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Sample records for assessments improves links

  1. Linking Assessment for Learning, Improvement and Accountability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coates, Hamish; Seifert, Tricia

    2011-01-01

    Assessing student learning in ways that offer students, institutions and systems with sound information is a considerable challenge for higher education. Despite demonstrable progress, a disconnect remains between methods used for assessing learning, improvement and accountability. This muddled situation is illustrated through a review of…

  2. Linking water quality and well-being for improved assessment and valuation of ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Keeler, Bonnie L; Polasky, Stephen; Brauman, Kate A; Johnson, Kris A; Finlay, Jacques C; O'Neill, Ann; Kovacs, Kent; Dalzell, Brent

    2012-11-01

    Despite broad recognition of the value of the goods and services provided by nature, existing tools for assessing and valuing ecosystem services often fall short of the needs and expectations of decision makers. Here we address one of the most important missing components in the current ecosystem services toolbox: a comprehensive and generalizable framework for describing and valuing water quality-related services. Water quality is often misrepresented as a final ecosystem service. We argue that it is actually an important contributor to many different services, from recreation to human health. We present a valuation approach for water quality-related services that is sensitive to different actions that affect water quality, identifies aquatic endpoints where the consequences of changing water quality on human well-being are realized, and recognizes the unique groups of beneficiaries affected by those changes. We describe the multiple biophysical and economic pathways that link actions to changes in water quality-related ecosystem goods and services and provide guidance to researchers interested in valuing these changes. Finally, we present a valuation template that integrates biophysical and economic models, links actions to changes in service provision and value estimates, and considers multiple sources of water quality-related ecosystem service values without double counting.

  3. Linking water quality and well-being for improved assessment and valuation of ecosystem services

    PubMed Central

    Keeler, Bonnie L.; Polasky, Stephen; Brauman, Kate A.; Johnson, Kris A.; Finlay, Jacques C.; O’Neill, Ann; Kovacs, Kent; Dalzell, Brent

    2012-01-01

    Despite broad recognition of the value of the goods and services provided by nature, existing tools for assessing and valuing ecosystem services often fall short of the needs and expectations of decision makers. Here we address one of the most important missing components in the current ecosystem services toolbox: a comprehensive and generalizable framework for describing and valuing water quality-related services. Water quality is often misrepresented as a final ecosystem service. We argue that it is actually an important contributor to many different services, from recreation to human health. We present a valuation approach for water quality-related services that is sensitive to different actions that affect water quality, identifies aquatic endpoints where the consequences of changing water quality on human well-being are realized, and recognizes the unique groups of beneficiaries affected by those changes. We describe the multiple biophysical and economic pathways that link actions to changes in water quality-related ecosystem goods and services and provide guidance to researchers interested in valuing these changes. Finally, we present a valuation template that integrates biophysical and economic models, links actions to changes in service provision and value estimates, and considers multiple sources of water quality-related ecosystem service values without double counting. PMID:23091018

  4. Linking water quality and well-being for improved assessment and valuation of ecosystem services.

    PubMed

    Keeler, Bonnie L; Polasky, Stephen; Brauman, Kate A; Johnson, Kris A; Finlay, Jacques C; O'Neill, Ann; Kovacs, Kent; Dalzell, Brent

    2012-11-01

    Despite broad recognition of the value of the goods and services provided by nature, existing tools for assessing and valuing ecosystem services often fall short of the needs and expectations of decision makers. Here we address one of the most important missing components in the current ecosystem services toolbox: a comprehensive and generalizable framework for describing and valuing water quality-related services. Water quality is often misrepresented as a final ecosystem service. We argue that it is actually an important contributor to many different services, from recreation to human health. We present a valuation approach for water quality-related services that is sensitive to different actions that affect water quality, identifies aquatic endpoints where the consequences of changing water quality on human well-being are realized, and recognizes the unique groups of beneficiaries affected by those changes. We describe the multiple biophysical and economic pathways that link actions to changes in water quality-related ecosystem goods and services and provide guidance to researchers interested in valuing these changes. Finally, we present a valuation template that integrates biophysical and economic models, links actions to changes in service provision and value estimates, and considers multiple sources of water quality-related ecosystem service values without double counting. PMID:23091018

  5. Linking Planning, Quality Improvement, and Institutional Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seymour, Daniel; Kelley, John M.; Jasinski, John

    2004-01-01

    External and internal forces are driving institutions not only to create departments and positions that specialize in planning, quality improvement, and institutional research but also to link them within a systems context.

  6. Linking Large-Scale Reading Assessments: Comment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hanushek, Eric A.

    2016-01-01

    E. A. Hanushek points out in this commentary that applied researchers in education have only recently begun to appreciate the value of international assessments, even though there are now 50 years of experience with these. Until recently, these assessments have been stand-alone surveys that have not been linked, and analysis has largely focused on…

  7. The Missing Link: Standards, Assessment, "and" Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisher, Douglas

    2005-01-01

    Over a two-year period, the teachers at John Adams Middle School wrote and administered eight common assessments across content areas and met to discuss the results of each. By linking standards, assessments, and instruction, teachers were able to identify areas of need for specific students and address those needs. Educators across the country…

  8. Improvements of HITS Algorithms for Spam Links

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Asano, Yasuhito; Tezuka, Yu; Nishizeki, Takao

    The HITS algorithm proposed by Kleinberg is one of the representative methods of scoring Web pages by using hyperlinks. In the days when the algorithm was proposed, most of the pages given high score by the algorithm were really related to a given topic, and hence the algorithm could be used to find related pages. However, the algorithm and the variants including Bharat's improved HITS, abbreviated to BHITS, proposed by Bharat and Henzinger cannot be used to find related pages any more on today's Web, due to an increase of spam links. In this paper, we first propose three methods to find “linkfarms,” that is, sets of spam links forming a densely connected subgraph of a Web graph. We then present an algorithm, called a trust-score algorithm, to give high scores to pages which are not spam pages with a high probability. Combining the three methods and the trust-score algorithm with BHITS, we obtain several variants of the HITS algorithm. We ascertain by experiments that one of them, named TaN+BHITS using the trust-score algorithm and the method of finding linkfarms by employing name servers, is most suitable for finding related pages on today's Web. Our algorithms take time and memory no more than those required by the original HITS algorithm, and can be executed on a PC with a small amount of main memory.

  9. An Accurate Link Correlation Estimator for Improving Wireless Protocol Performance

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Zhiwei; Xu, Xianghua; Dong, Wei; Bu, Jiajun

    2015-01-01

    Wireless link correlation has shown significant impact on the performance of various sensor network protocols. Many works have been devoted to exploiting link correlation for protocol improvements. However, the effectiveness of these designs heavily relies on the accuracy of link correlation measurement. In this paper, we investigate state-of-the-art link correlation measurement and analyze the limitations of existing works. We then propose a novel lightweight and accurate link correlation estimation (LACE) approach based on the reasoning of link correlation formation. LACE combines both long-term and short-term link behaviors for link correlation estimation. We implement LACE as a stand-alone interface in TinyOS and incorporate it into both routing and flooding protocols. Simulation and testbed results show that LACE: (1) achieves more accurate and lightweight link correlation measurements than the state-of-the-art work; and (2) greatly improves the performance of protocols exploiting link correlation. PMID:25686314

  10. An accurate link correlation estimator for improving wireless protocol performance.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Zhiwei; Xu, Xianghua; Dong, Wei; Bu, Jiajun

    2015-02-12

    Wireless link correlation has shown significant impact on the performance of various sensor network protocols. Many works have been devoted to exploiting link correlation for protocol improvements. However, the effectiveness of these designs heavily relies on the accuracy of link correlation measurement. In this paper, we investigate state-of-the-art link correlation measurement and analyze the limitations of existing works. We then propose a novel lightweight and accurate link correlation estimation (LACE) approach based on the reasoning of link correlation formation. LACE combines both long-term and short-term link behaviors for link correlation estimation. We implement LACE as a stand-alone interface in TinyOS and incorporate it into both routing and flooding protocols. Simulation and testbed results show that LACE: (1) achieves more accurate and lightweight link correlation measurements than the state-of-the-art work; and (2) greatly improves the performance of protocols exploiting link correlation.

  11. Improving personalized link prediction by hybrid diffusion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Jin-Hu; Zhu, Yu-Xiao; Zhou, Tao

    2016-04-01

    Inspired by traditional link prediction and to solve the problem of recommending friends in social networks, we introduce the personalized link prediction in this paper, in which each individual will get equal number of diversiform predictions. While the performances of many classical algorithms are not satisfactory under this framework, thus new algorithms are in urgent need. Motivated by previous researches in other fields, we generalize heat conduction process to the framework of personalized link prediction and find that this method outperforms many classical similarity-based algorithms, especially in the performance of diversity. In addition, we demonstrate that adding one ground node that is supposed to connect all the nodes in the system will greatly benefit the performance of heat conduction. Finally, better hybrid algorithms composed of local random walk and heat conduction have been proposed. Numerical results show that the hybrid algorithms can outperform other algorithms simultaneously in all four adopted metrics: AUC, precision, recall and hamming distance. In a word, this work may shed some light on the in-depth understanding of the effect of physical processes in personalized link prediction.

  12. Improving interdependent networks robustness by adding connectivity links

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ji, Xingpei; Wang, Bo; Liu, Dichen; Chen, Guo; Tang, Fei; Wei, Daqian; Tu, Lian

    2016-02-01

    Compared with a single and isolated network, interdependent networks have two types of links: connectivity link and dependency link. This paper aims to improve the robustness of interdependent networks by adding connectivity links. Firstly, interdependent networks failure model and four frequently used link addition strategies are briefly reviewed. Furthermore, by defining inter degree-degree difference, two novel link addition strategies are proposed. Finally, we verify the effectiveness of our proposed link addition strategies by comparing with the current link addition strategies in three different network models. The simulation results show that, given the number of added links, link allocation strategies have great effects on the robustness of interdependent networks, i.e., the double-network link allocation strategy is superior to single-network link allocation strategy. Link addition strategies proposed in this paper excel the current strategies, especially for BA interdependent networks. Moreover, our work can provide guidance on how to allocate limited resources to an existing interdependent networks system and optimize its topology to avoid the potential cascade failures.

  13. Writing Assessment for Program Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kocher, A. Thel

    1984-01-01

    The writing assessment program in the Cherry Creek, Colorado, schools is described. Writing assessments for students in grades three, six, eight, and 10 have been developed. A holistic approach is used by teachers in scoring these instruments. Improvement of students' essay-writing ability indicates the value of the assessment program. (DWH)

  14. Closing the Loop: Linking Planning and Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Middaugh, Michael F.

    2009-01-01

    Institutions often engage in elaborate assessment and planning processes that have little or no relationship to each other. Highly effective institutions are characterized by strategic planning activities that are intentionally informed by assessments of both student learning outcomes and the extent to which human and fiscal resources are being…

  15. Assessing and Improving Classroom Environment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thorp, Howard S.; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Describes a convenient and economical questionnaire that science teachers can use to assess their students' perceptions of classroom environment and reports a case study of a science teacher's successful use of this questionnaire in guiding improvements in his classroom environment. (16 references) (Author)

  16. Improving Explanatory Inferences from Assessments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Diakow, Ronli Phyllis

    2013-01-01

    This dissertation comprises three papers that propose, discuss, and illustrate models to make improved inferences about research questions regarding student achievement in education. Addressing the types of questions common in educational research today requires three different "extensions" to traditional educational assessment: (1)…

  17. Linking Assessment and Instruction Using Ontologies. CSE Technical Report 693

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chung, Gregory K. W. K.; Delacruz, Girlie C.; Dionne, Gary B.; Bewley, William L.

    2006-01-01

    In this study we report on a test of a method that uses ontologies to individualize instruction by directly linking assessment results to the delivery of relevant content. Our sample was 2nd Lieutenants undergoing entry-level training on rifle marksmanship. Ontologies are explicit expressions of the concepts in a domain, the links among the…

  18. Improving pandemic influenza risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Russell, Colin A; Kasson, Peter M; Donis, Ruben O; Riley, Steven; Dunbar, John; Rambaut, Andrew; Asher, Jason; Burke, Stephen; Davis, C Todd; Garten, Rebecca J; Gnanakaran, Sandrasegaram; Hay, Simon I; Herfst, Sander; Lewis, Nicola S; Lloyd-Smith, James O; Macken, Catherine A; Maurer-Stroh, Sebastian; Neuhaus, Elizabeth; Parrish, Colin R; Pepin, Kim M; Shepard, Samuel S; Smith, David L; Suarez, David L; Trock, Susan C; Widdowson, Marc-Alain; George, Dylan B; Lipsitch, Marc; Bloom, Jesse D

    2014-01-01

    Assessing the pandemic risk posed by specific non-human influenza A viruses is an important goal in public health research. As influenza virus genome sequencing becomes cheaper, faster, and more readily available, the ability to predict pandemic potential from sequence data could transform pandemic influenza risk assessment capabilities. However, the complexities of the relationships between virus genotype and phenotype make such predictions extremely difficult. The integration of experimental work, computational tool development, and analysis of evolutionary pathways, together with refinements to influenza surveillance, has the potential to transform our ability to assess the risks posed to humans by non-human influenza viruses and lead to improved pandemic preparedness and response. PMID:25321142

  19. Improving pandemic influenza risk assessment

    PubMed Central

    Russell, Colin A; Kasson, Peter M; Donis, Ruben O; Riley, Steven; Dunbar, John; Rambaut, Andrew; Asher, Jason; Burke, Stephen; Davis, C Todd; Garten, Rebecca J; Gnanakaran, Sandrasegaram; Hay, Simon I; Herfst, Sander; Lewis, Nicola S; Lloyd-Smith, James O; Macken, Catherine A; Maurer-Stroh, Sebastian; Neuhaus, Elizabeth; Parrish, Colin R; Pepin, Kim M; Shepard, Samuel S; Smith, David L; Suarez, David L; Trock, Susan C; Widdowson, Marc-Alain; George, Dylan B; Lipsitch, Marc; Bloom, Jesse D

    2014-01-01

    Assessing the pandemic risk posed by specific non-human influenza A viruses is an important goal in public health research. As influenza virus genome sequencing becomes cheaper, faster, and more readily available, the ability to predict pandemic potential from sequence data could transform pandemic influenza risk assessment capabilities. However, the complexities of the relationships between virus genotype and phenotype make such predictions extremely difficult. The integration of experimental work, computational tool development, and analysis of evolutionary pathways, together with refinements to influenza surveillance, has the potential to transform our ability to assess the risks posed to humans by non-human influenza viruses and lead to improved pandemic preparedness and response. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03883.001 PMID:25321142

  20. Investigating the Link between Learning Progressions and Classroom Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Furtak, Erin Marie; Morrison, Deb; Kroog, Heidi

    2014-01-01

    An increasing number of researchers are calling for learning progressions to be used as interpretive frameworks for teachers conducting classroom assessment. The argument posits that by linking classroom assessments to learning progressions, teachers will have better resources to interpret and take instructional action on the basis of what…

  1. Functional Assessment of Instructional Variables: Linking Assessment and Treatment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kodak, Tiffany; Fisher, Wayne W.; Clements, Andrea; Paden, Amber R.; Dickes, Nitasha R.

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of the present investigation was to refine and validate an assessment procedure to identify instructional variables influencing acquisition of conditional discriminations in children diagnosed with autism. An assessment was implemented with eleven individuals to identify the specific instructional variables influencing the individual's…

  2. Automobile accessories: Assessment and improvement

    SciTech Connect

    Jackson, M.

    1995-11-01

    With mandates and regulatory policies to meet both the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV), designing vehicles of the future will become a difficult task. As we look into the use of electric and hybrid vehicles, reduction of the required power demand by influential automobile components is necessary in order to obtain performance and range goals. Among those automobile components are accessories. Accessories have a profound impact on the range and mileage of future vehicles with limited amounts of energy or without power generating capabilities such as conventional vehicles. Careful assessment of major power consuming accessories helps us focus on those that need improvement and contributes to attainment of mileage and range goals for electric and hybrid vehicles.

  3. Improving Learning through Meta Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McDonald, Betty

    2010-01-01

    Meta assessment goes beyond assessment in that it examines not only the elements of assessment but also the necessary and sufficient conditions as well as the needs of the assessment. Meta assessment in education tends to be the domain of course designers, planners and policy makers but rarely that of students. This article examines the role of…

  4. Assessing country-level efforts to link research to action.

    PubMed Central

    Lavis, John N.; Lomas, Jonathan; Hamid, Maimunah; Sewankambo, Nelson K.

    2006-01-01

    We developed a framework for assessing country-level efforts to link research to action. The framework has four elements. The first element assesses the general climate (how those who fund research, universities, researchers and users of research support or place value on efforts to link research to action). The second element addresses the production of research (how priority setting ensures that users' needs are identified and how scoping reviews, systematic reviews and single studies are undertaken to address these needs). The third element addresses the mix of four clusters of activities used to link research to action. These include push efforts (how strategies are used to support action based on the messages arising from research), efforts to facilitate "user pull" (how "one-stop shopping" is provided for optimally packaged high-quality reviews either alone or as part of a national electronic library for health, how these reviews are profiled during "teachable moments" such as intense media coverage, and how rapid-response units meet users' needs for the best research), "user pull" efforts undertaken by those who use research (how users assess their capacity to use research and how structures and processes are changed to support the use of research) and exchange efforts (how meaningful partnerships between researchers and users help them to jointly ask and answer relevant questions). The fourth element addresses approaches to evaluation (how support is provided for rigorous evaluations of efforts to link research to action). PMID:16917649

  5. Linking National and International Educational Assessments: NAEP and TIMSS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahman, Taslima

    2013-03-01

    In an increasingly global economy, comparisons of student achievement in the United States to student achievement in other countries are of interest to the nation. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports on mathematics and science achievement of 4th- and 8th-grade students for the all U.S. states and 60 countries. However, the reports are based on two separate assessments. Results for the U.S. states are based on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and results for the other countries are based on the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). Further, unlike NAEP, TIMSS does not have an on-going state component. Thus, U.S. states cannot compare performance of their students with those of the students in other countries. To enable such comparisons, NCES launched a NAEP-TIMSS Linking study where the goal is to project TIMSS mathematics and science scores for the students in the 50 states that participated in NAEP. This linking study targeted eighth-grade students. NAEP assessments of mathematics and science were conducted in winter 2011 (January-March) and TIMSS assessments of mathematics and science were conducted in spring 2011 (April-June). Three approaches-- statistical moderation, calibration, and projection--are applied in linking the two scales. In this presentation, discussion will focus on the study design and approaches applied. In addition, results will be shared if released to the public by the NCES before March 2013. Otherwise results of earlier linking study conducted by the American Institutes for Research in 2007 using the statistical moderation technique will be shared.

  6. Parallel optics technology assessment for the versatile link project

    SciTech Connect

    Chramowicz, J.; Kwan, S.; Rivera, R.; Prosser, A.; /Fermilab

    2011-01-01

    This poster describes the assessment of commercially available and prototype parallel optics modules for possible use as back end components for the Versatile Link common project. The assessment covers SNAP12 transmitter and receiver modules as well as optical engine technologies in dense packaging options. Tests were performed using vendor evaluation boards (SNAP12) as well as custom evaluation boards (optical engines). The measurements obtained were used to compare the performance of these components with single channel SFP+ components operating at a transmission wavelength of 850 nm over multimode fibers.

  7. Assessing the weather monitoring capabilities of cellular microwave link networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fencl, Martin; Vrzba, Miroslav; Rieckermann, Jörg; Bareš, Vojtěch

    2016-04-01

    Using of microwave links for rainfall monitoring was suggested already by (Atlas and Ulbrich, 1977). However, this technique attracted broader attention of scientific community only in the recent decade, with the extensive growth of cellular microwave link (CML) networks, which form the backbone of today's cellular telecommunication infrastructure. Several studies have already shown that CMLs can be conveniently used as weather sensors and have potential to provide near-ground path-integrated observations of rainfall but also humidity or fog. However, although research is still focusing on algorithms to improve the weather sensing capabilities (Fencl et al., 2015), it is not clear how to convince cellular operators to provide the power levels of their network. One step in this direction is to show in which regions or municipalities the networks are sufficiently dense to provide/develop good services. In this contribution we suggest a standardized approach to evaluate CML networks in terms of rainfall observation and to identify suitable regions for CML rainfall monitoring. We estimate precision of single CML based on its sensitivity to rainfall, i.e. as a function of frequency, polarization and path length. Capability of a network to capture rainfall spatial patterns is estimated from the CML coverage and path lengths considering that single CML provides path-integrated rain rates. We also search for suitable predictors for regions where no network topologies are available. We test our approach on several European networks and discuss the results. Our results show that CMLs are very dense in urban areas (> 1 CML/km2), but less in rural areas (< 0.02 CML/km2). We found a strong correlation between a population and CML network density (e.g. R2 = 0.97 in Czech Republic), thus population could be a simple proxy to identify suitable regions for CML weather monitoring. To enable a simple and efficient assessment of the CML monitoring potential for any region worldwide

  8. Improving Mathematical Thinking through Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Har, Yeap Ban

    2010-01-01

    National tests, an influential assessment practice in many countries in East Asia, are often blamed as obstacles to good instructional practices. In this paper, the positive impact of assessment, national tests in particular, is discussed using the case of Singapore. The first part of the paper includes an analysis of items from the primary grade…

  9. Improving assessment with virtual patients.

    PubMed

    Round, Jonathan; Conradi, Emily; Poulton, Terry

    2009-08-01

    Assessments should accurately predict future performance in a wide variety of settings yet be feasible to conduct. In medical education a robust and comprehensive system of assessment is essential to protect the public from inadequate professionals. The parameters for devising such an assessment are well-defined, and good practice for writing examinations well-established. However even excellent written assessments are limited in their predictive validity, and limited in sampling, face and construct validity. The increasing availability and power of computing has led to growing interest in computer simulations for use in examinations, creating assessment virtual patients (AVPs). They can potentially test knowledge and data interpretation, incorporate images, sound or video and test decision making. Such AVPs could represent the most comprehensive, integrated assessment possible that is both objective and feasible. This article focuses on AVP design, distinguishing between linear and branched models, choice and consequence driven designs. It reviews the use of AVPs in the context of assessment theory. It presents different AVP designs discussing their benefits and problems. AVPs can become valuable components in high stakes medical exams, particularly in later years of courses. However this requires application of established assessment principles to AVP design. PMID:19811215

  10. Linking through Improved Design, Not Redefinition: Commentary on Newton

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Walker, Michael E.

    2010-01-01

    "Linking" is a term given to a general class of procedures by which one represents scores X on one test or measure in terms of scores Y on another test or measure. A recent taxonomy by Holland and Dorans (2006; Holland, 2007) organizes the various types of links into three broad categories: prediction, scale aligning, and equating. In his article…

  11. Assessment of cockpit interface concepts for data link retrofit

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mccauley, Hugh W.; Miles, William L.; Dwyer, John P.; Erickson, Jeffery B.

    1992-01-01

    The problem is examined of retrofitting older generation aircraft with data link capability. The approach taken analyzes requirements for the cockpit interface, based on review of prior research and opinions obtained from subject matter experts. With this background, essential functions and constraints for a retrofit installation are defined. After an assessment of the technology available to meet the functions and constraints, candidate design concepts are developed. The most promising design concept is described in detail. Finally, needs for further research and development are identified.

  12. Improving Writing: Resources, Strategies, Assessments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lenski, Susan Davis; Johns, Jerry L.

    Comprehensive and practical, this book provides resources, strategies, and assessments that seamlessly weave writing into everyday classroom routines. The resources in the book include reproducible student worksheets, transparency masters, teacher and student examples, and technology tips in the form of Web site addresses. Strategies throughout…

  13. Improving pandemic influenza risk assessment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Assessing the pandemic risk posed by specific non-human influenza A viruses remains a complex challenge. As influenza virus genome sequencing becomes cheaper, faster and more readily available, the ability to predict pandemic potential from sequence data could transform pandemic influenza risk asses...

  14. Enriching and improving the quality of linked data with GIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iwaniak, Adam; Kaczmarek, Iwona; Strzelecki, Marek; Lukowicz, Jaromar; Jankowski, Piotr

    2016-06-01

    Standardization of methods for data exchange in GIS has along history predating the creation of World Wide Web. The advent of World Wide Web brought the emergence of new solutions for data exchange and sharing including; more recently, standards proposed by the W3C for data exchange involving Semantic Web technologies and linked data. Despite the growing interest in integration, GIS and linked data are still two separate paradigms for describing and publishing spatial data on the Web. At the same time, both paradigms offer complementary ways of representing real world phenomena and means of analysis using different processing functions. The complementarity of linked data and GIS can be leveraged to synergize both paradigms resulting in richer data content and more powerful inferencing. The article presents an approach aimed at integrating linked data with GIS. The approach relies on the use of GIS tools for integration, verification and enrichment of linked data. The GIS tools are employed to enrich linked data by furnishing access to collection of data resources, defining relationship between data resources, and subsequently facilitating GIS data integration with linked data. The proposed approach is demonstrated with examples using data from DBpedia, OSM, and tools developed by the authors for standard GIS software.

  15. Combining Quark and Link Smearing to Improve Extended Baryon Operators

    SciTech Connect

    Adam Lichtl; Subhasish Basak; Robert Edwards; George T. Fleming; Urs M. Heller; Colin Morningstar; David Richards; Ikuro Sato; Stephen Wallace

    2005-09-29

    The effects of Gaussian quark-field smearing and analytic stout-link smearing on the correlations of gauge-invariant extended baryon operators are studied. Gaussian quark-field smearing substantially reduces contributions from the short wavelength modes of the theory, while stout-link smearing significantly reduces the noise from the stochastic evaluations. The use of gauge-link smearing is shown to be crucial for baryon operators constructed of covariantly-displaced quark fields. Preferred smearing parameters are determined for a lattice spacing a_s ~ 0.1 fm.

  16. Reflection: A Link between Receiving and Using Assessment Feedback

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sargeant, Joan M.; Mann, Karen V.; van der Vleuten, Cees P.; Metsemakers, Job F.

    2009-01-01

    Problem statement and background: Feedback is essential to learning and practice improvement, yet challenging both to provide and receive. The purpose of this paper was to explore reflective processes which physicians described as they considered their assessment feedback and the perceived utility of that reflective process. Methods: This is a…

  17. Orbiter fuel cell improvement assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, R. E.

    1981-01-01

    The history of fuel cells and the theory of fuel cells is given. Expressions for thermodynamic and electrical efficiencies are developed. The voltage losses due to electrode activation, ohmic resistance and ionic diffusion are discussed. Present limitations of the Orbiter Fuel Cell, as well as proposed enhancements, are given. These enhancements are then evaluated and recommendations are given for fuel cell enhancement both for short-range as well as long-range performance improvement. Estimates of reliability and cost savings are given for enhancements where possible.

  18. Assessing drug target association using semantic linked data.

    PubMed

    Chen, Bin; Ding, Ying; Wild, David J

    2012-01-01

    The rapidly increasing amount of public data in chemistry and biology provides new opportunities for large-scale data mining for drug discovery. Systematic integration of these heterogeneous sets and provision of algorithms to data mine the integrated sets would permit investigation of complex mechanisms of action of drugs. In this work we integrated and annotated data from public datasets relating to drugs, chemical compounds, protein targets, diseases, side effects and pathways, building a semantic linked network consisting of over 290,000 nodes and 720,000 edges. We developed a statistical model to assess the association of drug target pairs based on their relation with other linked objects. Validation experiments demonstrate the model can correctly identify known direct drug target pairs with high precision. Indirect drug target pairs (for example drugs which change gene expression level) are also identified but not as strongly as direct pairs. We further calculated the association scores for 157 drugs from 10 disease areas against 1683 human targets, and measured their similarity using a [Formula: see text] score matrix. The similarity network indicates that drugs from the same disease area tend to cluster together in ways that are not captured by structural similarity, with several potential new drug pairings being identified. This work thus provides a novel, validated alternative to existing drug target prediction algorithms. The web service is freely available at: http://chem2bio2rdf.org/slap.

  19. Improving Open Access through Prior Learning Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yin, Shuangxu; Kawachi, Paul

    2013-01-01

    This paper explores and presents new data on how to improve open access in distance education through using prior learning assessments. Broadly there are three types of prior learning assessment (PLAR): Type-1 for prospective students to be allowed to register for a course; Type-2 for current students to avoid duplicating work-load to gain…

  20. Improving Foreign Language Speaking through Formative Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tuttle, Harry Grover; Tuttle, Alan Robert

    2012-01-01

    Want a quick way to get your students happily conversing more in the target language? This practical book shows you how to use formative assessments to gain immediate and lasting improvement in your students' fluency. You'll learn how to: (1) Imbed the 3-minute formative assessment into every lesson with ease; (2) Engage students in peer formative…

  1. Solar Power Satellite (SPS) fiber optic link assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    A feasibility demonstration of a 980 MHz fiber optic link for the Solar Power Satellite (SPS) phase reference distribution system was accomplished. A dual fiber-optic link suitable for a phase distribution frequency of 980 MHz was built and tested. The major link components include single mode injection laser diodes, avalanche photodiodes, and multimode high bandwidth fibers. Signal throughput was demonstrated to be stable and of high quality in all cases. For a typical SPS link length of 200 meters, the transmitted phase at 980 MHz varies approximately 2.5 degrees for every deg C of fiber temperature change. This rate is acceptable because of the link length compensation feature of the phase control design.

  2. Cumulative impacts on wetlands: Linking scientific assessments and regulatory alternatives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Lyndon C.; Gosselink, James G.

    1988-09-01

    This article is an extension and application of Preston and Bedford (1988), especially as relevant to bottomland hardwood (BLH) forests of the southeastern United States. The most important cumulative effects in BLH forests result from incremental forest loss (nibbling) and from synergisms resulting from this nibbling. Present regulatory procedures are ineffective in preventing incremental forest loss because of the focus on permit site evaluation, rather than on large landscapes. Three examples are given to illustrate the need for a landscape focus. This perspective requires preplanning or goal-setting to establish the desired conditions to be maintained in the regulated landscape unit. Spatial and temporal scales are of particular concern for landscape impact assessment. Natural drainage basins of about 106 ha, as identified in U.S. Geological Survey hydrologic units, appear to appropriate spatial units: they have fairly natural boundaries, are of sufficient size to support populations of large, wide-ranging mammals, and are compatible with existing maps and databases. Time scales should be sufficiently long to include recovery of wetland ecosystems from human perturbations. In practice, available data sets limit analysis to no longer than 50 yr. Eight indicators of landscape integrity are identified, based on generally available long-term data sets. Linking technical information concerning cumulative effects on landscapes to the evaluation of cumulative impacts in regulatory programs (i.e., goal-setting) is a serious issue that can benefit from precedents found in the field of epidemiology, and in the establishment of clean air and clean water standards. We suggest that reference data sets must be developed, relating BLH function to structure (forest area). These can be used to set goals for individual watersheds, based on their present conditions and the magnitude and type of perceived development pressures. Thus the crucial steps in establishing a successful

  3. Improving cumulative effects assessment in Alberta: Regional strategic assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, Dallas Lalonde, Kim; McEachern, Menzie; Kenney, John; Mendoza, Gustavo; Buffin, Andrew; Rich, Kate

    2011-09-15

    The Government of Alberta, Canada is developing a regulatory framework to better manage cumulative environmental effects from development in the province. A key component of this effort is regional planning, which will lay the primary foundation for cumulative effects management into the future. Alberta Environment has considered the information needs of regional planning and has concluded that Regional Strategic Assessment may offer significant advantages if integrated into the planning process, including the overall improvement of cumulative environmental effects assessment in the province.

  4. Improvements in linked-spar motion-compensated lifting system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olsen, R. A.; Cuthbertson, R. A.

    1984-10-01

    An improved system for operating a lifting cable over the side of a ship at sea in which a spar buoy having an adjustable lifting capacity is coupled to the shop by a rigid linkage which is free to pivot on an axis attached to the ship deck, and operates to decouple the motion of the ship from lifting cable. The spar buoy is attached to a gimbal sheave assembly having a disengageable connector and tension line for drawing the connector into engagement with a mating socket at the outward end of a linkage boom. A narrow upper section of the spar buoy is provided with a plurality of vertical tubes and valves which by flooding or evacuation operate to vary the effective water plane area of the buoy for continual fine tuning and optimally adjusting of its natural heave mode characteristic frequency.

  5. Linking quality improvement and energy efficiency/waste reduction

    SciTech Connect

    Lewis, R.E.; Moore, N.L.

    1995-04-01

    For some time industry has recognized the importance of both energy efficiency/waste reduction (ee/wr) and quality/manufacturing improvement. However, industry has not particularly recognized that manufacturing efficiency is, in part, the result of a more efficient use of energy. For that reason, the energy efficiency efforts of most companies have involved admonishing employees to save energy. Few organizations have invested resources in training programs aimed at increasing energy efficiency and reducing waste. This describes a program to demonstrate how existing utility and government training and incentive programs can be leveraged to increase ee/wr and benefit both industry and consumers. Fortunately, there are a variety of training tools and resources that can be applied to educating workers on the benefits of energy efficiency and waste reduction. What is lacking is a method of integrating ee/wr training with other important organizational needs. The key, therefore, is to leverage ee/wr investments with other organizational improvement programs. There are significant strides to be made by training industry to recognize fully the contribution that energy efficiency gains make to the bottom line. The federal government stands in the unique position of being able to leverage the investments already made by states, utilities, and manufacturing associations by coordinating training programs and defining the contribution of energy-efficiency practices. These aims can be accomplished by: developing better measures of energy efficiency and waste reduction; promoting methods of leveraging manufacturing efficiency programs with energy efficiency concepts; helping industry understand how ee/wr investments can increase profits; promoting research on the needs of, and most effective ways to, reach the small and medium-sized businesses that so often lack the time, information, and finances to effectively use the hardware and training technologies available.

  6. Assessing Institutional Ineffectiveness: A Strategy for Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cameron, Kim S.

    1984-01-01

    Based on the theory that institutional change and improvement are motivated more by knowledge of problems than by knowledge of successes, a fault tree analysis technique using Boolean logic for assessing institutional ineffectiveness by determining weaknesses in the system is presented. Advantages and disadvantages of focusing on weakness rather…

  7. Maryland School Assessment Results Continue to Improve

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Maryland State Department of Education, 2009

    2009-01-01

    The Maryland School Assessment (MSA) is administered annually to students in grades 3-8 in reading and math. MSA data are used to meet federal No Child Let Behind (NCLB) requirements. This paper presents how Maryland students' reading and mathematics MSA scores continued to improve in 2009, and the achievement gaps among special services and…

  8. Assessing the potential of using telecommunication microwave links in urban drainage modelling.

    PubMed

    Fencl, M; Rieckermann, J; Schleiss, M; Stránský, D; Bareš, V

    2013-01-01

    The ability to predict the runoff response of an urban catchment to rainfall is crucial for managing drainage systems effectively and controlling discharges from urban areas. In this paper we assess the potential of commercial microwave links (MWL) to capture the spatio-temporal rainfall dynamics and thus improve urban rainfall-runoff modelling. Specifically, we perform numerical experiments with virtual rainfall fields and compare the results of MWL rainfall reconstructions to those of rain gauge (RG) observations. In a case study, we are able to show that MWL networks in urban areas are sufficiently dense to provide good information on spatio-temporal rainfall variability and can thus considerably improve pipe flow prediction, even in small subcatchments. In addition, the better spatial coverage also improves the control of discharges from urban areas. This is especially beneficial for heavy rainfall, which usually has a high spatial variability that cannot be accurately captured by RG point measurements.

  9. Inpatient Falls: Improving assessment, documentation, and management.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Eleanor; Reynolds, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    A frequently occurring job during on-call and out-of-hours shifts is reviewing a patient following a fall with this often being the responsibility of the most junior and inexperienced doctors. Following a pilot audit we identified inconsistencies in medical assessment and documentation, with 50% of expected data points not recorded. Failure to complete a thorough assessment can lead to missed injuries, prolonged length of stay, and litigation. Using the plan, do, study, act (PDSA) cycle model this project sought to address this through providing teaching to junior doctors and the development of a pro-forma. Three style cycles of data collection were performed; a formal baseline dataset, after delivering a teaching session to new junior doctors and following the trial of the new fall pro-forma. We selected 15 to 17 patient notes to review at random during a one month period for each data collection cycle and compared the medical assessment to the standards outlined by the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) guidelines.[1] There were two key areas of improvement identified following the teaching session and introduction of the proforma. Documentation of a fall history was improved by nearly 30% being recorded in 100% of cases after the interventions. Documentation of a thorough musculoskeletal examination was improved from being recorded in just 54% of cases to 77% of cases; it was recorded in 100% of the cases where the proforma was used. The project demonstrated the need to improve documentation and assessment of a patient who has fallen. Initial data collection has shown that assessment and documentation were improved providing teaching to junior doctors and by use of the document. The pro-forma has since been incorporated into hospital policy and now forms the compulsory documentation expected of the doctors and nurses managing patients following a fall. Ensuring easy access to the proforma and re-auditing after editing the document will be the next steps. PMID

  10. Assessing the Falsifiability of Extreme Linking. Research Report. ETS RR-11-04

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Middleton, Kyndra; Dorans, Neil J.

    2011-01-01

    Extreme linkings are performed in settings in which neither equivalent groups nor anchor material is available to link scores on two assessments. Examples of extreme linkages include links between scores on tests administered in different languages or between scores on tests administered across disability groups. The strength of interpretation…

  11. Probabilistic method to assess insulating link performance for protection of crane workers

    SciTech Connect

    Karady, G.G.; Shah, M.; Dumora, D.

    1996-01-01

    Contact between cranes and transmission lines is the most frequent cause of accidents, which may lead to electrocution of an operator or rigger. This accident can be prevented by inserting an insulating link in the crane`s cable. This paper analyzes currents during accidents and proposes a modified test method for contaminated insulating links. A new and better insulating link is also introduced. Flashover probability of contaminated insulator links is measured. The tests results are evaluated with a new probabilistic method which leads to better assessment of link efficiency. The paper concludes that the risk of link failure cannot be determined without the new flashover probability measurement.

  12. Assessing the threat of firearms: new threat formula, resources, and ontological linking algorithms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hempelmann, Christian F.; Arslan, Abdullah N.; Attardo, Salvatore; Blount, Grady P.; Sirakov, Nikolay Metodiev

    2014-06-01

    The present work is part of an ongoing larger project.2, 3, 11, 12 The goal of this project is to develop a system capable of automatic threat assessment for instances of firearms use in public places. The main components of the system are: an ontology of firearms;1, 14 algorithms to create the visual footprint of the firearms,1, 14 to compare visual information,2, 3, 11, 12 to facilitate search in the ontology, and to generate the links between the conceptual and visual ontologies; as well as a formula to calculate the threat of individual firearms, firearms classes, and ammunition types in different environments. One part of the dual-level ontology for the properties of the firearms captures key visual features used to identify their type or class in images, while the other part captures their threat-relevant conceptual properties. The visual ontology is the result of image segmentation and matching methods, while the conceptual ontology is designed using knowledge-engineering principles and populated semi-automatically from Web resources. The focus of the present paper is two-fold. On the one hand, we will report on an update of the initial threat formula, based on the substantially increased population of the firearm ontology, including ammunition types and comparisons to actual incidents, and allowing for an overall more accurate assessment. On the other hand, the linking algorithms between the visual and conceptual ontologies are elaborated for faster transfer of information leading to an improvement in accuracy of the threat assessment.

  13. Cross-linked chitosan improves the mechanical properties of calcium phosphate-chitosan cement

    PubMed Central

    Aryaei, Ashkan; Liu, Jason; Jayatissa, Ahalapitiya. H.; Jayasuriya, A. Champa

    2015-01-01

    Calcium phosphate (CaP) cements are highly applicable and valuable materials for filling bone defects by minimally invasive procedures. Chitosan (CS) biopolymer is also considered as one of the promising biomaterial candidates in bone tissue engineering. In the present study, some key features of CaP-CS were significantly improved by developing a novel CaP-CS composite. For this purpose, CS was the first cross-linked with tripolyphosphate (TPP) and then mixed with CaP matrix. A group of CaP-CS samples without cross-linking was also prepared. Samples were fabricated and tested based on the known standards. Additionally, the effect of different powder (P) to liquid (L) ratios was also investigated. Both cross-linked and uncross-linked CaP-CS samples showed excellent washout resistance. The most significant effects were observed on Young's modulus and compressive strength in wet condition as well as surface hardness. In dry conditions, the Young's modulus of cross-linked samples were slightly improved. Based on the presented results, cross-linking does not have significant effect on porosity. As expected, by increasing the P/L ratio of sample, ductility and injectabilty were decreased. However, in the most cases, mechanical properties were enhanced. The results have shown that cross-linking can be improved the mechanical properties of CaP-CS and hence it can be used for bone tissue engineering applications. PMID:26046262

  14. Assessing and Improving Student Organizations: Student Workbook. The Assessing and Improving Student Organization (AISO) Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nolfi, Tricia; Ruben, Brent D.

    2010-01-01

    This "Workbook" is intended for student participants during the AISO (Assessing and Improving Student Organization) assessment and planning sessions, and to be used in tandem with the "Guide for Students". Each page presents an action or reflection slide from the "Guide" with a space below for participants to note their own ideas, outcomes of…

  15. The Link between Accountability and Improvement: The Case of Reporting to Parents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Viviane; Timperley, Helen

    2000-01-01

    Discusses conditions under which educational accountability might prompt academic improvement, critiquing the logic linking the two; identifying processes influencing the validity of accountability judgment, acceptance of judgment, and probability that it motivates improvement; and analyzing 12 New Zealand primary schools' methods of informing…

  16. Scaling, Linking, and Reporting in a Periodic Assessment System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mislevy, Robert J.; Zwick, Rebecca

    2012-01-01

    A new entry in the testing lexicon is through-course summative assessment, a system consisting of components administered periodically during the academic year. As defined in the Race to the Top program, these assessments are intended to yield a yearly summative score for accountability purposes. They must provide for both individual and group…

  17. Linking the Alaska AMP Assessments to NWEA MAP Tests

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Northwest Evaluation Association, 2016

    2016-01-01

    Northwest Evaluation Association™ (NWEA™) is committed to providing partners with useful tools to help make inferences from the Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) interim assessment scores. One important tool is the concordance table between MAP and state summative assessments. Concordance tables have been used for decades to relate scores on…

  18. Understanding Student Voices about Assessment: Links to Learning and Motivation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McMillan, James H.; Turner, Amanda B.

    2014-01-01

    This qualitative study examined elementary and middle school students' perceptions of assessment. Individual interviews were conducted with 64 students, with questions focused on their emotional reactions and thinking about classroom and large-scale assessment as related to goal orientation, self-regulation, attributions, and self-efficacy.…

  19. Improving environmental risk assessment of human pharmaceuticals.

    PubMed

    Ågerstrand, Marlene; Berg, Cecilia; Björlenius, Berndt; Breitholtz, Magnus; Brunström, Björn; Fick, Jerker; Gunnarsson, Lina; Larsson, D G Joakim; Sumpter, John P; Tysklind, Mats; Rudén, Christina

    2015-05-01

    This paper presents 10 recommendations for improving the European Medicines Agency's guidance for environmental risk assessment of human pharmaceutical products. The recommendations are based on up-to-date, available science in combination with experiences from other chemical frameworks such as the REACH-legislation for industrial chemicals. The recommendations concern: expanding the scope of the current guideline; requirements to assess the risk for development of antibiotic resistance; jointly performed assessments; refinement of the test proposal; mixture toxicity assessments on active pharmaceutical ingredients with similar modes of action; use of all available ecotoxicity studies; mandatory reviews; increased transparency; inclusion of emission data from production; and a risk management option. We believe that implementation of our recommendations would strengthen the protection of the environment and be beneficial to society. Legislation and guidance documents need to be updated at regular intervals in order to incorporate new knowledge from the scientific community. This is particularly important for regulatory documents concerning pharmaceuticals in the environment since this is a research field that has been growing substantially in the last decades.

  20. Click Cross-Linking-Improved Waterborne Polymers for Environment-Friendly Coatings and Adhesives.

    PubMed

    Hu, Jianqing; Peng, Kaimei; Guo, Jinshan; Shan, Dingying; Kim, Gloria B; Li, Qiyao; Gerhard, Ethan; Zhu, Liang; Tu, Weiping; Lv, Weizhong; Hickner, Michael A; Yang, Jian

    2016-07-13

    Waterborne polymers, including waterborne polyurethanes (WPU), polyester dispersions (PED), and polyacrylate emulsions (PAE), are employed as environmentally friendly water-based coatings and adhesives. An efficient, fast, stable, and safe cross-linking strategy is always desirable to impart waterborne polymers with improved mechanical properties and water/solvent/thermal and abrasion resistance. For the first time, click chemistry was introduced into waterborne polymer systems as a cross-linking strategy. Click cross-linking rendered waterborne polymer films with significantly improved tensile strength, hardness, adhesion strength, and water/solvent resistance compared to traditional waterborne polymer films. For example, click cross-linked WPU (WPU-click) has dramatically improved the mechanical strength (tensile strength increased from 0.43 to 6.47 MPa, and Young's modulus increased from 3 to 40 MPa), hardness (increased from 59 to 73.1 MPa), and water resistance (water absorption percentage dropped from 200% to less than 20%); click cross-linked PED (PED-click) film also possessed more than 3 times higher tensile strength (∼28 MPa) than that of normal PED (∼8 MPa). The adhesion strength of click cross-linked PAE (PAE-click) to polypropylene (PP) was also improved (from 3 to 5.5 MPa). In addition, extra click groups can be preserved after click cross-linking for further functionalization of the waterborne polymeric coatings/adhesives. In this work, we have demonstrated that click modification could serve as a convenient and powerful approach to significantly improve the performance of a variety of traditional coatings and adhesives. PMID:27326894

  1. Modeling and Representing National Climate Assessment Information using Linked Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, J.; Tilmes, C.; Smith, A.; Zednik, S.; Fox, P. A.

    2012-12-01

    Every four years, earth scientists work together on a National Climate Assessment (NCA) report which integrates, evaluates, and interprets the findings of climate change and impacts on affected industries such as agriculture, natural environment, energy production and use, etc. Given the amount of information presented in each report, and the wide range of information sources and topics, it can be difficult for users to find and identify desired information. To ease the user effort of information discovery, well-structured metadata is needed that describes the report's key statements and conclusions and provide for traceable provenance of data sources used. We present an assessment ontology developed to describe terms, concepts and relations required for the NCA metadata. Wherever possible, the assessment ontology reuses terms from well-known ontologies such as Semantic Web for Earth and Environmental Terminology (SWEET) ontology, Dublin Core (DC) vocabulary. We have generated sample National Climate Assessment metadata conforming to our assessment ontology and publicly exposed via a SPARQL-endpoint and website. We have also modeled provenance information for the NCA writing activities using the W3C recommendation-candidate PROV-O ontology. Using this provenance the user will be able to trace the sources of information used in the assessment and therefore make trust decisions. In the future, we are planning to implement a faceted browser over the metadata to enhance metadata traversal and information discovery.

  2. Linking PARCC and MAP Assessments for Students in Montgomery County Public Schools. Applied Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Helen Y.; Zhao, Huafang; Addison, Kecia L.

    2016-01-01

    The Office of Shared Accountability (OSA) in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) conducted a linking study to examine the relationship of the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment with the Common Core Consortia Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment in the 2014-2015 school year. This is the…

  3. Linking the Virginia SOL Assessments to NWEA MAP Tests

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Northwest Evaluation Association, 2016

    2016-01-01

    Northwest Evaluation Association™ (NWEA™) is committed to providing partners with useful tools to help make inferences from the Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) interim assessment scores. Recently, NWEA completed a concordance study to connect the scales of the Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) reading and math tests with those of the MAP…

  4. Teachable Moments: Linking Assessment and Teaching in Talk around Writing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Glasswell, Kathryn; Parr, Judy M.

    2009-01-01

    Traditionally, assessing student writing ability has often been product-focused. Advocates of child-centered process-oriented classrooms, however, suggest that teachers should also focus on understanding children's writing behaviors in the context of meaningful communicative tasks. In such an approach, writing conferences are one way in which…

  5. Idea Generation in Student Writing: Computational Assessments and Links to Successful Writing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crossley, Scott A.; Muldner, Kasia; McNamara, Danielle S.

    2016-01-01

    Idea generation is an important component of most major theories of writing. However, few studies have linked idea generation in writing samples to assessments of writing quality or examined links between linguistic features in a text and idea generation. This study uses human ratings of idea generation, such as "idea fluency, idea…

  6. Improving Academic Program Assessment: A Mixed Methods Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rodgers, Megan; Grays, Makayla P.; Fulcher, Keston H.; Jurich, Daniel P.

    2013-01-01

    Starting with the premise that better assessment leads to more informed decisions about student learning, we investigated the factors that lead to assessment improvement. We used "meta-assessment" (i.e., evaluating the assessment process) to identify academic programs in which the assessment process had improved over a two-year period.…

  7. Caries assessment: establishing mathematical link of clinical and benchtop method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amaechi, Bennett T.

    2009-02-01

    It is well established that the development of new technologies for early detection and quantitative monitoring of dental caries at its early stage could provide health and economic benefits ranging from timely preventive interventions to reduction of the time required for clinical trials of anti-caries agents. However, the new technologies currently used in clinical setting cannot assess and monitor caries using the actual mineral concentration within the lesion, while a laboratory-based microcomputed tomography (MCT) has been shown to possess this capability. Thus we envision the establishment of mathematical equations relating the measurements of each of the clinical technologies to that of MCT will enable the mineral concentration of lesions detected and assessed in clinical practice to be extrapolated from the equation, and this will facilitate preventitive care in dentistry to lower treatment cost. We utilize MCT and the two prominent clinical caries assessment devices (Quantitative Light-induced Fluorescence [QLF] and Diagnodent) to longitudinally monitor the development of caries in a continuous flow mixed-organisms biofilm model (artificial mouth), and then used the collected data to establish mathematical equation relating the measurements of each of the clinical technologies to that of MCT. A linear correlation was observed between the measurements of MicroCT and that of QLF and Diagnodent. Thus mineral density in a carious lesion detected and measured using QLF or Diagnodent can be extrapolated using the developed equation. This highlights the usefulness of MCT for monitoring the progress of an early caries being treated with therapeutic agents in clinical practice or trials.

  8. Learning from Leadership: Investigating the Links to Improved Student Learning. The Informed Educator Series

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wahlstrom, Kyla L.; Louis, Karen Seashore; Leithwood, Kenneth; Anderson, Stephen E.

    2010-01-01

    In a recent 334-page report, "Investigating the Links to Improved Student Learning," authors Kyla Walstrom, Karen Seashore Louis, Kenneth Leithwood, and Stephen Anderson discuss findings from the Learning from Leadership study. This study was designed to identify and describe successful educational leadership and to explain how such leadership at…

  9. Highly conductive carbon nanotube buckypapers with improved doping stability via conjugational cross-linking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, I.-Wen Peter; Liang, Richard; Zhao, Haibo; Wang, Ben; Zhang, Chuck

    2011-12-01

    Carbon nanotube (CNT) sheets or buckypapers have demonstrated promising electrical conductivity and mechanical performance. However, their electrical conductivity is still far below the requirements for engineering applications, such as using as a substitute for copper mesh, which is currently used in composite aircraft structures for lightning strike protection. In this study, different CNT buckypapers were stretched to increase their alignment, and then subjected to conjugational cross-linking via chemical functionalization. The conjugationally cross-linked buckypapers (CCL-BPs) demonstrated higher electrical conductivity of up to 6200 S cm - 1, which is more than one order increase compared to the pristine buckypapers. The CCL-BPs also showed excellent doping stability in over 300 h in atmosphere and were resistant to degradation at elevated temperatures. The tensile strength of the stretched CCL-BPs reached 220 MPa, which is about three times that of pristine buckypapers. We attribute these property improvements to the effective and stable conjugational cross-links of CNTs, which can simultaneously improve the electrical conductivity, doping stability and mechanical properties. Specifically, the electrical conductivity increase resulted from improving the CNT alignment and inter-tube electron transport capability. The conjugational cross-links provide effective 3D conductive paths to increase the mobility of electrons among individual nanotubes. The stable covalent bonding also enhances the thermal stability and load transfer. The significant electrical and mechanical property improvement renders buckypaper a multifunctional material for various applications, such as conducting composites, battery electrodes, capacitors, etc.

  10. Avalanche risk assessment for the link Osh - Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nazarkulova, Kydyr

    2015-04-01

    The Bishkek-Osh road is main North-South ground transportation connection between the two major cities of Kyrgyzstan. One of the causes for frequent interruptions and closures between November and May is the avalanche risk due to local terrain characteristics and orographically induced precipitation maxima during winter. As a first step towards more effective prediction and implementation of mitigating measures the development of a digital avalanche inventory ('avalanche cadastre') has been initiated. This is aiming at modeling regional risk, and prioritizes the implementation of protective infrastructures in the most avalanche-prone zones. In addition, this helps with continuous monitoring of avalanche behaviour and the assessment of potential influence of climate change. For the parameterisation of models and support of decisions, details about avalanche incidences need to be collected. Historical data collected during Soviet time serve as an important baseline, complemented by more recent data. Overall, developing such a geo database shall be useful and effective for future planning at the Ministry of Emergency Services. This paper demonstrates important parameters to be collected and critical role of historical data as a baseline. Geodatabases are being developed on ArcGIS and used locally for planning preventive measures.

  11. Improve Assessment Literacy Outside of Schools Too

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stiggins, Rick

    2014-01-01

    Educators need to become more assessment literate. When they do, they will be able to use assessments better to guide their teaching and communicate their expectations and results with students and the broader education stakeholders and audiences.

  12. Improving Initial Assessment: Guide to Good Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knasel, Eddy; Meed, John; Rossetti, Anna; Read, Hilary

    2006-01-01

    This guide is aimed at anyone in work-based training who is responsible for learners during their first few weeks. Readers will (1) understand the value and purpose of initial assessment in key skills and Skills for Life; (2) become familiar with a range of techniques for the initial assessment; (3) plan an initial assessment system that is…

  13. Microwave photonic link with improved phase noise using a balanced detection scheme

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Jingjing; Gu, Yiying; Tan, Wengang; Zhu, Wenwu; Wang, Linghua; Zhao, Mingshan

    2016-07-01

    A microwave photonic link (MPL) with improved phase noise performance using a dual output Mach-Zehnder modulator (DP-MZM) and balanced detection is proposed and experimentally demonstrated. The fundamental concept of the approach is based on the two complementary outputs of DP-MZM and the destructive combination of the photocurrent in balanced photodetector (BPD). Theoretical analysis is performed to numerical evaluate the additive phase noise performance and shows a good agreement with the experiment. Experimental results are presented for 4 GHz, 8 GHz and 12 GHz transmission link and an 11 dB improvement of phase noise performance at 10 MHz offset is achieved compared to the conventional intensity-modulation and direct-detection (IMDD) MPL.

  14. Benchmark Assessment for Improved Learning. AACC Report

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herman, Joan L.; Osmundson, Ellen; Dietel, Ronald

    2010-01-01

    This report describes the purposes of benchmark assessments and provides recommendations for selecting and using benchmark assessments--addressing validity, alignment, reliability, fairness and bias and accessibility, instructional sensitivity, utility, and reporting issues. We also present recommendations on building capacity to support schools'…

  15. Improving Qualitative Assessment in Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Russell, Chad W.

    2013-01-01

    This dissertation considers in turn the role education plays in civil, democratic society; the role assessment plays in education; and the role theoretical constructs and cultural contexts play in assessment. Then, through literature review, document analysis, and interviews, the analysis investigates, identifies, and recommends…

  16. Implementation. Improving caries detection, assessment, diagnosis and monitoring.

    PubMed

    Pitts, N B

    2009-01-01

    This chapter deals with improving the detection, assessment, diagnosis and monitoring of caries to ensure optimal personalized caries management. This can be achieved by delivering what we have (synthesized evidence and international consensus) better and more consistently, as well as driving research and innovation in the areas where we need them. There is a need to better understand the interrelated pieces of the jigsaw that makes up evidence-based dentistry, i.e. the linkages between (a) research and synthesis, (b) dissemination of research results and (c) the implementation of research findings which should ensure that research findings change practice at the clinician-patient level. The current situation is outlined; it is at the implementation step where preventive caries control seems to have failed in some countries but not others. Opportunities for implementation include: capitalizing on the World Health Organization's global policy for improvement of oral health, which sets out an action plan for health promotion and integrated disease prevention; utilizing the developments around the International Caries Detection and Assessment System wardrobe of options and e-learning; building on initiatives from the International Dental Federation and the American Dental Association and linking these to patients' preferences, the wider moves to wellbeing and health maintenance. Challenges for implementation include the slow pace of evolution around dental remuneration systems and some groups of dentists failing to embrace clinical prevention. In the future, implementation of current and developing evidence should be accompanied by research into getting research findings into routine practice, with impacts on the behaviour of patients, professionals and policy makers.

  17. Making effective links to decision-making: Key challenges for health impact assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Elliott, Eva . E-mail: elliotte@cf.ac.uk; Francis, Sarah

    2005-10-15

    This paper draws on an exploratory research study to examine the effectiveness of health impact assessments in Wales. Through the review of five case study health impact assessments the research identified a number of benefits of the process in terms of skills and knowledge development amongst participants. The indirect contributions to decision-making were also evident including the way in which health impact assessment provided useful insights into the local community's perspective and raised awareness about the wider determinants of health. The process was also useful in establishing a dialogue between different stakeholders, which indirectly assisted decision-making and implementation. The direct links between health impact assessment and decision-making were more difficult to trace and this paper puts forward a number of suggestions for making those links more transparent. Suggestions include integrating decision-makers and clarifying the intended links to decision-making at the start of the health impact assessment process. Mainstreaming health impact assessment so that it is triggered as a routine part of all decision-making would help ensure it stands the best chance of informing decisions.

