For the resulting index cutpoints are proposed to classify it into three to six groups with different prognosis. As not all prognostic information from the three and other standard factors is used, we will consider improvement of the prognostic ability using suitable analysis approaches. Methods and Findings Reanalyzing overall survival data of 1560 patients from a clinical database by using multivariable fractional polynomials and further modern statistical methods we illustrate suitable multivariable modelling and methods to derive and assess the prognostic ability of an index. Using a REMARK type profile we summarize relevant steps of the analysis. Adding the information from hormonal receptor status and using the full information from the three NPI components, specifically concerning the number of positive lymph nodes, an extended NPI with improved prognostic ability is derived. Conclusions The prognostic ability of even one of the best established prognostic index in medicine can be improved by using suitable statistical methodology to extract the full information from standard clinical data. This extended version of the NPI can serve as a benchmark to assess the added value of new information, ranging from a new single clinical marker to a derived index from omics data. An established benchmark would also help to harmonize the statistical analyses of such studies and protect against the propagation of many false promises concerning the prognostic value of new measurements. Statistical methods used are generally available and can be used for similar analyses in other diseases. PMID:26938061

  9. [Orally administered polaprezinc significantly improves taste disorders in ovarian cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy].

    PubMed

    Nishijima, Shota; Yanase, Toru; Hata, Yuki; Tamura, Ryo; Tsuneki, Ikunosuke; Tamura, Masaki; Kurabayashi, Takumi

    2011-04-01

    The subject was a 75-year-old female who was receiving paclitaxel and carboplatin(TC)chemotherapy every other week after surgery for ovarian cancer. She greatly complained of taste disorders after four cycles(of every other week administration) of TC chemotherapy. To understand how the taste disorder was caused by chemotherapy objectively, taste examinations were conducted for the patient in our department. These examinations were conducted after receiving the informed consent from the patient. The authors conducted taste examinations for the patient using serum zinc measurement, tongue cell culture, electrogustometry, and filter paper disc tests(before and after starting chemotherapy), and found that her serum zinc level fell significantly after four cycles of chemotherapy. Orally disintegrating tablets of polaprezinc were then administered to the patient, after which the subjective symptom of taste disorder improved. Her serum zinc level increased, and the electrogustometric threshold rapidly fell(an improvement). The filter paper disc test showed some improvement, particularly in the glossopharyngeal nerve and the greater petrosal nerve field. PMID:21499007

  10. 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. PMID

  11. Improving risk understanding across ability levels: Encouraging active processing with dynamic icon arrays.

    PubMed

    Okan, Yasmina; Garcia-Retamero, Rocio; Cokely, Edward T; Maldonado, Antonio

    2015-06-01

    Icon arrays have been found to improve risk understanding and reduce judgment biases across a wide range of studies. Unfortunately, individuals with low graph literacy experience only limited benefits from such displays. To enhance the efficacy and reach of these decision aids, the authors developed and tested 3 types of dynamic design features--that is, computerized display features that unfold over time. Specifically, the authors manipulated the sequential presentation of the different elements of icon arrays, the presence of explanatory labels indicating what was depicted in the different regions of the arrays, and the use of a reflective question followed by accuracy feedback. The first 2 features were designed to promote specific cognitive processes involved in graph comprehension, whereas the 3rd feature was designed to promote a more active, elaborative processing of risk information. Explanatory labels were effective in improving risk understanding among less graph-literate participants, whereas reflective questions resulted in large and robust performance benefits among participants with both low and high graph literacy. Theoretical and prescriptive implications are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record PMID:25938975

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, Claire; Nickerson, Nicholas; Risk, Dave

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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. PMID:25261832

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  17. Significantly improving electromagnetic performance of nanopaper and its shape-memory nanocomposite by aligned carbon nanotubes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Haibao; Gou, Jan

    2012-04-01

    A new nanopaper that exhibits exciting electrical and electromagnetic performances is fabricated by incorporating magnetically aligned carbon nanotube (CNT) with carbon nanofibers (CNFs). Electromagnetic CNTs were blended with and aligned into the nanopaper using a magnetic field, to significantly improve the electrical and electromagnetic performances of nanopaper and its enabled shape-memory polymer (SMP) composite. The morphology and structure of the aligned CNT arrays in nanopaper were characterized with scanning electronic microscopy (SEM). A continuous and compact network of CNFs and aligned CNTs indicated that the nanopaper could have highly conductive properties. Furthermore, the electromagnetic interference (EMI) shielding efficiency of the SMP composites with different weight content of aligned CNT arrays was characterized. Finally, the aligned CNT arrays in nanopapers were employed to achieve the electrical actuation and accelerate the recovery speed of SMP composites.

  18. Novel analogues of the therapeutic complement inhibitor compstatin with significantly improved affinity and potency1

    PubMed Central

    Qu, Hongchang; Magotti, Paola; Ricklin, Daniel; Wu, Emilia L.; Kourtzelis, Ioannis; Wu, You-Qiang; Kaznessis, Yiannis N.; Lambris, John D.

    2010-01-01

    Compstatin is a 13-residue disulfide-bridged peptide that inhibits a key step in the activation of the human complement system. Compstatin and its derivatives have shown great promise for the treatment of many clinical disorders associated with unbalanced complement activity. To obtain more potent compstatin analogues, we have now performed an N-methylation scan of the peptide backbone and amino acid substitutions at position 13. One analogue (Ac-I[CVW(Me)QDW-Sar-AHRC](NMe)I-NH2) displayed a 1,000-fold increase in both potency (IC50=62 nM) and binding affinity for C3b (KD=2.3 nM) over that of the original compstatin. Biophysical analysis using surface plasmon resonance and isothermal titration calorimetry suggests that the improved binding originates from more favorable free conformation and stronger hydrophobic interactions. This study provides a series of significantly improved drug leads for therapeutic applications in complement-related diseases, and offers new insights into the structure-activity relationships of compstatin analogues. PMID:21067811

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Discovery of highly potent tyrosinase inhibitor, T1, with significant anti-melanogenesis ability by zebrafish in vivo assay and computational molecular modeling.

    PubMed

    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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. SPOT HRVIR: A significant improvement of high resolution visible SPOT camera to i.r. wavelengths

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jouan, J.; Reulet, J. F.; Costes, G.

    Since March 1986, the SPOT-HRV cameras are imaging the Earth in a 10 m resolution panchromatic mode and three 20 m resolution spectral modes all in the visible and near infra-red wavelengths. The interest of medium i.r. imaging for observing vegetation has raised in the past and the implementation of a 1.6 μm band was decided by CNES for SPOT 4. New 3000 elements detector matrix had to be developed. This work is nearly completed now through a contract placed at Thomson by CNES. In parallel, the focal plane of the previous HRV cameras has been completely redesigned and the video electronics has also been significantly improved taking into account both some problems identified on SPOT 1 in orbit and the implementation of the MIR band. A significant change in integration and test is introduced by the operating temperature of the MIR detectors to be accurately controlled at 5°C and a calibration of the whole instrument in vacuum is foreseen. Following a presentation of HRV-SPOT 1 main flight results, technical and programmatical points of the SPOT 4 HRVIR situation is presented in the paper.

  7. 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…

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

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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

  9. The advanced position compensation to improve the dynamic tracking ability for fast moving target in an optoelectronic tracking system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Nengwei; Zhao, Lirong; Zhou, Hui; Chen, Juan

    2005-12-01

    The servo control system of the optoelectronic tracking equipment usually is a kind of SISO. When the fast moving target is tracked, the over-tune of the servo system is the main representation for the dynamic tracking error. As the result, the tracking ability may be improved by limiting the over-tune. We put forward a method, the advanced position compensation (called as APC in short), which is to check the speed-overtune by applying the advanced position information. For the large accelerate target, small over-tune tracking is achieved, but it lowers the ability for tracking the sine signal at low frequency area. While the dynamic high-type can improve the tracking precision for the sine signal at low frequency area, we work out a brand-new method, which combines the advantages of the both. It increases the tracking precision in the whole frequency band at large scale for the optoelectronic tracking system. The simulation results show that when the target moves with the largest accelerate 120°/s2, 120°/s, the maximum static tracking error is about 0.6".

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Development of significantly improved catalysts for coal liquefaction and upgrading of coal extracts

    SciTech Connect

    Sinha, V.T.; Kutzenco, P.D.; Preston, W.J.; Brinen, J.S.; Graham, S.W.; Butensky, M.; Muchnick, T.L.; Hyman, D.

    1982-01-01

    During 1979-80, a new generation of very active, long-lived catlaysts for hydrotrating was discovered at the Stamford Research Laboratories of the American Cyanamid Company. The catalysts are based on a unique substrate prepared in bead form from a rehydratable alumina. Their spherical shape, crush strength, and abrasion resistance seem ideally suited for the ebullated bed reactors used in the H-COAL process developed by Hydrocarbon Research, Inc. (HRI). The beads have internal pore structures that are controllable over a wider range than conventional alumina supports, leading to active catalysts that are resistant to poisoning. In September, 1981, the Department of Energy granted a 3-year contract to the American Cyanamid Company for the development of significantly improved catalysts for coal liquefaction anf for upgrading coal extracts, particularly in reactors used in the H-COAL process. Catalysts will first be screened in a batch reactor to identify promising candidated. The latter will be tested in a continuous aging reactor to evaluate their resistance to deactivation under col-liquefaction and extract upgrading conditions. Cold flow ebullation tests of catalysts of different head size are presented, along with some screening and crying of experimental catalysts. Spherical methods for examining catalysts are described.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Huang, Song; Chen, Xiao Dong

    2013-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  17. 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. PMID:21952610

  18. Cholinesterase inhibitor use does not significantly influence the ability of 123I‐FP‐CIT imaging to distinguish Alzheimer's disease from dementia with Lewy bodies

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, John‐Paul; Colloby, Sean J; McKeith, Ian G; Burn, David J; Williams, David; Patterson, Jim; O'Brien, John T

    2007-01-01

    Background 123I‐labelled 2β‐carbomethoxy‐3β‐(4‐iodophenyl)‐N‐(3‐fluoropropyl) nortropane (123I‐FP‐CIT) imaging is a diagnostic tool to help differentiate dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) from Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, in animals, cholinesterase inhibitors (ChEi) have been reported to reduce radioligand binding to the striatal dopamine transporter. As ChEi are frequently used in people with dementia, it is important to determine whether their use affects 123I‐FP‐CIT uptake in the striatum. Objective To clarify whether chronic ChEi therapy modulates striatal dopamine transporter binding measured by 123I‐FP‐CIT in patients with AD, DLB and Parkinson's disease with dementia (PDD). Design Cross sectional study in 99 patients with AD (nine on ChEi, 25 not on ChEi), DLB (nine on ChEi, 19 not on ChEi) and PDD (six on ChEi, 31 not on ChEi) comparing 123I‐FP‐CIT striatal binding (caudate, anterior and posterior putamen) in patients receiving compared with those not receiving ChEi, correcting for key clinical variables including diagnosis, age, sex, Mini‐Mental State Examination score, severity of parkinsonism and concurrent antidepressant use. Results As previously described, 123I‐FP‐CIT striatal uptake was lower in DLB and PDD subjects compared with those with AD. Median duration of ChEi use was 180 days. 123I‐FP‐CIT uptake was not significantly reduced in subjects receiving ChEi compared those not receiving ChEi (mean percentage reduction: AD 4.3%; DLB 0.7%; PDD 6.1%; p = 0.40). ChEi use did not differentially affect striatal 123FP‐CIT uptake between patient groups (p = 0.83). Conclusions Use of ChEi does not significantly influence the ability of 123I‐FP‐CIT imaging to distinguish AD from DLB. PMID:17299017

  19. Improving the Anti-Toxin Abilities of the CMG2-Fc Fusion Protein with the Aid of Computational Design

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Hui; Chen, Hongxing; Chen, Huipeng; Hu, Xianwen; Yue, Junjie

    2014-01-01

    CMG2-Fc is a fusion protein composed of the extracellular domain of capillary morphogenesis protein 2 (CMG2) and the Fc region of human immunoglobulin G; CMG2-Fc neutralizes anthrax toxin and offers protection against Bacillus anthracis challenge. To enhance the efficacy of CMG2-Fc against anthrax toxin, we attempted to engineer a CMG2-Fc with an improved affinity for PA. Using the automatic design algorithm FoldX and visual inspection, we devised two CMG2-Fc variants that introduce mutations in the CMG2 binding interface and improve the computationally assessed binding affinity for PA. An experimental affinity assay revealed that the two variants showed increased binding affinity, and in vitro and in vivo toxin neutralization testing indicated that one of these mutants (CMG2-Fc(E117Q)) has superior activity against anthrax toxin and was suitable for further development as a therapeutic agent for anthrax infections. This study shows that the computational design of the PA binding interface of CMG2 to obtain CMG2-Fc variants with improving anti-toxin abilities is viable. Our results demonstrate that computational design can be further applied to generate other CMG2-Fc mutants with greatly improved therapeutic efficacy. PMID:25101992

  20. Does an in-Season 6-Week Combined Sprint and Jump Training Program Improve Strength-Speed Abilities and Kicking Performance in Young Soccer Players?

    PubMed Central

    Marques, Mário C.; Pereira, Ana; Reis, Ivan G.; van den Tillaar, Roland

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to examine the effect of a six-week combined jump and sprint training program on strength-speed abilities in a large sample of youth competitive soccer players. It was hypothesized that the experimental training group would enhance their jumping and sprinting abilities. Enhancement of kicking performance was also hypothesized due to an expected increase in explosive strength established by a plyometric and sprinting regimen. Fifty-two young male soccer players playing at the national level (aged 13.4 ± 1.4 years, body mass 53.4 ± 11.7 kg, body height 1.66 ± 0.11 m) took part in the study. Half of the group underwent the plyometric and sprint training program in addition to their normal soccer training, while the other half was involved in soccer training only. The plyometric training group enhanced their running (+1.7 and +3.2%) and jumping performance (+7.7%) significantly over the short period of time, while the control group did not. Furthermore, both groups increased their kicking velocity after just six weeks of training (+3.3 vs. 6.6%). The findings suggest that a short in-season 6-week sprint and jump training regimen can significantly improve explosive strength in soccer-specific skills and that these improvements can be transferred to soccer kicking performance in terms of ball speed. PMID:24511351

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

    PubMed

    Ma, Kun; Li, Min

    2015-10-01

    High quality of fertility and pregancy is a specific presentation of family planning in this new historic environment. Our country adopted two-child policy from November, 2013. This symbolized an adjustive stage of reproduction policy in 21st century. It is a major adjustment in the development of national population. As a contry of tremendous population, it is very important to have a high- quality fertility and pregancy for the future of the whole nation, which would improve population quality and restrict development of population. The morbidity of infertility has increased significantly, which brings a huge crisis for national population. Under the guidance of high-quality fertility and pregancy in Chinese medicine theory, improving fertile women's ability of high-quality fertility and pregancy, and follow-up studying is of vital importance for evaluating the treatment of abortion prevention by traditional Chinese medicine and human health of high-quality fertility and pregancy. PMID:27062799

  2. 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,…

  3. 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. PMID:24796261

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zou, Dujian; Liu, Tiejun; Teng, Jun

    2009-07-01

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

  10. 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. PMID:26086657

  11. 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

  12. 2D simultaneous spatial and temporal focusing multiphoton microscopy for fast volume imaging with improved sectioning ability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Qiyuan; Isobe, Keisuke; Hirosawa, Kenichi; Midorikawa, Katsumi; Kannari, Fumihiko

    2015-03-01

    Simultaneous spatial and temporal focusing (SSTF) multiphoton microscopy offers us widefield imaging with sectioning ability. As extending the idea to 2D SSTF, people can utilize a 2D spectral disperser. In this study, we use a 2D spectral disperser via a virtually-imaged phased-array (VIPA) and a diffraction grating to fulfill the back aperture of objective lens with a spectrum matrix. This offers us an axial resolution enhanced by a factor of ~1.7 compared with conventional SSTF microscopy. Furthermore, the small free spectral range (FSR) of VIPA will reduce the temporal self-imaging effect around out-of-focus region and thus will reduce the out-of-focus multiphoton excited fluorescence (MPEF) signal of 2D SSTF microscopy. We experimentally show that inside a sample with dense MPEF, the contrast of the sectioning image is increased in our 2D SSTF microscope compared with SSTF microscope. In our microscope, we use a 1 kHz chirped amplification laser, a piezo stage and a sCMOS camera integrated with 2D SSTF to realize high speed volume imaging at a speed of 50 volumes per second as well as improved sectioning ability. Volume imaging of Brownian motions of fluorescent beads as small as 1μm has been demonstrated. Not only the lateral motion but also the axial motion could be traced.

  13. [A cognitive behavioural group therapy program for the improvement of the cognitive and social abilities of patients with schizophrenia].

    PubMed

    Efthimiou, K; Rakitzi, S; Roder, V

    2009-07-01

    Pharmacotherapy is the main therapy for the positive and negative symptoms and for the relapse prevention for patients with schizophrenia. The cognitive and behavioural therapy can be combined with other therapies for schizophrenia. Within this frame of reference the cognitive behavioural therapy for schizophrenia and other psychotic syndromes is the first choice for psychiatrists and psychologists in European countries. The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) has included the cognitive behavioural therapy as a recommended therapy for schizophrenia. The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy includes interventions for the acute phase in an episode (relapse) as well as for the rehabilitation of patients with schizophrenia. The Integrated Psychological Therapy, which is an effective group therapy for the improvement of cognitive and social abilities of patients with schizophrenia, will be represented in the following article. PMID:22218214

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    Horowitz-Kraus, Tzipi; Breznitz, Zvia

    2014-01-28

    Dyslexia is characterized by slow, inaccurate reading and by deficits in executive functions. The deficit in reading is exemplified by impaired error monitoring, which can be specifically shown through neuroimaging, in changes in Error-/Correct-related negativities (ERN/CRN). The current study aimed to investigate whether a reading intervention program (Reading Acceleration Program, or RAP) could improve overall reading, as well as error monitoring and other cognitive abilities underlying reading, in adolescents with reading difficulties. Participants with reading difficulties and typical readers were trained with the RAP for 8 weeks. Their reading and error monitoring were characterized both behaviorally and electrophysiologically through a lexical decision task. Behaviorally, the reading training improved "contextual reading speed" and decreased reading errors in both groups. Improvements were also seen in speed of processing, memory and visual screening. Electrophysiologically, ERN increased in both groups following training, but the increase was significantly greater in the participants with reading difficulties. Furthermore, an association between the improvement in reading speed and the change in difference between ERN and CRN amplitudes following training was seen in participants with reading difficulties. These results indicate that improving deficits in error monitoring and speed of processing are possible underlying mechanisms of the RAP intervention. We suggest that ERN is a good candidate for use as a measurement in evaluating the effect of reading training in typical and disabled readers. PMID:24316242

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    Alesi, Marianna; Rappo, Gaetano; Pepi, Annamaria

    2015-01-01

    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

  19. 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

  20. A Review of New and Developing Technology to Significantly Improve Mars Sample-Return Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carsey, F.; Brophy, J.; Gilmore, M.; Rodgers, D.; Wilcox, B.

    2000-01-01

    A JPL development activity was initiated in FY 1999 for the purpose of examining and evaluating technologies that could materially improve future (i.e., beyond the 2005 launch) Mars sample return missions. The scope of the technology review was comprehensive and end-to-end; the goal was to improve mass, cost, risk, and scientific return. A specific objective was to assess approaches to sample return with only one Earth launch. While the objective of the study was specifically for sample-return, in-situ missions can also benefit from using many of the technologies examined.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-11

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  3. Brief Communication: Upper air relaxation in RACMO2 significantly improves modelled interannual SMB variability in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van de Berg, W. J.; Medley, B.

    2015-09-01

    The regional climate model RACMO2 has been a powerful tool for improving SMB estimates from GCMs or reanalyses. However, new yearly SMB observations for West Antarctica show that the modelled interannual variability in SMB is poorly simulated by RACMO2, in contrast to ERA-Interim, which resolves this variability well. In an attempt to remedy RACMO2 performance, we included additional upper air relaxation (UAR) in RACMO2. With UAR, the correlation to observations is similar for RACMO2 and ERA-Interim. The spatial SMB patterns and ice sheet integrated SMB modelled using UAR remain very similar to the estimates of RACMO2 without UAR. We only observe an upstream smoothing of precipitation in regions with very steep topography like the Antarctic Peninsula. We conclude that UAR is a useful improvement for RCM simulations, although results in regions with steep topography should be treated with care.

  4. Significantly improved electrochemical hydrogen storage properties of magnesium nickel hydride modified with nano-nickel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Wei; Zhu, Yunfeng; Yang, Chen; Zhang, Jiguang; Li, Menghuai; Li, Liquan

    2015-04-01

    Magnesium nickel hydride (Mg2NiH4) used as negative electrode material in nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) secondary battery is modified by nano-nickel via mechanical milling. In this paper, we systematically investigate the microstructure and electrochemical properties of the modified system with different milling durations. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) analyses confirm the amorphous transformation of Mg2Ni-based hydride and a novel NiH0.75 nanocrystalline with a diameter of about 5 nm embedding or covering on the surface of the base particle has been observed. Its formation mechanism and positive effects on electrochemical properties of the Mg2NiH4 have also been elaborated. Electrochemical measurements show that the 5 h milled composite possesses markedly increased discharge capacity up to 896 mAh g-1. With prolonging the milling duration from 5 h to 40 h, the discharge capacity at the 10th cycle increases from 99 mAh g-1 to 359 mAh g-1. Besides, the discharging procedure changes from stepwise processes to one single-step process with increasing the milling duration. Tafel polarization test shows that the nano-nickel modified system exhibits a much better anti-corrosion ability during charging/discharging cycles. Meanwhile, both the charge-transfer reaction on the alloy surface and hydrogen diffusion inside the alloy bulk are enhanced with nano-nickel modification.

