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. 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.

  3. 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,…

  4. 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. PMID:26219199

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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. PMID:25213376

  11. Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Investments Addressing Earth Science Challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walton, A. L.; Spengler, S. J.; Zanzerkia, E. E.

    2014-12-01

    The National Science Foundation supports infrastructure development and research into Big Data challenges as part of its long-term cyberinfrastructure strategy. This strategy highlights the critical need to leverage and partner with other agencies, resources and service providers to the U.S. research community. The current cyberinfrastructure and research activities within NSF support advanced technology development, pilot demonstrations of new capabilities for the scientific community in general, and integration and interoperability of data resources across the Geoscience community. These activities include the Data Infrastructure Building Blocks, Big Data and EarthCube programs, among others. Investments are competitively solicited; the resulting portfolio of high performance computing, advanced information systems, new software capabilities, analytics and modeling supports a range of science disciplines. This presentation provides an overview of these research programs, highlighting some of the key investments in advanced analytics, coupled modeling, and seamless collaboration. Examples related to the geosciences, computer-aided discovery and hypothesis generation are highlighted.

  12. 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

  13. Addressing the challenges of emerging infectious disease.

    PubMed

    Pinner, R W

    1996-01-01

    Through the recent examples of diphtheria in the former Soviet Union, plague in India, and trends in pneumonia mortality in the United States, the author, in this article, illustrates issues in emerging infectious diseases. The Centers for Disease Control's plan, Addressing Emerging Infectious Disease Threats: A Prevention Strategy for the United States, is summarized. Initial efforts to implement this plan are described, with particular focus on the development of Emerging Infections Programs, which are conducting epidemiologic and laboratory projects on several infectious diseases, including invasive bacterial diseases, unexplained deaths, foodborne diseases, and ehrlichiosis in four population-based sites in the United States. PMID:8571983

  14. Addressing the challenges of nursing student attrition.

    PubMed

    Harris, Robin C; Rosenberg, Lisa; Grace O'Rourke, Marilyn E

    2014-01-01

    With the passage of the Affordable Care Act and as the number of aging and diverse individuals in society increases, access to health care will expand and the need for more competent and diverse nursing graduates will increase. An adequate number of nurse graduates is imperative to meet societal demands; however, this is complicated by high nursing student attrition rates. This article examines the need for more nurses (including those from diverse backgrounds), current attrition rates among schools of nursing, at-risk student characteristics, and previous attempts to increase student success. Applying the evidence to practice, findings from a multipronged approach to increase student success within an associate degree nursing program located within a historically Black college and university in the midwestern United States are discussed. The program's successes and opportunities for improvement are examined, as well as the recommendations for other nursing programs facing issues with student attrition. PMID:24328250

  15. 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....

  16. 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....

  17. 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 Notification of current addresses. Each assignee and each beneficiary of an assignee must keep the office where the assignment is filed informed of his/her current address....

  18. 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....

  19. 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....

  20. 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 ...

  1. Addressing Heart Failure Challenges through Illness-Informed Social Work.

    PubMed

    Hopp, Faith Pratt; Camp, Jessica K; Perry, Tam E

    2015-08-01

    This article describes the role of social workers in addressing the needs of people with heart failure. Although previous studies have explored the role of social workers in health care settings, few studies have addressed the challenges of specific chronic diseases such as heart failure. To address this gap in the literature, this study used qualitative interviews with health care social workers (n = 8) to obtain in-depth information about activities and challenges related to heart failure care. Findings suggest that health care social workers perceive heart failure as characterized by an uncertain illness trajectory, frequent hospitalizations, and difficulties accessing formal and informal care. These findings suggest the importance of what we term illness-informed social work, a practice that combines heart failure knowledge with social work competencies to address the complex psychosocial issues in heart failure care. PMID:26285359

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:24666627

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  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. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  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. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  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. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  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. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  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. Arizona

    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. Connecticut

    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. Delaware

    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. Colorado

    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. Alaska

    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. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. Addressing Strategic Challenges. Annual Report, 2001-2002.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Council of Independent Colleges, Washington, DC.

    This report describes the activities of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) in 2001-2002. In that year, the CIC focused on implementing new programs, services, and initiatives based on the challenges identified in the previous year during the intensive strategic planning effort. Highlights for the year include: (1) new assistance to…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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. PMID:24104173

  14. Scientists Weigh Society's Ability to Address Major Hydrological Challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2014-05-01

    The prognosis is mixed about society's ability to deal successfully with some major freshwater issues that are confronting humanity, scientists said at a 28 April news briefing about hydrological challenges that was held at the European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly in Vienna, Austria. They presented an optimistic view that society can learn to cope more successfully with the natural hazards of floods and droughts but expressed pessimism about effectively dealing with the problem of water salinization from agriculture.

  15. Expanding the role for psychology in addressing environmental challenges.

    PubMed

    Clayton, Susan; Devine-Wright, Patrick; Swim, Janet; Bonnes, Mirilia; Steg, Linda; Whitmarsh, Lorraine; Carrico, Amanda

    2016-04-01

    Environmental challenges, though daunting, present an important area for psychologists to apply their knowledge. Psychological theories, research methods, and interventions are essential for examining the questions about human impacts, tendencies, and capacities that are integral to constructing effective responses to these challenges. Although a great deal of relevant research has been done, there is scope for psychologists to be more extensively involved. Following a brief review of existing research, we outline some important new directions. We also highlight 2 key divergences, arguing that psychological research needs to expand beyond a traditional, theory-based and decontextualized approach to environmental issues to incorporate a contextualized or "place-based" approach and a willingness to collaborate in interdisciplinary research teams that focus on specific environmental problems. Suggestions for promoting such interdisciplinary collaborations are reviewed. We encourage psychologists to expand their engagement with important environmental issues through multiple research approaches in order to further their understanding of human behavior, contributions to human well-being, and relevance to other disciplines and to society. PMID:26147395

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  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. PMID:27333079

  19. 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.

  20. Addressing new analytical challenges in protein formulation development.

    PubMed

    Mach, Henryk; Arvinte, Tudor

    2011-06-01

    As the share of therapeutic proteins in the arsenal of modern medicine continue increasing, relatively little progress has been made in the development of analytical methods that would address specific needs encountered during the development of these new drugs. Consequently, the researchers resort to adaptation of existing instrumentation to meet the demands of rigorous bioprocess and formulation development. In this report, we present a number of such adaptations as well as new instruments that allow efficient and precise measurement of critical parameters throughout the development stage. The techniques include use of atomic force microscopy to visualize proteinacious sub-visible particles, use of extrinsic fluorescent dyes to visualize protein aggregates, particle tracking analysis, determination of the concentration of monoclonal antibodies by the analysis of second-derivative UV spectra, flow cytometry for the determination of subvisible particle counts, high-throughput fluorescence spectroscopy to study phase separation phenomena, an adaptation of a high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) system for the measurement of solution viscosity and a variable-speed streamlined analytical ultracentrifugation method. An ex vivo model for understanding the factors that affect bioavailability after subcutaneous injections is also described. Most of these approaches allow not only a more precise insight into the nature of the formulated proteins, but also offer increased throughput while minimizing sample requirements. PMID:21392580

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Addressing socioeconomic and political challenges posed by climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernando, Harindra Joseph; Klaic, Zvjezdana Bencetic

    2011-08-01

    NATO Advanced Research Workshop: Climate Change, Human Health and National Security; Dubrovnik, Croatia, 28-30 April 2011; Climate change has been identified as one of the most serious threats to humanity. It not only causes sea level rise, drought, crop failure, vector-borne diseases, extreme events, degradation of water and air quality, heat waves, and other phenomena, but it is also a threat multiplier wherein concatenation of multiple events may lead to frequent human catastrophes and intranational and international conflicts. In particular, urban areas may bear the brunt of climate change because of the amplification of climate effects that cascade down from global to urban scales, but current modeling and downscaling capabilities are unable to predict these effects with confidence. These were the main conclusions of a NATO Advanced Research Workshop (ARW) sponsored by the NATO Science for Peace and Security program. Thirty-two invitees from 17 counties, including leading modelers; natural, political, and social scientists; engineers; politicians; military experts; urban planners; industry analysts; epidemiologists; and health care professionals, parsed the topic on a common platform.

  5. 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.

  6. Current clinical challenges in prostate cancer

    PubMed Central

    Silberstein, Jonathan L.; Pal, Sumanta Kumar; Lewis, Brian

    2013-01-01

    Prostate cancer is the most common malignancy and the second leading cause of cancer death in men in the United States. Close to $12 billion are spent annually on the treatment of prostate cancer in the US alone. Yet still there remain tremendous controversies and challenges that exist in all facets of the disease. This review and discussion will focus on issues and challenges for clinicians and patients diagnosed with the disease. Appropriate risk stratification for men with newly diagnosed prostate cancer is an appropriate first step for all patients. Once risk-stratified, for those with low-risk of death, it is increasingly recognized that overtreatment creates an unnecessary burden for many patients. This is particularly evident when put in the context of competing comorbidities in an elderly population. For those with advanced or high-risk localized disease, under-treatment remains too common. For those with a high-risk of recurrence or failure following primary treatment, adjuvant or salvage therapies are an option, but how and when to best deploy these treatments are controversial. Recently, tremendous progress has been made for those with advanced disease, in particular those with metastatic castrate-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Within the last 4 years, five novel FDA approved agents, acting through distinct mechanisms have been FDA approved for mCRPC. With the introduction of these new agents a host of new challenges have arisen. Timing, sequencing and combinations of these novel agents are welcomed challenges when compared with the lack of available therapies just a few years ago. In this summary of current clinical challenges in prostate cancer we review critical recent studies that have created or shifted the current paradigms of treatment for prostate cancer. We will also highlight ongoing issues that continue to challenge our field. PMID:26816735

  7. [Precision stomatology: current status and challenges].

    PubMed

    Xu, Xin; Zheng, Xin; Zheng, Liwei; Cheng, Lei; Zhou, Xuedong

    2015-06-01

    The completion of human genome project and the progress in medical practice have inevitably lead to the development of precision medicine, which is a medical model that proposes the customization of medical care including medical decisions, practices, and/or medical products with patient's genetic background, environmental factors and life behavior being taken into account. The current work proposed precision stomatology for the first time, and by integrating data reported in recent literature, we described the current practice of precision stomatology in multiple disciplines in modem dentistry. The clinical significance of precision stomatology and its future challenges have also been discussed. PMID:26281265

  8. A longitudinal study of the health status of a community of religious sisters: addressing the advantages, challenges, and limitations.

    PubMed

    Gaspar, Phyllis Meyer; Bautch, Judith C; Strodthoff, Caritas M

    2015-01-01

    Longitudinal studies are recognized as contributing to understanding the complexity of aging and generating insights that cannot be gained using other research methods. However, conducting longitudinal studies is recognized as challenging, especially among older adults. The purpose of the current review is to describe how the authors addressed the limitations and challenges of longitudinal studies in a study of the health status of a community of religious sisters. Methods of this specific longitudinal study are presented to provide background to the discussion. Challenges, limitations, and advantages of the current longitudinal study are organized into three categories (i.e., sample, method, and data analysis) that have been addressed in the literature as contributing to the fidelity of longitudinal studies. The unique characteristics of the current study sample, particularly their access to health care, creates a comparison group for the study of older women in general. PMID:25860013

  9. Current Challenges for HTCMC Aero-Propulsion Components

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DiCarlo, James A.; Bansal, Narottam P.

    2007-01-01

    In comparison to the best metallic materials, HTCMC aero-propulsion engine components offer the opportunity of reduced weight and higher temperature operation, with corresponding improvements in engine cooling requirements, emissions, thrust, and specific fuel consumption. Although much progress has been made in the development of advanced HTCMC constituent materials and processes, major challenges still remain for their implementation into these components. The objectives of this presentation are to briefly review (1) potential HTCMC aero-propulsion components and their generic material performance requirements, (2) recent progress at NASA and elsewhere concerning advanced constituents and processes for meeting these requirements, (3) key HTCMC component implementation challenges that are currently being encountered, and (4) on-going activities within the new NASA Fundamental Aeronautics Program that are addressing these challenges.

  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. Addressing the Challenges of Mainstreaming Education for Sustainable Development in Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Down, Lorna

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to address research on major challenges faced in attempting to mainstream education for sustainable development (ESD). Design/methodology/approach: The research is based on a project for infusing ESD in a teachers' college programme in Jamaica. Findings: Challenges include colleagues' scepticism, students'…

  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. Towards addressing transient learning challenges in undergraduate physics: an example from electrostatics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fredlund, T.; Linder, C.; Airey, J.

    2015-09-01

    In this article we characterize transient learning challenges as learning challenges that arise out of teaching situations rather than conflicts with prior knowledge. We propose that these learning challenges can be identified by paying careful attention to the representations that students produce. Once a transient learning challenge has been identified, teachers can create interventions to address it. By illustration, we argue that an appropriate way to design such interventions is to create variation around the disciplinary-relevant aspects associated with the transient learning challenge.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  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. PMID:26601127

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 5 CFR Appendix A to 5 Cfr Chapter... - Current Addresses and Geographic Jurisdictions

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-01-01

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

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-01-01

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    2011-01-01

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  7. 22 CFR Appendix A to Chapter Xiv - Current Addresses and Geographic Jurisdictions

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

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  8. 22 CFR Appendix A to Chapter Xiv - Current Addresses and Geographic Jurisdictions

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-04-01

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  9. 5 CFR Appendix A to 5 Cfr Chapter... - Current Addresses and Geographic Jurisdictions

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

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  10. 22 CFR Appendix A to Chapter Xiv - Current Addresses and Geographic Jurisdictions

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-04-01

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

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  12. 22 CFR Appendix A to Chapter Xiv - Current Addresses and Geographic Jurisdictions

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

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  13. 22 CFR Appendix A to Chapter Xiv - Current Addresses and Geographic Jurisdictions

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

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  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. Addressing the Challenges and Needs of English-Speaking Caribbean Immigrant Students: Guidelines for School Counselors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Morrison, Stephaney; Bryan, Julia

    2014-01-01

    Caribbean students are among the distinct immigrant groups in U.S. public schools with particular needs to be addressed by school counselors. This article discusses the challenges Caribbean immigrant students face that create obstacles to their academic and personal/social success. Guidelines for school counselors are outlined, which can be used…

  17. The Flipped Class: A Method to Address the Challenges of an Undergraduate Statistics Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Stephanie Gray

    2013-01-01

    Undergraduate statistics courses are perceived as challenging by both students and instructors. Students' attitudes, motivation, math anxiety, and preparedness can negatively impact the student and instructor experience and have the potential to negatively impact student learning. This article describes an attempt to address some of these…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Tool for evaluating research implementation challenges: A sense-making protocol for addressing implementation challenges in complex research settings

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Many challenges arise in complex organizational interventions that threaten research integrity. This article describes a Tool for Evaluating Research Implementation Challenges (TECH), developed using a complexity science framework to assist research teams in assessing and managing these challenges. Methods During the implementation of a multi-site, randomized controlled trial (RCT) of organizational interventions to reduce resident falls in eight nursing homes, we inductively developed, and later codified the TECH. The TECH was developed through processes that emerged from interactions among research team members and nursing home staff participants, including a purposive use of complexity science principles. Results The TECH provided a structure to assess challenges systematically, consider their potential impact on intervention feasibility and fidelity, and determine actions to take. We codified the process into an algorithm that can be adopted or adapted for other research projects. We present selected examples of the use of the TECH that are relevant to many complex interventions. Conclusions Complexity theory provides a useful lens through which research procedures can be developed to address implementation challenges that emerge from complex organizations and research designs. Sense-making is a group process in which diverse members interpret challenges when available information is ambiguous; the groups’ interpretations provide cues for taking action. Sense-making facilitates the creation of safe environments for generating innovative solutions that balance research integrity and practical issues. The challenges encountered during implementation of complex interventions are often unpredictable; however, adoption of a systematic process will allow investigators to address them in a consistent yet flexible manner, protecting fidelity. Research integrity is also protected by allowing for appropriate adaptations to intervention protocols that

  2. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    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

  7. 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

  8. Addressing mental health challenges facing the "Next America": A call for culture change.

    PubMed

    McLeigh, Jill D; Melton, Gary B

    2015-09-01

    Provides an editorial addressing future mental health challenges. The articles in this issue highlight the need to create environments conducive to promoting the well-being of future generations. The articles build on symposia held by the American Orthopsychiatric Association in 2015, which focused on the effects on well-being of changing sociodemographics and labor market trends. Included in these pages are articles that lay out some of the challenges young people today face and strategies for helping them transition to adulthood successfully. PMID:26460709

  9. 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)

  10. Addressing statistical and operational challenges in designing large-scale stream condition surveys.

    PubMed

    Dobbie, Melissa J; Negus, Peter

    2013-09-01

    Implementing a statistically valid and practical monitoring design for large-scale stream condition monitoring and assessment programs can be difficult due to factors including the likely existence of a diversity of ecosystem types such as ephemeral streams over the sampling domain; limited resources to undertake detailed monitoring surveys and address knowledge gaps; and operational constraints on effective sampling at monitoring sites. In statistical speak, these issues translate to defining appropriate target populations and sampling units; designing appropriate spatial and temporal sample site selection methods; selection and use of appropriate indicators; and setting effect sizes with limited ecological and statistical information about the indicators of interest. We identify the statistical and operational challenges in designing large-scale stream condition surveys and discuss general approaches for addressing them. The ultimate aim in drawing attention to these challenges is to ensure operational practicality in carrying out future monitoring programs and that the resulting inferences about stream condition are statistically valid and relevant. PMID:23344628

  11. Pancreatic Cancer: Current Progress and Future Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Hussain, S. Perwez

    2016-01-01

    Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the most common form of pancreatic cancer, remains one of the highly lethal malignancies. The highly refractory nature of clinically advanced disease and lack of a reliable biomarker for early detection are major obstructions in improving patient outcome. The recent efforts, however, in understanding the pancreatic tumor biology have resulted in the recognition of novel addictions as well as vulnerabilities of tumor cells and are being assessed for their clinical potential. This special issue highlights some of the recent progress, complexity and challenges towards improving disease outcome in patients with this lethal malignancy. PMID:26929733

  12. Anti-neuronal autoantibodies: Current diagnostic challenges.

    PubMed

    Probst, Christian; Saschenbrecker, Sandra; Stoecker, Winfried; Komorowski, Lars

    2014-05-01

    The spectrum of neurological autoimmune diseases has expanded substantially in the last 15 years due to the discovery of new anti-neuronal antibodies. There are at present numerous technical challenges for developing and improving standardized serological test systems for the detection of these autoantibodies, some of which occur very rarely. In particular, the determination of autoantibodies against complex cell surface structures generally requires authentically presented target antigens. Finally, research into syndrome associations benefits from multiplex analyses and accelerates the understanding of the complex autoimmune processes, forming an important basis for the development of novel therapy concepts. PMID:25876468

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Blood safety: Opportunities and challenges addressed through Critical Path research at FDA.