  18. Improving patient flow in pre-operative assessment

    PubMed Central

    Stark, Cameron; Gent, Anne; Kirkland, Linda

    2015-01-01

    Annual patient attendances at a pre-operative assessment department increased by 24.8% from 5659 in 2009, to 7062 in 2012. The unit was staffed by administrative staff, nurses, and health care assistants (HCA). Medical review was accessed via on call medical staff, or notes were sent to anaesthetists for further review. With rising demand, patient waits increased. The average lead time for a patient (time from entering the department to leaving) was 79 minutes. 9.3% of patients attended within two weeks of their scheduled surgery date. 10% of patients were asked to return on a later day, as there was not sufficient capacity to undertake their assessment. There were nine routes of referral in to the department. Patients moved between different clinic rooms and the waiting area several times. Work patterns were uneven, as many attendances were from out-patient clinics which meant peak attendance times were linked to clinic times. There were substantial differences in the approaches of different nurses, making the HCA role difficult. Patients reported dissatisfaction with waits. Using a Lean quality improvement process with rapid PDSA cycles, the service changed to one in which patients were placed in a room, and remained there for the duration of their assessment. Standard work was developed for HCWs and nurses. Rooms were standardised using 5S processes, and set up improved to reduce time spent looking for supplies. A co-ordinator role was introduced using existing staff to monitor flow and to organise the required medical assessments and ECGs. Timing of booked appointments were altered to take account of clinic times. Routes in to the department were reduced from nine to one. Ten months after the work began, the average lead time had reduced to 59 minutes. The proportion of people attending within two weeks of their surgery decreased from 9.3% to 5.3%. Referrals for an anaesthetic opinion decreased from 30% to 20%, and in the month reviewed no one had to return to

  19. Improving patient flow in pre-operative assessment.

    PubMed

    Stark, Cameron; Gent, Anne; Kirkland, Linda

    2015-01-01

    Annual patient attendances at a pre-operative assessment department increased by 24.8% from 5659 in 2009, to 7062 in 2012. The unit was staffed by administrative staff, nurses, and health care assistants (HCA). Medical review was accessed via on call medical staff, or notes were sent to anaesthetists for further review. With rising demand, patient waits increased. The average lead time for a patient (time from entering the department to leaving) was 79 minutes. 9.3% of patients attended within two weeks of their scheduled surgery date. 10% of patients were asked to return on a later day, as there was not sufficient capacity to undertake their assessment. There were nine routes of referral in to the department. Patients moved between different clinic rooms and the waiting area several times. Work patterns were uneven, as many attendances were from out-patient clinics which meant peak attendance times were linked to clinic times. There were substantial differences in the approaches of different nurses, making the HCA role difficult. Patients reported dissatisfaction with waits. Using a Lean quality improvement process with rapid PDSA cycles, the service changed to one in which patients were placed in a room, and remained there for the duration of their assessment. Standard work was developed for HCWs and nurses. Rooms were standardised using 5S processes, and set up improved to reduce time spent looking for supplies. A co-ordinator role was introduced using existing staff to monitor flow and to organise the required medical assessments and ECGs. Timing of booked appointments were altered to take account of clinic times. Routes in to the department were reduced from nine to one. Ten months after the work began, the average lead time had reduced to 59 minutes. The proportion of people attending within two weeks of their surgery decreased from 9.3% to 5.3%. Referrals for an anaesthetic opinion decreased from 30% to 20%, and in the month reviewed no one had to return to

  20. Formative Assessment Probes: Big and Small Seeds. Linking Formative Assessment Probes to the Scientific Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keeley, Page

    2016-01-01

    This column focuses on promoting learning through assessment. Formative assessment probes are designed to uncover students' ideas about objects, events, and processes in the natural world. This assessment information is then used throughout instruction to move students toward an understanding of the scientific ideas behind the probes. During the…

  1. Improving consideration of biodiversity in NEPA assessments

    SciTech Connect

    Hirsch, A. )

    1993-01-01

    Loss of biological diversity is a major national, as well as global, environmental problem. Several federal agencies have begun to develop strategies to conserve biodiversity, but most agencies have not done so. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) can play an important role in assessing losses and identifying mitigating measures. In most cases, environmental impact assessments have addressed components of biodiversity, such as endangered species, rather than provided the more comprehensive assessments that will be required over the long run. Strategies to conserve biodiversity must be developed on a regional, landscape, or ecosystem scale, taking into account cumulative effects of development. Such strategies can also provide the framework for project-specific NEPA assessments. Progress in applying the pragmatic methods, techniques, and strategies that are now emerging will be limited by the recognition and priority agencies are willing to assign to biodiversity conservation in their programs. Despite current efforts, a more specific legislative mandate probably will be needed to assure adequate action to minimize losses of biological resources.

  2. Oral Assessments: Improving Retention, Grades, and Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Mary A.

    2011-01-01

    This article reports on an innovative approach to teaching Calculus I which was initiated in a two-semester course designed for students at risk of failing Calculus I. The treatment consisted of voluntary oral assessments offered before every written examination. Analyses showed that the treatment students did significantly better than the control…

  3. Using Assessment as a Basis for Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harms, Thelma

    2009-01-01

    Improving the quality of early childhood programs has become a public policy priority, not only in the United States but also in Canada, Europe, and Asia. As programs are given increasing amounts of public funds, more systematic oversight of program quality is being required. Because many of these programs are conducted under various auspices in a…

  4. Improving Flood Damage Assessment Models in Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amadio, M.; Mysiak, J.; Carrera, L.; Koks, E.

    2015-12-01

    The use of Stage-Damage Curve (SDC) models is prevalent in ex-ante assessments of flood risk. To assess the potential damage of a flood event, SDCs describe a relation between water depth and the associated potential economic damage over land use. This relation is normally developed and calibrated through site-specific analysis based on ex-post damage observations. In some cases (e.g. Italy) SDCs are transferred from other countries, undermining the accuracy and reliability of simulation results. Against this background, we developed a refined SDC model for Northern Italy, underpinned by damage compensation records from a recent flood event. Our analysis considers both damage to physical assets and production losses from business interruptions. While the first is calculated based on land use information, production losses are measured through the spatial distribution of Gross Value Added (GVA). An additional component of the model assesses crop-specific agricultural losses as a function of flood seasonality. Our results show an overestimation of asset damage from non-calibrated SDC values up to a factor of 4.5 for tested land use categories. Furthermore, we estimate that production losses amount to around 6 per cent of the annual GVA. Also, maximum yield losses are less than a half of the amount predicted by the standard SDC methods.

  5. Assessing Engineering Competencies: The Conditions for Educational Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Musekamp, Frank; Pearce, Jacob

    2015-01-01

    Low-stakes assessment is supposed to improve educational practice by providing feedback to different actors in educational systems. However, the process of assessment from design to the point of a final impact on student learning outcomes is complex and diverse. It is hard to identify reasons for substandard achievement on assessments, let alone…

  6. Contrasting Case Instruction Can Improve Self-Assessment of Writing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lin-Siegler, Xiaodong; Shaenfield, David; Elder, Anastasia D.

    2015-01-01

    Self-assessment is a process during which students evaluate the quality of their work in a given domain based on explicitly stated criteria. Accurate self-assessments improve students' academic achievement. Yet, students often have difficulties assessing their own work. It is possible that appropriate instructional supports will help students…

  7. Mathematics Formative Assessment: 75 Practical Strategies for Linking Assessment, Instruction, and Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keeley, Page; Tobey, Cheryl Rose

    2011-01-01

    Award-winning author Page Keeley and mathematics expert Cheryl Rose Tobey apply the successful format of Keeley's best-selling "Science Formative Assessment" to mathematics. They provide 75 formative assessment strategies and show teachers how to use them to inform instructional planning and better meet the needs of all students. Research shows…

  8. Informatics: essential infrastructure for quality assessment and improvement in nursing.

    PubMed Central

    Henry, S B

    1995-01-01

    In recent decades there have been major advances in the creation and implementation of information technologies and in the development of measures of health care quality. The premise of this article is that informatics provides essential infrastructure for quality assessment and improvement in nursing. In this context, the term quality assessment and improvement comprises both short-term processes such as continuous quality improvement (CQI) and long-term outcomes management. This premise is supported by 1) presentation of a historical perspective on quality assessment and improvement; 2) delineation of the types of data required for quality assessment and improvement; and 3) description of the current and potential uses of information technology in the acquisition, storage, transformation, and presentation of quality data, information, and knowledge. PMID:7614118

  9. Block Copolymer Cross-linked Nanoassemblies Improve Particle Stability and Biocompatibility of Superparamagnetic Iron Oxide Nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    Dan, Mo; Scott, Daniel F.; Hardy, Peter A.; Wydra, Robert J.; Hilt, J. Zach; Yokel, Robert A.; Bae, Younsoo

    2014-01-01

    Purpose To develop cross-linked nanoassemblies (CNAs) as carriers for superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs). Methods Ferric and ferrous ions were co-precipitated inside core-shell type nanoparticles prepared by cross-linking poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(aspartate) block copolymers to prepare CNAs entrapping Fe3O4 IONPs (CNA-IONPs). Particle stability and biocompatibility of CNA-IONPs were characterized in comparison to citrate-coated Fe3O4 IONPs (Citrate-IONPs). Results CNA-IONPs, approximately 30 nm in diameter, showed no precipitation in water, PBS, or a cell culture medium after 3 or 30 h, at 22, 37, and 43 °C, and 1, 2.5, and 5 mg/mL, whereas Citrate-IONPs agglomerated rapidly (> 400 nm) in all aqueous media tested. No cytotoxicity was observed in a mouse brain endothelial-derived cell line (bEnd.3) exposed to CNA-IONPs up to 10 mg/mL for 30 h. Citrate-IONPs (> 0.05 mg/mL) reduced cell viability after 3 h. CNA-IONPs retained the superparamagnetic properties of entrapped IONPs, enhancing T2-weighted magnetic resonance images (MRI) at 0.02 mg/mL, and generating heat at a mild hyperthermic level (40 ~ 42 °C) with an alternating magnetic field (AMF). Conclusion Compared to citric acid coating, CNAs with a cross-linked anionic core improved particle stability and biocompatibility of IONPs, which would be beneficial for future MRI and AMF-induced remote hyperthermia applications. PMID:23080062

  10. Biostatistical considerations in pharmacovigilance and pharmacoepidemiology: linking quantitative risk assessment in pre-market licensure application safety data, post-market alert reports and formal epidemiological studies.

    PubMed

    O'Neill, R T

    This paper deals with a conceptual discussion of a variety of statistical concepts, methods and strategies that are relevant to the quantitative assessment of risk derived from safety data collected during the pre- and post-marketing phase of a new drug's life cycle. A call is made for the use of more standard approaches to the analysis of safety data that are statistically and epidemiologically rigorous and for attempts to link the strategies for pre-market safety assessment with strategies for post-market safety evaluation. This link may be facilitated by recognizing the limitations and complementary roles played by pre- and post-market safety data collection schemes and by linking the quantitative analyses utilized for either exploratory or confirmatory purposes of risk assessment in each phase of safety data collection. Examples are provided of studies specifically designed to evaluate risk in a post approval setting and several available guidelines intended to improve the quality of these studies are discussed.

  11. Learning Outcomes with Linked Assessments – an Essential Part of our Regular Teaching Practice

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Ann C.; Marbach-Ad, Gili

    2010-01-01

    Setting up learning outcomes with linked assessments is a best practice in science education. In biology teaching, faculty are beginning to establish learning outcomes and assessments in the style of concept inventories. At a recent meeting of biology faculty who have designed concept inventories, the characteristics and uses of concept inventories were defined. Concept inventories used as pre- and post-measures of student learning provide a window into students’ understanding of key concepts of a discipline and serve as a tool to motivate faculty toward evidence-based teaching habits. A movement for the development of a microbiology concept inventory is suggested. PMID:23653711

  12. Improving tumour heterogeneity MRI assessment with histograms

    PubMed Central

    Just, N

    2014-01-01

    By definition, tumours are heterogeneous. They are defined by marked differences in cells, microenvironmental factors (oxygenation levels, pH, VEGF, VPF and TGF-α) metabolism, vasculature, structure and function that in turn translate into heterogeneous drug delivery and therapeutic outcome. Ways to estimate quantitatively tumour heterogeneity can improve drug discovery, treatment planning and therapeutic responses. It is therefore of paramount importance to have reliable and reproducible biomarkers of cancerous lesions' heterogeneity. During the past decade, the number of studies using histogram approaches increased drastically with various magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques (DCE-MRI, DWI, SWI etc.) although information on tumour heterogeneity remains poorly exploited. This fact can be attributed to a poor knowledge of the available metrics and of their specific meaning as well as to the lack of literature references to standardised histogram methods with which surrogate markers of heterogeneity can be compared. This review highlights the current knowledge and critical advances needed to investigate and quantify tumour heterogeneity. The key role of imaging techniques and in particular the key role of MRI for an accurate investigation of tumour heterogeneity is reviewed with a particular emphasis on histogram approaches and derived methods. PMID:25268373

  13. Core skills assessment to improve mathematical competency

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carr, Michael; Bowe, Brian; Fhloinn, Eabhnat Ní

    2013-12-01

    Many engineering undergraduates begin third-level education with significant deficiencies in their core mathematical skills. Every year, in the Dublin Institute of Technology, a diagnostic test is given to incoming first-year students, consistently revealing problems in basic mathematics. It is difficult to motivate students to address these problems; instead, they struggle through their degree, carrying a serious handicap of poor core mathematical skills, as confirmed by exploratory testing of final year students. In order to improve these skills, a pilot project was set up in which a 'module' in core mathematics was developed. The course material was basic, but 90% or higher was required to pass. Students were allowed to repeat this module throughout the year by completing an automated examination on WebCT populated by a question bank. Subsequent to the success of this pilot with third-year mechanical engineering students, the project was extended to five different engineering programmes, across three different year-groups. Full results and analysis of this project are presented, including responses to interviews carried out with a selection of the students involved.

  14. Improvement of a sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for screening estrogen receptor binding activity.

    PubMed

    Koda, Tomoko; Soya, Yoshihiro; Negishi, Harumi; Shiraishi, Fujio; Morita, Masatoshi

    2002-12-01

    A competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with estrogen receptor (alpha) and a fluorescence depolarization method with Full-Range Beacon were examined as estrogen receptor binding assays to prescreen endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). In this study, because it is difficult to measure the receptor binding ability of sparingly water-soluble chemicals using these methods, the competitive enzyme immunoassay was further modified for improved sensitivity by changing the operational parameters, such as receptor concentration, ligand concentration, and the reaction temperature. The method was applied to 10 test chemicals, including alkylphenols and bisphenol A (BPA). The diethylstilbestrol (DES) relative binding affinity (RBA) of ELISA kit was set equal to 1 (RBA = IC50/IC50 of DES). The RBAs of BPA, 4-nonylphenol (p-NP), and 4-t-octylphenol (p-t-OP) are 5386, 8619. and 8121 before using the improved competitive enzyme immunoassay and 883, 699, and 2832 using improved it respectively. Mixtures of BPA, p-NP, and p-t-OP gave results that the estrogen binding affinities of these chemicals are additive or slightly more than additive.

  15. Gene therapy improves immune function in preadolescents with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency

    PubMed Central

    Chinen, Javier; Davis, Joie; De Ravin, Suk See; Hay, Beverly N.; Hsu, Amy P.; Linton, Gilda F.; Naumann, Nora; Nomicos, Effie Y. H.; Silvin, Christopher; Ulrick, Jean; Whiting-Theobald, Narda L.; Puck, Jennifer M.

    2007-01-01

    Retroviral gene therapy can restore immunity to infants with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency (XSCID) caused by mutations in the IL2RG gene encoding the common gamma chain (γc) of receptors for interleukins 2 (IL-2), −4, −7, −9, −15, and −21. We investigated the safety and efficacy of gene therapy as salvage treatment for older XSCID children with inadequate immune reconstitution despite prior bone marrow transplant from a parent. Subjects received retrovirus-transduced autologous peripherally mobilized CD34+ hematopoietic cells. T-cell function significantly improved in the youngest subject (age 10 years), and multilineage retroviral marking occurred in all 3 children. PMID:17369490

  16. Improving VTE risk assessment at point of admission to a tertiary centre cardiology ward.

    PubMed

    Wilson, Rachel

    2015-01-01

    Cardiology wards are generally high turnover units, which may receive primary PCI, high-risk NSTEMI patients, and other general cardiac admissions from a large geographical area. Many centres also provide national specialist services for rarer cardiac conditions for which admissions may be lengthy. Cardiac patients have significant risk factors for venous thromboembolism (VTE) as immobility may be due to systolic dysfunction, attachment to continuous monitoring and predisposition to chest pain, or cardiac syncope. It is recommended by NICE that an initial VTE risk assessment is undertaken at the time of patient admission, with reassessment within 24 hours. For this purpose a risk assessment tool is featured on the front of many Trust drug charts. It is noted that this risk assessment is electronic in other trusts. We undertook an audit into the drug chart documentation of VTE risk assessment on the cardiology ward and the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) at The Royal Free Hospital. It was evident that documentation of VTE risk assessment was poor. The audit interventions were; a teaching presentation to the cardiology department, an educational poster, several update emails to the department and the identification of a 'VTE risk assessment champion' to audit ongoing compliance. Following these measures the second audit round demonstrated that documentation of initial risk assessment was slightly improved, but significant improvement was seen in documentation of risk assessment at 24 hours post admission. Results from a third audit cycle indicated that the improvement in initial VTE risk assessment was sustained, and that there was a significant sustained improvement in risk assessment at 24 hours (p <0.05). Recommendations for sustained improvement included: redesigning the drug chart so that the VTE risk assessment tool was linked to the VTE prophylaxis prescription box, and designating the responsibility of the initial VTE risk assessment to the on call junior doctor who

  17. Introducing desirable transgenes into insect populations using Y-linked meiotic drive - a theoretical assessment.

    PubMed

    Huang, Yunxin; Magori, Krisztian; Lloyd, Alun L; Gould, Fred

    2007-04-01

    The use of genetic drive mechanisms to replace native mosquito genotypes with individuals bearing antipathogen transgenes is a potential strategy for repressing insect transmission of human diseases such as malaria and dengue. Antipathogen transgenes have been developed and tested, but efficient gene drive mechanisms are lacking. Here we theoretically assess the feasibility of introducing antipathogen genes into wild Aedes aegypti populations by using a naturally occurring meiotic drive system. We consider the release of males having both a Y-linked meiotic drive gene and an X-linked drive-insensitive response allele to which an antipathogen gene is linked. We use mathematical models and computer simulations to determine how the post-introduction dynamics of the antipathogen gene are affected by specific genetic characteristics of the system. The results show that when the natural population is uniformly sensitive to the meiotic drive gene, the antipathogen gene may be driven close to fixation if the fitness costs of the drive gene, the insensitive response allele, and the antipathogen gene are low. However, when the natural population has a small proportion of an X-linked insensitive response allele or an autosomal gene that strongly reduces the effect of the drive gene, the antipathogen gene does not spread if it has an associated fitness cost. Our modeling results provide a theoretical foundation for further experimental tests.

  18. Assessment and Improvement of Related Services (AIRS) Project. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McClelland, Robert A.; Hirata, Glenn T.

    The document presents the final report of the Assessment and Improvement of Related Services (AIRS) Project, an effort to assess the impact and effectiveness of special education related services in Hawaii. Each of the four project objectives focused on accomplishment of one of the evaluation types specified in the Context-Input-Process-Product…

  19. Continuous Team Assessment to Improve Student Engagement and Active Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Esposto, Alexis S.; Weaver, Debbi

    2011-01-01

    A strategy of continuous team assessment over three years, comprising of a series of tests and a major project, was introduced into scheduled tutorial classes in an attempt to improve flagging attendance and low student motivation. The assessment tasks were designed to be undertaken in teams of two students, with ongoing feedback as an integral…

  20. Improving the Utility of Large-Scale Assessments in Canada

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rogers, W. Todd

    2014-01-01

    Principals and teachers do not use large-scale assessment results because the lack of distinct and reliable subtests prevents identifying strengths and weaknesses of students and instruction, the results arrive too late to be used, and principals and teachers need assistance to use the results to improve instruction so as to improve student…

  1. Integrating Planning, Assessment, and Improvement in Higher Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sherlock, Barbara J.

    2009-01-01

    Based on Penn State's popular "Innovation Insights" series, this book brings together in one handy reference nearly a decade of tried and true insights into continuous quality improvements in higher education. Their five-step model for integrating planning, assessment, and improvement moves plans off the shelf and into the weekly and daily…

  2. Boron nitride nanotubes included thermally cross-linked gelatin-glucose scaffolds show improved properties.

    PubMed

    Şen, Özlem; Culha, Mustafa

    2016-02-01

    Boron nitride nanotubes (BNNTs) are increasingly investigated for their medical and biomedical applications due to their unique properties such as resistance to oxidation, thermal and electrical insulation, and biocompatibility. BNNTs can be used to enhance mechanical strength of biomedical structures such as scaffolds in tissue engineering applications. In this study, we report the use of BNNTs and hydroxylated BNNTs (BNNT-OH) to improve the properties of gelatin-glucose scaffolds prepared with electrospinning technique. Human dermal fibroblast (HDF) cells are used for the toxicity assessment and cell seeding studies. It is found that the addition of BNNTs into the scaffold does not influence cell viability, decreases the scaffold degradation rate, and improves cell attachment and proliferation compared to only-gelatin scaffold.

  3. Using tsunami deposits to improve assessment of tsunami risk

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jaffe, B.E.; Gelfenbaum, G.; ,

    2002-01-01

    In many places in the world the written record of tsunamis is too short to accurately assess the risk of tsunamis. Sedimentary deposits left by tsunamis can be used to extend the record of tsunamis to improve risk assessment. The two primary factors in tsunami risk, tsunami frequency and magnitude, can be addressed through field and modeling studies of tsunami deposits. Recent advances in identification of tsunami deposits and in tsunami sedimentation modeling increase the utility of using tsunami deposits to improve assessment of tsunami risk.

  4. Morphological awareness assessment and intervention to improve language and literacy.

    PubMed

    Wolter, Julie A; Gibson, Frances E

    2015-02-01

    Morphological awareness positively influences language and literacy development and may be an ideal intervention focus for improving vocabulary, sight word reading, reading decoding, and reading comprehension in students with and without language and literacy deficits. This article will provide supporting theory, research, and strategies for implementing morphological awareness intervention with students with language and literacy deficits. Additionally, functional connections are explored through the incorporation and application of morphological awareness intervention in academic literacy contexts linked to Common Core State Standards.

  5. Morphological awareness assessment and intervention to improve language and literacy.

    PubMed

    Wolter, Julie A; Gibson, Frances E

    2015-02-01

    Morphological awareness positively influences language and literacy development and may be an ideal intervention focus for improving vocabulary, sight word reading, reading decoding, and reading comprehension in students with and without language and literacy deficits. This article will provide supporting theory, research, and strategies for implementing morphological awareness intervention with students with language and literacy deficits. Additionally, functional connections are explored through the incorporation and application of morphological awareness intervention in academic literacy contexts linked to Common Core State Standards. PMID:25633142

  6. Assessing and Improving Student Organizations: Resources for Facilitators CD-ROM. The Assessing and Improving Student Organization (AISO) Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nolfi, Tricia; Ruben, Brent D.

    2010-01-01

    This companion to the "Guide for Students" and "Student Workbook" includes the complete set of PowerPoint slides, a PDF of the Facilitator's Guide in PPT (PowerPoint) slide show format, and PDFs of all scoring sheets, handouts and project planning guides needed for the AISO (Assessing and Improving Student Organization) process. The Assessing and…

  7. Advanced primary care in San Antonio: linking practice and community strategies to improve health.

    PubMed

    Ferrer, Robert L; Gonzalez Schlenker, Carolina; Lozano Romero, Raquel; Poursani, Ramin; Bazaldua, Oralia; Davidson, DeWayne; Ann Gonzales, Melissa; Dehoyos, Janie; Castilla, Martha; Corona, Betty A; Tysinger, James; Alsip, Bryan; Trejo, Jonathan; Jaén, Carlos Roberto

    2013-01-01

    Improving health among people living in poverty often transcends narrowly focused illness care. Meaningful success is unlikely without confronting the complex social origins of illness. We describe an emerging community of solution to improve health outcomes for a population of 6000 San Antonio, Texas, residents enrolled in a county health care program. The community of solution comprises a county health system, a family medicine residency program, a metropolitan public health department, and local nonprofit organizations and businesses. Community-based activities responding to the needs of individuals and their neighborhoods are driven by a cohort of promotores (community health workers) whose mission encompasses change at both the individual and community levels. Centered on patients' functional goals, promotores mobilize family and community resources and consider what community-level action will address the social determinants of health. On the clinical side, care teams implement population-based risk assessment and nurse care management with a focus on care transitions as well as other measures to meet the needs of patients with high morbidity and high use of health care. Population-based outcome metrics include reductions in hospitalizations, emergency department and urgent care visits, and the associated charges. Promotores also assess patients' progress along the trajectory of their selected functional goals.

  8. Multiaxial deformations of end-linked poly(dimethylsiloxane) networks. 4. Further assessment of the slip-link model for chain-entanglement effect on rubber elasticity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Urayama, Kenji; Kawamura, Takanobu; Kohjiya, Shinzo

    2003-03-01

    The Edwards-Vilgis slip-link model for the chain-entanglement effect on rubber elasticity is critically assessed on the basis of quasiequilibrium biaxial stress—strain data of end-linked polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) networks with different entanglement densities. The PDMS networks with different entanglement densities were prepared by end-linking end-reactive long precursor PDMS in solutions with different solvent contents. The slip-link model, in which trapped entanglement is modeled by fictitious mobile slip-link attaching two entangled chains, satisfactorily describes the biaxial data over the entire range of deformation for all the networks examined. The model-specific parameters, i.e., slippage of slip-link (η) and inextensibility of network (α), were employed as adjustable parameters in data-fitting. The fitted values of η and α vary reasonably with the degree of dilution at network preparation, i.e., entanglement density. With an increase in dilution, i.e., decrease in entanglement density, η increases, whereas α decreases. In addition, the fitted values of η and α are in good agreement with the estimates from another molecular approach independent of mechanical testings: η=Me/Mc, where Me and Mc are the molecular masses between neighboring entanglements and between adjacent cross-links, respectively; α=nj-1/2, where nj is the number of Kuhn segments between adjacent elastically effective junctions including cross-links and trapped entanglements. The satisfactory data-fit with the model parameters of physically reasonable magnitudes supports the validity of the slip-link model for entanglement effects on rubber elasticity.

  9. Toxicokinetics/toxicodynamics links bioavailability for assessing arsenic uptake and toxicity in three aquaculture species.

    PubMed

    Chen, Wei-Yu; Liao, Chung-Min

    2012-11-01

    The purpose of this study was to link toxicokinetics/toxicodynamics (TK/TD) and bioavailability-based metal uptake kinetics to assess arsenic (As) uptake and bioaccumulation in three common farmed species of tilapia (Oreochromis mossambicus), milkfish (Chanos chanos), and freshwater clam (Corbicula fluminea). We developed a mechanistic framework by linking damage assessment model (DAM) and bioavailability-based Michaelis-Menten model for describing TK/TD and As uptake mechanisms. The proposed model was verified with published acute toxicity data. The estimated TK/TD parameters were used to simulate the relationship between bioavailable As uptake and susceptibility probability. The As toxicity was also evaluated based on a constructed elimination-recovery scheme. Absorption rate constants were estimated to be 0.025, 0.016, and 0.175 mL g(-1) h(-1) and As uptake rate constant estimates were 22.875, 63.125, and 788.318 ng g(-1) h(-1) for tilapia, milkfish, and freshwater clam, respectively. Here we showed that a potential trade-off between capacities of As elimination and damage recovery was found among three farmed species. Moreover, the susceptibility probability can also be estimated by the elimination-recovery relations. This study suggested that bioavailability-based uptake kinetics and TK/TD-based DAM could be integrated for assessing metal uptake and toxicity in aquatic organisms. This study is useful to quantitatively assess the complex environmental behavior of metal uptake and implicate to risk assessment of metals in aquaculture systems.

  10. Improved reliability analysis method based on the failure assessment diagram

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Yu; Zhang, Zheng; Zhong, Qunpeng

    2012-07-01

    With the uncertainties related to operating conditions, in-service non-destructive testing (NDT) measurements and material properties considered in the structural integrity assessment, probabilistic analysis based on the failure assessment diagram (FAD) approach has recently become an important concern. However, the point density revealing the probabilistic distribution characteristics of the assessment points is usually ignored. To obtain more detailed and direct knowledge from the reliability analysis, an improved probabilistic fracture mechanics (PFM) assessment method is proposed. By integrating 2D kernel density estimation (KDE) technology into the traditional probabilistic assessment, the probabilistic density of the randomly distributed assessment points is visualized in the assessment diagram. Moreover, a modified interval sensitivity analysis is implemented and compared with probabilistic sensitivity analysis. The improved reliability analysis method is applied to the assessment of a high pressure pipe containing an axial internal semi-elliptical surface crack. The results indicate that these two methods can give consistent sensitivities of input parameters, but the interval sensitivity analysis is computationally more efficient. Meanwhile, the point density distribution and its contour are plotted in the FAD, thereby better revealing the characteristics of PFM assessment. This study provides a powerful tool for the reliability analysis of critical structures.

  11. Linked color imaging application for improving the endoscopic diagnosis accuracy: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Sun, Xiaotian; Dong, Tenghui; Bi, Yiliang; Min, Min; Shen, Wei; Xu, Yang; Liu, Yan

    2016-01-01

    Endoscopy has been widely used in diagnosing gastrointestinal mucosal lesions. However, there are still lack of objective endoscopic criteria. Linked color imaging (LCI) is newly developed endoscopic technique which enhances color contrast. Thus, we investigated the clinical application of LCI and further analyzed pixel brightness for RGB color model. All the lesions were observed by white light endoscopy (WLE), LCI and blue laser imaging (BLI). Matlab software was used to calculate pixel brightness for red (R), green (G) and blue color (B). Of the endoscopic images for lesions, LCI had significantly higher R compared with BLI but higher G compared with WLE (all P < 0.05). R/(G + B) was significantly different among 3 techniques and qualified as a composite LCI marker. Our correlation analysis of endoscopic diagnosis with pathology revealed that LCI was quite consistent with pathological diagnosis (P = 0.000) and the color could predict certain kinds of lesions. ROC curve demonstrated at the cutoff of R/(G+B) = 0.646, the area under curve was 0.646, and the sensitivity and specificity was 0.514 and 0.773. Taken together, LCI could improve efficiency and accuracy of diagnosing gastrointestinal mucosal lesions and benefit target biopsy. R/(G + B) based on pixel brightness may be introduced as a objective criterion for evaluating endoscopic images. PMID:27641243

  12. Linked color imaging application for improving the endoscopic diagnosis accuracy: a pilot study

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Xiaotian; Dong, Tenghui; Bi, Yiliang; Min, Min; Shen, Wei; Xu, Yang; Liu, Yan

    2016-01-01

    Endoscopy has been widely used in diagnosing gastrointestinal mucosal lesions. However, there are still lack of objective endoscopic criteria. Linked color imaging (LCI) is newly developed endoscopic technique which enhances color contrast. Thus, we investigated the clinical application of LCI and further analyzed pixel brightness for RGB color model. All the lesions were observed by white light endoscopy (WLE), LCI and blue laser imaging (BLI). Matlab software was used to calculate pixel brightness for red (R), green (G) and blue color (B). Of the endoscopic images for lesions, LCI had significantly higher R compared with BLI but higher G compared with WLE (all P < 0.05). R/(G + B) was significantly different among 3 techniques and qualified as a composite LCI marker. Our correlation analysis of endoscopic diagnosis with pathology revealed that LCI was quite consistent with pathological diagnosis (P = 0.000) and the color could predict certain kinds of lesions. ROC curve demonstrated at the cutoff of R/(G+B) = 0.646, the area under curve was 0.646, and the sensitivity and specificity was 0.514 and 0.773. Taken together, LCI could improve efficiency and accuracy of diagnosing gastrointestinal mucosal lesions and benefit target biopsy. R/(G + B) based on pixel brightness may be introduced as a objective criterion for evaluating endoscopic images. PMID:27641243

  13. Interprofessional service improvement learning and patient safety: a content analysis of pre-registration students' assessments.

    PubMed

    Machin, Alison I; Jones, Diana

    2014-02-01

    A culture of continuous service improvement underpins safe, efficient and cost-effective health and social care. This paper reports a qualitative research study of assessment material from one cohort of final year pre-registration health and social care students' interprofessional service improvement learning experience. Initially introduced to the theory of service improvement, students were linked with an interprofessional buddy group, and subsequently planned and implemented, if possible, a small scale service improvement project within a practice placement setting. Assessment was by oral project presentation and written reflection on learning. Summative assessment materials from 150 students were subjected to content analysis to identify: service user triggers for service improvement; ideas to address the identified area for improvement; and perceptions of service improvement learning. Triggers for service improvements included service user disempowerment, poor communication, gaps in service provision, poor transitions, lack of information, lack of role clarity and role duplication, and differed between professions. Ideas for improvement included both the implementation of evidence based best practice protocols in a local context and also innovative approaches to problem solving. Students described both intrapersonal and interprofessional learning as a result of engaging with service improvement theory and practice. Service improvement learning in an interprofessional context has positive learning outcomes for health and social care students. Students can identify improvement opportunities that may otherwise go undetected. Engaging positively in interprofessional service improvement learning as a student is an important rehearsal for life as a qualified practitioner. It can help students to develop an ability to challenge unsafe practice elegantly, thereby acting as advocates for the people in their care. Universities can play a key support role by working

  14. Designing a Web-Based Assessment Environment for Improving Pre-Service Teacher Assessment Literacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Tzu-Hua; Wang, Kuo-Hua; Huang, Shih-Chieh

    2008-01-01

    Teacher assessment literacy is a key factor in the success of teaching, but some studies concluded that teachers lack it. The aim of this research is to propose the ''Practicing, Reflecting and Revising with WATA system (P2R-WATA) Assessment Literacy Development Model'' for improving pre-service teacher assessment literacy. WATA system offers…

  15. Assessing and Improving Children’s Rights in Hospitals

    PubMed Central

    Kuttumuratova, Aigul; Monolbaev, Kubanychbek; Boderscova, Larisa; Pirova, Zulfiya; Weber, Martin W.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract There is a recognized need to raise evidence on how to adopt human rights-based approaches (HRBAs) to health and to assess their impact. In 2013 and 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe used a set of tools to assess and improve the situation of children’s rights in 11 hospitals in Kyrgyzstan, 10 hospitals in Tajikistan, and 21 hospitals in Moldova, by applying a HRBA to health, taking as a reference the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The assessment results show a similar situation across countries in some areas, and more or less significant variation in others. Common gaps include the need to improve adolescent-friendly health services, the rights to privacy and play; and infrastructure and equipment. In Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, a second round of assessment, was carried out, which showed an effective change in several areas, whilst other areas showed persistent gaps. Moldova did not carry out a second round of assessment. Involving children and parents in the assessment was crucial to obtain more reliable data; the project showed how to use the CRC as a framework to improve quality of care for children (QoC); and the tools were proven useful for self-assessment. PMID:27781013

  16. Assessing and improving cross-border chemical incident preparedness and response across Europe.

    PubMed

    Stewart-Evans, James; Hall, Lisbeth; Czerczak, Slawomir; Manley, Kevin; Dobney, Alec; Hoffer, Sally; Pałaszewska-Tkacz, Anna; Jankowska, Agnieszka

    2014-11-01

    Good practices in emergency preparedness and response for chemical incidents include practices specific to the different functions of exposure assessment (e.g., within the monitoring function, the use of mobile monitoring equipment; within the modelling function, the use of rapid dispersion models with integrated mapping software) and generic practices to engage incident response stakeholders to maximise exposure assessment capabilities (e.g., sharing protocols and pre-prepared information and multi-agency training and exercising). Such practices can optimise cross-border collaboration. A wide range of practices have been implemented across MSs during chemical incident response, particularly during incidents that have cross-border and trans-boundary impacts. This paper proposes a self-assessment methodology to enable MSs, or organisations within MSs, to examine exposure assessment capabilities and communication pathways between exposure assessors and public health risk assessors. Where gaps exist, this methodology provides links to good practices that could improve response, communication and collaboration across local, regional and national borders. A fragmented approach to emergency preparedness for chemical incidents is a major obstacle to improving cross-border exposure assessment. There is no one existing body or structure responsible for all aspects of chemical incident preparedness and response in the European Union. Due to the range of different organisations and networks involved in chemical incident response, emergency preparedness needs to be drawn together. A number of recommendations are proposed, including the use of networks of experts which link public health risk assessors with experts in exposure assessment, in order to coordinate and improve chemical incident emergency preparedness. The EU's recent Decision on serious cross-border threats to health aims to facilitate MSs' compliance with the International Health Regulations, which require

  17. Linking environmental risk assessment and communication: An experiment in co-evolving scientific and social knowledge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Graffy, E.A.; Booth, N.L.

    2008-01-01

    Dissemination of information to decision-makers and enhanced methods of public participation are often put forward as antidotes to a perceived disconnect between risk assessment and risk communication in the public domain. However, mechanisms that support both the provision of routine, timely and relevant technical knowledge to the public and meaningful opportunities for public participation in the evaluation and management of risk are few. We argue for the need to re-conceptualise the institutional context in which risk research and communication occur as one in which scientific knowledge and public understanding are co-evolutionary instead of independent or sequential. Here, we report on an experiment to promote coevolution of environmental risk assessment and risk communication through the instrumental use of a web-based platform that dynamically links expert and public discourses through common information sources, linked scenario evaluations, and opportunities for iterative dialogue. On the basis of technical feasibility, research value and public communication capacity, we conclude that there is potential for further refinement of the methodologies presented here. Copyright ?? 2008 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

  18. Work situation operative model MOST: linking diagnosis and intervention to improve work conditions.

    PubMed

    Morales, Karen Lange; García-Acosta, Gabriel; Urueña-Télleze, William; Pérez, Adriana

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents the model "Work Situation Operative Model" - MOST (after its Spanish acronym). It offers a comprehensive, systemic approach to analysing work stations and/or work processes, serving also as a framework for pursuing various ergonomic and occupational health and safety goals. Originally produced for a food sector company, the model has been extended and successfully applied in several industries in Colombia and Ecuador, including cement, oil, and paper industries. Based on a systemic understanding of work systems and tasks, the model not only allows different, commonly-used methods and tools for evaluating or assessing the risk of muscular-sketetal disorders to be included, but also supports occupational risk management strategies. Hence, one of its more important contributions relies on providing meaningful information that is useful for improving the work station and/or work process through design and re-design, by focusing on the interactions between all system elements.

  19. Improving the creep resistance and tensile property of UHMWPE sheet by radiation cross-linking and annealing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Honglong; Xu, Lu; Li, Rong; Hu, Jiangtao; Wang, Mouhua; Wu, Guozhong

    2016-08-01

    Ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) sheet was cross-linked by γ irradiation in air with a dose of up to 300 kGy at a dose rate of 5 kGy/h and further treated by post-annealing at 120 °C for 4 h in vacuum. Variations in chemical structure, thermostability, crystallinity, creep resistance, and tensile properties were investigated and compared mainly by gel content, TGA, DSC, and creep and tensile measurements. Gel content measurements indicated that cross-linking was predominant over chain scission during irradiation and post-annealing. Radiation cross-linking resulted in an obvious improvement in the creep resistance and tensile properties of UHMWPE. Through cross-linking, the operational temperature and yield strength of the irradiated and subsequently annealed UHMWPE sheet were improved by more than 100 °C and 14%, respectively, at a dose of 300 kGy. Simultaneously, Young's modulus was increased to 1413 MPa, compared with 398 MPa of pristine UHMWPE. Annealing after irradiation further improved the creep resistance and Young's modulus. Highly cross-linked UHMWPE can even be maintained at 250 °C for a long time without any obvious deformation.

  20. Communications and information research: Improved space link performance via concatenated forward error correction coding

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rao, T. R. N.; Seetharaman, G.; Feng, G. L.

    1996-01-01

    With the development of new advanced instruments for remote sensing applications, sensor data will be generated at a rate that not only requires increased onboard processing and storage capability, but imposes demands on the space to ground communication link and ground data management-communication system. Data compression and error control codes provide viable means to alleviate these demands. Two types of data compression have been studied by many researchers in the area of information theory: a lossless technique that guarantees full reconstruction of the data, and a lossy technique which generally gives higher data compaction ratio but incurs some distortion in the reconstructed data. To satisfy the many science disciplines which NASA supports, lossless data compression becomes a primary focus for the technology development. While transmitting the data obtained by any lossless data compression, it is very important to use some error-control code. For a long time, convolutional codes have been widely used in satellite telecommunications. To more efficiently transform the data obtained by the Rice algorithm, it is required to meet the a posteriori probability (APP) for each decoded bit. A relevant algorithm for this purpose has been proposed which minimizes the bit error probability in the decoding linear block and convolutional codes and meets the APP for each decoded bit. However, recent results on iterative decoding of 'Turbo codes', turn conventional wisdom on its head and suggest fundamentally new techniques. During the past several months of this research, the following approaches have been developed: (1) a new lossless data compression algorithm, which is much better than the extended Rice algorithm for various types of sensor data, (2) a new approach to determine the generalized Hamming weights of the algebraic-geometric codes defined by a large class of curves in high-dimensional spaces, (3) some efficient improved geometric Goppa codes for disk memory

  1. A Peer Assessment System to Improve Student Team Experiences

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anson, Robert; Goodman, James A.

    2014-01-01

    Groups are frequently used in courses, but there is substantial evidence that insufficient attention is paid to creating conditions for successful teamwork. One key condition is high-quality, individual, and team-level feedback. An online peer assessment system and team improvement process was developed for this test case based on three design…

  2. Assessing and Improving the Psychosocial Environment of Mathematics Classrooms.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fraser, Barry J.; And Others

    1989-01-01

    Describes the development and validation of a short form of the My Class Inventory (MCI) assessing classroom psychosocial environment. Reports a case study involving the use of the short form of MCI in attempts to improve a sixth-grade mathematics class. Provides all 25 items of the short version of MCI. (YP)

  3. Benchmark Assessment for Improved Learning. An AACC Policy Brief

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herman, Joan L.; Osmundson, Ellen; Dietel, Ronald

    2010-01-01

    The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB, 2002) has produced an explosion of interest in the use of assessment to measure and improve student learning. Initially focused on annual state tests, educators quickly learned that results came too little and too late to identify students who were falling behind. At the same time, evidence from the…

  4. Continuous Curriculum Assessment and Improvement: A Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hill, Art

    2007-01-01

    Many factors, including reduced teaching resources, higher student-to-teacher ratios, evolving teaching technologies, and increased emphasis on success skills, have made it necessary for many teaching faculties to become more deliberate about continuous curriculum assessment and improvement. An example is the evolution of food science education…

  5. Validation of a National Teacher Assessment and Improvement System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taut, Sandy; Santelices, Maria Veronica; Stecher, Brian

    2012-01-01

    The task of validating a teacher assessment and improvement system is similar whether the system operates in the United States or in another country. Chile has a national teacher evaluation system (NTES) that is standards based, uses multiple instruments, and is intended to serve both formative and summative purposes. For the past 6 years the…

  6. Improving Process Writing with the Use Authentic Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    bin Abdul Aziz, Muhammad Noor; Yusoff, Nurahimah Mohd

    2016-01-01

    The paper discusses on how process writing is improved with the use of authentic assessment in an English Language classroom. Eleven primary school children from Year 4 in a rural school in Sabah are the participants of the study. Data were collected by observing them during the English Language lessons and at the end of the series of…

  7. Forensic mental health assessment in France: recommendations for quality improvement.

    PubMed

    Combalbert, Nicolas; Andronikof, Anne; Armand, Marine; Robin, Cécile; Bazex, Hélène

    2014-01-01

    The quality of forensic mental health assessment has been a growing concern in various countries on both sides of the Atlantic, but the legal systems are not always comparable and some aspects of forensic assessment are specific to a given country. This paper describes the legal context of forensic psychological assessment in France (i.e. pre-trial investigation phase entrusted to a judge, with mental health assessment performed by preselected professionals called "experts" in French), its advantages and its pitfalls. Forensic psychiatric or psychological assessment is often an essential and decisive element in criminal cases, but since a judiciary scandal which was made public in 2005 (the Outreau case) there has been increasing criticism from the public and the legal profession regarding the reliability of clinical conclusions. Several academic studies and a parliamentary report have highlighted various faulty aspects in both the judiciary process and the mental health assessments. The heterogeneity of expert practices in France appears to be mainly related to a lack of consensus on several core notions such as mental health diagnosis or assessment methods, poor working conditions, lack of specialized training, and insufficient familiarity with the Code of Ethics. In this article we describe and analyze the French practice of forensic psychologists and psychiatrists in criminal cases and propose steps that could be taken to improve its quality, such as setting up specialized training courses, enforcing the Code of Ethics for psychologists, and calling for consensus on diagnostic and assessment methods. PMID:24631526

  8. Natura 2000 appropriate assessment: Shortcomings and improvements in Finnish practice

    SciTech Connect

    Soederman, Tara

    2009-02-15

    The EU Habitats Directive 92/43/EEC requires impact assessments called Appropriate Assessments (AA) for plans and projects probably having adverse effects on the sites of European ecological importance, Natura 2000 sites. Seventy-three Appropriate Assessment reports and seventy official opinions given on them by regional environmental authorities from 1997 to 2005 were reviewed. The findings of the study demonstrate typical shortcomings of ecological impact assessment: a weak information basis for assessment outcomes and lack of proper cumulative impact assessment with respect to ecological structures and processes. The quality of reporting has improved over time with respect to direct impacts on individual habitat types and species and detailed mitigation measures. Regional environment centres considered one fifth of the AA reports to be inadequate because of lacking data. In most cases the regional environment centres demanded a change of plan or project, added mitigation measures, choice of only one alternative for further planning or a new completed assessment with additional information in order to be able to evaluate the significance of the effects. The study underlines the need for iterative planning practices in which the preparation of a plan or project with alternative options goes hand in hand with the impact assessment equipped with sufficient data.

  9. Forensic mental health assessment in France: recommendations for quality improvement.

    PubMed

    Combalbert, Nicolas; Andronikof, Anne; Armand, Marine; Robin, Cécile; Bazex, Hélène

    2014-01-01

    The quality of forensic mental health assessment has been a growing concern in various countries on both sides of the Atlantic, but the legal systems are not always comparable and some aspects of forensic assessment are specific to a given country. This paper describes the legal context of forensic psychological assessment in France (i.e. pre-trial investigation phase entrusted to a judge, with mental health assessment performed by preselected professionals called "experts" in French), its advantages and its pitfalls. Forensic psychiatric or psychological assessment is often an essential and decisive element in criminal cases, but since a judiciary scandal which was made public in 2005 (the Outreau case) there has been increasing criticism from the public and the legal profession regarding the reliability of clinical conclusions. Several academic studies and a parliamentary report have highlighted various faulty aspects in both the judiciary process and the mental health assessments. The heterogeneity of expert practices in France appears to be mainly related to a lack of consensus on several core notions such as mental health diagnosis or assessment methods, poor working conditions, lack of specialized training, and insufficient familiarity with the Code of Ethics. In this article we describe and analyze the French practice of forensic psychologists and psychiatrists in criminal cases and propose steps that could be taken to improve its quality, such as setting up specialized training courses, enforcing the Code of Ethics for psychologists, and calling for consensus on diagnostic and assessment methods.

  10. Assessing local resources and culture before instituting quality improvement projects.

    PubMed

    Hawkins, C Matthew

    2014-12-01

    The planning phases of quality improvement projects are commonly overlooked. Disorganized planning and implementation can escalate chaos, intensify resistance to change, and increase the likelihood of failure. Two important steps in the planning phase are (1) assessing local resources available to aid in the quality improvement project and (2) evaluating the culture in which the desired change is to be implemented. Assessing local resources includes identifying and engaging key stakeholders and evaluating if appropriate expertise is available for the scope of the project. This process also involves engaging informaticists and gathering available IT tools to plan and automate (to the extent possible) the data-gathering, analysis, and feedback steps. Culture in a department is influenced by the ability and willingness to manage resistance to change, build consensus, span boundaries between stakeholders, and become a learning organization. Allotting appropriate time to perform these preparatory steps will increase the odds of successfully performing a quality improvement project and implementing change. PMID:25467724

  11. Assessing interethnic admixture using an X-linked insertion-deletion multiplex.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro-Rodrigues, Elzemar Martins; dos Santos, Ney Pereira Carneiro; dos Santos, Andrea Kely Campos Ribeiro; Pereira, Rui; Amorim, António; Gusmão, Leonor; Zago, Marco Antonio; dos Santos, Sidney Emanuel Batista

    2009-01-01

    In this study, a PCR multiplex was optimized, allowing the simultaneous analysis of 13 X-chromosome Insertion/deletion polymorphisms (INDELs). Genetic variation observed in Africans, Europeans, and Native Americans reveals high inter-population variability. The estimated proportions of X-chromosomes in an admixed population from the Brazilian Amazon region show a predominant Amerindian contribution (approximately 41%), followed by European (approximately 32%) and African (approximately 27%) contributions. The proportion of Amerindian contribution based on X-linked data is similar to the expected value based on mtDNA and Y-chromosome information. The accuracy for assessing interethnic admixture, and the high differentiation between African, European, and Native American populations, demonstrates the suitability of this INDEL set to measure ancestry proportions in three-hybrid populations, as it is the case of Latin American populations.

  12. Enhanced science-stakeholder communication to improve ecosystem model performances for climate change impact assessments.

    PubMed

    Jönsson, Anna Maria; Anderbrant, Olle; Holmér, Jennie; Johansson, Jacob; Schurgers, Guy; Svensson, Glenn P; Smith, Henrik G

    2015-04-01

    In recent years, climate impact assessments of relevance to the agricultural and forestry sectors have received considerable attention. Current ecosystem models commonly capture the effect of a warmer climate on biomass production, but they rarely sufficiently capture potential losses caused by pests, pathogens and extreme weather events. In addition, alternative management regimes may not be integrated in the models. A way to improve the quality of climate impact assessments is to increase the science-stakeholder collaboration, and in a two-way dialog link empirical experience and impact modelling with policy and strategies for sustainable management. In this paper we give a brief overview of different ecosystem modelling methods, discuss how to include ecological and management aspects, and highlight the importance of science-stakeholder communication. By this, we hope to stimulate a discussion among the science-stakeholder communities on how to quantify the potential for climate change adaptation by improving the realism in the models. PMID:25238981

  13. Enhanced science-stakeholder communication to improve ecosystem model performances for climate change impact assessments.

    PubMed

    Jönsson, Anna Maria; Anderbrant, Olle; Holmér, Jennie; Johansson, Jacob; Schurgers, Guy; Svensson, Glenn P; Smith, Henrik G

    2015-04-01

    In recent years, climate impact assessments of relevance to the agricultural and forestry sectors have received considerable attention. Current ecosystem models commonly capture the effect of a warmer climate on biomass production, but they rarely sufficiently capture potential losses caused by pests, pathogens and extreme weather events. In addition, alternative management regimes may not be integrated in the models. A way to improve the quality of climate impact assessments is to increase the science-stakeholder collaboration, and in a two-way dialog link empirical experience and impact modelling with policy and strategies for sustainable management. In this paper we give a brief overview of different ecosystem modelling methods, discuss how to include ecological and management aspects, and highlight the importance of science-stakeholder communication. By this, we hope to stimulate a discussion among the science-stakeholder communities on how to quantify the potential for climate change adaptation by improving the realism in the models.

  14. Improving Assessment of Personality Disorder Traits Through Social Network Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Clifton, Allan; Turkheimer, Eric; Oltmanns, Thomas F.

    2015-01-01

    When assessing personality disorder traits, not all judges make equally valid judgments of all targets. The present study uses social network analysis to investigate factors associated with reliability and validity in peer assessment. Participants were groups of military recruits (N = 809) who acted as both targets and judges in a round-robin design. Participants completed self- and informant versions of the Multisource Assessment of Personality Pathology. Social network matrices were constructed based on reported acquaintance, and cohesive subgroups were identified. Judges who shared a mutual subgroup were more reliable and had higher self-peer agreement than those who did not. Partitioning networks into two subgroups achieved more consistent improvements than multiple subgroups. We discuss implications for multiple informant assessments. PMID:17760855

  15. Operative link on gastritis assessment stage is an appropriate predictor of early gastric cancer

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Ying; Li, Hai-Yan; Zhang, Jing-Jing; Chen, Xiao-Yu; Ge, Zhi-Zheng; Li, Xiao-Bo

    2016-01-01

    AIM: To assess the predictive value of Operative Link on Gastritis Assessment (OLGA) and Operative Link on Gastric Intestinal Metaplasia Assessment (OLGIM) stages in gastric cancer. METHODS: A prospective study was conducted with 71 patients with early gastric cancer (EGC) and 156 patients with non-EGC. All patients underwent endoscopic examination and systematic biopsy. Outcome measures were assessed and compared, including the Japanese endoscopic gastric atrophy (EGA) classification method and the modified OLGA method as well as the modified OLGIM method. Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) status was determined for all study participants. Stepwise logistic regression modeling was performed to analyze correlations between EGC and the EGA, OLGA and OLGIM methods. RESULTS: For patients with EGC and patients with non-EGC, the proportions of moderate-to-severe EGA cases were 64.8% and 44.9%, respectively (P = 0.005), the proportions of OLGA stages III-IV cases were 52.1% and 22.4%, respectively (P < 0.001), and the proportions of OLGIM stages III-IV cases were 42.3% and 19.9%, respectively (P < 0.001). OLGA stage and OLGIM stage were significantly related to EGA classification; specifically, logistic regression modeling showed significant correlations between EGC and moderate-to-severe EGA (OR = 1.95, 95% CI: 1.06-3.58, P = 0.031) and OLGA stages III-IV (OR = 3.14, 95%CI: 1.71-5.81, P < 0.001), but no significant correlation between EGC and OLGIM stages III-IV (P = 0.781). H. pylori infection rate was significantly higher in patients with moderate-to-severe EGA (75.0% vs 54.1%, P = 0.001) or OLGA/OLGIM stages III-IV (OLGA: 83.6% vs 55.8%, P < 0.001; OLGIM: 83.6% vs 57.8%, P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: OLGA classification is optimal for EGC screening. A surveillance program including OLGA stage and H. pylori infection status may facilitate early detection of gastric cancer. PMID:27053859

  16. Linking Climate Information, Remote Sensing and Crop Models for Crop Yield Forecasting and Food Security Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ines, A. M.; Hansen, J. W.; Baethgen, W.; Das, N. N.

    2011-12-01

    The need for better information on crop yield outlooks at different temporal scales requires the use of state of the art tools in climate prediction, crop simulations and remote sensing, often combining them to come up with better results. In this talk, we will present methodologies on how to link advanced climate information with crop simulation models to predict crop yields at the seasonal time scale, the assimilation of remotely sensed soil moisture and vegetation index, to reduce modeling related errors in the predicted yields, and a framework for generating plausible climate change scenarios and linking them with crop models. At the seasonal time scale, we will address the issue of scale mismatch between climate forecasts and crop model requirements, both at the spatial and temporal levels. Data assimilation with an ensemble Kalman filter is used to integrate remotely sensed bio-physical variables in crop yield simulations. At the climate change time scale, we will propose a plausible method on how to translate climate models' and observations' projections into crop model inputs to simulate crop yields and explore options to improve crop productivity in a variable and changing climate. Several case studies in Africa, South East South America (SESA), US and Australia will be presented.

  17. [Improved hospital care for elderly patients: guidance on vulnerability and goal assessment].

    PubMed

    Schoon, Yvonne; van Iersel, Marianne B; Jacobsen, Didy E; Smit, Jan W A; de Boer, Menko-Jan; Olde Rikkert, Marcel G M

    2013-01-01

    Hospital care is highly disease-focused, tending towards further specialisation, and largely driven by technological innovations. Frail elderly, however, are an important and rapidly growing group of patients that is not best cared for in such a clinical environment. Case histories and the description of outcomes of an innovative programme called 'CareWell Primary Care' reveal that triage based on frailty and a global geriatric assessment of frail patients which is linked to goal-oriented hospital care and shared decision-making are the cornerstones of much needed improvement in delivering effective, safe, and sustainable hospital care to our ageing population. PMID:23965244

  18. Peer Assessment with Online Tools to Improve Student Modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atkins, Leslie J.

    2012-11-01

    Introductory physics courses often require students to develop precise models of phenomena and represent these with diagrams, including free-body diagrams, light-ray diagrams, and maps of field lines. Instructors expect that students will adopt a certain rigor and precision when constructing these diagrams, but we want that rigor and precision to be an aid to sense-making rather than meeting seemingly arbitrary requirements set by the instructor. By giving students the authority to develop their own models and establish requirements for their diagrams, the sense that these are arbitrary requirements diminishes and students are more likely to see modeling as a sense-making activity. The practice of peer assessment can help students take ownership; however, it can be difficult for instructors to manage. Furthermore, it is not without risk: students can be reluctant to critique their peers, they may view this as the job of the instructor, and there is no guarantee that students will employ greater rigor and precision as a result of peer assessment. In this article, we describe one approach for peer assessment that can establish norms for diagrams in a way that is student driven, where students retain agency and authority in assessing and improving their work. We show that such an approach does indeed improve students' diagrams and abilities to assess their own work, without sacrificing students' authority and agency.

  19. Improvement of Safety Assessment Methodologies for Near Surface Disposal Facilities

    SciTech Connect

    Batandjieva, B.; Torres-Vidal, C.

    2002-02-26

    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Coordinated research program ''Improvement of Safety Assessment Methodologies for Near Surface Disposal Facilities'' (ISAM) has developed improved safety assessment methodology for near surface disposal facilities. The program has been underway for three years and has included around 75 active participants from 40 countries. It has also provided examples for application to three safety cases--vault, Radon type and borehole radioactive waste disposal facilities. The program has served as an excellent forum for exchange of information and good practices on safety assessment approaches and methodologies used worldwide. It also provided an opportunity for reaching broad consensus on the safety assessment methodologies to be applied to near surface low and intermediate level waste repositories. The methodology has found widespread acceptance and the need for its application on real waste disposal facilities has been clearly identified. The ISAM was finalized by the end of 2000, working material documents are available and an IAEA report will be published in 2002 summarizing the work performed during the three years of the program. The outcome of the ISAM program provides a sound basis for moving forward to a new IAEA program, which will focus on practical application of the safety assessment methodologies to different purposes, such as licensing radioactive waste repositories, development of design concepts, upgrading existing facilities, reassessment of operating repositories, etc. The new program will also provide an opportunity for development of guidance on application of the methodology that will be of assistance to both safety assessors and regulators.

  20. Informativeness Improvement of Hardness Test Methods for Metal Product Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osipov, S.; Podshivalov, I.; Osipov, O.; Zhantybaev, A.

    2016-06-01

    The paper presents a combination of theoretical suggestions, results, and observations allowing to improve the informativeness of hardness testing process in solving problems of metal product assessment while in operation. The hardness value of metal surface obtained by a single measurement is considered to be random. Various measures of location and scattering of the random variable were experimentally estimated for a number of test samples using the correlation analysis, and their close interaction was studied. It was stated that in metal assessment, the main informative characteristics of hardness testing process are its average value and mean-square deviation for measures of location and scattering, respectively.