  5. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  8. Whole-body vibration training improves the walking ability of a moderately impaired child with cerebral palsy: a case study

    PubMed Central

    Yabumoto, Tamotsu; Shin, Sohee; Watanabe, Tsuneo; Watanabe, Yusuke; Naka, Toru; Oguri, Kazuo; Matsuoka, Toshio

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] Strength training is recommended for children with cerebral palsy. However, it is difficult for moderately impaired children with cerebral palsy, who require crutches for ambulation, to participate in this type of training. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether whole-body vibration training is an effective method of strengthening in a moderately impaired child with cerebral palsy. [Subject and Methods] This report describes an 8-year-old Japanese boy with cerebral palsy, who was ambulatory with crutches. The subject participated in physical therapy twice a week for 5 weeks. Whole-body vibration training was selected to complement the standing practice. The patient’s crutch-walking ability, gross motor function, and spasticity were evaluated. [Results] The number of steps and walking duration were reduced in a 5-m walk test with crutches and gross motor function was improved. Further, the spasticity was reduced. [Conclusion] Whole-body vibration training is an effective physical therapy intervention in moderately impaired children with cerebral palsy, who are unable to walk without crutches. PMID:26504349

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  10. 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. PMID:27045470

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-02-03

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-01-01

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

  13. An improved method to set significance thresholds for β diversity testing in microbial community comparisons.

    PubMed

    Gülay, Arda; Smets, Barth F

    2015-09-01

    Exploring the variation in microbial community diversity between locations (β diversity) is a central topic in microbial ecology. Currently, there is no consensus on how to set the significance threshold for β diversity. Here, we describe and quantify the technical components of β diversity, including those associated with the process of subsampling. These components exist for any proposed β diversity measurement procedure. Further, we introduce a strategy to set significance thresholds for β diversity of any group of microbial samples using rarefaction, invoking the notion of a meta-community. The proposed technique was applied to several in silico generated operational taxonomic unit (OTU) libraries and experimental 16S rRNA pyrosequencing libraries. The latter represented microbial communities from different biological rapid sand filters at a full-scale waterworks. We observe that β diversity, after subsampling, is inflated by intra-sample differences; this inflation is avoided in the proposed method. In addition, microbial community evenness (Gini > 0.08) strongly affects all β diversity estimations due to bias associated with rarefaction. Where published methods to test β significance often fail, the proposed meta-community-based estimator is more successful at rejecting insignificant β diversity values. Applying our approach, we reveal the heterogeneous microbial structure of biological rapid sand filters both within and across filters. PMID:25534614

  14. Upper gastrointestinal bleeding in Scotland 2000-2010: Improved outcomes but a significant weekend effect

    PubMed Central

    Ahmed, Asma; Armstrong, Matthew; Robertson, Ishbel; Morris, Allan John; Blatchford, Oliver; Stanley, Adrian J

    2015-01-01

    AIM: To assess numbers and case fatality of patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeding (UGIB), effects of deprivation and whether weekend presentation affected outcomes. METHODS: Data was obtained from Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland and National Records of Scotland (NRS) death records for a ten year period between 2000-2001 and 2009-2010. We obtained data from the ISD Scottish Morbidity Records (SMR01) database which holds data on inpatient and day-case hospital discharges from non-obstetric and non-psychiatric hospitals in Scotland. The mortality data was obtained from NRS and linked with the ISD SMR01 database to obtain 30-d case fatality. We used 23 ICD-10 (International Classification of diseases) codes which identify UGIB to interrogate database. We analysed these data for trends in number of hospital admissions with UGIB, 30-d mortality over time and assessed effects of social deprivation. We compared weekend and weekday admissions for differences in 30-d mortality and length of hospital stay. We determined comorbidities for each admission to establish if comorbidities contributed to patient outcome. RESULTS: A total of 60643 Scottish residents were admitted with UGIH during January, 2000 and October, 2009. There was no significant change in annual number of admissions over time, but there was a statistically significant reduction in 30-d case fatality from 10.3% to 8.8% (P < 0.001) over these 10 years. Number of admissions with UGIB was higher for the patients from most deprived category (P < 0.05), although case fatality was higher for the patients from the least deprived category (P < 0.05). There was no statistically significant change in this trend between 2000/01-2009/10. Patients admitted with UGIB at weekends had higher 30-d case fatality compared with those admitted on weekdays (P < 0.001). Thirty day mortality remained significantly higher for patients admitted with UGIB at weekends after adjusting for comorbidities. Length of

  15. Lithium deficient mesoporous Li2-xMnSiO4 with significantly improved electrochemical performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Haiyan; Hou, Tianli; Sun, Dan; Huang, Xiaobing; He, Hanna; Tang, Yougen; Liu, Younian

    2014-02-01

    Li2-xMnSiO4 compounds with mesoporous structure are first proposed in the present work. It is interesting to note that the lithium deficient compounds exhibit much higher electrochemical performance in comparison with the stoichiometric one. Among these compounds, Li1.8MnSiO4 shows the best electrochemical performance. It is found that mesoporous Li1.8MnSiO4 without carbon coating delivers a maximum discharge capacity of 110.9 mAh g-1 at 15 mA g-1, maintaining 90.8 mAh g-1 after 25 cycles, while that of the stoichiometric one is only 48.0 mAh g-1, with 12.5 mAh g-1 remaining. The superior properties are mainly due to the great improvement of electronic conductivity and structure stability, as well as suppressed charge-transfer resistance.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Resolution-adapted recombination of structural features significantly improves sampling in restraint-guided structure calculation

    PubMed Central

    Lange, Oliver F; Baker, David

    2012-01-01

    Recent work has shown that NMR structures can be determined by integrating sparse NMR data with structure prediction methods such as Rosetta. The experimental data serve to guide the search for the lowest energy state towards the deep minimum at the native state which is frequently missed in Rosetta de novo structure calculations. However, as the protein size increases, sampling again becomes limiting; for example, the standard Rosetta protocol involving Monte Carlo fragment insertion starting from an extended chain fails to converge for proteins over 150 amino acids even with guidance from chemical shifts (CS-Rosetta) and other NMR data. The primary limitation of this protocol—that every folding trajectory is completely independent of every other—was recently overcome with the development of a new approach involving resolution-adapted structural recombination (RASREC). Here we describe the RASREC approach in detail and compare it to standard CS-Rosetta. We show that the improved sampling of RASREC is essential in obtaining accurate structures over a benchmark set of 11 proteins in the 15-25 kDa size range using chemical shifts, backbone RDCs and HN-HN NOE data; in a number of cases the improved sampling methodology makes a larger contribution than incorporation of additional experimental data. Experimental data are invaluable for guiding sampling to the vicinity of the global energy minimum, but for larger proteins, the standard Rosetta fold-from-extended-chain protocol does not converge on the native minimum even with experimental data and the more powerful RASREC approach is necessary to converge to accurate solutions. PMID:22423358

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    The use of a PFCSP, as a road map to operationalize the hospital's vision, has been a compelling paradigm to achieve significant QI results. The framework is simple yet directly aligns with the IOM domains of quality. It has inspired and helped actively engage hospital personnel in the work required to achieve the goals and vision of the hospital system. Five years after initiating this type of plan, activity is flourishing in each of the domains and midterm results are substantial. We think that the nature of this strategic plan has been an important aspect of our success to date. PMID:25037128

  20. Active loading into extracellular vesicles significantly improves the cellular uptake and photodynamic effect of porphyrins.

    PubMed

    Fuhrmann, Gregor; Serio, Andrea; Mazo, Manuel; Nair, Rekha; Stevens, Molly M

    2015-05-10

    Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are phospholipid-based particles endogenously produced by cells. Their natural composition and selective cell interactions make them promising drug carriers. However, in order to harness their properties, efficient exogenous drug encapsulation methods need to be investigated. Here, EVs from various cellular origins (endothelial, cancer and stem cells) were produced and characterised for size and composition. Porphyrins of different hydrophobicities were employed as model drugs and encapsulated into EVs using various passive and active methods (electroporation, saponin, extrusion and dialysis). Hydrophobic compounds loaded very efficiently into EVs and at significantly higher amounts than into standard liposomes composed of phosphocholine and cholesterol using passive incubation. Moreover, loading into EVs significantly increased the cellular uptake by >60% and the photodynamic effect of hydrophobic porphyrins in vitro compared to free or liposome encapsulated drug. The active encapsulation techniques, with the saponin-assisted method in particular, allowed an up to 11 fold higher drug loading of hydrophilic porphyrins compared to passive methods. EVs loaded with hydrophilic porphyrins induced a stronger phototoxic effect than free drug in a cancer cell model. Our findings create a firm basis for the development of EVs as smart drug carriers based on straightforward and transferable methods. PMID:25483424

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

    Baune, Bernhard T; Renger, Lisa

    2014-09-30

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

  3. 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.}

  4. Three-phase textile nanocomposites: significant improvements in strength, toughness and ductility.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, Iti; Proper, Andrew; Rafiee, Mohammad A; Koratkar, Nikhil

    2010-02-01

    It is well established that in-plane tensile properties of unidirectional microfiber-reinforced composites are not significantly influenced by addition of carbon nanotubes to the matrix. This is because the principal effect of the nanotubes is to enhance the matrix dominated (out-of-plane) properties. Here we report that the above situation changes when nanotubes are incorporated into woven-fabric (textile) composites. We report up to 200% increase in strain-to-break and 180% increase in toughness under in-plane tensile load with approximately 0.05% weight of nanotube additives. We attribute this effect to the geometrical arrangement of the micro-fibers and the critical role of the pure-matrix-block in textile composites. PMID:20352752

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

    Lignocellulosic biomass is regarded as the most viable source of feedstock for industrial biorefinery, but the harmful inhibitors generated from the indispensable pretreatments prior to fermentation remain a daunting technical hurdle. Using an exogenous regulator, irrE, from the radiation-resistant Deinococcus radiodurans, we previously showed that a novel global regulator engineering (GRE) approach significantly enhanced tolerances of Escherichia coli to alcohol and acetate stresses. In this work, an irrE library was subjected to selection under various stresses of furfural, a typical hydrolysate inhibitor. Three furfural tolerant irrE mutants including F1-37 and F2-1 were successfully obtained. The cells containing these mutants reached OD(600) levels of 4- to 16-fold of that for the pMD18T cells in growth assay under 0.2% (v/v) furfural stress. The cells containing irrE F1-37 and F2-1 also showed considerably reduced intracellular oxygen species (ROS) levels under furfural stress. Moreover, these two irrE mutants were subsequently found to confer significant cross tolerances to two other most common inhibitors, 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furaldehyde (HMF), vanillin, as well as real lignocellulosic hydrolysates. When evaluated in Luria-Bertani (LB) medium supplemented with corn stover cellulosic hydrolysate (prepared with a solid loading of 30%), the cells containing the mutants exhibited lag phases markedly shortened by 24-44 h in comparison with the control cells. This work thus presents a promising step forward to resolve the inhibitor problem for E. coli. From the view of synthetic biology, irrE can be considered as an evolvable "part" for various stresses. Furthermore, this GRE approach can be extended to exploit other exogenous global regulators from extremophiles, and the native counterparts in E. coli, for eliciting industrially useful phenotypes. PMID:22684885

  6. 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

  7. Oxamflatin Significantly Improves Nuclear Reprogramming, Blastocyst Quality, and In Vitro Development of Bovine SCNT Embryos

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yanyan; Li, Ruizhe; Li, Qian; Wu, Yongyan; Quan, Fusheng; Liu, Jun; Guo, Zekun; Zhang, Yong

    2011-01-01

    Aberrant epigenetic nuclear reprogramming results in low somatic cloning efficiency. Altering epigenetic status by applying histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) enhances developmental potential of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) embryos. The present study was carried out to examine the effects of Oxamflatin, a novel HDACi, on the nuclear reprogramming and development of bovine SCNT embryos in vitro. We found that Oxamflatin modified the acetylation status on H3K9 and H3K18, increased total and inner cell mass (ICM) cell numbers and the ratio of ICM∶trophectoderm (TE) cells, reduced the rate of apoptosis in SCNT blastocysts, and significantly enhanced the development of bovine SCNT embryos in vitro. Furthermore, Oxamflatin treatment suppressed expression of the pro-apoptotic gene Bax and stimulated expression of the anti-apoptotic gene Bcl-XL and the pluripotency-related genes OCT4 and SOX2 in SCNT blastocysts. Additionally, the treatment also reduced the DNA methylation level of satellite I in SCNT blastocysts. In conclusion, Oxamflatin modifies epigenetic status and gene expression, increases blastocyst quality, and subsequently enhances the nuclear reprogramming and developmental potential of SCNT embryos. PMID:21912607

  8. A Cell Type Independent Binary Grading System Does Not Significantly Improve Endometrial Biopsy Interpretation.

    PubMed

    Nastic, Denis; Kahlin, Frida; Dahlstrand, Hanna; Carlson, Joseph W

    2016-05-01

    The revised International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) grading system is widely accepted as the standard in evaluating endometrial carcinoma on biopsy. Determination of tumor cell type [using the World Health Organization (WHO) diagnostic criteria] and grade (using FIGO) guides surgical approach. Several studies have highlighted discrepancies between biopsy and hysterectomy diagnosis. Recently, a binary grading system was proposed, yielding a low-risk and high-risk assessment but in a cell type independent (CTI) way. No study has assessed its utility in biopsy grading, a situation where this system may be particularly useful. Archived endometrial biopsies from 70 cases of endometrial carcinoma were graded by 3 independent observers using the WHO/FIGO and the CTI grading systems. The overall accuracy, interobserver agreement, and ease of use were assessed. This study found comparable substantial accuracy between the WHO/FIGO and CTI grading systems (κ=0.71 vs. κ=0.69), with the same setbacks in overgrading of 20.9% versus 25.6% of low-risk tumors. The CTI grading system was not superior to the WHO/FIGO grading system in accuracy of subtyping and grading and interobserver reproducibility. Although determination of cell type is difficult, it does not appear that the proposed CTI system confers any significant advantages over existing grading. PMID:26863477

  9. Under-reporting of notifiable infectious disease hospitalizations: significant improvements in the Irish context.

    PubMed

    Brabazon, E D; Sheridan, A; Finnegan, P; Carton, M W; Bedford, D

    2015-04-01

    Notification of infectious disease is essential for prompt public health action and epidemiological analysis. The aim of this study was to compare national hospitalization data to national notification data in order to assess if there was significant under-reporting of hospitalized notifiable infectious diseases in recent years in Ireland. All in-patient discharges from public hospitals in the Republic of Ireland from 2006 to 2011 with a principal diagnosis of a notifiable disease were compared with national notification data. It was found that only a potential 1·8% of extra notifications could have arisen due to these hospitalization events and would represent a tenfold reduction on a previous estimate of under-reporting in the Irish context. Viral meningitis, viral encephalitis, bacterial meningitis not otherwise specified and malaria were the most common diseases for which there were more hospitalizations than notifications reported. The results of this study support the conclusion that the reduction in under-reporting can mainly be accounted for by the introduction of laboratories as notifiers in conjunction with the roll out of the Computerized Infectious Disease Reporting system (CIDR). However, for the diseases highlighted, the notification data underestimates the true burden of disease and this has implications for understanding the epidemiology of these diseases. PMID:25035904

  10. 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

  11. Routine Testing for Anaerobic Bacteria in Cerebrospinal Fluid Cultures Improves Recovery of Clinically Significant Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Pittman, Meredith E.; Thomas, Benjamin S.; Wallace, Meghan A.; Weber, Carol J.

    2014-01-01

    In North America, the widespread use of vaccines targeting Haemophilus influenzae type b and Streptococcus pneumoniae have dramatically altered the epidemiology of bacterial meningitis, while the methodology for culturing cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) specimens has remained largely unchanged. The aims of this study were 2-fold: to document the current epidemiology of bacterial meningitis at a tertiary care medical center and to assess the clinical utility of routinely querying for anaerobes in CSF cultures. To that end, we assessed CSF cultures submitted over a 2-year period. A brucella blood agar (BBA) plate, incubated anaerobically for 5 days, was included in the culture procedure for all CSF specimens during the second year of evaluation. In the pre- and postimplementation years, 2,353 and 2,302 CSF specimens were cultured, with 49 and 99 patients having positive culture results, respectively. The clinical and laboratory data for patients with positive cultures were reviewed. Anaerobic bacteria were isolated in the CSF samples from 33 patients post-BBA compared to two patients pre-BBA (P = 0.01). The anaerobic isolates included Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron (n = 1), Propionibacterium species (n = 15), and Propionibacterium acnes (n = 19) isolates; all of these isolates were recovered on the BBA. Eight of the 35 patients from whom anaerobic organisms were isolated received antimicrobial therapy. Although six of these patients had central nervous system hardware, two patients did not have a history of a neurosurgical procedure and had community-acquired anaerobic bacterial meningitis. This study demonstrates that the simple addition of an anaerobically incubated BBA to the culture of CSF specimens enhances the recovery of clinically significant anaerobic pathogens. PMID:24622102

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-23

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-15

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

  17. 20 CFR 220.178 - Determining medical improvement and its relationship to the annuitant's ability to do work.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... 20 Employees' Benefits 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Determining medical improvement and its... Disability Due to Substantial Gainful Activity or Medical Improvement § 220.178 Determining medical... (c) of § 220.177 discuss what is meant by medical improvement, medical improvement not related to...

  18. 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

  19. 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. PMID:25450447

  20. 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

  1. Multifunctional magnetic mesoporous silica nanocomposites with improved sensing performance and effective removal ability toward Hg(II).

    PubMed

    Wang, Yanyan; Li, Bin; Zhang, Liming; Li, Peng; Wang, Lianlian; Zhang, Jin

    2012-01-17

    In the present work, a multifunctional inorganic-organic hybrid nanomaterial (MMS-Py) was prepared by the immobilization of a pyrene-based receptor (Py) within the channels of magnetic mesoporous silica nanocomposites (MMS), and characterized by scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, N(2) adsorption/desorption, superconducting quantum interference device, and photoluminescence spectra. This multifunctional nanomaterial exhibits superparamagnetic behavior, ordered mesoporous characteristics, and significantly improved fluorescence sensing properties that allow for highly sensitive and reproducible Hg(2+) detection. The fluorogenical responses of MMS-Py are stable over a broad pH range. A detection limit of 1.72 ppb is obtained, which is 2 orders of magnitude lower than that based on bulk mesoporous materials. Additionally, this nanomaterial shows high performance in convenient magnetic separability and efficient removal of Hg(2+). These results indicate that these multifunctional nanocomposites may find potential applications for simple detection and easy removal of Hg(2+) in biological, toxicological, and environmental areas. PMID:22185678

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Khotimah, Rita Pramujiyanti; Masduki

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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. PMID:21854544

  6. 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).

  7. 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. PMID:24463621

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Intakes of dietary docosahexaenoic acid ethyl ester and egg phosphatidylcholine improve maze-learning ability in young and old mice.

    PubMed

    Lim, S Y; Suzuki, H

    2000-06-01

    The effect of dietary docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) [22:6 (n-3)] ethyl ester (EE) and egg-phosphatidylcholine (PC) on maze-learning ability in young and old mice was studied. Male Crj:CD-1 mice aged either 3 wk or 14 mo were fed a diet containing 2 g DHA-EE/100 g diet plus 3 g palm oil/100 g diet (DHA-EE Group), 5 g egg-PC/100 g diet (egg-PC Group), 1 g DHA-EE/100 g diet plus 2.5 g egg-PC/100 g diet plus 1.5 g palm oil/100 g diet (DHA-EE + egg-PC Group) or 5 g palm oil/100 g diet (Control Group) for 5 mo. Maze-learning ability was assessed 4 mo after the start of the experiment. The time required to reach the maze exit and the number of times that a mouse strayed into blind alleys in the maze were measured in three trials every 4 d. In trial 2 of young mice, performed on d 4 after the first trial, the DHA-EE group required less (P < 0.05) time to reach the maze exit and DHA-EE and egg-PC groups strayed (P < 0.05) into blind alleys fewer times than the control group. In trial 2 of old mice, the DHA-EE, egg-PC and DHA-EE + egg-PC groups needed less (P < 0.05) time to find the exit and spent a fewer (P < 0.05) number of times in blind alleys than did the control group. The DHA-EE, DHA-EE + egg-PC and egg-PC groups strayed into blind alleys fewer times than the control group in trial 3 of old mice (P < 0.05). Our results suggest that the intake of DHA-EE and the egg-PC diet effectively enhances maze-learning ability and brain functions in old mice. PMID:10827221

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. 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

  12. Paradigm for Improving Catalytic Ability of Industrial Enzymes: Linkage Distortions of Carbohydrates in Complexes with Crystalline Proteins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Future innovations in applications of industrial enzymes to carbohydrates will require improved knowledge of the mode of action. This chapter explores whether one aspect of enzymatic hydrolysis of saccharides is a twisting distortion of the bonds between adjacent monosaccharides in larger carbohydra...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  14. 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

    2016-01-01

    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/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. PMID:26853933

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

    2016-02-01

    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.

  16. 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

  17. 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. PMID:18308788

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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. PMID:24963917

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-19

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:26171389

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26171389

  12. Amplification of the housekeeping sigma factor in Pseudomonas fluorescens CHA0 enhances antibiotic production and improves biocontrol abilities.

    PubMed Central

    Schnider, U; Keel, C; Blumer, C; Troxler, J; Défago, G; Haas, D

    1995-01-01

    Pseudomonas fluorescens CHA0 produces a variety of secondary metabolites, in particular the antibiotics pyoluteorin and 2,4-diacetylphloroglucinol, and protects various plants from diseases caused by soilborne pathogenic fungi. The rpoD gene encoding the housekeeping sigma factor sigma 70 of P. fluorescens was sequenced. The deduced RpoD protein showed 83% identity with RpoD of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and 67% identity with RpoD of Escherichia coli. Attempts to inactivate the single chromosomal rpoD gene of strain CHA0 were unsuccessful, indicating an essential role of this gene. When rpoD was carried by an IncP vector in strain CHA0, the production of both antibiotics was increased severalfold and, in parallel, protection of cucumber against disease caused by Pythium ultimum was improved, in comparison with strain CHA0. PMID:7665535

  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. 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

  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. An efficient approach to derive hydroxyl groups on the surface of barium titanate nanoparticles to improve its chemical modification ability.

    PubMed

    Chang, Shinn-Jen; Liao, Wei-Sheng; Ciou, Ci-Jin; Lee, Jyh-Tsung; Li, Chia-Chen

    2009-01-15

    Highly hydroxylated barium titanate (BaTiO(3)) nanoparticles have been prepared via an easy and gentle approach which oxidizes BaTiO(3) nanoparticles using an aqueous solution of hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)). The hydroxylated BaTiO(3) surface reacts with sodium oleate (SOA) to form oleophilic layers that greatly enhance the dispersion of BaTiO(3) nanoparticles in organic solvents such as tetrahydrofuran, toluene, and n-octane. The results of Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy confirmed that the major functional groups on the surface of H(2)O(2)-treated BaTiO(3) nanoparticles are hydroxyl groups which are chemically active, favoring chemical bonding with SOA. The results of transmission electron microscopy of SOA-modified BaTiO(3) nanoparticles suggested that the oleate molecules were bonded to the surfaces of nanoparticles and formed a homogeneous layer having a thickness of about 2 nm. Furthermore, the improved dispersion capability of the modified BaTiO(3) nanoparticles in organic solvents was verified through analytic results of its settling and rheological behaviors. PMID:18977001

  17. A Matter of Timing: Identifying Significant Multi-Dose Radiotherapy Improvements by Numerical Simulation and Genetic Algorithm Search

    PubMed Central

    Angus, Simon D.; Piotrowska, Monika Joanna

    2014-01-01

    -effecitive means of significantly improving clinical efficacy. PMID:25460164

  18. 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. PMID:26852103

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:24030357

  4. HEALTH SIGNIFICANCE OF PULMONARY FUNCTION TESTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    As the sensitivity and precision of functional tests improves, we become increasingly able to measure responses to pollutant exposures with little, if any, demonstrable health significance. Proper interpretation of such functional responses generally requires an ability to evalua...

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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

  8. Improved Diffusion-Resistant Ability of Multicomponent Nitrides: From Unitary TiN to Senary High-Entropy (TiTaCrZrAlRu)N

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Shou-Yi; Huang, Yi-Ching; Li, Chen-En; Hsu, Hsun-Feng; Yeh, Jien-Wei; Lin, Su-Jien

    2013-12-01

    Multicomponent high-entropy nitrides have been attempted as robust diffusion barrier materials to inhibit the severe interdiffusion of Cu and Si; however, the improvement in their diffusion resistance relative to the abilities of few-component nitrides has actually not been verified. Thus, in this study, nitride barriers with different numbers of components (metallic elements), from unitary TiN to senary high-entropy (TiTaCrZrAlRu)N (with the same face-centered cubic structure and a thickness of 5 nm), were prepared. The failure of these nitride barriers in resisting the interdiffusion of Cu and Si was examined, and the activation energy of Cu diffusion through the nitrides was determined. With more components incorporated, the failure temperature of the nitrides was found to markedly increase from 550°C to 900°C, and the activation energy of Cu diffusion was effectively raised from 107 kJ/mol to 161 kJ/mol. Severe lattice distortions and random cohesions are suggested as the dominant factors for the improved diffusion-resistant ability of the multicomponent high-entropy nitrides.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  10. Development of Polarizable Models for Molecular Mechanical Calculations II: Induced Dipole Models Significantly Improve Accuracy of Intermolecular Interaction Energies

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Junmei; Cieplak, Piotr; Li, Jie; Wang, Jun; Cai, Qin; Hsieh, MengJuei; Lei, Hongxing; Luo, Ray; Duan, Yong

    2011-01-01

    In the companion paper, we presented a set of induced dipole interaction models using four types of screening functions, which include the Applequist (no screening), the Thole linear, the Thole exponential model, and the Thole Tinker-like (another form of exponential screening function) functions. In this work, we evaluate the performance of polarizability models using large set of amino acid analog pairs that are frequently observed in protein structures as a benchmark. For each amino acid pair we calculated quantum mechanical interaction energies at the MP2/aug-cc-pVTZ//MP2/6-311++G(d,p) level with the basis set superposition error (BSSE) correction and compared them with molecular mechanics results. Encouragingly, all the polarizable models significantly outperform the additive F94 and F03 models (mimicking AMBER ff94/ff99 and ff03 force fields, respectively) in reproducing the BSSE-corrected quantum mechanical interaction energies. Particularly, the root-mean-square errors (RMSE) for three Thole models in Set A (where the 1–2 and 1–3 interactions are turned off and all 1–4 interactions are included) are 1.456, 1.417 and 1.406 kcal/mol for Model AL (Thole Linear), Model AE (Thole exponential) and Model AT (Thole Tinker-like), respectively. In contrast, the RMSE are 3.729 and 3.433 kcal/mol for F94 and F03 models, respectively. A similar trend was observed for the average unsigned errors (AUE), which are 1.057, 1.025, 1.011, 2.219 and 2.070 kcal/mol for AL, AE, AT, F94/ff99 and F03, respectively. Analyses based on the trend line slopes indicate that the two fixed charge models substantially underestimate the relative strengths of non-charge-charge interactions by 24% (F03) and 35% (F94), respectively, whereas the four polarizable models over-estimate the relative strengths by 5% (AT), 3% (AL, AE) and 13% (AA), respectively. Agreement was further improved by adjusting the van der Waals parameters. Judging from the notably improved accuracy in comparison to

  11. Development of polarizable models for molecular mechanical calculations II: induced dipole models significantly improve accuracy of intermolecular interaction energies.