    PubMed

    Atreya, Chintamani D; Epstein, Jay S

    2007-01-01

    New scientific discoveries and technologies create opportunities for medical and public health advancement through development of innovative products. However, novel products and technologies bring new challenges to regulation. FDA recently established a 'Critical Path' research initiative to modernize regulatory science concepts and tools to meet the challenges of the 21st century. Central to this initiative is the concept that regulatory science is distinct from the 'discovery' science that generates ideas for development of new drugs, biologics, or medical devices. In this article, the authors discuss the concepts of FDA 'Critical Path' research and review examples of such research performed in the Office of Blood Research and Review within the Center for Biologics Research and Evaluation at FDA to illustrate how the 'Critical Path' research is being used to address opportunities and challenges impacting blood and blood products.: PMID:24980841

  17. Challenges created by data dissemination and access restrictions when attempting to address community concerns: individual privacy versus public wellbeing

    PubMed Central

    Colquhoun, Amy; Aplin, Laura; Geary, Janis; Goodman, Karen J.; Hatcher, Juanita

    2012-01-01

    Background Population health data are vital for the identification of public health problems and the development of public health strategies. Challenges arise when attempts are made to disseminate or access anonymised data that are deemed to be potentially identifiable. In these situations, there is debate about whether the protection of an individual's privacy outweighs potentially beneficial public health initiatives developed using potentially identifiable information. While these issues have an impact at planning and policy levels, they pose a particular dilemma when attempting to examine and address community concerns about a specific health problem. Methods Research currently underway in northern Canadian communities on the frequency of Helicobacter pylori infection and associated diseases, such as stomach cancer, is used in this article to illustrate the challenges that data controls create on the ability of researchers and health officials to address community concerns. Results Barriers are faced by public health professionals and researchers when endeavouring to address community concerns; specifically, provincial cancer surveillance departments and community-driven participatory research groups face challenges related to data release or access that inhibit their ability to effectively address community enquiries. The resulting consequences include a limited ability to address misinformation or to alleviate concerns when dealing with health problems in small communities. Conclusions The development of communication tools and building of trusting relationships are essential components of a successful investigation into community health concerns. It may also be important to consider that public wellbeing may outweigh the value of individual privacy in these situations. As such, a re-evaluation of data disclosure policies that are applicable in these circumstances should be considered. PMID:22584511

  18. Small molecule MALDI MS imaging: Current technologies and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Trim, Paul J; Snel, Marten F

    2016-07-15

    Imaging of specific small molecules is particularly challenging using conventional optical microscopy techniques. This has led to the development of alternative imaging modalities, including mass spectrometry (MS)-based methods. This review aims to provide an overview of the technologies, methods and future directions of laser-based mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) of small molecules. In particular it will focus on matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI) as the ion source, although other laser mass spectrometry methods will also be discussed to provide context, both historical and current. Small molecule MALDI MSI has been performed on a wide variety of instrument platforms: these are reviewed, as are the laser systems that are commonly used in this technique. Instrumentation and methodology cross over in the areas of achieving optimal spatial resolution, a key parameter in obtaining meaningful data. Also discussed is sample preparation, which is pivotal in maintaining sample integrity, providing a true reflection of the distribution of analytes, spatial resolution and sensitivity. Like all developing analytical techniques there are challenges to be overcome. Two of these are dealing with sample complexity and obtaining quantitative information from an imaging experiment. Both of these topics are addressed. Finally, novel experiments including non-MALDI laser ionization techniques are highlighted and a future perspective on the role of MALDI MSI in the small molecule arena is provided. PMID:26804564

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Liver transplantation: Current status and challenges.

    PubMed

    Jadlowiec, Caroline C; Taner, Timucin

    2016-05-14

    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

  2. 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

  3. Genetic testing for melanoma predisposition: current challenges.

    PubMed

    Gerstenblith, Meg R; Goldstein, Alisa M; Tucker, Margaret A; Fraser, Mary C

    2007-01-01

    A complex interaction of genetic, host, and environmental factors results in cutaneous malignant melanoma, the fifth most common cancer among men and the sixth among women in the United States. Mortality rates for cutaneous malignant melanoma depend on stage at diagnosis; thus, efforts are aimed at early detection and identification of risk factors for melanoma to distinguish those individuals requiring close surveillance. Melanoma susceptibility genes CDKN2A and CDK4 play a role in the development of melanoma, especially among some familial melanoma kindreds. The functions of CDKN2A and CDK4 in melanoma development, however, are currently incompletely understood. Therefore, at this time, predictive genetic testing for CDKN2A mutations outside of defined research protocols is not recommended because of the low likelihood of detecting mutations even in high-risk groups, the present inadequacy of interpreting a test result due to variations in penetrance and unclear associations with other cancers, and the minimal influence knowledge of mutation status currently has on medical management. Oncology nurses have an important role in identifying individuals at high risk for melanoma regardless of CDKN2A mutation status, encouraging enrollment in skin surveillance programs, and providing patient education regarding sun protection, prevention and early detection of melanoma. PMID:18025917

  4. Alcoholic hepatitis: current challenges and future directions.

    PubMed

    Singal, Ashwani K; Kamath, Patrick S; Gores, Gregory J; Shah, Vijay H

    2014-04-01

    Alcoholic hepatitis is a distinct clinical syndrome among people with chronic and active alcohol abuse, with a potential for 30%-40% mortality at 1 month among those with severe disease. Corticosteroids or pentoxifylline are the current pharmacologic treatment options, but they provide only about 50% survival benefit. These agents are recommended for patients with modified discriminant function (mDF) ≥ 32 or Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score ≥ 18. The Lille score is used to determine response to steroids. Currently, a minimum of 6 months of abstinence from alcohol use is required for patients to receive a liver transplant, a requirement that cannot be met by patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis nonresponsive to steroids (Lille score ≥ 0.45). Data are emerging on the benefit of liver transplantation in select patients with first episode of severe alcoholic hepatitis. This review also focuses on recent treatment trials in alcoholic hepatitis including liver transplantation and its associated controversies, as well as possible future targets and pharmacologic treatment options for patients with alcoholic hepatitis that are being pursued through upcoming consortium studies. PMID:23811249

  5. 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

  6. Using a Sampling Strategy to Address Psychometric Challenges in Tutorial-Based Assessments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eva, Kevin W.; Solomon, Patty; Neville, Alan J.; Ladouceur, Michael; Kaufman, Karyn; Walsh, Allyn; Norman, Geoffrey R.

    2007-01-01

    Introduction: Tutorial-based assessment, despite providing a good match with the philosophy adopted by educational programmes that emphasize small group learning, remains one of the greatest challenges for educators working in this context. The current study was performed in an attempt to assess the psychometric characteristics of tutorial-based…

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Biomarkers for Immunotherapy: Current Developments and Challenges.

    PubMed

    Spencer, Kristen R; Wang, Jianfeng; Silk, Ann W; Ganesan, Shridar; Kaufman, Howard L; Mehnert, Janice M

    2016-01-01

    Immunotherapy has revolutionized cancer therapy and has been named the cancer advance of the year for 2016. Checkpoint inhibitors have demonstrated unprecedented rates of durable responses in some of the most difficult-to-treat cancers; however, many treated patients do not respond, and the potential for serious side effects exists. There is a growing need to identify biomarkers that will improve the selection of patients who will best respond to therapy, further elucidate drug mechanisms of action, and help tailor therapy regimens. Biomarkers are being explored at the soluble, cellular, and genomic levels, and examples in immunotherapy include serum proteins, tumor-specific receptor expression patterns, factors in the tumor microenvironment, circulating immune and tumor cells, and host genomic factors. The search for reliable biomarkers is limited by our incomplete understanding of how immunotherapies modify the already complex immune response to cancer, as well as the contribution of immuno-editing to a dynamic and inducible tumor microenvironment and immune milieu. Furthermore, there has been little extension of any candidate assay into large, prospective studies, and the lack of standardization in measurement and interpretation restricts their validity. Both tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and PD-L1 expression within the tumor microenvironment have been recognized as having both prognostic and predictive value for patients treated with immunotherapy. Alternately, a larger panel of gene signatures, chemokines, and other factors that correlate with response has been proposed. In this article, we will explore the status of current biomarker candidates. PMID:27249758

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Pulp Regeneration: Current Approaches and Future Challenges

    PubMed Central

    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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

    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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  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. 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

  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. 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…

  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. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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. PMID:20696884

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Psychologists in public health: Historical aspects and current challenges.

    PubMed

    Ferreira-Neto, João L; Henriques, Mariana A

    2016-03-01

    This article presents the historical context of the insertion of psychology, as a profession, in health policies in Brazil, in order to understand its current challenges. Analysis was based on a non-systematic literature review about professional training, practice, and research in psychology. Three challenges were identified: working in high social vulnerability contexts, practice in multidisciplinary teams and the need to expand the research agenda. We conclude that dealing with these challenges will depend on the area's capacity to reinvent itself and become more permeable to interdisciplinary dialogue. PMID:26987823

  19. 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. PMID:25559995

  20. Planetary Atmosphere and Surfaces Chamber (PASC): A Platform to Address Various Challenges in Astrobiology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mateo-Marti, Eva

    2014-08-01

    stability and presence of certain minerals on planetary surfaces and the potential habitability of microorganisms under various planetary environmental conditions can be studied using our apparatus. Therefore, these simulation chambers can address multiple different challenging and multidisciplinary astrobiological studies.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. [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)…

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Addressing the Sexual and Reproductive Health Needs of Young People in Ethiopia: An Analysis of the Current Situation.

    PubMed

    Muntean, Nigina; Kereta, Worknesh; Mitchell, Kirstin R

    2015-09-01

    Young people in Ethiopia face a number of risks to their sexual and reproductive health, including adolescent pregnancy, sexual violence, and unmet need for family planning. This study explores the extent to which current service provision addresses the SRH needs of young Ethiopians . Methods included a comprehensive review of the academic and policy literature on young people's SRH and service provision in Ethiopia; and 14 semi-structured Key Informant Interviews. Factors affecting utilization of sexual and reproductive services by young people include: limited SRH knowledge, lack of open discussion of sexual matters, low status of women, cultural and logistical barriers, competing priorities among community health professionals, limited resources for health facilities, and negative attitudes of providers towards unmarried youth. While the antenatal needs of young married women are somewhat addressed, gaps exist in terms of services for unmarried youth, young men, rural youth and vulnerable groups. The national policy platform has created an enabling environment for addressing youth SRH needs but challenges to implementing these policies still persist. The way forward requires a focus on reducing barriers to utilization of services, and attention to underserved groups. It also requires resource mobilization, strong leadership and effective coordination between stakeholders and donors. PMID:26897917

  10. 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

  11. Japanese regulation of biosimilar products: past experience and current challenges.

    PubMed

    Arato, Teruyo

    2016-07-01

    Seven biosimilar products have been approved in Japan since the March 2009 publication of the 'Guideline for quality, safety and efficacy assurance of biosimilar products' by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW). Four years previously, the 'Guideline on similar biological medicinal products' was issued in the European Union (EU), and 13 products as of February 2016 have been approved as biosimilar. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first biosimilar product in the US in March 2015 and final Guidance was issued at the end of April 2015. Over the past decade, the challenges regarding the development of biosimilar products have been discussed extensively. In this article, the data packages of biosimilar products in Japan are compared with those overseas in order to clarify the concepts used by the Japanese regulatory authority, i.e., the Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA). The challenges in the development of biosimilar products in Japan are also addressed. PMID:26987746

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. Paediatric obesity and renal transplantation: current challenges and solutions.

    PubMed

    Terrace, John D; Oniscu, Gabriel C

    2016-04-01

    The increased incidence of obesity in the paediatric population poses significant challenges to renal transplantation. Whilst the body mass index appears to be widely used as a measure of obesity in adults, there are no standardised definitions in the paediatric population, making comparative analyses difficult. In the paediatric transplant population, obesity is associated with an increased incidence of surgical complications, diabetes, hyperlipidaemia and cardiovascular morbidity, leading to diminished graft function and impacting patient and graft survival. Management of obesity in renal transplantation requires multiple interventions starting with life-style and behavioural modification combined with medical and possibly surgical therapies, representing a unique challenge in the childhood setting. In this review we discuss the current challenges of obesity and potential solutions in the setting of paediatric transplantation. PMID:26018121

  15. 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.

  16. Arrhythmogenic KCNE gene variants: current knowledge and future challenges

    PubMed Central

    Crump, Shawn M.; Abbott, Geoffrey W.

    2014-01-01

    There are twenty-five known inherited cardiac arrhythmia susceptibility genes, all of which encode either ion channel pore-forming subunits or proteins that regulate aspects of ion channel biology such as function, trafficking, and localization. The human KCNE gene family comprises five potassium channel regulatory subunits, sequence variants in each of which are associated with cardiac arrhythmias. KCNE gene products exhibit promiscuous partnering and in some cases ubiquitous expression, hampering efforts to unequivocally correlate each gene to specific native potassium currents. Likewise, deducing the molecular etiology of cardiac arrhythmias in individuals harboring rare KCNE gene variants, or more common KCNE polymorphisms, can be challenging. In this review we provide an update on putative arrhythmia-causing KCNE gene variants, and discuss current thinking and future challenges in the study of molecular mechanisms of KCNE-associated cardiac rhythm disturbances. PMID:24478792

  17. Arrhythmogenic KCNE gene variants: current knowledge and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Crump, Shawn M; Abbott, Geoffrey W

    2014-01-01

    There are twenty-five known inherited cardiac arrhythmia susceptibility genes, all of which encode either ion channel pore-forming subunits or proteins that regulate aspects of ion channel biology such as function, trafficking, and localization. The human KCNE gene family comprises five potassium channel regulatory subunits, sequence variants in each of which are associated with cardiac arrhythmias. KCNE gene products exhibit promiscuous partnering and in some cases ubiquitous expression, hampering efforts to unequivocally correlate each gene to specific native potassium currents. Likewise, deducing the molecular etiology of cardiac arrhythmias in individuals harboring rare KCNE gene variants, or more common KCNE polymorphisms, can be challenging. In this review we provide an update on putative arrhythmia-causing KCNE gene variants, and discuss current thinking and future challenges in the study of molecular mechanisms of KCNE-associated cardiac rhythm disturbances. PMID:24478792

  18. Current Progress and Challenges in the Search for Autism Biomarkers

    PubMed Central

    Yoo, Hee Jeong

    2013-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) encompass a range of neurodevelopmental conditions that are clinically and etiologically very heterogeneous. ASD is currently diagnosed entirely on behavioral criteria, but intensive research efforts are focused on identifying biological markers for disease risk and early diagnosis. Here, we discuss recent progress toward identifying biological markers for ASD and highlight specific challenges as well as ethical aspects of translating ASD biomarker research into the clinic. PMID:24167349

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. REVIEW OF VARIOUS APPROACHES TO ADDRESS HIGH CURRENTS IN SRF ELECTRON LINACS.

    SciTech Connect

    BEN-ZVI, I.