  1. Use of automated monitoring to assess behavioral toxicology in fish: Linking behavior and physiology

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brewer, S.K.; DeLonay, A.J.; Beauvais, S.L.; Little, E.E.; Jones, S.B.

    1999-01-01

    We measured locomotory behaviors (distance traveled, speed, tortuosity of path, and rate of change in direction) with computer-assisted analysis in 30 day posthatch rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) exposed to pesticides. We also examined cholinesterase inhibition as a potential endpoint linking physiology and behavior. Sublethal exposure to chemicals often causes changes in swimming behavior, reflecting alterations in sensory and motor systems. Swimming behavior also integrates functions of the nervous system. Rarely are the connections between physiology and behavior made. Although behavior is often suggested as a sensitive, early indicator of toxicity, behavioral toxicology has not been used to its full potential because conventional methods of behavioral assessment have relied on manual techniques, which are often time-consuming and difficult to quantify. This has severely limited the application and utility of behavioral procedures. Swimming behavior is particularly amenable to computerized assessment and automated monitoring. Locomotory responses are sensitive to toxicants and can be easily measured. We briefly discuss the use of behavior in toxicology and automated techniques used in behavioral toxicology. We also describe the system we used to determine locomotory behaviors of fish, and present data demonstrating the system's effectiveness in measuring alterations in response to chemical challenges. Lastly, we correlate behavioral and physiological endpoints.

  2. Improving digit span assessment of short-term verbal memory.

    PubMed

    Woods, David L; Kishiyamaa, Mark M; Lund, E William; Herron, Timothy J; Edwards, Ben; Poliva, Oren; Hink, Robert F; Reed, Bruce

    2011-01-01

    We measured digit span (DS) in two experiments that used computerized presentation of randomized auditory digits with performance-adapted list length adjustment. A new mean span (MS) metric of DS was developed that showed reduced variance, improved test-retest reliability, and higher correlations with the results of other neuropsychological test results when compared to traditional DS measures. The MS metric also enhanced the sensitivity of forward versus backward span comparisons, enabled the development of normative performance criteria with subdigit precision, and elucidated changes in DS performance with age and education level. Computerized stimulus delivery and improved scoring metrics significantly enhance the precision of DS assessments of short-term verbal memory.

  3. Improved USGS methodology for assessing continuous petroleum resources

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Charpentier, Ronald R.; Cook, Troy A.

    2010-01-01

    This report presents an improved methodology for estimating volumes of continuous (unconventional) oil and gas resources within the United States and around the world. The methodology is based on previously developed U.S. Geological Survey methodologies that rely on well-scale production data. Improvements were made primarily to how the uncertainty about estimated ultimate recoveries is incorporated in the estimates. This is particularly important when assessing areas with sparse or no production data, because the new methodology allows better use of analog data from areas with significant discovery histories.

  4. Application of immunomagnetic particles to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for improvement of detection sensitivity of HCG.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Hsiao-Ting; Yeh, Jay Z; Wu, Po-Hua; Jiang, Chii-Ming; Wu, Ming-Chang

    2012-01-01

    This investigation was aimed at using superparamagnetic particles to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (SPIO-ELISA) of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) to enhance detection sensitivity of hCG. We found that N-(3-dimethyl aminopropyl)-N'-ethylcarbodiimide hydrochloride (EDC) was the best cross-linking reagent to link anti hCG α antibody to superparamagnetic particle (SPIO-anti hCG α antibody immunomagnetic particle). To improve the specificity of the assay, a horse radish peroxidase (HRP)-labeled anti-hCG beta monoclonal antibody was used to detect captured hCG using double antibody sandwich ELISA assay. SPIO-ELISA application to determine hCG increased the sensitivity to 1 mIU/mL, which is a level of sensitivity enabling the diagnosis of pregnancy during the early gestational period.

  5. Application of immunomagnetic particles to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for improvement of detection sensitivity of HCG.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Hsiao-Ting; Yeh, Jay Z; Wu, Po-Hua; Jiang, Chii-Ming; Wu, Ming-Chang

    2012-01-01

    This investigation was aimed at using superparamagnetic particles to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (SPIO-ELISA) of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) to enhance detection sensitivity of hCG. We found that N-(3-dimethyl aminopropyl)-N'-ethylcarbodiimide hydrochloride (EDC) was the best cross-linking reagent to link anti hCG α antibody to superparamagnetic particle (SPIO-anti hCG α antibody immunomagnetic particle). To improve the specificity of the assay, a horse radish peroxidase (HRP)-labeled anti-hCG beta monoclonal antibody was used to detect captured hCG using double antibody sandwich ELISA assay. SPIO-ELISA application to determine hCG increased the sensitivity to 1 mIU/mL, which is a level of sensitivity enabling the diagnosis of pregnancy during the early gestational period. PMID:22963487

  6. Improved Enzyme Catalytic Characteristics upon Glutaraldehyde Cross-Linking of Alginate Entrapped Xylanase Isolated from Aspergillus flavus MTCC 9390

    PubMed Central

    Bhushan, Bharat; Pal, Ajay; Jain, Veena

    2015-01-01

    Purified fungal xylanase was entrapped in alginate beads. Its further cross-linking using glutaraldehyde resulted in large enzyme aggregates which may function as both a catalyst and a support material for numerous substrate molecules. Enzyme cross-linking presented a negative impact on enzyme leaching during repeated washings and recovery of enzyme activity was substantial after twelve cycles of usage. The entrapment followed by cross-linking doubled the total bound activity and also greatly improved the enzyme stability at extreme chemical environment. The wide pH stability, better thermo- and storage stability, lowered Km value, and protection from some metal ions are salient achievements of present immobilization. The study shows the efficacy, durability, and sustainability of immobilized catalytic system which could be efficiently used for various juice processing operations. PMID:26347814

  7. Communications Technology Assessment for the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Control and Non-Payload Communications (CNPC) Link

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bretmersky, Steven C.; Bishop, William D.; Dailey, Justin E.; Chevalier, Christine T.

    2014-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Glenn Research Center (GRC) is performing communications systems research for the Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) Project. One of the goals of the communications element is to select and test a communications technology for the UAS Control and Non-Payload Communications (CNPC) link. The GRC UAS Modeling and Simulation (M/S) Sub Team will evaluate the performance of several potential technologies for the CNPC link through detailed software simulations. In parallel, an industry partner will implement a technology in hardware to be used for flight testing. The task necessitated a technical assessment of existing Radio Frequency (RF) communications technologies to identify the best candidate systems for use as the UAS CNPC link. The assessment provides a basis for selecting the technologies for the M/S effort and the hardware radio design. The process developed for the technical assessments for the Future Communications Study1 (FCS) was used as an initial starting point for this assessment. The FCS is a joint Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Eurocontrol study on technologies for use as a future aeronautical communications link. The FCS technology assessment process methodology can be applied to the UAS CNPC link; however the findings of the FCS are not directly applicable because of different requirements between a CNPC link and a general aeronautical data link. Additional technologies were added to the potential technologies list from the State of the Art Unmanned Aircraft System Communication Assessment developed by NASA GRC2. This document investigates the state of the art of communications as related to UAS. A portion of the document examines potential communications systems for a UAS communication architecture. Like the FCS, the state of the art assessment surveyed existing communications technologies. It did not, however, perform a detailed assessment of the

  8. Self-assessed performance improves statistical fusion of image labels

    SciTech Connect

    Bryan, Frederick W. Xu, Zhoubing; Asman, Andrew J.; Allen, Wade M.; Reich, Daniel S.; Landman, Bennett A.

    2014-03-15

    . Statistical fusion resulted in statistically indistinguishable performance from self-assessed weighted voting. The authors developed a new theoretical basis for using self-assessed performance in the framework of statistical fusion and demonstrated that the combined sources of information (both statistical assessment and self-assessment) yielded statistically significant improvement over the methods considered separately. Conclusions: The authors present the first systematic characterization of self-assessed performance in manual labeling. The authors demonstrate that self-assessment and statistical fusion yield similar, but complementary, benefits for label fusion. Finally, the authors present a new theoretical basis for combining self-assessments with statistical label fusion.

  9. Self-assessed performance improves statistical fusion of image labels

    PubMed Central

    Bryan, Frederick W.; Xu, Zhoubing; Asman, Andrew J.; Allen, Wade M.; Reich, Daniel S.; Landman, Bennett A.

    2014-01-01

    . Statistical fusion resulted in statistically indistinguishable performance from self-assessed weighted voting. The authors developed a new theoretical basis for using self-assessed performance in the framework of statistical fusion and demonstrated that the combined sources of information (both statistical assessment and self-assessment) yielded statistically significant improvement over the methods considered separately. Conclusions: The authors present the first systematic characterization of self-assessed performance in manual labeling. The authors demonstrate that self-assessment and statistical fusion yield similar, but complementary, benefits for label fusion. Finally, the authors present a new theoretical basis for combining self-assessments with statistical label fusion. PMID:24593721

  10. Scientists urge DHS to improve Bioterrorism Risk Assessment.

    PubMed

    Parnell, Gregory S; Borio, Luciana L; Brown, Gerald G; Banks, David; Wilson, Alyson G

    2008-12-01

    In 2006, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) completed its first Bioterrorism Risk Assessment (BTRA), intended to be the foundation for DHS's subsequent biennial risk assessments mandated by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 10 (HSPD-10). At the request of DHS, the National Research Council established the Committee on Methodological Improvements to the Department of Homeland Security's Biological Agent Risk Analysis to provide an independent, scientific peer review of the BTRA. The Committee found a number of shortcomings in the BTRA, including a failure to consider terrorists as intelligent adversaries in their models, unnecessary complexity in threat and consequence modeling and simulations, and a lack of focus on risk management. The Committee unanimously concluded that an improved BTRA is needed to provide a more credible foundation for risk-informed decision making.

  11. Improving IRT Item Bias Detection with Iterative Linking and Ability Scale Purification.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Park, Dong-Gun; Lautenschlager, Gary J.

    1990-01-01

    The effectiveness of two iterative methods of item response theory (IRT) item bias detection was examined in a simulation study. A modified form of the iterative item parameter linking method of F. Drasgow and an adaptation of the test purification procedure of F. M. Lord were compared. (SLD)

  12. Making Connections: Linking Cognitive Psychology and Intervention Research to Improve Comprehension of Struggling Readers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McMaster, Kristen L.; Espin, Christine A.; van den Broek, Paul

    2014-01-01

    Many studies have demonstrated the efficacy of reading comprehension interventions for struggling readers, including students with learning disabilities. Yet, some readers continue to struggle with comprehension despite receiving these interventions. In this article, we argue that an explicit link between cognitive psychology and intervention…

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-01-01

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

  14. Link between cognitive neuroscience and education: the case of clinical assessment of developmental dyscalculia

    PubMed Central

    Rubinsten, Orly

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, cognitive neuroscience research has identified several biological and cognitive features of number processing deficits that may now make it possible to diagnose mental or educational impairments in arithmetic, even earlier and more precisely than is possible using traditional assessment tools. We provide two sets of recommendations for improving cognitive assessment tools, using the important case of mathematics as an example. (1) neurocognitive tests would benefit substantially from incorporating assessments (based on findings from cognitive neuroscience) that entail systematic manipulation of fundamental aspects of number processing. Tests that focus on evaluating networks of core neurocognitive deficits have considerable potential to lead to more precise diagnosis and to provide the basis for designing specific intervention programs tailored to the deficits exhibited by the individual child. (2) implicit knowledge, derived from inspection of variables that are irrelevant to the task at hand, can also provide a useful assessment tool. Implicit knowledge is powerful and plays an important role in human development, especially in cases of psychiatric or neurological deficiencies (such as math learning disabilities or math anxiety). PMID:26074805

  15. Using automated continual performance assessment to improve health care.

    PubMed

    Wulff, K R; Westphal, J R; Shray, S L; Hunkeler, E F

    1997-01-01

    Inefficiency in the work of health care providers is evident and contributes to health care costs. In the early 20th century, industrial engineers developed scientific methods for studying work to improve performance (efficiency) by measuring results--i.e., quality, cost, and productivity. In the mid-20th century, business managers developed ways to apply these methods to improve the work process. These scientific methods and management approaches can be applied to improving medical work. Fee-for-service practice has had incentives to maximize productivity, and prepaid practice has had incentives to minimize costs, but no sector of the health care system has systematically pursued the optimization of all performance variables: quality, cost, and productivity. We have reviewed evolving methods for the automation of continual assessment of performance in health care using touch screen and computer telephone, logging and scheduling software, appropriate combinations of generic or disease-specific health status questionnaires, physiologic measurements or laboratory assays from computerized records, and cost and productivity data from computerized registration logs. We propose that the results of outcome assessment be rapidly and continually transmitted to providers, patients, and managers so that health care processes can be progressively improved. The evolving systems we have described are the practical tools that can help us achieve our performance goals.

  16. System change: quality assessment and improvement for Medicaid managed care.

    PubMed

    Smith, W R; Cotter, J J; Rossiter, L F

    1996-01-01

    Rising Medicaid health expenditures have hastened the development of State managed care programs. Methods to monitor and improve health care under Medicaid are changing. Under fee-for-service (FFS), the primary concern was to avoid overutilization. Under managed care, it is to avoid underutilization. Quality enhancement thus moves from addressing inefficiency to addressing insufficiency of care. This article presents a case study of Virginia's redesign of Quality Assessment and Improvement (QA/I) for Medicaid, adapting the guidelines of the Quality Assurance Reform Initiative (QARI) of the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA). The article concludes that redesigns should emphasize Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI) by all providers and of multi-faceted, population-based data.

  17. Link calibration against receiver calibration: an assessment of GPS time transfer uncertainties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rovera, G. D.; Torre, J.-M.; Sherwood, R.; Abgrall, M.; Courde, C.; Laas-Bourez, M.; Uhrich, P.

    2014-10-01

    We present a direct comparison between two different techniques for the relative calibration of time transfer between remote time scales when using the signals transmitted by the Global Positioning System (GPS). Relative calibration estimates the delay of equipment or the delay of a time transfer link with respect to reference equipment. It is based on the circulation of some travelling GPS equipment between the stations in the network, against which the local equipment is measured. Two techniques can be considered: first a station calibration by the computation of the hardware delays of the local GPS equipment; second the computation of a global hardware delay offset for the time transfer between the reference points of two remote time scales. This last technique is called a ‘link’ calibration, with respect to the other one, which is a ‘receiver’ calibration. The two techniques require different measurements on site, which change the uncertainty budgets, and we discuss this and related issues. We report on one calibration campaign organized during Autumn 2013 between Observatoire de Paris (OP), Paris, France, Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur (OCA), Calern, France, and NERC Space Geodesy Facility (SGF), Herstmonceux, United Kingdom. The travelling equipment comprised two GPS receivers of different types, along with the required signal generator and distribution amplifier, and one time interval counter. We show the different ways to compute uncertainty budgets, leading to improvement factors of 1.2 to 1.5 on the hardware delay uncertainties when comparing the relative link calibration to the relative receiver calibration.

  18. Utilizing Mobile-Phone-Link Data to Improve Rainfall Monitoring over Cyprus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lange, Manfred; Alpert, Pinhas; David, Noam

    2013-04-01

    There is a need for spatially denser and temporally more detailed observations of precipitation in most countries, including Cyprus. Traditionally, rainfall is measured with rain gauges that are either read manually once a day or automatically at higher temporal frequencies. However, these are point measurements with poor spatial representativeness due to the small sampling area. In Cyprus rain gauges are typically installed close to populated communities and built-up areas, leaving substantial parts of the country only sparsely covered. On the other hand, wireless communication networks are widely spread across the terrain, at heights of only a few tens of meters off the surface. The microwave links, used in these networks, are deployed by cellular providers for backhaul communication between base stations. Since these links operate at frequencies of tens of GHz, atmospheric conditions and particularly rainfall affect the electromagnetic channel causing attenuations to the microwave signals between the radio masts. Cellular networks infrastructures can therefore be regarded as relatively high-precision atmospheric observation system offering fairly dense spatial coverage and high temporal resolution. The principal feasibility of rainfall delineation by microwave attenuation between commercial radio links has been shown by Messer et al. (2006). In the meantime, the group of P. Alpert and H. Messer at Tel Aviv University, and additional groups around the world (e.g. Leijnse et al 2010; Chwala et al., 2012; Wang et al., 2012 ) have further developed the methodology. The objectives of the current project, which is still being implemented, can be summarized as follows: i. to carry out a feasibility study on the utilization of mobile-phone-link-data for rainfall observations in Cyprus; ii. to evaluate, adapt and implement the analysis methodology/software developed and used at TAU at the Energy, Environment and Water Research Center of The Cyprus Institute; iii. to

  19. Synesthesia for color is linked to improved color perception but reduced motion perception.

    PubMed

    Banissy, Michael J; Tester, Victoria; Muggleton, Neil G; Janik, Agnieszka B; Davenport, Aimee; Franklin, Anna; Walsh, Vincent; Ward, Jamie

    2013-12-01

    Synesthesia is a rare condition in which one property of a stimulus (e.g., shape) triggers a secondary percept (e.g., color) not typically associated with the first. Work on synesthesia has predominantly focused on confirming the authenticity of synesthetic experience, but much less research has been conducted to examine the extent to which synesthesia is linked to broader perceptual differences. In the research reported here, we examined whether synesthesia is associated with differences in color and motion processing by comparing these abilities in synesthetes who experience color as their evoked sensation with nonsynesthetic participants. We show that synesthesia for color is linked to facilitated color sensitivity but decreased motion sensitivity. These findings are discussed in relation to the neurocognitive mechanisms of synesthesia and interactions between color and motion processing in typical adults.

  20. Improving environmental impact and cost assessment for supplier evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beucker, Severin; Lang, Claus

    2004-02-01

    Improving a company"s environmental and financial performance necessitates the evaluation of environmental impacts deriving from the production and cost effects of corporate actions. These effects have to be made transparent and concrete targets have to be developed. Such an evaluation has to be done on a regular basis but with limited expenses. To achieve this, different instruments of environmental controlling such as LCA and environmental performance indicators have to be combined with methods from cost accounting. Within the research project CARE (Computer Aided Resource Efficiency Accounting for Medium-Sized Enterprises), the method Resource Efficiency Accounting (REA) is used to give the participating companies new insights into hidden costs and environmental effects of their production and products. The method combines process based cost accounting with environmental impact assessment methodology and offers results that can be integrated into a company"s environmental controlling system and business processes like cost accounting, supplier assessment, etc. Much of the data necessary for the combined assessment can be available within a company"s IT system and therefore can be efficiently used for the assessment process. The project CARE puts a strong focus on the use of company data and information systems for the described assessment process and offers a methodological background for the evaluation and the structuring of such data. Besides the general approach of the project CARE the paper will present results from a case study in which the described approach is used for the evaluation of suppliers.

  1. Improving Power System Modeling. A Tool to Link Capacity Expansion and Production Cost Models

    SciTech Connect

    Diakov, Victor; Cole, Wesley; Sullivan, Patrick; Brinkman, Gregory; Margolis, Robert

    2015-11-01

    Capacity expansion models (CEM) provide a high-level long-term view at the prospects of the evolving power system. In simulating the possibilities of long-term capacity expansion, it is important to maintain the viability of power system operation in the short-term (daily, hourly and sub-hourly) scales. Production-cost models (PCM) simulate routine power system operation on these shorter time scales using detailed load, transmission and generation fleet data by minimizing production costs and following reliability requirements. When based on CEM 'predictions' about generating unit retirements and buildup, PCM provide more detailed simulation for the short-term system operation and, consequently, may confirm the validity of capacity expansion predictions. Further, production cost model simulations of a system that is based on capacity expansion model solution are 'evolutionary' sound: the generator mix is the result of logical sequence of unit retirement and buildup resulting from policy and incentives. The above has motivated us to bridge CEM with PCM by building a capacity expansion - to - production cost model Linking Tool (CEPCoLT). The Linking Tool is built to onset capacity expansion model prescriptions onto production cost model inputs. NREL's ReEDS and Energy Examplar's PLEXOS are the capacity expansion and the production cost models, respectively. Via the Linking Tool, PLEXOS provides details of operation for the regionally-defined ReEDS scenarios.

  2. Ambroxol improves lysosomal biochemistry in glucocerebrosidase mutation-linked Parkinson disease cells.

    PubMed

    McNeill, Alisdair; Magalhaes, Joana; Shen, Chengguo; Chau, Kai-Yin; Hughes, Derralyn; Mehta, Atul; Foltynie, Tom; Cooper, J Mark; Abramov, Andrey Y; Gegg, Matthew; Schapira, Anthony H V

    2014-05-01

    Gaucher disease is caused by mutations in the glucocerebrosidase gene, which encodes the lysosomal hydrolase glucosylceramidase. Patients with Gaucher disease and heterozygous glucocerebrosidase mutation carriers are at increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease. Indeed, glucocerebrosidase mutations are the most frequent risk factor for Parkinson's disease in the general population. Therefore there is an urgent need to understand the mechanisms by which glucocerebrosidase mutations predispose to neurodegeneration to facilitate development of novel treatments. To study this we generated fibroblast lines from skin biopsies of five patients with Gaucher disease and six heterozygous glucocerebrosidase mutation carriers with and without Parkinson's disease. Glucosylceramidase protein and enzyme activity levels were assayed. Oxidative stress was assayed by single cell imaging of dihydroethidium. Glucosylceramidase enzyme activity was significantly reduced in fibroblasts from patients with Gaucher disease (median 5% of controls, P = 0.0001) and heterozygous mutation carriers with (median 59% of controls, P = 0.001) and without (56% of controls, P = 0.001) Parkinson's disease compared with controls. Glucosylceramidase protein levels, assessed by western blot, were significantly reduced in fibroblasts from Gaucher disease (median glucosylceramidase levels 42% of control, P < 0.001) and heterozygous mutation carriers with (median 59% of control, P < 0.001) and without (median 68% of control, P < 0.001) Parkinson's disease. Single cell imaging of dihydroethidium demonstrated increased production of cytosolic reactive oxygen species in fibroblasts from patients with Gaucher disease (dihydroethidium oxidation rate increased by a median of 62% compared to controls, P < 0.001) and heterozygous mutation carriers with (dihydroethidium oxidation rate increased by a median of 68% compared with controls, P < 0.001) and without (dihydroethidium oxidation rate increased by a

  3. Ambroxol improves lysosomal biochemistry in glucocerebrosidase mutation-linked Parkinson disease cells.

    PubMed

    McNeill, Alisdair; Magalhaes, Joana; Shen, Chengguo; Chau, Kai-Yin; Hughes, Derralyn; Mehta, Atul; Foltynie, Tom; Cooper, J Mark; Abramov, Andrey Y; Gegg, Matthew; Schapira, Anthony H V

    2014-05-01

    Gaucher disease is caused by mutations in the glucocerebrosidase gene, which encodes the lysosomal hydrolase glucosylceramidase. Patients with Gaucher disease and heterozygous glucocerebrosidase mutation carriers are at increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease. Indeed, glucocerebrosidase mutations are the most frequent risk factor for Parkinson's disease in the general population. Therefore there is an urgent need to understand the mechanisms by which glucocerebrosidase mutations predispose to neurodegeneration to facilitate development of novel treatments. To study this we generated fibroblast lines from skin biopsies of five patients with Gaucher disease and six heterozygous glucocerebrosidase mutation carriers with and without Parkinson's disease. Glucosylceramidase protein and enzyme activity levels were assayed. Oxidative stress was assayed by single cell imaging of dihydroethidium. Glucosylceramidase enzyme activity was significantly reduced in fibroblasts from patients with Gaucher disease (median 5% of controls, P = 0.0001) and heterozygous mutation carriers with (median 59% of controls, P = 0.001) and without (56% of controls, P = 0.001) Parkinson's disease compared with controls. Glucosylceramidase protein levels, assessed by western blot, were significantly reduced in fibroblasts from Gaucher disease (median glucosylceramidase levels 42% of control, P < 0.001) and heterozygous mutation carriers with (median 59% of control, P < 0.001) and without (median 68% of control, P < 0.001) Parkinson's disease. Single cell imaging of dihydroethidium demonstrated increased production of cytosolic reactive oxygen species in fibroblasts from patients with Gaucher disease (dihydroethidium oxidation rate increased by a median of 62% compared to controls, P < 0.001) and heterozygous mutation carriers with (dihydroethidium oxidation rate increased by a median of 68% compared with controls, P < 0.001) and without (dihydroethidium oxidation rate increased by a

  4. Linking geology and health sciences to assess childhood lead poisoning from artisanal gold mining in Nigeria

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Plumlee, Geoffrey S.; Durant, James T.; Morman, Suzette A.; Neri, Antonio; Wolf, Ruth E.; Dooyema, Carrie A.; Hageman, Philip L.; Lowers, Heather; Fernette, Gregory L.; Meeker, Gregory P.; Benzel, William M.; Driscoll, Rhonda L.; Berry, Cyrus J.; Crock, James G.; Goldstein, Harland L.; Adams, Monique; Bartrem, Casey L.; Tirima, Simba; Behrooz, Behbod; von Lindern, Ian; Brown, Mary Jean

    2013-01-01

    Background: In 2010, Médecins Sans Frontières discovered a lead poisoning outbreak linked to artisanal gold processing in northwestern Nigeria. The outbreak has killed approximately 400 young children and affected thousands more. Objectives: Our aim was to undertake an interdisciplinary geological- and health-science assessment to clarify lead sources and exposure pathways, identify additional toxicants of concern and populations at risk, and examine potential for similar lead poisoning globally. Methods: We applied diverse analytical methods to ore samples, soil and sweep samples from villages and family compounds, and plant foodstuff samples. Results: Natural weathering of lead-rich gold ores before mining formed abundant, highly gastric-bioaccessible lead carbonates. The same fingerprint of lead minerals found in all sample types confirms that ore processing caused extreme contamination, with up to 185,000 ppm lead in soils/sweep samples and up to 145 ppm lead in plant foodstuffs. Incidental ingestion of soils via hand-to-mouth transmission and of dusts cleared from the respiratory tract is the dominant exposure pathway. Consumption of water and foodstuffs contaminated by the processing is likely lesser, but these are still significant exposure pathways. Although young children suffered the most immediate and severe consequences, results indicate that older children, adult workers, pregnant women, and breastfed infants are also at risk for lead poisoning. Mercury, arsenic, manganese, antimony, and crystalline silica exposures pose additional health threats. Conclusions: Results inform ongoing efforts in Nigeria to assess lead contamination and poisoning, treat victims, mitigate exposures, and remediate contamination. Ore deposit geology, pre-mining weathering, and burgeoning artisanal mining may combine to cause similar lead poisoning disasters elsewhere globally.

  5. Linking Geological and Health Sciences to Assess Childhood Lead Poisoning from Artisanal Gold Mining in Nigeria

    PubMed Central

    Durant, James T.; Morman, Suzette A.; Neri, Antonio; Wolf, Ruth E.; Dooyema, Carrie A.; Hageman, Philip L.; Lowers, Heather A.; Fernette, Gregory L.; Meeker, Gregory P.; Benzel, William M.; Driscoll, Rhonda L.; Berry, Cyrus J.; Crock, James G.; Goldstein, Harland L.; Adams, Monique; Bartrem, Casey L.; Tirima, Simba; Behbod, Behrooz; von Lindern, Ian; Brown, Mary Jean

    2013-01-01

    Background: In 2010, Médecins Sans Frontières discovered a lead poisoning outbreak linked to artisanal gold processing in northwestern Nigeria. The outbreak has killed approximately 400 young children and affected thousands more. Objectives: Our aim was to undertake an interdisciplinary geological- and health-science assessment to clarify lead sources and exposure pathways, identify additional toxicants of concern and populations at risk, and examine potential for similar lead poisoning globally. Methods: We applied diverse analytical methods to ore samples, soil and sweep samples from villages and family compounds, and plant foodstuff samples. Results: Natural weathering of lead-rich gold ores before mining formed abundant, highly gastric-bioaccessible lead carbonates. The same fingerprint of lead minerals found in all sample types confirms that ore processing caused extreme contamination, with up to 185,000 ppm lead in soils/sweep samples and up to 145 ppm lead in plant foodstuffs. Incidental ingestion of soils via hand-to-mouth transmission and of dusts cleared from the respiratory tract is the dominant exposure pathway. Consumption of water and foodstuffs contaminated by the processing is likely lesser, but these are still significant exposure pathways. Although young children suffered the most immediate and severe consequences, results indicate that older children, adult workers, pregnant women, and breastfed infants are also at risk for lead poisoning. Mercury, arsenic, manganese, antimony, and crystalline silica exposures pose additional health threats. Conclusions: Results inform ongoing efforts in Nigeria to assess lead contamination and poisoning, treat victims, mitigate exposures, and remediate contamination. Ore deposit geology, pre-mining weathering, and burgeoning artisanal mining may combine to cause similar lead poisoning disasters elsewhere globally. PMID:23524139

  6. Cross-linked enzyme aggregates (CLEAs) of Pencilluim notatum lipase enzyme with improved activity, stability and reusability characteristics.

    PubMed

    Rehman, Saima; Bhatti, Haq Nawaz; Bilal, Muhammad; Asgher, Muhammad

    2016-10-01

    Cross-linked enzyme aggregates (CLEAs) are considered as an effective tool for the immobilization of enzyme. In this study, Pencillium notatum lipase (PNL) was immobilized as carrier free cross-linked enzyme aggregates using glutaraldehyde (GLA) and Ethylene glycol-bis [succinic acid N-hydroxysuccinimide] (EG-NHS) as cross-linking agents. The optimal conditions for the synthesis of an efficient lipase CLEAs such as precipitant type, the nature and amount of cross-linking reagent, and cross-linking time were optimized. The recovered activities of CLEAs were considerably dependent on the concentration of GLA; however, the activity recovery was not severely affected by EG-NHS as a mild cross-linker. The EG-NHS aggregates displayed superior hydrolytic (52.08±2.52%) and esterification (64.42%) activities as compared to GLA aggregates which showed 23.8±1.86 and 34.54% of hydrolytic and esterification activity, respectively. Morphological analysis by fluorescence and scanning electron microscope revealed that EG-NHS aggregates were smaller in size with larger surface area compared to GLA aggregates. The pH optima of both types of CLEAs were displaced to slightly alkaline region and higher temperature as compared to native enzyme. Highest enzyme activity of CLEAs was achieved at the pH of 9.0 and 42°C temperature. Moreover, a significant improvement in the thermal resistance was also recorded after immobilization. After ten reusability cycles in aqueous medium, GLA and EG-NHS cross-linked lipase CLEAs preserved 63.62% and 70.9% of their original activities, respectively. The results suggest that this novel CLEA-lipase is potentially usable in many industrial applications.

  7. Cross-linked enzyme aggregates (CLEAs) of Pencilluim notatum lipase enzyme with improved activity, stability and reusability characteristics.

    PubMed

    Rehman, Saima; Bhatti, Haq Nawaz; Bilal, Muhammad; Asgher, Muhammad

    2016-10-01

    Cross-linked enzyme aggregates (CLEAs) are considered as an effective tool for the immobilization of enzyme. In this study, Pencillium notatum lipase (PNL) was immobilized as carrier free cross-linked enzyme aggregates using glutaraldehyde (GLA) and Ethylene glycol-bis [succinic acid N-hydroxysuccinimide] (EG-NHS) as cross-linking agents. The optimal conditions for the synthesis of an efficient lipase CLEAs such as precipitant type, the nature and amount of cross-linking reagent, and cross-linking time were optimized. The recovered activities of CLEAs were considerably dependent on the concentration of GLA; however, the activity recovery was not severely affected by EG-NHS as a mild cross-linker. The EG-NHS aggregates displayed superior hydrolytic (52.08±2.52%) and esterification (64.42%) activities as compared to GLA aggregates which showed 23.8±1.86 and 34.54% of hydrolytic and esterification activity, respectively. Morphological analysis by fluorescence and scanning electron microscope revealed that EG-NHS aggregates were smaller in size with larger surface area compared to GLA aggregates. The pH optima of both types of CLEAs were displaced to slightly alkaline region and higher temperature as compared to native enzyme. Highest enzyme activity of CLEAs was achieved at the pH of 9.0 and 42°C temperature. Moreover, a significant improvement in the thermal resistance was also recorded after immobilization. After ten reusability cycles in aqueous medium, GLA and EG-NHS cross-linked lipase CLEAs preserved 63.62% and 70.9% of their original activities, respectively. The results suggest that this novel CLEA-lipase is potentially usable in many industrial applications. PMID:27365121

  8. Assessing DNA methylation in the developing human intestinal epithelium: potential link to inflammatory bowel disease.

    PubMed

    Kraiczy, J; Nayak, K; Ross, A; Raine, T; Mak, T N; Gasparetto, M; Cario, E; Rakyan, V; Heuschkel, R; Zilbauer, M

    2016-05-01

    DNA methylation is one of the major epigenetic mechanisms implicated in regulating cellular development and cell-type-specific gene expression. Here we performed simultaneous genome-wide DNA methylation and gene expression analysis on purified intestinal epithelial cells derived from human fetal gut, healthy pediatric biopsies, and children newly diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Results were validated using pyrosequencing, real-time PCR, and immunostaining. The functional impact of DNA methylation changes on gene expression was assessed by employing in-vitro assays in intestinal cell lines. DNA methylation analyses allowed identification of 214 genes for which expression is regulated via DNA methylation, i.e. regulatory differentially methylated regions (rDMRs). Pathway and functional analysis of rDMRs suggested a critical role for DNA methylation in regulating gene expression and functional development of the human intestinal epithelium. Moreover, analysis performed on intestinal epithelium of children newly diagnosed with IBD revealed alterations in DNA methylation within genomic loci, which were found to overlap significantly with those undergoing methylation changes during intestinal development. Our study provides novel insights into the physiological role of DNA methylation in regulating functional maturation of the human intestinal epithelium. Moreover, we provide data linking developmentally acquired alterations in the DNA methylation profile to changes seen in pediatric IBD.

  9. Improving college science teaching through peer coaching and classroom assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Sode, J.R.

    1994-12-31

    Peer coaching involves the observation of one teacher by another. This observation is accompanied by open and honest reflective discussion. The three main components of peer coaching are pre conference (for setting observation guidelines and building trust), observation (the sytematic collection of classroom data), and post conference (a non evaluative examination and discussion of the classroom). The non-evaluative post conference involves an examination of the teaching/learning process that occurred during the observation phase. In effective assessment, information on what and how well students are learning is used to make decisions about overall program improvement and to implement continuous classroom improvement. During peer coaching and assessment neither the instructor nor the students are formally evaluated. This session presents a sequential process in which the peer coaching steps of pre conference, observation, and post conference are combined with assessment to provide instructional guidance. An actual cast study, using the student complaint, {open_quotes}Lectures are boring and useless,{close_quotes} is used to demonstrate the process.

  10. Linking School Effectiveness and School Improvement: The Background and Outline of the Project

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Creemers, Bert P. M.; Reezigt, Gerry J.

    2005-01-01

    School effectiveness and school improvement have different origins: School effectiveness is more directed to finding out "what works" in education and "why"; school improvement is practice and policy oriented and intended to change education in the desired direction. However, in their orientation to outcomes, input, processes, and context in…

  11. Another link to improving the working environment in acute care hospitals: registered nurses' spirit at work.

    PubMed

    Urban, Ann-Marie; Wagner, Joan I

    2013-12-01

    Hospitals are situated within historical and socio-political contexts; these influence the provision of patient care and the work of registered nurses (RNs). Since the early 1990s, restructuring and the increasing pressure to save money and improve efficiency have plagued acute care hospitals. These changes have affected both the work environment and the work of nurses. After recognizing this impact, healthcare leaders have dedicated many efforts to improving the work environment in hospitals. Admirable in their intent, these initiatives have made little change for RNs and their work environment, and thus, an opportunity exists for other efforts. Research indicates that spirit at work (SAW) not only improves the work environment but also strengthens the nurse's power to improve patient outcomes and contribute to a high-quality workplace. In this paper, we present findings from our research that suggest SAW be considered an important component in improving the work environment in acute care hospitals.

  12. Opportunities for improved risk assessments of exotic species in Canada using bioclimatic modeling.

    PubMed

    McKenney, Daniel W; Hopkin, Anthony A; Campbell, Kathy L; Mackey, Brendan G; Foottit, Robert

    2003-01-01

    This paper briefly reviews the process of exotic pest risk assessments and presents some examples of emerging opportunities for spatial bioclimatic modeling of exotic species in Canada. This type of analysis can support risk assessments but does not replace the need for on-going high quality field-based observations to validate and update models. Bioclimatic analysis of several exotic pests is provided to illustrate both opportunities and limits. A link is demonstrated to the National Forest Inventory to characterize timber volumes at risk for one exotic species. 'Challenges' are both scientific and administrative. More accessible and current field survey data are required to improve models. Our experience is that for many exotic species, historical, and even current, data are not always digital or quality controlled for taxonomic identity and accurate geo-referencing. This inhibits their use for integrated spatial modeling applications.

  13. Strategy to improve quality in emergency medical services: from assessment to policy.

    PubMed

    Tozija, Fimka; Jankulovski, Nikola

    2013-12-01

    The aim of this paper was to present the strategic approach applied for improvement of quality in emergency medical services (EMS) in the Republic of Macedonia. This approach was accomplished through three stages: (I) assessment and recommendations for policies; (II) development of innovative evidence-based programmes; and (III) policy implementation. Strategic assessment of EMS was performed by applying WHO standard methodology. A survey was conducted in 2006/2007 on the national level in fifteen general hospitals, four university hospitals, and sixteen pre-hospital EMS. The overall evaluation was based on a hospital emergency department (ED) questionnaire, information on the general characteristics of the pre-hospital dispatch centre, review of ED medical records, and the patient questionnaire. The key findings of the assessment showed that EMS required extensive changes and improvements. Pre-hospital EMS was not well-developed and utilised. Hospital EDs were not organised as separate divisions ran by a head medical doctor. The diagnostic and treatment capacities were insufficient or outdated. Most of the surveyed hospitals were capable of providing essential diagnostic tests in 24 h or less. There was no follow-up of the EMS patients or an appropriate link between the hospital EDs and primary health care facilities. The main findings of the assessment, recommendations, and proposals for action served as the basis for new policies and integrated into Macedonia's official strategy for emergency medical services 2009-2017.

  14. IMPROVING CONSISTENCY OF PERFORMANCE ASSESSMENTS IN THE DOE COMPLEX

    SciTech Connect

    Seitz, R; Elmer Wilhite, E

    2009-01-20

    The low-level waste (LLW) performance assessment (PA) process has been traditionally focused on disposal facilities at a few United States Department of Energy (USDOE) sites and commercial disposal facilities. In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the scope of the use of PA-like modeling approaches, involving multiple activities, facilities, contractors and regulators. The scope now includes, for example: (1) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) assessments, (2) CERCLA disposal cells, (3) Waste Determinations and High-Level Waste (HLW) Closure activities, (4) Potential on-site disposal of Transuranic (TRU) waste, and (5) In-situ decommissioning (including potential use of existing facilities for disposal). The dramatic increase in the variety of activities requiring more detailed modeling has resulted in a similar increase in the potential for inconsistency in approaches both at a site and complexwide scale. This paper includes a summary of USDOE Environmental Management (EM) sponsored initiatives and activities for improved consistency. New initiatives entitled the Performance Assessment Community of Practice and Performance Assessment Assistance Team are also introduced.

  15. A new quality assessment and improvement system for print media

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Mohan; Konya, Iuliu; Nandzik, Jan; Flores-Herr, Nicolas; Eickeler, Stefan; Ndjiki-Nya, Patrick

    2012-12-01

    Print media collections of considerable size are held by cultural heritage organizations and will soon be subject to digitization activities. However, technical content quality management in digitization workflows strongly relies on human monitoring. This heavy human intervention is cost intensive and time consuming, which makes automization mandatory. In this article, a new automatic quality assessment and improvement system is proposed. The digitized source image and color reference target are extracted from the raw digitized images by an automatic segmentation process. The target is evaluated by a reference-based algorithm. No-reference quality metrics are applied to the source image. Experimental results are provided to illustrate the performance of the proposed system. We show that it features a good performance in the extraction as well as in the quality assessment step compared to the state-of-the-art. The impact of efficient and dedicated quality assessors on the optimization step is extensively documented.

  16. Improving links between literature and biological data with text mining: a case study with GEO, PDB and MEDLINE.

    PubMed

    Névéol, Aurélie; Wilbur, W John; Lu, Zhiyong

    2012-01-01

    High-throughput experiments and bioinformatics techniques are creating an exploding volume of data that are becoming overwhelming to keep track of for biologists and researchers who need to access, analyze and process existing data. Much of the available data are being deposited in specialized databases, such as the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) for microarrays or the Protein Data Bank (PDB) for protein structures and coordinates. Data sets are also being described by their authors in publications archived in literature databases such as MEDLINE and PubMed Central. Currently, the curation of links between biological databases and the literature mainly relies on manual labour, which makes it a time-consuming and daunting task. Herein, we analysed the current state of link curation between GEO, PDB and MEDLINE. We found that the link curation is heterogeneous depending on the sources and databases involved, and that overlap between sources is low, <50% for PDB and GEO. Furthermore, we showed that text-mining tools can automatically provide valuable evidence to help curators broaden the scope of articles and database entries that they review. As a result, we made recommendations to improve the coverage of curated links, as well as the consistency of information available from different databases while maintaining high-quality curation. Database URLs: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/geo/, http://www.rcsb.org/pdb/

  17. Links for Academic Learning (LAL): A Conceptual Model for Investigating Alignment of Alternate Assessments Based on Alternate Achievement Standards

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flowers, Claudia; Wakeman, Shawnee; Browder, Diane M.; Karvonen, Meagan

    2009-01-01

    This article describes an alignment procedure, called Links for Academic Learning (LAL), for examining the degree of alignment of alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS) to grade-level content standards and instruction. Although some of the alignment criteria are similar to those used in general education…

  18. Screening for colorectal cancer: possible improvements by risk assessment evaluation?

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Hans J; Jakobsen, Karen V; Christensen, Ib J; Brünner, Nils

    2011-11-01

    Emerging results indicate that screening improves survival of patients with colorectal cancer. Therefore, screening programs are already implemented or are being considered for implementation in Asia, Europe and North America. At present, a great variety of screening methods are available including colono- and sigmoidoscopy, CT- and MR-colonography, capsule endoscopy, DNA and occult blood in feces, and so on. The pros and cons of the various tests, including economic issues, are debated. Although a plethora of evaluated and validated tests even with high specificities and reasonable sensitivities are available, an international consensus on screening procedures is still not established. The rather limited compliance in present screening procedures is a significant drawback. Furthermore, some of the procedures are costly and, therefore, selection methods for these procedures are needed. Current research into improvements of screening for colorectal cancer includes blood-based biological markers, such as proteins, DNA and RNA in combination with various demographically and clinically parameters into a "risk assessment evaluation" (RAE) test. It is assumed that such a test may lead to higher acceptance among the screening populations, and thereby improve the compliances. Furthermore, the involvement of the media, including social media, may add even more individuals to the screening programs. Implementation of validated RAE and progressively improved screening methods may reform the cost/benefit of screening procedures for colorectal cancer. Therefore, results of present research, validating RAE tests, are awaited with interest. PMID:21854094

  19. Assessment to Improve Learning in Higher Education: The BEAR Assessment System

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilson, Mark; Scalise, Kathleen

    2006-01-01

    This paper discusses how assessment practices in higher education can improve or hinder learning. An example is given to illustrate some common educational practices that may be contributing to underpreparation and underperformance of students. Elements of effective learning environments that may better address underlying metacognitive issues are…

  20. Linking guidelines to Electronic Health Record design for improved chronic disease management.

    PubMed

    Barretto, Sistine A; Warren, Jim; Goodchild, Andrew; Bird, Linda; Heard, Sam; Stumptner, Markus

    2003-01-01

    The promise of electronic decision support to promote evidence based practice remains elusive in the context of chronic disease management. We examine the problem of achieving a close relationship of Electronic Health Record (EHR) content to other components of a clinical information system (guidelines, decision support and workflow), particularly linking the decisions made by providers back to the guidelines. We use the openEHR architecture, which allows extension of a core Reference Model via Archetypes to refine the detailed information recording options for specific classes of encounter. We illustrate the use of openEHR for tracking the relationship of a series of clinical encounters to a guideline via a case study of guideline-compliant treatment of hypertension in diabetes. This case study shows the contribution guideline content can have on problem-specific EHR structure and demonstrates the potential for a constructive interaction of electronic decision support and the EHR.

  1. Assessing anaerobic co-digestion of pig manure with agroindustrial wastes: the link between environmental impacts and operational parameters.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Verde, Ivan; Regueiro, Leticia; Carballa, Marta; Hospido, Almudena; Lema, Juan M

    2014-11-01

    Anaerobic co-digestion (AcoD) is established as a techno-economic profitable process by incrementing biogas yield (increased cost-efficiency) and improving the nutrient balance (better quality digestate) in comparison to mono-digestion of livestock wastes. However, few data are available on the environmental consequences of AcoD and most of them are mainly related to the use of energy crops as co-substrates. This work analysed the environmental impact of the AcoD of pig manure (PM) with several agroindustrial wastes (molasses, fish, biodiesel and vinasses residues) using life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. For comparative purposes, mono digestion of PM has also been evaluated. Four out of six selected categories (acidification, eutrophication, global warming and photochemical oxidation potentials) showed environmental impacts in all the scenarios assessed, whereas the other two (abiotic depletion and ozone layer depletion potentials) showed environmental credits, remarking the benefit of replacing fossil fuels by biogas. This was also confirmed by the sensitivity analysis applied to the PM quality (i.e. organic matter content) and the avoided energy source demonstrating the importance of the energy recovery step. The influence of the type of co-substrate could not be discerned; however, a link between the environmental performance and the hydraulic retention time, the organic loading rate and the nutrient content in the digestate could be established. Therefore, LCA results were successfully correlated to process variables involved in AcoD, going a step further in the combination of techno-economic and environmental feasibilities.

  2. Assessing anaerobic co-digestion of pig manure with agroindustrial wastes: the link between environmental impacts and operational parameters.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Verde, Ivan; Regueiro, Leticia; Carballa, Marta; Hospido, Almudena; Lema, Juan M

    2014-11-01

    Anaerobic co-digestion (AcoD) is established as a techno-economic profitable process by incrementing biogas yield (increased cost-efficiency) and improving the nutrient balance (better quality digestate) in comparison to mono-digestion of livestock wastes. However, few data are available on the environmental consequences of AcoD and most of them are mainly related to the use of energy crops as co-substrates. This work analysed the environmental impact of the AcoD of pig manure (PM) with several agroindustrial wastes (molasses, fish, biodiesel and vinasses residues) using life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology. For comparative purposes, mono digestion of PM has also been evaluated. Four out of six selected categories (acidification, eutrophication, global warming and photochemical oxidation potentials) showed environmental impacts in all the scenarios assessed, whereas the other two (abiotic depletion and ozone layer depletion potentials) showed environmental credits, remarking the benefit of replacing fossil fuels by biogas. This was also confirmed by the sensitivity analysis applied to the PM quality (i.e. organic matter content) and the avoided energy source demonstrating the importance of the energy recovery step. The influence of the type of co-substrate could not be discerned; however, a link between the environmental performance and the hydraulic retention time, the organic loading rate and the nutrient content in the digestate could be established. Therefore, LCA results were successfully correlated to process variables involved in AcoD, going a step further in the combination of techno-economic and environmental feasibilities. PMID:25150742

  3. A peptide-linked recombinant glucocerebrosidase for targeted neuronal delivery: Design, production, and assessment.

    PubMed

    Gramlich, Paul A; Westbroek, Wendy; Feldman, Ricardo A; Awad, Ola; Mello, Nicholas; Remington, Mary P; Sun, Ying; Zhang, Wujuan; Sidransky, Ellen; Betenbaugh, Michael J; Fishman, Paul S

    2016-03-10

    Although recombinant glucocerebrosidase (GCase) is the standard therapy for the inherited lysosomal storage disease Gaucher's disease (GD), enzyme replacement is not effective when the central nervous system is affected. We created a series of recombinant genes/proteins where GCase was linked to different membrane binding peptides including the Tat peptide, the rabies glycoprotein derived peptide (RDP), the binding domain from tetanus toxin (TTC), and a tetanus like peptide (Tet1). The majority of these proteins were well-expressed in a mammalian producer cell line (HEK 293F). Purified recombinant Tat-GCase and RDP-GCase showed similar GCase protein delivery to a neuronal cell line that genetically lacks the functional enzyme, and greater delivery than control GCase, Cerezyme (Genzyme). This initial result was unexpected based on observations of superior protein delivery to neurons with RDP as a vector. A recombinant protein where a fragment of the flexible hinge region from IgA (IgAh) was introduced between RDP and GCase showed substantially enhanced GCase neuronal delivery (2.5 times over Tat-GCase), suggesting that the original construct resulted in interference with the capacity of RDP to bind neuronal membranes. Extended treatment of these knockout neuronal cells with either Tat-GCase or RDP-IgAh-GCase resulted in an >90% reduction in the lipid substrate glucosylsphingosine, approaching normal levels. Further in vivo studies of RDP-IgAh-GCase as well as Tat-GCase are warranted to assess their potential as treatments for neuronopathic forms of GD. These peptide vectors are especially attractive as they have the potential to carry a protein across the blood-brain barrier, avoiding invasive direct brain delivery. PMID:26795355

  4. Quantitative Assessment of UVA-Riboflavin Corneal Cross-Linking Using Nonlinear Optical Microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Chai, Dongyul; Gaster, Ronald N.; Roizenblatt, Roberto; Juhasz, Tibor; Brown, Donald J.

    2011-01-01

    Purpose. Corneal collagen cross-linking (CXL) by the use of riboflavin and ultraviolet-A light (UVA) is a promising and novel treatment for keratoconus and other ectatic disorders. Since CXL results in enhanced corneal stiffness, this study tested the hypothesis that CXL-induced stiffening would be proportional to the collagen autofluorescence intensity measured with nonlinear optical (NLO) microscopy. Methods. Rabbit eyes (n = 50) were separated into five groups including: (1) epithelium intact; (2) epithelium removed; (3) epithelium removed and soaked in riboflavin, (4) epithelium removed and soaked in riboflavin, with 15 minutes of UVA exposure; and (5) epithelium removed and soaked in riboflavin, with 30 minutes of UVA exposure. Corneal stiffness was quantified by measuring the force required to displace the cornea 500 μm. Corneas were then fixed in paraformaldehyde and sectioned, and the collagen autofluorescence over the 400- to 450-nm spectrum was recorded. Results. There was no significant difference in corneal stiffness among the three control groups. Corneal stiffness was significantly and dose dependently increased after UVA (P < 0.0005). Autofluorescence was detected only within the anterior stroma of the UVA-treated groups, with no significant difference in the depth of autofluorescence between different UVA exposure levels. The signal intensity was also significantly increased with longer UVA exposure (P < 0.001). Comparing corneal stiffness with autofluorescence intensity revealed a significant correlation between these values (R2 = 0.654; P < 0.0001). Conclusions. The results of this study indicate a significant correlation between corneal stiffening and the intensity of collagen autofluorescence after CXL. This finding suggests that the efficacy of CXL in patients could be monitored by assessing collagen autofluorescence. PMID:21508101

  5. The role of ecological models in linking ecological risk assessment to ecosystem services in agroecosystems.

    PubMed

    Galic, Nika; Schmolke, Amelie; Forbes, Valery; Baveco, Hans; van den Brink, Paul J

    2012-01-15

    Agricultural practices are essential for sustaining the human population, but at the same time they can directly disrupt ecosystem functioning. Ecological risk assessment (ERA) aims to estimate possible adverse effects of human activities on ecosystems and their parts. Current ERA practices, however, incorporate very little ecology and base the risk estimates on the results of standard tests with several standard species. The main obstacles for a more ecologically relevant ERA are the lack of clear protection goals and the inherent complexity of ecosystems that is hard to approach empirically. In this paper, we argue that the ecosystem services framework offers an opportunity to define clear and ecologically relevant protection goals. At the same time, ecological models provide the tools to address ecological complexity to the degree needed to link measurement endpoints and ecosystem services, and to quantify service provision and possible adverse effects from human activities. We focus on the ecosystem services relevant for agroecosystem functioning, including pollination, biocontrol and eutrophication effects and present modeling studies relevant for quantification of each of the services. The challenges of the ecosystem services approach are discussed as well as the limitations of ecological models in the context of ERA. A broad, multi-stakeholder dialog is necessary to aid the definition of protection goals in terms of services delivered by ecosystems and their parts. The need to capture spatio-temporal dynamics and possible interactions among service providers pose challenges for ecological models as a basis for decision making. However, we argue that both fields are advancing quickly and can prove very valuable in achieving more ecologically relevant ERA. PMID:21802704

  6. Assessment of Dextran Antigenicity of Intravenous Iron Preparations with Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)

    PubMed Central

    Neiser, Susann; Koskenkorva, Taija S.; Schwarz, Katrin; Wilhelm, Maria; Burckhardt, Susanna

    2016-01-01

    Intravenous iron preparations are typically classified as non-dextran-based or dextran/dextran-based complexes. The carbohydrate shell for each of these preparations is unique and is key in determining the various physicochemical properties, the metabolic pathway, and the immunogenicity of the iron-carbohydrate complex. As intravenous dextran can cause severe, antibody-mediated dextran-induced anaphylactic reactions (DIAR), the purpose of this study was to explore the potential of various intravenous iron preparations, non-dextran-based or dextran/dextran-based, to induce these reactions. An IgG-isotype mouse monoclonal anti-dextran antibody (5E7H3) and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) were developed to investigate the dextran antigenicity of low molecular weight iron dextran, ferumoxytol, iron isomaltoside 1000, ferric gluconate, iron sucrose and ferric carboxymaltose, as well as isomaltoside 1000, the isolated carbohydrate component of iron isomaltoside 1000. Low molecular weight iron dextran, as well as dextran-based ferumoxytol and iron isomaltoside 1000, reacted with 5E7H3, whereas ferric carboxymaltose, iron sucrose, sodium ferric gluconate, and isolated isomaltoside 1000 did not. Consistent results were obtained with reverse single radial immunodiffusion assay. The results strongly support the hypothesis that, while the carbohydrate alone (isomaltoside 1000) does not form immune complexes with anti-dextran antibodies, iron isomaltoside 1000 complex reacts with anti-dextran antibodies by forming multivalent immune complexes. Moreover, non-dextran based preparations, such as iron sucrose and ferric carboxymaltose, do not react with anti-dextran antibodies. This assay allows to assess the theoretical possibility of a substance to induce antibody-mediated DIARs. Nevertheless, as this is only one possible mechanism that may cause a hypersensitivity reaction, a broader set of assays will be required to get an understanding of the mechanisms that may

  7. Linking local vulnerability to climatic hazard damage assessment for integrated river basin management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hung, Hung-Chih; Liu, Yi-Chung; Chien, Sung-Ying

    2015-04-01

    1. Background Major portions of areas in Asia are expected to increase exposure and vulnerability to climate change and weather extremes due to rapid urbanization and overdevelopment in hazard-prone areas. To prepare and confront the potential impacts of climate change and related hazard risk, many countries have implemented programs of integrated river basin management. This has led to an impending challenge for the police-makers in many developing countries to build effective mechanism to assess how the vulnerability distributes over river basins, and to understand how the local vulnerability links to climatic (climate-related) hazard damages and risks. However, the related studies have received relatively little attention. This study aims to examine whether geographic localities characterized by high vulnerability experience significantly more damages owing to onset weather extreme events at the river basin level, and to explain what vulnerability factors influence these damages or losses. 2. Methods and data An indicator-based assessment framework is constructed with the goal of identifying composite indicators (including exposure, biophysical, socioeconomic, land-use and adaptive capacity factors) that could serve as proxies for attributes of local vulnerability. This framework is applied by combining geographical information system (GIS) techniques with multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) to evaluate and map integrated vulnerability to climatic hazards across river basins. Furthermore, to explain the relationship between vulnerability factors and disaster damages, we develop a disaster damage model (DDM) based on existing disaster impact theory. We then synthesize a Zero-Inflated Poisson regression model with a Tobit regression analysis to identify and examine how the disaster impacts and vulnerability factors connect to typhoon disaster damages and losses. To illustrate the proposed methodology, the study collects data on the vulnerability attributes of

  8. A qualitative method proposal to improve environmental impact assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Toro, Javier; Requena, Ignacio; Duarte, Oscar; Zamorano, Montserrat

    2013-11-15

    In environmental impact assessment, qualitative methods are used because they are versatile and easy to apply. This methodology is based on the evaluation of the strength of the impact by grading a series of qualitative attributes that can be manipulated by the evaluator. The results thus obtained are not objective, and all too often impacts are eliminated that should be mitigated with corrective measures. However, qualitative methodology can be improved if the calculation of Impact Importance is based on the characteristics of environmental factors and project activities instead on indicators assessed by evaluators. In this sense, this paper proposes the inclusion of the vulnerability of environmental factors and the potential environmental impact of project activities. For this purpose, the study described in this paper defined Total Impact Importance and specified a quantification procedure. The results obtained in the case study of oil drilling in Colombia reflect greater objectivity in the evaluation of impacts as well as a positive correlation between impact values, the environmental characteristics at and near the project location, and the technical characteristics of project activities. -- Highlights: • Concept of vulnerability has been used to calculate the importance impact assessment. • This paper defined Total Impact Importance and specified a quantification procedure. • The method includes the characteristics of environmental and project activities. • The application has shown greater objectivity in the evaluation of impacts. • Better correlation between impact values, environment and the project has been shown.

  9. The development of a four-way linking framework in Egypt: an example of the FAO, OIE and WHO joint activities to facilitate national risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Forcella, Simona; El-din El Tantawy, Nasr; Yilma, Jobre; AbdelNabi, Amira; Claes, Filip; Dauphin, Gwenaelle; Mumford, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Cross-sectoral assessment of health risks arising or existing at the human-animal interface is crucial to identifying and implementing effective national disease control measures. This requires availability of information from 4 functional information 'streams' - epidemiological, laboratory, animal, and human health. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)/ World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE)/ World Health Organization (WHO) Four-Way Linking (4WL) project promotes the establishing of a national-level joint framework for data sharing, risk assessment, and risk communication, in order to both improve communications within and among governmental public health and animal health influenza laboratories, epidemiology offices, national partners, with the aim of strengthening the national capacity to detect, report and assess risks arising from emerging influenza viruses. The project is currently being implemented in countries where H5N1 avian influenza is endemic and where human cases have been reported. The project is comprised of two main activities at country level: a 'review mission', which is the project launch in the country and has the objective to assess the existing situation; and a 'scenario based workshop', with the scope to bring together key national partners and build relationships among people working in the 4 information streams and to improve understanding of national strengths and gaps. During the workshop the delegates engaged in interactive sessions on basic risk assessment and devoted to specify the needs and roles of the 4 different streams. The participants work through a mock influenza outbreak scenario, which practically illustrates how risk assessment and communication of an emergency at the animal-human interface is more effective when there is linking of the 4 streams, collaboration, communication, and coordinated action. In 2010, Egypt was the first country where the project was successfully implemented

  10. Missing Link: Integrated Individual Leadership Development, Employee Engagement, and Customer Value-Added Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heldenbrand, Lois; Simms, Michael S.

