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Sample records for confounding effect modification

  1. Assessing confounding, effect modification, and thresholds in the association between ambient particles and daily deaths.

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, J

    2000-01-01

    I examined the relationship between daily deaths and airborne particles in 10 U.S. cities with varying climatic conditions and seasons in which particle concentrations were high. Airborne particles were associated with significant increases in daily deaths [0.67% increase for a 10 microg/m(3) increase in particles; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.52-0.81%]. This association was the same in summer and winter. To examine potential confounding by other pollutants, I regressed city- and season-specific effect sizes against the relationship between airborne particles and other pollutants. Controlling for other pollutants did not substantially (or significantly) change the estimated effect of airborne particles. Socioeconomic differences between cities likewise did not modify the effect. The increase in daily deaths that occurred out of hospitals (0.89% per 10 microg/m(3); CI, 0.67-1.10%) was substantially greater than the increase in deaths in hospitals (0. 49%; CI, 0.31-0.68%). This is consistent with results previously reported in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and suggests that the particle-associated deaths are not just being brought forward by a few days. It is also consistent with recent animal and human studies of the mechanisms of particle toxicity. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 PMID:10856032

  2. Confounding Effect in Clinical Research of Otolaryngology and Its Control.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yong-qiang; Huang, Dong-yan; Armijo Olivo, Susan; Yang, Huai-an; Bambanini, Yagesh; Sonnenberg, Lyn; Clark, Brenda; Constantinescu, Gabriela; Qian Yu, Jason; Zhang, Ming

    2015-06-01

    Confounding effect is a critical issue in clinical research of otolaryngology because it can distort the research's conclusion. In this review, we introduce the definition of confounding effect, the methods of verifying and controlling the effect. Confounding effect can be prevented by research's design, and adjusted by data analysis. Clinicians would be aware and cautious about confounding effect in their research. They would be able to set up a research's design in which appropriate methods have been applied to prevent this effect.They would know how to adjust confounding effect after data collection. It is important to remember that sometimes it is impossible to eliminate confounding effect completely, and statistical method is not a master key. Solid research knowledge and critical thinking of our brain are the most important in controlling confounding effect. PMID:26149004

  3. Confounding Effect in Clinical Research of Otolaryngology and Its Control.

    PubMed

    Yu, Yong-qiang; Huang, Dong-yan; Armijo Olivo, Susan; Yang, Huai-an; Bambanini, Yagesh; Sonnenberg, Lyn; Clark, Brenda; Constantinescu, Gabriela; Qian Yu, Jason; Zhang, Ming

    2015-06-01

    Confounding effect is a critical issue in clinical research of otolaryngology because it can distort the research's conclusion. In this review, we introduce the definition of confounding effect, the methods of verifying and controlling the effect. Confounding effect can be prevented by research's design, and adjusted by data analysis. Clinicians would be aware and cautious about confounding effect in their research. They would be able to set up a research's design in which appropriate methods have been applied to prevent this effect.They would know how to adjust confounding effect after data collection. It is important to remember that sometimes it is impossible to eliminate confounding effect completely, and statistical method is not a master key. Solid research knowledge and critical thinking of our brain are the most important in controlling confounding effect.

  4. The Problem of Confounding in Studies of the Effect of Maternal Drug Use on Pregnancy Outcome

    PubMed Central

    Källén, Bengt

    2012-01-01

    In most epidemilogical studies, the problem of confounding adds to the uncertainty in conclusions drawn. This is also true for studies on the effect of maternal drug use on birth defect risks. This paper describes various types of such confounders and discusses methods to identify and adjust for them. Such confounders can be found in maternal characteristics like age, parity, smoking, use of alcohol, and body mass index, subfertility, and previous pregnancies including previous birth of a malformed child, socioeconomy, race/ethnicity, or country of birth. Confounding by concomitant maternal drug use may occur. A geographical or seasonal confounding can exist. In rare instances, infant sex and multiple birth can appear as confounders. The most difficult problem to solve is often confounding by indication. The problem of confounding is less important for congenital malformations than for many other pregnancy outcomes. PMID:22190949

  5. Unobserved time effects confound the identification of climate change impacts.

    PubMed

    Auffhammer, Maximilian; Vincent, Jeffrey R

    2012-07-24

    A recent study by Feng et al. [Feng S, Krueger A, Oppenheimer M (2010) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 107:14257-14262] in PNAS reported statistical evidence of a weather-driven causal effect of crop yields on human migration from Mexico to the United States. We show that this conclusion is based on a different statistical model than the one stated in the paper. When we correct for this mistake, there is no evidence of a causal link. PMID:22783021

  6. Confounding effects of phase delays on causality estimation.

    PubMed

    Vakorin, Vasily A; Mišić, Bratislav; Krakovska, Olga; Bezgin, Gleb; McIntosh, Anthony R

    2013-01-01

    Linear and non-linear techniques for inferring causal relations between the brain signals representing the underlying neuronal systems have become a powerful tool to extract the connectivity patterns in the brain. Typically these tools employ the idea of Granger causality, which is ultimately based on the temporal precedence between the signals. At the same time, phase synchronization between coupled neural ensembles is considered a mechanism implemented in the brain to integrate relevant neuronal ensembles to perform a cognitive or perceptual task. Phase synchronization can be studied by analyzing the effects of phase-locking between the brain signals. However, we should expect that there is no one-to-one mapping between the observed phase lag and the time precedence as specified by physically interacting systems. Specifically, phase lag observed between two signals may interfere with inferring causal relations. This could be of critical importance for the coupled non-linear oscillating systems, with possible time delays in coupling, when classical linear cross-spectrum strategies for solving phase ambiguity are not efficient. To demonstrate this, we used a prototypical model of coupled non-linear systems, and compared three typical pipelines of inferring Granger causality, as established in the literature. Specifically, we compared the performance of the spectral and information-theoretic Granger pipelines as well as standard Granger causality in their relations to the observed phase differences for frequencies at which the signals become synchronized to each other. We found that an information-theoretic approach, which takes into account different time lags between the past of one signal and the future of another signal, was the most robust to phase effects.

  7. Event-related potential indices of congruency sequence effects without feature integration or contingency learning confounds.

    PubMed

    Larson, Michael J; Clayson, Peter E; Kirwan, C Brock; Weissman, Daniel H

    2016-06-01

    The congruency effect in Stroop-like tasks (i.e., increased response time and reduced accuracy in incongruent relative to congruent trials) is often smaller when the previous trial was incongruent as compared to congruent. This congruency sequence effect (CSE) is thought to reflect cognitive control processes that shift attention to the target and/or modulate the response engendered by the distracter differently after incongruent relative to congruent trials. The neural signatures of CSEs are therefore usually attributed to cognitive control processes that minimize distraction from irrelevant stimuli. However, CSEs in previous functional neuroimaging studies were ubiquitously confounded with feature integration and/or contingency learning processes. We therefore investigated whether a neural CSE can be observed without such confounds in a group of healthy young adults (n = 56). To this end, we combined a prime-probe task that lacks such confounds with high-density ERPs to identify, for the first time, the neural time course of confound-minimized CSEs. Replicating recent behavioral findings, we observed strong CSEs in this task for mean response time and mean accuracy. Critically, conceptually replicating prior ERP results from confounded tasks, we also observed a CSE in both the parietal conflict slow potential (conflict SP) and the frontomedial N450. These findings indicate for the first time that neural CSEs as indexed by ERPs can be observed without the typical confounds. More broadly, the present study provides a confound-minimized protocol that will help future researchers to better isolate the neural bases of control processes that minimize distraction from irrelevant stimuli. PMID:26854028

  8. EVALUATING COSTS WITH UNMEASURED CONFOUNDING: A SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS FOR THE TREATMENT EFFECT.

    PubMed

    Handorf, Elizabeth A; Bekelman, Justin E; Heitjan, Daniel F; Mitra, Nandita

    2013-01-01

    Estimates of the effects of treatment on cost from observational studies are subject to bias if there are unmeasured confounders. It is therefore advisable in practice to assess the potential magnitude of such biases. We derive a general adjustment formula for loglinear models of mean cost and explore special cases under plausible assumptions about the distribution of the unmeasured confounder. We assess the performance of the adjustment by simulation, in particular, examining robustness to a key assumption of conditional independence between the unmeasured and measured covariates given the treatment indicator. We apply our method to SEER-Medicare cost data for a stage II/III muscle-invasive bladder cancer cohort. We evaluate the costs for radical cystectomy vs. combined radiation/chemotherapy, and find that the significance of the treatment effect is sensitive to plausible unmeasured Bernoulli, Poisson and Gamma confounders. PMID:24587844

  9. EVALUATING COSTS WITH UNMEASURED CONFOUNDING: A SENSITIVITY ANALYSIS FOR THE TREATMENT EFFECT

    PubMed Central

    Handorf, Elizabeth A.; Bekelman, Justin E.; Heitjan, Daniel F.; Mitra, Nandita

    2014-01-01

    Estimates of the effects of treatment on cost from observational studies are subject to bias if there are unmeasured confounders. It is therefore advisable in practice to assess the potential magnitude of such biases. We derive a general adjustment formula for loglinear models of mean cost and explore special cases under plausible assumptions about the distribution of the unmeasured confounder. We assess the performance of the adjustment by simulation, in particular, examining robustness to a key assumption of conditional independence between the unmeasured and measured covariates given the treatment indicator. We apply our method to SEER-Medicare cost data for a stage II/III muscle-invasive bladder cancer cohort. We evaluate the costs for radical cystectomy vs. combined radiation/chemotherapy, and find that the significance of the treatment effect is sensitive to plausible unmeasured Bernoulli, Poisson and Gamma confounders. PMID:24587844

  10. Automated isolation of translational efficiency bias that resists the confounding effect of GC(AT)-content.

    PubMed

    Raiford, Douglas W; Krane, Dan E; Doom, Travis E; Raymer, Michael L

    2010-01-01

    Genomic sequencing projects are an abundant source of information for biological studies ranging from the molecular to the ecological in scale; however, much of the information present may yet be hidden from casual analysis. One such information domain, trends in codon usage, can provide a wealth of information about an organism's genes and their expression. Degeneracy in the genetic code allows more than one triplet codon to code for the same amino acid, and usage of these codons is often biased such that one or more of these synonymous codons are preferred. Detection of this bias is an important tool in the analysis of genomic data, particularly as a predictor of gene expressivity. Methods for identifying codon usage bias in genomic data that rely solely on genomic sequence data are susceptible to being confounded by the presence of several factors simultaneously influencing codon selection. Presented here is a new technique for removing the effects of one of the more common confounding factors, GC(AT)-content, and of visualizing the search-space for codon usage bias through the use of a solution landscape. This technique successfully isolates expressivity-related codon usage trends, using only genomic sequence information, where other techniques fail due to the presence of GC(AT)-content confounding influences.

  11. Accounting for uncertainty in confounder and effect modifier selection when estimating average causal effects in generalized linear models.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chi; Dominici, Francesca; Parmigiani, Giovanni; Zigler, Corwin Matthew

    2015-09-01

    Confounder selection and adjustment are essential elements of assessing the causal effect of an exposure or treatment in observational studies. Building upon work by Wang et al. (2012, Biometrics 68, 661-671) and Lefebvre et al. (2014, Statistics in Medicine 33, 2797-2813), we propose and evaluate a Bayesian method to estimate average causal effects in studies with a large number of potential confounders, relatively few observations, likely interactions between confounders and the exposure of interest, and uncertainty on which confounders and interaction terms should be included. Our method is applicable across all exposures and outcomes that can be handled through generalized linear models. In this general setting, estimation of the average causal effect is different from estimation of the exposure coefficient in the outcome model due to noncollapsibility. We implement a Bayesian bootstrap procedure to integrate over the distribution of potential confounders and to estimate the causal effect. Our method permits estimation of both the overall population causal effect and effects in specified subpopulations, providing clear characterization of heterogeneous exposure effects that may vary considerably across different covariate profiles. Simulation studies demonstrate that the proposed method performs well in small sample size situations with 100-150 observations and 50 covariates. The method is applied to data on 15,060 US Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor between 2000 and 2009 to evaluate whether surgery reduces hospital readmissions within 30 days of diagnosis.

  12. Accounting for Uncertainty in Confounder and Effect Modifier Selection when Estimating Average Causal Effects in Generalized Linear Models

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Chi; Dominici, Francesca; Parmigiani, Giovanni; Zigler, Corwin Matthew

    2015-01-01

    Summary Confounder selection and adjustment are essential elements of assessing the causal effect of an exposure or treatment in observational studies. Building upon work by Wang et al. (2012) and Lefebvre et al. (2014), we propose and evaluate a Bayesian method to estimate average causal effects in studies with a large number of potential confounders, relatively few observations, likely interactions between confounders and the exposure of interest, and uncertainty on which confounders and interaction terms should be included. Our method is applicable across all exposures and outcomes that can be handled through generalized linear models. In this general setting, estimation of the average causal effect is different from estimation of the exposure coefficient in the outcome model due to non-collapsibility. We implement a Bayesian bootstrap procedure to integrate over the distribution of potential confounders and to estimate the causal effect. Our method permits estimation of both the overall population causal effect and effects in specified subpopulations, providing clear characterization of heterogeneous exposure effects that may vary considerably across different covariate profiles. Simulation studies demonstrate that the proposed method performs well in small sample size situations with 100 to 150 observations and 50 covariates. The method is applied to data on 15060 US Medicare beneficiaries diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor between 2000 and 2009 to evaluate whether surgery reduces hospital readmissions within thirty days of diagnosis. PMID:25899155

  13. Identification of pim kinases as novel targets for PJ34 with confounding effects in PARP biology.

    PubMed

    Antolín, Albert A; Jalencas, Xavier; Yélamos, José; Mestres, Jordi

    2012-12-21

    Small molecules are widely used in chemical biology without complete knowledge of their target profile, at risk of deriving conclusions that ignore potential confounding effects from unknown off-target interactions. The prediction and further experimental confirmation of novel affinities for PJ34 on Pim1 (IC(50) = 3.7 μM) and Pim2 (IC(50) = 16 μM) serine/threonine kinases, together with their involvement in many of the processes relevant to PARP biology, questions the appropriateness of using PJ34 as a chemical tool to probe the biological role of PARP1 and PARP2 at the high micromolar concentrations applied in most studies. PMID:23025350

  14. The effect of clozapine on premature mortality: an assessment of clinical monitoring and other potential confounders.

    PubMed

    Hayes, Richard D; Downs, Johnny; Chang, Chin-Kuo; Jackson, Richard G; Shetty, Hitesh; Broadbent, Matthew; Hotopf, Matthew; Stewart, Robert

    2015-05-01

    Clozapine can cause severe adverse effects yet it is associated with reduced mortality risk. We test the hypothesis this association is due to increased clinical monitoring and investigate risk of premature mortality from natural causes. We identified 14 754 individuals (879 deaths) with serious mental illness (SMI) including schizophrenia, schizoaffective and bipolar disorders aged ≥ 15 years in a large specialist mental healthcare case register linked to national mortality tracing. In this cohort study we modeled the effect of clozapine on mortality over a 5-year period (2007-2011) using Cox regression. Individuals prescribed clozapine had more severe psychopathology and poorer functional status. Many of the exposures associated with clozapine use were themselves risk factors for increased mortality. However, we identified a strong association between being prescribed clozapine and lower mortality which persisted after controlling for a broad range of potential confounders including clinical monitoring and markers of disease severity (adjusted hazard ratio 0.4; 95% CI 0.2-0.7; p = .001). This association remained after restricting the sample to those with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or those taking antipsychotics and after using propensity scores to reduce the impact of confounding by indication. Among individuals with SMI, those prescribed clozapine had a reduced risk of mortality due to both natural and unnatural causes. We found no evidence to indicate that lower mortality associated with clozapine in SMI was due to increased clinical monitoring or confounding factors. This is the first study to report an association between clozapine and reduced risk of mortality from natural causes. PMID:25154620

  15. The Effect of Clozapine on Premature Mortality: An Assessment of Clinical Monitoring and Other Potential Confounders

    PubMed Central

    Hayes, Richard D.; Downs, Johnny; Chang, Chin-Kuo; Jackson, Richard G.; Shetty, Hitesh; Broadbent, Matthew; Hotopf, Matthew; Stewart, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Clozapine can cause severe adverse effects yet it is associated with reduced mortality risk. We test the hypothesis this association is due to increased clinical monitoring and investigate risk of premature mortality from natural causes. We identified 14 754 individuals (879 deaths) with serious mental illness (SMI) including schizophrenia, schizoaffective and bipolar disorders aged ≥ 15 years in a large specialist mental healthcare case register linked to national mortality tracing. In this cohort study we modeled the effect of clozapine on mortality over a 5-year period (2007–2011) using Cox regression. Individuals prescribed clozapine had more severe psychopathology and poorer functional status. Many of the exposures associated with clozapine use were themselves risk factors for increased mortality. However, we identified a strong association between being prescribed clozapine and lower mortality which persisted after controlling for a broad range of potential confounders including clinical monitoring and markers of disease severity (adjusted hazard ratio 0.4; 95% CI 0.2–0.7; p = .001). This association remained after restricting the sample to those with a diagnosis of schizophrenia or those taking antipsychotics and after using propensity scores to reduce the impact of confounding by indication. Among individuals with SMI, those prescribed clozapine had a reduced risk of mortality due to both natural and unnatural causes. We found no evidence to indicate that lower mortality associated with clozapine in SMI was due to increased clinical monitoring or confounding factors. This is the first study to report an association between clozapine and reduced risk of mortality from natural causes. PMID:25154620

  16. Task-independent effects are potential confounders in longitudinal imaging studies of learning in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Korostil, Michele; Fatima, Zainab; Kovacevic, Natasha; Menon, Mahesh; McIntosh, Anthony Randal

    2016-01-01

    Learning impairment is a core deficit in schizophrenia that impacts on real-world functioning and yet, elucidating its underlying neural basis remains a challenge. A key issue when interpreting learning-task experiments is that task-independent changes may confound interpretation of task-related signal changes in neuroimaging studies. The nature of these task-independent changes in schizophrenia is unknown. Therefore, we examined task-independent "time effects" in a group of participants with schizophrenia contrasted with healthy participants in a longitudinal fMRI learning-experiment designed to allow for examination of non-specific effects of time. Flanking the learning portions of the experiment with a task-of-no-interest allowed us to extract task-independent BOLD changes. Task-independent effects occurred in both groups, but were more robust in the schizophrenia group. There was a significant interaction effect between group and time in a distributed activity pattern that included inferior and superior temporal regions, frontal areas (left anterior insula and superior medial gyri), and parietal areas (posterior cingulate cortices and precuneus). This pattern showed task-independent linear decrease in BOLD amplitude over the two scanning sessions for the schizophrenia group, but showed either opposite effect or no activity changes for the control group. There was a trend towards a correlation between task-independent effects and the presence of more negative symptoms in the schizophrenia group. The strong interaction between group and time suggests that both the scanning experience as a whole and the transition between task-types evokes a different response in persons with schizophrenia and may confound interpretation of learning-related longitudinal imaging experiments if not explicitly considered.

  17. Task-independent effects are potential confounders in longitudinal imaging studies of learning in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Korostil, Michele; Fatima, Zainab; Kovacevic, Natasha; Menon, Mahesh; McIntosh, Anthony Randal

    2015-01-01

    Learning impairment is a core deficit in schizophrenia that impacts on real-world functioning and yet, elucidating its underlying neural basis remains a challenge. A key issue when interpreting learning-task experiments is that task-independent changes may confound interpretation of task-related signal changes in neuroimaging studies. The nature of these task-independent changes in schizophrenia is unknown. Therefore, we examined task-independent “time effects” in a group of participants with schizophrenia contrasted with healthy participants in a longitudinal fMRI learning-experiment designed to allow for examination of non-specific effects of time. Flanking the learning portions of the experiment with a task-of-no-interest allowed us to extract task-independent BOLD changes. Task-independent effects occurred in both groups, but were more robust in the schizophrenia group. There was a significant interaction effect between group and time in a distributed activity pattern that included inferior and superior temporal regions, frontal areas (left anterior insula and superior medial gyri), and parietal areas (posterior cingulate cortices and precuneus). This pattern showed task-independent linear decrease in BOLD amplitude over the two scanning sessions for the schizophrenia group, but showed either opposite effect or no activity changes for the control group. There was a trend towards a correlation between task-independent effects and the presence of more negative symptoms in the schizophrenia group. The strong interaction between group and time suggests that both the scanning experience as a whole and the transition between task-types evokes a different response in persons with schizophrenia and may confound interpretation of learning-related longitudinal imaging experiments if not explicitly considered. PMID:26759790

  18. Confronting ‘confounding by health system use’ in Medicare Part D: Comparative effectiveness of propensity score approaches to confounding adjustment

    PubMed Central

    Polinski, Jennifer M.; Schneeweiss, Sebastian; Glynn, Robert J.; Lii, Joyce; Rassen, Jeremy

    2012-01-01

    Purpose Under Medicare Part D, patient characteristics influence plan choice, which in turn influences Part D coverage gap entry. We compared pre-defined propensity score (PS) and high-dimensional propensity score (hdPS) approaches to address such ‘confounding by health system use’ in assessing whether coverage gap entry is associated with cardiovascular events or death. Methods We followed 243,079 Medicare patients aged 65+ with linked prescription, medical, and plan-specific data in 2005–2007. Patients reached the coverage gap and were followed until an event or year’s end. Exposed patients were responsible for drug costs in the gap; unexposed patients (patients with non-Part D drug insurance and Part D patients receiving a low-income subsidy (LIS)) received financial assistance. Exposed patients were 1:1 PS- or hdPS-matched to unexposed patients. The PS model included 52 predefined covariates; the hdPS model added 400 empirically identified covariates. Hazard ratios for death and any of five cardiovascular outcomes were compared. In sensitivity analyses, we explored residual confounding using only LIS patients in the unexposed group. Results In unadjusted analyses, exposed patients had no greater hazard of death (HR=1.00; 95% CI, 0.84–1.20) or other outcomes. PS- (HR=1.29;0.99–1.66) and hdPS- (HR=1.11;0.86–1.42) matched analyses showed elevated but non-significant hazards of death. In sensitivity analyses, the PS analysis showed a protective effect (HR=0.78;0.61–0.98), while the hdPS analysis (HR=1.06;0.82–1.37) confirmed the main hdPS findings. Conclusion Although the PS-matched analysis suggested elevated though non-significant hazards of death among patients with no financial assistance during the gap, the hdPS analysis produced lower estimates that were stable across sensitivity analyses. PMID:22552984

  19. Reproductive and socioeconomic determinants of child survival: confounded, interactive, and age-dependent effects.

    PubMed

    Kost, K; Amin, S

    1992-01-01

    Studies of infant and child mortality have evolved to distinguish between two sets of explanatory variables-factors related to reproductive or maternal characteristics and socioeconomic factors, generally described as characteristics of the family or household. Almost all multivariate analyses include variables from each of these two sets, but there has been little consideration of the relationship between them. We examine how these two sets of variables jointly affect mortality. We test first for confounded effects by examining socioeconomic effects while excluding and then including reproductive variables in nested multivariate models. Next, we look for age-dependent effects among the explanatory variables and find that reproductive and socioeconomic factors affect mortality at differing ages of children. Finally, we examine interactive effects of the two sets of variables. We conclude that the higher mortality observed among the low status groups is not a result of greater concentration of poor reproductive patterns in those groups. Instead, higher status groups probably have more resources available for combating the negative effects of the same high-risk reproductive patterns. PMID:1514117

  20. Effect of water quality and confounding factors on digestive enzyme activities in Gammarus fossarum.

    PubMed

    Charron, L; Geffard, O; Chaumot, A; Coulaud, R; Queau, H; Geffard, A; Dedourge-Geffard, O

    2013-12-01

    The feeding activity and subsequent assimilation of the products resulting from food digestion allow organisms to obtain energy for growth, maintenance and reproduction. Among these biological parameters, we studied digestive enzymes (amylase, cellulase and trypsin) in Gammarus fossarum to assess the impact of contaminants on their access to energy resources. However, to enable objective assessment of a toxic effect of decreased water quality on an organisms' digestive capacity, it is necessary to establish reference values based on its natural variability as a function of changing biotic and abiotic factors. To limit the confounding influence of biotic factors, a caging approach with calibrated male organisms from the same population was used. This study applied an in situ deployment at 23 sites of the Rhone basin rivers, complemented by a laboratory experiment assessing the influence of two abiotic factors (temperature and conductivity). The results showed a small effect of conductivity on cellulase activity and a significant effect of temperature on digestive enzyme activity but only at the lowest temperature (7 °C). The experimental conditions allowed us to define an environmental reference value for digestive enzyme activities to select sites where the quality of the water impacted the digestive capacity of the organisms. In addition to the feeding rate, this study showed the relevance of digestive enzymes as biomarkers to be used as an early warning tool to reflect organisms' health and the chemical quality of aquatic ecosystems.

  1. Isolating Cognitive and Neurologic HIV Effects in Substance-Dependent, Confounded Cohorts: A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Byrd, Desiree A.; Robinson-Papp, Jessica; Mindt, Monica Rivera; Mintz, Letty; Elliott, Kathryn; Lighty, Quenesha; Morgello, Susan

    2013-01-01

    Controversy exists as to whether effects of HIV infection can be detected in the cognitive profiles of substance users, with methodological differences in degree of control for confounding factors a major contributor to empirical discrepancies. To address this shortcoming, we conducted a small but well-controlled study aimed at isolating HIV neurocognitive (NC) effects in a group of chronic substance users. Thirty HIV-negative substance users were individually matched to 30 HIV-positive substance users on relevant medical and demographic factors, including reading level and methadone therapy status. Results revealed that reading level, methadone maintenance therapy, and positive urine toxicology each exerted significant influence on NC function, and that HIV status was a significant predictor of learning and speeded processing after these control factors were considered. The HIV-positive group also displayed significantly more neurologically assessed motor impairment (p <.05), which was specifically related to impaired cognition in this group and independent of degree of immunocompromise. These data demonstrate the need for increased attention to clinical/demographic characteristics of groups under study. They also show that with applied methodological rigor, the deleterious effects of HIV on cognition can be parsed from substance use, even in small samples with chronic and active use histories. PMID:23446056

  2. A method for controlling complex confounding effects in the detection of adverse drug reactions using electronic health records

    PubMed Central

    Li, Ying; Salmasian, Hojjat; Vilar, Santiago; Chase, Herbert; Friedman, Carol; Wei, Ying

    2014-01-01

    Objective Electronic health records (EHRs) contain information to detect adverse drug reactions (ADRs), as they contain comprehensive clinical information. A major challenge of using comprehensive information involves confounding. We propose a novel data-driven method to identify ADR signals accurately by adjusting for confounders. Materials and methods We focused on two serious ADRs, rhabdomyolysis and pancreatitis, and used information in 264 155 unique patient records. We identified an ADR using established criteria, selected potential confounders, and then used penalized logistic regressions to estimate confounder-adjusted ADR associations. A reference standard was created to evaluate and compare the precision of the proposed method and four others. Results Precision was 83.3% for rhabdomyolysis and 60.8% for pancreatitis when using the proposed method, and we identified several drug safety signals that are interesting for further clinical review. Discussion The proposed method effectively estimated ADR associations after adjusting for confounders. A main cause of error was probably due to the nature of the dataset in that a substantial number of patients had a single visit only and, therefore, it was not possible to determine correctly the appropriate sequence of events for them. It is likely that performance will be improved with use of EHR data that contain more longitudinal records. Conclusions This data-driven method is effective in controlling for confounding, resulting in either a higher or similar precision when compared with four comparators, has the unique ability to provide insight into confounders for each specific medication–ADR pair, and can be easily adapted to other EHR systems. PMID:23907285

  3. A causal examination of the effects of confounding factors on multimetric indices

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schoolmaster, Donald R.; Grace, James B.; Schweiger, E. William; Mitchell, Brian R.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.

    2013-01-01

    The development of multimetric indices (MMIs) as a means of providing integrative measures of ecosystem condition is becoming widespread. An increasingly recognized problem for the interpretability of MMIs is controlling for the potentially confounding influences of environmental covariates. Most common approaches to handling covariates are based on simple notions of statistical control, leaving the causal implications of covariates and their adjustment unstated. In this paper, we use graphical models to examine some of the potential impacts of environmental covariates on the observed signals between human disturbance and potential response metrics. Using simulations based on various causal networks, we show how environmental covariates can both obscure and exaggerate the effects of human disturbance on individual metrics. We then examine from a causal interpretation standpoint the common practice of adjusting ecological metrics for environmental influences using only the set of sites deemed to be in reference condition. We present and examine the performance of an alternative approach to metric adjustment that uses the whole set of sites and models both environmental and human disturbance effects simultaneously. The findings from our analyses indicate that failing to model and adjust metrics can result in a systematic bias towards those metrics in which environmental covariates function to artificially strengthen the metric–disturbance relationship resulting in MMIs that do not accurately measure impacts of human disturbance. We also find that a “whole-set modeling approach” requires fewer assumptions and is more efficient with the given information than the more commonly applied “reference-set” approach.

  4. Adjusting effect estimates for unmeasured confounding with validation data using propensity score calibration

    PubMed Central

    Stürmer, Til; Schneeweiss, Sebastian; Avorn, Jerry; Glynn, Robert J

    2006-01-01

    Often important confounders are not available in studies. Sensitivity analyses based on the relation of single, but not multiple, unmeasured confounders with an exposure of interest in a separate validation study have been proposed. The authors controlled for measured confounding in the main cohort using propensity scores (PS) and addressed unmeasured confounding by estimating two additional PS in a validation study. The ‘error-prone’ PS exclusively used information available in the main cohort. The ‘gold-standard’ PS additionally included covariates available only in the validation study. Based on these two PS in the validation study, regression calibration was applied to adjust regression coefficients. This propensity score calibration (PSC) adjusts for unmeasured confounding in cohort studies with validation data under certain, usually untestable, assumptions. PSC was used to assess nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAID) and 1-year mortality in a large cohort of elderly. ‘Traditional’ adjustment resulted in a relative risk (RR) in NSAID users of 0.80 (95% confidence interval: 0.77–0.83) compared to an unadjusted RR of 0.68 (0.66–0.71). Application of PSC resulted in a more plausible RR of 1.06 (1.00–1.12). Until validity and limitations of PSC have been assessed in different settings, the method should be seen as a sensitivity analysis. PMID:15987725

  5. Improved estimation of controlled direct effects in the presence of unmeasured confounding of intermediate variables.

    PubMed

    Kaufman, Sol; Kaufman, Jay S; MacLehose, Richard F; Greenland, Sander; Poole, Charles

    2005-06-15

    Adjusting for a causal intermediate is a common analytic strategy for estimating an average causal direct effect (ACDE). The ACDE is the component of the total exposure effect that is not relayed through the specified intermediate. Even if the total effect is unconfounded, the usual ACDE estimate may be biased when an unmeasured variable affects the intermediate and outcome variables. Using linear programming optimization to compute non-parametric bounds, we develop new ACDE estimators for binary measured variables in this causal structure, and use root mean square confounding bias (RMSB) to compare their performance with the usual stratified estimator in simulated distributions of target populations comprised of the 64 possible potential response types as well as distributions of target populations restricted to subsets of 18 or 12 potential response types defined by monotonicity or no-interactions assumptions of unit-level causal effects. We also consider target population distributions conditioned on fixed outcome risk among the unexposed, or fixed true ACDE in one stratum of the intermediate. Results show that a midpoint estimator constructed from the optimization bounds has consistently lower RMSB than the usual stratified estimator both unconditionally and conditioned on any risk in the unexposed. When conditioning on true ACDE, this midpoint estimator performs more poorly only when conditioned on an extreme true ACDE in one stratum of the intermediate, yet outperforms the stratified estimator in the other stratum when interaction is permitted. An alternate 'limit-modified crude' estimator can never perform less favourably than the stratified estimator, and often has lower RMSB. PMID:15742358

  6. Confounding Effects of Metformin on the Human Gut Microbiome in Type 2 Diabetes.

    PubMed

    Mardinoglu, Adil; Boren, Jan; Smith, Ulf

    2016-01-12

    Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is associated with dysbiosis of the gut microbiota, though diabetes treatment regimens, including metformin, may confound the results. Forslund et al. (2015) identify distinct disease and drug signatures and highlight the importance of adjusting for treatment when investigating how T2D influences the human gut microbiome. PMID:26771114

  7. Confounding Effects of Metformin on the Human Gut Microbiome in Type 2 Diabetes.

    PubMed

    Mardinoglu, Adil; Boren, Jan; Smith, Ulf

    2016-01-12

    Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is associated with dysbiosis of the gut microbiota, though diabetes treatment regimens, including metformin, may confound the results. Forslund et al. (2015) identify distinct disease and drug signatures and highlight the importance of adjusting for treatment when investigating how T2D influences the human gut microbiome.

  8. Understanding Confounding Effects in Linguistic Coordination: An Information-Theoretic Approach

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Shuyang; Ver Steeg, Greg; Galstyan, Aram

    2015-01-01

    We suggest an information-theoretic approach for measuring stylistic coordination in dialogues. The proposed measure has a simple predictive interpretation and can account for various confounding factors through proper conditioning. We revisit some of the previous studies that reported strong signatures of stylistic accommodation, and find that a significant part of the observed coordination can be attributed to a simple confounding effect—length coordination. Specifically, longer utterances tend to be followed by longer responses, which gives rise to spurious correlations in the other stylistic features. We propose a test to distinguish correlations in length due to contextual factors (topic of conversation, user verbosity, etc.) and turn-by-turn coordination. We also suggest a test to identify whether stylistic coordination persists even after accounting for length coordination and contextual factors. PMID:26115446

  9. Wind turbines and idiopathic symptoms: The confounding effect of concurrent environmental exposures.

    PubMed

    Blanes-Vidal, Victoria; Schwartz, Joel

    2016-01-01

    Whether or not wind turbines pose a risk to human health is a matter of heated debate. Personal reactions to other environmental exposures occurring in the same settings as wind turbines may be responsible of the reported symptoms. However, these have not been accounted for in previous studies. We investigated whether there is an association between residential proximity to wind turbines and idiopathic symptoms, after controlling for personal reactions to other environmental co-exposures. We assessed wind turbine exposures in 454 residences as the distance to the closest wind turbine (Dw) and number of wind turbines <1000m (Nw1000). Information on symptoms, demographics and personal reactions to exposures was obtained by a blind questionnaire. We identified confounders using confounders' selection criteria and used adjusted logistic regression models to estimate associations. When controlling only for socio-demographic characteristics, log10Dw was associated with "unnatural fatigue" (ORadj=0.38, 95%CI=0.15-1.00) and "difficulty concentrating" (ORadj=0.26, 95%CI=0.08-0.83) and Nw1000 was associated with "unnatural fatigue" (ORadj=1.35, 95%CI=1.07-1.70) and "headache" (ORadj=1.26, 95%CI=1.00-1.58). After controlling for personal reactions to noise from sources different from wind turbines and agricultural odor exposure, we did not observe a significant relationship between residential proximity to wind turbines and symptoms and the parameter estimates were attenuated toward zero. Wind turbines-health associations can be confounded by personal reactions to other environmental co-exposures. Isolated associations reported in the literature may be due to confounding bias.

  10. Wind turbines and idiopathic symptoms: The confounding effect of concurrent environmental exposures.

    PubMed

    Blanes-Vidal, Victoria; Schwartz, Joel

    2016-01-01

    Whether or not wind turbines pose a risk to human health is a matter of heated debate. Personal reactions to other environmental exposures occurring in the same settings as wind turbines may be responsible of the reported symptoms. However, these have not been accounted for in previous studies. We investigated whether there is an association between residential proximity to wind turbines and idiopathic symptoms, after controlling for personal reactions to other environmental co-exposures. We assessed wind turbine exposures in 454 residences as the distance to the closest wind turbine (Dw) and number of wind turbines <1000m (Nw1000). Information on symptoms, demographics and personal reactions to exposures was obtained by a blind questionnaire. We identified confounders using confounders' selection criteria and used adjusted logistic regression models to estimate associations. When controlling only for socio-demographic characteristics, log10Dw was associated with "unnatural fatigue" (ORadj=0.38, 95%CI=0.15-1.00) and "difficulty concentrating" (ORadj=0.26, 95%CI=0.08-0.83) and Nw1000 was associated with "unnatural fatigue" (ORadj=1.35, 95%CI=1.07-1.70) and "headache" (ORadj=1.26, 95%CI=1.00-1.58). After controlling for personal reactions to noise from sources different from wind turbines and agricultural odor exposure, we did not observe a significant relationship between residential proximity to wind turbines and symptoms and the parameter estimates were attenuated toward zero. Wind turbines-health associations can be confounded by personal reactions to other environmental co-exposures. Isolated associations reported in the literature may be due to confounding bias. PMID:27046778

  11. Examining the Relationship between Heavy Alcohol Use and Assaults: With Adjustment for the Effects of Unmeasured Confounders

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Wenbin; Chikritzhs, Tanya

    2015-01-01

    Background. Experimental studies suggest that alcohol can lead to aggression in laboratory settings; however, it is impossible to test the causal relationship between alcohol use and real-life violence among humans in randomized clinical trials. Objectives. (i) To examine the relationship between heavy alcohol use and assaults in a population based study; (ii) to demonstrate the proxy outcome method, as a means of controlling the effects of unknown/unmeasured confounders in observational studies. Methods. This study used data collected from three waves of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). The effects of heavy alcohol use on assault were measured using multivariable logistic regressions in conjunction with the proxy outcome method. Results. Application of the proxy outcome method indicated that effect sizes of heavy alcohol use on the risk of assault were overestimated in the standard models. After adjusting for the effects of unknown/unmeasured confounders, the risk of assault remained 43% and 63% higher (P < 0.05) among participants who consumed 5+ drinks/day for 5–8 days/month and 9–30 days/month, respectively. Conclusions. Even after adjustment for unknown/unmeasured confounders the association between heavy alcohol use and risk of violence remained significant. These findings support the hypothesis that heavy alcohol use can cause violence. PMID:26380283

  12. Confounding by indication in non-experimental evaluation of vaccine effectiveness: the example of prevention of influenza complications

    PubMed Central

    Hak, E; Verheij, T.; Grobbee, D; Nichol, K; Hoes, A

    2002-01-01

    Randomised allocation of vaccine or placebo is the preferred method to assess the effects of the vaccine on clinical outcomes relevant to the individual patient. In the absence of phase 3 trials using clinical end points, notably post-influenza complications, alternative non-experimental designs to evaluate vaccine effects or safety are often used. The application of these designs may, however, lead to invalid estimates of vaccine effectiveness or safety. As patients with poor prognosis are more likely to be immunised, selection for vaccination is confounded by patient factors that are also related to clinical end points. This paper describes several design and analytical methods aimed at limiting or preventing this confounding by indication in non-experimental studies. In short, comparison of study groups with similar prognosis, restriction of the study population, and statistical adjustment for dissimilarities in prognosis are important tools and should be considered. Only if the investigator is able to show that confounding by indication is sufficiently controlled for, results of a non-experimental study may be of use to direct an evidence based vaccine policy. PMID:12461118

  13. Measuring oxidative stress: the confounding effect of lipid concentration in measures of lipid peroxidation.

    PubMed

    Pérez-Rodríguez, Lorenzo; Romero-Haro, Ana A; Sternalski, Audrey; Muriel, Jaime; Mougeot, Francois; Gil, Diego; Alonso-Alvarez, Carlos

    2015-01-01

    Lipid peroxidation products are widely used as markers of oxidative damage in the organism. To properly interpret the information provided by these markers, it is necessary to know potential sources of bias and control confounding factors. Here, we investigated the relationship between two indicators of lipid mobilization (circulating levels of triglycerides and cholesterol) and two common markers of oxidative damage (plasma levels of malondialdehyde and hydroperoxides; the latter estimated from the d-ROMs assay kit). The following five avian species were studied: red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa), zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), spotless starling (Sturnus unicolor), marsh harrier (Circus aeroginosus), and Montagu's harrier (Circus pygargus). In all cases, plasma triglyceride levels positively and significantly correlated with lipid peroxidation markers, explaining between 8% and 34% of their variability. Plasma cholesterol, in contrast, showed a significant positive relationship only among spotless starling nestlings and a marginally significant association in zebra finches. These results indicate that lipid peroxidation marker levels covary with circulating lipid levels. We discuss the potential causes and implications of this covariation and recommend that future studies that measure oxidative damage using lipid peroxidation markers report both raw and relative levels (i.e., corrected for circulating triglycerides). Whether the observed pattern also holds for other tissues and in other taxa would deserve further research.

  14. Causal diagrams and multivariate analysis III: confound it!

    PubMed

    Jupiter, Daniel C

    2015-01-01

    This commentary concludes my series concerning inclusion of variables in multivariate analyses. We take up the issues of confounding and effect modification and summarize the work we have thus far done. Finally, we provide a rough algorithm to help guide us through the maze of possibilities that we have outlined.

  15. Disentangling the confounding effects of PAR and air temperature on net ecosystem exchange in time and scale

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    yang, Z.; Chen, J.; Becker, R.; Chu, H.; Xie, J.; Shao, C.

    2013-12-01

    Net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE) in temperate forests is modulated by microclimatic factors. The effects of those factors differ at different time scales and during different time periods. Some of them are correlated across a number of time scales, so their effects on NEE are confounded by each other. PAR and air temperature (Ta) are among the two most important drivers of NEE in temperate forests, and among the two most correlated microclimatic factors. PAR and Ta have similar daily, seasonal, and annual cycles. Their influence on NEE is confounded by each other and entangled together especially at those scales. In this study, we tried to disentangle the confounding effects of them on NEE at different time scales and during different time periods. To accomplish this objective, we applied the innovative spectral analysis techniques including Continuous Wavelet Transformation (CWT), Cross Wavelet Transformation (XWT), Wavelet Coherent (WTC), and Partial Wavelet Coherence (PWC) on seven years time series (2004-2010) of PAR, Ta and NEE from the Ohio Oak Openings site (N 41.5545°, W 83.8438°), USA for spectral analysis. We found that PAR is the major driver at short time scales (e.g. semidiurnal and daily) and Ta is the major driver at long time scales (e.g. seasonal and annual). At daily scale during growing seasons, PAR is anti-phase with NEE with no time delay while Ta lagged PAR about 2-3 hours, which could be explained by the strong dependence of photosynthesis on PAR and a 2-3 hours lags of the daily course of Ta to PAR. At daily scale during non-growing season, NEE has little variation and thus neither Ta nor PAR has high common wavelet power and significant coherence with NEE. At annual scale, Ta is anti-phase with NEE and PAR leads NEE about 34 days, which could be explained by the strong dependence of LAI dynamics on Ta and the lag between the LAI/biomass development and the progress of sunlight. We also found that NEE distributes most of its variation

  16. [Time-dependent confounding in the estimation of treatment effects in randomised trials with multimodal therapies--an illustration of the problem of time-dependent confounding by causal graphs].

    PubMed

    Zietemann, V D; Schuster, T; Duell, T H G

    2015-01-01

    Biased effect estimates induced by unconsidered confounding variables are a known problem in observational studies. Selection bias, resulting from non-random sampling of study participants, is widely recognised as a problem in case-control and cross-sectional studies. In contrast, possible bias in randomised controlled trials (RCTs) is mostly ignored. This paper illustrates, by applying directed acyclic graphs (DAGs), possible bias in the effect estimates of first-line therapy, caused by subsequent changes in therapy (time-dependent confounding). Possible selection bias, induced by not only random loss to follow-up, will be explained as well using DAGs. Underlying assumptions of standard methods usually used to analyse RCTs (like intention-to-treat, per-protocol) are shown and it is explained why effect estimates may be biased in RCTs, if only these conventional methods are used. Adequate statistical methods (causal inference models as marginal structural models and structural nested models) exist. Higher documentary efforts, however, are necessary, because any changes in medication, loss to follow-up as well as reasons for such changes need to be documented in detail as required by these advanced statistical methods. Nevertheless, causal inference models should become standard along side the currently applied standard methods, especially in studies with high non-compliance due to changes in therapy and substantial loss to follow-up. Possible bias cannot be excluded if similar results are obtained from both methods. However, study results should be interpreted with caution if they differ between both approaches.

  17. Prawns, barnacles, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: effect modifiers or diagnostic confounders [corrected].

    PubMed

    Vidal, C; Bartolomé, B; González-Quintela, A; Rodríguez, V; Armisén, M

    2007-01-01

    A 42-year-old woman with no history of atopy reported several episodes of generalized urticaria and shortness of breath after eating shellfish (prawns and barnacles) but with good tolerance of the same foods between episodes. Skin prick tests (SPTs), serum enzyme allergosorbent tests (EAST) for specific immunoglobulin (Ig) E, Western blot and inhibition assays, and oral challenge tests with prawns, barnacles, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and alcohol as potential effect modifiers were performed. Specific IgE to both barnacle and prawn were detected by SPTs and EAST. Results from a Western blot of raw prawn revealed an IgE binding band of 37 kDa and IgE binding bands of 143, 83, 38, 32, and 20 kDa appeared in the raw barnacle assay. Oral challenge tests were positive with prawns and prawn extract only if preceded by NSAIDs. Oral challenges with NSAIDs alone, prawns alone, barnacles with or without NSAIDs and alcohol led to no reaction. A synergistic effect of NSAIDs in inducing anaphylaxis after prawn intake was confirmed. No similar effect was achieved with barnacles despite the presence of specific IgE. Additional factors needed to elicit a clinical reaction in food allergy may not be obvious and several oral challenge protocols are mandatory in such cases.

  18. Urocortin and inflammation: confounding effects of hypotension on measures of inflammation.

    PubMed

    Torpy, D J; Webster, E L; Zachman, E K; Aguilera, G; Chrousos, G P

    1999-01-01

    Urocortin, a newly isolated 40-amino-acid mammalian peptide homologous to corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), activates both CRH type 1 and 2 receptors, but may be an endogenous ligand for CRH receptor type 2. Urocortin given systemically inhibited heat-induced paw edema in the rat, and was therefore ascribed anti-inflammatory properties. We examined the effects of urocortin in the carrageenin-induced subcutaneous inflammation model. Rats were treated with urocortin 200 (n = 6) or 20 nmol/kg (n = 6); inflammatory exudates were reduced by approximately 30% compared to controls (n = 7) at both doses. However, since subcutaneous urocortin has been shown to reduce arterial blood pressure, we tested the hypothesis that its antiedema and antiextravasatory effects were secondary to arterial hypotension. Therefore, we examined the parallel effects of urocortin- and hydralazine-induced hypotension on acute inflammation induced by carrageenin in the rat. Rats were treated with subcutaneous carrageenin and control injections (n = 8), carrageenin and urocortin (20 nmol/kg, n = 9), or carrageenin and intraperitoneal hydralazine (10 mg/kg, n = 8). Mean arterial blood pressure was measured hourly for 7 h in 12 animals, and after 2 h, the nadir of treatment, in a further 13 animals. Rats were then sacrificed, and the inflammatory exudate volume and leukocyte count were measured. Mean exudate volumes were reduced from 4.8 +/- 0.5 ml (controls) to 2.4 +/- 0.3 ml (p = 0.004) and 2.9 +/- 0.6 ml (p = 0.007) in urocortin- and hydralazine-treated animals, respectively. Urocortin and hydralazine both produced a significant fall in blood pressure compared to controls, with mean arterial pressure 2 h after carrageenin injection falling to 51.0 +/- 4.1 (p < 0.001) and 34.6 +/- 4.6 (p < 0.001) vs. 92.9 +/- 3.7 mm Hg in controls, respectively. A significant positive correlation was noted between blood pressure and inflammatory exudate volume (r = 0. 52, p = 0.007). As both hydralazine and

  19. Idiosyncratic species effects confound size-based predictions of responses to climate change

    PubMed Central

    Twomey, Marion; Brodte, Eva; Jacob, Ute; Brose, Ulrich; Crowe, Tasman P.; Emmerson, Mark C.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding and predicting the consequences of warming for complex ecosystems and indeed individual species remains a major ecological challenge. Here, we investigated the effect of increased seawater temperatures on the metabolic and consumption rates of five distinct marine species. The experimental species reflected different trophic positions within a typical benthic East Atlantic food web, and included a herbivorous gastropod, a scavenging decapod, a predatory echinoderm, a decapod and a benthic-feeding fish. We examined the metabolism–body mass and consumption–body mass scaling for each species, and assessed changes in their consumption efficiencies. Our results indicate that body mass and temperature effects on metabolism were inconsistent across species and that some species were unable to meet metabolic demand at higher temperatures, thus highlighting the vulnerability of individual species to warming. While body size explains a large proportion of the variation in species' physiological responses to warming, it is clear that idiosyncratic species responses, irrespective of body size, complicate predictions of population and ecosystem level response to future scenarios of climate change. PMID:23007085

  20. Confounding effects of aqueous-phase impinger chemistry on apparent oxidation of mercury in flue gases.

    PubMed

    Cauch, Brydger; Silcox, Geoffrey D; Lighty, JoAnn S; Wendt, Jost O L; Fry, Andrew; Senior, Constance L

    2008-04-01

    Gas-phase reactions between elemental mercury and chlorine are a possible pathway to producing oxidized mercury species such as mercuric chloride in combustion systems. This study examines the effect of the chemistry of a commonly used sample conditioning system on apparent and actual levels of mercury oxidation in a methane-fired, 0.3 kW, quartz-lined reactor in which gas composition (HCl, Cl2, NOx, SO2) and quench rate were varied. The sample conditioning system included two impingers in parallel: one containing an aqueous solution of KCl to trap HgCl2, and one containing an aqueous solution of SnCl2 to reduce HgCl2 to elemental mercury (Hg0). Gas-phase concentrations of Cl2 as low as 1.5 ppmv were sufficient to oxidize a significant fraction of the elemental mercury in the KCl impinger via the hypochlorite ion. Furthermore, these low, but interfering levels of Cl2 appeared to persist in flue gases from several doped rapidly mixed flames with varied post flame temperature quench rates. The addition of 0.5 wt% sodium thiosulfate to the KCl solution completely prevented the oxidation from occurring in the impinger. The addition of thiosulfate did not inhibit the KCl impinger's ability to capture HgCl2. The effectiveness of the thiosulfate was unchanged by NO or SO2. These results bring into question laboratory scale experimental data on mercury oxidation where wet chemistry was used to partition metallic and oxidized mercury without the presence of sufficient levels of SO2.

  1. Confounding effects of aqueous-phase impinger chemistry on apparent oxidation of mercury in flue gases

    SciTech Connect

    Brydger Cauch; Geoffrey D. Silcox; Joann S. Lighty; Jost O.L. Wendt; Andrew Fry; Constance L. Senior

    2008-04-01

    Gas-phase reactions between elemental mercury and chlorine are a possible pathway to producing oxidized mercury species such as mercuric chloride in combustion systems. This study examines the effect of the chemistry of a commonly used sample conditioning system on apparent and actual levels of mercury oxidation in a methane-fired, 0.3 kW, quartz-lined reactor in which gas composition (HCl, Cl{sub 2}, NOx, SO{sub 2}) and quench rate were varied. The sample conditioning system included two impingers in parallel: one containing an aqueous solution of KCl to trap HgCl{sub 2}, and one containing an aqueous solution of SnCl{sub 2} to reduce HgCl{sub 2} to elemental mercury (Hg{sup 0}). Gas-phase concentrations of Cl{sub 2} as low as 1.5 ppmv were sufficient to oxidize a significant fraction of the elemental mercury in the KCl impinger via the hypochlorite ion. Furthermore, these low, but interfering levels of Cl{sub 2} appeared to persist in flue gases from several doped rapidly mixed flames with varied post flame temperature quench rates. The addition of 0.5 wt% sodium thiosulfate to the KCl solution completely prevented the oxidation from occurring in the impinger. The addition of thiosulfate did not inhibit the KCl impinger's ability to capture HgCl{sub 2}. The effectiveness of the thiosulfate was unchanged by NO or SO{sub 2}. These results bring into question laboratory scale experimental data on mercury oxidation where wet chemistry was used to partition metallic and oxidized mercury without the presence of sufficient levels of SO{sub 2}. 23 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.

  2. When can we measure stress noninvasively? Postdeposition effects on a fecal stress metric confound a multiregional assessment.

    PubMed

    Wilkening, Jennifer L; Ray, Chris; Varner, Johanna

    2016-01-01

    Measurement of stress hormone metabolites in fecal samples has become a common method to assess physiological stress in wildlife populations. Glucocorticoid metabolite (GCM) measurements can be collected noninvasively, and studies relating this stress metric to anthropogenic disturbance are increasing. However, environmental characteristics (e.g., temperature) can alter measured GCM concentration when fecal samples cannot be collected immediately after defecation. This effect can confound efforts to separate environmental factors causing predeposition physiological stress in an individual from those acting on a fecal sample postdeposition. We used fecal samples from American pikas (Ochotona princeps) to examine the influence of environmental conditions on GCM concentration by (1) comparing GCM concentration measured in freshly collected control samples to those placed in natural habitats for timed exposure, and (2) relating GCM concentration in samples collected noninvasively throughout the western United States to local environmental characteristics measured before and after deposition. Our timed-exposure trials clarified the spatial scale at which exposure to environmental factors postdeposition influences GCM concentration in pika feces. Also, fecal samples collected from occupied pika habitats throughout the species' range revealed significant relationships between GCM and metrics of climate during the postdeposition period (maximum temperature, minimum temperature, and precipitation during the month of sample collection). Conversely, we found no such relationships between GCM and metrics of climate during the predeposition period (prior to the month of sample collection). Together, these results indicate that noninvasive measurement of physiological stress in pikas across the western US may be confounded by climatic conditions in the postdeposition environment when samples cannot be collected immediately after defecation. Our results reiterate the importance

  3. Selective predation on hantavirus-infected voles by owls and confounding effects from landscape properties.

    PubMed

    Khalil, Hussein; Ecke, Frauke; Evander, Magnus; Hörnfeldt, Birger

    2016-06-01

    It has been suggested that predators may protect human health through reducing disease-host densities or selectively preying on infected individuals from the population. However, this has not been tested empirically. We hypothesized that Tengmalm's owl (Aegolius funereus) selectively preys on hantavirus-infected individuals of its staple prey, the bank vole (Myodes glareolus). Bank voles are hosts of Puumala hantavirus, which causes a form of hemorrhagic fever in humans. Selective predation by owls on infected voles may reduce human disease risk. We compared the prevalence of anti-Puumala hantavirus antibodies (seroprevalence), in bank voles cached by owls in nest boxes to seroprevalence in voles trapped in closed-canopy forest around each nest box. We found no general difference in seroprevalence. Forest landscape structure could partly account for the observed patterns in seroprevalence. Only in more connected forest patches was seroprevalence in bank voles cached in nest boxes higher than seroprevalence in trapped voles. This effect disappeared with increasing forest patch isolation, as seroprevalence in trapped voles increased with forest patch isolation, but did not in cached voles. Our results suggest a complex relationship between zoonotic disease prevalence in hosts, their predators, and landscape structure. Some mechanisms that may have caused the seroprevalence patterns in our results include higher bank vole density in isolated forest patches. This study offers future research potential to shed further light on the contribution of predators and landscape properties to human health. PMID:26873607

  4. Environment- and eye-centered inhibitory cueing effects are both observed after a methodological confound is eliminated

    PubMed Central

    He, Tao; Ding, Yun; Wang, Zhiguo

    2015-01-01

    Inhibition of return (IOR), typically explored in cueing paradigms, is a performance cost associated with previously attended locations and has been suggested as a crucial attentional mechanism that biases orientation towards novelty. In their seminal IOR paper, Posner and Cohen (1984) showed that IOR is coded in spatiotopic or environment-centered coordinates. Recent studies, however, have consistently reported IOR effects in both spatiotopic and retinotopic (eye-centered) coordinates. One overlooked methodological confound of all previous studies is that the spatial gradient of IOR is not considered when selecting the baseline for estimating IOR effects. This methodological issue makes it difficult to tell if the IOR effects reported in previous studies were coded in retinotopic or spatiotopic coordinates, or in both. The present study addresses this issue with the incorporation of no-cue trials to a modified cueing paradigm in which the cue and target are always intervened by a gaze-shift. The results revealed that a) IOR is indeed coded in both spatiotopic and retinotopic coordinates, and b) the methodology of previous work may have underestimated spatiotopic and retinotopic IOR effects. PMID:26565380

  5. Global climate change in large European rivers: long-term effects on macroinvertebrate communities and potential local confounding factors.

    PubMed

    Floury, Mathieu; Usseglio-Polatera, Philippe; Ferreol, Martial; Delattre, Cecile; Souchon, Yves

    2013-04-01

    Aquatic species living in running waters are widely acknowledged to be vulnerable to climate-induced, thermal and hydrological fluctuations. Climate changes can interact with other environmental changes to determine structural and functional attributes of communities. Although such complex interactions are most likely to occur in a multiple-stressor context as frequently encountered in large rivers, they have received little attention in such ecosystems. In this study, we aimed at specifically addressing the issue of relative long-term effects of global and local changes on benthic macroinvertebrate communities in multistressed large rivers. We assessed effects of hydroclimatic vs. water quality factors on invertebrate community structure and composition over 30 years (1979-2008) in the Middle Loire River, France. As observed in other large European rivers, water warming over the three decades (+0.9 °C between 1979-1988 and 1999-2008) and to a lesser extent discharge reduction (-80 m(3) s(-1) ) were significantly involved in the disappearance or decrease in taxa typical from fast running, cold waters (e.g. Chloroperlidae and Potamanthidae). They explained also a major part of the appearance and increase of taxa typical from slow flowing or standing waters and warmer temperatures, including invasive species (e.g. Corbicula sp. and Atyaephyra desmarestii). However, this shift towards a generalist and pollution tolerant assemblage was partially confounded by local improvement in water quality (i.e. phosphate input reduction by about two thirds and eutrophication limitation by almost one half), explaining a significant part of the settlement of new pollution-sensitive taxa (e.g. the caddisfly Brachycentridae and Philopotamidae families) during the last years of the study period. The regain in such taxa allowed maintaining a certain level of specialization in the invertebrate community despite climate change effects.

  6. Confounding effect of EEG implantation surgery: Inadequacy of surgical control in a two hit model of temporal lobe epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Balzekas, Irena; Hernandez, Jose; White, Jacob; Koh, Sookyong

    2016-05-27

    In rodent models of epilepsy, EEG implantation surgery is an essential modality to evaluate electrographic seizures. The inflammatory consequences of EEG electrode-implantation and their resultant effects on seizure susceptibility are unclear. We evaluated electrode-implantation in a two-hit model of epileptogenesis in C57BL/6 mice that included brief, recurrent febrile seizures (FS) at P14 and kainic acid induced seizures (KA-SZ) at P28. During KA-SZ, latencies to first electrographic and behavioral seizures, seizure severity, and KA dose sensitivity were measured. Mice that received subdural screw electrode implants at P25 for EEG monitoring at P28 had significantly shorter latencies to seizures than sham mice, regardless of early life seizure experience. Electrode-implanted mice were sensitive to low dose KA as shown by high mortality rate at KA doses above 10mg/kg. We then directly compared electrode-implantation and KA-SZ in seizure naive CX3CR1(GFP/+) transgenic C57BL/6 mice, wherein microglia express green fluorescent protein (GFP), to determine if microglia activation related to surgery was associated with the increased seizure susceptibility in electrode-implanted mice from the two-hit model. Hippocampal microglia activation, as demonstrated by percent area GFP signal and GFP positive cell counts, prior to seizures was indistinguishable between electrode-implanted mice and controls, but was significantly greater in electrode-implanted mice following seizures. Electrode-implantation had a confounding priming effect on the inflammatory response to subsequent seizures. PMID:27095588

  7. Issues Relating to Confounding and Meta-analysis When Including Non-Randomized Studies in Systematic Reviews on the Effects of Interventions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Valentine, Jeffrey C.; Thompson, Simon G.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Confounding caused by selection bias is often a key difference between non-randomized studies (NRS) and randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of interventions. Key methodological issues: In this third paper of the series, we consider issues relating to the inclusion of NRS in systematic reviews on the effects of interventions. We discuss…

  8. The essence of linkage-based imprinting detection: comparing power, type 1 error, and the effects of confounders in two different analysis approaches.

    PubMed

    Greenberg, David A; Monti, Maria Cristina; Feenstra, Bjarke; Zhang, Junying; Hodge, Susan E

    2010-05-01

    Imprinting is critical to understanding disease expression. It can be detected using linkage information, but the effects of potential confounders (heterogeneity, sex-specific penetrance, and sex-biased ascertainment) have not been explored. We examine power and confounders in two imprinting detection approaches, and we explore imprinting-linkage interaction. One method (PP) models imprinting by maximising lod scores w.r.t. parent-specific penetrances. The second (DRF) approximates imprinting by maximising lods over differential male-female recombination fractions. We compared power, type 1 error, and confounder effects in these two methods, using computer-simulated data. We varied heterogeneity, penetrance, family and dataset size, and confounders that might mimic imprinting. Without heterogeneity, PP had more imprinting-detecting power than DRF. PP's power increased when parental affectedness status was ignored, but decreased with heterogeneity. With heterogeneity, type 1 error increased dramatically for both methods. However, DRF's power also increased under heterogeneity, more than was attributable to inflated type 1 error. Sex-specific penetrance could increase false positives for PP but not for DRF. False positives did not increase on ascertainment through an affected "mother". For PP, non-penetrant individuals increased information, arguing against using affected-only methods. The high type 1 error levels under some circumstances means these methods must be used cautiously. PMID:20374235

  9. Sensitivity analysis for interactions under unmeasured confounding.

    PubMed

    Vanderweele, Tyler J; Mukherjee, Bhramar; Chen, Jinbo

    2012-09-28

    We develop a sensitivity analysis technique to assess the sensitivity of interaction analyses to unmeasured confounding. We give bias formulas for sensitivity analysis for interaction under unmeasured confounding on both additive and multiplicative scales. We provide simplified formulas in the case in which either one of the two factors does not interact with the unmeasured confounder in its effects on the outcome. An interesting consequence of the results is that if the two exposures of interest are independent (e.g., gene-environment independence), even under unmeasured confounding, if the estimate of the interaction is nonzero, then either there is a true interaction between the two factors or there is an interaction between one of the factors and the unmeasured confounder; an interaction must be present in either scenario. We apply the results to two examples drawn from the literature.

  10. 'Bigger data' on scale-dependent effects of invasive species on biodiversity cannot overcome confounded analyses: a comment on Stohlgren & Rejmánek (2014).

    PubMed

    Chase, Jonathan M; Powell, Kristin I; Knight, Tiffany M

    2015-08-01

    A recent study by Stohlgren & Rejmánek (SR: Stohlgren TJ, Rejmánek M. 2014 Biol. Lett. 10. (doi:10.1098/rsbl.2013.0939)) purported to test the generality of a recent finding of scale-dependent effects of invasive plants on native diversity; dominant invasive plants decreased the intercept and increased the slope of the species-area relationship. SR (2014) find little correlation between invasive species cover and the slopes and intercepts of SARs across a diversity of sites. We show that the analyses of SR (2014) are inappropriate because of confounding causality.

  11. 'Bigger data' on scale-dependent effects of invasive species on biodiversity cannot overcome confounded analyses: a comment on Stohlgren & Rejmánek (2014).

    PubMed

    Chase, Jonathan M; Powell, Kristin I; Knight, Tiffany M

    2015-08-01

    A recent study by Stohlgren & Rejmánek (SR: Stohlgren TJ, Rejmánek M. 2014 Biol. Lett. 10. (doi:10.1098/rsbl.2013.0939)) purported to test the generality of a recent finding of scale-dependent effects of invasive plants on native diversity; dominant invasive plants decreased the intercept and increased the slope of the species-area relationship. SR (2014) find little correlation between invasive species cover and the slopes and intercepts of SARs across a diversity of sites. We show that the analyses of SR (2014) are inappropriate because of confounding causality. PMID:26246332

  12. Development of histopathological indices in the digestive gland and gonad of mussels: integration with contamination levels and effects of confounding factors.

    PubMed

    Cuevas, Nagore; Zorita, Izaskun; Costa, Pedro M; Franco, Javier; Larreta, Joana

    2015-05-01

    Bivalve histopathology has become an important tool in aquatic toxicology, having been implemented in many biomonitoring programmes worldwide. However, there are various gaps in the knowledge of many sentinel organisms and the interference of confounding factors. This work aimed (i) to develop a detailed semi-quantitative histopathological index of the digestive gland and gonad of the Mytilus galloprovincialis mussel collected from five sites contaminated with distinct patterns of organic and inorganic toxicants along the Basque coast (SE Bay of Biscay) and (ii) to investigate whether seasonal variability and parasitosis act as confounding factors. A total of twenty-three histopathological alterations were analysed in the digestive gland and gonad following a weighed condition index approach. The alterations were integrated into a single value for a better understanding of the mussels' health status. The digestive gland was consistently more damaged than the gonad. Mussels from the most impacted sites endured the most significant deleterious effects showing inflammation-related alterations together with digestive tubule atrophy and necrosis. Neoplastic diseases were scarce, with only a few cases of fibromas (benign neoplasia). In contrast, in moderately or little impacted sites, contamination levels did not cause significant tissue damage. However, parasites contributed to overestimating the values of histopathological indices (i.e. more severe tissue damage) in mussels from little impacted sites, whilst the opposite occurred in mussels from highly polluted sites. Accordingly, inter-site differences were more pronounced in autumn when natural physiological responses of advanced maturation stages did not interfere in the histological response. In conclusion, although seasonal variability and parasitosis mask the response of histopathological indices, this biomonitoring approach may provide good sensitivity for assessing the health status of mussels if fluctuations

  13. Identifiability, exchangeability and confounding revisited

    PubMed Central

    Greenland, Sander; Robins, James M

    2009-01-01

    In 1986 the International Journal of Epidemiology published "Identifiability, Exchangeability and Epidemiological Confounding". We review the article from the perspective of a quarter century after it was first drafted and relate it to subsequent developments on confounding, ignorability, and collapsibility. PMID:19732410

  14. The effect of 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin chemotherapy on CpG methylation, or the confounding role of leukocyte heterogeneity: An illustration.

    PubMed

    Lemire, Mathieu; Zaidi, Syed H E; Zanke, Brent W; Gallinger, Steven; Hudson, Thomas J; Cleary, Sean P

    2015-12-01

    Blood-based epigenome-wide association studies that aim at comparing CpG methylation between colorectal cancer (CRC) patients and controls can lead to the discovery of diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers. Numerous confounders can lead to spurious associations. We aimed to see if 5-fluorouracil (5-FU)/leucovorin chemotherapy administered to cases prior to the collection of their blood has an effect on methylation. 304 patients who received treatment and 273 who did not were profiled on the HumanMethylation450 array. Association tests were adjusted for confounders, including proxies for leukocyte cell counts. There were substantial methylation differences between these two groups that vanished once the leukocyte heterogeneity was accounted for. We observed a significant decrease of T cells in the treatment group (CD4+: p=10(-6); CD8+: p=0.036) and significant increase of NK cells (p=0.05) and monocytes (p=0.0006). 5-FU/leucovorin has no effect on global and local blood-based methylation profiles, other than through differences in the leukocyte compositions that the treatment induced.

  15. Effectiveness of decanter modifications on organic removal

    SciTech Connect

    Lambert, D.P.

    1992-08-20

    A series of runs were planned in the Precipitate Hydrolysis Experimental Facility (PHEF) at the Savannah River Plant to determine the effectiveness of equipment and process modifications on the PHEF decanter organic removal efficiency. Runs 54-59 were planned to test the effectiveness of spray recirculation, a new decanter, heated organic recirculation and aqueous drawoff on organic removal efficiency in the revised HAN flowsheet. Runs 60-63 were planned to provide a comparison of the original and new decanter designs on organic removal efficiency in the late wash flowsheet without organic recirculation. Operational problems were experienced in both the PHEF and IDMS pilot facilities because of the production of high boiling organics and the low organic removal efficiency of the PHEF decanters. To prevent these problems in the DWPF Salt and Chemical Cells, modifications were proposed to the decanter and flowsheet to maximize the organic removal efficiency and minimize production of high boiling organics.

  16. The essence of linkage-based imprinting detection: Comparing power, type 1 error, and the effects of confounders in two different analysis approaches

    PubMed Central

    Greenberg, David A.; Monti, Maria Cristina; Feenstra, Bjarke; Zhang, Junying; Hodge, Susan E.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Background and goal The epigenetic phenomenon of imprinting is critical to understanding disease expression. However, it is hard to detect and can be species- and tissue-specific. One approach is to detect imprinting by taking advantage of linkage information. Although imprinting detection methods exist, the effects of potential confounders, such as heterogeneity, sex-specific penetrance, and differential sex-based ascertainment, have not been explored in depth. In this study we explored possible confounders using two different imprinting detection approaches. Our goal was to understand the essence of how imprinting and linkage interact and to elucidate the underlying issues in existing imprinting detection approaches. Methods One method (PP) models imprinting by maximizing lod scores with respect to parent-specific penetrances. The other method (DRF) approximates imprinting by maximizing two-point lods with respect to differential male-female recombination fractions. We compared power, type 1 error, and confounder effects in these two linkage-based imprinting detection methods using two-point linkage analysis for simplicity. We computer-simulated data, determining power and type 1 error for imprinting detection among datasets with detectable linkage. We generated data with and without imprinting, with and without heterogeneity, and with varying reduced penetrance, family and dataset size. We also examined non-imprinting situations that could mimic imprinting, e.g., sex-specific penetrances, and a scenario requiring a sex-specified affected parent for ascertainment. Results Without heterogeneity, PP had more imprinting-detecting power than DRF. Surprisingly, PP’s power increased when parental affectedness status was ignored, but decreased with heterogeneity. With heterogeneity, type 1 error could increase dramatically for both methods. However, DRF’s power also appeared to increase under heterogeneity, more than could be attributed to the inflated type

  17. Low resting metabolic rate is associated with greater lifespan because of a confounding effect of body fatness.

    PubMed

    Duarte, Luiza C; Speakman, John R

    2014-01-01

    A negative association between resting metabolic rate (RMR) and lifespan is the cornerstone of the rate of living and free-radical damage theories of aging. Empirical studies supporting a negative association of RMR to lifespan may arise from the correlation between RMR and both daily energy expenditure (DEE) and thermoregulatory activity energy expenditure (TAEE). We screened 540 female mice for higher and lower DEE and measured RMR in the resulting 324 (60 %). We then selected 92 mice in which there was no link between residual from the regression of RMR against body mass (BM) and residual of DEE against BM to separate the effects of these traits. Lifespan was not significantly related to body mass, DEE and TAEE, but significantly negatively related to RMR. Fat-free mass (FFM) and fat mass (FM) were both significantly positively related to RMR. After removing the effect of FFM on RMR, the association between RMR and lifespan remained significantly negative; however, after statistically removing the effect of FM on RMR, the significant association between RMR and lifespan disappeared. We conclude that the negative association between RMR and lifespan is primarily due to the effect of FM, with FM positively related to both RMR and mortality and hence RMR negatively to lifespan. In 40 additional screened mice, greater FM was also associated with greater oxidative damage to DNA. PMID:25502004

  18. Analysis of the effects of microbiome-related confounding factors on the reproducibility of the volatolomic test.

    PubMed

    Leja, Marcis; Amal, Haitham; Lasina, Ieva; Skapars, Roberts; Sivins, Armands; Ancans, Guntis; Tolmanis, Ivars; Vanags, Aigars; Kupcinskas, Juozas; Ramonaite, Rima; Khatib, Salam; Bdarneh, Shifaa; Natour, Rasha; Ashkar, Areen; Haick, Hossam

    2016-01-01

    Volatile organic compound (VOC) testing in breath has potential in gastric cancer (GC) detection. Our objective was to assess the reproducibility of VOCs in GC, and the effects of conditions modifying gut microbiome on the test results. Ten patients with GC were sampled for VOC over three consecutive days; 17 patients were sampled before and after H. pylori eradication therapy combined with a yeast probiotic; 61 patients were sampled before and after bowel cleansing (interventions affecting the microbiome). The samples were analyzed by: (1) gas chromatography linked to mass spectrometry (GC-MS), applying the non-parametric Wilcoxon test (level of significance p  <  0.05); (2) by cross-reactive nanoarrays combined with pattern recognition. Discriminant function analysis (DFA) was used to build the classification models; and leave-one-out cross-validation analysis was used to classify the findings. Exhaled VOCs profiles were stable for GC patients over a three day period. Alpha pinene (p  =  0.028) and ethyl acetate (p  =  0.030) increased after the antibiotic containing eradication regimen; acetone (p  =  0.0001) increased following bowel cleansing prior to colonoscopy. We further hypothesize that S. boulardii given with the standard eradication regimen to re-establish the gut microbiome was the source for long-term ethyl acetate production. Differences between the initial and the follow-up sample were also revealed in the DFA analysis of the sensor data. VOC measurement results are well-reproducible in GC patients indicating a useful basis for potential disease diagnostics. However, interventions with a potential effect on the gut microbiome may have an effect upon the VOC results, and therefore should be considered for diagnostic accuracy. PMID:27341527

  19. An empirical comparison of several clustered data approaches under confounding due to cluster effects in the analysis of complications of coronary angioplasty.

