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Sample records for achieve significant improvements

  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. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. PMID:27584888

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Improving Student Achievement Using Expert Learning Systems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Green, Ronny; Smith, Bob; Leech, Don

    2004-01-01

    Both educators and the public are demanding improvements in student achievement and school performance. However, students meeting the highest college admission standards are increasingly selecting fields of study other than teaching. How can we increase teacher competence when many of our brightest teacher prospects are going into other fields?…

  10. Improving Student Achievement in Science. Based on the "Handbook of Research on Improving Student Achievement."

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Educational Research Service, Arlington, VA.

    This booklet summarizes the science chapter from the "Handbook of Research on Improving Student Achievement," a report sponsored by the Alliance for Curriculum Reform and also published by the Educational Research Service. The handbook is based on the idea that efforts to improve instruction must focus on the existing knowledge base on effective…

  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. Full-Day Kindergarten Results in Significant Achievement Gains

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raskin, Candace F.; Haar, Jean M.

    2009-01-01

    In 2004, after an in-depth review of student achievement data for over 4,000 students, the administration of a school district in southern Minnesota identified the following challenges: (1) above-state-average number of special education students; (2) increasing number of English as Second Language (ESL) students; (3) increasing number of students…

  13. 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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. Improving College Effectiveness: Raising Quality and Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Somekh, Bridget; Convery, Andy; Delaney, Jean; Fisher, Roy; Gray, John; Gunn, Stan; Henworth, Andrew; Powell, Loraine

    1999-01-01

    Work undertaken to improve the effectiveness of the United Kingdom's schools and further education (FE) sectors was identified and assessed in a study entailing four data collection methods: literature review; questionnaire administered to all FE college principals in England and Wales; expert seminar and face-to-face interviews with high-level…

  17. Improving Reading Achievements of Struggling Learners

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Houtveen, Thoni; van de Grift, Wim

    2012-01-01

    In The Netherlands, the percentage of struggling readers in the 1st year of formal reading instruction is about 25%. This problem inspired us to develop the Reading Acceleration Programme. To evaluate the effectiveness of this programme, a quasi-experiment is carried out. The teachers in the experimental group have been trained to improve their…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Julie K.; Ash, Gwynne

    2012-01-01

    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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. Professional Learning Communities That Initiate Improvement in Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Royer, Suzanne M.

    2012-01-01

    Quality teaching requires a strong practice of collaboration, an essential building block for educators to improve student achievement. Researchers have theorized that the implementation of a professional learning community (PLC) with resultant collaborative practices among teachers sustains academic improvement. The problem addressed specifically…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. Achieving Millennium Development Goal 5, the improvement of maternal health.

    PubMed

    Callister, Lynn Clark; Edwards, Joan E

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to describe the progress made toward the achievement of Millennium Development Goal 5, the improvement of maternal health. Maternal mortality rates (MMR) remain high globally, and in the United States there have been recent increases in MMR. Interventions to improve global maternal health are described. Nurses should be aware of the enduring epidemic of global maternal mortality, advocate for childbearing women, and contribute to implementing effective interventions to reduce maternal mortality. PMID:20673318

  9. 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…

  10. 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,…

  11. 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'…

  12. Improving Student Reading Achievement through the Use of Reading Strategies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Claussen, Jean; Ford, Linda; Mosley, Elizabeth

    This report describes a program to improve student reading achievement of the targeted first, second, and third grade classes in two west central Illinois schools. More than half of each schools' population was identified as low-income. Evidence for the existence of reading problems included student surveys, oral reading rubrics, phonemic…

  13. Understanding the Change Styles of Teachers to Improve Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bigby, Arlene May Green

    2009-01-01

    The topic of this dissertation is the understanding of teacher change styles to improve student achievement. Teachers from public schools in a state located in the northern plains were surveyed regarding their Change Styles (preferred approaches to change) and flexibility scores. The results were statistically analyzed to determine if there were…

  14. Improving Student Achievement by Measuring Ability, Not Content

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Malbert S., III

    2005-01-01

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

  15. Factors significantly related to science achievement of Malaysian middle school students: An analysis of TIMSS 1999 data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mokshein, Siti Eshah

    The importance of science and technology in the global economy has led to growing emphasis on math and science achievement all over the world. In this study, I seek to identify variables at the student-level and school-level that account for the variation in science achievement of the eighth graders in Malaysia. Using the Third International Math and Science Study (TIMSS) 1999 for Malaysia, a series of HLM analysis was performed. Results indicate that (1) variation in overall science achievement is greater between schools than within schools; (2) both the selected student-level and school-level factors are Important in explaining the variation in the eight graders' achievement In science; (3) the selected student-level variables explain about 13% of the variation in students' achievement within schools, but as an aggregate, they account for a much larger proportion of the between-school variance; (4) the selected school-level variables account for about 55% of the variation between schools; (5) within schools, the effects of self-concept In science, awareness of the social implications of science, gender, and home educational resources are significantly related to achievement; (6) the effects of self-concept in science and awareness of social implications of science are significant even after controlling for the effects of SES; (7) between schools, the effects of the mean of home educational resources, mean of parents' education, mean of awareness of the social implications of science, and emphasis on conducting experiments are significantly related to achievement; (8) the effects of SES variables explain about 50% of the variation in the school means achievement; and (9) the effects of emphasis on conducting experiments on achievement are significant even after controlling for the effects of SES. Since it is hard to change the society, it is recommended that efforts to Improve science achievement be focused more at the school-level, concentrating on variables that

  16. 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. PMID:25010083

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

    PubMed

    Govan, Donald S; Doran, Nick

    2007-12-10

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lawton, Teri

    2004-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Improving MEME via a two-tiered significance analysis

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Improving Reading Achievement through the Implementation of Reading Strategies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cramer, Cynthia; Fate, Joan; Lueders, Kristin

    This study describes a program designed to increase student achievement in reading. The targeted population consisted of first and fourth grade elementary students in a Midwest community. Evidence for the existence of the problem included standardized tests and alternative assessments to measure reading achievement, and teacher observations with…

  2. 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 that,…

  3. Improving Primary Student Motivation and Achievement in Mathematics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Adami-Bunyard, Eppy; Gummow, Mary; Milazzo-Licklider, Nicole

    This report describes a program for increasing student readiness for and achievement in mathematics. The targeted population consists of third grade students in an expanding suburban community and kindergarten students in a culturally diverse urban community, both located in Northern Illinois. The problems of achievement in and attitudes towards…

  4. Low Dose Vaporized Cannabis Significantly Improves Neuropathic Pain

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Improving Student Achievement in Today's High Schools: What Works.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shields, Marie S.

    This paper is based on a study of two high schools in Maine that achieved outstanding and consistent gains in English, math, and science over a 5-year period. Three strands of inquiry were used for the study: surveys, interviews, and observations. A multiple-perspective approach was used to integrate the information so as to evaluate the…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. Does Video-Autotutorial Instruction Improve College Student Achievement?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisher, K. M.; And Others

    1977-01-01

    Compares student achievement in an upper-division college introductory course taught by the video-autotutorial method with that in two comparable courses taught by the lecture-discussion method. Pre-post tests of 623 students reveal that video-autotutorial students outperform lecture/discussion participants at all ability levels and that in…

  12. 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…

  13. The Divisional Approach to Achieving Hospital Improvement Goals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cortazzo, Arnold D.; Allen, Robert M.

    1971-01-01

    The divisional or horizontal approach, rather than the traditional or vertical model, was employed in improving the major organizations and programatic and service structure of a residential facility for retardates, Sunland Training Center (Miami, Florida). (KW)

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

    PubMed

    An, Qi; Goddard, William A

    2014-12-01

    Boron carbide (B4C) is a hard material whose value for extended engineering applications such as body armor; is limited by its brittleness under impact. To improve the ductility while retaining hardness, we used density functional theory to examine modifying B4C ductility through microalloying. We found that replacing the CBC chain in B4C with Si-Si, denoted as (B11Cp)-Si2, dramatically improves the ductility, allowing a continuous shear to a large strain of 0.802 (about twice of B4C failure strain) without brittle failure. Moreover, (B11C)-Si2 retains low density and high hardness. This ductility improvement arises because the Si-Si linkages enable the icosahedra accommodate additional shear by rotating instead of breaking bonds.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Improving Student Achievement in Solving Mathematical Word Problems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roti, Joan; Trahey, Carol; Zerafa, Susan

    This report describes a program for improving students' comprehension of the language of mathematical problems. The targeted population consists of 5th and 6th grade multi-age students and multi-age learners with special needs at a middle school located outside a major city in a Midwestern community. Evidence for the existence of this problem…

  18. 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…

  19. Community Schools Seek to Improve High School Achievement, College Readiness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilroy, Marilyn

    2011-01-01

    The Coalition for Community Schools, an alliance of more than 150 national, state, and local organizations, is bringing public schools in partnership with community resources to improve student success. While that might seem like an abstract idea, it has very concrete goals, such as boosting high school graduation rates and college readiness.…

  20. Enhancing Student Achievement through the Improvement of Listening Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barr, Lori; Dittmar, Maureen; Roberts, Emily; Sheraden, Marie

    This report describes a program for the improvement of listening skills in order to increase academic performance. The targeted population consisted of elementary students in a middle class community located in western Illinois. The problem of ineffective listening skills was documented through data revealing the number of students whose lowered…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-08-15

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

  11. A Designer Bleomycin with Significantly Improved DNA Cleavage Activity

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  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. 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. PMID:22464633

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

    SciTech Connect

    Briggs, Sam; Hudson, Malcolm D.

    2013-01-15

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

  15. 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

  16. Improving Reading Achievement Through Increased Motivation, Specific Skill Enhancement, and Practice Time for Elementary Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ecklund, Britt K.; Lamon, Kathryn M.

    2008-01-01

    The action research project report began when the teacher researchers determined that students at Sites A and B struggled with reading achievement. The purpose of the project was to improve students' reading achievement through increased motivation, specific skill instruction, and additional practice time. The project involved 26 students: 17…

  17. 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…

  18. Improving Academic Achievement of At-Risk Students in English Education and Keyboarding I.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klinger, Barbara; Nelson, Denise

    This report describes a program for improving the on-task behavior of at-risk students to increase their academic achievement. The targeted population consisted of high-school students in a growing middle-class community located in a rural area of a midwestern state. The problems of academic under-achievement were documented through data including…

  19. Improving Education Achievement and Attainment in Luxembourg. OECD Economics Department Working Papers, No. 508

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carey, David; Ernst, Ekkehard

    2006-01-01

    Improving education achievement in Luxembourg is a priority for strengthening productivity growth and enhancing residents' employment prospects in the private sector, where employers mainly hire cross-border workers. Student achievement in Luxembourg is below the OECD average according to the 2003 OECD PISA study, with the performance gap between…

  20. 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…

  1. Improving the Academic Achievement of Third and Fourth Grade Underachievers as a Result of Improved Self-Esteem.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coakley, Barbara Fairfax

    This study was designed to improve the academic achievement of 35 third- and fourth-grade underachievers through improved self-esteem. Specific goals included focusing on self-concept and learning skills reinforcement, with the ultimate goal of increasing academic performance and motivation. Large group sessions with students focused on…

  2. 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

  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. 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…

  5. Pre-operative Thresholds for Achieving Meaningful Clinical Improvement after Arthroscopic Treatment of Femoroacetabular Impingement

    PubMed Central

    Nwachukwu, Benedict U.; Fields, Kara G.; Nawabi, Danyal H.; Kelly, Bryan T.; Ranawat, Anil S.

    2016-01-01

    sagittal CEA was the only variable maintaining significance (p = 0.032). Conclusion: We used a large prospective hip arthroscopy database to identify pre-operative patient outcome score thresholds predictive of meaningful post-operative outcome improvement after arthroscopic FAI treatment. This is the largest reported hip arthroscopy cohort to define MCID and the first to do so for iHOT-33. The HOS-ADL may have the best predictive ability for achieving MCID after hip arthroscopy. Patients with relatively high pre-operative ADL, quality of life and functional status appear to have a high chance for achieveing MCID up to our defined thresholds. Hip dysplasia is an important outcome modifier. The findings of this study may be useful for managing preoperative expectation for patients undergoing arthroscopic FAI surgery.

  6. Pieces of the Puzzle: Factors in Improving Achievement of Urban School Districts. Education Outlook. No. 4

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Casserly, Michael

    2012-01-01

    In one of the first large-scale analyses of urban trends on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the Council of the Great City Schools and the American Institutes for Research identified urban school systems that demonstrated high achievement or significant achievement gains on the NAEP, and examined possible factors behind…

  7. Achievement for All: improving psychosocial outcomes for students with special educational needs and disabilities.

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

    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) programme that was designed to improve outcomes for students with SEND through: (1) academic assessment, tracking and intervention, (2) structured conversations with parents, and (3) developing provision to improve wider outcomes (e.g. positive relationships). Using a quasi-experimental, pre-test-post-test control group design, we assessed the impact of AfA on teacher ratings of the behaviour problems, positive relationships and bullying of students with SEND over an 18-month period. Participants were 4758 students with SEND drawn from 323 schools across England. Our main impact analysis demonstrated that AfA had a significant impact on all three response variables when compared to usual practice. Hierarchical linear modelling of data from the intervention group highlighted a range of school-level contextual factors and implementation activities and student-level individual differences that moderated the impact of AfA on our study outcomes. The implications of our findings are discussed, and study strengths and limitations are noted.

  8. Achievement for All: improving psychosocial outcomes for students with special educational needs and disabilities.

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

    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) programme that was designed to improve outcomes for students with SEND through: (1) academic assessment, tracking and intervention, (2) structured conversations with parents, and (3) developing provision to improve wider outcomes (e.g. positive relationships). Using a quasi-experimental, pre-test-post-test control group design, we assessed the impact of AfA on teacher ratings of the behaviour problems, positive relationships and bullying of students with SEND over an 18-month period. Participants were 4758 students with SEND drawn from 323 schools across England. Our main impact analysis demonstrated that AfA had a significant impact on all three response variables when compared to usual practice. Hierarchical linear modelling of data from the intervention group highlighted a range of school-level contextual factors and implementation activities and student-level individual differences that moderated the impact of AfA on our study outcomes. The implications of our findings are discussed, and study strengths and limitations are noted. PMID:23380579

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  14. Audit-based education: a potentially effective program for improving guideline achievement in CKD patients.

    PubMed

    de Goeij, Moniek C M; Rotmans, Joris I

    2013-09-01

    The achievement of treatment guidelines in patients with chronic kidney disease is poor, and more efforts are needed to improve this. Audit-based education is a program that may contribute to this improvement. de Lusignana et al. investigated whether audit-based education is effective in lowering systolic blood pressure in a primary-care setting. Although the program is inventive and promising, several adjustments are needed before it can be applied as an effective strategy.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-04-01

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

  16. 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…

  17. 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)

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. What Matters for Elementary Literacy Coaching? Guiding Principles for Instructional Improvement and Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    L'Allier, Susan; Elish-Piper, Laurie; Bean, Rita M.

    2010-01-01

    Literacy coaches provide job-embedded professional development for teachers, and the number of literacy coaches in elementary schools is increasing. Although literacy coaching offers promise in terms of improving teacher practice and student achievement, guidance is needed regarding the qualifications, activities, and roles of literacy coaches.…

  2. 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)…

  3. Closing Schools to Improve Student Achievement: What the Research and Researchers Say. Research Summary

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    American Federation of Teachers (NJ), 2012

    2012-01-01

    School districts close schools for many appropriate reasons. School closure has now evolved into a school improvement strategy. Sometimes the strategy is to close the lowest-performing schools rather than low-enrollment schools and move the students into higher-achieving neighborhood schools. School closure also has become a common strategy to…

  4. Dynamic Geometry Software Improves Mathematical Achievement: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chan, Kan Kan; Leung, Siu Wai

    2014-01-01

    Dynamic geometry software (DGS) aims to enhance mathematics education. This systematic review and meta-analysis evaluated the quasi-experimental studies on the effectiveness of DGS-based instruction in improving students' mathematical achievement. Research articles published between 1990 and 2013 were identified from major databases according to a…

  5. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. 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…

  8. Alabama's Education Report Card, 2000: Significant Predictors of Student Achievement at the District and School Level. Research Brief.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller-Whitehead, Marie

    This paper examines Alabama's State Education Report Card for the year 2000. It identifies predictors for student academic achievement at both the district and school levels for 128 public school systems and 1,272 public schools. Separate analyses were conducted for 61 city and 67 county school systems. The variables included number of students,…

  9. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

  11. [The major achievements of medicine in XX-early XXI centuries and their significance for the near future].

