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Sample records for accurate quantitative assessment

  1. Multimodal Quantitative Phase Imaging with Digital Holographic Microscopy Accurately Assesses Intestinal Inflammation and Epithelial Wound Healing.

    PubMed

    Lenz, Philipp; Brückner, Markus; Ketelhut, Steffi; Heidemann, Jan; Kemper, Björn; Bettenworth, Dominik

    2016-01-01

    The incidence of inflammatory bowel disease, i.e., Crohn's disease and Ulcerative colitis, has significantly increased over the last decade. The etiology of IBD remains unknown and current therapeutic strategies are based on the unspecific suppression of the immune system. The development of treatments that specifically target intestinal inflammation and epithelial wound healing could significantly improve management of IBD, however this requires accurate detection of inflammatory changes. Currently, potential drug candidates are usually evaluated using animal models in vivo or with cell culture based techniques in vitro. Histological examination usually requires the cells or tissues of interest to be stained, which may alter the sample characteristics and furthermore, the interpretation of findings can vary by investigator expertise. Digital holographic microscopy (DHM), based on the detection of optical path length delay, allows stain-free quantitative phase contrast imaging. This allows the results to be directly correlated with absolute biophysical parameters. We demonstrate how measurement of changes in tissue density with DHM, based on refractive index measurement, can quantify inflammatory alterations, without staining, in different layers of colonic tissue specimens from mice and humans with colitis. Additionally, we demonstrate continuous multimodal label-free monitoring of epithelial wound healing in vitro, possible using DHM through the simple automated determination of the wounded area and simultaneous determination of morphological parameters such as dry mass and layer thickness of migrating cells. In conclusion, DHM represents a valuable, novel and quantitative tool for the assessment of intestinal inflammation with absolute values for parameters possible, simplified quantification of epithelial wound healing in vitro and therefore has high potential for translational diagnostic use. PMID:27685659

  2. A correlative imaging based methodology for accurate quantitative assessment of bone formation in additive manufactured implants.

    PubMed

    Geng, Hua; Todd, Naomi M; Devlin-Mullin, Aine; Poologasundarampillai, Gowsihan; Kim, Taek Bo; Madi, Kamel; Cartmell, Sarah; Mitchell, Christopher A; Jones, Julian R; Lee, Peter D

    2016-06-01

    A correlative imaging methodology was developed to accurately quantify bone formation in the complex lattice structure of additive manufactured implants. Micro computed tomography (μCT) and histomorphometry were combined, integrating the best features from both, while demonstrating the limitations of each imaging modality. This semi-automatic methodology registered each modality using a coarse graining technique to speed the registration of 2D histology sections to high resolution 3D μCT datasets. Once registered, histomorphometric qualitative and quantitative bone descriptors were directly correlated to 3D quantitative bone descriptors, such as bone ingrowth and bone contact. The correlative imaging allowed the significant volumetric shrinkage of histology sections to be quantified for the first time (~15 %). This technique demonstrated the importance of location of the histological section, demonstrating that up to a 30 % offset can be introduced. The results were used to quantitatively demonstrate the effectiveness of 3D printed titanium lattice implants.

  3. Toward Accurate and Quantitative Comparative Metagenomics.

    PubMed

    Nayfach, Stephen; Pollard, Katherine S

    2016-08-25

    Shotgun metagenomics and computational analysis are used to compare the taxonomic and functional profiles of microbial communities. Leveraging this approach to understand roles of microbes in human biology and other environments requires quantitative data summaries whose values are comparable across samples and studies. Comparability is currently hampered by the use of abundance statistics that do not estimate a meaningful parameter of the microbial community and biases introduced by experimental protocols and data-cleaning approaches. Addressing these challenges, along with improving study design, data access, metadata standardization, and analysis tools, will enable accurate comparative metagenomics. We envision a future in which microbiome studies are replicable and new metagenomes are easily and rapidly integrated with existing data. Only then can the potential of metagenomics for predictive ecological modeling, well-powered association studies, and effective microbiome medicine be fully realized. PMID:27565341

  4. Toward Accurate and Quantitative Comparative Metagenomics

    PubMed Central

    Nayfach, Stephen; Pollard, Katherine S.

    2016-01-01

    Shotgun metagenomics and computational analysis are used to compare the taxonomic and functional profiles of microbial communities. Leveraging this approach to understand roles of microbes in human biology and other environments requires quantitative data summaries whose values are comparable across samples and studies. Comparability is currently hampered by the use of abundance statistics that do not estimate a meaningful parameter of the microbial community and biases introduced by experimental protocols and data-cleaning approaches. Addressing these challenges, along with improving study design, data access, metadata standardization, and analysis tools, will enable accurate comparative metagenomics. We envision a future in which microbiome studies are replicable and new metagenomes are easily and rapidly integrated with existing data. Only then can the potential of metagenomics for predictive ecological modeling, well-powered association studies, and effective microbiome medicine be fully realized. PMID:27565341

  5. Accurate and easy-to-use assessment of contiguous DNA methylation sites based on proportion competitive quantitative-PCR and lateral flow nucleic acid biosensor.

    PubMed

    Xu, Wentao; Cheng, Nan; Huang, Kunlun; Lin, Yuehe; Wang, Chenguang; Xu, Yuancong; Zhu, Longjiao; Du, Dan; Luo, Yunbo

    2016-06-15

    Many types of diagnostic technologies have been reported for DNA methylation, but they require a standard curve for quantification or only show moderate accuracy. Moreover, most technologies have difficulty providing information on the level of methylation at specific contiguous multi-sites, not to mention easy-to-use detection to eliminate labor-intensive procedures. We have addressed these limitations and report here a cascade strategy that combines proportion competitive quantitative PCR (PCQ-PCR) and lateral flow nucleic acid biosensor (LFNAB), resulting in accurate and easy-to-use assessment. The P16 gene with specific multi-methylated sites, a well-studied tumor suppressor gene, was used as the target DNA sequence model. First, PCQ-PCR provided amplification products with an accurate proportion of multi-methylated sites following the principle of proportionality, and double-labeled duplex DNA was synthesized. Then, a LFNAB strategy was further employed for amplified signal detection via immune affinity recognition, and the exact level of site-specific methylation could be determined by the relative intensity of the test line and internal reference line. This combination resulted in all recoveries being greater than 94%, which are pretty satisfactory recoveries in DNA methylation assessment. Moreover, the developed cascades show significantly high usability as a simple, sensitive, and low-cost tool. Therefore, as a universal platform for sensing systems for the detection of contiguous multi-sites of DNA methylation without external standards and expensive instrumentation, this PCQ-PCR-LFNAB cascade method shows great promise for the point-of-care diagnosis of cancer risk and therapeutics.

  6. Groundtruth approach to accurate quantitation of fluorescence microarrays

    SciTech Connect

    Mascio-Kegelmeyer, L; Tomascik-Cheeseman, L; Burnett, M S; van Hummelen, P; Wyrobek, A J

    2000-12-01

    To more accurately measure fluorescent signals from microarrays, we calibrated our acquisition and analysis systems by using groundtruth samples comprised of known quantities of red and green gene-specific DNA probes hybridized to cDNA targets. We imaged the slides with a full-field, white light CCD imager and analyzed them with our custom analysis software. Here we compare, for multiple genes, results obtained with and without preprocessing (alignment, color crosstalk compensation, dark field subtraction, and integration time). We also evaluate the accuracy of various image processing and analysis techniques (background subtraction, segmentation, quantitation and normalization). This methodology calibrates and validates our system for accurate quantitative measurement of microarrays. Specifically, we show that preprocessing the images produces results significantly closer to the known ground-truth for these samples.

  7. Challenges in accurate quantitation of lysophosphatidic acids in human biofluids

    PubMed Central

    Onorato, Joelle M.; Shipkova, Petia; Minnich, Anne; Aubry, Anne-Françoise; Easter, John; Tymiak, Adrienne

    2014-01-01

    Lysophosphatidic acids (LPAs) are biologically active signaling molecules involved in the regulation of many cellular processes and have been implicated as potential mediators of fibroblast recruitment to the pulmonary airspace, pointing to possible involvement of LPA in the pathology of pulmonary fibrosis. LPAs have been measured in various biological matrices and many challenges involved with their analyses have been documented. However, little published information is available describing LPA levels in human bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). We therefore conducted detailed investigations into the effects of extensive sample handling and sample preparation conditions on LPA levels in human BALF. Further, targeted lipid profiling of human BALF and plasma identified the most abundant lysophospholipids likely to interfere with LPA measurements. We present the findings from these investigations, highlighting the importance of well-controlled sample handling for the accurate quantitation of LPA. Further, we show that chromatographic separation of individual LPA species from their corresponding lysophospholipid species is critical to avoid reporting artificially elevated levels. The optimized sample preparation and LC/MS/MS method was qualified using a stable isotope-labeled LPA as a surrogate calibrant and used to determine LPA levels in human BALF and plasma from a Phase 0 clinical study comparing idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis patients to healthy controls. PMID:24872406

  8. Fast and Accurate Detection of Multiple Quantitative Trait Loci

    PubMed Central

    Nettelblad, Carl; Holmgren, Sverker

    2013-01-01

    Abstract We present a new computational scheme that enables efficient and reliable quantitative trait loci (QTL) scans for experimental populations. Using a standard brute-force exhaustive search effectively prohibits accurate QTL scans involving more than two loci to be performed in practice, at least if permutation testing is used to determine significance. Some more elaborate global optimization approaches, for example, DIRECT have been adopted earlier to QTL search problems. Dramatic speedups have been reported for high-dimensional scans. However, since a heuristic termination criterion must be used in these types of algorithms, the accuracy of the optimization process cannot be guaranteed. Indeed, earlier results show that a small bias in the significance thresholds is sometimes introduced. Our new optimization scheme, PruneDIRECT, is based on an analysis leading to a computable (Lipschitz) bound on the slope of a transformed objective function. The bound is derived for both infinite- and finite-size populations. Introducing a Lipschitz bound in DIRECT leads to an algorithm related to classical Lipschitz optimization. Regions in the search space can be permanently excluded (pruned) during the optimization process. Heuristic termination criteria can thus be avoided. Hence, PruneDIRECT has a well-defined error bound and can in practice be guaranteed to be equivalent to a corresponding exhaustive search. We present simulation results that show that for simultaneous mapping of three QTLS using permutation testing, PruneDIRECT is typically more than 50 times faster than exhaustive search. The speedup is higher for stronger QTL. This could be used to quickly detect strong candidate eQTL networks. PMID:23919387

  9. Active contour approach for accurate quantitative airway analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Odry, Benjamin L.; Kiraly, Atilla P.; Slabaugh, Greg G.; Novak, Carol L.; Naidich, David P.; Lerallut, Jean-Francois

    2008-03-01

    Chronic airway disease causes structural changes in the lungs including peribronchial thickening and airway dilatation. Multi-detector computed tomography (CT) yields detailed near-isotropic images of the lungs, and thus the potential to obtain quantitative measurements of lumen diameter and airway wall thickness. Such measurements would allow standardized assessment, and physicians to diagnose and locate airway abnormalities, adapt treatment, and monitor progress over time. However, due to the sheer number of airways per patient, systematic analysis is infeasible in routine clinical practice without automation. We have developed an automated and real-time method based on active contours to estimate both airway lumen and wall dimensions; the method does not require manual contour initialization but only a starting point on the targeted airway. While the lumen contour segmentation is purely region-based, the estimation of the outer diameter considers the inner wall segmentation as well as local intensity variation, in order anticipate the presence of nearby arteries and exclude them. These properties make the method more robust than the Full-Width Half Maximum (FWHM) approach. Results are demonstrated on a phantom dataset with known dimensions and on a human dataset where the automated measurements are compared against two human operators. The average error on the phantom measurements was 0.10mm and 0.14mm for inner and outer diameters, showing sub-voxel accuracy. Similarly, the mean variation from the average manual measurement was 0.14mm and 0.18mm for inner and outer diameters respectively.

  10. Microbiological Quantitative Risk Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dominguez, Silvia; Schaffner, Donald W.

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

  11. Towards quantitative assessment of calciphylaxis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

  12. Quantitative MRI Assessment of Leukoencephalopathy

    PubMed Central

    Reddick, Wilburn E.; Glass, John O.; Langston, James W.; Helton, Kathleen J.

    2008-01-01

    Quantitative MRI assessment of leukoencephalopathy is difficult because the MRI properties of leukoencephalopathy significantly overlap those of normal tissue. This report describes the use of an automated procedure for longitudinal measurement of tissue volume and relaxation times to quantify leukoencephalopathy. Images derived by using this procedure in patients undergoing therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) are presented. Five examinations from each of five volunteers (25 examinations) were used to test the reproducibility of quantitated baseline and subsequent, normal-appearing images; the coefficients of variation were less than 2% for gray and white matter. Regions of leukoencephalopathy in patients were assessed by comparison with manual segmentation. Two radiologists manually segmented images from 15 randomly chosen MRI examinations that exhibited leukoencephalopathy. Kappa analyses showed that the two radiologists’ interpretations were concordant (κ = 0.70) and that each radiologist’s interpretations agreed with the results of the automated procedure (κ = 0.57 and 0.55).The clinical application of this method was illustrated by analysis of images from sequential MR examinations of two patients who developed leukoencephalopathy during treatment for ALL. The ultimate goal is to use these quantitative MR imaging measures to better understand therapy-induced neurotoxicity, which can be limited or even reversed with some combination of therapy adjustments and pharmacological and neurobehavioral interventions. PMID:11979570

  13. Quantitative risk assessment system (QRAS)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  14. What's Normal? Accurately and Efficiently Assessing Menstrual Function.

    PubMed

    Takemoto, Darcie M; Beharry, Meera S

    2015-09-01

    Many young women are unsure of what constitutes normal menses. By asking focused questions, pediatric providers can quickly and accurately assess menstrual function and dispel anxiety and myths. In this article, we review signs and symptoms of normal versus pathologic menstrual functioning and provide suggestions to improve menstrual history taking.

  15. FANSe: an accurate algorithm for quantitative mapping of large scale sequencing reads

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Gong; Fedyunin, Ivan; Kirchner, Sebastian; Xiao, Chuanle; Valleriani, Angelo; Ignatova, Zoya

    2012-01-01

    The most crucial step in data processing from high-throughput sequencing applications is the accurate and sensitive alignment of the sequencing reads to reference genomes or transcriptomes. The accurate detection of insertions and deletions (indels) and errors introduced by the sequencing platform or by misreading of modified nucleotides is essential for the quantitative processing of the RNA-based sequencing (RNA-Seq) datasets and for the identification of genetic variations and modification patterns. We developed a new, fast and accurate algorithm for nucleic acid sequence analysis, FANSe, with adjustable mismatch allowance settings and ability to handle indels to accurately and quantitatively map millions of reads to small or large reference genomes. It is a seed-based algorithm which uses the whole read information for mapping and high sensitivity and low ambiguity are achieved by using short and non-overlapping reads. Furthermore, FANSe uses hotspot score to prioritize the processing of highly possible matches and implements modified Smith–Watermann refinement with reduced scoring matrix to accelerate the calculation without compromising its sensitivity. The FANSe algorithm stably processes datasets from various sequencing platforms, masked or unmasked and small or large genomes. It shows a remarkable coverage of low-abundance mRNAs which is important for quantitative processing of RNA-Seq datasets. PMID:22379138

  16. Integrated Environmental Modeling: Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  17. Accurate scoring of non-uniform sampling schemes for quantitative NMR

    PubMed Central

    Aoto, Phillip C.; Fenwick, R. Bryn; Kroon, Gerard J. A.; Wright, Peter E.

    2014-01-01

    Non-uniform sampling (NUS) in NMR spectroscopy is a recognized and powerful tool to minimize acquisition time. Recent advances in reconstruction methodologies are paving the way for the use of NUS in quantitative applications, where accurate measurement of peak intensities is crucial. The presence or absence of NUS artifacts in reconstructed spectra ultimately determines the success of NUS in quantitative NMR. The quality of reconstructed spectra from NUS acquired data is dependent upon the quality of the sampling scheme. Here we demonstrate that the best performing sampling schemes make up a very small percentage of the total randomly generated schemes. A scoring method is found to accurately predict the quantitative similarity between reconstructed NUS spectra and those of fully sampled spectra. We present an easy-to-use protocol to batch generate and rank optimal Poisson-gap NUS schedules for use with 2D NMR with minimized noise and accurate signal reproduction, without the need for the creation of synthetic spectra. PMID:25063954

  18. Quantitative assessment of scientific quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinzl, Harald; Bloching, Philipp

    2012-09-01

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

  19. Can blind persons accurately assess body size from the voice?

    PubMed

    Pisanski, Katarzyna; Oleszkiewicz, Anna; Sorokowska, Agnieszka

    2016-04-01

    Vocal tract resonances provide reliable information about a speaker's body size that human listeners use for biosocial judgements as well as speech recognition. Although humans can accurately assess men's relative body size from the voice alone, how this ability is acquired remains unknown. In this study, we test the prediction that accurate voice-based size estimation is possible without prior audiovisual experience linking low frequencies to large bodies. Ninety-one healthy congenitally or early blind, late blind and sighted adults (aged 20-65) participated in the study. On the basis of vowel sounds alone, participants assessed the relative body sizes of male pairs of varying heights. Accuracy of voice-based body size assessments significantly exceeded chance and did not differ among participants who were sighted, or congenitally blind or who had lost their sight later in life. Accuracy increased significantly with relative differences in physical height between men, suggesting that both blind and sighted participants used reliable vocal cues to size (i.e. vocal tract resonances). Our findings demonstrate that prior visual experience is not necessary for accurate body size estimation. This capacity, integral to both nonverbal communication and speech perception, may be present at birth or may generalize from broader cross-modal correspondences. PMID:27095264

  20. Environmental probabilistic quantitative assessment methodologies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Crovelli, R.A.

    1995-01-01

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

  1. QUANTITATIVE PROCEDURES FOR NEUROTOXICOLOGY RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    In this project, previously published information on biologically based dose-response model for brain development was used to quantitatively evaluate critical neurodevelopmental processes, and to assess potential chemical impacts on early brain development. This model has been ex...

  2. A fluorescence-based quantitative real-time PCR assay for accurate Pocillopora damicornis species identification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thomas, Luke; Stat, Michael; Evans, Richard D.; Kennington, W. Jason

    2016-09-01

    Pocillopora damicornis is one of the most extensively studied coral species globally, but high levels of phenotypic plasticity within the genus make species identification based on morphology alone unreliable. As a result, there is a compelling need to develop cheap and time-effective molecular techniques capable of accurately distinguishing P. damicornis from other congeneric species. Here, we develop a fluorescence-based quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) assay to genotype a single nucleotide polymorphism that accurately distinguishes P. damicornis from other morphologically similar Pocillopora species. We trial the assay across colonies representing multiple Pocillopora species and then apply the assay to screen samples of Pocillopora spp. collected at regional scales along the coastline of Western Australia. This assay offers a cheap and time-effective alternative to Sanger sequencing and has broad applications including studies on gene flow, dispersal, recruitment and physiological thresholds of P. damicornis.

  3. Quantitative proteomics using the high resolution accurate mass capabilities of the quadrupole-orbitrap mass spectrometer.

    PubMed

    Gallien, Sebastien; Domon, Bruno

    2014-08-01

    High resolution/accurate mass hybrid mass spectrometers have considerably advanced shotgun proteomics and the recent introduction of fast sequencing capabilities has expanded its use for targeted approaches. More specifically, the quadrupole-orbitrap instrument has a unique configuration and its new features enable a wide range of experiments. An overview of the analytical capabilities of this instrument is presented, with a focus on its application to quantitative analyses. The high resolution, the trapping capability and the versatility of the instrument have allowed quantitative proteomic workflows to be redefined and new data acquisition schemes to be developed. The initial proteomic applications have shown an improvement of the analytical performance. However, as quantification relies on ion trapping, instead of ion beam, further refinement of the technique can be expected.

  4. Quantitative assessment of fluorescent proteins.

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  5. Quantitative real-time PCR for rapid and accurate titration of recombinant baculovirus particles.

    PubMed

    Hitchman, Richard B; Siaterli, Evangelia A; Nixon, Clare P; King, Linda A

    2007-03-01

    We describe the use of quantitative PCR (QPCR) to titer recombinant baculoviruses. Custom primers and probe were designed to gp64 and used to calculate a standard curve of QPCR derived titers from dilutions of a previously titrated baculovirus stock. Each dilution was titrated by both plaque assay and QPCR, producing a consistent and reproducible inverse relationship between C(T) and plaque forming units per milliliter. No significant difference was observed between titers produced by QPCR and plaque assay for 12 recombinant viruses, confirming the validity of this technique as a rapid and accurate method of baculovirus titration.

  6. Accurate assessment and identification of naturally occurring cellular cobalamins

    PubMed Central

    Hannibal, Luciana; Axhemi, Armend; Glushchenko, Alla V.; Moreira, Edward S.; Brasch, Nicola E.; Jacobsen, Donald W.

    2009-01-01

    Background Accurate assessment of cobalamin profiles in human serum, cells, and tissues may have clinical diagnostic value. However, non-alkyl forms of cobalamin undergo β-axial ligand exchange reactions during extraction, which leads to inaccurate profiles having little or no diagnostic value. Methods Experiments were designed to: 1) assess β-axial ligand exchange chemistry during the extraction and isolation of cobalamins from cultured bovine aortic endothelial cells, human foreskin fibroblasts, and human hepatoma HepG2 cells, and 2) to establish extraction conditions that would provide a more accurate assessment of endogenous forms containing both exchangeable and non-exchangeable β-axial ligands. Results The cobalamin profile of cells grown in the presence of [57Co]-cyanocobalamin as a source of vitamin B12 shows that the following derivatives are present: [57Co]-aquacobalamin, [57Co]-glutathionylcobalamin, [57Co]-sulfitocobalamin, [57Co]-cyanocobalamin, [57Co]-adenosylcobalamin, [57Co]-methylcobalamin, as well as other yet unidentified corrinoids. When the extraction is performed in the presence of excess cold aquacobalamin acting as a scavenger cobalamin (i.e., “cold trapping”), the recovery of both [57Co]-glutathionylcobalamin and [57Co]-sulfitocobalamin decreases to low but consistent levels. In contrast, the [57Co]-nitrocobalamin observed in extracts prepared without excess aquacobalamin is undetectable in extracts prepared with cold trapping. Conclusions This demonstrates that β-ligand exchange occurs with non-covalently bound β-ligands. The exception to this observation is cyanocobalamin with a non-covalent but non-exchangeable− CNT group. It is now possible to obtain accurate profiles of cellular cobalamins. PMID:18973458

  7. Quantitative assessment of DNA condensation.

    PubMed

    Trubetskoy, V S; Slattum, P M; Hagstrom, J E; Wolff, J A; Budker, V G

    1999-02-15

    A fluorescent method is proposed for assessing DNA condensation in aqueous solutions with variety of condensing agents. The technique is based on the effect of concentration-dependent self-quenching of covalently bound fluorophores upon DNA collapse. The method allows a more precise determination of charge equivalency in titration experiments with various polycations. The technique's ability to determine the number of DNA molecules that are condensed together in close proximity is under further investigation.

  8. Accurate Construction of Photoactivated Localization Microscopy (PALM) Images for Quantitative Measurements

    PubMed Central

    Coltharp, Carla; Kessler, Rene P.; Xiao, Jie

    2012-01-01

    Localization-based superresolution microscopy techniques such as Photoactivated Localization Microscopy (PALM) and Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy (STORM) have allowed investigations of cellular structures with unprecedented optical resolutions. One major obstacle to interpreting superresolution images, however, is the overcounting of molecule numbers caused by fluorophore photoblinking. Using both experimental and simulated images, we determined the effects of photoblinking on the accurate reconstruction of superresolution images and on quantitative measurements of structural dimension and molecule density made from those images. We found that structural dimension and relative density measurements can be made reliably from images that contain photoblinking-related overcounting, but accurate absolute density measurements, and consequently faithful representations of molecule counts and positions in cellular structures, require the application of a clustering algorithm to group localizations that originate from the same molecule. We analyzed how applying a simple algorithm with different clustering thresholds (tThresh and dThresh) affects the accuracy of reconstructed images, and developed an easy method to select optimal thresholds. We also identified an empirical criterion to evaluate whether an imaging condition is appropriate for accurate superresolution image reconstruction with the clustering algorithm. Both the threshold selection method and imaging condition criterion are easy to implement within existing PALM clustering algorithms and experimental conditions. The main advantage of our method is that it generates a superresolution image and molecule position list that faithfully represents molecule counts and positions within a cellular structure, rather than only summarizing structural properties into ensemble parameters. This feature makes it particularly useful for cellular structures of heterogeneous densities and irregular geometries, and

  9. Accurate quantitation of MHC-bound peptides by application of isotopically labeled peptide MHC complexes.

    PubMed

    Hassan, Chopie; Kester, Michel G D; Oudgenoeg, Gideon; de Ru, Arnoud H; Janssen, George M C; Drijfhout, Jan W; Spaapen, Robbert M; Jiménez, Connie R; Heemskerk, Mirjam H M; Falkenburg, J H Frederik; van Veelen, Peter A

    2014-09-23

    Knowledge of the accurate copy number of HLA class I presented ligands is important in fundamental and clinical immunology. Currently, the best copy number determinations are based on mass spectrometry, employing single reaction monitoring (SRM) in combination with a known amount of isotopically labeled peptide. The major drawback of this approach is that the losses during sample pretreatment, i.e. immunopurification and filtration steps, are not well defined and must, therefore, be estimated. In addition, such losses can vary for individual peptides. Therefore, we developed a new approach in which isotopically labeled peptide-MHC monomers (hpMHC) are prepared and added directly after cell lysis, i.e. before the usual sample processing. Using this approach, all losses during sample processing can be accounted for and allows accurate determination of specific MHC class I-presented ligands. Our study pinpoints the immunopurification step as the origin of the rather extreme losses during sample pretreatment and offers a solution to account for these losses. Obviously, this has important implications for accurate HLA-ligand quantitation. The strategy presented here can be used to obtain a reliable view of epitope copy number and thus allows improvement of vaccine design and strategies for immunotherapy.

  10. Quantitation and accurate mass analysis of pesticides in vegetables by LC/TOF-MS.

    PubMed

    Ferrer, Imma; Thurman, E Michael; Fernández-Alba, Amadeo R

    2005-05-01

    A quantitative method consisting of solvent extraction followed by liquid chromatography/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LC/TOF-MS) analysis was developed for the identification and quantitation of three chloronicotinyl pesticides (imidacloprid, acetamiprid, thiacloprid) commonly used on salad vegetables. Accurate mass measurements within 3 ppm error were obtained for all the pesticides studied in various vegetable matrixes (cucumber, tomato, lettuce, pepper), which allowed an unequivocal identification of the target pesticides. Calibration curves covering 2 orders of magnitude were linear over the concentration range studied, thus showing the quantitative ability of TOF-MS as a monitoring tool for pesticides in vegetables. Matrix effects were also evaluated using matrix-matched standards showing no significant interferences between matrixes and clean extracts. Intraday reproducibility was 2-3% relative standard deviation (RSD) and interday values were 5% RSD. The precision (standard deviation) of the mass measurements was evaluated and it was less than 0.23 mDa between days. Detection limits of the chloronicotinyl insecticides in salad vegetables ranged from 0.002 to 0.01 mg/kg. These concentrations are equal to or better than the EU directives for controlled pesticides in vegetables showing that LC/TOF-MS analysis is a powerful tool for identification of pesticides in vegetables. Robustness and applicability of the method was validated for the analysis of market vegetable samples. Concentrations found in these samples were in the range of 0.02-0.17 mg/kg of vegetable. PMID:15859598

  11. Accurate and quantitative polarization-sensitive OCT by unbiased birefringence estimator with noise-stochastic correction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kasaragod, Deepa; Sugiyama, Satoshi; Ikuno, Yasushi; Alonso-Caneiro, David; Yamanari, Masahiro; Fukuda, Shinichi; Oshika, Tetsuro; Hong, Young-Joo; Li, En; Makita, Shuichi; Miura, Masahiro; Yasuno, Yoshiaki

    2016-03-01

    Polarization sensitive optical coherence tomography (PS-OCT) is a functional extension of OCT that contrasts the polarization properties of tissues. It has been applied to ophthalmology, cardiology, etc. Proper quantitative imaging is required for a widespread clinical utility. However, the conventional method of averaging to improve the signal to noise ratio (SNR) and the contrast of the phase retardation (or birefringence) images introduce a noise bias offset from the true value. This bias reduces the effectiveness of birefringence contrast for a quantitative study. Although coherent averaging of Jones matrix tomography has been widely utilized and has improved the image quality, the fundamental limitation of nonlinear dependency of phase retardation and birefringence to the SNR was not overcome. So the birefringence obtained by PS-OCT was still not accurate for a quantitative imaging. The nonlinear effect of SNR to phase retardation and birefringence measurement was previously formulated in detail for a Jones matrix OCT (JM-OCT) [1]. Based on this, we had developed a maximum a-posteriori (MAP) estimator and quantitative birefringence imaging was demonstrated [2]. However, this first version of estimator had a theoretical shortcoming. It did not take into account the stochastic nature of SNR of OCT signal. In this paper, we present an improved version of the MAP estimator which takes into account the stochastic property of SNR. This estimator uses a probability distribution function (PDF) of true local retardation, which is proportional to birefringence, under a specific set of measurements of the birefringence and SNR. The PDF was pre-computed by a Monte-Carlo (MC) simulation based on the mathematical model of JM-OCT before the measurement. A comparison between this new MAP estimator, our previous MAP estimator [2], and the standard mean estimator is presented. The comparisons are performed both by numerical simulation and in vivo measurements of anterior and

  12. Biologically based, quantitative risk assessment of neurotoxicants.

    PubMed

    Slikker, W; Crump, K S; Andersen, M E; Bellinger, D

    1996-01-01

    The need for biologically based, quantitative risk assessment procedures for noncancer endpoints such as neurotoxicity has been discussed in reports by the United States Congress (Office of Technology Assessment, OTA), National Research Council (NRC), and a federal coordinating council. According to OTA, current attention and resources allocated to health risk assessment research are inadequate and not commensurate with its impact on public health and the economy. Methods to include continuous rather than dichotomous data for neurotoxicity endpoints, biomarkers of exposure and effects, and pharmacokinetic and mechanistic data have been proposed for neurotoxicity risk assessment but require further review and validation before acceptance. The purpose of this symposium was to examine procedures to enhance the risk assessment process for neurotoxicants and to discuss techniques to make the process more quantitative. Accordingly, a review of the currently used safety factor risk assessment approach for neurotoxicants is provided along with specific examples of how this process may be enhanced with the use of the benchmark dose approach. The importance of including physiologically based pharmacokinetic data in the risk assessment process and specific examples of this approach is presented for neurotoxicants. The role of biomarkers of exposure and effect and mechanistic information in the risk assessment process are also addressed. Finally, quantitative approaches with the use of continuous neurotoxicity data are demonstrated and the outcomes compared to those generated by currently used risk assessment procedures. PMID:8838636

  13. Accuracy of quantitative visual soil assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  14. The accurate assessment of small-angle X-ray scattering data

    SciTech Connect

    Grant, Thomas D.; Luft, Joseph R.; Carter, Lester G.; Matsui, Tsutomu; Weiss, Thomas M.; Martel, Anne; Snell, Edward H.

    2015-01-01

    A set of quantitative techniques is suggested for assessing SAXS data quality. These are applied in the form of a script, SAXStats, to a test set of 27 proteins, showing that these techniques are more sensitive than manual assessment of data quality. Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) has grown in popularity in recent times with the advent of bright synchrotron X-ray sources, powerful computational resources and algorithms enabling the calculation of increasingly complex models. However, the lack of standardized data-quality metrics presents difficulties for the growing user community in accurately assessing the quality of experimental SAXS data. Here, a series of metrics to quantitatively describe SAXS data in an objective manner using statistical evaluations are defined. These metrics are applied to identify the effects of radiation damage, concentration dependence and interparticle interactions on SAXS data from a set of 27 previously described targets for which high-resolution structures have been determined via X-ray crystallography or nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The studies show that these metrics are sufficient to characterize SAXS data quality on a small sample set with statistical rigor and sensitivity similar to or better than manual analysis. The development of data-quality analysis strategies such as these initial efforts is needed to enable the accurate and unbiased assessment of SAXS data quality.

  15. Integrated regional assessment: qualitative and quantitative issues

    SciTech Connect

    Malone, Elizabeth L.

    2009-11-19

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

  16. Physiologic basis for understanding quantitative dehydration assessment.

    PubMed

    Cheuvront, Samuel N; Kenefick, Robert W; Charkoudian, Nisha; Sawka, Michael N

    2013-03-01

    Dehydration (body water deficit) is a physiologic state that can have profound implications for human health and performance. Unfortunately, dehydration can be difficult to assess, and there is no single, universal gold standard for decision making. In this article, we review the physiologic basis for understanding quantitative dehydration assessment. We highlight how phenomenologic interpretations of dehydration depend critically on the type (dehydration compared with volume depletion) and magnitude (moderate compared with severe) of dehydration, which in turn influence the osmotic (plasma osmolality) and blood volume-dependent compensatory thresholds for antidiuretic and thirst responses. In particular, we review new findings regarding the biological variation in osmotic responses to dehydration and discuss how this variation can help provide a quantitative and clinically relevant link between the physiology and phenomenology of dehydration. Practical measures with empirical thresholds are provided as a starting point for improving the practice of dehydration assessment.

  17. Trends in quantitative cancer risk assessment.

    PubMed Central

    Morris, S C

    1991-01-01

    Quantitative cancer risk assessment is a dynamic field, more closely coupled to rapidly advancing biomedical research than ever before. Six areas of change and growth are identified: expansion from models of cancer initiation to a more complete picture of the total carcinogenic process; trend from curve-fitting to biologically based models; movement from upperbound estimates to best estimates, with a more complete treatment of uncertainty; increased consideration of the role of susceptibility; growing development of expert systems and decision support systems; and emerging importance of risk communication. PMID:2050076

  18. Increasing Accurate Preference Assessment Implementation through Pyramidal Training

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pence, Sacha T.; St. Peter, Claire C.; Tetreault, Allison S.

    2012-01-01

    Preference assessments directly evaluate items that may serve as reinforcers, and their implementation is an important skill for individuals who work with children. This study examined the effectiveness of pyramidal training on teachers' implementation of preference assessments. During Experiment 1, 3 special education teachers taught 6 trainees…

  19. The accurate assessment of small-angle X-ray scattering data

    DOE PAGES

    Grant, Thomas D.; Luft, Joseph R.; Carter, Lester G.; Matsui, Tsutomu; Weiss, Thomas M.; Martel, Anne; Snell, Edward H.

    2015-01-23

    Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) has grown in popularity in recent times with the advent of bright synchrotron X-ray sources, powerful computational resources and algorithms enabling the calculation of increasingly complex models. However, the lack of standardized data-quality metrics presents difficulties for the growing user community in accurately assessing the quality of experimental SAXS data. Here, a series of metrics to quantitatively describe SAXS data in an objective manner using statistical evaluations are defined. These metrics are applied to identify the effects of radiation damage, concentration dependence and interparticle interactions on SAXS data from a set of 27 previously described targetsmore » for which high-resolution structures have been determined via X-ray crystallography or nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Studies show that these metrics are sufficient to characterize SAXS data quality on a small sample set with statistical rigor and sensitivity similar to or better than manual analysis. The development of data-quality analysis strategies such as these initial efforts is needed to enable the accurate and unbiased assessment of SAXS data quality.« less

  20. The accurate assessment of small-angle X-ray scattering data

    SciTech Connect

    Grant, Thomas D.; Luft, Joseph R.; Carter, Lester G.; Matsui, Tsutomu; Weiss, Thomas M.; Martel, Anne; Snell, Edward H.

    2015-01-23

    Small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) has grown in popularity in recent times with the advent of bright synchrotron X-ray sources, powerful computational resources and algorithms enabling the calculation of increasingly complex models. However, the lack of standardized data-quality metrics presents difficulties for the growing user community in accurately assessing the quality of experimental SAXS data. Here, a series of metrics to quantitatively describe SAXS data in an objective manner using statistical evaluations are defined. These metrics are applied to identify the effects of radiation damage, concentration dependence and interparticle interactions on SAXS data from a set of 27 previously described targets for which high-resolution structures have been determined via X-ray crystallography or nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Studies show that these metrics are sufficient to characterize SAXS data quality on a small sample set with statistical rigor and sensitivity similar to or better than manual analysis. The development of data-quality analysis strategies such as these initial efforts is needed to enable the accurate and unbiased assessment of SAXS data quality.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

  2. Internal Medicine Residents Do Not Accurately Assess Their Medical Knowledge

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Roger; Panda, Mukta; Desbiens, Norman

    2008-01-01

    Background: Medical knowledge is essential for appropriate patient care; however, the accuracy of internal medicine (IM) residents' assessment of their medical knowledge is unknown. Methods: IM residents predicted their overall percentile performance 1 week (on average) before and after taking the in-training exam (ITE), an objective and well…

  3. An accurate method of extracting fat droplets in liver images for quantitative evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishikawa, Masahiro; Kobayashi, Naoki; Komagata, Hideki; Shinoda, Kazuma; Yamaguchi, Masahiro; Abe, Tokiya; Hashiguchi, Akinori; Sakamoto, Michiie

    2015-03-01

    The steatosis in liver pathological tissue images is a promising indicator of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and the possible risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The resulting values are also important for ensuring the automatic and accurate classification of HCC images, because the existence of many fat droplets is likely to create errors in quantifying the morphological features used in the process. In this study we propose a method that can automatically detect, and exclude regions with many fat droplets by using the feature values of colors, shapes and the arrangement of cell nuclei. We implement the method and confirm that it can accurately detect fat droplets and quantify the fat droplet ratio of actual images. This investigation also clarifies the effective characteristics that contribute to accurate detection.

  4. Hydrogen quantitative risk assessment workshop proceedings.

    SciTech Connect

    Groth, Katrina M.; Harris, Aaron P.

    2013-09-01

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

  5. A toolbox for rockfall Quantitative Risk Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Agliardi, F.; Mavrouli, O.; Schubert, M.; Corominas, J.; Crosta, G. B.; Faber, M. H.; Frattini, P.; Narasimhan, H.

    2012-04-01

    Rockfall Quantitative Risk Analysis for mitigation design and implementation requires evaluating the probability of rockfall events, the probability and intensity of impacts on structures (elements at risk and countermeasures), their vulnerability, and the related expected costs for different scenarios. A sound theoretical framework has been developed during the last years both for spatially-distributed and local (i.e. single element at risk) analyses. Nevertheless, the practical application of existing methodologies remains challenging, due to difficulties in the collection of required data and to the lack of simple, dedicated analysis tools. In order to fill this gap, specific tools have been developed in the form of Excel spreadsheets, in the framework of Safeland EU project. These tools can be used by stakeholders, practitioners and other interested parties for the quantitative calculation of rock fall risk through its key components (probabilities, vulnerability, loss), using combinations of deterministic and probabilistic approaches. Three tools have been developed, namely: QuRAR (by UNIMIB), VulBlock (by UPC), and RiskNow-Falling Rocks (by ETH Zurich). QuRAR implements a spatially distributed, quantitative assessment methodology of rockfall risk for individual buildings or structures in a multi-building context (urban area). Risk is calculated in terms of expected annual cost, through the evaluation of rockfall event probability, propagation and impact probability (by 3D numerical modelling of rockfall trajectories), and empirical vulnerability for different risk protection scenarios. Vulblock allows a detailed, analytical calculation of the vulnerability of reinforced concrete frame buildings to rockfalls and related fragility curves, both as functions of block velocity and the size. The calculated vulnerability can be integrated in other methodologies/procedures based on the risk equation, by incorporating the uncertainty of the impact location of the rock

  6. Simulation evaluation of quantitative myocardial perfusion assessment from cardiac CT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bindschadler, Michael; Modgil, Dimple; Branch, Kelley R.; La Riviere, Patrick J.; Alessio, Adam M.

    2014-03-01

    blood flow estimation. In conclusion, quantitative model-based dynamic cardiac CT perfusion assessment is capable of accurately estimating MBF across a range of cardiac outputs and tissue perfusion states, outperforms comparable static perfusion estimates, and is relatively robust to noise and temporal subsampling.

  7. Quantitative Risk Assessment for Enhanced Geothermal Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  8. Sensitive Quantitative Assessment of Balance Disorders

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Paloski, Willilam H.

    2007-01-01

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

  9. Quantitative ultrasound assessment of cervical microstructure.

    PubMed

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

    2010-07-01

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

  10. Quantitative spectroscopy of hot stars: accurate atomic data applied on a large scale as driver of recent breakthroughs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Przybilla, Norbert; Schaffenroth, Veronika; Nieva, Maria-Fernanda

    2015-08-01

    OB-type stars present hotbeds for non-LTE physics because of their strong radiation fields that drive the atmospheric plasma out of local thermodynamic equilibrium. We report on recent breakthroughs in the quantitative analysis of the optical and UV-spectra of OB-type stars that were facilitated by application of accurate and precise atomic data on a large scale. An astophysicist's dream has come true, by bringing observed and model spectra into close match over wide parts of the observed wavelength ranges. This facilitates tight observational constraints to be derived from OB-type stars for wide applications in astrophysics. However, despite the progress made, many details of the modelling may be improved further. We discuss atomic data needs in terms of laboratory measurements and also ab-initio calculations. Particular emphasis is given to quantitative spectroscopy in the near-IR, which will be in focus in the era of the upcoming extremely large telescopes.

  11. Restriction Site Tiling Analysis: accurate discovery and quantitative genotyping of genome-wide polymorphisms using nucleotide arrays

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    High-throughput genotype data can be used to identify genes important for local adaptation in wild populations, phenotypes in lab stocks, or disease-related traits in human medicine. Here we advance microarray-based genotyping for population genomics with Restriction Site Tiling Analysis. The approach simultaneously discovers polymorphisms and provides quantitative genotype data at 10,000s of loci. It is highly accurate and free from ascertainment bias. We apply the approach to uncover genomic differentiation in the purple sea urchin. PMID:20403197

  12. A Quantitative Approach to Assessing System Evolvability

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Christian, John A., III

    2004-01-01

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

  13. Allele-Specific Quantitative PCR for Accurate, Rapid, and Cost-Effective Genotyping.

    PubMed

    Lee, Han B; Schwab, Tanya L; Koleilat, Alaa; Ata, Hirotaka; Daby, Camden L; Cervera, Roberto Lopez; McNulty, Melissa S; Bostwick, Hannah S; Clark, Karl J

    2016-06-01

    Customizable endonucleases such as transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) enable rapid generation of mutant strains at genomic loci of interest in animal models and cell lines. With the accelerated pace of generating mutant alleles, genotyping has become a rate-limiting step to understanding the effects of genetic perturbation. Unless mutated alleles result in distinct morphological phenotypes, mutant strains need to be genotyped using standard methods in molecular biology. Classic restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) or sequencing is labor-intensive and expensive. Although simpler than RFLP, current versions of allele-specific PCR may still require post-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) handling such as sequencing, or they are more expensive if allele-specific fluorescent probes are used. Commercial genotyping solutions can take weeks from assay design to result, and are often more expensive than assembling reactions in-house. Key components of commercial assay systems are often proprietary, which limits further customization. Therefore, we developed a one-step open-source genotyping method based on quantitative PCR. The allele-specific qPCR (ASQ) does not require post-PCR processing and can genotype germline mutants through either threshold cycle (Ct) or end-point fluorescence reading. ASQ utilizes allele-specific primers, a locus-specific reverse primer, universal fluorescent probes and quenchers, and hot start DNA polymerase. Individual laboratories can further optimize this open-source system as we completely disclose the sequences, reagents, and thermal cycling protocol. We have tested the ASQ protocol to genotype alleles in five different genes. ASQ showed a 98-100% concordance in genotype scoring with RFLP or Sanger sequencing outcomes. ASQ is time-saving because a single qPCR without post-PCR handling suffices to score

  14. Allele-Specific Quantitative PCR for Accurate, Rapid, and Cost-Effective Genotyping.

    PubMed

    Lee, Han B; Schwab, Tanya L; Koleilat, Alaa; Ata, Hirotaka; Daby, Camden L; Cervera, Roberto Lopez; McNulty, Melissa S; Bostwick, Hannah S; Clark, Karl J

    2016-06-01

    Customizable endonucleases such as transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) enable rapid generation of mutant strains at genomic loci of interest in animal models and cell lines. With the accelerated pace of generating mutant alleles, genotyping has become a rate-limiting step to understanding the effects of genetic perturbation. Unless mutated alleles result in distinct morphological phenotypes, mutant strains need to be genotyped using standard methods in molecular biology. Classic restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) or sequencing is labor-intensive and expensive. Although simpler than RFLP, current versions of allele-specific PCR may still require post-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) handling such as sequencing, or they are more expensive if allele-specific fluorescent probes are used. Commercial genotyping solutions can take weeks from assay design to result, and are often more expensive than assembling reactions in-house. Key components of commercial assay systems are often proprietary, which limits further customization. Therefore, we developed a one-step open-source genotyping method based on quantitative PCR. The allele-specific qPCR (ASQ) does not require post-PCR processing and can genotype germline mutants through either threshold cycle (Ct) or end-point fluorescence reading. ASQ utilizes allele-specific primers, a locus-specific reverse primer, universal fluorescent probes and quenchers, and hot start DNA polymerase. Individual laboratories can further optimize this open-source system as we completely disclose the sequences, reagents, and thermal cycling protocol. We have tested the ASQ protocol to genotype alleles in five different genes. ASQ showed a 98-100% concordance in genotype scoring with RFLP or Sanger sequencing outcomes. ASQ is time-saving because a single qPCR without post-PCR handling suffices to score

  15. Allele-Specific Quantitative PCR for Accurate, Rapid, and Cost-Effective Genotyping

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Han B.; Schwab, Tanya L.; Koleilat, Alaa; Ata, Hirotaka; Daby, Camden L.; Cervera, Roberto Lopez; McNulty, Melissa S.; Bostwick, Hannah S.; Clark, Karl J.