    2005-07-10

    The combination of high-brightness electron sources and high-current SRF Energy Recovery Linacs (ERL) leads to a new emerging technology: High-power, high-brightness electron beams. This technology enables extremely high average power Free-Electron Lasers, a new generation of extreme brightness light sources, electron coolers of high-energy hadron storage rings, polarized electron-hadron colliders of very high luminosity, compact Thomson scattering X-ray sources, terahertz radiation generators and much more. What is typical for many of these applications is the need for very high current, defined here as over 100 mA average current, and high brightness, which is charge dependant, but needs to be in the range of between sub micron up to perhaps 50 microns, usually the lower--the better. Suffice it to say that while there are a number of projects aiming at this level of performance, none is anywhere near it. This work will review the problems associated with the achievement of such performance and the various approaches taken in a number of laboratories around the world to address the issues.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 17 CFR 3.30 - Current address for purpose of delivery of communications from the Commission or the National...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-04-01

    ... 17 Commodity and Securities Exchanges 1 2014-04-01 2014-04-01 false Current address for purpose of delivery of communications from the Commission or the National Futures Association. 3.30 Section 3.30 Commodity and Securities Exchanges COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION REGISTRATION Registration § 3.30 Current address for purpose of delivery...

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 75 FR 57006 - Addressing Policy and Logistical Challenges to Smart Grid Implementation

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-17

    ...The Department of Energy (DOE) is seeking comments from interested parties on policy and logistical challenges that confront smart grid implementation, as well as recommendations on how to best overcome those challenges. DOE is undertaking this Request for Information (RFI) on behalf of the Administration and in consultation with key stakeholders from state regulatory bodies. The RFI will......

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    Popa-Velea, O; Gheorghe, I R; Truţescu, C I; Purcărea, V L

    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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Review: New Vaccine Against Tuberculosis: Current Developments and Future Challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jun

    2009-04-01

    Tuberculosis (TB) continues to be a global health threat. BCG was developed as an attenuated live vaccine for tuberculosis control nearly a century ago. Despite being the most widely used vaccine in human history, BCG is not an ideal vaccine and has two major limitations: its poor efficacy against adult pulmonary TB and its disconcerting safety in immunocompromised individuals. A safer and more effective TB vaccine is urgently needed. This review article discusses current strategies to develop the next generation of TB vaccines to replace BCG. While some progresses have been made in the past decade, significant challenges lie ahead.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Sleep medicine in Saudi Arabia: Current problems and future challenges

    PubMed Central

    BaHammam, Ahmed S.

    2011-01-01

    Sleep medicine is a relatively new specialty in the medical community. The practice of sleep medicine in Saudi Arabia (KSA) began in the mid to late nineties. Since its inception, the specialty has grown, and the number of specialists has increased. Nevertheless, sleep medicine is still underdeveloped in the KSA, particularly in the areas of clinical service, education, training and research. Based on available data, it appears that sleep disorders are prevalent among Saudis, and the demand for sleep medicine service is expected to rise significantly in the near future. A number of obstacles have been defined that hinder the progress of the specialty, including a lack of trained technicians, specialists and funding. Awareness about sleep disorders and their serious consequences is low among health care workers, health care authorities, insurance companies and the general public. A major challenge for the future is penetrating the educational system at all levels to demonstrate the high prevalence and serious consequences of sleep disorders. To attain adequate numbers of staff and facilities, the education and training of health care professionals at the level of sleep medicine specialists and sleep technologists is another important challenge that faces the specialty. This review discusses the current position of sleep medicine as a specialty in the KSA and the expected challenges of the future. In addition, it will guide clinicians interested in setting up new sleep medicine services in the KSA or other developing countries through the potential obstacles that may face them in this endeavor. PMID:21264164

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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…

  9. 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.…

  10. Addressing Evaluation Challenges of Grassroots Family Support Programs: The MIHOW Program.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maloney, Erin; Davis, Kenneth

    This paper describes the process used by the Maternal Infant Health Outreach Worker Program (MIHOW), a program of the Center for Health Services at Vanderbilt University, to develop its program evaluation with limited evaluation resources. The evaluation addresses the empowerment of grassroots participants in two projects: the MIHOW Pre- and…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. Building and Sustaining Complex Systems: Addressing Common Challenges to Implementing Intensive Intervention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McInerney, Maurice; Zumeta, Rebecca O.; Gandhi, Allison G.; Gersten, Russell

    2014-01-01

    School and district personnel have identified common challenges in implementing individualized, intensive interventions for students with severe, persistent learning and behavioral needs. The National Center on Intensive Intervention has worked with scores of local educators--including district administrators, building principals, special and…

  14. 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.

  15. Addressing the Challenges Special Needs Students Face when Transitioning from the Classroom to the Workplace

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gagliardi, Frank

    2010-01-01

    One of the biggest fears and challenges a parent of a child with special needs faces is navigating the post-22 landscape. When a child hits the age of 22, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) is no longer required to provide daily services and support. Whatever the abilities, or disabilities, of a child, every parent has the…

  16. 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…

  17. We Are All In This Together: Supporting Children's Social Emotional Development and Addressing Challenging Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hemmeter, Mary Louise

    2007-01-01

    Many families of children with challenging behaviors have experienced multiple changes in child care because of their child's behavior. While this is disruptive for families, it has even more serious consequences for children. For these children, consistency and continuity is critical to their long term outcomes. In order to build the capacity of…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. Resources for Addressing Assessment and Accountability Challenges in Providing Services to Gifted Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnsen, Susan K.

    2013-01-01

    This column focuses on the challenge of assessment and accountability in providing services to gifted students.The new Common Core State Standards in mathematics and language arts require new assessments for measuring student progress. The gifted field must be a part of the conversation in designing these tools. The National Association for Gifted…

  4. 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,…

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

    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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Antifungal Susceptibility Testing: Practical Aspects and Current Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Rex, John H.; Pfaller, Michael A.; Walsh, Thomas J.; Chaturvedi, Vishnu; Espinel-Ingroff, Ana; Ghannoum, Mahmoud A.; Gosey, Linda L.; Odds, Frank C.; Rinaldi, Michael G.; Sheehan, Daniel J.; Warnock, David W.

    2001-01-01

    Development of standardized antifungal susceptibility testing methods has been the focus of intensive research for the last 15 years. Reference methods for yeasts (NCCLS M27-A) and molds (M38-P) are now available. The development of these methods provides researchers not only with standardized methods for testing but also with an understanding of the variables that affect interlaboratory reproducibility. With this knowledge, we have now moved into the phase of (i) demonstrating the clinical value (or lack thereof) of standardized methods, (ii) developing modifications to these reference methods that address specific problems, and (iii) developing reliable commercial test kits. Clinically relevant testing is now available for selected fungi and drugs: Candida spp. against fluconazole, itraconazole, flucytosine, and (perhaps) amphotericin B; Cryptococcus neoformans against (perhaps) fluconazole and amphotericin B; and Aspergillus spp. against (perhaps) itraconazole. Expanding the range of useful testing procedures is the current focus of research in this area. PMID:11585779

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Cell carriers for oncolytic viruses: current challenges and future directions.

    PubMed

    Roy, Dominic G; Bell, John C

    2013-01-01

    The optimal route for clinical delivery of oncolytic viruses is thought to be systemic intravenous injection; however, the immune system is armed with several highly efficient mechanisms to remove pathogens from the circulatory system. To overcome the challenges faced in trying to delivery oncolytic viruses specifically to tumors via the bloodstream, carrier cells have been investigated to determine their suitability as delivery vehicles for systemic administration of oncolytic viruses. Cell carriers protect viruses from neutralization, one of the most limiting aspects of oncolytic virus interaction with the immune system. Cell carriers can also possess inherent tumor tropism, thus directing the delivery of the virus more specifically to a tumor. With preclinical studies already demonstrating the success and feasibility of this approach with multiple oncolytic viruses, clinical evaluation of cell-mediated delivery of viruses is on the horizon. Meanwhile, ongoing preclinical studies are aimed at identifying new cellular vehicles for oncolytic viruses and improving current promising cell carrier platforms. PMID:27512657

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

    2014-11-01

    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

  20. 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

  1. Swimming upstream: the challenges and rewards of evaluating efforts to address inequities and reduce health disparities.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Dana; Docto, Lindsay; Peters, Jessica; Lamb, Anne Kelsey; Brindis, Claire

    2013-06-01

    Racial and ethnic disparities in the health of Americans are widespread and persistent in the United States despite improvements in the health of Americans overall. Increasingly, strategies for reducing disparities have focused on addressing the factors that contribute to - if not fundamentally underlie - health disparities: social, economic, and environmental inequities, which limit access to resources and cause unhealthy exposures. As public health shifts to interventions that seek to improve the circumstances of disproportionately affected populations and achieve equity through policy change, alternative methods to evaluate these efforts are also required. This paper presents an example of such approaches to addressing asthma disparities through Regional Asthma Management and Prevention's (RAMP) programmatic efforts and an evaluation of these activities. The paper describes RAMP's targets and strategies, as well as the specific evaluation methods applied to each, including activity tracking, observations, surveys, key informant interviews, and case studies. Preliminary evaluation findings are presented, as are lessons learned about the efficacy of the evaluation design features - both its strengths and shortcomings. Findings discussed are intended to contribute to the growing literature that provides evidence for the application of emerging approaches to evaluation that reflect non-traditional public health and support others interested in expanding or replicating this work. PMID:23416287

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Believing Once Again: Solutions Addressing the Plight of Challenged Youth. Executive Summary.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    70001 Training & Employment Inst., Washington, DC.

    This summary evaluates a federal demonstration program to reach "disconnected" youth not currently served by job training programs under the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA). Disconnected youth are defined as those who have lost or never developed the traditional values of their communities, who do not participate in traditional social service…

  5. ARS, university and regulatory partnerships needed to address the challenge and complete eradication

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although most of the U.S. Cotton Belt has achieved functional eradication of the boll weevil, certain areas of Texas as well as Northern Mexico still experience economic loss to this pest. Currently under active eradication, most of these areas are considered subtropical, where boll weevils can per...

  6. Addressing Bullying Problems in Irish Schools and in Cyberspace: A Challenge for School Management

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Corcoran, Lucie; Mc Guckin, Conor

    2014-01-01

    Background: School management, in Ireland and also internationally, are currently faced with the problem of peer aggression among students both in a traditional school context and in a cyber context. Although Irish school principals are obliged to implement policy and procedures to counter bullying among students, there is a need for guidance that…

  7. 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.

  8. An introduction to electronic learning and its use to address challenges in surgical training.

    PubMed

    Baran, Szczepan W; Johnson, Elizabeth J; Kehler, James

    2009-06-01

    The animal research community faces a shortage of surgical training opportunities along with an increasing demand for expertise in surgical techniques. One possible means of overcoming this challenge is the use of computer-based or electronic learning (e-learning) to disseminate material to a broad range of animal users. E-learning platforms can take many different forms, ranging from simple text documents that are posted online to complex virtual courses that incorporate dynamic video or audio content and in which students and instructors can interact in real time. The authors present an overview of e-learning and discuss its potential benefits as a supplement to hands-on rodent surgical training. They also discuss a few basic considerations in developing and implementing electronic courses. PMID:19455166

  9. 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

  10. 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

  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. PMID:25499795

  12. Current Status of Syphilis Vaccine Development: Need, Challenges, Prospects

    PubMed Central

    Cameron, Caroline E.; Lukehart, Sheila A.

    2013-01-01

    Syphilis is a multistage disease caused by the invasive spirochete Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum. Despite inexpensive and effective antibiotic therapy, syphilis remains a prevalent disease in developing countries and has re-emerged as a public health threat in developed nations. In addition to the medical burden imparted by infectious syphilis, congenital syphilis is considered the most significant infectious disease affecting fetuses and newborns worldwide, and individuals afflicted with syphilis have an enhanced risk for HIV transmission and acquisition. The global disease burden of syphilis and failure of decades of public health efforts to stem the incidence of disease highlight the need for an effective syphilis vaccine. Although challenges associated with T. pallidum research have impeded understanding of this pathogen, the existence of a relevant animal model has enabled insight into the correlates of disease protection. Complete protection against infection has been achieved in the animal model using an extended immunization regimen of γ-irradiated T. pallidum, demonstrating the importance of treponemal surface components in generation of protective immunity and the feasibility of syphilis vaccine development. Syphilis is a prime candidate for development of a successful vaccine due to the (1) research community’s accumulated knowledge of immune correlates of protection; (2) existence of a relevant animal model that enables effective pre-clinical analyses; (3) universal penicillin susceptibility of T. pallidum which enhances the attractiveness of clinical vaccine trials; and (4) significant public health benefit a vaccine would have on reduction of infectious/congenital syphilis and HIV rates. Critical personnel, research and market gaps need to be addressed before the goal of a syphilis vaccine can be realized, including recruitment of additional researchers to the T. pallidum research field with a proportional increase in research funding

  13. 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

  14. Current status of syphilis vaccine development: need, challenges, prospects.

    PubMed

    Cameron, Caroline E; Lukehart, Sheila A

    2014-03-20

    Syphilis is a multistage disease caused by the invasive spirochete Treponema pallidum subsp. pallidum. Despite inexpensive and effective antibiotic therapy, syphilis remains a prevalent disease in developing countries and has re-emerged as a public health threat in developed nations. In addition to the medical burden imparted by infectious syphilis, congenital syphilis is considered the most significant infectious disease affecting fetuses and newborns worldwide, and individuals afflicted with syphilis have an enhanced risk for HIV transmission and acquisition. The global disease burden of syphilis and failure of decades of public health efforts to stem the incidence of disease highlight the need for an effective syphilis vaccine. Although challenges associated with T. pallidum research have impeded understanding of this pathogen, the existence of a relevant animal model has enabled insight into the correlates of disease protection. Complete protection against infection has been achieved in the animal model using an extended immunization regimen of γ-irradiated T. pallidum, demonstrating the importance of treponemal surface components in generation of protective immunity and the feasibility of syphilis vaccine development. Syphilis is a prime candidate for development of a successful vaccine due to the (1) research community's accumulated knowledge of immune correlates of protection; (2) existence of a relevant animal model that enables effective pre-clinical analyses; (3) universal penicillin susceptibility of T. pallidum which enhances the attractiveness of clinical vaccine trials; and (4) significant public health benefit a vaccine would have on reduction of infectious/congenital syphilis and HIV rates. Critical personnel, research and market gaps need to be addressed before the goal of a syphilis vaccine can be realized, including recruitment of additional researchers to the T. pallidum research field with a proportional increase in research funding

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  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. PMID:24581408

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. A Framework to Address Challenges in Communicating the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease.

    PubMed

    Winett, Liana; Wallack, Lawrence; Richardson, Dawn; Boone-Heinonen, Janne; Messer, Lynne

    2016-09-01

    Findings from the field of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) suggest that some of the most pressing public health problems facing communities today may begin much earlier than previously understood. In particular, this body of work provides evidence that social, physical, chemical, environmental, and behavioral influences in early life play a significant role in establishing vulnerabilities for chronic disease later in life. Further, because this work points to the importance of adverse environmental exposures that cluster in population groups, it suggests that existing opportunities to intervene at a population level may need to refocus their efforts "upstream" to sufficiently combat the fundamental causes of disease. To translate these findings into improved public health, however, the distance between scientific discovery and population application will need to be bridged by conversations across a breadth of disciplines and social roles. And importantly, those involved will likely begin without a shared vocabulary or conceptual starting point. The purpose of this paper is to support and inform the translation of DOHaD findings from the bench to population-level health promotion and disease prevention, by: (1) discussing the unique communication challenges inherent to translation of DOHaD for broad audiences, (2) introducing the First-hit/Second-hit Framework with an epidemiologic planning matrix as a model for conceptualizing and structuring communication around DOHaD, and (3) discussing the ways in which patterns of communicating DOHaD findings can expand the range of solutions considered and encourage discussion of population-level solutions in relation to one another, rather than in isolation. PMID:27449924

  6. 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

  7. Clinical challenges in addressing resistance to antimicrobial drugs in the twenty-first century.

    PubMed

    Septimus, E J; Kuper, K M

    2009-09-01

    It has been more than 60 years since Alexander Fleming discovered the drug that came to be known as penicillin. Antibiotics are now one of the most frequently used medications in the United States and are prescribed by medical professionals in almost every specialty. The past decade has seen an alarming increase in the number of pathogens that are resistant to antimicrobial drugs, in the hospital as well as in the community.(1) Among the gram-positive pathogens, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus species are the biggest threats. The situation is even more alarming with respect to gram-negative pathogens, especially because there are currently no late clinical trials involving new anti-infective drugs that are active against these pathogens. PMID:19571803

  8. A multifaceted 'omics' approach for addressing the challenge of antimicrobial resistance.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Asi; Bont, Louis; Engelhard, Dan; Moore, Edward; Fernández, David; Kreisberg-Greenblatt, Racheli; Oved, Kfir; Eden, Eran; Hays, John P

    2015-01-01

    The inappropriate use of antibiotics has severe global health and economic consequences, including the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. A major driver of antibiotic misuse is the inability to accurately distinguish between bacterial and viral infections based on currently available diagnostic solutions. A multifaceted 'omics' approach that integrates personalized patient data such as genetic predisposition to infections (genomics), natural microbiota composition and immune response to infection (proteomics and transcriptomics) together with comprehensive pathogen profiling has the potential to help physicians improve their antimicrobial prescribing practices. In this respect, the EU has funded a multidisciplinary project (TAILORED-Treatment) that will develop novel omics-based personalized treatment schemes that have the potential to reduce antibiotic consumption, and help limiting the spread of antibiotic resistance. PMID:25812460