    PubMed

    Lisitsyn, Iu P; Zhuravleva, T V

    2012-01-01

    Among major achievements of medicine in XX-early XXI centuries considered as the most outstanding contribution are the development of theory of system of control of functions of organism and its integrity by I.P. Pavlov and his disciples and followers: the concept of psycho-somatic medicine by Z. Freud and social psychology; the theory of stress and general adaptive syndrome by H. Selye and the discovering of nature of many infectious and parasitic diseases. Then establishment of pathogenic impact of extra-environmental factors, decoding of gene chromosomal structure of organism, development of genetic engineering, effective pharmaceuticals, and techniques of treatment and prevention of various inherent and acquired diseases also can be put into this category. The achievements and discoveries in the area of public health, social medicine and hygiene and development of concept of healthy life-style are discussed too. PMID:23350086

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2003-01-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:26495771

  15. 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…

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    Agnihotri, Naveen; Agnihotri, Ajju

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1992-09-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Improved tumor contrast achieved by single time point dual-reporter fluorescence imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tichauer, Kenneth M.; Samkoe, Kimberley S.; Sexton, Kristian J.; Gunn, Jason R.; Hasan, Tayyaba; Pogue, Brian W.

    2012-06-01

    In this study, we demonstrate a method to quantify biomarker expression that uses an exogenous dual-reporter imaging approach to improve tumor signal detection. The uptake of two fluorophores, one nonspecific and one targeted to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), were imaged at 1 h in three types of xenograft tumors spanning a range of EGFR expression levels (n=6 in each group). Using this dual-reporter imaging methodology, tumor contrast-to-noise ratio was amplified by >6 times at 1 h postinjection and >2 times at 24 h. Furthermore, by as early as 20 min postinjection, the dual-reporter imaging signal in the tumor correlated significantly with a validated marker of receptor density (P<0.05, r=0.93). Dual-reporter imaging can improve sensitivity and specificity over conventional fluorescence imaging in applications such as fluorescence-guided surgery and directly approximates the receptor status of the tumor, a measure that could be used to inform choices of biological therapies.

  14. Achieving crop stress tolerance and improvement--an overview of genomic techniques.

    PubMed

    Rasool, Saiema; Ahmad, Parvaiz; Rehman, Muneeb U; Arif, Ahmad; Anjum, Naser A

    2015-12-01

    The inexorable exposure of plants to the combinations of abiotic stresses has affected the worldwide food supply. The crop improvement against these abiotic stresses has been captivating approach to increase the yield and enhance the stress tolerance. By using traditional and modern breeding methods, the characters that confer tolerance to these stresses were accomplished. No doubt genetic engineering and molecular breeding have helped in comprehending the intricate nature of stress response. Understanding of abiotic stress-involved cellular pathways provides vital information on such responses. On the other hand, genomic research for crop improvement has raised new assessments in breeding new varieties against abiotic stresses. Interpretation of responses of the crop plants under stress is of great significance by studying the main role of crops in food and biofuel production. This review presents genomic-based approaches revealing the complex networks controlling the mechanisms of abiotic stress tolerance, and the possible modes of assimilating information attained by genomic-based approaches due to the advancement in isolation and functional analysis of genes controlling the yield and abiotic stress tolerance are discussed. PMID:26440315

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

    ... 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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

    ... 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...

  20. 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...

  1. Principal Readiness and Professional Development to Conduct Effective Teacher Evaluations That Lead to Improved Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hunziker, Shawn

    2012-01-01

    Education reform is the focus of many of the political agendas today. The research is clear that the best way to increase student achievement is by having highly effective teachers in the classroom. As a result of prior research, both the state and federal governments have created mandates and legislation aimed at achieving that goal. One of the…

  2. 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…

  3. Principal Leadership: Creating a Culture of Academic Optimism to Improve Achievement for All Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McGuigan, Leigh; Hoy, Wayne K.

    2006-01-01

    Since the Coleman Report (1966), educational researchers have tried to identify school properties that make a difference in student achievement and overcome the negative influence of low socioeconomic status. We theorized that academic optimism was a latent construct that enhanced student achievement and that enabling school structure provided a…

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-08-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Raising Our Sights: Improving U.S. Achievement in Mathematics and Science.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Neil, John

    Despite rising concerns about the mathematics and science achievement of U.S. students, a flood of evidence amassed over the past decade suggests that far too few students are receiving the high-quality education needed in these subjects either for careers or for basic citizenship. The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)…

  13. 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…

  14. Improving Achievement, Behavior, and Parent Involvement for Middle School Students through a Behavior Management Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Stanley D.

    This practicum was designed to enhance methods and procedures used with 15 low-achieving, disinterested, and disruptive seventh grade students assigned to a middle school's alternative education program. The primary goal of the practicum was to increase students' responsibility for their own actions and their attention to learning. A secondary…

  15. 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…

  16. 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.…

  17. 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…

  18. 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,…

  19. Improving Parental Involvement and Reading Achievement of Caribbean Immigrant Adolescents through Differentiated Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robert, Joshua

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this applied dissertation study was to determine the relative impact of parental involvement, parental school perception, student generation status, and Caribbean adolescents' own attitudes and behavior towards academic achievement and reading comprehension skills. For this study, 45 Caribbean parents from Grenadian, Guyanese,…

  20. 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…

  1. 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)…

  2. Student Achievement and Graduation Rates in Nevada: Urgent Need for Faster Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McRobbie, Joan; Makkonen, Reino

    2005-01-01

    This report begins with an overview of conditions that affect Nevada education and key challenges created by those conditions. It then describes a number of state and local reform activities designed to address these challenges. Within this context, findings on student achievement and graduation rates are presented -- both for students overall …

  3. 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…

  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. 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…

  6. Improving Student Achievement in Language Arts through Implementation of Multiple Intelligences Strategies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geimer, Mandy; Getz, Jennifer; Pochert, Terry; Pullam, Karen

    Student achievement has been low in language arts in Suburban Chicago, Illinois school districts. This action research project was designed to determine the effect of incorporating multiple intelligence strategies into the language arts curriculum. The targeted students were in the second, third, and fifth grades, in a western suburb of Chicago,…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. Homogeneous Grouping in the Context of High-Stakes Testing: Does It Improve Reading Achievement?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salcedo-Gonzalez, Trena

    2012-01-01

    As accountability reform intensifies, urban school districts strive to meet No Child Left Behind mandates to avoid severe penalties. This study investigated the resurgence of homogeneous grouping methods as a means to increase reading achievement and meet English Language Arts Adequate Yearly Progress requirements. Specifically, this study…

  10. 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…

  11. 78 FR 69336 - Title I-Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-11-19

    ... FR 52467) a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding modified academic achievement standards and... period for seven days. DATES: For the proposed rule published on August 23, 2013 (78 FR 52467), written... August 23, 2013, we published a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register (78 FR...

  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. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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

  16. 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…

  17. Does Spending More on Education Improve Academic Achievement? Backgrounder. No. 2179

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lips, Dan; Watkins, Shanea J.; Fleming, John

    2008-01-01

    Debates about how to improve public education in America often focus on whether government should spend more on education. Federal and state policymakers proposing new education programs often base their arguments on the need to provide more resources to schools to improve opportunities for students. Many Americans seem to share this view. While…

  18. 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…

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Improving Achievement through Technology: Status Report on the Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP). E & R Report No. 95E.05.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baenen, Nancy; And Others

    During 1993-94 and 1994-95, eight Wake County (North Carolina) Public School Systems schools were funded by the federal Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) as they attempted to improve students' education and achievement through technology: Poe, Conn, Powell, Bugg, Fuller, and Hunter Elementary; Ligon Middle School, and Enloe High School.…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  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. Motivational Workshops for Low Achieving High School Students in Order to Help Them Improve Their Career Maturity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coleman, Thomas R.

    Two studies were conducted in which low achieving high school students were given motivational workshops in order to help them improve their career maturity and to understand the processes involved in making wise career choices for themselves. It was hypothesized that in the experimental groups which received career counseling the student's career…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Huang, Song; Chen, Xiao Dong

    2013-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. What Is the Best Way to Achieve Broader Reach of Improved Practices in Higher Education?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kezar, Adrianna

    2011-01-01

    This article examines a common problem in higher education--how to create more widespread use of improved practices, often commonly referred to as innovations. I argue that policy models of scale-up are often advocated in higher education but that they have a dubious history in community development and K-12 education and that higher education…

  7. 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…

  8. 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 genetic…

  9. 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,…

  10. 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…

  11. The Effect of a Reading Improvement Program Upon Academic Achievement in College.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herman, James Edward

    The purpose of this study was to determine what effects an intensive six-week college reading improvement program would have on students' reading rates, reading comprehension, and cumulative quality point ratio (CQPR) over a fourteen-month period of time. The population consisted of 40 matched pairs of undergraduate students at the University of…

  12. 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…

  13. Improving Student Achievement in Alaska. Alaska Goals 2000 Annual Report, 1997-98.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alaska State Dept. of Education, Juneau.

    Alaska Goals 2000 is part of a coordinated, statewide effort to improve public education for all students in Alaska. In 1997-1998, 90% of Alaska's federal funding was used to fund grants to local school districts, and 10% was used to fund state-level activities through the Alaska Department of Education. During 1997-1998, curriculum frameworks and…

  14. Improving Reading Achievement through the Use of a Balanced Literacy Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Jennifer L.; Dunbar, Cherie C.; Roach, Shannon L.

    This action research project described a program for improving reading skills in the identified primary classrooms. The targeted population consisted of students in first and third grades. The third grade classrooms were located in a low socioeconomic area within an urban community of Illinois. The first grade classroom was located in a higher…

  15. Creating a Longitudinal Data System: Using Data To Improve Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Achieve, Inc., 2006

    2006-01-01

    Policymakers and educators need longitudinal data systems capable of providing timely, valid and relevant data. Access to these data gives teachers the information they need to tailor instruction to help each student improve, gives administrators the resources and information to effectively and efficiently manage, and enables policymakers to…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:14521429

  2. Revisiting the Importance of the Direct Effects of School Leadership on Student Achievement: The Implications for School Improvement Policy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nettles, Stephen M.; Herrington, Carolyn

    2007-01-01

    Much is left to be known regarding the impact of school principals on student achievement. This is because much of the research on school leadership focuses not on actual student outcomes but rather on other peripheral results of principal practices. In the research that has been done in this area, significant relationships have been identified…

  3. Can Community and School-Based Supports Improve the Achievement of First-Generation Immigrant Children Attending High-Poverty Schools?

    PubMed

    Dearing, Eric; Walsh, Mary E; Sibley, Erin; Lee-St John, Terry; Foley, Claire; Raczek, Anastacia E

    2016-05-01

    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 to learning and, in turn, connect children to community and school supports aligned with their strengths and needs. By exploiting within-school changes in the implementation of the intervention, the present study revealed statistically and practically significant treatment effects indicating improvements in math and reading achievement at the end of elementary school. In addition, the intervention appears to considerably narrow achievement gaps between English language learners and immigrant children proficient in English.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Clinical decision support systems for improving diagnostic accuracy and achieving precision medicine.

    PubMed

    Castaneda, Christian; Nalley, Kip; Mannion, Ciaran; Bhattacharyya, Pritish; Blake, Patrick; Pecora, Andrew; Goy, Andre; Suh, K Stephen

    2015-01-01

    As research laboratories and clinics collaborate to achieve precision medicine, both communities are required to understand mandated electronic health/medical record (EHR/EMR) initiatives that will be fully implemented in all clinics in the United States by 2015. Stakeholders will need to evaluate current record keeping practices and optimize and standardize methodologies to capture nearly all information in digital format. Collaborative efforts from academic and industry sectors are crucial to achieving higher efficacy in patient care while minimizing costs. Currently existing digitized data and information are present in multiple formats and are largely unstructured. In the absence of a universally accepted management system, departments and institutions continue to generate silos of information. As a result, invaluable and newly discovered knowledge is difficult to access. To accelerate biomedical research and reduce healthcare costs, clinical and bioinformatics systems must employ common data elements to create structured annotation forms enabling laboratories and clinics to capture sharable data in real time. Conversion of these datasets to knowable information should be a routine institutionalized process. New scientific knowledge and clinical discoveries can be shared via integrated knowledge environments defined by flexible data models and extensive use of standards, ontologies, vocabularies, and thesauri. In the clinical setting, aggregated knowledge must be displayed in user-friendly formats so that physicians, non-technical laboratory personnel, nurses, data/research coordinators, and end-users can enter data, access information, and understand the output. The effort to connect astronomical numbers of data points, including '-omics'-based molecular data, individual genome sequences, experimental data, patient clinical phenotypes, and follow-up data is a monumental task. Roadblocks to this vision of integration and interoperability include ethical, legal

  7. Strategies To Boost Maternal Immunization To Achieve Further Gains In Improved Maternal And Newborn Health.

    PubMed

    Steedman, Mark R; Kampmann, Beate; Schillings, Egbert; Al Kuwari, Hanan; Darzi, Ara

    2016-02-01

    Despite the indisputable successes of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which include goals on improving maternal health and reducing child mortality, millions of mothers and newborns still die tragically and unnecessarily each year. Many of these deaths result from vaccine-preventable diseases, since obstacles such as cost and accessibility have hampered efforts to deliver efficacious vaccines to those most in need. Additionally, many vaccines given to mothers and children under age five are not suitable for newborns, since their maturing immune systems do not respond optimally during the first few months of life. Maternal immunization-the process by which a pregnant woman's immune system is fortified against a particular disease and the protection is then transferred to her unborn child-has emerged as a strategy to prevent many unnecessary maternal and newborn deaths. We review vaccines that are already used for maternal immunization, analyze vaccines under development that could be used for maternal immunization strategies in the future, and recommend that policy makers use maternal immunization for improved maternal and newborn health. PMID:26858385

  8. 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.

  9. Strategies To Boost Maternal Immunization To Achieve Further Gains In Improved Maternal And Newborn Health.

    PubMed

    Steedman, Mark R; Kampmann, Beate; Schillings, Egbert; Al Kuwari, Hanan; Darzi, Ara

    2016-02-01

    Despite the indisputable successes of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which include goals on improving maternal health and reducing child mortality, millions of mothers and newborns still die tragically and unnecessarily each year. Many of these deaths result from vaccine-preventable diseases, since obstacles such as cost and accessibility have hampered efforts to deliver efficacious vaccines to those most in need. Additionally, many vaccines given to mothers and children under age five are not suitable for newborns, since their maturing immune systems do not respond optimally during the first few months of life. Maternal immunization-the process by which a pregnant woman's immune system is fortified against a particular disease and the protection is then transferred to her unborn child-has emerged as a strategy to prevent many unnecessary maternal and newborn deaths. We review vaccines that are already used for maternal immunization, analyze vaccines under development that could be used for maternal immunization strategies in the future, and recommend that policy makers use maternal immunization for improved maternal and newborn health.

  10. Achieving clean epitaxial graphene surfaces suitable for device applications by improved lithographic process

    SciTech Connect

    Nath, A. Rao, M. V.; Koehler, A. D.; Jernigan, G. G.; Wheeler, V. D.; Hite, J. K.; Hernández, S. C.; Robinson, Z. R.; Myers-Ward, R. L.; Eddy, C. R.; Gaskill, D. K.; Garces, N. Y.