    2016-01-01

    Customizable endonucleases such as transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) and clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) enable rapid generation of mutant strains at genomic loci of interest in animal models and cell lines. With the accelerated pace of generating mutant alleles, genotyping has become a rate-limiting step to understanding the effects of genetic perturbation. Unless mutated alleles result in distinct morphological phenotypes, mutant strains need to be genotyped using standard methods in molecular biology. Classic restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) or sequencing is labor-intensive and expensive. Although simpler than RFLP, current versions of allele-specific PCR may still require post-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) handling such as sequencing, or they are more expensive if allele-specific fluorescent probes are used. Commercial genotyping solutions can take weeks from assay design to result, and are often more expensive than assembling reactions in-house. Key components of commercial assay systems are often proprietary, which limits further customization. Therefore, we developed a one-step open-source genotyping method based on quantitative PCR. The allele-specific qPCR (ASQ) does not require post-PCR processing and can genotype germline mutants through either threshold cycle (Ct) or end-point fluorescence reading. ASQ utilizes allele-specific primers, a locus-specific reverse primer, universal fluorescent probes and quenchers, and hot start DNA polymerase. Individual laboratories can further optimize this open-source system as we completely disclose the sequences, reagents, and thermal cycling protocol. We have tested the ASQ protocol to genotype alleles in five different genes. ASQ showed a 98–100% concordance in genotype scoring with RFLP or Sanger sequencing outcomes. ASQ is time-saving because a single qPCR without post-PCR handling suffices to score

  16. Accurate assessment of mass, models and resolution by small-angle scattering

    PubMed Central

    Rambo, Robert P.; Tainer, John A.

    2013-01-01

    Modern small angle scattering (SAS) experiments with X-rays or neutrons provide a comprehensive, resolution-limited observation of the thermodynamic state. However, methods for evaluating mass and validating SAS based models and resolution have been inadequate. Here, we define the volume-of-correlation, Vc: a SAS invariant derived from the scattered intensities that is specific to the structural state of the particle, yet independent of concentration and the requirements of a compact, folded particle. We show Vc defines a ratio, Qr, that determines the molecular mass of proteins or RNA ranging from 10 to 1,000 kDa. Furthermore, we propose a statistically robust method for assessing model-data agreements (X2free) akin to cross-validation. Our approach prevents over-fitting of the SAS data and can be used with a newly defined metric, Rsas, for quantitative evaluation of resolution. Together, these metrics (Vc, Qr, X2free, and Rsas) provide analytical tools for unbiased and accurate macromolecular structural characterizations in solution. PMID:23619693

  17. Guidance to Achieve Accurate Aggregate Quantitation in Biopharmaceuticals by SV-AUC.

    PubMed

    Arthur, Kelly K; Kendrick, Brent S; Gabrielson, John P

    2015-01-01

    The levels and types of aggregates present in protein biopharmaceuticals must be assessed during all stages of product development, manufacturing, and storage of the finished product. Routine monitoring of aggregate levels in biopharmaceuticals is typically achieved by size exclusion chromatography (SEC) due to its high precision, speed, robustness, and simplicity to operate. However, SEC is error prone and requires careful method development to ensure accuracy of reported aggregate levels. Sedimentation velocity analytical ultracentrifugation (SV-AUC) is an orthogonal technique that can be used to measure protein aggregation without many of the potential inaccuracies of SEC. In this chapter, we discuss applications of SV-AUC during biopharmaceutical development and how characteristics of the technique make it better suited for some applications than others. We then discuss the elements of a comprehensive analytical control strategy for SV-AUC. Successful implementation of these analytical control elements ensures that SV-AUC provides continued value over the long time frames necessary to bring biopharmaceuticals to market.

  18. Bayes` theorem and quantitative risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Kaplan, S.

    1994-12-31

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

  19. Assessing Quantitative Reasoning in Young Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. A Global Approach to Accurate and Automatic Quantitative Analysis of NMR Spectra by Complex Least-Squares Curve Fitting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Y. L.

    The performance of quantitative analysis of 1D NMR spectra depends greatly on the choice of the NMR signal model. Complex least-squares analysis is well suited for optimizing the quantitative determination of spectra containing a limited number of signals (<30) obtained under satisfactory conditions of signal-to-noise ratio (>20). From a general point of view it is concluded, on the basis of mathematical considerations and numerical simulations, that, in the absence of truncation of the free-induction decay, complex least-squares curve fitting either in the time or in the frequency domain and linear-prediction methods are in fact nearly equivalent and give identical results. However, in the situation considered, complex least-squares analysis in the frequency domain is more flexible since it enables the quality of convergence to be appraised at every resonance position. An efficient data-processing strategy has been developed which makes use of an approximate conjugate-gradient algorithm. All spectral parameters (frequency, damping factors, amplitudes, phases, initial delay associated with intensity, and phase parameters of a baseline correction) are simultaneously managed in an integrated approach which is fully automatable. The behavior of the error as a function of the signal-to-noise ratio is theoretically estimated, and the influence of apodization is discussed. The least-squares curve fitting is theoretically proved to be the most accurate approach for quantitative analysis of 1D NMR data acquired with reasonable signal-to-noise ratio. The method enables complex spectral residuals to be sorted out. These residuals, which can be cumulated thanks to the possibility of correcting for frequency shifts and phase errors, extract systematic components, such as isotopic satellite lines, and characterize the shape and the intensity of the spectral distortion with respect to the Lorentzian model. This distortion is shown to be nearly independent of the chemical species

  1. Simple, fast, and accurate methodology for quantitative analysis using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, with bio-hybrid fuel cell examples.

    PubMed

    Mackie, David M; Jahnke, Justin P; Benyamin, Marcus S; Sumner, James J

    2016-01-01

    The standard methodologies for quantitative analysis (QA) of mixtures using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) instruments have evolved until they are now more complicated than necessary for many users' purposes. We present a simpler methodology, suitable for widespread adoption of FTIR QA as a standard laboratory technique across disciplines by occasional users.•Algorithm is straightforward and intuitive, yet it is also fast, accurate, and robust.•Relies on component spectra, minimization of errors, and local adaptive mesh refinement.•Tested successfully on real mixtures of up to nine components. We show that our methodology is robust to challenging experimental conditions such as similar substances, component percentages differing by three orders of magnitude, and imperfect (noisy) spectra. As examples, we analyze biological, chemical, and physical aspects of bio-hybrid fuel cells.

  2. Simple, fast, and accurate methodology for quantitative analysis using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, with bio-hybrid fuel cell examples

    PubMed Central

    Mackie, David M.; Jahnke, Justin P.; Benyamin, Marcus S.; Sumner, James J.

    2016-01-01

    The standard methodologies for quantitative analysis (QA) of mixtures using Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) instruments have evolved until they are now more complicated than necessary for many users’ purposes. We present a simpler methodology, suitable for widespread adoption of FTIR QA as a standard laboratory technique across disciplines by occasional users.•Algorithm is straightforward and intuitive, yet it is also fast, accurate, and robust.•Relies on component spectra, minimization of errors, and local adaptive mesh refinement.•Tested successfully on real mixtures of up to nine components. We show that our methodology is robust to challenging experimental conditions such as similar substances, component percentages differing by three orders of magnitude, and imperfect (noisy) spectra. As examples, we analyze biological, chemical, and physical aspects of bio-hybrid fuel cells. PMID:26977411

  3. Preferential access to genetic information from endogenous hominin ancient DNA and accurate quantitative SNP-typing via SPEX

    PubMed Central

    Brotherton, Paul; Sanchez, Juan J.; Cooper, Alan; Endicott, Phillip

    2010-01-01

    The analysis of targeted genetic loci from ancient, forensic and clinical samples is usually built upon polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-generated sequence data. However, many studies have shown that PCR amplification from poor-quality DNA templates can create sequence artefacts at significant levels. With hominin (human and other hominid) samples, the pervasive presence of highly PCR-amplifiable human DNA contaminants in the vast majority of samples can lead to the creation of recombinant hybrids and other non-authentic artefacts. The resulting PCR-generated sequences can then be difficult, if not impossible, to authenticate. In contrast, single primer extension (SPEX)-based approaches can genotype single nucleotide polymorphisms from ancient fragments of DNA as accurately as modern DNA. A single SPEX-type assay can amplify just one of the duplex DNA strands at target loci and generate a multi-fold depth-of-coverage, with non-authentic recombinant hybrids reduced to undetectable levels. Crucially, SPEX-type approaches can preferentially access genetic information from damaged and degraded endogenous ancient DNA templates over modern human DNA contaminants. The development of SPEX-type assays offers the potential for highly accurate, quantitative genotyping from ancient hominin samples. PMID:19864251

  4. A quantitatively accurate theory of stable crack growth in single phase ductile metal alloys under the influence of cyclic loading

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huffman, Peter oel

    Although fatigue has been a well studied phenomenon over the past century and a half, there has yet to be found a quantitative link between fatigue crack growth rates and materials properties. This work serves to establish that link, in the case of well behaved, single phase, ductile metals. The primary mechanisms of fatigue crack growth are identified in general terms, followed by a description of the dependence of the stress intensity factor range on those mechanisms. A method is presented for calculating the crack growth rate for an ideal, linear elastic, non-brittle material, which is assumed to be similar to the crack growth rate for a real material at very small crack growth rate values. The threshold stress intensity factor is discussed as a consequence of "crack tip healing". Residual stresses are accounted for in the form of an approximated residual stress intensity factor. The results of these calculations are compared to data available in the literature. It is concluded that this work presents a new way to consider crack growth with respect to cyclic loading which is quantitatively accurate, and introduces a new way to consider fracture mechanics with respect to the relatively small, cyclic loads, normally associated with fatigue.

  5. A Quantitative Software Risk Assessment Model

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Alice

    2002-01-01

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

  6. CUMULATIVE RISK ASSESSMENT FOR QUANTITATIVE RESPONSE DATA

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  7. QUANTITATIVE RISK ASSESSMENT FOR MICROBIAL AGENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  8. SPECT-OPT multimodal imaging enables accurate evaluation of radiotracers for β-cell mass assessments

    PubMed Central

    Eter, Wael A.; Parween, Saba; Joosten, Lieke; Frielink, Cathelijne; Eriksson, Maria; Brom, Maarten; Ahlgren, Ulf; Gotthardt, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) has become a promising experimental approach to monitor changes in β-cell mass (BCM) during diabetes progression. SPECT imaging of pancreatic islets is most commonly cross-validated by stereological analysis of histological pancreatic sections after insulin staining. Typically, stereological methods do not accurately determine the total β-cell volume, which is inconvenient when correlating total pancreatic tracer uptake with BCM. Alternative methods are therefore warranted to cross-validate β-cell imaging using radiotracers. In this study, we introduce multimodal SPECT - optical projection tomography (OPT) imaging as an accurate approach to cross-validate radionuclide-based imaging of β-cells. Uptake of a promising radiotracer for β-cell imaging by SPECT, 111In-exendin-3, was measured by ex vivo-SPECT and cross evaluated by 3D quantitative OPT imaging as well as with histology within healthy and alloxan-treated Brown Norway rat pancreata. SPECT signal was in excellent linear correlation with OPT data as compared to histology. While histological determination of islet spatial distribution was challenging, SPECT and OPT revealed similar distribution patterns of 111In-exendin-3 and insulin positive β-cell volumes between different pancreatic lobes, both visually and quantitatively. We propose ex vivo SPECT-OPT multimodal imaging as a highly accurate strategy for validating the performance of β-cell radiotracers. PMID:27080529

  9. Asbestos exposure--quantitative assessment of risk

    SciTech Connect

    Hughes, J.M.; Weill, H.

    1986-01-01

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

  10. Quantitative performance assessments for neuromagnetic imaging systems.

    PubMed

    Koga, Ryo; Hiyama, Ei; Matsumoto, Takuya; Sekihara, Kensuke

    2013-01-01

    We have developed a Monte-Carlo simulation method to assess the performance of neuromagnetic imaging systems using two kinds of performance metrics: A-prime metric and spatial resolution. We compute these performance metrics for virtual sensor systems having 80, 160, 320, and 640 sensors, and discuss how the system performance is improved, depending on the number of sensors. We also compute these metrics for existing whole-head MEG systems, MEGvision™ (Yokogawa Electric Corporation, Tokyo, Japan) that uses axial-gradiometer sensors, and TRIUX™ (Elekta Corporate, Stockholm, Sweden) that uses planar-gradiometer and magnetometer sensors. We discuss performance comparisons between these significantly different systems.

  11. Quantitative performance assessments for neuromagnetic imaging systems.

    PubMed

    Koga, Ryo; Hiyama, Ei; Matsumoto, Takuya; Sekihara, Kensuke

    2013-01-01

    We have developed a Monte-Carlo simulation method to assess the performance of neuromagnetic imaging systems using two kinds of performance metrics: A-prime metric and spatial resolution. We compute these performance metrics for virtual sensor systems having 80, 160, 320, and 640 sensors, and discuss how the system performance is improved, depending on the number of sensors. We also compute these metrics for existing whole-head MEG systems, MEGvision™ (Yokogawa Electric Corporation, Tokyo, Japan) that uses axial-gradiometer sensors, and TRIUX™ (Elekta Corporate, Stockholm, Sweden) that uses planar-gradiometer and magnetometer sensors. We discuss performance comparisons between these significantly different systems. PMID:24110711

  12. Quantitative assessment of protein function prediction programs.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-21

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

  13. Quantitative assessment of protein function prediction programs.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Accurate, fast and cost-effective diagnostic test for monosomy 1p36 using real-time quantitative PCR.

    PubMed

    Cunha, Pricila da Silva; Pena, Heloisa B; D'Angelo, Carla Sustek; Koiffmann, Celia P; Rosenfeld, Jill A; Shaffer, Lisa G; Stofanko, Martin; Gonçalves-Dornelas, Higgor; Pena, Sérgio Danilo Junho

    2014-01-01

    Monosomy 1p36 is considered the most common subtelomeric deletion syndrome in humans and it accounts for 0.5-0.7% of all the cases of idiopathic intellectual disability. The molecular diagnosis is often made by microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH), which has the drawback of being a high-cost technique. However, patients with classic monosomy 1p36 share some typical clinical characteristics that, together with its common prevalence, justify the development of a less expensive, targeted diagnostic method. In this study, we developed a simple, rapid, and inexpensive real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay for targeted diagnosis of monosomy 1p36, easily accessible for low-budget laboratories in developing countries. For this, we have chosen two target genes which are deleted in the majority of patients with monosomy 1p36: PRKCZ and SKI. In total, 39 patients previously diagnosed with monosomy 1p36 by aCGH, fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), and/or multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) all tested positive on our qPCR assay. By simultaneously using these two genes we have been able to detect 1p36 deletions with 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity. We conclude that qPCR of PRKCZ and SKI is a fast and accurate diagnostic test for monosomy 1p36, costing less than 10 US dollars in reagent costs.

  15. Development and evaluation of a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry method for rapid, accurate quantitation of malondialdehyde in human plasma.

    PubMed

    Sobsey, Constance A; Han, Jun; Lin, Karen; Swardfager, Walter; Levitt, Anthony; Borchers, Christoph H

    2016-09-01

    Malondialdhyde (MDA) is a commonly used marker of lipid peroxidation in oxidative stress. To provide a sensitive analytical method that is compatible with high throughput, we developed a multiple reaction monitoring-mass spectrometry (MRM-MS) approach using 3-nitrophenylhydrazine chemical derivatization, isotope-labeling, and liquid chromatography (LC) with electrospray ionization (ESI)-tandem mass spectrometry assay to accurately quantify MDA in human plasma. A stable isotope-labeled internal standard was used to compensate for ESI matrix effects. The assay is linear (R(2)=0.9999) over a 20,000-fold concentration range with a lower limit of quantitation of 30fmol (on-column). Intra- and inter-run coefficients of variation (CVs) were <2% and ∼10% respectively. The derivative was stable for >36h at 5°C. Standards spiked into plasma had recoveries of 92-98%. When compared to a common LC-UV method, the LC-MS method found near-identical MDA concentrations. A pilot project to quantify MDA in patient plasma samples (n=26) in a study of major depressive disorder with winter-type seasonal pattern (MDD-s) confirmed known associations between MDA concentrations and obesity (p<0.02). The LC-MS method provides high sensitivity and high reproducibility for quantifying MDA in human plasma. The simple sample preparation and rapid analysis time (5x faster than LC-UV) offers high throughput for large-scale clinical applications. PMID:27437618

  16. Accurate, Fast and Cost-Effective Diagnostic Test for Monosomy 1p36 Using Real-Time Quantitative PCR

    PubMed Central

    Cunha, Pricila da Silva; Pena, Heloisa B.; D'Angelo, Carla Sustek; Koiffmann, Celia P.; Rosenfeld, Jill A.; Shaffer, Lisa G.; Stofanko, Martin; Gonçalves-Dornelas, Higgor; Pena, Sérgio Danilo Junho

    2014-01-01

    Monosomy 1p36 is considered the most common subtelomeric deletion syndrome in humans and it accounts for 0.5–0.7% of all the cases of idiopathic intellectual disability. The molecular diagnosis is often made by microarray-based comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH), which has the drawback of being a high-cost technique. However, patients with classic monosomy 1p36 share some typical clinical characteristics that, together with its common prevalence, justify the development of a less expensive, targeted diagnostic method. In this study, we developed a simple, rapid, and inexpensive real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay for targeted diagnosis of monosomy 1p36, easily accessible for low-budget laboratories in developing countries. For this, we have chosen two target genes which are deleted in the majority of patients with monosomy 1p36: PRKCZ and SKI. In total, 39 patients previously diagnosed with monosomy 1p36 by aCGH, fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), and/or multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) all tested positive on our qPCR assay. By simultaneously using these two genes we have been able to detect 1p36 deletions with 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity. We conclude that qPCR of PRKCZ and SKI is a fast and accurate diagnostic test for monosomy 1p36, costing less than 10 US dollars in reagent costs. PMID:24839341

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

    SciTech Connect

    Bhatia, Rajiv; Seto, Edmund

    2011-04-15

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

  18. High-throughput automated image analysis of neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration enables quantitative assessment of virus neurovirulence

    PubMed Central

    Maximova, Olga A.; Murphy, Brian R.; Pletnev, Alexander G.

    2010-01-01

    Historically, the safety of live attenuated vaccine candidates against neurotropic viruses was assessed by semi-quantitative analysis of virus-induced histopathology in the central nervous system of monkeys. We have developed a high-throughput automated image analysis (AIA) for the quantitative assessment of virus-induced neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. Evaluation of the results generated by AIA showed that quantitative estimates of lymphocytic infiltration, microglial activation, and neurodegeneration strongly and significantly correlated with results of traditional histopathological scoring. In addition, we show that AIA is a targeted, objective, accurate, and time-efficient approach that provides reliable differentiation of virus neurovirulence. As such, it may become a useful tool in establishing consistent analytical standards across research and development laboratories and regulatory agencies, and may improve the safety evaluation of live virus vaccines. The implementation of this high-throughput AIA will markedly advance many fields of research including virology, neuroinflammation, neuroscience, and vaccinology. PMID:20688036

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

    SciTech Connect

    Altenbach, T.J.

    1995-02-13

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

  20. Accurate measurement of circulating mitochondrial DNA content from human blood samples using real-time quantitative PCR.

    PubMed

    Ajaz, Saima; Czajka, Anna; Malik, Afshan

    2015-01-01

    We describe a protocol to accurately measure the amount of human mitochondrial DNA (MtDNA) in peripheral blood samples which can be modified to quantify MtDNA from other body fluids, human cells, and tissues. This protocol is based on the use of real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) to quantify the amount of MtDNA relative to nuclear DNA (designated the Mt/N ratio). In the last decade, there have been increasing numbers of studies describing altered MtDNA or Mt/N in circulation in common nongenetic diseases where mitochondrial dysfunction may play a role (for review see Malik and Czajka, Mitochondrion 13:481-492, 2013). These studies are distinct from those looking at genetic mitochondrial disease and are attempting to identify acquired changes in circulating MtDNA content as an indicator of mitochondrial function. However, the methodology being used is not always specific and reproducible. As more than 95 % of the human mitochondrial genome is duplicated in the human nuclear genome, it is important to avoid co-amplification of nuclear pseudogenes. Furthermore, template preparation protocols can also affect the results because of the size and structural differences between the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes. Here we describe how to (1) prepare DNA from blood samples; (2) pretreat the DNA to prevent dilution bias; (3) prepare dilution standards for absolute quantification using the unique primers human mitochondrial genome forward primer (hMitoF3) and human mitochondrial genome reverse primer(hMitoR3) for the mitochondrial genome, and human nuclear genome forward primer (hB2MF1) and human nuclear genome reverse primer (hB2MR1) primers for the human nuclear genome; (4) carry out qPCR for either relative or absolute quantification from test samples; (5) analyze qPCR data; and (6) calculate the sample size to adequately power studies. The protocol presented here is suitable for high-throughput use.

  1. Quantitative wearable sensors for objective assessment of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Maetzler, Walter; Domingos, Josefa; Srulijes, Karin; Ferreira, Joaquim J; Bloem, Bastiaan R

    2013-10-01

    There is a rapidly growing interest in the quantitative assessment of Parkinson's disease (PD)-associated signs and disability using wearable technology. Both persons with PD and their clinicians see advantages in such developments. Specifically, quantitative assessments using wearable technology may allow for continuous, unobtrusive, objective, and ecologically valid data collection. Also, this approach may improve patient-doctor interaction, influence therapeutic decisions, and ultimately ameliorate patients' global health status. In addition, such measures have the potential to be used as outcome parameters in clinical trials, allowing for frequent assessments; eg, in the home setting. This review discusses promising wearable technology, addresses which parameters should be prioritized in such assessment strategies, and reports about studies that have already investigated daily life issues in PD using this new technology.

  2. Assessing digital and quantitative EEG in clinical settings.

    PubMed

    Nuwer, M R

    1998-11-01

    Assessment of clinical utility involves a series of steps based primarily on published peer-reviewed medical literature. Relevant publications usually use the scientific method, appropriate control groups, blinded reading, prospective design, and other study elements. Assessments are more credible when conducted by those who do not have a conflict of interest in the technique. A detailed assessment of digital and quantitative EEG was conducted recently by the American Academy of Neurology. The American Clinical Neurophysiology Society was a joint sponsor. This assessment concluded that digital EEG is an excellent substitute for paper EEG. It also found quantitative techniques helpful in epilepsy monitoring, seizure detections, and in operating room/intensive care unit trend monitors. Several other applications were considered promising, whereas some applications were considered not ready for clinical use. Substantial problems still plague the field, predisposing to false-positive results.

  3. Quantitative Assessment of a Senge Learning Organization Intervention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kiedrowski, P. Jay

    2006-01-01

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

  4. [The method of quantitative assessment of dentition aesthetic parameters].

    PubMed

    Ryakhovsky, A N; Kalacheva, Ya A

    2016-01-01

    This article describes the formula for calculating the aesthetic index of treatment outcome. The formula was derived on the basis of the obtained regression equations showing the dependence of visual assessment of the value of aesthetic violations. The formula can be used for objective quantitative evaluation of the aesthetics of the teeth when smiling before and after dental treatment.

  5. [The method of quantitative assessment of dentition aesthetic parameters].

    PubMed

    Ryakhovsky, A N; Kalacheva, Ya A

    2016-01-01

    This article describes the formula for calculating the aesthetic index of treatment outcome. The formula was derived on the basis of the obtained regression equations showing the dependence of visual assessment of the value of aesthetic violations. The formula can be used for objective quantitative evaluation of the aesthetics of the teeth when smiling before and after dental treatment. PMID:27367198

  6. Combining qualitative and quantitative imaging evaluation for the assessment of genomic DNA integrity: The SPIDIA experience.

    PubMed

    Ciniselli, Chiara Maura; Pizzamiglio, Sara; Malentacchi, Francesca; Gelmini, Stefania; Pazzagli, Mario; Hartmann, Christina C; Ibrahim-Gawel, Hady; Verderio, Paolo

    2015-06-15

    In this note, we present an ad hoc procedure that combines qualitative (visual evaluation) and quantitative (ImageJ software) evaluations of Pulsed-Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) images to assess the genomic DNA (gDNA) integrity of analyzed samples. This procedure could be suitable for the analysis of a large number of images by taking into consideration both the expertise of researchers and the objectiveness of the software. We applied this procedure on the first SPIDIA DNA External Quality Assessment (EQA) samples. Results show that the classification obtained by this ad hoc procedure allows a more accurate evaluation of gDNA integrity with respect to a single approach.

  7. Application of an Effective Statistical Technique for an Accurate and Powerful Mining of Quantitative Trait Loci for Rice Aroma Trait.

    PubMed

    Golestan Hashemi, Farahnaz Sadat; Rafii, Mohd Y; Ismail, Mohd Razi; Mohamed, Mahmud Tengku Muda; Rahim, Harun A; Latif, Mohammad Abdul; Aslani, Farzad

    2015-01-01

    When a phenotype of interest is associated with an external/internal covariate, covariate inclusion in quantitative trait loci (QTL) analyses can diminish residual variation and subsequently enhance the ability of QTL detection. In the in vitro synthesis of 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline (2AP), the main fragrance compound in rice, the thermal processing during the Maillard-type reaction between proline and carbohydrate reduction produces a roasted, popcorn-like aroma. Hence, for the first time, we included the proline amino acid, an important precursor of 2AP, as a covariate in our QTL mapping analyses to precisely explore the genetic factors affecting natural variation for rice scent. Consequently, two QTLs were traced on chromosomes 4 and 8. They explained from 20% to 49% of the total aroma phenotypic variance. Additionally, by saturating the interval harboring the major QTL using gene-based primers, a putative allele of fgr (major genetic determinant of fragrance) was mapped in the QTL on the 8th chromosome in the interval RM223-SCU015RM (1.63 cM). These loci supported previous studies of different accessions. Such QTLs can be widely used by breeders in crop improvement programs and for further fine mapping. Moreover, no previous studies and findings were found on simultaneous assessment of the relationship among 2AP, proline and fragrance QTLs. Therefore, our findings can help further our understanding of the metabolomic and genetic basis of 2AP biosynthesis in aromatic rice. PMID:26061689

  8. Quantitative phylogenetic assessment of microbial communities indiverse environments

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-01-01

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

  9. Accurate determination of human serum transferrin isoforms: Exploring metal-specific isotope dilution analysis as a quantitative proteomic tool.

    PubMed

    Busto, M Estela del Castillo; Montes-Bayón, Maria; Sanz-Medel, Alfredo

    2006-12-15

    Carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) measurements are considered a reliable marker for chronic alcohol consumption, and its use is becoming extensive in forensic medicine. However, CDT is not a single molecular entity but refers to a group of sialic acid-deficient transferrin isoforms from mono- to trisialotransferrin. Thus, the development of methods to analyze accurately and precisely individual transferrin isoforms in biological fluids such as serum is of increasing importance. The present work illustrates the use of ICPMS isotope dilution analysis for the quantification of transferrin isoforms once saturated with iron and separated by anion exchange chromatography (Mono Q 5/50) using a mobile phase consisting of a gradient of ammonium acetate (0-250 mM) in 25 mM Tris-acetic acid (pH 6.5). Species-specific and species-unspecific spikes have been explored. In the first part of the study, the use of postcolumn addition of a solution of 200 ng mL(-1) isotopically enriched iron (57Fe, 95%) in 25 mM sodium citrate/citric acid (pH 4) permitted the quantification of individual sialoforms of transferrin (from S2 to S5) in human serum samples of healthy individuals as well as alcoholic patients. Second, the species-specific spike method was performed by synthesizing an isotopically enriched standard of saturated transferrin (saturated with 57Fe). The characterization of the spike was performed by postcolumn reverse isotope dilution analysis (this is, by postcolumn addition of a solution of 200 ng mL(-1) natural iron in sodium citrate/citric acid of pH 4). Also, the stability of the transferrin spike was tested during one week with negligible species transformation. Finally, the enriched transferrin was used to quantify the individual isoforms in the same serum samples obtaining results comparative to those of postcolumn isotope dilution and to those previously published in the literature, demonstrating the suitability of both strategies for quantitative transferrin

  10. Some suggested future directions of quantitative resource assessments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Singer, D.A.

    2001-01-01

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

  11. [Quantitative method of representative contaminants in groundwater pollution risk assessment].

    PubMed

    Wang, Jun-Jie; He, Jiang-Tao; Lu, Yan; Liu, Li-Ya; Zhang, Xiao-Liang

    2012-03-01

    In the light of the problem that stress vulnerability assessment in groundwater pollution risk assessment is lack of an effective quantitative system, a new system was proposed based on representative contaminants and corresponding emission quantities through the analysis of groundwater pollution sources. And quantitative method of the representative contaminants in this system was established by analyzing the three properties of representative contaminants and determining the research emphasis using analytic hierarchy process. The method had been applied to the assessment of Beijing groundwater pollution risk. The results demonstrated that the representative contaminants hazards greatly depended on different research emphasizes. There were also differences between the sequence of three representative contaminants hazards and their corresponding properties. It suggested that subjective tendency of the research emphasis had a decisive impact on calculation results. In addition, by the means of sequence to normalize the three properties and to unify the quantified properties results would zoom in or out of the relative properties characteristic of different representative contaminants.

  12. Quantitative risk assessment methods for cancer and noncancer effects.

    PubMed

    Baynes, Ronald E

    2012-01-01

    Human health risk assessments have evolved from the more qualitative approaches to more quantitative approaches in the past decade. This has been facilitated by the improvement in computer hardware and software capability and novel computational approaches being slowly recognized by regulatory agencies. These events have helped reduce the reliance on experimental animals as well as better utilization of published animal toxicology data in deriving quantitative toxicity indices that may be useful for risk management purposes. This chapter briefly describes some of the approaches as described in the guidance documents from several of the regulatory agencies as it pertains to hazard identification and dose-response assessment of a chemical. These approaches are contrasted with more novel computational approaches that provide a better grasp of the uncertainty often associated with chemical risk assessments.

  13. Assessment of and standardization for quantitative nondestructive test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1972-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Simultaneous measurement in mass and mass/mass mode for accurate qualitative and quantitative screening analysis of pharmaceuticals in river water.

    PubMed

    Martínez Bueno, M J; Ulaszewska, Maria M; Gomez, M J; Hernando, M D; Fernández-Alba, A R

    2012-09-21

    A new approach for the analysis of pharmaceuticals (target and non-target) in water by LC-QTOF-MS is described in this work. The study has been designed to assess the performance of the simultaneous quantitative screening of target compounds, and the qualitative analysis of non-target analytes, in just one run. The features of accurate mass full scan mass spectrometry together with high MS/MS spectral acquisition rates - by means of information dependent acquisition (IDA) - have demonstrated their potential application in this work. Applying this analytical strategy, an identification procedure is presented based on library searching for compounds which were not included a priori in the analytical method as target compounds, thus allowing their characterization by data processing of accurate mass measurements in MS and MS/MS mode. The non-target compounds identified in river water samples were ketorolac, trazodone, fluconazole, metformin and venlafaxine. Simultaneously, this strategy allowed for the identification of other compounds which were not included in the library by screening the highest intensity peaks detected in the samples and by analysis of the full scan TOF-MS, isotope pattern and MS/MS spectra - the example of loratadine (histaminergic) is described. The group of drugs of abuse selected as target compounds for evaluation included analgesics, opioids and psychostimulants. Satisfactory results regarding sensitivity and linearity of the developed method were obtained. Limits of detection for the selected target compounds were from 0.003 to 0.01 μg/L and 0.01 to 0.5 μg/L, in MS and MS/MS mode, respectively - by direct sample injection of 100 μL.

  17. Using fatty acids to fingerprint biofilm communities: a means to quickly and accurately assess stream quality.

    PubMed

    DeForest, Jared L; Drerup, Samuel A; Vis, Morgan L

    2016-05-01

    The assessment of lotic ecosystem quality plays an essential role to help determine the extent of environmental stress and the effectiveness of restoration activities. Methods that incorporate biological properties are considered ideal because they provide direct assessment of the end goal of a vigorous biological community. Our primary objective was to use biofilm lipids to develop an accurate biomonitoring tool that requires little expertise and time to facilitate assessment. A model was created of fatty acid biomarkers most associated with predetermined stream quality classification, exceptional warm water habitat (EWH), warm water habitat (WWH), and limited resource (LR-AMD), and validated along a gradient of known stream qualities. The fatty acid fingerprint of the biofilm community was statistically different (P = 0.03) and was generally unique to recognized stream quality. One striking difference was essential fatty acids (DHA, EPA, and ARA) were absent from LR-AMD and only recovered from WWH and EWH, 45 % more in EWH than WWH. Independently testing the model along a stream quality gradient, this model correctly categorized six of the seven sites, with no match due to low sample biomass. These results provide compelling evidence that biofilm fatty acid analysis can be a sensitive, accurate, and cost-effective biomonitoring tool. We conceive of future studies expanding this research to more in-depth studies of remediation efforts, determining the applicable geographic area for the method and the addition of multiple stressors with the possibility of distinguishing among stressors.

  18. Quantitative, fluorescence-based in-situ assessment of protein expression.

    PubMed

    Moeder, Christopher B; Giltnane, Jennifer M; Moulis, Sharon Pozner; Rimm, David L

    2009-01-01

    As companion diagnostics grow in prevalence and importance, the need for accurate assessment of in situ protein concentrations has increased. Traditional immunohistochemistry (IHC), while valuable for assessment of context of expression, is less valuable for quantification. The lack of rigorous quantitative potential of traditional IHC led to our development of an immunofluorescence-based method now commercialized as the AQUA technology. Immunostaining of tissue samples, image acquisition, and use of AQUA software allow investigators to quickly, efficiently, and accurately measure levels of expression within user-defined subcellular or architectural compartments. IHC analyzed by AQUA shows high reproducibility and demonstrates protein measurement accuracy similar to ELISA assays. The process is largely automated, eliminating potential error, and the resultant scores are exported on a continuous scale. There are now numerous published examples where observations made with this technology are not seen by traditional methods.

  19. Home Circadian Phase Assessments with Measures of Compliance Yield Accurate Dim Light Melatonin Onsets

    PubMed Central

    Burgess, Helen J.; Wyatt, James K.; Park, Margaret; Fogg, Louis F.

    2015-01-01

    Study Objectives: There is a need for the accurate assessment of circadian phase outside of the clinic/laboratory, particularly with the gold standard dim light melatonin onset (DLMO). We tested a novel kit designed to assist in saliva sampling at home for later determination of the DLMO. The home kit includes objective measures of compliance to the requirements for dim light and half-hourly saliva sampling. Design: Participants were randomized to one of two 10-day protocols. Each protocol consisted of two back-to-back home and laboratory phase assessments in counterbalanced order, separated by a 5-day break. Setting: Laboratory or participants' homes. Participants: Thirty-five healthy adults, age 21–62 y. Interventions: N/A. Measurements and Results: Most participants received at least one 30-sec epoch of light > 50 lux during the home phase assessments (average light intensity 4.5 lux), but on average for < 9 min of the required 8.5 h. Most participants collected every saliva sample within 5 min of the scheduled time. Ninety-two percent of home DLMOs were not affected by light > 50 lux or sampling errors. There was no significant difference between the home and laboratory DLMOs (P > 0.05); on average the home DLMOs occurred 9.6 min before the laboratory DLMOs. The home DLMOs were highly correlated with the laboratory DLMOs (r = 0.91, P < 0.001). Conclusions: Participants were reasonably compliant to the home phase assessment procedures. The good agreement between the home and laboratory dim light melatonin onsets (DLMOs) demonstrates that including objective measures of light exposure and sample timing during home saliva sampling can lead to accurate home DLMOs. Clinical Trial Registration: Circadian Phase Assessments at Home, http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT01487252, NCT01487252. Citation: Burgess HJ, Wyatt JK, Park M, Fogg LF. Home circadian phase assessments with measures of compliance yield accurate dim light melatonin onsets. SLEEP 2015;38(6):889–897

  20. Accurate assessment of Congo basin forest carbon stocks requires forest type specific assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moonen, Pieter C. J.; Van Ballaert, Siege; Verbist, Bruno; Boyemba, Faustin; Muys, Bart

    2014-05-01

    carbon stocks despite poorer physical and chemical soil properties. Soil organic carbon stocks (0-100cm) did not significantly differ between forest types and were estimated at 109 ± 35 Mg C ha-1. Our results confirm recent findings of significantly lower carbon stocks in the Central Congo Basin as compared to the outer regions and of the importance of local tree height-diameter relationships for accurate carbon stock estimations.

  1. Analytical method for the accurate determination of tricothecenes in grains using LC-MS/MS: a comparison between MRM transition and MS3 quantitation.

    PubMed

    Lim, Chee Wei; Tai, Siew Hoon; Lee, Lin Min; Chan, Sheot Harn

    2012-07-01

    The current food crisis demands unambiguous determination of mycotoxin contamination in staple foods to achieve safer food for consumption. This paper describes the first accurate LC-MS/MS method developed to analyze tricothecenes in grains by applying multiple reaction monitoring (MRM) transition and MS(3) quantitation strategies in tandem. The tricothecenes are nivalenol, deoxynivalenol, deoxynivalenol-3-glucoside, fusarenon X, 3-acetyl-deoxynivalenol, 15-acetyldeoxynivalenol, diacetoxyscirpenol, and HT-2 and T-2 toxins. Acetic acid and ammonium acetate were used to convert the analytes into their respective acetate adducts and ammonium adducts under negative and positive MS polarity conditions, respectively. The mycotoxins were separated by reversed-phase LC in a 13.5-min run, ionized using electrospray ionization, and detected by tandem mass spectrometry. Analyte-specific mass-to-charge (m/z) ratios were used to perform quantitation under MRM transition and MS(3) (linear ion trap) modes. Three experiments were made for each quantitation mode and matrix in batches over 6 days for recovery studies. The matrix effect was investigated at concentration levels of 20, 40, 80, 120, 160, and 200 μg kg(-1) (n = 3) in 5 g corn flour and rice flour. Extraction with acetonitrile provided a good overall recovery range of 90-108% (n = 3) at three levels of spiking concentration of 40, 80, and 120 μg kg(-1). A quantitation limit of 2-6 μg kg(-1) was achieved by applying an MRM transition quantitation strategy. Under MS(3) mode, a quantitation limit of 4-10 μg kg(-1) was achieved. Relative standard deviations of 2-10% and 2-11% were reported for MRM transition and MS(3) quantitation, respectively. The successful utilization of MS(3) enabled accurate analyte fragmentation pattern matching and its quantitation, leading to the development of analytical methods in fields that demand both analyte specificity and fragmentation fingerprint-matching capabilities that are

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

    PubMed

    Hart, I R; Kidder, D E

    1978-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-01-01

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

  4. Quantitative study designs used in quality improvement and assessment.

    PubMed

    Ormes, W S; Brim, M B; Coggan, P

    2001-01-01

    This article describes common quantitative design techniques that can be used to collect and analyze quality data. An understanding of the differences between these design techniques can help healthcare quality professionals make the most efficient use of their time, energies, and resources. To evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of these various study designs, it is necessary to assess factors that threaten the degree with which quality professionals may infer a cause-and-effect relationship from the data collected. Processes, the conduits of organizational function, often can be assessed by methods that do not take into account confounding and compromising circumstances that affect the outcomes of their analyses. An assumption that the implementation of process improvements may cause real change is incomplete without a consideration of other factors that might also have caused the same result. It is only through the identification, assessment, and exclusion of these alternative factors that administrators and healthcare quality professionals can assess the degree to which true process improvement or compliance has occurred. This article describes the advantages and disadvantages of common quantitative design techniques and reviews the corresponding threats to the interpretability of data obtained from their use. PMID:11378972

  5. Quantitative assessment of regional right ventricular function with color kinesis.

    PubMed

    Vignon, P; Weinert, L; Mor-Avi, V; Spencer, K T; Bednarz, J; Lang, R M

    1999-06-01

    We used color kinesis, a recent echocardiographic technique that provides regional information on the magnitude and timing of endocardial wall motion, to quantitatively assess regional right ventricular (RV) systolic and diastolic properties in 76 subjects who were divided into five groups, as follows: normal (n = 20), heart failure (n = 15), pressure/volume overload (n = 14), pressure overload (n = 12), and RV hypertrophy (n = 15). Quantitative segmental analysis of color kinesis images was used to obtain regional fractional area change (RFAC), which was displayed in the form of stacked histograms to determine patterns of endocardial wall motion. Time curves of integrated RFAC were used to objectively identify asynchrony of diastolic endocardial motion. When compared with normal subjects, patients with pressure overload or heart failure exhibited significantly decreased endocardial motion along the RV free wall. In the presence of mixed pressure/volume overload, the markedly increased ventricular septal motion compensated for decreased RV free wall motion. Diastolic endocardial wall motion was delayed in 17 of 72 segments (24%) in patients with RV pressure overload, and in 31 of 90 segments (34%) in patients with RV hypertrophy. Asynchrony of diastolic endocardial wall motion was greater in the latter group than in normal subjects (16% versus 10%: p < 0.01). Segmental analysis of color kinesis images allows quantitative assessment of regional RV systolic and diastolic properties.

  6. Quantitative assessment of binding affinities for nanoparticles targeted to vulnerable plaque.

    PubMed

    Tang, Tang; Tu, Chuqiao; Chow, Sarah Y; Leung, Kevin H; Du, Siyi; Louie, Angelique Y

    2015-06-17

    Recent successes in targeted immune and cell-based therapies have driven new directions for pharmaceutical research. With the rise of these new therapies there is an unfilled need for companion diagnostics to assess patients' potential for therapeutic response. Targeted nanomaterials have been widely investigated to fill this niche; however, in contrast to small molecule or peptide-based targeted agents, binding affinities are not reported for nanomaterials, and to date there has been no standard, quantitative measure for the interaction of targeted nanoparticle agents with their targets. Without a standard measure, accurate comparisons between systems and optimization of targeting behavior are challenging. Here, we demonstrate a method for quantitative assessment of the binding affinity for targeted nanoparticles to cell surface receptors in living systems and apply it to optimize the development of a novel targeted nanoprobe for imaging vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques. In this work, we developed sulfated dextran-coated iron oxide nanoparticles with specific targeting to macrophages, a cell type whose density strongly correlates with plaque vulnerability. Detailed quantitative, in vitro characterizations of (111)In(3+) radiolabeled probes show high-affinity binding to the macrophage scavenger receptor A (SR-A). Cell uptake studies illustrate that higher surface sulfation levels result in much higher uptake efficiency by macrophages. We use a modified Scatchard analysis to quantitatively describe nanoparticle binding to targeted receptors. This characterization represents a potential new standard metric for targeted nanomaterials. PMID:25970303

  7. Long maximal incremental tests accurately assess aerobic fitness in class II and III obese men.

    PubMed

    Lanzi, Stefano; Codecasa, Franco; Cornacchia, Mauro; Maestrini, Sabrina; Capodaglio, Paolo; Brunani, Amelia; Fanari, Paolo; Salvadori, Alberto; Malatesta, Davide

    2015-01-01

    This study aimed to compare two different maximal incremental tests with different time durations [a maximal incremental ramp test with a short time duration (8-12 min) (STest) and a maximal incremental test with a longer time duration (20-25 min) (LTest)] to investigate whether an LTest accurately assesses aerobic fitness in class II and III obese men. Twenty obese men (BMI≥35 kg.m-2) without secondary pathologies (mean±SE; 36.7±1.9 yr; 41.8±0.7 kg*m-2) completed an STest (warm-up: 40 W; increment: 20 W*min-1) and an LTest [warm-up: 20% of the peak power output (PPO) reached during the STest; increment: 10% PPO every 5 min until 70% PPO was reached or until the respiratory exchange ratio reached 1.0, followed by 15 W.min-1 until exhaustion] on a cycle-ergometer to assess the peak oxygen uptake [Formula: see text] and peak heart rate (HRpeak) of each test. There were no significant differences in [Formula: see text] (STest: 3.1±0.1 L*min-1; LTest: 3.0±0.1 L*min-1) and HRpeak (STest: 174±4 bpm; LTest: 173±4 bpm) between the two tests. Bland-Altman plot analyses showed good agreement and Pearson product-moment and intra-class correlation coefficients showed a strong correlation between [Formula: see text] (r=0.81 for both; p≤0.001) and HRpeak (r=0.95 for both; p≤0.001) during both tests. [Formula: see text] and HRpeak assessments were not compromised by test duration in class II and III obese men. Therefore, we suggest that the LTest is a feasible test that accurately assesses aerobic fitness and may allow for the exercise intensity prescription and individualization that will lead to improved therapeutic approaches in treating obesity and severe obesity.

  8. Wavelet prism decomposition analysis applied to CARS spectroscopy: a tool for accurate and quantitative extraction of resonant vibrational responses.

    PubMed

    Kan, Yelena; Lensu, Lasse; Hehl, Gregor; Volkmer, Andreas; Vartiainen, Erik M

    2016-05-30

    We propose an approach, based on wavelet prism decomposition analysis, for correcting experimental artefacts in a coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) spectrum. This method allows estimating and eliminating a slowly varying modulation error function in the measured normalized CARS spectrum and yields a corrected CARS line-shape. The main advantage of the approach is that the spectral phase and amplitude corrections are avoided in the retrieved Raman line-shape spectrum, thus significantly simplifying the quantitative reconstruction of the sample's Raman response from a normalized CARS spectrum in the presence of experimental artefacts. Moreover, the approach obviates the need for assumptions about the modulation error distribution and the chemical composition of the specimens under study. The method is quantitatively validated on normalized CARS spectra recorded for equimolar aqueous solutions of D-fructose, D-glucose, and their disaccharide combination sucrose. PMID:27410113

  9. Wavelet prism decomposition analysis applied to CARS spectroscopy: a tool for accurate and quantitative extraction of resonant vibrational responses.

    PubMed

    Kan, Yelena; Lensu, Lasse; Hehl, Gregor; Volkmer, Andreas; Vartiainen, Erik M

    2016-05-30

    We propose an approach, based on wavelet prism decomposition analysis, for correcting experimental artefacts in a coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) spectrum. This method allows estimating and eliminating a slowly varying modulation error function in the measured normalized CARS spectrum and yields a corrected CARS line-shape. The main advantage of the approach is that the spectral phase and amplitude corrections are avoided in the retrieved Raman line-shape spectrum, thus significantly simplifying the quantitative reconstruction of the sample's Raman response from a normalized CARS spectrum in the presence of experimental artefacts. Moreover, the approach obviates the need for assumptions about the modulation error distribution and the chemical composition of the specimens under study. The method is quantitatively validated on normalized CARS spectra recorded for equimolar aqueous solutions of D-fructose, D-glucose, and their disaccharide combination sucrose.

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

    PubMed Central

    Parkhouse, N; Le Quesne, P M

    1988-01-01

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

  11. Short Course Introduction to Quantitative Mineral Resource Assessments

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Singer, Donald A.

    2007-01-01

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

  12. [Quantitative assessment of facial palsy by Moiré topography].