  9. DIII-D research to address key challenges for ITER and fusion energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buttery, R. J.; the DIII-D Team

    2015-10-01

    DIII-D has made significant advances in the scientific basis for fusion energy. The physics mechanism of resonant magnetic perturbation (RMP) edge localized mode (ELM) suppression is revealed as field penetration at the pedestal top, and reduced coil set operation was demonstrated. Disruption runaway electrons were effectively quenched by shattered pellets; runaway dissipation is explained by pitch angle scattering. Modest thermal quench radiation asymmetries are well described NIMROD modelling. With good pedestal regulation and error field correction, low torque ITER baselines have been demonstrated and shown to be compatible with an ITER test blanket module simulator. However performance and long wavelength turbulence degrade as low rotation and electron heating are approached. The alternative QH mode scenario is shown to be compatible with high Greenwald density fraction, with an edge harmonic oscillation demonstrating good impurity flushing. Discharge optimization guided by the EPED model has discovered a new super H-mode with doubled pedestal height. Lithium injection also led to wider, higher pedestals. On the path to steady state, 1 MA has been sustained fully noninductively with βN = 4 and RMP ELM suppression, while a peaked current profile scenario provides attractive options for ITER and a βN = 5 future reactor. Energetic particle transport is found to exhibit a critical gradient behaviour. Scenarios are shown to be compatible with radiative and snowflake divertor techniques. Physics studies reveal that the transition to H mode is locked in by a rise in ion diamagnetic flows. Intrinsic rotation in the plasma edge is demonstrated to arise from kinetic losses. New 3D magnetic sensors validate linear ideal MHD, but identify issues in nonlinear simulations. Detachment, characterized in 2D with sub-eV resolution, reveals a radiation shortfall in simulations. Future facility development targets burning plasma physics with torque free electron heating, the

  10. Adjuvant chemotherapy for gastric cancer: Current evidence and future challenges

    PubMed Central

    Miceli, Rosalba; Tomasello, Gianluca; Bregni, Giacomo; Di Bartolomeo, Maria; Pietrantonio, Filippo

    2014-01-01

    Gastric cancer still represents one of the major causes of cancer mortality worldwide. Patients survival is mainly related to stage, with a high proportion of patients with metastatic disease at presentation. Thus, the cure rate largely depend upon surgical resection. Despite the additional, albeit small, benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy has been clearly demonstrated, no general consensus has been reached on the best treatment option. Moreover, the narrow therapeutic index of adjuvant chemotherapy (i.e., limited survival benefit with considerable toxicity) requires a careful assessment of expected risks and benefits for individual patients. Treatment choices vary widely based on the different geographic areas, with chemotherapy alone more often preferred in Europe or Asia and chemoradiotherapy in the United States. In the present review we discuss the current evidence and future challenges regarding adjuvant chemotherapy in curatively resected gastric cancer with particular emphasis on the recently completed landmark studies and meta-analyses. The most recent patient-level meta-analysis demonstrated the benefit of adjuvant chemotherapy over curative surgery; the same Authors also showed that disease-free survival may be used as a surrogate end-point for overall survival. We finally discuss future research issues such as the need of economic evaluations, development of prognostic or predictive biomarkers, and the unmet clinical need of trials comparing perioperative chemotherapy with adjuvant treatment. PMID:24782604

  11. 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

  12. 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. PMID:26088394

  13. Current Trends of Immunization in Nigeria: Prospect and Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Ophori, Endurance A.; Tula, Musa Y.; Azih, Azuka V.; Okojie, Rachel; Ikpo, Precious E.

    2014-01-01

    Immunization is aimed at the prevention of infectious diseases. In Nigeria, the National Programme on Immunization (NPI) suffers recurrent setbacks due to many factors including ethnicity and religious beliefs. Nigeria is made up of 36 states with its federal capital in Abuja. The country is divided into six geo-political zones; north central, north west, north east, south east, south west and south south. The population is unevenly distributed across the country. The average population density in 2006 was estimated at 150 people per square kilometres with Lagos, Anambra, Imo, Abia, and Akwa Ibom being the most densely populated states. Most of the densely populated states are found in the south east. Kano with an average density of 442 persons per square kilometre, is the most densely populated state in the northern part of the country. This study presents a review on the current immunization programme and the many challenges affecting its success in the eradication of childhood diseases in Nigeria. PMID:25237283

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:20955962

  17. 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. PMID:25809775

  18. 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

  19. Addressing the next challenges: A summary of the 22nd international symposium on hepatitis C virus and related viruses.

    PubMed

    Baumert, Thomas F; Schuster, Catherine; Cosset, François-Loïc; Dubuisson, Jean; Hofmann, Maike; Tautz, Norbert; Zeisel, Mirjam B; Thimme, Robert

    2016-04-01

    Following the discovery of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) more than 25years ago the field has succeeded to develop methods that have changed the safety of blood products, understand the molecular virology, epidemiology and clinical disease of HCV, and identify specific targets for the development of direct-acting antivirals for HCV cure. Nevertheless, major clinical and scientific challenges remain: therapy is still only available to a fraction of infected patients worldwide and many patients remain undiagnosed and/or live in countries where therapy is unattainable. An urgently needed HCV vaccine to eradicate infection remains still elusive. Scientifically, major questions remain regarding the life cycle, pathogenesis and mechanisms of viral clearance and persistence. Addressing these challenges, this meeting report reviews key findings of the 22nd International Symposium on Hepatitis C Virus and Related Viruses in Strasbourg, France from October 9 to 13, 2015. PMID:26780288

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Telecytology: Clinical applications, current challenges, and future benefits

    PubMed Central

    Thrall, Michael; Pantanowitz, Liron; Khalbuss, Walid

    2011-01-01

    Telecytology is the interpretation of cytology material at a distance using digital images. For more than a decade, pioneering efforts to introduce telecytology into clinical practice have been reported. A Medline search for “telecytology” and “cytology” reveals a voluminous literature, though much of what has been published to date is based on technologies that are rapidly becoming obsolete. The technological limitations of previous techniques, including the transmission of static digital images and dynamic streaming images, have limited telecytology to minor niches. The primary problem with these technologies is that the remote viewer can only see a small fraction of the material on the original slides, introducing the possibility of diagnostic error based not only on image quality but also on image selection. Remote robotic microscopy offers one possible solution to this problem, but to date has found limited acceptance, principally attributable to slow operating times. Whole slide imaging seems to be a much more promising solution, though cytology-specific literature regarding its use is still scant. The advent of whole slide imaging opens up new possibilities for telecytology by enabling high-quality images of entire cytology specimens to be available to anyone, anywhere via the Internet. Although challenges remain, especially with regard to capturing the full microscopy experience including multiple planes of focus and sharp high-powered images, rapidly advancing technology promises to overcome these limitations. Increasing application of whole slide imaging technology in surgical pathology will undoubtedly also increase its application to cytology due to the increasing affordability and practicality of the equipment as it serves a larger number of useful roles within a pathology department. The current and expanding applications of telecytology for clinical practice, education, quality assurance, and testing will be reviewed. PMID:22276242

  5. Multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2: achievements and current challenges.

    PubMed

    Machens, Andreas; Dralle, Henning

    2012-01-01

    Incremental advances in medical technology, such as the development of sensitive hormonal assays for routine clinical care, are the drivers of medical progress. This principle is exemplified by the creation of the concept of multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2, encompassing medullary thyroid cancer, pheochromocytoma, and primary hyperparathyroidism, which did not emerge before the early 1960s. This review sets out to highlight key achievements, such as joint biochemical and DNA-based screening of individuals at risk of developing multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2, before casting a spotlight on current challenges which include: (i) ill-defined upper limits of calcitonin assays for infants and young children, rendering it difficult to implement the biochemical part of the integrated DNA-based/biochemical concept; (ii) our increasingly mobile society in which different service providers are caring for one individual at various stages in the disease process. With familial relationships disintegrating as a result of geographic dispersion, information about the history of the origin family may become sketchy or just unavailable. This is when DNA-based gene tests come into play, confirming or excluding an individual's genetic predisposition to multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 even before there is any biochemical or clinical evidence of the disease. However, the unrivaled molecular genetic progress in multiple endocrine neoplasia type 2 does not come without a price. Screening may uncover unknown gene sequence variants representing either harmless polymorphisms or pathogenic mutations. In this setting, functional characterization of mutant cells in vitro may generate helpful ancillary evidence with regard to the pathogenicity of gene variants in comparison with established mutations. PMID:22584715

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 17 CFR 3.30 - Current address for purpose of delivery of communications from the Commission or the National...

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... delivery of communications from the Commission or the National Futures Association. 3.30 Section 3.30 Commodity and Securities Exchanges COMMODITY FUTURES TRADING COMMISSION REGISTRATION Registration § 3.30 Current address for purpose of delivery of communications from the Commission or the National...

  9. Addressing Prediabetes in Childhood Obesity Treatment Programs: Support from Research and Current Practice

    PubMed Central

    Grow, H. Mollie; Fernandez, Cristina; Lukasiewicz, Gloria J.; Rhodes, Erinn T.; Shaffer, Laura A.; Sweeney, Brooke; Woolford, Susan J.; Estrada, Elizabeth

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Background: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and prediabetes have increased in prevalence among overweight and obese children, with significant implications for long-term health. There is little published evidence on the best approaches to care of prediabetes among overweight youth or the current practices used across pediatric weight management programs. Methods: This article reviews the literature and summarizes current practices for screening, diagnosis, and treatment of prediabetes at childhood obesity treatment centers. Findings regarding current practice were based on responses to an online survey from 28 pediatric weight management programs at 25 children's hospitals in 2012. Based on the literature reviewed, and empiric data, consensus support statements on prediabetes care and T2DM prevention were developed among representatives of these 25 children's hospitals' obesity clinics. Results: The evidence reviewed demonstrates that current T2DM and prediabetes diagnostic parameters are derived from adult-based studies with little understanding of clinical outcomes among youth. Very limited evidence exists on preventing progression of prediabetes. Some evidence suggests that a significant proportion of obese youth with prediabetes will revert to normoglycemia without pharmacological management. Evidence supports lifestyle modification for children with prediabetes, but further study of specific lifestyle changes and pharmacological treatments is needed. Conclusion: Evidence to guide management of prediabetes in children is limited. Current practice patterns of pediatric weight management programs show areas of variability in practice, reflecting the limited evidence base. More research is needed to guide clinical care for overweight youth with prediabetes. PMID:25055134

  10. 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

  11. Addressing the Creationist Challenge.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seaford, H. Wade, Jr.

    1990-01-01

    Describes a method of contrasting "scientific creationism" and evolution, or pseudo-science and science, that was utilized in a freshman seminar at Dickinson College. Discusses how the seminar format fostered analytical thinking, research, and writing skills. Presents responses given by creationist students after the course. (JS)

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Maori-Medium Education: Current Issues and Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    May, Stephen; Hill, Richard

    2005-01-01

    This paper summarises the key issues and challenges that have emerged from a recent major report by the authors on Maori-medium education in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The discussion is situated within a wider international analysis of bilingual/immersion programmes, including heritage language programmes for indigenous peoples. Key issues explored…

  18. Current challenges in commercially producing biofuels from lignocellulosic biomass.

    PubMed

    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

  19. Current Challenges in Commercially Producing Biofuels from Lignocellulosic Biomass

    DOE PAGESBeta

    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

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. 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. PMID:26248374

  3. 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

  4. Seafood traceability: current needs, available tools, and biotechnological challenges for origin certification.

    PubMed

    Leal, Miguel Costa; Pimentel, Tânia; Ricardo, Fernando; Rosa, Rui; Calado, Ricardo

    2015-06-01

    Market globalization and recurring food safety alerts have resulted in a growing consumer awareness of the need for food traceability. This is particularly relevant for seafood due to its perishable nature and importance as a key protein source for the population of the world. Here, we provide an overview of the current needs for seafood origin traceability, along with the limitations and challenges for its implementation. We focus on geochemical, biochemical, and molecular tools and how they should be optimized to be implemented globally and to address our societal needs. We suggest that seafood traceability is key to enforcing food safety regulations and fisheries control, combat fraud, and fulfill present and future expectations of conscientious producers, consumers, and authorities. PMID:25865857

  5. 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. PMID:26449410

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Embrace the challenge: advice for current and prospective department chairs.

    PubMed

    Sheldon, George F

    2013-07-01

    In this issue, Kastor discusses the challenges and responsibilities of a contemporary chair of medicine as described in interviews of 44 chairs. As a chair of surgery at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for 17 years, the author of this commentary uses his own experiences to reflect on how the insights presented in Kastor's commentary can apply to department chairs in other specialties. Elements from Kastor's commentary, as well as additional observations from the author's tenure, may be sources of advice to future chairs of any department. The author concludes that, despite a changing health care environment and other significant leadership challenges, being a department chair is a rewarding job with many opportunities to pursue worthwhile objectives. PMID:23799438

  9. Meeting the current and future challenges of oncology drug development

    PubMed Central

    Howie, Moira; Oliver, Kathy; Timoney, Angela; McVie, Gordon

    2013-01-01

    This breakout session highlighted four distinct perspectives from leading individuals within patient advocacy, industry, an appraisal committee and physicians on the future and challenges faced by targeted therapy in HTA evaluation. Bringing together leaders from key stakeholders in the process, it gave participants the opportunity to examine how the same HTA evaluation process is interpreted from multiple perspectives. The presentation of an industry supported “Six Nation Public Opinion Survey of Cancer Knowledge and Attitudes” provided detailed insight into how the general public, patients and caregivers view cancer alongside various available and possible future therapies. An interactive ‘perspectives activity’ session provided all participants with an opportunity to think through and discuss the HTA process, and its challenges, from the four distinct positions involved. We declare that we have no conflicts of interest. PMID:24883090

  10. Current challenges and opportunities in nonclinical safety testing of biologics.

    PubMed

    Kronenberg, Sven; Baumann, Andreas; de Haan, Lolke; Hinton, Heather J; Moggs, Jonathan; Theil, Frank-Peter; Wakefield, Ian; Singer, Thomas

    2013-12-01

    Nonclinical safety testing of new biotherapeutic entities represents its own challenges and opportunities in drug development. Hot topics in this field have been discussed recently at the 2nd Annual BioSafe European General Membership Meeting. In this feature article, discussions on the challenges surrounding the use of PEGylated therapeutic proteins, selection of cynomolgus monkey as preclinical species, unexpected pharmacokinetics of biologics and the safety implications thereof are summarized. In addition, new developments in immunosafety testing of biologics, the use of transgenic mouse models and PK and safety implications of multispecific targeting approaches are discussed. Overall, the increasing complexity of new biologic modalities and formats warrants tailor-made nonclinical development strategies and experimental testing. PMID:23942260

  11. 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

  12. Progress in aptamer-mediated drug delivery vehicles for cancer targeting and its implications in addressing chemotherapeutic challenges.

    PubMed

    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

  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 concepts and future challenges in facial transplantation.

    PubMed

    Lengelé, Benoît G

    2009-07-01

    Facial allotransplantation has become a surgical reality. The first successful segmental human face transplants have demonstrated that facial allografts are reliable, their rejection can be prevented by low-dose immunosuppression, and their neurologic recovery enables oral and expressive functions of the face to be restored. Clinical facts have shown that the risk-benefit balance is acceptable in the medium term, that at the neurocognitive level the allograft is reintegrated in the body scheme of the recipient, and that it does not engender a donor identity transfer. This article presents a classification of facial allografts and discusses the technical, immunologic, and ethical challenges that lie ahead. PMID:19505618

  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. Principles of Positive Behaviour Supports: Using the FBA as a Problem-Solving Approach to Address Challenging Behaviours beyond Special Populations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moreno, Gerardo; Bullock, Lyndal M.

    2011-01-01

    The Functional Behavioural Assessment (FBA) is an investigative process that examines the context of challenging behaviours in the classroom. Information gleaned from the FBA process is used to develop a behaviour intervention plan to address the challenging behaviour and teach a socially acceptable replacement behaviour. However, the FBA has…

  18. Nanocarriers for respiratory diseases treatment: recent advances and current challenges.

    PubMed

    Trapani, Adriana; Gioia, Sante Di; Castellani, Stefano; Carbone, Annalucia; Cavallaro, Gennara; Trapani, Giuseppe; Conese, Massimo

    2014-01-01

    Pulmonary delivery of locally-acting drugs encapsulated in nanocarriers provides several advantages for the treatment of respiratory diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis and lung cancer. These advantages include, among others, sustained drug delivery to the lungs, reduced therapeutic dose and improved patient compliance. The aim of this review is to give an updated overview on recent advances recorded in the last few years in this field as well as on the major challenges still existing and that remain to be overcome before any clinical application. After an outline on the cellular and extracellular barriers affecting drug delivery to the airways both in physiological and pathological conditions, the significant developments recorded using inhaled polymeric- and lipid-based nanocarriers for drug and gene delivery to the lung are presented. In this discussion, the major challenges existing in the field are evidenced including the understanding of the factors governing the mucus penetration capability of these nanocarriers and the identification of new technologies for delivering drugs to specific regions or cell types of the lungs. In this regard, the recognition of receptor expressed only at lung level may facilitate drug targeting to this organ and it should improve the therapeutic efficacy of nanocarrier-based treatments for respiratory diseases. PMID:24678708

  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. 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. PMID:26866466

  1. [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. PMID:26232121

  2. [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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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...