    2014-06-02

    It is well-known that the performance of graphene electronic devices is often limited by extrinsic scattering related to resist residue from transfer, lithography, and other processes. Here, we report a polymer-assisted fabrication procedure that produces a clean graphene surface following device fabrication by a standard lithography process. The effectiveness of this improved lithography process is demonstrated by examining the temperature dependence of epitaxial graphene-metal contact resistance using the transfer length method for Ti/Au (10 nm/50 nm) metallization. The Landauer-Buttiker model was used to explain carrier transport at the graphene-metal interface as a function of temperature. At room temperature, a contact resistance of 140 Ω-μm was obtained after a thermal anneal at 523 K for 2 hr under vacuum, which is comparable to state-of-the-art values.

  11. Adaptive feedforward of estimated ripple improves the closed loop system performance significantly

    SciTech Connect

    Kwon, S.; Regan, A.; Wang, Y.M.; Rohlev, T.

    1998-12-31

    The Low Energy Demonstration Accelerator (LEDA) being constructed at Los Alamos National Laboratory will serve as the prototype for the low energy section of Acceleration Production of Tritium (APT) accelerator. This paper addresses the problem of LLRF control system for LEDA. The authors propose an estimator of the ripple and its time derivative and a control law which is based on PID control and adaptive feedforward of estimated ripple. The control law reduces the effect of the deterministic cathode ripple that is due to high voltage power supply and achieves tracking of desired set points.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-11

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Griffin, Gary A.

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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:22778334

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

    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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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

  3. 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. PMID:27514663

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Mizukami, Takeshi; Ogata, Haruhiko; Hibi, Toshihumi

    2012-08-28

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. A qualitative comparison of primary care clinicians’ and their patients’ perspectives on achieving depression care: implications for improving outcomes

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Improving the patient experience of primary care is a stated focus of efforts to transform primary care practices into “Patient-centered Medical Homes” (PCMH) in the United States, yet understanding and promoting what defines a positive experience from the patient’s perspective has been de-emphasized relative to the development of technological and communication infrastructure at the PCMH. The objective of this qualitative study was to compare primary care clinicians’ and their patients’ perceptions of the patients’ experiences, expectations and preferences as they try to achieve care for depression. Methods We interviewed 6 primary care clinicians along with 30 of their patients with a history of depressive disorder attending 4 small to medium-sized primary care practices from rural and urban settings. Results Three processes on the way to satisfactory depression care emerged: 1. a journey, often from fractured to connected care; 2. a search for a personal understanding of their depression; 3. creation of unique therapeutic spaces for treating current depression and preventing future episodes. Relative to patients’ observations regarding stigma’s effects on accepting a depression diagnosis and seeking treatment, clinicians tended to underestimate the presence and effects of stigma. Patients preferred clinicians who were empathetic listeners, while clinicians worried that discussing depression could open “Pandora’s box” of lengthy discussions and set them irrecoverably behind in their clinic schedules. Clinicians and patients agreed that somatic manifestations of mental distress impeded the patients’ ability to understand their suffering as depression. Clinicians reported supporting several treatment modalities beyond guideline-based approaches for depression, yet also displayed surface-level understanding of the often multifaceted support webs their patient described. Conclusions Improving processes and outcomes in primary care

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Using optimal combination of teaching-learning methods (open book assignment and group tutorials) as revision exercises to improve learning outcome in low achievers in biochemistry.

    PubMed

    Rajappa, Medha; Bobby, Zachariah; Nandeesha, H; Suryapriya, R; Ragul, Anithasri; Yuvaraj, B; Revathy, G; Priyadarssini, M

    2016-07-01

    Graduate medical students of India are taught Biochemistry by didactic lectures and they hardly get any opportunity to clarify their doubts and reinforce the concepts which they learn in these lectures. We used a combination of teaching-learning (T-L) methods (open book assignment followed by group tutorials) to study their efficacy in improving the learning outcome. About 143 graduate medical students were classified into low (<50%: group 1, n = 23), medium (50-75%: group 2, n = 74), and high (>75%: group 3, n = 46) achievers, based on their internal assessment marks. After the regular teaching module on the topics "Vitamins and Enzymology", all the students attempted an open book assignment without peer consultation. Then all the students participated in group tutorials. The effects on the groups were evaluated by pre and posttests at the end of each phase, with the same set of MCQs. Gain from group tutorials and overall gain was significantly higher in the low achievers, compared to other groups. High and medium achievers obtained more gain from open book assignment, than group tutorials. The overall gain was significantly higher than the gain obtained from open book assignment or group tutorials, in all three groups. All the three groups retained the gain even after 1 week of the exercise. Hence, optimal use of novel T-L methods (open book assignment followed by group tutorials) as revision exercises help in strengthening concepts in Biochemistry in this oft neglected group of low achievers in graduate medical education. © 2016 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 44(4):321-325, 2016.

  3. 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

  4. Achieving Dramatic School Improvement: An Exploratory Study. A Cross-Site Analysis from the Evaluation of Comprehensive School Reform Program Implementation and Outcomes Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aladjem, Daniel K.; Birman, Beatrice F.; Orland, Martin; Harr-Robins, Jenifer; Heredia, Alberto; Parrish, Thomas B.; Ruffini, Stephen J.

    2010-01-01

    This exploratory study describes approaches to improving schools through retrospective, in-depth qualitative case studies. To select schools to be examined, the authors sought to identify Comprehensive School Reform (CSR) schools demonstrating two distinctive patterns of improved student achievement between 2000 and 2005, rapid-improvement (i.e.,…

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-11-01

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

  6. Improved yields of full-length functional human FGF1 can be achieved using the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris.

    PubMed

    Fantoni, Adele; Bill, Roslyn M; Gustafsson, Lena; Hedfalk, Kristina

    2007-03-01

    We have produced human fibroblast growth factor 1 (hFGF1) in the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris in order to obtain the large amounts of active protein required for subsequent functional and structural characterization. Four constructs were made to examine both intracellular and secreted expression, with variations in the location of the His6 tag at either end of the peptide. hFGF1 could be produced from all four constructs in shake flasks, but production was optimized by growing only the highest-yielding of these strains, which produced hFGF1 intracellularly, under tightly controlled conditions in a 3 L fermentor. One hundred and eight milligrams of pure protein was achieved per liter culture (corresponding to 0.68 mg of protein per gram of wet cells), the function of which was verified using NIH 3T3 cell cultures. This is a 30-fold improvement over previously reported yields of full-length hFGF1. PMID:17134911

  7. Substantial Improvements in Performance Indicators Achieved in a Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell Cryopreservation Quality Assurance Program Using Single Donor Samples▿

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:17050740

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  11. 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).

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Evaluation of a School Systems Plan to Utilize Teachers' Perceptions of Principal Leadership to Improve Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Williams, Ed

    2009-01-01

    This study examines fourth grade student achievement in relation to teacher perceptions of principal leadership and other selected variables in a large urban school district in Georgia. Student achievement was measured by performance on the Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 school years. The…

  19. Achieving significantly enhanced visible-light photocatalytic efficiency using a polyelectrolyte: the composites of exfoliated titania nanosheets, graphene, and poly(diallyl-dimethyl-ammonium chloride)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Qian; An, Qi; Luan, Xinglong; Huang, Hongwei; Li, Xiaowei; Meng, Zilin; Tong, Wangshu; Chen, Xiaodong; Chu, Paul K.; Zhang, Yihe

    2015-08-01

    A high-performance visible-light-active photocatalyst is prepared using the polyelectrolyte/exfoliated titania nanosheet/graphene oxide (GO) precursor by flocculation followed by calcination. The polyelectrolyte poly(diallyl-dimethyl-ammonium chloride) serves not only as an effective binder to precipitate GO and titania nanosheets, but also boosts the overall performance of the catalyst significantly. Unlike most titania nanosheet-based catalysts reported in the literature, the composite absorbs light in the UV-Vis-NIR range. Its decomposition rate of methylene blue is 98% under visible light. This novel strategy of using a polymer to enhance the catalytic performance of titania nanosheet-based catalysts affords immense potential in designing and fabricating next-generation photocatalysts with high efficiency.A high-performance visible-light-active photocatalyst is prepared using the polyelectrolyte/exfoliated titania nanosheet/graphene oxide (GO) precursor by flocculation followed by calcination. The polyelectrolyte poly(diallyl-dimethyl-ammonium chloride) serves not only as an effective binder to precipitate GO and titania nanosheets, but also boosts the overall performance of the catalyst significantly. Unlike most titania nanosheet-based catalysts reported in the literature, the composite absorbs light in the UV-Vis-NIR range. Its decomposition rate of methylene blue is 98% under visible light. This novel strategy of using a polymer to enhance the catalytic performance of titania nanosheet-based catalysts affords immense potential in designing and fabricating next-generation photocatalysts with high efficiency. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c5nr03256c

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-19

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

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Significantly improved expression and biochemical properties of recombinant Serratia marcescens lipase as robust biocatalyst for kinetic resolution of chiral ester.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yi; Zhao, Jian; Xu, Jian-He; Fan, Li-Qiang; Li, Su-Xia; Zhao, Li-Li; Mao, Xiao-Bo

    2010-12-01

    A lipase gene from Serratia marcescens ECU1010 was cloned into expression vector pET28a, sequenced, and overexpressed as an N terminus His-tag fusion protein in Escherichia coli. Through the optimization of culture conditions in shake flask, the lipase activity was improved up to 1.09 x 10⁵ U/l, which is a great improvement compared to our previous reports. It was purified to homogeneity by Ni-NTA affinity chromatography with an overall yield of 59.4% and a purification factor of 2.4-fold. This recombinant lipase displayed excellent stability below 30 °C and within the pH range of 5.0-6.8, giving temperature and pH optima at 40 °C and pH 9.0, respectively. The lipase activity was found to increase in the presence of metal ions such as Ca²+, Cu²+, and some nonionic surfactants such as PEG series. In addition, among p-nitrophenyl esters of fatty acids with varied chain length, the recombinant lipase showed the maximum activity on p-nitrophenyl laurate (C₁₂). Using racemic trans-3-(4'-methoxy-phenyl)-glycidyl methyl ester [(±)-MPGM] as substrate, which is a key chiral synthon for production of diltiazem, a 50% conversion yield was achieved after 4 h in toluene-water (100 mM KPB phosphate buffer, pH 7.5) biphasic system (5:5 ml) at 30 °C under shaking condition (160 rpm), affording (-)-MPGM in nearly 100% ee. The K(m) and V(max) values of the lipase for (±)-MPGM were 222 mM and 1.24 mmol min⁻¹  mg⁻¹, respectively. The above-mentioned features make the highly enantioselective lipase from Serratia marcescens ECU1010 a robust biocatalyst for practical use in large-scale production of diltiazem intermediate.

  8. Pt-decorated GaN nanowires with significant improvement in H2 gas-sensing performance at room temperature.

    PubMed

    Abdullah, Q N; Yam, F K; Hassan, Z; Bououdina, M

    2015-12-15

    Superior sensitivity towards H2 gas was successfully achieved with Pt-decorated GaN nanowires (NWs) gas sensor. GaN NWs were fabricated via chemical vapor deposition (CVD) route. Morphology (field emission scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy) and crystal structure (high resolution X-ray diffraction) characterizations of the as-synthesized nanostructures demonstrated the formation of GaN NWs having a wurtzite structure, zigzaged shape and an average diameter of 30-166nm. The Pt-decorated GaN NWs sensor shows a high response of 250-2650% upon exposure to H2 gas concentration from 7 to 1000ppm respectively at room temperature (RT), and then increases to about 650-4100% when increasing the operating temperature up to 75°C. The gas-sensing measurements indicated that the Pt-decorated GaN NWs based sensor exhibited efficient detection of H2 at low concentration with excellent sensitivity, repeatability, and free hysteresis phenomena over a period of time of 100min. The large surface-to-volume ratio of GaN NWs and the catalytic activity of Pt metal are the most influential factors leading to the enhancement of H2 gas-sensing performances through the improvement of the interaction between the target molecules (H2) and the sensing NWs surface. The attractive low-cost, low power consumption and high-performance of the resultant decorated GaN NWs gas sensor assure their uppermost potential for H2 gas sensor working at low operating temperature.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Angus, Simon D; Piotrowska, Monika Joanna

    2014-01-01

    of significantly improving clinical efficacy.

  12. Massachusetts Charter Public Schools: Best Practices Using Data to Improve Student Achievement in Springfield. White Paper No. 142

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Candal, Cara Stillings

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies continue to shine light on high-performing charter schools. While Boston-area charter schools--a concentrated group of high-performers--garner more attention than others, many excellent schools outside of Boston have been quietly chipping away at the achievement gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students. One of these schools…

  13. Improving Academic Achievement and Self-Esteem in Secondary Students through Parental Involvement and Teacher Cooperative Consultation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Basford, Linda Douglas

    The purpose of this practicum was to develop a program to increase high school juniors' and seniors' academic achievement by one grade level, their self-esteem by one level (as measured by the North York Secondary School Self-Concept Inventory), and to increase parent positive responses and interest in the program and its continuation. Examination…

  14. 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…

  15. Schooling and Cognitive Achievements of Children in Morocco: Can the Government Improve Outcomes? World Bank Discussion Papers, No. 264.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Khandker, Shahidur R.; And Others

    This paper uses data from the Morocco Living Standard Survey in an econometric investigation of the relative effectiveness of supply- and demand-side factors in determining educational outcomes. A wide range of factors are examined that may be responsible for differences in grade completion levels and achievement among sexes, regions, and urban…

  16. "Does Charter School Attendance Improve Test Scores?" Comments and Reactions on the Arizona Achievement Study. Upjohn Institute Staff Working Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Christopher; Hollenbeck, Kevin

    In a recent report, Lewis Solmon, Kern Paark, and David Garcia (2001) seek to identify the impact of attending charter schools on student achievement using data from Arizona. Based on a sophisticated statistical analysis, these authors report that charter school attendance increases test score gains of students. This note raises some questions…

  17. 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…

  18. From Compliance to Service: Evolving the State Role to Support District Data Efforts to Improve Student Achievement. Summary

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Data Quality Campaign, 2011

    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…

  19. 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;…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-09-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Interfacing Essential Competencies and Learner Outcomes with Developmental Reading: Program for Improving Reading Achievement; Recreational Reading and Personal Development: Inservice Mini-Package for Teachers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Casteel, Carolyn P.; And Others

    Developed in West Virginia as part of a statewide effort to improve reading achievement through a competency based staff development program, this inservice instructional packet on recreational reading and personal development is one of five devised to present classroom teachers with the essential competencies and learner outcomes involved in…

  14. 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…

  15. Project HAPI (Handicapped Achievement Program Improvement): Assessment plus Intervention equals IEP. A Handbook on How to Write an Individualized Education Program for the Visually Impaired. Book Four.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chabot, Michele; Chapman, Jean

    The fourth 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 visual impairments. It is reported that students who…

  16. 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…

  17. Improving Reading Achievement of Chapter 1 Pull-Out Students through Self-Esteem Building Classes Involving Buddy Group and Teacher Participation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hershfield, Marlene

    A practicum attempted to improve the low reading achievement of Chapter 1 students in a low socioeconomic fifth-grade class by implementing a self-esteem building program. Activities were designed in a workbook format to complement class instruction in self-esteem building exercises. An emphasis on critical thinking skills was incorporated into…

  18. Learning Achievement Improvement Efforts Course Learn and Learning Using the Jigsaw Method and Card Media in STKIP PGRI Ngawi 2014/2015 Academic Year

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haryono

    2015-01-01

    Subject Teaching and Learning is a basic educational courses that must be taken by all student teachers. Class Action Research aims to improve student achievement Teaching and Learning course by applying Jigsaw and media cards. Research procedures using Classroom Action Research (CAR) with multiple cycles. Each cycle includes four phases:…

  19. Collaborating to Create Change: How El Paso Community College Improved the Readiness of Its Incoming Students through Achieving the Dream. Culture of Evidence Series, Report No. 4

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kerrigan, Monica Reid; Slater, Doug

    2010-01-01

    Launched in 2003, "Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count" is a multiyear national initiative designed to improve educational outcomes for community college students, particularly students of color and low-income students. Supported by Lumina Foundation for Education and other funders, the initiative has grown to include 98 community…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  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. 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…

  4. 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...) FEDERAL MANAGEMENT REGULATION ADMINISTRATIVE PROGRAMS 193-CREATION, MAINTENANCE, AND USE OF RECORDS § 102-193.25 What type of records management business process improvements should my agency strive...

