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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 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…

  3. 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

    2012-11-06

    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.

  4. 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

  5. A remedial intervention linked to a formative assessment is effective in terms of improving student performance in subsequent degree examinations.

    PubMed

    Cleland, Jennifer; Mackenzie, R K; Ross, S; Sinclair, H K; Lee, A J

    2010-01-01

    Intervention may help weaker medical students improve their performance. However, the effectiveness of remedial intervention is inconclusive due to small sample sizes in previous studies. We asked: is remedial intervention linked to a formative assessment effective in terms of improving student performance in subsequent degree examinations? This was a retrospective, observational study of anonymous databases of student assessment outcomes. Data were analysed for students due to graduate in the years 2005-2009 (n = 909). Exam performance was compared for students who received remediation versus those who did not. The main outcome measure was summative degree examination marks. After adjusting for cohort, gender, overseas versus home funding, previous degree and previous performance in the corresponding baseline third year summative exam, students receiving a remedial intervention (after poor performance on a formative objective structured clinical examination and written exams mid-fourth year) were significantly more likely to obtain an improved mark on end-of-fourth year summative written (p = 0.005) and OSCE (p = 0.001) exams compared to those students who did not receive remediation. A remedial intervention linked to poor assessment performance predicted improved performance in later examination. There is a need for prospective studies in order to identify the effective components of remedial interventions.

  6. Bioavailability links mode of action can improve the long-term field risk assessment for tilapia exposed to arsenic.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Jeng-Wei; Chen, Wei-Yu; Ju, Yun-Ru; Liao, Chung-Min

    2009-05-01

    The objective of this paper was to develop a mechanistic-based framework to explicitly incorporate the factors controlling the bioavailability, toxicodynamics and mode of action to enhance predictive ability of arsenic (As) toxicity to protect the health of farmed tilapia Oreochromis mossambicus. We linked the biotic ligand model and damage assessment model to develop a toxicokinetic model for elucidating the site-specific temporal changes of As bioavailability and to characterize how the fish regulate the metal toxicity. We built a bioavailability-mode of action-based growth toxicity model by linking a bioenergetic growth model and damage assessment model to predict how the As affects on the tilapia growth in the entire life span in site-specific field ecosystems. Here we show that the proposed model well describes the water-chemistry-dependent toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics variations of As to tilapia. We selected two local tilapia farms with different water chemistries located at southwestern Taiwan coast region to implement the proposed algorithm to predict the risk of As exposure. Results indicate that the growth toxicity of O. mossambicus in Taihsi is more sensitive than that in Peimen. We found that the effect of ion competition on the As bioavailability and their ecotoxicological effects on tilapia are more obvious in Taihsi comparing with that in Peimen. We suggested that the proposed bioavailability- and mode of action-based framework can be used to capture the biological response and regulation of tilapia to As exposures. It is applicable for a site-specific and long-term ecotoxicological risk assessment.

  7. The future of population registers: linking routine health datasets to assess a population's current glycaemic status for quality improvement

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Wing Cheuk; Jackson, Gary; Wright, Craig Shawe; Orr-Walker, Brandon; Drury, Paul L; Boswell, D Ross; Lee, Mildred Ai Wei; Papa, Dean; Jackson, Rod

    2014-01-01

    Objectives To determine the diabetes screening levels and known glycaemic status of all individuals by age, gender and ethnicity within a defined geographic location in a timely and consistent way to potentially facilitate systematic disease prevention and management. Design Retrospective observational study. Setting Auckland region of New Zealand. Participants 1 475 347 people who had utilised publicly funded health service in New Zealand and domicile in the Auckland region of New Zealand in 2010. The health service utilisation population was individually linked to a comprehensive regional laboratory repository dating back to 2004. Outcome measures The two outcomes measures were glycaemia-related blood testing coverage (glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c), fasting and random glucose and glucose tolerance tests), and the proportions and number of people with known dysglycaemia in 2010 using modified American Diabetes Association (ADA) and WHO criteria. Results Within the health service utilisation population, 792 560 people had had at least one glucose or HbA1c blood test in the previous 5.5 years. Overall, 81% of males (n=198 086) and 87% of females (n=128 982) in the recommended age groups for diabetes screening had a blood test to assess their glycaemic status. The estimated age-standardised prevalence of dysglycaemia was highest in people of Pacific Island ethnicity at 11.4% (95% CI 11.2% to 11.5%) for males and 11.6% (11.4% to 11.8%) for females, followed closely by people of Indian ethnicity at 10.8% (10.6% to 11.1%) and 9.3% (9.1% to 9.6%), respectively. Among the indigenous Maori population, the prevalence was 8.2% (7.9% to 8.4%) and 7% (6.8% to 7.2%), while for ‘Others’ (mainly Europeans) it was 3% (3% to 3.1%) and 2.2% (2.1% to 2.2%), respectively. Conclusions We have demonstrated that the data linkage between a laboratory repository and national administrative datasets has the potential to provide a systematic and consistent individual level

  8. Measures of Last Resort: Assessing Strategies for State-Initiated Turnarounds. Linking State and Local School Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jochim, Ashley

    2016-01-01

    The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) puts responsibility for improving student outcomes back where some say it has always belonged--under states' purview. No longer will prescriptive federal requirements dictate how states should identify, support, and turn around the lowest-performing schools and districts. Instead, states are empowered to craft…

  9. Linking Assessments: Concept and History

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kolen, Michael J.

    2004-01-01

    In this article, the history of linking is summarized, and current linking frameworks that have been proposed are considered. Key publications discussed include Flanagan (1951), Angoff (1971), Linn (1993), Mislevy (1992), and Feuer, Holland, Green, Bertenthal, and Hemphill (1999). The article further focuses on the concordance situation for…

  10. Student Goals for College and Courses: A Missing Link in Assessing and Improving Academic Achievement. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report 6, 1989.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stark, Joan S.; And Others

    Helping students take active responsibility for their education may depend on how well educators link their classroom goals with the goals students hold for themselves. Goals are not fixed, but change as individuals change. Helping students revise their goals and improve their control of behavior are valid educational goals. Most institutions…

  11. 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…

  12. Linking Assessment and Instruction Innovation Configuration

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hosp, John L.

    2011-01-01

    This innovation configuration identifies the skills and competencies teachers need to make sound decisions about using assessment information to improve instruction and establishes a framework and justification for effective ways that teachers can collect and use assessment data to make instructional decisions. It is designed to provide a…

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Improving nonlinear modeling capabilities of functional link adaptive filters.

    PubMed

    Comminiello, Danilo; Scarpiniti, Michele; Scardapane, Simone; Parisi, Raffaele; Uncini, Aurelio

    2015-09-01

    The functional link adaptive filter (FLAF) represents an effective solution for online nonlinear modeling problems. In this paper, we take into account a FLAF-based architecture, which separates the adaptation of linear and nonlinear elements, and we focus on the nonlinear branch to improve the modeling performance. In particular, we propose a new model that involves an adaptive combination of filters downstream of the nonlinear expansion. Such combination leads to a cooperative behavior of the whole architecture, thus yielding a performance improvement, particularly in the presence of strong nonlinearities. An advanced architecture is also proposed involving the adaptive combination of multiple filters on the nonlinear branch. The proposed models are assessed in different nonlinear modeling problems, in which their effectiveness and capabilities are shown.

  16. Reliability assessment of autonomous power systems incorporating HVDC interconnection links

    SciTech Connect

    Dialynas, E.N.; Koskolos, N.C.; Agoris, D.

    1996-01-01

    The objective of this paper is to present an improved computational method for the overall reliability assessment of autonomous power systems that may or may not contain HVdc interconnection links. This is a hybrid method based on a Monte-Carlo simulation sequential approach which incorporates an analytical approach for the reliability modeling of the HVdc transmission links. The developed models and techniques have been implemented into a computer program that can be used to simulate the operational practices and characteristics of the overall system under study efficiently and realistically. A set of reliability indices are calculated for each load-point of interest and the entire system while a set of additional indices is calculated for quantifying the reliability performance of the interconnection links under the specified operating requirements. The analysis of a practical system is also included for a number of studies representing its various operating and design characteristics.

  17. 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.

  18. 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)

  19. 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)

  20. Developing and Implementing an Assessment Technique to Measure Linked Concepts

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ye, Li; Oueini, Razanne; Lewis, Scott E.

    2015-01-01

    The links students make among chemistry content is considered essential for a robust, enduring understanding in multiple learning theories. This article describes the development and implementation of an assessment technique, termed a Measure of Linked Concepts, designed to inform instructors on students' understanding of linking content…

  1. The (Missing) Link between Instruction and Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gurvitch, Rachel; Lund, Jackie

    2011-01-01

    Many physical educators understand the important role formative assessment has on their teaching and student learning outcomes. However, when carefully examining different physical education settings they learn instruction is oftentimes disconnected from assessment. When talking about assessment, educators first need to distinguish between the two…

  2. Persistent Identifiers for Improved Accessibility for Linked Data Querying

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shepherd, A.; Chandler, C. L.; Arko, R. A.; Fils, D.; Jones, M. B.; Krisnadhi, A.; Mecum, B.

    2016-12-01

    The adoption of linked open data principles within the geosciences has increased the amount of accessible information available on the Web. However, this data is difficult to consume for those who are unfamiliar with Semantic Web technologies such as Web Ontology Language (OWL), Resource Description Framework (RDF) and SPARQL - the RDF query language. Consumers would need to understand the structure of the data and how to efficiently query it. Furthermore, understanding how to query doesn't solve problems of poor precision and recall in search results. For consumers unfamiliar with the data, full-text searches are most accessible, but not ideal as they arrest the advantages of data disambiguation and co-reference resolution efforts. Conversely, URI searches across linked data can deliver improved search results, but knowledge of these exact URIs may remain difficult to obtain. The increased adoption of Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) can lead to improved linked data querying by a wide variety of consumers. Because PIDs resolve to a single entity, they are an excellent data point for disambiguating content. At the same time, PIDs are more accessible and prominent than a single data provider's linked data URI. When present in linked open datasets, PIDs provide balance between the technical and social hurdles of linked data querying as evidenced by the NSF EarthCube GeoLink project. The GeoLink project, funded by NSF's EarthCube initiative, have brought together data repositories include content from field expeditions, laboratory analyses, journal publications, conference presentations, theses/reports, and funding awards that span scientific studies from marine geology to marine ecosystems and biogeochemistry to paleoclimatology.

  3. Using Linked Data to Drive Education and Training Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Data Quality Campaign, 2010

    2010-01-01

    To address key policy and programmatic questions and help improve student and system performance, states must work to link data across the early childhood, postsecondary and workforce (P-20/workforce) spectrum and share this information with appropriate stakeholders. This issue brief highlights current efforts in California, Florida, Indiana, and…

  4. Linking Planning, Quality Improvement and IR: Los Angeles City College

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Seymour, Daniel

    2004-01-01

    Stung by a negative accreditation review, Los Angeles City College established an administrative position and a planning process that is successfully creating a culture of continuous improvement. At the core of this success is a "plan-act-check" reinforcing systems loop that links planning, budgeting, and institutional research. (Contains 2…

  5. 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

    2014-10-16

    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.

  6. Linking the Smarter Balanced Assessments to NWEA MAP Assessments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Northwest Evaluation Association, 2015

    2015-01-01

    Concordance tables have been used for decades to relate scores on different tests measuring similar but distinct constructs. These tables, typically derived from statistical linking procedures, provide a direct link between scores on different tests and serve various purposes. Aside from describing how a score on one test relates to performance on…

  7. 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)…

  8. 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…

  9. Health Impact Assessment: Linking Public Health to ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The goal of this presentation is to explore how HIA can help inform hazardous waste permitting regulations and incorporate community vulnerability and cumulative impacts to their potential health risks into permitting decision making by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control. Presented the Health Impact Assessment (HIA) at the State of California Cumulative Impacts and Community Vulnerability Symposium on July 27 in Diamond Bar, CA.

  10. Summative Assessment: The Missing Link for Formative Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taras, Maddalena

    2009-01-01

    Assessment for learning is increasingly part of accepted orthodoxy, with massive government funding in England, is central to national assessment in Wales, and an export to the USA. Black et al.'s Assessment for learning: Putting it into practice (2003), the "bible"' of assessment for learning, is set reading for trainee teachers across…

  11. 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

  12. 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…

  13. Succeeding with Standards: Linking Curriculum, Assessment, and Action Planning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carr, Judy F.; Harris, Douglas E.

    This book describes a comprehensive process by which schools and districts can turn piecemeal initiatives to incorporate standards into curriculum into a coherent plan. The book explains how to determine who is to teach and assess each standard and how to create a curriculum and assessment plan. It defines effective practice in linking curriculum…

  14. 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…

  15. Improved fiber nonlinearity mitigation in dispersion managed optical OFDM links

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tamilarasan, Ilavarasan; Saminathan, Brindha; Murugappan, Meenakshi

    2017-02-01

    Fiber nonlinearity is seen as a capacity limiting factor in OFDM based dispersion managed links since the Four Wave Mixing effects become enhanced due to the high PAPR. In this paper, the authors have compared the linear and nonlinear PAPR reduction techniques for fiber nonlinearity mitigation in OFDM based dispersion managed links. In the existing optical systems, linear transform techniques such as SLM and PTS have been implemented to reduce nonlinear effects. In the proposed study, superior performance of the L2-by-3 nonlinear transform technique is demonstrated for PAPR reduction to mitigate fiber nonlinearities. The performance evaluation is carried out by interfacing multiple simulators. The results of both linear and nonlinear transform techniques have been compared and the results show that nonlinear transform technique outperforms the linear transform in terms of nonlinearity mitigation and improved BER performance.

  16. Linking the ACT ASPIRE Assessments to NWEA MAP Assessments

    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 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…

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Creating the Link between Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Easterling, Doug; And Others

    The self-examination process used by Sinclair Community College (SCC), in Dayton, Ohio, is designed to improve student learning and the processes that contributes to effective and efficient learning. In 1988, SCC created a college-wide Assessment Steering Committee (ASC) charged with reviewing the status of assessment practices at SCC and making…

  3. 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

  4. Linking global scenarios to national assessments: Experiences from the Resources Planning Act (RPA) Assessment

    Treesearch

    Linda L. Langner; Peter J. Ince

    2012-01-01

    The Resources Planning Act (RPA) Assessment provides a nationally consistent analysis of the status and trends of the Nation's renewable forest resources. A global scenario approach was taken for the 2010 RPA Assessment to provide a shared world view of potential futures. The RPA Assessment scenarios were linked to the global scenarios and climate projections used...

  5. Helping Teachers Improve Classroom Assessments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Emberger, Marcella

    2007-01-01

    Understanding and implementing effective classroom assessments are skills that are essential to increasing student achievement. Unfortunately, many teachers have had little training in assessment strategies in either graduate or undergraduate programs. Administrators, therefore, must find innovative ways to help their teachers think like assessors…

  6. Data center performance improvement using optical wireless links

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arnon, Shlomi

    2017-01-01

    Data centers collect and process information with a capacity that has been increasing from year to year at an almost exponential pace, while many datacenter applications are provided at no cost. This faces datacenter operators with the challenges of meeting exponentially increasing demands for network bandwidth without unreasonable increases in operation and infrastructure cost. In order to meet the requirements of moderate increase in operation and infrastructure cost new technologies are desired. Optical wireless technology could a) reduce the power consumption, b) increase the flexibility and scalability and c) reduce the network overload.. The OWC link could be deployed on top of the existing cable/fiber network layer, such that live migration could be done easily and dynamically and network topology is flexible and adapts quickly to changes in traffic, heat distribution, power consumption and characteristics of the applications. In addition, OWC could provide an easy way to maintains and scale up data centers which would reduce total cost of ownership and increase the return on investment. In this talk we will review the main OWC technologies, algorithms concepts and configurations which improve the performance of next generation data centers.

  7. Towards the Improvement of the Student Experience of Assessment and Feedback in Construction Management Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Scott, Lloyd; Fortune, Chris

    2013-01-01

    It is widely accepted across Higher Education that assessment practices have a link with learning and a key factor in this link is formative assessment. Formative assessment is generally defined as taking place during a module/programme with the express purpose of improving and enhancing student learning. It is important to understand how…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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…

  12. Assessing and Improving Institutional Effectiveness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cameron, Kim S.

    Information to promote assessment of organizational effectiveness in colleges and universities is presented, along with an exercise to rank the effectiveness of 10 institutions. The exercise uses three types of criteria to indicate effectiveness: subjective ratings, data about students and activities, and institutional capacity and financial…

  13. Improving pandemic influenza risk assessment

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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. 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…

  16. 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.

  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. An Improved Database System for Program Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haga, Wayne; Morris, Gerard; Morrell, Joseph S.

    2011-01-01

    This research paper presents a database management system for tracking course assessment data and reporting related outcomes for program assessment. It improves on a database system previously presented by the authors and in use for two years. The database system presented is specific to assessment for ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and…

  19. Project LINK: Improving Risk and Protective Factors through Comprehensive Services

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cross, Jennifer E.; Mohajeri-Nelson, Nazanin; Newman-Gonchar, Rebecca

    2007-01-01

    This article describes the outcomes of Project LINK, a Safe Schools/Healthy Students grantee in Larimer County, Colorado. The study analyzed the influence of policies and administrative support on the implementation of programs as well as on risk and protective factors predictive of violent behaviors and drug and alcohol use. Results showed…

  20. A Record Linking System for Research on School Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mandeville, Garrett K.

    1991-01-01

    Describes a computer algorithm used in South Carolina public schools that links year-to-year student test records. The process of matching data files is explained, computer matches are compared with matches based on numeric student identification numbers to determine accuracy, and other applications in support of educational research are…

  1. A Record Linking System for Research on School Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mandeville, Garrett K.

    This paper describes and evaluates a computerized system, MATCH, which is being used in South Carolina to match or link student records from year to year. The functioning of MATCH and its specific features are described, and its use in matching student test scores is detailed. The problem of mismatched records and the use of visual editing to…

  2. Cross-Linked Antioxidant Nanozymes for Improved Delivery to CNS

    PubMed Central

    Klyachko, Natalia L.; Manickam, Devika S.; Brynskikh, Anna M.; Uglanova, Svetlana V.; Li, Shu; Higginbotham, Sheila M.; Bronich, Tatiana K.; Batrakova, Elena V.; Kabanov, Alexander V.

    2011-01-01

    Formulations of antioxidant enzymes, superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1, also known as Cu/Zn SOD) and catalase were prepared by electrostatic coupling of enzymes with cationic block copolymers, polyethyleneimine-poly(ethylene glycol) or poly(L-lysine)-poly(ethylene glycol), followed by covalent cross-linking to stabilize nanoparticles. Different cross-linking strategies (using glutaraldehyde, bis-(sulfosuccinimidyl)suberate sodium salt or 1-Ethyl-3-[3-dimethylaminopropyl]carbodiimide hydrochloride with N-hydroxysulfosuccinimide) and reaction conditions (pH and polycation/protein charge ratio) were investigated that allowed immobilizing active enzymes in cross-linked nanoparticles, termed “nanozymes”. Bi-enzyme nanoparticles, containing both SOD1 and catalase were also formulated. Formation of complexes was confirmed using denaturing gel electrophoresis and western blotting and physicochemical characterization was conducted using dynamic light scattering and atomic force microscopy. In vivo studies of 125I-labeled SOD1-containing nanozymes in mice demonstrated its increased stability in both blood and brain and increased accumulation in brain tissues, compared to non-cross-linked complexes and native SOD1. Future studies will evaluate potential of these formulations for delivery of antioxidant enzymes to central nervous system to attenuate oxidative stress associated with neurological diseases. PMID:21703990

  3. 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.

  4. The missing link: self-assessment and continuing professional development.

    PubMed

    Redwood, C; Winning, T; Townsend, G

    2010-03-01

    The purpose of this paper is to review current understanding of the role of self-assessment in continuing education, particularly in the health professions, and to examine how this knowledge can assist in more effective continuing education. The ongoing debate over compulsory continuing professional development (CPD) has seen a variety of approaches proposed. CPD programmes are expected to foster self-assessing and self-directed practitioners, but the common structure is reported to be largely ineffectual in modifying behaviour. If dentistry is to maintain the rights and privileges of a self-regulating profession, then it must ensure that the development and judgement of ongoing competence is meaningful. Improving practitioners' knowledge of the how and why of effective self-assessment should improve participation in, and outcomes of, CPD. An oft-repeated observation is that the least competent are the most confident. If this is the case, then the idea that dentists should be able, or entitled, to choose the path of their continuing professional development must be open to question. We propose that development of the ability of practitioners to self-assess their ongoing requirements for CPD is essential if all stakeholders are to get the maximum return for effort.

  5. The use of link provider data to improve national genetic evaluation across weakly connected subpopulations.

    PubMed

    Nakaoka, H; Gaillard, C; Fujinaka, K; Watanabe, N; Ito, M; Kawada, K; Ibi, T; Sasae, Y; Sasaki, Y

    2009-01-01

    Data from 3 prefectures and a nationwide farming corporation were used to assess the usefulness of the "link provider data" in providing indirect genetic links for the national genetic evaluation for carcass weight across weakly connected subpopulations of the Japanese Black cattle. The data from the farming corporation provided genetic links to those of all prefectures and was therefore used as the link provider data. Two national genetic evaluation strategies under an animal model were compared, based on the generalized coefficient of determination (CD) of contrasts between mean EBV of sires or maternal grandsires (MGS) from different prefectures: strategy PA-1 was a pooled analysis of the data sets of the 3 prefectures, and strategy PA-2 was a pooled analysis of the data sets of the 3 prefectures and the farming corporation. The CD of the contrasts were greater for PA-2 than for PA-1. Under PA-2, the CD of the contrasts between mean EBV of sires or MGS ranged from 0.67 to 0.78 or from 0.61 to 0.70, respectively. Pooling the data from the 3 prefectures and the farming corporation increased the degree of connectedness through the link provider data rather than the amount of information by adding more data, thus improving the accuracy of prediction. The differences between mean EBV of sires or MGS from different prefectures were smaller for PA-1 than for PA-2. This finding suggests that genetic differences in carcass weight among prefectures are present, but that they would be confused with the environmental differences under PA-1 because of the lack of genetic connectedness among the prefectures. On the other hand, the genetic differences among the prefectures would be predicted precisely under PA-2 because the genetic connectedness among the prefectures was improved by using the link provider data. The results demonstrate that the link provider data could be used to unify within-prefecture evaluation to form a Japanese national genetic evaluation across weakly

  6. Linking GIS and storm water modeling for emergency risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Newkirk, R.T.

    1995-12-31

    Many emergencies involve the deposition of chemical contaminants on land either as a direct event or as a secondary byproduct. GIS can be useful in estimating the initial deposition area. Chemical product attribute data bases can be accessed to determine the degree that the contaminants might be transportable in a water medium. An important issue is to estimate the potential impact of the deposition on surface and subsurface water flows. This particularly important since millions of people rely on subsurface ground water as their main source of potable water. Thus, a modeling system is needed by planners and emergency managers to assess the potential for short and long term risks to communities due to storm water transport of deposited contaminants. GIS itself cannot provide the complete analysis. A prototype system to assist in estimating the flows of contaminants related to an emergency has been developed by linking an Arc/Info database, Digital Terrain Model, and SWMM the storm water management modeling system. This system also has important planning applications in assessing alternative land development plans for their impact on ground water recharge and management of storm water.

  7. The Social Intelligence of Principals: Links to Teachers' Continuous Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McQuade, Joan

    2013-01-01

    Despite multiple efforts to reform 21st education to better meet the needs of all students, school improvement successes have been sporadic and debatable. Research suggests that significant improvement lies within the purview of teachers and principals, and this current research provided the underpinnings for the study. Based on neuroscience…

  8. Winning performance improvement strategies--linking documentation and accounts receivable.

    PubMed

    Braden, J H; Swadley, D

    1996-01-01

    When the HIM department at The University of Texas Medical Branch set out to improve documentation and accounts receivable management, it established a plan that encompassed a broad spectrum of data management process changes. The department examined and acknowledged the deficiencies in data management processes and used performance improvement tools to achieve successful results.

  9. The Social Intelligence of Principals: Links to Teachers' Continuous Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McQuade, Joan

    2013-01-01

    Despite multiple efforts to reform 21st education to better meet the needs of all students, school improvement successes have been sporadic and debatable. Research suggests that significant improvement lies within the purview of teachers and principals, and this current research provided the underpinnings for the study. Based on neuroscience…

  10. Improving Student Achievement through Alternative Assessments.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Durning, Jermaine; Matyasec, Maryann

    An attempt was made to improve students' academic grades and students' opinions of themselves as learners through the use of alternative assessments. The format of mastery learning using the direct instruction practice model was combined with performance-based assessment to increase achievement, self-esteem, and higher level thinking skills.…

  11. 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…

  12. State Assessment: A Beginning Toward School Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Donovan, David L.

    The educational assessment of basic skills in Michigan has grown from a needed source of information on achievement to an integral part of statewide efforts to improve school achievement. The educational assessment program first provided information to address two important educational questions: "What is the level of basic skills achievement…

  13. 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…

  14. Improving Student Work Linked with Professional Growth: What Synergism!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Firlik, Russ

    This paper describes the establishment of a professional growth and evaluation system in Connecticut's New Canaan Public Schools. The effort included various significant opportunities for teachers to assess themselves and guide their own professional thinking and action. These opportunities resulted in richer feedback to teachers about their…

  15. The Partnership for Rural Improvement: Linking Knowledge and Action.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luther, Joseph; Braglio, Vicki Ann

    The major goals of the Partnership for Rural Improvement (PRI) are to explore models for rural development and planning and to engage institutions of higher learning in progressively greater collaboration in delivering services to rural areas. Knowledge of rural planning in a PRI area exists at three scales: planner-educator-facilitators, local…

  16. Value-based physician compensation: a link to performance improvement.

    PubMed

    Bunkers, Brian; Koch, Mark; Lubinsky, Jeanie; Weisz, Jeffrey A; Whited, Brian

    2016-03-01

    To prepare for the healthcare industry's transition to value-based care, Mayo Clinic Health System implemented a new, value-focused physician compensation plan as part of a larger initiative aimed at systemwide clinical integration. The plan uses three value-based metrics, focusing on outcomes, safety, and patient experience, that initially would determine 5 percent of a physician's compensation. Notable improvements achieved in the first year of the plan's implementation were strong indicators of the potential effectiveness of such a plan.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. State Systems Improvement Self-Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mid-South Regional Resource Center (MSRRC), 2008

    2008-01-01

    This document was developed by the Mid-South Regional Resource Center (MSRRC) and is designed to be used as an assessment of State systems by State Part B and Part C staff and their stakeholders. It provides a detailed process for State Education Agencies (SEA) and Lead Agencies (LA) to follow that will guide improvement efforts relative to the…

  1. Using Assessment Data to Improve Teaching.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gray, Peter J.

    1991-01-01

    Assessment of college teaching is viewed broadly as the gathering of information for understanding and improving teaching as well as judging its quality. It is seen to play a crucial support role at each stage of instructional development: problem clarification, instructional design/redesign, and field testing and implementation. (MSE)

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. Lexical Link Analysis (LLA) Application: Improving Web Service to Defense Acquisition Visibility Environment

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-09-30

    SPONSORED REPORT SERIES Lexical Link Analysis (LLA) Application: Improving Web Service to Defense Acquisition Visibility Environment 30...Lexical Link Analysis (LLA) Application: Improving Web Service to Defense Acquisition Visibility Environment 30 September 2015 Dr. Ying Zhao, Research...tasks completed this year. Task 1. We worked with the OSD OUSD ATL (US) to install the LLA/SSA/CLA system as a web service in the Defense

  5. 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…

  6. Objective Assessment of Quality Measurement and Improvement

    PubMed Central

    Damle, Aneel; Alavi, Karim

    2014-01-01

    Accurate quality measurement that allows for and results in improvement is essential to colon and rectal surgery. Currently, no consensus exists as to which variables are most important in measuring outcomes. Debate continues concerning the “best” variables to measure from a structural, process, and outcomes standpoint. Although American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program provides an opportunity for outcomes measurement in general and vascular surgery, there is no specific quality improvement tool available for colon and rectal surgery. However, there is growing literature testing the validity of candidate variables to be used in such a data collection system. This article evaluates the current objective assessment measurements used for quality improvement in colon and rectal surgery. PMID:27053926

  7. 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.

  8. Improving Social Security's Financial Capability Assessments.

    PubMed

    Appelbaum, Paul S; Birkenmaier, Julie; Norman, Marc

    2016-07-01

    When Social Security beneficiaries are incapable of managing their benefits, the agency can appoint a representative payee to administer benefits on their behalf. A committee of the Institute of Medicine was asked by the Social Security Administration to review the process by which financial capability determinations are made and to recommend improvements. The committee's conclusions and recommendations include the following: giving priority to real-world financial performance in assessing capability, providing clearer instructions to informants, developing systematic approaches to identifying beneficiaries at risk of incapability, exploring the use of a supervised direct payment option, and instituting regular data collection to assist in improving operations.

  9. ASSESSING HEADWATER STREAMS: LINKING LANDSCAPES TO STREAM NETWORKS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Headwater streams represent a significant land-water boundary and drain 70-80% of the landscape. Headwater streams are vital components to drainage systems and are directly linked to our downstream rivers and lakes. However, alteration and loss of headwater streams have occurre...

  10. ASSESSING HEADWATER STREAMS: LINKING LANDSCAPES TO STREAM NETWORKS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Headwater streams represent a significant land-water boundary and drain 70-80% of the landscape. Headwater streams are vital components to drainage systems and are directly linked to our downstream rivers and lakes. However, alteration and loss of headwater streams have occurre...

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    Calcium phosphate (CaP) cements are highly applicable and valuable materials for filling bone defects by minimally invasive procedures. The 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 was slightly improved. Based on the presented results, cross-linking does not have a significant effect on porosity. As expected, by increasing the P/L ratio of a sample, ductility and injectability were decreased. However, in the most cases, mechanical properties were enhanced. The results have shown that cross-linking can improve the mechanical properties of CaP-CS and hence it can be used for bone tissue engineering applications.

  13. Improvements to NASA's Debris Assessment Software

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Opiela, J.; Johnson, Nicholas L.

    2007-01-01

    NASA's Debris Assessment Software (DAS) has been substantially revised and expanded. DAS is designed to assist NASA programs in performing orbital debris assessments, as described in NASA s Guidelines and Assessment Procedures for Limiting Orbital Debris. The extensive upgrade of DAS was undertaken to reflect changes in the debris mitigation guidelines, to incorporate recommendations from DAS users, and to take advantage of recent software capabilities for greater user utility. DAS 2.0 includes an updated environment model and enhanced orbital propagators and reentry-survivability models. The ORDEM96 debris environment model has been replaced by ORDEM2000 in DAS 2.0, which is also designed to accept anticipated revisions to the environment definition. Numerous upgrades have also been applied to the assessment of human casualty potential due to reentering debris. Routines derived from the Object Reentry Survival Analysis Tool, Version 6 (ORSAT 6), determine which objects are assessed to survive reentry, and the resulting risk of human casualty is calculated directly based upon the orbital inclination and a future world population database. When evaluating reentry risks, the user may enter up to 200 unique hardware components for each launched object, in up to four nested levels. This last feature allows the software to more accurately model components that are exposed below the initial breakup altitude. The new DAS 2.0 provides an updated set of tools for users to assess their mission s compliance with the NASA Safety Standard and does so with a clear and easy-to-understand interface. The new native Microsoft Windows graphical user interface (GUI) is a vast improvement over the previous DOS-based interface. In the new version, functions are more-clearly laid out, and the GUI includes the standard Windows-style Help functions. The underlying routines within the DAS code are also improved.