    PubMed

    Berlin, J A; Kimmel, S E; Ten Have, T R; Sammel, M D

    1999-06-01

    In the analysis of binary response data from many types of large studies, the data are likely to have arisen from multiple centers, resulting in a within-center correlation for the response. Such correlation, or clustering, occurs when outcomes within centers tend to be more similar to each other than to outcomes in other centers. In studies where there is also variability among centers with respect to the exposure of interest, analysis of the exposure-outcome association may be confounded, even after accounting for within-center correlations. We apply several analytic methods to compare the risk of major complications associated with two strategies, staged and combined procedures, for performing percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA), a mechanical means of relieving blockage of blood vessels due to atherosclerosis. Combined procedures are used in some centers as a cost-cutting strategy. We performed a number of population-averaged and cluster-specific (conditional) analyses, which (a) make no adjustments for center effects of any kind; (b) make adjustments for the effect of center on only the response; or (c) make adjustments for both the effect of center on the response and the relationship between center and exposure. The method used for this third approach decomposes the procedure type variable into within-center and among-center components, resulting in two odds ratio estimates. The naive analysis, ignoring clusters, gave a highly significant effect of procedure type (OR = 1.6). Population average models gave marginally to very nonsignificant estimates of the OR for treatment type ranging from 1.6 to 1.2 with adjustment only for the effect of centers on response. These results depended on the assumed correlation structure. Conditional (cluster-specific) models and other methods that decomposed the treatment type variable into among- and within-center components all found no within-center effect of procedure type (OR = 1.02, consistently) and a

  20. Interpretational Confounding or Confounded Interpretations of Causal Indicators?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bainter, Sierra A.; Bollen, Kenneth A.

    2014-01-01

    In measurement theory, causal indicators are controversial and little understood. Methodological disagreement concerning causal indicators has centered on the question of whether causal indicators are inherently sensitive to interpretational confounding, which occurs when the empirical meaning of a latent construct departs from the meaning…

  1. Assessing Sensitivity to Unmeasured Confounding Using a Simulated Potential Confounder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Carnegie, Nicole Bohme; Harada, Masataka; Hill, Jennifer L.

    2016-01-01

    A major obstacle to developing evidenced-based policy is the difficulty of implementing randomized experiments to answer all causal questions of interest. When using a nonexperimental study, it is critical to assess how much the results could be affected by unmeasured confounding. We present a set of graphical and numeric tools to explore the…

  2. Observed effects of “distributional learning” may not relate to the number of peaks. A test of “dispersion” as a confounding factor

    PubMed Central

    Wanrooij, Karin; Boersma, Paul; Benders, Titia

    2015-01-01

    Distributional learning of speech sounds is learning from simply being exposed to frequency distributions of speech sounds in one’s surroundings. In laboratory settings, the mechanism has been reported to be discernible already after a few minutes of exposure, in both infants and adults. These “effects of distributional training” have traditionally been attributed to the difference in the number of peaks between the experimental distribution (two peaks) and the control distribution (one or zero peaks). However, none of the earlier studies fully excluded a possibly confounding effect of the dispersion in the distributions. Additionally, some studies with a non-speech control condition did not control for a possible difference between processing speech and non-speech. The current study presents an experiment that corrects both imperfections. Spanish listeners were exposed to either a bimodal distribution encompassing the Dutch contrast /ɑ/∼/a/ or a unimodal distribution with the same dispersion. Before and after training, their accuracy of categorization of [ɑ]- and [a]-tokens was measured. A traditionally calculated p-value showed no significant difference in categorization improvement between bimodally and unimodally trained participants. Because of this null result, a Bayesian method was used to assess the odds in favor of the null hypothesis. Four different Bayes factors, each calculated on a different belief in the truth value of previously found effect sizes, indicated the absence of a difference between bimodally and unimodally trained participants. The implication is that “effects of distributional training” observed in the lab are not induced by the number of peaks in the distributions. PMID:26441719

  3. Effect Modification and Interaction Terms: It Takes Two to Tango.

    PubMed

    Jupiter, Daniel C

    2016-01-01

    In this Investigators' Corner I look more deeply into the previously discussed phenomenon of effect modification. I revisit an explanation and examples of the phenomenon and then examine how to account for it statistically. Specifically, I show, in detail, how to write a regression equation that includes interaction terms that account for the effect modification. Finally, I look at interpretation of regression coefficients both with and without the presence of effect modification, and the associated interaction terms.

  4. Effect Modification and Interaction Terms: It Takes Two to Tango.

    PubMed

    Jupiter, Daniel C

    2016-01-01

    In this Investigators' Corner I look more deeply into the previously discussed phenomenon of effect modification. I revisit an explanation and examples of the phenomenon and then examine how to account for it statistically. Specifically, I show, in detail, how to write a regression equation that includes interaction terms that account for the effect modification. Finally, I look at interpretation of regression coefficients both with and without the presence of effect modification, and the associated interaction terms. PMID:27320193

  5. Modeling confounding by half-sibling regression.

    PubMed

    Schölkopf, Bernhard; Hogg, David W; Wang, Dun; Foreman-Mackey, Daniel; Janzing, Dominik; Simon-Gabriel, Carl-Johann; Peters, Jonas

    2016-07-01

    We describe a method for removing the effect of confounders to reconstruct a latent quantity of interest. The method, referred to as "half-sibling regression," is inspired by recent work in causal inference using additive noise models. We provide a theoretical justification, discussing both independent and identically distributed as well as time series data, respectively, and illustrate the potential of the method in a challenging astronomy application. PMID:27382154

  6. Modeling confounding by half-sibling regression.

    PubMed

    Schölkopf, Bernhard; Hogg, David W; Wang, Dun; Foreman-Mackey, Daniel; Janzing, Dominik; Simon-Gabriel, Carl-Johann; Peters, Jonas

    2016-07-01

    We describe a method for removing the effect of confounders to reconstruct a latent quantity of interest. The method, referred to as "half-sibling regression," is inspired by recent work in causal inference using additive noise models. We provide a theoretical justification, discussing both independent and identically distributed as well as time series data, respectively, and illustrate the potential of the method in a challenging astronomy application.

  7. Modeling confounding by half-sibling regression

    PubMed Central

    Schölkopf, Bernhard; Hogg, David W.; Wang, Dun; Foreman-Mackey, Daniel; Janzing, Dominik; Simon-Gabriel, Carl-Johann; Peters, Jonas

    2016-01-01

    We describe a method for removing the effect of confounders to reconstruct a latent quantity of interest. The method, referred to as “half-sibling regression,” is inspired by recent work in causal inference using additive noise models. We provide a theoretical justification, discussing both independent and identically distributed as well as time series data, respectively, and illustrate the potential of the method in a challenging astronomy application. PMID:27382154

  8. Effect modification of ozone-related mortality risks by temperature in 97 US cities.

    PubMed

    Jhun, Iny; Fann, Neal; Zanobetti, Antonella; Hubbell, Bryan

    2014-12-01

    Many time-series studies have characterized the relationship between short-term ozone exposure and adverse health outcomes, controlling for temperature as a confounder. Temperature may also modify ozone effects, though this has been largely under-investigated. In this study, we explored whether temperature modifies the effect of short-term ozone exposure on mortality. We used the database developed for the National Morbidity and Mortality Air Pollution Study to estimate ozone mortality risks in 97 US cities in May through September, 1987-2000. We treated temperature as a confounder as well as an effect modifier by estimating risks at low, moderate, and high temperature categories. When temperature was treated as a confounder, a 10-ppb increase in daily 24-h ozone was associated with a 0.47% (95% CI: 0.19%-0.76%) increase in mortality. When we assessed effect modification by temperature, the interaction between ozone and temperature was not statistically significant. However, there was a U-shaped pattern in mortality risk, which was greater at the low (<25th percentile) and high (>75th percentile) temperature levels than moderate temperature levels. At the high temperature category, a 10% increase in AC prevalence mitigated mortality risk associated with 10-ppb of ozone exposure by -0.18% (95% CI: -0.35%, -0.02%). Furthermore, ozone mortality risk in the high temperature category increased as we restricted our analyses to hotter days. On days where temperatures exceeded the 75th, 90th, and 95th percentile temperatures, a 10-ppb increase in ozone was associated with a 0.65% (95% CI: 0.20%-1.09%), 0.83% (95% CI: 0.17%-1.48%), and 1.35% (95% CI: 0.44%-2.27%) increase in mortality, respectively. These results suggested that high temperatures may exacerbate physiological responses to short-term ozone exposure.

  9. Effect of site-specific modification on restriction endonucleases and DNA modification methyltransferases.

    PubMed Central

    McClelland, M; Nelson, M; Raschke, E

    1994-01-01

    Restriction endonucleases have site-specific interactions with DNA that can often be inhibited by site-specific DNA methylation and other site-specific DNA modifications. However, such inhibition cannot generally be predicted. The empirically acquired data on these effects are tabulated for over 320 restriction endonucleases. In addition, a table of known site-specific DNA modification methyltransferases and their specificities is presented along with EMBL database accession numbers for cloned genes. PMID:7937074

  10. Confounding factors to predict the awakening effect-site concentration of propofol in target-controlled infusion based on propofol and fentanyl anesthesia.

    PubMed

    Chan, Shun-Ming; Lee, Meei-Shyuan; Lu, Chueng-He; Cherng, Chen-Hwan; Huang, Yuan-Shiou; Yeh, Chun-Chang; Kuo, Chan-Yang; Wu, Zhi-Fu

    2015-01-01

    We conducted a large retrospective study to investigate the confounding factors that predict Ce ROC under propofol-based TIVA with TCI. We recorded sex, age, height, weight, Ce LOC, Ce ROC, total propofol and fentanyl consumption dose, and anesthetic time. Simple linear regression models were used to identify potential predictors of Ce ROC, and multiple linear regression models were used to identify the confounding predictors of Ce ROC. We found that Ce ROC correlated with age, sex, Ce LOC, and both total fentanyl and propofol consumption dose. The prediction formula was: Ce ROC = 0.87 - 0.06 × age + 0.18 × Ce LOC + 0.04 (if fentanyl consumption > 150 μg; if not, ignore this value) + 0.07 × (1 or 2, according to the total propofol consumption dose, 1 for a propofol amount 1000-2000 mg and 2 for a propofol amount > 2000 mg). We simplified the formula further as Ce ROC = 0.87 - 0.06 × age + 0.18 × Ce LOC. In conclusion, Ce ROC can be predicted under TCI with propofol- and fentanyl-based TIVA. The confounding factors that predicted propofol Ce ROC are age, sex, Ce LOC, and total consumption dose of propofol and fentanyl.

  11. Environmental confounding in gene-environment interaction studies.

    PubMed

    Vanderweele, Tyler J; Ko, Yi-An; Mukherjee, Bhramar

    2013-07-01

    We show that, in the presence of uncontrolled environmental confounding, joint tests for the presence of a main genetic effect and gene-environment interaction will be biased if the genetic and environmental factors are correlated, even if there is no effect of either the genetic factor or the environmental factor on the disease. When environmental confounding is ignored, such tests will in fact reject the joint null of no genetic effect with a probability that tends to 1 as the sample size increases. This problem with the joint test vanishes under gene-environment independence, but it still persists if estimating the gene-environment interaction parameter itself is of interest. Uncontrolled environmental confounding will bias estimates of gene-environment interaction parameters even under gene-environment independence, but it will not do so if the unmeasured confounding variable itself does not interact with the genetic factor. Under gene-environment independence, if the interaction parameter without controlling for the environmental confounder is nonzero, then there is gene-environment interaction either between the genetic factor and the environmental factor of interest or between the genetic factor and the unmeasured environmental confounder. We evaluate several recently proposed joint tests in a simulation study and discuss the implications of these results for the conduct of gene-environment interaction studies.

  12. The ACCE method: an approach for obtaining quantitative or qualitative estimates of residual confounding that includes unmeasured confounding

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Eric G.

    2015-01-01

    Background:  Nonrandomized studies typically cannot account for confounding from unmeasured factors.  Method:  A method is presented that exploits the recently-identified phenomenon of  “confounding amplification” to produce, in principle, a quantitative estimate of total residual confounding resulting from both measured and unmeasured factors.  Two nested propensity score models are constructed that differ only in the deliberate introduction of an additional variable(s) that substantially predicts treatment exposure.  Residual confounding is then estimated by dividing the change in treatment effect estimate between models by the degree of confounding amplification estimated to occur, adjusting for any association between the additional variable(s) and outcome. Results:  Several hypothetical examples are provided to illustrate how the method produces a quantitative estimate of residual confounding if the method’s requirements and assumptions are met.  Previously published data is used to illustrate that, whether or not the method routinely provides precise quantitative estimates of residual confounding, the method appears to produce a valuable qualitative estimate of the likely direction and general size of residual confounding. Limitations:  Uncertainties exist, including identifying the best approaches for: 1) predicting the amount of confounding amplification, 2) minimizing changes between the nested models unrelated to confounding amplification, 3) adjusting for the association of the introduced variable(s) with outcome, and 4) deriving confidence intervals for the method’s estimates (although bootstrapping is one plausible approach). Conclusions:  To this author’s knowledge, it has not been previously suggested that the phenomenon of confounding amplification, if such amplification is as predictable as suggested by a recent simulation, provides a logical basis for estimating total residual confounding. The method's basic approach is

  13. The effect of ageing on fMRI: Correction for the confounding effects of vascular reactivity evaluated by joint fMRI and MEG in 335 adults

    PubMed Central

    Henson, Richard N. A.; Tyler, Lorraine K.; Davis, Simon W.; Shafto, Meredith A.; Taylor, Jason R.; Williams, Nitin; Cam‐CAN; Rowe, James B.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract In functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) research one is typically interested in neural activity. However, the blood‐oxygenation level‐dependent (BOLD) signal is a composite of both neural and vascular activity. As factors such as age or medication may alter vascular function, it is essential to account for changes in neurovascular coupling when investigating neurocognitive functioning with fMRI. The resting‐state fluctuation amplitude (RSFA) in the fMRI signal (rsfMRI) has been proposed as an index of vascular reactivity. The RSFA compares favourably with other techniques such as breath‐hold and hypercapnia, but the latter are more difficult to perform in some populations, such as older adults. The RSFA is therefore a candidate for use in adjusting for age‐related changes in vascular reactivity in fMRI studies. The use of RSFA is predicated on its sensitivity to vascular rather than neural factors; however, the extent to which each of these factors contributes to RSFA remains to be characterized. The present work addressed these issues by comparing RSFA (i.e., rsfMRI variability) to proxy measures of (i) cardiovascular function in terms of heart rate (HR) and heart rate variability (HRV) and (ii) neural activity in terms of resting state magnetoencephalography (rsMEG). We derived summary scores of RSFA, a sensorimotor task BOLD activation, cardiovascular function and rsMEG variability for 335 healthy older adults in the population‐based Cambridge Centre for Ageing and Neuroscience cohort (Cam‐CAN; www.cam-can.com). Mediation analysis revealed that the effects of ageing on RSFA were significantly mediated by vascular factors, but importantly not by the variability in neuronal activity. Furthermore, the converse effects of ageing on the rsMEG variability were not mediated by vascular factors. We then examined the effect of RSFA scaling of task‐based BOLD in the sensorimotor task. The scaling analysis revealed that much of the effects

  14. Disparity modifications and the emotional effects of stereoscopic images

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawai, Takashi; Atsuta, Daiki; Tomiyama, Yuya; Kim, Sanghyun; Morikawa, Hiroyuki; Mitsuya, Reiko; Häkkinen, Jukka

    2014-03-01

    This paper describes a study that focuses on disparity changes in emotional scenes of stereoscopic (3D) images, in which an examination of the effects on pleasant and arousal was carried out by adding binocular disparity to 2D images that evoke specific emotions, and applying disparity modification based on the disparity analysis of famous 3D movies. From the results of the experiment, for pleasant, a significant difference was found only for the main effect of the emotions. On the other hand, for arousal, there was a trend of increasing the evaluation values in the order 2D condition, 3D condition and 3D condition applied the disparity modification for happiness, surprise, and fear. This suggests the possibility that binocular disparity and the modification affect arousal.

  15. Learner Interaction Using Email: The Effects of Task Modification

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Knight, Paul

    2005-01-01

    This paper outlines the findings of a research project studying the effects of task modification on learner interaction when using email. Taking as its starting point interactionalist theories of SLA, it argues that if those interactional features characteristic of negotiation of meaning which have been identified as promoting SLA are to be…

  16. Methodological problems with population cancer studies: The forgotten confounding factors

    PubMed Central

    Blaylock, Russell L.

    2015-01-01

    Among clinical physicians it is the population study that is considered to be the “gold standard” of medical evidence concerning acceptable treatments. As new information comes to light concerning the many variables and confounding factors that can affect such studies, many older studies lose much of their original impact. While newer population studies take into consideration a far greater number of confounding factors many are still omitted and a number of these omitted factors can have profound effects on interpretation and validity of the study. In this editorial, I will discuss some of the omitted confounding factors and demonstrate how they can alter the interpretation of these papers and their clinical application. PMID:26097772

  17. Effects of aluminium surface morphology and chemical modification on wettability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahimi, M.; Fojan, P.; Gurevich, L.; Afshari, A.

    2014-03-01

    Aluminium alloys are some of the predominant metals in industrial applications such as production of heat exchangers, heat pumps. They have high heat conductivity coupled with a low specific weight. In cold working conditions, there is a risk of frost formation on the surface of aluminium in the presence of water vapour, which can lead to the deterioration of equipment performance. This work addresses the methods of surface modification of aluminium and their effect of the underlying surface morphology and wettability, which are the important parameters for frost formation. Three groups of real-life aluminium surfaces of different morphology: unpolished aluminium, polished aluminium, and aluminium foil, were subjected to surface modification procedures which involved the formation of a layer of hydrophilic hyperbranched polyethyleneglycol via in situ polymerization, molecular vapour deposition of a monolayer of fluorinated silane, and a combination of those. The effect of these surface modification techniques on roughness and wettability of the aluminium surfaces was elucidated by ellipsometry, contact angle measurements and atomic force microscopy. We demonstrated that by employing different types of surface modifications the contact angle of water droplets on aluminium samples can be varied from 12° to more than 120°. A crossover from Cassie-Baxter to Wenzel regime upon changing the surface roughness was also observed.

  18. Still another confounded face in the crowd.

    PubMed

    Purcell, Dean G; Stewart, Alan L

    2010-11-01

    Experiments using schematic faces developed by Öhman (Öhman, Lundqvist, & Esteves, 2001) seem to document an anger-superiority effect, although we have come to question these experiments. Our work shows that the low-level features of these schematic faces interact with the face's surround to produce effects that have been attributed to facial affect. Using relatively neutral faces that preserved the feature and surround spatial relationships of angry and happy schematic faces, we produced reaction times (RTs) that were indistinguishable from those found with angry and happy faces. We also found that the target face's position within the crowd determined the magnitude of the advantage for angry faces as well as for relatively affect-neutral faces. Removing the facial surround reduces the advantage for angry faces, largely by improving performance on happy faces. There was an apparent small advantage for angry features without a surround. Öhman faces avoid the problems associated with modified grayscale faces only to introduce an equally troubling confound.

  19. Estimation of Indirect Effects in the Presence of Unmeasured Confounding for the Mediator-Outcome Relationship in a Multilevel 2-1-1 Mediation Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Talloen, Wouter; Moerkerke, Beatrijs; Loeys, Tom; De Naeghel, Jessie; Van Keer, Hilde; Vansteelandt, Stijn

    2016-01-01

    To assess the direct and indirect effect of an intervention, multilevel 2-1-1 studies with intervention randomized at the upper (class) level and mediator and outcome measured at the lower (student) level are frequently used in educational research. In such studies, the mediation process may flow through the student-level mediator (the within…

  20. The effects of inlet flow modification on cavitating inducer performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Del Valle, J.; Braisted, D. M.; Brennen, C. E.

    1992-01-01

    This paper explores the effect of inlet flow modification on the cavitating and noncavitating performance of two cavitating inducers, one of simple helical design and the other a model of the low-pressure LOX pump in the Space Shuttle Main Engine. The modifications were generated by sections of honeycomb, both uniform and nonuniform. Significant improvement in the performance over a wide range of flow coefficients resulted from the use of either honeycomb section. Measurements of the axial and swirl velocity profiles of the flows entering the inducers were made in order to try to understand the nature of the inlet flow and the manner in which it is modified by the honeycomb sections.

  1. Ultrafast transient absorption spectrum of the room temperature Ionic liquid 1-hexyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide: Confounding effects of photo-degradation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Musat, Raluca M.; Crowell, Robert A.; Polyanskiy, Dmitriy E.; Thomas, Marie F.; Wishart, James F.; Katsumura, Yosuke; Takahashi, Kenji

    2015-12-01

    The photochemistry of the charge transfer (CT) band of the room temperature ionic liquid (RTIL) 1-hexyl-3-methylimidazolium bromide (HMIm+/Br-) is investigated using near-IR to vis ultrafast transient absorption (TA) and steady-state UV absorption spectroscopies. Continuous irradiation of the CT band at 266 nm results in the formation of photo-products that absorb strongly at 266 nm. It is shown that these photo-products, which are apparently very stable, adversely affect ultrafast TA measurements. Elimination of these effects reveals at least two transient species that exist within the TA detection window of 100 fs to 3 ns and 500-1250 nm. One of the components is a short-lived (<1 ps) species that absorbs at 1080 nm. The second band exhibits a multicomponent spectrum that is very broad with an absorption maximum around 600 nm and a lifetime that is longer than the 3 ns window of our TA spectrometer. Within the signal to noise ratio of the TA spectrometer little to no solvated electron is generated by the CT mechanism.

  2. A flexible, interpretable framework for assessing sensitivity to unmeasured confounding.

    PubMed

    Dorie, Vincent; Harada, Masataka; Carnegie, Nicole Bohme; Hill, Jennifer

    2016-09-10

    When estimating causal effects, unmeasured confounding and model misspecification are both potential sources of bias. We propose a method to simultaneously address both issues in the form of a semi-parametric sensitivity analysis. In particular, our approach incorporates Bayesian Additive Regression Trees into a two-parameter sensitivity analysis strategy that assesses sensitivity of posterior distributions of treatment effects to choices of sensitivity parameters. This results in an easily interpretable framework for testing for the impact of an unmeasured confounder that also limits the number of modeling assumptions. We evaluate our approach in a large-scale simulation setting and with high blood pressure data taken from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The model is implemented as open-source software, integrated into the treatSens package for the R statistical programming language. © 2016 The Authors. Statistics in Medicine Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. PMID:27139250

  3. Ecological Effects of Weather Modification: A Problem Analysis.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cooper, Charles F.; Jolly, William C.

    This publication reviews the potential hazards to the environment of weather modification techniques as they eventually become capable of producing large scale weather pattern modifications. Such weather modifications could result in ecological changes which would generally require several years to be fully evident, including the alteration of…

  4. Resting-state FMRI confounds and cleanup

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, Kevin; Birn, Rasmus M.; Bandettini, Peter A.

    2013-01-01

    The goal of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) is to investigate the brain’s functional connections by using the temporal similarity between blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signals in different regions of the brain “at rest” as an indicator of synchronous neural activity. Since this measure relies on the temporal correlation of FMRI signal changes between different parts of the brain, any non-neural activity-related process that affects the signals will influence the measure of functional connectivity, yielding spurious results. To understand the sources of these resting-state FMRI confounds, this article describes the origins of the BOLD signal in terms of MR physics and cerebral physiology. Potential confounds arising from motion, cardiac and respiratory cycles, arterial CO2 concentration, blood pressure/cerebral autoregulation, and vasomotion are discussed. Two classes of techniques to remove confounds from resting-state BOLD time series are reviewed: 1) those utilising external recordings of physiology and 2) data-based cleanup methods that only use the resting-state FMRI data itself. Further methods that remove noise from functional connectivity measures at a group level are also discussed. For successful interpretation of resting-state FMRI comparisons and results, noise cleanup is an often over-looked but essential step in the analysis pipeline. PMID:23571418

  5. Structural confounding of area-level deprivation and segreation: an empirical example

    EPA Science Inventory

    The neighborhood effects literature has grown, but its utility is limited by the lack of attention paid to non-random selection into neighborhoods. Confounding occurs when an exposure and an outcome share an underlying common cause. Confounding resulting from differential allocat...

  6. Modifications of the Schwarzschild null geodesics in effective field theories

    SciTech Connect

    Ahmadi, N.

    2009-12-15

    In this paper the dynamics of Schwarzschild null geodesics in the context of low-energy effective field theories incorporating some interactions violating the equivalence principle is examined. Nonperturbed geodesics are expressed in terms of a convenient set of constants called orbital elements. The modifications introduced by the effective interactions are treated as small perturbations, then the method of variation of parameters is employed to find the evolution of the orbital elements for the true worldlines. We next focus our discussion on the geometry of nondispersive photon orbits and highlight the importance of different orbital elements in long-term change of the orbit. This calculation shows that nondispersive forces acting on null geodesics drive a secular growth of the positional elements. As an application of our results we examine the evolution of mean orbital elements in the semiclassical theory of quantum gravitational optics and show that the averaged correction terms are within the range of the uncertainty principle.

  7. Air pollutants and health outcomes: Assessment of confounding by influenza

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thach, Thuan-Quoc; Wong, Chit-Ming; Chan, King-Pan; Chau, Yuen-Kwan; Neil Thomas, G.; Ou, Chun-Quan; Yang, Lin; Peiris, Joseph S. M.; Lam, Tai-Hing; Hedley, Anthony J.

    2010-04-01

    We assessed confounding of associations between short-term effects of air pollution and health outcomes by influenza using Hong Kong mortality and hospitalization data for 1996-2002. Three measures of influenza were defined: (i) intensity: weekly proportion of positive influenza viruses, (ii) epidemic: weekly number of positive influenza viruses ≥4% of the annual number for ≥2 consecutive weeks, and (iii) predominance: an epidemic period with co-circulation of respiratory syncytial virus <2% of the annual positive isolates for ≥2 consecutive weeks. We examined effects of influenza on associations between nitrogen dioxide (NO 2), sulfur dioxide (SO 2), particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter ≤10 μm (PM 10) and ozone (O 3) and health outcomes including all natural causes mortality, cardiorespiratory mortality and hospitalization. Generalized additive Poisson regression model with natural cubic splines was fitted to control for time-varying covariates to estimate air pollution health effects. Confounding with influenza was assessed using an absolute difference of >0.1% between unadjusted and adjusted excess risks (ER%). Without adjustment, pollutants were associated with positive ER% for all health outcomes except asthma and stroke hospitalization with SO 2 and stroke hospitalization with O 3. Following adjustment, changes in ER% for all pollutants were <0.1% for all natural causes mortality, but >0.1% for mortality from stroke with NO 2 and SO 2, cardiac or heart disease with NO 2, PM 10 and O 3, lower respiratory infections with NO 2 and O 3 and mortality from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease with all pollutants. Changes >0.1% were seen for acute respiratory disease hospitalization with NO 2, SO 2 and O 3 and acute lower respiratory infections hospitalization with PM 10. Generally, influenza does not confound the observed associations of air pollutants with all natural causes mortality and cardiovascular hospitalization, but for some pollutants

  8. Effects of Lifestyle Modification Programs on Cardiac Risk Factors

    PubMed Central

    Razavi, Moaven; Fournier, Stephen; Shepard, Donald S.; Ritter, Grant; Strickler, Gail K.; Stason, William B.

    2014-01-01

    Medicare conducted a payment demonstration to evaluate the effectiveness of two intensive lifestyle modification programs in patients with symptomatic coronary artery disease: the Dr. Dean Ornish Program for Reversing Heart Disease (Ornish) and Cardiac Wellness Program of the Benson-Henry Mind Body Institute. This report describes the changes in cardiac risk factors achieved by each program during the active intervention year and subsequent year of follow-up. The demonstration enrolled 580 participants who had had an acute myocardial infarction, had undergone coronary artery bypass graft surgery or percutaneous coronary intervention within 12 months, or had documented stable angina pectoris. Of these, 98% completed the intense 3-month intervention, 71% the 12-month intervention, and 56% an additional follow-up year. Most cardiac risk factors improved significantly during the intense intervention period in both programs. Favorable changes in cardiac risk factors and functional cardiac capacity were maintained or improved further at 12 and 24 months in participants with active follow-up. Multivariable regressions found that risk-factor improvements were positively associated with abnormal baseline values, Ornish program participation for body mass index and systolic blood pressure, and with coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Expressed levels of motivation to lose weight and maintain weight loss were significant independent predictors of sustained weight loss (p = 0.006). Both lifestyle modification programs achieved well-sustained reductions in cardiac risk factors. PMID:25490202

  9. Effect of thermal modification on rheological properties of polyethylene blends

    SciTech Connect

    Siriprumpoonthum, Monchai; Nobukawa, Shogo; Yamaguchi, Masayuki; Satoh, Yasuo; Sasaki, Hiroko

    2014-03-15

    We examined the effects of thermal modification under flow field on the rheological properties of linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) with high molecular weight, low-density polyethylene (LDPE), and their blends, without thermal stabilizer. Although structural changes during processing are not detected by size extrusion chromatography or nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, linear viscoelastic properties changed greatly, especially for the LLDPE. A cross-linking reaction took place, leading to, presumably, star-shaped long-chain branches. Consequently, the modified LLDPE, having high zero-shear viscosity, became a thermorheologically complex melt. Moreover, it should be noted that the drawdown force, defined as the uniaxial elongational force at a constant draw ratio, was significantly enhanced for the blends. Enhancement of elongational viscosity was also detected. The drawdown force and elongational viscosity are marked for the thermally modified blend as compared with those for the blend of thermally modified pure components. Intermolecular cross-linking reactions between LDPE and LLDPE, yielding polymers with more than two branch points per chain, result in marked strain-hardening in the elongational viscosity behavior even at small strain. The recovery curve of the oscillatory modulus after the shear modification is further evidence of a branched structure.

  10. Confounding of the Comparative Safety of Prenatal Opioid Agonist Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Brogly, Susan B; Hahn, Kristen A; Diaz, Sonia Hernandez; Werler, Martha

    2016-01-01

    Prenatal opioid agonist therapy with methadone or buprenorphine prevents maternal illicit opioid use and withdrawal and improves pregnancy outcomes compared to heroin use alone. Historically, methadone has been the first-line opioid agonist therapy for pregnant opioid dependent women; in recent years buprenorphine has become first-line treatment for some opioid dependent pregnant women. While there is some evidence of better outcomes in neonates exposed to buprenorphine vs. methadone, the effect of confounding from differences in women who use buprenorphine and methadone has not been carefully examined in most studies. This review explores mechanisms by which confounding can arise in measuring associations between prenatal buprenorphine vs. methadone exposure on neonatal outcomes using a graphical approach, directed acyclic graphs. The goal of this paper is to facilitate better understanding of the factors influencing neonatal abstinence syndrome and accurate assessment of the comparative safety of opioid agonist therapies on the neonate. PMID:27547489

  11. Confounding and heterogeneity in genetic association studies with admixed populations.

    PubMed

    Liu, Jinghua; Lewinger, Juan Pablo; Gilliland, Frank D; Gauderman, W James; Conti, David V

    2013-02-15

    Association studies among admixed populations pose many challenges including confounding of genetic effects due to population substructure and heterogeneity due to different patterns of linkage disequilibrium (LD). We use simulations to investigate controlling for confounding by indicators of global ancestry and the impact of including a covariate for local ancestry. In addition, we investigate the use of an interaction term between a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and local ancestry to capture heterogeneity in SNP effects. Although adjustment for global ancestry can control for confounding, additional adjustment for local ancestry may increase power when the induced admixture LD is in the opposite direction as the LD in the ancestral population. However, if the induced LD is in the same direction, there is the potential for reduced power because of overadjustment. Furthermore, the inclusion of a SNP by local ancestry interaction term can increase power when there is substantial differential LD between ancestry populations. We examine these approaches in genome-wide data using the University of Southern California's Children's Health Study investigating asthma risk. The analysis highlights rs10519951 (P = 8.5 × 10(-7)), a SNP lacking any evidence of association from a conventional analysis (P = 0.5).

  12. Possible confounding factors on cerebral diffusion tensor imaging measurements

    PubMed Central

    Nenonen, Miina; Hakulinen, Ullamari; Brander, Antti; Ohman, Juha; Dastidar, Prasun

    2015-01-01

    Background Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is prone to numerous systemic confounding factors that should be acknowledged to avoid false conclusions. Purpose To investigate the possible effects of age, gender, smoking, alcohol consumption, and education on cerebral DTI parameters in a generally healthy homogenous sample with no neurological or psychiatric diseases. Material and Methods Forty (n = 40) subjects (mean age, 40.3 years; SD, 12.3) underwent brain DTI with 3 T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). At enrolment, all the subjects were interviewed with respect to general health, education, history of smoking, and alcohol consumption. Studied DTI parameters included: (i) fractional anisotropy (FA); and (ii) apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC). Region-of-interest (ROI)-based measurements were estimated at 13 anatomical locations bilaterally on the axial images, except for the corpus callosum in which the ROIs were placed on the sagittal images. Circular ROI measurements were mainly used. Freehand ROI method was used with the forceps minor, uncinate fasciculus, and thalamus. Intra-observer variability and repeatability were assessed. Results The most consistent finding was that aging decreased FA values in the frontal brain regions. Regarding the other confounding factors, the results were discontinuous and no concrete conclusions could be drawn from these findings. In general, intra-observer repeatability of the DTI measurement was considered relatively good. Conclusion Age should be noted as considerable confounding factors in ROI-based DTI analysis. More research on the effects of gender, smoking, alcohol consumption, and education is needed. PMID:25793107

  13. PM2.5 and survival among older adults: Effect modification by particulate composition

    PubMed Central

    Kioumourtzoglou, Marianthi-Anna; Austin, Elena; Koutrakis, Petros; Dominici, Francesca; Schwartz, Joel; Zanobetti, Antonella

    2015-01-01

    Background Fine particulate (PM2.5) air pollution has been consistently linked to survival, but reported effect estimates are geographically heterogeneous. Exposure to different types of particle mixtures may explain some of this variation. Methods We used k-means cluster analyses to identify cities with similar pollution profiles, (i.e. PM2.5 composition) across the US. We examined the impact of PM2.5 on survival, and its variation across clusters of cities with similar PM2.5 composition, among Medicare enrollees in 81 US cities (2000–2010). We used time-varying annual PM2.5 averages, measured at ambient central monitoring sites, as the exposure of interest. We ran by-city Cox models, adjusting for individual data on previous cardiopulmonary-related hospitalizations and stratifying by follow-up time, age, gender and race. This eliminates confounding by factors varying across cities and long-term trends, focusing on year-to-year variations of air pollution around its city-specific mean and trend. We then pooled the city-specific effects using a random effects meta-regression. In this second stage, we also assessed effect modification by cluster membership and estimated cluster-specific PM2.5 effects. Results We followed more than 19 million subjects and observed more than 6 million deaths. We found a harmful impact of annual PM2.5 concentrations on survival (HR = 1.11 [95% confidence interval = 1.01–1.23] per 10 µg/m3). This effect was modified by particulate composition, with higher effects observed in clusters containing high concentrations of nickel, vanadium and sulfate. For instance, our highest effect estimate was observed in cities with harbors in the Northwest, characterized by high nickel, vanadium and elemental carbon concentrations (1.9 [1.1–3.3]). We observed null or negative associations in clusters with high oceanic and crustal particles. Conclusions To our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the association between PM2.5 composition

  14. [Bias and confounding: pharmacoepidemiological study using administrative database].

    PubMed

    Nojiri, Shuko

    2015-01-01

    The provision of health care frequently creates digitalized data such as hospital-based electronic data, medication prescription records, and claims data collectively termed "administrative database research". The data source and analytical opportunities for study create risks that can lead to misinterpretation or bias the results. This review serves as an introduction to the concept of bias and confounding to help researchers conduct methodologically sound pharmacoepidemiologic research projects using administrative databases. Beyond general considerations for observational study, there are several unique issues related to database research that should be addressed. The risks of uninterpretable or biased results can be minimized by: providing a robust description of the data tables used; focusing on why and how they were created; measuring and reporting the accuracy of diagnostic and procedural codes used; and properly accounting for any time-dependent nature of variables. The hallmark of good research is rigorously careful analysis and interpretation. The promise for value of real world evidence using databases in medical decision making must be balanced against concerns related to observational inherited limitations for bias and confounding. Researchers should aim to avoid bias in the design of a study, adjust for confounding, and discuss the effects of residual bias on the results. PMID:26028416

  15. Effect of chemical modifications on allergenic potency of peanut proteins

    PubMed Central

    Bencharitiwong, Ramon; van der Kleij, Hanneke P.M.; Koppelman, Stef J.

    2015-01-01

    Background: Modification of native peanut extracts could reduce adverse effects of peanut immunotherapy. Objective: We sought to compare native and chemically modified crude peanut extract (CPE) and major peanut allergens Ara h 2 and Ara h 6 in a mediator-release assay based on the rat basophilic leukemia (RBL) cell line transfected with human Fcε receptor. Methods: Native Ara h 2/6 was reduced and alkylated (RA), with or without additional glutaraldehyde treatment (RAGA). CPE was reduced and alkylated. Sera of subjects with peanut allergy (16 males; median age 7 years) were used for overnight RBL-passive sensitization. Cells were stimulated with 0.1 pg/mL to 10 μg/mL of peanut. β-N-acetylhexosaminidase release (NHR) was used as a marker of RBL degranulation, expressed as a percentage of total degranulation caused by Triton X. Results: Median peanut-specific immunoglobulin E was 233 kUA/L. Nineteen subjects were responders, NHR ≥ 10% in the mediator release assay. Responders had reduced NHR by RA and RAGA compared with the native Ara h 2/6. Modification resulted in a later onset of activation by 10- to 100-fold in concentration and a lowering of the maximum release. Modified RA-Ara h 2/6 and RAGA-Ara h 2/6 caused significantly lower maximum mediator release than native Ara h 2/6, at protein concentrations 0.1, 1, and 10 ng/mL (p < 0.001, < 0.001, and < 0.001, respectively, for RA; and < 0.001, 0.026, and 0.041, respectively, for RAGA). RA-CPE caused significantly lower maximum NHR than native CPE, at protein concentration 1 ng/mL (p < 0.001) and 10 ng/mL (p < 0.002). Responders had high rAra h 2 immunoglobulin E (mean, 61.1 kUA/L; p < 0.001) and higher NHR in mediator release assay to native Ara h 2/6 than CPE, which indicates that Ara h 2/6 were the most relevant peanut allergens in these responders. Conclusions: Chemical modification of purified native Ara h 2 and Ara h 6 reduced mediator release in an in vitro assay ∼100-fold, which indicates decreased

  16. A method for assessing the potential for confounding applied to ionic strength in central Appalachian streams.

    PubMed

    Suter, Glenn W; Cormier, Susan M

    2013-02-01

    Causal relationships derived from field data are potentially confounded by variables that are correlated with both the cause and its effect. The present study presents a method for assessing the potential for confounding and applies it to the relationship between ionic strength and impairment of benthic invertebrate assemblages in central Appalachian streams. The method weighs all available evidence for and against confounding by each potential confounder. It identifies 10 types of evidence for confounding, presents a qualitative scoring system, and provides rules for applying the scores. Twelve potential confounders were evaluated: habitat, organic enrichment, nutrients, deposited sediments, pH, selenium, temperature, lack of headwaters, catchment area, settling ponds, dissolved oxygen, and metals. One potential confounder, low pH, was found to be biologically significant and eliminated by removing sites with pH < 6. Other potential confounders were eliminated based on the weight of evidence. This method was found to be useful and defensible. It could be applied to other environmental assessments that use field data to develop causal relationships, including contaminated site remediation or management of natural resources.

  17. Bed Sharing, SIDS Research, and the Concept of Confounding: A Review for Public Health Nurses.

    PubMed

    Keys, Elizabeth M; Rankin, James A

    2015-01-01

    Confounding is an important concept for public health nurses (PHNs) to understand when considering the results of epidemiological research. The term confounding is derived from Latin, confundere, which means to "mix-up" or "mix together". Epidemiologists attempt to derive a cause and effect relationship between two variables traditionally known as the exposure and disease (e.g., smoking and lung cancer). Confounding occurs when a third factor, known as a confounder, leads to an over- or underestimate of the magnitude of the association between the exposure and disease. An understanding of confounding will facilitate critical appraisal of epidemiological research findings. This knowledge will enable PHNs to strengthen their evidence-based practice and better prepare them for policy development and implementation. In recent years, researchers and clinicians have examined the relationship between bed sharing and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). The discussion regarding the risk of bed sharing and SIDS provides ample opportunity to discuss the various aspects of confounding. The purpose of this article is to use the bed sharing and SIDS literature to assist PHNs to understand confounding and to apply this knowledge when appraising epidemiological research. In addition, strategies that are used to control confounding are discussed.

  18. Stability studies of plasma modification effects of polylactide and polycaprolactone surface layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moraczewski, Krzysztof; Stepczyńska, Magdalena; Malinowski, Rafał; Rytlewski, Piotr; Jagodziński, Bartłomiej; Żenkiewicz, Marian

    2016-07-01

    The article presents results of research on the stability of oxygen plasma modification effects of polylactide and polycaprolactone surface layers. The modified samples were aged for three, six or nine weeks. The studies were carried out using scanning electron microscopy, goniometry and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Studies have shown that the plasma modification has significant impact on the geometric structure and chemical composition of the surface, wettability and surface energy of tested polymers. The modification effects are not permanent. It has been observed that over time the effects of plasma modification fade. Studies have shown that modifying effect lasts longer in the case of polycaprolactone.

  19. The Effects of Group Reinforcement in Classroom Behaviour Modification

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tsoi, Mona M.; Yule, W.

    1976-01-01

    An investigation into two forms of group reinforcement techniques in control of disruptive classroom behavior is described. Implications of results on behavior modification in the natural environment are discussed, as well as future research and educational trends. (Author/AV)

  20. Modification of global erythemally effective irradiance by clouds.

    PubMed

    Thiel, S; Steiner, K; Seidlitz, H K

    1997-06-01

    The role clouds play in the modification of global radiation is still a major uncertainty in the risk assessment of UV effects on ecological systems and human health. This study presents cloud transmission data obtained from measurements with Robertson-Berger meters and simultaneous cloud observations. The global transmission of erythemally weighted irradiance depends strongly on cloud amount and can be described by a cubic function. The comparison with results derived from long-term records of total global irradiance indicates no statistically significant difference between the attenuation of erythemal and total global radiation. The large variance of data results from lumping together data from different cloud types. Classification of data according to cloud forms yields a more satisfactory fit. The coefficient of the cubic term characterizes the ability of various cloud forms to attenuate UV radiation. It varies between 0.4 for high clouds and approximately 1.0 for cumulonimbus. This attenuation parameter allows a quantitative description of the cloud influence on irradiance and therefore a more accurate risk assessment.

  1. Effectiveness of cognitive mediation and behaviour modification with hospitalized hyperactives.

    PubMed

    Konstantareas, M M; Homatidis, S

    1983-10-01

    This study examined the efficacy of behaviour modification and cognitive mediation in treating two groups of hyperactive boys in day treatment. The study marks a departure from other research in two main areas: a) the severity of the children's symptomatology was such that it necessitated their removal from school; b) the interventions employed were intensive and of long duration (10 months), as opposed to the brief, short-term efforts commonly reported. Multiple outcome measures were employed to assess the effectiveness of each of the behavioural treatments. The children were administered a battery of tests shortly after their admission and again prior to discharge, 10 months later. Six main areas, considered relevant to the syndrome of hyperactivity, were tapped. These were: impulsivity, motor activity, sustained attention, self-concept, field-dependence/independence, and an overall hyperactivity rating independently assessed by a clinician. Results indicated that the two groups of children made comparable gains in each of the main areas studied. Moreover, the children of both groups were considered sufficiently improved by their clinical team to be discharged back to the regular school system.

  2. Parenting Practices at 24 to 47 Months and IQ at Age 8: Effect-Measure Modification by Infant Temperament.

    PubMed

    Chong, Shiau Yun; Chittleborough, Catherine R; Gregory, Tess; Mittinty, Murthy N; Lynch, John W; Smithers, Lisa G

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive development might be influenced by parenting practices and child temperament. We examined whether the associations between parental warmth, control and intelligence quotient (IQ) may be heightened among children in difficult temperament. Participants were from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (n = 7,044). Temperament at 6 months was measured using the Revised Infant Temperament Questionnaire and classified into 'easy' and 'difficult'. Parental warmth and control was measured at 24 to 47 months and both were classified into 2 groups using latent class analyses. IQ was measured at 8 years using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children and dichotomized (<85 and ≥85) for analyzing effect-measure modification by temperament. Linear regression adjusted for multiple confounders and temperament showed lower parental warmth was weakly associated with lower IQ score [β = -0.52 (95% CI 1.26, 0.21)], and higher parental control was associated with lower IQ score [β = -2.21 (-2.95, -1.48)]. Stratification by temperament showed no increased risk of having low IQ in temperamentally difficult children [risk ratio (RR) = 0.97 95% CI 0.65, 1.45)] but an increased risk among temperamentally easy children (RR = 1.12 95% CI 0.95, 1.32) when parental warmth was low. There was also no increased risk of having low IQ in temperamentally difficult children (RR = 1.02 95% CI 0.69, 1.53) but there was an increased risk among temperamentally easy children (RR = 1.30 95% CI 1.11, 1.53) when parental control was high. For both parental warmth and control, there was some evidence of negative effect-measure modification by temperament on the risk-difference scale and the risk-ratio scale. It may be more appropriate to provide parenting interventions as a universal program rather than targeting children with difficult temperament. PMID:27027637

  3. Parenting Practices at 24 to 47 Months and IQ at Age 8: Effect-Measure Modification by Infant Temperament

    PubMed Central

    Chong, Shiau Yun; Chittleborough, Catherine R.; Gregory, Tess; Mittinty, Murthy N.; Lynch, John W.; Smithers, Lisa G.

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive development might be influenced by parenting practices and child temperament. We examined whether the associations between parental warmth, control and intelligence quotient (IQ) may be heightened among children in difficult temperament. Participants were from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (n = 7,044). Temperament at 6 months was measured using the Revised Infant Temperament Questionnaire and classified into ‘easy’ and ‘difficult’. Parental warmth and control was measured at 24 to 47 months and both were classified into 2 groups using latent class analyses. IQ was measured at 8 years using the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children and dichotomized (<85 and ≥85) for analyzing effect-measure modification by temperament. Linear regression adjusted for multiple confounders and temperament showed lower parental warmth was weakly associated with lower IQ score [β = -0.52 (95% CI 1.26, 0.21)], and higher parental control was associated with lower IQ score [β = -2.21 (-2.95, -1.48)]. Stratification by temperament showed no increased risk of having low IQ in temperamentally difficult children [risk ratio (RR) = 0.97 95% CI 0.65, 1.45)] but an increased risk among temperamentally easy children (RR = 1.12 95% CI 0.95, 1.32) when parental warmth was low. There was also no increased risk of having low IQ in temperamentally difficult children (RR = 1.02 95% CI 0.69, 1.53) but there was an increased risk among temperamentally easy children (RR = 1.30 95% CI 1.11, 1.53) when parental control was high. For both parental warmth and control, there was some evidence of negative effect-measure modification by temperament on the risk-difference scale and the risk-ratio scale. It may be more appropriate to provide parenting interventions as a universal program rather than targeting children with difficult temperament. PMID:27027637

  4. Breast milk and cognitive development—the role of confounders: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Walfisch, Asnat; Sermer, Corey; Cressman, Alex; Koren, Gideon

    2013-01-01

    Objectives The association between breastfeeding and child cognitive development is conflicted by studies reporting positive and null effects. This relationship may be confounded by factors associated with breastfeeding, specifically maternal socioeconomic class and IQ. Design Systematic review of the literature. Setting and participants Any prospective or retrospective study, in any language, evaluating the association between breastfeeding and cognitive development using a validated method in healthy term infants, children or adults, was included. Primary and secondary outcome measures Extracted data included the study design, target population and sample size, breastfeeding exposure, cognitive development assessment tool used and participants’ age, summary of the results prior to, and following, adjustment for confounders, and all confounders adjusted for. Study quality was assessed as well. Results 84 studies met our inclusion criteria (34 rated as high quality, 26 moderate and 24 low quality). Critical assessment of accepted studies revealed the following associations: 21 null, 28 positive, 18 null after adjusting for confounders and 17 positive—diminished after adjusting for confounders. Directionality of effect did not correlate with study quality; however, studies showing a decreased effect after multivariate analysis were of superior quality compared with other study groupings (14/17 high quality, 82%). Further, studies that showed null or diminished effect after multivariate analysis corrected for significantly more confounders (7.7±3.4) as compared with those that found no change following adjustment (5.6±4.5, p=0.04). The majority of included studies were carried out during childhood (75%) and set in high-income countries (85.5%). Conclusions Much of the reported effect of breastfeeding on child neurodevelopment is due to confounding. It is unlikely that additional work will change the current synthesis. Future studies should attempt to rigorously

  5. Effects of Test Modifications on Minimum Competency Test Performance of Third Grade Learning Disabled Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Beattie, Susan; And Others

    The effects of physical modifications of the minimum competency test on the performance of third grade learning disabled (LD) students (n=345) on versions of a Florida state minimum competency test are evaluated. The test modifications included alterations in line length, groupings of items, answer formats, administration procedures, as well as…

  6. [Unintended effects of genetic modifications in plants and methods of their analysis].

    PubMed

    Sorochyns'kyĭ, B V; Burlaka, O M; Naumenko, V D; Sekan, A S

    2011-01-01

    The problem of unintended effects caused by genetic modification of plants is analysed. Factors that can provoke the unintended effects in genetically engineered plants, their consequences and possibility of the avoiding of unintended effects with use of current methods of genetic modification are discussed. Modern methodological approaches applied to analyse the unintended effects during the safety assessment of transgenic plants, in particular methods of molecular profiling with different "-omic"-technologies are described. PMID:22168051

  7. [Unintended effects of genetic modifications in plants and methods of their analysis].

    PubMed

    Sorochyns'kyĭ, B V; Burlaka, O M; Naumenko, V D; Sekan, A S

    2011-01-01

    The problem of unintended effects caused by genetic modification of plants is analysed. Factors that can provoke the unintended effects in genetically engineered plants, their consequences and possibility of the avoiding of unintended effects with use of current methods of genetic modification are discussed. Modern methodological approaches applied to analyse the unintended effects during the safety assessment of transgenic plants, in particular methods of molecular profiling with different "-omic"-technologies are described.

  8. From bad to worse: collider stratification amplifies confounding bias in the "obesity paradox".

    PubMed

    Banack, Hailey R; Kaufman, Jay S

    2015-10-01

    Smoking is often identified as a confounder of the obesity-mortality relationship. Selection bias can amplify the magnitude of an existing confounding bias. The objective of the present report is to demonstrate how confounding bias due to cigarette smoking is increased in the presence of collider stratification bias using an empirical example and directed acyclic graphs. The empirical example uses data from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study, a prospective cohort study of 15,792 men and women in the United States. Poisson regression models were used to examine the confounding effect of smoking. In the total ARIC study population, smoking produced a confounding bias of <3 percentage points. This result was obtained by comparing the incidence rate ratio (IRR) for obesity from a model adjusted for smoking was 1.07 (95 % CI 1.00, 1.15) with one that did not adjust for smoking was 1.10 (95 % CI 1.03, 1.18). However, among smokers with CVD, the obesity IRR was 0.89 (95 % CI 0.81, 0.99), while among non-smokers with CVD the obesity IRR was 1.20 (95 % CI 1.03, 1.41). The empirical and graphical explanations presented suggest that the magnitude of the confounding bias induced by smoking is greater in the presence of collider stratification bias.

  9. Sensitivity analysis for unmeasured confounding in principal stratification settings with binary variables

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, Scott; Li, Fan; Reiter, Jerome P.

    2016-01-01

    Within causal inference, principal stratification (PS) is a popular approach for dealing with intermediate variables, that is, variables affected by treatment that also potentially affect the response. However, when there exists unmeasured confounding in the treatment arms—as can happen in observational studies—causal estimands resulting from PS analyses can be biased. We identify the various pathways of confounding present in PS contexts and their effects for PS inference. We present model-based approaches for assessing the sensitivity of complier average causal effect estimates to unmeasured confounding in the setting of binary treatments, binary intermediate variables, and binary outcomes. These same approaches can be used to assess sensitivity to unknown direct effects of treatments on outcomes because, as we show, direct effects are operationally equivalent to one of the pathways of unmeasured confounding. We illustrate the methodology using a randomized study with artificially introduced confounding and a sensitivity analysis for an observational study of the effects of physical activity and body mass index on cardiovascular disease. PMID:22362635

  10. Negative Confounding by Essential Fatty Acids in Methylmercury Neurotoxicity Associations

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Anna L; Mogensen, Ulla B.; Bjerve, Kristian S.; Debes, Frodi; Weihe, Pal; Grandjean, Philippe; Budtz-Jørgensen, Esben

    2014-01-01

    Background Methylmercury, a worldwide contaminant of fish and seafood, can cause adverse effects on the developing nervous system. However, long-chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in seafood provide beneficial effects on brain development. Negative confounding will likely result in underestimation of both mercury toxicity and nutrient benefits unless mutual adjustment is included in the analysis. Methods We examined these associations in 176 Faroese children, in whom prenatal methylmercury exposure was assessed from mercury concentrations in cord blood and maternal hair. The relative concentrations of fatty acids were determined in cord serum phospholipids. Neuropsychological performance in verbal, motor, attention, spatial, and memory functions was assessed at 7 years of age. Multiple regression and structural equation models (SEMs) were carried out to determine the confounder-adjusted associations with methylmercury exposure. Results A short delay recall (in percent change) in the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT) was associated with a doubling of cord blood methylmercury (−18.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] = −36.3, −1.51). The association became stronger after the inclusion of fatty acid concentrations in the analysis (−22.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] = −39.4, −4.62). In structural equation models, poorer memory function (corresponding to a lower score in the learning trials and short delay recall in CVLT) was associated with a doubling of prenatal exposure to methylmercury after the inclusion of fatty acid concentrations in the analysis (−1.94, 95% CI = −3.39, −0.49). Conclusions Associations between prenatal exposure to methylmercury and neurobehavioral deficits in memory function at school age were strengthened after fatty acid adjustment, thus suggesting that n-3 fatty acids need to be included in analysis of similar studies to avoid underestimation of the associations with methylmercury exposure. PMID:24561639

  11. Restricted spatial regression in practice: Geostatistical models, confounding, and robustness under model misspecification

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hanks, Ephraim M.; Schliep, Erin M.; Hooten, Mevin B.; Hoeting, Jennifer A.

    2015-01-01

    In spatial generalized linear mixed models (SGLMMs), covariates that are spatially smooth are often collinear with spatially smooth random effects. This phenomenon is known as spatial confounding and has been studied primarily in the case where the spatial support of the process being studied is discrete (e.g., areal spatial data). In this case, the most common approach suggested is restricted spatial regression (RSR) in which the spatial random effects are constrained to be orthogonal to the fixed effects. We consider spatial confounding and RSR in the geostatistical (continuous spatial support) setting. We show that RSR provides computational benefits relative to the confounded SGLMM, but that Bayesian credible intervals under RSR can be inappropriately narrow under model misspecification. We propose a posterior predictive approach to alleviating this potential problem and discuss the appropriateness of RSR in a variety of situations. We illustrate RSR and SGLMM approaches through simulation studies and an analysis of malaria frequencies in The Gambia, Africa.

  12. 75 FR 11559 - Certain Combed Cotton Yarns: Effect of Modification of U.S.-Bahrain FTA Rules of Origin

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-11

    ... COMMISSION Certain Combed Cotton Yarns: Effect of Modification of U.S.- Bahrain FTA Rules of Origin AGENCY...-103-025, Certain Combed Cotton Yarns: Effect of Modification of U.S.-Bahrain FTA Rules Of Origin... government of Bahrain on certain modifications to the rules of origin to the FTA for certain combed...

  13. Effects of wing modification on an aircraft's aerodynamic parameters as determined from flight data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hess, R. A.

    1986-01-01

    A study of the effects of four wing-leading-edge modifications on a general aviation aircraft's stability and control parameters is presented. Flight data from the basic aircraft configuration and configurations with wing modifications are analyzed to determine each wing geometry's stability and control parameters. The parameter estimates and aerodynamic model forms are obtained using the stepwise regression and maximum likelihood techniques. The resulting parameter estimates and aerodynamic models are verified using vortex-lattice theory and by analysis of each model's ability to predict aircraft behavior. Comparisons of the stability and control derivative estimates from the basic wing and the four leading-edge modifications are accomplished so that the effects of each modification on aircraft stability and control derivatives can be determined.

  14. Effect of posttranslational modifications on enzyme function and assembly.

    PubMed

    Ryšlavá, Helena; Doubnerová, Veronika; Kavan, Daniel; Vaněk, Ondřej

    2013-10-30

    The detailed examination of enzyme molecules by mass spectrometry and other techniques continues to identify hundreds of distinct PTMs. Recently, global analyses of enzymes using methods of contemporary proteomics revealed widespread distribution of PTMs on many key enzymes distributed in all cellular compartments. Critically, patterns of multiple enzymatic and nonenzymatic PTMs within a single enzyme are now functionally evaluated providing a holistic picture of a macromolecule interacting with low molecular mass compounds, some of them being substrates, enzyme regulators, or activated precursors for enzymatic and nonenzymatic PTMs. Multiple PTMs within a single enzyme molecule and their mutual interplays are critical for the regulation of catalytic activity. Full understanding of this regulation will require detailed structural investigation of enzymes, their structural analogs, and their complexes. Further, proteomics is now integrated with molecular genetics, transcriptomics, and other areas leading to systems biology strategies. These allow the functional interrogation of complex enzymatic networks in their natural environment. In the future, one might envisage the use of robust high throughput analytical techniques that will be able to detect multiple PTMs on a global scale of individual proteomes from a number of carefully selected cells and cellular compartments. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Posttranslational Protein modifications in biology and Medicine.

  15. On the role of marginal confounder prevalence – implications for the high-dimensional propensity score algorithm

    PubMed Central

    Schuster, Tibor; Pang, Menglan; Platt, Robert W

    2016-01-01

    PURPOSE The high-dimensional propensity score algorithm attempts to improve control of confounding in typical treatment effect studies in pharmacoepidemiology and is increasingly being used for the analysis of large administrative databases. Within this multi-step variable selection algorithm, the marginal prevalence of non-zero covariate values is considered to be an indicator for a count variable's potential confounding impact. We investigate the role of the marginal prevalence of confounder variables on potentially caused bias magnitudes when estimating risk ratios in point exposure studies with binary outcomes. METHODS We apply the law of total probability in conjunction with an established bias formula to derive and illustrate relative bias boundaries with respect to marginal confounder prevalence. RESULTS We show that maximum possible bias magnitudes can occur at any marginal prevalence level of a binary confounder variable. In particular, we demonstrate that, in case of rare or very common exposures, low and high prevalent confounder variables can still have large confounding impact on estimated risk ratios. CONCLUSIONS Covariate pre-selection by prevalence may lead to sub-optimal confounder sampling within the high-dimensional propensity score algorithm. While we believe that the high-dimensional propensity score has important benefits in large-scale pharmacoepidemiologic studies, we recommend omitting the prevalence-based empirical identification of candidate covariates. PMID:25866189

  16. 19 CFR 181.100 - Effect of NAFTA advance ruling letters; modification and revocation.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 19 Customs Duties 2 2011-04-01 2011-04-01 false Effect of NAFTA advance ruling letters... Advance Ruling Procedures § 181.100 Effect of NAFTA advance ruling letters; modification and revocation. (a) Effect of NAFTA advance ruling letters—(1) General. An advance ruling letter issued by...

  17. Smoking and Hormesis as Confounding Factors in Radiation Pulmonary Carcinogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Sanders, Charles L.; Scott, Bobby R.

    2008-01-01

    Confounding factors in radiation pulmonary carcinogenesis are passive and active cigarette smoke exposures and radiation hormesis. Significantly increased lung cancer risk from ionizing radiation at lung doses < 1 Gy is not observed in never smokers exposed to ionizing radiations. Residential radon is not a cause of lung cancer in never smokers and may protect against lung cancer in smokers. The risk of lung cancer found in many epi-demiological studies was less than the expected risk (hormetic effect) for nuclear weapons and power plant workers, shipyard workers, fluoroscopy patients, and inhabitants of high-dose background radiation. The protective effect was noted for low- and mixed high- and low-linear energy transfer (LET) radiations in both genders. Many studies showed a protection factor (PROFAC) > 0.40 (40% avoided) against the occurrence of lung cancer. The ubiquitous nature of the radiation hormesis response in cellular, animal, and epidemio-logical studies negates the healthy worker effect as an explanation for radiation hormesis. Low-dose radiation may stimulate DNA repair/apoptosis and immunity to suppress and eliminate cigarette-smoke-induced transformed cells in the lung, reducing lung cancer occurrence in smokers. PMID:18648572

  18. Effects of Instruction on Adolescent Beginners' Acquisition of Request Modification

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Li, Qingping

    2012-01-01

    This quasiexperimental study examined the effects of different focus-on-form techniques, and the durability of such effects, on adolescent beginners' acquisition of request supportive moves. Three treatments were implemented: (1) the incidental group was exposed to input and involved in meaningful output activities; (2) the implicit group was…

  19. Effects of cytosine modifications on DNA flexibility and nucleosome mechanical stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ngo, Thuy T. M.; Yoo, Jejoong; Dai, Qing; Zhang, Qiucen; He, Chuan; Aksimentiev, Aleksei; Ha, Taekjip

    2016-02-01

    Cytosine can undergo modifications, forming 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) and its oxidized products 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC), 5-formylcytosine (5-fC) and 5-carboxylcytosine (5-caC). Despite their importance as epigenetic markers and as central players in cellular processes, it is not well understood how these modifications influence physical properties of DNA and chromatin. Here we report a comprehensive survey of the effect of cytosine modifications on DNA flexibility. We find that even a single copy of 5-fC increases DNA flexibility markedly. 5-mC reduces and 5-hmC enhances flexibility, and 5-caC does not have a measurable effect. Molecular dynamics simulations show that these modifications promote or dampen structural fluctuations, likely through competing effects of base polarity and steric hindrance, without changing the average structure. The increase in DNA flexibility increases the mechanical stability of the nucleosome and vice versa, suggesting a gene regulation mechanism where cytosine modifications change the accessibility of nucleosomal DNA through their effects on DNA flexibility.

  20. An education gradient in health, a health gradient in education, or a confounded gradient in both?

    PubMed

    Lynch, Jamie L; von Hippel, Paul T

    2016-04-01

    There is a positive gradient associating educational attainment with health, yet the explanation for this gradient is not clear. Does higher education improve health (causation)? Do the healthy become highly educated (selection)? Or do good health and high educational attainment both result from advantages established early in the life course (confounding)? This study evaluates these competing explanations by tracking changes in educational attainment and Self-rated Health (SRH) from age 15 to age 31 in the National Longitudinal Study of Youth, 1997 cohort. Ordinal logistic regression confirms that high-SRH adolescents are more likely to become highly educated. This is partly because adolescent SRH is associated with early advantages including adolescents' academic performance, college plans, and family background (confounding); however, net of these confounders adolescent SRH still predicts adult educational attainment (selection). Fixed-effects longitudinal regression shows that educational attainment has little causal effect on SRH at age 31. Completion of a high school diploma or associate's degree has no effect on SRH, while completion of a bachelor's or graduate degree have effects that, though significant, are quite small (less than 0.1 points on a 5-point scale). While it is possible that educational attainment would have greater effect on health at older ages, at age 31 what we see is a health gradient in education, shaped primarily by selection and confounding rather than by a causal effect of education on health.

  1. Surface Modifications and Their Effects on Titanium Dental Implants

    PubMed Central

    Jemat, A.; Ghazali, M. J.; Razali, M.; Otsuka, Y.

    2015-01-01

    This review covers several basic methodologies of surface treatment and their effects on titanium (Ti) implants. The importance of each treatment and its effects will be discussed in detail in order to compare their effectiveness in promoting osseointegration. Published literature for the last 18 years was selected with the use of keywords like titanium dental implant, surface roughness, coating, and osseointegration. Significant surface roughness played an important role in providing effective surface for bone implant contact, cell proliferation, and removal torque, despite having good mechanical properties. Overall, published studies indicated that an acid etched surface-modified and a coating application on commercial pure titanium implant was most preferable in producing the good surface roughness. Thus, a combination of a good surface roughness and mechanical properties of titanium could lead to successful dental implants. PMID:26436097

  2. Surface Modifications and Their Effects on Titanium Dental Implants.

    PubMed

    Jemat, A; Ghazali, M J; Razali, M; Otsuka, Y

    2015-01-01

    This review covers several basic methodologies of surface treatment and their effects on titanium (Ti) implants. The importance of each treatment and its effects will be discussed in detail in order to compare their effectiveness in promoting osseointegration. Published literature for the last 18 years was selected with the use of keywords like titanium dental implant, surface roughness, coating, and osseointegration. Significant surface roughness played an important role in providing effective surface for bone implant contact, cell proliferation, and removal torque, despite having good mechanical properties. Overall, published studies indicated that an acid etched surface-modified and a coating application on commercial pure titanium implant was most preferable in producing the good surface roughness. Thus, a combination of a good surface roughness and mechanical properties of titanium could lead to successful dental implants.

  3. Effect of the slow transient phenomenon of a synaptic modification on vestibulo-ocular reflex adaptation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsusaka, K.

    1998-05-01

    According to the experimental studies, the duration of the transient phenomenon of the synaptic modification involved in vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) adaptation lasts considerably long after the synaptic inputs. In the present article, effect of the transient phenomenon on VOR adaptation is studied by incorporating the transient phenomenon into the cerebellar model proposed by Fujita. In the present extended model, it is assumed that the synaptic modification is a modification of the concentrations of reactants and products for a certain reaction. The synaptic efficacy is given by the concentration of products. The model of reaction includes the supply of reactants and flux of reactants and products out of the reaction system. The supply of reactants is induced by correlation between two different types of input signals, which has been considered to be proportional to the amount of the synaptic modification at the moment. The flux produces natural recovery of the synaptic modification, which was observed in experiments. The simulation results suggest that VOR adaptation takes two types of courses according to the efficiency of the reactant supply to the synaptic inputs under the slow transient phenomenon of the synaptic modification. The present extended model gives approaches to control mechanisms of VOR adaptation.

  4. Controlling Time-Dependent Confounding by Health Status and Frailty: Restriction Versus Statistical Adjustment

    PubMed Central

    McGrath, Leah J.; Ellis, Alan R.; Brookhart, M. Alan

    2015-01-01

    Nonexperimental studies of preventive interventions are often biased because of the healthy-user effect and, in frail populations, because of confounding by functional status. Bias is evident when estimating influenza vaccine effectiveness, even after adjustment for claims-based indicators of illness. We explored bias reduction methods while estimating vaccine effectiveness in a cohort of adult hemodialysis patients. Using the United States Renal Data System and linked data from a commercial dialysis provider, we estimated vaccine effectiveness using a Cox proportional hazards marginal structural model of all-cause mortality before and during 3 influenza seasons in 2005/2006 through 2007/2008. To improve confounding control, we added frailty indicators to the model, measured time-varying confounders at different time intervals, and restricted the sample in multiple ways. Crude and baseline-adjusted marginal structural models remained strongly biased. Restricting to a healthier population removed some unmeasured confounding; however, this reduced the sample size, resulting in wide confidence intervals. We estimated an influenza vaccine effectiveness of 9% (hazard ratio = 0.91, 95% confidence interval: 0.72, 1.15) when bias was minimized through cohort restriction. In this study, the healthy-user bias could not be controlled through statistical adjustment; however, sample restriction reduced much of the bias. PMID:25868551

  5. The effects of beta-endorphin: state change modification.

    PubMed

    Veening, Jan G; Barendregt, Henk P

    2015-01-01

    Beta-endorphin (β-END) is an opioid neuropeptide which has an important role in the development of hypotheses concerning the non-synaptic or paracrine communication of brain messages. This kind of communication between neurons has been designated volume transmission (VT) to differentiate it clearly from synaptic communication. VT occurs over short as well as long distances via the extracellular space in the brain, as well as via the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flowing through the ventricular spaces inside the brain and the arachnoid space surrounding the central nervous system (CNS). To understand how β-END can have specific behavioral effects, we use the notion behavioral state, inspired by the concept of machine state, coming from Turing (Proc London Math Soc, Series 2,42:230-265, 1937). In section 1.4 the sequential organization of male rat behavior is explained showing that an animal is not free to switch into another state at any given moment. Funneling-constraints restrict the number of possible behavioral transitions in specific phases while at other moments in the sequence the transition to other behavioral states is almost completely open. The effects of β-END on behaviors like food intake and sexual behavior, and the mechanisms involved in reward, meditation and pain control are discussed in detail. The effects on the sequential organization of behavior and on state transitions dominate the description of these effects. PMID:25879522

  6. Modifications in Children's Cognitive Styles: Some Effects of Peer Modeling.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohen, Stewart; Przybycien, Collette A.

    An extension of previous attempts at modifying children's cognitive styles is discussed. Specifically, the present study employed sociometric peer models in order to ascertain whether: (1) impulsivity is modifiable through observation of salient models, and (2) sociometrically selected peer models are more effective than unselected models in the…

  7. The effect of decitabine dose modification and myelosuppression on response and survival in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes.

    PubMed

    Jabbour, Elias; Garcia-Manero, Guillermo; Cornelison, A Megan; Cortes, Jorge E; Ravandi, Farhad; Daver, Naval; Kadia, Tapan; Teng, Angela; Kantarjian, Hagop

    2015-02-01

    Myelosuppression in myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) is associated with the hypomethylating agent decitabine. A retrospective pooled analysis of two decitabine clinical trials in patients with MDS conducted Cox regression analyses of red blood cell or platelet dependence, myelosuppression, dose modification, cycle delay or dose reduction, and survival effects. In 182 patients, baseline platelet dependence was a predictor for dose modification, reduction or delay, and death (modification: p=0.006, hazard ratio [HR]=2.04; reduction/delay: p=0.011, HR=2.00; death: p=0.003, HR=1.94). Patients with dose modifications had significantly higher overall response rates versus those with none (22% vs. 10%; p=0.015). Patients with no dose modifications had faster progression to acute myeloid leukemia (AML) versus patients with dose modifications (p=0.004). Without dose modifications, patients tended to drop out due to disease progression or other reasons. Decitabine dose modifications on treatment may indicate response to treatment.

  8. Effect of ITO surface modification on the OLED device lifetime.

    PubMed

    Yu, Szu-Yen; Chang, Jung-Hung; Wang, Po-Sheng; Wu, Chi-I; Tao, Yu-Tai

    2014-07-01

    Pretreatment of the indium tin oxide (ITO) surface is generally adopted to improve the charge injection and device performance in the fabrication of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). For the common approaches of surface treatment, such as oxygen plasma treatment, self-assembled monolayer (SAM) adsorption, and the PEDOT:PSS coating, different effects on the device lifetime were observed. A distinctly different driving voltage change with device operation time was obtained and was correlated with the device lifetime. The fast increase in driving voltage for devices based on oxygen-plasma-treated ITO is attributed to the work function change as a result of the change in the composition of the interface with device operation, whereas a rather stable work function for SAM-modified ITO is suggested due to the permanent dipoles associated with the monolayer and the protecting effect of the covalently bound monolayer on the surface composition.