    2012-01-01

    Long-term care is a key public issue that affects all of us in some way at some time of our lives. Nowhere is performance improvement and quality management more imperative. Through an 8-month field study and follow-up case study, we discuss how using an integrated approach to individual leadership development, employee engagement, and customer…

  11. Community-based primary care: improving and assessing diabetes management.

    PubMed

    Gannon, Meghan; Qaseem, Amir; Snow, Vincenza

    2010-01-01

    Morbidity and mortality associated with diabetes make it a prime target for quality improvement research. Quality gaps and racial/gender disparities persist throughout this population of patients necessitating a sustainable improvement in the clinical management of diabetes. The authors of this study sought (1) to provide a population perspective on diabetes management, and (2) to reinforce evidence-based clinical guidelines through a Web-based educational module.The project also aimed to gain insight into working remotely with a community of rural physicians. This longitudinal pre-post intervention study involved 18 internal medicine physicians and included 3 points of medical record data abstraction over 24 months. A Web-based educational module was introduced after the baseline data abstraction. This module contained chapters on clinical education, practice tools, and self-assessment. The results showed a sustained improvement in most clinical outcomes and demonstrated the effectiveness of using Web-based mediums to reinforce clinical guidelines and change physician behavior.

  12. Assessing customer satisfaction for improving NOAA's climate products and services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyers, J. C.; Hawkins, M. D.; Timofeyeva, M. M.

    2009-12-01

    NOAA's National Weather Service (NWS) Climate Services Division (CSD) is developing a comprehensive climate user requirements process with the ultimate goal of producing climate services that meet the needs of NWS climate information users. An important part of this effort includes engaging users through periodical surveys conducted by the Claes Fornell International (CFI) Group using the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). The CFI Group conducted a Climate Services Satisfaction (CSS) Survey in May of 2009 to measure customer satisfaction with current products and services and to gain insight on areas for improvement. The CSS Survey rates customer satisfaction on a range of NWS climate services data and products, including Climate Prediction Center (CPC) outlooks, drought monitoring, and ENSO monitoring and forecasts, as well as NWS local climate data services. In addition, the survey assesses the users of the products to give the NWS insight into its climate customer base. The survey also addresses specific topics such as NWS forecast category names, probabilistic nature of climate products, and interpretation issues. The survey results identify user requirements for improving existing NWS climate services and introducing new ones. CSD will merge the survey recommendations with available scientific methodologies and operational capabilities to develop requirements for improved climate products and services. An overview of the 2009 survey results will be presented, such as users' satisfaction with the accuracy, reliability, display and functionality of products and services.

  13. Disulphide cross linked pullulan based cationic polymer for improved gene delivery and efflux pump inhibition.

    PubMed

    S, Priya S; R, Rekha M

    2016-10-01

    Multidrug resistance is a hurdle to successful cancer chemotherapy. Over expression of P-glycoprotein (P-gp) is a prime contributing factor for drug resistance. In this study, a disulphide cross-linked pullulan-based cationic polymer (PPSS) was synthesized to act simultaneously as gene delivery vehicle and efflux pump inhibitor. The PPSS nanoplexes were of size <200nm with the zeta potential of +15 to +20mV. The cytotoxicity studies using C6 and L929 cells showed that PPSS polymers are non-toxic even at high polymer concentrations. The PPSS/pDNA nanoplex showed superior uptake in confocal microscopy with 97% uptake by flow cytometry. The efficacy of efflux pump inhibition by the PPSS nanoplex was established by the enhanced intracellular retention of DOX. The enhanced cell death by p53/PPSS/DOX nanoplexes was attributed to the synergistic effect of P-gp inhibition and p53 transfection efficiency. Therefore, this multifunctional polymeric system may have significant promise for therapeutic application against cancer drug resistance. PMID:27459414

  14. Using HSPA to improve the telemedical links on a moving ambulance.

    PubMed

    Banitsas, Konstantinos; Tachakra, Sapal; Stefanidis, Euclid; Boletis, Konstantinos

    2008-01-01

    As the demand for faster and more effective health care increases, there is a growing need to establish mobile, high-speed communications between a moving ambulance and a consultation point (usually a hospital). The recent addition of HSPA (HSDPA and HSUPA) into the UMTS suite provides higher bandwidth and reduced delays, making this choice ideal for real-time telemedical applications. In this paper, we will describe a set of scenarios that took place in a typical large city area, along with their equivalent results: a moving ambulance was linked with a consultation station using HSPA and several videoconferencing sessions were initiated. Best-case, worst-case and average scenarios were recorded. Furthermore, in areas where the UMTS reception was marginal, a repeater was placed on top of the vehicle to boost up the signal power and thus maintain the higher bandwidth. Finally, treating doctors were asked to evaluate the effectiveness of this system's outputs, based on a variety of objective and subjective criteria.

  15. Linking Mission, Strategy and Student Outcomes Assessment: A Cost-Effective Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holoviak, Stephen J.; Verney, Thomas P.; Weigle, Jerry A.; Holoviak, Justin S.

    2010-01-01

    The purpose of this paper was to provide a demonstration of the assessment methods and processes that are used by the John L. Grove College of Business to assess student outcomes and how these assessments relate to mission and strategy.

  16. Preliminary Experiments for the Assessment of VW-Band Links for Space-Earth Communications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nessel, James A.; Acosta, Roberto J.; Miranda, Felix A.

    2013-01-01

    Since September 2012, NASA Glenn Research Center has deployed a microwave profiling radiometer at White Sands, NM, to estimate atmospheric propagation effects on communications links in the V and W bands (71-86GHz). Estimates of attenuation statistics in the millimeter wave due to gaseous and cloud components of the atmosphere show good agreement with current ITU-R models, but fail to predict link performance in the presence of moderate to heavy rain rates, due to the inherent limitations of passive radiometry. Herein, we discuss the preliminary results of these measurements and describe a design for a terrestrial link experiment to validaterefine existing rain attenuation models in the VW-bands.

  17. Software Process Improvement: Supporting the Linking of the Software and the Business Strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Albuquerque, Adriano Bessa; Rocha, Ana Regina; Lima, Andreia Cavalcanti

    The market is becoming more and more competitive, a lot of products and services depend of the software product and the software is one of the most important assets, which influence the organizations’ businesses. Considering this context, we can observe that the companies must to deal with the software, developing or acquiring, carefully. One of the perspectives that can help to take advantage of the software, supporting effectively the business, is to invest on the organization’s software processes. This paper presents an approach to evaluate and improve the processes assets of the software organizations, based on internationally well-known standards and process models. This approach is supported by automated tools from the TABA Workstation and is part of a wider improvement strategy constituted of three layers (organizational layer, process execution layer and external entity layer). Moreover, this paper presents the experience of use and their results.

  18. Enhancing student performance: Linking the geography curriculum, instruction, and assessment in the English-speaking Caribbean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Collymore, Jennifer C.

    In a 21st century knowledge society individuals are expected to use their knowledge and skills to think critically, problem solve, make decisions, comprehend new ideas, communicate, and collaborate effectively with others. Helping students achieve this level of performance is no easy task and it brings into focus the fact that the effectiveness of any education system rests on the systemic coordination or alignment of three crucial components: curriculum, instruction and assessment (referred to as the CIA). These components must work in concert to facilitate and enhance student performance. However, educational reform typically targets these components in isolation, often treating only one component, rather than the system as a whole. The misalignment of these components can adversely affect student performance in any discipline. When the CIA components are out of alignment, it is difficult to evaluate student and system performance and achieve improvement in an educational system. Therefore, using geography education in Trinidad & Tobago as a case study, this study examined the nature of the alignment among the CIA components in the advanced geography system in the English- Speaking Caribbean and the extent to which the alignment may be affecting student performance. The study sought to determine the possible sources and causes of misalignment, the challenges to achieving alignment, and ways of achieving greater coordination among the CIA components of the system. The methodology employed in the study involved the use of classroom observations, interviews, and the Surveys of Enacted Curriculum Alignment Model which uses content analyses and surveys. The results showed that there were varying degrees of alignment among the components. There was acceptable alignment (Alignment Index ≥ 0.25) between the curriculum and assessment. However, the alignment between curriculum and instruction or assessment and instruction was poor (Alignment Index ≤ 0.12). The baseline

  19. Linked color imaging improves endoscopic diagnosis of active Helicobacter pylori infection

    PubMed Central

    Dohi, Osamu; Yagi, Nobuaki; Onozawa, Yuriko; Kimura-Tsuchiya, Reiko; Majima, Atsushi; Kitaichi, Tomoko; Horii, Yusuke; Suzuki, Kentaro; Tomie, Akira; Okayama, Tetsuya; Yoshida, Naohisa; Kamada, Kazuhiro; Katada, Kazuhiro; Uchiyama, Kazuhiko; Ishikawa, Takeshi; Takagi, Tomohisa; Handa, Osamu; Konishi, Hideyuki; Naito, Yuji; Itoh, Yoshito

    2016-01-01

    Background and study aims: Linked color imaging (LCI) is a new image-enhanced endoscopy technique using a laser light source to enhance slight differences in mucosal color. The aim of this study was to compare the usefulness of LCI and conventional white light imaging (WLI) endoscopy for diagnosing Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). Patients and methods: We retrospectively analyzed images from 60 patients examined with WLI and LCI endoscopy between October 2013 and May 2014. Thirty patients had H. pylori infections, and other thirty patients tested negative for H. pylori after eradication therapy. Four endoscopists evaluated the 2 types of images to determine which was better at facilitating a diagnosis of H. pylori infection. Results: H. pylori infection was identified with LCI by enhancing the red appearance of the fundic gland mucosa. The accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity for diagnosing H. pylori infection using WLI were 74.2 %, 81.7 %, and 66.7 %, respectively, while those for LCI were 85.8 %, 93.3 %, and 78.3 %, respectively. Thus, the accuracy and sensitivity for LCI were significantly higher than those for WLI (P = 0.002 and P = 0.011, respectively). The kappa values for the inter- and intraobserver variability among the 4 endoscopists were higher for LCI than for WLI. Conclusions: H. pylori infection can be identified by enhancing endoscopic images of the diffuse redness of the fundic gland using LCI. LCI is a novel image-enhanced endoscopy and is more useful for diagnosing H. pylori infection than is WLI. PMID:27556101

  20. Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) links biodiversity conservation with sustainable improvements in livelihoods and food production.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Dale; Bell, Samuel D; Fay, John; Bothi, Kim L; Gatere, Lydiah; Kabila, Makando; Mukamba, Mwangala; Matokwani, Edwin; Mushimbalume, Matthews; Moraru, Carmen I; Lehmann, Johannes; Lassoie, James; Wolfe, David; Lee, David R; Buck, Louise; Travis, Alexander J

    2011-08-23

    In the Luangwa Valley, Zambia, persistent poverty and hunger present linked challenges to rural development and biodiversity conservation. Both household coping strategies and larger-scale economic development efforts have caused severe natural resource degradation that limits future economic opportunities and endangers ecosystem services. A model based on a business infrastructure has been developed to promote and maintain sustainable agricultural and natural resource management practices, leading to direct and indirect conservation outcomes. The Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) model operates primarily with communities surrounding national parks, strengthening conservation benefits produced by these protected areas. COMACO first identifies the least food-secure households and trains them in sustainable agricultural practices that minimize threats to natural resources while meeting household needs. In addition, COMACO identifies people responsible for severe natural resource depletion and trains them to generate alternative income sources. In an effort to maintain compliance with these practices, COMACO provides extension support and access to high-value markets that would otherwise be inaccessible to participants. Because the model is continually evolving via adaptive management, success or failure of the model as a whole is difficult to quantify at this early stage. We therefore test specific hypotheses and present data documenting the stabilization of previously declining wildlife populations; the meeting of thresholds of productivity that give COMACO access to stable, high-value markets and progress toward economic self-sufficiency; and the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices by participants and other community members. Together, these findings describe a unique, business-oriented model for poverty alleviation, food production, and biodiversity conservation.

  1. Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) links biodiversity conservation with sustainable improvements in livelihoods and food production

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Dale; Bell, Samuel D.; Fay, John; Bothi, Kim L.; Gatere, Lydiah; Kabila, Makando; Mukamba, Mwangala; Matokwani, Edwin; Mushimbalume, Matthews; Moraru, Carmen I.; Lehmann, Johannes; Lassoie, James; Wolfe, David; Lee, David R.; Buck, Louise; Travis, Alexander J.

    2011-01-01

    In the Luangwa Valley, Zambia, persistent poverty and hunger present linked challenges to rural development and biodiversity conservation. Both household coping strategies and larger-scale economic development efforts have caused severe natural resource degradation that limits future economic opportunities and endangers ecosystem services. A model based on a business infrastructure has been developed to promote and maintain sustainable agricultural and natural resource management practices, leading to direct and indirect conservation outcomes. The Community Markets for Conservation (COMACO) model operates primarily with communities surrounding national parks, strengthening conservation benefits produced by these protected areas. COMACO first identifies the least food-secure households and trains them in sustainable agricultural practices that minimize threats to natural resources while meeting household needs. In addition, COMACO identifies people responsible for severe natural resource depletion and trains them to generate alternative income sources. In an effort to maintain compliance with these practices, COMACO provides extension support and access to high-value markets that would otherwise be inaccessible to participants. Because the model is continually evolving via adaptive management, success or failure of the model as a whole is difficult to quantify at this early stage. We therefore test specific hypotheses and present data documenting the stabilization of previously declining wildlife populations; the meeting of thresholds of productivity that give COMACO access to stable, high-value markets and progress toward economic self-sufficiency; and the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices by participants and other community members. Together, these findings describe a unique, business-oriented model for poverty alleviation, food production, and biodiversity conservation. PMID:21873184

  2. Optimization protocols and improved strategies of cross-linked enzyme aggregates technology: current development and future challenges.

    PubMed

    Cui, Jian Dong; Jia, Shi Ru

    2015-03-01

    Cross-linked enzyme aggregate (CLEA) technology has been regarded as an effective carrier-free immobilization method. This method is very attractive due to its simplicity and robustness, as well as for the possibility of using the crude enzyme extract and the opportunity to co-immobilize multiple different enzymes. The resulting CLEAs generally exhibit high catalyst productivities, improved storage and operational stability and are easy to recycle. Nowadays, although the technology has been applied to various enzymes, some undesirable properties have limited its further application. To overcome these limitations, novel strategies have been developing in recent years. This mini-review focuses on process optimization, new improved strategies and the latest advances on CLEAs technology.

  3. Long-term reductions in anthropogenic nutrients link to improvements in Chesapeake Bay habitat.

    PubMed

    Ruhl, Henry A; Rybicki, Nancy B

    2010-09-21

    Great effort continues to focus on ecosystem restoration and reduction of nutrient inputs thought to be responsible, in part, for declines in estuary habitats worldwide. The ability of environmental policy to address restoration is limited, in part, by uncertainty in the relationships between costly restoration and benefits. Here, we present results from an 18-y field investigation (1990-2007) of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) community dynamics and water quality in the Potomac River, a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. River and anthropogenic discharges lower water clarity by introducing nutrients that stimulate phytoplankton and epiphyte growth as well as suspended sediments. Efforts to restore the Chesapeake Bay are often viewed as failing. Overall nutrient reduction and SAV restoration goals have not been met. In the Potomac River, however, reduced in situ nutrients, wastewater-treatment effluent nitrogen, and total suspended solids were significantly correlated to increased SAV abundance and diversity. Species composition and relative abundance also correlated with nutrient and water-quality conditions, indicating declining fitness of exotic species relative to native species during restoration. Our results suggest that environmental policies that reduce anthropogenic nutrient inputs do result in improved habitat quality, with increased diversity and native species abundances. The results also help elucidate why SAV cover has improved only in some areas of the Chesapeake Bay.

  4. Soccer-specific video simulation for improving movement assessment.

    PubMed

    Cortes, Nelson; Blount, Elaine; Ringleb, Stacie; Onate, James A

    2011-03-01

    The improvement of ecological validity of laboratory research studies has recently come to the forefront of technology with virtual reality scenarios. The purpose of this study was to assess differences between unanticipated and anticipated lower extremity biomechanics while performing a sidestep cutting task. A visualization software was developed for this purpose, which would recreate a soccer game situation for use in a laboratory setting. Thirteen participants volunteered for this study. Lower extremity biomechanical data were collected with a VICON motion analysis system and two force plates, under anticipated and unanticipated conditions while performing a sidestep cutting task. Paired t-tests were conducted to assess possible differences between conditions. Alpha level was set a priori at 0.05. We found an increased knee adduction angle (unanticipated: -7.2 +/- 5.30 degrees; anticipated: -4.0 +/- 5.3 degrees), and knee internal rotation (unanticipated: 8.1 +/- 4.7 degrees; anticipated: 5.2 +/- 6.5 degrees) when performing the unanticipated condition (p < 0.05). The methodological approaches for studies investigating the factors possibly associated with ACL injury may need to take into account the laboratory environment and how the task(s) are presented to the participants. PMID:21560749

  5. Value impact assessment: A preliminary assessment of improvement opportunities at the Quantico Central Heating Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Brambley, M.R.; Weakley, S.A.

    1990-09-01

    This report presents the results of a preliminary assessment of opportunities for improvement at the US Marine Corps (USMC) Quantico, Virginia, Central Heating Plant (CHP). This study is part of a program intended to provide the CHP staff with a computerized Artificial Intelligence (AI) decision support system that will assist in a more efficient, reliable, and safe operation of their plant. As part of the effort to provide the AI decision support system, a team of six scientists and engineers from the Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) visited the plant to characterize the conditions and environment of the CHP. This assessment resulted in a list of potential performance improvement opportunities at the CHP. In this report, 12 of these opportunities are discussed and qualitatively analyzed. 70 refs., 7 figs., 6 tabs.

  6. "What We Breathe Impacts Our Health: Improving Understanding of the Link between Air Pollution and Health".

    PubMed

    West, J Jason; Cohen, Aaron; Dentener, Frank; Brunekreef, Bert; Zhu, Tong; Armstrong, Ben; Bell, Michelle L; Brauer, Michael; Carmichael, Gregory; Costa, Dan L; Dockery, Douglas W; Kleeman, Michael; Krzyzanowski, Michal; Künzli, Nino; Liousse, Catherine; Lung, Shih-Chun Candice; Martin, Randall V; Pöschl, Ulrich; Pope, C Arden; Roberts, James M; Russell, Armistead G; Wiedinmyer, Christine

    2016-05-17

    Air pollution contributes to the premature deaths of millions of people each year around the world, and air quality problems are growing in many developing nations. While past policy efforts have succeeded in reducing particulate matter and trace gases in North America and Europe, adverse health effects are found at even these lower levels of air pollution. Future policy actions will benefit from improved understanding of the interactions and health effects of different chemical species and source categories. Achieving this new understanding requires air pollution scientists and engineers to work increasingly closely with health scientists. In particular, research is needed to better understand the chemical and physical properties of complex air pollutant mixtures, and to use new observations provided by satellites, advanced in situ measurement techniques, and distributed micro monitoring networks, coupled with models, to better characterize air pollution exposure for epidemiological and toxicological research, and to better quantify the effects of specific source sectors and mitigation strategies. PMID:27010639

  7. "What We Breathe Impacts Our Health: Improving Understanding of the Link between Air Pollution and Health".

    PubMed

    West, J Jason; Cohen, Aaron; Dentener, Frank; Brunekreef, Bert; Zhu, Tong; Armstrong, Ben; Bell, Michelle L; Brauer, Michael; Carmichael, Gregory; Costa, Dan L; Dockery, Douglas W; Kleeman, Michael; Krzyzanowski, Michal; Künzli, Nino; Liousse, Catherine; Lung, Shih-Chun Candice; Martin, Randall V; Pöschl, Ulrich; Pope, C Arden; Roberts, James M; Russell, Armistead G; Wiedinmyer, Christine

    2016-05-17

    Air pollution contributes to the premature deaths of millions of people each year around the world, and air quality problems are growing in many developing nations. While past policy efforts have succeeded in reducing particulate matter and trace gases in North America and Europe, adverse health effects are found at even these lower levels of air pollution. Future policy actions will benefit from improved understanding of the interactions and health effects of different chemical species and source categories. Achieving this new understanding requires air pollution scientists and engineers to work increasingly closely with health scientists. In particular, research is needed to better understand the chemical and physical properties of complex air pollutant mixtures, and to use new observations provided by satellites, advanced in situ measurement techniques, and distributed micro monitoring networks, coupled with models, to better characterize air pollution exposure for epidemiological and toxicological research, and to better quantify the effects of specific source sectors and mitigation strategies.

  8. One-year metreleptin improves insulin secretion in patients with diabetes linked to genetic lipodystrophic syndromes.

    PubMed

    Vatier, C; Fetita, S; Boudou, P; Tchankou, C; Deville, L; Riveline, Jp; Young, J; Mathivon, L; Travert, F; Morin, D; Cahen, J; Lascols, O; Andreelli, F; Reznik, Y; Mongeois, E; Madelaine, I; Vantyghem, Mc; Gautier, Jf; Vigouroux, C

    2016-07-01

    Recombinant methionyl human leptin (metreleptin) therapy was shown to improve hyperglycaemia, dyslipidaemia and insulin sensitivity in patients with lipodystrophic syndromes, but its effects on insulin secretion remain controversial. We used dynamic intravenous (i.v.) clamp procedures to measure insulin secretion, adjusted to insulin sensitivity, at baseline and after 1 year of metreleptin therapy, in 16 consecutive patients with lipodystrophy, diabetes and leptin deficiency. Patients, with a mean [± standard error of the mean (s.e.m.)] age of 39.2 (±4) years, presented with familial partial lipodystrophy (n = 11, 10 women) or congenital generalized lipodystrophy (n = 5, four women). Their mean (± s.e.m.) BMI (23.9 ± 0.7 kg/m(2) ), glycated haemoglobin levels (8.5 ± 0.4%) and serum triglycerides levels (4.6 ± 0.9 mmol/l) significantly decreased within 1 month of metreleptin therapy, then remained stable. Insulin sensitivity (from hyperglycaemic or euglycaemic-hyperinsulinaemic clamps, n = 4 and n = 12, respectively), insulin secretion during graded glucose infusion (n = 12), and acute insulin response to i.v. glucose adjusted to insulin sensitivity (disposition index, n = 12), significantly increased after 1 year of metreleptin therapy. The increase in disposition index was related to a decrease in percentage of total and trunk body fat. Metreleptin therapy improves not only insulin sensitivity, but also insulin secretion in patients with diabetes attributable to genetic lipodystrophies. PMID:26584826

  9. Impairment assessment of orthogonal frequency division multiplexing over dispersion-managed links in backbone and backhaul networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamilarasan, Ilavarasan; Saminathan, Brindha; Murugappan, Meenakshi

    2016-04-01

    The past decade has seen the phenomenal usage of orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) in the wired as well as wireless communication domains, and it is also proposed in the literature as a future proof technique for the implementation of flexible resource allocation in cognitive optical networks. Fiber impairment assessment and adaptive compensation becomes critical in such implementations. A comprehensive analytical model for impairments in OFDM-based fiber links is developed. The proposed model includes the combined impact of laser phase fluctuations, fiber dispersion, self phase modulation, cross phase modulation, four-wave mixing, the nonlinear phase noise due to the interaction of amplified spontaneous emission with fiber nonlinearities, and the photodetector noises. The bit error rate expression for the proposed model is derived based on error vector magnitude estimation. The performance analysis of the proposed model is presented and compared for dispersion compensated and uncompensated backbone/backhaul links. The results suggest that OFDM would perform better for uncompensated links than the compensated links due to the negligible FWM effects and there is a need for flexible compensation. The proposed model can be employed in cognitive optical networks for accurate assessment of fiber-related impairments.

  10. Real-time in Situ Signal-to-noise Ratio Estimation for the Assessment of Operational Communications Links

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Manning, Robert M.

    2002-01-01

    The work presented here formulates the rigorous statistical basis for the correct estimation of communication link SNR of a BPSK, QPSK, and for that matter, any M-ary phase-modulated digital signal from what is known about its statistical behavior at the output of the receiver demodulator. Many methods to accomplish this have been proposed and implemented in the past but all of them are based on tacit and unwarranted assumptions and are thus defective. However, the basic idea is well founded, i.e., the signal at the output of a communications demodulator has convolved within it the prevailing SNR characteristic of the link. The acquisition of the SNR characteristic is of the utmost importance to a communications system that must remain reliable in adverse propagation conditions. This work provides a correct and consistent mathematical basis for the proper statistical 'deconvolution' of the output of a demodulator to yield a measure of the SNR. The use of such techniques will alleviate the need and expense for a separate propagation link to assess the propagation conditions prevailing on the communications link. Furthermore, they are applicable for every situation involving the digital transmission of data over planetary and space communications links.

  11. Linking the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in Reading to the 2011 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS)

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillips, Gary W.

    2014-01-01

    This paper describes a statistical linking between the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in Grade 4 reading and the 2011 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) in Grade 4 reading. The primary purpose of the linking study is to obtain a statistical comparison between NAEP (a national assessment) and PIRLS (an…

  12. Preliminary Experiments for the Assessment of V/W-band Links for Space-Earth Communications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nessel, James A.; Acosta, Roberto J.; Miranda, Felix A.

    2013-01-01

    Since September 2012, NASA Glenn Research Center has deployed a microwave profiling radiometer at White Sands, NM, to estimate atmospheric propagation effects on communications links in the V and W bands (71-86GHz). Estimates of attenuation statistics in the millimeter wave due to gaseous and cloud components of the atmosphere show good agreement with current ITU-R models, but fail to predict link performance in the presence of moderate to heavy rain rates, due to the inherent limitations of passive radiometry. Herein, we discuss the preliminary results of these measurements and describe a design for a terrestrial link experiment to validate/refine existing rain attenuation models in the V/Wbands.

  13. A GIS-linked model for the assessment of nitrate contamination in groundwater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lasserre, F.; Razack, M.; Banton, O.

    1999-11-01

    A simple GIS-linked model for groundwater nitrate transport has been developed in the IDRISI GIS environment. The transport model, based on advection transport only, is directly incorporated into a GIS subroutine using the Pascal computing language. This model requires less data than classical approaches and provides a user-friendly model environment. The GIS-model was tested on a 20 km 2 hydrogeologic catchment, particularly vulnerable to agricultural nitrate pollution. The model was coupled with an unsaturated zone transport model (AgriFlux), which simulates water and nitrate fluxes leaving the root zone. The results indicated that the simulated nitrate concentrations were in good agreement with measured values. In order to compare the GIS-linked model with a more complete model, simulations were also performed with MT3D-MODFLOW. The similarities between the results of the two models confirm the validity of the GIS-linked model.

  14. Mitochondrial Hormesis links nutrient restriction to improved metabolism in fat cell

    PubMed Central

    Barbato, Daniele Lettieri; Tatulli, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Fasting promotes longevity by reprogramming metabolic and stress resistance pathways. However, although the impact on adipose tissue physiology through hormonal inputs is well established, the direct role of fasting on adipose cells is poorly understood. Herein we show that white and beige adipocytes, as well as mouse epididymal and subcutaneous adipose depots, respond to nutrient scarcity by acquiring a brown-like phenotype. Indeed, they improve oxidative metabolism through modulating the expression of mitochondrial-and nuclear-encoded oxidative phosphorylation genes as well as mitochondrial stress defensive proteins (UCP1, SOD2). Such adaptation is placed in a canonical mitohormetic response that proceeds via mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mtROS) production and redistribution of FoxO1 transcription factor into nucleus. Nuclear FoxO1 (nFoxO1) mediates retrograde communication by inducing the expression of mitochondrial oxidative and stress defensive genes. Collectively, our findings describe an unusual white/beige fat cell response to nutrient availability highlighting another health-promoting mechanism of fasting. PMID:26540513

  15. Moving Upstream: Evaluating Adverse Upstream Endpoints for Improved Risk Assessment and Decision-Making

    EPA Science Inventory

    Background: Assessing adverse effects from environmental chemical exposure is integral to public health policies. Toxicology assays identifying early biological changes from chemical exposure are increasing our ability to evaluate links between early biological disturbances and ...

  16. Perspective: Transformative learning: a framework using critical reflection to link the improvement competencies in graduate medical education.

    PubMed

    Wittich, Christopher M; Reed, Darcy A; McDonald, Furman S; Varkey, Prathibha; Beckman, Thomas J

    2010-11-01

    Quality improvement (QI) in health care involves activities ranging from enhancing personal practice to reforming the larger health care system. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education recognizes this broad definition of QI in its requirement that physicians-in-training demonstrate competence in practice-based learning and improvement (PBLI) and systems-based practice (SBP). Creative metaphors have been used to teach the PBLI and SBP competencies, but conceptual frameworks describing the relationship between these competencies are needed. Transformative learning is an adult education theory that states individuals must critically reflect on life events in order to change their beliefs or behaviors. The authors propose that critical reflection during transformative learning can conceptually link PBLI and SBP. Reflection on personal experience with suboptimal patient care leads to recognizing personal or system limitations. Addressing personal limitations improves individual practice (PBLI), whereas applying QI methodologies leads to large-scale improvements (SBP). Educators who adopt the transformative learning framework should be able to design meaningful QI curricula that encourage residents to be reflective and empower them with QI skills.

  17. Feedback as Dialogue: Exploring the Links between Formative Assessment and Social Software in Distance Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hatzipanagos, Stylianos; Warburton, Steven

    2009-01-01

    The paper explores the relationship between formative assessment and social software. Formative assessment practices though beneficial for student learning become marginalised and constrained in open and distance learning environments in higher education. Feedback is a key factor in formative assessment and learners can benefit from the deployment…

  18. 42 CFR 438.240 - Quality assessment and performance improvement program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS MANAGED CARE Quality Assessment and... PIHP have an ongoing quality assessment and performance improvement program for the services it... and overutilization of services. (4) Have in effect mechanisms to assess the quality...

  19. A new assessment of the alleged link between element 115 and element 117 decay chains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forsberg, U.; Rudolph, D.; Fahlander, C.; Golubev, P.; Sarmiento, L. G.; Åberg, S.; Block, M.; Düllmann, Ch. E.; Heßberger, F. P.; Kratz, J. V.; Yakushev, A.

    2016-09-01

    A novel rigorous statistical treatment is applied to available data (May 9, 2016) from search and spectroscopy experiments on the elements with atomic numbers Z = 115 and Z = 117. The present analysis implies that the hitherto proposed cross-reaction link between α-decay chains associated with the isotopes 293117 and 289115 is highly improbable.

  20. Linking Early Life Stages: The First Step towards Lifecourse Risk Assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    The abstract is the overview of a workshop proposed for inclusion in 2015 Society of Toxicology annual meeting program. The workshop will introduce the audience to lifecourse theory and speakers will provide examples of using PBPK models to link exposures and outcomes resulting ...

  1. PUBLIC HEALTH RISK ASSESSMENT LINKED TO CLIMATIC AND ECOLOGICAL CHANGE. (R824995)

    EPA Science Inventory

    Abstract

    Disturbances of climatic and ecological systems can present risks to human health, which are becoming more evident from health studies linked to climate variability, landuse change and global climate change. Waterborne disease agents, such as Giardia cy...

  2. 42 CFR 438.240 - Quality assessment and performance improvement program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Quality assessment and performance improvement... Performance Improvement Measurement and Improvement Standards § 438.240 Quality assessment and performance improvement program. (a) General rules. (1) The State must require, through its contracts, that each MCO...

  3. 42 CFR 438.240 - Quality assessment and performance improvement program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Quality assessment and performance improvement... Performance Improvement Measurement and Improvement Standards § 438.240 Quality assessment and performance improvement program. (a) General rules. (1) The State must require, through its contracts, that each MCO...

  4. Linking HIV & family planning services to improve dual methods of contraception among women infected with HIV in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

    PubMed Central

    Joshi, Beena; Velhal, Gajanan; Chauhan, Sanjay; Kulkarni, Ragini; Begum, Shahina

    2016-01-01

    Background & objectives: Preventing unintended pregnancies among people living with HIV (PLHIV) is one of the strategies of WHO for preventing parent-to-child transmission (PPTCT). Given the limitation of only condom use, the objective of this study was to improve use of dual contraceptive methods among HIV infected women. Methods: An experimental study among HIV positive women was conducted at two tertiary care level hospitals in Mumbai. Linking HIV with family planning services was the focus of intervention at one site and standard level of care was maintained at the control site. At each site, 150 HIV+ve women attending counselling and testing centres, who did not intend to get pregnant in the next one year and were eligible to use dual methods, were enrolled and followed up to one year. Results: At the end of one year, 60 per cent women in the intervention group reached Family Planning Centres compared to eight per cent in the control group. There was three times more acceptance and continuation of use of dual methods along with increase in consistent use of condoms and less number of unplanned pregnancies in the intervention group than the control group. Interpretation & conclusions: The study findings demonstrate that linking HIV and family planning services may facilitate the uptake of dual methods of contraception without reducing consistent condom use among HIV infected women. The PPTCT programmes need to focus on the component of Prong 2 of PPTCT which aims to prevent unintended pregnancies among HIV positive women. PMID:27377503

  5. Identifying improvement potentials in cement production with life cycle assessment.

    PubMed

    Boesch, Michael Elias; Hellweg, Stefanie

    2010-12-01

    Cement production is an environmentally relevant process responsible for 5% of total anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and 7% of industrial fuel use. In this study, life cycle assessment is used to evaluate improvement potentials in the cement production process in Europe and the USA. With a current fuel substitution rate of 18% in Europe and 11% in the USA, both regions have a substantial potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save virgin resources by further increasing the coprocessing of waste fuels. Upgrading production technology would be particularly effective in the USA where many kiln systems with very low energy efficiency are still in operation. Using best available technology and a thermal substitution rate of 50% for fuels, greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 9% for Europe and 18% for the USA per tonne of cement. Since clinker production is the dominant pollution producing step in cement production, the substitution of clinker with mineral components such as ground granulated blast furnace slag or fly ash is an efficient measure to reduce the environmental impact. Blended cements exhibit substantially lower environmental footprints than Portland cement, even if the substitutes feature lower grindability and require additional drying and large transport distances. The highest savings in CO(2) emissions and resource consumption are achieved with a combination of measures in clinker production and cement blending. PMID:21047057

  6. Global Observations - The Key to Model Development and Improved Assessments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Douglass, Anne R.

    2007-01-01

    One application of global models is to predict the response of stratospheric ozone to changes in composition and climate. The recent international ozone assessment included results from three-dimensional models with interactions among the dynamical, photochemical and radiative processes that all influence ozone behavior. The physical basis of such models is far more realistic than that of either the one-dimensional (single profile) models of the 1970's and early 1980's or the two-dimensional (latitude height) models of the late 1980's and 1990's. Observations have played a key role in the model development at all stages. This talk will highlight the role of observations in inspiring broad model improvements that have grown from the effort to reproduce observed relationships or processes, for example the correlations between long-lived constituents seen in aircraft data and the deep unmixed descent of mesospheric air into the winter polar vortices seen from satellite. The talk will also trace the evolution of model evaluation from contour plots showing 'good agreement' to the more rigorous process-oriented evaluation of three-dimensional models that is becoming the norm using the wealth of space-based observations obtained from the late 1970's until present.

  7. Identifying improvement potentials in cement production with life cycle assessment.

    PubMed

    Boesch, Michael Elias; Hellweg, Stefanie

    2010-12-01

    Cement production is an environmentally relevant process responsible for 5% of total anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions and 7% of industrial fuel use. In this study, life cycle assessment is used to evaluate improvement potentials in the cement production process in Europe and the USA. With a current fuel substitution rate of 18% in Europe and 11% in the USA, both regions have a substantial potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save virgin resources by further increasing the coprocessing of waste fuels. Upgrading production technology would be particularly effective in the USA where many kiln systems with very low energy efficiency are still in operation. Using best available technology and a thermal substitution rate of 50% for fuels, greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 9% for Europe and 18% for the USA per tonne of cement. Since clinker production is the dominant pollution producing step in cement production, the substitution of clinker with mineral components such as ground granulated blast furnace slag or fly ash is an efficient measure to reduce the environmental impact. Blended cements exhibit substantially lower environmental footprints than Portland cement, even if the substitutes feature lower grindability and require additional drying and large transport distances. The highest savings in CO(2) emissions and resource consumption are achieved with a combination of measures in clinker production and cement blending.

  8. Remarkable Improvement in the Mechanical Properties and CO2 Uptake of MOFs Brought About by Covalent Linking to Graphene.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Ram; Raut, Devaraj; Ramamurty, Upadrasta; Rao, C N R

    2016-06-27

    Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are exceptional as gas adsorbents but their mechanical properties are poor. We present a successful strategy to improve the mechanical properties along with gas adsorption characteristics, wherein graphene (Gr) is covalently bonded with M/DOBDC (M=Mg(2+) , Ni(2+) , or Co(2+) , DOBDC=2,5-dioxido-1,4-benzene dicarboxylate) MOFs. The surface area of the graphene-MOF composites increases up to 200-300 m(2)  g(-1) whereas the CO2 uptake increases by ca. 3-5 wt % at 0.15 atm and by 6-10 wt % at 1 atm. What is significant is that the composites exhibit improved mechanical properties. In the case of Mg/DOBDC, a three-fold increase in both the elastic modulus and hardness with 5 wt % graphene reinforcement is observed. Improvement in both the mechanical properties and gas adsorption characteristics of porous MOFs on linking them to graphene is a novel observation and suggests a new avenue for the design and synthesis of porous materials. PMID:27282430

  9. Assessment of sea ice-atmosphere links in CMIP5 models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boland, Emma J. D.; Bracegirdle, Thomas J.; Shuckburgh, Emily F.

    2016-09-01

    The Arctic is currently undergoing drastic changes in climate, largely thought to be due to so-called `Arctic amplification', whereby local feedbacks enhance global warming. Recently, a number of observational and modelling studies have questioned what the implications of this change in Arctic sea ice extent might be for weather in Northern Hemisphere midlatitudes, and in particular whether recent extremely cold winters such as 2009/10 might be consistent with an influence from observed Arctic sea ice decline. However, the proposed mechanisms for these links have not been consistently demonstrated. In a uniquely comprehensive cross-season and cross-model study, we show that the CMIP5 models provide no support for a relationship between declining Arctic sea ice and a negative NAM, or between declining Barents-Kara sea ice and cold European temperatures. The lack of evidence for the proposed links is consistent with studies that report a low signal-to-noise ratio in these relationships. These results imply that, whilst links may exist between declining sea ice and extreme cold weather events in the Northern Hemisphere, the CMIP5 model experiments do not show this to be a leading order effect in the long-term. We argue that this is likely due to a combination of the limitations of the CMIP5 models and an indication of other important long-term influences on Northern Hemisphere climate.

  10. Linking the Nebraska NeSA Assessments to NWEA MAP Tests

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Northwest Evaluation Association, 2016

    2016-01-01

    Northwest Evaluation Association™ (NWEA™) is committed to providing partners with useful tools to help make inferences from the Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) interim assessment scores. One important tool is the concordance table between MAP and state summative assessments. Concordance tables have been used for decades to relate scores on…

  11. Intervention Validity of Social Behavior Rating Scales: Features of Assessments that Link Results to Treatment Plans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Elliott, Stephen N.; Gresham, Frank M.; Frank, Jennifer L.; Beddow, Peter A., III

    2008-01-01

    The term "intervention validity" refers to the extent to which assessment results can be used to guide the selection of interventions and evaluation of outcomes. In this article, the authors review the defining attributes of rating scales that distinguish them from other assessment tools, assumptions regarding the use of rating scales to measure…

  12. Linking the PARCC Assessments to NWEA MAP Tests for New Mexico

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Northwest Evaluation Association, 2016

    2016-01-01

    Northwest Evaluation Association™ (NWEA™) is committed to providing partners with useful tools to help make inferences from the Measures of Academic Progress® (MAP®) interim assessment scores. One important tool is the concordance table between MAP and state summative assessments. Concordance tables have been used for decades to relate scores on…

  13. Assessing Ongoing Electronic Resource Purchases: Linking Tools to Synchronize Staff Workflows

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carroll, Jeffrey D.; Major, Colleen; O'Neal, Nada; Tofanelli, John

    2012-01-01

    Ongoing electronic resource purchases represent a substantial proportion of collections budgets. Recognizing the necessity of systematic ongoing assessment with full selector engagement, Columbia University Libraries appointed an Electronic Resources Assessment Working Group to promote the inclusion of such resources within our current culture of…

  14. Life-cycle assessments: Linking energy, economics, and the environment. Paper No. 571

    SciTech Connect

    Shankle, S.A.

    1994-08-01

    The Pacific Northwest Laboratory has been involved in a number of life-cycle assessment (LCA) projects that assess the complete lifetime energy, economic, and environmental impacts of alternative technology options. Life-cycle assessments offer one-stop shopping answers to the total energy and environmental implications of alternative technologies, as well as providing employment and income consequences. In one recently completed study, the lifetime impacts of scenarios involving the production and use of biomass ethanol transportation fuels were assessed. In an ongoing study, the lifetime impacts of electric-powered vehicles versus conventional fuels are being assessed. In a proposed study, the impacts of recycled office paper versus office paper from virgin sources would be assessed. A LCA proceeds by developing mass and energy inventories during all phases of the life-cycle. Special attention is given to energy consumption and environmental releases. Economics are incorporated by evaluating the macroeconomic impacts of the alternative policies, such as employment, wages, and output. Economics can also be incorporated by attempting to place values on the damages imposed by the environmental releases associated with alternative scenarios. This paper discusses life-cycle assessment techniques and their application to building energy issues. Life-cycle assessments show great promise for analysis of buildings energy policy questions.

  15. Does Computer-Aided Formative Assessment Improve Learning Outcomes?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hannah, John; James, Alex; Williams, Phillipa

    2014-01-01

    Two first-year engineering mathematics courses used computer-aided assessment (CAA) to provide students with opportunities for formative assessment via a series of weekly quizzes. Most students used the assessment until they achieved very high (>90%) quiz scores. Although there is a positive correlation between these quiz marks and the final…

  16. Assessment of dehydrothermally cross‐linked collagen membrane for guided bone regeneration around peri-implant dehiscence defects: a randomized single-blinded clinical trial

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Purpose The aim of this study was to determine the clinical feasibility of using dehydrothermally cross‐linked collagen membrane (DCM) for bone regeneration around peri-implant dehiscence defects, and compare it with non-cross-linked native collagen membrane (NCM). Methods Dehiscence defects were investigated in twenty-eight patients. Defect width and height were measured by periodontal probe immediately following implant placement (baseline) and 16 weeks afterward. Membrane manipulation and maintenance were clinically assessed by means of the visual analogue scale score at baseline. Changes in horizontal thickness at 1 mm, 2 mm, and 3 mm below the top of the implant platform and the average bone density were assessed by cone-beam computed tomography at 16 weeks. Degradation of membrane was histologically observed in the soft tissue around the implant prior to re-entry surgery. Results Five defect sites (two sites in the NCM group and three sites in the DCM group) showed soft-tissue dehiscence defects and membrane exposure during the early healing period, but there were no symptoms or signs of severe complications during the experimental postoperative period. Significant clinical and radiological improvements were found in all parameters with both types of collagen membrane. Partially resorbed membrane leaflets were only observed histologically in the DCM group. Conclusions These findings suggest that, compared with NCM, DCM has a similar clinical expediency and possesses more stable maintenance properties. Therefore, it could be used effectively in guided bone regeneration around dehiscence-type defects. PMID:26732806

  17. Effectiveness of Continuum of Care—Linking Pre-Pregnancy Care and Pregnancy Care to Improve Neonatal and Perinatal Mortality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Kikuchi, Kimiyo; Okawa, Sumiyo; Zamawe, Collins O. F.; Shibanuma, Akira; Nanishi, Keiko; Iwamoto, Azusa; Saw, Yu Mon; Jimba, Masamine

    2016-01-01

    In an era of Sustainable Development Goals, maternal, newborn, and child health still require improvement. Continuum of care is considered key to improving the health status of these populations. The continuum of care is a series of care strategies starting from pre-pregnancy to motherhood-childhood. The effectiveness of such linkage between the pregnancy, birth, and postnatal periods has been demonstrated. However, almost no study has assessed the impact of linkage that starts from pre-pregnancy to pregnancy care on maternal and child health. The present study attempts to fill this gap by assessing the effectiveness of the care linkage between pre-pregnancy and pregnancy care for reducing neonatal, perinatal, and maternal mortality in low- and middle-income countries. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized and quasi-randomized controlled trials in low- and middle-income countries. The outcome variables were neonatal, perinatal, and maternal mortality. We searched databases such as PubMed/Medline, POPLINE, EBSCO/CINAHL, and ISI Web of Science for the period 2000–2014, using broad search terms (e.g., pre-pregnancy OR adolescent OR mother), combined with search terms specific for interventions, (e.g., family planning OR contraception OR spacing). From the 1,325 retrieved articles, five studies were finally analyzed. The meta-analysis showed that interventions linking pre-pregnancy and pregnancy care effectively reduced neonatal mortality (risk ratio [RR]: 0.79; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.71–0.89, I2 = 62%) and perinatal mortality (RR: 0.84; 95% CI: 0.75–0.94, I2 = 73%), but did not show an effect on maternal mortality. Neonatal and perinatal mortality could be reduced by linking pre-pregnancy and pregnancy care. This linkage of pre-pregnancy and pregnancy cares is an essential component of continuum of care to improve newborn health. Review Registration PROSPERO International prospective register of systematic reviews (CRD

  18. Enzyme replacement therapy rescues weakness and improves muscle pathology in mice with X-linked myotubular myopathy

    PubMed Central

    Lawlor, Michael W.; Armstrong, Dustin; Viola, Marissa G.; Widrick, Jeffrey J.; Meng, Hui; Grange, Robert W.; Childers, Martin K.; Hsu, Cynthia P.; O'Callaghan, Michael; Pierson, Christopher R.; Buj-Bello, Anna; Beggs, Alan H.

    2013-01-01

    No effective treatment exists for patients with X-linked myotubular myopathy (XLMTM), a fatal congenital muscle disease caused by deficiency of the lipid phosphatase, myotubularin. The Mtm1δ4 and Mtm1 p.R69C mice model severely and moderately symptomatic XLMTM, respectively, due to differences in the degree of myotubularin deficiency. Contractile function of intact extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and soleus muscles from Mtm1δ4 mice, which produce no myotubularin, is markedly impaired. Contractile forces generated by chemically skinned single fiber preparations from Mtm1δ4 muscle were largely preserved, indicating that weakness was largely due to impaired excitation contraction coupling. Mtm1 p.R69C mice, which produce small amounts of myotubularin, showed impaired contractile function only in EDL muscles. Short-term replacement of myotubularin with a prototypical targeted protein replacement agent (3E10Fv-MTM1) in Mtm1δ4 mice improved contractile function and muscle pathology. These promising findings suggest that even low levels of myotubularin protein replacement can improve the muscle weakness and reverse the pathology that characterizes XLMTM. PMID:23307925

  19. Water-Food-Nutrition-Health Nexus: Linking Water to Improving Food, Nutrition and Health in Sub-Saharan Africa

    PubMed Central

    Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe; Chibarabada, Tendai; Modi, Albert

    2016-01-01

    Whereas sub-Saharan Africa’s (SSA) water scarcity, food, nutrition and health challenges are well-documented, efforts to address them have often been disconnected. Given that the region continues to be affected by poverty and food and nutrition insecurity at national and household levels, there is a need for a paradigm shift in order to effectively deliver on the twin challenges of food and nutrition security under conditions of water scarcity. There is a need to link water use in agriculture to achieve food and nutrition security outcomes for improved human health and well-being. Currently, there are no explicit linkages between water, agriculture, nutrition and health owing to uncoordinated efforts between agricultural and nutrition scientists. There is also a need to develop and promote the use of metrics that capture aspects of water, agriculture, food and nutrition. This review identified nutritional water productivity as a suitable index for measuring the impact of a water-food-nutrition-health nexus. Socio-economic factors are also considered as they influence food choices in rural communities. An argument for the need to utilise the region’s agrobiodiversity for addressing dietary quality and diversity was established. It is concluded that a model for improving nutrition and health of poor rural communities based on the water-food-nutrition-health nexus is possible. PMID:26751464

  20. Water-Food-Nutrition-Health Nexus: Linking Water to Improving Food, Nutrition and Health in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe; Chibarabada, Tendai; Modi, Albert

    2016-01-06

    Whereas sub-Saharan Africa's (SSA) water scarcity, food, nutrition and health challenges are well-documented, efforts to address them have often been disconnected. Given that the region continues to be affected by poverty and food and nutrition insecurity at national and household levels, there is a need for a paradigm shift in order to effectively deliver on the twin challenges of food and nutrition security under conditions of water scarcity. There is a need to link water use in agriculture to achieve food and nutrition security outcomes for improved human health and well-being. Currently, there are no explicit linkages between water, agriculture, nutrition and health owing to uncoordinated efforts between agricultural and nutrition scientists. There is also a need to develop and promote the use of metrics that capture aspects of water, agriculture, food and nutrition. This review identified nutritional water productivity as a suitable index for measuring the impact of a water-food-nutrition-health nexus. Socio-economic factors are also considered as they influence food choices in rural communities. An argument for the need to utilise the region's agrobiodiversity for addressing dietary quality and diversity was established. It is concluded that a model for improving nutrition and health of poor rural communities based on the water-food-nutrition-health nexus is possible.

  1. Early Diagnosis of Cerebral X-linked Adrenoleukodystrophy in Boys with Addison’s Disease Improves Survival and Neurological Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Polgreen, LE; Chahla, S; Miller, W; Rothman, S.; Tolar, J; Kivisto, T; Nascene, D.; Orchard, PJ; Petryk, A

    2011-01-01

    Approximately one-third of boys with X-linked adrenoleukodystophy (X-ALD) develop an acute, progressive inflammatory process of the central nervous system, resulting in rapid neurologic deterioration and death. Hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) can halt the progression of neurologic disease if performed early in the course of the cerebral form of X-ALD. We describe a retrospective cohort study of 90 boys with X-ALD evaluated at our institution between 2000 and 2009, to determine if early diagnosis of X-ALD following the diagnosis of unexplained adrenal insufficiency (AI) improves outcomes. We describe 7 cases with a delay in the diagnosis of X-ALD, and compare their outcomes to 10 controls with the diagnosis of ALD made within 12 months following diagnosis of AI. At the time of evaluation for HCT, boys with a delay in the diagnosis of X-ALD had more extensive cerebral involvement and more limited functioning. These boys also were 3.9 times more likely to die, and had significant advancement of cerebral disease after HCT, compared to boys with a timely diagnosis of X-ALD. Conclusion Early diagnosis of cerebral X-ALD following the diagnosis of unexplained AI, and subsequent treatment with HCT, improves both neurological outcomes and survival in boys with cerebral X-ALD. PMID:21279382

  2. Water-Food-Nutrition-Health Nexus: Linking Water to Improving Food, Nutrition and Health in Sub-Saharan Africa.

    PubMed

    Mabhaudhi, Tafadzwanashe; Chibarabada, Tendai; Modi, Albert

    2016-01-01

    Whereas sub-Saharan Africa's (SSA) water scarcity, food, nutrition and health challenges are well-documented, efforts to address them have often been disconnected. Given that the region continues to be affected by poverty and food and nutrition insecurity at national and household levels, there is a need for a paradigm shift in order to effectively deliver on the twin challenges of food and nutrition security under conditions of water scarcity. There is a need to link water use in agriculture to achieve food and nutrition security outcomes for improved human health and well-being. Currently, there are no explicit linkages between water, agriculture, nutrition and health owing to uncoordinated efforts between agricultural and nutrition scientists. There is also a need to develop and promote the use of metrics that capture aspects of water, agriculture, food and nutrition. This review identified nutritional water productivity as a suitable index for measuring the impact of a water-food-nutrition-health nexus. Socio-economic factors are also considered as they influence food choices in rural communities. An argument for the need to utilise the region's agrobiodiversity for addressing dietary quality and diversity was established. It is concluded that a model for improving nutrition and health of poor rural communities based on the water-food-nutrition-health nexus is possible. PMID:26751464

  3. Improving Site-Specific Radiological Performance Assessments - 13431

    SciTech Connect

    Tauxe, John; Black, Paul; Catlett, Kate; Lee, Robert; Perona, Ralph; Stockton, Tom; Sully, Mike

    2013-07-01

    An improved approach is presented for conducting complete and defensible radiological site-specific performance assessments (PAs) to support radioactive waste disposal decisions. The basic tenets of PA were initiated some thirty years ago, focusing on geologic disposals and evaluating compliance with regulations. Some of these regulations were inherently probabilistic (i.e., addressing uncertainty in a quantitative fashion), such as the containment requirements of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) 40 CFR 191, Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Management and Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel, High-Level and Transuranic Radioactive Wastes, Chap. 191.13 [1]. Methods of analysis were developed to meet those requirements, but at their core early PAs used 'conservative' parameter values and modeling approaches. This limited the utility of such PAs to compliance evaluation, and did little to inform decisions about optimizing disposal, closure and long-term monitoring and maintenance, or, in general, maintaining doses 'as low as reasonably achievable' (ALARA). This basic approach to PA development in the United States was employed essentially unchanged through the end of the 20. century, principally by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Performance assessments developed in support of private radioactive waste disposal operations, regulated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and its agreement states, were typically not as sophisticated. Discussion of new approaches to PA is timely, since at the time of this writing, the DOE is in the midst of revising its Order 435.1, Radioactive Waste Management [2], and the NRC is revising 10 CFR 61, Licensing Requirements for Land Disposal of Radioactive Waste [3]. Over the previous decade, theoretical developments and improved computational technology have provided the foundation for integrating decision analysis (DA) concepts and objective-focused thinking, plus a Bayesian approach to

  4. Preparation and antimicrobial assessment of 2-thioether-linked quinolonyl-carbapenems.

    PubMed

    Hershberger, P M; Switzer, A G; Yelm, K E; Coleman, M C; Devries, C A; Rourke, F J; Davis, B W; Kraft, W G; Twinem, T L; Koenigs, P M; Paule, S M; Siehnel, R J; Zoutendam, P H; Imbus, R; Demuth, T P

    1998-09-01

    This reports the synthesis and in vitro antimicrobial properties of a series of 2-thioether-linked quinolonyl-carbapenems. Although the title compounds exhibited broad spectrum activity, the MICs were generally higher than those observed for selected benchmark carbapenems, quinolonyl-penems, and quinolones. Enzyme assays suggested that the title compounds are potent inhibitors of penicillin binding proteins and inefficient inhibitors of bacterial DNA-gyrase. Uptake studies indicated that the new compounds are not substrates for the norA encoded quinolone efflux pump.

  5. Need for an "integrated safety assessment" of GMOs, linking food safety and environmental considerations.

    PubMed

    Haslberger, Alexander G

    2006-05-01

    Evidence for substantial environmental influences on health and food safety comes from work with environmental health indicators which show that agroenvironmental practices have direct and indirect effects on human health, concluding that "the quality of the environment influences the quality and safety of foods" [Fennema, O. Environ. Health Perspect. 1990, 86, 229-232). In the field of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), Codex principles have been established for the assessment of GM food safety and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety outlines international principles for an environmental assessment of living modified organisms. Both concepts also contain starting points for an assessment of health/food safety effects of GMOs in cases when the environment is involved in the chain of events that could lead to hazards. The environment can act as a route of unintentional entry of GMOs into the food supply, such as in the case of gene flow via pollen or seeds from GM crops, but the environment can also be involved in changes of GMO-induced agricultural practices with relevance for health/food safety. Examples for this include potential regional changes of pesticide uses and reduction in pesticide poisonings resulting from the use of Bt crops or influences on immune responses via cross-reactivity. Clearly, modern methods of biotechnology in breeding are involved in the reasons behind the rapid reduction of local varieties in agrodiversity, which constitute an identified hazard for food safety and food security. The health/food safety assessment of GM foods in cases when the environment is involved needs to be informed by data from environmental assessment. Such data might be especially important for hazard identification and exposure assessment. International organizations working in these areas will very likely be needed to initiate and enable cooperation between those institutions responsible for the different assessments, as well as for exchange and analysis of

  6. Need for an "integrated safety assessment" of GMOs, linking food safety and environmental considerations.

    PubMed

    Haslberger, Alexander G

    2006-05-01

    Evidence for substantial environmental influences on health and food safety comes from work with environmental health indicators which show that agroenvironmental practices have direct and indirect effects on human health, concluding that "the quality of the environment influences the quality and safety of foods" [Fennema, O. Environ. Health Perspect. 1990, 86, 229-232). In the field of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), Codex principles have been established for the assessment of GM food safety and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety outlines international principles for an environmental assessment of living modified organisms. Both concepts also contain starting points for an assessment of health/food safety effects of GMOs in cases when the environment is involved in the chain of events that could lead to hazards. The environment can act as a route of unintentional entry of GMOs into the food supply, such as in the case of gene flow via pollen or seeds from GM crops, but the environment can also be involved in changes of GMO-induced agricultural practices with relevance for health/food safety. Examples for this include potential regional changes of pesticide uses and reduction in pesticide poisonings resulting from the use of Bt crops or influences on immune responses via cross-reactivity. Clearly, modern methods of biotechnology in breeding are involved in the reasons behind the rapid reduction of local varieties in agrodiversity, which constitute an identified hazard for food safety and food security. The health/food safety assessment of GM foods in cases when the environment is involved needs to be informed by data from environmental assessment. Such data might be especially important for hazard identification and exposure assessment. International organizations working in these areas will very likely be needed to initiate and enable cooperation between those institutions responsible for the different assessments, as well as for exchange and analysis of

  7. Engaging Faculty in the Assessment and Improvement of Students' Critical Thinking Using the Critical Thinking Assessment Test

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stein, Barry; Haynes, Ada

    2011-01-01

    Many assessment experts believe it is essential to develop faculty-driven assessment tools in order to engage faculty in meaningful assessment that can improve student learning. Tennessee Technological University (TTU) has been involved in an extended effort during the last ten years to develop, refine, and nationally disseminate an instrument to…

  8. Assessing Hepatitis C Burden and Treatment Effectiveness through the British Columbia Hepatitis Testers Cohort (BC-HTC): Design and Characteristics of Linked and Unlinked Participants

    PubMed Central

    Janjua, Naveed Zafar; Kuo, Margot; Chong, Mei; Yu, Amanda; Alvarez, Maria; Cook, Darrel; Armour, Rosemary; Aiken, Ciaran; Li, Karen; Mussavi Rizi, Seyed Ali; Woods, Ryan; Godfrey, David; Wong, Jason; Gilbert, Mark; Tyndall, Mark W.; Krajden, Mel

    2016-01-01

    Background The British Columbia (BC) Hepatitis Testers Cohort (BC-HTC) was established to assess and monitor hepatitis C (HCV) epidemiology, cost of illness and treatment effectiveness in BC, Canada. In this paper, we describe the cohort construction, data linkage process, linkage yields, and comparison of the characteristics of linked and unlinked individuals. Methods The BC-HTC includes all individuals tested for HCV and/or HIV or reported as a case of HCV, hepatitis B (HBV), HIV or active tuberculosis (TB) in BC linked with the provincial health insurance client roster, medical visits, hospitalizations, drug prescriptions, the cancer registry and mortality data using unique personal health numbers. The cohort includes data since inception (1990/1992) of each database until 2012/2013 with plans for annual updates. We computed linkage rates by year and compared the characteristics of linked and unlinked individuals. Results Of 2,656,323 unique individuals available in the laboratory and surveillance data, 1,427,917(54%) were included in the final linked cohort, including about 1.15 million tested for HCV and about 1.02 million tested for HIV. The linkage rate was 86% for HCV tests, 89% for HCV cases, 95% for active TB cases, 48% for HIV tests and 36% for HIV cases. Linkage rates increased from 40% for HCV negatives and 70% for HCV positives in 1992 to ~90% after 2005. Linkage rates were lower for males, younger age at testing, and those with unknown residence location. Linkage rates for HCV testers co-infected with HIV, HBV or TB were very high (90–100%). Conclusion Linkage rates increased over time related to improvements in completeness of identifiers in laboratory, surveillance, and registry databases. Linkage rates were higher for HCV than HIV testers, those testing positive, older individuals, and females. Data from the cohort provide essential information to support the development of prevention, care and treatment initiatives for those infected with HCV

  9. Improvement of cloud cover assessment of Landsat Thematic Mapper data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ludwig, R.; Kumar, R.; Mackie, M.