    PubMed

    Inokuchi, I

    1992-05-01

    It is essential to establish an objective and quantitative method for evaluating facial palsy and to measure the extent of paralysis in order to evaluate therapeutic efficacy, determine prognosis, select appropriate treatment and observe the process of recovery. This study utilized Moiré topography, which displays three-dimensional facial symmetry with high precision and is based on light interference theory, to determine the extent of facial palsy in 38 patients (20 men and 18 women) 5 months to 73 years of age. A stereoscopic lattice type Moiré camera (FM3013) was connected to a CCD camera and to the monitoring device for confirming Moiré stripes. Moiré photographs were taken with a thermal imager (FTI-200). The photos were visually and objectively evaluated on the basis of the Moiré pattern and were then input into a personal computer with a digitizer for data processing and analysis. To view the functions of facial nerve branches, five Moiré photographs were taken: at rest, wrinkling the forehead, closing the eyes lightly, blowing out the cheeks and grinning. Results indicated that the number of stripes and their polarization adequately reflected the function of individual facial nerve branches. Thus, a well-defined Moiré pattern could clarify the characteristics of the site and the degree of facial palsy and of recovery from paralysis. It is an analytical method that can be quickly applied and seems especially useful in infants and young children, in whom point-based assessment is difficult. It is possible to quantitatively evaluate facial palsy in terms of the Asymmetry Index (AI), which is 20-25% for severe paralysis, 12-19% for partial paralysis, and 5-10% for an essentially normal condition. However, the numerical value of the AI overlap in all three paralysis categories, indicating that quantitative assessment of paralysis would be difficult. Moiré topography is an excellent method of determining the extent of facial palsy, compensating for the

  13. Infectious titres of sheep scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy agents cannot be accurately predicted from quantitative laboratory test results.

    PubMed

    González, Lorenzo; Thorne, Leigh; Jeffrey, Martin; Martin, Stuart; Spiropoulos, John; Beck, Katy E; Lockey, Richard W; Vickery, Christopher M; Holder, Thomas; Terry, Linda

    2012-11-01

    It is widely accepted that abnormal forms of the prion protein (PrP) are the best surrogate marker for the infectious agent of prion diseases and, in practice, the detection of such disease-associated (PrP(d)) and/or protease-resistant (PrP(res)) forms of PrP is the cornerstone of diagnosis and surveillance of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Nevertheless, some studies question the consistent association between infectivity and abnormal PrP detection. To address this discrepancy, 11 brain samples of sheep affected with natural scrapie or experimental bovine spongiform encephalopathy were selected on the basis of the magnitude and predominant types of PrP(d) accumulation, as shown by immunohistochemical (IHC) examination; contra-lateral hemi-brain samples were inoculated at three different dilutions into transgenic mice overexpressing ovine PrP and were also subjected to quantitative analysis by three biochemical tests (BCTs). Six samples gave 'low' infectious titres (10⁶·⁵ to 10⁶·⁷ LD₅₀ g⁻¹) and five gave 'high titres' (10⁸·¹ to ≥ 10⁸·⁷ LD₅₀ g⁻¹) and, with the exception of the Western blot analysis, those two groups tended to correspond with samples with lower PrP(d)/PrP(res) results by IHC/BCTs. However, no statistical association could be confirmed due to high individual sample variability. It is concluded that although detection of abnormal forms of PrP by laboratory methods remains useful to confirm TSE infection, infectivity titres cannot be predicted from quantitative test results, at least for the TSE sources and host PRNP genotypes used in this study. Furthermore, the near inverse correlation between infectious titres and Western blot results (high protease pre-treatment) argues for a dissociation between infectivity and PrP(res).

  14. New Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Their Use for an Accurate Cardiovascular Risk Assessment in Hypertensive Patients

    PubMed Central

    TAUTU, Oana-Florentina; DARABONT, Roxana; ONCIUL, Sebastian; DEACONU, Alexandru; COMANESCU, Ioana; ANDREI, Radu Dan; DRAGOESCU, Bogdan; CINTEZA, Mircea; DOROBANTU, Maria

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: To analyze the predictive value of new cardiovascular (CV) risk factors for CV risk assessment in the adult Romanian hypertensive (HT) population. Methods: Hypertensive adults aged between 40-65 years of age, identified in national representative SEPHAR II survey were evaluated by anthropometric, BP and arterial stiffness measurements: aortic pulse wave velocity (PWVao), aortic augmentation index (AIXao), revers time (RT) and central systolic blood pressure (SBPao), 12 lead ECGs and laboratory workup. Values above the 4th quartile of mean SBP' standard deviation (s.d.) defined increased BP variability. Log(TG/HDL-cholesterol) defined atherogenic index of plasma (AIP). Serum uric acid levels above 5.70 mg/dl for women and 7.0 mg/dl for males defined hyperuricemia (HUA). CV risk was assessed based on SCORE chart for high CV risk countries. Binary logistic regression using a stepwise likelihood ratio method (adjustments for major confounders and colliniarity analysis) was used in order to validate predictors of high and very high CV risk class. Results: The mean SBP value of the study group was 148.46±19.61 mmHg. Over forty percent of hypertensives had a high and very high CV risk. Predictors of high/very high CV risk category validated by regression analysis were: increased visit-to-visit BP variability (OR: 2.49; 95%CI: 1.67-3.73), PWVao (OR: 1.12; 95%CI: 1.02-1.22), RT (OR: 0.95; 95% CI: 0.93-0.98), SBPao (OR: 1.01; 95%CI: 1.01-1.03) and AIP (OR: 7.08; 95%CI: 3.91-12.82). Conclusion: The results of our study suggests that the new CV risk factors such as increased BP variability, arterial stiffness indices and AIP are useful tools for a more accurate identification of hypertensives patients at high and very high CV risk. PMID:25705267

  15. Remotely Sensed Quantitative Drought Risk Assessment in Vulnerable Agroecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalezios, N. R.; Blanta, A.; Spyropoulos, N. V.

    2012-04-01

    Hazard may be defined as a potential threat to humans and their welfare and risk (or consequence) as the probability of a hazard occurring and creating loss. Drought is considered as one of the major natural hazards with significant impact to agriculture, environment, economy and society. This paper deals with drought risk assessment, which the first step designed to find out what the problems are and comprises three distinct steps, namely risk identification, risk management which is not covered in this paper, there should be a fourth step to address the need for feedback and to take post-audits of all risk assessment exercises. In particular, quantitative drought risk assessment is attempted by using statistical methods. For the qualification of drought, the Reconnaissance Drought Index (RDI) is employed, which is a new index based on hydrometeorological parameters, such as precipitation and potential evapotranspiration. The remotely sensed estimation of RDI is based on NOA-AVHRR satellite data for a period of 20 years (1981-2001). The study area is Thessaly, central Greece, which is a drought-prone agricultural region characterized by vulnerable agriculture. Specifically, the undertaken drought risk assessment processes are specified as follows: 1. Risk identification: This step involves drought quantification and monitoring based on remotely sensed RDI and extraction of several features such as severity, duration, areal extent, onset and end time. Moreover, it involves a drought early warning system based on the above parameters. 2. Risk estimation: This step includes an analysis of drought severity, frequency and their relationships. 3. Risk evaluation: This step covers drought evaluation based on analysis of RDI images before and after each drought episode, which usually lasts one hydrological year (12month). The results of these three-step drought assessment processes are considered quite satisfactory in a drought-prone region such as Thessaly in central

  16. A Statistical Method for Assessing Peptide Identification Confidence in Accurate Mass and Time Tag Proteomics

    SciTech Connect

    Stanley, Jeffrey R.; Adkins, Joshua N.; Slysz, Gordon W.; Monroe, Matthew E.; Purvine, Samuel O.; Karpievitch, Yuliya V.; Anderson, Gordon A.; Smith, Richard D.; Dabney, Alan R.

    2011-07-15

    High-throughput proteomics is rapidly evolving to require high mass measurement accuracy for a variety of different applications. Increased mass measurement accuracy in bottom-up proteomics specifically allows for an improved ability to distinguish and characterize detected MS features, which may in turn be identified by, e.g., matching to entries in a database for both precursor and fragmentation mass identification methods. Many tools exist with which to score the identification of peptides from LC-MS/MS measurements or to assess matches to an accurate mass and time (AMT) tag database, but these two calculations remain distinctly unrelated. Here we present a statistical method, Statistical Tools for AMT tag Confidence (STAC), which extends our previous work incorporating prior probabilities of correct sequence identification from LC-MS/MS, as well as the quality with which LC-MS features match AMT tags, to evaluate peptide identification confidence. Compared to existing tools, we are able to obtain significantly more high-confidence peptide identifications at a given false discovery rate and additionally assign confidence estimates to individual peptide identifications. Freely available software implementations of STAC are available in both command line and as a Windows graphical application.

  17. Algal productivity modeling: a step toward accurate assessments of full-scale algal cultivation.

    PubMed

    Béchet, Quentin; Chambonnière, Paul; Shilton, Andy; Guizard, Guillaume; Guieysse, Benoit

    2015-05-01

    A new biomass productivity model was parameterized for Chlorella vulgaris using short-term (<30 min) oxygen productivities from algal microcosms exposed to 6 light intensities (20-420 W/m(2)) and 6 temperatures (5-42 °C). The model was then validated against experimental biomass productivities recorded in bench-scale photobioreactors operated under 4 light intensities (30.6-74.3 W/m(2)) and 4 temperatures (10-30 °C), yielding an accuracy of ± 15% over 163 days of cultivation. This modeling approach addresses major challenges associated with the accurate prediction of algal productivity at full-scale. Firstly, while most prior modeling approaches have only considered the impact of light intensity on algal productivity, the model herein validated also accounts for the critical impact of temperature. Secondly, this study validates a theoretical approach to convert short-term oxygen productivities into long-term biomass productivities. Thirdly, the experimental methodology used has the practical advantage of only requiring one day of experimental work for complete model parameterization. The validation of this new modeling approach is therefore an important step for refining feasibility assessments of algae biotechnologies.

  18. Algal productivity modeling: a step toward accurate assessments of full-scale algal cultivation.

    PubMed

    Béchet, Quentin; Chambonnière, Paul; Shilton, Andy; Guizard, Guillaume; Guieysse, Benoit

    2015-05-01

    A new biomass productivity model was parameterized for Chlorella vulgaris using short-term (<30 min) oxygen productivities from algal microcosms exposed to 6 light intensities (20-420 W/m(2)) and 6 temperatures (5-42 °C). The model was then validated against experimental biomass productivities recorded in bench-scale photobioreactors operated under 4 light intensities (30.6-74.3 W/m(2)) and 4 temperatures (10-30 °C), yielding an accuracy of ± 15% over 163 days of cultivation. This modeling approach addresses major challenges associated with the accurate prediction of algal productivity at full-scale. Firstly, while most prior modeling approaches have only considered the impact of light intensity on algal productivity, the model herein validated also accounts for the critical impact of temperature. Secondly, this study validates a theoretical approach to convert short-term oxygen productivities into long-term biomass productivities. Thirdly, the experimental methodology used has the practical advantage of only requiring one day of experimental work for complete model parameterization. The validation of this new modeling approach is therefore an important step for refining feasibility assessments of algae biotechnologies. PMID:25502920

  19. Assessment of metabolic bone diseases by quantitative computed tomography

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1985-01-01

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

  20. Validation of Reference Genes for Accurate Normalization of Gene Expression in Lilium davidii var. unicolor for Real Time Quantitative PCR

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jing; Teixeira da Silva, Jaime A.; Wang, ChunXia; Sun, HongMei

    2015-01-01

    Lilium is an important commercial market flower bulb. qRT-PCR is an extremely important technique to track gene expression levels. The requirement of suitable reference genes for normalization has become increasingly significant and exigent. The expression of internal control genes in living organisms varies considerably under different experimental conditions. For economically important Lilium, only a limited number of reference genes applied in qRT-PCR have been reported to date. In this study, the expression stability of 12 candidate genes including α-TUB, β-TUB, ACT, eIF, GAPDH, UBQ, UBC, 18S, 60S, AP4, FP, and RH2, in a diverse set of 29 samples representing different developmental processes, three stress treatments (cold, heat, and salt) and different organs, has been evaluated. For different organs, the combination of ACT, GAPDH, and UBQ is appropriate whereas ACT together with AP4, or ACT along with GAPDH is suitable for normalization of leaves and scales at different developmental stages, respectively. In leaves, scales and roots under stress treatments, FP, ACT and AP4, respectively showed the most stable expression. This study provides a guide for the selection of a reference gene under different experimental conditions, and will benefit future research on more accurate gene expression studies in a wide variety of Lilium genotypes. PMID:26509446

  1. Validation of Reference Genes for Accurate Normalization of Gene Expression in Lilium davidii var. unicolor for Real Time Quantitative PCR.

    PubMed

    Li, XueYan; Cheng, JinYun; Zhang, Jing; Teixeira da Silva, Jaime A; Wang, ChunXia; Sun, HongMei

    2015-01-01

    Lilium is an important commercial market flower bulb. qRT-PCR is an extremely important technique to track gene expression levels. The requirement of suitable reference genes for normalization has become increasingly significant and exigent. The expression of internal control genes in living organisms varies considerably under different experimental conditions. For economically important Lilium, only a limited number of reference genes applied in qRT-PCR have been reported to date. In this study, the expression stability of 12 candidate genes including α-TUB, β-TUB, ACT, eIF, GAPDH, UBQ, UBC, 18S, 60S, AP4, FP, and RH2, in a diverse set of 29 samples representing different developmental processes, three stress treatments (cold, heat, and salt) and different organs, has been evaluated. For different organs, the combination of ACT, GAPDH, and UBQ is appropriate whereas ACT together with AP4, or ACT along with GAPDH is suitable for normalization of leaves and scales at different developmental stages, respectively. In leaves, scales and roots under stress treatments, FP, ACT and AP4, respectively showed the most stable expression. This study provides a guide for the selection of a reference gene under different experimental conditions, and will benefit future research on more accurate gene expression studies in a wide variety of Lilium genotypes. PMID:26509446

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-10-01

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

  3. Quantitative Elastography for Cervical Stiffness Assessment during Pregnancy

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  6. Evaluation of Faecalibacterium 16S rDNA genetic markers for accurate identification of swine faecal waste by quantitative PCR.

    PubMed

    Duan, Chuanren; Cui, Yamin; Zhao, Yi; Zhai, Jun; Zhang, Baoyun; Zhang, Kun; Sun, Da; Chen, Hang

    2016-10-01

    A genetic marker within the 16S rRNA gene of Faecalibacterium was identified for use in a quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay to detect swine faecal contamination in water. A total of 146,038 bacterial sequences were obtained using 454 pyrosequencing. By comparative bioinformatics analysis of Faecalibacterium sequences with those of numerous swine and other animal species, swine-specific Faecalibacterium 16S rRNA gene sequences were identified and Polymerase Chain Okabe (PCR) primer sets designed and tested against faecal DNA samples from swine and non-swine sources. Two PCR primer sets, PFB-1 and PFB-2, showed the highest specificity to swine faecal waste and had no cross-reaction with other animal samples. PFB-1 and PFB-2 amplified 16S rRNA gene sequences from 50 samples of swine with positive ratios of 86 and 90%, respectively. We compared swine-specific Faecalibacterium qPCR assays for the purpose of quantifying the newly identified markers. The quantification limits (LOQs) of PFB-1 and PFB-2 markers in environmental water were 6.5 and 2.9 copies per 100 ml, respectively. Of the swine-associated assays tested, PFB-2 was more sensitive in detecting the swine faecal waste and quantifying the microbial load. Furthermore, the microbial abundance and diversity of the microbiomes of swine and other animal faeces were estimated using operational taxonomic units (OTUs). The species specificity was demonstrated for the microbial populations present in various animal faeces. PMID:27353369

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Is photometry an accurate and reliable method to assess boar semen concentration?

    PubMed

    Camus, A; Camugli, S; Lévêque, C; Schmitt, E; Staub, C

    2011-02-01

    Sperm concentration assessment is a key point to insure appropriate sperm number per dose in species subjected to artificial insemination (AI). The aim of the present study was to evaluate the accuracy and reliability of two commercially available photometers, AccuCell™ and AccuRead™ pre-calibrated for boar semen in comparison to UltiMate™ boar version 12.3D, NucleoCounter SP100 and Thoma hemacytometer. For each type of instrument, concentration was measured on 34 boar semen samples in quadruplicate and agreement between measurements and instruments were evaluated. Accuracy for both photometers was illustrated by mean of percentage differences to the general mean. It was -0.6% and 0.5% for Accucell™ and Accuread™ respectively, no significant differences were found between instrument and mean of measurement among all equipment. Repeatability for both photometers was 1.8% and 3.2% for AccuCell™ and AccuRead™ respectively. Low differences were observed between instruments (confidence interval 3%) except when hemacytometer was used as a reference. Even though hemacytometer is considered worldwide as the gold standard, it is the more variable instrument (confidence interval 7.1%). The conclusion is that routine photometry measures of raw semen concentration are reliable, accurate and precise using AccuRead™ or AccuCell™. There are multiple steps in semen processing that can induce sperm loss and therefore increase differences between theoretical and real sperm numbers in doses. Potential biases that depend on the workflow but not on the initial photometric measure of semen concentration are discussed.

  9. Precise and accurate assessment of uncertainties in model parameters from stellar interferometry. Application to stellar diameters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lachaume, Regis; Rabus, Markus; Jordan, Andres

    2015-08-01

    In stellar interferometry, the assumption that the observables can be seen as Gaussian, independent variables is the norm. In particular, neither the optical interferometry FITS (OIFITS) format nor the most popular fitting software in the field, LITpro, offer means to specify a covariance matrix or non-Gaussian uncertainties. Interferometric observables are correlated by construct, though. Also, the calibration by an instrumental transfer function ensures that the resulting observables are not Gaussian, even if uncalibrated ones happened to be so.While analytic frameworks have been published in the past, they are cumbersome and there is no generic implementation available. We propose here a relatively simple way of dealing with correlated errors without the need to extend the OIFITS specification or making some Gaussian assumptions. By repeatedly picking at random which interferograms, which calibrator stars, and which are the errors on their diameters, and performing the data processing on the bootstrapped data, we derive a sampling of p(O), the multivariate probability density function (PDF) of the observables O. The results can be stored in a normal OIFITS file. Then, given a model m with parameters P predicting observables O = m(P), we can estimate the PDF of the model parameters f(P) = p(m(P)) by using a density estimation of the observables' PDF p.With observations repeated over different baselines, on nights several days apart, and with a significant set of calibrators systematic errors are de facto taken into account. We apply the technique to a precise and accurate assessment of stellar diameters obtained at the Very Large Telescope Interferometer with PIONIER.

  10. Toward Quantitatively Accurate Calculation of the Redox-Associated Acid–Base and Ligand Binding Equilibria of Aquacobalamin

    DOE PAGES

    Johnston, Ryne C.; Zhou, Jing; Smith, Jeremy C.; Parks, Jerry M.

    2016-07-08

    In redox processes in complex transition metal-containing species are often intimately associated with changes in ligand protonation states and metal coordination number. Moreover, a major challenge is therefore to develop consistent computational approaches for computing pH-dependent redox and ligand dissociation properties of organometallic species. Reduction of the Co center in the vitamin B12 derivative aquacobalamin can be accompanied by ligand dissociation, protonation, or both, making these properties difficult to compute accurately. We examine this challenge here by using density functional theory and continuum solvation to compute Co ligand binding equilibrium constants (Kon/off), pKas and reduction potentials for models of aquacobalaminmore » in aqueous solution. We consider two models for cobalamin ligand coordination: the first follows the hexa, penta, tetra coordination scheme for CoIII, CoII, and CoI species, respectively, and the second model features saturation of each vacant axial coordination site on CoII and CoI species with a single, explicit water molecule to maintain six directly interacting ligands or water molecules in each oxidation state. Comparing these two coordination schemes in combination with five dispersion-corrected density functionals, we find that the accuracy of the computed properties is largely independent of the scheme used, but including only a continuum representation of the solvent yields marginally better results than saturating the first solvation shell around Co throughout. PBE performs best, displaying balanced accuracy and superior performance overall, with RMS errors of 80 mV for seven reduction potentials, 2.0 log units for five pKas and 2.3 log units for two log Kon/off values for the aquacobalamin system. Furthermore, we find that the BP86 functional commonly used in corrinoid studies suffers from erratic behavior and inaccurate descriptions of Co axial ligand binding, leading to substantial errors in predicted

  11. Toward Quantitatively Accurate Calculation of the Redox-Associated Acid-Base and Ligand Binding Equilibria of Aquacobalamin.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Ryne C; Zhou, Jing; Smith, Jeremy C; Parks, Jerry M

    2016-08-01

    Redox processes in complex transition metal-containing species are often intimately associated with changes in ligand protonation states and metal coordination number. A major challenge is therefore to develop consistent computational approaches for computing pH-dependent redox and ligand dissociation properties of organometallic species. Reduction of the Co center in the vitamin B12 derivative aquacobalamin can be accompanied by ligand dissociation, protonation, or both, making these properties difficult to compute accurately. We examine this challenge here by using density functional theory and continuum solvation to compute Co-ligand binding equilibrium constants (Kon/off), pKas, and reduction potentials for models of aquacobalamin in aqueous solution. We consider two models for cobalamin ligand coordination: the first follows the hexa, penta, tetra coordination scheme for Co(III), Co(II), and Co(I) species, respectively, and the second model features saturation of each vacant axial coordination site on Co(II) and Co(I) species with a single, explicit water molecule to maintain six directly interacting ligands or water molecules in each oxidation state. Comparing these two coordination schemes in combination with five dispersion-corrected density functionals, we find that the accuracy of the computed properties is largely independent of the scheme used, but including only a continuum representation of the solvent yields marginally better results than saturating the first solvation shell around Co throughout. PBE performs best, displaying balanced accuracy and superior performance overall, with RMS errors of 80 mV for seven reduction potentials, 2.0 log units for five pKas and 2.3 log units for two log Kon/off values for the aquacobalamin system. Furthermore, we find that the BP86 functional commonly used in corrinoid studies suffers from erratic behavior and inaccurate descriptions of Co-axial ligand binding, leading to substantial errors in predicted pKas and

  12. Toward Quantitatively Accurate Calculation of the Redox-Associated Acid-Base and Ligand Binding Equilibria of Aquacobalamin.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Ryne C; Zhou, Jing; Smith, Jeremy C; Parks, Jerry M

    2016-08-01

    Redox processes in complex transition metal-containing species are often intimately associated with changes in ligand protonation states and metal coordination number. A major challenge is therefore to develop consistent computational approaches for computing pH-dependent redox and ligand dissociation properties of organometallic species. Reduction of the Co center in the vitamin B12 derivative aquacobalamin can be accompanied by ligand dissociation, protonation, or both, making these properties difficult to compute accurately. We examine this challenge here by using density functional theory and continuum solvation to compute Co-ligand binding equilibrium constants (Kon/off), pKas, and reduction potentials for models of aquacobalamin in aqueous solution. We consider two models for cobalamin ligand coordination: the first follows the hexa, penta, tetra coordination scheme for Co(III), Co(II), and Co(I) species, respectively, and the second model features saturation of each vacant axial coordination site on Co(II) and Co(I) species with a single, explicit water molecule to maintain six directly interacting ligands or water molecules in each oxidation state. Comparing these two coordination schemes in combination with five dispersion-corrected density functionals, we find that the accuracy of the computed properties is largely independent of the scheme used, but including only a continuum representation of the solvent yields marginally better results than saturating the first solvation shell around Co throughout. PBE performs best, displaying balanced accuracy and superior performance overall, with RMS errors of 80 mV for seven reduction potentials, 2.0 log units for five pKas and 2.3 log units for two log Kon/off values for the aquacobalamin system. Furthermore, we find that the BP86 functional commonly used in corrinoid studies suffers from erratic behavior and inaccurate descriptions of Co-axial ligand binding, leading to substantial errors in predicted pKas and

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hubert, David A.; Lewis, Kati J.

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Assessment of RT-qPCR normalization strategies for accurate quantification of extracellular microRNAs in murine serum.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Thomas C; Coenen-Stass, Anna M L; Wood, Matthew J A

    2014-01-01

    Extracellular microRNAs (miRNAs) are under investigation as minimally-invasive biomarkers for a wide range of disease conditions. We have recently shown in a mouse model of the progressive muscle-wasting condition Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) that a set of highly elevated serum miRNAs reflects the regenerative status of muscle. These miRNAs are promising biomarkers for monitoring DMD disease progression and the response to experimental therapies. The gold standard miRNA detection methodology is Reverse Transcriptase-quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-qPCR), which typically exhibits high sensitivity and wide dynamic range. Accurate determination of miRNA levels is affected by RT-qPCR normalization method and therefore selection of the optimal strategy is of critical importance. Serum miRNA abundance was measured by RT-qPCR array in 14 week old mice, and by individual RT-qPCR assays in a time course experiment spanning 48 weeks. Here we utilize these two datasets to assess the validity of three miRNA normalization strategies (a) normalization to the average of all Cq values from array experiments, (b) normalization to a stably expressed endogenous reference miRNA, and (c) normalization to an external spike-in synthetic oligonucleotide. Normalization approaches based on endogenous control miRNAs result in an under-estimation of miRNA levels by a factor of ∼2. An increase in total RNA and total miRNA was observed in dystrophic serum which may account for this systematic bias. We conclude that the optimal strategy for this model system is to normalize to a synthetic spike-in control oligonucleotide.

  16. Quantitative assessment of human body shape using Fourier analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-04-01

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

  17. Quantitative risk assessment modeling for nonhomogeneous urban road tunnels.

    PubMed

    Meng, Qiang; Qu, Xiaobo; Wang, Xinchang; Yuanita, Vivi; Wong, Siew Chee

    2011-03-01

    Urban road tunnels provide an increasingly cost-effective engineering solution, especially in compact cities like Singapore. For some urban road tunnels, tunnel characteristics such as tunnel configurations, geometries, provisions of tunnel electrical and mechanical systems, traffic volumes, etc. may vary from one section to another. These urban road tunnels that have characterized nonuniform parameters are referred to as nonhomogeneous urban road tunnels. In this study, a novel quantitative risk assessment (QRA) model is proposed for nonhomogeneous urban road tunnels because the existing QRA models for road tunnels are inapplicable to assess the risks in these road tunnels. This model uses a tunnel segmentation principle whereby a nonhomogeneous urban road tunnel is divided into various homogenous sections. Individual risk for road tunnel sections as well as the integrated risk indices for the entire road tunnel is defined. The article then proceeds to develop a new QRA model for each of the homogeneous sections. Compared to the existing QRA models for road tunnels, this section-based model incorporates one additional top event-toxic gases due to traffic congestion-and employs the Poisson regression method to estimate the vehicle accident frequencies of tunnel sections. This article further illustrates an aggregated QRA model for nonhomogeneous urban tunnels by integrating the section-based QRA models. Finally, a case study in Singapore is carried out.

  18. Dermal sensitization quantitative risk assessment (QRA) for fragrance ingredients.

    PubMed

    Api, Anne Marie; Basketter, David A; Cadby, Peter A; Cano, Marie-France; Ellis, Graham; Gerberick, G Frank; Griem, Peter; McNamee, Pauline M; Ryan, Cindy A; Safford, Robert

    2008-10-01

    Based on chemical, cellular, and molecular understanding of dermal sensitization, an exposure-based quantitative risk assessment (QRA) can be conducted to determine safe use levels of fragrance ingredients in different consumer product types. The key steps are: (1) determination of benchmarks (no expected sensitization induction level (NESIL)); (2) application of sensitization assessment factors (SAF); and (3) consumer exposure (CEL) calculation through product use. Using these parameters, an acceptable exposure level (AEL) can be calculated and compared with the CEL. The ratio of AEL to CEL must be favorable to support safe use of the potential skin sensitizer. This ratio must be calculated for the fragrance ingredient in each product type. Based on the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials, Inc. (RIFM) Expert Panel's recommendation, RIFM and the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) have adopted the dermal sensitization QRA approach described in this review for fragrance ingredients identified as potential dermal sensitizers. This now forms the fragrance industry's core strategy for primary prevention of dermal sensitization to these materials in consumer products. This methodology is used to determine global fragrance industry product management practices (IFRA Standards) for fragrance ingredients that are potential dermal sensitizers. This paper describes the principles of the recommended approach, provides detailed review of all the information used in the dermal sensitization QRA approach for fragrance ingredients and presents key conclusions for its use now and refinement in the future.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  20. A quantitative model for assessing community dynamics of pleistocene mammals.

    PubMed

    Lyons, S Kathleen

    2005-06-01

    Previous studies have suggested that species responded individualistically to the climate change of the last glaciation, expanding and contracting their ranges independently. Consequently, many researchers have concluded that community composition is plastic over time. Here I quantitatively assess changes in community composition over broad timescales and assess the effect of range shifts on community composition. Data on Pleistocene mammal assemblages from the FAUNMAP database were divided into four time periods (preglacial, full glacial, postglacial, and modern). Simulation analyses were designed to determine whether the degree of change in community composition is consistent with independent range shifts, given the distribution of range shifts observed. Results indicate that many of the communities examined in the United States were more similar through time than expected if individual range shifts were completely independent. However, in each time transition examined, there were areas of nonanalogue communities. I conducted sensitivity analyses to explore how the results were affected by the assumptions of the null model. Conclusions about changes in mammalian distributions and community composition are robust with respect to the assumptions of the model. Thus, whether because of biotic interactions or because of common environmental requirements, community structure through time is more complex than previously thought.

  1. An Assessment of the Quantitative Literacy of Undergraduate Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilkins, Jesse L. M.

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Quantitative safety assessment of computer based I and C systems via modular Markov analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Elks, C. R.; Yu, Y.; Johnson, B. W.

    2006-07-01

    This paper gives a brief overview of the methodology based on quantitative metrics for evaluating digital I and C system that has been under development at the Univ. of Virginia for a number years. Our quantitative assessment methodology is based on three well understood and extensively practiced disciplines in the dependability assessment field: (1) System level fault modeling and fault injection, (2) safety and coverage based dependability modeling methods, and (3) statistical estimation of model parameters used for safety predication. There are two contributions of this paper; the first contribution is related to incorporating design flaw information into homogenous Markov models when such data is available. The second is to introduce a Markov modeling method for managing the modeling complexities of large distributed I and C systems for the predication of safety and reliability. The method is called Modular Markov Chain analysis. This method allows Markov models of the system to be composed in a modular manner. In doing so, it address two important issues. (1) The models are more visually representative of the functional the system. (2) Important failure dependencies that naturally occur in complex systems are modeled accurately with our approach. (authors)

  3. Reading Assessment Methods for Middle-School Students: An Investigation of Reading Comprehension Rate and Maze Accurate Response Rate

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hale, Andrea D.; Henning, Jaime B.; Hawkins, Renee O.; Sheeley, Wesley; Shoemaker, Larissa; Reynolds, Jennifer R.; Moch, Christina

    2011-01-01

    This study was designed to investigate the validity of four different aloud reading comprehension assessment measures: Maze, comprehension questions, Maze accurate response rate (MARR), and reading comprehension rate (RCR). The criterion measures used in this study were the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement (WJ-III ACH) Broad Reading…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. A quantitative measure of handwriting dysfluency for assessing tardive dyskinesia.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  6. Cerebral Microbleeds: Burden Assessment by Using Quantitative Susceptibility Mapping

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Tian; Surapaneni, Krishna; Lou, Min; Cheng, Liuquan; Spincemaille, Pascal

    2012-01-01

    Purpose: To assess quantitative susceptibility mapping (QSM) for reducing the inconsistency of standard magnetic resonance (MR) imaging sequences in measurements of cerebral microbleed burden. Materials and Methods: This retrospective study was HIPAA compliant and institutional review board approved. Ten patients (5.6%) were selected from among 178 consecutive patients suspected of having experienced a stroke who were imaged with a multiecho gradient-echo sequence at 3.0 T and who had cerebral microbleeds on T2*-weighted images. QSM was performed for various ranges of echo time by using both the magnitude and phase components in the morphology-enabled dipole inversion method. Cerebral microbleed size was measured by two neuroradiologists on QSM images, T2*-weighted images, susceptibility-weighted (SW) images, and R2* maps calculated by using different echo times. The sum of susceptibility over a region containing a cerebral microbleed was also estimated on QSM images as its total susceptibility. Measurement differences were assessed by using the Student t test and the F test; P < .05 was considered to indicate a statistically significant difference. Results: When echo time was increased from approximately 20 to 40 msec, the measured cerebral microbleed volume increased by mean factors of 1.49 ± 0.86 (standard deviation), 1.64 ± 0.84, 2.30 ± 1.20, and 2.30 ± 1.19 for QSM, R2*, T2*-weighted, and SW images, respectively (P < .01). However, the measured total susceptibility with QSM did not show significant change over echo time (P = .31), and the variation was significantly smaller than any of the volume increases (P < .01 for each). Conclusion: The total susceptibility of a cerebral microbleed measured by using QSM is a physical property that is independent of echo time. © RSNA, 2011 PMID:22056688

  7. Quantitative assessment of computational models for retinotopic map formation

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Quantitative assessment of neutrophil phagocytosis using flow cytometry.

    PubMed

    Nordenfelt, Pontus

    2014-01-01

    Neutrophils have an incredible ability to find and eradicate intruders such as bacteria and fungi. They do this largely through the process of phagocytosis, where the target is internalized into a phagosome, and eventually destroyed by the hostile phagosomal environment. It is important to study phagocytosis in order to understand how neutrophils interact with various pathogens and how they respond to different stimuli. Here, I describe a method to study neutrophil phagocytosis of bacteria using flow cytometry. The bacteria are fluorescently labeled before being introduced to neutrophils. After phagocytosis, both any remaining extracellular bacteria and neutrophils are labeled using one-step staining before three-color analysis. To assess phagocytosis, first the average time it takes for the neutrophils to internalize all bound bacteria is determined. Experiments are then performed using that time point while varying the bacteria-to-neutrophil ratio for full control of the analysis. Due to the ease with which multiple samples can be analyzed, and the quantitative nature of flow cytometry, this approach is both reproducible and sensitive.

  9. Quantitative risk assessment of foods containing peanut advisory labeling.

    PubMed

    Remington, Benjamin C; Baumert, Joseph L; Marx, David B; Taylor, Steve L

    2013-12-01

    Foods with advisory labeling (i.e. "may contain") continue to be prevalent and the warning may be increasingly ignored by allergic consumers. We sought to determine the residual levels of peanut in various packaged foods bearing advisory labeling, compare similar data from 2005 and 2009, and determine any potential risk for peanut-allergic consumers. Of food products bearing advisory statements regarding peanut or products that had peanut listed as a minor ingredient, 8.6% and 37.5% contained detectable levels of peanut (>2.5 ppm whole peanut), respectively. Peanut-allergic individuals should be advised to avoid such products regardless of the wording of the advisory statement. Peanut was detected at similar rates and levels in products tested in both 2005 and 2009. Advisory labeled nutrition bars contained the highest levels of peanut and an additional market survey of 399 products was conducted. Probabilistic risk assessment showed the risk of a reaction to peanut-allergic consumers from advisory labeled nutrition bars was significant but brand-dependent. Peanut advisory labeling may be overused on some nutrition bars but prudently used on others. The probabilistic approach could provide the food industry with a quantitative method to assist with determining when advisory labeling is most appropriate.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Quantitative risk assessment of foods containing peanut advisory labeling.

    PubMed

    Remington, Benjamin C; Baumert, Joseph L; Marx, David B; Taylor, Steve L

    2013-12-01

    Foods with advisory labeling (i.e. "may contain") continue to be prevalent and the warning may be increasingly ignored by allergic consumers. We sought to determine the residual levels of peanut in various packaged foods bearing advisory labeling, compare similar data from 2005 and 2009, and determine any potential risk for peanut-allergic consumers. Of food products bearing advisory statements regarding peanut or products that had peanut listed as a minor ingredient, 8.6% and 37.5% contained detectable levels of peanut (>2.5 ppm whole peanut), respectively. Peanut-allergic individuals should be advised to avoid such products regardless of the wording of the advisory statement. Peanut was detected at similar rates and levels in products tested in both 2005 and 2009. Advisory labeled nutrition bars contained the highest levels of peanut and an additional market survey of 399 products was conducted. Probabilistic risk assessment showed the risk of a reaction to peanut-allergic consumers from advisory labeled nutrition bars was significant but brand-dependent. Peanut advisory labeling may be overused on some nutrition bars but prudently used on others. The probabilistic approach could provide the food industry with a quantitative method to assist with determining when advisory labeling is most appropriate. PMID:23994086

  12. PET optimization for improved assessment and accurate quantification of {sup 90}Y-microsphere biodistribution after radioembolization

    SciTech Connect

    Martí-Climent, Josep M. Prieto, Elena; Elosúa, César; Rodríguez-Fraile, Macarena; Domínguez-Prado, Inés; Vigil, Carmen; García-Velloso, María J.; Arbizu, Javier; Peñuelas, Iván; Richter, José A.

    2014-09-15

    Purpose: {sup 90}Y-microspheres are widely used for the radioembolization of metastatic liver cancer or hepatocellular carcinoma and there is a growing interest for imaging {sup 90}Y-microspheres with PET. The aim of this study is to evaluate the performance of a current generation PET/CT scanner for {sup 90}Y imaging and to optimize the PET protocol to improve the assessment and the quantification of {sup 90}Y-microsphere biodistribution after radioembolization. Methods: Data were acquired on a Biograph mCT-TrueV scanner with time of flight (TOF) and point spread function (PSF) modeling. Spatial resolution was measured with a{sup 90}Y point source. Sensitivity was evaluated using the NEMA 70 cm line source filled with {sup 90}Y. To evaluate the count rate performance, {sup 90}Y vials with activity ranging from 3.64 to 0.035 GBq were measured in the center of the field of view (CFOV). The energy spectrum was evaluated. Image quality with different reconstructions was studied using the Jaszczak phantom containing six hollow spheres (diameters: 31.3, 28.1, 21.8, 16.1, 13.3, and 10.5 mm), filled with a 207 kBq/ml {sup 90}Y concentration and a 5:1 sphere-to-background ratio. Acquisition time was adjusted to simulate the quality of a realistic clinical PET acquisition of a patient treated with SIR-Spheres{sup ®}. The developed methodology was applied to ten patients after SIR-Spheres{sup ®} treatment acquiring a 10 min per bed PET. Results: The energy spectrum showed the{sup 90}Y bremsstrahlung radiation. The {sup 90}Y transverse resolution, with filtered backprojection reconstruction, was 4.5 mm in the CFOV and degraded to 5.0 mm at 10 cm off-axis. {sup 90}Y absolute sensitivity was 0.40 kcps/MBq in the center of the field of view. Tendency of true and random rates as a function of the {sup 90}Y activity could be accurately described using linear and quadratic models, respectively. Phantom studies demonstrated that, due to low count statistics in {sup 90}Y PET

  13. Use of quantitative shape-activity relationships to model the photoinduced toxicity of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: Electron density shape features accurately predict toxicity

    SciTech Connect

    Mezey, P.G.; Zimpel, Z.; Warburton, P.; Walker, P.D.; Irvine, D.G.; Huang, X.D.; Dixon, D.G.; Greenberg, B.M.

    1998-07-01

    The quantitative shape-activity relationship (QShAR) methodology, based on accurate three-dimensional electron densities and detailed shape analysis methods, has been applied to a Lemna gibba photoinduced toxicity data set of 16 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules. In the first phase of the studies, a shape fragment QShAR database of PAHs was developed. The results provide a very good match to toxicity based on a combination of the local shape features of single rings in comparison to the central ring of anthracene and a more global shape feature involving larger molecular fragments. The local shape feature appears as a descriptor of the susceptibility of PAHs to photomodification and the global shape feature is probably related to photosensitization activity.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  15. Quantitative assessments of burn degree by high-frequency ultrasonic backscattering and statistical model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lin, Yi-Hsun; Huang, Chih-Chung; Wang, Shyh-Hau

    2011-02-01

    An accurate and quantitative modality to assess the burn degree is crucial for determining further treatments to be properly applied to burn injury patients. Ultrasounds with frequencies higher than 20 MHz have been applied to dermatological diagnosis due to its high resolution and noninvasive capability. Yet, it is still lacking a substantial means to sensitively correlate the burn degree and ultrasonic measurements quantitatively. Thus, a 50 MHz ultrasound system was developed and implemented to measure ultrasonic signals backscattered from the burned skin tissues. Various burn degrees were achieved by placing a 100 °C brass plate onto the dorsal skins of anesthetized rats for various durations ranged from 5 to 20 s. The burn degrees were correlated with ultrasonic parameters, including integrated backscatter (IB) and Nakagami parameter (m) calculated from ultrasonic signals acquired from the burned tissues of a 5 × 1.4 mm (width × depth) area. Results demonstrated that both IB and m decreased exponentially with the increase of burn degree. Specifically, an IB of -79.0 ± 2.4 (mean ± standard deviation) dB for normal skin tissues tended to decrease to -94.0 ± 1.3 dB for those burned for 20 s, while the corresponding Nakagami parameters tended to decrease from 0.76 ± 0.08 to 0.45 ± 0.04. The variation of both IB and m was partially associated with the change of properties of collagen fibers from the burned tissues verified by samples of tissue histological sections. Particularly, the m parameter may be more sensitive to differentiate burned skin due to the fact that it has a greater rate of change with respect to different burn durations. These ultrasonic parameters in conjunction with high-frequency B-mode and Nakagami images could have the potential to assess the burn degree quantitatively.

  16. Is there a place for quantitative risk assessment?

    PubMed Central

    Hall, Eric J

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Is there a place for quantitative risk assessment?

    PubMed

    Hall, Eric J

    2009-06-01

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

  18. Is there a place for quantitative risk assessment?

    PubMed

    Hall, Eric J

    2009-06-01

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

  19. A statistical method for assessing peptide identification confidence in accurate mass and time tag proteomics.

    PubMed

    Stanley, Jeffrey R; Adkins, Joshua N; Slysz, Gordon W; Monroe, Matthew E; Purvine, Samuel O; Karpievitch, Yuliya V; Anderson, Gordon A; Smith, Richard D; Dabney, Alan R

    2011-08-15

    Current algorithms for quantifying peptide identification confidence in the accurate mass and time (AMT) tag approach assume that the AMT tags themselves have been correctly identified. However, there is uncertainty in the identification of AMT tags, because this is based on matching LC-MS/MS fragmentation spectra to peptide sequences. In this paper, we incorporate confidence measures for the AMT tag identifications into the calculation of probabilities for correct matches to an AMT tag database, resulting in a more accurate overall measure of identification confidence for the AMT tag approach. The method is referenced as Statistical Tools for AMT Tag Confidence (STAC). STAC additionally provides a uniqueness probability (UP) to help distinguish between multiple matches to an AMT tag and a method to calculate an overall false discovery rate (FDR). STAC is freely available for download, as both a command line and a Windows graphical application.

  20. The effect of manipulated and accurate assessment feedback on the self-efficacy of dance students.

    PubMed

    García-Dantas, Ana; Quested, Eleanor

    2015-03-01

    Research undertaken with athletes has shown that lower-evaluated feedback is related to low self-efficacy levels. However, the relationship between teacher feedback and self-efficacy has not been studied in the dance setting. In sports or dance contexts, very few studies have manipulated feedback content to examine its impact on performers' self-efficacy in relation to the execution of a specific movement. Therefore, the aim of this investigation was to explore the effect of manipulated upper, lower, and accurate grade feedback on changes in dancers' self-efficacy levels for the execution of the "Zapateado" (a flamenco foot movement). Sixty-one students (56 female, 5 male, ages 13 to 22 ± 3.25 years) from a Spanish dance conservatory participated in this experimental study. They were randomly divided into four feedback groups: 1. upper-evaluated, 2. objective and informational, 3. lower-evaluated, and 4. no feedback-control. Participants performed three trials during a 1-hour session and completed questionnaires tapping self-efficacy pre-feedback and post-feedback. After each trial, teachers (who were confederates in the study) were first asked to rate their perception of each dancer's competence level at performing the movement according to conventional criteria (scores from 0 to 10). The results were then manipulated, and students accurate, lower-evaluated, or upper-evaluated scores were given. Those in the accurate feedback group reported positive change in self-efficacy, whereas those in the lower-evaluated group showed no significant change in self-efficacy during the course of the trial. Findings call into question the common perception among teachers that it can be motivating to provide students with inaccurate feedback that indicates that the students' performance level is much better or much worse than they actually perceive it to be. Self-efficacy appears most likely to increase in students when feedback is accurate. PMID:25741781

  1. The effect of manipulated and accurate assessment feedback on the self-efficacy of dance students.

    PubMed

    García-Dantas, Ana; Quested, Eleanor

    2015-03-01

    Research undertaken with athletes has shown that lower-evaluated feedback is related to low self-efficacy levels. However, the relationship between teacher feedback and self-efficacy has not been studied in the dance setting. In sports or dance contexts, very few studies have manipulated feedback content to examine its impact on performers' self-efficacy in relation to the execution of a specific movement. Therefore, the aim of this investigation was to explore the effect of manipulated upper, lower, and accurate grade feedback on changes in dancers' self-efficacy levels for the execution of the "Zapateado" (a flamenco foot movement). Sixty-one students (56 female, 5 male, ages 13 to 22 ± 3.25 years) from a Spanish dance conservatory participated in this experimental study. They were randomly divided into four feedback groups: 1. upper-evaluated, 2. objective and informational, 3. lower-evaluated, and 4. no feedback-control. Participants performed three trials during a 1-hour session and completed questionnaires tapping self-efficacy pre-feedback and post-feedback. After each trial, teachers (who were confederates in the study) were first asked to rate their perception of each dancer's competence level at performing the movement according to conventional criteria (scores from 0 to 10). The results were then manipulated, and students accurate, lower-evaluated, or upper-evaluated scores were given. Those in the accurate feedback group reported positive change in self-efficacy, whereas those in the lower-evaluated group showed no significant change in self-efficacy during the course of the trial. Findings call into question the common perception among teachers that it can be motivating to provide students with inaccurate feedback that indicates that the students' performance level is much better or much worse than they actually perceive it to be. Self-efficacy appears most likely to increase in students when feedback is accurate.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-09-01

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

  3. Quantitative risk assessment of Cryptosporidium species infection in dairy calves.

    PubMed

    Nydam, D V; Mohammed, H O

    2005-11-01

    Cryptosporidium parvum is a zoonotic protozoan that infects many different mammals including cattle and humans. Cryptosporidiosis has become a concern for dairy producers because of the direct losses due to calves not performing well and the potential for environmental contamination with C. parvum. Identifying modifiable control points in the dynamics of infection in dairy herds will help identify management strategies that mitigate its risk. The quantitative risk assessment approach provides estimates of the risk associated with these factors so that cost-effective strategies can be implemented. Using published data from epidemiologic studies and a stochastic approach, we modeled the risk that C. parvum presents to dairy calves in 2 geographic areas: 1) the New York City Watershed (NYCW) in southeastern New York, and 2) the entire United States. The approach focused on 2 possible areas of exposure--the rearing environment and the maternity environment. In addition, we evaluated the contribution of many risk factors (e.g., age, housing, flies) to the end-state (i.e., total) risk to identify areas of intervention to decrease the risk to dairy calves. Expected risks from C. parvum in US dairy herds in rearing and maternity environments were 41.7 and 33.9%, respectively. In the NYCW, the expected risks from C. parvum in the rearing and maternity environments were 0.36 and 0.33%, respectively. In the US scenarios, the immediate environment contributed most of the risk to calves, whereas in the NYCW scenario, it was new calf infection. Therefore, within the NYCW, risk management activities may be focused on preventing new calf infections, whereas in the general US population, cleaning of calf housing would be a good choice for resource allocation. Despite the many assumptions inherent with modeling techniques, its usefulness to quantify the likelihood of risk and identify risk management areas is illustrated.