  14. 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…

  15. 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.…

  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. Taking Teaching to (Performance) Task: Linking Pedagogical and Assessment Practices

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chun, Marc

    2010-01-01

    Because most teaching is done in the classroom, most assessment of learning is done by faculty for their own courses. But since a college or university's collective learning goals, such as the development of higher-order thinking skills, are not the sole province of any single course or faculty member, the assessment of them needs to track the…

  18. Linking the Pennsylvania PSSA 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 Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) reading and math with those of the…

  19. Linking the Arizona AZMERIT 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…

  20. Linking the Kansas KAP 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…

  1. Linking the Texas STAAR 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…

  2. 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…

  3. Linking the PARCC Assessments to NWEA MAP Tests for Illinois

    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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    2015-05-05

    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.

  7. Lexical Link Analysis Application: Improving Web Service to Acquisition Visibility Portal Phase III

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-04-30

    ååì~ä=^Åèìáëáíáçå= oÉëÉ~êÅÜ=póãéçëáìã= qÜìêëÇ~ó=pÉëëáçåë= sçäìãÉ=ff= = Lexical Link Analysis Application: Improving Web Service to Acquisition...2015 2. REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED 00-00-2015 to 00-00-2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Lexical Link Analysis Application: Improving Web Service...www.acquisitionresearch.net). ^Åèìáëáíáçå=oÉëÉ~êÅÜ=mêçÖê~ãW= `êÉ~íáåÖ=póåÉêÖó=Ñçê=fåÑçêãÉÇ=`Ü~åÖÉ= - 345 - Lexical Link Analysis Application: Improving Web Service

  8. Linking Assessment to Undergraduate Student Capabilities through Portfolio Examination

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Sullivan, Anthony J.; Harris, Peter; Hughes, Chris S.; Toohey, Susan M.; Balasooriya, Chinthaka; Velan, Gary; Kumar, Rakesh K.; McNeil, H. Patrick

    2012-01-01

    Portfolios are an established method of assessment, although concerns do exist around their validity for capabilities such as reflection and self-direction. This article describes an e-portfolio which closely aligns learning and reflection to graduate capabilities, incorporating features that address concerns about portfolios. Students are…

  9. 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…

  10. Linking Assessment, Curriculum, and Instruction of Oral and Written Language.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wesson, Caren; And Others

    1989-01-01

    This article discusses preinstructional assessment (PIA) for determining appropriate curricula, particularly oral and written language curricula, for exceptional students. Collection and analysis of oral and written language samples for PIA are described. Ongoing monitoring of progress in the domain is discussed as a means to make instruction…

  11. Linking Physical Climate Research and Economic Assessments of Mitigation Policies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stainforth, David; Calel, Raphael

    2017-04-01

    Evaluating climate change policies requires economic assessments which balance the costs and benefits of climate action. A certain class of Integrated Assessment Models (IAMS) are widely used for this type of analysis; DICE, PAGE and FUND are three of the most influential. In the economics community there has been much discussion and debate about the economic assumptions implemented within these models. Two aspects in particular have gained much attention: i) the costs of damages resulting from climate change - the so-called damage function, and ii) the choice of discount rate applied to future costs and benefits. There has, however, been rather little attention given to the consequences of the choices made in the physical climate models within these IAMS. Here we discuss the practical aspects of the implementation of the physical models in these IAMS, as well as the implications of choices made in these physical science components for economic assessments[1]. We present a simple breakdown of how these IAMS differently represent the climate system as a consequence of differing underlying physical models, different parametric assumptions (for parameters representing, for instance, feedbacks and ocean heat uptake) and different numerical approaches to solving the models. We present the physical and economic consequences of these differences and reflect on how we might better incorporate the latest physical science understanding in economic models of this type. [1] Calel, R. and Stainforth D.A., "On the Physics of Three Integrated Assessment Models", Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, in press.

  12. Linking the North Carolina EOG 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 North Carolina End-of-Grade (EOG) English language arts (ELA) and math with those…

  13. Quantitative assessment of fibrinogen cross-linking by epsilon aminocaproic acid in patients with end-stage liver disease.

    PubMed

    Quach, Thien; Tippens, Melissa; Szlam, Fania; Van Dyke, Rebecca; Levy, Jerrold H; Csete, Marie

    2004-01-01

    Analysis of the effectiveness of antifibrinolytic therapy for liver transplant recipients is hampered by lack of quantitative assays for assessing drug effects. We adapted chemical engineering tools used in polymerization studies to quantify fibrinogen cross-linking by plasma from liver transplant patients obtained before and after epsilon aminocaproic acid (EACA) therapy. A target fluorescein isothiocyanate-fibrinogen (FITC-fibrinogen) molecule was constructed; it fluoresces in a quantifiable pattern when in solution, and undergoes cross-linking in the presence of plasmin inhibitors. Cross-linking quenches the fluorescent signal, and the quenching is a quantifiable endpoint. Thus fluorescence from this reporter molecule can be used to assess functional improvement in fibrinogen cross-linking as a result of antifibrinolytic therapies, and it is sensitive to picomolar amounts of plasmin inhibitors and activators. Cross-linking of FITC-fibrinogen by patient plasma, before and after EACA therapy, was assessed using fluorescence spectrometry. Fluorescence patterns from FITC-fibrinogen indicated no significant cross-linking of the target fibrinogen as a consequence of EACA in posttreatment plasma. When the fibrinogen-FITC target was assayed without plasma in the presence of EACA at concentrations that bracket therapeutic levels (100 and 400 microg/ml), significant fluorescence quenching (target FITC-fibrinogen cross-linking) was achieved. These results suggest that fibrinogen-FITC fluorescence is sensitive enough to detect EACA activity in clinically relevant ranges, but that EACA given in usual doses is insufficient to promote fibrinogen cross-linking in patients with end-stage liver disease.

  14. 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…

  15. Improved Differential Ion Mobility Separations Using Linked Scans of Carrier Gas Composition and Compensation Field

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santiago, Brandon G.; Harris, Rachel A.; Isenberg, Samantha L.; Ridgeway, Mark E.; Pilo, Alice L.; Kaplan, Desmond A.; Glish, Gary L.

    2015-07-01

    Differential ion mobility spectrometry (DIMS) separates ions based on differences in their mobilities in low and high electric fields. When coupled to mass spectrometric analyses, DIMS has the ability to improve signal-to-background by eliminating isobaric and isomeric compounds for analytes in complex mixtures. DIMS separation power, often measured by resolution and peak capacity, can be improved through increasing the fraction of helium in the nitrogen carrier gas. However, because the mobility of ions is higher in helium, a greater number of ions collide with the DIMS electrodes or housing, yielding losses in signal intensity. To take advantage of the benefits of helium addition on DIMS separations and reduce ion losses, linked scans were developed. In a linked scan the helium content of the carrier gas is reduced as the compensation field is increased. Linked scans were compared with conventional compensation field scans with constant helium content for the protein ubiquitin and a tryptic digest of bovine serum albumin (BSA). Linked scans yield better separation of ubiquitin charge states and enhanced peak capacities for the analysis of BSA compared with compensation field scans with constant helium carrier gas percentages. Linked scans also offer improved signal intensity retention in comparison to compensation field scans with constant helium percentages in the carrier gas.

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. Thiol-linked alkylation of RNA to assess expression dynamics.

    PubMed

    Herzog, Veronika A; Reichholf, Brian; Neumann, Tobias; Rescheneder, Philipp; Bhat, Pooja; Burkard, Thomas R; Wlotzka, Wiebke; von Haeseler, Arndt; Zuber, Johannes; Ameres, Stefan L

    2017-09-25

    Gene expression profiling by high-throughput sequencing reveals qualitative and quantitative changes in RNA species at steady state but obscures the intracellular dynamics of RNA transcription, processing and decay. We developed thiol(SH)-linked alkylation for the metabolic sequencing of RNA (SLAM seq), an orthogonal-chemistry-based RNA sequencing technology that detects 4-thiouridine (s(4)U) incorporation in RNA species at single-nucleotide resolution. In combination with well-established metabolic RNA labeling protocols and coupled to standard, low-input, high-throughput RNA sequencing methods, SLAM seq enabled rapid access to RNA-polymerase-II-dependent gene expression dynamics in the context of total RNA. We validated the method in mouse embryonic stem cells by showing that the RNA-polymerase-II-dependent transcriptional output scaled with Oct4/Sox2/Nanog-defined enhancer activity, and we provide quantitative and mechanistic evidence for transcript-specific RNA turnover mediated by post-transcriptional gene regulatory pathways initiated by microRNAs and N(6)-methyladenosine. SLAM seq facilitates the dissection of fundamental mechanisms that control gene expression in an accessible, cost-effective and scalable manner.

  19. Strengthening the link between project planning and environmental impact assessment : the assembled chemical weapons assessment dialogue process.

    SciTech Connect

    Goldberg, M. S.; Environmental Assessment

    2003-01-01

    An approach to stakeholder involvement known as the Dialogue process has been an integral part of the US Department of Defense Assembled Chemical Weapons Assessment (ACWA) Program from its inception. It has provided a means of soliciting stakeholder input before key decisions are made. The projects developed under the ACWA Program are characterized as major federal actions and therefore also must meet the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). One of these is the requirement for public participation in the environmental impact assessment process. This case study describes the ACWA Dialogue and NEPA processes, and examines their relationship in the implementation of the ACWA Program. The examination suggests that involving the public at the beginning of a program through a Dialogue-like process can introduce environmental considerations early in the project development process and contribute to the development of a more informed public. These factors improve the overall efficacy of public participation, strengthening the link between project development and environmental assessment in a manner consistent with the original intent of NEPA.

  20. Lexical Link Analysis (LLA) Application: Improving Web Service to Defense Acquisition Visibility Environment (DAVE)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-05-01

    1 LEXICAL LINK ANALYSIS (LLA) APPLICATION: IMPROVING WEB SERVICE TO DEFENSE ACQUISITION VISIBILITY ENVIRONMENT(DAVE) May 13-14, 2015 Dr. Ying...Improving Web Service to Defense Acquisition Visibility Environment (DAVE) 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR...pattern recognition that scales up to Big Data • System Self-Awareness (SSA) • Big data and Deep Learning (BDDL) / Big Data Architecture and

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-02

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. An improved approach for flight readiness assessment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, N. R.; Ebbeler, D. H.; Creager, M.

    1990-01-01

    An improved methodology for quantitatively evaluating failure risk for a spaceflight system in order to assess flight readiness is presented. This methodology is of particular value when information relevant to failure prediction, including test experience and knowledge of parameters used in engineering analyses of failure phenomena, is limited. In this approach, engineering analysis models that characterize specific failure modes based on the physics and mechanics of the failure phenomena are used in a prescribed probabilistic structure to generate a failure probability distribution that is modified by test and flight experience in a Bayesian statistical procedure. The probabilistic structure and statistical methodology are generally applicable to any failure mode for which quantitative engineering analysis can be employed to characterize the failure phenomenon and are particularly well suited for use under the constraints on information availability that are typical of such spaceflight systems as the Space Shuttle and planetary spacecraft.

  4. 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.…

  5. 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.…

  6. Improving study design for antidepressant effectiveness assessment.

    PubMed

    Naudet, Florian; Millet, Bruno; Reymann, Jean Michel; Falissard, Bruno

    2013-09-01

    Antidepressants effectiveness in major depressive disorder (MDD) is still questioned because the extrapolation of randomized controlled trial (RCT) results to "real life" settings is problematic. The application of the RCT paradigm in a disorder of this type, where global care plays a central role, raises questions regarding the internal and external validity of this type of study. Outcome measurement, attrition rates, the ability of the double-blind design to control for expectations, placebo response, the representativeness of trial participants and publication bias are major methodological pitfalls. This review discusses these issues. It is illustrated using original data and proposes some alternatives for assessing antidepressant effectiveness via different approaches. Some are easy to implement, such as ecological measures, qualitative approaches, improvement of analytical strategy and improvement of blinding procedures. Some are sophisticated, involving temporary deception to deal with the confounding effect of expectations, and they raise ethical issues. Others resort to external validity, this being the case in observational studies. But all are necessary to explore antidepressant effectiveness.

  7. Vulnerability Assessment: The Seasons-to-Centuries Links

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brenkert, A.; Malone, E. L.; Moss, R.

    2002-05-01

    Actors within societies must cope with climate variability all the time, for example, with the aftermath of a severe storm, a persistent drought, severe flooding or coastal erosion from storm-induced sea-level surges. Understanding the capacity to respond to these types of experiences is important in its own right, and also provides a baseline against which to measure adaptive responses to long-term changes to climate. Because the rate, magnitude, pattern, and potential for non-linear rapid future changes in climate remain uncertain, increasing resilience of systems to climate variability is an important first step in planning for adaptation to long-term changes. An important characteristic of analysis of vulnerability to climate variability is the need to integrate information on both environmental and socio-economic factors that affect the ability of different actors to mount an effective response. We developed a framework for considering responses to both climate variability and change that is relevant to analysis at a variety of geographic scales. Our Vulnerability-Resilience Assessment methodology is an indicator-based prototype model that calculates the overall vulnerability or resilience of an area to climate variability and change. The model integrates information on the climate sensitivity of five sectors or areas of activity (food security, water resources, human settlements, ecosystem services, and human health) with information on economic, human resources, and environmental capacity to cope or adapt to variability and change. The model can be used for both static assessment of vulnerability at a point in time as well as for assessing how vulnerability and resilience would evolve in the future under different assumptions of socio-economic and environmental change. When coupled with uncertainty analysis, the modeling system can be used to identify those factors that have the most influence on vulnerability and capacity to adapt to variability and change

  8. A preferential attachment strategy for connectivity link addition strategy in improving the robustness of interdependent networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xingyuan; Cao, Jianye; Li, Rui; Zhao, Tianfang

    2017-10-01

    Given the same two networks and only one-to-one interlinks are allowed, apparently interdependent networks coupled by these two networks has the optimal robustness when we connect every pair of the same nodes in these two networks. According to the structure of this interdependent network with the optimal robustness, we propose a preferential attachment strategy. And by applying this preferential attachment strategy to three existing connectivity link addition strategies RA (random addition strategy), LD (low degree addition strategy) and LIDD (low inter degree-degree difference addition strategy), we find that each improved strategy is obviously better than before in improving the robustness of interdependent networks. Our findings can provide guidance on connectivity link addition strategy to improve robustness of interdependent networks against cascading failures.

  9. Improving Assessment "of" Learning and "for" Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harlen, Wynne

    2009-01-01

    The focus of this article is recent work by the Assessment Reform Group (ARG) on the role of teachers' judgements in the summative use of assessment. A brief overview of the early work of the ARG is followed by discussion of the desirable properties of assessment for summative uses. The work of the ARG's Assessment Systems for the Future project…

  10. Assessing Intellectual Development: The Link between Theory and Practice. ACPA Media Publication No. 47.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Magolda, Marcia B. Baxter; Porterfield, William D.

    This book articulates an integrated conceptualization of theory, assessment, application, and evaluation through the study of assessment and its role in linking theory and practice. Part 1 of the book contains six chapters which address the conceptualization of these four components, the potential for integrating them in the context of…

  11. Text mining for improved exposure assessment.

    PubMed

    Larsson, Kristin; Baker, Simon; Silins, Ilona; Guo, Yufan; Stenius, Ulla; Korhonen, Anna; Berglund, Marika

    2017-01-01

    Chemical exposure assessments are based on information collected via different methods, such as biomonitoring, personal monitoring, environmental monitoring and questionnaires. The vast amount of chemical-specific exposure information available from web-based databases, such as PubMed, is undoubtedly a great asset to the scientific community. However, manual retrieval of relevant published information is an extremely time consuming task and overviewing the data is nearly impossible. Here, we present the development of an automatic classifier for chemical exposure information. First, nearly 3700 abstracts were manually annotated by an expert in exposure sciences according to a taxonomy exclusively created for exposure information. Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques were used to extract semantic and syntactic features relevant to chemical exposure text. Using these features, we trained a supervised machine learning algorithm to automatically classify PubMed abstracts according to the exposure taxonomy. The resulting classifier demonstrates good performance in the intrinsic evaluation. We also show that the classifier improves information retrieval of chemical exposure data compared to keyword-based PubMed searches. Case studies demonstrate that the classifier can be used to assist researchers by facilitating information retrieval and classification, enabling data gap recognition and overviewing available scientific literature using chemical-specific publication profiles. Finally, we identify challenges to be addressed in future development of the system.

  12. Text mining for improved exposure assessment

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Simon; Silins, Ilona; Guo, Yufan; Stenius, Ulla; Korhonen, Anna; Berglund, Marika

    2017-01-01

    Chemical exposure assessments are based on information collected via different methods, such as biomonitoring, personal monitoring, environmental monitoring and questionnaires. The vast amount of chemical-specific exposure information available from web-based databases, such as PubMed, is undoubtedly a great asset to the scientific community. However, manual retrieval of relevant published information is an extremely time consuming task and overviewing the data is nearly impossible. Here, we present the development of an automatic classifier for chemical exposure information. First, nearly 3700 abstracts were manually annotated by an expert in exposure sciences according to a taxonomy exclusively created for exposure information. Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques were used to extract semantic and syntactic features relevant to chemical exposure text. Using these features, we trained a supervised machine learning algorithm to automatically classify PubMed abstracts according to the exposure taxonomy. The resulting classifier demonstrates good performance in the intrinsic evaluation. We also show that the classifier improves information retrieval of chemical exposure data compared to keyword-based PubMed searches. Case studies demonstrate that the classifier can be used to assist researchers by facilitating information retrieval and classification, enabling data gap recognition and overviewing available scientific literature using chemical-specific publication profiles. Finally, we identify challenges to be addressed in future development of the system. PMID:28257498

  13. Improving the mechanical and thermal properties of gelatin hydrogels cross-linked by cellulose nanowhiskers.

    PubMed

    Dash, Rajalaxmi; Foston, Marcus; Ragauskas, Arthur J

    2013-01-16

    This study demonstrates the preparation of a renewable and biocompatible hydrogel with superior mechanical properties consisting of a gelatin matrix cross-linked with oxidized cellulose nanowhiskers. We found an increased degree of chemical cross-linking (0.14-17%) between gelatin and nanowhiskers with the increased amount of aldehyde contents (0.062-0.230mmolg(-1)). (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) T(2) relaxation experiments on D(2)O swollen hydrogels demonstrated systems consisting of both gelatin and cellulose nanowhiskers displayed a higher percentage of "ridge" protons, attributed in part to increasing chemical cross-linking junction points between gelatin and nanowhiskers. This increase in hydrogel rigidity not only modified local chain dynamics but also influenced gel swelling, showing relatively reduced water uptake ability than that of the neat gelatin. Rheological measurements confirmed a 150% improvement in storage modulus (G') of the cross-linked hydrogels compared to neat gelatin. Chemical cross-linking also increased the resistance of the gels towards thermal degradation above the melting temperature of gelatin as observed by thermal scanning experiments. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Linking public health agencies and hospitals for improved emergency preparedness: North Carolina's public health epidemiologist program

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background In 2003, 11 public health epidemiologists were placed in North Carolina's largest hospitals to enhance communication between public health agencies and healthcare systems for improved emergency preparedness. We describe the specific services public health epidemiologists provide to local health departments, the North Carolina Division of Public Health, and the hospitals in which they are based, and assess the value of these services to stakeholders. Methods We surveyed and/or interviewed public health epidemiologists, communicable disease nurses based at local health departments, North Carolina Division of Public Health staff, and public health epidemiologists' hospital supervisors to 1) elicit the services provided by public health epidemiologists in daily practice and during emergencies and 2) examine the value of these services. Interviews were transcribed and imported into ATLAS.ti for coding and analysis. Descriptive analyses were performed on quantitative survey data. Results Public health epidemiologists conduct syndromic surveillance of community-acquired infections and potential bioterrorism events, assist local health departments and the North Carolina Division of Public Health with public health investigations, educate clinicians on diseases of public health importance, and enhance communication between hospitals and public health agencies. Stakeholders place on a high value on the unique services provided by public health epidemiologists. Conclusions Public health epidemiologists effectively link public health agencies and hospitals to enhance syndromic surveillance, communicable disease management, and public health emergency preparedness and response. This comprehensive description of the program and its value to stakeholders, both in routine daily practice and in responding to a major public health emergency, can inform other states that may wish to establish a similar program as part of their larger public health emergency preparedness

  15. Linking public health agencies and hospitals for improved emergency preparedness: North Carolina's public health epidemiologist program.

    PubMed

    Markiewicz, Milissa; Bevc, Christine A; Hegle, Jennifer; Horney, Jennifer A; Davies, Megan; MacDonald, Pia D M

    2012-02-23

    In 2003, 11 public health epidemiologists were placed in North Carolina's largest hospitals to enhance communication between public health agencies and healthcare systems for improved emergency preparedness. We describe the specific services public health epidemiologists provide to local health departments, the North Carolina Division of Public Health, and the hospitals in which they are based, and assess the value of these services to stakeholders. We surveyed and/or interviewed public health epidemiologists, communicable disease nurses based at local health departments, North Carolina Division of Public Health staff, and public health epidemiologists' hospital supervisors to 1) elicit the services provided by public health epidemiologists in daily practice and during emergencies and 2) examine the value of these services. Interviews were transcribed and imported into ATLAS.ti for coding and analysis. Descriptive analyses were performed on quantitative survey data. Public health epidemiologists conduct syndromic surveillance of community-acquired infections and potential bioterrorism events, assist local health departments and the North Carolina Division of Public Health with public health investigations, educate clinicians on diseases of public health importance, and enhance communication between hospitals and public health agencies. Stakeholders place on a high value on the unique services provided by public health epidemiologists. Public health epidemiologists effectively link public health agencies and hospitals to enhance syndromic surveillance, communicable disease management, and public health emergency preparedness and response. This comprehensive description of the program and its value to stakeholders, both in routine daily practice and in responding to a major public health emergency, can inform other states that may wish to establish a similar program as part of their larger public health emergency preparedness and response system.

  16. 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.

  17. Assessment of protein function following cross-linking by alpha-dicarbonyls.

    PubMed

    Miller, Antonia G; Gerrard, Juliet A

    2005-06-01

    Protein cross-linking via the Maillard reaction with alpha-dicarbonyl compounds has been the subject of intense scrutiny in the literature. We report here a study of the impact of this cross-linking on enzyme function. Protein function following glycation was examined by treating ribonuclease A with methylglyoxal, glyoxal, and diacetyl, which cross-linked the enzyme and impaired its activity. The effects of two reported Maillard reaction inhibitors, aminoguanidine and 3,5-dimethylpyrazole-1-carboxamidine, on the cross-linking reaction were assessed, with a parallel measurement of the effect on enzyme activity. The results demonstrate that preventing protein cross-linking does not necessarily preserve enzyme activity. These results cast doubt on the likely efficacy of some purported antiaging compounds in vivo.

  18. 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.

  19. Assessing Student Performance for School Improvement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Arkley, Harriet; And Others

    This handbook exists to assist the staff of a Springfield, Illinois school district in implementing the district assessment program and to assist other local school units in developing and assessing an implementation program. Chapter 1 presents information on the philosophical and pragmatic background of comprehensive assessment programs, with…

  20. 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…

  1. Improved enzyme properties upon glutaraldehyde cross-linking of alginate entrapped xylanase from Bacillus licheniformis.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Sharad; Haq, Izharul; Prakash, Jyoti; Raj, Abhay

    2017-05-01

    Enzyme immobilization is an exciting alternative to improve the stability of enzymatic processes and economic viability in terms of reusability. In the current study, purified xylanase from B. licheniformis Alk-1 was immobilized within glutaraldehyde activated calcium alginate beads and characterized in respect of free enzyme. Immobilization increases the optimum pH and temperature of entrapped and cross-linked enzyme from pH=8.0 to 9.0 and 50-60°C. The kinetics parameter of immobilized (cross-linked) enzyme showed an increase in Km (from 4.36mg/mL to 5.38mg/mL) and decrease in Vmax (from 383 IU/mg/min to 370 IU/mg/min). Immobilization increases the optimum reaction time for xylan degradation of immobilized xylanase from 15 to 30min when compare to free form. The storage stability study suggested that the immobilized enzyme retains 80% of its original activity at 4°C after 30days compared to free enzyme (5%). Further, immobilization improved enzyme stability in presence of different additives. The immobilized (cross-linked) enzyme also exhibited adequate recycling efficiency up to five reaction cycles with 37% retention activity. The finding of this study suggests improvement of overall performance of immobilized xylanase in respect to free form and can be used to make a bioreactor for various applications such as poultry feed preparations. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Baby CareLink: using the internet and telemedicine to improve care for high-risk infants.

    PubMed

    Gray, J E; Safran, C; Davis, R B; Pompilio-Weitzner, G; Stewart, J E; Zaccagnini, L; Pursley, D

    2000-12-01

    To evaluate an Internet-based telemedicine program designed to reduce the costs of care, to provide enhanced medical, informational, and emotional support to families of very low birth weight (VLBW) infants during and after their neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) stay. Baby CareLink is a multifaceted telemedicine program that incorporates videoconferencing and World Wide Web (WWW) technologies to enhance interactions between families, staff, and community providers. The videoconferencing module allows virtual visits and distance learning from a family's home during an infant's hospitalization as well as virtual house calls and remote monitoring after discharge. Baby CareLink's WWW site contains information on issues that confront these families. In addition, its security architecture allows efficient and confidential sharing of patient-based data and communications among authorized hospital and community users. A randomized trial of Baby CareLink was conducted in a cohort of VLBW infants born between November 1997 and April 1999. Eligible infants were randomized within 10 days of birth. Families of intervention group infants were given access to the Baby CareLink telemedicine application. A multimedia computer with WWW browser and videoconferencing equipment was installed in their home within 3 weeks of birth. The control group received care as usually practiced in this NICU. Quality of care was assessed using a standardized family satisfaction survey administered after discharge. In addition, the effect of Baby CareLink on hospital length of stay as well as family visitation and interactions with infant and staff were measured. Of the 176 VLBW infants admitted during the study period, 30 control and 26 study patients were enrolled. The groups were similar in patient and family characteristics as well as rates of inpatient morbidity. The CareLink group reported higher overall quality of care. Families in the CareLink group reported significantly fewer problems

  3. Maleimide cross-linked bioactive PEG hydrogel exhibits improved reaction kinetics and cross-linking for cell encapsulation and in-situ delivery

    PubMed Central

    Phelps, Edward A.; Enemchukwu, Nduka O.; Fiore, Vincent F.; Sy, Jay C.; Murthy, Niren; Sulchek, Todd A.; Barker, Thomas H.

    2012-01-01

    Engineered polyethylene glycol-maleimide matrices for regenerative medicine exhibit improved reaction efficiency and wider range of Young’s moduli by utilizing maleimide cross-linking chemistry. This hydrogel chemistry is advantageous for cell delivery due to the mild reaction that occurs rapidly enough for in situ delivery, while easily lending itself to “plug-and-play” design variations such as incorporation of enzyme-cleavable cross-links and cell-adhesion peptides. PMID:22174081

  4. Using Classroom Assessment to Improve Student Learning: Math Problems Aligned with NCTM and Common Core State Standards

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Collins, Anne

    2011-01-01

    Linking assessment to everyday classroom instruction requires a shift in both thinking and practice. For many, the term "assessment" simply means "grade". "Using Classroom Assessment to Improve Student Learning" shows how teachers can move away from using tests, letter or numerical grades, or passing or failing as evidence of student learning to…

  5. 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…

  6. Improving Teachers' Assessment Literacy through Professional Development

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Koh, Kim H.

    2011-01-01

    This study examined the effects of professional development on teachers' assessment literacy between two groups of teachers: (1) teachers who were involved in ongoing and sustained professional development in designing authentic classroom assessment and rubrics; and (2) teachers who were given only short-term, one-shot professional development…

  7. Assessments and skills improvement for endoscopists.

    PubMed

    Anderson, John T

    2016-06-01

    Different countries employ a range of assessment methods to monitor trainees from novice to independent practice. The optimal method to monitor and assess individuals' training in endoscopy has not been formally determined. The UK has developed a competency based assessment training and certification (credentialing) programme. The tools developed to provide endoscopy work based assessments (DOPS) have been validated and are used for trainees and independent endoscopists, providing formative feedback for targeted training. Summative assessments are used for trainee certification and independent colonoscopists wishing to provide part of the National Bowel Cancer Screening Programme. The UK was able to develop both clinical standards and an endoscopy training and certification process applied to all individuals and monitored by a single professional body. The supporting IT system enabled a structured and robust quality assurance process to be applied to all individuals and endoscopy units. Assessment of practising endoscopists relies on the development and measurement of surrogate measures, which represent key performance indicators for those individuals. These surrogates for performance are still evolving although they are now well established for colonoscopy practice. Monitoring of independent practice is dependent on clinical audit of these key performance indicators. Feedback of data to individuals helps benchmarking and identification of those with sub-optimal performance. Independent endoscopists now recognize the benefit of on-going training to help both skills development and to address sub-optimal performance. This chapter describes how the UK developed a web-based integrated training and certification system. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Predictability Assessment and Improving Ensemble Forecasts

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2001-09-30

    system (EFS) output by artificial neural networks . c) Design of optimal EFS’s, with an emphasis on precipitation forecasts. d) Design of stochastic physics parameterizations that improve under-dispersion in EFS s.

  9. Commentary: linking cultural competence training to improved health outcomes: perspectives from the field.

    PubMed

    Betancourt, Joseph R; Green, Alexander R

    2010-04-01

    The Institute of Medicine report entitled Unequal Treatment recommended that all health care professionals receive training in cross-cultural communication-also called "cultural competence"-as one potential strategy for addressing racial or ethnic disparities in health care. Although evidence shows that cultural competence training improves the attitudes, knowledge, and skills of physicians as well as patients' ratings of care, no definitive evidence has yet linked this training to improved health outcomes. Recently, there has been great interest in the field of cultural competence, including an expressed desire for a better understanding of its key principles, of effective ways of engaging clinicians in this area of instruction, and of the link between training and health outcomes. On the basis of years of experience in the field, the authors share key perspectives in all of these areas, with particular focus on a set of guidelines for measuring the impact of cultural competence training on health care outcomes. The authors maintain that cultural competence represents an important building block of clinical care, as well as a skill set that is central to professionalism and quality. Cultural competence training should be evaluated in a stepwise fashion by using the tools of health services research and the principles of quality improvement, and it should be held to the same standards as other educational interventions and activities. Just as medicine strives to meet other challenges in U.S. health care, so should it focus on developing the skills needed to care for the country's diverse population.

  10. Informal Writing Assessment Linked to Instruction: A Continuous Process for Teachers, Students, and Parents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Romeo, Lynn

    2008-01-01

    This article presents a comprehensive model of daily, classroom informal writing assessment that is constantly linked to instruction and the characteristics of proficient writers. Methods for promoting teacher, student, and parent collaboration and their roles in dialoguing, conferencing, and reflection are discussed. Strategies for including…

  11. Assessing crown fire potential by linking models of surface and crown fire behavior

    Treesearch

    Joe H. Scott; Elizabeth D. Reinhardt

    2001-01-01

    Fire managers are increasingly concerned about the threat of crown fires, yet only now are quantitative methods for assessing crown fire hazard being developed. Links among existing mathematical models of fire behavior are used to develop two indices of crown fire hazard-the Torching Index and Crowning Index. These indices can be used to ordinate different forest...

  12. Informal Writing Assessment Linked to Instruction: A Continuous Process for Teachers, Students, and Parents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Romeo, Lynn

    2008-01-01

    This article presents a comprehensive model of daily, classroom informal writing assessment that is constantly linked to instruction and the characteristics of proficient writers. Methods for promoting teacher, student, and parent collaboration and their roles in dialoguing, conferencing, and reflection are discussed. Strategies for including…

  13. 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.

  14. ES&H self-assessment and improvement program

    SciTech Connect

    Higgins, K.; Campisi, J.; Kelly, B.M.