  6. Neurobiology and Child Development: Challenging Current Interpretation and Policy Implications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sims, Margaret

    2009-01-01

    We are currently experiencing an exciting time in early childhood as the Federal Government attempts to develop policies and systems to improve outcomes for our children. Recent advances in research have provided us with much evidence underpinning the new thinking. However, much of this evidence is still subject to interpretation, and it is my…

  7. 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. PMID:21837556

  8. 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

  9. Current Challenges in Pain Management in Hip Fracture Patients.

    PubMed

    Sanzone, Anthony G

    2016-05-01

    The high incidence of hip fracture, together with considerable associated morbidity, mortality, and cost of care, makes this injury a major clinical challenge. Of particular importance is the pain associated with hip fracture, which can have potentially severe consequences and may lead to delayed recovery. The prevailing opioid-dependent model of analgesia, however, presents multiple drawbacks and risks that can compromise outcomes in the hip fracture population. The pain management process has essential preoperative, intraoperative, and postoperative components, yet data on the comparative effectiveness of different pain management interventions in patients undergoing surgery for hip fracture are not clear cut. A Cochrane database review that included 83 different pain management studies indicated that there are not enough well-designed studies to show unequivocally which pain management approaches work well after hip fracture surgery. Yet a growing body of data on certain interventions, such as nerve blocks and multimodal analgesia, supports consideration of these options. PMID:27101319

  10. 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. PMID:23471542

  11. Epidemic spread in networks: Existing methods and current challenges

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Joel C.; Kiss, Istvan Z.

    2014-01-01

    We consider the spread of infectious disease through contact networks of Configuration Model type. We assume that the disease spreads through contacts and infected individuals recover into an immune state. We discuss a number of existing mathematical models used to investigate this system, and show relations between the underlying assumptions of the models. In the process we offer simplifications of some of the existing models. The distinctions between the underlying assumptions are subtle, and in many if not most cases this subtlety is irrelevant. Indeed, under appropriate conditions the models are equivalent. We compare the benefits and disadvantages of the different models, and discuss their application to other populations (e.g., clustered networks). Finally we discuss ongoing challenges for network-based epidemic modeling. PMID:25580063

  12. Research in mosquito control: current challenges for a brighter future.

    PubMed

    Benelli, Giovanni

    2015-08-01

    Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) are a key threat for millions of people worldwide, since they act as vectors for devastating pathogens and parasites. In this scenario, vector control is crucial. Mosquito larvae are usually targeted using organophosphates, insect growth regulators, and microbial agents. Indoor residual spraying and insecticide-treated bed nets are also employed. However, these chemicals have negative effects on human health and the environment and induce resistance in a number of vectors. Newer and safer tools have been recently implemented to enhance control of mosquitoes. Here, I focus on some crucial challenges about eco-friendly control of mosquito vectors, mainly the improvement of behavior-based control strategies (sterile insect technique ("SIT") and "boosted SIT") and plant-borne mosquitocidals, including green-synthesized nanoparticles. A number of hot areas that need further research and cooperation among parasitologists, entomologists, and behavioral ecologists are highlighted. PMID:26093499

  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. 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.

  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. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Clinical Challenges to Current Molecularly Targeted Therapies in Lung Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Chhabra, Gagan; Eggert, Ashley; Puri, Neelu

    2016-01-01

    Lung cancer is difficult to treat with a poor prognosis and a five year survival of 15%. Current molecularly targeted therapies are initially effective in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients; however, they are plagued with difficulties including induced resistance and small therapeutically responsive populations. This mini review describes the mechanism of resistance to several molecularly targeted therapies which are currently being used to treat NSCLC. The major targets discussed are c-Met, EGFR, HER2, ALK, VEGFR, and BRAF. The first generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) resulted in resistance; however, second and third generation TKIs are being developed, which are generally more efficacious and have potential to treat NSCLC patients with resistance to first generation TKIs. Combination therapies could also be effective in preventing TKI resistance in NSCLC patients.

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:21159700

  2. 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

  3. Colorectal surgeons teaching general surgery residents: current challenges and opportunities.

    PubMed

    Schmitz, Connie C; Chow, Christopher J; Rothenberger, David A

    2012-09-01

    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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Challenges for and current status of research into positive modulators of AMPA receptors

    PubMed Central

    Ward, Simon E; Bax, Benjamin D; Harries, Mark

    2010-01-01

    AMPA receptors consist of a family of hetero-oligomeric (tetrameric) receptors arising from four genes, each of which encodes a distinct receptor subunit (GluA1-4). Recombinant homo-tetrameric AMPA receptors, comprising four identical subunits, are functionally active and have been used in in vitro assays. However, the many different subunit permutations make possible the functional and anatomical diversity of AMPA receptors throughout the CNS. Furthermore, AMPA receptor subunit stoichiometry influences the biophysical and functional properties of the receptor. A number of chemically diverse positive modulators of AMPA receptor have been identified which potentiate AMPA receptor-mediated activity in vitro as well as improving cognitive performance in rodents and non-human primates with several being taken further in the clinic. This review article summarizes the current status in the research on positive allosteric modulation of AMPA receptors and outlines the challenges involved in identifying a chemically distinct series of AMPA receptor positive modulators, addressing the challenges created by the heterogeneity of the AMPA receptor populations and the development of structure-activity relationships driven by homomeric, recombinant systems on high-throughput platforms. We also review the role of X-ray crystallography in the selection and prioritization of targets for lead optimization for AMPA receptor positive modulators. PMID:20423333

  8. Organic matter turnover in subsoils: current knowledge and future challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marschner, Bernd

    2014-05-01

    In the past, carbon flux measurements and modelling have mostly considered the topsoil where C-concentrations, root densities and microbial activities are generally highest. However, depending on climate zone and land use, this soil compartment contains only 30-50% of the C-stocks of the first meter. If the deeper subsoil down to 3 m is also considered, the contribution of topsoil carbon stocks to total soil C-pools is only 20-40%. Another distinct property of subsoil organic matter is its high apparent 14C age. The 14C age of bulk soil organic matter below 30 cm depth generally increases continuously indicating mean residence times of several 103 to 104 years. Large pool size and high radiocarbon age suggest that subsoil OM has accumulated at very low rates over very long time periods and therefore appears to be very stable. In this review, several hypotheses for explaining why subsoil SOM is so seemingly old and inert are presented. These questions are being addressed in a recently granted German research unit consisting of 9 subprojects from all soil science disciplines using field measurements of C-fluxes, 14C analyses and conducting field and lab experiments.

  9. Current Challenges in Health Economic Modeling of Cancer Therapies: A Research Inquiry

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Jeffrey D.; Foley, Kathleen A.; Russell, Mason W.

    2014-01-01

    Background The demand for economic models that evaluate cancer treatments is increasing, as healthcare decision makers struggle for ways to manage their budgets while providing the best care possible to patients with cancer. Yet, after nearly 2 decades of cultivating and refining techniques for modeling the cost-effectiveness and budget impact of cancer therapies, serious methodologic and policy challenges have emerged that question the adequacy of economic modeling as a sound decision-making tool in oncology. Objectives We sought to explore some of the contentious issues associated with the development and use of oncology economic models as informative tools in current healthcare decision-making. Our objective was to draw attention to these complex pharmacoeconomic concerns and to promote discussion within the oncology and health economics research communities. Methods Using our combined expertise in health economics research and economic modeling, we structured our inquiry around the following 4 questions: (1) Are economic models adequately addressing questions relevant to oncology decision makers; (2) What are the methodologic limitations of oncology economic models; (3) What guidelines are followed for developing oncology economic models; and (4) Is the evolution of oncology economic modeling keeping pace with treatment innovation? Within the context of each of these questions, we discuss issues related to the technical limitations of oncology modeling, the availability of adequate data for developing models, and the problems with how modeling analyses and results are presented and interpreted. Discussion There is general acceptance that economic models are good, essential tools for decision-making, but the practice of oncology and its rapidly evolving technologies present unique challenges that make assessing and demonstrating value especially complex. There is wide latitude for improvement in oncology modeling methodologies and how model results are presented

  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. Semiconductor photocatalysts for water oxidation: current status and challenges.

    PubMed

    Yang, Lingling; Zhou, Han; Fan, Tongxiang; Zhang, Di

    2014-04-21

    Artificial photosynthesis is a highly-promising strategy to convert solar energy into hydrogen energy for the relief of the global energy crisis. Water oxidation is the bottleneck for its kinetic and energetic complexity in the further enhancement of the overall efficiency of the artificial photosystem. Developing efficient and cost-effective photocatalysts for water oxidation is a growing desire, and semiconductor photocatalysts have recently attracted more attention due to their stability and simplicity. This article reviews the recent advancement of semiconductor photocatalysts with a focus on the relationship between material optimization and water oxidation efficiency. A brief introduction to artificial photosynthesis and water oxidation is given first, followed by an explanation of the basic rules and mechanisms of semiconductor particulate photocatalysts for water oxidation as theoretical references for discussions of componential, surface structure, and crystal structure modification. O2-evolving photocatalysts in Z-scheme systems are also introduced to demonstrate practical applications of water oxidation photocatalysts in artificial photosystems. The final part proposes some challenges based on the dynamics and energetics of photoholes which are fundamental to the enhancement of water oxidation efficiency, as well as on the simulation of natural water oxidation that will be a trend in future research. PMID:24599528

  12. Telocytes in the reproductive organs: Current understanding and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Cretoiu, Dragos; Cretoiu, Sanda Maria

    2016-07-01

    Over the past decades, we were witnessing spectacular molecular medicine advances. However, many of the reproductive medicine problems, such as fertility issues and premature birth still represent major challenges for obstetrics and gynecology worldwide. A new cell population - the telocytes (TCs) - were described in the interstitial space of many organs, and their possible implications in many important physiological and pathological processes should not be overlooked. In this article, we present a historical perspective outlining the landmarks in the discovery, evolution and achievements in the field of TCs over the last ten years. We focused on the potential roles of TCs in morphogenesis and maintenance of the normal three-dimensional architecture of tissues, in controlling of the stem cell microenvironment, as having anti-inflammatory and cancer-suppressing properties, participating in the immune surveillance, all mediated by direct homo- and heterocellular junctions or indirectly by extracellular vesicle release. Here, we overview the advances on TCs research in the reproductive organs (uterus and fallopian tube), accessory reproductive organs of female (mammary glands) and the temporary endocrine organ-placenta. PMID:27021165

  13. The current state, challenges and perspectives of MR-PET.

    PubMed

    Herzog, Hans; Pietrzyk, Uwe; Shah, N Jon; Ziemons, Karl

    2010-02-01

    Following the success of PET/CT during the last decade and the recent increasing proliferation of SPECT/CT, another hybrid imaging instrument has been gaining more and more interest: MR-PET. First combined, simultaneous PET and MR studies carried out in small animals demonstrated the feasibility of the new approach. Concurrently, some prototypes of an MR-PET scanner for simultaneous human brain studies have been built, their performance is being tested and preliminary applications have already been shown. Through this pioneering work, it has become clear that advances in the detector design are necessary for further optimization. Recently, the different issues related to the present state and future prospects of MR-PET were presented and discussed during an international 2-day workshop at the Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany, held after, and in conjunction with, the 2008 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference in Dresden, Germany on October 27-28, 2008. The topics ranged from small animal MR-PET imaging to human MR-BrainPET imaging, new detector developments, challenges/opportunities for ultra-high field MR-PET imaging and considerations of possible future research and clinical applications. This report presents a critical summary of the contributions made to the workshop. PMID:19853045

  14. Patellofemoral pain: Challenging current practice - A case report.

    PubMed

    Smith, Benjamin E; Hendrick, Paul; Logan, Pip

    2016-04-01

    Patellofemoral pain (PFP) is a common problem in young people, with 1 in 6 suffering at any one time. It is unclear which management approach is the optimal method for treating PFP in the long term, with traditional physiotherapy examination focusing on assessing for specific structural dysfunction. A rationale for a different assessment and treatment approach, one that moves the focus away from a biomedical/tissue pathology model towards one directed at the neurophysiology of pain, has been suggested. The patient was a 21 year old male with a 6 year history of PFP with previous failed physiotherapeutic treatment. He reported previous multiple healthcare practitioners' advice to avoid activities that were painful as reasons for being unable to participate in sporting activities. No specific structural testing was performed, such as specific muscle strength, length, foot position, patella movement and position, or movement patterns. Descriptions of tissue based pathology models of pain, e.g. patella mal-tracking, were actively discouraged and challenged. The patient was taught to perform one uncomfortable/painful exercise as part of his rehabilitation programme twice a day. The patient achieved 80% improvement in his symptoms over 7 appointments and a return to physical activity following a 5 month rehabilitation programme purposively designed to elicit pain by means of gradually exercising and loading the tissues. This case report highlights the need for further research into exercise protocols for patients suffering with PFP based upon neurophysiology models of pain. PMID:26394748

  15. 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

  16. Current challenges for clinical trials of cardiovascular medical devices.

    PubMed

    Zannad, Faiez; Stough, Wendy Gattis; Piña, Ileana L; Mehran, Roxana; Abraham, William T; Anker, Stefan D; De Ferrari, Gaetano M; Farb, Andrew; Geller, Nancy L; Kieval, Robert S; Linde, Cecilia; Redberg, Rita F; Stein, Kenneth; Vincent, Alphons; Woehrle, Holger; Pocock, Stuart J

    2014-07-15

    Several features of cardiovascular devices raise considerations for clinical trial conduct. Prospective, randomized, controlled trials remain the highest quality evidence for safety and effectiveness assessments, but, for instance, blinding may be challenging. In order to avoid bias and not confound data interpretation, the use of objective endpoints and blinding patients, study staff, core labs, and clinical endpoint committees to treatment assignment are helpful approaches. Anticipation of potential bias should be considered and planned for prospectively in a cardiovascular device trial. Prospective, single-arm studies (often referred to as registry studies) can provide additional data in some cases. They are subject to selection bias even when carefully designed; thus, they are generally not acceptable as the sole basis for pre-market approval of high risk cardiovascular devices. However, they complement the evidence base and fill the gaps unanswered by randomized trials. Registry studies present device safety and effectiveness in day-to-day clinical practice settings and detect rare adverse events in the post-market period. No single research design will be appropriate for every cardiovascular device or target patient population. The type of trial, appropriate control group, and optimal length of follow-up will depend on the specific device, its potential clinical benefits, the target patient population and the existence (or lack) of effective therapies, and its anticipated risks. Continued efforts on the part of investigators, the device industry, and government regulators are needed to reach the optimal approach for evaluating the safety and performance of innovative devices for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. PMID:24861254

  17. Coronary CT angiography: current status and continuing challenges.

    PubMed

    Sun, Z; Choo, G H; Ng, K H

    2012-05-01

    Coronary CT angiography has been increasingly used in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease owing to rapid technological developments, which are reflected in the improved spatial and temporal resolution of the images. High diagnostic accuracy has been achieved with multislice CT scanners (64 slice and higher), and in selected patients coronary CT angiography is regarded as a reliable alternative to invasive coronary angiography. With high-quality coronary CT imaging increasingly being performed, patients can benefit from an imaging modality that provides a rapid and accurate diagnosis while avoiding an invasive procedure. Despite the tremendous contributions of coronary CT angiography to cardiac imaging, study results reported in the literature should be interpreted with caution as there are some limitations existing within the study design or related to patient risk factors. In addition, some attention must be given to the potential health risks associated with the ionising radiation received during cardiac CT examinations. Radiation dose associated with coronary CT angiography has raised serious concerns in the literature, as the risk of developing malignancy is not negligible. Various dose-saving strategies have been implemented, with some of the strategies resulting in significant dose reduction. The aim of this review is to present an overview of the role of coronary CT angiography on cardiac imaging, with focus on coronary artery disease in terms of the diagnostic and prognostic value of coronary CT angiography. Various approaches for dose reduction commonly recommended in the literature are discussed. Limitations of coronary CT angiography are identified. Finally, future directions and challenges with the use of coronary CT angiography are highlighted. PMID:22253353

  18. "Virtual" (Computed) Fractional Flow Reserve: Current Challenges and Limitations.