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

    PubMed

    Zhang, Leilei; Peng, Yankun

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Zhang, Leilei; Peng, Yankun

    2016-08-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  7. How to Achieve Accurate Peer Assessment for High Value Written Assignments in a Senior Undergraduate Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jeffery, Daniel; Yankulov, Krassimir; Crerar, Alison; Ritchie, Kerry

    2016-01-01

    The psychometric measures of accuracy, reliability and validity of peer assessment are critical qualities for its use as a supplement to instructor grading. In this study, we seek to determine which factors related to peer review are the most influential on these psychometric measures, with a primary focus on the accuracy of peer assessment or how…

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-01-01

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

  9. Qualitative and quantitative procedures for health risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Lohman, P H

    1999-07-16

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

  10. Self- and peer assessment may not be an accurate measure of PBL tutorial process

    PubMed Central

    Machado, José Lúcio Martins; Machado, Valéria Menezes Peixeiro; Grec, Waldir; Bollela, Valdes Roberto; Vieira, Joaquim Edson

    2008-01-01

    Background Universidade Cidade de São Paulo adopted a problem-based learning (PBL) strategy as the predominant method for teaching and learning medicine. Self-, peer- and tutor marks of the educational process are taken into account as part of the final grade, which also includes assessment of content. This study compared the different perspectives (and grades) of evaluators during tutorials with first year medical students, from 2004 to 2007 (n = 349), from seven semesters. Methods The tutorial evaluation method was comprised of the students' self assessment (SA) (10%), tutor assessment (TA) (80%) and peer assessment (PA) (10%) to calculate a final educational process grade for each tutorial. We compared these three grades from each tutorial for seven semesters using ANOVA and a post hoc test. Results A total of 349 students participated with 199 (57%) women and 150 (42%) men. The SA and PA scores were consistently greater than the TA scores. Moreover, the SA and PA groups did not show statistical difference in any semester evaluated, while both differed from tutor assessment in all semesters (Kruskal-Wallis, Dunn's test). The Spearman rank order showed significant (p < 0.0001) and positive correlation for the SA and PA groups (r = 0.806); this was not observed when we compared TA with PA (r = 0.456) or TA with SA (r = 0.376). Conclusion Peer- and self-assessment marks might be reliable but not valid for PBL tutorial process, especially if these assessments are used for summative assessment, composing the final grade. This article suggests reconsideration of the use of summative assessment for self-evaluation in PBL tutorials. PMID:19038048

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-02-15

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

  12. Mitochondrial DNA as a non-invasive biomarker: Accurate quantification using real time quantitative PCR without co-amplification of pseudogenes and dilution bias

    SciTech Connect

    Malik, Afshan N.; Shahni, Rojeen; Rodriguez-de-Ledesma, Ana; Laftah, Abas; Cunningham, Phil

    2011-08-19

    Highlights: {yields} Mitochondrial dysfunction is central to many diseases of oxidative stress. {yields} 95% of the mitochondrial genome is duplicated in the nuclear genome. {yields} Dilution of untreated genomic DNA leads to dilution bias. {yields} Unique primers and template pretreatment are needed to accurately measure mitochondrial DNA content. -- Abstract: Circulating mitochondrial DNA (MtDNA) is a potential non-invasive biomarker of cellular mitochondrial dysfunction, the latter known to be central to a wide range of human diseases. Changes in MtDNA are usually determined by quantification of MtDNA relative to nuclear DNA (Mt/N) using real time quantitative PCR. We propose that the methodology for measuring Mt/N needs to be improved and we have identified that current methods have at least one of the following three problems: (1) As much of the mitochondrial genome is duplicated in the nuclear genome, many commonly used MtDNA primers co-amplify homologous pseudogenes found in the nuclear genome; (2) use of regions from genes such as {beta}-actin and 18S rRNA which are repetitive and/or highly variable for qPCR of the nuclear genome leads to errors; and (3) the size difference of mitochondrial and nuclear genomes cause a 'dilution bias' when template DNA is diluted. We describe a PCR-based method using unique regions in the human mitochondrial genome not duplicated in the nuclear genome; unique single copy region in the nuclear genome and template treatment to remove dilution bias, to accurately quantify MtDNA from human samples.

  13. Accurate, quantitative assays for the hydrolysis of soluble type I, II, and III /sup 3/H-acetylated collagens by bacterial and tissue collagenases

    SciTech Connect

    Mallya, S.K.; Mookhtiar, K.A.; Van Wart, H.E.

    1986-11-01

    Accurate and quantitative assays for the hydrolysis of soluble /sup 3/H-acetylated rat tendon type I, bovine cartilage type II, and human amnion type III collagens by both bacterial and tissue collagenases have been developed. The assays are carried out at any temperature in the 1-30/sup 0/C range in a single reaction tube and the progress of the reaction is monitored by withdrawing aliquots as a function of time, quenching with 1,10-phenanthroline, and quantitation of the concentration of hydrolysis fragments. The latter is achieved by selective denaturation of these fragments by incubation under conditions described in the previous paper of this issue. The assays give percentages of hydrolysis of all three collagen types by neutrophil collagenase that agree well with the results of gel electrophoresis experiments. The initial rates of hydrolysis of all three collagens are proportional to the concentration of both neutrophil or Clostridial collagenases over a 10-fold range of enzyme concentrations. All three assays can be carried out at collagen concentrations that range from 0.06 to 2 mg/ml and give linear double reciprocal plots for both tissue and bacterial collagenases that can be used to evaluate the kinetic parameters K/sub m/ and k/sub cat/ or V/sub max/. The assay developed for the hydrolysis of rat type I collagen by neutrophil collagenase is shown to be more sensitive by at least one order of magnitude than comparable assays that use rat type I collagen fibrils or gels as substrate.

  14. Assessment and application of quantitative schlieren methods: Calibrated color schlieren and background oriented schlieren

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elsinga, G. E.; van Oudheusden, B. W.; Scarano, F.; Watt, D. W.

    Two quantitative schlieren methods are assessed and compared: calibrated color schlieren (CCS) and background oriented schlieren (BOS). Both methods are capable of measuring the light deflection angle in two spatial directions, and hence the projected density gradient vector field. Spatial integration using the conjugate gradient method returns the projected density field. To assess the performance of CCS and BOS, density measurements of a two-dimensional benchmark flow (a Prandtl-Meyer expansion fan) are compared with the theoretical density field and with the density inferred from PIV velocity measurements. The method's performance is also evaluated a priori from an experiment ray-tracing simulation. The density measurements show good agreement with theory. Moreover, CCS and BOS return comparable results with respect to each other and with respect to the PIV measurements. BOS proves to be very sensitive to displacements of the wind tunnel during the experiment and requires a correction for it, making it necessary to apply extra boundary conditions in the integration procedure. Furthermore, spatial resolution can be a limiting factor for accurate measurements using BOS. CCS suffers from relatively high noise in the density gradient measurement due to camera noise and has a smaller dynamic range when compared to BOS. Finally the application of the two schlieren methods to a separated wake flow is demonstrated. Flow features such as shear layers and expansion and recompression waves are measured with both methods.

  15. Electroencephalographic Data Analysis With Visibility Graph Technique for Quantitative Assessment of Brain Dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Bhaduri, Susmita; Ghosh, Dipak

    2015-07-01

    Usual techniques for electroencephalographic (EEG) data analysis lack some of the important properties essential for quantitative assessment of the progress of the dysfunction of the human brain. EEG data are essentially nonlinear and this nonlinear time series has been identified as multi-fractal in nature. We need rigorous techniques for such analysis. In this article, we present the visibility graph as the latest, rigorous technique that can assess the degree of multifractality accurately and reliably. Moreover, it has also been found that this technique can give reliable results with test data of comparatively short length. In this work, the visibility graph algorithm has been used for mapping a time series-EEG signals-to a graph to study complexity and fractality of the time series through investigation of its complexity. The power of scale-freeness of visibility graph has been used as an effective method for measuring fractality in the EEG signal. The scale-freeness of the visibility graph has also been observed after averaging the statistically independent samples of the signal. Scale-freeness of the visibility graph has been calculated for 5 sets of EEG data patterns varying from normal eye closed to epileptic. The change in the values is analyzed further, and it has been observed that it reduces uniformly from normal eye closed to epileptic.

  16. Allele Specific Locked Nucleic Acid Quantitative PCR (ASLNAqPCR): An Accurate and Cost-Effective Assay to Diagnose and Quantify KRAS and BRAF Mutation

    PubMed Central

    Morandi, Luca; de Biase, Dario; Visani, Michela; Cesari, Valentina; De Maglio, Giovanna; Pizzolitto, Stefano; Pession, Annalisa; Tallini, Giovanni

    2012-01-01

    The use of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) requires the testing for hot spot mutations of the molecular effectors downstream the membrane-bound tyrosine kinases since their wild type status is expected for response to TKI therapy. We report a novel assay that we have called Allele Specific Locked Nucleic Acid quantitative PCR (ASLNAqPCR). The assay uses LNA-modified allele specific primers and LNA-modified beacon probes to increase sensitivity, specificity and to accurately quantify mutations. We designed primers specific for codon 12/13 KRAS mutations and BRAF V600E, and validated the assay with 300 routine samples from a variety of sources, including cytology specimens. All were analyzed by ASLNAqPCR and Sanger sequencing. Discordant cases were pyrosequenced. ASLNAqPCR correctly identified BRAF and KRAS mutations in all discordant cases and all had a mutated/wild type DNA ratio below the analytical sensitivity of the Sanger method. ASLNAqPCR was 100% specific with greater accuracy, positive and negative predictive values compared with Sanger sequencing. The analytical sensitivity of ASLNAqPCR is 0.1%, allowing quantification of mutated DNA in small neoplastic cell clones. ASLNAqPCR can be performed in any laboratory with real-time PCR equipment, is very cost-effective and can easily be adapted to detect hot spot mutations in other oncogenes. PMID:22558339

  17. Mitochondrial DNA as a non-invasive biomarker: accurate quantification using real time quantitative PCR without co-amplification of pseudogenes and dilution bias.

    PubMed

    Malik, Afshan N; Shahni, Rojeen; Rodriguez-de-Ledesma, Ana; Laftah, Abas; Cunningham, Phil

    2011-08-19

    Circulating mitochondrial DNA (MtDNA) is a potential non-invasive biomarker of cellular mitochondrial dysfunction, the latter known to be central to a wide range of human diseases. Changes in MtDNA are usually determined by quantification of MtDNA relative to nuclear DNA (Mt/N) using real time quantitative PCR. We propose that the methodology for measuring Mt/N needs to be improved and we have identified that current methods have at least one of the following three problems: (1) As much of the mitochondrial genome is duplicated in the nuclear genome, many commonly used MtDNA primers co-amplify homologous pseudogenes found in the nuclear genome; (2) use of regions from genes such as β-actin and 18S rRNA which are repetitive and/or highly variable for qPCR of the nuclear genome leads to errors; and (3) the size difference of mitochondrial and nuclear genomes cause a "dilution bias" when template DNA is diluted. We describe a PCR-based method using unique regions in the human mitochondrial genome not duplicated in the nuclear genome; unique single copy region in the nuclear genome and template treatment to remove dilution bias, to accurately quantify MtDNA from human samples.

  18. Detection and quantitation of trace phenolphthalein (in pharmaceutical preparations and in forensic exhibits) by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, a sensitive and accurate method.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Kakali; Sharma, Shiba P; Lahiri, Sujit C

    2013-01-01

    Phenolphthalein, an acid-base indicator and laxative, is important as a constituent of widely used weight-reducing multicomponent food formulations. Phenolphthalein is an useful reagent in forensic science for the identification of blood stains of suspected victims and for apprehending erring officials accepting bribes in graft or trap cases. The pink-colored alkaline hand washes originating from the phenolphthalein-smeared notes can easily be determined spectrophotometrically. But in many cases, colored solution turns colorless with time, which renders the genuineness of bribe cases doubtful to the judiciary. No method is known till now for the detection and identification of phenolphthalein in colorless forensic exhibits with positive proof. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry had been found to be most sensitive, accurate method capable of detection and quantitation of trace phenolphthalein in commercial formulations and colorless forensic exhibits with positive proof. The detection limit of phenolphthalein was found to be 1.66 pg/L or ng/mL, and the calibration curve shows good linearity (r(2) = 0.9974). PMID:23106487

  19. Allele specific locked nucleic acid quantitative PCR (ASLNAqPCR): an accurate and cost-effective assay to diagnose and quantify KRAS and BRAF mutation.

    PubMed

    Morandi, Luca; de Biase, Dario; Visani, Michela; Cesari, Valentina; De Maglio, Giovanna; Pizzolitto, Stefano; Pession, Annalisa; Tallini, Giovanni

    2012-01-01

    The use of tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) requires the testing for hot spot mutations of the molecular effectors downstream the membrane-bound tyrosine kinases since their wild type status is expected for response to TKI therapy. We report a novel assay that we have called Allele Specific Locked Nucleic Acid quantitative PCR (ASLNAqPCR). The assay uses LNA-modified allele specific primers and LNA-modified beacon probes to increase sensitivity, specificity and to accurately quantify mutations. We designed primers specific for codon 12/13 KRAS mutations and BRAF V600E, and validated the assay with 300 routine samples from a variety of sources, including cytology specimens. All were analyzed by ASLNAqPCR and Sanger sequencing. Discordant cases were pyrosequenced. ASLNAqPCR correctly identified BRAF and KRAS mutations in all discordant cases and all had a mutated/wild type DNA ratio below the analytical sensitivity of the Sanger method. ASLNAqPCR was 100% specific with greater accuracy, positive and negative predictive values compared with Sanger sequencing. The analytical sensitivity of ASLNAqPCR is 0.1%, allowing quantification of mutated DNA in small neoplastic cell clones. ASLNAqPCR can be performed in any laboratory with real-time PCR equipment, is very cost-effective and can easily be adapted to detect hot spot mutations in other oncogenes.

  20. Accurate calculation of binding energies for molecular clusters - Assessment of different models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Friedrich, Joachim; Fiedler, Benjamin

    2016-06-01

    In this work we test different strategies to compute high-level benchmark energies for medium-sized molecular clusters. We use the incremental scheme to obtain CCSD(T)/CBS energies for our test set and carefully validate the accuracy for binding energies by statistical measures. The local errors of the incremental scheme are <1 kJ/mol. Since they are smaller than the basis set errors, we obtain higher total accuracy due to the applicability of larger basis sets. The final CCSD(T)/CBS benchmark values are ΔE = - 278.01 kJ/mol for (H2O)10, ΔE = - 221.64 kJ/mol for (HF)10, ΔE = - 45.63 kJ/mol for (CH4)10, ΔE = - 19.52 kJ/mol for (H2)20 and ΔE = - 7.38 kJ/mol for (H2)10 . Furthermore we test state-of-the-art wave-function-based and DFT methods. Our benchmark data will be very useful for critical validations of new methods. We find focal-point-methods for estimating CCSD(T)/CBS energies to be highly accurate and efficient. For foQ-i3CCSD(T)-MP2/TZ we get a mean error of 0.34 kJ/mol and a standard deviation of 0.39 kJ/mol.

  1. Assessing temporal flux of plant hormones in stored processing potatoes using high definition accurate mass spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Ordaz-Ortiz, José Juan; Foukaraki, Sofia; Terry, Leon Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Plant hormones are important molecules which at low concentration can regulate various physiological processes. Mass spectrometry has become a powerful technique for the quantification of multiple classes of plant hormones because of its high sensitivity and selectivity. We developed a new ultrahigh pressure liquid chromatography–full-scan high-definition accurate mass spectrometry method, for simultaneous determination of abscisic acid and four metabolites phaseic acid, dihydrophaseic acid, 7′-hydroxy-abscisic acid and abscisic acid glucose ester, cytokinins zeatin, zeatin riboside, gibberellins (GA1, GA3, GA4 and GA7) and indole-3-acetyl-L-aspartic acid. We measured the amount of plant hormones in the flesh and skin of two processing potato cvs. Sylvana and Russet Burbank stored for up to 30 weeks at 6 °C under ambient air conditions. Herein, we report for the first time that abscisic acid glucose ester seems to accumulate in the skin of potato tubers throughout storage time. The method achieved a lowest limit of detection of 0.22 ng g−1 of dry weight and a limit of quantification of 0.74 ng g−1 dry weight (zeatin riboside), and was able to recover, detect and quantify a total of 12 plant hormones spiked on flesh and skin of potato tubers. In addition, the mass accuracy for all compounds (<5 ppm) was evaluated. PMID:26504563

  2. CUMULATIVE RISK ASSESSMENT: GETTING FROM TOXICOLOGY TO QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS

    EPA Science Inventory

    INTRODUCTION: GETTING FROM TOXICOLOGY TO QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS FOR CUMULATIVE RISK

    Hugh A. Barton1 and Carey N. Pope2
    1US EPA, Office of Research and Development, National Health and Environmental Effects Research Laboratory, Research Triangle Park, NC
    2Department of...

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Katharaki, Maria; Katharakis, George

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Quantitative Assessment of Upstream Source Influences on TGM Observations at Three CAMNet Sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wen, D.; Lin, J. C.; Meng, F.; Gbor, P. K.; He, Z.; Sloan, J. J.

    2009-05-01

    Mercury is a persistent and toxic substance in the environment. Exposure to high levels of mercury can cause a range of adverse health effects, including damage to the nervous system, reproduction system and childhood development. Proper recognition and prediction of atmospheric levels of mercury can effectively avoid the adverse affect of Hg, however they cannot be achieved without accurate and quantitative identification of source influences, which is a great challenge due to the complexity of Hg in the air. The objective of this study is to present a new method to simulate Hg concentrations at the location of a monitoring site and quantitatively assess its upstream source influences. Hourly total gaseous mercury (TGM) concentrations at three CAMNet monitoring sites (receptors) in Ontario were predicted for four selected periods using the Stochastic Time-Inverted Lagrangian Transport (STILT) model, which is capable of representing near-field influences that are not resolved by typical grid sizes in transport models. The model was modified to deal with Hg depositions and point source Hg emissions. The model-predicted Hg concentrations were compared with observations, as well as with the results from a CMAQ-Hg simulation in which the same emission and meteorology inputs were used. The comparisons show that STILT-predicted Hg concentrations agree well with observations, and are generally closer to the observations than those predicted by CMAQ-Hg. The better performance of the STILT simulation can be attributed to its ability to account for near-field influences. STILT was also applied to assess quantitatively the relative importance of different upstream source regions for the selected episodes. The assessment was made based on emission fluxes and STILT footprints, i.e., sensitivities of atmospheric concentrations to upstream surface fluxes. The results indicated that the main source regions of observed low Hg concentrations were in Northeastern Ontario, whereas

  5. Chromatography paper as a low-cost medium for accurate spectrophotometric assessment of blood hemoglobin concentration.

    PubMed

    Bond, Meaghan; Elguea, Carlos; Yan, Jasper S; Pawlowski, Michal; Williams, Jessica; Wahed, Amer; Oden, Maria; Tkaczyk, Tomasz S; Richards-Kortum, Rebecca

    2013-06-21

    Anemia affects a quarter of the world's population, and a lack of appropriate diagnostic tools often prevents treatment in low-resource settings. Though the HemoCue 201+ is an appropriate device for diagnosing anemia in low-resource settings, the high cost of disposables ($0.99 per test in Malawi) limits its availability. We investigated using spectrophotometric measurement of blood spotted on chromatography paper as a low-cost (<$0.01 per test) alternative to HemoCue cuvettes. For this evaluation, donor blood was diluted with plasma to simulate anemia, a micropipette spotted blood on paper, and a bench-top spectrophotometer validated the approach before the development of a low-cost reader. We optimized impregnating paper with chemicals to lyse red blood cells, paper type, drying time, wavelengths measured, and sensitivity to variations in volume of blood, and we validated our approach using patient samples. Lysing the blood cells with sodium deoxycholate dried in Whatman Chr4 chromatography paper gave repeatable results, and the absorbance difference between 528 nm and 656 nm was stable over time in measurements taken up to 10 min after sample preparation. The method was insensitive to the amount of blood spotted on the paper over the range of 5 μL to 25 μL. We created a low-cost, handheld reader to measure the transmission of paper cuvettes at these optimal wavelengths. Training and validating our method with patient samples on both the spectrometer and the handheld reader showed that both devices are accurate to within 2 g dL(-1) of the HemoCue device for 98% and 95% of samples, respectively.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mobberley, Sean David

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

  7. Easy quantitative assessment of genome editing by sequence trace decomposition.

    PubMed

    Brinkman, Eva K; Chen, Tao; Amendola, Mario; van Steensel, Bas

    2014-12-16

    The efficacy and the mutation spectrum of genome editing methods can vary substantially depending on the targeted sequence. A simple, quick assay to accurately characterize and quantify the induced mutations is therefore needed. Here we present TIDE, a method for this purpose that requires only a pair of PCR reactions and two standard capillary sequencing runs. The sequence traces are then analyzed by a specially developed decomposition algorithm that identifies the major induced mutations in the projected editing site and accurately determines their frequency in a cell population. This method is cost-effective and quick, and it provides much more detailed information than current enzyme-based assays. An interactive web tool for automated decomposition of the sequence traces is available. TIDE greatly facilitates the testing and rational design of genome editing strategies.

  8. A Cost-Benefit and Accurate Method for Assessing Microalbuminuria: Single versus Frequent Urine Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Hemmati, Roholla; Gharipour, Mojgan; Khosravi, Alireza; Jozan, Mahnaz

    2013-01-01

    Background. The purpose of this study was to answer the question whether a single testing for microalbuminuria results in a reliable conclusion leading costs saving. Methods. This current cross-sectional study included a total of 126 consecutive persons. Microalbuminuria was assessed by collection of two fasting random urine specimens on arrival to the clinic as well as one week later in the morning. Results. In overall, 17 out of 126 participants suffered from microalbuminuria that, among them, 12 subjects were also diagnosed as microalbuminuria once assessing this factor with a sensitivity of 70.6%, a specificity of 100%, a PPV of 100%, a NPV of 95.6%, and an accuracy of 96.0%. The measured sensitivity, specificity, PVV, NPV, and accuracy in hypertensive patients were 73.3%, 100%, 100%, 94.8%, and 95.5%, respectively. Also, these rates in nonhypertensive groups were 50.0%, 100%, 100%, 97.3%, and 97.4%, respectively. According to the ROC curve analysis, a single measurement of UACR had a high value for discriminating defected from normal renal function state (c = 0.989). Urinary albumin concentration in a single measurement had also high discriminative value for diagnosis of damaged kidney (c = 0.995). Conclusion. The single testing of both UACR and urine albumin level rather frequent testing leads to high diagnostic sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy as well as high predictive values in total population and also in hypertensive subgroups. PMID:24455207

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

    PubMed

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

    1973-04-01

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

  10. Can script concordance testing be used in nursing education to accurately assess clinical reasoning skills?

    PubMed

    Dawson, Tyia; Comer, Linda; Kossick, Mark A; Neubrander, Judy

    2014-05-01

    The Script Concordance Test (SCT) has been used successfully in medical schools to assess clinical reasoning in medical students, but it has not been widely used in nursing education. The purpose of this study was to provide additional evidence of the validity and reliability of the SCT in evaluating clinical reasoning in nursing students by replicating a previous study. The test was administered to 48 first-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing students. A scoring grid was developed using the aggregate scores method based on the modal responses of 13 panel members. The reliability of the scores was measured by Cronbach's alpha coefficient, and the scores of the students and the panel were compared using a t test. The difference between the panel's and the students' scores was statistically significant, and the reliability of the scores is high. The SCT provides a reliable, standardized, and easy-to-administer method of evaluating clinical reasoning in nursing students.

  11. Accurate assessment of the biodegradation of cationic surfactants in activated sludge reactors (OECD TG 303A).

    PubMed

    Geerts, Roy; van Ginkel, Cornelis G; Plugge, Caroline M

    2015-08-01

    The continuous-fed activated sludge test (OECD TG 303A) was used to predict the removal of cationic surfactants from wastewater in activated sludge plants. However, a method to differentiate between adsorption and biodegradation is not provided in these guidelines. Assessment of removal by biodegradation was possible with analysis of the surfactant present in mixed liquid suspended solids in combination with a simple equation. This equation was derived from the mass balance of the activated sludge unit in steady state. The removal by biodegradation of decylamine, tetradecylamine, octadecylamine, dioctadecylmethylamine and dioctadecyldimethylammonium chloride that have different capacities to adsorb was >99.9%, >99.9%, 98.2%, 94.2%, and 69.0%, respectively. The total removal of all five cationic surfactants from the influent was ≥98.8%. The removal of octadecylamine spiked at different influent concentrations indicated first order kinetics. PMID:25913361

  12. Quick, Accurate, Smart: 3D Computer Vision Technology Helps Assessing Confined Animals’ Behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Calderara, Simone; Pistocchi, Simone; Cucchiara, Rita; Podaliri-Vulpiani, Michele; Messori, Stefano; Ferri, Nicola

    2016-01-01

    Mankind directly controls the environment and lifestyles of several domestic species for purposes ranging from production and research to conservation and companionship. These environments and lifestyles may not offer these animals the best quality of life. Behaviour is a direct reflection of how the animal is coping with its environment. Behavioural indicators are thus among the preferred parameters to assess welfare. However, behavioural recording (usually from video) can be very time consuming and the accuracy and reliability of the output rely on the experience and background of the observers. The outburst of new video technology and computer image processing gives the basis for promising solutions. In this pilot study, we present a new prototype software able to automatically infer the behaviour of dogs housed in kennels from 3D visual data and through structured machine learning frameworks. Depth information acquired through 3D features, body part detection and training are the key elements that allow the machine to recognise postures, trajectories inside the kennel and patterns of movement that can be later labelled at convenience. The main innovation of the software is its ability to automatically cluster frequently observed temporal patterns of movement without any pre-set ethogram. Conversely, when common patterns are defined through training, a deviation from normal behaviour in time or between individuals could be assessed. The software accuracy in correctly detecting the dogs’ behaviour was checked through a validation process. An automatic behaviour recognition system, independent from human subjectivity, could add scientific knowledge on animals’ quality of life in confinement as well as saving time and resources. This 3D framework was designed to be invariant to the dog’s shape and size and could be extended to farm, laboratory and zoo quadrupeds in artificial housing. The computer vision technique applied to this software is innovative in non

  13. Quick, Accurate, Smart: 3D Computer Vision Technology Helps Assessing Confined Animals' Behaviour.

    PubMed

    Barnard, Shanis; Calderara, Simone; Pistocchi, Simone; Cucchiara, Rita; Podaliri-Vulpiani, Michele; Messori, Stefano; Ferri, Nicola

    2016-01-01

    Mankind directly controls the environment and lifestyles of several domestic species for purposes ranging from production and research to conservation and companionship. These environments and lifestyles may not offer these animals the best quality of life. Behaviour is a direct reflection of how the animal is coping with its environment. Behavioural indicators are thus among the preferred parameters to assess welfare. However, behavioural recording (usually from video) can be very time consuming and the accuracy and reliability of the output rely on the experience and background of the observers. The outburst of new video technology and computer image processing gives the basis for promising solutions. In this pilot study, we present a new prototype software able to automatically infer the behaviour of dogs housed in kennels from 3D visual data and through structured machine learning frameworks. Depth information acquired through 3D features, body part detection and training are the key elements that allow the machine to recognise postures, trajectories inside the kennel and patterns of movement that can be later labelled at convenience. The main innovation of the software is its ability to automatically cluster frequently observed temporal patterns of movement without any pre-set ethogram. Conversely, when common patterns are defined through training, a deviation from normal behaviour in time or between individuals could be assessed. The software accuracy in correctly detecting the dogs' behaviour was checked through a validation process. An automatic behaviour recognition system, independent from human subjectivity, could add scientific knowledge on animals' quality of life in confinement as well as saving time and resources. This 3D framework was designed to be invariant to the dog's shape and size and could be extended to farm, laboratory and zoo quadrupeds in artificial housing. The computer vision technique applied to this software is innovative in non

  14. Quick, Accurate, Smart: 3D Computer Vision Technology Helps Assessing Confined Animals' Behaviour.

    PubMed

    Barnard, Shanis; Calderara, Simone; Pistocchi, Simone; Cucchiara, Rita; Podaliri-Vulpiani, Michele; Messori, Stefano; Ferri, Nicola

    2016-01-01

    Mankind directly controls the environment and lifestyles of several domestic species for purposes ranging from production and research to conservation and companionship. These environments and lifestyles may not offer these animals the best quality of life. Behaviour is a direct reflection of how the animal is coping with its environment. Behavioural indicators are thus among the preferred parameters to assess welfare. However, behavioural recording (usually from video) can be very time consuming and the accuracy and reliability of the output rely on the experience and background of the observers. The outburst of new video technology and computer image processing gives the basis for promising solutions. In this pilot study, we present a new prototype software able to automatically infer the behaviour of dogs housed in kennels from 3D visual data and through structured machine learning frameworks. Depth information acquired through 3D features, body part detection and training are the key elements that allow the machine to recognise postures, trajectories inside the kennel and patterns of movement that can be later labelled at convenience. The main innovation of the software is its ability to automatically cluster frequently observed temporal patterns of movement without any pre-set ethogram. Conversely, when common patterns are defined through training, a deviation from normal behaviour in time or between individuals could be assessed. The software accuracy in correctly detecting the dogs' behaviour was checked through a validation process. An automatic behaviour recognition system, independent from human subjectivity, could add scientific knowledge on animals' quality of life in confinement as well as saving time and resources. This 3D framework was designed to be invariant to the dog's shape and size and could be extended to farm, laboratory and zoo quadrupeds in artificial housing. The computer vision technique applied to this software is innovative in non

  15. Accurate assessment of the impact of salmon farming on benthic sediment enrichment using foraminiferal metabarcoding.

    PubMed

    Pochon, X; Wood, S A; Keeley, N B; Lejzerowicz, F; Esling, P; Drew, J; Pawlowski, J

    2015-11-15

    Assessing the environmental impact of salmon farms on benthic systems is traditionally undertaken using biotic indices derived from microscopic analyses of macrobenthic infaunal (MI) communities. In this study, we tested the applicability of using foraminiferal-specific high-throughput sequencing (HTS) metabarcoding for monitoring these habitats. Sediment samples and physico-chemical data were collected along an enrichment gradient radiating out from three Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) farms in New Zealand. HTS of environmental DNA and RNA (eDNA/eRNA) resulted in 1,875,300 sequences that clustered into 349 Operational Taxonomic Units. Strong correlations were observed among various biotic indices calculated from MI data and normalized fourth-root transformed HTS data. Correlations were stronger using eRNA compared to eDNA data. Quantile regression spline analyses identified 12 key foraminiferal taxa that have potential to be used as bioindicator species. This study demonstrates the huge potential for using this method for biomonitoring of fish-farming and other marine industrial activities. PMID:26337228

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feiveson, Alan H.

    2000-01-01

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

  17. I Vivo Quantitative Ultrasound Imaging and Scatter Assessments.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Zheng Feng

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

  18. Use of human in vitro skin models for accurate and ethical risk assessment: metabolic considerations.

    PubMed

    Hewitt, Nicola J; Edwards, Robert J; Fritsche, Ellen; Goebel, Carsten; Aeby, Pierre; Scheel, Julia; Reisinger, Kerstin; Ouédraogo, Gladys; Duche, Daniel; Eilstein, Joan; Latil, Alain; Kenny, Julia; Moore, Claire; Kuehnl, Jochen; Barroso, Joao; Fautz, Rolf; Pfuhler, Stefan

    2013-06-01

    Several human skin models employing primary cells and immortalized cell lines used as monocultures or combined to produce reconstituted 3D skin constructs have been developed. Furthermore, these models have been included in European genotoxicity and sensitization/irritation assay validation projects. In order to help interpret data, Cosmetics Europe (formerly COLIPA) facilitated research projects that measured a variety of defined phase I and II enzyme activities and created a complete proteomic profile of xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes (XMEs) in native human skin and compared them with data obtained from a number of in vitro models of human skin. Here, we have summarized our findings on the current knowledge of the metabolic capacity of native human skin and in vitro models and made an overall assessment of the metabolic capacity from gene expression, proteomic expression, and substrate metabolism data. The known low expression and function of phase I enzymes in native whole skin were reflected in the in vitro models. Some XMEs in whole skin were not detected in in vitro models and vice versa, and some major hepatic XMEs such as cytochrome P450-monooxygenases were absent or measured only at very low levels in the skin. Conversely, despite varying mRNA and protein levels of phase II enzymes, functional activity of glutathione S-transferases, N-acetyltransferase 1, and UDP-glucuronosyltransferases were all readily measurable in whole skin and in vitro skin models at activity levels similar to those measured in the liver. These projects have enabled a better understanding of the contribution of XMEs to toxicity endpoints. PMID:23539547

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Personal Exposure Monitoring Wearing Protocol Compliance: An Initial Assessment of Quantitative Measurements

    EPA Science Inventory

    Personal exposure sampling provides the most accurate and representative assessment of exposure to a pollutant, but only if measures are implemented to minimize exposure misclassification and reduce confounders that may cause misinterpretation of the collected data. Poor complian...

  1. Quantitative assessment of susceptibility weighted imaging processing methods

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ningzhi; Wang, Wen-Tung; Sati, Pascal; Pham, Dzung L.; Butman, John A.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose To evaluate different susceptibility weighted imaging (SWI) phase processing methods and parameter selection, thereby improving understanding of potential artifacts, as well as facilitating choice of methodology in clinical settings. Materials and Methods Two major phase processing methods, Homodyne-filtering and phase unwrapping-high pass (HP) filtering, were investigated with various phase unwrapping approaches, filter sizes, and filter types. Magnitude and phase images were acquired from a healthy subject and brain injury patients on a 3T clinical Siemens MRI system. Results were evaluated based on image contrast to noise ratio and presence of processing artifacts. Results When using a relatively small filter size (32 pixels for the matrix size 512 × 512 pixels), all Homodyne-filtering methods were subject to phase errors leading to 2% to 3% masked brain area in lower and middle axial slices. All phase unwrapping-filtering/smoothing approaches demonstrated fewer phase errors and artifacts compared to the Homodyne-filtering approaches. For performing phase unwrapping, Fourier-based methods, although less accurate, were 2–4 orders of magnitude faster than the PRELUDE, Goldstein and Quality-guide methods. Conclusion Although Homodyne-filtering approaches are faster and more straightforward, phase unwrapping followed by HP filtering approaches perform more accurately in a wider variety of acquisition scenarios. PMID:24923594

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  6. Assessment of metabolic bone diseases by quantitative computed tomography

    SciTech Connect

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

    1985-05-01

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

  7. New approach to quantitative angiographic assessment after stent implantation.

    PubMed

    Reimers, B; Di Mario, C; Di Francesco, L; Moussa, I; Blengino, S; Martini, G; Reiber, J H; Colombo, A

    1997-04-01

    The new generation quantitative angiographic systems apply the interpolated technique to calculate the reference diameter at the site of the stenosis by integrating measurements of the segments proximal and distal to the stenosis. After stent implantation these measurements can be misleading as the treated segment, which is frequently larger than the adjacent not stented segments, is included in the measurements. The consequence is an overestimation of the reference diameter and the residual diameter stenosis. The present study was performed to compare this conventional technique of measurement with a new method which excludes the stented segment for the calculation of the reference diameter. Fifty-two lesions treated with poorly radiopaque stents (56% Palmaz-Schatz, 28% NIR, 10% Gianturco-Roubin, 6% Wallstent) expanded at high pressure (> = or 16 atm) were analyzed according to the conventional and stent excluded method. After stent implantation the reference diameter was 3.39 +/- 0.48 mm with conventional measurements and 3.02 +/- 0.45 mm with the stent excluded method (P < 0.05). The corresponding % diameter stenosis was 13 +/- 9 for the conventional technique and 1 +/- 13 for the stent excluded analysis (P < 0.05). The new approach to quantitative coronary analysis after stenting provides higher accuracy in reference diameter calculations and allows a more appropriate matching of stented segments with adjacent normal segments.

  8. Quantitative Assessment of Neurite Outgrowth in PC12 Cells

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-12-07

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

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

    DOE PAGES

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

    2015-12-07

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Quantitative criteria for assessment of gamma-ray imager performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gottesman, Steve; Keller, Kristi; Malik, Hans

    2015-08-01

    In recent years gamma ray imagers such as the GammaCamTM and Polaris have demonstrated good imaging performance in the field. Imager performance is often summarized as "resolution", either angular, or spatial at some distance from the imager, however the definition of resolution is not always related to the ability to image an object. It is difficult to quantitatively compare imagers without a common definition of image quality. This paper examines three categories of definition: point source; line source; and area source. It discusses the details of those definitions and which ones are more relevant for different situations. Metrics such as Full Width Half Maximum (FWHM), variations on the Rayleigh criterion, and some analogous to National Imagery Interpretability Rating Scale (NIIRS) are discussed. The performance against these metrics is evaluated for a high resolution coded aperture imager modeled using Monte Carlo N-Particle (MCNP), and for a medium resolution imager measured in the lab.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  16. How accurate are we at assessing others’ well-being? The example of welfare assessment in horses

    PubMed Central

    Lesimple, Clémence; Hausberger, Martine

    2014-01-01

    Healthcare practitioners such as physicians or nurses often underestimate patients’ well-being impairment (e.g., pain, anxiety) which may lead to undesirable consequences on treatment decisions. Lack of recognition/identification of signals and over-exposure are two reasons invoked, but a combination of factors may be involved. Studying human decoding of animals’ expressions of emotions showed that “identification” to the subject was necessary to decode the other’s internal state. In the present study we wanted to compare caretakers’ reports on the prevalence of stereotypic or abnormal repetitive behaviors, to ethological observations performed by an experienced observer on the same horses in order to test the impact of these different factors. On the first hand, a questionnaire was given hand to hand to the caretakers. On the other hand, the experienced observer spent 18 h observing the horses in each stable. Here we show that caretakers strongly underestimate horses’ expressions of well-being impairment. The caretakers who had a strong concern about their horses’ well-being were also those who reported the more accurately SB/ARB’s prevalence, showing that “identification” to the subject is a primary factor of bad-being signal’s detection. Over-exposure also appeared to be involved as no SB/ARB was reported in stables where most of the horses were performing these abnormal behaviors. Being surrounded by a large population of individuals expressing clear signals of bad-being may change professionals’ perceptions of what are behaviors or expressions of well being. These findings are of primary importance as (1) they illustrate the interest of using human-animal relationships to evaluate humans’ abilities to decode others’ states; (2) they put limitations on questionnaire-based studies of welfare. PMID:24478748

  17. Influence of storage time on DNA of Chlamydia trachomatis, Ureaplasma urealyticum, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae for accurate detection by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction.

    PubMed

    Lu, Y; Rong, C Z; Zhao, J Y; Lao, X J; Xie, L; Li, S; Qin, X

    2016-01-01

    The shipment and storage conditions of clinical samples pose a major challenge to the detection accuracy of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG), and Ureaplasma urealyticum (UU) when using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). The aim of the present study was to explore the influence of storage time at 4°C on the DNA of these pathogens and its effect on their detection by qRT-PCR. CT, NG, and UU positive genital swabs from 70 patients were collected, and DNA of all samples were extracted and divided into eight aliquots. One aliquot was immediately analyzed with qRT-PCR to assess the initial pathogen load, whereas the remaining samples were stored at 4°C and analyzed after 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28 days. No significant differences in CT, NG, and UU DNA loads were observed between baseline (day 0) and the subsequent time points (days 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28) in any of the 70 samples. Although a slight increase in DNA levels was observed at day 28 compared to day 0, paired sample t-test results revealed no significant differences between the mean DNA levels at different time points following storage at 4°C (all P>0.05). Overall, the CT, UU, and NG DNA loads from all genital swab samples were stable at 4°C over a 28-day period. PMID:27580005

  18. Influence of storage time on DNA of Chlamydia trachomatis, Ureaplasma urealyticum, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae for accurate detection by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction.

    PubMed

    Lu, Y; Rong, C Z; Zhao, J Y; Lao, X J; Xie, L; Li, S; Qin, X

    2016-08-25

    The shipment and storage conditions of clinical samples pose a major challenge to the detection accuracy of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG), and Ureaplasma urealyticum (UU) when using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). The aim of the present study was to explore the influence of storage time at 4°C on the DNA of these pathogens and its effect on their detection by qRT-PCR. CT, NG, and UU positive genital swabs from 70 patients were collected, and DNA of all samples were extracted and divided into eight aliquots. One aliquot was immediately analyzed with qRT-PCR to assess the initial pathogen load, whereas the remaining samples were stored at 4°C and analyzed after 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28 days. No significant differences in CT, NG, and UU DNA loads were observed between baseline (day 0) and the subsequent time points (days 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28) in any of the 70 samples. Although a slight increase in DNA levels was observed at day 28 compared to day 0, paired sample t-test results revealed no significant differences between the mean DNA levels at different time points following storage at 4°C (all P>0.05). Overall, the CT, UU, and NG DNA loads from all genital swab samples were stable at 4°C over a 28-day period.

  19. Influence of storage time on DNA of Chlamydia trachomatis, Ureaplasma urealyticum, and Neisseria gonorrhoeae for accurate detection by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Y.; Rong, C.Z.; Zhao, J.Y.; Lao, X.J.; Xie, L.; Li, S.; Qin, X.

    2016-01-01

    The shipment and storage conditions of clinical samples pose a major challenge to the detection accuracy of Chlamydia trachomatis (CT), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (NG), and Ureaplasma urealyticum (UU) when using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). The aim of the present study was to explore the influence of storage time at 4°C on the DNA of these pathogens and its effect on their detection by qRT-PCR. CT, NG, and UU positive genital swabs from 70 patients were collected, and DNA of all samples were extracted and divided into eight aliquots. One aliquot was immediately analyzed with qRT-PCR to assess the initial pathogen load, whereas the remaining samples were stored at 4°C and analyzed after 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28 days. No significant differences in CT, NG, and UU DNA loads were observed between baseline (day 0) and the subsequent time points (days 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28) in any of the 70 samples. Although a slight increase in DNA levels was observed at day 28 compared to day 0, paired sample t-test results revealed no significant differences between the mean DNA levels at different time points following storage at 4°C (all P>0.05). Overall, the CT, UU, and NG DNA loads from all genital swab samples were stable at 4°C over a 28-day period. PMID:27580005

  20. Quantitative Assessment of Faculty Workloads. ASHE 1984 Annual Meeting Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shull, H. Eugene

    A system of measuring faculty workloads consistently and objectively has been devised and successfully applied at Pennsylvania State University's Behrend College. Its value is greatest in assessing and balancing the diverse faculty assignments within interdisciplinary and heterogeneous administrative units. It permits a legitimate comparison of…

  1. INCORPORATION OF MOLECULAR ENDPOINTS INTO QUANTITATIVE RISK ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  2. Quantitative Assessments of Sensitivity to Reinforcement Contingencies in Mental Retardation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dube, William V.; McIlvane, William J.

    2002-01-01

    Sensitivity to reinforcement contingencies was examined in six individuals with mental retardation using a concurrent operants procedure in the context of a computer game. Results included individual differences in sensitivity and differential sensitivity to rate and magnitude variation. Results suggest that comprehensive assessments of potential…

  3. Developing a Quantitative Tool for Sustainability Assessment of HEIs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  4. Quantitative assessment of cytosolic Salmonella in epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Knodler, Leigh A; Nair, Vinod; Steele-Mortimer, Olivia

    2014-01-01

    Within mammalian cells, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium) inhabits a membrane-bound vacuole known as the Salmonella-containing vacuole (SCV). We have recently shown that wild type S. Typhimurium also colonizes the cytosol of epithelial cells. Here we sought to quantify the contribution of cytosolic Salmonella to the total population over a time course of infection in different epithelial cell lines and under conditions of altered vacuolar escape. We found that the lysosomotropic agent, chloroquine, acts on vacuolar, but not cytosolic, Salmonella. After chloroquine treatment, vacuolar bacteria are not transcriptionally active or replicative and appear degraded. Using a chloroquine resistance assay, in addition to digitonin permeabilization, we found that S. Typhimurium lyses its nascent vacuole in numerous epithelial cell lines, albeit with different frequencies, and hyper-replication in the cytosol is also widespread. At later times post-infection, cytosolic bacteria account for half of the total population in some epithelial cell lines, namely HeLa and Caco-2 C2Bbe1. Both techniques accurately measured increased vacuole lysis in epithelial cells upon treatment with wortmannin. By chloroquine resistance assay, we also determined that Salmonella pathogenicity island-1 (SPI-1), but not SPI-2, the virulence plasmid nor the flagellar apparatus, was required for vacuolar escape and cytosolic replication in epithelial cells. Together, digitonin permeabilization and the chloroquine resistance assay will be useful, complementary tools for deciphering the mechanisms of SCV lysis and Salmonella replication in the epithelial cell cytosol.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Quantitative assessment of rabbit alveolar macrophage function by chemiluminescence

    SciTech Connect

    Brennan, P.C.; Kirchner, F.R.