  9. Adhesion: a confounding bias in murine cervical heterotopic heart transplantation

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jinghui; Chen, Qi; Liu, Fang; Fu, Zhiren; Wang, Quanxing

    2015-01-01

    Tissue adhesion is a common postsurgical phenomenon among the human population. This complication also occurs in murine transplant models. In this study, we investigated the impact of adhesion on murine cervical heterotopic heart transplantation by using sodium hyaluronate (SH) as an anti-adhesive agent. Our study revealed that SH administration produced no significant effect on histological change, TNF-α, IFN-γ, MCP-1, IL-2, IL-6 and IL-10 expression, CD4+ T, CD8+ T, or neutrophil and macrophage counts. Our findings suggest that SH was biocompatible and non-immunogenic. Later, we observed that adhesion not only affected the survival of the graft without mediating rejection, but was closely related to the severity of rejection as manifested by larger and more severe adhesion formation in total-allomismatched and MHC class II-allomismatched murine cardiac allografts. Therefore, we inferred that using the murine cervical heterotopic heart transplant model may lead to an exaggerated p-value in statistical significance testing which could mislead experimenters in considering that the results are more significant than the fact. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first demonstration that proves that adhesion was a confounding bias in the murine cervical heterotopic heart transplant model and highlights the possibilities for improvement in future use. PMID:26550450

  10. Effects of cementation surface modifications on fracture resistance of zirconia

    PubMed Central

    Srikanth, Ramanathan; Kosmac, Tomaz; Bona, Alvaro Della; Yin, Ling; Zhang, Yu

    2015-01-01

    Objectives To examine the effects of glass infiltration (GI) and alumina coating (AC) on the indentation flexural load and four-point bending strength of monolithic zirconia. Methods Plate-shaped (12 mm × 12 mm × 1.0 mm or 1.5 mm or 2.0 mm) and bar-shaped (4 mm × 3 mm × 25 mm) monolithic zirconia specimens were fabricated. In addition to monolithic zirconia (group Z), zirconia monoliths were glass-infiltrated or alumina-coated on their tensile surfaces to form groups ZGI and ZAC, respectively. They were also glass-infiltrated on their upper surfaces, and glass-infiltrated or alumina-coated on their lower (tensile) surfaces to make groups ZGI2 and ZAC2, respectively. For comparison, porcelain-veneered zirconia (group PVZ) and monolithic lithium disilicate glass-ceramic (group LiDi) specimens were also fabricated. The plate-shaped specimens were cemented onto a restorative composite base for Hertzian indentation using a tungsten carbide spherical indenter with a radius of 3.2 mm. Critical loads for indentation flexural fracture at the zirconia cementation surface were measured. Strengths of bar-shaped specimens were evaluated in four-point bending. Results Glass infiltration on zirconia tensile surfaces increased indentation flexural loads by 32% in Hertzian contact and flexural strength by 24% in four-point bending. Alumina coating showed no significant effect on resistance to flexural damage of zirconia. Monolithic zirconia outperformed porcelain-veneered zirconia and monolithic lithium disilicate glass-ceramics in terms of both indentation flexural load and flexural strength. Significance While both alumina coating and glass infiltration can be used to effectively modify the cementation surface of zirconia, glass infiltration can further increase the flexural fracture resistance of zirconia. PMID:25687628

  11. Single-Nucleosome Mapping of Histone Modifications in S. cerevisiae

    PubMed Central

    2005-01-01

    Covalent modification of histone proteins plays a role in virtually every process on eukaryotic DNA, from transcription to DNA repair. Many different residues can be covalently modified, and it has been suggested that these modifications occur in a great number of independent, meaningful combinations. Published low-resolution microarray studies on the combinatorial complexity of histone modification patterns suffer from confounding effects caused by the averaging of modification levels over multiple nucleosomes. To overcome this problem, we used a high-resolution tiled microarray with single-nucleosome resolution to investigate the occurrence of combinations of 12 histone modifications on thousands of nucleosomes in actively growing S. cerevisiae. We found that histone modifications do not occur independently; there are roughly two groups of co-occurring modifications. One group of lysine acetylations shows a sharply defined domain of two hypo-acetylated nucleosomes, adjacent to the transcriptional start site, whose occurrence does not correlate with transcription levels. The other group consists of modifications occurring in gradients through the coding regions of genes in a pattern associated with transcription. We found no evidence for a deterministic code of many discrete states, but instead we saw blended, continuous patterns that distinguish nucleosomes at one location (e.g., promoter nucleosomes) from those at another location (e.g., over the 3′ ends of coding regions). These results are consistent with the idea of a simple, redundant histone code, in which multiple modifications share the same role. PMID:16122352

  12. Effect of Structural Modification on Second Harmonic Generation in Collagen

    SciTech Connect

    Stoller, P C; Reiser, K M; Celliers, P M; Rubenchik, A M

    2003-04-04

    The effects of structural perturbation on second harmonic generation in collagen were investigated. Type I collagen fascicles obtained from rat tails were structurally modified by increasing nonenzymatic cross-linking, by thermal denaturation, by collagenase digestion, or by dehydration. Changes in polarization dependence were observed in the dehydrated samples. Surprisingly, no changes in polarization dependence were observed in highly crosslinked samples, despite significant alterations in packing structure. Complete thermal denaturation and collagenase digestion produced samples with no detectable second harmonic signal. Prior to loss of signal, no change in polarization dependence was observed in partially heated or digested collagen.

  13. Bentonite modification with hexadecylpyridinium and aluminum polyoxy cations and its effectiveness in Se(IV) removal.

    PubMed

    Orucoglu, Esra; Haciyakupoglu, Sevilay

    2015-09-01

    Usage of bentonite as a buffer material is suggested in radioactive waste repositories. Although bentonites have higher sorption ability to cations, they cannot adsorp anions due to negative surface charge. Nowadays, ongoing researches focus on increasing anion adsorption ability of the bentonites with modification. Organic-pillared bentonite (OPBent) was produced by modification of sodium bentonite with aluminum polyoxy and hexadecylpyridinium cations in this study. Variation in structure after modification was demonstrated by using different characterization techniques. Se removal efficiency of OPBent is investigated by using (75)Se, since selenium (Se) is one of the important long lived fission products found in radioactive waste and has toxic anionic species in an aqueous environment. The effect of reaction time, solid/liquid ratio, pH and concentration on the adsorption performance were examined. Se speciation and its effect onto adsorption were also investigated by measuring Eh-pH values under certain experimental conditions. Additionally, importance of the amount of Al-polyoxy cations used in modification was investigated by comparing these results with the results of other organic-pillared bentonite produced in our previous research. Experimental results confirmed that both cations were successfully placed into the bentonite interlayer and significant change in the host structure leads to increase Se adsorption. Consequently, bentonite modification improves its Se adsorption ability and further investigations are needed related to the usage of this adsorbent in other remediation studies especially in sorption of other anionic pollutants. PMID:26081306

  14. Differential effect of three base modifications on DNA thermostability revealed by high resolution melting.

    PubMed

    López, Carlos M Rodríguez; Lloyd, Amanda J; Leonard, Kate; Wilkinson, Mike J

    2012-09-01

    High resolution melting (HRM) can detect and quantify the presence of 5-methylcytosine (5mC) in DNA samples, but the ability of HRM to diagnose other DNA modifications remains unexplored. The DNA bases N6-methyladenine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine occur across almost all phyla. While their function remains controversial, their presence perturbs DNA structure. Such modifications could affect gene regulation, chromatin condensation and DNA packaging. Here, we reveal that DNA containing N6-methyladenine or 5-hydroxymethylcytosine exhibits reduced thermal stability compared to cytosine-methylated DNA. These thermostability changes are sufficiently divergent to allow detection and quantification by HRM analysis. Thus, we report that HRM distinguishes between sequence-identical DNA differing only in the modification type of one base. This approach is also able to distinguish between two DNA fragments carrying both N6-methyladenine and 5-methylcytosine but differing only in the distance separating the modified bases. This finding provides scope for the development of new methods to characterize DNA chemically and to allow for low cost screening of mutant populations of genes involved in base modification. More fundamentally, contrast between the thermostabilizing effects of 5mC on dsDNA compared with the destabilizing effects of N6-methyladenine (m6A) and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) raises the intriguing possibility of an antagonistic relationship between modification types with functional significance.

  15. Bentonite modification with hexadecylpyridinium and aluminum polyoxy cations and its effectiveness in Se(IV) removal.

    PubMed

    Orucoglu, Esra; Haciyakupoglu, Sevilay

    2015-09-01

    Usage of bentonite as a buffer material is suggested in radioactive waste repositories. Although bentonites have higher sorption ability to cations, they cannot adsorp anions due to negative surface charge. Nowadays, ongoing researches focus on increasing anion adsorption ability of the bentonites with modification. Organic-pillared bentonite (OPBent) was produced by modification of sodium bentonite with aluminum polyoxy and hexadecylpyridinium cations in this study. Variation in structure after modification was demonstrated by using different characterization techniques. Se removal efficiency of OPBent is investigated by using (75)Se, since selenium (Se) is one of the important long lived fission products found in radioactive waste and has toxic anionic species in an aqueous environment. The effect of reaction time, solid/liquid ratio, pH and concentration on the adsorption performance were examined. Se speciation and its effect onto adsorption were also investigated by measuring Eh-pH values under certain experimental conditions. Additionally, importance of the amount of Al-polyoxy cations used in modification was investigated by comparing these results with the results of other organic-pillared bentonite produced in our previous research. Experimental results confirmed that both cations were successfully placed into the bentonite interlayer and significant change in the host structure leads to increase Se adsorption. Consequently, bentonite modification improves its Se adsorption ability and further investigations are needed related to the usage of this adsorbent in other remediation studies especially in sorption of other anionic pollutants.

  16. Effect of chemical chaperones on glucose-induced lysozyme modifications.

    PubMed

    Bathaie, S Zahra; Nobakht, B B Fateme; Mirmiranpour, Hossein; Jafarnejad, Akbar; Moosavi-Nejad, S Zahra

    2011-10-01

    Nonenzymatic glycation of biomacromolecules occurs due to the diabetes mellitus and ageing. A number of small molecules, known as chemical chaperones, stabilize protein conformation against thermal and chemically induced denaturation. These compounds are including: polyamines (e.g. spermine and spermidine), amino acids (e.g. lysine) and polyols (e.g. glycerol). In this study the effect of spermidine (Spd), spermine (Spm), and glycerol on glycation, structure and function of lysozyme (LZ), as an extra-cellular protein, by different techniques is investigated. LZ is incubated with or without glucose (50 or 100 mM) in the absence or presence of Spd/Spm/glycerol at 37 °C up to 16 weeks. All the observed changes of glycated-LZ in comparison with the native protein, including: increased fluorescence emission, alteration in the secondary and tertiary structure, and reduced electrophoretic mobility- indicate its structural changes that are accompanied with its reduced activity. Glucose in the presence or absence of Spd induces the protein dimerization, but glucose plus Spm induces its trimmerization. In contrast, glycerol inhibits the LZ glycation and prevents the large changes on its structure and function. Glucose binds lysine residues, decreases the protein positive charges and induces some alterations in its structure and activity. Polyamines also directly bind to LZ, increase its positive charges and hence induce more glycation; more conformational changes, oligomerization and its inactivation in the presence of glucose, but glycerol affect the protein environment and preserve protein from these harmful effects.

  17. Effect of Surface Modification and Macrophage Phenotype on Particle Internalization

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Daniel; Phan, Ngoc; Isely, Christopher; Bruene, Lucas; Bratlie, Kaitlin M

    2014-11-10

    Material properties play a key role in the cellular internalization of polymeric particles. In the present study, we have investigated the effects of material characteristics such as water contact angle, zeta potential, melting temperature, and alternative activation of complement on particle internalization for pro-inflammatory, pro-angiogenic, and naïve macrophages by using biopolymers (~600 nm), functionalized with 13 different molecules. Understanding how material parameters influence particle internalization for different macrophage phenotypes is important for targeted delivery to specific cell populations. Here, we demonstrate that material parameters affect the alternative pathway of complement activation as well as particle internalization for different macrophage phenotypes. Here, we show that the quantitative structure–activity relationship method (QSAR) previously used to predict physiochemical properties of materials can be applied to targeting different macrophage phenotypes. These findings demonstrated that targeted drug delivery to macrophages could be achieved by exploiting material parameters.

  18. Scalar Modifications to Gravity from Unparticle Effects May Be Testable

    SciTech Connect

    Goldberg, Haim; Nath, Pran

    2008-01-25

    Interest has focused recently on low energy implications of a nontrivial scale invariant sector of an effective field theory with an IR fixed point, manifest in terms of 'unparticles' with peculiar properties. If unparticle stuff exists it could couple to the stress tensor and mediate a new 'fifth' force ('ungravity'). Under the assumption of strict conformal invariance in the hidden sector down to low energies, we compute the lowest order ungravity correction to the Newtonian gravitational potential and find scale invariant power law corrections of type (R{sub G}/r){sup 2d{sub U}-1}, where d{sub U} is an anomalous unparticle dimension and R{sub G} is a characteristic length scale where the ungravity interactions become significant. It is shown that a discrimination between extra dimension models and ungravity is possible in future improved submillimeter tests of gravity.

  19. Adjusting for unmeasured confounding due to either of two crossed factors with a logistic regression model.

    PubMed

    Li, Li; Brumback, Babette A; Weppelmann, Thomas A; Morris, J Glenn; Ali, Afsar

    2016-08-15

    Motivated by an investigation of the effect of surface water temperature on the presence of Vibrio cholerae in water samples collected from different fixed surface water monitoring sites in Haiti in different months, we investigated methods to adjust for unmeasured confounding due to either of the two crossed factors site and month. In the process, we extended previous methods that adjust for unmeasured confounding due to one nesting factor (such as site, which nests the water samples from different months) to the case of two crossed factors. First, we developed a conditional pseudolikelihood estimator that eliminates fixed effects for the levels of each of the crossed factors from the estimating equation. Using the theory of U-Statistics for independent but non-identically distributed vectors, we show that our estimator is consistent and asymptotically normal, but that its variance depends on the nuisance parameters and thus cannot be easily estimated. Consequently, we apply our estimator in conjunction with a permutation test, and we investigate use of the pigeonhole bootstrap and the jackknife for constructing confidence intervals. We also incorporate our estimator into a diagnostic test for a logistic mixed model with crossed random effects and no unmeasured confounding. For comparison, we investigate between-within models extended to two crossed factors. These generalized linear mixed models include covariate means for each level of each factor in order to adjust for the unmeasured confounding. We conduct simulation studies, and we apply the methods to the Haitian data. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:26892025

  20. Effect of behavior modification on patient compliance in orthodontics.

    PubMed

    Richter, D D; Nanda, R S; Sinha, P K; Smith, D W; Currier, G F

    1998-04-01

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a reward system for improving patient compliance in orthodontic treatment. The sample consisted of 144 orthodontic patients (63 male, 81 female, average age 12.8 years), 6 to 12 months into their treatment. The sample was divided into above-average and below-average compliers, based on the orthodontic patient cooperation scale (OPCS). Each group was further divided into three subgroups: (a) a control group, which received only standard instructions; (b) an award group, which received compliance instructions and a written evaluation of compliance; and (c) a reward group, which received compliance instructions, a report card, and eligibility to receive rewards for adherent behavior. Two measurements of patient compliance were used: (1) the OPCS, which divided the sample into high and low compliers and was used to compare compliance before and after the 6-month experimental period; and (2) a clinical evaluation of compliance that was based on oral hygiene, appointment punctuality, appliance wear, and appliance maintenance. Evaluations were completed at each monthly appointment. Average compliance scores of above-average compliers showed no significant improvement with rewards. The average scores of patients with below-average compliance did not improve significantly. Only oral hygiene scores in the low compliance reward group were better than in the low compliance control group. Academic performance in school was found to be correlated (p < 0.001) with compliance. Above-average compliers remained above average in their compliance. The award/reward system may help motivate below-average compliers to comply with prescribed instructions.

  1. Effect of systematic dental shape modification in bitemarks.

    PubMed

    Holtkötter, Hannah; Sheets, H David; Bush, Peter J; Bush, Mary A

    2013-05-10

    Studies on human cadaver models have reported significant levels of distortion of bitemarks in skin, indicating that tooth characteristics are not reliably transferred and recorded in the bitten subject. Moreover, matches among the anterior biting dentition in open population studies have been found. This prompts the question as to what degree of difference in shape will distinguish one dentition from another as reflected in a bitemark. In order to understand how these variables appear on skin, 10 dental casts with systematic variations in tooth positions were produced. The height of the lateral incisors was systematically altered in 1mm increments up to 3mm and lateral incisor/canines were altered in facial/lingual displacement in 1mm increments up to 5mm. Each of the models was used to produce a series of 10 repeated bites, distributed over arms and legs of un-embalmed cadavers. Landmark-based geometric morphometrics were used for analysis of digital images of the bitemarks. Results indicate that alterations of height and displacement of particular teeth affected the position of impressions created by the adjacent teeth. Displacement of one lateral incisor/canine led to a relative shift in impressions of the central incisors and unaltered canines, while height alteration of the lateral incisors led to a shift in relative position of central incisors as recorded in the bitemark. The prominence of displacements was more pronounced in the bitemarks than in images of the dentition used to make the bites, thus the bitemarks tended to exaggerate the differences. It was found that a displacement of 5mm between teeth allowed for reliable distinction between bitemarks. No such threshold of distinction could be established for differences in height of teeth under these experimental conditions. The effect of distortion was more significant in the mandibular than maxillary arch, suggesting that the mandible exhibits higher variation than the maxilla, as impressed in skin

  2. Air Pollution and Autism Spectrum Disorders: Causal or Confounded?

    PubMed

    Weisskopf, Marc G; Kioumourtzoglou, Marianthi-Anna; Roberts, Andrea L

    2015-12-01

    In the last decade, several studies have examined the association between perinatal exposure to ambient air pollution and risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These studies have largely been consistent, with associations seen with different aspects of air pollution, including hazardous air toxics, ozone, particulate, and traffic-related pollution. Confounding by socioeconomic status (SES) and place of residence are of particular concern, as these can be related to ASD case ascertainment and other potential causal risk factors for ASD. While all studies take steps to address this concern, residual confounding is difficult to rule out. Two recent studies of air pollution and ASD, however, present findings that strongly argue against residual confounding, especially for factors that do not vary over relatively short time intervals. These two studies, conducted in communities around the USA, found a specific association with air pollution exposure during the 3rd, but not the 1st, trimester, when both trimesters were modeled simultaneously. In this review, we discuss confounding possibilities and then explain-with the aid of directed acyclic graphs (DAGs)-why an association that is specific to a particular time window, when multiple exposure windows are simultaneously assessed, argues against residual confounding by (even unmeasured) non-time-varying factors. In addition, we discuss why examining ambient air pollution concentration as a proxy for personal exposure helps avoid confounding by personal behavior differences, and the implications of measurement error in using ambient concentrations as a proxy for personal exposures. Given the general consistency of findings across studies and the exposure-window-specific associations recently reported, the overall evidence for a causal association between air pollution and ASD is increasingly compelling.

  3. Packet Randomized Experiments for Eliminating Classes of Confounders

    PubMed Central

    Pavela, Greg; Wiener, Howard; Fontaine, Kevin R.; Fields, David A.; Voss, Jameson D.; Allison, David B.

    2014-01-01

    Background Although randomization is considered essential for causal inference, it is often not possible to randomize in nutrition and obesity research. To address this, we develop a framework for an experimental design—packet randomized experiments (PREs), which improves causal inferences when randomization on a single treatment variable is not possible. This situation arises when subjects are randomly assigned to a condition (such as a new roommate) which varies in one characteristic of interest (such as weight), but also varies across many others. There has been no general discussion of this experimental design, including its strengths, limitations, and statistical properties. As such, researchers are left to develop and apply PREs on an ad hoc basis, limiting its potential to improve causal inferences among nutrition and obesity researchers. Methods We introduce PREs as an intermediary design between randomized controlled trials and observational studies. We review previous research that used the PRE design and describe its application in obesity-related research, including random roommate assignments, heterochronic parabiosis, and the quasi-random assignment of subjects to geographic areas. We then provide a statistical framework to control for potential packet-level confounders not accounted for by randomization. Results PREs have successfully been used to improve causal estimates of the effect of roommates, altitude, and breastfeeding on weight outcomes. When certain assumptions are met, PREs can asymptotically control for packet-level characteristics. This has the potential to statistically estimate the effect of a single treatment even when randomization to a single treatment did not occur. Conclusions Applying PREs to obesity-related research will improve decisions about clinical, public health, and policy actions insofar as it offers researchers new insight into cause and effect relationships among variables. PMID:25444088

  4. Effect of adipic dihydrazide modification on the performance of collagen/hyaluronic acid scaffold.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ling; Xiao, Yumei; Jiang, Bo; Fan, Hongsong; Zhang, Xingdong

    2010-02-01

    Collagen and hydrazide-functionalized hyaluronic acid derivatives were hybridized by gelating and genipin crosslinking to form composite hydrogel. The study contributed to the understanding of the effects of adipic dihydrazide modification on the physicochemical and biological properties of the collagen/hyaluronic acid scaffold. The investigation included morphology observation, mechanical measurement, swelling evaluation, and collagenase degradation. The results revealed that the stability of composites was increased through adipic dihydrazide modification and genipin crosslinking. The improved biocompatibility and retention of hyaluronic acid made the composite material more favorable to chondrocytes growing, suggesting the prepared scaffold might be high potential for chondrogenesis. PMID:19810117

  5. Effects of Lexical Modification on Incidental Vocabulary Acquisition of Iranian EFL Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Negari, Giti Mousapour; Rouhi, Mahdieh

    2012-01-01

    The present article reports on the results of a study designed to investigate the effects of two types of lexical modification i.e., lexical simplification and elaboration, on incidental vocabulary acquisition of Iranian EFL learners.To this end, four versions of experimental texts containing 20 target words were created: baseline and simplified…

  6. Effecting Behavioral Modification in the Mentally Handicapped Student: Operant Conditioning and the Teacher's Role.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    New York State Education Dept., Albany. Div. for Handicapped Children.

    Presented are nine short papers concerning teacher role in effecting behavioral modification in the mentally handicapped student. The paper on functional analysis of behavior discusses use of reinforcers, changing reinforcer strength, reinforcement schedules, and discriminative stimuli. A continuation paper on functional analysis of behavior…

  7. The Effects of Equipment Modification on Children's Self-Efficacy and Basketball Shooting Performance.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chase, Melissa A.; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Reports a study that examined the effects of modification of basketball size and basket height on shooting performance and self-efficacy of children ages 9-12 years. Subjects completed a self-efficacy questionnaire before and after shooting 10 baskets under 4 conditions. Self-efficacy was highest when children shot at a lower basket. (SM)

  8. The Effects of Token Reinforcement versus Cognitive Behavior Modification on Learning-Disabled Students' Math Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, Peter A.; Braden, Jeffrey P.

    1991-01-01

    Compared effects of token reinforcement, cognitive behavior modification, and direct instruction on learning-disabled elementary school students' mathematics skills. Treatment was provided to 94 students for 4 weeks in daily 1-hour sessions. Significant differential gain between treatment and direct instruction groups in achievement test scores…

  9. The effect of surface modification on the ion-exchange properties of layered aluminosilicates

    SciTech Connect

    Yuchs, S.E.; Wasserman, S.R.

    1996-10-01

    Layered aluminosilicates and clay type minerals have been shown to have varying degrees of ion-exchange capacity. In this paper, the ion-exchange capacities of untreated and surface modified montmorillonite clays will be discussed. The effects of extent of surface modification, type of modifier, and type of exchangeable ion will also be discussed. Physical properties, including X-ray diffraction, surface area measurements, XAS and EXAFS, of the modified and native materials will be compared. These surface modification reactions have been shown to yield novel materials with very low ion leachability. Various leach test results from several encapsulated metal ion-exchanged materials will be detailed. This surface modification method may yield materials suitable for intermediate-term storage of hazardous metal ions.

  10. The effects of linguistic modification on ESL students' comprehension of nursing course test items.

    PubMed

    Bosher, Susan; Bowles, Melissa

    2008-01-01

    Recent research has indicated that language may be a source of construct-irrelevant variance for non-native speakers of English, or English as a second language (ESL) students, when they take exams. As a result, exams may not accurately measure knowledge of nursing content. One accommodation often used to level the playing field for ESL students is linguistic modification, a process by which the reading load of test items is reduced while the content and integrity of the item are maintained. Research on the effects of linguistic modification has been conducted on examinees in the K-12 population, but is just beginning in other areas. This study describes the collaborative process by which items from a pathophysiology exam were linguistically modified and subsequently evaluated for comprehensibility by ESL students. Findings indicate that in a majority of cases, modification improved examinees' comprehension of test items. Implications for test item writing and future research are discussed. PMID:18575241

  11. Effect of edge modification on the zigzag BC2N nanoribbons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xiao, Xiang; Li, Hong; Tie, Jun; Lu, Jing

    2016-08-01

    We use first principles calculations to investigate the effects of edge modification with nonmetal species on zigzag-edged BC2N nanoribbons (ZBC2NNRs). These ZBC2NNRs show either semiconducting or metallic behaviors depending on the edge modifications and ribbon widths. We find that the O-modification induces a ferromagnetic ground state with a metallic behavior for all the ribbon widths investigated. And when the ribbon width is more than 3.32 nm (NZ ⩾ 16), an antiferromagnetic ground state with a half-metallic behavior is realized in the H-passivated ZBC2NNRs. These versatile electronic properties render the ZBC2NNRs a promising candidate material in nanoelectronics and nanospintronics.

  12. Combating Unmeasured Confounding in Cross-Sectional Studies: Evaluating Instrumental-Variable and Heckman Selection Models

    PubMed Central

    DeMaris, Alfred

    2014-01-01

    Unmeasured confounding is the principal threat to unbiased estimation of treatment “effects” (i.e., regression parameters for binary regressors) in nonexperimental research. It refers to unmeasured characteristics of individuals that lead them both to be in a particular “treatment” category and to register higher or lower values than others on a response variable. In this article, I introduce readers to 2 econometric techniques designed to control the problem, with a particular emphasis on the Heckman selection model (HSM). Both techniques can be used with only cross-sectional data. Using a Monte Carlo experiment, I compare the performance of instrumental-variable regression (IVR) and HSM to that of ordinary least squares (OLS) under conditions with treatment and unmeasured confounding both present and absent. I find HSM generally to outperform IVR with respect to mean-square-error of treatment estimates, as well as power for detecting either a treatment effect or unobserved confounding. However, both HSM and IVR require a large sample to be fully effective. The use of HSM and IVR in tandem with OLS to untangle unobserved confounding bias in cross-sectional data is further demonstrated with an empirical application. Using data from the 2006–2010 General Social Survey (National Opinion Research Center, 2014), I examine the association between being married and subjective well-being. PMID:25110904

  13. Effects of Weak Surface Modification on Co/SiO2 Catalyst for Fischer-Tropsch Reaction

    PubMed Central

    Ning, Wensheng; Shen, Hehong; Jin, Yangfu; Yang, Xiazhen

    2015-01-01

    A weak surface modification is applied to Co/SiO2 catalyst by hydrothermal treatment at 180°C for 5 h. Aluminum is introduced to Co/SiO2 catalysts during the surface modification. The effects of surface modification on Co/SiO2 catalyst are studied by changing the operating sequences of surface modification and cobalt impregnation in the catalyst preparation. Surface modification before cobalt impregnation makes Co3O4 particle small and dispersed into the deep part of enlarged pore in SiO2, while surface modification after cobalt impregnation does not obviously change the particle size of Co3O4. The improved amplitude of catalytic activity is similar for the two kinds of catalysts, but they are benefited from different factors. The content of iso-hydrocarbons in the products is increased by the surface modifications. PMID:25938725

  14. The Threshold of Embedded M Collider Bias and Confounding Bias

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kelcey, Benjamin; Carlisle, Joanne

    2011-01-01

    Of particular import to this study, is collider bias originating from stratification on retreatment variables forming an embedded M or bowtie structural design. That is, rather than assume an M structural design which suggests that "X" is a collider but not a confounder, the authors adopt what they consider to be a more reasonable position and…

  15. Sulfhydryl-group modifications of Torpedo Californica acetylcholine receptor: subunit localization and effects on function

    SciTech Connect

    McNamee, M.G.; Yee, A.S.

    1986-05-01

    The effects of thiol-group modification on acetylcholine receptor (ACHR) function were measured using purified Torpedo ACHR reconstituted into soybean lipid vesicles. N-Phenyl-maleimide (NPM) was used to modify sulfhydryl groups in ACHR in the absence of any prior reduction by dithiotheitol. Modification by NPM led to the inhibition of ion channel activity without a detectable effect on ligand binding. The ion flux inhibition by NPM primarily affected channel activation, since the initial rates of activation decreased over a wide range of carbamylcholine concentrations. The /sup 3/H-NPM subunit labelling pattern of ACHR (a multisubunit membrane protein with ..cap alpha../sub 2/..beta gamma..delta stoichiometry) revealed preferential labelling of the ..gamma.. subunit. At high NPM concentration, the number of sulfhydryl groups on the ..gamma.. subunit that could be modified with NPM was two. Detergent was required during labelling for functionally relevant thiol group modifications, and most of the label was protected from protease digestion in the reconstituted membranes. These results are consistent with the presence of the NPM modification in a bilayer and/or cytoplasmic domain. Analysis of cyanogen bromide and trypsin fragments indicates that the labeled cysteines may be located in the postulated amphipathic helix region of the ..gamma.. subunit.

  16. Demonstrating the effect of forensic firearm countermeasures: Bullet characteristics generated due to barrel modifications.

    PubMed

    O'Keeffe, C; Champion, S; Allsop, D

    2015-12-01

    Forensic awareness and the declining availability of firearms have resulted in an increase in the use of modified and re-activated firearms in crime. Although some modifications are undertaken to simply acquire a functioning firearm, others are perpetrated as a direct forensic countermeasure to prevent the association between a firearm and a crime. This article describes the effects of these modifications on bullet striation patterns imparted from the barrel to a fired bullet. The key results indicated that the investigated modifications display assessable characteristics. The use of an oversized barrel imparted striations consistent with firing with the absence of typical rifling. Subsequent or consecutively fired bullets possessed striation variations, with the first showing the least evidence of striations. The application of a choke resulted in more obvious bullet elongation compared to a smoothbore barrel. The restriction caused merging of lands and groves of the imparted rifling and obscured their usual definition. Effects of breech adaption were also characterised by observing the buckling and enlargement of the cartridge case. This deformity of the cartridge case was most evident when the barrel pressure increased due to the presence of the choke. From this study it was evident that unique characteristic impressions associated with different modifications most commonly found in criminal investigations can be utilised by a forensic expert and impart significant intelligence to an investigation. PMID:26282508

  17. Demonstrating the effect of forensic firearm countermeasures: Bullet characteristics generated due to barrel modifications.

    PubMed

    O'Keeffe, C; Champion, S; Allsop, D

    2015-12-01

    Forensic awareness and the declining availability of firearms have resulted in an increase in the use of modified and re-activated firearms in crime. Although some modifications are undertaken to simply acquire a functioning firearm, others are perpetrated as a direct forensic countermeasure to prevent the association between a firearm and a crime. This article describes the effects of these modifications on bullet striation patterns imparted from the barrel to a fired bullet. The key results indicated that the investigated modifications display assessable characteristics. The use of an oversized barrel imparted striations consistent with firing with the absence of typical rifling. Subsequent or consecutively fired bullets possessed striation variations, with the first showing the least evidence of striations. The application of a choke resulted in more obvious bullet elongation compared to a smoothbore barrel. The restriction caused merging of lands and groves of the imparted rifling and obscured their usual definition. Effects of breech adaption were also characterised by observing the buckling and enlargement of the cartridge case. This deformity of the cartridge case was most evident when the barrel pressure increased due to the presence of the choke. From this study it was evident that unique characteristic impressions associated with different modifications most commonly found in criminal investigations can be utilised by a forensic expert and impart significant intelligence to an investigation.

  18. Autonomic Effects of Controlled Fine Particulate Exposure in Young Healthy Adults: Effect Modification by Ozone

    PubMed Central

    Fakhri, Asghar A.; Ilic, Ljubomir M.; Wellenius, Gregory A.; Urch, Bruce; Silverman, Frances; Gold, Diane R.; Mittleman, Murray A.

    2009-01-01

    Background Human controlled-exposure studies have assessed the impact of ambient fine particulate matter on cardiac autonomic function measured by heart rate variability (HRV), but whether these effects are modified by concomitant ozone exposure remains unknown. Objective In this study we assessed the impact of O3 and particulate matter exposure on HRV in humans. Methods In a crossover design, 50 subjects (19–48 years of age) were randomized to 2-hr controlled exposures to filtered air (FA), concentrated ambient particles (CAPs), O3, or combined CAPs and ozone (CAPs + O3). The primary end point was change in HRV between the start and end of exposure. Secondary analyses included blood pressure (BP) responses, and effect modification by asthmatic status. Results Achieved mean CAPs and O3 exposure concentrations were 121.6 ± 48.0 μg/m3 and 113.9 ± 6.6 ppb, respectively. In a categorical analysis, exposure had no consistent effect on HRV indices. However, the dose–response relationship between CAPs mass concentration and HRV indices seemed to vary depending on the presence of O3. This heterogeneity was statistically significant for the low-frequency component of HRV (p = 0.02) and approached significance for the high-frequency component and time-domain measures of HRV. Exposure to CAPs + O3 increased diastolic BP by 2.0 mmHg (SE, 1.2; p = 0.02). No other statistically significant changes in BP were observed. Asthmatic status did not modify these effects. Conclusion The potentiation by O3 of CAPs effects on diastolic BP and possibly HRV is of small magnitude in young adults. Further studies are needed to assess potential effects in more vulnerable populations. PMID:19672410

  19. 77 FR 59241 - Notice of Effective Date of Modifications to Certain Textile and Apparel Rules of Origin of the...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-26

    ... of Effective Date of Modifications to Certain Textile and Apparel Rules of Origin of the Dominican... Representative. ACTION: Notice of Effective Date of Modifications to Certain Textile and Apparel Rules of Origin...''). SUMMARY: Public Law 112-163 modified the rules of origin for certain textile and apparel goods of...

  20. Effects of Selenylation Modification on Antioxidative Activities of Schisandra chinensis Polysaccharide.

    PubMed

    Yue, Chanjuan; Chen, Jin; Hou, Ranran; Liu, Jie; Li, Xiuping; Gao, Zhenzhen; Liu, Cui; Wang, Deyun; Lu, Yu; Li, Hongquan; Hu, Yuanliang

    2015-01-01

    The selenylation modification of Schisandra chinensis polysaccharide (SCP) was conducted by the HNO3-Na2SeO3 method respectively under nine conditions according to L9(34) orthogonal design. Nine selenizing SCPs, sSCP1-sSCP9, were obtained, and their antioxidant activities were compared. In vitro test, the free radical-scavenging rates of nine sSCPs were determined for DPPH., .OH and ABTS+. sSCP1 presented the most significant effect, and could inhibit the nonenzymatic protein glycation. In vivo test, 14-day-old chickens were injected respectively with sSCP1 and SCP, the serum contents of CAT, SOD and MDA were determined. The result showed that as compared with the SCP group, the SOD and CAT activities were significantly or numerically raised and MDA content was significantly or numerically lowered in the sSCP1 group. These results indicate that selenylation modification can significantly enhance the antioxidant and antiglycative activity of SCP in vitro or in vivo. sSCP1 possesses the best efficacy and its modification conditions can be as optimal modification conditions that were 200 mg of Na2SeO3 for 500 mg of SCP, reaction temperature of 50°C and reaction time of 6 h.

  1. Effects of Selenylation Modification on Antioxidative Activities of Schisandra chinensis Polysaccharide

    PubMed Central

    Yue, Chanjuan; Chen, Jin; Hou, Ranran; Liu, Jie; Li, Xiuping; Gao, Zhenzhen; Liu, Cui; Wang, Deyun; Lu, Yu; Li, Hongquan; Hu, Yuanliang

    2015-01-01

    The selenylation modification of Schisandra chinensis polysaccharide (SCP) was conducted by the HNO3–Na2SeO3 method respectively under nine conditions according to L9(34) orthogonal design. Nine selenizing SCPs, sSCP1–sSCP9, were obtained, and their antioxidant activities were compared. In vitro test, the free radical-scavenging rates of nine sSCPs were determined for DPPH., .OH and ABTS+. sSCP1 presented the most significant effect, and could inhibit the nonenzymatic protein glycation. In vivo test, 14-day-old chickens were injected respectively with sSCP1 and SCP, the serum contents of CAT, SOD and MDA were determined. The result showed that as compared with the SCP group, the SOD and CAT activities were significantly or numerically raised and MDA content was significantly or numerically lowered in the sSCP1 group. These results indicate that selenylation modification can significantly enhance the antioxidant and antiglycative activity of SCP in vitro or in vivo. sSCP1 possesses the best efficacy and its modification conditions can be as optimal modification conditions that were 200 mg of Na2SeO3 for 500 mg of SCP, reaction temperature of 50°C and reaction time of 6 h. PMID:26230941

  2. Effects of Selenylation Modification on Antioxidative Activities of Schisandra chinensis Polysaccharide.

    PubMed

    Yue, Chanjuan; Chen, Jin; Hou, Ranran; Liu, Jie; Li, Xiuping; Gao, Zhenzhen; Liu, Cui; Wang, Deyun; Lu, Yu; Li, Hongquan; Hu, Yuanliang

    2015-01-01

    The selenylation modification of Schisandra chinensis polysaccharide (SCP) was conducted by the HNO3-Na2SeO3 method respectively under nine conditions according to L9(34) orthogonal design. Nine selenizing SCPs, sSCP1-sSCP9, were obtained, and their antioxidant activities were compared. In vitro test, the free radical-scavenging rates of nine sSCPs were determined for DPPH., .OH and ABTS+. sSCP1 presented the most significant effect, and could inhibit the nonenzymatic protein glycation. In vivo test, 14-day-old chickens were injected respectively with sSCP1 and SCP, the serum contents of CAT, SOD and MDA were determined. The result showed that as compared with the SCP group, the SOD and CAT activities were significantly or numerically raised and MDA content was significantly or numerically lowered in the sSCP1 group. These results indicate that selenylation modification can significantly enhance the antioxidant and antiglycative activity of SCP in vitro or in vivo. sSCP1 possesses the best efficacy and its modification conditions can be as optimal modification conditions that were 200 mg of Na2SeO3 for 500 mg of SCP, reaction temperature of 50°C and reaction time of 6 h. PMID:26230941

  3. Carbon nanotubes toxicology and effects on metabolism and immunological modification in vitro and in vivo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiaretti, M.; Mazzanti, G.; Bosco, S.; Bellucci, S.; Cucina, A.; LeFoche, F.; Carru, G. A.; Mastrangelo, S.; Di Sotto, A.; Masciangelo, R.; Chiaretti, A. M.; Balasubramanian, C.; DeBellis, G.; Micciulla, F.; Porta, N.; Deriu, G.; Tiberia, A.

    2008-11-01

    The aim of this research is focused on the biological effects of multi wall carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) on three different human cell types, laboratory animals in vivo, and immunological effects. Large numbers of researchers are directly involved in the handling of nanostructured materials such as MWCNTs and nanoparticles. It is important to assess the potential health risks related to their daily exposure to carbon nanotubes. The administration of sterilized nanosamples has been performed on laboratory animals, in both acute and chronic administration, and the pathological effects on the parenchymal tissues have been investigated. We studied the serum immunological modifications after intraperitoneal administration of the MWCNTs. We did not observe any antigenic reaction; the screening of ANA, anti-ENA, anti-cardiolipin, C-ANCA and P-ANCA was negative. No quantitative modification of immunoglobulins was observed, hence no modification of humoral immunity was documented. We also studied the effects of MWCNTs on the proliferation of three different cell types. MCF-7 showed a significant inhibition of proliferation for all conditions studied, whereas hSMCs demonstrated a reduction of cell growth only for the highest MWCNTs concentrations after 72 h. Also, no growth modification was observed in the Caco-2 cell line. We observed that a low quantity of MWCNTs does not provoke any inflammatory reaction. However, for future medical applications, it is important to realize prosthesis based on MWCNTs, through studying the corresponding implantation effects. Moreover, it has to be emphasized that this investigation does not address, at the moment, the carcinogenicity of MWCNTs, which requires a detailed follow-up investigation on the specific topic. In view of the subsequent and more extensive use of MWCNTs, especially in applications where carbon nanotubes are injected into the human body for drug delivery, as a contrast agent carrying entities for MRI, or as the basic

  4. Effect of bentonite modification on hardness and mechanical properties of natural rubber nanocomposites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santiago, Denise Ester O.; Pajarito, Bryan B.; Mangaccat, Winna Faye F.; Tigue, Maelyn Rose M.; Tipton, Monica T.

    2016-05-01

    The effect of sodium activation, ion-exchange with tertiary amine salt, surface treatment with non-ionic surfactant, and wet grinding of bentonite on hardness and mechanical properties of natural rubber nanocomposites (NRN) was studied using full factorial design of experiment. Results of X-ray diffraction (XRD) show increase in basal spacing d of bentonite due to modification, while attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) confirm the organic modification of bentonite. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) shows that the main effect of surface treatment increases the hardness and decreases the tensile modulus of the NRN. The surface treatment and wet grinding of bentonite decrease the tensile stresses at 100, 200 and 300% strain of NRN. Sodium activation and ion-exchange negatively affect the compressive properties, while surface treatment significantly improves the compressive properties of NRN.

  5. The effect of aging and surface modification on the mechanical properties of dense aluminum oxide.

    PubMed

    Cook, S D; Weinberg, L A

    1984-01-01

    The effect of in vivo aging and surface texturing on the mechanical properties of dense aluminum oxide were studied. The modulus of rupture and Weibull modulus were determined in air and Ringer's solution using a 3-point bend test. The results showed that the in vivo environment sealed off microcracks either chemically or by tissue ingrowth which strengthened the alumina. The surface modification, however, tended to create more microcracks and stress concentrations at the surface indentations which tended to weaken the alumina.

  6. Effects of Surface Modification Conditions on Hydrophobicity of Silica-based Coating Additives

    SciTech Connect

    Armstrong, Beth L; Pawel, Steven J; Hunter, Scott Robert; Haynes, James A; Hillesheim, Daniel A

    2013-01-01

    Superhydrophobic silica (SHS) powders are being evaluated as a potential additive to the polyurethane topcoats used in Chemical Agent Resistant Coating (CARC) systems, with the goal of improving water repellency and corrosion protection characteristics. The current generation of CARC topcoats is already highly loaded with solids, and thus there is a premium on minimization of the total SHS powder required to achieve the desired properties. Therefore, efficient surface modification of the silica and proper dispersion in the coating will be required. The effect of a dispersant on the surface modification of silica particles by chlorosilanes was addressed in this study. The properties of various SHS powders were characterized by thermogravimetric analysis and mass spectroscopy. Correlations between powder modification conditions and the ultimate effects of the modified particles on hydrophobicity of CARC topcoats were assessed. The use of contact and rolling angle measurements along with scanning electron microscopy are discussed as they pertain to the ability to quantify the effects of modified silicas on corrosion prevention coatings. Furthermore, a systematic approach to modifying and testing both powders and top coats of corrosion prevention systems is presented.

  7. Effects of early cat or dog ownership on sensitisation and asthma in a high-risk cohort without disease-related modification of exposure.

    PubMed

    Almqvist, Catarina; Garden, Frances; Kemp, Andrew S; Li, Qiang; Crisafulli, Daniel; Tovey, Euan R; Xuan, Wei; Marks, Guy B

    2010-03-01

    Variation in the observed association between pet ownership and allergic disease may be attributable to selection bias and confounding. The aim of this study was to suggest a method to assess disease-related modification of exposure and second to examine how cat acquisition or dog ownership in early life affects atopy and asthma at 5 years. Information on sociodemographic factors and cat and dog ownership was collected longitudinally in an initially cat-free Australian birth cohort based on children with a family history of asthma. At age 5 years, 516 children were assessed for wheezing, and 488 for sensitisation. Data showed that by age 5 years, 82 children had acquired a cat. Early manifestations of allergic disease did not foreshadow a reduced rate of subsequent acquisition of a cat. Independent risk factors for acquiring a cat were exposure to tobacco smoke at home odds ratio (OR) 1.92 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.13, 3.26], maternal education < or =12 years OR 1.95 [1.08, 3.51] and dog ownership OR 2.23 [1.23, 4.05]. Cat or dog exposure in the first 5 years was associated with a decreased risk of any allergen sensitisation, OR 0.50 [0.28, 0.88] but no association with wheeze OR 0.96 [0.57, 1.61]. This risk was not affected by age at which the cat was acquired or whether the pet was kept in- or outdoors. In conclusion, cat or dog ownership reduced the risk of subsequent atopy in this high-risk birth cohort. This cannot be explained by disease-related modification of exposure. Public health recommendations on the effect of cat and dog ownership should be based on birth cohort studies where possible selection bias has been taken into account.

  8. Effect of substituents and structural modification on conformational equilibrium in bis-quinolizidine system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wysocka, Waleria; Brukwicki, Tadeusz; Włodarczak, Jacek

    2012-06-01

    On the basis of literature interpretation of 13C NMR and 1H NMR spectra of bis-quinolizidine alkaloids, the values of free enthalpy ΔG of conformational equilibria of those compounds were calculated. The results were analysed together with the X-ray and DFT data to discuss the effects of different substituents attached to the sparteine system in various positions as well as the effects of structural modifications on conformational equilibria. The measure of the effect was expressed by ΔΔG value, defined as the difference in ΔG of the compound under consideration and its parent compound without a given substituent.

  9. Arsenic cancer risk confounder in southwest Taiwan data set.

    PubMed

    Lamm, Steven H; Engel, Arnold; Penn, Cecilia A; Chen, Rusan; Feinleib, Manning

    2006-07-01

    Quantitative analysis for the risk of human cancer from the ingestion of inorganic arsenic has been based on the reported cancer mortality experience in the blackfoot disease (BFD) -endemic area of southwest Taiwan. Linear regression analysis shows that arsenic as the sole etiologic factor accounts for only 21% of the variance in the village standardized mortality ratios for bladder and lung cancer. A previous study had reported the influence of confounders (township, BFD prevalence, and artesian well dependency) qualitatively, but they have not been introduced into a quantitative assessment. In this six-township study, only three townships (2, 4, and 6) showed a significant positive dose-response relationship with arsenic exposure. The other three townships (0, 3, and 5) demonstrated significant bladder and lung cancer risks that were independent of arsenic exposure. The data for bladder and lung cancer mortality for townships 2, 4, and 6 fit an inverse linear regression model (p < 0.001) with an estimated threshold at 151 microg/L (95% confidence interval, 42 to 229 microg/L) . Such a model is consistent with epidemiologic and toxicologic literature for bladder cancer. Exploration of the southwest Taiwan cancer mortality data set has clarified the dose-response relationship with arsenic exposure by separating out township as a confounding factor. Key words: arsenic, blackfoot disease, bladder cancer, cancer risk, confounder, dose-response relationship, southwest Taiwan, threshold model.

  10. Resting-state fMRI confounds and cleanup.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Kevin; Birn, Rasmus M; Bandettini, Peter A

    2013-10-15

    The goal of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is to investigate the brain's functional connections by using the temporal similarity between blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signals in different regions of the brain "at rest" as an indicator of synchronous neural activity. Since this measure relies on the temporal correlation of fMRI signal changes between different parts of the brain, any non-neural activity-related process that affects the signals will influence the measure of functional connectivity, yielding spurious results. To understand the sources of these resting-state fMRI confounds, this article describes the origins of the BOLD signal in terms of MR physics and cerebral physiology. Potential confounds arising from motion, cardiac and respiratory cycles, arterial CO₂ concentration, blood pressure/cerebral autoregulation, and vasomotion are discussed. Two classes of techniques to remove confounds from resting-state BOLD time series are reviewed: 1) those utilising external recordings of physiology and 2) data-based cleanup methods that only use the resting-state fMRI data itself. Further methods that remove noise from functional connectivity measures at a group level are also discussed. For successful interpretation of resting-state fMRI comparisons and results, noise cleanup is an often over-looked but essential step in the analysis pipeline.

  11. Prenatal Paracetamol Exposure and Wheezing in Childhood: Causation or Confounding?

    PubMed Central

    Migliore, Enrica; Zugna, Daniela; Galassi, Claudia; Merletti, Franco; Gagliardi, Luigi; Rasero, Laura; Trevisan, Morena; Rusconi, Franca; Richiardi, Lorenzo

    2015-01-01

    Background Several studies have reported an increased risk of wheezing in the children of mothers who used paracetamol during pregnancy. We evaluated to what extent this association is explained by confounding. Methods We investigated the association between maternal paracetamol use in the first and third trimester of pregnancy and ever wheezing or recurrent wheezing/asthma in infants in the NINFEA cohort study. Risks ratios (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated after adjustment for confounders, including maternal infections and antibiotic use during pregnancy. Results The prevalence of maternal paracetamol use was 30.6% during the first and 36.7% during the third trimester of pregnancy. The prevalence of ever wheezing and recurrent wheezing/asthma was 16.9% and 5.6%, respectively. After full adjustment, the RR for ever wheezing decreased from 1.25 [1.07–1.47] to 1.10 [0.94–1.30] in the first, and from 1.26 [1.08–1.47] to 1.10 [0.93–1.29] in the third trimester. A similar pattern was observed for recurrent wheezing/asthma. Duration of maternal paracetamol use was not associated with either outcome. Further analyses on paracetamol use for three non-infectious disorders (sciatica, migraine, and headache) revealed no increased risk of wheezing in children. Conclusion The association between maternal paracetamol use during pregnancy and infant wheezing is mainly, if not completely explained by confounding. PMID:26305473

  12. The effectiveness of voluntary modifications of gait pattern to reduce the knee adduction moment.

    PubMed

    van den Noort, Josien C; Schaffers, Ilse; Snijders, Jasper; Harlaar, Jaap

    2013-06-01

    It has been suggested to use gait modifications in the retraining of patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA), in order to reduce the external knee adduction moment (KAdM). This study focused on the effect of walking speed, foot position and trunk sway, and on the 3D knee moments. Gait analyses of fourteen healthy volunteers were performed in a gait laboratory. Subjects walked at three different speeds in their normal gait pattern, as well as with toe-in and toe-out gait and with medio-lateral trunk sway at a self-selected speed. Fast walking speed increased the KAdM (17-30%) and flexion moment (32%). A slower walking speed did not decrease the KAdM. Toe-in mainly decreased the KAdM (45%) and the transverse moment (38%) during early stance. Toe-out decreased the KAdM during late stance (56%), but increased the KAdM during early stance and midstance (21-24%), due to decreased endorotation of the hip with knee flexion. Trunk sway decreased the KAdM during early stance and midstance (31-33%). Gait modifications mainly affected the KAdM, but changes in sagittal and transverse knee moments and kinematics were also observed. This indicates that, when estimating knee load, taking only the frontal plane kinetics into consideration may lead to erroneous simplifications. No conclusive beneficial effects were found in any of the gait modifications throughout the entire stance phase.

  13. Does attention redirection contribute to the effectiveness of attention bias modification on social anxiety?

    PubMed

    Yao, Nisha; Yu, Hongyu; Qian, Mingyi; Li, Songwei

    2015-12-01

    Attention bias modification (ABM) is designed to modify threat-related attention bias and thus alleviate anxiety. The current research examined whether consistently directing attention towards targeted goals per se contributes to ABM efficacy. We randomly assigned 68 non-clinical college students with elevated social anxiety to non-valence-specific attend-to-geometrics (AGC), attention modification (AMC), or attention control (ACC) conditions. We assessed subjective, behavioral, and physiological reactivity to a speech task and self-reported social anxiety symptoms. After training, participants in the AMC exhibited an attention avoidance from threat, and those in the AGC responded more rapidly toward targeted geometrics. There was a significant pre- to post-reduction in subjective speech distress across groups, but behavioral and physiological reactivity to speech, as well as self-report social anxiety symptoms, remained unchanged. These results lead to questions concerning effectiveness of ABM training for reducing social anxiety. Further examination of the current ABM protocol is required.

  14. Effects of oxidative modification on thermal aggregation and gel properties of soy protein by malondialdehyde.

    PubMed

    Wu, Wei; Hua, Yufei; Lin, Qinlu

    2014-03-01

    Malondialdehyde (MDA) was selected as a representative of lipid peroxidation products to investigate the effects of oxidative modification on thermal aggregation and gel properties of soy protein by lipid peroxidation products. Incubation of soy protein with increasing concentration of MDA resulted in gradual decrease of particle size and content of thermal aggregates during heat denaturation. Oxidative modification by MDA resulted in a decrease in water holding capacity, gel hardness, and gel strength of soy protein gel. An increase in coarseness and interstice of MDA modified protein gel network was accompanied by uneven distribution of interstice as MDA concentration increased. The results showed that degree of thermal aggregation of MDA-modified soy protein gradually decreased as MDA concentration increased, which contributed to a decrease in water holding capacity, gel hardness, and gel strength of MDA-modified soy protein gel. PMID:24587523

  15. Feedback in classroom behavior modification: effects on the target and her classmates1

    PubMed Central

    Drabman, Ronald S.; Lahey, Benjamin B.

    1974-01-01

    A behavior modification program that employed feedback with no additional contingencies was initiated and withdrawn in an ABAB design on a target child within a classroom. The disruptive behavior of the target child as well as that of her peers was monitored. Additionally, the sociometric status of the target child was recorded. Finally, the positive and negative comments made to the target by her teacher and her peers were related to initiation and withdrawal of the feedback contingency. Results indicate that (1) feedback alone may be an effective behavior modification procedure, (2) the disruptive behavior of the target's classmates changed, even though they were not directly treated, (3) sociometric status of the target was altered by behavioral contingencies, (4) positive comments by classmates to the target increased, and (5) negative comments from the teacher to the target child decreased. PMID:4443326

  16. The effects of equipment modification on children's self-efficacy and basketball shooting performance.

    PubMed

    Chase, M A; Ewing, M E; Lirgg, C D; George, T R

    1994-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of modification of basketball size and basket height on shooting performance and self-efficacy of girls and boys 9 to 12 years of age. Subjects (N = 74) completed a self-efficacy questionnaire before and after shooting 10 baskets under four conditions. Shooting conditions were a combination of basketball size (women's or men's) and basket height (10 or 8 ft). Repeated measures analyses of variance indicated that children made more baskets and had higher shooting scores at the 8-ft basket than the 10-ft basket. This was especially evident for girls and 9- and 10-year-old children. Self-efficacy was higher prior to shooting, and boys had higher self-efficacy than girls. Self-efficacy was highest when children shot at the 8-ft basket. These results indicated that basket height modification can positively influence children's shooting performance and self-efficacy.

  17. Mediation Analysis With Intermediate Confounding: Structural Equation Modeling Viewed Through the Causal Inference Lens

    PubMed Central

    De Stavola, Bianca L.; Daniel, Rhian M.; Ploubidis, George B.; Micali, Nadia

    2015-01-01

    The study of mediation has a long tradition in the social sciences and a relatively more recent one in epidemiology. The first school is linked to path analysis and structural equation models (SEMs), while the second is related mostly to methods developed within the potential outcomes approach to causal inference. By giving model-free definitions of direct and indirect effects and clear assumptions for their identification, the latter school has formalized notions intuitively developed in the former and has greatly increased the flexibility of the models involved. However, through its predominant focus on nonparametric identification, the causal inference approach to effect decomposition via natural effects is limited to settings that exclude intermediate confounders. Such confounders are naturally dealt with (albeit with the caveats of informality and modeling inflexibility) in the SEM framework. Therefore, it seems pertinent to revisit SEMs with intermediate confounders, armed with the formal definitions and (parametric) identification assumptions from causal inference. Here we investigate: 1) how identification assumptions affect the specification of SEMs, 2) whether the more restrictive SEM assumptions can be relaxed, and 3) whether existing sensitivity analyses can be extended to this setting. Data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (1990–2005) are used for illustration. PMID:25504026

  18. Surface Properties of Fluorosilicone Copolymers and Their Surface Modification Effects on PVC Film.

    PubMed

    Kim; Lee; Doh

    1998-09-15

    The fluorosilicone copolymers were synthesized using a fluorine-containing monomer and silicone-containing monomers by free-radical random copolymerization, and their surface properties and surface modification ability were investigated. The fluorine-containing monomer used was perfluoroalkyl ethyl acrylate (FA), and the silicone-containing monomers used were 3-[tris(trimethylsilyloxy)silyl]propyl methacrylate (SiMA), vinyltrimethoxy silane (VTMS), and vinyltriethoxy silane (VTES). The surface free energies of the fluorosilicone copolymers prepared were estimated from the contact angle data measured by sessile-drop method. And, the surface free energies of poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC) films modified by the fluorosilicone copolymers were also analyzed using the contact angle data. The fluorosilicone copolymers exhibit the surface free energies of about 8-23 dyn/cm dependent on the molecular weight of the fluorosilicone copolymers. The surface free energies of the fluorosilicone copolymers decrease with increasing molecular weight in the range of 2,000-10,000 (Mw). Among the fluorosilicone copolymers prepared in this study, PFA-r-PSiMA was found to be the most effective as a surface modification agent for PVC film. The inherent surface free energy of PFA-r-PSiMA was estimated to be about 9.0 dyn/cm. The desirable molecular weight of PFA-r-PSiMA seems to be more than 4,000 (Mw). However, it is expected that the fluorosilicone copolymers having the molecular weight of much higher than 10,000 (Mw) may not be suitable as surface modification additives because their compatibility with other polymers will decrease with the molecular weight. The optimum concentration of PFA-r-PSiMA added to PVC film is about 1.0 wt.%. PFA-r-PSiMA is expectedto be an effective additive for surface modification of PVC films. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

  19. Structual Effects of Cytidine 2^' Ribose Modifications as Determined by Irmpd Action Spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamlow, Lucas; He, Chenchen; Fan, Lin; Wu, Ranran; Yang, Bo; Rodgers, M. T.; Berden, Giel; Oomens, J.

    2015-06-01

    Modified nucleosides, both naturally occurring and synthetic play an important role in understanding and manipulating RNA and DNA. Naturally occurring modified nucleosides are commonly found in functionally important regions of RNA and also affect antibiotic resistance or sensitivity. Synthetic modifications of nucleosides such as fluorinated and arabinosyl nucleosides have found uses as anti-virals and chemotherapy agents. Understanding the effect that modifications have on structure and glycosidic bond stability may lend insight into the functions of these modified nucleosides. Modifications such as the naturally occurring 2^'-O-methylation and the synthetic 2^'-fluorination are believed to help stabilize the nucleoside through the glycosidic bond stability and intramolecular hydrogen bonding. Changing the sugar from ribose to arabinose alters the stereochemistry at the 2^' position and thus shifts the 3D orientation of the 2^'-hydroxyl group, which also affects intramolecular hydrogen bonding and glycosidic bond stability. The structures of 2^'-deoxy-2^'-fluorocytidine, 2^'-O-methylcytidine and cytosine arabinoside are examined in the current work by measuring the infrared spectra in the IR fingerprint region using infrared multiple photon dissociation (IRMPD) action spectroscopy. The structures accessed in the experiments were determined via comparison of the measured IRMPD action spectra to the theoretical linear IR spectra determined by density functional theory and molecular modeling for the stable low-energy structures. Although glycosidic bond stability cannot be quantitatively determined from this data, complementary TCID studies will establish the effect of these modifications. Comparison of these modified nucleosides with their RNA and DNA analogues will help elucidate differences in their intrinsic chemistry.

  20. Effects of tooth profile modification on dynamic responses of a high speed gear-rotor-bearing system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Zehua; Tang, Jinyuan; Zhong, Jue; Chen, Siyu; Yan, Haiyan

    2016-08-01

    A finite element node dynamic model of a high speed gear-rotor-bearing system considering the time-varying mesh stiffness, backlash, gyroscopic effect and transmission error excitation is developed. Different tooth profile modifications are introduced into the gear pair and corresponding time-varying mesh stiffness curves are obtained. Effects of the tooth profile modification on mesh stiffness are analyzed, and the natural frequencies and mode shapes of the gear-rotor-bearing transmission system are given. The dynamic responses with respect to a wide input speed region including dynamic factor, vibration amplitude near the bearing and dynamic transmission error are obtained by introducing the time-varying mesh stiffness in different tooth profile modification cases into the gear-rotor-bearing dynamic system. Effects of the tooth profile modification on the dynamic responses are studied in detail. The numerical simulation results show that both the short profile modification and the long profile modification can affect the mutation of the mesh stiffness when the number of engaging tooth pairs changes. A short profile modification with an appropriate modification amount can improve the dynamic property of the system in certain work condition.

  1. Treatment Modifications and Treatment-Limiting Toxicities or Side Effects: Risk Factors and Temporal Trends.

    PubMed

    Pantazis, Nikos; Psichogiou, Mina; Paparizos, Vassilios; Gargalianos, Panagiotis; Chini, Maria; Protopapas, Konstantinos; Sipsas, Nikolaos V; Panos, George; Chrysos, George; Sambatakou, Helen; Katsarou, Olga; Touloumi, Giota

    2015-07-01

    Combined antiretroviral treatment (cART) modifications are often required due to treatment failure or side effects. We investigate cART regimens' durability, frequency of treatment-limiting adverse events, and potential risk factors and temporal trends. Data were derived from the Athens Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (AMACS). Statistical analyses were based on survival techniques, allowing for multiple contributions per individual. Overall, 2,756 individuals, aged >15 years, initiated cART. cART regimens were grouped by their initiation date into four calendar periods (1995-1998, 1999-2002, 2003-2006, and 2007+). Median [95% confidence interval (CI)] time to first treatment modification was 2.11 (1.95-2.33) years; cumulative probabilities at 1 year were 31.6%, 29.0%, 33.1%, and 29.6% for the four periods, respectively. cART modifications were less frequent in more recent years (adjusted HR=0.96 per year; p<0.001). Longer treatment duration was associated with lower HIV-RNA, higher CD4 counts, and being previously ART naive. cART modifications due to treatment failure became less frequent in recent years (adjusted HR=0.91 per year; p<0.001). Estimated (95% CI) 1 year cumulative probabilities of treatment-limiting side effects were 16.4% (12.0-21.3%), 19.3% (15.6-23.3%), 24.9% (20.3-29.7%), and 21.1% (13.4-29.9%) for the four periods, respectively, with no significant temporal trends. Risk of side effects was lower in nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI)-based regimens or triple nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI)-based cART regimens. Treatment modifications have become less frequent in more recent years. This could be partly attributed to the lower risk for side effects of NNRTI-based cART regimens and mainly to the improved efficacy of newer drugs. However, the rate of drugs substitutions due to adverse events remains substantially high. PMID:25950848

  2. Bounds on potential risks and causal risk differences under assumptions about confounding parameters.

    PubMed

    Chiba, Yasutaka; Sato, Tosiya; Greenland, Sander

    2007-12-10

    Nonparametric bounds on causal effects in observational studies are available under deterministic potential-outcome models. We derive narrower bounds by adding assumptions regarding bias due to confounding. This bias is defined as the difference between the expectation of potential outcomes for the exposed group and that for the unexposed group. We show that crude effect measures bound causal effects under the given assumptions. We then derive bounds for randomized studies with noncompliance, which are given by the per protocol effect. With perfect compliance in one treatment group, the direction of effect becomes identifiable under our assumptions. Although the assumptions are not themselves identifiable, they are nonetheless reasonable in some situations.

  3. The determinants of actinic skin damage: problems of confounding among environmental and constitutional variables.

    PubMed

    Holman, C D; Evans, P R; Lumsden, G J; Armstrong, B K

    1984-09-01

    Constitutional and environmental determinants of actinic skin damage, assessed by cutaneous microtopography, were evaluated in 1,216 subjects attending the 1981 Busselton Health Survey in Western Australia. Increasing age, male sex, the tendency to burn on exposure to sunlight and outdoor occupation were found to have independent predictive value for the presence of actinic skin damage. Crude positive and inverse associations of actinic skin damage with several other factors were shown to arise from confounding. Effect measures for outdoor leisure pursuits and sunscreen use were underestimated due to inverse associations of these factors with older age, and inverse associations of high-exposure outdoor activities with poor skin response to sunlight. Associations of constitutional traits typical of fair individuals and sunscreen use with the tendency to burn resulted in overestimation of effect measures. Empirical relationships of actinic skin damage with certain leisure activities and with use of sunscreens were also confounded by sex. The results indicate a need for greater attention to confounding in nonexperimental skin cancer research.

  4. Threats to internal validity in exercise science: a review of overlooked confounding variables.

    PubMed

    Halperin, Israel; Pyne, David B; Martin, David T

    2015-10-01

    Internal validity refers to the degree of control exerted over potential confounding variables to reduce alternative explanations for the effects of various treatments. In exercise and sports-science research and routine testing, internal validity is commonly achieved by controlling variables such as exercise and warm-up protocols, prior training, nutritional intake before testing, ambient temperature, time of testing, hours of sleep, age, and gender. However, a number of other potential confounding variables often do not receive adequate attention in sports physiology and performance research. These confounding variables include instructions on how to perform the test, volume and frequency of verbal encouragement, knowledge of exercise endpoint, number and gender of observers in the room, influence of music played before and during testing, and the effects of mental fatigue on performance. In this review the authors discuss these variables in relation to common testing environments in exercise and sports science and present some recommendations with the goal of reducing possible threats to internal validity.

  5. Effect of Lysine Modification on the Stability and Cellular Binding of Human Amyloidogenic Light Chains

    SciTech Connect

    O'Neill, Hugh Michael; Davern, Sandra M.; Murphy, Charles L.; Wall, Jonathan; Deborah, Weiss T.; Solomon, Alan

    2011-01-01

    AL amyloidosis is characterized by the pathologic deposition as fibrils of monoclonal light chains (i.e., Bence Jones proteins [BJPs]) in particular organs and tissues. This phenomenon has been attributed to the presence in amyloidogenic proteins of particular amino acids that cause these molecules to become unstable, as well as post-translational modifications and, in regard to the latter, we have investigated the effect of biotinylation of lysyl residues on cell binding. We utilized an experimental system designed to test if BJPs obtained from patients with AL amyloidosis or, as a control, multiple myeloma (MM), bound human fibroblasts and renal epithelial cells. As documented by fluorescent microscopy and ELISA, the amyloidogenic BJPs, as compared with MM components, bound preferentially and this reactivity increased significantly after chemical modification of their lysyl residues with sulfo-NHS-biotin. Further, based on tryptophan fluorescence and circular dichorism data, it was apparent that their conformation was altered, which we hypothesize exposed a binding site not accessible on the native protein. The results of our studies indicate that post-translational structural modifications of pathologic light chains can enhance their capacity for cellular interaction and thus may contribute to the pathogenesis of AL amyloidosis and multiple myeloma.

  6. The effect of hypusine modification on the intracellular localization of eIF5A

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Seung Bum; Park, Jong Hwan; Kaevel, Joern; Sramkova, Monika; Weigert, Roberto; Park, Myung Hee

    2009-06-12

    Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A (eIF5A) is a highly conserved protein essential for eukaryotic cell proliferation and is the only protein containing hypusine, [N{sup {epsilon}}-(4-amino-2-hydroxybutyl)lysine]. eIF5A is activated by the post-translational synthesis of hypusine. eIF5A also undergoes an acetylation at specific Lys residue(s). In this study, we have investigated the effect of hypusine modification and acetylation on the subcellular localization of eIF5A. Immunocytochemical analyses showed differences in the distribution of non-hypusinated eIF5A precursor and the hypusine-containing mature eIF5A. While the precursor is found in both cytoplasm and nucleus, the hypusinated eIF5A is primarily localized in cytoplasm. eIF5A mutant proteins, defective in hypusine modification (K50A, K50R) were localized in a similar manner to the eIF5A precursor, whereas hypusine-modified mutant proteins (K47A, K47R, K68A) were localized mainly in the cytoplasm. These findings provide strong evidence that the hypusine modification of eIF5A dictates its localization in the cytoplasmic compartment where it is required for protein synthesis.

  7. Effect of Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Modification on Polyimide and Adhesive Joining with Titanium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akram, M.; Jansen, K. M. B.; Ernst, L. J.; Bhowmik, S.; Ajeesh, G.; Ahmed, S.; Chakraborty, D.

    2015-10-01

    This investigation highlights the effect of surface modification on polyimide by atmospheric pressure plasma treatment with different exposure time. Surface modification of polymer by plasma treatment essentially creates physical and chemical changes such as cross-linking and formation of free radicals. It also forms oxygen functionalization in the form of polar groups on polymer surface, hence improving the wetting and adhesion properties. It is observed that surface energy of the polymer increases with increasing exposure time of atmospheric pressure plasma. However, prolonged exposure time of plasma results in deterioration of the surface layer of polyimide resulting in degradation and embrittlement. Scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy analysis reveal that there is a considerable morphological change on the polymer surface due to atmospheric pressure plasma treatment. X-ray photo electron spectroscopy analysis reveals that the oxygen functionalities of polymer surface increases significantly when polyimide is exposed to atmospheric pressure plasma. Untreated and atmospheric pressure plasma-treated polyimide sheet are adhesive bonded by employing polyimide adhesive as well as with titanium substrate. Due to surface modification of polyimide, it is observed that there is a significant increase in lap shear tensile strength, and therefore, this technology is highly acceptable for aviation and space applications.

  8. Effect of surface modifications on the thermal and moisture behavior of wool fabric

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xin; Zhao, Yuan; Li, Wenbin; Wang, Hao

    2015-07-01

    Thermal and moisture behavior is crucial in determining the comfort of clothing. Surface modification of fibers brings new functions and properties to fibrous materials, but the comfort of the as-made clothing changes accordingly due to different thermal and moisture behaviors. In this study, physical and chemical modifications have been conducted to wool fabric to investigate their effects on the thermal and moisture behaviors of clothing. Surface wettability, wicking properties, thermal and moisture resistance together with surface temperature and humidity of the microclimate have been tested. It has been found that the wettability of wool fabric is greatly improved and wicking properties are granted to the fabric. Higher thermal and moisture resistance have been noticed for the treated wool fabric. The treated fabric shows longer moisture liberation process and the surface temperature and humidity varies in a different way compared with untreated fabric. Understanding the thermal and moisture behaviors of fabric after surface modification would benefit the further development of surface functionalizing technology and design of next to skin clothing.

  9. Effect of 4-Hydroxy-2-Nonenal Modification on Alpha-Synuclein Aggregation

    SciTech Connect

    Qin, Z.; Hu, D.; Han, S.; Reaney, S.H.; Monte, D.A.Di; Fink, A.L.

    2007-07-12

    Several observations have implicated oxidative stress and aggregation of the presynaptic protein alpha-synuclein in the pathogenesis of PD. alpha-Synuclein has been shown to have affinity for unsaturated fatty acids and membranes enriched in PUFAs, which are especially sensitive to oxidation under conditions of oxidative stress. One of the most important products of lipid oxidation is 4-hydroxynonenal (HNE), which has been implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. Consequently we investigated the effects of the interaction of HNE with alpha-synuclein. Incubation of HNE with alpha-synuclein at pH 7.4, 37oC resulted in covalent modification of the protein, with up to six HNE molecules incorporated as Michael addition products. FTIR and CD spectra indicated that HNE modification of alpha-synuclein resulted in a major conformational change involving increased beta-sheet. HNE modification of alpha-synuclein led to inhibition of fibrillation in an HNE-concentration-dependent manner. This inhibition of fibrillation was shown to be due to the formation of soluble oligomers based on SEC HPLC and AFM data. Small-angle X-ray scattering analysis indicated that the HNE-induced oligomers are compact and tightly packed. Treatment with guanidinium chloride (GuHCl) demonstrated that the HNE-induced oligomers were very stable with an extremely slow rate of dissociation. Addition of 5 uM HNE-modified oligomers to primary mesencephalic cultures caused marked neurotoxicity, since the integrity of dopaminergic and GABAergic neurons was reduced by 95% and 85%, respectively. Our observations indicate that HNE-modification of alpha-synuclein prevents fibrillation but may result in toxic oligomers which could therefore contribute to the demise of neurons subjected to oxidative damage.

  10. An assessment of the possible extent of confounding in epidemiological studies of lung cancer risk among roofers

    SciTech Connect

    Mundt, D.J.; van Wijngaarden, E.; Mundt, K.A.

    2007-07-01

    We evaluated the likelihood and extent to which the observed increased risk of lung cancer may be due to confounding (a mixing of effects of multiple exposures) by co-exposure to other potential carcinogens present in roofing or to lifestyle variables. We conducted a review of the epidemiological and industrial hygiene literature of asphalt-exposed workers. Peer-reviewed epidemiological studies of asphalt fumes, related occupational exposures, and confounding factors were identified from MEDLINE (1966 early 2004). Industrial hygiene studies of asphalt workers were identified through MEDLINE, publicly available government documents, and asphalt industry documents. Using well established statistical methods, we quantified the extent to which lung cancer relative risk estimates among roofers reflect confounding from other exposures, using different prevalence and risk scenarios. The relative risk of lung cancer varied from 1.2 to 5.0 in 13 epidemiological studies of roofers; most studies reported a relative risk between 1.2 and 1.4. Smoking, asbestos and coal tar were the most likely confounders, but the prevalence of these factors varied over time. The results of the study indicate that much of the observed risk reported in epidemiological studies of cancer among roofers is well within the range of what may have resulted from confounding by reasonable and expected levels of smoking, asbestos or coal tar. This may be particularly true for those studies that did not adjust for these confounders and where the exposure was defined as employment in the roofing industry. In addition to poorly defined asphalt exposure, uncontrolled confounding cannot reliably be ruled out in studies of lung cancer among asphalt-exposed roofers. Therefore, it is not possible to conclude whether roofers are at increased risk of lung cancer due to asphalt exposure.

  11. Position-dependent performance of copper phthalocyanine based field-effect transistors by gold nanoparticles modification.