    PubMed

    Wang, Junmei; Cieplak, Piotr; Li, Jie; Wang, Jun; Cai, Qin; Hsieh, MengJuei; Lei, Hongxing; Luo, Ray; Duan, Yong

    2011-03-31

    In the companion paper, we presented a set of induced dipole interaction models using four types of screening functions, which include the Applequist (no screening), the Thole linear, the Thole exponential model, and the Thole Tinker-like (another form of exponential screening function) functions. In this work, we evaluate the performance of polarizability models using a large set of amino acid analog pairs in conformations that are frequently observed in protein structures as a benchmark. For each amino acid pair, we calculated quantum mechanical interaction energies at the MP2/aug-cc-pVTZ//MP2/6-311++G(d,p) level with the basis set superposition error (BSSE) correction and compared them with molecular mechanics results. Encouragingly, all polarizable models significantly outperform the additive F94 and F03 models (mimicking AMBER ff94/ff99 and ff03 force fields, respectively) in reproducing the BSSE-corrected quantum mechanical interaction energies. In particular, the root-mean-square errors (RMSEs) for three Thole models in Set A (where the 1-2 and 1-3 interactions are turned off and all 1-4 interactions are included) are 1.456, 1.417, and 1.406 kcal/mol for model AL (Thole Linear), model AE (Thole exponential), and model AT (Thole Tinker-like), respectively. In contrast, the RMSEs are 3.729 and 3.433 kcal/mol for F94 and F03 models, respectively. A similar trend was observed for the average unsigned errors (AUEs), which are 1.057, 1.025, 1.011, 2.219, and 2.070 kcal/mol for AL, AE, AT, F94/ff99, and F03, respectively. Analyses based on the trend line slopes indicate that the two fixed charge models substantially underestimate the relative strengths of noncharge-charge interactions by 24 (F03) and 35% (F94), respectively, whereas the four polarizable models overestimate the relative strengths by 5 (AT), 3 (AL, AE), and 13% (AA), respectively. Agreement was further improved by adjusting the van der Waals parameters. Judging from the notably improved accuracy in

  12. Decrease of global methylation improves significantly hepatic differentiation of Ad-MSCs: possible future application for urea detoxification.

    PubMed

    Seeliger, C; Culmes, M; Schyschka, L; Yan, X; Damm, G; Wang, Z; Kleeff, J; Thasler, W E; Hengstler, J; Stöckle, U; Ehnert, S; Nüssler, A K

    2013-01-01

    Hepatocyte transplantation is considered to be an alternative to orthotopic liver transplantation. Cells can be used to bridge patients waiting for a donor organ, decrease mortality in acute liver failure, and support metabolic liver diseases. The limited availability of primary human hepatocytes for such applications has led to the generation of alternative hepatocyte-like cells from various adult stem or precursor cells. The aim of this study was to generate hepatocyte-like cells from adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (Ad-MSCs) for clinical applications, which are available "off the shelf." Epigenetic changes in hepatocyte-like cells were induced by 5-azacytidine, which, in combination with other supplements, leads to significantly improved metabolic and enzymatic activities compared to nontreated cells. Cells with sufficient hepatic features were generated with a four-step protocol: 5-azacytidine (step 1); epidermal growth factor (step 2); fibroblast growth factor-4, dexamethasone, insulin-transferrin-sodium-selenite, and nicotinamide (step 3); and hepatocyte growth factor, dexamethasone, insulin-transferrin-sodium-selenite, and nicotinamide (step 4). Generated differentiated cells had higher phase I (CYP1A1/2, CYP2E1, CYP2B6, CYP3A4) and phase II activities compared to the undifferentiated cells. A strong expression of CYP3A7 and a weak expression of 3A4, as well as the important detoxification markers α-fetoprotein and albumin, could also be detected at the mRNA level. Importantly, urea metabolism (basal, NH4-stimulated, NH4- and ornithine-stimulated) was comparable to freshly isolated human hepatocytes, and unlike cryopreserved human hepatocytes, this activity was maintained after 6 months of cryopreservation. These findings suggest that these cells may be suitable for clinical application, especially for treatment of urea cycle disorders. PMID:22507189

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. [A CASE OF ADVANCED BLADDER NEUROENDOCRINE CARCINOMA (SMALL CELL CARCINOMA) SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVED BY LOW DOSE OF ORAL TEGAFUR-URACIL].

    PubMed

    Nomi, Hayahito; Takahara, Kiyoshi; Minami, Koichiro; Maenosono, Ryoichi; Matsunaga, Tomohisa; Yoshikawa, Yuki; Tsujino, Takuya; Hirano, Hajime; Inamoto, Teruo; Yamamoto, Ikuhisa; Tsuji, Motomu; Kiyama, Satoshi; Azuma, Haruhito

    2015-10-01

    A 81-old-woman underwent a transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) at a nearby hospital in April 2011. The diagnosis was invasive urothelial carcinoma, G3 with a component of bladder small cell carcinoma, T1 or more. She was recommended to visit our hospital for combined modality therapy of bladder cancer, but she refused the treatment for over one year. In May 2012, she came to our hospital with the chief complaint of pain at urination. Cystoscopy revealed non-papillary sessile tumor in the top of the bladder, and CT scan demonstrated the presence of the right obturator lymph nodes swollen up to 1.2 cm in size. The second TURBT was performed and the diagnosis was bladder small cell carcinoma (pT3N2M0) according to urothelial cancer guidelines of the Japanese Urological Association (JUA). Because she strongly refused hospitalization anymore, we started daily oral intake of low dose Tegafur-Uracil (100 mg) for the treatment. After one month, the serum Neuron-Specific Enolase (NSE; tumor maker of small cell cancer) level was elevated to 27.6 ng/ml and the right obturator lymph node was enlarged up to 1.9 cm. Therefore, the Trgafur-Uracil dose was increased to 200 mg daily. After then, the serum NSE level was decreased to 15.5 ng/ml following reduction in size of the obturator lymph nodes with partial response in December 2013. After two years of follow-up period, her regular urine test showed normal findings, and no apparent recurrence was detected on urinary bladder with MRI and Cystoscopy. This is a case of advanced bladder small cell carcinoma significantly improved by oral administration of Tegafur-Uracil 200 mg/day for over 2 years. PMID:26717786

  15. 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. PMID:8168360

  16. 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:

  17. 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…

  18. Hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂) supply significantly improves xanthan gum production mediated by Xanthomonas campestris in vitro.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Rong; Lin, Lin; Zhang, Yongkui

    2012-05-01

    To improve xanthan gum productivity, a strategy of adding hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂) was studied. The method could intensify oxygen supply through degradation of H₂O₂ to oxygen (O₂). In shake flask testing, the xanthan gum yield reached 2.8% (improved by 39.4%) when adding 12.5 mM H₂O₂ after 24 h of fermentation. In fermentor testing, it was obvious that the oxygen conditions varied with the H₂O₂ addition time. Eventually, gum yield of 4.2% (w/w) was achieved (increased by 27.3%). Compared with the method of intense mixing and increasing the air flow rate, adding H₂O₂ to improve the dissolved oxygen concentration was more effective and much better. Moreover, addition of H₂O₂ improved the quality of xanthan gum; the pyruvate content of xanthan was 4.4% (w/w), higher than that of the control (3.2%). PMID:22183692

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. A writing-intensive course improves biology undergraduates' perception and confidence of their abilities to read scientific literature and communicate science.

    PubMed

    Brownell, Sara E; Price, Jordan V; Steinman, Lawrence

    2013-03-01

    Most scientists agree that comprehension of primary scientific papers and communication of scientific concepts are two of the most important skills that we can teach, but few undergraduate biology courses make these explicit course goals. We designed an undergraduate neuroimmunology course that uses a writing-intensive format. Using a mixture of primary literature, writing assignments directed toward a layperson and scientist audience, and in-class discussions, we aimed to improve the ability of students to 1) comprehend primary scientific papers, 2) communicate science to a scientific audience, and 3) communicate science to a layperson audience. We offered the course for three consecutive years and evaluated its impact on student perception and confidence using a combination of pre- and postcourse survey questions and coded open-ended responses. Students showed gains in both the perception of their understanding of primary scientific papers and of their abilities to communicate science to scientific and layperson audiences. These results indicate that this unique format can teach both communication skills and basic science to undergraduate biology students. We urge others to adopt a similar format for undergraduate biology courses to teach process skills in addition to content, thus broadening and strengthening the impact of undergraduate courses. PMID:23471252

  2. 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

    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

  3. 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

  4. Improvement of glass forming ability and magnetic properties of a Gd55Al20Co25 bulk metallic glass by minor Fe substitution for Co

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guan, Q.; Yu, P.; Chan, K. C.; Xia, L.

    2015-11-01

    Gd55Al20Co25 bulk metallic glass (BMG) exhibits good glass forming ability (GFA) and excellent magneto-caloric effect (MCE). In order to further improve the GFA and MCE of the Gd55Al20Co25 BMG, we attempted to add small amount of Fe as a replacement of Co in the BMG and obtained Gd55Al20Co23Fe2 glassy rod using a traditional suction casting method. The Gd55Al20Co23Fe2 BMG shows a better GFA and MCE than the Gd55Al20Co25 BMG. The magneto-caloric behavior of the Gd55Al20Co23Fe2 BMG was investigated by studying the field dependence of the magnetic entropy change peak and the refrigeration capacity.

  5. 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…

  6. Brief Communication: Upper-air relaxation in RACMO2 significantly improves modelled interannual surface mass balance variability in Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van de Berg, Willem Jan; Medley, Brooke

    2016-03-01

    The Regional Atmospheric Climate Model (RACMO2) has been a powerful tool for improving surface mass balance (SMB) estimates from GCMs or reanalyses. However, new yearly SMB observations for West Antarctica show that the modelled interannual variability in SMB is poorly simulated by RACMO2, in contrast to ERA-Interim, which resolves this variability well. In an attempt to remedy RACMO2 performance, we included additional upper-air relaxation (UAR) in RACMO2. With UAR, the correlation to observations is similar for RACMO2 and ERA-Interim. The spatial SMB patterns and ice-sheet-integrated SMB modelled using UAR remain very similar to the estimates of RACMO2 without UAR. We only observe an upstream smoothing of precipitation in regions with very steep topography like the Antarctic Peninsula. We conclude that UAR is a useful improvement for regional climate model simulations, although results in regions with steep topography should be treated with care.

  7. Highly Asymmetric n(+) -p Heterojunction Quantum-Dot Solar Cells with Significantly Improved Charge-Collection Efficiencies.

    PubMed

    Choi, Min-Jae; Kim, Sunchuel; Lim, Hunhee; Choi, Jaesuk; Sim, Dong Min; Yim, Soonmin; Ahn, Byung Tae; Kim, Jin Young; Jung, Yeon Sik

    2016-03-01

    The depletion region width of metal-oxide/quantum-dot (QD) heterojunction solar cells is increased by a new method in which heavily boron-doped n(+) -ZnO is employed. It is effectively increased in the QD layer by 30% compared to the counterpart with conventional n-ZnO, and provides 41% and 37% improvement of Jsc (16.7 mA cm(-2) to 23.5 mA cm(-2) ) and power conversion efficiency (5.52% to 7.55%), respectively. PMID:26689133

  8. [Significance of intermittent CDDP therapy for improving long-term prognosis in patients with advanced ovarian cancer].

    PubMed

    Umesaki, N; Yamamoto, A; Nakano, M; Matsumoto, Y; Tsuda, K; Kawabata, M; Sugawa, T

    1991-12-01

    In cases of advanced ovarian cancer, intermittent CDDP therapy (ICDDPT) was applied after the first operation and induction chemotherapy, and its efficacy and limit were studied. One cycle of this therapy involved consecutive 5 day CDDP treatment (25-30mg/body/day). The therapy was repeated at intervals of 3 months. In many cases, ovarian cancer was histologically rated as epithelial adenocarcinoma. The study included 18 cases in total. ICDDPT was applied to 13 cases in which no tumor mass was detected by second look operation (SLO) or which showed clinical remission after operation. Only 3 of these 13 cases showed recurrence, and all these 13 are still living. Of the 5 cases in which SLO disclosed a tumor mass or which did not show remission after the first operation, 2 died. When the survival rate after ICDDPT was compared by the Kaplan-Meier method with that of controls without CDDP therapy, the effectiveness of ICDDPT was demonstrated. The survival rate could therefore be improved by ICDDPT. The therapy particularly improved the long term prognosis of SLO negative cases and cases in clinical remission. It seems necessary to repeat this therapy for a long period to achieve satisfactory results. In SLO positive cases and cases without clinical remission, the therapy had only a limited effect. PMID:1744459

  9. Human abilities.

    PubMed

    Sternberg, R J; Kaufman, J C

    1998-01-01

    This chapter reviews recent literature, primarily from the 1990s, on human abilities. The review opens with a consideration of the question of what intelligence is, and then considers some of the major definitions of intelligence, as well as implicit theories of intelligence around the world. Next, the chapter considers cognitive approaches to intelligence, and then biological approaches. It proceeds to psychometric or traditional approaches to intelligence, and then to broad, recent approaches. The different approaches raise somewhat different questions, and hence produce somewhat different answers. They have in common, however, the attempt to understand what kinds of mechanisms lead some people to adapt to, select, and shape environments in ways that match particularly well the demands of those environments. PMID:9496630

  10. Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact: Proposed Improvements at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility Newport News, Virginia

    SciTech Connect

    N /A

    2002-07-13

    The U. S. Department of Energy (DOE), in this Environmental Assessment (EA), reports the results of an analysis of the potential environmental impacts from the proposed construction of various site improvements and the proposed installation and operation of the Helios light source at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility (Jefferson Lab) in Newport News, Virginia. Jefferson Lab is operated by the Southeastern Universities Research Association, Inc. (SURA) under contract to DOE. With this proposal, DOE intends to construct no more than four major two or three story additions totaling about 151,000 sq. ft. (square feet) to CEBAF Center, the main facility administration building, and the addition of three new single story and one two story operations support structures on the accelerator site. The structures are a 28,000 sq. ft. storage building, a 15,100 sq. ft. technical support building, a 3,500 sq. ft. refrigeration service building, and a two-story 22,600 sq. ft addition to the Free Electron Laser (FEL) facility. The proposed action also involves the installation and operation of the Helios (High-Energy Lithography Source) accelerator in the FEL Addition. DOE proposes to take this action to provide Jefferson Lab with improved staff and operations support facilities that, along with the operation of Helios, will provide an increased capability to facilitate accelerator and physics program operations. Support activities necessary to effect the installation and operation of Helios would begin in Fiscal Year (FY) 03. It is expected that the Helios machine should be available to serve developmental and operational activities in support of the physics program later in FY 04. In this EA, DOE presents the no action alternative, alternatives considered and dismissed, and the proposed action alternative. It also evaluates the impacts of each.

  11. MicroRNA-145 Inhibitor Significantly Improves the Development of Bovine Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer Embryos In Vitro.

    PubMed

    Li, Wenzhe; Xiong, Yongjie; Wang, Fengyu; Liu, Xin; Gao, Yang; Wang, Yongsheng; Zhang, Yong; Jin, Yaping

    2016-08-01

    Directly regulating the translation of POU5F1, SOX2, KLF4, and miRNA-145 plays an important role in maintaining the pluripotency of stem cells and the development of early embryos. In the present study, the expression model of miRNA-145 on bovine somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) and in vitro fertilized (IVF) embryos were investigated and compared. Results indicated that (1) the expression level of miRNA-145 was significantly higher in SCNT embryos than that in IVF embryos after the eight-cell stage; (2) miRNA-145 negatively regulated the POU5F1, SOX2, and KLF4 in bovine embryos; (3) decreasing the expression of miRNA-145 by the miRNA-145 inhibitor significantly enhanced the expression of these three genes and the blastocyst formation rate; it also increased the total cell number and inner cell mass ratio of the bovine day 7 SCNT embryos. In conclusion, decreasing miRNA-145 expression might be a feasible means to enhance SCNT efficiency in bovines. PMID:27459582

  12. Improvement of the prediction ability of multivariate calibration by a method based on the combination of data fusion and least squares support vector machines.

    PubMed

    Ren, Shouxin; Gao, Ling

    2011-03-21

    This paper suggests a novel method named DF-LS-SVM, which is based on least squares support vector machines (LS-SVM) regression combined with data fusion (DF) to enhance the ability to extract characteristic information and improve the quality of the regression. Simultaneous multicomponent determination of Fe(III), Co(II) and Cu(II) was conducted for the first time by using the proposed method. Data fusion is a technique that integrates information from disparate sources to produce a single model or decision. The LS-SVM technique allows for learning a high-dimensional feature with fewer training data, and reduces the computational complexity by only requiring the solution of a set of linear equations instead of a quadratic programming problem. Experimental results showed that the DF-LS-SVM method was successful for simultaneous multicomponent determination even when severe overlap of spectra existed. The DF-LS-SVM method is an attractive and promising hybrid approach that combines the best properties of the two techniques. The results obtained from an additional test case, simultaneous differential pulse voltammetric determination of o-nitrophenol, m-nitrophenol and p-nitrophenol, also demonstrated that the DF-LS-SVM method performed somewhat better than LS-SVM and PLS methods. PMID:21243169

  13. Significantly improving stellar mass and radius estimates: a new reference function for the Δν scaling relation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guggenberger, Elisabeth; Hekker, Saskia; Basu, Sarbani; Bellinger, Earl

    2016-08-01

    The scaling relations between global asteroseismic observables and stellar properties are widely used to estimate masses and radii of stars exhibiting solar-like oscillations. Since the mass and radius of the Sun are known independently, the Sun is commonly used as a reference to scale to. However, the validity of the scaling relations depends on the homology between the star under study and the reference star. Solar-like oscillators span a wide range of masses and metallicities, as well as evolutionary phases. Most of these stars are therefore not homologous to the Sun. This leads to errors of up to 10% (5%) in mass (radius) when using the asteroseismic scaling relations with the Sun as the reference. In this paper we derive a reference function to replace the solar-reference value used in the large-frequency-separation scaling relation. Our function is the first that depends on both effective temperature and metallicity, and is applicable from the end of the main sequence to just above the bump on the red giant branch. This reference function improves the estimates of masses and radii determined through scaling relations by a factor of 2, i.e. allows masses and radii to be recovered with an accuracy of 5% and 2%, respectively.

  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. Significantly improving stellar mass and radius estimates: a new reference function for the Δν scaling relation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guggenberger, Elisabeth; Hekker, Saskia; Basu, Sarbani; Bellinger, Earl

    2016-08-01

    The scaling relations between global asteroseismic observables and stellar properties are widely used to estimate masses and radii of stars exhibiting solar-like oscillations. Since the mass and radius of the Sun are known independently, the Sun is commonly used as a reference to scale to. However, the validity of the scaling relations depends on the homology between the star under study and the reference star. Solar-like oscillators span a wide range of masses and metallicities, as well as evolutionary phases. Most of these stars are therefore not homologous to the Sun. This leads to errors of up to 10 per cent (5 per cent) in mass (radius) when using the asteroseismic scaling relations with the Sun as the reference. In this paper, we derive a reference function to replace the solar-reference value used in the large-frequency separation scaling relation. Our function is the first that depends on both effective temperature and metallicity, and is applicable from the end of the main sequence to just above the bump on the red giant branch. This reference function improves the estimates of masses and radii determined through scaling relations by a factor of 2, i.e. allows masses and radii to be recovered with an accuracy of 5 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively.

  16. Significantly improving stellar mass and radius estimates: A new reference function for the Δν scaling relation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guggenberger, Elisabeth; Hekker, Saskia; Basu, Sarbani; Bellinger, Earl

    2016-06-01

    The scaling relations between global asteroseismic observables and stellar properties are widely used to estimate masses and radii of stars exhibiting solar-like oscillations. Since the mass and radius of the Sun are known independently, the Sun is commonly used as a reference to scale to. However, the validity of the scaling relations depends on the homology between the star under study and the reference star. Solar-like oscillators span a wide range of masses and metallicities, as well as evolutionary phases. Most of these stars are therefore not homologous to the Sun. This leads to errors of up to 10% (5%) in mass (radius) when using the asteroseismic scaling relations with the Sun as the reference. In this paper we derive a reference function to replace the solar-reference value used in the large-frequency-separation scaling relation. Our function is the first that depends on both effective temperature and metallicity, and is applicable from the end of the main sequence to just above the bump on the red giant branch. This reference function improves the estimates of masses and radii determined through scaling relations by a factor of 2, i.e. allows masses and radii to be recovered with an accuracy of 5% and 2%, respectively.

  17. Systematic chemical modifications of single stranded siRNAs significantly improved CTNNB1 mRNA silencing.

    PubMed

    Chang, Wonsuk; Pei, Yi; Guidry, Erin N; Zewge, Daniel; Parish, Craig A; Sherer, Edward C; DiMuzio, Jillian; Zhang, Hangchun; South, Victoria J; Strapps, Walter R; Sepp-Lorenzino, Laura; Colletti, Steven L; Stanton, Matthew G

    2016-09-15

    Single-stranded silencing RNAs (ss siRNA), while not as potent as duplex RNAs, have the potential to become a novel platform technology in RNA interference based gene silencing by virtue of their simplicity and plausibly favorable characteristics in pharmacokinetics and biodistribution. Like other therapeutic pharmaceutical agents, ss siRNA can be optimized to achieve higher potency through a structure-activity based approach. Systematic chemical modification at each position of a 21-mer oligonucleotide identified 2',5'-linked 3'-deoxythymidine (3dT) at position 1 and locked nucleic acids (LNAs) at the seed region as key components to afford significant enhancement in knockdown activity both in vitro and in vivo. Further optimization by additional chemical modifications should enable ss siRNA as an alternative gene silencing modality. PMID:27503684

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Improving Sprouting Ability of White Yam Minisetts (Dioscorea alata Poir) Var Pona and Dente Using Different Disinfectants and Protectants in Sterilized Saw Dust

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asare-Bediako, E.; Showemimo, F. A.; Opoku-Asiama, Y.; Amewowor, D. H. A. K.

    The present study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of different disinfectants and protectants in improving sprouting and controlling rotting of yam minisetts. Results revealed that disinfection of both the sprouting medium and yam minisetts increase significantly the percentage sprouting of the Pona minisetts. Benlate was more effective in reducing the incidence of minisett rot and enhanced sprouting of the minisetts in roasted sawdust than the other protectants or disinfectants. Benlate-treated Pona minisetts gave high percentage sprouting and low percentage rotting in the roasted sawdust compare to that of Dente minisetts. Quicklime and neem wood ash were also effective in reducing incidence of minisett rot and increased sprouting of yam minisetts significantly compared with sodium hypochlorite, aqueous neem leaf extract and untreated minisetts (control).

  2. Combined Statistical Analyses of Peptide Intensities and Peptide Occurrences Improves Identification of Significant Peptides from MS-based Proteomics Data

    SciTech Connect

    Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M.; McCue, Lee Ann; Waters, Katrina M.; Matzke, Melissa M.; Jacobs, Jon M.; Metz, Thomas O.; Varnum, Susan M.; Pounds, Joel G.

    2010-11-01

    Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based (LC-MS) proteomics uses peak intensities of proteolytic peptides to infer the differential abundance of peptides/proteins. However, substantial run-to-run variability in peptide intensities and observations (presence/absence) of peptides makes data analysis quite challenging. The missing abundance values in LC-MS proteomics data are difficult to address with traditional imputation-based approaches because the mechanisms by which data are missing are unknown a priori. Data can be missing due to random mechanisms such as experimental error, or non-random mechanisms such as a true biological effect. We present a statistical approach that uses a test of independence known as a G-test to test the null hypothesis of independence between the number of missing values and the experimental groups. We pair the G-test results evaluating independence of missing data (IMD) with a standard analysis of variance (ANOVA) that uses only means and variances computed from the observed data. Each peptide is therefore represented by two statistical confidence metrics, one for qualitative differential observation and one for quantitative differential intensity. We use two simulated and two real LC-MS datasets to demonstrate the robustness and sensitivity of the ANOVA-IMD approach for assigning confidence to peptides with significant differential abundance among experimental groups.