    1997-06-01

    This document provides an overview of the environment, safety, and health (ES&H) self-assessment and improvement process at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). It also suggests further developments for self-assessment and improvement. Section 1 explains the many purposes of the self-assessment and improvement program. Section 2 is a description of ES&H self-assessment and improvement and includes information on performance objectives and performance indicators, self-assessment of work areas and activities, reporting of self-assessment results, improvements and corrective actions, and records retention. The sub-section on self-assessment of work areas and activities includes detailed descriptions of organizational self-assessment, ES&H functional program self-assessments, internal independent ES&H assessment, Lockheed Martin Corporate ES&H assessments, and ES&H self-assessment information analysis and integration. Section 3 defines the roles and responsibilities of the ES&H Assessment Department, ES&H Center, SNL management, SNL employees, and contractors, SNL {open_quotes}Line{close_quotes} organizations, and ES&H functional program owners. Section 4 references associated manuals, policies, and companion documents. The appendix is a glossary of terms used in ES&H assessments.

  15. Improvements to a UHF rebroadcast television link suffering tidal fading: Countisbury UHF relay station

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moore, J. H.

    1987-09-01

    The Countisbury UHF relay station serves the localities of Lynmouth and Lynton in North Devon. For some time, the problems of co-channel interference and tidal fading have on occasion been evident . Results obtained utilizing a new Rebroadcast LINK (RBL) antenna array are given. The RBL has improved considerably the quality of signals received at this relay station. Details are also given of apparatus which enables sampled television picture sequences to be recorded on a VHS video cassette recorder. The channel identification, date and time are derived from the teletext signal and superimposed at the top of the picture.

  16. Improvement on Physical Properties of Pullulan Films by Novel Cross-Linking Strategy.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chieh-Ting; Chen, Kuan-I; Chiang, Hsin-Han; Chen, Yu-Kuo; Cheng, Kuan-Chen

    2017-01-01

    Pullulan based films possess several advantages, including high transparency, low toxicity, good biodegradability, good mechanical properties, and low oxygen permeability, are preferable for food packaging. The application of pullulan films on food packaging, however, has inherent disadvantage of high water solubility. In this study, glutaraldehyde and glycerol were used as the cross-linking reagent and the plasticizer respectively to improve water resistance and physical properties of the pullulan films. Effects of cross-linking degree on physical properties, including water absorptions, swelling behaviors, water vapor permeability and tensile strengths of films were evaluated. FTIR results demonstrated that the pullulan films were successfully cross-linked by glutaraldehyde. The tensile strength of pullulan films could be enhanced significantly (P < 0.05) when glutaraldehyde was between 1% and 5% (w/w); nevertheless, the amount of glutaraldehyde above 20% (w/w) led to films brittleness. With the addition of glycerol as a plasticizer enhanced the extensibility of films as well as the hydrophilicity, resulting in higher water vapor permeability.

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. Personal Understanding of Assessment and the Link to Assessment Practice: The Perspectives of Higher Education Staff

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reimann, Nicola; Sadler, Ian

    2017-01-01

    The study investigates how higher education staff understand assessment, and the relationship between these understandings and their assessment practices. Nine individuals attended a workshop that guided them through the creation of a concept map about assessment, which was subsequently discussed in one-to-one semi-structured interviews. We found…

  20. Multiple and sequential data acquisition method: an improved method for fragmentation and detection of cross-linked peptides on a hybrid linear trap quadrupole Orbitrap Velos mass spectrometer.

    PubMed

    Rudashevskaya, Elena L; Breitwieser, Florian P; Huber, Marie L; Colinge, Jacques; Müller, André C; Bennett, Keiryn L

    2013-02-05

    The identification and validation of cross-linked peptides by mass spectrometry remains a daunting challenge for protein-protein cross-linking approaches when investigating protein interactions. This includes the fragmentation of cross-linked peptides in the mass spectrometer per se and following database searching, the matching of the molecular masses of the fragment ions to the correct cross-linked peptides. The hybrid linear trap quadrupole (LTQ) Orbitrap Velos combines the speed of the tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) duty circle with high mass accuracy, and these features were utilized in the current study to substantially improve the confidence in the identification of cross-linked peptides. An MS/MS method termed multiple and sequential data acquisition method (MSDAM) was developed. Preliminary optimization of the MS/MS settings was performed with a synthetic peptide (TP1) cross-linked with bis[sulfosuccinimidyl] suberate (BS(3)). On the basis of these results, MSDAM was created and assessed on the BS(3)-cross-linked bovine serum albumin (BSA) homodimer. MSDAM applies a series of multiple sequential fragmentation events with a range of different normalized collision energies (NCE) to the same precursor ion. The combination of a series of NCE enabled a considerable improvement in the quality of the fragmentation spectra for cross-linked peptides, and ultimately aided in the identification of the sequences of the cross-linked peptides. Concurrently, MSDAM provides confirmatory evidence from the formation of reporter ions fragments, which reduces the false positive rate of incorrectly assigned cross-linked peptides.

  1. Assessing Blackboard: Improving Online Instructional Delivery

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chawdhry, Adnan A.; Paullet, Karen; Benjamin, Daniel

    2011-01-01

    Universities and colleges have been offering online classes without assessing the tools used for online learning management to determine student perceptions. An understanding of the benefits and concerns as perceived by the student population is essential to implementing an online education environment that is conducive to a student's learning.…

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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

  5. New approaches for improving cardiovascular risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Paredes, Simão; Rocha, Teresa; Mendes, Diana; Carvalho, Paulo; Henriques, Jorge; Morais, João; Ferreira, Jorge; Mendes, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Clinical guidelines recommend the use of cardiovascular risk assessment tools (risk scores) to predict the risk of events such as cardiovascular death, since these scores can aid clinical decision-making and thereby reduce the social and economic costs of cardiovascular disease (CVD). However, despite their importance, risk scores present important weaknesses that can diminish their reliability in clinical contexts. This study presents a new framework, based on current risk assessment tools, that aims to minimize these limitations. Appropriate application and combination of existing knowledge is the main focus of this work. Two different methodologies are applied: (i) a combination scheme that enables data to be extracted and processed from various sources of information, including current risk assessment tools and the contributions of the physician; and (ii) a personalization scheme based on the creation of patient groups with the purpose of identifying the most suitable risk assessment tool to assess the risk of a specific patient. Validation was performed based on a real patient dataset of 460 patients at Santa Cruz Hospital, Lisbon, Portugal, diagnosed with non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome. Promising results were obtained with both approaches, which achieved sensitivity, specificity and geometric mean of 78.79%, 73.07% and 75.87%, and 75.69%, 69.79% and 72.71%, respectively. The proposed approaches present better performances than current CVD risk scores; however, additional datasets are required to back up these findings. Copyright © 2015 Sociedade Portuguesa de Cardiologia. Published by Elsevier España. All rights reserved.

  6. 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…

  7. The missing link: improving quality with a chronic disease management intervention for the primary care office.

    PubMed

    Zweifler, John

    2007-01-01

    Bold steps are necessary to improve quality of care for patients with chronic diseases and increase satisfaction of both primary care physicians and patients. Office-based chronic disease management (CDM) workers can achieve these objectives by offering self-management support, maintaining disease registries, and monitoring compliance from the point of care. CDM workers can provide the missing link by connecting patients, primary care physicans, and CDM services sponsored by health plans or in the community. CDM workers should be supported financially by Medicare, Medicaid, and commercial health plans through reimbursements to physicians for units of service, analogous to California's Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program. Care provided by CDM workers should be standardized, and training requirements should be sufficiently flexible to ensure wide dissemination. CDM workers can potentially improve quality while reducing costs for preventable hospitalizations and emergency department visits, but evaluation at multiple levels is recommended.

  8. Design and Evaluation of 10-Gbps Inter-satellite Optical Wireless Communication Link for Improved Performance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gupta, Amit; Nagpal, Shaina

    2017-05-01

    Inter-satellite optical wireless communication (IsOWC) systems can be chosen over existing microwave satellite systems for deploying in space in the future due to their high bandwidth, small size, light weight, low power and low cost. However, the IsOWC system suffers from various attenuations due to weather conditions, turbulence or scintillations which limit its performance and decreases its availability. So, in order to improve the performance, IsOWC system using directly modulated laser source is proposed in this work. The system is designed and evaluated to be suitable for high data rate transmissions up to 10 Gbps. The performance of the system is investigated in order to reduce the cost and complexity of link and improving the quality of information signal. Further the proposed IsOWC system is analysed using BER analyser, power meter and oscilloscope Visualizer.

  9. Psychoacoustic Assessment to Improve Tinnitus Diagnosis

    PubMed Central

    Hutchins, Sean; Hébert, Sylvie

    2013-01-01

    The diagnosis of tinnitus relies on self-report. Psychoacoustic measurements of tinnitus pitch and loudness are essential for assessing claims and discriminating true from false ones. For this reason, the quantification of tinnitus remains a challenging research goal. We aimed to: (1) assess the precision of a new tinnitus likeness rating procedure with a continuous-pitch presentation method, controlling for music training, and (2) test whether tinnitus psychoacoustic measurements have the sensitivity and specificity required to detect people faking tinnitus. Musicians and non-musicians with tinnitus, as well as simulated malingerers without tinnitus, were tested. Most were retested several weeks later. Tinnitus pitch matching was first assessed using the likeness rating method: pure tones from 0.25 to 16 kHz were presented randomly to participants, who had to rate the likeness of each tone to their tinnitus, and to adjust its level from 0 to 100 dB SPL. Tinnitus pitch matching was then assessed with a continuous-pitch method: participants had to match the pitch of their tinnitus to an external tone by moving their finger across a touch-sensitive strip, which generated a continuous pure tone from 0.5 to 20 kHz in 1-Hz steps. The predominant tinnitus pitch was consistent across both methods for both musicians and non-musicians, although musicians displayed better external tone pitch matching abilities. Simulated malingerers rated loudness much higher than did the other groups with a high degree of specificity (94.4%) and were unreliable in loudness (not pitch) matching from one session to the other. Retest data showed similar pitch matching responses for both methods for all participants. In conclusion, tinnitus pitch and loudness reliably correspond to the tinnitus percept, and psychoacoustic loudness matches are sensitive and specific to the presence of tinnitus. PMID:24349414

  10. 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.

  11. Earthdata Search: Scaling, Assessing and Improving Relevancy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reese, Mark

    2016-01-01

    NASA's Earthdata Search (https:search.earthdata.nasa.gov) application allows users to search, discover, visualize, and access NASA and international interagency data about the Earth. As a client to NASA's Common Metadata Repository (CMR), its catalog of data collections grew 700 in late 2015. This massive expansion brought improved search and discovery to the forefront of the client's usability needs. During this talk, we will give a brief overview of the application, the challenges that arose during this period of growth, the metrics-driven way we addressed them, and the latest outcomes.

  12. 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…

  13. Quality-guided phase unwrapping implementation: an improved indexed interwoven linked list.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Ming; Kemao, Qian

    2014-06-01

    Quality-guided phase unwrapping (QGPU) is a widely used technique, and an adjoin list plays a very important role in the QGPU process. Indexed interwoven linked list (I2L2) is a data structure for implementing the adjoin list. In this paper, we propose three improvements on the I2L2. The first improvement is resumed searching, which records the highest nonempty level in the I2L2 and reduces the computational redundancy; the second is an adaptive mapping between the quality values and the I2L2 levels, which reduces the effect of concentrated quality value distribution. Last, I2L2-H, a new variant of the I2L2 combining the advantages of both the I2L2 and heap, is developed. With these three improvements, the improved I2L2 is over 6 times faster than the original one in the best cases, and it can process large phase maps in almost real time.

  14. Links between subjective assessments and objective metrics for steering, and evaluation of driver ratings

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nybacka, Mikael; He, Xuxin; Su, Zhicheng; Drugge, Lars; Bakker, Egbert

    2014-05-01

    During the development of new vehicles, finding correlation links between subjective assessments (SA) and objective metrics (OM) is an important part of the vehicle evaluation process. Studying different correlation links is important in that the knowledge gained can be used at the front end of development, during testing and when creating new systems. Both SA from expert drivers using a rating scale of 1-10 and OM from different tests measured by a steering robot were collected using standard testing protocols at an automotive manufacturer. The driver ratings were evaluated and the correlations were analysed using regression analysis and neural networks through a case study approach. Links were identified and were compared with related research.

  15. Riboflavin-ultraviolet-A-induced collagen cross-linking treatments in improving dentin bonding.

    PubMed

    Chiang, Yung-Show; Chen, Yuh-Ling; Chuang, Shu-Fen; Wu, Ching-Ming; Wei, Pal-Jen; Han, Chang-Fu; Lin, Jui-Che; Chang, Hsiao-Tzu

    2013-06-01

    To evaluate the collagen cross-linkers, riboflavin-ultraviolet-A (RF/UVA) and glutaraldehyde, with regard to their efficacy in cross-linking the dentinal collagen and improving dentin bonding. Glutaraldehyde and different RF/UVA protocols (0.1%RF/1-minUV, 0.1%RF/2-minUV, and 1%RF/1-minUV) were first evaluated by gel electrophoresis to determine their abilities of collagen cross-linking. The mechanical properties of acid-etched dentin receiving these cross-linking treatments were examined in either dry or wet condition by a nanoindentation test. Fifteen teeth with exposed occlusal dentin received the microtensile bond strength (μTBS) test. The teeth were primed either with RF/UVA or glutaraldehyde, followed by adhesive treatment and composite restorations, and then cut into resin-dentin microbeams. Half of the microbeams received the μTBS test after 24h, and the other half received test after 5000 thermocycles. Nanoleakage at the bond interface was examined under TEM. The alignments of collagen fibrils in the hybrid layers were also defined by an image analysis. Gel electrophoresis showed that glutaraldehyde induced strong collagen gelation, while RF/UVA generated milder collagen cross-linking. Glutaraldehyde, 0.1%RF/2-min-UVA, and 1%RF/1-minUV showed higher stiffness compared to untreated and 0.1%RF/1-minUV in wet condition. All the crosslinking treatments improved early μTBS, but 0.1%RF/2-minUVA treatment maintained high μTBS after theromocycles. Under TEM, glutaraldehyde-treated dentin showed dense and enclosed collagen network on the adhesive interface. 0.1%RF/2-minUVA showed the least nanoleakage, and this could be associated with the suspended collagen fibrils in the hybrid layer. 0.1%RF/2-minUVA treatment enhanced resin-dentin bond possibly through enhancing the stiffness and maintaining the expanding collagen matrix in the hybrid layer. Copyright © 2013 Academy of Dental Materials. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Improved atmospheric transport for risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Cooper, D.; Kao, J.

    1998-12-01

    This is the final report of a two-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). To effectively respond to airborne chemical and biological warfare (CBW) attacks in urban settings, one must understand the vector of the threat, i.e., where is the effluent going and when will it get there. These answers are needed both in real time (who should be evacuated?) and afterwards (where should the cleanup be focused?). Certainly, advanced multiscale models are essential to this task. No model has value, however, until it is normalized and validated by measured data. Experience in atmospheric transport has demonstrated that the quality of model estimations is tightly coupled to the fidelity of the data and the effectiveness of its assimilation. The authors have started to quantify the improvement of accuracy of atmospheric transport and dispersion models that follows from enhanced remote sensing of meteorological parameters. The proper use of remote sensing data requires sophisticated assimilation techniques into advanced models, so the whole project emphasizes the synergy of the newest techniques for remote sensing observation, data analysis, data assimilation, and dynamic modeling. This work quantified the value of various levels of data for improving effluent tracking and prediction, and allows tradeoffs between the cost of data acquisition and its impact on accuracy.

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. Comparing Multi-Informant Assessment Measures of Parental Monitoring and Their Links with Adolescent Delinquent Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Augenstein, Tara M.; Thomas, Sarah A.; Ehrlich, Katherine B.; Daruwala, Samantha; Reyes, Shelby M.; Chrabaszcz, Jeffrey S.; De Los Reyes, Andres

    2016-01-01

    SYNOPSIS Objective Parents’ poor monitoring of adolescents’ whereabouts and activities is commonly linked to adolescents’ increased engagement in delinquent behaviors. Yet, different domains of parental monitoring (parental monitoring behaviors vs. parental knowledge) and reports from multiple informants (parent vs. adolescent) may vary in their links to delinquent behavior. Design Seventy-four parental caregivers and 74 adolescents completed survey measures of parental monitoring and knowledge, and adolescents completed self-report surveys of delinquent behavior. Results We observed low-to-moderate magnitudes of correspondence between parent- and adolescent-reports of parental monitoring behaviors and parental knowledge. Adolescent self-reported delinquent behavior related to parent and adolescent reports of parental monitoring behaviors and parental knowledge, with adolescents who self-reported engagement in delinquent behaviors evidencing lower levels of parental knowledge and higher levels of poor monitoring compared to adolescents who did not self-report engagement in delinquent behaviors. Adolescent self-reported engagement in delinquent behaviors evidenced stronger links to parental monitoring when based on adolescent reports of monitoring (relative to parent reports), whereas stronger links held between adolescent self-reported delinquent behavior and parental knowledge when based on parent reports of knowledge (relative to adolescent reports). Conclusions Links between monitoring and adolescents’ delinquent behavior vary by the kind of monitoring measure completed as well as the informant completing the measure. These findings inform measurement selection in research and clinical assessments of parental monitoring and adolescent delinquent behavior. PMID:27482171

  1. Using the Distractor Categories of Multiple-Choice Items to Improve IRT Linking

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Jee-Seon

    2006-01-01

    Simulation and real data studies are used to investigate the value of modeling multiple-choice distractors on item response theory linking. Using the characteristic curve linking procedure for Bock's (1972) nominal response model presented by Kim and Hanson (2002), all-category linking (i.e., a linking based on all category characteristic curves…

  2. Improving rainfall estimation from commercial microwave links using METEOSAT SEVIRI cloud cover information

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boose, Yvonne; Doumounia, Ali; Chwala, Christian; Moumouni, Sawadogo; Zougmoré, François; Kunstmann, Harald

    2017-04-01

    The number of rain gauges is declining worldwide. A recent promising method for alternative precipitation measurements is to derive rain rates from the attenuation of the microwave signal between remote antennas of mobile phone base stations, so called commercial microwave links (CMLs). In European countries, such as Germany, the CML technique can be used as a complementary method to the existing gauge and radar networks improving their products, for example, in mountainous terrain and urban areas. In West African countries, where a dense gauge or radar network is absent, the number of mobile phone users is rapidly increasing and so are the CML networks. Hence, the CML-derived precipitation measurements have high potential for applications such as flood warning and support of agricultural planning in this region. For typical CML bandwidths (10-40 GHz), the relationship of attenuation to rain rate is quasi-linear. However, also humidity, wet antennas or electronic noise can lead to signal interference. To distinguish these fluctuations from actual attenuation due to rain, a temporal wet (rain event occurred)/ dry (no rain event) classification is usually necessary. In dense CML networks this is possible by correlating neighboring CML time series. Another option is to use the correlation between signal time series of different frequencies or bidirectional signals. The CML network in rural areas is typically not dense enough for correlation analysis and often only one polarization and one frequency are available along a CML. In this work we therefore use cloud cover information derived from the Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager (SEVIRI) radiometer onboard the geostationary satellite METEOSAT for a wet (pixels along link are cloud covered)/ dry (no cloud along link) classification. We compare results for CMLs in Burkina Faso and Germany, which differ meteorologically (rain rate and duration, droplet size distributions) and technically (CML frequencies

  3. Block copolymer cross-linked nanoassemblies improve particle stability and biocompatibility of superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles.

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

    To develop cross-linked nanoassemblies (CNAs) as carriers for superparamagnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs). 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 Fe(3)O(4) IONPs (CNA-IONPs). Particle stability and biocompatibility of CNA-IONPs were characterized in comparison to citrate-coated Fe(3)O(4) IONPs (Citrate-IONPs). 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). 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.

  4. 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

  5. Assessing and Improving Student Organizations: A Guide for Students. The Assessing and Improving Student Organization (AISO) Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ruben, Brent D.; Nolfi, Tricia

    2010-01-01

    This "Assessing and Improving Student Organization" (AISO) program is intended as a guide for leaders of student-led college organizations. It is designed to promote the assessment of their organization by leaders and members, help them with planning and improvement, and assist them in responding to reviews by governing bodies and national…

  6. 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.

  7. Photo-Cross-Linked Anion Exchange Membranes with Improved Water Management and Conductivity

    SciTech Connect

    Ertem, S. Piril; Tsai, Tsung-Han; Donahue, Melissa M.; Zhang, Wenxu; Sarode, Himanshu; Liu, Ye; Seifert, Soenke; Herring, Andrew M.; Coughlin, E. Bryan

    2016-01-12

    Robust, cross-linked anion exchange membranes (AEMs) were prepared from solvent-processable polyisoprene- ran -poly(vinylbenzyltrimethylammonium chloride) (PI- ran -P- [VBTMA][Cl]) ionomers via photoinitiated thiol - ene chem- istry. Two series of membranes were prepared choosing two dithiol cross-linkers, 1,10-decanedithiol and 2,2 ' - (ethylenedioxy)diethanethiol, selected for their di ff erent hydro- phobicities. A strong correlation was found between the choice of dithiol cross-linker, water uptake, morphology, and the ion conductivity of the membranes. Results were compared with previous fi ndings of thermally cross-linked AEMs from analogous random copolymers. Comparably high chloride ion conductivities were obtained at low to moderate ion exchange capacities (IECs) with signi fi cantly low water uptake values. It was shown that by choosing a hydrophilic cross-linker ion cluster formation may be suppressed and ion conduction improved. This study highlights that it is possible to promote ion conductivities for low IEC membranes (<1 mmol/g) by forming well- connected, ion conducting network morphology. This observation paves the way for mechanically robust ion conducting membranes with enhanced conductivities and better water management.

  8. An improved probabilistic approach for linking progenitor and descendant galaxy populations using comoving number density

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wellons, Sarah; Torrey, Paul

    2017-06-01

    Galaxy populations at different cosmic epochs are often linked by cumulative comoving number density in observational studies. Many theoretical works, however, have shown that the cumulative number densities of tracked galaxy populations not only evolve in bulk, but also spread out over time. We present a method for linking progenitor and descendant galaxy populations which takes both of these effects into account. We define probability distribution functions that capture the evolution and dispersion of galaxy populations in number density space, and use these functions to assign galaxies at redshift zf probabilities of being progenitors/descendants of a galaxy population at another redshift z0. These probabilities are used as weights for calculating distributions of physical progenitor/descendant properties such as stellar mass, star formation rate or velocity dispersion. We demonstrate that this probabilistic method provides more accurate predictions for the evolution of physical properties than the assumption of either a constant number density or an evolving number density in a bin of fixed width by comparing predictions against galaxy populations directly tracked through a cosmological simulation. We find that the constant number density method performs least well at recovering galaxy properties, the evolving method density slightly better and the probabilistic method best of all. The improvement is present for predictions of stellar mass as well as inferred quantities such as star formation rate and velocity dispersion. We demonstrate that this method can also be applied robustly and easily to observational data, and provide a code package for doing so.

  9. Reactogenicity to major tuberculosis antigens absent in BCG is linked to improved protection against Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Aguilo, Nacho; Gonzalo-Asensio, Jesus; Alvarez-Arguedas, Samuel; Marinova, Dessislava; Gomez, Ana Belen; Uranga, Santiago; Spallek, Ralf; Singh, Mahavir; Audran, Regine; Spertini, François; Martin, Carlos

    2017-07-14

    MTBVAC is a live-attenuated Mycobacterium tuberculosis vaccine, currently under clinical development, that contains the major antigens ESAT6 and CFP10. These antigens are absent from the current tuberculosis vaccine, BCG. Here we compare the protection induced by BCG and MTBVAC in several mouse strains that naturally express different MHC haplotypes differentially recognizing ESAT6 and CFP10. MTBVAC induces improved protection in C3H mice, the only of the three tested strains reactive to both ESAT6 and CFP10. Deletion of both antigens in MTBVAC reduces its efficacy to BCG levels, supporting a link between greater efficacy and CFP10- and ESAT6-specific reactogenicity. In addition, MTBVAC (but not BCG) triggers a specific response in human vaccinees against ESAT6 and CFP10. Our results warrant further exploration of this response as potential biomarker of protection in MTBVAC clinical trials.

  10. 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

  11. Are Key Principles for improved health technology assessment supported and used by health technology assessment organizations?

    PubMed

    Neumann, Peter J; Drummond, Michael F; Jönsson, Bengt; Luce, Bryan R; Schwartz, J Sanford; Siebert, Uwe; Sullivan, Sean D

    2010-01-01

    Previously, our group-the International Working Group for HTA Advancement-proposed a set of fifteen Key Principles that could be applied to health technology assessment (HTA) programs in different jurisdictions and across a range of organizations and perspectives. In this commentary, we investigate the extent to which these principles are supported and used by fourteen selected HTA organizations worldwide. We find that some principles are broadly supported: examples include being explicit about HTA goals and scope; considering a wide range of evidence and outcomes; and being unbiased and transparent. Other principles receive less widespread support: examples are addressing issues of generalizability and transferability; being transparent on the link between HTA findings and decision-making processes; considering a full societal perspective; and monitoring the implementation of HTA findings. The analysis also suggests a lack of consensus in the field about some principles--for example, considering a societal perspective. Our study highlights differences in the uptake of key principles for HTA and indicates considerable room for improvement for HTA organizations to adopt principles identified to reflect good HTA practices. Most HTA organizations espouse certain general concepts of good practice--for example, assessments should be unbiased and transparent. However, principles that require more intensive follow-up--for example, monitoring the implementation of HTA findings--have received little support and execution.

  12. Optical space-to-ground link availability assessment and diversity requirements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chapman, William; Fitzmaurice, Michael

    1991-06-01

    The application of optical space-to-ground links (SGLs) for high speed data distribution from geosynchronous and low earth orbiting satellites (e.g., sensor data from the planned Earth Observing System), for lunar and Mars links, and for links from interplanetary probes has been a topic of considerable recent interest. These optical SGLs could conceivably represent the system's operational baseline, or could represent backup links in the event of a GEO relay terminal failure. In this paper the availability of optical SGLs for various system/orbit configurations is considered. Single CONUS sites are assessed for their probability of cloud free line of sight (PCFLOS), and cloud free field of view (PCFFOV). PCFLOS represents an availability metric for geosynchronous platforms, while PCFFOV is a relevant performance metric for non-geostationary platforms (e.g., low earth orbiting satellites). Additionally, the availability of multiple ground terminals utilized in a diversity configuration is considered. Availability statistics vs. the number of diversity sites are derived from climatological data bases for CONUS sites.

  13. Novel magnetic cross-linked lipase aggregates for improving the resolution of (R, S)-2-octanol.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ying; Guo, Chen; Liu, Chun-Zhao

    2015-03-01

    Novel magnetic cross-linked lipase aggregates were fabricated by immobilizing the cross-linked lipase aggregates onto magnetic particles with a high number of -NH2 terminal groups using p-benzoquinone as the cross-linking agent. At the optimal fabrication conditions, 100% of immobilization efficiency and 139% of activity recovery of the magnetic cross-linked lipase aggregates were achieved. The magnetic cross-linked lipase aggregates were able to efficiently resolve (R, S)-2-octanol, and retained 100% activity and 100% enantioselectivity after 10 cycles of reuse, whereas the cross-linked lipase aggregates only retained about 50% activity and 70% enantioselectivity due to insufficient cross-linking. These results provide a great potential for industrial applications of the magnetic cross-linked lipase aggregates.

  14. Reduction versus cross-linking: how to improve the tensile strength of graphene oxide/polyvinyl alcohol composite film

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tao, Cheng-an; Zhang, Hao; Huang, Jian; Zou, Xiaorong; Zhu, Hui; Wang, Jianfang

    2017-08-01

    Both reduction and cross-linking can improve the mechanical performance of graphene/polymer composites. However, few reports exist on the comparison and combination of both methods. Taking graphene oxide/polyvinyl alcohol composite film as its model, this study focuses on the effect of reduction and cross-linking (as well as their order) on the composite film’s tensile strength. GO/PVA composite films were prepared by a simple solution mixing method, then reduced with hydroiodic acid and cross-linked with glutaraldehyde. Both reduction and cross-linking can improve the tensile strength, but the effect of cross-linking is superior. The improvement of tensile strength is cumulative when reduction and cross-linking are used simultaneously or even successively. Moreover, the order in which these two methods are applied also plays a role; reduction first with cross-linking second shows superior results than the reverse. The tensile strength of the obtained composite film peaked at 112.8 MPa, which is over 7 times that of neat PVA.

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  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. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. Formative Assessment: Improvement, Immediacy and the Edge for Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Staunton, Mike; Dann, Chris

    2016-01-01

    Formative assessment is about strengthening student learning and can dramatically improve student achievement when it guides changes in day-to-day classroom practice. Any attempt to understand formative assessment must therefore be grounded in a notion of learning, which this paper approaches from a constructivist/experiential perspective.…

  20. Improving Initial Assessment in Work-Based Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Green, Muriel

    This document, which is designed to assist managers, trainers, or assessors in work-based provision across the United Kingdom, shares the experiences of five work-based learning providers that sought to improve their initial assessment processes. Section 1 explains the purpose of initial assessment and presents guidelines for evaluating intake…

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Linked color imaging improves the visibility of colorectal polyps: a video study

    PubMed Central

    Yoshida, Naohisa; Naito, Yuji; Murakami, Takaaki; Hirose, Ryohei; Ogiso, Kiyoshi; Inada, Yutaka; Dohi, Osamu; Kamada, Kazuhiro; Uchiyama, Kazuhiko; Handa, Osamu; Konishi, Hideyuki; Siah, Kewin Tien Ho; Yagi, Nobuaki; Fujita, Yasuko; Kishimoto, Mitsuo; Yanagisawa, Akio; Itoh, Yoshito

    2017-01-01

    Background/study aim  Linked color imaging (LCI) by a laser endoscope (Fujifilm Co, Tokyo, Japan) is a novel narrow band light observation. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether LCI could improve the visibility of colorectal polyps using endoscopic videos. Patients and methods  We prospectively recorded videos of consecutive polyps 2 – 20 mm in size diagnosed as neoplastic polyps. Three videos, white light (WL), blue laser imaging (BLI)-bright, and LCI, were recorded for each polyp by one expert. After excluding inappropriate videos, all videos were evaluated in random order by two experts and two non-experts according to a published polyp visibility score from four (excellent visibility) to one (poor visibility). Additionally, the relationship between polyp visibility scores in LCI and various clinical characteristics including location, size, histology, morphology, and preparation were analyzed compared to WL and BLI-bright. Results  We analyzed 101 colorectal polyps (94 neoplastic) in 66 patients (303 videos). The mean polyp size was 9.0 ± 8.1 mm and 54 polyps were non-polypoid. The mean polyp visibility scores for LCI (2.86 ± 1.08) were significantly higher than for WL and BLI-bright (2.53 ± 1.15, P  < 0.001; 2.73 ± 1.47, P  < 0.041). The ratio of poor visibility (score 1 and 2) was significantly lower in LCI for experts and non-experts (35.6 %, 33.6 %) compared with WL (49.6 %, P  = 0.015, 50.5 %, P  = 0.046). The polyp visibility scores for LCI were significantly higher than those for WL for all of the factors. With respect to the comparison between BLI-bright and WL, the polyp visibility scores for BLI-bright were not higher than WL for right-sided location, < 10 mm size, sessile serrated adenoma and polyp histology, and poor preparation. For those characteristics, LCI improved the lesions with right-sided location, SSA/P histology, and poor preparation significantly better than BLI

  8. 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.