    1985-08-01

    Rabbit alveolar macrophages (RAM) were cultured for 24 hr with concentrations ranging from 3 to 12 ..mu..g/ml of vanadium oxide (V/sub 2/O/sub 5/), a known cytotoxic agent, or with high-molecular-weight organic by-products from coal gasification processes. After culture the cells were harvested and tested for functional capacity using three types of indicators: (1) luminol-amplified chemiluminescence (CL), which quantitatively detects photon emission due to respiratory burst activity measured in a newly designed instrument with standardized reagents; (2) the reduction of nitro blue tetrazolium-saturated polyacrylamide beads, a semiquantitative measure of respiratory burst activity; and (3) phagocytic efficiency, defined as percentage of cells incorporating immunoglobulin-coated polyacrylamide beads. Chemiluminescence declined linearly with increasing concentrations of V/sub 2/O/sub 5/ over the dose range tested. Dye reduction and phagocytic efficiency similarly decreased with increasing V/sub 2/O/sub 5/ concentration, but were less sensitive indicators of functional impairment than CL as measured by the amount required to reduce the response to 50% of untreated cells. The effect of coal gasification condensates on RAM function varied, but in general these test also indicated that the CL response was the most sensitive indicator.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Quantitative Assessment of Parametric Uncertainty in Northern Hemisphere PAH Concentrations.

    PubMed

    Thackray, Colin P; Friedman, Carey L; Zhang, Yanxu; Selin, Noelle E

    2015-08-01

    We quantitatively examine the relative importance of uncertainty in emissions and physicochemical properties (including reaction rate constants) to Northern Hemisphere (NH) and Arctic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) concentrations, using a computationally efficient numerical uncertainty technique applied to the global-scale chemical transport model GEOS-Chem. Using polynomial chaos (PC) methods, we propagate uncertainties in physicochemical properties and emissions for the PAHs benzo[a]pyrene, pyrene and phenanthrene to simulated spatially resolved concentration uncertainties. We find that the leading contributors to parametric uncertainty in simulated concentrations are the black carbon-air partition coefficient and oxidation rate constant for benzo[a]pyrene, and the oxidation rate constants for phenanthrene and pyrene. NH geometric average concentrations are more sensitive to uncertainty in the atmospheric lifetime than to emissions rate. We use the PC expansions and measurement data to constrain parameter uncertainty distributions to observations. This narrows a priori parameter uncertainty distributions for phenanthrene and pyrene, and leads to higher values for OH oxidation rate constants and lower values for European PHE emission rates.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ichoku, Charles; Ellison, Luke

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kazakia, Galateia

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    DeVore, Michael D; O'Sullivan, Joseph A

    2004-02-01

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

  13. A quantitative ¹H nuclear magnetic resonance (qHNMR) method for assessing the purity of iridoids and secoiridoids.

    PubMed

    Li, Zeyun; Welbeck, Edward; Yang, Li; He, Chunyong; Hu, Haijun; Song, Ming; Bi, Kaishun; Wang, Zhengtao

    2015-01-01

    This paper utilized a quantitative (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance (qHNMR) method for assessing the purity of iridoids and secoiridoids. The method was fully validated, including specificity, linearity, accuracy, precision, reproducibility, and robustness. For optimization of experimental conditions, several experimental parameters were investigated, including relaxation delay (D1), scan numbers (NS) and power length (PL1). The quantification was based on the area ratios of H-3 from analytes relative to aromatic protons from 1,4-dinitrobenzene (internal standard) with methanol-d4 as solvent. Five iridoids and secoiridoids (sweroside, swertiamarin, gentiopicroside, geniposide, genipin) were analyzed. Furthermore, the results were validated by the high performance liquid chromatography coupled with ultraviolet detection (HPLC-UV) method. It can be concluded that the qHNMR method was simple, rapid, and accurate, providing a reliable and superior method for assessing the purity of iridoids and secoiridoids.

  14. A quantitative epigenetic approach for the assessment of cigarette consumption

    PubMed Central

    Philibert, Robert; Hollenbeck, Nancy; Andersen, Eleanor; Osborn, Terry; Gerrard, Meg; Gibbons, Frederick X.; Wang, Kai

    2015-01-01

    Smoking is the largest preventable cause of morbidity and mortality in the world. Despite the development of numerous preventive and treatment interventions, the rate of daily smoking in the United States is still approximately 22%. Effective psychosocial interventions and pharmacologic agents exist for the prevention and treatment of smoking. Unfortunately, both approaches are hindered by our inability to accurately quantify amount of cigarette consumption from the point of initial experimentation to the point of total dependency. Recently, we and others have demonstrated that smoking is associated with genome-wide changes in DNA methylation. However, whether this advance in basic science can be employed as a reliable assay that is useful for clinical diagnosis and treatment has not been shown. In this communication, we determine the sensitivity and specificity of five of the most consistently replicated CpG loci with respect to smoking status using data from a publically available dataset. We show that methylation status at a CpG locus in the aryl hydrocarbon receptor repressor, cg05575921, is both sensitive and specific for smoking status in adults with a receiver operated curve characteristic area under the curve of 0.99. Given recent demonstrations that methylation at this locus reflects both intensity of smoking and the degree of smoking cessation, we conclude that a methylation-based diagnostic at this locus could have a prominent role in understanding the impact of new products, such as e-cigarettes on initiation of cigarette smoking among adolescents, while improving the prevention and treatment of smoking, and smoking related disorders. PMID:26082730

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1985-01-01

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

  17. Aliasing as noise - A quantitative and qualitative assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Park, Stephen K.; Hazra, Rajeeb

    1993-01-01

    We present a model-based argument that, for the purposes of system design and digital image processing, aliasing should be treated as signal-dependent additive noise. By using a computational simulation based on this model, we process (high resolution images of) natural scenes in a way which enables the 'aliased component' of the reconstructed image to be isolated unambiguously. We demonstrate that our model-based argument leads naturally to system design metrics which quantify the extent of aliasing. And, by illustrating several aliased component images, we provide a qualitative assessment of aliasing as noise.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Quantitative cancer risk assessment for dioxins using an occupational cohort.

    PubMed Central

    Becher, H; Steindorf, K; Flesch-Janys, D

    1998-01-01

    We consider a cohort of 1189 male German factory workers (production period 1952-1984) who produced phenoxy herbicides and were exposed to dioxins. Follow-up until the end of 1992 yielded a significantly increased standardized mortality ratio (SMR) for total cancer (SMR 141; 95% confidence interval 117-168). 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) concentrations up to 2252 ng/kg body fat were measured in 275 cohort members. Other higher chlorinated dioxins and furans also occurred in high concentrations. For quantitative analysis, the integrated TCDD concentration over time was used as an exposure variable, which was calculated using results from half-life estimation for TCDD and workplace history data. The other congeners were expressed as toxic equivalency (TEQ) and compared to TCDD using international toxic equivalency factors. Poisson and Cox regressions were used to investigate dose-response relationships. Various covariables (e.g., exposure to beta-hexachlorocyclohexane, employment characteristics) were considered. In all analyses, TCDD and TEQ exposures were related to total cancer mortality. The power model yielded a relative risk (RR) function RR(x) = (1 + 0.17x)0.326 for TCDD (in microgram/kilogram blood fat x years)--only a slightly better fit than a linear RR function--and RR(x) = (1 + 0.023x)0.795 for TEQ. Investigations on latency did not show strong effects. Different methods were applied to investigate the robustness of the results and yielded almost identical results. The results were used for unit risk estimation. Taking into account different sources of variation, an interval of 10(-3) to 10(-2) for the additional lifetime cancer risk under a daily intake of 1 pg TCDD/kg body weight/day was estimated from the dose-response models considered. Uncertainties regarding the dose-response function remain. These data did not indicate the existence of a threshold value; however, such a value cannot be excluded with any certainty. PMID:9599714

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-08-01

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

  4. [The concept of amnesia and quantitative assessment of amnesic disorders].

    PubMed

    Metzler, P; Rudolph, M; Voshage, J; Nickel, B

    1991-06-01

    This article presents first a short historical overview of the different viewpoints concerning psychiatric approaches to define the concept "amnesia" (Ribot, Korsakow, K. Schneider, Bleuler, Bonhoeffer et al.). A generally accepted result is the differentiation between retrograde and anterograde amnesia. Research work of the last two decades has focussed on the experimental investigation of anterograde amnesia, the so-called amnesic syndrome. In this context four main factors responsible for memory performance are distinguished: encoding, retrieval, forgetting and interference. One of the main results of neuropsychological research in amnesia consists in having discovered a set of symptoms or features common to most if not all forms of amnesia. These features appear regardless of etiology and locus of lesion. This set or features is described in detail in the paper. On the basis of these amnesic features a clinical test was developed, the Berliner Amnesie Test (BAT). This standardized test can be used for the assessment from mild up to severe memory disorders.

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

    PubMed

    Chamberlain, Samuel; Modarres, Mohammad

    2005-04-01

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

  6. An educationally inspired illustration of two-dimensional Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment (QMRA) and sensitivity analysis.

    PubMed

    Vásquez, G A; Busschaert, P; Haberbeck, L U; Uyttendaele, M; Geeraerd, A H

    2014-11-01

    Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment (QMRA) is a structured methodology used to assess the risk involved by ingestion of a pathogen. It applies mathematical models combined with an accurate exploitation of data sets, represented by distributions and - in the case of two-dimensional Monte Carlo simulations - their hyperparameters. This research aims to highlight background information, assumptions and truncations of a two-dimensional QMRA and advanced sensitivity analysis. We believe that such a detailed listing is not always clearly presented in actual risk assessment studies, while it is essential to ensure reliable and realistic simulations and interpretations. As a case-study, we are considering the occurrence of listeriosis in smoked fish products in Belgium during the period 2008-2009, using two-dimensional Monte Carlo and two sensitivity analysis methods (Spearman correlation and Sobol sensitivity indices) to estimate the most relevant factors of the final risk estimate. A risk estimate of 0.018% per consumption of contaminated smoked fish by an immunocompromised person was obtained. The final estimate of listeriosis cases (23) is within the actual reported result obtained for the same period and for the same population. Variability on the final risk estimate is determined by the variability regarding (i) consumer refrigerator temperatures, (ii) the reference growth rate of L. monocytogenes, (iii) the minimum growth temperature of L. monocytogenes and (iv) consumer portion size. Variability regarding the initial contamination level of L. monocytogenes tends to appear as a determinant of risk variability only when the minimum growth temperature is not included in the sensitivity analysis; when it is included the impact regarding the variability on the initial contamination level of L. monocytogenes is disappearing. Uncertainty determinants of the final risk indicated the need of gathering more information on the reference growth rate and the minimum

  7. An educationally inspired illustration of two-dimensional Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment (QMRA) and sensitivity analysis.

    PubMed

    Vásquez, G A; Busschaert, P; Haberbeck, L U; Uyttendaele, M; Geeraerd, A H

    2014-11-01

    Quantitative Microbiological Risk Assessment (QMRA) is a structured methodology used to assess the risk involved by ingestion of a pathogen. It applies mathematical models combined with an accurate exploitation of data sets, represented by distributions and - in the case of two-dimensional Monte Carlo simulations - their hyperparameters. This research aims to highlight background information, assumptions and truncations of a two-dimensional QMRA and advanced sensitivity analysis. We believe that such a detailed listing is not always clearly presented in actual risk assessment studies, while it is essential to ensure reliable and realistic simulations and interpretations. As a case-study, we are considering the occurrence of listeriosis in smoked fish products in Belgium during the period 2008-2009, using two-dimensional Monte Carlo and two sensitivity analysis methods (Spearman correlation and Sobol sensitivity indices) to estimate the most relevant factors of the final risk estimate. A risk estimate of 0.018% per consumption of contaminated smoked fish by an immunocompromised person was obtained. The final estimate of listeriosis cases (23) is within the actual reported result obtained for the same period and for the same population. Variability on the final risk estimate is determined by the variability regarding (i) consumer refrigerator temperatures, (ii) the reference growth rate of L. monocytogenes, (iii) the minimum growth temperature of L. monocytogenes and (iv) consumer portion size. Variability regarding the initial contamination level of L. monocytogenes tends to appear as a determinant of risk variability only when the minimum growth temperature is not included in the sensitivity analysis; when it is included the impact regarding the variability on the initial contamination level of L. monocytogenes is disappearing. Uncertainty determinants of the final risk indicated the need of gathering more information on the reference growth rate and the minimum

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  9. Methodological issues in the quantitative assessment of quality of life.

    PubMed

    Panagiotakos, Demosthenes B; Yfantopoulos, John N

    2011-10-01

    The term quality of life can be identified in Aristotle's classical writings of 330 BC. In his Nichomachian ethics he recognises the multiple relationships between happiness, well-being, "eudemonia" and quality of life. Historically the concept of quality of life has undergone various interpretations. It involves personal experience, perceptions and beliefs, attitudes concerning philosophical, cultural, spiritual, psychological, political, and financial aspects of everyday living. Quality of life has been extensively used both as an outcome and an explanatory factor in relation to human health, in various clinical trials, epidemiologic studies and health interview surveys. Because of the variations in the definition of quality of life, both in theory and in practice, there are also a wide range of procedures that are used to assess quality of life. In this paper several methodological issues regarding the tools used to evaluate quality of life is discussed. In summary, the use of components consisted of large number of classes, as well as the use of specific weights for each scale component, and the low-to-moderate inter-correlation level between the components, is evident from simulated and empirical studies.

  10. Validation of a quantitative phosphorus loss assessment tool.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Validation of a quantitative phosphorus loss assessment tool.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Quantitative assessments of ecological impact/recovery in freshwater systems

    SciTech Connect

    Birge, W.J.; Keogh, D.P.; Zuiderveen, J.A.; Robison, W.A.

    1994-12-31

    Long-term studies were under taken to evaluate the fidelity of multi-metric scoring systems, and other means of quantifying effects of chemical stresses on aquatic ecosystems. Integrity of macroinvertebrate communities was assessed using the Rapid Bioassessment Protocol III; Brillouin and Shannon-Weaver diversity indices; judgment based on traditional parameters of species richness, abundance and trophic group assemblages, and cluster analysis. In addition, chemical and toxicological monitoring data and periphyton studies were used in these evaluations. Surveys were performed at 8 or more stations selected for comparable conditions, including upstream reference and downstream recovery areas. In two streams, ecological impact varied from severe to extreme near point-source outfalls and decreased progressively with downstream distance. Station to station scoring with Protocol III and diversity indices correlated well with independent chemical and toxicological evaluations. However, in metal-stressed streams affected by slight to moderate impact, or which were in early recovery, Protocol III scoring and other family-level metrics did not consistently reflect losses in species richness and mean abundance of up to 32% and 75%, respectively. Observations on deformities (e.g., eyespots, gills), selected subfamily and species-level metrics, including ratios of metal sensitive to metal tolerant chironomids, gave greater accuracy in characterizing marginal to moderate perturbations. Observations on fugitive and opportunistic species also were useful.

  14. Qualitative and Quantitative Assessment of Four Marketed Formulations of Brahmi

    PubMed Central

    Saini, Neeti; Mathur, Rajani; Agrawal, S. S.

    2012-01-01

    This study was conducted with the aim to compare two batches each of four popular commercial formulations of Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi), and report, if any, inter-batch variations. The formulations were procured from local market and analyzed for label specifications, uniformity of weight of capsule, identity, purity and strength parameters (total ash content test, acid insoluble ash content, water soluble extractive, alcohol soluble extractive, loss on drying). Bacoside A, one of the pharmacologically active saponin present in B. monnieri, was quantified in all the formulations using UV-spectrophotometer. In addition each formulation was assessed and compared for variation in biological activity using in vitro test for hemolytic activity using human erythrocytes. The results of the study show that there is a wide variation in the quality and content of herbal drugs marketed by different manufacturers. More importantly this study demonstrates that there exists a bigger challenge of batch-to-batch variation in the quality and content of herbal formulations of the same manufacturer. This challenge of providing standardized formulations is being faced by not any one manufacturing house but by all, and may be attributed firstly to, lack of stringent regulations and secondly to high variability in raw material quality. PMID:23204618

  15. Qualitative and quantitative assessment of four marketed formulations of brahmi.

    PubMed

    Saini, Neeti; Mathur, Rajani; Agrawal, S S

    2012-01-01

    This study was conducted with the aim to compare two batches each of four popular commercial formulations of Bacopa monnieri (Brahmi), and report, if any, inter-batch variations. The formulations were procured from local market and analyzed for label specifications, uniformity of weight of capsule, identity, purity and strength parameters (total ash content test, acid insoluble ash content, water soluble extractive, alcohol soluble extractive, loss on drying). Bacoside A, one of the pharmacologically active saponin present in B. monnieri, was quantified in all the formulations using UV-spectrophotometer. In addition each formulation was assessed and compared for variation in biological activity using in vitro test for hemolytic activity using human erythrocytes. The results of the study show that there is a wide variation in the quality and content of herbal drugs marketed by different manufacturers. More importantly this study demonstrates that there exists a bigger challenge of batch-to-batch variation in the quality and content of herbal formulations of the same manufacturer. This challenge of providing standardized formulations is being faced by not any one manufacturing house but by all, and may be attributed firstly to, lack of stringent regulations and secondly to high variability in raw material quality.

  16. Quantitative use of photography in orthognathic outcome assessment.

    PubMed

    Edler, R J; Wertheim, D; Greenhill, D; Jaisinghani, A

    2011-03-01

    This study reports an independent audit of two aspects of orthognathic surgery, namely control of inter-alar width and mandibular outline asymmetry. Measurements were taken from standardized photographs of a consecutive series of 27 patients, using an on-screen digitizing program (IPTool). All patients had undergone bimaxillary osteotomies involving maxillary impaction and/or advancement, by one surgeon, using a cinch suture for nasal width control. Nine-twelve months after surgery, inter-alar width had increased by just 0.08 cm mean (SD 0.3). Four patients showed an increase of just over 2mm, whilst six showed a small reduction. Based on ratios of size (area) and shape (compactness) of the right and left mandibular segments, there was a small overall improvement in mandibular symmetry (0.019 and 0.005 respectively). Whilst in most of the patients the need for surgery was primarily the correction of antero-posterior and vertical discrepancies, five patients with demonstrable asymmetry showed a clear improvement. In three patients whose asymmetry scores were very mild pre-treatment, there was a small, measured increase in asymmetry, but not to a degree that would be clinically noticeable. At a time when 3D imaging is still unavailable to many clinicians, the results of this study suggest that appropriate measurements taken from carefully standardized conventional photographs can provide a valid and objective means of assessing treatment outcome.

  17. Quantitative assessments of ecological impact/recovery in freshwater systems

    SciTech Connect

    Birge, W.J.; Keogh, D.P.; Zuiderveen, J.A. |

    1995-12-31

    Long-term studies were undertaken to evaluate the fidelity of multi-metric scoring systems, and other means of quantifying effects of chemical stresses on aquatic biota. Integrity of macroinvertebrate communities was assessed using the Rapid Bioassessment Protocol III; trophic group analysis, diversity indices and various individual parameters, including species richness, abundance and indicator species. In addition, chemical and toxicological monitoring data and periphyton studies were used in the evaluations. Surveys were performed at monitoring stations selected for comparable conditions, and included upstream reference and downstream recovery areas. In two streams, ecological impact varied from severe to extreme near point-source outfalls and decreased progressively with distance downstream. Station to station scoring with Protocol III and diversity indices correlated well with independent chemical and toxicological evaluations. However, in metal-stressed streams affected by slight to moderate impact, or which were in early recovery, Protocol III scoring and other family-level metrics did not consistently reflect losses in species richness and mean abundance up to 32% and 75%, respectively. Observations on morphological deformities (e.g., eyespots, gills), selected subfamily and species-level metrics, including ratios of metal sensitive to metal tolerant chironomids, gave greater accuracy in characterizing low to moderate perturbations. However, in conclusion, it appeared that marginal losses in biodiversity over time may not be detectable with current procedures. Major factors affecting precision included the normal range of seasonal and annual fluctuations in ecological parameters within and among stream systems, inadequate historical data, as well as drought and high water events.

  18. Quantitative assessment of corpus callosum morphology in periventricular nodular heterotopia.

    PubMed

    Pardoe, Heath R; Mandelstam, Simone A; Hiess, Rebecca Kucharsky; Kuzniecky, Ruben I; Jackson, Graeme D

    2015-01-01

    We investigated systematic differences in corpus callosum morphology in periventricular nodular heterotopia (PVNH). Differences in corpus callosum mid-sagittal area and subregional area changes were measured using an automated software-based method. Heterotopic gray matter deposits were automatically labeled and compared with corpus callosum changes. The spatial pattern of corpus callosum changes were interpreted in the context of the characteristic anterior-posterior development of the corpus callosum in healthy individuals. Individuals with periventricular nodular heterotopia were imaged at the Melbourne Brain Center or as part of the multi-site Epilepsy Phenome Genome project. Whole brain T1 weighted MRI was acquired in cases (n=48) and controls (n=663). The corpus callosum was segmented on the mid-sagittal plane using the software "yuki". Heterotopic gray matter and intracranial brain volume was measured using Freesurfer. Differences in corpus callosum area and subregional areas were assessed, as well as the relationship between corpus callosum area and heterotopic GM volume. The anterior-posterior distribution of corpus callosum changes and heterotopic GM nodules were quantified using a novel metric and compared with each other. Corpus callosum area was reduced by 14% in PVNH (p=1.59×10(-9)). The magnitude of the effect was least in the genu (7% reduction) and greatest in the isthmus and splenium (26% reduction). Individuals with higher heterotopic GM volume had a smaller corpus callosum. Heterotopic GM volume was highest in posterior brain regions, however there was no linear relationship between the anterior-posterior position of corpus callosum changes and PVNH nodules. Reduced corpus callosum area is strongly associated with PVNH, and is probably associated with abnormal brain development in this neurological disorder. The primarily posterior corpus callosum changes may inform our understanding of the etiology of PVNH. Our results suggest that

  19. Real Time Quantitative Radiological Monitoring Equipment for Environmental Assessment

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-03-01

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

  20. Towards quantitative ecological risk assessment of elevated carbon dioxide levels in the marine environment.

    PubMed

    de Vries, Pepijn; Tamis, Jacqueline E; Foekema, Edwin M; Klok, Chris; Murk, Albertinka J

    2013-08-30

    The environmental impact of elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels has become of more interest in recent years. This, in relation to globally rising CO2 levels and related considerations of geological CO2 storage as a mitigating measure. In the present study effect data from literature were collected in order to conduct a marine ecological risk assessment of elevated CO2 levels, using a Species Sensitivity Distribution (SSD). It became evident that information currently available from the literature is mostly insufficient for such a quantitative approach. Most studies focus on effects of expected future CO2 levels, testing only one or two elevated concentrations. A full dose-response relationship, a uniform measure of exposure, and standardized test protocols are essential for conducting a proper quantitative risk assessment of elevated CO2 levels. Improvements are proposed to make future tests more valuable and usable for quantitative risk assessment.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-02-01

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

  2. The quantitative assessment of domino effects caused by overpressure. Part I. Probit models.

    PubMed

    Cozzani, Valerio; Salzano, Ernesto

    2004-03-19

    Accidents caused by domino effect are among the more severe that took place in the chemical and process industry. However, a well established and widely accepted methodology for the quantitative assessment of domino accidents contribution to industrial risk is still missing. Hence, available data on damage to process equipment caused by blast waves were revised in the framework of quantitative risk analysis, aiming at the quantitative assessment of domino effects caused by overpressure. Specific probit models were derived for several categories of process equipment and were compared to other literature approaches for the prediction of probability of damage of equipment loaded by overpressure. The results evidence the importance of using equipment-specific models for the probability of damage and equipment-specific damage threshold values, rather than general equipment correlation, which may lead to errors up to 500%. PMID:15072815

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

    PubMed

    White, Paul A; Johnson, George E

    2016-05-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

    Interspecies e...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  8. Effect of Teacher Specialized Training on Limited English Speaking Students' Assessment Outcomes: Quantitative Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Palaroan, Michelle A.

    2009-01-01

    The quantitative study was a comparison of Limited English Proficient (LEP) students' assessment outcomes when taught by a teacher with specialized training and when taught by teachers with no specialized training. The comparison of 2007-2008 Northern Nevada LEP third grade student scores in the content areas of English language arts and…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sellmann, Daniela; Bogner, Franz X.

    2013-01-01

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

  10. A Quantitative Synthesis of Developmental Disability Research: The Impact of Functional Assessment Methodology on Treatment Effectiveness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Delfs, Caitlin H.; Campbell, Jonathan M.

    2010-01-01

    Methods and outcomes from functional behavioral assessment have been researched widely over the past twenty-five years. However, several important research questions have yet to be examined sufficiently. This quantitative review of developmental disability research aims to make comparisons of different functional behavioral assessment…

  11. The application of intraoperative transit time flow measurement to accurately assess anastomotic quality in sequential vein grafting

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Yang; Zhang, Fan; Gao, Ming-Xin; Li, Hai-Tao; Li, Jing-Xing; Song, Wei; Huang, Xin-Sheng; Gu, Cheng-Xiong

    2013-01-01

    OBJECTIVES Intraoperative transit time flow measurement (TTFM) is widely used to assess anastomotic quality in coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG). However, in sequential vein grafting, the flow characteristics collected by the conventional TTFM method are usually associated with total graft flow and might not accurately indicate the quality of every distal anastomosis in a sequential graft. The purpose of our study was to examine a new TTFM method that could assess the quality of each distal anastomosis in a sequential graft more reliably than the conventional TTFM approach. METHODS Two TTFM methods were tested in 84 patients who underwent sequential saphenous off-pump CABG in Beijing An Zhen Hospital between April and August 2012. In the conventional TTFM method, normal blood flow in the sequential graft was maintained during the measurement, and the flow probe was placed a few centimetres above the anastomosis to be evaluated. In the new method, blood flow in the sequential graft was temporarily reduced during the measurement by placing an atraumatic bulldog clamp at the graft a few centimetres distal to the anastomosis to be evaluated, while the position of the flow probe remained the same as in the conventional method. This new TTFM method was named the flow reduction TTFM. Graft flow parameters measured by both methods were compared. RESULTS Compared with the conventional TTFM, the flow reduction TTFM resulted in significantly lower mean graft blood flow (P < 0.05); in contrast, yielded significantly higher pulsatility index (P < 0.05). Diastolic filling was not significantly different between the two methods and was >50% in both cases. Interestingly, the flow reduction TTFM identified two defective middle distal anastomoses that the conventional TTFM failed to detect. Graft flows near the defective distal anastomoses were improved substantially after revision. CONCLUSIONS In this study, we found that temporary reduction of graft flow during TTFM seemed to

  12. Can Community Health Workers Report Accurately on Births and Deaths? Results of Field Assessments in Ethiopia, Malawi and Mali

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Romesh; Amouzou, Agbessi; Munos, Melinda; Marsh, Andrew; Hazel, Elizabeth; Victora, Cesar; Black, Robert; Bryce, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Most low-income countries lack complete and accurate vital registration systems. As a result, measures of under-five mortality rates rely mostly on household surveys. In collaboration with partners in Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, and Mali, we assessed the completeness and accuracy of reporting of births and deaths by community-based health workers, and the accuracy of annualized under-five mortality rate estimates derived from these data. Here we report on results from Ethiopia, Malawi and Mali. Method In all three countries, community health workers (CHWs) were trained, equipped and supported to report pregnancies, births and deaths within defined geographic areas over a period of at least fifteen months. In-country institutions collected these data every month. At each study site, we administered a full birth history (FBH) or full pregnancy history (FPH), to women of reproductive age via a census of households in Mali and via household surveys in Ethiopia and Malawi. Using these FBHs/FPHs as a validation data source, we assessed the completeness of the counts of births and deaths and the accuracy of under-five, infant, and neonatal mortality rates from the community-based method against the retrospective FBH/FPH for rolling twelve-month periods. For each method we calculated total cost, average annual cost per 1,000 population, and average cost per vital event reported. Results On average, CHWs submitted monthly vital event reports for over 95 percent of catchment areas in Ethiopia and Malawi, and for 100 percent of catchment areas in Mali. The completeness of vital events reporting by CHWs varied: we estimated that 30%-90% of annualized expected births (i.e. the number of births estimated using a FPH) were documented by CHWs and 22%-91% of annualized expected under-five deaths were documented by CHWs. Resulting annualized under-five mortality rates based on the CHW vital events reporting were, on average, under-estimated by 28% in Ethiopia, 32% in

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. Quantitative imaging biomarkers: a review of statistical methods for technical performance assessment.

    PubMed

    Raunig, David L; McShane, Lisa M; Pennello, Gene; Gatsonis, Constantine; Carson, Paul L; Voyvodic, James T; Wahl, Richard L; Kurland, Brenda F; Schwarz, Adam J; Gönen, Mithat; Zahlmann, Gudrun; Kondratovich, Marina V; O'Donnell, Kevin; Petrick, Nicholas; Cole, Patricia E; Garra, Brian; Sullivan, Daniel C

    2015-02-01

    Technological developments and greater rigor in the quantitative measurement of biological features in medical images have given rise to an increased interest in using quantitative imaging biomarkers to measure changes in these features. Critical to the performance of a quantitative imaging biomarker in preclinical or clinical settings are three primary metrology areas of interest: measurement linearity and bias, repeatability, and the ability to consistently reproduce equivalent results when conditions change, as would be expected in any clinical trial. Unfortunately, performance studies to date differ greatly in designs, analysis method, and metrics used to assess a quantitative imaging biomarker for clinical use. It is therefore difficult or not possible to integrate results from different studies or to use reported results to design studies. The Radiological Society of North America and the Quantitative Imaging Biomarker Alliance with technical, radiological, and statistical experts developed a set of technical performance analysis methods, metrics, and study designs that provide terminology, metrics, and methods consistent with widely accepted metrological standards. This document provides a consistent framework for the conduct and evaluation of quantitative imaging biomarker performance studies so that results from multiple studies can be compared, contrasted, or combined.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Sewage sludge toxicity assessment using earthworm Eisenia fetida: can biochemical and histopathological analysis provide fast and accurate insight?

    PubMed

    Babić, S; Barišić, J; Malev, O; Klobučar, G; Popović, N Topić; Strunjak-Perović, I; Krasnići, N; Čož-Rakovac, R; Klobučar, R Sauerborn

    2016-06-01

    Sewage sludge (SS) is a complex organic by-product of wastewater treatment plants. Deposition of large amounts of SS can increase the risk of soil contamination. Therefore, there is an increasing need for fast and accurate assessment of SS toxic potential. Toxic effects of SS were tested on earthworm Eisenia fetida tissue, at the subcellular and biochemical level. Earthworms were exposed to depot sludge (DS) concentration ratio of 30 or 70 %, to undiluted and to 100 and 10 times diluted active sludge (AS). The exposure to DS lasted for 24/48 h (acute exposure), 96 h (semi-acute exposure) and 7/14/28 days (sub-chronic exposure) and 48 h for AS. Toxic effects were tested by the measurements of multixenobiotic resistance mechanism (MXR) activity and lipid peroxidation levels, as well as the observation of morphological alterations and behavioural changes. Biochemical markers confirmed the presence of MXR inhibitors in the tested AS and DS and highlighted the presence of SS-induced oxidative stress. The MXR inhibition and thiobarbituric acid reactive substance (TBARS) concentration in the whole earthworm's body were higher after the exposition to lower concentration of the DS. Furthermore, histopathological changes revealed damage to earthworm body wall tissue layers as well as to the epithelial and chloragogen cells in the typhlosole region. These changes were proportional to SS concentration in tested soils and to exposure duration. Obtained results may contribute to the understanding of SS-induced toxic effects on terrestrial invertebrates exposed through soil contact and to identify defence mechanisms of earthworms. PMID:26971513

  18. Comparison study on qualitative and quantitative risk assessment methods for urban natural gas pipeline network.

    PubMed

    Han, Z Y; Weng, W G

    2011-05-15

    In this paper, a qualitative and a quantitative risk assessment methods for urban natural gas pipeline network are proposed. The qualitative method is comprised of an index system, which includes a causation index, an inherent risk index, a consequence index and their corresponding weights. The quantitative method consists of a probability assessment, a consequences analysis and a risk evaluation. The outcome of the qualitative method is a qualitative risk value, and for quantitative method the outcomes are individual risk and social risk. In comparison with previous research, the qualitative method proposed in this paper is particularly suitable for urban natural gas pipeline network, and the quantitative method takes different consequences of accidents into consideration, such as toxic gas diffusion, jet flame, fire ball combustion and UVCE. Two sample urban natural gas pipeline networks are used to demonstrate these two methods. It is indicated that both of the two methods can be applied to practical application, and the choice of the methods depends on the actual basic data of the gas pipelines and the precision requirements of risk assessment.

  19. A no-gold-standard technique for objective assessment of quantitative nuclear-medicine imaging methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jha, Abhinav K.; Caffo, Brian; Frey, Eric C.

    2016-04-01

    The objective optimization and evaluation of nuclear-medicine quantitative imaging methods using patient data is highly desirable but often hindered by the lack of a gold standard. Previously, a regression-without-truth (RWT) approach has been proposed for evaluating quantitative imaging methods in the absence of a gold standard, but this approach implicitly assumes that bounds on the distribution of true values are known. Several quantitative imaging methods in nuclear-medicine imaging measure parameters where these bounds are not known, such as the activity concentration in an organ or the volume of a tumor. We extended upon the RWT approach to develop a no-gold-standard (NGS) technique for objectively evaluating such quantitative nuclear-medicine imaging methods with patient data in the absence of any ground truth. Using the parameters estimated with the NGS technique, a figure of merit, the noise-to-slope ratio (NSR), can be computed, which can rank the methods on the basis of precision. An issue with NGS evaluation techniques is the requirement of a large number of patient studies. To reduce this requirement, the proposed method explored the use of multiple quantitative measurements from the same patient, such as the activity concentration values from different organs in the same patient. The proposed technique was evaluated using rigorous numerical experiments and using data from realistic simulation studies. The numerical experiments demonstrated that the NSR was estimated accurately using the proposed NGS technique when the bounds on the distribution of true values were not precisely known, thus serving as a very reliable metric for ranking the methods on the basis of precision. In the realistic simulation study, the NGS technique was used to rank reconstruction methods for quantitative single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) based on their performance on the task of estimating the mean activity concentration within a known volume of interest

  20. A no-gold-standard technique for objective assessment of quantitative nuclear-medicine imaging methods.

    PubMed

    Jha, Abhinav K; Caffo, Brian; Frey, Eric C

    2016-04-01

    The objective optimization and evaluation of nuclear-medicine quantitative imaging methods using patient data is highly desirable but often hindered by the lack of a gold standard. Previously, a regression-without-truth (RWT) approach has been proposed for evaluating quantitative imaging methods in the absence of a gold standard, but this approach implicitly assumes that bounds on the distribution of true values are known. Several quantitative imaging methods in nuclear-medicine imaging measure parameters where these bounds are not known, such as the activity concentration in an organ or the volume of a tumor. We extended upon the RWT approach to develop a no-gold-standard (NGS) technique for objectively evaluating such quantitative nuclear-medicine imaging methods with patient data in the absence of any ground truth. Using the parameters estimated with the NGS technique, a figure of merit, the noise-to-slope ratio (NSR), can be computed, which can rank the methods on the basis of precision. An issue with NGS evaluation techniques is the requirement of a large number of patient studies. To reduce this requirement, the proposed method explored the use of multiple quantitative measurements from the same patient, such as the activity concentration values from different organs in the same patient. The proposed technique was evaluated using rigorous numerical experiments and using data from realistic simulation studies. The numerical experiments demonstrated that the NSR was estimated accurately using the proposed NGS technique when the bounds on the distribution of true values were not precisely known, thus serving as a very reliable metric for ranking the methods on the basis of precision. In the realistic simulation study, the NGS technique was used to rank reconstruction methods for quantitative single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) based on their performance on the task of estimating the mean activity concentration within a known volume of interest

  1. Quantitative assessment of hydrocarbon contamination in soil using reflectance spectroscopy: a "multipath" approach.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, Guy; Ben-Dor, Eyal; Eshel, Gil

    2013-11-01

    Petroleum hydrocarbons are contaminants of great significance. The commonly used analytic method for assessing total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) in soil samples is based on extraction with 1,1,2-Trichlorotrifluoroethane (Freon 113), a substance prohibited to use by the Environmental Protection Agency. During the past 20 years, a new quantitative methodology that uses the reflected radiation of solids has been widely adopted. By using this approach, the reflectance radiation across the visible, near infrared-shortwave infrared region (400-2500 nm) is modeled against constituents determined using traditional analytic chemistry methods and then used to predict unknown samples. This technology is environmentally friendly and permits rapid and cost-effective measurements of large numbers of samples. Thus, this method dramatically reduces chemical analytical costs and secondary pollution, enabling a new dimension of environmental monitoring. In this study we adapted this approach and developed effective steps in which hydrocarbon contamination in soils can be determined rapidly, accurately, and cost effectively solely from reflectance spectroscopy. Artificial contaminated samples were analyzed chemically and spectrally to form a database of five soils contaminated with three types of petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs), creating 15 datasets of 48 samples each at contamination levels of 50-5000 wt% ppm (parts per million). A brute force preprocessing approach was used by combining eight different preprocessing techniques with all possible datasets, resulting in 120 different mutations for each dataset. The brute force was done based on an innovative computing system developed for this study. A new parameter for evaluating model performance scoring (MPS) is proposed based on a combination of several common statistical parameters. The effect of dividing the data into training validation and test sets on modeling accuracy is also discussed. The results of this study clearly show

  2. A quantitative microbial risk assessment for meatborne Toxoplasma gondii infection in The Netherlands.

    PubMed

    Opsteegh, Marieke; Prickaerts, Saskia; Frankena, Klaas; Evers, Eric G

    2011-11-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an important foodborne pathogen, and the cause of a high disease burden due to congenital toxoplasmosis in The Netherlands. The aim of this study was to quantify the relative contribution of sheep, beef and pork products to human T. gondii infections by Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment (QMRA). Bradyzoite concentration and portion size data were used to estimate the bradyzoite number in infected unprocessed portions for human consumption. The reduction factors for salting, freezing and heating as estimated based on published experiments in mice, were subsequently used to estimate the bradyzoite number in processed portions. A dose-response relation for T. gondii infection in mice was used to estimate the human probability of infection due to consumption of these originally infected processed portions. By multiplying these probabilities with the prevalence of T. gondii per livestock species and the number of portions consumed per year, the number of infections per year was calculated for the susceptible Dutch population and the subpopulation of susceptible pregnant women. QMRA results predict high numbers of infections per year with beef as the most important source. Although many uncertainties were present in the data and the number of congenital infections predicted by the model was almost twenty times higher than the number estimated based on the incidence in newborns, the usefulness of the advice to thoroughly heat meat is confirmed by our results. Forty percent of all predicted infections is due to the consumption of unheated meat products, and sensitivity analysis indicates that heating temperature has the strongest influence on the predicted number of infections. The results also demonstrate that, even with a low prevalence of infection in cattle, consumption of beef remains an important source of infection. Developing this QMRA model has helped identify important gaps of knowledge and resulted in the following recommendations for

  3. Quantitative Assessment of Effect of Preanalytic Cold Ischemic Time on Protein Expression in Breast Cancer Tissues

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Companion diagnostic tests can depend on accurate measurement of protein expression in tissues. Preanalytic variables, especially cold ischemic time (time from tissue removal to fixation in formalin) can affect the measurement and may cause false-negative results. We examined 23 proteins, including four commonly used breast cancer biomarker proteins, to quantify their sensitivity to cold ischemia in breast cancer tissues. Methods A series of 93 breast cancer specimens with known time-to-fixation represented in a tissue microarray and a second series of 25 matched pairs of core needle biopsies and breast cancer resections were used to evaluate changes in antigenicity as a function of cold ischemic time. Estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PgR), HER2 or Ki67, and 19 other antigens were tested. Each antigen was measured using the AQUA method of quantitative immunofluorescence on at least one series. All statistical tests were two-sided. Results We found no evidence for loss of antigenicity with time-to-fixation for ER, PgR, HER2, or Ki67 in a 4-hour time window. However, with a bootstrapping analysis, we observed a trend toward loss for ER and PgR, a statistically significant loss of antigenicity for phosphorylated tyrosine (P = .0048), and trends toward loss for other proteins. There was evidence of increased antigenicity in acetylated lysine, AKAP13 (P = .009), and HIF1A (P = .046), which are proteins known to be expressed in conditions of hypoxia. The loss of antigenicity for phosphorylated tyrosine and increase in expression of AKAP13, and HIF1A were confirmed in the biopsy/resection series. Conclusions Key breast cancer biomarkers show no evidence of loss of antigenicity, although this dataset assesses the relatively short time beyond the 1-hour limit in recent guidelines. Other proteins show changes in antigenicity in both directions. Future studies that extend the time range and normalize for heterogeneity will provide more comprehensive

  4. Quantitative Risk Assessment of CO2 Sequestration in a commerical-scale EOR Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, F.; McPherson, B. J. O. L.; Dai, Z.; Jia, W.; Lee, S. Y.; Ampomah, W.; Viswanathan, H. S.

    2015-12-01

    Enhanced Oil Recovery with CO2 (CO2-EOR) is perhaps the most feasible option for geologic CO2 sequestration (GCS), if only due to existing infrastructure and economic opportunities of associated oil production. Probably the most significant source of uncertainty of CO2 storage forecasts is heterogeneity of reservoir properties. Quantification of storage forecast uncertainty is critical for accurate assessment of risks associated with GCS in EOR fields. This study employs a response surface methodology (RSM) to quantify uncertainties of CO2 storage associated with oil production in an active CO2-EOR field. Specifically, the Morrow formation, a clastic reservoir within the Farnsworth EOR Unit (FWU) in Texas, was selected as a case study. Four uncertain parameters (i.e., independent variables) are reservoir permeability, anisotropy ratio of permeability, water-alternating-gas (WAG) time ratio, and initial oil saturation. Cumulative oil production and net CO2 injection are the output dependent variables. A 3-D FWU reservoir model, including a representative 5-spot well pattern, was constructed for CO2-oil-water multiphase flow analysis. A total of 25 permutations of 3-D reservoir simulations were executed using Eclipse simulator. After performing stepwise regression analysis, a series of response surface models of the output variables at each step were constructed and verified using appropriate goodness-of-fit measures. The R2 values are larger than 0.9 and NRMSE values are less than 5% between the simulated and predicted oil production and net CO2 injection, suggesting that the response surface (or proxy) models are sufficient for predicting CO2-EOR system behavior for FWU case. Given the range of uncertainties in the independent variables, the cumulative distribution functions (CDFs) of dependent variables were estimated using the proxy models. The predicted cumulative oil production and net CO2 injection at 95th percentile after 5 years are about 3.65 times, and 1

  5. Assessing exposure to allied ground troops in the Vietnam War: a quantitative evaluation of the Stellman Exposure Opportunity Index model.

    PubMed

    Ginevan, Michael E; Watkins, Deborah K; Ross, John H; O'Boyle, Randy A

    2009-06-01

    The Exposure Opportunity Index (EOI) is a proximity-based model developed to estimate relative exposure of ground troops in Vietnam to aerially applied herbicides. We conducted a detailed quantitative evaluation of the EOI model by using actual herbicide spray missions isolated in time and space. EOI scores were calculated for each of 36 hypothetical receptor location points associated with each spray mission for 30 herbicide missions for two time periods - day of herbicide application and day 2-3 post-application. Our analysis found an enormous range of EOI predictions with 500-1000-fold differences across missions directly under the flight path. This quantitative examination of the EOI suggests that extensive testing of the model's code is warranted. Researchers undertaking development of a proximity-based exposure model for epidemiologic studies of either Vietnam veterans or the Vietnamese population should conduct a thorough and realistic analysis of how precise and accurate the model results are likely to be and then assess whether the model results provide a useful basis for their planned epidemiologic studies.

  6. Assessing exposure to allied ground troops in the Vietnam War: a quantitative evaluation of the Stellman Exposure Opportunity Index model.

    PubMed

    Ginevan, Michael E; Watkins, Deborah K; Ross, John H; O'Boyle, Randy A

    2009-06-01

    The Exposure Opportunity Index (EOI) is a proximity-based model developed to estimate relative exposure of ground troops in Vietnam to aerially applied herbicides. We conducted a detailed quantitative evaluation of the EOI model by using actual herbicide spray missions isolated in time and space. EOI scores were calculated for each of 36 hypothetical receptor location points associated with each spray mission for 30 herbicide missions for two time periods - day of herbicide application and day 2-3 post-application. Our analysis found an enormous range of EOI predictions with 500-1000-fold differences across missions directly under the flight path. This quantitative examination of the EOI suggests that extensive testing of the model's code is warranted. Researchers undertaking development of a proximity-based exposure model for epidemiologic studies of either Vietnam veterans or the Vietnamese population should conduct a thorough and realistic analysis of how precise and accurate the model results are likely to be and then assess whether the model results provide a useful basis for their planned epidemiologic studies. PMID:19278712

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

    PubMed

    Chardon, Jurgen; Swart, Arno

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Acosta-Mercado, Dimaris; Lynn, Denis H

    2003-06-01

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

  10. Reliability of quantitative ultrasonic assessment of normal-tissue toxicity in breast cancer radiotherapy

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Postoperative Quantitative Assessment of Reconstructive Tissue Status in Cutaneous Flap Model using Spatial Frequency Domain Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Yafi, Amr; Vetter, Thomas S; Scholz, Thomas; Patel, Sarin; Saager, Rolf B; Cuccia, David J; Evans, Gregory R; Durkin, Anthony J

    2010-01-01

    Background The purpose of this study is to investigate the capabilities of a novel optical wide-field imaging technology known as Spatial Frequency Domain Imaging (SFDI) to quantitatively assess reconstructive tissue status. Methods Twenty two cutaneous pedicle flaps were created on eleven rats based on the inferior epigastric vessels. After baseline measurement, all flaps underwent vascular ischemia, induced by clamping the supporting vessels for two hours (either arterio-venous or selective venous occlusions) normal saline was injected to the control flap, and hypertonic hyperoncotic saline solution to the experimental flap. Flaps were monitored for two hours after reperfusion. The SFDI system was used for quantitative assessment of flap status over the duration of the experiment. Results All flaps demonstrated a significant decline in oxy-hemoglobin and tissue oxygen saturation in response to occlusion. Total hemoglobin and deoxy-hemoglobin were markedly increased in the selective venous occlusion group. After reperfusion and the solutions were administered, oxy-hemoglobin and tissue oxygen saturation in those flaps that survived gradually returned to the baseline levels. However, flaps for which oxy-hemoglobin and tissue oxygen saturation didn’t show any signs of recovery appeared to be compromised and eventually became necrotic within 24–48 hours in both occlusion groups. Conclusion SFDI technology provides a quantitative, objective method to assess tissue status. This study demonstrates the potential of this optical technology to assess tissue perfusion in a very precise and quantitative way, enabling wide-field visualization of physiological parameters. The results of this study suggest that SFDI may provide a means for prospectively identifying dysfunctional flaps well in advance of failure. PMID:21200206

  13. A method of quantitative risk assessment for transmission pipeline carrying natural gas.

    PubMed

    Jo, Young-Do; Ahn, Bum Jong

    2005-08-31

    Regulatory authorities in many countries are moving away from prescriptive approaches for keeping natural gas pipelines safe. As an alternative, risk management based on a quantitative assessment is being considered to improve the level of safety. This paper focuses on the development of a simplified method for the quantitative risk assessment for natural gas pipelines and introduces parameters of fatal length and cumulative fatal length. The fatal length is defined as the integrated fatality along the pipeline associated with hypothetical accidents. The cumulative fatal length is defined as the section of pipeline in which an accident leads to N or more fatalities. These parameters can be estimated easily by using the information of pipeline geometry and population density of a Geographic Information Systems (GIS). To demonstrate the proposed method, individual and societal risks for a sample pipeline have been estimated from the historical data of European Gas Pipeline Incident Data Group and BG Transco. With currently acceptable criteria taken into account for individual risk, the minimum proximity of the pipeline to occupied buildings is approximately proportional to the square root of the operating pressure of the pipeline. The proposed method of quantitative risk assessment may be useful for risk management during the planning and building stages of a new pipeline, and modification of a buried pipeline.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirkman, Thomas W.; Jensen, Ellen

    2016-06-01

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

  15. Summary of the workshop on issues in risk assessment: quantitative methods for developmental toxicology.

    PubMed

    Mattison, D R; Sandler, J D

    1994-08-01

    This report summarizes the proceedings of a conference on quantitative methods for assessing the risks of developmental toxicants. The conference was planned by a subcommittee of the National Research Council's Committee on Risk Assessment Methodology in conjunction with staff from several federal agencies, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, and Health and Welfare Canada. Issues discussed at the workshop included computerized techniques for hazard identification, use of human and animal data for defining risks in a clinical setting, relationships between end points in developmental toxicity testing, reference dose calculations for developmental toxicology, analysis of quantitative dose-response data, mechanisms of developmental toxicity, physiologically based pharmacokinetic models, and structure-activity relationships. Although a formal consensus was not sought, many participants favored the evolution of quantitative techniques for developmental toxicology risk assessment, including the replacement of lowest observed adverse effect levels (LOAELs) and no observed adverse effect levels (NOAELs) with the benchmark dose methodology.