  3. 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

  4. Appropriate Fe (II) Addition Significantly Enhances Anaerobic Ammonium Oxidation (Anammox) Activity through Improving the Bacterial Growth Rate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yiwen; Ni, Bing-Jie

    2015-02-01

    The application of anaerobic ammonium oxidation (Anammox) process is often limited by the slow growth rate of Anammox bacteria. As the essential substrate element that required for culturing Anammox sludge, Fe (II) is expected to affect Anammox bacterial growth. This work systematically studied the effects of Fe (II) addition on Anammox activity based on the kinetic analysis of specific growth rate using data from batch tests with an enriched Anammox sludge at different dosing levels. Results clearly demonstrated that appropriate Fe (II) dosing (i.e., 0.09 mM) significantly enhanced the specific Anammox growth rate up to 0.172 d-1 compared to 0.118 d-1 at regular Fe (II) level (0.03 mM). The relationship between Fe (II) concentration and specific Anammox growth rate was found to be well described by typical substrate inhibition kinetics, which was integrated into currently well-established Anammox model to describe the enhanced Anammox growth with Fe (II) addition. The validity of the integrated Anammox model was verified using long-term experimental data from three independent Anammox reactors with different Fe (II) dosing levels. This Fe (II)-based approach could be potentially implemented to enhance the process rate for possible mainstream application of Anammox technology, in order for an energy autarchic wastewater treatment.

  5. 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

  6. 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

    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

  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. PMID:26220082

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Heterotrimeric nuclear factors Y (NF-Ys) are involved in regulation of various vital functions in all eukaryotic organisms. Although a number of NF-Y subunits have been characterized in model plants, only a few have been functionally evaluated in crops. In this work, a number of genes encoding NF-YB and NF-YC subunits were isolated from drought-tolerant wheat (Triticum aestivum L. cv. RAC875), and the impact of the overexpression of TaNF-YB4 in the Australian wheat cultivar Gladius was investigated. TaNF-YB4 was isolated as a result of two consecutive yeast two-hybrid (Y2H) screens, where ZmNF-YB2a was used as a starting bait. A new NF-YC subunit, designated TaNF-YC15, was isolated in the first Y2H screen and used as bait in a second screen, which identified two wheat NF-YB subunits, TaNF-YB2 and TaNF-YB4. Three-dimensional modelling of a TaNF-YB2/TaNF-YC15 dimer revealed structural determinants that may underlie interaction selectivity. The TaNF-YB4 gene was placed under the control of the strong constitutive polyubiquitin promoter from maize and introduced into wheat by biolistic bombardment. The growth and yield components of several independent transgenic lines with up-regulated levels of TaNF-YB4 were evaluated under well-watered conditions (T1–T3 generations) and under mild drought (T2 generation). Analysis of T2 plants was performed in large deep containers in conditions close to field trials. Under optimal watering conditions, transgenic wheat plants produced significantly more spikes but other yield components did not change. This resulted in a 20–30% increased grain yield compared with untransformed control plants. Under water-limited conditions transgenic lines maintained parity in yield performance. PMID:26220082

  10. Post-exposure Treatment with Anti-rabies VHH and Vaccine Significantly Improves Protection of Mice from Lethal Rabies Infection.

    PubMed

    Terryn, Sanne; Francart, Aurélie; Rommelaere, Heidi; Stortelers, Catelijne; Van Gucht, Steven

    2016-08-01

    Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) against rabies infection consists of a combination of passive immunisation with plasma-derived human or equine immune globulins and active immunisation with vaccine delivered shortly after exposure. Since anti-rabies immune globulins are expensive and scarce, there is a need for cheaper alternatives that can be produced more consistently. Previously, we generated potent virus-neutralising VHH, also called Nanobodies, against the rabies glycoprotein that are effectively preventing lethal disease in an in vivo mouse model. The VHH domain is the smallest antigen-binding functional fragment of camelid heavy chain-only antibodies that can be manufactured in microbial expression systems. In the current study we evaluated the efficacy of half-life extended anti-rabies VHH in combination with vaccine for PEP in an intranasal rabies infection model in mice. The PEP combination therapy of systemic anti-rabies VHH and intramuscular vaccine significantly delayed the onset of disease compared to treatment with anti-rabies VHH alone, prolonged median survival time (35 versus 14 days) and decreased mortality (60% versus 19% survival rate), when treated 24 hours after rabies virus challenge. Vaccine alone was unable to rescue mice from lethal disease. As reported also for immune globulins, some interference of anti-rabies VHH with the antigenicity of the vaccine was observed, but this did not impede the synergistic effect. Post exposure treatment with vaccine and human anti-rabies immune globulins was unable to protect mice from lethal challenge. Anti-rabies VHH and vaccine act synergistically to protect mice after rabies virus exposure, which further validates the possible use of anti-rabies VHH for rabies PEP. PMID:27483431

  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. Measuring Divergent Abilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sefer, Jasmina

    The validity and reliability of the Yugoslavian (Beograd) version of the Hungarian adaptation of the Torrance Divergent Capacities Test (HAT-DAT) were tested, with a view toward improving the methodology of scoring the creative abilities test and determining standards for Yugoslavia. The test, based on the work of J. P. Guilford (1977), examines…

  13. A strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae evolved for fermentation of lignocellulosic biomass displays improved growth and fermentative ability in high solids concentrations and in the presence of inhibitory compounds

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Softwoods are the dominant source of lignocellulosic biomass in the northern hemisphere, and have been investigated worldwide as a renewable substrate for cellulosic ethanol production. One challenge to using softwoods, which is particularly acute with pine, is that the pretreatment process produces inhibitory compounds detrimental to the growth and metabolic activity of fermenting organisms. To overcome the challenge of bioconversion in the presence of inhibitory compounds, especially at high solids loading, a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae was subjected to evolutionary engineering and adaptation for fermentation of pretreated pine wood (Pinus taeda). Results An industrial strain of Saccharomyces, XR122N, was evolved using pretreated pine; the resulting daughter strain, AJP50, produced ethanol much more rapidly than its parent in fermentations of pretreated pine. Adaptation, by preculturing of the industrial yeast XR122N and the evolved strains in 7% dry weight per volume (w/v) pretreated pine solids prior to inoculation into higher solids concentrations, improved fermentation performance of all strains compared with direct inoculation into high solids. Growth comparisons between XR122N and AJP50 in model hydrolysate media containing inhibitory compounds found in pretreated biomass showed that AJP50 exited lag phase faster under all conditions tested. This was due, in part, to the ability of AJP50 to rapidly convert furfural and hydroxymethylfurfural to their less toxic alcohol derivatives, and to recover from reactive oxygen species damage more quickly than XR122N. Under industrially relevant conditions of 17.5% w/v pretreated pine solids loading, additional evolutionary engineering was required to decrease the pronounced lag phase. Using a combination of adaptation by inoculation first into a solids loading of 7% w/v for 24 hours, followed by a 10% v/v inoculum (approximately equivalent to 1 g/L dry cell weight) into 17.5% w/v solids, the final

  14. Dispersion-correcting potentials can significantly improve the bond dissociation enthalpies and noncovalent binding energies predicted by density-functional theory

    SciTech Connect

    DiLabio, Gino A.; Koleini, Mohammad

    2014-05-14

    Dispersion-correcting potentials (DCPs) are atom-centered Gaussian functions that are applied in a manner that is similar to effective core potentials. Previous work on DCPs has focussed on their use as a simple means of improving the ability of conventional density-functional theory methods to predict the binding energies of noncovalently bonded molecular dimers. We show in this work that DCPs developed for use with the LC-ωPBE functional along with 6-31+G(2d,2p) basis sets are capable of simultaneously improving predicted noncovalent binding energies of van der Waals dimer complexes and covalent bond dissociation enthalpies in molecules. Specifically, the DCPs developed herein for the C, H, N, and O atoms provide binding energies for a set of 66 noncovalently bonded molecular dimers (the “S66” set) with a mean absolute error (MAE) of 0.21 kcal/mol, which represents an improvement of more than a factor of 10 over unadorned LC-ωPBE/6-31+G(2d,2p) and almost a factor of two improvement over LC-ωPBE/6-31+G(2d,2p) used in conjunction with the “D3” pairwise dispersion energy corrections. In addition, the DCPs reduce the MAE of calculated X-H and X-Y (X,Y = C, H, N, O) bond dissociation enthalpies for a set of 40 species from 3.2 kcal/mol obtained with unadorned LC-ωPBE/6-31+G(2d,2p) to 1.6 kcal/mol. Our findings demonstrate that broad improvements to the performance of DFT methods may be achievable through the use of DCPs.

  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. PMID:24999011

  16. 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.

  17. Health-related quality of life is impaired in primary hyperparathyroidism and significantly improves after surgery: a prospective study using the 15D instrument

    PubMed Central

    Ryhänen, Eeva M; Heiskanen, Ilkka; Sintonen, Harri; Välimäki, Matti J; Roine, Risto P; Schalin-Jäntti, Camilla

    2015-01-01

    Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is frequently impaired in primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) but it is unclear if surgery is beneficial. The objective was to prospectively assess HRQoL in PHPT (n=124) with the 15D instrument before and after surgery, to compare it with that of a comparable sample of the general population (n=4295), and search for predictors of HRQoL and its change. HRQoL, and clinical and laboratory parameters were measured before and at 6 and 12 months after surgery. Regression techniques were used to search for predictors of HRQoL and gains from treatment. Before surgery, PHPT patients had significantly lower mean 15D score compared to controls (0.813 vs 0.904, P<0.001). Excretion, mental function, discomfort and symptoms, distress, depression, vitality, and sexual activity were most impaired (all P<0.001). Number of medications (P=0.001) and subjective symptoms (P<0.05) but not calcium or parathyroid hormone (PTH) predicted impaired HRQoL. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) was of borderline significance (P=0.051). Compared to baseline, mean 15D score improved significantly 6 months after surgery (0.813 vs 0.865, P<0.001) and the effect sustained at 1 year (0.878, P<0.001). The improvement was clinically important in 77.4% of patients (P<0.001). Educational level independently predicted improvement (P<0.005). HRQoL is severely impaired in PHPT but improves significantly after surgery. The 15D is a sensitive tool for assessing HRQoL and recognizing patients likely to benefit from surgery. PMID:26155796

  18. Health-related quality of life is impaired in primary hyperparathyroidism and significantly improves after surgery: a prospective study using the 15D instrument.

    PubMed

    Ryhänen, Eeva M; Heiskanen, Ilkka; Sintonen, Harri; Välimäki, Matti J; Roine, Risto P; Schalin-Jäntti, Camilla

    2015-09-01

    Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is frequently impaired in primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) but it is unclear if surgery is beneficial. The objective was to prospectively assess HRQoL in PHPT (n=124) with the 15D instrument before and after surgery, to compare it with that of a comparable sample of the general population (n=4295), and search for predictors of HRQoL and its change. HRQoL, and clinical and laboratory parameters were measured before and at 6 and 12 months after surgery. Regression techniques were used to search for predictors of HRQoL and gains from treatment. Before surgery, PHPT patients had significantly lower mean 15D score compared to controls (0.813 vs 0.904, P<0.001). Excretion, mental function, discomfort and symptoms, distress, depression, vitality, and sexual activity were most impaired (all P<0.001). Number of medications (P=0.001) and subjective symptoms (P<0.05) but not calcium or parathyroid hormone (PTH) predicted impaired HRQoL. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) was of borderline significance (P=0.051). Compared to baseline, mean 15D score improved significantly 6 months after surgery (0.813 vs 0.865, P<0.001) and the effect sustained at 1 year (0.878, P<0.001). The improvement was clinically important in 77.4% of patients (P<0.001). Educational level independently predicted improvement (P<0.005). HRQoL is severely impaired in PHPT but improves significantly after surgery. The 15D is a sensitive tool for assessing HRQoL and recognizing patients likely to benefit from surgery. PMID:26155796

  19. 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…

  20. 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,…

  1. Significantly enhanced tumor cellular and lysosomal hydroxychloroquine delivery by smart liposomes for optimal autophagy inhibition and improved antitumor efficiency with liposomal doxorubicin.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yang; Shi, Kairong; Zhang, Li; Hu, Guanlian; Wan, Jingyu; Tang, Jiajing; Yin, Sheng; Duan, Jiandong; Qin, Ming; Wang, Neng; Xie, Dandan; Gao, Xinle; Gao, Huile; Zhang, Zhirong; He, Qin

    2016-06-01

    Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) inhibits autophagy and therefore can sensitize some cancer cells to chemotherapy, but the high doses required limit its clinical use. Here we show that loading HCQ into liposomes (HCQ/Lip) decorated with a pH-sensitive TH-RGD targeting peptide (HCQ/Lip-TR) can concentrate HCQ in B16F10 tumor cells and lysosomes. HCQ/Lip-TR was efficiently internalized as a result of its ability to bind ITGAV-ITGB3/integrin αvβ3 receptors highly expressed on the tumor cell surface and to undergo charge reversal from anionic at pH 7.4 to cationic at pH 6.5. Studies in vitro at pH 6.5 showed that the intracellular HCQ concentration was 35.68-fold higher, and lysosomal HCQ concentration 32.22-fold higher, after treating cultures with HCQ/Lip-TR than after treating them with free HCQ. The corresponding enhancements observed in mice bearing B16F10 tumors were 15.16-fold within tumor cells and 14.10-fold within lysosomes. HCQ/Lip-TR was associated with milder anemia and milder myosuppressive reductions in white blood cell and platelet counts than free HCQ, as well as less accumulation in the small intestine, which may reduce risk of intestinal side effects. In addition, co-delivering HCQ/Lip-TR with either free doxorubicin (DOX) or liposomal DOX improved the ability of DOX to inhibit tumor growth. Biochemical, electron microscopy and immunofluorescence experiments confirmed that HCQ/Lip-TR blocked autophagic flux in tumor cells. Our results suggest that loading HCQ into Lip-TR liposomes may increase the effective concentration of the inhibitor in tumor cells, allowing less toxic doses to be used. PMID:27123811

  2. 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

  3. 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. PMID:26985021

  4. Stabilization of collagen nanofibers with l-lysine improves the ability of carbodiimide cross-linked amniotic membranes to preserve limbal epithelial progenitor cells

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Jui-Yang; Wang, Pei-Ran; Luo, Li-Jyuan; Chen, Si-Tan

    2014-01-01

    To overcome the drawbacks associated with limited cross-linking efficiency of carbodiimide modified amniotic membrane, this study investigated the use of l-lysine as an additional amino acid bridge to enhance the stability of a nanofibrous tissue matrix for a limbal epithelial cell culture platform. Results of ninhydrin assays and zeta potential measurements showed that the amount of positively charged amino acid residues incorporated into the tissue collagen chains is highly correlated with the l-lysine-pretreated concentration. The cross-linked structure and hydrophilicity of amniotic membrane scaffolding materials affected by the lysine molecular bridging effects were determined. With an increase in the l-lysine-pretreated concentration from 1 to 30 mM, the cross-linking density was significantly increased and water content was markedly decreased. The variations in resistance to thermal denaturation and enzymatic degradation were in accordance with the number of cross-links per unit mass of amniotic membrane, indicating l-lysine-modulated stabilization of collagen molecules. It was also noteworthy that the carbodiimide cross-linked tissue samples prepared using a relatively high l-lysine-pretreated concentration (ie, 30 mM) appeared to have decreased light transmittance and biocompatibility, probably due to the influence of a large nanofiber size and a high charge density. The rise in stemness gene and protein expression levels was dependent on improved cross-link formation, suggesting the crucial role of amino acid bridges in constructing suitable scaffolds to preserve limbal progenitor cells. It is concluded that mild to moderate pretreatment conditions (ie, 3–10 mM l-lysine) can provide a useful strategy to assist in the development of carbodiimide cross-linked amniotic membrane as a stable stem cell niche for corneal epithelial tissue engineering. PMID:25395849

  5. Environmental enrichment decreases GABAergic inhibition and improves cognitive abilities, synaptic plasticity, and visual functions in a mouse model of Down syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Begenisic, Tatjana; Spolidoro, Maria; Braschi, Chiara; Baroncelli, Laura; Milanese, Marco; Pietra, Gianluca; Fabbri, Maria E.; Bonanno, Giambattista; Cioni, Giovanni; Maffei, Lamberto; Sale, Alessandro

    2011-01-01

    Down syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic disorder associated with mental retardation. It has been repeatedly shown that Ts65Dn mice, the prime animal model for DS, have severe cognitive and neural plasticity defects due to excessive inhibition. We report that increasing sensory-motor stimulation in adulthood through environmental enrichment (EE) reduces brain inhibition levels and promotes recovery of spatial memory abilities, hippocampal synaptic plasticity, and visual functions in adult Ts65Dn mice. PMID:22207837

  6. Early Workplace Intervention to Improve the Work Ability of Employees with Musculoskeletal Disorders in a German University Hospital-Results of a Pilot Study.

    PubMed

    Schwarze, Monika; Egen, Christoph; Gutenbrunner, Christoph; Schriek, Stephanie

    2016-01-01

    Health promotion is becoming increasingly important in work life. Healthcare workers seem to be at special risk, experiencing musculoskeletal disorders (MSD); their situation is strongly influenced by demographic changes. The aim of this study is to evaluate the feasibility and outcome of a worksite intervention. In a one-group pretest-posttest design, 118 employees of a hospital were recruited from 2010 to 2011. The raised parameters were satisfaction with the program, work ability (Work Ability Index), and sickness absence (provided by human resource management). Patient-reported questionnaire data was raised at baseline (t1) and after three months (t2). Sickness leave was evaluated in the period six months prior to and six months after the intervention. Means, frequencies, standardized effect sizes (SES), analysis of variance, and regression analysis were carried out. Participants were found to be highly satisfied. Work ability increased with moderate effects (SES = 0.34; p < 0.001) and prognosis of gainful employment (SES = -0.19; p ≤ 0.047) with small effects. Days of MSD-related sickness absence were reduced by 38.5% after six months. The worksite intervention program is transferable to a hospital setting and integration in occupational health management is recommended. The use of a control group is necessary to demonstrate the effectiveness. PMID:27618120

  7. Synthesis and characterization of F-doped Cs0.33WO3-xFx particles with improved near infrared shielding ability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jingxiao; Luo, Jiayu; Shi, Fei; Liu, Suhua; Fan, Chuanyan; Xu, Qiang; Shao, Guolin

    2015-01-01

    F-doped Cs0.33WO3-xFx particles were successfully synthesized by the hydrothermal method with hydrofluoric acid as fluorine source, and a new kind of heat insulating films were prepared from dispersion of Cs0.33WO3-xFx nanoparticles in polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) aqueous solution. The effects of F doping on the crystal structure and morphology of Cs0.33WO3-xFx particles as well as the near-infrared (NIR) shielding ability and heat insulation properties of Cs0.33WO3-xFx films were investigated. The results indicated that HF acid addition could promote the formation of rod-like Cs0.33WO3-xFx particles during hydrothermal synthesis and increase the yield of Cs0.33WO3-xFx powders. Moreover, the as-prepared films from dispersion solution of Cs0.33WO3-xFx particles exhibited higher near-infrared (NIR) shielding ability and heat insulating properties than that of the undoped Cs0.33WO3 film. Particularly, the as-prepared Cs0.33WO3-xFx sample with F/W (molar ratio)=0.45 showed best NIR shielding ability and transparent heat insulating performance. The formation mechanism of nanorod-like particles and the effects of F doping on the properties of Cs0.33WO3-xFx products were discussed.

  8. Combined therapy with thrombospondin-1 type I repeats (3TSR) and chemotherapy induces regression and significantly improves survival in a preclinical model of advanced stage epithelial ovarian cancer

    PubMed Central

    Russell, Samantha; Duquette, Mark; Liu, Joyce; Drapkin, Ronny; Lawler, Jack; Petrik, Jim

    2015-01-01

    Most women are diagnosed with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) at advanced stage, where therapies have limited effectiveness and the long-term survival rate is low. We evaluated the effects of combined antiangiogenic and chemotherapy treatments on advanced stage EOC. Treatment of EOC cells with a recombinant version of the thrombospondin-1 type I repeats (3TSR) induced more apoptotic cell death (36.5 ± 9.6%) in vitro compared to untreated controls (4.1 ± 1.4). In vivo, tumors were induced in an orthotopic, syngeneic mouse model of advanced stage EOC. Mice were treated with 3TSR (4 mg/kg per day) alone or in combination with chemotherapy drugs delivered with maximum tolerated dose or metronomic scheduling. Pretreatment with 3TSR induced tumor regression, normalized tumor vasculature, and improved uptake of chemotherapy drugs. Combination 3TSR and metronomic chemotherapy induced the greatest tumor regression (6.2-fold reduction in size compared to PBS-treated controls) and highest survival when treatment was initiated at advanced stage. 3TSR binding to its receptor, CD36 (cluster of differentiation 36), increased binding of CD36 and SHP-1, which significantly inhibited phosphorylation of the VEGF receptor. In this study, we describe a novel treatment approach and mechanism of action with 3TSR and chemotherapy that induces regression of advanced stage EOC and significantly improves survival.—Russell, S., Duquette, M., Liu, J., Drapkin, R., Lawler, J., Petrik, J. Combined therapy with thrombospondin-1 type I repeats (3TSR) and chemotherapy induces regression and significantly improves survival in a preclinical model of advanced stage epithelial ovarian cancer. PMID:25395453

  9. Predicting student performance in sonographic scanning using spatial ability as an ability determinent of skill acquisition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clem, Douglas Wayne

    Spatial ability refers to an individual's capacity to visualize and mentally manipulate three dimensional objects. Since sonographers manually manipulate 2D and 3D sonographic images to generate multi-viewed, logical, sequential renderings of an anatomical structure, it can be assumed that spatial ability is central to the perception and interpretation of these medical images. Using Ackerman's theory of ability determinants of skilled performance as a conceptual framework, this study explored the relationship of spatial ability and learning sonographic scanning. Beginning first year sonography students from four different educational institutions were administered a spatial abilities test prior to their initial scanning lab coursework. The students' spatial test scores were compared with their scanning competency performance scores. A significant relationship between the students' spatial ability scores and their scanning performance scores was found. This result suggests that the use of spatial ability tests for admission to sonography programs may improve candidate selection, as well as assist programs in adjusting instruction and curriculum for students who demonstrate low spatial ability.

  10. Significant Improvement of Optoelectronic and Photovoltaic Properties by Incorporating Thiophene in a Solution-Processable D-A-D Modular Chromophore.

    PubMed

    Raynor, Aaron M; Gupta, Akhil; Plummer, Christopher M; Jackson, Sam L; Bilic, Ante; Patil, Hemlata; Sonar, Prashant; Bhosale, Sheshanath V

    2015-01-01

    Through the incorporation of a thiophene functionality, a novel solution-processable small organic chromophore was designed, synthesized and characterized for application in bulk-heterojunction solar cells. The new chromophore, (2Z,2'Z)-2,2'-(1,4-phenylene)bis(3-(5-(4-(diphenylamino)phenyl)thiophen-2-yl)acrylonitrile) (coded as AS2), was based on a donor-acceptor-donor (D-A-D) module where a simple triphenylamine unit served as an electron donor, 1,4-phenylenediacetonitrile as an electron acceptor, and a thiophene ring as the π-bridge embedded between the donor and acceptor functionalities. AS2 was isolated as brick-red, needle-shaped crystals, and was fully characterized by ¹H- and (13)C-NMR, IR, mass spectrometry and single crystal X-ray diffraction. The optoelectronic and photovoltaic properties of AS2 were compared with those of a structural analogue, (2Z,2'Z)-2,2'-(1,4-phenylene)bis(3-(4-(diphenylamino)phenyl)-acrylonitrile) (AS1). Benefiting from the covalent thiophene bridges, compared to AS1 thin solid film, the AS2 film showed: (1) an enhancement of light-harvesting ability by 20%; (2) an increase in wavelength of the longest wavelength absorption maximum (497 nm vs. 470 nm) and (3) a narrower optical band-gap (1.93 eV vs. 2.17 eV). Studies on the photovoltaic properties revealed that the best AS2-[6,6]-phenyl-C61-butyric acid methyl ester (PC61BM)-based device showed an impressive enhanced power conversion efficiency of 4.10%, an approx. 3-fold increase with respect to the efficiency of the best AS1-based device (1.23%). These results clearly indicated that embodiment of thiophene functionality extended the molecular conjugation, thus enhancing the light-harvesting ability and short-circuit current density, while further improving the bulk-heterojunction device performance. To our knowledge, AS2 is the first example in the literature where a thiophene unit has been used in conjunction with a 1,4-phenylenediacetonitrile accepting functionality to extend

  11. Synergistic Effects in Nanoengineered HNb3O8/Graphene Hybrids with Improved Photocatalytic Conversion Ability of CO2 into Renewable Fuels.