  9. Improve Students' Awareness Of Linking The Experiment With Their Real Lives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huntula, Jiradawan; Chitaree, Ratchapak

    2010-07-01

    We surveyed 218 science students' from a Thai University for their views about what should be done to improve the introductory physics laboratory course. One of their responses strongly recommended that the real life application contents to the experiment should be indicated in the physics laboratory direction. The inclusions should give them a clear reason how the thing they learn from the experiment can probably be used in their lives. From our survey, about 83% of students agreed that the laboratory instruction should include an example of real life situation. Therefore, our initial goal was to find an appropriate way to improve students' awareness of linking what they learn from the experiment with their real life experiences. In the first semester of 2008, the first trial of modified physics laboratory direction was carried out with 18 second year physics students. The additional contents of physics applications were introduced as the prolog of the physics laboratory direction. Four out of twelve experiment directions were prepared to include this additional introduction. From our interview as a mean to evaluate the proposal, only 11% of students could explain but their answers disagreed with the examples of real life situations given within the experiment direction. This result made us realized that this was not only the matter of having or not having the application messages but also the matter of putting the massages in the right place. In the second semester of 2008, the second trial was carried out. This time, the application contents were blended into the theoretical part which was found from our separate survey to be one of the most interesting parts for students. Again, four out of twelve experiment directions were prepared in this proposed style. The students' responses showed that about 40% of students could clearly describe the application message relevant to experiments given in the direction.

  10. An educational intervention to improve pain assessment in preverbal children.

    PubMed

    Vael, Aimee; Whitted, Kelli

    2014-01-01

    Pediatric nurses often use an inappropriate tool to assess pain in children younger than 36 months of age. This intervention intended to improve the nursing practice of assessing pain in preverbal (less than 36 months of age) children. Pain assessment frequency and use of a pain assessment pediatric tool use was evaluated pre- and post-intervention via a retrospective chart review and a survey of pediatric nurses. Parametric and non-parametric statistical tests were used to determine significant differences between pre- and post-intervention data for both approaches. The chart review data showed a significant increase in the number of times pain was assessed and documented post-educational intervention. Similarly, the survey data analysis showed a significant post-intervention increase in the use of a pain assessment tool and that most nurses used the FLACC pain assessment tool when assessing pain in preverbal children. Educating staff nurses about the use of an appropriate pain assessment scale altered practice and improved the frequency of pain assessment of preverbal children.

  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

    2016-09-19

    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.

  12. Expression of integrin-linked kinase improves cardiac function in a swine model of myocardial infarction

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Wen; Xie, Jun; Gu, Rong; Xu, Biao

    2017-01-01

    Previous studies have described the beneficial effects of overexpressing integrin-linked kinase (ILK) after myocardial infarction (MI) in small animal models. However, the effects of ILK in pre-clinical large animals are not known. To move closer to clinical translation, we examined the effects of ILK gene transfer in a swine model of ischemic heart disease. Swine received percutaneous intracoronary injections of adenoviral vector expressing ILK (n=10) or empty ad-null (n=10) in the left anterior descending coronary artery (LAD) following LAD occlusion. Four weeks after transfection, we confirmed that transgene expression was restricted to the infarcted area in the cardiac tissue. Imaging studies demonstrated preserved cardiac function in the ILK group. ILK treatment was associated with reduced infarcted scar size and preserved left ventricular (LV) geometry (LV diameter and LV wall thickness). Enhanced angiogenesis was preserved in the ILK animals, along with reduction of apoptosis. ILK gene therapy improves cardiac remodeling and function in swine following MI associated with increased angiogenesis, reduced apoptosis, and increased cardiomyocyte proliferation with no signs of toxicity. These results may deliver a new approach to treat post-infarct remodeling and subsequent heart failure. PMID:28565779

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. Global land-use allocation model linked to an integrated assessment model.

    PubMed

    Hasegawa, Tomoko; Fujimori, Shinichiro; Ito, Akihiko; Takahashi, Kiyoshi; Masui, Toshihiko

    2017-02-15

    We developed a global land-use allocation model that can be linked to integrated assessment models (IAMs) with a coarser spatial resolution. Using the model, we performed a downscaling of the IAMs' regional aggregated land-use projections to obtain a spatial land-use distribution, which could subsequently be used by Earth system models for global environmental assessments of ecosystem services, food security, and climate policies. Here we describe the land-use allocation model, discuss the verification of the downscaling technique, and explain the influences of the downscaling on estimates of land-use carbon emissions. A comparison of the emissions estimated with and without downscaling suggested that the land-use downscaling would help capture the spatial distribution of carbon stock density and regional heterogeneity of carbon emissions caused by cropland and pasture land expansion. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Towards the improvement of the student experience of assessment and feedback in construction management education

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scott, Lloyd; Fortune, Chris

    2013-12-01

    It is widely accepted across Higher Education that assessment practices have a link with learning and a key factor in this link is formative assessment. Formative assessment is generally defined as taking place during a module/programme with the express purpose of improving and enhancing student learning. It is important to understand how lecturers in construction engineering education perceive their own roles and the roles of their students in using effective assessment strategies. An investigation into lecturers' perceptions of their roles and their conceptions related to the assessment process of students in those programmes is reported. An on-line survey was conducted with over 30 Irish academics involved in the area of construction management. Discussion is focused on a critical evaluation of the findings of the study and how it relates to the current literature on the roles of academics in the formative assessment process. Recommendations are made on how lecturers/teachers might better formulate appropriate assessment strategies that will encourage deep and effective learning.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Linking rainfall-induced landslides with debris flows runout patterns towards catchment scale hazard assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fan, Linfeng; Lehmann, Peter; McArdell, Brian; Or, Dani

    2017-03-01

    Debris flows and landslides induced by heavy rainfall represent an ubiquitous and destructive natural hazard in steep mountainous regions. For debris flows initiated by shallow landslides, the prediction of the resulting pathways and associated hazard is often hindered by uncertainty in determining initiation locations, volumes and mechanical state of the mobilized debris (and by model parameterization). We propose a framework for linking a simplified physically-based debris flow runout model with a novel Landslide Hydro-mechanical Triggering (LHT) model to obtain a coupled landslide-debris flow susceptibility and hazard assessment. We first compared the simplified debris flow model of Perla (1980) with a state-of-the art continuum-based model (RAMMS) and with an empirical model of Rickenmann (1999) at the catchment scale. The results indicate that predicted runout distances by the Perla model are in reasonable agreement with inventory measurements and with the other models. Predictions of localized shallow landslides by LHT model provides information on water content of released mass. To incorporate effects of water content and flow viscosity as provided by LHT on debris flow runout, we adapted the Perla model. The proposed integral link between landslide triggering susceptibility quantified by LHT and subsequent debris flow runout hazard calculation using the adapted Perla model provides a spatially and temporally resolved framework for real-time hazard assessment at the catchment scale or along critical infrastructure (roads, railroad lines).

  2. 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

  3. Engaging Students with Self-Assessment and Tutor Feedback to Improve Performance and Support Assessment Capacity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McKevitt, Conor Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Assessment is one of the most important elements of student life and significantly shapes their learning. Consequently, tutors need to ensure that student awareness regarding assessment is promoted. Students should get the opportunity to practise assessing work and receive tutor feedback so that they might improve on both the work and their…

  4. Fostering Continuous Improvement and Learning through Peer Assessment: Part of an Integral Model of Assessment

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, Nancy T.; Kumtepe, Evrim Genc; Aydeniz, Mehmet

    2007-01-01

    Assessment is a critical component of educational practices and thus impacts educational reform efforts. This article reviews and considers assessment from 2 perspectives: a focus on accountability and a focus on continuous improvement. A class of preservice and practicing science teachers explored notions of assessment while experiencing peer…

  5. A Teacher's Guide to Classroom Assessment: Understanding and Using Assessment to Improve Student Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butler, Susan M.; McMunn, Nancy D.

    2006-01-01

    This book is a comprehensive guide that shows step-by-step how to effectively integrate assessment into the classroom. Written for both new and seasoned teachers, this important book offers a practical aid for developing assessment skills and strategies, building assessment literacy, and ultimately improving student learning. This book consists of…

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Cellulose Nanofibril Aerogels: Synergistic Improvement of Hydrophobicity, Strength, and Thermal Stability via Cross-Linking with Diisocyanate.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Feng; Hsieh, You-Lo

    2017-01-25

    A facile gelation cross-linking approach was devised to fabricate meso- and macroporous cellulose nanofibril (CNF) aerogels with multiple improved properties. CNF hydrogels made using a freezing-thawing method with a 94 kPa modulus were solvent exchanged with acetone and then cross-linked with methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) to produce aerogels with significantly improved compressive properties that follow a power law increment against aerogel density with impressive 1.69, 2.49, and 1.43 scaling factors for Young's modulus, yield stress, and ultimate stress, respectively. The optimally cross-linked aerogels had nearly tripled specific surface area (228 m(2)/g) and doubled pore volume (1 m(3)/g) from numerous new 9-12 nm wide mesopores as well as significantly improved thermal stability (43% char residue at 500 C vs 9.1% for un-cross-linked aerogel). Cross-linking also made the amphiphilic CNF aerogel highly hydrophobic and capable of completely separating chloroform from water via simple filtration. These nanocellulose aerogels show great promise for efficient and continuous separation of oils and hydrophobic liquids from water.

  10. 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

  11. Simple PCR Assays Improve the Sensitivity of HIV-1 Subtype B Drug Resistance Testing and Allow Linking of Resistance Mutations

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Jeffrey A.; Li, Jin-Fen; Wei, Xierong; Lipscomb, Jonathan; Bennett, Diane; Brant, Ashley; Cong, Mian-er; Spira, Thomas; Shafer, Robert W.; Heneine, Walid

    2007-01-01

    Background The success of antiretroviral therapy is known to be compromised by drug-resistant HIV-1 at frequencies detectable by conventional bulk sequencing. Currently, there is a need to assess the clinical consequences of low-frequency drug resistant variants occurring below the detection limit of conventional genotyping. Sensitive detection of drug-resistant subpopulations, however, requires simple and practical methods for routine testing. Methodology We developed highly-sensitive and simple real-time PCR assays for nine key drug resistance mutations and show that these tests overcome substantial sequence heterogeneity in HIV-1 clinical specimens. We specifically used early wildtype virus samples from the pre-antiretroviral drug era to measure background reactivity and were able to define highly-specific screening cut-offs that are up to 67-fold more sensitive than conventional genotyping. We also demonstrate that sequencing the mutation-specific PCR products provided a direct and novel strategy to further detect and link associated resistance mutations, allowing easy identification of multi-drug-resistant variants. Resistance mutation associations revealed in mutation-specific amplicon sequences were verified by clonal sequencing. Significance Combined, sensitive real-time PCR testing and mutation-specific amplicon sequencing provides a powerful and simple approach that allows for improved detection and evaluation of HIV-1 drug resistance mutations. PMID:17653265

  12. Linking Water Quality and Quantity in Environmental Flow Assessment in Deteriorated Ecosystems: A Food Web View

    PubMed Central

    Chen, He; Ma, Lekuan; Guo, Wei; Yang, Ying; Guo, Tong; Feng, Cheng

    2013-01-01

    Most rivers worldwide are highly regulated by anthropogenic activities through flow regulation and water pollution. Environmental flow regulation is used to reduce the effects of anthropogenic activities on aquatic ecosystems. Formulating flow alteration–ecological response relationships is a key factor in environmental flow assessment. Traditional environmental flow models are characterized by natural relationships between flow regimes and ecosystem factors. However, food webs are often altered from natural states, which disturb environmental flow assessment in such ecosystems. In ecosystems deteriorated by heavy anthropogenic activities, the effects of environmental flow regulation on species are difficult to assess with current modeling approaches. Environmental flow management compels the development of tools that link flow regimes and food webs in an ecosystem. Food web approaches are more suitable for the task because they are more adaptive for disordered multiple species in a food web deteriorated by anthropogenic activities. This paper presents a global method of environmental flow assessment in deteriorated aquatic ecosystems. Linkages between flow regimes and food web dynamics are modeled by incorporating multiple species into an ecosystem to explore ecosystem-based environmental flow management. The approach allows scientists and water resources managers to analyze environmental flows in deteriorated ecosystems in an ecosystem-based way. PMID:23894669

  13. Linking water quality and quantity in environmental flow assessment in deteriorated ecosystems: a food web view.

    PubMed

    Chen, He; Ma, Lekuan; Guo, Wei; Yang, Ying; Guo, Tong; Feng, Cheng

    2013-01-01

    Most rivers worldwide are highly regulated by anthropogenic activities through flow regulation and water pollution. Environmental flow regulation is used to reduce the effects of anthropogenic activities on aquatic ecosystems. Formulating flow alteration-ecological response relationships is a key factor in environmental flow assessment. Traditional environmental flow models are characterized by natural relationships between flow regimes and ecosystem factors. However, food webs are often altered from natural states, which disturb environmental flow assessment in such ecosystems. In ecosystems deteriorated by heavy anthropogenic activities, the effects of environmental flow regulation on species are difficult to assess with current modeling approaches. Environmental flow management compels the development of tools that link flow regimes and food webs in an ecosystem. Food web approaches are more suitable for the task because they are more adaptive for disordered multiple species in a food web deteriorated by anthropogenic activities. This paper presents a global method of environmental flow assessment in deteriorated aquatic ecosystems. Linkages between flow regimes and food web dynamics are modeled by incorporating multiple species into an ecosystem to explore ecosystem-based environmental flow management. The approach allows scientists and water resources managers to analyze environmental flows in deteriorated ecosystems in an ecosystem-based way.

  14. Improving Software Guidance for Technology Readiness Assessments (TRA)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-04-29

    Systems & Software Technology Conference Improving Software Guidance for Technology Readiness Assessments (TRA) 29 April 2010 Mike Nicol...APR 2010 2. REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED 00-00-2010 to 00-00-2010 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Improving Software Guidance for Technology Readiness...Presented at the 22nd Systems and Software Technology Conference (SSTC), 26-29 April 2010, Salt Lake City, UT. 14. ABSTRACT 15. SUBJECT TERMS

  15. Shaw Air Force Base Capital Improvement Program Environmental Assessment

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-05-01

    or reduce sediment and non -storm water discharges. For projects disturbing more than 1 acre, a South Carolina Pollutant Discharge Elimination System...of Contents Shaw AFB Capital Improvement Program Environmental Assessment vi THIS PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK. Shaw AFB Capital Improvement...SWPPP) to eliminate or reduce sediment and non -storm water discharges. For projects disturbing more than 1 acre, a South Carolina Pollutant

  16. Novel chitosan-based films cross-linked by genipin with improved physical properties.

    PubMed

    Jin, J; Song, M; Hourston, D J

    2004-01-01

    Novel cross-linked chitosan-based films were prepared using the solution casting technique. A naturally occurring and nontoxic cross-linking agent, genipin, was used to form the chitosan and chitosan/poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) blend networks, where two types of PEO were used, one with a molecular weight of 20 000 g/mol (HPEO) and the other of 600 g/mol (LPEO). Genipin is used in traditional Chinese medicine and extracted from gardenia fruit. Importantly, it overcomes the problem of physiological toxicity inherent in the use of some common synthetic chemicals as cross-linking agents. The mechanical properties and the stability in water of cross-linked and un-crosslinked chitosan and chitosan/PEO blend films were investigated. It was shown that, compared to the transparent yellow, un-cross-linked chitosan/PEO blend films, the genipin-cross-linked chitosan-based film, blue in color, was more elastic, was more stable, and had better mechanical properties. Genipin-cross-linking produced chitosan networks that were insoluble in acidic and alkaline solutions but were able to swell in these aqueous media. The swelling characteristics of the films exhibit sensitivity to the environmental pH and temperature. The surface properties of the films were also examined by contact angle measurements using water and mixtures of water/ethanol. The results showed that, with the one exception of cross-linked pure chitosan in 100% water, the cross-linked chitosan and chitosan/PEO blends were more hydrophobic than un-crosslinked ones.

  17. Improving School Improvement: Development and Validation of the CSIS-360, a 360-Degree Feedback Assessment for School Improvement Specialists

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McDougall, Christie M.

    2013-01-01

    The purpose of the mixed methods study was to develop and validate the CSIS-360, a 360-degree feedback assessment to measure competencies of school improvement specialists from multiple perspectives. The study consisted of eight practicing school improvement specialists from a variety of settings. The specialists nominated 23 constituents to…

  18. 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. Thieme Medical Publishers 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA.

  19. Improving agreement in assessment of synovitis in rheumatoid arthritis.

    PubMed

    Cheung, Peter P; Dougados, Maxime; Andre, Vincent; Balandraud, Nathalie; Chales, Gérard; Chary-Valckenaere, Isabelle; Chatelus, Emmanuel; Dernis, Emmanuelle; Gill, Ghislaine; Gilson, Mélanie; Guis, Sandrine; Mouterde, Gael; Pavy, Stephan; Pouyol, François; Marhadour, Thierry; Richette, Pascal; Ruyssen-Witrand, Adeline; Soubrier, Martin; Gossec, Laure

    2013-03-01

    Synovitis assessment through evaluation of swollen joints is integral in steering treatment decisions in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, there is high inter-observer variation. The objective was to assess if a short collegiate consensus would improve swollen joint agreement between rheumatologists and whether this was affected by experience. Eighteen rheumatologists from French university rheumatology units participated in three 30 minutes rounds over a half day meeting evaluating joint counts of RA patients in small groups, followed by short consensus discussions. Agreement was evaluated at the end of each round as follows: (i) global agreement of swollen joints (ii) swollen joint agreement according to level of experience of the rheumatologist (iii) swollen joint count and (iv) agreement of disease activity state according to the Disease Activity Score (DAS28). Agreement was calculated using percentage agreement and kappa. Global agreement of swollen joints failed to improve (kappa 0.50 to 0.52) at the joint level. Agreement between seniors did not improve but agreement between newly qualified rheumatologists and their senior peer, which was initially poor (kappa 0.28), improved significantly (to 0.54) at the end of the consensus exercises. Concordance of DAS28 activity states improved from 71% to 87%. Consensus exercises for swollen joint assessment is worthwhile and may potentially improve agreement between clinicians in clinical synovitis and disease activity state, benefit was mostly observed in newly qualified rheumatologists. Copyright © 2012 Société française de rhumatologie. Published by Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.

  20. Assessing and Improving Childhood Nutrition and Growth Globally.

    PubMed

    Williams, Anne M; Suchdev, Parminder S

    2017-08-01

    Improving maternal and child nutrition is central to global development goals and reducing the noncommunicable disease burden. Although the process of becoming malnourished starts in utero, the consequences of poor nutrition extend across the life cycle and into future generations. The global nutrition targets for 2025 include reducing infant and young child growth faltering, halting the increase of overweight children, improving breastfeeding practices, and reducing maternal anemia. In this review, we address nutritional assessment, discuss nonnutritive factors that affect growth, and endorse the evidence-based interventions that should be scaled up to improve maternal and child nutrition. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. [Enzyme-linked immune sorbent assay for PR-toxin in taxonomical assessment of fungi belonging to the genus Penicillium Link].

    PubMed

    Burkin, A A; Kononenko, G P; Kochkina, G A; Ozerskaia, S M

    2007-01-01

    The use of an indirect competitive enzyme-linked immune sorbent assay (ELISA) involving polyclonal rabbit antibodies against BSA-conjugated PR-toxin (sensitivity, 1 ng/ml) established the ability to synthesize PR-toxin in 18 out of 35 morphologically identified strains of Penicillium roqueforti and P. chrysogenum. The results indicate that ELISA for PR-toxin may be used in assessing the taxonomical position of terverticillate penicillia in the presence of other micotoxins.

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  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. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. Using Assessments for Instructional Improvement: A Literature Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Viki M.; Kim, Debbie H.

    2010-01-01

    The current educational reform policy discourse takes for granted the central role of using data to improve instruction. Yet whether and how data inform instruction depends on teachers' assessment practices, the data that are relevant and useful to them, the data they typically have access to, and their content and pedagogical knowledge. Moreover,…

  9. 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…

  10. Improving Data Driven Decision Making through Assessment Literacy for Respondents

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Petersen, Naomi Jeffery; Davies, Randall S.; Spitzer, Bruce

    2006-01-01

    This study examined the use of a college course evaluation instrument in an effort to better understand and improve the assessment data derived from the instrument. The purpose of the analysis was to examine the dimensionality and reliability of the instrument but, more importantly, to understand what the data really tells us and whether…

  11. 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…

  12. The rationale for and use of assessment frameworks: improving assessment and reporting quality in medical education.

    PubMed

    Pearce, Jacob; Edwards, Daniel; Fraillon, Julian; Coates, Hamish; Canny, Benedict J; Wilkinson, David

    2015-06-01

    An assessment framework provides a structured conceptual map of the learning outcomes of a programme of study along with details of how achievement of the outcomes can be measured. The rationale for using frameworks to underpin the targeting of essential content components is especially relevant for the medical education community. Frameworks have the capacity to improve validity and reliability in assessment, allowing test developers to more easily create robust assessment instruments. The framework used by the Australian Medical Assessment Collaboration (AMAC) is an interesting and relevant case study for the international community as it draws and builds on established processes in higher education assessment. The AMAC experience offers an insight into important considerations for designing assessment frameworks and implementing frameworks in differing contexts. There are lessons which have the potential to improve assessment and reporting practice and quality in not only medical education, but in other domains of assessment. Prior to implementing any programme of assessment, the framework considerations outlined here will hopefully improve the quality of assessment and reporting practice by making implicit assumptions explicit, and allowing more critical reflection and evaluation throughout assessment processes.

  13. Nutrition education linked to agricultural interventions improved child dietary diversity in rural Cambodia.

    PubMed

    Reinbott, Anika; Schelling, Anna; Kuchenbecker, Judith; Jeremias, Theresa; Russell, Iean; Kevanna, Ou; Krawinkel, Michael B; Jordan, Irmgard

    2016-10-01

    Poor infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices are major determinants of chronic malnutrition. The main objective of this study was to assess the impact of a nutrition education (NE) programme aimed at promoting improved IYCF behaviours in combination with an agriculture intervention on children's dietary diversity and nutritional status. From 2012 to 2014, a cluster randomised trial was rolled out in Cambodia in the context of an agriculture and nutrition project of the FAO of the UN. The cross-sectional baseline study was carried out in sixteen pre-selected communes in 2012. Restricted randomisation allotted the communes to either intervention (NE and agriculture intervention) or comparison arms (agriculture intervention only). The impact survey was conducted as a census in all FAO project villages in 2014. Caregivers of children aged 0-23 months were interviewed using standardised questions on socio-economic status and dietary diversity (24-h recall). Anthropometric measurements were taken. A difference-in-differences model was applied. The sample comprised 743 households with children ≥6 months of age at baseline and 921 at impact. After 1 year of NE, 69 % of the intervention households reported to have participated in the NE. Estimated mean child dietary diversity was significantly different at impact between comparison and intervention (3·6 and 3·9, respectively). In particular, the consumption of pro-vitamin A-rich foods and other fruits and vegetables increased. No treatment effects on height-for-age Z-scores could be shown. NE led to improvements in children's diets. For effects on growth, it is assumed that longer NE activities are required to achieve sustainable behaviour change of age-appropriate infant feeding.

  14. 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.

  15. Global sensitivity analysis, probabilistic calibration, and predictive assessment for the data assimilation linked ecosystem carbon model

    SciTech Connect

    Safta, C.; Ricciuto, Daniel M.; Sargsyan, Khachik; Debusschere, B.; Najm, H. N.; Williams, M.; Thornton, Peter E.

    2015-07-01

    In this paper we propose a probabilistic framework for an uncertainty quantification (UQ) study of a carbon cycle model and focus on the comparison between steady-state and transient simulation setups. A global sensitivity analysis (GSA) study indicates the parameters and parameter couplings that are important at different times of the year for quantities of interest (QoIs) obtained with the data assimilation linked ecosystem carbon (DALEC) model. We then employ a Bayesian approach and a statistical model error term to calibrate the parameters of DALEC using net ecosystem exchange (NEE) observations at the Harvard Forest site. The calibration results are employed in the second part of the paper to assess the predictive skill of the model via posterior predictive checks.

  16. Global sensitivity analysis, probabilistic calibration, and predictive assessment for the data assimilation linked ecosystem carbon model

    DOE PAGES

    Safta, C.; Ricciuto, Daniel M.; Sargsyan, Khachik; ...

    2015-07-01

    In this paper we propose a probabilistic framework for an uncertainty quantification (UQ) study of a carbon cycle model and focus on the comparison between steady-state and transient simulation setups. A global sensitivity analysis (GSA) study indicates the parameters and parameter couplings that are important at different times of the year for quantities of interest (QoIs) obtained with the data assimilation linked ecosystem carbon (DALEC) model. We then employ a Bayesian approach and a statistical model error term to calibrate the parameters of DALEC using net ecosystem exchange (NEE) observations at the Harvard Forest site. The calibration results are employedmore » in the second part of the paper to assess the predictive skill of the model via posterior predictive checks.« less

  17. [Indicators of educational assessment and prospects of improving university life].

    PubMed

    Binetti, P; Anzilotti, P

    2006-01-01

    Five years after the establishment of the National Observatory for Assessment--now called National Committee for the Assessment of the University System--(L. 509/99), a critical analysis of the indicators chosen in relation to the aim suggested by the law itself becomes necessary. To analyse the assessment system of the University Campus Bio-Medico as it has changed through time, in order to highlighten possible trends which have allowed a real improvement of the entire educational system. In these years our University has endeavoured to answer appropriately to the National Committee exhortations by creating its own system of self-assessment. This has strengthened the inner motivation to improve of all stakeholders of the educational process (students, teachers, tutors). The predominance of inner motivations on external ones is the essential feature in an university system which grants an educational model based on personal freedom and its related responsibility. This system, created and managed by the Department for Educational Research (DIE) of the University Campus Bio-Medico, is organized in three wider phases: planning of assessment tools and their administration; preparing the focus groups which address targeted groups of people so to evaluate the results and prepare new tools. In our University assessment process certain values have acquired the structure of tracks along which it is possible to find concrete features: educational independence and planning governance as well as joint responsibility and cooperation. These are the key concepts which show the uniqueness and foundation of the entire educational system.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Gait improvement via rhythmic stimulation in Parkinson's disease is linked to rhythmic skills.

    PubMed

    Bella, Simone Dalla; Benoit, Charles-Etienne; Farrugia, Nicolas; Keller, Peter E; Obrig, Hellmuth; Mainka, Stefan; Kotz, Sonja A

    2017-02-24

    Training based on rhythmic auditory stimulation (RAS) can improve gait in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD). Patients typically walk faster and exhibit greater stride length after RAS. However, this effect is highly variable among patients, with some exhibiting little or no response to the intervention. These individual differences may depend on patients' ability to synchronize their movements to a beat. To test this possibility, 14 IPD patients were submitted to RAS for four weeks, in which they walked to music with an embedded metronome. Before and after the training, patients' synchronization was assessed with auditory paced hand tapping and walking to auditory cues. Patients increased gait speed and stride length in non-cued gait after training. However, individual differences were apparent as some patients showed a positive response to RAS and others, either no response, or a negative response. A positive response to RAS was predicted by the synchronization performance in hand tapping and gait tasks. More severe gait impairment, low synchronization variability, and a prompt response to a stimulation change foster a positive response to RAS training. Thus, sensorimotor timing skills underpinning the synchronization of steps to an auditory cue may allow predicting the success of RAS in IPD.

  1. Gait improvement via rhythmic stimulation in Parkinson’s disease is linked to rhythmic skills

    PubMed Central

    Bella, Simone Dalla; Benoit, Charles-Etienne; Farrugia, Nicolas; Keller, Peter E.; Obrig, Hellmuth; Mainka, Stefan; Kotz, Sonja A.

    2017-01-01

    Training based on rhythmic auditory stimulation (RAS) can improve gait in patients with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (IPD). Patients typically walk faster and exhibit greater stride length after RAS. However, this effect is highly variable among patients, with some exhibiting little or no response to the intervention. These individual differences may depend on patients’ ability to synchronize their movements to a beat. To test this possibility, 14 IPD patients were submitted to RAS for four weeks, in which they walked to music with an embedded metronome. Before and after the training, patients’ synchronization was assessed with auditory paced hand tapping and walking to auditory cues. Patients increased gait speed and stride length in non-cued gait after training. However, individual differences were apparent as some patients showed a positive response to RAS and others, either no response, or a negative response. A positive response to RAS was predicted by the synchronization performance in hand tapping and gait tasks. More severe gait impairment, low synchronization variability, and a prompt response to a stimulation change foster a positive response to RAS training. Thus, sensorimotor timing skills underpinning the synchronization of steps to an auditory cue may allow predicting the success of RAS in IPD. PMID:28233776

  2. 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.

  3. Development of a Multi-Domain Assessment Tool for Quality Improvement Projects.

    PubMed

    Rosenbluth, Glenn; Burman, Natalie J; Ranji, Sumant R; Boscardin, Christy K

    2017-08-01

    Improving the quality of health care and education has become a mandate at all levels within the medical profession. While several published quality improvement (QI) assessment tools exist, all have limitations in addressing the range of QI projects undertaken by learners in undergraduate medical education, graduate medical education, and continuing medical education. We developed and validated a tool to assess QI projects with learner engagement across the educational continuum. After reviewing existing tools, we interviewed local faculty who taught QI to understand how learners were engaged and what these faculty wanted in an ideal assessment tool. We then developed a list of competencies associated with QI, established items linked to these competencies, revised the items using an iterative process, and collected validity evidence for the tool. The resulting Multi-Domain Assessment of Quality Improvement Projects (MAQIP) rating tool contains 9 items, with criteria that may be completely fulfilled, partially fulfilled, or not fulfilled. Interrater reliability was 0.77. Untrained local faculty were able to use the tool with minimal guidance. The MAQIP is a 9-item, user-friendly tool that can be used to assess QI projects at various stages and to provide formative and summative feedback to learners at all levels.

  4. On Improving Higher Vocational College Education Quality Assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Xiang; Chen, Yan; Zhang, Jie; Wang, Yi

    Teaching quality assessment is a judgment process by using the theory and technology of education evaluation system to test whether the process and result of teaching have got to a certain quality level. Many vocational schools have established teaching quality assessment systems of their own characteristics as the basic means to do self-examination and teaching behavior adjustment. Combined with the characteristics and requirements of the vocational education and by analyzing the problems exist in contemporary vocational school, form the perspective of the content, assessment criteria and feedback system of the teaching quality assessment to optimize the system, to complete the teaching quality information net and offer suggestions for feedback channels, to make the institutionalization, standardization of the vocational schools and indeed to make contribution for the overall improvement of the quality of vocational schools.

  5. Improved USGS methodology for assessing continuous petroleum resources using analogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Charpentier, Ronald R.; Cook, Troy

    2010-01-01

    The currently used U.S. Geological Survey methodology for assessing continuous (unconventional) petroleum resources of the United States was developed in the 1990s. This methodology poorly incorporates uncertainty about the estimated ultimate recoveries (EURs). This is especially problematic for hypothetical assessment units where this may be the largest source of uncertainty that needs to be reflected in the estimates. An improved methodology estimates the uncertainty of mean EUR directly. It uses analog data that have been compiled from production histories of many developed U.S. continuous assessment units. The analog databases provide a way of estimating the variability of not just EURs but other production parameters useful in assessing continuous resources.

  6. Improving assessment of personality disorder traits through social network analysis.

    PubMed

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

    2007-10-01

    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.

  7. 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

  8. Assessing organizational readiness for depression care quality improvement: relative commitment and implementation capability.

    PubMed

    Rubenstein, Lisa V; Danz, Marjorie S; Crain, A Lauren; Glasgow, Russell E; Whitebird, Robin R; Solberg, Leif I

    2014-12-02

    Depression is a major cause of morbidity and cost in primary care patient populations. Successful depression improvement models, however, are complex. Based on organizational readiness theory, a practice's commitment to change and its capability to carry out the change are both important predictors of initiating improvement. We empirically explored the links between relative commitment (i.e., the intention to move forward within the following year) and implementation capability. The DIAMOND initiative administered organizational surveys to medical and quality improvement leaders from each of 83 primary care practices in Minnesota. Surveys preceded initiation of activities directed at implementation of a collaborative care model for improving depression care. To assess implementation capability, we developed composites of survey items for five types of organizational factors postulated to be collaborative care barriers and facilitators. To assess relative commitment for each practice, we averaged leader ratings on an identical survey question assessing practice priorities. We used multivariable regression analyses to assess the extent to which implementation capability predicted relative commitment. We explored whether relative commitment or implementation capability measures were associated with earlier initiation of DIAMOND improvements. All five implementation capability measures independently predicted practice leaders' relative commitment to improving depression care in the following year. These included the following: quality improvement culture and attitudes (p = 0.003), depression culture and attitudes (p <0.001), prior depression quality improvement activities (p <0.001), advanced access and tracking capabilities (p = 0.03), and depression collaborative care features in place (p = 0.03). Higher relative commitment (p = 0.002) and prior depression quality improvement activities appeared to be associated with earlier participation in the DIAMOND

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Linking the Regulatory and Reimbursement Processes for Medical Devices: The Need for Integrated Assessments.