  16. Quantitative profiling of bile acids in biofluids and tissues based on accurate mass high resolution LC-FT-MS: compound class targeting in a metabolomics workflow.

    PubMed

    Bobeldijk, Ivana; Hekman, Maarten; de Vries-van der Weij, Jitske; Coulier, Leon; Ramaker, Raymond; Kleemann, Robert; Kooistra, Teake; Rubingh, Carina; Freidig, Andreas; Verheij, Elwin

    2008-08-15

    We report a sensitive, generic method for quantitative profiling of bile acids and other endogenous metabolites in small quantities of various biological fluids and tissues. The method is based on a straightforward sample preparation, separation by reversed-phase high performance liquid-chromatography mass spectrometry (HPLC-MS) and electrospray ionisation in the negative ionisation mode (ESI-). Detection is performed in full scan using the linear ion trap Fourier transform mass spectrometer (LTQ-FTMS) generating data for many (endogenous) metabolites, not only bile acids. A validation of the method in urine, plasma and liver was performed for 17 bile acids including their taurine, sulfate and glycine conjugates. The method is linear in the 0.01-1 microM range. The accuracy in human plasma ranges from 74 to 113%, in human urine 77 to 104% and in mouse liver 79 to 140%. The precision ranges from 2 to 20% for pooled samples even in studies with large number of samples (n>250). The method was successfully applied to a multi-compartmental APOE*3-Leiden mouse study, the main goal of which was to analyze the effect of increasing dietary cholesterol concentrations on hepatic cholesterol homeostasis and bile acid synthesis. Serum and liver samples from different treatment groups were profiled with the new method. Statistically significant differences between the diet groups were observed regarding total as well as individual bile acid concentrations.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Antonioni, Giacomo; Spadoni, Gigliola; Cozzani, Valerio

    2007-08-17

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. The Utility of Maze Accurate Response Rate in Assessing Reading Comprehension in Upper Elementary and Middle School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCane-Bowling, Sara J.; Strait, Andrea D.; Guess, Pamela E.; Wiedo, Jennifer R.; Muncie, Eric

    2014-01-01

    This study examined the predictive utility of five formative reading measures: words correct per minute, number of comprehension questions correct, reading comprehension rate, number of maze correct responses, and maze accurate response rate (MARR). Broad Reading cluster scores obtained via the Woodcock-Johnson III (WJ III) Tests of Achievement…

  3. SWIFT-MRI imaging and quantitative assessment of IONPs in murine tumors following intra-tumor and systemic delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reeves, Russell; Petryk, Alicia A.; Kastner, Elliot J.; Zhang, Jinjin; Ring, Hattie; Garwood, Michael; Hoopes, P. Jack

    2015-03-01

    Although preliminary clinical trials are ongoing, successful the use of iron-oxide magnetic nanoparticles (IONP) for heatbased cancer treatments will depend on advancements in: 1) nanoparticle platforms, 2) delivery of a safe and effective alternating magnetic field (AMF) to the tumor, and 3) development of non-invasive, spatially accurate IONP imaging and quantification technique. This imaging technique must be able to assess tumor and normal tissue anatomy as well as IONP levels and biodistribution. Conventional CT imaging is capable of detecting and quantifying IONPs at tissue levels above 10 mg/gram; unfortunately this level is not clinically achievable in most situations. Conventional MRI is capable of imaging IONPs at tissue levels of 0.05 mg/gm or less, however this level is considered to be below the therapeutic threshold. We present here preliminary in vivo data demonstrating the ability of a novel MRI technique, Sweep Imaging with Fourier Transformation (SWIFT), to accurately image and quantify IONPs in tumor tissue in the therapeutic concentration range (0.1-1.0 mg/gm tissue). This ultra-short, T2 MRI method provides a positive Fe contrast enhancement with a reduced signal to noise ratio. Additional IONP signal enhancement techniques such as inversion recovery spectroscopy and variable flip angle (VFA) are also being studied for potential optimization of SWIFT IONP imaging. Our study demonstrates the use of SWIFT to assess IONP levels and biodistribution, in murine flank tumors, following intra-tumoral and systemic IONP administration. ICP-MS and quantitative histological techniques are used to validate the accuracy and sensitivity of SWIFT-based IONP imaging and quantification.

  4. Three-Dimensional Quantitative Assessment of Uterine Fibroid Response after Uterine Artery Embolization Using Contrast-Enhanced MR Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Chapiro, Julius; Duran, Rafael; Lin, MingDe; Werner, John D.; Wang, Zhijun; Schernthaner, Rüdiger; Savic, Lynn Jeanette; Lessne, Mark L.; Geschwind, Jean-François; Hong, Kelvin

    2015-01-01

    Purpose To evaluate the clinical feasibility and diagnostic accuracy of three-dimensional (3D) quantitative magnetic resonance (MR) imaging for the assessment of total lesion volume (TLV) and enhancing lesion volume (ELV) before and after uterine artery embolization (UAE). Materials and Methods This retrospective study included 25 patients with uterine fibroids who underwent UAE and received contrast-enhanced MR imaging before and after the procedure. TLV was calculated using a semiautomated 3D segmentation of the dominant lesion on contrast-enhanced MR imaging, and ELV was defined as voxels within TLV where the enhancement exceeded the value of a region of interest placed in hypoenhancing soft tissue (left psoas muscle). ELV was expressed in relative (% of TLV) and absolute (in cm3) metrics. Results were compared with manual measurements and correlated with symptomatic outcome using a linear regression model. Results Although 3D quantitative measurements of TLV demonstrated a strong correlation with the manual technique (R2 = 0.93), measurements of ELV after UAE showed significant disagreement between techniques (R2 = 0.72; residual standard error, 15.8). Six patients (24%) remained symptomatic and were classified as nonresponders. When stratified according to response, no difference in % ELV between responders and nonresponders was observed. When assessed using cm3 ELV, responders showed a significantly lower mean ELV compared with nonresponders (4.1 cm3 [range, 0.3–19.8 cm3] vs 77 cm3 [range, 11.91–296 cm3]; P < .01). Conclusions The use of segmentation-based 3D quantification of lesion enhancement is feasible and diagnostically accurate and could be considered as an MR imaging response marker for clinical outcome after UAE. PMID:25638750

  5. Validation of reference genes for accurate normalization of gene expression for real time-quantitative PCR in strawberry fruits using different cultivars and osmotic stresses.

    PubMed

    Galli, Vanessa; Borowski, Joyce Moura; Perin, Ellen Cristina; Messias, Rafael da Silva; Labonde, Julia; Pereira, Ivan dos Santos; Silva, Sérgio Delmar Dos Anjos; Rombaldi, Cesar Valmor

    2015-01-10

    The increasing demand of strawberry (Fragaria×ananassa Duch) fruits is associated mainly with their sensorial characteristics and the content of antioxidant compounds. Nevertheless, the strawberry production has been hampered due to its sensitivity to abiotic stresses. Therefore, to understand the molecular mechanisms highlighting stress response is of great importance to enable genetic engineering approaches aiming to improve strawberry tolerance. However, the study of expression of genes in strawberry requires the use of suitable reference genes. In the present study, seven traditional and novel candidate reference genes were evaluated for transcript normalization in fruits of ten strawberry cultivars and two abiotic stresses, using RefFinder, which integrates the four major currently available software programs: geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper and the comparative delta-Ct method. The results indicate that the expression stability is dependent on the experimental conditions. The candidate reference gene DBP (DNA binding protein) was considered the most suitable to normalize expression data in samples of strawberry cultivars and under drought stress condition, and the candidate reference gene HISTH4 (histone H4) was the most stable under osmotic stresses and salt stress. The traditional genes GAPDH (glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase) and 18S (18S ribosomal RNA) were considered the most unstable genes in all conditions. The expression of phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL) and 9-cis epoxycarotenoid dioxygenase (NCED1) genes were used to further confirm the validated candidate reference genes, showing that the use of an inappropriate reference gene may induce erroneous results. This study is the first survey on the stability of reference genes in strawberry cultivars and osmotic stresses and provides guidelines to obtain more accurate RT-qPCR results for future breeding efforts.

  6. Quantitative assessment of historical coastal landfill contamination using in-situ field portable XRF (FPXRF)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Shea, Francis; Spencer, Kate; Brasington, James

    2014-05-01

    in the field to determine the presence, location and extent of the sub-surface contaminant plume. Although XRF analysis has gained acceptance in the study of in-situ metal contamination (Kalnicky and Singhvi 2001; Martin Peinado et al. 2010) field moisture content and sample heterogeneity can suppress X-ray signals. Therefore, sediment samples were also collected and returned to the laboratory and analysed by ICP OES for comparison. Both wet and dry certified reference materials were also analysed in the laboratory using XRF and ICP OES to observe the impact of moisture content and to produce a correction factor allowing quantitative data to be collected in the field. In-situ raw XRF data identified the location of contamination plumes in the field in agreement with ICP data, although the data were systematically suppressed compared to ICP data, under-estimating the levels of contamination. Applying a correction factor for moisture content provided accurate measurements of concentration. The use of field portable XRF with the application of a moisture content correction factor enables the rapid screening of sediment fronting coastal landfill sites, goes some way towards providing a national baseline dataset and can contribute to the development of risk assessments.

  7. A gel-free MS-based quantitative proteomic approach accurately measures cytochrome P450 protein concentrations in human liver microsomes.

    PubMed

    Wang, Michael Zhuo; Wu, Judy Qiju; Dennison, Jennifer B; Bridges, Arlene S; Hall, Stephen D; Kornbluth, Sally; Tidwell, Richard R; Smith, Philip C; Voyksner, Robert D; Paine, Mary F; Hall, James Edwin

    2008-10-01

    The human cytochrome P450 (P450) superfamily consists of membrane-bound proteins that metabolize a myriad of xenobiotics and endogenous compounds. Quantification of P450 expression in various tissues under normal and induced conditions has an important role in drug safety and efficacy. Conventional immunoquantification methods have poor dynamic range, low throughput, and a limited number of specific antibodies. Recent advances in MS-based quantitative proteomics enable absolute protein quantification in a complex biological mixture. We have developed a gel-free MS-based protein quantification strategy to quantify CYP3A enzymes in human liver microsomes (HLM). Recombinant protein-derived proteotypic peptides and synthetic stable isotope-labeled proteotypic peptides were used as calibration standards and internal standards, respectively. The lower limit of quantification was approximately 20 fmol P450. In two separate panels of HLM examined (n = 11 and n = 22), CYP3A, CYP3A4 and CYP3A5 concentrations were determined reproducibly (CV or=0.87) and marker activities (r(2)>or=0.88), including testosterone 6beta-hydroxylation (CYP3A), midazolam 1'-hydroxylation (CYP3A), itraconazole 6-hydroxylation (CYP3A4) and CYP3A5-mediated vincristine M1 formation (CYP3A5). Taken together, our MS-based method provides a specific, sensitive and reliable means of P450 protein quantification and should facilitate P450 characterization during drug development, especially when specific substrates and/or antibodies are unavailable.

  8. ICSH recommendations for assessing automated high-performance liquid chromatography and capillary electrophoresis equipment for the quantitation of HbA2.

    PubMed

    Stephens, A D; Colah, R; Fucharoen, S; Hoyer, J; Keren, D; McFarlane, A; Perrett, D; Wild, B J

    2015-10-01

    Automated high performance liquid chromatography and Capillary electrophoresis are used to quantitate the proportion of Hemoglobin A2 (HbA2 ) in blood samples order to enable screening and diagnosis of carriers of β-thalassemia. Since there is only a very small difference in HbA2 levels between people who are carriers and people who are not carriers such analyses need to be both precise and accurate. This paper examines the different parameters of such equipment and discusses how they should be assessed.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  11. Evaluation of reference genes for accurate normalization of gene expression for real time-quantitative PCR in Pyrus pyrifolia using different tissue samples and seasonal conditions.

    PubMed

    Imai, Tsuyoshi; Ubi, Benjamin E; Saito, Takanori; Moriguchi, Takaya

    2014-01-01

    We have evaluated suitable reference genes for real time (RT)-quantitative PCR (qPCR) analysis in Japanese pear (Pyrus pyrifolia). We tested most frequently used genes in the literature such as β-Tubulin, Histone H3, Actin, Elongation factor-1α, Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, together with newly added genes Annexin, SAND and TIP41. A total of 17 primer combinations for these eight genes were evaluated using cDNAs synthesized from 16 tissue samples from four groups, namely: flower bud, flower organ, fruit flesh and fruit skin. Gene expression stabilities were analyzed using geNorm and NormFinder software packages or by ΔCt method. geNorm analysis indicated three best performing genes as being sufficient for reliable normalization of RT-qPCR data. Suitable reference genes were different among sample groups, suggesting the importance of validation of gene expression stability of reference genes in the samples of interest. Ranking of stability was basically similar between geNorm and NormFinder, suggesting usefulness of these programs based on different algorithms. ΔCt method suggested somewhat different results in some groups such as flower organ or fruit skin; though the overall results were in good correlation with geNorm or NormFinder. Gene expression of two cold-inducible genes PpCBF2 and PpCBF4 were quantified using the three most and the three least stable reference genes suggested by geNorm. Although normalized quantities were different between them, the relative quantities within a group of samples were similar even when the least stable reference genes were used. Our data suggested that using the geometric mean value of three reference genes for normalization is quite a reliable approach to evaluating gene expression by RT-qPCR. We propose that the initial evaluation of gene expression stability by ΔCt method, and subsequent evaluation by geNorm or NormFinder for limited number of superior gene candidates will be a practical way of finding out

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-05

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

  13. Evaluating quantitative formulas for dose-response assessment of chemical mixtures.

    PubMed Central

    Hertzberg, Richard C; Teuschler, Linda K

    2002-01-01

    Risk assessment formulas are often distinguished from dose-response models by being rough but necessary. The evaluation of these rough formulas is described here, using the example of mixture risk assessment. Two conditions make the dose-response part of mixture risk assessment difficult, lack of data on mixture dose-response relationships, and the need to address risk from combinations of chemicals because of public demands and statutory requirements. Consequently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has developed methods for carrying out quantitative dose-response assessment for chemical mixtures that require information only on the toxicity of single chemicals and of chemical pair interactions. These formulas are based on plausible ideas and default parameters but minimal supporting data on whole mixtures. Because of this lack of mixture data, the usual evaluation of accuracy (predicted vs. observed) cannot be performed. Two approaches to the evaluation of such formulas are to consider fundamental biological concepts that support the quantitative formulas (e.g., toxicologic similarity) and to determine how well the proposed method performs under simplifying constraints (e.g., as the toxicologic interactions disappear). These ideas are illustrated using dose addition and two weight-of-evidence formulas for incorporating toxicologic interactions. PMID:12634126

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Yan; Hou, Jin-Lin

    2016-05-01

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

  17. A remote quantitative Fugl-Meyer assessment framework for stroke patients based on wearable sensor networks.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    To extend the use of wearable sensor networks for stroke patients training and assessment in non-clinical settings, this paper proposes a novel remote quantitative Fugl-Meyer assessment (FMA) framework, in which two accelerometer and seven flex sensors were used to monitoring the movement function of upper limb, wrist and fingers. The extreme learning machine based ensemble regression model was established to map the sensor data to clinical FMA scores while the RRelief algorithm was applied to find the optimal features subset. Considering the FMA scale is time-consuming and complicated, seven training exercises were designed to replace the upper limb related 33 items in FMA scale. 24 stroke inpatients participated in the experiments in clinical settings and 5 of them were involved in the experiments in home settings after they left the hospital. Both the experimental results in clinical and home settings showed that the proposed quantitative FMA model can precisely predict the FMA scores based on wearable sensor data, the coefficient of determination can reach as high as 0.917. It also indicated that the proposed framework can provide a potential approach to the remote quantitative rehabilitation training and evaluation.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. A Quantitative Climate-Match Score for Risk-Assessment Screening of Reptile and Amphibian Introductions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Wilgen, Nicola J.; Roura-Pascual, Núria; Richardson, David M.

    2009-09-01

    Assessing climatic suitability provides a good preliminary estimate of the invasive potential of a species to inform risk assessment. We examined two approaches for bioclimatic modeling for 67 reptile and amphibian species introduced to California and Florida. First, we modeled the worldwide distribution of the biomes found in the introduced range to highlight similar areas worldwide from which invaders might arise. Second, we modeled potentially suitable environments for species based on climatic factors in their native ranges, using three sources of distribution data. Performance of the three datasets and both approaches were compared for each species. Climate match was positively correlated with species establishment success (maximum predicted suitability in the introduced range was more strongly correlated with establishment success than mean suitability). Data assembled from the Global Amphibian Assessment through NatureServe provided the most accurate models for amphibians, while ecoregion data compiled by the World Wide Fund for Nature yielded models which described reptile climatic suitability better than available point-locality data. We present three methods of assigning a climate-match score for use in risk assessment using both the mean and maximum climatic suitabilities. Managers may choose to use different methods depending on the stringency of the assessment and the available data, facilitating higher resolution and accuracy for herpetofaunal risk assessment. Climate-matching has inherent limitations and other factors pertaining to ecological interactions and life-history traits must also be considered for thorough risk assessment.

  1. Quantitative assessment of olfactory receptors activity in immobilized nanosomes: a novel concept for bioelectronic nose.

    PubMed

    Vidic, Jasmina Minic; Grosclaude, Jeanne; Persuy, Marie-Annick; Aioun, Josiane; Salesse, Roland; Pajot-Augy, Edith

    2006-08-01

    We describe how mammalian olfactory receptors (ORs) could be used as sensing elements of highly specific and sensitive bioelectronic noses. An OR and an appropriate G(alpha) protein were co-expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells from which membrane nanosomes were prepared, and immobilized on a sensor chip. By Surface Plasmon Resonance, we were able to quantitatively evaluate OR stimulation by an odorant, and G protein activation. We demonstrate that ORs in nanosomes discriminate between odorant ligands and unrelated odorants, as in whole cells. This assay also provides the possibility for quantitative assessment of the coupling efficiency of the OR with different G(alpha) subunits, without the interference of the cellular transduction pathway. Our findings will be useful to develop a new generation of electronic noses for detection and discrimination of volatile compounds, particularly amenable to micro- and nano-sensor formats.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Novel method for quantitative assessment of physical workload of healthcare workers by a tetherless ergonomics workstation.

    PubMed

    Smith, Warren D; Alharbi, Kamal A; Dixon, Jeremy B; Reggad, Hind

    2012-01-01

    Healthcare workers are at risk of physical injury. Our laboratory has developed a tetherless ergonomics workstation that is suitable for studying physicians' and nurses' physical workloads in clinical settings. The workstation uses wearable sensors to record multiple channels of body orientation and muscle activity and wirelessly transmits them to a base station laptop computer for display, storage, and analysis. The ergonomics workstation generates long records of multi-channel data, so it is desired that the workstation automatically process these records and provide graphical and quantitative summaries of the physical workloads experienced by the healthcare workers. This paper describes a novel method of automated quantitative assessment of physical workload, termed joint cumulative amplitude-duration (JCAD) analysis, that has advantages over previous methods and illustrates its use in a comparison of the physical workloads of robotically-assisted surgery versus manual video-endoscopic surgery.

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

    PubMed

    Noring, Maria; Håkansson, Cecilia; Dahlgren, Elin

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  6. Analytical and Clinical Validation of a Digital Sequencing Panel for Quantitative, Highly Accurate Evaluation of Cell-Free Circulating Tumor DNA.

    PubMed

    Lanman, Richard B; Mortimer, Stefanie A; Zill, Oliver A; Sebisanovic, Dragan; Lopez, Rene; Blau, Sibel; Collisson, Eric A; Divers, Stephen G; Hoon, Dave S B; Kopetz, E Scott; Lee, Jeeyun; Nikolinakos, Petros G; Baca, Arthur M; Kermani, Bahram G; Eltoukhy, Helmy; Talasaz, AmirAli

    2015-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing of cell-free circulating solid tumor DNA addresses two challenges in contemporary cancer care. First this method of massively parallel and deep sequencing enables assessment of a comprehensive panel of genomic targets from a single sample, and second, it obviates the need for repeat invasive tissue biopsies. Digital Sequencing™ is a novel method for high-quality sequencing of circulating tumor DNA simultaneously across a comprehensive panel of over 50 cancer-related genes with a simple blood test. Here we report the analytic and clinical validation of the gene panel. Analytic sensitivity down to 0.1% mutant allele fraction is demonstrated via serial dilution studies of known samples. Near-perfect analytic specificity (> 99.9999%) enables complete coverage of many genes without the false positives typically seen with traditional sequencing assays at mutant allele frequencies or fractions below 5%. We compared digital sequencing of plasma-derived cell-free DNA to tissue-based sequencing on 165 consecutive matched samples from five outside centers in patients with stage III-IV solid tumor cancers. Clinical sensitivity of plasma-derived NGS was 85.0%, comparable to 80.7% sensitivity for tissue. The assay success rate on 1,000 consecutive samples in clinical practice was 99.8%. Digital sequencing of plasma-derived DNA is indicated in advanced cancer patients to prevent repeated invasive biopsies when the initial biopsy is inadequate, unobtainable for genomic testing, or uninformative, or when the patient's cancer has progressed despite treatment. Its clinical utility is derived from reduction in the costs, complications and delays associated with invasive tissue biopsies for genomic testing.

  7. Analytical and Clinical Validation of a Digital Sequencing Panel for Quantitative, Highly Accurate Evaluation of Cell-Free Circulating Tumor DNA

    PubMed Central

    Zill, Oliver A.; Sebisanovic, Dragan; Lopez, Rene; Blau, Sibel; Collisson, Eric A.; Divers, Stephen G.; Hoon, Dave S. B.; Kopetz, E. Scott; Lee, Jeeyun; Nikolinakos, Petros G.; Baca, Arthur M.; Kermani, Bahram G.; Eltoukhy, Helmy; Talasaz, AmirAli

    2015-01-01

    Next-generation sequencing of cell-free circulating solid tumor DNA addresses two challenges in contemporary cancer care. First this method of massively parallel and deep sequencing enables assessment of a comprehensive panel of genomic targets from a single sample, and second, it obviates the need for repeat invasive tissue biopsies. Digital SequencingTM is a novel method for high-quality sequencing of circulating tumor DNA simultaneously across a comprehensive panel of over 50 cancer-related genes with a simple blood test. Here we report the analytic and clinical validation of the gene panel. Analytic sensitivity down to 0.1% mutant allele fraction is demonstrated via serial dilution studies of known samples. Near-perfect analytic specificity (> 99.9999%) enables complete coverage of many genes without the false positives typically seen with traditional sequencing assays at mutant allele frequencies or fractions below 5%. We compared digital sequencing of plasma-derived cell-free DNA to tissue-based sequencing on 165 consecutive matched samples from five outside centers in patients with stage III-IV solid tumor cancers. Clinical sensitivity of plasma-derived NGS was 85.0%, comparable to 80.7% sensitivity for tissue. The assay success rate on 1,000 consecutive samples in clinical practice was 99.8%. Digital sequencing of plasma-derived DNA is indicated in advanced cancer patients to prevent repeated invasive biopsies when the initial biopsy is inadequate, unobtainable for genomic testing, or uninformative, or when the patient’s cancer has progressed despite treatment. Its clinical utility is derived from reduction in the costs, complications and delays associated with invasive tissue biopsies for genomic testing. PMID:26474073

  8. Aggregate versus Individual-Level Sexual Behavior Assessment: How Much Detail Is Needed to Accurately Estimate HIV/STI Risk?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pinkerton, Steven D.; Galletly, Carol L.; McAuliffe, Timothy L.; DiFranceisco, Wayne; Raymond, H. Fisher; Chesson, Harrell W.

    2010-01-01

    The sexual behaviors of HIV/sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention intervention participants can be assessed on a partner-by-partner basis: in aggregate (i.e., total numbers of sex acts, collapsed across partners) or using a combination of these two methods (e.g., assessing five partners in detail and any remaining partners in aggregate).…

  9. Fluorescence microangiography for quantitative assessment of peritubular capillary changes after AKI in mice.

    PubMed

    Kramann, Rafael; Tanaka, Mari; Humphreys, Benjamin D

    2014-09-01

    AKI predicts the future development of CKD, and one proposed mechanism for this epidemiologic link is loss of peritubular capillaries triggering chronic hypoxia. A precise definition of changes in peritubular perfusion would help test this hypothesis by more accurately correlating these changes with future loss of kidney function. Here, we have adapted and validated a fluorescence microangiography approach for use with mice to visualize, analyze, and quantitate peritubular capillary dynamics after AKI. A novel software-based approach enabled rapid and automated quantitation of capillary number, individual area, and perimeter. After validating perfusion in mice with genetically labeled endothelia, we compared peritubular capillary number and size after moderate AKI, characterized by complete renal recovery, and after severe AKI, characterized by development of interstitial fibrosis and CKD. Eight weeks after severe AKI, we measured a 40%±7.4% reduction in peritubular capillary number (P<0.05) and a 36%±4% decrease in individual capillary cross-sectional area (P<0.001) for a 62%±2.2% reduction in total peritubular perfusion (P<0.01). Whereas total peritubular perfusion and number of capillaries did not change, we detected a significant change of single capillary size following moderate AKI. The loss of peritubular capillary density and caliber at week 8 closely correlated with severity of kidney injury at day 1, suggesting irreparable microvascular damage. These findings emphasize a direct link between severity of acute injury and future loss of peritubular perfusion, demonstrate that reduced capillary caliber is an unappreciated long-term consequence of AKI, and offer a new quantitative imaging tool for understanding how AKI leads to future CKD in mouse models.

  10. Application of a Multiplex Quantitative PCR to Assess Prevalence and Intensity Of Intestinal Parasite Infections in a Controlled Clinical Trial

    PubMed Central

    Llewellyn, Stacey; Inpankaew, Tawin; Nery, Susana Vaz; Gray, Darren J.; Verweij, Jaco J.; Clements, Archie C. A.; Gomes, Santina J.; Traub, Rebecca; McCarthy, James S.

    2016-01-01

    Background Accurate quantitative assessment of infection with soil transmitted helminths and protozoa is key to the interpretation of epidemiologic studies of these parasites, as well as for monitoring large scale treatment efficacy and effectiveness studies. As morbidity and transmission of helminth infections are directly related to both the prevalence and intensity of infection, there is particular need for improved techniques for assessment of infection intensity for both purposes. The current study aimed to evaluate two multiplex PCR assays to determine prevalence and intensity of intestinal parasite infections, and compare them to standard microscopy. Methodology/Principal Findings Faecal samples were collected from a total of 680 people, originating from rural communities in Timor-Leste (467 samples) and Cambodia (213 samples). DNA was extracted from stool samples and subject to two multiplex real-time PCR reactions the first targeting: Necator americanus, Ancylostoma spp., Ascaris spp., and Trichuris trichiura; and the second Entamoeba histolytica, Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia. duodenalis, and Strongyloides stercoralis. Samples were also subject to sodium nitrate flotation for identification and quantification of STH eggs, and zinc sulphate centrifugal flotation for detection of protozoan parasites. Higher parasite prevalence was detected by multiplex PCR (hookworms 2.9 times higher, Ascaris 1.2, Giardia 1.6, along with superior polyparasitism detection with this effect magnified as the number of parasites present increased (one: 40.2% vs. 38.1%, two: 30.9% vs. 12.9%, three: 7.6% vs. 0.4%, four: 0.4% vs. 0%). Although, all STH positive samples were low intensity infections by microscopy as defined by WHO guidelines the DNA-load detected by multiplex PCR suggested higher intensity infections. Conclusions/Significance Multiplex PCR, in addition to superior sensitivity, enabled more accurate determination of infection intensity for Ascaris, hookworms and

  11. Quantitative microbial risk assessment for Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus enterotoxin A in raw milk.

    PubMed

    Heidinger, Joelle C; Winter, Carl K; Cullor, James S

    2009-08-01

    A quantitative microbial risk assessment was constructed to determine consumer risk from Staphylococcus aureus and staphylococcal enterotoxin in raw milk. A Monte Carlo simulation model was developed to assess the risk from raw milk consumption using data on levels of S. aureus in milk collected by the University of California-Davis Dairy Food Safety Laboratory from 2,336 California dairies from 2005 to 2008 and using U.S. milk consumption data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 2003 and 2004. Four modules were constructed to simulate pathogen growth and staphylococcal enterotoxin A production scenarios to quantify consumer risk levels under various time and temperature storage conditions. The three growth modules predicted that S. aureus levels could surpass the 10(5) CFU/ml level of concern at the 99.9th or 99.99th percentile of servings and therefore may represent a potential consumer risk. Results obtained from the staphylococcal enterotoxin A production module predicted that exposure at the 99.99th percentile could represent a dose capable of eliciting staphylococcal enterotoxin intoxication in all consumer age groups. This study illustrates the utility of quantitative microbial risk assessments for identifying potential food safety issues. PMID:19722395

  12. Quantitative risk assessment for human salmonellosis through the consumption of pork sausage in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

    PubMed

    Mürmann, Lisandra; Corbellini, Luis Gustavo; Collor, Alexandre Ávila; Cardoso, Marisa

    2011-04-01

    A quantitative microbiology risk assessment was conducted to evaluate the risk of Salmonella infection to consumers of fresh pork sausages prepared at barbecues in Porto Alegre, Brazil. For the analysis, a prevalence of 24.4% positive pork sausages with a level of contamination between 0.03 and 460 CFU g(-1) was assumed. Data related to frequency and habits of consumption were obtained by a questionnaire survey given to 424 people. A second-order Monte Carlo simulation separating the uncertain parameter of cooking time from the variable parameters was run. Of the people interviewed, 87.5% consumed pork sausage, and 85.4% ate it at barbecues. The average risk of salmonellosis per barbecue at a minimum cooking time of 15.6 min (worst-case scenario) was 6.24 × 10(-4), and the risk assessed per month was 1.61 × 10(-3). Cooking for 19 min would fully inactivate Salmonella in 99.9% of the cases. At this cooking time, the sausage reached a mean internal temperature of 75.7°C. The results of the quantitative microbiology risk assessment revealed that the consumption of fresh pork sausage is safe when cooking time is approximately 19 min, whereas undercooked pork sausage may represent a nonnegligible health risk for consumers.

  13. Assessment of liver tumor response to therapy: role of quantitative imaging.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Guindalini, Fernanda D; Botelho, Marcos P F; Harmath, Carla B; Sandrasegaran, Kumaresan; Miller, Frank H; Salem, Riad; Yaghmai, Vahid

    2013-10-01

    Quantitative imaging is the analysis of retrieved numeric data from images with the goal of reducing subjective assessment. It is an increasingly important radiologic tool to assess treatment response in oncology patients. Quantification of response to therapy depends on the tumor type and method of treatment. Anatomic imaging biomarkers that quantify liver tumor response to cytotoxic therapy are based on temporal change in the size of the tumors. Anatomic biomarkers have been incorporated into the World Health Organization criteria and the Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) versions 1.0 and 1.1. However, the development of novel therapies with different mechanisms of action, such as antiangiogenesis or radioembolization, has required new methods for measuring response to therapy. This need has led to development of tumor- or therapy-specific guidelines such as the Modified CT Response Evaluation (Choi) Criteria for gastrointestinal stromal tumors, the European Association for Study of the Liver (EASL) criteria, and modified RECIST for hepatocellular carcinoma, among many others. The authors review the current quantification criteria used in the evaluation of treatment response in liver tumors, summarizing their indications, advantages, and disadvantages, and discuss future directions with newer methods that have the potential for assessment of treatment response. Knowledge of these quantitative methods is important to facilitate pivotal communication between oncologists and radiologists about cancer treatment, with benefit ultimately accruing to the patient. PMID:24108562

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-02-01

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

  16. The economics of drug abuse: a quantitative assessment of drug demand.

    PubMed

    Hursh, Steven R; Galuska, Chad M; Winger, Gail; Woods, James H

    2005-02-01

    Behavioral economic concepts have proven useful for an overall understanding of the regulation of behavior by environmental commodities and complements a pharmacological perspective on drug abuse in several ways. First, a quantitative assessment of drug demand, equated in terms of drug potency, allows meaningful comparisons to be made among drug reinforcers within and across pharmacological classes. Second, behavioral economics provides a conceptual framework for understanding key factors, both pharmacological and environmental, that contribute to reductions in consumption of illicit drugs. Finally, behavioral economics provides a basis for generalization from laboratory and clinical studies to the development of novel behavioral and pharmacological therapies.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Quantitative assessment of synovitis in Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease using gadolinium-enhanced MRI.

    PubMed

    Neal, David C; O'Brien, Jack C; Burgess, Jamie; Jo, Chanhee; Kim, Harry K W

    2015-03-01

    A quantitative method to assess hip synovitis in Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease (LCPD) is not currently available. To develop this method, the areas of synovial enhancement on gadolinium-enhanced MRI (Gd-MRI) were measured by two independent observers. The volume of synovial enhancement was significantly increased in the initial and the fragmentation stages of LCPD (Waldenström stages I and II), with a persistence of synovitis into the reossification stage (stage III). The Gd-MRI method had high interobserver and intraobserver agreements and may serve as a useful method to monitor the effect of various treatments on hip synovitis in LCPD. PMID:25305048

  19. Semi-quantitative exposure assessment of occupational exposure to wood dust and nasopharyngeal cancer risk.

    PubMed

    Ekpanyaskul, Chatchai; Sangrajrang, Suleeporn; Ekburanawat, Wiwat; Brennan, Paul; Mannetje, Andrea; Thetkathuek, Anamai; Saejiw, Nutjaree; Ruangsuwan, Tassanu; Boffetta, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    Occupational exposure to wood dust is one cause of nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC); however, assessing this exposure remains problematic. Therefore, the objective of this study was to develop a semi-quantitative exposure assessment method and then utilize it to evaluate the association between occupational exposure to wood dust and the development of NPC. In addition, variations in risk by histology were examined. A case-control study was conducted with 327 newly diagnosed cases of NPC at the National Cancer Institute and regional cancer centers in Thailand with 1:1 controls matched for age, gender and geographical residence. Occupational information was obtained through personal interviews. The potential probability, frequency and intensity of exposure to wood dust were assessed on a job-by-job basis by experienced experts. Analysis was performed by conditional logistic regression and presented in odds ratio (ORs) estimates and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Overall, a non significant relationship between occupational wood dust exposure and NPC risk for all subjects was observed (ORs=1.61, 95%CI 0.99-2.59); however, the risk became significant when analyses focused on types 2 and 3 of NPC (ORs=1.62, 95%CI 1.03-2.74). The significant association was stronger for those exposed to wood dust for >10 year (ORs=2.26, 95%CI 1.10-4.63), for those with first-time exposure at age>25 year (ORs=2.07, 95%CI 1.08-3.94), and for those who had a high cumulative exposure (ORs=2.17, 95%CI 1.03-4.58) when compared with those considered unexposed. In conclusion, wood dust is likely to be associated with an increased risk of type 2 or 3 NPC in the Thai population. The results of this study show that semi-quantitative exposure assessment is suitable for occupational exposure assessment in a case control study and complements the information from self-reporting.

  20. Quantitative assessment of intrinsic groundwater vulnerability to contamination using numerical simulations.

    PubMed

    Neukum, Christoph; Azzam, Rafig

    2009-12-20

    Intrinsic vulnerability assessment to groundwater contamination is part of groundwater management in many areas of the world. However, popular assessment methods estimate vulnerability only qualitatively. To enhance vulnerability assessment, an approach for quantitative vulnerability assessment using numerical simulation of water flow and solute transport with transient boundary conditions and new vulnerability indicators are presented in this work. Based on a conceptual model of the unsaturated underground with distinct hydrogeological layers and site specific hydrological characteristics the numerical simulations of water flow and solute transport are applied on each hydrogeological layer with standardized conditions separately. Analysis of the simulation results reveals functional relationships between layer thickness, groundwater recharge and transit time. Based on the first, second and third quartiles of solute mass breakthrough at the lower boundary of the unsaturated zone, and the solute dilution, four vulnerability indicators are extracted. The indicator transit time t(50) is the time were 50% of solute mass breakthrough passes the groundwater table. Dilution is referred as maximum solute concentration C(max) in the percolation water when entering the groundwater table in relation to the injected mass or solute concentration C(0) at the ground surface. Duration of solute breakthrough is defined as the time period between 25% and 75% (t(25%)-t(75%)) of total solute mass breakthrough at the groundwater table. The temporal shape of the breakthrough curve is expressed with the quotient (t(25%)-t(50%))/(t(25%)-t(75%)). Results from an application of this new quantitative vulnerability assessment approach, its advantages and disadvantages, and potential benefits for future groundwater management strategies are discussed.

  1. Global Quantitative Assessment of Colorectal Polyp Burden in Familial Adenomatous Polyposis Using a Web-based Tool

    PubMed Central

    Lynch, Patrick M.; Morris, Jeffrey S.; Ross, William A.; Rodriguez-Bigas, Miguel A.; Posadas, Juan; Khalaf, Rossa; Weber, Diane M.; Sepeda, Valerie O.; Levin, Bernard; Shureiqi, Imad

    2013-01-01

    Background Accurate measures of total polyp burden in familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) are lacking. Current assessment tools include polyp quantitation in limited-field photographs and qualitative total colorectal polyp burden by video. Objective To develop global quantitative tools of FAP colorectal adenoma burden. Design and Interventions A single-arm phase II trial in 27 FAP patients treated with celecoxib for 6 months, with pre- and post-treatment videos posted to intranet with interactive site for scoring. Main outcome measurements Global adenoma counts and sizes (grouped into categories: <2 mm, 2–4 mm, and >4 mm) were scored from videos using a novel web-based tool. Baseline and end-of-study adenoma burdens results were summarized using five models. Correlations between pairs of reviewers were analyzed for each model. RESULTS Interobserver agreement was high for all 5 measures of polyp burden. Measures employing both polyp count and polyp size had better interobserver agreement than measures based only on polyp count. The measure in which polyp counts were weighted according to diameter, calculated as (1) × (no. of polyps <2 mm) + (3) × (no. of polyps 2–4 mm) + (5) × (no. of polyps >4 mm) had the highest interobserver agreement. (Pearson r = 0.978 for two gastroenterologists, 0.786 and 0.846 for the surgeon vs each gastroenterologist). Treatment reduced polyp burden by these measurements in 70–89% subjects (p<0.001). Limitations Phase II study. Conclusions This novel web-based polyp scoring method provides a convenient and reproducible way to quantify global colorectal adenoma burden in FAP patients and a framework for developing a clinical staging system for FAP. PMID:23332604

  2. High-throughput assessment of transgene copy number in sugarcane using real-time quantitative PCR.

    PubMed

    Casu, Rosanne E; Selivanova, Alexandra; Perroux, Jai M

    2012-01-01

    Accurate and timely detection of transgene copy number in sugarcane is currently hampered by the requirement to use Southern blotting, needing relatively large amounts of genomic DNA and, therefore, the continued growth and maintenance of bulky plants in containment glasshouses. In addition, the sugarcane genome is both polyploid and aneuploid, complicating the identification of appropriate genes for use as references in the development of a high-throughput method. Using bioinformatic techniques followed by in vitro testing, two genes that appear to occur once per base genome of sugarcane were identified. Using these genes as reference genes, a high-throughput assay employing RT-qPCR was developed and tested using a group of sugarcane plants that contained unknown numbers of copies of the nptII gene encoding kanamycin resistance. Using this assay, transgene copy numbers from 3 to more than 50 were identified. In comparison, Southern blotting accurately identified the number of transgene copies for one line and by inference for another, but was not able to provide an accurate estimation for transgenic lines containing numerous copies of the nptII gene. Using the reference genes identified in this study, a high-throughput assay for the determination of transgene copy number was developed and tested for sugarcane. This method requires much less input DNA, can be performed much earlier in the production of transgenic sugarcane plants and allows much more efficient assessment of numerous potentially transgenic lines than Southern blotting.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Quantitative breast MRI radiomics for cancer risk assessment and the monitoring of high-risk populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mendel, Kayla R.; Li, Hui; Giger, Maryellen L.

    2016-03-01

    Breast density is routinely assessed qualitatively in screening mammography. However, it is challenging to quantitatively determine a 3D density from a 2D image such as a mammogram. Furthermore, dynamic contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) is used more frequently in the screening of high-risk populations. The purpose of our study is to segment parenchyma and to quantitatively determine volumetric breast density on pre-contrast axial DCE-MRI images (i.e., non-contrast) using a semi-automated quantitative approach. In this study, we retroactively examined 3D DCE-MRI images taken for breast cancer screening of a high-risk population. We analyzed 66 cases with ages between 28 and 76 (mean 48.8, standard deviation 10.8). DCE-MRIs were obtained on a Philips 3.0 T scanner. Our semi-automated DCE-MRI algorithm includes: (a) segmentation of breast tissue from non-breast tissue using fuzzy cmeans clustering (b) separation of dense and fatty tissues using Otsu's method, and (c) calculation of volumetric density as the ratio of dense voxels to total breast voxels. We examined the relationship between pre-contrast DCE-MRI density and clinical BI-RADS density obtained from radiology reports, and obtained a statistically significant correlation [Spearman ρ-value of 0.66 (p < 0.0001)]. Our method within precision medicine may be useful for monitoring high-risk populations.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. The Quantitative Ideas and Methods in Assessment of Four Properties of Chinese Medicinal Herbs.

    PubMed

    Fu, Jialei; Pang, Jingxiang; Zhao, Xiaolei; Han, Jinxiang

    2015-04-01

    The purpose of this review is to summarize and reflect on the current status and problems of the research on the properties of Chinese medicinal herbs. Hot, warm, cold, and cool are the four properties/natures of Chinese medicinal herbs. They are defined based on the interaction between the herbs with human body. How to quantitatively assess the therapeutic effect of Chinese medicinal herbs based on the theoretical system of Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) remains to be a challenge. Previous studies on the topic from several perspectives have been presented. Results and problems were discussed. New ideas based on the technology of biophoton radiation detection are proposed. With the development of biophoton detection technology, detection and characterization of human biophoton emission has led to its potential applications in TCM. The possibility of using the biophoton analysis system to study the interaction of Chinese medicinal herbs with human body and to quantitatively determine the effect of the Chinese medicinal herbal is entirely consistent with the holistic concept of TCM theory. The statistical entropy of electromagnetic radiations from the biological systems can characterize the four properties of Chinese medicinal herbs, and the spectrum can characterize the meridian tropism of it. Therefore, we hypothesize that by the use of biophoton analysis system, the four properties and meridian tropism of Chinese medicinal herbs can be quantitatively expressed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-02-01

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

  8. A simple and accurate grading system for orthoiodohippurate renal scans in the assessment of post-transplant renal function

    SciTech Connect

    Zaki, S.K.; Bretan, P.N.; Go, R.T.; Rehm, P.K.; Streem, S.B.; Novick, A.C. )

    1990-06-01

    Orthoiodohippurate renal scanning has proved to be a reliable, noninvasive method for the evaluation and followup of renal allograft function. However, a standardized system for grading renal function with this test is not available. We propose a simple grading system to distinguish the different functional phases of hippurate scanning in renal transplant recipients. This grading system was studied in 138 patients who were evaluated 1 week after renal transplantation. There was a significant correlation between the isotope renographic functional grade and clinical correlates of allograft function such as the serum creatinine level (p = 0.0001), blood urea nitrogen level (p = 0.0001), urine output (p = 0.005) and need for hemodialysis (p = 0.007). We recommend this grading system as a simple and accurate method to interpret orthoiodohippurate renal scans in the evaluation and followup of renal allograft recipients.

  9. Assessment of diffuse coronary artery disease by quantitative analysis of coronary morphology based upon 3-D reconstruction from biplane angiograms.

