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Sample records for achieve significant improvement

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2003-02-26

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

  3. Improving Educational Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    New York University Education Quarterly, 1979

    1979-01-01

    This is a slightly abridged version of the report of the National Academy of Education panel, convened at the request of HEW Secretary Joseph Califano and Assistant Secretary for Education Mary F. Berry, to study recent declines in student achievement and methods of educational improvement. (SJL)

  4. Achieve inventory reduction and improve customer service?

    PubMed

    Moody, M C

    2000-05-01

    Is it really possible to achieve significant reductions in your manufacturing inventories while improving customer service? If you really want to achieve significant inventory reductions, focus on the root causes, and develop countermeasures and a work plan, to execute your countermeasures. Include measurements for recording your progress, and deploy your countermeasures until they are no longer required, or until new ones are needed.

  5. Can Judges Improve Academic Achievement?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Greene, Jay P.; Trivitt, Julie R.

    2008-01-01

    Over the last 3 decades student achievement has remained essentially unchanged in the United States, but not for a lack of spending. Over the same period a myriad of education reforms have been suggested and per-pupil spending has more than doubled. Since the 1990s the education reform attempts have frequently included judicial decisions to revise…

  6. Exemplar pediatric collaborative improvement networks: achieving results.

    PubMed

    Billett, Amy L; Colletti, Richard B; Mandel, Keith E; Miller, Marlene; Muething, Stephen E; Sharek, Paul J; Lannon, Carole M

    2013-06-01

    A number of pediatric collaborative improvement networks have demonstrated improved care and outcomes for children. Regionally, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center Physician Hospital Organization has sustained key asthma processes, substantially increased the percentage of their asthma population receiving "perfect care," and implemented an innovative pay-for-performance program with a large commercial payor based on asthma performance measures. The California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative uses its outcomes database to improve care for infants in California NICUs. It has achieved reductions in central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI), increased breast-milk feeding rates at hospital discharge, and is now working to improve delivery room management. Solutions for Patient Safety (SPS) has achieved significant improvements in adverse drug events and surgical site infections across all 8 Ohio children's hospitals, with 7700 fewer children harmed and >$11.8 million in avoided costs. SPS is now expanding nationally, aiming to eliminate all events of serious harm at children's hospitals. National collaborative networks include ImproveCareNow, which aims to improve care and outcomes for children with inflammatory bowel disease. Reliable adherence to Model Care Guidelines has produced improved remission rates without using new medications and a significant increase in the proportion of Crohn disease patients not taking prednisone. Data-driven collaboratives of the Children's Hospital Association Quality Transformation Network initially focused on CLABSI in PICUs. By September 2011, they had prevented an estimated 2964 CLABSI, saving 355 lives and $103,722,423. Subsequent improvement efforts include CLABSI reductions in additional settings and populations.

  7. SOARing Into Strategic Planning: Engaging Nurses to Achieve Significant Outcomes.

    PubMed

    Wadsworth, Barbara; Felton, Fiona; Linus, Rita

    2016-01-01

    In 2013, a new system chief nursing officer engaged the nursing leaders and staff in an Appreciative Inquiry process utilizing strengths, opportunities, aspirations, and results (SOAR), and a Journey of Excellence to assess and understand the current environment. The ultimate goal was to engage all nurses in strategic planning and goal setting to connect their patient care to the system strategic initiatives. This work led to the creation of a nursing vision, a revised professional practice model and greater council alignment, resulting in significant positive change and ongoing advancement throughout the system. The shared decision-making structure was key to the process with a direct connection of each council's goals, leading to the successful achievement of 34 of the 36 goals in 2 years. This article outlines the process, tools, and staff engagement strategies used to achieve system-wide success. This methodology has improved the outcomes across the organization in both small and system-wide work groups. This work can easily be replicated and adapted to help disparate staffs brought together through mergers or acquisitions to become aligned as a new team. This process, model, and framework, provides structure and results in significant outcomes that recognizes and celebrates the work of individual entities while aligning future strategies and goals.

  8. Boise Inc. St. Helens Paper Mill Achieves Significant Fuel Savings

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2008-05-01

    This case study describes how the Boise Inc. paper mill in St. Helens, Oregon, achieved annual savings of approximately 154,000 MMBtu and more than $1 million after receiving a DOE Save Energy Now energy assessment and implementing recommendations to improve the efficiency of its steam system.

  9. Boise Inc. St. Helens Paper Mill Achieves Significant Fuel Savings

    SciTech Connect

    2008-05-01

    This case study describes how the Boise Inc. paper mill in St. Helens, Oregon, achieved annual savings of approximately 154,000 MMBtu and more than $1 million. This was accomplished after receiving a DOE Save Energy Now energy assessment and implementing recommendations to improve the efficiency of its steam system.

  10. Improving Student Achievement in Math and Science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sullivan, Nancy G.; Hamsa, Irene Schulz; Heath, Panagiota; Perry, Robert; White, Stacy J.

    1998-01-01

    As the new millennium approaches, a long anticipated reckoning for the education system of the United States is forthcoming, Years of school reform initiatives have not yielded the anticipated results. A particularly perplexing problem involves the lack of significant improvement of student achievement in math and science. Three "Partnership" projects represent collaborative efforts between Xavier University (XU) of Louisiana, Southern University of New Orleans (SUNO), Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Stennis Space Center (SSC), to enhance student achievement in math and science. These "Partnerships" are focused on students and teachers in federally designated rural and urban empowerment zones and enterprise communities. The major goals of the "Partnerships" include: (1) The identification and dissemination of key indices of success that account for high performance in math and science; (2) The education of pre-service and in-service secondary teachers in knowledge, skills, and competencies that enhance the instruction of high school math and science; (3) The development of faculty to enhance the quality of math and science courses in institutions of higher education; and (4) The incorporation of technology-based instruction in institutions of higher education. These goals will be achieved by the accomplishment of the following objectives: (1) Delineate significant ?best practices? that are responsible for enhancing student outcomes in math and science; (2) Recruit and retain pre-service teachers with undergraduate degrees in Biology, Math, Chemistry, or Physics in a graduate program, culminating with a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction; (3) Provide faculty workshops and opportunities for travel to professional meetings for dissemination of NASA resources information; (4) Implement methodologies and assessment procedures utilizing performance-based applications of higher order

  11. Emotional Intelligence Skills: Significant Factors in Freshmen Achievement and Retention.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Darwin B.; Nelson, Kaye W.

    This study investigated the role of emotional skills in the academic achievement and retention of university freshmen. The research group was a randomly selected sample of first semester freshmen students (N=165), and cumulative grade point average was used as the criterion for academic success. The study was designed to investigate: (a) the…

  12. Barnacle geese achieve significant energetic savings by changing posture.

    PubMed

    Tickle, Peter G; Nudds, Robert L; Codd, Jonathan R

    2012-01-01

    Here we report the resting metabolic rate in barnacle geese (Branta leucopsis) and provide evidence for the significant energetic effect of posture. Under laboratory conditions flow-through respirometry together with synchronous recording of behaviour enabled a calculation of how metabolic rate varies with posture. Our principal finding is that standing bipedally incurs a 25% increase in metabolic rate compared to birds sitting on the ground. In addition to the expected decrease in energy consumption of hindlimb postural muscles when sitting, we hypothesise that a change in breathing mechanics represents one potential mechanism for at least part of the observed difference in energetic cost. Due to the significant effect of posture, future studies of resting metabolic rates need to take into account and/or report differences in posture.

  13. Improving mental health outcomes: achieving equity through quality improvement

    PubMed Central

    Poots, Alan J.; Green, Stuart A.; Honeybourne, Emmi; Green, John; Woodcock, Thomas; Barnes, Ruth; Bell, Derek

    2014-01-01

    Objective To investigate equity of patient outcomes in a psychological therapy service, following increased access achieved by a quality improvement (QI) initiative. Design Retrospective service evaluation of health outcomes; data analysed by ANOVA, chi-squared and Statistical Process Control. Setting A psychological therapy service in Westminster, London, UK. Participants People living in the Borough of Westminster, London, attending the service (from either healthcare professional or self-referral) between February 2009 and May 2012. Intervention(s) Social marketing interventions were used to increase referrals, including the promotion of the service through local media and through existing social networks. Main Outcome Measure(s) (i) Severity of depression on entry using Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ9). (ii) Changes to severity of depression following treatment (ΔPHQ9). (iii) Changes in attainment of a meaningful improvement in condition assessed by a key performance indicator. Results Patients from areas of high deprivation entered the service with more severe depression (M = 15.47, SD = 6.75), compared with patients from areas of low (M = 13.20, SD = 6.75) and medium (M = 14.44, SD = 6.64) deprivation. Patients in low, medium and high deprivation areas attained similar changes in depression score (ΔPHQ9: M = −6.60, SD = 6.41). Similar proportions of patients achieved the key performance indicator across initiative phase and deprivation categories. Conclusions QI methods improved access to mental health services; this paper finds no evidence for differences in clinical outcomes in patients, regardless of level of deprivation, interpreted as no evidence of inequity in the service with respect to this outcome. PMID:24521701

  14. Improving Achievement through Problem-Based Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sungur, Semra; Tekkaya, Ceren; Geban, Omer

    2006-01-01

    In this study, the effect of problem-based learning on students' academic achievement and performance skills in a unit on the human excretory system was investigated. Sixty-one 10th grade students, from two full classes instructed by the same biology teacher, were involved in the study. Classes were randomly assigned as either the experimental or…

  15. Do Charter Schools Improve Student Achievement?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Melissa A.; Gleason, Philip M.; Tuttle, Christina Clark; Silverberg, Marsha K.

    2015-01-01

    This article presents findings from a lottery-based study of the impacts of a broad set of 33 charter middle schools across 13 states on student achievement. To estimate charter school impacts, we compare test score outcomes of students admitted to these schools through the randomized admissions lotteries with outcomes of applicants who were not…

  16. Proven Strategies for Improving Learning & Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Duane

    The purpose of this book is to give student support personnel tools that: (1) will be recognized by educators as directly related to enhancing academic performance; (2) can be used with confidence that they will have the desired impact on achievement; and (3) are culturally sensitive. Chapters contain detailed presentation of the technology as…

  17. Improving Learner Achievement through Evaluation by Objectives.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sullivan, Howard J.

    Evaluation techniques were designed to improve learner performance through use of pre-specified popular instructional objectives. Current curriculum planning and evaluation practices are examined. Two common evaluation malpractices are: (1) the tendency to treat the content of the program as the most important criterion for evaluation, (2) the…

  18. Improving Student Achievement through Behavior Intervention.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berry, Gina; And Others

    This report describes a program that was designed to identify and modify disruptive student behavior and improve academic performance. The targeted fifth grade class had been noted for inappropriate behavior and sporadic academic success, with problems documented by teacher observation surveys and self-reporting by students. Probable causes…

  19. Strategic School Funding for Improved Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chambers, Jay G.; Brown, James R.; Levin, Jesse; Jubb, Steve; Harper, Dorothy; Tolleson, Ray; Manship, Karen

    2010-01-01

    This article features Strategic School Funding for Results (SSFR) project, a new joint initiative of the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and Pivot Learning Partners (PLP) aimed at improving school finance, human resources, and management systems in large urban school districts. The goal of the project is to develop and implement more…

  20. Improving African American Achievement in Geometry Honors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mims, Adrian B.

    2010-01-01

    This case study evaluated the significance of implementing an enrichment mathematics course during the summer to rising African American ninth graders entitled, "Geometry Honors Preview." In the past, 60 to 70 percent of African American students in this school district had withdrawn from Geometry Honors by the second academic quarter. This study…

  1. Improving Student Achievement: A Study of High-Poverty Schools with Higher Student Achievement Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butz, Stephen D.

    2012-01-01

    This research examined the education system at high-poverty schools that had significantly higher student achievement levels as compared to similar schools with lower student achievement levels. A multischool qualitative case study was conducted of the educational systems where there was a significant difference in the scores achieved on the…

  2. Improving science achievement at high-poverty urban middle schools

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruby, Allen

    2006-11-01

    A large percentage of U.S. students attending high-poverty urban middle schools achieve low levels of science proficiency, posing significant challenges to their success in high school science and to national and local efforts to reform science education. Through its work in Philadelphia schools, the Center for Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins University developed a teacher-support model to address variation in science curricula, lack of materials, and underprepared teachers that combined with initial low levels of proficiency block improvements in science achievement. The model includes a common science curriculum based on NSF-supported materials commercially available, ongoing teacher professional development built around day-to-day lessons, and regular in-class support of teachers by expert peer coaches. One cohort of students at three Philadelphia middle schools using the model was followed from the end of fourth grade through seventh grade. Their gains in science achievement and achievement levels were substantially greater than students at 3 matched control schools and the 23 district middle schools serving a similar student population. Under school-by-school comparisons, these results held for the two schools with adequate implementation. Using widely available materials and techniques, the model can be adopted and modified by school partners and districts.

  3. Science Achievement for All: Improving Science Performance and Closing Achievement Gaps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, Julie K.; Ash, Gwynne

    2012-11-01

    This article addresses the serious and growing need to improve science instruction and science achievement for all students. We will describe the results of a 3-year study that transformed science instruction and student achievement at two high-poverty ethnically diverse public elementary schools in Texas. The school-wide intervention included purposeful planning, inquiry science instruction, and contextually rich academic science vocabulary development. In combination, these instructional practices rapidly improved student-science learning outcomes and narrowed achievement gaps across diverse student populations.

  4. How Much Can Spatial Training Improve STEM Achievement?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stieff, Mike; Uttal, David

    2015-01-01

    Spatial training has been indicated as a possible solution for improving Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) achievement and degree attainment. Advocates for this approach have noted that the correlation between spatial ability and several measures of STEM achievement suggests that spatial training should focus on improving…

  5. Improving Literacy Achievement: An Effective Approach to Continuous Progress

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haley, Carolyn E.

    2007-01-01

    Billions of dollars are spent searching for programs and strategic plans that will prove to be the panacea for improving literacy achievement. With all of the experimental and researched programs implemented in school districts, the overall results are still at a minimum and many improvement gains have been short term. This book focuses on…

  6. Does Children's Academic Achievement Improve when Single Mothers Marry?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wagmiller, Robert L., Jr.; Gershoff, Elizabeth; Veliz, Philip; Clements, Margaret

    2010-01-01

    Promoting marriage, especially among low-income single mothers with children, is increasingly viewed as a promising public policy strategy for improving developmental outcomes for disadvantaged children. Previous research suggests, however, that children's academic achievement either does not improve or declines when single mothers marry. In this…

  7. An Action Plan for Improving Mediocre or Stagnant Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Redmond, Kimberley B.

    2013-01-01

    Although all of the schools in the target school system adhere to a school improvement process, achievement scores remain mediocre or stagnant within the overseas school in Italy that serves children of United States armed service members. To address this problem, this study explored the target school's improvement process to discover how…

  8. Girl Friends as Significant-Others: Their Influence on Young Men's Career Aspirations and Achievements

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Otto, Luther B.

    1977-01-01

    Girl friends are significant-others who influence young men's career aspirations and achievements. Girl friends and same sex peers evaluate a youth's educational potential using broader criteria than do parents. (Author/MV)

  9. Human Physiology: Improving Students' Achievements through Intelligent Studyware.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dori, Yehudit J.; Yochim, Jerome M.

    1994-01-01

    A studyware comprising a set of interconnected modules on human physiology has been developed and used to improve undergraduate students' achievements. Study results show the scores of students who used the optional computer laboratory sessions were enhanced over those who did not use the studyware. Presents examples from the modules. (LZ)

  10. DOD Joint Bases: Management Improvements Needed to Achieve Greater Efficiencies

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-11-01

    Joint Bases Realign Fort Eustis, VA, by relocating the installation management functions to Langley AFB, VA. Realign Fort Story , VA, by...the installation management functions to L·mglcy AFB, VA. Realign Fort Story , VA, by relocating the installation management functions to Commander...DOD JOINT BASES Management Improvements Needed to Achieve Greater Efficiencies Report to Congressional Addressees

  11. Systems Thinking: A Skill to Improve Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thornton, Bill; Peltier, Gary; Perreault, George

    2004-01-01

    This article examines how schools can avoid barriers to systems thinking in relation to improving student achievement. It then illustrates common errors associated with non-systems thinking and recommends solutions. Educators who understand that schools are complex interdependent social systems can move their organizations forward. Unfortunately,…

  12. Using Students' Cultural Heritage to Improve Academic Achievement in Writing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mendez, Gilbert

    2006-01-01

    This article discusses an approach to teaching used at Calexico Unified School District, a California-Mexican border high school, by a group of teachers working to make teaching and learning more relevant to Chicano and Mexican students' lives and to improve their academic achievement in writing. An off-shoot of a training program for English…

  13. New Directions in Social Psychological Interventions to Improve Academic Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Timothy D.; Buttrick, Nicholas R.

    2016-01-01

    Attempts to improve student achievement typically focus on changing the educational environment (e.g., better schools, better teachers) or on personal characteristics of students (e.g., intelligence, self-control). The 6 articles in this special issue showcase an additional approach, emanating from social psychology, which focuses on students'…

  14. Microalloying Boron Carbide with Silicon to Achieve Dramatically Improved Ductility

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-11-18

    Microalloying Boron Carbide with Silicon to Achieve Dramatically Improved Ductility Qi An and William A. Goddard, III* Materials and Process... Boron carbide (B4C) is a hard material whose value for extended engineering applications such as body armor; is limited by its brittleness under...Plasmonics, Optical Materials, and Hard Matter Superhard materials, such as diamond, cubic boron nitride,and boron carbide (B4C), exhibit many

  15. Breaking through barriers: using technology to address executive function weaknesses and improve student achievement.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, David M

    2014-01-01

    Assistive technologies provide significant capabilities for improving student achievement. Improved accessibility, cost, and diversity of applications make integration of technology a powerful tool to compensate for executive function weaknesses and deficits and their impact on student performance, learning, and achievement. These tools can be used to compensate for decreased working memory, poor time management, poor planning and organization, poor initiation, and decreased memory. Assistive technology provides mechanisms to assist students with diverse strengths and weaknesses in mastering core curricular concepts.

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

    MedlinePlus

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

  17. School Improvement for All: Reflections on the Achievement Gap.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howard, Gary R.

    2002-01-01

    Asserts that three social dominance issues have caused and continue to perpetuate achievement disparities among poor and minority students: the assumption of rightness, the luxury of ignorance, and the legacy of privilege. Describes school district initiatives, leadership, and research findings related to overcoming this achievement gap. Contends…

  18. Evidence that Smaller Schools Do Not Improve Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wainer, Howard; Zwerling, Harris L.

    2006-01-01

    If more small schools than "expected" are among the high achievers, then creating more small schools would raise achievement across the board, many proponents of small schools have argued. In this article, the authors challenge the faulty logic of such inferences. Many claims have been made about the advantages of smaller schools. One is…

  19. The Role of Principal Leadership in Improving Student Achievement. Newsletter

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement, 2005

    2005-01-01

    School and district leadership has been the focus of intense scrutiny in recent years as researchers try to define not only the qualities of effective leadership but the impact of leadership on the operation of schools, and even on student achievement. A recently published literature review entitled "How Leadership Influences Student Learning" …

  20. An Effective Way to Improve Mathematics Achievement in Urban Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Taik

    2010-01-01

    The local Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEARUP) partnership serves 11 K-8 schools with the lowest achievement scores and the highest poverty rates in a large Midwestern urban district. Recently, GEARUP launched a specially designed teaching program, Mathematics Enhancement Group (MEG), for underachievers in…

  1. Improving Academic Achievement in Reading and Writing in Primary Grades.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hubbard, Trina; Newell, Michelle

    This study describes a program designed to increase academic achievement in reading and writing among first and second grade students in a rural, middle-income area. Evidence for the existence of the problem includes reading comprehension tests, observation checklists for reading skills and reading behaviors, and writing samples. Analysis of…

  2. Helping Students Improve Academic Achievement and School Success Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brigman, Greg; Campbell, Chari

    2003-01-01

    This article describes a study evaluating the impact of school-counselor-led interventions on student academic achievement and school success behavior. A group counseling and classroom guidance model called student success skills (SSS) was the primary intervention. The focus of the SSS model was on three sets of skills identified in several…

  3. Improving Secondary School Students' Achievement using Intrinsic Motivation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Albrecht, Erik; Haapanen, Rebecca; Hall, Erin; Mantonya, Michelle

    2009-01-01

    This report describes a program for increasing students' intrinsic motivation in an effort to increase academic achievement. The targeted population consisted of secondary level students in a middle to upper-middle class suburban area. The students of the targeted secondary level classes appeared to be disengaged from learning due to a lack of…

  4. Capacity Building for a School Improvement Program, Achievement Directed Leadership.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Graeber, Anna O.; And Others

    This report describes and evaluates efforts to enhance school districts' capacity to implement and institutionalize the monitoring and management system for an instructional leadership program called Achievement Directed Leadership (ADL). Chapter one introduces the report's methodology, limitations, and structure. Chapter two first states the…

  5. Improving Student Achievement through the Enhancement of Study Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Marvin; Teske, Ralph; Gossmeyer, Matt

    This study described a program for improving students' study skills aimed at improving academic performance. The targeted population consisted of students in two public high schools and one parochial grade school in a medium-sized metropolitan area located in central Illinois. The lack of these skills by students at all levels had been…

  6. Partnering through Training and Practice to Achieve Performance Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lyons, Paul R.

    2010-01-01

    This article presents a partnership effort among managers, trainers, and employees to spring to life performance improvement using the performance templates (P-T) approach. P-T represents a process model as well as a method of training leading to performance improvement. Not only does it add to our repertoire of training and performance management…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-17

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

  8. Achieving improved cycle efficiency via pressure gain combustors

    SciTech Connect

    Gemmen, R.S.; Janus, M.C.; Richards, G.A.; Norton, T.S.; Rogers, W.A.

    1995-04-01

    As part of the Department of Energy`s Advanced Gas Turbine Systems Program, an investigation is being performed to evaluate ``pressure gain`` combustion systems for gas turbine applications. This paper presents experimental pressure gain and pollutant emission data from such combustion systems. Numerical predictions for certain combustor geometries are also presented. It is reported that for suitable aerovalved pulse combustor geometries studied experimentally, an overall combustor pressure gain of nearly 1 percent can be achieved. It is also shown that for one combustion system operating under typical gas turbine conditions, NO{sub x} and CO emmissions, are about 30 ppmv and 8 ppmv, respectively.

  9. Organizational management practices for achieving software process improvement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kandt, Ronald Kirk

    2004-01-01

    The crisis in developing software has been known for over thirty years. Problems that existed in developing software in the early days of computing still exist today. These problems include the delivery of low-quality products, actual development costs that exceed expected development costs, and actual development time that exceeds expected development time. Several solutions have been offered to overcome out inability to deliver high-quality software, on-time and within budget. One of these solutions involves software process improvement. However, such efforts often fail because of organizational management issues. This paper discusses business practices that organizations should follow to improve their chances of initiating and sustaining successful software process improvement efforts.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morscher, Gregory N.; Hurst, Janet B.

    2002-01-01

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

  11. Improving International Research with Clinical Specimens: 5 Achievable Objectives

    PubMed Central

    LaBaer, Joshua

    2012-01-01

    Our increased interest in translational research has created a large demand for blood, tissue and other clinical samples, which find use in a broad variety of research including genomics, proteomics, and metabolomics. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested internationally on the collection, storage and distribution of samples. Nevertheless, many researchers complain in frustration about their inability to obtain relevant and/or useful samples for their research. Lack of access to samples, poor condition of samples, and unavailability of appropriate control samples have slowed our progress in the study of diseases and biomarkers. In this editorial, I focus on five major challenges that thwart clinical sample use for translational research and propose near term objectives to address them. They include: (1) defining our biobanking needs; (2) increasing the use of and access to standard operating procedures; (3) mapping inter-observer differences for use in normalizing diagnoses; (4) identifying natural internal protein controls; and (5) redefining the clinical sample paradigm by building partnerships with the public. In each case, I believe that we have the tools at hand required to achieve the objective within 5 years. Potential paths to achieve these objectives are explored. However we solve these problems, the future of proteomics depends on access to high quality clinical samples, collected under standardized conditions, accurately annotated and shared under conditions that promote the research we need to do. PMID:22998582

  12. Using Curriculum-Based Measurement to Improve Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clarke, Suzanne

    2009-01-01

    Response to intervention (RTI) is on the radar screen of most principals these days--finding out what it is, how it can improve teaching and learning, and what needs to be done to implement it effectively. One critical component of RTI that will require particular attention from principals is student progress monitoring, which is required in every…

  13. Improving Student Academic Achievement through Enhanced Communication Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rivan, Christine A.; Weber, Annette M.

    This report describes a program implemented to improve inadequate student communication skills, specifically in the areas of listening, speaking, social, and emotional development. The targeted population consisted of first and second grade students in a middle class community, located in central Illinois. Evidence for the existence of the problem…

  14. Data as a Lever for Improving Instruction and Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simmons, Warren

    2012-01-01

    This commentary draws on the articles in this issue to underscore the importance of community engagement and districtwide capacity building as central to efforts to use data to inform accountability and choice, along with school and instructional improvement. The author cautions against treating data as an all-purpose tool absent adequate…

  15. Achieving Continuous Improvement: Theories that Support a System Change.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Armel, Donald

    Focusing on improvement is different than focusing on quality, quantity, customer satisfaction, and productivity. This paper discusses Open System Theory, and suggests ways to change large systems. Changing a system (meaning the way all the parts are connected) requires a considerable amount of data gathering and analysis. Choosing the proper…

  16. Peritoneal dialysis: how we can achieve improvement of PD penetration.

    PubMed

    Van Biesen, W

    2007-07-01

    Peritoneal dialysis (PD) is a well established renal replacement therapy (RRT). It appears to have some excellent properties as a first line RRT, as it preserves residual renal function, improves clearance of middle and larger solutes and preserves vascular access. To improve PD penetration, it is necessary to have a well established pre-dialysis programme, as information seems to be the clue in the choice and the success of PD. Furthermore, it is important that patients and nurses are well educated in the practice of PD. This reduces the need for hypertonic bags by better compliance with the salt restrictive diet, reduces exposure to dialysate per se by adapting the number and length of the dwells to the needs of the patient, and increases peritonitis-free survival, thus prolonging the survival of the peritoneal membrane. In addition, it is clear that the use of new low glucose degradation products and normal pH solutions will also improve the technical success of PD. The collaboration of industry with local health care providers could be a necessity in overcoming the costs induced by the import of dialysate solutions paid for in foreign currency.

  17. Critical Issue: Using Technology to Improve Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Learning Point Associates / North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL), 2005

    2005-01-01

    Because effective use of technology must be supported by significant investments in hardware, software, infrastructure, professional development, and support services, over the last decade, this nation has invested more than $66 billion investment in school technology (QED, 2004). This unprecedented level of investment in educational technology…

  18. Does achieving the best practice tariff improve outcomes in hip fracture patients? An observational cohort study

    PubMed Central

    Oakley, B; Nightingale, J; Moran, CG; Moppett, IK

    2017-01-01

    Objectives To determine if the introduction of the best practice tariff (BPT) has improved survival of the elderly hip fracture population, or if achieving BPT results in improved survival for an individual. Setting A single university-affiliated teaching hospital. Participants 2541 patients aged over 60 admitted with a neck of femur fracture between 2008 and 2010 and from 2012 to 2014 were included, to create two cohorts of patients, before and after the introduction of BPT. The post-BPT cohort was divided into two groups, those who achieved the criteria and those who did not. Primary and secondary outcome measures Primary outcomes of interest were differences in mortality across cohorts. Secondary analysis was performed to identify associations between individual BPT criteria and mortality. Results The introduction of BPT did not significantly alter overall 30-mortality in the hip fracture population (8.3% pre-BPT vs 10.0% post-BPT; p=0.128). Neither was there a significant reduction in length of stay (15 days (IQR 9–21) pre-BPT vs 14 days (IQR 11–22); p=0.236). However, the introduction of BPT was associated with a reduction in the time from admission to theatre (median 44 hours pre-BPT (IQR 24–44) vs 23 hours post-BPT (IQR 17–30); p<0.005). 30-day mortality in those who achieved BPT was significantly lower (6.0% vs 21.0% in those who did not achieve-BPT; p<0.005). There was a survival benefit at 1 year for those who achieved BPT (28.6% vs 42.0% did not achieve-BPT; p<0.005). Multivariate logistic regression revealed that of the BPT criteria, AMT monitoring and expedited surgery were the only BPT criteria that significantly influenced survival. Conclusions The introduction of the BPT has not led to a demonstrable improvement in outcomes at organisational level, though other factors may have confounded any benefits. However, patients where BPT criteria are met appear to have improved outcomes. PMID:28167748

  19. A novel approach to achieving significant reverberation control in performance halls

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Conant, David A.; Chu, William

    2005-09-01

    Conventional methods for achieving broadband, variable sound absorption in large halls normally include heavy application of sound-absorptive drapery and/or thick fibrous panels, applied near available surfaces below, at, and in volumes above the catwalk plane. Occasionally, direct adjustments to room air volume are also provided to effect double-sloped decays. The novel method described here combines carefully located, broad scattering and absorption in singular architectural elements and was applied to a new, 1200-seat concert hall. A change of 0.70 s RT60 in midfrequency is achieved in a visually dramatic manner while neither materially changing room volume nor introducing often-maligned drapery. The aggregate of reverberation control methodologies employed reduces the unoccupied RT60 at midfrequencies from about 3.2 to 1.7 s in this space programed principally for music, including pipe organ. Results of MLS measurements including binaural measurements and binaural recordings of anechoic material and CATT-acoustic modeling and auralizations are discussed.

  20. Largest Producer of Steel Products in the United States Achieves Significant Energy Savings at its Minntac Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2008-09-01

    This case study describes how the U. S. Steel Minntac plant in Mt. Iron, Minnesota, achieved annual savings of $760,000 and 95,000 MMBtu after receiving a DOE Save Energy Now energy assessment and implementing recommendations to improve the efficiency of its process heating system.

  1. Largest Producer of Steel Products in the United States Achieves Significant Energy Savings at its Minntac Plant

    SciTech Connect

    2008-09-01

    The U. S. Steel Minntac plant in Mt. Iron, MN, achieved annual savings of $760,000 and 95,000 MMBtu after receiving a DOE Save Energy Now energy assessment and implementing recommendations to improve the efficiency of its process heating system.

  2. Social networking strategies that aim to reduce obesity have achieved significant although modest results.

    PubMed

    Ashrafian, Hutan; Toma, Tania; Harling, Leanne; Kerr, Karen; Athanasiou, Thanos; Darzi, Ara

    2014-09-01

    The global epidemic of obesity continues to escalate. Obesity accounts for an increasing proportion of the international socioeconomic burden of noncommunicable disease. Online social networking services provide an effective medium through which information may be exchanged between obese and overweight patients and their health care providers, potentially contributing to superior weight-loss outcomes. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to assess the role of these services in modifying body mass index (BMI). Our analysis of twelve studies found that interventions using social networking services produced a modest but significant 0.64 percent reduction in BMI from baseline for the 941 people who participated in the studies' interventions. We recommend that social networking services that target obesity should be the subject of further clinical trials. Additionally, we recommend that policy makers adopt reforms that promote the use of anti-obesity social networking services, facilitate multistakeholder partnerships in such services, and create a supportive environment to confront obesity and its associated noncommunicable diseases.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

  4. A significantly improved membrane for vanadium redox flow battery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Chuankun; Liu, Jianguo; Yan, Chuanwei

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

  5. Significant Increase in Ecosystem C Can Be Achieved with Sustainable Forest Management in Subtropical Plantation Forests

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Xiaohua; Blanco, Juan A.

    2014-01-01

    Subtropical planted forests are rapidly expanding. They are traditionally managed for intensive, short-term goals that often lead to long-term yield decline and reduced carbon sequestration capacity. Here we show how it is possible to increase and sustain carbon stored in subtropical forest plantations if management is switched towards more sustainable forestry. We first conducted a literature review to explore possible management factors that contribute to the potentials in ecosystem C in tropical and subtropical plantations. We found that broadleaves plantations have significantly higher ecosystem C than conifer plantations. In addition, ecosystem C increases with plantation age, and reaches a peak with intermediate stand densities of 1500–2500 trees ha−1. We then used the FORECAST model to simulate the regional implications of switching from traditional to sustainable management regimes, using Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) plantations in subtropical China as a study case. We randomly simulated 200 traditional short-rotation pure stands and 200 sustainably-managed mixed Chinese fir – Phoebe bournei plantations, for 120 years. Our results showed that mixed, sustainably-managed plantations have on average 67.5% more ecosystem C than traditional pure conifer plantations. If all pure plantations were gradually transformed into mixed plantations during the next 10 years, carbon stocks could rise in 2050 by 260.22 TgC in east-central China. Assuming similar differences for temperate and boreal plantations, if sustainable forestry practices were applied to all new forest plantation types in China, stored carbon could increase by 1,482.80 TgC in 2050. Such an increase would be equivalent to a yearly sequestration rate of 40.08 TgC yr−1, offsetting 1.9% of China’s annual emissions in 2010. More importantly, this C increase can be sustained in the long term through the maintenance of higher amounts of soil organic carbon and the production of timber

  6. Significant increase in ecosystem C can be achieved with sustainable forest management in subtropical plantation forests.