    PubMed

    Ciani, Oriana; Wilcher, Britni; van Giessen, Anoukh; Taylor, Rod S

    2017-02-01

    Much criticism has been directed at the licencing requirements for medical devices (MDs) as they often result in a lack of robust evidence to inform health technology assessment (HTA) decisions. To better understand the current international decisional framework on MD technologies, we undertook three linked research studies: a review of the device regulatory procedures, a survey of current HTA practices and an empirical comparison of HTA reports of drugs versus MDs. Our review confirms that current device regulatory processes across the globe are substantially less stringent than drugs. As a result, international HTA agencies report that they face a number of challenges when assessing MDs, including reliance on suboptimal data to make clinical and cost-effectiveness decisions. Whilst many HTA agencies have adapted their processes and procedures to handle MD technology submissions, in our comparison of HTA reports we found little evidence of the application of methodologies that take account of device-specific issues, such as incremental development. Overall, our research reinforces the need for better linkage between licencing and HTA and the development and application of innovative HTA methodologies with the objective of securing faster patient access for those technologies that can be shown to represent good value for money. © 2017 The Authors. Health Economics Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  14. Improving link prediction in complex networks by adaptively exploiting multiple structural features of networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Chuang; Bao, Zhong-Kui; Zhang, Hai-Feng

    2017-10-01

    So far, many network-structure-based link prediction methods have been proposed. However, these methods only highlight one or two structural features of networks, and then use the methods to predict missing links in different networks. The performances of these existing methods are not always satisfied in all cases since each network has its unique underlying structural features. In this paper, by analyzing different real networks, we find that the structural features of different networks are remarkably different. In particular, even in the same network, their inner structural features are utterly different. Therefore, more structural features should be considered. However, owing to the remarkably different structural features, the contributions of different features are hard to be given in advance. Inspired by these facts, an adaptive fusion model regarding link prediction is proposed to incorporate multiple structural features. In the model, a logistic function combing multiple structural features is defined, then the weight of each feature in the logistic function is adaptively determined by exploiting the known structure information. Last, we use the "learnt" logistic function to predict the connection probabilities of missing links. According to our experimental results, we find that the performance of our adaptive fusion model is better than many similarity indices.

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Mocaf cross-linking with gluten to improve the quality of mocaf dough

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raharja, Sapta; Udin, Faqih; Suparno, Ono; Febrianti, Faricha Helfi; Nuraisyah, Ani

    2017-03-01

    Crosslink between mocaf and gluten is conducted to increase the using of mocaf which has very big potential in Indonesia. The effort of cross-linking between mocaf and gluten is to get mocaf flour with better dough quality. This study aims to produce a cross-linked mocaf-gluten flour and to evaluate the influence of heating temperature (X1) and the addition of gluten concentration (X2) using completely randomized design factorial (RAFL). The cross-linking is carried out in alkaline solution with 10%, 20%, and 30% gluten addition and heating temperature at 50, 55, and 60 °C. The result showed that mocaf - gluten flour with the treatment of 30% gluten addition at 55 °C had the largest amount of protein and baking expansion (i.e 19.77% and 2.78 mL/g). Swelling power of the flour was increasing along with the increasing of water absorbing capacity of the mocaf - gluten flour. Birefringence properties of mocaf - gluten flour tended to be reduced as the increasing heating temperature. FTIR analysis of mocaf - gluten flour showed that there was peak strengthening of the infrared spectrum of the C - N bond at 1167-1159 cm-1 which was presumably resulted from the gluten addition and the cross-linking properties.

  18. Enhancing Nurses' Pain Assessment to Improve Patient Satisfaction.

    PubMed

    Schroeder, Diana L; Hoffman, Leslie A; Fioravanti, Marie; Medley, Deborah Poskus; Zullo, Thomas G; Tuite, Patricia K

    2016-01-01

    Patient satisfaction with pain management has increasing importance with Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) scores tied to reimbursement. Previous studies indicate patient satisfaction is influenced by staff interactions. This single-group pre/post design study aimed to improve satisfaction with pain management in older adults undergoing total joint replacement. This was a single-group pre-/posttest design. Nurse (knowledge assessment) and patient (American Pain Society Patient Outcomes Questionnaire Revised [APS-POQ-R], HCAHPS) responses evaluated pre- and postimplementation of the online educational program. Nurse focus group followed intervention. Nurses' knowledge improved significantly (p < .006) postintervention. HCAHPS scores (3-month average) for items reflecting patient satisfaction improved from 70.2 ± 9.5 to 73.9 ± 6.0. APS-POQ-R scores did not change. Focus group comments indicated need for education regarding linkages between pain management and patient satisfaction. Education on linkages between patient satisfaction and pain management can improve outcomes; education on strategies to further improve practice may enhance ability to achieve benchmarks.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Multi-gigabit low-power radiation-tolerant data links and improved data motion in trackers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, M.; Brewer, F.; Magazzu, G.; Wang, D.

    2014-12-01

    We present a set of links based on data-transmission IP in 130nm designed for rapid integration into ASIC designs. These links are designed for use in very high radiation environments as occur in high energy physics experiments. The designs are additionally low power and small area, easing integration with other electronic systems. These links are well suited to use in tracking detectors. Trackers, due to their close proximity to the collision, are subject to very high levels of radiation, and hence require such radiation hardened electronics. The portfolio of radiation hardened data transmission blocks consists of a 1Gbps serializer/deserializer with a very low power consumption ~1mW for each. A differential transmitter and differential receiver rated at 3GHz, both designed to be much faster than needed, as insurance against radiation damage. Finally, the impact of a prototype low-latency, low-power ( < 60mW total link power) 5Gbps link is considered. Case analysis of the impacts of using lower powered, higher speed blocks in hypothetical trackers is studied, showing power improvements relative to alternative technologies.

  2. 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

  3. Improving the assessment of instream flow needs for fish populations

    SciTech Connect

    Sale, M.J. ); Otto, R.G. and Associates, Arlington, VA )

    1991-01-01

    Instream flow requirements are one of the most frequent and most costly environmental issues that must be addressed in developing hydroelectric projects. Existing assessment methods for determining instream flow requirements have been criticized for not including all the biological response mechanisms that regulate fishery resources. A new project has been initiated to study the biological responses of fish populations to altered stream flows and to develop improved ways of managing instream flows. 21 refs., 3 figs.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Professional Improvement Needs of Postsecondary Career Counselors. Summary Report. Professional Improvement Assessment Project.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lovelace, Bill E.; LaBrecque, Suzanne V.

    One part of a five-phase study was conducted to develop a database that identifies the professional improvement needs of postsecondary career counselors as expressed by individuals responding to a survey and to disseminate the findings of the needs assessment to the coordinators/directors of local institutions for planning faculty development.…

  7. Does computer-aided formative assessment improve learning outcomes?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hannah, John; James, Alex; Williams, Phillipa

    2014-02-01

    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 exam marks, spending time on the CAA component of the course was negatively correlated with final exam performance. Students across the ability spectrum reduced their time commitment to CAA in their second semester, with weaker students achieving lower quiz totals, but with more able students' quiz marks hardly affected. Despite this lower quiz performance, the weaker students still improved their final exam marks in the second semester.

  8. Improving the ecological validity of executive functioning assessment.

    PubMed

    Chaytor, Naomi; Schmitter-Edgecombe, Maureen; Burr, Robert

    2006-04-01

    The current study investigated ways to improve the ecological validity of the neuropsychological assessment of executive functioning through the formal assessment of compensatory strategies and environmental cognitive demands. Results indicated that the group of executive functioning tests (i.e., Trail Making Test, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Stroop, and Controlled Oral Word Association Test) accounted for 18-20% of the variance in everyday executive ability as measured by the Dysexecutive Questionnaire and Brock Adaptive Functioning Questionnaire. The addition of extra-test variables significantly increased the variance in everyday executive ability accounted for. The current study adds to the literature on the ecological validity of executive functioning assessment by highlighting the importance of extra-test variables when trying to understand the complex relationship between cognitive testing and real world performance.

  9. Improving general practitioners' assessment and management of suicide risk.

    PubMed

    Paxton, R; MacDonald, F; Allott, R; Mitford, P; Proctor, S; Smith, M

    2001-01-01

    Standards for assessing and managing suicide risk were developed and incorporated into a guidance manual for general practitioners. The effects of the manual on opinions and practice were evaluated using a quasi-experimental controlled before/after design, comparing participating general practitioners with others who did not use the manual. Thirty four general practitioners participated over a six-month period. The intervention group showed changes in perceptions, with increased satisfaction with their own methods and in their recognition and assessment of suicide risk. Their practice changed, with increased recording of relevant factors in notes. The comparison group did not change in these ways. It is concluded that general practitioners' practice and opinions in assessing and managing suicide risk were significantly improved using a minimal intervention. Given the importance of the topic and the small size of this study, further research is needed, examining changes in professional practice, knowledge and attitudes.

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

    PubMed

    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).

  11. 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.

  12. Linking Compensation and Health Surveillance Data Sets to Improve Knowledge of US Coal Miners' Health.

    PubMed

    Almberg, Kirsten S; Cohen, Robert A; Blackley, David J; Laney, Anthony S; Storey, Eileen; Halldin, Cara N

    2017-07-24

    Increase knowledge of US coal miners' respiratory health by linking data from the black lung benefits program (BLBP) and the coal workers' health surveillance program (CWHSP). BLBP claims data from 2000 through 2013 was linked to CWHSP data from 1970 through 2016. Overall, 273,644 miners participated in CWHSP, 37,548 in BLBP, and 22,903 in both programs. Median age of miners at their time of first/only participation in CWHSP was 28 and 32 years, respectively. BLBP claimants were older (median age 59). Thirty-nine percent of BLBP claimants had not participated in CWHSP. The relative contributions of states to participation differed between CWHSP and BLBP. For example, Kentucky miners accounted for 18% of CWHSP participants, but 36% of BLPB participants. Many BLBP claimants never appeared in CWHSP, indicating missed opportunities for secondary prevention.

  13. 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

  14. Synesthesia for Color Is Linked to Improved Color Perception but Reduced Motion Perception

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24091549

  15. A corporate workplace model for ergonomic assessments and improvements.

    PubMed

    Törnström, Linda; Amprazis, Joakim; Christmansson, Marita; Eklund, Jörgen

    2008-03-01

    Several companies have developed their own company-specific models for ergonomic improvements. This study aims to describe and identify factors supporting and hindering the implementation and application of one such corporate model for ergonomic assessment and improvement. The model has been developed by Volvo Car Corporation and implemented at an assembly plant in Göteborg, Sweden. The model is unique as it is intended to be used by production engineers and safety representatives in cooperation. The process for assessment of musculoskeletal risks is standardised and participatory, which also supports identification of solutions. Interviews, questionnaires, observation and document studies were used to evaluate the use of the model. The model was found to improve participation and collaboration among stakeholders; provide a more effective ergonomic improvement process; visually represent the ergonomics situation in the company; and give legitimacy to and awareness of ergonomics. However, the model was found to be rather resource demanding and dependent on support from management and unions. In particular, a substantial training programme and regular use of the model are needed.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. The Climate Services Partnership: Linking Efforts to Improve Climate Services Worldwide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zebiak, S. E.

    2012-12-01

    Throughout the world, climate services are required to address urgent needs for climate-informed decision-making, policy and planning. These needs were explored in detail at the first International Conference on Climate Services (ICCS-1), held in New York in October 2011. After deliberating on needs, capabilities, and opportunities, the conference culminated in the creation of the Climate Services Partnership (CSP). The CSP is an informal interdisciplinary network of climate information users, providers, donors and researchers interested in improving the provision and development of climate services worldwide. Members of the Climate Services Partnership work together to share knowledge, accelerate learning, develop new capacities, and establish good practices. These collaborative efforts also inform and support the evolution and implementation of the UN-led Global Framework for Climate Services. To date, the work of the CSP has focused on three areas: - encouraging and sustaining connections between climate information providers, users, donors, and researchers - gathering, synthesizing and disseminating current knowledge on climate services by way of an online knowledge management platform - generating new knowledge on critical topics in climate service development and provision, through the creation of focused working groups on specific topics Connections are being fostered through outreach at major international conferences and professional societies. CSP maintains a website and a monthly newsletter, which serve as a resource for those interested in climate services. CSP also sponsored the second International Conference on Climate Services (Brussels, Sept. 2012), which focused especially on public-private partnerships to support climate services. Over the past year, CSP has focused knowledge capture efforts around an initial set of more than 40 case studies, and several in-depth evaluations of climate services activities. CSP additionally has created an online

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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

  1. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Improving satellite vulnerability assessment to untrackable orbital debris

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Welty, Nathan; Schaefer, Frank; Rudolph, Martin; Destefanis, Roberto; Grassi, Lilith

    2012-07-01

    The projected growth in the untrackable orbital debris population will place an increased emphasis on satellite vulnerability assessments during both design and mission operations. This study presents an enhanced method for assessing satellite vulnerability to untrackable orbital debris that expands on traditional practices. By looking beyond structural penetration of the spacecraft, the method predicts the survivability of individual components and the associated degradation of system functionality resulting from untrackable debris impacts. A new risk assessment tool, the Particle Impact Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Tool (PIRAT), has been developed based on this method and is also presented here. It interfaces with both the NASA ORDEM2000 and ESA MASTER-2009 debris models and has been validated against the benchmark test cases from the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC). This study concludes with an example vulnerability assessment using PIRAT for a generic Earth observation satellite in a Sun-synchronous low-Earth orbit. The results illustrate the additional insight provided by this method that can be used to improve the robustness of future satellite designs and mitigate the overall mission risk posed by untrackable orbital debris.

  3. 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.

  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

    Plumlee, Geoffrey S; 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

    2013-06-01

    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. 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. We applied diverse analytical methods to ore samples, soil and sweep samples from villages and family compounds, and plant foodstuff samples. 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. 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.

  6. 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

  7. The "City of Firsts" Charts a New Path on Turnaround. Linking State and Local School Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jochim, Ashley; Opalka, Alice

    2017-01-01

    In 2014, the Springfield Public School district in Massachusetts had tried just about every strategy in the turnaround playbook to improve a set of struggling middle schools, but these efforts failed to generate the desired improvement. In 2015, drawing inspiration from national efforts to infuse schools with enhanced autonomy and accountability,…

  8. Blind testing cross-linking/mass spectrometry under the auspices of the 11th critical assessment of methods of protein structure prediction (CASP11)

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Determining the structure of a protein by any method requires various contributions from experimental and computational sides. In a recent study, high-density cross-linking/mass spectrometry (HD-CLMS) data in combination with ab initio structure prediction determined the structure of human serum albumin (HSA) domains, with an RMSD to X-ray structure of up to 2.5 Å, or 3.4 Å in the context of blood serum. This paper reports the blind test on the readiness of this technology through the help of Critical Assessment of protein Structure Prediction (CASP). We identified between 201-381 unique residue pairs at an estimated 5% FDR (at link level albeit with missing site assignment precision evaluation), for four target proteins. HD-CLMS proved reliable once crystal structures were released. However, improvements in structure prediction using cross-link data were slight. We identified two reasons for this. Spread of cross-links along the protein sequence and the tightness of the spatial constraints must be improved. However, for the selected targets even ideal contact data derived from crystal structures did not allow modellers to arrive at the observed structure. Consequently, the progress of HD-CLMS in conjunction with computational modeling methods as a structure determination method, depends on advances on both arms of this hybrid approach. PMID:28317030

  9. Blind testing cross-linking/mass spectrometry under the auspices of the 11(th) critical assessment of methods of protein structure prediction (CASP11).

    PubMed

    Belsom, Adam; Schneider, Michael; Fischer, Lutz; Mabrouk, Mahmoud; Stahl, Kolja; Brock, Oliver; Rappsilber, Juri

    2016-12-09

    Determining the structure of a protein by any method requires various contributions from experimental and computational sides. In a recent study, high-density cross-linking/mass spectrometry (HD-CLMS) data in combination with ab initio structure prediction determined the structure of human serum albumin (HSA) domains, with an RMSD to X-ray structure of up to 2.5 Å, or 3.4 Å in the context of blood serum. This paper reports the blind test on the readiness of this technology through the help of Critical Assessment of protein Structure Prediction (CASP). We identified between 201-381 unique residue pairs at an estimated 5% FDR (at link level albeit with missing site assignment precision evaluation), for four target proteins. HD-CLMS proved reliable once crystal structures were released. However, improvements in structure prediction using cross-link data were slight. We identified two reasons for this. Spread of cross-links along the protein sequence and the tightness of the spatial constraints must be improved. However, for the selected targets even ideal contact data derived from crystal structures did not allow modellers to arrive at the observed structure. Consequently, the progress of HD-CLMS in conjunction with computational modeling methods as a structure determination method, depends on advances on both arms of this hybrid approach.

  10. 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.

  11. Wear behaviour of cross-linked polyethylene assessed in vitro under severe conditions.

    PubMed

    Affatato, Saverio; Bersaglia, Gianluca; Rocchi, Mirko; Taddei, Paola; Fagnano, Concezio; Toni, Aldo

    2005-06-01

    The polyethylene (PE) for hip implants presents serious clinical problems; the production of debris may induce adverse tissue reactions that may lead to extensive bone loss around the implant and consequently osteolysis and implant loosening. Several attempts have been made to improve the wear properties of ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE). More recently the attention of various researchers has been focused on cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE), due to its improved wear resistance with respect to conventional UHMWPE. This study was aimed at comparing the wear performances of clinically available acetabular liners (Zimmer Inc.) made of electron beam XLPE and conventional UHMWPE. To evaluate the influence of the material properties on wear, conventional UHMWPE and XLPE acetabular cups were tested against deliberately scratched CoCrMo femoral heads (Ra = 0.12-0.14 microm) in a hip joint wear simulator run for 3 million cycles with bovine calf serum as lubricant. Gravimetric measurements revealed significant differences between the wear behaviours of the two sets of acetabular cups: XLPE exhibited a wear rate about 40 times lower than conventional UHMWPE. Raman spectroscopy coupled to partial least-squares analysis was used to evaluate the possible crystallinity changes induced by mechanical stress (and thus the material wear resistance): only the UHMWPE cup which showed the highest weight loss displayed significant crystallinity changes. These results were correlated to the thickness of the plasticity-induced damage layer. The wear debris produced during the tests were isolated according to a validated protocol and imaged by scanning electron microscopy . The wear particles produced by XLPE were smaller than those produced by UHMWPE; the latter were observed as fibrillar and agglomerated particles. The mean equivalent circle diameter was 0.71 and 0.26 microm for UHMWPE and XLPE, respectively.

  12. 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.

  13. 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. Copyright © 2014 American College of Radiology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

    PubMed Central

    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/ PMID:22685160

  15. 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/

  16. Reconstitution of peptidoglycan cross-linking leads to improved fluorescent probes of cell wall synthesis.

    PubMed

    Lebar, Matthew D; May, Janine M; Meeske, Alexander J; Leiman, Sara A; Lupoli, Tania J; Tsukamoto, Hirokazu; Losick, Richard; Rudner, David Z; Walker, Suzanne; Kahne, Daniel

    2014-08-06

    The peptidoglycan precursor, Lipid II, produced in the model Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis differs from Lipid II found in Gram-negative bacteria such as Escherichia coli by a single amidation on the peptide side chain. How this difference affects the cross-linking activity of penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) that assemble peptidoglycan in cells has not been investigated because B. subtilis Lipid II was not previously available. Here we report the synthesis of B. subtilis Lipid II and its use by purified B. subtilis PBP1 and E. coli PBP1A. While enzymes from both organisms assembled B. subtilis Lipid II into glycan strands, only the B. subtilis enzyme cross-linked the strands. Furthermore, B. subtilis PBP1 catalyzed the exchange of both D-amino acids and D-amino carboxamides into nascent peptidoglycan, but the E. coli enzyme only exchanged D-amino acids. We exploited these observations to design a fluorescent D-amino carboxamide probe to label B. subtilis PG in vivo and found that this probe labels the cell wall dramatically better than existing reagents.

  17. Putting continuous quality improvement into accreditation: improving approaches to quality assessment.

    PubMed Central

    Scrivens, E

    1997-01-01

    The accreditation systems of the United States, Canada, and Australia have been restructured to reflect the adoption by health services of the industrial model of continuous quality improvement. The industrial model of quality makes assumptions about management structures and the relation of process to outcome which are not readily transferable to the assessment of quality in health care. The accreditation systems have therefore had to adapt the principles of continuous quality improvement to reflect the complex nature of health service organisations and the often untested assumptions about the relation between process and outcome. PMID:10177038

  18. Caring for the Unseen: Using Linking Social Capital to Improve Healthcare Access to Irregular Migrants in Spain.

    PubMed

    Mason, Deanna Marie

    2016-09-01

    To describe a novel strategy using linking social capital to provide healthcare access to irregular migrants with low literacy, low numeracy, and limited cultural assimilation in a European metropolitan area. Public data show numerous shortcomings in meeting the healthcare needs of refugees and irregular migrants surging into Europe. Many irregular migrants living in European communities are unable to access information, care, or services due to lack of social capital. An overview of the problem and traditional charity strategies, including their barriers, are briefly described. A novel strategy using linking social capital to improve healthcare access of irregular migrants is explored and described. Information regarding the impact of this approach on the target population is provided. The discussion of nursing's role in employing linking social capital to care for the vulnerable is presented. Immigration and refugee data show that issues related to migration will continue. The novel strategy presented can be implemented by nurses with limited financial and physical resources in small community settings frequented by irregular migrants to improve health care. The health and well-being of irregular migrants has an impact on community health. Nurses must be aware of and consider implementing novel strategies to ensure that all community members' healthcare needs, which are a basic human right, are addressed. © 2016 The Author. Journal of Nursing Scholarship published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Sigma Theta Tau International The Honor Society of Nursing.

  19. Caring for the Unseen: Using Linking Social Capital to Improve Healthcare Access to Irregular Migrants in Spain

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Purpose To describe a novel strategy using linking social capital to provide healthcare access to irregular migrants with low literacy, low numeracy, and limited cultural assimilation in a European metropolitan area. Organizing Construct Public data show numerous shortcomings in meeting the healthcare needs of refugees and irregular migrants surging into Europe. Many irregular migrants living in European communities are unable to access information, care, or services due to lack of social capital. An overview of the problem and traditional charity strategies, including their barriers, are briefly described. A novel strategy using linking social capital to improve healthcare access of irregular migrants is explored and described. Information regarding the impact of this approach on the target population is provided. The discussion of nursing's role in employing linking social capital to care for the vulnerable is presented. Conclusions Immigration and refugee data show that issues related to migration will continue. The novel strategy presented can be implemented by nurses with limited financial and physical resources in small community settings frequented by irregular migrants to improve health care. Clinical Relevance The health and well‐being of irregular migrants has an impact on community health. Nurses must be aware of and consider implementing novel strategies to ensure that all community members’ healthcare needs, which are a basic human right, are addressed. PMID:27355488

  20. Linking Six Sigma to simulation: a new roadmap to improve the quality of patient care.

    PubMed

    Celano, Giovanni; Costa, Antonio; Fichera, Sergio; Tringali, Giuseppe

    2012-01-01

    Improving the quality of patient care is a challenge that calls for a multidisciplinary approach, embedding a broad spectrum of knowledge and involving healthcare professionals from diverse backgrounds. The purpose of this paper is to present an innovative approach that implements discrete-event simulation (DES) as a decision-supporting tool in the management of Six Sigma quality improvement projects. A roadmap is designed to assist quality practitioners and health care professionals in the design and successful implementation of simulation models within the define-measure-analyse-design-verify (DMADV) or define-measure-analyse-improve-control (DMAIC) Six Sigma procedures. A case regarding the reorganisation of the flow of emergency patients affected by vertigo symptoms was developed in a large town hospital as a preliminary test of the roadmap. The positive feedback from professionals carrying out the project looks promising and encourages further roadmap testing in other clinical settings. The roadmap is a structured procedure that people involved in quality improvement can implement to manage projects based on the analysis and comparison of alternative scenarios. The role of Six Sigma philosophy in improvement of the quality of healthcare services is recognised both by researchers and by quality practitioners; discrete-event simulation models are commonly used to improve the key performance measures of patient care delivery. The two approaches are seldom referenced and implemented together; however, they could be successfully integrated to carry out quality improvement programs. This paper proposes an innovative approach to bridge the gap and enrich the Six Sigma toolbox of quality improvement procedures with DES.

  1. 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.

  2. Assessing Community Leadership: Understanding Community Capacity for Health Improvement.

    PubMed

    Castle, Billie; Wendel, Monica; Kelly Pryor, Brandy N; Ingram, Monique

    The purpose of this study was to pilot a quantitative instrument to measure aspects of community leadership within an assessment framework. The instrument includes 14 Likert-type questions asking residents how they perceive leaders within 5 sectors: Louisville Metro Council/Mayor's Office, the faith community, education, business, and the civic sector. Louisville/Jefferson County, Kentucky, has a population of about 743 000 residents. Respondents were asked to examine leadership within West Louisville, an economically deprived area of the city made up of 9 contiguous neighborhoods. This area is predominantly African American (78% compared with 22% in Louisville Metro), with an overall poverty rate of 43% (compared with 18% in Louisville Metro), and unemployment rate of 23% (compared with 8% in Louisville Metro). Residents of West Louisville are looking to leadership to address many of the inequities. Twenty-seven participants representing 7 community sectors completed the survey, of whom 90% work in West Louisville. The instrument measured local perceptions of leadership strength, effectiveness, trust, communication, community building, and leadership development. The majority of respondents agree that strong leadership exists across the 5 sectors, with variation regarding perceptions of the quality of that leadership. City leadership within the Mayor's Office and Metro Council is largely viewed positively, while the growing tensions within the education sector were reflected in the survey results. The perception of community leadership is important to understanding local community capacity to improve health and also inclusivity of community voice in the assessment and community improvement processes. Results from such assessments can offer useful information for strengthening community capacity and sustaining relationships needed to enact progressive and equitable solutions to address local issues. Leaders in a variety of settings can utilize this instrument to

  3. Improving pain assessment and managment in stroke patients

    PubMed Central

    Nesbitt, Julian; Moxham, Sian; ramadurai, gopinath; Williams, Lucy

    2015-01-01

    Stroke patients can experience a variety of pain. Many stroke patients have co-morbidities such as osteoporosis, arthritis or diabetes causing diabetic neuropathy. As well as pain from other long term conditions, stroke patients can experience central post-stroke pain, headaches, and musculoskeletal issues such as hypertonia, contractures, spasticity, and subluxations. These stroke patients can also have communication difficulties in the form of expressive dysphasia and/or global aphasia. Communication difficulties can result in these patients not expressing their pain and therefore not having it assessed, leading to inadequate pain relief that could impact their rehabilitation and recovery. By implementing an observational measurement of pain such as the Abbey pain scale, patients with communication difficulties can have their pain assessed and recorded. Initially 30% of patients on the acute stroke ward did not have their pain assessed and adequately recorded and 15% of patients had inadequate pain relief. The patient was assessed if they were in pain and therefore not receiving adequate pain relief by measuring their pain on the Abbey pain scale. After introducing the Abbey pain scale and creating a nurse advocate, an improvement was shown such that only 5% of patients did not have their pain recorded and all had adequate pain relief. PMID:26732690

  4. Improving pain assessment and managment in stroke patients.

    PubMed

    Nesbitt, Julian; Moxham, Sian; Ramadurai, Gopinath; Williams, Lucy

    2015-01-01

    Stroke patients can experience a variety of pain. Many stroke patients have co-morbidities such as osteoporosis, arthritis or diabetes causing diabetic neuropathy. As well as pain from other long term conditions, stroke patients can experience central post-stroke pain, headaches, and musculoskeletal issues such as hypertonia, contractures, spasticity, and subluxations. These stroke patients can also have communication difficulties in the form of expressive dysphasia and/or global aphasia. Communication difficulties can result in these patients not expressing their pain and therefore not having it assessed, leading to inadequate pain relief that could impact their rehabilitation and recovery. By implementing an observational measurement of pain such as the Abbey pain scale, patients with communication difficulties can have their pain assessed and recorded. Initially 30% of patients on the acute stroke ward did not have their pain assessed and adequately recorded and 15% of patients had inadequate pain relief. The patient was assessed if they were in pain and therefore not receiving adequate pain relief by measuring their pain on the Abbey pain scale. After introducing the Abbey pain scale and creating a nurse advocate, an improvement was shown such that only 5% of patients did not have their pain recorded and all had adequate pain relief.

  5. 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.

  6. Statistical tools to improve assessing agreement between several observers.

    PubMed

    Ruddat, I; Scholz, B; Bergmann, S; Buehring, A-L; Fischer, S; Manton, A; Prengel, D; Rauch, E; Steiner, S; Wiedmann, S; Kreienbrock, L; Campe, A

    2014-04-01

    In the context of assessing the impact of management and environmental factors on animal health, behaviour or performance it has become increasingly important to conduct (epidemiological) studies in the field. Hence, the number of investigated farms per study is considerably high so that numerous observers are needed for investigation. In order to maintain the quality and validity of study results calibration meetings where observers are trained and the current level of agreement is assessed have to be conducted to minimise the observer effect. When study animals were rated independently by the same observers by a categorical variable the exclusion test can be performed to identify disagreeing observers. This statistical test compares for each variable and each observer the observer-specific agreement with the overall agreement among all observers based on kappa coefficients. It accounts for two major challenges, namely the absence of a gold-standard observer and different data type comprising ordinal, nominal and binary data. The presented methods are applied on a reliability study to assess the agreement among eight observers rating welfare parameters of laying hens. The degree to which the observers agreed depended on the investigated item (global weighted kappa coefficients: 0.37 to 0.94). The proposed method and graphical description served to assess the direction and degree to which an observer deviates from the others. It is suggested to further improve studies with numerous observers by conducting calibration meetings and accounting for observer bias.