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. Monitoring Hip and Elbow Dysplasia Achieved Modest Genetic Improvement of 74 Dog Breeds over 40 Years in USA

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xu; Zhao, Qian; Todhunter, Rory J.; Zhang, Zhiwu

    2013-01-01

    Hip (HD) and Elbow Dysplasia (ED) are two common complex developmental disorders of dogs. In order to decrease their prevalence and severity, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) has a voluntary registry of canine hip and elbow conformation certified by boarded radiologists. However, the voluntarily reports have been severely biased against exposing dogs with problems, especially at beginning period. Fluctuated by additional influential factors such as age, the published raw scores barely showed trends of improvement. In this study, we used multiple-trait mixed model to simultaneously adjust these factors and incorporate pedigree to derive Estimated Breeding Values (EBV). A total of 1,264,422 dogs from 74 breeds were evaluated for EBVs from 760,455 hip scores and 135,409 elbow scores. These EBVs have substantially recovered the reporting bias and the other influences. Clear and steady trends of genetic improvement were observed over the 40 years since 1970. The total genetic improvements were 16.4% and 1.1% of the phenotypic standard deviation for HD and ED, respectively. The incidences of dysplasia were 0.83% and 2.08%, and the heritabilities were estimated as 0.22 and 0.17 for hip and elbow scores, respectively. The genetic correlation between them was 0.12. We conclude that EBV is more effective than reporting raw phenotype. The weak genetic correlation suggested that selection based on hip scores would also slightly improve elbow scores but it is necessary to allocate effort toward improvement of elbow scores alone. PMID:24124555

  10. 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.

  11. Improving educational achievement and anaemia of school children: design of a cluster randomised trial of school-based malaria prevention and enhanced literacy instruction in Kenya

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Improving the health of school-aged children can yield substantial benefits for cognitive development and educational achievement. However, there is limited experimental evidence on the benefits of school-based malaria prevention or how health interventions interact with other efforts to improve education quality. This study aims to evaluate the impact of school-based malaria prevention and enhanced literacy instruction on the health and educational achievement of school children in Kenya. Design A factorial, cluster randomised trial is being implemented in 101 government primary schools on the coast of Kenya. The interventions are (i) intermittent screening and treatment of malaria in schools by public health workers and (ii) training workshops and support for teachers to promote explicit and systematic literacy instruction. Schools are randomised to one of four groups: receiving either (i) the malaria intervention alone; (ii) the literacy intervention alone; (iii) both interventions combined; or (iv) control group where neither intervention is implemented. Children from classes 1 and 5 are randomly selected and followed up for 24 months. The primary outcomes are educational achievement and anaemia, the hypothesised mediating variables through which education is affected. Secondary outcomes include malaria parasitaemia, school attendance and school performance. A nested process evaluation, using semi-structured interviews, focus group discussion and a stakeholder analysis will investigate the community acceptability, feasibility and cost-effectiveness of the interventions. Discussion Across Africa, governments are committed to improve health and education of school-aged children, but seek clear policy and technical guidance as to the optimal approach to address malaria and improved literacy. This evaluation will be one of the first to simultaneously evaluate the impact of health and education interventions in the improvement of educational achievement

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:25665213

  14. 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. PMID:27449966

  15. Use of Rasch Rating Scale Modeling to Develop and Validate a Measure of District-Level Characteristics and Practices Identified to Improve Instruction and Increase Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Soska, Paul J., III

    2012-01-01

    Increasing qualitative evidence in the literature supports specific characteristics and practices, presented from a distributed leadership perspective, to be prevalent in school districts that demonstrate significant increases in student achievement. Quantitative evidence linking these identified district-level characteristics and practices to…

  16. How effective are drug treatments for children with ADHD at improving on-task behaviour and academic achievement in the school classroom? A systematic review and meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Prasad, Vibhore; Brogan, Ellen; Mulvaney, Caroline; Grainge, Matthew; Stanton, Wendy; Sayal, Kapil

    2013-04-01

    Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has a significant impact on children's classroom behaviour, daily functioning and experience of school life. However, the effects of drug treatment for ADHD on learning and academic achievement are not fully understood. This review was undertaken to describe the effects of methylphenidate, dexamfetamine, mixed amfetamine salts and atomoxetine on children's on-task behaviour and their academic performance, and to perform a meta-analysis to quantify these effects. Nine electronic databases were systematically searched for randomized controlled trials comparing drug treatment for ADHD against (i) no drug treatment, (ii) baseline (in crossover trials), or (iii) placebo; reporting outcomes encompassing measures of educational achievement within the classroom environment. Forty-three studies involving a pooled total of 2,110 participants were identified for inclusion. Drug treatment benefited children in the amount of school work that they completed, by up to 15%, and less consistently improved children's accuracy in specific types of academic assignments, such as arithmetic. Similar improvements were seen in classroom behaviour, with up to 14% more of children's time spent "on task". Methylphenidate, dexamfetamine and mixed amfetamine formulations all showed beneficial effects on children's on-task behaviour and academic work completion. Atomoxetine was examined in two studies, and was found to have no significant effect. These review findings suggest that medication for ADHD has the potential to improve children's learning and academic achievement. PMID:23179416

  17. An Experiment in Improving Achievement in Foreign Language Through Learning of Selected Skills Associated with Language Aptitude. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Politzer, Robert L.; Weiss, Louis

    This two-phase experiment was conducted to determine: (1) whether foreign language aptitude as measured by standard aptitude tests (Pimsleur Language Aptitude Battery, Carroll-Sapon Modern Language Aptitude Test) can be significantly increased by training, and (2) whether increases in language aptitude so obtained would result in better language…

  18. Improving Urban Student Achievement Through Early Childhood Reform: What State Policymakers Can Do. Issue Paper. Early Childhood Reform Issue Paper

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kagan, Sharon Lynn

    2004-01-01

    For over four decades, American policymakers have focused their attention on readying young children for school. Despite noble policy efforts, durable investments and a persistent belief in the ability of early childhood education to offset social inequities, significant challenges exist for America's urban young children as they enter school.…

  19. Indirect Effects of the Family Check-Up on School-Age Academic Achievement Through Improvements in Parenting in Early Childhood

    PubMed Central

    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 distinct areas. The results demonstrated that changes in positive parenting between the child ages of 2 and 3 were associated with higher scores on children’s school-age academic achievement, as measured by the Woodcock–Johnson III (W-J) Academic Skills composite. Moreover, structural equation modeling revealed that random assignment to the intervention was associated with higher levels of children’s academic achievement at age 5 and age 7.5 indirectly, through greater increases in parents’ use of positive behavior support in intervention families than in control families. Results are discussed with respect to the potential of a brief parenting intervention for improving parenting practices that promote academic achievement up to 5 years later. The results have promising implications for efforts to promote child adaptation in the school environment. PMID:24319295

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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. PMID:23933077

  4. 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…

  5. 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

  6. [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.

  7. Current achievements with topical negative pressure to improve wound healing in dehiscent ischemic stumps of diabetic patients: a case series.

    PubMed

    Georgakarakos, Efstratios; Charalampidis, Dimitris; Kakagia, Despoina; Georgiadis, George S; Lazarides, Miltos K; Papanas, Nikolaos

    2013-06-01

    Negative pressure wound therapy has been increasingly used either as a primary or as an adjunctive therapeutic measure to treat a variety of recalcitrant wounds during the past years. It is thought to act by creating a local environment that promotes cell proliferation, angiogenesis, and granulation tissue formation, leading to accelerated wound healing to the point of spontaneous closure or reducing the wound size to facilitate significantly further surgical reconstruction. This case series presents our preliminary experience with the use of a Topical Negative Pressure system in the treatment of challenging ischemic wounds of diabetic patients. It aims to underscore its beneficial effects and explore its potential role in the management of ischemic amputated stumps to avoid ipsilateral re-amputation at a higher level. PMID:23667104

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van de Berg, Willem Jan; Medley, Brooke

    2016-03-01

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

  9. Inverting the Achievement Pyramid

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    White-Hood, Marian; Shindel, Melissa

    2006-01-01

    Attempting to invert the pyramid to improve student achievement and increase all students' chances for success is not a new endeavor. For decades, educators have strategized, formed think tanks, and developed school improvement teams to find better ways to improve the achievement of all students. Currently, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) is…

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Early Attempts to Eradicate Helicobacter pylori after Endoscopic Resection of Gastric Neoplasm Significantly Improve Eradication Success Rates

    PubMed Central

    Huh, Cheal Wung; Youn, Young Hoon; Jung, Da Hyun; Park, Jae Jun; Kim, Jie-Hyun; Park, Hyojin

    2016-01-01

    Purpose After endoscopic resection (ER) of gastric tumors, eradication of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection is advised to reduce metachronous recurrence. Optimal timing of such therapy (yet to be established) was investigated herein, examining early active and late scarring stages of post-ER iatrogenic ulcers. Materials and Methods Analysis included 514 patients who received proton-pump inhibitor (PPI)-based triple therapy for H. pylori eradication after ER for gastric neoplasms between January 2008 and June 2015. Clinicopathologic characteristics, particularly the timing of triple therapy, were used to compare eradication rates, assigning patients to early- (≤2 weeks), intermediate- (2–8 weeks), and late-phase (≥8 weeks) treatment groups. Results H. pylori eradication rates differed significantly by timing of triple therapy after ER (early, 90.0%; intermediate, 76.2%, late, 72.4%; p <.001). However, eradication success rates were not significantly affected by age, smoking, alcohol consumption, preexisting comorbidity, method of ER, size and location of iatrogenic ulcer, and duration of therapeutic regimen. Early initiation of H. pylori eradication was also identified as a significant independent predictor of eradication success in multivariate analysis (Odds ratio = 3.67, 95% CI 2.18–6.16; p <.001). Conclusion In patients undergoing ER of gastric tumors, early post-ER attempts at eradication of H. pylori offer the best chance of eradication success. PMID:27588679

  14. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26673345

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

    SciTech Connect

    N /A

    2002-07-13

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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  19. Towards an improved prediction of the free radical scavenging potency of flavonoids: the significance of double PCET mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Amić, Ana; Marković, Zoran; Dimitrić Marković, Jasmina M; Stepanić, Višnja; Lučić, Bono; Amić, Dragan

    2014-01-01

    The 1H(+)/1e(-) and 2H(+)/2e(-) proton-coupled electron transfer (PCET) processes of free radical scavenging by flavonoids were theoretically studied for aqueous and lipid environments using the PM6 and PM7 methods. The results reported here indicate that the significant contribution of the second PCET mechanism, resulting in the formation of a quinone/quinone methide, effectively discriminates the active from inactive flavonoids. The predictive potency of descriptors related to the energetics of second PCET mechanisms (the second O-H bond dissociation enthalpy (BDE2) related to hydrogen atom transfer (HAT) mechanism, and the second electron transfer enthalpy (ETE2) related to sequential proton loss electron transfer (SPLET) mechanism) are superior to the currently used indices, which are related to the first 1H(+)/1e(-) processes, and could serve as primary descriptors in development of the QSAR (quantitative structure-activity relationships) of flavonoids.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Teaching Triarchically Improves School Achievement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sternberg, Robert J.; Torff, Bruce; Grigorenko, Elena L.

    1998-01-01

    Two studies involving 213 third graders and 141 eighth graders tested the triarchic structure of human intelligence as applied to the classroom by emphasizing traditional instruction, critical thinking, and triarchically based instruction (analytical, creative, and practical). Results support the superiority of triarchically-based instruction.…

  4. 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)

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. Significant improvement of critical current density in MgB2 doped with ferromagnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qu, B.; Sun, X. D.; Li, J.-G.; Xiu, Z. M.; Liu, S. H.; Xue, C. P.

    2009-01-01

    Ferromagnetic Fe3O4-doped MgB2 bulks were first fabricated in this work by the hot pressing method. It was found that Fe3O4 does not react with Mg or B during the fabrication process. Peak Jc values of the 5 wt% Fe3O4-doped MgB2 are higher than 106 A cm-2 in the temperature range 5-30 K. Especially at 30 K, the peak Jc is 1.02 × 106 A cm-2 for the 5 wt% Fe3O4-doped MgB2, the highest values at 30 K found in the literature, and about seven times that of the 5 wt% SiC-doped MgB2 sample. The drop in Jc with increasing field for the Fe3O4-doped MgB2 is significantly slower than that of the SiC-doped MgB2 at 30 K. These results indicate that the Fe3O4-doped MgB2 is a potential superconductor to be used at temperatures greater than 25 K which is a critical temperature for large-scale practical applications.

  8. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2010-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yiwen; Ni, Bing-Jie

    2015-02-01

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

  11. Appropriate Fe (II) addition significantly enhances anaerobic ammonium oxidation (Anammox) activity through improving the bacterial growth rate.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yiwen; Ni, Bing-Jie

    2015-01-01

    The application of anaerobic ammonium oxidation (Anammox) process is often limited by the slow growth rate of Anammox bacteria. As the essential substrate element that required for culturing Anammox sludge, Fe (II) is expected to affect Anammox bacterial growth. This work systematically studied the effects of Fe (II) addition on Anammox activity based on the kinetic analysis of specific growth rate using data from batch tests with an enriched Anammox sludge at different dosing levels. Results clearly demonstrated that appropriate Fe (II) dosing (i.e., 0.09 mM) significantly enhanced the specific Anammox growth rate up to 0.172 d(-1) compared to 0.118 d(-1) at regular Fe (II) level (0.03 mM). The relationship between Fe (II) concentration and specific Anammox growth rate was found to be well described by typical substrate inhibition kinetics, which was integrated into currently well-established Anammox model to describe the enhanced Anammox growth with Fe (II) addition. The validity of the integrated Anammox model was verified using long-term experimental data from three independent Anammox reactors with different Fe (II) dosing levels. This Fe (II)-based approach could be potentially implemented to enhance the process rate for possible mainstream application of Anammox technology, in order for an energy autarchic wastewater treatment. PMID:25644239

  12. 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

  13. Significant Improvement of Puncture Accuracy and Fluoroscopy Reduction in Percutaneous Transforaminal Endoscopic Discectomy With Novel Lumbar Location System: Preliminary Report of Prospective Hello Study.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    Prospective nonrandomized control study.The study aimed to investigate the implication of the HE's Lumbar LOcation (HELLO) system in improving the puncture accuracy and reducing fluoroscopy in percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic discectomy (PTED).Percutaneous transforaminal endoscopic discectomy is one of the most popular minimally invasive spine surgeries that heavily depend on repeated fluoroscopy. Increased fluoroscopy will induce higher radiation exposure to surgeons and patients. Accurate puncture in PTED can be achieved by accurate preoperative location and definite trajectory.The HELLO system mainly consists of self-made surface locator and puncture-assisted device. The surface locator was used to identify the exact puncture target and the puncture-assisted device was used to optimize the puncture trajectory. Patients who had single L4/5 or L5/S1 lumbar intervertebral disc herniation and underwent PTED were included the study. Patients receiving the HELLO system were assigned in Group A, and those taking conventional method were assigned in Group B. Study primary endpoint was puncture times and fluoroscopic times, and the secondary endpoint was location time and operation time.A total of 62 patients who received PTED were included in this study. The average age was 45.35 ± 8.70 years in Group A and 46.61 ± 7.84 years in Group B (P = 0.552). There were no significant differences in gender, body mass index, conservative time, and surgical segment between the 2 groups (P > 0.05). The puncture times were 1.19 ± 0.48 in Group A and 6.03 ± 1.87 in Group B (P < 0.001). The fluoroscopic times were 14.03 ± 2.54 in Group A and 25.19 ± 4.28 in Group B (P < 0.001). The preoperative location time was 4.67 ± 1.41 minutes in Group A and 6.98 ± 0.94 minutes in Group B (P < 0.001). The operation time was 79.42 ± 10.15 minutes in Group A and 89.65 ± 14.06 minutes in Group B (P = 0.002). The

  14. Malignant rhabdoid tumor of the kidney: significantly improved response to pre-operative treatment intensified with doxorubicin.

