Science.gov

Sample records for address current challenges

  1. Protecting the confidentiality of interim data: addressing current challenges.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Thomas R

    2015-02-01

    There is compelling evidence supporting the importance of maintaining confidentiality of interim data in clinical trials designed to reliably address the benefit-to-risk profile of interventions. While this is widely recognized, creative approaches are needed to achieve this in challenging settings where interim data are released for regulatory review and action, even though the trial would be continued to address its primary hypothesis. An illustration is the recently emerging setting of cardiovascular safety trials in type 2 diabetes mellitus. At the first stage of such trials, if large relative increases in cardiovascular major morbidity/mortality can be ruled out, data can be released solely for the purpose of allowing regulatory decision making about marketing approval. The trial is then continued in the post-marketing setting to address the primary hypothesis regarding whether smaller relative increases can be ruled out. Active rather than passive approaches are needed to protect the integrity of cardiovascular safety trials. Given the importance to trial integrity of maintaining confidentiality of interim data such as the estimated relative effect on cardiovascular risk, a Data Access Plan should be in place in these trials to ensure such data are not revealed to study participants and their caregivers, investigators involved in trial conduct, the sponsor's management team, and the public, until trial completion. A Performance Standards Document also should be developed to pre-specify targeted and minimally acceptable levels for recruitment rate, best real-world achievable adherence, avoidance of cross-ins, and retention rate. This document should specify creative approaches for achieving these targets, oversight procedures during trial conduct to monitor performance levels, and actions to be taken if emerging data indicate minimally acceptable levels are not being reached. In settings where meaningful breaches in confidentiality have occurred, such

  2. Protecting the confidentiality of interim data: addressing current challenges.

    PubMed

    Fleming, Thomas R

    2015-02-01

    There is compelling evidence supporting the importance of maintaining confidentiality of interim data in clinical trials designed to reliably address the benefit-to-risk profile of interventions. While this is widely recognized, creative approaches are needed to achieve this in challenging settings where interim data are released for regulatory review and action, even though the trial would be continued to address its primary hypothesis. An illustration is the recently emerging setting of cardiovascular safety trials in type 2 diabetes mellitus. At the first stage of such trials, if large relative increases in cardiovascular major morbidity/mortality can be ruled out, data can be released solely for the purpose of allowing regulatory decision making about marketing approval. The trial is then continued in the post-marketing setting to address the primary hypothesis regarding whether smaller relative increases can be ruled out. Active rather than passive approaches are needed to protect the integrity of cardiovascular safety trials. Given the importance to trial integrity of maintaining confidentiality of interim data such as the estimated relative effect on cardiovascular risk, a Data Access Plan should be in place in these trials to ensure such data are not revealed to study participants and their caregivers, investigators involved in trial conduct, the sponsor's management team, and the public, until trial completion. A Performance Standards Document also should be developed to pre-specify targeted and minimally acceptable levels for recruitment rate, best real-world achievable adherence, avoidance of cross-ins, and retention rate. This document should specify creative approaches for achieving these targets, oversight procedures during trial conduct to monitor performance levels, and actions to be taken if emerging data indicate minimally acceptable levels are not being reached. In settings where meaningful breaches in confidentiality have occurred, such

  3. Multiscale Modeling in Computational Biomechanics: Determining Computational Priorities and Addressing Current Challenges

    SciTech Connect

    Tawhai, Merryn; Bischoff, Jeff; Einstein, Daniel R.; Erdemir, Ahmet; Guess, Trent; Reinbolt, Jeff

    2009-05-01

    Abstract In this article, we describe some current multiscale modeling issues in computational biomechanics from the perspective of the musculoskeletal and respiratory systems and mechanotransduction. First, we outline the necessity of multiscale simulations in these biological systems. Then we summarize challenges inherent to multiscale biomechanics modeling, regardless of the subdiscipline, followed by computational challenges that are system-specific. We discuss some of the current tools that have been utilized to aid research in multiscale mechanics simulations, and the priorities to further the field of multiscale biomechanics computation.

  4. A Problem-Solving Approach to Addressing Current Global Challenges in Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chapman, Judith D.; Aspin, David N.

    2013-01-01

    This paper begins with an analysis of global problems shaping education, particularly as they impact upon learning and life chances. In addressing these problems a range of philosophical positions and controversies are considered, including: traditional romantic and institutional views of schooling; and more recent maximalist, neo-liberal,…

  5. Nonclinical safety testing of biopharmaceuticals--Addressing current challenges of these novel and emerging therapies.

    PubMed

    Brennan, Frank R; Baumann, Andreas; Blaich, Guenter; de Haan, Lolke; Fagg, Rajni; Kiessling, Andrea; Kronenberg, Sven; Locher, Mathias; Milton, Mark; Tibbitts, Jay; Ulrich, Peter; Weir, Lucinda

    2015-10-01

    Non-clinical safety testing of biopharmaceuticals can present significant challenges to human risk assessment with these often innovative and complex drugs. Hot Topics in this field were discussed recently at the 4th Annual European Biosafe General Membership meeting. In this feature article, the presentations and subsequent discussions from the main sessions are summarized. The topics covered include: (i) wanted versus unwanted immune activation, (ii) bi-specific protein scaffolds, (iii) use of Pharmacokinetic (PK)/Pharmacodynamic (PD) data to impact/optimize toxicology study design, (iv) cytokine release and challenges to human translation (v) safety testing of cell and gene therapies including chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cells and retroviral vectors and (vi) biopharmaceutical development strategies encompassing a range of diverse topics including optimizing entry of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) into the brain, safety testing of therapeutic vaccines, non-clinical testing of biosimilars, infection in toxicology studies with immunomodulators and challenges to human risk assessment, maternal and infant anti-drug antibody (ADA) development and impact in non-human primate (NHP) developmental toxicity studies, and a summary of an NC3Rs workshop on the future vision for non-clinical safety assessment of biopharmaceuticals.

  6. Addressing the workforce pipeline challenge

    SciTech Connect

    Leonard Bond; Kevin Kostelnik; Richard Holman

    2006-11-01

    A secure and affordable energy supply is essential for achieving U.S. national security, in continuing U.S. prosperity and in laying the foundations to enable future economic growth. To meet this goal the next generation energy workforce in the U.S., in particular those needed to support instrumentation, controls and advanced operations and maintenance, is a critical element. The workforce is aging and a new workforce pipeline, to support both current generation and new build has yet to be established. The paper reviews the challenges and some actions being taken to address this need.

  7. Addressing Challenges for Chemical Oceanography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savidge, William B.; Brandes, Jay A.

    2009-05-01

    Unknown Knowns and Known Unknowns: Chemical Oceanography in a Changing World; Savannah, Georgia, 22-24 February 2009; Rapid climate change in recent decades has resulted in significant shifts in ocean chemistry. A group of more than 80 chemical oceanographers from the United States and Europe met in Savannah, Ga., to consider the challenges facing the field in upcoming decades and to reflect on what studies and resources are needed to meet these challenges. The primary focus was on carbon and related nutrient cycling and the tools, such as biomarkers, used to investigate these processes. Over the course of 2 days, a series of provocative talks and spirited discussions highlighted several challenges facing chemical oceanographers.

  8. Addressing Global Data Sharing Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Alter, George C.

    2015-01-01

    This issue of the Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics highlights the ethical issues that arise when researchers conducting projects in low- and middle-income countries seek to share the data they produce. Although sharing data is considered a best practice, the barriers to doing so are considerable and there is a need for guidance and examples. To that end, the authors of this article reviewed the articles in this special issue to identify challenges common to the five countries and to offer some practical advice to assist researchers in navigating this “uncharted territory,” as some termed it. Concerns around informed consent, data management, data dissemination, and validation of research contributions were cited frequently as particularly challenging areas, so the authors focused on these four topics with the goal of providing specific resources to consult as well as examples of successful projects attempting to solve many of the problems raised. PMID:26297753

  9. Addressing Global Data Sharing Challenges.

    PubMed

    Alter, George C; Vardigan, Mary

    2015-07-01

    This issue of the Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics highlights the ethical issues that arise when researchers conducting projects in low- and middle-income countries seek to share the data they produce. Although sharing data is considered a best practice, the barriers to doing so are considerable and there is a need for guidance and examples. To that end, the authors of this article reviewed the articles in this special issue to identify challenges common to the five countries and to offer some practical advice to assist researchers in navigating this "uncharted territory," as some termed it. Concerns around informed consent, data management, data dissemination, and validation of research contributions were cited frequently as particularly challenging areas, so the authors focused on these four topics with the goal of providing specific resources to consult as well as examples of successful projects attempting to solve many of the problems raised. PMID:26297753

  10. Addressing Global Data Sharing Challenges.

    PubMed

    Alter, George C; Vardigan, Mary

    2015-07-01

    This issue of the Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics highlights the ethical issues that arise when researchers conducting projects in low- and middle-income countries seek to share the data they produce. Although sharing data is considered a best practice, the barriers to doing so are considerable and there is a need for guidance and examples. To that end, the authors of this article reviewed the articles in this special issue to identify challenges common to the five countries and to offer some practical advice to assist researchers in navigating this "uncharted territory," as some termed it. Concerns around informed consent, data management, data dissemination, and validation of research contributions were cited frequently as particularly challenging areas, so the authors focused on these four topics with the goal of providing specific resources to consult as well as examples of successful projects attempting to solve many of the problems raised.

  11. GEOSS: Addressing Big Data Challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nativi, S.; Craglia, M.; Ochiai, O.

    2014-12-01

    In the sector of Earth Observation, the explosion of data is due to many factors including: new satellite constellations, the increased capabilities of sensor technologies, social media, crowdsourcing, and the need for multidisciplinary and collaborative research to face Global Changes. In this area, there are many expectations and concerns about Big Data. Vendors have attempted to use this term for their commercial purposes. It is necessary to understand whether Big Data is a radical shift or an incremental change for the existing digital infrastructures. This presentation tries to explore and discuss the impact of Big Data challenges and new capabilities on the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS) and particularly on its common digital infrastructure called GCI. GEOSS is a global and flexible network of content providers allowing decision makers to access an extraordinary range of data and information at their desk. The impact of the Big Data dimensionalities (commonly known as 'V' axes: volume, variety, velocity, veracity, visualization) on GEOSS is discussed. The main solutions and experimentation developed by GEOSS along these axes are introduced and analyzed. GEOSS is a pioneering framework for global and multidisciplinary data sharing in the Earth Observation realm; its experience on Big Data is valuable for the many lessons learned.

  12. Applying evolutionary biology to address global challenges

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, Scott P.; Jørgensen, Peter Søgaard; Kinnison, Michael T.; Bergstrom, Carl T.; Denison, R. Ford; Gluckman, Peter; Smith, Thomas B.; Strauss, Sharon Y.; Tabashnik, Bruce E.

    2014-01-01

    Two categories of evolutionary challenges result from escalating human impacts on the planet. The first arises from cancers, pathogens and pests that evolve too quickly, and the second from the inability of many valued species to adapt quickly enough. Applied evolutionary biology provides a suite of strategies to address these global challenges that threaten human health, food security, and biodiversity. This review highlights both progress and gaps in genetic, developmental and environmental manipulations across the life sciences that either target the rate and direction of evolution, or reduce the mismatch between organisms and human-altered environments. Increased development and application of these underused tools will be vital in meeting current and future targets for sustainable development. PMID:25213376

  13. Applying evolutionary biology to address global challenges.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Scott P; Jørgensen, Peter Søgaard; Kinnison, Michael T; Bergstrom, Carl T; Denison, R Ford; Gluckman, Peter; Smith, Thomas B; Strauss, Sharon Y; Tabashnik, Bruce E

    2014-10-17

    Two categories of evolutionary challenges result from escalating human impacts on the planet. The first arises from cancers, pathogens, and pests that evolve too quickly and the second, from the inability of many valued species to adapt quickly enough. Applied evolutionary biology provides a suite of strategies to address these global challenges that threaten human health, food security, and biodiversity. This Review highlights both progress and gaps in genetic, developmental, and environmental manipulations across the life sciences that either target the rate and direction of evolution or reduce the mismatch between organisms and human-altered environments. Increased development and application of these underused tools will be vital in meeting current and future targets for sustainable development.

  14. USGS Science: Addressing Our Nation's Challenges

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, Tania M.

    2009-01-01

    With 6.6 billion people already living on Earth, and that number increasing every day, human influence on our planet is ever more apparent. Changes to the natural world combined with increasing human demands threaten our health and safety, our national security, our economy, and our quality of life. As a planet and a Nation, we face unprecedented challenges: loss of critical and unique ecosystems, the effects of climate change, increasing demand for limited energy and mineral resources, increasing vulnerability to natural hazards, the effects of emerging diseases on wildlife and human health, and growing needs for clean water. The time to respond to these challenges is now, but policymakers and decisionmakers face difficult choices. With competing priorities to balance, and potentially serious - perhaps irreversible - consequences at stake, our leaders need reliable scientific information to guide their decisions. As the Nation's earth and natural science agency, the USGS monitors and conducts scientific research on natural hazards and resources and how these elements and human activities influence our environment. Because the challenges we face are complex, the science needed to better understand and deal with these challenges must reflect the complex interplay among natural and human systems. With world-class expertise in biology, geology, geography, hydrology, geospatial information, and remote sensing, the USGS is uniquely capable of conducting the comprehensive scientific research needed to better understand the interdependent interactions of Earth's systems. Every day, the USGS helps decisionmakers to minimize loss of life and property, manage our natural resources, and protect and enhance our quality of life. This brochure provides examples of the challenges we face and how USGS science helps decisionmakers to address these challenges.

  15. Molecular Electronics - Current Challenges

    SciTech Connect

    Vilan, Ayelet; Cahen, David

    2010-12-01

    Molecular electronics is a flourishing area of nano-science and -technology, with a promise for cheap electronics of novel functionality. Here we outline the major challenges for molecular electronics becoming an established scientific discipline, including models with predictive power.

  16. Addressing Infectious Disease Challenges by Investigating Microbiomes.

    PubMed

    Balskus, Emily P

    2016-07-01

    Microbial communities occupy essentially every habitat on earth and have profound effects on our environment and human health. The National Microbiome Initiative will provide a framework for interdisciplinary microbiome research. The challenges inherent in discovering and understanding microbiome functions, especially those associated with infectious disease, present countless opportunities for chemists. PMID:27626096

  17. Challenges in Diabetes Care: Can Digital Health Help Address Them?

    PubMed

    Iyengar, Varun; Wolf, Alexander; Brown, Adam; Close, Kelly

    2016-07-01

    In Brief There is great enthusiasm for the potential of digital health solutions in medicine and diabetes to address key care challenges: patient and provider burden, lack of data to inform therapeutic decision-making, poor access to care, and costs. However, the field is still in its nascent days; many patients and providers do not currently engage with digital health tools, and for those who do, the burden is still often high. Over time, digital health has excellent potential to collect data more seamlessly, make collected data more useful, and drive better outcomes at lower costs in less time. But there is still much to prove. This review offers key background information on the current state of digital health in diabetes, six of the most promising digital health technologies and services, and the challenges that remain. PMID:27621530

  18. 5 CFR 870.910 - Notification of current addresses.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... 5 Administrative Personnel 2 2012-01-01 2012-01-01 false Notification of current addresses. 870....910 Notification of current addresses. Each assignee must keep the office where the assignment is filed informed of his/her current address....

  19. 5 CFR 870.910 - Notification of current addresses.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... 5 Administrative Personnel 2 2011-01-01 2011-01-01 false Notification of current addresses. 870....910 Notification of current addresses. Each assignee must keep the office where the assignment is filed informed of his/her current address....

  20. 5 CFR 870.910 - Notification of current addresses.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... 5 Administrative Personnel 2 2014-01-01 2014-01-01 false Notification of current addresses. 870....910 Notification of current addresses. Each assignee must keep the office where the assignment is filed informed of his/her current address....

  1. 5 CFR 870.910 - Notification of current addresses.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... 5 Administrative Personnel 2 2013-01-01 2013-01-01 false Notification of current addresses. 870....910 Notification of current addresses. Each assignee must keep the office where the assignment is filed informed of his/her current address....

  2. ADDRESSING ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING CHALLENGES WITH COMPUTATIONAL FLUID DYNAMICS

    EPA Science Inventory

    This paper discusses the status and application of Computational Fluid Dynamics )CFD) models to address environmental engineering challenges for more detailed understanding of air pollutant source emissions, atmospheric dispersion and resulting human exposure. CFD simulations ...

  3. Opportunities and challenges of using technology to address health disparities.

    PubMed

    Rivers, Brian M; Bernhardt, Jay M; Fleisher, Linda; Green, Bernard Lee

    2014-03-01

    During a panel presentation at the American Association for Cancer Research Cancer Health Disparities Conference titled 'Opportunities and challenges of using technology to address health disparities', the latest scientific advances in the application and utilization of mobile technology and/or mobile-health (mHealth) interventions to address cancer health disparities were discussed. The session included: an examination of overall population trends in the uptake of technology and the potential of addressing health disparities through such media; an exploration of the conceptual issues and challenges in the construction of mHealth interventions to address disparate and underserved populations; and a presentation of pilot study findings on the acceptability and feasibility of using mHealth interventions to address prostate cancer disparities among African-American men.

  4. Quality assurance: the current challenge.

    PubMed

    Gruchy, C; Rogers, L G

    1990-04-01

    Occupational therapists are being challenged to measure and evaluate the care provided to their patients. This paper discusses the various stages of development of a quality assurance program within a large pediatric occupational therapy department. Several quality assurance activities undertaken are described, including the development of standards of clinical practice (based on the "Guidelines for the Client-Centred Practice of Occupational Therapy") and the development of assessment and documentation protocols. Outcome measurement in pediatric occupational therapy is addressed in relationship to the process measures which were developed in the department. The approaches to outcome measurement are outlined within the context of an audit attempting to evaluate the effectiveness of occupational therapy intervention based on five areas of evaluation.

  5. Teaching of leprosy: current challenges*

    PubMed Central

    Alves, Cynthia Rossetti Portela; Ribeiro, Maria Mônica Freitas; Melo, Elza Machado; Araújo, Marcelo Grossi

    2014-01-01

    In the context of declining leprosy endemicity worldwide, keeping the interest in knowledge and expertise in leprosy alive has been a matter of concern. Approaching the problem only in primary care, without the proper integration with other levels of care in the health system fails to account for the complexity of the disease. Training professionals to work at different levels of health care is a current challenge. The objective of this review was to look for experiences related to the teaching of leprosy both in undergraduate courses in the field of health sciences and in training programs for professionals who work in patient care. We highlight the role of the dermatologist in the management of control programs, diagnosis and treatment of the disease, as well as in the continuous education of other health professionals. PMID:24937820

  6. Addressing strategy execution challenges to lead sustainable change.

    PubMed

    Shirey, Maria R

    2011-01-01

    This department highlights change management strategies that may be successful in strategically planning and executing organizational change initiatives. With the goal of presenting practical approaches helpful to nurse leaders advancing organizational change, content includes evidence-based projects, tools, and resources that mobilize and sustain organizational change initiatives. In this article, the author discusses strategy execution challenges that must be addressed to lead sustainable change.

  7. Addressing the challenges of thermal imaging for firefighting applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kostrzewa, Joseph; Meyer, William H.; Poe, George; Terre, William A.; Salapow, Thomas M.; Raimondi, John

    2003-09-01

    By providing visibility through smoke and absolute darkness, thermal imaging has the potential to radically improve the effectiveness and safety of the modern firefighter. Some of the roles of thermal imaging are assisting in detection of victims; navigating through dark, smoke-filled structures; detecting indications of imminent flash-over/roll-over; identifying and attacking the seat and extension of a fire; and surveying for lingering hot spots after a fire is nearly extinguished. In many respects, thermal imaging is ideally suited for these functions. However, firefighting applications present the infrared community some unique and challenging design constraints, not the least of which is an operating environment that is in some ways more harsh than most aerospace applications. While many previous papers have described the benefits of thermal imaging for firefighters, this paper describes several specific engineering challenges of this application. These include large ambient temperature range, rapidly changing scene dynamics, extreme demands on AGC, and large dynamic range requirements. This paper describes these and other challenges in detail and explains how they were addressed and overcome in the design of Evolution 5000, a state-of-the-art thermal imager designed and manufactured by Mine Safety Appliances (MSA) using Indigo System"s Omega miniature uncooled camera core.

  8. Connectivity and complex systems in geomorphology: addressing some key challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pöppl, Ronald; Turnbull-Lloyd, Laura; Parsons, Anthony; Bracken, Louise; Keesstra, Saskia; Masselink, Rens

    2016-04-01

    "Connectivity thinking" and related concepts have a long history in geomorphology. Since the beginning of the 21st century connectivity research experienced a huge boom in geomorphology as geomorphologists started to develop new concepts on connectivity to better understand the complexity of geomorphic systems and system response to change. However, progress in the field of connectivity in geomorphology has mostly been developing in a parallel manner, resulting in a multiplicity of definitions, concepts and methodological approaches. Nevertheless, a set of common key challenges amongst the different connectivity concepts and approaches used to understand complex geomorphic systems are also evident. In the course of a theory think tank of the COST Action ES1306 (CONNECTEUR - Connecting European Connectivity Research) the following five different key challenges were detected (Turnbull et al., in prep.): (i) defining the fundamental unit, (ii) distinguishing between structural and functional boundaries, (iii) emergent behavior, (iv) memory effects, (v) measuring connectivity. In this presentation we will a) discuss how these key challenges are addressed and approached in connectivity research in geomorphology, b) evaluate ways in which cross-disciplinary advances may be made by exploring potential for a common toolbox approach to the study of connectivity.

  9. 5 CFR 870.910 - Notification of current addresses.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 5 Administrative Personnel 2 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Notification of current addresses. 870.910 Section 870.910 Administrative Personnel OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT (CONTINUED) CIVIL SERVICE REGULATIONS (CONTINUED) FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' GROUP LIFE INSURANCE PROGRAM Assignments of Life Insurance §...

  10. The Sustainable Hydrogen Economy: Addressing the Challenges Ahead

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, John A.

    2006-10-01

    It is rapidly becoming apparent that energy is one of the most important issues facing our world today; in fact, in today's society energy is as important as food and water. Humankind finds itself faced the challenge of how to continue to power society, particularly in the face of the rapidly growing economies of emerging nations like India and China, and yet answer questions of sustainability, energy security, geopolitics and global environment. One of the major issues facing America and most other countries in the world is how to supply a transportation fuel, an energy carrier to replace gasoline. Hydrogen as an energy carrier, primarily derived from water, can address issues of sustainability, environmental emissions and energy security. The ``Hydrogen Economy'' then is the production of hydrogen, its distribution and utilization as an energy carrier. While the vision of a hydrogen economy has been around for over 130 years, the most recent push to use hydrogen as an energy carrier came as part of a US Presidential Initiative, announced in the 2003 State of the Union Address. It is important that we consider hydrogen in tandem with other technologies as an alternative to the once-abundant hydrocarbon resources on which our society depends. This talk will introduce sustainable energy systems, including fuel cell technology and discuss the vision, the barriers and possible pathways for the production and implementation of hydrogen into the energy infrastructure.

  11. Evaluating complex community-based health promotion: addressing the challenges.

    PubMed

    Jolley, Gwyneth

    2014-08-01

    Community-based health promotion is poorly theorised and lacks an agreed evidence-base. This paper examines characteristics of community-based health promotion and the challenges they present to evaluation. A review of health promotion evaluation leads to an exploration of more recent approaches, drawing on ideas from complexity theory and developmental evaluation. A reflexive analysis of three program evaluations previously undertaken as an evaluation consultant is used to develop a conceptual model to help in the design and conduct of health promotion evaluation. The model is further explored by applying it retrospectively to one evaluation. Findings suggest that the context-contingent nature of health promotion programs; turbulence in the community context and players; multiple stakeholders, goals and strategies; and uncertainty of outcomes all contribute to the complexity of interventions. Bringing together insights from developmental evaluation and complexity theory can help to address some evaluation challenges. The proposed model emphasises recognising and responding to changing contexts and emerging outcomes, providing rapid feedback and facilitating reflexive practice. This will enable the evaluator to gain a better understanding of the influence of context and other implementation factors in a complex setting. Use of the model should contribute to building cumulative evidence and knowledge in order to identify the principles of health promotion effectiveness that may be transferable to new situations.

  12. Interweaving Knowledge Resources to Address Complex Environmental Health Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Beth Ellen; Suk, William A.

    2015-01-01

    Background Complex problems do not respect academic disciplinary boundaries. Environmental health research is complex and often moves beyond these boundaries, integrating diverse knowledge resources to solve such challenges. Here we describe an evolving paradigm for interweaving approaches that integrates widely diverse resources outside of traditional academic environments in full partnerships of mutual respect and understanding. We demonstrate that scientists, social scientists, and engineers can work with government agencies, industry, and communities to interweave their expertise into metaphorical knowledge fabrics to share understanding, resources, and enthusiasm. Objective Our goal is to acknowledge and validate how interweaving research approaches can contribute to research-driven, solution-oriented problem solving in environmental health, and to inspire more members of the environmental health community to consider this approach. Discussion The National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Superfund Research Program (SRP), as mandated by Congress, has evolved to become a program that reaches across a wide range of knowledge resources. SRP fosters interweaving multiple knowledge resources to develop innovative multidirectional partnerships for research and training. Here we describe examples of how motivation, ideas, knowledge, and expertise from different people, institutions, and agencies can integrate to tackle challenges that can be as complex as the resources they bring to bear on it. Conclusions By providing structure for interweaving science with its stakeholders, we are better able to leverage resources, increase potential for innovation, and proactively ensure a more fully developed spectrum of beneficial outcomes of research investments. Citation Anderson BE, Naujokas MF, Suk WA. 2015. Interweaving knowledge resources to address complex environmental health challenges. Environ Health Perspect 123:1095–1099

  13. Oral health in Libya: addressing the future challenges.

    PubMed

    Peeran, Syed Wali; Altaher, Omar Basheer; Peeran, Syed Ali; Alsaid, Fatma Mojtaba; Mugrabi, Marei Hamed; Ahmed, Aisha Mojtaba; Grain, Abdulgader

    2014-01-01

    Libya is a vast country situated in North Africa, having a relatively better functioning economy with a scanty population. This article is the first known attempt to review the current state of oral health care in Libya and to explore the present trends and future challenges. Libyan health system, oral health care, and human resources with the present status of dental education are reviewed comprehensively. A bibliographic study of oral health research and publications has been carried out. The results point toward a common indicator that oral health-related research is low. Strategies have to be developed to educate the medical and dental professionals, to update the current curriculum and enable the system to be competent in all aspects of oral health care management.

  14. Oral health in Libya: addressing the future challenges

    PubMed Central

    Peeran, Syed Wali; Altaher, Omar Basheer; Peeran, Syed Ali; Alsaid, Fatma Mojtaba; Mugrabi, Marei Hamed; Ahmed, Aisha Mojtaba; Grain, Abdulgader

    2014-01-01

    Libya is a vast country situated in North Africa, having a relatively better functioning economy with a scanty population. This article is the first known attempt to review the current state of oral health care in Libya and to explore the present trends and future challenges. Libyan health system, oral health care, and human resources with the present status of dental education are reviewed comprehensively. A bibliographic study of oral health research and publications has been carried out. The results point toward a common indicator that oral health–related research is low. Strategies have to be developed to educate the medical and dental professionals, to update the current curriculum and enable the system to be competent in all aspects of oral health care management. PMID:24666627

  15. Addressing Earth Science Data Access Challenges through User Experience Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hemmings, S. N.; Banks, B.; Kendall, J.; Lee, C. M.; Irwin, D.; Toll, D. L.; Searby, N. D.

    2013-12-01

    The NASA Capacity Building Program (Earth Science Division, Applied Sciences Program) works to enhance end-user capabilities to employ Earth observation and Earth science (EO/ES) data in decision-making. Open data access and user-tailored data delivery strategies are critical elements towards this end. User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI) research methods can offer important contributions towards addressing data access challenges, particularly at the interface of science application/product development and product transition to end-users. This presentation focuses on developing nation contexts and describes methods, results, and lessons learned from two recent UX/UI efforts conducted in collaboration with NASA: the SERVIRglobal.net redesign project and the U.S. Water Partnership (USWP) Portal development effort. SERVIR, a collaborative venture among NASA, USAID, and global partners, seeks to improve environmental management and climate change response by helping governments and other stakeholders integrate EO and geospatial technologies into decision-making. The USWP, a collaboration among U.S. public and private sectors, harnesses U.S.-based resources and expertise to address water challenges in developing nations. SERVIR's study, conducted from 2010-2012, assessed and tested user needs, preferences, and online experiences to generate a more user-friendly online data portal at SERVIRglobal.net. The portal provides a central access interface to data and products from SERVIR's network of hubs in East Africa, the Hindu Kush Himalayas, and Mesoamerica. The second study, conducted by the USWP Secretariat and funded by the U.S. Department of State, seeks to match U.S.-based water information resources with developing nation stakeholder needs. The USWP study utilizes a multi-pronged approach to identify key design requirements and to understand the existing water data portal landscape. Adopting UX methods allows data distributors to design customized UIs that

  16. Current challenges in interventional mitral valve treatment

    PubMed Central

    Candreva, Alessandro; Pozzoli, Alberto; Guidotti, Andrea; Gaemperli, Oliver; Nietlispach, Fabian; Barthelmes, Jens; Emmert, Maximilian Y.; Weber, Alberto; Benussi, Stefano; Alfieri, Ottavio; Maisano, Francesco

    2015-01-01

    Transcatheter mitral valve therapies have emerged as an alternative option in high surgical risk or inoperable patients with severe and symptomatic mitral regurgitation (MR). As multiple technologies and different approaches will become available in the field of mitral valve interventions, different challenges are emerging, both patient- (clinical challenges) and procedure-related (technical challenges). This review will briefly explore the current open challenges in the evolving fields of interventional mitral valve treatment. PMID:26543599

  17. Addressing the Challenges of Distributed Hydrologic Modeling for Operational Forecasting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butts, M. B.; Yamagata, K.; Kobor, J.; Fontenot, E.

    2008-05-01

    Operational forecasting systems must provide reliable, accurate and timely flood forecasts for a range of catchments from small rapidly responding mountain catchments and urban areas to large, complex but more slowly responding fluvial systems. Flood forecasting systems have evolved from simple forecasting for flood mitigation to real-time decision support systems for real-time reservoir operations for water supply, navigation, hydropower, for managing environmental flows and habitat protection, cooling water and water quality forecasting. These different requirements lead to a number of challenges in applying distributed modelling in an operational context. These challenges include, the often short time available for forecasting that requires a trade-off between model complexity and accuracy on the one hand and on the other hand the need for efficient calculations to reduce the computation times. Limitations in the data available in real-time require modelling tools that can not only operate on a minimum of data but also take advantage of new data sources such as weather radar, satellite remote sensing, wireless sensors etc. Finally, models must not only accurately predict flood peaks but also forecast low flows and surface water-groundwater interactions, water quality, water temperature, optimal reservoir levels, and inundated areas. This paper shows how these challenges are being addressed in a number of case studies. The central strategy has been to develop a flexible modelling framework that can be adapted to different data sources, different levels of complexity and spatial distribution and different modelling objectives. The resulting framework allows amongst other things, optimal use of grid-based precipitation fields from weather radar and numerical weather models, direct integration of satellite remote sensing, a unique capability to treat a range of new forecasting problems such as flooding conditioned by surface water-groundwater interactions. Results

  18. Challenges faced by multidisplinary new investigators on addressing grand challenges in global health

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The grand challenges approach aims to spark innovative and transformative strategies to overcome barriers to significant global health issues. Grand Challenges Canada endorses an ‘Integrated Innovation™’ approach that focuses on the intersection of scientific/technological, social and business innovation. In this article we explore themes emerging from a dialogue between the authors, who are multidisciplinary recipients of the ‘Rising Stars in Global Health’ award from Grand Challenges Canada, regarding benefits of engaging in integrated innovation research, and recommendations for how this approach may develop in the future. Discussion Our dialogue followed a semi-structured interview format that addressed three topics: 1) reflections on applying an Integrated Innovation™ approach for global health; 2) thoughts on participation in the Grand Challenges 2012 meeting; and 3) authors’ visions of Grand Challenges Canada and the Grand Challenge movement towards 2020. The dialogue was transcribed verbatim and we used thematic analysis techniques to identify, analyze and report themes in the data. Benefits of working using the Grand Challenges approach centered on two themes: a) the potential for scientific breakthrough and b) building interdisciplinary collaborations and a community of scholars. Challenges and opportunities for Grand Challenges in moving forward included: a) capacity building, particularly regarding Integrated Innovation™ and scale-up planning; b) interdisciplinary and international mentorship for new investigators; and c) potential for future commercialization. Conclusions Our discussion highlighted that Integrated Innovation™ offers the opportunity to develop new theories, methods and approaches to global health while simultaneously fostering a collaborative spirit grounded in international, interdisciplinary collaborations. However, the arguable over-emphasis on corporatization poses a major challenge for new investigators

  19. Global challenges keynote address in memoriam to colleagues lost in the Malaysia airlines 17 crash

    PubMed Central

    Hankins, Catherine A.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Six colleagues working in the HIV field were killed when their flight en route to Kuala Lumpur was shot down over the Ukraine. This report is drawn from the in memoriam keynote opening address given at the 12th International AIDS Impact conference in Amsterdam in 2015. It highlights their tangible and valued roles in the HIV response and looks forward to the road ahead. It describes the ways in which we can build on their legacy to address current global challenges in HIV prevention and treatment and to mobilise the intensified, focused resources that are needed to turn the HIV epidemic on its head. PMID:26963879

  20. Current overview on challenges in regenerative endodontics

    PubMed Central

    Bansal, Ramta; Jain, Aditya; Mittal, Sunandan

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Regenerative endodontics provides hope of converting the non-vital tooth into vital once again. It focuses on substituting traumatized and pathological pulp with functional pulp tissue. Current regenerative procedures successfully produce root development but still fail to re-establish real pulp tissue and give unpredictable results. There are several drawbacks that need to be addressed to improve the quality and efficiency of the treatment. Aim: The aim of this review article is to discuss major priorities that ought to be dealt before applications of regenerative endodontics flourish the clinical practice. Materials and Methods: A web-based research on MEDLINE was done using filter terms Review, published in the last 10 years and Dental journals. Keywords used for research were “regenerative endodontics,” “dental stem cells,” “growth factor regeneration,” “scaffolds,” and “challenges in regeneration.” This review article screened about 150 articles and then the relevant information was compiled. Results: Inspite of the impressive growth in regenerative endodontic field, there are certain loopholes in the existing treatment protocols that might sometimes result in undesired and unpredictable outcomes. Conclusion: Considerable research and development efforts are required to improve and update existing regenerative endodontic strategies to make it an effective, safe, and biological mode to save teeth. PMID:25657518

  1. Current challenges in meeting global iodine requirements.

    PubMed

    Eastman, Creswell J; Jooste, Pieter

    2012-01-01

    Iodine deficiency is a global problem of immense magnitude afflicting 2 billion of the world's population. The adverse effects of iodine deficiency in humans, collectively termed iodine deficiency disorders, result from decreased thyroid hormone production and action, and vary in severity from thyroid enlargement (goiter) to severe, irreversible brain damage, termed endemic cretinism. Thyroid hormone is essential throughout life, but it is critical for normal brain development in the fetus and throughout childhood. During pregnancy, maternal thyroid hormone production must increase by 25-50% to meet maternal-fetal requirements. The principal sources of iodine in the diet include milk and dairy products, seafoods and foods with added iodized salt. Vegetables, fruits and cereals are generally poor sources of iodine because most of our soils and water supplies are deficient in iodine. The accepted solution to the problem is Universal Salt Iodization where all salt for human and animal consumption is iodized at a level of 20-40 µg/g. In principle, mandatory fortification represents the most effective public health strategy where safety and efficacy can be assured and there is a demonstrated need for the nutrient in the population. Voluntary fortification of salt and other foods has many limitations and few benefits. Iodine supplementation is a useful, but expensive, inefficient and unsustainable strategy for preventing iodine deficiency. The current worldwide push to decrease salt intake to prevent cardiovascular disease presents an entirely new challenge in addressing iodine deficiency in both developing and developed countries. PMID:25825304

  2. Strategic Science to Address Current and Future Space Weather Needs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mannucci, A. J.; Schwadron, N.; Antiochos, S. K.; Bhattacharjee, A.; Bisi, M. M.; Gopalswamy, N.; Kamalabadi, F.; Pulkkinen, A. A.; Tobiska, W. K.; Weimer, D. R.; Withers, P.

    2014-12-01

    NASA's Living With a Star (LWS) program has contributed a wealth of scientific knowledge that is relevant to space weather and user needs. A targeted approach to science questions has resulted in leveraging new scientific knowledge to improve not only our understanding of the Heliophysics domain, but also to develop predictive capabilities in key areas of LWS science. This fascinating interplay between science and applications promises to benefit both domains. Scientists providing feedback to the LWS program are now discussing an evolution of the targeted approach that explicitly considers how new science improves, or enables, predictive capability directly. Long-term program goals are termed "Strategic Science Areas" (SSAs) that address predictive capabilities in six specific areas: geomagnetically induced currents, satellite drag, solar energetic particles, ionospheric total electron content, radio frequency scintillation induced by the ionosphere, and the radiation environment. SSAs are organized around user needs and the impacts of space weather on society. Scientists involved in the LWS program identify targeted areas of research that reference (or bear upon) societal needs. Such targeted science leads to new discoveries and is one of the valid forms of exploration. In this talk we describe the benefits of targeted science, and how addressing societal impacts in an appropriate way maintains the strong science focus of LWS, while also leading to its broader impacts.

  3. Is Current Hydrogeologic Research Addressing Long-TermPredictions?

    SciTech Connect

    Tsang, Chin-Fu

    2004-09-10

    Hydrogeology is a field closely related to the needs of society. Many problems of current national and local interest require predictions of hydrogeological system behavior, and, in a number of important cases, the period of prediction is tens to hundreds of thousands of years. It is argued that the demand for such long-term hydrogeological predictions casts a new light on the future needs of hydrogeological research. Key scientific issues are no longer concerned only with simple processes or narrowly focused modeling or testing methods, but also with assessment of prediction uncertainties and confidence, couplings among multiple physico-chemical processes occurring simultaneously at a site, and the interplay between site characterization and predictive modeling. These considerations also have significant implications for hydrogeological education. With this view, it is asserted that hydrogeological directions and education need to be reexamined and possibly refocused to address specific needs for long-term predictions.

  4. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Wyoming

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  5. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Alabama

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers; (2) significant financial shortfalls; and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  6. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. South Dakota

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  7. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Tennessee

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  8. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Virginia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  9. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Texas

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  10. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Pennsylvania

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  11. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Kentucky

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  12. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. New Jersey

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  13. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Montana

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  14. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Missouri

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  15. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Illinois

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  16. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. North Carolina

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  17. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Mississippi

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  18. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Indiana

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  19. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Florida

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  20. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Oregon

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  1. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Idaho

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  2. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Michigan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  3. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Ohio

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  4. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. South Carolina

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  5. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Kansas

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  6. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Louisiana

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  7. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. New Hampshire

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  8. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Arkansas

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  9. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Georgia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  10. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Wisconsin

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  11. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Washington

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  12. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. New York

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  13. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Nebraska

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  14. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Oklahoma

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  15. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Hawaii

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  16. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Maine

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  17. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. California

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  18. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. North Dakota

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  19. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Utah

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  20. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Vermont

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  1. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. New Mexico

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  2. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Minnesota

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  3. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. West Virginia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  4. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Nevada

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  5. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Rhode Island

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  6. Online Learning: Addressing Challenges and Seizing Opportunities. Maryland

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alliance for Excellent Education, 2010

    2010-01-01

    America's K-12 education system faces three significant challenges: (1) increased global demands for skilled workers, (2) significant financial shortfalls, and (3) a looming teacher shortage. Independently, these factors present significant challenges for U.S. schools. In combination, they create a national imperative for swift action to create a…

  7. ADDRESSING ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING CHALLENGES WITH COMPUTATIONAL FLUID DYNAMICS

    EPA Science Inventory

    In the field of environmental engineering, modeling tools are playing an ever larger role in addressing air quality issues, including source pollutant emissions, atmospheric dispersion and human exposure risks. More detailed modeling of environmental flows requires tools for c...

  8. A Canadian Effort to Address Fractions Teaching and Learning Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yearley, Shelley; Bruce, Catherine D.

    2014-01-01

    Teaching and learning fraction concepts provides challenges in primary schools all over the world. In this article, Shelley Yearley and Catherine Bruce describe a fractions-based research project conducted in Ontario, Canada.

  9. Project T.A.C.K.L.E. (Together, Addressing the Challenges of Knowledge and Literacy for Employees). Evaluation Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    General Motors Corp., Detroit, MI.

    Project TACKLE (Together, Addressing the Challenge of Knowledge and Literacy for Employees) was a cooperative project, jointly developed to address employees with the inadequate basic skills necessary to operate modernized, technical equipment and maintain job security. Approximately 500 current employees of General Motors, Flint, Michigan, used…

  10. Teaching Digital Natives: Promoting Information Literacy and Addressing Instructional Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neumann, Crystal

    2016-01-01

    Technology must be used as a teaching and learning tool to help students succeed. However, educators must be proactive in identifying some of the pitfalls of technology, such as information illiteracy. The phenomenological study covers how English instructors from Indianapolis, who teach first year students, address information literacy and the…

  11. Challenges in an Aging Society: Presidential Address to APPAM

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swartz, Katherine

    2010-01-01

    The United States is at a critical crossroads in its history right now. The public policy problems that the people are facing are complex and interrelated, and the demographic changes that are about to significantly change their country are not well understood by large numbers of people. In this presidential address to the Association for Public…

  12. Microwave Photonics: current challenges towards widespread application.

    PubMed

    Capmany, José; Li, Guifang; Lim, Christina; Yao, Jianping

    2013-09-23

    Microwave Photonics, a symbiotic field of research that brings together the worlds of optics and radio frequency is currently facing several challenges in its transition from a niche to a truly widespread technology essential to support the ever-increasing values for speed, bandwidth, processing capability and dynamic range that will be required in next generation hybrid access networks. We outline these challenges, which are the subject of the contributions to this focus issue.

  13. Preventing and Addressing Challenging Behavior: Common Questions and Practical Strategies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hemmeter, Mary Louise; Ostrosky, Michaelene M.; Corso, Robert M.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to offer preschool teachers strategies for preventing challenging behavior and supporting the development of social skills and emotional competencies. This article is framed in a question and answer format using questions from teachers who the authors have worked with in the past. These questions and strategies are…

  14. Addressing Challenging Behavior: Considering the Logic of Probability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scott, Terrance M.; Hirn, Regina G.

    2014-01-01

    When dealing with children who exhibit challenging behaviors there are no known interventions that work for all students or at all times. Thus, intervention for these students is often implemented in a trial and error manner. This article provides a logic for considering probability as a factor in selecting strategies. Understanding that some…

  15. Addressing a Nation's Challenge: Graduate Programs in Gerontology in Israel

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carmel, Sara; Lowenstein, Ariela

    2007-01-01

    Like other developed nations, Israel has rapidly aged. This demographic revolution has created new challenges for Israeli society. We describe the societal background, including the emerging societal needs, solutions, and problems, as well as the professional principles, which guided us in developing the first two Israeli academic programs in…

  16. Identifying and Addressing Challenges to Research in University Laboratory Preschools

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    File, Nancy

    2012-01-01

    Research Findings: This essay offers a review of challenges that university laboratory preschools face in providing a site for research that fits with other components of the program mission. An argument is made to consider paradigm shifts in research questions and methods that move away from traditions within the fields that study children's…

  17. Addressing Reticence: The Challenge of Engaging Reluctant Adult ESL Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carter, Steven J.; Henrichsen, Lynn E.

    2015-01-01

    Reticence frequently prevents adult ESL learners from learning as much as they otherwise might. The nature of second-language learning requires frequent performance that may challenge students' self-concepts, leading to reticence and self-consciousness. To reduce or prevent this problem, teachers must employ appropriate pedagogical and classroom…

  18. Swimming Against the Current: Zebrafish Help Address Educational Challenges.

    PubMed

    Pickart, Michael A; Liang, Jennifer; Hutson, Lara; Pierret, Christopher

    2016-08-01

    Zebrafish can be important tools for learning and authentic student research. The broad zebrafish community is rich with examples to improve education for learners of all ages and geographical locales. This special collection of articles is presented with the hope of encouraging readers to reflect on the educational outcomes reported here and to consider new ways zebrafish may engage others to learn and grow.

  19. Swimming Against the Current: Zebrafish Help Address Educational Challenges.

    PubMed

    Pickart, Michael A; Liang, Jennifer; Hutson, Lara; Pierret, Christopher

    2016-08-01

    Zebrafish can be important tools for learning and authentic student research. The broad zebrafish community is rich with examples to improve education for learners of all ages and geographical locales. This special collection of articles is presented with the hope of encouraging readers to reflect on the educational outcomes reported here and to consider new ways zebrafish may engage others to learn and grow. PMID:27333079

  20. Challenges in Addressing Variability Of Lead in Domestic Plumbing

    EPA Science Inventory

    Current data indicate that lead exposure is of concern even at low concentrations. Corrosion is an important problem in drinking water because it can affect public health due to leaching of lead or other metals into the drinking water. For this reason, a corrosion control program...

  1. Strategies to Address Common Challenges When Teaching in an Active Learning Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Petersen, Christina I.; Gorman, Kristen S.

    2014-01-01

    This chapter provides practical strategies for addressing common challenges that arise for teachers in active learning classrooms. Our strategies come from instructors with experience teaching in these environments.

  2. Discovery Channel Telescope software progress report: addressing early commissioning and operations challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lacasse, Michael; Lotz, Paul J.

    2014-07-01

    The Discovery Channel Telescope is a 4.3m astronomical research telescope in northern Arizona constructed through a partnership between Discovery Communications and Lowell Observatory. In transition from construction phase to commissioning and operations, we faced a variety of software challenges, both foreseen and unforeseen, and addressed those with a variety of solutions including, isolation of the control systems network, development of an Operations Log application, extension of the interface to instrumentation software, improvements to engineering data analysis, provisions to avoid failure modes, and enhanced user experience. We describe these solutions and present an overview of the current project status.

  3. Addressing key challenges in space gravitational wave astronomy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cornish, Neil

    A space based gravitational wave detector will open up the source-rich low frequency portion of the spectrum that can not be accessed from the ground, making possible some very exciting scientific studies. The rich data set collected by such an instrument will be unlike anything encountered by ground based (Laser interferometers or Pulsar timing) gravitational wave observatories, and it will take unique data analysis techniques to realize the full potential of the mission. At present, no techniques exist to exploit the discovery space opened by such a mission. Discovery potential is one of the main selling points for a mission in a new waveband. Our goal is to address this, and other key outstanding issues, by (i) Developing techniques for detecting un-modeled and un-expected signals (ii) Producing improved waveform models for spinning black hole binaries and use them to assess trade-offs in the mission design (iii) Develop robust techniques to identify possible departures from the predictions of Einstein's theory of gravity and (iv) explore the constraints that can be placed on astrophysical and modified gravity models by observing multiple systems.

  4. Strengthening health information systems to address health equity challenges.

    PubMed Central

    Nolen, Lexi Bambas; Braveman, Paula; Dachs, J. Norberto W.; Delgado, Iris; Gakidou, Emmanuela; Moser, Kath; Rolfe, Liz; Vega, Jeanette; Zarowsky, Christina

    2005-01-01

    Special studies and isolated initiatives over the past several decades in low-, middle- and high-income countries have consistently shown inequalities in health among socioeconomic groups and by gender, race or ethnicity, geographical area and other measures associated with social advantage. Significant health inequalities linked to social (dis)advantage rather than to inherent biological differences are generally considered unfair or inequitable. Such health inequities are the main object of health development efforts, including global targets such as the Millennium Development Goals, which require monitoring to evaluate progress. However, most national health information systems (HIS) lack key information needed to assess and address health inequities, namely, reliable, longitudinal and representative data linking measures of health with measures of social status or advantage at the individual or small-area level. Without empirical documentation and monitoring of such inequities, as well as country-level capacity to use this information for effective planning and monitoring of progress in response to interventions, movement towards equity is unlikely to occur. This paper reviews core information requirements and potential databases and proposes short-term and longer term strategies for strengthening the capabilities of HIS for the analysis of health equity and discusses HIS-related entry points for supporting a culture of equity-oriented decision-making and policy development. PMID:16184279

  5. Aneesur Rahman Prize for Computational Physics Lecture: Addressing Dirac's Challenge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chelikowsky, James

    2013-03-01

    After the invention of quantum mechanics, P. A. M. Dirac made the following observation: ``The underlying physical laws necessary for the mathematical theory of a large part of physics and the whole of chemistry are thus completely known, and the difficulty is only that the exact application of these laws leads to equations much too complicated to be soluble. It therefore becomes desirable that approximate practical methods of applying quantum mechanics should be developed, which can lead to an explanation of the main features of complex atomic systems...'' The creation of ``approximate practical methods'' in response to Dirac's challenge has included the one electron picture, density functional theory and the pseudopotential concept. The combination of such methods in conjunction with contemporary computational platforms and new algorithms offer the possibility of predicting properties of materials solely from knowledge of the atomic species present. I will give an overview of progress in this field with an emphasis on materials at the nanoscale. Support from the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation is acknowledged.

  6. Bordetella pertussis pathogenesis: current and future challenges

    PubMed Central

    Melvin, Jeffrey A.; Scheller, Erich V.; Miller, Jeff F.; Cotter, Peggy A.

    2014-01-01

    Pertussis, or whooping cough, has recently reemerged as a major public health threat despite high levels of vaccination against the etiological agent, Bordetella pertussis. In this Review, we describe the pathogenesis of this disease, with a focus on recent mechanistic insights into virulence factor function. We also discuss the changing epidemiology of pertussis and the challenges of vaccine development. Despite decades of research, many aspects of B. pertussis physiology and pathogenesis remain poorly understood. We highlight knowledge gaps that must be addressed to develop improved vaccines and therapeutic strategies. PMID:24608338

  7. Membrane materials for addressing energy and environmental challenges.

    PubMed

    Drioli, Enrico; Fontananova, Enrica

    2012-01-01

    Our modern society must solve various severe problems to maintain and increase our quality of life: from water stress to global warming, to fossil fuel depletion, to environmental pollution. The process intensification (PI) strategy is expected to contribute to overcoming many of these issues by facilitating the transition from a resource-intensive to a knowledge-intensive industrial system that will guarantee sustainable growth. Membrane operations, which respond efficiently to the requirements of the PI strategy, have the potential to replace conventional energy-intensive separation techniques, which will boost the efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of separations as well as conversion processes. This work critically reviews the current status and emerging applications of (integrated) membrane operations with a special focus on energy and environmental applications. PMID:22483262

  8. Addressing Global Environmental Challenges through Interdisciplinary Biogeochemical Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paytan, A.

    2013-12-01

    Our planet is dynamic; energy and matter constantly move between the hydrosphere, atmosphere and lithosphere on time scales from seconds to millenia. These tight interactions - including those between organisms and their physical environment - are what make Earth habitable. However, as Rachel Carson wrote, 'Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species - man - acquired significant power to alter the nature of this world'. Globalization and explosive population growth have generated far-reaching environmental problems on a scale that humanity has never faced before. Fortunately, our species has also developed an unprecedented ability to provide science-based solutions. Since processes impacting the environment involve complex biological, physical, chemical and geological interactions and feedbacks, they require the integration of expertise from all these scientific disciplines as well as input from policy makers, social scientists, and economists. This talk presents four examples of current interdisciplinary research projects conducted in my lab, each one related to a theme from one of Carson's books (Under the Sea-wind, The Sea Around Us, The Edge of the Sea, and Silent Spring). These projects, and others like them, provide hope that we can move toward a sustainable relationship with the natural world by encouraging the best scientists to conduct interdisciplinary research with direct applications for environmental management and stewardship.

  9. ASCO's Community Research Forum: addressing challenges of community-based research from the grass roots.

    PubMed

    Robert, Nicholas; Lilenbaum, Rogerio; Hurley, Patricia

    2014-01-01

    ASCO's Community Research Forum is a solution-oriented venue for community research sites to overcome barriers to conducting clinical trials. The key objectives of the Forum are to (1) convene community-based researchers to identify challenges to conducting research that ASCO can address, (2) develop solution-oriented projects to address these challenges to facilitate clinical trial participation in community research settings, and (3) shape ASCO programs and policies to support members engaged in community research. The Community Research Forum holds an annual in-person meeting that convenes physician investigators, research administrators, research nurses, and clinical research associates from community-based research programs and practices. To meet identified needs, the Community Research Forum has developed the ASCO Clinical Trial Workload Assessment Tool and the ASCO Research Program Quality Assessment Tool. Both of these tools will be available to the public in 2014. The Forum is currently exploring the concept and potential metrics of a research certification program to formally assess community-based research programs, and to identify gaps and areas to improve the program in order to meet quality standards. The Community Research Forum's website aims to serve as a go-to resource for community-based physician investigators and research staff. The Community Research Forum will continue to provide a forum for community-based researchers to network, share challenges, and develop initiatives that provide solutions and facilitate the conduct of clinical trials.

  10. Energy-Intensive Processes Portfolio: Addressing Key Energy Challenges Across U.S. Industry

    SciTech Connect

    2011-03-07

    AMO is developing advanced technologies that cut energy use and carbon emissions in some of the most energy-intensive processes within U.S. manufacturing. The brochure describes the AMO R&D projects that address these challenges.

  11. Current challenges in autonomous vehicle development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Connelly, J.; Hong, W. S.; Mahoney, R. B., Jr.; Sparrow, D. A.

    2006-05-01

    The field of autonomous vehicles is a rapidly growing one, with significant interest from both government and industry sectors. Autonomous vehicles represent the intersection of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, combining decision-making with real-time control. Autonomous vehicles are desired for use in search and rescue, urban reconnaissance, mine detonation, supply convoys, and more. The general adage is to use robots for anything dull, dirty, dangerous or dumb. While a great deal of research has been done on autonomous systems, there are only a handful of fielded examples incorporating machine autonomy beyond the level of teleoperation, especially in outdoor/complex environments. In an attempt to assess and understand the current state of the art in autonomous vehicle development, a few areas where unsolved problems remain became clear. This paper outlines those areas and provides suggestions for the focus of science and technology research. The first step in evaluating the current state of autonomous vehicle development was to develop a definition of autonomy. A number of autonomy level classification systems were reviewed. The resulting working definitions and classification schemes used by the authors are summarized in the opening sections of the paper. The remainder of the report discusses current approaches and challenges in decision-making and real-time control for autonomous vehicles. Suggested research focus areas for near-, mid-, and long-term development are also presented.

  12. Tackling dengue fever: Current status and challenges.

    PubMed

    Nedjadi, Taoufik; El-Kafrawy, Sherif; Sohrab, Sayed S; Desprès, Philippe; Damanhouri, Ghazi; Azhar, Esam

    2015-01-01

    According to recent statistics, 96 million apparent dengue infections were estimated worldwide in 2010. This figure is by far greater than the WHO prediction which indicates the rapid spread of this disease posing a growing threat to the economy and a major challenge to clinicians and health care services across the globe particularly in the affected areas.This article aims at bringing to light the current epidemiological and clinical status of the dengue fever. The relationship between genetic mutations, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and the pathophysiology of disease progression will be put into perspective. It will also highlight the recent advances in dengue vaccine development.Thus far, a significant progress has been made in unraveling the risk factors and understanding the molecular pathogenesis associated with the disease. However, further insights in molecular features of the disease and the development of animal models will enormously help improving the therapeutic interventions and potentially contribute to finding new preventive measures for population at risk.

  13. Making Pedagogical Decisions to Address Challenges of Joint Jewish-Bedouin Environmental Projects in Israel

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alkaher, Iris; Tal, Tali

    2016-01-01

    This interpretive study identifies challenges of working with Bedouin and Jewish Israeli youth in two multicultural projects: education for sustainability and place-conscious education. It also describes the ways the adult project leaders addressed these challenges and their views on the effectiveness of their decisions. Participants comprised 16…

  14. Addressing the Grand Challenge of atmospheric carbon dioxide: geologic sequestration vs. biological recycling

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    On February 15, 2008, the National Academy of Engineering unveiled their list of 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering. Building off of tremendous advancements in the past century, these challenges were selected for their role in assuring a sustainable existence for the rapidly increasing global community. It is no accident that the first five Challenges on the list involve the development of sustainable energy sources and management of environmental resources. While the focus of this review is to address the single Grand Challenge of "develop carbon sequestration methods", is will soon be clear that several other Challenges are intrinsically tied to it through the principles of sustainability. How does the realm of biological engineering play a role in addressing these Grand Challenges? PMID:22047501

  15. Addressing challenges and needs in patient education targeting hardly reached patients with chronic diseases

    PubMed Central

    Varming, Annemarie Reinhardt; Torenholt, Rikke; Møller, Birgitte Lund; Vestergaard, Susanne; Engelund, Gitte

    2015-01-01

    Some patients do not benefit from participation in patient education due to reasons related to disease burden, literacy, and socioeconomic challenges. In this communication, we address more specifically both the challenges that these hardly reached patients face in relation to patient education programs and the challenges educators face when conducting patient education with hardly reached patients. We define principles for the format and content of dialogue tools to better support this patient group within the population of individuals with diabetes. PMID:25729695

  16. Biological approaches for addressing the grand challenge of providing access to clean drinking water

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    The U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) recently published a document presenting "Grand Challenges for Engineering". This list was proposed by leading engineers and scientists from around the world at the request of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). Fourteen topics were selected for these grand challenges, and at least seven can be addressed using the tools and methods of biological engineering. Here we describe how biological engineers can address the challenge of providing access to clean drinking water. This issue must be addressed in part by removing or inactivating microbial and chemical contaminants in order to properly deliver water safe for human consumption. Despite many advances in technologies this challenge is expanding due to increased pressure on fresh water supplies and to new opportunities for growth of potentially pathogenic organisms. PMID:21453515

  17. Biological approaches for addressing the grand challenge of providing access to clean drinking water.

    PubMed

    Riley, Mark R; Gerba, Charles P; Elimelech, Menachem

    2011-03-31

    The U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE) recently published a document presenting "Grand Challenges for Engineering". This list was proposed by leading engineers and scientists from around the world at the request of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). Fourteen topics were selected for these grand challenges, and at least seven can be addressed using the tools and methods of biological engineering. Here we describe how biological engineers can address the challenge of providing access to clean drinking water. This issue must be addressed in part by removing or inactivating microbial and chemical contaminants in order to properly deliver water safe for human consumption. Despite many advances in technologies this challenge is expanding due to increased pressure on fresh water supplies and to new opportunities for growth of potentially pathogenic organisms.