    PubMed

    Wei, Xiaohua; Blanco, Juan A

    2014-01-01

    Subtropical planted forests are rapidly expanding. They are traditionally managed for intensive, short-term goals that often lead to long-term yield decline and reduced carbon sequestration capacity. Here we show how it is possible to increase and sustain carbon stored in subtropical forest plantations if management is switched towards more sustainable forestry. We first conducted a literature review to explore possible management factors that contribute to the potentials in ecosystem C in tropical and subtropical plantations. We found that broadleaves plantations have significantly higher ecosystem C than conifer plantations. In addition, ecosystem C increases with plantation age, and reaches a peak with intermediate stand densities of 1500-2500 trees ha⁻¹. We then used the FORECAST model to simulate the regional implications of switching from traditional to sustainable management regimes, using Chinese fir (Cunninghamia lanceolata) plantations in subtropical China as a study case. We randomly simulated 200 traditional short-rotation pure stands and 200 sustainably-managed mixed Chinese fir--Phoebe bournei plantations, for 120 years. Our results showed that mixed, sustainably-managed plantations have on average 67.5% more ecosystem C than traditional pure conifer plantations. If all pure plantations were gradually transformed into mixed plantations during the next 10 years, carbon stocks could rise in 2050 by 260.22 TgC in east-central China. Assuming similar differences for temperate and boreal plantations, if sustainable forestry practices were applied to all new forest plantation types in China, stored carbon could increase by 1,482.80 TgC in 2050. Such an increase would be equivalent to a yearly sequestration rate of 40.08 TgC yr⁻¹, offsetting 1.9% of China's annual emissions in 2010. More importantly, this C increase can be sustained in the long term through the maintenance of higher amounts of soil organic carbon and the production of timber products

  7. Effects of Improvements in Interval Timing on the Mathematics Achievement of Elementary School Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taub, Gordon E.; McGrew, Kevin S.; Keith, Timothy Z.

    2015-01-01

    This article examines the effect of improvements in timing/rhythmicity on mathematics achievement. A total of 86 participants attending 1st through 4th grades completed pre- and posttest measures of mathematics achievement from the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement. Students in the experimental group participated in a 4-week intervention…

  8. Achieving Coherence in District Improvement: Managing the Relationship between the Central Office and Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Susan Moore; Marietta, Geoff; Higgins, Monica C.; Mapp, Karen L.; Grossman, Allen

    2015-01-01

    "Achieving Coherence in District Improvement" focuses on a problem of practice faced by educational leaders across the nation: how to effectively manage the relationship between the central office and schools. The book is based on a study of five large urban districts that have demonstrated improvement in student achievement. The…

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

    PubMed

    Rom, Dror M

    2013-02-01

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

  10. Solifenacin significantly improves all symptoms of overactive bladder syndrome

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-01

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

  12. Modified surface loading process for achieving improved performance of the quantum dot-sensitized solar cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Feng; Jin, Zhongxiu; Zhu, Jun; Xu, Yafeng; Zhou, Li; Dai, Songyuan

    2016-06-01

    Achieving high surface coverage of the colloidal quantum dots (QDs) on TiO2 films has been challenging for quantum dot-sensitized solar cells (QDSCs). Herein, a general surface engineering approach was proposed to increase the loading of these QDs. It was found that S2- treatment/QD re-uptake process can significantly improve the attachment of the QDs on TiO2 films. Surface concentration of the QDs was improved by ∼60%, which in turn greatly enhances light absorption and decreases carrier recombination in QDSCs. Ensuing QDSCs with optimized QD loading exhibit a power conversion efficiency of 3.66%, 83% higher than those fabricated with standard procedures.

  13. Improving Low-Achieving Schools: Building State Capacity to Support School Improvement through Race to the Top

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Childs, Joshua; Russell, Jennifer Lin

    2017-01-01

    Improving low-achieving schools is a critical challenge facing urban education. Recent national policy shifts have pressed states to take an expanded role in school improvement efforts. In 2009, a federal grant competition called Race to the Top (RttT) compelled states to improve their capacity to implement ambitious education reform agendas.…

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-30

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

  15. The negative influence of significant others on high academic achieving school pupils' choice of nursing as a career.

    PubMed

    Neilson, Gavin R; McNally, Jim

    2013-03-01

    The International Council of Nurses proposes that the shortage of nurses is global in scale and is expected to become much worse in the years ahead. A major factor impacting on the worldwide nursing shortage is the diminishing number of young people choosing nursing as a career (International Council of Nurses, 2008). One important dimension of the school pupils' career choice process is their interactions with significant others and the influence of these significant others (Hodkinson and Sparkes, 1997). As Schools/Departments of Nursing endeavour to attract more intellectual school leavers it is important to examine what advice and opinions are significant others giving regarding nursing as a career choice and how influential is this advice. This paper is based on interview data from 20 high academic achieving 5th and 6th year school pupils in Scotland, paradigmatic cases from a larger sample, who had considered nursing as a possible career choice within their career preference cluster, but then later disregarded nursing and decided to pursue medicine or another health care profession. The data was particularly striking in revealing the negative influence of significant others on high academic achieving school pupils' choice of nursing as a career. The influence of significant others, these being specifically parents, guardians, guidance teachers and career advisors was very apparent in the data in that they had a very negative view regarding nursing as a career choice for high academic achieving school pupils.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

  17. Improving quality and reducing inequities: a challenge in achieving best care

    PubMed Central

    Nicewander, David A.; Qin, Huanying; Ballard, David J.

    2006-01-01

    The health care quality chasm is better described as a gulf for certain segments of the population, such as racial and ethnic minority groups, given the gap between actual care received and ideal or best care quality. The landmark Institute of Medicine report Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century challenges all health care organizations to pursue six major aims of health care improvement: safety, timeliness, effectiveness, efficiency, equity, and patient-centeredness. “Equity” aims to ensure that quality care is available to all and that the quality of care provided does not differ by race, ethnicity, or other personal characteristics unrelated to a patient's reason for seeking care. Baylor Health Care System is in the unique position of being able to examine the current state of equity in a typical health care delivery system and to lead the way in health equity research. Its organizational vision, “culture of quality,” and involved leadership bode well for achieving equitable best care. However, inequities in access, use, and outcomes of health care must be scrutinized; the moral, ethical, and economic issues they raise and the critical injustice they create must be remedied if this goal is to be achieved. Eliminating any observed inequities in health care must be synergistically integrated with quality improvement. Quality performance indicators currently collected and evaluated indicate that Baylor Health Care System often performs better than the national average. However, there are significant variations in care by age, gender, race/ethnicity, and socioeconomic status that indicate the many remaining challenges in achieving “best care” for all. PMID:16609733

  18. What Districts Can Do To Improve Instruction and Achievement in All Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Togneri, Wendy

    2003-01-01

    A study of five high-poverty districts making strides in improving student achievement revealed that these districts focused on systemwide strategies including new approaches to professional development; making decisions based on data, not instinct; and redefining leadership roles. (MLF)

  19. Improving Student Motivation and Achievement in Mathematics through Teaching to the Multiple Intelligences.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bednar, Janet; Coughlin, Jane; Evans, Elizabeth; Sievers, Theresa

    This action research project described strategies for improving student motivation and achievement in mathematics through multiple intelligences. The targeted population consisted of kindergarten, third, fourth, and fifth grade students located in two major Midwestern cities. Documentation proving low student motivation and achievement in…

  20. Effective Strategies Urban Superintendents Utilize That Improve the Academic Achievement for African American Males

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prioleau, Lushandra

    2013-01-01

    This study examined the effective strategies, resources, and programs urban superintendents utilize to improve the academic achievement for African-American males. This study employed a mixed-methods approach to answer the following research questions regarding urban superintendents and the academic achievement for African-American males: What…

  1. DOD SCHOOLS: Additional Reporting Could Improve Accountability for Academic Achievement of Students with Dyslexia

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-12-01

    Representatives DOD SCHOOLS Additional Reporting Could Improve Accountability for Academic Achievement of Students with Dyslexia December...Could Improve Accountability for Academic Achievement of Students with Dyslexia 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6...Students with Dyslexia Highlights of GAO-08-70, a report to the Chairman, Committee on Science and Technology, House of Representatives Many of our

  2. Teachers' Perception of Their Principal's Leadership Style and the Effects on Student Achievement in Improving and Non-Improving Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hardman, Brenda Kay

    2011-01-01

    Teachers' perceptions of their school leaders influence student achievement in their schools. The extent of this influence is examined in this study. This quantitative study examined teachers' perceptions of the leadership style of their principals as transformational, transactional or passive-avoidant in improving and non-improving schools in…

  3. Integrating empowerment evaluation and quality improvement to achieve healthcare improvement outcomes.

    PubMed

    Wandersman, Abraham; Alia, Kassandra Ann; Cook, Brittany; Ramaswamy, Rohit

    2015-10-01

    While the body of evidence-based healthcare interventions grows, the ability of health systems to deliver these interventions effectively and efficiently lags behind. Quality improvement approaches, such as the model for improvement, have demonstrated some success in healthcare but their impact has been lessened by implementation challenges. To help address these challenges, we describe the empowerment evaluation approach that has been developed by programme evaluators and a method for its application (Getting To Outcomes (GTO)). We then describe how GTO can be used to implement healthcare interventions. An illustrative healthcare quality improvement example that compares the model for improvement and the GTO method for reducing hospital admissions through improved diabetes care is described. We conclude with suggestions for integrating GTO and the model for improvement.

  4. Integrating empowerment evaluation and quality improvement to achieve healthcare improvement outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Wandersman, Abraham; Alia, Kassandra Ann; Cook, Brittany; Ramaswamy, Rohit

    2015-01-01

    While the body of evidence-based healthcare interventions grows, the ability of health systems to deliver these interventions effectively and efficiently lags behind. Quality improvement approaches, such as the model for improvement, have demonstrated some success in healthcare but their impact has been lessened by implementation challenges. To help address these challenges, we describe the empowerment evaluation approach that has been developed by programme evaluators and a method for its application (Getting To Outcomes (GTO)). We then describe how GTO can be used to implement healthcare interventions. An illustrative healthcare quality improvement example that compares the model for improvement and the GTO method for reducing hospital admissions through improved diabetes care is described. We conclude with suggestions for integrating GTO and the model for improvement. PMID:26178332

  5. School Improvement Plans and Student Achievement: Preliminary Evidence from the Quality and Merit Project in Italy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caputo, Andrea; Rastelli, Valentina

    2014-01-01

    This study provides preliminary evidence from an Italian in-service training program addressed to lower secondary school teachers which supports school improvement plans (SIPs). It aims at exploring the association between characteristics/contents of SIPs and student improvement in math achievement. Pre-post standardized tests and text analysis of…

  6. Training Theory of Mind and Executive Control: A Tool for Improving School Achievement?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kloo, Daniela; Perner, Josef

    2008-01-01

    In the preschool years, there are marked improvements in theory of mind (ToM) and executive functions. And, children's competence in these two core cognitive domains is associated with their academic achievement. Therefore, training ToM and executive control could be a valuable tool for improving children's success in school. This article reviews…

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-15

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

  8. How to achieve and prove performance improvement - 15 years of experience in German wastewater benchmarking.

    PubMed

    Bertzbach, F; Franz, T; Möller, K

    2012-01-01

    This paper shows the results of performance improvement, which have been achieved in benchmarking projects in the wastewater industry in Germany over the last 15 years. A huge number of changes in operational practice and also in achieved annual savings can be shown, induced in particular by benchmarking at process level. Investigation of this question produces some general findings for the inclusion of performance improvement in a benchmarking project and for the communication of its results. Thus, we elaborate on the concept of benchmarking at both utility and process level, which is still a necessary distinction for the integration of performance improvement into our benchmarking approach. To achieve performance improvement via benchmarking it should be made quite clear that this outcome depends, on one hand, on a well conducted benchmarking programme and, on the other, on the individual situation within each participating utility.

  9. Effects of simulated interventions to improve school entry academic skills on socioeconomic inequalities in educational achievement.

    PubMed

    Chittleborough, Catherine R; Mittinty, Murthy N; Lawlor, Debbie A; Lynch, John W

    2014-01-01

    Randomized controlled trial evidence shows that interventions before age 5 can improve skills necessary for educational success; the effect of these interventions on socioeconomic inequalities is unknown. Using trial effect estimates, and marginal structural models with data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (n = 11,764, imputed), simulated effects of plausible interventions to improve school entry academic skills on socioeconomic inequality in educational achievement at age 16 were examined. Progressive universal interventions (i.e., more intense intervention for those with greater need) to improve school entry academic skills could raise population levels of educational achievement by 5% and reduce absolute socioeconomic inequality in poor educational achievement by 15%.

  10. Effects of Simulated Interventions to Improve School Entry Academic Skills on Socioeconomic Inequalities in Educational Achievement

    PubMed Central

    Chittleborough, Catherine R; Mittinty, Murthy N; Lawlor, Debbie A; Lynch, John W

    2014-01-01

    Randomized controlled trial evidence shows that interventions before age 5 can improve skills necessary for educational success; the effect of these interventions on socioeconomic inequalities is unknown. Using trial effect estimates, and marginal structural models with data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (n = 11,764, imputed), simulated effects of plausible interventions to improve school entry academic skills on socioeconomic inequality in educational achievement at age 16 were examined. Progressive universal interventions (i.e., more intense intervention for those with greater need) to improve school entry academic skills could raise population levels of educational achievement by 5% and reduce absolute socioeconomic inequality in poor educational achievement by 15%. PMID:25327718

  11. The Consequences of "School Improvement": Examining the Association between Two Standardized Assessments Measuring School Improvement and Student Science Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maltese, Adam V.; Hochbein, Craig D.

    2012-01-01

    For more than half a century concerns about the ability of American students to compete in a global workplace focused policymakers' attention on improving school performance generally, and student achievement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) specifically. In its most recent form--No Child Left Behind--there is evidence…

  12. Improving Science Achievement and Attitudes of Students With and Without Learning Disabilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanders-White, Pamela

    The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of structured note-taking compared to traditional note-taking on the acquisition of scientific knowledge for students with and without learning disabilities (LD) and students with reading difficulties (RD). An additional purpose was to examine whether the two note-taking methods affected students' attitudes toward science. The sample population consisted of 203 fifth grade students across four public schools in the southern area of the United States. A standardized instrument aligned to Florida's science standards was used to measure the acquisition of scientific knowledge and the Test of Science-Related Attitudes (TOSRA) was used to measure seven distinct science-related attitudes. For meaningful analyses, students with LD and students with RD were collapsed to form a single group due to the small numbers of participants in each of the subgroups; the collapsed group was referred to as "low achievers." A three-way repeated measures ANOVA was conducted to determine the effects of the pretest-posttest Science Interim assessment by group, type of student, and gender. The pretest-posttest Science Interim assessment scores were the within-group factor, while group, type of student, and gender were the between-groups factors. Results revealed that there was a significant interaction between the pretest-posttest Science Interim assessment and group, F(1, 191) = 9.320, p = .003, indicating that scientific knowledge scores increased for the experimental group, but decreased for the control group. Results also indicated that there was a significant three-way interaction between the pretest-posttest Science Interim assessment, group, and gender, F(1, 191) = 5.197, p = .024, showing that all participants in the experimental group improved their scores; while in the control group, female scores decreased and male scores increased. Participants in the experimental and control groups did not show improved attitudes

  13. Instructional Leadership Influence on Collective Teacher Efficacy to Improve School Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fancera, Samuel F.; Bliss, James R.

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine whether instructional leadership functions, as defined in Hallinger's Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale, positively influence collective teacher efficacy to improve school achievement. Teachers from sample schools provided data for measures of collective teacher efficacy and instructional…

  14. Investing in Educator Data Literacy Improves Student Achievement. Evidence of Impact: The Oregon Data Project

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Data Quality Campaign, 2012

    2012-01-01

    Since 2007 the Oregon DATA Project has been investing resources to provide educators on-the-job training around effective data use to improve student achievement. New evidence shows that their efforts are paying off. A 2011 Oregon DATA Project report detailed the impact of their investment in the state's educators, finding the following: (1)…

  15. Improving Achievement in Low-Performing Schools: Key Results for School Leaders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ward, Randolph E.; Burke, Mary Ann

    2004-01-01

    As accountability in schools becomes more crucial, educators are looking for comprehensive and innovative management practices that respond to challenges and realities of student academic achievement. In order to improve academic performance and the quality of instruction, the entire school community needs to be involved. This book provides six…

  16. Expansion of Out-of-School Programs Aims at Improving Student Achievement. Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perry, Mary; Teague, Jackie; Frey, Susan

    There is a growing conviction that out-of-school programs can play an important role in improving student achievement. Both government and private sources are investing in them. This report focuses on the expanding prevalence of after-school programs in California, and profiles their nature and the demands that they face. Funding has been…

  17. Promoting Student Achievement through Improved Health Policy. Policy Update. Vol. 22, No. 11

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fobbs, Erima

    2015-01-01

    "Promoting Student Achievement through Improved Health Policy" is a quick primer of the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] CDC's "Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child" model, which highlights 10 important areas for connecting health and learning: health education; physical education and physical activity;…

  18. Improving High School Students' Mathematics Achievement through the Use of Motivational Strategies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Portal, Jamie; Sampson, Lisa

    This report describes a program for motivating students in mathematics in order to improve achievement at the high school level. The targeted population consisted of high school students in a middle class community located in a suburb of a large metropolitan area. The problems of underachievement were documented through data collected from surveys…

  19. Analyzing Academic Achievement of Junior High School Students by an Improved Rough Set Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pai, Ping-Feng; Lyu, Yi-Jia; Wang, Yu-Min

    2010-01-01

    Rough set theory (RST) is an emerging technique used to deal with problems in data mining and knowledge acquisition. However, the RST approach has not been widely explored in the field of academic achievement. This investigation developed an improved RST (IMRST) model, which employs linear discriminant analysis to determine a reduct of RST, and…

  20. Using Cooperative Learning To Improve the Academic Achievements of Inner-City Middle School Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holliday, Dwight C.

    Whether using cooperative learning can improve the academic achievement of inner city middle school students was studied in Gary, Indiana at a school with a population of 503 students. Two seventh-grade classes taught by 1 African American male teacher served as 1 treatment group of 20 at-risk students and one nontreatment group of 24 high…

  1. A Better Return on Investment: Reallocating Resources To Improve Student Achievement. [Booklet with Audiotapes].

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    North Central Regional Educational Lab., Oak Brook, IL.

    Standards-based educational reform has prompted the education system as a whole to examine whether the dollars put into the system reflect an investment in meeting the overarching goals of school reform. Driven by a common goal of improving the achievement of all students to increase the productivity of society in general, the education industry…

  2. Improving Students' Creative Thinking and Achievement through the Implementation of Multiple Intelligence Approach with Mind Mapping

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Widiana, I. Wayan; Jampel, I. Nyoman

    2016-01-01

    This classroom action research aimed to improve the students' creative thinking and achievement in learning science. It conducted through the implementation of multiple intelligences with mind mapping approach and describing the students' responses. The subjects of this research were the fifth grade students of SD 8 Tianyar Barat, Kubu, and…

  3. Geometry-Related Children's Literature Improves the Geometry Achievement and Attitudes of Second-Grade Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McAndrew, Erica M.; Morris, Wendy L.; Fennell, Francis

    2017-01-01

    Use of mathematics-related literature can engage students' interest and increase their understanding of mathematical concepts. A quasi-experimental study of two second-grade classrooms assessed whether daily inclusion of geometry-related literature in the classroom improved attitudes toward geometry and achievement in geometry. Consistent with the…

  4. The Effectiveness of the SSHA in Improving Prediction of Academic Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wikoff, Richard L.; Kafka, Gene F.

    1981-01-01

    Investigated the effectiveness of the Survey of Study Habits (SSHA) in improving prediction of achievement. The American College Testing Program English and mathematics subtests were good predictors of gradepoint average. The SSHA subtests accounted for an additional 3 percent of the variance. Sex differences were noted. (Author)

  5. Improving Student Academic Reading Achievement through the Use of Multiple Intelligence Teaching Strategies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Uhlir, Pamela

    This report describes an action research project improving student academic reading achievement. The targeted population consisted of fifth grade students in a growing suburb of a major midwestern metropolitan area. The evidence for existence of the problem included student surveys, assessments, teacher observations and checklists. Analysis of…

  6. Improving Teaching Capacity to Increase Student Achievement: The Key Role of Data Interpretation by School Leaders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lynch, David; Smith, Richard; Provost, Steven; Madden, Jake

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: This paper argues that in a well-organised school with strong leadership and vision coupled with a concerted effort to improve the teaching performance of each teacher, student achievement can be enhanced. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that while macro-effect sizes such as "whole of school" metrics are useful for…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Automated monitoring: a potential solution for achieving sustainable improvement in hand hygiene practices.

    PubMed

    Levchenko, Alexander I; Boscart, Veronique M; Fernie, Geoff R

    2014-08-01

    Adequate hand hygiene is often considered as the most effective method of reducing the rates of hospital-acquired infections, which are one of the major causes of increased cost, morbidity, and mortality in healthcare. Electronic monitoring technologies provide a promising direction for achieving sustainable hand hygiene improvement by introducing the elements of automated feedback and creating the possibility to automatically collect individual hand hygiene performance data. The results of the multiphase testing of an automated hand hygiene reminding and monitoring system installed in a complex continuing care setting are presented. The study included a baseline Phase 1, with the system performing automated data collection only, a preintervention Phase 2 with hand hygiene status indicator enabled, two intervention Phases 3 and 4 with the system generating hand hygiene reminding signals and periodic performance feedback sessions provided, and a postintervention Phase 5 with only hand hygiene status indicator enabled and no feedback sessions provided. A significant increase in hand hygiene performance observed during the first intervention Phase 3 was sustained over the second intervention Phase 4, with the postintervention phase also indicating higher hand hygiene activity rates compared with the preintervention and baseline phases. The overall trends observed during the multiphase testing, the factors affecting acceptability of the automated hand hygiene monitoring system, and various strategies of technology deployment are discussed.

  9. Concept Mapping Strategy: An Effective Tool for Improving Students' Academic Achievement in Biology

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sakiyo, John; Waziri, Kawu

    2015-01-01

    The study investigated the use of concept mapping teaching method on secondary school students' academic achievement in biology. Two hypotheses tested at 0.05 level of significance guided the study. The design of the study was quasi-experimental design with 122 Senior Secondary students selected purposively from two senior secondary schools in…

  10. Improving Elementary American Indian Students' Math Achievement with Inquiry-Based Mathematics and Games

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stone, Jamalee; Hamann, Edmund

    2012-01-01

    Project Inquiry-Based Mathematics was a National Science Foundation Math-Science Partnership implemented in a Great Plains city school district with a significant K-12 Native American population. One goal of the project was to reduce the achievement gap between Native American and non-Native students enrolled in district. This gap reduction was to…

  11. Recipe for Success: An Updated Parents' Guide to Improving Colorado Schools and Student Achievement. Second Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taher, Bonnie; Durr, Pamela

    This guide describes ways that parents can help improve student achievement and school quality. It answers such questions as how to choose the right early-education opportunity for a preschooler, how to make sure a 5-year-old is ready for school, how to help a daughter do well in school, how to work with a daughter's or son's teachers, how to help…

  12. Supporting Low-Achieving EFL Learners: Expectations, Procedure and Significance of Remedial Sessions at a Saudi University

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alghamdi, Fatimah M. A.; Siddiqui, Ozma

    2016-01-01

    This study reports on and investigates an institutionalized remedial approach held by an English language institute (ELI) at a Saudi University in order to support foundation year struggling students who often achieve low grades or fail to pass a certain level of the English language program. The study utilizes semi-structured interviews to…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Killian, Larita J.; Brandon, Christopher D.

    2009-01-01

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

  14. US objectives generally achieved at broadcasting satellite international conference. Improvements can help in future conferences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1984-08-01

    The implementation of broadcasting satellite service for the Western Hemisphere was planned. Broadcasting satellites transmit television programs and other information services from Earth orbit to home or office antennas. At the request of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, State and the Judiciary, GAO reviewed conference results as compared to established conference objectives and examined the interagency coordination of U.S. participation in this international conference. The United States basically achieved its two most important conference objectives: adopting a technically and procedurally flexible plan for broadcasting satellite service and obtaining a sufficient allocation of satellite orbit slots and frequencies to meet domestic needs. The U.S. was unable, however, to obtain agreement on adopting a maximum signal power level for satellites. The Department of State could improve its preparation, internal coordination, and administrative support for future international conferences and recommends actions to the Secretary of State to improve its international telecommunications activities.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-08-01

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

  16. Quality improvement in diabetes--successful in achieving better care with hopes for prevention.

    PubMed

    Haw, J Sonya; Narayan, K M Venkat; Ali, Mohammed K

    2015-09-01

    Diabetes affects 29 million Americans and is associated with billions of dollars in health expenditures and lost productivity. Robust evidence has shown that lifestyle interventions in people at high risk for diabetes and comprehensive management of cardiometabolic risk factors like glucose, blood pressure, and lipids can delay the onset of diabetes and its complications, respectively. However, realizing the "triple aim" of better health, better care, and lower cost in diabetes has been hampered by low adoption of lifestyle interventions to prevent diabetes and poor achievement of care goals for those with diabetes. To achieve better care, a number of quality improvement (QI) strategies targeting the health system, healthcare providers, and/or patients have been evaluated in both controlled trials and real-world programs, and have shown some successes, though barriers still impede wider adoption, effectiveness, real-world feasibility, and scalability. Here, we summarize the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness data regarding QI strategies in diabetes care and discuss the potential role of quality monitoring and QI in trying to implement primary prevention of diabetes more widely and effectively. Over time, achieving better care and better health will likely help bend the ever-growing cost curve.

  17. Leveraging Improvements in Precipitation Measuring from GPM Mission to Achieve Prediction Improvements in Climate, Weather and Hydrometeorology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, Eric A.

    2002-01-01

    The main scientific goal of the GPM mission, currently planned for start in the 2007 time frame, is to investigate important scientific problems arising within the context of global and regional water cycles. These problems cut across a hierarchy of scales and include climate-water cycle interactions, techniques for improving weather and climate predictions, and better methods for combining observed precipitation with hydrometeorological prediction models for applications to hazardous flood-producing storms, seasonal flood/draught conditions, and fresh water resource assessments. The GPM mission will expand the scope of precipitation measurement through the use of a constellation of some 9 satellites, one of which will be an advanced TRMM-like "core" satellite carrying a dual-frequency Ku-Ka band precipitation radar and an advanced, multifrequency passive microwave radiometer with vertical-horizontal polarization discrimination. The other constellation members will include new dedicated satellites and co-existing Operational/research satellites carrying similar (but not identical) passive microwave radiometers. The goal of the constellation is to achieve approximately 3-hour sampling at any spot on the globe. The constellation's orbit architecture will consist of a mix of sun-synchronous and non-sun-synchronous satellites with the core satellite providing measurements of cloud-precipitation microphysical processes plus calibration-quality rainrate retrievals to be used with the other retrieval information to ensure bias-free constellation coverage. GPM is organized internationally, currently involving a partnership between NASA in the US and the National Space Development Agency in Japan. Additionally, the program is actively pursuing agreements with other international partners and domestic scientific agencies and institutions, as well as participation by individual scientists from academia, government, and the private sector to fulfill mission goals and to pave

  18. Interprofessional Curbside Consults to Develop Team Communication and Improve Student Achievement of Learning Outcomes.

    PubMed

    Kirwin, Jennifer; Greenwood, Kristin Curry; Rico, Janet; Nalliah, Romesh; DiVall, Margarita

    2017-02-25

    Objective. To design and implement a series of activities focused on developing interprofessional communication skills and to assess the impact of the activities on students' attitudes and achievement of educational goals. Design. Prior to the first pharmacy practice skills laboratory session, pharmacy students listened to a classroom lecture about team communication and viewed short videos describing the roles, responsibilities, and usual work environments of four types of health care professionals. In each of four subsequent laboratory sessions, students interacted with a different standardized health care professional role-played by a pharmacy faculty member who asked them a medication-related question. Students responded in verbal and written formats. Assessment. Student performance was assessed with a three-part rubric. The impact of the exercise was assessed by conducting pre- and post-intervention surveys and analyzing students' performance on relevant Center for the Advancement of Pharmacy Education (CAPE) outcomes. Survey results showed improvement in student attitudes related to team-delivered care. Students' performance on the problem solver and collaborator CAPE outcomes improved, while performance on the educator outcome worsened. Conclusions. The addition of an interprofessional communication activity with standardized health care professionals provided the opportunity for students to develop skills related to team communication. Students felt the activity was valuable and realistic; however, analysis of outcome achievement from the exercise revealed a need for more exposure to team communication skills.

  19. Interprofessional Curbside Consults to Develop Team Communication and Improve Student Achievement of Learning Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Greenwood, Kristin Curry; Rico, Janet; Nalliah, Romesh; DiVall, Margarita

    2017-01-01

    Objective. To design and implement a series of activities focused on developing interprofessional communication skills and to assess the impact of the activities on students’ attitudes and achievement of educational goals. Design. Prior to the first pharmacy practice skills laboratory session, pharmacy students listened to a classroom lecture about team communication and viewed short videos describing the roles, responsibilities, and usual work environments of four types of health care professionals. In each of four subsequent laboratory sessions, students interacted with a different standardized health care professional role-played by a pharmacy faculty member who asked them a medication-related question. Students responded in verbal and written formats. Assessment. Student performance was assessed with a three-part rubric. The impact of the exercise was assessed by conducting pre- and post-intervention surveys and analyzing students’ performance on relevant Center for the Advancement of Pharmacy Education (CAPE) outcomes. Survey results showed improvement in student attitudes related to team-delivered care. Students’ performance on the problem solver and collaborator CAPE outcomes improved, while performance on the educator outcome worsened. Conclusions. The addition of an interprofessional communication activity with standardized health care professionals provided the opportunity for students to develop skills related to team communication. Students felt the activity was valuable and realistic; however, analysis of outcome achievement from the exercise revealed a need for more exposure to team communication skills. PMID:28289305

  20. Employee Perceptions of Progress with Implementing a Student-Centered Model of Institutional Improvement: An Achieving the Dream Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cheek, Annesa LeShawn

    2011-01-01

    Achieving the Dream is a national initiative focused on helping more community college students succeed, particularly students of color and low-income students. Achieving the Dream's student-centered model of institutional improvement focuses on eliminating gaps and raising student achievement by helping institutions build a culture of evidence…

  1. From Guide to Practice: Improving Your After School Science Program to Increase Student Academic Achievement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, J.

    2013-12-01

    Numerous science organizations, such as NASA, offer educational outreach activities geared towards after school. For some programs, the primary goal is to grow students' love of science. For others, the programs are also intended to increase academic achievement. For those programs looking to support student learning in out-of-school time environments, aligning the program with learning during the classroom day can be a challenge. The Institute for Education Sciences, What Works Clearinghouse, put together a 'Practice Guide' for maximizing learning time beyond the regular school day. These practice guides provide concrete recommendations for educators supported by research. While this guide is not specific to any content or subject-area, the recommendations provided align very well with science education. After school science is often viewed as a fun, dynamic environment for students. Indeed, one of the recommendations to ensure time is structured according to students' needs is to provide relevant and interesting experiences. Given that our after school programs provide such creative environments for students, what other components are needed to promote increased academic achievement? The recommendations provided to academic achievement, include: 1. Align Instruction, 2. Maximize Attendance and Participation, 3. Adapt Instruction, 4. Provide Engaging Experiences, and 5. Evaluate Program. In this session we will examine these five recommendations presented in the Practice Guide, discuss how these strategies align with science programs, and examine what questions each program should address in order to provide experiences that lend themselves to maximizing instruction. Roadblocks and solutions for overcoming challenges in each of the five areas will be presented. Jessica Taylor will present this research based on her role as an author on the Practice Guide, 'Improving Academic Achievement in Out-of-School Time' and her experience working in various informal science

  2. Educating Everybody's Children: Diverse Teaching Strategies for Diverse Learners. What Research and Practice Say about Improving Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cole, Robert W., Ed.

    The culmination of work by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development's (ASCD) Urban Middle Grades Network, a special Advisory Panel on Improving Student Achievement, and the Improving Student Achievement Research Panel, this book proposes a repertoire of tools for educators meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse student…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-04

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

  4. Multimodal treatment of unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma to achieve complete response results in improved survival

    PubMed Central

    Newell, Pippa H; Wu, YingXing; Hoen, Helena; Uppal, Richa; Thiesing, John Tyler; Sasadeusz, Kevin; Cassera, Maria A; Wolf, Ronald F; Hansen, Paul; Hammill, Chet W

    2015-01-01

    Introduction With technological advances, questions arise regarding how to best fit newer treatment modalities, such as transarterial therapies, into the treatment algorithm for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Methods Between 2005 and 2011, 128 patients initially treated with transarterial radioembolization or chemoembolization using drug-eluting beads were identified. The response was graded retrospectively. Toxicity was measured 1, 3, and 6 months after the first and last treatments. Results Sixty-five patients (53%) were advanced stage. Twenty patients (16%) had an initial complete response, but with additional treatments, this was increased to 46 (36%). Patients with a complete response as their best response to treatment had a median survival [95% confidence interval (CI)] of 5.77 (2.58, upper limit not yet reached) years, significantly longer than those whose best response was a partial response, 1.22 (0.84, 2.06) years and those with stable disease as their best response, 0.34 (0.29, 0.67) years. Repeated treatments did not increase toxicity. Discussion This retrospective review of patients treated for intermediate and advanced stage HCC revealed a significant survival advantage in patients who achieved a complete response. These data support use of a multi-modality approach to intermediate and advanced stage HCC, combining liver-directed treatments as necessary to achieve a complete response. PMID:25580988

  5. Charting the course for home health care quality: action steps for achieving sustainable improvement: conference proceedings.

    PubMed

    Feldman, Penny Hollander; Peterson, Laura E; Reische, Laurie; Bruno, Lori; Clark, Amy

    2004-12-01

    On June 30 and July 1, 2003, the first national meeting Charting the Course for Home Health Care Quality: Action Steps for Achieving Sustainable Improvement convened in New York City. The Center for Home Care Policy & Research of the Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY) hosted the meeting with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Fifty-seven attendees from throughout the United States participated. The participants included senior leaders and managers and nurses working directly in home care today. The meeting's objectives were to: 1. foster dialogue among key constituents influencing patient safety and home care, 2. promote information-sharing across sectors and identify areas where more information is needed, and, 3. develop an agenda and strategy for moving forward. This article reports the meeting's proceedings.