    PubMed

    Furtwängler, Rhoikos; Nourkami-Tutdibi, Nasinien; Leuschner, Ivo; Vokuhl, Christian; Niggli, Felix; Kager, Leo; Ebinger, Martin; Frühwald, Michael C; Graf, Norbert

    2014-09-01

    Case reports and in vitro testing suggest sensitivity of malignant rhabdoid tumor of the kidney (MRTK) to anthracyclines. Prospective study data supporting doxorubicin's efficacy is lacking. We compared the change of tumor volume in the kidney to upfront treatment with either actinomycin D and vincristine (AV) or doxorubicin-intensified AV (AVD) in all patients with MRTK, who had been treated from 1991-2013 in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany in the framework of three prospective Société International d'Oncologie Pédiatrique/Gesellschaft für Pädiatrische Onkologie und Hämatologie nephroblastoma studies. A total of 37 patients with MRTK received pre-operative chemotherapy (AV, n = 19; AVD, n = 18). Initial and tumor volume after pre-operative treatment was reported in all patients who received AV and 15 of 18 (83%) patients who received AVD. Mean tumor volume at diagnosis was 247 (±48) mL in the AV cohort and 345 (±47) mL in the AVD cohort. Mean volume at surgery was 249 (±46) mL and 137 (±27) mL, respectively. Relative change in tumor volume was +19 (±16)% in patients who received AV and -63 (±26)% in patients who received AVD (P < 0.001). Change in volume to AV ranged from -60 to +224%, whereas the change to AVD ranged from -9 to -92%. We provide good evidence of doxorubicin's activity in MRTK in vivo by demonstrating a significantly better response to neoadjuvant AVD compared with AV alone.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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).

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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

    2015-03-01

    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. PMID:25673354

  3. Use of hyaluronan in the selection of sperm for intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI): significant improvement in clinical outcomes—multicenter, double-blinded and randomized controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Worrilow, K.C.; Eid, S.; Woodhouse, D.; Perloe, M.; Smith, S.; Witmyer, J.; Ivani, K.; Khoury, C.; Ball, G.D.; Elliot, T.; Lieberman, J.

    2013-01-01

    STUDY QUESTION Does the selection of sperm for ICSI based on their ability to bind to hyaluronan improve the clinical pregnancy rates (CPR) (primary end-point), implantation (IR) and pregnancy loss rates (PLR)? SUMMARY ANSWER In couples where ≤65% of sperm bound hyaluronan, the selection of hyaluronan-bound (HB) sperm for ICSI led to a statistically significant reduction in PLR. WHAT IS KNOWN AND WHAT THIS PAPER ADDS HB sperm demonstrate enhanced developmental parameters which have been associated with successful fertilization and embryogenesis. Sperm selected for ICSI using a liquid source of hyaluronan achieved an improvement in IR. A pilot study by the primary author demonstrated that the use of HB sperm in ICSI was associated with improved CPR. The current study represents the single largest prospective, multicenter, double-blinded and randomized controlled trial to evaluate the use of hyaluronan in the selection of sperm for ICSI. DESIGN Using the hyaluronan binding assay, an HB score was determined for the fresh or initial (I-HB) and processed or final semen specimen (F-HB). Patients were classified as >65% or ≤65% I-HB and stratified accordingly. Patients with I-HB scores ≤65% were randomized into control and HB selection (HYAL) groups whereas patients with I-HB >65% were randomized to non-participatory (NP), control or HYAL groups, in a ratio of 2:1:1. The NP group was included in the >65% study arm to balance the higher prevalence of patients with I-HB scores >65%. In the control group, oocytes received sperm selected via the conventional assessment of motility and morphology. In the HYAL group, HB sperm meeting the same visual criteria were selected for injection. Patient participants and clinical care providers were blinded to group assignment. PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING Eight hundred two couples treated with ICSI in 10 private and hospital-based IVF programs were enrolled in this study. Of the 484 patients stratified to the I-HB > 65% arm, 115

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

    SciTech Connect

    Alan Black; Arnis Judzis

    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.

  5. Using silica nanoparticles for modifying sulfonated poly(phthalazinone ether ketone) membrane for direct methanol fuel cell: A significant improvement on cell performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Yu-Huei; Liu, Ying-Ling; Sun, Yi-Ming; Lai, Juin-Yih; Guiver, Michael D.; Gao, Yan

    Sulfonated poly(phthalazinone ether ketone) (sPPEK) with a degree of sulfonation of 1.23 was mixed with silica nanoparticles to form hybrid materials for using as proton exchange membranes. The nanoparticles were found homogeneously dispersed in the polymer matrix and a high 30 phr (parts per hundred resin) loading of silica nanoparticles can be achieved. The hybrid membranes exhibited improved swelling behavior, thermal stability, and mechanical properties. The methanol crossover behavior of the membrane was also depressed such that these membranes are suitable for a high methanol concentration in feed (3 M) in cell test. The membrane with 5 phr silica nanoparticles showed an open cell potential of 0.6 V and an optimum power density of 52.9 mW cm -2 at a current density of 264.6 mA cm -2, which is better than the performance of the pristine sPPEK membrane and Nafion ® 117.

  6. 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

  7. [A Case of Advanced Gastric Cancer with Severe Jaundice from Multiple Liver Metastases That Was Significantly Improved after Capecitabine plus Oxaliplatin Treatment].

    PubMed

    Takagi, Hiroaki; Ando, Takayuki; Hosokawa, Ayumu; Nishino, Takaaki; Mihara, Hiroshi; Yoshita, Hiroki; Nakada, Naokatsu; Nanjo, Sohachi; Miura, Yoshiaki; Kajiura, Shinya; Fujinami, Haruka; Sugiyama, Toshiro

    2016-09-01

    A 74-year-old man with advanced gastric cancer was admitted to our hospital. His liver function was impaired(total bilirubin 1.6mg/dL)with multiple liver metastases. He was treated with chemotherapy of S-1 plus cisplatin but it was discon- tinued due to severe diarrhea(CTCAE Grade 3)on day 6 and his liver dysfunction progressed(total bilirubin 10.3mg/dL). After his diarrhea improved, he was treated with capecitabine plus oxaliplatin(capecitabine 3,600mg/day on day 1-14, oxaliplatin 130mg/m2 on day 1, q3 weeks). His severe jaundice and general condition improved without severe non-hematological toxicity, and he was ultimately discharged. He achieved a partial response(RECIST v1.1)after capecitabine plus oxaliplatin treatment, and this therapy has been continued for 15 months. This case suggests that capecitabine plus oxaliplatin may be beneficial even in advanced gastric cancer patients with impaired liver function from multiple liver metastases. PMID:27628556

  8. 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.

  9. 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. PMID:25291891

  10. 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.

  11. An Industry/DOE Program to Develop and Benchmark Advanced Diamond Product Drill Bits and HP/HT Drilling Fluids to Significantly Improve Rates of Penetration

    SciTech Connect

    TerraTek

    2007-06-30

    A deep drilling research program titled 'An Industry/DOE Program to Develop and Benchmark Advanced Diamond Product Drill Bits and HP/HT Drilling Fluids to Significantly Improve Rates of Penetration' was conducted at TerraTek's Drilling and Completions Laboratory. Drilling tests were run to simulate deep drilling by using high bore pressures and high confining and overburden stresses. The purpose of this testing was to gain insight into practices that would improve rates of penetration and mechanical specific energy while drilling under high pressure conditions. Thirty-seven test series were run utilizing a variety of drilling parameters which allowed analysis of the performance of drill bits and drilling fluids. Five different drill bit types or styles were tested: four-bladed polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC), 7-bladed PDC in regular and long profile, roller-cone, and impregnated. There were three different rock types used to simulate deep formations: Mancos shale, Carthage marble, and Crab Orchard sandstone. The testing also analyzed various drilling fluids and the extent to which they improved drilling. The PDC drill bits provided the best performance overall. The impregnated and tungsten carbide insert roller-cone drill bits performed poorly under the conditions chosen. The cesium formate drilling fluid outperformed all other drilling muds when drilling in the Carthage marble and Mancos shale with PDC drill bits. The oil base drilling fluid with manganese tetroxide weighting material provided the best performance when drilling the Crab Orchard sandstone.

  12. The synthesis of lamellar nano MgB2 grains with nanoimpurities, flux pinning centers and their significantly improved critical current density.

    PubMed

    Ma, Zongqing; Liu, Yongchang; Cai, Qi

    2012-03-21

    MgB(2) superconductors with unique microstructures were rapidly fabricated at low temperatures, and exhibited significantly improved critical current density (J(c)). According to the microstructure observations, the prepared samples consisted of lamellar nano MgB(2) grains with many embedded nanoimpurities (about 10 nm). The formation of these lamellar nano MgB(2) grains is associated with the presence of a local Mg-Cu liquid at sintering temperatures as low as 575 °C. The ball milling treatment of the original powders also plays a positive role in the growth of lamellar grains. Based on an analysis of the relationship between resistivity and temperature, the lamellar nano MgB(2) grains in the prepared sample possess better grain connectivity than the typical morphology of MgB(2) samples prepared by traditional high-temperature sintering. Furthermore, the presence of many nano MgB(2) grain boundaries and nano impurities in the prepared sample can obviously increase the flux pinning centers in accordance with the analysis of flux pinning behavior. Both factors mentioned above contribute to the significant improvement in J(c) from low field to relative high field. The method developed in the present work is an effective and low-cost way to further enhance J(c) in MgB(2) superconductors across a wide range of applied magnetic fields without using expensive nanometer-sized dopants.

  13. Successful Application of a Canadian Mental Health Curriculum Resource by Usual Classroom Teachers in Significantly and Sustainably Improving Student Mental Health Literacy

    PubMed Central

    Kutcher, Stan; Wei, Yifeng; Morgan, Catherine

    2015-01-01

    Objective: To investigate whether the significant and substantive findings from a previous study of youth mental health literacy (MHL) could be replicated using the same methods in another population. Method: We examined the impact of a curriculum resource, the Mental Health and High School Curriculum Guide (The Guide), taught by usual classroom teachers on students’ knowledge and attitudes related to mental health and mental illness in Canadian secondary schools. Survey data were collected before, immediately after, and 2 months after implementation of The Guide by teachers in usual classroom teaching. We conducted paired-sample t tests and calculated the Cohen d value to determine outcomes and impact of the curriculum resource application. Results: One hundred fourteen students were matched for analysis of knowledge data and 112 students were matched for analysis of attitude data at pre-intervention, post-intervention, and 2-month follow-up time periods. Following classroom exposure to the curriculum resource, students’ knowledge scores increased significantly and substantively, compared with baseline (P < 0.001, d = 1.11), and this was maintained at 2-month follow-up (P < 0.001, d = 0.91). Similar findings for attitude improvement were found (P < 0.001, d = 0.66), and this improvement was maintained at 2-month follow-up (P < 0.001, d = 0.52). Conclusions: These findings corroborate those from a previous study conducted in a different location. Taken together these results suggest a simple but effective approach to improving MHL in young people by embedding a classroom resource, delivered by usual classroom teachers in usual school settings. PMID:26720827

  14. 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

  15. A 12-week medical exercise therapy program leads to significant improvement in knee function after degenerative meniscectomy: a randomized controlled trial with one year follow-up.

    PubMed

    Østerås, Håvard

    2014-07-01

    There is no consensus in the postoperative rehabilitation regimen for patients who have undergone surgery for medial meniscus damage. The aim of this study was to examine whether it is necessary to undergo postoperative physiotherapy treatment these patients. A prospective randomized controlled clinical trial was performed. 42 participants (26 males, 16 women) were randomly assigned into an exercise group (EG) (n = 22) or a control group (CG) (n = 20). Prognostic variables were similar between the groups at baseline. The EG achieved significantly better outcome effects than the CG at pain (VAS reduced 1.9 in TG and 0.6 in CG, p < 0.01) and function (KOOS decreased 18.0 in TG and only 6.5 in CG, p < 0.01) during the 12 week intervention period. The results after a 12-month follow-up indicated the same results as at posttest 3 months postoperatively. In patients with surgery for degenerative meniscus damage, postoperative medical exercise therapy - as a model of physiotherapy - is an efficient treatment alternative compared to no systematic rehabilitation.

  16. 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.

  17. Varying protein source and quantity does not significantly improve weight loss, fat loss, or satiety in reduced energy diets amongmidlife adults.1

    PubMed Central

    Aldrich, Noel D; Reicks, Marla M; Sibley, Shalamar D; Redmon, J Bruce; Thomas, William; Raatz, Susan K

    2011-01-01

    We hypothesized that a whey protein diet would result in greater weight loss and improved body compositioncompared to standard weight loss diets. Weight change, body composition, and renin angiotensin aldosterone system activity in midlife adults was compared between diet groups. Eighteen subjects enrolled ina5 month study of8 weeks controlled food intake followed by 12 weeks ad libitum intake. Subjects were randomized to one of three treatment groups: control diet (CD) (55% carbohydrate: 15% protein: 30% fat), mixed protein (MP) (40% carbohydrate: 30% protein: 30% fat), or whey protein (WP) (40% carbohydrate: 15% mixed protein: 15% whey protein: 30% fat). Measurements included weight, metabolic measures, body composition by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and resting energy expenditure. No statistically significant differences in total weight loss or total fat loss were observed between treatments, however, a trend toward greater total weight loss (p = 0.08) and total fat loss (p=0.09) was observed in the WP group compared to the CD group. Fat loss in the leg and gynoid regions was greater (p < 0.05) in the WP group than the CD group. No RAAS mediated response was observed, but a decrease in systolic blood pressure was significantly greater (p <0.05) in the WP group compared to the CD group. In summary, increased whey protein intake did not result in statistically significant differences in weight loss or in total fat loss, but significant differences in regional fat loss and in decreased blood pressure were observed in the WP group. PMID:21419314

  18. 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.

  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. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Achieving the Millennium Development Goal for Under-five Mortality in Bangladesh: Current Status and Lessons for Issues and Challenges for Further Improvements

    PubMed Central

    Nury, Abu Taher Md. Sanaullah; Hossain, Md. Delwar

    2011-01-01

    The study assessed the achievements in, critically reviewed the relevant issues of, and put forward recommendations for achieving the target of the Millennium Development Goal relating to mortality of children aged less than five years (under-five mortality) in Bangladesh within 2015. To materialize the study objectives, a thorough literature review was done. Mortality of under-five children and infants decreased respectively to 65 from 151 and to 52 from 94 per 1,000 livebirths during 1990-2006. The immunization coverage increased from 54% to 81.9% during the same period. The projection shows that Bangladesh will achieve targeted reduction in under-five mortality and infant mortality within the time limit, except immunization coverage. Neonatal mortality contributed to the majority of childhood deaths. Contribution of neonatal mortality to child mortality was the highest. There were remarkable differences in child mortality by sex, division, and residence. To progress further for achieving the target of MDG relating to child mortality, some issues, such as lower use of maternal healthcare services, hazardous environmental effects on childhood illness, high malnutrition among children, shorter duration of exclusive breastfeeding practices, various child injuries leading to death, low healthcare-use of children, probable future threat of financial shortage, and strategies lacking area-wise focus on child mortality, need to be considered. Without these, the achievement of MDG relating to child mortality may not be possible within 2015. PMID:21608418

  6. 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.