    PubMed

    Luo, Xiao; Li, Yao; Lv, Wenli; Zhao, Feiyu; Sun, Lei; Peng, Yingquan; Wen, Zhanwei; Zhong, Junkang; Zhang, Jianping

    2015-01-21

    A facile fabrication and characteristics of copper phthalocyanine (CuPc)-based organic field-effect transistor (OFET) using the gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) modification is reported, thereby achieving highly improved performance. The effect of Au NPs located at three different positions, that is, at the SiO2/CuPc interface (device B), embedding in the middle of CuPc layer (device C), and on the top of CuPc layer (device D), is investigated, and the results show that device D has the best performance. Compared with the device without Au NPs (reference device A), device D displays an improvement of field-effect mobility (μ(sat)) from 1.65 × 10(-3) to 5.51 × 10(-3) cm(2) V(-1) s(-1), and threshold voltage decreases from -23.24 to -16.12 V. Therefore, a strategy for the performance improvement of the CuPc-based OFET with large field-effect mobility and saturation drain current is developed, on the basis of the concept of nanoscale Au modification. The model of an additional electron transport channel formation by FET operation at the Au NPs/CuPc interface is therefore proposed to explain the observed performance improvement. Optimum CuPc thickness is confirmed to be about 50 nm in the present study. The device-to-device uniformity and time stability are discussed for future application.

  12. Thermal effects on the Ga+ ion beam induced structural modification of a-SiC:H

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsvetkova, T.; Wright, C. D.; Craciun, M. F.; Bischoff, L.; Angelov, O.; Dimova-Malinovska, D.

    2012-12-01

    The effects of implantation temperature and post-implantation thermal annealing on the Ga+ ion beam induced optical contrast formation in hydrogenated silicon-carbon alloy (a-SiC:H) films and underlying structural modifications have been studied. The optical contrast formed (between implanted and unimplanted regions of the film material) has been made use of in the form of optical pattern formation by computer-operated Ga+-focused ion beam. Possible applications of this effect in the area of submicron lithography and high-density optical data storage have been suggested with regard to the most widely spread focused micro-beam systems based on Ga+ liquid metal ion sources. The implanted samples were structurally analysed using vibrational spectroscopies, like Raman and infra-red (IR) spectroscopy, to define optimum implantation conditions. The precise role of implantation temperature effects, i.e. the target temperature during Ga+ ion irradiation, on the structural modification obtainable has been therefore a key part of this study. Appropriate post-implantation annealing treatments were also studied, since these are expected to offer further benefits in reducing the required ion dose and enhancing the optical contrast, thus increasing the cost-effectiveness of the method.

  13. Position-dependent performance of copper phthalocyanine based field-effect transistors by gold nanoparticles modification.

    PubMed

    Luo, Xiao; Li, Yao; Lv, Wenli; Zhao, Feiyu; Sun, Lei; Peng, Yingquan; Wen, Zhanwei; Zhong, Junkang; Zhang, Jianping

    2015-01-21

    A facile fabrication and characteristics of copper phthalocyanine (CuPc)-based organic field-effect transistor (OFET) using the gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) modification is reported, thereby achieving highly improved performance. The effect of Au NPs located at three different positions, that is, at the SiO2/CuPc interface (device B), embedding in the middle of CuPc layer (device C), and on the top of CuPc layer (device D), is investigated, and the results show that device D has the best performance. Compared with the device without Au NPs (reference device A), device D displays an improvement of field-effect mobility (μ(sat)) from 1.65 × 10(-3) to 5.51 × 10(-3) cm(2) V(-1) s(-1), and threshold voltage decreases from -23.24 to -16.12 V. Therefore, a strategy for the performance improvement of the CuPc-based OFET with large field-effect mobility and saturation drain current is developed, on the basis of the concept of nanoscale Au modification. The model of an additional electron transport channel formation by FET operation at the Au NPs/CuPc interface is therefore proposed to explain the observed performance improvement. Optimum CuPc thickness is confirmed to be about 50 nm in the present study. The device-to-device uniformity and time stability are discussed for future application. PMID:25548878

  14. Reporting phenotypes in mouse models when considering body size as a potential confounder.

    PubMed

    Oellrich, Anika; Meehan, Terrence F; Parkinson, Helen; Sarntivijai, Sirarat; White, Jacqueline K; Karp, Natasha A

    2016-01-01

    Genotype-phenotype studies aim to identify causative relationships between genes and phenotypes. The International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium is a high throughput phenotyping program whose goal is to collect phenotype data for a knockout mouse strain of every protein coding gene. The scale of the project requires an automatic analysis pipeline to detect abnormal phenotypes, and disseminate the resulting gene-phenotype annotation data into public resources. A body weight phenotype is a common result of knockout studies. As body weight correlates with many other biological traits, this challenges the interpretation of related gene-phenotype associations. Co-correlation can lead to gene-phenotype associations that are potentially misleading. Here we use statistical modelling to account for body weight as a potential confounder to assess the impact. We find that there is a considerable impact on previously established gene-phenotype associations due to an increase in sensitivity as well as the confounding effect. We investigated the existing ontologies to represent this phenotypic information and we explored ways to ontologically represent the results of the influence of confounders on gene-phenotype associations. With the scale of data being disseminated within the high throughput programs and the range of downstream studies that utilise these data, it is critical to consider how we improve the quality of the disseminated data and provide a robust ontological representation.

  15. Soil modification by invasive plants: Effects on native and invasive species of mixed-grass prairies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jordan, N.R.; Larson, D.L.; Huerd, S.C.

    2008-01-01

    Invasive plants are capable of modifying attributes of soil to facilitate further invasion by conspecifics and other invasive species. We assessed this capability in three important plant invaders of grasslands in the Great Plains region of North America: leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula), smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum). In a glasshouse, these three invasives or a group of native species were grown separately through three cycles of growth and soil conditioning in both steam-pasteurized and non-pasteurized soils, after which we assessed seedling growth in these soils. Two of the three invasive species, Bromus and Agropyron, exhibited significant self-facilitation via soil modification. Bromus and Agropyron also had significant facilitative effects on other invasives via soil modification, while Euphorbia had significant antagonistic effects on the other invasives. Both Agropyron and Euphorbia consistently suppressed growth of two of three native forbs, while three native grasses were generally less affected. Almost all intra- and interspecific effects of invasive soil conditioning were dependent upon presence of soil biota from field sites where these species were successful invaders. Overall, these results suggest that that invasive modification of soil microbiota can facilitate plant invasion directly or via 'cross-facilitation' of other invasive species, and moreover has potential to impede restoration of native communities after removal of an invasive species. However, certain native species that are relatively insensitive to altered soil biota (as we observed in the case of the forb Linum lewisii and the native grasses), may be valuable as 'nurse'species in restoration efforts. ?? 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  16. [Modification of drug mutagenicity by their immobilization. Effect of prostatilen immobilized in polyvinyl alcohol in mice].

    PubMed

    Mikheev, V S; Bolonina, V P; Gorbachev, A G

    1992-08-01

    Mutagenic drug effect of prostatilen and the possibility of modification were analysed in the sperm head anomalies (SHA) and the bone marrow cell aberrations (CA) tests in Mus musculus. It was found that intraperitoneal injection of 2.5 micrograms of prostatilen induced no significant increase in SHA and CA frequencies, the dose of 5 micrograms inducing both SHA and CA. Ultrafiltration of prostatilen led to decrease in its mutagenicity in the SHA test. Immobilization of the drug (5 and 10 micrograms) in polyvinyl alcohol reduced SHA and CA frequencies, the former decreasing to the control level.

  17. A screen of chemical modifications identifies position-specific modification by UNA to most potently reduce siRNA off-target effects

    PubMed Central

    Bramsen, Jesper B.; Pakula, Malgorzata M.; Hansen, Thomas B.; Bus, Claus; Langkjær, Niels; Odadzic, Dalibor; Smicius, Romualdas; Wengel, Suzy L.; Chattopadhyaya, Jyoti; Engels, Joachim W.; Herdewijn, Piet; Wengel, Jesper; Kjems, Jørgen

    2010-01-01

    Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) are now established as the preferred tool to inhibit gene function in mammalian cells yet trigger unintended gene silencing due to their inherent miRNA-like behavior. Such off-target effects are primarily mediated by the sequence-specific interaction between the siRNA seed regions (position 2–8 of either siRNA strand counting from the 5′-end) and complementary sequences in the 3′UTR of (off-) targets. It was previously shown that chemical modification of siRNAs can reduce off-targeting but only very few modifications have been tested leaving more to be identified. Here we developed a luciferase reporter-based assay suitable to monitor siRNA off-targeting in a high throughput manner using stable cell lines. We investigated the impact of chemically modifying single nucleotide positions within the siRNA seed on siRNA function and off-targeting using 10 different types of chemical modifications, three different target sequences and three siRNA concentrations. We found several differently modified siRNAs to exercise reduced off-targeting yet incorporation of the strongly destabilizing unlocked nucleic acid (UNA) modification into position 7 of the siRNA most potently reduced off-targeting for all tested sequences. Notably, such position-specific destabilization of siRNA–target interactions did not significantly reduce siRNA potency and is therefore well suited for future siRNA designs especially for applications in vivo where siRNA concentrations, expectedly, will be low. PMID:20453030

  18. Evaluating Public Health Interventions: 3. The Two-Stage Design for Confounding Bias Reduction—Having Your Cake and Eating It Two

    PubMed Central

    Spiegelman, Donna; Rivera-Rodriguez, Claudia L.; Haneuse, Sebastien

    2016-01-01

    In public health evaluations, confounding bias in the estimate of the intervention effect will typically threaten the validity of the findings. It is a common misperception that the only way to avoid this bias is to measure detailed, high-quality data on potential confounders for every intervention participant, but this strategy for adjusting for confounding bias is often infeasible. Rather than ignoring confounding altogether, the two-phase design and analysis—in which detailed high-quality confounding data are obtained among a small subsample—can be considered. We describe the two-stage design and analysis approach, and illustrate its use in the evaluation of an intervention conducted in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, of an enhanced community health worker program to improve antenatal care uptake. PMID:27285260

  19. Evaluating Public Health Interventions: 3. The Two-Stage Design for Confounding Bias Reduction-Having Your Cake and Eating It Two.

    PubMed

    Spiegelman, Donna; Rivera-Rodriguez, Claudia L; Haneuse, Sebastien

    2016-07-01

    In public health evaluations, confounding bias in the estimate of the intervention effect will typically threaten the validity of the findings. It is a common misperception that the only way to avoid this bias is to measure detailed, high-quality data on potential confounders for every intervention participant, but this strategy for adjusting for confounding bias is often infeasible. Rather than ignoring confounding altogether, the two-phase design and analysis-in which detailed high-quality confounding data are obtained among a small subsample-can be considered. We describe the two-stage design and analysis approach, and illustrate its use in the evaluation of an intervention conducted in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, of an enhanced community health worker program to improve antenatal care uptake.

  20. High frequency effects of modifications to Morison`s equation on the response of a TLP

    SciTech Connect

    Mekha, B.B.; Johnson, C.P.; Roesset, J.M

    1995-12-31

    The work described in this paper is part of a research project conducted at the University of Texas at Austin in conjunction with the Offshore Technology Research Center. The research studies the contribution of different nonlinearities to the global response of tension leg platforms. A rigid body model with three degrees of freedom is selected to represent a TLP hull which consists of four columns and four pontoons. The tendons are modelled as elastic springs allowing for the variation of the axial forces and the effect of setdown. The forces are computed using Morison`s equation with and without the nonlinear modifications formulated by Rainey. Forces on the bottom of a truncated cylinder are employed to account for the diffraction and radiation effects. The effects of these modifications on the high frequency response and on the tendon forces are discussed for different aspects ratios of column diameter to wavelength. Among other conclusions, the tendons forces are dominated by the heave response at the wave frequencies and by the pitch response at the pitch natural frequency.

  1. Quantification of Treatment Effect Modification on Both an Additive and Multiplicative Scale

    PubMed Central

    Girerd, Nicolas; Rabilloud, Muriel; Pibarot, Philippe; Mathieu, Patrick; Roy, Pascal

    2016-01-01

    Background In both observational and randomized studies, associations with overall survival are by and large assessed on a multiplicative scale using the Cox model. However, clinicians and clinical researchers have an ardent interest in assessing absolute benefit associated with treatments. In older patients, some studies have reported lower relative treatment effect, which might translate into similar or even greater absolute treatment effect given their high baseline hazard for clinical events. Methods The effect of treatment and the effect modification of treatment were respectively assessed using a multiplicative and an additive hazard model in an analysis adjusted for propensity score in the context of coronary surgery. Results The multiplicative model yielded a lower relative hazard reduction with bilateral internal thoracic artery grafting in older patients (Hazard ratio for interaction/year = 1.03, 95%CI: 1.00 to 1.06, p = 0.05) whereas the additive model reported a similar absolute hazard reduction with increasing age (Delta for interaction/year = 0.10, 95%CI: -0.27 to 0.46, p = 0.61). The number needed to treat derived from the propensity score-adjusted multiplicative model was remarkably similar at the end of the follow-up in patients aged < = 60 and in patients >70. Conclusions The present example demonstrates that a lower treatment effect in older patients on a relative scale can conversely translate into a similar treatment effect on an additive scale due to large baseline hazard differences. Importantly, absolute risk reduction, either crude or adjusted, can be calculated from multiplicative survival models. We advocate for a wider use of the absolute scale, especially using additive hazard models, to assess treatment effect and treatment effect modification. PMID:27045168

  2. Temperature, temperature extremes, and mortality: a study of acclimatisation and effect modification in 50 US cities

    PubMed Central

    Medina-Ramón, M; Schwartz, J

    2007-01-01

    Objectives The authors examined the increase in mortality associated with hot and cold temperature in different locations, the determinants of the variability in effect estimates, and its implications for adaptation. Methods The authors conducted a case-crossover study in 50 US cities. They used daily mortality and weather data for 6 513 330 deaths occurring during 1989–2000. Exposure was assessed using two approaches. First, the authors determined exposure to extreme temperatures using city-specific indicator variables based on the local temperature distribution. Secondly, they used piecewise linear variables to assess exposure to temperature on a continuous scale above/below a threshold. Effects of hot and cold temperature were examined in season-specific models. In a meta-analysis of the city-specific results, the authors examined several city characteristics as effect modifiers. Results Mortality increases associated with both extreme cold (2-day cumulative increase 1.59% (95% CI 0.56 to 2.63)) and extreme heat (5.74% (95% CI 3.38 to 8.15)) were found, the former being especially marked for myocardial infarction and cardiac arrest deaths. The increase in mortality was less marked at less extreme temperatures. The effect of extreme cold (defined as a percentile) was homogeneous across cities with different climates, suggesting that only the unusualness of the cold temperature (and not its absolute value) had a substantial impact on mortality (that is, acclimatisation to cold). Conversely, heat effects were quite heterogeneous, with the largest effects observed in cities with milder summers, less air conditioning and higher population density. Adjustment for ozone led to similar results, but some residual confounding could be present due to other uncontrolled pollutants. Conclusions The authors confirmed in a large sample of cities that both cold and hot temperatures increase mortality risk. These findings suggest that increases in heat-related mortality

  3. External Adjustment Sensitivity Analysis for Unmeasured Confounding: An Application to Coronary Stent Outcomes, Pennsylvania 2004–2008

    PubMed Central

    Huesch, Marco D

    2013-01-01

    Background Assessing the real-world comparative effectiveness of common interventions is challenged by unmeasured confounding. Objective To determine whether the mortality benefit shown for drug-eluting stents (DES) over bare metal stents (BMS) in observational studies persists after controls for/tests for confounding. Data Sources/Study Setting Retrospective observational study involving 38,019 patients, 65 years or older admitted for an index percutaneous coronary intervention receiving DES or BMS in Pennsylvania in 2004–2005 followed up for death through 3 years. Study Design Analysis was at the patient level. Mortality was analyzed with Cox proportional hazards models allowing for stratification by disease severity or DES use propensity, accounting for clustering of patients. Instrumental variables analysis used lagged physician stent usage to proxy for the focal stent type decision. A method originating in work by Cornfield and others in 1954 and popularized by Greenland in 1996 was used to assess robustness to confounding. Principal Findings DES was associated with a significantly lower adjusted risk of death at 3 years in Cox and in instrumented analyses. An implausibly strong hypothetical unobserved confounder would be required to fully explain these results. Conclusions Confounding by indication can bias observational studies. No strong evidence of such selection biases was found in the reduced risk of death among elderly patients receiving DES instead of BMS in a Pennsylvanian state-wide population. PMID:23206261

  4. Longevity of attentional bias modification effects for food cues in overweight and obese individuals.

    PubMed

    Kemps, Eva; Tiggemann, Marika; Hollitt, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    Accumulating evidence shows that overweight individuals exhibit an attentional bias for food and that this bias can be modified. This study investigated the longevity of such modification effects. Using a dot probe paradigm, a community sample of overweight and obese women (N = 104) was trained to direct attention towards ('attend') or away from ('avoid') food pictures. Participants completed five weekly training sessions. Attentional bias was measured before and after training, at 24 h and one-week follow-up. To increase generalisability, at each of the post-training and follow-up assessments, participants were shown a mix of old and new food pictures. They also completed another implicit bias measure, i.e. a word stem task. Attentional bias for food increased in the 'attend' group and decreased in the 'avoid' group. These retraining effects were maintained at 24 h and one-week follow-up, and extended to new food pictures. Participants in the 'avoid' group also produced relatively fewer food words on the word stem task than those in the 'attend' group. Results are consistent with predictions of cognitive-motivational models that attentional biases are malleable. They further suggest that attentional bias modification, which targets the implicit processes that underlie the heightened food responsivity in overweight individuals, could help combat pathological (over)eating.

  5. Effects of oxidative modification on gel properties of isolated porcine myofibrillar protein by peroxyl radicals.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Feibai; Zhao, Mouming; Zhao, Haifeng; Sun, Weizheng; Cui, Chun

    2014-04-01

    AAPH-derived (2,2'-azobis (2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride) peroxyl radicals were selected as representative free radicals of lipid peroxidation to investigate the effects of oxidative modifications on isolated porcine myofibrillar protein structures as well as their rheological and gelling properties. Incubation of myofibrillar protein with increasing concentrations of AAPH resulted in a gradual increase (p<0.05) in carbonyl content and SH→S-S conversion. Results from SDS-PAGE indicated that medium (~1 mM) and relatively high (>3 mM) concentrations of AAPH induced aggregation of myosin and denaturation of myosin, troponin and tropomyosin, respectively. These structural changes resulted in changes on gelation of myofibrillar protein. Low level protein oxidation (AAPH≤0.5 mM) had no remarkable effect (p>0.05) on the viscoelastic pattern of myofibrillar protein gelation. Moderate oxidative modification (AAPH~1mM) enhanced the water-holding capacity (WHC) and texture properties of gels, while further oxidation (AAPH>3mM) significantly reduced the gel quality. PMID:24406430

  6. Effect of surface modification on carbon fiber and its reinforced phenolic matrix composite

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuan, Hua; Wang, Chengguo; Zhang, Shan; Lin, Xue

    2012-10-01

    In this work, polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-based carbon fiber were chemically modified with H2SO4, KClO3 and silane coupling agent (γ-aminopropyltriethoxysilane, APS), and carbon fiber reinforced phenolic matrix composites were prepared. The structural and surface characteristics of the carbon fiber were investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), laser Raman scattering (LRS) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Single fiber mechanical properties, specific surface area, composite impact properties and interfacial shear strength (ILSS) were researched to indicate the effects of surface modification on fibers and the interaction between modified fiber surface and phenolic matrix. The results showed that carbon fiber surface modification by oxidation and APS can strengthen fiber surface chemical activity and enlarge the fiber surface area as well as its roughness. When carbon fiber (CF) is oxidized treatment, the oxygen content as well as the O/C ratio will be obviously increased. Oxygen functional groups increase with oxidation time increasing. Carbon fiber treated with APS will make Csbnd Osbnd R content increase and Osbnd Cdbnd O content decrease due to surface reaction. Proper treatment of carbon fiber with acid and silane coupling agent prove an effective way to increase the interfacial adhesion and improve the mechanical and outdoor performance of the resulting fiber/resin composites.

  7. Blue-Violet Laser Modification of Titania Treated Titanium: Antibacterial and Osteo-Inductive Effects

    PubMed Central

    Kawano, Takanori; Prananingrum, Widyasri; Ishida, Yuichi; Goto, Takaharu; Naito, Yoshihito; Watanabe, Megumi; Tomotake, Yoritoki; Ichikawa, Tetsuo

    2013-01-01

    Background Many studies on surface modifications of titanium have been performed in an attempt to accelerate osseointegration. Recently, anatase titanium dioxide has been found to act as a photocatalyst that expresses antibiotic properties and exhibits hydrophilicity after ultraviolet exposure. A blue-violet semiconductor laser (BV-LD) has been developed as near-ultraviolet light. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of exposure to this BV-LD on surface modifications of titanium with the goal of enhancing osteoconductive and antibacterial properties. Methods The surfaces of pure commercial titanium were polished with #800 waterproof polishing papers and were treated with anatase titania solution. Specimens were exposed using BV-LD (λ = 405 nm) or an ultraviolet light-emitting diode (UV-LED, λ = 365 nm) at 6 mW/cm2 for 3 h. The surface modification was evaluated physically and biologically using the following parameters or tests: surface roughness, surface temperature during exposure, X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis, contact angle, methylene blue degradation tests, adherence of Porphyromonas gingivalis, osteoblast and fibroblast proliferation, and histological examination after implantation in rats. Results No significant changes were found in the surface roughness or XRD profiles after exposure. BV-LD exposure did not raise the surface temperature of titanium. The contact angle was significantly decreased, and methylene blue was significantly degraded. The number of attached P. gingivalis organisms was significantly reduced after BV-LD exposure compared to that in the no exposure group. New bone was observed around exposed specimens in the histological evaluation, and both the bone-to-specimen contact ratio and the new bone area increased significantly in exposed groups. Conclusions This study suggested that exposure of titanium to BV-LD can enhance the osteoconductivity of the titanium surface and induce antibacterial properties, similar to

  8. Resistive Memory for Harsh Electronics: Immunity to Surface Effect and High Corrosion Resistance via Surface Modification

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Teng-Han; Yang, Po-Kang; Lien, Der-Hsien; Kang, Chen-Fang; Tsai, Meng-Lin; Chueh, Yu-Lun; He, Jr-Hau

    2014-01-01

    The tolerance/resistance of the electronic devices to extremely harsh environments is of supreme interest. Surface effects and chemical corrosion adversely affect stability and operation uniformity of metal oxide resistive memories. To achieve the surrounding-independent behavior, the surface modification is introduced into the ZnO memristors via incorporating fluorine to replace the oxygen sites. F-Zn bonds is formed to prevent oxygen chemisorption and ZnO dissolution upon corrosive atmospheric exposure, which effectively improves switching characteristics against harmful surroundings. In addition, the fluorine doping stabilizes the cycling endurance and narrows the distribution of switching parameters. The outcomes provide valuable insights for future nonvolatile memory developments in harsh electronics. PMID:24638086

  9. Effect of plasma processing and organosilane modifications of polyethylene on Aeromonas hydrophila biofilm formation.

    PubMed

    Kregiel, Dorota; Niedzielska, Kamila

    2014-01-01

    The aim of our research was to study how the modifications of polyethylene--a material commonly used in medicine and water industry--influence bacterial cell attachment and biofilm formation. The native surface was activated and modified using two-step process consisting in the activation of native surface with a H2O vapor plasma followed by its treatment with various organosilanes, namely, [3(tertbutylamine-2hydroxy) propyloxypropyl] diethoxymethylsilane, 1H,1H,2H,2H-perfluorooctylmethyldimethoxysilane, dimethoxydimethylsilane, and isobutylmethyldimethoxysilane. The effect of polyethylene modification after chemical treatment was analyzed using surface tension measurement. The adhesive properties of Aeromonas hydrophila LOCK0968 were studied in water with a low concentration of organic compounds, using luminometric and microscopic methods, and the viability of the adhered bacterial cells was evaluated using the colony forming units method. After two-week incubation the chemically modified materials exhibited better antiadhesive and antibacterial characteristics in comparison to the native surface. Among the examined modifying agents, dimethoxydimethylsilane showed the best desired properties. PMID:24605323

  10. Water dispersible upconverting nanoparticles: effects of surface modification on their luminescence and colloidal stability.

    PubMed

    Wilhelm, Stefan; Kaiser, Martin; Würth, Christian; Heiland, Josef; Carrillo-Carrion, Carolina; Muhr, Verena; Wolfbeis, Otto S; Parak, Wolfgang J; Resch-Genger, Ute; Hirsch, Thomas

    2015-01-28

    We present a systematic study on the effect of surface ligands on the luminescence properties and colloidal stability of β-NaYF4:Yb(3+),Er(3+) upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs), comparing nine different surface coatings to render these UCNPs water-dispersible and bioconjugatable. A prerequisite for this study was a large-scale synthetic method that yields ∼2 g per batch of monodisperse oleate-capped UCNPs providing identical core particles. These ∼23 nm sized UCNPs display an upconversion quantum yield of ∼0.35% when dispersed in cyclohexane and excited with a power density of 150 W cm(-2), underlining their high quality. A comparison of the colloidal stability and luminescence properties of these UCNPs, subsequently surface modified with ligand exchange or encapsulation protocols, revealed that the ratio of the green (545 nm) and red (658 nm) emission bands determined at a constant excitation power density clearly depends on the surface chemistry. Modifications relying on the deposition of additional (amphiphilic) layer coatings, where the initial oleate coating is retained, show reduced non-radiative quenching by water as compared to UCNPs that are rendered water-dispersible via ligand exchange. Moreover, we could demonstrate that the brightness of the upconversion luminescence of the UCNPs is strongly affected by the type of surface modification, i.e., ligand exchange or encapsulation, yet hardly by the chemical nature of the ligand.

  11. Effect of mycotoxin-containing diets on epigenetic modifications of mouse oocytes by fluorescence microscopy analysis.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Cheng-Cheng; Hou, Yan-Jun; Han, Jun; Liu, Hong-Lin; Cui, Xiang-Shun; Kim, Nam-Hyung; Sun, Shao-Chen

    2014-08-01

    Mycotoxins, such as aflatoxin (AF), fumonisin B1, zearalenone (ZEA), and deoxynivalenol (DON), are commonly found in many food commodities. Mycotoxins have been shown to increase DNA methylation levels in a human intestinal cell line. We previously showed that the developmental competence of oocytes was affected in mice that had been fed a mycotoxin-containing diet. In this study, we explored possible mechanisms of low mouse oocyte developmental competence after mycotoxin treatment in an epigenetic modification perspective. Mycotoxin-contaminated maize (DON at 3,875 μg/kg, ZEA at 1,897 μg/kg, and AF at 806 μg/kg) was included in diets at three different doses (mass percentage: 0, 15, and 30%) and fed to mice for 4 weeks. The fluorescence intensity analysis showed that the general DNA methylation levels increased in oocytes from high dose mycotoxin-fed mice. Mouse oocyte histone methylation was also altered. H3K9me3 and H4K20me3 level increased in oocytes from mycotoxin-fed mice, whereas H3K27me3 and H4K20me2 level decreased in oocytes from mycotoxin-fed mice. Thus, our results indicate that naturally occurring mycotoxins have effects on epigenetic modifications in mouse oocytes, which may be one of the reasons for reduced oocyte developmental competence. PMID:24810297

  12. Effects of Selenylation Modification on Immune-Enhancing Activity of Garlic Polysaccharide

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Tao; Hu, Yuanliang; Wang, Deyun; Fan, Qiang; Zhang, Cunshuai; Chen, Xingying; Chen, Xiaolan; Liu, Cui; Gao, Zhenzhen; Li, Xiuping

    2014-01-01

    The garlic polysaccharide was modified by HNO3-Na2SeO3 method according to orthogonal design L9(34) to obtain nine selenizing garlic polysaccharides, sGPS1-sGPS9. Their effects on chicken peripheral lymphocytes proliferation in vitro were compared by MTT assay. The results showed that sGPSs could significantly promote lymphocytes proliferation, sGPS3, sGPS5 and sGPS6 presented stronger efficacy. In vivo experiment, 14-day-old chickens were injected respectively with sGPS3, sGPS5 and sGPS6 when they were vaccinated with ND vaccine taking unmodified GPS as control. The results showed that three sGPSs could significantly promote lymphocyte proliferation, enhance serum antibody titer, IFN-γ and IL-2 contents. These results indicated that selenylation modification could significantly enhance the immune-enhancing activity of GPS, sGPS6 possessed the best efficacy and could be as a candidate drug of immunoenhancer. Its optimal modification conditions were 400 mg of sodium selenite for 500 mg of GPS, reaction temperature of 70°C and reaction time of 6 h. PMID:24497946

  13. Arrhythmogenic adverse effects of cardiac glycosides are mediated by redox modification of ryanodine receptors

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Hsiang-Ting; Stevens, Sarah C W; Terentyeva, Radmila; Carnes, Cynthia A; Terentyev, Dmitry; Györke, Sandor

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The therapeutic use of cardiac glycosides (CGs), agents commonly used in treating heart failure (HF), is limited by arrhythmic toxicity. The adverse effects of CGs have been attributed to excessive accumulation of intracellular Ca2+ resulting from inhibition of Na+/K+-ATPase ion transport activity. However, CGs are also known to increase intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), which could contribute to arrhythmogenesis through redox modification of cardiac ryanodine receptors (RyR2s). Here we sought to determine whether modification of RyR2s by ROS contributes to CG-dependent arrhythmogenesis and examine the relevant sources of ROS. In isolated rat ventricular myocytes, the CG digitoxin (DGT) increased the incidence of arrhythmogenic spontaneous Ca2+ waves, decreased the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ load, and increased both ROS and RyR2 thiol oxidation. Additionally, pretreatment with DGT increased spark frequency in permeabilized myocytes. These effects on Ca2+ waves and sparks were prevented by the antioxidant N-(2-mercaptopropionyl) glycine (MPG). The CG-dependent increases in ROS, RyR2 oxidation and arrhythmogenic propensity were reversed by inhibitors of NADPH oxidase, mitochondrial ATP-dependent K+ channels (mito-KATP) or permeability transition pore (PTP), but not by inhibition of xanthine oxidase. These results suggest that the arrhythmogenic adverse effects of CGs involve alterations in RyR2 function caused by oxidative changes in the channel structure by ROS. These CG-dependent effects probably involve release of ROS from mitochondria possibly mediated by NADPH oxidase. PMID:21807619

  14. Effect modification in the temperature extremes by mortality subgroups among the tropical cities of the Philippines

    PubMed Central

    Seposo, Xerxes T.; Dang, Tran Ngoc; Honda, Yasushi

    2016-01-01

    Background Temperature–mortality relationships have been extensively probed with varying temperature range but with relatively similar patterns and in some instances are being modified by specific mortality groups such as causes of mortality, sex, and age. Objective This study aimed to determine the risk attributions in the extreme temperatures and also identified the risks associated with the various mortality subgroups. Design We used the 2006–2010 daily average meteorological and daily mortality variables from the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration and Philippine Statistics Authority–National Statistics Office, respectively. Mortality data were divided according to cause (cardiovascular and respiratory), sex, and age (0–14 years, 15–64 years, and >64 years). We performed a two-stage analysis to estimate the extreme temperature effects stratified by the different mortality subgroups to observe the effect modification. Results In the pooled analysis, greater risks were observed in the extreme high temperature (99th temperature percentile; RR (relative risk)=2.48 CI: 1.55–3.98) compared to the extreme low temperature (1st temperature percentile; RR=1.23 CI: 0.88–1.72). Furthermore, effect modification by mortality subgroups was evident, especially higher risks for extreme temperatures with respiratory-related diseases, women, and elderly. Conclusions Both sex and age were found to effect modify the risks in extreme temperatures of tropical cities; hence, health-related policies should take these risk variations into consideration to create strategies with respect to the risk population. PMID:27357073

  15. Water dispersible upconverting nanoparticles: effects of surface modification on their luminescence and colloidal stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilhelm, Stefan; Kaiser, Martin; Würth, Christian; Heiland, Josef; Carrillo-Carrion, Carolina; Muhr, Verena; Wolfbeis, Otto S.; Parak, Wolfgang J.; Resch-Genger, Ute; Hirsch, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    We present a systematic study on the effect of surface ligands on the luminescence properties and colloidal stability of β-NaYF4:Yb3+,Er3+ upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs), comparing nine different surface coatings to render these UCNPs water-dispersible and bioconjugatable. A prerequisite for this study was a large-scale synthetic method that yields ~2 g per batch of monodisperse oleate-capped UCNPs providing identical core particles. These ~23 nm sized UCNPs display an upconversion quantum yield of ~0.35% when dispersed in cyclohexane and excited with a power density of 150 W cm-2, underlining their high quality. A comparison of the colloidal stability and luminescence properties of these UCNPs, subsequently surface modified with ligand exchange or encapsulation protocols, revealed that the ratio of the green (545 nm) and red (658 nm) emission bands determined at a constant excitation power density clearly depends on the surface chemistry. Modifications relying on the deposition of additional (amphiphilic) layer coatings, where the initial oleate coating is retained, show reduced non-radiative quenching by water as compared to UCNPs that are rendered water-dispersible via ligand exchange. Moreover, we could demonstrate that the brightness of the upconversion luminescence of the UCNPs is strongly affected by the type of surface modification, i.e., ligand exchange or encapsulation, yet hardly by the chemical nature of the ligand.We present a systematic study on the effect of surface ligands on the luminescence properties and colloidal stability of β-NaYF4:Yb3+,Er3+ upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs), comparing nine different surface coatings to render these UCNPs water-dispersible and bioconjugatable. A prerequisite for this study was a large-scale synthetic method that yields ~2 g per batch of monodisperse oleate-capped UCNPs providing identical core particles. These ~23 nm sized UCNPs display an upconversion quantum yield of ~0.35% when dispersed in

  16. Effects of energetic particle phase space modifications by instabilities on integrated modeling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Podestà, M.; Gorelenkova, M.; Fredrickson, E. D.; Gorelenkov, N. N.; White, R. B.

    2016-11-01

    Tokamak plasmas can feature a large population of energetic particles (EP) from neutral beam injection or fusion reactions. In turn, energetic particles can drive instabilities, which affect the driving EP population leading to a distortion of the original EP distribution function and of quantities that depend on it. The latter include, for example, neutral beam (NB) current drive and plasma heating through EP thermalization. Those effects must be taken into account to enable reliable and quantitative simulations of discharges for present devices as well as predictions for future burning plasmas. Reduced models for EP transport are emerging as an effective tool for long time-scale integrated simulations of tokamak plasmas, possibly including the effects of instabilities on EP dynamics. Available models differ in how EP distribution properties are modified by instabilities, e.g. in terms of gradients in real or phase space. It is therefore crucial to assess to what extent different assumptions in the transport models affect predicted quantities such as EP profile, energy distribution, NB driven current and energy/momentum transfer to the thermal populations. A newly developed kick model, which includes modifications of the EP distribution by instabilities in both real and velocity space, is used in this work to investigate these issues. Coupled to TRANSP simulations, the kick model is used to analyze NB-heated NSTX and DIII-D discharges featuring unstable Alfvén eigenmodes (AEs). Results show that instabilities can strongly affect the EP distribution function, and modifications propagate to macroscopic quantities such as NB-driven current profile and NB power transferred to the thermal plasma species. Those important aspects are only qualitatively captured by simpler fast ion transport models that are based on radial diffusion of energetic ions only.

  17. Decreased snake venom metalloproteinase effects via inhibition of enzyme and modification of fibrinogen.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Vance G; Cerruti, Marc A; Valencia, Olivia M; Amos, Quinlan

    2016-10-01

    Since the introduction of antivenom administration 120 years ago to treat venomous snake bit, it has been the gold standard for saving life and limb. However, this therapeutic approach is not always effective and not without potential life-threatening side effects. We tested a new paradigm to abrogate the plasmatic anticoagulant effects of fibrinogenolytic snake venom metalloproteinases by modification of fibrinogen with iron and carbon monoxide and by inhibiting these Zn(2+) dependent metalloproteinases directly with carbon monoxide exposure. Assessment of the fibrinogenolytic effects of venoms collected from Puff adder, Gaboon viper and Indian cobra snakes on plasmatic coagulation kinetics was performed with thrombelastography. Pretreatment of plasma with iron and carbon monoxide exposure markedly attenuated the effects of all three venoms, and direct pretreatment of each venom with carbon monoxide also significantly decreased the ability to compromise coagulation. These results demonstrated that the introduction of a transition metal (e.g., modulation of the α-chain of fibrinogen with iron), modulation of transition metal in heme (e.g., carbon monoxide modulation of fibrinogen-bound heme iron), and direct inhibition of transition metal containing venom enzymes (e.g., CO binding to Zn(2+) or displacing Zn(2+) from the catalytic site) significantly decreased fibrinogenolytic activity. This biometal modulation strategy to attenuate the anticoagulant effects of snake venom metalloproteinases could potentially diminish hemostatic injury in envenomed patients until antivenom can be administered. PMID:27492573

  18. Modification of β-Sheet Forming Peptide Hydrophobic Face: Effect on Self-Assembly and Gelation.

    PubMed

    Elsawy, Mohamed A; Smith, Andrew M; Hodson, Nigel; Squires, Adam; Miller, Aline F; Saiani, Alberto

    2016-05-17

    β-Sheet forming peptides have attracted significant interest for the design of hydrogels for biomedical applications. One of the main challenges is the control and understanding of the correlations between peptide molecular structure, the morphology, and topology of the fiber and network formed as well as the macroscopic properties of the hydrogel obtained. In this work, we have investigated the effect that functionalizing these peptides through their hydrophobic face has on their self-assembly and gelation. Our results show that the modification of the hydrophobic face results in a partial loss of the extended β-sheet conformation of the peptide and a significant change in fiber morphology from straight to kinked. As a consequence, the ability of these fibers to associate along their length and form large bundles is reduced. These structural changes (fiber structure and network topology) significantly affect the mechanical properties of the hydrogels (shear modulus and elasticity). PMID:27089379

  19. [VLP vaccines and effects of HIV-1 Env protein modifications on their antigenic properties].

    PubMed

    Vzorov, A N; Compans, R W

    2016-01-01

    An ideal protective HIV-1 vaccine can elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies, capable of preventing HIV transmission. The strategies of designing vaccines include generation of soluble recombinant proteins which mimic the native Env complex and are able to enhance the immunogenicity of gp120. Recent data indicate that the cytoplasmic tail (CT) of the Env protein has multiple functions, which can affect the early steps of infection, as well as viral assembly and antigenic properties. Modifications in the CT can be used to induce conformational changes in functional regions of gp120 and to stabilize the trimeric structure, avoiding immune misdirection and induction of non-neutralizing antibody responses. Env-trimers with modified CTs in virus-like particles (VLPs) are able to induce antibodies with broad spectrum neutralizing activity and high avidity and have the potential for developing an effective vaccine against HIV. PMID:27414779

  20. Modification of β-Sheet Forming Peptide Hydrophobic Face: Effect on Self-Assembly and Gelation

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    β-Sheet forming peptides have attracted significant interest for the design of hydrogels for biomedical applications. One of the main challenges is the control and understanding of the correlations between peptide molecular structure, the morphology, and topology of the fiber and network formed as well as the macroscopic properties of the hydrogel obtained. In this work, we have investigated the effect that functionalizing these peptides through their hydrophobic face has on their self-assembly and gelation. Our results show that the modification of the hydrophobic face results in a partial loss of the extended β-sheet conformation of the peptide and a significant change in fiber morphology from straight to kinked. As a consequence, the ability of these fibers to associate along their length and form large bundles is reduced. These structural changes (fiber structure and network topology) significantly affect the mechanical properties of the hydrogels (shear modulus and elasticity). PMID:27089379

  1. The Effect of Structural Modifications on Ionic Conductivity in Newly-Designed Polyester Electrolytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pesko, Danielle; Jung, Yuki; Coates, Geoff; Balsara, Nitash

    2015-03-01

    Gaining a fundamental understanding of the relationship between molecular structure and ionic conductivity of polymer electrolytes is an essential step toward designing next generation materials for battery applications. In this study, we use a systematic set of newly-designed polyesters with varying side-chain lengths and oxygen functional groups to elucidate the effects of structural modifications on the conductive properties of the corresponding electrolytes. Mixtures of polyesters and lithium bis(trifluromethanesulfonyl)imide (LiTFSI) were characterized using ac impedance spectroscopy to measure the ionic conductivity at various temperatures and salt concentrations. The relative conductivities of these electrolytes in the dilute limit are directly comparable to results of molecular dynamics simulations performed using the same polymers. The simulations correspond well with the experimental results, and provide molecular level insight about the solvation environment of the lithium ions and how the ions transport through these polyesters.

  2. On the causal interpretation of race in regressions adjusting for confounding and mediating variables.

    PubMed

    VanderWeele, Tyler J; Robinson, Whitney R

    2014-07-01

    We consider several possible interpretations of the "effect of race" when regressions are run with race as an exposure variable, controlling also for various confounding and mediating variables. When adjustment is made for socioeconomic status early in a person's life, we discuss under what contexts the regression coefficients for race can be interpreted as corresponding to the extent to which a racial inequality would remain if various socioeconomic distributions early in life across racial groups could be equalized. When adjustment is also made for adult socioeconomic status, we note how the overall racial inequality can be decomposed into the portion that would be eliminated by equalizing adult socioeconomic status across racial groups and the portion of the inequality that would remain even if adult socioeconomic status across racial groups were equalized. We also discuss a stronger interpretation of the effect of race (stronger in terms of assumptions) involving the joint effects of race-associated physical phenotype (eg, skin color), parental physical phenotype, genetic background, and cultural context when such variables are thought to be hypothetically manipulable and if adequate control for confounding were possible. We discuss some of the challenges with such an interpretation. Further discussion is given as to how the use of selected populations in examining racial disparities can additionally complicate the interpretation of the effects.

  3. On causal interpretation of race in regressions adjusting for confounding and mediating variables

    PubMed Central

    VanderWeele, Tyler J.; Robinson, Whitney R.

    2014-01-01

    We consider several possible interpretations of the “effect of race” when regressions are run with race as an exposure variable, controlling also for various confounding and mediating variables. When adjustment is made for socioeconomic status early in a person’s life, we discuss under what contexts the regression coefficients for race can be interpreted as corresponding to the extent to which a racial inequality would remain if various socioeconomic distributions early in life across racial groups could be equalized. When adjustment is also made for adult socioeconomic status, we note how the overall racial inequality can be decomposed into the portion that would be eliminated by equalizing adult socioeconomic status across racial groups and the portion of the inequality that would remain even if adult socioeconomic status across racial groups were equalized. We also discuss a stronger interpretation of the “effect of race” (stronger in terms of assumptions) involving the joint effects of race-associated physical phenotype (e.g. skin color), parental physical phenotype, genetic background and cultural context when such variables are thought to be hypothetically manipulable and if adequate control for confounding were possible. We discuss some of the challenges with such an interpretation. Further discussion is given as to how the use of selected populations in examining racial disparities can additionally complicate the interpretation of the effects. PMID:24887159

  4. Effects of nutritional modifications on the water-holding capacity of fresh pork: a review.

    PubMed

    Apple, J K

    2007-11-01

    Although genetics and preslaughter handling and management have the greatest impact on pork quality - especially water-holding capacity (WHC) - modifications to swine diets may offset the negative effects of genotype and/or pig handling on pork quality or improve quality attributes of pork from pigs with the genetic potential for good quality. There is little evidence that pork WHC is altered by the lysine or protein level (and source), cereal grain, or fat source used in growing-finishing diets. Yet, recent research indicates that feeding low-starch, high-fibre, high-fat, glycogen-reducing diets effectively improves the WHC of pork. Moreover, meta-analysis of the available information indicated that including 100, 200, or 400+ mg of alpha-tochopherol per kilogram of diet reduced pork drip losses by 10.1%, 30.5%, and 25.9%, respectively, whereas supplementing swine diets with magnesium for 1-2 days, 3-4 days, or 5-7 days reduced drip losses by 23.1%, 13.7%, or 15.9%, respectively. Some swine nutritionists have advocated the removal of vitamins and trace minerals from finishing diets; however, deletion of vitamin/trace mineral premixes actually reduced the WHC of pork, whereas drip losses were reduced by elevating the dietary inclusion levels of vitamins and trace minerals 150-250% of the recommended levels. Additionally, there is no evidence that feeding pigs ractopamine hydrochloride or injections of porcine somatotropin affect pork WHC. There may not be a single 'silver bullet' that will remedy poor quality genetics or poor animal management, but improvements in pork WHC can be achieved with some modifications to swine finishing diets.

  5. The effect of surface modification and aprotinin on cellular injury during simulated cardiopulmonary bypass.

    PubMed

    Greenfield, Benjamin L; Brinkman, Kelly R; Koziol, Kelly L; McCann, Martin W; Merrigan, Kellie A; Steffen, Lee P; Woods, Kylie A; Stammers, Alfred H; Hock, Lynette M

    2002-12-01

    Cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) elicits derangements to the formed elements of blood because of the physical stresses of extracorporeal flow. Methods of reducing the impact of CPB include circuit surface modification and pharmacological supplementation. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of aprotinin in combination with surface modification during simulated CPB. Fresh whole bovine blood was used to prime standard CPB circuits divided into four groups (N = 3): control (CTR), aprotinin 300 KIU/mL (APR), Poly (2-methoxyethylacrylate) coating (PMEA), and APR with PMEA (APR-PMEA). Physical stresses included venous reservoir negative pressure (-85 mmHg), arterial line pressure of 150 mmHg at 5 LPM, and air-blood interface, applied over a 90-minute period. Samples were drawn at the following times: 0, 10, 45, and 90 minutes. Endpoints included platelet count (PLT), plasma-free hemoglobin (PFHb), and thromboelastography (TEG). PLT did not change (138.9 +/- 15.0 vs. 102.9 +/- 21.0, p = ns) throughout the 90-minute experimental periods in any group. PFHb increased significantly (mean of 19- fold) throughout the experiment, but was not affected by any treatment. The TEG index declined in the CTR (3.6 +/- 0.4 vs. -16.2 +/- 2.9, p < .0003), PMEA (5.9 +/- 0.8 vs. -2.7 +/- 3.8, p < .02), and APR-PMEA (4.6 +/- 1.0 vs. -2.8 +/- 0.3 p < .0003) groups, but not in the APR group (3.6 +/- 2.2 vs. -1.3 +/- 3.3 p = .10). In conclusion, neither APR nor PMEA had an effect on either red cell hemolysis or PLT, but APR treatment alone significantly attenuated the derangements in coagulation induced in this extracorporeal model.

  6. Tribocorrosion studies of metallic biomaterials: The effect of plasma nitriding and DLC surface modifications.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Guo-Hua; Aune, Ragnhild E; Espallargas, Nuria

    2016-10-01

    The medical grade pure titanium, stainless steel and CoCrMo alloy have been utilized as biomaterials for load-bearing orthopedic prosthesis. The conventional surgery metals suffer from a combined effect of wear and corrosion once they are implanted, which may significantly accelerate the material degradation process. In this work, the tribocorrosion performance of the metallic biomaterials with different surface modifications was studied in the simulated body fluid for the purpose of investigating the effect of the surface treatments on the tribocorrosion performance and eventually finding the most suitable implantation materials. The metals were subjected to surface modifications by plasma nitriding in different treatment temperatures or physical vapor deposition (PVD) to produce diamond-like carbon (DLC) coating, respectively. The dry wear and tribocorrosion properties of the samples were evaluated by using a reciprocating ball-on-disc tribometer equipped with an electrochemical cell. Prior to the tribocorrosion tests, their electrochemical behavior was measured by the potentiodynamic polarization in phosphate buffer saline (PBS) solution at room temperature. Both stainless steel and CoCrMo after low temperature nitriding kept their passive nature by forming an expanded austenite phase. The DLC coated samples presented the low anodic corrosion current due to the chemical inertness of the carbon layer. During the tribocorrosion tests at open circuit potential, the untreated and low temperature nitrided samples exhibited significant potential drop towards the cathodic direction, which was a result of the worn out of the passive film. Galvanic coupling was established between the depassivated (worn) area and the still passive (unworn) area, making the materials suffered from wear-accelerated corrosion. The DLC coating performed as a solid lubricant in both dry wear and tribocorrosion tests, and the resulting wear after the tests was almost negligible. PMID:27348147

  7. Effect of surface modification and UVA photoactivation on antibacterial bioactivity of zinc oxide powder

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ann, Ling Chuo; Mahmud, Shahrom; Bakhori, Siti Khadijah Mohd; Sirelkhatim, Amna; Mohamad, Dasmawati; Hasan, Habsah; Seeni, Azman; Rahman, Rosliza Abdul

    2014-02-01

    The effects of surface modification of zinc oxide (ZnO) powder and UVA illumination on the powder towards Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus were investigated. FESEM-EDS results showed that oxygen annealing increased the O:Zn ratio on the surface of ZnO-rod and ZnO-plate samples. Surface conductances of ZnO-rod and ZnO-plate pellets were reduced from 1.05 nS to 0.15 nS and 1.34 nS to 0.23 nS, respectively. Meanwhile, UVA illumination on the surface of the ZnO-rod and ZnO-plate samples was found to improve surface conductance to 7.08 nS and 6.51 nS, respectively, due to the release of charge carrier. Photoluminescence results revealed that oxygen annealing halved the UV emission intensity and green emission intensity, presumably caused by oxygen absorption in the ZnO lattice. The antibacterial results showed that oxygen-treated ZnO exhibited slightly higher growth inhibition on E. coli and S. aureus compared with unannealed ZnO. UVA illumination on ZnO causes the greatest inhibition toward E. coli and S. aureus. Under the UVA excitation, the inhibition of E. coli increased by 18% (ZnO-rod) and 13% (ZnO-plate) while the inhibition of S. aureus increased by 22% (ZnO-rod) and 21% (ZnO-plate). Release of reactive oxygen species were proposed in antibacterial mechanisms, which were aided by surface modification and UVA photoactivation. The reactive oxygen species disrupted the DNA and protein synthesis of the bacterial cell, causing bacteriostatic effects toward E. coli and S. aureus.

  8. Effects of initial saturation on properties modification and displacement of tetrachloroethene with aqueous isobutanol.

    PubMed

    Boyd, Glen R; Ocampo-Gómez, Ana M; Li, Minghua; Husserl, Johana

    2006-11-20

    Packed column experiments were conducted to study effects of initial saturation of tetrachloroethene (PCE) in the range of 1.0-14% pore volume (PV) on mobilization and downward migration of the non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) product upon contact with aqueous isobutanol ( approximately 10 vol.%). This study focused on the consequences of swelling beyond residual saturation. Columns were packed with mixtures of neat PCE, water and glass beads and waterflooded to establish a desired homogeneous residual saturation, and then flooded with aqueous isobutanol under controlled hydraulic conditions. Results showed a critical saturation of approximately 8% PV for these packed column experimental conditions. At low initial PCE saturations (<8% PV), experimental results showed reduced risk of NAPL-product migration upon contact with aqueous isobutanol. At higher initial PCE saturations (>8% PV), results showed NAPL-product mobilization and downward migration which was attributed to interfacial tension (IFT) reduction, swelling of the NAPL-product, and reduced density modification. Packed column results were compared with good agreement to theoretical predictions of NAPL-product mobilization using the total trapping number, N(T). In addition to the packed column study, preliminary batch experiments were conducted to study the effects of PCE volumetric fraction in the range of 0.5-20% on density, viscosity, and IFT modification as a function of time following contact with aqueous isobutanol ( approximately 10 vol.%). Modified NAPL-product fluid properties approached equilibrium within approximately 2 h of contact for density and viscosity. IFT reduction occurred immediately as expected. Measured fluid properties were compared with good agreement to theoretical equilibrium predictions based on UNIQUAC. Overall, this study demonstrates the importance of initial DNAPL saturation, and the associated risk of downward NAPL-product migration, in applying alcohol flooding for

  9. Impacts of temperature change on ambulance dispatches and seasonal effect modification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Jian; Xu, Zhiwei; Zhao, Desheng; Xie, Mingyu; Yang, Huihui; Wen, Liying; Li, Kesheng; Su, Hong

    2016-05-01

    Ambulance dispatch is a proxy of acute health outcomes, and growing epidemiological evidence documented its relation to extreme temperature events. Research, however, on short-term temperature change and ambulance dispatches is scarce. We aimed to investigate the effect of short-term temperature change on ambulance dispatches and potential modification by season. Daily data on ambulance dispatch and weather factors were collected in Huainan, a Chinese inland city from December 2011 through December 2013. A Poison generalized linear regression model combined with distributed lag nonlinear model was constructed to examine the association of temperature change between neighboring days (TCN) with ambulance dispatches. The effect modification by season was also examined. There were 48,700 ambulance attendances during the study period. A statistically significant association of TCN with ambulance dispatches was observed. Temperature rise between neighboring days (TCN > 0) was associated with elevated adverse risk of ambulance dispatches, and the effects appeared to be acute (lag0, on the current day) and could last for at least a week, while temperature drop between neighboring days (TCN < 0) had a protective effect. For a 1 °C increase of TCN at lag0 and lag06 (on the 7-day moving average), the risk of ambulance dispatches increased by 2 % (95 % CI 1-3 %) and 7 (95 % CI 1-13 %), respectively. Extreme TCN increase (95th percentile, 3.3 °C vs. 0 °C) at lag0 and lag05 was accompanied by 6 (95 % CI 3-8 %) and 27 % (95 % CI 12-44 %) increase in ambulance dispatches. Ambulance dispatches were more vulnerable to extremely great temperature rise in summer and autumn. TCN was adopted for the first time to quantify the impact of short-term temperature change on ambulance dispatches. Temperature drop between neighboring days (TCN < 0) had a protective effect on ambulance dispatches, while temperature rise between neighboring days (TCN > 0) could acutely trigger the increase in

  10. Oxidative Modification in Human Hair: The Effect of the Levels of Cu (II) Ions, UV Exposure and Hair Pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Grosvenor, Anita J; Marsh, Jennifer; Thomas, Ancy; Vernon, James A; Harland, Duane P; Clerens, Stefan; Dyer, Jolon M

    2016-01-01

    Protein oxidative degradation is implicated in a wide range of deleterious effects. For human hair, this oxidative damage can lead to significant observable changes in fiber physical and visual properties. A redox proteomic approach was applied to map molecular modification in human hair proteins and correlate this modification with the abundance of copper (II) ions, the levels of UV exposure and the general level of hair pigmentation. An increase in oxidative modification was observed with increasing copper (II) ion levels, regardless of the pigmentation level. Significantly, increased protein oxidative modification was also observed to occur in both lightly and darkly pigmented hair tresses even in the absence of irradiation, albeit at lower relative levels. Modification levels increased with increased copper (II) ion concentration. This new finding indicates that the level of copper (II) ions in human hair plays a key role in mediating protein oxidation, with or without exposure to UV light. Overall, these results strongly suggest that minimization of the level of copper (II) ions in human hair will mitigate and/or slow protein oxidative modification and therefore lower overall hair damage.

  11. A powerful and efficient set test for genetic markers that handles confounders

    PubMed Central

    Listgarten, Jennifer; Lippert, Christoph; Kang, Eun Yong; Xiang, Jing; Kadie, Carl M.; Heckerman, David

    2013-01-01

    Motivation: Approaches for testing sets of variants, such as a set of rare or common variants within a gene or pathway, for association with complex traits are important. In particular, set tests allow for aggregation of weak signal within a set, can capture interplay among variants and reduce the burden of multiple hypothesis testing. Until now, these approaches did not address confounding by family relatedness and population structure, a problem that is becoming more important as larger datasets are used to increase power. Results: We introduce a new approach for set tests that handles confounders. Our model is based on the linear mixed model and uses two random effects—one to capture the set association signal and one to capture confounders. We also introduce a computational speedup for two random-effects models that makes this approach feasible even for extremely large cohorts. Using this model with both the likelihood ratio test and score test, we find that the former yields more power while controlling type I error. Application of our approach to richly structured Genetic Analysis Workshop 14 data demonstrates that our method successfully corrects for population structure and family relatedness, whereas application of our method to a 15 000 individual Crohn’s disease case–control cohort demonstrates that it additionally recovers genes not recoverable by univariate analysis. Availability: A Python-based library implementing our approach is available at http://mscompbio.codeplex.com. Contact: jennl@microsoft.com or lippert@microsoft.com or heckerma@microsoft.com Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. PMID:23599503

  12. Post-translational modification of osteopontin: Effects on in vitro hydroxyapatite formation and growth

    SciTech Connect

    Boskey, Adele L.; Christensen, Brian; Taleb, Hayat; Sorensen, Esben S.

    2012-03-09

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Thrombin-cleaved fragments of milk-osteopontin effect hydroxyapatite formation differently. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer N- and C-terminal fragments promoted hydroxyapatite formation and growth. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer A central fragment inhibited hydroxyapatite formation and growth. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Binding to collagen or hydroxyapatite seed crystals modified these effects. -- Abstract: The manuscript tests the hypothesis that posttranslational modification of the SIBLING family of proteins in general and osteopontin in particular modify the abilities of these proteins to regulate in vitro hydroxyapatite (HA) formation. Osteopontin has diverse effects on hydroxyapatite (HA) mineral crystallite formation and growth depending on the extent of phosphorylation. We hypothesized that different regions of full-length OPN would also have distinct effects on the mineralization process. Thrombin fragmentation of milk OPN (mOPN) was used to test this hypothesis. Three fragments were tested in a de novo HA formation assay; an N-terminal fragment (aa 1-147), a central fragment (aa 148-204) denoted SKK-fragment and a C-terminal fragment (aa 205-262). Compared to intact mOPN the C- and N-terminal fragments behaved comparably, promoting HA formation and growth, but the central SKK-fragment acted as a mineralization inhibitor. In a seeded growth experiment all fragments inhibited mineral proliferation, but the SKK-fragment was the most effective inhibitor. These effects, seen in HA-formation and seeded growth assays in a gelatin gel system and in a pH-stat experiment were lost when the protein or fragments were dephosphorylated. Effects of the fully phosphorylated protein and fragments were also altered in the presence of fibrillar collagen. The diverse effects can be explained in terms of the intrinsically disordered nature of OPN and its fragments which enable them to interact with their multiple partners.

  13. Confounding Impacts of Iron Reduction on Arsenic Retention

    SciTech Connect

    Tufano, K.J.; Fendorf, S.

    2009-05-26

    A transition from oxidizing to reducing conditions has long been implicated to increase aqueous As concentrations, for which reductive dissolution of iron (hydr)oxides is commonly implicated as the primary culprit. Confounding our understanding of processes controlling As retention, however, is that reductive transformation of ferrihydrite has recently been shown to promote As retention rather than release. To resolve the role iron phases have in regulating arsenic concentrations, here we examine As desorption from ferrihydrite-coated sands presorbed with As(lll); experiments were performed at circumneutral pH under Fe-reducing conditions with the dissimilatory iron reducing bacterium Shewanella putrefaciens strain CN-32 over extended time periods. We reveal that with the initial phase of iron reduction, ferrihydrite undergoes transformation to secondary phases and increases As(lll) retention (relative to abiotic controls). However, with increased reaction time, cessation of the phase transitions and ensuing reductive dissolution result in prolonged release of As(III) to the aqueous phase. Our results suggest that As(lll) retention during iron reduction is temporally dependent on secondary precipitation of iron phases; during transformation to secondary phases, particularly magnetite, As(lll) retention is enhanced even relative to oxidized systems. However, conditions that retard secondary transformation (more stable iron oxides or limited iron reducing bacterial activity), or prolonged anaerobiosis, will lead to both the dissolution of ferric (hydr)oxides and release of As(lll) to the aqueous phase.

  14. Nanostructured lipid carriers used for oral delivery of oridonin: an effect of ligand modification on absorption.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xiaotong; Zhang, Xingwang; Ye, Yanghuan; Zhang, Tianpeng; Wang, Huan; Ma, Zhiguo; Wu, Baojian

    2015-02-20

    Oridonin (Ori) is a natural compound with notable anti-inflammation and anti-cancer activities. However, therapeutic use of this compound is limited by its poor solubility and low bioavailability. Here a novel biotin-modified nanostructured lipid carrier (NLC) was developed to enhance the bioavailability of Ori. The effect of ligand (biotin) modification on oral absorption of Ori encapsulated in NLCs was also explored. Ori-loaded NLCs (Ori-NLCs) were prepared by the melt dispersion-high pressure homogenization method. Biotin modification of Ori-NLCs was achieved by EDC and NHS in aqueous phase. The obtained biotin-decorated Ori-NLCs (Bio-Ori-NLCs) were 144.9nm in size with an entrapment efficiency of 49.54% and a drug load of 4.81%. Oral bioavailability was enhanced by use of Bio-Ori-NLCs with a relative bioavailability of 171.01%, while the value of non-modified Ori-NLCs was improved to 143.48%. Intestinal perfusion showed that Ori solution unexpectedly exhibited a moderate permeability, indicating that permeability was not a limiting factor of Ori absorption. Ori could be rapidly metabolized that was the main cause of low bioavailability. However, there was a difference in the enhancement of bioavailability between Bio-Ori-NLCs and conventional NLCs. Although severe lipolyses happened both on Bio-Ori-NLCs and non-modified NLCs, the performance of Bio-Ori-NLCs in the bioavailability improvement was more significant. Overall, Bio-Ori-NLCs can further promote the oral absorption of Ori by a ligand-mediated active transport. It may be a promising carrier for the oral delivery of Ori.

  15. [Mechanisms of 232Th effects on Chlorella vulgaris Beljer and modifications of it's toxic effect with caffeine and buthionine sulfoximine].

    PubMed

    Evseeva, T I; Maĭstrenko, T A; Geras'kin, S A; Belykh, E S

    2006-01-01

    232Th effects and its modifications with caffeine and D, L-buthionine-(S, R)-sulphoximine in Chlorella vulgaris Beijer cells was studied with use an optical density measure after 24 hours growth. Was shown relationship between concentration and toxic effect that is nonlinear and characterized with three parts different in induced damages level. In the first concentration range (0.001-1.551 micromol/l) chlorella growth parameters don't significantly differ from control ones. In the second one (1.724-3.017 micromol/1) statistically significant increase of optical density is but the effect does not dependent on 232Th concentration. The 232Th concentration (>3.448 micromol/l) increase the monotonous decrease in optical density was observed. The main role in 232Th toxic effect decrease make processes of DNA reparation, but not free radical scavenging with glutathione.

  16. 78 FR 20137 - Probable Economic Effect of Certain Modifications to the North American Free Trade Agreement...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-03

    ... glassware; copper, nickel, and other base metals; machinery and parts; rail locomotives; trailers; optical... list of modifications in the attachment to the March 11, 2013, letter in the form of a correlation... modifications, and the clarifying correlation table are available on the Commission's Web site at...

  17. Study of the modifications needed for effective operation NASTRAN on IBM virtual storage computers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mccormick, C. W.; Render, K. H.

    1975-01-01

    The necessary modifications were determined to make NASTRAN operational under virtual storage operating systems (VS1 and VS2). Suggested changes are presented which will make NASTRAN operate more efficiently under these systems. Estimates of the cost and time involved in design, coding, and implementation of all suggested modifications are included.

  18. Modification of ultraviolet radiation effects on the membrane of myelinated nerve fibers by sulfhydryl compounds

    SciTech Connect

    Hof, D.; Fox, J.M.

    1984-01-01

    The modification of the ultraviolet blocking of sodium channels and of the ultraviolet-induced potential shift of the gating parameters by means of the sulfhydryl compounds l-cysteine and 2-mercaptoethanol was investigated in the node of Ranvier of Rana esculenta under voltage-clamp conditions. The UV wavelength was 280 nm. The radiation-induced potential shift of the voltage-dependent gating parameters was prevented or even reversed by the action of the sulfhydryl compounds (internal application), while the blocking effect was not affected. It is concluded that the two radiation effects are caused by two separate photoreactions. Internally applied N-ethylmaleimide, binding specifically to protein-SH groups, exhibits an effect similar to the ultraviolet-induced potential shift, without affecting the maximum sodium permeability. Therefore, the ultraviolet-induced potential shift might be caused by a photocatalyzed oxidation of -SH groups of membrane proteins changing the surface charge density at the inner side of the nodal membrane.

  19. Effects of electrode surface modification with chlorotoxin on patterning single glioma cells.

    PubMed

    Asphahani, Fareid; Zheng, Xiaohao; Veiseh, Omid; Thein, Myo; Xu, Jian; Ohuchi, Fumio; Zhang, Miqin

    2011-05-21

    A microchip patterned with arrays of single cancer cells can be an effective platform for the study of tumor biology, medical diagnostics, and drug screening. However, patterning and retaining viable single cancer cells on defined sites of the microarray can be challenging. In this study we used a tumor cell-specific peptide, chlorotoxin (CTX), to mediate glioma cell adhesion on arrays of gold microelectrodes and investigated the effects of three surface modification schemes for conjugation of CTX to the microelectrodes on single cell patterning, which include physical adsorption, covalent bonding mediated by N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS), and covalent bonding via crosslinking succinimidyl iodoacetate and Traut's (SIA-Traut) reagents. The CTX immobilization to microelectrodes was confirmed by high-resolution X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Physically adsorbed CTX showed better support for cell adhesion and is more effective in confining adhered cells on the electrodes than covalently-bound CTX. Furthermore, cell adhesion and spreading on microelectrodes were quantified in real-time by impedance measurements, which revealed an impedance signal from physically adsorbed CTX electrodes four times greater than the signal from covalently-bound CTX electrodes.

  20. Localized corrosion effects and modifications of acidic and alkaline slurries on copper chemical mechanical polishing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsai, Tzu-Hsuan; Yen, Shi-Chern

    2003-04-01

    This study demonstrates the CMP performance can be enhanced by modifying the corrosion effects of acidic and alkaline slurries on copper. A corrosion test-cell with a polishing platform is connected with the potentiostat to investigate the corrosion behaviors of copper CMP in various alumina slurries. Experiments show that the slurry needs to be maintained in acidic pH<4.56 or alkaline pH>9.05 surroundings and thus better dispersion of alumina particles and less residual contaminant on copper surface can be obtained. The surface defects after copper CMP using acidic and alkaline slurries are described by pitting corrosion mechanisms, and these mechanisms can be regarded as a basis to modify their corrosion effects. Experimental results indicate that it is necessary to modify the dissolution of HNO 3 and oxidization of NH 4OH for copper CMP slurries. Consequently, the slurries of 5 wt.% HNO 3 by adding 0.1 wt.% BTA or 5 wt.% KNO 3 by adding 1 wt.% NH 4OH achieve good CMP performance for copper with higher CMP efficiency factor (CMPEF), 1460 and 486, and lower surface roughness ( Rq), 4.019 and 3.971 nm, respectively. It is found that AFM micrographs can support the effectiveness of corrosion modifications for copper CMP in various slurry chemistries.

  1. Effects of centrifugal modification of magnetohydrodynamic equilibrium on resistive wall mode stability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shiraishi, J.; Aiba, N.; Miyato, N.; Yagi, M.

    2014-08-01

    Toroidal rotation effects are self-consistently taken into account not only in the linear magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) stability analysis but also in the equilibrium calculation. The MHD equilibrium computation is affected by centrifugal force due to the toroidal rotation. To study the toroidal rotation effects on resistive wall modes (RWMs), a new code has been developed. The RWMaC modules, which solve the electromagnetic dynamics in vacuum and the resistive wall, have been implemented in the MINERVA code, which solves the Frieman-Rotenberg equation that describes the linear ideal MHD dynamics in a rotating plasma. It is shown that modification of MHD equilibrium by the centrifugal force significantly reduces growth rates of RWMs with fast rotation in the order of M2 = 0.1 where M is the Mach number. Moreover, it can open a stable window which does not exist under the assumption that the rotation affects only the linear dynamics. The rotation modifies the equilibrium pressure gradient and current density profiles, which results in the change of potential energy including rotational effects.

  2. Effects of laser fluence on silicon modification by four-beam laser interference

    SciTech Connect

    Zhao, Le; Li, Dayou; Wang, Zuobin Yue, Yong; Zhang, Jinjin; Yu, Miao; Li, Siwei

    2015-12-21

    This paper discusses the effects of laser fluence on silicon modification by four-beam laser interference. In this work, four-beam laser interference was used to pattern single crystal silicon wafers for the fabrication of surface structures, and the number of laser pulses was applied to the process in air. By controlling the parameters of laser irradiation, different shapes of silicon structures were fabricated. The results were obtained with the single laser fluence of 354 mJ/cm{sup 2}, 495 mJ/cm{sup 2}, and 637 mJ/cm{sup 2}, the pulse repetition rate of 10 Hz, the laser exposure pulses of 30, 100, and 300, the laser wavelength of 1064 nm, and the pulse duration of 7–9 ns. The effects of the heat transfer and the radiation of laser interference plasma on silicon wafer surfaces were investigated. The equations of heat flow and radiation effects of laser plasma of interfering patterns in a four-beam laser interference distribution were proposed to describe their impacts on silicon wafer surfaces. The experimental results have shown that the laser fluence has to be properly selected for the fabrication of well-defined surface structures in a four-beam laser interference process. Laser interference patterns can directly fabricate different shape structures for their corresponding applications.

  3. Are We Missing Something Pertinent? A Bias Analysis of Unmeasured Confounding in the Firearm-Suicide Literature.

    PubMed

    Miller, M; Swanson, S A; Azrael, D

    2016-01-01

    Despite the magnitude and consistency of risk estimates in the peer-reviewed literature linking firearm availability and suicide, inferring causality has been questioned on the theoretical basis that existing studies may have failed to account for the possibility that members of households with firearms differ from members of households without firearms in important ways related to suicide risk. The current bias analysis directly addresses this concern by describing the salient characteristics that such an unmeasured confounder would need to possess in order to yield the associations between firearm availability and suicide observed in the literature when, in fact, the causal effect is null. Four US studies, published between 1992 and 2003, met our eligibility criteria. We find that any such unmeasured confounder would need to possess an untenable combination of characteristics, such as being not only 1) as potent a suicide risk factor as the psychiatric disorders most tightly linked to suicide (e.g., major depressive and substance use disorders) but also 2) an order of magnitude more imbalanced across households with versus without firearms than is any known risk factor. No such confounder has been found or even suggested. The current study strongly suggests that unmeasured confounding alone is unlikely to explain the association between firearms and suicide.

  4. Effect of lycopene and {beta}-carotene on peroxynitrite-mediated cellular modifications

    SciTech Connect

    Muzandu, Kaampwe; Ishizuka, Mayumi; Sakamoto, Kentaro Q.; Shaban, Zein; El Bohi, Khlood; Kazusaka, Akio; Fujita, Shoichi . E-mail: fujita@vetmed.hokudai.ac.jp

    2006-09-15

    Peroxynitrite formed by the reaction of superoxide and nitric oxide is a highly reactive species with a role in various pathological processes such as cancer, chronic inflammation, and cardiovascular and neurological diseases. In the present study, the effect of the carotenoids, lycopene and {beta}-carotene, on peroxynitrite-mediated modifications in plasmid DNA as well as cellular DNA and proteins were investigated. In pUC18 plasmid DNA, these carotenoids strongly inhibited DNA strand breaks caused by peroxynitrite generated from 3-morpholinosydnonimine (SIN-1). SIN-1 was also used to determine effects on DNA damage and protein tyrosine nitration in Chinese hamster lung fibroblasts. SIN-1 dose-dependently increased nitration of proteins in cells above basal levels as determined by Western blotting. This nitration was inhibited in the presence of the uric acid as well as lycopene. Physiological concentrations (0.31-10 {mu}M) of lycopene and {beta}-carotene also had protective effects on DNA damage, as measured by the comet assay. Lycopene significantly reduced DNA damage particularly, in the median range of concentrations (2.5 {mu}M). The protective effects of lycopene and {beta}-carotene could be due to their scavenging of reactive oxygen (ROS) and/or nitrogen species (RNS) as they reduce the amount of intracellular ROS/RNS produced following treatment with SIN-1 by as much as 47.5% and 42.4%, respectively. The results obtained in this study suggest that carotenoids may alleviate some of the deleterious effects of peroxynitrite and possibly other reactive nitrogen species as well in vivo.

  5. Adverse health effects due to arsenic exposure: Modification by dietary supplementation of jaggery in mice

    SciTech Connect

    Singh, Nrashant; Kumar, D.; Lal, Kewal; Raisuddin, S.; Sahu, Anand P.