    PubMed

    Wahle, A; Wellnhofer, E; Mugaragu, I; Saner, H U; Oswald, H; Fleck, E

    1995-01-01

    Quantitative evaluations on coronary vessel systems are of increasing importance in cardiovascular diagnosis, therapy planning, and surgical verification. Whereas local evaluations, such as stenosis analysis, are already available with sufficient accuracy, global evaluations of vessel segments or vessel subsystems are not yet common. Especially for the diagnosis of diffuse coronary artery diseases, the authors combined a 3D reconstruction system operating on biplane angiograms with a length/volume calculation. The 3D reconstruction results in a 3D model of the coronary vessel system, consisting of the vessel skeleton and a discrete number of contours. To obtain an utmost accurate model, the authors focussed on exact geometry determination. Several algorithms for calculating missing geometric parameters and correcting remaining geometry errors were implemented and verified. The length/volume evaluation can be performed either on single vessel segments, on a set of segments, or on subtrees. A volume model based on generalized elliptical conic sections is created for the selected segments. Volumes and lengths (measured along the vessel course) of those elements are summed up. In this way, the morphological parameters of a vessel subsystem can be set in relation to the parameters of the proximal segment supplying it. These relations allow objective assessments of diffuse coronary artery diseases.

  10. Incentives Increase Participation in Mass Dog Rabies Vaccination Clinics and Methods of Coverage Estimation Are Assessed to Be Accurate

    PubMed Central

    Steinmetz, Melissa; Czupryna, Anna; Bigambo, Machunde; Mzimbiri, Imam; Powell, George; Gwakisa, Paul

    2015-01-01

    In this study we show that incentives (dog collars and owner wristbands) are effective at increasing owner participation in mass dog rabies vaccination clinics and we conclude that household questionnaire surveys and the mark-re-sight (transect survey) method for estimating post-vaccination coverage are accurate when all dogs, including puppies, are included. Incentives were distributed during central-point rabies vaccination clinics in northern Tanzania to quantify their effect on owner participation. In villages where incentives were handed out participation increased, with an average of 34 more dogs being vaccinated. Through economies of scale, this represents a reduction in the cost-per-dog of $0.47. This represents the price-threshold under which the cost of the incentive used must fall to be economically viable. Additionally, vaccination coverage levels were determined in ten villages through the gold-standard village-wide census technique, as well as through two cheaper and quicker methods (randomized household questionnaire and the transect survey). Cost data were also collected. Both non-gold standard methods were found to be accurate when puppies were included in the calculations, although the transect survey and the household questionnaire survey over- and under-estimated the coverage respectively. Given that additional demographic data can be collected through the household questionnaire survey, and that its estimate of coverage is more conservative, we recommend this method. Despite the use of incentives the average vaccination coverage was below the 70% threshold for eliminating rabies. We discuss the reasons and suggest solutions to improve coverage. Given recent international targets to eliminate rabies, this study provides valuable and timely data to help improve mass dog vaccination programs in Africa and elsewhere. PMID:26633821

  11. Incentives Increase Participation in Mass Dog Rabies Vaccination Clinics and Methods of Coverage Estimation Are Assessed to Be Accurate.

    PubMed

    Minyoo, Abel B; Steinmetz, Melissa; Czupryna, Anna; Bigambo, Machunde; Mzimbiri, Imam; Powell, George; Gwakisa, Paul; Lankester, Felix

    2015-12-01

    In this study we show that incentives (dog collars and owner wristbands) are effective at increasing owner participation in mass dog rabies vaccination clinics and we conclude that household questionnaire surveys and the mark-re-sight (transect survey) method for estimating post-vaccination coverage are accurate when all dogs, including puppies, are included. Incentives were distributed during central-point rabies vaccination clinics in northern Tanzania to quantify their effect on owner participation. In villages where incentives were handed out participation increased, with an average of 34 more dogs being vaccinated. Through economies of scale, this represents a reduction in the cost-per-dog of $0.47. This represents the price-threshold under which the cost of the incentive used must fall to be economically viable. Additionally, vaccination coverage levels were determined in ten villages through the gold-standard village-wide census technique, as well as through two cheaper and quicker methods (randomized household questionnaire and the transect survey). Cost data were also collected. Both non-gold standard methods were found to be accurate when puppies were included in the calculations, although the transect survey and the household questionnaire survey over- and under-estimated the coverage respectively. Given that additional demographic data can be collected through the household questionnaire survey, and that its estimate of coverage is more conservative, we recommend this method. Despite the use of incentives the average vaccination coverage was below the 70% threshold for eliminating rabies. We discuss the reasons and suggest solutions to improve coverage. Given recent international targets to eliminate rabies, this study provides valuable and timely data to help improve mass dog vaccination programs in Africa and elsewhere.

  12. Feasibility study for image guided kidney surgery: assessment of required intraoperative surface for accurate image to physical space registrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benincasa, Anne B.; Clements, Logan W.; Herrell, S. Duke; Chang, Sam S.; Cookson, Michael S.; Galloway, Robert L.

    2006-03-01

    Currently, the removal of kidney tumor masses uses only direct or laparoscopic visualizations, resulting in prolonged procedure and recovery times and reduced clear margin. Applying current image guided surgery (IGS) techniques, as those used in liver cases, to kidney resections (nephrectomies) presents a number of complications. Most notably is the limited field of view of the intraoperative kidney surface, which constrains the ability to obtain a surface delineation that is geometrically descriptive enough to drive a surface-based registration. Two different phantom orientations were used to model the laparoscopic and traditional partial nephrectomy views. For the laparoscopic view, fiducial point sets were compiled from a CT image volume using anatomical features such as the renal artery and vein. For the traditional view, markers attached to the phantom set-up were used for fiducials and targets. The fiducial points were used to perform a point-based registration, which then served as a guide for the surface-based registration. Laser range scanner (LRS) obtained surfaces were registered to each phantom surface using a rigid iterative closest point algorithm. Subsets of each phantom's LRS surface were used in a robustness test to determine the predictability of their registrations to transform the entire surface. Results from both orientations suggest that about half of the kidney's surface needs to be obtained intraoperatively for accurate registrations between the image surface and the LRS surface, suggesting the obtained kidney surfaces were geometrically descriptive enough to perform accurate registrations. This preliminary work paves the way for further development of kidney IGS systems.

  13. Incentives Increase Participation in Mass Dog Rabies Vaccination Clinics and Methods of Coverage Estimation Are Assessed to Be Accurate.

    PubMed

    Minyoo, Abel B; Steinmetz, Melissa; Czupryna, Anna; Bigambo, Machunde; Mzimbiri, Imam; Powell, George; Gwakisa, Paul; Lankester, Felix

    2015-12-01

    In this study we show that incentives (dog collars and owner wristbands) are effective at increasing owner participation in mass dog rabies vaccination clinics and we conclude that household questionnaire surveys and the mark-re-sight (transect survey) method for estimating post-vaccination coverage are accurate when all dogs, including puppies, are included. Incentives were distributed during central-point rabies vaccination clinics in northern Tanzania to quantify their effect on owner participation. In villages where incentives were handed out participation increased, with an average of 34 more dogs being vaccinated. Through economies of scale, this represents a reduction in the cost-per-dog of $0.47. This represents the price-threshold under which the cost of the incentive used must fall to be economically viable. Additionally, vaccination coverage levels were determined in ten villages through the gold-standard village-wide census technique, as well as through two cheaper and quicker methods (randomized household questionnaire and the transect survey). Cost data were also collected. Both non-gold standard methods were found to be accurate when puppies were included in the calculations, although the transect survey and the household questionnaire survey over- and under-estimated the coverage respectively. Given that additional demographic data can be collected through the household questionnaire survey, and that its estimate of coverage is more conservative, we recommend this method. Despite the use of incentives the average vaccination coverage was below the 70% threshold for eliminating rabies. We discuss the reasons and suggest solutions to improve coverage. Given recent international targets to eliminate rabies, this study provides valuable and timely data to help improve mass dog vaccination programs in Africa and elsewhere. PMID:26633821

  14. Safety evaluation of disposable baby diapers using principles of quantitative risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Rai, Prashant; Lee, Byung-Mu; Liu, Tsung-Yun; Yuhui, Qin; Krause, Edburga; Marsman, Daniel S; Felter, Susan

    2009-01-01

    Baby diapers are complex products consisting of multiple layers of materials, most of which are not in direct contact with the skin. The safety profile of a diaper is determined by the biological properties of individual components and the extent to which the baby is exposed to each component during use. Rigorous evaluation of the toxicological profile and realistic exposure conditions of each material is important to ensure the overall safety of the diaper under normal and foreseeable use conditions. Quantitative risk assessment (QRA) principles may be applied to the safety assessment of diapers and similar products. Exposure to component materials is determined by (1) considering the conditions of product use, (2) the degree to which individual layers of the product are in contact with the skin during use, and (3) the extent to which some components may be extracted by urine and delivered to skin. This assessment of potential exposure is then combined with data from standard safety assessments of components to determine the margin of safety (MOS). This study examined the application of QRA to the safety evaluation of baby diapers, including risk assessments for some diaper ingredient chemicals for which establishment of acceptable and safe exposure levels were demonstrated.

  15. Benchmark dose profiles for joint-action continuous data in quantitative risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Deutsch, Roland C; Piegorsch, Walter W

    2013-09-01

    Benchmark analysis is a widely used tool in biomedical and environmental risk assessment. Therein, estimation of minimum exposure levels, called benchmark doses (BMDs), that induce a prespecified benchmark response (BMR) is well understood for the case of an adverse response to a single stimulus. For cases where two agents are studied in tandem, however, the benchmark approach is far less developed. This paper demonstrates how the benchmark modeling paradigm can be expanded from the single-agent setting to joint-action, two-agent studies. Focus is on continuous response outcomes. Extending the single-exposure setting, representations of risk are based on a joint-action dose-response model involving both agents. Based on such a model, the concept of a benchmark profile-a two-dimensional analog of the single-dose BMD at which both agents achieve the specified BMR-is defined for use in quantitative risk characterization and assessment.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Le Vie, Lisa R.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2002-01-01

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

  20. Quantitative Assessment of Amino Acid Damage upon keV Ion Beam Irradiation Through FTIR Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huang, Qing; Ke, Zhigang; Su, Xi; Yuan, Hang; Zhang, Shuqing; Yu, Zengliang

    2010-06-01

    Ion beam irradiation induces important biological effects and it is a long-standing task to acquire both qualitative and quantitative assessment of these effects. One effective way in the investigation is to utilize Fourier transformation infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy because it can offer sensitive and non-invasive measurements. In this paper a novel protocol was employed to prepare biomolecular samples in the form of thin and transversely uniform solid films that were suitable for both infrared and low-energy ion beam irradiation experiments. Under the irradiation of N+ and Ar+ ion beams of 25 keV with fluence ranging from 5×1015 ions/cm2 to 2.5×10 ions/cm2, the ion radio-sensitivity of four amino acids, namely, glycine, tyrosine, methionine and phenylalanine, were evaluated and compared. The ion beam irradiation caused biomolecular decomposition accompanied by molecular desorption of volatile species and the damage was dependent on ion type, fluence, energy and types of amino acids. The effectiveness of application of FTIR spectroscopy to the quantitative assessment of biomolecular damage dose effect induced by low-energy ion radiation was thus demonstrated.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-10-04

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Valcárcel, M; Lucena, R

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Valcárcel, M; Lucena, R

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Quantitative assessment on soil enzyme activities of heavy metal contaminated soils with various soil properties.

    PubMed

    Xian, Yu; Wang, Meie; Chen, Weiping

    2015-11-01

    Soil enzyme activities are greatly influenced by soil properties and could be significant indicators of heavy metal toxicity in soil for bioavailability assessment. Two groups of experiments were conducted to determine the joint effects of heavy metals and soil properties on soil enzyme activities. Results showed that arylsulfatase was the most sensitive soil enzyme and could be used as an indicator to study the enzymatic toxicity of heavy metals under various soil properties. Soil organic matter (SOM) was the dominant factor affecting the activity of arylsulfatase in soil. A quantitative model was derived to predict the changes of arylsulfatase activity with SOM content. When the soil organic matter content was less than the critical point A (1.05% in our study), the arylsulfatase activity dropped rapidly. When the soil organic matter content was greater than the critical point A, the arylsulfatase activity gradually rose to higher levels showing that instead of harm the soil microbial activities were enhanced. The SOM content needs to be over the critical point B (2.42% in our study) to protect its microbial community from harm due to the severe Pb pollution (500mgkg(-1) in our study). The quantitative model revealed the pattern of variation of enzymatic toxicity due to heavy metals under various SOM contents. The applicability of the model under wider soil properties need to be tested. The model however may provide a methodological basis for ecological risk assessment of heavy metals in soil.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  8. A rapid and accurate method for the quantitative estimation of natural polysaccharides and their fractions using high performance size exclusion chromatography coupled with multi-angle laser light scattering and refractive index detector.

    PubMed

    Cheong, Kit-Leong; Wu, Ding-Tao; Zhao, Jing; Li, Shao-Ping

    2015-06-26

    In this study, a rapid and accurate method for quantitative analysis of natural polysaccharides and their different fractions was developed. Firstly, high performance size exclusion chromatography (HPSEC) was utilized to separate natural polysaccharides. And then the molecular masses of their fractions were determined by multi-angle laser light scattering (MALLS). Finally, quantification of polysaccharides or their fractions was performed based on their response to refractive index detector (RID) and their universal refractive index increment (dn/dc). Accuracy of the developed method for the quantification of individual and mixed polysaccharide standards, including konjac glucomannan, CM-arabinan, xyloglucan, larch arabinogalactan, oat β-glucan, dextran (410, 270, and 25 kDa), mixed xyloglucan and CM-arabinan, and mixed dextran 270 K and CM-arabinan was determined, and their average recoveries were between 90.6% and 98.3%. The limits of detection (LOD) and quantification (LOQ) were ranging from 10.68 to 20.25 μg/mL, and 42.70 to 68.85 μg/mL, respectively. Comparing to the conventional phenol sulfuric acid assay and HPSEC coupled with evaporative light scattering detection (HPSEC-ELSD) analysis, the developed HPSEC-MALLS-RID method based on universal dn/dc for the quantification of polysaccharides and their fractions is much more simple, rapid, and accurate with no need of individual polysaccharide standard, as well as free of calibration curve. The developed method was also successfully utilized for quantitative analysis of polysaccharides and their different fractions from three medicinal plants of Panax genus, Panax ginseng, Panax notoginseng and Panax quinquefolius. The results suggested that the HPSEC-MALLS-RID method based on universal dn/dc could be used as a routine technique for the quantification of polysaccharides and their fractions in natural resources.

  9. A rapid and accurate method for the quantitative estimation of natural polysaccharides and their fractions using high performance size exclusion chromatography coupled with multi-angle laser light scattering and refractive index detector.

    PubMed

    Cheong, Kit-Leong; Wu, Ding-Tao; Zhao, Jing; Li, Shao-Ping

    2015-06-26

    In this study, a rapid and accurate method for quantitative analysis of natural polysaccharides and their different fractions was developed. Firstly, high performance size exclusion chromatography (HPSEC) was utilized to separate natural polysaccharides. And then the molecular masses of their fractions were determined by multi-angle laser light scattering (MALLS). Finally, quantification of polysaccharides or their fractions was performed based on their response to refractive index detector (RID) and their universal refractive index increment (dn/dc). Accuracy of the developed method for the quantification of individual and mixed polysaccharide standards, including konjac glucomannan, CM-arabinan, xyloglucan, larch arabinogalactan, oat β-glucan, dextran (410, 270, and 25 kDa), mixed xyloglucan and CM-arabinan, and mixed dextran 270 K and CM-arabinan was determined, and their average recoveries were between 90.6% and 98.3%. The limits of detection (LOD) and quantification (LOQ) were ranging from 10.68 to 20.25 μg/mL, and 42.70 to 68.85 μg/mL, respectively. Comparing to the conventional phenol sulfuric acid assay and HPSEC coupled with evaporative light scattering detection (HPSEC-ELSD) analysis, the developed HPSEC-MALLS-RID method based on universal dn/dc for the quantification of polysaccharides and their fractions is much more simple, rapid, and accurate with no need of individual polysaccharide standard, as well as free of calibration curve. The developed method was also successfully utilized for quantitative analysis of polysaccharides and their different fractions from three medicinal plants of Panax genus, Panax ginseng, Panax notoginseng and Panax quinquefolius. The results suggested that the HPSEC-MALLS-RID method based on universal dn/dc could be used as a routine technique for the quantification of polysaccharides and their fractions in natural resources. PMID:25990349

  10. The Development of Multiple-Choice Items Consistent with the AP Chemistry Curriculum Framework to More Accurately Assess Deeper Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Domyancich, John M.

    2014-01-01

    Multiple-choice questions are an important part of large-scale summative assessments, such as the advanced placement (AP) chemistry exam. However, past AP chemistry exam items often lacked the ability to test conceptual understanding and higher-order cognitive skills. The redesigned AP chemistry exam shows a distinctive shift in item types toward…

  11. Just How Accurate are Your Probabilistic Forecasts? Improving Forecast Quality Assessment in the Presence of Sampling Uncertainty

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kang, T. H.; Sharma, A.; Marshall, L. A.

    2015-12-01

    Use of ensemble forecasts as a means of characterising predictive uncertainty has become increasingly common in hydrological and meteorological forecasting. The needs to characterize ensemble forecast quality has encouraged the development of reliable verification tools. Most of the metrics used currently are related to the Brier score, first proposed in 1950. However, the Brier score and its alterations including the decomposition of the Brier score, as well as the Ranked Probability Score, have paid little attention to the difference in the characteristics of the forecasted and sampled probability distributions. This difference, or the error in the probability distribution, can lead to a bias in all existing metrics derived from the Brier score. Similar biases arise where the second moment is different to that observed, or when the observations are scarce and hence difficult to characterise. Therefore, this study suggests simple and reliable measures for the first and second moment bias of the forecasted ensemble and in addition, approaches to analytically estimate the sampling uncertainty of the proposed measures. The proposed approaches are tested through synthetically generated hydrologic forecasts and observations, as well as seasonal forecasts of the El Nino Southern Oscillation issued by the International research Institute for Climate and Society (IRI-ENSO). The results show that the estimated uncertainty range of the first and second moment bias can accurately represent the sampling error under most circumstances in a real forecasting system.

  12. Quantitative assessment of early brain damage in a rat model of focal cerebral ischaemia.

    PubMed Central

    Osborne, K A; Shigeno, T; Balarsky, A M; Ford, I; McCulloch, J; Teasdale, G M; Graham, D I

    1987-01-01

    A method for the volumetric assessment of early cerebral infarction, together with its statistical and biological validation, is described. In halothane anaesthetised rats the stem of the right middle cerebral artery was occluded and 3 hours later (with full monitoring of respiratory and cardiovascular status) the animals were killed by perfusion fixation. In normotensive normocapnic animals the volume of infarction was 52 +/- 4 mm3 in the cerebral cortex and 21 +/- 1 mm3 in the corpus striatum. The reproducibility of the volumetric assessment was found to be excellent (coefficient of correlation 0.995 on 18 replicate measurements). The minimum number of stereotactic levels which must be assessed to yield accurate volumetric measurements of infarction is 8. The method is sensitive at detecting alterations in the amount of infarction. For example, it can readily detect the increase in amount of structural damage in cerebral cortex following a transient episode of hypotension. This approach allows an objective assessment of drug therapy and management strategies in the treatment of cerebral infarction. PMID:3585350

  13. A qualitative and quantitative needs assessment of pain management for hospitalized orthopedic patients.

    PubMed

    Cordts, Grace A; Grant, Marian S; Brandt, Lynsey E; Mears, Simon C

    2011-08-08

    Despite advances in pain management, little formal teaching is given to practitioners and nurses in its use for postoperative orthopedic patients. The goal of our study was to determine the educational needs for orthopedic pain management of our residents, nurses, and physical therapists using a quantitative and qualitative assessment. The needs analysis was conducted in a 10-bed orthopedic unit at a teaching hospital and included a survey given to 20 orthopedic residents, 9 nurses, and 6 physical therapists, followed by focus groups addressing barriers to pain control and knowledge of pain management. Key challenges for nurses included not always having breakthrough pain medication orders and the gap in pain management between cessation of patient-controlled analgesia and ordering and administering oral medications. Key challenges for orthopedic residents included treating pain in patients with a history of substance abuse, assessing pain, and determining when to use long-acting vs short-acting opioids. Focus group assessments revealed a lack of training in pain management and the need for better coordination of care between nurses and practitioners and improved education about special needs groups (the elderly and those with substance abuse issues). This needs assessment showed that orthopedic residents and nurses receive little formal education on pain management, despite having to address pain on a daily basis. This information will be used to develop an educational program to improve pain management for postoperative orthopedic patients. An integrated educational program with orthopedic residents, nurses, and physical therapists would promote understanding of issues for each discipline.

  14. Quantitative Integration of Ndt with Probabilistic Fracture Mechanics for the Assessment of Fracture Risk in Pipelines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurz, J. H.; Cioclov, D.; Dobmann, G.; Boller, C.

    2010-02-01

    In the context of probabilistic paradigm of fracture risk assessment in structural components a computer simulation rationale is presented which has at the base the integration of Quantitative Non-destructive Inspection and Probabilistic Fracture Mechanics. In this study the static failure under static loading is assessed in the format known as Failure Assessment Diagram (FAD). The fracture risk is evaluated in probabilistic terms. The superposed probabilistic pattern over the deterministic one is implemented via Monte-Carlo sampling. The probabilistic fracture simulation yields a more informative analysis in terms of probability of failure. The ability to simulate the influence of the quality and reliability of non-destructive inspection (NDI) is an important feature of this approach. It is achieved by integrating, algorithmically, probabilistic FAD analysis and the Probability of Detection (POD). The POD information can only be applied in a probabilistic analysis and leads to a refinement of the assessment. By this means, it can be ascertained the decrease of probability of failure when POD-characterized NDI is applied. Therefore, this procedure can be used as a tool for inspection based life time conceptions. In this paper results of sensitivity analyses are presented with the aim to outline, in terms of non-failure probabilities, the benefits of applying NDI, in various qualities, in comparison with the situation when NDI is lacking. A better substantiation is enabled of both the component reliability management and the costs-effectiveness of NDI timing.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Lepinski, James

    2013-09-30

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

  16. Quantitative assessment of properties of make-up products by video imaging: application to lipsticks.

    PubMed

    Korichi, Rodolphe; Provost, Robin; Heusèle, Catherine; Schnebert, Sylvianne

    2000-11-01

    BACKGROUND/AIMS: The different properties and visual effects of lipstick have been studied by image analysis directly on volunteers. METHODS: After controlling the volunteer's position mechanically using an ophthalmic table and visually using an acquirement mask, which is an indicator of luminance and guide marks, we carried out video colour images of the make-up area. From these images, we quantified the colour, gloss, covering power, long-lasting effect and streakiness, using computer science programs. RESULTS/CONCLUSION: Quantitative colorimetric assessment requires the transformation of the RGB components obtained by a video colour camera into CIELAB colorimetric space. The expression of each coordinate of the L*a*b* space according to R,G,B was carried out by a statistical method of polynomial approximations. A study, using 24 colour images extracted from a Pantone(R) palette, showed a very good correlation with a Minolta Colorimeter(R) CR 300. The colour assessment on volunteers required a segmentation method by maximizing the entropy. The aim was to separate the colour information sent back by the skin to the make-up area. It was very useful to precisely delimit the contour between the skin and the product in the case of almost identical colours and to evaluate the streakiness. From this colour segmentation, an algorithm was studied to search for the shades most represented in the overall colour of the make-up area. The capacity to replicate what the consumer perceives of the make-up product, to carry out studies without having any contact with the skin surface, and the constant improvement of software and video acquirement systems all make video imaging a very useful tool in the quantitative assessment of the properties and visual effects of a make-up product. PMID:11428961

  17. Quantitative assessment of properties of make-up products by video imaging: application to lipsticks.

    PubMed

    Korichi, Rodolphe; Provost, Robin; Heusèle, Catherine; Schnebert, Sylvianne

    2000-11-01

    BACKGROUND/AIMS: The different properties and visual effects of lipstick have been studied by image analysis directly on volunteers. METHODS: After controlling the volunteer's position mechanically using an ophthalmic table and visually using an acquirement mask, which is an indicator of luminance and guide marks, we carried out video colour images of the make-up area. From these images, we quantified the colour, gloss, covering power, long-lasting effect and streakiness, using computer science programs. RESULTS/CONCLUSION: Quantitative colorimetric assessment requires the transformation of the RGB components obtained by a video colour camera into CIELAB colorimetric space. The expression of each coordinate of the L*a*b* space according to R,G,B was carried out by a statistical method of polynomial approximations. A study, using 24 colour images extracted from a Pantone(R) palette, showed a very good correlation with a Minolta Colorimeter(R) CR 300. The colour assessment on volunteers required a segmentation method by maximizing the entropy. The aim was to separate the colour information sent back by the skin to the make-up area. It was very useful to precisely delimit the contour between the skin and the product in the case of almost identical colours and to evaluate the streakiness. From this colour segmentation, an algorithm was studied to search for the shades most represented in the overall colour of the make-up area. The capacity to replicate what the consumer perceives of the make-up product, to carry out studies without having any contact with the skin surface, and the constant improvement of software and video acquirement systems all make video imaging a very useful tool in the quantitative assessment of the properties and visual effects of a make-up product.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Singer, D.A.

    1993-01-01

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

  20. Establishment of an x-ray standard calibration curve by conventional dicentric analysis as prerequisite for accurate radiation dose assessment.

    PubMed

    Beinke, Christina; Braselmann, Herbert; Meineke, Viktor

    2010-02-01

    The dicentric assay was established to carry out cytogenetic biodosimetry after suspected radiation overexposure, including a comprehensive documentation system to record the processing of the specimen, all data, results, and stored information. As an essential prerequisite for retrospective radiation dose assessment, a dose-response curve for dicentric induction by in vitro x-ray irradiation of peripheral blood samples was produced. The accelerating potential was 240 kV (maximum photon energy: 240 keV). A total of 8,377 first-division metaphases of four healthy volunteers were analyzed after exposure to doses ranging from 0.2 to 4.0 Gy at a dose rate of 1.0 Gy min. The background level of aberrations at 0-dose was determined by the analysis of 14,522 first-division metaphases obtained from unirradiated blood samples of 10 healthy volunteers. The dose-response relationship follows a linear-quadratic equation, Y = c + alphaD + betaD, with the coefficients c = 0.0005 +/- 0.0002, alpha = 0.043 +/- 0.006, and beta = 0.063 +/- 0.004. The technical competence and the quality of the calibration curve were assessed by determination of the dose prediction accuracy in an in vitro experiment simulating whole-body exposures within a range of 0.2 to 2.0 Gy. Dose estimations were derived by scoring up to 500-1,000 metaphase spreads or more (full estimation mode) and by evaluating only 50 metaphase spreads (triage mode) per subject. The triage mode was applied by performing manifold evaluations of the full estimation data in order to test the robustness of the curve for triage purposes and to assess possible variations among the estimated doses referring to a single exposure and preparation.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  3. The importance of tissue handling of surgically removed breast cancer for an accurate assessment of the Ki-67 index

    PubMed Central

    Arima, Nobuyuki; Nishimura, Reiki; Osako, Tomofumi; Nishiyama, Yasuyuki; Fujisue, Mamiko; Okumura, Yasuhiro; Nakano, Masahiro; Tashima, Rumiko; Toyozumi, Yasuo

    2016-01-01

    Aim Insufficient attention for the Ki-67 immunohistochemistry has been given to the importance of tissue handling for surgical breast cancer specimens. We sought to investigate the effect of fixation status on the Ki-67. Methods We examined the effect of fixative, time to and duration of fixation using surgical specimens, and finally, compared the paired Ki-67 index in the tumour between core needle and surgical specimen. Results The Ki-67 was significantly higher when 10% neutral buffered formalin was used (p=0.0276). Insufficient fixation caused a drastic reduction in the Ki-67 index (p=0.0177), but not significant in oestrogen receptor (ER) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). Sixteen hours delayed time to fixation also caused a reduction of the Ki-67 (p=0.0284), but not significant in ER. Prolonged fixation significantly led to a gradual reduction in the Ki-67 in a time-dependent manner, but not in both ER and HER2. Finally, cutting the tumour before fixation improved fixation status and consequently caused an increased level of the Ki-67 index (p=0.0181), which resulted in a strong correlation of the Ki-67 between core needle and surgical specimen (r=0.8595). Conclusions Tissue handling of surgical specimen is critical for assessing the Ki-67 compared with ER and HER2. We should pay more attention to tissue fixation status for the standard assessment of the Ki-67 index. PMID:26420767

  4. Quantitative assessment of MS plaques and brain atrophy in multiple sclerosis using semiautomatic segmentation method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinonen, Tomi; Dastidar, Prasun; Ryymin, Pertti; Lahtinen, Antti J.; Eskola, Hannu; Malmivuo, Jaakko

    1997-05-01

    Quantitative magnetic resonance (MR) imaging of the brain is useful in multiple sclerosis (MS) in order to obtain reliable indices of disease progression. The goal of this project was to estimate the total volume of gliotic and non gliotic plaques in chronic progressive multiple sclerosis with the help of a semiautomatic segmentation method developed at the Ragnar Granit Institute. Youth developed program running on a PC based computer provides de displays of the segmented data, in addition to the volumetric analyses. The volumetric accuracy of the program was demonstrated by segmenting MR images of fluid filed syringes. An anatomical atlas is to be incorporated in the segmentation system to estimate the distribution of MS plaques in various neural pathways of the brain. A total package including MS plaque volume estimation, estimation of brain atrophy and ventricular enlargement, distribution of MS plaques in different neural segments of the brain has ben planned for the near future. Our study confirmed that total lesion volumes in chronic MS disease show a poor correlation to EDSS scores but show a positive correlation to neuropsychological scores. Therefore accurate total volume measurements of MS plaques using the developed semiautomatic segmentation technique helped us to evaluate the degree of neuropsychological impairment.

  5. 3D reconstruction and quantitative assessment method of mitral eccentric regurgitation from color Doppler echocardiography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Qi; Ge, Yi Nan; Wang, Tian Fu; Zheng, Chang Qiong; Zheng, Yi

    2005-10-01

    Based on the two-dimensional color Doppler image in this article, multilane transesophageal rotational scanning method is used to acquire original Doppler echocardiography while echocardiogram is recorded synchronously. After filtering and interpolation, the surface rendering and volume rendering methods are performed. Through analyzing the color-bar information and the color Doppler flow image's superposition principle, the grayscale mitral anatomical structure and color-coded regurgitation velocity parameter were separated from color Doppler flow images, three-dimensional reconstruction of mitral structure and regurgitation velocity distribution was implemented separately, fusion visualization of the reconstructed regurgitation velocity distribution parameter with its corresponding 3D mitral anatomical structures was realized, which can be used in observing the position, phase, direction and measuring the jet length, area, volume, space distribution and severity level of the mitral regurgitation. In addition, in patients with eccentric mitral regurgitation, this new modality overcomes the inherent limitations of two-dimensional color Doppler flow image by depicting the full extent of the jet trajectory, the area of eccentric regurgitation on three-dimensional image was much larger than that on two-dimensional image, the area variation tendency and volume variation tendency of regurgitation have been shown in figure at different angle and different systolic phase. The study shows that three-dimensional color Doppler provides quantitative measurements of eccentric mitral regurgitation that are more accurate and reproducible than conventional color Doppler.

  6. Quantitative assessment of the multivalent protein-carbohydrate interactions on silicon.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jie; Chazalviel, Jean-Noël; Siriwardena, Aloysius; Boukherroub, Rabah; Ozanam, François; Szunerits, Sabine; Gouget-Laemmel, Anne Chantal

    2014-10-21

    A key challenge in the development of glycan arrays is that the sensing interface be fabricated reliably so as to ensure the sensitive and accurate analysis of the protein-carbohydrate interaction of interest, reproducibly. These goals are complicated in the case of glycan arrays as surface sugar density can influence dramatically the strength and mode of interaction of the sugar ligand at any interface with lectin partners. In this Article, we describe the preparation of carboxydecyl-terminated crystalline silicon (111) surfaces onto which are grafted either mannosyl moieties or a mixture of mannose and spacer alcohol molecules to provide "diluted" surfaces. The fabrication of the silicon surfaces was achieved efficiently through a strategy implicating a "click" coupling step. The interactions of these newly fabricated glycan interfaces with the lectin, Lens culinaris, have been characterized using quantitative infrared (IR) spectroscopy in the attenuated total geometry (ATR). The density of mannose probes and lectin targets was precisely determined for the first time by the aid of special IR calibration experiments, thus allowing for the interpretation of the distribution of mannose and its multivalent binding with lectins. These experimental findings were accounted for by numerical simulations of lectin adsorption. PMID:25216376

  7. Quantitative bioluminometric method for DNA-based species/varietal identification in food authenticity assessment.

    PubMed

    Trantakis, Ioannis A; Christopoulos, Theodore K; Spaniolas, Stelios; Kalaitzis, Panagiotis; Ioannou, Penelope C; Tucker, Gregory A

    2012-02-01

    A method is reported for species quantification by exploiting single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). These single-base changes in DNA are particularly useful because they enable discrimination of closely related species and/or varieties. As a model, quantitative authentication studies were performed on coffee. These involved the determination of the percentage of Arabica and Robusta species based on a SNP in the chloroplastic trnL(UAA)-trnF(GAA) intraspacer region. Following polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the Robusta-specific and Arabica-specific fragments were subjected to 15 min extension reactions by DNA polymerase using species-specific primers carrying oligo(dA) tags. Biotin was incorporated into the extended strands. The products were captured in streptavidin-coated microtiter wells and quantified by using oligo(dT)-conjugated photoprotein aequorin. Aequorin was measured within 3 s via its characteristic flash-type bioluminescent reaction that was triggered by the addition of Ca(2+). Because of the close resemblance between the two DNA fragments, during PCR one species serves as an internal standard for the other. The percentage of the total luminescence signal obtained from a certain species was linearly related to the percent content of the sample with respect to this species. The method is accurate and reproducible. The microtiter well-based assay configuration allows high sample throughput and facilitates greatly the automation.

  8. Quantitative assessment of sample stiffness and sliding friction from force curves in atomic force microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Pratt, Jon R.; Shaw, Gordon A.; Kumanchik, Lee; Burnham, Nancy A.

    2010-02-15

    It has long been recognized that the angular deflection of an atomic force microscope (AFM) cantilever under ''normal'' loading conditions can be profoundly influenced by the friction between the tip and the surface. It is shown here that a remarkably quantifiable hysteresis occurs in the slope of loading curves whenever the normal flexural stiffness of the AFM cantilever is greater than that of the sample. This situation arises naturally in cantilever-on-cantilever calibration, but also when trying to measure the stiffness of nanomechanical devices or test structures, or when probing any type of surface or structure that is much more compliant along the surface normal than in transverse directions. Expressions and techniques for evaluating the coefficient of sliding friction between the cantilever tip and sample from normal force curves, as well as relations for determining the stiffness of a mechanically compliant specimen are presented. The model is experimentally supported by the results of cantilever-on-cantilever spring constant calibrations. The cantilever spring constants determined here agree with the values determined using the NIST electrostatic force balance within the limits of the largest uncertainty component, which had a relative value of less than 2.5%. This points the way for quantitative testing of micromechanical and nanomechanical components, more accurate calibration of AFM force, and provides nanotribologists access to information about contact friction from normal force curves.

  9. Discrepancies in quantitative assessment of normal and regenerated peripheral nerve fibers between light and electron microscopy.

    PubMed

    Ronchi, Giulia; Jager, Sara Buskbjerg; Vaegter, Christian Bjerggaard; Raimondo, Stefania; Giacobini-Robecchi, Maria Giuseppina; Geuna, Stefano

    2014-09-01

    Quantitative estimation of myelinated nerve fiber number, together with fiber size parameters, is one of the most important tools for nerve regeneration research. In this study we used a design-based stereological method to evaluate the regenerative process in two experimental paradigms: crush injury and autograft repair. Samples were embedded in resin and morphometric counting and measurements were performed using both light and electron microscopes. Results show a significant difference in myelinated fiber number estimation between light and electron microscopes, especially after autograft repair; light microscope significantly underestimates the number of fibers because of the large number of very small axons that can be detected only in electron microscope. The analysis of the size parameters also shows a higher number of small fibers in electron microscopic analysis, especially in regenerated nerves. This comparative study shows that the integration of data obtained in light microscope with those obtained in electron microscope is necessary in revealing very small myelinated fibers that cannot be detected otherwise. Moreover, the difference in the estimation of total number of myelinated fibers between light and electron microscopes must be considered in data analysis to ensure accurate interpretation of the results.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. The application of quantitative risk assessment to microbial food safety risks.

    PubMed

    Jaykus, L A

    1996-01-01

    Regulatory programs and guidelines for the control of foodborne microbial agents have existed in the U.S. for nearly 100 years. However, increased awareness of the scope and magnitude of foodborne disease, as well as the emergence of previously unrecognized human pathogens transmitted via the foodborne route, have prompted regulatory officials to consider new and improved strategies to reduce the health risks associated with pathogenic microorganisms in foods. Implementation of these proposed strategies will involve definitive costs for a finite level of risk reduction. While regulatory decisions regarding the management of foodborne disease risk have traditionally been done with the aid of the scientific community, a formal conceptual framework for the evaluation of health risks from pathogenic microorganisms in foods is warranted. Quantitative risk assessment (QRA), which is formally defined as the technical assessment of the nature and magnitude of a risk caused by a hazard, provides such a framework. Reproducing microorganisms in foods present a particular challenge to QRA because both their introduction and numbers may be affected by numerous factors within the food chain, with all of these factors representing significant stages in food production, handling, and consumption, in a farm-to-table type of approach. The process of QRA entails four designated phases: (1) hazard identification, (2) exposure assessment, (3) dose-response assessment, and (4) risk characterization. Specific analytical tools are available to accomplish the analyses required for each phase of the QRA. The purpose of this paper is to provide a description of the conceptual framework for quantitative microbial risk assessment within the standard description provided by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) paradigm. Each of the sequential steps in QRA are discussed in detail, providing information on current applications, tools for conducting the analyses, and methodological and/or data

  12. Quantitative assessment of cutaneous sensory function in subjects with neurologic disease.

    PubMed

    Conomy, J P; Barnes, K L

    1976-12-01

    Based upon techniques devised for the behavioral study of cutaneous sensation in monkeys, a method has been developed which studies quantitatively cutaneous sensation in man. The techniques is analogous to the von Békésy method of audiometry and employs a subject-operated stimulus and signalling divice. In tests utilizing electrical stimulation of the skin surfaces the subject serves as his own control for comparison of one cutaneous zone with another and from one trial session to another. A permanent, written record of stimulus and nonverbal perceptual response is produced in this instrumental method which permits statistical analysis of responses. The analysis includes determination of cutaneous sensory thresholds, limits of stimulus intensity during detection, duration of perception, detection cycle rates, and persistence indices. This instrumental method of cutaneous sensory assessment is quantifiable, free of verbal bias, and repeatable in terms of defined stimulus strengths. In applied clinical studies, patients with peripheral nerve lesions show elevations of perceptual thresholds, reduced numbers of detection-disappearance cycles per unit time, prolonged, contorted decay slopes, and occasionally persistence of perception in the absence of stimulation. Patients with central lesions have variable threshold abnormalities, but little slowing of cycle rate or perceptual persistence. These quantitative sensation parameters can be evaluated longitudinally during the course of an illness and its treatment. The method has potential use in the investigation of basic aspects of sensation and its interactions with behavior.

  13. Residual Isocyanates in Medical Devices and Products: A Qualitative and Quantitative Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Franklin, Gillian; Harari, Homero; Ahsan, Samavi; Bello, Dhimiter; Sterling, David A.; Nedrelow, Jonathan; Raynaud, Scott; Biswas, Swati; Liu, Youcheng

    2016-01-01

    We conducted a pilot qualitative and quantitative assessment of residual isocyanates and their potential initial exposures in neonates, as little is known about their contact effect. After a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) stockroom inventory, polyurethane (PU) and PU foam (PUF) devices and products were qualitatively evaluated for residual isocyanates using Surface SWYPE™. Those containing isocyanates were quantitatively tested for methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) species, using UPLC-UV-MS/MS method. Ten of 37 products and devices tested, indicated both free and bound residual surface isocyanates; PU/PUF pieces contained aromatic isocyanates; one product contained aliphatic isocyanates. Overall, quantified mean MDI concentrations were low (4,4′-MDI = 0.52 to 140.1 pg/mg) and (2,4′-MDI = 0.01 to 4.48 pg/mg). The 4,4′-MDI species had the highest measured concentration (280 pg/mg). Commonly used medical devices/products contain low, but measurable concentrations of residual isocyanates. Quantifying other isocyanate species and neonatal skin exposure to isocyanates from these devices and products requires further investigation. PMID:27773989

  14. Quantitative assessment of mis-registration issues of diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yue; Jiang, Hangyi; Mori, Susumu

    2012-02-01

    Image distortions caused by eddy current and patient motion have been two major sources of the mis-registration issues in diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Numerous registration methods have been proposed to correct them. However, quality control of DTI remains an important issue, because we rarely report how much mis-registration existed and how well they were corrected. In this paper, we propose a method for quantitative reporting of DTI data quality. This registration method minimizes a cost function based on mean square tensor fitting errors. Registration with twelve-parameter full affine transformation is used. From the registration result, distortion and motion parameters are estimated. Because the translation parameters involve both eddy-current-induced image translation and the patient motion, by analyzing the transformation model, we separate them by removing the contributions that are linearly correlated with diffusion gradients. We define the metrics measuring the amounts of distortion, rotation, translation. We tested our method on a database with 64 subjects and found the statistics of each of metrics. Finally we demonstrate that how these statistics can be used for assessing the data quality quantitatively in several examples.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  16. Quantitative gallium 67 lung scan to assess the inflammatory activity in the pneumoconioses

    SciTech Connect

    Bisson, G.; Lamoureux, G.; Begin, R.

    1987-01-01

    Gallium 67 lung scan has recently become increasingly used to evaluate the biological activity of alveolitis of interstitial lung diseases and to stage the disease process. In order to have a more precise and objective indicator of the inflammatory activity in the lung, we and others have developed computer-based quantitative techniques to process the /sup 67/Ga scan. In this report, we compare the results of three such computer-based methods of analysis of the scans of 38 normal humans and 60 patients suspected to have pneumoconiosis. Results of previous investigations on the mechanisms of /sup 67/Ga uptake in interstitial lung disease are reviewed. These data strengthen the view that quantitative /sup 67/Ga lung scan has become a standard technique to assess inflammatory activity in the interstitial lung diseases and that computer-based method of analysis of the scan provides an index of inflammatory activity of the lung disease that correlates with lung lavage and biopsy indices of inflammation in the lung tissue. 51 references.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1992-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Xiangqun; Zhu, Jiang; Chen, Zhongping

    2016-04-01

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

  20. Quantitative assessment of apatite formation via a biomimetic method using quartz crystal microbalance.

    PubMed

    Tanahashi, M; Kokubo, T; Matsuda, T

    1996-06-01

    Quantitative assessment of hydroxyapatite formation on a gold surface via the biomimetic method, composed of a nucleation step in a simulated body fluid (SBF) containing glass powders and a subsequent apatite growth step in glass powder-free SBF, was made using a quartz crystal microbalance (QCM) technique. The frequency change of the QCM linearly increased with increasing soaking time, and largely depended on the nucleation period. The growth rates, defined as daily increase in thickness, increased monotonicly with an increasing nucleation period of up to 96 h, thereafter being constant at 2.0 microns/day. The growth rate of the apatite layer increased with increasing temperature of the SBF: 0.9, 2.0, and 3.8 microns/day at 25, 37, and 50 degrees C, respectively. The Arrhenius-type activation energy for the growth of apatite was 47.3 kJ/mol. The QCM method was found to be a very powerful tool for quantitative, in situ measurement of precipitation and growth of apatite in real time.

  1. Provisional guidance for quantitative risk assessment of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Schoeny, R.; Poirier, K.

    1993-07-01

    PAHs are products of incomplete combustion of organic materials; sources are, thus, widespread including cigarette smoke, municipal waste incineration, wood stove emissions, coal conversion, energy production form fossil fuels, and automobile and diesel exhaust. As PAHs are common environmental contaminants, it is important that EPA have a scientifically justified, consistent approach to the evaluation of human health risk from exposure to these compounds. For the majority of PAHs classified as B2, probable human carcinogen, data are insufficient for calculation of an inhalation or drinking water unit risk. Benzo(a)pyrene (BAP) is the most completely studied of the PAHs, and data, while problematic, are sufficient for calculation of quantitative estimates of carcinogenic potency. Toxicity Equivalency Factors (TEF) have been used by U.S. EPA on an interim basis for risk assessment of chlorinated dibenzodioxins and dibenzofurans. Data for PAHs do not meet all criteria for use of TEF. The document presents a somewhat different approach to quantitative estimation for PAHs using weighted potential potencies.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Ruiz, Patricia; Mumtaz, Moiz; Gombar, Vijay

    2011-07-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Young, Anthony; Vishwanath, Karthik

    2016-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-12-31

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Quantitative Assessment of Mouse Mammary Gland Morphology Using Automated Digital Image Processing and TEB Detection.

    PubMed

    Blacher, Silvia; Gérard, Céline; Gallez, Anne; Foidart, Jean-Michel; Noël, Agnès; Péqueux, Christel

    2016-04-01

    The assessment of rodent mammary gland morphology is largely used to study the molecular mechanisms driving breast development and to analyze the impact of various endocrine disruptors with putative pathological implications. In this work, we propose a methodology relying on fully automated digital image analysis methods including image processing and quantification of the whole ductal tree and of the terminal end buds as well. It allows to accurately and objectively measure both growth parameters and fine morphological glandular structures. Mammary gland elongation was characterized by 2 parameters: the length and the epithelial area of the ductal tree. Ductal tree fine structures were characterized by: 1) branch end-point density, 2) branching density, and 3) branch length distribution. The proposed methodology was compared with quantification methods classically used in the literature. This procedure can be transposed to several software and thus largely used by scientists studying rodent mammary gland morphology. PMID:26910307

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  15. Quantitative assessment of the surface crack density in thermal barrier coatings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Li; Zhong, Zhi-Chun; Zhou, Yi-Chun; Lu, Chun-Sheng

    2014-04-01

    In this paper, a modified shear-lag model is developed to calculate the surface crack density in thermal barrier coatings (TBCs). The mechanical properties of TBCs are also measured to quantitatively assess their surface crack density. Acoustic emission (AE) and digital image correlation methods are applied to monitor the surface cracking in TBCs under tensile loading. The results show that the calculated surface crack density from the modified model is in agreement with that obtained from experiments. The surface cracking process of TBCs can be discriminated by their AE characteristics and strain evolution. Based on the correlation of energy released from cracking and its corresponding AE signals, a linear relationship is built up between the surface crack density and AE parameters, with the slope being dependent on the mechanical properties of TBCs. [Figure not available: see fulltext.