  6. Optimization of Oxidation Temperature for Commercially Pure Titanium to Achieve Improved Corrosion Resistance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bansal, Rajesh; Singh, J. K.; Singh, Vakil; Singh, D. D. N.; Das, Parimal

    2017-03-01

    Thermal oxidation of commercially pure titanium (cp-Ti) was carried out at different temperatures, ranging from 200 to 900 °C to achieve optimum corrosion resistance of the thermally treated surface in simulated body fluid. Scanning electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy techniques were used to characterize the oxides and assess their protective properties exposed in the test electrolyte. Maximum resistance toward corrosion was observed for samples oxidized at 500 °C. This was attributed to the formation of a composite layer of oxides at this temperature comprising Ti2O3 (titanium sesquioxide), anatase and rutile phases of TiO2 on the surface of cp-Ti. Formation of an intact and pore-free oxide-substrate interface also improved its corrosion resistance.

  7. An improvement in land cover classification achieved by merging microwave data with Landsat multispectral scanner data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wu, S. T.

    1980-01-01

    The improvement in land cover classification achieved by merging microwave data with Landsat MSS data is examined. To produce a merged data set for analysis and comparison, a registration procedure by which a set of Seasat SAR digital data was merged with the MSS data is described. The Landsat MSS data and the merged Landsat/Seasat data sets were processed using conventional multichannel spectral pattern recognition techniques. An analysis of the classified data sets indicates that while Landsat data delineate different forest types (i.e., deciduous/coniferous) and allow some species separation, SAR data provide additional information related to plant canopy configuration and vegetation density as associated with varying water regimes, and therefore allow for further subdivision in the classification of forested wetlands of the coastal region of the southern United States.

  8. Optimization of Oxidation Temperature for Commercially Pure Titanium to Achieve Improved Corrosion Resistance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bansal, Rajesh; Singh, J. K.; Singh, Vakil; Singh, D. D. N.; Das, Parimal

    2017-02-01

    Thermal oxidation of commercially pure titanium (cp-Ti) was carried out at different temperatures, ranging from 200 to 900 °C to achieve optimum corrosion resistance of the thermally treated surface in simulated body fluid. Scanning electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, Raman spectroscopy and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy techniques were used to characterize the oxides and assess their protective properties exposed in the test electrolyte. Maximum resistance toward corrosion was observed for samples oxidized at 500 °C. This was attributed to the formation of a composite layer of oxides at this temperature comprising Ti2O3 (titanium sesquioxide), anatase and rutile phases of TiO2 on the surface of cp-Ti. Formation of an intact and pore-free oxide-substrate interface also improved its corrosion resistance.

  9. Longer term improvement in neurocognitive functioning and affective distress among methamphetamine users who achieve stable abstinence.

    PubMed

    Iudicello, Jennifer E; Woods, Steven P; Vigil, Ofilio; Scott, J Cobb; Cherner, Mariana; Heaton, Robert K; Atkinson, J Hampton; Grant, Igor

    2010-08-01

    Chronic use of methamphetamine (MA) is associated with neuropsychological dysfunction and affective distress. Some normalization of function has been reported after abstinence, but little in the way of data is available on the possible added benefits of long-term sobriety. To address this, we performed detailed neuropsychological and affective evaluations in 83 MA-dependent individuals at a baseline visit and following an average one-year interval period. Among the 83 MA-dependent participants, 25 remained abstinent, and 58 used MA at least once during the interval period. A total of 38 non-MA-addicted, demographically matched healthy comparison (i.e., HC) participants were also examined. At baseline, both MA-dependent participants who were able to maintain abstinence and those who were not performed significantly worse than the healthy comparison subjects on global neuropsychological functioning and were significantly more distressed. At the one-year follow-up, both the long-term abstainers and healthy comparison groups showed comparable global neuropsychological performance and affective distress levels, whereas the MA-dependent group who continued to use MA were worse than the comparison participants in terms of global neuropsychological functioning and affective distress. An interaction was observed between neuropsychological impairment at baseline, MA abstinence, and cognitive improvement, with abstinent MA-dependent participants who were neuropsychologically impaired at baseline demonstrating significantly and disproportionately greater improvement in processing speed and slightly greater improvement in motor abilities than the other participants. These results suggest partial recovery of neuropsychological functioning and improvement in affective distress upon sustained abstinence from MA that may extend beyond a year or more.

  10. The Stories Clinicians Tell: Achieving High Reliability and Improving Patient Safety

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Daniel L; Stewart, Kevin O

    2016-01-01

    The patient safety movement has been deeply affected by the stories patients have shared that have identified numerous opportunities for improvements in safety. These stories have identified system and/or human inefficiencies or dysfunctions, possibly even failures, often resulting in patient harm. Although patients’ stories tell us much, less commonly heard are the stories of clinicians and how their personal observations regarding the environments they work in and the circumstances and pressures under which they work may degrade patient safety and lead to harm. If the health care industry is to function like a high-reliability industry, to improve its processes and achieve the outcomes that patients rightly deserve, then leaders and managers must seek and value input from those on the front lines—both clinicians and patients. Stories from clinicians provided in this article address themes that include incident identification, disclosure and transparency, just culture, the impact of clinical workload pressures, human factors liabilities, clinicians as secondary victims, the impact of disruptive and punitive behaviors, factors affecting professional morale, and personal failings. PMID:26580146

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Improving University Ranking to Achieve University Competitiveness by Management Information System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dachyar, M.; Dewi, F.

    2015-05-01

    One way to increase university competitiveness is through information system management. A literature review was done to find information system factors that affect university performance in Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) University Ranking: Asia evaluation. Information system factors were then eliminated using Delphi method through consensus of 7 experts. Result from Delphi method was used as measured variables in PLS-SEM. Estimation with PLS-SEM method through 72 respondents shows that the latent variable academic reputation and citation per paper have significant correlation to university competitiveness. In University of Indonesia (UI) the priority to increase university competitiveness as follow: (i) network building in international conference, (ii) availability of research data to public, (iii) international conference information, (iv) information on achievements and accreditations of each major, (v) ease of employment for alumni.

  15. Improving production of 11C to achieve high specific labelled radiopharmaceuticals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savio, E.; García, O.; Trindade, V.; Buccino, P.; Giglio, J.; Balter, H.; Engler, H.

    2012-12-01

    Molecular imaging is usually based on the recognition by the radiopharmaceuticals of specific sites which are present in limited number or density in the cells or biological tissues. Thus is of high importance to label the radiopharmaceuticals with high specific activity to be able to achieve a high target to non target ratio. The presence of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the air containing 98,88% of 12C and 1,12% 13C compete with 11CO2 produced at the cyclotron. In order to minimize the presence of these isotopes along the process of irradiation, transferring and synthesis of radiopharmaceuticals labelled with 11C, we applied this method: previous to the irradiation the target was 3-4 times flushed with He (5.7) as a cold cleaning, followed by a similar conditioning of the line, from the target up to the module, and finally a hot cleaning in order to desorb 12CO2 and 13CO2, this was performed by irradiation during 1 min at 5 uA (3 times). In addition, with the aim of improving quality of gases in the target and in the modules, water traps (Agilent) were incorporated in the inlet lines of the target and modules. Target conditioning process (cold and hot flushings) as well as line cleaning, allowing the desorption of unlabelled CO2, together with the increasing of gas purity in the irradiation and in the synthesis, were critical parameters that enable to achieve 11C-radiopharamaceuticals with high specific activity, mainly in the case of 11C-PIB.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  18. Structuring Out-of-School Time to Improve Academic Achievement. IES Practice Guide. NCEE 2009-012

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beckett, Megan; Borman, Geoffrey; Capizzano, Jeffrey; Parsley, Danette; Ross, Steven; Schirm, Allen; Taylor, Jessica

    2009-01-01

    Out-of-school time programs can enhance academic achievement by helping students learn outside the classroom. The purpose of this practice guide is to provide recommendations for organizing and delivering school-based out-of-school time (OST) programs to improve the academic achievement of student participants. The five recommendations in this…

  19. Conference on Improving Minority and At-Risk Student Achievement: Blueprint for Excellence Proceedings Report. (Raleigh, NC, March 10, 1997).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    North Carolina State Dept. of Public Instruction, Raleigh. Div. of Accountability Services/Research.

    The Conference on Improving Minority and At-Risk Student Achievement was convened to help educators, parents, community, and business leaders in North Carolina focus in strategies and ideas that work to raise student achievement levels for low-performing students. This report summarizes the remarks of Michael Garrett, the keynote address of Asa…

  20. Live births achieved via IVF are increased by improvements in air quality and laboratory environment.

    PubMed

    Heitmann, Ryan J; Hill, Micah J; James, Aidita N; Schimmel, Tim; Segars, James H; Csokmay, John M; Cohen, Jacques; Payson, Mark D

    2015-09-01

    Infertility is a common disease, which causes many couples to seek treatment with assisted reproduction techniques. Many factors contribute to successful assisted reproduction technique outcomes. One important factor is laboratory environment and air quality. Our facility had the unique opportunity to compare consecutively used, but separate assisted reproduction technique laboratories, as a result of a required move. Environmental conditions were improved by strategic engineering designs. All other aspects of the IVF laboratory, including equipment, physicians, embryologists, nursing staff and protocols, were kept constant between facilities. Air quality testing showed improved air quality at the new IVF site. Embryo implantation (32.4% versus 24.3%; P < 0.01) and live birth (39.3% versus 31.8%, P < 0.05) were significantly increased in the new facility compared with the old facility. More patients met clinical criteria and underwent mandatory single embryo transfer on day 5 leading to both a reduction in multiple gestation pregnancies and increased numbers of vitrified embryos per patient with supernumerary embryos available. Improvements in IVF laboratory conditions and air quality had profound positive effects on laboratory measures and patient outcomes. This study further strengthens the importance of the laboratory environment and air quality in the success of an IVF programme.

  1. Live births achieved via IVF are increased by improvements in air quality and laboratory environment

    PubMed Central

    Heitmann, Ryan J; Hill, Micah J; James, Aidita N; Schimmel, Tim; Segars, James H; Csokmay, John M; Cohen, Jacques; Payson, Mark D

    2016-01-01

    Infertility is a common disease, which causes many couples to seek treatment with assisted reproduction techniques. Many factors contribute to successful assisted reproduction technique outcomes. One important factor is laboratory environment and air quality. Our facility had the unique opportunity to compare consecutively used, but separate assisted reproduction technique laboratories, as a result of a required move. Environmental conditions were improved by strategic engineering designs. All other aspects of the IVF laboratory, including equipment, physicians, embryologists, nursing staff and protocols, were kept constant between facilities. Air quality testing showed improved air quality at the new IVF site. Embryo implantation (32.4% versus 24.3%; P < 0.01) and live birth (39.3% versus 31.8%, P < 0.05) were significantly increased in the new facility compared with the old facility. More patients met clinical criteria and underwent mandatory single embryo transfer on day 5 leading to both a reduction in multiple gestation pregnancies and increased numbers of vitrified embryos per patient with supernumerary embryos available. Improvements in IVF laboratory conditions and air quality had profound positive effects on laboratory measures and patient outcomes. This study further strengthens the importance of the laboratory environment and air quality in the success of an IVF programme. PMID:26194882

  2. Can developing countries achieve adequate improvements in child health outcomes without engaging the private sector?

    PubMed Central

    Bustreo, Flavia; Harding, April; Axelsson, Henrik

    2003-01-01

    The private sector exerts a significant and critical influence on child health outcomes in developing countries, including the health of poor children. This article reviews the available evidence on private sector utilization and quality of care. It provides a framework for analysing the private sector's influence on child health outcomes. This influence goes beyond service provision by private providers and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). Pharmacies, drug sellers, private suppliers, and food producers also have an impact on the health of children. Many governments are experimenting with strategies to engage the private sector to improve child health. The article analyses some of the most promising strategies, and suggests that a number of constraints make it hard for policy-makers to emulate these approaches. Few experiences are clearly described, monitored, and evaluated. The article suggests that improving the impact of child health programmes in developing countries requires a more systematic analysis of how to engage the private sector most effectively. The starting point should include the evaluation of the presence and potential of the private sector, including actors such as professional associations, producer organizations, community groups, and patients' organizations. PMID:14997241

  3. Solute Enhanced Strain Hardening of Aluminum Alloys to Achieve Improved Combinations of Strength and Toughness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hovanec, Christopher James

    2011-12-01

    The feasibility of achieving improved combinations of strength and toughness in aluminum alloy 2524 through solute enhanced strain hardening (SESH) has been explored in this study and shown to be viable. The effectiveness of SESH is directly dependent on the strain hardening rate (SHR) of the material being processed. Aluminum alloy 2524 naturally ages to the T4-temper after solution heat treating and quenching. The SHR of strain free and post cold rolled material as a function of natural aging time has been measured by means of simple compression. It has been determined that the SHR of AA2524 is more effective with solute in solution rather than clustered into GP zones. It has also been shown that the typical rapid formation of GP zones at room temperature (natural aging) is inhibited by moderate cold rolling strains (□CR ≥ 0.2) through dislocation aided vacancy annihilation. The practical limitations of quenching rate have been determined using hardness and eddy current electrical conductivity measurements. It has been shown that too slow of a quench rate results in solute being lost to both the formation of GP zones and embrittling precipitates during the quench, while too rapid of a quench rate results in mid-plane cracking of the work piece during the SESH processing. The mid-plane cracking was overcome by using an uphill quenching procedure to relieve residual stresses within the work piece. Aluminum alloy 2524 strengthened through SESH to a yield strength 11% greater than that in the T6-Temper exhibits: equivalent toughness, 5% greater UTS, 1% greater elongation, 7% greater R.A., and absorbs 15% more energy during tensile testing. At yield strengths comparable to published data for 2x24 alloys, the SESH 2524 exhibited up to a 60% increase in fracture toughness. The fractured surfaces of the SESH material exhibited transgranular dimpled rupture as opposed to the grain boundary ductile fracture (GBPF) observed in the artificially aged material.

  4. 41 CFR 102-193.25 - What type of records management business process improvements should my agency strive to achieve?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... management business process improvements should my agency strive to achieve? 102-193.25 Section 102-193.25...-193.25 What type of records management business process improvements should my agency strive to... correspondence; (b) Design forms that are easy to fill-in, read, transmit, process, and retrieve, and...

  5. 41 CFR 102-193.25 - What type of records management business process improvements should my agency strive to achieve?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 41 Public Contracts and Property Management 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false What type of records management business process improvements should my agency strive to achieve? 102-193.25 Section 102-193.25...-193.25 What type of records management business process improvements should my agency strive...

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-01-02

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

  8. Developing and Improving Modified Achievement Level Descriptors: Rationale, Procedures, and Tools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Quenemoen, Rachel; Albus, Debra; Rogers, Chris; Lazarus, Sheryl

    2010-01-01

    Some states are developing alternate assessments based on modified achievement standards (AA-MAS) to measure the academic achievement of some students with disabilities (Albus, Lazarus, Thurlow, & Cormier, 2009; Lazarus, Thurlow, Christensen, & Cormier, 2007). These assessments measure the same content as the general assessment for a given…

  9. How Urban School Superintendents Effectively Use Data Driven Decision Making to Improve Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Root, Lonny Gene

    2010-01-01

    With the passage of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2002, schools, districts, and therefore, superintendents have been held increasingly accountable for the achievement of the students. The states and federal governments have used student achievement data to measure the progress and success of schools and districts and have held districts…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Manzhalii, Elina; Hornuss, Daniel; Stremmel, Wolfgang

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Recent investigations have found a higher incidence of adverse events associated with hematopoietic cell donation in related donors (RDs) who have morbidities that if present in an unrelated donor (UD) would preclude donation. In the UD setting, regulatory standards ensure independent assessment of donors, one of several crucial measures to safeguard donor health and safety. A survey conducted by the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) Donor Health and Safety Working Committee in 2007 reported a potential conflict of interest in >70% US centers, where physicians had simultaneous responsibility for RDs and their recipients. Consequently, several international organizations have endeavored to improve practice through regulations and consensus recommendations. We hypothesized that the changes in the 2012 FACT-JACIE Standards, resulting from the CIBMTR study, will have significantly impacted practice. Accordingly, a follow-up survey of US transplant centers was conducted to assess practice changes since 2007, and investigate additional areas where RD care was predicted to differ from UD care. 73 centers (53%), performing 79% of US RD transplants responded. Significant improvements were observed since the earlier survey; 62% centers now ensure separation of RD and recipient care (P<0.0001). However, this study identifies several areas where RD management does not meet international donor care standards. Particular concerns include counseling and assessment of donors before HLA typing, with 61% centers first disclosing donor HLA results to an individual other than the donor, the use of unlicensed mobilization agents, and the absence of long-term donor follow-up. Recommendations for improvement are described. PMID:26597080

  15. Improvements in compliance with resuscitation bundles and achievement of end points after an educational program on the management of severe sepsis and septic shock.

    PubMed

    Jeon, Kyeongman; Shin, Tae Gun; Sim, Min Seob; Suh, Gee Young; Lim, So Yeon; Song, Hyoung Gon; Jo, Ik Joon

    2012-05-01

    The objectives of this study were to determine whether an educational program could improve compliance with resuscitation bundles and the outcomes of patients with severe sepsis or septic shock and to evaluate which resuscitation bundle end points were associated with in-hospital mortality. This was a retrospective observational study of 366 patients (163 of historical controls and 203 of treatment patients) with severe sepsis or septic shock who presented to the emergency department between May 2007 and July 2009. Compliance with resuscitation bundles and achievement of the corresponding end points were compared before and after the 3-month educational program. Compliance with central line insertion and monitoring of central venous pressure (29% vs. 67%, P < 0.001) and central venous oxygen saturation (ScvO₂) (25% vs. 68%, P < 0.001) was significantly improved after the educational program. The achievement of target ScvO₂ within the first 6 h was significantly improved (62% vs. 88%, P < 0.001). In-hospital mortality was independently associated with adequate fluid challenge (odds ratio [OR], 0.161; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.046-0.559) and the achievement of target mean arterial pressure (OR, 0.056; 95% CI, 0.008-0.384) and ScvO₂ (OR, 0.251; 95% CI, 0.072-0.875) among the five sepsis resuscitation bundles. In conclusion, an educational program can improve compliance with resuscitation bundles and achievement of their corresponding end points.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-08

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1996-01-01

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

  20. Quality improvement initiatives in neonatal intensive care unit networks: achievements and challenges.

    PubMed

    Shah, Vibhuti; Warre, Ruth; Lee, Shoo K

    2013-01-01

    Neonatal intensive care unit networks that encompass regions, states, and even entire countries offer the perfect platform for implementing continuous quality improvement initiatives to advance the health care provided to vulnerable neonates. Through cycles of identification and implementation of best available evidence, benchmarking, and feedback of outcomes, combined with mutual collaborative learning through a network of providers, the performance of health care systems and neonatal outcomes can be improved. We use examples of successful neonatal networks from across North America to explore continuous quality improvement in the neonatal intensive care unit, including the rationale for the formation of neonatal networks, the role of networks in continuous quality improvement, quality improvement methods and outcomes, and barriers to and facilitators of quality improvement.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Yang, Ziheng; Rannala, Bruce

    2017-03-09

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

  6. Using Weblog in Cooperative Learning to Improve the Achievement of History Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leng, Lim Hooi; Leng, Chin Hai; Abedalaziz, Nabeel

    2013-01-01

    This research investigates the use of Weblog in Cooperative Learning to enhance students' learning of History. The main issues of this study were the lack of interest and low achievement scores in History learning. The objectives of this study are to explore the incorporation of Weblog in Cooperative Learning within the teaching and learning…

  7. Improving Low Achievers' Academic Performance at University by Changing the Social Value of Mastery Goals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dompnier, Benoît; Darnon, Céline; Meier, Emanuele; Brandner, Catherine; Smeding, Annique; Butera, Fabrizio

    2015-01-01

    Recent research has shown that, in a university context, mastery goals are highly valued and that students may endorse these goals either because they believe in their utility (i.e., social utility), in which case mastery goals are positively linked to achievement, or to create a positive image of themselves (i.e., social desirability), in which…

  8. Improving Teaching, Learning, and Assessment by Making Evidence of Achievement Transparent. Occasional Paper #25

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eubanks, David; Gliem, David

    2015-01-01

    Technology can change higher education by empowering students to make an impact on the world as undergraduates. Done systematically, this would allow institutions to close the credibility gap with an increasingly dubious public. Authentic student achievements that are addressed to a "real world" audience can lead to richly detailed…

  9. A Mobile Gamification Learning System for Improving the Learning Motivation and Achievements

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Su, C-H.; Cheng, C-H.

    2015-01-01

    This paper aims to investigate how a gamified learning approach influences science learning, achievement and motivation, through a context-aware mobile learning environment, and explains the effects on motivation and student learning. A series of gamified learning activities, based on MGLS (Mobile Gamification Learning System), was developed and…

  10. Achievement for All: Improving Psychosocial Outcomes for Students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Humphrey, Neil; Lendrum, Ann; Barlow, Alexandra; Wigelsworth, Michael; Squires, Garry

    2013-01-01

    Students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are at a greatly increased risk of experiencing poor psychosocial outcomes. Developing effective interventions that address the cause of these outcomes has therefore become a major policy priority in recent years. We report on a national evaluation of the Achievement for All (AfA)…

  11. Teacher Professional Development to Improve Science and Literacy Achievement of English Language Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Okhee; Buxton, Cory A.

    2013-01-01

    The school-aged population in the United States is becoming more culturally and linguistically diverse, while achievement gaps across content areas persist. At the same time, more rigorous academic demands are being placed on all students, including English language learners (ELLs). Teachers of ELLs face the double challenge of promoting English…

  12. Is There a Relationship between the Play Attention Program and Improved Student Achievement?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Webber, Jenny Ann

    2011-01-01

    Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and its effects on student academic achievement have been researched for many years. There have been many interventions that have been used in treating ADHD that have been found successful when implemented consistently. Some of the interventions that have been researched in the past are behavior…

  13. Comparing District Achievement to Improve Decision Making in Clark County, Nevada. Vignette

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    American Institutes for Research, 2012

    2012-01-01

    In response to changing demographics, a tightening budget, and drastic achievement gaps (white students outperform Latino students on standardized tests) the Clark County School District in Nevada (the fifth largest district in the country) commissioned, in 2011, an educational and operational efficiency review. The district commissioned the…

  14. Improving Astronomy Achievement and Attitude through Astronomy Summer Project: A Design, Implementation and Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Türk, Cumhur; Kalkan, Hüseyin; Iskeleli', Nazan Ocak; Kiroglu, Kasim

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of an astronomy summer project implemented in different learning activities on elementary school students, pre-service elementary teachers and in-service teachers' astronomy achievement and their attitudes to astronomy field. This study is the result of a five-day, three-stage, science school,…

  15. Using Formative Reading Assessments and Data Utilization to Improve ELL Spanish Speaking Students' Achievement Test Scores

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hamilton, Maureen Dugan

    2013-01-01

    The demands and expectations placed on all schools in the United States to meet the needs of a growing and diverse population continue to raise the questions, what needs to be done in order for all students to achieve success, and how can this success be measured? This study, researched and reported in the form of a dissertation, was performed on…

  16. Major Field Achievement Test in Business: Guidelines for Improved Outcome Scores--Part I

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McLaughlin, J. Patrick; White, Jason T.

    2007-01-01

    Outcomes measurements have always been an important part of proving to outside constituencies how you "measure up" to other schools with your business programs. A common nationally-normed exam that is used is the Major Field Achievement Test in Business from Educational Testing Services. Our paper discusses some guidelines that we are…

  17. Literacy Coaching to Improve Student Reading Achievement: A Multi-Level Mediation Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Matsumura, Lindsay Clare; Garnier, Helen E.; Spybrook, Jessaca

    2013-01-01

    In a longitudinal group-randomized trial, we explore the key role of the quality of classroom text discussions in mediating the effects of Content-Focused Coaching (CFC) on student reading achievement (2983 students, 167 teachers). Schools in the United States serving large numbers of minority and English language learning (ELL) students from…

  18. 10 Strategies for Raising Achievement and Improving High School Completion Rates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bottoms, Gene

    2004-01-01

    No state can afford to have the percentage of young people who are failing to finish high school remain at the present levels nor can they afford to ease the standards. This document discusses the following 10 strategies that states can implement to raise achievement and increase high school completion rates: (1) Initiate a transition program for…

  19. Improving Attainment through Action Research: An Introduction to Hillingdon's Raising Achievement Project.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Irshad, Khalid; Imrie, Jean

    1997-01-01

    Describes the Raising Achievement Project designed to address the need for more information on the performance of ethnic minorities for whom English is an additional language, and the need for support for children who have passed the initial stages of learning English. It also describes the action research model used to answer questions about…

  20. The Role of School Culture in Improving Student Achievement in POS

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sundell, Kirsten; Castellano, Marisa; Overman, Laura T.; Aliaga, Oscar A.

    2012-01-01

    Over the past five years, the National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE) has sponsored five research studies of Programs of Study (POS)--including three ongoing longitudinal projects--with the goal of informing the field about how and under what conditions POS impact student engagement, achievement, and transition to…

  1. Teaching Processes To Improve Both Higher As Well As Lower Mental Process Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soled, Suzanne Wegener

    A major purpose of this research was to measure the effect of four different teaching processes on lower and higher mental process achievement. Two separate studies, one in science and one in mathematics, involved approximately 100 seventh grade students in four classrooms in a public junior high school in a middle-income neighborhood, and 85…

  2. The Effect of Using Activities Improving Scientific Literacy on Students' Achievement in Science and Technology Lesson

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gucluer, Efe; Kesercioglu, Teoman

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study is examining the effect of the using scientific literacy development activities on students' achievement. The study was carried out in a primary school in Buca Izmir for 2010-2011 academic years. System of our body was chosen as a study topic in our search which took 6 weeks. Pre-post test semi experimental control model was…

  3. Turning Despondency into Hope: Charting New Paths to Improve Students' Achievement and Participation in Science Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rodriguez, Alberto J.

    2004-01-01

    This monograph offers a realistic look at current trends in student achievement in science education, the participation of underrepresented populations, and the many factors that serve to sustain them. In addition, it offers new insights and concrete suggestions for change based on the analysis of recent reports and promising field-based studies.…

  4. Effectiveness of a Metacognitive Reading Strategies Program for Improving Low Achieving EFL Readers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ismail, Nasrah Mahmoud; Tawalbeh, Tha'er Issa

    2015-01-01

    As the training of language learners was a main concern of EFL teachers, this study aimed to assess the effectiveness of metacognitive reading strategies instruction (MRSI) on Taif University EFL students who achieved low results in reading. The final sample of this study was (21) female university students. The sample was divided into two groups;…

  5. Making Employee Recognition a Tool for Achieving Improved Performance: Implication for Ghanaian Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Amoatemaa, Abena Serwaa; Kyeremeh, Dorcas Darkoah

    2016-01-01

    Many organisations are increasingly making use of employee recognition to motivate employees to achieve high performance and productivity. Research has shown that effective recognition occurs in organisations that have strong supportive culture, understand the psychology of praising employees for their good work, and apply the principles of…

  6. Using Culturally Competent Responsive Services to Improve Student Achievement and Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schellenberg, Rita; Grothaus, Tim

    2011-01-01

    This article illustrates standards blending, the integration of core academic and school counseling standards, as a culturally alert responsive services strategy to assist in closing the achievement gap while also enhancing employability skills and culturally salient career competencies. The responsive services intervention described in this…

  7. 3D Game-Based Learning System for Improving Learning Achievement in Software Engineering Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Su,Chung-Ho; Cheng, Ching-Hsue

    2013-01-01

    The advancement of game-based learning has encouraged many related studies, such that students could better learn curriculum by 3-dimension virtual reality. To enhance software engineering learning, this paper develops a 3D game-based learning system to assist teaching and assess the students' motivation, satisfaction and learning achievement. A…

  8. Leveraging Quality Improvement to Achieve Student Learning Assessment Success in Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Glenn, Nancy Gentry

    2009-01-01

    Mounting pressure for transformational change in higher education driven by technology, globalization, competition, funding shortages, and increased emphasis on accountability necessitates that universities implement reforms to demonstrate responsiveness to all stakeholders and to provide evidence of student achievement. In the face of the demand…

  9. The Single-Gender Classroom: Improving Middle School Students' Achievement in Math

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whalen, William V., III.

    2012-01-01

    At Joseph Case Junior High School, a school located in Swansea, Massachusetts for students in grades six through eight; there was a problematic trend in regard to student achievement in mathematics. Upon completion of an analysis of student cohort results in mathematics on the MCAS (Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System), there was an…

  10. 78 FR 69336 - Title I-Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-11-19

    ... alternate assessments based on those modified academic achievement standards. This notice established an October 7, 2013, deadline for the submission of written comments. We are reopening the public comment period for seven days. DATES: For the proposed rule published on August 23, 2013 (78 FR 52467),...

  11. Programming in Pairs with Alice to Improve Confidence, Enjoyment, and Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bishop-Clark, Cathy; Courte, Jill; Howard, Elizabeth V.

    2006-01-01

    Students in an introductory computing class participated in a study investigating the impact of using a graphics programming environment (Alice) and pair-programming on confidence, enjoyment and achievement. Sixty-four participants completed a short questionnaire and a content pre-test about computer programming concepts. Students were then…

  12. Closing the Achievement Gap: Principles for Improving the Educational Success of All Students. ERIC Digest.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schwartz, Wendy

    This digest reviews educational policies and practices that have been proven effective in closing the achievement gap, offering a list of resources with detailed information about them. The digest focuses on state and district roles (e.g., developing and implementing educational goals, rigorous standards, and accountability standards and providing…

  13. Improving Secondary School Students' Achievement and Retention in Biology through Video-Based Multimedia Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gambari, Amosa Isiaka; Yaki, Akawo Angwal; Gana, Eli S.; Ughovwa, Queen Eguono

    2014-01-01

    The study examined the effects of video-based multimedia instruction on secondary school students' achievement and retention in biology. In Nigeria, 120 students (60 boys and 60 girls) were randomly selected from four secondary schools assigned either into one of three experimental groups: Animation + Narration; Animation + On-screen Text;…

  14. Do Charter Schools Improve Student Achievement? Evidence from a National Randomized Study. Working Paper

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Melissa A.; Gleason, Philip; Tuttle, Christina Clark; Silverberg, Marsha K.

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents findings from the first national randomized study of the impacts of charter schools on student achievement, which included 36 charter middle schools across 15 states. The paper compares students who applied and were admitted to these schools through randomized admissions lotteries with students who applied and were not…

  15. Improving Service Quality: Achieving High Performance in the Public and Private Sectors.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Milakovich, Michael E.

    Quality-improvement principles are a sound means to respond to customer needs. However, when various quality and productivity theories and methods are applied, it is very difficult to consistently deliver quality results, especially in quasi-monopolistic, non-competitive, and regulated environments. This book focuses on quality-improvement methods…

  16. Why Data Matter in ESEA Reauthorization: Recommendations to Ensure Data Are Used to Improve Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Data Quality Campaign, 2011

    2011-01-01

    America can no longer afford an education system that fails to use data effectively to guide decisionmaking. The education sector is facing ever-increasing demands to improve student outcomes, reduce burden, increase efficiency, and improve transparency. These demands cannot be met without the strategic and effective use of data. Due to the…

  17. Using Shared Leadership to Achieve School Improvement Goals: A Qualitative Study of One High School's Journey

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Putman, Leigh Ann

    2012-01-01

    This qualitative phenomenological study examined the impact of shared leadership committees on school improvement efforts. The research identified which leadership factors lead to successful shared leadership committees and which supports and structures were needed for the committees to be meaningful in regards to school improvement. Certified…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boudria, Yacine; Feltane, Amal; Besio, Walter

    2014-06-01

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

  20. Improving Science, Technology and Mathematics Students' Achievement: Imperatives for Teacher Preparation in the Caribbean Colleges and Universities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ogunkola, Babalola J.

    2012-01-01

    The concerns of this article are the unacceptable status of Science, Technology and Mathematics (STM) Education in the Caribbean and how to improve the students' achievement in the subjects involved through the instrumentality of better preparation of teachers by the Colleges and University faculties training teachers in the region. The index for…

  1. 41 CFR 102-193.25 - What type of records management business process improvements should my agency strive to achieve?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 41 Public Contracts and Property Management 3 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false What type of records management business process improvements should my agency strive to achieve? 102-193.25 Section 102-193.25 Public Contracts and Property Management Federal Property Management Regulations System...

  2. 41 CFR 102-193.25 - What type of records management business process improvements should my agency strive to achieve?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 41 Public Contracts and Property Management 3 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false What type of records management business process improvements should my agency strive to achieve? 102-193.25 Section 102-193.25 Public Contracts and Property Management Federal Property Management Regulations System...

  3. 41 CFR 102-193.25 - What type of records management business process improvements should my agency strive to achieve?

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 41 Public Contracts and Property Management 3 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false What type of records management business process improvements should my agency strive to achieve? 102-193.25 Section 102-193.25 Public Contracts and Property Management Federal Property Management Regulations System...

  4. Experimental Evaluations of Two Strategies to Improve Reading Achievement in Kenya: Enhanced Literacy Instruction and Treatment of Malaria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jukes, Matthew; Dubeck, Margaret; Brooker, Simon; Wolf, Sharon

    2012-01-01

    There is less quality evidence on how malaria may affect cognitive abilities and educational achievement or on how schools can tackle the problem of malaria among school children. A randomised trial among Sri Lankan children showed that weekly malaria chemoprophylaxis with chloroquine can improve school examination scores. The Health and Literacy…

  5. Improving Academic Achievement of Eleventh Grade Basic U.S. History Students through the Use of Cooperative Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ellett, Douglas R.