    2010-02-01

    Populations of villages of eastern India and Bangladesh and many other parts of the world are exposed to arsenic mainly through drinking water. Due to non-availability of safe drinking water they are compelled to depend on arsenic-contaminated water. Generally, poverty level is high in those areas and situation is compounded by the lack of proper nutrition. The hypothesis that the deleterious health effects of arsenic can be prevented by modification of dietary factors with the availability of an affordable and indigenous functional food jaggery (sugarcane juice) has been tested in the present study. Jaggery contains polyphenols, vitamin C, carotene and other biologically active components. Arsenic as sodium-m-arsenite at low (0.05 ppm) and high (5 ppm) doses was orally administered to Swiss male albino mice, alone and in combination with jaggery feeding (250 mg/mice), consecutively for 180 days. The serum levels of total antioxidant, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase were substantially reduced in arsenic-exposed groups, while supplementation of jaggery enhanced their levels in combined treatment groups. The serum levels of interleukin-1beta, interleukin-6 and TNF-alpha were significantly increased in arsenic-exposed groups, while in the arsenic-exposed and jaggery supplemented groups their levels were normal. The comet assay in bone marrow cells showed the genotoxic effects of arsenic, whereas combination with jaggery feeding lessened the DNA damage. Histopathologically, the lung of arsenic-exposed mice showed the necrosis and degenerative changes in bronchiolar epithelium with emphysema and thickening of alveolar septa which was effectively antagonized by jaggery feeding. These results demonstrate that jaggery, a natural functional food, effectively antagonizes many of the adverse effects of arsenic.

  6. Effect of climatic warming on the Pacific walrus, and potential modification of its helminth fauna.

    PubMed

    Rausch, Robert L; George, John C; Brower, Harry K

    2007-10-01

    The decreasing extent of sea-ice in the arctic basin as a consequence of climatic warming is modifying the behavior and diets of pagophilic pinnipeds, including the Pacific walrus, Odobenus rosmarus divergens Illiger, the species emphasized here. Mammals such as the walrus and bearded seal, Erignathus barbatus (Erxleben), cannot remain associated with the sea-ice, and continue to feed on their usual diet of benthic invertebrates inhabiting coastal waters to a depth of approximately 100 m, when the northwestward retreating ice reaches deep waters beyond the margins of the continental shelf. With reduction of their customary substrate (ice), the walrus has become more pelagic and preys more often on ringed seals, Phoca hispida Schreber. Dietary changes, with modifications of helminth faunas, may be induced by various factors. Increased consumption of mammals or their remains by walruses may lead to a higher prevalence of trichinellosis in them and to more frequent occurrence in indigenous peoples inhabiting the arctic coasts. To assess predicted effects on the composition of helminth fauna of the walrus, we recommend systematic surveys of their helminths as part of research on effects of climatic warming.

  7. Flaperon Modification Effect on Jet-Flap Interaction Noise Reduction for Chevron Nozzles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thomas, Russell H.; Mengle, Vinod G.; Stoker, Robert W.; Brusniak, Leon; Elkoby, Ronen

    2007-01-01

    Jet-flap interaction (JFI) noise can become an important component of far field noise when a flap is immersed in the engine propulsive stream or is in its entrained region, as in approach conditions for under-the-wing engine configurations. We experimentally study the effect of modifying the flaperon, which is a high speed aileron between the inboard and outboard flaps, at both approach and take-off conditions using scaled models in a free jet. The flaperon modifications were of two types: sawtooth trailing edge and mini vortex generators (vg s). Parametric variations of these two concepts were tested with a round coaxial nozzle and an advanced chevron nozzle, with azimuthally varying fan chevrons, using both far field microphone arrays and phased microphone arrays for source diagnostics purposes. In general, the phased array results corroborated the far field results in the upstream quadrant pointing to JFI near the flaperon trailing edge as the origin of the far field noise changes. Specific sawtooth trailing edges in conjunction with the round nozzle gave marginal reduction in JFI noise at approach, and parallel co-rotating mini-vg s were somewhat more beneficial over a wider range of angles, but both concepts were noisier at take-off conditions. These two concepts had generally an adverse JFI effect when used in conjunction with the advanced chevron nozzle at both approach and take-off conditions.

  8. Effects of surface modification of talc on mechanical properties of polypropylene/talc composites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Keyan; Stadlbauer, Wolfgang; Zitzenbacher, Gernot; Paulik, Christian; Burgstaller, Christoph

    2016-03-01

    Low compatibility of polymer matrix and dispersed filler negatively affects the performance of polymeric composites. In order to improve the adhesion between the components in a compound the polymer matrix or/and the filler particles should be modified with a compatibilizer or/and a coupling agent. An overview of our current research on the effect of the addition of silane treated and untreated talc powders on the mechanical properties of polypropylene/talc composites is presented in this paper. Different silane coupling agents (3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane, 3-glycidoxypropyltrimethoxysilane and 3-methacryloxypropyltrimethoxysilane) were used to improve the adhesion at the surface of talc powders. Maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene was utilized to increase the adhesion between the polypropylene matrix and talc powders. The content of maleic anhydride grafted polypropylene (MA-g-PP) was varied between 1 and 5 wt% in polypropylene/talc composites. The surface modification of talc powders has a significant effect on the interfacial structure and the mechanical properties such as tensile strength and impact strength of polypropylene/talc composites. The experiments show that polypropylene grafted with maleic anhydride together with silane surface treatment exhibits the highest potential for improvements in this field.

  9. Confounding variables in the environmental toxicology of arsenic.

    PubMed

    Gebel, T

    2000-04-01

    Arsenic is one of the most important global environmental toxicants. For example, in regions of West Bengal and Inner Mongolia, more than 100000 persons are chronically exposed to well water often strongly contaminated with As. Unfortunately, a toxicologically safe risk assessment and standard setting, especially for long-term and low-dose exposures to arsenic, is not possible. One reason is that the key mechanism of arsenic's tumorigenicity still is not elucidated. Experimental data indicate that either DNA repair inhibition or DNA methylation status alteration may be causal explanations. Moreover, when comparing epidemiological data, it cannot be ruled out that the susceptibility to arsenic's carcinogenicity may be different between Mexican and Taiwanese people. Some other studies indicate that some Andean populations do not develop skin cancer after long-term exposure to As. It is not known yet how this resistance could be mediated. Finally, the situation is even more complicated when taking into consideration that there are several compounds suspected to modulate the chronic environmental toxicity of arsenic, variables that may either enhance or suppress the in vivo genotoxicity and carcinogenicity of the metalloid. Among them are nutritional factors like selenium and zinc as well as drinking water co-contaminants like antimony. Further, yet unidentified factors influencing the body burden and/or the excretion of arsenic are possibly prevailing: preliminary data from own human biomonitoring studies showed a peaking of As in urine samples of non-exposed people which was not caused by elevated exposure to As through seafood consumption. The relevance of these putative confounding variables cannot be finally evaluated yet. Further experimental as well as epidemiological studies are needed to answer these questions. This would help to conduct a toxicologically improved risk assessment, especially for low-dose and long-term exposures to arsenic.

  10. Eliminating a Confounding Factor in Power Law Parameter Interpretation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karst, N.; Dralle, D.; Thompson, S. E.

    2015-12-01

    Power law models of the form y = -axb are used to represent a wide range of phenomena in the physical, biological and social sciences. Power laws are well known to display a "scale-free property", meaning that the value of the exponent b is independent of the unit of measurement (the "scale") of the state variable x. While this makes estimation of the exponent robust, it raises significant estimation challenges for the linear multiplier a. Specifically, if both the multiplier a and exponent b are allowed to vary when undertaking an empirical fitting procedure, then physical units used to measure x induce a formal (i.e., entirely nonphysical) dependence between a and b, because the fitted value of a will contain a (potentially large) multiplicative factor that varies depending on the scale of x. This is problematic for two reasons: (i) if a is to be empirically estimated, but admits a physical interpretation, then the scale-dependent factor can confound the physically meaningful value (ii) the formal relationship between a and b due to the scaling of the relationship obscures any true relationship between the parameters and could motivate a spurious interpretation of their co-variation. To correct this issue, we present a technique to remove the formal correlation between a and b, and demonstrate an application of the technique in the context of streamflow recession analysis, where the falling limb of the hydrograph is modeled using a simple power law relationship, dq/dt = -aqb. Following the decorrelation of (a, b) recession parameter pairs, physically intuitive seasonal patterns, greatly obscured in the original data, are clearly found.

  11. Effects of channel modifications on the hydrology of Chicod Creek basin, North Carolina, 1975-87

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mason, R.R.; Simmons, C.E.; Watkins, S.A.

    1990-01-01

    Drainage modifications in this Coastal Plain basin from 1978 to 1981 consisted of channel excavation and clearing of blockages. A study was begun in 1975 to define hydrologic conditions of the basin before, during, and after modifications and to determine what changes were attributed to modifications. Surface-water conditions were altered during and following modifications. Minimum flow at Juniper Branch was increased from less than 0.1 cu ft/sec to 0.4 cu ft/second;streamflow variability was reduced from an index of 0.87 to 0.49. In-channel velocity at Chicod Creek was increased from a mean of 0.4 ft/sec to 1.5 ft/sec. Substantial groundwater level declines were observed in wells 180 and 250 ft from Juniper Branch during the modifications phase;these were 0.4 and 0.2 ft, respectively. However, most surface-water and groundwater conditions returned nearly to premodification levels by 1987. Water-quality characteristics monitored during the investigation included physical, chemical, and bacteriological characteristics. Physical characteristics monitored were suspended sediment, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and pH. Of these physical characteristics, only sediment concentrations increased substantially during channel modifications. Chemical characteristics studied were major dissolved constituents, nutrients, trace metals, and pesticides. Substantial changes ranged from a decline in total iron concentrations of 77% to an increase in total nitrite concentrations of 130%. Changes in many chemical characteristics persisted following channel modifications. Bacterial counts did not change substantially.

  12. Child welfare clients have higher risks for teenage childbirths: which are the major confounders?

    PubMed Central

    Vinnerljung, Bo; Hjern, Anders

    2016-01-01

    Background: Aiming to support effective social intervention strategies targeting high-risk groups for teenage motherhood, this study examined to what extent the elevated crude risks of teenage childbirth among child welfare groups were attributable to the uneven distribution of adverse individual and family background factors. Methods: Comprehensive longitudinal register data for more than 700 000 Swedish females born 1973–1989 (including around 29 000 child welfare clients) were analysed by means of binary logistic regression. The Karlson/Holm/Breen-method was used to decompose each confounding factor’s relative contribution to the difference between crude and adjusted odds ratios (ORs). Results: Elevated crude risks for teenage childbirth are to a large extent attributable to selection on observables. Girls’ school failure was the most potent confounder, accounting for 28–35% of the difference between crude and adjusted ORs. Conclusion: As in majority populations, girls’ school failure was a strong risk factor for teenage childbirth among former child welfare children. At least among pre-adolescents, promoting school performance among children in the child welfare system seems to be a viable intervention path. PMID:27085195

  13. Synergistic effect of phosphorothioate, 5'-vinylphosphonate and GalNAc modifications for enhancing activity of synthetic siRNA.

    PubMed

    Prakash, Thazha P; Kinberger, Garth A; Murray, Heather M; Chappell, Alfred; Riney, Stan; Graham, Mark J; Lima, Walt F; Swayze, Eric E; Seth, Punit P

    2016-06-15

    Chemical modifications are essential to improve metabolic stability and pharmacokinetic properties of siRNA to enable their systemic delivery. We investigated the effect of combing the phosphorothioate (PS) modification with metabolically stable phosphate analog (E)-5'-vinylphosphonate and GalNAc cluster conjugation on the activity of fully 2'-modified siRNA in cell culture and mice. Our data suggest that integrating multiple chemical approaches in one siRNA molecule improved potency 5-10 fold and provide a roadmap for developing more efficient siRNA drugs.

  14. Structural and physico-chemical properties of insoluble rice bran fiber: effect of acid–base induced modifications

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The structural modifications of insoluble rice bran fiber (IRBF) by sequential regimes of sulphuric acid (H2SO4) and their effects on the physicochemical attributes were studied. The increment of H2SO4 concentration resulted in decreased water holding capacity that ultimately enhanced the oil bindin...

  15. Effects of Ultrasonic Nanocrystal Surface Modification (UNSM) on Residual Stress State and Fatigue Strength of AISI 304

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cherif, A.; Pyoun, Y.; Scholtes, B.

    2010-03-01

    The effects of a new mechanical surface treatment method, called ultrasonic nanocrystal surface modification (UNSM), on near-surface microstructures and residual stress states as well as on the fatigue behavior of an austenitic steel AISI 304 are investigated and discussed. The results are compared with consequences of other mechanical surface treatment methods such as deep rolling or shot peening.

  16. Milk whey protein modification by coffee-specific phenolics: effect on structural and functional properties.

    PubMed

    Ali, Mostafa; Homann, Thomas; Khalil, Mahmoud; Kruse, Hans-Peter; Rawel, Harshadrai

    2013-07-17

    A suitable vehicle for integration of bioactive plant constituents is proposed. It involves modification of proteins using phenolics and applying these for protection of labile constituents. It dissects the noncovalent and covalent interactions of β-lactoglobulin with coffee-specific phenolics. Alkaline and polyphenol oxidase modulated covalent reactions were compared. Tryptic digestion combined with MALDI-TOF-MS provided tentative allocation of the modification type and site in the protein, and an in silico modeling of modified β-lactoglobulin is proposed. The modification delivers proteins with enhanced antioxidative properties. Changed structural properties and differences in solubility, surface hydrophobicity, and emulsification were observed. The polyphenol oxidase modulated reaction provides a modified β-lactoglobulin with a high antioxidative power, is thermally more stable, requires less energy to unfold, and, when emulsified with lutein esters, exhibits their higher stability against UV light. Thus, adaptation of this modification provides an innovative approach for functionalizing proteins and their uses in the food industry.

  17. The Effectiveness of Cognitive Bias Modification Interventions for Substance Addictions: A Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Kok, Robin N.; Cuijpers, Pim

    2016-01-01

    Background and Aims Cognitive bias modification (CBM) interventions, presumably targeting automatic processes, are considered particularly promising for addictions. We conducted a meta-analysis examining randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of CBM for substance addiction outcomes. Methods Studies were identified through systematic searches in bibliographical databases. We included RCTs of CBM interventions, alone or in combination with other treatments, for any type of addiction. We examined trial risk of bias, publication bias and possible moderators. Effects sizes were computed for post-test and follow-up, using a random-effects model. We grouped outcome measures and reported results for addiction (all related measures), craving and cognitive bias. Results We identified 25 trials, 18 for alcohol problems, and 7 for smoking. At post-test, there was no significant effect of CBM for addiction, g = 0.08 (95% CI -0.02 to 0.18) or craving, g = 0.05 (95% CI -0.06 to 0.16), but there was a significant, moderate effect on cognitive bias, g = 0.60 (95% CI 0.39 to 0.79). Results were similar for alcohol and smoking outcomes taken separately. Follow-up addiction outcomes were reported in 7 trials, resulting in a small but significant effect of CBM, g = 0.18 (95% CI 0.03 to 0.32). Results for addiction and craving did not differ by substance type, sample type, delivery setting, bias targeted or number of sessions. Risk of bias was high or uncertain in most trials, for most criteria considered. Meta-regression analyses revealed significant inverse relationships between risk of bias and effect sizes for addiction outcomes and craving. The relationship between cognitive bias and respectively addiction ESs was not significant. There was consistent evidence of publication bias in the form of funnel plot asymmetry. Conclusions Our results cast serious doubts on the clinical utility of CBM interventions for addiction problems, but sounder methodological trials are necessary before

  18. Triggering of Myocardial Infarction by Increased Ambient Fine Particle Concentration: Effect Modification by Source Direction

    PubMed Central

    Hopke, Philip K.; Kane, Cathleen; Utell, Mark J.; Chalupa, David C.; Kumar, Pramod; Ling, Frederick; Gardner, Blake; Rich, David Q.

    2015-01-01

    Background Previously, we reported a 18% increased odds of ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) associated with each 7.1 µg/m3 increase in PM2.5 concentration in the hour prior to MI onset. We found no association with non-ST elevation myocardial infarction (NSTEMI). We examined if this association was modified by PM2.5 source direction. Methods We used the NOAA HYbrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Trajectory (HYSPLIT) model to calculate each hourly air mass location for the 24 hours before each case or control time period in our previous PM2.5/STEMI case-crossover analysis. Using these data on patients with STEMI (n=338), hourly PM2.5 concentrations, and case-crossover methods, we evaluated whether our PM2.5/STEMI association was modified by whether the air mass passed through each of the 8 cardinal wind direction sectors in the previous 24 hours. Results When the air mass passed through the West-Southwest direction (WSW) any time in the past 24 hours, the odds of STEMI associated with each 7.1 µg/m3 increase in PM2.5 concentration in the previous hour (OR=1.27; 95% CI=1.08, 1.22) was statistically significantly (p=0.01) greater than the relative odds of STEMI associated with increased PM2.5 concentration when the wind arrived from any other direction (OR=0.99; 95% CI=0.80, 1.22). We found no other effect modification by any other source direction. Further, relative odds estimates were largest when the time spent in the WSW was 8-16 hours, compared to ≤7 hours or 17-24 hours, suggesting that particles arising from sources in this direction were more potent in triggering STEMIs. Conclusions Since relative odds estimates were higher when the air mass passed through the WSW octant in the past 24 hours, there may be specific components of the ambient aerosol that are more potent in triggering STEMIs. This direction is associated with substantial emissions from coal-fired power plants and other industrial sources of the Ohio River Valley, many of which are

  19. Effect of chemical modification on molecular structure and functional properties of Musa AAB starch.

    PubMed

    Koteswara Reddy, Chagam; Vidya, P V; Haripriya, Sundaramoorthy

    2015-11-01

    Starch extracted from Musa AAB (poovan banana) was subjected to acetylation, acid-thinning and oxidation. The effect of the treatments on molecular structure and functional properties of starch were analysed. Chemical composition revealed that non-starch components were reduced after chemical treatment. Amylose content of starch decreased on acetylation from 24.16% to 20.90%, whereas it increased to 24.50% and 25.5% on oxidation and acid-thinning, respectively. X-ray diffraction pattern of modified starches showed B-type crystalline structure with peaks at 2θ=5.5°, 15.0°, 17.1° and 23.5°; which were parallel with the pattern observed in case of native starch. Swelling capacity of starch granules was found to reduce by acid-thinning and oxidation but acetylation induced to increase it. The percentage of colour (L*, a* and b*), solubility and water absorption capacities varied significantly from native starch after chemical modification. Changes in gelatinisation temperatures and enthalpy value of starches were observed in modified starches and it is varied according to reaction conditions. Pasting properties of the starches was increased by acetylation and oxidation while acid-thinning reduced it (P<0.05).

  20. Effects of chemical and enzymatic modifications on starch-stearic acid complex formation.

    PubMed

    Arijaje, Emily Oluwaseun; Wang, Ya-Jane; Shinn, Sara; Shah, Utkarsh; Proctor, Andrew

    2014-04-01

    Debranched unacetylated and acetylated potato starches with two degrees of substitution, 0.041 (low) and 0.078 (high), combined with or without β-amylase hydrolysis were prepared to form soluble and insoluble complexes with stearic acid. The effects of modifications on the complexation, thermal properties, and X-ray patterns of soluble and insoluble complexes were investigated. Acetylation decreased the recovery of insoluble complexes but increased that of soluble complexes. Low acetylated, β-amylase-treated starch had a significantly increased amount of complexed stearic acid (123.1 mg/g) for insoluble complexes; high acetylated, β-amylase-treated starch had the highest complexed stearic acid (61.2 mg/g) for the soluble complexes. The melting temperature of the complexes decreased with acetylation. All β-amylase-treated acetylated complexes displayed the V-type diffraction pattern with peaks at 2θ = 7.4°, 12.9°, and 20°. These results suggest that starch can be modified by acetylation, debranching, and/or β-amylase to produce significant quantities of soluble starch-stearic acid complexes.

  1. Effects of genetic modifications to flax (Linum usitatissimum) on arbuscular mycorrhiza and plant performance.

    PubMed

    Wróbel-Kwiatkowska, Magdalena; Turnau, Katarzyna; Góralska, Katarzyna; Anielska, Teresa; Szopa, Jan

    2012-10-01

    Although arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are known for their positive effect on flax growth, the impact of genetic manipulation in this crop on arbuscular mycorrhiza and plant performance was assessed for the first time. Five types of transgenic flax that were generated to improve fiber quality and resistance to pathogens, through increased levels of either phenylpropanoids (W92.40), glycosyltransferase (GT4, GT5), or PR2 beta-1,3-glucanase (B14) or produce polyhydroxybutyrate (M50), were used. Introduced genetic modifications did not change the degree of mycorrhizal colonization as compared to parent cultivars Linola and Nike. Arbuscules were well developed in each tested transgenic type (except M50). In two lines (W92.40 and B14), a higher abundance of arbuscules was observed when compared to control, untransformed flax plants. However, in some cases (W92.40, GT4, GT5, and B14 Md), the mycorrhizal dependency for biomass production of transgenic plants was slightly lower when compared to the original cultivars. No significant influence of mycorrhiza on the photosynthetic activity of transformed lines was found, but in most cases P concentration in mycorrhizal plants remained higher than in nonmycorrhizal ones. The transformed flax lines meet the demands for better quality of fiber and higher resistance to pathogens, without significantly influencing the interaction with AMF.

  2. Synergistic effect of cationic and anionic surfactants for the modification of Ca-montmorillonite

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang, Zepeng; Zhang, Jichu; Liao, Libing; Xia, Zhiguo

    2013-05-15

    Highlights: ► The basal spacing of MMT–CTAB–SDS reaches 5.30 nm. ► MMT–CTAB–SDS shows perfect dispersion property and excellent heat resistance. ► SDS helped to improve the heat resistance and decrease the surface energy of the MMT–CTAB–SDS particles. - Abstract: The synergistic effect of cationic surfactant (CTAB) and anionic surfactant (SDS) for the modification of Ca-montmorillonite (Ca-MMT) has been developed, and the novel cation–anion modified organomontmorillonite (MMT–CTAB–SDS) was prepared. X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis indicates that the interlayer spacing of montmorillonite was well expanded by the intercalation of CTAB and SDS and the basal spacing increased from 1.54 nm (Ca-MMT) to 5.30 nm (MMT–CTAB–SDS). Thermogravimetric analysis (TG) showed that the MMT–CTAB–SDS displayed excellent heat resistance. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis proved that the MMT–CTAB–SDS exhibited excellent dispersion property and the plates with few silicate layers can be observed. Contact angle tests indicated that the hydrophilicity of MMT–CTAB–SDS was lower than that of Ca-MMT and higher than that of MMT–CTAB. It was verified that SDS contributed to expanding the interlayer space, further improved the heat resistance of the MMT–CTAB and decreased the surface energy of the MMT–CTAB–SDS particles.

  3. Gastrointestinal modifications and bioavailability of brown seaweed phlorotannins and effects on inflammatory markers.

    PubMed

    Corona, Giulia; Ji, Yang; Anegboonlap, Prapaporn; Hotchkiss, Sarah; Gill, Chris; Yaqoob, Parveen; Spencer, Jeremy P E; Rowland, Ian

    2016-04-14

    Brown seaweeds such as Ascophyllum nodosum are a rich source of phlorotannins (oligomers and polymers of phloroglucinol units), a class of polyphenols that are unique to Phaeophyceae. At present, there is no information on the bioavailability of seaweed polyphenols and limited evidence on their bioactivity in vivo. Consequently, we investigated the gastrointestinal modifications in vitro of seaweed phlorotannins from A. nodosum and their bioavailability and effect on inflammatory markers in healthy participants. In vitro, some phlorotannin oligomers were identified after digestion and colonic fermentation. In addition, seven metabolites corresponding to in vitro-absorbed metabolites were identified. Urine and plasma samples contained a variety of metabolites attributed to both unconjugated and conjugated metabolites (glucuronides and/or sulphates). In both urine and plasma, the majority of the metabolites were found in samples collected at late time points (6-24 h), suggesting colonic metabolism of high-molecular-weight phlorotannins, with three phlorotannin oligomers (hydroxytrifuhalol A, 7-hydroxyeckol, C-O-C dimer of phloroglucinol) identified in urine samples. A significant increase of the cytokine IL-8 was also observed. Our study shows for the first time that seaweed phlorotannins are metabolised and absorbed, predominantly in the large intestine, and there is a large inter-individual variation in their metabolic profile. Three phlorotannin oligomers present in the capsule are excreted in urine. Our study is the first investigation of the metabolism and bioavailability of seaweed phlorotannins and the role of colonic biotransformation. In addition, IL-8 is a possible target for phlorotannin bioactivity.

  4. Comprehensive characterization of well-defined silk fibroin surfaces: Toward multitechnique studies of surface modification effects.

    PubMed

    Amornsudthiwat, Phakdee; Nitschke, Mirko; Zimmermann, Ralf; Friedrichs, Jens; Grundke, Karina; Pöschel, Kathrin; Damrongsakkul, Siriporn; Werner, Carsten

    2015-01-01

    The study aims at a comprehensive surface characterization of untreated and oxygen plasma-treated silk fibroin with a particular focus on phenomena relevant to biointeraction and cell adhesion. For that purpose, a range of advanced surface diagnostic techniques is employed to thoroughly investigate well-defined and especially clean silk fibroin samples in a comparable setting. This includes surface chemistry and surface charges as factors, which control protein adsorption, but also hydration and swelling of the material as important parameters, which govern the mechanical stiffness at the interface with aqueous media. Oxygen plasma exposure of silk fibroin surfaces reveals that material ablation strongly predominates over the introduction of functional groups even for mild plasma conditions. A substantial increase in mechanical stiffness is identified as the most prominent effect upon this kind of plasma treatment. Regarding the experimental approach and the choice of techniques, the work goes beyond previous studies in this field and paves the way for well-founded investigations of other surface-selective modification procedures that enhance the applicability of silk fibroin in biomedical applications.

  5. Gastrointestinal modifications and bioavailability of brown seaweed phlorotannins and effects on inflammatory markers.

    PubMed

    Corona, Giulia; Ji, Yang; Anegboonlap, Prapaporn; Hotchkiss, Sarah; Gill, Chris; Yaqoob, Parveen; Spencer, Jeremy P E; Rowland, Ian

    2016-04-14

    Brown seaweeds such as Ascophyllum nodosum are a rich source of phlorotannins (oligomers and polymers of phloroglucinol units), a class of polyphenols that are unique to Phaeophyceae. At present, there is no information on the bioavailability of seaweed polyphenols and limited evidence on their bioactivity in vivo. Consequently, we investigated the gastrointestinal modifications in vitro of seaweed phlorotannins from A. nodosum and their bioavailability and effect on inflammatory markers in healthy participants. In vitro, some phlorotannin oligomers were identified after digestion and colonic fermentation. In addition, seven metabolites corresponding to in vitro-absorbed metabolites were identified. Urine and plasma samples contained a variety of metabolites attributed to both unconjugated and conjugated metabolites (glucuronides and/or sulphates). In both urine and plasma, the majority of the metabolites were found in samples collected at late time points (6-24 h), suggesting colonic metabolism of high-molecular-weight phlorotannins, with three phlorotannin oligomers (hydroxytrifuhalol A, 7-hydroxyeckol, C-O-C dimer of phloroglucinol) identified in urine samples. A significant increase of the cytokine IL-8 was also observed. Our study shows for the first time that seaweed phlorotannins are metabolised and absorbed, predominantly in the large intestine, and there is a large inter-individual variation in their metabolic profile. Three phlorotannin oligomers present in the capsule are excreted in urine. Our study is the first investigation of the metabolism and bioavailability of seaweed phlorotannins and the role of colonic biotransformation. In addition, IL-8 is a possible target for phlorotannin bioactivity. PMID:26879487

  6. A review about the effect of life style modification on diabetes and quality of life.

    PubMed

    Shrestha, Prabha; Ghimire, Laxmi

    2012-10-10

    The aim of this review is to examine diabetes and quality of life improvements through modifying life style. The data was collected by reviewing published articles from PubMed, Medline, Web of Science, and Google open access publications. The review identified prevention strategies can reduce the risk and complications of diabetes. Life style modification in relation to obesity, eating habit, and physical exercise can play a major role in the prevention of diabetes. Nowadays, there has been progress in the development of behavioural strategies to modify these life style habits and it is not easy to accept for long term basis. If people maintain a balanced diet and physical exercise this can have real and potential benefits for their prevention and control of complications from chronic diseases particularly for cardiovascular risk and diabetes. Healthy life style may best be achieved through public private partnerships involving government, partners organizations, health services providers, community and people living with diabetes. Effective strategies to reduce the incidence of diabetes globally and assist in managing the disease are urgently required.

  7. Effects of compositional modification in lead lanthanum zirconate stannate titanate ceramics on electric energy storage properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jo, Hwan R.; Lynch, Christopher S.

    2013-04-01

    The effects of compositional modifications on the antiferroelectric (AFE) to ferroelectric (FE) transition of lead lanthanum zirconate stannate titanate, (Pb1-3x/2Lax)(Zr1-v-zSnvTiz)O3 ceramics were used to optimize this material for energy storage. The experimental results show that an increase of Sn4+ respect to Ti4+ increases the coercive field of AFE-FE transition and keeps the hysteresis at the minimal level. This increases both the energy density of material and energy efficiency relative to a linear dielectric. Another advantage of Sn4+ addition was a polarization increase at the switching field. The substitution of Zn4+ for Sn4+ at fixed Ti4+ concentration of 0.1 was, however, undesirable for energy storage applications since this decreased the forward switching field and increased the hysteresis. This lowered both the energy density of the material and energy efficiency. Finally, addition of La3+ was performed and slim hysteresis loops were obtained resulting in energy efficiency of 80.1%. However, the slanted hysteresis behavior with La3+ results in a lower value of the maximum stored energy.

  8. Effects of single and dual physical modifications on pinhão starch.

    PubMed

    Pinto, Vânia Zanella; Vanier, Nathan Levien; Deon, Vinicius Gonçalves; Moomand, Khalid; El Halal, Shanise Lisie Mello; Zavareze, Elessandra da Rosa; Lim, Loong-Tak; Dias, Alvaro Renato Guerra

    2015-11-15

    Pinhão starch was modified by annealing (ANN), heat-moisture (HMT) or sonication (SNT) treatments. The starch was also modified by a combination of these treatments (ANN-HMT, ANN-SNT, HMT-ANN, HMT-SNT, SNT-ANN, SNT-HMT). Whole starch and debranched starch fractions were analyzed by gel-permeation chromatography. Moreover, crystallinity, morphology, swelling power, solubility, pasting and gelatinization characteristics were evaluated. Native and single ANN and SNT-treated starches exhibited a CA-type crystalline structure while other modified starches showed an A-type structure. The relative crystallinity increased in ANN-treated starches and decreased in single HMT- and SNT-treated starches. The ANN, HMT and SNT did not provide visible cracks, notches or grooves to pinhão starch granule. SNT applied as second treatment was able to increase the peak viscosity of single ANN- and HMT-treated starches. HMT used alone or in dual modifications promoted the strongest effect on gelatinization temperatures and enthalpy.

  9. The effects of surface modification on the speciation of metal ions intercalated into aluminosilicates

    SciTech Connect

    Wasserman, S.R.; Giaquinta, D.M.; Yuchs, S.E.; Soderholm, L.

    1996-12-31

    Microporous aluminosilicates, including clay minerals and zeolites, are ion-exchange materials. In their most common forms, they have the ability to incorporate cationic species within their matrices. Because of this property, microporous aluminosilicates have been proposed as storage media for hazardous waste. In this paper the authors use X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) to examine the structure of cations held within smectite clay minerals and to determine how modification of the surface of the clay using an organic monolayer affects the coordination of the stored cation. The effects of hydrothermal and thermal processing on the coordination of the ions contained within these systems are also investigated. The presence of the monolayer changes the surface of the clay from hydrophilic to hydrophobic. It inhibits the interlayer ions from exchanging freely into environmental water and reduces the leach rate of cations out of the clay by approximately a factor of 20. Significant changes are observed when these coated samples are treated under hydrothermal and thermal conditions. Reductions of uranium (VI), in the form of uranyl, and cupric ions occur. In addition, the uranium aggregates, forming small particles that appear similar to UO{sub 2}. Comparable conglomeration occurs with lead cations and with the reduced copper species.

  10. Comprehensive characterization of well-defined silk fibroin surfaces: Toward multitechnique studies of surface modification effects.

    PubMed

    Amornsudthiwat, Phakdee; Nitschke, Mirko; Zimmermann, Ralf; Friedrichs, Jens; Grundke, Karina; Pöschel, Kathrin; Damrongsakkul, Siriporn; Werner, Carsten

    2015-01-01

    The study aims at a comprehensive surface characterization of untreated and oxygen plasma-treated silk fibroin with a particular focus on phenomena relevant to biointeraction and cell adhesion. For that purpose, a range of advanced surface diagnostic techniques is employed to thoroughly investigate well-defined and especially clean silk fibroin samples in a comparable setting. This includes surface chemistry and surface charges as factors, which control protein adsorption, but also hydration and swelling of the material as important parameters, which govern the mechanical stiffness at the interface with aqueous media. Oxygen plasma exposure of silk fibroin surfaces reveals that material ablation strongly predominates over the introduction of functional groups even for mild plasma conditions. A substantial increase in mechanical stiffness is identified as the most prominent effect upon this kind of plasma treatment. Regarding the experimental approach and the choice of techniques, the work goes beyond previous studies in this field and paves the way for well-founded investigations of other surface-selective modification procedures that enhance the applicability of silk fibroin in biomedical applications. PMID:25899685

  11. A review about the effect of life style modification on diabetes and quality of life.

    PubMed

    Shrestha, Prabha; Ghimire, Laxmi

    2012-11-01

    The aim of this review is to examine diabetes and quality of life improvements through modifying life style. The data was collected by reviewing published articles from PubMed, Medline, Web of Science, and Google open access publications. The review identified prevention strategies can reduce the risk and complications of diabetes. Life style modification in relation to obesity, eating habit, and physical exercise can play a major role in the prevention of diabetes. Nowadays, there has been progress in the development of behavioural strategies to modify these life style habits and it is not easy to accept for long term basis. If people maintain a balanced diet and physical exercise this can have real and potential benefits for their prevention and control of complications from chronic diseases particularly for cardiovascular risk and diabetes. Healthy life style may best be achieved through public private partnerships involving government, partners organizations, health services providers, community and people living with diabetes. Effective strategies to reduce the incidence of diabetes globally and assist in managing the disease are urgently required. PMID:23121755

  12. Accelerated differentiation of osteoblast cells on polycaprolactone scaffolds driven by a combined effect of protein coating and plasma modification.

    PubMed

    Yildirim, Eda D; Besunder, Robyn; Pappas, Daphne; Allen, Fred; Güçeri, Selçuk; Sun, Wei

    2010-03-01

    A combined effect of protein coating and plasma modification on the quality of the osteoblast-scaffold interaction was investigated. Three-dimensional polycaprolactone (PCL) scaffolds were manufactured by the precision extrusion deposition (PED) system. The structural, physical, chemical and biological cues were introduced to the surface through providing 3D structure, coating with adhesive protein fibronectin and modifying the surface with oxygen-based plasma. The changes in the surface properties of PCL after those modifications were examined by contact angle goniometry, surface energy calculation, surface chemistry analysis (XPS) and surface topography measurements (AFM). The effects of modification techniques on osteoblast short-term and long-term functions were examined by cell adhesion, proliferation assays and differentiation markers, namely alkaline phosphatase activity (ALP) and osteocalcin secretion. The results suggested that the physical and chemical cues introduced by plasma modification might be sufficient for improved cell adhesion, but for accelerated osteoblast differentiation the synergetic effects of structural, physical, chemical and biological cues should be introduced to the PCL surface.

  13. How helpers help: disentangling ecological confounds from the benefits of cooperative breeding.

    PubMed

    Wright, Jonathan; Russell, Andrew F

    2008-05-01

    Evolutionary explanations for helping in cooperative breeding systems usually require a positive effect of helping on the fitness of the breeders being assisted. However, such helper effects have proven surprisingly difficult to quantify. Cockburn et al. (this issue) apply detailed statistical analyses to long-term field data on the enigmatic superb fairy-wren. They show that it is possible to disentangle the complex web of ecological and evolutionary interactions that confound so many studies. Whilst fairy-wren helpers may not increase nest productivity, they do increase future survival of breeding females. This study points the way for future statistical explorations of long-term data in other cooperative birds and mammals.

  14. Missing variables: how exclusion of human resources policy information confounds research connecting health and business outcomes.

    PubMed

    Lynch, Wendy D; Sherman, Bruce W

    2014-01-01

    When corporate health researchers examine the effects of health on business outcomes or the effect of health interventions on health and business outcomes, results will necessarily be confounded by the corporate environment(s) in which they are studied. In this research setting, most studies control for factors traditionally identified in public health, such as demographics and health status. Nevertheless, often overlooked is the extent to which company policies can also independently impact health care cost, work attendance, and productivity outcomes. With changes in employment and benefits practices resulting from health care reform, including incentives and plan design options, consideration of these largely neglected variables in research design has become increasingly important. This commentary summarizes existing knowledge regarding the implications of policy variations in research outcomes and provides a framework for incorporating them into future employer-based research.

  15. The effects of early grade retention: Effect modification by prior achievement and age.

    PubMed

    Vandecandelaere, Machteld; Vansteelandt, Stijn; De Fraine, Bieke; Van Damme, Jan

    2016-02-01

    This study examines the effects of early grade retention and different effects according to prior achievement and age. Within a population of children at risk of early retention, we compared the development throughout primary school in mathematics achievement after kindergarten retention, first-grade retention, and continuous promotion. Analyzing data from a large-scale longitudinal study using covariate balancing propensity score weighting, the findings revealed that early grade repeaters would score higher in mathematics if they were promoted each year instead. However, the effects diminished or even disappeared in the long term. Compared to kindergarten retention, first-grade retention was found to be more harmful for the mathematics development of younger children specifically. PMID:26790704

  16. Modification of the effect of ambient air pollution on pediatric asthma emergency visits: susceptible subpopulations

    PubMed Central

    Strickland, Matthew J; Klein, Mitchel; Flanders, W Dana; Chang, Howard H; Mulholland, James A; Tolbert, Paige E; Darrow, Lyndsey A

    2016-01-01

    Background Children may have differing susceptibility to ambient air pollution concentrations depending on various background characteristics of the children. Methods Using emergency department (ED) data linked with birth records from Atlanta, Georgia, we identified ED visits for asthma or wheeze among children aged 2–16 years from 1 January 2002 through 30 June 2010 (n=109,758). We stratified by preterm delivery, term low birth weight, maternal race, Medicaid status, maternal education, maternal smoking, delivery method, and history of a bronchiolitis ED visit. Population-weighted daily average concentrations were calculated for 1-hour maximum carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide; 8-hour maximum ozone; and 24-hour average particulate matter less than 10 microns in diameter, particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5), and the PM2.5 components sulfate, nitrate, ammonium, elemental carbon, and organic carbon, using measurements from stationary monitors. Poisson time-series models were used to estimate rate ratios for associations between three-day moving average pollutant concentrations and daily ED visit counts and to investigate effect-measure modification by the stratification factors. Results Associations between pollutant concentrations and asthma exacerbations were larger among children born preterm and among children born to African American mothers. Stratification by race and preterm status together suggested that both factors affected susceptibility. The largest estimated effect size (for an interquartile-range increase in pollution) was observed for ozone among preterm births to African American mothers: rate ratio=1.138 (95% confidence interval=1.077–1.203). In contrast, the rate ration for the ozone association among full-term births to mothers of other races was 1.025 (0.970–1.083). Conclusions Results support the hypothesis that children vary in their susceptibility to ambient air pollutants. PMID:25192402

  17. Temperature, Myocardial Infarction, and Mortality: Effect Modification by Individual and Area-Level Characteristics

    PubMed Central

    Madrigano, Jaime; Mittleman, Murray A.; Baccarelli, Andrea; Goldberg, Robert; Melly, Steven; von Klot, Stephanie; Schwartz, Joel

    2014-01-01

    Background While several studies have examined associations between temperature and cardiovascular-disease-related mortality, fewer have investigated the association between temperature and the development of acute myocardial infarction (MI). Moreover, little is known about who is most susceptible to the effects of temperature. Methods We analyzed data from the Worcester Heart Attack Study, a community-wide investigation of acute MI in residents of the Worcester (MA) metropolitan area. We used a case-crossover approach to examine the association of apparent temperature with acute MI occurrence and with all-cause in-hospital and post-discharge mortality. We examined effect modification by sociodemographic characteristics, medical history, clinical complications, and physical environment. Results A decrease in an interquartile range (IQR) in apparent temperature was associated with an increased risk of acute MI on the same day (hazard ratio=1.15 [95% confidence interval= 1.01–1.31]). Extreme cold during the 2 days prior was associated with an increased risk of acute MI (1.36 [1.07–1.74]). Extreme heat during the two days prior was also associated with an increased risk of mortality (1.44 [1.06–1.96]). Persons living in areas with greater poverty were more susceptible to heat. Conclusions Exposure to cold increased the risk of acute MI, and exposure to heat increased the risk of dying after an acute MI. Local area vulnerability should be accounted for as cities prepare to adapt to weather fluctuations as a result of climate change. PMID:23462524

  18. Effects of Extinction on Classical Conditioning and Conditioning-Specific Reflex Modification of Rabbit Heart Rate

    PubMed Central

    Burhans, Lauren B.; Smith-Bell, Carrie; Schreurs, Bernard G.

    2009-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms of fear extinction has become increasingly important for treating a number of disorders, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder. Conditioning of rabbit heart rate (HR) is an established model for studying fear, yet little is known about procedures for extinguishing it other than repeated presentations of cue(s) associated with the fear-inducing event. The following study examined the effects of conditioned stimulus (CS) alone, unconditioned stimulus (US) alone, unpaired CS/US presentations, continued CS-US pairings, or no further stimulation on rabbit HR following HR conditioning. We have previously shown the rabbit HR response to the US can change as a function of learning when measured in the absence of the CS, a phenomenon referred to as conditioning-specific reflex modification (CRM). More specifically, the HR exhibits a deceleration in response to the US reminiscent of the conditioned bradycardia that develops to the CS. Consequently, the following study also examined the effects of extinction treatments on HR CRM. For HR conditioned responses (CRs), CS-alone and unpaired CS/US presentations were the most successful extinction treatments. For HR CRM, all conditions led to a reduction in CRM except for a subset of rabbits that maintained high levels following unpaired extinction, indicating a dissociation between extinction of HR CRs and CRM. The findings highlight the parameters of HR extinction, the transient nature of HR CRM, vagal involvement in both acquisition and extinction of HR CRM, and suggest that HR CRM cannot be fully explained as a CR that has generalized from the CS to the US. PMID:19747508

  19. Selective Recombination System in Bombyx mori. I. Chromosome Specificity of the Modification Effect

    PubMed Central

    Ebinuma, Hiroyasu

    1987-01-01

    The effect of modifiers on recombination frequency between Ze and lem loci on chromosome 3 to elucidate the chromosome specificity of modification and the distribution of modifiers using Bombyx mori lines selected for high (H) and low (L) recombination rates between the pS and Y loci in chromosome 2 was investigated. By crossing to the Z (Ze lem/++) line, the recombination rate between the pS and Y loci in chromosome 2 was decreased from 28.18 to 23.33 in the H line and was increased from 4.92 to 16.05 in the L line. On the other hand, the recombination rate between the Ze and lem loci in chromosome 3 was increased from 16.21 to 20.21 in the Z line by crossing to the H line, but also increased to 19.02 by crossing to the L line. The significant correlation observed between the transformed recombination rates of chromosomes 2 and 3 in the (Z x L) x L backcross indicated that there were common factors modifying recombination frequency in chromosomes 2 and 3 or different factors linked to the same chromosomes. In the family of L x [(Z x L) x L] backcross, the distribution of transformed recombination rates indicated that there were several factors in the remaining chromosomes which were modifying recombination frequency in chromosome 2 but not in chromosome 3. It was also indicated that these factors were linked to different chromosomes than are the factors modifying recombination frequency in chromosome 3. In order to interpret these results, one genetic system model controlling recombination that consists of general and local recombination modifiers was proposed. The evolution of dynamic genetic systems that would effectively reduce recombinational load without reducing the advantage of recombination was discussed. PMID:17246408

  20. Interpersonal discrimination and depressive symptomatology: examination of several personality-related characteristics as potential confounders in a racial/ethnic heterogeneous adult sample

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Research suggests that reports of interpersonal discrimination result in poor mental health. Because personality characteristics may either confound or mediate the link between these reports and mental health, there is a need to disentangle its role in order to better understand the nature of discrimination-mental health association. We examined whether hostility, anger repression and expression, pessimism, optimism, and self-esteem served as confounders in the association between perceived interpersonal discrimination and CESD-based depressive symptoms in a race/ethnic heterogeneous probability-based sample of community-dwelling adults. Methods We employed a series of ordinary least squares regression analyses to examine the potential confounding effect of hostility, anger repression and expression, pessimism, optimism, and self-esteem between interpersonal discrimination and depressive symptoms. Results Hostility, anger repression, pessimism and self-esteem were significant as possible confounders of the relationship between interpersonal discrimination and depressive symptoms, together accounting for approximately 38% of the total association (beta: 0.1892, p < 0.001). However, interpersonal discrimination remained a positive predictor of depressive symptoms (beta: 0.1176, p < 0.001). Conclusion As one of the first empirical attempts to examine the potential confounding role of personality characteristics in the association between reports of interpersonal discrimination and mental health, our results suggest that personality-related characteristics may serve as potential confounders. Nevertheless, our results also suggest that, net of these characteristics, reports of interpersonal discrimination are associated with poor mental health. PMID:24256578

  1. Increased physical activity has a greater effect than reduced energy intake on lifestyle modification-induced increases in testosterone

    PubMed Central

    Kumagai, Hiroshi; Zempo-Miyaki, Asako; Yoshikawa, Toru; Tsujimoto, Takehiko; Tanaka, Kiyoji; Maeda, Seiji

    2016-01-01

    Obesity has reached epidemic proportions worldwide. Obesity results in reduced serum testosterone levels, which causes many disorders in men. Lifestyle modifications (increased physical activity and calorie restriction) can increase serum testosterone levels. However, it is unknown whether increased physical activity or calorie restriction during lifestyle modifications has a greater effects on serum testosterone levels. Forty-one overweight and obese men completed a 12-week lifestyle modification program (aerobic exercise training and calorie restriction). We measured serum testosterone levels, the number of steps, and the total energy intake. We divided participants into two groups based on the median change in the number of steps (high or low physical activities) or that in calorie restriction (high or low calorie restrictions). After the program, serum testosterone levels were significantly increased. Serum testosterone levels in the high physical activity group were significantly higher than those in the low activity group. This effect was not observed between the groups based on calorie restriction levels. We found a significant positive correlation between the changes in serum testosterone levels and the number of steps. Our results suggested that an increase in physical activity greatly affected the increased serum testosterone levels in overweight and obese men during lifestyle modification. PMID:26798202

  2. Investigating the effects of in utero benzene exposure on epigenetic modifications in maternal and fetal CD-1 mice.

    PubMed

    Philbrook, Nicola A; Winn, Louise M

    2015-11-15

    Exposure to the ubiquitous environmental pollutant benzene is positively correlated with leukemia in adults and may be associated with childhood leukemia following in utero exposure. While numerous studies implicate oxidative stress and DNA damage as playing a role in benzene-mediated carcinogenicity, emerging evidence suggests that alterations in epigenetic regulations may be involved. The present study aimed to determine whether DNA methylation and/or various histone modifications were altered following in utero benzene exposure in CD-1 mice. Global DNA methylation and promoter-specific methylation of the tumor suppressor gene, p15, were assessed. Additionally, levels of acetylated histones H3, H4, and H3K56, as well as methylated histones H3K9 and H3K27 were assessed by Western blotting. A significant decrease in global DNA methylation of maternal bone marrow was observed following benzene exposure; however no effect on global DNA methylation was detected in fetal livers. Additionally, no effect of benzene exposure was observed on p15 promoter methylation or any measured histone modifications in both maternal bone marrow and fetal livers. These results suggest that the methodology used in the present study did not reveal alterations in DNA methylation and histone modifications following in utero exposure to benzene; however further experimentation investigating these modifications at the whole genome/epigenome level, as well as at later stages of benzene-induced carcinogenesis, are warranted.

  3. Airfoil modification effects on subsonic and transonic pressure distributions and performance for the EA-6B airplane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Allison, Dennis O.; Sewall, William G.

    1995-01-01

    Longitudinal characteristics and wing-section pressure distributions are compared for the EA-6B airplane with and without airfoil modifications. The airfoil modifications were designed to increase low-speed maximum lift for maneuvering, while having a minimal effect on transonic performance. Section contour changes were confined to the leading-edge slat and trailing-edge flap regions of the wing. Experimental data are analyzed from tests in the Langley 16-Foot Transonic Tunnel on the baseline and two modified wing-fuselage configurations with the slats and flaps in their retracted positions. Wing modification effects on subsonic and transonic performance are seen in wing-section pressure distributions of the various configurations at similar lift coefficients. The modified-wing configurations produced maximum lift coefficients which exceeded those of the baseline configuration at low-speed Mach numbers (0.300 and 0.400). This benefit was related to the behavior of the wing upper surface leading-edge suction peak and the behavior of the trailing-edge pressure. At transonic Mach numbers (0.725 to 0.900), the wing modifications produced a somewhat stronger nose-down pitching moment, a slightly higher drag at low-lift levels, and a lower drag at higher lift levels.

  4. Modification of the analgesic effect and the effect on body temperature of morphine and fentanyl, included in liposomal suspensions.

    PubMed

    Yakimova, K; Todorov, D; Mihaylova, S; Bantounova, I; Stanoeva, L

    1986-01-01

    The analgesic and thermomodulating effect of the powerful narcotic analgesics morphine and phentanyl, included in liposomal suspensions, was tested in experiments on rats and rabbits. The aim of the experiments was to determine the changes taking place in these effects of the above analgesics, using as their carriers small neutral liposomes formed by phosphatidylcholine (egg lecithin) and cholesterol in molar ratio 7:2. The liposomes were obtained by applying the classical method of A. Bangham (1968), with subsequent ultrasoundtreatment. The changes in the body temperature of the rats and rabbits were traced in dynamics by means of electrothermometry. The analgesic activity was also investigated in dynamics, using two methods: thermal stimulation ("tail flick" test) and mechanical pressure (after Randall-Selitto, 1957). Incorporation of morphin and Fentanyl in liposomal suspensions was found to result in a tendency towards intensification and statistically significant prolongation of their thermomodulating and analgesic effects, compared with these effects of the free preparations. The pharmacological investigations carried out reveal considerable possibilities for a clinically favourable modification of the effects of the narcotic analgesics by means of their incorporation in liposomal carriers.

  5. Current practices for modification of paving asphalts

    SciTech Connect

    Bahia, H.U.; Perdomo, D.

    1996-12-31

    The Superpave binder specification, AASHTO MP1, has introduced new concepts for selecting paving asphalt binders. The specification, in addition to using rheological and failure measurements that are more related to performance, is based on the idea that the criteria to maintain a satisfactory contribution of asphalt binders to the resistance of pavement failures remains the same but have to be satisfied at critical application temperatures. The test procedures require that the material be characterized within certain ranges of strains or stresses to ensure that material and geometric non-linearities are not confounded in the measurements. These new specification concepts have resulted in re-evaluation of asphalt modification by the majority of modified asphalt suppliers. The philosophy of asphalt modification is expected to change, following these new concepts, from a general improvement of quality to more focus on using modifiers based on the most critical need as defined by two factors: (1) The application temperature domain and (2) the type of distress to be remedied. The new specification requirements should result in a more effective use of modifiers as the amount and type of modifier will be directly related to the application environment and the engineering requirements.

  6. Precipitation Effects on Microbial Pollution in a River: Lag Structures and Seasonal Effect Modification

    PubMed Central

    Tornevi, Andreas; Bergstedt, Olof; Forsberg, Bertil

    2014-01-01

    Background The river Göta Älv is a source of freshwater for 0.7 million swedes. The river is subject to contamination from sewer systems discharge and runoff from agricultural lands. Climate models projects an increase in precipitation and heavy rainfall in this region. This study aimed to determine how daily rainfall causes variation in indicators of pathogen loads, to increase knowledge of variations in river water quality and discuss implications for risk management. Methods Data covering 7 years of daily monitoring of river water turbidity and concentrations of E. coli, Clostridium and coliforms were obtained, and their short-term variations in relation with precipitation were analyzed with time series regression and non-linear distributed lag models. We studied how precipitation effects varied with season and compared different weather stations for predictive ability. Results Generally, the lowest raw water quality occurs 2 days after rainfall, with poor raw water quality continuing for several more days. A rainfall event of >15 mm/24-h (local 95 percentile) was associated with a three-fold higher concentration of E. coli and 30% higher turbidity levels (lag 2). Rainfall was associated with exponential increases in concentrations of indicator bacteria while the effect on turbidity attenuated with very heavy rainfall. Clear associations were also observed between consecutive days of wet weather and decreased water quality. The precipitation effect on increased levels of indicator bacteria was significant in all seasons. Conclusions Rainfall elevates microbial risks year-round in this river and freshwater source and acts as the main driver of varying water quality. Heavy rainfall appears to be a better predictor of fecal pollution than water turbidity. An increase of wet weather and extreme events with climate change will lower river water quality even more, indicating greater challenges for drinking water producers, and suggesting better control of sources of

  7. Membrane lipid modifications and therapeutic effects mediated by hydroxydocosahexaenoic acid on Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Torres, Manuel; Price, Samantha L; Fiol-Deroque, Maria A; Marcilla-Etxenike, Amaia; Ahyayauch, Hasna; Barceló-Coblijn, Gwendolyn; Terés, Silvia; Katsouri, Loukia; Ordinas, Margarita; López, David J; Ibarguren, Maitane; Goñi, Félix M; Busquets, Xavier; Vitorica, Javier; Sastre, Magdalena; Escribá, Pablo V

    2014-06-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative pathology with relevant unmet therapeutic needs. Both natural aging and AD have been associated with a significant decline in the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and accordingly, administration of DHA has been proposed as a possible treatment for this pathology. However, recent clinical trials in mild-to-moderately affected patients have been inconclusive regarding the real efficacy of DHA in halting this disease. Here, we show that the novel hydroxyl-derivative of DHA (2-hydroxydocosahexaenoic acid - OHDHA) has a strong therapeutic potential to treat AD. We demonstrate that OHDHA administration increases DHA levels in the brain of a transgenic mouse model of AD (5xFAD), as well as those of phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) species that carry long polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). In 5xFAD mice, administration of OHDHA induced lipid modifications that were paralleled with a reduction in amyloid-β (Αβ) accumulation and full recovery of cognitive scores. OHDHA administration also reduced Aβ levels in cellular models of AD, in association with alterations in the subcellular distribution of secretases and reduced Aβ-induced tau protein phosphorylation as well. Furthermore, OHDHA enhanced the survival of neuron-like differentiated cells exposed to different insults, such as oligomeric Aβ and NMDA-mediated neurotoxicity. These results were supported by model membrane studies in which incorporation of OHDHA into lipid-raft-like vesicles was shown to reduce the binding affinity of oligomeric and fibrillar Aβ to membranes. Finally, the OHDHA concentrations used here did not produce relevant toxicity in zebrafish embryos in vivo. In conclusion, we demonstrate the pleitropic effects of OHDHA that might prove beneficial to treat AD, which suggests that an upstream event, probably the modulation of the membrane lipid composition and structure, influences cellular homeostasis reversing the

  8. Effects of molecular architecture of phospholipid polymers on surface modification of segmented polyurethanes.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yihua; Inoue, Yuuki; Sakata, Sho; Kakinoki, Sachiro; Yamaoka, Tetsuji; Ishihara, Kazuhiko

    2014-01-01

    To modify the surface properties of segmented polyurethane (SPU), effects of the molecular architecture of the 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC) polymers on the performance of the SPU/MPC polymer membrane were investigated. We combined the random-type, block-type, and graft-type of the MPC polymers with a typical SPU, Tecoflex(®) using double solution casting procedure. The graft-type MPC polymers composed of a poly(MPC) main chain and poly(2-ethylhexyl methacrylate (EHMA)) side chains were synthesized through the combination of two different living radical polymerization techniques to regulate the density and chain length of the side chains. The SPU membranes modified with the MPC polymers were characterized using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The results revealed that the MPC units were located on the SPU surface. Although the breaking strength of the SPU membranes modified with block-type poly(MPC-block-EHMA) and graft-type poly(MPC-graft-EHMA) was lower than that of SPU membranes modified with random-type poly(MPC-random-EHMA), their breaking strengths were adequate for manufacturing medical devices. On the other hand, better stability was observed in the MPC polymer layer on the SPU membrane after immersion in an aqueous medium, wherein the SPU membrane had been modified with the poly(MPC-graft-EHMA). This was because of the intermixing of the hydrophobic poly(EHMA) segments in the domain of the hard segments in the SPU membrane. After this modification, each SPU/MPC polymer membrane showed hydrophilic nature based on the MPC polymers and a dramatic suppression of protein adsorption. From these results, we concluded that the SPU membrane modified with the poly(MPC-graft-EHMA) was one of the promising polymeric biomaterials for making blood-contacting medical devices. PMID:24417469

  9. Staphylococcus aureus Sortase A-Mediated Incorporation of Peptides: Effect of Peptide Modification on Incorporation

    PubMed Central

    Hansenová Maňásková, Silvie; Nazmi, Kamran; van ‘t Hof, Wim; van Belkum, Alex; Martin, Nathaniel I.; Bikker, Floris J.; van Wamel, Willem J. B.; Veerman, Enno C. I.

    2016-01-01

    The endogenous Staphylococcus aureus sortase A (SrtA) transpeptidase covalently anchors cell wall-anchored (CWA) proteins equipped with a specific recognition motif (LPXTG) into the peptidoglycan layer of the staphylococcal cell wall. Previous in situ experiments have shown that SrtA is also able to incorporate exogenous, fluorescently labelled, synthetic substrates equipped with the LPXTG motif (K(FITC)LPETG-amide) into the bacterial cell wall, albeit at high concentrations of 500 μM to 1 mM. In the present study, we have evaluated the effect of substrate modification on the incorporation efficiency. This revealed that (i) by elongation of LPETG-amide with a sequence of positively charged amino acids, derived from the C-terminal domain of physiological SrtA substrates, the incorporation efficiency was increased by 20-fold at 10 μM, 100 μM and 250 μM; (ii) Substituting aspartic acid (E) for methionine increased the incorporation of the resulting K(FITC)LPMTG-amide approximately three times at all concentrations tested; (iii) conjugation of the lipid II binding antibiotic vancomycin to K(FITC)LPMTG-amide resulted in the same incorporation levels as K(FITC)LPETG-amide, but much more efficient at an impressive 500-fold lower substrate concentration. These newly developed synthetic substrates can potentially find broad applications in for example the in situ imaging of bacteria; the incorporation of antibody recruiting moieties; the targeted delivery and covalent incorporation of antimicrobial compounds into the bacterial cell wall. PMID:26799839

  10. Confounding by dietary pattern of the inverse association between alcohol consumption and type 2 diabetes risk

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Epidemiology of dietary components and disease risk limits interpretability due to potential residual confounding by correlated dietary components. Dietary pattern analyses by factor analysis or partial least squares may overcome the limitation. To examine confounding by dietary pattern as well as ...

  11. Confounding by dietary patterns of the inverse association between alcohol consumption and type 2 diabetes risk

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Epidemiology of dietary components and disease risk limits interpretability due to potential residual confounding by correlated dietary components. Dietary pattern analyses by factor analysis or partial least squares may overcome this limitation. To examine confounding by dietary pattern as well as ...

  12. Non-Chemical Distant Cellular Interactions as a potential confounder of cell biology experiments.

    PubMed

    Farhadi, Ashkan

    2014-01-01

    Distant cells can communicate with each other through a variety of methods. Two such methods involve electrical and/or chemical mechanisms. Non-chemical, distant cellular interactions may be another method of communication that cells can use to modify the behavior of other cells that are mechanically separated. Moreover, non-chemical, distant cellular interactions may explain some cases of confounding effects in Cell Biology experiments. In this article, we review non-chemical, distant cellular interactions studies to try to shed light on the mechanisms in this highly unconventional field of cell biology. Despite the existence of several theories that try to explain the mechanism of non-chemical, distant cellular interactions, this phenomenon is still speculative. Among candidate mechanisms, electromagnetic waves appear to have the most experimental support. In this brief article, we try to answer a few key questions that may further clarify this mechanism.

  13. Proteasome inhibitor model of Parkinson's disease in mice is confounded by neurotoxicity of the ethanol vehicle.

    PubMed

    Landau, Anne M; Kouassi, Edouard; Siegrist-Johnstone, Rosmarie; Desbarats, Julie

    2007-02-15

    Defects in the ubiquitin-proteasome system have been implicated in Parkinson's Disease (PD). Recently, a rat model of PD was developed using a synthetic proteasome inhibitor (PSI), (Z-lle-Glu(OtBu)-Ala-Leu-al). We attempted to transfer this model to mouse studies, where genetics can be more readily investigated due to the availability of genetically modified mice. We treated C57BL/6 (B6) mice with six intraperitoneal injections of 6 mg/kg PSI in 50 mul of 70% ethanol over a 2-week-period. We found significant decreases in nigrostriatal dopamine in PSI-treated mice compared with saline-treated mice. However, we observed similar decreases in the ethanol-treated vehicle control group. Administration of ethanol alone led to significant long-term alterations in dopamine levels. Ethanol significantly eclipses the effects of PSI in the dopamine system, and therefore is a confounding vehicle for this model. PMID:17230468

  14. Duration perception of emotional stimuli: Using evaluative conditioning to avoid sensory confounds.

    PubMed

    Kliegl, Katrin M; Watrin, Luc; Huckauf, Anke

    2015-01-01

    It has been found that emotional pictures are estimated to last longer than neutral ones. However, emotional and neutral stimuli often differ in their physical characteristics, too. Since this might also affect time perception, we present a method disentangling a possible confounding regarding the processing of physically different stimulus material. In the evaluative condition paradigm, participants, at first, learnt the association of neutral images with a certain Landolt ring and of emotional images with another Landolt ring with a different gap position. The conditioned Landolt rings were subsequently used in a temporal bisection task. In two experiments, the results revealed a temporal overestimation of Landolt rings conditioned with emotional pictures compared to neutral pictures showing that the temporal overestimation of emotional stimuli cannot be attributed to perceptual differences between neutral and emotional stimuli. The method provides the potential for investigating emotional effects on various perceptual processes.

  15. The effect of RGD fluorosurfactant polymer modification of ePTFE on endothelial cell adhesion, growth, and function

    PubMed Central

    Larsen, Coby C.; Kligman, Faina; Kottke-Marchant, Kandice; Marchant, Roger E.

    2007-01-01

    We have synthesized and characterized a novel peptide fluorosurfactant polymer (PFSP) modification that facilitates the adhesion and growth of endothelial cells on ePTFE vascular graft material. This PFSP consists of a poly(vinyl amine) (PVAm) backbone with integrin binding Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) peptides and perfluorocarbon pendant branches for adsorption and stable adhesion to underlying ePTFE. Aqueous PFSP solution was used to modify the surface of fluorocarbon substrates. Following subconfluent seeding, endothelial cell (EC) adhesion and growth on PFSP was assessed by determining cell population at different time points. Spectroscopic results indicated successful synthesis of PFSP. PFSP modification of ePTFE reduced the receding water contact angle measurement from 120° to 6°, indicating successful surface modification. Quantification of cell population demonstrated reduced EC attachment efficiency but increased growth rate on RGD PFSP compared with fibronectin (FN). Actin staining revealed a well-developed cytoskeleton for ECs on RGD PFSP indicative of stable adhesion. Uptake of acetylated low-density lipoprotein and positive staining for VE-Cadherin confirm EC phenotype for adherent cells. Production of prostacyclin, a potent antiplatelet agent, was equivalent between ECs on FN and RGD PFSP surfaces. Our results indicate successful synthesis and surface modification with PFSP; this is a simple, quantitative, and effective approach to modifying ePTFE to encourage endothelial cell attachment, growth, and function. PMID:16762410

  16. Tungstate-induced color-pattern modifications of butterfly wings are independent of stress response and ecdysteroid effect.

    PubMed

    Otaki, Joji M; Ogasawara, Tsuyoshi; Yamamoto, Haruhiko

    2005-06-01

    Systemic injections of sodium tungstate, a protein-tyrosine phosphatase (PTPase) inhibitor, to pupae immediately after pupation have been shown to efficiently produce characteristic color-pattern modifications on the wings of many species of butterflies. Here we demonstrated that the tungstate-induced modification pattern was entirely different from other chemically-induced ones in a species of nymphalid butterfly Junonia (Precis) orithya. In this species, the systemic injections of tungstate produced characteristic expansion of black area and shrinkage of white area together with the move of parafocal elements toward the wing base. Overall, pattern boundaries became obscure. In contrast, an entirely different modification pattern, overall darkening of wings, was observed by the injections of stress-inducing chemicals, thapsigargin, ionomycin, or geldanamycin, to pupae under the rearing conditions for the adult summer form. On the ventral wings, this darkening was due to an increase of the proportion of peppered dark scales, which was reminiscent of the natural fall form of this species. Under the same rearing conditions, the injections of ecdysteroid, which is a well-known hormone being responsible for the seasonal polyphenism of nymphalid butterflies, yielded overall expansion of orange area especially around eyespots. Taken together, we conclude that the tungstate-induced modifications are clearly distinguishable from those of stress response and ecdysteroid effect. This conclusion then suggests that the putative PTPase signaling pathway that is sensitive to tungstate uniquely contributes to the wing-wide color-pattern development in butterflies. PMID:15988157

  17. Tungstate-induced color-pattern modifications of butterfly wings are independent of stress response and ecdysteroid effect.

    PubMed

    Otaki, Joji M; Ogasawara, Tsuyoshi; Yamamoto, Haruhiko

    2005-06-01

    Systemic injections of sodium tungstate, a protein-tyrosine phosphatase (PTPase) inhibitor, to pupae immediately after pupation have been shown to efficiently produce characteristic color-pattern modifications on the wings of many species of butterflies. Here we demonstrated that the tungstate-induced modification pattern was entirely different from other chemically-induced ones in a species of nymphalid butterfly Junonia (Precis) orithya. In this species, the systemic injections of tungstate produced characteristic expansion of black area and shrinkage of white area together with the move of parafocal elements toward the wing base. Overall, pattern boundaries became obscure. In contrast, an entirely different modification pattern, overall darkening of wings, was observed by the injections of stress-inducing chemicals, thapsigargin, ionomycin, or geldanamycin, to pupae under the rearing conditions for the adult summer form. On the ventral wings, this darkening was due to an increase of the proportion of peppered dark scales, which was reminiscent of the natural fall form of this species. Under the same rearing conditions, the injections of ecdysteroid, which is a well-known hormone being responsible for the seasonal polyphenism of nymphalid butterflies, yielded overall expansion of orange area especially around eyespots. Taken together, we conclude that the tungstate-induced modifications are clearly distinguishable from those of stress response and ecdysteroid effect. This conclusion then suggests that the putative PTPase signaling pathway that is sensitive to tungstate uniquely contributes to the wing-wide color-pattern development in butterflies.

  18. [Effect of acid-base two steps surface modification on the adsorption of Cr(VI) onto activated carbon].

    PubMed

    Liu, Shou-xin; Chen, Xiao-yun; Chen, Xi; Sun, Cheng-lin

    2005-11-01

    Effect of HNO3-NaOH two steps surface modification on the adsorption of Cr(VI) from aqueous solution onto activated carbon was evaluated. Activated carbon was oxidized in HNO3 aqueous solution at first (AC1), then treated in the mixture of NaOH and NaCl solution (AC2). Batch equilibrium and continuous adsorption experiments were conducted to determine the adsorption characteristics. Boehm titration method, element analysis were used to characterize the surface properties. N2/77 K adsorption isotherm method was used to characterize the pore structure. The results reveal that adsorption capacity and adsorption rate increase significantly, which in the following order: AC2>AC1>AC0. Surface modification caused BET surface area decreased and the total number of surface oxygen acid groups increased. First oxidation modification in HNO3 solution produced positive acid groups on the surface of activated carbon. Subsequent 2nd modification replaced H+ of carbon surface groups by Na+, the acidity of AC2 was decreased. The main cause of higher Cr(VI) adsorption capacity and rate for AC2 was the more oxygen surface acid groups, and suitable solution pH provide by surface groups.

  19. The effects of magnetic field modifications on the solar modulation of cosmic rays with a SDE-based model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raath, J. L.; Potgieter, M. S.; Strauss, R. D.; Kopp, A.

    2016-05-01

    A numerical model for the solar modulation of cosmic rays, based on the solution of a set of stochastic differential equations (SDEs), is used to illustrate the effects of modifying the heliospheric magnetic field, particularly in the polar regions of the heliosphere. SDE-based models are well suited for such studies so that new insights are gained. To this end, the differences in the modulation brought about by each of three choices for the heliospheric magnetic field, i.e. the unmodified Parker field, the Smith-Bieber modified field, and the Jokipii-Kóta modified field, are studied as typical well-known cases. It is illustrated that although both these modifications change the Parker field satisfactorily in the polar regions of the heliosphere, the Smith-Bieber modification is more effective in reducing cosmic ray drift effects in these regions. The features of these two modifications, as well as the effects on the solar modulation of cosmic rays, are illustrated qualitatively and quantitatively. In particular, it is shown how the Smith-Bieber modified field is applied in a cosmic ray modulation model to reproduce observational proton spectra from the PAMELA mission during the solar minimum of 2006-2009. These SDE-based results are compared with those obtained in previous studies of this unusual solar minimum activity period and found to be in good qualitative agreement.

  20. Maternal Behavior Modifications during Pretense and Their Long-Term Effects on Toddlers' Understanding of Pretense

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nakamichi, Naoko

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies indicate the need to investigate the sources of toddlers' understanding of another person's pretense. The present study is a cultural and longitudinal extension of the work of Lillard and Witherington (2004), who claimed that mothers modify their behaviors during pretense and that the some of these behavior modifications help their…

  1. Effect of Subliminal Stimulation of Symbiotic Fantasies on Behavior Modification Treatment of Obesity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    And Others; Silverman, Lloyd H.

    1978-01-01

    Obese women were treated in behavior modification programs for overeating. Behavior programs were accompanied by subliminal stimulation and by symbiotic and control messages. The symbiotic condition gave evidence of enhancing weight loss. This finding supports the proposition that subliminal stimulation of symbiotic fantasies can enhance the…

  2. Education Funding in Massachusetts: The Effects of Aid Modifications on Vertical and Horizontal Equity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fahy, Colleen

    2011-01-01

    Public school funding in Massachusetts is based on foundation budget principles. However, funding formula modifications often create disparities between district foundation budgets and actual required spending levels. This study provides an in-depth look at Massachusetts' state aid formulas used between 2004 and 2009 and utilizes two approaches to…

  3. A Meta-Analysis of the Effect of Cognitive Bias Modification on Anxiety and Depression

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hallion, Lauren S.; Ruscio, Ayelet Meron

    2011-01-01

    Cognitive biases have been theorized to play a critical role in the onset and maintenance of anxiety and depression. Cognitive bias modification (CBM), an experimental paradigm that uses training to induce maladaptive or adaptive cognitive biases, was developed to test these causal models. Although CBM has generated considerable interest in the…

  4. The Relative Effectiveness of Academic and Practicum Training on Developing Behavior Modification Skills in Parents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watson, Luke S., Jr.

    This paper is concerned with evaluating the Parent Training Program component of the Parent Training Technology System. The specific problem assessed was the relative influence of academic and practicum training on developing behavior modification skills in parents who work with their own psychotic and mentally retarded children. Three parents…

  5. Effect of dual modification with hydroxypropylation and cross-linking on physicochemical properties of taro starch.

    PubMed

    Hazarika, Bidyut Jyoti; Sit, Nandan

    2016-04-20

    Dual modification of taro starch by hydroxypropylation and cross-linking was carried out and the properties of the modified starches were investigated. Two different levels of hydroxypropylation (5 and 10%) and cross-linking (0.05 and 0.10%) were used in different sequences. The amylose contents of the starch decreased due to single and dual modification. For the dual-modified starches, the swelling, solubility and clarity was found to increase with level of hydroxypropylation and decrease with level of cross-linking. The freeze-thaw stability of the dual-modified starches was also affected by the sequence of modification. The viscosities of the cross-linked and dual-modified starches were more than native and hydroxypropylated starches. The firmness of the dual-modified starches was also higher than native and single modified starches. The dual-modified starches have benefits of both type of modifications and could be used for specific purposes e.g. food products requiring high viscosity as well as freeze-thaw stability. PMID:26876854

  6. Photoluminescence of CuInS2 nanocrystals: effect of surface modification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Young-Kuk; Cho, Young-Sang; Chung, Kookchae; Choi, Chul-Jin

    2011-09-01

    We have synthesized highly luminescent Cu-In-S(CIS) nanocrystals (NCs) by heating the mixture of metal carboxylates and alkylthiol under inert atmosphere. We modified the surface of CIS NCs with zinc carboxylate and subsequent injection of alkylthiol. As a result of the surface modification, highly luminescent CIS@ZnS core/shell nanocrystals were synthesized. The luminescence quantum yield (QY) of best CIS@ZnS NCs was above 50%, which is 10 times higher than the initial QY of CIS NCs before surface modification (QY=3%). Detailed study on the luminescence mechanism implies that etching of the surface of NCs by dissociated carboxylate group (CH3COO-) and formation of epitaxial shell by Zn with sulfur from alkylthiol efficiently removed the surface defects which are known to be major non-radiative recombination sites in semiconductor nanocrystals. In this study, we developed a novel surface modification route for monodispersed highly luminescent Cu-In-S NCs with less toxic and highly stable precursors. Investigation with the timeand the temperature-dependent photoluminescence showed that the trap related emission was minimized by surface modification and the donor-acceptor pair recombination was enhanced by controlling copper stoichiometry.xb

  7. Improving Teacher Effectiveness in Reading Instruction through the Use of Behavior Modification.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rupley, William H.