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

    PubMed Central

    Røttingen, John-Arne

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Estimation methods for monthly humidity from dynamical downscaling data for quantitative assessments of climate change impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ueyama, Hideki

    2012-07-01

    Methods are proposed to estimate the monthly relative humidity and wet bulb temperature based on observations from a dynamical downscaling coupled general circulation model with a regional climate model (RCM) for a quantitative assessment of climate change impacts. The water vapor pressure estimation model developed was a regression model with a monthly saturated water vapor pressure that used minimum air temperature as a variable. The monthly minimum air temperature correction model for RCM bias was developed by stepwise multiple regression analysis using the difference in monthly minimum air temperatures between observations and RCM output as a dependent variable and geographic factors as independent variables. The wet bulb temperature was estimated using the estimated water vapor pressure, air temperature, and atmospheric pressure at ground level both corrected for RCM bias. Root mean square errors of the data decreased considerably in August.

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

    PubMed

    Sakaie, Ken E; Lowe, Mark J

    2010-02-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-06-01

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

  20. Attribution of human VTEC O157 infection from meat products: a quantitative risk assessment approach.

    PubMed

    Kosmider, Rowena D; Nally, Pádraig; Simons, Robin R L; Brouwer, Adam; Cheung, Susan; Snary, Emma L; Wooldridge, Marion

    2010-05-01

    To address the risk posed to human health by the consumption of VTEC O157 within contaminated pork, lamb, and beef products within Great Britain, a quantitative risk assessment model has been developed. This model aims to simulate the prevalence and amount of VTEC O157 in different meat products at consumption within a single model framework by adapting previously developed models. The model is stochastic in nature, enabling both variability (natural variation between animals, carcasses, products) and uncertainty (lack of knowledge) about the input parameters to be modeled. Based on the model assumptions and data, it is concluded that the prevalence of VTEC O157 in meat products (joints and mince) at consumption is low (i.e., <0.04%). Beef products, particularly beef burgers, present the highest estimated risk with an estimated eight out of 100,000 servings on average resulting in human infection with VTEC O157.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  2. A quantitative assessment of using the Kinect for Xbox 360 for respiratory surface motion tracking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alnowami, M.; Alnwaimi, B.; Tahavori, F.; Copland, M.; Wells, K.

    2012-02-01

    This paper describes a quantitative assessment of the Microsoft Kinect for X-box360TM for potential application in tracking respiratory and body motion in diagnostic imaging and external beam radiotherapy. However, the results can also be used in many other biomedical applications. We consider the performance of the Kinect in controlled conditions and find mm precision at depths of 0.8-1.5m. We also demonstrate the use of the Kinect for monitoring respiratory motion of the anterior surface. To improve the performance of respiratory monitoring, we fit a spline model of the chest surface through the depth data as a method of a marker-less monitoring of a respiratory motion. In addition, a comparison between the Kinect camera with and without zoom lens and a marker-based system was used to evaluate the accuracy of using the Kinect camera as a respiratory tracking system.

  3. Quantitative Framework for Retrospective Assessment of Interim Decisions in Clinical Trials

    PubMed Central

    Stanev, Roger

    2016-01-01

    This article presents a quantitative way of modeling the interim decisions of clinical trials. While statistical approaches tend to focus on the epistemic aspects of statistical monitoring rules, often overlooking ethical considerations, ethical approaches tend to neglect the key epistemic dimension. The proposal is a second-order decision-analytic framework. The framework provides means for retrospective assessment of interim decisions based on a clear and consistent set of criteria that combines both ethical and epistemic considerations. The framework is broadly Bayesian and addresses a fundamental question behind many concerns about clinical trials: What does it take for an interim decision (e.g., whether to stop the trial or continue) to be a good decision? Simulations illustrating the modeling of interim decisions counterfactually are provided. PMID:27353825

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2014-06-15

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

  6. Are skinfold-based models accurate and suitable for assessing changes in body composition in highly trained athletes?

    PubMed

    Silva, Analiza M; Fields, David A; Quitério, Ana L; Sardinha, Luís B

    2009-09-01

    This study was designed to assess the usefulness of skinfold (SKF) equations developed by Jackson and Pollock (JP) and by Evans (Ev) in tracking body composition changes (relative fat mass [%FM], absolute fat mass [FM], and fat-free mass [FFM]) of elite male judo athletes before a competition using a 4-compartment (4C) model as the reference method. A total of 18 male, top-level (age: 22.6 +/- 2.9 yr) athletes were evaluated at baseline (weight: 73.4 +/- 7.9 kg; %FM4C: 7.0 +/- 3.3%; FM4C: 5.1 +/- 2.6 kg; and FFM4C: 68.3 +/- 7.3 kg) and before a competition (weight: 72.7 +/- 7.5 kg; %FM4C: 6.5 +/- 3.4%; FM4C: 4.8 +/- 2.6 kg; and FFM4C: 67.9 +/- 7.1 kg). Measures of body density assessed by air displacement plethysmography, bone mineral content by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, and total-body water by bioelectrical impedance spectroscopy were used to estimate 4C model %FM, FM, and FFM. Seven SKF site models using both JP and Ev were used to estimate %FM, FM, and FFM along with the simplified Ev3SKF site. Changes in %FM, FM, and FFM were not significantly different from the 4C model. The regression model for the SKF in question and the reference method did not differ from the line of identity in estimating changes in %FM, FM, and FFM. The limits of agreement were similar, ranging from -3.4 to 3.6 for %FM, -2.7 to 2.5 kg for FM, and -2.5 to 2.7 kg for FFM. Considering the similar performance of both 7SKF- and 3SKF-based equations compared with the criterion method, these data indicate that either the 7- or 3-site SFK models are not valid to detect %FM, FM, and FFM changes of highly trained athletes. These results highlighted the inaccuracy of anthropometric models in tracking desired changes in body composition of elite male judo athletes before a competition.

  7. A comparative study of qualitative and quantitative methods for the assessment of adhesive remnant after bracket debonding.

    PubMed

    Cehreli, S Burcak; Polat-Ozsoy, Omur; Sar, Cagla; Cubukcu, H Evren; Cehreli, Zafer C

    2012-04-01

    The amount of the residual adhesive after bracket debonding is frequently assessed in a qualitative manner, utilizing the adhesive remnant index (ARI). This study aimed to investigate whether quantitative assessment of the adhesive remnant yields more precise results compared to qualitative methods utilizing the 4- and 5-point ARI scales. Twenty debonded brackets were selected. Evaluation and scoring of the adhesive remnant on bracket bases were made consecutively using: 1. qualitative assessment (visual scoring) and 2. quantitative measurement (image analysis) on digital photographs. Image analysis was made on scanning electron micrographs (SEM) and high-precision elemental maps of the adhesive remnant as determined by energy dispersed X-ray spectrometry. Evaluations were made in accordance with the original 4-point and the modified 5-point ARI scales. Intra-class correlation coefficients (ICCs) were calculated, and the data were evaluated using Friedman test followed by Wilcoxon signed ranks test with Bonferroni correction. ICC statistics indicated high levels of agreement for qualitative visual scoring among examiners. The 4-point ARI scale was compliant with the SEM assessments but indicated significantly less adhesive remnant compared to the results of quantitative elemental mapping. When the 5-point scale was used, both quantitative techniques yielded similar results with those obtained qualitatively. These results indicate that qualitative visual scoring using the ARI is capable of generating similar results with those assessed by quantitative image analysis techniques. In particular, visual scoring with the 5-point ARI scale can yield similar results with both the SEM analysis and elemental mapping.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Waters, Michael Jackson, Marcus

    2008-11-15

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCollough, Cynthia H.

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Elizabeth A.; RiCharde, Stephen

    2005-01-01

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

  12. Computer-aided quantitative bone scan assessment of prostate cancer treatment response

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Matthew S.; Chu, Gregory H.; Kim, Hyun J.; Allen-Auerbach, Martin; Poon, Cheryce; Bridges, Juliette; Vidovic, Adria; Ramakrishna, Bharath; Ho, Judy; Morris, Michael J.; Larson, Steven M.; Scher, Howard I.; Goldin, Jonathan G.

    2012-01-01

    Objective The development and evaluation of a computer-aided bone scan analysis technique to quantify changes in tumor burden and assess treatment effects in prostate cancer clinical trials. Methods We have developed and report on a commercial fully automated computer-aided detection system. Using this system, scan images were intensity normalized, then lesions identified and segmented by anatomic region-specific intensity thresholding. Detected lesions were compared against expert markings to assess the accuracy of the computer-aided detection system. The metrics Bone Scan Lesion Area, Bone Scan Lesion Intensity, and Bone Scan Lesion Count were calculated from identified lesions, and their utility in assessing treatment effects was evaluated by analyzing before and after scans from metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer patients: 10 treated and 10 untreated. In this study, patients were treated with cabozantinib, a MET/VEGF inhibitor resulting in high rates of resolution of bone scan abnormalities. Results Our automated computer-aided detection system identified bone lesion pixels with 94% sensitivity, 89% specificity, and 89% accuracy. Significant differences in changes from baseline were found between treated and untreated groups in all assessed measurements derived by our system. The most significant measure, Bone Scan Lesion Area, showed a median (interquartile range) change from baseline at week 6 of 7.13% (27.61) in the untreated group compared with −73.76% (45.38) in the cabozantinib-treated group (P = 0.0003). Conclusions Our system accurately and objectively identified and quantified metastases in bone scans, allowing for interpatient and intrapatient comparison. It demonstrates potential as an objective measurement of treatment effects, laying the foundation for validation against other clinically relevant outcome measures. PMID:22367858

  13. Comparison of Methodologies to Detect Low Levels of Hemolysis in Serum for Accurate Assessment of Serum microRNAs

    PubMed Central

    Shah, Jaynish S.; Soon, Patsy S.; Marsh, Deborah J.

    2016-01-01

    microRNAs have emerged as powerful regulators of many biological processes, and their expression in many cancer tissues has been shown to correlate with clinical parameters such as cancer type and prognosis. Present in a variety of biological fluids, microRNAs have been described as a ‘gold mine’ of potential noninvasive biomarkers. Release of microRNA content of blood cells upon hemolysis dramatically alters the microRNA profile in blood, potentially affecting levels of a significant number of proposed biomarker microRNAs and, consequently, accuracy of serum or plasma-based tests. Several methods to detect low levels of hemolysis have been proposed; however, a direct comparison assessing their sensitivities is currently lacking. In this study, we evaluated the sensitivities of four methods to detect hemolysis in serum (listed in the order of sensitivity): measurement of hemoglobin using a Coulter® AcT diff™ Analyzer, visual inspection, the absorbance of hemoglobin measured by spectrophotometry at 414 nm and the ratio of red blood cell-enriched miR-451a to the reference microRNA miR-23a-3p. The miR ratio detected hemolysis down to approximately 0.001%, whereas the Coulter® AcT diff™ Analyzer was unable to detect hemolysis lower than 1%. The spectrophotometric method could detect down to 0.004% hemolysis, and correlated with the miR ratio. Analysis of hemolysis in a cohort of 86 serum samples from cancer patients and healthy controls showed that 31 of 86 (36%) were predicted by the miR ratio to be hemolyzed, whereas only 8 of these samples (9%) showed visible pink discoloration. Using receiver operator characteristic (ROC) analyses, we identified absorbance cutoffs of 0.072 and 0.3 that could identify samples with low and high levels of hemolysis, respectively. Overall, this study will assist researchers in the selection of appropriate methodologies to test for hemolysis in serum samples prior to quantifying expression of microRNAs. PMID:27054342

  14. Rapid and accurate species and genomic species identification and exhaustive population diversity assessment of Agrobacterium spp. using recA-based PCR.

    PubMed

    Shams, M; Vial, L; Chapulliot, D; Nesme, X; Lavire, C

    2013-07-01

    Agrobacteria are common soil bacteria that interact with plants as commensals, plant growth promoting rhizobacteria or alternatively as pathogens. Indigenous agrobacterial populations are composites, generally with several species and/or genomic species and several strains per species. We thus developed a recA-based PCR approach to accurately identify and specifically detect agrobacteria at various taxonomic levels. Specific primers were designed for all species and/or genomic species of Agrobacterium presently known, including 11 genomic species of the Agrobacterium tumefaciens complex (G1-G9, G13 and G14, among which only G2, G4, G8 and G14 still received a Latin epithet: pusense, radiobacter, fabrum and nepotum, respectively), A. larrymoorei, A. rubi, R. skierniewicense, A. sp. 1650, and A. vitis, and for the close relative Allorhizobium undicola. Specific primers were also designed for superior taxa, Agrobacterium spp. and Rhizobiaceace. Primer specificities were assessed with target and non-target pure culture DNAs as well as with DNAs extracted from composite agrobacterial communities. In addition, we showed that the amplicon cloning-sequencing approach used with Agrobacterium-specific or Rhizobiaceae-specific primers is a way to assess the agrobacterial diversity of an indigenous agrobacterial population. Hence, the agrobacterium-specific primers designed in the present study enabled the first accurate and rapid identification of all species and/or genomic species of Agrobacterium, as well as their direct detection in environmental samples.

  15. Non-destructive assessment of human ribs mechanical properties using quantitative ultrasound.

    PubMed

    Mitton, David; Minonzio, Jean-Gabriel; Talmant, Maryline; Ellouz, Rafaa; Rongieras, Frédéric; Laugier, Pascal; Bruyère-Garnier, Karine

    2014-04-11

    Advanced finite element models of the thorax have been developed to study, for example, the effects of car crashes. While there is a need for material properties to parameterize such models, specific properties are largely missing. Non-destructive techniques applicable in vivo would, therefore, be of interest to support further development of thorax models. The only non-destructive technique available today to derive rib bone properties would be based on quantitative computed tomography that measures bone mineral density. However, this approach is limited by the radiation dose. Bidirectional ultrasound axial transmission was developed on long bones ex vivo and used to assess in vivo health status of the radius. However, it is currently unknown if the ribs are good candidates for such a measurement. Therefore, the goal of this study is to evaluate the relationship between ex vivo ultrasonic measurements (axial transmission) and the mechanical properties of human ribs to determine if the mechanical properties of the ribs can be quantified non-destructively. The results show statistically significant relationships between the ultrasonic measurements and mechanical properties of the ribs. These results are promising with respect to a non-destructive and non-ionizing assessment of rib mechanical properties. This ex vivo study is a first step toward in vivo studies to derive subject-specific rib properties.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Shibata, Tomoyuki; Solo-Gabriele, Helena M

    2012-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  19. Development of a new quantitative gas permeability method for dental implant-abutment connection tightness assessment

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Most dental implant systems are presently made of two pieces: the implant itself and the abutment. The connection tightness between those two pieces is a key point to prevent bacterial proliferation, tissue inflammation and bone loss. The leak has been previously estimated by microbial, color tracer and endotoxin percolation. Methods A new nitrogen flow technique was developed for implant-abutment connection leakage measurement, adapted from a recent, sensitive, reproducible and quantitative method used to assess endodontic sealing. Results The results show very significant differences between various sealing and screwing conditions. The remaining flow was lower after key screwing compared to hand screwing (p = 0.03) and remained different from the negative test (p = 0.0004). The method reproducibility was very good, with a coefficient of variation of 1.29%. Conclusions Therefore, the presented new gas flow method appears to be a simple and robust method to compare different implant systems. It allows successive measures without disconnecting the abutment from the implant and should in particular be used to assess the behavior of the connection before and after mechanical stress. PMID:21492459

  20. Skeletal status assessed by quantitative ultrasound at the hand phalanges in karate training males.

    PubMed

    Drozdzowska, Bogna; Münzer, Ulrich; Adamczyk, Piotr; Pluskiewicz, Wojciech

    2011-02-01

    The aim of the study was to assess the influence of regularly exercised karate on the skeletal status. The study comprised a group of 226 males (the mean age: 25.64 ± 12.3 years, range 7-61 years), exercising for 61.9 ± 68.4 months, with the mean frequency of 3.12 ± 1.4 times per week, and 502 controls, matched for age and body size. The skeletal status was assessed by quantitative ultrasound, using a DBM Sonic 1200 (IGEA, Italy) sonographic device, which measures amplitude-dependent speed of sound (Ad-SoS [m/s]) at hand phalanges. Ad-SoS, T-score, Z-score were significantly higher in the examined karatekas than in controls. Up to age 18, there had been no difference between the study subjects and controls, while afterwards, up to age 35, the difference increased to stabilize again after age 35. Longer duration, higher frequency and earlier start of physical training positively influenced the skeletal status. In conclusion, karate is a sport with a positive influence on the skeletal status with the most significant benefits occurring in adults. PMID:21208731

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-14

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  3. Quantitative microbial risk assessment of distributed drinking water using faecal indicator incidence and concentrations.

    PubMed

    van Lieverloo, J Hein M; Blokker, E J Mirjam; Medema, Gertjan

    2007-01-01

    Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessments (QMRA) have focused on drinking water system components upstream of distribution to customers, for nominal and event conditions. Yet some 15-33% of waterborne outbreaks are reported to be caused by contamination events in distribution systems. In the majority of these cases and probably in all non-outbreak contamination events, no pathogen concentration data was available. Faecal contamination events are usually detected or confirmed by the presence of E. coli or other faecal indicators, although the absence of this indicator is no guarantee of the absence of faecal pathogens. In this paper, the incidence and concentrations of various coliforms and sources of faecal contamination were used to estimate the possible concentrations of faecal pathogens and consequently the infection risks to consumers in event-affected areas. The results indicate that the infection risks may be very high, especially from Campylobacter and enteroviruses, but also that the uncertainties are very high. The high variability of pathogen to thermotolerant coliform ratios estimated in environmental samples severely limits the applicability of the approach described. Importantly, the highest ratios of enteroviruses to thermotolerant coliform were suggested from soil and shallow groundwaters, the most likely sources of faecal contamination that are detected in distribution systems. Epidemiological evaluations of non-outbreak faecal contamination of drinking water distribution systems and thorough tracking and characterisation of the contamination sources are necessary to assess the actual risks of these events.

  4. Use of coefficient of variation in assessing variability of quantitative assays.

    PubMed

    Reed, George F; Lynn, Freyja; Meade, Bruce D

    2002-11-01

    We have derived the mathematical relationship between the coefficient of variation associated with repeated measurements from quantitative assays and the expected fraction of pairs of those measurements that differ by at least some given factor, i.e., the expected frequency of disparate results that are due to assay variability rather than true differences. Knowledge of this frequency helps determine what magnitudes of differences can be expected by chance alone when the particular coefficient of variation is in effect. This frequency is an operational index of variability in the sense that it indicates the probability of observing a particular disparity between two measurements under the assumption that they measure the same quantity. Thus the frequency or probability becomes the basis for assessing if an assay is sufficiently precise. This assessment also provides a standard for determining if two assay results for the same subject, separated by an intervention such as vaccination or infection, differ by more than expected from the variation of the assay, thus indicating an intervention effect. Data from an international collaborative study are used to illustrate the application of this proposed interpretation of the coefficient of variation, and they also provide support for the assumptions used in the mathematical derivation.

  5. Use of Coefficient of Variation in Assessing Variability of Quantitative Assays

    PubMed Central

    Reed, George F.; Lynn, Freyja; Meade, Bruce D.

    2002-01-01

    We have derived the mathematical relationship between the coefficient of variation associated with repeated measurements from quantitative assays and the expected fraction of pairs of those measurements that differ by at least some given factor, i.e., the expected frequency of disparate results that are due to assay variability rather than true differences. Knowledge of this frequency helps determine what magnitudes of differences can be expected by chance alone when the particular coefficient of variation is in effect. This frequency is an operational index of variability in the sense that it indicates the probability of observing a particular disparity between two measurements under the assumption that they measure the same quantity. Thus the frequency or probability becomes the basis for assessing if an assay is sufficiently precise. This assessment also provides a standard for determining if two assay results for the same subject, separated by an intervention such as vaccination or infection, differ by more than expected from the variation of the assay, thus indicating an intervention effect. Data from an international collaborative study are used to illustrate the application of this proposed interpretation of the coefficient of variation, and they also provide support for the assumptions used in the mathematical derivation. PMID:12414755

  6. Quantitative structure-activity relationships and ecological risk assessment: an overview of predictive aquatic toxicology research.

    PubMed

    Bradbury, S P

    1995-09-01

    In the field of aquatic toxicology, quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSARs) have developed as scientifically credible tools for predicting the toxicity of chemicals when little or no empirical data are available. A fundamental understanding of toxicological principles has been considered an important component to the acceptance and application of QSAR approaches as biologically relevant in ecological risk assessments. As a consequence, there has been an evolution of QSAR development and application from that of a chemical-class perspective to one that is more consistent with assumptions regarding modes of toxic action. In this review, techniques to assess modes of toxic action from chemical structure are discussed, with consideration that toxicodynamic knowledge bases must be clearly defined with regard to exposure regimes, biological models/endpoints and compounds that adequately span the diversity of chemicals anticipated for future applications. With such knowledge bases, classification systems, including rule-based expert systems, have been established for use in predictive aquatic toxicology applications. The establishment of QSAR techniques that are based on an understanding of toxic mechanisms is needed to provide a link to physiologically based toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic models, which can provide the means to extrapolate adverse effects across species and exposure regimes. PMID:7570660

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-01-01

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

  8. Quantitative ultrasound criteria for risk stratification in clinical practice: a comparative assessment.

    PubMed

    Noale, Marianna; Maggi, Stefania; Gonnelli, Stefano; Limongi, Federica; Zanoni, Silvia; Zambon, Sabina; Rozzini, Renzo; Crepaldi, Gaetano

    2012-07-01

    This study aimed to compare two different classifications of the risk of fracture/osteoporosis (OP) based on quantitative ultrasound (QUS). Analyses were based on data from the Epidemiological Study on the Prevalence of Osteoporosis, a cross-sectional study conducted in 2000 aimed at assessing the risk of OP in a representative sample of the Italian population. Subjects were classified into 5 groups considering the cross-classification found in previous studies; logistic regression models were defined separately for women and men to study the fracture risk attributable to groups defined by the cross-classification, adjusting for traditional risk factors. Eight-thousand six-hundred eighty-one subjects were considered in the analyses. Logistic regression models revealed that the two classifications seem to be able to identify a common core of individuals at low and at high risk of fractures, and the importance of a multidimensional assessment in older patients to evaluate clinical risk factors together with a simple, inexpensive, radiation-free device such as QUS.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    David, Simon; Visvikis, Dimitris; Roux, Christian; Hatt, Mathieu

    2011-01-01

    In Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging, an early therapeutic response is usually characterized by variations of semi-quantitative parameters restricted to maximum SUV measured in PET scans during the treatment. Such measurements do not reflect overall tumour volume and radiotracer uptake variations. The proposed approach is based on multi-observation image analysis for merging several PET acquisitions to assess tumour metabolic volume and uptake variations. The fusion algorithm is based on iterative estimation using stochastic expectation maximization (SEM) algorithm. The proposed method was applied to simulated and clinical follow-up PET images. We compared the multi-observation fusion performance to threshold-based methods, proposed for the assessment of the therapeutic response based on functional volumes. On simulated datasets, the adaptive threshold applied independently on both images led to higher errors than the ASEM fusion and on the clinical datasets, it failed to provide coherent measurements for four patients out of seven due to aberrant delineations. The ASEM method demonstrated improved and more robust estimation of the evaluation leading to more pertinent measurements. Future work will consist in extending the methodology and applying it to clinical multi-tracers datasets in order to evaluate its potential impact on the biological tumour volume definition for radiotherapy applications. PMID:21846937

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cox, D.P.

    1993-01-01

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

  12. Skeletal status assessed by quantitative ultrasound at the hand phalanges in karate training males.

    PubMed

    Drozdzowska, Bogna; Münzer, Ulrich; Adamczyk, Piotr; Pluskiewicz, Wojciech

    2011-02-01

    The aim of the study was to assess the influence of regularly exercised karate on the skeletal status. The study comprised a group of 226 males (the mean age: 25.64 ± 12.3 years, range 7-61 years), exercising for 61.9 ± 68.4 months, with the mean frequency of 3.12 ± 1.4 times per week, and 502 controls, matched for age and body size. The skeletal status was assessed by quantitative ultrasound, using a DBM Sonic 1200 (IGEA, Italy) sonographic device, which measures amplitude-dependent speed of sound (Ad-SoS [m/s]) at hand phalanges. Ad-SoS, T-score, Z-score were significantly higher in the examined karatekas than in controls. Up to age 18, there had been no difference between the study subjects and controls, while afterwards, up to age 35, the difference increased to stabilize again after age 35. Longer duration, higher frequency and earlier start of physical training positively influenced the skeletal status. In conclusion, karate is a sport with a positive influence on the skeletal status with the most significant benefits occurring in adults.

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-09-01

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

  14. The quantitative assessment of the pre- and postoperative craniosynostosis using the methods of image analysis.

    PubMed

    Fabijańska, Anna; Węgliński, Tomasz

    2015-12-01

    This paper considers the problem of the CT based quantitative assessment of the craniosynostosis before and after the surgery. First, fast and efficient brain segmentation approach is proposed. The algorithm is robust to discontinuity of skull. As a result it can be applied both in pre- and post-operative cases. Additionally, image processing and analysis algorithms are proposed for describing the disease based on CT scans. The proposed algorithms automate determination of the standard linear indices used for assessment of the craniosynostosis (i.e. cephalic index CI and head circumference HC) and allow for planar and volumetric analysis which so far have not been reported. Results of applying the introduced methods to sample craniosynostotic cases before and after the surgery are presented and discussed. The results show that the proposed brain segmentation algorithm is characterized by high accuracy when applied both in the pre- and postoperative craniosynostosis, while the introduced planar and volumetric indices for the disease description may be helpful to distinguish between the types of the disease.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Assessing the quality of conformal treatment planning: a new tool for quantitative comparison.

    PubMed

    Menhel, J; Levin, D; Alezra, D; Symon, Z; Pfeffer, R

    2006-10-21

    We develop a novel radiotherapy plan comparison index, critical organ scoring index (COSI), which is a measure of both target coverage and critical organ overdose. COSI is defined as COSI=1-(V(OAR)>tol/TC), where V(OAR)>tol is the fraction of volume of organ at risk receiving more than tolerance dose, and TC is the target coverage, VT,PI/VT, where VT,PI is the target volume receiving at a least prescription dose and VT is the total target volume. COSI approaches unity when the critical structure is completely spared and the target coverage is unity. We propose a two-dimensional, graphical representation of COSI versus conformity index (CI), where CI is a measure of a normal tissue overdose. We show that this 2D representation is a reliable, visual quantitative tool for evaluating competing plans. We generate COSI-CI plots for three sites: head and neck, cavernous sinus, and pancreas, and evaluate competing non-coplanar 3D and IMRT treatment plans. For all three sites this novel 2D representation assisted the physician in choosing the optimal plan, both in terms of target coverage and in terms of critical organ sparing. We verified each choice by analysing individual DVHs and isodose lines. Comparing our results to the widely used conformation number, we found that in all cases where there were discrepancies in the choice of the best treatment plan, the COSI-CI choice was considered the correct one, in several cases indicating that a non-coplanar 3D plan was superior to the IMRT plans. The choice of plan was quick, simple and accurate using the new graphical representation.

  20. Assessing the quality of conformal treatment planning: a new tool for quantitative comparison

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menhel, J.; Levin, D.; Alezra, D.; Symon, Z.; Pfeffer, R.

    2006-10-01

    We develop a novel radiotherapy plan comparison index, critical organ scoring index (COSI), which is a measure of both target coverage and critical organ overdose. COSI is defined as COSI = 1 - (V(OAR)>tol/TC), where V(OAR)>tol is the fraction of volume of organ at risk receiving more than tolerance dose, and TC is the target coverage, VT,PI/VT, where VT,PI is the target volume receiving at a least prescription dose and VT is the total target volume. COSI approaches unity when the critical structure is completely spared and the target coverage is unity. We propose a two-dimensional, graphical representation of COSI versus conformity index (CI), where CI is a measure of a normal tissue overdose. We show that this 2D representation is a reliable, visual quantitative tool for evaluating competing plans. We generate COSI-CI plots for three sites: head and neck, cavernous sinus, and pancreas, and evaluate competing non-coplanar 3D and IMRT treatment plans. For all three sites this novel 2D representation assisted the physician in choosing the optimal plan, both in terms of target coverage and in terms of critical organ sparing. We verified each choice by analysing individual DVHs and isodose lines. Comparing our results to the widely used conformation number, we found that in all cases where there were discrepancies in the choice of the best treatment plan, the COSI-CI choice was considered the correct one, in several cases indicating that a non-coplanar 3D plan was superior to the IMRT plans. The choice of plan was quick, simple and accurate using the new graphical representation.

  1. Quantitative assessment of the carbocation/carbene character of the gold-carbene bond.

    PubMed

    Azzopardi, Keith M; Bistoni, Giovanni; Ciancaleoni, Gianluca; Tarantelli, Francesco; Zuccaccia, Daniele; Belpassi, Leonardo

    2015-08-21

    The geometric perturbation of the cyclopropyl ring in [LAu(S)](n+) (S = cyclopropyl(methoxy)carbene) complexes has been recently proposed as an indirect experimental probe of the [LAu](n+) electron-donating power, but experimental data are available only for a phosphine ligand [Brooner et al., Chem. Commun., 2014, 50, 2420, L = P(t-Bu)2(o-biphenyl)]. We broaden the study through DFT geometry optimization of a large number of systems, including anionic, neutral and cationic ligands. We combine these results with the accurate calculation, through charge displacement analysis, of the Dewar-Chatt-Duncanson components of the Au-carbene bond. The results demonstrate a linear correlation between the distortion of the cyclopropyl ring (Δd) and the Au → C π back-donation, which enables us to confidently estimate back-donation from a simple geometry optimization or, when available, from experimental data such as X-ray crystal structures. Consequently, Δd can be reliably used to quantitatively determine the position of each system in the continuum between the carbocationic and carbene extremes and the percentage of back-donation that S is able to accept (Pback). In particular, Pback results to be vanishing with cationic ligands, between 18 and 27% with neutral phosphines and carbenes and around 50% with anionic ligands. Finally, we study the effect of the heteroatom on the substrate, showing that the absolute value of the back-donation is enhanced by around 25% when the methoxy is substituted by a methyl group. Despite this, since the absence of the heteroatom also enhances the maximum capacity of the carbene to accept back-donation, the position of the systems in the continuum moves only slightly toward the carbene end. PMID:26161587

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  3. Quantitative assessment of breast lesion viscoelasticity: initial clinical results using supersonic shear imaging.

    PubMed

    Tanter, Mickael; Bercoff, Jeremy; Athanasiou, Alexandra; Deffieux, Thomas; Gennisson, Jean-Luc; Montaldo, Gabriel; Muller, Marie; Tardivon, Anne; Fink, Mathias

    2008-09-01

    This paper presents an initial clinical evaluation of in vivo elastography for breast lesion imaging using the concept of supersonic shear imaging. This technique is based on the combination of a radiation force induced in tissue by an ultrasonic beam and an ultrafast imaging sequence capable of catching in real time the propagation of the resulting shear waves. The local shear wave velocity is recovered using a time-offlight technique and enables the 2-D mapping of shear elasticity. This imaging modality is implemented on a conventional linear probe driven by a dedicated ultrafast echographic device. Consequently, it can be performed during a standard echographic examination. The clinical investigation was performed on 15 patients, which corresponded to 15 lesions (4 cases BI-RADS 3, 7 cases BI-RADS 4 and 4 cases BI-RADS 5). The ability of the supersonic shear imaging technique to provide a quantitative and local estimation of the shear modulus of abnormalities with a millimetric resolution is illustrated on several malignant (invasive ductal and lobular carcinoma) and benign cases (fibrocystic changes and viscous cysts). In the investigated cases, malignant lesions were found to be significantly different from benign solid lesions with respect to their elasticity values. Cystic lesions have shown no shear wave propagate at all in the lesion (because shear waves do not propage in liquid). These preliminary clinical results directly demonstrate the clinical feasibility of this new elastography technique in providing quantitative assessment of relative stiffness of breast tissues. This technique of evaluating tissue elasticity gives valuable information that is complementary to the B-mode morphologic information. More extensive studies are necessary to validate the assumption that this new mode potentially helps the physician in both false-positive and false-negative rejection.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Delayed villous maturation of the placenta: quantitative assessment in different cohorts.

    PubMed

    Treacy, Ann; Higgins, Mary; Kearney, John M; McAuliffe, Fionnuala; Mooney, Eoghan E

    2013-01-01

    Placental villous maturation is maximal in the 3rd trimester, with an abundance of terminal villi. Delayed villous maturation (DVM) of the placenta is associated with chromosomal abnormalities, gestational diabetes, and an adverse outcome. This study compares quantitative assessment of vasculo-syncytial membranes (VSM) in cases of liveborn infants, perinatal deaths, and controls. Cases were selected as follows: (1) liveborn infants with a qualitative diagnosis of DVM (n  =  15); (2) controls matched for gestational age whose placentas did not have DVM (n  =  15); (3) stillbirths (SB)/neonatal deaths (NND) showing DVM (n  =  13); and (4) SB from autopsies in which DVM was felt to be the cause of death (COD) (n  =  12). Vasculo-syncytial membranes were counted in 10 terminal villi in each of 10 consecutive high-power fields on 3 slides. Data analysis was carried out using SPSS. Liveborn cases with DVM showed statistically significantly less VSM than controls (mean 1.01 vs 2.42, P < 0.0001). The SB/NND group also showed significantly less VSM than the control group (mean 0.46 vs 2.42, P < 0.0001) and less than the liveborn DVM group (mean 0.46 vs 1.01, P  =  0.001). The COD group was significantly different from the control group (mean 0.42 vs 2.42, P < 0.0001) and the liveborn DVM group (mean 0.42 vs 1.01, P < 0.0001) but not significantly different from the SB/NND group. There is a quantitative reduction in VSM in cases of DVM compared to controls.

  6. Magnetic resonance imaging-based semiquantitative and quantitative assessment in osteoarthritis.

    PubMed

    Roemer, Frank W; Eckstein, Felix; Guermazi, Ali

    2009-08-01

    Whole organ magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based semiquantitative (SQ) assessment of knee osteoarthritis (OA), based on reliable scoring methods and expert reading, has become a powerful research tool in OA. SQ morphologic scoring has been applied to large observational cross-sectional and longitudinal epidemiologic studies as well as interventional clinical trials. SQ whole organ scoring analyzes all joint structures that are potentially relevant as surrogate outcome measures of OA and potential disease modification, including cartilage, subchondral bone, osteophytes, intra- and periarticular ligaments, menisci, synovial lining, cysts, and bursae. Resources needed for SQ scoring rely on the MRI protocol, image quality, experience of the expert readers, method of documentation, and the individual scoring system that will be applied. The first part of this article discusses the different available OA whole organ scoring systems, focusing on MRI of the knee, and also reviews alternative approaches. Rheumatologists are made aware of artifacts and differential diagnoses when applying any of the SQ scoring systems. The second part focuses on quantitative approaches in OA, particularly measurement of (subregional) cartilage loss. This approach allows one to determine minute changes that occur relatively homogeneously across cartilage structures and that are not apparent to the naked eye. To this end, the cartilage surfaces need to be segmented by trained users using specialized software. Measurements of knee cartilage loss based on water-excitation spoiled gradient recalled echo acquisition in the steady state, fast low-angle shot, or double-echo steady-state imaging sequences reported a 1% to 2% decrease in cartilage thickness annually, and a high degree of spatial heterogeneity of cartilage thickness changes in femorotibial subregions between subjects. Risk factors identified by quantitative measurement technology included a high body mass index, meniscal extrusion

  7. Qualitative and Quantitative Assessment of Hepatitis A Virus in Wastewaters in Tunisia.

    PubMed

    Béji-Hamza, A; Khélifi-Gharbi, H; Hassine-Zaafrane, M; Della Libera, S; Iaconelli, M; Muscillo, M; Petricca, S; Ciccaglione, A R; Bruni, R; Taffon, S; Equestre, M; Aouni, M; La Rosa, G

    2014-12-01

    Hepatitis A causes substantial morbidity in both industrialized and non-industrialized countries and represents an important health problem in several southern Mediterranean countries. The objectives of the study were as follows: (a) to assess the occurrence of hepatitis A virus (HAV) in Tunisia through the monitoring of urban wastewaters collected at wastewater treatment plants (WTPs); (b) to characterize environmental strains; and (c) to estimate the viral load in raw and treated sewages, in order to evaluate the potential impact on superficial waters receiving discharges. A total of 150 raw and treated wastewaters were collected from three WTPs and analyzed by both qualitative (RT-PCR/nested) and quantitative (qRT-PCR) methods. Of these, 100 (66%) were found to be positive for HAV by the qualitative assay: 68.3% in influents and 64.7% in effluents. The vast majority of HAV sequences belonged to sub-genotype IA, with 11 different strains detected found to be identical to clinical strains isolated from Tunisian patients with acute hepatitis. Five unique variants were also detected, not previously reported in clinical cases. Only two IB strains were found, confirming the rarity of this sub-genotype in this country. The results of the present study indicate a wide circulation of the pathogen in the population, most probably in the form of asymptomatic infections, a finding consistent with the classification of the country as having intermediate/high endemicity. Quantitative data showed high viral loads in influents (3.5E+05 genome copies/liter, mean value) as well as effluents (2.5E+05 genome copies/liter, mean value), suggesting that contaminated water could be a critical element in transmission.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  9. [High resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography for the assessment of morphological and mechanical bone parameters].

    PubMed

    Fuller, Henrique; Fuller, Ricardo; Pereira, Rosa Maria R

    2015-01-01

    High resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) is a new technology commercially available for less than 10 years that allows performing in vivo assessment of bone parameters. HR-pQCT assesses the trabecular thickness, trabecular separation, trabecular number and connectivity density and, in addition, cortical bone density and thickness and total bone volume and density in high-definition mode, which additionally allows obtaining digital constructs of bone microarchitecture. The application of mathematics to captured data, a method called finite element analysis (FEA), allows the estimation of the physical properties of the tissue, simulating supported loads in a non-invasive way. Thus, HR-pQCT simultaneously acquires data previously provided separately by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), magnetic resonance imaging and histomorphometry, aggregating biomechanical estimates previously only possible in extracted tissues. This method has a satisfactory reproducibility, with coefficients of variation rarely exceeding 3%. Regarding accuracy, the method shows a fair to good agreement (r(2) = 0.37-0.97). The main clinical application of this method is in the quantification and monitoring of metabolic bone disorders, more fully evaluating bone strength and fracture risk. In rheumatoid arthritis patients, this allows gauging the number and size of erosions and cysts, in addition to joint space. In osteoarthritis, it is possible to characterize the bone marrow edema-like areas that show a correlation with cartilage breakdown. Given its high cost, HR-pQCT is still a research tool, but the high resolution and efficiency of this method reveal advantages over the methods currently used for bone assessment, with a potential to become an important tool in clinical practice.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Establishment and assessment of two methods for quantitative detection of serum duck hepatitis B virus DNA

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Ya-Xi; Huang, Ai-Long; Qi, Zhen-Yuan; Guo, Shu-Hua

    2004-01-01

    AIM: To establish and assess the methods for quantitative detection of serum duck hepatitis B virus (DHBV) DNA by quantitative membrane hybridization using DHBV DNA probe labeled directly with alkaline phosphatase and fluorescence quantitative PCR (qPCR). METHODS: Probes of DHBV DNA labeled directly with alkaline phosphatase and chemiluminescent substrate CDP-star were used in this assay. DHBV DNA was detected by autoradiography, and then scanned by DNA dot-blot. In addition, three primers derived from DHBV DNA S gene were designed. Semi-nested primer was labeled by AmpliSensor. Standard curve of the positive standards of DHBV DNA was established after asymmetric preamplification, semi-nested amplification and on-line detection. Results from 100 samples detected separately by alkaline phosphatase direct-labeled DHBV DNA probe with dot-blot hybridization and digoxigenin-labeled DHBV DNA probe hybridization. Seventy samples of duck serum were tested by fluorescent qPCR and digoxigenin-labeled DHBV DNA probe in dot-blot hybridization assay and the correlation of results was analysed. RESULTS: Sensitivity of alkaline phosphatase direct-labeled DHBV DNA probe was 10 pg. The coincidence was 100% compared with digoxigenin-labeled DHBV DNA probe assay. After 30 cycles, amplification products showed two bands of about 180 bp and 70 bp by 20 g/L agarose gel electrophoresis. Concentration of amplification products was in direct proportion to the initial concentration of positive standards. The detection index was in direct proportion to the quantity of amplification products accumulated in the current cycle. The initial concentration of positive standards was in inverse proportion to the number of cycles needed for enough quantities of amplification products. Correlation coefficient of the results was (0.97, P < 0.01) between fluorescent qPCR and dot-blot hybridization. CONCLUSION: Alkaline phosphatase direct-labeled DHBV DNA probe in dot-blot hybridization and fluorescent q

  12. Quantitative assessments of traumatic axonal injury in human brain: concordance of microdialysis and advanced MRI.

    PubMed

    Magnoni, Sandra; Mac Donald, Christine L; Esparza, Thomas J; Conte, Valeria; Sorrell, James; Macrì, Mario; Bertani, Giulio; Biffi, Riccardo; Costa, Antonella; Sammons, Brian; Snyder, Abraham Z; Shimony, Joshua S; Triulzi, Fabio; Stocchetti, Nino; Brody, David L

    2015-08-01

    regions. We interpret this result to mean that both microdialysis and diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging accurately reflect the same pathophysiological process: traumatic axonal injury. This cross-validation increases confidence in both methods for the clinical assessment of axonal injury. However, neither microdialysis nor diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging have been validated versus post-mortem histology in humans. Furthermore, future work will be required to determine the prognostic significance of these assessments of traumatic axonal injury when combined with other clinical and radiological measures.

  13. Effect of Surface Sampling and Recovery of Viruses and Non-Spore-Forming Bacteria on a Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment Model for Fomites.

    PubMed

    Weir, Mark H; Shibata, Tomoyuki; Masago, Yoshifumi; Cologgi, Dena L; Rose, Joan B

    2016-06-01

    Quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) is a powerful decision analytics tool, yet it faces challenges when modeling health risks for the indoor environment. One limitation is uncertainty in fomite recovery for evaluating the efficiency of decontamination. Addressing this data gap has become more important as a result of response and recovery from a potential malicious pathogen release. To develop more accurate QMRA models, recovery efficiency from non-porous fomites (aluminum, ceramic, glass, plastic, steel, and wood laminate) was investigated. Fomite material, surface area (10, 100, and 900 cm(2)), recovery tool (swabs and wipes), initial concentration on the fomites and eluent (polysorbate 80, trypticase soy broth, and beef extract) were evaluated in this research. Recovery was shown to be optimized using polysorbate 80, sampling with wipes, and sampling a surface area of 10-100 cm(2). The QMRA model demonstrated, through a relative risk comparison, the need for recovery efficiency to be used in these models to prevent underestimated risks.

  14. Assessment of the healing process in distal radius fractures by high resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography.

    PubMed

    de Jong, Joost J A; Willems, Paul C; Arts, Jacobus J; Bours, Sandrine G P; Brink, Peter R G; van Geel, Tineke A C M; Poeze, Martijn; Geusens, Piet P; van Rietbergen, Bert; van den Bergh, Joop P W

    2014-07-01

    In clinical practice, fracture healing is evaluated by clinical judgment in combination with conventional radiography. Due to limited resolution, radiographs don't provide detailed information regarding the bone micro-architecture and bone strength. Recently, assessment of in vivo bone density, architectural and mechanical properties at the microscale became possible using high resolution peripheral quantitative computed tomography (HR-pQCT) in combination with micro finite element analysis (μFEA). So far, such techniques have been used mainly to study intact bone. The aim of this study was to explore whether these techniques can also be used to assess changes in bone density, micro-architecture and bone stiffness during fracture healing. Therefore, the fracture region in eighteen women, aged 50 years or older with a stable distal radius fracture, was scanned using HR-pQCT at 1-2 (baseline), 3-4, 6-8 and 12weeks post-fracture. At 1-2 and 12 weeks post-fracture the distal radius at the contra-lateral side was also scanned as control. Standard bone density, micro-architectural and geometric parameters were calculated and bone stiffness in compression, torsion and bending was assessed using μFEA. A linear mixed effect model with time post-fracture as fixed effect was used to detect significant (p-value ≤0.05) changes from baseline. Wrist pain and function were scored using the patient-rated wrist evaluation (PRWE) questionnaire. Correlations between the bone parameters and the PRWE score were calculated by Spearman's correlation coefficient. At the fracture site, total and trabecular bone density increased by 11% and 20%, respectively, at 6-8 weeks, whereas cortical density was decreased by 4%. Trabecular thickness increased by 23-31% at 6-8 and 12 weeks and the intertrabecular area became blurred, indicating intertrabecular bone formation. Compared to baseline, calculated bone stiffness in compression, torsion and bending was increased by 31% after 12 weeks. A

  15. Quantitative Assessment of Orbital Implant Position – A Proof of Concept

    PubMed Central

    Schreurs, Ruud; Dubois, Leander; Becking, Alfred G.; Maal, Thomas J. J.

    2016-01-01

    Introduction In orbital reconstruction, the optimal location of a predefined implant can be planned preoperatively. Surgical results can be assessed intraoperatively or postoperatively. A novel method for quantifying orbital implant position is introduced. The method measures predictability of implant placement: transformation parameters between planned and resulting implant position are quantified. Methods The method was tested on 3 human specimen heads. Computed Tomography scans were acquired at baseline with intact orbits (t0), after creation of the defect (t1) and postoperatively after reconstruction of the defect using a preformed implant (t2). Prior to reconstruction, the optimal implant position was planned on the t0 and t1 scans. Postoperatively, the planned and realized implant position were compared. The t0 and t2 scans were fused using iPlan software and the resulting implant was segmented in the fused t2 scan. An implant reference frame was created (Orbital Implant Positioning Frame); the planned implant was transformed to the reference position using an Iterative Closest Point approach. The segmentation of the resulting implant was also registered on the reference position, yielding rotational (pitch, yaw, roll) as well as translational parameters of implant position. Results Measurement with the Orbital Implant Positioning Frame proved feasible on all three specimen. The positional outcome provided more thorough and accurate insight in resulting implant position than could be gathered from distance measurements alone. Observer-related errors were abolished from the process, since the method is largely automatic. Conclusion A novel method of quantifying surgical outcome in orbital recon