  7. Needs assessment to improve neonatal intensive care in Mexico.

    PubMed

    Weiss, K J; Kowalkowski, M A; Treviño, R; Cabrera-Meza, G; Thomas, E J; Kaplan, H C; Profit, J

    2015-08-01

    At the time of the research, Dr Weiss was a clinical fellow in neonatal-perinatal medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital. Dr Profit was on faculty at Baylor College of Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital, Department of Pediatrics, Section of Neonatology. He held a secondary appointment in the Department of Medicine, Section of Health Services Research and conducted his research at the VA Health Services Research and Development Center of Excellence where he collaborated with Dr Kowalkowski.: Improving the quality of neonatal intensive care is an important health policy priority in Mexico. A formal assessment of barriers and priorities for quality improvement has not been undertaken. To provide guidance to providers and policy makers with regard to addressing opportunities for better care delivery in Mexican neonatal intensive care units. To conduct a needs assessment regarding improvement of quality of neonatal intensive care delivery in Mexico. Spanish-language survey administered to a volunteer sample of Mexican neonatal care providers attending a large paediatric conference in Mexico in June 2011. Survey domains included institutional context of quality improvement, barriers, priorities, safety culture, and respondents' characteristics. Results were analysed using descriptive analyses of frequencies, proportions and percentage positive response (PPR) rates. Of 91 respondents, the majority identified neonatology as their primary specialty (n = 48, 65%) and were physicians (n = 55, 73%). Generally, providers expressed a desire to improve quality of care (PPR 69%) but reported notable deterrents. Respondents (n, %) identified family inability to pay (38, 48%), overcrowded work areas (38, 44%), insufficient financial reimbursement (25, 36%), lack of availability of nurses (26, 30%), ancillary staff (25, 29%), and subspecialists (22, 25%) as the principal barriers. Respiratory care (27, 39%)--reduction of mechanical ventilation and

  8. Metrics for assessing improvements in primary health care.

    PubMed

    Stange, Kurt C; Etz, Rebecca S; Gullett, Heidi; Sweeney, Sarah A; Miller, William L; Jaén, Carlos Roberto; Crabtree, Benjamin F; Nutting, Paul A; Glasgow, Russell E

    2014-01-01

    Metrics focus attention on what is important. Balanced metrics of primary health care inform purpose and aspiration as well as performance. Purpose in primary health care is about improving the health of people and populations in their community contexts. It is informed by metrics that include long-term, meaning- and relationship-focused perspectives. Aspirational uses of metrics inspire evolving insights and iterative improvement, using a collaborative, developmental perspective. Performance metrics assess the complex interactions among primary care tenets of accessibility, a whole-person focus, integration and coordination of care, and ongoing relationships with individuals, families, and communities; primary health care principles of inclusion and equity, a focus on people's needs, multilevel integration of health, collaborative policy dialogue, and stakeholder participation; basic and goal-directed health care, prioritization, development, and multilevel health outcomes. Environments that support reflection, development, and collaborative action are necessary for metrics to advance health and minimize unintended consequences.

  9. 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.

  10. Sustainability impact assessment to improve food security of smallholders in Tanzania

    SciTech Connect

    Schindler, Jana; Graef, Frieder; König, Hannes Jochen; Mchau, Devotha; Saidia, Paul; Sieber, Stefan

    2016-09-15

    The objective of this paper was to assess the sustainability impacts of planned agricultural development interventions, so called upgrading strategies (UPS), to enhance food security and to identify what advantages and risks are assessed from the farmer's point of view in regards to social life, the economy and the environment. We developed a participatory methodological procedure that links food security and sustainable development. Farmers in four different case study villages in rural Tanzania chose their priority UPS. For these UPS, they assessed the impacts on locally relevant food security criteria. The positive impacts identified were mainly attributed to increased agricultural production and its related positive impacts such as increased income and improved access to necessary means to diversify the diet. However, several risks of certain UPS were also indicated by farmers, such as increased workload, high maintenance costs, higher competition among farmers, loss of traditional knowledge and social conflicts. We discussed the strong interdependence of socio-economic and environmental criteria to improve food security for small-scale farmers and analysed several trade-offs in regards to UPS choices and food security criteria. We also identified and discussed the advantages and challenges of our methodological approach. In conclusion, the participatory impact assessment on the farmer level allowed a locally specific analysis of the various positive and negative impacts of UPS on social life, the economy and the environment. We emphasize that only a development approach that considers social, economic and environmental challenges simultaneously can enhance food security.

  11. 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.

  12. New method for the improvement of data link dependency of fiber optic sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lau, Matthias; Renschen, Claus P.

    1993-03-01

    In the field of optic sensors, in most applications, the measurement of intensity is of main interest. There are many sensors, which by means of fiber optic evanescent spectroscopy are used to measure the temperature, concentration of methane or carbon dioxide in fiber optic transmission cells and glucose or other important substances. Using these sensors, the compensation of the influence at the data link dependencies is problematic. There are several proposals to compensate these influences. Among them there are the utilization of two or more wavelengths, the earliest possible digital conversion and the application of optical bridges. However, these methods are circumstantial and problems cannot be solved in general. A new method for the compensation of fiber optical connectors is presented.

  13. 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…

  14. Assessing Students' Use of LinkedIn in a Business and Professional Communication Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slone, Amanda Ruth; Gaffney, Amy L. H.

    2016-01-01

    This paper examined the practice of using LinkedIn as a tool for teaching students how to create a professional online presence. A descriptive analysis of student LinkedIn profiles revealed that students included some basic requirements, but many students still neglected to fully complete the profile, thereby leaving out some important information…

  15. Short duration gluteraldehyde cross linking of decellularized bovine pericardium improves biological response.

    PubMed

    Umashankar, P R; Arun, T; Kumari, T V

    2011-06-01

    Gluteraldehyde stabilized bovine pericardium is used for clinical application since 1970s because of its desirable features such as less immunogenicity and acceptable durability. However, a propensity for calcification and long term implant failure is reported because of gluteraldehyde treatment. There is also failure of implant to integrate into host tissue because of its resistance to tissue remodeling. Decellularized bovine pericardium, a potential alternative allows tissue remodeling but it has problems such as immunogenicity and chronic inflammatory response. In this study, decellularized bovine pericardium was subjected to short duration, low concentration gluteraldehyde cross-linking at two levels and its biological response (both in vitro and in vivo) was compared with un-crosslinked decellularized bovine pericardium and fully crosslinked normal bovine pericardium. It was observed that both un-crosslinked and partially crosslinked decellularized bovine pericardium to be non-cytotoxic and it caused significantly less inflammatory cytokine release such as TNF alpha and IL1beta from activated macrophages. Among all groups, short duration 0.2% Gluteraldehyde treated decellularized bovine pericardium showed significantly less antibody response and inflammatory response compared to un-crosslinked decellularized pericardium, short duration 0.6% gluteraldehyde treated decellularized bovine pericardium or completely cross linked bovine pericardium in juvenile rat subcutaneous implantation model. Moreover, short duration 0.2% gluteraldehyde crosslinked decellularized bovine pericardium showed minimum calcification, better host fibroblast incorporation, new collagen deposition and angiogenesis within the implant. These attributes may finally lead to better implant remodeling and sustained implant function during clinical use. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Measuring and Improving the Quality of Preprocedural Assessments.

    PubMed

    Manji, Farah; McCarty, Kelsey; Kurzweil, Vanessa; Mark, Eden; Rathmell, James P; Agarwala, Aalok V

    2017-06-01

    testing clinic or phone program (P < .0001). The most common reason given for "unsatisfactory" ratings was a perception of "missing information" (49.2%). Chart reviews revealed that inadequate documentation was in reality the most common deficiency in preprocedural evaluations (35 of 67 reviews, 52.2%). The overwhelming majority of preprocedural assessments performed at our institution were considered satisfactory or exemplary by day-of-surgery anesthesia providers. This was demonstrated by both the case-by-case ratings and midpoint survey. However, the perceived frequency of "unsatisfactory" evaluations was worse when providers were asked to reflect on the quality of preprocedural evaluations generally versus rate them individually. Analysis of comments left by providers allowed us to identify specific and actionable areas for improvement. This method can be used by other institutions to identify systemic deficiencies in the preprocedural evaluation process.

  17. Systematic review protocol assessing the processes for linking clinical trial registries and their published results

    PubMed Central

    Bashir, Rabia; Dunn, Adam G

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Clinical trial registries are an important source of information for tracking clinical trials from their inception through to their reporting, and have been used to measure publication bias and outcome reporting bias. Our aim is to survey and quantify the processes that have been used to identify links between clinical trial registries and published trial reports in studies that rely on these links to evaluate the completeness and accuracy of trial reporting. Methods and analysis We will identify studies that describe a process for identifying the links between a trial registry included in the WHO International Clinical Trial Registry Platform and published trial results, and use those links to evaluate the completeness and accuracy of trial reporting. Information extracted from the studies will include the purpose and application domain of the study, registries used or searched, processes by which the links were identified, the study period and proportions for which links were found. We will summarise what is known about the number and availability of links between clinical trial registries and published results, and examine how automatic linking, inference and inquiry processes have been used to identify links since the introduction of trial registries. Ethics and dissemination The systematic review is focused on the analysis of secondary data and does not require ethics approval. The results of the systematic review will be used to inform standard processes used to identify links to and from clinical trial registries in studies that evaluate the completeness and accuracy of clinical trial reports, as well as systematic reviews. Our findings will be disseminated by publishing the systematic review in a peer-reviewed journal, and by engaging with stakeholders from clinical trial registries and bibliographic databases. PMID:27697881

  18. Linking Community Hospital Initiatives With Osteopathic Medical Students' Quality Improvement Training: A Pilot Program.

    PubMed

    Brannan, Grace D; Russ, Ronald; Winemiller, Terry R; Mast, Eric

    2016-01-01

    Quality improvement (QI) continues to be a health care challenge, and the literature indicates that osteopathic medical students need more training. To qualify for portions of managed care reimbursement, hospitals are required to meet measures intended to improve quality of care and patient satisfaction, which may be challenging for small community hospitals with limited resources. Because osteopathic medical training is grounded on community hospital experiences, an opportunity exists to align the outcomes needs of hospitals and QI training needs of students. In this pilot program, 3 sponsoring hospitals recruited and mentored 1 osteopathic medical student each through a QI project. A mentor at each hospital identified a project that was important to the hospital's patient care QI goals. This pilot program provided osteopathic medical students with hands-on QI training, created opportunities for interprofessional collaboration, and contributed to hospital initiatives to improve patient outcomes.

  19. Potentially preventable events: an actionable set of measures for linking quality improvement and cost savings.

    PubMed

    Goldfield, Norbert; Kelly, William P; Patel, Kavita

    2012-01-01

    Rising health care costs will result in reduced payments to providers, but across-the-board provider payment reductions are not the answer. Instead, existing payment systems should be reformed to strengthen value for the dollars spent. This can be accomplished by increasing efficiency, improving quality and outcomes, and lowering costs. Payment system reforms must be practical, transparent, identify opportunities for care improvement, and demonstrate material cost savings. Most importantly, because the current growth in health care costs is unsustainable, these reforms must be able to be implemented today. A set of comprehensive measures is being used by state government and private payers in the United States to adjust payment, based on improved outcomes quality. This article details the use of this set of measures, referred to as potentially preventable events, and demonstrates how they are being applied to achieve health care value.

  20. Assessing and improving safety climate in a large cohort of intensive care units.

    PubMed

    Sexton, J Bryan; Berenholtz, Sean M; Goeschel, Christine A; Watson, Sam R; Holzmueller, Christine G; Thompson, David A; Hyzy, Robert C; Marsteller, Jill A; Schumacher, Kathy; Pronovost, Peter J

    2011-05-01

    To evaluate the impact of a comprehensive unit-based safety program on safety climate in a large cohort of intensive care units participating in the Keystone intensive care unit project. A prospective cohort collaborative study to improve quality of care and safety culture by implementing and evaluating patient safety interventions in intensive care units predominantly in the state of Michigan. The comprehensive unit-based safety program was the first intervention implemented by every intensive care unit participating in the collaborative. It is specifically designed to improve the various elements of a unit's safety culture, such as teamwork and safety climate. We administered the validated Safety Attitudes Questionnaire at baseline (2004) and after 2 yrs of exposure to the safety program (2006) to assess improvement. The safety climate domain on the survey includes seven items. Post-safety climate scores for intensive care units. To interpret results, a score of <60% was in the "needs improvement" zone and a ≥10-point discrepancy in pre-post scores was needed to describe a difference. Hospital bed size, teaching status, and faith-based status were included in our analyses. Seventy-one intensive care units returned surveys in 2004 and 2006 with 71% and 73% response rates, respectively. Overall mean safety climate scores significantly improved from 42.5% (2004) to 52.2% (2006), t = -6.21, p < .001, with scores higher in faith-based intensive care units and smaller-bed-size hospitals. In 2004, 87% of intensive care units were in the "needs improvement" range and in 2006, 47% were in this range or did not score ≥10 points or higher. Five of seven safety climate items significantly improved from 2004 to 2006. A patient safety program designed to improve teamwork and culture was associated with significant improvements in overall mean safety climate scores in a large cohort of 71 intensive care units. Research linking improved climate scores and clinical outcomes

  1. A hybrid framework for assessing socioeconomic drought: Linking climate variability, local resilience, and demand

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehran, Ali; Mazdiyasni, Omid; AghaKouchak, Amir

    2015-08-01

    Socioeconomic drought broadly refers to conditions whereby the water supply cannot satisfy the demand. Most previous studies describe droughts based on large-scale meteorological/hydrologic conditions, ignoring the demand and local resilience to cope with climate variability. Reservoirs provide resilience against climatic extremes and play a key role in water supply and demand management. Here we outline a unique multivariate approach as a measure of socioeconomic drought, termed Multivariate Standardized Reliability and Resilience Index (MSRRI). The model combines information on the inflow and reservoir storage relative to the demand. MSRRI combines (I) a "top-down" approach that focuses on processes/phenomena that cannot be simply controlled or altered by decision makers, such as climate change and variability, and (II) a "bottom-up" methodology that represents the local resilience and societal capacity to respond or adapt to droughts. MSRRI is based on a nonparametric multivariate distribution function that links inflow-demand reliability indicator to water storage resilience indicator. These indicators are used to assess socioeconomic drought during the Australian Millennium drought (1998-2010) and the 2011-2014 California drought. The results show that MSRRI is superior to univariate indices because it captures both early onset and persistence of water stress over time. The suggested framework can be applied to both individual reservoirs and a group of reservoirs in a region, and it is consistent with the currently available standardized drought indicators. MSRRI provides complementary information on socioeconomic drought development and recovery based on reservoir storage and demand that cannot be achieved from the commonly used drought indicators.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-21

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2017-01-01

    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. 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

  6. From Kindergarten readiness to fourth-grade assessment: longitudinal analysis with linked population data.

    PubMed

    Lloyd, Jennifer E V; Hertzman, Clyde

    2009-01-01

    Early child development (ECD)--the development of physical, social-emotional, and language-cognitive capacities in the early years--is a foundation of health, well-being, learning, and behaviour across the life course. Consequently, the capacity to monitor ECD is an important facet of a modern society. This capacity is achieved by having in place an ongoing flow of high-quality information on the state of early child development, its determinants, and long-term developmental outcomes. Accordingly, there remains a considerable need for research that merges community-centred, longitudinal, and linked-data approaches to monitoring child development. The current paper addresses this need by introducing one method of summarising and quantifying the developmental trajectories of British Columbian children at the neighbourhood- or district-level: computing the Community Index of Child Development (CICD) for each geographic area. A simple index that describes change in children's developmental trajectories at the aggregate level, the CICD is computable because of our capacity to conduct individual-level linkage of two population data sets: the Early Development Instrument (EDI), a holistic measure of children's readiness for school which is administered at Kindergarten, and the British Columbia Ministry of Education's Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA), a Grade 4 measure of academic skills. In this paper, we demonstrate: (a) wide variation in the CICDs according to the children's district of residence in Kindergarten; (b) an association of the CICDs with an indicator of the socioeconomic character of the neighbourhoods; and (c) contrasting patterns of neighbourhood convergence and divergence in two different school districts--such that, in some areas, children from high vulnerability neighbourhoods tend to catch up between Kindergarten and Grade 4 whereas, in other areas, they tend to fall further behind.

  7. 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. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Teacher Leadership and Professional Development: Examining Links between Two Concepts Central to School Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Poekert, Philip E.

    2012-01-01

    Teacher leadership has gained attention in recent years as a plausible means by which educational reform and instructional improvement can be accomplished through ongoing, site-based professional development for teachers. This article reviews and draws conclusions across the research literature on professional development and teacher leadership to…

  13. Effectively Linking Teacher and Student Data: The Key to Improving Teacher Quality

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Data Quality Campaign, 2010

    2010-01-01

    Current state and federal reform initiatives rely heavily on the ability of multiple stakeholders to access and use information from statewide longitudinal data systems (SLDSs) to improve student achievement. State policymakers have indicated through reform plans that states are best positioned to achieve this goal by developing and implementing…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. The improved electrochemical performance of cross-linked 3D graphene nanoribbon monolith electrodes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vineesh, Thazhe Veettil; Alwarappan, Subbiah; Narayanan, Tharangattu N.

    2015-04-01

    Technical advancement in the field of ultra-small sensors and devices demands the development of novel micro- or nano-based architectures. Here we report the design and assembly of cross-linked three dimensional graphene nanoribbons (3D GNRs) using solution based covalent binding of individual 2D GNRs and demonstrate its electrochemical application as a 3D electrode. The enhanced performance of 3D GNRs over individual 2D GNRs is established using standard redox probes - [Ru(NH3)6]3+/2+, [Fe(CN)6]3-/4- and important bio-analytes - dopamine and ascorbic acid. 3D GNRs are found to have high double layer capacitance (2482 μF cm-2) and faster electron transfer kinetics; their exceptional electrocatalytic activity towards the oxygen reduction reaction is indicative of their potential over a wide range of electrochemical applications. Moreover, this study opens a new platform for the design of novel point-of-care devices and electrodes for energy devices.Technical advancement in the field of ultra-small sensors and devices demands the development of novel micro- or nano-based architectures. Here we report the design and assembly of cross-linked three dimensional graphene nanoribbons (3D GNRs) using solution based covalent binding of individual 2D GNRs and demonstrate its electrochemical application as a 3D electrode. The enhanced performance of 3D GNRs over individual 2D GNRs is established using standard redox probes - [Ru(NH3)6]3+/2+, [Fe(CN)6]3-/4- and important bio-analytes - dopamine and ascorbic acid. 3D GNRs are found to have high double layer capacitance (2482 μF cm-2) and faster electron transfer kinetics; their exceptional electrocatalytic activity towards the oxygen reduction reaction is indicative of their potential over a wide range of electrochemical applications. Moreover, this study opens a new platform for the design of novel point-of-care devices and electrodes for energy devices. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Technology assessment for communication links for mobile users in a hostile environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lupinetti, Francesco

    1987-03-01

    Theoretical constraints for communication links where at least one of the users is a mobile unit are developed. Additional information on communication techniques which could be used to meet the requirements of these links is made available. Possible link architecture and characteristics for short term realization are presented. Suggestion on the not yet existing hardware which should be developed in order to meet all the field requirements of a long term communication system for a mobile user in a possibly hostile environment are also made.

  20. Structured reporting platform improves CAD-RADS assessment.

    PubMed

    Szilveszter, Bálint; Kolossváry, Márton; Karády, Júlia; Jermendy, Ádám L; Károlyi, Mihály; Panajotu, Alexisz; Bagyura, Zsolt; Vecsey-Nagy, Milán; Cury, Ricardo C; Leipsic, Jonathon A; Merkely, Béla; Maurovich-Horvat, Pál

    2017-09-18

    Structured reporting in cardiac imaging is strongly encouraged to improve quality through consistency. The Coronary Artery Disease - Reporting and Data System (CAD-RADS) was recently introduced to facilitate interdisciplinary communication of coronary CT angiography (CTA) results. We aimed to assess the agreement between manual and automated CAD-RADS classification using a structured reporting platform. Five readers prospectively interpreted 500 coronary CT angiographies using a structured reporting platform that automatically calculates the CAD-RADS score based on stenosis and plaque parameters manually entered by the reader. In addition, all readers manually assessed CAD-RADS blinded to the automatically derived results, which was used as the reference standard. We evaluated factors influencing reader performance including CAD-RADS training, clinical load, time of the day and level of expertise. Total agreement between manual and automated classification was 80.2%. Agreement in stenosis categories was 86.7%, whereas the agreement in modifiers was 95.8% for "N", 96.8% for "S", 95.6% for "V" and 99.4% for "G". Agreement for V improved after CAD-RADS training (p = 0.047). Time of the day and clinical load did not influence reader performance (p > 0.05 both). Less experienced readers had a higher total agreement as compared to more experienced readers (87.0% vs 78.0%, respectively; p = 0.011). Even though automated CAD-RADS classification uses data filled in by the readers, it outperforms manual classification by preventing human errors. Structured reporting platforms with automated calculation of the CAD-RADS score might improve data quality and support standardization of clinical decision making. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  1. Linking Biological and Cognitive Aging: Toward Improving Characterizations of Developmental Time

    PubMed Central

    DeCarlo, Correne A.; Dixon, Roger A.

    2011-01-01

    Objectives. Chronological age is the most frequently employed predictor in life-span developmental research, despite repeated assertions that it is best conceived as a proxy for true mechanistic changes that influence cognition across time. The present investigation explores the potential that selected functional biomarkers may contribute to the more effective conceptual and operational definitions of developmental time. Methods. We used data from the Victoria Longitudinal Study to explore both static and dynamic biological or physiological markers that arguably influence process-specific mechanisms underlying cognitive changes in late life. Multilevel models were fit to test the dynamic coupling between change in theoretically relevant biomarkers (e.g., grip strength, pulmonary function) and change in select cognitive measures (e.g., executive function, episodic and semantic memory). Results. Results showed that, independent of the passage of developmental time (indexed as years in study), significant time-varying covariation was observed linking corresponding declines for select cognitive outcomes and biological markers. Discussion. Our findings support the interpretation that cognitive decline is not due to chronological aging per se but rather reflects multiple causal factors from a broad range of biological and physical health domains that operate along the age continuum. PMID:21743053

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Lexical Link Analysis Application: Improving Web Service to Acquisition Visibility Portal

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-04-01

    Methods The LLA approach is more properly related to Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA; Dumais, Furnas, Landauer, Deerwester, & Harshman, 1988) and...Probabilistic Latent Semantic Analysis (PLSA). In the LSA approach, a term-document matrix is the starting point for analysis. The elements of the term...fy2008_weabook.pdf Dumais, S. T., Furnas, G. W., Landauer, T. K., Deerwester, S., & Harshman, R. (1988). Using latent semantic analysis to improve information

  6. Lexical Link Analysis Application: Improving Web Service to Acquisition Visibility Portal

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-30

    Relations to Other Methods The LLA approach is more properly related to latent semantic analysis (LSA; Dumais, Furnas, Landauer, & Deerwester, 1988...and probabilistic latent semantic analysis (PLSA). In the LSA approach, a term-document matrix is the starting point for analysis. The elements of...Landauer, T. K., & Deerwester, S. (1988). Using latent semantic analysis to improve information retrieval. In Proceedings of CHI’88: Conference on

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. How States Can Promote Local Innovation, Options, and Problem-Solving in Public Education. Linking State and Local School Improvement

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Posamentier, Jordan; Lake, Robin; Hill, Paul

    2017-01-01

    State policy plays a critical role in determining whether and how well local education improvement strategies can be implemented. As states rework their education policies under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), state and local leaders need a way to assess their current policy environment and identify the changes needed to encourage local…

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ruhl, H.; Rybicki, N.B.

    2010-01-01

    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.

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Rybicki, Nancy B.

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20823243

  17. Linking xenobiotic exposure to adverse biological effects in ecotoxicological assessments: The role of biomarkers

    SciTech Connect

    Stein, J.E.; Collier, T.K.; Johnson, L.L.; Casillas, E.; Arkoosh, M.A.; Varanasi, U.

    1995-12-31

    Biomarkers of contaminant exposure have been developed and are being successfully applied to a wide range of aquatic species. To improve the utility of biomarkers in the practical assessment of the impact of xenobiotics on aspects of ecosystem integrity requires the identification of biomarkers that are also indicators of adverse physiological effect. Moreover, it is important to determine if the use of biomarkers can improve the ability to diagnose potential adverse effects at the population level. Currently, the authors are evaluating the potential of a battery of molecular and cellular biomarkers in both fish and invertebrates to strengthen linkages between exposure and effects on growth, reproduction and survival of marine species. Concerted field and laboratory studies are employed to delineate dose-response for biomarkers, identify levels at which effects are observed in indigenous species, and to substantiate causality between exposure and the above physiological effects. However, to identify further causal relationships between physiological effects on individuals and population level impacts that are associated with xenobiotic exposure is currently a significant challenge. Their current efforts are focusing on constructing population models using estimates of mortality and reproductive success in a benthic fish, and on constructing population growth curves for a bivalve. Both species were sampled from a range of contaminated sites in Puget Sound, WA, and analyses included measurement of biomarkers to identify or strengthen associations between exposure and estimated population level impacts. Overall, these recent findings demonstrate that properly validated biomarkers are useful in substantiating linkages between environmental contamination and physiological effects that may lead to adverse population level impacts.

  18. Portfolio Assessment: Missing Link in Student Evaluation. Trends and Issues Alerts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Bettina Lankard

    Portfolio assessment is an alternative form of assessment that is particularly attractive to adult, career, and vocational educators because it includes the assessment of active learning and performance rather than the mere recall of memorized facts. Portfolio assessment serves the interests of business and industry by forging a connection between…

  19. [Improvement of medical equipment setting for the hospital link of the medical service during wartime].

    PubMed

    Miroshnichenko, Yu V; Goryachev, A B; Popov, A A; Rodionov, E O

    2016-04-01

    One of the priorities of the military health care is to improve the system of rationing medical equipment for the hospital unit of the medical service of the Armed Forces in wartime. This is determined the fact that the effectiveness of measures to provide military field hospitals with medical supplies depends on the quality of medical care for the wounded and sick, as well as the level of their return to duty. The article presents the characteristics of modern standards medical supplies procurement of military field hospitals included in the new regulatory legal act of the Russian Federation Ministry of Defence--"Standards of supplies medical supplies medical and pharmaceutical organizations (units) of the Russian Federation on the wartime armed forces", approved and put into effect in 2015 by order of the Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation.

  20. "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.

  1. An improved hypergeometric probability method for identification of functionally linked proteins using phylogenetic profiles

    PubMed Central

    Kotaru, Appala Raju; Shameer, Khader; Sundaramurthy, Pandurangan; Joshi, Ramesh Chandra

    2013-01-01

    Predicting functions of proteins and alternatively spliced isoforms encoded in a genome is one of the important applications of bioinformatics in the post-genome era. Due to the practical limitation of experimental characterization of all proteins encoded in a genome using biochemical studies, bioinformatics methods provide powerful tools for function annotation and prediction. These methods also help minimize the growing sequence-to-function gap. Phylogenetic profiling is a bioinformatics approach to identify the influence of a trait across species and can be employed to infer the evolutionary history of proteins encoded in genomes. Here we propose an improved phylogenetic profile-based method which considers the co-evolution of the reference genome to derive the basic similarity measure, the background phylogeny of target genomes for profile generation and assigning weights to target genomes. The ordering of genomes and the runs of consecutive matches between the proteins were used to define phylogenetic relationships in the approach. We used Escherichia coli K12 genome as the reference genome and its 4195 proteins were used in the current analysis. We compared our approach with two existing methods and our initial results show that the predictions have outperformed two of the existing approaches. In addition, we have validated our method using a targeted protein-protein interaction network derived from protein-protein interaction database STRING. Our preliminary results indicates that improvement in function prediction can be attained by using coevolution-based similarity measures and the runs on to the same scale instead of computing them in different scales. Our method can be applied at the whole-genome level for annotating hypothetical proteins from prokaryotic genomes. PMID:23750082

  2. An improved hypergeometric probability method for identification of functionally linked proteins using phylogenetic profiles.

    PubMed

    Kotaru, Appala Raju; Shameer, Khader; Sundaramurthy, Pandurangan; Joshi, Ramesh Chandra

    2013-01-01

    Predicting functions of proteins and alternatively spliced isoforms encoded in a genome is one of the important applications of bioinformatics in the post-genome era. Due to the practical limitation of experimental characterization of all proteins encoded in a genome using biochemical studies, bioinformatics methods provide powerful tools for function annotation and prediction. These methods also help minimize the growing sequence-to-function gap. Phylogenetic profiling is a bioinformatics approach to identify the influence of a trait across species and can be employed to infer the evolutionary history of proteins encoded in genomes. Here we propose an improved phylogenetic profile-based method which considers the co-evolution of the reference genome to derive the basic similarity measure, the background phylogeny of target genomes for profile generation and assigning weights to target genomes. The ordering of genomes and the runs of consecutive matches between the proteins were used to define phylogenetic relationships in the approach. We used Escherichia coli K12 genome as the reference genome and its 4195 proteins were used in the current analysis. We compared our approach with two existing methods and our initial results show that the predictions have outperformed two of the existing approaches. In addition, we have validated our method using a targeted protein-protein interaction network derived from protein-protein interaction database STRING. Our preliminary results indicates that improvement in function prediction can be attained by using coevolution-based similarity measures and the runs on to the same scale instead of computing them in different scales. Our method can be applied at the whole-genome level for annotating hypothetical proteins from prokaryotic genomes.

  3. Teaching internal medicine residents to sustain their improvement through the quality assessment and improvement curriculum.

    PubMed

    Oyler, Julie; Vinci, Lisa; Johnson, Julie K; Arora, Vineet M

    2011-02-01

    Although sustainability is a key component in the evaluation of continuous quality improvement (CQI) projects, medicine resident CQI projects are often evaluated by immediate improvements in targeted areas without addressing sustainability. AIM/SETTING: To assess the sustainability of resident CQI projects in an ambulatory university-based clinic. During their ambulatory rotation, all second year internal medicine residents use the American Board of Internal Medicine's Clinical Preventive Services (CPS) Practice Improvement Modules (PIM) to complete chart reviews, patient surveys, and a system survey. The residents then develop a group CQI project and collect early post data. Third year residents return to evaluate their original CQI project during an ambulatory rotation two to six months later and complete four plan-do-study-act (PDSA) cycles on each CQI project. From July 2006 to June 2009, 64 (100%) medicine residents completed the CQI curriculum. Residents completed six group projects and examined their success using early (2 to 6 weeks) and late (2 to 6 months) post-intervention data. Three of the projects demonstrated sustainable improvement in the resident continuity clinic. When residents are taught principles of sustainability and spread and asked to complete multiple PDSA cycles, they are able to identify common themes that may contribute to success of QI projects over time.

  4. Quality assessment and performance improvement in transplantation: hype or hope?

    PubMed

    Reich, David J

    2013-04-01

    Healthcare reform and the national quality strategy is increasingly impacting transplant practice, as exemplified by quality assessment and performance improvement (QAPI) regulations for pretransplant and posttransplant care. Transplant providers consider not just patient comorbidities, donor quality, and business constraints, but also regulatory mandates when deciding how to care for transplant candidates and recipients. This review describes transplant quality oversight agencies and regulations, and explores recent literature on the pros and cons of transplant QAPI. Transplant's heavily regulated system of care and remuneration involves extensive QAPI process and outcome requirements, and assessment of lifelong, risk-adjusted data from the national, audited, publicly reported, electronic registry. Transplant is a model-integrated delivery system, with payment bundling and accountability for equitable access to high quality, efficient, cost-sensitive, and multidisciplinary care. However, transplant QAPI requires expensive resources and, to bolster wise risk-taking, novel treatments, and access to care, more nuanced risk adjustment, public reporting, and attention to geographic competitive variability. However, transplant QAPI requires expensive resources. In order to bolster wise risk-taking, novel treatments, and access to care, QAPI also requires more nuance in the areas of risk adjustment, public reporting, and attention to geographic competitive variability. With its focus on innovation and on clinical outcomes, transplantation is poised to continue providing outstanding clinical care and to pioneering systems that advance patient safety, satisfaction, and resource utilization, leading in the field of QAPI and healthcare reform.

  5. Improved facial outcome assessment using a 3D anthropometric mask.

    PubMed

    Claes, P; Walters, M; Clement, J

    2012-03-01

    The capacity to process three-dimensional facial surfaces to objectively assess outcomes of craniomaxillofacial care is urgently required. Available surface registration techniques depart from conventional facial anthropometrics by not including anatomical relationship in their analysis. Current registrations rely on the manual selection of areas or points that have not moved during surgery, introducing subjectivity. An improved technique is proposed based on the concept of an anthropometric mask (AM) combined with robust superimposition. The AM is the equivalent to landmark definitions, as used in traditional anthropometrics, but described in a spatially dense way using (∼10.000) quasi-landmarks. A robust superimposition is performed to align surface images facilitating accurate measurement of spatial differences between corresponding quasi-landmarks. The assessment describes magnitude and direction of change objectively and can be displayed graphically. The technique was applied to three patients, without any modification and prior knowledge: a 4-year-old boy with Treacher-Collins syndrome in a resting and smiling pose; surgical correction for hemimandibular hypoplasia; and mandibular hypoplasia with staged orthognathic procedures. Comparisons were made with a reported closest-point (CP) strategy. Contrasting outcomes were found where the CP strategy resulted in anatomical implausibility whilst the AM technique was parsimonious to expected differences. Copyright © 2011 International Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. An improved global wind resource estimate for integrated assessment models

    DOE PAGES

    Eurek, Kelly; Sullivan, Patrick; Gleason, Michael; ...