    PubMed

    Morris, Paul D; van de Vosse, Frans N; Lawford, Patricia V; Hose, D Rodney; Gunn, Julian P

    2015-07-01

    Fractional flow reserve (FFR) is the "gold standard" for assessing the physiological significance of coronary artery disease during invasive coronary angiography. FFR-guided percutaneous coronary intervention improves patient outcomes and reduces stent insertion and cost; yet, due to several practical and operator related factors, it is used in <10% of percutaneous coronary intervention procedures. Virtual fractional flow reserve (vFFR) is computed using coronary imaging and computational fluid dynamics modeling. vFFR has emerged as an attractive alternative to invasive FFR by delivering physiological assessment without the factors that limit the invasive technique. vFFR may offer further diagnostic and planning benefits, including virtual pullback and virtual stenting facilities. However, there are key challenges that need to be overcome before vFFR can be translated into routine clinical practice. These span a spectrum of scientific, logistic, commercial, and political areas. The method used to generate 3-dimensional geometric arterial models (segmentation) and selection of appropriate, patient-specific boundary conditions represent the primary scientific limitations. Many conflicting priorities and design features must be carefully considered for vFFR models to be sufficiently accurate, fast, and intuitive for physicians to use. Consistency is needed in how accuracy is defined and reported. Furthermore, appropriate regulatory and industry standards need to be in place, and cohesive approaches to intellectual property management, reimbursement, and clinician training are required. Assuming successful development continues in these key areas, vFFR is likely to become a desirable tool in the functional assessment of coronary artery disease. PMID:26117471

  19. Coronary CT angiography: current status and continuing challenges

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Z; Choo, G H; Ng, K H

    2012-01-01

    Coronary CT angiography has been increasingly used in the diagnosis of coronary artery disease owing to rapid technological developments, which are reflected in the improved spatial and temporal resolution of the images. High diagnostic accuracy has been achieved with multislice CT scanners (64 slice and higher), and in selected patients coronary CT angiography is regarded as a reliable alternative to invasive coronary angiography. With high-quality coronary CT imaging increasingly being performed, patients can benefit from an imaging modality that provides a rapid and accurate diagnosis while avoiding an invasive procedure. Despite the tremendous contributions of coronary CT angiography to cardiac imaging, study results reported in the literature should be interpreted with caution as there are some limitations existing within the study design or related to patient risk factors. In addition, some attention must be given to the potential health risks associated with the ionising radiation received during cardiac CT examinations. Radiation dose associated with coronary CT angiography has raised serious concerns in the literature, as the risk of developing malignancy is not negligible. Various dose-saving strategies have been implemented, with some of the strategies resulting in significant dose reduction. The aim of this review is to present an overview of the role of coronary CT angiography on cardiac imaging, with focus on coronary artery disease in terms of the diagnostic and prognostic value of coronary CT angiography. Various approaches for dose reduction commonly recommended in the literature are discussed. Limitations of coronary CT angiography are identified. Finally, future directions and challenges with the use of coronary CT angiography are highlighted. PMID:22253353

  20. Current conceptual challenges in the study of rhythm processing deficits

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26106287

  1. 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. PMID:26106287

  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 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. PMID:26469309

  4. The global HIV epidemic: current status and challenges.

    PubMed

    Abdool Karim, Quarraisha

    2013-06-01

    Three decades after the first reported cases of AIDS we have within our reach sufficient evidence to substantially alter the HIV epidemic at a country level regardless of mode of transmission of HIV. There are a growing number of countries demonstrating control of the epidemic. Human rights violations and/or legislation relating to sexual orientation, status of minors, injecting drug use and sex work together with stigma and discrimination remain key barriers to knowledge of HIV status and access to appropriate services. The use of anti-retrovirals prophylactically to reduce sexual and vertical transmission and systemically to treat infected infants and adults is central to the optimism in responses to the epidemic. In the current fiscal climate careful thought needs to be given to how to efficiently optimise combinations of what is available to have the biggest impact in the context of limited human and infrastructure resources. PMID:23568544

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Proteins interacting with monoamine transporters: current state and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Sager, Jonathan J; Torres, Gonzalo E

    2011-08-30

    Plasma membrane and vesicular transporters for the biogenic amines, dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, represent a group of proteins that play a crucial role in the regulation of neurotransmission. Clinically, mono amine transporters are the primary targets for the actions of many therapeutic agents used to treat mood disorders, as well as the site of action for highly addictive psychostimulants such as cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine, and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine. Over the past decade, the use of approaches such as yeast two-hybrid and proteomics has identified a multitude of transporter interacting proteins, suggesting that the function and regulation of these transporters are more complex than previously anticipated. With the increasing number of interacting proteins, the rules dictating transporter synthesis, assembly, targeting, trafficking, and function are beginning to be deciphered. Although many of these protein interactions have yet to be fully characterized, current knowledge is beginning to shed light on novel transporter mechanisms involved in monoamine homeostasis, the molecular actions of psychostimulants, and potential disease mechanisms. While future studies resolving the spatial and temporal resolution of these, and yet unknown, interactions will be needed, the realization that monoamine transporters do not work alone opens the path to a plethora of possible pharmacological interventions. PMID:21797260

  10. 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

  11. Equine rotaviruses--current understanding and continuing challenges.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Kirsten E; Gilkerson, James R; Browning, Glenn F

    2013-11-29

    Equine rotaviruses were first detected in foals over 30 years ago and remain a major cause of infectious diarrhoea in foals. During this time, there has been substantial progress in the development of sensitive methods to detect rotaviruses in foals, enabling surveillance of the genotypes present in various horse populations. However, there has been limited epidemiological investigation into the significance of these circulating genotypes, their correlation with disease and the use of vaccination in these animal populations. Our knowledge of the pathogenesis of rotavirus infection in foals is based on a limited number of studies on a small number of foals and, therefore, most of our understanding in this area has been extrapolated from studies in other species. Questions such as the concentrations of rotavirus particles shed in the faeces of infected foals, both with and without diarrhoea, and factors determining the presence or absence of clinical disease remain to be investigated, as does the relative and absolute efficacy of currently available vaccines. The answer to these questions may help direct research into the development of more effective control measures. PMID:23932076

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. An extended matter bounce scenario: current status and challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Haro, Jaume; Cai, Yi-Fu

    2015-08-01

    As an alternative to the paradigm of slow roll inflation, we propose an extended scenario of the matter bounce cosmology in which the Universe has experienced a quasi-matter contracting phase with a variable background equation of state parameter. This extended matter bounce scenario can be realized by considering a single scalar field evolving along an approximately exponential potential. Our result reveals that the rolling of the scalar field in general leads to a running behavior on the spectral index of primordial cosmological perturbations and a negative running can be realized in this model. We constrain the corresponding parameter space by using the newly released Planck data. To apply this scenario, we revisit bouncing cosmologies within the context of modified gravity theories, in particular, the holonomy corrected loop quantum cosmology and teleparallel F( T) gravity. A gravitational process of reheating is presented in such a matter bounce scenario to demonstrate the condition of satisfying current observations. We also comment on several unresolved issues that often appear in matter bounce models.

  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. 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

  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. PMID:18205018

  18. 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

  19. Bacterial Vaginosis Biofilms: Challenges to Current Therapies and Emerging Solutions.

    PubMed

    Machado, Daniela; Castro, Joana; Palmeira-de-Oliveira, Ana; Martinez-de-Oliveira, José; Cerca, Nuno

    2015-01-01

    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

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:24967868

  2. 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.

  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. PMID:26743568

  4. Drug Development for the Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Current Challenges and Future Perspectives

    PubMed Central

    De Ponti, Fabrizio

    2012-01-01

    Medications are frequently used for the treatment of patients with the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), although their actual benefit is often debated. In fact, the recent progress in our understanding of the pathophysiology of IBS, accompanied by a large number of preclinical and clinical studies of new drugs, has not been matched by a significant improvement of the armamentarium of medications available to treat IBS. The aim of this review is to outline the current challenges in drug development for IBS, taking advantage of what we have learnt through the Rome process (Rome I, Rome II, and Rome III). The key questions that will be addressed are: (a) do we still believe in the “magic bullet,” i.e., a very selective drug displaying a single receptor mechanism capable of controlling IBS symptoms? (b) IBS is a “functional disorder” where complex neuroimmune and brain-gut interactions occur and minimal inflammation is often documented: do we need to target gut motility, visceral sensitivity, or minimal inflammation? (c) are there validated biomarkers (accepted by regulatory agencies) for studies of sensation and motility with experimental medications in humans? (d) do animal models have predictive and translational value? (e) in the era of personalized medicine, does pharmacogenomics applied to these medications already play a role? Finally, this review will briefly outline medications currently used or in development for IBS. It is anticipated that a more focused interaction between basic science investigators, pharmacologists, and clinicians will lead to better treatment of IBS. PMID:23378837

  5. 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.

  6. GNSS Estimates of Vertical Land Motion at Tide Gauges: Brief History, Present Status and Current Challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitchum, G. T.

    2015-12-01

    Precise estimates of sea level change from tide gauges require precise knowledge of the vertical land motion at the tide gauges, as these signals can be comparable in magnitude. This is also true for estimates from satellite altimeters because the tide gauge data are needed to assess the temporal stability of the altimetric heights. The presentation will begin with a very brief review of early efforts to apply GNSS data to this problem. We will then present the current status of efforts (with some emphasis on the TIGA program) aimed at monitoring vertical motions at the global GLOSS sea level network and at the set of gauges that are deemed most useful for estimating the stability of satellite altimeters. This summary will document a tremendous amount of progress over the past decade or so, and continued progress seems likely. There are, however, two current challenges that we argue need to be addressed. First, completing the global network means expanding the network into much more challenging parts of the world. The GLOSS program has long experience with this problem while trying to complete the tide gauge network, and that experience should be very useful to the groups attempting to complete the GNSS network. Second, we will present an analysis based on the calculations used to estimate satellite altimeter stability that indicates that the uncertainties in the reference frame used for the GNSS data are possibly the dominant error when attempting to measure global sea level change. The scale rate error is of primary concern, with the error in the z-rate being a minor, but not insignificant, contributor. We will make this point via a set of simulations using varying levels of the scale rate and z-rate uncertainties; i.e., by doing a sensitivity analysis.

  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. Sediment tracers in water erosion studies: Current approaches and challenges

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guzmán, Gema; Quinton, John N.; Nearing, Mark A.; Mabit, Lionel; Giráldez, Juan V.; Gómez, José A.

    2013-04-01

    The quest for alternative methods of soil losses assessment, due to water erosion to complement and enhance existing methods has directed attention to the use of tracing approaches because of the additional information they provide, such as sediment source identification, tracking of sediment movement across the landscape at various temporal and spatial scales and soil erosion rates. For these reasons, the utility and robustness of sediment tracing approaches using a wide range of substances and soil properties have been evaluated in numerous studies. A comprehensive literature review on tracing approaches used in water erosion studies was carried out in June 2011 using the Web of Science database and as search terms in the title or as keywords: "erosion AND tracer" OR "sediment AND tracer" OR "sediment AND tracking". The search excluded reviews and tillage and/or wind erosion studies. Only studies that used tracers to make a determination of water erosion or sedimentation rates, or in some cases relative erosion contribution, were considered in this study, and were further refined by manually checking that the articles corresponded to experiments involving sediment studies using tracers, as defined within the context of this review. Five distinct groups of tracing approaches were identified: fallout radionuclides, rare earth elements, soil magnetism and magnetic substances, other tracers, and sediment fingerprinting techniques. This abstract presents a synthesis of the current approaches of each of the tracing techniques identified in assessing soil erosion and sediment redistribution and a summary with the commonalities and differences between the approaches and identifying research gaps and future trends.

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. An address geocoding solution for Chinese cities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Xuehu; Ma, Haoming; Li, Qi

    2006-10-01

    We introduce the challenges of address geocoding for Chinese cities and present a potential solution along with a prototype system that deal with these challenges by combining and extending current geocoding solutions developed for United States and Japan. The proposed solution starts by separating city addresses into "standard" addresses which meet a predefined address model and non-standard ones. The standard addresses are stored in a structured relational database in their normalized forms, while a selected portion of the non-standard addresses are stored as aliases to the standard addresses. An in-memory address index is then constructed from the address database and serves as the basis for real-time address matching. Test results were obtained from two trials conducted in the city Beijing. On average 80% matching rate were achieved. Possible improvements to the current design are also discussed.

  12. 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…

  13. Evaluation and comparison of current fetal ultrasound image segmentation methods for biometric measurements: a grand challenge.

    PubMed

    Rueda, Sylvia; Fathima, Sana; Knight, Caroline L; Yaqub, Mohammad; Papageorghiou, Aris T; Rahmatullah, Bahbibi; Foi, Alessandro; Maggioni, Matteo; Pepe, Antonietta; Tohka, Jussi; Stebbing, Richard V; McManigle, John E; Ciurte, Anca; Bresson, Xavier; Cuadra, Meritxell Bach; Sun, Changming; Ponomarev, Gennady V; Gelfand, Mikhail S; Kazanov, Marat D; Wang, Ching-Wei; Chen, Hsiang-Chou; Peng, Chun-Wei; Hung, Chu-Mei; Noble, J Alison

    2014-04-01

    This paper presents the evaluation results of the methods submitted to Challenge US: Biometric Measurements from Fetal Ultrasound Images, a segmentation challenge held at the IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging 2012. The challenge was set to compare and evaluate current fetal ultrasound image segmentation methods. It consisted of automatically segmenting fetal anatomical structures to measure standard obstetric biometric parameters, from 2D fetal ultrasound images taken on fetuses at different gestational ages (21 weeks, 28 weeks, and 33 weeks) and with varying image quality to reflect data encountered in real clinical environments. Four independent sub-challenges were proposed, according to the objects of interest measured in clinical practice: abdomen, head, femur, and whole fetus. Five teams participated in the head sub-challenge and two teams in the femur sub-challenge, including one team who tackled both. Nobody attempted the abdomen and whole fetus sub-challenges. The challenge goals were two-fold and the participants were asked to submit the segmentation results as well as the measurements derived from the segmented objects. Extensive quantitative (region-based, distance-based, and Bland-Altman measurements) and qualitative evaluation was performed to compare the results from a representative selection of current methods submitted to the challenge. Several experts (three for the head sub-challenge and two for the femur sub-challenge), with different degrees of expertise, manually delineated the objects of interest to define the ground truth used within the evaluation framework. For the head sub-challenge, several groups produced results that could be potentially used in clinical settings, with comparable performance to manual delineations. The femur sub-challenge had inferior performance to the head sub-challenge due to the fact that it is a harder segmentation problem and that the techniques presented relied more on the femur's appearance

  14. Comparison of current Shuttle and pre-Challenger flight suit reach capability during launch accelerations.

    PubMed

    Bagian, J P; Schafer, L E

    1992-07-01

    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. Our study addressed the question of reach capability and its effect 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, TX, centrifuge. These reach sweeps were recorded on videotape and subsequently analyzed using a three-dimensional motion analysis system. The ANOVA procedure of the Statistical Analysis System (SAS) 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. PMID:1616441

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  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. PMID:25581149

  1. 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.

  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. 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

  4. Addressing Challenges of regional climate modeling over the Greater Horn of Africa: Africa Regional Climate Model Inter-comparison Project (AFRMIP)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anyah, R.

    2009-04-01

    The Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) has distinct climate characteristics compared to the rest of the continent. The GHA is replete with complex terrain comprising of some of the known tropical glacier covered high mountains of Kilimanjaro, Kenya and Rwenzori as well as the Great Rift Valley System (GRVS). The region also has several freshwater lakes that include Lake Victoria (second largest freshwater lake), and Lake Tanganyika (the second largest deepest freshwater lake). As a whole the complex GHA terrain presents an enabling environment where local and large scale climate systems frequently interact to create highly variable climate in both space and time. At the same time, inter-annual variability of the GHA climate is linked to perturbations in the global SSTs, especially over the equatorial Pacific and Indian Ocean basins, and to some extent, the Atlantic Ocean. These three global oceans, all at the same time or each at different times, intriguingly influence the interannual variability of the GHA climate. Interactions and feedbacks among these multiple climate drivers over the region present challenges in quantitative understanding of regional climate variability and changes based on typical empirical techniques. Therefore, there is need to also employ physically-based, regional climate models (RCMs) that can offer scope and capability to unveil cause-effect relationships between regional climate variability and individual or combination of processes. However, representation of the multiple sources of forcing to the GHA climate also poses a great challenge to RCMs as well. This presentation will give an overview of the AFRMIP project, whose primary objective is to undertake a systematic and comprehensive audit of the deficiencies and uncertainties in regional model simulations of the GHA climate. The project specifically seeks to build a coalition of a regional climate modeling community to address the following issues; (i) representation of the GHA

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. No Need to Count to Ten: Advocating for the Early Implementation of the Functional Behavioural Assessment in Addressing Challenging Behaviours

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moreno, Gerardo

    2010-01-01

    The functional behavioural assessment (FBA) is a process used in identifying the reason (i.e., function) for challenging behaviours when working with students with disabilities and the circumstances and/or environment that reinforce the continued use of the problematic behaviour. However, the procedural definition of the FBA in US federal…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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.…

  15. Responsible authorship in engineering fields: an overview of current ethical challenges.

    PubMed

    Borenstein, Jason

    2011-06-01

    The primary aim of this article is to identify ethical challenges relating to authorship in engineering fields. Professional organizations and journals do provide crucial guidance in this realm, but this cannot replace the need for frequent and diligent discussions in engineering research communities about what constitutes appropriate authorship practice. Engineering researchers should seek to identify and address issues such as who is entitled to be an author and whether publishing their research could potentially harm the public. PMID:21512859

  16. 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

  17. A proposed reductionist solution to address the methodological challenges of inconsistent reflexology maps and poor experimental controls in reflexology research: a discussion paper.