  18. Geriatric Telemedicine: Background and Evidence for Telemedicine as a Way to Address the Challenges of Geriatrics

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Objectives The global population of elderly people is increasing at a remarkable rate, which may be expected to continue for some time. Older patients require more care, and with the current model of care delivery, the costs may be expected to rise, although higher cost is unsustainable. For this reason, a new pattern of practice is needed. Telemedicine will be presented as a highly effective and necessary tool in geriatrics. Methods This review will present some of the background and evidence for telemedicine as a way to address the challenges of geriatrics through geriatric telemedicine. Some of the evidence for the value of telemedicine as a tool for physicians and healthcare systems is presented. Results Telemedicine offers many means to address the problems of geriatric care in creative ways. The use of electronic medicine, telecommunications, and information management has now found its way into the very fabric of health care. The use of telemedicine is a fait accompli in much of the world, and it continues to have an increasing role deeply imbedded in our electronic practices coupled with social media. Conclusions The evidence for successful incorporation of telemedicine into practice is abundant and continues to accrue. This is a great opportunity for medical practice to evolve to new levels of engagement with patients and new levels of attainment in terms of quality care. PMID:26618027

  19. Addressing China's grand challenge of achieving food security while ensuring environmental sustainability.

    PubMed

    Lu, Yonglong; Jenkins, Alan; Ferrier, Robert C; Bailey, Mark; Gordon, Iain J; Song, Shuai; Huang, Jikun; Jia, Shaofeng; Zhang, Fusuo; Liu, Xuejun; Feng, Zhaozhong; Zhang, Zhibin

    2015-02-01

    China's increasingly urbanized and wealthy population is driving a growing and changing demand for food, which might not be met without significant increase in agricultural productivity and sustainable use of natural resources. Given the past relationship between lack of access to affordable food and political instability, food security has to be given a high priority on national political agendas in the context of globalization. The drive for increased food production has had a significant impact on the environment, and the deterioration in ecosystem quality due to historic and current levels of pollution will potentially compromise the food production system in China. We discuss the grand challenges of not only producing more food but also producing it sustainably and without environmental degradation. In addressing these challenges, food production should be considered as part of an environmental system (soil, air, water, and biodiversity) and not independent from it. It is imperative that new ways of meeting the demand for food are developed while safeguarding the natural resources upon which food production is based. We present a holistic approach to both science and policy to ensure future food security while embracing the ambition of achieving environmental sustainability in China. It is a unique opportunity for China to be a role model as a new global player, especially for other emerging economies.

  20. Addressing China's grand challenge of achieving food security while ensuring environmental sustainability.

    PubMed

    Lu, Yonglong; Jenkins, Alan; Ferrier, Robert C; Bailey, Mark; Gordon, Iain J; Song, Shuai; Huang, Jikun; Jia, Shaofeng; Zhang, Fusuo; Liu, Xuejun; Feng, Zhaozhong; Zhang, Zhibin

    2015-02-01

    China's increasingly urbanized and wealthy population is driving a growing and changing demand for food, which might not be met without significant increase in agricultural productivity and sustainable use of natural resources. Given the past relationship between lack of access to affordable food and political instability, food security has to be given a high priority on national political agendas in the context of globalization. The drive for increased food production has had a significant impact on the environment, and the deterioration in ecosystem quality due to historic and current levels of pollution will potentially compromise the food production system in China. We discuss the grand challenges of not only producing more food but also producing it sustainably and without environmental degradation. In addressing these challenges, food production should be considered as part of an environmental system (soil, air, water, and biodiversity) and not independent from it. It is imperative that new ways of meeting the demand for food are developed while safeguarding the natural resources upon which food production is based. We present a holistic approach to both science and policy to ensure future food security while embracing the ambition of achieving environmental sustainability in China. It is a unique opportunity for China to be a role model as a new global player, especially for other emerging economies. PMID:26601127

  1. Addressing China’s grand challenge of achieving food security while ensuring environmental sustainability

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Yonglong; Jenkins, Alan; Ferrier, Robert C.; Bailey, Mark; Gordon, Iain J.; Song, Shuai; Huang, Jikun; Jia, Shaofeng; Zhang, Fusuo; Liu, Xuejun; Feng, Zhaozhong; Zhang, Zhibin

    2015-01-01

    China’s increasingly urbanized and wealthy population is driving a growing and changing demand for food, which might not be met without significant increase in agricultural productivity and sustainable use of natural resources. Given the past relationship between lack of access to affordable food and political instability, food security has to be given a high priority on national political agendas in the context of globalization. The drive for increased food production has had a significant impact on the environment, and the deterioration in ecosystem quality due to historic and current levels of pollution will potentially compromise the food production system in China. We discuss the grand challenges of not only producing more food but also producing it sustainably and without environmental degradation. In addressing these challenges, food production should be considered as part of an environmental system (soil, air, water, and biodiversity) and not independent from it. It is imperative that new ways of meeting the demand for food are developed while safeguarding the natural resources upon which food production is based. We present a holistic approach to both science and policy to ensure future food security while embracing the ambition of achieving environmental sustainability in China. It is a unique opportunity for China to be a role model as a new global player, especially for other emerging economies. PMID:26601127

  2. The Challenges and Potential of Nuclear Energy for Addressing Climate Change

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Son H.; Edmonds, James A.

    2007-10-24

    The response to climate change and the stabilization of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations has major implications for the global energy system. Stabilization of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations requires a peak and an indefinite decline of global CO2 emissions. Nuclear energy, along with other technologies, has the potential to contribute to the growing demand for energy without emitting CO2. Nuclear energy is of particular interest because of its global prevalence and its current significant contribution, nearly 20%, to the world’s electricity supply. We have investigated the value of nuclear energy in addressing climate change, and have explored the potential challenges for the rapid and large-scale expansion of nuclear energy as a response to climate change. The scope of this study is long-term and the modeling time frame extends out a century because the nature of nuclear energy and climate change dictate that perspective. Our results indicate that the value of the nuclear technology option for addressing climate change is denominated in trillions of dollars. Several-fold increases to the value of the nuclear option can be expected if there is limited availability of competing carbon-free technologies, particularly fossil-fuel based technologies that can capture and sequester carbon. Challenges for the expanded global use of nuclear energy include the global capacity for nuclear construction, proliferation, uranium availability, and waste disposal. While the economic costs of nuclear fuel and power are important, non-economic issues transcend the issues of costs. In this regard, advanced nuclear technologies and new vision for the global use of nuclear energy are important considerations for the future of nuclear power and climate change.

  3. Consensus Statement on Electronic Health Predictive Analytics: A Guiding Framework to Address Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Amarasingham, Ruben; Audet, Anne-Marie J.; Bates, David W.; Glenn Cohen, I.; Entwistle, Martin; Escobar, G. J.; Liu, Vincent; Etheredge, Lynn; Lo, Bernard; Ohno-Machado, Lucila; Ram, Sudha; Saria, Suchi; Schilling, Lisa M.; Shahi, Anand; Stewart, Walter F.; Steyerberg, Ewout W.; Xie, Bin

    2016-01-01

    Context: The recent explosion in available electronic health record (EHR) data is motivating a rapid expansion of electronic health care predictive analytic (e-HPA) applications, defined as the use of electronic algorithms that forecast clinical events in real time with the intent to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs. There is an urgent need for a systematic framework to guide the development and application of e-HPA to ensure that the field develops in a scientifically sound, ethical, and efficient manner. Objectives: Building upon earlier frameworks of model development and utilization, we identify the emerging opportunities and challenges of e-HPA, propose a framework that enables us to realize these opportunities, address these challenges, and motivate e-HPA stakeholders to both adopt and continuously refine the framework as the applications of e-HPA emerge. Methods: To achieve these objectives, 17 experts with diverse expertise including methodology, ethics, legal, regulation, and health care delivery systems were assembled to identify emerging opportunities and challenges of e-HPA and to propose a framework to guide the development and application of e-HPA. Findings: The framework proposed by the panel includes three key domains where e-HPA differs qualitatively from earlier generations of models and algorithms (Data Barriers, Transparency, and Ethics) and areas where current frameworks are insufficient to address the emerging opportunities and challenges of e-HPA (Regulation and Certification; and Education and Training). The following list of recommendations summarizes the key points of the framework: Data Barriers: Establish mechanisms within the scientific community to support data sharing for predictive model development and testing.Transparency: Set standards around e-HPA validation based on principles of scientific transparency and reproducibility.Ethics: Develop both individual-centered and society-centered risk-benefit approaches to evaluate

  4. Epilepsy Surgery: Current Status and Ongoing Challenges

    PubMed Central

    KAWAI, Kensuke

    2015-01-01

    This article reviews the current status of surgical treatment of epilepsy and introduces the ongoing challenges. Seizure outcome of resective surgery for focal seizures associated with focal lesions is satisfactory. Particularly for mesial temporal lobe epilepsy, surgical treatment should be considered from the earlier stage of the disease. Meanwhile, surgical outcome in nonlesional extratemporal lobe epilepsy is still to be improved using various approaches. Disconnective surgeries reduce surgical complications of extensive resections while achieving equivalent or better seizure outcomes. Multiple subpial transection is still being modified expecting a better outcome by transection to the vertical cortices along the sulci- and multi-directional transection from a single entry point. Hippocampal transection is expected to preserve memory function while interrupting the abnormal epileptic synchronization. Proper selection or combination of subdural and depth electrodes and a wide-band analysis of electroencephalography may improve the accurate localization of epileptogenic region. Patients for whom curative resective surgery is not indicated because of generalized or bilateral multiple nature of their epilepsies, neuromodulation therapies are options of treatment which palliate their seizures. PMID:25925752

  5. Tackling dengue fever: Current status and challenges.

    PubMed

    Nedjadi, Taoufik; El-Kafrawy, Sherif; Sohrab, Sayed S; Desprès, Philippe; Damanhouri, Ghazi; Azhar, Esam

    2015-01-01

    According to recent statistics, 96 million apparent dengue infections were estimated worldwide in 2010. This figure is by far greater than the WHO prediction which indicates the rapid spread of this disease posing a growing threat to the economy and a major challenge to clinicians and health care services across the globe particularly in the affected areas.This article aims at bringing to light the current epidemiological and clinical status of the dengue fever. The relationship between genetic mutations, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and the pathophysiology of disease progression will be put into perspective. It will also highlight the recent advances in dengue vaccine development.Thus far, a significant progress has been made in unraveling the risk factors and understanding the molecular pathogenesis associated with the disease. However, further insights in molecular features of the disease and the development of animal models will enormously help improving the therapeutic interventions and potentially contribute to finding new preventive measures for population at risk. PMID:26645066

  6. Leishmaniasis–HIV coinfection: current challenges

    PubMed Central

    Lindoso, José Angelo Lauletta; Cunha, Mirella Alves; Queiroz, Igor Thiago; Moreira, Carlos Henrique Valente

    2016-01-01

    Leishmaniasis – human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) coinfection can manifest itself as tegumentary or visceral leishmaniasis. Almost 35 countries have reported autochthonous coinfections. Visceral leishmaniasis is more frequently described. However, usual and unusual manifestations of tegumentary leishmaniasis have been reported mainly in the Americas, but the real prevalence of Leishmania infection in HIV-infected patients is not clear. Regarding the clinical manifestations, there are some reports showing unusual manifestations in visceral leishmaniasis and tegumentary leishmaniasis in HIV-infected patients; yet, the usual manifestations are more frequent. Leishmaniasis diagnosis relies on clinical methods, but serological tests are used to diagnose visceral leishmaniasis despite them having a low sensitivity to tegumentary leishmaniasis. The search for the parasite is used to diagnose both visceral leishmaniasis and tegumentary leishmaniasis. Nevertheless, in HIV-infected patients, the sensitivity of serology is very low. Drugs available to treat leishmaniasis are more restricted and cause severe side effects. Furthermore, in HIV-infected patients, these side effects are more prominent and relapses and lethality are more recurrent. In this article, we discuss the current challenges of tegumentary leishmaniasis and visceral leishmaniasis–HIV infection, focusing mainly on the clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and treatment of leishmaniasis. PMID:27785103

  7. Policy recommendations for addressing privacy challenges associated with cell-based research and interventions

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The increased use of human biological material for cell-based research and clinical interventions poses risks to the privacy of patients and donors, including the possibility of re-identification of individuals from anonymized cell lines and associated genetic data. These risks will increase as technologies and databases used for re-identification become affordable and more sophisticated. Policies that require ongoing linkage of cell lines to donors’ clinical information for research and regulatory purposes, and existing practices that limit research participants’ ability to control what is done with their genetic data, amplify the privacy concerns. Discussion To date, the privacy issues associated with cell-based research and interventions have not received much attention in the academic and policymaking contexts. This paper, arising out of a multi-disciplinary workshop, aims to rectify this by outlining the issues, proposing novel governance strategies and policy recommendations, and identifying areas where further evidence is required to make sound policy decisions. The authors of this paper take the position that existing rules and norms can be reasonably extended to address privacy risks in this context without compromising emerging developments in the research environment, and that exceptions from such rules should be justified using a case-by-case approach. In developing new policies, the broader framework of regulations governing cell-based research and related areas must be taken into account, as well as the views of impacted groups, including scientists, research participants and the general public. Summary This paper outlines deliberations at a policy development workshop focusing on privacy challenges associated with cell-based research and interventions. The paper provides an overview of these challenges, followed by a discussion of key themes and recommendations that emerged from discussions at the workshop. The paper concludes that

  8. 5 CFR Appendix A to 5 Cfr Chapter... - Current Addresses and Geographic Jurisdictions

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

    ... 5 Administrative Personnel 3 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Current Addresses and Geographic Jurisdictions A Appendix A to 5 CFR Chapter XIV Administrative Personnel FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY.... A Appendix A to 5 CFR Chapter XIV—Current Addresses and Geographic Jurisdictions (a) The...

  9. Getting People Involved: The Benefit of Intellectual Capital Management for Addressing HR Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pook, Katja

    2011-01-01

    Purpose: This paper aims to explore the benefits of intellectual capital assessment for facing current challenges of human resources work and organizational development. Design/methodology/approach: The paper takes findings of studies on challenges in HR work and maps them with features of intellectual capital assessment methods. It is thus a…

  10. Social Justice Leadership and Inclusion: Exploring Challenges in an Urban District Struggling to Address Inequities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DeMatthews, David; Mawhinney, Hanne

    2014-01-01

    Research Approach: This cross case study describes the challenges that two principals working in one urban school district addressed while attempting to transform their school cultures to embrace an inclusion model. Analysis of interviews and observations in each school revealed the actions, values, and orientations of the individual leaders and…

  11. Addressing Challenging Behaviors in Head Start: A Closer Look at Program Policies and Procedures

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Quesenberry, Amanda C.; Hemmeter, Mary Louise; Ostrosky, Michaelene M.

    2011-01-01

    In this study, Head Start policies and procedures related to child guidance and addressing challenging behaviors were examined. Data were gathered from six Head Start programs in the Midwest, through interviews and document analysis. The findings provide a glimpse into how Head Start programs support children's social and emotional competence and…

  12. Addressing the Challenges Encountered during a Developmental Evaluation: Implications for Evaluation Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poth, Cheryl-Anne; Pinto, Dorothy; Howery, Kathy

    2011-01-01

    This article describes three challenges encountered during a developmental evaluation and explains how these were addressed from the evaluators' perspective. The evaluation was conducted to support the implementation of a three-year educational technology leadership project funded by the Alberta provincial government. The developmental evaluation…

  13. Current Challenges in Integrating Educational Technology into Elementary and Middle School Mathematics Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Okita, Sandra Y.; Jamalian, Azadeh

    2011-01-01

    Developing curriculum and instruction for mathematics education and designing technologically enhanced learning environments are often pursued separately, but may need to be addressed together to effectively link the strengths of technology to performance in mathematics and conceptual understanding. This paper addresses current challenges with…

  14. Sustainable Biomaterials: Current Trends, Challenges and Applications.

    PubMed

    Kumar Gupta, Girish; De, Sudipta; Franco, Ana; Balu, Alina Mariana; Luque, Rafael

    2015-01-01

    Biomaterials and sustainable resources are two complementary terms supporting the development of new sustainable emerging processes. In this context, many interdisciplinary approaches including biomass waste valorization and proper usage of green technologies, etc., were brought forward to tackle future challenges pertaining to declining fossil resources, energy conservation, and related environmental issues. The implementation of these approaches impels its potential effect on the economy of particular countries and also reduces unnecessary overburden on the environment. This contribution aims to provide an overview of some of the most recent trends, challenges, and applications in the field of biomaterials derived from sustainable resources. PMID:26729083

  15. Sustainable Biomaterials: Current Trends, Challenges and Applications.

    PubMed

    Kumar Gupta, Girish; De, Sudipta; Franco, Ana; Balu, Alina Mariana; Luque, Rafael

    2015-12-30

    Biomaterials and sustainable resources are two complementary terms supporting the development of new sustainable emerging processes. In this context, many interdisciplinary approaches including biomass waste valorization and proper usage of green technologies, etc., were brought forward to tackle future challenges pertaining to declining fossil resources, energy conservation, and related environmental issues. The implementation of these approaches impels its potential effect on the economy of particular countries and also reduces unnecessary overburden on the environment. This contribution aims to provide an overview of some of the most recent trends, challenges, and applications in the field of biomaterials derived from sustainable resources.

  16. Special Education in Arab Countries: Current Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hadidi, Muna S.; Al Khateeb, Jamal M.

    2015-01-01

    Arab countries have undertaken various measures to develop special education programmes and services over the last three decades; nevertheless, major challenges remain regarding the expansion of these programmes and services and improving their quality. "This article provides an update on disability and special education in Arab…

  17. Is current biochar soil study addressing global soil constraints for sustainable agriculture?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Genxing; Zhang, Dengxiao; Yan, Ming; Niu, Yaru; Liu, Xiaoyu; van Zwieten, Lukas; Chen, De; Bian, Rongjun; Cheng, Kun; Li, Lianqing; Joseph, Stephen; Zheng, Jinwei; Zhang, Xuhui; Zheng, Jufeng; Crowley, David; Filley, Timothy

    2016-04-01

    Global soil degradation has been increasingly threatened sustainability of world agriculture. Use of biochar from bio-wastes has been proposed as a global option for its great potential in tackling soil degradation and mitigating climate change in agriculture. For last 10 years, there have been greatly increasing interests in application of charred biomass, more recently termed biochar, as a soil amendment for addressing soil constraints for sustainable agriculture. Biochar soil studies could deliver reliable information for appropriate application of biochar to soils where for sustainable agriculture has been challenged. Here we review the literature of 798 publications reporting biochar soil studies by August, 2015 to address potential gaps in understanding of biochar's role in agriculture. We have found some substantial biases and gaps inherent in the current biochar studies. 1) The majority of published studies were from developed regions where the soils are less constrained and were much more frequent in laboratory and glasshouse pot experiments than field studies under realistic agriculture. 2) The published biochar soil studies have used more often small kiln or lab prepared biochar than commercial scale biochars, more often wood and municipal waste derived biochars than crop straw biochars. Overall, the lack of long-term well designed field studies using biochar produced in commercial processes may have limited our current understanding of biochar's potential to enhance global crop production and climate change mitigation. We have also recommended a global alliance between longer-term research experiments and biochar production facilities to foster the uptake of this important technology at a global scale. Keywords: biochar, soil study, literature review, research gap, global perspective, quantitative assessment, sustainable agriculture

  18. Health Inequalities Policy in Korea: Current Status and Future Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Sang-il

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, health inequalities have become an important public health concern and the subject of both research and policy attention in Korea. Government reports, as well as many epidemiological studies, have provided evidence that a wide range of health outcomes and health-related behaviors are socioeconomically patterned, and that the magnitude of health inequalities is even increasing. However, except for the revised Health Plan 2010 targets for health equity, few government policies have explicitly addressed health inequalities. Although a number of economic and social policies may have had an impact on health inequalities, such impact has scarcely been evaluated. In this review, we describe the current status of research and policy on health inequalities in Korea. We also suggest future challenges of approaches and policies to reduce health inequalities and highlight the active and intensive engagement of many policy sectors and good evidence for interventions that will make meaningful reduction of health inequalities possible. PMID:22661869

  19. Advances in addressing technical challenges of point-of-care diagnostics in resource-limited settings

    PubMed Central

    Wang, ShuQi; Lifson, Mark A.; Inci, Fatih; Liang, Li-Guo; Sheng, Ye-Feng; Demirci, Utkan

    2016-01-01

    The striking prevalence of HIV, TB and malaria, as well as outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases, such as influenza A (H7N9), Ebola and MERS, poses great challenges for patient care in resource-limited settings (RLS). However, advanced diagnostic technologies cannot be implemented in RLS largely due to economic constraints. Simple and inexpensive point-of-care (POC) diagnostics, which rely less on environmental context and operator training, have thus been extensively studied to achieve early diagnosis and treatment monitoring in non-laboratory settings. Despite great input from material science, biomedical engineering and nanotechnology for developing POC diagnostics, significant technical challenges are yet to be overcome. Summarized here are the technical challenges associated with POC diagnostics from a RLS perspective and the latest advances in addressing these challenges are reviewed. PMID:26777725

  20. Employee Training: Current Trends, Future Challenges.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gorovitz, Elizabeth

    1983-01-01

    Issues currently affecting employee training are the impact of high technology, worker adaptability, the communications revolution, job satisfaction, underinvestment in human capital, demographic shifts, and interest in productivity improvement. (SK)

  1. Current challenges in handling genetic data.

    PubMed

    Blank, Patricia R; Gutzwiller, Felix

    2014-01-01

    In no other field of biomedicine has such revolutionary change taken place in recent decades as it has in molecular genetics. The accumulated knowledge in this field will not only enable clinicians to make new treatment decisions in future, but will also help to save on healthcare costs. A positive test result will be the prerequisite for carrying out targeted drug treatment (companion diagnostics). Specific molecular diagnostics provide doctors with additional information that was not previously available, enabling them to optimise treatment accordingly. At the same time, prognostic tests mean that targeted preventive measures can be taken. Highly informative non-invasive tests will enable early detection and prevention to play a greater role. Technological breakthroughs, such as high-throughput sequencing, will lead to a flood of data in the future. The challenge lies in the quality of interpretation, which means extracting useful information for doctor and patient. Unlike data collection, interpretation is complex and expensive: it requires a high degree of expertise and a lot of resources. At the same time, experts stress that - as well as improvements in the accuracy and speed of data analysis - defined quality criteria must be generated for reliable interpretation of results. These challenges need to be tackled so that the population can benefit to the utmost from the opportunities offered by these developments: rapidly available and informative tests for targeted therapies based on high-quality data.

  2. Economic evaluations of personalized medicine: existing challenges and current developments

    PubMed Central

    Shabaruddin, Fatiha H; Fleeman, Nigel D; Payne, Katherine

    2015-01-01

    Personalized medicine, with the aim of safely, effectively, and cost-effectively targeting treatment to a prespecified patient population, has always been a long-time goal within health care. It is often argued that personalizing treatment will inevitably improve clinical outcomes for patients and help achieve more effective use of health care resources. Demand is increasing for demonstrable evidence of clinical and cost-effectiveness to support the use of personalized medicine in health care. This paper begins with an overview of the existing challenges in conducting economic evaluations of genetics- and genomics-targeted technologies, as an example of personalized medicine. Our paper illustrates the complexity of the challenges faced by these technologies by highlighting the variations in the issues faced by diagnostic tests for somatic variations, generally referring to genetic variation in a tumor, and germline variations, generally referring to inherited genetic variation in enzymes involved in drug metabolic pathways. These tests are typically aimed at stratifying patient populations into subgroups on the basis of clinical effectiveness (response) or safety (avoidance of adverse events). The paper summarizes the data requirements for economic evaluations of genetics and genomics-based technologies while outlining that the main challenges relating to data requirements revolve around the availability and quality of existing data. We conclude by discussing current developments aimed to address the challenges of assessing the cost-effectiveness of genetics and genomics-based technologies, which revolve around two central issues that are interlinked: the need to adapt available evaluation methods and identifying who is responsible for generating evidence for these technologies. PMID:26309416

  3. Haze in China: current and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Li, Meina; Zhang, Lulu

    2014-06-01

    Regional haze which triggered both public anxiety and official concerns has been one of the most disastrous weather events in China in recent years. Haze not only had negative impact on daily life, but also an indicator of high concentrations of PM2.5 with the potential to adversely impact public health by damaging people's respiratory, cardiovascular, blood vessel of brain and nervous system. The dust-haze is an accumulated result for a long time of both natural factors and unhealthy economic growth model. In order to tackle air pollution, a number of policies and measures which target at reducing pollution emission and promoting alternative energy production had been implemented. Although significant improvement has occurred in China, change the development mode of "high growth, high pollution" and balance environmental conservation with the well-being of the population remains a challenge for China. PMID:24637256

  4. Haze in China: current and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Li, Meina; Zhang, Lulu

    2014-06-01

    Regional haze which triggered both public anxiety and official concerns has been one of the most disastrous weather events in China in recent years. Haze not only had negative impact on daily life, but also an indicator of high concentrations of PM2.5 with the potential to adversely impact public health by damaging people's respiratory, cardiovascular, blood vessel of brain and nervous system. The dust-haze is an accumulated result for a long time of both natural factors and unhealthy economic growth model. In order to tackle air pollution, a number of policies and measures which target at reducing pollution emission and promoting alternative energy production had been implemented. Although significant improvement has occurred in China, change the development mode of "high growth, high pollution" and balance environmental conservation with the well-being of the population remains a challenge for China.

  5. The importance of fungi and mycology for addressing major global challenges*.

    PubMed

    Lange, Lene

    2014-12-01

    In the new bioeconomy, fungi play a very important role in addressing major global challenges, being instrumental for improved resource efficiency, making renewable substitutes for products from fossil resources, upgrading waste streams to valuable food and feed ingredients, counteracting life-style diseases and antibiotic resistance through strengthening the gut biota, making crop plants more robust to survive climate change conditions, and functioning as host organisms for production of new biological drugs. This range of new uses of fungi all stand on the shoulders of the efforts of mycologists over generations: the scientific discipline mycology has built comprehensive understanding within fungal biodiversity, classification, evolution, genetics, physiology, ecology, pathogenesis, and nutrition. Applied mycology could not make progress without this platform. To unfold the full potentials of what fungi can do for both environment and man we need to strengthen the field of mycology on a global scale. The current mission statement gives an overview of where we are, what needs to be done, what obstacles to overcome, and which potentials are within reach. It further provides a vision for how mycology can be strengthened: The time is right to make the world aware of the immense importance of fungi and mycology for sustainable global development, where land, water and biological materials are used in a more efficient and more sustainable manner. This is an opportunity for profiling mycology by narrating the role played by fungi in the bioeconomy. Greater awareness and appreciation of the role of fungi can be used to build support for mycology around the world. Support will attract more talent to our field of study, empower mycologists around the world to generate more funds for necessary basic research, and strengthen the global mycology network. The use of fungi for unlocking the full potentials of the bioeconomy relies on such progress. The fungal kingdom can be an

  6. Challenges Addressing Unmet Need for Contraception: Voices of Family Planning Service Providers in Rural Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Baraka, Jitihada; Rusibamayila, Asinath; Kalolella, Admirabilis; Baynes, Colin

    2015-12-01

    Provider perspectives have been overlooked in efforts to address the challenges of unmet need for family planning (FP). This qualitative study was undertaken in Tanzania, using 22 key informant interviews and 4 focus group discussions. The research documents perceptions of healthcare managers and providers in a rural district on the barriers to meeting latent demand for contraception. Social-ecological theory is used to interpret the findings, illustrating how service capability is determined by the social, structural and organizational environment. Providers' efforts to address unmet need for FP services are constrained by unstable reproductive preferences, low educational attainment, and misconceptions about contraceptive side effects. Societal and organizational factors--such as gender dynamics, economic conditions, religious and cultural norms, and supply chain bottlenecks, respectively--also contribute to an adverse environment for meeting needs for care. Challenges that healthcare providers face interact and produce an effect which hinders efforts to address unmet need. Interventions to address this are not sufficient unless the supply of services is combined with systems strengthening and social engagement strategies in a way that reflects the multi-layered, social institutional problems. PMID:27337850

  7. Challenges Addressing Unmet Need for Contraception: Voices of Family Planning Service Providers in Rural Tanzania.

    PubMed

    Baraka, Jitihada; Rusibamayila, Asinath; Kalolella, Admirabilis; Baynes, Colin

    2015-12-01

    Provider perspectives have been overlooked in efforts to address the challenges of unmet need for family planning (FP). This qualitative study was undertaken in Tanzania, using 22 key informant interviews and 4 focus group discussions. The research documents perceptions of healthcare managers and providers in a rural district on the barriers to meeting latent demand for contraception. Social-ecological theory is used to interpret the findings, illustrating how service capability is determined by the social, structural and organizational environment. Providers' efforts to address unmet need for FP services are constrained by unstable reproductive preferences, low educational attainment, and misconceptions about contraceptive side effects. Societal and organizational factors--such as gender dynamics, economic conditions, religious and cultural norms, and supply chain bottlenecks, respectively--also contribute to an adverse environment for meeting needs for care. Challenges that healthcare providers face interact and produce an effect which hinders efforts to address unmet need. Interventions to address this are not sufficient unless the supply of services is combined with systems strengthening and social engagement strategies in a way that reflects the multi-layered, social institutional problems.

  8. Environment protection: The current challenge in radioecology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bréchignac, F.

    2012-04-01

    Radioecology, a multifaceted scientific discipline which addresses environmental issues relevant to radioprotection, has for a long time been focused on environmental transfers through the environment to feed the needs of human radioprotection. This quite anthropocentric initial scope is now moving to a more ecocentric view capable of assessing ecological risk mediated by ionising radiation. The central issue consists in reaching an ability to understand the effects of radiation on the environment components, from individual organisms up to populations of species and ecosystems, together with their interaction with the abiotic compartments. Dominated by operational goals, the system of radiological protection of the environment which is under development emphasises a concept based upon reference organisms supported by traditional toxicological data on individual organisms. Whilst there are immediate advantages to this approach (pragmatism, consistency with other approaches in use for man and biota), there are also clear limitations which need to be acknowledged and further considered. The most important probably is to rely on effects data gathered almost exclusively for individual organisms to meet protection goals which are usually set at population and ecosystem levels. Overcoming this limitation leads to scientific and methodological approaches featuring the ecosystem concept.

  9. Vaccination Against Dengue: Challenges and Current Developments.

    PubMed

    Guy, Bruno; Lang, Jean; Saville, Melanie; Jackson, Nicholas

    2016-01-01

    Dengue is a growing threat worldwide, and the development of a vaccine is a public health priority. The completion of the active phase of two pivotal efficacy studies conducted in Asia and Latin America by Sanofi Pasteur has constituted an important step. Several other approaches are under development, and whichever technology is used, vaccine developers face several challenges linked to the particular nature and etiology of dengue disease. We start our review by defining questions and potential issues linked to dengue pathology and presenting the main types of vaccine approaches that have explored these questions; some of these candidates are in a late stage of clinical development. In the second part of the review, we focus on the Sanofi Pasteur dengue vaccine candidate, describing the steps from research to phase III efficacy studies. Finally, we discuss what could be the next steps, before and after vaccine introduction, to ensure that the vaccine will provide the best benefit with an acceptable safety profile to the identified target populations.

  10. Liver transplantation: Current status and challenges

    PubMed Central

    Jadlowiec, Caroline C; Taner, Timucin

    2016-01-01

    Great progress has been made in the field of liver transplantation over the past two decades. This progress, however, also brings up the next set of challenges: First, organ shortage remains a major limitation, and accounts for a large proportion of wait list mortality. While living donation has successfully increased the total number of liver transplants done in Asian countries, the total number of such transplants has been stagnant in the western hemisphere. As such, there has been a significant effort over the past decade to increase the existing deceased donor pool. This effort has resulted in a greater use of liver allografts following donation after cardiac death (DCD) along with marginal and extended criteria donors. Improved understanding of the pathophysiology of liver allografts procured after circulatory arrest has not only resulted in better selection and management of DCD donors, but has also helped in the development of mechanical perfusion strategies. Early outcomes demonstrating the clinical applicability of both hypothermic and normothermic perfusion and its potential to impact patient survival and allograft function have generated much interest. Second, long-term outcomes of liver transplant recipients have not improved significantly, as recipients continue to succumb to complications of long-term immunosuppression, such as infection, malignancy and renal failure. Furthermore, recent evidence suggests that chronic immune-mediated injury to the liver may also impact graft function. PMID:27182155

  11. Enamel Regeneration - Current Progress and Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Baswaraj; H.K, Navin; K.B, Prasanna

    2014-01-01

    Dental Enamel is the outermost covering of teeth. It is hardest mineralized tissue present in the human body. Enamel faces the challenge of maintaining its integrity in a constant demineralization and remineralization within the oral environment and it is vulnerable to wear, damage, and decay. It cannot regenerate itself, because it is formed by a layer of cells that are lost after the tooth eruption. Conventional treatment relies on synthetic materials to restore lost enamel that cannot mimic natural enamel. With advances in material science and understanding of basic principles of organic matrix mediated mineralization paves a way for formation of synthetic enamel. The knowledge of enamel formation and understanding of protein interactions and their gene products function along with the isolation of postnatal stem cells from various sources in the oral cavity, and the development of smart materials for cell and growth factor delivery, makes possibility for biological based enamel regeneration. This article will review the recent endeavor on biomimetic synthesis and cell based strategies for enamel regeneration. PMID:25386548

  12. Vaccination Against Dengue: Challenges and Current Developments.

    PubMed

    Guy, Bruno; Lang, Jean; Saville, Melanie; Jackson, Nicholas

    2016-01-01

    Dengue is a growing threat worldwide, and the development of a vaccine is a public health priority. The completion of the active phase of two pivotal efficacy studies conducted in Asia and Latin America by Sanofi Pasteur has constituted an important step. Several other approaches are under development, and whichever technology is used, vaccine developers face several challenges linked to the particular nature and etiology of dengue disease. We start our review by defining questions and potential issues linked to dengue pathology and presenting the main types of vaccine approaches that have explored these questions; some of these candidates are in a late stage of clinical development. In the second part of the review, we focus on the Sanofi Pasteur dengue vaccine candidate, describing the steps from research to phase III efficacy studies. Finally, we discuss what could be the next steps, before and after vaccine introduction, to ensure that the vaccine will provide the best benefit with an acceptable safety profile to the identified target populations. PMID:26515983

  13. [Cardiac rehabilitation: current status and future challenges].

    PubMed

    Hahmann, H W

    2012-02-01

    The goal of cardiac rehabilitation is to support heart patients using a multidisciplinary team in order to obtain the best possible physical and mental health and achieve long-term social reintegration. In addition to improving physical fitness, cardiac rehabilitation restores self-confidence, thus better equipping patients to deal with mental illness and improving their social reintegration ("participation"). Once the causes of disease have been identified and treated as effectively as possible, drug and lifestyle changes form the focus of cardiac rehabilitation measures. In particular diseases, rehabilitation offers the opportunity for targeted educational courses for diabetics or drug dose escalation, as well as special training for heart failure patients. A nationwide network of outpatient heart groups is available for targeted follow-up. Cardiac patients predominantly rehabilitated in follow-up rehabilitation are older and have greater morbidity than in the past; moreover, they generally come out of acute clinical care earlier and are discharged from hospital more quickly. The proportion of severely ill and multimorbid patients presents a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge in cardiac rehabilitation, although cardiac rehabilitation was not initially conceived for this patient group. The benefit of cardiac rehabilitation has been a well documented reduction in morbidity and mortality. However, hurdles remain, partly due to the patients themselves, partly due to the health insurers. Some insurance providers still refuse rehabilitation for non-ST-segment elevation infarction. In principle rehabilitation can be carried out in an inpatient or an outpatient setting. Specific allocation criteria have not yet been established, but the structure and process quality of outpatient rehabilitation should correspond to that of the inpatient setting. The choice between the two settings should be based on pragmatic criteria. Both settings should be possible for an individual

  14. Spatial Epidemiology: Current Approaches and Future Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Elliott, Paul; Wartenberg, Daniel

    2004-01-01

    Spatial epidemiology is the description and analysis of geographic variations in disease with respect to demographic, environmental, behavioral, socioeconomic, genetic, and infectious risk factors. We focus on small-area analyses, encompassing disease mapping, geographic correlation studies, disease clusters, and clustering. Advances in geographic information systems, statistical methodology, and availability of high-resolution, geographically referenced health and environmental quality data have created unprecedented new opportunities to investigate environmental and other factors in explaining local geographic variations in disease. They also present new challenges. Problems include the large random component that may predominate disease rates across small areas. Though this can be dealt with appropriately using Bayesian statistics to provide smooth estimates of disease risks, sensitivity to detect areas at high risk is limited when expected numbers of cases are small. Potential biases and confounding, particularly due to socioeconomic factors, and a detailed understanding of data quality are important. Data errors can result in large apparent disease excess in a locality. Disease cluster reports often arise nonsystematically because of media, physician, or public concern. One ready means of investigating such concerns is the replication of analyses in different areas based on routine data, as is done in the United Kingdom through the Small Area Health Statistics Unit (and increasingly in other European countries, e.g., through the European Health and Environment Information System collaboration). In the future, developments in exposure modeling and mapping, enhanced study designs, and new methods of surveillance of large health databases promise to improve our ability to understand the complex relationships of environment to health. PMID:15198920

  15. Anaerobic biorefinery: Current status, challenges, and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Sawatdeenarunat, Chayanon; Nguyen, Duc; Surendra, K C; Shrestha, Shilva; Rajendran, Karthik; Oechsner, Hans; Xie, Li; Khanal, Samir Kumar

    2016-09-01

    Anaerobic digestion (AD) has been in use for many decades. To date, it has been primarily aimed at treating organic wastes, mainly manures and wastewater sludge, and industrial wastewaters. However, with the current advancements, a more open mind is required to look beyond these somewhat restricted original applications of AD. Biorefineries are such concepts, where multiple products including chemicals, fuels, polymers etc. are produced from organic feedstocks. The anaerobic biorefinery concept is now gaining increased attention, utilizing AD as the final disposal step. This review aims at evaluating the potential significance of anaerobic biorefineries, including types of feedstocks, uses for the produced energy, as well as sustainable applications of the generated residual digestate. A comprehensive analysis of various types of anaerobic biorefineries has been developed, including both large-scale and household level applications. Finally, future directives are highlighted showing how anaerobic biorefinery concept could impact the bioeconomy in the near future.

  16. Anaerobic biorefinery: Current status, challenges, and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Sawatdeenarunat, Chayanon; Nguyen, Duc; Surendra, K C; Shrestha, Shilva; Rajendran, Karthik; Oechsner, Hans; Xie, Li; Khanal, Samir Kumar

    2016-09-01

    Anaerobic digestion (AD) has been in use for many decades. To date, it has been primarily aimed at treating organic wastes, mainly manures and wastewater sludge, and industrial wastewaters. However, with the current advancements, a more open mind is required to look beyond these somewhat restricted original applications of AD. Biorefineries are such concepts, where multiple products including chemicals, fuels, polymers etc. are produced from organic feedstocks. The anaerobic biorefinery concept is now gaining increased attention, utilizing AD as the final disposal step. This review aims at evaluating the potential significance of anaerobic biorefineries, including types of feedstocks, uses for the produced energy, as well as sustainable applications of the generated residual digestate. A comprehensive analysis of various types of anaerobic biorefineries has been developed, including both large-scale and household level applications. Finally, future directives are highlighted showing how anaerobic biorefinery concept could impact the bioeconomy in the near future. PMID:27005786

  17. Human bocavirus: Current knowledge and future challenges

    PubMed Central

    Guido, Marcello; Tumolo, Maria Rosaria; Verri, Tiziano; Romano, Alessandro; Serio, Francesca; De Giorgi, Mattia; De Donno, Antonella; Bagordo, Francesco; Zizza, Antonella

    2016-01-01

    Human bocavirus (HBoV) is a parvovirus isolated about a decade ago and found worldwide in both respiratory samples, mainly from early life and children of 6-24 mo of age with acute respiratory infection, and in stool samples, from patients with gastroenteritis. Since then, other viruses related to the first HBoV isolate (HBoV1), namely HBoV2, HBoV3 and HBoV4, have been detected principally in human faeces. HBoVs are small non-enveloped single-stranded DNA viruses of about 5300 nucleotides, consisting of three open reading frames encoding the first two the non-structural protein 1 (NS1) and nuclear phosphoprotein (NP1) and the third the viral capsid proteins 1 and 2 (VP1 and VP2). HBoV pathogenicity remains to be fully clarified mainly due to the lack of animal models for the difficulties in replicating the virus in in vitro cell cultures, and the fact that HBoV infection is frequently accompanied by at least another viral and/or bacterial respiratory and/or gastroenteric pathogen infection. Current diagnostic methods to support HBoV detection include polymerase chain reaction, real-time PCR, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and enzyme immunoassay using recombinant VP2 or virus-like particle capsid proteins, although sequence-independent amplification techniques combined with next-generation sequencing platforms promise rapid and simultaneous detection of the pathogens in the future. This review presents the current knowledge on HBoV genotypes with emphasis on taxonomy, phylogenetic relationship and genomic analysis, biology, epidemiology, pathogenesis and diagnostic methods. The emerging discussion on HBoVs as true pathogen or innocent bystander is also emphasized.

  18. Addressing challenges in combining GOES and LEO satellite products of the CONUS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petersen, R. A.; Dworak, R.

    2012-12-01

    The challenges of transforming data from the next generation of satellites into information and products for the weather and science purposes presents a major challenge to both the research and applications communities. This will be especially difficult over land, where the process of integrating observations from multiple instruments and platforms in real time is complicated by the influence of the land surface on the observations themselves. In addition, effective merging of the mixture of time-continuous GEO and less frequent but higher spectral resolution LEO observations with other new surface-based observations will be essential and require new product processing strategies. The material shown in this presentation will begin to address some of these issues. It will describe results of efforts to inter-calibrate moisture products derived from existing GEO and LEO data sets over land designed 1) to identify and remove biases from the GOES moisture retrievals, 2) to determine the seasonally varying information content of the GOES relative to NWP model 'first guess' fields, 3) to determine the similarities and differences in error structures between GOES and AIRS retrievals, and 4) to determine the vertical structure of the errors in both systems. For example, comparisons have been made between GOES Total Precipitable Water (TPW) using the Li retrieval system (GOES-Li) and data from Raman Lidar (RL), Microwave Radiometer (MWR) and surface-based GPS-Met systems at the ARM CART site. The test showed for using one year of derived TPW products, the NWP model first guess (GFS) and GOES-Li products are wetter, however the GOES-Li beats the GFS in the warm season, especially in August when the NWP precipitation skill is least. During the warm season GOES-Li is noticeably better than GFS (which was too wet) during daytime. In addition, the GPS-Met data are best during the daytime, while the Ramon Lidar performs best at night. AIRS products were also evaluated for several

  19. Verbal autopsy: current practices and challenges.

    PubMed Central

    Soleman, Nadia; Chandramohan, Daniel; Shibuya, Kenji

    2006-01-01

    Cause-of-death data derived from verbal autopsy (VA) are increasingly used for health planning, priority setting, monitoring and evaluation in countries with incomplete or no vital registration systems. In some regions of the world it is the only method available to obtain estimates on the distribution of causes of death. Currently, the VA method is routinely used at over 35 sites, mainly in Africa and Asia. In this paper, we present an overview of the VA process and the results of a review of VA tools and operating procedures used at demographic surveillance sites and sample vital registration systems. We asked for information from 36 field sites about field-operating procedures and reviewed 18 verbal autopsy questionnaires and 10 cause-of-death lists used in 13 countries. The format and content of VA questionnaires, field-operating procedures, cause-of-death lists and the procedures to derive causes of death from VA process varied substantially among sites. We discuss the consequences of using varied methods and conclude that the VA tools and procedures must be standardized and reliable in order to make accurate national and international comparisons of VA data. We also highlight further steps needed in the development of a standard VA process. PMID:16583084

  20. North American Water Program (NAWP): A Vision to Address North America's Freshwater Sustainability Challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belvedere, D. R.; Houser, P.; van Oevelen, P. J.; Schiffer, R. A.; Entin, J. K.; Bosilovich, M. G.; Schlosser, C. A.; Wood, E. F.; Ek, M. B.

    2012-12-01

    Dramatically changing climates has had an indelible impact on North America's water crisis; the rapid melting of glaciers has profound implications for the sustainability of Canada's rivers. However, projected increases in water demand from increasing population, industrial, energy, and agriculture needs may have four times more impact on the water supply-demand imbalance than climate change. Reliable prediction of hydrologic change and extremes is of critical importance for policy and decision makers to adapt to these future water challenges. However, the models that we use to understand and forecast water availability, flooding, and drought are simply not up to the task of addressing our most pressing societal issues and national security. We need a decisive and coordinated effort to systematically improve water cycle prediction skill, coupled with reliable methodologies to translate those predictions into actionable water supply and quality information to support sustainable water management - this a primary motivation for the proposed North American Water Program (NAWP). To decisively address these challenges, we recommend that NAWP coalesce an interdisciplinary, international and interagency effort to make significant contributions to continental-to decision-scale hydroclimate science and solutions. By entraining, integrating and coordinating the vast array of interdisciplinary observational and prediction resources available, NAWP will significantly advance skill in predicting, assessing and managing variability and changes in North American water resources, as an integral part of the global climate system. We adopt three challenges to organize NAWP efforts. The first deals with developing a scientific basis and tools for mitigating and adapting to changes in the water supply-demand balance. The second challenge is benchmarking; to use incomplete and uncertain observations to assess water storage and quality dynamics, and to characterize the information

  1. North American Water Program (NAWP): A Vision to Address North America's Freshwater Sustainability Challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houser, P. R.

    2013-05-01

    Dramatically changing climates has had an indelible impact on North America's water crisis; the rapid melting of glaciers has profound implications for the sustainability of Canada's rivers. However, projected increases in water demand from increasing population, industrial, energy, and agriculture needs may have four times more impact on the water supply-demand imbalance than climate change. Reliable prediction of hydrologic change and extremes is of critical importance for policy and decision makers to adapt to these future water challenges. However, the models that we use to understand and forecast water availability, flooding, and drought are simply not up to the task of addressing our most pressing societal issues and national security. We need a decisive and coordinated effort to systematically improve water cycle prediction skill, coupled with reliable methodologies to translate those predictions into actionable water supply and quality information to support sustainable water management - this a primary motivation for the proposed North American Water Program (NAWP). To decisively address these challenges, we recommend that NAWP coalesce an interdisciplinary, international and interagency effort to make significant contributions to continental-to decision-scale hydroclimate science and solutions. By entraining, integrating and coordinating the vast array of interdisciplinary observational and prediction resources available, NAWP will significantly advance skill in predicting, assessing and managing variability and changes in North American water resources, as an integral part of the global climate system. We adopt three challenges to organize NAWP efforts. The first deals with developing a scientific basis and tools for mitigating and adapting to changes in the water supply-demand balance. The second challenge is benchmarking; to use incomplete and uncertain observations to assess water storage and quality dynamics, and to characterize the information

  2. North American Water Program (NAWP): A Vision to Address North America's Freshwater Sustainability Challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belvedere, D. R.; Houser, P. R.; Schiffer, R. A.; Entin, J. K.

    2013-12-01

    Dramatically changing climates has had an indelible impact on North America's water crisis; the rapid melting of glaciers has profound implications for the sustainability of Canada's rivers. However, projective increases in water demand from increasing population, industrial energy, and agriculture needs may have four times more impact on the water supply-demand imbalance than climate change. Reliable prediction of hydrologic change and extremes is of critical importance for policy and decision makers to adapt to these future water challenges. However, the models that we use to understand and forecast water availability, flooding, and drought are simply not up to the task of addressing our most pressing societal issues and national security. We need a decisive and coordinative effort to systematically improve water cycle prediction skill, coupled with reliable methodologies to translate those predictions into actionable water supply and quality information to support sustainable water management - this is a primary motivation for the proposed North American Water Program (NAWP). To decisively address these challenges, we recommend that NAWP coalesce an interdisciplinary, international and interagency effort to make significant contributions to continental-to-decision-scale hydroclimate science and solutions. By entraining, integrating and coordinating the vast array of interdisciplinary observationable and prediction resources available, NAWP will significantly advance skill in predicting, assessing, and managing variability and changes in North American water resources, as an integral part of the global climate system. We adopt three challenges to organize NAWP efforts. The first deals with developing a scientific basis and tools for mitigating and adapting to changes in the water supply-demand balance. The second challenge is benchmarking; to use incomplete and uncertain observations to assess water storage and quality dynamics, and to characterize the

  3. Pulp Regeneration: Current Approaches and Future Challenges.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jingwen; Yuan, Guohua; Chen, Zhi

    2016-01-01

    Regenerative endodontics aims to replace inflamed/necrotic pulp tissues with regenerated pulp-like tissues to revitalize teeth and improve life quality. Pulp revascularization case reports, which showed successful clinical and radiographic outcomes, indicated the possible clinical application of pulp regeneration via cell homing strategy. From a clinical point of view, functional pulp-like tissues should be regenerated with the characterization of vascularization, re-innervation, and dentin deposition with a regulated rate similar to that of normal pulp. Efficient root canal disinfection and proper size of the apical foramen are the two requisite preconditions for pulp regeneration. Progress has been made on pulp regeneration via cell homing strategies. This review focused on the requisite preconditions and cell homing strategies for pulp regeneration. In addition to the traditionally used mechanical preparation and irrigation, antibiotics, irrigation assisted with EndoVac apical negative-pressure system, and ultrasonic and laser irradiation are now being used in root canal disinfection. In addition, pulp-like tissues could be formed with the apical foramen less than 1 mm, although more studies are needed to determine the appropriate size. Moreover, signaling molecules including stromal cell derived factor (SDF-1α), basic Fibroblast Growth Factor (bFGF), Platelet Derived Growth Factor (PDGF), stem cell factor (SCF), and Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor (G-CSF) were used to achieve pulp-like tissue formation via a cell homing strategy. Studies on the cell sources of pulp regeneration might give some indications on the signaling molecular selection. The active recruitment of endogenous cells into root canals to regenerate pulp-like tissues is a novel concept that may offer an unprecedented opportunity for the near-term clinical translation of current biology-based therapies for dental pulp regeneration. PMID:27014076

  4. 17th Workshop on MHD Stability Control: addressing the disruption challenge for ITER

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buttery, Richard

    2013-08-01

    This annual workshop on magnetohydrodynamic stability control was held on 5-7 November 2012 at Columbia University in the city of New York, in the aftermath of a violent hydrodynamic instability event termed 'Hurricane Sandy'. Despite these challenging circumstances, Columbia University managed an excellent meeting, enabling the full participation of the community. This Workshop has been held since 1996 to help in the development of understanding and control of magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) instabilities for future fusion reactors. It covers a wide range of stability topics—from disruptions, to tearing modes, error fields, edge-localized modes (ELMs), resistive wall modes (RWMs) and ideal MHD—spanning many device types (tokamaks, stellarators and reversed field pinches) to identify commonalities in the physics and a means of control. The theme for 2012 was 'addressing the disruption challenge for ITER', and thus the first day had a heavy focus on both the avoidance and mitigation of disruptions in ITER. Key elements included understanding how to apply 3D fields to maintain stability, as well as managing the disruption process itself through mitigating loads in the thermal quench and handling so called 'runaway electrons'. This culminated in a panel discussion on the disruption mitigation strategy for ITER, which noted that heat load asymmetries during the thermal quench appear to be an artifact of MHD processes, and that runaway electron generation may be inevitable, suggesting research should focus on control and dissipation of the runaway beam. The workshop was combined this year with the annual US-Japan MHD Workshop, with a special section looking more deeply at 'Fundamentals of 3D Perturbed Equilibrium Control', with interesting sessions on 3D equilibrium reconstruction, RWM physics, novel control concepts such as non-magnetic sensing, adaptive control, q < 2 tokamak operation, and the effects of flow. The final day turned to tearing mode interactions

  5. COOP+ project: Promoting the cooperation among international Research Infrastructures to address global environmental challenges.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonet-García, Francisco; Materia, Paola; Kutsch, Werner; de Lucas, Jesús Marco; Tjulin, Anders

    2016-04-01

    During the Anthropocene, mankind will face several global environmental challenges. One of the first and more successful responses provided by Science to these challenges is the collecting of long-term series of biophysical variables in order to improve our knowledge of natural systems. The huge amount of information gathered during the last decades by Research Infrastructures (RIs) has helped to understand the structure and functioning of natural systems at local and regional scales. But how can we address the global cross-scale and cross-disciplinary challenges posed by the global environment change? We believe that it will be necessary to observe, model better and understand the whole biosphere using long term data generated by international RIs. RIs play a key role on many of the last advances and discoveries in science, from the observation of the Higgs Boson at CERN to the exploration of the Universe by the telescopes of the European Southern Observatory in Chile. The scale of complexity, instrumentation, computing resources, technological advances, and also of the investments, and the size of research collaborations, do not have precedents in Science. RIs in environmental field are developing fast, but the corresponding communities need yet to further reflect the need for a wider global collaboration because the challenges to tackle are in essence of global nature. This contribution describes how COOP+ project (EU Horizon 2020 Coordination and Support Action) will promote the cooperation among RIs at a global scale to address global environmental challenges. Our project evolves from the experience of the sucessful FP7 COOPEUS project (see http://www.coopeus.eu), which explored the use and access to data from RIs in environmental research in Europe and USA. The general goal of COOP+ is to strengthen the links and coordination of the ESFRI RIs related to Marine Science (EMSO), Arctic and Atmospheric Research (EISCAT), Carbon Observation (ICOS) and Biodiversity

  6. Facilitators, challenges, and collaborative activities in faith and health partnerships to address health disparities.

    PubMed

    Kegler, Michelle C; Hall, Sarah M; Kiser, Mimi

    2010-10-01

    Interest in partnering with faith-based organizations (FBOs) to address health disparities has grown in recent years. Yet relatively little is known about these types of partnerships. As part of an evaluation of the Institute for Faith and Public Health Collaborations, representatives of 34 faith-health teams (n = 61) completed semi-structured interviews. Interviews were tape recorded, transcribed, and coded by two members of the evaluation team to identify themes. Major facilitators to faith-health collaborative work were passion and commitment, importance of FBOs in communities, favorable political climate, support from community and faith leaders, diversity of teams, and mutual trust and respect. Barriers unique to faith and health collaboration included discomfort with FBOs, distrust of either health agencies or FBOs, diversity within faith communities, different agendas, separation of church and state, and the lack of a common language. Findings suggest that faith-health partnerships face unique challenges but are capable of aligning resources to address health disparities.

  7. Next-generation clinical trials: Novel strategies to address the challenge of tumor molecular heterogeneity

    PubMed Central

    Catenacci, Daniel V.T.