    2017-11-25

    This study summarizes initial steps to improving the robustness and accuracy of global renewable resource and techno-economic assessments for use in integrated assessment models. We outline a method to construct country-level wind resource supply curves, delineated by resource quality and other parameters. Using mesoscale reanalysis data, we generate estimates for wind quality, both terrestrial and offshore, across the globe. Because not all land or water area is suitable for development, appropriate database layers provide exclusions to reduce the total resource to its technical potential. We expand upon estimates from related studies by: using a globally consistent data source of uniquelymore » detailed wind speed characterizations; assuming a non-constant coefficient of performance for adjusting power curves for altitude; categorizing the distance from resource sites to the electric power grid; and characterizing offshore exclusions on the basis of sea ice concentrations. The product, then, is technical potential by country, classified by resource quality as determined by net capacity factor. Additional classifications dimensions are available, including distance to transmission networks for terrestrial wind and distance to shore and water depth for offshore. We estimate the total global wind generation potential of 560 PWh for terrestrial wind with 90% of resource classified as low-to-mid quality, and 315 PWh for offshore wind with 67% classified as mid-to-high quality. These estimates are based on 3.5 MW composite wind turbines with 90 m hub heights, 0.95 availability, 90% array efficiency, and 5 MW/km2 deployment density in non-excluded areas. We compare the underlying technical assumption and results with other global assessments.« less

  7. 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.

  8. Integrating fluorescence and interactance measurements to improve apple maturity assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noh, Hyun Kwon; Lu, Renfu

    2006-10-01

    Fluorescence and reflectance (or interactance) are promising techniques for measuring fruit quality and condition. Our previous research showed that a hyperspectral imaging technique integrating fluorescence and reflectance could improve predictions of selected quality parameters compared to single sensing techniques. The objective of this research was to use a low cost spectrometer for rapid acquisition of fluorescence and interactance spectra from apples and develop an algorithm integrating the two types of data for predicting skin and flesh color, fruit firmness, starch index, soluble solids content, and titratable acid. Experiments were performed to measure UV light induced transient fluorescence and interactance spectra from 'Golden Delicious' apples that were harvested over a period of four weeks during the 2005 harvest season. Standard destructive tests were performed to measure maturity parameters from the apples. Principal component (PC) analysis was applied to the interactance and fluorescence data. A back-propagation feedforward neural network with the inputs of PC data was used to predict individual maturity parameters. Interactance mode was consistently better than fluorescence mode in predicting the maturity parameters. Integrating interactance and fluorescence improved predictions of all parameters except flesh chroma; values of the correlation coefficient for firmness, soluble solids content, starch index, and skin and flesh hue were 0.77, 0.77, 0.89, 0.99, and 0.96 respectively, with the corresponding standard errors of 6.93 N, 0.90%, 0.97 g/L, 0.013 rad, and 0.013 rad. These results represented 4.1% to 23.5% improvements in terms of standard error, in comparison with the better results from the two single sensing methods. Integrating interactance and fluorescence can better assess apple maturity and quality.

  9. 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.

  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. 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.

  12. Linking outcomes management and practice improvement. Structured care methodologies: evolution and use in patient care delivery.

    PubMed

    Cole, L; Houston, S

    1999-01-01

    Structured care methodologies are tools that provide a comprehensive approach to patient care delivery. These tools have evolved in their application and purpose over the years. In many situations, multiple tools are needed to obtain the best outcomes for a patient. The presence of a SCM does not preclude clinical judgment. On the contrary, the fundamental purpose of any SCM is to assist practitioners in implementing practice patterns associated with good clinical judgment, research-based interventions, and improved patient outcomes. These tools support smooth operation and appropriate use of resources, establish a means of patient management across the continuum of care, facilitate collaboration among disciplines, reflect patient outcomes, and provide outcomes data. Data from SCMs permit benchmarking, comparison of pre-implementation and post-implementation outcomes, development of action plans for quality enhancement, identification of high-risk patients, identification of issues and problems in the system that require interventions, and the development of research protocols and studies. Structured care methodology development and implementation can be challenging, rewarding, and at times frustrating. When used appropriately, these tools can have a major impact on the standardization of care and the achievement of desired outcomes. However, individual patient needs may supersede adherence to a tool. The challenge then becomes one of balancing the unique needs of each patient and appropriate use of SCMs. Change comes slowly, but persistence pays off.

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

    PubMed

    Lettieri Barbato, Daniele; Tatulli, Giuseppe; Aquilano, Katia; Ciriolo, Maria R

    2015-10-01

    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 ((mt)ROS) production and redistribution of FoxO1 transcription factor into nucleus. Nuclear FoxO1 ((n)FoxO1) 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.

  14. 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.

  15. A cluster randomized trial of an organizational process improvement intervention for improving the assessment and case planning of offenders: a Study Protocol.

    PubMed

    Shafer, Michael S; Prendergast, Michael; Melnick, Gerald; Stein, Lynda A; Welsh, Wayne N

    2014-01-01

    The Organizational Process Improvement Intervention (OPII), conducted by the NIDA-funded Criminal Justice Drug Abuse Treatment Studies consortium of nine research centers, examined an organizational intervention to improve the processes used in correctional settings to assess substance abusing offenders, develop case plans, transfer this information to community-based treatment agencies, and monitor the services provided by these community based treatment agencies. A multi-site cluster randomized design was used to evaluate an inter-agency organizational process improvement intervention among dyads of correctional agencies and community based treatment agencies. Linked correctional and community based agencies were clustered among nine (9) research centers and randomly assigned to an early or delayed intervention condition. Participants included administrators, managers, and line staff from the participating agencies; some participants served on interagency change teams while other participants performed agency tasks related to offender services. A manualized organizational intervention that includes the use of external organizational coaches was applied to create and support interagency change teams that proceeded through a four-step process over a planned intervention period of 12 months. The primary outcome of the process improvement intervention was to improve processes associated with the assessment, case planning, service referral and service provision processes within the linked organizations. Providing substance abuse offenders with coordinated treatment and access to community-based services is critical to reducing offender recidivism. Results from this study protocol will provide new and critical information on strategies and processes that improve the assessment and case planning for such offenders as they transition between correctional and community based systems and settings. Further, this study extends current knowledge of and methods for, the study

  16. Is the link from working memory to analogy causal? No analogy improvements following working memory training gains.

    PubMed

    Richey, J Elizabeth; Phillips, Jeffrey S; Schunn, Christian D; Schneider, Walter

    2014-01-01

    Analogical reasoning has been hypothesized to critically depend upon working memory through correlational data, but less work has tested this relationship through experimental manipulation. An opportunity for examining the connection between working memory and analogical reasoning has emerged from the growing, although somewhat controversial, body of literature suggests complex working memory training can sometimes lead to working memory improvements that transfer to novel working memory tasks. This study investigated whether working memory improvements, if replicated, would increase analogical reasoning ability. We assessed participants' performance on verbal and visual analogy tasks after a complex working memory training program incorporating verbal and spatial tasks. Participants' improvements on the working memory training tasks transferred to other short-term and working memory tasks, supporting the possibility of broad effects of working memory training. However, we found no effects on analogical reasoning. We propose several possible explanations for the lack of an impact of working memory improvements on analogical reasoning.

  17. Is the Link from Working Memory to Analogy Causal? No Analogy Improvements following Working Memory Training Gains

    PubMed Central

    Richey, J. Elizabeth; Phillips, Jeffrey S.; Schunn, Christian D.; Schneider, Walter

    2014-01-01

    Analogical reasoning has been hypothesized to critically depend upon working memory through correlational data [1], but less work has tested this relationship through experimental manipulation [2]. An opportunity for examining the connection between working memory and analogical reasoning has emerged from the growing, although somewhat controversial, body of literature suggests complex working memory training can sometimes lead to working memory improvements that transfer to novel working memory tasks. This study investigated whether working memory improvements, if replicated, would increase analogical reasoning ability. We assessed participants’ performance on verbal and visual analogy tasks after a complex working memory training program incorporating verbal and spatial tasks [3], [4]. Participants’ improvements on the working memory training tasks transferred to other short-term and working memory tasks, supporting the possibility of broad effects of working memory training. However, we found no effects on analogical reasoning. We propose several possible explanations for the lack of an impact of working memory improvements on analogical reasoning. PMID:25188356

  18. An Improved Ensemble of Random Vector Functional Link Networks Based on Particle Swarm Optimization with Double Optimization Strategy.

    PubMed

    Ling, Qing-Hua; Song, Yu-Qing; Han, Fei; Yang, Dan; Huang, De-Shuang

    2016-01-01

    For ensemble learning, how to select and combine the candidate classifiers are two key issues which influence the performance of the ensemble system dramatically. Random vector functional link networks (RVFL) without direct input-to-output links is one of suitable base-classifiers for ensemble systems because of its fast learning speed, simple structure and good generalization performance. In this paper, to obtain a more compact ensemble system with improved convergence performance, an improved ensemble of RVFL based on attractive and repulsive particle swarm optimization (ARPSO) with double optimization strategy is proposed. In the proposed method, ARPSO is applied to select and combine the candidate RVFL. As for using ARPSO to select the optimal base RVFL, ARPSO considers both the convergence accuracy on the validation data and the diversity of the candidate ensemble system to build the RVFL ensembles. In the process of combining RVFL, the ensemble weights corresponding to the base RVFL are initialized by the minimum norm least-square method and then further optimized by ARPSO. Finally, a few redundant RVFL is pruned, and thus the more compact ensemble of RVFL is obtained. Moreover, in this paper, theoretical analysis and justification on how to prune the base classifiers on classification problem is presented, and a simple and practically feasible strategy for pruning redundant base classifiers on both classification and regression problems is proposed. Since the double optimization is performed on the basis of the single optimization, the ensemble of RVFL built by the proposed method outperforms that built by some single optimization methods. Experiment results on function approximation and classification problems verify that the proposed method could improve its convergence accuracy as well as reduce the complexity of the ensemble system.

  19. An Improved Ensemble of Random Vector Functional Link Networks Based on Particle Swarm Optimization with Double Optimization Strategy

    PubMed Central

    Ling, Qing-Hua; Song, Yu-Qing; Han, Fei; Yang, Dan; Huang, De-Shuang

    2016-01-01

    For ensemble learning, how to select and combine the candidate classifiers are two key issues which influence the performance of the ensemble system dramatically. Random vector functional link networks (RVFL) without direct input-to-output links is one of suitable base-classifiers for ensemble systems because of its fast learning speed, simple structure and good generalization performance. In this paper, to obtain a more compact ensemble system with improved convergence performance, an improved ensemble of RVFL based on attractive and repulsive particle swarm optimization (ARPSO) with double optimization strategy is proposed. In the proposed method, ARPSO is applied to select and combine the candidate RVFL. As for using ARPSO to select the optimal base RVFL, ARPSO considers both the convergence accuracy on the validation data and the diversity of the candidate ensemble system to build the RVFL ensembles. In the process of combining RVFL, the ensemble weights corresponding to the base RVFL are initialized by the minimum norm least-square method and then further optimized by ARPSO. Finally, a few redundant RVFL is pruned, and thus the more compact ensemble of RVFL is obtained. Moreover, in this paper, theoretical analysis and justification on how to prune the base classifiers on classification problem is presented, and a simple and practically feasible strategy for pruning redundant base classifiers on both classification and regression problems is proposed. Since the double optimization is performed on the basis of the single optimization, the ensemble of RVFL built by the proposed method outperforms that built by some single optimization methods. Experiment results on function approximation and classification problems verify that the proposed method could improve its convergence accuracy as well as reduce the complexity of the ensemble system. PMID:27835638

  20. 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...

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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 ...

  7. The Ultimate School-to-Work Challenge: Linking Assessment in School and the Workplace.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ananda, Sri

    The School-to-Work Opportunities Act of 1994 mandates standards-based assessment and skills certification as an integral part of a comprehensive school-to-work (STW) system. An ideal STW assessment system would span elementary through postsecondary education and culminate in assessment of skills at the workplace. It would articulate in progressive…

  8. Finding the Connections: Linking Assessment, Instruction, and Curriculum in Elementary Mathematics.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Moon, C. Jean; Schulman, Linda

    This book provides practitioners with an introduction to alternative assessment that is comprehensive, practical, and to the degree allowed by the printed page, interactive. Theoretical and practical aspects of assessment are discussed in a way that suggests the process-oriented nature of alternative assessment rather than a fixed end point.…

  9. Improving risk assessment of color additives in medical device polymers.

    PubMed

    Chandrasekar, Vaishnavi; Janes, Dustin W; Forrey, Christopher; Saylor, David M; Bajaj, Akhil; Duncan, Timothy V; Zheng, Jiwen; Riaz Ahmed, Kausar B; Casey, Brendan J

    2017-01-31

    Many polymeric medical device materials contain color additives which could lead to adverse health effects. The potential health risk of color additives may be assessed by comparing the amount of color additive released over time to levels deemed to be safe based on available toxicity data. We propose a conservative model for exposure that requires only the diffusion coefficient of the additive in the polymer matrix, D, to be specified. The model is applied here using a model polymer (poly(ether-block-amide), PEBAX 2533) and color additive (quinizarin blue) system. Sorption experiments performed in an aqueous dispersion of quinizarin blue (QB) into neat PEBAX yielded a diffusivity D = 4.8 × 10(-10) cm(2 ) s(-1) , and solubility S = 0.32 wt %. On the basis of these measurements, we validated the model by comparing predictions to the leaching profile of QB from a PEBAX matrix into physiologically representative media. Toxicity data are not available to estimate a safe level of exposure to QB, as a result, we used a Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC) value for QB of 90 µg/adult/day. Because only 30% of the QB is released in the first day of leaching for our film thickness and calculated D, we demonstrate that a device may contain significantly more color additive than the TTC value without giving rise to a toxicological concern. The findings suggest that an initial screening-level risk assessment of color additives and other potentially toxic compounds found in device polymers can be improved. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part B: Appl Biomater, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Improving the Assessment of Indonesian Carbon Emissions from Peat Fires

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Putra, E. I.; Cochrane, M. A.; Yokelson, R. J.; Vetrita, Y.

    2016-12-01

    Tropical peat fires occur nearly every year, but burning conditions are aggravated during droughts in Indonesia. Peat fires are a recurrent phenomenon in Indonesia and represent a problem for the country as they result in devastating environmental effects, significant impacts on economic and livelihood assets, and significant expenditures for fire suppression efforts. Moreover, peat fires have been identified as the primary source of the country's carbon emissions, making Indonesia the 3rd world's largest carbon emitter. However, the calculation of Indonesian carbon emission from peat fires should be improved due to some overestimates and uncertainties. To examine this issue, we analyzed in situ chemical characteristics of smoke from multiple individual peat fires and studied the fire situation from 2010-2015 in a portion of the ex-Mega Rice Project (EMRP) area, Central Kalimantan. Our field data suggest revisions to previously recommended IPPC's emission factors (EFs) from peat fires that were based on a limited amount of lab measurements, notably: CO2 (-8%), CH4 (-55%), NH3 (-86%), and CO (+39%). Through an analysis of daily TRMM data and measured ground water levels (GWL), we found a time-lag between the precipitation minimum and the lowest GWL. This affects the evolution of severe drying of degraded peat that creates suitable conditions for peat fires to be ignited. Terra/Aqua MODIS hotspot data and Landsat imagery analysis showed that more than 80% of fires occur in areas with GWL less than 20 cm, pointing out the value as a GWL threshold for management activities to lower risks of degraded peatlands experiencing recurrent devastating peat fires. We also believe that further use of the threshold to calculate burnt area, combined with the use of proposed new EFs, will improve the capacity for assessment of carbon emissions from Indonesian peat fires. Keywords : Peat fires, Emission Factor, precipitation, Ground Water Level, burnt area

  11. Loading of VEGF to the heparin cross-linked demineralized bone matrix improves vascularization of the scaffold.

    PubMed

    Chen, Lei; He, Zhengquan; Chen, Bing; Yang, Maojin; Zhao, Yannan; Sun, Wenjie; Xiao, Zhifeng; Zhang, Jing; Dai, Jianwu

    2010-01-01

    Deficient vascularization is one of the prominent shortcomings of porous tissue-engineering scaffolds, which results in insufficient oxygen and nutrients transportation. Here, heparin cross-linked demineralized bone matrices (HC-DBM) pre-loaded with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) were designed to promote cells and new microvessels invasion into the matrices. After being chemical crosslinked with heparin by N-hydroxysuccinimide and N-(3-di-methylaminopropyl)-N'-ethylcarbodiimide, the scaffold could bind more VEGF than the non-crosslinked one and achieve localized and sustained delivery. The biological activity of VEGF binding on heparinized collagen was demonstrated by promoting endothelial cells proliferation. Evaluation of the angiogenic potential of heparinized DBM loaded with VEGF was further investigated by subcutaneous implantation. Improved angiogenesis of heparinized DBM loaded with VEGF was observed from haematoxylin-eosin staining and immunohistochemistry examination. The results demonstrated that heparin cross-linked DBM binding VEGF could be a useful strategy to stimulate cells and blood vessels invasion into the scaffolds.

  12. Improved biodegradation of synthetic azo dye by horseradish peroxidase cross-linked on nano-composite support.

    PubMed

    Sun, Huaiyan; Jin, Xinyu; Long, Nengbing; Zhang, Ruifeng

    2017-02-01

    A ZnO nanowires/macroporous SiO2 composite was used as support to immobilize horseradish peroxidase (HRP) by in-situ cross-linking method. Using diethylene glycol diglycidyl ether (DDE) as a long-chained cross-linker, it was adsorbed on the surface of ZnO nanowires before reaction with HRPs, the resulted composite was quite different from the traditional cross-linking enzyme aggregates (CLEAs) on both structure and catalytic performance. The immobilized HRP showed high activity in the decolorization of azo dyes. The effect of various conditions such as the loading amount of HRP, solution pH, temperature, contact time and concentration of dye were optimized on the decolorization. The decolorization percentage of Acid Blue 113 and Acid black 10 BX reached as high as 95.4% and 90.3%, respectively. The immobilized HRP gave the highest decolorization rate under dye concentration as 50mg/L and reaction time of 35min. The immobilized HRP exhibited much better resistance to temperature and pH inactivation than free HRP. The storage stability and reusability were greatly improved through the immobilization, from the decolorization of Acid blue 113 it was found that 80.4% of initial efficiency retained after incubation at 4°C for 60 days, and that 79.4% of decolorization efficiency retained after 12 cycles reuse. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. 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

  14. Characterizing Variability and Uncertainty in Exposure Assessments Improves links to Environmental Decision-Making

    EPA Science Inventory

    Environmental Decisions often rely upon observational data or model estimates. For instance, the evaluation of human health or ecological risks often includes information on pollutant emission rates, environmental concentrations, exposures, and exposure/dose-response data. Whet...

  15. 42 CFR 460.132 - Quality assessment and performance improvement plan.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ...-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.132 Quality assessment and performance improvement plan. (a) Basic rule. A PACE organization must have a written quality... 42 Public Health 4 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Quality assessment and performance improvement...

  16. 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... HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS MANAGED CARE Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement Measurement and Improvement Standards § 438.240 Quality assessment and...

  17. 42 CFR 460.132 - Quality assessment and performance improvement plan.

    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 plan...-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.132 Quality assessment and performance improvement plan. (a) Basic rule. A PACE organization must have a written quality...

  18. 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.

  19. Using Assessment to Improve Practice: New Developments and Measures.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Geron, Scott Miyake; And Others

    1997-01-01

    Theme issue contains 18 articles on (1) clients' role in assessment of the elderly in long-term care; (2) choosing assessment measures (physical, cognitive, quality-of-life, well-being, social support, multidimensional, culturally appropriate); and (3) making assessments useful (including using technology, assessment by telephone, and clinical…

  20. Assessing "Inexperienced" Students' Ability to Self-Assess: Exploring Links with Learning Style and Academic Personal Control

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cassidy, Simon

    2007-01-01

    The study sought to establish the level of students' self-assessment skill--particularly "inexperienced" students--and to examine the relationship between self-assessment skill and learning style, student perceptions of academic locus of control and academic self-efficacy. Students were asked to evaluate and provide estimated marks for their own…

  1. Assessing risk: the role of probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) in patient safety improvement.

    PubMed

    Wreathall, J; Nemeth, C

    2004-06-01

    Morbidity and mortality due to "medical errors" compel better understanding of health care as a system. Probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) has been used to assess the designs of high hazard, low risk systems such as commercial nuclear power plants and chemical manufacturing plants and is now being studied for its potential in the improvement of patient safety. PRA examines events that contribute to adverse outcomes through the use of event tree analysis and determines the likelihood of event occurrence through fault tree analysis. It complements tools already in use in patient safety such as failure modes and effects analyses (FMEAs) and root cause analyses (RCAs). PRA improves on RCA by taking account of the more complex causal interrelationships that are typical in health care. It also enables the analyst to examine potential solution effectiveness by direct graphical representations. However, PRA simplifies real world complexity by forcing binary conditions on events, and it lacks adequate probability data (although recent developments help to overcome these limitations). Its reliance on expert assessment calls for deep domain knowledge which has to come from research performed at the "sharp end" of acute care.

  2. An improved probability mapping approach to assess genome mosaicism

    PubMed Central

    Zhaxybayeva, Olga; Gogarten, J Peter

    2003-01-01

    Background Maximum likelihood and posterior probability mapping are useful visualization techniques that are used to ascertain the mosaic nature of prokaryotic genomes. However, posterior probabilities, especially when calculated for four-taxon cases, tend to overestimate the support for tree topologies. Furthermore, because of poor taxon sampling four-taxon analyses suffer from sensitivity to the long branch attraction artifact. Here we extend the probability mapping approach by improving taxon sampling of the analyzed datasets, and by using bootstrap support values, a more conservative tool to assess reliability. Results Quartets of orthologous proteins were complemented with homologs from selected reference genomes. The mapping of bootstrap support values from these extended datasets gives results similar to the original maximum likelihood and posterior probability mapping. The more conservative nature of the plotted support values allows to focus further analyses on those protein families that strongly disagree with the majority or plurality of genes present in the analyzed genomes. Conclusion Posterior probability is a non-conservative measure for support, and posterior probability mapping only provides a quick estimation of phylogenetic information content of four genomes. This approach can be utilized as a pre-screen to select genes that might have been horizontally transferred. Better taxon sampling combined with subtree analyses prevents the inconsistencies associated with four-taxon analyses, but retains the power of visual representation. Nevertheless, a case-by-case inspection of individual multi-taxon phylogenies remains necessary to differentiate unrecognized paralogy and shared phylogenetic reconstruction artifacts from horizontal gene transfer events. PMID:12974984

  3. Sustainable healthcare: how to assess and improve healthcare structures' sustainability.

    PubMed

    Buffoli, M; Capolongo, S; Bottero, M; Cavagliato, E; Speranza, S; Volpatti, L

    2013-01-01

    Sustainability is a broad and debated subject, often difficult to be defined and applied into real projects, especially when dealing with a complex scenario as the one of healthcare. Many research studies and evaluation systems have handled this topic from different perspectives, but many limits and criticalities still have to be overcome to properly cope with actual needs. The Sustainable Healthcare project has been developed through three main phases: a deep study of the state of the art, unraveling pros and cons of available sustainability scoring systems; an accurate analysis of the stakeholders network and their needs; the realization of an objective evaluation framework, through scientific methods, as the ANP. The newly developed evaluation system takes into consideration all the three pillars of sustainability, analyzing social, environmental and economic sustainability through a set of criteria, specified by measurable indicators. So the system identifies both global sustainability and specific critical areas, pointing out possible strategic solutions to improve sustainability. The evaluation is achieved through technical analyses and qualitative surveys, which eventually allow to quantitatively assess sustainability, through a sound scoring method. This study proposes an innovative evaluation method to determine the sustainability of a hospital, already existing or in the design phase, within the European context. The Sustainable Healthcare system overcomes some of the current evaluation systems' limits by establishing a multidisciplinary approach and being an easy-to-use tool. This protocol is intended to be of support in the identification of the main hospital's weaknesses and in setting priorities for implementation of the solutions.

  4. Health impact assessment of housing improvements: incorporating research evidence

    PubMed Central

    Thomson, H; Petticrew, M; Douglas, M

    2003-01-01

    Methods, results, and conclusions: A recent systematic review of housing intervention studies found a lack of research. The authors recommended that a broader evidence base would be needed to support HIA. In response to consultation with policymakers and HIA practitioners this paper presents a way in which research can be used to inform HIA. Based on the systematic review, the authors have developed a table of synthesised findings indicating the expected health effects of specific housing improvements. The authors also reviewed observational data of housing associated health risks to highlight the key impacts to consider when doing a housing HIA. The findings are presented and the authors discuss how they should be used to inform evidence based housing HIA. In addition to considering the existing research, HIA must consider the local relevance of research. Consultation with local stakeholders also needs to be incorporated to the final assessment. The lack of data and the difficulties in gathering and reviewing data mean that not all HIAs will be able to be informed by research evidence. Well conducted prospective validation of HIAs would contribute to the development of healthy housing investment by informing future housing HIA. PMID:12490642

  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.

  6. 42 CFR 460.136 - Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Internal quality assessment and performance...) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.136 Internal quality assessment and performance improvement activities. (a) Quality assessment...

  7. 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.

  8. Assessing the biocompatibility of click-linked DNA in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Sanzone, A. Pia; El-Sagheer, Afaf H.; Brown, Tom; Tavassoli, Ali

    2012-01-01

    The biocompatibility of a triazole mimic of the DNA phosphodiester linkage in Escherichia coli has been evaluated. The requirement for selective pressure on the click-containing gene was probed via a plasmid containing click DNA backbone linkages in each strand of the gene encoding the fluorescent protein mCherry. The effect of proximity of the click linkers on their biocompatibility was also probed by placing two click DNA linkers 4-bp apart at the region encoding the fluorophore of the fluorescent protein. The resulting click-containing plasmid was found to encode mCherry in E. coli at a similar level to the canonical equivalent. The ability of the cellular machinery to read through click-linked DNA was further probed by using the above click-linked plasmid to express mCherry using an in vitro transcription/translation system, and found to also be similar to that from canonical DNA. The yield and fluorescence of recombinant mCherry expressed from the click-linked plasmid was also compared to that from the canonical equivalent, and found to be the same. The biocompatibility of click DNA ligation sites at close proximity in a non-essential gene demonstrated in E. coli suggests the possibility of using click DNA ligation for the enzyme-free assembly of chemically modified genes and genomes. PMID:22904087

  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.

    2017-07-01

    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. Rest improves performance, nature improves happiness: Assessment of break periods on the abbreviated vigilance task.

    PubMed

    Finkbeiner, Kristin M; Russell, Paul N; Helton, William S

    2016-05-01

    The abbreviated vigilance task can quickly generate vigilance decrements, which has been argued is due to depletion of cognitive resources needed to sustain performance. Researchers suggest inclusion of rest breaks within vigilance tasks improve overall performance (Helton & Russell, 2015; Ross, Russell, & Helton, 2014), while different types of breaks demonstrate different effects. Some literature suggests exposure to natural movements/stimuli helps restore attention (Herzog, Black, Fountaine, & Knotts, 1997; Kaplan, 1995). Participants were randomly assigned to one experimental condition: dog video breaks, robot video breaks, countdown breaks or continuous vigilance. We assessed task performance and subjective reports of stress/workload. The continuous group displayed worst performance, suggesting breaks help restore attention. The dog videos did not affect performance, however, decreased reports of distress. These results support the importance of rest breaks and acknowledge the benefit of natural stimuli for promoting wellbeing/stress relief, overall suggesting performance and wellbeing may be independent, which warrants future studies.

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  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. 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…

  15. Linking the Kentucky K-PREP 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…

  16. Covalently Linking Poly(Lactic-co-Glycolic Acid) Nanoparticles to Microbubbles Before Intravenous Injection Improves Their Ultrasound-Targeted Delivery to Skeletal Muscle

    PubMed Central

    Burke, Caitlin W.; Hsiang, Yu-Han J.; Alexander, Eben; Kilbanov, Alexander L.; Price, Richard J.

    2011-01-01

    Intravenously-injected nanoparticles can be delivered to skeletal muscle through capillary pores created by the activation of microbubbles with ultrasound; however, strategies that utilize co-injections of free microbubbles and nanoparticles are limited by nanoparticle dilution in the bloodstream. Here, we tested whether fluorescently-labeled (VT680; far-red fluorophore) nanoparticle [~150nm; poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid)] delivery to skeletal muscle can be improved by covalently linking them to albumin-shelled microbubbles in a composite agent formulation. Studies were performed using an experimental model of peripheral arterial disease, wherein the right and left femoral arteries of BalbC mice were surgically ligated. Four days after arterial ligation, composite agents, co-injected microbubbles and nanoparticles, or nanoparticles alone were administered intravenously and 1 MHz pulsed ultrasound was applied to the left hindlimb. Nanoparticle delivery was assessed at 0, 1, 4, and 24 hrs post-treatment by fluorescence-mediated tomography. Within the co-injection group, as expected, both microbubbles and ultrasound were required for nanoparticle delivery to skeletal muscle. Within the composite agent group, nanoparticle delivery was enhanced 8- to 18-fold over “no ultrasound” controls, depending on the time of measurement. A maximum of 7.2% of initial nanoparticle dose per gram tissue (ID/g) was delivered at 1 hr in the composite agent group, which was significantly greater than in the co-injection group (3.6% ID/g). We conclude that covalently linking 150 nm diameter poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles to microbubbles before intravenous injection can improve their delivery to skeletal muscle. PMID:21456081

  17. Covalently linking poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles to microbubbles before intravenous injection improves their ultrasound-targeted delivery to skeletal muscle.

    PubMed

    Burke, Caitlin W; Hsiang, Yu-Han J; Alexander, Eben; Kilbanov, Alexander L; Price, Richard J

    2011-05-09

    Intravenously injected nanoparticles can be delivered to skeletal muscle through capillary pores created by the activation of microbubbles with ultrasound; however, strategies that utilize coinjections of free microbubbles and nanoparticles are limited by nanoparticle dilution in the bloodstream. Here, improvement in the delivery of fluorescently labeled ≈150 nm poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles to skeletal muscle is attempted by covalently linking them to albumin-shelled microbubbles in a composite agent formulation. Studies are performed using an experimental model of peripheral arterial disease, wherein the right and left femoral arteries of BalbC mice are surgically ligated. Four days after arterial ligation, composite agents, coinjected microbubbles and nanoparticles, or nanoparticles alone are administered intravenously and 1 MHz pulsed ultrasound was applied to the left hindlimb. Nanoparticle delivery was assessed at 0, 1, 4, and 24 h post-treatment by fluorescence-mediated tomography. Within the coinjection group, both microbubbles and ultrasound are found to be required for nanoparticle delivery to skeletal muscle. Within the composite agent group, nanoparticle delivery is found to be enhanced 8- to 18-fold over 'no ultrasound' controls, depending on the time of measurement. A maximum of 7.2% of the initial nanoparticle dose per gram of tissue was delivered at 1 hr in the composite agent group, which was significantly greater than in the coinjection group (3.6%). It is concluded that covalently linking 150 nm-diameter poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles to microbubbles before intravenous injection does improve their delivery to skeletal muscle. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. Improving Educational Assessment & An Inventory of Measures of Affective Behavior.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beatty, Walcott H., Ed.