    PubMed

    Jones, Jenny; Thomson, Patricia; Lauder, William; Leslie, Stephen J

    2013-03-01

    Reflexology is a complex massage intervention, based on the concept that specific areas of the feet (reflex points) correspond to individual internal organs within the body. Reflexologists trained in the popular Ingham reflexology method claim that massage to these points, using massage techniques unique to reflexology, stimulates an increase in blood supply to the corresponding organ. Reflexology researchers face two key methodological challenges that need to be addressed if a specific treatment-related hemodynamic effect is to be scientifically demonstrated. The first is the problem of inconsistent reflexology foot maps; the second is the issue of poor experimental controls. This article proposes a potential experimental solution that we believe can address both methodological challenges and in doing so, allow any specific hemodynamic treatment effect unique to reflexology to experimentally reveal itself. PMID:23072264

  18. 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

  19. Natural products in caries research: current (limited) knowledge, challenges and future perspective.

    PubMed

    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

  20. The Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Program: addressing the challenge of infections related to war injuries and skin and soft tissues.

    PubMed

    Martin, Gregory J; Tribble, David R

    2010-07-01

    The Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Program (IDCRP) at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU) is a National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)-funded network of military treatment and research facilities coordinated through USU and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine (HJF). IDCRP functions in collaboration with the NIAID, universities, and industry to address infectious diseases threats to the U.S. military and to the nation. Although IDCRP has projects in diseases from HIV to tuberculosis, a major focus has been on skin, soft-tissue, and war-related infections. PMID:23634479

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Addressing the challenge of intergroup studies in oncology: the EORTC experience. European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer.

    PubMed

    Zurlo, A; Therasse, P

    2002-03-01

    Intergroup studies are conducted by more than one clinical research group. There are several difficulties that hamper in practice the possibility of conducting such trials, as all interested parties will have to address unusual and complex issues. These are mainly related to differences in size, interests, motivations and means among different research organisations. The EORTC recognises the importance to promote intergroup collaboration providing to all interested groups the necessary expertise and organisational support to conduct intergroup studies. The role of the EORTC evolved from the spontaneous organisations of intergroup trials to the definition of a basic set of principles and criteria that groups have to fulfil to participate in intergroup trials. Recently, a specific EORTC Intergroup Office started its activity devoted to solve the issues related to the intergroup co-operation. This office will have an increasing role to promote and help in conducting intergroup studies. PMID:11858988

  4. The Australian Academic Profession in Transition: Addressing the Challenge of Reconceptualising Academic Work and Regenerating the Academic Workforce

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bexley, Emmaline; James, Richard; Arkoudis, Sophie

    2011-01-01

    Australia has an ageing academic workforce and the nation's capacity to refresh, build and maintain this workforce during a period of expansion in tertiary education participation needs urgent consideration. To inform possible strategies to recruit and retain academic staff, this study investigates the current attitudes of the academic profession…

  5. Situating the Challenges in Current Languages Education Policy in Australia -- Unlearning Monolingualism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scarino, Angela

    2014-01-01

    In situating the challenges in languages education policy in Australia in current times, I give an account of policy and curriculum development for the learning of languages in school education. In so doing, I highlight (1) the integral relationship between languages education, literacy and multiculturalism policies; (2) the meaning and…

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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…

  8. 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,…

  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 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…

  11. 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.

  12. The Achilles Heel of Future Economic Growth: The Workforce Development Challenge. What Is It? How Critical Is It? Who's Doing What To Address It?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waits, Mary Jo; Vandegrift, Judith A.

    Arizona businesses are facing a dearth of skilled workers. The work force deficit is about quantity and about quality. It is both an immediate problem and a long-term problem. It is a threat to business competitiveness and Arizona's competitive advantage, and it challenges both industry and government to find solutions. Currently the State of…

  13. Data integration in the era of omics: current and future challenges

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    To integrate heterogeneous and large omics data constitutes not only a conceptual challenge but a practical hurdle in the daily analysis of omics data. With the rise of novel omics technologies and through large-scale consortia projects, biological systems are being further investigated at an unprecedented scale generating heterogeneous and often large data sets. These data-sets encourage researchers to develop novel data integration methodologies. In this introduction we review the definition and characterize current efforts on data integration in the life sciences. We have used a web-survey to assess current research projects on data-integration to tap into the views, needs and challenges as currently perceived by parts of the research community. PMID:25032990

  14. Addressing the Challenges of Satellite and in-Situ Oceanographic Dataset Interoperability at the PO.Daac

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsontos, V. M.; Huang, T.

    2014-12-01

    The earth science enterprise increasingly relies on the integration and synthesis of multivariate datasets from diverse observational platforms. NASA's ocean salinity missions, that include Aquarius/SAC-D and the SPURS (Salinity Processes in the Upper Ocean Regional Study) field campaign, illustrate the value of integrated observations in support of studies of the water cycle, environmental variability and climate. However, the inherent heterogeneity of resulting data and the disparate, distributed systems that serve them complicates their effective utilization for both earth science research and applications. Despite increased availability of oceanographic data online and improved protocols and tools for access, the fundamental problem of unified data access remains an impediment in part because of structural reasons (domain specific data providers) and in part because of specific technical issues. Key technical interoperability challenges include adherence to metadata and data format standards that are particularly acute for in-situ data and the lack of a unified metadata model facilitating archival and integration of both satellite and oceanographic field datasets. Here we report on new efforts at the PO.DAAC, NASA's physical oceanographic data center responsible for the archival and distribution of the satellite mission data that includes Aquarius, to extend our data management infrastructure to additionally support field campaign datasets such as those from SPURS. Integral to this are plans to develop a generalized data matchup service facilitating the reconciliation of multi-scale data exhibiting heterogeneous sampling geometries in support of mission Cal/Val and oceanographic research.

  15. A biodiversity indicators dashboard: addressing challenges to monitoring progress towards the Aichi biodiversity targets using disaggregated global data.

    PubMed

    Han, Xuemei; Smyth, Regan L; Young, Bruce E; Brooks, Thomas M; Sánchez de Lozada, Alexandra; Bubb, Philip; Butchart, Stuart H M; Larsen, Frank W; Hamilton, Healy; Hansen, Matthew C; Turner, Will R

    2014-01-01

    Recognizing the imperiled status of biodiversity and its benefit to human well-being, the world's governments committed in 2010 to take effective and urgent action to halt biodiversity loss through the Convention on Biological Diversity's "Aichi Targets". These targets, and many conservation programs, require monitoring to assess progress toward specific goals. However, comprehensive and easily understood information on biodiversity trends at appropriate spatial scales is often not available to the policy makers, managers, and scientists who require it. We surveyed conservation stakeholders in three geographically diverse regions of critical biodiversity concern (the Tropical Andes, the African Great Lakes, and the Greater Mekong) and found high demand for biodiversity indicator information but uneven availability. To begin to address this need, we present a biodiversity "dashboard"--a visualization of biodiversity indicators designed to enable tracking of biodiversity and conservation performance data in a clear, user-friendly format. This builds on previous, more conceptual, indicator work to create an operationalized online interface communicating multiple indicators at multiple spatial scales. We structured this dashboard around the Pressure-State-Response-Benefit framework, selecting four indicators to measure pressure on biodiversity (deforestation rate), state of species (Red List Index), conservation response (protection of key biodiversity areas), and benefits to human populations (freshwater provision). Disaggregating global data, we present dashboard maps and graphics for the three regions surveyed and their component countries. These visualizations provide charts showing regional and national trends and lay the foundation for a web-enabled, interactive biodiversity indicators dashboard. This new tool can help track progress toward the Aichi Targets, support national monitoring and reporting, and inform outcome-based policy-making for the protection of

  16. Innovative patient-centered skills training addressing challenging issues in cancer communications: Using patient's stories that teach.

    PubMed

    Bishop, Thomas W; Gorniewicz, James; Floyd, Michael; Tudiver, Fred; Odom, Amy; Zoppi, Kathy

    2016-05-01

    This workshop demonstrated the utility of a patient-centered web-based/digital Breaking Bad News communication training module designed to educate learners of various levels and disciplines. This training module is designed for independent, self-directed learning as well as group instruction. These interactive educational interventions are based upon video-recorded patient stories. Curriculum development was the result of an interdisciplinary, collaborative effort involving faculty from the East Tennessee State University (ETSU) Graduate Storytelling Program and the departments of Family and Internal Medicine at the James H. Quillen College of Medicine. The specific goals of the BBN training module are to assist learners in: (1) understanding a five-step patient-centered model that is based upon needs, preferences, and expectations of patients with cancer and (2) individualizing communication that is consistent with patient preferences in discussing emotions, informational detail, prognosis and timeline, and whether or not to discuss end-of-life issues. The pedagogical approach to the training module is to cycle through Emotional Engagement, Data, Modeled Practices, Adaptation Opportunities, and Feedback. The communication skills addressed are rooted in concepts found within the Reaching Common Ground communication training. A randomized control study investigating the effectiveness of the Breaking Bad News module found that medical students as well as resident physicians improved their communication skills as measured by an Objective Structured Clinical Examination. Four other similarly designed modules were also created: Living Through Treatment, Transitions: From Curable to Treatable/From Treatable to End-of-Life, Spirituality, and Family. PMID:27497456

  17. A Biodiversity Indicators Dashboard: Addressing Challenges to Monitoring Progress towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets Using Disaggregated Global Data

    PubMed Central

    Han, Xuemei; Smyth, Regan L.; Young, Bruce E.; Brooks, Thomas M.; Sánchez de Lozada, Alexandra; Bubb, Philip; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Larsen, Frank W.; Hamilton, Healy; Hansen, Matthew C.; Turner, Will R.

    2014-01-01

    Recognizing the imperiled status of biodiversity and its benefit to human well-being, the world's governments committed in 2010 to take effective and urgent action to halt biodiversity loss through the Convention on Biological Diversity's “Aichi Targets”. These targets, and many conservation programs, require monitoring to assess progress toward specific goals. However, comprehensive and easily understood information on biodiversity trends at appropriate spatial scales is often not available to the policy makers, managers, and scientists who require it. We surveyed conservation stakeholders in three geographically diverse regions of critical biodiversity concern (the Tropical Andes, the African Great Lakes, and the Greater Mekong) and found high demand for biodiversity indicator information but uneven availability. To begin to address this need, we present a biodiversity “dashboard” – a visualization of biodiversity indicators designed to enable tracking of biodiversity and conservation performance data in a clear, user-friendly format. This builds on previous, more conceptual, indicator work to create an operationalized online interface communicating multiple indicators at multiple spatial scales. We structured this dashboard around the Pressure-State-Response-Benefit framework, selecting four indicators to measure pressure on biodiversity (deforestation rate), state of species (Red List Index), conservation response (protection of key biodiversity areas), and benefits to human populations (freshwater provision). Disaggregating global data, we present dashboard maps and graphics for the three regions surveyed and their component countries. These visualizations provide charts showing regional and national trends and lay the foundation for a web-enabled, interactive biodiversity indicators dashboard. This new tool can help track progress toward the Aichi Targets, support national monitoring and reporting, and inform outcome-based policy-making for the

  18. Data Lakes and Data Visualization: An Innovative Approach to Address the Challenges of Access to Health Care in Mississippi

    PubMed Central

    Krause, Denise D.

    2015-01-01

    Background: There are a variety of challenges to developing strategies to improve access to health care, but access to data is critical for effective evidence-based decision-making. Many agencies and organizations throughout Mississippi have been collecting quality health data for many years. However, those data have historically resided in data silos and have not been readily shared. A strategy was developed to build and coordinate infrastructure, capacity, tools, and resources to facilitate health workforce and population health planning throughout the state. Objective: Realizing data as the foundation upon which to build, the primary objective was to develop the capacity to collect, store, maintain, visualize, and analyze data from a variety of disparate sources -- with the ultimate goal of improving access to health care. Specific aims were to: 1) build a centralized data repository and scalable informatics platform, 2) develop a data management solution for this platform and then, 3) derive value from this platform by facilitating data visualization and analysis. Methods: A managed data lake was designed and constructed for health data from disparate sources throughout the state of Mississippi. A data management application was developed to log and track all data sources, maps and geographies, and data marts. With this informatics platform as a foundation, a variety of tools are used to visualize and analyze data. To illustrate, a web mapping application was developed to examine the health workforce geographically and attractive data visualizations and dynamic dashboards were created to facilitate health planning and research. Results: Samples of data visualizations that aim to inform health planners and policymakers are presented. Many agencies and organizations throughout the state benefit from this platform. Conclusion: The overarching goal is that by providing timely, reliable information to stakeholders, Mississippians in general will experience improved

  19. Endovascular Interventions in Acute Ischemic Stroke: Recent Evidence, Current Challenges, and Future Prospects.

    PubMed

    Appireddy, Ramana; Zerna, Charlotte; Menon, Bijoy K; Goyal, Mayank

    2016-07-01

    After many years of clinical research, endovascular thrombectomy has been conclusively proven to be an effective treatment in acute ischemic stroke. The evidence is compelling; however, it is generated in high volume stroke centers with stroke expertise. Challenges remain ahead on translating and implementing this evidence in routine clinical care across the world. The current evidence has opened up avenues for further research and innovation in this field. In this review, we will discuss the evolution of evidence on endovascular thrombectomy followed by a discussion of challenges and future prospects in this exciting field of stroke care. PMID:27221502

  20. Current opportunities and challenges in microbial metagenome analysis—a bioinformatic perspective

    PubMed Central

    Teeling, Hanno

    2012-01-01

    Metagenomics has become an indispensable tool for studying the diversity and metabolic potential of environmental microbes, whose bulk is as yet non-cultivable. Continual progress in next-generation sequencing allows for generating increasingly large metagenomes and studying multiple metagenomes over time or space. Recently, a new type of holistic ecosystem study has emerged that seeks to combine metagenomics with biodiversity, meta-expression and contextual data. Such ‘ecosystems biology’ approaches bear the potential to not only advance our understanding of environmental microbes to a new level but also impose challenges due to increasing data complexities, in particular with respect to bioinformatic post-processing. This mini review aims to address selected opportunities and challenges of modern metagenomics from a bioinformatics perspective and hopefully will serve as a useful resource for microbial ecologists and bioinformaticians alike. PMID:22966151

  1. Positron Emission Tomography: Current Challenges and Opportunities for Technological Advances in Clinical and Preclinical Imaging Systems.

    PubMed

    Vaquero, Juan José; Kinahan, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging is based on detecting two time-coincident high-energy photons from the emission of a positron-emitting radioisotope. The physics of the emission, and the detection of the coincident photons, give PET imaging unique capabilities for both very high sensitivity and accurate estimation of the in vivo concentration of the radiotracer. PET imaging has been widely adopted as an important clinical modality for oncological, cardiovascular, and neurological applications. PET imaging has also become an important tool in preclinical studies, particularly for investigating murine models of disease and other small-animal models. However, there are several challenges to using PET imaging systems. These include the fundamental trade-offs between resolution and noise, the quantitative accuracy of the measurements, and integration with X-ray computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging. In this article, we review how researchers and industry are addressing these challenges. PMID:26643024

  2. An overview of current approaches and future challenges in physiological monitoring

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Horst, Richard L.

    1988-01-01

    Sufficient evidence exists from laboratory studies to suggest that physiological measures can be useful as an adjunct to behavioral and subjective measures of human performance and capabilities. Thus it is reasonable to address the conceptual and engineering challenges that arise in applying this technology in operational settings. Issues reviewed include the advantages and disadvantages of constructs such as mental states, the need for physiological measures of performance, areas of application for physiological measures in operational settings, which measures appear to be most useful, problem areas that arise in the use of these measures in operational settings, and directions for future development.

  3. Ebola crisis of 2014: are current strategies enough to meet the long-run challenges ahead?

    PubMed

    Gimm, Gilbert; Nichols, Len M

    2015-05-01

    The outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) in 2014 mobilized international efforts to contain a global health crisis. The emergence of the deadly virus in the United States and Europe among health care workers intensified fears of a worldwide epidemic. Market incentives for pharmaceutical firms to allocate their research and development resources toward Ebola treatments were weak because the limited number of EVD cases were previously confined to rural areas of West Africa. We discuss 3 policy recommendations to address the long-term challenges of EVD in an interconnected world. PMID:25790395

  4. Vision Screening of School Children by Teachers as a Community Based Strategy to Address the Challenges of Childhood Blindness

    PubMed Central

    Koshy, Jacob; Thomas, Satish; Kapoor, Harpreet; Zachariah, Jiju George; Bedi, Sahiba

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Early detection and treatment of vision problems in children is imperative to meet the challenges of childhood blindness. Considering the problems of inequitable distribution of trained manpower and limited access of quality eye care services to majority of our population, innovative community based strategies like ‘Teachers training in vision screening’ need to be developed for effective utilization of the available human resources. Aim To evaluate the effectiveness of introducing teachers as the first level vision screeners. Materials and Methods Teacher training programs were conducted for school teachers to educate them about childhood ocular disorders and the importance of their early detection. Teachers from government and semi-government schools located in Ludhiana were given training in vision screening. These teachers then conducted vision screening of children in their schools. Subsequently an ophthalmology team visited these schools for re-evaluation of children identified with low vision. Refraction was performed for all children identified with refractive errors and spectacles were prescribed. Children requiring further evaluation were referred to the base hospital. The project was done in two phases. True positives, false positives, true negatives and false negatives were calculated for evaluation. Results In phase 1, teachers from 166 schools underwent training in vision screening. The teachers screened 30,205 children and reported eye problems in 4523 (14.97%) children. Subsequently, the ophthalmology team examined 4150 children and confirmed eye problems in 2137 children. Thus, the teachers were able to correctly identify eye problems (true positives) in 47.25% children. Also, only 13.69% children had to be examined by the ophthalmology team, thus reducing their work load. Similarly, in phase 2, 46.22% children were correctly identified to have eye problems (true positives) by the teachers. By random sampling, 95.65% children were

  5. Addressing (some) Big Data Challenges in Climate Science: Cross-Sciences Collaborative Efforts Driven By Eudat Emerging Services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Page, C.; Budich, R.; Meeres, Y.; Coutin, S.; Dima, E.; Hinrichs, E.; Lautenschlager, M.