    2014-01-01

    The promise of ‘personalized cancer care’ with therapies toward specific molecular aberrations has potential to improve outcomes. However, there is recognized heterogeneity within any given tumor-type from patient to patient (inter-patient heterogeneity), and within an individual (intra-patient heterogeneity) as demonstrated by molecular evolution through space (primary tumor to metastasis) and time (after therapy). These issues have become hurdles to advancing cancer treatment outcomes with novel molecularly targeted agents. Classic trial design paradigms are challenged by heterogeneity, as they are unable to test targeted therapeutics against low frequency genomic ‘oncogenic driver’ aberrations with adequate power. Usual accrual difficulties to clinical trials are exacerbated by low frequencies of any given molecular driver. To address these challenges, there is need for innovative clinical trial designs and strategies implementing novel diagnostic biomarker technologies to account for inter-patient molecular diversity and scarce tissue for analysis. Importantly, there is also need for pre-defined treatment priority algorithms given numerous aberrations commonly observed within any one individual sample. Access to multiple available therapeutic agents simultaneously is crucial. Finally intra-patient heterogeneity through time may be addressed by serial biomarker assessment at the time of tumor progression. This report discusses various ‘next-generation’ biomarker-driven trial designs and their potentials and limitations to tackle these recognized molecular heterogeneity challenges. Regulatory hurdles, with respect to drug and companion diagnostic development and approval, are considered. Focus is on the ‘Expansion Platform Design Types I and II’, the latter demonstrated with a first example, ‘PANGEA: Personalized Anti-Neoplastics for Gastro-Esophageal Adenocarcinoma’. Applying integral medium-throughput genomic and proteomic assays along with

  8. ICD-10 Medical Coding: The Role of Perioperative Services in Addressing Implementation Challenges.

    PubMed

    Wing, Toni L

    2016-02-01

    The International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision (ICD-10) was adopted in the United States on October 1, 2015. Replacing the outdated ICD, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) coding system was long overdue, and the updated classifications were needed to accurately collect data and improve patient care. However, the complexity of ICD-10 may present substantial challenges for health information management coders and affect hospital revenue collection. Because the OR generates a large share of a hospital's overall revenue, perioperative services personnel must take a critical look at ICD-10 changes and address adoption challenges to minimize the negative effects ICD-10 may have on surgical revenue and help personnel identify perioperative services' important role in ICD-10 implementation. PMID:26849983

  9. The Role of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in Addressing the World's Energy Challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dickerson, James

    2014-03-01

    The Center for Functional Nanomaterials (CFN) at Brookhaven National Laboratory in the United States provides state-of-the-art capabilities for the fabrication and study of nanoscale materials, with an emphasis on atomic-level tailoring to achieve desired properties and functions. The CFN is a science-based user facility, simultaneously developing strong scientific programs while offering broad access to its capabilities and collaboration through an active user program. The overarching scientific theme of the CFN is the development and understanding of nanoscale materials that address the Nations' challenges in energy security, consistent with the Department of Energy mission. The CFN is one of five Nanoscale Science Research Centers (NSRCs) funded by the Office of Science of the United States Department of Energy. The CFN supports Brookhaven's goal of leadership in the development of advanced materials and processes for selected energy applications. In my presentation, I will highlight the role that the CFN, through its scientific staff and this scientific user community, is playing in addressing the world's energy challenges. I will focus on several trajectories of research that are being executed at CFN, including work on photovoltaics, novel nanostructured materials for catalysis, soft and biological materials, and our state-of-the-art electron microscopy and proximal probe microscopy facilities.

  10. 5 CFR Appendix A to 5 Cfr Chapter... - Current Addresses and Geographic Jurisdictions

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-01-01

    ... Jurisdictions A Appendix A to 5 CFR Chapter XIV Administrative Personnel FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY.... A Appendix A to 5 CFR Chapter XIV—Current Addresses and Geographic Jurisdictions (a) The Office... land and water areas west of the continents of North and South America (except coastal islands) to...

  11. 5 CFR Appendix A to 5 Cfr Chapter... - Current Addresses and Geographic Jurisdictions

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-01-01

    ... Jurisdictions A Appendix A to 5 CFR Chapter XIV Administrative Personnel FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY.... A Appendix A to 5 CFR Chapter XIV—Current Addresses and Geographic Jurisdictions (a) The Office... land and water areas west of the continents of North and South America (except coastal islands) to...

  12. 5 CFR Appendix A to 5 Cfr Chapter... - Current Addresses and Geographic Jurisdictions

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-01-01

    ... Jurisdictions A Appendix A to 5 CFR Chapter XIV Administrative Personnel FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY.... A Appendix A to 5 CFR Chapter XIV—Current Addresses and Geographic Jurisdictions (a) The Office... land and water areas west of the continents of North and South America (except coastal islands) to...

  13. 5 CFR Appendix A to 5 Cfr Chapter... - Current Addresses and Geographic Jurisdictions

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

    ... Jurisdictions A Appendix A to 5 CFR Chapter XIV Administrative Personnel FEDERAL LABOR RELATIONS AUTHORITY.... A Appendix A to 5 CFR Chapter XIV—Current Addresses and Geographic Jurisdictions (a) The Office... land and water areas west of the continents of North and South America (except coastal islands) to...

  14. Visualization and data analysis-current state and exascale challenges

    SciTech Connect

    Ahrens, James P; Rodgers, David; Springmeyer, Becky

    2010-12-21

    Talk about Visualization and Data Analysis Current State and Exascale challenges. The goal is to update with colleagues our current status in our research. What challenges we need to face, and what future possibilities. Our goal is to propose to approach the problems with the visualization approach operating on the supercomputing platform. This presentation is about the L2 Milestone, we intend to discuss further possibilities of enhancing our results and optimizing our solutions.

  15. Challenges for a local service agency to address domestic violence -a case study from rural Indonesia.

    PubMed

    Hayati, Elli Nur; Emmelin, Maria; Eriksson, Malin

    2014-08-15

    Since the launch of a Zero Tolerance Policy in Indonesia, several policies to address domestic violence have been enacted. The obligation of local governments to establish service units for women survivors of domestic violence is one of them. Since domestic violence is a sensitive and complex issue in Indonesia it is important to understand how governmentally regulated services function in practice. This case study aimed to explore challenges faced by a local service agency in managing service provision for women survivors of domestic violence in rural Indonesia. Data from one focus group discussion (12 participants), four individual interviews, six short narratives, two days of participant observation, as well as archive reviews were collected. All data were analyzed using Grounded Theory Situational Analysis. The major challenge faced by the local agency was the low priority that was given them by the local authorities, mirrored also in low involvement by the assigned volunteers in the daily service. The study also identified a gap between the socio-cultural arena and the law & policy arena that needs to be bridged to avoid that the two arenas address domestic violence in a contradictory way. Budget allocation to support the sustainability of the daily routines of service agencies has to be given priority. There is also a need for careful considerations regarding the composition of personnel involved within daily management of service agencies addressing domestic violence. To bridge the gap between the legal systems and traditional cultural values, culturally adjusted alternative justice systems could be developed to increase women's access to legal support.

  16. The subcutaneous ICD—current evidence and challenges

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Kiran Haresh Kumar

    2014-01-01

    The subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (S-ICD) represents an exciting development in ICD technology. It has relative advantages over traditional transvenous systems, particularly for young patients in whom the lifetime risk of device-related complications may be deemed to be unacceptably high. While data relating to device longevity and long term safety profile is yet to be accrued, several recent studies have demonstrated good clinical efficacy comparable to transvenous ICDs. Indeed, new techniques have also been developed to simplify the S-ICD implantation procedure and attempts have been made to address challenges pertaining to T-wave oversensing to reduce the delivery of inappropriate shocks. The impact of inappropriate shocks and lack of anti-tachycardia pacing (ATP) function are not only contentious matters, but also have important implications for patients in whom the S-ICD would be suitable. It is envisaged that subsequent models of this device will be less cumbersome, with the possibility that an entirely leadless pacemaker-defibrillator will one day be possible. Although the S-ICD may not completely replace transvenous devices in its current form, evidence suggests that it is a viable alternative particularly in preventing sudden cardiac death in non-pacing dependent patients. PMID:25610802

  17. STaRRS in Yellowstone: Addressing Challenges Facing Student-Teacher-Scientist Partnerships

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houseal, A.; Gallagher, R.; Fuhrmann, B.; Sanford, R.

    2010-12-01

    The literature outlines many challenges faced by Student-Teacher-Scientist Partnerships (STSPs) including cultural differences between the scientific research and education communities. For example, shared vocabulary terms with dissimilar definitions can create communication problems. Other issues include accuracy in data collection, meeting the needs of a very diverse group of partners, connecting students with research science in a meaningful way, and maintaining the infrastructure necessary to develop and maintain these partnerships. Additionally, evidence, other than anecdotal, of the success of these partnerships is limited, especially as school year and research cycles are often on different schedules or have very different goals. Students, Teachers, and Rangers & Research Scientists: Investigating Systems at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park (STaRRS) was an STSP developed to address some of these challenges, model some solutions within an STSP, and identify some possible outcomes for participating teachers and their students. Three strategies used to address some of these challenges that will be discussed briefly in this presentation include: (a) embedding the STSP in an already existing National Park Service environmental education program; (b) development of three types of research activities connecting teachers, students, and scientists to the research, and (c) a professional development (PD) model that included all partners in an on-going year-long process. Results from an accompanying research study will also be presented. Using a pretest-intervention-posttest design, this study revealed significant changes in attitude regarding science and scientists of participating STaRRS teachers. Student data gathered using a quasi-experimental pretest-intervention-posttest treatment and comparison group design also demonstrated significant changes in their attitudes and gains in earth science content knowledge.

  18. Time for a change: addressing R&D and commercialization challenges for antibacterials.

    PubMed

    Payne, David J; Miller, Linda Federici; Findlay, David; Anderson, James; Marks, Lynn

    2015-06-01

    The antibacterial therapeutic area has been described as the perfect storm. Resistance is increasing to the point that our hospitals encounter patients infected with untreatable pathogens, the overall industry pipeline is described as dry and most multinational pharmaceutical companies have withdrawn from the area. Major contributing factors to the declining antibacterial industry pipeline include scientific challenges, clinical/regulatory hurdles and low return on investment. This paper examines these challenges and proposes approaches to address them. There is a need for a broader scientific agenda to explore new approaches to discover and develop antibacterial agents. Additionally, ideas of how industry and academia could be better integrated will be presented. While promising progress in the regulatory environment has been made, more streamlined regulatory paths are still required and the solutions will lie in global harmonization and clearly defined guidance. Creating the right incentives for antibacterial research and development is critical and a new commercial model for antibacterial agents will be proposed. One key solution to help resolve both the problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and lack of new drug development are rapid, cost-effective, accurate point of care diagnostics that will transform antibacterial prescribing and enable more cost-effective and efficient antibacterial clinical trials. The challenges of AMR are too great for any one group to resolve and success will require leadership and partnerships among academia, industry and governments globally.

  19. Time for a change: addressing R&D and commercialization challenges for antibacterials.

    PubMed

    Payne, David J; Miller, Linda Federici; Findlay, David; Anderson, James; Marks, Lynn

    2015-06-01

    The antibacterial therapeutic area has been described as the perfect storm. Resistance is increasing to the point that our hospitals encounter patients infected with untreatable pathogens, the overall industry pipeline is described as dry and most multinational pharmaceutical companies have withdrawn from the area. Major contributing factors to the declining antibacterial industry pipeline include scientific challenges, clinical/regulatory hurdles and low return on investment. This paper examines these challenges and proposes approaches to address them. There is a need for a broader scientific agenda to explore new approaches to discover and develop antibacterial agents. Additionally, ideas of how industry and academia could be better integrated will be presented. While promising progress in the regulatory environment has been made, more streamlined regulatory paths are still required and the solutions will lie in global harmonization and clearly defined guidance. Creating the right incentives for antibacterial research and development is critical and a new commercial model for antibacterial agents will be proposed. One key solution to help resolve both the problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and lack of new drug development are rapid, cost-effective, accurate point of care diagnostics that will transform antibacterial prescribing and enable more cost-effective and efficient antibacterial clinical trials. The challenges of AMR are too great for any one group to resolve and success will require leadership and partnerships among academia, industry and governments globally. PMID:25918443

  20. Addressing Grand Challenges in Earth Observation Science: The Earth Observation Data Centre for Water Resources Monitoring

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagner, W.; Fröhlich, J.; Wotawa, G.; Stowasser, R.; Staudinger, M.; Hoffmann, C.; Walli, A.; Federspiel, C.; Aspetsberger, M.; Atzberger, C.; Briese, C.; Notarnicola, C.; Zebisch, M.; Boresch, A.; Enenkel, M.; Kidd, R.; von Beringe, A.; Hasenauer, S.; Naeimi, V.; Mücke, W.

    2014-09-01

    Earth observation is entering a new era where the increasing availability of free and open global satellite data sets combined with the computing power offered by modern information technologies opens up the possibility to process high-resolution data sets at global scale and short repeat intervals in a fully automatic fashion. This will not only boost the availability of higher level earth observation data in purely quantitative terms, but can also be expected to trigger a step change in the quality and usability of earth observation data. However, the technical, scientific, and organisational challenges that need to be overcome to arrive at this point are significant. First of all, Petabyte-scale data centres are needed for storing and processing complete satellite data records. Second, innovative processing chains that allow fully automatic processing of the satellite data from the raw sensor records to higher-level geophysical products need to be developed. Last but not least, new models of cooperation between public and private actors need to be found in order to live up to the first two challenges. This paper offers a discussion of how the Earth Observation Data Centre for Water Resources Monitoring (EODC) - a catalyser for an open and international cooperation of public and private organisations - will address these three grand challenges with the aim to foster the use of earth observation for monitoring of global water resources.

  1. Time for a change: addressing R&D and commercialization challenges for antibacterials

    PubMed Central

    Payne, David J.; Miller, Linda Federici; Findlay, David; Anderson, James; Marks, Lynn

    2015-01-01

    The antibacterial therapeutic area has been described as the perfect storm. Resistance is increasing to the point that our hospitals encounter patients infected with untreatable pathogens, the overall industry pipeline is described as dry and most multinational pharmaceutical companies have withdrawn from the area. Major contributing factors to the declining antibacterial industry pipeline include scientific challenges, clinical/regulatory hurdles and low return on investment. This paper examines these challenges and proposes approaches to address them. There is a need for a broader scientific agenda to explore new approaches to discover and develop antibacterial agents. Additionally, ideas of how industry and academia could be better integrated will be presented. While promising progress in the regulatory environment has been made, more streamlined regulatory paths are still required and the solutions will lie in global harmonization and clearly defined guidance. Creating the right incentives for antibacterial research and development is critical and a new commercial model for antibacterial agents will be proposed. One key solution to help resolve both the problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and lack of new drug development are rapid, cost-effective, accurate point of care diagnostics that will transform antibacterial prescribing and enable more cost-effective and efficient antibacterial clinical trials. The challenges of AMR are too great for any one group to resolve and success will require leadership and partnerships among academia, industry and governments globally. PMID:25918443

  2. The Historical Context, Current Development, and Future Challenges of Distance Education in Indonesia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zuhairi, Aminudin; Wahyono, Effendi; Suratinah, Sharon

    2006-01-01

    This article addresses the historical context, current development, and future challenges of distance education in Indonesia. Conditions related to the geography, demography, socio-economic and cultural situations, as well as the availability of technology have encouraged the use of distance education as a valid choice in providing access to…

  3. Megacities and Large Urban Complexes - WMO Role in Addressing Challenges and Opportunities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Terblanche, Deon; Jalkanen, Liisa

    2013-04-01

    Megacities and Large Urban Complexes - WMO Role in Addressing Challenges and Opportunities Deon E. Terblanche and Liisa Jalkanen dterblanche@wmo.int ljalkanen@wmo.int World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland The 21st Century could amongst others, become known as the century in which our species has evolved from Homo sapiens to Homo urbanus. By now the urban population has surpassed the rural population and the rate of urbanization will continue at such a pace that by 2050 urban dwellers could outnumber their rural counterpart by more than two to one. Most of this growth in urban population will occur in developing countries and along coastal areas. Urbanization is to a large extent the outcome of humans seeking a better life through improved opportunities presented by high-density communities. Megacities and large urban complexes provide more job opportunities and social structures, better transport and communication links and a relative abundance of physical goods and services when compared to most rural areas. Unfortunately these urban complexes also present numerous social and environmental challenges. Urban areas differ from their surroundings by morphology, population density, and with high concentration of industrial activities, energy consumption and transport. They also pose unique challenges to atmospheric modelling and monitoring and create a multi-disciplinary spectrum of potential threats, including air pollution, which need to be addressed in an integrated way. These areas are also vulnerable to the changing climate and its implications to sea-level and extreme events, air quality and related health impacts. Many urban activities are significantly impacted by weather events that would not be considered to be of high impact in less densely populated areas. For instance, moderate precipitation events can cause flooding and landslides as modified urban catchments generally have higher run-off to rainfall ratios than their more pristine rural

  4. Current Computational Challenges for CMC Processes, Properties, and Structures

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DiCarlo, James

    2008-01-01

    In comparison to current state-of-the-art metallic alloys, ceramic matrix composites (CMC) offer a variety of performance advantages, such as higher temperature capability (greater than the approx.2100 F capability for best metallic alloys), lower density (approx.30-50% metal density), and lower thermal expansion. In comparison to other competing high-temperature materials, CMC are also capable of providing significantly better static and dynamic toughness than un-reinforced monolithic ceramics and significantly better environmental resistance than carbon-fiber reinforced composites. Because of these advantages, NASA, the Air Force, and other U.S. government agencies and industries are currently seeking to implement these advanced materials into hot-section components of gas turbine engines for both propulsion and power generation. For applications such as these, CMC are expected to result in many important performance benefits, such as reduced component cooling air requirements, simpler component design, reduced weight, improved fuel efficiency, reduced emissions, higher blade frequencies, reduced blade clearances, and higher thrust. Although much progress has been made recently in the development of CMC constituent materials and fabrication processes, major challenges still remain for implementation of these advanced composite materials into viable engine components. The objective of this presentation is to briefly review some of those challenges that are generally related to the need to develop physics-based computational approaches to allow CMC fabricators and designers to model (1) CMC processes for fiber architecture formation and matrix infiltration, (2) CMC properties of high technical interest such as multidirectional creep, thermal conductivity, matrix cracking stress, damage accumulation, and degradation effects in aggressive environments, and (3) CMC component life times when all of these effects are interacting in a complex stress and service

  5. Addressing the Challenges of a Quarter Century of Giscience Education: A Flexible Higher Education Curriculum Framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Veenendaal, B.

    2014-04-01

    A wide range of geographic information science (GIScience) educational programs currently exist, the oldest now over 25 years. Offerings vary from those specifically focussed on geographic information science, to those that utilise geographic information systems in various applications and disciplines. Over the past two decades, there have been a number of initiatives to design curricula for GIScience, including the NCGIA Core Curriculum, GIS&T Body of Knowledge and the Geospatial Technology Competency Model developments. The rapid developments in geospatial technology, applications and organisations have added to the challenges that higher educational institutions face in order to ensure that GIScience education is relevant and responsive to the changing needs of students and industry. This paper discusses some of the challenges being faced in higher education in general, and GIScience education in particular, and outlines a flexible higher education curriculum framework for GIScience.

  6. The primary therapist model: addressing challenges to practice in special education.

    PubMed

    Rainforth, Beverly

    2002-01-01

    When occupational therapy (OT) and physical therapy (PT) are provided as related services in educational settings, federal law, professional guidelines, and validated practices have pointed to appropriate models of service provision. Issues such as personnel shortages, professional isolation, and questionable educational relevance of services all create barriers to use of recommended practices. The overlap between OT and PT in special education suggests one strategy to help address these barriers: a primary therapist model. In this model, an OT or PT is assigned as primary therapist, with consultation from the other discipline as required to meet student needs. Potential benefits of the model, challenges in implementation, the best practice framework needed to support the model, and the need for research on costs and benefits are discussed. PMID:12216366

  7. Using Systems Approaches to Address Challenges for Clinical Implementation of Pharmacogenomics

    PubMed Central

    Karnes, Jason H; Van Driest, Sara; Bowton, Erica A; Weeke, Peter E; Mosley, Jonathan D; Peterson, Josh F; Denny, Joshua C

    2014-01-01

    Many genetic variants have been shown to affect drug response through changes in drug efficacy and likelihood of adverse effects. Much of pharmacogenomic science has focused on discovering and clinically implementing single gene variants with large effect sizes. Given the increasing complexities of drug responses and their variability, a systems approach may be enabling for discovery of new biology in this area. Further, systems approaches may be useful in addressing challenges in moving these data to clinical implementation, including creation of predictive models of drug response phenotypes, improved clinical decision-making through complex biological models, improving strategies for integrating genomics into clinical practice, and evaluating the impact of implementation programs on public health. PMID:24319008

  8. Addressing the Challenges of Hepatitis C Virus Resistance and Treatment Failure

    PubMed Central

    Colpitts, Che C.; Baumert, Thomas F.

    2016-01-01

    Chronic hepatitis C is a major cause of chronic liver disease, including liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The development of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) revolutionized hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment by offering genuine prospects for the first comprehensive cure of a chronic viral infection in humans. While antiviral resistance is a significant limitation for interferon-based therapies, resistance and treatment failure still appear to be present in a small fraction of patients even in state-of-the-art DAA combination therapies. Therefore, treatment failure and resistance still remain a clinical challenge for the management of patients not responding to DAAs. In this special issue of Viruses on HCV drug resistance, mechanisms of antiviral resistance for different classes of antiviral drugs are described. Furthermore, the detection and monitoring of resistance in clinical practice, the clinical impact of resistance in different patient groups and strategies to prevent and address resistance and treatment failure using complementary antiviral strategies are reviewed. PMID:27537906

  9. Disaster response and people experiencing homelessness: Addressing challenges of a population with limited resources.

    PubMed

    Wexler, Bryan; Smith, Mary-Elise

    2015-01-01

    In this article the authors provide an overview of some issues that inhibit disaster planning and response for people experiencing homelessness and discuss the planning process conducted for this population in Worcester, MA. People experiencing homelessness face numerous challenges in preparing for disasters both natural and human caused. Similarly, providers attempting to aid these individuals must recognize and overcome various factors that hamper efforts to provide assistance. People experiencing homelessness lack the general resources many in the United States take for granted, including food, shelter, communication methods, and transportation. The population also has an increased prevalence of medical and psychiatric conditions. These factors amplify the typical difficulties in preparedness, communication, sheltering, and training for disasters. With these principles in mind, the authors reviewed the literature for best practices, identified potential stakeholders, and developed an annex to help address organization and delivery of care to those experiencing homelessness during a disaster. PMID:26150363

  10. Blood cell manufacture: current methods and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Timmins, Nicholas E; Nielsen, Lars K

    2009-07-01

    Blood transfusion depends on availability of donor material, and concerns over supply and safety have spurred development of methods to manufacture blood from stem cells. Current methods could theoretically yield therapeutic doses of red blood cells (RBCs) and platelets. However, due to the very large number of cells required to have any impact on supply (currently 10(19) RBC/year in the US), realization of routine manufacture faces significant challenges. Current yields are orders of magnitude too low for production of meaningful quantities, and the physical scale of the problem is a challenge in itself. We discuss these challenges in relation to current methods and how it might be possible to realize limited 'blood pharming' of neutrophils in the near future.

  11. Blood cell manufacture: current methods and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Timmins, Nicholas E; Nielsen, Lars K

    2009-07-01

    Blood transfusion depends on availability of donor material, and concerns over supply and safety have spurred development of methods to manufacture blood from stem cells. Current methods could theoretically yield therapeutic doses of red blood cells (RBCs) and platelets. However, due to the very large number of cells required to have any impact on supply (currently 10(19) RBC/year in the US), realization of routine manufacture faces significant challenges. Current yields are orders of magnitude too low for production of meaningful quantities, and the physical scale of the problem is a challenge in itself. We discuss these challenges in relation to current methods and how it might be possible to realize limited 'blood pharming' of neutrophils in the near future. PMID:19500866

  12. The GÉANT network: addressing current and future needs of the HEP community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Capone, Vincenzo; Usman, Mian

    2015-12-01

    coordinated the setup of the network infrastructure to perform the BELLE II Trans-Atlantic Data Challenge, and has been active on helping the BELLE II community to sort out their end-to-end performance issues. In this talk we will provide information about the current GÉANT network architecture and of the international connectivity, along with the upcoming upgrades and the planned and foreseeable improvements. We will also describe the implementation of the solutions provided to support the LHC and BELLE II experiments.

  13. Addressing Emerging Risks: Scientific and Regulatory Challenges Associated with Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals.

    PubMed

    Dugas, Tammy R; Lomnicki, Slawomir; Cormier, Stephania A; Dellinger, Barry; Reams, Margaret

    2016-06-08

    Airborne fine and ultrafine particulate matter (PM) are often generated through widely-used thermal processes such as the combustion of fuels or the thermal decomposition of waste. Residents near Superfund sites are exposed to PM through the inhalation of windblown dust, ingestion of soil and sediments, and inhalation of emissions from the on-site thermal treatment of contaminated soils. Epidemiological evidence supports a link between exposure to airborne PM and an increased risk of cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. It is well-known that during combustion processes, incomplete combustion can lead to the production of organic pollutants that can adsorb to the surface of PM. Recent studies have demonstrated that their interaction with metal centers can lead to the generation of a surface stabilized metal-radical complex capable of redox cycling to produce ROS. Moreover, these free radicals can persist in the environment, hence their designation as Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals (EPFR). EPFR has been demonstrated in both ambient air PM2.5 (diameter < 2.5 µm) and in PM from a variety of combustion sources. Thus, low-temperature, thermal treatment of soils can potentially increase the concentration of EPFR in areas in and around Superfund sites. In this review, we will outline the evidence to date supporting EPFR formation and its environmental significance. Furthermore, we will address the lack of methodologies for specifically addressing its risk assessment and challenges associated with regulating this new, emerging contaminant.

  14. Coach strategies for addressing psychosocial challenges during the return to sport from injury.

    PubMed

    Podlog, Leslie; Dionigi, Rylee

    2010-09-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine coach strategies for addressing athletes' psychosocial challenges in returning to sport following injury rehabilitation. Qualitative interviews with eight elite coaches from the Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS) in Perth, Australia revealed that coaches facilitated athletes' return to sport from injury through a variety of means, but did not typically provide systematic forms of assistance. Coaches commented that the idiosyncratic nature of the injury experience meant that they needed to apply strategies consistent with athletes' particular psychosocial needs. Such strategies included: (a) coordination of a "team approach" to rehabilitation; (b) fostering open communication with athletes and treatment team members; (c) social support; (d) positive thinking and goal setting; and (e) role models. Analysis of these strategies revealed that coaches attempted to address competence, autonomy, and relatedness needs in facilitating athletes' return from injury. These findings suggest that self-determination theory may be a valuable approach for examining coach forms of assistance regarding athletes' return to competition following injury. Findings are discussed in relation to injury literature and self-determination theory. Suggestions for future research are also presented.

  15. Addressing Emerging Risks: Scientific and Regulatory Challenges Associated with Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals

    PubMed Central

    Dugas, Tammy R.; Lomnicki, Slawomir; Cormier, Stephania A.; Dellinger, Barry; Reams, Margaret

    2016-01-01

    Airborne fine and ultrafine particulate matter (PM) are often generated through widely-used thermal processes such as the combustion of fuels or the thermal decomposition of waste. Residents near Superfund sites are exposed to PM through the inhalation of windblown dust, ingestion of soil and sediments, and inhalation of emissions from the on-site thermal treatment of contaminated soils. Epidemiological evidence supports a link between exposure to airborne PM and an increased risk of cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. It is well-known that during combustion processes, incomplete combustion can lead to the production of organic pollutants that can adsorb to the surface of PM. Recent studies have demonstrated that their interaction with metal centers can lead to the generation of a surface stabilized metal-radical complex capable of redox cycling to produce ROS. Moreover, these free radicals can persist in the environment, hence their designation as Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals (EPFR). EPFR has been demonstrated in both ambient air PM2.5 (diameter < 2.5 µm) and in PM from a variety of combustion sources. Thus, low-temperature, thermal treatment of soils can potentially increase the concentration of EPFR in areas in and around Superfund sites. In this review, we will outline the evidence to date supporting EPFR formation and its environmental significance. Furthermore, we will address the lack of methodologies for specifically addressing its risk assessment and challenges associated with regulating this new, emerging contaminant. PMID:27338429

  16. Becoming a vaccine champion: evidence-based interventions to address the challenges of vaccination.

    PubMed

    Temoka, Erick

    2013-01-01

    The incidence, prevalence, morbidity and mortality rates of vaccine-preventable diseases have decreased drastically since the advent of modern vaccination by Edward Jenner at the end of the 18th century. In recent years, however, a growing number of parents have been refusing or delaying vaccination for their children for socioeconomical, medical, religious and/or philosophical reasons. This has resulted in a loss of herd immunity that has caused a resurgence of many infectious diseases. This article describes evidence-based methods by which a pediatric clinic can become a vaccine champion by aiming at vaccination rates of 100 percent. This goal can be attained by a team effort that addresses the challenges of vaccination by using every visit as a chance to vaccinate, educate, address the fears and the concerns of the parents and provide articles and other written documentations on the benefits and side effects of vaccines. A standardized system that identifies and tracks patients who need vaccines is also essential to find those who are seldom brought to medical attention. A consistent and systematic use of these evidence-based methods by a dedicated staff is essential to attain vaccination rates close to 100 percent. PMID:23444594

  17. Addressing Emerging Risks: Scientific and Regulatory Challenges Associated with Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals.

    PubMed

    Dugas, Tammy R; Lomnicki, Slawomir; Cormier, Stephania A; Dellinger, Barry; Reams, Margaret

    2016-01-01

    Airborne fine and ultrafine particulate matter (PM) are often generated through widely-used thermal processes such as the combustion of fuels or the thermal decomposition of waste. Residents near Superfund sites are exposed to PM through the inhalation of windblown dust, ingestion of soil and sediments, and inhalation of emissions from the on-site thermal treatment of contaminated soils. Epidemiological evidence supports a link between exposure to airborne PM and an increased risk of cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. It is well-known that during combustion processes, incomplete combustion can lead to the production of organic pollutants that can adsorb to the surface of PM. Recent studies have demonstrated that their interaction with metal centers can lead to the generation of a surface stabilized metal-radical complex capable of redox cycling to produce ROS. Moreover, these free radicals can persist in the environment, hence their designation as Environmentally Persistent Free Radicals (EPFR). EPFR has been demonstrated in both ambient air PM2.5 (diameter < 2.5 µm) and in PM from a variety of combustion sources. Thus, low-temperature, thermal treatment of soils can potentially increase the concentration of EPFR in areas in and around Superfund sites. In this review, we will outline the evidence to date supporting EPFR formation and its environmental significance. Furthermore, we will address the lack of methodologies for specifically addressing its risk assessment and challenges associated with regulating this new, emerging contaminant. PMID:27338429

  18. Integrated Strategy to Address Hanford’s Deep Vadose Zone Remediation Challenges

    SciTech Connect

    Triplett, Mark B.; Freshley, Mark D.; Truex, Michael J.; Wellman, Dawn M.; Gerdes, Kurt D.; Charboneau, Briant L.; Morse, John G.; Lober, Robert W.; Chronister, Glen B.

    2010-10-03

    A vast majority of Hanford’s remaining in-ground contaminants reside in the vadose zone of the Central Plateau, where reprocessing operations occurred. The vadose zone is comprised of about 75 meters of water-unsaturated sediments above groundwater. These contaminants have, and continue to release into groundwater that discharges to the Columbia River. If left untreated, these contaminants could remain a threat for centuries. Much of this contamination resides deep in the vadose zone, below the effective depth of tradition surface remedy influence. In 2008, the Department of Energy initiated deep vadose zone treatability testing to seek remedies for technetium-99 and uranium contamination. These tests include the application of desiccation for technetium-99 and reactive gas technologies for uranium. To complement these efforts, the Department of Energy has initiated a “defense-in-depth” approach to address the unique challenges for characterization and remediation of the deep vadose zone. This defense-in-depth approach will implement multiple approaches to understand and control contaminant flux from the deep vadose zone to the groundwater. Among these approaches is an increased investment in science and technology solutions to resolve deep vadose zone challenges including characterization, prediction, remediation, and monitoring.

  19. Re-thinking wastewater landscapes: combining innovative strategies to address tomorrow's urban wastewater treatment challenges.

    PubMed

    Smith, B R

    2009-01-01

    Most major cities worldwide face urban water management challenges relating to drinking supply, stormwater and wastewater treatment, and ecological preservation. In light of climate change and finite natural resources, addressing these challenges in sustainable ways will require innovative solutions arising from interdisciplinary collaboration. This article summarizes five major urban water management strategies that bridge the fields of engineering, ecology, landscape architecture, and urban planning. A conceptual implementation of these strategies is demonstrated through a design for a small constructed wetland treatment system in San Francisco, California. The proposed decentralized system described in this article consists of a detention basin, vegetated and open free water surface wetlands, and ultraviolet disinfection. In wet weather, the system would detain and treat combined sewer discharges (CSD), and in dry weather it would treat residential greywater for toilet flushing and irrigation in a nearby neighborhood. It is designed to adapt over time to changing climatic conditions and treatment demands. Importantly, this proposal demonstrates how constructed wetland engineers can incorporate multiple benefits into their systems, offering a vision of how wastewater infrastructure can be an attractive community, educational, recreational, and habitat amenity through the integration of engineering, ecology, and landscape design.

  20. Large system change challenges: addressing complex critical issues in linked physical and social domains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Waddell, Steve; Cornell, Sarah; Hsueh, Joe; Ozer, Ceren; McLachlan, Milla; Birney, Anna

    2015-04-01

    Most action to address contemporary complex challenges, including the urgent issues of global sustainability, occurs piecemeal and without meaningful guidance from leading complex change knowledge and methods. The potential benefit of using such knowledge is greater efficacy of effort and investment. However, this knowledge and its associated tools and methods are under-utilized because understanding about them is low, fragmented between diverse knowledge traditions, and often requires shifts in mindsets and skills from expert-led to participant-based action. We have been engaged in diverse action-oriented research efforts in Large System Change for sustainability. For us, "large" systems can be characterized as large-scale systems - up to global - with many components, of many kinds (physical, biological, institutional, cultural/conceptual), operating at multiple levels, driven by multiple forces, and presenting major challenges for people involved. We see change of such systems as complex challenges, in contrast with simple or complicated problems, or chaotic situations. In other words, issues and sub-systems have unclear boundaries, interact with each other, and are often contradictory; dynamics are non-linear; issues are not "controllable", and "solutions" are "emergent" and often paradoxical. Since choices are opportunity-, power- and value-driven, these social, institutional and cultural factors need to be made explicit in any actionable theory of change. Our emerging network is sharing and building a knowledge base of experience, heuristics, and theories of change from multiple disciplines and practice domains. We will present our views on focal issues for the development of the field of large system change, which include processes of goal-setting and alignment; leverage of systemic transitions and transformation; and the role of choice in influencing critical change processes, when only some sub-systems or levels of the system behave in purposeful ways

  1. Ethics in occupational health: deliberations of an international workgroup addressing challenges in an African context

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background International codes of ethics play an important role in guiding professional practice in developing countries. In the occupational health setting, codes developed by international agencies have substantial import on protecting working populations from harm. This is particularly so under globalisation which has transformed processes of production in fundamental ways across the globe. As part of the process of revising the Ethical Code of the International Commission on Occupational Health, an Africa Working Group addressed key challenges for the relevance and cogency of an ethical code in occupational health for an African context through an iterative consultative process. Discussion Firstly, even in the absence of strong legal systems of enforcement, and notwithstanding the value of legal institutionalisation of ethical codes, guidelines alone may offer advantageous routes to enhancing ethical practice in occupational health. Secondly, globalisation has particularly impacted on health and safety at workplaces in Africa, challenging occupational health professionals to be sensitive to, and actively redress imbalance of power. Thirdly, the different ways in which vulnerability is exemplified in the workplace in Africa often places the occupational health professional in invidious positions of Dual Loyalty. Fourth, the particular cultural emphasis in traditional African societies on collective responsibilities within the community impacts directly on how consent should be sought in occupational health practice, and how stigma should be dealt with, balancing individual autonomy with ideas of personhood that are more collective as in the African philosophy of ubuntu. To address stigma, practitioners need to be additionally sensitive to how power imbalances at the workplace intersect with traditional cultural norms related to solidarity. Lastly, particularly in the African context, the inseparability of workplace and community means that efforts to address

  2. Dengue vaccines: challenges, development, current status and prospects.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, A; Dar, L

    2015-01-01

    Infection with dengue virus (DENV) is the most rapidly spreading mosquito-borne viral disease in the world. The clinical spectrum of dengue, caused by any of the four serotypes of DENV, ranges from mild self-limiting dengue fever to severe dengue, in the form dengue hemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS). Increased rates of hospitalization due to severe dengue, during outbreaks, result in massive economic losses and strained health services. In the absence of specific antiviral therapy, control of transmission of DENV by vector management is the sole method available for decreasing dengue-associated morbidity. Since vector control strategies alone have not been able to satisfactorily achieve reduction in viral transmission, the implementation of a safe, efficacious and cost-effective dengue vaccine as a supplementary measure is a high public health priority. However, the unique and complex immunopathology of dengue has complicated vaccine development. Dengue vaccines have also been challenged by critical issues like lack of animal models for the disease and absence of suitable markers of protective immunity. Although no licensed dengue vaccine is yet available, several vaccine candidates are under phases of development, including live attenuated virus vaccines, live chimeric virus vaccines, inactivated virus vaccines, subunit vaccines, DNA vaccines and viral-vectored vaccines. Although some vaccine candidates have progressed from animal trials to phase II and III in humans, a number of issues regarding implementation of dengue vaccine in countries like India still need to be addressed. Despite the current limitations, collaborative effects of regulatory bodies like World Health Organization with vaccine manufacturers and policy makers, to facilitate vaccine development and standardize field trials can make a safe and efficacious dengue vaccine a reality in near future.

  3. Addressing the Photometric Calibration Challenge: Explicit Determination of the Instrumental Response and Atmospheric Response Functions, and Tying it All Together.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stubbs, C. W.; Tonry, J. L.

    2016-05-01

    Photometric calibration is currently the dominant source of systematic uncertainty in exploiting type Ia supernovae to determine the nature of the dark energy. We review our ongoing program to address this calibration challenge by performing measurements of both the instrumental response function and the optical transmission function of the atmosphere. A key aspect of this approach is to complement standard star observations by using NIST-calibrated photodiodes as a metrology foundation for optical flux measurements. We present our first attempt to assess photometric consistency between synthetic photometry and observations, by comparing predictions based on a NIST-diode-based determination of the PanSTARRS-1 instrumental response and empirical atmospheric transmission measurements, with fluxes we obtained from observing spectrophotometric standards.

  4. Nuclear Fuel Cycle Technologies: Current Challenges and Future Plans - 12558

    SciTech Connect

    Griffith, Andrew

    2012-07-01

    The mission of the Office of Nuclear Energy's Fuel Cycle Technologies office (FCT program) is to provide options for possible future changes in national nuclear energy programs. While the recent draft report of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future stressed the need for organization changes, interim waste storage and the establishment of a permanent repository for nuclear waste management, it also recognized the potential value of alternate fuel cycles and recommended continued research and development in that area. With constrained budgets and great expectations, the current challenges are significant. The FCT program now performs R and D covering the entire fuel cycle. This broad R and D scope is a result of the assignment of new research and development (R and D) responsibilities to the Office of Nuclear Energy (NE), as well as reorganization within NE. This scope includes uranium extraction from seawater and uranium enrichment R and D, used nuclear fuel recycling technology, advanced fuel development, and a fresh look at a range of disposal geologies. Additionally, the FCT program performs the necessary systems analysis and screening of fuel cycle alternatives that will identify the most promising approaches and areas of technology gaps. Finally, the FCT program is responsible for a focused effort to consider features of fuel cycle technology in a way that promotes nonproliferation and security, such as Safeguards and Security by Design, and advanced monitoring and predictive modeling capabilities. This paper and presentation will provide an overview of the FCT program R and D scope and discuss plans to analyze fuel cycle options and support identified R and D priorities into the future. The FCT program is making progress in implanting a science based, engineering driven research and development program that is evaluating options for a sustainable fuel cycle in the U.S. Responding to the BRC recommendations, any resulting legislative changes

  5. Addressing neuropsychiatric disturbances during rehabilitation after traumatic brain injury: current and future methods

    PubMed Central

    Arciniegas, David B.

    2011-01-01

    Cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and sensorimotor disturbances are the principal clinical manifestations of traumatic brain injury (TBI) throughout the early postinjury period. These post-traumatic neuropsychiatric disturbances present substantial challenges to patients, their families, and clinicians providing their rehabilitative care, the optimal approaches to which remain incompletely developed. In this article, a neuropsychiairically informed, neurobiologically anchored approach to understanding and meeting challenges is described. The foundation for thai approach is laid, with a review of clinical case definitions of TBI and clarification of their intended referents. The differential diagnosis of event-related neuropsychiatric disturbances is considered next, after which the clinical and neurobiological heterogeneity within the diagnostic category of TBI are discussed. The clinical manifestations of biomechanical force-induced brain dysfunction are described as a state of post-traumatic encephalopathy (PTE) comprising several phenomenologically distinct stages, PTE is then used as a framework for understanding and clinically evaluating the neuropsychiatric sequelae of TBI encountered commonly during the early post-injury rehabilitation period, and for considering the types and timings of neurorehabilitative interventions. Finally, directions for future research that may address productively the challenges to TBI rehabilitation presented by neuropsychiatric disturbances are considered. PMID:22034400

  6. Cancer Core Europe: a consortium to address the cancer care-cancer research continuum challenge.

    PubMed

    Eggermont, Alexander M M; Caldas, Carlos; Ringborg, Ulrik; Medema, René; Tabernero, Josep; Wiestler, Otmar

    2014-11-01

    European cancer research for a transformative initiative by creating a consortium of six leading excellent comprehensive cancer centres that will work together to address the cancer care-cancer research continuum. Prerequisites for joint translational and clinical research programs are very demanding. These require the creation of a virtual single 'e-hospital' and a powerful translational platform, inter-compatible clinical molecular profiling laboratories with a robust underlying computational biology pipeline, standardised functional and molecular imaging, commonly agreed Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for liquid and tissue biopsy procurement, storage and processing, for molecular diagnostics, 'omics', functional genetics, immune-monitoring and other assessments. Importantly also it requires a culture of data collection and data storage that provides complete longitudinal data sets to allow for: effective data sharing and common database building, and to achieve a level of completeness of data that is required for conducting outcome research, taking into account our current understanding of cancers as communities of evolving clones. Cutting edge basic research and technology development serve as an important driving force for innovative translational and clinical studies. Given the excellent track records of the six participants in these areas, Cancer Core Europe will be able to support the full spectrum of research required to address the cancer research- cancer care continuum. Cancer Core Europe also constitutes a unique environment to train the next generation of talents in innovative translational and clinical oncology. PMID:25263570

  7. Current challenges and controversies in drug-induced liver injury.

    PubMed

    Corsini, Alberto; Ganey, Patricia; Ju, Cynthia; Kaplowitz, Neil; Pessayre, Dominique; Roth, Robert; Watkins, Paul B; Albassam, Mudher; Liu, Baolian; Stancic, Saray; Suter, Laura; Bortolini, Michele

    2012-12-01

    Current key challenges and controversies encountered in the identification of potentially hepatotoxic drugs and the assessment of drug-induced liver injury (DILI) are covered in this article. There is substantial debate over the classification of DILI itself, including the definition and validity of terms such as 'intrinsic' and 'idiosyncratic'. So-called idiosyncratic DILI is typically rare and requires one or more susceptibility factors in individuals. Consequently, it has been difficult to reproduce in animal models, which has limited the understanding of its underlying mechanisms despite numerous hypotheses. Advances in predictive models would also help to enable preclinical elimination of drug candidates and development of novel biomarkers. A small number of liver laboratory tests have been routinely used to help identify DILI, but their interpretation can be limited and confounded by multiple factors. Improved preclinical and clinical biomarkers are therefore needed to accurately detect early signals of liver injury, distinguish drug hepatotoxicity from other forms of liver injury, and differentiate mild from clinically important liver injury. A range of potentially useful biomarkers are emerging, although so far most have only been used preclinically, with only a few validated and used in the clinic for specific circumstances. Advances in the development of genomic biomarkers will improve the prediction and detection of hepatic injury in future. Establishing a definitive clinical diagnosis of DILI can be difficult, since it is based on circumstantial evidence by excluding other aetiologies and, when possible, identifying a drug-specific signature. DILI signals based on standard liver test abnormalities may be affected by underlying diseases such as hepatitis B and C, HIV and cancer, as well as the concomitant use of hepatotoxic drugs to treat some of these conditions. Therefore, a modified approach to DILI assessment is justified in these special populations

  8. Addressing Challenges to the Design & Test of Operational Lighting Environments for the International Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clark, Toni A.

    2014-01-01

    In our day to day lives, the availability of light, with which to see our environment, is often taken for granted. The designers of land based lighting systems use sunlight and artificial light as their toolset. The availability of power, quantity of light sources, and variety of design options are often unlimited. The accessibility of most land based lighting systems makes it easy for the architect and engineer to verify and validate their design ideas. Failures with an implementation, while sometimes costly, can easily be addressed by renovation. Consider now, an architectural facility orbiting in space, 260 miles above the surface of the earth. This human rated architectural facility, the International Space Station (ISS) must maintain operations every day, including life support and appropriate human comforts without fail. The facility must also handle logistics of regular shipments of cargo, including new passengers. The ISS requires accommodations necessary for human control of machine systems. Additionally, the ISS is a research facility and supports investigations performed inside and outside its livable volume. Finally, the facility must support remote operations and observations by ground controllers. All of these architectural needs require a functional, safe, and even an aesthetic lighting environment. At Johnson Space Center, our Habitability and Human Factors team assists our diverse customers with their lighting environment challenges, via physical test and computer based analysis. Because of the complexity of ISS operational environment, our team has learned and developed processes that help ISS operate safely. Because of the dynamic exterior lighting environment, uses computational modeling to predict the lighting environment. The ISS' orbit exposes it to a sunrise every 90 minutes, causing work surfaces to quickly change from direct sunlight to earthshine to total darkness. Proper planning of vehicle approaches, robotics operations, and crewed

  9. Addressing the urban pipeline challenge for the physician workforce: the Sophie Davis model.

    PubMed

    Roman, Stanford A

    2004-12-01

    The convergence of numerous trends indicates that a physician shortage by 2020 is likely. There is a 25% growth in the overall population, but that of the college-age sector is increasing by only 5%. The numbers of African Americans and Latinos in that sector will increase more than will members of other population groups; these two groups are most affected by the uneven quality of science education in urban high schools. Challenges to create a pipeline of a large, diverse, and qualified pool of medical school applicants are great, and are influenced by the actual and perceived cost of medical school tuition and the competition from other professions. Since 1973, the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, a seven-year joint BS/MD program, has expanded access to medical school education for talented inner-city youths, including minorities and those with limited financial resources. Students receive a BS degree and their first two years of medical school education and, upon successful completion of the United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1, transfer to one of five cooperating medical schools in New York State that confer the terminal MD degree. Sophie Davis integrates medical studies in the baccalaureate program, using actual performance in medical studies as a predictor of success. Of the more than 1,400 of its graduates, 25% are African American, 8% are Latino, 28% are Asian American, and 39% are white. Over 25% of its current student body comes from federally defined low-income families, and almost three-quarters qualify for New York State financial aid. The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education is a model that offers a partial response to those factors that will challenge the achievement of an adequate supply of physicians for our urban communities. The author describes the model in detail and explains how it helps talented but unevenly educated students rise to the challenge of a medical education.

  10. Addressing the urban pipeline challenge for the physician workforce: the Sophie Davis model.

    PubMed

    Roman, Stanford A

    2004-12-01

    The convergence of numerous trends indicates that a physician shortage by 2020 is likely. There is a 25% growth in the overall population, but that of the college-age sector is increasing by only 5%. The numbers of African Americans and Latinos in that sector will increase more than will members of other population groups; these two groups are most affected by the uneven quality of science education in urban high schools. Challenges to create a pipeline of a large, diverse, and qualified pool of medical school applicants are great, and are influenced by the actual and perceived cost of medical school tuition and the competition from other professions. Since 1973, the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, a seven-year joint BS/MD program, has expanded access to medical school education for talented inner-city youths, including minorities and those with limited financial resources. Students receive a BS degree and their first two years of medical school education and, upon successful completion of the United States Medical Licensing Examination Step 1, transfer to one of five cooperating medical schools in New York State that confer the terminal MD degree. Sophie Davis integrates medical studies in the baccalaureate program, using actual performance in medical studies as a predictor of success. Of the more than 1,400 of its graduates, 25% are African American, 8% are Latino, 28% are Asian American, and 39% are white. Over 25% of its current student body comes from federally defined low-income families, and almost three-quarters qualify for New York State financial aid. The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education is a model that offers a partial response to those factors that will challenge the achievement of an adequate supply of physicians for our urban communities. The author describes the model in detail and explains how it helps talented but unevenly educated students rise to the challenge of a medical education. PMID:15563652

  11. [Challenges to the Current Special Education System--Two Analyses.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    NCERI Bulletin, 1995

    1995-01-01

    This bulletin presents two articles which challenge the current special education system, one in terms of the conceptualization of disability and the second in terms of differential and discriminatory treatment of poor and minority youth. The first article titled "New Trends in Disability Studies: Implications for Educational Policy" (Harlan Hahn)…

  12. Current Challenges in English Language Learning in Turkish EFL Context

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Solak, Ekrem; Bayar, Adem

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the current challenges in English language learning and teaching in Turkey from high and low achievers' perspective. The study was qualitative in nature and the participants of the study were twenty-two students attending at various departments of a state university in Turkey. In this study, the…

  13. Polar Engineering and Research to Address Operational Challenges in Austere Environments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mercer, J. L.; Richter-Menge, J.; Weale, J. C.; Lever, J. H.; Knuth, M. A.; Shoop, S. A.; Haehnel, R.; Arcone, S. A.; Bjella, K.; Finnegan, D. C.; Courville, Z.; Tracy, B. T.

    2009-12-01

    Logistics constraints and operational challenges in the austere environs of the polar regions present unique technological and engineering problems. Working closely with universities, government agencies and industry, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Cold Regions Research and Engineering Lab (CRREL) routinely conducts scientific research and engineering in the Arctic, sub-Arctic and Antarctic covering a wide range of topics and applications. Current areas of focus include: improved mobility techniques for overland traverses; robotic vehicles for traversing, sampling and data collection; snow road and transportation characterization; integrated operational systems including airfield consolidation proof-of-concept studies; infrastructure technology such as firn air cooling, building design, snow foundations and sewage handling; remote/renewable autonomous power solutions for data collection; subsurface radar for crevasse detection and cryosphere characterization; ground-based lidar topographic scanning and near-real-time climate/environmental monitoring linked to AIS infrastructure. While these research and engineering efforts provide solutions and improved technology for specific problems, the impacts are many and wide-reaching and the results are often applicable to other challenging environments. Here, an overview of current research foci and projects is presented along with in-the-field applications, effects and future implications. The results and solutions of these efforts typically lead to technological improvements in operations and logistics which are cost-beneficial, thus freeing up funding dollars for fundamental scientific research. The links between basic research and applied solutions delivering far-reaching impacts (both large- and small-scale) on society, the environment, industry and scientific research are also demonstrated.

  14. In Vivo Demonstration of Addressable Microstimulators Powered by Rectification of Epidermically Applied Currents for Miniaturized Neuroprostheses.

    PubMed

    Becerra-Fajardo, Laura; Ivorra, Antoni

    2015-01-01

    Electrical stimulation is used in order to restore nerve mediated functions in patients with neurological disorders, but its applicability is constrained by the invasiveness of the systems required to perform it. As an alternative to implantable systems consisting of central stimulation units wired to the stimulation electrodes, networks of wireless microstimulators have been devised for fine movement restoration. Miniaturization of these microstimulators is currently hampered by the available methods for powering them. Previously, we have proposed and demonstrated a heterodox electrical stimulation method based on electronic rectification of high frequency current bursts. These bursts can be delivered through textile electrodes on the skin. This approach has the potential to result in an unprecedented level of miniaturization as no bulky parts such as coils or batteries are included in the implant. We envision microstimulators designs based on application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) that will be flexible, thread-like (diameters < 0.5 mm) and not only with controlled stimulation capabilities but also with sensing capabilities for artificial proprioception. We in vivo demonstrate that neuroprostheses composed of addressable microstimulators based on this electrical stimulation method are feasible and can perform controlled charge-balanced electrical stimulation of muscles. We developed miniature external circuit prototypes connected to two bipolar probes that were percutaneously implanted in agonist and antagonist muscles of the hindlimb of an anesthetized rabbit. The electronic implant architecture was able to decode commands that were amplitude modulated on the high frequency (1 MHz) auxiliary current bursts. The devices were capable of independently stimulating the target tissues, accomplishing controlled dorsiflexion and plantarflexion joint movements. In addition, we numerically show that the high frequency current bursts comply with safety standards

  15. In Vivo Demonstration of Addressable Microstimulators Powered by Rectification of Epidermically Applied Currents for Miniaturized Neuroprostheses

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Electrical stimulation is used in order to restore nerve mediated functions in patients with neurological disorders, but its applicability is constrained by the invasiveness of the systems required to perform it. As an alternative to implantable systems consisting of central stimulation units wired to the stimulation electrodes, networks of wireless microstimulators have been devised for fine movement restoration. Miniaturization of these microstimulators is currently hampered by the available methods for powering them. Previously, we have proposed and demonstrated a heterodox electrical stimulation method based on electronic rectification of high frequency current bursts. These bursts can be delivered through textile electrodes on the skin. This approach has the potential to result in an unprecedented level of miniaturization as no bulky parts such as coils or batteries are included in the implant. We envision microstimulators designs based on application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) that will be flexible, thread-like (diameters < 0.5 mm) and not only with controlled stimulation capabilities but also with sensing capabilities for artificial proprioception. We in vivo demonstrate that neuroprostheses composed of addressable microstimulators based on this electrical stimulation method are feasible and can perform controlled charge-balanced electrical stimulation of muscles. We developed miniature external circuit prototypes connected to two bipolar probes that were percutaneously implanted in agonist and antagonist muscles of the hindlimb of an anesthetized rabbit. The electronic implant architecture was able to decode commands that were amplitude modulated on the high frequency (1 MHz) auxiliary current bursts. The devices were capable of independently stimulating the target tissues, accomplishing controlled dorsiflexion and plantarflexion joint movements. In addition, we numerically show that the high frequency current bursts comply with safety standards

  16. Rapid prototyping for biomedical engineering: current capabilities and challenges.

    PubMed

    Lantada, Andrés Díaz; Morgado, Pilar Lafont

    2012-01-01

    A new set of manufacturing technologies has emerged in the past decades to address market requirements in a customized way and to provide support for research tasks that require prototypes. These new techniques and technologies are usually referred to as rapid prototyping and manufacturing technologies, and they allow prototypes to be produced in a wide range of materials with remarkable precision in a couple of hours. Although they have been rapidly incorporated into product development methodologies, they are still under development, and their applications in bioengineering are continuously evolving. Rapid prototyping and manufacturing technologies can be of assistance in every stage of the development process of novel biodevices, to address various problems that can arise in the devices' interactions with biological systems and the fact that the design decisions must be tested carefully. This review focuses on the main fields of application for rapid prototyping in biomedical engineering and health sciences, as well as on the most remarkable challenges and research trends.

  17. Epigenetics of Addiction: Current Knowledge, Challenges, and Future Directions.

    PubMed

    Cecil, Charlotte A M; Walton, Esther; Viding, Essi

    2016-09-01

    Addiction to psychoactive substances is a debilitating condition underpinned by the interplay of genetic and environmental factors. At present, a key challenge for research is to delineate how, at a molecular level, these influences become "biologically embedded," contributing to the onset and persistence of addictive behaviors. Recently, epigenetic processes that regulate gene expression have emerged as a potential mechanism of interest. In this commentary, we discuss the relevance of epigenetics to addiction research, starting with the current state of knowledge, what challenges we have yet to overcome, and what the future may hold in terms of research methodology and translational potential. PMID:27588525

  18. Towards addressable wireless microstimulators based on electronic rectification of epidermically applied currents.

    PubMed

    Becerra-Fajardo, L; Ivorra, A

    2014-01-01

    Electrical stimulation has been explored to restore the capabilities of the nervous system in paralysis patients. This area of research and of clinical practice, known as Functional Electrical Stimulation, would greatly benefit from further miniaturization of implantable stimulators. To that end, we recently proposed and demonstrated an innovative electrical stimulation method in which implanted microstimulators operate as rectifiers of bursts of innocuous high frequency current supplied by skin electrodes, thus generating low frequency currents capable of stimulating excitable tissues. A diode could suffice in some applications but, in order to broaden the method's clinical applicability, we envision rectifiers with advanced capabilities such as current control and addressability. We plan flexible thread-like implants (diameters < 300 μm) containing ASICs. As an intermediate stage, we are developing macroscopic implants (diameters ~ 2 mm) made of off-the-shelf components. Here we present a circuit which responds to commands modulated within the high frequency bursts and which is able to deliver charge-balanced currents. We show that a number of these circuits can perform independent stimulation of segments of an anesthetized earthworm following commands from a computer. PMID:25570862

  19. Academic Research Library as Broker in Addressing Interoperability Challenges for the Geosciences

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, P., II

    2015-12-01

    Data capture is an important process in the research lifecycle. Complete descriptive and representative information of the data or database is necessary during data collection whether in the field or in the research lab. The National Science Foundation's (NSF) Public Access Plan (2015) mandates the need for federally funded projects to make their research data more openly available. Developing, implementing, and integrating metadata workflows into to the research process of the data lifecycle facilitates improved data access while also addressing interoperability challenges for the geosciences such as data description and representation. Lack of metadata or data curation can contribute to (1) semantic, (2) ontology, and (3) data integration issues within and across disciplinary domains and projects. Some researchers of EarthCube funded projects have identified these issues as gaps. These gaps can contribute to interoperability data access, discovery, and integration issues between domain-specific and general data repositories. Academic Research Libraries have expertise in providing long-term discovery and access through the use of metadata standards and provision of access to research data, datasets, and publications via institutional repositories. Metadata crosswalks, open archival information systems (OAIS), trusted-repositories, data seal of approval, persistent URL, linking data, objects, resources, and publications in institutional repositories and digital content management systems are common components in the library discipline. These components contribute to a library perspective on data access and discovery that can benefit the geosciences. The USGS Community for Data Integration (CDI) has developed the Science Support Framework (SSF) for data management and integration within its community of practice for contribution to improved understanding of the Earth's physical and biological systems. The USGS CDI SSF can be used as a reference model to map to Earth

  20. Key challenges of offshore wind power: Three essays addressing public acceptance, stakeholder conflict, and wildlife impacts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bates, Alison Waterbury

    Society is facing a pressing need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit anthropogenic climate change, which has far reaching implications for humans and the environment. Transforming the energy infrastructure to carbon-free sources is one solution to curb greenhouse gas emissions, but this transformation has been slow to materialize in many places, such as the United States (U.S.). Offshore wind energy is one of the most promising renewable energy sources available, which can be deployed in large-scale developments in many parts of the world. Yet, offshore wind has faced many challenges, which are more social and regulatory than technical. This dissertation addresses social and regulatory issues surrounding offshore wind development through three stand-alone essays, which, in combination, address a decision-making framework of where to locate offshore wind turbines, by minimizing effects on people and wildlife. The challenges to offshore wind that are addressed by this dissertation include (1) understanding underlying factors that drive support for or opposition to offshore wind energy; (2) conflict with existing ocean uses and users; and (3) public concern and regulatory processes related to wildlife impacts. The first paper identifies unique factors that drive public opinion of proposed offshore wind projects in nearby coastal communities. Wind energy development on land has faced local opposition for reasons such as effects on cultural landscapes and wildlife, which can be instrumental in whether or not and the speed with which a project moves ahead toward completion. Factors leading to support for, or opposition to, offshore wind energy are not well known, particularly for developments that are near-shore and in-view of coastal communities. Results are presented from a survey of 699 residents (35.5% response rate) completed in 2013 in greater Atlantic City, New Jersey and coastal Delaware, United States, where near-shore wind demonstration projects had

  1. Addressing Challenges to Public Understanding of Science: Epistemic Cognition, Motivated Reasoning, and Conceptual Change

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sinatra, Gale M.; Kienhues, Dorothe; Hofer, Barbara K.