    1987-01-01

    Various methods for cloud cover assessment of Landsat TM data are compared and evaluated. A total of 3906 TM 241-mm black-and-white photo prints of different seasons and regions were assessed manually. These images were mostly in band 4 (0.76-0.90 microns) for daytime data and band 6 (10.4-12.5 microns) for nighttime data. The results of this manual assessment are compared to available automated and manual assessments, and the differences between results obtained by various methods are discussed.

  10. Linking Assessment to Decision Making in Water Resources Planning - Decision Making Frameworks and Case Study Evaluations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Broman, D.; Gangopadhyay, S.; Simes, J.

    2015-12-01

    Climate assessments have become an accepted and commonly used component of long term water management and planning. There is substantial variation in the methods used in these assessments; however, managers and decision-makers have come to value their utility to identify future system limitations, and to evaluate future alternatives to ensure satisfactory system performance. A new set of decision-making frameworks have been proposed, including robust decision making (RDM), and decision scaling, that directly address the deep uncertainties found in both future climate, and non-climatic factors. Promising results have been obtained using these new frameworks, offering a more comprehensive understanding of future conditions leading to failures, and identification of measures to address these failures. Data and resource constraints have limited the use of these frameworks within the Bureau of Reclamation. We present here a modified framework that captures the strengths of previously proposed methods while using a suite of analysis tool that allow for a 'rapid climate assessment' to be performed. A scalable approach has been taken where more complex tools can be used if project resources allow. This 'rapid assessment' is demonstrated through two case studies on the Santa Ana and Colorado Rivers where previous climate assessments have been completed. Planning-level measures are used to compare how decision making is affected when using this new decision making framework.

  11. 42 CFR 403.732 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... performance improvement. 403.732 Section 403.732 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES... participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement. The RNHCI must develop, implement, and maintain a quality assessment and performance improvement program. (a) Standard: Program scope. (1) The...

  12. 42 CFR 418.58 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... performance improvement. 418.58 Section 418.58 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES... Participation: Patient Care § 418.58 Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement... quality assessment and performance improvement program. The hospice's governing body must ensure that...

  13. 42 CFR 418.58 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... performance improvement. 418.58 Section 418.58 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES... Participation: Patient Care § 418.58 Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement... quality assessment and performance improvement program. The hospice's governing body must ensure that...

  14. 42 CFR 403.732 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... performance improvement. 403.732 Section 403.732 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES... participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement. The RNHCI must develop, implement, and maintain a quality assessment and performance improvement program. (a) Standard: Program scope. (1) The...

  15. Institutional Assessment: Between Political Pressing Needs and School Improvement Needs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Méndez, Juan Manuel Álvarez

    2014-01-01

    This article presents, through a critical analysis, a reflection on a noticeable change that focuses on some aspects related to the assessment of different parts of the educational system. In particular, it concentrates on the assessment of teaching institutions which has been considered by authorities that are distant from the school life and…

  16. An Effective Assessment Model for Implementing Change and Improving Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mince, Rose; Ebersole, Tara

    2008-01-01

    Assessment at Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC) involves asking the right questions and using data to determine what changes should be implemented to enhance student learning. Guided by a 5-stage design, CCBC's assessment program is faculty-driven, risk-free, and externally validated. Curricular and pedagogical changes have resulted in…

  17. Peer Assessment as a Method of Improving Student Engagement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weaver, Debbi; Esposto, Alexis

    2012-01-01

    To encourage increased student attendance and engagement in a third-year economics unit, the curriculum was redesigned to incorporate continuous assessment throughout the semester. A component of group project marks were allocated to peer assessment, in an attempt to address concerns about free-riding colleagues sharing a common mark. This study…

  18. Education Reforms and Innovations to Improve Student Assessment Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McAfee, Wade J.

    2014-01-01

    International assessments such as the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) have exhibited United States students specifically in the fourth and eighth grades, are not performing well when compared to their international peers. Educational stakeholders including…

  19. "Lorenzo's oil" therapy for X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy: rationale and current assessment of efficacy.

    PubMed

    Moser, Hugo W; Moser, Ann B; Hollandsworth, Kim; Brereton, N Hong; Raymond, Gerald V

    2007-09-01

    X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) is a genetic disorder that damages the nervous system and is associated with the accumulation of saturated very long chain fatty acids (SVLCFA). Oral administration of "Lorenzo's oil" (LO), a 4:1 mixture of glyceryl trioleate and glyceryl trierucate, normalizes the SVLCFA levels in plasma, but its clinical efficacy and the clinical indications for its use have been controversial for more than 15 years. We review the biochemical effects of LO administration and the rationale for its use and present a current appraisal of its capacity to reduce the risk for the childhood cerebral phenotype when administered to asymptomatic boys and to slow progression of adrenomyeloneuropathy in patients without cerebral involvement. We also present current efforts to provide definitive evaluation of its clinical efficacy and discuss its possible role in the new therapeutic opportunities that will arise if newborn screening for X-ALD is validated and implemented.

  20. A Linked Physical and Biological Framework to Assess Biogeochemical Dynamics in a Shallow Estuarine Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buzzelli, C. P.; Wetzel, R. L.; Meyers, M. B.

    1999-12-01

    The littoral zone of Chesapeake Bay contains a mosaic of shallow vegetated and nonvegetated habitats with biotic components that are sensitive to changes in biological and physical driving factors. Static and dynamic modelling frameworks provide an integrative way to study complex hydrodynamic and biogeochemical processes in linked estuarine habitats. In this study we describe a spatial simulation model developed and calibrated relative to a specific littoral zone, estuarine ecosystem. The model consisted of four distinct habitats that contained phytoplankton, sediment microalgae, Zostera marina (eelgrass), and Spartina alterniflora. There was tidal exchange of phytoplankton, particulate and dissolved organic carbon and dissolved inorganic nitrogen between the littoral zone ecosystem and the offshore channel. Physical exchange and biogeochemical transformations within the habitats determined water column concentrations in each habitat. Predicted subtidal water column concentrations and Z. marina and S. alterniflora biomass were within the variability of validation data and the predicted annual rates of net primary production were similar to measured rates. Phytoplankton accounted for 17%, sediment microalgae 46%, the Z. marina community 24% and S. alterniflora 13% of the annual littoral zone primary production. The linked habitat model provided insights into producer, habitat and ecosystem carbon and nitrogen properties that might not have been evident with stand-alone models. Although it was an intra-ecosystem sink for particulate carbon, the seagrass habitat was a DOC source and responsible for over 30% of the littoral zone carbon and nitrogen primary production. The model predicted that the Goodwin Islands littoral zone was a sink of channel derived POC, but a source of DOC to the surrounding estuary. The framework created in this study of estuarine ecosystem dynamics is applicable to many different aquatic systems over a range of spatial and temporal scales.

  1. Link Data to Learning Goals: Common District Assessments Connect Teaching Effectiveness to Student Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Psencik, Kay; Baldwin, Rhonda

    2012-01-01

    In 2010, district leaders of Douglas County Public Schools, Douglasville, Georgia, launched an ambitious initiative to ensure that teachers set goals that focus on increasing their effectiveness and show student growth. To achieve this goal, the district leadership team focused on common district assessments to establish common learning…

  2. Equilibrium Partitioning Approach for Assessing Toxicity of Contaminants in Sediments: Linking Measured Concentrations to Effects

    EPA Science Inventory

    A variety of approaches exist for assessing the degree, extent and/or risk of metals contamination in sediments. Selection of the “correct” approach depends on the nature of the question being asked (e.g., the degree of metals contamination in marine sediments may be estimated by...

  3. Linking a Learning Progression for Natural Selection to Teachers' Enactment of Formative Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Furtak, Erin Marie

    2012-01-01

    Learning progressions, or representations of how student ideas develop in a domain, hold promise as tools to support teachers' formative assessment practices. The ideas represented in a learning progression might help teachers to identify and make inferences about evidence collected of student thinking, necessary precursors to modifying…

  4. The Role of Educational Systems in the Link between Formative Assessment and Motivation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nolen, Susan Bobbitt

    2011-01-01

    Formative assessment has been widely promoted as a means to support student learning and motivation. This practice has potential for communicating to students the value of what they are learning, both in the classroom and beyond (Brophy, 2008). To make good on those promises, however, requires an understanding of the connections between formative…

  5. The Link between Functional Behavioral Assessments (FBAs) and Behavioral Intervention Plans (BIPs). ERIC Digest E592.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jolivette, Kristine; Scott, Terrance M.; Nelson, C. Michael

    This Digest discusses provisions in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that require functional behavioral assessments (FBAs) and behavioral intervention plans (BIPs) to be conducted prior to a change in placement or suspension for more than 10 days, based on inappropriate behaviors for students with disabilities. It presents…

  6. Assessing Program Learning Objectives to Improve Undergraduate Physics Education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Menke, Carrie

    2014-03-01

    Our physics undergraduate program has five program learning objectives (PLOs) focusing on (1) physical principles, (2) mathematical expertise, (3) experimental technique, (4) communication and teamwork, and (5) research proficiency. One PLO is assessed each year, with the results guiding modifications in our curriculum and future assessment practices; we have just completed our first cycle of assessing all PLOs. Our approach strives to maximize the ease and applicability of our assessment practices while maintaining faculty's flexibility in course design and delivery. Objectives are mapped onto our core curriculum with identified coursework collected as direct evidence. We've utilized mostly descriptive rubrics, applying them at the course and program levels as well as sharing them with the students. This has resulted in more efficient assessment that is also applicable to reaccreditation efforts, higher inter-rater reliability than with other rubric types, and higher quality capstone projects. We've also found that the varied quality of student writing can interfere with our assessment of other objectives. This poster outlines our processes, resources, and how we have used PLO assessment to strengthen our undergraduate program.

  7. Brief Report: Improving the Validity of Assessments of Adolescents' Feelings of Privacy Invasion

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Laird, Robert D.; Marrero, Matthew D.; Melching, Jessica; Kuhn, Emily S.

    2013-01-01

    Studies of privacy invasion have relied on measures that combine items assessing adolescents' feelings of privacy invasion with items assessing parents' monitoring behaviors. Removing items assessing parents' monitoring behaviors may improve the validity of assessments of privacy invasion. Data were collected from 163 adolescents (M age 13 years,…

  8. Implementation of Mock Competency Skill Assessments to Improve Student Outcomes.

    PubMed

    Payne, Camille; Ziegler, M Penny; Baughman, Diana M; Jones, Jackie

    2015-01-01

    A primary responsibility for nurse educators is to provide students with theoretical knowledge and clinical skills for professional nursing. In this study, laboratory faculty developed a creative pedagogical strategy to reduce nursing student stress during assessment of skill performance. Mock competencies were structured so that students participated in peer-to-peer evaluations in simulated competency assessments. The purpose of this study was to determine whether this pedagogical strategy had an impact on first-round pass rates for skills competency assessments. PMID:25950797

  9. Improved Insulin Sensitivity After Exercise Training is Linked to Reduced Plasma C14:0 Ceramide in Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Kasumov, Takhar; Solomon, Thomas P.J.; Hwang, Calvin; Huang, Hazel; Haus, Jacob M.; Zhang, Renliang; Kirwan, John P.

    2015-01-01

    Objective To assess the effect of exercise training on insulin sensitivity and plasma ceramides in obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Methods Twenty-four adults with obesity and normal glucose tolerance (NGT, n=14), or diabetes (n=10) were studied before and after a 12-week supervised exercise-training program (5 d/wk, 1 hr/d, 80–85% of maximum heart rate). Changes in body composition were assessed using hydrostatic weighing and computed tomography. Peripheral tissue insulin sensitivity was assessed by a 40 mU/m2/min hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamp. Plasma ceramides (C14:0, C16:0, C18:0, C18:1, C20:0, C24:0 and C24:1) were quantified using electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry after separation with HPLC. Results Plasma ceramides were similar for the obese NGT and subjects with diabetes, despite differences in glucose tolerance. Exercise significantly reduced body weight and adiposity, and increased peripheral insulin sensitivity in both groups (P<0.05). In addition, plasma C14:0, C16:0, C18:1, and C24:0 ceramide levels were reduced in all subjects following the intervention (P<0.05). Decreases in total (r=-0.51, P=0.02) and C14:0 (r=-0.56, P=0.009) ceramide were negatively correlated with the increase in insulin sensitivity. Conclusion Ceramides are linked to exercise training-induced improvements in insulin sensitivity, and plasma C14:0 ceramide may provide a specific target for investigating lipid-related insulin resistance in obesity and T2D. PMID:25966363

  10. Linking Assessment and Intervention for Developmental/Functional Outcomes of Premature, Low-Birth-Weight Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Xu, Yaoying; Filler, John W.

    2005-01-01

    Prematurity and low birth weight (LBW) are two major biological factors that put infants and young children at high risk for developmental delays or disabilities. While survival rates for premature and LBW children have improved, incidence figures have changed little over the past 20 years; in fact, the incidence of LBW has increased. Although the…

  11. Improved In-gel Reductive β-Elimination for Comprehensive O-linked and Sulfo-glycomics by Mass Spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Nix, David B.; Kumagai, Tadahiro; Katoh, Toshihiko; Tiemeyer, Michael; Aoki, Kazuhiro

    2016-01-01

    Separation of proteins by SDS-PAGE followed by in-gel proteolytic digestion of resolved protein bands has produced high-resolution proteomic analysis of biological samples. Similar approaches, that would allow in-depth analysis of the glycans carried by glycoproteins resolved by SDS-PAGE, require special considerations in order to maximize recovery and sensitivity when using mass spectrometry (MS) as the detection method. A major hurdle to be overcome in achieving high-quality data is the removal of gel-derived contaminants that interfere with MS analysis. The sample workflow presented here is robust, efficient, and eliminates the need for in-line HPLC clean-up prior to MS. Gel pieces containing target proteins are washed in acetonitrile, water, and ethyl acetate to remove contaminants, including polymeric acrylamide fragments. O-linked glycans are released from target proteins by in-gel reductive β-elimination and recovered through robust, simple clean-up procedures. An advantage of this workflow is that it improves sensitivity for detecting and characterizing sulfated glycans. These procedures produce an efficient separation of sulfated permethylated glycans from non-sulfated (sialylated and neutral) permethylated glycans by a rapid phase-partition prior to MS analysis, and thereby enhance glycomic and sulfoglycomic analyses of glycoproteins resolved by SDS-PAGE. PMID:25489664

  12. Improved fiber-optic link for the phase reference distribution system for the TESLA technology based projects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Czuba, Krzysztof; Felber, Matthias

    2005-09-01

    The UV Free-Electron Laser (UVFEL) [1], The X-Ray Free-Electron Laser (XFEL) [2] and The International Linear Accelerator (ILC) [9] projects will require phase synchronization of various RF frequency subsystems on kilometer distances with accuracy better than 1ps. To fulfill these requirements, a phase reference distribution system concept was proposed and a prototype was developed for tests in the TESLA Test Facility 2 (TTF2). An important part of the phase reference system is the fiber-optic phase stable, long distance link described in this paper. An interferometrical scheme with feedback on phase, suppressing long term phase drifts induced by temperature changes was developed and tested in laboratory and under accelerator conditions. A motorized optical delay line was used in the system to compensate for phase errors. Described are error considerations and most important project issues like the hardware development and the real time phase controller software. The presented measurement results satisfy the design requirements. Experience gained during the experiments yielded proposals for system improvements.

  13. Intracoronary Transplantation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells with Overexpressed Integrin-Linked Kinase Improves Cardiac Function in Porcine Myocardial Infarction

    PubMed Central

    Mu, Dan; Zhang, Xin-Lin; Xie, Jun; Yuan, Hui-Hua; Wang, Kun; Huang, Wei; Li, Guan-Nan; Lu, Jian-Rong; Mao, Li-Juan; Wang, Lian; Cheng, Le; Mai, Xiao-Li; Yang, Jun; Tian, Chuan-Shuai; Kang, Li-Na; Gu, Rong; Zhu, Bin; Xu, Biao

    2016-01-01

    The effect of mesenchymal stem cell (MSCs)-based therapy on treating acute myocardial infarction (MI) is limited due to poor engraftment and limited regenerative potential. Here we engineered MSCs with integrin-linked kinase (ILK), a pleiotropic protein critically regulating cell survival, proliferation, differentiation, and angiogenesis. We firstly combined ferumoxytol with poly-L-lysine (PLL), and found this combination promisingly enabled MRI visualization of MSCs in vitro and in vivo with good safety. We provided visually direct evidence that intracoronary ILK-MSCs had substantially enhanced homing capacity to infarct myocardium in porcine following cardiac catheterization induced MI. Intracoronary transplantation of allogeneic ILK-MSCs, but not vector-MSCs, significantly enhanced global left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) by 7.8% compared with baseline, by 10.3% compared with vehicles, and inhibited myocardial remodeling compared with vehicles at 15-day follow-up. Compared with vector-MSCs, ILK-MSCs significantly improved regional LV contractile function, reduced scar size, fibrosis, cell apoptosis, and increased regional myocardial perfusion and cell proliferation. This preclinical study indicates that ILK-engineered MSCs might promote the clinical translation of MSC-based therapy in post-MI patients, and provides evidence that ferumoxytol labeling of cells combined with PLL is feasible in in vivo cell tracking. PMID:26750752

  14. Meeting Report: Moving Upstream—Evaluating Adverse Upstream End Points for Improved Risk Assessment and Decision-Making

    PubMed Central

    Woodruff, Tracey J.; Zeise, Lauren; Axelrad, Daniel A.; Guyton, Kathryn Z.; Janssen, Sarah; Miller, Mark; Miller, Gregory G.; Schwartz, Jackie M.; Alexeeff, George; Anderson, Henry; Birnbaum, Linda; Bois, Frederic; Cogliano, Vincent James; Crofton, Kevin; Euling, Susan Y.; Foster, Paul M.D.; Germolec, Dori R.; Gray, Earl; Hattis, Dale B.; Kyle, Amy D.; Luebke, Robert W.; Luster, Michael I.; Portier, Chris; Rice, Deborah C.; Solomon, Gina; Vandenberg, John; Zoeller, R. Thomas

    2008-01-01

    Background Assessing adverse effects from environmental chemical exposure is integral to public health policies. Toxicology assays identifying early biological changes from chemical exposure are increasing our ability to evaluate links between early biological disturbances and subsequent overt downstream effects. A workshop was held to consider how the resulting data inform consideration of an “adverse effect” in the context of hazard identification and risk assessment. Objectives Our objective here is to review what is known about the relationships between chemical exposure, early biological effects (upstream events), and later overt effects (downstream events) through three case studies (thyroid hormone disruption, antiandrogen effects, immune system disruption) and to consider how to evaluate hazard and risk when early biological effect data are available. Discussion Each case study presents data on the toxicity pathways linking early biological perturbations with downstream overt effects. Case studies also emphasize several factors that can influence risk of overt disease as a result from early biological perturbations, including background chemical exposures, underlying individual biological processes, and disease susceptibility. Certain effects resulting from exposure during periods of sensitivity may be irreversible. A chemical can act through multiple modes of action, resulting in similar or different overt effects. Conclusions For certain classes of early perturbations, sufficient information on the disease process is known, so hazard and quantitative risk assessment can proceed using information on upstream biological perturbations. Upstream data will support improved approaches for considering developmental stage, background exposures, disease status, and other factors important to assessing hazard and risk for the whole population. PMID:19057713

  15. Assessment of Wireless Link Budget in a Satellite by Modelling Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gineste, P.-N.; Herlem, Y.; Outay, A.; Pelissou, P.

    2012-05-01

    The present study is related to the ESA/ASTRIUM contract n°4500082825 entitled "Wireless Intra- Spacecraft communications", whose objectives cover the design, development and validation of a RF wireless communications system for use in spacecraft Assembly Integration and Verification (AIV). This paper presents the main outcomes of this study, whose main objective was to assess, by modelling techniques, the possibility of using wireless communication inside satellite for AIT (Assembly, Integration and Tests) purposes. Comparisons with tests have been done in order to validate the numerical model and statistic data have been established.

  16. Assessing the Pleistocene hemispheric climate links through correlating loess, marine and ice-core records

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Z.

    2015-12-01

    Near continuous loess-soil records in China cover the past 22 million years. Here, we compare various independent climate proxies from the terrestrial, marine and ice-core domains to re-evaluate the regional and global significance of the China loess with special emphases to the Quaternary portion. The results confirm that the intensity of loess deposition in China is closely coupled with the northern high latitude climate from the over-orbital to millennial scales, and that loess accumulation rates (LAR) and loess particle-size reflect many features of the northern high latitude ice conditions. Consequently, correlating the loess and marine records could offer the possibility for addressing the hemispheric climate links. Our loess-marine correlations show that both records are broadly coupled during the Pleistocene. However, numerous decoupled features exist between the two records. Marine oxygen isotope record shows a general trend of increased ice-volume during the Pleistocene. This trend has no clear reflection in the loess LAR and grain-size data. A prominent change at ~ 430 ka, referred to as the Mid-Brunhes Event (MBE), is clearly documented in both marine and EPICA ice records while its reflections in loess are rather ambiguous. Both marine and EPICA data show a cooler-than-average interglacial for the marine-oxygen isotope stage 13 (MIS-13) while a series of terrestrial records show a warm-extreme interglacial for the northern hemisphere. During a number of glacial intervals, such as MIS-16, MIS 14, MIS-12 and MIS-3, interglacial-level of loess grain-size are observed while they have no obvious reflections in the marine and EPICA ice records. Based on a multi-proxy approach, we argue that these decoupled features between the loess and marine records are attributable to the asymmetrical behaviors of the Pleistocene climates between the southern and northern hemispheres.

  17. Inter-Basin Water Transfer Impact Assessment on Environment of Pennar to Cauvery Link Canal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajesh, S. V. J. S. S.; Prakasa Rao, B. S.; Niranjan, K.

    2016-07-01

    Owing to its striking differences in its climatic conditions, India is frequently facing with extremities such as heavy rain fall in some regions where as some other regions endure little rainfall. The regions receiving heavy precipitation are facing floods resulting in huge amount of water runs into the sea. Contrarily, the regions, without adequate rainfall are suffering from persistent droughts. To overcome such disparities in the distribution of water, National Water Development Agency (NWDA) put a proposal to transfer water through link canals between rivers. The current study is limited to two river basins, Pennar and Cauvery. The present study is confined to Pennar (somasila) to Cauvery (Grand Anicut) whose length is 483 km. The study consist of10 km. buffer on either side of the canal and it occupies 17,215.68 sq. km. out of these 10,105.96 sq.km.is proposed command area which falls in Chittoor, Chengalpattu, North Arcott and South Arcott districts. Using IRS-P6, LISS-III data the characteristics of the rocks, lineaments, drainage, settlements and land use/land cover are mapped for better analysis and the environmental impact. The study indicated that Current fallow land of 5340.14 km2 and 6307.98 km2 of cropland will be brought under cultivation which is more than what is NWDA estimated land that will be benefited. The canal will provide water for irrigation and drinking to 4597 villages and 244 villages to be rehabilitated. 119 culverts/canal bridges and 24 aqueducts have to be constructed across the canal.

  18. Assessment of Dioxin-Like Soil Contamination in Mexico by Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay

    PubMed Central

    Nichkova, M.; Yáñez, L.; Costilla-Salazar, R.; Torres-Dosal, A.; Gee, S. J.; Hammock, B. D.; Juárez-Santacruz, L.; Díaz-Barriga, F.

    2011-01-01

    In this work, we describe the results of a preliminary soil assessment program for the detection of dioxins at different sites in Mexico performed by immunoassay. We studied five different sectors considered relevant sources of dioxins: Anaversa and Tekchem industrial areas where organochlorine pesticides were manufactured and released by accidental explosions, secondary smelters, brick kilns, and rural dwellings. In the context of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) guidelines, only the brick kilns sites can be considered as low-risk areas. The dioxin concentrations detected in the vicinity of the Anaversa and Tekchem chemical plants and secondary smelters exceed the screening level of 0.05 ppb set by the ATSDR, and therefore further site-specific studies are needed. The dioxin levels found in all soot samples from indigenous dwellings where wood is used for indoor cooking were above the evaluation level. Considering that the studied areas are representative examples of dioxin sources in less developed countries, our work demonstrates the useful application of dioxin immunoassays as a tool for dioxin screening for environmental assessment programs in developing countries. PMID:20091164

  19. Linking physiological approaches to marine vertebrate conservation: using sex steroid hormone determinations in demographic assessments

    PubMed Central

    Labrada-Martagón, Vanessa; Zenteno-Savín, Tania; Mangel, Marc

    2014-01-01

    Sex, age and sexual maturation are key biological parameters for aspects of life history and are fundamental information for assessing demographic changes and the reproductive viability and performance of natural populations under exploitation pressures or in response to environmental influences. Much of the information available on the reproductive condition, length at sexual maturity and sex determinations of endangered species has been derived from direct examination of the gonads in dead animals, either intentionally or incidentally caught, or from stranded individuals. However, morphological data, when used alone, do not provide accurate demographic information in sexually monomorphic marine vertebrate species (e.g. sharks, sea turtles, seabirds and cetaceans). Hormone determination is an accurate and non-destructive method that provides indirect information about sex, reproductive condition and sexual maturity of free-ranging individuals. Correlations between sex steroid concentrations and biochemical parameters, gonadal development and state, reproductive behaviour and secondary external features have been already demonstrated in many species. Different non-lethal approaches (e.g. surgical and mark–recapture procedures), with intrinsic advantages and disadvantages when applied on free-ranging organisms, have been proposed to asses sex, growth and reproductive condition. Hormone determination from blood samples will generate valuable additional demographic information needed for stock assessment and biological conservation. PMID:27293619

  20. Linking physiological approaches to marine vertebrate conservation: using sex steroid hormone determinations in demographic assessments.

    PubMed

    Labrada-Martagón, Vanessa; Zenteno-Savín, Tania; Mangel, Marc

    2014-01-01

    Sex, age and sexual maturation are key biological parameters for aspects of life history and are fundamental information for assessing demographic changes and the reproductive viability and performance of natural populations under exploitation pressures or in response to environmental influences. Much of the information available on the reproductive condition, length at sexual maturity and sex determinations of endangered species has been derived from direct examination of the gonads in dead animals, either intentionally or incidentally caught, or from stranded individuals. However, morphological data, when used alone, do not provide accurate demographic information in sexually monomorphic marine vertebrate species (e.g. sharks, sea turtles, seabirds and cetaceans). Hormone determination is an accurate and non-destructive method that provides indirect information about sex, reproductive condition and sexual maturity of free-ranging individuals. Correlations between sex steroid concentrations and biochemical parameters, gonadal development and state, reproductive behaviour and secondary external features have been already demonstrated in many species. Different non-lethal approaches (e.g. surgical and mark-recapture procedures), with intrinsic advantages and disadvantages when applied on free-ranging organisms, have been proposed to asses sex, growth and reproductive condition. Hormone determination from blood samples will generate valuable additional demographic information needed for stock assessment and biological conservation.

  1. Linking physiological approaches to marine vertebrate conservation: using sex steroid hormone determinations in demographic assessments.

    PubMed

    Labrada-Martagón, Vanessa; Zenteno-Savín, Tania; Mangel, Marc

    2014-01-01

    Sex, age and sexual maturation are key biological parameters for aspects of life history and are fundamental information for assessing demographic changes and the reproductive viability and performance of natural populations under exploitation pressures or in response to environmental influences. Much of the information available on the reproductive condition, length at sexual maturity and sex determinations of endangered species has been derived from direct examination of the gonads in dead animals, either intentionally or incidentally caught, or from stranded individuals. However, morphological data, when used alone, do not provide accurate demographic information in sexually monomorphic marine vertebrate species (e.g. sharks, sea turtles, seabirds and cetaceans). Hormone determination is an accurate and non-destructive method that provides indirect information about sex, reproductive condition and sexual maturity of free-ranging individuals. Correlations between sex steroid concentrations and biochemical parameters, gonadal development and state, reproductive behaviour and secondary external features have been already demonstrated in many species. Different non-lethal approaches (e.g. surgical and mark-recapture procedures), with intrinsic advantages and disadvantages when applied on free-ranging organisms, have been proposed to asses sex, growth and reproductive condition. Hormone determination from blood samples will generate valuable additional demographic information needed for stock assessment and biological conservation. PMID:27293619

  2. Improving FMEA risk assessment through reprioritization of failures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ungureanu, A. L.; Stan, G.

    2016-08-01

    Most of the current methods used to assess the failure and to identify the industrial equipment defects are based on the determination of Risk Priority Number (RPN). Although conventional RPN calculation is easy to understand and use, the methodology presents some limitations, such as the large number of duplicates and the difficulty of assessing the RPN indices. In order to eliminate the afore-mentioned shortcomings, this paper puts forward an easy and efficient computing method, called Failure Developing Mode and Criticality Analysis (FDMCA), which takes into account the failures and the defect evolution in time, from failure appearance to a breakdown.

  3. Efficient nuclear drug translocation and improved drug efficacy mediated by acidity-responsive boronate-linked dextran/cholesterol nanoassembly.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jing-Yi; Lei, Qi; Yang, Bin; Jia, Hui-Zhen; Qiu, Wen-Xiu; Wang, Xuli; Zeng, Xuan; Zhuo, Ren-Xi; Feng, Jun; Zhang, Xian-Zheng

    2015-06-01

    The present study reported a lysosome-acidity-targeting bio-responsive nanovehicle self-assembled from dextran (Dex) and phenylboronic acid modified cholesterol (Chol-PBA), aiming at the nucleus-tropic drug delivery. The prominent advantage of this assembled nanoconstruction arose from its susceptibility to acidity-labile dissociation concurrently accompanied with the fast liberation of encapsulated drugs, leading to efficient nuclear drug translocation and consequently favorable drug efficacy. By elaborately exploiting NH4Cl pretreatment to interfere with the cellular endosomal acidification progression, this study clearly evidenced at a cellular level the strong lysosomal-acidity dependency of nuclear drug uptake efficiency, which was shown to be the main factor influencing the drug efficacy. The boronate-linked nanoassembly displayed nearly no cytotoxicity and can remain structural stability under the simulated physiological conditions including 10% serum and the normal blood sugar concentration. The cellular exposure to cholesterol was found to bate the cellular uptake of nanoassembly in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting a cholesterol-associated mechanism of the intracellular internalization. The in vivo antitumor assessment in xenograft mouse models revealed the significant superiority of DOX-loaded Dex/Chol-PBA nanoassembly over the controls including free DOX and the DOX-loaded non-sensitive Dex-Chol, as reflected by the more effective tumor-growth inhibition and the better systematic safety. In terms of the convenient preparation, sensitive response to lysosomal acidity and efficient nuclear drug translocation, Dex/Chol-PBA nanoassembly derived from natural materials shows promising potentials as the nanovehicle for nucleus-tropic drug delivery especially for antitumor agents. More attractively, this study offers a deeper insight into the mechanism concerning the contribution of acidity-responsive delivery to the enhanced chemotherapy performance. PMID

  4. Efficient nuclear drug translocation and improved drug efficacy mediated by acidity-responsive boronate-linked dextran/cholesterol nanoassembly.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jing-Yi; Lei, Qi; Yang, Bin; Jia, Hui-Zhen; Qiu, Wen-Xiu; Wang, Xuli; Zeng, Xuan; Zhuo, Ren-Xi; Feng, Jun; Zhang, Xian-Zheng

    2015-06-01

    The present study reported a lysosome-acidity-targeting bio-responsive nanovehicle self-assembled from dextran (Dex) and phenylboronic acid modified cholesterol (Chol-PBA), aiming at the nucleus-tropic drug delivery. The prominent advantage of this assembled nanoconstruction arose from its susceptibility to acidity-labile dissociation concurrently accompanied with the fast liberation of encapsulated drugs, leading to efficient nuclear drug translocation and consequently favorable drug efficacy. By elaborately exploiting NH4Cl pretreatment to interfere with the cellular endosomal acidification progression, this study clearly evidenced at a cellular level the strong lysosomal-acidity dependency of nuclear drug uptake efficiency, which was shown to be the main factor influencing the drug efficacy. The boronate-linked nanoassembly displayed nearly no cytotoxicity and can remain structural stability under the simulated physiological conditions including 10% serum and the normal blood sugar concentration. The cellular exposure to cholesterol was found to bate the cellular uptake of nanoassembly in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting a cholesterol-associated mechanism of the intracellular internalization. The in vivo antitumor assessment in xenograft mouse models revealed the significant superiority of DOX-loaded Dex/Chol-PBA nanoassembly over the controls including free DOX and the DOX-loaded non-sensitive Dex-Chol, as reflected by the more effective tumor-growth inhibition and the better systematic safety. In terms of the convenient preparation, sensitive response to lysosomal acidity and efficient nuclear drug translocation, Dex/Chol-PBA nanoassembly derived from natural materials shows promising potentials as the nanovehicle for nucleus-tropic drug delivery especially for antitumor agents. More attractively, this study offers a deeper insight into the mechanism concerning the contribution of acidity-responsive delivery to the enhanced chemotherapy performance.

  5. The Mathematics Assessment Collaborative: Performance Testing to Improve Instruction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Foster, David; Noyce, Pendred

    2004-01-01

    In this article, the authors describe a collaborative effort involving 30 school districts in California's Silicon Valley that are seeking to overcome the ill effects of mandatory high-stakes standardized testing in mathematics. These districts administer, score, and analyze a common set of performance assessments in mathematics in a way that…

  6. Improving Instructional Design with Better Analysis of Assessment Data

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murphy, Kristen L.; Holme, Thomas A.

    2014-01-01

    As more instructors articulate learning objectives for their students within one course, or academic staff collaborate to articulate learning outcomes for programs, a robust means to assess student performance within these becomes increasingly important. The Examinations Institute of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Division of Chemical…

  7. Energy Assessment Helps Kaiser Aluminum Save Energy and Improve Productivity

    SciTech Connect

    2008-07-01

    The Kaiser Aluminum plant in Sherman, Texas, adjusted controls and made repairs to a furnace for a simple payback of 1 month. Kaiser adopted DOE's Process Heating Assessment and Survey Tool (PHAST) software as the corporate diagnostic tool and has used it to evaluate process heating systems at five other aluminum plants.

  8. Disaggregating Assessment to Close the Loop and Improve Student Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rawls, Janita; Hammons, Stacy

    2015-01-01

    This study examined student learning outcomes for accelerated degree students as compared to conventional undergraduate students, disaggregated by class levels, to develop strategies for then closing the loop with assessment. Using the National Survey of Student Engagement, critical thinking and oral and written communication outcomes were…

  9. Clinical Vignettes Improve Performance in Anatomy Practical Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ikah, December S. K.; Finn, Gabrielle M.; Swamy, Meenakshi; White, Pamela M.; McLachlan, John C.

    2015-01-01

    Although medical curricula now adopt an integrated teaching approach, this is not adequately reflected in assessment of anatomy knowledge and skills. In this study, we aimed to explore the impact of the addition of clinical vignette to item stems on students' performance in anatomy practical examinations. In this study, 129 undergraduate medical…

  10. Improving risk assessment by defining consistent and reliable system scenarios

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazzorana, B.; Hübl, J.; Fuchs, S.

    2009-02-01

    During the entire procedure of risk assessment for hydrologic hazards, the selection of consistent and reliable scenarios, constructed in a strictly systematic way, is fundamental for the quality and reproducibility of the results. However, subjective assumptions on relevant impact variables such as sediment transport intensity on the system loading side and weak point response mechanisms repeatedly cause biases in the results, and consequently affect transparency and required quality standards. Furthermore, the system response of mitigation measures to extreme event loadings represents another key variable in hazard assessment, as well as the integral risk management including intervention planning. Formative Scenario Analysis, as a supplement to conventional risk assessment methods, is a technique to construct well-defined sets of assumptions to gain insight into a specific case and the potential system behaviour. By two case studies, carried out (1) to analyse sediment transport dynamics in a torrent section equipped with control measures, and (2) to identify hazards induced by woody debris transport at hydraulic weak points, the applicability of the Formative Scenario Analysis technique is presented. It is argued that during scenario planning in general and with respect to integral risk management in particular, Formative Scenario Analysis allows for the development of reliable and reproducible scenarios in order to design more specifically an application framework for the sustainable assessment of natural hazards impact. The overall aim is to optimise the hazard mapping and zoning procedure by methodologically integrating quantitative and qualitative knowledge.

  11. Leverage Points for Improving Educational Assessment. CSE Technical Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mislevy, Robert J.; Steinberg, Linda S.; Almond, Russell G.; Haertel, Geneva D.; Penuel, William R.

    Advances in cognitive psychology deepen the understanding of how students gain and use knowledge. Advances in technology make it possible to capture more complex performances in assessment settings, by including, for example, simulation, interactivity, collaboration, and constructed response. The challenge is in knowing just how to put this new…

  12. Using Formative Assessment and Metacognition to Improve Student Achievement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hudesman, John; Crosby, Sara; Flugman, Bert; Issac, Sharlene; Everson, Howard; Clay, Dorie B.

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes a multistep Enhanced Formative Assessment Program (EFAP) that features a Self-Regulated Learning (SRL) component. The program, which teaches students to become more effective learners, has been applied in a wide range of academic disciplines. In this paper we report on how the EFAP-SRL model can be applied to the area of…

  13. How pharmacokinetic modeling could improve a risk assessment for manganese

    EPA Science Inventory

    The neurotoxicity of manganese (Mn) is well established, yet the risk assessment of Mn is made complex by certain enigmas. These include apparently greatertoxicity via inhalation compared to oral exposure and greater toxicity in humans compared to rats. In addition, until recentl...

  14. APPLICATION OF METABOLOMICS FOR IMPROVING ECOLOGICAL EXPOSURE AND RISK ASSESSMENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    We have developed a research program in metabolomics that involves numerous partners across EPA, other federal labs, academia, and the private sector. A primary goal is to develop metabolite-based markers that can be used by EPA in ecological exposure and risk assessments. We are...

  15. "Lifetime Fitness for Health" Course Assessment: Implications for Curriculum Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cardinal, Bradley J.; Cardinal, Marita K.; Burger, Molly E.

    2005-01-01

    Every other year, comprehensive school health education programs and policies are assessed nationally using the School Health Education Profile (SHEP) survey (Grunbaum et al., 1998). The data are collected in modules that are completed by different stakeholders within the school system. As part of a cooperative agreement with the Centers for…

  16. Assessment of Student Professional Outcomes for Continuous Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keshavarz, Mohsen; Baghdarnia, Mostafa

    2013-01-01

    This article describes a method for the assessment of professional student outcomes (performance-type outcomes or soft skills). The method is based upon group activities, research on modern electrical engineering topics by individual students, classroom presentations on chosen research topics, final presentations, and technical report writing.…

  17. [The significance of sex-linked differences for the assessment of somatosensory evoked potentials (author's transl)].

    PubMed

    Strenge, H; Hedderich, J; Tackmann, W

    1981-09-01

    In 45 healthy volunteers (22 males and 23 females with the same age structure) the peak latencies and inter-peak differences of the cervical and early cortical components of the somatosensory evoked potential were measured. The distribution of the values of the variables and their relationship with arm length were investigated both for the sample as a whole and for each sex separately. Significantly higher average values of the latencies and arm lengths were found in men. The correlations between arm length and latency had consistently higher values for the female sample. On the basis of these results it is concluded that a sufficient assessment of the latencies is only possible with the help of sex-specific normal values. PMID:6795015

  18. Stratospheric ion and aerosol chemistry and possible links with cirrus cloud microphysics - A critical assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mohnen, Volker A.

    1990-01-01

    Aspects of stratospheric ion chemistry and physics are assessed as they relate to aerosol formation and the transport of aerosols to upper tropospheric regions to create conditions favorable for cirrus cloud formation. It is found that ion-induced nucleation and other known phase transitions involving ions and sulfuric acid vapor are probably not efficient processes for stratospheric aerosol formation, and cannot compete with condensation of sulfuric acid on preexisting particles of volcanic or meteoritic origin which are larger than about 0.15 micron in radius. Thus, galactic cosmic rays cannot have a significant impact on stratospheric aerosol population. Changes in the stratospheric aerosol burden due to volcanos are up to two orders of magnitude larger than changes in ion densities. Thus, volcanic activity may modulate the radiative properties of cirrus clouds.

  19. Bridging Multiple Lines Of Evidence To Quantify Plant Phenology And Assess Links To Dryland Ecosystem Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Browning, D. M.; Tweedie, C. E.; Vivoni, E. R.; Maynard, J. J.; Karl, J.

    2015-12-01

    The clear and pressing need to reliably identify and predict shifts in plant phenology at landscape scales requires a critical link between mechanistic understanding of climate drivers and broad scale forecasts of plant responses to climate change. A multi-scale phenology study co-located with two eddy covariance towers was initiated on the Jornada Basin LTER in New Mexico in 2010 to bridge phenology patterns at the plant level with those representing aggregated signals at the landscape level. The study integrates phenology observations collected in the field along with those collected via remotely using imagery from phenocams, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and satellite sensors along with estimates of carbon flux. We applied the Breaks for Additive Seasonal and Trend (BFAST) time series algorithm to MODIS 250-m NDVI greenness index values to partition the NDVI signal into components representing the long-term trend, seasonal periodicity, and residuals and identified significant shifts in the NDVI signal (i.e., "breaks"). Previous work verified breaks representing significant deviations from the BFAST seasonal and trend models using field-estimated plant biomass collected between 2000 and 2014. We subsequently examine estimates of fractional cover by functional group derived from UAV images acquired 2010 through 2015. At a mixed grassland site, the BFAST algorithm detected four breaks in the trend model denoting significant increases in NDVI in May 2004, July 2006, and March 2010 and a significant decrease in May 2012. The 2004 and 2006 breaks corresponded to herbaceous vegetation responses to rainfall following prolonged periods of drought. The 2012 decrease in NDVI corresponded to the marked reduction of herbaceous biomass following an exceptionally dry period in late 2010-2011. Seasonal breaks representing changes in the timing and magnitude of NDVI identified in July 2006 and September 2008 coincide with rapid increases in production of annual species in

  20. Linking quantitative microbial risk assessment and epidemiological data: informing safe drinking water trials in developing countries.

    PubMed

    Enger, Kyle S; Nelson, Kara L; Clasen, Thomas; Rose, Joan B; Eisenberg, Joseph N S

    2012-05-01

    Intervention trials are used extensively to assess household water treatment (HWT) device efficacy against diarrheal disease in developing countries. Using these data for policy, however, requires addressing issues of generalizability (relevance of one trial in other contexts) and systematic bias associated with design and conduct of a study. To illustrate how quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA) can address water safety and health issues, we analyzed a published randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the LifeStraw Family Filter in the Congo. The model accounted for bias due to (1) incomplete compliance with filtration, (2) unexpected antimicrobial activity by the placebo device, and (3) incomplete recall of diarrheal disease. Effectiveness was measured using the longitudinal prevalence ratio (LPR) of reported diarrhea. The Congo RCT observed an LPR of 0.84 (95% CI: 0.61, 1.14). Our model predicted LPRs, assuming a perfect placebo, ranging from 0.50 (2.5-97.5 percentile: 0.33, 0.77) to 0.86 (2.5-97.5 percentile: 0.68, 1.09) for high (but not perfect) and low (but not zero) compliance, respectively. The calibration step provided estimates of the concentrations of three pathogen types (modeled as diarrheagenic E. coli, Giardia, and rotavirus) in drinking water, consistent with the longitudinal prevalence of reported diarrhea measured in the trial, and constrained by epidemiological data from the trial. Use of a QMRA model demonstrated the importance of compliance in HWT efficacy, the need for pathogen data from source waters, the effect of quantifying biases associated with epidemiological data, and the usefulness of generalizing the effectiveness of HWT trials to other contexts.

  1. Improving the monitoring and assessment of fluid balance.

    PubMed

    Reid, Jane; Robb, Elizabeth; Stone, Denise; Bowen, Pamela; Baker, Roselinda; Irving, Sally; Waller, Michelle

    2004-05-18

    This article reports on a project conducted by final-year students on a preregistration nursing programme. The students explored the potential to improve practice in a clinical area relevant to the trust at which they undertook their clinical placements. It is seen as innovative because it encourages partnership working between the educational institution and the NHS, helps to prepare students for their forthcoming registered nurse status and provides information of real practical value to the trust, enabling it to change and improve an important aspect of care.

  2. Assessment for Student Improvement: Understanding Hong Kong Teachers' Conceptions and Practices of Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Gavin T. L.; Kennedy, Kerry J.; Fok, Ping Kwan; Chan, Jacqueline Kin Sang; Yu, Wai Ming

    2009-01-01

    Hong Kong is seeking to increase the use of "assessment for learning" rather than rely on "assessment of learning" through summative examinations. Nearly 300 teachers from 14 primary and secondary schools answered a Chinese translation of the Teachers' Conceptions of Assessment inventory and a new Practices of Assessment Inventory. Structural…

  3. Fuzzy Multiple Metrics Link Assessment for Routing in Mobile Ad-Hoc Network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soo, Ai Luang; Tan, Chong Eng; Tay, Kai Meng

    2011-06-01

    In this work, we investigate on the use of Sugeno fuzzy inference system (FIS) in route selection for mobile Ad-Hoc networks (MANETs). Sugeno FIS is introduced into Ad-Hoc On Demand Multipath Distance Vector (AOMDV) routing protocol, which is derived from its predecessor, Ad-Hoc On Demand Distance Vector (AODV). Instead of using the conventional way that considering only a single metric to choose the best route, our proposed fuzzy decision making model considers up to three metrics. In the model, the crisp inputs of the three parameters are fed into an FIS and being processed in stages, i.e., fuzzification, inference, and defuzzification. Finally, after experiencing all the stages, a single value score is generated from the combination metrics, which will be used to measure all the discovered routes credibility. Results obtained from simulations show a promising improvement as compared to AOMDV and AODV.

  4. Assessing for Generalized Improvements in Reading Comprehension by Intervening to Improve Reading Fluency

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Neddenriep, Christine E.; Fritz, Abigail M.; Carrier, Miranda E.

    2011-01-01

    The relationship between reading fluency and comprehension was evaluated in five 4th-grade students. These students were identified as being at risk of not meeting yearly goals in reading fluency and comprehension based on fall benchmark assessment data. A brief intervention assessment was used to determine which intervention components would be…

  5. Promoting Physicians' Self-Assessment and Quality Improvement: The ABIM Diabetes Practice Improvement Module

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Holmboe, Eric S.; Meehan, Thomas P.; Lynn, Lorna; Doyle, Paula; Sherwin, Tierney; Duffy, F. Daniel

    2006-01-01

    Introduction: The American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) recognized that certification and recertification must be based on an assessment of performance in practice as well as an examination of medical knowledge. Physician self-assessment of practice performance is proposed as one method that certification boards may use to evaluate competence…

  6. An improved water footprint methodology linking global consumption to local water resources: a case of Spanish tomatoes.

    PubMed

    Chapagain, A K; Orr, S

    2009-02-01

    A water footprint (WF) measures the total water consumed by a nation, business or individual by calculating the total water used during the production of goods and services. This paper extends the existing methods for WF to more localised levels for crops grown partly in open systems and partly in plastic-covered houses with multi-seasonal harvesting, such as the horticulture industry in Spain. This improvement makes it possible to visualise the links of EU tomato consumption to precise production sites in Spain and opens a debate to the usefulness of such findings. This paper also compares existing ecological methodologies with WF and argues that both life cycle analysis (LCA) and ecological footprint (EF) models could benefit from WF methods. Our results show that the EU consumes 957,000 tons of Spanish fresh tomatoes annually, which evaporates 71 Mm(3)/yr of water and would require 7 Mm(3)/yr of water to dilute leached nitrates in Spain. In Spain, tomato production alone evaporates 297 Mm(3)/yr and pollutes 29 Mm(3)/yr of freshwater. Depending upon the local agro-climatic character, status of water resources, total tomato production volumes and production system, the impact of EU consumption of fresh tomatoes on Spanish freshwater is very location specific. The authors suggest that business now seek to report and address negative impacts on the environment. WF opens the door to complex water relationships and provides vital information for policy actors, business leaders, regulators and managers to their draw, dependence and responsibilities on this increasingly scarce resource.

  7. Linking RESRAD-OFFSITE and HYDROGEOCHEM Model for Performance Assessment of Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Facility - 13429

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, Wen-Sheng; Yu, Charley; Cheng, Jing-Jy; Kamboj, Sunita; Gnanapragasam, Emmanuel; Liu, Chen-Wuing; Li, Ming-Hsu

    2013-07-01

    Performance assessments are crucial steps for the long-term radiological safety requirements of low-level waste (LLW) disposal facility. How much concentration of radionuclides released from the near-field to biosphere and what radiation exposure levels of an individual can influence on the satisfactory performance of the LLW disposal facility and safety disposal environment. Performance assessment methodology for the radioactive waste disposal consists of the reactive transport modeling of safety-concerned radionuclides released from the near-field to the far-field, and the potential exposure pathways and the movements of radionuclides through the geosphere, biosphere and man of which the accompanying dose. Therefore, the integration of hydrogeochemical transport model and dose assessment code, HYDROGEOCHEM code and RESRAD family of codes is imperative. The RESRAD family of codes such as RESRAD-OFFSITE computer code can evaluate the radiological dose and excess cancer risk to an individual who is exposed while located within or outside the area of initial (primary) contamination. The HYDROGEOCHEM is a 3-D numerical model of fluid flow, thermal, hydrologic transport, and biogeochemical kinetic and equilibrium reactions in saturated and unsaturated media. The HYDROGEOCHEM model can also simulate the crucial geochemical mechanism, such as the effect of redox processes on the adsorption/desorption, hydrogeochemical influences on concrete degradation, adsorption/desorption of radionuclides (i.e., surface complexation model) between solid and liquid phase in geochemically dynamic environments. To investigate the safety assessment of LLW disposal facility, linking RESRAD-OFFSITE and HYDROGEOCHEM model can provide detailed tools of confidence in the protectiveness of the human health and environmental impact for safety assessment of LLW disposal facility. (authors)

  8. Cyberbullying: Assessment of Student Experience for Continuous Improvement Planning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strom, Paris S.; Strom, Robert D.; Wingate, Julius J.; Kraska, Marie F.; Beckert, Troy E.

    2012-01-01

    This study examines the use of polling students to improve conditions of learning in their school. Students from three schools (N = 2,006) in Grades 5, 6, 7, and 8 completed an online poll about how cyberbullying affects their personal lives. Principals' impressions about the benefits of student polling are explained along with the Cyberbullying…

  9. Alternative Assessment: A Monthly Portfolio Project Improves Student Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Valdez, Penelope S.

    2001-01-01

    Describes the use of monthly portfolio projects to track student progress and improve science performance in a 7th grade life science course. Students explain concepts they have learned, produce products to present what they have learned, and use the concepts to critique magazine articles, advertisements, or news stories. Provides an evaluation…

  10. Assessing and Improving Early Social Engagement in Infants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koegel, Lynn Kern; Singh, Anjileen K.; Koegel, Robert L.; Hollingsworth, Jessica R.; Bradshaw, Jessica

    2014-01-01

    Empirical studies have documented a variety of social abnormalities in infancy that indicate risk for later social and behavioral difficulties. There is very little research illustrating the presence of such behavioral vulnerabilities with frequent repeated measures, and the feasibility of designing interventions for improving social engagement in…

  11. Developing Student Assessment Related to a Workplacement: A Bridge between Practice and Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vuoskoski, Pirjo; Poikela, Sari

    2015-01-01

    This paper explores the ways in which student assessment can be developed in higher education and work-related contexts to form a strong bridge between practice and improvement. Our aim is to provide a starting point for evaluation and improvement of assessment practices, which benefits the learners, instructors, and designers of the curricula, as…

  12. The Early Grade Reading Assessment: Applications and Interventions to Improve Basic Literacy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gove, Amber, Ed.; Wetterberg, Anna, Ed.

    2011-01-01

    This book highlights the experience of Liberia in both assessing and improving reading in primary schools. As a result of an Early Grade Reading Assessment, the Ministry of Education and partners, including the United States Agency for International Development, came together to identify and develop strategies for improving reading in schools.…

  13. Uncertainty in homology inferences: Assessing and improving genomic sequence alignment

    PubMed Central

    Lunter, Gerton; Rocco, Andrea; Mimouni, Naila; Heger, Andreas; Caldeira, Alexandre; Hein, Jotun

    2008-01-01

    Sequence alignment underpins all of comparative genomics, yet it remains an incompletely solved problem. In particular, the statistical uncertainty within inferred alignments is often disregarded, while parametric or phylogenetic inferences are considered meaningless without confidence estimates. Here, we report on a theoretical and simulation study of pairwise alignments of genomic DNA at human–mouse divergence. We find that >15% of aligned bases are incorrect in existing whole-genome alignments, and we identify three types of alignment error, each leading to systematic biases in all algorithms considered. Careful modeling of the evolutionary process improves alignment quality; however, these improvements are modest compared with the remaining alignment errors, even with exact knowledge of the evolutionary model, emphasizing the need for statistical approaches to account for uncertainty. We develop a new algorithm, Marginalized Posterior Decoding (MPD), which explicitly accounts for uncertainties, is less biased and more accurate than other algorithms we consider, and reduces the proportion of misaligned bases by a third compared with the best existing algorithm. To our knowledge, this is the first nonheuristic algorithm for DNA sequence alignment to show robust improvements over the classic Needleman–Wunsch algorithm. Despite this, considerable uncertainty remains even in the improved alignments. We conclude that a probabilistic treatment is essential, both to improve alignment quality and to quantify the remaining uncertainty. This is becoming increasingly relevant with the growing appreciation of the importance of noncoding DNA, whose study relies heavily on alignments. Alignment errors are inevitable, and should be considered when drawing conclusions from alignments. Software and alignments to assist researchers in doing this are provided at http://genserv.anat.ox.ac.uk/grape/. PMID:18073381

  14. Towards improved socio-economic assessments of ocean acidification's impacts.

    PubMed

    Hilmi, Nathalie; Allemand, Denis; Dupont, Sam; Safa, Alain; Haraldsson, Gunnar; Nunes, Paulo A L D; Moore, Chris; Hattam, Caroline; Reynaud, Stéphanie; Hall-Spencer, Jason M; Fine, Maoz; Turley, Carol; Jeffree, Ross; Orr, James; Munday, Philip L; Cooley, Sarah R

    2013-01-01

    Ocean acidification is increasingly recognized as a component of global change that could have a wide range of impacts on marine organisms, the ecosystems they live in, and the goods and services they provide humankind. Assessment of these potential socio-economic impacts requires integrated efforts between biologists, chemists, oceanographers, economists and social scientists. But because ocean acidification is a new research area, significant knowledge gaps are preventing economists from estimating its welfare impacts. For instance, economic data on the impact of ocean acidification on significant markets such as fisheries, aquaculture and tourism are very limited (if not non-existent), and non-market valuation studies on this topic are not yet available. Our paper summarizes the current understanding of future OA impacts and sets out what further information is required for economists to assess socio-economic impacts of ocean acidification. Our aim is to provide clear directions for multidisciplinary collaborative research. PMID:24391285

  15. Assessing nursing homes' capacity to create and sustain improvement.

    PubMed

    Scott, Jill; Vojir, Carol; Jones, Katherine; Moore, Laurie

    2005-01-01

    Nursing home leadership and staff in 32 nursing homes were surveyed using an adaptation of Shortell's Organization and Management Survey. An earlier psychometric assessment of Shortell's communication and leadership scales raised concerns about the reliability of these scales in the nursing home setting. Exploratory factor analysis was performed to determine if another scale structure should be considered. Using principal-axis extraction with a varimax rotation, a 5-factor solution that accounted for 47% of item variance was defined.

  16. Development of Improved Caprock Integrity and Risk Assessment Techniques

    SciTech Connect

    Bruno, Michael

    2014-09-30

    GeoMechanics Technologies has completed a geomechanical caprock integrity analysis and risk assessment study funded through the US Department of Energy. The project included: a detailed review of historical caprock integrity problems experienced in the natural gas storage industry; a theoretical description and documentation of caprock integrity issues; advanced coupled transport flow modelling and geomechanical simulation of three large-scale potential geologic sequestration sites to estimate geomechanical effects from CO₂ injection; development of a quantitative risk and decision analysis tool to assess caprock integrity risks; and, ultimately the development of recommendations and guidelines for caprock characterization and CO₂ injection operating practices. Historical data from gas storage operations and CO₂ sequestration projects suggest that leakage and containment incident risks are on the order of 10-1 to 10-2, which is higher risk than some previous studies have suggested for CO₂. Geomechanical analysis, as described herein, can be applied to quantify risks and to provide operating guidelines to reduce risks. The risk assessment tool developed for this project has been applied to five areas: The Wilmington Graben offshore Southern California, Kevin Dome in Montana, the Louden Field in Illinois, the Sleipner CO₂ sequestration operation in the North Sea, and the In Salah CO₂ sequestration operation in North Africa. Of these five, the Wilmington Graben area represents the highest relative risk while the Kevin Dome area represents the lowest relative risk.