    The first half of this publication consists of four papers presented at a 1967 working conference intended to foster the development of a theory of educational assessment. Topics discussed in "The Purposes of Assessment" by Ralph W. Tyler include assessment for diagnosis, for individual guidance, for college admissions and placement, and…

  19. 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…

  20. Assessment of using laponite cross-linked poly(ethylene oxide) for controlled cell adhesion and mineralization.

    PubMed

    Gaharwar, Akhilesh K; Schexnailder, Patrick J; Kline, Benjamin P; Schmidt, Gudrun

    2011-02-01

    The in vitro cytocompatibility of silicate (Laponite clay) cross-linked poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) nanocomposite films using MC3T3-E1 mouse preosteoblast cells was investigated while cell adhesion, spreading, proliferation and mineralization were assessed as a function of film composition. By combining the advantageous characteristics of PEO polymer (hydrophilic, prevents protein and cell adhesion) with those of a synthetic and layered silicate (charged, degradable and potentially bioactive) some of the physical and chemical properties of the resulting polymer nanocomposites could be controlled. Hydration, dissolution and mechanical properties were examined and related to cell adhesion. Overall, this feasibility study demonstrates the ability of using model Laponite cross-linked PEO nanocomposites to create bioactive scaffolds. Copyright © 2010 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Improved assessment of laser-induced choroidal neovascularization

    PubMed Central

    Toma, Hassanain S.; Barnett, Joshua M.; Penn, John S.; Kim, Stephen J.

    2011-01-01

    The primary objective of this study was to develop and evaluate new methods of analyzing laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (CNV), in order to make recommendations for improving the reporting of experimental CNV in the literature. Six laser burns of sufficient power to rupture Bruch's membrane were concentrically placed in each eye of 18 adult Norway rats. Eyes received intravitreal injections of either triamcinolone acetonide, ketorolac, or balanced salt solution (BSS). Fluorescein angiography (FA) was performed 2 and 3 weeks after injection, followed by choroidal flat mount preparation. Vascular leakage on FAs and vascular budding on choroidal mounts were quantified by measuring either the cross-sectional area of each CNV lesion contained within the best-fitting polygon using Adobe Photoshop (Lasso Technique or Quick Selection Technique), or the area of bright pixels within a lesion using Image-Pro Plus. On choroidal mounts, the Lasso Technique and Image-Pro Plus detected a significant difference in lesion size between either ketorolac or triamcinolone when compared to BSS, while the Quick Selection Technique did not (Lasso Technique, 0.78 and 0.64; Image-Pro Plus, 0.77 and 0.65). On FA, the Lasso Technique and Quick Selection Technique detected a significant difference in lesion size between either ketorolac or triamcinolone when compared to BSS, while Image-Pro Plus did not (Lasso Tool, 0.81 and 0.54; Quick Selection Tool, 0.76 and 0.57). Choroidal mounts and FA are both valuable for imaging experimental CNV. Adobe Photoshop and Image-Pro Plus are both able to detect subtle differences in CNV lesion size, when images are not manipulated. The combination of choroidal mounts and FA provides a more comprehensive assessment of CNV anatomy and physiology. PMID:20553963

  2. Assessing willingness to pay for improved sanitation in rural Vietnam.

    PubMed

    Van Minh, Hoang; Nguyen-Viet, Hung; Thanh, Nguyen Hoang; Yang, Jui-Chen

    2013-07-01

    The willingness to pay (WTP) for the construction of bathrooms with a flush toilet was assessed in households in a rural community in northern Vietnam. We also examined the effects of socio-economic factors on the WTP. The contingent valuation method, an economic survey technique, was used. We used the iterative bidding game technique to elicit household WTP that involved a sequence of dichotomous choice questions followed by a final open-ended question. A total of 370 households that did not have toilets were selected for this study. Respondents to the questionnaire were the primary income earners and decision-makers of their respective household. Of those responding to the questionnaire, 62.1 % reported being willing to pay for the construction of bathrooms with a flush toilet. The mean and median of maximum WTP amounts were Viet Nam Dong (VND) 15.6 million and VND 13.0 million, respectively (minimum VND 2.0 million; maximum VND 45.0 million). Significant correlates of the WTP rate were: (1) gender of the head of household, (2) age of the head of household, (3) economic status of household, (4) type of current toilet, (5) satisfaction with existing toilet, and (6) knowledge of health effects of poor sanitation. The significant determinants of WTP amount were (1) geographic location and (2) economic status of household. About two-third of the households in the study area were willing to pay for an improvement in their current sanitation arrangements. Both WTP rate and WP amount were strongly influenced by the economic status of the households and health knowledge of the study respondents.

  3. Improved assessment of laser-induced choroidal neovascularization.

    PubMed

    Toma, Hassanain S; Barnett, Joshua M; Penn, John S; Kim, Stephen J

    2010-12-01

    The primary objective of this study was to develop and evaluate new methods of analyzing laser-induced choroidal neovascularization (CNV), in order to make recommendations for improving the reporting of experimental CNV in the literature. Six laser burns of sufficient power to rupture Bruch's membrane were concentrically placed in each eye of 18 adult Norway rats. Eyes received intravitreal injections of either triamcinolone acetonide, ketorolac, or balanced salt solution (BSS). Fluorescein angiography (FA) was performed 2 and 3 weeks after injection, followed by choroidal flat mount preparation. Vascular leakage on FAs and vascular budding on choroidal mounts were quantified by measuring either the cross-sectional area of each CNV lesion contained within the best-fitting polygon using Adobe Photoshop (Lasso Technique or Quick Selection Technique), or the area of bright pixels within a lesion using Image-Pro Plus. On choroidal mounts, the Lasso Technique and Image-Pro Plus detected a significant difference in lesion size between either ketorolac or triamcinolone when compared to BSS, while the Quick Selection Technique did not (Lasso Technique, 0.78 and 0.64; Image-Pro Plus, 0.77 and 0.65). On FA, the Lasso Technique and Quick Selection Technique detected a significant difference in lesion size between either ketorolac or triamcinolone when compared to BSS, while Image-Pro Plus did not (Lasso Tool, 0.81 and 0.54; Quick Selection Tool, 0.76 and 0.57). Choroidal mounts and FA are both valuable for imaging experimental CNV. Adobe Photoshop and Image-Pro Plus are both able to detect subtle differences in CNV lesion size, when images are not manipulated. The combination of choroidal mounts and FA provides a more comprehensive assessment of CNV anatomy and physiology.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Connecting the dots: Linking quantifiable environmental justice indicators to exposure assessment methodologies

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cumulative risk assessment (CRA) offers a unique context for addressing Environmental Justice (EJ) issues from scientific perspectives, especially when it comes to examining combined effects of multiple environmental stressors1. Not only chemical stressors (e.g. radon, toluene an...

  9. Links Related to the Indoor Air Quality Building Education and Assessment Model

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The Indoor Air Quality Building Education and Assessment Model (I-BEAM) is a guidance tool designed for use by building professionals and others interested in indoor air quality in commercial buildings.

  10. Connecting the dots: Linking quantifiable environmental justice indicators to exposure assessment methodologies

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cumulative risk assessment (CRA) offers a unique context for addressing Environmental Justice (EJ) issues from scientific perspectives, especially when it comes to examining combined effects of multiple environmental stressors1. Not only chemical stressors (e.g. radon, toluene an...

  11. 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

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    Haslberger, Alexander G

    2006-05-03

    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

  14. Opportunities for Improvement: Advice from Consultant-Evaluators on Programs To Assess Student Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lopez, Cecilia L.

    This report includes comments and recommendations from a group of consultant-evaluators at the North Central Accreditation Commission (NCA), assessing different student learning evaluation techniques utilized by 440 higher education institutions, including 162 two-year colleges. Recommendations include linking the assessment of student learning…

  15. Linking Assessment to Instruction in Your Classroom: Mathematics Guide to EXPLORE, PLAN, and the ACT Assessment. Edition 1.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    ACT, Inc., Iowa City, IA.

    In the early 1980s, American College Testing (ACT) saw a need for a system that would respond to the planning and assessment needs of students, parents, teachers, and administrators, and conducted an extensive review of what was being taught in American schools from grade 7 through college-sophomore level in order to identify the important…

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Agreement between clinical and laboratory methods assessing tonic and cross-link components of accommodation and vergence.

    PubMed

    Neveu, Pascaline; Priot, Anne-Emmanuelle; Philippe, Matthieu; Fuchs, Philippe; Roumes, Corinne

    2015-09-01

    Several tests are available to optometrists for investigating accommodation and vergence. This study sought to investigate the agreement between clinical and laboratory methods and to clarify which components are actually measured when tonic and cross-link of accommodation and vergence are assessed. Tonic vergence, tonic accommodation, accommodative vergence (AC/A) and vergence accommodation (CA/C) were measured using several tests. Clinical tests were compared to the laboratory assessment, the latter being regarded as an absolute reference. The repeatability of each test and the degree of agreement between the tests were quantified using Bland-Altman analysis. The values obtained for each test were found to be stable across repetitions; however, in most cases, significant differences were observed between tests supposed to measure the same oculomotor component. Tonic and cross-link components cannot be easily assessed because proximal and instrumental responses interfere with the assessment. Other components interfere with oculomotor assessment. Specifically, accommodative divergence interferes with tonic vergence estimation and the type of accommodation considered in the AC/A ratio affects its magnitude. Results on clinical tonic accommodation and clinical CA/C show that further investigation is needed to clarify the limitations associated with the use of difference of Gaussian as visual targets to open the accommodative loop. Although different optometric tests of accommodation and vergence rely on the same basic principles, the results of this study indicate that clinical and laboratory methods actually involve distinct components. These differences, which are induced by methodological choices, must be taken into account, when comparing studies or when selecting a test to investigate a particular oculomotor component. © 2015 The Authors. Clinical and Experimental Optometry © 2015 Optometry Australia.

  19. 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.

  20. Assessing the accuracy of observer-reported ancestry in a biorepository linked to electronic medical records

    PubMed Central

    Dumitrescu, Logan; Ritchie, Marylyn D.; Brown-Gentry, Kristin; Pulley, Jill M.; Basford, Melissa; Denny, Joshua C.; Oksenberg, Jorge R.; Roden, Dan M.; Haines, Jonathan L.; Crawford, Dana C.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose The Vanderbilt DNA Databank (BioVU) is a biorepository that currently contains >80,000 DNA samples linked to electronic medical records. While BioVU is a valuable source of samples and phenotypes for genetic association studies, it is unclear whether the administratively assigned race/ethnicity in BioVU can accurately describe and be used as a proxy for genetic ancestry. Methods We genotyped 360 SNPs on the Illumina DNA Test Panel containing ancestry informative markers (AIMs) in 1910 BioVU samples with observer-reported ancestry and 384 samples from the Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Group with self-reported ancestry. Genetic ancestry was inferred for all individuals using STRUCTURE 2.2. Results More than 98% of observer-reported European Americans (EA) was genetically inferred to have at least 60% European ancestry. Ninety-three of observer-reported African Americans (AA) was genetically inferred to be predominantly of African ancestry. We determined that the concordance of observer-reported race/ethnicity and inferred genetic ancestry was not significantly different from that of self-reported race/ethnicity in either population (p=0.09 and 0.94 in European Americans and African Americans, respectively). Conclusions Observer-reported race/ethnicity for European Americans and African Americans approximates genetic ancestry as well as self-reported race/ethnicity, making biorepositories linked to EMRs such as BioVU a viable source of DNA samples for future large-scale genetic association studies. PMID:20733501

  1. Assessing and Improving Student Understanding of Tree-Thinking

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kummer, Tyler A.

    Evolution is the unifying theory of biology. The importance of understanding evolution by those who study the origins, diversification and diversity life cannot be overstated. Because of its importance, in addition to a scientific study of evolution, many researchers have spent time studying the acceptance and the teaching of evolution. Phylogenetic Systematics is the field of study developed to understand the evolutionary history of organisms, traits, and genes. Tree-thinking is the term by which we identify concepts related to the evolutionary history of organisms. It is vital that those who undertake a study of biology be able to understand and interpret what information these phylogenies are meant to convey. In this project, we evaluated the current impact a traditional study of biology has on the misconceptions students hold by assessing tree-thinking in freshman biology students to those nearing the end of their studies. We found that the impact of studying biology was varied with some misconceptions changing significantly while others persisted. Despite the importance of tree-thinking no appropriately developed concept inventory exists to measure student understanding of these important concepts. We developed a concept inventory capable of filling this important need and provide evidence to support its use among undergraduate students. Finally, we developed and modified activities as well as courses based on best practices to improve teaching and learning of tree-thinking and organismal diversity. We accomplished this by focusing on two key questions. First, how do we best introduce students to tree-thinking and second does tree-thinking as a course theme enhance student understanding of not only tree-thinking but also organismal diversity. We found important evidence suggesting that introducing students to tree-thinking via building evolutionary trees was less successful than introducing the concept via tree interpretation and may have in fact introduced or

  2. Geriatric Patient Safety Indicators Based on Linked Administrative Health Data to Assess Anticoagulant-Related Thromboembolic and Hemorrhagic Adverse Events in Older Inpatients: A Study Proposal.

    PubMed

    Le Pogam, Marie-Annick; Quantin, Catherine; Reich, Oliver; Tuppin, Philippe; Fagot-Campagna, Anne; Paccaud, Fred; Peytremann-Bridevaux, Isabelle; Burnand, Bernard

    2017-05-11

    Frail older people with multiple interacting conditions, polypharmacy, and complex care needs are particularly exposed to health care-related adverse events. Among these, anticoagulant-related thromboembolic and hemorrhagic events are particularly frequent and serious in older inpatients. The growing use of anticoagulants in this population and their substantial risk of toxicity and inefficacy have therefore become an important patient safety and public health concern worldwide. Anticoagulant-related adverse events and the quality of anticoagulation management should thus be routinely assessed to improve patient safety in vulnerable older inpatients. This project aims to develop and validate a set of outcome and process indicators based on linked administrative health data (ie, insurance claims data linked to hospital discharge data) assessing older inpatient safety related to anticoagulation in both Switzerland and France, and enabling comparisons across time and among hospitals, health territories, and countries. Geriatric patient safety indicators (GPSIs) will assess anticoagulant-related adverse events. Geriatric quality indicators (GQIs) will evaluate the management of anticoagulants for the prevention and treatment of arterial or venous thromboembolism in older inpatients. GPSIs will measure cumulative incidences of thromboembolic and bleeding adverse events based on hospital discharge data linked to insurance claims data. Using linked administrative health data will improve GPSI risk adjustment on patients' conditions that are present at admission and will capture in-hospital and postdischarge adverse events. GQIs will estimate the proportion of index hospital stays resulting in recommended anticoagulation at discharge and up to various time frames based on the same electronic health data. The GPSI and GQI development and validation process will comprise 6 stages: (1) selection and specification of candidate indicators, (2) definition of administrative data

  3. Geriatric Patient Safety Indicators Based on Linked Administrative Health Data to Assess Anticoagulant-Related Thromboembolic and Hemorrhagic Adverse Events in Older Inpatients: A Study Proposal

    PubMed Central

    Quantin, Catherine; Reich, Oliver; Tuppin, Philippe; Fagot-Campagna, Anne; Paccaud, Fred; Peytremann-Bridevaux, Isabelle; Burnand, Bernard

    2017-01-01

    Background Frail older people with multiple interacting conditions, polypharmacy, and complex care needs are particularly exposed to health care-related adverse events. Among these, anticoagulant-related thromboembolic and hemorrhagic events are particularly frequent and serious in older inpatients. The growing use of anticoagulants in this population and their substantial risk of toxicity and inefficacy have therefore become an important patient safety and public health concern worldwide. Anticoagulant-related adverse events and the quality of anticoagulation management should thus be routinely assessed to improve patient safety in vulnerable older inpatients. Objective This project aims to develop and validate a set of outcome and process indicators based on linked administrative health data (ie, insurance claims data linked to hospital discharge data) assessing older inpatient safety related to anticoagulation in both Switzerland and France, and enabling comparisons across time and among hospitals, health territories, and countries. Geriatric patient safety indicators (GPSIs) will assess anticoagulant-related adverse events. Geriatric quality indicators (GQIs) will evaluate the management of anticoagulants for the prevention and treatment of arterial or venous thromboembolism in older inpatients. Methods GPSIs will measure cumulative incidences of thromboembolic and bleeding adverse events based on hospital discharge data linked to insurance claims data. Using linked administrative health data will improve GPSI risk adjustment on patients’ conditions that are present at admission and will capture in-hospital and postdischarge adverse events. GQIs will estimate the proportion of index hospital stays resulting in recommended anticoagulation at discharge and up to various time frames based on the same electronic health data. The GPSI and GQI development and validation process will comprise 6 stages: (1) selection and specification of candidate indicators, (2

  4. Improving management of a mid-Atlantic coastal barrier island through assessment of habitat condition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carruthers, Tim J. B.; Beckert, Kris; Schupp, Courtney A.; Saxby, Tracey; Kumer, John P.; Thomas, Jane; Sturgis, Brian; Dennison, William C.; Williams, Michael; Fisher, Tom; Zimmerman, Carl S.

    2013-01-01

    To achieve desired environmental outcomes, environmental condition and trends need to be rigorously measured and communicated to resource managers, scientists, and a broader general audience. However, there is often a disconnect between responsive ecosystem monitoring and decision making for strategic long-term management. This project demonstrates how historical monitoring data can be synthesized and used for future planning and decision making, thereby closing the management feedback cycle. This study linked disparate datasets, collected for a variety of purposes and across multiple temporal and spatial scales, in order to assess and quantify current habitat conditions. The results inform integrated resource management decision-making at Assateague Island National Seashore (Maryland and Virginia, USA) by using ecological reference conditions to identify monitoring needs, areas of high vulnerability, and areas with potential for improved management. The approach also provides a framework that can be applied in the future to assess the effectiveness of these management decisions on the condition of island habitats, and is a replicable demonstration of incorporating diverse monitoring datasets into an adaptive management cycle.

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. Improving and Encouraging Peer Assessment of Student Presentations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    MacAlpine, J. M. K.

    1999-01-01

    One college teacher has devised a method of peer assessment of student presentations that has decreased the spread of grades given to individuals by other class members and enhanced the correlation of peer and teacher assessments. Four aspects of the presentation are graded: knowledge; body language; voice; and overall effect. (Author/MSE)

  9. Evaluating and Improving Informal Assessment in the University Language Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dlaska, Andrea; Krekeler, Christian

    2012-01-01

    This paper draws on previous research to identify a specific set of criteria for evaluating assessments for learning which are not trialled and for which the teacher is the only rater. The paper suggests that four criteria be used for the evaluation of assessment for learning in the language classroom: impact, fairness, activity, and feedback. The…

  10. 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…

  11. 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...

  12. Linking Fuel Inventories With Atmospheric Data for Assessment of Fire Danger

    Treesearch

    Christopher W. Woodall; Joseph Charney; Greg Liknes; Brian Potter

    2006-01-01

    Combining forest fuel maps and real-time atmospheric data may enable creation of more dynamic and comprehensive fire danger assessments. The goal of this study was to combine fuel maps, based on data from the Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, with real-time atmospheric data to create a more dynamic index...

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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...

  16. Teacher Performance and Student Learning: Linking Evidence from Two National Assessment Programmes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taut, Sandy; Valencia, Edgar; Palacios, Diego; Santelices, Maria V.; Jiménez, Daniela; Manzi, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    This paper investigates the validity of a national, standards-based teacher evaluation programme by examining the relationship between teachers' evaluation results and their students' learning progress. We used census achievement data that assessed the same cohort of students at the end of 8th and 10th grade. We applied multilevel modelling and…

  17. 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…

  18. Linking School and Work: Roles for Standards and Assessment. First Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Resnick, Lauren B., Ed.; Wirt, John G., Ed.

    This book contains 12 papers commissioned by the Secretary's Commission for Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) to develop the SCANS recommendations concerning the role of standards and assessment in the transition from school to work. "The Changing Workplace" (Lauren B. Resnick, John G. Wirt) offers a summary of the 12 papers.…

  19. Teacher Performance and Student Learning: Linking Evidence from Two National Assessment Programmes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Taut, Sandy; Valencia, Edgar; Palacios, Diego; Santelices, Maria V.; Jiménez, Daniela; Manzi, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    This paper investigates the validity of a national, standards-based teacher evaluation programme by examining the relationship between teachers' evaluation results and their students' learning progress. We used census achievement data that assessed the same cohort of students at the end of 8th and 10th grade. We applied multilevel modelling and…

  20. Linking School and Work: Roles for Standards and Assessment. First Edition.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Resnick, Lauren B., Ed.; Wirt, John G., Ed.

    This book contains 12 papers commissioned by the Secretary's Commission for Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) to develop the SCANS recommendations concerning the role of standards and assessment in the transition from school to work. "The Changing Workplace" (Lauren B. Resnick, John G. Wirt) offers a summary of the 12 papers.…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. Linking the New York State NYSTP 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 New York State Testing Program (NYSTP) reading and math with those of the MAP…

  4. 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…

  5. 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... 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...

  6. 42 CFR 403.732 - Condition of participation: Quality assessment and performance improvement.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 42 Public Health 2 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Condition of participation: Quality assessment and... 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...

  7. 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... 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...

  8. 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... 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...

  9. 42 CFR 460.134 - Minimum requirements for 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 Minimum requirements for quality assessment and... ELDERLY (PACE) PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY (PACE) Quality Assessment and Performance Improvement § 460.134 Minimum requirements for quality assessment and performance improvement program. (a...

  10. An Innovative Approach to Improving the Accuracy of Delirium Assessments Using the Confusion Assessment Method for the Intensive Care Unit.

    PubMed

    DiLibero, Justin; O'Donoghue, Sharon C; DeSanto-Madeya, Susan; Felix, Janice; Ninobla, Annalyn; Woods, Allison

    2016-01-01

    Delirium occurs in up to 80% of intensive care unit (ICU) patients. Despite its prevalence in this population, there continues to be inaccuracies in delirium assessments. In the absence of accurate delirium assessments, delirium in critically ill ICU patients will remain unrecognized and will lead to negative clinical and organizational outcomes. The goal of this quality improvement project was to facilitate sustained improvement in the accuracy of delirium assessments among all ICU patients including those who were sedate or agitated. A pretest-posttest design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of a program to improve the accuracy of delirium screenings among patients admitted to a medical ICU or coronary care unit. Two hundred thirty-six delirium assessment audits were completed during the baseline period and 535 during the postintervention period. Compliance with performing at least 1 delirium assessment every shift was 85% at baseline and improved to 99% during the postintervention period. Baseline assessment accuracy was 70.31% among all patients and 53.49% among sedate and agitated patients. Postintervention assessment accuracy improved to 95.51% for all patients and 89.23% among sedate and agitated patients. The results from this project suggest the effectiveness of the program in improving assessment accuracy among difficult-to-assess patients. Further research is needed to demonstrate the effectiveness of this model across other critical care units, patient populations, and organizations.

  11. A Hertzian contact mechanics based formulation to improve ultrasound elastography assessment of uterine cervical tissue stiffness.

    PubMed

    Briggs, Brandi N; Stender, Michael E; Muljadi, Patrick M; Donnelly, Meghan A; Winn, Virginia D; Ferguson, Virginia L

    2015-06-25

    Clinical practice requires improved techniques to assess human cervical tissue properties, especially at the internal os, or orifice, of the uterine cervix. Ultrasound elastography (UE) holds promise for non-invasively monitoring cervical stiffness throughout pregnancy. However, this technique provides qualitative strain images that cannot be linked to a material property (e.g., Young's modulus) without knowledge of the contact pressure under a rounded transvaginal transducer probe and correction for the resulting non-uniform strain dissipation. One technique to standardize elastogram images incorporates a material of known properties and uses one-dimensional, uniaxial Hooke's law to calculate Young's modulus within the compressed material half-space. However, this method does not account for strain dissipation and the strains that evolve in three-dimensional space. We demonstrate that an analytical approach based on 3D Hertzian contact mechanics provides a reasonable first approximation to correct for UE strain dissipation underneath a round transvaginal transducer probe and thus improves UE-derived estimates of tissue modulus. We validate the proposed analytical solution and evaluate sources of error using a finite element model. As compared to 1D uniaxial Hooke's law, the Hertzian contact-based solution yields significantly improved Young's modulus predictions in three homogeneous gelatin tissue phantoms possessing different moduli. We also demonstrate the feasibility of using this technique to image human cervical tissue, where UE-derived moduli estimations for the uterine cervix anterior lip agreed well with published, experimentally obtained values. Overall, UE with an attached reference standard and a Hertzian contact-based correction holds promise for improving quantitative estimates of cervical tissue modulus. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Applying a Continuous Quality Improvement Model To Assess Institutional Effectiveness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roberts, Keith

    This handbook outlines techniques and processes for improving institutional effectiveness and ensuring continuous quality improvement, based on strategic planning activities at Wisconsin's Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC). First, institutional effectiveness is defined and 17 core indicators of effectiveness developed by the Wisconsin…

  13. Applying a Continuous Quality Improvement Model To Assess Institutional Effectiveness.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Roberts, Keith

    This handbook outlines techniques and processes for improving institutional effectiveness and ensuring continuous quality improvement, based on strategic planning activities at Wisconsin's Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC). First, institutional effectiveness is defined and 17 core indicators of effectiveness developed by the Wisconsin…

  14. Chapter 7. Assessing soil factors in wildland improvement programs

    Treesearch

    Arthur R. Tiedemann; Carlos F. Lopez

    2004-01-01

    Soil factors are an important consideration for successful wildland range development or improvement programs. Even though many soil improvement and amelioration practices are not realistic for wildlands, their evaluation is an important step in selection of adapted plant materials for revegetation. This chapter presents information for wildland managers on: the...

  15. Corneal Stromal Elasticity and Viscoelasticity Assessed by Atomic Force Microscopy after Different Cross Linking Protocols

    PubMed Central

    Dias, Janice; Diakonis, Vasilios F.; Lorenzo, Michael; Gonzalez, Felipe; Porras, Kevin; Douglas, Simone; Avila, Marcel; Yoo, Sonia H.; Ziebarth, Noël M.

    2015-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate elasticity and viscoelasticity in the anterior and deeper stromal regions of the cornea after cross linking with three different protocols using atomic force microscopy (AFM) through indentation. A total of 40 porcine corneas were used in this study and were divided into 4 groups (10 corneas per group): control (no treatment), Dresden (corneal epithelial debridement, riboflavin pretreatment for 30 minutes and a 3mw/cm2 for 30 minutes UVA irradiation), accelerated (corneal epithelial debridement, riboflavin pretreatment for 30 minutes and a 30mw/cm2 for 3 minutes UVA irradiation), and genipin (corneal epithelial debridement and submersion of anterior surface in a 1% genipin solution for 4 hours). Elasticity and viscoelasticity were quantified using AFM through indentation for all corneas, for the anterior stroma and at a depth of 200μm. For the control, Dresden, accelerated, and Genipin groups, respectively, the average Young’s modulus for the anterior stromal region was 0.60±0.58MPa, 1.58 ±1.04MPa, 0.86±0.46MPa, and 1.71±0.51MPa; the average for the 200μm stromal depth was 0.08±0.06MPa, 0.08±0.04MPa, 0.08±0.04MPa, and 0.06±0.01MPa. Corneas crosslinked with the Dresden protocol and genipin were significantly stiffer than controls (p<0.05) in the anterior region only. For the control, Dresden, Accelerated, and Genipin groups, respectively, the average calculated apparent viscosity for the anterior stroma was 88.2±43.7kPa-s, 8.3±7.1kPa-s, 8.1±2.3kPa-s, and 9.5±3.8kPa-s; the average for the 200μm stromal depth was 35.0±3.7kPa-s, 49.6±35.1kPa-s, 42.4±17.6kPa-s, and 41.8±37.6kPa-s. All crosslinking protocols resulted in a decrease in viscosity in the anterior region only (p<0.05). The effects of cross-linking seem to be limited to the anterior corneal stroma and do not extend to the deeper stromal region. Additionally, the Dresden and genipin protocols seem to produce a stiffer anterior corneal stroma when

  16. 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.

  17. Key Practices in the English Language Arts (ELA): Linking Learning Theory, Assessment, and Instruction. Research Report. ETS RR-15-17

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deane, Paul; Sabatini, John; Feng, Gary; Sparks, Jesse; Song, Yi; Fowles, Mary; O'Reilly, Tenaha; Jueds, Katherine; Krovetz, Robert; Foley, Colleen

    2015-01-01

    This paper presents a framework intended to link the following assessment development concepts into a systematic framework: evidence-centered design (ECD), scenario-based assessment (SBA), and assessment of, for, and as learning. The context within which we develop this framework is the English language arts (ELA) for K-12 students, though the…

  18. 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.

  19. Liver-specific Deletion of Integrin-Linked Kinase in Mice Attenuates Hepatotoxicity and Improves Liver Regeneration after Acetaminophen Overdose

    PubMed Central

    Bhushan, Bharat; Edwards, Genea; Desai, Aishwarya; Michalopoulos, George K.; Apte, Udayan

    2017-01-01

    Acetaminophen (APAP) overdose is the major cause of acute liver failure in the US. Prompt liver regeneration is critical for recovery after APAP hepatotoxicity, but mechanisms remain elusive. Extracellular-matrix (ECM) mediated signaling via integrin-linked kinase (ILK) regulates liver regeneration after surgical resection. However, role of ECM-signaling via ILK in APAP-toxicity and compensatory regeneration is unknown, which was investigated in this study using liver-specific ILK-knock out (KO) mice. ILK-KO and wild-type (WT) mice were treated with 300 mg/kg APAP and injury and regeneration were studied at 6 and 24hr after APAP treatment. ILK-KO mice developed lower liver injury after APAP overdose, which was associated with decreased JNK-activation (a key mediator of APAP-toxicity). Further, higher glutathione levels after APAP treatment and lower APAP-protein adducts levels, along with lower levels of CYP2E1 suggest decreased metabolic activation of APAP in ILK-KO mice. Interestingly, despite lower injury ILK-KO mice had rapid and higher liver regeneration after APAP overdose accompanied with increased β-catenin signaling. In conclusion, liver-specific deletion of ILK improved regeneration, attenuated toxicity after APAP overdose, and decreased metabolic-activation of APAP. Our study also indicates that ILK-mediated ECM-signaling plays a role in regulation of CYP2E1 and may affect toxicity of several centrilobular hepatotoxicants including APAP. PMID:27125733

  20. Improved outcome in Sweden after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and possible association with improvements in every link in the chain of survival.

    PubMed

    Strömsöe, Anneli; Svensson, Leif; Axelsson, Åsa B; Claesson, Andreas; Göransson, Katarina E; Nordberg, Per; Herlitz, Johan

    2015-04-07

    To describe out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) in Sweden from a long-term perspective in terms of changes in outcome and circumstances at resuscitation. All cases of OHCA (n = 59,926) reported to the Swedish Cardiac Arrest Register from 1992 to 2011 were included. The number of cases reported (n/100,000 person-years) increased from 27 (1992) to 52 (2011). Crew-witnessed cases, cardiopulmonary resuscitation prior to the arrival of the emergency medical service (EMS), and EMS response time increased (P < 0.0001). There was a decrease in the delay from collapse to calling for the EMS in all patients and from collapse to defibrillation among patients found in ventricular fibrillation (P < 0.0001). The proportion of patients found in ventricular fibrillation decreased from 35 to 25% (P < 0.0001). Thirty-day survival increased from 4.8 (1992) to 10.7% (2011) (P < 0.0001), particularly among patients found in a shockable rhythm and patients with return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) at hospital admission. Among patients hospitalized with ROSC in 2008-2011, 41% underwent therapeutic hypothermia and 28% underwent percutaneous coronary intervention. Among 30-day survivors in 2008-2011, 94% had a cerebral performance category score of 1 or 2 at discharge from hospital and the results were even better if patients were found in a shockable rhythm. From a long-term perspective, 30-day survival after OHCA in Sweden more than doubled. The increase in survival was most marked among patients found in a shockable rhythm and those hospitalized with ROSC. There were improvements in all four links in the chain of survival, which might explain the improved outcome. Published on behalf of the European Society of Cardiology. All rights reserved. © The Author 2014. For permissions please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.