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of a behavior modification method for remediation of reading skills with ten primary grade students enrolled in a sixteen week program. Ten elementary school teachers enrolled in a graduate diagnostic and remedial reading course received eight hours of instruction, including the collection…

  8. Effects of modification of the tyrosine residues of bacteriorhodopsin with tetranitromethane.

    PubMed Central

    Campos-Cavieres, M; Moore, T A; Perham, R N

    1979-01-01

    Treatment of the purple membrane of Halobacterium halobium with tetranitromethane led to modification of tyrosine residues. Modification of more than 3-4 tyrosine residues per bacteriorhodopsin monomer caused a decrease in the light-induced proton-pumping ability of purple membrane in synthetic lipid vesicles, loss of the sharp X-ray-diffraction patterns characteristic of the crystal lattice, loss of the absorbance maximum at 560 nm, and change in the buoyant density of the membrane. No modification of lipid was detected. These changes were interpreted as a gradual denaturation of the protein component such that when 8-9 tyrosine residues are modified, no proton pumping is observed. Modification of less than 3-4 tyrosine residues with tetranitromethane caused an increse in light-induced proton pumping. It was possible to generate partly modified purple membrane which had completely lost the property of diffracting X-rays into the sharp pattern observed with native purple membrane, but which still retained the ability to pump protons in a vectorial manner. Retention of crystal lattice is not essential for proton pumping. Images Fig. 3. PMID:475758

  9. Effect of dual modification with hydroxypropylation and cross-linking on physicochemical properties of taro starch.

    PubMed

    Hazarika, Bidyut Jyoti; Sit, Nandan

    2016-04-20

    Dual modification of taro starch by hydroxypropylation and cross-linking was carried out and the properties of the modified starches were investigated. Two different levels of hydroxypropylation (5 and 10%) and cross-linking (0.05 and 0.10%) were used in different sequences. The amylose contents of the starch decreased due to single and dual modification. For the dual-modified starches, the swelling, solubility and clarity was found to increase with level of hydroxypropylation and decrease with level of cross-linking. The freeze-thaw stability of the dual-modified starches was also affected by the sequence of modification. The viscosities of the cross-linked and dual-modified starches were more than native and hydroxypropylated starches. The firmness of the dual-modified starches was also higher than native and single modified starches. The dual-modified starches have benefits of both type of modifications and could be used for specific purposes e.g. food products requiring high viscosity as well as freeze-thaw stability.

  10. PERMANOVA-S: association test for microbial community composition that accommodates confounders and multiple distances

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Zheng-Zheng; Chen, Guanhua; Alekseyenko, Alexander V.

    2016-01-01

    Motivation: Recent advances in sequencing technology have made it possible to obtain high-throughput data on the composition of microbial communities and to study the effects of dysbiosis on the human host. Analysis of pairwise intersample distances quantifies the association between the microbiome diversity and covariates of interest (e.g. environmental factors, clinical outcomes, treatment groups). In the design of these analyses, multiple choices for distance metrics are available. Most distance-based methods, however, use a single distance and are underpowered if the distance is poorly chosen. In addition, distance-based tests cannot flexibly handle confounding variables, which can result in excessive false-positive findings. Results: We derive presence-weighted UniFrac to complement the existing UniFrac distances for more powerful detection of the variation in species richness. We develop PERMANOVA-S, a new distance-based method that tests the association of microbiome composition with any covariates of interest. PERMANOVA-S improves the commonly-used Permutation Multivariate Analysis of Variance (PERMANOVA) test by allowing flexible confounder adjustments and ensembling multiple distances. We conducted extensive simulation studies to evaluate the performance of different distances under various patterns of association. Our simulation studies demonstrate that the power of the test relies on how well the selected distance captures the nature of the association. The PERMANOVA-S unified test combines multiple distances and achieves good power regardless of the patterns of the underlying association. We demonstrate the usefulness of our approach by reanalyzing several real microbiome datasets. Availability and Implementation: miProfile software is freely available at https://medschool.vanderbilt.edu/tang-lab/software/miProfile. Contact: z.tang@vanderbilt.edu or g.chen@vanderbilt.edu Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics

  11. Sediment organic matter content as a confounding factor in toxicity tests with Chironomus tentans

    SciTech Connect

    Lacey, R.; Watzin, M.C.; McIntosh, A.W.

    1999-02-01

    Physicochemical characteristics of sediment unrelated to contaminant levels and bioavailability may influence the outcome of toxicity tests. In particular, sediment organic matter content has the potential to be a confounding factor in toxicity tests using the midge larva Chironomus tentans because the larvae are infaunal and feed on organic matter in the sediments. To examine the possibility, the authors conducted a series of tests using formulated sediments with varying organic matter contents following the standard US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) 10-day C. tentans growth and survival protocol. Formulated sediments made with peat moss, {alpha}-cellulose, and maple leaves were tested. An organic-rich natural sediment diluted with formulated sediment to achieve a range of organic matter contents was also examined. In a final experiment, sediments containing each of the four organic matter sources at the same concentration were tested against one another. Survival was not greatly affected by concentration of organic matter, except at the lowest concentrations in natural sediment, where survival dipped below 70%. In experiments using peat moss, {alpha}-cellulose, and maple leaves, significant differences in C. tentans growth were found at different organic matter concentrations. In contrast, concentration of organic matter in the natural sediment dilution series had little effect on growth, perhaps because much of this material was highly refractory. In the comparison experiment, growth differed significantly among the four sediments, with best growth achieved with {alpha}-cellulose and leaves. These results suggest that both organic matter quantity and quality can be confounding factors in toxicity tests using C. tentans.

  12. Brief Communication: Latent toxoplasmosis and salivary testosterone concentration--important confounding factors in second to fourth digit ratio studies.

    PubMed

    Flegr, Jaroslav; Lindová, Jitka; Pivoñková, Vera; Havlícek, Jan

    2008-12-01

    A sexually dimorphic characteristic, the second to fourth digit ratio (2D:4D ratio), has been shown to reflect the prenatal concentration of sex steroid hormones and to correlate with many personality, physiological, and life history traits. The correlations are usually stronger for the right than the left hand. Most studies have shown that the 2D:4D ratio does not vary with age or postnatal concentration of sex steroid hormones. Recently, a strong association between left hand 2D:4D ratio and infection with a common human parasite Toxoplasma has been reported. We hypothesized that the confounding effect of Toxoplasma infection on left hand 2D:4D ratio could be responsible for the stronger association between different traits and right hand rather than left hand 2D:4D ratio. This confounding effect of toxoplasmosis could also be responsible for the difficulty in finding an association between 2D:4D ratio and age or postnatal steroid hormone concentration. To test this hypothesis, we analyzed the association between sex and age and 2D:4D ratio in a population of 194 female and 106 male students with and without controlling for the confounding variables of Toxoplasma infection and testosterone concentration. Our results showed that the relationship between age and sex and 2D:4D ratio increased sharply when Toxoplasma infection and testosterone concentration were controlled. These results suggest that left hand 2D:4D ratio is more susceptible to postnatal influences and that the confounding factors of Toxoplasma infection, testosterone concentration and possibly also age, should be controlled in future 2D:4D ratio studies. Because of a stronger 2D:4D dimorphism in Toxoplasma-infected than Toxoplasma-free subjects, we predict that 2D:4D ratio dimorphism as well as right hand/left hand 2D:4D ratio dimorphism will be higher in countries with a high prevalence of Toxoplasma infection than in those with a low prevalence.

  13. Proteomic Investigation of Protein Profile Changes and Amino Acid Residue Level Modification in Cooked Lamb Meat: The Effect of Boiling.

    PubMed

    Yu, Tzer-Yang; Morton, James D; Clerens, Stefan; Dyer, Jolon M

    2015-10-21

    Hydrothermal treatment (heating in water) is a common method of general food processing and preparation. For red-meat-based foods, boiling is common; however, how the molecular level effects of this treatment correlate to the overall food properties is not yet well-understood. The effects of differing boiling times on lamb meat and the resultant cooking water were here examined through proteomic evaluation. The longer boiling time was found to result in increased protein aggregation involving particularly proteins such as glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, as well as truncation in proteins such as in α-actinin-2. Heat-induced protein backbone cleavage was observed adjacent to aspartic acid and asparagine residues. Side-chain modifications of amino acid residues resulting from the heating, including oxidation of phenylalanine and formation of carboxyethyllysine, were characterized in the cooked samples. Actin and myoglobin bands from the cooked meat per se remained visible on sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, even after significant cooking time. These proteins were also found to be the major source of observed heat-induced modifications. This study provides new insights into molecular-level modifications occurring in lamb meat proteins during boiling and a protein chemistry basis for better understanding the effect of this common treatment on the nutritional and functional properties of red-meat-based foods.

  14. Effects of arsenic on modification of promyelocytic leukemia (PML): PML responds to low levels of arsenite

    SciTech Connect

    Hirano, Seishiro; Watanabe, Takayuki; Kobayashi, Yayoi

    2013-12-15

    Inorganic arsenite (iAs{sup 3+}) is a two-edged sword. iAs{sup 3+} is a well-known human carcinogen; nevertheless, it has been used as a therapeutic drug for acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL), which is caused by a fusion protein comprising retinoic acid receptor-α and promyelocytic leukemia (PML). PML, a nuclear transcription factor, has a RING finger domain with densely positioned cysteine residues. To examine PML-modulated cellular responses to iAs{sup 3+}, CHO-K1 and HEK293 cells were each used to establish cell lines that expressed ectopic human PML. Overexpression of PML increased susceptibility to iAs{sup 3+} in CHO-K1 cells, but not in HEK293 cells. Exposure of PML-transfected cells to iAs{sup 3+} caused PML to change from a soluble form to less soluble forms, and this modification of PML was observable even with just 0.1 μM iAs{sup 3+} (7.5 ppb). Western blot and immunofluorescent microscopic analyses revealed that the biochemical changes of PML were caused at least in part by conjugation with small ubiquitin-like modifier proteins (SUMOylation). A luciferase reporter gene was used to investigate whether modification of PML was caused by oxidative stress or activation of antioxidant response element (ARE) in CHO-K1 cells. Modification of PML protein occurred faster than activation of the ARE in response to iAs{sup 3+}, suggesting that PML was not modified as a consequence of oxidative stress-induced ARE activation. - Highlights: • PML was found in nuclear microspecles in response to arsenite. • Arsenite triggers SUMOylation of PML. • Arsenite modifies PML at as low as 0.1 μM. • Modification of PML is not caused by ARE activation.

  15. Home Modification

    MedlinePlus

    ... it is important to consider certain safety modifications. Adaptations such as those in the following list can ... The importance of a Consumer Perspective in Home Adaptation of Alzheimer’s Households” (Chapter 6 pp 91-112) ...

  16. Lifestyle modifications for GDM.

    PubMed

    Dhingra, Atul; Ahuja, Kamlesh

    2016-09-01

    Prevalence of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is increasing worldwide more so in Southeast Asian countries like India and Pakistan. 1 GDM is associated with various adverse foetal and maternal effects. The management of GDM aims at reducing blood glucose to reduce maternal and foetal morbidity and mortality. Various studies have shown that lifestyle modifications are an important tool for reducing blood glucose levels in patients with GDM. Lifestyle modifications consist of dietary modifications and daily physical activity. Dietary modifications aim to achieve glycaemic control by providing adequate calories to the mother and foetus. Exercise is an obvious adjunct to dietary modifications for management of GDM. Therefore the purpose of this review is to summarize the benefits of lifestyle interventions in patients with GDM. PMID:27582149

  17. N-terminal modifications of cellular proteins: The enzymes involved, their substrate specificities and biological effects

    PubMed Central

    Varland, Sylvia; Osberg, Camilla; Arnesen, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    The vast majority of eukaryotic proteins are N-terminally modified by one or more processing enzymes. Enzymes acting on the very first amino acid of a polypeptide include different peptidases, transferases, and ligases. Methionine aminopeptidases excise the initiator methionine leaving the nascent polypeptide with a newly exposed amino acid that may be further modified. N-terminal acetyl-, methyl-, myristoyl-, and palmitoyltransferases may attach an acetyl, methyl, myristoyl, or palmitoyl group, respectively, to the α-amino group of the target protein N-terminus. With the action of ubiquitin ligases, one or several ubiquitin molecules are transferred, and hence, constitute the N-terminal modification. Modifications at protein N-termini represent an important contribution to proteomic diversity and complexity, and are essential for protein regulation and cellular signaling. Consequently, dysregulation of the N-terminal modifying enzymes is implicated in human diseases. We here review the different protein N-terminal modifications occurring co- or post-translationally with emphasis on the responsible enzymes and their substrate specificities. PMID:25914051

  18. Comprehensive Analysis of Maillard Protein Modifications in Human Lenses: Effect of Age and Cataract

    PubMed Central

    Smuda, Mareen; Henning, Christian; Raghavan, Cibin T.; Johar, Kaid; Vasavada, Abhay R.; Nagaraj, Ram H.; Glomb, Marcus A.

    2015-01-01

    In human lens proteins, advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) originate from the reaction of glycating agents, e.g., vitamin C and glucose. AGEs have been considered to play a significant role in lens aging and cataract formation. Although several AGEs have been detected in the human lens, the contribution of individual glycating agents to their formation remains unclear. A highly sensitive liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry multimethod was developed that allowed us to quantitate 21 protein modifications in normal and cataractous lenses, respectively. N6-Carboxymethyl lysine, N6-carboxyethyl lysine, N7-carboxyethyl arginine, methylglyoxal hydroimidazolone 1, and N6-lactoyl lysine were found to be the major Maillard protein modifications among these AGEs. The novel vitamin C specific amide AGEs, N6-xylonyl and N6-lyxonyl lysine, but also AGEs from glyoxal were detected, albeit in minor quantities. Among the 21 modifications, AGEs from the Amadori product (derived from the reaction of glucose and lysine) and methylglyoxal were dominant. PMID:25849437

  19. Effect of Hybrid Surface Modifications on Tensile Properties of Polyacrylonitrile- and Pitch-Based Carbon Fibers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Naito, Kimiyoshi

    2016-05-01

    Recent interest has emerged in techniques that modify the surfaces of carbon fibers, such as carbon nanotube (CNT) grafting or polymer coating. Hybridization of these surface modifications has the potential to generate highly tunable, high-performance materials. In this study, the mechanical properties of surface-modified polyacrylonitrile (PAN)-based and pitch-based carbon fibers were investigated. Single-filament tensile tests were performed for fibers modified by CNT grafting, dipped polyimide coating, high-temperature vapor deposition polymerized polyimide coating, grafting-dipping hybridization, and grafting-vapor deposition hybridization. The Weibull statistical distributions of the tensile strengths of the surface-modified PAN- and pitch-based carbon fibers were examined. All surface modifications, especially hybrid modifications, improved the tensile strengths and Weibull moduli of the carbon fibers. The results exhibited a linear relationship between the Weibull modulus and average tensile strength on a log-log scale for all surface-modified PAN- and pitch-based carbon fibers.

  20. Effect of micro-arc oxidation surface modification on the properties of the NiTi shape memory alloy.

    PubMed

    Xu, J L; Zhong, Z C; Yu, D Z; Liu, F; Luo, J M

    2012-12-01

    In this paper, the effects of micro-arc oxidation (MAO) surface modification (alumina coatings) on the phase transformation behavior, shape memory characteristics, in vitro haemocopatibility and cytocompatibility of the biomedical NiTi alloy were investigated respectively by differential scanning calorimetry, bending test, hemolysis ratio test, dynamic blood clotting test, platelet adhesion test and cytotoxicity testing by human osteoblasts (Hobs). The results showed that there were no obvious changes of the phase transformation temperatures and shape memory characteristics of the NiTi alloy after the MAO surface modification and the coating could withstand the thermal shock and volume change caused by martensite-austenite phase transformation. Compared to the uncoated NiTi alloys, the MAO surface modification could effectively improve the haemocopatibility of the coated NiTi alloys by the reduced hemolysis ratio, the prolonged dynamic clotting time and the decreased number of platelet adhesion; and the rough and porous alumina coatings could obviously promote the adherence, spread and proliferation of the Hobs with the significant increase of proliferation number of Hobs adhered on the surface of the coated NiTi alloys (P < 0.05).

  1. The effects of magnetic field modifications on the solar modulation of cosmic rays with a SDE-based model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Raath, Jan-Louis; Toit Strauss, Du; Kopp, Andreas; Potgieter, Marius

    2016-07-01

    The effects of modifying the heliospheric magnetic field, particularly in the polar regions of the heliosphere, are illustrated by utilizing a numerical model based on the solution of a set of stochastic differential equations (SDEs). Because SDE-based models are especially well suited for such studies, we are able to gain new insights into this subject. The differences in the modulation brought about by each of three choices for the heliospheric magnetic field are studied as typical well-known cases; they are the unmodified Parker field, and the Smith-Bieber and Jokipii-Kóta modified fields. It is illustrated that both these modifications change the Parker field satisfactorily in the heliospheric polar regions, but that the modification of Smith and Bieber affects a larger reduction in cosmic ray drift effects in these regions. The general features of these two modifications are illustrated and the Smith-Bieber modified field is applied in a cosmic ray modulation model to reproduce observational proton spectra from the PAMELA mission during the solar minimum of 2006 - 2009. These SDE-based results are compared to the results from other studies and found to be in good qualitative agreement.

  2. Do pollution time-series studies contain uncontrolled or residual confounding by risk factors for acute health events?

    PubMed

    Bukowski, John

    2008-07-01

    Acute health effects from air pollution are based largely on weak associations identified in time-series studies comparing daily air pollution levels to daily mortality. Much of this mortality is due to cardiovascular disease. Time-series studies have many potential limitations, but are not thought to be confounded by traditional cardiovascular risk factors (e.g., smoking status or hypertension) because these chronic risk factors are not obviously associated with daily pollution levels. However, acute psychobehavioral variants of these risk factors (e.g., smoking patterns and episodes of stress on any given day) are plausible confounders for the associations observed in time-series studies, given that time-series studies attempt to predict acute rather than chronic health outcomes. There is a fairly compelling literature on the strong link between cardiovascular events and daily "triggers" such as stress. Stress-related triggers are plausibly associated with daily pollution levels through surrogate stressors such as ambient temperature, daily workload, local traffic congestion, or other correlates of air pollution. For example, variables such as traffic congestion and industrial activity increase both stress-related health events and air pollution, suggesting the potential for classical confounding. Support for this argument is illustrated through examples of the well-demonstrated relationship between emotional stress and heart attack/stroke.

  3. Ubiquitin modifications

    PubMed Central

    Swatek, Kirby N; Komander, David

    2016-01-01

    Protein ubiquitination is a dynamic multifaceted post-translational modification involved in nearly all aspects of eukaryotic biology. Once attached to a substrate, the 76-amino acid protein ubiquitin is subjected to further modifications, creating a multitude of distinct signals with distinct cellular outcomes, referred to as the 'ubiquitin code'. Ubiquitin can be ubiquitinated on seven lysine (Lys) residues or on the N-terminus, leading to polyubiquitin chains that can encompass complex topologies. Alternatively or in addition, ubiquitin Lys residues can be modified by ubiquitin-like molecules (such as SUMO or NEDD8). Finally, ubiquitin can also be acetylated on Lys, or phosphorylated on Ser, Thr or Tyr residues, and each modification has the potential to dramatically alter the signaling outcome. While the number of distinctly modified ubiquitin species in cells is mind-boggling, much progress has been made to characterize the roles of distinct ubiquitin modifications, and many enzymes and receptors have been identified that create, recognize or remove these ubiquitin modifications. We here provide an overview of the various ubiquitin modifications present in cells, and highlight recent progress on ubiquitin chain biology. We then discuss the recent findings in the field of ubiquitin acetylation and phosphorylation, with a focus on Ser65-phosphorylation and its role in mitophagy and Parkin activation. PMID:27012465

  4. Effects of channel modification on fish habitat in the upper Yellowstone River: Final report to the USACE, Omaha

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bowen, Zachary H.; Bovee, Ken D.; Waddle, Terry J.

    2003-01-01

    A two-dimensional hydrodynamic simulation model was coupled with a geographic information system (GIS) to produce a variety of habitat classification maps for three study reaches in the upper Yellowstone River basin in Montana. Data from these maps were used to examine potential effects of channel modification on shallow, slow current velocity (SSCV) habitats that are important refugia and nursery areas for young salmonids. At low flows, channel modifications were found to contribute additional SSCV habitat, but this contribution was negligible at higher discharges. During runoff, when young salmonids are most vulnerable to downstream displacement, the largest areas of SSCV habitat occurred in side channels, point bars, and overbank areas. Because of the diversity of elevations in the existing Yellowstone River, SSCV habitat tends to be available over a wide range of discharges. Based on simulations in modified and unmodified sub-reaches, channel simplification results in decreased availability of SSCV habitat, particularly during runoff. The combined results of the fish population and fish habitat studies present strong evidence that during runoff, SSCV habitat is most abundant in side channel and overbank areas and that juvenile salmonids use these habitats as refugia. Channel modifications that result in reduced availability of side channel and overbank habitats, particularly during runoff, will probably cause local reductions in juvenile abundances during the runoff period. Effects of reduced juvenile abundances during runoff on adult numbers later in the year will depend on (1) the extent of channel modification, (2) patterns of fish displacement and movement, (3) longitudinal connectivity between reaches that contain refugia and those that do not, and (4) the relative importance of other limiting factors.

  5. Gender and the familial risk for schizophrenia. Disentangling confounding factors.

    PubMed

    Goldstein, J M; Faraone, S V; Chen, W J; Tsuang, M T

    1992-07-01

    Recent studies of the effect of gender on the familial risk for schizophrenia have shown that relatives of females have a higher risk for schizophrenia than relatives of males. This study attempts to explain the effect by examining factors found to differentiate schizophrenic men and women and found to be related to the familial risk for schizophrenia. Cox proportional hazard regression model was used to examine the simultaneous effects of age at onset, season of birth, and premorbid history, controlled for symptoms that have been found to differ by gender (dysphoria, paranoia, and flat affect). Results showed that the effect of gender on the transmission of schizophrenia could not be explained by gender differences in age at onset, symptom expression, premorbid history, and winter birth. However, premorbid history had an effect on familial risk independent of gender, indicating that probands with a poor premorbid history had a lower familial risk for schizophrenia than those with a good premorbid history. Implications of the findings are discussed.

  6. With a careful look: still no low-level confound to face pop-out.

    PubMed

    Hershler, Orit; Hochstein, Shaul

    2006-09-01

    In this issue of Vision Research, VanRullen, R. (2006). On second glance: Still no high-level pop-out effect for faces. Vision Research, in press. challenges our earlier Vision Research paper, "At first sight: A high-level pop-out effect for faces" (Hershler, O., & Hochstein, S. (2005). At first sight: A high-level pop-out effect for faces. Vision Research, 45, 1707-1724). In that paper, we showed that faces pop-out from a great variety of heterogeneous distractors. This search must have been based on a holistic combination of facial features, since it could not have relied on any single low-level distinguishing feature-each of which was present in at least some of the distractors. VanRullen implies that the pop-out effect is not limited to faces, is not holistic, and is due to a low-level confound, namely that the "low-level" Fourier amplitude spectrum may differentiate between faces and other categories. We now show that he fails to substantiate all three claims. His first experiment replicates our own and shows once again that faces do indeed pop-out, while other objects, such as cars, do not. The claim regarding the non-holistic nature of face search is based on a failure to differentiate between holistic processing for face detection and for individual face identification. His central claim is that the Fourier amplitude spectrum is processed low-level and could be used for face pop-out. However, changing the amplitude spectrum may well affect high-level representations as well. For example, his demonstration uses hybrid images which are extremely fuzzy, rendering them difficult to identify. More importantly, this claim would lead to the conclusion that targets with a non-face phase spectrum and only a face amplitude spectrum would pop-out among distractors with different amplitude spectra. We demonstrate that this is, of course, not the case and that the Fourier amplitude is not the hoped for "low-level confound". Until another such "hidden" low level feature

  7. Counterfactual Graphical Models for Longitudinal Mediation Analysis with Unobserved Confounding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shpitser, Ilya

    2013-01-01

    Questions concerning mediated causal effects are of great interest in psychology, cognitive science, medicine, social science, public health, and many other disciplines. For instance, about 60% of recent papers published in leading journals in social psychology contain at least one mediation test (Rucker, Preacher, Tormala, & Petty, 2011).…

  8. Effects of chemical modification on the potency, serum stability, and immunostimulatory properties of short shRNAs

    PubMed Central

    Ge, Qing; Dallas, Anne; Ilves, Heini; Shorenstein, Joshua; Behlke, Mark A.; Johnston, Brian H.

    2010-01-01

    Small hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) with 19-base-pair, or shorter, stems (short shRNAs [sshRNAs]) have been found to constitute a class whose mechanism of action appears to be distinct from that of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) or longer shRNAs. These sshRNAs can be as active as canonical siRNAs or longer shRNAs. Their activity is affected by whether the antisense strand is positioned 5′ or 3′ to the loop (L or R sshRNAs, respectively). Dicer seems not to be involved in the processing of sshRNAs, although the mechanism of target gene suppression by these hairpins is through Ago2-mediated mRNA cleavage. In this study, the effects of chemical modifications on the potency, serum stability, and innate immune response of sshRNAs were investigated. Deoxynucleotide substitution and 2′-O-methyl (2′-OMe) modification in the sense strand and loop did not affect silencing activity, but, unlike with siRNAs, when placed in the antisense strand these modifications were detrimental. Conjugation with bulky groups at the 5′-end of L sshRNAs or 3′-end of R sshRNAs had a negative impact on the potency. Unmodified sshRNAs in dimer form or with blunt ends were immunostimulatory. Some modifications such as 3′-end conjugation and phosphorothioate linkages on the backbone of the sshRNAs could also induce inflammatory cytokine production. However, 2′-OMe substitution of sshRNAs abrogated the innate immune response and improved the serum stability of the hairpins. PMID:19948766

  9. Effect of PVA concentration on bond modifications in PVA-PMMA blend films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tripathi, J.; Tripathi, S.; Sharma, A.; Bisen, R.; Shripathi, T.

    2016-05-01

    The optical properties of poly (methylmethacrylate) (PMMA) polymer are found to be modified when PVA molecules are added in the matrix of PMMA and vice versa making a blend. The concentrations studied were kept low to preserve the original properties of the host. It was seen that PMMA well protects its bonds and dominated the optical properties, while the properties of PVA are comparatively easier to modify when small amount of PMMA is inserted in PVA matrix. The results are interpreted in terms of bond modifications as seen from FTIR and absorption measurements and are useful in understanding the transparency and bandgap of the blend films.

  10. Platelets confound the measurement of extracellular miRNA in archived plasma

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Adam J.; Gray, Warren D.; Hayek, Salim S.; Ko, Yi-An; Thomas, Sheena; Rooney, Kim; Awad, Mosaab; Roback, John D.; Quyyumi, Arshed; Searles, Charles D.

    2016-01-01

    Extracellular miRNAs are detectable in biofluids and represent a novel class of disease biomarker. Although many studies have utilized archived plasma for miRNA biomarker discovery, the effects of processing and storage have not been rigorously studied. Previous reports have suggested plasma samples are commonly contaminated by platelets, significantly confounding the measurement of extracellular miRNA, which was thought to be easily addressed by additional post-thaw plasma processing. In a case-control study of archived plasma, we noted a significant correlation between miRNA levels and platelet counts despite post-thaw processing. We thus examined the effects of a single freeze/thaw cycle on microparticles (MPs) and miRNA levels, and show that a single freeze/thaw cycle of plasma dramatically increases the number of platelet-derived MPs, contaminates the extracellular miRNA pool, and profoundly affects the levels of miRNAs detected. The measurement of extracellular miRNAs in archived samples is critically dependent on the removal of residual platelets prior to freezing plasma samples. Many previous clinical studies of extracellular miRNA in archived plasma should be interpreted with caution and future studies should avoid the effects of platelet contamination. PMID:27623086

  11. Platelets confound the measurement of extracellular miRNA in archived plasma.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, Adam J; Gray, Warren D; Hayek, Salim S; Ko, Yi-An; Thomas, Sheena; Rooney, Kim; Awad, Mosaab; Roback, John D; Quyyumi, Arshed; Searles, Charles D

    2016-01-01

    Extracellular miRNAs are detectable in biofluids and represent a novel class of disease biomarker. Although many studies have utilized archived plasma for miRNA biomarker discovery, the effects of processing and storage have not been rigorously studied. Previous reports have suggested plasma samples are commonly contaminated by platelets, significantly confounding the measurement of extracellular miRNA, which was thought to be easily addressed by additional post-thaw plasma processing. In a case-control study of archived plasma, we noted a significant correlation between miRNA levels and platelet counts despite post-thaw processing. We thus examined the effects of a single freeze/thaw cycle on microparticles (MPs) and miRNA levels, and show that a single freeze/thaw cycle of plasma dramatically increases the number of platelet-derived MPs, contaminates the extracellular miRNA pool, and profoundly affects the levels of miRNAs detected. The measurement of extracellular miRNAs in archived samples is critically dependent on the removal of residual platelets prior to freezing plasma samples. Many previous clinical studies of extracellular miRNA in archived plasma should be interpreted with caution and future studies should avoid the effects of platelet contamination. PMID:27623086

  12. How to Boost Positive Interpretations? A Meta-Analysis of the Effectiveness of Cognitive Bias Modification for Interpretation

    PubMed Central

    Menne-Lothmann, Claudia; Viechtbauer, Wolfgang; Höhn, Petra; Kasanova, Zuzana; Haller, Simone P.; Drukker, Marjan; van Os, Jim; Wichers, Marieke; Lau, Jennifer Y. F.

    2014-01-01

    The current meta-analysis explores the strength of effects of cognitive bias modification training for interpretation bias (CBM-I) on positive (i.e., adaptive) interpretations and mood as well as the training and sample characteristics influencing these effects. Data-bases were searched with the key words “interpret* bias AND training” and “interpret* bias AND modif*”. Reference lists of identified articles were checked and authors of identified articles were contacted for further relevant articles and unpublished data. Studies were reviewed for inclusion with eligibility criteria being that the study (a) aimed to target interpretation biases through any kind of training, (b) assessed mood and/or interpretation bias as outcome measures, (c) allocated individuals to training conditions at random, and (d) recruited adult samples. A meta-analytic multilevel mixed-effects model was employed to assess standardized mean changes in interpretation bias, negative mood, and emotional reactivity. In addition, several training and sample characteristics were explored for their potential to enhance benign training effectiveness. On average, benign CBM-I resulted in an increase in positive interpretation bias (p<.01) and a decrease in negative mood state (p<.001), but did not affect emotional reactivity. These effects were not consistently different from control conditions with no or neutral training. However, within benign training conditions imagery instructions and more training sessions were related to larger cognitive and mood effects, whereas feedback about training performance and inclusion of non-benign training items (instead of including benign items only) boosted cognitive effects only. Finally, training was more effective in women (cognitive and mood effects) and presumably samples with symptomatic emotional dysregulation (cognitive effects). Although the effects of emotional dysregulation and number of training sessions could not well be distinguished, there

  13. Chloroform-induced insanity defence confounds lawyer Lincoln.

    PubMed

    Spiegel, A D; Suskind, P B

    1997-12-01

    During an 1857 trial, the defence claimed that the accused should be absolved of wilful murder because an overdose of chloroform during surgery induced insanity. In a rare appearance as a prosecutor, Abraham Lincoln tried the case for the State of Illinois. Expert medical witnesses testified about the side effects of chloroform and chloroform-induced insanity. Significantly, Lincoln was not knowledgeable about medical jurisprudence and overlooked potential sources of evidence and expert witnesses. Defence lawyers presented an impressive array of physicians to testify about insanity, about chloroform and about the results of an overdosage during anaesthesia. Considering the state of scientific knowledge at the time, the trial was notable.

  14. The effects of PEG-based surface modification of PDMS microchannels on long-term hemocompatibility.

    PubMed

    Kovach, Kyle M; Capadona, Jeffrey R; Gupta, Anirban Sen; Potkay, Joseph A

    2014-12-01

    The current study demonstrates the first surface modification for poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) microfluidic networks that displays a long shelf life as well as extended hemocompatibility. Uncoated PDMS microchannel networks rapidly adsorb high levels of fibrinogen in blood contacting applications. Fibrinogen adsorption initiates platelet activation, and causes a rapid increase in pressure across microchannel networks, rendering them useless for long term applications. Here, we describe the modification of sealed PDMS microchannels using an oxygen plasma pretreatment and poly(ethylene glycol) grafting approach. We present results regarding the testing of the coated microchannels after extended periods of aging and blood exposure. Our PEG-grafted channels showed significantly reduced fibrinogen adsorption and platelet adhesion up to 28 days after application, highlighting the stability and functionality of the coating over time. Our coated microchannel networks also displayed a significant reduction in the coagulation response under whole blood flow. Further, pressure across coated microchannel networks took over 16 times longer to double than the uncoated controls. Collectively, our data implies the potential for a coating platform for microfluidic devices in many blood-contacting applications.

  15. Synthesis and effect of modification on methacylate - acrylate microspheres for Trametes versicolor laccase enzyme immobilization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazlan, Siti Zulaikha; Hanifah, Sharina Abu

    2014-09-01

    Immobilization of laccase on the modified copolymer methacrylate-acrylate microspheres was studied. A poly (glycidyl methacrylate-co-n-butyl acrylate) microsphere consists of epoxy groups were synthesized using suspension photocuring technique. The epoxy group in poly (GMA-nBA) microspheres were converted into amino groups with aldehyde group. Laccase immobilization is based on having the amino groups on the enzyme surface and aldehyde group on the microspheres via covalent binding. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) analysis proved the successful surface modification on microspheres. The FTIR spectrum shows the characteristic peaks at 1646 cm-1 assigned to the conformation of the polymerization that took place between monomer GMA and nBA respectively. In addition, after modification, FTIR peaks that assigned to the epoxy ring (844 cm-1 and 904 cm-1) were decreased. The results obtained from FTIR method signify good agreement with the epoxy content method. Hence, the activity of the laccase-immobilized microspheres increased upon increasing the epoxy content. Furthermore, poly (GMA-nBA) exhibited uniform microspheres with below 2 μm surface. Immobilized enzyme showed a broader pH profile and higher temperature compared native enzyme.

  16. Global climate change is confounding species conservation strategies.

    PubMed

    Koopowitz, Harold; Hawkins, Bradford A

    2012-06-01

    Most organisms face similar problems with respect to their conservation in the face of global climate change. Here, we examine probable effects of climate change on the hyperdiverse plant family Orchidaceae. In the 20th century, the major concerns for orchid conservation revolved around unsustainable harvest for the orchid trade and, more importantly, land conversion from natural ecosystems to those unable to support wild orchid populations. Land conversion included logging, fire regimes and forest conversions to agricultural systems. Although those forms of degradation continue, an additional suite of threats has emerged, fueled by global climate change. Global climate change involves more than responses of orchid populations to increases in ambient temperature. Increasing temperature induces secondary effects that can be more significant than simple changes in temperature. Among these new threats are extended and prolonged fire seasons, rising sea levels, increases in cyclonic storms, seasonal climate shifts, changes in orthographic wind dew point and increased drought. The long-term outlook for orchid biodiversity in the wild is dismal, as it is for many animal groups, and we need to start rethinking strategies for conservation in a rapidly changing world.

  17. Confounders in interpreting pathology for safety and risk assessment

    SciTech Connect

    Wolf, Douglas C. . E-mail: wolf.doug@epa.gov; Mann, Peter C.

    2005-02-01

    The contribution of pathology to toxicity assessment is invaluable but often not clearly understood. Pathology endpoints are the central response around which human health risk assessment is frequently determined; therefore, it is important that the general toxicology community understand current concepts and nomenclature of toxicologic pathology. Toxicologic pathology encompasses the study of changes in tissue morphology that help define the risk of exposure to xenobiotics. Toxicologic pathology is a discipline that has changed and adapted over time including methods of analysis and nomenclature of lesions. As risk assessments are updated for chemicals in commerce, frequently the older literature must be reviewed and reevaluated. When interpreting pathology data from animal studies, it is important to consider the biological significance of a lesion as well as its relationship to the ultimate adverse health effect. Assessing the potential for a chemical to cause harm to humans must include the examination of the entire pathology database in context of the study design, the mode of action of the chemical of concern, and using the most current interpretation of a lesion to determine the significance for human health effects of a particular tissue response.

  18. [Lifestyle modifications].

    PubMed

    Kawano, Yuhei

    2015-11-01

    Lifestyle modifications are important in the prevention and treatment of hypertension. The Japanese Society of Hypertension Guidelines for the Management of Hypertension (JSH2014) recommend salt reduction (< 6 g/day), increased intake of vegetables/fruit and fish (fish oil), reduced intake of cholesterol and saturated fatty acids, weight loss (body mass index < 25kg/m2), exercise (≥ 30 min/day), reduction of alcohol intake (≤ 20-30 mL/day in men, ≤ 10-20 mL/day in women as ethanol), and quitting smoking. These lifestyle modifications are capable of reducing blood pressure and ameliorating other cardiovascular risk factors. However, the reduction in blood pressure is mild to moderate and the adherence to lifestyle modifications has been still suboptimal. PMID:26619658

  19. Mini-Society vs. Token Economy: An Experimental Comparison of the Effects on Learning and Autonomy of Socially Emergent and Imposed Behavior Modification

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kourilsky, Marilyn; Hirshleifer, Jack

    1976-01-01

    This study compares the effects of two teacher training programs designed to emphasize one of two forms of behavior modification in teaching economics to fourth-, fifth-, and sixth-grade pupils. (DMT)

  20. Reduced risk of pertussis in whole-cell compared to acellular vaccine recipients is not confounded by age or receipt of booster-doses.

    PubMed

    Sheridan, Sarah L; Ware, Robert S; Grimwood, Keith; Lambert, Stephen B

    2015-09-22

    Several observational studies provide evidence that acellular pertussis vaccines (aP) are less protective against pertussis disease than highly effective whole-cell pertussis vaccines (wP), however, concerns have been raised that some of these findings may be confounded by age. By undertaking age-stratified and restricted analyses on a cohort of Australian children primed with either aP-only, wP-only or mixed pertussis vaccine schedules, we demonstrate that compared to aP the association of wP with increased protection from pertussis is not confounded by age, nor by aP booster-dose receipt.

  1. Vitamin D in Fibromyalgia: A Causative or Confounding Biological Interplay?

    PubMed Central

    Karras, Spyridon; Rapti, Eleni; Matsoukas, Stauros; Kotsa, Kalliopi

    2016-01-01

    Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic syndrome with an increasing prevalence, characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain in combination with a variety of cognitive symptoms and fatigue. A plethora of scientific evidence that has accumulated during the last decades, resulted in a significant improvement of the understanding of the pathophysiology of the disease. However, current therapeutic approaches in patients with FM remains a multidimensional approach including patient education, behavioral therapy, exercise, pain management, and relief of chronic symptoms, rather than the use drug therapies, based on the mechanisms of disease development. Vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin derived mainly from skin synthesis through ultraviolet radiation, has been recognized to manifest a plethora of extraskeletal actions, apart from its fundamental role in skeletal and calcium homeostasis, including modulation of cell growth, neuromuscular actions, and potential anti-inflammatory properties. Recent findings indicate that hypovitaminosis D to be highly prevalent in patients with FM. Supplementation studies are limited so far, indicating potential beneficial effects on pain and severity of the disease, however specific recommendations are lacking. This review aims to summarize and critically appraise data regarding the pathophysiological interplay between vitamin D and FM, available results from observational and supplementation studies so far, with a clinical discourse on current knowledge gaps and future research agenda. PMID:27271665

  2. IV immunoglobulin confounds JC virus antibody serostatus determination

    PubMed Central

    Kuesters, Geoffrey; Chamot, Eric; Omari, Mirza; Dontas, Kim; Yarussi, Mary; Subramanyam, Meena; Herbert, Joseph

    2014-01-01

    Objective: To determine the impact of therapeutic infusion of IV immunoglobulin (IVIg) on John Cunningham virus antibody (JCV Ab) serostatus and level in serum. Methods: We carried out a retrospective analysis of serum levels of JCV Ab among STRATIFY-2 trial enrollees from 2 multiple sclerosis centers who were exposed to IVIg during the trial. For the subset of eligible patients, we estimated mean linear trends while on IVIg and after stopping IVIg with a linear mixed-effects model. Results: The JCV Ab seropositivity rate in the group of patients that was recently exposed to IVIg was 100%, which is significantly higher than in the IVIg-naive population (58%, p < 0.001). The seropositivity rate in the patient group with remote IVIg exposure was similar to that in the IVIg-naive population (67%, p = 0.68, Fisher exact test). The slope of the linear trend line after stopping IVIg decreased significantly by −0.310 units per 100 days (95% confidence interval, −0.611 to −0.008; p = 0.04). Conclusions: Recent IVIg exposure is invariably associated with JCV Ab seropositivity. After stopping IVIg, JCV Ab levels tend to decrease with time, and seroreversion to innately Ab-negative status can occur. PMID:25340081

  3. Confounded winter and spring phenoclimatology on large herbivore ranges

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Christianson, David; Klaver, Robert W.; Middleton, Arthur; Kauffman, Matthew

    2013-01-01

    Annual variation in winter severity and growing season vegetation dynamics appear to influence the demography of temperate herbivores but parsing winter from spring effects requires independent metrics of environmental conditions specific to each season. We tested for independence in annual variation amongst four common metrics used to describe winter severity and early growing season vegetation dynamics across the entire spatial distribution of elk (Cervus elaphus) in Wyoming from 1989 to 2006. Winter conditions and early growing season dynamics were correlated in a specific way. Winters with snow cover that ended early tended to be followed by early, but slow, rises in the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), while long winters with extended periods of snow cover were often followed by late and rapid rises in NDVI. Across the 35 elk ranges, 0.4–86.8 % of the variation in the rate of increase in NDVI’s in spring was explained by the date snow cover disappeared from SNOTEL stations. Because phenoclimatological metrics are correlated across seasons and shifting due to climate change, identifying environmental constraints on herbivore fitness, particularly migratory species, is more difficult than previously recognized.

  4. Statistically Controlling for Confounding Constructs Is Harder than You Think

    PubMed Central

    Westfall, Jacob; Yarkoni, Tal

    2016-01-01

    Social scientists often seek to demonstrate that a construct has incremental validity over and above other related constructs. However, these claims are typically supported by measurement-level models that fail to consider the effects of measurement (un)reliability. We use intuitive examples, Monte Carlo simulations, and a novel analytical framework to demonstrate that common strategies for establishing incremental construct validity using multiple regression analysis exhibit extremely high Type I error rates under parameter regimes common in many psychological domains. Counterintuitively, we find that error rates are highest—in some cases approaching 100%—when sample sizes are large and reliability is moderate. Our findings suggest that a potentially large proportion of incremental validity claims made in the literature are spurious. We present a web application (http://jakewestfall.org/ivy/) that readers can use to explore the statistical properties of these and other incremental validity arguments. We conclude by reviewing SEM-based statistical approaches that appropriately control the Type I error rate when attempting to establish incremental validity. PMID:27031707

  5. Justification of the canonical quantization of the Josephson effect and its modifications due to high capacitance energy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pomorski, Krzysztof; Bednorz, Adam

    2016-03-01

    Quantum devices based on the Josephson effect in superconductors are usually described by a Hamiltonian obtained by commonly used canonical quantization. However, this recipe has not yet been rigorously and systematically justified. We show that this approach is indeed correct in a certain range of parameters. We find the condition of validity of such quantization and the systematic corrections to the Josephson energy E J: namely, the capacitance energy {E}C={e}2/2C must be much smaller than the superconducting gap Δ. Moreover, we find an experimentally testable modification of Josephson energy at large capacitance energy also with nonlinear capacitance.

  6. The Scalp Confounds Near-Infrared Signal from Rat Brain Following Innocuous and Noxious Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    He, Ji-Wei; Liu, Hanli; Peng, Yuan Bo

    2015-01-01

    Functional near-infrared imaging (fNIRI) is a non-invasive, low-cost and highly portable technique for assessing brain activity and functions. Both clinical and experimental evidence suggest that fNIRI is able to assess brain activity at associated regions during pain processing, indicating a strong possibility of using fNIRI-derived brain activity pattern as a biomarker for pain. However, it remains unclear how, especially in small animals, the scalp influences fNIRI signal in pain processing. Previously, we have shown that the use of a multi-channel system improves the spatial resolution of fNIRI in rats (without the scalp) during pain processing. Our current work is to investigate a scalp effect by comparing with new data from rats with the scalp during innocuous or noxious stimulation (n = 6). Results showed remarkable stimulus-dependent differences between the no-scalp and intact-scalp groups. In conclusion, the scalp confounded the fNIRI signal in pain processing likely via an autonomic mechanism; the scalp effect should be a critical factor in image reconstruction and data interpretation. PMID:26426058

  7. Detection rates of geckos in visual surveys: Turning confounding variables into useful knowledge

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lardner, Bjorn; Rodda, Gordon H.; Yackel Adams, Amy A.; Savidge, Julie A.; Reed, Robert N.

    2016-01-01

    Transect surveys without some means of estimating detection probabilities generate population size indices prone to bias because survey conditions differ in time and space. Knowing what causes such bias can help guide the collection of relevant survey covariates, correct the survey data, anticipate situations where bias might be unacceptably large, and elucidate the ecology of target species. We used negative binomial regression to evaluate confounding variables for gecko (primarily Hemidactylus frenatus and Lepidodactylus lugubris) counts on 220-m-long transects surveyed at night, primarily for snakes, on 9,475 occasions. Searchers differed in gecko detection rates by up to a factor of six. The worst and best headlamps differed by a factor of at least two. Strong winds had a negative effect potentially as large as those of searchers or headlamps. More geckos were seen during wet weather conditions, but the effect size was small. Compared with a detection nadir during waxing gibbous (nearly full) moons above the horizon, we saw 28% more geckos during waning crescent moons below the horizon. A sine function suggested that we saw 24% more geckos at the end of the wet season than at the end of the dry season. Fluctuations on a longer timescale also were verified. Disturbingly, corrected data exhibited strong short-term fluctuations that covariates apparently failed to capture. Although some biases can be addressed with measured covariates, others will be difficult to eliminate as a significant source of error in longterm monitoring programs.

  8. Effect of classroom modification on attention and engagement of students with autism or dyspraxia.

    PubMed

    Kinnealey, Moya; Pfeiffer, Beth; Miller, Jennifer; Roan, Cecilia; Shoener, Rachel; Ellner, Matt L

    2012-01-01

    Students with autism display sensory sensitivities to environmental stimuli that affect their attending and engagement in classroom learning activities. The purpose of the study was to determine whether attending of 4 male students, ages 13-20, increased after the installation of sound-absorbing walls and halogen lighting. The multiple single-subject, mixed-method design, AB(B+C), included a 2-wk baseline and two intervention phases: 2 wk after sound-absorbing wall installation using the Owens Corning Basement Finishing System™ (Owens Corning, Toledo, OH) and 2 wk after halogen light installation. We calculated nonattending frequencies from videotaped class sessions and used visual analysis to measure within-phase and between-phase characteristics. Results included increased frequency and stability of attending and engagement and improved classroom performance, comfort, and mood. Journaling provided students' perspective on the modifications and reflected overall increased sensory comfort and themes of improved classroom environment, positive emotional response (mood), and improved classroom performance.

  9. Direct tunneling through high-κ amorphous HfO{sub 2}: Effects of chemical modification

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Yin Yu, Zhizhou; Zahid, Ferdows; Wang, Jian; Liu, Lei; Zhu, Yu; Guo, Hong

    2014-07-14

    We report first principles modeling of quantum tunneling through amorphous HfO{sub 2} dielectric layer of metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) nanostructures in the form of n-Si/HfO{sub 2}/Al. In particular, we predict that chemically modifying the amorphous HfO{sub 2} barrier by doping N and Al atoms in the middle region—far from the two interfaces of the MOS structure—can reduce the gate-to-channel tunnel leakage by more than one order of magnitude. Several other types of modification are found to enhance tunneling or induce substantial band bending in the Si, both are not desired from leakage point of view. By analyzing transmission coefficients and projected density of states, the microscopic physics of electron traversing the tunnel barrier with or without impurity atoms in the high-κ dielectric is revealed.

  10. Negative effects of desiccation on the protein sorting and post-translational modification.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xiaoqin; He, Yikun

    2009-05-01

    Bryophytes as the first land plants are believed to have colonized the land from a fresh water origin, requiring adaptive mechanisms that survival of dehydration. Physcomitrella patens is such a non-vascular bryophyte and shows rare desiccation tolerance in its vegetative tissues. Previous studies showed that during the course of dehydration, several related processes are set in motion: plasmolysis, chloroplast remodeling and microtubule depolymerization. And proteomic alteration supported the cellular structural changes in respond to desiccation stress. In this addendum, we report that Golgi bodies are absent and adaptor protein complex AP-1 large subunit is downregulated during the course of dehydration. Those phenomena may be adverse in protein posttranslational modification, protein sorting and cell walls synthesis under the desiccation condition. PMID:19816114

  11. Effect of hierarchical porosity and phosphorus modification on the catalytic properties of zeolite Y

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Wenlin; Zheng, Jinyu; Luo, Yibin; Da, Zhijian

    2016-09-01

    The zeolite Y is considered as a leading catalyst for FCC industry. The acidity and porosity modification play important roles in determining the final catalytic properties of zeolite Y. The alkaline treatment of zeolite Y by dealumination and alkaline treatment with NaOH and NaOH&TBPH was investigated. The zeolites were characterized by X-ray diffraction, low-temperature adsorption of nitrogen, transmission electron microscope, NMR, NH3-TPD and IR study of acidity. Accordingly, the hierarchical porosity and acidity property were discussed systematically. Finally, the catalytic performance of the zeolites Y was evaluated in the cracking of 1,3,5-TIPB. It was found that desilication with NaOH&TBPH ensured the more uniform intracrystalline mesoporosity with higher microporosity, while preserving higher B/L ratio and moderate Brønsted acidities resulting in catalysts with the most appropriated acidity and then with better catalytic performance.

  12. Effect of Structural Modifications on the Self-Assembly of Oligoprolines Conjugated with Sterically Demanding Chromophores.

    PubMed

    Lewandowska, Urszula; Zajaczkowski, Wojciech; Pisula, Wojciech; Ma, Yingjie; Li, Chen; Müllen, Klaus; Wennemers, Helma

    2016-03-01

    Conjugates between oligoprolines and sterically demanding perylene monoimides (PMIs) form hierarchical supramolecular self-assemblies. The influence of the length and stereochemistry at the attachment site between the peptide backbone and the chromophore on the self-assembly properties of the conjugates was explored. Comparison between oligoprolines bearing 4R- or 4S-configured azidoprolines (Azp) for the conjugation with the PMIs revealed that diastereoisomers with 4R configuration guide the self-assembly consistently better than conjugates with 4S configuration. Elongating the peptide chain beyond nine proline residues or introducing structural "errors", by altering the absolute configuration of one stereogenic center at the outside of the functionalizable oligoproline helix, lowered the efficacy of self-assembly significantly, both in solution phase and in the solid state. The results showed how subtle structural modifications allow for tuning the self-assembly of chromophores and provided further design principles for the development of peptide-chromophore conjugates into nanostructured materials.

  13. Physiological effects of a modification of the construction of impermeable protective clothing.

    PubMed

    Marszałek, Anna; Bartkowiak, Grazyna; Lezak, Krzysztof

    2009-01-01

    This study was conducted to improve the construction of impermeable clothing protecting against liquid chemical agents in order to lower the thermal strain caused by the clothing during work. Previous studies indicated that light work in a hot environment in this kind of clothing could last 30 min only. We propose a modification of the construction; new models of protective clothing were tested in wear trials. Then the results were compared with a basic model of impermeable protective clothing. Results indicated that all new models of protective clothing allowed workers to work 39-64% longer than in a basic model of protective clothing. Thus new clothing significantly improved comfort of work in impermeable protective clothing because of the lower thermal strain that it imposed on the user. PMID:19272241

  14. Using Rich Data on Comorbidities in Case-Control Study Design with Electronic Health Record Data Improves Control of Confounding in the Detection of Adverse Drug Reactions

    PubMed Central

    Chase, Herbert

    2016-01-01

    Recent research has suggested that the case-control study design, unlike the self-controlled study design, performs poorly in controlling confounding in the detection of adverse drug reactions (ADRs) from administrative claims and electronic health record (EHR) data, resulting in biased estimates of the causal effects of drugs on health outcomes of interest (HOI) and inaccurate confidence intervals. Here we show that using rich data on comorbidities and automatic variable selection strategies for selecting confounders can better control confounding within a case-control study design and provide a more solid basis for inference regarding the causal effects of drugs on HOIs. Four HOIs are examined: acute kidney injury, acute liver injury, acute myocardial infarction and gastrointestinal ulcer hospitalization. For each of these HOIs we use a previously published reference set of positive and negative control drugs to evaluate the performance of our methods. Our methods have AUCs that are often substantially higher than the AUCs of a baseline method that only uses demographic characteristics for confounding control. Our methods also give confidence intervals for causal effect parameters that cover the expected no effect value substantially more often than this baseline method. The case-control study design, unlike the self-controlled study design, can be used in the fairly typical setting of EHR databases without longitudinal information on patients. With our variable selection method, these databases can be more effectively used for the detection of ADRs. PMID:27716785

  15. Different effects of bisphenol-A on memory behavior and synaptic modification in intact and estrogen-deprived female mice.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiaohong; Gu, Ting; Shen, Qiaoqiao

    2015-03-01

    Bisphenol-A (BPA) has the capability of interfering with the effects of estrogens on modulating brain function. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of BPA on memory and synaptic modification in the hippocampus of female mice under different levels of cycling estrogen. BPA exposure (40, 400 μg/kg/day) for 8 weeks did not affect spatial memory and passive avoidance task of gonadally intact mice but improved ovariectomy (Ovx)-induced memory impairment, whereas co-exposure of BPA with estradiol benzoate (EB) diminished the rescue effect of EB on memory behavior of Ovx mice. The results of morphometric measurement showed that BPA positively modified the synaptic interface structure and increased the synaptic density of CA1 pyramidal cell in the hippocampus of Ovx females, but inhibited the enhancement of EB on synaptic modification and synaptogenesis of Ovx mice. Furthermore, BPA up-regulated synaptic proteins synapsin I and PSD-95 and NMDA receptor NR2B but inhibited EB-induced increase in PSD-95 and NR2B in the hippocampus of Ovx mice. These results suggest that BPA interfered with normal hormonal regulation in synaptic plasticity and memory of female mice as a potent estrogen mimetic and as a disruptor of estrogen under various concentrations of cycling estrogen.

  16. Modification of Leaf Glucosinolate Contents in Brassica oleracea by Divergent Selection and Effect on Expression of Genes Controlling Glucosinolate Pathway.

    PubMed

    Sotelo, Tamara; Velasco, Pablo; Soengas, Pilar; Rodríguez, Víctor M; Cartea, María E

    2016-01-01

    Modification of the content of secondary metabolites opens the possibility of obtaining vegetables enriched in these compounds related to plant defense and human health. We report the first results of a divergent selection for glucosinolate (GSL) content of the three major GSL in leaves: sinigrin (SIN), glucoiberin (GIB), and glucobrassicin (GBS) in order to develop six kale genotypes (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) with high (HSIN, HIGIB, HGBS) and low (LSIN, LGIB, LGBS) content. The aims were to determine if the three divergent selections were successful in leaves, how each divergent selection affected the content of the same GSLs in flower buds and seeds and to determine which genes would be involved in the modification of the content of the three GSL studied. The content of SIN and GIB after three cycles of divergent selection increased 52.5% and 77.68%, and decreased 51.9% and 45.33%, respectively. The divergent selection for GBS content was only successful and significant for decreasing the concentration, with a reduction of 39.04%. Mass selection is an efficient way of modifying the concentration of individual GSLs. Divergent selections realized in leaves had a side effect in the GSL contents of flower buds and seeds due to the novo synthesis in these organs and/or translocation from leaves. The results obtained suggest that modification in the SIN and GIB concentration by selection is related to the GSL-ALK locus. We suggest that this locus could be related with the indirect response found in the GBS concentration. Meantime, variations in the CYP81F2 gene expression could be the responsible of the variations in GBS content. The genotypes obtained in this study can be used as valuable materials for undertaking basic studies about the biological effects of the major GSLs present in kales.

  17. Modification of Leaf Glucosinolate Contents in Brassica oleracea by Divergent Selection and Effect on Expression of Genes Controlling Glucosinolate Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Sotelo, Tamara; Velasco, Pablo; Soengas, Pilar; Rodríguez, Víctor M.; Cartea, María E.

    2016-01-01

    Modification of the content of secondary metabolites opens the possibility of obtaining vegetables enriched in these compounds related to plant defense and human health. We report the first results of a divergent selection for glucosinolate (GSL) content of the three major GSL in leaves: sinigrin (SIN), glucoiberin (GIB), and glucobrassicin (GBS) in order to develop six kale genotypes (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) with high (HSIN, HIGIB, HGBS) and low (LSIN, LGIB, LGBS) content. The aims were to determine if the three divergent selections were successful in leaves, how each divergent selection affected the content of the same GSLs in flower buds and seeds and to determine which genes would be involved in the modification of the content of the three GSL studied. The content of SIN and GIB after three cycles of divergent selection increased 52.5% and 77.68%, and decreased 51.9% and 45.33%, respectively. The divergent selection for GBS content was only successful and significant for decreasing the concentration, with a reduction of 39.04%. Mass selection is an efficient way of modifying the concentration of individual GSLs. Divergent selections realized in leaves had a side effect in the GSL contents of flower buds and seeds due to the novo synthesis in these organs and/or translocation from leaves. The results obtained suggest that modification in the SIN and GIB concentration by selection is related to the GSL-ALK locus. We suggest that this locus could be related with the indirect response found in the GBS concentration. Meantime, variations in the CYP81F2 gene expression could be the responsible of the variations in GBS content. The genotypes obtained in this study can be used as valuable materials for undertaking basic studies about the biological effects of the major GSLs present in kales. PMID:27471510

  18. Modification of Leaf Glucosinolate Contents in Brassica oleracea by Divergent Selection and Effect on Expression of Genes Controlling Glucosinolate Pathway.

    PubMed

    Sotelo, Tamara; Velasco, Pablo; Soengas, Pilar; Rodríguez, Víctor M; Cartea, María E

    2016-01-01

    Modification of the content of secondary metabolites opens the possibility of obtaining vegetables enriched in these compounds related to plant defense and human health. We report the first results of a divergent selection for glucosinolate (GSL) content of the three major GSL in leaves: sinigrin (SIN), glucoiberin (GIB), and glucobrassicin (GBS) in order to develop six kale genotypes (Brassica oleracea var. acephala) with high (HSIN, HIGIB, HGBS) and low (LSIN, LGIB, LGBS) content. The aims were to determine if the three divergent selections were successful in leaves, how each divergent selection affected the content of the same GSLs in flower buds and seeds and to determine which genes would be involved in the modification of the content of the three GSL studied. The content of SIN and GIB after three cycles of divergent selection increased 52.5% and 77.68%, and decreased 51.9% and 45.33%, respectively. The divergent selection for GBS content was only successful and significant for decreasing the concentration, with a reduction of 39.04%. Mass selection is an efficient way of modifying the concentration of individual GSLs. Divergent selections realized in leaves had a side effect in the GSL contents of flower buds and seeds due to the novo synthesis in these organs and/or translocation from leaves. The results obtained suggest that modification in the SIN and GIB concentration by selection is related to the GSL-ALK locus. We suggest that this locus could be related with the indirect response found in the GBS concentration. Meantime, variations in the CYP81F2 gene expression could be the responsible of the variations in GBS content. The genotypes obtained in this study can be used as valuable materials for undertaking basic studies about the biological effects of the major GSLs present in kales. PMID:27471510

  19. Influence of potentially confounding factors on sea urchin porewater toxicity tests

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carr, R.S.; Biedenbach, J.M.; Nipper, M.

    2006-01-01

    The influence of potentially confounding factors has been identified as a concern for interpreting sea urchin porewater toxicity test data. The results from >40 sediment-quality assessment surveys using early-life stages of the sea urchin Arbacia punctulata were compiled and examined to determine acceptable ranges of natural variables such as pH, ammonia, and dissolved organic carbon on the fertilization and embryological development endpoints. In addition, laboratory experiments were also conducted with A. punctulata and compared with information from the literature. Pore water with pH as low as 6.9 is an unlikely contributor to toxicity for the fertilization and embryological development tests with A. punctulata. Other species of sea urchin have narrower pH tolerance ranges. Ammonia is rarely a contributing factor in pore water toxicity tests using the fertilization endpoint, but the embryological development endpoint may be influenced by ammonia concentrations commonly found in porewater samples. Therefore, ammonia needs to be considered when interpreting results for the embryological development test. Humic acid does not affect sea urchin fertilization at saturation concentrations, but it could have an effect on the embryological development endpoint at near-saturation concentrations. There was no correlation between sediment total organic carbon concentrations and porewater dissolved organic carbon concentrations. Because of the potential for many varying substances to activate parthenogenesis in sea urchin eggs, it is recommended that a no-sperm control be included with every fertilization test treatment. ?? 2006 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.

  20. Influence of potentially confounding factors on sea urchin porewater toxicity tests.

    PubMed

    Carr, R S; Biedenbach, J M; Nipper, M

    2006-11-01

    The influence of potentially confounding factors has been identified as a concern for interpreting sea urchin porewater toxicity test data. The results from >40 sediment-quality assessment surveys using early-life stages of the sea urchin Arbacia punctulata were compiled and examined to determine acceptable ranges of natural variables such as pH, ammonia, and dissolved organic carbon on the fertilization and embryological development endpoints. In addition, laboratory experiments were also conducted with A. punctulata and compared with information from the literature. Pore water with pH as low as 6.9 is an unlikely contributor to toxicity for the fertilization and embryological development tests with A. punctulata. Other species of sea urchin have narrower pH tolerance ranges. Ammonia is rarely a contributing factor in pore water toxicity tests using the fertilization endpoint, but the embryological development endpoint may be influenced by ammonia concentrations commonly found in porewater samples. Therefore, ammonia needs to be considered when interpreting results for the embryological development test. Humic acid does not affect sea urchin fertilization at saturation concentrations, but it could have an effect on the embryological development endpoint at near-saturation concentrations. There was no correlation between sediment total organic carbon concentrations and porewater dissolved organic carbon concentrations. Because of the potential for many varying substances to activate parthenogenesis in sea urchin eggs, it is recommended that a no-sperm control be included with every fertilization test treatment.

  1. Is it patience or motivation? On motivational confounds in intertemporal choice tasks.

    PubMed

    Paglieri, Fabio; Addessi, Elsa; Sbaffi, Agnese; Tasselli, Maria Isabella; Delfino, Alexia

    2015-01-01

    Intertemporal choices create a tension between amount maximization, which would favor the larger and later option (LL), and delay minimization, which would promote the smaller and sooner reward (SS). Two common interpretations of intertemporal choice behavior are discussed: looking at LL responses as indicative of self-control, and using intertemporal choices to assess delay aversion. We argue that both interpretations need to take into account motivational confounds, in order to be warranted by data. In intertemporal choices with prepotent, salient stimuli (e.g., food amounts, typically used with nonhuman primates), LL responses could also be indicative of failed inhibition of a "go for more" impulsive response-the opposite of self-control. Similarly, intertemporal choices can be used to measure delay aversion only with respect to the subject's baseline motivation to maximize the reinforcer in question, and this baseline is not always assessed in current experimental protocols. This concern is especially crucial in comparing intertemporal choices across different groups or manipulation. We focus in particular on the effects of reward types on intertemporal choices, presenting two experimental studies where the difference in behavior with monetary versus food rewards is the product of different baseline motivation, rather than variations in delay aversion. We conclude discussing the implications of these and other similar recent findings, which are far-reaching. PMID:25545635

  2. Effects of Wutou Decoction on DNA Methylation and Histone Modifications in Rats with Collagen-Induced Arthritis.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ya-Fei; Wen, Cai-Yu-Zhu; Chen, Zhe; Wang, Yu; Huang, Ying; Hu, Yong-Hong; Tu, Sheng-Hao

    2016-01-01

    Background. Wutou decoction (WTD) has been wildly applied in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and experimental arthritis in rats for many years. Epigenetic deregulation is associated with the aetiology of rheumatoid arthritis; however, the effects of WTD on epigenetic changes are unclear. This study is set to explore the effects of WTD on DNA methylation and histone modifications in rats with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). Methods. The CIA model was established by the stimulation of collagen and adjuvant. The knee synovium was stained with hematoxylin and eosin. The DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) and methylated CpG binding domain 2 (MBD2) expression of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were determined by Real-Time PCR. The global DNA histone H3-K4/H3-K27 methylation and total histones H3 and H4 acetylation of PBMCs were detected. Results. Our data demonstrated that the DNMT1 mRNA expression was significantly lowered in group WTD compared to that in group CIA (P < 0.05). The DNA methylation level was significantly reduced in group WTD compared to that in group CIA (P < 0.05). Moreover, H3 acetylation of PBMCs was overexpressed in WTD compared with CIA (P < 0.05). Conclusions. WTD may modulate DNA methylation and histone modifications, functioning as anti-inflammatory potential. PMID:27042192

  3. Assessment and indirect adjustment for confounding by smoking in cohort studies using relative hazards models.

    PubMed

    Richardson, David B; Laurier, Dominique; Schubauer-Berigan, Mary K; Tchetgen Tchetgen, Eric; Cole, Stephen R

    2014-11-01

    Workers' smoking histories are not measured in many occupational cohort studies. Here we discuss the use of negative control outcomes to detect and adjust for confounding in analyses that lack information on smoking. We clarify the assumptions necessary to detect confounding by smoking and the additional assumptions necessary to indirectly adjust for such bias. We illustrate these methods using data from 2 studies of radiation and lung cancer: the Colorado Plateau cohort study (1950-2005) of underground uranium miners (in which smoking was measured) and a French cohort study (1950-2004) of nuclear industry workers (in which smoking was unmeasured). A cause-specific relative hazards model is proposed for estimation of indirectly adjusted associations. Among the miners, the proposed method suggests no confounding by smoking of the association between radon and lung cancer--a conclusion supported by adjustment for measured smoking. Among the nuclear workers, the proposed method suggests substantial confounding by smoking of the association between radiation and lung cancer. Indirect adjustment for confounding by smoking resulted in an 18% decrease in the adjusted estimated hazard ratio, yet this cannot be verified because smoking was unmeasured. Assumptions underlying this method are described, and a cause-specific proportional hazards model that allows easy implementation using standard software is presented.

  4. Assessment and Indirect Adjustment for Confounding by Smoking in Cohort Studies Using Relative Hazards Models

    PubMed Central

    Richardson, David B.; Laurier, Dominique; Schubauer-Berigan, Mary K.; Tchetgen, Eric Tchetgen; Cole, Stephen R.

    2014-01-01

    Workers' smoking histories are not measured in many occupational cohort studies. Here we discuss the use of negative control outcomes to detect and adjust for confounding in analyses that lack information on smoking. We clarify the assumptions necessary to detect confounding by smoking and the additional assumptions necessary to indirectly adjust for such bias. We illustrate these methods using data from 2 studies of radiation and lung cancer: the Colorado Plateau cohort study (1950–2005) of underground uranium miners (in which smoking was measured) and a French cohort study (1950–2004) of nuclear industry workers (in which smoking was unmeasured). A cause-specific relative hazards model is proposed for estimation of indirectly adjusted associations. Among the miners, the proposed method suggests no confounding by smoking of the association between radon and lung cancer—a conclusion supported by adjustment for measured smoking. Among the nuclear workers, the proposed method suggests substantial confounding by smoking of the association between radiation and lung cancer. Indirect adjustment for confounding by smoking resulted in an 18% decrease in the adjusted estimated hazard ratio, yet this cannot be verified because smoking was unmeasured. Assumptions underlying this method are described, and a cause-specific proportional hazards model that allows easy implementation using standard software is presented. PMID:25245043

  5. a Physico-Empirical Model to Predict the Effects of Pore Space Modifications on Hydraulic Conductivity of Unsaturated Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez-Vila, X.; Carles-Brangarí, A.; Fernandez-Garcia, D.; Rubol, S.; Freixa, A.; Romaní, A.

    2013-12-01

    Flow behavior through unsaturated media has been a subject of increasing interest over the last decades due to its importance in properly estimating the amount and quality of water recharging the aquifer. Besides the gravitational and capillary forces that are studied from the traditional point of view, there is a wide range of multidisciplinary phenomena related to hydrodynamic, physicochemical and biological interplays at different length and time scales. The main objective of this work is to provide a simple physico-empirical model to predict the effects of pore space modification on infiltration, with special emphasis on biological processes. This work is based on the analysis of a middle-scale laboratory test developed by simulating the infiltration through the top layer of a recharge pond. Bacterial activity highly affects the flow through unsaturated soils. Among others, growth, accumulation, detachment and re-attachment of life and dead cells, formation of biogenic gas bubbles and production of extracellular polysaccharide substances (EPS) lead to a modification of the pore space distribution curve, which is the main factor controlling the water-phase connectivity. This study proposes a scenario based on the cylindrical capillary tubes theory by which different above-mentioned by-products of biological mechanisms are distributed taking into account the pore diameter. The permeability function derived from the model satisfies the reduction observed during the experiment. This model is useful to predict and quantify how a modification of van Genuchten's and other parameters, such as the hydrophobicity of compounds coating soil grains, water holding capacity and drainable water, affect the water retention curve.

  6. Evaluation of AUSDRISK as a screening tool for lifestyle modification programs: international implications for policy and cost-effectiveness

    PubMed Central

    Malo, Jonathan A; Versace, Vincent L; Janus, Edward D; Laatikainen, Tiina; Peltonen, Markku; Vartiainen, Erkki; Coates, Michael J; Dunbar, James A

    2015-01-01

    Objective To evaluate the current use of Australian Type 2 Diabetes Risk Assessment Tool (AUSDRISK) as a screening tool to identify individuals at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes for entry into lifestyle modification programs. Research Design and Methods AUSDRISK scores were calculated from participants aged 40–74 years in the Greater Green Triangle Risk Factor Study, a cross-sectional population survey in 3 regions of Southwest Victoria, Australia, 2004–2006. Biomedical profiles of AUSDRISK risk categories were determined along with estimates of the Victorian population included at various cut-off scores. Sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value (PPV), negative predictive value, and receiver operating characteristics were calculated for AUSDRISK in determining fasting plasma glucose (FPG) ≥6.1 mmol/L. Results Increasing AUSDRISK scores were associated with an increase in weight, body mass index, FPG, and metabolic syndrome. Increasing the minimum cut-off score also increased the proportion of individuals who were obese and centrally obese, had impaired fasting glucose (IFG) and metabolic syndrome. An AUSDRISK score of ≥12 was estimated to include 39.5% of the Victorian population aged 40–74 (916 000), while a score of ≥20 would include only 5.2% of the same population (120 000). At AUSDRISK≥20, the PPV for detecting FPG≥6.1 mmol/L was 28.4%. Conclusions AUSDRISK is powered to predict those with IFG and undiagnosed type 2 diabetes, but its effectiveness as the sole determinant for entry into a lifestyle modification program is questionable given the large proportion of the population screened-in using the current minimum cut-off of ≥12. AUSDRISK should be used in conjunction with oral glucose tolerance testing, fasting glucose, or glycated hemoglobin to identify those individuals at highest risk of progression to type 2 diabetes, who should be the primary targets for lifestyle modification. PMID:26468399

  7. Finite element study on modification of bracket base and its effects on bond strength

    PubMed Central

    Shyagali, Tarulatha R.; Bhayya, Deepak P.; Urs, Chandralekha B.; Subramaniam, Shashikala

    2015-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: This article aims to analyze the difference in stresses generated in the bracket-cement-tooth system by means of a peel load in single and double-mesh bracket bases using a three-dimensional finite element computer model. MATERIAL AND METHODS: A three-dimensional finite element model of the bracket-cement-tooth system was constructed and consisted of 40,536 bonds and 49,201 finite elements using a commercial mesh generating programmer (ANSYS 7.0). Both single and double-mesh bracket bases were modified by varying the diameter from 100-400 µm progressively, and the spacing between the mesh wires was kept at 300 µm for each diameter of wire. A peel load was applied on the model to study the stresses generated in different layers. RESULTS: In case of double-mesh bracket base, there was reduction in stress generation at the enamel in comparison to single-mesh bracket base. There was no difference in stress generated at the bracket layer between single and double-mesh bracket bases. At the impregnated wire mesh (IWM), layer stresses increased as the wire diameter of the mesh increased. CONCLUSION: Results show that bracket design modification can improve bonding abilities and simultaneously reduce enamel damage while debonding. These facts may be used in bringing about the new innovative bracket designs for clinical use. PMID:25992991

  8. Operation of marine diesel engines on biogenic fuels: modification of emissions and resulting climate effects.

    PubMed

    Petzold, Andreas; Lauer, Peter; Fritsche, Uwe; Hasselbach, Jan; Lichtenstern, Michael; Schlager, Hans; Fleischer, Fritz

    2011-12-15

    The modification of emissions of climate-sensitive exhaust compounds such as CO(2), NO(x), hydrocarbons, and particulate matter from medium-speed marine diesel engines was studied for a set of fossil and biogenic fuels. Applied fossil fuels were the reference heavy fuel oil (HFO) and the low-sulfur marine gas oil (MGO); biogenic fuels were palm oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, and animal fat. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to the production of biogenic fuels were treated by means of a fuel life cycle analysis which included land use changes associated with the growth of energy plants. Emissions of CO(2) and NO(x) per kWh were found to be similar for fossil fuels and biogenic fuels. PM mass emission was reduced to 10-15% of HFO emissions for all low-sulfur fuels including MGO as a fossil fuel. Black carbon emissions were reduced significantly to 13-30% of HFO. Changes in emissions were predominantly related to particulate sulfate, while differences between low-sulfur fossil fuels and low-sulfur biogenic fuels were of minor significance. GHG emissions from the biogenic fuel life cycle (FLC) depend crucially on energy plant production conditions and have the potential of shifting the overall GHG budget from positive to negative compared to fossil fuels.