  7. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-01

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

  11. Omega-conotoxin MVIIC attenuates neuronal apoptosis in vitro and improves significant recovery after spinal cord injury in vivo in rats

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, Karen M; Lavor, Mário Sérgio L; Silva, Carla Maria O; Fukushima, Fabíola B; Rosado, Isabel R; Silva, Juneo F; Martins, Bernardo C; Guimarães, Laís B; Gomez, Marcus Vinícius; Melo, Marília M; Melo, Eliane G

    2014-01-01

    Excessive accumulation of intracellular calcium is the most critical step after spinal cord injury (SCI). Reducing the calcium influx should result in a better recovery from SCI. Calcium channel blockers have been shown a great potential in reducing brain and spinal cord injury. In this study, we first tested the neuroprotective effect of MVIIC on slices of spinal cord subjected to ischemia evaluating cell death and caspase-3 activation. Thereafter, we evaluated the efficacy of MVIIC in ameliorating damage following SCI in rats, for the first time in vivo. The spinal cord slices subjected a pretreatment with MVIIC showed a cell protection with a reduction of dead cells in 24.34% and of caspase-3-specific protease activation. In the in vivo experiment, Wistar rats were subjected to extradural compression of the spinal cord at the T12 vertebral level using a weigh of 70 g/cm, following intralesional treatment with either placebo or MVIIC in different doses (15, 30 and 60 pmol) five minutes after injury. Behavioral testing of hindlimb function was done using the Basso Beattie Bresnahan locomotor rating scale, and revealed significant recovery with 15 pmol (G15) compared to other trauma groups. Also, histological bladder structural revealed significant outcome in G15, with no morphological alterations, and anti-NeuN and TUNEL staining showed that G15 provided neuron preservation and indicated that this group had fewer neuron cell death, similar to sham. These results showed the neuroprotective effects of MVIIC in in vitro and in vivo model of SCI with neuronal integrity, bladder and behavioral improvements. PMID:25120731

  12. Ga doping to significantly improve the performance of all-electrochemically fabricated Cu2O-ZnO nanowire solar cells.

    PubMed

    Xie, Jiale; Guo, Chunxian; Li, Chang Ming

    2013-10-14

    Cu2O-ZnO nanowire solar cells have the advantages of light weight and high stability while possessing a large active material interface for potentially high power conversion efficiencies. In particular, electrochemically fabricated devices have attracted increasing attention due to their low-cost and simple fabrication process. However, most of them are "partially" electrochemically fabricated by vacuum deposition onto a preexisting ZnO layer. There are a few examples made via all-electrochemical deposition, but the power conversion efficiency (PCE) is too low (0.13%) for practical applications. Herein we use an all-electrochemical approach to directly deposit ZnO NWs onto FTO followed by electrochemical doping with Ga to produce a heterojunction solar cell. The Ga doping greatly improves light utilization while significantly suppressing charge recombination. A 2.5% molar ratio of Ga to ZnO delivers the best performance with a short circuit current density (Jsc) of 3.24 mA cm(-2) and a PCE of 0.25%, which is significantly higher than in the absence of Ga doping. Moreover, the use of electrochemically deposited ZnO powder-buffered Cu2O from a mixed Cu(2+)-ZnO powder solution and oxygen plasma treatment could reduce the density of defect sites in the heterojunction interface to further increase Jsc and PCE to 4.86 mA cm(-2) and 0.34%, respectively, resulting in the highest power conversion efficiency among all-electrochemically fabricated Cu2O-ZnO NW solar cells. This approach offers great potential for a low-cost solution-based process to mass-manufacture high-performance Cu2O-ZnO NW solar cells. PMID:23945632

  13. 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…

  14. Project LEAP: The Labor Education Achievement Program. A Program To Improve the Literacy Level and Productivity of the Workforce. Final Project Report. April 1, 1991-September 30, 1992.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Metropolitan Baltimore Council of AFL-CIO Unions, MD.

    Maryland's Labor Education Achievement Program (LEAP) worked with a wide diversity of union workers in multiple industries and within numerous private companies and public agencies over a dispersed geographic area. Staff development included a workshop for local coordinators and a teacher inservice training session. LEAP provided…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. The Daily Disciplines of Leadership: How To Improve Student Achievement, Staff Motivation, and Personal Organization. The Jossey-Bass Education Series.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reeves, Douglas B.

    This guide is intended to be a practical primer to help education leaders meet the daily challenges of school leadership. It shows how to include leadership in an integrated system of educational accountability, teaching, and curriculum for student achievement; how to do away with ineffective, obsolete, and unnecessary practices; and how to…

  20. Using School Reform Models to Improve Reading Achievement: A Longitudinal Study of Direct Instruction and Success for All in an Urban District

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, Steven M.; Nunnery, John A.; Goldfeder, Elizabeth; McDonald, Aaron; Rachor, Robert; Hornbeck, Matthew; Fleischman, Steve

    2004-01-01

    This research examined the effectiveness in an urban school district of 2 of the most widely used Comprehensive School Reform (CSR) programs-Direct Instruction (DI), implemented in 9 district elementary schools, and Success for All (SFA), implemented in 2 elementary schools. In examining impacts on student achievement and school change outcomes…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. Is It Possible to Improve Mathematical Achievement by Means of Self-Regulation Strategies? Evaluation of an Intervention in Regular Math Classes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perels, Franziska; Dignath, Charlotte; Schmitz, Bernhard

    2009-01-01

    After the effectiveness of self-regulation training outside school was demonstrated, a self-regulation intervention was developed to foster the learning achievement in regular math classes. Based on the theoretical framework of self-regulated learning, self-regulation training was integrated into a math class unit. The evaluation of the…

  4. 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…

  5. Achieving Extreme Utilization of Excitons by an Efficient Sandwich-Type Emissive Layer Architecture for Reduced Efficiency Roll-Off and Improved Operational Stability in Organic Light-Emitting Diodes.

    PubMed

    Wu, Zhongbin; Sun, Ning; Zhu, Liping; Sun, Hengda; Wang, Jiaxiu; Yang, Dezhi; Qiao, Xianfeng; Chen, Jiangshan; Alshehri, Saad M; Ahamad, Tansir; Ma, Dongge

    2016-02-10

    It has been demonstrated that the efficiency roll-off is generally caused by the accumulation of excitons or charge carriers, which is intimately related to the emissive layer (EML) architecture in organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). In this article, an efficient sandwich-type EML structure with a mixed-host EML sandwiched between two single-host EMLs was designed to eliminate this accumulation, thus simultaneously achieving high efficiency, low efficiency roll-off and good operational stability in the resulting OLEDs. The devices show excellent electroluminescence performances, realizing a maximum external quantum efficiency (EQE) of 24.6% with a maximum power efficiency of 105.6 lm W(-1) and a maximum current efficiency of 93.5 cd A(-1). At the high brightness of 5,000 cd m(-2), they still remain as high as 23.3%, 71.1 lm W(-1), and 88.3 cd A(-1), respectively. And, the device lifetime is up to 2000 h at initial luminance of 1000 cd m(-2), which is significantly higher than that of compared devices with conventional EML structures. The improvement mechanism is systematically studied by the dependence of the exciton distribution in EML and the exciton quenching processes. It can be seen that the utilization of the efficient sandwich-type EML broadens the recombination zone width, thus greatly reducing the exciton quenching and increasing the probability of the exciton recombination. It is believed that the design concept provides a new avenue for us to achieve high-performance OLEDs.

  6. 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…

  7. 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 of the…

  8. Closing the Gap: A Report on the Wingspread Conference "Beyond the Standards Horse Race: Implementation, Assessment, and Accountability--the Keys to Improving Student Achievement" (Racine, Wisconsin, November 2-4, 1999). Special Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Duggan, Terri, Ed.; Holmes, Madelyn, Ed.

    This report highlights results from the 1999 Wingspread Conference on improving student achievement, a gathering of educators, leaders, and policymakers that opened a dialogue about barriers to full implementation of high standards for all students. Participants discussed five papers that examined these issues from top to bottom--from the…

  9. WWC Review of the Report "Closing the Social-Class Achievement Gap: A Difference-Education Intervention Improves First-Generation Students' Academic Performance and All Students' College Transition." What Works Clearinghouse Single Study Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    What Works Clearinghouse, 2014

    2014-01-01

    For the 2014 study, "Closing the Social-Class Achievement Gap: A Difference-Education Intervention Improves First-Generation Students' Academic Performance and All Students' College Transition," researchers investigated the impact of attending a moderated panel on incoming freshmen's adjustment to college. The panel…

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    Martin, Erin K; Silverstone, Peter H

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Martin, Erin K; Silverstone, Peter H

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Plerixafor on-demand combined with chemotherapy and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor: significant improvement in peripheral blood stem cells mobilization and harvest with no increase in costs.

    PubMed

    Milone, Giuseppe; Martino, Massimo; Spadaro, Andrea; Leotta, Salvatore; Di Marco, Annalia; Scalzulli, Potito; Cupri, Alessandra; Di Martina, Valentina; Schinocca, Elena; Spina, Eleonora; Tripepi, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    To date, no prospective study on Plerixafor 'on-demand' in combination with chemotherapy and granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) has been reported. We present an interim analysis of the first prospective study in which Plerixafor was administered on-demand in patients affected by multiple myeloma and lymphoma who received high dose cyclophosphamide or DHAP (dexamethasone, cytarabine, cisplatin) plus G-CSF to mobilize peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC). One hundred and two patients were evaluable for response. A cohort of 240 patients receiving the same mobilizing chemotherapy was retrospectively studied. Failure to mobilize CD34(+) cells in peripheral blood was reduced by 'on-demand' strategy compared to conventional mobilization; from 13·0 to 3·0% (P = 0·004). Failure to harvest CD34(+) cells 2 × 10(6) /kg decreased from 20·9 to 4·0% (P = 0·0001). The on-demand Plerixafor strategy also resulted in a lower rate of mobilization failure (P = 0·03) and harvest failure (P = 0·0008) when compared to a 'bias-adjusted set of controls'. Evaluation of economic costs of the two strategies showed that the overall cost of the two treatments were comparable when salvage mobilizations were taken into account. When in combination with cyclophosphamide or DHAP plus G-CSF, the 'on-demand' use of Plerixafor showed, in comparison to conventionally treated patients, a significant improvement in mobilization of PBSC with no increase in overall cost. PMID:24138497

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  18. Sustaining Continued Acceleration in Reading Comprehension Achievement Following an Intervention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lai, Mei Kuin; McNaughton, Stuart; Timperley, Helen; Hsiao, Selena

    2009-01-01

    Schooling improvement initiatives have demonstrated that moderate but significant achievement gains are possible with well designed interventions, but there is little research into whether these gains can be sustained. The present study examines the extent to which acceleration in achievement made during a three-year literacy intervention and the…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Achieving Success in Small Business: A Self-Instruction Program for Small Business Owner-Managers. Improving Profits through Effective Management.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Virginia Polytechnic Inst. and State Univ., Blacksburg. Div. of Vocational-Technical Education.

    This self-instructional module on improving profits through effective management is the seventh in a set of twelve modules designed for small business owner-managers. Competencies for this module are (1) apply planning and organizing skills in the operation of a business and (2) implement effective time management practices. Provided are…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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…

  7. Reducing Stereotype Threat in Classrooms: A Review of Social-Psychological Intervention Studies on Improving the Achievement of Black Students. Issues & Answers. REL 2009-076

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aronson, Joshua; Cohen, Geoffrey; McColskey, Wendy

    2009-01-01

    Stereotype threat arises from a fear among members of a group of reinforcing negative stereotypes about the intellectual ability of the group. This report identifies three randomized controlled trial studies that use classroom-based strategies to reduce stereotype threat and improve the academic performance of Black students, narrowing their…

  8. Reducing Stereotype Threat in Classrooms: A Review of Social-Psychological Intervention Studies on Improving the Achievement of Black Students. Summary. Issues & Answers. REL 2009-076

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Aronson, Joshua; Cohen, Geoffrey; McColskey, Wendy

    2009-01-01

    Stereotype threat arises from a fear among members of a group of reinforcing negative stereotypes about the intellectual ability of the group. This report identifies three randomized controlled trial studies that use classroom-based strategies to reduce stereotype threat and improve the academic performance of Black students, narrowing their…

  9. 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.

  10. The Significance of Emotions and Professional Relations for Accommodating a Web-Based Ulcer Record and Improving Home-Based Care

    PubMed Central

    Ekeland, Anne G.

    2015-01-01

    Evidence of technological performance, medical improvements and economic effectiveness is generally considered sufficient for judging advances in healthcare. In this paper, I aim to add knowledge about the ways human emotions and professional relations play roles in the processes of accommodating new technologies for quality improvements. A newly-implemented, web-based ulcer record service for patients with chronic skin ulcers constitutes the case. After one year, only a few home care nurses were using the service, interacting with a specialist team. The result was disappointing, but the few users were enthusiastic. An explorative, qualitative study was initiated to understand the users, the processes that accounted for use and how improvements were enacted. In the paper, I expose the emotional aspects of the record accommodation by analyzing the ways emotions were translated in the process and how they influenced the improvements. I contend that use came about through a heterogeneous assemblage of ethical engagement and compassionate emotions stemming from frustration, combined with technological affordances and relations between different professionals. Certain aspects of the improvements are exposed. These are discussed as: (1) reconciliations between the medical facts and rational judgments, on one side, and the emotional and subjective values for judging quality, on the other; and (2) mediation between standardized and personalized care. The healing of ulcers was combined with a sense of purpose and wellbeing to validate improvements. Emotions were strongly involved, and the power of evaluative emotions and professional relations should be further explored to add to the understanding of innovation processes and to validate quality improvements. PMID:27417745

  11. Does a Curriculum Integration Intervention to Improve the Mathematics Achievement of Students Diminish Their Acquisition of Technical Competence? An Experimental Study in Agricultural Mechanics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parr, Brian A.; Edwards, M. Craig; Leising, James G.

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to empirically test the hypothesis that students who participated in a contextualized, mathematics-enhanced high school agricultural power and technology curriculum and aligned instructional approach would not experience significant diminishment in acquisition of technical skills related to agricultural power and…

  12. 2011 and 2012 Early Careers Achievement Awards: improving the production, environmental, and economic efficiency of the stocker cattle industry in the southeastern United States.

    PubMed

    Beck, P A; Anders, M; Watkins, B; Gunter, S A; Hubbell, D; Gadberry, M S

    2013-06-01

    Grazing forages on small-grain fields can be a profitable "second crop" for grain producers and an opportunity for cow-calf producers to retain ownership of weaned calves. The increasing costs of conventional tillage and movement of soil nutrients into surface water creates a need for more sustainable production practices to be incorporated by producers into wheat pasture production systems. Research at the Livestock and Forestry Research Station near Batesville, AR, and the Southwest Research and Extension Center near Hope, AR, has been conducted over a 9-yr span to characterize the impacts of pasture systems on forage production, animal performance, soil quality, water runoff, and the economics associated with the stocker cattle enterprises. Gains of growing cattle grazing nontoxic endophyte-infected tall fescue and small-grain forages can be increased by 80 and 150%, respectively, compared with grazing Bermuda grass or toxic endophyte-infected tall fescue. Producers grazing spring-calving cowherds can use these improved forages to accelerate stocker performance when retaining calves in the fall and improve net returns by 99% with winter annual or nontoxic tall fescue production systems compared with Bermuda grass or toxic tall fescue. Rainfall simulation of small grain pastures indicates that runoff volume and nutrient load does not differ between conventionally tilled fields and no-till fields in the spring before tillage when soil surface cover is similar. In the fall after tillage, however, conventionally tilled fields had 4 times greater runoff; hence, there was 1.9 times greater N runoff and 3.2 times greater P runoff in conventionally tilled fields compared with no-till. Total natural rainfall runoff from conventionally tilled wheat fields were 2 times greater than from no-till fields with 25 mm rainfall events yet were 4 times greater with 62-mm rainfall events. Soil analysis shows that soil aggregate content was greater in no-till compared with

  13. Significant photoinduced Kerr rotation achieved in semiconductor microcavities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cherbunin, R. V.; Vladimirova, M.; Kavokin, K. V.; Mikhailov, A. V.; Kopteva, N. E.; Lagoudakis, P. G.; Kavokin, A. V.