    PubMed

    Liu, He; Zhang, Haitao; Shen, Peng; Chen, Feixiong; Zhang, Suojiang

    2016-01-12

    Layered HNb3O8/graphene hybrids with numerous heterogeneous interfaces and hierarchical pores were fabricated via the reorganization of exfoliated HNb3O8 nanosheets with graphene nanosheets (GNs). Numerous interfaces and pores were created by the alternative stacking of HNb3O8 nanosheets with limited size and GNs with a buckling and folding feature. The photocatalytic conversation of CO2 into renewable fuels by optimized HNb3O8/G hybrids yields 8.0-fold improvements in CO evolution amounts than that of commercial P25 and 8.6-fold improvements than that of HNb3O8 bulk powders. The investigation on the relationships between microstructures and improved photocatalytic performance demonstrates that the improved photocatalytic performance is attributed to the exotic synergistic effects via the combination of enhanced specific BET surface area, increased strong acid sites and strong acid amounts, narrowed band gap energy, depressed electron-hole recombination rate, and heterogeneous interfaces. PMID:26695348

  12. Improvement of stress tolerance and leavening ability under multiple baking-associated stress conditions by overexpression of the SNR84 gene in baker's yeast.

    PubMed

    Lin, Xue; Zhang, Cui-Ying; Bai, Xiao-Wen; Feng, Bing; Xiao, Dong-Guang

    2015-03-16

    During the bread-making process, industrial baker's yeast cells are exposed to multiple baking-associated stresses, such as elevated high-temperature, high-sucrose and freeze-thaw stresses. There is a high demand for baker's yeast strains that could withstand these stresses with high leavening ability. The SNR84 gene encodes H/ACA snoRNA (small nucleolar RNA), which is known to be involved in pseudouridylation of the large subunit rRNA. However, the function of the SNR84 gene in baker's yeast coping with baking-associated stresses remains unclear. In this study, we explored the effect of SNR84 overexpression on baker's yeast which was exposed to high-temperature, high-sucrose and freeze-thaw stresses. These results suggest that overexpression of the SNR84 gene conferred tolerance of baker's yeast cells to high-temperature, high-sucrose and freeze-thaw stresses and enhanced their leavening ability in high-sucrose and freeze-thaw dough. These findings could provide a valuable insight for breeding of novel stress-resistant baker's yeast strains that are useful for baking. PMID:25555226

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Optimization of Deep Drilling Performance--Development and Benchmark Testing of Advanced Diamond Product Drill Bits & HP/HT Fluids to Significantly Improve Rates of Penetration

    SciTech Connect

    Alan Black; Arnis Judzis

    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.

  2. Genipin-structured peptide-polysaccharide nanoparticles with significantly improved resistance to harsh gastrointestinal environments and their potential for oral delivery of polyphenols.

    PubMed

    Hu, Bing; Xie, Minhao; Zhang, Chen; Zeng, Xiaoxiong

    2014-12-24

    Genipin-cross-linked caseinophosphopeptide (CPP)-chitosan (CS) nanoparticles (smaller than 300 nm) showed significantly improved stability and adjustable release profile in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Optimal purification of the nanoparticles was established by centrifugation to terminate the cross-linking reaction, which was further confirmed and characterized by FT-IR. Results from transmission electron microscopy (TEM), dynamic light scattering (DLS), and electrophoretic mobility (ζ-potential) measurements revealed that genipin cross-linking significantly prevented the bursting of the CPP-CS nanoparticles in simulated stomach acid and their precipitation under neutral intestinal environment. Pepsin showed little impact on the nanoparticle colloid stability; however, trypsin induced their aggregations. Genipin cross-linking slowed the burst release of (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) from the nanoparticles. The EGCG-loaded nanoparticles showed strong cytotoxicity against cancer cells; meanwhile, the net nanoparticles demonstrated high biocompatibility. The findings in the present work provide fundamental information for the rational design of biopolymer nanoparticles as an effective delivery systems for polyphenols. PMID:25479066

  3. Significant Improvement of Antithrombotic Responses to Clopidogrel by Use of a Novel Conjugate as Revealed in an Arterial Model of Thrombosis.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Haoming; Lauver, D Adam; Wang, Hui; Sun, Duxin; Hollenberg, Paul F; Chen, Y Eugene; Osawa, Yoichi; Eitzman, Daniel T

    2016-10-01

    Clopidogrel is a prodrug that requires bioactivation by cytochrome P450 (P450) enzymes to a pharmacologically active metabolite for antiplatelet action. The clinical limitations of clopidogrel are in large part due to its poor pharmacokinetics resulting from inefficient bioactivation by P450s. In this study, we determined the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of a novel conjugate of clopidogrel, referred to as ClopNPT, in animal models and we evaluated its potential to overcome the limitations of clopidogrel. Results from pharmacokinetic (PK) studies showed that ClopNPT released the active metabolite with a time to maximal plasma concentration of <5 minutes in C57BL/6 mice after either oral or intravenous administration, and plasma concentrations of the active metabolite reached Cmax values of 1242 and 1100 ng/ml after a 10-mg/kg oral dose and a 5-mg/kg intravenous dose, respectively. Furthermore, ClopNPT was highly effective in preventing arterial thrombosis in rabbits and mice after vascular injuries. Formation of occlusive thrombi was prevented by ClopNPT at the 1-mg/kg dose with no significant increase in tongue bleeding time, whereas clopidogrel was ineffective at the same dose. These results suggest that ClopNPT has favorable PK/pharmacodynamic properties that can potentially overcome the attenuated PK properties of clopidogrel and thus significantly improve the efficacy of antiplatelet therapy. PMID:27511819

  4. Continuous exposure to glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor to mature dopaminergic transplants impairs the graft's ability to improve spontaneous motor behavior in parkinsonian rats.

    PubMed

    Winkler, C; Georgievska, B; Carlsson, T; Lacar, B; Kirik, D

    2006-08-11

    Functional recovery following intrastriatal transplantation of fetal dopaminergic neurons in animal models of Parkinson's disease is, at least in part, dependent on the number of surviving dopaminergic neurons and the degree of graft-derived dopaminergic reinnervation of the host striatum. In the present study, we analyzed whether continuous exposure of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) to mature dopaminergic grafts could further boost the functional outcome of widespread intrastriatal dopaminergic grafts. Rats with dopamine-denervating lesions received multiple intrastriatal transplants of fetal dopaminergic cells and graft-induced behavioral effects were analyzed in drug-induced and spontaneous motor behaviors. At three months after grafting, animals received intrastriatal injections of recombinant lentiviral vectors encoding for either human GDNF or the green fluorescent protein. Continuous exposure of GDNF to the grafts did not boost the functional recovery beyond what was observed in the control animals. Rather, in some of the spontaneous motor behaviors, animals in the GDNF-group showed deterioration as compared with control animals, and this negative effect of GDNF was associated with a down-regulation of the tyrosine hydroxylase enzyme. Based on these and our earlier results, we propose that intrastriatal administration of GDNF at the time of or shortly after grafting is highly effective in initially promoting the cell survival and fiber outgrowth from the grafts. However, once the grafts are mature, GDNF's ability to boost dopaminergic neurotransmission follows the same dynamics as for the native nigral dopaminergic neurons, which appears to be dependent on the concentration of GDNF. Since rather low doses of glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor at nanogram levels appear to saturate these effects, it may be critical to adjust GDNF levels using tightly regulated gene expression systems. PMID:16697115

  5. [Specific features of the structure of sleep and personality under the conditions of chronic emotional stress and methods of improving the adaptive abilities of man].

    PubMed

    Veĭn, A M; Sudakov, K V; Levin, Ia I; Iumatov, E A; Kovrov, G V; Strygin, K N; Posokhov, S I; Korabel'nikova, E A

    2003-01-01

    The results of a complex psychophysiological study of human sleep in the chronic stress condition are described. 20 patients with complaints of night sleep disturbances in the chronic stress condition and 10 healthy controls were examined by polysomnography. Profound changes of the quantitative and qualitative sleep parameters, mainly, related with the slow sleep phase, sleep delta characteristics and adaptive wakefulness mechanisms. The study demonstrated the effectiveness of improving the human adaptive parameters in the chronic stress conditions by using the drug and drugless therapy methods. PMID:12741354

  6. Spatial Ability Development in the Geosciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baldwin, T. K.; Hall-Wallace, M. K.

    2003-12-01

    We designed an experiment to evaluate change in students' spatial skills as a result of completing an earth science course. Our test subjects included high school students in earth science classes, college level non-science majors enrolled in large enrollment introductory geoscience courses and introductory level geoscience majors. They also varied as to whether their course had a hand-on laboratory experience or used supplemental Geographic Information System (GIS) based activities. We measured all students' ability to mentally rotate three-dimensional objects and to construct a three-dimensional object from a two-dimensional representation before and after taking the earth science course. Results show an improvement in spatial skills for all groups after completing the science course. We also observed a consistent improvement in spatial skills overall from high school level science to courses for majors, which is possibly related to their increased exposure to science. A subgroup of the test subjects among both high school and the college non-science majors completed supplementary GIS activities. The GIS implementation at the high school level was more extensive and resulted in significant improvements in both categories of spatial ability. At the college level, the non-science majors that used the GIS curriculum showed no significant difference from those that did not, probably because the time spent on the curriculum was too short. At the college level, the geoscience majors had nearly three times the improvement of non-science majors in both categories of spatial ability. This can most likely be attributed to hands-on, weekly laboratory experiences, which were not part of the course for non-science majors. Students choosing science majors typically have much higher spatial skills than the average first or second year non-science major, however there were large variations in spatial ability within all groups. These results suggest that we evaluate teaching

  7. 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

  8. Grey Matter Density Predicts the Improvement of Naming Abilities After tDCS Intervention in Agrammatic Variant of Primary Progressive Aphasia.

    PubMed

    Cotelli, Maria; Manenti, Rosa; Paternicò, Donata; Cosseddu, Maura; Brambilla, Michela; Petesi, Michela; Premi, Enrico; Gasparotti, Roberto; Zanetti, Orazio; Padovani, Alessandro; Borroni, Barbara

    2016-09-01

    Agrammatic variant primary progressive aphasia is a neurodegenerative disorder specifically characterized by language deficits. A recent study has demonstrated a beneficial effect of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in combination with language training on naming accuracy in these patients. The aim of the study was to evaluate whether the improvement of naming accuracy after tDCS during language training was related to regional grey matter (GM) density. Eighteen avPPA patients underwent a brain magnetic resonance imaging before receiving a treatment that consisted of tDCS over the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex during individualized language training (10 daily therapy sessions, 5 days per week from Monday to Friday). Performances on neuropsychological tests and naming of objects (treated and untreated) and actions were assessed at baseline, post-treatment  and 3 months after treatment. Correlations between individual changes after treatment on neuropsychological tests and on picture naming task and voxel-based GM volume at baseline were performed. We found that the improvement in the naming of treated objects was positively correlated with GM volume in the left fusiform, left middle temporal, and right inferior temporal gyri whereas action naming change was related to GM density in the left middle temporal gyrus. In conclusion baseline density of GM in these brain regions was associated with greater treatment response on naming performances, suggesting that intervention in early disease stages might be most successful. These findings have implication for designing future rehabilitation protocols in language variants of frontotemporal dementia. PMID:27194245

  9. 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. PMID:25037592

  10. Heterologous expression of the Hsp24 from Trichoderma asperellum improves antifungal ability of Populus transformant Pdpap-Hsp24 s to Cytospora chrysosperma and Alternaria alternate.

    PubMed

    Ji, S D; Wang, Z Y; Fan, H J; Zhang, R S; Yu, Z Y; Wang, J J; Liu, Z H

    2016-09-01

    The tolerance of plants to biotic and abiotic stresses could be improved by transforming with fungal resistance-related genes. In this study, the cDNA sequence (GenBank Acc. No. KP337939) of the resistance-related gene Hsp24 encoding the 24 kD heat shock protein was obtained from the biocontrol fungus Trichoderma asperellum ACCC30536. The promoter region of Hsp24 contained many cis-regulators related to stresses response, such as "GCN4" and "GCR1" etc. Hsp24 transcription in T. asperellum was up-regulated under six different environmental stresses, compared with the control. Furthermore, following heterologous transformation into Populus davidiana × P. alba var. Pyramidalis (Pdpap), Hsp24 was successfully transcribed in transformant Pdpap-Hsp24s. Pathogen-related genes (PRs) in four Pdpap-Hsp24s were up-regulated compared with those in the control Pdpap (Pdpap-Con). After co-culture of Pdpap-Hsp24s with the weak parasite Cytospora chrysosperma, the transcription of genes related to hormone signal pathway (JA and SA) were up-regulated in Pdpap-Hsp24s, and ethidium bromide (EtBr) and Nitro-blue tetrazolium (NBT) staining assays indicated that the cell membrane permeability and the active oxygen content of Pdpap-Hsp24s leaves were lower than that of the control Pdpap-Con. And when the Pdpap-Hsp24s were under the Alternaria alternate stress, the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and peroxidase (POD) got higher in Pdpap-Hsp24s than that in Pdpap-Con, and the disease spots in Pdpap-Con leaves were obviously larger than those in Pdpap-Hsp24s leaves. In summary, Hsp24 of T. asperellum ACCC30536 is an important defense response gene, and its heterologous expression improved the resistance of transformant Pdpap-Hsp24s to C. chrysosperma and A. alternate. PMID:27193371

  11. 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

  12. Improvement of Cellular Uptake and Transfection Ability of pDNA Using α-Cyclodextrin-Polyamidoamine Conjugates as Gene Delivery System.

    PubMed

    Qin, Linghao; Cao, Duanwen; Huang, Huan; Ji, Gangjian; Feng, Min; Chen, Jianhai; Pan, Shirong

    2016-02-01

    Polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers are a class of unique nanomaterials which attracted attention because of their extraordinary properties, such as highly branched structure and types of terminal primary groups. In addition, development in PAMAM chemical modification has broadened its biological application especially for drug and gene delivery. In this study, PAMAMs are covalently conjugated onto α-Cyclodextrin (α-CD) via amide bonds obtaining the starburst cationic polymers (CD-PG2). The chemical structure and composition of CD-PG2 was characterized by IH NMR. Physicochemical and biological properties of CD-PG2/pDNA polyplex were evaluated by agarose gel retardation, stability test against DNasecñ, MTT assay, DLS measurement, CLSM observation, LDH leakage test, cellular uptake route analysis and in-vitro cell transfection. Results showed that CD-PG2 can efficiently condense pDNA into nanoscale particles with a narrow size distribution, and protect pDNA form DNase I degradation. Compared with free PEI-25K and commercial product Lipofectamine2000, CD-PG2 shows excellent gene transfection efficiency without serum interference as well as relatively low cytotoxicity. Cellular uptake of CD-PG2/pDNA polyplex is mainly through CME and CvME route and further investigations demonstrate that α-CD can regulate CvME pathway to improve polyplex transfection behavior. In conclusion, CD-PG2 can be considered as a versatile tool for gene delivery, especially for gene transfer in-vivo. PMID:27305760

  13. 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. PMID:25811122

  14. Initiation of insulin aspart to Indian subjects on OADs show significant improvement in glycaemic outcomes: the A1chieve observational study.

    PubMed

    Rao, P V; Bhattacharyya, A; Sahay, R K

    2013-01-01

    The prevalence of diabetes is increasing worldwide and India stands second next only to china. The management of diabetes in real life settings needs to be evaluated for deriving better management practices. A1chieve observational study evaluated the use of modern insulin in real life settings. This was a 24-week, international, prospective, multicenter, non-interventional, observational study of people with type 2 diabetes. India recruited with 20,554 subjects and a total of 1815 patients were enrolled to receive insulin aspart as bolus insulin therapy of whom 1450 (79.9%) were insulin naïve and 365 (20.1%) were insulin users. At the end of 24 weeks, only one SAE was reported in this study and overall hypoglycemia events per patient year decreased from 2.49 (348 episodes) to 0.17 (20 episodes). There were no major hypoglycemic episodes reported in either insulin naive or insulin treated subjects. There was a significant improvement in the HbA(1c) values from the baseline in both insulin naive and insulin users. The mean HbA(1c) value was reduced from 9.5 to 7.4 (p < 0.001) for insulin naïve subjects and from 9.2 to 7.7 (p < 0.001) in insulin experienced subjects. Fasting plasma glucose values decreased by 70 mg/dL and 50 mg/dL in insulin naive and insulin experienced, respectively and the difference from baseline was statistically significant (P < 0.001). The post prandial glucose value was also significantly (p < 0.001) reduced by 105 mg/dL for insulin naïve subjects and 55 mg/dL for insulin experienced subjects. The composite end point was achieved by 46.6% of insulin naive and 38.1% of insulin-experienced subjects. The study concluded with good HbA(1c) reduction along with lower incidence of hypoglycemia and better health related quality of life outcomes in both in insulin naive and insulin experienced subjects who used insulin aspart as bolus insulin treatment. PMID:24482983

  15. Adenosine receptor antagonists improve short-term object-recognition ability of spontaneously hypertensive rats: a rodent model of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.

    PubMed

    Pires, Vanessa A; Pamplona, Fabrício A; Pandolfo, Pablo; Fernandes, Daniel; Prediger, Rui D S; Takahashi, Reinaldo N

    2009-03-01

    The strain of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) is considered a genetic model for the study of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as it displays hyperactivity, impulsivity and poorly sustained attention. Recently, we have shown the involvement of adenosinergic neuromodulation in the SHR's short-term and long-term memory impairments. In this study, we investigated the performance of male and female SHR in a modified version of the object-recognition task (using objects with different structural complexity) and compared them with Wistar rats, a widely used outbred rat strain for the investigation of learning processes. The suitability of the SHR strain to represent an animal model of ADHD, as far as mnemonic deficits are concerned, was pharmacologically validated by the administration of methylphenidate, the first-choice drug for the treatment of ADHD patients. The role of adenosine A1 and A2A receptors in object discrimination was investigated by the administration of caffeine (nonselective antagonist) or selective adenosine receptor antagonists. Wistar rats discriminated all the objects used (cube vs. pyramid; cube vs. T-shaped object), whereas SHR only discriminated the most structurally distinct pairs of objects (cube vs. pyramid). Pretraining administration of methylphenidate [2 mg/kg, intraperitoneal (i.p.)], caffeine (1-10 mg/kg, i.p.), the selective adenosine receptor antagonists DPCPX (8-cyclopenthyl-1,3-dipropylxanthine; A1 antagonist, 5 mg/kg, i.p.) and ZM241385 (A2A antagonist, 1.0 mg/kg, i.p.), or the association of ineffective doses of DPCPX (3 mg/kg) and ZM241385 (0.5 mg/kg), improved the performance of SHR in the object-recognition task. These findings show that the discriminative learning impairments of SHR can be attenuated by the blockade of either A1 or A2A adenosine receptors, suggesting that adenosinergic antagonists might represent potentially interesting drugs for the treatment of ADHD. PMID:19307960

  16. Significant Treasures.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Andrews, Ian A.

    1999-01-01

    Provides a crossword puzzle with an answer key corresponding to the book entitled "Significant Treasures/Tresors Parlants" that is filled with color and black-and-white prints of paintings and artifacts from 131 museums and art galleries as a sampling of the 2,200 such Canadian institutions. (CMK)

  17. 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

  18. Characterisation of European varieties of triticale with special emphasis on the ability of plant phytase to improve phytate phosphorus availability to chickens.

    PubMed

    Jondreville, C; Genthon, C; Bouguennec, A; Carre, B; Nys, Y

    2007-12-01

    1. A total of 30 varieties and selection lines of triticale grown under similar conditions were characterised. Thousand grain weight, specific weight, Hagberg falling number and N were 50.2 +/- 5.0 g, 72.4 +/- 2.1 kg/hl, 96 +/- 48 s and 16.1 +/- 0.11 g/kg, respectively. 2. Mean phosphorus (P) concentration was 2.86 +/- 0.31 g/kg, of which 77% was of phytic origin. Mean phytase activity was 1018 +/- 319 phytase units (PU)/kg. A genotypic effect on phytase activity was detected amongst 5 varieties studied out of 30. Potential and real applied viscosities were positively correlated and mean values were 3.53 +/- 0.66 and 2.15 +/- 0.31 ml/g, respectively. 3. The efficacy of plant phytase in improving P availability was assessed in chickens up to 3 weeks of age. Growth performance and bone ash concentration were compared in birds given either a maize (450 g/kg) and soybean meal (230 g/kg) phosphorus deficient diet containing 3.5 g P/kg, this basal diet supplemented with 1 or 2 g P/kg as monocalcium phosphate (MCP) or triticale (450 g/kg) and soybean meal (230 g/kg) diets containing 3.2 to 3.8 g P/kg with no MCP. To achieve graded levels of phytase activity, 4 varieties of triticale, intact or in which phytase was denaturated by heat treatment, were used. Estimated metabolisable energy, protein, amino acids and calcium concentrations were similar in all diets. 4. Phytase activity in the triticale-based diets ranged between 135 and 1390 PU/kg. Growth performance and bone ash were responsive to plant phytase and to MCP. Non-linear models of these responses were adjusted with the best fit for bone ash parameters. The values of 250, 500 and 1000 PU of plant phytase were estimated to be equivalent to 0.46, 0.67 and 0.81 g P as MCP, respectively. PMID:18085450

  19. An Assessment of the Ability of the Stay‐green Phenotype in Lolium Species to Provide an Improved Protein Supply for Ruminants

    PubMed Central

    KINGSTON-SMITH, ALISON H.; BOLLARD, ANDREA L.; HUMPHREYS, MERVYN O.; THEODOROU, MICHAEL K.

    2002-01-01

    The stay‐green phenotype results from a naturally occurring mutation in which senescent leaves retain their chlorophyll and the associated apoprotein, LHCPII. Protection of this protein pool could deliver grass with enhanced protein content and could decrease the extent of protein degradation by plant proteases in the rumen. This would enhance the efficiency of protein utilization in livestock to the benefit of the environment. Field plots of stay‐green and wild‐type Lolium perenne were defoliated at intervals to simulate grazing. There were variations in foliar protein content and proteolysis throughout the year, but no significant differences between genotypes when material was analysed fresh or after it was cut and dried to simulate hay‐making, which possibly induced senescence. In a subsequent experiment with stay‐green and wild‐type L. temulentum, increased protein retention and decreased protein degradability were observed in stay‐green leaves that were allowed to senescence naturally and extensively on the plant. That there is no difference between the two L. perenne genotypes suggests that as a field crop in grazed pastures the stay‐green genotype would not confer a nutritional advantage in terms of protein degradability. It is possible that grazing promotes a high proportion of non‐senescent to senescent leaf material within the sward and thus any advantage conferred by the stay‐green phenotype would be effectively masked by an abundance of mature foliage. It is suggested that the stay‐green trait would be of benefit in areas where agricultural practice permits extensive natural senescence to occur. PMID:12102529

  20. An Evidence-Based Education Program for Adults about Child Sexual Abuse ("Prevent It!") That Significantly Improves Attitudes, Knowledge, and Behavior.

    PubMed

    Martin, Erin K; Silverstone, Peter H

    2016-01-01

    Here we describe the development of an evidence-based education program for adults about childhood sexual abuse (CSA), called Prevent It! Uniquely, the primary goal of this program was to change the behavior of participants, as well as to increase knowledge about CSA and positive attitudes toward it. A comprehensive review shows no previous similar approach. The program includes a detailed manual to allow standardized administration by trained facilitators, as well as multiple video segments from CSA survivors and professionals. A total of 23 program workshops were run, with 366 adults participating. Of these, 312 (85%) agreed to take part in the study. All completed baseline ratings prior to the program and 195 (63% of study sample) completed follow-up assessments at 3-months. There were no significant differences between the demographic make-up of the baseline group and the follow-up group. Assessments included demographic data, knowledge, attitudes, and several measures of behavior (our primary outcome variable). Behavioral questions asked individuals to select behaviors used in the previous 3-months from a list of options. Questions also included asking "how many times in the previous 3-months" have you "talked about healthy sexual development or Child sexual abuse (CSA) with a child you know"; "suspected a child was sexually abused"; "taken steps to protect a child"; or "reported suspected sexual abuse to police or child welfare"? The majority of attendees were women, with the commonest age group being between 30 and 39 years old. Approximately 33% had experienced CSA themselves. At 3-month follow-up there were highly statistically significant improvements in several aspects of behavior and knowledge, and attitudes regarding CSA. For example, the number of subjects actively looking for evidence of CSA increased from 46% at baseline to 81% at follow-up, while the number of subjects who actively took steps to protect children increased from 25% at baseline to 48

  1. 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

  2. Derivation of Primordial germ cells from Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells is significantly improved by co-culture with human fetal gonadal cells

    PubMed Central

    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

    2012-01-01

    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 co-differentiation 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). In order to better characterize the iPGCs we performed Real time PCR, 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. PMID:19350678

  3. Adding blood to agitated saline significantly improves detection of right-to-left shunt by contrast-transcranial color-coded duplex sonography.