    2014-01-01

    Science is of critical importance to daily life in a knowledge society and has a significant influence on many everyday decisions. As scientific problems increase in their number and complexity, so do the challenges facing the public in understanding these issues. Our objective is to focus on 3 of those challenges: the challenge of reasoning about…

  2. The role of business in addressing the long-term implications of the current food crisis.

    PubMed

    Yach, Derek

    2008-01-01

    Before the onset of the current food crisis, the evidence of a severely neglected nutrition crisis was starting to receive attention. Increased food prices are having severe impacts on the nutritional status of populations. Our current food system has evolved over decades in a largely unplanned manner and without consideration for the complexity and implications of linkages between health, nutrition, agricultural, economic, trade and security issues. The underlying causes for the nutrition crisis include the above, as well as decades of neglect with regard to nutrition, and agricultural science (especially in emerging markets); a failure of governance with respect to the major players involved in nutrition, a weak response by government donors and Foundations to invest in basic nutrition (in contrast to growing support for humanitarian aspects of food aid), and a reluctance to develop private-public partnerships. The emergence of new business models that tackle social problems while remaining profitable offers promise that the long term nutrition needs of people can be met. Businesses can have greater impact acting collectively than individually. Food, retail, food service, chemical and pharmaceutical companies have expertise, distribution systems and customers insights, if well harnessed, could leapfrog progress in addressing the food and nutrition crises. While business can do lots more, its combined impact will be minimal if a range of essential government actions and policies are not addressed. Governments need to create innovative and complementary opportunities that include incentives for businesses including: setting clear nutritional guidelines for fortification and for ready-to eat products; offering agreements to endorse approved products and support their distribution to clinics and schools; eliminating duties on imported vitamins and other micronutrients; and providing tax and other incentives for industry to invest with donors in essential nutrition

  3. The role of business in addressing the long-term implications of the current food crisis

    PubMed Central

    Yach, Derek

    2008-01-01

    Before the onset of the current food crisis, the evidence of a severely neglected nutrition crisis was starting to receive attention. Increased food prices are having severe impacts on the nutritional status of populations. Our current food system has evolved over decades in a largely unplanned manner and without consideration for the complexity and implications of linkages between health, nutrition, agricultural, economic, trade and security issues. The underlying causes for the nutrition crisis include the above, as well as decades of neglect with regard to nutrition, and agricultural science (especially in emerging markets); a failure of governance with respect to the major players involved in nutrition, a weak response by government donors and Foundations to invest in basic nutrition (in contrast to growing support for humanitarian aspects of food aid), and a reluctance to develop private-public partnerships. The emergence of new business models that tackle social problems while remaining profitable offers promise that the long term nutrition needs of people can be met. Businesses can have greater impact acting collectively than individually. Food, retail, food service, chemical and pharmaceutical companies have expertise, distribution systems and customers insights, if well harnessed, could leapfrog progress in addressing the food and nutrition crises. While business can do lots more, its combined impact will be minimal if a range of essential government actions and policies are not addressed. Governments need to create innovative and complementary opportunities that include incentives for businesses including: setting clear nutritional guidelines for fortification and for ready-to eat products; offering agreements to endorse approved products and support their distribution to clinics and schools; eliminating duties on imported vitamins and other micronutrients; and providing tax and other incentives for industry to invest with donors in essential nutrition

  4. The role of business in addressing the long-term implications of the current food crisis.

    PubMed

    Yach, Derek

    2008-01-01

    Before the onset of the current food crisis, the evidence of a severely neglected nutrition crisis was starting to receive attention. Increased food prices are having severe impacts on the nutritional status of populations. Our current food system has evolved over decades in a largely unplanned manner and without consideration for the complexity and implications of linkages between health, nutrition, agricultural, economic, trade and security issues. The underlying causes for the nutrition crisis include the above, as well as decades of neglect with regard to nutrition, and agricultural science (especially in emerging markets); a failure of governance with respect to the major players involved in nutrition, a weak response by government donors and Foundations to invest in basic nutrition (in contrast to growing support for humanitarian aspects of food aid), and a reluctance to develop private-public partnerships. The emergence of new business models that tackle social problems while remaining profitable offers promise that the long term nutrition needs of people can be met. Businesses can have greater impact acting collectively than individually. Food, retail, food service, chemical and pharmaceutical companies have expertise, distribution systems and customers insights, if well harnessed, could leapfrog progress in addressing the food and nutrition crises. While business can do lots more, its combined impact will be minimal if a range of essential government actions and policies are not addressed. Governments need to create innovative and complementary opportunities that include incentives for businesses including: setting clear nutritional guidelines for fortification and for ready-to eat products; offering agreements to endorse approved products and support their distribution to clinics and schools; eliminating duties on imported vitamins and other micronutrients; and providing tax and other incentives for industry to invest with donors in essential nutrition

  5. Challenges in IPF diagnosis, current management and future perspectives.

    PubMed

    Wells, Athol U; Costabel, Ulrich; Poletti, Venerino; Crestani, Bruno; Egan, Jim; Margaritopoulos, George; Antoniou, Katerina

    2015-01-01

    Recent developments have clarified our understanding of IPF and improved outcomes with two viable new therapeutic options, pirfenidone and nintedanib. In spite of these advances, questions and challenges concerning IPF still remain. Here we will focus on some of these unresolved areas: the diagnosis of IPF is hindered by limitations in current practice guidelines, surgical lung biopsy is contraindicated in many patients, the accuracy of prognostic evaluation needs to be increased and tolerability factors can jeopardise adherence to treatment. We will also identify new developments shaping the future of IPF management such as cryobiopsy, increased understanding of genetic factors and new treatment paradigms, which may help to fulfil currently unmet needs.

  6. Current Domain Challenges in the Emergency Response Community

    SciTech Connect

    Barr, Jonathan L.; Peddicord, Annie M Boe; Burtner, Edwin R.; Mahy, Heidi A.

    2011-05-08

    This paper describes the development of a framework targeted to technology providers in order to better understand the grand domain challenges of the emergency response and management community (EM). In developing this framework, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory researchers interviewed subject matter experts (SMEs) across the EM domain and corroborated these findings with current literature. We are currently examining relationships and dependencies within the framework. A thorough understanding of these gaps and dependencies will allow for a more informed approach prioritizing research, developing tools, and applying technology to enhance performance in the EM community.

  7. Addressing the Real-World Challenges in the Development of Propulsion IVHM Technology Experiment (PITEX)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maul, William A.; Chicatelli, Amy; Fulton, Christopher E.; Balaban, Edward; Sweet, Adam; Hayden, Sandra Claire; Bajwa, Anupa

    2005-01-01

    The Propulsion IVHM Technology Experiment (PITEX) has been an on-going research effort conducted over several years. PITEX has developed and applied a model-based diagnostic system for the main propulsion system of the X-34 reusable launch vehicle, a space-launch technology demonstrator. The application was simulation-based using detailed models of the propulsion subsystem to generate nominal and failure scenarios during captive carry, which is the most safety-critical portion of the X-34 flight. Since no system-level testing of the X-34 Main Propulsion System (MPS) was performed, these simulated data were used to verify and validate the software system. Advanced diagnostic and signal processing algorithms were developed and tested in real-time on flight-like hardware. In an attempt to expose potential performance problems, these PITEX algorithms were subject to numerous real-world effects in the simulated data including noise, sensor resolution, command/valve talkback information, and nominal build variations. The current research has demonstrated the potential benefits of model-based diagnostics, defined the performance metrics required to evaluate the diagnostic system, and studied the impact of real-world challenges encountered when monitoring propulsion subsystems.

  8. Left ventricular partitioning in systolic heart failure subjects: addressing a mechanistic void with current therapies.

    PubMed

    Schäfer, Ulrich

    2016-05-17

    ICD patients with narrow QRS, CRT non-responders, and functional MR patients all have one mechanistic failure mode that is left untreated - the scar left behind following an MI. ICDs, CRTs, and MitraClip implantation are all well-proven therapies, but the Parachute device may address the mechanistic void that remains after each of these therapies has been used and may further improve patients' outcomes. A pooled analysis of 134 subjects was conducted using the first three clinical trials which included subjects with symptomatic ischaemic HF with LV wall motion abnormalities secondary to MI, and an LV ejection fraction less than 40%. The two-year cumulative mortality rate was 12.9%, with 8.7% in the first year and an increment of 4.2% in the second, which is a 53% reduction as compared to the first year. There is a significant proportion of patients with ischaemic heart failure being excluded from cardiac rhythm management (CRT, etc.), leaving a large treatment gap until mechanical support devices (LVAD) or heart transplantation in progressive heart failure are indicated. Along with other heart failure devices, Parachute may be a useful treatment modality, addressing a mechanistic void in the treatment of this disease. Current data support improvements in haemodynamics, functional capacity, six-minute walk distance, quality of life and a promising decline in mortality two years after Parachute implantation. PMID:27174122

  9. Estimating the Health Effects of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Strategies: Addressing Parametric, Model, and Valuation Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Hess, Jeremy J.; Ebi, Kristie L.; Markandya, Anil; Balbus, John M.; Wilkinson, Paul; Haines, Andy; Chalabi, Zaid

    2014-01-01

    simultaneously improving health. Citation: Remais JV, Hess JJ, Ebi KL, Markandya A, Balbus JM, Wilkinson P, Haines A, Chalabi Z. 2014. Estimating the health effects of greenhouse gas mitigation strategies: addressing parametric, model, and valuation challenges. Environ Health Perspect 122:447–455; http://dx.doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1306744 PMID:24583270

  10. Novel developments in benthic modelling to address scientific and policy challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lessin, Gennadi; Artioli, Yuri; Bruggeman, Jorn; Aldridge, John; Blackford, Jerry

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the role of benthic systems in supporting, regulating and providing marine ecosystem services requires better understanding of their functioning and their response and resilience to stressors. Novel observational methods for the investigation of dynamics of benthic-pelagic coupling in shelf seas are being developed and new data is being collected. Therefore there is an increasing demand for robust representation of benthic processes in marine biogeochemical and ecosystem models, which would improve our understanding of whole systems and benthic-pelagic coupling, rather than act as mere closure terms for pelagic models. However, for several decades development of benthic models has lagged behind their pelagic counterparts. To address contemporary scientific, policy and societal challenges, the biogeochemical and ecological model ERSEM (European Regional Seas Ecosystem Model), including its benthic sub-model, was recently recoded in a scalable and modular format adopting the approach of FABM (Framework for Aquatic Biogeochemical Models). Within the Shelf Sea Biogeochemistry research programme, a series of additional processes have been included, such as a sedimentary carbonate system, a resuspendable fluff layer, and the simulation of advective sediments. It was shown that the inclusion of these processes changes the dynamics of benthic-pelagic fluxes as well as modifying the benthic food web. Comparison of model results with in-situ data demonstrated a general improvement of model performance and highlighted the importance of the benthic system in overall ecosystem dynamics. As an example, our simulations have shown that inclusion of a resuspendable fluff layer facilitates regeneration of inorganic nutrients in the water column due to degradation of resuspended organic material by pelagic bacteria. Moreover, the composition of fluff was found to be important for trophic interactions, and therefore indirectly affects benthic community composition. Where

  11. OpenTopography: Addressing Big Data Challenges Using Cloud Computing, HPC, and Data Analytics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crosby, C. J.; Nandigam, V.; Phan, M.; Youn, C.; Baru, C.; Arrowsmith, R.

    2014-12-01

    OpenTopography (OT) is a geoinformatics-based data facility initiated in 2009 for democratizing access to high-resolution topographic data, derived products, and tools. Hosted at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC), OT utilizes cyberinfrastructure, including large-scale data management, high-performance computing, and service-oriented architectures to provide efficient Web based access to large, high-resolution topographic datasets. OT collocates data with processing tools to enable users to quickly access custom data and derived products for their application. OT's ongoing R&D efforts aim to solve emerging technical challenges associated with exponential growth in data, higher order data products, as well as user base. Optimization of data management strategies can be informed by a comprehensive set of OT user access metrics that allows us to better understand usage patterns with respect to the data. By analyzing the spatiotemporal access patterns within the datasets, we can map areas of the data archive that are highly active (hot) versus the ones that are rarely accessed (cold). This enables us to architect a tiered storage environment consisting of high performance disk storage (SSD) for the hot areas and less expensive slower disk for the cold ones, thereby optimizing price to performance. From a compute perspective, OT is looking at cloud based solutions such as the Microsoft Azure platform to handle sudden increases in load. An OT virtual machine image in Microsoft's VM Depot can be invoked and deployed quickly in response to increased system demand. OT has also integrated SDSC HPC systems like the Gordon supercomputer into our infrastructure tier to enable compute intensive workloads like parallel computation of hydrologic routing on high resolution topography. This capability also allows OT to scale to HPC resources during high loads to meet user demand and provide more efficient processing. With a growing user base and maturing scientific user

  12. 2015 Presidential Address: 75 Years of Battling Diabetes--Our Global Challenge.

    PubMed

    Dagogo-Jack, Samuel

    2016-01-01

    This address was delivered by Samuel Dagogo-Jack, MD, President, Medicine & Science, of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), at the Association's 75th Scientific Sessions in Boston, MA, on 7 June 2015. Dr. Dagogo-Jack is a professor of medicine and the director of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and the director of the Clinical Research Center at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, where he holds the A.C. Mullins Endowed Chair in Translational Research. He has been an ADA volunteer since 1991 and has served on several national committees and chaired the Association's Research Grant Review Committee. At the local level, he has served on community leadership boards in St. Louis, MO, and Tennessee. A physician-scientist, Dr. Dagogo-Jack's current research focuses on the interaction of genetic and environmental factors in the prediction and prevention of prediabetes, diabetes, and diabetes complications. He is the principal investigator of the Pathobiology of Prediabetes in a Biracial Cohort (POP-ABC) study and also directs The University of Tennessee site for the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (DCCT/EDIC) and the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP)/DPP Outcomes Study (DPPOS). Dr. Dagogo-Jack earned his medical and research doctorate degrees from the University of Ibadan College of Medicine in Nigeria, holds a master's of science from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in England, and completed his postdoctoral fellowship training in metabolism at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis in Missouri. A board-certified endocrinologist, Dr. Dagogo-Jack has been elected to the Association of American Physicians and is the 2015 recipient of the Banting Medal for Leadership from the ADA. The ADA and Diabetes Care thank Dr. Dagogo-Jack for his outstanding leadership and service to the Association. PMID:26696655

  13. 2015 Presidential Address: 75 Years of Battling Diabetes--Our Global Challenge.

    PubMed

    Dagogo-Jack, Samuel

    2016-01-01

    This address was delivered by Samuel Dagogo-Jack, MD, President, Medicine & Science, of the American Diabetes Association (ADA), at the Association's 75th Scientific Sessions in Boston, MA, on 7 June 2015. Dr. Dagogo-Jack is a professor of medicine and the director of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and the director of the Clinical Research Center at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN, where he holds the A.C. Mullins Endowed Chair in Translational Research. He has been an ADA volunteer since 1991 and has served on several national committees and chaired the Association's Research Grant Review Committee. At the local level, he has served on community leadership boards in St. Louis, MO, and Tennessee. A physician-scientist, Dr. Dagogo-Jack's current research focuses on the interaction of genetic and environmental factors in the prediction and prevention of prediabetes, diabetes, and diabetes complications. He is the principal investigator of the Pathobiology of Prediabetes in a Biracial Cohort (POP-ABC) study and also directs The University of Tennessee site for the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (DCCT/EDIC) and the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP)/DPP Outcomes Study (DPPOS). Dr. Dagogo-Jack earned his medical and research doctorate degrees from the University of Ibadan College of Medicine in Nigeria, holds a master's of science from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in England, and completed his postdoctoral fellowship training in metabolism at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis in Missouri. A board-certified endocrinologist, Dr. Dagogo-Jack has been elected to the Association of American Physicians and is the 2015 recipient of the Banting Medal for Leadership from the ADA. The ADA and Diabetes Care thank Dr. Dagogo-Jack for his outstanding leadership and service to the Association.

  14. The Necessity of Conceptual Skill Enhancement to Address Philosophical Challenges of New Science : Background and Implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Este, Robert A.

    Sensory extension and increasingly powerful computation underpinning emerging new science provides us with daunting conceptual challenges. It is here argued that because they are primarily philosophical in nature, high-level conceptual challenges are unique and different from those that help us refine outputs and achievements based on solving our technical and political problems. This paper explores the practical implications of such unique conceptual challenges and discusses the need for enhancement of conceptual skills. Such conceptual enhancement may provide us with a good opportunity to best respond to and benefit from these challenges.

  15. Community Strategies: Addressing the Challenges for Young People Living in Rural Australia.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stokes, Helen; Wyn, Johanna

    Young people growing up in rural and isolated areas of Australia face particular challenges because structural change to the rural economy has dramatically affected their communities. Structural challenges include limited transportation, health and community services that are difficult to access and not confidential, scarcity of affordable…

  16. Strategies to Address Challenging Behaviour in Young Children with Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feeley, Kathleen; Jones, Emily

    2008-01-01

    Children with Down syndrome are at an increased risk for engaging in challenging behaviour that may present problems within community, leisure, and educational settings, and, in many instances, precludes them from accessing these environments. Factors contributing to the occurrence of challenging behaviours include characteristics associated with…

  17. Strategies for Helping Parents of Young Children Address Challenging Behaviors in the Home

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chai, Zhen; Lieberman-Betz, Rebecca

    2016-01-01

    Challenging behavior can be defined as any repeated pattern of behavior, or perception of behavior, that interferes with or is at risk of interfering with optimal learning or engagement in prosocial interactions with peers and adults. It is generally accepted in young children that challenging behaviors serve some sort of communicative purpose--to…

  18. A Holistic Approach towards Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Addressing Education Challenges in Asia and the Pacific

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ra, Sungsup; Chin, Brian; Lim, Cher Ping

    2016-01-01

    Information and Communication Technology (ICT) offers opportunities for governments to address key education challenges of quality, equity, and efficiency. While governments and educational institutions in developed countries may have taken up these opportunities, many developing countries in Asia and the Pacific region have often missed them out.…

  19. Exploring a Community of Practice Model for Professional Development to Address Challenges to Classroom Practices in Early Childhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Christ, Tanya; Wang, X. Christine

    2013-01-01

    This study explored whether or not, and how, an on-site and research-teacher community of practice model for professional development addressed the challenges to classroom practices in a Head Start program. Data sources included interviews with teachers, videos of planning and teaching sessions, and the researchers' fieldwork log and…

  20. In silico regenerative medicine: how computational tools allow regulatory and financial challenges to be addressed in a volatile market

    PubMed Central

    Geris, L.; Guyot, Y.; Schrooten, J.; Papantoniou, I.

    2016-01-01

    The cell therapy market is a highly volatile one, due to the use of disruptive technologies, the current economic situation and the small size of the market. In such a market, companies as well as academic research institutes are in need of tools to advance their understanding and, at the same time, reduce their R&D costs, increase product quality and productivity, and reduce the time to market. An additional difficulty is the regulatory path that needs to be followed, which is challenging in the case of cell-based therapeutic products and should rely on the implementation of quality by design (QbD) principles. In silico modelling is a tool that allows the above-mentioned challenges to be addressed in the field of regenerative medicine. This review discusses such in silico models and focuses more specifically on the bioprocess. Three (clusters of) examples related to this subject are discussed. The first example comes from the pharmaceutical engineering field where QbD principles and their implementation through the use of in silico models are both a regulatory and economic necessity. The second example is related to the production of red blood cells. The described in silico model is mainly used to investigate the manufacturing process of the cell-therapeutic product, and pays special attention to the economic viability of the process. Finally, we describe the set-up of a model capturing essential events in the development of a tissue-engineered combination product in the context of bone tissue engineering. For each of the examples, a short introduction to some economic aspects is given, followed by a description of the in silico tool or tools that have been developed to allow the implementation of QbD principles and optimal design. PMID:27051516

  1. In silico regenerative medicine: how computational tools allow regulatory and financial challenges to be addressed in a volatile market.

    PubMed

    Geris, L; Guyot, Y; Schrooten, J; Papantoniou, I

    2016-04-01

    The cell therapy market is a highly volatile one, due to the use of disruptive technologies, the current economic situation and the small size of the market. In such a market, companies as well as academic research institutes are in need of tools to advance their understanding and, at the same time, reduce their R&D costs, increase product quality and productivity, and reduce the time to market. An additional difficulty is the regulatory path that needs to be followed, which is challenging in the case of cell-based therapeutic products and should rely on the implementation of quality by design (QbD) principles. In silico modelling is a tool that allows the above-mentioned challenges to be addressed in the field of regenerative medicine. This review discusses such in silico models and focuses more specifically on the bioprocess. Three (clusters of) examples related to this subject are discussed. The first example comes from the pharmaceutical engineering field where QbD principles and their implementation through the use of in silico models are both a regulatory and economic necessity. The second example is related to the production of red blood cells. The described in silico model is mainly used to investigate the manufacturing process of the cell-therapeutic product, and pays special attention to the economic viability of the process. Finally, we describe the set-up of a model capturing essential events in the development of a tissue-engineered combination product in the context of bone tissue engineering. For each of the examples, a short introduction to some economic aspects is given, followed by a description of the in silico tool or tools that have been developed to allow the implementation of QbD principles and optimal design.

  2. In silico regenerative medicine: how computational tools allow regulatory and financial challenges to be addressed in a volatile market.

    PubMed

    Geris, L; Guyot, Y; Schrooten, J; Papantoniou, I

    2016-04-01

    The cell therapy market is a highly volatile one, due to the use of disruptive technologies, the current economic situation and the small size of the market. In such a market, companies as well as academic research institutes are in need of tools to advance their understanding and, at the same time, reduce their R&D costs, increase product quality and productivity, and reduce the time to market. An additional difficulty is the regulatory path that needs to be followed, which is challenging in the case of cell-based therapeutic products and should rely on the implementation of quality by design (QbD) principles. In silico modelling is a tool that allows the above-mentioned challenges to be addressed in the field of regenerative medicine. This review discusses such in silico models and focuses more specifically on the bioprocess. Three (clusters of) examples related to this subject are discussed. The first example comes from the pharmaceutical engineering field where QbD principles and their implementation through the use of in silico models are both a regulatory and economic necessity. The second example is related to the production of red blood cells. The described in silico model is mainly used to investigate the manufacturing process of the cell-therapeutic product, and pays special attention to the economic viability of the process. Finally, we describe the set-up of a model capturing essential events in the development of a tissue-engineered combination product in the context of bone tissue engineering. For each of the examples, a short introduction to some economic aspects is given, followed by a description of the in silico tool or tools that have been developed to allow the implementation of QbD principles and optimal design. PMID:27051516

  3. Current challenges and pitfalls in the pharmacological treatment of depression

    PubMed Central

    Popa-Velea, O; Gheorghe, IR; Truţescu, CI; Purcărea, VL

    2015-01-01

    The multifactorial etiology of depression obliges needs an individual assessment, the psychopharmacological approach involving a biopsychosocial analysis for each individual case. The rebalancing of the depressive patient, seen as a return to a normal level of psychosocial functioning and reduced risk of relapse is achieved with a prompt and constant support of specialized teams. Treatment should include psychopharmacological and psychosocial approaches, the results being interrelated and contributing to the prognosis of the disorder. Progress in clinical and pharmacological research, vivid dynamics of socio-economic environment, the complexity of diagnostic evaluation and the need for an interdisciplinary approach may cause difficulties in addressing the depressive patient and the ethical controversies. The aim of this paper is to present a brief analysis of challenges encountered in the present psychiatric practice, starting from the heterogeneity of depressive manifestations and finishing with the prioritization of interventional forms. PMID:25866576

  4. Management of Dynamic Biomedical Terminologies: Current Status and Future Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Dos Reis, J. C.; Pruski, C.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Objectives Controlled terminologies and their dependent artefacts provide a consensual understanding of a domain while reducing ambiguities and enabling reasoning. However, the evolution of a domain’s knowledge directly impacts these terminologies and generates inconsistencies in the underlying biomedical information systems. In this article, we review existing work addressing the dynamic aspect of terminologies as well as their effects on mappings and semantic annotations. Methods We investigate approaches related to the identification, characterization and propagation of changes in terminologies, mappings and semantic annotations including techniques to update their content. Results and conclusion Based on the explored issues and existing methods, we outline open research challenges requiring investigation in the near future. PMID:26293859

  5. Addressing the challenges of the HIV continuum of care in high-prevalence cities in the United States.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, Alan E; Purcell, David W; Gordon, Christopher M; Barasky, Rebecca J; del Rio, Carlos

    2015-05-01

    In summary, addressing the challenges of the HIV care continuum is critical so that the goals of the NHAS can be achieved. CDC is working closely with federal partners, public health departments, and communities throughout the United States on multiple surveillance, programmatic, and research initiatives to inform and improve outcomes along the HIV care continuum. Currently, a large number of research projects are being conducted to describe the care continuum in various populations, assess and model the impact of interventions, and monitor the quality of care. To contribute to this knowledge base, NIH is working with its academic partners to support research that will inform the optimization of HIV treatment and prevention programs. As part of this focus, the CFAR/APC HIV Continuum of Care Working Group was formed to encourage communication between academic investigators and their local DOHs and to support joint research initiatives that are both timely and relevant to their own cities and environments. Finally, the results presented in this supplement may have implications for jurisdictions beyond those in which the studies were conducted.

  6. Addressing the challenges of the HIV continuum of care in high-prevalence cities in the United States.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, Alan E; Purcell, David W; Gordon, Christopher M; Barasky, Rebecca J; del Rio, Carlos

    2015-05-01

    In summary, addressing the challenges of the HIV care continuum is critical so that the goals of the NHAS can be achieved. CDC is working closely with federal partners, public health departments, and communities throughout the United States on multiple surveillance, programmatic, and research initiatives to inform and improve outcomes along the HIV care continuum. Currently, a large number of research projects are being conducted to describe the care continuum in various populations, assess and model the impact of interventions, and monitor the quality of care. To contribute to this knowledge base, NIH is working with its academic partners to support research that will inform the optimization of HIV treatment and prevention programs. As part of this focus, the CFAR/APC HIV Continuum of Care Working Group was formed to encourage communication between academic investigators and their local DOHs and to support joint research initiatives that are both timely and relevant to their own cities and environments. Finally, the results presented in this supplement may have implications for jurisdictions beyond those in which the studies were conducted. PMID:25867773

  7. Addressing the Challenges of Multi-Domain Data Integration with the SemantEco Framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patton, E. W.; Seyed, P.; McGuinness, D. L.

    2013-12-01

    Data integration across multiple domains will continue to be a challenge with the proliferation of big data in the sciences. Data origination issues and how data are manipulated are critical to enable scientists to understand and consume disparate datasets as research becomes more multidisciplinary. We present the SemantEco framework as an exemplar for designing an integrative portal for data discovery, exploration, and interpretation that uses best practice W3C Recommendations. We use the Resource Description Framework (RDF) with extensible ontologies described in the Web Ontology Language (OWL) to provide graph-based data representation. Furthermore, SemantEco ingests data via the software package csv2rdf4lod, which generates data provenance using the W3C provenance recommendation (PROV). Our presentation will discuss benefits and challenges of semantic integration, their effect on runtime performance, and how the SemantEco framework assisted in identifying performance issues and improved query performance across multiple domains by an order of magnitude. SemantEco benefits from a semantic approach that provides an 'open world', which allows data to incrementally change just as it does in the real world. SemantEco modules may load new ontologies and data using the W3C's SPARQL Protocol and RDF Query Language via HTTP. Modules may also provide user interface elements for applications and query capabilities to support new use cases. Modules can associate with domains, which are first-class objects in SemantEco. This enables SemantEco to perform integration and reasoning both within and across domains on module-provided data. The SemantEco framework has been used to construct a web portal for environmental and ecological data. The portal includes water and air quality data from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and species observation counts for birds and fish from the Avian Knowledge Network and the Santa Barbara Long Term

  8. Women in science: Current advances and challenges in Belarus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tashlykova-Bushkevich, Iya I.

    2015-12-01

    Women constitute 49% of all natural scientists in Belarus. However, fewer than 18% of Belarusian natural scientists who hold a doctor of science degree are women. The proportion of women decreases with increasing rank at universities and institutes in Belarus. Gender imbalance at the level of full professor is striking at just 17.5% women, and illuminates the vertical segregation of women in the natural sciences. This report reviews the positions of women in science in Belarus to draw out current advances and challenges encountered by female scientists in the former socialist country. New statistical data are broken down by gender and aimed at advancing the general agenda for women in science.

  9. Current controversies and challenges in allergic rhinitis management.

    PubMed

    Price, David; Smith, Pete; Hellings, Peter; Papadopoulos, Nikos; Fokkens, Wytske; Muraro, Antonella; Murray, Ruth; Chisholm, Alison; Demoly, Pascal; Scadding, Glenis; Mullol, Joaquim; Lieberman, Phil; Bachert, Claus; Mösges, Ralph; Ryan, Dermot; Bousquet, Jean

    2015-01-01

    There are many obstacles in the path of effective allergy management, in general, and allergic rhinitis (AR) control, in particular. Chief among them are: insufficient symptom relief in some patients provided by some currently considered first-line AR treatments in real life; an over-reliance on randomized controlled trials to direct AR guideline recommendations; the need for a broader interpretation of the AR evidence base (to include randomized controlled trials and real-life studies); poorly designed and interpreted studies; and lack of an AR control concept and common language of control. These controversies are fully reviewed here and challenging solutions have been presented. PMID:26325631

  10. Constructing Pragmatic Socioeconomic Status Assessment Tools to Address Health Equality Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Tajik, Parvin; Majdzadeh, Reza

    2014-01-01

    Background: A key challenge for equality evaluation and monitoring, mainly in developing countries, is assessing socioeconomic status (SES) of individuals. This difficulty along with low technical competency, have resulted in many health information collected in these countries which are devoid of suitable SES indices. However, simplifying data collection requirements for estimating economic parameters seems to guarantee their wide adoption by survey and health information system (HIS) designers, resulting in immediate production of equity-oriented policy-relevant information. The goal of this study is obtaining adequate number of variables, which their combination can provide a valid assessment of SES in Iranian population. Methods: The data source was Living Standards Measurement Study of Iran (2006). Data of 27,000 households on the ownership of 33 household assets was used for this analysis. Households of this study were divided into 5 groups in terms of SES status using principle component analysis. Then selection was made among the 33 variables so that a combination with minimum necessary number for obtaining SES status is reached. Agreement of the new combination (including minimum number of variables) with full variable combination (including all 33 variables) was assessed using weighted kappa. Results: A minimum set of six variables including having kitchen, bathroom, vacuum cleaner, washing machine, freezer and personal computer could successfully discriminate SES of the population. Comparing this 6 item-index with the whole 33 item-index revealed that 65% of households were in the same quintiles, with a weighted kappa statistics of 0.76. For households in different quintiles, movement was generally limited to one quintile, with just 2% of households moving two or more quintiles. Conclusions: The proposed simple index is completely applicable in current Iran's society. It can be used in different survey and studies. The development is quite simple and can

  11. Next biotech plants: new traits, crops, developers and technologies for addressing global challenges.

    PubMed

    Ricroch, Agnès E; Hénard-Damave, Marie-Cécile

    2016-08-01

    Most of the genetically modified (GM) plants currently commercialized encompass a handful of crop species (soybean, corn, cotton and canola) with agronomic characters (traits) directed against some biotic stresses (pest resistance, herbicide tolerance or both) and created by multinational companies. The same crops with agronomic traits already on the market today will continue to be commercialized, but there will be also a wider range of species with combined traits. The timeframe anticipated for market release of the next biotech plants will not only depend on science progress in research and development (R&D) in laboratories and fields, but also primarily on how demanding regulatory requirements are in countries where marketing approvals are pending. Regulatory constraints, including environmental and health impact assessments, have increased significantly in the past decades, delaying approvals and increasing their costs. This has sometimes discouraged public research entities and small and medium size plant breeding companies from using biotechnology and given preference to other technologies, not as stringently regulated. Nevertheless, R&D programs are flourishing in developing countries, boosted by the necessity to meet the global challenges that are food security of a booming world population while mitigating climate change impacts. Biotechnology is an instrument at the service of these imperatives and a wide variety of plants are currently tested for their high yield despite biotic and abiotic stresses. Many plants with higher water or nitrogen use efficiency, tolerant to cold, salinity or water submergence are being developed. Food security is not only a question of quantity but also of quality of agricultural and food products, to be available and accessible for the ones who need it the most. Many biotech plants (especially staple food) are therefore being developed with nutritional traits, such as biofortification in vitamins and metals. The main

  12. Next biotech plants: new traits, crops, developers and technologies for addressing global challenges.

    PubMed

    Ricroch, Agnès E; Hénard-Damave, Marie-Cécile

    2016-08-01

    Most of the genetically modified (GM) plants currently commercialized encompass a handful of crop species (soybean, corn, cotton and canola) with agronomic characters (traits) directed against some biotic stresses (pest resistance, herbicide tolerance or both) and created by multinational companies. The same crops with agronomic traits already on the market today will continue to be commercialized, but there will be also a wider range of species with combined traits. The timeframe anticipated for market release of the next biotech plants will not only depend on science progress in research and development (R&D) in laboratories and fields, but also primarily on how demanding regulatory requirements are in countries where marketing approvals are pending. Regulatory constraints, including environmental and health impact assessments, have increased significantly in the past decades, delaying approvals and increasing their costs. This has sometimes discouraged public research entities and small and medium size plant breeding companies from using biotechnology and given preference to other technologies, not as stringently regulated. Nevertheless, R&D programs are flourishing in developing countries, boosted by the necessity to meet the global challenges that are food security of a booming world population while mitigating climate change impacts. Biotechnology is an instrument at the service of these imperatives and a wide variety of plants are currently tested for their high yield despite biotic and abiotic stresses. Many plants with higher water or nitrogen use efficiency, tolerant to cold, salinity or water submergence are being developed. Food security is not only a question of quantity but also of quality of agricultural and food products, to be available and accessible for the ones who need it the most. Many biotech plants (especially staple food) are therefore being developed with nutritional traits, such as biofortification in vitamins and metals. The main

  13. Current Strategies and Challenges in Engineering a Bioartificial Kidney

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Steven; Fissell, William H.; Humes, H. David; Roy, Shuvo

    2015-01-01

    Renal replacement therapy was an early pioneer in both extra-corporeal organ replacement and whole organ transplantation. Today, the success of this pioneering work is directly demonstrated in the millions of patients worldwide successfully treated with dialysis and kidney transplantation. However, there remain significant shortcomings to current treatment modalities that limit clinical outcomes and quality of life. To address these problems, researchers have turned to using cell-based therapies for the development of a bioartificial kidney. These approaches aim to recapitulate the numerous functions of the healthy kidney including solute clearance and fluid homeostasis as well as metabolic and endocrine function. This review will examine the state-of-the-art in kidney bioengineering by evaluating the various techniques currently being utilized to create a bioartificial kidney. These promising new technologies, however, still need to address key issues that may limit the widespread adoption of cell therapy including cell sourcing, organ scaffolding, and immune response. Additionally, while these new methods have shown success in animal models, it remains to be seen whether these techniques can be successfully adapted for clinical treatment in humans. PMID:25553375

  14. The role and challenges of the food industry in addressing chronic disease

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Summary Increasingly, food companies play an important role in stemming the rising burden of nutrition-related chronic diseases. Concrete actions taken by these companies include global public commitments to address food reformulation, consumer information, responsible marketing, promotion of healthy lifestyles, and public-private partnerships. These actions are reviewed together with eleven specific PepsiCo goals and commitments that address products, the marketplace, and communities at large. Interim progress on these goals and commitments are discussed as well as constraints hampering faster progress. Further disease prevention depends on increasing implementation of private-public initiatives. PMID:20509876

  15. Current limitations and challenges in nanowaste detection, characterisation and monitoring

    SciTech Connect

    Part, Florian; Zecha, Gudrun; Causon, Tim; Sinner, Eva-Kathrin

    2015-09-15

    Highlights: • First review on detection of nanomaterials in complex waste samples. • Focus on nanoparticles in solid, liquid and gaseous waste samples. • Summary of current applicable methods for nanowaste detection and characterisation. • Limitations and challenges of characterisation of nanoparticles in waste. - Abstract: Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are already extensively used in diverse consumer products. Along the life cycle of a nano-enabled product, ENMs can be released and subsequently accumulate in the environment. Material flow models also indicate that a variety of ENMs may accumulate in waste streams. Therefore, a new type of waste, so-called nanowaste, is generated when end-of-life ENMs and nano-enabled products are disposed of. In terms of the precautionary principle, environmental monitoring of end-of-life ENMs is crucial to allow assessment of the potential impact of nanowaste on our ecosystem. Trace analysis and quantification of nanoparticulate species is very challenging because of the variety of ENM types that are used in products and low concentrations of nanowaste expected in complex environmental media. In the framework of this paper, challenges in nanowaste characterisation and appropriate analytical techniques which can be applied to nanowaste analysis are summarised. Recent case studies focussing on the characterisation of ENMs in waste streams are discussed. Most studies aim to investigate the fate of nanowaste during incineration, particularly considering aerosol measurements; whereas, detailed studies focusing on the potential release of nanowaste during waste recycling processes are currently not available. In terms of suitable analytical methods, separation techniques coupled to spectrometry-based methods are promising tools to detect nanowaste and determine particle size distribution in liquid waste samples. Standardised leaching protocols can be applied to generate soluble fractions stemming from solid wastes, while

  16. Water management: Current and future challenges and research directions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cosgrove, William J.; Loucks, Daniel P.

    2015-06-01

    Water distinguishes our planet compared to all the others we know about. While the global supply of available freshwater is more than adequate to meet all current and foreseeable water demands, its spatial and temporal distributions are not. There are many regions where our freshwater resources are inadequate to meet domestic, economic development and environmental needs. In such regions, the lack of adequate clean water to meet human drinking water and sanitation needs is indeed a constraint on human health and productivity and hence on economic development as well as on the maintenance of a clean environment and healthy ecosystems. All of us involved in research must find ways to remove these constraints. We face multiple challenges in doing that, especially given a changing and uncertain future climate, and a rapidly growing population that is driving increased social and economic development, globalization, and urbanization. How best to meet these challenges requires research in all aspects of water management. Since 1965, the journal Water Resources Research has played an important role in reporting and disseminating current research related to managing the quantity and quality and cost of this resource. This paper identifies the issues facing water managers today and future research needed to better inform those who strive to create a more sustainable and desirable future.

  17. Rheology of Rings: Current Status and Future Challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McKenna, Gregory

    Understanding the dynamics of circular or ring-like polymers has been a subject of investigation since the 1980s and is one which remains an area that is not fully understood. Part of the reason for this is the difficulty of making synthetic rings of sufficient size to establish the nature of the entanglement dynamics, if entanglements even exist in these materials. Furthermore, there is now strong evidence that small amounts of linear impurities can impact the dynamics. Hence, one of the major challenges to our understanding of ring dynamics is to make large molecular weight rings of sufficient purity that the dynamics of the rings themselves can be determined. In the present work the current state of understanding of the dynamics of rings is outlined and current work from our group of collaborators to make extremely large circular polymers using Echeverria Coli as a route to make pure rings (circular DNA) in sufficient quantity and size to determine the dynamics of these materials will be shown. First results of ring dynamics in dilute solution are presented and new results on concentrated and entangled solutions will be discussed. Remaining challenges will be elucidated. Partially supported by the John R. Bradford Endowment and the Paul Whitfield Horn Professorship at Texas Tech University.

  18. Addressing Wife Abuse in Mexican Immigrant Couples: Challenges for Family Social Workers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hancock, Tina

    2006-01-01

    This article addresses wife abuse in undocumented Mexican immigrant couples and suggests an ecosystems treatment approach that takes into consideration the structural forces of oppression and discrimination on abusive behaviors in the home and combines individual, family and community level interventions to help immigrant men stop the abuse.…

  19. Facilitators, Challenges, and Collaborative Activities in Faith and Health Partnerships to Address Health Disparities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kegler, Michelle C.; Hall, Sarah M.; Kiser, Mimi

    2010-01-01

    Interest in partnering with faith-based organizations (FBOs) to address health disparities has grown in recent years. Yet relatively little is known about these types of partnerships. As part of an evaluation of the Institute for Faith and Public Health Collaborations, representatives of 34 faith--health teams (n = 61) completed semi-structured…

  20. Addressing Challenges in Studies of Behavioral Responses of Whales to Noise.

    PubMed

    Cato, Douglas H; Dunlop, Rebecca A; Noad, Michael J; McCauley, Robert D; Kniest, Eric; Paton, David; Kavanagh, Ailbhe S

    2016-01-01

    Studying the behavioral response of whales to noise presents numerous challenges. In addition to the characteristics of the noise exposure, many factors may affect the response and these must be measured and accounted for in the analysis. An adequate sample size that includes matching controls is crucial if meaningful results are to be obtained. Field work is thus complicated, logistically difficult, and expensive. This paper discusses some of the challenges and how they are being met in a large-scale multiplatform project in which humpback whales are exposed to the noise of seismic air guns. PMID:26610954

  1. Addressing Challenges in Studies of Behavioral Responses of Whales to Noise.

    PubMed

    Cato, Douglas H; Dunlop, Rebecca A; Noad, Michael J; McCauley, Robert D; Kniest, Eric; Paton, David; Kavanagh, Ailbhe S

    2016-01-01

    Studying the behavioral response of whales to noise presents numerous challenges. In addition to the characteristics of the noise exposure, many factors may affect the response and these must be measured and accounted for in the analysis. An adequate sample size that includes matching controls is crucial if meaningful results are to be obtained. Field work is thus complicated, logistically difficult, and expensive. This paper discusses some of the challenges and how they are being met in a large-scale multiplatform project in which humpback whales are exposed to the noise of seismic air guns.

  2. Special Education Teacher Evaluation: Why It Matters, What Makes It Challenging, and How to Address These Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Evelyn; Semmelroth, Carrie Lisa

    2014-01-01

    There is currently little consensus on how special education teachers should be evaluated. The lack of consensus may be due to several reasons. Special education teachers work under a variety of complex conditions, with a very heterogeneous population, and support student progress toward a very individualized set of goals. In addition, special…

  3. Opportunities for Enhancing Seasonal Prediction in Ethiopia and Challenges in Addressing Sectoral Needs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taye, M. T.; Block, P.

    2015-12-01

    Ethiopia's National Meteorological Association (NMA) regularly issues season-ahead precipitation predictions nationally in support of sectoral applications including agriculture, reservoir management, and disaster risk management. Current NMA prediction techniques rely strongly on an analogue approach conditioned on the current El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) state. We explore simple to complex techniques for improving these ENSO-based predictions, building on current methods. We will also briefly discuss stated disconnects between NMA's predictions and adoption into sectoral decision-making.

  4. Addressing Challenges in Web Accessibility for the Blind and Visually Impaired

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guercio, Angela; Stirbens, Kathleen A.; Williams, Joseph; Haiber, Charles

    2011-01-01

    Searching for relevant information on the web is an important aspect of distance learning. This activity is a challenge for visually impaired distance learners. While sighted people have the ability to filter information in a fast and non sequential way, blind persons rely on tools that process the information in a sequential way. Learning is…

  5. A Model Driven Framework to Address Challenges in a Mobile Learning Environment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Khaddage, Ferial; Christensen, Rhonda; Lai, Wing; Knezek, Gerald; Norris, Cathie; Soloway, Elliot

    2015-01-01

    In this paper a review of the pedagogical, technological, policy and research challenges and concepts underlying mobile learning is presented, followed by a brief description of categories of implementations. A model Mobile learning framework and dynamic criteria for mobile learning implementations are proposed, along with a case study of one site…

  6. Narrative Research Addressing the Challenges of a Career in Professional Sports

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frankl, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to highlight the challenges that accomplished young athletes face as they aspire to become professional athletes. The data used in this study was derived from selected lived and told sport experiences of undergraduate and graduate kinesiology majors who were former competitive athletes. Additional data was derived…

  7. A Promising Approach to Addressing America's Biggest Challenges. Needle-Moving Community Collaboratives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jolin, Michele; Schmitz, Paul; Seldon, Willa

    2012-01-01

    Communities face powerful challenges--a high-school dropout epidemic, youth unemployment, teen pregnancy--that require powerful solutions. In a climate of increasingly constrained resources, those solutions must help communities to achieve more with less. A new kind of community collaborative--an approach that aspires to significant,…

  8. Government Information Focus. The Digital Divide: Understanding and Addressing the Challenge.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Latimer, Christopher P.

    This report discusses the challenges of the Digital Divide. Part I examines the issues concerning access as it relates to schools, communities, free Internet service providers, and broadband. Part II defines technological literacy and how it pertains to the Digital Divide debate. Part III examines those who are affected by the divide and…

  9. The Benefits and Challenges of Becoming Cross-Culturally Competent Counseling Psychologists. Presidential Address

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heppner, P. Paul

    2006-01-01

    The central thesis of this article is that focusing on cross-cultural competence will enhance both the science and the practice of counseling psychology. Developing cross-cultural competence is a lifelong journey, replete with many joys and challenges, that will (a) increase the sophistication of our research, (b) expand the utility and…

  10. The role of public-private partnerships in addressing the biomedical innovation challenge.

    PubMed

    Said, Maya; Zerhouni, Elias

    2014-11-01

    Without a step change in the productivity of pharmaceutical research and development, it will be difficult to tackle the public health challenges facing societies worldwide. Public–private partnerships could play a key role in achieving this step change, but they need to be well designed and led.

  11. Family Connections: Helping Early Head Start/Head Start Staff and Parents Address Mental Health Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beardslee, William R.; Avery, Mary Watson; Ayoub, Catherine; Watts, Caroline L.

    2009-01-01

    Early Head Start/Head Start teachers and staff encounter parents who have wrestled with depression and other adversities every day. This article describes an innovative program of trainings for and consultation to Early Head Start/Head Start staff to help them effectively deal with mental heath challenges faced by parents and children. The program…

  12. Year of Coordinated Observations, Modeling and Forecasting: Addressing the Challenge of Organized Tropical Convection

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Waliser, Duane E.

    2006-01-01

    The multi-scale organization of tropical convection and scale interaction are grand challenges in the prediction of weather and climate. As part of a international effort UN Year of Planet Earth, this proposed effort to observe, model and forecast the effects of organized tropical convection is reviewed. This viewgraph presentation reviews the proposal.

  13. The role of public-private partnerships in addressing the biomedical innovation challenge.

    PubMed

    Said, Maya; Zerhouni, Elias

    2014-11-01

    Without a step change in the productivity of pharmaceutical research and development, it will be difficult to tackle the public health challenges facing societies worldwide. Public–private partnerships could play a key role in achieving this step change, but they need to be well designed and led. PMID:25359362

  14. Addressing Human Capital Challenges: Assessing the Experiences of Four Countries in the Arab Region. Research Brief

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gonzalez, Gabriella; Karoly, Lynn A.; Constant, Louay; Salem, Hanine; Goldman, Charles A.

    2008-01-01

    This research brief describes an analysis of the reform efforts of four Arab region nations (Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates) in response to human capital challenges they face in preparing their people to work in a global environment. (Contains 3 tables.) [For associated report, see ED503118.

  15. Addressing Quality Challenges in the Private University Sector in Bangladesh: From Policy Formulation to Institutional Implementation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blanco Ramírez, Gerardo; Jahirul Haque, H. M.

    2016-01-01

    Private higher education is growing, especially in developing and transitioning countries. Rapid growth frequently comes with concerns about quality. This article explores challenges and opportunities for higher education quality among private universities in Bangladesh. By presenting a vertical case study that explores interactions among actors…

  16. Challenges in Addressing Depression in HIV Research: Assessment, Cultural Context, and Methods

    PubMed Central

    Simoni, Jane M.; Safren, Steven A.; Manhart, Lisa E.; Lyda, Karen; Grossman, Cynthia I.; Rao, Deepa; Mimiaga, Matthew J.; Wong, Frank Y.; Catz, Sheryl L.; Blank, Michael B.; DiClemente, Ralph; Wilson, Ira B.

    2012-01-01

    Depression is one of the most common co-morbidities of HIV infection. It negatively impacts self-care, quality of life, and biomedical outcomes among people living with HIV (PLWH) and may interfere with their ability to benefit from health promotion interventions. State-of-the-science research among PLWH, therefore, must address depression. To guide researchers, we describe the main diagnostic, screening, and symptom-rating measures of depression, offering suggestions for selecting the most appropriate instrument. We also address cultural considerations in the assessment of depression among PLWH, emphasizing the need to consider measurement equivalence and offering strategies for developing measures that are valid cross-culturally. Finally, acknowledging the high prevalence of depression among PLWH, we provide guidance to researchers on incorporating depression into the theoretical framework of their studies and employing procedures that account for participants with depression. PMID:21046221

  17. Toward a Predictive Understanding of Earth’s Microbiomes to Address 21st Century Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Blaser, Martin J.; Cardon, Zoe G.; Cho, Mildred K.; Dangl, Jeffrey L.; Green, Jessica L.; Knight, Rob; Maxon, Mary E.; Northen, Trent R.; Pollard, Katherine S.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Microorganisms have shaped our planet and its inhabitants for over 3.5 billion years. Humankind has had a profound influence on the biosphere, manifested as global climate and land use changes, and extensive urbanization in response to a growing population. The challenges we face to supply food, energy, and clean water while maintaining and improving the health of our population and ecosystems are significant. Given the extensive influence of microorganisms across our biosphere, we propose that a coordinated, cross-disciplinary effort is required to understand, predict, and harness microbiome function. From the parallelization of gene function testing to precision manipulation of genes, communities, and model ecosystems and development of novel analytical and simulation approaches, we outline strategies to move microbiome research into an era of causality. These efforts will improve prediction of ecosystem response and enable the development of new, responsible, microbiome-based solutions to significant challenges of our time. PMID:27178263

  18. Can microfluidics address biomanufacturing challenges in drug/gene/cell therapies?

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Hon Fai; Ma, Siying; Leong, Kam W.

    2016-01-01

    Translation of any inventions into products requires manufacturing. Development of drug/gene/cell delivery systems will eventually face manufacturing challenges, which require the establishment of standardized processes to produce biologically-relevant products of high quality without incurring prohibitive cost. Microfluidicu technologies present many advantages to improve the quality of drug/gene/cell delivery systems. They also offer the benefits of automation. What remains unclear is whether they can meet the scale-up requirement. In this perspective, we discuss the advantages of microfluidic-assisted synthesis of nanoscale drug/gene delivery systems, formation of microscale drug/cell-encapsulated particles, generation of genetically engineered cells and fabrication of macroscale drug/cell-loaded micro-/nano-fibers. We also highlight the scale-up challenges one would face in adopting microfluidic technologies for the manufacturing of these therapeutic delivery systems. PMID:27047674

  19. Toward a Predictive Understanding of Earth's Microbiomes to Address 21st Century Challenges.

    PubMed

    Blaser, Martin J; Cardon, Zoe G; Cho, Mildred K; Dangl, Jeffrey L; Donohue, Timothy J; Green, Jessica L; Knight, Rob; Maxon, Mary E; Northen, Trent R; Pollard, Katherine S; Brodie, Eoin L

    2016-01-01

    Microorganisms have shaped our planet and its inhabitants for over 3.5 billion years. Humankind has had a profound influence on the biosphere, manifested as global climate and land use changes, and extensive urbanization in response to a growing population. The challenges we face to supply food, energy, and clean water while maintaining and improving the health of our population and ecosystems are significant. Given the extensive influence of microorganisms across our biosphere, we propose that a coordinated, cross-disciplinary effort is required to understand, predict, and harness microbiome function. From the parallelization of gene function testing to precision manipulation of genes, communities, and model ecosystems and development of novel analytical and simulation approaches, we outline strategies to move microbiome research into an era of causality. These efforts will improve prediction of ecosystem response and enable the development of new, responsible, microbiome-based solutions to significant challenges of our time. PMID:27178263

  20. Origins, current status, and future challenges of green chemistry.

    PubMed

    Anastas, Paul T; Kirchhoff, Mary M

    2002-09-01

    Over the course of the past decade, green chemistry has demonstrated how fundamental scientific methodologies can protect human health and the environment in an economically beneficial manner. Significant progress is being made in several key research areas, such as catalysis, the design of safer chemicals and environmentally benign solvents, and the development of renewable feedstocks. Current and future chemists are being trained to design products and processes with an increased awareness for environmental impact. Outreach activities within the green chemistry community highlight the potential for chemistry to solve many of the global environmental challenges we now face. The origins and basis of green chemistry chart a course for achieving environmental and economic prosperity inherent in a sustainable world. PMID:12234198

  1. Thyroid Hormone Mimetics: the Past, Current Status and Future Challenges.

    PubMed

    Elbers, L P B; Kastelein, J J P; Sjouke, B

    2016-03-01

    The association between thyroid hormone status and plasma levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol has raised the awareness for the development of thyroid hormone mimetics as lipid-lowering agents. The discovery of the two main types of thyroid hormone receptors (α and β) as well as the development of novel combinatorial chemistry providing organ specificity has drastically improved the selectivity of these compounds. In the past decades, several thyroid hormone mimetics have been investigated with the purpose of lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels. However, until now, none of the thyromimetics reached the stage of completing a phase III clinical trial without deleterious side effects. Here, we review the currently available literature on thyromimetics investigated for the treatment of dyslipidemia, their rise, their downfall and the challenges for the development of novel agents.

  2. Dengue vaccines: recent developments, ongoing challenges and current candidates

    PubMed Central

    McArthur, Monica A.; Sztein, Marcelo B.; Edelman, Robert

    2013-01-01

    Summary Dengue is among the most prevalent and important arbovirus diseases of humans. In order to effectively control this rapidly spreading disease, control of the vector mosquito and a safe and efficacious vaccine are critical. Despite considerable efforts, the development of a successful vaccine has remained elusive. Multiple factors have complicated the creation of a successful vaccine, not the least of which are the complex, immune-mediated responses against four antigenically distinct serotypes necessitating a tetravalent vaccine providing long lasting protective immunity. Despite the multiple impediments, there are currently many promising vaccine candidates in pre-clinical and clinical development. Here we review the recent advances in dengue virus vaccine development and briefly discuss the challenges associated with the use of these vaccines as a public health tool. PMID:23984962

  3. Current status and challenge of Human Parasitology teaching in China.

    PubMed

    Peng, Hong-Juan; Zhang, Chao; Wang, Chun-Mei; Chen, Xiao-Guang

    2012-11-01

    Parasitic infection profile in China has been changed greatly with the rapid economic development in China since the 1980s, such as the tremendous decreased infection rate of the soil-borne helminthiasis, the elimination of filariasis, the control of malaria, and the initiation to eradicate malaria in 2020. Some food-borne parasitic infections have increased such as Clonorchiasis, Cysticercosis, and Echinococcosis, probably because of the increased chances of eating out. This trend directly affected the status of Human Parasitology teaching in medical universities, such as the shorten length of this course, re-adjusted contents structure and teaching manners, even the change of the name of this course. In this paper, we analyzed the current status and challenges of Human Parasitology teaching in medical universities, and discussed the requisite contents and manners in course delivery and measures to improve the quality of Human Parasitology teaching in China.

  4. Current status and challenge of Human Parasitology teaching in China

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Hong-Juan; Zhang, Chao; Wang, Chun-Mei; Chen, Xiao-Guang

    2012-01-01

    Parasitic infection profile in China has been changed greatly with the rapid economic development in China since the 1980s, such as the tremendous decreased infection rate of the soil-borne helminthiasis, the elimination of filariasis, the control of malaria, and the initiation to eradicate malaria in 2020. Some food-borne parasitic infections have increased such as Clonorchiasis, Cysticercosis, and Echinococcosis, probably because of the increased chances of eating out. This trend directly affected the status of Human Parasitology teaching in medical universities, such as the shorten length of this course, re-adjusted contents structure and teaching manners, even the change of the name of this course. In this paper, we analyzed the current status and challenges of Human Parasitology teaching in medical universities, and discussed the requisite contents and manners in course delivery and measures to improve the quality of Human Parasitology teaching in China. PMID:23265609

  5. GaSb thermophotovoltaics: current challenges and solutions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahimi, N.; Herrera, D. J.; Aragon, A.; Shima, D. M.; Romero, O. S.; Rotter, T. J.; Busani, T.; Lavrova, O.; Balakrishnan, G.; Lester, L. F.