  17. Health risk assessment linked to filling coastal quarries with treated dredged seaport sediments.

    PubMed

    Perrodin, Yves; Donguy, Gilles; Emmanuel, Evens; Winiarski, Thierry

    2014-07-01

    Dredged seaport sediments raise complex management problems since it is no longer possible to discharge them into the sea. Traditional waste treatments are poorly adapted for these materials in terms of absorbable volumes and cost. In this context, filling quarries with treated sediments appears interesting but its safety regarding human health must be demonstrated. To achieve this, a specific methodology for assessing health risks has been developed and tested on three seaport sediments. This methodology includes the development of a conceptual model of the global scenario studied and the definition of specific protocols for each of its major steps. The approach proposed includes in particular the use of metrological and experimental tools that are new in this context: (i) an experimental lysimeter for characterizing the deposit emissions, and (ii) a geological radar for identifying potential preferential pathways between the sediment deposit and the groundwater. The application of this approach on the three sediments tested for the scenario studied showed the absence of health risk associated with the consumption of groundwater for substances having a "threshold effect" (risk quotient <1), and an acceptable risk for substances having a "non-threshold effect", with the notable exception of arsenic (individual risk equal to 3.10(-6)).

  18. Linking weather generators and hydrological models for streamflow assessments with seasonal climate outlooks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tong, S.; Chen, Y.; Li, M.; Tung, C.

    2010-12-01

    Climate variability and change present crucial challenges in managing water resources and the associated risks. Timely communication of climate forecast information may help mitigate the devastating social-economic impacts from climate extremes. Efficient and effective applications of climate forecast products require that climate information become integrated into assessments of various climate sensitive sectors. In this study, seasonal climate outlooks provided by the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) in Taiwan are integrated with weather generators and hydrological models to forecast stream inflows of the Shihmen Reservoir Watershed with lead times of up to 3 months. The percentage of hits and the Heidke skill score are used to evaluate the seasonal forecast’s skills of CWB climate outlooks. Both the percentage of hits and the HSS shows acceptable skills meaning that the CWB climate outlooks are better than random guesses. The state of monthly mean temperature and precipitation projected by climate outlooks are then used with historical climate statistics for daily weather generations. Two weather generators are investigated in this study. The first one is a semiparametric multivariate weather generator, including a Markov Chain for generating the precipitation state (i.e., no rain, or rain) and a k-nearest neighbor (k-NN) bootstrap resample for generating daily precipitation and temperature. The second one also includes a Markov Chain for generating the precipitation state, but the precipitation amount is estimated by exponential distributions, and the temperature is generated by the first order serial correlation coefficient. Temperature and precipitation time series produced by both weather generators will be investigated for applicability and suitability in the study watershed. Finally, a hydrological model, GWLF (Generalized Watershed Loading Functions, Haith et al., 1992), is applied with generated weather information from climate outlooks to predict stream

  19. DNA Methylation Assessed by SMRT Sequencing Is Linked to Mutations in Neisseria meningitidis Isolates

    PubMed Central

    Sater, Mohamad R. Abdul; Lamelas, Araceli; Wang, Guilin; Clark, Tyson A.; Röltgen, Katharina; Mane, Shrikant; Korlach, Jonas; Pluschke, Gerd; Schmid, Christoph D.

    2015-01-01

    The Gram-negative bacterium Neisseria meningitidis features extensive genetic variability. To present, proposed virulence genotypes are also detected in isolates from asymptomatic carriers, indicating more complex mechanisms underlying variable colonization modes of N. meningitidis. We applied the Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) sequencing method from Pacific Biosciences to assess the genome-wide DNA modification profiles of two genetically related N. meningitidis strains, both of serogroup A. The resulting DNA methylomes revealed clear divergences, represented by the detection of shared and of strain-specific DNA methylation target motifs. The positional distribution of these methylated target sites within the genomic sequences displayed clear biases, which suggest a functional role of DNA methylation related to the regulation of genes. DNA methylation in N. meningitidis has a likely underestimated potential for variability, as evidenced by a careful analysis of the ORF status of a panel of confirmed and predicted DNA methyltransferase genes in an extended collection of N. meningitidis strains of serogroup A. Based on high coverage short sequence reads, we find phase variability as a major contributor to the variability in DNA methylation. Taking into account the phase variable loci, the inferred functional status of DNA methyltransferase genes matched the observed methylation profiles. Towards an elucidation of presently incompletely characterized functional consequences of DNA methylation in N. meningitidis, we reveal a prominent colocalization of methylated bases with Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) detected within our genomic sequence collection. As a novel observation we report increased mutability also at 6mA methylated nucleotides, complementing mutational hotspots previously described at 5mC methylated nucleotides. These findings suggest a more diverse role of DNA methylation and Restriction-Modification (RM) systems in the evolution of

  20. The Link between Unit Size and Performance Quality Assessments of Teaching and Administrative Faculty: A Case Study of the Ariel University Center of Samaria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davidovitch, Nitza; Soen, Dan

    2010-01-01

    This paper explores the association between faculty and department size at the Ariel University Center, and assessment scores granted by students to members of the administrative and teaching staff. The main research question relates to any link between unit size and assessment scores. Furthermore, this study seeks an answer to the question of…

  1. Improving Student Performance through Computer-Based Assessment: Insights from Recent Research.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ricketts, C.; Wilks, S. J.

    2002-01-01

    Compared student performance on computer-based assessment to machine-graded multiple choice tests. Found that performance improved dramatically on the computer-based assessment when students were not required to scroll through the question paper. Concluded that students may be disadvantaged by the introduction of online assessment unless care is…

  2. A Design to Improve Internal Validity of Assessments of Teaching Demonstrations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bartsch, Robert A.; Engelhardt Bittner, Wendy M.; Moreno, Jesse E., Jr.

    2008-01-01

    Internal validity is important in assessing teaching demonstrations both for one's knowledge and for quality assessment demanded by outside sources. We describe a method to improve the internal validity of assessments of teaching demonstrations: a 1-group pretest-posttest design with alternative forms. This design is often more practical and…

  3. Incorporating the Last Four Digits of Social Security Numbers Substantially Improves Linking Patient Data from De-identified Hospital Claims Databases

    PubMed Central

    Naessens, James M; Visscher, Sue L; Peterson, Stephanie M; Swanson, Kristi M; Johnson, Matthew G; Rahman, Parvez A; Schindler, Joe; Sonneborn, Mark; Fry, Donald E; Pine, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Objective Assess algorithms for linking patients across de-identified databases without compromising confidentiality. Data Sources/Study Setting Hospital discharges from 11 Mayo Clinic hospitals during January 2008–September 2012 (assessment and validation data). Minnesota death certificates and hospital discharges from 2009 to 2012 for entire state (application data). Study Design Cross-sectional assessment of sensitivity and positive predictive value (PPV) for four linking algorithms tested by identifying readmissions and posthospital mortality on the assessment data with application to statewide data. Data Collection/Extraction Methods De-identified claims included patient gender, birthdate, and zip code. Assessment records were matched with institutional sources containing unique identifiers and the last four digits of Social Security number (SSNL4). Principal Findings Gender, birthdate, and five-digit zip code identified readmissions with a sensitivity of 98.0 percent and a PPV of 97.7 percent and identified postdischarge mortality with 84.4 percent sensitivity and 98.9 percent PPV. Inclusion of SSNL4 produced nearly perfect identification of readmissions and deaths. When applied statewide, regions bordering states with unavailable hospital discharge data had lower rates. Conclusion Addition of SSNL4 to administrative data, accompanied by appropriate data use and data release policies, can enable trusted repositories to link data with nearly perfect accuracy without compromising patient confidentiality. States maintaining centralized de-identified databases should add SSNL4 to data specifications. PMID:26073819

  4. Linking agricultural crop management and air quality models for regional to national-scale nitrogen assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooter, E. J.; Bash, J. O.; Benson, V.; Ran, L.

    2012-05-01

    While nitrogen (N) is an essential element for life, human population growth and demands for energy, transportation and food can lead to excess nitrogen in the environment. A modeling framework is described and implemented, to promote a more integrated, process-based and system-level approach to the estimation of ammonia (NH3) emissions resulting from the application of inorganic nitrogen fertilizers to agricultural soils in the United States. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model is used to simulate plant demand-driven fertilizer applications to commercial cropland throughout the continental US. This information is coupled with a process-based air quality model to produce continental-scale NH3 emission estimates. Regional cropland NH3 emissions are driven by the timing and amount of fertilizer applied, local meteorology, and ambient air concentrations. An evaluation of EPIC-simulated crop management activities associated with fertilizer application at planting compared with similar USDA state-level event estimates shows temporally progressive spatial patterns that agree well with one another. EPIC annual inorganic fertilizer application amounts also agree well with reported spatial patterns produced by others, but domain-wide the EPIC values are biased about 6 % low. Preliminary application of the integrated fertilizer application and air quality modeling system produces a modified geospatial pattern of seasonal NH3 emissions that improves current simulations of observed atmospheric nitrate concentrations. This modeling framework provides a more dynamic, flexible, and spatially and temporally resolved estimate of NH3 emissions than previous factor-based NH3 inventories, and will facilitate evaluation of alternative nitrogen and air quality policy and adaptation strategies associated with future climate and land use changes.

  5. Linking agricultural crop management and air quality models for regional to national-scale nitrogen assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cooter, E. J.; Bash, J. O.; Benson, V.; Ran, L.

    2012-10-01

    While nitrogen (N) is an essential element for life, human population growth and demands for energy, transportation and food can lead to excess nitrogen in the environment. A modeling framework is described and implemented to promote a more integrated, process-based and system-level approach to the estimation of ammonia (NH3) emissions which result from the application of inorganic nitrogen fertilizers to agricultural soils in the United States. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (EPIC) model is used to simulate plant demand-driven fertilizer applications to commercial cropland throughout the continental US. This information is coupled with a process-based air quality model to produce continental-scale NH3 emission estimates. Regional cropland NH3 emissions are driven by the timing and amount of inorganic NH3 fertilizer applied, soil processes, local meteorology, and ambient air concentrations. Initial fertilizer application often occurs when crops are planted. A state-level evaluation of EPIC-simulated, cumulative planted area compares well with similar USDA reported estimates. EPIC-annual, inorganic fertilizer application amounts also agree well with reported spatial patterns produced by others, but domain-wide the EPIC values are biased about 6% low. Preliminary application of the integrated fertilizer application and air quality modeling system produces a modified geospatial pattern of seasonal NH3 emissions that improves current simulations of observed atmospheric particle nitrate concentrations. This modeling framework provides a more dynamic, flexible, and spatially and temporally resolved estimate of NH3 emissions than previous factor-based NH3 inventories, and will facilitate evaluation of alternative nitrogen and air quality policy and adaptation strategies associated with future climate and land use changes.

  6. Stepping backward to improve assessment of PCB congener toxicities.

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, L G

    1998-01-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are ubiquitous global contaminants that have been intensively investigated for three decades. They are broad-acting toxicants occurring in complex mixtures and accurate risk assessment has proven to be elusive. Focusing on a limited set of end points and emphasizing a fixed set of congeners have led to more streamlined data sets that are meant to expedite hazard characterization and risk assessment for the most potent congeners--aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) agonists. Unfortunately, this has made it impossible to confirm or deny significant contributions from the more prevalent components of the mixtures. PCBs may be only coincidentally present, rather than causal, in some diseases. Still, attempts to determine associations with incomplete residue data may lead to erroneous conclusions and make accurate risk assessment even more elusive. Responses not mediated through the AhR are presented and emphasize large data gaps. Dissimilar analytical reports emphasize that selection of analytes is not consistent. Collectively, these data confirm that AhR-focused objectives unintentionally created the impression that nonplanar PCBs have little if any potential for hazards to humans and wildlife. Near steady-state exposure of healthy adults are probably of minor consequence except for emerging correlations with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; however, pulses of exposure to more labile mixtures may contribute to developmental effects without leaving a residue record. More broadly based criteria are suggested and harmonization of data collection and presentation are desirable. A more comprehensive list of PCB congeners is proposed that would provide more adequate data upon which to base associations with adverse outcomes. PMID:9539012

  7. Improving the care of cancer patients: holistic needs assessment.

    PubMed

    Young, Jenny; Cund, Audrey; Renshaw, Marian; Quigley, Angela; Snowden, Austyn

    This discussion paper presents a review of holistic needs assessments (HNAs) in the care of patients with cancer. HNAs entail a structured review of patient needs as articulated by the patient. This discussion then leads to a care plan grounded in issues pertinent to that patient. Despite policy guidance advocating its use, there are barriers to overcome in order to integrate HNAs into routine care. This article discusses what role communication skills and clinician confidence may have on the use of HNAs in practice, and suggests a strategy to support HNAs becoming the norm. PMID:25723367

  8. Improving the care of cancer patients: holistic needs assessment.

    PubMed

    Young, Jenny; Cund, Audrey; Renshaw, Marian; Quigley, Angela; Snowden, Austyn

    This discussion paper presents a review of holistic needs assessments (HNAs) in the care of patients with cancer. HNAs entail a structured review of patient needs as articulated by the patient. This discussion then leads to a care plan grounded in issues pertinent to that patient. Despite policy guidance advocating its use, there are barriers to overcome in order to integrate HNAs into routine care. This article discusses what role communication skills and clinician confidence may have on the use of HNAs in practice, and suggests a strategy to support HNAs becoming the norm.

  9. Assessing the link between coastal urbanization and the quality of nekton habitat in mangrove tidal tributaries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krebs, Justin M.; Bell, Susan S.; McIvor, Carole C.

    2014-01-01

    To assess the potential influence of coastal development on habitat quality for estuarine nekton, we characterized body condition and reproduction for common nekton from tidal tributaries classified as undeveloped, industrial, urban or man-made (i.e., mosquito-control ditches). We then evaluated these metrics of nekton performance, along with several abundance-based metrics and community structure from a companion paper (Krebs et al. 2013) to determine which metrics best reflected variation in land-use and in-stream habitat among tributaries. Body condition was not significantly different among undeveloped, industrial, and man-made tidal tributaries for six of nine taxa; however, three of those taxa were in significantly better condition in urban compared to undeveloped tributaries. Palaemonetes shrimp were the only taxon in significantly poorer condition in urban tributaries. For Poecilia latipinna, there was no difference in body condition (length–weight) between undeveloped and urban tributaries, but energetic condition was significantly better in urban tributaries. Reproductive output was reduced for both P. latipinna (i.e., fecundity) and grass shrimp (i.e., very low densities, few ovigerous females) in urban tributaries; however a tradeoff between fecundity and offspring size confounded meaningful interpretation of reproduction among land-use classes for P. latipinna. Reproductive allotment by P. latipinna did not differ significantly among land-use classes. Canonical correspondence analysis differentiated urban and non-urban tributaries based on greater impervious surface, less natural mangrove shoreline, higher frequency of hypoxia and lower, more variable salinities in urban tributaries. These characteristics explained 36 % of the variation in nekton performance, including high densities of poeciliid fishes, greater energetic condition of sailfin mollies, and low densities of several common nekton and economically important taxa from urban tributaries

  10. Landslide risk assessment and landslide disaster risk management: on the missing link between scientific knowledge, decision making and practice (Sergey Soloviev Medal Lecture)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alcántara-Ayala, Irasema

    2016-04-01

    Different investigations have been developed to address the uncertainty and quality evaluations leading to improve landslide hazard and risk assessment. With no doubt, and by using a wide range of scientific and technical approaches, they have contributed to a major extent to the understanding of the dynamics of landslide processes at different scales. Nonetheless, in a similar fashion than other hazards, it has been rather difficult to assess in a precise manner the multi-dimensions of their associated vulnerability and what is more, to effectively link risk assessments with disaster risk management. Owing to the double-character of landslide events, as natural and socio-natural hazards, mass movements turn out to be very complex processes, as their occurrence is also enhanced by population growth, socio-economic inequality, urbanization processes, land-degradation, unsustainable practices and mounting hazard exposure. Disaster Risk Management rope in the actions to attain Disaster Risk Reduction. The latter aims at decreasing existing hazard, vulnerability, and exposure, in addition to strengthening resilience, and very importantly, avoiding the construction of future disaster risk (UNISDR, 2015a). More specifically, and along the same line of ideas, the new-fangled Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) 2015-2030 (UNISDR, 2015b) points towards reducing disaster risk and losses by engaging in a series of actions at local, national and global levels. Among them and of utterly significance are those initiatives related to the need of moving from risk assessment into disaster risk management. Consequently, and beyond championing scientific and technical capacity to strengthen landslide knowledge to assess vulnerability, hazard exposure and disaster risks, the challenge remains in the realm of promoting and improving permanent communication, dialogue and partnership among the science and technology communities, policymakers and other stakeholders

  11. Assessing, Analyzing, and Adapting: Improving a Graduate Student Instruction Program through Needs Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roszkowski, Beth; Reynolds, Gretchen

    2013-01-01

    This article highlights an assessment of library instruction needs among graduate students in the social sciences. The article addresses the development and implementation of the assessment and the application of assessment results to an established set of library instruction workshops. The article provides a detailed summary of assessment…

  12. New Assessments, Better Instruction? Designing Assessment Systems to Promote Instructional Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Faxon-Mills, Susannah; Hamilton, Laura S.; Rudnick, Mollie; Stecher, Brian M.

    2013-01-01

    The Hewlett Foundation commissioned RAND to review research about the effects of assessment and to summarize what is known about assessment as a lever for reform. To explore the likely influence of new assessments on teaching practice and the conditions that moderate that relationship, researchers conducted a series of literature reviews. The…

  13. Improving Assessment: Creating a Culture of Assessment with a Change Management Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lane, Michael R.; Lane, Peggy L.; Rich, John; Wheeling, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    For more than twenty years accrediting agencies have required assessment as part of their initial accreditation or reaffirmation processes. During that period of time thousands of institutions have successfully prepared plans to achieve or maintain their accreditation. Why then does a culture of assessment not exist? And why is assessment still an…

  14. MANAGEMENT ASSESSMENT AN INTEGRATED ENVIRONMENT SAFETY & HEALTH MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (ISMS) CORE FUNCTION FOR FEEDBACK & CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

    SciTech Connect

    VON WEBER, M.

    2005-07-26

    Management assessment is required of US Department of Energy contractors by 10 CFR 830.122 and DOE Order 414.1. The management assessment process is a rigorous, preplanned, forward-looking review. It is required to be performed by owners of the processes that are being assessed. Written from the perspective of the Assessment Program Director and an Assessment Specialist, this paper describes the evolution of the process used by CH2MHILL to implement its management assessment program over the past two years including: roles, responsibilities, and details about our program improvement project designed to produce a clear picture of management processes and to identify opportunities for improvement. The management assessment program is essential to successful implementation, maintenance, and improvement of the CH2MHILL Integrated Environment, Safety, and Health Management System (ISMS). The management assessment program implements, in part, ISMS Core Function No. 5. ''Feedback and Continuous Improvement''. Organizations use the management assessment process to assess ISMS implementation and effectiveness. Management assessments evaluate the total picture of how well management processes are meeting organizational objectives and the customer's requirements and expectations. The emphasis is on management issues affecting performance, systems, and processes such as: strategic planning, qualification, training, staffing, organizational interfaces, communication, cost and schedule control and mission objectives. Management assessments should identify any weaknesses in the management aspects of performance and make process improvements. All managers from first line supervisors to the president and general manager are involved in the management assessment process. More senior managers, in conducting their assessment, will use data from lower levels of management. This approach will facilitate the objective of having managers closer to the work under review focusing on more

  15. Improving aquatic warbler population assessments by accounting for imperfect detection.

    PubMed

    Oppel, Steffen; Marczakiewicz, Piotr; Lachmann, Lars; Grzywaczewski, Grzegorz

    2014-01-01

    Monitoring programs designed to assess changes in population size over time need to account for imperfect detection and provide estimates of precision around annual abundance estimates. Especially for species dependent on conservation management, robust monitoring is essential to evaluate the effectiveness of management. Many bird species of temperate grasslands depend on specific conservation management to maintain suitable breeding habitat. One such species is the Aquatic Warbler (Acrocephalus paludicola), which breeds in open fen mires in Central Europe. Aquatic Warbler populations have so far been assessed using a complete survey that aims to enumerate all singing males over a large area. Because this approach provides no estimate of precision and does not account for observation error, detecting moderate population changes is challenging. From 2011 to 2013 we trialled a new line transect sampling monitoring design in the Biebrza valley, Poland, to estimate abundance of singing male Aquatic Warblers. We surveyed Aquatic Warblers repeatedly along 50 randomly placed 1-km transects, and used binomial mixture models to estimate abundances per transect. The repeated line transect sampling required 150 observer days, and thus less effort than the traditional 'full count' approach (175 observer days). Aquatic Warbler abundance was highest at intermediate water levels, and detection probability varied between years and was influenced by vegetation height. A power analysis indicated that our line transect sampling design had a power of 68% to detect a 20% population change over 10 years, whereas raw count data had a 9% power to detect the same trend. Thus, by accounting for imperfect detection we increased the power to detect population changes. We recommend to adopt the repeated line transect sampling approach for monitoring Aquatic Warblers in Poland and in other important breeding areas to monitor changes in population size and the effects of habitat management.

  16. Discovery and validation of gene-linked diagnostic SNP markers for assessing hybridization between Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) and Florida bass (M. floridanus).

    PubMed

    Li, Chao; Gowan, Spencer; Anil, Ammu; Beck, Benjamin H; Thongda, Wilawan; Kucuktas, Huseyin; Kaltenboeck, Ludmilla; Peatman, Eric

    2015-03-01

    Efforts to improve recreational fisheries have included widespread stocking of Micropterus floridanus outside its native range of peninsular Florida. Hybridization of Florida bass (M. floridanus) with largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) has now dramatically expanded beyond a naturally occurring intergrade zone in the southeast U.S. In recent years, there has been growing interest in protecting the genetic integrity of native basses and assessing the impact and nature of M. salmoides/M. floridanus introgression from the standpoint of hatchery and sport-fishery managers, fish biologists, ecologists and evolutionary biologists. Here, we conducted RNA-seq-based sequencing of the transcriptomes of M. salmoides, M. floridanus and their F1 hybrid and identified a set of 3674 SNP markers with fixed-allelic differences from 2112 unique genes. We then developed a subset of 25 of these markers into a single diagnostic multiplex assay and validated its capacity for assessing integrity and hybridization in hatchery and wild populations of largemouth and Florida bass. The availability of this resource, high-quality transcriptomes and a large set of gene-linked SNPs, should greatly facilitate functional and population genomics studies in these key species and allow the identification of traits and processes under selection during introgressive hybridization. PMID:25047482

  17. Discovery and validation of gene-linked diagnostic SNP markers for assessing hybridization between Largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) and Florida bass (M. floridanus).

    PubMed

    Li, Chao; Gowan, Spencer; Anil, Ammu; Beck, Benjamin H; Thongda, Wilawan; Kucuktas, Huseyin; Kaltenboeck, Ludmilla; Peatman, Eric

    2015-03-01

    Efforts to improve recreational fisheries have included widespread stocking of Micropterus floridanus outside its native range of peninsular Florida. Hybridization of Florida bass (M. floridanus) with largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) has now dramatically expanded beyond a naturally occurring intergrade zone in the southeast U.S. In recent years, there has been growing interest in protecting the genetic integrity of native basses and assessing the impact and nature of M. salmoides/M. floridanus introgression from the standpoint of hatchery and sport-fishery managers, fish biologists, ecologists and evolutionary biologists. Here, we conducted RNA-seq-based sequencing of the transcriptomes of M. salmoides, M. floridanus and their F1 hybrid and identified a set of 3674 SNP markers with fixed-allelic differences from 2112 unique genes. We then developed a subset of 25 of these markers into a single diagnostic multiplex assay and validated its capacity for assessing integrity and hybridization in hatchery and wild populations of largemouth and Florida bass. The availability of this resource, high-quality transcriptomes and a large set of gene-linked SNPs, should greatly facilitate functional and population genomics studies in these key species and allow the identification of traits and processes under selection during introgressive hybridization.

  18. Improving the coordination of care for low back pain patients by creating better links between acute and community services.

    PubMed

    Staiger, Petra K; Serlachius, Anna; Macfarlane, Susie; Anderson, Sharron; Chan, Thomas; Young, Greg

    2010-05-01

    This paper reports on the development of a care-pathway to improve service linkages between the acute setting and community health services in the treatment of low back pain. The pathway was informed by two processes: (1) a literature review based on best-practice guidelines in the assessment, treatment and continuity of care for low back pain patients; and (2) consultation with staff and key stakeholders. Stakeholders from both the acute and community sectors comprised the Working Group, who identified central areas of concern to be addressed in the care-pathway, with the goal of preventing chronicity of low back pain and reducing emergency department presentations. The main outcomes achieved include: the development of a new care-coordinator role, which would support a greater focus on integration between acute and community sectors for low back pain patients; identifying the need to screen at-risk patients; implementation of the SCTT (Service Coordination Tool Templates) tool as a system of referral across the acute and community settings; and agreement on the need to develop an evidence-based self-management program to be offered to low back pain patients. The benefits and challenges of implementing this care pathway are discussed. PMID:20497725

  19. Joining Forces for Food Security - Linking Earth Observation and Crowd-sourcing for improved Decision-support

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Enenkel, M.; Dorigo, W.; See, L. M.; Vinck, P.; Papp, A.

    2014-12-01

    Droughts statistically exceed all other natural disasters in complexity, spatio-temporal extent and number of people affected. Triggered by crop failure, food insecurity is a major manifestation of agricultural drought and water scarcity. However, other socio-economic precursors, such as chronically low levels of disaster preparedness, hampered access to food security or a lack of social safety nets are equally important factors. We will present the first results of the SATIDA (Satellite Technologies for Improved Drought-Risk Assessment) project, which advances three complementary developments. First, an existing drought indicator is enhanced by replacing in-situ measurements on rainfall and surface air temperature with satellite-derived datasets. We identify the vegetation status via a new noise-corrected and gap-filled vegetation index. In addition, we introduce a soil moisture component to close the gap between rainfall deficiencies, extreme temperature and the first visible impacts of atmospheric anomalies on vegetation. Second, once calibrated, the index is forced with seasonal forecasts to quantify their uncertainty and added value in the regions of interest. Third, a mobile application is developed to disseminate relevant visualizations to decision-makers in affected areas, to collect additional information about socio-economic conditions and to validate the output of the drought index in real conditions. Involving Doctors without Borders (MSF) as a key user, SATIDA aims at decreasing uncertainties in decision-making via a more holistic risk framework, resulting in longer lead times for disaster logistics in the preparedness phase.

  20. Digital photography for assessing the link between vegetation phenology and CO2 exchange in two contrasting northern ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linkosalmi, Maiju; Aurela, Mika; Tuovinen, Juha-Pekka; Peltoniemi, Mikko; Tanis, Cemal M.; Arslan, Ali N.; Kolari, Pasi; Böttcher, Kristin; Aalto, Tuula; Rainne, Juuso; Hatakka, Juha; Laurila, Tuomas

    2016-09-01

    Digital repeat photography has become a widely used tool for assessing the annual course of vegetation phenology of different ecosystems. By using the green chromatic coordinate (GCC) as a greenness measure, we examined the feasibility of digital repeat photography for assessing the vegetation phenology in two contrasting high-latitude ecosystems. Ecosystem-atmosphere CO2 fluxes and various meteorological variables were continuously measured at both sites. While the seasonal changes in GCC were more obvious for the ecosystem that is dominated by annual plants (open wetland), clear seasonal patterns were also observed for the evergreen ecosystem (coniferous forest). Daily and seasonal time periods with sufficient solar radiation were determined based on images of a grey reference plate. The variability in cloudiness had only a minor effect on GCC, and GCC did not depend on the sun angle and direction either. The daily GCC of wetland correlated well with the daily photosynthetic capacity estimated from the CO2 flux measurements. At the forest site, the correlation was high in 2015 but there were discernible deviations during the course of the summer of 2014. The year-to-year differences were most likely generated by meteorological conditions, with higher temperatures coinciding with higher GCCs. In addition to depicting the seasonal course of ecosystem functioning, GCC was shown to respond to environmental changes on a timescale of days. Overall, monitoring of phenological variations with digital images provides a powerful tool for linking gross primary production and phenology.

  1. Assessment of Time Series Complexity Using Improved Approximate Entropy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kong, De-Ren; Xie, Hong-Bo

    2011-09-01

    Approximate entropy (ApEn), a measure quantifying complexity and/or regularity, is believed to be an effective method of analyzing diverse settings. However, the similarity definition of vectors based on Heaviside function may cause some problems in the validity and accuracy of ApEn. To overcome the problems, an improved approximate entropy (iApEn) based on the sigmoid function is proposed. The performance of iApEn is tested on the independent identically distributed (IID) Gaussian noise, the MIX stochastic model, the Rossler map, the logistic map, and the high-dimensional Mackey—Glass oscillator. The results show that iApEn is superior to ApEn in several aspects, including better relative consistency, freedom of parameter selection, robust to noise, and more independence on record length when characterizing time series with different complexities.

  2. Problem formulation and option assessment (PFOA) linking governance and environmental risk assessment for technologies: a methodology for problem analysis of nanotechnologies and genetically engineered organisms.

    PubMed

    Nelson, Kristen C; Andow, David A; Banker, Michael J

    2009-01-01

    Societal evaluation of new technologies, specifically nanotechnology and genetically engineered organisms (GEOs), challenges current practices of governance and science. Employing environmental risk assessment (ERA) for governance and oversight assumes we have a reasonable ability to understand consequences and predict adverse effects. However, traditional ERA has come under considerable criticism for its many shortcomings and current governance institutions have demonstrated limitations in transparency, public input, and capacity. Problem Formulation and Options Assessment (PFOA) is a methodology founded on three key concepts in risk assessment (science-based consideration, deliberation, and multi-criteria analysis) and three in governance (participation, transparency, and accountability). Developed through a series of international workshops, the PFOA process emphasizes engagement with stakeholders in iterative stages, from identification of the problem(s) through comparison of multiple technology solutions that could be used in the future with their relative benefits, harms, and risk. It provides "upstream public engagement" in a deliberation informed by science that identifies values for improved decision making.

  3. Accounting for Basin Effects Will Improve Seismic Risk Assessments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Magistrale, Harold

    2010-05-01

    A fundamental problem in assessing the seismic risk of properties and providing loss prevention solutions is determining the distribution, amplitude, frequency characteristics, and duration of strong ground motion from potential future earthquakes. This task is complicated by the strong effects that three-dimensional (3D) geologic structures, such as sediment-filled basins, have on ground shaking. Numerical studies of seismic wave propagation have shown that ground motions are amplified and have longer durations within basins, and there are observations of basin-edge-generated surface waves and of basin-focusing effects on ground motions. Further, basins typically host deep and/or soft unconsolidated soils that commonly experience enhanced ground motions. Evaluation of the seismic hazards and risks to the basin properties requires 3D numerical ground motion simulations to quantify the contributions of deep basin structure and shallow site conditions to ground motions. These simulations require 3D seismic velocity models. Here, we review these contributions as determined in a mature model of the Los Angeles, California, basin; introduce a new model of the Salt Lake City, Utah, basin; and report on preliminary ground motion simulations in the Salt Lake model. Both models consist of detailed, rule-based representations of the major populated sediment-filled basins, embedded in a 3D crust over a variable depth Moho, over upper mantle velocities. The basins are parameterized as a set of objects and rules implemented in a computer code that generates seismic velocities and density at any desired point. The shallow basin velocities are directly constrained by geotechnical borehole logs and detailed surface site response unit mapping based on surface geology and Vs30 measurements. Based on simulations of a suite of earthquakes in the Los Angeles basin model, Day et al. (2008) model the effect of sedimentary basin depth on long period (2 to 10 s) response spectra. They

  4. Assessment of two enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay tests marketed for detection of ruminant proteins in finished feed.

    PubMed

    Myers, Michael J; Yancy, Haile F; Farrell, Dorothy E; Washington, Jewell D; Deaver, Christine M; Frobish, Russell A

    2007-03-01

    The performance characteristics of two enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test kits, ELISA Technologies' MELISA-Tek test and Tepnel BioSystems' BioKit for (Cooked) Species Identification test, designed to detect ruminant proteins in animal feed, were evaluated. The test kits were evaluated by using acceptance criteria developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine Office of Research for evaluating selectivity, sensitivity, ruggedness, and specificity. The acceptance criteria for determining success used a statistical approach requiring a 90% probability of achieving the correct response within a 95% confidence interval. In practice, this measure requires the test to achieve the correct response 58 times for every 60 samples evaluated, or a 96.7% accuracy rate. A minimum detection level of 0.1% bovine meat and bone meal (BMBM) was required, consistent with the sensitivity of the analytical methods presently used by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Selectivity was assessed by testing 60 dairy feed samples that contained no added animal proteins; sensitivity was determined by evaluating 60 samples (per level of fortification) of this same feed that contained 0.025, 0.05, 0.1, 0.25, 0.5, 1, or 2% BMBM. The MELISA-Tek test passed the acceptance set-point criteria for selectivity assessment but failed the sensitivity assessment at all levels except at the 2% level. The MELISA-Tek test came close to passing at the 1% level, detecting true-positive findings at a rate of 93%, but failed at lower levels, in spite of the label claim of 0.5% sensitivity. The BioKit for (Cooked) Species Identification test detected only 2 of 17 samples fortified at the 2% BMBM level and failed to detect any other BMBM-fortified samples. The results of this evaluation indicate that neither test is adequate for regulatory use. PMID:17388061

  5. Linking hydrologic, physical and chemical habitat environments for the potential assessment of fish community rehabilitation in a developing city

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, C. S.; Yang, S. T.; Liu, C. M.; Dou, T. W.; Yang, Z. L.; Yang, Z. Y.; Liu, X. L.; Xiang, H.; Nie, S. Y.; Zhang, J. L.; Mitrovic, S. M.; Yu, Q.; Lim, R. P.

    2015-04-01

    Aquatic ecological rehabilitation is increasingly attracting considerable public and research attention. An effective method that requires less data and expertise would help in the assessment of rehabilitation potential and in the monitoring of rehabilitation activities as complicated theories and excessive data requirements on assemblage information make many current assessment models expensive and limit their wide use. This paper presents an assessment model for restoration potential which successfully links hydrologic, physical and chemical habitat factors to fish assemblage attributes drawn from monitoring datasets on hydrology, water quality and fish assemblages at a total of 144 sites, where 5084 fish were sampled and tested. In this model three newly developed sub-models, integrated habitat index (IHSI), integrated ecological niche breadth (INB) and integrated ecological niche overlap (INO), are established to study spatial heterogeneity of the restoration potential of fish assemblages based on gradient methods of habitat suitability index and ecological niche models. To reduce uncertainties in the model, as many fish species as possible, including important native fish, were selected as dominant species with monitoring occurring over several seasons to comprehensively select key habitat factors. Furthermore, a detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) was employed prior to a canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) of the data to avoid the "arc effect" in the selection of key habitat factors. Application of the model to data collected at Jinan City, China proved effective reveals that three lower potential regions that should be targeted in future aquatic ecosystem rehabilitation programs. They were well validated by the distribution of two habitat parameters: river width and transparency. River width positively influenced and transparency negatively influenced fish assemblages. The model can be applied for monitoring the effects of fish assemblage restoration

  6. The links between agriculture and health: an intersectoral opportunity to improve the health and livelihoods of the poor.

    PubMed

    Hawkes, Corinna; Ruel, Marie

    2006-12-01

    Agriculture and health are linked in many ways. First, agriculture is essential for good health: it produces the world's food, fibre and materials for shelter; in many countries it is also an important source of livelihood among the poor. At the same time, agriculture can be linked with poor health, including malnutrition, malaria, foodborne illnesses, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), livestock-related diseases, chronic diseases and occupational ill-health. Health also affects agriculture: people's health status influences the demand for agricultural outputs, and in agricultural communities, poor health reduces work performance, reducing income and productivity and perpetuating a downward spiral into ill-health. This paper presents an overview of the bidirectional links between agriculture and health with a focus on the developing world. It develops a conceptual framework that brings together the various links between agriculture and health into a single broad framework. The framework comprises the core components of the agricultural supply chain (producers, systems and outputs), key health concerns and the mechanisms of common interaction between the agricultural and health components: income, labour, environment and access -- all key social determinants of health. These links between agriculture and health present an opportunity for the two sectors to work together to find solutions to each other's problems. Yet the health and agricultural sectors remain poorly coordinated. Leadership from global health and agricultural institutions is needed to build policies and good governance to facilitate integration, while capacity building is needed at all levels to help translate the conceptual links into comprehensive action on the ground. Health and agricultural researchers likewise need to work more closely together to achieve common goals. PMID:17242835

  7. The links between agriculture and health: an intersectoral opportunity to improve the health and livelihoods of the poor.

    PubMed Central

    Hawkes, Corinna; Ruel, Marie

    2006-01-01

    Agriculture and health are linked in many ways. First, agriculture is essential for good health: it produces the world's food, fibre and materials for shelter; in many countries it is also an important source of livelihood among the poor. At the same time, agriculture can be linked with poor health, including malnutrition, malaria, foodborne illnesses, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), livestock-related diseases, chronic diseases and occupational ill-health. Health also affects agriculture: people's health status influences the demand for agricultural outputs, and in agricultural communities, poor health reduces work performance, reducing income and productivity and perpetuating a downward spiral into ill-health. This paper presents an overview of the bidirectional links between agriculture and health with a focus on the developing world. It develops a conceptual framework that brings together the various links between agriculture and health into a single broad framework. The framework comprises the core components of the agricultural supply chain (producers, systems and outputs), key health concerns and the mechanisms of common interaction between the agricultural and health components: income, labour, environment and access -- all key social determinants of health. These links between agriculture and health present an opportunity for the two sectors to work together to find solutions to each other's problems. Yet the health and agricultural sectors remain poorly coordinated. Leadership from global health and agricultural institutions is needed to build policies and good governance to facilitate integration, while capacity building is needed at all levels to help translate the conceptual links into comprehensive action on the ground. Health and agricultural researchers likewise need to work more closely together to achieve common goals. PMID:17242835

  8. The links between agriculture and health: an intersectoral opportunity to improve the health and livelihoods of the poor.

    PubMed

    Hawkes, Corinna; Ruel, Marie

    2006-12-01

    Agriculture and health are linked in many ways. First, agriculture is essential for good health: it produces the world's food, fibre and materials for shelter; in many countries it is also an important source of livelihood among the poor. At the same time, agriculture can be linked with poor health, including malnutrition, malaria, foodborne illnesses, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), livestock-related diseases, chronic diseases and occupational ill-health. Health also affects agriculture: people's health status influences the demand for agricultural outputs, and in agricultural communities, poor health reduces work performance, reducing income and productivity and perpetuating a downward spiral into ill-health. This paper presents an overview of the bidirectional links between agriculture and health with a focus on the developing world. It develops a conceptual framework that brings together the various links between agriculture and health into a single broad framework. The framework comprises the core components of the agricultural supply chain (producers, systems and outputs), key health concerns and the mechanisms of common interaction between the agricultural and health components: income, labour, environment and access -- all key social determinants of health. These links between agriculture and health present an opportunity for the two sectors to work together to find solutions to each other's problems. Yet the health and agricultural sectors remain poorly coordinated. Leadership from global health and agricultural institutions is needed to build policies and good governance to facilitate integration, while capacity building is needed at all levels to help translate the conceptual links into comprehensive action on the ground. Health and agricultural researchers likewise need to work more closely together to achieve common goals.

  9. Improvement of agricultural life cycle assessment studies through spatial differentiation and new impact categories: case study on greenhouse tomato production.

    PubMed

    Antón, Assumpció; Torrellas, Marta; Núñez, Montserrat; Sevigné, Eva; Amores, Maria José; Muñoz, Pere; Montero, Juan I

    2014-08-19

    This paper presents the inclusion of new, relevant impact categories for agriculture life cycle assessments. We performed a specific case study with a focus on the applicability of spatially explicit characterization factors. The main goals were to provide a detailed evaluation of these new impact category methods, compare the results with commonly used methods (ReCiPe and USEtox) and demonstrate how these new methods can help improve environmental assessment in agriculture. As an overall conclusion, the newly developed impact categories helped fill the most important gaps related to land use, water consumption, pesticide toxicity, and nontoxic emissions linked to fertilizer use. We also found that including biodiversity damage due to land use and the effect of water consumption on wetlands represented a scientific advance toward more realistic environmental assessment of agricultural practices. Likewise, the dynamic crop model for assessing human toxicity from pesticide residue in food can lead to better practice in pesticide application. In further life cycle assessment (LCA) method developments, common end point units and normalization units should be agreed upon to make it possible to compare different impacts and methods. In addition, the application of site-specific characterization factors allowed us to be more accurate regarding inventory data and to identify precisely where background flows acquire high relevance. PMID:25032800

  10. Cardiovascular simulator improvement: pressure versus volume loop assessment.

    PubMed

    Fonseca, Jeison; Andrade, Aron; Nicolosi, Denys E C; Biscegli, José F; Leme, Juliana; Legendre, Daniel; Bock, Eduardo; Lucchi, Julio Cesar

    2011-05-01

    This article presents improvement on a physical cardiovascular simulator (PCS) system. Intraventricular pressure versus intraventricular volume (PxV) loop was obtained to evaluate performance of a pulsatile chamber mimicking the human left ventricle. PxV loop shows heart contractility and is normally used to evaluate heart performance. In many heart diseases, the stroke volume decreases because of low heart contractility. This pathological situation must be simulated by the PCS in order to evaluate the assistance provided by a ventricular assist device (VAD). The PCS system is automatically controlled by a computer and is an auxiliary tool for VAD control strategies development. This PCS system is according to a Windkessel model where lumped parameters are used for cardiovascular system analysis. Peripheral resistance, arteries compliance, and fluid inertance are simulated. The simulator has an actuator with a roller screw and brushless direct current motor, and the stroke volume is regulated by the actuator displacement. Internal pressure and volume measurements are monitored to obtain the PxV loop. Left chamber internal pressure is directly obtained by pressure transducer; however, internal volume has been obtained indirectly by using a linear variable differential transformer, which senses the diaphragm displacement. Correlations between the internal volume and diaphragm position are made. LabVIEW integrates these signals and shows the pressure versus internal volume loop. The results that have been obtained from the PCS system show PxV loops at different ventricle elastances, making possible the simulation of pathological situations. A preliminary test with a pulsatile VAD attached to PCS system was made.

  11. Ecological assessment of the environmental impacts of the kerosene burning in jet turbines and its improvement assessment.

    PubMed

    Geldermann, J; Gabriel, R; Rentz, O

    1999-01-01

    The burning of kerosene in jet turbines is investigated for two reference flights with a Boeing 747-400 and an Airbus A320-200, representing the typical Lufthansa planes for long and middle distance. The ecological evaluation is performed by Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Formation of condensation trails, which is a specific environmental impact caused by air traffic, has to be considered in addition to established LCA impact categories. Based on the ecological assessment, an improvement assessment is performed. Environmental performance of diesel fuel during the combustion in car engines is analysed based on available publications. The relevant parameters for the environmental impact of the combustion of diesel (aromatics content, reduction of sulphur content, the reduction of the density and raising of the cetane number) are discussed with regard to improvements of the exhaust qualities of kerosene. A reduction of the aromatics content promises to improve the emission of soot which should be further investigated. PMID:19009417

  12. Improved transmission performance of adaptively modulated optical OFDM signals over directly modulated DFB laser-based IMDD links using adaptive cyclic prefix.

    PubMed

    Giacoumidis, E; Wei, J L; Jin, X Q; Tang, J M

    2008-06-23

    The impact of Adaptive Cyclic Prefix (ACP) on the transmission performance of Adaptively Modulated Optical OFDM (AMOOFDM) is explored thoroughly in directly modulated DFB laser-based, IMDD links involving Multimode Fibres (MMFs)/Single-Mode Fibres (SMFs). Three ACP mechanisms are identified, each of which can, depending upon the link properties, affect significantly the AMOOFDM transmission performance. In comparison with AMOOFDM having a fixed cyclic prefix duration of 25%, AMOOFDM with ACP can not only improve the transmission capacity by a factor of >2 (>1.3) for >1000 m MMFs (<80 km SMFs) with 1 dB link loss margin enhancement, but also relax considerably the requirement on the DFB bandwidth. PMID:18575513

  13. Assessment for Improvement in Higher Education: Faculty Perception of and Participation in Program Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Emil, Serap

    2011-01-01

    Driven by issues of accountability, the assessment movement in higher education has gained significant momentum in recent years. However, successful implementation of assessment processes varies radically across institutions and organizational units. A key issue is faculty engagement. This qualitative case study explored factors that impact…

  14. Improving the accuracy of the k-shell method by removing redundant links: From a perspective of spreading dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Ying; Tang, Ming; Zhou, Tao; Do, Younghae

    2015-01-01

    Recent study shows that the accuracy of the k-shell method in determining node coreness in a spreading process is largely impacted due to the existence of core-like group, which has a large k-shell index but a low spreading efficiency. Based on the analysis of the structure of core-like groups in real-world networks, we discover that nodes in the core-like group are mutually densely connected with very few out-leaving links from the group. By defining a measure of diffusion importance for each edge based on the number of out-leaving links of its both ends, we are able to identify redundant links in the spreading process, which have a relatively low diffusion importance but lead to form the locally densely connected core-like group. After filtering out the redundant links and applying the k-shell method to the residual network, we obtain a renewed coreness ks for each node which is a more accurate index to indicate its location importance and spreading influence in the original network. Moreover, we find that the performance of the ranking algorithms based on the renewed coreness are also greatly enhanced. Our findings help to more accurately decompose the network core structure and identify influential nodes in spreading processes. PMID:26277903

  15. Improved stability and cell response by intrinsic cross-linking of multilayers from collagen I and oxidized glycosaminoglycans.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Mingyan; Li, Lihua; Zhou, Changren; Heyroth, Frank; Fuhrmann, Bodo; Maeder, Karsten; Groth, Thomas

    2014-11-10

    Stability of surface coatings against environmental stress, such as pH, high ionic strength, mechanical forces, and so forth, is crucial for biomedical application of implants. Here, a novel extracellular-matrix-like polyelectrolyte multilayer (PEM) system composed of collagen I (Col I) and oxidized glycosaminoglycans (oGAGs) was stabilized by intrinsic cross-linking due to formation of imine bonds between aldehydes of oxidized chondroitin sulfate (oCS) or hyaluronan (oHA) and amino groups of Col I. It was also found that Col I contributed significantly more to overall mass in CS-Col I than in HA-Col I multilayer systems and fibrillized particularly in the presence of native and oxidized CS. Adhesion and proliferation studies with murine C3H10T1/2 embryonic fibroblasts demonstrated that covalent cross-linking of oGAG with Col I had no adverse effects on cell behavior. By contrast, it was found that cell size and polarization was more pronounced on oGAG-based multilayer systems, which corresponded also to the higher stiffness of cross-linked multilayers as observed by studies with quartz crystal microbalance (QCM). Overall, PEMs prepared from oGAG and Col I give rise to stable PEM constructs due to intrinsic cross-linking that may be useful for making bioactive coatings of implants and tissue engineering scaffolds.

  16. Stabilization of collagen nanofibers with L-lysine improves the ability of carbodiimide cross-linked amniotic membranes to preserve limbal epithelial progenitor cells.

    PubMed

    Lai, Jui-Yang; Wang, Pei-Ran; Luo, Li-Jyuan; Chen, Si-Tan

    2014-01-01

    To overcome the drawbacks associated with limited cross-linking efficiency of carbodiimide modified amniotic membrane, this study investigated the use of L-lysine as an additional amino acid bridge to enhance the stability of a nanofibrous tissue matrix for a limbal epithelial cell culture platform. Results of ninhydrin assays and zeta potential measurements showed that the amount of positively charged amino acid residues incorporated into the tissue collagen chains is highly correlated with the L-lysine-pretreated concentration. The cross-linked structure and hydrophilicity of amniotic membrane scaffolding materials affected by the lysine molecular bridging effects were determined. With an increase in the L-lysine-pretreated concentration from 1 to 30 mM, the cross-linking density was significantly increased and water content was markedly decreased. The variations in resistance to thermal denaturation and enzymatic degradation were in accordance with the number of cross-links per unit mass of amniotic membrane, indicating L-lysine-modulated stabilization of collagen molecules. It was also noteworthy that the carbodiimide cross-linked tissue samples prepared using a relatively high L-lysine-pretreated concentration (ie, 30 mM) appeared to have decreased light transmittance and biocompatibility, probably due to the influence of a large nanofiber size and a high charge density. The rise in stemness gene and protein expression levels was dependent on improved cross-link formation, suggesting the crucial role of amino acid bridges in constructing suitable scaffolds to preserve limbal progenitor cells. It is concluded that mild to moderate pretreatment conditions (ie, 3-10 mM L-lysine) can provide a useful strategy to assist in the development of carbodiimide cross-linked amniotic membrane as a stable stem cell niche for corneal epithelial tissue engineering. PMID:25395849

  17. Stabilization of collagen nanofibers with L-lysine improves the ability of carbodiimide cross-linked amniotic membranes to preserve limbal epithelial progenitor cells.

    PubMed

    Lai, Jui-Yang; Wang, Pei-Ran; Luo, Li-Jyuan; Chen, Si-Tan

    2014-01-01

    To overcome the drawbacks associated with limited cross-linking efficiency of carbodiimide modified amniotic membrane, this study investigated the use of L-lysine as an additional amino acid bridge to enhance the stability of a nanofibrous tissue matrix for a limbal epithelial cell culture platform. Results of ninhydrin assays and zeta potential measurements showed that the amount of positively charged amino acid residues incorporated into the tissue collagen chains is highly correlated with the L-lysine-pretreated concentration. The cross-linked structure and hydrophilicity of amniotic membrane scaffolding materials affected by the lysine molecular bridging effects were determined. With an increase in the L-lysine-pretreated concentration from 1 to 30 mM, the cross-linking density was significantly increased and water content was markedly decreased. The variations in resistance to thermal denaturation and enzymatic degradation were in accordance with the number of cross-links per unit mass of amniotic membrane, indicating L-lysine-modulated stabilization of collagen molecules. It was also noteworthy that the carbodiimide cross-linked tissue samples prepared using a relatively high L-lysine-pretreated concentration (ie, 30 mM) appeared to have decreased light transmittance and biocompatibility, probably due to the influence of a large nanofiber size and a high charge density. The rise in stemness gene and protein expression levels was dependent on improved cross-link formation, suggesting the crucial role of amino acid bridges in constructing suitable scaffolds to preserve limbal progenitor cells. It is concluded that mild to moderate pretreatment conditions (ie, 3-10 mM L-lysine) can provide a useful strategy to assist in the development of carbodiimide cross-linked amniotic membrane as a stable stem cell niche for corneal epithelial tissue engineering.

  18. Stabilization of collagen nanofibers with l-lysine improves the ability of carbodiimide cross-linked amniotic membranes to preserve limbal epithelial progenitor cells

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Jui-Yang; Wang, Pei-Ran; Luo, Li-Jyuan; Chen, Si-Tan

    2014-01-01

    To overcome the drawbacks associated with limited cross-linking efficiency of carbodiimide modified amniotic membrane, this study investigated the use of l-lysine as an additional amino acid bridge to enhance the stability of a nanofibrous tissue matrix for a limbal epithelial cell culture platform. Results of ninhydrin assays and zeta potential measurements showed that the amount of positively charged amino acid residues incorporated into the tissue collagen chains is highly correlated with the l-lysine-pretreated concentration. The cross-linked structure and hydrophilicity of amniotic membrane scaffolding materials affected by the lysine molecular bridging effects were determined. With an increase in the l-lysine-pretreated concentration from 1 to 30 mM, the cross-linking density was significantly increased and water content was markedly decreased. The variations in resistance to thermal denaturation and enzymatic degradation were in accordance with the number of cross-links per unit mass of amniotic membrane, indicating l-lysine-modulated stabilization of collagen molecules. It was also noteworthy that the carbodiimide cross-linked tissue samples prepared using a relatively high l-lysine-pretreated concentration (ie, 30 mM) appeared to have decreased light transmittance and biocompatibility, probably due to the influence of a large nanofiber size and a high charge density. The rise in stemness gene and protein expression levels was dependent on improved cross-link formation, suggesting the crucial role of amino acid bridges in constructing suitable scaffolds to preserve limbal progenitor cells. It is concluded that mild to moderate pretreatment conditions (ie, 3–10 mM l-lysine) can provide a useful strategy to assist in the development of carbodiimide cross-linked amniotic membrane as a stable stem cell niche for corneal epithelial tissue engineering. PMID:25395849

  19. IMPROVING EMISSION INVENTORIES FOR EFFECTIVE AIR-QUALITY MANAGEMENT ACROSS NORTH AMERICA - A NARSTO ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The NARSTO Ozone and Particulate Matter Assessments emphasized that emission inventories are critical to the success of air quality management programs and that emissions inventories in Canada, Mexico, and the United States need improvement to meet expectations for quality, timel...

  20. IMPROVING EMISSION INVENTORIES FOR EFFECTIVE AIR-QUALITY MANAGMENT ACROSS NORTH AMERICA - A NARSTO ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The NARSTO Ozone and Particulate Matter Assessments emphasized that emission inventories are critical to the success of air quality management programs and that emissions inventories in Canada, Mexico, and the United States need improvement to meet expectations for quality, timel...

  1. Improving Exposure Science and Dose Metrics for Toxicity Testing, Screening, Prioritizing, and Risk Assessment

    EPA Science Inventory

    Advance the characterization of exposure and dose metrics required to translate advances and findings in computational toxicology to information that can be directly used to support exposure and risk assessment for decision making and improved public health.

  2. 42 CFR 482.96 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... FOR HOSPITALS Requirements for Specialty Hospitals Transplant Center Process Requirements § 482.96 Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI). Transplant centers must... or arrangement. (a) Standard: Components of a QAPI program. The transplant center's QAPI program...

  3. (AWMA) IMPROVING EMISSION INVENTORIES FOR EFFECTIVE AIR-QUALITY MANAGEMENT ACROSS NORTH AMERICA - A NARSTO ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The NARSTO Ozone and Particulate Matter Assessments emphasized that emission inventories are critical to the success of air quality management programs and that emissions inventories in Canada, Mexico, and the United States need improvement to meet expectations for quality, timel...

  4. 42 CFR 482.96 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... FOR HOSPITALS Requirements for Specialty Hospitals Transplant Center Process Requirements § 482.96 Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI). Transplant centers must... or arrangement. (a) Standard: Components of a QAPI program. The transplant center's QAPI program...

  5. 42 CFR 482.96 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI).

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... FOR HOSPITALS Requirements for Specialty Hospitals Transplant Center Process Requirements § 482.96 Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI). Transplant centers must... or arrangement. (a) Standard: Components of a QAPI program. The transplant center's QAPI program...

  6. 42 CFR 460.132 - Quality assessment and performance improvement plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.132...

  7. 42 CFR 460.136 - Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ..., DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement §...

  8. 42 CFR 460.132 - Quality assessment and performance improvement plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.132...

  9. 42 CFR 460.136 - Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ..., DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement §...

  10. 42 CFR 460.136 - Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ..., DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement §...

  11. 42 CFR 460.132 - Quality assessment and performance improvement plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.132...

  12. 42 CFR 460.132 - Quality assessment and performance improvement plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.132...

  13. Critical Assessment of Protein Cross-Linking and Molecular Docking: An Updated Model for the Interaction Between Photosystem II and Psb27

    PubMed Central

    Cormann, Kai U.; Möller, Madeline; Nowaczyk, Marc M.

    2016-01-01

    Photosystem II (PSII) is a large membrane-protein complex composed of about 20 subunits and various cofactors, which mediates the light-driven oxidation of water and reduction of plastoquinone, and is part of the photosynthetic electron transfer chain that is localized in the thylakoid membrane of cyanobacteria, algae, and plants. The stepwise assembly of PSII is guided and facilitated by numerous auxiliary proteins that play specific roles in this spatiotemporal process. Psb27, a small protein localized in the thylakoid lumen, appears to associate with an intermediate PSII complex that is involved in assembly of the Mn4CaO5 cluster. Its precise binding position on the PSII intermediate remains elusive, as previous approaches to the localization of Psb27 on PSII have yielded contradictory results. This was our motivation for a critical assessment of previously used methods and the development of an improved analysis pipeline. The combination of chemical cross-linking and mass spectrometry (CX-MS) with isotope-coded cross-linkers was refined and validated with reference to the PSII crystal structure. Psb27 was localized on the PSII surface adjacent to the large lumenal domain of CP43 on the basis of a cross-link connecting Psb27-K91 to CP43-K381. Additional contacts associating Psb27 with CP47 and the C-termini of D1 and D2 were detected by surface plasmon resonance (SPR) spectroscopy. This information was used to model the binding of Psb27 to the PSII surface in a region that is occupied by PsbV in the mature complex. PMID:26925076

  14. Independent assessment to continue improvement: Implementing statistical process control at the Hanford Site

    SciTech Connect

    Hu, T.A.; Lo, J.C.

    1994-11-01

    A Quality Assurance independent assessment has brought about continued improvement in the PUREX Plant surveillance program at the Department of Energy`s Hanford Site. After the independent assessment, Quality Assurance personnel were closely involved in improving the surveillance program, specifically regarding storage tank monitoring. The independent assessment activities included reviewing procedures, analyzing surveillance data, conducting personnel interviews, and communicating with management. Process improvement efforts included: (1) designing data collection methods; (2) gaining concurrence between engineering and management, (3) revising procedures; and (4) interfacing with shift surveillance crews. Through this process, Statistical Process Control (SPC) was successfully implemented and surveillance management was improved. The independent assessment identified several deficiencies within the surveillance system. These deficiencies can be grouped into two areas: (1) data recording and analysis and (2) handling off-normal conditions. By using several independent assessment techniques, Quality Assurance was able to point out program weakness to senior management and present suggestions for improvements. SPC charting, as implemented by Quality Assurance, is an excellent tool for diagnosing the process, improving communication between the team members, and providing a scientific database for management decisions. In addition, the surveillance procedure was substantially revised. The goals of this revision were to (1) strengthen the role of surveillance management, engineering and operators and (2) emphasize the importance of teamwork for each individual who performs a task. In this instance we believe that the value independent assessment adds to the system is the continuous improvement activities that follow the independent assessment. Excellence in teamwork between the independent assessment organization and the auditee is the key to continuing improvement.