  9. Effect of a comprehensive yoga-based lifestyle modification program on lipid peroxidation.

    PubMed

    Yadav, Raj Kumar; Ray, Rooma Basu; Vempati, Ramaprabhu; Bijlani, Ramesh Lal

    2005-01-01

    Oxidative stress contributes to the process of aging as well as a variety of chronic degenerative diseases. There are indications that psychological stress increases oxidative stress whereas relaxation decreases it. We have measured the concentration of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) in blood as an indicator of oxidative stress at the beginning and at the end of a comprehensive yoga-based lifestyle modification program (YLMP). The data was collected from 104 subjects (59 male, 45 female), 19-71 years of age (mean +/- SD, 41.2 +/- 14.6 years). The YLMP consisted of a nine-day educational out-patient course on the theory and practice of yoga and included, besides a daily one-hour practice of physical postures (asanas) and breathing exercises (pranayama), lecture and films on yoga, stress management and nutrition, practice of meditation and shavasana (a relaxation technique), and individual counseling. Venous blood samples were collected on the first and last day of the course. The serum concentration of TBARS decreased significantly from 1.72 +/- 0.72 nmoles/ml on day 1 to 1.57 +/- 0.72 nmoles/ml on day 10 (P<0.05). The study suggests that a brief low cost lifestyle intervention based on yoga reduces oxidative stress.

  10. Effect of laser modification of B-Ni complex layer on wear resistance and microhardness

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartkowska, Aneta; Pertek, Aleksandra; Popławski, Mikołaj; Bartkowski, Dariusz; Przestacki, Damian; Miklaszewski, Andrzej

    2015-09-01

    The paper presents the results of microstructure observations, microhardness measurements and wear resistance tests of B-Ni complex layers. Boronickelizing is a three-step process of layer production on metallic substrate. Nickel modified boronized layers were called 'boronickelized'. Nickel plating was applied first and, as a result, nickel coatings with a varying thickness were obtained. Diffusion boronizing was carried out as a second step. Boronickelized layer was formed following the merger of galvanic and diffusion processes. In the third step the galvanic-diffusion boronickelized layer was obtained by remelting it with a CO2 laser beam. Galvanic-diffusion boronickelized layer had a dual-zone microstructure. The first zone was continuous and nickel-enriched, and characterized by reduced microhardness, whereas the second zone was characterized by needle-shaped microstructure, with microhardness similar to Fe2B iron borides. After laser modification steel specimens with the boronickelized layer consisted of remelted zone (MZ), heat affected zone (HAZ), and substrate. It was found that increasing the thickness of nickel coating leads to decreasing the microhardness of the remelted zone. Increasing thickness of nickel coating causes the reduction of wear resistance of boronickelized layer modified by laser beam. The application of a nickel coating thicker than 20 μm causes incomplete remelting of needle-shaped microstructure of boronickelized layer.

  11. Effects of filler modification and structuring on dielectric enhancement of silicone rubber composites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Javadi, Sara; Razzaghi-Kashani, Mehdi

    2013-04-01

    Preferred structuring of filler particles in a polymer matrix by using dielectrophoretic assembly process can enhance anisotropic dielectric properties. For this purpose, precipitated silica (SiO2) was structured in silicone rubber using an alternating electric field. This filler structure was stabilized by vulcanizing rubber during electric field application. Filler particle orientation and resulted anisotropy was verified by equilibrium swelling. Structuring filler in the rubber matrix led to increased dielectric permittivity and loss in the thickness direction. Filler surface modification by (vinyl-tris-(2- diethoxy/methoxy) silane) improved structure formation and anisotropic properties. It was shown that applying silane modifier and orientation of silica particles by dielectrophoretic assembly process increased dielectric permittivity of silicone rubber in the thickness direction while dielectric loss had either minor changes or increased less than permittivity in this direction. Although elastic modulus of composite, which was measured by dynamic-mechanical analysis, increased to some extent, enhancement in dielectric permittivity was much higher. This introduced the structured composite as a potential for dielectric elastomeric actuator with higher efficiency than the original silicone rubber with no filler addition.

  12. Time Evolution of Man-Made Harbour Modifications in San Diego: Effects on Tsunami Amplitudes and Currents

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barberopoulou, A.; Legg, M.; Gica, E.

    2014-12-01

    Harbors are typically modified to enhance operations and increase space in ports. Ports are usually designed to protect boats and docks against sudden vertical water fluctuations. Tsunami currents however are often ignored-current monitoring is usually not quantitative- in the design of harbor modifications. Damage from tsunami currents in ports has occurred in several recent tsunamis (Sea of Japan, 1983; Chile, 1960, 2010; Tohoku, 2011). Significant tsunami currents (>2 m/sec) often occur without substantial wave amplitudes (<1-2 meters). Because tsunami amplitudes are used as the basis to determine event "significance", the hazard from potentially strong currents may be overlooked. In order to evaluate the impact of anthropogenic effects on tsunami impact at ports, we examine the history of man-made modifications made to San Diego Bay since the late nineteenth century. Digital elevation models were created based on historic nautical charts of 1892, 1935, 1945 and at present. Tsunami simulations were conducted based on two distant events (1960 Chile and 2011 Tohoku) and two hypothetical severe local cases (San Clemente fault bend and Coronado Canyon landslide). The distant events provide historical comparisons with the model while the local events are based on offshore geology and tectonic activity. Most of the changes in San Diego Bay have included dredging, enlargement of the North Island/Coronado, widening of the Silver Strand, and creation of new marinas by enhancing already existing dunes or filling and creating breakwaters. Those changes mostly occurred during the first half of the 20th century. Post- 1965 the bay has sustained a similar appearance to the bathymetry/topography we know today. Early harbor configurations showed strong currents in the narrow channel between Point Loma and North Island/Coronado while overtopping of the narrow Silver Strand to the south occurred. The modern configuration finds increased currents at the harbor entrance and between

  13. Natural genetic variability of the neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subunit genes in mice: Consequences and confounds.

    PubMed

    Wilking, Jennifer A; Stitzel, Jerry A

    2015-09-01

    Recent human genetic studies have identified genetic variants in multiple nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) subunit genes that are associated with risk for nicotine dependence and other smoking-related measures. Genetic variability also exists in the nAChR subunit genes in mice. Most studies on mouse nAChR subunit gene variability to date have focused on Chrna4, the gene that encodes the α4 nAChR subunit and Chrna7, the gene that encodes the α7 nAChR subunit. However, genetic variability exists for all nAChR genes in mice. In this review, we will describe what is known about nAChR subunit gene polymorphisms in mice and how it relates to variability in nAChR expression and function in brain. The relationship between nAChR genetic variability in mice and the effects of nicotine on several behavioral and physiological measures also will be discussed. In addition, an overview of the contribution of other genetic variation to nicotine sensitivity in mice will be provided. Finally, the potential for natural genetic variability to confound and/or modify the results of studies that utilize genetically engineered mice will be considered. As an example of the ability of a natural genetic variant to modify the effect of an engineered mutation, data will be presented that demonstrate that the effect of Chrna5 deletion on oral nicotine intake is dependent upon naturally occurring variant alleles of Chrna4. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'The Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor: From Molecular Biology to Cognition'. PMID:25498233

  14. Meta-analysis of lung cancer in asphalt roofing and paving workers with external adjustment for confounding by coal tar

    SciTech Connect

    Fayerweather, W.E.

    2007-07-01

    The study's objectives were to update Partanen's and Boffetta's 1994 meta-analysis of lung cancer among roofing and paving asphalt workers and explore the role of coal tar in explaining the statistical heterogeneity among these studies. Information retrieval strategies and eligibility criteria were defined for identifying the epidemiologic studies to be included in the analysis. The relative risk ratio (RR) for lung cancer was selected as the effect measure of interest. Coal tar bias factors were developed and used to externally adjust each eligible study's published RR for confounding by coal tar. The meta-Relative Risk (meta-RR) and its variance were estimated by general variance-based methods. Heterogeneity of the RRs was assessed by heterogeneity chi-square and I{sup 2} tests. The results from this update were similar to those in Partanen's and Boffetta's original meta-analysis. Although the meta-RRs for the roofers and the pavers were no longer statistically significantly different from one another, significant heterogeneity remained within each of the coal tar-adjusted sectors. Meta-analysis of non-experimental epidemiologic studies is subject to significant uncertainties as is externally correcting studies for confounding. Given these uncertainties, the specific quantitative estimates in this (or any similar) analysis must be viewed with caution. Nevertheless, this analysis provides support for the hypothesis proposed by several major reviewers that confounding by coal tar-related PAH exposures may explain most or all of the lung cancer risks found in the epidemiologic literature on asphalt roofing and paving workers.

  15. Effect of nanodiamond modification of siloxane surfaces on stem cell behaviour

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keremidarska, M.; Hikov, T.; Radeva, E.; Pramatarova, L.; Krasteva, N.

    2014-12-01

    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) hold a great promise for use in many cell therapies and tissue engineering due to their remarkable potential to replicate indefinitely and differentiate into various cell types. Many efforts have been put to study the factors controlling stem cell differentiation. However, still little knowledge has been gained to what extent biomaterials properties influence stem cell adhesion, growth and differentiation. Research utilizing bone marrow-derived MSCs has concentrated on development of specific materials which can enhance specific differentiation of stem cells e.g. osteogenic and chondrogenic. In the present work we have modified an organosilane, hexamethyldisiloxane (HMDS) with detonation nanodiamond (DND) particles aiming to improve adhesion, growth and osteodifferentiation of rat mesenchymal stem cells. HMDS/DND films were deposited on cover glass using two approaches: premixing of both compounds, followed by plasma polymerization (PP) and PP of HMDS followed by plasma deposition of DND particles. We did not observe however an increase in rMSCs adhesion and growth on DND-modified PPHMDS surfaces compared to unmodified PPHMDS. When we studied alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, which is a major sign for early osteodifferentiation, we found the highest ALP activity on the PPHMDS/DND material, prepared by consequent deposition while on the other composite material ALP activity was the lowest. These results suggested that DND-modified materials were able to control osteodifferention in MSCs depending on the deposition approach. Modification of HMDS with DND particles by consequent plasma deposition seems to be a promising approach to produce biomaterials capable to guide stem cell differentiation toward osteoblasts and thus to be used in bone tissue engineering.

  16. Post-study therapy as a source of confounding in survival analysis of first-line studies in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer

    PubMed Central

    Zietemann, Vera D; Schuster, Tibor; Duell, Thomas HG

    2011-01-01

    Clinical trials exploring the long-term effects of first-line therapy in patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer generally disregard subsequent treatment although most patients receive second and third-line therapies. The choice of further therapy depends on critical intermediate events such as disease progression and it is usually left at the physician’s discretion. Time-dependent confounding may then arise with standard survival analyses producing biased effect estimates, even in randomized trials. Herein we describe the concept of time-dependent confounding in detail and discuss whether the response to first-line treatment may be a potential time-dependent confounding factor for survival in the context of subsequent therapy. A prospective observational study of 406 patients with advanced non-small-cell lung cancer served as an example base. There is evidence that time-dependent confounding may occur in multivariate survival analysis after first-line therapy when disregarding subsequent treatment. In the light of this important but underestimated aspect some of the large and meaningful recent clinical first-line lung cancer studies are discussed, focussing on subsequent treatment and its potential impact on the survival of the study patients. No recently performed lung cancer trial applied adequate statistical analyses despite the frequent use of subsequent therapies. In conclusion, effect estimates from standard survival analysis may be biased even in randomized controlled trials because of time-dependent confounding. To adequately assess treatment effects on long-term outcomes appropriate statistical analyses need to take subsequent treatment into account. PMID:22263071

  17. Distinguishing prostate cancer from benign confounders via a cascaded classifier on multi-parametric MRI

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litjens, G. J. S.; Elliott, R.; Shih, N.; Feldman, M.; Barentsz, J. O.; Hulsbergen-van de Kaa, C. A.; Kovacs, I.; Huisman, H. J.; Madabhushi, A.

    2014-03-01

    Learning how to separate benign confounders from prostate cancer is important because the imaging characteristics of these confounders are poorly understood. Furthermore, the typical representations of the MRI parameters might not be enough to allow discrimination. The diagnostic uncertainty this causes leads to a lower diagnostic accuracy. In this paper a new cascaded classifier is introduced to separate prostate cancer and benign confounders on MRI in conjunction with specific computer-extracted features to distinguish each of the benign classes (benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), inflammation, atrophy or prostatic intra-epithelial neoplasia (PIN). In this study we tried to (1) calculate different mathematical representations of the MRI parameters which more clearly express subtle differences between different classes, (2) learn which of the MRI image features will allow to distinguish specific benign confounders from prostate cancer, and (2) find the combination of computer-extracted MRI features to best discriminate cancer from the confounding classes using a cascaded classifier. One of the most important requirements for identifying MRI signatures for adenocarcinoma, BPH, atrophy, inflammation, and PIN is accurate mapping of the location and spatial extent of the confounder and cancer categories from ex vivo histopathology to MRI. Towards this end we employed an annotated prostatectomy data set of 31 patients, all of whom underwent a multi-parametric 3 Tesla MRI prior to radical prostatectomy. The prostatectomy slides were carefully co-registered to the corresponding MRI slices using an elastic registration technique. We extracted texture features from the T2-weighted imaging, pharmacokinetic features from the dynamic contrast enhanced imaging and diffusion features from the diffusion-weighted imaging for each of the confounder classes and prostate cancer. These features were selected because they form the mainstay of clinical diagnosis. Relevant features for

  18. Unrealistic Expectations about Counselling and Psychotherapy: Counselling Psychologists' Perceptions of their Effects and Modification.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tinsley, Howard E. A.; And Others

    1994-01-01

    Counseling psychologists working in a variety of settings were surveyed about the effects and modifiability of unrealistic client expectations about counseling. Responses indicate that clients' unrealistic expectations generally have a detrimental effect on counseling and are difficult to modify. (LKS)

  19. Effect of Behavior Modification on Outcome in Early- to Moderate-Stage Chronic Kidney Disease: A Cluster-Randomized Trial

    PubMed Central

    Yamagata, Kunihiro; Makino, Hirofumi; Iseki, Kunitoshi; Ito, Sadayoshi; Kimura, Kenjiro; Kusano, Eiji; Shibata, Takanori; Tomita, Kimio; Narita, Ichiei; Nishino, Tomoya; Fujigaki, Yoshihide; Mitarai, Tetsuya; Watanabe, Tsuyoshi; Wada, Takashi; Nakamura, Teiji; Matsuo, Seiichi

    2016-01-01

    Objectives Owing to recent changes in our understanding of the underlying cause of chronic kidney disease (CKD), the importance of lifestyle modification for preventing the progression of kidney dysfunction and complications has become obvious. In addition, effective cooperation between general physicians (GPs) and nephrologists is essential to ensure a better care system for CKD treatment. In this cluster-randomized study, we studied the effect of behavior modification on the outcome of early- to moderate-stage CKD. Design Stratified open cluster-randomized trial. Setting A total of 489 GPs belonging to 49 local medical associations (clusters) in Japan. Participants A total of 2,379 patients (1,195 in group A (standard intervention) and 1,184 in group B (advanced intervention)) aged between 40 and 74 years, who had CKD and were under consultation with GPs. Intervention All patients were managed in accordance with the current CKD guidelines. The group B clusters received three additional interventions: patients received both educational intervention for lifestyle modification and a CKD status letter, attempting to prevent their withdrawal from treatment, and the group B GPs received data sheets to facilitate reducing the gap between target and practice. Main outcome measure The primary outcome measures were 1) the non-adherence rate of accepting continuous medical follow-up of the patients, 2) the collaboration rate between GPs and nephrologists, and 3) the progression of CKD. Results The rate of discontinuous clinical visits was significantly lower in group B (16.2% in group A vs. 11.5% in group B, p = 0.01). Significantly higher referral and co-treatment rates were observed in group B (p<0.01). The average eGFR deterioration rate tended to be lower in group B (group A: 2.6±5.8 ml/min/1.73 m2/year, group B: 2.4±5.1 ml/min/1.73 m2/year, p = 0.07). A significant difference in eGFR deterioration rate was observed in subjects with Stage 3 CKD (group A: 2.4±5.9 ml

  20. Analysis of the Effect of Surface Modification on Polyimide Composites Coated with Erosion Resistant Materials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ndalama, Tchinga; Hirschfeld, Deidre; Sutter, James K. (Technical Monitor)

    2003-01-01

    The aim of this research is to enhance performance of composite coatings through modification of graphite-reinforced polyimide composite surfaces prior to metal bond coat/ hard topcoat application for use in the erosive and/or oxidative environments of advanced engines. Graphite reinforced polyimide composites, PMR-15 and PMR-II-50, formed by sheet molding and pre-pregging will be surface treated, overlaid with a bond coat and then coated with WC-Co. The surface treatment will include cleaning, RF plasma or ultraviolet light- ozone etching, and deposition of SiO(x) groups. These surface treatments will be studied in order to investigate and improve adhesion and oxidation resistance. The following panels were provided by NASA-Glenn Research Center(NASA-GRC): Eight compression molded PMR-II-50; 6 x 6 x 0.125 in. Two vacuum-bagged PMR-II-50; 12 x 12 x 0.125 in. Eight compression molded PMR-15; 6 x 6 x 0.125 in. One vacuum-bagged PMR-15; 12 x 12 x 0.125 in. All panels were made using a 12 x 12 in. T650-35 8HS (3K-tow) graphite fabric. A diamond-wafering blade, with deionized water as a cutting fluid, was used to cut PMR-II-50 and PMR-15 panels into 1 x 1 in. pieces for surface tests. The panel edges exhibiting delamination were used for the preliminary surface preparation tests as these would be unsuitable for strength and erosion testing. PMR-15 neat resin samples were also provided by NASA GRC. Surface profiles of the as-received samples were determined using a Dektak III Surface profile measuring system. Two samples of compression molded PMR-II-50 and PMR-15, vacuum-bagged PMR-II-50 and PMR-15 were randomly chosen for surface profile measurement according to ANSI/ASME B46.1. Prior to each measurement, the samples were blasted with compressed air to remove any artifacts. Five 10 mm-long scans were made on each sample. The short and long wavelength cutoff filter values were set at 100 and 1000 m, diamond stylus radius was 12.5 microns. Table 1 is a summary of the

  1. Boundary layer modification by means of wall suction and the effect on the wake behind a rectangular forebody

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trip, Renzo; Fransson, Jens H. M.

    2014-12-01

    The wake characteristics of a two-dimensional rectangular forebody with a smooth leading edge and a blunt trailing edge are investigated. Wall suction is applied along the forebody in order to modify the developing boundary layer. An initially laminar boundary layer subject to suction yields an asymptotic suction boundary layer at the trailing edge of the body, whereas a high enough suction coefficient relaminarizes an initially turbulent boundary layer. The critical suction velocity required to achieve this significant modification of the boundary layer properties is typically in the order of 1% of the free-stream velocity, where the critical suction coefficient depends on the Reynolds number. We show that a thinner boundary layer induces a higher vortex shedding frequency and a lower base pressure. Furthermore, the boundary layer state, laminar or turbulent, has a significant influence on the wake. For example, the Strouhal number based on the effective body thickness is being reduced by 25% from laminar to turbulent inlet conditions.

  2. Mental Health on the Go: Effects of a Gamified Attention Bias Modification Mobile Application in Trait Anxious Adults

    PubMed Central

    Dennis, Tracy A.; O’Toole, Laura

    2015-01-01

    Interest in the use of mobile technology to deliver mental health services has grown in light of the economic and practical barriers to treatment. Yet, research on alternative delivery strategies that are more affordable, accessible, and engaging is in its infancy. Attention bias modification training (ABMT), has potential to reduce treatment barriers as a mobile intervention for stress and anxiety, but the degree to which ABMT can be embedded in a mobile gaming format and its potential for transfer of benefits is unknown. The present study examined effects of a gamified ABMT mobile application in highly trait anxious participants (N = 78). A single session of the active compared to placebo training reduced subjective anxiety and observed stress reactivity. Critically, the long (45 minutes) but not short (25 minutes) active training condition reduced the core cognitive process implicated in ABMT (threat bias) as measured by an untrained, gold-standard protocol. PMID:26029490

  3. Effect of strontium modification on near-threshold fatigue crack growth in an Al-Si-Cu die cast alloy

    SciTech Connect

    Schaefer, M.; Fournelle, R.A.

    1996-05-01

    The effects of strontium modification on microstructure and fatigue properties in a die cast commercial aluminum-silicon alloy are demonstrated. Strontium additions of 0.010 and 0.018 wt pct drastically change the morphology of the eutectic silicon. The influence of these microstructural changes on fatigue properties is evaluated through fatigue crack growth testing. Examination of the fracture surfaces and the crack path establish distinct fatigue fracture modes for the modified and unmodified eutectic structures. Changes in fracture mode and crack path are correlated to the microstructure changes. A higher energy fracture mode and increased crack path tortuosity explain the observed improvement in fatigue properties for the modified alloys. Strontium modified alloys exhibit a 10 to 20 pct higher fatigue crack growth threshold compared to an unmodified alloy for testing at a load ratio of 0.5. No difference was observed for testing at a load ratio of 0.1.

  4. Effects of meso-substituents and core-modification on photophysical and electrochemical properties of porphyrin-ferrocene conjugates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rai, Smita; Gayatri, G.; Narahari Sastry, G.; Ravikanth, M.

    2008-12-01

    The effects of meso-substituents and porphyrin core-modification on electronic communication between ferrocene and porphyrin in covalently linked porphyrin-ferrocene conjugates are described. The electrochemical and photophysical studies indicated that the electronic communication between porphyrin and ferrocene is strong when meso-substituents are five membered aryl groups than six membered aryl groups. This may be traced to the near orthogonal arrangement of porphyrin ring with six membered meso-aryl groups leading to weaker interaction between the porphyrin and ferrocenyl groups in conjugates, while the five membered furyl and thienyl groups are closer to the porphyrin plane than being orthogonal. Molecular orbital studies are performed at semiempirical PM3 and BLYP levels to rationalize the results.

  5. Imaging nanostructural modifications induced by electronic metal-support interaction effects at Au||cerium-based oxide nanointerfaces.

    PubMed

    López-Haro, Miguel; Cíes, José M; Trasobares, Susana; Pérez-Omil, José A; Delgado, Juan J; Bernal, Serafín; Bayle-Guillemaud, Pascale; Stéphan, Odile; Yoshida, Kenta; Boyes, Edward D; Gai, Pratibha L; Calvino, José J

    2012-08-28

    A variety of advanced (scanning) transmission electron microscopy experiments, carried out in aberration-corrected equipment, provide direct evidence about subtle structural changes taking place at nanometer-sized Au||ceria oxide interfaces, which agrees with the occurrence of charge transfer effects between the reduced support and supported gold nanoparticles suggested by macroscopic techniques. Tighter binding of the gold nanoparticles onto the ceria oxide support when this is reduced is revealed by the structural analysis. This structural modification is accompanied by parallel deactivation of the CO chemisorption capacity of the gold nanoparticles, which is interpreted in exact quantitative terms as due to deactivation of the gold atoms at the perimeter of the Au||cerium oxide interface.

  6. Modification of digestive system microbiome of lactating dairy cows by feeding Bovamine: effect on ruminal fermentation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We evaluated the immune modulatory effects as well as effects on productivity of Bovamine® (Lactobacillus acidophilus strain NP51 and Probionibacterium freudenreichii) on the digestive system microbiome of dairy cattle during late lactation (average DIM = 202). To unveil the underlying mechanisms, ...

  7. Modification of uterotropic effect of estrogens by whole-body gamma-irradiation.

    PubMed

    Bershtein, L M; Tsyrlina, E V; Poroshina, T E; Gamayunova, V B; Solntseva, O S; Kalinina, N M; Ivanov, S D; Kovalenko, I G; Vasil'ev, D A

    2001-08-01

    The effect of gamma-irradiation on the realization of the effects of estrogens was studied on rats treated with N-acetylcysteine, vitamins C and E, melatonin, and carnosine or subjected to forced swimming in a training mode. Irradiation (0.2 Gy) in combination with estrogens and without correction therapy induced genotoxic changes in the uterus, while irradiation in a higher dose (2 Gy) predominantly potentiated the hormonal effect of estrogens. Correction of the revealed abnormalities was achieved mainly with carnosine. The peculiarities of "estrogen toggle (re-targeting) effect" under the effect of gamma-irradiation and its elimination differed from those induced by ethanol intake or tobacco smoking, which is important for understanding the mechanisms of hormone-induced carcinogenesis.

  8. Effects of nootropics on the EEG in conscious rats and their modification by glutamatergic inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Vorobyov, Vasily; Kaptsov, Vladimir; Kovalev, Georgy; Sengpiel, Frank

    2011-05-30

    To study the effects of acute and repeated injections of nootropics and to learn how glutamate receptors might be involved in their mediation, the frequency spectra of cortical and hippocampal electroencephalogram (EEG) were analyzed in non-narcotized rats subcutaneously injected repeatedly with Piracetam (400mg/kg) or its analogue, Noopept (0.2mg/kg), after intracerebroventricular infusions of saline (5 μl) or the antagonists of NMDA and quisqualate/AMPA receptors: CPP (0.1 nmol) and GDEE (1 μmol), respectively. Piracetam increased alpha/beta1 EEG activity in the left frontal cortex, and alpha activity in both the right cortex and hippocampus, with a 10-min latency and 40-min duration. Noopept increased alpha/beta1 activity, with 30-min latency and 40-min duration in all brain areas. CPP pretreatment eliminated Piracetam EEG effects; reduced Noopept effects in the cortex and completely suppressed them in the hippocampus. After four injections of Piracetam, EEG effects were very small in the cortex, and completely lacking in the hippocampus, while GDEE pretreatment partially recovered them. The effect of Noopept in the alpha/beta1 ranges was replaced by increased beta2 activity after the eighth injection, while no effects were observed after the ninth one. GDEE pretreatment restored the effect of Noopept in the beta2 frequency range. These results demonstrate similarities in EEG effects and their mediatory mechanisms for Piracetam and its much more effective analogue, Noopept. Activation of NMDA receptors is involved in the effects of a single injection of the nootropics, whereas activation of quisqualate/AMPA receptors is associated with the decrease in their efficacy after repeated use. PMID:21414388

  9. Race and Socioeconomic Status as Confounding Variables in the Accurate Diagnosis of Alcoholism.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luepnitz, Roy R.; And Others

    1982-01-01

    Studied the incidence of bias related to race and socioeconomic status which could confound the diagnosis of alcoholism. Graduate psychology students made a diagnosis based on videotapes. Results indicated lower socioeconomic class individuals were more often diagnosed correctly for alcoholism, and Blacks were diagnosed alcoholic more often than…

  10. Assessing Mediation Using Marginal Structural Models in the Presence of Confounding and Moderation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coffman, Donna L.; Zhong, Wei

    2012-01-01

    This article presents marginal structural models with inverse propensity weighting (IPW) for assessing mediation. Generally, individuals are not randomly assigned to levels of the mediator. Therefore, confounders of the mediator and outcome may exist that limit causal inferences, a goal of mediation analysis. Either regression adjustment or IPW…

  11. Confounds in Assessing the Associations between Biliteracy and English Language Proficiency

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Proctor, C. Patrick; Silverman, Rebecca D.

    2011-01-01

    It has long been theorized, if not exhaustively researched, that bilingualism and biliteracy are beneficial in promoting linguistic and academic gains; but the operationalization of these constructs is confounding. In the current study, the authors worked with 118 Spanish-English bilingual Latina/o students and investigated whether Spanish-English…

  12. Effect measure modification of blood lead-air lead slope factors.

    PubMed

    Richmond-Bryant, Jennifer; Meng, Qingyu; Cohen, Jonathan; Davis, J Allen; Svendsgaard, David; Brown, James S; Tuttle, Lauren; Hubbard, Heidi; Rice, Joann; Kirrane, Ellen; Vinikoor-Imler, Lisa; Kotchmar, Dennis; Hines, Erin; Ross, Mary

    2015-01-01

    There is abundant literature finding that susceptibility factors, including race and ethnicity, age, and housing, directly influence blood lead levels. No study has explored how susceptibility factors influence the blood lead-air lead relationship nationally. The objective is to evaluate whether susceptibility factors act as effect measure modifiers on the blood lead-air lead relationship. Participant level blood lead data from the 1999 to 2008 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were merged with air lead data from the US Environmental Protection Agency. Linear mixed effects models were run with and without an air lead interaction term for age group, sex, housing age, or race/ethnicity to determine whether these factors are effect measure modifiers for all ages combined and for five age brackets. Age group and race/ethnicity were determined to be effect measure modifiers in the all-age model and for some age groups. Being a child (1-5, 6-11, and 12-19 years) or of Mexican-American ethnicity increased the effect estimate. Living in older housing (built before 1950) decreased the effect estimate for all models except for the 1-5-year group, where older housing was an effect measure modifier. These results are consistent with the peer-reviewed literature of time-activity patterns, ventilation, and toxicokinetics. PMID:24961837

  13. Coping with confounds in multivoxel pattern analysis: what should we do about reaction time differences? A comment on Todd, Nystrom & Cohen 2013.

    PubMed

    Woolgar, Alexandra; Golland, Polina; Bode, Stefan

    2014-09-01

    Multivoxel pattern analysis (MVPA) is a sensitive and increasingly popular method for examining differences between neural activation patterns that cannot be detected using classical mass-univariate analysis. Recently, Todd et al. ("Confounds in multivariate pattern analysis: Theory and rule representation case study", 2013, NeuroImage 77: 157-165) highlighted a potential problem for these methods: high sensitivity to confounds at the level of individual participants due to the use of directionless summary statistics. Unlike traditional mass-univariate analyses where confounding activation differences in opposite directions tend to approximately average out at group level, group level MVPA results may be driven by any activation differences that can be discriminated in individual participants. In Todd et al.'s empirical data, factoring out differences in reaction time (RT) reduced a classifier's ability to distinguish patterns of activation pertaining to two task rules. This raises two significant questions for the field: to what extent have previous multivoxel discriminations in the literature been driven by RT differences, and by what methods should future studies take RT and other confounds into account? We build on the work of Todd et al. and compare two different approaches to remove the effect of RT in MVPA. We show that in our empirical data, in contrast to that of Todd et al., the effect of RT on rule decoding is negligible, and results were not affected by the specific details of RT modelling. We discuss the meaning of and sensitivity for confounds in traditional and multivoxel approaches to fMRI analysis. We observe that the increased sensitivity of MVPA comes at a price of reduced specificity, meaning that these methods in particular call for careful consideration of what differs between our conditions of interest. We conclude that the additional complexity of the experimental design, analysis and interpretation needed for MVPA is still not a reason to

  14. Comorbidity of intellectual disability confounds ascertainment of autism: implications for genetic diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Polyak, Andrew; Kubina, Richard M; Girirajan, Santhosh

    2015-10-01

    While recent studies suggest a converging role for genetic factors towards risk for nosologically distinct disorders including autism, intellectual disability (ID), and epilepsy, current estimates of autism prevalence fail to take into account the impact of comorbidity of these disorders on autism diagnosis. We aimed to assess the effect of comorbidity on the diagnosis and prevalence of autism by analyzing 11 years (2000-2010) of special education enrollment data on approximately 6.2 million children per year. We found a 331% increase in the prevalence of autism from 2000 to 2010 within special education, potentially due to a diagnostic recategorization from frequently comorbid features such as ID. The decrease in ID prevalence equaled an average of 64.2% of the increase of autism prevalence for children aged 3-18 years. The proportion of ID cases potentially undergoing recategorization to autism was higher (P = 0.007) among older children (75%) than younger children (48%). Some US states showed significant negative correlations between the prevalence of autism compared to that of ID while others did not, suggesting state-specific health policy to be a major factor in categorizing autism. Further, a high frequency of autistic features was observed when individuals with classically defined genetic syndromes were evaluated for autism using standardized instruments. Our results suggest that current ascertainment practices are based on a single facet of autism-specific clinical features and do not consider associated comorbidities that may confound diagnosis. Longitudinal studies with detailed phenotyping and deep molecular genetic analyses are necessary to completely understand the cause of this complex disorder.

  15. Modification of {Delta}{sup Prime} by magnetic feedback and kinetic effects

    SciTech Connect

    Liu Yueqiang; Hastie, R. J.; Hender, T. C.

    2012-09-15

    Two possible ways of modifying the linear tearing mode index, by active magnetic feedback and by drift kinetic effects of deeply trapped particles, are analytically investigated. Magnetic feedback schemes, studied in this work, are found generally stabilizing for {Delta}{sup Prime }. The drift kinetic effects from both thermal particles and hot ions tend to reduce the power of the large solution from the outer region. This generally leads to a destabilization of {Delta} Prime for the toroidal analytic equilibria considered here.

  16. High Levels of Sample-to-Sample Variation Confound Data Analysis for Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening of Fetal Microdeletions.

    PubMed

    Chu, Tianjiao; Yeniterzi, Suveyda; Yatsenko, Svetlana A; Dunkel, Mary; Shaw, Patricia A; Bunce, Kimberly D; Peters, David G

    2016-01-01

    Our goal was to test the hypothesis that inter-individual genomic copy number variation in control samples is a confounding factor in the non-invasive prenatal detection of fetal microdeletions via the sequence-based analysis of maternal plasma DNA. The database of genomic variants (DGV) was used to determine the "Genomic Variants Frequency" (GVF) for each 50kb region in the human genome. Whole genome sequencing of fifteen karyotypically normal maternal plasma and six CVS DNA controls samples was performed. The coefficient of variation of relative read counts (cv.RTC) for these samples was determined for each 50kb region. Maternal plasma from two pregnancies affected with a chromosome 5p microdeletion was also sequenced, and analyzed using the GCREM algorithm. We found strong correlation between high variance in read counts and GVF amongst controls. Consequently we were unable to confirm the presence of the microdeletion via sequencing of maternal plasma samples obtained from two sequential affected pregnancies. Caution should be exercised when performing NIPT for microdeletions. It is vital to develop our understanding of the factors that impact the sensitivity and specificity of these approaches. In particular, benign copy number variation amongst controls is a major confounder, and their effects should be corrected bioinformatically. PMID:27249650

  17. High Levels of Sample-to-Sample Variation Confound Data Analysis for Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening of Fetal Microdeletions

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Tianjiao; Yeniterzi, Suveyda; Yatsenko, Svetlana A.; Dunkel, Mary; Shaw, Patricia A.; Bunce, Kimberly D.; Peters, David G.

    2016-01-01

    Our goal was to test the hypothesis that inter-individual genomic copy number variation in control samples is a confounding factor in the non-invasive prenatal detection of fetal microdeletions via the sequence-based analysis of maternal plasma DNA. The database of genomic variants (DGV) was used to determine the “Genomic Variants Frequency” (GVF) for each 50kb region in the human genome. Whole genome sequencing of fifteen karyotypically normal maternal plasma and six CVS DNA controls samples was performed. The coefficient of variation of relative read counts (cv.RTC) for these samples was determined for each 50kb region. Maternal plasma from two pregnancies affected with a chromosome 5p microdeletion was also sequenced, and analyzed using the GCREM algorithm. We found strong correlation between high variance in read counts and GVF amongst controls. Consequently we were unable to confirm the presence of the microdeletion via sequencing of maternal plasma samples obtained from two sequential affected pregnancies. Caution should be exercised when performing NIPT for microdeletions. It is vital to develop our understanding of the factors that impact the sensitivity and specificity of these approaches. In particular, benign copy number variation amongst controls is a major confounder, and their effects should be corrected bioinformatically. PMID:27249650

  18. Toxic effects of methoxychlor in rat striatum: modifications in several neurotransmitters.

    PubMed

    Lafuente, A; Cabaleiro, T; Caride, A; Gutiérrez, A; Esquifino, A I

    2007-06-01

    Neurotoxic effects of methoxychlor (MTX) are poorly understood at present. This study was undertaken to evaluate the possible effects of MTX in norepinephrine, dopamine and amino acid contents and serotonin turnover in rat striatum. For this purpose, adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were administered 25 mg/kg/day of MTX in sesame oil or vehicle only for 30 days. The neurotransmitters of interest were measured in the striatum by HPLC. MTX decreased norepinephrine and 5-hydroxyindole acetic acid (5-HIAA) content and serotonin turnover (measured as 5-HIAA/serotonin ratio), and increased glutamate and GABA concentrations. However, the content of serotonin, aspartate, glutamine and taurine was not modified by MTX exposure. These data suggest that MTX exposure inhibits norepinephrine synthesis and serotonin metabolism. The inhibitory effect on norepinephrine could be explained, at least in part, by the increase of both GABA and glutamate contents. Further studies are needed to understand the effects of MTX on serotonin. Also a disruptive effect of MTX on the metabolisms of glutamate, aspartate, glutamine and GABA emerges.

  19. Modification of neurobehavioral effects of mercury by genetic polymorphisms of metallothionein in children.

    PubMed

    Woods, James S; Heyer, Nicholas J; Russo, Joan E; Martin, Michael D; Pillai, Pradeep B; Farin, Federico M

    2013-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is neurotoxic, and children may be particularly susceptible to this effect. A current major challenge is the identification of children who may be uniquely susceptible to Hg toxicity because of genetic disposition. We examined the hypothesis that genetic variants of metallothionein (MT) that are reported to affect Hg toxicokinetics in adults would modify the neurotoxic effects of Hg in children. Five hundred seven children, 8-12 years of age at baseline, participated in a clinical trial to evaluate the neurobehavioral effects of Hg from dental amalgam tooth fillings. Subjects were evaluated at baseline and at 7 subsequent annual intervals for neurobehavioral performance and urinary Hg levels. Following the completion of the clinical trial, we performed genotyping assays for variants of MT isoforms MT1M (rs2270837) and MT2A (rs10636) on biological samples provided by 330 of the trial participants. Regression modeling strategies were employed to evaluate associations between allelic status, Hg exposure, and neurobehavioral test outcomes. Among girls, few significant interactions or independent main effects for Hg exposure and either of the MT gene variants were observed. In contrast, among boys, numerous significant interaction effects between variants of MT1M and MT2A, alone and combined, with Hg exposure were observed spanning multiple domains of neurobehavioral function. All dose-response associations between Hg exposure and test performance were restricted to boys and were in the direction of impaired performance. These findings suggest increased susceptibility to the adverse neurobehavioral effects of Hg among children with relatively common genetic variants of MT, and may have important public health implications for future strategies aimed at protecting children and adolescents from the potential health risks associated with Hg exposure. We note that because urinary Hg reflects a composite exposure index that cannot be attributed to a specific

  20. Evaluation of the effect of solvent modification and coal pretreatment and beneficiation on liquefaction: Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Garg, D.; Miller, R.N.; Hoover, D.S.; Givens, E.N.; Schweighardt, F.K.; Tarrer, A.R.; Guin, J.A.; Curtis, C.W.; Luckie, P.

    1985-03-01

    An extensive research program was conducted to ascertain ways to improve oil yields and process economics of direct coal liquefaction. The effects of removing heteroatoms from the solvent, pretreating coal by several techniques (including solvent extraction, oxidation, grinding, and ion exchange), and beneficiating coal by removing mineral species were investigated in both catalytic and noncatalytic coal liquefaction reactions. Additionally, fundamental studies were carried out to explain the role of heteroatoms in catalytic coal liquefaction. The effects of process variables, catalysts and mode of catalyst addition, solvent properties, and recycle of SRC on oil production and coal conversion were also studied. 9 refs., 12 figs., 72 tabs.

  1. Diet Modification for Hyperlipidemia

    PubMed Central

    Mann, Heather D.; Piotrowski, Pamela

    1992-01-01

    Hyperlipidemia is a major risk factor associated with cardiovascular disease. Dietary modification is effective in achieving and maintaining improved serum lipid levels. Nutritional care provided by a dietitian includes individual dietary and lifestyle assessment, formulating an appropriate dietary regimen, education, and follow-up assessments. PMID:21221406

  2. Behavior Modification with Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Daniel G.

    1972-01-01

    The author urges wider use of positive reinforcement theories in helping emotionally disturbed and mentally handicapped children. Underlining the influence of environment on behavior, he also notes that behavior modification programs utilize fewer trained personnel more effectively and, like Tennessee's Re-Education Treatment, allow for therapy in…

  3. The effect of cognitive bias modification for interpretation on avoidance of pain during an acute experimental pain task.

    PubMed

    Jones, Emma Blaisdale; Sharpe, Louise

    2014-08-01

    Research confirms that patients with chronic pain show a tendency to interpret ambiguous stimuli as pain related. However, whether modifying these interpretive pain biases impacts pain outcomes is unknown. This study aimed to demonstrate that interpretation biases towards pain can be modified, and that changing these biases influences pain outcomes in the cold pressor task. One hundred and six undergraduate students were randomly allocated to receive either threatening or reassuring information regarding the cold pressor. They also were randomly allocated to 1 of 2 conditions in the Ambiguous Scenarios Task, in which they were trained to have either a threatening interpretation of pain (pain bias condition) or a nonthreatening interpretation of pain (no pain bias condition). Therefore, the study had a 2 (threat/reassuring)×2 (pain bias/no pain bias) design. Analyses showed that a bias was induced contingent on condition, and that the threat manipulation was effective. Participants in the pain bias condition hesitated more before doing the cold pressor task than those in the no pain bias condition, as did those in the threat compared with the reassurance condition. The major finding was that interpretive bias mediated the relationship between bias condition and hesitance time, supporting the causal role of interpretive biases for avoidance behaviors in current chronic pain models. No differences were found on other pain outcomes regarding bias or threat, and the efficacy of the bias modification was not impacted by different levels of threat. These results suggest that cognitive bias modification should be further explored as a potential intervention in pain.

  4. Pharmacologic modification of the cytotoxic effects of cadmium in LLC-PK sub 1 cells

    SciTech Connect

    Battaglia, D.R.; Kahan, B.S.; Niewenhuis, R.J.; Prozialeck, W.C. )

    1989-02-09

    Recent results from our laboratories have shown that exposure to cadmium causes LLC-PK{sub 1} cells to shrink, detach and assume a spherical shape. The purpose of the present studies was to determine whether various pharmacologic agents can reduce or prevent these cytotoxic effects of Cd{sup 2+}. Confluent monolayers of LLC-PK{sub 1} cells were incubated with the drugs of interest (50 microM final concentration) for 2 hours. CadCl{sub 2} (final concentration = 75 microM) was then added and the cells were incubated for another 20 hours. Morphologic changes were assessed qualitatively by viewing the cells with a phase contrast microscope. The extent of Cd{sup 2+}-induced cellular damage was also quantified by staining the cells that remained on the growing surface with methylene blue, solubilizing the stained cells, and determining the absorbance at 660 nm. The results showed that several drugs, particularly the calmodulin antagonists trifluoperazine chlorpromazine, and the calcium channel blocker verapamil, significant reduced the severity of Cd{sup 2+}-induced cytotoxicity. By contrast, a variety of other agents, such as chlorpromazine sulfoxide, trifluoperazine sulfoxide, phenytoin and zinc, had no such protective effect. These findings indicate that Ca{sup 2+} antagonists can attenuate the cytotoxic effects of Cd{sup 2+} and that Cd{sup 2+} may produce some of its effects by activating Ca{sup 2+} -dependent systems.

  5. Variable Differential Reinforcement of Other Behavior (VDRO): Its Effectiveness as a Modification Procedure.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reuter, Katherine E.; LeBlanc, Judith M.

    Two groups of five preschool children were trained to press a key for marbles for four sessions of variable ratio reinforcement (VR6). Subsequently, response decrement for the groups was compared during conditions of fixed and variable differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO and VDRO). Fixed DRO was more effective for decreasing response…

  6. Modification of radiobiological effects of 171 MeV protons by elements of physical protection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bulinina, Taisia; Shurshakov, Vyacheslav; Ivanov, Alexander; Molokanov, Alexander

    2016-07-01

    Space radiation includes protons of various energies. Physical protection is effective in the case of low energy protons (50-100 MeV) and becomes insufficient for radiation with a high part of high-energy protons. In the experiment performed on outbred mice, the purpose of the study was to evaluate the radiobiological effect of 171 MeV protons and protons modified by elements of physical protection of the spacecraft, on a complex of indicators of the functional condition of the system hematopoiesis and the central nervous system in 24 hours after irradiation at 20 cGy dose. The spacecraft radiation protection elements used in the experiment were a construction of wet hygiene wipes called a «protective curtain», and a glass plate imitating an ISS window. Mass thickness of the " protective curtain" in terms of water equivalent was ̴ 6,2 g/cm2. Physical shielding along the path of 171 MeV protons increases their linear energy transfer leading to the absorbed dose elevation and strengthening of the radiobiological effect. In the experiment, the two types of shielding together raised the absorbed dose from 20 to 23.2 cGy. Chemically different materials (glass and water in the wipes) were found to exert unequal modifying effects on physical and biological parameters of the proton-irradiated mice. There was a distinct dose-dependent reduction of bone marrow cellularity within the dose range from 20 cGy to 23.2 cGy in 24 hours after exposure. No modifying effect of the radiation protection elements on spontaneous motor activity was discovered when compared with entrance protons. The group of animals protected by the glass plate exhibited normal orientative-trying reactions and weakened grip with the forelimbs. The effects observed in the experiment indicate the necessity to carry out comprehensive radiobiological researches (physical, biological and mathematical) in assessing the effects of physical protection, that are actual for ensuring radiation safety of crews in

  7. The effect of polymer surface modification on polymer-protein interaction via interfacial polymerization and hydrophilic polymer grafting

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Protein membrane separation is prone to fouling on the membrane surface resulting from protein adsorption onto the surface. Surface modification of synthetic membranes is one way to reduce fouling. We investigated surface modification of polyethersulfone (PES) as a way of improving hydrophilicity ...

  8. Effectiveness of a Group Support Lifestyle Modification (GSLiM) Programme among Obese Adults in Workplace: A Randomised Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Azmi Mohamed, Mohd Nahar; Mukhtar, Firdaus

    2016-01-01

    Background There was an increasing trend in the prevalence of obesity and its comorbidities over the past decades in Malaysia. Effective intervention for obesity remains limited. This study aimed to compare the effectiveness of a group based lifestyle modification programme amongst obese individuals with an existing dietary counseling programme. Methods We recruited one hundred and ninety four overweight and obese (BMI>27.5 kg/m2) employees from a local university. They were randomly allocated to either Group Support Lifestyle Modification (GSLiM) (intervention)(n = 97) or dietary counseling (comparison)(n = 97). The GSLIM activities included self monitoring, cognitive-behaviour sessions, exercise as well as dietary change advocacy, which were conducted through seminars and group sessions over 24 weeks. The comparison group was given dietary counselling once in 12 weeks. Both groups were followed up for additional 12 weeks to check for intervention effect sustenance. Anthropometric and biochemical parameters were measured at baseline, 12, 24 and 36 weeks; while dietary intake, physical activities, psychological measures and quality of life measured at baseline, 24 and 36 weeks. Data analysis was conducted using ANOVA repeated measures with intention to treat principle. Results The participants were predominantly women with mean (standard deviation) age of 40.5 (9.3) years. A total of 19.6% of the participants in GSLiM achieved 6% weight loss compared to 4.1% in the comparison group (Risk Ratio 4.75; 95% CI: 1.68, 13.45). At 24 weeks, the retention rate was 83.5% for GSLiM and 82.5% for comparison group. GSLiM participants also achieved significant improvement in total weight self-efficacy score, negative emotions and physical discomfort subscales, MDPSS friend subscale and all domains in quality of life. Participants in the comparison group experienced reduction in negative self-thoughts. Conclusion The GSLiM programme proved to be more effective in achieving

  9. Modification Of Gear Teeth To Reduce Vibrations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Townsend, Dennis P.; Oswald, Fred B.; Lin, Hsiang Hsi

    1990-01-01

    Computer simulations yield data useful in designing for low noise. Effects of modifications in shape of gear teeth upon static transmission error and dynamic loading of gears now analyzed systematically. Design curves generated by conducting numerical simulations of dynamic effects at successive incremental modifications of gear systems operated at various applied loads. Modifications that result in minimum dynamic effect determined from design curves.

  10. Effect of fish collagen modification on its thermal and rheological properties.

    PubMed

    Safandowska, Marta; Pietrucha, Krystyna

    2013-02-01

    This report describes the effects of different methods of silver carp collagen crosslinking on its properties, particularly their thermal, mechanical viscoelastic and biological behavior. Enzymatic analyses and determination of the degree of crosslinking showed the stabilizing effect of both dehydrothermal (DHT) and 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)carbodiimide (EDC)/N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS) treatments on fish collagen. The results of the thermal (DSC) measurements demonstrated that collagen crosslinked by EDC/NHS ensured a high thermal stability compared with collagen crosslinked dehydrothermally. The denaturation temperature (T(d)) of unmodified collagen samples increased from 77 to 80°C and 88°C for DHT- and EDC/NHS-treated collagen, respectively. The influence of DHT or EDC/NHS crosslinking on the viscoelastic behavior of fish collagen was elaborated by a shift of the tan δ(max) peak toward higher temperatures resulting in higher thermostability of the modified collagen samples.

  11. Effect of folic acid on prenatal alcohol-induced modification of brain proteome in mice.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yajun; Tang, Yunan; Li, Yong

    2008-03-01

    Maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy can induce central nervous system abnormalities in the fetus, and folic acid supplementation can reverse some of the effects. The objective of the present study was to investigate prenatal alcohol exposure-induced fetal brain proteome alteration and the protective effect of folic acid using proteomic techniques. Alcohol (5.0 g/kg) was given intragastrically from gestational day (GD) 6 to 15, with or without 60.0 mg folic acid/kg given intragastrically during GD 1-16 to pregnant Balb/c mice. The control group received distilled water only. Results of litter evaluation on GD 18 showed that supplementation of folic acid reversed the prevalence of microcephaly induced by alcohol. Proteomic analysis indicated that, under the dosage of the present investigation, folic acid mainly reversed the alcohol-altered proteins involved in energy production, signal pathways and protein translation, which are all important for central nervous system development. PMID:17697403

  12. Effects of V-22 Blade Modifications on Whirl Flutter and Loads

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Acree, C. W., Jr.

    2004-01-01

    A CAMRAD II model of the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor was constructed for the purpose of analyzing the effects of blade design changes on whirl flutter. The model incorporated a dual load-path grip/yoke assembly, a swashplate coupled to the transmission case, and a drive train. A multiple-trailer free wake was used for loads calculations. The effects of rotor design changes on whirl-mode stability were calculated for swept blades and offset tip masses. A rotor with swept tips and inboard tuning masses was examined in detail to reveal the mechanisms by which these design changes affect stability and loads. Certain combinations of design features greatly increased whirl-mode stability, with (at worst) moderate increases to loads.

  13. The enhanced SERS effect of Ag/ZnO nanoparticles through surface hydrophobic modification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Zhenjiang; Zhu, Kaixing; Zhao, Qian; Meng, Alan

    2016-07-01

    Ag/ZnO nanocomposites modified by a mixture of stearic acid (SA) and polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) were obtained using a heating reflux method. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) suggests that organic SA/PVP was bonded onto the surface of Ag/ZnO nanocrystals, converting the wettability property of the nanostructures from hydrophilic to hydrophobic. The modified Ag/ZnO nanostructures were confirmed as effective Raman substrates, with a 3-fold signal enhancement compared to the ordinary hydrophilic Ag/ZnO substrate for detecting Rh B molecules due to the hydrophobic condensation effect. It is expected that the modified Ag/ZnO nanoparticles have potential for SERS-based rapid detection of molecules.

  14. Effects of dopamine receptor stimulation on opiate-induced modifications of pituitary-gonadal function.

    PubMed

    Vescovi, P P; Pezzarossa, A; Ceresini, G; Rastelli, G; Valenti, G; Gerra, G

    1985-01-01

    We evaluated the effects of the dopaminergic drug bromocriptine (Br) on prolactin (PRL), luteinizing hormone (LH) and testosterone (Te) levels in a homogeneous group of opiate addicts in a methadone maintenance program (20 mg twice daily). Basal blood levels of PRL, LH and Te were determined in 15 adult male drug addicts, before 30 and 60 days after Br administration (7.5 mg/day) was started. 15 healthy volunteers served as controls for the evaluation of basal values of the hormones. Before treatment PRL values were high, while LH and Te levels were lower than normal. 30 days later, PRL lowered significantly while LH and Te increased significantly. 60 days later, the blood hormone values were still significantly different from pretreatment values, and close to the normal range. This observation shows that Br, probably through an increase of dopaminergic tone, may counteract some effects of opiates on the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis.

  15. Modification of Yoshida-Uemori Model with Consideration of Transformation-Induced Plasticity Effect

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Jun; Knoerr, Lay; Abu-Farha, Fadi

    2016-08-01

    Transformation-induced plasticity (TRIP) assisted steels possess improved strain hardening behavior and resistance to necking that are favorable for automotive body applications. However, the TRIP effect causes complex springback behavior of these steels that can hardly be predicted by existing constitutive models for other steels. In this work, the functions in the original Yoshida-Uemori model describing isotropic and kinematic hardening were modified by adding new parameters that can represent the TRIP effect. Cyclic tension/compression experiments were performed on a selected TRIP-steel grade, and the results were used to calibrate the modified model. The modified model was coded via user subroutine into a commercial FE solver. The springback predictions were compared with actual try-out stamping experimental results for highlighting the improvement of predictions with the modified model.

  16. Effect of surface modification, microstructure, and trapping on hydrogen diffusion coefficients in high strength alloys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jebaraj Johnley Muthuraj, Josiah

    Cathodic protection is widely used for corrosion prevention. However, this process generates hydrogen at the protected metal surface, and diffusion of hydrogen through the metal may cause hydrogen embrittlement or hydrogen induced stress corrosion cracking. Thus the choice of a metal for use as fasteners depends upon its hydrogen uptake, permeation, diffusivity and trapping. The diffusivity of hydrogen through four high strength alloys (AISI 4340, alloy 718, alloy 686, and alloy 59) was analyzed by an electrochemical method developed by Devanathan and Stachurski. The effect of plasma nitriding and microstructure on hydrogen permeation through AISI 4340 was studied on six different specimens: as-received (AR) AISI 4340, nitrided samples with and without compound layer, samples quenched and tempered (Q&T) at 320° and 520°C, and nitrided samples Q&T 520°C. Studies on various nitrided specimens demonstrate that both the gamma'-Fe 4N rich compound surface layer and the deeper N diffusion layer that forms during plasma nitriding reduce the effective hydrogen diffusion coefficient, although the gamma'-Fe4N rich compound layer has a larger effect. Multiple permeation transients yield evidence for the presence of only reversible trap sites in as-received, Q&T 320 and 520 AISI 4340 specimens, and the presence of both reversible and irreversible trap sites in nitrided specimens. Moreover, the changes in microstructure during the quenching and tempering process result in a significant decrease in the diffusion coefficient of hydrogen compared to as-received specimens. In addition, density functional theory-based molecular dynamics simulations yield hydrogen diffusion coefficients through gamma'- Fe4N one order of magnitude lower than through α-Fe, which supports the experimental measurements of hydrogen permeation. The effect of microstructure and trapping was also studied in cold rolled, solutionized, and precipitation hardened Inconel 718 foils. The effective hydrogen

  17. Effect of modification to tongue and impeller geometry on unsteady flow, pressure fluctuations, and noise in a centrifugal pump

    SciTech Connect

    Dong, R.; Chu, S.; Katz, J.

    1997-07-01

    Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV), pressure, and noise measurements are used to study the effect of modifications to tongue and impeller geometries on the flow structure and resulting noise in a centrifugal pump. It is demonstrated that the primary sources of noise are associated with interactions of the nonuniform outflux from the impeller (jet/wake phenomenon) with the tongue. Consequently, significant reduction of noise is achieved by increasing the gap between the tongue and the impeller up to about 20% of the impeller radius. Further increase in the gap affects the performance adversely with minimal impact on the noise level. When the gap is narrow, the primary sources of noise are impingement of the wake on the tip of the tongue, and tongue oscillations when the pressure difference across it is high. At about 20% gap, the entire wake and its associated vorticity trains miss the tongue, and the only (quite weak) effect of nonuniform outflux is the impingement of the jet on the tongue. An attempt is also made to reduce the nonuniformity in outflux from the impeller by inserting short vanes between the blades. They cause reduction in the size of the original wakes, but generate an additional jet/wake phenomenon of their own. Both wakes are weak to a level that their impacts on local pressure fluctuations and noise are insignificant. The only remaining major contributor to noise is tongue oscillations. This effect is shown to be dependent on the stiffness of the tongue.

  18. Assessing the neuroprotective effect of antioxidant food factors by application of lipid-derived dopamine modification adducts.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xuebo; Yamada, Naruomi; Osawa, Toshihiko

    2010-01-01

    Advances in understanding the neurodegenerative pathologies are creating new opportunities for the development of neuroprotective therapies, such as antioxidant food factors, lifestyle modification and drugs. However, the biomarker by which the effect of the agent on neurodegeneration is determined is limited. We here address hexanoyl dopamine (HED), one of novel dopamine adducts derived from brain polyunsaturated acid, referring to its in vitro formation, potent toxicity to SH-SY5Y cells, and application to assess the neuroprotective effect of antioxidative food factors. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter, and its deficiency is a characterized feature in Parkinson's disease (PD); thus, HED provides a new insight into the understanding of dopamine biology and pathophysiology of PD and a novel biomarker for the assessment of neuroprotective therapies. We have established an analytical system for the detection of HED and its toxicity to the neuroblstoma cell line, SH-SY5Y cells. Here, we discuss the characteristics of the system and its applications to investigate the neuroprotective effect of several antioxidants that originate from food.

  19. Assessing the neuroprotective effect of antioxidative food factors by application of lipid-derived dopamine modification adducts.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xuebo; Yamada, Naruomi; Osawa, Toshihiko

    2009-01-01

    Advances in understanding the neurodegenerative pathologies are creating new opportunities for the development of neuroprotective therapies, such as antioxidant food factors, lifestyle modification, and drugs. However, the biomarker by which to determine the effect of the agent on neurodegeneration is limited. We here address hexanoyl dopamine (HED), one of novel dopamine adducts derived from brain polyunsaturated acid, referring to its in vitro formation, potent toxicity to SH-SY5Y cells, and application to assess the neuroprotective effect of antioxidative food factors. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter and its deficiency is a characterized feature in Parkinson's disease (PD), thereby HED represents a new addition to understanding of dopamine biology and pathophysiology of PD and a novel biomarker for the assessment of neuroprotective therapies. We have established an analytical system using for the detection of HED and its toxicity to the neuroblstoma cell line, SH-SY5Y cells. Here, we discuss the characteristics of the system and its applications to investigate the neuroprotective effect of several antioxidants that originate from food.

  20. Modeling of Interfacial Modification Effects on Thermal Conductivity of Carbon Nanotube Composites

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clancy, Thomas C.; Gates, Thomas S.

    2006-01-01

    The effect of functionalization of carbon nanotubes on the thermal conductivity of nanocomposites has been studied using a multi-scale modeling approach. These results predict that grafting linear hydrocarbon chains to the surface of a single wall carbon nanotube with covalent chemical bonds should result in a significant increase in the thermal conductivity of these nanocomposites. This is due to the decrease in the interfacial thermal (Kapitza) resistance between the single wall carbon nanotube and the surrounding polymer matrix upon chemical functionalization. The nanocomposites studied here consist of single wall carbon nanotubes in a bulk poly(ethylene vinyl acetate) matrix. The nanotubes are functionalized by end-grafting linear hydrocarbon chains of varying length to the surface of the nanotube. The effect which this functionalization has on the interfacial thermal resistance is studied by molecular dynamics simulation. Interfacial thermal resistance values are calculated for a range of chemical grafting densities and with several chain lengths. These results are subsequently used in an analytical model to predict the resulting effect on the bulk thermal conductivity of the nanocomposite.

  1. Modification of the uterotropic effect produced by estrogens in aging rats.

    PubMed

    Bershtein, L M; Tsyrlina, E V; Poroshina, T E; Rozanov, Yu M; Gamayunova, V B; Vasil'ev, D A; Kovalenko, I G

    2002-11-01

    We studied the influence of various methods for correction of age-related changes (administration of N-acetyl-L-cysteine, vitamins C and E, melatonin, and carnosine and swimming training) on the realization of estrogens effects in ovariectomized rats. The proliferation index in the endometrium decreased in 12-14-month-old control animals. The weight of the uterus, percentage of "comets", and average length of their tail in estradiol-treated rats far surpassed the corresponding parameters in control animals. Administration of melatonin and N-acetyl-L-cysteine and swimming training corrected these genotoxic abnormalities. Our results indicate that aging induces incomplete variant of the phenomenon for switching of estrogen's effects (increase in the severity of genotoxic damage without facilitation of the hormonal effect). These methods for correction of age-related changes have not only common, but also distinguishing characteristics compared to correction of changed induced by drinking of ethanol in various concentrations, whole body gamma-irradiation, and exposure to tobacco smoke. PMID:12802459

  2. Estimating the monetary value of willingness to pay for E-book reader's attributes using partially confounded factorial conjoint choice experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yong, Chin-Khian

    2013-09-01

    A partially confounded factorial conjoint choice experiments design was used to examine the monetary value of the willingness to pay for E-book Reader's attributes. Conjoint analysis is an efficient, cost-effective, and most widely used quantitative method in marketing research to understand consumer preferences and value trade-off. Value can be interpreted by customer or consumer as the received of multiple benefits from a price that was paid. The monetary value of willingness to pay for battery life, internal memory, external memory, screen size, text to Speech, touch screen, and converting handwriting to digital text of E-book reader were estimated in this study. Due to the significant interaction effect of the attributes with the price, the monetary values for the seven attributes were found to be different at different values of odds of purchasing versus not purchasing. The significant interactions effects were one of the main contribution of the partially confounded factorial conjoint choice experiment.

  3. Corticosteroid use and bone mineral accretion in children with asthma: effect modification by vitamin D

    PubMed Central

    Tse, Sze Man; Kelly, H. William; Litonjua, Augusto; Van Natta, Mark L.; Weiss, Scott T.; Tantisira, Kelan

    2012-01-01

    Background The adverse effects of corticosteroids on bone mineral accretion (BMA) have been well documented. Vitamin D insufficiency, a prevalent condition in the pediatric population, has also been associated with decreased bone mineral density (BMD). Objective To determine whether children with asthma who have lower vitamin D levels are more susceptible to the negative effects of corticosteroids on BMD over time. Methods Children aged 5–12 years with mild-to-moderate asthma who participated in the Childhood Asthma Management Program were followed for a mean of 4.3 years. Total doses of inhaled and oral corticosteroids (OCS) were recorded, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 levels were measured at the beginning of the trial and serial DEXA scans of the lumbar spine were performed. Annual BMA rates were defined as: [(BMD at 4 years follow-up − BMD at baseline)/4 years]. Results BMA was calculated for 780 subjects. In boys, baseline vitamin D levels significantly modified the relationship between OCS and BMA (vitamin D x OCS interaction, p=0.023). Stratification by vitamin D levels showed a decrease in BMA with increased use of OCS in vitamin D insufficient boys only (p<0.001). Compared to vitamin D sufficient boys, vitamin D insufficient boys exposed to more than 2 courses of oral corticosteroids per year had twice the decrease in BMA rate (relative to boys who were OCS-unexposed). Conclusions Vitamin D levels significantly modified the effect of oral corticosteroids on bone mineral accretion in boys. Further research is needed to examine whether vitamin D supplementation in children with poorly controlled asthma may confer benefits to bone health. PMID:22608570

  4. Protein modification by fermentation: effect of fermentation on the potential allergenicity of pea.

    PubMed

    Barkholt, V; Jørgensen, P B; Sørensen, D; Bahrenscheer, J; Haikara, A; Lemola, E; Laitila, A; Frøkiaer, H

    1998-01-01

    The effect of fermentation on components of potential significance for the allergenicity of pea was analyzed. Pea flour was fermented with three lactic acid bacteria, Pediococcus pentosaceus, Lactococcus raffinolactis, and Lactobacillus plantarum, and two fungi, Rhizopus microsporus, var. oligosporus and Geotrichum candidum. Residual antigenicity against antipea antibodies was reduced to 10% by the three lactic acid bacteria and R. microsporus. Reactions to anti-pea profilin and anti-Bet v 1 were still detectable after fermentation. The contents of lectin and pea protease inhibitor were not reduced by the microorganisms. PMID:9826013

  5. Arsenic exposure, inflammation, and renal function in Bangladeshi adults: effect modification by plasma glutathione redox potential.

    PubMed

    Peters, Brandilyn A; Liu, Xinhua; Hall, Megan N; Ilievski, Vesna; Slavkovich, Vesna; Siddique, Abu B; Alam, Shafiul; Islam, Tariqul; Graziano, Joseph H; Gamble, Mary V

    2015-08-01

    Exposure to arsenic (As) in drinking water is a widespread public health problem leading to increased risk for multiple outcomes such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, and possibly renal disease; potential mechanisms include inflammation and oxidative stress. We tested the hypothesis that As exposure is associated with increased inflammation and decreased estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and examined whether the effects of As were modified by plasma glutathione (GSH), glutathione disulfide (GSSG), or the reduction potential of the GSSG/2GSH pair (EhGSH). In a cross-sectional study of N = 374 Bangladeshi adults having a wide range of As exposure, we measured markers of inflammation (plasma C-reactive protein (CRP), α-1 acid glycoprotein (AGP)), renal function (eGFR), GSH, and GSSG. In covariate-adjusted models, a 10% increase in water As, urinary As adjusted for specific gravity (uAs), or blood As (bAs) was associated with a 0.74% (p = 0.01), 0.90% (p = 0.16), and 1.39% (p = 0.07) increase in CRP, respectively; there was no association with AGP. A 10% increase in uAs or bAs was associated with an average reduction in eGFR of 0.16 (p = 0.12) and 0.21 ml/min/1.73 m(2) (p = 0.08), respectively. In stratified analyses, the effect of As exposure on CRP was observed only in participants having EhGSH > median (uAs p(Wald) = 0.03; bAs p(Wald) = 0.05). This was primarily driven by stronger effects of As exposure on CRP in participants with lower plasma GSH. The effects of As exposure on eGFR were not modified significantly by EhGSH, GSH, or GSSG. These data suggest that participants having lower plasma GSH and a more oxidized plasma EhGSH are at increased risk for As-induced inflammation. Future studies should evaluate whether antioxidant treatment lowers plasma EhGSH and reduces risk for As-induced diseases. PMID:25916185

  6. Performance effects of tie-truss modifications for a 70-meter centerline beam waveguide antenna

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cucchissi, J. J.

    1989-01-01

    The elevation-axis tie truss of the 70-m antennas would have to be modified to accommodate a centerline beam waveguide. To accomplish this, the center section of the tie truss has to be altered, causing a change in the tie-truss compliance and affecting structural performance. Even with the center section completely removed, the worst-case rms pathlength error due to gravity load is increased from 0.025 to only 0.030 inches. Using a simple postprocessor technique, the effects of modifying the compliance can be predicted without resorting to multiple and costly re-analyses of large finite-element models on a mainframe computer.

  7. Prolonged effect of iodoacetate on articular cartilage and its modification by an anti-rheumatic drug.

    PubMed Central

    Dunham, J.; Hoedt-Schmidt, S.; Kalbhen, D. A.

    1993-01-01

    The intra-articular injection of iodoacetate into the knee joint of rats produced changes in the articular cartilage which resembled those of osteoarthritis. It caused virtually total loss of many of the oxidative enzymes, indicating inhibition of the main oxidative pathways. Treatment with an anti-rheumatic drug had little early effect but ultimately led to partial restoration of these pathways. The reduced progression of cartilage degradation induced by this drug was accompanied by some unusual histological features. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 PMID:8334078

  8. A Mixed Modeling Approach to Predict the Effect of Environmental Modification on Species Distributions

    PubMed Central

    Cozzoli, Francesco; Eelkema, Menno; Bouma, Tjeerd J.; Ysebaert, Tom; Escaravage, Vincent; Herman, Peter M. J.

    2014-01-01

    Human infrastructures can modify ecosystems, thereby affecting the occurrence and spatial distribution of organisms, as well as ecosystem functionality. Sustainable development requires the ability to predict responses of species to anthropogenic pressures. We investigated the large scale, long term effect of important human alterations of benthic habitats with an integrated approach combining engineering and ecological modelling. We focused our analysis on the Oosterschelde basin (The Netherlands), which was partially embanked by a storm surge barrier (Oosterscheldekering, 1986). We made use of 1) a prognostic (numerical) environmental (hydrodynamic) model and 2) a novel application of quantile regression to Species Distribution Modeling (SDM) to simulate both the realized and potential (habitat suitability) abundance of four macrozoobenthic species: Scoloplos armiger, Peringia ulvae, Cerastoderma edule and Lanice conchilega. The analysis shows that part of the fluctuations in macrozoobenthic biomass stocks during the last decades is related to the effect of the coastal defense infrastructures on the basin morphology and hydrodynamics. The methodological framework we propose is particularly suitable for the analysis of large abundance datasets combined with high-resolution environmental data. Our analysis provides useful information on future changes in ecosystem functionality induced by human activities. PMID:24586545

  9. Studying the effects of nucleating agents on texture modification of puffed corn-fish snack.

    PubMed

    Shahmohammadi, Hamid Reza; Bakar, Jamilah; Rahman, Russly Abdul; Adzhan, Noranizan Mohd

    2014-02-01

    To improve textural attributes of puffed corn-fish snack, the effects of 1%, 1.5%, and 2% of calcium carbonate, magnesium silicate (talc), sodium bicarbonate as well as 5% and 10% of wheat bran (as the nucleating materials) on textural attributes were studied. Sensory evaluation, bulk density, expansion ratio, maximum force, and count peaks were measured using the Kramer test. The results showed that all of the additives except bran significantly enhanced the texture. Among them, talc at 0.5% was the best to enhance the density and expansion ratio. Effects of using 0.5% talc on puffed corn-fish snack microstructure were studied using scanning electron microscopy. The average cell diameter of 109 ± 48 μm and cell numbers per square centimeter of 67.4 for talc-treated products were obtained, while for nontalc-treated extrudates, average cell diameter of 798 ± 361 μm and cell numbers per square centimeter of 13.9 were found. Incorporation of 0.5% w/w of magnesium silicate reduced (7-fold) the average cell diameter while increased (4-fold) the cell number.