    2015-03-01

    GaSb thermophotovoltaic cells fabricated using Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) and ion implantation techniques are studied. Challenges including different defect formation mechanisms using MBE and ion-induced defects using ion implantation were investigated by cross-sectional Transmission Electron Microscopy (XTEM), X-Ray Diffraction spectroscopy (XRD) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM). For MBE grown TPVs, several approaches were used to suppress defects, including substrate preparation and using different MBE reactors. For ion-implanted TPVs, different implant doses and energies were tested to minimize the crystal damage and various Rapid Thermal Anneal (RTA) process recipes were studied to maximize the crystal recovery. Large area TPV cells with 1 × 1 cm dimensions were fabricated using these techniques, then electrically and optically characterized. Ideality factors and dark saturation currents were measured and compared for various TPVs.

  6. Dengue vaccines: recent developments, ongoing challenges and current candidates.

    PubMed

    McArthur, Monica A; Sztein, Marcelo B; Edelman, Robert

    2013-08-01

    Dengue is among the most prevalent and important arbovirus diseases of humans. To effectively control this rapidly spreading disease, control of the vector mosquito and a safe and efficacious vaccine are critical. Despite considerable efforts, the development of a successful vaccine has remained elusive. Multiple factors have complicated the creation of a successful vaccine, not the least of which are the complex, immune-mediated responses against four antigenically distinct serotypes necessitating a tetravalent vaccine providing long-lasting protective immunity. Despite the multiple impediments, there are currently many promising vaccine candidates in preclinical and clinical development. Here, the recent advances in dengue virus vaccine development are reviewed and the challenges associated with the use of these vaccines as a public health tool are briefly discussed. PMID:23984962

  7. The Florida Current: A Clean but Challenging Energy Resource

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanson, Howard P.; Bozek, Alexandra; Duerr, Alana E. S.

    2011-01-01

    The patterns and overall magnitude of energy usage worldwide seem to preclude a single renewable alternative to traditional fossil fuel sources. Still, putting renewable resources to work where they exist, and thereby implementing a widely diversified portfolio of renewable energy recovery, offers the possibility of significantly reducing fossil fuel use on a regional basis. One such resource is the Florida Current, an oceanographic feature that has been the focus of intense study for many decades. Understanding its behavior on the time and space scales required to realize its energy potential, however, is still a work in progress, one that is challenged by a paucity of relevant data and by a range of sensitive environmental considerations.

  8. Greenhouse gas emissions from grasslands: current knowledge and challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merbold, L. M.; Wohlfahrt, G. W.

    2012-04-01

    Grassland ecosystems in a wider sense cover up to 40% of the global terrestrial surface (White et al. 2000). Knowledge about the exchange of the major greenhouse gases (GHG's, carbon dioxide - CO2, methane - CH4 and nitrous oxide - N2O) remains still limited for grasslands, while other ecosystems such as forests and peatlands (particularly systems storing large amounts of carbon) have been investigated more intensively. Here, we give an overview of the current state of GHG measurements in the alpine region of Europe (Switzerland, Austria) and the associated challenges in deriving annual GHG budgets as well as determining the abiotic and biotic variables driving the fluxes of CO2, CH4 and N2O. In particular the importance of management activities, that is fertilization and removal of above-ground biomass through harvesting and grazing, besides climate, the challenges when trying to measure small fluxes of CH4 and N2O using chamber or micrometeorological methods and the need of including winter emissions in annual balances will be stressed.

  9. Current and New Approaches in GMO Detection: Challenges and Solutions

    PubMed Central

    Fraiture, Marie-Alice; Herman, Philippe; Taverniers, Isabel; De Loose, Marc; Deforce, Dieter; Roosens, Nancy H.

    2015-01-01

    In many countries, genetically modified organisms (GMO) legislations have been established in order to guarantee the traceability of food/feed products on the market and to protect the consumer freedom of choice. Therefore, several GMO detection strategies, mainly based on DNA, have been developed to implement these legislations. Due to its numerous advantages, the quantitative PCR (qPCR) is the method of choice for the enforcement laboratories in GMO routine analysis. However, given the increasing number and diversity of GMO developed and put on the market around the world, some technical hurdles could be encountered with the qPCR technology, mainly owing to its inherent properties. To address these challenges, alternative GMO detection methods have been developed, allowing faster detections of single GM target (e.g., loop-mediated isothermal amplification), simultaneous detections of multiple GM targets (e.g., PCR capillary gel electrophoresis, microarray, and Luminex), more accurate quantification of GM targets (e.g., digital PCR), or characterization of partially known (e.g., DNA walking and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)) or unknown (e.g., NGS) GMO. The benefits and drawbacks of these methods are discussed in this review. PMID:26550567

  10. Current and new approaches in GMO detection: challenges and solutions.

    PubMed

    Fraiture, Marie-Alice; Herman, Philippe; Taverniers, Isabel; De Loose, Marc; Deforce, Dieter; Roosens, Nancy H

    2015-01-01

    In many countries, genetically modified organisms (GMO) legislations have been established in order to guarantee the traceability of food/feed products on the market and to protect the consumer freedom of choice. Therefore, several GMO detection strategies, mainly based on DNA, have been developed to implement these legislations. Due to its numerous advantages, the quantitative PCR (qPCR) is the method of choice for the enforcement laboratories in GMO routine analysis. However, given the increasing number and diversity of GMO developed and put on the market around the world, some technical hurdles could be encountered with the qPCR technology, mainly owing to its inherent properties. To address these challenges, alternative GMO detection methods have been developed, allowing faster detections of single GM target (e.g., loop-mediated isothermal amplification), simultaneous detections of multiple GM targets (e.g., PCR capillary gel electrophoresis, microarray, and Luminex), more accurate quantification of GM targets (e.g., digital PCR), or characterization of partially known (e.g., DNA walking and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)) or unknown (e.g., NGS) GMO. The benefits and drawbacks of these methods are discussed in this review. PMID:26550567

  11. Current and new approaches in GMO detection: challenges and solutions.

    PubMed

    Fraiture, Marie-Alice; Herman, Philippe; Taverniers, Isabel; De Loose, Marc; Deforce, Dieter; Roosens, Nancy H

    2015-01-01

    In many countries, genetically modified organisms (GMO) legislations have been established in order to guarantee the traceability of food/feed products on the market and to protect the consumer freedom of choice. Therefore, several GMO detection strategies, mainly based on DNA, have been developed to implement these legislations. Due to its numerous advantages, the quantitative PCR (qPCR) is the method of choice for the enforcement laboratories in GMO routine analysis. However, given the increasing number and diversity of GMO developed and put on the market around the world, some technical hurdles could be encountered with the qPCR technology, mainly owing to its inherent properties. To address these challenges, alternative GMO detection methods have been developed, allowing faster detections of single GM target (e.g., loop-mediated isothermal amplification), simultaneous detections of multiple GM targets (e.g., PCR capillary gel electrophoresis, microarray, and Luminex), more accurate quantification of GM targets (e.g., digital PCR), or characterization of partially known (e.g., DNA walking and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)) or unknown (e.g., NGS) GMO. The benefits and drawbacks of these methods are discussed in this review.

  12. Rhabdomyosarcoma: current challenges and their implications for developing therapies.

    PubMed

    Hettmer, Simone; Li, Zhizhong; Billin, Andrew N; Barr, Frederic G; Cornelison, D D W; Ehrlich, Alan R; Guttridge, Denis C; Hayes-Jordan, Andrea; Helman, Lee J; Houghton, Peter J; Khan, Javed; Langenau, David M; Linardic, Corinne M; Pal, Ranadip; Partridge, Terence A; Pavlath, Grace K; Rota, Rossella; Schäfer, Beat W; Shipley, Janet; Stillman, Bruce; Wexler, Leonard H; Wagers, Amy J; Keller, Charles

    2014-11-03

    Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) represents a rare, heterogeneous group of mesodermal malignancies with skeletal muscle differentiation. One major subgroup of RMS tumors (so-called "fusion-positive" tumors) carries exclusive chromosomal translocations that join the DNA-binding domain of the PAX3 or PAX7 gene to the transactivation domain of the FOXO1 (previously known as FKHR) gene. Fusion-negative RMS represents a heterogeneous spectrum of tumors with frequent RAS pathway activation. Overtly metastatic disease at diagnosis is more frequently found in individuals with fusion-positive than in those with fusion-negative tumors. RMS is the most common pediatric soft-tissue sarcoma, and approximately 60% of all children and adolescents diagnosed with RMS are cured by currently available multimodal therapies. However, a curative outcome is achieved in <30% of high-risk individuals with RMS, including all those diagnosed as adults, those diagnosed with fusion-positive tumors during childhood (including metastatic and nonmetastatic tumors), and those diagnosed with metastatic disease during childhood (including fusion-positive and fusion-negative tumors). This white paper outlines current challenges in RMS research and their implications for developing more effective therapies. Urgent clinical problems include local control, systemic disease, need for improved risk stratification, and characterization of differences in disease course in children and adults. Biological challenges include definition of the cellular functions of PAX-FOXO1 fusion proteins, clarification of disease heterogeneity, elucidation of the cellular origins of RMS, delineation of the tumor microenvironment, and identification of means for rational selection and testing of new combination therapies. To streamline future therapeutic developments, it will be critical to improve access to fresh tumor tissue for research purposes, consider alternative trial designs to optimize early clinical testing of candidate

  13. Rhabdomyosarcoma: Current Challenges and Their Implications for Developing Therapies

    PubMed Central

    Hettmer, Simone; Li, Zhizhong; Billin, Andrew N.; Barr, Frederic G.; Cornelison, D.D.W.; Ehrlich, Alan R.; Guttridge, Denis C.; Hayes-Jordan, Andrea; Helman, Lee J.; Houghton, Peter J.; Khan, Javed; Langenau, David M.; Linardic, Corinne M.; Pal, Ranadip; Partridge, Terence A.; Pavlath, Grace K.; Rota, Rossella; Schäfer, Beat W.; Shipley, Janet; Stillman, Bruce; Wexler, Leonard H.; Wagers, Amy J.; Keller, Charles

    2014-01-01

    Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) represents a rare, heterogeneous group of mesodermal malignancies with skeletal muscle differentiation. One major subgroup of RMS tumors (so-called “fusion-positive” tumors) carries exclusive chromosomal translocations that join the DNA-binding domain of the PAX3 or PAX7 gene to the transactivation domain of the FOXO1 (previously known as FKHR) gene. Fusion-negative RMS represents a heterogeneous spectrum of tumors with frequent RAS pathway activation. Overtly metastatic disease at diagnosis is more frequently found in individuals with fusion-positive than in those with fusion-negative tumors. RMS is the most common pediatric soft-tissue sarcoma, and approximately 60% of all children and adolescents diagnosed with RMS are cured by currently available multimodal therapies. However, a curative outcome is achieved in <30% of high-risk individuals with RMS, including all those diagnosed as adults, those diagnosed with fusion-positive tumors during childhood (including metastatic and nonmetastatic tumors), and those diagnosed with metastatic disease during childhood (including fusion-positive and fusion-negative tumors). This white paper outlines current challenges in RMS research and their implications for developing more effective therapies. Urgent clinical problems include local control, systemic disease, need for improved risk stratification, and characterization of differences in disease course in children and adults. Biological challenges include definition of the cellular functions of PAX-FOXO1 fusion proteins, clarification of disease heterogeneity, elucidation of the cellular origins of RMS, delineation of the tumor microenvironment, and identification of means for rational selection and testing of new combination therapies. To streamline future therapeutic developments, it will be critical to improve access to fresh tumor tissue for research purposes, consider alternative trial designs to optimize early clinical testing of candidate

  14. Current limitations and challenges in nanowaste detection, characterisation and monitoring.

    PubMed

    Part, Florian; Zecha, Gudrun; Causon, Tim; Sinner, Eva-Kathrin; Huber-Humer, Marion

    2015-09-01

    Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are already extensively used in diverse consumer products. Along the life cycle of a nano-enabled product, ENMs can be released and subsequently accumulate in the environment. Material flow models also indicate that a variety of ENMs may accumulate in waste streams. Therefore, a new type of waste, so-called nanowaste, is generated when end-of-life ENMs and nano-enabled products are disposed of. In terms of the precautionary principle, environmental monitoring of end-of-life ENMs is crucial to allow assessment of the potential impact of nanowaste on our ecosystem. Trace analysis and quantification of nanoparticulate species is very challenging because of the variety of ENM types that are used in products and low concentrations of nanowaste expected in complex environmental media. In the framework of this paper, challenges in nanowaste characterisation and appropriate analytical techniques which can be applied to nanowaste analysis are summarised. Recent case studies focussing on the characterisation of ENMs in waste streams are discussed. Most studies aim to investigate the fate of nanowaste during incineration, particularly considering aerosol measurements; whereas, detailed studies focusing on the potential release of nanowaste during waste recycling processes are currently not available. In terms of suitable analytical methods, separation techniques coupled to spectrometry-based methods are promising tools to detect nanowaste and determine particle size distribution in liquid waste samples. Standardised leaching protocols can be applied to generate soluble fractions stemming from solid wastes, while micro- and ultrafiltration can be used to enrich nanoparticulate species. Imaging techniques combined with X-ray-based methods are powerful tools for determining particle size, morphology and screening elemental composition. However, quantification of nanowaste is currently hampered due to the problem to differentiate engineered from

  15. Current limitations and challenges in nanowaste detection, characterisation and monitoring.

    PubMed

    Part, Florian; Zecha, Gudrun; Causon, Tim; Sinner, Eva-Kathrin; Huber-Humer, Marion

    2015-09-01

    Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are already extensively used in diverse consumer products. Along the life cycle of a nano-enabled product, ENMs can be released and subsequently accumulate in the environment. Material flow models also indicate that a variety of ENMs may accumulate in waste streams. Therefore, a new type of waste, so-called nanowaste, is generated when end-of-life ENMs and nano-enabled products are disposed of. In terms of the precautionary principle, environmental monitoring of end-of-life ENMs is crucial to allow assessment of the potential impact of nanowaste on our ecosystem. Trace analysis and quantification of nanoparticulate species is very challenging because of the variety of ENM types that are used in products and low concentrations of nanowaste expected in complex environmental media. In the framework of this paper, challenges in nanowaste characterisation and appropriate analytical techniques which can be applied to nanowaste analysis are summarised. Recent case studies focussing on the characterisation of ENMs in waste streams are discussed. Most studies aim to investigate the fate of nanowaste during incineration, particularly considering aerosol measurements; whereas, detailed studies focusing on the potential release of nanowaste during waste recycling processes are currently not available. In terms of suitable analytical methods, separation techniques coupled to spectrometry-based methods are promising tools to detect nanowaste and determine particle size distribution in liquid waste samples. Standardised leaching protocols can be applied to generate soluble fractions stemming from solid wastes, while micro- and ultrafiltration can be used to enrich nanoparticulate species. Imaging techniques combined with X-ray-based methods are powerful tools for determining particle size, morphology and screening elemental composition. However, quantification of nanowaste is currently hampered due to the problem to differentiate engineered from

  16. An Overview of Interdisciplinary Research at Notre Dame Addressing "Grand Challenges" in the Midwest and Great Lakes Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamlet, A. F.; Bolster, D.; Tank, J. L.; Hellmann, J.; Christopher, S. F.; Sharma, A.; Chiu, C. M.

    2014-12-01

    The Midwest and Great Lakes region face a number of "Grand Challenges" associated with climate, land use, agriculture, and water resources infrastructure. These include sustainability of agricultural systems and related impacts to food security and the regional economy; sustainability of Great Lakes water levels; changing storm statistics and impacts to stormwater management and flooding; water quality in rivers and downstream receiving water bodies related to non-point source pollution on agricultural lands and combined sewer overflows in urban areas; urban impacts related to aging infrastructure and climate change, and ecosystem management and restoration. In the context of water management, groundwater resources are poorly understood in comparison with surface water resources, and regional-scale simulation models are needed to address questions of sustainability both in terms of supply and water quality. Interdisciplinary research at the University of Notre Dame is attempting to address these research challenges via 1) integrated macro-scale groundwater and surface water modeling to address issues related to sustainable water supply, ecosystem restoration, and agricultural impacts; 2) development of high-resolution regional climate models dynamically coupled to the Great Lakes to address urban impacts, changing storm statistics and to quantify precipitation and evaporation over the Great Lakes; 3) and integrated macro-scale hydrology and water quality modeling to assess the large-scale performance of innovative land management BMPs on agricultural land (such as the two-stage ditch, cover crops, and dynamic drainage control) intended to improve water quality.

  17. Some strategies to address the challenges of collecting observational data in a busy clinical environment.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Debra; McDonald, Glenda; Luck, Lauretta; Waine, Melissa; Wilkes, Lesley

    2016-01-01

    Studies drawing on observational methods can provide vital data to enhance healthcare. However, collecting observational data in clinical settings is replete with challenges, particularly where multiple data-collecting observers are used. Observers collecting data require shared understanding and training to ensure data quality, and particularly, to confirm accurate and consistent identification, discrimination and recording of data. The aim of this paper is to describe strategies for preparing and supporting multiple researchers tasked with collecting observational data in a busy, and often unpredictable, hospital environment. We hope our insights might assist future researchers undertaking research in similar settings. PMID:27188039

  18. Addressing challenging behaviour in children with Down syndrome: the use of applied behaviour analysis for assessment and intervention.

    PubMed

    Feeley, Kathleen M; Jones, Emily A

    2006-09-01

    Children with Down syndrome are at an increased risk for engaging in challenging behaviour that may be part of a behavioural phenotype characteristic of Down syndrome. The methodology of applied behaviour analysis has been demonstrated effective with a wide range of challenging behaviours, across various disabilities. Applications to children with Down syndrome and the examination of behaviourally based strategies to specifically address the unique characteristics of children with Down syndrome are limited. However, there are several studies in which a subset of the participants did have Down syndrome. A handful of these studies are reviewed within the context of functional behaviour assessment and Positive Behavioural Supports. Drawing from these studies and the behavioural literature, as well as the authors' clinical experience and research, suggestions regarding early intervention for challenging behaviour with children with Down syndrome are provided.

  19. Drug Delivery Approaches in Addressing Clinical Pharmacology-Related Issues: Opportunities and Challenges.

    PubMed

    Wen, Hong; Jung, Huijeong; Li, Xuhong

    2015-11-01

    Various drug delivery approaches can be used to maximize therapeutic efficacy and minimize side effects, by impacting absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination (ADME) of a drug compound. For those drugs with poor water solubility or low permeability, techniques such as amorphous solid dispersion, liposomes, and complexations have been used to improve their oral bioavailability. Modified release (MR) formulations have been widely used to improve patient compliance, as well as to reduce side effects, especially for those drugs with short half-lives or narrow therapeutic windows. More than ten drugs using sterile long-acting release (LAR) formulations with clear clinical benefit have been successfully marketed. Furthermore, drug delivery systems have been used in delaying drug clearance processes. Additionally, modifying the in vivo drug distribution using targeted delivery systems has significantly improved oncology treatments. All the drug delivery approaches have their advantages and limitations. For both brand and generic drugs, the achievement of consistent quality and therapeutic performance using drug delivery systems can also pose serious challenges in developing a drug for the market, which requires close collaboration among industry, academia, and regulatory agencies. With the advent of personalized medicines, there will be great opportunities and challenges in utilizing drug delivery systems to provide better products and services for patients.

  20. On the road to a stronger public health workforce: visual tools to address complex challenges.

    PubMed

    Drehobl, Patricia; Stover, Beth H; Koo, Denise

    2014-11-01

    The public health workforce is vital to protecting the health and safety of the public, yet for years, state and local governmental public health agencies have reported substantial workforce losses and other challenges to the workforce that threaten the public's health. These challenges are complex, often involve multiple influencing or related causal factors, and demand comprehensive solutions. However, proposed solutions often focus on selected factors and might be fragmented rather than comprehensive. This paper describes approaches to characterizing the situation more comprehensively and includes two visual tools: (1) a fishbone, or Ishikawa, diagram that depicts multiple factors affecting the public health workforce; and (2) a roadmap that displays key elements-goals and strategies-to strengthen the public health workforce, thus moving from the problems depicted in the fishbone toward solutions. The visual tools aid thinking about ways to strengthen the public health workforce through collective solutions and to help leverage resources and build on each other's work. The strategic roadmap is intended to serve as a dynamic tool for partnership, prioritization, and gap assessment. These tools reflect and support CDC's commitment to working with partners on the highest priorities for strengthening the workforce to improve the public's health. PMID:25439245

  1. Addressing challenges of modulation transfer function measurement with fisheye lens cameras

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deegan, Brian M.; Denny, Patrick E.; Zlokolica, Vladimir; Dever, Barry; Russell, Laura

    2015-03-01

    Modulation transfer function (MTF) is a well defined and accepted method of measuring image sharpness. The slanted edge test, as defined in ISO12233 is a standard method of calculating MTF, and is widely used for lens alignment and auto-focus algorithm verification. However, there are a number of challenges which should be considered when measuring MTF in cameras with fisheye lenses. Due to trade-offs related Petzval curvature, planarity of the optical plane is difficult to achieve in fisheye lenses. It is therefore critical to have the ability to accurately measure sharpness throughout the entire image, particularly for lens alignment. One challenge for fisheye lenses is that, because of the radial distortion, the slanted edges will have different angles, depending on the location within the image and on the distortion profile of the lens. Previous work in the literature indicates that MTF measurements are robust for angles between 2 and 10 degrees. Outside of this range, MTF measurements become unreliable. Also, the slanted edge itself will be curved by the lens distortion, causing further measurement problems. This study summarises the difficulties in the use of MTF for sharpness measurement in fisheye lens cameras, and proposes mitigations and alternative methods.

  2. On the road to a stronger public health workforce: visual tools to address complex challenges.

    PubMed

    Drehobl, Patricia; Stover, Beth H; Koo, Denise

    2014-11-01

    The public health workforce is vital to protecting the health and safety of the public, yet for years, state and local governmental public health agencies have reported substantial workforce losses and other challenges to the workforce that threaten the public's health. These challenges are complex, often involve multiple influencing or related causal factors, and demand comprehensive solutions. However, proposed solutions often focus on selected factors and might be fragmented rather than comprehensive. This paper describes approaches to characterizing the situation more comprehensively and includes two visual tools: (1) a fishbone, or Ishikawa, diagram that depicts multiple factors affecting the public health workforce; and (2) a roadmap that displays key elements-goals and strategies-to strengthen the public health workforce, thus moving from the problems depicted in the fishbone toward solutions. The visual tools aid thinking about ways to strengthen the public health workforce through collective solutions and to help leverage resources and build on each other's work. The strategic roadmap is intended to serve as a dynamic tool for partnership, prioritization, and gap assessment. These tools reflect and support CDC's commitment to working with partners on the highest priorities for strengthening the workforce to improve the public's health.

  3. Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD): Addressing the Challenges in ITM Coupling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eastes, R.

    2012-12-01

    The Global-scale Observations of the Limb and Disk (GOLD) mission of opportunity will perform unprecedented imaging of the Earth's thermosphere and ionosphere from geostationary orbit. GOLD will fly an ultraviolet (UV) imager on a commercial communications satellite in order to answer fundamental scientific questions about how the thermosphere-ionosphere (T-I) system responds to geomagnetic storms and solar radiation from above and upward propagating tides from below. GOLD will conduct simultaneous measurements of temperature and composition in the T-I system on a global scale, across a hemisphere, at a half hour cadence. These continuous, synoptic measurements of temperature and composition allow the separation of temporal and spatial variability. GOLD's far-ultraviolet imaging spectrograph will perform breakthrough measurements needed to address compelling issues concerning the global response of the T-I system to external and internal influences. This talk will discuss the mission, it's capabilities and the planned observations.

  4. Replicating a self-affirmation intervention to address gender differences: Successes and challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kost-Smith, Lauren E.; Pollock, Steven J.; Finkelstein, Noah D.; Cohen, Geoffrey L.; Ito, Tiffany A.; Miyake, Akira

    2012-02-01

    We previously reported on the success of a psychological intervention implemented to reduce gender differences in achievement in an introductory college physics course. In this prior study, we found that the gender gap on exams and the FMCE among students who completed two 15-minute self-affirmation writing exercises was significantly reduced compared to the gender gap among students who completed neutral writing exercises. In a follow-up study we replicated the self-affirmation intervention in a later semester of the same course, with the same instructor. In this paper, we report the details and preliminary results of the replication study, where we find similar patterns along exams and course grades, but do not observe these patterns along the FMCE. We begin to investigate the critical features of replicating educational interventions, finding that replicating educational interventions is challenging, complex, and involves potentially subtle factors, some of which we explore and others that require further research.

  5. Balancing challenge and responsibility: a suggested role for graduate programs in addressing career development.

    PubMed

    Morton, R L

    1986-01-01

    This article suggests a role graduate programs might adopt to meet the challenge of counseling students to take advantage of new career opportunities, not just relying on the allegiances that easily led graduates into traditional careers. It proposes a two-stage approach consisting of sets of nurturing activities--to help students arrive at well understood, personal professional missions, and facilitating activities--to support advancing those professional missions. In view of limited academic resources and faculty reward structures that primarily acknowledge scholarly productivity, not student service, synergy is essential. Its achievement may require marshalling contributions from students, faculty, alumni and other practitioners, and professional associations. While requiring substantial initial investment of faculty energy, the returns may benefit students, faculty, and program alike.

  6. Past, Current, and Future Challenges in Linking Data to Publications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hanson, B.

    2015-12-01

    Data are the currency of science and assure the integrity of published research. As the ability to collect, analyze, and visualize data has grown beyond what could be included in a publication, and as the value of the data become more clear (or the lack of availability of data was criticized), publishers and the scientific community developed several solutions to enhance access to underlying data. Most leading journals now require authors to agree as a condition of submission that underlying data will be included or made available; indeed, publication is the key leverage point in exposing much scholarly data. Most journals allow PDF or other supplements and links to data sets hosted by authors or labs, or better, data repositories such as Dryad, and some have banned "data not shown" or any reference to unpublished work. Many of these solutions have proven problematic and recent studies have found that large fraction of data are undiscoverable even a few years after publication. The best solution has been dedicated domain repositories collectively supported by publishers, funders, and the scientific community and where deposition is required before or at the time of publication. These provide quality control and curation and facilitate reuse. However, expanding these beyond a few key repositories and developing standardized workflows and functionality among repositories and between them and publishers has been problematic. Addressing these and other data challenges requires collaborative efforts among funders, publishers, repositories, societies, and researchers. One example is the Coalition on Publishing Data in the the Earth and space sciences, where most major publishers and repositories have signed a joint statement of commitment (COPDESS.org), and are starting work to direct and link published data to domain repositories. Much work remains to be done. Major challenges include establishing data curation practices into the workflow of science from data collection

  7. Prenatal screening: current practice, new developments, ethical challenges.

    PubMed

    de Jong, Antina; Maya, Idit; van Lith, Jan M M

    2015-01-01

    Prenatal screening pathways, as nowadays offered in most Western countries consist of similar tests. First, a risk-assessment test for major aneuploides is offered to pregnant women. In case of an increased risk, invasive diagnostic tests, entailing a miscarriage risk, are offered. For decades, only conventional karyotyping was used for final diagnosis. Moreover, several foetal ultrasound scans are offered to detect major congenital anomalies, but the same scans also provide relevant information for optimal support of the pregnancy and the delivery. Recent developments in prenatal screening include the application of microarrays that allow for identifying a much broader range of abnomalities than karyotyping, and non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) that enables reducing the number of invasive tests for aneuploidies considerably. In the future, broad NIPT may become possible and affordable. This article will briefly address the ethical issues raised by these technological developments. First, a safe NIPT may lead to routinisation and as such challenge the central issue of informed consent and the aim of prenatal screening: to offer opportunity for autonomous reproductive choice. Widening the scope of prenatal screening also raises the question to what extent 'reproductive autonomy' is meant to expand. Finally, if the same test is used for two different aims, namely detection of foetal anomalies and pregnancy-related problems, non-directive counselling can no longer be taken as a standard. Our broad outline of the ethical issues is meant as an introduction into the more detailed ethical discussions about prenatal screening in the other articles of this special issue. PMID:25521968

  8. Prenatal screening: current practice, new developments, ethical challenges.

    PubMed

    de Jong, Antina; Maya, Idit; van Lith, Jan M M

    2015-01-01

    Prenatal screening pathways, as nowadays offered in most Western countries consist of similar tests. First, a risk-assessment test for major aneuploides is offered to pregnant women. In case of an increased risk, invasive diagnostic tests, entailing a miscarriage risk, are offered. For decades, only conventional karyotyping was used for final diagnosis. Moreover, several foetal ultrasound scans are offered to detect major congenital anomalies, but the same scans also provide relevant information for optimal support of the pregnancy and the delivery. Recent developments in prenatal screening include the application of microarrays that allow for identifying a much broader range of abnomalities than karyotyping, and non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) that enables reducing the number of invasive tests for aneuploidies considerably. In the future, broad NIPT may become possible and affordable. This article will briefly address the ethical issues raised by these technological developments. First, a safe NIPT may lead to routinisation and as such challenge the central issue of informed consent and the aim of prenatal screening: to offer opportunity for autonomous reproductive choice. Widening the scope of prenatal screening also raises the question to what extent 'reproductive autonomy' is meant to expand. Finally, if the same test is used for two different aims, namely detection of foetal anomalies and pregnancy-related problems, non-directive counselling can no longer be taken as a standard. Our broad outline of the ethical issues is meant as an introduction into the more detailed ethical discussions about prenatal screening in the other articles of this special issue.

  9. High-temperature strain measurement techniques: Current developments and challenges

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lemcoe, M. M.

    1992-01-01

    Since 1987, a very substantial amount of R&D has been conducted in an attempt to develop reliable strain sensors for the measurements of structural strains during ground testing and hypersonic flight, at temperatures up to at least 2000 deg F. Much of the effort has been focused on requirements of the NASP Program. This presentation is limited to the current sensor development work and characterization studies carried out within that program. It is basically an assessment as to where we are now and what remains to be done in the way of technical accomplishments to meet the technical challenges posed by the requirements and constraints established for the NASP Program. The approach for meeting those requirements and constraints has been multi-disciplinary in nature. It was recognized early on that no one sensor could meet all these requirements and constraints, largely because of the large temperature range (cryogenic to at least 2000 deg F) and many other factors, including the most challenging requirement that the sensor system be capable of obtaining valid 'first cycle data'. Present candidate alloys for resistance-type strain gages include Fe-Cr-Al and Pd-Cr. Although they have superior properties regarding withstanding very high temperatures, they exhibit large apparent strains that must either be accounted for or cancelled out by various techniques, including the use of a dual-element, half-bridge dummy gage, or electrical compensation networks. A significant effort is being devoted to developing, refining, and evaluating the effectiveness of those techniques over a broad range in temperature and time. In the quest to obtain first-cycle data, ways must be found to eliminate the need to prestabilize or precondition the strain gage, before it is attached to the test article. It should be noted that present NASP constraints do not permit prestabilization of the sensor, in situ. Gages are currently being 'heat treated' during manufacture in both the wire- and foil

  10. High-temperature strain measurement techniques: Current developments and challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemcoe, M. M.

    1992-09-01

    Since 1987, a very substantial amount of R&D has been conducted in an attempt to develop reliable strain sensors for the measurements of structural strains during ground testing and hypersonic flight, at temperatures up to at least 2000 deg F. Much of the effort has been focused on requirements of the NASP Program. This presentation is limited to the current sensor development work and characterization studies carried out within that program. It is basically an assessment as to where we are now and what remains to be done in the way of technical accomplishments to meet the technical challenges posed by the requirements and constraints established for the NASP Program. The approach for meeting those requirements and constraints has been multi-disciplinary in nature. It was recognized early on that no one sensor could meet all these requirements and constraints, largely because of the large temperature range (cryogenic to at least 2000 deg F) and many other factors, including the most challenging requirement that the sensor system be capable of obtaining valid 'first cycle data'. Present candidate alloys for resistance-type strain gages include Fe-Cr-Al and Pd-Cr. Although they have superior properties regarding withstanding very high temperatures, they exhibit large apparent strains that must either be accounted for or cancelled out by various techniques, including the use of a dual-element, half-bridge dummy gage, or electrical compensation networks. A significant effort is being devoted to developing, refining, and evaluating the effectiveness of those techniques over a broad range in temperature and time. In the quest to obtain first-cycle data, ways must be found to eliminate the need to prestabilize or precondition the strain gage, before it is attached to the test article. It should be noted that present NASP constraints do not permit prestabilization of the sensor, in situ. Gages are currently being 'heat treated' during manufacture in both the wire- and foil

  11. PM₂.₅ opened a door to public participation addressing environmental challenges in China.

    PubMed

    Huang, Ganlin

    2015-02-01

    China has long been regarded as a centralized society where the public has little influence on decision-making. Such a top-down management scheme is perceived as a major obstacle to address complicated environment issues. The recent public campaign in China to urge creation of a nationwide PM₂.₅ monitoring network and mitigation plan provides an unprecedented case of how the public participated and influenced policy-making in a centralized society. This paper reviews key incidents in the campaign chronologically. Here we identify information technology, public awareness of air quality's health impacts and the fact air quality affects everyone as public goods as the major factors promoting public participation. This case demonstrates that public participation can happen in a centralized, top-down society such as China. Continued environmental deterioration may stimulate similar campaigns for other issues. We anticipate this essay to be a starting point for more studies on how environmental issues stimulate incremental social change by making people involved in decision-making process, especially in societies where they are rarely able to do so.

  12. Addressing challenges in the production and analysis of illumina sequencing data.

    PubMed

    Kircher, Martin; Heyn, Patricia; Kelso, Janet

    2011-01-01

    Advances in DNA sequencing technologies have made it possible to generate large amounts of sequence data very rapidly and at substantially lower cost than capillary sequencing. These new technologies have specific characteristics and limitations that require either consideration during project design, or which must be addressed during data analysis. Specialist skills, both at the laboratory and the computational stages of project design and analysis, are crucial to the generation of high quality data from these new platforms. The Illumina sequencers (including the Genome Analyzers I/II/IIe/IIx and the new HiScan and HiSeq) represent a widely used platform providing parallel readout of several hundred million immobilized sequences using fluorescent-dye reversible-terminator chemistry. Sequencing library quality, sample handling, instrument settings and sequencing chemistry have a strong impact on sequencing run quality. The presence of adapter chimeras and adapter sequences at the end of short-insert molecules, as well as increased error rates and short read lengths complicate many computational analyses. We discuss here some of the factors that influence the frequency and severity of these problems and provide solutions for circumventing these. Further, we present a set of general principles for good analysis practice that enable problems with sequencing runs to be identified and dealt with.

  13. PM₂.₅ opened a door to public participation addressing environmental challenges in China.

    PubMed

    Huang, Ganlin

    2015-02-01

    China has long been regarded as a centralized society where the public has little influence on decision-making. Such a top-down management scheme is perceived as a major obstacle to address complicated environment issues. The recent public campaign in China to urge creation of a nationwide PM₂.₅ monitoring network and mitigation plan provides an unprecedented case of how the public participated and influenced policy-making in a centralized society. This paper reviews key incidents in the campaign chronologically. Here we identify information technology, public awareness of air quality's health impacts and the fact air quality affects everyone as public goods as the major factors promoting public participation. This case demonstrates that public participation can happen in a centralized, top-down society such as China. Continued environmental deterioration may stimulate similar campaigns for other issues. We anticipate this essay to be a starting point for more studies on how environmental issues stimulate incremental social change by making people involved in decision-making process, especially in societies where they are rarely able to do so. PMID:25499795

  14. The challenge of effectively addressing tobacco control within a health promoting NHS Trust.

    PubMed

    Quinn, J; Sengupta, S; Cleary, H

    2001-12-15

    As part of its participation in the international network of health promoting hospitals (HPH), South Tyneside Health Care NHS Trust has initiated a series of sub-projects that are informed by the contemporary evidence-base and the principles of the HPH programme. This paper concerns the first of these sub-projects, whose aim is to establish an equitable and effective Trust-wide system to address smoking in South Tyneside. The ambition is to build a framework for, and foster a culture within which, individuals will be treated considerately, whilst managing "unhealthy" behaviour in such a way as to have a long-term positive impact within the organisation and the surrounding community. This paper will briefly outline the key activities underway, and the manner in which it is hoped this approach to undertaking a HPH sub-project will contribute to sustainable local health improvement, while also supporting the Trust's broader transformation into a truly health promoting organisation. PMID:11755769

  15. Addressing Childhood Cancer in Low-Resource Countries: Current Challenges, Strategies, and Recommendations.

    PubMed

    Mbah Afungchwi, Glenn; Challinor, Julia

    2016-07-01

    Children and adolescents represent a small, but critically important, number of patients with cancer worldwide (14.1 million newly diagnosed adults versus 160,000 children annually). The life years saved when a child is cured of cancer are about 71 compared to 15 years for an adult in most high-income countries (HICs). In HICs, about 80% of children survive cancer. Unfortunately, in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), the survival rates are generally 50% or less. In these resource-limited settings, only 15%-37% of children and adolescents have access to cancer treatment, and most are diagnosed with advanced-stage disease, making cure impossible. PMID:27314196

  16. Status of Global Threat Reduction Initiative's Activities Underway to Address Major Domestic Radiological Security Challenges - 12105

    SciTech Connect

    Cuthbertson, Abigail; Jennison, Meaghan

    2012-07-01

    During their service lives, radioactive sealed sources are used for a wide variety of essential purposes. However, each year, thousands of radioactive sealed sources that pose a potential risk to national security, health, and safety become disused and unwanted in the United States. Due to their concentrated activity and portability, these sources could be used in radiological dispersal devices ('dirty bombs'). For more than a decade, the National Nuclear Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Energy, through the Global Threat Reduction Initiative Offsite Source Recovery Project (GTRI/OSRP), have facilitated the removal and disposition of thousands of disused/unwanted sources worldwide. However, the ability of GTRI/OSRP to continue its work is critically dependent on the ability to transport and appropriately dispose of these sources. On that front, GTRI/OSRP progress includes development of two prototype Type B transport containers and significant efforts toward certification, increased commercial disposal access for risk-significant sealed sources at commercial sites, and cooperation through the International Atomic Energy Agency to increase source repatriation. Disused sealed sources continue to pose a national security concern. The impact of a dirty bomb detonation could be costly both financially and to those exposed to the resulting radiation. However, significant progress has been made since 2008 on each of the challenges identified in the DHS Sealed Source Security Workshop. Not only will there be increased opportunity for commercial disposal of many sizes and types of sealed sources, but also stakeholders are studying front-end solutions to the problem of disused sealed sources, such as financial assurance and recycle. The lack of sealed source transport containers is also likely to be mitigated with the development and certification by NNSA of two new Type B models. Internationally, increased efforts at source repatriation will mitigate the

  17. The Importance of Exposure in Addressing Current and Emerging Air Quality Issues

    EPA Science Inventory

    The air quality issues that we face today and will face in the future are becoming increasingly more complex and require an improved understanding of human exposure to be effectively addressed. The objectives of this paper are (1) to discuss how concepts of human exposure and ex...

  18. Changing roles for primary-care physicians: addressing challenges and opportunities.

    PubMed

    McLaughlin, C P; Kaluzny, A D; Kibbe, D C; Tredway, R

    2005-01-01

    Direct-to-consumer advertising is but one example of a process called disintermediation that is directly affecting primary-care physicians and their patients. This paper examines the trends and the actors involved in disintermediation, which threatens the traditional patient-physician relationship. The paper outlines the social forces behind these threats and illustrates the resulting challenges and opportunities. A rationale and strategies are presented to rebuild, maintain and strengthen the patient-physician relationship in an era of growing disintermediation and anticipated advancements in cost-effective office-based information systems. Primary care--as we know it--is under siege from a number of trends in healthcare delivery, resulting in loss of physician autonomy, disrupted continuity of care and potential erosion of professional values (Rastegar 2004; Future of Family Medicine Project Leadership Committee 2004). The halcyon days of medicine as a craft guild with a monopoly on (1) technical knowledge and (2) the means of implementation, reached its zenith in the mid-twentieth century and has been under pressure ever since (Starr 1982; Schlesinger 2002). While this is a trend within the US health system, it is likely to affect other delivery systems in the years ahead. PMID:15828571

  19. Addressing everyday challenges: feasibility of a family caregiver training program for people with dementia.

    PubMed

    DiZazzo-Miller, Rosanne; Samuel, Preethy S; Barnas, Jean M; Welker, Keith M

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to examine the feasibility and efficacy of the Family Caregiver Training Program for assisting with the basic activities of daily living of people with dementia. METHOD. A one-group pretest-posttest research design with a 3-mo follow-up was used to examine the efficacy of a manualized education program for caregivers. The 6-hr training was delivered to 72 family caregivers over 3 consecutive weeks (2 hr/wk) by trained clinicians. RESULTS. Caregivers showed a significant gain in knowledge of how to effectively assist with communication and nutrition, t(52) = 7.05, p < .000; transfers and toileting, t(45) = 3.10, p < .003; and bathing and dressing, t(44) = 2.71, p < .01, of their care recipients. CONCLUSION. Our findings demonstrate that this manualized intervention protocol is a promising method of equipping family members with the skills needed to face their everyday challenges in caring for people with dementia.

  20. Addressing the ethical, policy, and social challenges of preclinical Alzheimer disease.

    PubMed

    Karlawish, Jason

    2011-10-11

    Research suggests that Alzheimer disease (AD) pathophysiology begins prior to the clinical expression of the disease and that biomarker measures may provide direct evidence of this process. As a result, it may be possible to uncouple the diagnosis of AD from the clinical expression of the disease. The shifting boundaries between normal brain aging and disease present 3 challenges: 1) establishing guidelines for researchers and clinicians to safely and effectively communicate the diagnosis of preclinical AD, 2) setting up a process that effectively translates this diagnosis into practice and policy, and 3) adapting laws, regulations, and professional practices to the diagnosis of preclinical AD. The field of genetic testing for AD suggests how to balance a patient's desire to know his or her risk of developing dementia with a clinician's desire to mitigate the potential harms of that information. The development of diagnostic and treatment guidelines for other diseases of aging, such as cardiovascular disease, suggests the need for a National Alzheimer's Education Program to develop policies and procedures to translate preclinical AD into both clinical practice and policy. Revisions are needed to laws, regulations, and professional practices governing driving, financial management and planning, and privacy and confidentiality.

  1. Addressing fundamental architectural challenges of an activity-based intelligence and advanced analytics (ABIAA) system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yager, Kevin; Albert, Thomas; Brower, Bernard V.; Pellechia, Matthew F.

    2015-06-01

    The domain of Geospatial Intelligence Analysis is rapidly shifting toward a new paradigm of Activity Based Intelligence (ABI) and information-based Tipping and Cueing. General requirements for an advanced ABIAA system present significant challenges in architectural design, computing resources, data volumes, workflow efficiency, data mining and analysis algorithms, and database structures. These sophisticated ABI software systems must include advanced algorithms that automatically flag activities of interest in less time and within larger data volumes than can be processed by human analysts. In doing this, they must also maintain the geospatial accuracy necessary for cross-correlation of multi-intelligence data sources. Historically, serial architectural workflows have been employed in ABIAA system design for tasking, collection, processing, exploitation, and dissemination. These simpler architectures may produce implementations that solve short term requirements; however, they have serious limitations that preclude them from being used effectively in an automated ABIAA system with multiple data sources. This paper discusses modern ABIAA architectural considerations providing an overview of an advanced ABIAA system and comparisons to legacy systems. It concludes with a recommended strategy and incremental approach to the research, development, and construction of a fully automated ABIAA system.

  2. Strategies for Integrated Analysis of Genetic, Epigenetic, and Gene Expression Variation in Cancer: Addressing the Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Thingholm, Louise B.; Andersen, Lars; Makalic, Enes; Southey, Melissa C.; Thomassen, Mads; Hansen, Lise Lotte

    2016-01-01

    The development and progression of cancer, a collection of diseases with complex genetic architectures, is facilitated by the interplay of multiple etiological factors. This complexity challenges the traditional single-platform study design and calls for an integrated approach to data analysis. However, integration of heterogeneous measurements of biological variation is a non-trivial exercise due to the diversity of the human genome and the variety of output data formats and genome coverage obtained from the commonly used molecular platforms. This review article will provide an introduction to integration strategies used for analyzing genetic risk factors for cancer. We critically examine the ability of these strategies to handle the complexity of the human genome and also accommodate information about the biological and functional interactions between the elements that have been measured—making the assessment of disease risk against a composite genomic factor possible. The focus of this review is to provide an overview and introduction to the main strategies and to discuss where there is a need for further development. PMID:26870081

  3. Vision for cross-layer optimization to address the dual challenges of energy and reliability

    SciTech Connect

    Quinn, Heather M; Dehon, Andre; Carter, Nicholas P

    2009-01-01

    We are rapidly approaching an inflection point where the conventional target of producing perfect, identical transistors that operate without upset can no longer be maintained while continuing to reduce the energy per operation. With power requirements already limiting chip performance, continuing to demand perfect, upset-free transistors would mean the end of scaling benefits. The big challenges in device variability and reliability are driven by uncommon tails in distributions, infrequent upsets, one-size-fits-all technology requirements, and a lack of information about the context of each operation. Solutions co-designed across traditional layer boundaries in our system stack can change the game, allowing architecture and software (a) to compensate for uncommon variation, environments, and events, (b) to pass down invariants and requirements for the computation, and (c) to monitor the health of collections of deVices. Cross-layer codesign provides a path to continue extracting benefits from further scaled technologies despite the fact that they may be less predictable and more variable. While some limited multi-layer mitigation strategies do exist, to move forward redefining traditional layer abstractions and developing a framework that facilitates cross-layer collaboration is necessary.

  4. Addressing the Challenges of Anomaly Detection for Cyber Physical Energy Grid Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Ferragut, Erik M; Laska, Jason A; Melin, Alexander M; Czejdo, Bogdan

    2013-01-01

    The consolidation of cyber communications networks and physical control systems within the energy smart grid introduces a number of new risks. Unfortunately, these risks are largely unknown and poorly understood, yet include very high impact losses from attack and component failures. One important aspect of risk management is the detection of anomalies and changes. However, anomaly detection within cyber security remains a difficult, open problem, with special challenges in dealing with false alert rates and heterogeneous data. Furthermore, the integration of cyber and physical dynamics is often intractable. And, because of their broad scope, energy grid cyber-physical systems must be analyzed at multiple scales, from individual components, up to network level dynamics. We describe an improved approach to anomaly detection that combines three important aspects. First, system dynamics are modeled using a reduced order model for greater computational tractability. Second, a probabilistic and principled approach to anomaly detection is adopted that allows for regulation of false alerts and comparison of anomalies across heterogeneous data sources. Third, a hierarchy of aggregations are constructed to support interactive and automated analyses of anomalies at multiple scales.

  5. Addressing the ethical, policy, and social challenges of preclinical Alzheimer disease

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Research suggests that Alzheimer disease (AD) pathophysiology begins prior to the clinical expression of the disease and that biomarker measures may provide direct evidence of this process. As a result, it may be possible to uncouple the diagnosis of AD from the clinical expression of the disease. The shifting boundaries between normal brain aging and disease present 3 challenges: 1) establishing guidelines for researchers and clinicians to safely and effectively communicate the diagnosis of preclinical AD, 2) setting up a process that effectively translates this diagnosis into practice and policy, and 3) adapting laws, regulations, and professional practices to the diagnosis of preclinical AD. The field of genetic testing for AD suggests how to balance a patient's desire to know his or her risk of developing dementia with a clinician's desire to mitigate the potential harms of that information. The development of diagnostic and treatment guidelines for other diseases of aging, such as cardiovascular disease, suggests the need for a National Alzheimer's Education Program to develop policies and procedures to translate preclinical AD into both clinical practice and policy. Revisions are needed to laws, regulations, and professional practices governing driving, financial management and planning, and privacy and confidentiality. PMID:21917767

  6. Addressing the challenges of solar thermal fuels via atomic-scale computational design and experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolpak, Alexie; Kucharski, Timothy; Grossman, Jeffrey

    2012-02-01

    By reversibly storing solar energy in the conformations of photo-isomers, solar thermal fuels (STFs) provide a mechanism for emissions-free, renewable energy storage and conversion in a single system. Development of STFs as a large-scale energy technology has been hampered by technical challenges that beset the photo-isomers of interest: low energy density, storage lifetime, and quantum yield; UV absorption; and irreversible degradation upon repeated cycling. In this talk, we discuss our efforts to design new STFs that overcome these hurdles. We present computational results on various STFs based on our recently proposed photo-isomer/template STF concept [Kolpak and Grossman, Nano Letters 11, 3156 (2011)], as well as new experimental results on azobenzene-functionalized carbon nanotube STFs. Our approach yields significant improvements with respect to STFs studied in the past, with energy densities similar to Li-ion batteries, storage lifetimes > 1 year, and increased quantum yield and absorption efficiency. Our strategy also suggests mechanisms for inhibiting photo-isomer degradation. With a large phase space yet to be explored, there remain numerous possibilites for property enhancement, suggesting that STFs could become a competitive renewable energy technology.

  7. Culicoides Latreille (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) taxonomy: Current challenges and future directions

    PubMed Central

    Harrup, L.E.; Bellis, G.A.; Balenghien, T.; Garros, C.

    2015-01-01

    Culicoides Latreille biting midges (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae) cause a significant biting nuisance to humans, livestock and equines, and are the biological vectors of a range of internationally important pathogens of both veterinary and medical importance. Despite their economic significance, the delimitation and identification of species and evolutionary relationships between species within this genus remains at best problematic. To date no phylogenetic study has attempted to validate the subgeneric classification of the genus and the monophyly of many of the subgenera remains doubtful. Many informal species groupings are also known to exist but few are adequately described, further complicating accurate identification. Recent contributions to Culicoides taxonomy at the species level have revealed a high correlation between morphological and molecular analyses although molecular analyses are revealing the existence of cryptic species. This review considers the methods for studying the systematics of Culicoides using both morphological and genetic techniques, with a view to understanding the factors limiting our current understanding of Culicoides biology and hence arbovirus epidemiology. In addition, we examine the global status of Culicoides identification, highlighting areas that are poorly addressed, including the potential implementation of emerging technologies. PMID:25535946

  8. Technical Reference Suite Addressing Challenges of Providing Assurance for Fault Management Architectural Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fitz, Rhonda; Whitman, Gerek

    2016-01-01

    Research into complexities of software systems Fault Management (FM) and how architectural design decisions affect safety, preservation of assets, and maintenance of desired system functionality has coalesced into a technical reference (TR) suite that advances the provision of safety and mission assurance. The NASA Independent Verification and Validation (IV&V) Program, with Software Assurance Research Program support, extracted FM architectures across the IV&V portfolio to evaluate robustness, assess visibility for validation and test, and define software assurance methods applied to the architectures and designs. This investigation spanned IV&V projects with seven different primary developers, a wide range of sizes and complexities, and encompassed Deep Space Robotic, Human Spaceflight, and Earth Orbiter mission FM architectures. The initiative continues with an expansion of the TR suite to include Launch Vehicles, adding the benefit of investigating differences intrinsic to model-based FM architectures and insight into complexities of FM within an Agile software development environment, in order to improve awareness of how nontraditional processes affect FM architectural design and system health management. The identification of particular FM architectures, visibility, and associated IV&V techniques provides a TR suite that enables greater assurance that critical software systems will adequately protect against faults and respond to adverse conditions. Additionally, the role FM has with regard to strengthened security requirements, with potential to advance overall asset protection of flight software systems, is being addressed with the development of an adverse conditions database encompassing flight software vulnerabilities. Capitalizing on the established framework, this TR suite provides assurance capability for a variety of FM architectures and varied development approaches. Research results are being disseminated across NASA, other agencies, and the

  9. Laparoscopic splenectomy for primary immune thrombocytopenia: Current status and challenges

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Dong; Huang, Chen-Song; Huang, Shao-Bin; Zheng, Chao-Xu

    2016-01-01

    Primary immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is an immune-mediated disorder affecting both adults and children, characterised by bleeding complications and low platelet counts. Corticosteroids are the first-line therapy for ITP, but only 20%-40% of cases achieve a stable response. Splenectomy is the main therapy for patients failing to respond to corticosteroids for decades, and about two-thirds of patients achieve a long-lasting response. Although some new drugs are developed to treat ITP as second-line therapies in recent years, splenectomy is still the better choice with less cost and more efficiency. Laparoscopic splenectomy (LS) for ITP proves to be a safe technique associated with lower morbidity and faster recovery and similar hematological response when compared to traditional open splenectomy. Based on the unified hematological outcome criteria by current international consensus, the response rate of splenectomy should be reassessed. So far, there are not widely accepted preoperative clinical indicators predicting favorable response to LS. Since the patients undergoing surgery take the risk of complications and poor hematological outcome, the great challenge facing the doctors is to identify a reliable biomarker for predicting long-term outcome of splenectomy which can help make the decision of operation. PMID:27668071

  10. Infant nutrition and lifelong health: current perspectives and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Robinson, S M

    2015-10-01

    Understanding the role and importance of nutrition in early postnatal life, as an influence on lifelong vulnerability to poor health, is an important part of current research. We need to be able to define optimal patterns of infant feeding, not just to support growth and development in infancy, but also as determinants of later health. To date, much of the focus on the long-term effects of infant nutrition has been on milk feeding, to compare breast and formula feeding and to evaluate the effects of exclusivity, timing and duration of feeding different types of milk in infancy; other aspects of infant feeding such as age at introduction of solid foods and type of weaning diet have received less attention, and relatively little is known about their links to later health. Contemporary data are needed to enable us to move beyond explanation of historical infant feeding data in order to understand and predict health outcomes in future generations. Ongoing and new population studies, that include infants from diverse settings, will be key to providing generalizable data that can be used to define optimal feeding practice. There are some methodological challenges ahead, although significant progress has already been made, and further progress is envisaged in the future. In particular, the opportunity to bring together epidemiological studies and new mechanistic insights that will help identify key aspects of infant nutrition and their causal effects offer great promise both in moving this field forward as well as the potential for health benefits for future generations.

  11. Natural Inhibitors of Snake Venom Metalloendopeptidases: History and Current Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Bastos, Viviane A.; Gomes-Neto, Francisco; Perales, Jonas; Neves-Ferreira, Ana Gisele C.; Valente, Richard H.

    2016-01-01

    The research on natural snake venom metalloendopeptidase inhibitors (SVMPIs) began in the 18th century with the pioneering work of Fontana on the resistance that vipers exhibited to their own venom. During the past 40 years, SVMPIs have been isolated mainly from the sera of resistant animals, and characterized to different extents. They are acidic oligomeric glycoproteins that remain biologically active over a wide range of pH and temperature values. Based on primary structure determination, mammalian plasmatic SVMPIs are classified as members of the immunoglobulin (Ig) supergene protein family, while the one isolated from muscle belongs to the ficolin/opsonin P35 family. On the other hand, SVMPIs from snake plasma have been placed in the cystatin superfamily. These natural antitoxins constitute the first line of defense against snake venoms, inhibiting the catalytic activities of snake venom metalloendopeptidases through the establishment of high-affinity, non-covalent interactions. This review presents a historical account of the field of natural resistance, summarizing its main discoveries and current challenges, which are mostly related to the limitations that preclude three-dimensional structural determinations of these inhibitors using “gold-standard” methods; perspectives on how to circumvent such limitations are presented. Potential applications of these SVMPIs in medicine are also highlighted. PMID:27571103

  12. Organotypic liver culture models: Meeting current challenges in toxicity testing

    PubMed Central

    LeCluyse, Edward L.; Witek, Rafal P.; Andersen, Melvin E.; Powers, Mark J.