    This report describes a project to improve achievement among 24 grade 11 basic U.S. history students in a growing, middle class, suburban community in northern Illinois. Students are assigned to basic classes due to reading test scores. Analysis of probable cause data revealed that students entered the course with poor attitudes toward school,…

  6. A University Engagement Model for Achieving Technology Adoption and Performance Improvement Impacts in Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Government

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKinnis, David R.; Sloan, Mary Anne; Snow, L. David; Garimella, Suresh V.

    2014-01-01

    The Purdue Technical Assistance Program (TAP) offers a model of university engagement and service that is achieving technology adoption and performance improvement impacts in healthcare, manufacturing, government, and other sectors. The TAP model focuses on understanding and meeting the changing and challenging needs of those served, always…

  7. Improving Achievement in Secondary Schools: Impact of a Literacy Project on Reading Comprehension and Secondary School Qualifications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lai, Mei Kuin; Wilson, Aaron; McNaughton, Stuart; Hsiao, Selena

    2014-01-01

    This paper examines whether a literacy intervention involving generic and content area literacy components can improve both achievement on a standardized reading test and the attainment of secondary school qualifications, and whether the intervention can be implemented by teachers in their regular classroom settings. We report on a design-based…

  8. An Investigation of World Language Teachers' Use of Student Performance Data to Inform Teaching and to Help Improve Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koffi, Bruno N.

    2013-01-01

    This qualitative study investigated the types of content-based student performance data World Language teachers used to improve instruction and student academic achievement, the purposes for which they used data, the issues they encountered, and the suggestions they made for more effective use of data. The Standards for Foreign Language Learning…

  9. The Effectiveness of Computerized Instructional Packages on Concept Acquisition and Improving Academic Achievement among Female Deaf Students in KSA

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bagabas, Hanan Ali

    2016-01-01

    The current study aimed to investigate the effectiveness of computerized instructional packages on concept acquisition and improving academic achievement among deaf students in Saudi Arabia. The sample consisted of (16) third-grade female deaf students in prep stage for the first semester of the academic year 2013/2014, randomly selected from…

  10. Improving Learning Achievements, Motivations and Problem-Solving Skills through a Peer Assessment-Based Game Development Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hwang, Gwo-Jen; Hung, Chun-Ming; Chen, Nian-Shing

    2014-01-01

    In this study, a peer assessment-based game development approach is proposed for improving students' learning achievements, motivations and problem-solving skills. An experiment has been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed approach in a science course at an elementary school. A total of 167 sixth graders participated in…

  11. Dramatic improvement in genome assembly achieved using doubled-haploid genomes

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Hong; Tan, Engkong; Suzuki, Yutaka; Hirose, Yusuke; Kinoshita, Shigeharu; Okano, Hideyuki; Kudoh, Jun; Shimizu, Atsushi; Saito, Kazuyoshi; Watabe, Shugo; Asakawa, Shuichi

    2014-01-01

    Improvement in de novo assembly of large genomes is still to be desired. Here, we improved draft genome sequence quality by employing doubled-haploid individuals. We sequenced wildtype and doubled-haploid Takifugu rubripes genomes, under the same conditions, using the Illumina platform and assembled contigs with SOAPdenovo2. We observed 5.4-fold and 2.6-fold improvement in the sizes of the N50 contig and scaffold of doubled-haploid individuals, respectively, compared to the wildtype, indicating that the use of a doubled-haploid genome aids in accurate genome analysis. PMID:25345569

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Anaerobic digestion has been widely applied for waste activated sludge (WAS) treatment. However, methane production from anaerobic digestion of WAS is usually limited by the slow hydrolysis rate and/or poor biochemical methane potential of WAS. This work systematically studied the effects of three different types of zero valent iron (i.e., iron powder, clean scrap and rusty scrap) on methane production from WAS in anaerobic digestion, by using both experimental and mathematical approaches. The results demonstrated that both the clean and the rusty iron scrap were more effective than the iron powder for improving methane production from WAS. Model-based analysis showed that ZVI addition significantly enhanced methane production from WAS through improving the biochemical methane potential of WAS rather than its hydrolysis rate. Economic analysis indicated that the ZVI-based technology for enhancing methane production from WAS is economically attractive, particularly considering that iron scrap can be freely acquired from industrial waste. Based on these results, the ZVI-based anaerobic digestion process of this work could be easily integrated with the conventional chemical phosphorus removal process in wastewater treatment plant to form a cost-effective and environment-friendly approach, enabling maximum resource recovery/reuse while achieving enhanced methane production in wastewater treatment system. PMID:25652244

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-05

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    DOE PAGES

    Fisk, Mark D.; Pasyanos, Michael E.

    2016-05-03

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  20. Achieving continuous improvement in reductions in foodborne listeriosis--a risk-based approach.

    PubMed

    2005-09-01

    Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen that can cause listeriosis, a severe disease that can lead to septicemia, meningitis, and spontaneous abortion. Ongoing efforts are needed to further reduce the incidence of listeriosis, due to its high mortality rate. The focus of this report is the use of a risk-based approach to identify strategies that will have the greatest impact on reducing foodborne listeriosis. A continuum of risk for listeriosis is observed in the human population, ranging from exquisitely sensitive groups, who are highly immunocompromised and at very high risk of listeriosis, through the normal healthy population younger than 65 years of age, who appear to have a minimal risk for listeriosis. In addition, unique subpopulations may exist; for example, pregnant Latina women appear to have a higher risk of listeriosis than pregnant women of other ethnic groups, most likely due to consumption of contaminated soft cheeses such as queso fresco and queso blanco. The International Life Sciences Institute Risk Science Institute Expert Panel concluded that certain foods pose a high risk for causing listeriosis. High-risk foods have all of the following properties: (1) have the potential for contamination with L. monocytogenes; (2) support the growth of L. monocytogenes to high numbers; (3) are ready to eat; (4) require refrigeration; and (5) are stored for an extended period of time. Control strategies are needed in the food chain from preharvest through consumption to minimize the likelihood that food will become contaminated by L. monocytogenes and to prevent the growth of the organism to high numbers. The Expert Panel identified three main strategies for ensuring continuous improvement in reducing foodborne listeriosis: (1) preventing contamination of foods with L. monocytogenes; (2) preventing growth of L. monocytogenes to high numbers in foods; and (3) science-based education messages targeted to susceptible populations and their caregivers. Of

  1. Achievable capacity improvement by using multi-level modulation format in trench-assisted multi-core fiber system.

    PubMed

    Chang, J H; Choi, H G; Chung, Y C

    2013-06-17

    We evaluate the impacts of using multi-level modulation formats on the transmission capacity of the multi-core fiber (MCF) having trench-assisted index profile and hexagonal layout. For this evaluation, we utilize the spectral efficiency per unit area, defined as the spatial spectral efficiency (SSE). The results show that the SSE improvement achievable by using the higher-level modulation format can be reduced due to its lower tolerance to the inter-core crosstalk. We also evaluate the effects of using large effective area on the transmission capacity of the trench-assisted MCF. The results show that the use of large effective area can decrease this capacity due to the increased inter-core crosstalk and lengthened cable cutoff wavelength, although it can help increase the transmission distance. Thus, it is necessary to optimize the effective area of MCF by considering both the SSE and transmission distance. However, the results indicate that the effect of using different effective areas on the SSE-distance product is not significant, and it is not useful to increase the effective area of the trench-assisted MCF to be larger than ~110 μm(2).

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  9. The Sustainable Development Goals cannot be achieved without improving maternal and child nutrition.

    PubMed

    Baye, Kaleab

    2017-02-01

    Poor nutrition is a global pandemic with social, economic, and environmental causes and consequences. Of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), only SDG2 explicitly mentions nutrition. Turning the aspirations of the SDGs into reality will require recognition that good nutrition ensured through sustainable agriculture, is simultaneously an absolutely fundamental input and output. Because all of the other SDGs are directly or indirectly linked to improving nutrition, funding to improve nutrition is essential to success for many SDGs. Greater focus on cooperation across disciplines to advance the science of program delivery and to understand the full contribution of nutrition to many desirable outcomes as part of development are surely the ways forward. Missing today's opportunities to advance thinking and program implementation for more effectively improving nutrition for all, especially for women and children, will lead to a wider failure to meet the SDGs.

  10. Techniques for mass resolution improvement achieved by typical plasma mass analyzers: Modeling and simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nicolaou, Georgios; Yamauchi, Masatoshi; Wieser, Martin; Barabash, Stas; Fedorov, Andrei

    2016-04-01

    Mass separation and particularly distinction between atomic ions and molecular ions are essential in understanding a wide range of plasma environments, with each consisted of different species with various properties. In this study we present the optimization results of light-weight (about 2 kg) magnetic mass analyzers with high g-factor for Rosetta (Ion Composition Analyser: ICA) and for Mars Express and Venus Express (Ion Mass Analyser: IMA). For the instrument's optimization we use SIMION, a 3D ion tracing software in which we can trace particle beams of several energies and directions, passing through the instrument's units. We first reproduced ICA and IMA results, which turned out to be different from simple models for low energy (< 100 eV). We then change the mechanical structure of several units of the instrument and we quantify the new mass resolution achieved with each change. Our goal is to find the optimal instrument's structure, which will allow us to achieve a proper mass resolution to distinguish atomic nitrogen from atomic oxygen for the purposes of a future magnetospheric mission.

  11. Organizing Schools to Improve Student Achievement: Start Times, Grade Configurations, and Teacher Assignments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jacob, Brian A.; Rockoff, Jonah E.

    2012-01-01

    Proposals for school reform often focus on large and sometimes controversial systemic changes, such as charter schools, accountability standards, and changes to the way teachers are hired, fired, and compensated. Although these reforms may offer great opportunity to improve student outcomes, they may also be costly, face substantial implementation…

  12. School Stability: Improving Academic Achievement for NJ Foster Children. Policy Brief

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bernard-Rance, Kourtney; Parello, Nancy

    2014-01-01

    Children in New Jersey's foster care system are more likely to remain in their home school when they enter foster care, thanks to a law passed in 2010, giving these fragile children improved educational stability. The law allows children to remain in their "school of origin" when they are placed in foster care, even if the foster home is…

  13. Improving Student Achievement in Introductory Computer Science Courses Using Peer-Led Team Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dennis, Sonya Maria

    2013-01-01

    There has been a steady decline of majors in the disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics ("STEM majors"). In an effort to improve recruitment and retention in "STEM" majors, an active-learning methodology--"peer-led team learning" ("PLTL")--was implemented by the participating…

  14. Teachers Unions and Management Partnerships: How Working Together Improves Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rubinstein, Saul A.; McCarthy, John E.

    2014-01-01

    For more than a decade, the debate over public school reform has created friction between teachers unions, administrators, school boards, parents, policymakers, and other stakeholders in public education and has fueled disagreements over how to improve the quality of teaching and learning for children. While many factors make consensus elusive…

  15. Creating Birds of Similar Feathers: Leveraging Similarity to Improve Teacher-Student Relationships and Academic Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gehlbach, Hunter; Brinkworth, Maureen E.; King, Aaron M.; Hsu, Laura M.; McIntyre, Joseph; Rogers, Todd

    2016-01-01

    When people perceive themselves as similar to others, greater liking and closer relationships typically result. In the first randomized field experiment that leverages actual similarities to improve real-world relationships, we examined the affiliations between 315 9th grade students and their 25 teachers. Students in the treatment condition…

  16. Combined Fluency and Cognitive Strategies Instruction Improves Mathematics Achievement in Early Elementary School

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carr, Martha; Taasoobshirazi, Gita; Stroud, Rena; Royer, James M.

    2011-01-01

    One hundred and seventy-eight second grade students from two states (Georgia and Massachusetts) participated in an experiment in which they were randomly assigned to either (1) a computer program designed to increase fluency in addition and subtraction, (2) a program designed to improve cognitive strategy use for addition and subtraction, (3) a…

  17. Achieving World-Class Schools: Mastering School Improvement Using a Genetic Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kimmelman, Paul L.; Kroeze, David J.

    In providing its program for education reform, this book uses, as an analogy, the genetic model taken from the Human Genome project. In the first part, "Theoretical Underpinnings," the book explains why a genetic model can be used to improve school systems; describes the critical components of a world-class school system; and details the…

  18. Increasing Student Achievement and Improving Self-Esteem through a Community Building Intervention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lupo, Concetta M.

    2012-01-01

    This study focused on improving students' self-esteem through community building at an elementary school in a low socioeconomic community where over 55% of the students live below the poverty line. Orefield and Yun state in their 1999 article, "Resegregation of America's schools," "school level poverty is related to many…

  19. Effects of Simulated Interventions to Improve School Entry Academic Skills on Socioeconomic Inequalities in Educational Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chittleborough, Catherine R.; Mittinty, Murthy N.; Lawlor, Debbie A.; Lynch, John W.

    2014-01-01

    Randomized controlled trial evidence shows that interventions before age 5 can improve skills necessary for educational success; the effect of these interventions on socioeconomic inequalities is unknown. Using trial effect estimates, and marginal structural models with data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (n = 11,764,…

  20. What We Know about Student Achievement and School Improvement in Kansas. Focus On...

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tallman, Mark

    2012-01-01

    Educational improvement can be measured over time and against benchmarks in four key areas: (1) mastery of basic reading and math skills; (2) high school completion; (3) preparation for postsecondary education; and (4) adult educational attainment. The first three reflect how the school system prepares students for postsecondary education. The…

  1. Evaluating and Improving Student Achievement in Business Programs: The Effective Use of Standardized Assessment Tests

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Black, H. Tyrone; Duhon, David L.

    2003-01-01

    Having made "continuous improvement" the theme of its accreditation process a decade ago, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) is poised to make "assurance of learning" the current focus of the faculty/student exchange. In this article, the authors discuss how to use standardized assessment tests…

  2. Effective Strategies That Urban Superintendents Use That Improve the Academic Achievement for African-American Males

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shackelford, Cardenas

    2013-01-01

    The roles of urban superintendents are crucial to improving the educational outlook for the neediest students, specifically the African-American males. The roles and responsibilities of the urban school superintendent today are more numerous, complex, and demanding than in the past. The expectations of today's urban superintendents are to be…

  3. Resource Allocation Practices in Three Charter Middle Schools in Relation to Student Achievement Improvement Strategies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campo-Contreras, Susana

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to develop a better understanding of the allocation of resources used to improve student learning outcomes in three middle schools within a Charter Management Organization (CMO). The three middle schools that participated in the study have similar demographics and serve students in low socio-economic areas of Los…

  4. Evaluation and capacity building to improve precollege science and mathematics achievement in the US: 10 CFR, Part 605

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-01-01

    The National Center for Improving Science Education has undertaken activities to achieve evaluation goals for DOE's Precollege programs: develop means to determine program quality; develop means for determining the contribution of DOE precollege programs to both teacher enhancement and student achievement; provide evaluation designs and instruments and reports of program quality and impact; and strengthen both DOE's and the Labs' capacity to do both short- and long-term planning as well as deliver effective programs and evaluation. Appendices include evaluation/technical assistance report, profiling teacher research participation and teacher development programs, teacher surveys, impact assessment design, and teacher research participation programs anecdotes for 8 labs.

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-08-01

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

  6. Identification of Energy Efficiency Opportunities through Building Data Analysis and Achieving Energy Savings through Improved Controls

    SciTech Connect

    Katipamula, Srinivas; Taasevigen, Danny J.; Koran, Bill

    2014-09-04

    This chapter will highlight analysis techniques to identify energy efficiency opportunities to improve operations and controls. A free tool, Energy Charting and Metrics (ECAM), will be used to assist in the analysis of whole-building, sub-metered, and/or data from the building automation system (BAS). Appendix A describes the features of ECAM in more depth, and also provide instructions for downloading ECAM and all resources pertaining to using ECAM.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

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

  14. Achieving health, safety, and performance improvements through enhanced cost visibility and workplace partnerships.

    PubMed

    Grant, Katharyn A; Garland, John G; Joachim, Todd C; Wallen, Andrew; Vital, Twyla

    2003-01-01

    Reduction in the environment, safety, and occupational health (ESOH) component of operational costs requires not only a better understanding of ESOH costs and requirements, but also the formation of effective partnerships between ESOH professionals, financial analysts, and shop workers to identify viable improvements to current practices. This article presents two case studies of efforts to enhance productivity and ESOH in corrosion control facilities at Randolph Air Force Base (AFB), Texas, and Robins AFB, Ga. At each site, activity-based cost models were created to increase the visibility of ESOH-related costs and target improvement opportunities. Analysis of the strip-and-paint processes for the T-38 aircraft at Randolph and the F-15 radome and C-141 aft cowl at Robins revealed that a large proportion of operating costs were tied to ESOH requirements and practices (22 and 39%, respectively). In each case ESOH professionals teamed with shop personnel to identify potential improvements in personal protective equipment use, waste disposal, tool selection, and work methods. This approach yielded alternatives projected to reduce total shop costs by 5 to 7%. This case study demonstrates how workplaces can identify cost-saving and efficiency-enhancing practices by partnering with ESOH professionals in planning and decision-making activities.

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

    PubMed

    Hill, Bradford T; Workman, Ronald

    2006-11-28

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

  16. Four Cornerstones of Calibration Research: Why Understanding Students' Judgments Can Improve Their Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunlosky, John; Thiede, Keith W.

    2013-01-01

    The target articles make significant advances in our understanding of students' judgments of their cognitive processes and products. In general, the advances are relative to a subset of common themes, which we call the four cornerstones of research on metacognitive judgments. We discuss how the target articles build on these cornerstones (judgment…

  17. 78 FR 79221 - Title I-Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged; Migrant Education Program

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-12-27

    ... families often settle in a single community for a short period of time. One consequence of this lifestyle... record systems into a single data repository where information on each migrant student is maintained... MSIX data correction by parents, guardians, and migratory children. Significant Proposed Regulations...

  18. Play Therapy in Elementary Schools: A Best Practice for Improving Academic Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blanco, Pedro J.; Ray, Dee C.

    2011-01-01

    This pilot study of 1st graders who are academically at risk examined the effectiveness of child-centered play therapy (CCPT). The experimental group received biweekly, 30-minute play therapy sessions for 8 weeks. Findings indicated that these 1st graders participating in CCPT (n = 21) demonstrated a statistically significant increase on the Early…

  19. Improved Thermal Conductivity in Carbon Nanotubes-Reinforced Syntactic Foam Achieved by a New Dispersing Technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhat, P.; Zegeye, E.; Ghamsari, A. K.; Woldesenbet, E.

    2015-12-01

    Syntactic foams are composite materials in which the matrix phase is reinforced with hollow micro-particles. Traditionally, syntactic foams are used for many high strength applications and as insulating materials. However, for applications demanding better heat dissipation, such as thermal management of electronic packaging, conductive fillers need to be added to syntactic foam. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs), although extremely conductive, have issues of agglomeration in the matrix. In this research, CNT-reinforced syntactic foam was developed based on our approach through which CNTs were dispersed throughout the matrix by growing them on the surface of glass microballoons. The thermal conductivity of nanotube-grown syntactic foam was tested with a Flashline® thermal analyzer. For comparison purposes, plain and nanotube-mixed syntactic foams were also fabricated and tested. Nanotube-grown microballoons improved the thermal conductivity of syntactic foam by 86% and 92% (at 50°C) compared to plain and nanotube-mixed syntactic foams, respectively. The improved thermal conductivity as well as the microstructural analysis proved the effectiveness of this approach for dispersing the carbon nanotubes in syntactic foams.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1997-07-14

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Exemplary Care and Learning Sites: A Model for Achieving Continual Improvement in Care and Learning in the Clinical Setting

    PubMed Central

    Ogrinc, Greg; Hoffman, Kimberly G.; Stevenson, Katherine M.; Shalaby, Marc; Beard, Albertine S.; Thörne, Karin E.; Coleman, Mary T.; Baum, Karyn D.

    2016-01-01

    Problem Current models of health care quality improvement do not explicitly describe the role of health professions education. The authors propose the Exemplary Care and Learning Site (ECLS) model as an approach to achieving continual improvement in care and learning in the clinical setting. Approach From 2008–2012, an iterative, interactive process was used to develop the ECLS model and its core elements—patients and families informing process changes; trainees engaging both in care and the improvement of care; leaders knowing, valuing, and practicing improvement; data transforming into useful information; and health professionals competently engaging both in care improvement and teaching about care improvement. In 2012–2013, a three-part feasibility test of the model, including a site self-assessment, an independent review of each site’s ratings, and implementation case stories, was conducted at six clinical teaching sites (in the United States and Sweden). Outcomes Site leaders reported the ECLS model provided a systematic approach toward improving patient (and population) outcomes, system performance, and professional development. Most sites found it challenging to incorporate the patients and families element. The trainee element was strong at four sites. The leadership and data elements were self-assessed as the most fully developed. The health professionals element exhibited the greatest variability across sites. Next Steps The next test of the model should be prospective, linked to clinical and educa tional outcomes, to evaluate whether it helps care delivery teams, educators, and patients and families take action to achieve better patient (and population) outcomes, system performance, and professional development. PMID:26760058

  3. Mismatched partners that achieve postpairing behavioral similarity improve their reproductive success

    PubMed Central

    Laubu, Chloé; Dechaume-Moncharmont, François-Xavier; Motreuil, Sébastien; Schweitzer, Cécile

    2016-01-01

    Behavioral similarity between partners is likely to promote within-pair compatibility and to result in better reproductive success. Therefore, individuals are expected to choose a partner that is alike in behavioral type. However, mate searching is very costly and does not guarantee finding a matching partner. If mismatched individuals pair, they may benefit from increasing their similarity after pairing. We show in a monogamous fish species—the convict cichlid—that the behavioral similarity between mismatched partners can increase after pairing. This increase resulted from asymmetrical adjustment because only the reactive individual became more alike its proactive partner, whereas the latter did not change its behavior. The mismatched pairs that increased their similarity not only improved their reproductive success but also raised it up to the level of matched pairs. While most studies assume that assortative mating results from mate choice, our study suggests that postpairing adjustment could be an alternative explanation for the high behavioral similarity between partners observed in the field. It also explains why interindividual behavioral differences can be maintained within a given population. PMID:26973869

  4. Incomplete reporting of enhanced recovery elements and its impact on achieving quality improvement

    PubMed Central

    Day, Ryan W.; Fielder, Sharon; Calhoun, John; Kehlet, Henrik

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND Enhanced recovery (ER) protocols are widely used in surgical practice. As protocols are multidisciplinary with multiple components, it is difficult to compare and contrast reports. The present study therefore examined compliance and transferability to clinical practice among ER publications related to colorectal surgery. METHODS PubMed, EMBASE and Cochrane databases were searched for current colorectal ER manuscripts. Each publication was assessed for the number of ER elements, whether the element was sufficiently explained so that it could be transferred to clinical practice, and the compliance with the ER element. RESULTS Some 50 publications met the reporting criteria for inclusion. There were 22 ERAS elements described altogether. The median number of elements included in each publication was 9 with median number of included patients of 130. The most frequent elements included in ER pathways were early postoperative diet advancement in 49 (98%) and early mobilisation in 47 (94%). Early diet advancement was sufficiently explained in 43 (86%) publications but just 22 (45%) reported compliance. The explanation for early mobilisation was satisfactory in 41 (82%) publications but only 14 (30%) reported compliance. Other ERAS elements had similar rates of explanation and compliance. The most frequently analysed outcome measures were morbidity 49 (98%), length of stay 47 (94%), and mortality in 45 (90%) of publications. CONCLUSIONS The current standard of reporting is frequently incomplete. In order to transfer knowledge and facilitate implementation of pathways that demonstrate improvements in perioperative care and recovery, a consistent structured reporting platform is needed. PMID:26364714

  5. How PEPFAR's public-private partnerships achieved ambitious goals, from improving labs to strengthening supply chains.

    PubMed

    Sturchio, Jeffrey L; Cohen, Gary M

    2012-07-01

    The President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), established in 2003, is widely recognized as one of the most ambitious and successful bilateral programs ever implemented to address a single disease. Part of the program's success is attributable to the participation of the private sector, working in partnership with the US and local governments and implementing organizations to maximize the reach and effectiveness of every dollar spent. We examined key public-private partnerships that grew out of PEPFAR to identify features that have made them effective. For example, PEPFAR's Supply Chain Management System took advantage of private industry's best practices in logistics, and a partnership with the medical technology company BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) improved laboratory systems throughout sub-Saharan Africa. We found that setting ambitious goals, enlisting both global and local partners, cultivating a culture of collaboration, careful planning, continuous monitoring and evaluation, and measuring outcomes systematically led to the most effective programs. The Office of the US Global AIDS Coordinator and PEPFAR should continue to strengthen their capacity for private-sector partnerships, learning from a decade of experience and identifying new ways to make smart investments that will make the most efficient use of taxpayer resources, expand proven interventions more rapidly, and help ensure the sustainability of key programs.

  6. Achieving a Dream: Meeting Policy Goals Related to Improving Drug Access

    PubMed Central

    Zakus, David; Kohler, Jillian Clare; Zakriova, Venera; Yarmoshuk, Aaron

    2010-01-01

    International experts recognize that significant inequities exist in the accessibility of life-saving medicines among poor and vulnerable populations, especially in developing countries. This article highlights that drug access even for relatively cheap medicines is out of reach for the vast numbers of global poor. This badly affects people living with HIV/AIDS who face serious obstacles in accessing ARVs. The same concerns are attributed to neglected diseases. Despite international meetings, promises from the pharmaceutical industry and a lot of media attention little has changed in the past 20 years. The accessibility gap to life-saving drugs could be reduced by the UNITAID initiative to pool patents for the many different ARVs, but the reality is that UNITAID is still a promise. To surmount this global problem of inequity requires a rethinking of traditional models of drug access and health objectives that should not be compromised by commercial interests. PMID:20148088

  7. Improvement in national test reading scores at Key Stage 1; grade inflation or better achievement?

    PubMed

    Meadows, Sara; Herrick, David; Feiler, Anthony

    2007-02-01

    The aim of the UK National Literacy Strategy is to raise standards in literacy. Strong evidence for its success has, however, been lacking: most of the available data comes from performance on tests administered in schools or from Office for Standards in Education reports and is vulnerable to suggestions of bias. An opportunistic analysis of data from a population cohort study extending over three school years compares school-based scores at school entry and at age 7-8 with independently administered scores on similar tests. The results show a small but statistically significant rise between 1998 and 1999 and between 1998 and 2000 in scores on both Key Stage 1 Reading Standard Assessment Tasks taken in schools and the reading component of the WORD test taken independently. This is clear evidence for a real rise in reading attainment over this period, which may be attributable to the children's experience of the National Literacy Strategy.

  8. Significantly Improved HIV Inhibitor Efficacy Prediction Employing Proteochemometric Models Generated From Antivirogram Data

    PubMed Central

    van Westen, Gerard J. P.; Hendriks, Alwin; Wegner, Jörg K.; IJzerman, Adriaan P.; van Vlijmen, Herman W. T.; Bender, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    Infection with HIV cannot currently be cured; however it can be controlled by combination treatment with multiple anti-retroviral drugs. Given different viral genotypes for virtually each individual patient, the question now arises which drug combination to use to achieve effective treatment. With the availability of viral genotypic data and clinical phenotypic data, it has become possible to create computational models able to predict an optimal treatment regimen for an individual patient. Current models are based only on sequence data derived from viral genotyping; chemical similarity of drugs is not considered. To explore the added value of chemical similarity inclusion we applied proteochemometric models, combining chemical and protein target properties in a single bioactivity model. Our dataset was a large scale clinical database of genotypic and phenotypic information (in total ca. 300,000 drug-mutant bioactivity data points, 4 (NNRTI), 8 (NRTI) or 9 (PI) drugs, and 10,700 (NNRTI) 10,500 (NRTI) or 27,000 (PI) mutants). Our models achieved a prediction error below 0.5 Log Fold Change. Moreover, when directly compared with previously published sequence data, derived models PCM performed better in resistance classification and prediction of Log Fold Change (0.76 log units versus 0.91). Furthermore, we were able to successfully confirm both known and identify previously unpublished, resistance-conferring mutations of HIV Reverse Transcriptase (e.g. K102Y, T216M) and HIV Protease (e.g. Q18N, N88G) from our dataset. Finally, we applied our models prospectively to the public HIV resistance database from Stanford University obtaining a correct resistance prediction rate of 84% on the full set (compared to 80% in previous work on a high quality subset). We conclude that proteochemometric models are able to accurately predict the phenotypic resistance based on genotypic data even for novel mutants and mixtures. Furthermore, we add an applicability domain to the

  9. Significantly improved HIV inhibitor efficacy prediction employing proteochemometric models generated from antivirogram data.

    PubMed

    van Westen, Gerard J P; Hendriks, Alwin; Wegner, Jörg K; Ijzerman, Adriaan P; van Vlijmen, Herman W T; Bender, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    Infection with HIV cannot currently be cured; however it can be controlled by combination treatment with multiple anti-retroviral drugs. Given different viral genotypes for virtually each individual patient, the question now arises which drug combination to use to achieve effective treatment. With the availability of viral genotypic data and clinical phenotypic data, it has become possible to create computational models able to predict an optimal treatment regimen for an individual patient. Current models are based only on sequence data derived from viral genotyping; chemical similarity of drugs is not considered. To explore the added value of chemical similarity inclusion we applied proteochemometric models, combining chemical and protein target properties in a single bioactivity model. Our dataset was a large scale clinical database of genotypic and phenotypic information (in total ca. 300,000 drug-mutant bioactivity data points, 4 (NNRTI), 8 (NRTI) or 9 (PI) drugs, and 10,700 (NNRTI) 10,500 (NRTI) or 27,000 (PI) mutants). Our models achieved a prediction error below 0.5 Log Fold Change. Moreover, when directly compared with previously published sequence data, derived models PCM performed better in resistance classification and prediction of Log Fold Change (0.76 log units versus 0.91). Furthermore, we were able to successfully confirm both known and identify previously unpublished, resistance-conferring mutations of HIV Reverse Transcriptase (e.g. K102Y, T216M) and HIV Protease (e.g. Q18N, N88G) from our dataset. Finally, we applied our models prospectively to the public HIV resistance database from Stanford University obtaining a correct resistance prediction rate of 84% on the full set (compared to 80% in previous work on a high quality subset). We conclude that proteochemometric models are able to accurately predict the phenotypic resistance based on genotypic data even for novel mutants and mixtures. Furthermore, we add an applicability domain to the

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-17

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

  11. Exercise Improves Executive Function and Achievement and Alters Brain Activation in Overweight Children: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Catherine L.; Tomporowski, Phillip D.; McDowell, Jennifer E.; Austin, Benjamin P.; Miller, Patricia H.; Yanasak, Nathan E.; Allison, Jerry D.; Naglieri, Jack A.

    2010-01-01

    Objective This experiment tested the hypothesis that exercise would improve executive function. Design Sedentary, overweight 7- to 11-year-old children (N = 171, 56% female, 61% Black, M ± SD age 9.3 ± 1.0 yrs, body mass index (BMI) 26 ± 4.6 kg/m2, BMI z-score 2.1 ± 0.4) were randomized to 13 ± 1.6 weeks of an exercise program (20 or 40 minutes/day), or a control condition. Main outcome measures Blinded, standardized psychological evaluations (Cognitive Assessment System and Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Achievement III) assessed cognition and academic achievement. Functional magnetic resonance imaging measured brain activity during executive function tasks. Results Intent to treat analysis revealed dose response benefits of exercise on executive function and mathematics achievement. Preliminary evidence of increased bilateral prefrontal cortex activity and reduced bilateral posterior parietal cortex activity due to exercise was also observed. Conclusion Consistent with results obtained in older adults, a specific improvement on executive function and brain activation changes due to exercise were observed. The cognitive and achievement results add evidence of dose response, and extend experimental evidence into childhood. This study provides information on an educational outcome. Besides its importance for maintaining weight and reducing health risks during a childhood obesity epidemic, physical activity may prove to be a simple, important method of enhancing aspects of children’s mental functioning that are central to cognitive development. This information may persuade educators to implement vigorous physical activity. PMID:21299297

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Achieving the Health Care Financing Administration limits by quality improvement and quality control. A real-world example.