  15. Wind power: Addressing wildlife impacts, assessing effects on tourism, and examining the link between climate change perceptions and support

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lilley, Meredith Blaydes

    As the world's most rapidly growing source of energy, wind power has vast potential for mitigating climate change and advancing global environmental sustainability. Yet, the challenges facing wind energy remain both complex and substantial. Two such challenges are: 1) wildlife impacts; and 2) perceived negative effects on tourism. This dissertation examines these challenges in a multi-paper format, and also investigates the role that climate change perceptions play in garnering public support for wind power. The first paper assesses optimal approaches for addressing wind power's wildlife impacts. Comparative analysis reveals that avian mortality from turbines ranks far behind avian mortality from a number of other anthropogenic sources. Additionally, although bats have recently emerged as more vulnerable to wind turbines than birds, they are generally less federally protected. The Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) protects over 800 bird species, regardless of their threatened or endangered status. Moreover, it criminalizes the incidental take of birds without a permit and simultaneously grants no permits for such incidental take, thereby creating a legal conundrum for the wind industry. An examination of the legislative and case history of the MBTA, however, reveals that wind operators are not likely to be prosecuted for incidental take if they cooperate with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) and take reasonable steps to reduce siting and operational impacts. Furthermore, this study's analysis reveals modest wildlife impacts from wind power, in comparison with numerous other energy sources. Scientific-research, legal, and policy recommendations are provided to update the present legal and regulatory regime under the MBTA and to minimize avian and bat impacts. For instance, FWS should: establish comprehensive federal guidelines for wind facility siting, permitting, monitoring, and mitigation; and promulgate regulations under the MBTA for the issuance of

  16. An agenda for assessing and improving conservation impacts of sustainability standards in tropical agriculture.

    PubMed

    Milder, Jeffrey C; Arbuthnot, Margaret; Blackman, Allen; Brooks, Sharon E; Giovannucci, Daniele; Gross, Lee; Kennedy, Elizabeth T; Komives, Kristin; Lambin, Eric F; Lee, Audrey; Meyer, Daniel; Newton, Peter; Phalan, Ben; Schroth, Götz; Semroc, Bambi; Van Rikxoort, Henk; Zrust, Michal

    2015-04-01

    Sustainability standards and certification serve to differentiate and provide market recognition to goods produced in accordance with social and environmental good practices, typically including practices to protect biodiversity. Such standards have seen rapid growth, including in tropical agricultural commodities such as cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soybeans, and tea. Given the role of sustainability standards in influencing land use in hotspots of biodiversity, deforestation, and agricultural intensification, much could be gained from efforts to evaluate and increase the conservation payoff of these schemes. To this end, we devised a systematic approach for monitoring and evaluating the conservation impacts of agricultural sustainability standards and for using the resulting evidence to improve the effectiveness of such standards over time. The approach is oriented around a set of hypotheses and corresponding research questions about how sustainability standards are predicted to deliver conservation benefits. These questions are addressed through data from multiple sources, including basic common information from certification audits; field monitoring of environmental outcomes at a sample of certified sites; and rigorous impact assessment research based on experimental or quasi-experimental methods. Integration of these sources can generate time-series data that are comparable across sites and regions and provide detailed portraits of the effects of sustainability standards. To implement this approach, we propose new collaborations between the conservation research community and the sustainability standards community to develop common indicators and monitoring protocols, foster data sharing and synthesis, and link research and practice more effectively. As the role of sustainability standards in tropical land-use governance continues to evolve, robust evidence on the factors contributing to effectiveness can help to ensure that such standards are designed and

  17. An agenda for assessing and improving conservation impacts of sustainability standards in tropical agriculture.

    PubMed

    Milder, Jeffrey C; Arbuthnot, Margaret; Blackman, Allen; Brooks, Sharon E; Giovannucci, Daniele; Gross, Lee; Kennedy, Elizabeth T; Komives, Kristin; Lambin, Eric F; Lee, Audrey; Meyer, Daniel; Newton, Peter; Phalan, Ben; Schroth, Götz; Semroc, Bambi; Van Rikxoort, Henk; Zrust, Michal

    2015-04-01

    Sustainability standards and certification serve to differentiate and provide market recognition to goods produced in accordance with social and environmental good practices, typically including practices to protect biodiversity. Such standards have seen rapid growth, including in tropical agricultural commodities such as cocoa, coffee, palm oil, soybeans, and tea. Given the role of sustainability standards in influencing land use in hotspots of biodiversity, deforestation, and agricultural intensification, much could be gained from efforts to evaluate and increase the conservation payoff of these schemes. To this end, we devised a systematic approach for monitoring and evaluating the conservation impacts of agricultural sustainability standards and for using the resulting evidence to improve the effectiveness of such standards over time. The approach is oriented around a set of hypotheses and corresponding research questions about how sustainability standards are predicted to deliver conservation benefits. These questions are addressed through data from multiple sources, including basic common information from certification audits; field monitoring of environmental outcomes at a sample of certified sites; and rigorous impact assessment research based on experimental or quasi-experimental methods. Integration of these sources can generate time-series data that are comparable across sites and regions and provide detailed portraits of the effects of sustainability standards. To implement this approach, we propose new collaborations between the conservation research community and the sustainability standards community to develop common indicators and monitoring protocols, foster data sharing and synthesis, and link research and practice more effectively. As the role of sustainability standards in tropical land-use governance continues to evolve, robust evidence on the factors contributing to effectiveness can help to ensure that such standards are designed and

  18. Applying an improved rapid impact assessment matrix method to strategic environmental assessment of urban planning in China

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Wei Xie, Yuanbo Hao, Fanghua

    2014-04-01

    Strategic environmental assessment (SEA) has become an increasingly important decision-support tool for providing information on the environmental implications of a policy, plan, or program. The goal is to safeguard the environment and promote sustainable development at the strategic level. Despite major progress in implementing SEA practices internationally, developing countries, such as China, often lag behind in applying SEA methodology. Lack of available data and time constraints arising from tight schedules create problems. The rapid impact assessment matrix (RIAM) is a potential resource for breaking through such difficulties. Our analysis of RIAM applications suggested that it could become a tool for evaluating strategic alternatives because of its applicability in interdisciplinary settings, its transparency, and its short implementation timeframe. To make it more suitable for the SEA context, we have developed two major improvements to the conventional RIAM process: assignment of weights to assessment indicators and the development of an integrated environmental assessment score (IES). The improved RIAM process was employed in an SEA of the development plan for the Nansha District in Guangzhou, the capital city of Guangdong Province in China. It was used to assess five alternatives for development in Wanqingsha (WQS), a subunit of Nansha, where important ecological resources are located and where industrial development could impact the air quality in the neighboring Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR). The evaluation identified WQS-A04 as the preferred alternative. This alternative involved a minimal amount of industrial development – 10% compared with the most intense development alternative – and included important wetland preservation plans. The assessment results have been incorporated into the officially approved development plan for Nansha. The improved RIAM methodology is well adapted to the technical aims of SEA and decision

  19. The link between assimilation and below-ground processes - stable isotopes as tools to assess carbon transfer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gessler, A.; Wingate, L.; Ogeé, J.; Offermann, C.; Kodama, N.

    2011-12-01

    At present, there is lack of knowledge on how plant physiological processes, the transfer of carbon within the plant, carbon storage and remobilization in the plant tissues as well as the release of carbon from the roots to the soil interact with ecosystem-scale processes. On the background of global climate change, we need to mechanistically link plant physiology, CO2 net exchange between ecosystems and the atmosphere and plant biomass accumulation. This is the basis for predicting productivity of forests as well as their carbon sequestration potential in future. This paper will give an overview on how stable isotope studies can give insights into the fate of newly assimilated carbon transported within trees and transferred to the soil and atmosphere. The paper includes assessments characterizing temporal and spatial variation in the natural abundance of carbon and oxygen isotopes or applying isotopically enriched tracers. In addition, it highlights the fact that the stable isotope composition of assimilates transported within the plant contains important time integrated information on environmental conditions, leaf physiology, and post-photosynthetic metabolism. The paper on the one hand focuses on the fast turn over carbon pools, which fuel plant respiration and soil microbial activity and on the other hand explores the transfer of the isotope information to long-lived compounds in plant archives such as tree rings.

  20. Experimental assessment of snow-induced attenuation on an Earth-space link operating at Ka-band

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amaya, César; García-Rubia, José-Miguel; Bouchard, Pierre; Nguyen, Tu

    2014-10-01

    This investigation assesses the attenuation induced by snowfall on an experimental slant-path link that monitors the 20.199 GHz beacon signal of the Anik F2 satellite. Beacon data collected at Communications Research Centre Canada (CRC) in Ottawa over 2 years, including the winters of 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, were analyzed as part of this study. The antenna of one of the two receivers used in the propagation campaign with Anik F2 was shielded, the first year under a tent and the second year under the roof of a building, in order to prevent degradations on the measured beacon signal due to snow or ice accumulation on the parabolic reflector surface. One of the main challenges of the study was the unambiguous identification of snow events. Information provided by several weather sensors, a profiling radiometer, and meteorological reports were used to help identify the type of precipitation. Events of wet and dry snow along with freezing rain are presented and discussed. Radiometric measurements of sky noise temperature were particularly useful to detect light snowfall events and to estimate event durations. Statistics of snow attenuation were derived for the winter months of the study. It is found that snow attenuation is modest at 20.2 GHz; however, modest attenuation may be important for small-margin communication systems.

  1. Harnessing Assessment: Pulling Together, Administrators, Faculty, and Staff Can Improve Student Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karlberg, Anne Marie

    2008-01-01

    Assessment is a powerful tool that can support tribal colleges in serving their communities and accomplishing their missions by improving student learning through applied research. Assessment is not about evaluating individual student performance, but evaluates the overall achievement of a group of students in order to provide feedback to…

  2. The Viability of Readiness Assessment in Contributing to Improved Career Services: Response to Jepsen (2000).

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sampson, James P., Jr.; Peterson, Gary W.; Reardon, Robert C.; Lenz, Janet G.

    2000-01-01

    Responds to Jepsen's (this issue [2000]) commentary on Sampson et al.'s theory-based approach to using readiness assessment to improve career services. Three topics are included: the reliability and utility of using readiness assessment measures; verbal ability and the use of cognitive information-processing theory in practice; and the potential…

  3. 42 CFR 403.732 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 2 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Condition of participation: Quality assessment and... Health Care Institutions-Benefits, Conditions of Participation, and Payment § 403.732 Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement. The RNHCI must develop, implement, and maintain...

  4. 42 CFR 403.732 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 2 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Condition of participation: Quality assessment and... Health Care Institutions-Benefits, Conditions of Participation, and Payment § 403.732 Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement. The RNHCI must develop, implement, and maintain...

  5. 42 CFR 403.732 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 2 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Condition of participation: Quality assessment and... Health Care Institutions-Benefits, Conditions of Participation, and Payment § 403.732 Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement. The RNHCI must develop, implement, and maintain...

  6. Improving Institutional Effectiveness through Programmatic Assessment. Professional File Number 109, Fall 2008

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Dina

    2008-01-01

    This article identifies concrete steps used at Argosy University/Orange County (Argosy or AUOC) to integrate assessment in daily institutional operations and utilize assessment data for educational and organizational improvements. Additionally, the article addresses the role of an institutional effectiveness committee in facilitating the…

  7. Assessing Cognitive Load Theory to Improve Student Learning for Mechanical Engineers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Impelluso, Thomas J.

    2009-01-01

    A computer programming class for students of mechanical engineering was redesigned and assessed: Cognitive Load Theory was used to redesign the content; online technologies were used to redesign the delivery. Student learning improved and the dropout rate was reduced. This article reports on both attitudinal and objective assessment: comparing…

  8. Implementing a Portfolio Assessment System for Chapter 1 Program Improvement: A Case Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leitner, David; Trevisan, Mike

    This paper presents findings of a case study that documented the implementation of a portfolio assessment system in response to mandated program improvement and assessed its impact on teacher and student behaviors. The sample included elementary and middle school teachers and students from three Chapter 1 schools in a rural California school…

  9. Evidence-Based Assessment in Case Management to Improve Abnormal Cancer Screen Follow-Up

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vourlekis, Betsy; Ell, Kathleen; Padgett, Deborah

    2005-01-01

    The authors describe an evidence-based assessment protocol for intensive case management to improve screening diagnostic follow-up developed through a research project in breast and cervical cancer early detection funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Three components of an evidence-based approach to assessment are presented…

  10. Using ePortfolios to Assess and Improve the General Education Curriculum

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ring, Gail L.; Waugaman, Chelsea; Brackett, Robert; Jackson, Debra Broadwell

    2015-01-01

    The article provides a comprehensive examination of the use of ePortfolios to assess and improve the General Education Program in a public university in the southeastern United States. The implementation process, six years of assessment data, findings from the recent reaffirmation of accreditation conducted by the Southern Association of Colleges…

  11. Record of Assessment Moderation Practice (RAMP): Survey Software as a Mechanism of Continuous Quality Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Genevieve Marie

    2015-01-01

    In higher education, assessment integrity is pivotal to student learning and satisfaction, and, therefore, a particularly important target of continuous quality improvement. This paper reports on the preliminary development and application of a process of recording and analysing current assessment moderation practices, with the aim of identifying…

  12. Step 5: has clearly defined policies, procedures for collaboration, consultation, links to community resources: the coalition for improving maternity services:.

    PubMed

    Salt, Karen

    2007-01-01

    Step 5 of the Ten Steps of Mother-Friendly Care ensures that the hospital, birth center, or home birth service has clearly defined policies and procedures for collaborating and consulting with other maternity services and for linking the mother and baby to appropriate community services during both the prenatal and the postpartum periods. The rationales and evidence in support of this step are presented. PMID:18523674

  13. Compressive sensing-based channel bandwidth improvement in optical wireless orthogonal frequency division multiplexing link using visible light emitting diode.

    PubMed

    Won, Yong-Yuk; Yoon, Sang Min

    2014-08-25

    A new technique, which can compensate for the lack of channel bandwidth in an optical wireless orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) link based on a light emitting diode (LED), is proposed. It uses an adaptive sampling and an inverse discrete cosine transform in order to convert an OFDM signal into a sparse waveform so that not only is the important data obtained efficiently but the redundancy one is removed. In compressive sensing (CS), a sparse signal that is sampled below the Nyquist/Shannon limit can be reconstructed successively with enough measurement. This means that the CS technique can increase the data rate of visible light communication (VLC) systems based on LEDs. It is observed that the data rate of the proposed CS-based VLC-OFDM link can be made 1.7 times greater than a conventional VLC-OFDM link (from 30.72 Mb/s to 51.2 Mb/s). We see that the error vector magnitude (EVM) of the quadrature phase shift keying (QPSK) symbol is 31% (FEC limit: EVM of 32%) at a compression ratio of 40%.

  14. Reliable multihop broadcast protocol with a low-overhead link quality assessment for ITS based on VANETs in highway scenarios.

    PubMed

    Galaviz-Mosqueda, Alejandro; Villarreal-Reyes, Salvador; Galeana-Zapién, Hiram; Rubio-Loyola, Javier; Covarrubias-Rosales, David H

    2014-01-01

    Vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETs) have been identified as a key technology to enable intelligent transport systems (ITS), which are aimed to radically improve the safety, comfort, and greenness of the vehicles in the road. However, in order to fully exploit VANETs potential, several issues must be addressed. Because of the high dynamic of VANETs and the impairments in the wireless channel, one key issue arising when working with VANETs is the multihop dissemination of broadcast packets for safety and infotainment applications. In this paper a reliable low-overhead multihop broadcast (RLMB) protocol is proposed to address the well-known broadcast storm problem. The proposed RLMB takes advantage of the hello messages exchanged between the vehicles and it processes such information to intelligently select a relay set and reduce the redundant broadcast. Additionally, to reduce the hello messages rate dependency, RLMB uses a point-to-zone link evaluation approach. RLMB performance is compared with one of the leading multihop broadcast protocols existing to date. Performance metrics show that our RLMB solution outperforms the leading protocol in terms of important metrics such as packet dissemination ratio, overhead, and delay. PMID:25133224

  15. Reliable Multihop Broadcast Protocol with a Low-Overhead Link Quality Assessment for ITS Based on VANETs in Highway Scenarios

    PubMed Central

    Galaviz-Mosqueda, Alejandro; Villarreal-Reyes, Salvador; Galeana-Zapién, Hiram; Rubio-Loyola, Javier; Covarrubias-Rosales, David H.

    2014-01-01

    Vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETs) have been identified as a key technology to enable intelligent transport systems (ITS), which are aimed to radically improve the safety, comfort, and greenness of the vehicles in the road. However, in order to fully exploit VANETs potential, several issues must be addressed. Because of the high dynamic of VANETs and the impairments in the wireless channel, one key issue arising when working with VANETs is the multihop dissemination of broadcast packets for safety and infotainment applications. In this paper a reliable low-overhead multihop broadcast (RLMB) protocol is proposed to address the well-known broadcast storm problem. The proposed RLMB takes advantage of the hello messages exchanged between the vehicles and it processes such information to intelligently select a relay set and reduce the redundant broadcast. Additionally, to reduce the hello messages rate dependency, RLMB uses a point-to-zone link evaluation approach. RLMB performance is compared with one of the leading multihop broadcast protocols existing to date. Performance metrics show that our RLMB solution outperforms the leading protocol in terms of important metrics such as packet dissemination ratio, overhead, and delay. PMID:25133224

  16. Reliable multihop broadcast protocol with a low-overhead link quality assessment for ITS based on VANETs in highway scenarios.

    PubMed

    Galaviz-Mosqueda, Alejandro; Villarreal-Reyes, Salvador; Galeana-Zapién, Hiram; Rubio-Loyola, Javier; Covarrubias-Rosales, David H

    2014-01-01

    Vehicular ad hoc networks (VANETs) have been identified as a key technology to enable intelligent transport systems (ITS), which are aimed to radically improve the safety, comfort, and greenness of the vehicles in the road. However, in order to fully exploit VANETs potential, several issues must be addressed. Because of the high dynamic of VANETs and the impairments in the wireless channel, one key issue arising when working with VANETs is the multihop dissemination of broadcast packets for safety and infotainment applications. In this paper a reliable low-overhead multihop broadcast (RLMB) protocol is proposed to address the well-known broadcast storm problem. The proposed RLMB takes advantage of the hello messages exchanged between the vehicles and it processes such information to intelligently select a relay set and reduce the redundant broadcast. Additionally, to reduce the hello messages rate dependency, RLMB uses a point-to-zone link evaluation approach. RLMB performance is compared with one of the leading multihop broadcast protocols existing to date. Performance metrics show that our RLMB solution outperforms the leading protocol in terms of important metrics such as packet dissemination ratio, overhead, and delay.

  17. Improving Marking Reliability of Scientific Writing with the Developing Understanding of Assessment for Learning Programme

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bird, Fiona L.; Yucel, Robyn

    2013-01-01

    The Developing Understanding of Assessment for Learning (DUAL) programme was developed with the dual aims of improving both the quality and consistency of feedback students receive and the students' ability to use that feedback to improve. DUAL comprises a range of processes (including marking rubrics, sample reports, moderation discussions and…

  18. Improving Social Skills Assessment of Children with Disabilities: Construct Development and Applications of Technology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Irvin, Larry K.; Walker, Hill M.

    1993-01-01

    This article describes a prototype videodisc method of assessing social competence, knowledge, and perception in children with disabilities. It notes major hardware features (Macintosh IIx computer), software features (using SuperCard), improved examinee response modes, and improved data entry techniques. (DB)

  19. 42 CFR 482.21 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... projects, develop and implement an information technology system explicitly designed to improve patient... 42 Public Health 5 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement program. 482.21 Section 482.21 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID...

  20. 42 CFR 482.21 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... projects, develop and implement an information technology system explicitly designed to improve patient... 42 Public Health 5 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement program. 482.21 Section 482.21 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID...

  1. 42 CFR 482.21 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... projects, develop and implement an information technology system explicitly designed to improve patient... 42 Public Health 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement program. 482.21 Section 482.21 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID...

  2. 42 CFR 482.21 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... projects, develop and implement an information technology system explicitly designed to improve patient... 42 Public Health 5 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement program. 482.21 Section 482.21 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID...

  3. 42 CFR 482.21 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement program.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... projects, develop and implement an information technology system explicitly designed to improve patient... 42 Public Health 5 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement program. 482.21 Section 482.21 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID...

  4. Highly cross-linked ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene with improved fatigue resistance for total joint arthroplasty: recipient of the 2006 Hap Paul Award.

    PubMed

    Oral, Ebru; Malhi, Arnaz S; Wannomae, Keith K; Muratoglu, Orhun K

    2008-10-01

    Eliminating postirradiation melting and stabilizing the residual free radicals of radiation cross-linked ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) with vitamin E resulted in improved fatigue crack propagation resistance without compromising wear resistance. We designed a cantilever postbending test to determine the bending fatigue resistance of alpha-tocopherol-doped, irradiated UHMWPE (alpha-TPE) in comparison to conventional UHMWPE. The bending fatigue behavior of alpha-TPE was comparable to conventional UHMWPE. Upon accelerated aging, the fatigue resistance of alpha-TPE was substantially better than that of conventional UHMWPE. alpha-TPE has shown improved wear and oxidation resistance, migration stability of vitamin E, and improved mechanical properties. The use of this material may be beneficial in total knee arthroplasty where its improved fatigue properties may be an advantage under high stresses.

  5. Improving the assessment of ICESat water altimetry accuracy accounting for autocorrelation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdallah, Hani; Bailly, Jean-Stéphane; Baghdadi, Nicolas; Lemarquand, Nicolas

    2011-11-01

    Given that water resources are scarce and are strained by competing demands, it has become crucial to develop and improve techniques to observe the temporal and spatial variations in the inland water volume. Due to the lack of data and the heterogeneity of water level stations, remote sensing, and especially altimetry from space, appear as complementary techniques for water level monitoring. In addition to spatial resolution and sampling rates in space or time, one of the most relevant criteria for satellite altimetry on inland water is the accuracy of the elevation data. Here, the accuracy of ICESat LIDAR altimetry product is assessed over the Great Lakes in North America. The accuracy assessment method used in this paper emphasizes on autocorrelation in high temporal frequency ICESat measurements. It also considers uncertainties resulting from both in situ lake level reference data. A probabilistic upscaling process was developed. This process is based on several successive ICESat shots averaged in a spatial transect accounting for autocorrelation between successive shots. The method also applies pre-processing of the ICESat data with saturation correction of ICESat waveforms, spatial filtering to avoid measurement disturbance from the land-water transition effects on waveform saturation and data selection to avoid trends in water elevations across space. Initially this paper analyzes 237 collected ICESat transects, consistent with the available hydrometric ground stations for four of the Great Lakes. By adapting a geostatistical framework, a high frequency autocorrelation between successive shot elevation values was observed and then modeled for 45% of the 237 transects. The modeled autocorrelation was therefore used to estimate water elevations at the transect scale and the resulting uncertainty for the 117 transects without trend. This uncertainty was 8 times greater than the usual computed uncertainty, when no temporal correlation is taken into account. This

  6. Dependable Trend Measurement Is Not Just IRT Scaling: Commentary on "Linking Large-Scale Reading Assessments: Measuring International Trends over 40 Years"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mullis, Ina V. S.; Martin, Michael O.

    2016-01-01

    Linking IEA's international reading assessments across 40 years is an interesting endeavor from several perspectives. Being able to examine trends in reading achievement at the 4th grade over such a long period and relate these to policy changes during that time span is an attractive idea. However, this work brings to the fore many thorny issues…

  7. A Comparison between Robust z and 0.3-Logit Difference Procedures in Assessing Stability of Linking Items for the Rasch Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Huynh, Huynh; Rawls, Anita

    2011-01-01

    There are at least two procedures to assess item difficulty stability in the Rasch model: robust z procedure and "0.3 Logit Difference" procedure. The robust z procedure is a variation of the z statistic that reduces dependency on outliers. The "0.3 Logit Difference" procedure is based on experiences in Rasch linking for tests developed by…

  8. Creating a faculty community that values curricular assessment and improvement: one DNP program's experience.

    PubMed

    Meek, Julie A; Runshe, Debra; Young, Judith; Embree, Jennifer; Riner, Mary Beth

    2015-01-01

    Developing faculty ownership of ongoing curricular improvement presents educational and management challenges for schools of nursing, yet little has been published about which components help build a faculty community that values curricular assessment and improvement. The purpose of this case study was to describe key features of and faculty satisfaction with one school of nursing's doctor of nursing practice curricular assessment process, with a description of key considerations for developing an ePortfolio-supported curricular assessment process. ePortfolio matrices were used as a curricular organizing structure for mapping and scoring each completed student assignment to an American Association of Colleges of Nursing Essential descriptor using a rubric that measured evidence of student learning. Faculty satisfaction with the process was also evaluated. First-year results indicated high levels of faculty satisfaction with the assessment process. The initial findings led to four actions for curricular improvement and agreement to continue the assessment process biannually. The curricular assessment was successful in generating faculty satisfaction, identifying needed areas to improve the curriculum, and obtaining faculty agreement to continue the process. A faculty community supportive of curricular assessment is essential to a transformational learning environment that prepares future nursing leaders. PMID:25601241

  9. Assessing the Relationship of Knowledge Management Effectiveness and Assessment Quality Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ringhand, Darlene Gail

    2009-01-01

    Administrators at post-secondary institutions have found that national or regional accreditation is necessary to remain competitive in the higher education market with evidence of assessment considered a positive measure for accreditation. This quantitative study examined the correlation between the ranked levels of knowledge management within…

  10. Improving Educational Assessment: A Computer-Adaptive Multiple Choice Assessment Using NRET as the Scoring Method

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sie Hoe, Lau; Ngee Kiong, Lau; Kian Sam, Hong; Bin Usop, Hasbee

    2009-01-01

    Assessment is central to any educational process. Number Right (NR) scoring method is a conventional scoring method for multiple choice items, where students need to pick one option as the correct answer. One point is awarded for the correct response and zero for any other responses. However, it has been heavily criticized for guessing and failure…

  11. Linking research to practice: the organisation and implementation of The Netherlands health and social care improvement programmes.

    PubMed

    Ovretveit, John; Klazinga, Niek

    2013-02-01

    Both public and private health and social care services are facing increased and changing demands to improve quality and reduce costs. To enable local services to respond to these demands, governments and other organisations have established large scale improvement programmes. These usually seek to enable many services to make changes to apply proven improvements and to make use of quality improvement methods. The purpose of this paper is to provide an empirical description of how one organisation coordinated ten national improvement programmes between 2004 and 2010. It provides details which may be useful to others seeking to plan and implement such programmes, and also contributes to the understanding of knowledge translation and of network governance.

  12. Links between teacher assessment and child self-assessment of mental health and behavior among children affected by HIV/AIDS.

    PubMed

    Du, Hongfei; Li, Xiaoming; Weinstein, Traci L; Chi, Peilian; Zhao, Junfeng; Zhao, Guoxiang

    2015-01-01

    Teachers are considered to be one of the most important influences in the lives of students. Teachers' assessments of students may be a primary source of information on children's mental and behavioral health; however, this topic has received little attention in research. We examined this issue through linking teachers' ratings of students and mental and behavioral outcomes of children affected by HIV. The hypothesis is that teacher ratings will be predictive of specific child mental and behavioral health outcomes. A quantitative cross-sectional design with self-administered paper-and-pencil instruments was used. The sample included 1221 children (aged 6-18, grades 1-11) affected by HIV including 755 orphans who lost one or both parents to AIDS and 466 vulnerable children living with HIV-infected parents in a central province of China. The corresponding teacher sample included 185 participants. Each child completed an assessment inventory of demographic information and mental and behavioral health measures. Teachers completed a questionnaire about children's school performance. SEM analyses revealed a good model fit according to all fit indices: comparative fit index = 0.93, root mean square error of approximation = 0.07, and standardized root mean square residual = 0.04. Structural equation modeling revealed that problem ratings by teachers were positively associated with child loneliness and behavioral problems, social competence ratings by teachers were negatively related to child depression, and personal growth and social interaction ratings by teachers were negatively related to child loneliness, depression, and trauma. The current study represents a unique contribution to the field in that it recognizes that teachers can be a valuable source of information on children's psychological health. Results from this study have implications for health prevention and intervention for children and families suffering from HIV/AIDS.

  13. Linking large scale landscape change to water quality and quantity response in the lower Athabasca River, Canada: toward Cumulative Effects Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Seitz, N. E.; Westbrook, C. J.; Dubé, M.; Squires, A.

    2010-12-01

    Fast-paced watershed change, driven by anthropogenic development, is threatening the sustainability of freshwater resources across the globe. The accumulation of multiple landscape stressors that interact over space and time are defined as cumulative effects and are subject to Cumulative Effects Assessment (CEA), the process of evaluating the impact a development project may have on the ecological surroundings, under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act. One of the shortcomings of CEA for river systems is determining appropriate indicators of ecosystem health. The Athabasca River is amongst the most stressed river systems in Canada. The lower reaches of the Athabasca River (88,000 km2) were chosen for study because they have been subject to development of a diverse range of land uses. Our objectives were to: i) evaluate land use change in the lower reaches of the Athabasca River Basin from 1976-2006 and ii) identify appropriate CEA indicators by evaluating whether any anthropogenic land use changes can be linked to observed changes in river water quality and quantity in the form of stressor- and- effect- based relationships. Landscape change was quantified with datasets describing forest harvest, forest fires, census of agriculture, census of population, and water consumption, and satellite imagery. River response was quantified with concentration data for six solutes, specific conductance and turbidity, and discharge and river stage data. Linkages between landscape change and river response were evaluated using correlation analyses and step-wise, multiple regression. Notable landscape changes include increased industrial development (particularly expansion of oil sands mining) and forest cut-blocks, made evident from the satellite imagery and supporting ancillary datasets. Preliminary results suggest appropriate CEA indicators for discharge and water quality in this river may be water abstraction and forest harvest, respectively. The results highlight the

  14. Medical net cost of low alcohol consumption - a cause to reconsider improved health as the link between alcohol and wage?

    PubMed Central

    Jarl, Johan; Gerdtham, Ulf G; Selin, Klara Hradilova

    2009-01-01

    Background Studies have found a positive effect of low/moderate alcohol consumption on wages. This has often been explained by referring to epidemiological research showing that alcohol has protective effects on certain diseases, i.e., the health link is normally justified using selected epidemiological information. Few papers have tested this link between alcohol and health explicitly, including all diseases where alcohol has been shown to have either a protective or a detrimental effect. Aim Based on the full epidemiological information, we study the effect of low alcohol consumption on health, in order to determine if it is reasonable to explain the positive effect of low consumption on wages using the epidemiological literature. Methods We apply a non-econometrical cost-of-illness approach to calculate the medical care cost and episodes attributable to low alcohol consumption. Results Low alcohol consumption carries a net cost for medical care and there is a net benefit only for the oldest age group (80+). Low alcohol consumption also causes more episodes in medical care then what is saved, although inpatient care for women and older men show savings. Conclusion Using health as an explanation in the alcohol-wage literature appears invalid when applying the full epidemiological information instead of selected information. PMID:19852776

  15. DC-DC Type High-Frequency Link DC for Improved Power Quality of Cascaded Multilevel Inverter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sadikin, Muhammad; Senjyu, Tomonobu; Yona, Atsushi

    2013-06-01

    Multilevel inverters are emerging as a new breed of power converter options for power system applications. Recent advances in power switching devices enabled the suitability of multilevel inverters for high voltage and high power applications because they are connecting several devices in series without the need of component matching. Usually, a transformerless battery energy storage system, based on a cascaded multilevel inverter, is used as a measure for voltage and frequency deviations. System can be reduced in size, weight, and cost of energy storage system. High-frequency link circuit topology is advantageous in realizing compact and light-weight power converters for uninterruptible power supply systems, new energy systems using photovoltaic-cells, fuel-cells and so on. This paper presents a DC-DC type high-frequency link DC (HFLDC) cascaded multilevel inverter. Each converter cell is implemented a control strategy for two H-bridge inverters that are controlled with the same multicarrier pulse width modulation (PWM) technique. The proposed cascaded multilevel inverter generates lower voltage total harmonic distortion (THD) in comparison with conventional cascaded multilevel inverter. Digital simulations are carried out using PSCAD/EMTDC to validate the performance of the proposed cascaded multilevel inverter.

  16. Health impact assessment: assessing opportunities and barriers to intersectoral health improvement in an expanded European Union

    PubMed Central

    Lock, K.; McKee, M.

    2005-01-01

    On 1 May 2004 the European Union (EU) underwent unprecedented enlargement, from 15 to 25 countries, increasing its population by 20% to over 450 million. Although EU law has limited specific competence in the area of health, its influence on other policy sectors such as agriculture, trade, and employment has wide ranging implications for health. Yet with the exception of provisions on communicable disease control and food safety, public health considerations have played little part in negotiations on EU accession. This paper argues for an intersectoral public health approach in the expanded EU. It reviews the legal basis for assessing the health impacts of policy in the EU and, using health impact assessment as a case study, it examines how well the new member states may be prepared to tackle intersectoral public health action within the constraints imposed by EU policy. PMID:15831682

  17. Microencapsulation of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG by Transglutaminase Cross-Linked Soy Protein Isolate to Improve Survival in Simulated Gastrointestinal Conditions and Yoghurt.

    PubMed

    Li, Chun; Wang, Chun-Ling; Sun, Yu; Li, Ai-Li; Liu, Fei; Meng, Xiang-Chen

    2016-07-01

    Microencapsulation is an effective way to improve the survival of probiotics in simulated gastrointestinal (GI) conditions and yoghurt. In this study, microencapsulation of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (LGG) was prepared by first cross-linking of soy protein isolate (SPI) using transglutaminase (TGase), followed by embedding the bacteria in cross-linked SPI, and then freeze-drying. The survival of microencapsulated LGG was evaluated in simulated GI conditions and yoghurt. The results showed that a high microencapsulation yield of 67.4% was obtained. The diameter of the microencapsulated LGG was in the range of 52.83 to 275.16 μm. Water activity did not differ between free and microencapsulated LGG after freeze-drying. The survival of microencapsulated LGG under simulated gastric juice (pH 2.5 and 3.6), intestinal juice (0.3% and 2% bile salt) and storage at 4 °C were significantly higher than that of free cells. The survival of LGG in TGase cross-linked SPI microcapsules was also improved to 14.5 ± 0.5% during storage in yoghurt. The microencapsulation of probiotics by TGase-treated SPI can be a suitable alternative to polysaccharide gelation technologies.

  18. Effects of porogen and cross-linking agents on improved properties of silica-supported macroporous chitosan membranes for enzyme immobilization.

    PubMed

    Yang, Wen-Yi; Thirumavalavan, Munusamy; Lee, Jiunn-Fwu

    2015-04-01

    A series of silica-supported macroporous chitosan membranes (CM15, CM20, and CM25) was prepared by varying the ratio of 70-230-μm-sized silica particles. These synthesized membranes were further cross-linked using different cross-linking agents for covalent immobilization of biological macromolecules especially enzymes and in this study, Bovine serum albumin and laccase. Effects of silica particle and cross-linking agents on their flow rates, surface properties, and chemical and biological properties were explored. Pore size of as-synthesized membranes was 0.1192, 0.1268, and 0.1623 μm, respectively, for CM15, CM20, and CM25. The effect of various parameters such as temperature and pH on the relative activity of both free and immobilized enzymes was studied in details. The relative enzyme activity upon immobilization was greatly enhanced several folds of its original activity. The stability of enzymes over a range of temperature and pH was significantly improved by immobilization. The optimum temperature and pH were determined to be 50 °C and pH 3, respectively, for both the free and the immobilized enzymes. The immobilized enzyme possessed good operational stability and reusability properties that support its potentiality for practical applications. Among three membranes, CM25 is confirmed to be efficient candidate due to its improved characteristics. PMID:25432857

  19. Anticancer Potencies of Pt(II) - and Pd(II)-linked M2L4 Coordination Capsules with Improved Selectivity.

    PubMed

    Ahmedova, Anife; Momekova, Denitsa; Yamashina, Masahiro; Shestakova, Pavletta; Momekov, Georgi; Akita, Munetaka; Yoshizawa, Michito

    2016-02-18

    Pt(II) - and Pd(II)-linked M2 L4 coordination capsules, providing a confined cavity encircled by polyaromatic frameworks, exhibit anticancer activities superior to cisplatin against two types of leukemic cells (HL-60 and SKW-3) and pronounced toxicity against cisplatin-resistant cells (HL-60/CDDP). Notably, the cytotoxic selectivities of the Pt(II) and Pd(II) capsules toward cancerous cells are up to 5.3-fold higher than that of cisplatin, as estimated through the non-malignant/malignant-cells toxicity ratio employing normal kidney cells (HEK-293). In addition, the anticancer activity of the coordination capsules can be easily altered upon encapsulation of organic guest molecules.

  20. Efficiency Improvement of Action Acquisition in Two-Link Robot Arm Using Fuzzy ART with Genetic Algorithm

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotani, Naoki; Taniguchi, Kenji

    An efficient learning method using Fuzzy ART with Genetic Algorithm is proposed. The proposed method reduces the number of trials by using a policy acquired in other tasks because a reinforcement learning needs a lot of the number of trials until an agent acquires appropriate actions. Fuzzy ART is an incremental unsupervised learning algorithm in responce to arbitrary sequences of analog or binary input vectors. Our proposed method gives a policy by crossover or mutation when an agent observes unknown states. Selection controls the category proliferation problem of Fuzzy ART. The effectiveness of the proposed method was verified with the simulation of the reaching problem for the two-link robot arm. The proposed method achieves a reduction of both the number of trials and the number of states.

  1. Evaluating Ireland's IBIA as an approach to improving the quality and effectiveness of biodiversity impact assessment.

    PubMed

    González, Ainhoa; Hochstrasser, Tamara; Fry, John; Scott, Paul; Grist, Berna; Jones, Mike

    2013-12-15

    The assessment of potential impacts of plans, programmes and projects on biodiversity is required under various legislative remits (including the European Union's Habitats, Strategic Environmental Assessment and Environmental Impact Assessment Directives). The objective of such assessments is to ensure that potential negative impacts on both protected nature conservation sites and species and wider biodiversity are efficiently identified in a timely manner, quantified and subsequently avoided or mitigated, while enhancing positive effects. The procedural requirements of these legal obligations vary and, as a result, differing methodological steps, data gathering and analysis methods, and impact assessment techniques are commonly applied under each individual process, often leading to uncoordinated assessment efforts and results (in terms, for example, of scope, scale and assessment detail). In order to address these issues and improve current practice, an Integrated Biodiversity Impact Assessment (IBIA) methodology has been developed in Ireland with the overall aim of providing a holistic and systematic approach to biodiversity impact assessment. The IBIA framework seeks to ensure that relevant procedures are effectively integrated, time and resource efficiencies are optimised, and unnecessary duplication avoided. Particular emphasis is given to compliance with legal requirements, integration and communication of scientific knowledge, spatial assessment and biodiversity data considerations, and integration of biodiversity aspects with a variety of other concerns during the plan-making process. This paper presents the IBIA methodology and critically examines current key issues in biodiversity impact assessment that can be potentially addressed through IBIA, as well as remaining challenges. In addition, and in order to support the examination of the anticipated benefits of using this new methodological framework (such as biodiversity-inclusive planning through

  2. Limitations of A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) and suggestions for improvement.

    PubMed

    Burda, Brittany U; Holmer, Haley K; Norris, Susan L

    2016-01-01

    A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews (AMSTAR) is a commonly used tool to assess the quality of systematic reviews; however, modifications are needed to improve its usability, reliability, and validity. In this commentary, we summarize our experience and the experiences of others who have used AMSTAR and provide suggestions for its improvement. We propose that AMSTAR should modify a number of individual items and their instructions and responses to make them more congruent with an assessment of the methodologic quality of systematic reviews. We recommend adding new items and modifying existing items to assess the quality of the body of evidence and to address subgroup and sensitivity analyses. More detailed instructions are needed for scoring individual items across multiple reviewers, and we recommend that a total score should not be calculated. These suggestions need to be empirically tested prior to implementation. PMID:27072548

  3. Improving Responses to Individual and Family Crises. Learning Guide 10. Project Connect. Linking Self-Family-Work.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Inc., Hartford, CT.

    This learning guide on improving responses to individual and family crises is part of a series of learning guides developed for competency-based adult consumer and homemaking education programs in community colleges, adult education centers, community centers, and the workplace. Focus is on the connections among personal, family, and job…

  4. Improving Individual, Child, and Family Nutrition, Health and Wellness. Secondary Learning Guide 8. Project Connect. Linking Self-Family-Work.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Inc., Hartford, CT.

    This competency-based secondary learning guide on improving individual, child, and family nutrition is part of a series that are adaptations of guides developed for adult consumer and homemaking education programs. The guides provide students with experiences that help them learn to do the following: make decisions; use creative approaches to…

  5. The Clash of Evaluations: In Search of the Missing Link between School Accountability and School Improvement--Experiences from Cyprus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brauckmann, Stefan; Pashiardis, Petros

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: The main purpose of this paper is to examine more closely the tension between, on the one hand, forms of internal school improvement based on internal evaluation measures and, on the other hand, control and legitimisation needs grounded on external evaluation measures. Design/methodology/approach: The clash of these forms of evaluation is…

  6. Linked models to assess the impacts of climate change on nitrogen in a Norwegian river basin and FJORD system.

    PubMed

    Kaste, Ø; Wright, R F; Barkved, L J; Bjerkeng, B; Engen-Skaugen, T; Magnusson, J; Saelthun, N R

    2006-07-15

    Dynamically downscaled data from two Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Models (AOGCMs), ECHAM4 from the Max-Planck Institute (MPI), Germany and HadAm3H from the Hadley Centre (HAD), UK, driven with two scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions (IS92a and A2, respectively) were used to make climate change projections. These projections were then used to drive four effect models linked to assess the effects on hydrology, and nitrogen (N) concentrations and fluxes, in the Bjerkreim river basin (685-km(2)) and its coastal fjord, southwestern Norway. The four effect models were the hydrological model HBV, the water quality models MAGIC, INCA-N and the NIVA FJORD model. The downscaled climate scenarios project a general temperature increase in the study region of approximately 1 degrees C by 2030-2049 (MPI IS92a) and approximately 3 degrees C by 2071-2100 (HAD A2). Both scenarios imply increased winter precipitation, whereas the projections of summer and autumn precipitation are quite different, with the MPI scenario projecting a slight increase and the HAD scenario a significant decrease. As a response to increased winter temperature, the HBV model simulates a dramatic reduction of snow accumulation in the upper parts of the catchment, which in turn lead to higher runoff during winter and lower runoff during snowmelt in the spring. With the HAD scenario, runoff in summer and early autumn is substantially reduced as a result of reduced precipitation, increased temperatures and thereby increased evapotranspiration. The water quality models, MAGIC and INCA-N project no major changes in nitrate (NO(3)(-)) concentrations and fluxes within the MPI scenario, but a significant increase in concentrations and a 40-50% increase in fluxes in the HAD scenario. As a consequence, the acidification of the river could increase, thus offsetting ongoing recovery from acidification due to reductions in acid deposition. Additionally, the increased N loading may stimulate growth of N

  7. Linked models to assess the impacts of climate change on nitrogen in a Norwegian river basin and FJORD system.

    PubMed

    Kaste, Ø; Wright, R F; Barkved, L J; Bjerkeng, B; Engen-Skaugen, T; Magnusson, J; Saelthun, N R

    2006-07-15

    Dynamically downscaled data from two Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Models (AOGCMs), ECHAM4 from the Max-Planck Institute (MPI), Germany and HadAm3H from the Hadley Centre (HAD), UK, driven with two scenarios of greenhouse gas emissions (IS92a and A2, respectively) were used to make climate change projections. These projections were then used to drive four effect models linked to assess the effects on hydrology, and nitrogen (N) concentrations and fluxes, in the Bjerkreim river basin (685-km(2)) and its coastal fjord, southwestern Norway. The four effect models were the hydrological model HBV, the water quality models MAGIC, INCA-N and the NIVA FJORD model. The downscaled climate scenarios project a general temperature increase in the study region of approximately 1 degrees C by 2030-2049 (MPI IS92a) and approximately 3 degrees C by 2071-2100 (HAD A2). Both scenarios imply increased winter precipitation, whereas the projections of summer and autumn precipitation are quite different, with the MPI scenario projecting a slight increase and the HAD scenario a significant decrease. As a response to increased winter temperature, the HBV model simulates a dramatic reduction of snow accumulation in the upper parts of the catchment, which in turn lead to higher runoff during winter and lower runoff during snowmelt in the spring. With the HAD scenario, runoff in summer and early autumn is substantially reduced as a result of reduced precipitation, increased temperatures and thereby increased evapotranspiration. The water quality models, MAGIC and INCA-N project no major changes in nitrate (NO(3)(-)) concentrations and fluxes within the MPI scenario, but a significant increase in concentrations and a 40-50% increase in fluxes in the HAD scenario. As a consequence, the acidification of the river could increase, thus offsetting ongoing recovery from acidification due to reductions in acid deposition. Additionally, the increased N loading may stimulate growth of N

  8. Assessing the population health impact of market interventions to improve access to antiretroviral treatment.

    PubMed

    Bärnighausen, Till; Kyle, Margaret; Salomon, Joshua A; Waning, Brenda

    2012-09-01

    Despite extraordinary global progress in increasing coverage of antiretroviral treatment (ART), the majority of people needing ART currently are not receiving treatment. Both the number of people needing ART and the average ART price per patient-year are expected to increase in coming years, which will dramatically raise funding needs for ART. Several international organizations are using interventions in ART markets to decrease ART price or to improve ART quality, delivery and innovation, with the ultimate goal of improving population health. These organizations need to select those market interventions that are most likely to substantially affect population health outcomes (ex ante assessment) and to evaluate whether implemented interventions have improved health outcomes (ex post assessment). We develop a framework to structure ex ante and ex post assessment of the population health impact of market interventions, which is transmitted through effects in markets and health systems. Ex ante assessment should include evaluation of the safety and efficacy of the ART products whose markets will be affected by the intervention; theoretical consideration of the mechanisms through which the intervention will affect population health; and predictive modelling to estimate the potential population health impact of the intervention. For ex post assessment, analysts need to consider which outcomes to estimate empirically and which to model based on empirical findings and understanding of the economic and biological mechanisms along the causal pathway from market intervention to population health. We discuss methods for ex post assessment and analyse assessment issues (unintended intervention effects, interaction effects between different interventions, and assessment impartiality and cost). We offer seven recommendations for ex ante and ex post assessment of population health impact of market interventions.

  9. Assessing the population health impact of market interventions to improve access to antiretroviral treatment

    PubMed Central

    Bärnighausen, Till; Kyle, Margaret; Salomon, Joshua A; Waning, Brenda

    2012-01-01

    Despite extraordinary global progress in increasing coverage of antiretroviral treatment (ART), the majority of people needing ART currently are not receiving treatment. Both the number of people needing ART and the average ART price per patient-year are expected to increase in coming years, which will dramatically raise funding needs for ART. Several international organizations are using interventions in ART markets to decrease ART price or to improve ART quality, delivery and innovation, with the ultimate goal of improving population health. These organizations need to select those market interventions that are most likely to substantially affect population health outcomes (ex ante assessment) and to evaluate whether implemented interventions have improved health outcomes (ex post assessment). We develop a framework to structure ex ante and ex post assessment of the population health impact of market interventions, which is transmitted through effects in markets and health systems. Ex ante assessment should include evaluation of the safety and efficacy of the ART products whose markets will be affected by the intervention; theoretical consideration of the mechanisms through which the intervention will affect population health; and predictive modelling to estimate the potential population health impact of the intervention. For ex post assessment, analysts need to consider which outcomes to estimate empirically and which to model based on empirical findings and understanding of the economic and biological mechanisms along the causal pathway from market intervention to population health. We discuss methods for ex post assessment and analyse assessment issues (unintended intervention effects, interaction effects between different interventions, and assessment impartiality and cost). We offer seven recommendations for ex ante and ex post assessment of population health impact of market interventions. PMID:21914713

  10. Linking public health training and health systems development in sub-Saharan Africa: opportunities for improvement and collaboration.

    PubMed

    Fonn, Sharon

    2011-01-01

    In sub-Saharan Africa previous health gains have been reversed and many countries are not on track to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The reasons are multifaceted but relate fundamentally to poorly functioning health systems and the HIV, AIDS, and tuberculosis epidemics. Although population health can be improved through specific health interventions that target high burden diseases, these interventions must be offered within a functional health system for optimal effectiveness. Schools of Public Health in Africa should respond to the many systemic issues that confound improvements in population level health through reviewing approaches to health professional training that incorporates a public health approach, focusing on health systems research; collaboration, advocacy and networking; and strengthening health systems management. Institutional mechanisms to define joint research agendas and two-way exchanges between universities and national health systems are required. PMID:21730993

  11. Hybrid robust model based on an improved functional link neural network integrating with partial least square (IFLNN-PLS) and its application to predicting key process variables.

    PubMed

    He, Yan-Lin; Xu, Yuan; Geng, Zhi-Qiang; Zhu, Qun-Xiong

    2016-03-01

    In this paper, a hybrid robust model based on an improved functional link neural network integrating with partial least square (IFLNN-PLS) is proposed. Firstly, an improved functional link neural network with small norm of expanded weights and high input-output correlation (SNEWHIOC-FLNN) was proposed for enhancing the generalization performance of FLNN. Unlike the traditional FLNN, the expanded variables of the original inputs are not directly used as the inputs in the proposed SNEWHIOC-FLNN model. The original inputs are attached to some small norm of expanded weights. As a result, the correlation coefficient between some of the expanded variables and the outputs is enhanced. The larger the correlation coefficient is, the more relevant the expanded variables tend to be. In the end, the expanded variables with larger correlation coefficient are selected as the inputs to improve the performance of the traditional FLNN. In order to test the proposed SNEWHIOC-FLNN model, three UCI (University of California, Irvine) regression datasets named Housing, Concrete Compressive Strength (CCS), and Yacht Hydro Dynamics (YHD) are selected. Then a hybrid model based on the improved FLNN integrating with partial least square (IFLNN-PLS) was built. In IFLNN-PLS model, the connection weights are calculated using the partial least square method but not the error back propagation algorithm. Lastly, IFLNN-PLS was developed as an intelligent measurement model for accurately predicting the key variables in the Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) process and the High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) process. Simulation results illustrated that the IFLNN-PLS could significant improve the prediction performance. PMID:26685746

  12. Fault2SHA- A European Working group to link faults and Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Assessment communities in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scotti, Oona; Peruzza, Laura

    2016-04-01

    The key questions we ask are: What is the best strategy to fill in the gap in knowledge and know-how in Europe when considering faults in seismic hazard assessments? Are field geologists providing the relevant information for seismic hazard assessment? Are seismic hazard analysts interpreting field data appropriately? Is the full range of uncertainties associated with the characterization of faults correctly understood and propagated in the computations? How can fault-modellers contribute to a better representation of the long-term behaviour of fault-networks in seismic hazard studies? Providing answers to these questions is fundamental, in order to reduce the consequences of future earthquakes and improve the reliability of seismic hazard assessments. An informal working group was thus created at a meeting in Paris in November 2014, partly financed by the Institute of Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety, with the aim to motivate exchanges between field geologists, fault modellers and seismic hazard practitioners. A variety of approaches were presented at the meeting and a clear gap emerged between some field geologists, that are not necessarily familiar with probabilistic seismic hazard assessment methods and needs and practitioners that do not necessarily propagate the "full" uncertainty associated with the characterization of faults. The group thus decided to meet again a year later in Chieti (Italy), to share concepts and ideas through a specific exercise on a test case study. Some solutions emerged but many problems of seismic source characterizations with people working in the field as well as with people tackling models of interacting faults remained. Now, in Wien, we want to open the group and launch a call for the European community at large to contribute to the discussion. The 2016 EGU session Fault2SHA is motivated by such an urgency to increase the number of round tables on this topic and debate on the peculiarities of using faults in seismic hazard

  13. Linking reproduction and survival can improve model estimates of vital rates derived from limited time-series counts of pinnipeds and other species.

    PubMed

    Battaile, Brian C; Trites, Andrew W

    2013-01-01

    We propose a method to model the physiological link between somatic survival and reproductive output that reduces the number of parameters that need to be estimated by models designed to determine combinations of birth and death rates that produce historic counts of animal populations. We applied our Reproduction and Somatic Survival Linked (RSSL) method to the population counts of three species of North Pacific pinnipeds (harbor seals, Phoca vitulina richardii (Gray, 1864); northern fur seals, Callorhinus ursinus (L., 1758); and Steller sea lions, Eumetopias jubatus (Schreber, 1776))--and found our model outperformed traditional models when fitting vital rates to common types of limited datasets, such as those from counts of pups and adults. However, our model did not perform as well when these basic counts of animals were augmented with additional observations of ratios of juveniles to total non-pups. In this case, the failure of the ratios to improve model performance may indicate that the relationship between survival and reproduction is redefined or disassociated as populations change over time or that the ratio of juveniles to total non-pups is not a meaningful index of vital rates. Overall, our RSSL models show advantages to linking survival and reproduction within models to estimate the vital rates of pinnipeds and other species that have limited time-series of counts. PMID:24324541

  14. Applying Transactional Analysis and Personality Assessment to Improve Patient Counseling and Communication Skills

    PubMed Central

    Lawrence, Lesa

    2007-01-01

    Objective To teach pharmacy students how to apply transactional analysis and personality assessment to patient counseling to improve communication. Design A lecture series for a required pharmacy communications class was developed to teach pharmacy students how to apply transactional analysis and personality assessment to patient counseling. Students were asked to apply these techniques and to report their experiences. A personality self-assessment was also conducted. Assessment After attending the lecture series, students were able to apply the techniques and demonstrated an understanding of the psychological factors that may affect patient communication, an appreciation for the diversity created by different personality types, the ability to engage patients based on adult-to-adult interaction cues, and the ability to adapt the interactive patient counseling model to different personality traits. Conclusion Students gained a greater awareness of transactional analysis and personality assessment by applying these concepts. This understanding will help students communicate more effectively with patients. PMID:17786269

  15. Angiopoietin-2 Serum Levels Improve Noninvasive Fibrosis Staging in Chronic Hepatitis C: A Fibrogenic-Angiogenic Link

    PubMed Central

    Hernández-Bartolomé, Ángel; López-Rodríguez, Rosario; Rodríguez-Muñoz, Yolanda; Martín-Vílchez, Samuel; Borque, María Jesús; García-Buey, Luisa; González-Moreno, Leticia; Real, Yolanda; Moreno-Otero, Ricardo; Sanz-Cameno, Paloma

    2013-01-01

    Aims Accurate liver fibrosis staging is crucial for the management of chronic hepatitis C (CHC). The invasiveness and cost burden of liver biopsy have driven the search for new noninvasive biomarkers of fibrosis. Based on the link between serum angiopoietin-1 and 2 levels and CHC progression, we aimed to determine the value of these angiogenic factors as noninvasive biomarkers of liver fibrosis. Methods Serum levels of angiopoietin-1 and -2 were measured by ELISA in 108 CHC patients who underwent pretreatment liver biopsy. The correlation between angiopoietins and clinical and demographic variables with liver fibrosis was analyzed by univariate regression. Significant factors were then subjected to multivariate analysis, from which we constructed a novel noninvasive liver fibrosis index (AngioScore), whose performance was validated in an independent series of 71 CHC patients. The accuracy of this model was compared with other documented fibrosis algorithms by De Long test. Results Angiopoietins correlated significantly with hepatic fibrosis; however, only angiopoietin-2 was retained in the final model, which also included age, platelets, AST, INR, and GGT. The model was validated and behaved considerably better than other fibrosis indices in discriminating all, significant, moderate and severe liver fibrosis (0.886, 0.920, 0.923). Using clinically relevant cutoffs, we classified CHC patients by discarding significant fibrosis and diagnosing moderate and severe fibrosis with greater accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity. Conclusions Our novel noninvasive liver fibrosis model, based on serum angiopoietin-2 levels, outperforms other indices and should help substantially in managing CHC and monitoring long-term follow-up prognosis. PMID:23823085

  16. Linking the SASSCAL WeatherNet and data management/rescue activities to provide consistent information for climate change assessments in Southern Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helmschrot, J.; Kaspar, F.; Muche, G.; Hillmann, T.; Kanyanga, J.; Butale, M.; Nascimento, D.; Josenhans, K.; Falanga, E.; Neto, F. O. S.; Kruger, S.; Juergens, N.

    2014-12-01

    Many countries of Southern Africa face inadequate weather monitoring networks to provide reliable and consistent information for the development of efficient management strategies for sustainable water and land resources management, drought and flood risk analysis and forecasts as well as climate change impacts assessments. In addition, some existing networks are characterized by station data showing notable gaps in long-term observations. On the other hand, useful climate information is saved in historical documents and archives, but only barely explored up to now. Such documents are also available in archives of European meteorological services, partly also not yet in digital format. A main aim of the SASSCAL Initiative (Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management; www.sasscal.org) is to improve the availability of reliable meteorological baseline data along with a set of analytical methods to strengthen the research capacities in the SASSCAL region including Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia, and therewith to support and integrate information of existing national monitoring networks of the Southern African region. In close cooperation with the national weather authorities and various research institutions of the SASSCAL region, the above mentioned deficits are specifically addressed by i) extending the existing national monitoring networks through additional automatic weather stations and their integration in the SASSCAL WeatherNet which in near future hosts about 130 stations, ii) contributing to the development of Climate Data Management Systems (CDMS) at the national weather authorities in Angola, Botswana and Zambia and iii) the provision of additional time series of climate data based on the historic documents from various archives in all countries. The paper presents first results and shows how these efforts are linked to provide consistent climate information for Southern Africa in order to

  17. Linking fate model in freshwater and PBPK model to assess human internal dosimetry of B(a)P associated with drinking water.

    PubMed

    Ciffroy, Philippe; Tanaka, T; Johansson, E; Brochot, C

    2011-08-01

    In the present study, we demonstrate an integrated modeling approach for predicting internal tissue concentrations of chemicals by coupling a multimedia environmental model and a generic physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) model. A case study was designed for a region situated on the Seine river watershed, downstream of the Paris megacity, and for benzo(a)pyrene emitted from industrial zones in the region. In this case study, these two models are linked only by water intake from riverine system for the multimedia model into human body for the PBPK model. The limited monitoring data sets of B(a)P concentrations in bottom sediment and in raw river water, obtained at the downstream of Paris, were used to re-construct long-term daily concentrations of B(a)P in river water. The re-construction of long-term series of B(a)P level played a key role for the intermediate model calibration (conducted in multimedia model) and thus for improving model input to PBPK model. In order to take into account the parametric uncertainty in the model inputs, some input parameters relevant for the multimedia model were given by probability density functions (PDFs); some generic PDFs were updated with site-specific measurements by a Bayesian approach. The results of this study showed that the multimedia model fits well with actual annual measurements in sediments over one decade. No accumulation of B(a)P in the organs was observed. In conclusion, this case study demonstrated the feasibility of a full-chain assessment combining multimedia environmental predictions and PBPK modeling, including uncertainty and sensitivity analyses.