    PubMed

    Gentile, Mauro; De Vito, Alessandro; Azzini, Cristiano; Tamborino, Carmine; Casetta, Ilaria

    2014-11-01

    Contrast-transcranial Doppler and contrast-transcranial color-coded duplex sonography (c-TCCD) have been reported to have high sensitivity in detecting patent foramen ovale as compared with transesophageal echocardiography. An international consensus meeting (Jauss and Zanette 2000) recommended that the contrast agent for right-to left-shunt (RLS) detection using contrast-transcranial Doppler be prepared by mixing 9 mL of isotonic saline solution and 1 mL of air. The aim of our study was to determine whether adding blood to the contrast agent results in improved detection of RLS. We enrolled all consecutive patients admitted to our neurosonology laboratory for RLS diagnosis. For each patient, we performed c-TCCD both at rest and during the Valsalva maneuver using two different contrast agents: ANSs (1 mL of air mixed with 9 mL of normal saline) and ANSHBs (1 mL of air mixed with 8 mL of normal saline and 1 mL of the patient's blood). To classify RLS, we used a four-level visual categorization: (i) no occurrence of micro-embolic signals; (ii) grade I, 1-10 signals; (iii) grade II, >10 signals but no curtain; grade III, curtain pattern. We included 80 patients, 33 men and 47 women. RLS was detected in 18.8% at rest and in 35% during the Valsalva maneuver using ANSs, and in 31.3% and in 46.3% using ANSHBs, respectively (p < 0.0001). There was a statistically significant increase in the number of micro-embolic signals with the use of ANSHBs. The use of blood mixed with saline solution and air as a c-TCCD contrast agent produced an increase in positive tests and a higher grade of RLS compared with normal saline and air alone, either with or without the Valsalva maneuver. PMID:25220269

  4. AgrAbility Project

    MedlinePlus

    About Us Search Search for: AgrAbility Assisting farmers and ranchers with disabilities. Menu Skip to content Home About AgrAbility Newsletters (old) AT Resources AT Database Staff Development Archive Contact Us We ...

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. Improved Planning Abilities in Binge Eating

    PubMed Central

    Neveu, Rémi; Neveu, Dorine; Barsumian, Franck; Fouragnan, Elsa; Carrier, Edouard; Lai, Massimo; Sultan, Jocelyne; Nicolas, Alain; Coricelli, Giorgio

    2014-01-01

    Objective The role of planning in binge eating episodes is unknown. We investigated the characteristics of planning associated with food cues in binging patients. We studied planning based on backward reasoning, reasoning that determines a sequence of actions back to front from the final outcome. Method A cross-sectional study was conducted with 20 healthy participants, 20 bulimia nervosa (BN), 22 restrictive (ANR) and 23 binging anorexia nervosa (ANB), without any concomitant impulsive disorder. In neutral/relaxing, binge food and stressful conditions, backward reasoning was assessed with the Race game, promotion of delayed large rewards with an intertemporal discounting task, attention with the Simon task, and repeating a dominant behavior with the Go/No-go task. Results BN and to a lower extent ANB patients succeeded more at the Race game in food than in neutral condition. This difference discriminated binging from non-binging participants. Backward reasoning in the food condition was associated with lower approach behavior toward food in BN patients, and higher food avoidance in ANB patients. Enhanced backward reasoning in the food condition related to preferences for delayed large rewards in BN patients. In BN and ANB patients the enhanced success rate at the Race game in the food condition was associated with higher attention paid to binge food. Conclusion These findings introduce a novel process underlying binges: planning based on backward reasoning is associated with binges. It likely aims to reduce craving for binge foods and extend binge refractory period in BN patients, and avoid binging in ANB patients. Shifts between these goals might explain shifts between eating disorder subtypes. PMID:25148580

  8. 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.

  9. Competence and ability.

    PubMed

    Vogelstein, Eric

    2014-06-01

    It is nearly universally thought that the kind of decision-making competence that gives one a strong prima facie right to make one's own medical decisions essentially involves having an ability (or abilities) of some sort, or having a certain level or degree of ability (or abilities). When put under philosophical scrutiny, however, this kind of theory does not hold up. I will argue that being competent does not essentially involve abilities, and I will propose and defend a theory of decision-making competence according to which one is competent only if one possesses a certain kind of rationality in making treatment decisions. PMID:22845798

  10. 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

  11. The effects of ankle joint taping on gait and balance ability of healthy adults

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Myoung-Kwon; Cha, Hyun-Gyu

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] This study examined the effects of the application of elastic taping over the ankle joints of healthy subjects on their gait, balance ability, and muscle strength. [Subjects] Fifty healthy subjects with no orthopedic history of the ankle joint were selected and elastic taping was applied to their ankle joints. [Methods] Before and after application of the elastic taping, gait and balance ability of the subjects were evaluated. [Results] After the taping application, gait velocity significantly increased and there were significant differences in all variables of balance ability. [Conclusion] Application of elastic taping aimed at improving stability of the ankle joint had a positive effect on gait speed and balance ability. PMID:26504323

  12. 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

  13. The effects of sole vibration stimulation on Korean male professional volleyball players' jumping and balance ability.

    PubMed

    Kim, Yong-Youn; Min, Kyoung-Ok; Choi, Jung-Hyun; Kim, Soon-Hee

    2016-05-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in jumping ability and lower limb balance ability elicited by plyometric training and vibration exercise, of volleyball players with and without ankle injuries, which frequently occur among Korean professional volleyball players. [Subjects and Methods] Twenty-eight volleyball players were divided into the following groups: plyometric with ankle injury (PAI) group; plyometric with non-ankle injury (PAN) group; vibrator with ankle injury (VAI) group; and vibrator with non-ankle injury (VAN) group. After exercise and whole body vibration stimulation, their vertical jumping abilities, side step, and static equilibrium ability were measured. [Results] The vibration exercise group which had experienced ankle injuries showed significant improvements in the sidestep test after the intervention compared to before the intervention. In vertical jumping as well, significant improvements were observed in the VAI group and the VAN group following vibration exercise. In the balance ability test, significant improvesments in the PAN group and the PAI group were observed after the intervention. According to the results of the right side, there was significant change in the left/back side test and the right/back side test before and after the intervention; and in the test of one-leg standing with eyes closed, there were significant group, timing, and interaction effects. [Conclusions] The training method which effectively improved the jumping ability of volleyball players was plyometric training, and for balance ability improvement, whole body vibration exercise was effective. PMID:27313344

  14. 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. PMID:17918175

  15. 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}.

  16. 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...

  17. Scientific Ability and Creativity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heller, Kurt A.

    2007-01-01

    Following an introductory definition of "scientific ability and creativity", product-oriented, personality and social psychological approaches to studying scientific ability are examined with reference to competence and performance. Studies in the psychometric versus cognitive psychological paradigms are dealt with in more detail. These two…

  18. Significant improvement following combination treatment with mefloquine and mirtazapine in a patient with progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy after allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplantation.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Hitoshi; Ohshima, Kenji; Toda, Jun; Kusakabe, Shinsuke; Masaie, Hiroaki; Yagi, Toshinari; Ishikawa, Jun

    2014-01-01

    We report a case of a 40-year-old female who developed progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML), which is associated with JC virus reactivation, after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation. As she had been suffering from graft-versus-host disease and lung damage after pneumocystis pneumonia, the administration of calcineurin inhibitor and steroid could not be discontinued. However, she showed a favorable improvement in clinical symptoms and imaging findings after treatment with the anti-malarial drug, mefloquine and a serotonin receptor blocker, mirtazapine. Continuation of the treatment for eight months finally led to the clearance of the JC virus from her cerebrospinal fluid. She currently shows no neurological disturbance and has resumed her daily activities. PML due to the severe immunosuppressive condition has been reported as a fatal complication after allo-SCT. Our case suggests that combination treatment with mefloquine and mirtazapine may be of great value for the treatment for PML patients in the post allo-SCT setting, although it is difficult to say whether the combination treatment alone led to improvement. Further clinical study is needed to clarify the efficacy of these drugs for the treatment of PML. PMID:24264833

  19. 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. PMID:26967358

  20. Spatial Abilities of Expert Clinical Anatomists: Comparison of Abilities between Novices, Intermediates, and Experts in Anatomy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fernandez, Ruth; Dror, Itiel E.; Smith, Claire

    2011-01-01

    Spatial ability has been found to be a good predictor of success in learning anatomy. However, little research has explored whether spatial ability can be improved through anatomy education and experience. This study had two aims: (1) to determine if spatial ability is a learned or inherent facet in learning anatomy and (2) to ascertain if there…

  1. 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.

  2. Facilitating endoscopic submucosal dissection: the suture-pulley method significantly improves procedure time and minimizes technical difficulty compared with conventional technique: an ex vivo study (with video)

    PubMed Central

    Aihara, Hiroyuki; Kumar, Nitin; Ryou, Marvin; Abidi, Wasif; Ryan, Michele B.; Thompson, Christopher C.

    2015-01-01

    Background The lack of countertraction in endoscopic submucosal dissection (ESD) results in increased technical demand and procedure time. Although the suture-pulley method for countertraction has been reported, its effectiveness compared with the traditional ESD technique remains unclear. Objective To objectively analyze efficacy of countertraction using the suture-pulley method for ESD. Design Prospective ex vivo animal study. Setting Animal laboratory. Interventions Twenty simulated gastric lesions were created in porcine stomachs by using a standard circular template 30 mm in diameter. In the control arm (n = 10), ESD was performed by using the standard technique. In the suture-pulley arm (N = 10), a circumferential incision was made, and an endoscopic suturing device was used to place the suture pulley. Main Outcome Measurements The primary outcome of this study was total procedure time. Results The median total procedure time with the suture-pulley method was significantly shorter than the traditional ESD technique (median, 25% to 75%, interquartile range [IQR]: 531 seconds [474.3–549.3 seconds] vs 845 seconds [656.3–1547.5 seconds], P < .001). The median time (IQR) for suture-pulley placement was 160.5 seconds (150.0–168.8 seconds). Although there was a significantly longer procedure time for proximal versus middle/lower stomach lesions with traditional ESD (median, 1601 seconds; IQR, 1547.5–1708.8 seconds vs median, 663 seconds; IQR, 627.5–681.8 seconds; P =.01), there was no significant difference in procedure time for lesions of various locations when using the suture-pulley method. Compared with traditional ESD, the suture-pulley method was less demanding in all categories evaluated by the NASA Task Load Index. Limitations Ex vivo study. Conclusions The suture-pulley method facilitates direct visualization of the submucosal layer during ESD and significantly reduces procedure time and technical difficulty. In addition, the benefit of the suture

  3. 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

  4. Measuring creative imagery abilities.

    PubMed

    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

  5. Combined Use of Hyperbaric and Hypobaric Ropivacaine Significantly Improves Hemodynamic Characteristics in Spinal Anesthesia for Caesarean Section: A Prospective, Double-Blind, Randomized, Controlled Study

    PubMed Central

    Quan, ZheFeng; Tian, Ming; Chi, Ping; Li, Xin; He, HaiLi; Luo, Chao

    2015-01-01

    Purpose To observe the hemodynamic changes of parturients in the combined use of hyperbaric (4 mg) and hypobaric (6 mg) ropivacaine during spinal anesthesia for caesarean section in this randomized double-blind study. Methods Parturients (n = 136) undergoing elective cesarean delivery were randomly and equally allocated to receive either combined hyperbaric and hypobaric ropivacaine (Group A) or hyperbaric ropivacaine (Group B). Outcome measures were: hemodynamic characteristics, maximum height of sensory block, time to achieve T8 sensory blockade level, incidence of complications, Apgar scores at 1 and 5 min, and neonatal blood gas analysis. Results Group A had a lower level of sensory blockade (T6 [T6-T7]) and longer time to achieve T8 sensory blockade level (8 ± 1.3 min) than did patients in Group B (T3 [T2-T4] and 5 ± 1.0 min, respectively; P < 0.001, both). The incidence rates for hypotension, nausea, and vomiting were significantly lower in Group A (13%, 10%, and 3%, respectively) than Group B (66%, 31%, and 13%; P < 0.001, P = 0.003, P = 0.028). Conclusions Combined use of hyperbaric (4 mg) and hypobaric (6 mg) ropivacaine significantly decreased the incidences of hypotension and complications in spinal anesthesia for caesarean section by extending induction time and decreasing the level of sensory blockade. Trial Registration Chinese Clinical Trial Register ChiCTR-TRC-13004622 PMID:25970485

  6. 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

  7. Disruption of the 5S RNP-Mdm2 interaction significantly improves the erythroid defect in a mouse model for Diamond-Blackfan anemia.

    PubMed

    Jaako, P; Debnath, S; Olsson, K; Zhang, Y; Flygare, J; Lindström, M S; Bryder, D; Karlsson, S

    2015-11-01

    Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA) is a congenital erythroid hypoplasia caused by haploinsufficiency of genes encoding ribosomal proteins (RPs). Perturbed ribosome biogenesis in DBA has been shown to induce a p53-mediated ribosomal stress response. However, the mechanisms of p53 activation and its relevance for the erythroid defect remain elusive. Previous studies have indicated that activation of p53 is caused by the inhibition of mouse double minute 2 (Mdm2), the main negative regulator of p53, by the 5S ribonucleoprotein particle (RNP). Meanwhile, it is not clear whether this mechanism solely mediates the p53-dependent component found in DBA. To approach this question, we crossed our mouse model for RPS19-deficient DBA with Mdm2(C305F) knock-in mice that have a disrupted 5S RNP-Mdm2 interaction. Upon induction of the Rps19 deficiency, Mdm2(C305F) reversed the p53 response and improved expansion of hematopoietic progenitors in vitro, and ameliorated the anemia in vivo. Unexpectedly, disruption of the 5S RNP-Mdm2 interaction also led to selective defect in erythropoiesis. Our findings highlight the sensitivity of erythroid progenitor cells to aberrations in p53 homeostasis mediated by the 5S RNP-Mdm2 interaction. Finally, we provide evidence indicating that physiological activation of the 5S RNP-Mdm2-p53 pathway may contribute to functional decline of the hematopoietic system in a cell-autonomous manner over time. PMID:25987256

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:25921785

  10. PolySearch2: a significantly improved text-mining system for discovering associations between human diseases, genes, drugs, metabolites, toxins and more.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yifeng; Liang, Yongjie; Wishart, David

    2015-07-01

    PolySearch2 (http://polysearch.ca) is an online text-mining system for identifying relationships between biomedical entities such as human diseases, genes, SNPs, proteins, drugs, metabolites, toxins, metabolic pathways, organs, tissues, subcellular organelles, positive health effects, negative health effects, drug actions, Gene Ontology terms, MeSH terms, ICD-10 medical codes, biological taxonomies and chemical taxonomies. PolySearch2 supports a generalized 'Given X, find all associated Ys' query, where X and Y can be selected from the aforementioned biomedical entities. An example query might be: 'Find all diseases associated with Bisphenol A'. To find its answers, PolySearch2 searches for associations against comprehensive collections of free-text collections, including local versions of MEDLINE abstracts, PubMed Central full-text articles, Wikipedia full-text articles and US Patent application abstracts. PolySearch2 also searches 14 widely used, text-rich biological databases such as UniProt, DrugBank and Human Metabolome Database to improve its accuracy and coverage. PolySearch2 maintains an extensive thesaurus of biological terms and exploits the latest search engine technology to rapidly retrieve relevant articles and databases records. PolySearch2 also generates, ranks and annotates associative candidates and present results with relevancy statistics and highlighted key sentences to facilitate user interpretation. PMID:25925572

  11. 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

  12. AgrAbility Project

    MedlinePlus

    ... About AgrAbility State Projects Directory The Toolbox AT Database Resources Veterans & Beginning Farmers Communities of Interest News ... 800) 825-4264 Home About The Toolbox AT Database Resources Online Training Contact Us You are here: ...

  13. A novel liposomal irinotecan formulation with significant anti-tumour activity: use of the divalent cation ionophore A23187 and copper-containing liposomes to improve drug retention.

    PubMed

    Ramsay, Euan; Alnajim, Jehan; Anantha, Malathi; Zastre, Jason; Yan, Hong; Webb, Murray; Waterhouse, Dawn; Bally, Marcel

    2008-03-01

    We determined whether the method used to encapsulate irinotecan into 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-phosphocholine/cholesterol (DSPC/Chol; 55:45 mol%) liposomes influenced: (i) irinotecan release rate and (ii) therapeutic efficacy. DSPC/Chol (55:45 mol%) liposomes were prepared with: (i) unbuffered CuSO4; (ii) buffered (pH 7.5) CuSO4; (iii) unbuffered MnSO4 and the ionophore A23187 (exchanges internal metal2+ with external 2H+ to establish and maintain a transmembrane pH gradient); and (iv) unbuffered CuSO4 and ionophore A23187. All formulations exhibited >98% irinotecan encapsulation (0.2 drug-to-lipid molar ratio; 10 min incubation at 50 degrees C). Following a single intravenous injection (100mg/kg irinotecan) into Balb/c mice, the unbuffered CuSO4 plus A23187 formulation mediated a half-life of irinotecan release of 44.4h; a >or=4-fold increase compared to the other liposome formulations. This surprising observation demonstrated that the CuSO4 plus A23187 formulation enhanced irinotecan retention compared to the MnSO4 plus A23187 formulation, indicating the importance of the divalent metal. A single dose of the CuSO4 plus A23187 formulation (50mg/kg irinotecan) mediated an 18-fold increase in median T-C (the difference in days for treated and control subcutaneous human LS 180 adenocarcinoma xenografts to increase their initial volume by 400%) when compared to a comparable dose of Camptosar. Improved irinotecan retention was associated with increased therapeutic activity. PMID:17904831

  14. 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.

  15. Physicochemical state of the nanotopographic surface of commercially pure titanium following anodization-hydrothermal treatment reveals significantly improved hydrophilicity and surface energy profiles.

    PubMed

    Takebe, Jun; Ito, Shigeki; Miura, Shingo; Miyata, Kyohei; Ishibashi, Kanji

    2012-01-01

    A method of coating commercially pure titanium (cpTi) implants with a highly crystalline, thin hydroxyapatite (HA) layer using discharge anodic oxidation followed by hydrothermal treatment (Spark discharged Anodic oxidation treatment ; SA-treated cpTi) has been reported for use in clinical dentistry. We hypothesized that a thin HA layer with high crystallinity and nanostructured anodic titanium oxide film on such SA-treated cpTi implant surfaces might be a crucial function of their surface-specific potential energy. To test this, we analyzed anodic oxide (AO) cpTi and SA-treated cpTi disks by SEM and AFM. Contact angles and surface free energy of each disk surface was measured using FAMAS software. High-magnification SEM and AFM revealed the nanotopographic structure of the anodic titanium oxide film on SA-treated cpTi; however, this was not observed on the AO cpTi surface. The contact angle and surface free energy measurements were also significantly different between AO cpTi and SA-treated cpTi surfaces (Tukey's, P<0.05). These data indicated that the change of physicochemical properties of an anodic titanium oxide film with HA crystals on an SA-treated cpTi surface may play a key role in the phenomenon of osteoconduction during the process of osseointegration. PMID:23177772

  16. Significant reduction in bacterial shedding and improvement in milk production in dairy farms after the use of a new inactivated paratuberculosis vaccine in a field trial

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background Paratuberculosis vaccination has been in use in some regions for many decades, but results have not been widely spread. A new Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) killed vaccine was studied in relationship with its effects on fecal shedding and milk production in four farms while other two were kept as controls submitted to a test and cull scheme. Findings Fecal detection (n = 1829) and milking records (n = 2413) have been analyzed after two (5 herds) and four (1 herd) years of the beginning of the intervention. Shedder prevalence was reduced by 100% in three of the four vaccinated farms, 68% in the total of vaccinated animals and 46% in the two control farms. Total amount of MAP shed was reduced 77% in the vaccinated farms and 94% in the control farms. Overall milk production increased up to 3.9% after vaccination, while there was no significant difference in production after intervention in the non-vaccinated farms. Conclusion MAP shedding reduction can be quickly accomplished both by vaccination and by testing and culling. However, vaccination appears to be a less expensive and more sustainable strategy since it required one single intervention and was also associated with an increase in milk production. PMID:19930604

  17. 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. PMID:25362888

  18. Preparation of highly dispersible and tumor-accumulative, iron oxide nanoparticles Multi-point anchoring of PEG-b-poly(4-vinylbenzylphosphonate) improves performance significantly.

    PubMed

    Ujiie, Kodai; Kanayama, Naoki; Asai, Kei; Kishimoto, Mikio; Ohara, Yusuke; Akashi, Yoshimasa; Yamada, Keiichi; Hashimoto, Shinji; Oda, Tatsuya; Ohkohchi, Nobuhiro; Yanagihara, Hideto; Kita, Eiji; Yamaguchi, Masayuki; Fujii, Hirofumi; Nagasaki, Yukio

    2011-12-01

    multipoint anchoring character by the phosphonate groups, is rational design for improvement in nanoparticle as in vivo application. Two major points, viz., extremely stable anchoring character and dense PEG chains tethered on the nanoparticle surface, worked simultaneously to become PEG-PIONs as an ideal biomedical devices intact for prolonged periods in harsh biological environments. PMID:21890332

  19. 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

  20. Significant Improvement in Thermal and UV Resistances of UHMWPE Fabric through in Situ Formation of Polysiloxane-TiO2 Hybrid Layers.

    PubMed

    Hu, Jiangtao; Gao, Qianhong; Xu, Lu; Zhang, Mingxing; Xing, Zhe; Guo, Xiaojing; Zhang, Kuo; Wu, Guozhong

    2016-09-01

    Anatase nanocrystalline titanium dioxide coatings were produced on ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fabric by radiation-induced graft polymerization of γ-methacryloxypropyl trimethoxysilane (MAPS) and subsequent cohydrolysis of the graft chains (PMAPS) with tetrabutyl titanate, followed by boiling water treatment for 180 min. The resulting material was coded as UHMWPE-g-PMAPS/TiO2 and characterized by attenuated total reflection infrared spectrometry, differential scanning calorimetry, X-ray diffraction, thermal gravimetry, and ultraviolet absorption spectroscopy, among others. The predominant form of TiO2 in the thin film was anatase. The coating layer was composed of two sublayers: an inner part consisting of an organic-inorganic hybrid layer to prevent photocatalytic degradation of the matrix by TiO2 film, and an outer part consisting of anatase nanocrystalline TiO2 capable of UV absorption. This UHMWPE-g-PMAPS/TiO2 composite exhibited much better thermal resistance than conventional UHMWPE fabric, as reflected by the higher melting point, decreased maximum degradation rate, and higher char yield at 700 °C. Compared with UHMWPE fabric, UHMWPE-g-PMAPS/TiO2 exhibited significantly enhanced UV absorption and excellent duration of UV illumination. Specifically, the UV absorption intensity was 2.4-fold higher than that of UHMWPE fabric; the retention of the break strength of UHMWPE-g-PMAPS/TiO2 reached 92.3% after UV irradiation. This work provides an approach for addressing the issue of self-degradation of TiO2-coated polymeric materials due to the inherent photoactivity of TiO2. PMID:27513017

  1. Ionic liquid integrated multiwalled carbon nanotube in a poly(vinylidene fluoride) matrix: formation of a piezoelectric β-polymorph with significant reinforcement and conductivity improvement.

    PubMed

    Mandal, Amit; Nandi, Arun K

    2013-02-01

    Multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs) are functionalized covalently with ionic liquid (IL, 3-aminoethyl imidazolium bromide) which helps good dispersion of IL-functionalized MWNTs (MWNT-IL) in the poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) matrix. Analysis of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) micrographs suggests ∼10 nm coating thickness of MWNTs by ILs, and the covalent linkage of ILs with MWNTs is confirmed from FT-IR and Raman spectra. PVDF nanocomposites with full β-polymorphic (piezoelectric) form are prepared using MWNT-IL by both the solvent cast and melt-blending methods. The FE-SEM and TEM micrographs indicate that IL-bound MWNTs are homogeneously dispersed within the PVDF matrix. Increasing MWNT-IL concentration in the composites results in increased β polymorph formation with a concomitant decrease of the α polymorph, and a 100% β polymorph formation occurs for 1 wt % MWNT-IL in both the fabrication conditions. A differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) study shows that the MWNT-ILs are an efficient nucleating agent for PVDF crystallization preferentially nucleating the β form due to its dipolar interactions with PVDF. The glass transition temperature (T(g)) gradually increases with an increase in MWNT-IL concentration, and the storage modulus (G') of the composites increases significantly, showing a maximum increase of 101.3% for 0.5 wt % MWNT-IL. The Young's modulus increases with MWNT-IL concentration, and analysis of the data using the Halpin-Tsai equation suggests that at low concentration they adopt an orientation parallel to the film surface; however, at higher MWNT-IL concentration it is randomly oriented. The tensile strength also increases with an increase in MWNT-IL concentration, and both the Young's modulus and the tensile strength of solvent cast films are lower than melt-blended samples. The elongation at break in the solvent cast samples shows a maximum, but in melt-blended samples it decreases continuously with increasing MWNT

  2. Kinetics of improved 1,4-alpha-D-glucan glucohydrolase biosynthesis from a newly isolated Aspergillus oryzae IIB-6 and parameter significance analysis by 2-factorial design.