    PubMed

    Engebretson, M J; Cembrowski, G S

    1992-07-01

    With the enactment of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA 88), the federal government is now using proficiency testing as the primary indicator of laboratory quality. Laboratories with proficiency test failures are now at risk of a variety of harsh penalties including large monetary fines and suspension of operations. To minimize the risk of failed proficiency testing, we initiated a continuous quality improvement program in our general chemistry laboratory in conjunction with the use of a new survey-validated quality control product. This article describes the quality improvement program and our success in reducing the long-term random error in general chemistry. Despite our improvement program, significant analytical errors (greater than 30% of the CLIA limits) still exist in analytes measured by our chemistry analyzer. These errors are present in nearly the same analytes measured by other common chemistry analyzers indicating the need for improvement in their design and manufacture.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thompson, Bruce

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meyen, Edward

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Annonaceous acetogenins nanosuspensions stabilized by PCL-PEG block polymer: significantly improved antitumor efficacy

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    Annonaceous acetogenins (ACGs) have shown superior antitumor activity against a variety of cancer cell lines, but their clinical application has been limited by their poor solubility. In this study, ACGs-nanosuspensions (NSps) were successfully prepared by a precipitation ultrasonic method using monomethoxypoly (ethylene glycol)2000–poly (ε-caprolactone)2000 (mPEG2000–PCL2000) as a stabilizer. The resultant ACGs-NSps had a mean particle size of 123.2 nm, a zeta potential of −20.17 mV, and a high drug payload of 73.68%. ACGs-NSps were quite stable in various physiological solutions, and they exhibited sustained drug release. Compared to free drug, ACGs-NSps exhibited stronger cytotoxicity against 4T1, MCF-7, and HeLa cells. An in vivo real-time biodistribution investigation after labeling with 1,1′-dioctadecyltetramethyl indotricarbocyanine iodide, a noninvasive near-infrared fluorescence probe, demonstrated that ACGs-NSps could effectively accumulate in tumor. An in vivo antitumor activity study in 4T1 tumor-bearing mice revealed that ACGs-NSps achieved much better therapeutic efficacy than the traditional dosage form (oil solution) even at 1/10 of the dose (74.83% vs 45.53%, P<0.05), demonstrating that NSp was a good dosage form for ACGs to treat cancer. PMID:27486323

  18. Significance of oxygen carriers and role of liquid paraffin in improving validamycin A production.

    PubMed

    Feng, Jinsong; Jiang, Jing; Liu, Yan; Li, Wei; Azat, Ramila; Zheng, Xiaodong; Zhou, Wen-Wen

    2016-10-01

    Validamycin A (Val-A) synthesized by Streptomyces hygroscopicus 5008 is widely used as a high-efficient antibiotic to protect plants from sheath blight disease. A novel fermentation strategy was introduced to stimulate Val-A production by adding oxygen carriers. About 58 % increase in Val-A production was achieved using liquid paraffin. Further, biomass, carbon source, metabolic genes, and metabolic enzymes were studied. It was also found that the supplementation of liquid paraffin increased the medium dissolved oxygen and intracellular oxidative stress level. The expression of the global regulators afsR and soxR sensitive to ROS, ugp catalyzing synthesis of Val-A precursor, and Val-A structural genes was enhanced. The change of the activities of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase was observed, which reflected the redirection of carbon metabolic flux. Based on these results, liquid paraffin addition as an oxygen carrier could be a useful technique in industrial production of Val-A and our study revealed a redox-based secondary metabolic regulation in S. hygroscopicus 5008, which provided a new insight into the regulation of the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2006-02-03

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiss, L. B.

    1996-06-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Kiss, L.B.

    1996-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-03-09

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-03-01

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

  11. A Long-Gap Peripheral Nerve Injury Therapy Using Human Skeletal Muscle-Derived Stem Cells (Sk-SCs): An Achievement of Significant Morphological, Numerical and Functional Recovery

    PubMed Central

    Hirata, Maki; Nakajima, Nobuyuki; Saito, Kosuke; Hashimoto, Hiroyuki; Soeda, Shuichi; Uchiyama, Yoshiyasu; Watanabe, Masahiko

    2016-01-01

    Losses in vital functions of the somatic motor and sensory nervous system are induced by severe long-gap peripheral nerve transection injury. In such cases, autologous nerve grafts are the gold standard treatment, despite the unavoidable sacrifice of other healthy functions, whereas the prognosis is not always favorable. Here, we use human skeletal muscle-derived stem cells (Sk-SCs) to reconstitute the function after long nerve-gap injury. Muscles samples were obtained from the amputated legs from 9 patients following unforeseen accidents. The Sk-SCs were isolated using conditioned collagenase solution, and sorted as CD34+/45- (Sk-34) and CD34-/45-/29+ (Sk-DN/29+) cells. Cells were separately cultured/expanded under optimal conditions for 2 weeks, then injected into the athymic nude mice sciatic nerve long-gap model (7-mm) bridging an acellular conduit. After 8–12 weeks, active cell engraftment was observed only in the Sk-34 cell transplanted group, showing preferential differentiation into Schwann cells and perineurial/endoneurial cells, as well as formation of the myelin sheath and perineurium/endoneurium surrounding regenerated axons, resulted in 87% of numerical recovery. Differentiation into vascular cell lineage (pericyte and endothelial cells) were also observed. A significant tetanic tension recovery (over 90%) of downstream muscles following electrical stimulation of the sciatic nerve (at upper portion of the gap) was also achieved. In contrast, Sk-DN/29+ cells were completely eliminated during the first 4 weeks, but relatively higher numerical (83% vs. 41% in axon) and functional (80% vs. 60% in tetanus) recovery than control were observed. Noteworthy, significant increase in the formation of vascular networks in the conduit during the early stage (first 2 weeks) of recovery was observed in both groups with the expression of key factors (mRNA and protein levels), suggesting the paracrine effects to angiogenesis. These results suggested that the human Sk

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heck, Andre

    2009-01-01

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

  14. A Survey Study of Significent Achievements Accomplished By Snon-mainstreamt Seismologists In ¸ Earthquake Monitoring and Prediction Science In China Since 1970

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, I. W.

    Since 1990, the author, a British U Chinese consultant, has studied and followed the significant achievements accomplished by Snon-mainstreamT seismologists in & cedil;earthquake prediction in China since 1970. The scientific systems used include: (1) Astronomy-seismology: The relativity between special positions of certain planets (especially the moon and another planet) relative to the seismic active areas on the earth and the occurrence time of major damaging earthquakes in these areas on the earth, the relativity between the dates of magnetic storms on the earth caused by so- lar flare on the sun and the occurrence dates of major damaging earthquakes on the earth, as well as certain cycle relativity between the occurrence dates of major his- torical earthquakes occurring in relative areas on the earth. (2) Precursor analysis: With own-developed sensors and instruments, different to conventional seismologi- cal instruments, numerous precursors, abnormality signs, and earthquake imminent signals were recorded. In most cases, these precursors can not be detected by conven- tional seismological sensors/instruments. Through exploratory practice and theoreti- cal studies, various relativity between different characteristics of the precursors, and the occurrence time, epicenter location and magnitude of the developing earthquake were identified and can be calculated. Through approaches quite different to conven- tional methods, successful predictions of quite a large number of earthquakes have been achieved, including earthquakes that occurred in mainland China, Taiwan and Japan. (3) Earthquake imminent affirmative confirmation: With a special instrument, the background of imminent state of earthquakes can be identified, and a universal earthquake imminent signal is further identified. It can be used to confirm if an earlier predicted earthquake is entering its imminent state, if it will definitely occur, or if an earlier prediction can be released. (4) 5km, 7km and

  15. Using M and S to Improve Human Decision Making and Achieve Effective Problem Solving in an International Environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Christie, Vanessa L.; Landess, David J.

    2012-01-01

    In the international arena, decision makers are often swayed away from fact-based analysis by their own individual cultural and political bias. Modeling and Simulation-based training can raise awareness of individual predisposition and improve the quality of decision making by focusing solely on fact vice perception. This improved decision making methodology will support the multinational collaborative efforts of military and civilian leaders to solve challenges more effectively. The intent of this experimental research is to create a framework that allows decision makers to "come to the table" with the latest and most significant facts necessary to determine an appropriate solution for any given contingency.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  17. Deep-ultraviolet light-emitting diodes with external quantum efficiency higher than 20% at 275 nm achieved by improving light-extraction efficiency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takano, Takayoshi; Mino, Takuya; Sakai, Jun; Noguchi, Norimichi; Tsubaki, Kenji; Hirayama, Hideki

    2017-03-01

    Enhancing the light-extraction efficiency is the key issue for realizing highly efficient AlGaN-based ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (UV-LEDs). We introduced several features to improve the light extraction: a transparent AlGaN:Mg contact layer, a Rh mirror electrode, an AlN template on a patterned sapphire substrate, and encapsulation resin. The combination of the AlGaN:Mg contact layer and the Rh mirror electrode significantly improved the output power and the external quantum efficiency (EQE) of UV-LEDs. By introducing the aforementioned features, a maximum EQE of >20% at an emission wavelength of 275 nm and a 20-mA direct current was achieved.

  18. Out-of-School-Time Academic Programs to Improve School Achievement: A Community Guide Health Equity Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Knopf, John A.; Hahn, Robert A.; Proia, Krista K.; Truman, Benedict I.; Johnson, Robert L.; Muntaner, Carles; Fielding, Jonathan E.; Jones, Camara Phyllis; Fullilove, Mindy T.; Hunt, Pete C.; Qu, Shuli; Chattopadhyay, Sajal K.; Milstein, Bobby

    2015-01-01

    Context Low-income and minority status in the United States are associated with poor educational outcomes, which, in turn, reduce the long-term health benefits of education. Objective This systematic review assessed the extent to which out-of-school-time academic (OSTA) programs for at-risk students, most of whom are from low-income and racial/ethnic minority families, can improve academic achievement. Because most OSTA programs serve low-income and ethnic/racial minority students, programs may improve health equity. Design Methods of the Guide to Community Preventive Services were used. An existing systematic review assessing the effects of OSTA programs on academic outcomes (Lauer et al 2006; search period 1985–2003) was supplemented with a Community Guide update (search period 2003–2011). Main Outcome Measure Standardized mean difference. Results Thirty-two studies from the existing review and 25 studies from the update were combined and stratified by program focus (ie, reading-focused, math-focused, general academic programs, and programs with minimal academic focus). Focused programs were more effective than general or minimal academic programs. Reading-focused programs were effective only for students in grades K-3. There was insufficient evidence to determine effectiveness on behavioral outcomes and longer-term academic outcomes. Conclusions OSTA programs, particularly focused programs, are effective in increasing academic achievement for at-risk students. Ongoing school and social environments that support learning and development may be essential to ensure the longer-term benefits of OSTA programs. PMID:26062096

  19. The Significance of Language and Cultural Education on Secondary Achievement: A Survey of Chinese-American and Korean-American Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Steven K.

    2002-01-01

    Surveys of 105 U.S.-born, Chinese-American and Korean-American students in southern California high schools found that those who adapted to the mainstream culture while maintaining their heritage language and culture had higher academic achievement than those who wholly adopted mainstream values and lifestyles. (Contains 21 references.) (SV)

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Cardiorespiratory Improvements Achieved by American College of Sports Medicine’s Exercise Prescription Implemented on a Mobile App

    PubMed Central

    Rospo, Gianluca; Valsecchi, Viola; Bonomi, Alberto G; Thomassen, Inge WJ; van Dantzig, Saskia; La Torre, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Background Strong evidence shows that an increase in cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and physical activity (PA) reduces cardiovascular disease risk. Objective To test whether a scientifically endorsed program to increase CRF and PA, implemented on an easy-to-use, always-accessible mobile app would be effective in improving CRF. Methods Of 63 healthy volunteers participating, 18 tested the user interface of the Cardio-Fitness App (CF-App); and 45 underwent a 2-week intervention period, of whom 33 eventually concluded it. These were assigned into three groups. The Step-based App (Step-App) group (n=8), followed 10,000 steps/day prescription, the CF-App group (n=13), and the Supervised Cardio-Fitness (Super-CF) group (n=12), both followed a heart rate (HR)-based program according to American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) guidelines, but either implemented on the app, or at the gym, respectively. Participants were tested for CRF, PA, resting systolic and diastolic blood pressures (SBP, DBP), resting, exercise, and recovery HR. Results CRF increased in all groups (+4.9%; P<.001). SBP decreased in all groups (-2.6 mm Hg; P=.03). DBP decrease was higher in the Super-CF group (-3.5 mm Hg) than in the Step-App group (-2.1 mm Hg; P<.001). Posttest exercise HR decreased in all groups (-3.4 bpm; P=.02). Posttest recovery HR was lower in the Super-CF group (-10.1 bpm) than in the other two groups (CF-App: -4.9 bpm, Step-App: -3.3 bpm; P<.001). The CF-App group, however, achieved these improvements with more training heart beats (P<.01). Conclusions A 10,000 steps/day target-based app improved CRF similar to an ACSM guideline-based program whether it was implemented on a mobile app or in supervised gym sessions. PMID:27339153

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

  3. Substantial improvements in performance indicators achieved in a peripheral blood mononuclear cell cryopreservation quality assurance program using single donor samples.

    PubMed

    Dyer, Wayne B; Pett, Sarah L; Sullivan, John S; Emery, Sean; Cooper, David A; Kelleher, Anthony D; Lloyd, Andrew; Lewin, Sharon R

    2007-01-01

    Storage of high-quality cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) is often a requirement for multicenter clinical trials and requires a reproducibly high standard of practice. A quality assurance program (QAP) was established to assess an Australia-wide network of laboratories in the provision of high-quality PBMC (determined by yield, viability, and function), using blood taken from single donors (human immunodeficiency virus [HIV] positive and HIV negative) and shipped to each site for preparation and cryopreservation of PBMC. The aim of the QAP was to provide laboratory accreditation for participation in clinical trials and cohort studies which require preparation and cryopreservation of PBMC and to assist all laboratories to prepare PBMC with a viability of >80% and yield of >50% following thawing. Many laboratories failed to reach this standard on the initial QAP round. Interventions to improve performance included telephone interviews with the staff at each laboratory, two annual wet workshops, and direct access to a senior scientist to discuss performance following each QAP round. Performance improved substantially in the majority of sites that initially failed the QAP (P = 0.002 and P = 0.001 for viability and yield, respectively). In a minority of laboratories, there was no improvement (n = 2), while a high standard was retained at the laboratories that commenced with adequate performance (n = 3). These findings demonstrate that simple interventions and monitoring of PBMC preparation and cryopreservation from multiple laboratories can significantly improve performance and contribute to maintenance of a network of laboratories accredited for quality PBMC fractionation and cryopreservation.

  4. Markedly Improved Success Rate of Endoscopically Assisted Third Ventriculostomy Is Achieved by Routine Placement of External Lumbar Drain

    PubMed Central

    Watkins, Justen; Cabanne, Marc; Miulli, Dan

    2017-01-01

    Hydrocephalus is a major cause of patient decreased quality of life and high health care financial burden in the United States and throughout the world. The placement of ventricular shunts (ventriculoperitoneal shunt) has proven to be a safe treatment for hydrocephalus, but it is associated with a high complication rate leading to a lower quality of life and continued financial burden for patients, their families, and society as a whole. The endoscopically assisted third ventriculostomy (ETV) has been practiced as an alternative to ventricular shunting since the 1990s. Success rates vary widely and there are many factors which contribute to the varying success rates. The ETV procedure has the potential to alleviate much of the overall quality of life issues and some of the financial burdens associated with hydrocephalus provided success rates can be increased and the procedure and management techniques are adopted more widely. Common techniques have been published in the past which report associated improvements in success rates amongst individual surgeons. Here, we report a novel perioperative technique and management strategy that displays a higher than reported success rate. Our methods and results show potential to significantly improve overall ETV success rates if reproduced and subsequently adopted widely. We retrospectively studied records of 24 adult patients with hydrocephalus who were treated with an ETV procedure. Routinely, we placed an external lumbar drain postoperatively which was continued for a minimum of 2 days. There was a 95.8% success rate at 30 days. The overall success rate was 83.3%. This is significantly higher than the average of the predicted success scores calculated by the ETV success scoring system (71.8%). It is also significantly higher than previous studies' reported ETV success rates in adults. We propose additional similar studies to be performed to test the reproducibility of increased success rates using our technique, ideally

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Improvement of switching uniformity in Cu/SiO2/Pt resistive memory achieved by voltage prestress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Chih-Yi; Lin, Chao-Han; Liu, Shin-Hung; Bai, Chang-Zong; Zhang, Yu-Xuan

    2015-03-01

    A Cu/SiO2/Pt structure was fabricated to investigate its resistive switching characteristics. The application of DC voltages with different polarities allowed for the reversible manipulation of the structure’s resistance. This resistive switching phenomenon is the result of the formation and rupture of Cu conducting filaments near the Cu/SiO2 interface. However, significant switching dispersion occurred during successive switching cycles, which resulted in operational difficulties and switching failure. In this study, a voltage prestress was applied to the structure in an attempt to minimize the switching dispersion. A statistical technique was used to analyze the status of formation/rupture sites, and a schematic model is proposed to explain the reason for the dispersion improvement. It is suggested that the voltage prestress builds nonconnected filaments and reduces the number of sites of filament formation/rupture. This reduction in the number of sites leads to reduced switching dispersion.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-15

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-05-01

    The proposed action would improve both upstream and downstream passage by providing a new right bank ladder on Three Mile Falls Diversion Dam, modifying the existing left bank ladder, and installing rotary drum fish screens and related structures on the adjacent West Extension Irrigation District (WEID) Canal. Four other alternatives are considered in the environmental assessment (EA): a concrete apron plus a left bank ladder; a cap on the crest of the dam plus a left bank ladder; dam removal; and no action. The proposed fish passage improvements would have effects on the anadromous and resident fish populations which, viewed in the context of the Umatilla River basin, would be beneficial. Resident fish would receive incidental benefits from reduced mortalities at the diversion structures. However, given the regional context, as specified in the Northwest Power Planning Council's Fish and Wildlife Program, in which the proposed passage improvements would be implemented and the large increase in anadromous fish production necessary to restore historical population levels, the proposed actions are not considered to have significant environmental impacts.

  11. Combined steam-ultrasound treatment of 2 seconds achieves significant high aerobic count and Enterobacteriaceae reduction on naturally contaminated food boxes, crates, conveyor belts, and meat knives.

    PubMed

    Musavian, Hanieh S; Butt, Tariq M; Larsen, Annette Baltzer; Krebs, Niels

    2015-02-01

    Food contact surfaces require rigorous sanitation procedures for decontamination, although these methods very often fail to efficiently clean and disinfect surfaces that are visibly contaminated with food residues and possible biofilms. In this study, the results of a short treatment (1 to 2 s) of combined steam (95°C) and ultrasound (SonoSteam) of industrial fish and meat transportation boxes and live-chicken transportation crates naturally contaminated with food and fecal residues were investigated. Aerobic counts of 5.0 to 6.0 log CFU/24 cm(2) and an Enterobacteriaceae spp. level of 2.0 CFU/24 cm(2) were found on the surfaces prior to the treatment. After 1 s of treatment, the aerobic counts were significantly (P < 0.0001) reduced, and within 2 s, reductions below the detection limit (<10 CFU) were reached. Enterobacteriaceae spp. were reduced to a level below the detection limit with only 1 s of treatment. Two seconds of steam-ultrasound treatment was also applied on two different types of plastic modular conveyor belts with hinge pins and one type of flat flexible rubber belt, all visibly contaminated with food residues. The aerobic counts of 3.0 to 5.0 CFU/50 cm(2) were significantly (P < 0.05) reduced, while Enterobacteriaceae spp. were reduced to a level below the detection limit. Industrial meat knives were contaminated with aerobic counts of 6.0 log CFU/5 cm(2) on the handle and 5.2 log CFU/14 cm(2) on the steel. The level of Enterobacteriaceae spp. contamination was approximately 2.5 log CFU on the handle and steel. Two seconds of steam-ultrasound treatment reduced the aerobic counts and Enterobacteriaceae spp. to levels below the detection limit on both handle and steel. This study shows that the steam-ultrasound treatment may be an effective replacement for disinfection processes and that it can be used for continuous disinfection at fast process lines. However, the treatment may not be able to replace efficient cleaning processes used to remove high

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2012-01-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Beverly Fu, D.; Bota, Daniela A.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Xiang, Huimin; Guo, Lei; Zhao, Benliang

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-21

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2007-05-01

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

  4. Significant achievements in the planetary geology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Head, J. W. (Editor)

    1984-01-01

    Recent developments in planetology research are summarized. Important developments are summarized in topics ranging from solar system evolution, comparative planetology, and geologic processes active on other planetary bodies, to techniques and instrument development for exploration.

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

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

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

  6. Neurofeedback as an Intervention to Improve Reading Achievement in Students with Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Inattentive Subtype

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    La Marca, Jeffry P.; O'Connor, Rollanda E.

    2016-01-01

    Research consistently demonstrates that attention deficits have a deleterious effect on academic achievement. Impairments in attention, and not hyperactivity/impulsivity, are associated with learning difficulties and academic problems in students with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). To date, most studies have focused on symptoms…

  7. Improving Mathematics and Science Education: A Longitudinal Investigation of the Relationship between Reform-Oriented Instruction and Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Le,Vi-Nhuan; Stecher, Brian M.; Lockwood, J. R.; Hamilton, Laura S.; Robyn, Abby; Williams, Valerie L.; Ryan, Gery; Kerr, Kerri A.; Martinez, Jose Felipe; Klein, Stephen P.

    2006-01-01

    This monograph presents the findings of a multiyear study of the effectiveness of reform-oriented mathematics and science instruction. It builds on an earlier RAND study, called the Mosaic project, which found "a weak but positive relationship" between reform practices and student achievement (see Klein, Hamilton, McCaffrey, Stecher,…

  8. The Effects of Individualized Instruction on the Improvement of Self Concept of Low Achieving Primary Grade Urban Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Forte, Edmund J.

    This dissertation investigates the effect of an individualized remedial reading and mathematics program (the Philadelphia Checkpoint Center Program) on the self concept of low achieving third-grade children. In the program, children received individualized, diagnostic and prescriptive instruction for 40 minutes daily in groups of 15 or fewer. In…

  9. Raising the Bar -- Closing the Gap. Recommendations for Improving the Academic Achievement of African-American Students in Missouri.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Missouri State Dept. of Elementary and Secondary Education, Jefferson City.

    In September 1996, the Missouri Commissioner of Education appointed a statewide task force on the Achievement of African-American Students. The findings of the state-level task force, the views of Missouri students, and the experience of successful educators all support the conclusion that the single most important nontangible element required to…

  10. The Path to Math: Leadership Matters Effective Practices of Principals That Improve Student Achievement in Secondary Mathematics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pyo, Michelle Hyo Jung

    2013-01-01

    The quality of school leadership is linked to student academic achievement (Leithwood et al., 2004; Thompson & Barnes, 2007; Glatthorn & Jailall, 1997; Lezotte, 1991; Edmonds, 1979; Hallinger & Heck, 1996; Crum & Sherman, 2008). The purpose of this study was to examine the instructional leadership (IL) of high school principals and…

  11. The Potential for School-Based Interventions That Target Executive Function to Improve Academic Achievement: A Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jacob, Robin; Parkinson, Julia

    2015-01-01

    This article systematically reviews what is known empirically about the association between executive function and student achievement in both reading and math and critically assesses the evidence for a causal association between the two. Using meta-analytic techniques, the review finds that there is a moderate unconditional association between…

  12. From Compliance to Service: Evolving the State Role to Support District Data Efforts to Improve Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shah, Rebecca

    2011-01-01

    As a result of state, national and federal leadership and political will, states have dramatically increased their capacity to collect robust longitudinal education data. However, without an equally ambitious effort to ensure access and build stakeholders' capacity to use data to increase student achievement, these infrastructure investments…

  13. An Augmented Reality-Based Mobile Learning System to Improve Students' Learning Achievements and Motivations in Natural Science Inquiry Activities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chiang, Tosti H. C.; Yang, Stephen J. H.; Hwang, Gwo-Jen

    2014-01-01

    In this study, an augmented reality-based mobile learning system is proposed for conducting inquiry-based learning activities. An experiment has been conducted to examine the effectiveness of the proposed approach in terms of learning achievements and motivations. The subjects were 57 fourth graders from two classes taught by the same teacher in…

  14. Surmounting the Challenges of Improving Academic Performance: Closing the Achievement Gap through Social-Emotional and Character Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elias, Maurice J.; White, Gwyne; Stepney, Cesalie

    2014-01-01

    While educators and policy makers have an intuitive understanding of the influence of socioeconomic factors and race on student achievement, these factors make the current emphasis on standardized test scores as a primary criterion for evaluating schools and teachers indefensible and ineffective. The research presented illustrates the limits of…

  15. In Their Own Words: Erasing Deficits and Exploring What Works to Improve K-12 and Postsecondary Black Male School Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warren, Chezare A.; Douglas, Ty-Ron M. O.; Howard, Tyrone C.

    2016-01-01

    This article outlines the imperative for strengths-based research to counter deficit perceptions and perspectives of Black males in contemporary discussions of their school achievement in the United States. The importance of young men of color in shaping research agendas, practice, and public policy is argued followed by a brief overview of the…

  16. Improving Achievement and Attitudes in Elementary Algebra through Written Error-Correcting Feedback and Free Comments on Tests.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Prueher, Jane

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the extent to which written error-correcting feedback on teacher-made criterion-referenced tests results in increased achievement of high school students taking algebra. In addition, student attitudes toward chapter tests and changes that may occur in those attitudes resulting from teacher treatment of…

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  20. A Mixed-Methods Study of the Transformation Model for Rapid Improvement of Low Achieving Rural Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Atkinson Duina, Angela

    2013-01-01

    New regulations attached to ARRA funding of federal School Improvement Fund grants aimed at producing rapid turnaround of low performing schools were highly criticized as unsuitable for rural schools. This mixed-methods study looked at the implementation of the School Improvement Fund Transformation Model in two rural Maine high schools during the…

  1. What Works to Improve Student Literacy Achievement? An Examination of Instructional Practices in a Balanced Literacy Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bitter, Catherine; O'Day, Jennifer; Gubbins, Paul; Socias, Miguel

    2009-01-01

    A core assumption of the San Diego City Schools (SDCS) reform effort was that improved instructional practices, aligned with a balanced literacy approach, would be effective in improving student outcomes. This article explores this hypothesis by presenting findings from an analysis of classroom instruction data collected in 101 classrooms in 9…

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

    SciTech Connect

    Fisk, Mark D.; Pasyanos, Michael E.

    2016-05-03

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

  3. Indirect Effects of the Family Check-up on School-Age Academic Achievement through Improvements in Parenting in Early Childhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brennan, Lauretta M.; Shelleby, Elizabeth C.; Shaw, Daniel S.; Gardner, Frances; Dishion, Thomas J.; Wilson, Melvin

    2013-01-01

    This project examined the hypothesis that the impact of the Family Check-Up on parent use of positive behavior support would indirectly improve academic achievement scores at school age. The study included a sample of 731 high-risk families recruited from Women, Infant, and Children Supplemental Nutrition Program settings in 3 geographically…

  4. Using International Study Series and Meta-Analytic Research Syntheses to Scope Pedagogical Development Aimed at Improving Student Attitude and Achievement in School Mathematics and Science

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruthven, Kenneth

    2011-01-01

    Taking lower-secondary schooling within the English educational system as an example, this paper illustrates the contribution of two bodies of international scholarship to the scoping of research-based pedagogical development aimed at improving student attitude and achievement in science and mathematics. After sketching the English context of…

  5. Project HAPI (Handicapped Achievement Program Improvement): Assessment plus Intervention equals IEP. A Handbook on How to Write an Individualized Education Program for the Educationally Handicapped. Book Two.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chapman, Jean; And Others

    The second of five handbooks developed by Project HAPI (Handicapped Achievement Program Improvement), a multimedia staff development program to help teachers and specialists write effective individualized education programs (IEPs), is in looseleaf workbook format and focuses on children with severe education handicaps. It is reported that students…

  6. The Efforts to Improve Mathematics Learning Achievement Results of High School Students as Required by Competency-Based Curriculum and Lesson Level-Based Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sidabutar, Ropinus

    2016-01-01

    The research was aimed to investigate the effect of various, innovated teaching models to improved the student's achievement in various topic in Mathematics. The study was conduct experiment by using innovated teaching with contextual, media and web which are the compared. with conventional teaching method. The result showed the innovation in the…

  7. Improving the Teaching and Learning of Science in a Suburban Junior High School on Long Island: Achieving Parity through Cogenerative Dialogues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, Eileen Perman

    2010-01-01

    The research in this dissertation focuses on ways to improve the teaching and learning of science in a suburban junior high school on Long Island, New York. The study is my attempt to find ways to achieve parity in my classroom in terms of success in science. I was specifically looking for ways to encourage Black female students in my classroom…

  8. Inquiry and Blended Learning Based Learning Material Development for Improving Student Achievement on General Physics I of Mathematics and Natural Science of State University of Medan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Motlan; Sinulinggga, Karya; Siagian, Henok

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this research is to determine if inquiry and blended learning based materials can improve student's achievement. The learning materials are: book, worksheet, and test, website, etc. The type of this research is quasi experiment using two-group pretest posttest design. The population is all students of first year who take general physics…

  9. The hybrid progress note: semiautomating daily progress notes to achieve high-quality documentation and improve provider efficiency.

    PubMed

    Kargul, George J; Wright, Scott M; Knight, Amy M; McNichol, Mary T; Riggio, Jeffrey M

    2013-01-01

    Health care institutions are moving toward fully functional electronic medical records (EMRs) that promise improved documentation, safety, and quality of care. However, many hospitals do not yet use electronic documentation. Paper charting, including writing daily progress notes, is time-consuming and error prone. To improve the quality of documentation at their hospital, the authors introduced a highly formatted paper note template (hybrid note) that is prepopulated with data from the EMR. Inclusion of vital signs and active medications improved from 75.5% and 60% to 100% (P < .001), respectively. The use of unapproved abbreviations in the medication list decreased from 13.3% to 0% (P < .001). Prepopulating data enhances provider efficiency. Interviews of key clinician leaders also suggest that the initiative is well accepted and that documentation quality is enhanced. The hybrid progress note improves documentation and provider efficiency, promotes quality care, and initiates the development of the forthcoming electronic progress note.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-10

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1986-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

  15. Achieving a culture of continuous improvement by adopting the principles of self-assessment and business excellence.

    PubMed

    Jackson, S

    1999-01-01

    Following a brief description of the inception of self-assessment and the European Foundation for Quality business excellence model, this article describes how one clinical directorate in an NHS Trust used the principles of both to secure a culture of continuous improvement. The journey from a mainly hierarchical, bureaucratic, individualist culture to one where the norms, values and beliefs reflected teamwork, involvement and empowerment is described. The highs, lows and learning points are all included, in an attempt to enlighten other healthcare organisations considering the benefits and pitfalls of using the business excellence model to improve the quality of their healthcare delivery.

  16. The Impact of School Improvement Grants on Achievement: Plans for a National Evaluation Using a Regression Discontinuity Design

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deke, John; Dragoset, Lisa

    2015-01-01

    Does receipt of School Improvement Grants (SIG) funding to implement a school intervention model have an impact on outcomes for low-performing schools? This study answers this question using a regression discontinuity design (RDD) that exploits cutoff values on the continuous variables used to define SIG eligibility tiers, comparing outcomes in…

  17. Yes We Can! Improving Urban Schools through Innovative Educational Reform. Contemporary Perspectives on Access, Equity, and Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howell, Leanne L., Ed.; Lewis, Chance W., Ed.; Carter, Norvella, Ed.

    2011-01-01

    Yes We Can: Improving Urban Schools through Innovative Educational Reform is a empirically-based book on urban education reform to not only proclaim that hope is alive for urban schools, but to also produce a body of literature that examines current practices and then offer practical implications for all involved in this arduous task. This book is…

  18. Performance Incentives to Improve Community College Completion: Learning from Washington State's Student Achievement Initiative. A State Policy Brief

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shulock, Nancy; Jenkins, Davis

    2011-01-01

    Amid growing signs of America's weakening position in the global economy, federal and state policymakers and major foundations have set ambitious goals for increasing postsecondary attainment in the United States. Given changing U.S. demographics, it has become clear that these national goals are attainable only with vastly improved outcomes among…

  19. Discussion of Policies for Achieving Continuous Improvement in Community Colleges. Commission on Innovation Policy Discussion Paper Number 1.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    BW Associates, Berkeley, CA.

    Intended to provide background information and preliminary options for the California Community Colleges' Commission on Innovation, this document describes the principles of Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) and describes policy options for implementation in the state's community colleges. Following introductory materials, the paper recommends…

  20. Another Look at High School Restructuring. More Evidence That It Improves Student Achievement and More Insight into Why.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lee, Valerie E.; And Others

    1995-01-01

    This report expands on earlier research that found evidence of strong links between school restructuring and improved learning among students in the first 2 years of high school. This report, based on 1992 National Education Longitudinal Study (NELS) data, analyzes data collected for most of the same students in their last 2 years of high school.…

  1. A Project-Based Digital Storytelling Approach for Improving Students' Learning Motivation, Problem-Solving Competence and Learning Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hung, Chun-Ming; Hwang, Gwo-Jen; Huang, Iwen

    2012-01-01

    Although project-based learning is a well-known and widely used instructional strategy, it remains a challenging issue to effectively apply this approach to practical settings for improving the learning performance of students. In this study, a project-based digital storytelling approach is proposed to cope with this problem. With a…

  2. Do Incentive-Based Programs Improve Teacher Quality and Student Achievement? An Analysis of Implementation in 12 Urban Charter Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaimal, Girija; Jordan, Will J.

    2016-01-01

    Context: Policymakers have increasingly advocated for incentive-based approaches for improving urban schools. Purpose of the study: Few studies have examined the implementation of incentive based approaches in the urban charter school context. This paper presents research findings from a 4-year longitudinal study of the implementation of a…

  3. Comprehensive School Reform: Research-Based Strategies To Achieve High Standards. A Guidebook on School-Wide Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hale, Sylvie van Heusden

    This guidebook provides a framework for planning schoolwide improvements. It is intended to help educators redesign schools, move beyond piecemeal reforms, and reconfigure entire academic programs to help every student meet challenging standards. The guidebook describes the context of comprehensive school reform and offers a process for conducting…

  4. Evaluation and capacity building to improve precollege science and mathematics achievement in the US: 10 CFR, Part 605. Technical progress report, June--December 1992

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-12-31

    The National Center for Improving Science Education has undertaken activities to achieve evaluation goals for DOE`s Precollege programs: develop means to determine program quality; develop means for determining the contribution of DOE precollege programs to both teacher enhancement and student achievement; provide evaluation designs and instruments and reports of program quality and impact; and strengthen both DOE`s and the Labs` capacity to do both short- and long-term planning as well as deliver effective programs and evaluation. Appendices include evaluation/technical assistance report, profiling teacher research participation and teacher development programs, teacher surveys, impact assessment design, and teacher research participation programs anecdotes for 8 labs.