    2015-05-01

    Giant Kerr rotation and ellipticity are observed and investigated in an asymmetric planar microcavity with a quantum well in the active region. Rotation angle of the polarization plane as well as ellipticity were determined from time- and frequency-resolved measurements of the Stokes vector components of reflected light. It was found that in a small range of the cavity mode detunings the polarized pump pulse creates a large splitting of the lower polariton branch while leaving its linewidth almost the same. This fact gives a possibility to observe at such detunings the Kerr rotation angle and ellipticity, close to their extremes. A theoretical analysis shows that the decisive role in reaching extreme polarization rotation angles is played by the structure asymmetry. Comprehensive analysis of the polarization state of the light in this regime shows that both renormalization of the exciton energy and the saturation of the excitonic resonance contribute to the observed optical nonlinearities.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Significant achievements in the planetary geology program, 1975 - 1976

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Head, J. W. (Editor)

    1977-01-01

    Developments in planetology research as reported at the 1976 NASA Planetology Program Principal Investigators' meeting are summarized. Topics range from solar system evolution, comparative planetology, and geologic processes to techniques and instrument development for future exploration.

  17. 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.

  18. Significant achievements in the Planetary Geology Program, 1981

    SciTech Connect

    Holt, H.E.

    1981-09-01

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. In vitro and in vivo comparison of two non-peptide tachykinin NK3 receptor antagonists: Improvements in efficacy achieved through enhanced brain penetration or altered pharmacological characteristics.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Lee A; Langmead, Christopher J; Dada, Adeshola; Watson, Jeannette M; Wu, Zining; de la Flor, Raúl; Jones, Gareth A; Cluderay, Jane E; Southam, Eric; Murkitt, Graham S; Hill, Mark D; Jones, Declan N C; Davies, Ceri H; Hagan, Jim J; Smith, Paul W

    2010-02-10

    Clinical evaluation of tachykinin NK(3) receptor antagonists has provided support for the therapeutic utility of this target in schizophrenia. However, these studies have not been entirely conclusive, possibly because of the pharmacokinetic limitations of these molecules. In the search for tachykinin NK(3) receptor antagonists with improved properties, we have discovered GSK172981 and GSK256471. Both compounds demonstrated high affinity for recombinant human (pK(i) values 7.7 and 8.9, respectively) and native guinea pig (pK(i) values 7.8 and 8.4, respectively) tachykinin NK(3) receptors. In vitro functional evaluations revealed GSK172981 to be a competitive antagonist (pA(2)=7.2) at cloned human tachykinin NK(3) receptor whereas GSK256471 diminished the neurokinin B-induced E(max) response, indicative of non-surmountable antagonist pharmacology (pA(2)=9.2). GSK172981 also exhibited a competitive profile in antagonizing neurokinin B-stimulated neuronal activity recorded from the guinea pig medial habenula slices (apparent pK(B)=8.1), whilst GSK256471 abolished the agonist-induced response. Central nervous system penetration by GSK172981 and GSK256471 was indicated by dose-dependent ex vivo tachykinin NK(3) receptor occupancy in medial prefrontal cortex (ED(50) values of 0.8 and 0.9 mg/kg, i.p., respectively) and the dose-dependent attenuation of agonist-induced "wet dog shake" behaviours in guinea pigs. Finally, in vivo microdialysis studies demonstrated that acute GSK172981 (30 mg/kg, i.p.) and GSK256471 (1mg/kg, i.p.) attenuated haloperidol-induced increases in extracellular dopamine in the guinea pig nucleus accumbens. Taken together, these in vitro and in vivo characterisations of the tachykinin NK(3) receptor antagonists GSK172981 and GSK256471 support their potential utility in the treatment of schizophrenia.

  6. 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...

  7. Soft-Etching Copper and Silver Electrodes for Significant Device Performance Improvement toward Facile, Cost-Effective, Bottom-Contacted, Organic Field-Effect Transistors.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zongrui; Dong, Huanli; Zou, Ye; Zhao, Qiang; Tan, Jiahui; Liu, Jie; Lu, Xiuqiang; Xiao, Jinchong; Zhang, Qichun; Hu, Wenping

    2016-03-01

    Poor charge injection and transport at the electrode/semiconductor contacts has been so far a severe performance hurdle for bottom-contact bottom-gate (BCBG) organic field-effect transistors (OFETs). Here, we have developed a simple, economic, and effective method to improve the carrier injection efficiency and obtained high-performance devices with low cost and widely used source/drain (S/D) electrodes (Ag/Cu). Through the simple electrode etching process, the work function of the electrodes is more aligned with the semiconductors, which reduces the energy barrier and facilitates the charge injection. Besides, the formation of the thinned electrode edge with desirable micro/nanostructures not only leads to the enlarged contact side area beneficial for the carrier injection but also is in favor of the molecular self-organization for continuous crystal growth at the contact/active channel interface, which is better for the charge injection and transport. These effects give rise to the great reduction of contact resistance and the amazing improvement of the low-cost bottom-contact configuration OFETs performance.

  8. Low-level radioactive waste from commercial nuclear reactors. Volume 1. Recommendations for technology developments with potential to significantly improve low-level radioactive waste management

    SciTech Connect

    Rodgers, B.R.; Jolley, R.L.

    1986-02-01

    The overall task of this program was to provide an assessment of currently available technology for treating commercial low-level radioactive waste (LLRW), to initiate development of a methodology for choosing one technology for a given application, and to identify research needed to improve current treatment techniques and decision methodology. The resulting report is issued in four volumes. Volume 1 provides an executive summary and a general introduction to the four-volume set, in addition to recommendations for research and development (R and D) for low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) treatment. Generic, long-range, and/or high-risk programs identified and prioritized as needed R and D in the LLRW field include: (1) systems analysis to develop decision methodology; (2) alternative processes for dismantling, decontaminating, and decommissioning; (3) ion exchange; (4) incinerator technology; (5) disposal technology; (6) demonstration of advanced technologies; (7) technical assistance; (8) below regulatory concern materials; (9) mechanical treatment techniques; (10) monitoring and analysis procedures; (11) radical process improvements; (12) physical, chemical, thermal, and biological processes; (13) fundamental chemistry; (14) interim storage; (15) modeling; and (16) information transfer. The several areas are discussed in detail.

  9. Mastery Achievement of Intellectual Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trembath, Richard J.; White, Richard T.

    1979-01-01

    Mastery learning techniques were improved through mathematics instruction based on a validated learning hierarchy, presenting tasks in a sequence consistent with the requirements of the hierarchy, and requiring learners to demonstrate achievement before being allowed to proceed. (Author/GDC)

  10. Improved electrochemical stability at the surface of La(0.8)Sr(0.2)CoO3 achieved by surface chemical modification.

    PubMed

    Tsvetkov, Nikolai; Lu, Qiyang; Yildiz, Bilge

    2015-01-01

    The degradation of the surface chemistry on perovskite (ABO3) oxides is a critical issue for their performance in energy conversion systems such as solid oxide fuel/electrolysis cells and in splitting of H2O and CO2 to produce fuels. This degradation is typically in the form of segregation and phase separation of dopant cations from the A-site, driven by elastic and electrostatic energy minimization and kinetic demixing. In this study, deposition of Ti at the surface was found to hinder the dopant segregation and the corresponding electrochemical degradation on a promising SOFC cathode material, La(0.8)Sr(0.2)CoO3 (LSC). The surface of the LSC films was modified by Ti (denoted as LSC-T) deposited from a TiCl4 solution. The LSC and LSC-T thin films were investigated by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, nano-probe Auger electron spectroscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), upon annealing at 420-530 °C in air up to about 90 hours. The oxygen exchange coefficient, k(q), on LSC-T cathodes was found to be up to 8 times higher than that on LSC cathodes at 530 °C and retained its stability. Sr-rich insulating particles formed at the surface of the annealed LSC and LSC-T films, but with significantly less coverage of such particles on the LSC-T. From this result, it appears that modification of the LSC surface with Ti reduces the segregation of the blocking Sr-rich particles at the surface, and a larger area on LSC surface (with a higher Sr doping level in the lattice) is available for the oxygen reduction reaction. The stabilization of the LSC surface through Ti-deposition can open a new route for designing surface modifications on perovskite oxide electrodes for high temperature electro- and thermo-chemical applications. PMID:26227310

  11. The Effects of Two Parent Counseling Programs on Rural Low-Achieving Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Esters, Peter; Levant, Ronald F.

    1983-01-01

    Compared two methods of parent counseling in enhancing the self-esteem and academic achievement of 33 low-achieving rural elementary school students. Results indicated both the Systematic Training for Effective Parenting and the Self-Esteem Method improved academic achievement, but the SEM resulted in more significant gains in self-esteem. (JAC)

  12. Using edge-preserving algorithm with non-local mean for significantly improved image-domain material decomposition in dual-energy CT.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Wei; Niu, Tianye; Xing, Lei; Xie, Yaoqin; Xiong, Guanglei; Elmore, Kimberly; Zhu, Jun; Wang, Luyao; Min, James K

    2016-02-01

    Increased noise is a general concern for dual-energy material decomposition. Here, we develop an image-domain material decomposition algorithm for dual-energy CT (DECT) by incorporating an edge-preserving filter into the Local HighlY constrained backPRojection reconstruction (HYPR-LR) framework. With effective use of the non-local mean, the proposed algorithm, which is referred to as HYPR-NLM, reduces the noise in dual-energy decomposition while preserving the accuracy of quantitative measurement and spatial resolution of the material-specific dual-energy images. We demonstrate the noise reduction and resolution preservation of the algorithm with an iodine concentrate numerical phantom by comparing the HYPR-NLM algorithm to the direct matrix inversion, HYPR-LR and iterative image-domain material decomposition (Iter-DECT). We also show the superior performance of the HYPR-NLM over the existing methods by using two sets of cardiac perfusing imaging data. The DECT material decomposition comparison study shows that all four algorithms yield acceptable quantitative measurements of iodine concentrate. Direct matrix inversion yields the highest noise level, followed by HYPR-LR and Iter-DECT. HYPR-NLM in an iterative formulation significantly reduces image noise and the image noise is comparable to or even lower than that generated using Iter-DECT. For the HYPR-NLM method, there are marginal edge effects in the difference image, suggesting the high-frequency details are well preserved. In addition, when the search window size increases from to , there are no significant changes or marginal edge effects in the HYPR-NLM difference images. The reference drawn from the comparison study includes: (1) HYPR-NLM significantly reduces the DECT material decomposition noise while preserving quantitative measurements and high-frequency edge information, and (2) HYPR-NLM is robust with respect to parameter selection.

  13. Using edge-preserving algorithm with non-local mean for significantly improved image-domain material decomposition in dual-energy CT

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Wei; Niu, Tianye; Xing, Lei; Xie, Yaoqin; Xiong, Guanglei; Elmore, Kimberly; Zhu, Jun; Wang, Luyao; Min, James K.

    2016-02-01

    Increased noise is a general concern for dual-energy material decomposition. Here, we develop an image-domain material decomposition algorithm for dual-energy CT (DECT) by incorporating an edge-preserving filter into the Local HighlY constrained backPRojection reconstruction (HYPR-LR) framework. With effective use of the non-local mean, the proposed algorithm, which is referred to as HYPR-NLM, reduces the noise in dual-energy decomposition while preserving the accuracy of quantitative measurement and spatial resolution of the material-specific dual-energy images. We demonstrate the noise reduction and resolution preservation of the algorithm with an iodine concentrate numerical phantom by comparing the HYPR-NLM algorithm to the direct matrix inversion, HYPR-LR and iterative image-domain material decomposition (Iter-DECT). We also show the superior performance of the HYPR-NLM over the existing methods by using two sets of cardiac perfusing imaging data. The DECT material decomposition comparison study shows that all four algorithms yield acceptable quantitative measurements of iodine concentrate. Direct matrix inversion yields the highest noise level, followed by HYPR-LR and Iter-DECT. HYPR-NLM in an iterative formulation significantly reduces image noise and the image noise is comparable to or even lower than that generated using Iter-DECT. For the HYPR-NLM method, there are marginal edge effects in the difference image, suggesting the high-frequency details are well preserved. In addition, when the search window size increases from 11× 11 to 19× 19 , there are no significant changes or marginal edge effects in the HYPR-NLM difference images. The reference drawn from the comparison study includes: (1) HYPR-NLM significantly reduces the DECT material decomposition noise while preserving quantitative measurements and high-frequency edge information, and (2) HYPR-NLM is robust with respect to parameter selection.

  14. Moving Toward Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to Achieve Inclusive and Sustainable Health Development: Three Essential Strategies Drawn From Asian Experience Comment on "Improving the World's Health Through the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Perspectives from Rwanda".

    PubMed

    Xu, Ye; Huang, Cheng; Colón-Ramos, Uriyoán

    2015-01-01

    Binagwaho and colleagues' perspective piece provided a timely reflection on the experience of Rwanda in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and a proposal of 5 principles to carry forward in post-2015 health development. This commentary echoes their viewpoints and offers three lessons for health policy reforms consistent with these principles beyond 2015. Specifically, we argue that universal health coverage (UHC) is an integrated solution to advance the global health development agenda, and the three essential strategies drawn from Asian countries' health reforms toward UHC are: (1) Public financing support and sequencing health insurance expansion by first extending health insurance to the extremely poor, vulnerable, and marginalized population are critical for achieving UHC; (2) Improved quality of delivered care ensures supply-side readiness and effective coverage; (3) Strategic purchasing and results-based financing creates incentives and accountability for positive changes. These strategies were discussed and illustrated with experience from China and other Asian economies. PMID:26673477

  15. Moving Toward Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to Achieve Inclusive and Sustainable Health Development: Three Essential Strategies Drawn From Asian Experience Comment on "Improving the World's Health Through the Post-2015 Development Agenda: Perspectives from Rwanda".

    PubMed

    Xu, Ye; Huang, Cheng; Colón-Ramos, Uriyoán

    2015-01-01

    Binagwaho and colleagues' perspective piece provided a timely reflection on the experience of Rwanda in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and a proposal of 5 principles to carry forward in post-2015 health development. This commentary echoes their viewpoints and offers three lessons for health policy reforms consistent with these principles beyond 2015. Specifically, we argue that universal health coverage (UHC) is an integrated solution to advance the global health development agenda, and the three essential strategies drawn from Asian countries' health reforms toward UHC are: (1) Public financing support and sequencing health insurance expansion by first extending health insurance to the extremely poor, vulnerable, and marginalized population are critical for achieving UHC; (2) Improved quality of delivered care ensures supply-side readiness and effective coverage; (3) Strategic purchasing and results-based financing creates incentives and accountability for positive changes. These strategies were discussed and illustrated with experience from China and other Asian economies.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Inclusion of S-sepharose beads in the culture medium significantly improves recovery of secreted rBPI(21) from transfected CHO-K1 cells.

    PubMed

    Horwitz, A H; Carroll, S F; Williams, R E; Liu, P S

    2000-02-01

    rBPI(23), a recombinant N-terminal fragment of human bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein (BPI), kills gram-negative bacteria and binds endotoxin. rBPI(21), a variant, in which cysteine 132 is changed to alanine, retains the activities of rBPI(23). Initial attempts using conventional ion-exchange chromatography to purify rBPI(23) from culture supernatants of transfected CHO-K1 cells resulted in lower than expected yields. Also, ELISA of supernatants from CHO-K1 transfectants expressing rBPI(23) or rBPI(21) yielded variable signals. Results from pulse-chase experiments using [(35)S]methionine had indicated that rBPI(23) could not be detected in the culture medium by 7 h of chase, suggesting that these proteins were degraded and/or bound to cells, media components, or vessel surfaces. To address these issues, we developed a novel process whereby sterile S-Sepharose beads were added directly to the cell culture medium. For attached cells, the beads were added to confluent cultures with serum-free medium for the expression phase, while for suspension-adapted cells, beads were added at the beginning of culture growth. The S-Sepharose was then separated from cells and media and washed, and BPI was eluted with high-salt buffer. This approach yielded up to a 50-fold improvement in recovery of rBPI(23) and rBPI(21) from roller bottles, shake flasks, and 2-liter fermenters. It also resulted in improved detection and quantitation of secreted rBPI(23) and rBPI(21) by ELISA. Results of competition binding studies with iodinated rBPI(21) in conjunction with unlabeled rBPI(21) and rBPI(23) or with heparin demonstrated that these proteins bound specifically and with high affinity to heparan-containing sites on the surface of the CHO-K1 cells. We conclude that the S-Sepharose included in the culture medium captures the BPI protein products as they are secreted and protects them from degradation and/or irreversible binding to cell surfaces. This method has been scaled up to

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

    PubMed

    Liu, Yifeng; Liang, Yongjie; Wishart, David

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yifeng; Liang, Yongjie; Wishart, David

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Site-specific replacement of the thymine methyl group by fluorine in thrombin binding aptamer significantly improves structural stability and anticoagulant activity.