    PubMed

    Fatima, Bilqees; Ali, Sikander

    2012-01-01

    Sixteen different mould cultures viz. Aspergillus, Alternaria, Arthroderma, Trichoderma, Fusarium, Penicillium, Rhizopus and Chochliobolus were isolated from the soil samples of Qatar by serial dilution method. The preliminary screening of isolates was done by selecting initial colonies showing relatively bigger zones of starch hydrolysis on nutrient agar plates. The isolates were then subjected to secondary screening by submerged fermentation (SmF). The 1,4-α-D-glucan glucohydrolase (GGH) activity ranged from 1.906-12.675 U/ml/min. The product yield was analysed in dependence of mycelial morphology, biomass level and protein content. The isolate Aspergillus oryzae llB-6 which gave maximum enzyme production was incubated in M3 medium containing 20 g/l starch, 10 g/l lactose, 8.5 g/l yeast extract, 6 g/l corn steep liquor (CSL), 1.2 g/l MgSO4.7H2O, 1.3 g/l NH4Cl, 0.6 g/l CaCl2.2H2O, pH 5 at 30±2°C and 200 rpm. On the basis of kinetic variables, notably Qp (0.058±0.01(a) U/g/h), Yp/s (0.308±0.03(ab) U/g) and qp (0.210±0.032(abc) U/g fungal biomass/h), A. oryzae IIB-6 was found to be a hyper producer of GGH (LSD 0.0345) compared to A. kawachii IIB-2. A noticeable enhancement in enzyme activity of over 30% was observed (13.917±1.01 U/ml/min) when the process parameters viz. cultural conditions (pH 5, incubation period 72 h) and nutritional requirements (6 g/l CSL, 9.5 g/l yeast extract, 10 g/l starch, 20 g/l lactose) were further optimized using a 2-factorial Plackett-Burman design. The model terms were found to be highly significant (HS, p≤0.05), indicating the potential utility of the culture (dof~3). PMID:23961361

  3. 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…

  4. Transformation Problem Solving Abilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harmel, Sarah Jane

    The relationship between transformation problem performance and Guilford Structure of Intellect (SI) abilities is explored. During two group sessions 42 females and 35 males, age 18-39, were administered 12 Guilford SI tests exemplifying all five symbolic content (numeric) operations, and three contents in the divergent production area. Logical…

  5. 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…

  6. A Specific Calculating Ability.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Mike; O'Connor, Neil; Hermelin, Beate

    1998-01-01

    Studied the calculating ability used by a low IQ savant to identify prime numbers in two experiments comparing him to control subjects, one involving reaction time and the other involving inspection time. Concludes that this individual uses a complex computational algorithm to identify primes and discusses the apparent contradiction of his low IQ.…

  7. Pharmacy Students’ Ability to Identify Plagiarism After an Educational Intervention

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Kira; Kehr, Heather; Ford, Carolyn; Lane, Daniel C.; Nuzum, Donald S.; Compton, Cynthia; Gibson, Whitney

    2014-01-01

    Objective. To determine if an educational intervention in a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program increases pharmacy students’ ability to identify plagiarism. Methods. First-year (P1), second-year (P2), and third-year (P3) pharmacy students attended an education session during which types of plagiarism and methods for avoiding plagiarism were reviewed. Students completed a preintervention assessment immediately prior to the session and a postintervention assessment the following semester to measure their ability. Results. Two hundred fifty-two students completed both preintervention and postintervention assessments. There was a 4% increase from preintervention to postintervention in assessment scores for the overall student sample (p<0.05). The mean change was greatest for P1 and P2 students (5% and 4.8%, respectively). Conclusion. An educational intervention about plagiarism can significantly improve students’ ability to identify plagiarism. PMID:24672066

  8. Pharmacy students' ability to identify plagiarism after an educational intervention.

    PubMed

    Degeeter, Michelle; Harris, Kira; Kehr, Heather; Ford, Carolyn; Lane, Daniel C; Nuzum, Donald S; Compton, Cynthia; Gibson, Whitney

    2014-03-12

    Objective. To determine if an educational intervention in a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program increases pharmacy students' ability to identify plagiarism. Methods. First-year (P1), second-year (P2), and third-year (P3) pharmacy students attended an education session during which types of plagiarism and methods for avoiding plagiarism were reviewed. Students completed a preintervention assessment immediately prior to the session and a postintervention assessment the following semester to measure their ability. Results. Two hundred fifty-two students completed both preintervention and postintervention assessments. There was a 4% increase from preintervention to postintervention in assessment scores for the overall student sample (p<0.05). The mean change was greatest for P1 and P2 students (5% and 4.8%, respectively). Conclusion. An educational intervention about plagiarism can significantly improve students' ability to identify plagiarism. PMID:24672066

  9. Motor planning ability is not related to lesion side or functional manual ability in children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy.

    PubMed

    Kirkpatrick, E V; Pearse, J E; Eyre, J A; Basu, A P

    2013-11-01

    Optimal task performance requires anticipatory planning to select the most appropriate movement strategy. There is conflicting evidence for hemispheric specialisation of motor planning, with some suggesting left hemisphere dominance, claiming that children with right hemiplegic cerebral palsy (HCP) are therefore disproportionally affected. An alternative view is that there is a positive relationship between functional ability (rather than side of lesion) and motor planning skill. We aimed to compare children with right and left HCP on motor planning ability and to explore its relationship with functional manual ability. Participants were 76 children with HCP (40 left HCP; 30 female), aged 4-15 years (Mean 9.09, SD 2.94). Motor planning was assessed using a measure of end-state comfort, which involved turning a hexagonal handle 180° without readjusting grasp. This is difficult, or in some cases impossible, to achieve unless an appropriate initial grasp is adopted. Children completed 24 turns (12 clockwise), which were video recorded for offline scoring. Functional manual ability was assessed with the ABILHAND-Kids questionnaire, completed by parents. Contrary to the existing literature, no differences were observed between right and left HCP. However, a significant interaction between direction of turn and side of hemiplegia indicated a preferential bias for turns in the medial direction, consistent with the "medial over lateral advantage". There was no relationship between functional ability and motor planning. Therefore, motor planning may not be a priority for therapeutic intervention to improve functional ability in HCP. PMID:23995565

  10. 45 CFR 1616.7 - Language ability.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... § 1616.7 Language ability. In areas where a significant number of clients speak a language other than English as their principal language, a recipient shall adopt employment policies that insure that legal... 45 Public Welfare 4 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Language ability. 1616.7 Section 1616.7...

  11. 45 CFR 1616.7 - Language ability.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... § 1616.7 Language ability. In areas where a significant number of clients speak a language other than English as their principal language, a recipient shall adopt employment policies that insure that legal... 45 Public Welfare 4 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Language ability. 1616.7 Section 1616.7...

  12. 45 CFR 1616.7 - Language ability.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Language ability. 1616.7 Section 1616.7 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public Welfare (Continued) LEGAL SERVICES CORPORATION ATTORNEY HIRING § 1616.7 Language ability. In areas where a significant number of clients speak a language other than English as their principal language, a...

  13. 45 CFR 1616.7 - Language ability.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... § 1616.7 Language ability. In areas where a significant number of clients speak a language other than English as their principal language, a recipient shall adopt employment policies that insure that legal... 45 Public Welfare 4 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Language ability. 1616.7 Section 1616.7...

  14. 45 CFR 1616.7 - Language ability.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Language ability. 1616.7 Section 1616.7 Public... § 1616.7 Language ability. In areas where a significant number of clients speak a language other than English as their principal language, a recipient shall adopt employment policies that insure that...

  15. Effects of gait training with rhythmic auditory stimulation on gait ability in stroke patients

    PubMed Central

    Song, Gui-bin; Ryu, Hyo Jeong

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to compare the gait abilities and motor recovery abilities in stroke patients following overground gait training with or without rhythmic auditory stimulation. [Subjects and Methods] Forty patients with hemiplegia resulting from stroke were divided into a rhythmic auditory stimulation gait training group (n=20) and a gait training group (n=20). The rhythmic auditory simulation gait group and gait training group both performed gait training. Rhythmic auditory stimulation was added during gait training in the rhythmic auditory stimulation gait training group. The gait training was performed in 30 minute sessions, five times a week, for a total four weeks. [Results] Gate ability significantly improved in both groups, and the rhythmic auditory stimulation gait training group showed more significant increases in cadence, step length, and Dynamic Gait Index. [Conclusion] The results of this study showed that gait training with rhythmic auditory stimulation was more effective at improving gait ability. PMID:27313339

  16. Enhancing Readers' Analysis-by-Synthesis Abilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McIntosh, Margaret E.

    A variety of techniques for improving readers' analysis-by-synthesis abilities (rapid, efficient reading typical of highly skilled readers) are presented in this paper. The techniques discussed in the first part emphasize improving reading comprehension and include the following: (1) modifications of the cloze procedure (encouraging readers to use…

  17. [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. PMID:26493482

  18. [Rheumatic diseases and work ability].

    PubMed

    Minisola, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    Musculoskeletal diseases are tile most frequent cause of pain in the working population. Rheumatic diseases are chronic illnesses, cause of functional impairnment, relevant working disability and absence from work; however, affected patients maintain a significant functional ability. In this context, the "Fit for work" project, operating in Italy since 2012, promotes the management of chronic musculoskeletal conditions through the realization, also in our country, of a rheumatic medical assistance network in behalf of workers affected by rheumatic diseases and other musculoskeletal disabiliting conditions. PMID:25558722

  19. Music and nonmusical abilities.

    PubMed

    Schellenberg, E G

    2001-06-01

    Reports that exposure to music causes benefits in nonmusical domains have received widespread attention in the mainstream media. Such reports have also influenced public policy. The so-called "Mozart effect" actually refers to two relatively distinct phenomena. One concerns short-term increases in spatial abilities that are said to occur from listening to music composed by Mozart. The other refers to the possibility that formal training in music yields nonmusical benefits. A review of the relevant findings indicates that the short-term effect is small and unreliable. Moreover, when it is evident, it can be explained by between-condition differences in the listener's mood or levels of cognitive arousal. By contrast, the effect of music lessons on nonmusical aspects of cognitive development is still an open question. Several studies have reported positive associations between formal music lessons and abilities in nonmusical (e.g., linguistic, mathematical, and spatial) domains. Nonetheless, compelling evidence for a causal link remains elusive. PMID:11458841

  20. The role of cognitive abilities in laparoscopic simulator training.

    PubMed

    Groenier, M; Schraagen, J M C; Miedema, H A T; Broeders, I A J M

    2014-05-01

    Learning minimally invasive surgery (MIS) differs substantially from learning open surgery and trainees differ in their ability to learn MIS. Previous studies mainly focused on the role of visuo-spatial ability (VSA) on the learning curve for MIS. In the current study, the relationship between spatial memory, perceptual speed, and general reasoning ability, in addition to VSA, and performance on a MIS simulator is examined. Fifty-three laparoscopic novices were tested for cognitive aptitude. Laparoscopic performance was assessed with the LapSim simulator (Surgical Science Ltd., Gothenburg, Sweden). Participants trained multiple sessions on the simulator until proficiency was reached. Participants showed significant improvement on the time to complete the task and efficiency of movement. Performance was related to different cognitive abilities, depending on the performance measure and type of cognitive ability. No relationship between cognitive aptitude and duration of training or steepness of the learning curve was found. Cognitive aptitude mediates certain aspects of performance during training on a laparoscopic simulator. Based on the current study, we conclude that cognitive aptitude tests cannot be used for resident selection but are potentially useful for developing individualized training programs. More research will be performed to examine how cognitive aptitude testing can be used to design training programs. PMID:23568181

  1. Dance combined with magnetic pulse stimulates the ability of walk and balance in elder people

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Tao; Song, Qing-Hua; Xu, Rong-Mei; Guo, Yan-Hua; Wang, Feng; Hu, Jian-Ping; Wang, Yi; Zhang, Li-Yan

    2015-01-01

    Objective: Observe the treatment effect on elderly people’s waling and balance ability under the stimulation and intervention of waving dance combined with magnetic pulse. Method: 96 elderly people are Involved in the research and the random number table method is divided into observation group and control group; there are 48 people in each group. The control group on the basis of routine daily activities increase waving dance for training treatment; the observation group take training treatment together with the control group, plus magnetic pulse for stimulation treatment. Inspection and control shall be made to relevant indicators of subject’s walk and balance ability at the time when they are selected and after they go through 6-month treatment. Result: after 6-month treatment, we found that indicators of walk and balance ability of these two groups of patients have been improved to different extent compared to those indicators when selected (all P<0.05). While the observation group have more significant improvement effect when compared to the improvement effect made by the contract group. Most of indicators are obviously superior to that of the control group (P<0.05). The differences have statistics significance. Conclusion: waving dance could obviously improve elderly people’s walk and balance ability, and the improvement effect could be ever more significant when combined treatment with magnetic pulse stimulation. Such effect is obviously better than the effect improved only by waving dance. PMID:26064357

  2. 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

  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

    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. PMID:26611473

  4. 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. PMID:24289210

  5. 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 Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23667732

  6. Significant improvement of the recombinant Borrelia-specific immunoglobulin G immunoblot test by addition of VlsE and a DbpA homologue derived from Borrelia garinii for diagnosis of early neuroborreliosis.

    PubMed

    Schulte-Spechtel, Ulrike; Lehnert, Gisela; Liegl, Gaby; Fingerle, Volker; Heimerl, Christiane; Johnson, Barbara J B; Wilske, Bettina

    2003-03-01

    We investigated whether the recombinant Borrelia Western blot test previously described (B. Wilske, C. Habermann, V. Fingerle, B. Hillenbrand, S. Jauris-Heipke, G. Lehnert, I. Pradel, D. Rössler, and U. Schulte-Spechtel, Med. Microbiol. Immunol. 188:139-144, 1999) can be improved by the addition of VlsE and additional DbpA and OspC homologues. By using a panel of sera from 36 neuroborreliosis patients and 67 control patients, the diagnostic sensitivity of the recombinant immunoblot test was significantly increased (86.1% versus 52.7%) without loss of specificity and was higher (86.1% versus 63.8%) than that of the conventional whole-cell lysate immunoblot test (U. Hauser, G. Lehnert, R. Lobentanzer, and B. Wilske, J. Clin. Microbiol. 35:1433-1444, 1997). Improvement was mainly due to the presence of VlsE and DbpA. PMID:12624072

  7. VISION AND READING ABILITY.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MANGRUM, CHARLES T.

    SIGNIFICANT RESEARCH ON THE PHYSIOLOGICAL AND FUNCTIONAL ASPECTS OF VISION AND READING DISABILITY IS SURVEYED. CONCLUSIONS BASED ON THE LITERATURE IN THE FIELD ARE DISCUSSED. A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF 70 REFERENCES AND A GLOSSARY OF TERMS ARE APPENDED. A TABLE SUMMARIZING REFRACTIVE ERRORS AND EYE DEFECTS CONTRIBUTING TO READING DISABILITY IS INCLUDED.…

  8. Videogame interventions and spatial ability interactions.

    PubMed

    Redick, Thomas S; Webster, Sean B

    2014-01-01

    Numerous research studies have been conducted on the use of videogames as tools to improve one's cognitive abilities. While meta-analyses and qualitative reviews have provided evidence that some aspects of cognition such as spatial imagery are modified after exposure to videogames, other evidence has shown that matrix reasoning measures of fluid intelligence do not show evidence of transfer from videogame training. In the current work, we investigate the available evidence for transfer specifically to nonverbal intelligence and spatial ability measures, given recent research that these abilities may be most sensitive to training on cognitive and working memory tasks. Accordingly, we highlight a few studies that on the surface provide evidence for transfer to spatial abilities, but a closer look at the pattern of data does not reveal a clean interpretation of the results. We discuss the implications of these results in relation to research design and statistical analysis practices. PMID:24723880

  9. Videogame interventions and spatial ability interactions

    PubMed Central

    Redick, Thomas S.; Webster, Sean B.

    2014-01-01

    Numerous research studies have been conducted on the use of videogames as tools to improve one’s cognitive abilities. While meta-analyses and qualitative reviews have provided evidence that some aspects of cognition such as spatial imagery are modified after exposure to videogames, other evidence has shown that matrix reasoning measures of fluid intelligence do not show evidence of transfer from videogame training. In the current work, we investigate the available evidence for transfer specifically to nonverbal intelligence and spatial ability measures, given recent research that these abilities may be most sensitive to training on cognitive and working memory tasks. Accordingly, we highlight a few studies that on the surface provide evidence for transfer to spatial abilities, but a closer look at the pattern of data does not reveal a clean interpretation of the results. We discuss the implications of these results in relation to research design and statistical analysis practices. PMID:24723880

  10. 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. PMID:12074987

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Quality of life and audiologic performance through the ability to phone of cochlear implant users.

    PubMed

    Rumeau, Cécile; Frère, Julien; Montaut-Verient, Bettina; Lion, Alexis; Gauchard, Gérome; Parietti-Winkler, Cécile

    2015-12-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the impact of cochlear implantation on quality of life (QoL), using general and cochlear implant (CI) specific questionnaires and to determine the relationship of phone ability with QoL, speech recognition abilities and tinnitus. Twenty-six adult volunteers with a post-lingual profound deafness, unilaterally implanted with a CI, were included in this study. All subjects had used a CI for at least 1 year. The Glasgow benefit inventory (GBI) and Nijmegen cochlear implant questionnaire (NCIQ) were administered to assess QoL. Speech recognition was tested using phonemic Lafon's lists. The subjective tinnitus severity scale (STSS) questionnaire was used to determine the effects of tinnitus. CI users were split into four groups according to their phone ability. There was an improvement in QoL after cochlear implantation. The NCIQ showed significant (p < 0.001) improvements in the total score and in all subdomains after CI. A significant relationship between phone ability, QoL and speech recognition was found. Improving phone ability led to higher QoL (p < 0.05) and speech recognition (p < 0.01) scores. The CI use decreased significantly the occurrence of tinnitus, but its severity was not correlated with QoL. Post-surgery assessment should include speech recognition measures and QoL evaluation. The NCIQ appeared more effective than the GBI in its ability to detect improvements in QoL. Assessing phone ability represents an easy and fast approach to evaluate hearing performances and QoL, and may reflect global outcomes of CI. PMID:25527411

  14. Glycopyrronium once-daily significantly improves lung function and health status when combined with salmeterol/fluticasone in patients with COPD: the GLISTEN study—a randomised controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Frith, Peter A; Thompson, Philip J; Ratnavadivel, Rajeev; Chang, Catherina L; Bremner, Peter; Day, Peter; Frenzel, Christina; Kurstjens, Nicol

    2015-01-01

    Background The optimal use of various therapeutic combinations for moderate/severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is unclear. The GLISTEN trial compared the efficacy of two long-acting anti-muscarinic antagonists (LAMA), when combined with an inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) and a long-acting β2 agonist (LABA). Methods This randomised, blinded, placebo-controlled trial in moderate/severe COPD patients compared once-daily glycopyrronium (GLY) 50 µg, once-daily tiotropium (TIO) 18 µg or placebo (PLA), when combined with salmeterol/fluticasone propionate (SAL/FP) 50/500 µg twice daily. The primary objective was to determine the non-inferiority of GLY+SAL/FP versus TIO+SAL/FP on trough FEV1 after 12 weeks. An important secondary objective was whether addition of GLY to SAL/FP was better than SAL/FP alone. Results 773 patients (mean FEV1 57.2% predicted) were randomised; 84.9% completed the trial. At week 12, GLY+SAL/FP demonstrated non-inferiority to TIO+SAL/FP for trough FEV1: least square mean treatment difference (LSMdiff) −7 mL (SE 17.4) with a lower limit for non-inferiority of −60 mL. There was significant increase in week 12 trough FEV1 with GLY+SAL/FP versus PLA+SAL/FP (LSMdiff 101 mL, p<0.001). At 12 weeks, GLY+SAL/FP produced significant improvement in St George's Respiratory Questionnaire total score versus PLA+SAL/FP (LSMdiff −2.154, p=0.02). GLY+SAL/FP demonstrated significant rescue medication reduction versus PLA+SAL/FP (LSMdiff −0.72 puffs/day, p<0.001). Serious adverse events were similar for GLY+SAL/FP, TIO+SAL/FP and PLA+SAL/FP with an incidence of 5.8%, 8.5% and 5.8%, respectively. Conclusions GLY+SAL/FP showed comparable improvements in lung function, health status and rescue medication to TIO+SAL/FP. Importantly, addition of GLY to SAL/FP demonstrated significant improvements in lung function, health status and rescue medication compared to SAL/FP. Trial registration number NCT01513460. PMID:25841237

  15. Different Dimensions of Spatial Ability.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eliot, John; Hauptman, Anna

    1981-01-01

    Indicates that spatial ability describes a variety of different behaviors and briefly reviews efforts to define intelligence factors and identify processes involved in solving tasks requiring spatial ability. (DS)

  16. 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…

  17. Children's Abilities in Topographic Map Reading.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carswell, Ronald J. B.

    Although over 40 studies have been done since 1925 on map reading, there is little understanding of children's ability to comprehend maps or the mental processes involved. Children's inability to read maps is well document, as are their improved skills after instruction. Yet map skills are part of the elementary curriculum. Success in teaching map…

  18. Learning ability as a function of practice: Does it apply to farmworkers?

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Ha T.; Quandt, Sara A.; Summers, Phillip; Morgan, Timothy M.; Chen, Haiying; Walker, Francis O.; Howard, Timothy D.; Galván, Leonardo; Arcury, Thomas A.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Farmworkers experience significant work-related health risks including pesticide-associated cognitive impairment. Practice effect is a surrogate for learning ability. This study examined differences in cognitive function and learning capacity in Latino farmworkers and non-farmworkers. Methods Tasks of learning and short-term memory, executive function and working memory, perceptual coding, and psychomotor function were assessed at baseline and 3-month follow-up in 136 farmworkers and 116 non-farmworkers. Results Farmworkers had better performance on visuospatial learning and short-term memory at baseline (p<0.05). However, non-farmworkers showed more practice effects, or improvement on cognitive performance, at 3-month follow-up relative to farmworkers. Further, the amount of improvement on visuospatial learning ability, short-term visuospatial memory, and perceptual coding ability was significantly higher than farmworkers. Conclusions Practice effects may serve as an additional cognitive readout to differentiate healthy individuals from those with cognitive impairment. PMID:25738949

  19. Relationship between Work Ability Index and Cognitive Failure among Nurses

    PubMed Central

    Abbasi, Milad; Zakerian, Abolfazl; Kolahdouzi, Malihe; Mehri, Ahmad; Akbarzadeh, Arash; Ebrahimi, Mohammad Hossein

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Frequent nursing errors are considered as factors that affect the quality of healthcare of patients. Capable nurses who are compatible with work conditions are more focused on their tasks, and this reduces their errors and cognitive failures. Therefore, this study was conducted with the aim of investigating the relationship between work ability index (WAI) and cognitive failures (CFs) as well as some factors that affect them in nurses working in the ICU, CCU, and emergency wards. Methods This descriptive-analytical and cross-sectional study was conducted with 750 nurses at educational hospitals affiliated with the Tehran University of Medical Sciences in 2015. A questionnaire of work ability index and cognitive failures was used to collect data. The data were analyzed using SPSS 20 and the Pearson and Spearman correlation coefficients, chi-squared, ANOVA, and the Kruskal-Wallis tests. Results Using the Pearson correlation test, the results of this study showed that there is a significant, inverse relationship between WAI, personal prognosis of work ability, and mental resources with CFs along with all its subscales in nurses (p < 0.05). In addition, there was an inverse and significant relationship between the total score of CFs and the estimated work impairment due to diseases (p < 0.05). There was a significant positive correlation of CFs with age and experience, while WAI was inversely related to age, work experience, and body mass index (BMI) (p < 0.05). WAI and CFs were related significantly to working units (p < 0.05). Conclusion Considering the results obtained in this study, WAI and the cognitive status of nurses were lower than the specified limit. It is suggested that the work ability of nurses be improved and that their CFs be reduced through various measures, including pre-employment examinations, proper management of work-shift conditions, and using engineering and administrative strategies to ensure the safety of hospitalized patients

  20. Color rendering ability and luminous efficacy enhancements in white light-emitting diodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mirhosseini, Roya; Schubert, Martin; Chhajed, Sameer; Cho, Jaehee; Kim, Jong Kyu; Schubert, E. Fred

    2009-08-01

    There exists a fundamental trade-off relation between color rendering index (CRI) and luminous efficacy; in other words, improvements in one are generally detrimental to the other. We analyze and demonstrate through simulation that phosphor-converted white LEDs with dual-blue emitting active regions, as opposed to single-blue emitting active regions, significantly enhance color rendering ability while maximizing the output luminous flux. The improvements are achieved over a broad range of correlated color temperatures.