    2012-01-01

    Prediction of chemical-induced hepatotoxicity in humans from in vitro data continues to be a significant challenge for the pharmaceutical and chemical industries. Generally, conventional in vitro hepatic model systems (i.e. 2-D static monocultures of primary or immortalized hepatocytes) are limited by their inability to maintain histotypic and phenotypic characteristics over time in culture, including stable expression of clearance and bioactivation pathways, as well as complex adaptive responses to chemical exposure. These systems are less than ideal for longer-term toxicity evaluations and elucidation of key cellular and molecular events involved in primary and secondary adaptation to chemical exposure, or for identification of important mediators of inflammation, proliferation and apoptosis. Progress in implementing a more effective strategy for in vitro-in vivo extrapolation and human risk assessment depends on significant advances in tissue culture technology and increasing their level of biological complexity. This article describes the current and ongoing need for more relevant, organotypic in vitro surrogate systems of human liver and recent efforts to recreate the multicellular architecture and hemodynamic properties of the liver using novel culture platforms. As these systems become more widely used for chemical and drug toxicity testing, there will be a corresponding need to establish standardized testing conditions, endpoint analyses and acceptance criteria. In the future, a balanced approach between sample throughput and biological relevance should provide better in vitro tools that are complementary with animal testing and assist in conducting more predictive human risk assessment. PMID:22582993

  13. Medicinal mushroom science: Current perspectives, advances, evidences, and challenges.

    PubMed

    Wasser, Solomon P

    2014-01-01

    The main target of the present review is to draw attention to the current perspectives, advances, evidences, challenges, and future development of medicinal mushroom science in the 21 st century. Medicinal mushrooms and fungi are thought to possess approximately 130 medicinal functions, including antitumor, immunomodulating, antioxidant, radical scavenging, cardiovascular, anti-hypercholesterolemic, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-parasitic, antifungal, detoxification, hepatoprotective, and antidiabetic effects. Many, if not all, higher Basidiomycetes mushrooms contain biologically active compounds in fruit bodies, cultured mycelium, and cultured broth. Special attention is paid to mushroom polysaccharides. The data on mushroom polysaccharides and different secondary metabolites are summarized for approximately 700 species of higher hetero- and homobasidiomycetes. Numerous bioactive polysaccharides or polysaccharide-protein complexes from the medicinal mushrooms described appear to enhance innate and cell-mediated immune responses, and exhibit antitumor activities in animals and humans. Whilst the mechanism of their antitumor actions is still not completely understood, stimulation and modulation of key host immune responses by these mushroom compounds appear central. Polysaccharides and low-molecular-weight secondary metabolites are particularly important due to their antitumor and immunostimulating properties. Several of the mushroom compounds have been subjected to Phase I, II, and III clinical trials, and are used extensively and successfully in Asia to treat various cancers and other diseases. Special attention is given to many important unsolved problems in the study of medicinal mushrooms.

  14. Live attenuated vaccines: Historical successes and current challenges

    SciTech Connect

    Minor, Philip D.

    2015-05-15

    Live attenuated vaccines against human viral diseases have been amongst the most successful cost effective interventions in medical history. Smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980; poliomyelitis is nearing global eradication and measles has been controlled in most parts of the world. Vaccines function well for acute diseases such as these but chronic infections such as HIV are more challenging for reasons of both likely safety and probable efficacy. The derivation of the vaccines used has in general not been purely rational except in the sense that it has involved careful clinical trials of candidates and subsequent careful follow up in clinical use; the identification of the candidates is reviewed. - Highlights: • Live vaccines against human diseases caused by viruses have been very successful. • They have been developed by empirical clinical studies and problems identified in later use. • It can be difficult to balance ability to cause disease and ability to immunise for a strain. • There is currently no reliable basis for predicting success from pure virological studies. • Vaccinia, which eradicated smallpox, is the paradigm for all successes and issues.

  15. The acute hepatic porphyrias: current status and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Siegesmund, Marko; van Tuyll van Serooskerken, Anne-Moniek; Poblete-Gutiérrez, Pamela; Frank, Jorge

    2010-10-01

    The porphyrias are predominantly inherited metabolic disorders, which result from a specific deficiency of one of the eight enzymes along the pathway of haem biosynthesis. Historically, they have been classified into hepatic and erythropoietic forms, based on the primary site of expression of the prevailing dysfunctional enzyme. From a clinical point of view, however, it is more convenient to subdivide them into acute and non-acute porphyrias, thereby primarily considering the potential occurrence of life-threatening acute neurovisceral attacks. Unrecognised or untreated, such an acute porphyric attack is associated with a significant mortality of up to 10%. The acute hepatic porphyrias comprise acute intermittent porphyria, variegate porphyria, hereditary coproporphyria, and δ-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase deficiency porphyria. Making a precise diagnosis may be difficult because the different types of porphyrias may show overlapping clinical and biochemical characteristics. To date, the therapeutic possibilities are limited and mainly symptomatic. In this overview we report on what is currently known about pathogenesis, clinic, diagnostics, and therapy of the acute hepatic porphyrias. We further point out actual and future challenges in the management of these diseases.

  16. Laparoscopic splenectomy for primary immune thrombocytopenia: Current status and challenges.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Dong; Huang, Chen-Song; Huang, Shao-Bin; Zheng, Chao-Xu

    2016-09-16

    Primary immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is an immune-mediated disorder affecting both adults and children, characterised by bleeding complications and low platelet counts. Corticosteroids are the first-line therapy for ITP, but only 20%-40% of cases achieve a stable response. Splenectomy is the main therapy for patients failing to respond to corticosteroids for decades, and about two-thirds of patients achieve a long-lasting response. Although some new drugs are developed to treat ITP as second-line therapies in recent years, splenectomy is still the better choice with less cost and more efficiency. Laparoscopic splenectomy (LS) for ITP proves to be a safe technique associated with lower morbidity and faster recovery and similar hematological response when compared to traditional open splenectomy. Based on the unified hematological outcome criteria by current international consensus, the response rate of splenectomy should be reassessed. So far, there are not widely accepted preoperative clinical indicators predicting favorable response to LS. Since the patients undergoing surgery take the risk of complications and poor hematological outcome, the great challenge facing the doctors is to identify a reliable biomarker for predicting long-term outcome of splenectomy which can help make the decision of operation. PMID:27668071

  17. Natural Inhibitors of Snake Venom Metalloendopeptidases: History and Current Challenges.

    PubMed

    Bastos, Viviane A; Gomes-Neto, Francisco; Perales, Jonas; Neves-Ferreira, Ana Gisele C; Valente, Richard H

    2016-01-01

    The research on natural snake venom metalloendopeptidase inhibitors (SVMPIs) began in the 18th century with the pioneering work of Fontana on the resistance that vipers exhibited to their own venom. During the past 40 years, SVMPIs have been isolated mainly from the sera of resistant animals, and characterized to different extents. They are acidic oligomeric glycoproteins that remain biologically active over a wide range of pH and temperature values. Based on primary structure determination, mammalian plasmatic SVMPIs are classified as members of the immunoglobulin (Ig) supergene protein family, while the one isolated from muscle belongs to the ficolin/opsonin P35 family. On the other hand, SVMPIs from snake plasma have been placed in the cystatin superfamily. These natural antitoxins constitute the first line of defense against snake venoms, inhibiting the catalytic activities of snake venom metalloendopeptidases through the establishment of high-affinity, non-covalent interactions. This review presents a historical account of the field of natural resistance, summarizing its main discoveries and current challenges, which are mostly related to the limitations that preclude three-dimensional structural determinations of these inhibitors using "gold-standard" methods; perspectives on how to circumvent such limitations are presented. Potential applications of these SVMPIs in medicine are also highlighted. PMID:27571103

  18. Laparoscopic splenectomy for primary immune thrombocytopenia: Current status and challenges

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Dong; Huang, Chen-Song; Huang, Shao-Bin; Zheng, Chao-Xu

    2016-01-01

    Primary immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is an immune-mediated disorder affecting both adults and children, characterised by bleeding complications and low platelet counts. Corticosteroids are the first-line therapy for ITP, but only 20%-40% of cases achieve a stable response. Splenectomy is the main therapy for patients failing to respond to corticosteroids for decades, and about two-thirds of patients achieve a long-lasting response. Although some new drugs are developed to treat ITP as second-line therapies in recent years, splenectomy is still the better choice with less cost and more efficiency. Laparoscopic splenectomy (LS) for ITP proves to be a safe technique associated with lower morbidity and faster recovery and similar hematological response when compared to traditional open splenectomy. Based on the unified hematological outcome criteria by current international consensus, the response rate of splenectomy should be reassessed. So far, there are not widely accepted preoperative clinical indicators predicting favorable response to LS. Since the patients undergoing surgery take the risk of complications and poor hematological outcome, the great challenge facing the doctors is to identify a reliable biomarker for predicting long-term outcome of splenectomy which can help make the decision of operation.

  19. Regional initiatives to address the challenges of tuberculosis in children: perspectives from the Asia-Pacific region.

    PubMed

    Graham, Stephen M; Grzemska, Malgorzata; Brands, Annemieke; Nguyen, Huong; Amini, James; Triasih, Rina; Talukder, Khurshid; Ahmed, Shakil; Amanullah, Farhana; Kumar, Blessina; Tufail, Pervaiz; Detjen, Anne; Marais, Ben; Hennig, Cornelia; Islam, Tauhid

    2015-03-01

    Increasing attention is being given to the challenges of management and prevention of tuberculosis in children and adolescents. There have been a number of recent important milestones achieved at the global level to address this previously neglected disease. There is now a need to increase activities and build partnerships at the regional and national levels in order to address the wide policy-practice gaps for implementation, and to take the key steps outlined in the Roadmap for Child Tuberculosis published in 2013. In this article, we provide the rationale and suggest strategies illustrated with examples to improve diagnosis, management, outcomes and prevention for children with tuberculosis in the Asia-Pacific region, with an emphasis on the need for greatly improved recording and reporting. Effective collaboration with community engagement between the child health sector, the National Tuberculosis control Programmes, community-based services and the communities themselves are essential.

  20. Next-generation clinical trials: Novel strategies to address the challenge of tumor molecular heterogeneity.

    PubMed

    Catenacci, Daniel V T

    2015-05-01

    The promise of 'personalized cancer care' with therapies toward specific molecular aberrations has potential to improve outcomes. However, there is recognized heterogeneity within any given tumor-type from patient to patient (inter-patient heterogeneity), and within an individual (intra-patient heterogeneity) as demonstrated by molecular evolution through space (primary tumor to metastasis) and time (after therapy). These issues have become hurdles to advancing cancer treatment outcomes with novel molecularly targeted agents. Classic trial design paradigms are challenged by heterogeneity, as they are unable to test targeted therapeutics against low frequency genomic 'oncogenic driver' aberrations with adequate power. Usual accrual difficulties to clinical trials are exacerbated by low frequencies of any given molecular driver. To address these challenges, there is need for innovative clinical trial designs and strategies implementing novel diagnostic biomarker technologies to account for inter-patient molecular diversity and scarce tissue for analysis. Importantly, there is also need for pre-defined treatment priority algorithms given numerous aberrations commonly observed within any one individual sample. Access to multiple available therapeutic agents simultaneously is crucial. Finally intra-patient heterogeneity through time may be addressed by serial biomarker assessment at the time of tumor progression. This report discusses various 'next-generation' biomarker-driven trial designs and their potentials and limitations to tackle these recognized molecular heterogeneity challenges. Regulatory hurdles, with respect to drug and companion diagnostic development and approval, are considered. Focus is on the 'Expansion Platform Design Types I and II', the latter demonstrated with a first example, 'PANGEA: Personalized Anti-Neoplastics for Gastro-Esophageal Adenocarcinoma'. Applying integral medium-throughput genomic and proteomic assays along with a practical

  1. Current knowledge, gaps and challenges in the Southern European Seas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Papathanassiou, Evangelos

    2015-04-01

    New knowledge advances our current understanding on the selection and application of the appropriate tools for assessing the state of the marine environment in the Southern European Seas (SES). Diminishing the lack of knowledge is a prerequisite for sound policy decisions. Although gaps and knowledge are fewer today, the health of marine and coastal ecosystems in the SES is under pressure and shows, in places, some signs of deterioration and declining quality. Overall, there is a lack of data accessibility and long time series in the SES, while in many cases poorly constrained processes cannot really support knowledge-based policy making (e.g. ecosystem functioning, climate change, fisheries management, etc.). New knowledge has to be produced and excellence must be promoted to support sustainable economic growth. At the same time, existing and new capacities have to be upgraded and increased in order to support sustainable convergence between SES countries. There are several gaps that have been identified and processes that have been poorly understood in the SES, mainly from research projects that have been working at basin level. The main research priorities that have been identified from the SeasERA Project for both, the Mediterranean and the Black Sea include: the climate change and its impacts, the hydrological cycle, the ventilation and the inter-basin coupling, the marine biodiversity and the provision of goods and services, the marine protected areas, the deep sea ecosystems, the biological invasions, the marine pollution and the ocean and human health, the renewable energy, the maritime transport, the fisheries and aquaculture activities and the biotechnology and the exploitation of marine resources for industrial application. More important, however, is the fact that the economic, the social and the scientific and the environmental challenges must be collectively tackled. They should have prioritisation and clear objectives as well as data sharing for

  2. New and improved proteomics technologies for understanding complex biological systems: Addressing a grand challenge in the life sciences

    PubMed Central

    Hood, Leroy E.; Omenn, Gilbert S.; Moritz, Robert L.; Aebersold, Ruedi; Yamamoto, Keith R.; Amos, Michael; Hunter-Cevera, Jennie; Locascio, Laurie

    2014-01-01

    This White Paper sets out a Life Sciences Grand Challenge for Proteomics Technologies to enhance our understanding of complex biological systems, link genomes with phenotypes, and bring broad benefits to the biosciences and the US economy. The paper is based on a workshop hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD, 14–15 February 2011, with participants from many federal R&D agencies and research communities, under the aegis of the US National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). Opportunities are identified for a coordinated R&D effort to achieve major technology-based goals and address societal challenges in health, agriculture, nutrition, energy, environment, national security, and economic development. PMID:22807061

  3. New and improved proteomics technologies for understanding complex biological systems: addressing a grand challenge in the life sciences.

    PubMed

    Hood, Leroy E; Omenn, Gilbert S; Moritz, Robert L; Aebersold, Ruedi; Yamamoto, Keith R; Amos, Michael; Hunter-Cevera, Jennie; Locascio, Laurie

    2012-09-01

    This White Paper sets out a Life Sciences Grand Challenge for Proteomics Technologies to enhance our understanding of complex biological systems, link genomes with phenotypes, and bring broad benefits to the biosciences and the US economy. The paper is based on a workshop hosted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD, 14-15 February 2011, with participants from many federal R&D agencies and research communities, under the aegis of the US National Science and Technology Council (NSTC). Opportunities are identified for a coordinated R&D effort to achieve major technology-based goals and address societal challenges in health, agriculture, nutrition, energy, environment, national security, and economic development.

  4. Modelling biological evolution: recent progress, current challenges and future direction

    PubMed Central

    Morozov, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    Mathematical modelling is widely recognized as a powerful and convenient theoretical tool for investigating various aspects of biological evolution and explaining the existing genetic complexity of the real world. It is increasingly apparent that understanding the key mechanisms involved in the processes of species biodiversity, natural selection and inheritance, patterns of animal behaviour and coevolution of species in complex ecological systems is simply impossible by means of laboratory experiments and field observations alone. Mathematical models are so important because they provide wide-ranging exploration of the problem without a need for experiments with biological systems—which are usually expensive, often require long time and can be potentially dangerous. However, as the number of theoretical works on modelling biological evolution is constantly accelerating each year as different mathematical frameworks and various aspects of evolutionary problems are considered, it is often hard to avoid getting lost in such an immense flux of publications. The aim of this issue of Interface Focus is to provide a useful guide to important recent findings in some key areas in modelling biological evolution, to refine the existing challenges and to outline possible future directions. In particular, the following topics are addressed here by world-leading experts in the modelling of evolution: (i) the origins of biodiversity observed in ecosystems and communities; (ii) evolution of decision-making by animals and the optimal strategy of populations; (iii) links between evolutionary and ecological processes across different time scales; (iv) quantification of biological information in evolutionary models; and (v) linking theoretical models with empirical data. Most of the works presented here are in fact contributed papers from the international conference ‘Modelling Biological Evolution’ (MBE 2013), which took place in Leicester, UK, in May 2013 and brought together

  5. 78 FR 45910 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Current Population Survey (CPS) Email Address...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-07-30

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Census Bureau Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Current Population Survey (CPS) Email... Population Survey (CPS) has been collecting data on household employment for decades. Through the years,...

  6. Novel trends in affinity biosensors: current challenges and perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arugula, Mary A.; Simonian, Aleksandr

    2014-03-01

    Molecular biorecognition processes facilitate physical and biochemical interactions between molecules in all crucial metabolic pathways. Perhaps the target analyte and the biorecognition element interactions have the most impactful use in biosensing applications. Traditional analytical sensing systems offer excellent biorecognition elements with the ability to detect and determine the presence of analytes. High affinity antibodies and DNA play an important role in the development of affinity biosensors based on electrochemical, optical and mass sensitive approaches. Advancements in this area routinely employ labels, label free, nanoparticles, multifunctional matrices, carbon nanotubes and other methods to meet the requirements of its own application. However, despite increasing affinity ceilings for conventional biosensors, the field draws back in meeting specifically important demands, such as long-term stability, ultrasensitivity, rapid detection, extreme selectivity, strong biological base, calibration, in vivo measurements, regeneration, satisfactory performance and ease of production. Nevertheless, recent efforts through this line have produced novel high-tech nanosensing systems such as ‘aptamers’ and ‘phages’ which exhibit high-throughput sensing. Aptamers and phages are powerful tools that excel over antibodies in sensibility, stability, multi-detection, in vivo measurements and regeneration. Phages are superior in stability, screening for affinity-based target molecules ranging from small to proteins and even cells, and easy production. In this review, we focus mainly on recent developments in affinity-based biosensors such as immunosensors, DNA sensors, emphasizing aptasensors and phage-based biosensors basing on novel electrochemical, optical and mass sensitive detection techniques. We also address enzyme inhibition-based biosensors and the current problems associated with the above sensors and their future perspectives.

  7. Translational research in infectious disease: current paradigms and challenges ahead

    PubMed Central

    Fontana, Judith M.; Alexander, Elizabeth; Salvatore, Mirella

    2012-01-01

    In recent years, the biomedical community has witnessed a rapid scientific and technological evolution following the development and refinement of high-throughput methodologies. Concurrently and consequentially, the scientific perspective has changed from the reductionist approach of meticulously analyzing the fine details of a single component of biology, to the “holistic” approach of broadmindedly examining the globally interacting elements of biological systems. The emergence of this new way of thinking has brought about a scientific revolution in which genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and other “omics” have become the predominant tools by which large amounts of data are amassed, analyzed and applied to complex questions of biology that were previously unsolvable. This enormous transformation of basic science research and the ensuing plethora of promising data, especially in the realm of human health and disease, have unfortunately not been followed by a parallel increase in the clinical application of this information. On the contrary, the number of new potential drugs in development has been steadily decreasing, suggesting the existence of roadblocks that prevent the translation of promising research into medically relevant therapeutic or diagnostic application. In this paper we will review, in a non-inclusive fashion, several recent scientific advancements in the field of translational research, with a specific focus on how they relate to infectious disease. We will also present a current picture of the limitations and challenges that exist for translational research, as well as ways that have been proposed by the National Institutes of Health to improve the state of this field. PMID:22633095

  8. Support for international agricultural research: current status and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Zeigler, Robert S; Mohanty, Samarendu

    2010-11-30

    The success of the first Green Revolution in the form of abundant food supplies and low prices over the past two decades has diverted the world's attention from agriculture to other pressing issues. This has resulted in lower support for the agricultural research work primarily undertaken by the 15 research centers of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The total support in real dollars for most of the last three decades has been more or less flat although the number of centers increased from 4 to 15. However, since 2000, the funding situation has improved for the CGIAR centers, with almost all the increase coming from grants earmarked for specific research projects. Even for some centers such as the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the downward trend continued as late as 2006 with the budget in real dollars reaching the 1978 level of support. The recent food crisis has renewed the call for a second Green Revolution by revitalizing yield growth to feed the world in the face of growing population and a shrinking land base for agricultural use. The slowdown in yield growth because of decades of neglect in agricultural research and infrastructure development has been identified as the underlying reason for the recent food crisis. For the second Green Revolution to be successful, the CGIAR centers will have to play a complex role by expanding productivity in a sustainable manner with fewer resources. Thus, it is crucial to examine the current structure of support for the CGIAR centers and identify the challenges ahead in terms of source and end use of funds for the success of the second Green Revolution. The objective of this paper is to provide a historical perspective on the support to the CGIAR centers and to examine the current status of funding, in particular, the role of project-specific grants in rebuilding capacity of these centers. The paper will also discuss the nature of the support (unrestricted vs. project

  9. Jabs and barbs: ways to address misleading vaccination and immunisation information using currently available strategies.

    PubMed

    Wardle, Jon; Stewart, Cameron; Parker, Malcolm

    2013-09-01

    Misleading vaccination information undermines confidence in vaccination and may lead to reductions in the effectiveness of vaccination programs. A number of regulatory techniques can be employed to challenge the spread of false information, including health care complaints, therapeutic goods laws, consumer protection laws and professional discipline. This article examines three case studies involving the publication of anti-vaccination information by non-professionally aligned organisations, by non-registered health professionals, and by registered health professionals under the National Law. The article examines the effectiveness of different regulatory responses and makes suggestions for future strategies to deal with the publication of demonstrably false information regarding vaccination. PMID:24218789

  10. Jabs and barbs: ways to address misleading vaccination and immunisation information using currently available strategies.

    PubMed

    Wardle, Jon; Stewart, Cameron; Parker, Malcolm

    2013-09-01

    Misleading vaccination information undermines confidence in vaccination and may lead to reductions in the effectiveness of vaccination programs. A number of regulatory techniques can be employed to challenge the spread of false information, including health care complaints, therapeutic goods laws, consumer protection laws and professional discipline. This article examines three case studies involving the publication of anti-vaccination information by non-professionally aligned organisations, by non-registered health professionals, and by registered health professionals under the National Law. The article examines the effectiveness of different regulatory responses and makes suggestions for future strategies to deal with the publication of demonstrably false information regarding vaccination.

  11. Addressing Medicaid/marketplace churn through multimarket plans: assessing the current state of play.

    PubMed

    Rosenbaum, Sara

    2015-02-01

    Both before and after the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the US health insurance system is characterized by fragmentation. Pre-ACA, this fragmentation included major coverage gaps, causing significant periods of coverage interruption, especially for lower-income people. The ACA does not end the problem of churning among sources of public financing, but it does hold the potential for enabling people to move among sources of coverage rather than go without insurance. Several strategies for reducing coverage churn exist, but none is foolproof and all are in their early stages. Thus the ability of issuers to participate across multiple public financing arrangements and to offer stable provider networks becomes crucial to achieving continuity of care. Interviews with nine companies involved in developing or operating multimarket strategies confirm the feasibility of this approach while revealing major challenges, especially the challenge of finding providers willing to treat members regardless of the source of coverage. Strategies for increasing multimarket plans and networks represent one of the great areas of future policy and operational focus.

  12. Challenges for a Local Service Agency to Address Domestic Violence –A Case Study From Rural Indonesia

    PubMed Central

    Hayati, Elli Nur; Emmelin, Maria; Eriksson, Malin

    2014-01-01

    Since the launch of a Zero Tolerance Policy in Indonesia, several policies to address domestic violence have been enacted. The obligation of local governments to establish service units for women survivors of domestic violence is one of them. Since domestic violence is a sensitive and complex issue in Indonesia it is important to understand how governmentally regulated services function in practice. This case study aimed to explore challenges faced by a local service agency in managing service provision for women survivors of domestic violence in rural Indonesia. Data from one focus group discussion (12 participants), four individual interviews, six short narratives, two days of participant observation, as well as archive reviews were collected. All data were analyzed using Grounded Theory Situational Analysis. The major challenge faced by the local agency was the low priority that was given them by the local authorities, mirrored also in low involvement by the assigned volunteers in the daily service. The study also identified a gap between the socio-cultural arena and the law & policy arena that needs to be bridged to avoid that the two arenas address domestic violence in a contradictory way. Budget allocation to support the sustainability of the daily routines of service agencies has to be given priority. There is also a need for careful considerations regarding the composition of personnel involved within daily management of service agencies addressing domestic violence. To bridge the gap between the legal systems and traditional cultural values, culturally adjusted alternative justice systems could be developed to increase women’s access to legal support. PMID:25363105

  13. Epidemiology of injuries: current trends and future challenges.

    PubMed

    MacKenzie, E J

    2000-01-01

    For the above challenges to be met, it will be important for the field of injury epidemiology to move from the largely descriptive studies that have predominated in the literature to the application of more rigorous analytical methods for defining the underlying casual patterns of injury. Studies focusing on the descriptive epidemiology of injury have and will continue to serve the field well, perhaps even more so than in other fields, since the proximal etiology of injuries (i.e., acute exposure to physical agents such as mechanical energy) is well known. However, major new advances in the prevention of injuries will continue to require a more analytical approach to understanding the complex array of factors that influence the incidence, severity, and outcomes of injury. At the same time, it will be important for investigators in this field to conduct rigorous evaluations of new interventions to better inform the establishment of programs and policies. These evaluations must include assessments of both the effectiveness and the costs of the intervention. For example, in a recently published systematic review of 10 different strategies for preventing motor vehicle injuries, 54,708 papers and reports were identified in the literature but only 161 met the initial screening criteria for inclusion in the published review (44). Of these, a much smaller number were randomized controlled trials or well executed controlled time series trials. Major advancements in the prevention and control of injuries will continue to rely on effective collaborations between epidemiologists and scientists from other disciplines, including the behavioral sciences, sociology, criminology, law, engineering, and biomechanics. Only through truly collaborative efforts across these disciplines will we be able to establish a foundation for cost-effective interventions. For example, understanding the principles of injury mechanics and the physical and physiologic responses of the human body to the

  14. Current challenges in de novo plant genome sequencing and assembly

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Genome sequencing is now affordable, but assembling plant genomes de novo remains challenging. We assess the state of the art of assembly and review the best practices for the community. PMID:22546054

  15. Challenges associated with near-Earth nightside current

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liemohn, Michael W.; Ganushkina, Natalia Y.; Ilie, Raluca; Welling, Daniel T.

    2016-07-01

    Every magnetic field of solar and planetary space environments is associated with a current of differentially flowing charged particles. Electric potential patterns in geospace and near other planets are also closely linked with currents. Close to the Earth, particularly in the near-Earth nightside magnetosphere, several current systems wax and wane during periods of space weather activity. The velocity-dependent drift, energization, and loss processes in this region complicate current system evolution. There is a discrepancy about the magnitude, timing, and location of these currents, however, and this Commentary pitches the case for a concerted community effort to resolve this issue.

  16. Developing and Using Benchmarks for Eddy Current Simulation Codes Validation to Address Industrial Issues

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayos, M.; Buvat, F.; Costan, V.; Moreau, O.; Gilles-Pascaud, C.; Reboud, C.; Foucher, F.

    2011-06-01

    To achieve performance demonstration, which is a legal requirement for the qualification of NDE processes applied on French nuclear power plants, the use of modeling tools is a valuable support, provided that the employed models have been previously validated. To achieve this, in particular for eddy current modeling, a validation methodology based on the use of specific benchmarks close to the actual industrial issue has to be defined. Nonetheless, considering the high variability in code origin and complexity, the feedback from experience on actual cases has shown that it was critical to define simpler generic and public benchmarks in order to perform a preliminary selection. A specific Working Group has been launched in the frame of COFREND, the French Association for NDE, resulting in the definition of several benchmark problems. This action is now ready for mutualization with similar international approaches.

  17. Makerere University College of Health Sciences’ role in addressing challenges in health service provision at Mulago National Referral Hospital

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Mulago National Referral Hospital (MNRH), Uganda’s primary tertiary and teaching hospital, and Makerere University College of Health Sciences (MakCHS) have a close collaborative relationship. MakCHS students complete clinical rotations at MNRH, and MakCHS faculty partner with Mulago staff in clinical care and research. In 2009, as part of a strategic planning process, MakCHS undertook a qualitative study to examine care and service provision at MNRH, identify challenges, gaps, and solutions, and explore how MakCHS could contribute to improving care and service delivery at MNRH. Methods Key informant interviews (n=23) and focus group discussions (n=7) were conducted with nurses, doctors, administrators, clinical officers and other key stakeholders. Interviews and focus groups were tape recorded and transcribed verbatim, and findings were analyzed through collaborative thematic analysis. Results Challenges to care and service delivery at MNRH included resource constraints (staff, space, equipment, and supplies), staff inadequacies (knowledge, motivation, and professionalism), overcrowding, a poorly functioning referral system, limited quality assurance, and a cumbersome procurement system. There were also insufficiencies in the teaching of professionalism and communication skills to students, and patient care challenges that included lack of access to specialized services, risk of infections, and inappropriate medications. Suggestions for how MakCHS could contribute to addressing these challenges included strengthening referral systems and peripheral health center capacity, and establishing quality assurance mechanisms. The College could also strengthen the teaching of professionalism, communication and leadership skills to students, and monitor student training and develop courses that contribute to continuous professional development. Additionally, the College could provide in-service education for providers on professionalism, communication skills

  18. Potential of low-temperature anaerobic digestion to address current environmental concerns on swine production.

    PubMed

    Massé, D I; Masse, L; Xia, Y; Gilbert, Y

    2010-04-01

    Environmental issues associated with swine production are becoming a major concern among the general public and are thus an important challenge for the swine industry. There is now a renewed interest in environmental biotechnologies that can minimize the impact of swine production and add value to livestock by-products. An anaerobic biotechnology called psychrophilic anaerobic digestion (PAD) in sequencing batch reactors (SBR) has been developed at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. This very stable biotechnology recovers usable energy, stabilizes and deodorizes manure, and increases the availability of plant nutrients. Experimental results indicated that PAD of swine manure slurry at 15 to 25 degrees C in intermittently fed SBR reduces the pollution potential of manure by removing up to 90% of the soluble chemical oxygen demand. The process performs well under intermittent feeding, once to 3 times a week, and without external mixing. Bioreactor feeding activities can thus be easily integrated into the routine manure removal procedures in the barn, with minimal interference with other farm operations and use of existing manure-handling equipment. Process stability was not affected by the presence of antibiotics in manure. The PAD process was efficient in eliminating populations of zoonotic pathogens and parasites present in raw livestock manure slurries. Psychrophilic anaerobic digestion in SBR could also be used for swine mortality disposal. The addition of swine carcasses, at loading rates representing up to 8 times the normal mortality rates on commercial farms, did not affect the stability of SBR. No operational problems were related to the formation of foam and scum. The biotechnology was successfully operated at semi-industrial and full commercial scales. Biogas production rate exceeded 0.20 L of methane per gram of total chemical oxygen demand fed to the SBR. The biogas was of excellent quality, with a methane concentration ranging from 70 to 80%. The

  19. Soil Contamination and Remediation Strategies. Current research and future challenge

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petruzzelli, G.

    2012-04-01

    eliminating the source of pollution, but also on blocking the pathways from contaminants to receptors or reducing the exposure to contaminants,. Future challenge integration of sustainability into remediation decision-making. Soil is not a waste! There is a growing interest in the clean up approaches that maintain soil quality after remediation treatments. This issue is of great importance in the U.S.A. where the EPA from 2009 is promoting innovative clean-up strategies (Green Remediation). Green remediation is defined as the practice of considering all environmental effects of remedy and incorporating options to maximize environmental benefit of cleanup actions . These remediation strategies restore contaminated sites to productive use with a great attention to the global environmental quality, including the preservation of soil functionality according to the following principles: use minimally invasive technologies; use passive energy technologies such as bioremediation and phytoremediation as primary remedies or finishing steps where possible and effective; minimize soil and habitat disturbance; minimize bioavailability of contaminants trough adequate contaminant source and plume control If we move from the current definition of remedial targets based on total concentrations, technologies with low impact on the environment can be utilized reducing the wrong choice to disposal soil in landfill destroying quickly a not renewable essential resource.

  20. Potential of old-generation antibiotics to address current need for new antibiotics.

    PubMed

    Falagas, Matthew E; Grammatikos, Alexandros P; Michalopoulos, Argyris

    2008-10-01

    Despite the constantly increasing need for new antimicrobial agents, antibiotic drug discovery and development seem to have greatly decelerated in recent years. Presented with the significant problem of advancing antimicrobial resistance, the global scientific community has attempted to find alternative solutions; one of the most promising ones is the evaluation and use of old antibiotic compounds. Due to the low-level use of many of the old antibiotic compounds, these have remained active against a large number of currently prevalent bacterial isolates. Thus, clinicians are beginning to re-evaluate their use in various patient populations and infections, despite the fact that they were previously thought to be less effective and/or more toxic than newer agents. A number of old antibiotic compounds, such as polymyxins, fosfomycin, fusidic acid, cotrimoxazole, aminoglycosides and chloramphenicol, are re-emerging as valuable alternatives for the treatment of difficult-to-treat infections. The availability of novel genetic and molecular modification methods provides hope that the toxicity and efficacy drawbacks presented by some of these agents can be surpassed in the future. PMID:18847400

  1. Potential of old-generation antibiotics to address current need for new antibiotics.

    PubMed

    Falagas, Matthew E; Grammatikos, Alexandros P; Michalopoulos, Argyris

    2008-10-01

    Despite the constantly increasing need for new antimicrobial agents, antibiotic drug discovery and development seem to have greatly decelerated in recent years. Presented with the significant problem of advancing antimicrobial resistance, the global scientific community has attempted to find alternative solutions; one of the most promising ones is the evaluation and use of old antibiotic compounds. Due to the low-level use of many of the old antibiotic compounds, these have remained active against a large number of currently prevalent bacterial isolates. Thus, clinicians are beginning to re-evaluate their use in various patient populations and infections, despite the fact that they were previously thought to be less effective and/or more toxic than newer agents. A number of old antibiotic compounds, such as polymyxins, fosfomycin, fusidic acid, cotrimoxazole, aminoglycosides and chloramphenicol, are re-emerging as valuable alternatives for the treatment of difficult-to-treat infections. The availability of novel genetic and molecular modification methods provides hope that the toxicity and efficacy drawbacks presented by some of these agents can be surpassed in the future.

  2. Addressing Therapeutic Options for Ebola Virus Infection in Current and Future Outbreaks

    PubMed Central

    Hober, Didier; Blondiaux, Joel

    2015-01-01

    Ebola virus can cause severe hemorrhagic disease with high fatality rates. Currently, no specific therapeutic agent or vaccine has been approved for treatment and prevention of Ebola virus infection of humans. Although the number of Ebola cases has fallen in the last few weeks, multiple outbreaks of Ebola virus infection and the likelihood of future exposure highlight the need for development and rapid evaluation of pre- and postexposure treatments. Here, we briefly review the existing and future options for anti-Ebola therapy, based on the data coming from rare clinical reports, studies on animals, and results from in vitro models. We also project the mechanistic hypotheses of several potential drugs against Ebola virus, including small-molecule-based drugs, which are under development and being tested in animal models or in vitro using various cell types. Our paper discusses strategies toward identifying and testing anti-Ebola virus properties of known and medically approved drugs, especially those that can limit the pathological inflammatory response in Ebola patients and thereby provide protection from mortality. We underline the importance of developing combinational therapy for better treatment outcomes for Ebola patients. PMID:26248374

  3. Addressing Therapeutic Options for Ebola Virus Infection in Current and Future Outbreaks.

    PubMed

    Haque, Azizul; Hober, Didier; Blondiaux, Joel

    2015-10-01

    Ebola virus can cause severe hemorrhagic disease with high fatality rates. Currently, no specific therapeutic agent or vaccine has been approved for treatment and prevention of Ebola virus infection of humans. Although the number of Ebola cases has fallen in the last few weeks, multiple outbreaks of Ebola virus infection and the likelihood of future exposure highlight the need for development and rapid evaluation of pre- and postexposure treatments. Here, we briefly review the existing and future options for anti-Ebola therapy, based on the data coming from rare clinical reports, studies on animals, and results from in vitro models. We also project the mechanistic hypotheses of several potential drugs against Ebola virus, including small-molecule-based drugs, which are under development and being tested in animal models or in vitro using various cell types. Our paper discusses strategies toward identifying and testing anti-Ebola virus properties of known and medically approved drugs, especially those that can limit the pathological inflammatory response in Ebola patients and thereby provide protection from mortality. We underline the importance of developing combinational therapy for better treatment outcomes for Ebola patients.

  4. Current Challenges in Commercially Producing Biofuels from Lignocellulosic Biomass

    PubMed Central

    Balan, Venkatesh

    2014-01-01

    Biofuels that are produced from biobased materials are a good alternative to petroleum based fuels. They offer several benefits to society and the environment. Producing second generation biofuels is even more challenging than producing first generation biofuels due the complexity of the biomass and issues related to producing, harvesting, and transporting less dense biomass to centralized biorefineries. In addition to this logistic challenge, other challenges with respect to processing steps in converting biomass to liquid transportation fuel like pretreatment, hydrolysis, microbial fermentation, and fuel separation still exist and are discussed in this review. The possible coproducts that could be produced in the biorefinery and their importance to reduce the processing cost of biofuel are discussed. About $1 billion was spent in the year 2012 by the government agencies in US to meet the mandate to replace 30% existing liquid transportation fuels by 2022 which is 36 billion gallons/year. Other countries in the world have set their own targets to replace petroleum fuel by biofuels. Because of the challenges listed in this review and lack of government policies to create the demand for biofuels, it may take more time for the lignocellulosic biofuels to hit the market place than previously projected. PMID:25937989

  5. Current Challenges in Commercially Producing Biofuels from Lignocellulosic Biomass

    DOE PAGES

    Balan, Venkatesh

    2014-01-01

    Biofuels that are produced from biobased materials are a good alternative to petroleum based fuels. They offer several benefits to society and the environment. Producing second generation biofuels is even more challenging than producing first generation biofuels due the complexity of the biomass and issues related to producing, harvesting, and transporting less dense biomass to centralized biorefineries. In addition to this logistic challenge, other challenges with respect to processing steps in converting biomass to liquid transportation fuel like pretreatment, hydrolysis, microbial fermentation, and fuel separation still exist and are discussed in this review. The possible coproducts that could be producedmore » in the biorefinery and their importance to reduce the processing cost of biofuel are discussed. About $1 billion was spent in the year 2012 by the government agencies in US to meet the mandate to replace 30% existing liquid transportation fuels by 2022 which is 36 billion gallons/year. Other countries in the world have set their own targets to replace petroleum fuel by biofuels. Because of the challenges listed in this review and lack of government policies to create the demand for biofuels, it may take more time for the lignocellulosic biofuels to hit the market place than previously projected.« less

  6. Hispanic Superintendents in Illinois: Current Trends and Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Espinoza, Ricardo

    2012-01-01

    The trends and challenges faced by Hispanic superintendents in Illinois are stated and analyzed throughout the study in both literature and practice. The examined items centered on the issues of hiring experiences and other barriers associated with the acquisition and longevity of the superintendency in Illinois. Data for the study were collected…

  7. Current challenges in the discovery of novel antibacterials from microbial natural products.

    PubMed

    Genilloud, Olga

    2012-12-01

    Microbial natural products have been for decades one of the most successful sources of drugs to treat infectious diseases. The high occurrence of resistances to all major classes of known antibiotics represents today a new challenge and new classes of antibacterial compounds are urgently needed to respond to this unmet clinical need. While natural products discovery programs have been gradually abandoned by big pharma, smaller biotechnology companies and other research organizations are taking the lead in the discovery of novel antibacterials. A survey of recent patents has shown that in spite of the efforts, few novel compounds are being developed that can overcome most of the emerging multi-resistant and pan-resistant pathogens. In order to respond to the current challenges of discovering novel antibiotics, new approaches are required to be developed to further exploit the microbial resources and their biosynthetic potential as an untapped source of novel metabolites. Strategies to mine microbial collections for orphan biosynthetic pathways and novel species thought to be uncultivable, are emerging as a need within antibacterial drug discovery programs, in combination with high throughput screening and chemical dereplication of novel compounds. Different innovative methods that are being developed to respond to the new challenges that are faced today by drug discovery programs will ensure the evolution of these strategies into a completely new framework that will address the renovated interest in the discovery of novel classes of antibiotics. PMID:22963258

  8. Current-limiting challenges for all-spin logic devices.

    PubMed

    Su, Li; Zhang, Youguang; Klein, Jacques-Olivier; Zhang, Yue; Bournel, Arnaud; Fert, Albert; Zhao, Weisheng

    2015-01-01

    All-spin logic device (ASLD) has attracted increasing interests as one of the most promising post-CMOS device candidates, thanks to its low power, non-volatility and logic-in-memory structure. Here we investigate the key current-limiting factors and develop a physics-based model of ASLD through nano-magnet switching, the spin transport properties and the breakdown characteristic of channel. First, ASLD with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) nano-magnet is proposed to reduce the critical current (Ic0). Most important, the spin transport efficiency can be enhanced by analyzing the device structure, dimension, contact resistance as well as material parameters. Furthermore, breakdown current density (JBR) of spin channel is studied for the upper current limitation. As a result, we can deduce current-limiting conditions and estimate energy dissipation. Based on the model, we demonstrate ASLD with different structures and channel materials (graphene and copper). Asymmetric structure is found to be the optimal option for current limitations. Copper channel outperforms graphene in term of energy but seriously suffers from breakdown current limit. By exploring the current limit and performance tradeoffs, the optimization of ASLD is also discussed. This benchmarking model of ASLD opens up new prospects for design and implementation of future spintronics applications.

  9. Current-limiting challenges for all-spin logic devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Li; Zhang, Youguang; Klein, Jacques-Olivier; Zhang, Yue; Bournel, Arnaud; Fert, Albert; Zhao, Weisheng

    2015-10-01

    All-spin logic device (ASLD) has attracted increasing interests as one of the most promising post-CMOS device candidates, thanks to its low power, non-volatility and logic-in-memory structure. Here we investigate the key current-limiting factors and develop a physics-based model of ASLD through nano-magnet switching, the spin transport properties and the breakdown characteristic of channel. First, ASLD with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) nano-magnet is proposed to reduce the critical current (Ic0). Most important, the spin transport efficiency can be enhanced by analyzing the device structure, dimension, contact resistance as well as material parameters. Furthermore, breakdown current density (JBR) of spin channel is studied for the upper current limitation. As a result, we can deduce current-limiting conditions and estimate energy dissipation. Based on the model, we demonstrate ASLD with different structures and channel materials (graphene and copper). Asymmetric structure is found to be the optimal option for current limitations. Copper channel outperforms graphene in term of energy but seriously suffers from breakdown current limit. By exploring the current limit and performance tradeoffs, the optimization of ASLD is also discussed. This benchmarking model of ASLD opens up new prospects for design and implementation of future spintronics applications.

  10. Current-limiting challenges for all-spin logic devices

    PubMed Central

    Su, Li; Zhang, Youguang; Klein, Jacques-Olivier; Zhang, Yue; Bournel, Arnaud; Fert, Albert; Zhao, Weisheng

    2015-01-01

    All-spin logic device (ASLD) has attracted increasing interests as one of the most promising post-CMOS device candidates, thanks to its low power, non-volatility and logic-in-memory structure. Here we investigate the key current-limiting factors and develop a physics-based model of ASLD through nano-magnet switching, the spin transport properties and the breakdown characteristic of channel. First, ASLD with perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) nano-magnet is proposed to reduce the critical current (Ic0). Most important, the spin transport efficiency can be enhanced by analyzing the device structure, dimension, contact resistance as well as material parameters. Furthermore, breakdown current density (JBR) of spin channel is studied for the upper current limitation. As a result, we can deduce current-limiting conditions and estimate energy dissipation. Based on the model, we demonstrate ASLD with different structures and channel materials (graphene and copper). Asymmetric structure is found to be the optimal option for current limitations. Copper channel outperforms graphene in term of energy but seriously suffers from breakdown current limit. By exploring the current limit and performance tradeoffs, the optimization of ASLD is also discussed. This benchmarking model of ASLD opens up new prospects for design and implementation of future spintronics applications. PMID:26449410

  11. Conducting Community Research in Rural China –Addressing the Methodological Challenges of Recruiting Participants in Rapidly Changing Social Environments

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Jing; Chiu, Helen F.K.; Hou, Zai-Jin; Caine, Eric D.

    2012-01-01

    Background The paper addressed a unique challenge for public health and community research in rural China, i.e., the very large percentage of young adults that comprises a highly mobile working population that has been an essential component of the country’s economic transformation. Fluid local demographic patterns potentially have a substantial impact on sample representativeness and data validity. Methods This report is based upon a cross sectional survey with face-to-face interviews of residents aged 16–34 years in rural communities of Mianyang, Sichuan Province, China. Two waves of fieldwork and other strategies were adopted in response to recruitment challenges. Results 1654 of 3008 potential participants took part in the study; this constituted 98% of those individuals approached and 55% of the persons enumerated in the local household registration system (hukou). Analyses revealed substantial differences among those who were interviewed during September and October 2005, versus those seen during the Chinese Lunar New Year of 2006 when many migrant workers and students returned to their homes. Both groups together differed from those who were unavailable during either recruiting episode. Discussion and Conclusions We discuss potential responses to associated methodological challenges, including, (1) permanent hukou mismatches; (2) temporary hukou mismatches; (3) difficulties faced by potential participants to fully understand the purpose of research, the informed consent process, and specific research questions; and (4) appreciation of the importance of local social networks, as they pertain in particular to rural China. These findings underscore that there may be a need to make “on-the-ground” adjustments to varying local conditions to maximize sample representativeness and data validity. PMID:22662022

  12. The value of information: Current challenges in surveillance implementation.

    PubMed

    Stärk, Katharina D C; Häsler, Barbara

    2015-11-01

    Animal health surveillance is a complex activity that involves multiple stakeholders and provides decision support across sectors. Despite progress in the design of surveillance systems, some technical challenges remain, specifically for emerging hazards. Surveillance can also be impacted by political interests and costly consequences of case reporting, particularly in relation to international trade. Constraints on surveillance can therefore be of technical, economic and political nature. From an economic perspective, both surveillance and intervention are resource-using activities that are part of a mitigation strategy. Surveillance provides information for intervention decisions and thereby helps to offset negative effects of animal disease and to reduce the decision uncertainty associated with choices on disease control. It thus creates monetary and non-monetary benefits, both of which may be challenging to quantify. The technical relationships between surveillance, intervention and loss avoidance have not been established for most hazards despite being important consideration for investment decisions. Therefore, surveillance cannot just be maximised to minimise intervention costs. Economic appraisals of surveillance need to be done on a case by case basis for any hazard considering both surveillance and intervention performance, the losses avoided and the values attached to them. This can be achieved by using an evaluation approach which provides a systematic investigation of the worth or merit of surveillance activities. Evaluation is driven by a specific evaluation question which for surveillance systems commonly considers effectiveness, efficiency, implementation and/or compliance issues. More work is needed to provide guidance on the appropriate selection of evaluation attributes and general good practice in surveillance evaluation. Due to technical challenges, economic constraints and variable levels of capacity, the implementation of surveillance systems

  13. Progress in Aptamer-Mediated Drug Delivery Vehicles for Cancer Targeting and Its Implications in Addressing Chemotherapeutic Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Jie; Huang, He; Dong, Shiwu; Ge, Liang; Zhang, Yuan

    2014-01-01

    Aptamers are novel oligonucleotides with flexible three-dimensional configurations that recognize and bind to their cognate targets, including tumor surface receptors, in a high-affinity and highly specific manner. Because of their unique intrinsic properties, a variety of aptamer-mediated nanovehicles have been developed to directionally transport anti-cancer drugs to tumor sites to minimize systemic cytotoxicity and to enhance permeation by these tumoricidal agents. Despite advances in the selection and synthesis of aptamers and in the conjugation and self-assembly of nanotechnologies, current chemotherapy and drug delivery systems face great challenges. These challenges are due to the limitations of aptamers and vehicles and because of complicated tumor mechanisms, including heterogeneity, anti-cancer drug resistance, and hypoxia-induced aberrances. In this review, we will summarize current approaches utilizing tumor surface hallmarks and aptamers and their roles and mechanisms in therapeutic nanovehicles targeting tumors. Delivery forms include nanoparticles, nanotubes, nanogels, aptamer-drug conjugates, and novel molecular trains. Moreover, the obstacles posed by the aforementioned issues will be highlighted, and possible solutions will be acknowledged. Furthermore, future perspectives will be presented, including cutting-edge integration with RNA interference nanotechnology and personalized chemotherapy, which will facilitate innovative approaches to aptamer-based therapeutics. PMID:25057317

  14. Current challenges and novel treatment strategies in double hit lymphomas

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Mary Ann; Tsui, Alpha; Wall, Meaghan; Huang, David C. S.; Roberts, Andrew W.

    2016-01-01

    High-grade B-cell lymphomas with recurrent chromosomal break points have been termed ‘double hit lymphoma’ (DHL). The most commonly seen DHL is diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) with t(14;18) and t(8;14) or t(8;22) resulting in overexpression of BCL2 and MYC, respectively. The increased proliferation due to MYC overexpression, without the ability for an apoptotic brake as a result of BCL2 overexpression, results in ‘the perfect storm of oncogenesis’. Thus this disease presents a number of diagnostic and therapeutic challenges for the hematologist. The first and foremost challenge is to recognize the DHL. As different morphological entities can be affected it is incumbent on pathologists and clinicians to maintain a high index of suspicion especially in disease that appears unusually aggressive or refractory to therapy. Diagnosis by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) is a sensitive and specific method for detection of the disease but is time-consuming and expensive. While detection by immunohistochemistry (IHC) is sensitive and correlates with survival, standardized methods for this are not widely agreed upon. The second and equally important challenge in DHL is optimizing clinical outcome in a group of patients for whom the prognosis is widely regarded as poor. While improvements have been achieved by dose escalating standard chemotherapeutic regimens, many patients continue to do badly. Furthermore as a disease of aging many patients are unsuitable for dose-intensive chemotherapy regimens. There are now multiple novel targeted agents in various stages of clinical development that offer hope for better outcomes without undue toxicity. Among the most exciting of these developments include specific inhibitors of both BCL2 and MYC. PMID:26834954

  15. Current challenges and trends in the discovery of agrochemicals.

    PubMed

    Lamberth, Clemens; Jeanmart, Stephane; Luksch, Torsten; Plant, Andrew

    2013-08-16

    Crop protection chemistry has come a long way from its "alchemic" beginnings in the late 19th century to a high-tech science that supports the sustainable production of food, feed, and fiber for a rapidly growing population. Cutting-edge developments in the design and synthesis of agrochemicals help to tackle today's challenges of weed and pest resistance, higher regulatory safety margins, and higher cost of goods with the invention of selective, environmentally benign, low use rate, and cost-effective active ingredients.

  16. Phospholipids at the Interface: Current Trends and Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Pichot, Roman; Watson, Richard L.; Norton, Ian T.

    2013-01-01

    Phospholipids are one of the major structural elements of biological membranes. Due to their amphiphilic character, they can adopt various molecular assemblies when dispersed in water, such as bilayer vesicles or micelles, which give them unique interfacial properties and render them very attractive in terms of foam or emulsion stabilization. This article aims at reviewing the properties of phospholipids at the air/water and oil/water interfaces, as well as the recent advances in using these natural components as stabilizers, alone or in combination with other compounds such as proteins. A discussion regarding the challenges and opportunities offered by phospholipids-stabilized structure concludes the review. PMID:23736688

  17. Religion, spirituality and cancer: current status and methodological challenges.

    PubMed

    Stefanek, Michael; McDonald, Paige Green; Hess, Stephanie A

    2005-06-01

    The role of religion and spirituality in health has received increasing attention in the scientific and lay literature. While the scientific attention to this issue has expanded, there continue to be methodological and measurement concerns that often prevent firm conclusions about health and adjustment benefits. Limited attention has been provided to the role of spirituality and religion in cancer. This is true when both disease outcome and adjustment are considered. A recent 'levels of evidence' review examining the link between physical health and religion or spirituality found little overall support for the hypotheses that religion or spirituality impact cancer progression or mortality. Studies examining their impact on quality of life and adjustment are decidedly mixed. In sum, research specifically focusing on the role of religion or spirituality on cancer outcomes has been surprisingly sparse. Such research presents a number of methodological and measurement challenges. Due to these unmet challenges in the literature to date, it is premature to determine what role religion and spirituality play in disease, adjustment, or quality of life outcomes in cancer. A number of suggestions are made for continued research in this area.

  18. Current Challenges and Prospective Research for Upscaling Hybrid Perovskite Photovoltaics.

    PubMed

    Williams, Spencer T; Rajagopal, Adharsh; Chueh, Chu-Chen; Jen, Alex K-Y

    2016-03-01

    Organic-inorganic hybrid perovskite photovoltaics (PSCs) are poised to push toward technology translation, but significant challenges complicating commercialization remain. Though J-V hysteresis and ecotoxicity are uniquely imposing issues at scale, CH3NH3PbI3 degradation is by far the sharpest limitation to the technology's potential market contribution. Herein, we offer a perspective on the practical market potential of PSCs, the nature of fundamental PSC challenges at scale, and an outline of prospective solutions for achieving module scale PSC production tailored to intrinsic advantages of CH3NH3PbI3. Although integrating PSCs into the energy grid is complicated by CH3NH3PbI3 degradation, the ability of PSCs to contribute to consumer electronics and other niche markets like those organic photovoltaics have sought footing in rests primarily upon the technology's price point. Thus, slot die, roll-to-roll processing has the greatest potential to enable PSC scale-up, and herein, we present a perspective on the research necessary to realize fully printable PSCs at scale.

  19. Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance Biosensing: Current Challenges and Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Unser, Sarah; Bruzas, Ian; He, Jie; Sagle, Laura

    2015-01-01

    Localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) has emerged as a leader among label-free biosensing techniques in that it offers sensitive, robust, and facile detection. Traditional LSPR-based biosensing utilizes the sensitivity of the plasmon frequency to changes in local index of refraction at the nanoparticle surface. Although surface plasmon resonance technologies are now widely used to measure biomolecular interactions, several challenges remain. In this article, we have categorized these challenges into four categories: improving sensitivity and limit of detection, selectivity in complex biological solutions, sensitive detection of membrane-associated species, and the adaptation of sensing elements for point-of-care diagnostic devices. The first section of this article will involve a conceptual discussion of surface plasmon resonance and the factors affecting changes in optical signal detected. The following sections will discuss applications of LSPR biosensing with an emphasis on recent advances and approaches to overcome the four limitations mentioned above. First, improvements in limit of detection through various amplification strategies will be highlighted. The second section will involve advances to improve selectivity in complex media through self-assembled monolayers, “plasmon ruler” devices involving plasmonic coupling, and shape complementarity on the nanoparticle surface. The following section will describe various LSPR platforms designed for the sensitive detection of membrane-associated species. Finally, recent advances towards multiplexed and microfluidic LSPR-based devices for inexpensive, rapid, point-of-care diagnostics will be discussed. PMID:26147727

  20. [Influenza vaccination. Effectiveness of current vaccines and future challenges].

    PubMed

    Ortiz de Lejarazu, Raúl; Tamames, Sonia

    2015-01-01

    Seasonal influenza is an annual challenge for health-care systems, due to factors such as co-circulation of 2 influenza A subtypes jointly with 2 influenza B lineages; the antigenic drift of these virus, which eludes natural immunity, as well as immunity conferred by vaccination; together with influenza impact in terms of morbidity and mortality. Influenza vaccines have been available for more than 70 years and they have progressed in formulation, production and delivery route. Recommendations on vaccination are focused on those with a higher probability of severe disease, and have a progressively wider coverage, and classically based on inactivated vaccines, but with an increasing importance of attenuated live vaccines. More inactivated vaccines are becoming available, from adyuvanted and virosomal vaccines to intradermal delivery, cell-culture or quadrivalent. Overall vaccine effectiveness is about 65%, but varies depending on characteristics of vaccines, virus, population and the outcomes to be prevented, and ranges from less than 10% to almost 90%. Future challenges are formulations that confer more extensive and lasting protection, as well as increased vaccination coverage, especially in groups such as pregnant women and health-care professionals, as well as being extended to paediatrics.

  1. Progress and Current Challenges in Modeling Large RNAs.

    PubMed

    Somarowthu, Srinivas

    2016-02-27

    Recent breakthroughs in next-generation sequencing technologies have led to the discovery of several classes of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). It is now apparent that RNA molecules are not only just carriers of genetic information but also key players in many cellular processes. While there has been a rapid increase in the number of ncRNA sequences deposited in various databases over the past decade, the biological functions of these ncRNAs are largely not well understood. Similar to proteins, RNA molecules carry out a function by forming specific three-dimensional structures. Understanding the function of a particular RNA therefore requires a detailed knowledge of its structure. However, determining experimental structures of RNA is extremely challenging. In fact, RNA-only structures represent just 1% of the total structures deposited in the PDB. Thus, computational methods that predict three-dimensional RNA structures are in high demand. Computational models can provide valuable insights into structure-function relationships in ncRNAs and can aid in the development of functional hypotheses and experimental designs. In recent years, a set of diverse RNA structure prediction tools have become available, which differ in computational time, input data and accuracy. This review discusses the recent progress and challenges in RNA structure prediction methods.

  2. Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance Biosensing: Current Challenges and Approaches.

    PubMed

    Unser, Sarah; Bruzas, Ian; He, Jie; Sagle, Laura

    2015-07-02

    Localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) has emerged as a leader among label-free biosensing techniques in that it offers sensitive, robust, and facile detection. Traditional LSPR-based biosensing utilizes the sensitivity of the plasmon frequency to changes in local index of refraction at the nanoparticle surface. Although surface plasmon resonance technologies are now widely used to measure biomolecular interactions, several challenges remain. In this article, we have categorized these challenges into four categories: improving sensitivity and limit of detection, selectivity in complex biological solutions, sensitive detection of membrane-associated species, and the adaptation of sensing elements for point-of-care diagnostic devices. The first section of this article will involve a conceptual discussion of surface plasmon resonance and the factors affecting changes in optical signal detected. The following sections will discuss applications of LSPR biosensing with an emphasis on recent advances and approaches to overcome the four limitations mentioned above. First, improvements in limit of detection through various amplification strategies will be highlighted. The second section will involve advances to improve selectivity in complex media through self-assembled monolayers, "plasmon ruler" devices involving plasmonic coupling, and shape complementarity on the nanoparticle surface. The following section will describe various LSPR platforms designed for the sensitive detection of membrane-associated species. Finally, recent advances towards multiplexed and microfluidic LSPR-based devices for inexpensive, rapid, point-of-care diagnostics will be discussed.