  18. Improvement of desolvation and resilience of alginate binders for Si-based anodes in a lithium ion battery by calcium-mediated cross-linking.

    PubMed

    Yoon, Jihee; Oh, Dongyeop X; Jo, Changshin; Lee, Jinwoo; Hwang, Dong Soo

    2014-12-14

    Si-based anodes in lithium ion batteries (LIBs) have exceptionally high theoretical capacity, but the use of a Si-based anode in LIBs is problematic because the charging-discharging process can fracture the Si particles. Alginate and its derivatives show promise as Si particle binders in the anode. We show that calcium-mediated "egg-box" electrostatic cross-linking of alginate improves toughness, resilience, electrolyte desolvation of the alginate binder as a Si-binder for LIBs. Consequently, the improved mechanical properties of the calcium alginate binder compared to the sodium alginate binder and other commercial binders extend the lifetime and increase the capacity of Si-based anodes in LIBs.

  19. Evaluability Assessment of the Title II Basic Skills Improvement Program: Implications for State-Level Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scott, Aurelia C.; Bourexis, Patricia S.

    The implications of the lessons learned through an evaluability assessment (EA) of the Title II Basic Skills Improvement Program (BSIP) for State Education Agency (SEA) support of model demonstration programs are discussed. The purposes, methodology and uses of the EA process are presented. Also included is a discussion of the details of the…

  20. The Ticket to Retention: A Classroom Assessment Technique Designed to Improve Student Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Divoll, Kent A.; Browning, Sandra T.; Vesey, Winona M.

    2012-01-01

    Classroom assessment techniques (CATs) or other closure activities are widely promoted for use in college classrooms. However, research on whether CATs improve student learning are mixed. The authors posit that the results are mixed because CATs were designed to "help teachers find out what students are learning in the classroom and how well…

  1. Improve Oral Training: The Method of Innovation Assessment on English Speaking Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Li-Jyu; Chang, Hung-Fan

    2011-01-01

    The advantages of portfolios come from observing the student learning process and recording feedback. Students utilized their own learning portfolios to do learning assessment and self-correction. The research that has been done in Taiwan has shown that using a portfolio is effective in improving English speaking performances (ESP). The purpose of…

  2. Improving the Memory Sections of the Standardized Assessment of Concussion Using Item Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McElhiney, Danielle; Kang, Minsoo; Starkey, Chad; Ragan, Brian

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to improve the immediate and delayed memory sections of the Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC) by identifying a list of more psychometrically sound items (words). A total of 200 participants with no history of concussion in the previous six months (aged 19.60 ± 2.20 years; N?=?93 men, N?=?107 women)…

  3. Using the Madeline Hunter Direct Instruction Model to Improve Outcomes Assessments in Marketing Programs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steward, Michelle D.; Martin, Gregory S.; Burns, Alvin C.; Bush, Ronald F.

    2010-01-01

    This study introduces marketing educators to the Madeline Hunter Direct Instruction Model (HDIM) as an approach to significantly and substantially improve student learning through course-embedded assessment. The effectiveness of the method is illustrated in three different marketing courses taught by three different marketing professors. The…

  4. Determining Faculty Effectiveness. Assessing Teaching, Research, and Service for Personnel Decisions and Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Centra, John A.

    An authoritative, research-based guide to determining faculty effectiveness is offered. Assessment of classroom teaching, scholarship and research, public service, and student advising are faculty tasks examined for personnel decisions and general improvement. Emphasis on educational accountability in academe, due to declining enrollments and…

  5. Assessing and Improving Learning in Business Schools: Direct and Indirect Measures of Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weldy, Teresa G.; Turnipseed, David L.

    2010-01-01

    Institutions of higher education are scrambling to make program changes to improve the quality of learning and assessment of learning in the face of pressure from multiple constituencies. Business educators are incorporating various active learning techniques to enhance learning and application of skills and knowledge to real-world situations.…

  6. Improving Student Learning in Engineering Discipline Using Student- and Lecturer-Led Assessment Approaches

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Imam, Boulent; Rafiq, M. Imran; Kumar, Prashant

    2011-01-01

    This article investigates the effectiveness of two distinct formative assessment methods for promoting deep learning and hence improving the performance amongst engineering students. The first method, applied for undergraduate students, employs a lecturer-led approach whereas the second method uses a student-led approach and e-learning for…

  7. Multisource Feedback Systems for Quality Improvement in the Health Professions: Assessing Occupational Therapists in Practice

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Violato, Claudio; Worsfold, Leanne; Polgar, Jan Miller

    2009-01-01

    Introduction: The objective was to develop and psychometrically evaluate (feasibility, reliability, validity) a questionnaire-based multisource feedback (MSF) system for quality improvement (QI) for occupational therapists (OTs). Methods: Surveys were developed for assessment of OTs by clients, co-workers, and themselves, respectively, using…

  8. Assessment of the Effectiveness of an Online Learning System in Improving Student Test Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buttner, E. Holly; Black, Aprille Noe

    2014-01-01

    Colleges and universities, particularly public institutions, are facing higher enrollments and declining resources from state and federal governments. In this resource-constrained environment, faculty are seeking more efficient and effective teaching strategies to improve student learning and test performance. The authors assessed an online…

  9. 42 CFR 418.58 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 3 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement. 418.58 Section 418.58 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID SERVICES, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICARE PROGRAM (CONTINUED) HOSPICE CARE Conditions...

  10. Assessing and Improving the Quality of Undergraduate Teaching in China: The Course Experience Questionnaire

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yin, Hongbiao; Wang, Wenlan

    2015-01-01

    Assessing and improving the quality of undergraduate teaching is an important issue in China. Using the Course Experience Questionnaire, this study examined the quality of undergraduate teaching by investigating the relationships between students' course experience, the learning outcomes demonstrated by the students and the learning environment.…

  11. Assessment of Instructional and Administrative Strategies Applied by Principals to Improve Academic Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Akiri, Agharuwhe A.

    2014-01-01

    The study is based on the assessment of instructional and administrative strategies applied by principals to improve academic performance of students in schools. This simply means that the individual talents of everyone in school needs to be maximized for the effective benefit of the school, students, parents, and the society at large. It is…

  12. USING PROTEOMICS TO IMPROVE RISK ASSESSMENT OF HUMAN EXPOSURE TO ENVIRONMENTAL AGENTS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Using Proteomics to Improve Risk Assessment of Human Exposure to Environmental Agents.
    Authors: Witold M. Winnik
    Key Words (4): Proteomics, LC/MS, Western Blots, 1D and 2D gel electrophoresis, toxicity

    The goal of this project is to use proteomics for the character...

  13. Providing Validity Evidence to Improve the Assessment of English Language Learners. CRESST Report 738

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolf, Mikyung Kim; Herman, Joan L.; Kim, Jinok; Abedi, Jamal; Leon, Seth; Griffin, Noelle; Bachman, Patina L.; Chang, Sandy M.; Farnsworth, Tim; Jung, Hyekyung; Nollner, Julie; Shin, Hye Won

    2008-01-01

    This research project addresses the validity of assessments used to measure the performance of English language learners (ELLs), such as those mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB, 2002). The goals of the research are to help educators understand and improve ELL performance by investigating the validity of their current…

  14. Improving the Effectiveness of Feedback by Use of Assessed Reflections and Withholding of Grades

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jackson, Maria; Marks, Leah

    2016-01-01

    We wished to improve levels of student engagement with feedback within the context of our postgraduate masters-level programme, and therefore evaluated the use of two interventions: assessed reflections on feedback and grade-withholding. In questionnaires students reported more engagement with feedback after the interventions, with 77% in favour…

  15. 42 CFR 485.917 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ...: SPECIALIZED PROVIDERS Conditions of Participation: Community Mental Health Centers (CMHCs) § 485.917 Condition... 42 Public Health 5 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement. 485.917 Section 485.917 Public Health CENTERS FOR MEDICARE & MEDICAID...

  16. Venous thromboembolism (VTE) risk assessment and prophylaxis in acute orthopaedic admissions: improving compliance with national guidelines.

    PubMed

    Watts, Laura; Grant, David

    2014-01-01

    "Each year over 25,000 people die from Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) contracted in hospital. This is more than the combined total of deaths from breast cancer, AIDS and traffic accidents". (1) Orthopaedic patients are at particular risk of VTE. In 2011, the project team carried out an audit into compliance with national VTE assessment guidelines on all acute trauma and orthopaedic admissions during a two week period at a District General Hospital. The study demonstrated that compliance was initially low, but showed a large improvement following the implementation of simple measures. The measures included: asking consultants to remind junior doctors, putting posters up in the trauma doctors office, asking nursing staff to check for a VTE assessment on admission to the ward, and putting reminders on the patient name board. The project team subsequently recommended an alteration to the hospital's computer system to incorporate a check of VTE assessment and prophylaxis. A second assessment using the same methodology sought to assess whether the previous improvements were sustained and the impact of this computer system alteration. Overall, compliance with national VTE guidance improved further.

  17. The link in Linking

    PubMed Central

    Caldwell, Jane C; Chiale, Pablo A; Gonzalez, Mario D; Baranchuk, Adrian

    2013-01-01

    We present 2 cases of the slow-fast form of AVNRT with initially narrow QRS complexes followed by sudden unexpected transition to persistently wide QRS complexes due to aberrant intraventricular conduction. Introduction of a properly timed extrastimulus in one case and critical oscillations in cycle length due to short-long coupling in the second case set the stage for the initial bundle branch block. However, persistence of the aberrancy pattern once the initial event abated was maintained by the "linking" phenomenon. Delayed, retrograde concealed activation from the contralateral bundle branch perpetuated the initial bundle branch block. PMID:23840106

  18. Assessing activity limitations in patients with neuromuscular diseases: is the ACTIVLIM questionnaire linked to ICF and ICF-CY?

    PubMed

    Raggi, Alberto; Leonardi, Matilde

    2009-06-01

    The objective of this study was to explore to what extent the ACTIVLIM questionnaire, designed to evaluate limitations in activities involving upper and lower limbs in adults and children with neuromuscular diseases, is linked to the domains of the Activities and Participation of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), and to its Children and Youth version (ICF-CY). Standardized ICF linking rules were applied. Items were linked to the most specific ICF-CY codes (e.g. d4501 - Walking long distances), and rolling-up procedures were applied to report information to more generic and informative upper-level codes (e.g. d450 - Walking). ACTIVLIM items were linked to 13 second-level ICF codes of Mobility, Self-care, and Domestic life chapters. The majority of ACTIVLIM items are liked to d510 - Washing oneself, d445 - Hand and arm use, and d410 - Changing basic body position. None of the ACTIVLIM items links to the codes added by the new ICF-CY classification. Disability is a multidimensional phenomenon, and measurements of disability should reflect this multidimensionality. The good psychometric properties of ACTIVLIM are demonstrated, and the aim of this mapping exercise is to provide information on its content. A relevant part of ACTIVLIM items is linked to a few ICF codes, referred to as basic body movements and washing, and other activities are less represented. We think that the ACTIVLIM covers a circumscribed set of activities and, therefore, we suggest using it together with other functional evaluation tools, to complement the range of information on activity limitations that are not covered by its items.

  19. Lessons learned: Needs for improving human health risk assessment at USDOE Sites

    SciTech Connect

    Hamilton, L.D.; Holtzman, S.; Meinhold, A.F.; Morris, S.C.; Rowe, M.D.; Daniels, J.I.; Layton, D.W.; Anspaugh, L.R.

    1993-09-01

    Realistic health risk assessments were performed in a pilot study of three U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) sites. These assessments, covering a broad spectrum of data and methods, were used to identify needs for improving future health risk assessments at USDOE sites. Topics receiving specific recommendations for additional research include: choice of distributions for Monte Carlo simulation; estimation of risk reduction; analysis of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Database on food and nutrient intakes; investigations on effects of food processing on contaminant levels; background food and environmental concentrations of contaminants; method for handling exposures to groundwater plumes, methods for analyzing less than lifetime exposure to carcinogens; and improvement of bioaccumulation factors.

  20. Discussion of skill improvement in marine ecosystem dynamic models based on parameter optimization and skill assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Chengcheng; Shi, Honghua; Liu, Yongzhi; Li, Fen; Ding, Dewen

    2016-07-01

    Marine ecosystem dynamic models (MEDMs) are important tools for the simulation and prediction of marine ecosystems. This article summarizes the methods and strategies used for the improvement and assessment of MEDM skill, and it attempts to establish a technical framework to inspire further ideas concerning MEDM skill improvement. The skill of MEDMs can be improved by parameter optimization (PO), which is an important step in model calibration. An efficient approach to solve the problem of PO constrained by MEDMs is the global treatment of both sensitivity analysis and PO. Model validation is an essential step following PO, which validates the efficiency of model calibration by analyzing and estimating the goodness-of-fit of the optimized model. Additionally, by focusing on the degree of impact of various factors on model skill, model uncertainty analysis can supply model users with a quantitative assessment of model confidence. Research on MEDMs is ongoing; however, improvement in model skill still lacks global treatments and its assessment is not integrated. Thus, the predictive performance of MEDMs is not strong and model uncertainties lack quantitative descriptions, limiting their application. Therefore, a large number of case studies concerning model skill should be performed to promote the development of a scientific and normative technical framework for the improvement of MEDM skill.

  1. Link between K absorption edges and thermodynamic properties of warm dense plasmas established by an improved first-principles method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Shen; Zhao, Shijun; Kang, Wei; Zhang, Ping; He, Xian-Tu

    2016-03-01

    A precise calculation that translates shifts of x-ray K absorption edges to variations of thermodynamic properties allows quantitative characterization of interior thermodynamic properties of warm dense plasmas by x-ray absorption techniques, which provides essential information for inertial confinement fusion and other astrophysical applications. We show that this interpretation can be achieved through an improved first-principles method. Our calculation shows that the shift of K edges exhibits selective sensitivity to thermal parameters and thus would be a suitable temperature index to warm dense plasmas. We also show with a simple model that the shift of K edges can be used to detect inhomogeneity inside warm dense plasmas when combined with other experimental tools.

  2. White light-emitting diode based wireless orthogonal frequency division multiplexing link with improved transmission capacity using Bayesian compressive sensing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Won, Yong-Yuk; Seo, Dong-Sun; Yoon, Sang Min

    2016-04-01

    We propose a technique that improves the channel capacity of an optical wireless orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) transmission, which employs a visible light-emitting diode. An OFDM waveform encoded by quadrature phase shift keying (QPSK) or 16-quadrature amplitude modulation is compressed and then transformed into a sparse waveform using a proposed advanced systematic sampling. At the optical wireless receiver, the original waveform is recovered by L1-minimization based on a Bayesian compressive sensing. Our experimental results show the significant increase in the channel capacity from 31.12 to 51.87 Mbit/s at forward error correction limit (i.e., error vector magnitude of 32%) in case of QPSK symbols.

  3. Completing the link between exposure science and toxicology for improved environmental health decision making: The aggregate exposure pathway framework

    DOE PAGES

    Teeguarden, Justin G.; Tan, Yu -Mei; Edwards, Stephen W.; Leonard, Jeremy A.; Anderson, Kim A.; Corley, Richard A.; Kile, Molly L.; Simonich, Staci M.; Stone, David; Tanguay, Robert L.; et al

    2016-01-13

    Here, driven by major scientific advances in analytical methods, biomonitoring, computation, and a newly articulated vision for a greater impact in public health, the field of exposure science is undergoing a rapid transition from a field of observation to a field of prediction. Deployment of an organizational and predictive framework for exposure science analogous to the “systems approaches” used in the biological sciences is a necessary step in this evolution. Here we propose the aggregate exposure pathway (AEP) concept as the natural and complementary companion in the exposure sciences to the adverse outcome pathway (AOP) concept in the toxicological sciences.more » Aggregate exposure pathways offer an intuitive framework to organize exposure data within individual units of prediction common to the field, setting the stage for exposure forecasting. Looking farther ahead, we envision direct linkages between aggregate exposure pathways and adverse outcome pathways, completing the source to outcome continuum for more meaningful integration of exposure assessment and hazard identification. Together, the two frameworks form and inform a decision-making framework with the flexibility for risk-based, hazard-based, or exposure-based decision making.« less

  4. Completing the Link between Exposure Science and Toxicology for Improved Environmental Health Decision Making: The Aggregate Exposure Pathway Framework

    PubMed Central

    Teeguarden, Justin. G.; Tan, Yu-Mei; Edwards, Stephen W.; Leonard, Jeremy A.; Anderson, Kim A.; Corley, Richard A.; Harding, Anna K; Kile, Molly L.; Simonich, Staci M; Stone, David; Tanguay, Robert L.; Waters, Katrina M.; Harper, Stacey L.; Williams, David E.

    2016-01-01

    Synopsis Driven by major scientific advances in analytical methods, biomonitoring, computational tools, and a newly articulated vision for a greater impact in public health, the field of exposure science is undergoing a rapid transition from a field of observation to a field of prediction. Deployment of an organizational and predictive framework for exposure science analogous to the “systems approaches” used in the biological sciences is a necessary step in this evolution. Here we propose the Aggregate Exposure Pathway (AEP) concept as the natural and complementary companion in the exposure sciences to the Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) concept in the toxicological sciences. Aggregate exposure pathways offer an intuitive framework to organize exposure data within individual units of prediction common to the field, setting the stage for exposure forecasting. Looking farther ahead, we envision direct linkages between aggregate exposure pathways and adverse outcome pathways, completing the source to outcome continuum for more efficient integration of exposure assessment and hazard identification. Together, the two pathways form and inform a decision-making framework with the flexibility for risk-based, hazard-based, or exposure-based decision making. PMID:26759916

  5. Assessing Activity Limitations in Patients with Neuromuscular Diseases: Is the ACTIVLIM Questionnaire Linked to ICF and ICF-CY?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raggi, Alberto; Leonardi, Matilde

    2009-01-01

    The objective of this study was to explore to what extent the ACTIVLIM questionnaire, designed to evaluate limitations in activities involving upper and lower limbs in adults and children with neuromuscular diseases, is linked to the domains of the Activities and Participation of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and…

  6. Linking Exposure Science to Current and Future Pesticide Risk Assessment: From Biomonitoring to PBPK Modeling to High Throughput Screens

    EPA Science Inventory

    Organophosphate (OP) and pyrethroid (PYR) pesticides are amongst the most widely used insecticides. While useful in their ability to control and remove insects from cattle, crops, and homes, they are inherently linked to varying degrees of toxicity as a result of their actions on...

  7. The Well-Being of Children Born to Teen Mothers: Multiple Approaches to Assessing the Causal Links. JCPR Working Paper.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levine, Judith A.; Pollack, Harold

    This study used linked maternal-child data from the 1997-1998 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth to explore the wellbeing of children born to teenage mothers. Two econometric techniques explored the causal impact of early childbearing on subsequent child and adolescent outcomes. First, a fixed-effect, cousin-comparison analysis controlled for…

  8. Assessment model of ecoenvironmental vulnerability based on improved entropy weight method.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xianqi; Wang, Chenbo; Li, Enkuan; Xu, Cundong

    2014-01-01

    Assessment of ecoenvironmental vulnerability plays an important role in the guidance of regional planning, the construction and protection of ecological environment, which requires comprehensive consideration on regional resources, environment, ecology, society and other factors. Based on the driving mechanism and evolution characteristics of ecoenvironmental vulnerability in cold and arid regions of China, a novel evaluation index system on ecoenvironmental vulnerability is proposed in this paper. For the disadvantages of conventional entropy weight method, an improved entropy weight assessment model on ecoenvironmental vulnerability is developed and applied to evaluate the ecoenvironmental vulnerability in western Jilin Province of China. The assessing results indicate that the model is suitable for ecoenvironmental vulnerability assessment, and it shows more reasonable evaluation criterion, more distinct insights and satisfactory results combined with the practical conditions. The model can provide a new method for regional ecoenvironmental vulnerability evaluation. PMID:25133260

  9. Assessment Model of Ecoenvironmental Vulnerability Based on Improved Entropy Weight Method

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xianqi; Wang, Chenbo; Li, Enkuan; Xu, Cundong

    2014-01-01

    Assessment of ecoenvironmental vulnerability plays an important role in the guidance of regional planning, the construction and protection of ecological environment, which requires comprehensive consideration on regional resources, environment, ecology, society and other factors. Based on the driving mechanism and evolution characteristics of ecoenvironmental vulnerability in cold and arid regions of China, a novel evaluation index system on ecoenvironmental vulnerability is proposed in this paper. For the disadvantages of conventional entropy weight method, an improved entropy weight assessment model on ecoenvironmental vulnerability is developed and applied to evaluate the ecoenvironmental vulnerability in western Jilin Province of China. The assessing results indicate that the model is suitable for ecoenvironmental vulnerability assessment, and it shows more reasonable evaluation criterion, more distinct insights and satisfactory results combined with the practical conditions. The model can provide a new method for regional ecoenvironmental vulnerability evaluation. PMID:25133260

  10. Investigation of Cross-Linked and Additive Containing Polymer Materials for Membranes with Improved Performance in Pervaporation and Gas Separation

    PubMed Central

    Hunger, Katharina; Schmeling, Nadine; Jeazet, Harold B. Tanh; Janiak, Christoph; Staudt, Claudia; Kleinermanns, Karl

    2012-01-01

    Pervaporation and gas separation performances of polymer membranes can be improved by crosslinking or addition of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). Crosslinked copolyimide membranes show higher plasticization resistance and no significant loss in selectivity compared to non-crosslinked membranes when exposed to mixtures of CO2/CH4 or toluene/cyclohexane. Covalently crosslinked membranes reveal better separation performances than ionically crosslinked systems. Covalent interlacing with 3-hydroxypropyldimethylmaleimide as photocrosslinker can be investigated in situ in solution as well as in films, using transient UV/Vis and FTIR spectroscopy. The photocrosslinking yield can be determined from the FTIR-spectra. It is restricted by the stiffness of the copolyimide backbone, which inhibits the photoreaction due to spatial separation of the crosslinker side chains. Mixed-matrix membranes (MMMs) with MOFs as additives (fillers) have increased permeabilities and often also selectivities compared to the pure polymer. Incorporation of MOFs into polysulfone and Matrimid® polymers for MMMs gives defect-free membranes with performances similar to the best polymer membranes for gas mixtures, such as O2/N2 H2/CH4, CO2/CH4, H2/CO2, CH4/N2 and CO2/N2 (preferentially permeating gas is named first). The MOF porosity, its particle size and content in the MMM are factors to influence the permeability and the separation performance of the membranes. PMID:24958427

  11. Linking top-down and bottom-up approaches for assessing the vulnerability of a 100 % renewable energy system in Northern-Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Borga, Marco; Francois, Baptiste; Hingray, Benoit; Zoccatelli, Davide; Creutin, Jean-Dominique; brown, Casey

    2016-04-01

    Due to their variable and un-controllable features, integration of Variable Renewable Energies (e.g. solar-power, wind-power and hydropower, denoted as VRE) into the electricity network implies higher production variability and increased risk of not meeting demand. Two approaches are commonly used for assessing this risk and especially its evolution in a global change context (i.e. climate and societal changes); top-down and bottom-up approaches. The general idea of a top-down approach is to drive analysis of global change or of some key aspects of global change on their systems (e.g., the effects of the COP 21, of the deployment of Smart Grids, or of climate change) with chains of loosely linked simulation models within a predictive framework. The bottom-up approach aims to improve understanding of the dependencies between the vulnerability of regional systems and large-scale phenomenon from knowledge gained through detailed exploration of the response to change of the system of interest, which may reveal vulnerability thresholds, tipping points as well as potential opportunities. Brown et al. (2012) defined an analytical framework to merge these two approaches. The objective is to build, a set of Climate Response Functions (CRFs) putting in perspective i) indicators of desired states ("success") and undesired states ("failure") of a system as defined in collaboration with stakeholders 2) exhaustive exploration of the effects of uncertain forcings and imperfect system understanding on the response of the system itself to a plausible set of possible changes, implemented a with multi-dimensionally consistent "stress test" algorithm, and 3) a set "ex post" hydroclimatic and socioeconomic scenarios that provide insight into the differential effectiveness of alternative policies and serve as entry points for the provision of climate information to inform policy evaluation and choice. We adapted this approach for analyzing a 100 % renewable energy system within a region

  12. Repeat Cardiovascular Risk Assessment after Four Years: Is There Improvement in Risk Prediction?

    PubMed Central

    Chamnan, Parinya; Simmons, Rebecca K.; Sharp, Stephen J.; Khaw, Kay-Tee; Wareham, Nicholas J.; Griffin, Simon J.

    2016-01-01

    Background Framingham risk equations are widely used to predict cardiovascular disease based on health information from a single time point. Little is known regarding use of information from repeat risk assessments and temporal change in estimated cardiovascular risk for prediction of future cardiovascular events. This study was aimed to compare the discrimination and risk reclassification of approaches using estimated cardiovascular risk at single and repeat risk assessments Methods Using data on 12,197 individuals enrolled in EPIC-Norfolk cohort, with 12 years of follow-up, we examined rates of cardiovascular events by levels of estimated absolute risk (Framingham risk score) at the first and second health examination four years later. We calculated the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (aROC) and risk reclassification, comparing approaches using information from single and repeat risk assessments (i.e., estimated risk at different time points). Results The mean Framingham risk score increased from 15.5% to 17.5% over a mean of 3.7 years from the first to second health examination. Individuals with high estimated risk (≥20%) at both health examinations had considerably higher rates of cardiovascular events than those who remained in the lowest risk category (<10%) in both health examinations (34.0 [95%CI 31.7–36.6] and 2.7 [2.2–3.3] per 1,000 person-years respectively). Using information from the most up-to-date risk assessment resulted in a small non-significant change in risk classification over the previous risk assessment (net reclassification improvement of -4.8%, p>0.05). Using information from both risk assessments slightly improved discrimination compared to information from a single risk assessment (aROC 0.76 and 0.75 respectively, p<0.001). Conclusions Using information from repeat risk assessments over a period of four years modestly improved prediction, compared to using data from a single risk assessment. However, this

  13. Angiotensin II and the transcription factor Rel/NF-kappaB link environmental water shortage with memory improvement.

    PubMed

    Frenkel, L; Freudenthal, R; Romano, A; Nahmod, V E; Maldonado, H; Delorenzi, A

    2002-01-01

    One of the essential requirements even in the most ancient life forms is to be able to preserve body fluid medium. In line with such requirement, animals need to perform different behaviors to cope with water shortages. As angiotensin II (ANGII) is involved on a widespread range of functions in vertebrates, including memory modulation, an integrative role, in response to an environmental water shortage, has been envisioned. Previous work on the semi-terrestrial and brackish-water crab Chasmagnathus granulatus showed that endogenous ANGII enhanced an associative long-term memory and, in addition, that high salinity environment induces both an increase of brain ANGII levels and memory improvement. Here, we show that in the crab Chasmagnathus air exposure transiently increases blood sodium concentration, significantly increases brain ANGII immunoreactivity, and has a facilitatory effect on memory that is abolished by a non-selective ANGII receptor antagonist, saralasin. Furthermore, Rel/NF-kappaB, a transcription factor activated by ANGII in mammals and during memory consolidation in Chasmagnathus brain, is induced in the crab's brain by air exposure. Moreover, nuclear brain NF-kappaB is activated by ANGII, and this effect is reversed by saralasin. Our results constitute the first demonstration in an invertebrate that cognitive functions are modulated by an environmental stimulus through a neuropeptide and give evolutionary support to the role of angiotensins in memory processes. Moreover, these results suggest that angiotensinergic system is preserved across evolution not only in its structure and molecular mechanisms, but also in its capability of coordinating specific adaptative responses.

  14. Angiotensin II and the transcription factor Rel/NF-kappaB link environmental water shortage with memory improvement.

    PubMed

    Frenkel, L; Freudenthal, R; Romano, A; Nahmod, V E; Maldonado, H; Delorenzi, A

    2002-01-01

    One of the essential requirements even in the most ancient life forms is to be able to preserve body fluid medium. In line with such requirement, animals need to perform different behaviors to cope with water shortages. As angiotensin II (ANGII) is involved on a widespread range of functions in vertebrates, including memory modulation, an integrative role, in response to an environmental water shortage, has been envisioned. Previous work on the semi-terrestrial and brackish-water crab Chasmagnathus granulatus showed that endogenous ANGII enhanced an associative long-term memory and, in addition, that high salinity environment induces both an increase of brain ANGII levels and memory improvement. Here, we show that in the crab Chasmagnathus air exposure transiently increases blood sodium concentration, significantly increases brain ANGII immunoreactivity, and has a facilitatory effect on memory that is abolished by a non-selective ANGII receptor antagonist, saralasin. Furthermore, Rel/NF-kappaB, a transcription factor activated by ANGII in mammals and during memory consolidation in Chasmagnathus brain, is induced in the crab's brain by air exposure. Moreover, nuclear brain NF-kappaB is activated by ANGII, and this effect is reversed by saralasin. Our results constitute the first demonstration in an invertebrate that cognitive functions are modulated by an environmental stimulus through a neuropeptide and give evolutionary support to the role of angiotensins in memory processes. Moreover, these results suggest that angiotensinergic system is preserved across evolution not only in its structure and molecular mechanisms, but also in its capability of coordinating specific adaptative responses. PMID:12453481

  15. Eco-efficiency improvements in industrial water-service systems: assessing options with stakeholders.

    PubMed

    Levidow, Les; Lindgaard-Jørgensen, Palle; Nilsson, Asa; Skenhall, Sara Alongi; Assimacopoulos, Dionysis

    2014-01-01

    The well-known eco-efficiency concept helps to assess the economic value and resource burdens of potential improvements by comparison with the baseline situation. But eco-efficiency assessments have generally focused on a specific site, while neglecting wider effects, for example, through interactions between water users and wastewater treatment (WWT) providers. To address the methodological gap, the EcoWater project has developed a method and online tools for meso-level analysis of the entire water-service value chain. This study investigated improvement options in two large manufacturing companies which have significant potential for eco-efficiency gains. They have been considering investment in extra processes which can lower resource burdens from inputs and wastewater, as well as internalising WWT processes. In developing its methodology, the EcoWater project obtained the necessary information from many agents, involved them in the meso-level assessment and facilitated their discussion on alternative options. Prior discussions with stakeholders stimulated their attendance at a workshop to discuss a comparative eco-efficiency assessment for whole-system improvement. Stakeholders expressed interest in jointly extending the EcoWater method to more options and in discussing investment strategies. In such ways, optimal solutions will depend on stakeholders overcoming fragmentation by sharing responsibility and knowledge.

  16. Assessment of Impact of Training in Improving Knowledge of Blood Transfusion among Clinicians

    PubMed Central

    Kaur, Paramjit; Kaur, Gagandeep; Kaur, Ravneet; Sood, Tanvi

    2014-01-01

    Summary Background Blood is a precious resource that needs to be prescribed, handled, stored and transfused as per guidelines to ensure recipient safety. The present study aims to assess the basic knowledge of clinicians pertaining to safe transfusion practice, impart relevant training, and assess the impact of such training programs. Methods A total of 25 fresh bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery graduates were enrolled for the study. The participants were given a pre-assessment questionnaire related to the entire transfusion chain followed by interactive training of the participants and post-training re-assessment. Results The mean score in the pre-training assessment was 51% while in the post-training assessment the mean score was 85.4%; the difference was statistically significant. There were significant differences in knowledge pertaining to storage temperature, shelf life of red cells and platelets, alternate group choice for fresh frozen plasma, and documentation of transfusion reaction. The participants had inadequate knowledge pertaining to cross-match procedure and management of transfusion reactions. Conclusion The study assessed the knowledge and awareness of clinicians regarding blood transfusion practice. Mandatory training and inclusion of transfusion medicine as a subject at undergraduate level can help in improving transfusion practice and ensuring recipient safety. PMID:25053936

  17. Coordinating ecological restoration options analysis and risk assessment to improve environmental outcomes.

    PubMed

    Kapustka, Lawrence A; Bowers, Keith; Isanhart, John; Martinez-Garza, Cristina; Finger, Susan; Stahl, Ralph G; Stauber, Jenny

    2016-04-01

    Ecological risk assessment as currently practiced has hindered consideration of ecosystem services endpoints and restoration goals in the environmental management process. Practitioners have created barriers between procedures to clean up contaminated areas and efforts to restore ecosystem functions. In this article, we examine linkages between contaminant risk assessment approaches and restoration efforts with the aim of identifying ways to improve environmental outcomes. We advocate that project managers and other stakeholders use an ecological planning framework, with restoration options included upfront in the risk assessment. We also considered the opportunities to incorporate ecosystem services as potential assessment endpoints in the Problem Formulation stages of a risk assessment. Indeed, diverse perspectives of stakeholders are central to understand the relevance of social, cultural, economic, and regional ecology as influences on future use options for the landscape being restored. The measurement endpoints used to characterize the existing ecological conditions for selected ecosystem services can also be used to evaluate restoration success. A regional, landscape, or seascape focus is needed throughout the risk assessment process, so that restoration efforts play a more prominent role in enhancing ecosystem services. In short, we suggest that practitioners begin with the question of "how can the ecological risk assessment inform the decision on how best to restore the ecosystem?" PMID:26077395

  18. Improvement in the assessment of wear of total knee replacements using coordinate-measuring machine techniques.

    PubMed

    Blunt, L A; Bills, P J; Jiang, X-Q; Chakrabarty, G

    2008-04-01

    Total joint replacement is one of the most common elective surgical procedures performed worldwide, with an estimate of 1.5x 10(6) operations performed annually. Currently joint replacements are expected to function for 10-15 years; however, with an increase in life expectancy, and a greater call for knee replacement due to increased activity levels, there is a requirement to improve their function to offer longer-term improved quality of life for patients. Wear analysis of total joint replacements has long been an important means in determining failure mechanisms and improving longevity of these devices. The effectiveness of the coordinate-measuring machine (CMM) technique for assessing volumetric material loss during simulated life testing of a replacement knee joint has been proved previously by the present authors. The purpose of the current work is to present an improvement to this method for situations where no pre-wear data are available. To validate the method, simulator tests were run and gravimetric measurements taken throughout the test, such that the components measured had a known wear value. The implications of the results are then discussed in terms of assessment of joint functionality and development of standardized CMM-based product standards. The method was then expanded to allow assessment of clinically retrieved bearings so as to ascertain a measure of true clinical wear.

  19. Defining and Assessing Quality Improvement Outcomes: A Framework for Public Health

    PubMed Central

    McLees, Anita W.; Nawaz, Saira; Thomas, Craig; Young, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    We describe an evidence-based framework to define and assess the impact of quality improvement (QI) in public health. Developed to address programmatic and research-identified needs for articulating the value of public health QI in aggregate, this framework proposes a standardized set of measures to monitor and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of public health programs and operations. We reviewed the scientific literature and analyzed QI initiatives implemented through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Public Health Improvement Initiative to inform the selection of 5 efficiency and 8 effectiveness measures. This framework provides a model for identifying the types of improvement outcomes targeted by public health QI efforts and a means to understand QI’s impact on the practice of public health. PMID:25689185

  20. Red eyes and red-flags: improving ophthalmic assessment and referral in primary care.

    PubMed

    Kilduff, Caroline; Lois, Charis

    2016-01-01

    Up to five percent of primary care consultations are eye-related, yet 96% of General Practitioners (GPs) do not undergo postgraduate ophthalmology training. Most do not feel assured performing eye assessments. Some red eye conditions can become sight threatening, and often exhibit red-flag features. These features include moderate pain, photophobia, reduced visual acuity (VA), eye-trauma, or unilateral marked redness. The aim of this project was to improve primary care assessment and referral of patients presenting with red-flag features based on the NICE 'Red Eye' Clinical Knowledge Summary recommendations. Data was collected retrospectively from 139 red eye consultations. A practice meeting highlighted poor awareness of red-flag features, low confidence levels in eye assessments, and time-constraints during appointments. Interventions were based on feedback from staff. These included a primary care teaching session on red-flag features, a VA measurement tutorial, and provision of a red eye toolkit, including VA equipment, to each consultation room. At baseline, each patient had on average 0.9 red-flag features assessed. Only 36.0% (9/25) of patients with red-flag features were appropriately referred to same-day ophthalmology services. Following two improvement cycles, a significant improvement was seen in almost every parameter. On average, each patient had 2.7 red-flag features assessed (vs 0.9, p<0.001). VA was assessed in 55.6% of consultations (vs 7.9%, p<0.001), pain was quantified in 81.5% (vs 20.9%, p=0.005), eye-trauma or foreign-body (51.8% vs 8.6%, p<0.001), extent of redness was documented in 66.7% (vs 14.4%, p<0.001). Only photophobia remained poorly assessed (18.5% vs 14.4%, p=0.75). Following this, 75.0% (6/8) of patients were appropriately referred. This project reflected the literature regarding low confidence and inexperience amongst GPs when faced with ophthalmic conditions. Improvements in education are required to ensure accurate assessments

  1. Red eyes and red-flags: improving ophthalmic assessment and referral in primary care

    PubMed Central

    Kilduff, Caroline; Lois, Charis

    2016-01-01

    Up to five percent of primary care consultations are eye-related, yet 96% of General Practitioners (GPs) do not undergo postgraduate ophthalmology training. Most do not feel assured performing eye assessments. Some red eye conditions can become sight threatening, and often exhibit red-flag features. These features include moderate pain, photophobia, reduced visual acuity (VA), eye-trauma, or unilateral marked redness. The aim of this project was to improve primary care assessment and referral of patients presenting with red-flag features based on the NICE ‘Red Eye’ Clinical Knowledge Summary recommendations. Data was collected retrospectively from 139 red eye consultations. A practice meeting highlighted poor awareness of red-flag features, low confidence levels in eye assessments, and time-constraints during appointments. Interventions were based on feedback from staff. These included a primary care teaching session on red-flag features, a VA measurement tutorial, and provision of a red eye toolkit, including VA equipment, to each consultation room. At baseline, each patient had on average 0.9 red-flag features assessed. Only 36.0% (9/25) of patients with red-flag features were appropriately referred to same-day ophthalmology services. Following two improvement cycles, a significant improvement was seen in almost every parameter. On average, each patient had 2.7 red-flag features assessed (vs 0.9, p<0.001). VA was assessed in 55.6% of consultations (vs 7.9%, p<0.001), pain was quantified in 81.5% (vs 20.9%, p=0.005), eye-trauma or foreign-body (51.8% vs 8.6%, p<0.001), extent of redness was documented in 66.7% (vs 14.4%, p<0.001). Only photophobia remained poorly assessed (18.5% vs 14.4%, p=0.75). Following this, 75.0% (6/8) of patients were appropriately referred. This project reflected the literature regarding low confidence and inexperience amongst GPs when faced with ophthalmic conditions. Improvements in education are required to ensure accurate

  2. The COMP-Ident Assessment Format. A Descriptive Manual and Comprehensive Process of Linking Screening, Assessment, and Programming for the Handicapped Preschooler.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bagnato, Stephen J.; And Others

    The COMP-Ident Assessment Format for developing assessment and intervention procedures to follow up initial screening of preschool handicapped children in rural areas is the second stage in the HICOMP Project. Linkage between assessment and programming includes describing the child's current levels of functioning in all areas; specifying long- and…

  3. Linking assessment questions to a research article to stimulate self-directed learning and develop high-order cognitive skills in an undergraduate module of molecular genetics.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jinlu

    2009-01-01

    Assessment plays a crucial role in the learning process, but current assessments focus on assessment of learning rather than assessment for learning. In this study, a novel method for open-book continuous assessment (CA) was developed. The aim was to encourage students to learn beyond the textbook by challenging students with questions linked to a research article. Research articles closely related to lecture contents were selected and released to students before the CA for perusal. CA questions were set at three different levels to assess conceptual understanding, application, and synthesis. The CA was administered to first-year undergraduate students majoring in life science as part of Molecular Genetics, a compulsory module. It contributed 10% of the student's grade for the module. Students' CA scores indicated that the majority could answer correctly all the questions. Students' feedback on the CA showed that most of them praised the CA model for its novelty, motivation, and application. Only a few criticized it due to its poor coverage of lecture contents. Overall, this CA went beyond the traditional role of assessments in the assignment of scores and stimulated curiosity and self-directed learning. PMID:19952097

  4. Development of an Improved Methodology to Assess Potential Unconventional Gas Resources

    SciTech Connect

    Salazar, Jesus; McVay, Duane A. Lee, W. John

    2010-12-15

    Considering the important role played today by unconventional gas resources in North America and their enormous potential for the future around the world, it is vital to both policy makers and industry that the volumes of these resources and the impact of technology on these resources be assessed. To provide for optimal decision making regarding energy policy, research funding, and resource development, it is necessary to reliably quantify the uncertainty in these resource assessments. Since the 1970s, studies to assess potential unconventional gas resources have been conducted by various private and governmental agencies, the most rigorous of which was by the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS employed a cell-based, probabilistic methodology which used analytical equations to calculate distributions of the resources assessed. USGS assessments have generally produced distributions for potential unconventional gas resources that, in our judgment, are unrealistically narrow for what are essentially undiscovered, untested resources. In this article, we present an improved methodology to assess potential unconventional gas resources. Our methodology is a stochastic approach that includes Monte Carlo simulation and correlation between input variables. Application of the improved methodology to the Uinta-Piceance province of Utah and Colorado with USGS data validates the means and standard deviations of resource distributions produced by the USGS methodology, but reveals that these distributions are not right skewed, as expected for a natural resource. Our investigation indicates that the unrealistic shape and width of the gas resource distributions are caused by the use of narrow triangular input parameter distributions. The stochastic methodology proposed here is more versatile and robust than the USGS analytic methodology. Adoption of the methodology, along with a careful examination and revision of input distributions, should allow a more realistic

  5. Linking Course-Embedded Assessment Measures and Performance on the Educational Testing Service Major Field Test in Business

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barboza, Gustavo A.; Pesek, James

    2012-01-01

    Assessment of the business curriculum and its learning goals and objectives has become a major field of interest for business schools. The exploratory results of the authors' model using a sample of 173 students show robust support for the hypothesis that high marks in course-embedded assessment on business-specific analytical skills positively…

  6. A brief history of health care quality assessment and improvement in the United States.

    PubMed Central

    Luce, J M; Bindman, A B; Lee, P R

    1994-01-01

    We review the history and current efforts to assess and improve health care in the United States. This process has involved a host of government agencies and commissions, professional organizations, insurance underwriters, corporations, and more recently, market forces. Traditional approaches to quality control have stressed case-by-case analysis and identifying outliers. Newer approaches include creating practice guidelines and profiles of hospitals and physicians. The joint goals of quality improvement and cost control can best be realized if institutions and practitioners embrace these new approaches and use them to enhance their performances. PMID:8191769

  7. A Single-Phase Current Source Solar Inverter with Constant Instantaneous Power, Improved Reliability, and Reduced-Size DC-Link Filter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bush, Craig R.

    This dissertation presents a novel current source converter topology that is primarily intended for single-phase photovoltaic (PV) applications. In comparison with the existing PV inverter technology, the salient features of the proposed topology are: a) the low frequency (double of line frequency) ripple that is common to single-phase inverters is greatly reduced; b) the absence of low frequency ripple enables significantly reduced size pass components to achieve necessary DC-link stiffness and c) improved maximum power point tracking (MPPT) performance is readily achieved due to the tightened current ripple even with reduced-size passive components. The proposed topology does not utilize any electrolytic capacitors. Instead an inductor is used as the DC-link filter and reliable AC film capacitors are utilized for the filter and auxiliary capacitor. The proposed topology has a life expectancy on par with PV panels. The proposed modulation technique can be used for any current source inverter where an unbalanced three-phase operation is desires such as active filters and power controllers. The proposed topology is ready for the next phase of microgrid and power system controllers in that it accepts reactive power commands. This work presents the proposed topology and its working principle supported by with numerical verifications and hardware results. Conclusions and future work are also presented.

  8. Improving community development by linking agriculture, nutrition and education: design of a randomised trial of “home-grown” school feeding in Mali

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    process monitoring visits, spot checks and quarterly reporting will be undertaken as part of the regular programme monitoring activities. Evaluation surveys are planned for 2014. Discussion National governments in sub-Saharan Africa have demonstrated strong leadership in the response to the recent food and financial crises by scaling-up school feeding programmes. “Home-grown” school feeding programmes have the potential to link the increased demand for school feeding goods and services to community-based stakeholders, including small-holder farmers and women’s groups. Alongside assessing the more traditional benefits to school children, this evaluation will be the first to examine the impact of linking school food service provision to small-holder farmer income, as well as the link between community level engagement and programme performance. Trial registration ISRCTN76705891 PMID:23433395

  9. [Assessment of risk of burden in construction: improvement interventions and contribution of the competent physician].

    PubMed

    Martinelli, R; Tarquini, M

    2012-01-01

    Three construction companies in three years have changed the operating modes, making use of innovative carpentry, with little amount of equipment, improved usability of the site, reduced cleaning time, less manual handling and reduced risk of accidents. The Competent Doctor has participated in the review of the risk assessment of manual handling: data has been acquired on musculoskeletal disorders to compare, in terms of this innovation, the average trend and changes, with encouraging results in terms of incidence of musculoskeletal disorders, absenteeism due to illness by these causes, new cases of lumbar diseases. It remains difficult in building to assess manual handling risk, but the collaboration between the Employer, Prevention and Protection Service and Competent Doctor, thanks to the greater attention that the design subject to these issues, suggests improvements and further steps to extend to all phases of operation of building.

  10. Using Formative Assessments to Improve Student Learning Outcomes: A Study of the Different Types of Formative Assessments Teachers Use to Drive Instruction and Their Effects on Student Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alzina, Amy

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the difference between summative and formative assessments is still unclear for many teachers and principals as well as the effects formative assessments have on student learning outcomes. This quantitative study was conducted to explicitly explore formative assessments as a means to improve student learning outcomes, while examining…

  11. Improvement of modelling capabilities for assessing urban contamination : The EMRAS Urban Remediation Working Group.

    SciTech Connect

    Thiessen, K. M.; Batandjieva, B.; Andersson, K. G.; Arkhipov, A.; Charnock, T. W.; Gallay, F.; Gaschak, S.; Golikov, V.; Hwang, W. T.; Kaiser, J. C.; Kamboj, S.; Steiner, M.; Tomas, J.; Trifunovic, D.; Yu, C.; Ziemer, R. L.; Zlobenko, B.; Environmental Science Division; SENES Oak Ridge; IAEA; Riso National Lab.; Chernobyl Center for Nuclear Safety; Health Protection Agency; IRSN; Inst. of Radiation Hygene of the Ministry of Public Health, Russian Federation; KAERI, Republic of Korea; GSF, Germany; BfS, Germany; CPHR, Cuba; State Office for Radiation Protection, Croatia; AECL, Canada; National Academy of Science, Ukraine

    2008-01-01

    The Urban Remediation Working Group of the International Atomic Energy Agency's Environmental Modeling for Radiation Safety (EMRAS) programme was established to improve modeling and assessment capabilities for radioactively contaminated urban situations, including the effects of countermeasures. An example of the Working Group's activities is an exercise based on Chernobyl fallout data in Ukraine, which has provided an opportunity to compare predictions among several models and with available measurements, to discuss reasons for discrepancies, and to identify areas where additional information would be helpful.

  12. Health and Household Air Pollution from Solid Fuel Use: The Need for Improved Exposure Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Peel, Jennifer L.; Balakrishnan, Kalpana; Breysse, Patrick N.; Chillrud, Steven N.; Naeher, Luke P.; Rodes, Charles E.; Vette, Alan F.; Balbus, John M.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Nearly 3 billion people worldwide rely on solid fuel combustion to meet basic household energy needs. The resulting exposure to air pollution causes an estimated 4.5% of the global burden of disease. Large variability and a lack of resources for research and development have resulted in highly uncertain exposure estimates. Objective: We sought to identify research priorities for exposure assessment that will more accurately and precisely define exposure–response relationships of household air pollution necessary to inform future cleaner-burning cookstove dissemination programs. Data Sources: As part of an international workshop in May 2011, an expert group characterized the state of the science and developed recommendations for exposure assessment of household air pollution. Synthesis: The following priority research areas were identified to explain variability and reduce uncertainty of household air pollution exposure measurements: improved characterization of spatial and temporal variability for studies examining both short- and long-term health effects; development and validation of measurement technology and approaches to conduct complex exposure assessments in resource-limited settings with a large range of pollutant concentrations; and development and validation of biomarkers for estimating dose. Addressing these priority research areas, which will inherently require an increased allocation of resources for cookstove research, will lead to better characterization of exposure–response relationships. Conclusions: Although the type and extent of exposure assessment will necessarily depend on the goal and design of the cookstove study, without improved understanding of exposure–response relationships, the level of air pollution reduction necessary to meet the health targets of cookstove interventions will remain uncertain. Citation: Clark ML, Peel JL, Balakrishnan K, Breysse PN, Chillrud SN, Naeher LP, Rodes CE, Vette AF, Balbus JM. 2013. Health

  13. Assessment of improved root growth representation in a 1-D, field scale crop model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miltin Mboh, Cho; Gaiser, Thomas; Ewert, Frank

    2015-04-01

    Many 1-D, field scale crop models over-simplify root growth. The over-simplification of this "hidden half" of the crop may have significant consequences on simulated root water and nutrient uptake with a corresponding reflection on the simulated crop yields. Poor representation of root growth in crop models may therefore constitute a major source of uncertainty propagation. In this study we assess the effect of an improved representation of root growth in a model solution of the model framework SIMPLACE (Scientific Impact assessment and Modeling PLatform for Advanced Crop and Ecosystem management) compared to conventional 1-D approaches. The LINTUL5 crop growth model is coupled to the Hillflow soil water balance model within the SIMPLACE modeling framework (Gaiser et al, 2013). Root water uptake scenarios in the soil hydrological simulator Hillflow (Bronstert, 1995) together with an improved representation of root growth is compared to scenarios for which root growth is simplified. The improvement of root growth is achieved by integrating root growth solutions from R-SWMS (Javaux et al., 2008) into the SIMPLACE model solution. R-SWMS is a three dimensional model for simultaneous modeling of root growth, soil water fluxes and solute transport and uptake. These scenarios are tested by comparing how well the simulated water contents match with the observed soil water dynamics. The impacts of the scenarios on above ground biomass and wheat grain are assessed

  14. Affordable non-traditional source data mining for context assessment to improve distributed fusion system robustness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowman, Christopher; Haith, Gary; Steinberg, Alan; Morefield, Charles; Morefield, Michael

    2013-05-01

    This paper describes methods to affordably improve the robustness of distributed fusion systems by opportunistically leveraging non-traditional data sources. Adaptive methods help find relevant data, create models, and characterize the model quality. These methods also can measure the conformity of this non-traditional data with fusion system products including situation modeling and mission impact prediction. Non-traditional data can improve the quantity, quality, availability, timeliness, and diversity of the baseline fusion system sources and therefore can improve prediction and estimation accuracy and robustness at all levels of fusion. Techniques are described that automatically learn to characterize and search non-traditional contextual data to enable operators integrate the data with the high-level fusion systems and ontologies. These techniques apply the extension of the Data Fusion & Resource Management Dual Node Network (DNN) technical architecture at Level 4. The DNN architecture supports effectively assessment and management of the expanded portfolio of data sources, entities of interest, models, and algorithms including data pattern discovery and context conformity. Affordable model-driven and data-driven data mining methods to discover unknown models from non-traditional and `big data' sources are used to automatically learn entity behaviors and correlations with fusion products, [14 and 15]. This paper describes our context assessment software development, and the demonstration of context assessment of non-traditional data to compare to an intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance fusion product based upon an IED POIs workflow.

  15. An assessment tool to help producers improve cow comfort on their farms.

    PubMed

    Vasseur, E; Gibbons, J; Rushen, J; Pellerin, D; Pajor, E; Lefebvre, D; de Passillé, A M

    2015-01-01

    Effective management and an appropriate environment are essential for dairy cattle health and welfare. Codes of practice provide dairy producers with best practice guidance for the care and handling of their cattle. New Canadian recommendations have been established for the dairy industry. The objectives of this study were to develop an on-farm assessment tool that helps producers assess how well they are meeting their code of practice and that identifies management and environment modifications that could improve dairy cow comfort on their farms. The assessment tool addressed critical areas of dairy cow comfort, including accommodation and housing (stall design, space allowance, stall management, pen management, milking parlor, and transfer alleys), feed and water (body condition scoring, nutrition), and health and welfare (lameness, claw health, and hoof-trimming). Targets of good practices were identified from the requirements and recommendations of the code of practice. Each farm received a score for each target, ranging from 0 (target not reached) to 100 (target reached). One hundred tiestall and 110 freestall farms were surveyed in 3 provinces of Canada (Quebec, Ontario, and Alberta). The duration of the assessment, in 2 visits lasting, on average, 8 and 9h (range between freestall and tiestall farms) and 4 and 4.1h, was beyond the targeted 3 to 4h due mainly to the animal-based measures; strategies to reduce the duration of the assessment were discussed. Standard operating procedures were developed to ensure consistency in measuring and recording data. Periodical checks were conducted by trainers to ensure all 15 assessors remained above target agreement of weighted kappa ≥0.6. Average scores for all critical areas ranged from 25 to 89% for freestall farms and from 48 to 95% for tiestall farms. These scores need to be considered with caution when comparing farms because scores could not always be calculated the same way between housing systems. An

  16. Missing links in our understanding of estrogenic compounds; chemical quantitation vs. biological assessment – where do we go from here?

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The literature has become replete with reports quantifying estrogenic chemicals in the environment ranging from natural hormones to plasticizers. Laboratories have developed in vitro assays to assess estrogenic activity of both environmental samples and pure chemicals. Information pertaining to th...

  17. Making the most of data: An information selection and assessment framework to improve water systems operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giuliani, M.; Pianosi, F.; Castelletti, A.

    2015-11-01

    Advances in Environmental monitoring systems are making a wide range of data available at increasingly higher temporal and spatial resolution. This creates an opportunity to enhance real-time understanding of water systems conditions and to improve prediction of their future evolution, ultimately increasing our ability to make better decisions. Yet, many water systems are still operated using very simple information systems, typically based on simple statistical analysis and the operator's experience. In this work, we propose a framework to automatically select the most valuable information to inform water systems operations supported by quantitative metrics to operationally and economically assess the value of this information. The Hoa Binh reservoir in Vietnam is used to demonstrate the proposed framework in a multiobjective context, accounting for hydropower production and flood control. First, we quantify the expected value of perfect information, meaning the potential space for improvement under the assumption of exact knowledge of the future system conditions. Second, we automatically select the most valuable information that could be actually used to improve the Hoa Binh operations. Finally, we assess the economic value of sample information on the basis of the resulting policy performance. Results show that our framework successfully select information to enhance the performance of the operating policies with respect to both the competing objectives, attaining a 40% improvement close to the target trade-off selected as potentially good compromise between hydropower production and flood control.

  18. TBDQ: A Pragmatic Task-Based Method to Data Quality Assessment and Improvement.

    PubMed

    Vaziri, Reza; Mohsenzadeh, Mehran; Habibi, Jafar

    2016-01-01

    Organizations are increasingly accepting data quality (DQ) as a major key to their success. In order to assess and improve DQ, methods have been devised. Many of these methods attempt to raise DQ by directly manipulating low quality data. Such methods operate reactively and are suitable for organizations with highly developed integrated systems. However, there is a lack of a proactive DQ method for businesses with weak IT infrastructure where data quality is largely affected by tasks that are performed by human agents. This study aims to develop and evaluate a new method for structured data, which is simple and practical so that it can easily be applied to real world situations. The new method detects the potentially risky tasks within a process, and adds new improving tasks to counter them. To achieve continuous improvement, an award system is also developed to help with the better selection of the proposed improving tasks. The task-based DQ method (TBDQ) is most appropriate for small and medium organizations, and simplicity in implementation is one of its most prominent features. TBDQ is case studied in an international trade company. The case study shows that TBDQ is effective in selecting optimal activities for DQ improvement in terms of cost and improvement. PMID:27192547

  19. TBDQ: A Pragmatic Task-Based Method to Data Quality Assessment and Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Vaziri, Reza; Mohsenzadeh, Mehran; Habibi, Jafar

    2016-01-01

    Organizations are increasingly accepting data quality (DQ) as a major key to their success. In order to assess and improve DQ, methods have been devised. Many of these methods attempt to raise DQ by directly manipulating low quality data. Such methods operate reactively and are suitable for organizations with highly developed integrated systems. However, there is a lack of a proactive DQ method for businesses with weak IT infrastructure where data quality is largely affected by tasks that are performed by human agents. This study aims to develop and evaluate a new method for structured data, which is simple and practical so that it can easily be applied to real world situations. The new method detects the potentially risky tasks within a process, and adds new improving tasks to counter them. To achieve continuous improvement, an award system is also developed to help with the better selection of the proposed improving tasks. The task-based DQ method (TBDQ) is most appropriate for small and medium organizations, and simplicity in implementation is one of its most prominent features. TBDQ is case studied in an international trade company. The case study shows that TBDQ is effective in selecting optimal activities for DQ improvement in terms of cost and improvement. PMID:27192547

  20. Improving the Treatment and Assessment of Moderate and Severe Pain in a Pediatric Emergency Department

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Background. The Janeway Children's Hospital previously enacted a number of measures to improve pain management for patients in its emergency department (ED). While improvements were demonstrated, rates for the timely assessment and treatment of pain remain below standards of care. Objectives. The study objectives are to investigate the impact of the previous attempts to improve the treatment of pain and to explore ways to further improve pain management in the ED. Methods. Key informant interviews and a focus group were conducted with nurses, physicians, and parents whose children were identified as having severe pain. Results. Interviews were conducted with 31 parents or children, 9 physicians, and 8 nurses. The focus group was attended by 15 nurses. Previous initiatives were viewed as improvements. Continued barriers include difficulties in accurately capturing the level of pain, issues in treating pain for specific types of patients, and inadequacy in addressing patients in severe pain. Conclusion. Changes in pain treatment protocols can result in positive impacts but are likely insufficient on their own to achieve desired standards of care. Consistent measurement and engagement with staff can identify additional opportunities for improving pain management within an ED setting. PMID:27672348