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  7. Achieving Superior Tropical Cyclone Intensity Forecasts by Improving the Assimilation of High-Resolution Satellite Data into Mesoscale Prediction Models

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-01-01

    for improved spatial/temporal coverage (Figure 1). The SFOV sounding physical retrieval algorithm has also been adapted to process IASI data, with...the algorithm refined and adjusted to include many more IASI channels in the retrieval process. An initial evaluation for IASI clear sky soundings is...experiments, and after processing and evaluation, IASI clear sky sounding data will also be provided. Finally, a dual regression algorithm is being

  8. Achievement of the POSITIVE (Participation-Oriented Safety Improvement by Trade Union InitiatiVE) activities in the Philippines.

    PubMed

    Tachi, Norihide; Itani, Toru; Takeyama, Hidemaro; Yoshikawa, Toru; Suzuki, Koji; Castro, Ariel B

    2006-01-01

    The POSITIVE (Participation-oriented safety improvement by trade union initiative) programme was introduced into the Philippines in 1995. The monitoring of activities was carried out in 2004 among core trainers who had been trained before. The results of the questionnaire survey showed that the core trainers evaluated their activities satisfactory in general, and particularly the training activities were considered excellent. Also, the union workers who had been trained by the POSITIVE programme implemented improvements at the rate of around 5 examples a year on average. It was of note that the installation ratio (the number of installations/that of plans) was higher in small- and medium-sized enterprises than in larger companies, although the numbers of plans and installations of improvements were greater in large enterprises. Together with the previous findings, the present results suggest that the POSITIVE-style participatory training program is effective and efficient for workers to take actions for the OSH in not only larger enterprises but also small enterprises.

  9. Sensitivity improvement of an electrical sensor achieved by control of biomolecules based on the negative dielectrophoretic force.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hye Jin; Kim, Jinsik; Yoo, Yong Kyoung; Lee, Jeong Hoon; Park, Jung Ho; Hwang, Kyo Seon

    2016-11-15

    Effective control of nano-scale biomolecules can enhance the sensitivity and limit of detection of an interdigitated microelectrode (IME) sensor. Manipulation of the biomolecules by dielectrophoresis (DEP), especially the negative DEP (nDEP) force, so that they are trapped between electrodes (sensing regions) was predicted to increase the binding efficiency of the antibody and target molecules, leading to a more effective reaction. To prove this concept, amyloid beta 42 (Aβ42) and prostate specific antigen (PSA) protein were respectively trapped between the sensing region owing to the nDEP force under 5V and 0.05V, which was verified with COMSOL simulation. Using the simulation value, the resistance change (ΔR/Rb) of the IME sensor from the specific antibody-antigen reaction of the two biomolecules and the change in fluorescence intensity were compared in the reference (pDEP) and nDEP conditions. The ΔR/Rb value improved by about 2-fold and 1.66-fold with nDEP compared to the reference condition with various protein concentrations, and these increases were confirmed with fluorescence imaging. Overall, nDEP enhanced the detection sensitivity for Aβ42 and PSA by 128% and 258%, respectively, and the limit of detection improved by up to 2-orders of magnitude. These results prove that DEP can improve the biosensor's performance.

  10. Human ergology that promotes participatory approach to improving safety, health and working conditions at grassroots workplaces: achievements and actions.

    PubMed

    Kawakami, Tsuyoshi

    2011-12-01

    Participatory approaches are increasingly applied to improve safety, health and working conditions of grassroots workplaces in Asia. The core concepts and methods in human ergology research such as promoting real work life studies, relying on positive efforts of local people (daily life-technology), promoting active participation of local people to identify practical solutions, and learning from local human networks to reach grassroots workplaces, have provided useful viewpoints to devise such participatory training programmes. This study was aimed to study and analyze how human ergology approaches were applied in the actual development and application of three typical participatory training programmes: WISH (Work Improvement for Safe Home) with home workers in Cambodia, WISCON (Work Improvement in Small Construction Sites) with construction workers in Thailand, and WARM (Work Adjustment for Recycling and Managing Waste) with waste collectors in Fiji. The results revealed that all the three programmes, in the course of their developments, commonly applied direct observation methods of the work of target workers before devising the training programmes, learned from existing local good examples and efforts, and emphasized local human networks for cooperation. These methods and approaches were repeatedly applied in grassroots workplaces by taking advantage of their the sustainability and impacts. It was concluded that human ergology approaches largely contributed to the developments and expansion of participatory training programmes and could continue to support the self-help initiatives of local people for promoting human-centred work.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Data Quality Campaign, 2012

    2012-01-01

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

  12. The Turnaround Challenge: Why America's Best Opportunity to Dramatically Improve Student Achievement Lies in Our Worst-Performing Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Calkins, Andrew; Guenther, William; Belfiore, Grace; Lash, Dave

    2007-01-01

    The goal of this study was to produce recommendations for states and school districts seeking a flexible, systematic approach to swift and significant transformation in schools (particularly high schools) deemed chronically under-performing under No Child Left Behind or state accountability systems. This research leads the authors to believe that…

  13. Achieving equity in HIV-treatment outcomes: can social protection improve adolescent ART-adherence in South Africa?

    PubMed Central

    Cluver, L. D.; Toska, E.; Orkin, F. M.; Meinck, F.; Hodes, R.; Yakubovich, A. R.; Sherr, L.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Low ART-adherence amongst adolescents is associated with morbidity, mortality and onward HIV transmission. Reviews find no effective adolescent adherence-promoting interventions. Social protection has demonstrated benefits for adolescents, and could potentially improve ART-adherence. This study examines associations of 10 social protection provisions with adherence in a large community-based sample of HIV-positive adolescents. All 10–19-year-olds ever ART-initiated in 53 government healthcare facilities in a health district of South Africa’s Eastern Cape were traced and interviewed in 2014–2015 (n = 1175 eligible). About 90% of the eligible sample was included (n = 1059). Social protection provisions were “cash/cash in kind”: government cash transfers, food security, school fees/materials, school feeding, clothing; and “care”: HIV support group, sports groups, choir/art groups, positive parenting and parental supervision/monitoring. Analyses used multivariate regression, interaction and marginal effects models in SPSS and STATA, controlling for socio-demographic, HIV and healthcare-related covariates. Findings showed 36% self-reported past-week ART non-adherence (<95%). Non-adherence was associated with increased opportunistic infections (p = .005, B .269, SD .09), and increased likelihood of detectable viral load at last test (>75 copies/ml) (aOR 1.98, CI 1.1–3.45). Independent of covariates, three social protection provisions were associated with reduced non-adherence: food provision (aOR .57, CI .42–.76, p < .001); HIV support group attendance (aOR .60, CI .40–.91, p < .02), and high parental/caregiver supervision (aOR .56, CI .43–.73, p < .001). Combination social protection showed additive benefits. With no social protection, non-adherence was 54%, with any one protection 39–41%, with any two social protections, 27–28% and with all three social protections, 18%. These results demonstrate that social protection provisions

  14. Achieving equity in HIV-treatment outcomes: can social protection improve adolescent ART-adherence in South Africa?

    PubMed

    Cluver, L D; Toska, E; Orkin, F M; Meinck, F; Hodes, R; Yakubovich, A R; Sherr, L

    2016-03-01

    Low ART-adherence amongst adolescents is associated with morbidity, mortality and onward HIV transmission. Reviews find no effective adolescent adherence-promoting interventions. Social protection has demonstrated benefits for adolescents, and could potentially improve ART-adherence. This study examines associations of 10 social protection provisions with adherence in a large community-based sample of HIV-positive adolescents. All 10-19-year-olds ever ART-initiated in 53 government healthcare facilities in a health district of South Africa's Eastern Cape were traced and interviewed in 2014-2015 (n = 1175 eligible). About 90% of the eligible sample was included (n = 1059). Social protection provisions were "cash/cash in kind": government cash transfers, food security, school fees/materials, school feeding, clothing; and "care": HIV support group, sports groups, choir/art groups, positive parenting and parental supervision/monitoring. Analyses used multivariate regression, interaction and marginal effects models in SPSS and STATA, controlling for socio-demographic, HIV and healthcare-related covariates. Findings showed 36% self-reported past-week ART non-adherence (<95%). Non-adherence was associated with increased opportunistic infections (p = .005, B .269, SD .09), and increased likelihood of detectable viral load at last test (>75 copies/ml) (aOR 1.98, CI 1.1-3.45). Independent of covariates, three social protection provisions were associated with reduced non-adherence: food provision (aOR .57, CI .42-.76, p < .001); HIV support group attendance (aOR .60, CI .40-.91, p < .02), and high parental/caregiver supervision (aOR .56, CI .43-.73, p < .001). Combination social protection showed additive benefits. With no social protection, non-adherence was 54%, with any one protection 39-41%, with any two social protections, 27-28% and with all three social protections, 18%. These results demonstrate that social protection provisions, particularly combinations of "cash

  15. Improved silencing suppression and enhanced heterologous protein expression are achieved using an engineered viral helper component proteinase.

    PubMed

    Haikonen, T; Rajamäki, M-L; Valkonen, J P T

    2013-11-01

    RNA silencing limits transient expression of heterologous proteins in plants. Co-expression of viral silencing suppressor proteins can increase and prolong protein expression, but highly efficient silencing suppressors may stress plant tissue and be detrimental to protein yields. Little is known whether silencing suppression could be improved without harm to plant tissues. This study reports development of enhanced silencing suppressors by engineering the helper component proteinase (HCpro) of Potato virus A (PVA). Mutations were introduced to a short region of HCpro (positions 330-335 in PVA HCpro), which is hypervariable among potyviruses. Three out of the four HCpro mutants suppressed RNA silencing more efficiently and sustained expression of co-expressed jellyfish green fluorescent protein for a longer time than wild-type HCpro in agroinfiltrated leaves of Nicotiana benthamiana. Leaf tissues remained healthy-looking without any visible signs of stress.

  16. General chemistry courses that can affect achievement: An action research study in developing a plan to improve undergraduate chemistry courses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shweikeh, Eman

    Over the past 50 years, considerable research has been dedicated to chemistry education. In evaluating principal chemistry courses in higher education, educators have noted the learning process for first-year general chemistry courses may be challenging. The current study investigated perceptions of faculty, students and administrators on chemistry education at three institutions in Southern California. Via action research, the study sought to develop a plan to improve student engagement in general chemistry courses. A mixed method was utilized to analyze different perceptions on key factors determining the level of commitment and engagement in general chemistry education. The approach to chemistry learning from both a faculty and student perspective was examined including good practices, experiences and extent of active participation. The research study considered well-known measures of effective education with an emphasis on two key components: educational practices and student behavior. Institutional culture was inclusively assessed where cognitive expectations of chemistry teaching and learning were communicated. First, the extent in which faculty members are utilizing the "Seven Principles for Good Practice in Undergraduate Education" in their instruction was explored. Second, student attitudes and approaches toward chemistry learning were examined. The focus was on investigating student understanding of the learning process and the structure of chemistry knowledge. The seven categories used to measure students' expectations for learning chemistry were: effort, concepts, math link, reality link, outcome, laboratory, and visualization. This analysis represents the views of 16 faculty and 140 students. The results validated the assertion that students need some competencies and skills to tackle the challenges of the chemistry learning process to deeply engage in learning. A mismatch exists between the expectations of students and those of the faculty

  17. [Problem-based learning in a social medicine course--a concept for improving learning achievement and practice relevance].

    PubMed

    Busse, R

    1996-07-01

    In many medical curricula around the world, problem-based learning (PBL), i.e. inductive, usually interdisciplinary learning based on real or constructed cases, has been shown to improve the acquisition of knowledge. Additionally, it is valued positively by students. On the other hand, lecturing is usually valued negatively. Teaching of epidemiology and social medicine is further handicapped by the fact that students consider it irrelevant. In 1994/95, one of 18 social medicine courses for fifth year medical students at Hannover Medical School was problem-based. The following "cases" were used: 1. rheumatic patient with various social medical problems (losing sick pay, receiving status as handicapped person, early retirement etc.), 2. cluster of patients with leukaemia in the surroundings of a nuclear power plant and 3. recent newspaper articles on the effects of the 1993 Health Care Reform Law (dentists refusing to treat patients because of a fixed budget, introduction of prepayment methods in hospital etc.). Evaluation by the students at the end of the course revealed that PBL is well accepted in social medicine. Students rated learning success, relevance of the subject compared to other disciplines and the ability to transfer the acquired knowledge into medical practice well above the traditional courses. Besides lectures, practical courses and seminars, PBL should therefore be used as a standard method of learning in undergraduate medical education.

  18. Achieving change in primary care—effectiveness of strategies for improving implementation of complex interventions: systematic review of reviews

    PubMed Central

    Lau, Rosa; Stevenson, Fiona; Ong, Bie Nio; Dziedzic, Krysia; Treweek, Shaun; Eldridge, Sandra; Everitt, Hazel; Kennedy, Anne; Qureshi, Nadeem; Rogers, Anne; Peacock, Richard; Murray, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Objective To identify, summarise and synthesise available literature on the effectiveness of implementation strategies for optimising implementation of complex interventions in primary care. Design Systematic review of reviews. Data sources MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL, Cochrane Library and PsychINFO were searched, from first publication until December 2013; the bibliographies of relevant articles were screened for additional reports. Eligibility criteria for selecting studies Eligible reviews had to (1) examine effectiveness of single or multifaceted implementation strategies, (2) measure health professional practice or process outcomes and (3) include studies from predominantly primary care in developed countries. Two reviewers independently screened titles/abstracts and full-text articles of potentially eligible reviews for inclusion. Data synthesis Extracted data were synthesised using a narrative approach. Results 91 reviews were included. The most commonly evaluated strategies were those targeted at the level of individual professionals, rather than those targeting organisations or context. These strategies (eg, audit and feedback, educational meetings, educational outreach, reminders) on their own demonstrated a small to modest improvement (2–9%) in professional practice or behaviour with considerable variability in the observed effects. The effects of multifaceted strategies targeted at professionals were mixed and not necessarily more effective than single strategies alone. There was relatively little review evidence on implementation strategies at the levels of organisation and wider context. Evidence on cost-effectiveness was limited and data on costs of different strategies were scarce and/or of low quality. Conclusions There is a substantial literature on implementation strategies aimed at changing professional practices or behaviour. It remains unclear which implementation strategies are more likely to be effective than others and under what conditions

  19. Achieving Health Equity Through Community Engagement in Translating Evidence to Policy: The San Francisco Health Improvement Partnership, 2010–2016

    PubMed Central

    Vargas, Roberto A.; Fleisher, Paula; Aragón, Tomás J.; Chung, Lisa; Chawla, Colleen; Yant, Abbie; Garcia, Estela R.; Santiago, Amor; Lang, Perry L.; Jones, Paula; Liu, Wylie; Schmidt, Laura A.

    2017-01-01

    Background The San Francisco Health Improvement Partnership (SFHIP) promotes health equity by using a novel collective impact model that blends community engagement with evidence-to-policy translational science. The model involves diverse stakeholders, including ethnic-based community health equity coalitions, the local public health department, hospitals and health systems, a health sciences university, a school district, the faith community, and others sectors. Community Context We report on 3 SFHIP prevention initiatives: reducing consumption of sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs), regulating retail alcohol sales, and eliminating disparities in children’s oral health. Methods SFHIP is governed by a steering committee. Partnership working groups for each initiative collaborate to 1) develop and implement action plans emphasizing feasible, scalable, translational-science–informed interventions and 2) consider sustainability early in the planning process by including policy and structural interventions. Outcome Through SFHIP’s efforts, San Francisco enacted ordinances regulating sale and advertising of SSBs and a ballot measure establishing a soda tax. Most San Francisco hospitals implemented or committed to implementing healthy-beverage policies that prohibited serving or selling SSBs. SFHIP helped prevent Starbucks and Taco Bell from receiving alcohol licenses in San Francisco and helped prevent state authorization of sale of powdered alcohol. SFHIP increased the number of primary care clinics providing fluoride varnish at routine well-child visits from 3 to 14 and acquired a state waiver to allow dental clinics to be paid for dental services delivered in schools. Interpretation The SFHIP model of collective impact emphasizing community engagement and policy change accomplished many of its intermediate goals to create an environment promoting health and health equity. PMID:28333598

  20. Significant Improvement in Sleep in People with Intellectual Disabilities Living in Residential Settings by Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hylkema, T.; Vlaskamp, C.

    2009-01-01

    Background: Although about 15 to 50 percent of people with intellectual disabilities (ID) living in residential settings suffer from sleep problems, scant attention is paid to these problems. Most available studies focus on pharmaceutical solutions. In this study we focus on improving sleep in people with intellectual disabilities living in…

  1. Paleoclimate of the Southern San Joaquin Valley, CA: Research Participation Opportunities for Improving Minority Participation and Achievement in the Geosciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baron, D.; Negrini, R.; Palacios-Fest, M. R.

    2004-12-01

    . The analyses of the sediment samples range from simple tasks such as core descriptions or total organic carbon analysis to complex procedures such as the separation, identification, and chemical analysis of ostracode shells. Thus, the participants can find tasks appropriate to their diverse backgrounds and experience. CSUB students served as mentors and role models for high school students. Surveys conducted before and after the summer program indicate that knowledge of climate change and local geology of both teachers and students increased. Student's attitudes towards the geosciences and possible geoscience careers improved.

  2. Achieving a "Grand Convergence" in Global Health by 2035: Rwanda Shows the Way Comment on "Improving the World's Health Through the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Perspectives From Rwanda".

    PubMed

    Yamey, Gavin; Fewer, Sara; Beyeler, Naomi

    2015-07-29

    Global Health 2035, the report of The Lancet Commission on Investing in Health, laid out a bold, highly ambitious framework for making rapid progress in improving global public health outcomes. It showed that with the right health investments, the international community could achieve a "grand convergence" in global health-a reduction in avertable infectious, maternal, and child deaths down to universally low levels-within a generation. Rwanda's success in rapidly reducing such deaths over the last 20 years shows that convergence is feasible. Binagwaho and Scott have argued that 5 lessons from this success are the importance of equity, quality health services, evidence-informed policy, intersectoral collaboration, and effective collaboration between countries and multilateral agencies. This article re-examines these lessons through the lens of the Global Health 2035 report to analyze how the experience in Rwanda might be generalized for other countries to making progress towards achieving a grand convergence.

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-06-01

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

  4. Cinacalcet HCl and Concurrent Low-dose Vitamin D Improves Treatment of Secondary Hyperparathyroidism in Dialysis Patients Compared with Vitamin D Alone: The ACHIEVE Study Results

    PubMed Central

    Fishbane, Steven; Shapiro, Warren B.; Corry, Dalila B.; Vicks, Steven L.; Roppolo, Michael; Rappaport, Kenneth; Ling, Xiang; Goodman, William G.; Turner, Stewart; Charytan, Chaim

    2008-01-01

    Background and objectives: Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) receiving dialysis often develop secondary hyperparathyroidism with disturbed calcium and phosphorus metabolism. The National Kidney Foundation-Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI) was established to guide treatment practices for these disorders. The ACHIEVE study was designed to test two treatment strategies for achieving KDOQI goals. Design, setting, participants, measurements: Individuals on hemodialysis treated with vitamin D sterols were enrolled in this 33-week study. Subjects were randomly assigned to treatment with either cinacalcet and low-dose vitamin D (Cinacalcet-D) or flexible vitamin D alone (Flex-D) to achieve KDOQI-recommended bone mineral targets. ACHIEVE included a 6-week screening phase, including vitamin D washout, a 16-week dose-titration phase, and an 11-week assessment phase. Results: Of 173 subjects enrolled, 83% of Cinacalcet-D and 67% of Flex-D subjects completed the study. A greater proportion of Cinacalcet-D versus Flex-D subjects had a ≥30% reduction in parathyroid hormone (PTH) (68% versus 36%, P < 0.001) as well as PTH ≤300 pg/ml (44% versus 23%, P = 0.006). The proportion of subjects simultaneously achieving targets for intact PTH (150–300 pg/ml) and calcium-phosphorus product (Ca×P) (<55 mg2/dl2) was also greater (21% versus 14%), but this was not statistically significant. This was attributable to 19% of Cinacalcet-D subjects with a PTH value below the KDOQI target range. Conclusions: Achievement of KDOQI targets was difficult, especially with Flex-D. Maintaining calcium and phosphorus target values precluded the use of vitamin D doses necessary to lower PTH to within the narrow target range and highlighted limitations inherent to the KDOQI treatment algorithm. PMID:18945995

  5. Development of an activity-directed selection system enabled significant improvement of the carboxylation efficiency of Rubisco.

    PubMed

    Cai, Zhen; Liu, Guoxia; Zhang, Junli; Li, Yin

    2014-07-01

    Photosynthetic CO(2) fixation is the ultimate source of organic carbon on earth and thus is essential for crop production and carbon sequestration. Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) catalyzes the first step of photosynthetic CO(2) fixation. However, the extreme low carboxylation efficiency of Rubisco makes it the most attractive target for improving photosynthetic efficiency. Extensive studies have focused on re-engineering a more efficient enzyme, but the effort has been impeded by the limited understanding of its structure-function relationships and the lack of an efficient selection system towards its activity. To address the unsuccessful molecular engineering of Rubisco, we developed an Escherichia coli-based activity-directed selection system which links the growth of host cell solely to the Rubisco activity therein. A Synechococcus sp. PCC7002 Rubisco mutant with E49V and D82G substitutions in the small subunit was selected from a total of 15,000 mutants by one round of evolution. This mutant showed an 85% increase in specific carboxylation activity and a 45% improvement in catalytic efficiency towards CO(2). The small-subunit E49V mutation was speculated to influence holoenzyme catalysis through interaction with the large-subunit Q225. This interaction is conserved among various Rubisco from higher plants and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Knowledge of these might provide clues for engineering Rubisco from higher plants, with the potential of increasing the crop yield.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-03-01

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

  9. Improving Achievement Via Essay Exams.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Milton, Ohmer

    1979-01-01

    The benefits of using essay tests rather than objective tests in professional education programs are discussed. Essay tests offer practice in writing, creativity and formal communications. Guidelines for using and scoring a sample essay test in biology are presented. (BH)

  10. Does Homework Really Improve Achievement?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Costley, Kevin C.

    2013-01-01

    Should public school teachers assign daily homework? Should school districts have policies requiring teachers to assign homework? Is homework beneficial to students? Do students learn from completing daily homework? In this article, a review of literature is included offering pros and cons to students doing homework with various counterpoint…

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-01

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

  13. Improving winter leaf area index estimation in coniferous forests and its significance in estimating the land surface albedo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Rong; Chen, Jing M.; Pavlic, Goran; Arain, Altaf

    2016-09-01

    Winter leaf area index (LAI) of evergreen coniferous forests exerts strong control on the interception of snow, snowmelt and energy balance. Simulation of winter LAI and associated winter processes in land surface models is challenging. Retrieving winter LAI from remote sensing data is difficult due to cloud contamination, poor illumination, lower solar elevation and higher radiation reflection by snow background. Underestimated winter LAI in evergreen coniferous forests is one of the major issues limiting the application of current remote sensing LAI products. It has not been fully addressed in past studies in the literature. In this study, we used needle lifespan to correct winter LAI in a remote sensing product developed by the University of Toronto. For the validation purpose, the corrected winter LAI was then used to calculate land surface albedo at five FLUXNET coniferous forests in Canada. The RMSE and bias values for estimated albedo were 0.05 and 0.011, respectively, for all sites. The albedo map over coniferous forests across Canada produced with corrected winter LAI showed much better agreement with the GLASS (Global LAnd Surface Satellites) albedo product than the one produced with uncorrected winter LAI. The results revealed that the corrected winter LAI yielded much greater accuracy in simulating land surface albedo, making the new LAI product an improvement over the original one. Our study will help to increase the usability of remote sensing LAI products in land surface energy budget modeling.

  14. Dimension Reduction via Unsupervised Learning Yields Significant Computational Improvements for Support Vector Machine Based Protein Family Classification.

    SciTech Connect

    Webb-Robertson, Bobbie-Jo M.; Matzke, Melissa M.; Oehmen, Christopher S.

    2009-02-26

    Reducing the dimension of vectors used in training support vector machines (SVMs) results in a proportional speedup in training time. For large-scale problems this can make the difference between tractable and intractable training tasks. However, it is critical that classifiers trained on reduced datasets perform as reliably as their counterparts trained on high-dimensional data. We assessed principal component analysis (PCA) and sequential project pursuit (SPP) as dimension reduction strategies in the biology application of classifying proteins into well-defined functional ‘families’ (SVM-based protein family classification) by their impact on run-time, sensitivity and selectivity. Homology vectors of 4352 elements were reduced to approximately 2% of the original data size without significantly affecting accuracy using PCA and SPP, while leading to approximately a 28-fold speedup in run-time.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

  16. Effectiveness of Music Education for the Improvement of Reading Skills and Academic Achievement in Young Poor Readers: A Pragmatic Cluster-Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial

    PubMed Central

    Cogo-Moreira, Hugo; de Ávila, Clara Regina Brandão; Ploubidis, George B.; Mari, Jair de Jesus

    2013-01-01

    Introduction Difficulties in word-level reading skills are prevalent in Brazilian schools and may deter children from gaining the knowledge obtained through reading and academic achievement. Music education has emerged as a potential method to improve reading skills because due to a common neurobiological substratum. Objective To evaluate the effectiveness of music education for the improvement of reading skills and academic achievement among children (eight to 10 years of age) with reading difficulties. Method 235 children with reading difficulties in 10 schools participated in a five-month, randomized clinical trial in cluster (RCT) in an impoverished zone within the city of São Paulo to test the effects of music education intervention while assessing reading skills and academic achievement during the school year. Five schools were chosen randomly to incorporate music classes (n = 114), and five served as controls (n = 121). Two different methods of analysis were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention: The standard method was intention-to-treat (ITT), and the other was the Complier Average Causal Effect (CACE) estimation method, which took compliance status into account. Results The ITT analyses were not very promising; only one marginal effect existed for the rate of correct real words read per minute. Indeed, considering ITT, improvements were observed in the secondary outcomes (slope of Portuguese = 0.21 [p<0.001] and slope of math = 0.25 [p<0.001]). As for CACE estimation (i.e., complier children versus non-complier children), more promising effects were observed in terms of the rate of correct words read per minute [β = 13.98, p<0.001] and phonological awareness [β = 19.72, p<0.001] as well as secondary outcomes (academic achievement in Portuguese [β = 0.77, p<0.0001] and math [β = 0.49, p<0.001] throughout the school year). Conclusion The results may be seen as promising, but they are not, in themselves

  17. Closing the social-class achievement gap: a difference-education intervention improves first-generation students' academic performance and all students' college transition.

    PubMed

    Stephens, Nicole M; Hamedani, MarYam G; Destin, Mesmin

    2014-04-01

    College students who do not have parents with 4-year degrees (first-generation students) earn lower grades and encounter more obstacles to success than do students who have at least one parent with a 4-year degree (continuing-generation students). In the study reported here, we tested a novel intervention designed to reduce this social-class achievement gap with a randomized controlled trial (N = 168). Using senior college students' real-life stories, we conducted a difference-education intervention with incoming students about how their diverse backgrounds can shape what they experience in college. Compared with a standard intervention that provided similar stories of college adjustment without highlighting students' different backgrounds, the difference-education intervention eliminated the social-class achievement gap by increasing first-generation students' tendency to seek out college resources (e.g., meeting with professors) and, in turn, improving their end-of-year grade point averages. The difference-education intervention also improved the college transition for all students on numerous psychosocial outcomes (e.g., mental health and engagement).

  18. Concave Pit-Containing Scaffold Surfaces Improve Stem Cell-Derived Osteoblast Performance and Lead to Significant Bone Tissue Formation

    PubMed Central

    Cusella-De Angelis, Maria Gabriella; Laino, Gregorio; Piattelli, Adriano; Pacifici, Maurizio; De Rosa, Alfredo; Papaccio, Gianpaolo

    2007-01-01

    Background Scaffold surface features are thought to be important regulators of stem cell performance and endurance in tissue engineering applications, but details about these fundamental aspects of stem cell biology remain largely unclear. Methodology and Findings In the present study, smooth clinical-grade lactide-coglyolic acid 85:15 (PLGA) scaffolds were carved as membranes and treated with NMP (N-metil-pyrrolidone) to create controlled subtractive pits or microcavities. Scanning electron and confocal microscopy revealed that the NMP-treated membranes contained: (i) large microcavities of 80–120 µm in diameter and 40–100 µm in depth, which we termed primary; and (ii) smaller microcavities of 10–20 µm in diameter and 3–10 µm in depth located within the primary cavities, which we termed secondary. We asked whether a microcavity-rich scaffold had distinct bone-forming capabilities compared to a smooth one. To do so, mesenchymal stem cells derived from human dental pulp were seeded onto the two types of scaffold and monitored over time for cytoarchitectural characteristics, differentiation status and production of important factors, including bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). We found that the microcavity-rich scaffold enhanced cell adhesion: the cells created intimate contact with secondary microcavities and were polarized. These cytological responses were not seen with the smooth-surface scaffold. Moreover, cells on the microcavity-rich scaffold released larger amounts of BMP-2 and VEGF into the culture medium and expressed higher alkaline phosphatase activity. When this type of scaffold was transplanted into rats, superior bone formation was elicited compared to cells seeded on the smooth scaffold. Conclusion In conclusion, surface microcavities appear to support a more vigorous osteogenic response of stem cells and should be used in the design of therapeutic substrates to improve bone repair and

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-01

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

  20. Significantly improved dehydrogenation of ball-milled MgH2 doped with CoFe2O4 nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shan, Jiawei; Li, Ping; Wan, Qi; Zhai, Fuqiang; Zhang, Jun; Li, Ziliang; Liu, Zhaojiang; Volinsky, Alex A.; Qu, Xuanhui

    2014-12-01

    CoFe2O4 nanoparticles are added to magnesium hydride (MgH2) by high-energy ball milling in order to improve its hydriding properties. The hydrogen storage properties and catalytic mechanism are investigated by pressure-composition-temperature (PCT), differential thermal analysis (DTA), X-ray diffraction (XRD), field-emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The nonisothermal desorption results show that the onset desorption temperature of the MgH2 + 7 mol% CoFe2O4 is 160 °C, which is 200 °C lower than of the as-received MgH2. The dehydrogenation process of the MgH2 doped with the CoFe2O4 nanoparticles includes two steps. DTA curves and XRD patterns reveal that a chemical reaction happens between MgH2 and CoFe2O4, forming the final products of the ternary combination, corresponding to Co3Fe7, MgO and Co. The onset desorption temperature of the ball-milled MgH2 doped with Co3Fe7, MgO and Co is about 260 °C, approximately 100 °C lower than the un-doped MgH2, demonstrating that the ternary combination (Co3Fe7, MgO, and Co) also has a great catalytic effect on the MgH2 hydrogen storage properties. It is also confirmed that the various methods of adding the ternary combination have different effects on the MgH2 hydriding-dehydriding process.

  1. Significant Improvement of Puncture Accuracy and Fluoroscopy Reduction in Percutaneous Transforaminal Endoscopic Discectomy With Novel Lumbar Location System: Preliminary Report of Prospective Hello Study.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    Prospective nonrandomized control study.The study aimed to investigate the implication of the HE's Lumbar LOcation (HELLO) system in improving the puncture accuracy and reducing fluoroscopy in percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic discectomy (PTED).Percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic discectomy is one of the most popular minimally invasive spine surgeries that heavily depend on repeated fluoroscopy. Increased fluoroscopy will induce higher radiation exposure to surgeons and patients. Accurate puncture in PTED can be achieved by accurate preoperative location and definite trajectory.The HELLO system mainly consists of self-made surface locator and puncture-assisted device. The surface locator was used to identify the exact puncture target and the puncture-assisted device was used to optimize the puncture trajectory. Patients who had single L4/5 or L5/S1 lumbar intervertebral disc herniation and underwent PTED were included the study. Patients receiving the HELLO system were assigned in Group A, and those taking conventional method were assigned in Group B. Study primary endpoint was puncture times and fluoroscopic times, and the secondary endpoint was location time and operation time.A total of 62 patients who received PTED were included in this study. The average age was 45.35 ± 8.70 years in Group A and 46.61 ± 7.84 years in Group B (P = 0.552). There were no significant differences in gender, body mass index, conservative time, and surgical segment between the 2 groups (P > 0.05). The puncture times were 1.19 ± 0.48 in Group A and 6.03 ± 1.87 in Group B (P < 0.001). The fluoroscopic times were 14.03 ± 2.54 in Group A and 25.19 ± 4.28 in Group B (P < 0.001). The preoperative location time was 4.67 ± 1.41 minutes in Group A and 6.98 ± 0.94 minutes in Group B (P < 0.001). The operation time was 79.42 ± 10.15 minutes in Group A and 89.65 ± 14.06 minutes in Group B (P = 0.002). The

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-06-29

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

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

    PubMed

    Zan, Feng; Ren, Jicun

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yiwen; Ni, Bing-Jie

    2015-01-01

    The application of anaerobic ammonium oxidation (Anammox) process is often limited by the slow growth rate of Anammox bacteria. As the essential substrate element that required for culturing Anammox sludge, Fe (II) is expected to affect Anammox bacterial growth. This work systematically studied the effects of Fe (II) addition on Anammox activity based on the kinetic analysis of specific growth rate using data from batch tests with an enriched Anammox sludge at different dosing levels. Results clearly demonstrated that appropriate Fe (II) dosing (i.e., 0.09 mM) significantly enhanced the specific Anammox growth rate up to 0.172 d−1 compared to 0.118 d−1 at regular Fe (II) level (0.03 mM). The relationship between Fe (II) concentration and specific Anammox growth rate was found to be well described by typical substrate inhibition kinetics, which was integrated into currently well-established Anammox model to describe the enhanced Anammox growth with Fe (II) addition. The validity of the integrated Anammox model was verified using long-term experimental data from three independent Anammox reactors with different Fe (II) dosing levels. This Fe (II)-based approach could be potentially implemented to enhance the process rate for possible mainstream application of Anammox technology, in order for an energy autarchic wastewater treatment. PMID:25644239

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  8. Exploratory Analyses of the Long-Term Effects of Improving Behavior, Attendance, and Educational Achievement in Grades 1-6 and 8-12. ACT Research Report Series, 2012 (3)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sawyer, Richard; Gibson, Neal

    2012-01-01

    We studied relationships among background characteristics, behavioral infractions, punishments, attendance, and educational achievement, using longitudinal data of students in grades 1-6 and 8-12. We estimated how much hypothesized early improvements in educational achievement or sustained improvements in behavior and attendance might ultimately…

  9. Kazakhstan can achieve ambitious HIV targets despite expected donor withdrawal by combining improved ART procurement mechanisms with allocative and implementation efficiencies

    PubMed Central

    Benedikt, Clemens; Bokazhanova, Aliya; Đurić, Predrag; Petrenko, Irina; Ganina, Lolita; Kelly, Sherrie L.; Stuart, Robyn M.; Kerr, Cliff C.; Vinichenko, Tatiana; Zhang, Shufang; Hamelmann, Christoph; Manova, Manoela; Masaki, Emiko; Wilson, David P.; Gray, Richard T.