  3. Progress and Current Challenges in Modeling Large RNAs.

    PubMed

    Somarowthu, Srinivas

    2016-02-27

    Recent breakthroughs in next-generation sequencing technologies have led to the discovery of several classes of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs). It is now apparent that RNA molecules are not only just carriers of genetic information but also key players in many cellular processes. While there has been a rapid increase in the number of ncRNA sequences deposited in various databases over the past decade, the biological functions of these ncRNAs are largely not well understood. Similar to proteins, RNA molecules carry out a function by forming specific three-dimensional structures. Understanding the function of a particular RNA therefore requires a detailed knowledge of its structure. However, determining experimental structures of RNA is extremely challenging. In fact, RNA-only structures represent just 1% of the total structures deposited in the PDB. Thus, computational methods that predict three-dimensional RNA structures are in high demand. Computational models can provide valuable insights into structure-function relationships in ncRNAs and can aid in the development of functional hypotheses and experimental designs. In recent years, a set of diverse RNA structure prediction tools have become available, which differ in computational time, input data and accuracy. This review discusses the recent progress and challenges in RNA structure prediction methods. PMID:26585404

  4. [Current situation and challenges in companion diagnostics development].

    PubMed

    Nishida, Miwa

    2014-12-01

    The personalized health care, it is defined as a medical care which provide the optimal therapy for each individual in consideration of a patient's individual difference, such as a genetic background and a physiological state. A companion diagnosis to stratify a patient appropriately is essential for the spread of personalized health care, and it is important that a companion diagnostic reagent used for the companion diagnosis is properly developed and clinically applied. However, as for the development of companion diagnostics and pharmaceuticals that require it, there are still many challenges such as its business model of cooperation of diagnostics companies and pharmaceutical companies, also, the regulations related to companion diagnostics. Furthermore, even in clinical practice, there are many issues such as the way of reimbursement for companion diagnostics and also the handling of laboratory developed test (LDT) as companion diagnostics. These are issues that should continue to discuss with industry, government and academia. In this report, from the point of view of a diagnostics company, we discuss the various challenges in clinical applications from the development of companion diagnostics. PMID:25596043

  5. Medical education in India: current challenges and the way forward.

    PubMed

    Solanki, Anjali; Kashyap, Surender

    2014-12-01

    Medical education in India is suffering from various shortcomings at conceptual as well as implementation level. With the expansion in medical education, the doctor to patient ratio has increased but these numbers do not align well with the overall quality of medical care in the country. To address this issue, a comprehensive analysis of various associated factors is essential. Indian medical education is suffering from a maldistribution of resources, unregulated growth in the private sector, lack of uniform admission procedures and traditional curricula lacking innovative approaches. To achieve higher standards of medical education, our goal should be to re-evaluate each and every aspect; create an efficient accreditation system; promote an equal distribution of resources, redesign curricula with stricter implementation and improved assessment methodologies; all of which will generate efficient medical graduates and consequently better health care delivery, and resulting in desired change within the system.

  6. Polyhydroxyalkanoates - what are the uses? Current challenges and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Masood, Farha; Yasin, Tariq; Hameed, Abdul

    2015-01-01

    Over the past few decades, a considerable attention has been focused on the microbial polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) owing to its multifaceted properties, i.e. biodegradability, biocompatibility, non-toxicity and thermo-plasticity. This article presents a critical review of the foregoing research, current trends and future perspectives on the value added applications of PHAs in the biomedical, environmental and industrial domains of life.

  7. Systematics of key phytopathogenic fusaria: Current status and future challenges

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This brief review is intended to provide plant pathologists and other scientists, especially ones in Japan, with a current overview of the most important fusarial phytopathogens and mycotoxin producers. Knowledge of Fusarium species diversity and their evolutionary relationships has increased dramat...

  8. Building organizational technical capabilities: a new approach to address the office of environmental management cleanup challenges in the 21. century

    SciTech Connect

    Fiore, J.J.; Rizkalla, E.I.

    2007-07-01

    The United States Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Environmental Management (EM) is responsible for the nations nuclear weapons program legacy wastes cleanup. The EM cleanup efforts continue to progress, however the cleanup continues to be technologically complex, heavily regulated, long-term, and a high life cycle cost estimate (LCCE) effort. Over the past few years, the EM program has undergone several changes to accelerate its cleanup efforts with varying degrees of success. Several cleanup projects continued to experience schedule delays and cost growth. The schedule delays and cost growth have been attributed to several factors such as changes in technical scope, regulatory and safety considerations, inadequacy of acquisition approach and project management. This article will briefly review the background and schools of thought on strategic management and organizational change practiced in the United States over the last few decades to improve an organisation's competitive edge and cost performance. The article will briefly review examples such as the change at General Electric, and the recent experience obtained from the nuclear industry, namely the long-term response to the 1986 Chernobyl accident. The long-term response to Chernobyl, though not a case of organizational change, could provide some insight in the strategic management approaches used to address people issues. The article will discuss briefly EM attempts to accelerate cleanup over the past few years, and the subsequent paradigm shift. The paradigm shift targets enhancing and/or creating organizational capabilities to achieve cost savings. To improve its ability to address the 21. century environmental cleanup challenges and achieve cost savings, EM has initiated new corporate changes to develop new and enhance existing capabilities. These new and enhanced organizational capabilities include a renewed emphasis on basics, especially technical capabilities including safety, project management

  9. Biaxial tension of fibrous tissue: using finite element methods to address experimental challenges arising from boundary conditions and anisotropy.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, Nathan T; Cortes, Daniel H; Vresilovic, Edward J; Elliott, Dawn M

    2013-02-01

    Planar biaxial tension remains a critical loading modality for fibrous soft tissue and is widely used to characterize tissue mechanical response, evaluate treatments, develop constitutive formulas, and obtain material properties for use in finite element studies. Although the application of tension on all edges of the test specimen represents the in situ environment, there remains a need to address the interpretation of experimental results. Unlike uniaxial tension, in biaxial tension the applied forces at the loading clamps do not transmit fully to the region of interest (ROI), which may lead to improper material characterization if not accounted for. In this study, we reviewed the tensile biaxial literature over the last ten years, noting experimental and analysis challenges. In response to these challenges, we used finite element simulations to quantify load transmission from the clamps to the ROI in biaxial tension and to formulate a correction factor that can be used to determine ROI stresses. Additionally, the impact of sample geometry, material anisotropy, and tissue orientation on the correction factor were determined. Large stress concentrations were evident in both square and cruciform geometries and for all levels of anisotropy. In general, stress concentrations were greater for the square geometry than the cruciform geometry. For both square and cruciform geometries, materials with fibers aligned parallel to the loading axes reduced stress concentrations compared to the isotropic tissue, resulting in more of the applied load being transferred to the ROI. In contrast, fiber-reinforced specimens oriented such that the fibers aligned at an angle to the loading axes produced very large stress concentrations across the clamps and shielding in the ROI. A correction factor technique was introduced that can be used to calculate the stresses in the ROI from the measured experimental loads at the clamps. Application of a correction factor to experimental biaxial

  10. Imaging of intestinal fibrosis: current challenges and future methods

    PubMed Central

    Higgins, Peter DR

    2016-01-01

    Crohn’s disease (CD) activity assessments are dominated by inflammatory changes without discrete measurement of the coexisting fibrotic contribution to total bowel damage. Intestinal fibrosis impacts the development of severe structural complications and the overall natural history of CD. Measuring intestinal fibrosis is challenging and existing methods of disease assessment are unable to reliably distinguish fibrosis from inflammation. Both the immediate clinical need to measure fibrosis for therapeutic decision-making and the near-future need for tools to assess pipeline anti-fibrotic medications highlight the demand for biomarkers of fibrosis in CD. Developing non-invasive technologies exploit changes in intestinal perfusion, mechanical properties, and macromolecular content to provide quantitative markers of fibrosis. In this review of existing and experimental technologies for imaging intestinal fibrosis, we discuss the expanding capabilities of quantitative MR and ultrasound imaging, encouraging developments in non-invasive elastography, and emerging novel methods including photoacoustic imaging. PMID:27536361

  11. Process mining for clinical workflows: challenges and current limitations.

    PubMed

    Lang, Martin; Bürkle, Thomas; Laumann, Susanne; Prokosch, Hans-Ulrich

    2008-01-01

    Process mining is an emerging technology in the context of Business Process Management with the goal to derive process models from observed system behavior. The global goals are: to detect previously unknown process structures, to implement consistent process controlling which may involve computation of realistic cycle times and frequency of occurrence of process pathways, or to quantify the conformance to guidelines. We did a detailed hands-on evaluation and analysis of established process-mining approaches and assessed their abilities to cope with the challenges of clinical environments. None of the examined 7 approaches fulfilled all requirements, but 2 could be circle out, which are to some degree suitable for clinical process mining.

  12. Current challenges in organic photovoltaic solar energy conversion.

    PubMed

    Schlenker, Cody W; Thompson, Mark E

    2012-01-01

    Over the last 10 years, significant interest in utilizing conjugated organic molecules for solid-state solar to electric conversion has produced rapid improvement in device efficiencies. Organic photovoltaic (OPV) devices are attractive for their compatibility with low-cost processing techniques and thin-film applicability to flexible and conformal applications. However, many of the processes that lead to power losses in these systems still remain poorly understood, posing a significant challenge for the future efficiency improvements required to make these devices an attractive solar technology. While semiconductor band models have been employed to describe OPV operation, a more appropriate molecular picture of the pertinent processes is beginning to emerge. This chapter presents mechanisms of OPV device operation, based on the bound molecular nature of the involved transient species. With the intention to underscore the importance of considering both thermodynamic and kinetic factors, recent progress in elucidating molecular characteristics that dictate photovoltage losses in heterojunction organic photovoltaics is also discussed.

  13. Imaging of intestinal fibrosis: current challenges and future methods.

    PubMed

    Stidham, Ryan W; Higgins, Peter Dr

    2016-08-01

    Crohn's disease (CD) activity assessments are dominated by inflammatory changes without discrete measurement of the coexisting fibrotic contribution to total bowel damage. Intestinal fibrosis impacts the development of severe structural complications and the overall natural history of CD. Measuring intestinal fibrosis is challenging and existing methods of disease assessment are unable to reliably distinguish fibrosis from inflammation. Both the immediate clinical need to measure fibrosis for therapeutic decision-making and the near-future need for tools to assess pipeline anti-fibrotic medications highlight the demand for biomarkers of fibrosis in CD. Developing non-invasive technologies exploit changes in intestinal perfusion, mechanical properties, and macromolecular content to provide quantitative markers of fibrosis. In this review of existing and experimental technologies for imaging intestinal fibrosis, we discuss the expanding capabilities of quantitative MR and ultrasound imaging, encouraging developments in non-invasive elastography, and emerging novel methods including photoacoustic imaging. PMID:27536361

  14. Proteomic evaluation of genetically modified crops: current status and challenges.

    PubMed

    Gong, Chun Yan; Wang, Tai

    2013-01-01

    Hectares of genetically modified (GM) crops have increased exponentially since 1996, when such crops began to be commercialized. GM biotechnology, together with conventional breeding, has become the main approach to improving agronomic traits of crops. However, people are concerned about the safety of GM crops, especially GM-derived food and feed. Many efforts have been made to evaluate the unintended effects caused by the introduction of exogenous genes. "Omics" techniques have advantages over targeted analysis in evaluating such crops because of their use of high-throughput screening. Proteins are key players in gene function and are directly involved in metabolism and cellular development or have roles as toxins, antinutrients, or allergens, which are essential for human health. Thus, proteomics can be expected to become one of the most useful tools in safety assessment. This review assesses the potential of proteomics in evaluating various GM crops. We further describe the challenges in ensuring homogeneity and sensitivity in detection techniques.

  15. Current Advancements and Challenges in Soil-Root Interactions Modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schnepf, A.; Huber, K.; Abesha, B.; Meunier, F.; Leitner, D.; Roose, T.; Javaux, M.; Vanderborght, J.; Vereecken, H.

    2014-12-01

    Roots change their surrounding soil chemically, physically and biologically. This includes changes in soil moisture and solute concentration, the exudation of organic substances into the rhizosphere, increased growth of soil microorganisms, or changes in soil structure. The fate of water and solutes in the root zone is highly determined by these root-soil interactions. Mathematical models of soil-root systems in combination with non-invasive techniques able to characterize root systems are a promising tool to understand and predict the behaviour of water and solutes in the root zone. With respect to different fields of applications, predictive mathematical models can contribute to the solution of optimal control problems in plant recourse efficiency. This may result in significant gains in productivity, efficiency and environmental sustainability in various land use activities. Major challenges include the coupling of model parameters of the relevant processes with the surrounding environment such as temperature, nutrient concentration or soil water content. A further challenge is the mathematical description of the different spatial and temporal scales involved. This includes in particular the branched structures formed by root systems or the external mycelium of mycorrhizal fungi. Here, reducing complexity as well as bridging between spatial scales is required. Furthermore, the combination of experimental and mathematical techniques may advance the field enormously. Here, the use of root system, soil and rhizosphere models is presented through a number of modelling case studies, including image based modelling of phosphate uptake by a root with hairs, model-based optimization of root architecture for phosphate uptake from soil, upscaling of rhizosphere models, modelling root growth in structured soil, and the effect of root hydraulic architecture on plant water uptake efficiency and drought resistance.

  16. Current advancements and challenges in soil-root interactions modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schnepf, Andrea; Huber, Katrin; Abesha, Betiglu; Meunier, Felicien; Leitner, Daniel; Roose, Tiina; Javaux, Mathieu; Vanderborght, Jan; Vereecken, Harry

    2015-04-01

    Roots change their surrounding soil chemically, physically and biologically. This includes changes in soil moisture and solute concentration, the exudation of organic substances into the rhizosphere, increased growth of soil microorganisms, or changes in soil structure. The fate of water and solutes in the root zone is highly determined by these root-soil interactions. Mathematical models of soil-root systems in combination with non-invasive techniques able to characterize root systems are a promising tool to understand and predict the behaviour of water and solutes in the root zone. With respect to different fields of applications, predictive mathematical models can contribute to the solution of optimal control problems in plant recourse efficiency. This may result in significant gains in productivity, efficiency and environmental sustainability in various land use activities. Major challenges include the coupling of model parameters of the relevant processes with the surrounding environment such as temperature, nutrient concentration or soil water content. A further challenge is the mathematical description of the different spatial and temporal scales involved. This includes in particular the branched structures formed by root systems or the external mycelium of mycorrhizal fungi. Here, reducing complexity as well as bridging between spatial scales is required. Furthermore, the combination of experimental and mathematical techniques may advance the field enormously. Here, the use of root system, soil and rhizosphere models is presented through a number of modelling case studies, including image based modelling of phosphate uptake by a root with hairs, model-based optimization of root architecture for phosphate uptake from soil, upscaling of rhizosphere models, modelling root growth in structured soil, and the effect of root hydraulic architecture on plant water uptake efficiency and drought resistance.

  17. Colorectal Surgeons Teaching General Surgery Residents: Current Challenges and Opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Schmitz, Connie C.; Chow, Christopher J.; Rothenberger, David A.

    2012-01-01

    Effective teaching for general surgery residents requires that faculty members with colorectal expertise actively engage in the education process and fully understand the current context for residency training. In this article, we review important national developments with respect to graduate medical education that impact resident supervision, curriculum implementation, resident assessment, and program evaluation. We argue that establishing a culture of respect and professionalism in today's teaching environment is one of the most important legacies that surgical educators can leave for the coming generation. Faculty role modeling and the process of socializing residents is highlighted. We review the American College of Surgeons' Code of Professional Conduct, summarize some of the current strategies for teaching and assessing professionalism, and reflect on principles of motivation that apply to resident training both for the trainee and the trainer. PMID:23997668

  18. [Cervical cancer screening in Switzerland - current practice and future challenges].

    PubMed

    Untiet, Sarah; Schmidt, Nicole; Low, Nicola; Petignat, Patrick

    2013-04-01

    At the beginning of the 20th Century, cervical cancer was the leading cause of death from cancer in women. A marked decline in cervical cancer has been observed since the 1960s, in parallel with the introduction of the Papanicolau (Pap) test as a cytological screening method. Today, Pap smear screening is still the most widely used tool for cervical cancer prevention. Testing for human papillomavirus (HPV) in cervical specimens or a combination of Pap and HPV testing are also now available. In this article we compare current guidelines for cervical cancer screening in Switzerland with those in other European countries. In view of the opportunities offered by HPV testing and, since 2008, HPV vaccination, current guidelines for cervical cancer screening should be updated. Both the choice of screening tests and general organization of cervical cancer screening should be reviewed.

  19. The challenge of risk characterization: current practice and future directions.

    PubMed Central

    Gray, G M; Cohen, J T; Graham, J D

    1993-01-01

    Risk characterization is perhaps the most important part of risk assessment. As currently practiced, risk characterizations do not convey the degree of uncertainty in a risk estimate to risk managers, Congress, the press, and the public. Here, we use a framework put forth by an ad hoc study group of industry and government scientists and academics to critique the risk characterizations contained in two risks assessments of gasoline vapor. After discussing the strengths and weaknesses of each assessment's risk characterization, we detail an alternative approach that conveys estimates in the form of a probability distribution. The distributional approach can make use of all relevant scientific data and knowledge, including alternative data sets and all plausible mechanistic theories of carcinogenesis. As a result, this approach facilitates better public health decisions than current risk characterization procedures. We discuss methodological issues, as well as strengths and weaknesses of the distributional approach. PMID:8020444

  20. Hepatitis B infection in Vietnam: current issues and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Van T T

    2012-03-01

    Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains a major public health problem in Vietnam. Recent studies have found that prevalence of current HBV infection (HBsAg+) ranges from 10% to 20% in the general population and 20% to 40% among injecting drug users and HIV+ patients. However, HBV prevention and control in Vietnam relies heavily on universal infant vaccination program and HBsAg screening for blood donors. Currently, HBV prevention and control is underfunded by the government and receives little support from international agencies. HBV-related liver disease will continue to create a heavy burden for public health in Vietnam in the next several decades unless appropriate interventions are undertaken urgently. Establishment of a national strategy for HBV prevention and control is crucial to develop and implement effective interventions.

  1. Human African trypanosomiasis of the CNS: current issues and challenges

    PubMed Central

    Kennedy, Peter G.E.

    2004-01-01

    Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), also known as sleeping sickness, is a major cause of mortality and morbidity in sub-Saharan Africa. Current therapy with melarsoprol for CNS HAT has unacceptable side-effects with an overall mortality of 5%. This review discusses the issues of diagnosis and staging of CNS disease, its neuropathogenesis, and the possibility of new therapies for treating late-stage disease. PMID:14966556

  2. Molecular Electron Microscopy: State of the Art and Current Challenges

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    The objective of molecular electron microscopy (EM) is to use electron microscopes to visualize the structure of biological molecules. This Review provides a brief overview of the methods used in molecular EM, their respective strengths and successes, and current developments that promise an even more exciting future for molecular EM in the structural investigation of proteins and macromolecular complexes, studied in isolation or in the context of cells and tissues. PMID:18484707

  3. Health reform in Finland: current proposals and unresolved challenges.

    PubMed

    Saltman, Richard B; Teperi, Juha

    2016-07-01

    The Finnish health care system is widely respected for its pilot role in creating primary-care-led health systems. In the early 1990s, however, a severe economic downturn in Finland reduced public funding and weakened the Finnish system's deeply decentralized model of health care administration. Recent Bank of Finland projections forecasting several decades of slow economic growth, combined with the impact of an aging population, appear to make major reform of the existing public system inevitable. Over the last several years, political attention has focused mostly on administrative consolidation inside the public sector, particularly integration of health and social services. Current proposals call for a reformed health sector governance structure based on a new meso-level configuration of public administration. In addition, Finland's national government has proposed replacing the current multi-channel public funding structure (which includes health insurance subsidies for occupational health services) with a single-channel public funding structure. This commentary examines several key issues involved in reforming the delivery structure of the Finnish health care system. It also explores possible alternative strategies to reform current funding arrangements. The article concludes with a brief discussion of implications from this Finnish experience for the wider health reform debate. PMID:26865494

  4. Vascular Complications and Diabetes: Current Therapies and Future Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Willard, Abbott L.; Herman, Ira M.

    2012-01-01

    Diabetic retinal complications, including macular edema (DME) and proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), are the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 20–74. Chronic hyperglycemia, considered the underlying cause of diabetic retinopathy, is thought to act first through violation of the pericyte-endothelial coupling. Disruption of microvascular integrity leads to pathologic consequences including hypoxia-induced imbalance in vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling. Several anti-VEGF medications are in clinical trials for use in arresting retinal angiogenesis arising from DME and PDR. Although a review of current clinical trials shows promising results, the lack of large prospective studies, head-to-head therapeutic comparisons, and potential long-term and systemic adverse events give cause for optimistic caution. Alternative therapies including targeting pathogenic specific angiogenesis and mural-cell-based therapeutics may offer innovative solutions for currently intractable clinical problems. This paper describes the mechanisms behind diabetic retinal complications, current research supporting anti-VEGF medications, and future therapeutic directions. PMID:22272370

  5. Clinical Research with Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation (tDCS): Challenges and Future Directions

    PubMed Central

    Brunoni, Andre Russowsky; Nitsche, Michael A.; Bolognini, Nadia; Bikson, Marom; Wagner, Tim; Merabet, Lotfi; Edwards, Dylan J.; Valero-Cabre, Antoni; Rotenberg, Alexander; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Ferrucci, Roberta; Priori, Alberto; Boggio, Paulo; Fregni, Felipe

    2011-01-01

    Background Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a neuromodulatory technique that delivers low-intensity, direct current to cortical areas facilitating or inhibiting spontaneous neuronal activity. In the past ten years, tDCS physiological mechanisms of action have been intensively investigated giving support for the investigation of its applications in clinical neuropsychiatry and rehabilitation. However, new methodological, ethical, and regulatory issues emerge when translating the findings of preclinical and phase I studies into phase II and III clinical studies. The aim of this comprehensive review is to discuss the key challenges of this process and possible methods to address them. Methods We convened a workgroup of researchers in the field to review, discuss and provide updates and key challenges of neuromodulation use for clinical research. Main Findings/Discussion We reviewed several basic and clinical studies in the field and identified potential limitations, taking into account the particularities of the technique. We review and discuss the findings into four topics: (i) mechanisms of action of tDCS, parameters of use and computer-based human brain modeling investigating electric current fields and magnitude induced by tDCS; (ii) methodological aspects related to the clinical research of tDCS as divided according to study phase (i.e., preclinical, phase I, phase II and phase III studies); (iii) ethical and regulatory concerns; (iv) future directions regarding novel approaches, novel devices, and future studies involving tDCS. Finally, we propose some alternative methods to facilitate clinical research on tDCS. PMID:22037126

  6. Addressing Methodological Challenges in Large Communication Datasets: Collecting and Coding Longitudinal Interactions in Home Hospice Cancer Care

    PubMed Central

    Reblin, Maija; Clayton, Margaret F; John, Kevin K; Ellington, Lee

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we present strategies for collecting and coding a large longitudinal communication dataset collected across multiple sites, consisting of over 2000 hours of digital audio recordings from approximately 300 families. We describe our methods within the context of implementing a large-scale study of communication during cancer home hospice nurse visits, but this procedure could be adapted to communication datasets across a wide variety of settings. This research is the first study designed to capture home hospice nurse-caregiver communication, a highly understudied location and type of communication event. We present a detailed example protocol encompassing data collection in the home environment, large-scale, multi-site secure data management, the development of theoretically-based communication coding, and strategies for preventing coder drift and ensuring reliability of analyses. Although each of these challenges have the potential to undermine the utility of the data, reliability between coders is often the only issue consistently reported and addressed in the literature. Overall, our approach demonstrates rigor and provides a “how-to” example for managing large, digitally-recorded data sets from collection through analysis. These strategies can inform other large-scale health communication research. PMID:26580414

  7. Addressing Methodological Challenges in Large Communication Data Sets: Collecting and Coding Longitudinal Interactions in Home Hospice Cancer Care.

    PubMed

    Reblin, Maija; Clayton, Margaret F; John, Kevin K; Ellington, Lee

    2016-07-01

    In this article, we present strategies for collecting and coding a large longitudinal communication data set collected across multiple sites, consisting of more than 2000 hours of digital audio recordings from approximately 300 families. We describe our methods within the context of implementing a large-scale study of communication during cancer home hospice nurse visits, but this procedure could be adapted to communication data sets across a wide variety of settings. This research is the first study designed to capture home hospice nurse-caregiver communication, a highly understudied location and type of communication event. We present a detailed example protocol encompassing data collection in the home environment, large-scale, multisite secure data management, the development of theoretically-based communication coding, and strategies for preventing coder drift and ensuring reliability of analyses. Although each of these challenges has the potential to undermine the utility of the data, reliability between coders is often the only issue consistently reported and addressed in the literature. Overall, our approach demonstrates rigor and provides a "how-to" example for managing large, digitally recorded data sets from collection through analysis. These strategies can inform other large-scale health communication research.

  8. Addressing Methodological Challenges in Large Communication Data Sets: Collecting and Coding Longitudinal Interactions in Home Hospice Cancer Care.

    PubMed

    Reblin, Maija; Clayton, Margaret F; John, Kevin K; Ellington, Lee

    2016-07-01

    In this article, we present strategies for collecting and coding a large longitudinal communication data set collected across multiple sites, consisting of more than 2000 hours of digital audio recordings from approximately 300 families. We describe our methods within the context of implementing a large-scale study of communication during cancer home hospice nurse visits, but this procedure could be adapted to communication data sets across a wide variety of settings. This research is the first study designed to capture home hospice nurse-caregiver communication, a highly understudied location and type of communication event. We present a detailed example protocol encompassing data collection in the home environment, large-scale, multisite secure data management, the development of theoretically-based communication coding, and strategies for preventing coder drift and ensuring reliability of analyses. Although each of these challenges has the potential to undermine the utility of the data, reliability between coders is often the only issue consistently reported and addressed in the literature. Overall, our approach demonstrates rigor and provides a "how-to" example for managing large, digitally recorded data sets from collection through analysis. These strategies can inform other large-scale health communication research. PMID:26580414

  9. Organization for rare diseases India (ORDI) - addressing the challenges and opportunities for the Indian rare diseases' community.

    PubMed

    Rajasimha, Harsha Karur; Shirol, Prasannakumar Basayya; Ramamoorthy, Preveen; Hegde, Madhuri; Barde, Sangeeta; Chandru, Vijay; Ravinandan, M E; Ramchandran, Ramani; Haldar, Kasturi; Lin, Jimmy C; Babar, Imran A; Girisha, Katta M; Srinivasan, Sudha; Navaneetham, Duraiswamy; Battu, Rajani; Devarakonda, Rajashree; Kini, Usha; Vijayachandra, Kinnimulki; Verma, Ishwar C

    2014-08-13

    In order to address the unmet needs and create opportunities that benefit patients with rare disease in India, a group of volunteers created a not-for-profit organization named Organization for Rare Diseases India (ORDI; www.ordindia.org). ORDI plans to represent the collective voice and advocate the needs of patients with rare diseases and other stakeholders in India. The ORDI team members come from diverse backgrounds such as genetics, molecular diagnostics, drug development, bioinformatics, communications, information technology, patient advocacy and public service. ORDI builds on the lessons learned from numerous similar organizations in the USA, European Union and disease-specific rare disease foundations in India. In this review, we provide a background on the landscape of rare diseases and the organizations that are active in this area globally and in India. We discuss the unique challenges in tackling rare diseases in India, and highlight the unmet needs of the key stakeholders of rare diseases. Finally, we define the vision, mission, goals and objectives of ORDI, identify the key developments in the health care context in India and welcome community feedback and comments on our approach.

  10. Insecticide cytotoxicology in China: Current status and challenges.

    PubMed

    Zhong, Guohua; Cui, Gaofeng; Yi, Xin; Sun, Ranran; Zhang, Jingjing

    2016-09-01

    The insecticide cytotoxicology, as a new branch of toxicology, has rapidly developed in China. During the past twenty years, thousands of investigations have sprung up to evaluate the damages and clarify the mechanisms of insecticidal chemical substances to insect cells in vivo or in vitro. The mechanisms of necrosis, apoptosis or autophagy induced by synthetic or biogenic pesticides and virus infections have been systematically illuminated in many important models, including S2, BmN, SL-1, Sf21 and Sf9 cell lines. In addition, a variety of methods have also been applied to examine the effects of insecticides and elaborate the modes of action. As a result, many vital factors and pathways, such as cytochrome c, the Bcl-2 family and caspases, in mitochondrial signaling pathways, intracellular free calcium and lysosome signal pathways have been illuminated and drawn much attention. Benefiting from the application of insecticide cytotoxicology, natural products purifications, biological activities assessments of synthetic compounds and high throughput screening models have been accelerated in China. However, many questions remained, and there exist great challenges, especially in theory system, evaluation criterion, evaluation model, relationship between activity in vitro and effectiveness in vivo, and the toxicological mechanism. Fortunately, the generation of "omics" could bring opportunities for the development of insecticide cytotoxicology. PMID:27521907

  11. Usability of Geographic Information: current challenges and future directions.

    PubMed

    Brown, M; Sharples, S; Harding, J; Parker, C J; Bearman, N; Maguire, M; Forrest, D; Haklay, M; Jackson, M

    2013-11-01

    The use of Geographic Information or GI, has grown rapidly in recent years. Previous research has identified the importance of usability and user centred design in enabling the proliferation and exploitation of GI. However, the design and development of usable GI is not simply a matter of applying the tried and tested usability methods that have been developed for software and web design. Dealing with data and specifically GI brings with it a number of issues that change the way usability and user centred design can be applied. This paper describes the outcomes of a workshop held in March 2010 exploring the core issues relating to GI usability. The workshop brought together an international group of twenty experts in both human factors and GI, from a wide range of academic and industrial backgrounds. These experts considered three key issues, the stakeholders in GI, key challenges applying usability to GI and the usability methods that can be successfully applied to GI. The result of this workshop was to identify some areas for future research, such as the production of meaningful metadata and the implications of blurring of the line between data producers and data consumers. PMID:23177775

  12. Usability of Geographic Information: current challenges and future directions.

    PubMed

    Brown, M; Sharples, S; Harding, J; Parker, C J; Bearman, N; Maguire, M; Forrest, D; Haklay, M; Jackson, M

    2013-11-01

    The use of Geographic Information or GI, has grown rapidly in recent years. Previous research has identified the importance of usability and user centred design in enabling the proliferation and exploitation of GI. However, the design and development of usable GI is not simply a matter of applying the tried and tested usability methods that have been developed for software and web design. Dealing with data and specifically GI brings with it a number of issues that change the way usability and user centred design can be applied. This paper describes the outcomes of a workshop held in March 2010 exploring the core issues relating to GI usability. The workshop brought together an international group of twenty experts in both human factors and GI, from a wide range of academic and industrial backgrounds. These experts considered three key issues, the stakeholders in GI, key challenges applying usability to GI and the usability methods that can be successfully applied to GI. The result of this workshop was to identify some areas for future research, such as the production of meaningful metadata and the implications of blurring of the line between data producers and data consumers.

  13. Genetic transformation of fruit trees: current status and remaining challenges.

    PubMed

    Gambino, Giorgio; Gribaudo, Ivana

    2012-12-01

    Genetic transformation has emerged as a powerful tool for genetic improvement of fruit trees hindered by their reproductive biology and their high levels of heterozygosity. For years, genetic engineering of fruit trees has focussed principally on enhancing disease resistance (against viruses, fungi, and bacteria), although there are few examples of field cultivation and commercial application of these transgenic plants. In addition, over the years much work has been performed to enhance abiotic stress tolerance, to induce modifications of plant growth and habit, to produce marker-free transgenic plants and to improve fruit quality by modification of genes that are crucially important in the production of specific plant components. Recently, with the release of several genome sequences, studies of functional genomics are becoming increasingly important: by modification (overexpression or silencing) of genes involved in the production of specific plant components is possible to uncover regulatory mechanisms associated with the biosynthesis and catabolism of metabolites in plants. This review focuses on the main advances, in recent years, in genetic transformation of the most important species of fruit trees, devoting particular attention to functional genomics approaches and possible future challenges of genetic engineering for these species in the post-genomic era.

  14. Proteomic evaluation of genetically modified crops: current status and challenges

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Chun Yan; Wang, Tai

    2013-01-01

    Hectares of genetically modified (GM) crops have increased exponentially since 1996, when such crops began to be commercialized. GM biotechnology, together with conventional breeding, has become the main approach to improving agronomic traits of crops. However, people are concerned about the safety of GM crops, especially GM-derived food and feed. Many efforts have been made to evaluate the unintended effects caused by the introduction of exogenous genes. “Omics” techniques have advantages over targeted analysis in evaluating such crops because of their use of high-throughput screening. Proteins are key players in gene function and are directly involved in metabolism and cellular development or have roles as toxins, antinutrients, or allergens, which are essential for human health. Thus, proteomics can be expected to become one of the most useful tools in safety assessment. This review assesses the potential of proteomics in evaluating various GM crops. We further describe the challenges in ensuring homogeneity and sensitivity in detection techniques. PMID:23471542

  15. Nano Traditional Chinese Medicine: Current Progresses and Future Challenges.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yi; Zhao, Yinglan; Liu, Fang; Liu, Songqing

    2015-01-01

    Nano traditional Chinese medicine (nano TCM) refers to bioactive ingredients, bioactive parts, medicinal materials or complex prescription, being approximately 100 nm in size, which are processed by nanotechnology. Nano TCM is a product of the TCM modernization, and is an application of nanotechnology in the field of TCM. This article reviews literatures on researches of nano TCM, which were published in the past 15 years. Different nanotechnologies have been used in preparation of Nano TCM in view of the varying aims of the study. The mechanical crushing technology is the main approach for nanolization of TCM material and complex prescription, and nanoparticulate drug delivery systems is the main approach for nanolization of bioactive ingredients or bioactive parts in TCM. Nano TCM has a number of advantages, for example, enhancing the bioavailability of TCM, reducing the adverse effects of TCM, achieving sustained release, attaining targeted delivery, enhancing pharmacological effects and improving the administration route of TCM. However, there are still many problems that must be resolved in nano TCM research. The main challenges to nano TCM include the theory system of TCM modernization, preparation technology, safety and stability, etc.

  16. Regenerative chemical biology: current challenges and future potential.

    PubMed

    Ao, Ada; Hao, Jijun; Hong, Charles C

    2011-04-22

    The enthusiasm surrounding the clinical potential of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) is tempered by the fact that key issues regarding their safety, efficacy, and long-term benefits have thus far been suboptimal. Small molecules can potentially relieve these problems at major junctions of stem cell biology and regenerative therapy. In this review we will introduce recent advances in these important areas and the first generation of small molecules used in the regenerative context. Current chemical biology studies will provide the archetype for future interdisciplinary collaborations and improve clinical benefits of cell-based therapies.

  17. Prokaryote diversity and taxonomy: current status and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Oren, Aharon

    2004-04-29

    The prokaryotes are by far the most abundant organisms inhabiting planet Earth. They are also by far the most diverse, both metabolically and phylogenetically; they encompass the Bacteria and the Archaea, two out of the three major divisions of living organisms. The current prokaryote species classification is based on a combination of genomic and phenotypic properties. The recommended cut-off value of 70% DNA-DNA similarity to delineate species signifies an extremely broad species definition for the prokaryotes compared with the higher eukaryotes. The number of validly named species of prokaryotes is currently slightly more than 6200. However, on the basis of small-subunit rDNA characterization of whole communities and other approaches, the more exact number of species present can be inferred to be at least two orders of magnitude larger. Classic culturing methods based on colony formation on agar are generally unsatisfactory for the recovery of bacteria from the environment. Many of the most abundant prokaryotes in nature have not yet been brought into culture. Some of these may thrive by means of as yet unknown modes of energy generation. Several novel methods have recently enabled the isolation of some interesting organisms of environmental significance. A better coverage of the prokaryote diversity on Earth depends on such innovative approaches, combined with appropriate funding.

  18. The human gut microbiome: current knowledge, challenges, and future directions.

    PubMed

    Dave, Maneesh; Higgins, Peter D; Middha, Sumit; Rioux, Kevin P

    2012-10-01

    The Human Genome Project was completed a decade ago, leaving a legacy of process, tools, and infrastructure now being turned to the study of the microbes that reside in and on the human body as determinants of health and disease, and has been branded "The Human Microbiome Project." Of the various niches under investigation, the human gut houses the most complex and abundant microbial community and is an arena for important host-microbial interactions that have both local and systemic impact. Initial studies of the human microbiome have been largely descriptive, a testing ground for innovative molecular techniques and new hypotheses. Methods for studying the microbiome have quickly evolved from low-resolution surveys of microbial community structure to high-definition description of composition, function, and ecology. Next-generation sequencing technologies combined with advanced bioinformatics place us at the doorstep of revolutionary insight into the composition, capability, and activity of the human intestinal microbiome. Renewed efforts to cultivate previously "uncultivable" microbes will be important to the overall understanding of gut ecology. There remain numerous methodological challenges to the effective study and understanding of the gut microbiome, largely relating to study design, sample collection, and the number of predictor variables. Strategic collaboration of clinicians, microbiologists, molecular biologists, computational scientists, and bioinformaticians is the ideal paradigm for success in this field. Meaningful interpretation of the gut microbiome requires that host genetic and environmental influences be controlled or accounted for. Understanding the gut microbiome in healthy humans is a foundation for discovering its influence in various important gastrointestinal and nutritional diseases (eg, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, and obesity), and for rational translation to human health gains. PMID:22683238

  19. Alzheimer's disease genetics: current knowledge and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Hollingworth, Paul; Harold, Denise; Jones, Lesley; Owen, Michael J; Williams, Julie

    2011-08-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is highly heritable, but genetically complex. Recently, three large-scale genome-wide association studies have made substantial breakthroughs in disentangling the genetic architecture of the disease. These studies combined include data from over 43 000 independent individuals and provide compelling evidence that variants in four novel susceptibility genes (CLU, PICALM, CR1, BIN1) are associated with disease risk. These findings are tremendously exciting, not only in providing new avenues for exploration, but also highlighting the potential for further gene discovery when larger samples are analysed. Here we discuss progress to date in identifying risk genes for dementia, ways forward and how current findings are refining previous ideas and defining new putative primary disease mechanisms.

  20. Current complications and challenges in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis screening and diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Golabi, Pegah; Sayiner, Mehmet; Fazel, Yousef; Koenig, Aaron; Henry, Linda; Younossi, Zobair M

    2016-01-01

    Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) can lead to complications such as liver failure, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. The diagnostic gold standard for NASH is liver biopsy; however, other noninvasive methods have been developed. In this article, the authors evaluate current methods in NASH screening and diagnosis. Routine radiologic modalities were found to detect hepatic steatosis accurately, but were unable to establish the diagnosis of NASH or stage of fibrosis. Newly developed elastography based techniques seem promising to estimate liver fibrosis. Other noninvasive tests such as FibroTest, ELF, Hepascore, FIB-4, NFS, FLI and ION (biochemical panels) have AUROCs ranging between 0.80-0.98 for detecting advanced fibrosis but lack specificity for detecting mild fibrosis. Noninvasive tools, especially elastography, identify NASH associated advanced fibrosis potentially reducing liver biopsies. More research is needed to validate the clinical utility of these tests.

  1. The Internet for neurosurgeons: current resources and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Mark A; Brennan, Paul M

    2011-06-01

    Our professional and personal lives depend increasingly on access to information via the Internet. As an open access resource, the Internet is on the whole unbridled by censorship and can facilitate the rapid propagation of ideas and discoveries. At the same time, this liberty in sharing information, being unregulated and often free from external validation, can be oppressive; overloading the user and hindering effective decision-making. It can be difficult, if not impossible, to reliably ascertain the provenance of data and opinion. We must, therefore, discern what is useful, relevant, and above all reliable if we are to harness the Internet's potential to improve training, delivery of care, research, and provision of patient information. This article profiles the resources currently available to neurosurgeons, asks how we can sort the informational wheat from the chaff, and explores where future developments might further influence neurosurgical practice. PMID:21501057

  2. Pathophysiology of Ebola Virus Infection: Current Challenges and Future Hopes.

    PubMed

    Rivera, Andrea; Messaoudi, Ilhem

    2015-05-01

    The filoviruses, Ebola virus (EBOV) and Marburg virus (MARV), are among the deadliest viruses that cause disease in humans, with reported case fatality rates of up to 90% in some outbreaks. The high virulence of EBOV and MARV is largely attributed to the ability of these viruses to interfere with the host immune response. Currently, there are no approved vaccines or postexposure therapeutics, and treatment options for patients infected with EBOV are limited to supportive care. In this review, we discuss mechanisms of EBOV pathogenesis and its ability to subvert host immunity as well as several vaccines and therapeutics with respect to their evaluation in small animal models, nonhuman primates, and human clinical trials. PMID:27622648

  3. Current conceptual challenges in the study of rhythm processing deficits.

    PubMed

    Tranchant, Pauline; Vuvan, Dominique T

    2015-01-01

    Interest in the study of rhythm processing deficits (RPD) is currently growing in the cognitive neuroscience community, as this type of investigation constitutes a powerful tool for the understanding of normal rhythm processing. Because this field is in its infancy, it still lacks a common conceptual vocabulary to facilitate effective communication between different researchers and research groups. In this commentary, we provide a brief review of recent reports of RPD through the lens of one important empirical issue: the method by which beat perception is measured, and the consequences of method selection for the researcher's ability to specify which mechanisms are impaired in RPD. This critical reading advocates for the importance of matching measurement tools to the putative neurocognitive mechanisms under study, and reveals the need for effective and specific assessments of the different aspects of rhythm perception and synchronization.

  4. Plant taxonomy: a historical perspective, current challenges, and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Rouhan, Germinal; Gaudeul, Myriam

    2014-01-01

    Taxonomy is the science that explores, describes, names, and classifies all organisms. In this introductory chapter, we highlight the major historical steps in the elaboration of this science that provides baseline data for all fields of biology and plays a vital role for society but is also an independent, complex, and sound hypothesis-driven scientific discipline.In a first part, we underline that plant taxonomy is one of the earliest scientific disciplines that emerged thousands of years ago, even before the important contributions of Greeks and Romans (e.g., Theophrastus, Pliny the Elder, and Dioscorides). In the fifteenth to sixteenth centuries, plant taxonomy benefited from the Great Navigations, the invention of the printing press, the creation of botanic gardens, and the use of the drying technique to preserve plant specimens. In parallel with the growing body of morpho-anatomical data, subsequent major steps in the history of plant taxonomy include the emergence of the concept of natural classification, the adoption of the binomial naming system (with the major role of Linnaeus) and other universal rules for the naming of plants, the formulation of the principle of subordination of characters, and the advent of the evolutionary thought. More recently, the cladistic theory (initiated by Hennig) and the rapid advances in DNA technologies allowed to infer phylogenies and to propose true natural, genealogy-based classifications.In a second part, we put the emphasis on the challenges that plant taxonomy faces nowadays. The still very incomplete taxonomic knowledge of the worldwide flora (the so-called taxonomic impediment) is seriously hampering conservation efforts that are especially crucial as biodiversity enters its sixth extinction crisis. It appears mainly due to insufficient funding, lack of taxonomic expertise, and lack of communication and coordination. We then review recent initiatives to overcome these limitations and to anticipate how taxonomy

  5. Methane hydrates in nature - Current knowledge and challenges

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Collett, Timothy S.

    2014-01-01

    Recognizing the importance of methane hydrate research and the need for a coordinated effort, the United States Congress enacted the Methane Hydrate Research and Development Act of 2000. At the same time, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry in Japan launched a research program to develop plans for a methane hydrate exploratory drilling project in the Nankai Trough. India, China, the Republic of Korea, and other nations also have established large methane hydrate research and development programs. Government-funded scientific research drilling expeditions and production test studies have provided a wealth of information on the occurrence of methane hydrates in nature. Numerous studies have shown that the amount of gas stored as methane hydrates in the world may exceed the volume of known organic carbon sources. However, methane hydrates represent both a scientific and technical challenge, and much remains to be learned about their characteristics and occurrence in nature. Methane hydrate research in recent years has mostly focused on: (1) documenting the geologic parameters that control the occurrence and stability of methane hydrates in nature, (2) assessing the volume of natural gas stored within various methane hydrate accumulations, (3) analyzing the production response and characteristics of methane hydrates, (4) identifying and predicting natural and induced environmental and climate impacts of natural methane hydrates, (5) analyzing the methane hydrate role as a geohazard, (6) establishing the means to detect and characterize methane hydrate accumulations using geologic and geophysical data, and (7) establishing the thermodynamic phase equilibrium properties of methane hydrates as a function of temperature, pressure, and gas composition. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership (COL) combined their efforts in 2012 to assess the contributions that scientific drilling has made and could continue to make to advance

  6. The Current Status and Challenges for Upper Atmosphere Models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schunk, R. W.

    2009-05-01

    real-time data sources for specification and forecast models; (3) The application of a rigorous Kalman filter is not feasible and approximations are necessary; (4) The coupled physics-based models have uncertain parameters that need to be determined and/or have missing physics; and (5) Validation of data assimilation and coupled physics-based models requires massive independent data sets so that statistics can be done to determine the accuracy of the models. The status and challenges related to the development of data assimilation and coupled physics-based models will be discussed.

  7. Historical water control maps - key to understand current challenges?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mészáros, János

    2014-05-01

    The 19th century and post-World War II decades were the main eras of water controlling in former Hungarian Kingdom and Hungary. Due to those large projects, the number and frequency of big floods were minimized but changes caused several other problems what we have to face off in the present. The main help to understand or highlight the fundamentals of those problems can be the flood control maps which, in some cases, show the original, natural riverbed and neighbouring areas of the river. There is other advantage of these maps compared to other surveys: while the main focus of the water control surveys was the river, there was sufficient time to measure the fine differences of land-use and relief in detail. Our sample area is the middle part of Tisza river and three different maps were chosen to show the changes before and after the regulations: Map of the Middle-Tisza, mapping until 1790 by János Lietzner This map is the earliest, known, topographic scale map about the river. Due to its age, the sheets are in bad state, especially their parts close to the edges and corners. A photographed, greyscale copy exists about the sheets, that was used in our research. Despite such bad conditions, it contains lots of information about the river and settlements, as well as detailed land-use before any flood regulation. New survey of Tisza river, mapping until 1932 by the Directorate of Water and Construction Because of the changes, due to time and regulation, several new surveys were ordered at the end of 19th century and between the world wars. During those new surveys, the river was re-triangulated and mapped, although cross and longitudinal section measurements also were carried out. This map clearly shows the results and changes of regulations, especially on populated areas, newly built dykes etc. but before the changes happened between 1950 and 1980. Topographic maps of the Hungarian Defence Forces - Geoinformation Services As a current, base-dataset, topographic maps

  8. HIV/AIDS interventions for midlife and older adults: current status and challenges.

    PubMed

    Levy, Judith A; Ory, Marcia G; Crystal, Stephen

    2003-06-01

    Drawing on both domestic and global international perspectives, this special issue is devoted to articles that confront the challenges of understanding, preventing, and intervening, with HIV/AIDS as an epidemic that carries increasingly serious consequences for a growing number of adults who are 50 years of age or older. This issue builds on papers first presented at an HIV/AIDS and aging conference sponsored in the fall of 2000 by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health. The editors have selected articles that focus dually on what is currently known and what needs to be known to successfully address the needs of persons 50 years of age or older who are vulnerable to the virus's effects. This special issue is organized around a series of subsections representing key issues and research findings related to HIV/AIDS and aging issues, including the epidemiology of HIV/AIDS and aging, HIV/AIDS risk and risk behavior, settings and situations as social contexts of risk, clinical challenges with older populations, living with and managing HIV/AIDS, interventions and research methods, new frontiers and challenges, and strategies for action. Some articles are data driven, whereas others are reflective pieces that recount personal experiences in living with the virus or point to new directions for research and practice. In this introduction, the editors highlight findings and approaches from each article and further add to our knowledge by setting these articles within the context of major themes relevant to the study of HIV/AIDS in an aging population. PMID:12853854

  9. Vaccines against Gonorrhea: Current status and Future Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Jerse, Ann E.; Bash, Margaret C.; Russell, Michael W.

    2013-01-01

    Gonorrhea occurs at high incidence throughout the world and significantly impacts reproductive health and the spread of human immunodeficiency virus. Current control measures are inadequate and seriously threatened by the rapid emergence of antibiotic resistance. Progress on gonorrhea vaccines has been slow; however, recent advances justify significant effort in this area. Conserved vaccine antigens have been identified that elicit bactericidal antibodies and, or play key roles in pathogenesis that could be targeted by a vaccine-induced response. A murine genital tract infection model is available for systematic testing of antigens, immunization routes and adjuvants, and transgenic mice exist to relieve some host restrictions. Furthermore, mechanisms by which N. gonorrhoeae avoids inducing a protective adaptive response are being elucidated using human cells and the mouse model. Induction of a Th1 response in mice clears infection and induces a memory response, which suggests Th1-inducing adjuvants may be key in vaccine-induced protection. Continued research in this area should include human testing and clinical studies to confirm or negate findings from experimental systems and to define protective host factors. PMID:24016806

  10. Vaccines against gonorrhea: current status and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Jerse, Ann E; Bash, Margaret C; Russell, Michael W

    2014-03-20

    Gonorrhea occurs at high incidence throughout the world and significantly impacts reproductive health and the spread of human immunodeficiency virus. Current control measures are inadequate and seriously threatened by the rapid emergence of antibiotic resistance. Progress on gonorrhea vaccines has been slow; however, recent advances justify significant effort in this area. Conserved vaccine antigens have been identified that elicit bactericidal antibodies and, or play key roles in pathogenesis that could be targeted by a vaccine-induced response. A murine genital tract infection model is available for systematic testing of antigens, immunization routes and adjuvants, and transgenic mice exist to relieve some host restrictions. Furthermore, mechanisms by which Neisseria gonorrhoeae avoids inducing a protective adaptive response are being elucidated using human cells and the mouse model. Induction of a Th1 response in mice clears infection and induces a memory response, which suggests Th1-inducing adjuvants may be key in vaccine-induced protection. Continued research in this area should include human testing and clinical studies to confirm or negate findings from experimental systems and to define protective host factors.

  11. Intracortical recording interfaces: current challenges to chronic recording function.

    PubMed

    Gunasekera, Bhagya; Saxena, Tarun; Bellamkonda, Ravi; Karumbaiah, Lohitash

    2015-01-21

    Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs) offer significant hope to tetraplegic and paraplegic individuals. This technology relies on extracting and translating motor intent to facilitate control of a computer cursor or to enable fine control of an external assistive device such as a prosthetic limb. Intracortical recording interfaces (IRIs) are critical components of BCIs and consist of arrays of penetrating electrodes that are implanted into the motor cortex of the brain. These multielectrode arrays (MEAs) are responsible for recording and conducting neural signals from local ensembles of neurons in the motor cortex with the high speed and spatiotemporal resolution that is required for exercising control of external assistive prostheses. Recent design and technological innovations in the field have led to significant improvements in BCI function. However, long-term (chronic) BCI function is severely compromised by short-term (acute) IRI recording failure. In this review, we will discuss the design and function of current IRIs. We will also review a host of recent advances that contribute significantly to our overall understanding of the cellular and molecular events that lead to acute recording failure of these invasive implants. We will also present recent improvements to IRI design and provide insights into the futuristic design of more chronically functional IRIs.

  12. Intracortical recording interfaces: current challenges to chronic recording function.

    PubMed

    Gunasekera, Bhagya; Saxena, Tarun; Bellamkonda, Ravi; Karumbaiah, Lohitash

    2015-01-21

    Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs) offer significant hope to tetraplegic and paraplegic individuals. This technology relies on extracting and translating motor intent to facilitate control of a computer cursor or to enable fine control of an external assistive device such as a prosthetic limb. Intracortical recording interfaces (IRIs) are critical components of BCIs and consist of arrays of penetrating electrodes that are implanted into the motor cortex of the brain. These multielectrode arrays (MEAs) are responsible for recording and conducting neural signals from local ensembles of neurons in the motor cortex with the high speed and spatiotemporal resolution that is required for exercising control of external assistive prostheses. Recent design and technological innovations in the field have led to significant improvements in BCI function. However, long-term (chronic) BCI function is severely compromised by short-term (acute) IRI recording failure. In this review, we will discuss the design and function of current IRIs. We will also review a host of recent advances that contribute significantly to our overall understanding of the cellular and molecular events that lead to acute recording failure of these invasive implants. We will also present recent improvements to IRI design and provide insights into the futuristic design of more chronically functional IRIs. PMID:25587704

  13. A review of current challenges for the identification of gemstones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shigley, James E.

    2008-01-01

    A variety of treated and synthetic gem materials are encountered today in the jewelry marketplace in increasing quantities. Although normally entering into the market with correct information, in some cases these materials are sold with incorrect or inaccurate information on their identity. In some cases, they exhibit appearances that correspond closely to those of valuable untreated, natural gemstones. Although they can display certain distinctive gemological characteristics, some treated and synthetic gem materials can be difficult for jewelers to recognize, especially when these individuals lack gemological training and access to standard gem-testing methods and equipment. In such instances, testing by a professional gemological laboratory may be required. Accurate gem identification and complete information disclosure are essential in the jewelry trade to maintain both the commercial value of natural gemstones and the confidence among consumers who are considering gemstone purchases. The goal of most current gemological research is to provide practical means of gem identification for jewelers and gemologists to help insure integrity in the international gemstone trade. To support this goal, research on gem materials increasingly relies upon characterization with modern analytical tools such as chemical analysis, various spectroscopy methods, and other scientific techniques.

  14. Current treatment of medulloblastoma: recent advances and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Rood, Brian R; Macdonald, Tobey J; Packer, Roger J

    2004-10-01

    Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant brain tumor of childhood, yet it makes up only 1% of adult brain tumors. MB is uniquely sensitive to chemotherapy and radiation, but successful surgical resection continues to be an important component of therapeutic success. Progress in the treatment of MB has occurred in multiple areas from improved neurosurgical techniques, refined dosing and delivery of radiation, and optimized chemotherapy. Tumors are currently risk-stratified as average risk or high risk depending on clinical factors such as age, extent of resection, and presence of metastases. Molecular biology is beginning to improve upon clinical prognostication and may soon provide the means to accurately predict response to therapy. Treatment for average-risk MB has achieved a level of success that allows efforts to be focused on the limitation of adverse treatment effects. Therapy for high-risk and relapsed MB has been positively affected by the advent of high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell rescue. In addition, molecular targets are being elucidated and new therapeutic agents are being tested for safety and efficacy. Treatment for this disease has evolved a great deal over the preceding decades, but a great deal of work remains to be done to effect reliable cures while reducing long-term sequelae of therapy.

  15. Ecopharmacovigilance: Current state, challenges, and opportunities in China

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jun; Hu, Xiamin

    2014-01-01

    In a context of severe pharmaceutical pollution, “ecopharmacovigilance” (EPV) has been an area of novel interest. It aims to ensure that significant environmental issues associated with pharmaceuticals in the environment are identified in a timely way, and managed appropriately. EPV has become a research hotspot as a comprehensive and boundary science in Europe and North America, and regulatory requirements governing the comprehensive environmental risk assessment (ERA) of pharmaceuticals exist in these regions. A speedy Chinese pharmaceutical industry development and drug consumption, China should shoulder more international responsibility and contribute to the worldwide EPV. Compared to the west, EPV in China is in its infancy. We analyzed the current state of EPV-related practice in China and found that many efforts have been made by the Chinese government and specialists to control the ever-worsening environmental pharmaceutical pollution problems, including consummating related policies and regulations, revealing the occurrence and behavior of pharmaceutical residues in environment and developing new technologies to improve their removal performance. Besides, we posed some recommendations on appropriate EPV implementation that can be taken with China in future. These include, building perfect laws and regulation system on EPV, defining the evaluation index for EPV, continuing the clinical rational medication and the pharmaceutical take-back programs in China, popularizing the concept of EPV in China, and strengthening the policy-guided and scientific researches of EPV in pharmaceutical firms and academia. PMID:24550578

  16. Bacterial Vaginosis Biofilms: Challenges to Current Therapies and Emerging Solutions

    PubMed Central

    Machado, Daniela; Castro, Joana; Palmeira-de-Oliveira, Ana; Martinez-de-Oliveira, José; Cerca, Nuno

    2016-01-01

    Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is the most common genital tract infection in women during their reproductive years and it has been associated with serious health complications, such as preterm delivery and acquisition or transmission of several sexually transmitted agents. BV is characterized by a reduction of beneficial lactobacilli and a significant increase in number of anaerobic bacteria, including Gardnerella vaginalis, Atopobium vaginae, Mobiluncus spp., Bacteroides spp. and Prevotella spp.. Being polymicrobial in nature, BV etiology remains unclear. However, it is certain that BV involves the presence of a thick vaginal multi-species biofilm, where G. vaginalis is the predominant species. Similar to what happens in many other biofilm-related infections, standard antibiotics, like metronidazole, are unable to fully eradicate the vaginal biofilm, which can explain the high recurrence rates of BV. Furthermore, antibiotic therapy can also cause a negative impact on the healthy vaginal microflora. These issues sparked the interest in developing alternative therapeutic strategies. This review provides a quick synopsis of the currently approved and available antibiotics for BV treatment while presenting an overview of novel strategies that are being explored for the treatment of this disorder, with special focus on natural compounds that are able to overcome biofilm-associated antibiotic resistance. PMID:26834706

  17. Biodiesel production--current state of the art and challenges.

    PubMed

    Vasudevan, Palligarnai T; Briggs, Michael

    2008-05-01

    Biodiesel is a clean-burning fuel produced from grease, vegetable oils, or animal fats. Biodiesel is produced by transesterification of oils with short-chain alcohols or by the esterification of fatty acids. The transesterification reaction consists of transforming triglycerides into fatty acid alkyl esters, in the presence of an alcohol, such as methanol or ethanol, and a catalyst, such as an alkali or acid, with glycerol as a byproduct. Because of diminishing petroleum reserves and the deleterious environmental consequences of exhaust gases from petroleum diesel, biodiesel has attracted attention during the past few years as a renewable and environmentally friendly fuel. Since biodiesel is made entirely from vegetable oil or animal fats, it is renewable and biodegradable. The majority of biodiesel today is produced by alkali-catalyzed transesterification with methanol, which results in a relatively short reaction time. However, the vegetable oil and alcohol must be substantially anhydrous and have a low free fatty acid content, because the presence of water or free fatty acid or both promotes soap formation. In this article, we examine different biodiesel sources (edible and nonedible), virgin oil versus waste oil, algae-based biodiesel that is gaining increasing importance, role of different catalysts including enzyme catalysts, and the current state-of-the-art in biodiesel production.