    PubMed

    Virgilio, Antonella; Petraccone, Luigi; Vellecco, Valentina; Bucci, Mariarosaria; Varra, Michela; Irace, Carlo; Santamaria, Rita; Pepe, Antonietta; Mayol, Luciano; Esposito, Veronica; Galeone, Aldo

    2015-12-15

    Here we report investigations, based on circular dichroism, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, molecular modelling, differential scanning calorimetry and prothrombin time assay, on analogues of the thrombin binding aptamer (TBA) in which individual thymidines were replaced by 5-fluoro-2'-deoxyuridine residues. The whole of the data clearly indicate that all derivatives are able to fold in a G-quadruplex structure very similar to the 'chair-like' conformation typical of the TBA. However, only ODNs TBA-F4: and TBA-F13: have shown a remarkable improvement both in the melting temperature (ΔTm ≈ +10) and in the anticoagulant activity in comparison with the original TBA. These findings are unusual, particularly considering previously reported studies in which modifications of T4 and T13 residues in TBA sequence have clearly proven to be always detrimental for the structural stability and biological activity of the aptamer. Our results strongly suggest the possibility to enhance TBA properties through tiny straightforward modifications. PMID:26582916

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  2. Site-specific replacement of the thymine methyl group by fluorine in thrombin binding aptamer significantly improves structural stability and anticoagulant activity

    PubMed Central

    Virgilio, Antonella; Petraccone, Luigi; Vellecco, Valentina; Bucci, Mariarosaria; Varra, Michela; Irace, Carlo; Santamaria, Rita; Pepe, Antonietta; Mayol, Luciano; Esposito, Veronica; Galeone, Aldo

    2015-01-01

    Here we report investigations, based on circular dichroism, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, molecular modelling, differential scanning calorimetry and prothrombin time assay, on analogues of the thrombin binding aptamer (TBA) in which individual thymidines were replaced by 5-fluoro-2′-deoxyuridine residues. The whole of the data clearly indicate that all derivatives are able to fold in a G-quadruplex structure very similar to the ‘chair-like’ conformation typical of the TBA. However, only ODNs TBA-F4 and TBA-F13 have shown a remarkable improvement both in the melting temperature (ΔTm ≈ +10) and in the anticoagulant activity in comparison with the original TBA. These findings are unusual, particularly considering previously reported studies in which modifications of T4 and T13 residues in TBA sequence have clearly proven to be always detrimental for the structural stability and biological activity of the aptamer. Our results strongly suggest the possibility to enhance TBA properties through tiny straightforward modifications. PMID:26582916

  3. Site-specific replacement of the thymine methyl group by fluorine in thrombin binding aptamer significantly improves structural stability and anticoagulant activity.

    PubMed

    Virgilio, Antonella; Petraccone, Luigi; Vellecco, Valentina; Bucci, Mariarosaria; Varra, Michela; Irace, Carlo; Santamaria, Rita; Pepe, Antonietta; Mayol, Luciano; Esposito, Veronica; Galeone, Aldo

    2015-12-15

    Here we report investigations, based on circular dichroism, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, molecular modelling, differential scanning calorimetry and prothrombin time assay, on analogues of the thrombin binding aptamer (TBA) in which individual thymidines were replaced by 5-fluoro-2'-deoxyuridine residues. The whole of the data clearly indicate that all derivatives are able to fold in a G-quadruplex structure very similar to the 'chair-like' conformation typical of the TBA. However, only ODNs TBA-F4: and TBA-F13: have shown a remarkable improvement both in the melting temperature (ΔTm ≈ +10) and in the anticoagulant activity in comparison with the original TBA. These findings are unusual, particularly considering previously reported studies in which modifications of T4 and T13 residues in TBA sequence have clearly proven to be always detrimental for the structural stability and biological activity of the aptamer. Our results strongly suggest the possibility to enhance TBA properties through tiny straightforward modifications.

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

    PubMed

    Liu, Yifeng; Liang, Yongjie; Wishart, David

    2015-07-01

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

  5. Significantly improving enzymatic saccharification of high crystallinity index's corn stover by combining ionic liquid [Bmim]Cl-HCl-water media with dilute NaOH pretreatment.

    PubMed

    He, Yu-Cai; Liu, Feng; Gong, Lei; Zhu, Zheng-Zhong; Ding, Yun; Wang, Cheng; Xue, Yu-Feng; Rui, Huan; Tao, Zhi-Cheng; Zhang, Dan-Ping; Ma, Cui-Luan

    2015-01-01

    In this study, a pretreatment by combining acidified aqueous ionic liquid 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride (IL [Bmim]Cl) solution with dilute NaOH extraction was employed to pretreat high crystallinity index (CrI) of corn stover before its enzymatic saccharification. After NaOH extraction, [Bmim]Cl-HCl-water (78.8:1.2:20, w/w/w) media was used for further pretreatment at 130 °C for 30 min. After being enzymatically hydrolyzed for 48 h, corn stover pretreated could be biotransformed into reducing sugars in the yield of 95.1%. Furthermore, SEM, XRD and FTIR analyses of untreated and pretreated corn stovers were examined. It was found that the intact structure was disrupted by combination pretreatment and resulted in a porous and amorphous regenerated cellulosic material that greatly improved enzymatic hydrolysis. Finally, the recovered hydrolyzates obtained from the enzymatic hydrolysis of pretreated corn stovers could be fermented into ethanol efficiently. In conclusion, the combination pretreatment shows high potential application in future.

  6. Visually Estimated MRI Targeted Prostate Biopsy Could Improve the Detection of Significant Prostate Cancer in Patients with a PSA Level <10 ng/mL

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Dong Hoon; Nam, Jong Kil; Park, Sung Woo; Lee, Seung Soo; Han, Ji-Yeon; Lee, Sang Don; Lee, Joon Woo

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To compare prostate cancer detection rates between 12 cores transrectal ultrasound-guided prostate biopsy (TRUS-Bx) and visually estimated multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (mp-MRI)-targeted prostate biopsy (MRI-visual-Bx) for patients with prostate specific antigen (PSA) level less than 10 ng/mL. Materials and Methods In total, 76 patients with PSA levels below 10 ng/mL underwent 3.0 Tesla mp-MRI and TRUS-Bx prospectively in 2014. In patients with abnormal lesions on mp-MRI, we performed additional MRI-visual-Bx. We compared pathologic results, including the rate of clinically significant prostate cancer cores (cancer length greater than 5 mm and/or any Gleason grade greater than 3 in the biopsy core). Results The mean PSA was 6.43 ng/mL. In total, 48 of 76 (63.2%) patients had abnormal lesions on mp-MRI, and 116 targeted biopsy cores, an average of 2.42 per patient, were taken. The overall detection rates of prostate cancer using TRUS-Bx and MRI-visual-Bx were 26/76 (34.2%) and 23/48 (47.9%), respectively. In comparing the pathologic results of TRUS-Bx and MRI-visual-Bx cores, the positive rates were 8.4% (77 of 912 cores) and 46.6% (54 of 116 cores), respectively (p<0.001). Mean cancer core lengths and mean cancer core percentages were 3.2 mm and 24.5%, respectively, in TRUS-Bx and 6.3 mm and 45.4% in MRI-visual-Bx (p<0.001). In addition, Gleason score ≥7 was noted more frequently using MRI-visual-Bx (p=0.028). The detection rate of clinically significant prostate cancer was 27/77 (35.1%) and 40/54 (74.1%) for TRUS-Bx and MRI-visual-Bx, respectively (p<0.001). Conclusion MRI-visual-Bx showed better performance in the detection of clinically significant prostate cancer, compared to TRUS-Bx among patients with a PSA level less than 10 ng/mL. PMID:26996553

  7. Graded Achievement, Tested Achievement, and Validity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brookhart, Susan M.

    2015-01-01

    Twenty-eight studies of grades, over a century, were reviewed using the argument-based approach to validity suggested by Kane as a theoretical framework. The review draws conclusions about the meaning of graded achievement, its relation to tested achievement, and changes in the construct of graded achievement over time. "Graded…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  9. Poor Linkage to Care Despite Significant Improvement in Access to Early cART in Central Poland – Data from Test and Keep in Care (TAK) Project

    PubMed Central

    Kowalska, Justyna D.; Shepherd, Leah; Ankiersztejn-Bartczak, Magdalena; Cybula, Aneta; Czeszko-Paprocka, Hanna; Firląg-Burkacka, Ewa; Mocroft, Amanda; Horban, Andrzej

    2016-01-01

    Background The main objective of the TAK project is investigating barriers in accessing HIV care after HIV-diagnosis at the CBVCTs of central Poland. Here we describe factors associated with and changes over time in linkage to care and access to cART. Method Data collected in 2010–2013 in CBVCTs were linked with HIV clinics records using unique identifiers. Individuals were followed from the day of CBVCTs visit until first clinical visit or 4/06/2014. Cox-proportional hazard models were used to identify factors associated with being linked to care and starting cART. Results In total 232 persons were diagnosed HIV-positive and 144 (62.1% 95%CI: 55.5–68.3) persons were linked to care. There was no change over time in linkage to care (p = 0.48), while time to starting cART decreased (p = 0.02). Multivariate factors associated with a lower rate of linkage to care were hetero/bisexual sexual orientation, lower education, not having an HIV-positive partner and not using condoms in a stable relationship. Multivariate factors associated with starting cART were lower education, recent year of linked to care, and first HIV RNA and CD4 cell count. Conclusions Benefits of linkage to care, measured by access to early treatment, steadily improved in recent years. However at least 1 in 3 persons aware of their HIV status in central Poland remained outside professional healthcare. Persons at higher risk of remaining outside care, thus target population for future interventions, are bi/heterosexuals and those with lower levels of education. PMID:27711159

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Tribological characteristics of bisphenol AF bis(diphenyl phosphate) as an antiwear additive in polyalkylene glycol and polyurea grease for significantly improved lubrication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Lili; Wu, Xinhu; Zhao, Gaiqing; Wang, Xiaobo

    2016-02-01

    A new antiwear additive of Bisphenol AF bis(diphenyl phosphate) (BAFDP) was synthesized and characterized. The tribological behaviors of the additive for polyalkylene glycol (PAG) and polyurea grease (PG) application in steel/steel contacts were evaluated on an Optimol SRV-IV oscillating reciprocating friction and wear tester at elevated temperature. The results revealed that BAFDP could drastically reduce friction and wear of sliding pairs in both PAG and also in PG at 100 °C. The tribological properties of BAFDP are superior to the normally used zinc dialkyldithiophosphate-based additive package (ZDDP) in PAG and PG. Moreover, BAFDP as additive for PAG and PG displays relatively significant tribological properties in temperature-ramp tests by performing well at 50-300 °C, indicating the excellent high temperature friction reduction and anti-wear capacity of BAFDP. XPS results showed that boundary lubrication films composed of Fe(OH)O, Fe3O4, FePO4, FeF2, FeF3, compounds containing the Psbnd O bonds, nitrogen oxide, and so forth, were formed on the worn surface, which contributed to excellent friction reduction and antiwear performance.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Qian; Wang, Jing; Deng, Fang; Yan, Zhengjian; Xia, Yinglin; Wang, Zhongliang; Ye, Jixing; Deng, Youlin; Zhang, Zhonglin; Qiao, Min; Li, Ruifang; Denduluri, Sahitya K.; Wei, Qiang; Zhao, Lianggong; Lu, Shun; Wang, Xin; Tang, Shengli; Liu, Hao; Luu, Hue H.; Haydon, Rex C.; He, Tong-Chuan; Jiang, Li

    2015-01-01

    The advent of fluorescence-based quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) has revolutionized the quantification of gene expression analysis in many fields, including life sciences, agriculture, forensic science, molecular diagnostics, and medicine. While SYBR Green-based qPCR is the most commonly-used platform due to its inexpensive nature and robust chemistry, quantifying the expression of genes with low abundance or RNA samples extracted from highly restricted or limited sources can be challenging because the detection sensitivity of SYBR Green-based qPCR is limited. Here, we develop a novel and effective touchdown qPCR (TqPCR) protocol by incorporating a 4-cycle touchdown stage prior to the quantification amplification stage. Using the same cDNA templates, we find that TqPCR can reduce the average Cq values for Gapdh, Rps13, and Hprt1 reference genes by 4.45, 5.47, and 4.94 cycles, respectively, when compared with conventional qPCR; the overall average Cq value reduction for the three reference genes together is 4.95. We further find that TqPCR can improve PCR amplification efficiency and thus increase detection sensitivity. When the quantification of Wnt3A-induced target gene expression in mesenchymal stem cells is analyzed, we find that, while both conventional qPCR and TqPCR can detect the up-regulation of the relatively abundant target Axin2, only TqPCR can detect the up-regulation of the lowly-expressed targets Oct4 and Gbx2. Finally, we demonstrate that the MRQ2 and MRQ3 primer pairs derived from mouse reference gene Tbp can be used to validate the RNA/cDNA integrity of qPCR samples. Taken together, our results strongly suggest that TqPCR may increase detection sensitivity and PCR amplification efficiency. Overall, TqPCR should be advantageous over conventional qPCR in expression quantification, especially when the transcripts of interest are lowly expressed, and/or the availability of total RNA is highly restricted or limited. PMID:26172450

  16. Improving the Achievement of Minority Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, John A.

    1988-01-01

    In 1984, a Maryland elementary school publicized standardized test scores showing black students trailing white students by 25 points. Alarmed by this gap, a district task force found the root cause--negative attitudes about black students' potential--and launched an effective schools process in 171 schools. Two supporting programs are described.…

  17. Factors Influencing Improved Student Achievement in Virginia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Linehan, Patrick D.

    2012-01-01

    At the beginning of the last decade, Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2002. Key provisions of this act focused on holding schools accountable to ensure that all students met state established standards. In Virginia, the state Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments form the basis of…

  18. Computer Networks Improve Student Achievement, School Management.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cherry, Steve

    1991-01-01

    Using computer networking programs at two high schools as examples, this article describes what principals should know about networking. The many advantages of computer networking in schools will remain beneficial so long as the principal's objectives are met. Tips are provided for assessing the network. (eight references) (MLH)

  19. Can Emphasising Cognitive Development Improve Academic Achievement?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pasnak, Robert; Kidd, Julie K.; Gadzichowski, Marinka K.; Gallington, Deborah A.; Saracina, Robin P.

    2008-01-01

    Background: Children ordinarily begin their formal education at the age when the great majority of them are capable of understanding the role of addition and subtraction in changing number. In determining critical differences they can apply the oddity principle--the first "pure" abstraction that children ever develop--understanding that when all…

  20. Improving Student Achievement in a Multidisciplinary Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chapman, Amanda; Bloxham, Sue

    2004-01-01

    This article analyses interim findings of an ongoing action research project into the use of assessment criteria and grade descriptors in the assessment process. The project is multidisciplinary and covers areas as diverse as Sports Sociology, Economics, Youth and Community Studies, and Education. The idea is to equip first-year students with the…