    2014-12-01

    As climate model horizontal and spatial resolutions are getting higher, in line with increasing available computing power on High Performance Computing (HPC) systems, the amount of data generated by climate simulations is getting very large. Our road toward exascale will continue to increase the generated data volumes to be analyzed, even when reducing data output to coarser output grids before storage and analysis. These problems are not confined to the climate scientific community, but it is shared among several scientific fields, such as high-particle physics, linguistics, and seismology, among others. Within the framework of the European EUDAT project, several emerging services are being developed and deployed operationally to enhance collaborative and federated infrastructures that can scale to very large data volumes, driven by scientific communities' needs and international collaborations notably with the Research Data Alliance (RDA) and through Working Groups involving EUDAT partners and international experts. One of these Working Groups is focusing on Workflows and their execution near the data storage in a federated infrastructure, and these workflows will also be using EUDAT services. EUDAT current and upcoming services will be presented, with a focus in how these services will be useful to the climate community ESGF infrastructure in a Big Data era, to perform data analyses that are not hampered by limitations simply because of too large data volumes given today's tools and infrastructures. A generic interface/protocol for abstraction of specific communities federated data environments, enabling cross-communities data sharing and collaboration, will also be presented. This study was funded by the EU project EUDAT funded by the European Commission's Seventh Framework Research Programme under the grant agreement 283304.

  6. Stochastic nanopore sensors for the detection of terrorist agents: current status and challenges.

    PubMed

    Liu, Aihua; Zhao, Qitao; Guan, Xiyun

    2010-08-24

    Nanopore stochastic sensor works by monitoring the ionic current modulations induced by the passage of analytes of interest through a single pore, which can be obtained from a biological ion channel by self-assembly or artificially fabricated in a solid-state membrane. In this minireview, we overview the use of biological nanopores and artificial nanopores for the detection of terrorist agents including explosives, organophosphorus nerve agents, nitrogen mustards, organoarsenic compounds, toxins, and viruses. We also discuss the current challenge in the development of deployable nanopore sensors for real-world applications. PMID:20800721

  7. Slow Wave Conduction Patterns in the Stomach: From Waller’s Foundations to Current Challenges

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    This review provides an overview of our understanding of motility and slow wave propagation in the stomach. It begins by reviewing seminal studies conducted by Walter Cannon and Augustus Waller on in vivo motility and slow wave patterns. Then our current understanding of slow wave patterns in common laboratory animals and humans is presented. The implications of slow wave dysrhythmic patterns that have been recorded in animals and patients suffering from gastroparesis are discussed. Finally, current challenges in experimental methods and techniques, slow wave modulation and the use of mathematical models are discussed. PMID:25313679

  8. Storm-time Large-Scale Birkeland Currents: Salient Dynamics in Grand Challenge Events

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Korth, H.; Anderson, B. J.; Waters, C. L.; Barnes, R. J.

    2015-12-01

    The Active Magnetosphere and Planetary Electrodynamics Response Experiment (AMPERE) provides continuous global observations of Birkeland currents on a 10 minute cadence. During geomagnetic storms, currents intensify to over 15 MA, are dynamic both in intensity and distribution, and exhibit features not discernible in statistical analyses. For all of the subject grand challenge storms, AMPERE data reveal a number of novel phenomena illustrating the profound dynamics of the storm-time system. Storm-time onsets associated with shock arrivals are often very prompt and lead to dramatic surges in total current from 1 MA to over 5 MA in less than 20 minutes. The current surges occur predominantly on the dayside at high latitudes prior to any ring current or auroral expansions, indicating that neutral density upwelling is often driven independently of ring current or auroral zone intensifications. Rapid reconfigurations of the currents with IMF BY reversals within the sheath structures of coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are also common. This implies that convection of ionospheric density patches over the polar cap may be quite complex, particularly during the early phase of geomagnetic storms related to the CME sheath passage. The 3 September 2012 storm exhibited intense driving with classic quasi-stable Region 1 and 2 currents spanning 55 to 70 degrees magnetic latitude for over 10 hours at the beginning of the day, corresponding to stable southward IMF prior to shock arrival at noon on that day. The shock arrival and IMF southward intensification led to further expansion of the currents below 50 degrees magnetic latitude and to episodic surges in currents on the nightside, which is unique to storms. The resulting current structure showed multiple large-scale alternations in downward-upward-downward-upward direction that often occurs during intense, sustained driving during strong storms.

  9. Addressing core challenges for the next generation of type 2 translation research and systems: the translation science to population impact (TSci Impact) framework.

    PubMed

    Spoth, Richard; Rohrbach, Louise A; Greenberg, Mark; Leaf, Philip; Brown, C Hendricks; Fagan, Abigail; Catalano, Richard F; Pentz, Mary Ann; Sloboda, Zili; Hawkins, J David

    2013-08-01

    Evidence-based preventive interventions developed over the past two decades represent great potential for enhancing public health and well-being. Research confirming the limited extent to which these interventions have been broadly and effectively implemented, however, indicates much progress is needed to achieve population-level impact. In part, progress requires Type 2 translation research that investigates the complex processes and systems through which evidence-based interventions are adopted, implemented, and sustained on a large scale, with a strong orientation toward devising empirically-driven strategies for increasing their population impact. In this article, we address two core challenges to the advancement of T2 translation research: (1) building infrastructure and capacity to support systems-oriented scaling up of evidence-based interventions, with well-integrated practice-oriented T2 research, and (2) developing an agenda and improving research methods for advancing T2 translation science. We also summarize a heuristic "Translation Science to Population Impact (TSci Impact) Framework." It articulates key considerations in addressing the core challenges, with three components that represent: (1) four phases of translation functions to be investigated (pre-adoption, adoption, implementation, and sustainability); (2) the multiple contexts in which translation occurs, ranging from community to national levels; and (3) necessary practice and research infrastructure supports. Discussion of the framework addresses the critical roles of practitioner-scientist partnerships and networks, governmental agencies and policies at all levels, plus financing partnerships and structures, all required for both infrastructure development and advances in the science. The article concludes with two sets of recommended action steps that could provide impetus for advancing the next generation of T2 translation science and, in turn, potentially enhance the health and well

  10. Dynamics of the Earth's Inner Magnetosphere and Its Connection to the Ionosphere: Current Understanding and Challenges

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zheng, Yihua

    2011-01-01

    The Earth's inner magnetosphere, a vast volume in space spanning from 1.5 Re (Earth radii) to 10 Re, is a host to a variety of plasma populations (with energy from 1 eV to few MeV) and physical processes where most of which involve plasma and field coupling. As a gigantic particle accelerator, the inner magnetosphere includes three overlapping regions: the plasmasphere, the ring current, and the Van Allen radiation belt. The complex structures and dynamics of these regions are externally driven by solar activities and internally modulated by intricate interactions and coupling. As a major constituent of Space Weather, the inner magnetosphere is both scientifically intriguing and practically important to our society. In this presentation, I will discuss our recent results from the Comprehensive Ring Current Model, in the context of our current understanding of the inner magnetosphere in general and challenges ahead in making further progresses.

  11. Dynamics of the Earth's Inner Magnetosphere and its Connection to the Ionosphere: Current Understanding and Challenges

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zheng, Yihua

    2010-01-01

    The Earth's inner magnetosphere, a vast volume in space spanning from 1.5 Re (Earth radii) to 10 Re, is a host to a variety of plasma populations (with energy from 1 eV to few MeV) and physical processes where most of which involve plasma and field coupling. As a gigantic particle accelerator, the inner magnetosphere includes three overlapping regions: the plasmasphere, the ring current, and the Van Allen radiation belt. The complex structures and dynamics of these regions are externally driven by solar activities and internally modulated by intricate interactions and coupling. As a major constituent of Space Weather, the inner magnetosphere is both scientifically intriguing and practically important to our society. In this presentation, I will discuss our recent results from the Comprehensive Ring Current Model, in the context of our current understanding of the inner magnetosphere in general and challenges ahead in making further progresses.

  12. Personal Genomic Information Management and Personalized Medicine: Challenges, Current Solutions, and Roles of HIM Professionals

    PubMed Central

    Alzu'bi, Amal; Zhou, Leming; Watzlaf, Valerie

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, the term personalized medicine has received more and more attention in the field of healthcare. The increasing use of this term is closely related to the astonishing advancement in DNA sequencing technologies and other high-throughput biotechnologies. A large amount of personal genomic data can be generated by these technologies in a short time. Consequently, the needs for managing, analyzing, and interpreting these personal genomic data to facilitate personalized care are escalated. In this article, we discuss the challenges for implementing genomics-based personalized medicine in healthcare, current solutions to these challenges, and the roles of health information management (HIM) professionals in genomics-based personalized medicine. PMID:24808804

  13. High-grade glioma management and response assessment—recent advances and current challenges

    PubMed Central

    Khan, M.N.; Sharma, A.M.; Pitz, M.; Loewen, S.K.; Quon, H.; Poulin, A.; Essig, M.

    2016-01-01

    The management of high-grade gliomas (hggs) is complex and ever-evolving. The standard of care for the treatment of hggs consists of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. However, treatment options are influenced by multiple factors such as patient age and performance status, extent of tumour resection, biomarker profile, and tumour histology and grade. Follow-up cranial magnetic resonance imaging (mri) to differentiate treatment response from treatment effect can be challenging and affects clinical decision-making. An assortment of advanced radiologic techniques—including perfusion imaging with dynamic susceptibility contrast mri, dynamic contrast-enhanced mri, diffusion-weighted imaging, proton spectroscopy, mri subtraction imaging, and amino acid radiotracer imaging—can now incorporate novel physiologic data, providing new methods to help characterize tumour progression, pseudoprogression, and pseudoresponse. In the present review, we provide an overview of current treatment options for hgg and summarize recent advances and challenges in imaging technology. PMID:27536188

  14. Offshore produced water management: A review of current practice and challenges in harsh/Arctic environments.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Jisi; Chen, Bing; Thanyamanta, Worakanok; Hawboldt, Kelly; Zhang, Baiyu; Liu, Bo

    2016-03-15

    Increasing offshore oil and gas exploration and development in harsh/Arctic environments require more effective offshore produced water management, as these environments are much more sensitive to changes in water quality than more temperate climates. However, the number and scope of studies of offshore produced water management in harsh/Arctic environments are limited. This paper reviews the current state of offshore produced water management, impacts, and policies, as well as the vulnerability, implications and operational challenges in harsh/Arctic environments. The findings show that the primary contaminant(s) of concern are contained in both the dissolved oil and the dispersed oil. The application of emerging technologies that can tackle this issue is significantly limited by the challenges of offshore operations in harsh/Arctic environments. Therefore, there is a need to develop more efficient and suitable management systems since more stringent policies are being implemented due to the increased vulnerability of harsh/Arctic environments. PMID:26781453

  15. Anti-infective use in children and pregnancy: current deficiencies and future challenges

    PubMed Central

    Gwee, Amanda; Cranswick, Noel

    2015-01-01

    There are a number of challenges to using anti-infective agents in children and pregnant women. There is limited understanding of the altered pharmacokinetics of anti-infectives in these populations and as a result, optimized dosing regimens are yet to be established. The potential adverse effects of the drug on pregnancy outcome and the developing foetus is a major consideration, and the long term implications of drug side effects must be taken into account when drug exposure occurs early in life. These factors hinder research and licensing of new anti-infective drugs in these populations. We describe the current deficiencies and future challenges of anti-infective use in children and pregnant women, providing specific examples. PMID:24588467

  16. In search of sustainability: process R&D in light of current pharmaceutical industry challenges.

    PubMed

    Federsel, Hans-Jürgen

    2006-11-01

    Is there a need for a paradigm shift in the pharmaceutical industry? Many researchers think so and take as examples the eroding corporate reputation, a regulatory environment that is harsher than ever, and the request for cheaper drugs from patient organizations and authorities. Process R&D, which interfaces medicinal chemistry and production, has taken on this challenge by increasing the delivery focus early on to ensure timely availability of desired compounds. The quest for lower costs of goods has forced the design of best synthetic routes that, given the molecular complexity, often lead to catalytic methodologies. Applying these methodologies will enable not only the cost element, but also the increasingly important aspects of environmental friendliness, and atom and stage efficiency, to be addressed. PMID:17055405

  17. The Platte River - High Plains Aquifer (PR-HPA) Long Term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) Network - Data and Technological Resources to Address Current and Emerging Issues in Agroecosystems.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okalebo, J. A.; Wienhold, B.; Suyker, A.; Erickson, G.; Hayes, M. J.; Awada, T.

    2015-12-01

    The Platte River - High Plains Aquifer (PR-HPA) is one of 18 established Long Term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) networks across the US. PR-HPA is a partnership between the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), the USDA-ARS Agroecosystem Management Research Unit (AMRU) in Lincoln, and the USDA-ARS Environmental Management Research Unit (EMRU) in Clay Center, NE. The PR-HPA network encompasses 27,750 ha of research sites with data going back to the early 1900s. A partial list of on-going research projects include those encompassing long-term manuring and continuous corn (Est. 1912), dryland tillage plots (Est. 1970), soil nutrients and tillage (Est. 1983), biofuel feedstock studies (Est. 2001), and carbon sequestration study (Est. 2000). Affiliated partners include the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) that develops measures to improve preparedness and adaptation to climate variability and drought; the High Plains Regional Climate Center (HPRCC) that coordinates data acquisition from over 170 automated weather stations and around 50 automated soil moisture network across NE and beyond; the AMERIFLUX and NEBFLUX networks that coordinate the water vapor and carbon dioxide flux measurements across NE with emphasis on rainfed and irrigated crop lands; the ARS Greenhouse gas Reduction through Agricultural Carbon Enhancement network (GRACEnet) and the Resilient Economic Agricultural Practices (REAP) project; and the Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies (CALMIT) that assists with the use of geospatial technologies for agriculture and natural resource applications. Current emphases are on addressing present-day and emerging issues related to profitability and sustainability of agroecosystems. The poster will highlight some of the ongoing and planned efforts in research pertaining to climate variability and change, water sustainability, and ecological and agronomic challenges associated

  18. [Current problems and challenges in the diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer in China].

    PubMed

    Wang, Jianping; Wang, Lei

    2014-06-01

    In the past 20 years, researches regarding colorectal cancer have experienced unprecedented boom in China. However, a seris problems have been exposed, including a rapid increase in morbility, the geographical limitations of tumor screening, nonstandard diagnosis and treatment, very limited mechanism researches, and lack of randomized controlled clinical trials with Chinese characteristics. This article puts forward some main emphases of the current work, based on the above problems and challenges, in order to improve the overall level of the diagnosis and treatment of colorectal cancer in China. PMID:24953353

  19. Pediatric Malignant Bone Tumors: A Review and Update on Current Challenges, and Emerging Drug Targets.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Twana M; Bittman, Mark; Granowetter, Linda

    2016-07-01

    Osteosarcoma (OS) and the Ewing sarcoma family of tumors (ESFT) are the most common malignant bone tumors in children and adolescents. While significant improvements in survival have been seen in other pediatric malignancies the treatment and prognosis for pediatric bone tumors has remained unchanged for the past 3 decades. This review and update of pediatric malignant bone tumors will provide a general overview of osteosarcoma and the Ewing sarcoma family of tumors, discuss bone tumor genomics, current challenges, and emerging drug targets. PMID:27265835

  20. Current Approaches and Challenges in Early Detection of Breast Cancer Recurrence

    PubMed Central

    Schneble, Erika J.; Graham, Lindsey J.; Shupe, Matthew P.; Flynt, Frederick L.; Banks, Kevin P.; Kirkpatrick, Aaron D.; Nissan, Aviram; Henry, Leonard; Stojadinovic, Alexander; Shumway, Nathan M.; Avital, Itzhak; Peoples, George E.; Setlik, Robert F.

    2014-01-01

    Early detection of breast cancer recurrence is a key element of follow-up care and surveillance after completion of primary treatment. The goal is to improve survival by detecting and treating recurrent disease while potentially still curable assuming a more effective salvage surgery and treatment. In this review, we present the current guidelines for early detection of recurrent breast cancer in the adjuvant setting. Emphasis is placed on the multidisciplinary approach from surgery, medical oncology, and radiology with a discussion of the challenges faced within each setting. PMID:24790656