  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. Water collection behavior and hanging ability of bioinspired fiber.

    PubMed

    Hou, Yongping; Chen, Yuan; Xue, Yan; Zheng, Yongmei; Jiang, Lei

    2012-03-13

    Since the water-collecting ability of the wetted cribellate spider capture silk is the result of a unique fiber structure, bioinspired fibers have been researched significantly so as to expose a new water-acquiring route in fogging-collection projects. However, the design of the geometry of bioinspired fiber is related to the ability of hanging drops, which has not been investigated in depth so far. Here, we fabricate bioinspired fibers to investigate the water collection behavior and the influence of geometry (i.e., periodicity of spindle knot) on the hanging-drop ability. We especially discuss water collection related to the periodicity of geometry on the bioinspired fiber. We reveal the length of the three phase contact line (TCL) at threshold conditions in conjunction with the maximal volume of a hanging drop at different modes. The study demonstrates that the geometrical structure of bioinspired fiber induces much stronger water hanging ability than that of uniform fiber, attributed to such special geometry that offers effectively an increasing TCL length or limits the contact length to be shorted. In addition, the geometry also improves the fog-collection efficiency by controlling tiny water drops to be collected in the large water drops at a given location. PMID:22335626

  3. Trends in utilization and survival after autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation in North America from 1995 to 2005: Significant improvement in survival for lymphoma and myeloma during a period of increasing recipient age

    PubMed Central

    McCarthy, Philip L.; Hahn, Theresa; Hassebroek, Anna; Bredeson, Christopher; Gajewski, James; Hale, Gregory; Isola, Luis; Lazarus, Hillard M.; Lee, Stephanie J.; LeMaistre, Charles F.; Loberiza, Fausto; Maziarz, Richard T.; Rizzo, J. Douglas; Joffe, Steven; Parsons, Susan; Majhail, Navneet S.

    2013-01-01

    Autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation (autoHCT) is used for relapsed and recurrent malignant disorders and as part of initial therapy for selected malignancies. This study describes changes in utilization, techniques and survival in a population–based cohort including 68,404 patients who underwent first autoHCT in a US or Canadian center, 1994–2005, and were reported to the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR). The highest annual mean autoHCTs performed (average 6,948 annually) occurred during 1996–1999, with a subsequent decrease (average 4,783 annually), mainly due to less autoHCTs for breast cancer. However, the annual mean of autoHCTs increased from 5,278 annually in 1994–1995 to 5,459 annually in 2004–2005, reflecting increased utilization for multiple myeloma (MM), non-Hodgkin (NHL) and Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). Despite an increase in the median age from 44 to 53 years, there has been a significant improvement in OS from 1994 to 2005 for patients with chemotherapy-sensitive relapsed NHL (Day +100 OS: 85 to 96%; 1 year OS: 68 to 80% P<0.001) and chemotherapy-sensitive MM (Day +100 OS: 96 to 98%; 1 year OS: 83 to 92% P<0.001). The OS improvement was most pronounced in middle aged (>40 years) and older (>60 years) individuals. PMID:23660172

  4. Does verbal and gestural expression ability predict comprehension ability in cerebral palsy?

    PubMed

    Pueyo, Roser; Ariza, Mar; Narberhaus, Ana; Ballester-Plané, Júlia; Laporta-Hoyos, Olga; Junqué, Carme; Vendrell, Pere

    2013-04-01

    Some people with cerebral palsy have motor and associated impairments that may hinder verbal and gestural expression to various extents. This study explores whether the ability to produce verbal or gestural expressions may be related to the comprehension of verbal communications and gestures. The influence of severity of motor impairment, general cognitive performance, and age on comprehension ability was also explored. Forty people with cerebral palsy were assigned to different groups according to their verbal and gestural expression abilities. A neuropsychological assessment of comprehension abilities and general cognitive performance was carried out. Multiple linear regression analysis was applied to identify the possible influence of expression abilities on comprehension abilities and also to detect the possible contribution of severity of motor impairment, general cognitive performance, and age. Results indicate that verbal and gestural comprehension was mainly predicted by general cognitive performance. Severity of motor impairment and age did not contribute to predicting comprehension abilities. Only verbal grammar comprehension was significantly predicted by verbal expression ability. Verbal expression ability may be an important marker for cerebral palsy therapies. In non-ambulant patients with bilateral cerebral palsy, impaired gestural expression should not be taken as an indicator of impaired gestural comprehension. PMID:24032327

  5. Self-Efficacy, Reasoning Ability, and Achievement in College Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawson, Anton E.; Banks, Debra L.; Logvin, Marshall

    2007-01-01

    This study compared the relationships of self-efficacy and reasoning ability to achievement in introductory college biology. Based on the hypothesis that developing formal and postformal reasoning ability is a primary factor influencing self-efficacy, a significant positive correlation was predicted between reasoning ability and degree of…

  6. Individual differences in auditory abilities.

    PubMed

    Kidd, Gary R; Watson, Charles S; Gygi, Brian

    2007-07-01

    Performance on 19 auditory discrimination and identification tasks was measured for 340 listeners with normal hearing. Test stimuli included single tones, sequences of tones, amplitude-modulated and rippled noise, temporal gaps, speech, and environmental sounds. Principal components analysis and structural equation modeling of the data support the existence of a general auditory ability and four specific auditory abilities. The specific abilities are (1) loudness and duration (overall energy) discrimination; (2) sensitivity to temporal envelope variation; (3) identification of highly familiar sounds (speech and nonspeech); and (4) discrimination of unfamiliar simple and complex spectral and temporal patterns. Examination of Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores for a large subset of the population revealed little or no association between general or specific auditory abilities and general intellectual ability. The findings provide a basis for research to further specify the nature of the auditory abilities. Of particular interest are results suggestive of a familiar sound recognition (FSR) ability, apparently specialized for sound recognition on the basis of limited or distorted information. This FSR ability is independent of normal variation in both spectral-temporal acuity and of general intellectual ability. PMID:17614500

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. Cultural Views, Language Ability, and Mammography Use in Chinese American Women

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Wenchi; Wang, Judy; Chen, Mei-Yuh; Feng, Shibao; Yi, Bin; Mandelblatt, Jeanne S.

    2013-01-01

    Mammography screening rates among Chinese American women have been reported to be low. This study examines whether and how culture views and language ability influence mammography adherence in this mostly immigrant population. Asymptomatic Chinese American women (n = 466) aged 50 and older, recruited from the Washington, D.C. area, completed a telephone interview. Regular mammography was defined as having two mammograms at age-appropriate recommended intervals. Cultural views were assessed by 30 items, and language ability measured women’s ability in reading, writing, speaking, and listening to English. After controlling for risk perception, worry, physician recommendation, family encouragement, and access barriers, women holding a more Chinese/Eastern cultural view were significantly less likely to have had regular mammograms than those having a Western cultural view. English ability was positively associated with mammography adherence. The authors’ results imply that culturally sensitive and language-appropriate educational interventions are likely to improve mammography adherence in this population. PMID:19233947

  12. Influence of cognitive abilities and age on word recall performance across trials and list segments.

    PubMed

    Krueger, Lacy E; Salthouse, Timothy A

    2011-01-01

    The influence of cognitive abilities and age on multitrial word recall performance was examined for different list segments (i.e., first, middle, and last) and across trials by having 2497 participants ages 18-98 complete a multitrial word list test along with reference cognitive ability tests. As expected, higher episodic memory ability was associated with better recall on all list segments but with a smaller influence for the last items on the early trials. Performance improved across trials, but there were no relations of the fluid intelligence construct that might be postulated to be associated with effective strategy implementation with any of the recall measures. Advanced age was associated with lower levels of performance, but very few of the age relations were significant after the variation in the reference cognitive abilities was controlled for. PMID:21977691

  13. Assessing Highly-Creative Ability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cowdroy, Rob; de Graaff, Erik

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents a psychological perspective of the educational dilemma of assessing highly (high-level) creative ability (with some connections to contemporary philosophical debate). Assessment of highly-creative ability is a topic of longstanding debate involving questions of what constitutes creativity; whether the creative mental process is…

  14. Diver First Class Reading Ability.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bain, E. C., III; Berghage, T. E.

    The Nelson-Denny reading test was administered to thirty Navy first class diver candidates to evaluate the group's vocabulary, reading comprehension, reading rate and over-all reading ability. Reading rate and comprehension were at the twelfth grade level, while vocabulary ability was equal to the college freshman norm. (Author)

  15. Egocentrism and Map Reading Ability.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Towler, John O.

    Egocentrism was investigated as an influencing factor in the development of the perceptual abilities needed to understand and interpret topographic maps. Attainment of an adequate concept of space, and the ability to accurately perceive spatial relationships (perspectives) are considered fundamental. Piaget and Inhelder identified three stages of…

  16. 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,…

  17. Ability Measurement: Conventional or Adaptive?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weiss, David J.; Betz, Nancy E.

    Research to date on adaptive (sequential, branched, individualized, tailored, programmed, response-contingent) ability testing is reviewed and summarized, following a brief review of problems inherent in conventional individual and group approaches to ability measurement. Research reviewed includes empirical, simulation and theoretical studies of…

  18. 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)

  19. 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

  20. The Effect of Reflective Activities on Reflective Thinking Ability in an Undergraduate Pharmacy Curriculum.

    PubMed

    Tsingos-Lucas, Cherie; Bosnic-Anticevich, Sinthia; Schneider, Carl R; Smith, Lorraine

    2016-05-25

    Objective. To determine the effectiveness of integrating reflective practice activities into a second-year undergraduate pharmacy curriculum and their impact on reflective thinking ability. Design. A cross-over design with repeated measures was employed. Newly developed reflective modules based on real hospital and community pharmacy cases were integrated into the second-year pharmacy practice curriculum. A novel strategy, the Reflective Ability Clinical Assessment (RACA), was introduced to enhance self- and peer reflection. Assessment. Student responses (n=214) to the adapted Kember et al(1) Reflective Thinking Questionnaire (RTQ) were compared before and after reflective activities were undertaken. Significant improvement in three indicators of reflective thinking was shown after students engaged in reflective activities. Conclusion. Integration of reflective activities into a pharmacy curriculum increased the reflective thinking capacity of students. Enhancing reflective thinking ability may help students make better informed decisions and clinical judgments, thus improving future practice. PMID:27293232

  1. 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. PMID:22033667

  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. PMID:24668131

  4. [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. PMID:24906536

  5. Predicting space telerobotic operator training performance from human spatial ability assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Andrew M.; Oman, Charles M.; Galvan, Raquel; Natapoff, Alan

    2013-11-01

    Our goal was to determine whether existing tests of spatial ability can predict an astronaut's qualification test performance after robotic training. Because training astronauts to be qualified robotics operators is so long and expensive, NASA is interested in tools that can predict robotics performance before training begins. Currently, the Astronaut Office does not have a validated tool to predict robotics ability as part of its astronaut selection or training process. Commonly used tests of human spatial ability may provide such a tool to predict robotics ability. We tested the spatial ability of 50 active astronauts who had completed at least one robotics training course, then used logistic regression models to analyze the correlation between spatial ability test scores and the astronauts' performance in their evaluation test at the end of the training course. The fit of the logistic function to our data is statistically significant for several spatial tests. However, the prediction performance of the logistic model depends on the criterion threshold assumed. To clarify the critical selection issues, we show how the probability of correct classification vs. misclassification varies as a function of the mental rotation test criterion level. Since the costs of misclassification are low, the logistic models of spatial ability and robotic performance are reliable enough only to be used to customize regular and remedial training. We suggest several changes in tracking performance throughout robotics training that could improve the range and reliability of predictive models.

  6. Probe on training the practical ability of undergraduates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Qiaohui; Meng, Xiuxia; Leng, Bing

    2010-07-01

    Practical ability means physical and psychological characteristics that ensure the individual to make use of the knowledge and skills to solve the practical problems smoothly. Only with practical ability, the man can sum up experience from practice, at the same time he can identify problems and make innovation. This article describes the meaning and characteristics of practice and introduces how to build the capacity of the practical ability of students in foreign university. As well as the article put forward how to set up a practical training teaching system which can improve practical ability of college students and a series of training programs to help Chinese universities students to improve the student's practical ability and cultivate student's with a strong practical ability and high-quality talent.

  7. 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

  8. Cognitive Ability and the Demand for Redistribution

    PubMed Central

    Mollerstrom, Johanna; Seim, David

    2014-01-01

    Empirical research suggests that the cognitively able are politically more influential than the less able, by being more likely to vote and to assume leadership positions. This study asks whether this pattern matters for public policy by investigating what role a person's cognitive ability plays in determining his preferences for redistribution of income among citizens in society. To answer this question, we use a unique Swedish data set that matches responses to a tailor-made questionnaire to administrative tax records and to military enlistment records for men, with the latter containing a measure of cognitive ability. On a scale of 0 to 100 percent redistribution, a one-standard-deviation increase in cognitive ability reduces the willingness to redistribute by 5 percentage points, or by the same amount as a $35,000 increase in mean annual income. We find support for two channels mediating this economically strong and statistically significant relation. First, higher ability is associated with higher income. Second, ability is positively correlated with the view that economic success is the result of effort, rather than luck. Both these factors are, in turn, related to lower demand for redistribution. PMID:25343713

  9. Impaired musical ability in people with schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Hatada, Sanae; Sawada, Ken; Akamatsu, Masanori; Doi, Erina; Minese, Masayoshi; Yamashita, Motoshi; Thornton, Allen E.; Honer, William G.; Inoue, Shimpei

    2014-01-01

    Background Assessment of the musical ability of people with schizophrenia has attracted little interest despite the diverse and substantive findings of impairments in sound perception and processing and the therapeutic effect of music in people with the illness. The present study investigated the musical ability of people with schizophrenia and the association with psychiatric symptoms and cognition. Methods We recruited patients with chronic schizophrenia and healthy controls for participation in our study. To measure musical ability and cognitive function, we used the Montreal Battery of Evaluation of Amusia (MBEA) and the Brief Assessment of Cognition in Schizophrenia (BACS). We carried out a mediation analysis to investigate a possible pathway to a deficit in musical ability. Results We enrolled 50 patients and 58 controls in the study. The MBEA global score in patients with schizophrenia was significantly lower than that in controls (p < 0.001), and was strongly associated with both the composite cognitive function score (r = 0.645, p < 0.001) and the negative symptom score (r = −0.504, p < 0.001). Further analyses revealed direct and indirect effects of negative symptoms on musical ability. The indirect effects were mediated through cognitive impairment. Limitations The relatively small sample size did not permit full evaluation of the possible effects of age, sex, education, medication and cultural influences on the results. Conclusion Examining the associations between musical deficits, negative symptoms and cognitive imapirment in patients with schizophrenia may identify shared biological mechanisms. PMID:24119791

  10. Intravenous injection of AAVrh10-GALC after the neonatal period in twitcher mice results in significant expression in the central and peripheral nervous systems and improvement of clinical features.

    PubMed

    Rafi, Mohammad A; Rao, Han Zhi; Luzi, Paola; Luddi, Alice; Curtis, Mark T; Wenger, David A

    2015-03-01

    Globoid cell leukodystrophy (GLD) or Krabbe disease is an autosomal recessive disorder resulting from the defective lysosomal enzyme galactocerebrosidase (GALC). The lack of GALC enzyme leads to severe neurological symptoms. While most human patients are infants who do not survive beyond 2 years of age, older patients are also diagnosed. In addition to human patients, several naturally occurring animal models, including dog, mouse, and monkey, have also been identified. The mouse model of Krabbe disease, twitcher (twi) mouse has been used for many treatment trials including gene therapy. Using the combination of intracerebroventricular, intracerebellar, and intravenous (iv) injection of the adeno-associated virus serotype rh10 (AAVrh10) expressing mouse GALC in neonate twi mice we previously have demonstrated a significantly extended normal life and exhibition of normal behavior in treated mice. In spite of the prolonged healthy life of these treated mice and improved myelination, it is unlikely that using multiple injection sites for viral administration will be approved for treatment of human patients. In this study, we have explored the outcome of the single iv injection of viral vector at post-natal day 10 (PND10). This has resulted in increased GALC activity in the central nervous system (CNS) and high GALC activity in the peripheral nervous system (PNS). As we have shown previously, an iv injection of AAVrh10 at PND2 results in a small extension of life beyond the typical lifespan of the untreated twi mice (~40 days). In this study, we report that mice receiving a single iv injection at PND10 had no tremor and continued to gain weight until a few weeks before they died. On average, they lived 20-25 days longer than untreated mice. We anticipate that this strategy in combination with other therapeutic options may be beneficial and applicable to treatment of human patients. PMID:25533112

  11. Numerical ability predicts mortgage default.

    PubMed

    Gerardi, Kristopher; Goette, Lorenz; Meier, Stephan

    2013-07-01

    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. PMID:23798401

  12. Numerical ability predicts mortgage default

    PubMed Central

    Gerardi, Kristopher; Goette, Lorenz; Meier, Stephan

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23798401

  13. Cognitive Modeling of Learning Abilities: A Status Report of LAMP.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kyllonen, Patrick C.; Christal, Raymond E.

    Research activities underway as part of the Air Force's Learning Abilities Measurement Program (LAMP) are described. A major objective of the program is to devise new models of the nature and organization of human abilities, that could be applied to improve personnel selection and classification systems. The activities of the project have been…

  14. 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

  15. Preschoolers' Dot Enumeration Abilities Are Markers of Their Arithmetic Competence

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:24714052

  16. Spatial abilities, Earth science conceptual understanding, and psychological gender of university non-science majors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Black, Alice A. (Jill)

    Research has shown the presence of many Earth science misconceptions and conceptual difficulties that may impede concept understanding, and has also identified a number of categories of spatial ability. Although spatial ability has been linked to high performance in science, some researchers believe it has been overlooked in traditional education. Evidence exists that spatial ability can be improved. This correlational study investigated the relationship among Earth science conceptual understanding, three types of spatial ability, and psychological gender, a self-classification that reflects socially-accepted personality and gender traits. A test of Earth science concept understanding, the Earth Science Concepts (ESC) test, was developed and field tested from 2001 to 2003 in 15 sections of university classes. Criterion validity was .60, significant at the .01 level. Spearman/Brown reliability was .74 and Kuder/Richardson reliability was .63. The Purdue Visualization of Rotations (PVOR) (mental rotation), the Group Embedded Figures Test (GEFT) (spatial perception), the Differential Aptitude Test: Space Relations (DAT) (spatial visualization), and the Bem Inventory (BI) (psychological gender) were administered to 97 non-major university students enrolled in undergraduate science classes. Spearman correlations revealed moderately significant correlations at the .01 level between ESC scores and each of the three spatial ability test scores. Stepwise regression analysis indicated that PVOR scores were the best predictor of ESC scores, and showed that spatial ability scores accounted for 27% of the total variation in ESC scores. Spatial test scores were moderately or weakly correlated with each other. No significant correlations were found among BI scores and other test scores. Scantron difficulty analysis of ESC items produced difficulty ratings ranging from 33.04 to 96.43, indicating the percentage of students who answered incorrectly. Mean score on the ESC was 34

  17. Evaluation of Nursing Students’ Communication Abilities in Clinical Courses in Hospitals

    PubMed Central

    Shafakhah, Mahnaz; Zarshenas, Ladan; Sharif, Farkhondeh; Sarvestani, Raheleh Sabet

    2015-01-01

    Background: Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) has established, improving communication as a priority for improving patient safety since 2006. Therefore, the present study aimed to evaluate nursing students’ communication abilities to recognize their strengths and weaknesses in communication skills. Method: This cross-sectional study was carried out in 2014. The study participants included all the nursing students who passed two semesters in Fatemeh School of Nursing and Midwifery in Shiraz, Iran. The students’ communication skills were assessed using a self-administered questionnaire. Then, the data were entered into the SPSS statistical software (v. 16) and analyzed using both descriptive (mean and percentage) and inferential statistics (Pearson correlation and ANOVA). Results: Among the 200 students who completed the questionnaires, 58% were female and 42% were male with the mean age of 21.79 years (SD=2.14). The results of Pearson correlation analysis demonstrated a significant correlation between the nursing students’ clinical communication behavior scores and treatment communication ability scores (P<0.001). The findings demonstrated that most nursing students required improvement in their communication skills in both clinical communication behavior and treatment communication ability. Besides, a significant difference was observed among the students of different terms regarding clinical communication behaviors (P≤0.05), but not concerning communication abilities. Nursing students in higher semesters had better communication skills. Conclusions: The results showed that nursing students in this university had a moderate ability in clinical and treatment communication. Thus, paying attention to standard education, curriculum revision, and adding some specific theoretical lessons for improving communication skills are mandatory during the bachelor’s degree. PMID:25946924

  18. Inhibitory Control Predicts Grammatical Ability

    PubMed Central

    Ibbotson, Paul; Kearvell-White, Jennifer

    2015-01-01

    We present evidence that individual variation in grammatical ability can be predicted by individual variation in inhibitory control. We tested 81 5-year-olds using two classic tests from linguistics and psychology (Past Tense and the Stroop). Inhibitory control was a better predicator of grammatical ability than either vocabulary or age. Our explanation is that giving the correct response in both tests requires using a common cognitive capacity to inhibit unwanted competition. The implications are that understanding the developmental trajectory of language acquisition can benefit from integrating the developmental trajectory of non-linguistic faculties, such as executive control. PMID:26659926

  19. Fronto-Parietal Network Reconfiguration Supports the Development of Reasoning Ability.

    PubMed

    Wendelken, Carter; Ferrer, Emilio; Whitaker, Kirstie J; Bunge, Silvia A

    2016-05-01

    The goal of this fMRI study was to examine how well developmental improvements in reasoning ability can be explained by changes in functional connectivity between specific nodes in prefrontal and parietal cortices. To this end, we examined connectivity within the lateral fronto-parietal network (LFPN) and its relation to reasoning ability in 132 children and adolescents aged 6-18 years, 56 of whom were scanned twice over the course of 1.5 years. Developmental changes in strength of connections within the LFPN were most prominent in late childhood and early adolescence. Reasoning ability was related to functional connectivity between left rostrolateral prefrontal cortex (RLPFC) and inferior parietal lobule (IPL), but only among 12-18-year olds. For 9-11-year olds, reasoning ability was most strongly related to connectivity between left and right RLPFC; this relationship was mediated by working memory. For 6-8-year olds, significant relationships between connectivity and performance were not observed; in this group, processing speed was the primary mediator of improvement in reasoning ability. We conclude that different connections best support reasoning at different points in development and that RLPFC-IPL connectivity becomes an important predictor of reasoning during adolescence. PMID:25824536

  20. Do mental speed and musical abilities interact?

    PubMed

    Gruhn, Wilfried; Galley, Niels; Kluth, Christine

    2003-11-01

    The relation between mental speed and musical ability was investigated. Seventeen subjects aged 3-7 years were divided into two subgroups: one (G1; n = 9) consisted of children who participated in an early childhood music program and who received informal musical guidance, but no special training; the other (G2; n = 8) consisted of highly talented young violin players who received intensive parental support and special training by daily deliberate practice. Mental and musical abilities of both groups were controlled by standardized tests (Kaufman's ABC and Gordon's PMMA) and compared with data taken from recordings of saccadic eye movement using online identification from an electrooculogram (EOG). Results of EOG measurement are referred to as "mental speed," which correlates highly with general mental abilities (intelligence). These results were compared with EOG scores taken from a larger sample of children of the same age range (n = 82) who received no music instruction. The grand average of their scores served as a reference line for mental speed, which is normally expected to be performed by an equivalent age group. Data in the two experimental groups did not differ statistically; however, all musically experienced children had a highly significant advantage in mental age (P <0.01) compared to the reference line of the normal population who did not exhibit any effect of training and practice. This indicates strong interaction between mental speed and music ability, which can be interpreted in terms of the expertise model and cognitive transfer effects. PMID:14681172