    2017-01-01

    Background Despite a non-decreasing HIV epidemic, international donors are soon expected to withdraw funding from Kazakhstan. Here we analyze how allocative, implementation, and technical efficiencies could strengthen the national HIV response under assumptions of future budget levels. Methodology We used the Optima model to project future scenarios of the HIV epidemic in Kazakhstan that varied in future antiretroviral treatment unit costs and management expenditure—two areas identified for potential cost-reductions. We determined optimal allocations across HIV programs to satisfy either national targets or ambitious targets. For each scenario, we considered two cases of future HIV financing: the 2014 national budget maintained into the future and the 2014 budget without current international investment. Findings Kazakhstan can achieve its national HIV targets with the current budget by (1) optimally re-allocating resources across programs and (2) either securing a 35% [30%–39%] reduction in antiretroviral treatment drug costs or reducing management costs by 44% [36%–58%] of 2014 levels. Alternatively, a combination of antiretroviral treatment and management cost-reductions could be sufficient. Furthermore, Kazakhstan can achieve ambitious targets of halving new infections and AIDS-related deaths by 2020 compared to 2014 levels by attaining a 67% reduction in antiretroviral treatment costs, a 19% [14%–27%] reduction in management costs, and allocating resources optimally. Significance With Kazakhstan facing impending donor withdrawal, it is important for the HIV response to achieve more with available resources. This analysis can help to guide HIV response planners in directing available funding to achieve the greatest yield from investments. The key changes recommended were considered realistic by Kazakhstan country representatives. PMID:28207809

  10. Implementation of the peer-led team-learning instructional model as a stopgap measure improves student achievement for students opting out of laboratory.

    PubMed

    Snyder, Julia J; Carter, B Elijah; Wiles, Jason R

    2015-03-02

    In entry-level university courses in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, students participating in associated laboratory sessions generally do better than those who have no related lab classes. This is a problem when, for various reasons, not enough lab sections can be offered for students and/or when students opt out of optional available lab courses. Faced with such a situation, this study evaluated the efficacy of the peer-led team-learning (PLTL) instructional model as a potential method for narrowing the achievement gap among undergraduate students electing not to enroll in an optional laboratory component of an introductory biology course. In peer-led workshops, small groups of students participated in solving problems and other activities that encouraged active learning. Students led by peer leaders attained significantly higher exam and final course grades in introductory biology than comparable students not participating in PLTL. Among the introductory biology students who opted not to enroll in the optional lab course, those who participated in PLTL averaged more than a letter grade higher than those who did not. This difference was statistically significant, and the PLTL workshops almost entirely closed the achievement gap in lecture exam and final grades for students who did not take the lab.

  11. Significantly improved luminescence properties of nitrogen-polar (0001̅) InGaN multiple quantum wells grown by pulsed metalorganic chemical vapor deposition.

    PubMed

    Song, Jie; Chang, Shih-Pang; Zhang, Cheng; Hsu, Ta-Cheng; Han, Jung

    2015-01-14

    We have demonstrated nitrogen-polar (0001̅) (N-polar) InGaN multiple quantum wells (MQWs) with significantly improved luminescence properties prepared by pulsed metalorganic chemical vapor deposition. During the growth of InGaN quantum wells, Ga and N sources are alternately injected into the reactor to alter the surface stoichiometry. The influence of flow duration in pulsed growth mode on the luminescence properties has been studied. We find that use of pulsed-mode creates a high density of hexagonal mounds with an increased InGaN growth rate and enhanced In composition around screw-type dislocations, resulting in remarkably improved luminescence properties. The mechanism of enhanced luminescence caused by the hexagonal mounds is discussed. Luminescence properties of N-polar InGaN MQWs grown with short pulse durations have been significantly improved in comparison with a sample grown by a conventional continuous growth method.

  12. 'No delays achiever'.

    PubMed

    2007-05-01

    The latest version of the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement's 'no delays achiever', a web based tool created to help NHS organisations achieve the 18-week target for GP referrals to first treatment, is available at www.nodelaysachiever.nhs.uk.

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

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Alan Black; Arnis Judzis

    2005-09-30

    This document details the progress to date on the OPTIMIZATION OF DEEP DRILLING PERFORMANCE--DEVELOPMENT AND BENCHMARK TESTING OF ADVANCED DIAMOND PRODUCT DRILL BITS AND HP/HT FLUIDS TO SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE RATES OF PENETRATION contract for the year starting October 2004 through September 2005. The industry cost shared program aims to benchmark drilling rates of penetration in selected simulated deep formations and to significantly improve ROP through a team development of aggressive diamond product drill bit--fluid system technologies. Overall the objectives are as follows: Phase 1--Benchmark ''best in class'' diamond and other product drilling bits and fluids and develop concepts for a next level of deep drilling performance; Phase 2--Develop advanced smart bit-fluid prototypes and test at large scale; and Phase 3--Field trial smart bit--fluid concepts, modify as necessary and commercialize products. As of report date, TerraTek has concluded all Phase 1 testing and is planning Phase 2 development.

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

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-04

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    The Arabidopsis gene AtNHX1 encodes a vacuolar membrane-bound sodium/proton (Na+/H+) antiporter that transports Na+ into the vacuole and exports H+ into the cytoplasm. The Arabidopsis gene SOS1 encodes a plasma membrane-bound Na+/H+ antiporter that exports Na+ to the extracellular space and imports H+ into the plant cell. Plants rely on these enzymes either to keep Na+ out of the cell or to sequester Na+ into vacuoles to avoid the toxic level of Na+ in the cytoplasm. Overexpression of AtNHX1 or SOS1 could improve salt tolerance in transgenic plants, but the improved salt tolerance is limited. NaCl at concentration >200 mM would kill AtNHX1-overexpressing or SOS1-overexpressing plants. Here it is shown that co-overexpressing AtNHX1 and SOS1 could further improve salt tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis plants, making transgenic Arabidopsis able to tolerate up to 250 mM NaCl treatment. Furthermore, co-overexpression of AtNHX1 and SOS1 could significantly reduce yield loss caused by the combined stresses of heat and salt, confirming the hypothesis that stacked overexpression of two genes could substantially improve tolerance against multiple stresses. This research serves as a proof of concept for improving salt tolerance in other plants including crops. PMID:26985021

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

    The Arabidopsis gene AtNHX1 encodes a vacuolar membrane-bound sodium/proton (Na(+)/H(+)) antiporter that transports Na(+) into the vacuole and exports H(+) into the cytoplasm. The Arabidopsis gene SOS1 encodes a plasma membrane-bound Na(+)/H(+) antiporter that exports Na(+) to the extracellular space and imports H(+) into the plant cell. Plants rely on these enzymes either to keep Na(+) out of the cell or to sequester Na(+) into vacuoles to avoid the toxic level of Na(+) in the cytoplasm. Overexpression of AtNHX1 or SOS1 could improve salt tolerance in transgenic plants, but the improved salt tolerance is limited. NaCl at concentration >200 mM would kill AtNHX1-overexpressing or SOS1-overexpressing plants. Here it is shown that co-overexpressing AtNHX1 and SOS1 could further improve salt tolerance in transgenic Arabidopsis plants, making transgenic Arabidopsis able to tolerate up to 250 mM NaCl treatment. Furthermore, co-overexpression of AtNHX1 and SOS1 could significantly reduce yield loss caused by the combined stresses of heat and salt, confirming the hypothesis that stacked overexpression of two genes could substantially improve tolerance against multiple stresses. This research serves as a proof of concept for improving salt tolerance in other plants including crops.

  19. Greater years of maternal schooling and higher scores on academic achievement tests are independently associated with improved management of child diarrhea by rural Guatemalan mothers.

    PubMed

    Webb, Aimee L; Ramakrishnan, Usha; Stein, Aryeh D; Sellen, Daniel W; Merchant, Moeza; Martorell, Reynaldo

    2010-09-01

    Appropriate home management can alleviate many of the consequences of diarrhea including malnutrition, impaired development, growth faltering, and mortality. Maternal cognitive ability, years of schooling, and acquired academic skills are hypothesized to improve child health by improving maternal child care practices, such as illness management. Using information collected longitudinally in 1996-1999 from 466 rural Guatemalan women with children <36 months, we examined the independent associations between maternal years of schooling, academic skills, and scores on the Raven's Progressive Matrices and an illness management index (IMI). Women scoring in the lowest and middle tertiles of academic skills scored lower on the IMI compared to women in the highest tertile (-0.24 [95% CI: -0.54, 0.07]; -0.30 [95% CI: -0.54, -0.06], respectively) independent of sociodemographic factors, schooling, and Raven's scores. Among mothers with less than 1 year of schooling, scoring in the lowest tertile on the Raven's Progressive Matrices compared to the highest was significantly associated with scoring one point lower on the IMI (-1.18 [95% CI: -2.20, -0.17]). Greater academic skills were independently associated with maternal care during episodes of infant diarrhea. Schooling of young girls and/or community based programs that provide women with academic skills such as literacy, numeracy and knowledge could potentially improve mothers' care giving practices.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  3. In pursuit of high-value healthcare: the case for improving quality and achieving equity in a time of healthcare transformation.

    PubMed

    Betancourt, Joseph R

    2014-01-01

    The passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and current efforts in payment reform signal the beginning of a significant transformation for the US healthcare system. As we embark on this transformation, disparities have emerged as the hallmark of low-value healthcare--care that does not meet quality standards, is inefficient, and is usually of high cost. A new set of structures is being developed to facilitate increased access to care that is cost-effective and high in quality--otherwise known as high-value healthcare. Addressing disparities and achieving equity are the perfect target areas for recouping value, and doing so will pave the way for high-value healthcare. As healthcare leaders make difficult choices, they should consider the realities of healthcare equity. First, racial and ethnic disparities in healthcare persist and are a clear sign of poor-quality, low-value healthcare. Second, the root causes of these disparities are complex, but a well-developed set of evidence-based approaches is available to help leaders address healthcare inequity. Third, evidence suggests that being inattentive to the root causes of disparities adversely affects efficiency and an organization's bottom line. Finally, if healthcare organizations are progressive, thoughtful, and prepared for success in such an environment, a new healthcare system that offers accessible, high-value, equitable, culturally competent, and high-quality care to all is well within reach.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-12

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

  5. An Industry/DOE Program to Develop and Benchmark Advanced Diamond Product Drill Bits and HP/HT Drilling Fluids to Significantly Improve Rates of Penetration

    SciTech Connect

    TerraTek

    2007-06-30

    A deep drilling research program titled 'An Industry/DOE Program to Develop and Benchmark Advanced Diamond Product Drill Bits and HP/HT Drilling Fluids to Significantly Improve Rates of Penetration' was conducted at TerraTek's Drilling and Completions Laboratory. Drilling tests were run to simulate deep drilling by using high bore pressures and high confining and overburden stresses. The purpose of this testing was to gain insight into practices that would improve rates of penetration and mechanical specific energy while drilling under high pressure conditions. Thirty-seven test series were run utilizing a variety of drilling parameters which allowed analysis of the performance of drill bits and drilling fluids. Five different drill bit types or styles were tested: four-bladed polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC), 7-bladed PDC in regular and long profile, roller-cone, and impregnated. There were three different rock types used to simulate deep formations: Mancos shale, Carthage marble, and Crab Orchard sandstone. The testing also analyzed various drilling fluids and the extent to which they improved drilling. The PDC drill bits provided the best performance overall. The impregnated and tungsten carbide insert roller-cone drill bits performed poorly under the conditions chosen. The cesium formate drilling fluid outperformed all other drilling muds when drilling in the Carthage marble and Mancos shale with PDC drill bits. The oil base drilling fluid with manganese tetroxide weighting material provided the best performance when drilling the Crab Orchard sandstone.

  6. The synthesis of lamellar nano MgB2 grains with nanoimpurities, flux pinning centers and their significantly improved critical current density.

    PubMed

    Ma, Zongqing; Liu, Yongchang; Cai, Qi

    2012-03-21

    MgB(2) superconductors with unique microstructures were rapidly fabricated at low temperatures, and exhibited significantly improved critical current density (J(c)). According to the microstructure observations, the prepared samples consisted of lamellar nano MgB(2) grains with many embedded nanoimpurities (about 10 nm). The formation of these lamellar nano MgB(2) grains is associated with the presence of a local Mg-Cu liquid at sintering temperatures as low as 575 °C. The ball milling treatment of the original powders also plays a positive role in the growth of lamellar grains. Based on an analysis of the relationship between resistivity and temperature, the lamellar nano MgB(2) grains in the prepared sample possess better grain connectivity than the typical morphology of MgB(2) samples prepared by traditional high-temperature sintering. Furthermore, the presence of many nano MgB(2) grain boundaries and nano impurities in the prepared sample can obviously increase the flux pinning centers in accordance with the analysis of flux pinning behavior. Both factors mentioned above contribute to the significant improvement in J(c) from low field to relative high field. The method developed in the present work is an effective and low-cost way to further enhance J(c) in MgB(2) superconductors across a wide range of applied magnetic fields without using expensive nanometer-sized dopants.

  7. Successful Application of a Canadian Mental Health Curriculum Resource by Usual Classroom Teachers in Significantly and Sustainably Improving Student Mental Health Literacy

    PubMed Central

    Kutcher, Stan; Wei, Yifeng; Morgan, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To investigate whether the significant and substantive findings from a previous study of youth mental health literacy (MHL) could be replicated using the same methods in another population. Method: We examined the impact of a curriculum resource, the Mental Health and High School Curriculum Guide (The Guide), taught by usual classroom teachers on students’ knowledge and attitudes related to mental health and mental illness in Canadian secondary schools. Survey data were collected before, immediately after, and 2 months after implementation of The Guide by teachers in usual classroom teaching. We conducted paired-sample t tests and calculated the Cohen d value to determine outcomes and impact of the curriculum resource application. Results: One hundred fourteen students were matched for analysis of knowledge data and 112 students were matched for analysis of attitude data at pre-intervention, post-intervention, and 2-month follow-up time periods. Following classroom exposure to the curriculum resource, students’ knowledge scores increased significantly and substantively, compared with baseline (P < 0.001, d = 1.11), and this was maintained at 2-month follow-up (P < 0.001, d = 0.91). Similar findings for attitude improvement were found (P < 0.001, d = 0.66), and this improvement was maintained at 2-month follow-up (P < 0.001, d = 0.52). Conclusions: These findings corroborate those from a previous study conducted in a different location. Taken together these results suggest a simple but effective approach to improving MHL in young people by embedding a classroom resource, delivered by usual classroom teachers in usual school settings. PMID:26720827

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

  9. On-line liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry with dilution line to achieve large volume urine injection for the improvement of sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Liu, Min; Yan, Wei; Lin, Jin-Ming; Hashi, Yuki; Liu, Li-Bin; Wei, Yanlin

    2008-07-11

    A unique automated on-line high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS) method was developed allowing injection of a large volume of urine for the improvement of sensitivity using estrogens as analytes. The urine sample was precipitated by acetonitrile (sample:acetonitrile, 1:2, v/v) to remove most proteins. Then the supernatant was directly delivered at 0.3 mL/min by a pump, which broke through the limit of autosampler with fixed loop. Then the sample was loaded onto a restricted access media (RAM) pre-column after on-line dilution with NH(4)Ac solution which was delivered by another pump under high flow-rate. After the addition of on-line dilution line, the content of organic solvent in the sample aliquot was sharply decreased so that the analytes were effectively trapped by pre-column. In addition, another 6-port valve was added to selectively deliver the effluent containing analytes into MS, which minimized the pollution of the MS and matrix effect. After optimization of the condition of extraction method, 3 mL sample (containing 1 mL urine) could be successfully enriched. The injection volume increased 10 times compared with conventional on-line LC-MS methods for biofluid analysis, significantly improving sensitivity. Moreover, no obvious increase of column pressure was observed after 300 injections. The method was validated by spiking urine. Linearity was determined by sample which was in the range of 1-500 ng/mL. The process efficiency ranged from 70.2 to 106% with RSDs less than 15% with the exception of a few analytes. The limit of detection (LOD) and quantification (LOQ) ranged from 0.3 to 2 ng/mL and 1 to 8 ng/mL, respectively, corresponding a decrease of 1-2 orders of magnitude compared with those of off-line and on-line methods.

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

    PubMed

    Matondo, Féfé Khuabi; Takaisi, Kikuni; Nkuadiolandu, Adolphine Bedi; Kazadi Lukusa, Aimé; Aloni, Michel Ntetani

    2016-01-01

    Aim. Despite high levels of malnutrition, there is still very little information on the nutritional benefits of Spirulina, a natural alga that provides essential amino acids, rare essential lipids, and numerous minerals and vitamins, to undernourished children in the world. Methods. We carried out a prospective study of 50 children aged between six and 60 months. The intervention group consisted of 16 children who received 10 g of Spirulina daily, as well as the local diet administered by the nutritional centre, and the control group of 34 children who just received the local diet. Both groups of children were assessed on day zero, day 15, and day 30. Results. After treatment, the weight-for-age Z scores and weight-for-height Z scores increased significantly in the intervention group. At day 15, there was a statistically significant difference between the mean corpuscular volume, total proteins, and albumin (p < 0.05) in both groups, in favour of the intervention group, and at day 30, this difference extended to all of the studied parameters (p < 0.05). Conclusion. This study found that the nutritional status of undernourished children who received Spirulina supplements as well as the local diet administered by the nutritional centre improved quickly and significantly.

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Takaisi, Kikuni; Nkuadiolandu, Adolphine Bedi; Kazadi Lukusa, Aimé; Aloni, Michel Ntetani

    2016-01-01

    Aim. Despite high levels of malnutrition, there is still very little information on the nutritional benefits of Spirulina, a natural alga that provides essential amino acids, rare essential lipids, and numerous minerals and vitamins, to undernourished children in the world. Methods. We carried out a prospective study of 50 children aged between six and 60 months. The intervention group consisted of 16 children who received 10 g of Spirulina daily, as well as the local diet administered by the nutritional centre, and the control group of 34 children who just received the local diet. Both groups of children were assessed on day zero, day 15, and day 30. Results. After treatment, the weight-for-age Z scores and weight-for-height Z scores increased significantly in the intervention group. At day 15, there was a statistically significant difference between the mean corpuscular volume, total proteins, and albumin (p < 0.05) in both groups, in favour of the intervention group, and at day 30, this difference extended to all of the studied parameters (p < 0.05). Conclusion. This study found that the nutritional status of undernourished children who received Spirulina supplements as well as the local diet administered by the nutritional centre improved quickly and significantly. PMID:27777589

  13. Achievability for telerobotic systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kress, Reid L.; Draper, John V.; Hamel, William R.

    2001-02-01

    Methods are needed to improve the capabilities of autonomous robots to perform tasks that are difficult for contemporary robots, and to identify those tasks that robots cannot perform. Additionally, in the realm of remote handling, methods are needed to assess which tasks and/or subtasks are candidates for automation. We are developing a new approach to understanding the capability of autonomous robotic systems. This approach uses formalized methods for determining the achievability of tasks for robots, that is, the likelihood that an autonomous robot or telerobot can successfully complete a particular task. Any autonomous system may be represented in achievability space by the volume describing that system's capabilities within the 3-axis space delineated by perception, cognition, and action. This volume may be thought of as a probability density with achievability decreasing as the distance from the centroid of the volume increases. Similarly, any task may be represented within achievability space. However, as tasks have more finite requirements for perception, cognition, and action, each may be represented as a point (or, more accurately, as a small sphere) within achievability space. Analysis of achievability can serve to identify, a priori, the survivability of robotic systems and the likelihood of mission success; it can be used to plan a mission or portions of a mission; it can be used to modify a mission plan to accommodate unpredicted occurrences; it can also serve to identify needs for modifications to robotic systems or tasks to improve achievability. .

  14. Nanoscale Polysulfides Reactors Achieved by Chemical Au-S Interaction: Improving the Performance of Li-S Batteries on the Electrode Level.

    PubMed

    Fan, Chao-Ying; Xiao, Pin; Li, Huan-Huan; Wang, Hai-Feng; Zhang, Lin-Lin; Sun, Hai-Zhu; Wu, Xing-Long; Xie, Hai-Ming; Zhang, Jing-Ping

    2015-12-23

    In this work, the chemical interaction of cathode and lithium polysulfides (LiPSs), which is a more targeted approach for completely preventing the shuttle of LiPSs in lithium-sulfur (Li-S) batteries, has been established on the electrode level. Through simply posttreating the ordinary sulfur cathode in atmospheric environment just for several minutes, the Au nanoparticles (Au NPs) were well-decorated on/in the surface and pores of the electrode composed of commercial acetylene black (CB) and sulfur powder. The Au NPs can covalently stabilize the sulfur/LiPSs, which is advantageous for restricting the shuttle effect. Moreover, the LiPSs reservoirs of Au NPs with high conductivity can significantly control the deposition of the trapped LiPSs, contributing to the uniform distribution of sulfur species upon charging/discharging. The slight modification of the cathode with <3 wt % Au NPs has favorably prospered the cycle capacity and stability of Li-S batteries. Moreover, this cathode exhibited an excellent anti-self-discharge ability. The slight decoration for the ordinary electrode, which can be easily accessed in the industrial process, provides a facile strategy for improving the performance of commercial carbon-based Li-S batteries toward practical application.

  15. Improved continuity of reduced graphene oxide on polyester fabric by use of polypyrrole to achieve a highly electro-conductive and flexible substrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berendjchi, Amirhosein; Khajavi, Ramin; Yousefi, Ali Akbar; Yazdanshenas, Mohammad Esmail

    2016-02-01

    A flexible and highly conductive fabric can be applied for wearable electronics and as a pliable counter electrode for photovoltaics. Methods such as surface coating of fabrics with conductive polymers and materials have been developed, but the roughness of fabric is a challenge because it creates discontinuity in the coated layer. The present study first coated polyethylene terephthalate (PET) fabric with reduced graphene oxide sheets; RGO and then filled the gaps with polypyrrole (PPy). The samples were first dipped in graphene oxide (GO) and then reduced to RGO. They were next coated with PPy by in situ polymerization. The results showed that the presence of oxidative agent during synthesis of PPy oxidized the RGO to some extent on the previously RGO-coated samples. PPy was more uniform on samples pre-coated with RGO in comparison those coated with raw PET. The RGO-PPy coated samples exhibited 53% and 263% lower surface resistivity values than samples coated only with PPy and RGO, respectively. There was no significant difference between the tenacity of samples but the bending rigidity of samples increased. The RGO-PPy coated fabric displayed properties, such as excellent UV blocking (UPF = 73), antibacterial activity, improved electrochemical behavior and thermal stability which make it a multifunctional fabric.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  17. OPTIMIZATION OF DEEP DRILLING PERFORMANCE--DEVELOPMENT AND BENCHMARK TESTING OF ADVANCED DIAMOND PRODUCT DRILL BITS & HP/HT FLUIDS TO SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE RATES OF PENETRATION

    SciTech Connect

    Alan Black; Arnis Judzis

    2004-10-01

    The industry cost shared program aims to benchmark drilling rates of penetration in selected simulated deep formations and to significantly improve ROP through a team development of aggressive diamond product drill bit--fluid system technologies. Overall the objectives are as follows: Phase 1--Benchmark ''best in class'' diamond and other product drilling bits and fluids and develop concepts for a next level of deep drilling performance; Phase 2--Develop advanced smart bit-fluid prototypes and test at large scale; and Phase 3--Field trial smart bit-fluid concepts, modify as necessary and commercialize products. As of report date, TerraTek has concluded all major preparations for the high pressure drilling campaign. Baker Hughes encountered difficulties in providing additional pumping capacity before TerraTek's scheduled relocation to another facility, thus the program was delayed further to accommodate the full testing program.

  18. Intrarectal Amifostine During External Beam Radiation Therapy for Prostate Cancer Produces Significant Improvements in Quality of Life Measured by EPIC Score

    SciTech Connect

    Simone, Nicole L.; Menard, Cynthia; Soule, Benjamin P.; Albert, Paul S.; Guion, Peter; Smith, Sharon; Godette, Denise; Crouse, Nancy S.; Sciuto, Linda C.; Cooley-Zgela, Theresa; Camphausen, Kevin; Coleman, C. Norman; Singh, Anurag K. E-mail: singan@mail.nih.gov

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: To test whether intrarectal amifostine limits symptoms of radiation proctitis, measured by using the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) gastrointestinal (GI) toxicity score and the Expanded Prostate Cancer Index Composite (EPIC) score. Methods and Materials: Patients with localized prostate cancer received amifostine as a rectal suspension 30-45 minutes before daily three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy. The first 18 patients received 1 g of amifostine, and the next 12 patients received 2 g. Toxicity was assessed at baseline, during treatment, and at follow-up visits by using RTOG grading and the EPIC Quality of Life (QoL) 50-item questionnaire. The Bowel Function subset of the bowel domain (EPIC-BF), which targets symptom severity, and the Bowel Bother subset of the bowel domain (EPIC-BB), which assesses QoL, were evaluated and compared with the RTOG GI toxicity score. Results: Median follow-up was 30 months (range, 18-36 months). Overall, EPIC-BF and EPIC-BB scores both tracked closely with the RTOG GI toxicity score. Seven weeks after the start of radiation therapy, the incidence of RTOG Grade 2 toxicity was 33% in the 1-g group (6/18 patients) compared with 0% (0/12 patients) in the 2-g group and trended toward statistical significance (p = 0.06). A significant difference between amifostine groups was observed using the EPIC-BF score at 7 weeks (p = 0.04). A difference in EPIC-BB scores between dose groups was evident at 7 weeks (p = 0.07) and was significant at 12 months (p = 0.04). Conclusions: Higher doses of amifostine produced significant improvements in acute and late bowel QoL (up to 1 year after therapy), measured using the EPIC score.

  19. Steam cooking significantly improves in vitro bile acid binding of collard greens, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, green bell pepper, and cabbage.

    PubMed

    Kahlon, Talwinder Singh; Chiu, Mei-Chen M; Chapman, Mary H

    2008-06-01

    Bile acid binding capacity has been related to the cholesterol-lowering potential of foods and food fractions. Lowered recirculation of bile acids results in utilization of cholesterol to synthesize bile acid and reduced fat absorption. Secondary bile acids have been associated with increased risk of cancer. Bile acid binding potential has been related to lowering the risk of heart disease and that of cancer. Previously, we have reported bile acid binding by several uncooked vegetables. However, most vegetables are consumed after cooking. How cooking would influence in vitro bile acid binding of various vegetables was investigated using a mixture of bile acids secreted in human bile under physiological conditions. Eight replicate incubations were conducted for each treatment simulating gastric and intestinal digestion, which included a substrate only, a bile acid mixture only, and 6 with substrate and bile acid mixture. Cholestyramine (a cholesterol-lowering, bile acid binding drug) was the positive control treatment and cellulose was the negative control. Relative to cholestyramine, in vitro bile acid binding on dry matter basis was for the collard greens, kale, and mustard greens, 13%; broccoli, 10%; Brussels sprouts and spinach, 8%; green bell pepper, 7%; and cabbage, 5%. These results point to the significantly different (P < or = .05) health-promoting potential of collard greens = kale = mustard greens > broccoli > Brussels sprouts = spinach = green bell pepper > cabbage as indicated by their bile acid binding on dry matter basis. Steam cooking significantly improved the in vitro bile acid binding of collard greens, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, green bell pepper, and cabbage compared with previously observed bile acid binding values for these vegetables raw (uncooked). Inclusion of steam-cooked collard greens, kale, mustard greens, broccoli, green bell pepper, and cabbage in our daily diet as health-promoting vegetables should be emphasized. These green

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

    SciTech Connect

    Alan Black; Arnis Judzis

    2003-10-01

    This document details the progress to date on the OPTIMIZATION OF DEEP DRILLING PERFORMANCE--DEVELOPMENT AND BENCHMARK TESTING OF ADVANCED DIAMOND PRODUCT DRILL BITS AND HP/HT FLUIDS TO SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVE RATES OF PENETRATION contract for the year starting October 2002 through September 2002. The industry cost shared program aims to benchmark drilling rates of penetration in selected simulated deep formations and to significantly improve ROP through a team development of aggressive diamond product drill bit--fluid system technologies. Overall the objectives are as follows: Phase 1--Benchmark ''best in class'' diamond and other product drilling bits and fluids and develop concepts for a next level of deep drilling performance; Phase 2--Develop advanced smart bit--fluid prototypes and test at large scale; and Phase 3--Field trial smart bit--fluid concepts, modify as necessary and commercialize products. Accomplishments to date include the following: 4Q 2002--Project started; Industry Team was assembled; Kick-off meeting was held at DOE Morgantown; 1Q 2003--Engineering meeting was held at Hughes Christensen, The Woodlands Texas to prepare preliminary plans for development and testing and review equipment needs; Operators started sending information regarding their needs for deep drilling challenges and priorities for large-scale testing experimental matrix; Aramco joined the Industry Team as DEA 148 objectives paralleled the DOE project; 2Q 2003--Engineering and planning for high pressure drilling at TerraTek commenced; 3Q 2003--Continuation of engineering and design work for high pressure drilling at TerraTek; Baker Hughes INTEQ drilling Fluids and Hughes Christensen commence planning for Phase 1 testing--recommendations for bits and fluids.

  1. Significantly improving oxygen barrier properties of polylactide via constructing parallel-aligned shish-kebab-like crystals with well-interlocked boundaries.

    PubMed

    Bai, Hongwei; Huang, Chunmei; Xiu, Hao; Zhang, Qin; Deng, Hua; Wang, Ke; Chen, Feng; Fu, Qiang

    2014-04-14

    Recently, some attempts have been made to enhance the gas barrier properties of semicrystalline polymers by precisely controlling the arrangement of their impermeable crystalline lamellae. However, it is still a great challenge to achieve regular arrangement of the lamellae along the direction perpendicular to the gas diffusion path, especially using conventional polymer processing technologies. This work presents a novel and simple strategy to dramatically improve oxygen barrier performance of biobased and biodegradable polylactide (PLA) through constructing parallel-aligned shish-kebab-like crystals with well-interlocked boundaries with the aid of a highly active nucleating agent. The nucleating agent was introduced into PLA by melting compounding and the sheet-like specimens were fabricated by compression molding. We demonstrate that the fibrillar nucleating agent dispersed in PLA melt can serve as shish to induce the change of crystallization habit of PLA from isotopic spherulitic crystals to unique shish-kebab-like crystals and the shear flow in the compression molding can induce the highly ordered alignment of the nucleating agent fibrils as well as the subsequent shish-kebab-like crystals along the direction parallel to the sheet surface. More importantly, the growing lamellae are found to interpenetrate and tightly interlock with each other at the boundary regions of the shish-kebab-like crystals in the later stage of the crystallization, forming a densely packed nanobrick wall structure to prevent gas molecules from permeating through the crystals and thus imparting the PLA sheets with unprecedentedly low oxygen permeability. This work provides not only a successful example of preparing semicrystalline polymer with super gas barrier properties by tailoring crystal superstructure but also a promising route to rapidly fabricate high-performance food packaging materials via industrially meaningful melt processing.

  2. Control-value theory: using achievement emotions to improve understanding of motivation, learning, and performance in medical education: AMEE Guide No. 64.

    PubMed

    Artino, Anthony R; Holmboe, Eric S; Durning, Steven J

    2012-01-01

    In this AMEE Guide, we consider the emergent theoretical and empirical work on human emotion and how this work can inform the theory, research, and practice of medical education. In the Guide, we define emotion, in general, and achievement emotions, more specifically. We describe one of the leading contemporary theories of achievement emotions, control-value theory (Pekrun 2006), and we distinguish between different types of achievement emotions, their proximal antecedents, and their consequences for motivation, learning, and performance. Next, we review the empirical support for control-value theory from non-medical fields and suggest several important implications for educational practice. In this section, we highlight the importance of designing learning environments that foster a high degree of control and value for students. Finally, we end with a discussion of the need for more research on achievement emotions in medical education, and we propose several key research questions we believe will facilitate our understanding of achievement emotions and their impact on important educational outcomes.

  3. Science Achievement of Secondary Agricultural Education Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Sara Vicky

    2012-01-01

    The purposes of this quantitative descriptive and correlational study were to describe the science achievements of secondary agricultural education students and determine if the number of agricultural education courses passed, FFA involvement, and SAE participation would statistically significantly improve students' performance on science…

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2015-06-15

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

  5. Highly Effective Teachers of Latino English Language Learners: Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions That Lead to Improved Language Acquisition and Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moore, Wendy V.