  18. Ecopharmacovigilance: Current state, challenges, and opportunities in China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Jun; Hu, Xiamin

    2014-01-01

    In a context of severe pharmaceutical pollution, "ecopharmacovigilance" (EPV) has been an area of novel interest. It aims to ensure that significant environmental issues associated with pharmaceuticals in the environment are identified in a timely way, and managed appropriately. EPV has become a research hotspot as a comprehensive and boundary science in Europe and North America, and regulatory requirements governing the comprehensive environmental risk assessment (ERA) of pharmaceuticals exist in these regions. A speedy Chinese pharmaceutical industry development and drug consumption, China should shoulder more international responsibility and contribute to the worldwide EPV. Compared to the west, EPV in China is in its infancy. We analyzed the current state of EPV-related practice in China and found that many efforts have been made by the Chinese government and specialists to control the ever-worsening environmental pharmaceutical pollution problems, including consummating related policies and regulations, revealing the occurrence and behavior of pharmaceutical residues in environment and developing new technologies to improve their removal performance. Besides, we posed some recommendations on appropriate EPV implementation that can be taken with China in future. These include, building perfect laws and regulation system on EPV, defining the evaluation index for EPV, continuing the clinical rational medication and the pharmaceutical take-back programs in China, popularizing the concept of EPV in China, and strengthening the policy-guided and scientific researches of EPV in pharmaceutical firms and academia. PMID:24550578

  19. DNA evidence: current perspective and future challenges in India.

    PubMed

    Verma, Sunil K; Goswami, Gajendra K

    2014-08-01

    Since the discovery of DNA fingerprinting technology in 1985 it has been used extensively as evidence in the court of law world-wide to establish the individual identity both in civil and criminal matters. In India, the first case of parentage dispute solved by the use of DNA fingerprinting technology was in 1989. Since then till date, the DNA technology has been used not only to resolve the cases of paternity and maternity disputes, but also for the establishment of individual identity in various criminal cases and for wildlife forensic identification. Since last half a decade, India is exercising to enact legislation on the use of DNA in the judicial realm and the draft 'Human DNA Bill-2012' is pending in the parliament. Largely, the promoters of forensic DNA testing have anticipated that DNA tests are nearly infallible and DNA technology could be the greatest single advance step in search for truth, conviction of the perpetrator, and acquittal of the innocent. The current article provides a comprehensive review on the status of DNA testing in India and elucidates the consequences of the admissibility of DNA as 'evidence' in the judicial dominion. In this backdrop of civil and criminal laws and changing ethical and societal attitudes, it is concluded that the DNA legislation in India and world-wide needs to be designed with utmost care.

  20. Complications and challenges associated with polycystic ovary syndrome: current perspectives

    PubMed Central

    Palomba, Stefano; Santagni, Susanna; Falbo, Angela; La Sala, Giovanni Battista

    2015-01-01

    Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) represents the most common endocrine dysfunction in fertile women and it is considered a heterogeneous and multifaceted disorder, with multiple reproductive and metabolic phenotypes which differently affect the early- and long-term syndrome’s risks. Women with PCOS present an adverse reproductive profile, including a high risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes mellitus. Patients with PCOS present not only a higher prevalence of classic cardiovascular risk factors, such as hypertension, dyslipidemia, and type-2 diabetes mellitus, but also of nonclassic cardiovascular risk factors, including mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety. Moreover, at the moment, clinical data on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in women with PCOS are controversial. Finally, women with PCOS show an increased risk of endometrial cancer compared to non-PCOS healthy women, particularly during premenopausal period. Currently, we are unable to clarify if the increased PCOS early- and long-term risks are totally due to PCOS per se or mostly due to obesity, in particular visceral obesity, that characterized the majority of PCOS patients. In any case, the main endocrine and gynecological scientific societies agree to consider women with PCOS at increased risk of obstetric, cardiometabolic, oncology, and psychological complications throughout life, and it is recommended that these women be accurately assessed with periodic follow-up. PMID:26261426

  1. High-density matter: current status and future challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stone, J. R.

    2015-05-01

    There are many fascinating processes in the Universe which we observe in more and more in detail thanks to increasingly sophisticated technology. One of the most interesting phenomena is the life cycle of stars, their birth, evolution and death. If the stars are massive enough, they end their lives in the core-collapse supernova explosion, the one of the most violent events in the Universe. As the result, the densest objects in the Universe, neutron stars and/or black holes are created. Naturally, the physical basis of these events should be understood in line with observation. The current status of our knowledge of processes in the life of stars is far from adequate for their true understanding. We show that although many models have been constructed their detailed ability to describe observations is limited or non-existent. Furthermore the general failure of all models means that we cannot tell which are heading in the right direction. A possible way forward in modeling of high-density matter is outlined, exemplified by the quark-meson-coupling model (QMC). This model has a natural explanation for the saturation of nuclear forces and depends on very few adjustable parameters, strongly constrained by the underlying physics. Latest QMC results for compact objects and finite nuclei are presented.

  2. P300 brain computer interface: current challenges and emerging trends

    PubMed Central

    Fazel-Rezai, Reza; Allison, Brendan Z.; Guger, Christoph; Sellers, Eric W.; Kleih, Sonja C.; Kübler, Andrea

    2012-01-01

    A brain-computer interface (BCI) enables communication without movement based on brain signals measured with electroencephalography (EEG). BCIs usually rely on one of three types of signals: the P300 and other components of the event-related potential (ERP), steady state visual evoked potential (SSVEP), or event related desynchronization (ERD). Although P300 BCIs were introduced over twenty years ago, the past few years have seen a strong increase in P300 BCI research. This closed-loop BCI approach relies on the P300 and other components of the ERP, based on an oddball paradigm presented to the subject. In this paper, we overview the current status of P300 BCI technology, and then discuss new directions: paradigms for eliciting P300s; signal processing methods; applications; and hybrid BCIs. We conclude that P300 BCIs are quite promising, as several emerging directions have not yet been fully explored and could lead to improvements in bit rate, reliability, usability, and flexibility. PMID:22822397

  3. Clinical relevance of autophagic therapy in cancer: Investigating the current trends, challenges, and future prospects.

    PubMed

    Mukhopadhyay, Subhadip; Sinha, Niharika; Das, Durgesh Nandini; Panda, Prashanta Kumar; Naik, Prajna Paramita; Bhutia, Sujit Kumar

    2016-08-01

    Oncophagy (cancer-related autophagy) has a complex dual character at different stages of tumor progression. It remains an important clinical problem to unravel the reasons that propel the shift in the role of oncophagy from tumor inhibition to a protective mechanism that shields full-blown malignancy. Most treatment strategies emphasize curbing protective oncophagy while triggering the oncophagy that is lethal to tumor cells. In this review, we focus on the trends in current therapeutics as well as various challenges in clinical trials to address the oncophagic dilemma and evaluate the potential of these developing therapies. A detailed analysis of the clinical and pre-clinical scenario of the anticancer medicines highlights the various inducers and inhibitors of autophagy. The ways in which tumor stage, the microenvironment and combination drug treatment continue to play an important tactical role are discussed. Moreover, autophagy targets also play a crucial role in developing the best possible solution to this oncophagy paradox. In this review, we provide a comprehensive update on the current clinical impact of autophagy-based cancer therapeutic drugs and try to lessen the gap between translational medicine and clinical science.

  4. Current challenges using models to forecast seawater intrusion: lessons from the Eastern Shore of Virginia, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sanford, Ward E.; Pope, Jason P.

    2010-01-01

    A three-dimensional model of the aquifer system of the Eastern Shore of Virginia, USA was calibrated to reproduce historical water levels and forecast the potential for saltwater intrusion. Future scenarios were simulated with two pumping schemes to predict potential areas of saltwater intrusion. Simulations suggest that only a few wells would be threatened with detectable salinity increases before 2050. The objective was to examine whether salinity increases can be accurately forecast for individual wells with such a model, and to address what the challenges are in making such model forecasts given current (2009) simulation capabilities. The analysis suggests that even with current computer capabilities, accurate simulations of concentrations within a regional-scale (many km) transition zone are computationally prohibitive. The relative paucity of data that is typical for such regions relative to what is needed for accurate transport simulations suggests that even with an infinitely powerful computer, accurate forecasting for a single well would still be elusive. Useful approaches may include local-grid refinement near wells and geophysical surveys, but it is important to keep expectations for simulated forecasts at wells in line with chloride concentration and other data that can be obtained at that local scale.

  5. Neuroprotection for ischaemic stroke: current status and challenges.

    PubMed

    Moretti, Antonio; Ferrari, Federica; Villa, Roberto F

    2015-02-01

    Stroke is the third cause of death worldwide and the main cause of chronic, severe adult disability. We focus on acute ischaemic stroke, which accounts for approximately 80% of all strokes. The current therapy aims at restoring cerebral blood flow within a narrow time window in order to prevent damaging the "penumbra" which surrounds the infarct core. Intravenous thrombolysis remains the fundamental treatment worldwide, though not ideal for various restrictions and complications, limiting to 10% or less the percentage of patients treated within the appropriate time window. Neuroprotection is an alternative or adjunct approach to thrombolysis, targeting cerebral parenchyma in the acute ischaemic phase. Furthermore, neurorepair attempts to restore neuronal function in the after-stroke phase in those patients (treated or untreated) with significant impairment. In the past decades, the efficacy and safety of numerous candidate neuroprotective agents were shown in various animal stroke models. However, in clinical trials, promising pre-clinical studies have not been translated into positive outcomes. Our review will analyse the possible reasons for this failure and the new approaches and recommendations to overcome it, as well as novel strategies targeting additional events in ischaemia cascade. The combination of thrombolysis with pharmacological and non-pharmacological neuroprotective approaches has also been tested. Finally, the neurorepair strategy will be described with special emphasis on the role of cell-based therapies and ischaemic conditioning. Hopefully, the future therapy of ischaemic stroke will encompass a combination of neuroprotection (to stabilise penumbra), thrombolysis, antithrombotics (for secondary prevention) and neurorepair based on cell therapy plus rehabilitation.

  6. Current drug therapy and pharmaceutical challenges for Chagas disease.

    PubMed

    Bermudez, José; Davies, Carolina; Simonazzi, Analía; Real, Juan Pablo; Palma, Santiago

    2016-04-01

    One of the most significant health problems in the American continent in terms of human health, and socioeconomic impact is Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. Infection was originally transmitted by reduviid insects, congenitally from mother to fetus, and by oral ingestion in sylvatic/rural environments, but blood transfusions, organ transplants, laboratory accidents, and sharing of contaminated syringes also contribute to modern day transmission. Likewise, Chagas disease used to be endemic from Northern Mexico to Argentina, but migrations have earned it global. The parasite has a complex life cycle, infecting different species, and invading a variety of cells - including muscle and nerve cells of the heart and gastrointestinal tract - in the mammalian host. Human infection outcome is a potentially fatal cardiomyopathy, and gastrointestinal tract lesions. In absence of a vaccine, vector control and treatment of patients are the only tools to control the disease. Unfortunately, the only drugs now available for Chagas' disease, Nifurtimox and Benznidazole, are relatively toxic for adult patients, and require prolonged administration. Benznidazole is the first choice for Chagas disease treatment due to its lower side effects than Nifurtimox. However, different strategies are being sought to overcome Benznidazole's toxicity including shorter or intermittent administration schedules-either alone or in combination with other drugs. In addition, a long list of compounds has shown trypanocidal activity, ranging from natural products to specially designed molecules, re-purposing drugs commercialized to treat other maladies, and homeopathy. In the present review, we will briefly summarize the upturns of current treatment of Chagas disease, discuss the increment on research and scientific publications about this topic, and give an overview of the state-of-the-art research aiming to produce an alternative medication to treat T. cruzi infection.

  7. Current drug therapy and pharmaceutical challenges for Chagas disease.

    PubMed

    Bermudez, José; Davies, Carolina; Simonazzi, Analía; Real, Juan Pablo; Palma, Santiago

    2016-04-01

    One of the most significant health problems in the American continent in terms of human health, and socioeconomic impact is Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. Infection was originally transmitted by reduviid insects, congenitally from mother to fetus, and by oral ingestion in sylvatic/rural environments, but blood transfusions, organ transplants, laboratory accidents, and sharing of contaminated syringes also contribute to modern day transmission. Likewise, Chagas disease used to be endemic from Northern Mexico to Argentina, but migrations have earned it global. The parasite has a complex life cycle, infecting different species, and invading a variety of cells - including muscle and nerve cells of the heart and gastrointestinal tract - in the mammalian host. Human infection outcome is a potentially fatal cardiomyopathy, and gastrointestinal tract lesions. In absence of a vaccine, vector control and treatment of patients are the only tools to control the disease. Unfortunately, the only drugs now available for Chagas' disease, Nifurtimox and Benznidazole, are relatively toxic for adult patients, and require prolonged administration. Benznidazole is the first choice for Chagas disease treatment due to its lower side effects than Nifurtimox. However, different strategies are being sought to overcome Benznidazole's toxicity including shorter or intermittent administration schedules-either alone or in combination with other drugs. In addition, a long list of compounds has shown trypanocidal activity, ranging from natural products to specially designed molecules, re-purposing drugs commercialized to treat other maladies, and homeopathy. In the present review, we will briefly summarize the upturns of current treatment of Chagas disease, discuss the increment on research and scientific publications about this topic, and give an overview of the state-of-the-art research aiming to produce an alternative medication to treat T. cruzi infection

  8. Technical Study Addresses a Key Challenge to Harmonizing U.S. and International PV Module Standards (Fact Sheet)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2012-07-01

    NREL builds community and industry support by addressing concerns voiced by key standards organizations. Photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers in the United States test the safety of their products using standards developed through consensus processes. Because U.S. PV module safety standards are not aligned with international standards, manufacturers must test their modules twice - and sometimes maintain separate product lines. By meeting with standards organizations such as the Solar ABCs and Underwriters Laboratories (UL), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) leaders have worked to identify different stakeholders priorities and concerns. UL, specifically, has expressed concern that the international standards do not address all possible risks. For example, new encapsulant materials could soften at high temperatures and frameless modules could slide apart, exposing live electrical parts or allowing glass to fall on a person below. The deformation of a solid material under the influence of mechanical stresses is known as 'creep.' Current module qualification tests are limited to 85 C, whereas modules can, for short times, reach 105 C outdoors. In response to UL's concern, NREL designed and executed an experiment to compare on-sun and accelerated rates of creep for modules fabricated with various encapsulants, including some that have low melting points. Objectives were to (1) evaluate the potential for creep in outdoor exposure, (2) provide guidance on the risks and design needs with thermoplastic materials, and (3) provide a basis for modifying standards to account for materials with potential to creep. The study tested experimental materials with eight representative encapsulants in both outdoor and indoor (chamber) exposure. The study found that modules with materials that were expected to creep did so in the indoor exposure, but not in most outdoor environments and mounting configurations. The results provide a basis for defining an accelerated test needed to

  9. Engaging sub-national governments in addressing health equities: challenges and opportunities in China's health system reform.

    PubMed

    Brixi, Hana; Mu, Yan; Targa, Beatrice; Hipgrave, David

    2013-12-01

    China's current health system reform (HSR) is striving to resolve deep inequities in health outcomes. Achieving this goal is difficult not only because of continuously increasing income disparities in China but also because of weaknesses in healthcare financing and delivery at the local level. We explore to what extent sub-national governments, which are largely responsible for health financing in China, are addressing health inequities. We describe the recent trend in health inequalities in China, and analyse government expenditure on health in the context of China's decentralization and intergovernmental model to assess whether national, provincial and sub-provincial public resource allocations and local government accountability relationships are aligned with this goal. Our analysis reveals that government expenditure on health at sub-national levels, which accounts for ∼90% of total government expenditure on health, is increasingly regressive across provinces, and across prefectures within provinces. Increasing inequity in public expenditure at sub-national levels indicates that resources and responsibilities at sub-national levels in China are not well aligned with national priorities. China's HSR would benefit from complementary measures to improve the governance and financing of public service delivery. We discuss the existing weaknesses in local governance and suggest possible approaches to better align the responsibilities and capacity of sub-national governments with national policies, standards, laws and regulations, therefore ensuring local-level implementation and enforcement. Drawing on China's institutional framework and ongoing reform pilots, we present possible approaches to: (1) consolidate key health financing responsibilities at the provincial level and strengthen the accountability of provincial governments, (2) define targets for expenditure on primary health care, outputs and outcomes for each province and (3) use independent sources to

  10. Personality disorders in the DSM-5: current status, lessons learned, and future challenges. Introduction.

    PubMed

    Widiger, Thomas A; Krueger, Robert F

    2013-10-01

    Provides an introduction to a special section of Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment. The purpose of this special section is to provide a discussion of the current status, lessons learned, and future challenges for the classification of personality disorders.

  11. Education for Developing a Global Omani Citizen: Current Practices and Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Al-Maamari, Saif

    2014-01-01

    Oman is a developing country which reformed its educational system in 1998 in order to meet the challenges of the 21st century, especially economic challenges. Strength of national identity and developing a sense of global citizenship were among the priorities of the new educational reform. This paper is based on a review of current practices…

  12. Application of Caco-2 Cell Line in Herb-Drug Interaction Studies: Current Approaches and Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Awortwe, C.; Fasinu, P.S.; Rosenkranz, B.

    2015-01-01

    The Caco-2 model is employed in pre-clinical investigations to predict the likely gastrointestinal permeability of drugs because it expresses cytochrome P450 enzymes, transporters, microvilli and enterocytes of identical characteristics to the human small intestine. The FDA recommends this model as integral component of the Biopharmaceutics Classification System (BCS). Most dedicated laboratories use the Caco-2 cell line to screen new chemical entities through prediction of its solubility, bioavailability and the possibility of drug-drug or herb-drug interactions in the gut lumen. However, challenges in the inherent characteristics of Caco-2 cell and inter-laboratory protocol variations have resulted to generation of irreproducible data. These limitations affect the extrapolation of data from pre-clinical research to clinical studies involving drug-drug and herb-drug interactions. This review addresses some of these caveats and enumerates the plausible current and future approaches to reduce the anomalies associated with Caco-2 cell line investigations focusing on its application in herb-drug interactions. PMID:24735758

  13. Comparison of current Shuttle and pre-Challenger flight suit reach capability during launch accelerations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bagian, James P.; Schafer, Lauren E.

    1992-01-01

    The Challenger accident prompted the creation of a crew escape system which replaced the former Launch Entry Helmet (LEH) ensemble with the current Launch Entry Suit (LES). However, questions were raised regarding the impact of this change on crew reach capability. This study addressed the question of reach capability and its effects on realistic ground-based training for Space Shuttle missions. Eleven subjects performed reach sweeps in both the LEH and LES suits during 1 and 3 Gx acceleration trials in the Brooks AFB centrifuge. These reach sweeps were recorded on videotape and subsequently analyzed using a 3D motion analysis system. The ANOVA procedure of the Statistical Analysis System program was used to evaluate differences in forward and overhead reach. The results showed that the LES provided less reach capability than its predecessor, the LEH. This study also demonstrated that, since there was no substantial difference between 1 and 3 Gx reach sweeps in the LES, realistic Shuttle launch training may be accomplished in ground based simulators.

  14. Addressing Challenging Behaviour in Children with Down Syndrome: The Use of Applied Behaviour Analysis for Assessment and Intervention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Feeley, Kathlee M.; Jones, Emily A.

    2006-01-01

    Children with Down syndrome are at an increased risk for engaging in challenging behaviour that may be part of a behavioural phenotype characteristic of Down syndrome. The methodology of applied behaviour analysis has been demonstrated effective with a wide range of challenging behaviours, across various disabilities. Applications to children with…

  15. Hitting the Moving Target: Challenges of Creating a Dynamic Curriculum Addressing the Ethical Dimensions of Geospatial Data

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carr, John; Vallor, Shannon; Freundschuh, Scott; Gannon, William L.; Zandbergen, Paul

    2014-01-01

    While established ethical norms and core legal principles concerning the protection of privacy may be easily identified, applying these standards to rapidly evolving digital information technologies, markets for digital information and convulsive changes in social understandings of privacy is increasingly challenging. This challenge has been…

  16. Reaching Each Student: National Challenge and Organizational Commitment. Addresses to the College Board National Forum, October 31-November 2, 1990, Boston, Massachusetts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    College Board, New York, NY.

    Four speakers addressed the College Board National Forum on "Reaching Each Student" in the Fall of 1990 in Boston, Massachusetts. John F. Akers, Chairman of the Board at International Business Machines in his speech "Reaching Each Student: A Business Perspective" challenged the College Board to work with American business to change the educational…

  17. Preparing Early Childhood Educators to Address Young Children's Social-Emotional Development and Challenging Behavior: A Survey of Higher Education Programs in Nine States

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hemmeter, Mary Louise; Santos, Rosa Milagros; Ostrosky, Michaelene M.

    2008-01-01

    This article presents results from a survey of faculty members from 2- and 4-year higher education programs in nine states that prepare teachers to work with preschool children. The purpose of the study was to determine how professors address content related to social-emotional development and challenging behaviors, how well prepared they believe…

  18. Top 10 Ways To Improve Public Schools. Innovative Solutions To Help Address the Issues and Challenges Facing Most Public School Districts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Texas State Comptroller of Public Accounts, Austin.

    This report offers the top 10 challenges identified by public schools and the ways that the Texas School Performance Review (TSPR) suggests that these issues be addressed. The TSPR ensures that scarce education resources are spent in the classroom. For a TSPR review, the TSPR team is invited in for months of detailed study, during which it asks…

  19. Year of Tropical Convection (YOTC): A Joint WWRP and WCRP Activity to Address the Challenges of Multi-Scale Organized Convection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Caughey, J.; Waliser, D.; Moncrieff, M.

    2008-12-01

    The realistic representation of tropical convection in our global atmospheric models is a long-standing grand challenge for numerical weather prediction and climate projection. To address this challenge, WCRP and WWRP/THORPEX have proposed a Year of coordinated observing, modeling and forecasting of organized tropical convection and its influences on predictability. This effort is intended to exploit the vast amounts of existing and emerging observations, the expanding computational resources and the development of new, high-resolution modeling frameworks, with the objective of advancing the characterization, diagnosis, modeling, parameterization and prediction of multi-scale convective/dynamic interactions, including the two- way interaction between tropical and extra-tropical weather/climate. This activity and its ultimate success will be based on the coordination of a wide range of ongoing and planned international programmatic activities (e.g., GEWEX/CEOP/GCSS, THORPEX, EOS, AMY), strong collaboration among the operational prediction, research laboratory and academic communities, and the construction of a comprehensive data base consisting of satellite data, in-situ data sets and global/high-resolution forecast and simulation model outputs relevant to tropical convection. The target time frame for scientific focus is May 2008 to October 2009, and was chosen as a period that would leverage the most benefit from recent investments in Earth Science infrastructure and overlapping programmatic activities (e.g., AMY, T-PARC). Specific areas of emphasis identified in YOTC are: 1) MJO and convectively coupled waves, 2) diurnal cycle, 3) easterly waves and tropical cyclones, 4) tropical-extratropical interactions, and 5) monsoon. This presentation will describe the development of this activity, its current status and planned programmatic framework and research agenda.

  20. Cross-sector partnerships and public health: challenges and opportunities for addressing obesity and noncommunicable diseases through engagement with the private sector.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Lee M; Finegood, Diane T

    2015-03-18

    Over the past few decades, cross-sector partnerships with the private sector have become an increasingly accepted practice in public health, particularly in efforts to address infectious diseases in low- and middle-income countries. Now these partnerships are becoming a popular tool in efforts to reduce and prevent obesity and the epidemic of noncommunicable diseases. Partnering with businesses presents a means to acquire resources, as well as opportunities to influence the private sector toward more healthful practices. Yet even though collaboration is a core principle of public health practice, public-private or nonprofit-private partnerships present risks and challenges that warrant specific consideration. In this article, we review the role of public health partnerships with the private sector, with a focus on efforts to address obesity and noncommunicable diseases in high-income settings. We identify key challenges-including goal alignment and conflict of interest-and consider how changes to partnership practice might address these.

  1. Cross-sector partnerships and public health: challenges and opportunities for addressing obesity and noncommunicable diseases through engagement with the private sector.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Lee M; Finegood, Diane T

    2015-03-18

    Over the past few decades, cross-sector partnerships with the private sector have become an increasingly accepted practice in public health, particularly in efforts to address infectious diseases in low- and middle-income countries. Now these partnerships are becoming a popular tool in efforts to reduce and prevent obesity and the epidemic of noncommunicable diseases. Partnering with businesses presents a means to acquire resources, as well as opportunities to influence the private sector toward more healthful practices. Yet even though collaboration is a core principle of public health practice, public-private or nonprofit-private partnerships present risks and challenges that warrant specific consideration. In this article, we review the role of public health partnerships with the private sector, with a focus on efforts to address obesity and noncommunicable diseases in high-income settings. We identify key challenges-including goal alignment and conflict of interest-and consider how changes to partnership practice might address these. PMID:25581149

  2. Tooth matrix analysis for biomonitoring of organic chemical exposure: Current status, challenges, and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Andra, Syam S; Austin, Christine; Arora, Manish

    2015-10-01

    Epidemiological evidence supports associations between prenatal exposure to environmental organic chemicals and childhood health impairments. Unlike the common choice of biological matrices such as urine and blood that can be limited by short half-lives for some chemicals, teeth provide a stable repository for chemicals with half-life in the order of decades. Given the potential of the tooth bio-matrix to study long-term exposures to environmental organic chemicals in human biomonitoring programs, it is important to be aware of possible pitfalls and potential opportunities to improve on the current analytical method for tooth organics analysis. We critically review previous results of studies of this topic. The major drawbacks and challenges in currently practiced concepts and analytical methods in utilizing tooth bio-matrix are (i) no consideration of external (from outer surface) or internal contamination (from micro-odontoblast processes), (ii) the misleading assumption that whole ground teeth represent prenatal exposures (latest formed dentine is lipid rich and therefore would absorb and accumulate more organic chemicals), (iii) reverse causality in exposure assessment due to whole ground teeth, and (iv) teeth are a precious bio-matrix and grinding them raises ethical concerns about appropriate use of a very limited resource in exposure biology and epidemiology studies. These can be overcome by addressing the important limitations and possible improvements with the analytical approach associated at each of the following steps: (i) tooth sample preparation to retain exposure timing, (ii) organics extraction and pre-concentration to detect ultra-trace levels of analytes, (iii) chromatography separation, (iv) mass spectrometric detection to detect multi-class organics simultaneously, and (v) method validation, especially to exclude chance findings. To highlight the proposed improvements we present findings from a pilot study that utilizes tooth matrix biomarkers

  3. Tooth Matrix Analysis for Biomonitoring of Organic Chemical Exposure: Current Status, Challenges, and Opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Andra, Syam S.; Austin, Christine; Arora, Manish

    2015-01-01

    Epidemiological evidence supports associations between prenatal exposure to environmental organic chemicals and childhood health impairments. Unlike the common choice of biological matrices such as urine and blood that can be limited by short half-lives for some chemicals, teeth provide a stable repository for chemicals with half-life in the order of decades. Given the potential of the tooth bio-matrix to study long-term exposures to environmental organic chemicals in human biomonitoring programs, it is important to be aware of possible pitfalls and potential opportunities to improve on the current analytical method for tooth organics analysis. We critically review previous results of studies of this topic. The major drawbacks and challenges in currently practiced concepts and analytical methods in utilizing tooth bio-matrix are (i) no consideration of external (from outer surface) or internal contamination (from micro odontoblast processes), (ii) the misleading assumption that whole ground teeth represent prenatal exposures (latest formed dentine is lipid rich and therefore would absorb and accumulate more organic chemicals), (iii) reverse causality in exposure assessment due to whole ground teeth, and (iv) teeth are a precious bio-matrix and grinding them raises ethical concerns about appropriate use of a very limited resource in exposure biology and epidemiology studies. These can be overcome by addressing the important limitations and possible improvements with the analytical approach associated at each of the following steps (i) tooth sample preparation to retain exposure timing, (ii) organics extraction and pre-concentration to detect ultra-trace levels of analytes, (iii) chromatography separation, (iv) mass spectrometric detection to detect multi-class organics simultaneously, and (v) method validation, especially to exclude chance findings. To highlight the proposed improvements we present findings from a pilot study that utilizes tooth matrix biomarkers to

  4. Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) Facing the Twenty-First Century: Challenges and Contributions. Presidential Address.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arnove, Robert F.

    2001-01-01

    Examines challenges to comparative and international education in the areas of epistemological approaches, research methodology, philosophical considerations, and dissemination of findings; the field's contributions in questioning assumptions about school-society relationships, identifying the benefits and dangers of "borrowing" educational…

  5. Lessons Learned and Present Day Challenges of Addressing 20th Century Radiation Legacies of Russia and the United States

    SciTech Connect

    KRISTOFZSKI, J.G.

    2000-10-26

    The decommissioning of nuclear submarines, disposal of highly-enriched uranium and weapons-grade plutonium, and processing of high-level radioactive wastes represent the most challenging issues facing the cleanup of 20th century radiation legacy wastes and facilities. The US and Russia are the two primary countries dealing with these challenges, because most of the world's fissile inventory is being processed and stored at multiple industrial sites and nuclear weapons production facilities in these countries.

  6. How can we exploit above–belowground interactions to assist in addressing the challenges of food security?

    PubMed Central

    Orrell, Peter; Bennett, Alison E.

    2013-01-01

    Can above–belowground interactions help address issues of food security? We address this question in this manuscript, and review the intersection of above–belowground interactions and food security. We propose that above–belowground interactions could address two strategies identified by Godfray etal. (2010): reducing the Yield Gap, and Increasing Production Limits. In particular, to minimize the difference between potential and realized production (The Yield Gap) above–belowground interactions could be manipulated to reduce losses to pests and increase crop growth (and therefore yields). To Increase Production Limits we propose two mechanisms: utilizing intercropping (which uses multiple aspects of above–belowground interactions) and breeding for traits that promote beneficial above–belowground interactions, as well as breeding mutualistic organisms to improve their provided benefit. As a result, if they are managed correctly, there is great potential for above–belowground interactions to contribute to food security. PMID:24198821

  7. How can we exploit above-belowground interactions to assist in addressing the challenges of food security?

    PubMed

    Orrell, Peter; Bennett, Alison E

    2013-10-30

    Can above-belowground interactions help address issues of food security? We address this question in this manuscript, and review the intersection of above-belowground interactions and food security. We propose that above-belowground interactions could address two strategies identified by Godfray etal. (2010): reducing the Yield Gap, and Increasing Production Limits. In particular, to minimize the difference between potential and realized production (The Yield Gap) above-belowground interactions could be manipulated to reduce losses to pests and increase crop growth (and therefore yields). To Increase Production Limits we propose two mechanisms: utilizing intercropping (which uses multiple aspects of above-belowground interactions) and breeding for traits that promote beneficial above-belowground interactions, as well as breeding mutualistic organisms to improve their provided benefit. As a result, if they are managed correctly, there is great potential for above-belowground interactions to contribute to food security.

  8. Implementing a Public Health Approach to Addressing Mental Health Needs in a University Setting: Lessons and Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parcover, Jason; Mays, Sally; McCarthy, Amy

    2015-01-01

    The mental health needs of college students are placing increasing demands on counseling center resources, and traditional outreach efforts may be outdated or incomplete. The public health model provides an approach for reaching more students, decreasing stigma, and addressing mental health concerns before they reach crisis levels. Implementing a…

  9. What Strategies Do Urban Superintendents Utilize to Address Global Challenges in the Implementation of 21st Century Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Synyard, Julie Ashley

    2010-01-01

    Urban superintendents are charged with the responsibility of educating students in a rapidly changing world driven by technological advances, boundless information, international markets, and global pressures that demand of people that they be innovative thinkers and creative problem solvers to address the myriad of issues that will undoubtedly…

  10. The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning: Addressing Challenging Behavior in Infants and Toddlers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hunter, Amy; Hemmeter, Mary Louise

    2009-01-01

    The Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL) is a federally funded national resource center designed to support early care and education providers address the social-emotional needs of children birth through age 5 years. Recent research has found that an extraordinarily high number of young children are being…

  11. Addressing capability computing challenges of high-resolution global climate modelling at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anantharaj, Valentine; Norman, Matthew; Evans, Katherine; Taylor, Mark; Worley, Patrick; Hack, James; Mayer, Benjamin

    2014-05-01

    During 2013, high-resolution climate model simulations accounted for over 100 million "core hours" using Titan at the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF). The suite of climate modeling experiments, primarily using the Community Earth System Model (CESM) at nearly 0.25 degree horizontal resolution, generated over a petabyte of data and nearly 100,000 files, ranging in sizes from 20 MB to over 100 GB. Effective utilization of leadership class resources requires careful planning and preparation. The application software, such as CESM, need to be ported, optimized and benchmarked for the target platform in order to meet the computational readiness requirements. The model configuration needs to be "tuned and balanced" for the experiments. This can be a complicated and resource intensive process, especially for high-resolution configurations using complex physics. The volume of I/O also increases with resolution; and new strategies may be required to manage I/O especially for large checkpoint and restart files that may require more frequent output for resiliency. It is also essential to monitor the application performance during the course of the simulation exercises. Finally, the large volume of data needs to be analyzed to derive the scientific results; and appropriate data and information delivered to the stakeholders. Titan is currently the largest supercomputer available for open science. The computational resources, in terms of "titan core hours" are allocated primarily via the Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) and ASCR Leadership Computing Challenge (ALCC) programs, both sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science. Titan is a Cray XK7 system, capable of a theoretical peak performance of over 27 PFlop/s, consists of 18,688 compute nodes, with a NVIDIA Kepler K20 GPU and a 16-core AMD Opteron CPU in every node, for a total of 299,008 Opteron cores and 18,688 GPUs offering a cumulative 560

  12. How Does the Capability Approach Address Current Issues in Special Educational Needs, Disability and Inclusive Education Field?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Norwich, Brahm

    2014-01-01

    This paper aims to examine what the capability approach has to offer to the field of special needs and inclusive education. Several key questions are addressed: can the capability approach replace the language of needs and rights; whether the capability approach can address key issues in the field of disabilities and difficulties in education and…

  13. Addressing the empathy deficit: beliefs about the malleability of empathy predict effortful responses when empathy is challenging.

    PubMed

    Schumann, Karina; Zaki, Jamil; Dweck, Carol S

    2014-09-01

    Empathy is often thought to occur automatically. Yet, empathy frequently breaks down when it is difficult or distressing to relate to people in need, suggesting that empathy is often not felt reflexively. Indeed, the United States as a whole is said to be displaying an empathy deficit. When and why does empathy break down, and what predicts whether people will exert effort to experience empathy in challenging contexts? Across 7 studies, we found that people who held a malleable mindset about empathy (believing empathy can be developed) expended greater empathic effort in challenging contexts than did people who held a fixed theory (believing empathy cannot be developed). Specifically, a malleable theory of empathy--whether measured or experimentally induced--promoted (a) more self-reported effort to feel empathy when it is challenging (Study 1); (b) more empathically effortful responses to a person with conflicting views on personally important sociopolitical issues (Studies 2-4); (c) more time spent listening to the emotional personal story of a racial outgroup member (Study 5); and (d) greater willingness to help cancer patients in effortful, face-to-face ways (Study 6). Study 7 revealed a possible reason for this greater empathic effort in challenging contexts: a stronger interest in improving one's empathy. Together, these data suggest that people's mindsets powerfully affect whether they exert effort to empathize when it is needed most, and these data may represent a point of leverage in increasing empathic behaviors on a broad scale. PMID:25133727

  14. Addressing Challenging Behaviours in the General Education Setting: Conducting a Teacher-Based Functional Behavioural Assessment (FBA)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moreno, Gerardo

    2011-01-01

    When a student demonstrates a challenging or problematic behaviour in the classroom, the climate and the instructional experience can change dramatically for both the students and the classroom teacher. Before resorting to sanctions and punitive consequences, there is a series of steps a classroom teacher can conduct to reduce and replace the…

  15. Implementing a Culturally Attuned Functional Behavioural Assessment to Understand and Address Challenging Behaviours Demonstrated by Students from Diverse Backgrounds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moreno, Gerardo; Wong-Lo, Mickie; Short, Maureen; Bullock, Lyndal M.

    2014-01-01

    As the US student population continues to become increasingly diverse, educators have encountered difficulties in distinguishing between cultural differences and genuine disability indicators. This concern is clearly evident in assisting students from diverse backgrounds who demonstrate chronic challenging behaviours. Past practices (e.g.…

  16. A Demonstration of Individualized Positive Behavior Support Interventions by Head Start Staff to Address Children's Challenging Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Voorhees, Mary D.; Walker, Virginia L.; Snell, Martha E.; Smith, Carol G.

    2013-01-01

    Following the implementation of Tier 1 and Tier 2 Positive Behavior Support (PBS) strategies in six Head Start (HS) classrooms, three children in two classrooms were identified who had significant behavioral challenges and met the criteria for the use of individualized PBS. The purpose of this demonstration was to evaluate whether the effects of…

  17. It's Not Just "What" You Say: Verbal and Nonverbal Skills Help Leaders Address Challenges and Achieve Outcomes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zoller, Kendall; Lahera, Antonia Issa; Normore, Anthony H.

    2015-01-01

    This article presents a story about two school leaders in a large Southern California urban district who used skills developed in a university school leadership program to create rapport, empathy, and trust while leading through challenging situations and achieving actionable outcomes. In addition to developing relationships in support of…

  18. Addressing the Challenges of a New Digital Technologies Curriculum: MOOCs as a Scalable Solution for Teacher Professional Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vivian, Rebecca; Falkner, Katrina; Falkner, Nickolas

    2014-01-01

    England and Australia have introduced new learning areas, teaching computer science to children from the first year of school. This is a significant milestone that also raises a number of big challenges: the preparation of teachers and the development of resources" at a national scale." Curriculum change is not easy for teachers, in any…

  19. Addressing Concerns.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cronin, Greg; Helmig, Mary; Kaplan, Bill; Kosch, Sharon

    2002-01-01

    Four camp directors discuss how the September 11 tragedy and current world events will affect their camps. They describe how they are addressing safety concerns, working with parents, cooperating with outside agencies, hiring and screening international staff, and revising emergency plans. Camps must continue to offer community and support to…

  20. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Individuals with Disabilities: A Behavior Analytic Strategy for Addressing Private Events in Challenging Behavior.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Audrey N; Contreras, Bethany P; Clay, Casey J; Twohig, Michael P

    2016-03-01

    Applied behavior analysts work with many populations including individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Although behavior analysts have a variety of empirically supported treatments to implement when working with individuals with disabilities, sometimes, other variables may adversely impact treatment effectiveness. The degree to which problematic thoughts and feelings (private events) influence behavior may be a variable that contributes to treatment efficacy. Traditional behavior analytic services are not always equipped to successfully address the private events influencing client behavior. In such cases, it may be beneficial for behavior analysts to consider additional philosophically aligned treatments for private events. One such treatment, acceptance and commitment therapy, may be a useful tool for behavior analysts to incorporate into their toolbox in order to help clients. The purpose of this paper is to introduce behavior analysts to a potential solution to the problem of effectively addressing private events in behavior analytic services. We then propose a model for thinking about private events in relation to clients with disabilities and present a guide for taking steps to address private events in the clinical setting. We conclude this paper with a call for research and present a possible research agenda for behavior analysts. PMID:27606236

  1. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Individuals with Disabilities: A Behavior Analytic Strategy for Addressing Private Events in Challenging Behavior.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, Audrey N; Contreras, Bethany P; Clay, Casey J; Twohig, Michael P

    2016-03-01

    Applied behavior analysts work with many populations including individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Although behavior analysts have a variety of empirically supported treatments to implement when working with individuals with disabilities, sometimes, other variables may adversely impact treatment effectiveness. The degree to which problematic thoughts and feelings (private events) influence behavior may be a variable that contributes to treatment efficacy. Traditional behavior analytic services are not always equipped to successfully address the private events influencing client behavior. In such cases, it may be beneficial for behavior analysts to consider additional philosophically aligned treatments for private events. One such treatment, acceptance and commitment therapy, may be a useful tool for behavior analysts to incorporate into their toolbox in order to help clients. The purpose of this paper is to introduce behavior analysts to a potential solution to the problem of effectively addressing private events in behavior analytic services. We then propose a model for thinking about private events in relation to clients with disabilities and present a guide for taking steps to address private events in the clinical setting. We conclude this paper with a call for research and present a possible research agenda for behavior analysts.

  2. Natural Products in Caries Research: Current (Limited) Knowledge, Challenges and Future Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Jeon, J.-G; Rosalen, P.L.; Falsetta, M.L.; Koo, H.

    2011-01-01

    Dental caries is the most prevalent and costly oral infectious disease worldwide. Virulent biofilms firmly attached to tooth surfaces are prime biological factors associated with this disease. The formation of an exopolysaccharide-rich biofilm matrix, acidification of the milieu and persistent low pH at the tooth-biofilm interface are major controlling virulence factors that modulate dental caries pathogenesis. Each one offers a selective therapeutic target for prevention. Although fluoride, delivered in various modalities, remains the mainstay for the prevention of caries, additional approaches are required to enhance its effectiveness. Available antiplaque approaches are based on the use of broad-spectrum microbicidal agents, e.g. chlorhexidine. Natural products offer a rich source of structurally diverse substances with a wide range of biological activities, which could be useful for the development of alternative or adjunctive anticaries therapies. However, it is a challenging approach owing to complex chemistry and isolation procedures to derive active compounds from natural products. Furthermore, most of the studies have been focused on the general inhibitory effects on glucan synthesis as well as on bacterial metabolism and growth, often employing methods that do not address the pathophysiological aspects of the disease (e.g. bacteria in biofilms) and the length of exposure/retention in the mouth. Thus, the true value of natural products in caries prevention and/or their exact mechanisms of action remain largely unknown. Nevertheless, natural substances potentially active against virulent properties of cariogenic organisms have been identified. This review focuses on gaps in the current knowledge and presents a model for investigating the use of natural products in anticaries chemotherapy. PMID:21576957

  3. Industrial hazardous waste management in Turkey: current state of the field and primary challenges.

    PubMed

    Salihoglu, Güray

    2010-05-15

    A holistic evaluation of a country's hazardous waste management (HWM) practices is useful in identifying the necessary actions to focus on. Based on an analysis of industrial hazardous waste (HW) generation in Turkey, this paper attempts to critically evaluate and report current Turkish HWM practices and discuss the primary challenges to be addressed. The generation of industrial HW for Turkey reported in 2004 was 1.195 million tons, which accounted for 7% of the total industrial solid waste (ISW) generated by the manufacturing industry, and for nearly 4.9% of the total solid waste generated in the country. The HW generated by the top five manufacturing product categories--basic metals, chemicals and chemical products, food and beverages, coke and refined petroleum, motor vehicles and trailers--accounted for 89.0% of total industrial HW. 21% of the HW generated in 2004 was recycled or reused, and 6% was sold or donated, whereas 73% was sent to ultimate disposal. 67% of the HW sent to ultimate disposal was disposed of at municipal landfills. The total capacity of the existing regional HW facilities is 212,500 tons/year, which accounts for about 24% of the HW to be disposed. Turkey has identified the HW problem in the country and enacted legislation, designated a lead agency, and promulgated rules and regulations. Several new initiatives are planned for improving HW management nationally; however, some HWM problems will be persistent due to previous and existing industrial development plans. These development policies led to the concentration of industry in regions marked by precious agricultural fields and high population density. This occurred because the government previously exhibited a default prioritization towards industrial development, leading to insufficient implementation of regulations on HW generators. Some of the problems may also be rooted in other countries that allow illegal trans boundary HW movements despite international regulations.

  4. Considering cognition. Current challenges and future directions in pulmonary and critical care fellowship training.

    PubMed

    Clardy, Peter F; Schwartzstein, Richard M

    2015-04-01

    Fellowship training in pulmonary and critical care has evolved substantially over the past decade. Training programs are increasingly focused on a rigorous, multifaceted assessment of an individual trainee's progress toward achieving specific curricular milestones, and their ability to independently manage a series of entrustable professional activities. This new system has provided programs with an enormous amount of detailed information related to the specific goals and outcomes of training. However, it has not addressed the unmet need for fellowship programs to systematically assess and teach advanced clinical reasoning and judgment. Training programs must address these cognitive processes in a proactive and supportive way, and are challenged to develop novel approaches that encourage continuous self-evaluation. Only by addressing these critical deficiencies will programs enable trainees to progress beyond a level of clinical competence to one of true expertise. These efforts will also encourage physicians at all levels of training to embrace their commitment to lifelong learning.

  5. Addressing the "Global Health Tax" and "Wild Cards": Practical Challenges to Building Academic Careers in Global Health.

    PubMed

    Palazuelos, Daniel; Dhillon, Ranu

    2016-01-01

    Among many possible benefits, global health efforts can expand the skills and experience of U.S. clinicians, improve health for communities in need, and generate innovations in care delivery with relevance everywhere. Yet, despite high rates of interest among students and medical trainees to include global health opportunities in their training, there is still no clear understanding of how this interest will translate into viable and sustained global health careers after graduation. Building on a growing conversation about how to support careers in academic global health, this Perspective describes the practical challenges faced by physicians pursuing these careers after they complete training. Writing from their perspective as junior faculty at one U.S. academic health center with a dedicated focus on global health training, the authors describe a number of practical issues they have found to be critical both for their own career development and for the advice they provide their mentees. With a particular emphasis on the financial, personal, professional, and logistical challenges that young "expat" global health physicians in academic institutions face, they underscore the importance of finding ways to support these career paths, and propose possible solutions. Such investments would not only respond to the rational and moral imperatives of global health work and advance the mission of improving human health but also help to fully leverage the potential of what is already an unprecedented movement within academic medicine. PMID:26244256

  6. Projected groundwater balance as a state indicator for addressing sustainability and management challenges of overexploited crystalline aquifers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sarah, S.; Ahmed, S.; Boisson, A.; Violette, S.; de Marsily, G.

    2014-11-01

    In India, particularly in semi-arid regions, groundwater levels are declining at alarming rates due to overexploitation and the sustainable exploitation of groundwater resources is in deep crisis. There is little or no information on groundwater sustainability indicators, which can signal towards the challenges in water management. In this study we downscaled an entire watershed into three zones based on the different hydrodynamic behaviour recorded at the borewell scale. A process-based simple, multi-parameter linear auto-regressive model was developed to predict groundwater levels, which uses recharge, groundwater withdrawal and irrigation return flow as input variables. A comprehensive and predictive long-term groundwater balance is used as a state indicator to evaluate the sustainability and management challenges in the watershed. Two groundwater withdrawal scenarios were designed to assess the impact of groundwater withdrawal on the groundwater balance. We found that geological heterogeneities play a crucial role in controlling groundwater fluctuations. The storage change in two different groundwater withdrawal scenarios shows gradually declining groundwater storage in both scenarios. A long-term assessment of the groundwater balance helps to analyse the state of the groundwater system and to locate priority zones for watershed interventions.

  7. Addressing the "Global Health Tax" and "Wild Cards": Practical Challenges to Building Academic Careers in Global Health.

    PubMed

    Palazuelos, Daniel; Dhillon, Ranu

    2016-01-01

    Among many possible benefits, global health efforts can expand the skills and experience of U.S. clinicians, improve health for communities in need, and generate innovations in care delivery with relevance everywhere. Yet, despite high rates of interest among students and medical trainees to include global health opportunities in their training, there is still no clear understanding of how this interest will translate into viable and sustained global health careers after graduation. Building on a growing conversation about how to support careers in academic global health, this Perspective describes the practical challenges faced by physicians pursuing these careers after they complete training. Writing from their perspective as junior faculty at one U.S. academic health center with a dedicated focus on global health training, the authors describe a number of practical issues they have found to be critical both for their own career development and for the advice they provide their mentees. With a particular emphasis on the financial, personal, professional, and logistical challenges that young "expat" global health physicians in academic institutions face, they underscore the importance of finding ways to support these career paths, and propose possible solutions. Such investments would not only respond to the rational and moral imperatives of global health work and advance the mission of improving human health but also help to fully leverage the potential of what is already an unprecedented movement within academic medicine.

  8. The Practice of School Psychology in Quebec English Schools: Current Challenges and Opportunities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Finn, Cindy A.

    2016-01-01

    In Quebec, school psychology is alive and well. This article outlines current challenges and opportunities related to the practice of psychology in Quebec English schools. Changes to the practice of psychology in Quebec over the last decade have had an impact on the delivery of psychological services in schools. Modifications of the admission…

  9. "Best Practices" in Teaching and Learning: Challenging Current Paradigms and Redefining Their Role in Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Munro, Carolin Rekar

    2005-01-01

    With pervasive and persistent changes affecting education, educators are called to challenge current paradigms about best practices in instructional design and delivery and redefine how they are integrated into the curriculum. The purpose of this article is to introduce a model designed to support the new paradigm for best practices in education.…

  10. The Vocational Education and Training System in Bulgaria. Current Situation, Challenges and Reform Needs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pantaleev, Tzako; Kalandarova, Natalia; Dineva, Nedka; Panev, Georgi; Petrova, Iskra

    This report reviews the current situation of Bulgaria's vocational education and training (VET) system to identify challenges facing the system and areas needing reform. Section 1 explores the following five aspects of Bulgaria's political and socioeconomic situation: (1) demography; (2) economic developments (privatization of state enterprises,…

  11. The Rise of International Relations Programs in the Brazilian Federal Universities: Curriculum Specificities and Current Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ferreira, Marcos Alan S. V.

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this reflection is to study the new international relations (IR) programs introduced by Brazilian federal universities, looking comparatively at their curriculum specificities and current challenges. In recent years, Brazil has seen an increase of IR programs launched in several regions. Since 2003, the Ministry of Education is in the…

  12. An International Perspective: The School as an Organization and Social Institution: Current Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butler, Norman L.; Griffith, Kimberly Grantham; Kritsonis, William Allan

    2007-01-01

    This article is about the current challenges facing the school as an organization and social institution with respect to information technology. It is concluded that the school ought to educate broadly when preparing students for the workplace because we can not accurately predict what their needs will be due to rapid advances in technology.…

  13. On Pliability and Progress: Challenging Current Conceptions of Eighteenth-Century French Educational Thought

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilead, Tal

    2009-01-01

    Examining the educational writings of three of the eighteenth-century's most innovative thinkers, the Abbe de Saint-Pierre, Morelly and Helvetius, this article challenges the currently accepted view that it was a belief in human pliability which gave rise to the contemporary groundbreaking faith in the power of education to improve society. The…

  14. Current status and challenges in developing Ni phytomining: An agronomic perspective

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This review examines the current status, progress and challenges in Ni phytomining agronomy undertaken since the first field trial two decades ago. To date, over 400 Ni hyperaccumulators have been documented (of which >30% are in Cuba) including approximately 50 species with potential for use in Ni ...

  15. Current Challenges for K-12 Dance Education and Development: Perspectives from Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Risner, Doug

    2007-01-01

    From an administrative perspective, this article investigates equity issues in dance education, and current challenges and opportunities for leadership in postsecondary dance programs involved in teacher education and certification. Although dance education is varied in content and environment, much is shared in terms of common goals for gender…

  16. Supports for libraries'restoration from the Great East Japan Earthquake : Challenges we address at Miyagi Prefectural Library

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumagai, Shinichiro

    This article overviews the situations of damage and reconstruction of mainly public libraries in Miyagi Prefecture about 9 months after the Great East Japan Earthquake. Serious damage of library buildings was due not only to the tsunami or seismic sea wave but to violent shaking, the latter less reported by the media. We at the Miyagi Prefectural Library implemented reconstruction assistance for regional public libraries in both direct and indirect ways. Among them, we report in detail on the support we offered until the Minami-sanriku Town Library reopened its service. We highlight a prefectural library's role, acting between supporters and those supportees, to consider the necessity of middle organizations. We clarify what challenges we face and examine how best to provide assistance in case of large-scale disasters.

  17. Addressing the challenge of the emerging NCD epidemic: lessons learned from Botswana's response to the HIV epidemic.

    PubMed

    Reid, M J A; Mosepele, M; Tsima, B M; Gross, R

    2012-09-21

    Botswana has the second highest prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune-deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) in the world, and yet it has built one of Africa's most progressive and comprehensive HIV programs. While public health infrastructure has responded remarkably to the HIV epidemic, the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), particularly diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease, in both HIV-infected and non-infected individuals, is increasing rapidly. Applying lessons learned from the scale-up of HIV/AIDS services may help with the implementation of an effective response to the challenges of the emerging NCD epidemic. We suggest that a successful response should include integrated service delivery, capacity building to provide disease-specific care, and strong partnerships to mobilize communities.

  18. Building a National Pediatric Cancer Center and Network in Paraguay: Lessons for Addressing Challenges in a Low-income Country.

    PubMed

    Samudio, Angélica; Figueredo, Diego; Lassaletta, Alvaro; Zelada, Ofelia; Peris, Aníbal; Bogado Yinde, Luis; Relyea, George; Pérez, Antonio; Madero, Luis; Ribeiro, Raul; Masera, Giuseppe; Caniza, Miguela A

    2015-07-01

    In Paraguay, cancer is among the leading causes of death among children. We report challenges and solutions for building the country's first pediatric cancer center at the National University School of Medicine (PCC-SM) and describe the outcomes of the National Network for Pediatric Cancer. We found that children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated between 2008 and 2012 had higher 3-year survival rates and lower treatment abandonment rates than did children treated between 2000 and 2007 before the network was established. This improvement directly coincided with the increased treatment capacity of the PCC-SM. Herein, we describe the role of local, national, and international contributors in improving the health care at Paraguay's PCC-SM and discuss how expediting access to specialized cancer diagnosis and care and implementing a system for referral and follow-up visits can improve cancer outcomes in other low-resource countries.

  19. Addressing the challenge of the emerging NCD epidemic: lessons learned from Botswana’s response to the HIV epidemic

    PubMed Central

    Mosepele, M.; Tsima, B. M.; Gross, R.

    2012-01-01

    Botswana has the second highest prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune-deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) in the world, and yet it has built one of Africa’s most progressive and comprehensive HIV programs. While public health infrastructure has responded remarkably to the HIV epidemic, the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), particularly diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease, in both HIV-infected and non-infected individuals, is increasing rapidly. Applying lessons learned from the scale-up of HIV/AIDS services may help with the implementation of an effective response to the challenges of the emerging NCD epidemic. We suggest that a successful response should include integrated service delivery, capacity building to provide disease-specific care, and strong partnerships to mobilize communities. PMID:26392950

  20. Key outcomes and addressing remaining challenges--perspectives from a final evaluation of the China GAVI project.

    PubMed

    Yang, Weizhong; Liang, Xiaofeng; Cui, Fuqiang; Li, Li; Hadler, Stephen C; Hutin, Yvan J; Kane, Mark; Wang, Yu

    2013-12-27

    During the China GAVI project, implemented between 2002 and 2010, more than 25 million children received hepatitis B vaccine with the support of project, and the vaccine proved to be safe and effective. With careful consideration for project savings, China and GAVI continually adjusted the budget, additionally allowing the project to spend operational funds to support demonstration projects to improve timely birth dose (TBD), conduct training of EPI staff, and to monitor the project impact. Results from the final evaluation indicated the achievement of key outcomes. As a result of government co-investment, human resources at county level engaged in hepatitis B vaccination increased from 29 per county on average in 2002 to 66 in 2009. All project counties funded by the GAVI project use auto-disable syringes for hepatitis B vaccination and other vaccines. Surveyed hepatitis B vaccine coverage increased from 71% in 2002 to 93% in 2009 among infants. The HBsAg prevalence declined from 9.67% in 1992 to 0.96% in 2006 among children under 5 years of age. However, several important issues remain: (1) China still accounts for the largest annual number of perinatal HBV infections (estimated 84,121) in the WHO WPR region; (2) China still lacks a clear national policy for safe injection of vaccines; (3) vaccination of high risk adults and protection of health care workers are still not implemented; (4) hepatitis B surveillance needs to be refined to more accurately monitor acute hepatitis B; and (5) a program for treatment of persons with chronic HBV infection is needed. Recommendations for future hepatitis B control include: using the lessons learned from the China GAVI project for future introductions of new vaccines; addressing unmet needs with a second generation hepatitis B program to reach every infant, including screening mothers, and providing HBIG for infants born to HBsAg positive mothers; expanding vaccination to high risk adults; addressing remaining unsafe