    2016-01-01

    It is predicted that Hispanic school-aged children will outnumber non-Hispanic white students in public schools by 2050 (Wolf, Herman, & Dietel, 2010). While the number of Latino English language learners (ELLs) continues to grow, their educational achievement remains problematic. Data reveal that ELL dropout, mobility, and poverty rates are…

  6. The Economic Benefits of Closing Educational Achievement Gaps: Promoting Growth and Strengthening the Nation by Improving the Educational Outcomes of Children of Color

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lynch, Robert G.; Oakford, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    Our nation is currently experiencing growing levels of income and wealth inequality, which are contributing to longstanding racial and ethnic gaps in education outcomes and other areas. This report quantifies the economic benefits of closing one of the most harmful racial and ethnic gaps: the educational achievement gap that exists between black…

  7. Examining School Improvement through the Lens of Principal and Teacher Flow of Influence in High-Achieving, High-Poverty Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murley, Lisa Downing; Keedy, John L.; Welsh, John F.

    2008-01-01

    Based on the social exchange theory of Homans, Gouldner, and Malinowski, this sociocultural analysis of three elementary schools focused on principal-teacher and teacher-teacher exchanges of instructional influence. Two questions were asked: (a) In what ways, if any, do principals and teachers in high-achieving, high-poverty schools exchange…

  8. School Improvement in Petersburg: A Comprehensive Three-Year Study of the Partnership for Achieving Successful Schools Initiative Model IV Intervention. Final Evaluation Report

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edwards, Joanna; Smith, Karen; Marr, Linda; Wyshynski, Laura

    2005-01-01

    Dr. Jo Lynne DeMary, Virginia's state superintendent of public instruction, requested that the Appalachia Educational Laboratory at Edvantia work in partnership with the Virginia Department of Education and Petersburg City Schools to design and test the Partnership for Achieving Successful Schools Initiative (PA+SS) Model IV Intervention. The goal…

  9. State Test Score Trends through 2008-09, Part 4: Is Achievement Improving and Are Gaps Narrowing for Title I Students?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kober, Nancy; McMurrer, Jennifer; Silva, Malini R.

    2011-01-01

    Title I provides extra instructional services designed to raise achievement for low-performing students in schools with relatively high poverty rates, and for all students in many of the nation's highest-poverty schools. To learn more about how well Title I students are performing academically, the Center on Education Policy (CEP) compared…

  10. The Finest in Professional Development: Engineering byDesign[TM] (EbD[TM]) Curriculum Specialists--Helping Hands for Improving Student Achievement!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burke, Barry N.; Meade, Shelli D.

    2007-01-01

    How can the teachers of today raise student achievement and prepare students to become the next generation of technologists, innovators, designers, and engineers? This article introduces new opportunities for professional development: a cadre of education professionals who are trained to deliver professional development for states, districts, and…

  11. States Now Collect Quality Data but Need to Act to Improve Student Achievement. Data for Action 2010: DQC's State Analysis. National Summary

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Data Quality Campaign, 2011

    2011-01-01

    As state policymakers strive to ensure that every student is taught by an effective teacher and is ready for college and 21st-century careers, they must also make drastic budget cuts. States cannot do more with less without collecting and using quality data to determine which programs and policies increase student achievement and the state's…

  12. A Class Size Reduction (CSR) Implementation Plan Based on an Evaluative Study of CSRs for the Improvement of Third Grade Reading Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vandyke, Barbara Adrienne

    2009-01-01

    For too long, educators have been left to their own devices when implementing educational policies, initiatives, strategies, and interventions, and they have longed to see the full benefits of these programs, especially in reading achievement. However, instead of determining whether a policy/initiative is working, educators have been asked to…

  13. Can Community and School-Based Supports Improve the Achievement of First-Generation Immigrant Children Attending High-Poverty Schools?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dearing, Eric; Walsh, Mary E.; Sibley, Erin; Lee-St.John, Terry; Foley, Claire; Raczek, Anastacia E.

    2016-01-01

    Using a quasi-experimental design, the effects of a student support intervention were estimated for the math and reading achievement of first-generation immigrant children (n = 667, M = 11.05 years of age) attending high-poverty, urban elementary schools. The intervention was designed to help schools identify developmental strengths and barriers…

  14. Does Self-Regulated Learning-Skills Training Improve High-School Students' Self-Regulation, Math Achievement, and Motivation While Using an Intelligent Tutor?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barrus, Angela

    2013-01-01

    This study empirically evaluated the effectiveness of the instructional design, learning tools, and role of the teacher in three versions of a semester-long, high-school remedial Algebra I course to determine what impact self-regulated learning skills and learning pattern training have on students' self-regulation, math achievement, and…

  15. Improving Learning for All Students through Equity-Based Inclusive Reform Practices: Effectiveness of a Fully Integrated Schoolwide Model on Student Reading and Math Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Choi, Jeong Hoon; Meisenheimer, Jessica M.; McCart, Amy B.; Sailor, Wayne

    2017-01-01

    The present investigation examines the schoolwide applications model (SAM) as a potentially effective school reform model for increasing equity-based inclusive education practices while enhancing student reading and math achievement for all students. A 3-year quasi-experimental comparison group analysis using latent growth modeling (LGM) was used…

  16. Project LEAP: The Labor Education Achievement Program. A Program To Improve the Literacy Level and Productivity of the Workforce. Final Project Report. April 1, 1990-June 30, 1991.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Metropolitan Baltimore Council of AFL-CIO Unions, MD.

    The Labor Education Achievement Program (LEAP) exceeded its recruitment and enrollment goal for April 1990 to June 1991. The number of union workers receiving services was 697 in 59 classes at 20 sites. Recruitment success was made possible by the use of the communication networks of the Baltimore AFL-CIO Metropolitan Council of Unions and public…

  17. Improving Teacher Effectiveness: An Examination of a Pay for Performance Plan for Boosting Student Academic Achievement in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ngoma, Sylvester

    2011-01-01

    Throughout the United States, educational organizations are striving to find more effective ways to improve teacher performance and student learning. The increased pressure to improve teacher effectiveness in the classroom has led many public school districts to adopt a pay for performance system as a strategic compensation option for enhancing…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  20. Closing the Achievement Gap by Improving Reading Instruction. Hearing before the Committee on Education and the Workforce. House of Representatives, One Hundred Seventh Congress, First Session (Orlando, Florida, November 13, 2001).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Congress of the U.S., Washington, DC. House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

    A field hearing of the United States House of Representatives' Committee on Education and the Workforce, entitled "Closing the Achievement Gap by Improving Reading Instruction," was held at Lancaster Elementary School in Orlando, Florida, on November 13, 2001. The hearing begins with welcoming statements by the committee chairman and one…

  1. Improving Student Achievement through Technology. Hearing before the Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness of the Committee on Education and the Workforce. House of Representatives, One Hundred Seventh Congress, First Session (March 15, 2001).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Congress of the U.S., Washington, DC. House Committee on Education and the Workforce.

    The Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness, Committee on Education and the Workforce to met on Thursday, March 15, 2001 at 10:06 a.m., in Room 2175, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, Chairman of the Subcommittee presiding, to hear testimony on the use of technology to improve student achievement.Under…

  2. Testimony of Dr. Willard Sakiestewa Gilbert, President National Indian Education Association before the Education and Labor Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education on Challenges Facing Bureau of Indian Education Schools in Improving Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilbert, Willard Sakiestewa

    2008-01-01

    In this testimony, Dr. Willard Sakiestewa Gilbert talks on behalf of the National Indian Education Association with regard to the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) and challenges facing BIE schools in improving student achievement. Founded in 1969, the National Indian Education Association (NIEA) is the largest organization in the nation dedicated…

  3. Ga doping to significantly improve the performance of all-electrochemically fabricated Cu2O-ZnO nanowire solar cells.

    PubMed

    Xie, Jiale; Guo, Chunxian; Li, Chang Ming

    2013-10-14

    Cu2O-ZnO nanowire solar cells have the advantages of light weight and high stability while possessing a large active material interface for potentially high power conversion efficiencies. In particular, electrochemically fabricated devices have attracted increasing attention due to their low-cost and simple fabrication process. However, most of them are "partially" electrochemically fabricated by vacuum deposition onto a preexisting ZnO layer. There are a few examples made via all-electrochemical deposition, but the power conversion efficiency (PCE) is too low (0.13%) for practical applications. Herein we use an all-electrochemical approach to directly deposit ZnO NWs onto FTO followed by electrochemical doping with Ga to produce a heterojunction solar cell. The Ga doping greatly improves light utilization while significantly suppressing charge recombination. A 2.5% molar ratio of Ga to ZnO delivers the best performance with a short circuit current density (Jsc) of 3.24 mA cm(-2) and a PCE of 0.25%, which is significantly higher than in the absence of Ga doping. Moreover, the use of electrochemically deposited ZnO powder-buffered Cu2O from a mixed Cu(2+)-ZnO powder solution and oxygen plasma treatment could reduce the density of defect sites in the heterojunction interface to further increase Jsc and PCE to 4.86 mA cm(-2) and 0.34%, respectively, resulting in the highest power conversion efficiency among all-electrochemically fabricated Cu2O-ZnO NW solar cells. This approach offers great potential for a low-cost solution-based process to mass-manufacture high-performance Cu2O-ZnO NW solar cells.

  4. Omega-conotoxin MVIIC attenuates neuronal apoptosis in vitro and improves significant recovery after spinal cord injury in vivo in rats

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, Karen M; Lavor, Mário Sérgio L; Silva, Carla Maria O; Fukushima, Fabíola B; Rosado, Isabel R; Silva, Juneo F; Martins, Bernardo C; Guimarães, Laís B; Gomez, Marcus Vinícius; Melo, Marília M; Melo, Eliane G

    2014-01-01

    Excessive accumulation of intracellular calcium is the most critical step after spinal cord injury (SCI). Reducing the calcium influx should result in a better recovery from SCI. Calcium channel blockers have been shown a great potential in reducing brain and spinal cord injury. In this study, we first tested the neuroprotective effect of MVIIC on slices of spinal cord subjected to ischemia evaluating cell death and caspase-3 activation. Thereafter, we evaluated the efficacy of MVIIC in ameliorating damage following SCI in rats, for the first time in vivo. The spinal cord slices subjected a pretreatment with MVIIC showed a cell protection with a reduction of dead cells in 24.34% and of caspase-3-specific protease activation. In the in vivo experiment, Wistar rats were subjected to extradural compression of the spinal cord at the T12 vertebral level using a weigh of 70 g/cm, following intralesional treatment with either placebo or MVIIC in different doses (15, 30 and 60 pmol) five minutes after injury. Behavioral testing of hindlimb function was done using the Basso Beattie Bresnahan locomotor rating scale, and revealed significant recovery with 15 pmol (G15) compared to other trauma groups. Also, histological bladder structural revealed significant outcome in G15, with no morphological alterations, and anti-NeuN and TUNEL staining showed that G15 provided neuron preservation and indicated that this group had fewer neuron cell death, similar to sham. These results showed the neuroprotective effects of MVIIC in in vitro and in vivo model of SCI with neuronal integrity, bladder and behavioral improvements. PMID:25120731

  5. Association between the Achievement of Target Range CKD-MBD Markers and Mortality in Prevalent Hemodialysis Patients in Taiwan by Using the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes Clinical Guidelines

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Ben-Chung; Lee, Chih-Hsiung; Chang, Wen-Xiu

    2016-01-01

    Background. This study evaluated the association between achieving target chronic kidney disease-mineral and bone disorder (CKD-MBD) marker levels and mortality in Taiwanese hemodialysis (HD) patients. Target levels were based on the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) guidelines. Methods. We performed a retrospective medical record review of 1126 HD patients between 2009 and 2013. A logistic regression model was used to evaluate the relationship between achieving target marker levels and the risk for all-cause and cardiovascular (CV) mortality. Reference target ranges were 7.9 ≤ calcium (Ca) ≤ 9.9 mg/dL, 2.4 ≤ phosphate (P) ≤ 4.7 mg/dL, and 144 ≤ intact parathyroid hormone (iPTH) ≤ 648 pg/mL. Results. Achievement of target P levels was associated with a lower risk for all-cause mortality compared to achievement of either target Ca or iPTH levels. Achieving target P + iPTH levels (OR 1.32) was associated with a lower odds ratio for all-cause mortality compared to achieving target Ca + P (OR 1.66) and Ca + iPTH (OR 1.43) levels. Similar trends were observed for CV mortality risk. Conclusions. The present study demonstrated that achieving serum P levels within the KDIGO target range is the most important factor for lowering mortality in HD patients. PMID:28003998

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Zhao, Anqi; Masa, Justus; Xia, Wei

    2015-04-28

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

  9. Improving the teaching and learning of science in a suburban junior high school on Long Island: Achieving parity through cogenerative dialogues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baker, Eileen Perman

    The research in this dissertation focuses on ways to improve the teaching and learning of science in a suburban junior high school on Long Island, New York. The study is my attempt to find ways to achieve parity in my classroom in terms of success in science. I was specifically looking for ways to encourage Black female students in my classroom and in other classrooms to continue their science education into the upper grades. The participants were the 27 students in the class, a friend of one of the students, and I, as the teacher-researcher. In order to examine the ways in which structure mediates the social and historical contexts of experiences in relation to teacher and student practices in the classroom, I used collaborative research; autobiographical reflection; the sociology of emotions; immigration, racialization, and ethnicity, and cogenerative dialogues (cogens) as tools. Cogenerative dialogues are a way for students and teachers to accept shared responsibility for teaching and learning. This study is of importance because of my school's very diverse student body. The school has a large minority population and therefore shares many of the characteristics of urban schools. In my study I look at why there are so few Black female students in the advanced science courses offered by our district and how this problem can be addressed. I used a variety of qualitative approaches including critical ethnography and micro analysis to study the teaching and learning of science. In addition to the usual observational, methodological, and theoretical field notes, I videotaped and audiotaped lessons and had discussions with students and teachers, one-on-one and in groups. In the first year the cogenerative group consisted of two Black female students. In the second year of the study there were four Black and one White-Hispanic female students in the cogen group. In my research I studied the interactions of the students between lessons and during laboratory activities as

  10. [A Case of HPN, In Which QOL Improvement Was Achieved by Combining Continuous Infusion with Once-Weekly Intermittent Infusion - Contribution of Pharmacists to Health Promotion among Home Patients Receiving Infusion Therapy].

    PubMed

    Takeda, Namihiro; Hamana, Tomoko; Oka, Toyoka; Hirohara, Masayoshi; Kushida, Kazuki

    2016-12-01

    Patients receiving parenteral nutrition at home have the following two options: 24-h continuous or intermittent infusion. To date, for patients with impaired glucose tolerance and/or other metabolic disorders or for those with decreased cardiac/ pulmonary/renal function, it is desirable to opt for continuous infusion to minimize the variance in the body's metabolic rate as much as possible. Furthermore, it should be noted that continuous infusion evokes a stronger feeling among patients of being constrained because it restricts their everyday activities. This case witnesses collaborations among the patient's doctor, dispensary's pharmacy, and patient's family. Because ofthe use ofintermittent infusion more or less once per week in addition to continuous infusion, significant improvement in quality of life was achieved, and the patient was able to enjoy taking a short trip. To assist a home patient receiving infusion therapy, it is essential that the pharmacist be equipped with skills to manage risks associated with infusion therapy and have knowledge about insurance to cover incidents concerning infusion fluids or medical materials. It will certainly depend on the degree ofindependence ofpatients and the level ofcare their families can provide; however, should we manage to use a similar medical procedure in at least a few cases in the future, we may be able to contribute to "joie de vivre" in home patients receiving infusion therapy.

  11. AchieveNJ and Its Effects on Hiring Principals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cinotti, Gina; Gutmore, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    The study described the influence, if any, AchieveNJ might have on superintendents' hiring decisions of principals. According to superintendents, there is not one accepted standard in principal leadership characteristics, although there are commonalities regarding traits associated with improving student achievement. The significance of this study…

  12. The Effect of Integrating Interactive Whiteboards on Reading Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Sheila Denise

    2012-01-01

    While it is known that instructional technology improves academic achievement, there is little research about the integration of interactive whiteboards (IWBs) during Success For All (SFA) reading instruction. The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine whether there was a significant difference in reading achievement between third…

  13. Robert M. Finley Middle School: Building Community, Respect, and Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Principal Leadership, 2011

    2011-01-01

    This article features Robert M. Finley Middle School, a school that is considered by the entire Glen Cove, New York, community as important and successful. Gaps in student achievement have decreased significantly and all student achievement has improved over the last five years in this school, where nearly half of the 652 students are from…

  14. Improving the Odds, Improving Life Chances

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education, 2008

    2008-01-01

    Why is it that some schools are more successful that others in improving achievement in literacy and numeracy for those pupils who have barriers to their learning? What is it that makes the difference for the lowest achieving 20% of pupils? Her Majesty's Inspectors visited a number of schools that were making a significant difference for…

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

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Erin K.; Silverstone, Peter H.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-04-01

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

  17. Plerixafor on-demand combined with chemotherapy and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor: significant improvement in peripheral blood stem cells mobilization and harvest with no increase in costs.

    PubMed

    Milone, Giuseppe; Martino, Massimo; Spadaro, Andrea; Leotta, Salvatore; Di Marco, Annalia; Scalzulli, Potito; Cupri, Alessandra; Di Martina, Valentina; Schinocca, Elena; Spina, Eleonora; Tripepi, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    To date, no prospective study on Plerixafor 'on-demand' in combination with chemotherapy and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) has been reported. We present an interim analysis of the first prospective study in which Plerixafor was administered on-demand in patients affected by multiple myeloma and lymphoma who received high dose cyclophosphamide or DHAP (dexamethasone, cytarabine, cisplatin) plus G-CSF to mobilize peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC). One hundred and two patients were evaluable for response. A cohort of 240 patients receiving the same mobilizing chemotherapy was retrospectively studied. Failure to mobilize CD34(+) cells in peripheral blood was reduced by 'on-demand' strategy compared to conventional mobilization; from 13·0 to 3·0% (P = 0·004). Failure to harvest CD34(+) cells 2 × 10(6) /kg decreased from 20·9 to 4·0% (P = 0·0001). The on-demand Plerixafor strategy also resulted in a lower rate of mobilization failure (P = 0·03) and harvest failure (P = 0·0008) when compared to a 'bias-adjusted set of controls'. Evaluation of economic costs of the two strategies showed that the overall cost of the two treatments were comparable when salvage mobilizations were taken into account. When in combination with cyclophosphamide or DHAP plus G-CSF, the 'on-demand' use of Plerixafor showed, in comparison to conventionally treated patients, a significant improvement in mobilization of PBSC with no increase in overall cost.

  18. Hypnotherapy and Test Anxiety: Two Cognitive-Behavioral Constructs. The Effects of Hypnosis in Reducing Test Anxiety and Improving Academic Achievement in College Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sapp, Marty

    A two-group randomized multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) was used to investigate the effects of cognitive-behavioral hypnosis in reducing test anxiety and improving academic performance in comparison to a Hawthorne control group. Subjects were enrolled in a rigorous introductory psychology course which covered an entire text in one…

  19. The Turnaround Challenge: Why America's Best Opportunity to Dramatically Improve Student Achievement Lies in Our Worst-Performing Schools. Executive Summary

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Calkins, Andrew; Guenther, William; Belfiore, Grace; Lash, Dave

    2007-01-01

    Despite steadily increasing urgency about the nation's lowest-performing schools--those in the bottom five percent--efforts to turn these schools around have largely failed. Marginal change has led to marginal (or no) improvement. These schools, the systems supporting them, and the management of the change process require fundamental rethinking,…

  20. The Effect of Improved School Climate over Time on Fifth-Grade Students' Achievement Assessment Scores and Teacher Administered Grade Scores

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marten, Dawn M.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to determine the effect of improved school climate, as teachers' beliefs changed from negative to positive over time, on students' reading, math, and writing assessment scores and teacher administered grade scores in reading, math, and writing. Overall, findings indicate that lose, maintain, or improve…

  1. Progress Made on a Plan To Integrate Planning, Budgeting, Assessment and Quality Principles To Achieve Institutional Improvement. First Year Report. AIR 1996 Annual Forum Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Griffith, Susan R.; And Others

    This paper describes first year implementation efforts of Southwest Texas (SWT) State University to develop a system to integrate planning, budgeting, assessment, and quality to improve the delivery of education and other services to all the institution's customers. The document addresses the common situation when an organization already has…

  2. The Rice coding algorithm achieves high-performance lossless and progressive image compression based on the improving of integer lifting scheme Rice coding algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jun, Xie Cheng; Su, Yan; Wei, Zhang

    2006-08-01

    In this paper, a modified algorithm was introduced to improve Rice coding algorithm and researches of image compression with the CDF (2,2) wavelet lifting scheme was made. Our experiments show that the property of the lossless image compression is much better than Huffman, Zip, lossless JPEG, RAR, and a little better than (or equal to) the famous SPIHT. The lossless compression rate is improved about 60.4%, 45%, 26.2%, 16.7%, 0.4% on average. The speed of the encoder is faster about 11.8 times than the SPIHT's and its efficiency in time can be improved by 162%. The speed of the decoder is faster about 12.3 times than that of the SPIHT's and its efficiency in time can be rasied about 148%. This algorithm, instead of largest levels wavelet transform, has high coding efficiency when the wavelet transform levels is larger than 3. For the source model of distributions similar to the Laplacian, it can improve the efficiency of coding and realize the progressive transmit coding and decoding.

  3. What Works Clearinghouse Quick Review of the Report "Exercise Improves Executive Function and Achievement and Alters Brain Activation in Overweight Children: A Randomized, Controlled Trial"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    What Works Clearinghouse, 2012

    2012-01-01

    The study examined whether exercise offered to sedentary, overweight children ages 7 to 11 improved executive function--defined as strategy execution when presented with a novel task--and academic performance in reading and math. The study authors analyzed data on about 170 students from Georgia who were recruited in five cohorts from 2003 to…

  4. Modulation of sulfur partial pressure in sulfurization to significantly improve the photoelectrochemical performance over the Cu2ZnSnS4 photocathode.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yuanfang; Ouyang, Shuxin; Yu, Qing; Li, Peng; Ye, Jinhua

    2015-09-25

    Cu2ZnSnS4 photocathodes with excellent photoelectrochemical properties were fabricated via a facile method of adjusting the sulfur partial pressure in a semi-closed system, which achieved a maximum photocurrent-density of 1.8 mA cm(-2) under irradiation of a solar simulator which is 9-fold larger than that synthesized in an open system.

  5. Achieving enhanced organisational resilience by improved management of risk: Summary of research into the principles of resilience and the practices of resilient organisations.

    PubMed

    Hopkin, Paul

    There have been many high-profile incidents in recent times that have affected both individual organisations and large parts of society. In response to these disasters and their consequences, there has been increasing focus on the concept of 'resilience'. Airmic worked with Cranfield School of Management to investigate the features of resilient organisations and whether common characteristics could be identified. The research summarised in this paper discovered five principles that increase an organisation's level of resilence. The paper also reports on the actions taken by organisations to embed these resilience principles into four main business enablers. These business enablers in combination represent the business model of the organisation. The overall conclusion of the research was that, in order to achieve a state of enhanced resilience, organisations need to be aware of risks and threats they face and then combine the actions required to be 'risk compliant' with the ability to be 'risk responsive'.

  6. Resonant Ionization Laser Ion Source (RILIS) With Improved Selectivity Achieved By Ion Pulse Compression Using In-Source Time-of-flight Technique

    SciTech Connect

    Mishin, V. I.; Malinovsky, A. L.; Mishin, D. V.

    2009-03-17

    This paper describes for the first time the improved selectivity of the RILIS made possible by the time-of-flight (TOF) ion bunch compression. Brief description of the compression principles and some preliminary experimental results are presented. In the off-line experiments short ion peaks of natural Li, Na, K, Tm and Yb are observed as ions leave the RILIS-TOF structure. For Tm the ion peaks of 5 {mu}s half-height duration are detected and 1 {mu}s peaks for Sn are predicted. In view of the repetition rate of the ISOLDE-RILIS lasers it is hoped that the selectivity of Sn isotopes production may be improved as much as 100 employing the RILIS with the TOF ion bunch compression and a gating technique.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-07-01

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

  8. Receta para el Exito. Una Guia Actualizada para Padres sobre el Mejoramiento de las Escuelas de Colorado y Logros Estudiantiles (Recipe for Success: An Updated Parents' Guide to Improving Colorado Schools and Student Achievement).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taher, Bonnie; Durr, Pamela

    This Spanish language guide describes ways that parents can help improve student achievement and school quality. It answers such questions as: how to choose the right early-education opportunity for a preschooler; how to make sure a 5-year-old is ready for school; how to help a daughter do well in school; how to work with a daughter's or son's…

  9. The Significance of Emotions and Professional Relations for Accommodating a Web-Based Ulcer Record and Improving Home-Based Care

    PubMed Central

    Ekeland, Anne G.

    2015-01-01

    Evidence of technological performance, medical improvements and economic effectiveness is generally considered sufficient for judging advances in healthcare. In this paper, I aim to add knowledge about the ways human emotions and professional relations play roles in the processes of accommodating new technologies for quality improvements. A newly-implemented, web-based ulcer record service for patients with chronic skin ulcers constitutes the case. After one year, only a few home care nurses were using the service, interacting with a specialist team. The result was disappointing, but the few users were enthusiastic. An explorative, qualitative study was initiated to understand the users, the processes that accounted for use and how improvements were enacted. In the paper, I expose the emotional aspects of the record accommodation by analyzing the ways emotions were translated in the process and how they influenced the improvements. I contend that use came about through a heterogeneous assemblage of ethical engagement and compassionate emotions stemming from frustration, combined with technological affordances and relations between different professionals. Certain aspects of the improvements are exposed. These are discussed as: (1) reconciliations between the medical facts and rational judgments, on one side, and the emotional and subjective values for judging quality, on the other; and (2) mediation between standardized and personalized care. The healing of ulcers was combined with a sense of purpose and wellbeing to validate improvements. Emotions were strongly involved, and the power of evaluative emotions and professional relations should be further explored to add to the understanding of innovation processes and to validate quality improvements. PMID:27417745

  10. Significant achievements in the planetary geology program, 1981

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mouginis-Mark, P. J.

    1982-01-01

    Recent developments in planetology research are summarized. Important developments are summarized in topics ranging from solar system evolution, comparative planetology, and geologic processes, to techniques and instrument development for future exploration.

  11. Significant achievements in the planetary geology program, 1980

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holt, H. E. (Editor)

    1980-01-01

    Recent developments in planetology research as reported at the 1980 NASA Planetology Program Principal Investigators meeting are summarized. Important developments are summarized in topics ranging from solar system evolution and comparative planetology to geologic processes active on other planetary bodies.

  12. Significant achievements in the planetary geology program, 1981

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Holt, H. E. (Editor)

    1981-01-01

    Recent developments in planetology research as reported at the 1981 NASA Planetary Geology Principal Investigators meeting are summarized. The evolution of the solar system, comparative planetology, and geologic processes active on other planets are considered. Galilean satellites and small bodies, Venus, geochemistry and regoliths, volcanic and aeolian processes and landforms, fluvial and periglacial processes, and planetary impact cratering, remote sensing, and cartography are discussed.

  13. Significant achievements in the planetary program, 1976 - 1977

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Head, J. W. (Editor)

    1978-01-01

    Recent developments in planetology research as reported at the 1977 NASA Planetology Program Principal Investigators meeting are summarized. Important developments are summarized in topics ranging from solar system evolution, comparative planetology, and geologic processes, to techniques and instrument development for future exploration.

  14. Improved methods for achieving the equilibrium number of phases in mixtures suitable for use in battery electrodes e. g. , for lithiating FeS/sub 2/

    DOEpatents

    Guidotti, R.A.

    1986-06-10

    A method is disclosed for preparing lithiated, particulate FeS/sub 2/ useful as a catholyte material in a lithium thermal battery, whereby the latter's voltage regulation properties are improved. The method comprises admixing FeS/sub 2/ and an amount of a lithium-containing compound, whereby the resultant total composition falls in an invariant region of the metallurgical phase diagram of its constituent components. Said lithium-containing compound and FeS/sub 2/ are admixed together with a solid electrolyte compatible with said catholyte, and the mixture is heated at a temperature above the melting point of said electrolyte and at which said mixture reaches its thermodynamic equilibrium number of phases.

  15. An improved characterization method for international accountancy measurements of fresh and irradiated mixed oxide (MOX) fuel: helping achieve continual monitoring and safeguards through the fuel cycle

    SciTech Connect

    Evans, Louise G; Croft, Stephen; Swinhoe, Martyn T; Tobin, S. J.; Menlove, H. O.; Schear, M. A.; Worrall, Andrew

    2011-01-13

    Nuclear fuel accountancy measurements are conducted at several points through the nuclear fuel cycle to ensure continuity of knowledge (CofK) of special nuclear material (SNM). Non-destructive assay (NDA) measurements are performed on fresh fuel (prior to irradiation in a reactor) and spent nuclear fuel (SNF) post-irradiation. We have developed a fuel assembly characterization system, based on the novel concept of 'neutron fingerprinting' with multiplicity signatures to ensure detailed CofK of nuclear fuel through the entire fuel cycle. The neutron fingerprint in this case is determined by the measurement of the various correlated neutron signatures, specific to fuel isotopic composition, and therefore offers greater sensitivity to variations in fissile content among fuel assemblies than other techniques such as gross neutron counting. This neutron fingerprint could be measured at the point of fuel dispatch (e.g. from a fuel fabrication plant prior to irradiation, or from a reactor site post-irradiation), monitored during transportation of the fuel assembly, and measured at a subsequent receiving site (e.g. at the reactor site prior to irradiation, or reprocessing facility post-irradiation); this would confirm that no unexpected changes to the fuel composition or amount have taken place during transportation and/ or reactor operations. Changes may indicate an attempt to divert material for example. Here, we present the current state of the practice of fuel measurements for both fresh mixed oxide (MOX) fuel and SNF (both MOX and uranium dioxide). This is presented in the framework of international safeguards perspectives from the US and UK. We also postulate as to how the neutron fingerprinting concept could lead to improved fuel characterization (both fresh MOX and SNF) resulting in: (a) assured CofK of fuel across the nuclear fuel cycle, (b) improved detection of SNM diversion, and (c) greater confidence in safeguards of SNF transportation.

  16. An improved characterization method for international accountancy measurements of fresh and irradiated mixed oxide (MOX) fuel: helping achieve continual monitoring and safeguards through the fuel cycle

    SciTech Connect

    Evans, Louise G; Croft, Stephen; Swinhoe, Martyn T; Tobin, S. J.; Boyer, B. D.; Menlove, H. O.; Schear, M. A.; Worrall, Andrew

    2010-11-24

    Nuclear fuel accountancy measurements are conducted at several points through the nuclear fuel cycle to ensure continuity of knowledge (CofK) of special nuclear material (SNM). Non-destructive assay (NDA) measurements are performed on fresh fuel (prior to irradiation in a reactor) and spent nuclear fuel (SNF) post-irradiation. We have developed a fuel assembly characterization system, based on the novel concept of 'neutron fingerprinting' with multiplicity signatures to ensure detailed CofK of nuclear fuel through the entire fuel cycle. The neutron fingerprint in this case is determined by the measurement of the various correlated neutron signatures, specific to fuel isotopic composition, and therefore offers greater sensitivity to variations in fissile content among fuel assemblies than other techniques such as gross neutron counting. This neutron fingerprint could be measured at the point of fuel dispatch (e.g. from a fuel fabrication plant prior to irradiation, or from a reactor site post-irradiation), monitored during transportation of the fuel assembly, and measured at a subsequent receiving site (e.g. at the reactor site prior to irradiation, or reprocessing facility post-irradiation); this would confirm that no unexpected changes to the fuel composition or amount have taken place during transportation and/or reactor operations. Changes may indicate an attempt to divert material for example. Here, we present the current state of the practice of fuel measurements for both fresh mixed oxide (MOX) fuel and SNF (both MOX and uranium dioxide). This is presented in the framework of international safeguards perspectives from the US and UK. We also postulate as to how the neutron fingerprinting concept could lead to improved fuel characterization (both fresh MOX and SNF) resulting in: (a) assured CofK of fuel across the nuclear fuel cycle, (b) improved detection of SNM diversion, and (c) greater confidence in safeguards of SNF transportation.

  17. Short separation regression improves statistical significance and better localizes the hemodynamic response obtained by near-infrared spectroscopy for tasks with differing autonomic responses

    PubMed Central

    Yücel, Meryem A.; Selb, Juliette; Aasted, Christopher M.; Petkov, Mike P.; Becerra, Lino; Borsook, David; Boas, David A.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract. Autonomic nervous system response is known to be highly task-dependent. The sensitivity of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) measurements to superficial layers, particularly to the scalp, makes it highly susceptible to systemic physiological changes. Thus, one critical step in NIRS data processing is to remove the contribution of superficial layers to the NIRS signal and to obtain the actual brain response. This can be achieved using short separation channels that are sensitive only to the hemodynamics in the scalp. We investigated the contribution of hemodynamic fluctuations due to autonomous nervous system activation during various tasks. Our results provide clear demonstrations of the critical role of using short separation channels in NIRS measurements to disentangle differing autonomic responses from the brain activation signal of interest. PMID:26835480

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-11

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Britt, Alexander P.

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Varying protein source and quantity does not significantly improve weight loss, fat loss, or satiety in reduced energy diets among midlife adults

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This pilot study tested whether varying protein source and quantity in a reduced energy diet would result in significant differences in weight, body composition, and renin angiotensin aldosterone system activity in midlife adults. Eighteen subjects enrolled in a 5 month weight reduction study, invol...