  10. Studying the effects of nucleating agents on texture modification of puffed corn-fish snack.

    PubMed

    Shahmohammadi, Hamid Reza; Bakar, Jamilah; Rahman, Russly Abdul; Adzhan, Noranizan Mohd

    2014-02-01

    To improve textural attributes of puffed corn-fish snack, the effects of 1%, 1.5%, and 2% of calcium carbonate, magnesium silicate (talc), sodium bicarbonate as well as 5% and 10% of wheat bran (as the nucleating materials) on textural attributes were studied. Sensory evaluation, bulk density, expansion ratio, maximum force, and count peaks were measured using the Kramer test. The results showed that all of the additives except bran significantly enhanced the texture. Among them, talc at 0.5% was the best to enhance the density and expansion ratio. Effects of using 0.5% talc on puffed corn-fish snack microstructure were studied using scanning electron microscopy. The average cell diameter of 109 ± 48 μm and cell numbers per square centimeter of 67.4 for talc-treated products were obtained, while for nontalc-treated extrudates, average cell diameter of 798 ± 361 μm and cell numbers per square centimeter of 13.9 were found. Incorporation of 0.5% w/w of magnesium silicate reduced (7-fold) the average cell diameter while increased (4-fold) the cell number. PMID:24410375

  11. Long-Term Effects of Metformin and Lifestyle Modification on Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Obese Adolescents

    PubMed Central

    Tock, Lian; Dâmaso, Ana R.; de Piano, Aline; Carnier, June; Sanches, Priscila L.; Lederman, Henrique Manoel; Ernandes, Regina M. Y.; de Mello, Marco Túlio; Tufik, Sérgio

    2010-01-01

    Objective. To assess the long-term effects of metformin in combination with lifestyle intervention and its association between insulin levels and the degree of steatosis at ultrasonography (US) in obese adolescents. Methods. Thirty-five postpubertal obese boys were randomized into two groups: one receiving metformin in combination with a multidisciplinary lifestyle intervention versus a placebo group, which also received the same intervention. The visceral, subcutaneous fat and degree of steatosis were measured by ultrasonography. Fasting blood samples were collected to analyze glucose, insulin, insulin resistance, and aminotransferases. Repeated ANOVA measures were used to compare changes over time and between groups, and Spearman's correlations were used to identify an association between insulin and the degree of steatosis at US. Results. There was a positive correlation between the degree of steatosis at US with insulin concentrations and HOMA-IR. Long-term therapy plus metformin significantly reduced body weight, body mass index, insulin, HOMA-IR, and visceral fat. Conclusions. Metformin was more effective than the placebo in improving clinical parameters associated with obesity and steatosis. PMID:20798858

  12. Dialyzer membranes: effect of surface area and chemical modification of cellulose on complement and platelet activation.

    PubMed

    Mahiout, A; Meinhold, H; Kessel, M; Schulze, H; Baurmeister, U

    1987-04-01

    Using an ex vivo model, the effects of membrane composition and surface area on both the complement system (as reflected by plasma C3a levels) and platelets [as indicated by plasma concentrations of thromboxane B2 (TXB2) and platelet factor 4 (PF4)] were studied. In this model, polyacrylonitrile (PAN) was associated with less complement activation than cuprammonium cellulose (CC). A new "modified cellulose" (MC) membrane, in which a small number of the free hydroxyl groups on cellulose are substituted with a tertiary amino compound, was also associated with a low degree of complement activation, similar to that with PAN. However, the extent of hydroxyl group substitution in four MC membrane subtypes did not correlate with the reduction in complement activation. In studies using CC, the amount of generated C3a correlated with the membrane surface area, although the relationship was curvilinear. Plasma concentrations at the "dialyzer" outlet of TXB2 and PF4 were similar with CC, PAN, and MC. In studies with the MC subtypes, increasing the extent of hydroxyl group substitution paradoxically increased, albeit slightly, the amount of TXB2 generation. In studies with CC, a linear relationship between membrane surface area and TXB2 generation was found. The results suggest a dissociation between platelet and complement effects among different dialyzer membranes, and underline the importance of membrane surface area.

  13. Lifestyle modification with heavy alcohol drinkers: effects of aerobic exercise and meditation.

    PubMed

    Murphy, T J; Pagano, R R; Marlatt, G A

    1986-01-01

    To assess the effects of exercise and meditation on alcohol consumption in social drinkers, 60 male students, between the ages of 21 and 30, all classified as heavy social drinkers, were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: exercise (running), meditation, and a no-treatment control group. The study consisted of three distinct phases: pretreatment baseline (2 weeks), treatment intervention (8 weeks), and a follow-up period (6 weeks). Subjects in the running and meditation conditions met as a group during the treatment intervention phase, and all subjects self-monitored their daily consumption of alcohol throughout the study. The results showed that subjects in the exercise condition significantly reduced their alcohol consumption compared to the no-treatment control condition. The implications of these findings for treatment intervention, and the importance of subject compliance are discussed.

  14. Theoretical perspectives to increase clinical effectiveness of lifestyle modification strategies in diabetes.

    PubMed

    Peters, Rosalind M

    2004-01-01

    Diabetes affects more than 18 million people in the United States. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes has increased at an alarming rate in the past 20 years. Minorities are disproportionately affected, with the greatest increase in adult prevalence noted in African-American women. The increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes in both children and adults is strongly associated with the increasing prevalence of obesity. Diabetes and its complications can be controlled with appropriate health care and patient self-management techniques. There is strong empirical evidence supporting the efficacy of dietary and physical activity interventions in the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes. The results of empirical studies have not translated well into clinical practice. Four key theoretical concepts are presented in an effort to increase the effectiveness of lifestyle intervention counseling by primary care providers. The four concepts include: perceptual congruence, mutual goal setting, readiness to change, and tailored interventions.

  15. Effect of sol-gel modifications on formation and morphology of nanocrystalline lanthanum aluminate

    SciTech Connect

    Koc, S. Naci . E-mail: nacik@istanbul.edu.tr; Oksuzomer, Faruk; Yasar, Erdem; Akturk, Selcuk; Gurkaynak, M. Ali

    2006-12-14

    LaAlO{sub 3} powders are prepared by sol-gel method. The effect of preparation conditions on morphological properties and crystal formations are investigated. iso-Propanol/tert-butanol and ethyl acetoacetate/ethylene glycol monomethylether are used solvents and complexing agents, respectively. Samples are dried with conventional and freeze-drying methods and calcined between 600 and 1000 deg. C. TGA, DTA, XRD, SEM and TEM methods are used for characterization. It is observed that freeze-dried sample prepared with tert-butanol has the lowest LaAlO{sub 3} formation temperature and uniform rhombohedral crystals. But conventionally dried sample, prepared with iso-propanol has smallest agglomerates at 1000 deg. C and does not show clear crystallization temperature in DTA analysis. The XRD peaks of LaAlO{sub 3} crystal are observed at 600 deg. C for all samples prepared by various sol-gel conditions.

  16. Effects of chemical and enzymatic modifications on starch-linoleic acid complex formation.

    PubMed

    Arijaje, Emily Oluwaseun; Wang, Ya-Jane

    2017-02-15

    This study investigated the complexation yield and physicochemical properties of soluble and insoluble starch complexes with linoleic acid when a β-amylase treatment was applied to acetylated and debranched potato starch. The degree of acetylation was generally higher in the soluble complexes than in the insoluble ones. The insoluble complexes from the acetylated starch displayed the V-type pattern, whereas, the soluble complexes displayed a mixture of either the A-/V-type or the B-/V-type pattern. Acetylation decreased onset and peak melting temperatures for the insoluble complexes, whereas no melting endotherm was observed in the soluble complexes. Acetylation substantially increased the amount of complexed linoleic acid in the insoluble complexes, but had little positive effect on the formation of the soluble complexes. The β-amylase treatment significantly increased the complexed linoleic content in both soluble and insoluble complexes for the low acetylated starch, but not for the high acetylated starch. PMID:27664602

  17. Effect of mechanical activation on structure changes and reactivity in further chemical modification of lignin.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xiaohong; Zhang, Yanjuan; Hu, Huayu; Huang, Zuqiang; Yang, Mei; Chen, Dong; Huang, Kai; Huang, Aimin; Qin, Xingzhen; Feng, Zhenfei

    2016-10-01

    Lignin was treated by mechanical activation (MA) in a customized stirring ball mill, and the structure and reactivity in further esterification were studied. The chemical structure and morphology of MA-treated lignin and the esterified products were analyzed by chemical analysis combined with UV/vis spectrometer, FTIR,NMR, SEM and particle size analyzer. The results showed that MA contributed to the increase of aliphatic hydroxyl, phenolic hydroxyl, carbonyl and carboxyl groups but the decrease of methoxyl groups. Moreover, MA led to the decrease of particle size and the increase of specific surface area and roughness of surface in lignin. The reactivity of lignin was enhanced significantly for the increase of hydroxyl content and the improvement of mass transfer in chemical reaction caused by the changes of molecular structure and morphological structure. The process of MA is green and simple, and is an effective method for enhancing the reactivity of lignin. PMID:27344951

  18. Effects of high pressure modification on conformation and gelation properties of myofibrillar protein.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ziye; Yang, Yuling; Zhou, Peng; Zhang, Xing; Wang, Jingyu

    2017-02-15

    The effects of high pressure (HP) treatment (100-500MPa) on conformation and gelation properties of myofibrillar protein (MP) were investigated. As pressure increased (0.1-500MPa), α-helix and β-sheet changed into random coil and β-turn, proteins unfolded to expose interior hydrophobic and sulfhydryl groups, therefore surface hydrophobicity and formation of disulfide bonds were strengthened. At 200MPa, protein solubility and gel hardness reached their maximum value, particle size had minimum value, and gel microstructure was dense and uniform. DSC data showed that actin and myosin completely denatured at 300MPa and 400MPa, respectively. Rheological modulus (G' and G″) of HP-treated MP decreased as pressure increased during thermal gelation. Moderate HP treatment (≦200MPa) strengthened gelation properties of MP, while stronger HP treatment (⩾300MPa) weakened the gelation properties. 200MPa was the optimum pressure level for modifying MP conformation to improve its gelation properties. PMID:27664686

  19. Laser-induced modifications of gold nanoparticles and their cytotoxic effect.

    PubMed

    Abdelhamid, Shimaa; Saleh, Hazem; Abdelhamid, Mahmoud; Gohar, Adel; Youssef, Tareq

    2012-06-01

    As nanotechnology continues to develop, an assessment of nanoparticles' toxicity becomes very crucial for biomedical applications. The current study examines the deleterious effects of pre-irradiated gold nanoparticles (GNPs) solutions on primary rat kidney cells (PRKCs). Spectroscopic and transmission electron microscopic studies demonstrated that exposure of 15 nm GNPs in size to pulsed laser caused a reduction both in optical density and mean particle diameter. GNPs showed an aggregation when added to the cell culture medium (DMEM). This aggregation was markedly decreased upon adding serum to the medium. Under our experimental conditions, trypan blue and MTT assays revealed no significant changes in cell viability when PRKCs were incubated with non-irradiated GNPs over a period of 72 h and up to 4 nM GNPs concentration. On the contrary, when cells were incubated with irradiated GNPs a significant reduction in PRKCs viability was revealed.

  20. The Effects of Fiber Surface Modification and Thermal Aging on Composite Toughness And its Measurement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowles, Kenneth J.; Madhukar, Madhu; Papadopoulos, Demetrios; Inghram, Linda; McCorkle, Linda

    1997-01-01

    A detailed experimental study was conducted to establish the structure-property relationships between elevated temperature aging and (I) fiber-matrix bonding, (2) Mode II interlaminar fracture toughness, and (3) failure modes of carbon fiber/PMR-15 composites. The fiber-matrix adhesion was varied by using carbon fibers with different surface treatments. Short beam shear tests were used to quantify the interfacial shear strength afforded by the use of the different fiber surface treatments. The results of the short beam shear tests definitely showed that, for aging times up to 1000 hr, the aging process caused no observable changes in the bulk of the three composite materials that---would degrade the shear properties of the material. Comparisons between the interlaminar shear strength (ILSS) measured by the short beam shear tests and the GII c test results, as measured by the ENF test, indicated that the differences in the surface treatments significantly affected the fracture properties while the effect of the aging process was probably limited to changes at the starter crack tip. The fracture properties changed due to a shift in the fracture from an interfacial failure to a failure within the matrix when the fiber was changed from AU-4 to AS-4 or AS-4G. There appears to be an effect of the fiber/matrix bonding on the thermo-oxidative stability of the composites that were tested. The low bonding afforded by the AU-4 fiber resulted in weight losses about twice those experienced by the AS-4 reinforced composites, the ones with the best TOS.

  1. The Effects of Fiber Surface Modification and Thermal Aging on Composite Toughness and Its Measurement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowles, Kenneth J.; Madhukar, Madhu; Papadopolous, Demetrios S.; Inghram, Linda; Mccorkle, Linda

    1995-01-01

    A detailed experimental study was conducted to establish the structure-property relationships between elevated temperature aging and fiber-matrix bonding, Mode 2 interlaminar fracture toughness, and failure modes of carbon fiber/PMR-15 composites. The fiber-matrix adhesion was varied by using carbon fibers with different surface treatments. Short beam shear tests were used to quantify the interfacial shear strength afforded by the use of the different fiber surface treatments. The results of the short beam shear tests showed that, for times up to 1000 hr, the aging process caused no changes in the bulk of the three composite materials that would degrade the shear properties of the material. Comparisons between the interlaminar shear strengths (ILSS) measured by the short beam shear tests and the GIIC test results, as measured by the ENF test, indicated that the differences in the surface treatments significantly affected the fracture properties while the effect of the aging process was probably limited to changes at the starter crack tip. The fracture properties changed due to a shift in the fracture from an interfacial failure to a failure within the matrix when the fiber was changed from AU-4 to AS-4 or AS-4G. There appears to be an effect of the fiber/matrix bonding on the thermo-oxidative stability of the composites that were tested. The low bonding afforded by the AU 1 fiber resulted in weight losses about twice those experienced by the AS 1 reinforced composites, the ones with the best TOS.

  2. Soil acidification as a confounding factor on metal phytotoxicity in soils spiked with copper-rich mine wastes.

    PubMed

    Ginocchio, Rosanna; De la Fuente, Luz María; Sánchez, Pablo; Bustamante, Elena; Silva, Yasna; Urrestarazu, Paola; Rodríguez, Patricio H

    2009-10-01

    Pollution of soil with mine wastes results in both Cu enrichment and soil acidification. This confounding effect may be very important in terms of phytotoxicity, because pH is a key parameter influencing Cu solubility in soil solution. Laboratory toxicity tests were used to assess the effect of acidification by acidic mine wastes on Cu solubility and on root elongation of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Three contrasting substrates (two soils and a commercial sand) and two acidic, Cu-rich mine wastes (oxidized tailings [OxT] and smelter dust [SmD]) were selected as experimental materials. Substrates were spiked with a fixed amount of either SmD or OxT, and the pH of experimental mixtures was then modified in the range of 4.0 to 6.0 and 7.0 using PIPES (piperazine-1,4-bis(2-ethanesulfonic acid)), MES (2-(N-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid), and MOPS (3-(N-Morpholino)-propanesulfonic acid) buffers. Chemical (pore-water Cu and pH) and toxicological (root length of barley plants) parameters were determined for experimental mixtures. Addition of SmD and OxT to substrates resulted in acidification (0.11-1.16 pH units) and high levels of soluble Cu and Zn. Neutralization of experimental mixtures with MES (pH 6.0) and MOPS (pH 7.0) buffers resulted in a marked decrease in soluble Cu and Zn, but the intensity of the effect was substrate-dependent. Adjustment of soil pH above the range normally considered to be toxic to plants (pH in water extract, > 5.5) significantly reduced metal toxicity in barley, but phytotoxicity was not completely eliminated. The present results stress the importance of considering confounding effects on derivation of toxicity thresholds to plants when using laboratory phytotoxicity tests. PMID:19480535

  3. Propensity Score-Based Approaches to Confounding by Indication in Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis: Non-Standardized Treatment for Multidrug Resistant Tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    Fox, Gregory J.; Benedetti, Andrea; Mitnick, Carole D.; Pai, Madhukar; Menzies, Dick

    2016-01-01

    Background In the absence of randomized clinical trials, meta-analysis of individual patient data (IPD) from observational studies may provide the most accurate effect estimates for an intervention. However, confounding by indication remains an important concern that can be addressed by incorporating individual patient covariates in different ways. We compared different analytic approaches to account for confounding in IPD from patients treated for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). Methods Two antibiotic classes were evaluated, fluoroquinolones—considered the cornerstone of effective MDR-TB treatment—and macrolides, which are known to be safe, yet are ineffective in vitro. The primary outcome was treatment success against treatment failure, relapse or death. Effect estimates were obtained using multivariable and propensity-score based approaches. Results Fluoroquinolone antibiotics were used in 28 included studies, within which 6,612 patients received a fluoroquinolone and 723 patients did not. Macrolides were used in 15 included studies, within which 459 patients received this class of antibiotics and 3,670 did not. Both standard multivariable regression and propensity score-based methods resulted in similar effect estimates for early and late generation fluoroquinolones, while macrolide antibiotics use was associated with reduced treatment success. Conclusions In this individual patient data meta-analysis, standard multivariable and propensity-score based methods of adjusting for individual patient covariates for observational studies yielded produced similar effect estimates. Even when adjustment is made for potential confounding, interpretation of adjusted estimates must still consider the potential for residual bias. PMID:27022741

  4. Air pollution and mortality: effect modification by personal characteristics and specific cause of death in a case-only study.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Hong; Tian, Linwei; Ho, Kin-Fai; Pun, Vivian C; Wang, Xiaorong; Yu, Ignatius T S

    2015-04-01

    Short-term effects of air pollution on mortality have been well documented in the literature worldwide. Less is known about which subpopulations are more vulnerable to air pollution. We conducted a case-only study in Hong Kong to examine the potential effect modification by personal characteristics and specific causes of death. Individual information of 402,184 deaths of non-external causes and daily mean concentrations of air pollution were collected from 2001 to 2011. For a 10 μg/m(3) increase of pollution concentration, people aged ≥ ∇65 years (compared with younger ages) had a 0.9-1.8% additional increase in mortality related to PM, NO2, and SO2. People dying from cardiorespiratory diseases (compared with other non-external causes) had a 1.6-2.3% additional increase in PM and NO2 related mortality. Other subgroups that were particularly susceptible were females and those economically inactive. Lower socioeconomic status and causes of cardiorespiratory diseases would increase the likelihood of death associated with air pollution.

  5. Attentional bias modification in smokers trying to quit: a longitudinal study about the effects of number of sessions.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Fernanda Machado; Pires, Augusto Viana; Bizarro, Lisiane

    2014-07-01

    Attentional bias modification (ABM) to avoid smoking-related cues is a potentially new intervention in addition to existing therapy to stop smoking. We examined immediate and long-term changes in attentional bias and treatment outcomes from multiple ABM sessions in 67 smokers trying to quit. After assessing attentional bias baseline, participants were randomly allocated to one of three training groups: three sessions of ABM (avoid 3); two sessions of placebo-ABM and one session of ABM (avoid 1); and three sessions of placebo-ABM (avoid 0). At baseline, all groups had similar positive attentional bias, which became negative at 24h post-training. After 1 month, avoid 1 and avoid 3 still exhibited negative attentional biases. Only avoid 3 maintained this effect at 6-month, but not at 12-month assessments. ABM produced a long-lasting automatic and maintained avoidance to smoking-related cues which depended on number of sessions; however its effects on treatment outcomes are uncertain. PMID:24666812

  6. Effect of Surface Modification on Cellular Internalization of Fe3O4 Nanoparticles in Strong Static Magnetic Field.

    PubMed

    Lei, Wang; Min, Wang; Hui, Dai; Yun, Liu; An, Xu

    2015-07-01

    Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) controlled by alternating mangetic field (AMF) are widely investigated in biomedical applications, while the effects of strong static magnetic field (SMFs) on mammalian cells with MNPs for drug-delivery, magnetic resource imaging and magnetofection have been evaluated poorly. Although surface modifications provide a suitable system for expanding the bioapplication of MNPs, the viability and the cellular internalization of modified MNPs which stands for their biocompatibility and efficiency in application need to be examined urgently. In present study, human lung cancer cells (A549), a well-known epithelial cell model for drug metabolism research, were used to evaluate the effects of strong SMFs on cellular internalization and cell viability of Fe3O4 MNPs modified by chitosan, dextran, polyacrylamide, polyethylene glycol, phosphatidylcholine, cationic-charged and anionic-charged. The cationic-charged and phosphatidylcholine-coated Fe3O4 MNPs could increase the cellular uptaken in a dose dependent manner and the particles caused a vacuolar appearance in A549 cells. With exposure to 8.5 T SMF, the assay of ATP content showed that anionic-charged and phosphatidylcholine-coated Fe3O4 MNPs changed the energy metabolism of A549 cells, which might be consistent with the observation in cellular internalization. The cell viability and proliferation of A549 cells were all slightly affected by various modified MNPs with or without 8.5 T SMF exposure. PMID:26373103

  7. Processing fragile matter: effect of polymer graft modification on the mechanical properties and processibility of (nano-) particulate solids.

    PubMed

    Schmitt, Michael; Choi, Jihoon; Hui, Chin Min; Chen, Beibei; Korkmaz, Emrullah; Yan, Jiajun; Margel, Shlomo; Ozdoganlar, O Burak; Matyjaszewski, Krzysztof; Bockstaller, Michael R

    2016-04-21

    The effect of polymer modification on the deformation characteristics and processibility of particle assembly structures is analyzed as a function of particle size and degree of polymerization of surface-tethered chains. A pronounced increase of the fracture toughness (by approximately one order of magnitude) is observed as the degree of polymerization exceeds a threshold value that increases with particle size. The threshold value is interpreted as being related to the transition of tethered chains from stretched-to-relaxed conformation (and the associated entanglement of tethered chains) and agrees with predictions from scaling theory. The increase in toughness is reduced with increasing particle size - this effect is rationalized as a consequence of the decrease of entanglement density with increasing dimension of interstitial (void) space in particle array structures. The increased fracture toughness of particle brush materials (with sufficient degree of polymerization of tethered chains) enables the fabrication of ordered colloidal films and even complex 3D shapes by scalable polymer processing techniques, such as spin coating and micromolding. The results, therefore, suggest new opportunities for the processing of colloidal material systems that could find application in the economical fabrication of functional components or systems compromised of colloidal materials.

  8. Processing fragile matter: effect of polymer graft modification on the mechanical properties and processibility of (nano-) particulate solids.

    PubMed

    Schmitt, Michael; Choi, Jihoon; Hui, Chin Min; Chen, Beibei; Korkmaz, Emrullah; Yan, Jiajun; Margel, Shlomo; Ozdoganlar, O Burak; Matyjaszewski, Krzysztof; Bockstaller, Michael R

    2016-04-21

    The effect of polymer modification on the deformation characteristics and processibility of particle assembly structures is analyzed as a function of particle size and degree of polymerization of surface-tethered chains. A pronounced increase of the fracture toughness (by approximately one order of magnitude) is observed as the degree of polymerization exceeds a threshold value that increases with particle size. The threshold value is interpreted as being related to the transition of tethered chains from stretched-to-relaxed conformation (and the associated entanglement of tethered chains) and agrees with predictions from scaling theory. The increase in toughness is reduced with increasing particle size - this effect is rationalized as a consequence of the decrease of entanglement density with increasing dimension of interstitial (void) space in particle array structures. The increased fracture toughness of particle brush materials (with sufficient degree of polymerization of tethered chains) enables the fabrication of ordered colloidal films and even complex 3D shapes by scalable polymer processing techniques, such as spin coating and micromolding. The results, therefore, suggest new opportunities for the processing of colloidal material systems that could find application in the economical fabrication of functional components or systems compromised of colloidal materials. PMID:26979521

  9. Modification in the diet can induce beneficial effects against breast cancer

    PubMed Central

    Aragón, Felix; Perdigón, Gabriela; de Moreno de LeBlanc, Alejandra

    2014-01-01

    The population tends to consume foods that in addition to their nutritional values can offer some benefits to their health. There are many epidemiological evidences and research studies in animal models suggesting that diet plays an important role in breast cancer prevention or progression. This review summarized some of the relevant researches about nutrition and cancer during the last years, especially in breast cancer. The analysis of probiotics and fermented products containing lactic acid bacteria in cancer prevention and/or treatment was especially discussed. It was observed that a balance of fatty acids similar to those of traditional Mediterranean diet, the consumption of fruits and vegetables, dietary fiber intake, vitamin supplementation are, along with the intake of probiotic products, the most extensively studied by the negative association to breast cancer risk. The consumption of probiotics and fermented products containing lactic acid bacteria was associated to reduce breast cancer risk in some epidemiological studies. The use of animal models showed the modulation of the host’s immune response as one of the important effects associated to the benefices observed with most probiotics. However; future assays in human are very important before the medical community can accept the addition of probiotic or fermented milks containing lactic acid bacteria as supplements for cancer patients. PMID:25114859

  10. Hydrophobic modification on surface of chitin sponges for highly effective separation of oil.

    PubMed

    Duan, Bo; Gao, Huimin; He, Meng; Zhang, Lina

    2014-11-26

    A highly hydrophobic and oleophilic chitin sponge was synthesized, for the first time, via a freeze-dried method and then by using a thermal chemical vapor deposition of methyltrichlorosilane (MTCS) at different relative humidity. Fourier-transform infrared, energy-dispersive X-ray spectra, and scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the silanization occurred on the pore wall surface of the chitin sponge. The MTCS-coated chitin sponge had interconnected open-cell structures with the average pore size from 20 to 50 μm, and the MTCS nanofilaments immobilized on the chitin matrix, leading to the high hydrophobicity, as a result of the existence of a solid/air composite rough surface. Cyclic compression test indicated that the hydrophobic chitin sponges exhibited excellent elasticity and high mechanical durability. The sponges could efficiently collect organics both on the surface and bottom from the water with the highest 58 times of their own weight absorption capacities through the combination of the particular wettability and great porosity. Furthermore, the biodegradation kinetics of the chitin sponge forecasted that the chitin could be completely biodegraded within 32 days by the microorganisms in the soil. This work provided a new pathway to prepare the chitin-based materials for highly effective removal of oil from water, showing potential application in the pollutant remediation field. PMID:25347002

  11. Effects of Heat Treatment on Microstructural Modification of As-Cast Gamma-TiAl Alloy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmadi, Mehdi; Hosseini, Seyed Rahman; Hadavi, Seyed Mohammad Mehdi

    2016-06-01

    Effects of normalizing and annealing treatments on the microstructure of Ti-48Al-2Cr-2Nb (at.%) were investigated. Normalizing processes were done at 1385 ± 5 °C in α-phase domain with the heating rate of 10 °C/min, the average cooling rate of 30 °C/min, and the holding times of 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 min. The annealing process was done at the same temperature and heating rate, the holding time of 15 min, and the average cooling rate of 2 °C/min. Microstructures, phases, and hardness levels were studied by optical and field emission electron microscopic observations, x-ray diffractometry (XRD), and microhardness testing, respectively. Also, crystallographic texture variations were analyzed by means of texture coefficient and XRD results. Experimental results showed a linear direct relationship between treatment time and grain size, up to 15 min. A linear reversed behavior was observed for longer times. The untreated alloy consisted of γ and α2 phases with a columnar morphology with the length of about 300 μm. A near-lamellar microstructure with equiaxed gamma grains, Widmansttäten, and laminar γ + α2 colonies was obtained by the normalizing process. The maximum reduction of the grain size was about 70%, as achieved by normalizing with the 15 min holding time. A texture-free microstructure was acquired by normalizing treatment in comparison with strong texture of the as-cast and annealed alloys.

  12. An Indoor-Outdoor Building Energy Simulator to Study Urban Modification effects on Building Energy Use

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yaghoobian, N.; Kleissl, J. P.

    2011-12-01

    While there have been significant advances in energy modeling of individual buildings, reviews of the literature highlight the need for improved understanding of how the interaction between buildings and their surroundings modifies the energy savings obtained through green engineering measures. IOBES (Indoor-Outdoor Building Energy Simulator) is a building-to-canopy model that simulates indoor and outdoor building surface temperatures and associated heat fluxes in an urban area to estimate cooling/heating loads and energy use in buildings. In this model the indoor and outdoor energy balance processes are dynamically coupled taking into account real weather conditions, indoor heat sources, building and urban material properties and composition of the building envelope (e.g. windows, insulation), and HVAC equipment. IOBES is also capable to simulate effects of the waste heat from air-conditioning systems on urban canopy air temperature. IOBES performance in simulating transient heat conduction is validated against an analytical solution of interior wall surface temperature response to a step change in outside air temperature. Also performance of IOBES in simulating cooling and heating loads for specific days validated against well-known models like CBS-MASS, BLAST, and TARP. In addition the annual cooling and heating load of other whole building energy simulators are compared to IOBES. An application of IOBES to study the impact of urban heat island mitigation measures such as reflective pavements is presented.

  13. Redox cycling for passive modification of polypyrrole surface properties: effects on cell adhesion and proliferation.

    PubMed

    Sivaraman, Kartik M; Ozkale, Berna; Ergeneman, Olgaç; Lühmann, Tessa; Fortunato, Giuseppino; Zeeshan, Muhammad Arif; Nelson, Bradley J; Pané, Salvador

    2013-04-01

    The surface properties of electrodeposited poly(pyrrole) (Ppy) doped with sodium dodecylbenzenesulphonate (NaDBS) are modified by two methods: addition of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) during the electrodeposition and through redox cycling post electrodeposition. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) was used to ascertain PEG incorporation and to analyze the change in the oxidation state of the polymer. Anodic cycling resulted in the formation of micrometer-sized surface cracks which increased the amount of Rhodamine-B dye adsorbed onto the surface, and played a role in decreasing the wettability of the surface. The change in surface wettability caused by these cracks was mitigated by the presence of PEG in the Ppy matrix. Compared to the incorporation of PEG, redox cycling was more effective in passively modulating the adhesion of NIH 3T3 fibroblast cells on the Ppy surface. Based on the attenuation of surface polarity of the Ppy surfaces by the incorporated PEG, a mechanism is proposed to explain the observed cell adhesion behavior.

  14. Surface bio-modification of poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyhexanoate) and its aging effect.

    PubMed

    Shen, Feng; Zhang, Erlin; Wei, Zunjie

    2009-10-15

    In this work, poly(hydroxybutyrate-co-hydroxyhexanoate) (PHBHHx) film was fabricated by a solution-casting method and subsequently was modified by NaOH treatment to improve the surface hydrophilic property. Surface properties including hydrophilicity, surface appearance and functional groups were characterized by water contact angle measurement, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The results showed the hydrophilicity of PHBHHx film was obviously improved by the NaOH treatment due to the topography changes promoted by the NaOH-etching and the introduction of polar groups included hydroxyl and carboxyl on the topmost surface layers. However, the modified film exhibited an aging effect: the hydrophilicity decreases with time elapsed during storage. It was found that the aging rate was strongly dependent on the crystallinity of the film and the storage environment. The sample with high-crystallinity lost hydrophilic property slower than that with low-crystallinity. Hydrophilic and low-temperature environment also prevented the modified PHBHHx from fast losing of the hydrophilicity.

  15. Genetic modification of T cells improves the effectiveness of adoptive tumor immunotherapy.

    PubMed

    Jakóbisiak, Marek; Gołab, Jakub

    2010-10-01

    Appropriate combinations of immunotherapy and gene therapy promise to be more effective in the treatment of cancer patients than either of these therapeutic approaches alone. One such treatment is based on the application of patients' cytotoxic T cells, which can be activated, expanded, and genetically engineered to recognize particular tumor-associated antigens (TAAs). Because T cells recognizing TAAs might become unresponsive in the process of tumor development as a result of tumor evasion strategies, immunogenic viral antigens or alloantigens could be used for the expansion of cytotoxic T cells and then redirected through genetic engineering. This therapeutic approach has already demonstrated promising results in melanoma patients and could be used in the treatment of many other tumors. The graft-versus-leukemia, or more generally graft-versus-tumor, reaction based on the application of a donor lymphocyte infusion can also be ameliorated through the incorporation of suicide genes into donor lymphocytes. Such lymphocytes could be safely and more extensively used in tumor patients because they could be eliminated should a severe graft-versus-host reaction develop.

  16. Modification in the diet can induce beneficial effects against breast cancer.

    PubMed

    Aragón, Felix; Perdigón, Gabriela; de Moreno de LeBlanc, Alejandra

    2014-08-10

    The population tends to consume foods that in addition to their nutritional values can offer some benefits to their health. There are many epidemiological evidences and research studies in animal models suggesting that diet plays an important role in breast cancer prevention or progression. This review summarized some of the relevant researches about nutrition and cancer during the last years, especially in breast cancer. The analysis of probiotics and fermented products containing lactic acid bacteria in cancer prevention and/or treatment was especially discussed. It was observed that a balance of fatty acids similar to those of traditional Mediterranean diet, the consumption of fruits and vegetables, dietary fiber intake, vitamin supplementation are, along with the intake of probiotic products, the most extensively studied by the negative association to breast cancer risk. The consumption of probiotics and fermented products containing lactic acid bacteria was associated to reduce breast cancer risk in some epidemiological studies. The use of animal models showed the modulation of the host's immune response as one of the important effects associated to the benefices observed with most probiotics. However; future assays in human are very important before the medical community can accept the addition of probiotic or fermented milks containing lactic acid bacteria as supplements for cancer patients.

  17. Modification of position-effect variegation by competition for binding to Drosophila satellites.

    PubMed

    Monod, Caroline; Aulner, Nathalie; Cuvier, Olivier; Käs, Emmanuel

    2002-08-01

    White-mottled (w(m4)) position-effect variegation (PEV) arises by translocation of the white gene near the pericentric AT-rich 1.688 g/cm3 satellite III (SATIII) repeats of the X chromosome of Drosophila. The natural and artificial A*T-hook proteins D1 and MATH20 modify w(m4) PEV in opposite ways. D1 binds SATIII repeats and enhances PEV, presumably via a recruitment of protein partners, whereas MATH20 suppresses it. We show that D1 and MATH20 compete for binding to identical sites of SATIII repeats in vitro and that conditional MATH20 expression results in a displacement of D1 from pericentric heterochromatin in vivo. In the presence of intermediate levels of MATH20, we show that this displacement becomes selective for SATIII repeats. These results strongly suggest that the suppression of w(m4) PEV by MATH20 is due to a displacement of D1 from its preferred binding sites and provide additional support for a direct role of D1 in the assembly of AT-rich heterochromatin.

  18. O the Generalized Hall Effect as a Modification of Ideal Magnetohydrodynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goodman, Michael Lee

    The generalized Hall effect (GHE) in the generalized Hall model (GHM) is studied as a correction to ideal magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) in the context of how it affects the linear stability of cylindrically symmetric equilibria and how it changes helically symmetric equilibria. The GHM differs from what is usually called the Hall model by including the electron pressure in the electron momentum equation. This gives the GHM some aspects of a two fluid model whereas the Hall model is a one fluid model. In both cases of cyclindrical and helical symmetry the presence of the electron pressure gradient as part of the GHE gives rise to an electric field tangent to the boundary of the plasma. This introduces an additional boundary condition in the case of a perfectly conducting plasma boundary. In the case of helical symmetry the equilibrium equations are a generalization of the Grad-Schafranov equation to equilibria with flow and GHE. The classification of these partial differential equations is independent of the component of the ion fluid velocity parallel to the helical direction which may allow for transonic or supersonic flows which are governed by elliptic equations. In the case of cylindrical symmetry a class of Alfven wave solutions that do not exist in ideal MHD is obtained and the accumulation point, with respect to large radial wavenumber, of the slow magnetoacoustic wave is shown to be changed from a finite nonzero value in ideal MHD to infinity by the GHE.

  19. Thermal Effects on a Low Cr Modification of PS304 Solid Lubricant Coating

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stanford, Malcolm K.; Yanke, Anne M.; DellaCorte, Christopher

    2004-01-01

    PS304 is a high temperature composite solid lubricant coating composed of Ni-Cr, Cr2O3, BaF2-CaF2 and Ag. The effect of reducing chromium content on the formation of voids in the Ni-Cr particles after heat treatment in PS304 coating was investigated. Coatings were prepared with Ni-20Cr or Ni-10Cr powder and in various combinations with the other constituents of PS304 (i.e., chromia, silver and eutectic BaF2-CaF2 powders) and deposited on metal substrates by plasma spray. Specimens were exposed to 650 C for 24 hr or 1090 C for 15 hr and then examined for changes in thickness, coating microstructure and adhesion strength. Specimens with Ni-10Cr generally had less thickness increase than specimens with Ni-20Cr, but there was great variance in the data. Reduction of chromium concentration in Ni-Cr powder tended to reduce the appearance of voids in the Ni-Cr phase after heat exposure. The presence of BaF2-CaF2 resulted in a significant increase in coating adhesion strength after heat treatment, while coatings without BaF2-CaF2 had no significant change. Chemical composition analysis suggested that the void formation was due to oxidation of chromium in the Ni-Cr constituent.

  20. Effects of lifestyle modifications on cognitive impairments in a mouse model of hypercholesterolemia.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Eduardo Luiz Gasnhar; Aguiar, Aderbal S; de Carvalho, Cristiane Ribeiro; Santos, Danúbia Bonfanti; de Oliveira, Jade; de Bem, Andreza Fabro; Xikota, João Carlos; Walz, Roger; Farina, Marcelo; Prediger, Rui Daniel

    2013-04-29

    Epidemiological studies indicate that high midlife plasma cholesterol levels increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, middle-aged familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) subjects show a particularly high incidence of mild cognitive impairments (MCI). These evidence points to hypercholesterolemia as one of the modifiable risk factors focused on prevention/treatment of cognitive deterioration. The present study draws a comparison between pharmacological (lipid-lowering drug probucol) and non-pharmacological (voluntary running wheel, RW) approaches for the management of hypercholesterolemia and cognitive impairments associated with the low-density lipoprotein receptor-deficient (LDLr(-/-)) mice, a well-established rodent model of FH. We also investigated whether exposure to environmental enrichment (EE), a feasible option to increase physical activity in young mice cohort, from birth to adolescence (PN45) yields long-term behavioral changes in adult LDLr(-/-) mice (PN90). We observed that both probucol and RW significantly decreased total and non-HDL plasma cholesterol levels in LDLr(-/-) mice. Notably, only physical exercise mitigated the spatial memory deficits of LDLr(-/-) mice. In addition, we showed that exposure to EE from birth until the adolescence did not mitigate the spatial memory deficits of adult LDLr(-/-) mice in the object location task, although it induced persistent anxyolitic-like effects in the open field arena. Collectively, our results emphasize the advantages physical exercise, in comparison to lipid-lowering drugs, for the management of cognitive deficits associated with FH.

  1. Birth weight and smoking during pregnancy--effect modification by maternal age.

    PubMed

    Fox, S H; Koepsell, T D; Daling, J R

    1994-05-15

    Cigarette smoking during pregnancy is an important, avoidable factor associated with low birth weight. Maternal age is also associated with variations in birth weight. Using birth certificate data from all 347,650 singleton births for which maternal age and birth weight were recorded during 1984-1988 in Washington State, this study investigated birth weight and smoking during pregnancy (yes/no) for mothers of different ages. In multiple linear regressions adjusted for race, marital status, parity, adequacy of prenatal care, and urban/rural residence, the decrement in mean birth weight associated with smoking grew steadily from 117 g for the youngest mothers (age less than 16 years) to 376 g for the oldest (age 40 years or more). Similarly, the adjusted relative risk of having a low weight birth (less than 2,500 g) for smokers compared with nonsmokers was lowest for mothers aged 16-17 years, at 1.43 (95% confidence interval 1.22-1.68), and increased steadily to 2.63 (95% confidence interval 1.77-3.90) for mothers aged 40 or more. This result suggests that the effect of exposure to cigarette smoking during pregnancy is modified by advancing maternal age. Further research using data that more precisely measure the exposure (cigarettes per day, years smoked) could help further clarify this issue and better address the public health question of whether smoking cessation programs ought to focus limited resources more selectively toward pregnant smokers in particular age groups. PMID:8178780

  2. Hydrophobic modification on surface of chitin sponges for highly effective separation of oil.

    PubMed

    Duan, Bo; Gao, Huimin; He, Meng; Zhang, Lina

    2014-11-26

    A highly hydrophobic and oleophilic chitin sponge was synthesized, for the first time, via a freeze-dried method and then by using a thermal chemical vapor deposition of methyltrichlorosilane (MTCS) at different relative humidity. Fourier-transform infrared, energy-dispersive X-ray spectra, and scanning electron microscopy confirmed that the silanization occurred on the pore wall surface of the chitin sponge. The MTCS-coated chitin sponge had interconnected open-cell structures with the average pore size from 20 to 50 μm, and the MTCS nanofilaments immobilized on the chitin matrix, leading to the high hydrophobicity, as a result of the existence of a solid/air composite rough surface. Cyclic compression test indicated that the hydrophobic chitin sponges exhibited excellent elasticity and high mechanical durability. The sponges could efficiently collect organics both on the surface and bottom from the water with the highest 58 times of their own weight absorption capacities through the combination of the particular wettability and great porosity. Furthermore, the biodegradation kinetics of the chitin sponge forecasted that the chitin could be completely biodegraded within 32 days by the microorganisms in the soil. This work provided a new pathway to prepare the chitin-based materials for highly effective removal of oil from water, showing potential application in the pollutant remediation field.

  3. [Glycotoxins and cellular dysfunction. A new mechanism for understanding the preventive effects of lifestyle modifications].

    PubMed

    Michalsen, A; Bierhaus, A; Nawroth, P P; Dobos, G J

    2006-08-01

    Recently the AGE-RAGE interaction was identified as a potential mechanism underlying chronic and inflammatory diseases like atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus and kidney disease. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are the derivatives of glucose-protein or glucose-lipid reactions and are mainly generated from the diet (depending on intensity of heating, cooking time and oxygenation). Binding of AGEs or other ligands to the AGE receptor (RAGE) results in cellular activation, i.e. increased expression of inflammatory mediators and oxidative stress. Diet-derived AGEs thus induce deleterious effects on tissues and the cardiovascular system. Recent research also found that other lifestyle factors are associated with pronounced inflammatory activation, e.g. psychosocial stress and smoking. In addition, each intake of meals is associated with proinflammatory cellular changes. The AGE-RAGE model and investigations of the underlying cellular mechanisms thus may lead to a better understanding of the health benefits of diets (Mediterranean diet, uncooked vegetarian diets), caloric restriction and intermittent fasting. The clinical impact of low-AGE diets and fasting and the interaction between stress and food intake should be further investigated in controlled trials.

  4. Meta-analysis of the independent and cumulative effects of multiple genetic modifications on pig lung xenograft performance during ex vivo perfusion with human blood

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Donald G.; Quinn, Kevin J.; French, Beth M.; Schwartz, Evan; Kang, Elizabeth; Dahi, Siamak; Phelps, Carol J.; Ayares, David L.; Burdorf, Lars; Azimzadeh, Agnes M.; Pierson, Richard N.

    2014-01-01

    Background Genetically modified pigs are a promising potential source of lung xenografts. Ex-vivo xenoperfusion is an effective platform for testing the effect of new modifications, but typical experiments are limited by testing of a single genetic intervention and small sample sizes. The purpose of this study was to analyze the individual and aggregate effects of donor genetic modifications on porcine lung xenograft survival and injury in an extensive pig lung xenoperfusion series. Methods Data from 157 porcine lung xenoperfusion experiments using otherwise unmodified heparinized human blood were aggregated as either continuous or dichotomous variables. Lungs were wild type in 17 perfusions (11% of the study group), while 31 lungs (20% of the study group) had 1 genetic modification, 40 lungs (39%) had 2, and 47 lungs (30%) had 3 or more modifications. The primary endpoint was functional lung survival to 4 hours of perfusion. Secondary analyses evaluated previously identified markers associated with known lung xenograft injury mechanisms. In addition to comparison among all xenografts grouped by survival status, a subgroup analysis was performed of lungs incorporating the GalTKO.hCD46 genotype. Results Each increase in the number of genetic modifications was associated with additional prolongation of lung xenograft survival. Lungs that exhibited survival to 4 hours generally had reduced platelet activation and thrombin generation. GalTKO and the expression of hCD46, HO-1, hCD55 or hEPCR were associated with improved survival. hTBM, HLA-E, and hCD39 were associated with no significant effect on the primary outcome. Conclusion This meta-analysis of an extensive lung xenotransplantation series demonstrates that increasing the number of genetic modifications targeting known xenogeneic lung injury mechanisms is associated with incremental improvements in lung survival. While more detailed mechanistic studies are needed to explore the relationship between gene expression

  5. Histopathological baseline levels and confounding factors in common sole (Solea solea) for marine environmental risk assessment.

    PubMed

    Cuevas, N; Zorita, I; Costa, P M; Larreta, J; Franco, J

    2015-09-01

    Liver and gonad histopathology, biometric parameters and hepatic metal bioaccumulation were assessed monthly over a one-year period in common soles from the Basque continental shelf, in order to determine baseline levels and confounding factors within biomonitoring studies. Biometric parameters and hepatic metal bioaccumulation varied according to season and gender. Accordingly, hepatic histopathological traits presented seasonal variations related to the reproductive cycle. However, the hepatic histopathological index showed that seasonality and gender were not significant confounding factors. Conversely, the gonad histopathological index was modulated by season and gender. As for organ comparison, the liver endured more severe histopathological damage than the gonad. In brief, the sampling period and gender may not affect the estimation of hepatic histopathological indices for biomonitoring purposes. Nonetheless, due to different sensitivities to environmental 'noise' variables, the sampling period and gender differentiation should be thoroughly considered for the assessment of gonad histopathology, biometrics and metal bioaccumulation. PMID:26364682

  6. Effects of Silver Nanoparticles on Radish Sprouts: Root Growth Reduction and Modifications in the Nutritional Value

    PubMed Central

    Zuverza-Mena, Nubia; Armendariz, Raul; Peralta-Videa, Jose R.; Gardea-Torresdey, Jorge L.

    2016-01-01

    Reports indicate that silver nanoparticles (nAg) are toxic to vegetation, but little is known about their effects in crop plants. This study examines the impacts of nAg on the physiology and nutritional quality of radish (Raphanus sativus) sprouts. Seeds were germinated and grown for 5 days in nAg suspensions at 0, 125, 250, and 500 mg/L. Seed germination and seedling growth were evaluated with traditional methodologies; the uptake of Ag and nutrients was quantified by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) and changes in macromolecules were analyzed by infrared (IR) spectroscopy. None of the nAg concentrations reduced seed germination. However, the water content (% of the total weight) was reduced by 1.62, 1.65, and 2.54% with exposure to 125, 250, and 500 mg/L, respectively, compared with the control. At 500 mg/L, the root and shoot lengths were reduced by 47.7 and 40%, with respect to the control. The seedlings exposed to 500 mg/L had 901 ± 150 mg Ag/kg dry wt and significantly less Ca, Mg, B, Cu, Mn, and Zn, compared with the control. The infrared spectroscopy analysis showed changes in the bands corresponding to lipids (3000–2800 cm-1), proteins (1550–1530 cm-1), and structural components of plant cells such as lignin, pectin, and cellulose. These results suggest that nAg could significantly affect the growth, nutrient content and macromolecule conformation in radish sprouts, with unknown consequences for human health. PMID:26909084

  7. Effects of Silver Nanoparticles on Radish Sprouts: Root Growth Reduction and Modifications in the Nutritional Value.

    PubMed

    Zuverza-Mena, Nubia; Armendariz, Raul; Peralta-Videa, Jose R; Gardea-Torresdey, Jorge L

    2016-01-01

    Reports indicate that silver nanoparticles (nAg) are toxic to vegetation, but little is known about their effects in crop plants. This study examines the impacts of nAg on the physiology and nutritional quality of radish (Raphanus sativus) sprouts. Seeds were germinated and grown for 5 days in nAg suspensions at 0, 125, 250, and 500 mg/L. Seed germination and seedling growth were evaluated with traditional methodologies; the uptake of Ag and nutrients was quantified by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) and changes in macromolecules were analyzed by infrared (IR) spectroscopy. None of the nAg concentrations reduced seed germination. However, the water content (% of the total weight) was reduced by 1.62, 1.65, and 2.54% with exposure to 125, 250, and 500 mg/L, respectively, compared with the control. At 500 mg/L, the root and shoot lengths were reduced by 47.7 and 40%, with respect to the control. The seedlings exposed to 500 mg/L had 901 ± 150 mg Ag/kg dry wt and significantly less Ca, Mg, B, Cu, Mn, and Zn, compared with the control. The infrared spectroscopy analysis showed changes in the bands corresponding to lipids (3000-2800 cm(-1)), proteins (1550-1530 cm(-1)), and structural components of plant cells such as lignin, pectin, and cellulose. These results suggest that nAg could significantly affect the growth, nutrient content and macromolecule conformation in radish sprouts, with unknown consequences for human health.

  8. Retrieving vertical profiles of water-cloud droplet effective radius: Algorithm modification and preliminary application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Fu-Lung; Li, Zhanqing

    2003-12-01

    [2002] proposed a new cloud microphysics retrieval technique that can estimate the vertical profile of droplet effective radius (DER) for water clouds using multispectral near-infrared (NIR) measurements. The underlying principle of the retrieval technique is that radiance measurements at distinct multi-NIR wavelengths possess different penetration depths inside the cloud and this conveys certain information on the DER vertical profile (DVP). However, this information is insufficient to retrieve any shape of DVP and thus a linear DVP was assumed. In this study, three DVPs are examined: (1) as in [2002], a linear DVP proportional to the in-cloud optical depth, (2) a linear DVP proportional to the height within the cloud, and (3) a DVP where the liquid water content (LWC) within the cloud varies linearly with height. The latter two assumptions are in closer conformity with in-situ observations. Algorithms that can retrieve both the DVP and cloud liquid water path (LWP) are presented. The cloud LWPs derived based on the retrieved DVPs are more sound than those obtained from assuming a vertical-constant DER profile. To enhance the DVP retrievals, a split-window technique is presented to better estimate the amount of above-cloud precipitable water (PW). The retrieval algorithms are applied to the MODIS Level-1B 1-km data and presently tested for two stratiform cloud cases observed over the north-central Oklahoma where independent cloud microphysics data are available from the United States Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program. Good agreements in the retrieved DER profile, LWP, and above-cloud PW are found in a preliminary demonstration of the new approach. Sensitivity of the retrieved DER profile to uncertainties in the above-cloud PW and surface albedos is also discussed.

  9. Effect of Surface Modification on Cumulative Tensile Ductility of AZ31 Magnesium Sheet

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Habibnejad-korayem, Mahdi; Jain, Mukesh K.; Mishra, Raja K.

    2016-09-01

    Wire brushing and annealing (WBA) process was developed, optimized and utilized to modify the surface layer microstructure of AZ31 automotive magnesium sheet material. The process was carried out using softer brass wire brushes to mitigate the effect of wire brushing on surface quality and damage. The influence of modified surface grain structure and crystallographic texture was studied by continuous uniaxial tension test as well as by a newly proposed multi-step uniaxial stretching and annealing (MUSA) process to assess cumulative uniaxial tensile ductility of AZ31 sheet. A rotational speed of 2800 revolutions per minute for the wire brush with a near-zero depth of cut followed by annealing at 473 K (200 °C) for 60 minutes resulted in acceptable surface quality with a refined grain layer of depth 30 μm, and a modified crystallographic texture on the surface. Material flow behavior, grain microstructure, and texture evolution of WBA-processed material during subsequent MUSA process were analyzed to assess the role of wire brushing in enhancing the MUSA response of AZ31 sheet. Original fully annealed AZ31 sheet (in the non-WBA condition) was also subjected to identical MUSA process for comparison purposes. The results showed improvement in terminal uniaxial tensile ductility of WBA-MUSA-processed material compared to Standard-MUSA material. The ductility improvement is attributed to non-basal texture development and re-distribution of the texture, as well as to grain refinement within the highly deformed surface layer from the combination of WBA and MUSA processes.

  10. Genetic modification of hypoxia signaling in animal models and its effect on cancer.

    PubMed

    García-Heredia, J M; Felipe-Abrio, B; Cano, D A; Carnero, A

    2015-02-01

    Conditions that cause hypoxemia or generalized tissue hypoxia, which can last for days, months, or even years, are very common in the human population and are among the leading causes of morbidity, disability, and mortality. Therefore, the molecular pathophysiology of hypoxia and its potential deleterious effects on human health are important issues at the forefront of biomedical research. Generalized hypoxia is a consequence of highly prevalent medical disorders that can severely reduce the capacity for O2 exchange between the air and pulmonary capillaries. In recent years, some of the key O2-dependent signaling pathways have been characterized at the molecular level. In particular, the prolyl hydroxylase (PHD)-hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) cascade has emerged as the master regulator of a general gene expression program involved in cell/tissue/organ adaptation to hypoxia. Hypoxia has emerged as a critical factor in cancer because it can promote tumor initiation, progression, and resistance to therapy. Beyond its role in neovascularization as a mechanism of tumor adaptation to nutrient and O2 deprivation, hypoxia has been linked to prolonged cellular lifespan and immortalization, the generation of "oncometabolites", deregulation of stem cell proliferation, and inflammation, among other tumor hallmarks. Hypoxia may contribute to cancer through several independent pathways, the inter-connections of which have yet to be elucidated. Furthermore, the relevance of chronic hypoxemia in the initiation and progression of cancer has not been studied in depth in the whole organism. Therefore, we explore here the contributions of hypoxia to the whole organism by reviewing studies on genetically modified mice with alterations in the key molecular factors regulating hypoxia.

  11. Effects of Silver Nanoparticles on Radish Sprouts: Root Growth Reduction and Modifications in the Nutritional Value.

    PubMed

    Zuverza-Mena, Nubia; Armendariz, Raul; Peralta-Videa, Jose R; Gardea-Torresdey, Jorge L

    2016-01-01

    Reports indicate that silver nanoparticles (nAg) are toxic to vegetation, but little is known about their effects in crop plants. This study examines the impacts of nAg on the physiology and nutritional quality of radish (Raphanus sativus) sprouts. Seeds were germinated and grown for 5 days in nAg suspensions at 0, 125, 250, and 500 mg/L. Seed germination and seedling growth were evaluated with traditional methodologies; the uptake of Ag and nutrients was quantified by inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES) and changes in macromolecules were analyzed by infrared (IR) spectroscopy. None of the nAg concentrations reduced seed germination. However, the water content (% of the total weight) was reduced by 1.62, 1.65, and 2.54% with exposure to 125, 250, and 500 mg/L, respectively, compared with the control. At 500 mg/L, the root and shoot lengths were reduced by 47.7 and 40%, with respect to the control. The seedlings exposed to 500 mg/L had 901 ± 150 mg Ag/kg dry wt and significantly less Ca, Mg, B, Cu, Mn, and Zn, compared with the control. The infrared spectroscopy analysis showed changes in the bands corresponding to lipids (3000-2800 cm(-1)), proteins (1550-1530 cm(-1)), and structural components of plant cells such as lignin, pectin, and cellulose. These results suggest that nAg could significantly affect the growth, nutrient content and macromolecule conformation in radish sprouts, with unknown consequences for human health. PMID:26909084

  12. Modification of acrylic bone cement with mesoporous silica nanoparticles: effects on mechanical, fatigue and absorption properties.

    PubMed

    Slane, Josh; Vivanco, Juan; Meyer, Jill; Ploeg, Heidi-Lynn; Squire, Matthew

    2014-01-01

    Polymethyl methacrylate bone cement is the most common and successful method used to anchor orthopedic implants to bone, as evidenced by data from long-term national joint registries. Despite these successes, mechanical failure of the cement mantle can result in premature failure of an implant which has lead to the development of a variety of techniques aimed at enhancing the mechanical properties of the cement, such as the addition of particulate or fiber reinforcements. This technique however has not transitioned into clinical practice, likely due to problems relating to interfacial particle/matrix adhesion and high cement stiffness. Mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) are a class of materials that have received little attention as polymer reinforcements despite their potential ability to overcome these challenges. Therefore, the objective of the present study was to investigate the use of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) as a reinforcement material within acrylic bone cement. Three different MSN loading ratios (0.5%, 2% and 5% (wt/wt)) were incorporated into a commercially available bone cement and the resulting impact on the cement's static mechanical properties, fatigue life and absorption/elution properties were quantified. The flexural modulus and compressive strength and modulus tended to increase with higher MSN concentration. Conversely, the flexural strength, fracture toughness and work to fracture all significantly decreased with increasing MSN content. The fatigue properties were found to be highly influenced by MSNs, with substantial detrimental effects seen with high MSN loadings. The incorporation of 5% MSNs significantly increased cement's hydration degree and elution percentage. The obtained results suggest that the interfacial adhesion strength between the nanoparticles and the polymer matrix was poor, leading to a decrease in the flexural and fatigue properties, or that adequate dispersion of the MSNs was not achieved. These findings

  13. Studies on the chemical modification of goat liver cystatin and the effect on its anti-papain inhibitory activity.

    PubMed

    Shah, Aaliya; Aatif, Mohammad; Priyadarshini, Medha; Khan, Mohd Shahnawaz; Amin, Fakhra; Bano, Bilqees

    2012-11-01

    Goat liver cystatin was subjected to various chemical modifications in order to ascertain the amino acid residues responsible for its structural and functional integrity. Modification of tryptophan by HNBB led to the complete inactivation of the protein. The inactivation was also accompanied by the complete loss of tryptophan fluorescence at 340 nm. The reaction of liver cystatin with HNBB yielded a characteristic decrease in absorbance at 280 nm. Acetylation of the amino groups of liver cystatin was carried out in the presence of acetic anhydride. The acetylated cystatin showed a decrease in fluorescence intensity at 335 nm which could be attributed to the modification of tyrosine residue due to side reaction.

  14. In vivo measurement of 241Am in the lungs confounded by activity deposited in other organs.

    PubMed

    Lobaugh, Megan L; Spitz, Henry B; Glover, Samuel E

    2015-01-01

    Radioactive material deposited in multiple organs of the body is likely to confound a result of an in vivo measurement performed over the lungs, the most frequently monitored organ for occupational exposure. The significance of this interference was evaluated by measuring anthropometric torso phantoms containing lungs, liver, skeleton, and axillary lymph nodes, each with a precisely known quantity of 241Am uniformly distributed in the organs. Arrays of multiple high-resolution germanium detectors were positioned over organs within the torso phantom containing 241Am or over proximal organs without activity to determine the degree of measurement confounding due to photons emitted from other source organs. A set of four mathematical response functions describes the measured count rate with detectors positioned over each of the relevant organs and 241Am contained in the measured organ or one of the other organs selected as a confounder. Simultaneous solution of these equations by matrix algebra, where the diagonal terms of the matrix are calibration factors for a direct measurement of activity in an organ and the off-diagonal terms reflect the contribution (i.e., interference or cross-talk) produced by 241Am in a confounding organ, yields the activity deposited in each of the relevant organs. The matrix solution described in this paper represents a method for adjusting a result of 241Am measured directly in one organ for interferences that may arise from 241Am deposited elsewhere and represents a technically valid procedure to aid in evaluating internal dose based upon in vivo measurements for those radioactive materials known to deposit in multiple organs.

  15. In vivo measurement of 241Am in the lungs confounded by activity deposited in other organs.

    PubMed

    Lobaugh, Megan L; Spitz, Henry B; Glover, Samuel E

    2015-01-01

    Radioactive material deposited in multiple organs of the body is likely to confound a result of an in vivo measurement performed over the lungs, the most frequently monitored organ for occupational exposure. The significance of this interference was evaluated by measuring anthropometric torso phantoms containing lungs, liver, skeleton, and axillary lymph nodes, each with a precisely known quantity of 241Am uniformly distributed in the organs. Arrays of multiple high-resolution germanium detectors were positioned over organs within the torso phantom containing 241Am or over proximal organs without activity to determine the degree of measurement confounding due to photons emitted from other source organs. A set of four mathematical response functions describes the measured count rate with detectors positioned over each of the relevant organs and 241Am contained in the measured organ or one of the other organs selected as a confounder. Simultaneous solution of these equations by matrix algebra, where the diagonal terms of the matrix are calibration factors for a direct measurement of activity in an organ and the off-diagonal terms reflect the contribution (i.e., interference or cross-talk) produced by 241Am in a confounding organ, yields the activity deposited in each of the relevant organs. The matrix solution described in this paper represents a method for adjusting a result of 241Am measured directly in one organ for interferences that may arise from 241Am deposited elsewhere and represents a technically valid procedure to aid in evaluating internal dose based upon in vivo measurements for those radioactive materials known to deposit in multiple organs. PMID:25437522

  16. A Novel Method of Determining the Functional Effects of a Minor Genetic Modification of a Protein

    PubMed Central

    Nagwekar, Janhavi; Duggal, Divya; Midde, Krishna; Rich, Ryan; Liang, Jingsheng; Kazmierczak, Katarzyna; Huang, Wenrui; Fudala, Rafal; Gryczynski, Ignacy; Gryczynski, Zygmunt; Szczesna-Cordary, Danuta; Borejdo, Julian

    2015-01-01

    Contraction of muscles results from the ATP-coupled cyclic interactions of the myosin cross-bridges with actin filaments. Macroscopic parameters of contraction, such as maximum tension, speed of shortening, or ATPase activity, are unlikely to reveal differences between the wild-type and mutated (MUT) proteins when the level of transgenic protein expression is low. This is because macroscopic measurements are made on whole organs containing trillions of actin and myosin molecules. An average of the information collected from such a large assembly is bound to conceal any differences imposed by a small fraction of MUT molecules. To circumvent the averaging problem, the measurements were done on isolated ventricular myofibril (MF) in which thin filaments were sparsely labeled with a fluorescent dye. We isolated a single MF from a ventricle, oriented it vertically (to be able measure the orientation), and labeled 1 in 100,000 actin monomers with a fluorescent dye. We observed the fluorescence from a small confocal volume containing approximately three actin molecules. During the contraction of a ventricle actin constantly changes orientation (i.e., the transition moment of rigidly attached fluorophore fluctuates in time) because it is repetitively being “kicked” by myosin cross-bridges. An autocorrelation functions (ACFs) of these fluctuations are remarkably sensitive to the mutation of myosin. We examined the effects of Alanine to Threonine (A13T) mutation in the myosin regulatory light chain shown by population studies to cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This is an appropriate example, because mutation is expressed at only 10% in the ventricles of transgenic mice. ACFs were either “Standard” (Std) (decaying monotonically in time) or “Non-standard” (NStd) (decaying irregularly). The sparse labeling of actin also allowed the measurement of the spatial distribution of actin molecules. Such distribution reflects the interaction of actin with myosin cross

  17. Exploratory study of the effects of wing-leading-edge modifications on the stall/spin behavior of a light general aviation airplane

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    Configurations with full-span and segmented leading-edge flaps and full-span and segmented leading-edge droop were tested. Studies were conducted with wind-tunnel models, with an outdoor radio-controlled model, and with a full-scale airplane. Results show that wing-leading-edge modifications can produce large effects on stall/spin characteristics, particularly on spin resistance. One outboard wing-leading-edge modification tested significantly improved lateral stability at stall, spin resistance, and developed spin characteristics.

  18. Study of Interfacial Interactions Using Thing Film Surface Modification: Radiation and Oxidation Effects in Materials

    SciTech Connect

    Sridharan, Kumar; Zhang, Jinsuo

    2014-01-09

    Interfaces play a key role in dictating the long-term stability of materials under the influence of radiation and high temperatures. For example, grain boundaries affect corrosion by way of providing kinetically favorable paths for elemental diffusion, but they can also act as sinks for defects and helium generated during irradiation. Likewise, the retention of high-temperature strength in nanostructured, oxide-dispersion strengthened steels depends strongly on the stoichiometric and physical stability of the (Y, Ti)-oxide particles/matrix interface under radiation and high temperatures. An understanding of these interfacial effects at a fundamental level is important for the development of materials for extreme environments of nuclear reactors. The goal of this project is to develop an understanding stability of interfaces by depositing thin films of materials on substrates followed by ion irradiation of the film-substrate system at elevated temperatures followed by post-irradiation oxidation treatments. Specifically, the research will be performed by depositing thin films of yttrium and titanium (~500 nm) on Fe-12%Cr binary alloy substrate. Y and Ti have been selected as thin-film materials because they form highly stable protective oxides layers. The Fe-12%Cr binary alloy has been selected because it is representative of ferritic steels that are widely used in nuclear systems. The absence of other alloying elements in this binary alloy would allow for a clearer examination of structures and compositions that evolve during high-temperature irradiations and oxidation treatments. The research is divided into four specific tasks: (1) sputter deposition of 500 nm thick films of Y and Ti on Fe-12%Cr alloy substrates, (2) ion irradiation of the film-substrate system with 2MeV protons to a dose of 2 dpa at temperatures of 300°C, 500°C, and 700°C, (3) oxidation of as-deposited and ion-irradiated samples in a controlled oxygen environment at 500°C and 700°C, (4

  19. The Single and Combined Effects of Multiple Intensities of Behavior Modification and Methylphenidate for Children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in a Classroom Setting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fabiano, Gregory A.; Pelham, William E., Jr.; Gnagy, Elizabeth M.; Burrows-MacLean, Lisa; Coles, Erika K.; Chacko, Anil; Wymbs, Brian T.; Walker, Kathryn S.; Arnold, Fran; Garefino, Allison; Keenan, Jenna K.; Onyango, Adia N.; Hoffman, Martin T.; Massetti, Greta M.; Robb, Jessica A.

    2007-01-01

    Currently behavior modification, stimulant medication, and combined treatments are supported as evidence-based interventions for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in classroom settings. However, there has been little study of the relative effects of these two modalities and their combination in classrooms. Using a within-subject design, the…

  20. 77 FR 31683 - Notice of Effective Date of Modifications to a Rule of Origin of the United States-Australia Free...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-29

    ...-Australia Free Trade Agreement AGENCY: Office of the United States Trade Representative. ACTION: Notice of effective date for goods of Australia of certain modifications to a product-specific rule of origin under the United States-Australia Free Trade Agreement (USAFTA). SUMMARY: In Proclamation 8334 of...

  1. Experimental Modification of Interpretation Bias about Animal Fear in Young Children: Effects on Cognition, Avoidance Behavior, Anxiety Vulnerability, and Physiological Responding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lester, Kathryn J.; Field, Andy P.; Muris, Peter

    2011-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of experimentally modifying interpretation biases for children's cognitions, avoidance behavior, anxiety vulnerability, and physiological responding. Sixty-seven children (6-11 years) were randomly assigned to receive a positive or negative interpretation bias modification procedure to induce interpretation…

  2. The Effect of Vocal Hygiene and Behavior Modification Instruction on the Self-Reported Vocal Health Habits of Public School Music Teachers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hackworth, Rhonda S.

    2007-01-01

    This study examined the effects of vocal hygiene and behavior modification instruction on self-reported behaviors of music teachers. Subjects (N = 76) reported daily behaviors for eight weeks: water consumption, warm-up, talking over music/noise, vocal rest, nonverbal commands, and vocal problems. Subjects were in experimental group 1 or 2, or the…

  3. WWC Review of the Report "Accommodations for English Language Learner Students: The Effect of Linguistic Modification of Math Test Item Sets"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    What Works Clearinghouse, 2012

    2012-01-01

    The research described in this report is a randomized controlled trial in which seventh- and eighth-grade students were randomly assigned to complete a set of 25 math questions delivered with either standard language or language that had undergone "linguistic modification" by the research team. The purpose of the study was to assess the effects of…

  4. Design and characterization of Nafion/ex-situ silica nanocomposite membranes: Effects of particle size and surface modification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muriithi, Beatrice Wanjku

    This dissertation focuses on the preparation of new Nafion RTM/ex-situ silica nanocomposite membranes and the impact of particle size of spherical silica particles on the nanocomposites' properties. To achieve acceptable power production, fuel cell polymer membranes are required with good proton conductivity, water retention, thermal and mechanical stability. However, to avoid poisoning of fuel cell electrocatalysts with CO or other fuel contaminants, they must be operated at temperatures (>100°C). At these temperatures, fuel cell membranes dehydrate resulting in dramatic decreases in proton conductivity or complete failure as membranes crack due to volumetric stress from water loss. Even if fuel cell is kept in a humidified chamber, increasing temperature will eventually shut the cell down as Nafion RTM's bicontinuous structure "dissolves" into a single poorly conducting phase at temperatures above the polymer's Tg. This research provides systematic studies of effects of silica particle size on properties of silica-NafionRTM nanocomposites. Results of this study include new insights into requirements for reproducible particle syntheses, practical methods for avoiding silica particle floatation during NafionRTM nanocomposite membranes preparation, and a summary of the influence of particle size and functionalization on NafionRTM membrane properties. Stober particle syntheses showed high sensitive to ammonia concentration and we discovered that literature procedures' variability is likely due to researchers' failure to accurately measure ammonia concentration in their aqueous base (which can be 50% or more off). Homogeneous nanocomposite membranes, as determined by AFM and SEM, were successfully prepared using more viscous dispersions. It was observed that nanocomposite membranes with small particles (<50 nm) showed significant increases in proton conductivity at temperatures above 80°C. Surface modification of the silica particles improved the proton conductivity

  5. Genetic modification of the effect of maternal household air pollution exposure on birth weight in Guatemalan newborns

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Lisa M.; Yousefi, Paul; Penaloza, Renee; Balmes, John; Holland, Nina

    2014-01-01

    Low birth weight is associated with exposure to air pollution during pregnancy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether null polymorphisms of Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs), specifically GSTM1 and GSTT1 genes in infants or mothers, modifies the association between high exposures to household air pollution (HAP) from cooking fires and birth weight. Pregnant women in rural Guatemala were randomized to receive a chimney stove or continue to use open fires for cooking. Newborns were measured within 48 hours of birth. 132 mother-infant pairs provided infant genotypes (n=130) and/or maternal genotypes (n=116). Maternal null GSTM1 was associated with a 144 gram (95% CI: -291, 1) and combined maternal/infant null GSTT1 was associated with a 155 gram (95% CI -303, -8) decrease in birth weight. Although there was a trend toward higher birth weights with increasing number of expressed GST genes, the effect modification by chimney stove use was not demonstrated. PMID:25305053

  6. Effect of coupling agent on nano-ZnO modification and antibacterial activity of ZnO/HDPE nanocomposite films

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Y. N.; Xu, W. M.; Zhang, G. Q.

    2015-07-01

    Commercial zinc oxide nanoparticles were modified by silane coupling agent of KH550 and KH560, respectively. The obtained nanocomposite was characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Thermogravimetric analyses (TGA) and apparent sedimentation stability (Sapp). Then, nano-ZnO/high-density polyethylene (HDPE) composite films were prepared via melt blending and a hot compression-molding process. The antibacterial testing of the films against E. coli and S. aureus was carried out via plate counting. SEM, TGA and Sapp suggest the modifier of silane changed the surface hydrophilicity and effectively broke the agglomerations of nanoparticles. Antibacterial testing results indicated the antibacterial rate of the films increased with increasing nano-ZnO content. At a low doped content of 0.2 wt%, the types of coupling agent influenced the antibacterial property with that of KH560-modified nano-ZnO/HDPE KH550-modified nano-ZnO/HDPE unmodified nano-ZnO/HDPE films. When the dosage nano-ZnO was over 0.2 wt%, the differences of antibacterial activity resulted by modification was concealed by the strong antibacterial activity with near 100% of the nano- ZnO/HDPE composite films.

  7. Effects of low-temperature surface-wave plasma treatment with various gases on surface modification of chitosan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ogino, Akihisa; Kral, Martin; Yamashita, Mitsuji; Nagatsu, Masaaki

    2008-12-01

    The effect of low-temperature surface-wave plasma treatment with various gases on surface modification of chitosan was investigated using the surface-wave plasma. Chitosan is a nontoxic, biocompatible and biodegradable polymer. It is thought that an increase in amino groups, a key constituent of chitosan molecules, will be useful for biomedical applications, such as improvement of blood clotting properties, drug delivery system, prodrug using derivatization and so on. In this study, therefore, we have focused on the amino group introduction on chitosan surface by using Ar, O 2, NH 3 and NH 3-He mixed gas plasmas. The experimental results of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy measurements showed that N/C atomic ratio increased from 6.8% to 14.7% after NH 3 plasma treatment. With O 2 plasma treatment, the surface roughness of chitosan film was significantly modified from 1.96 nm to 14.6 nm. The blood clotting time of the sample treated by NH 3 and He plasma with O 2 pretreatment was reduced to 55.2% of that of untreated one.

  8. Highly Effective Pt-Based Water–Gas Shift Catalysts by Surface Modification with Alkali Hydroxide Salts

    PubMed Central

    Kusche, Matthias; Bustillo, Karen; Agel, Friederike; Wasserscheid, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Herein, we describe an economical and convenient method to improve the performance of Pt/alumina catalysts for the water–gas shift reaction through surface modification of the catalysts with alkali hydroxides according to the solid catalyst with ionic liquid layer approach. The results are in agreement with our findings reported earlier for methanol steam reforming. This report indicates that alkali doping of the catalyst plays an important role in the observed catalyst activation. In addition, the basic and hygroscopic nature of the salt coating contributes to a significant improvement in the performance of the catalyst. During the reaction, a partly liquid film of alkali hydroxide forms on the alumina surface, which increases the availability of H2O at the catalytically active sites. Kinetic studies reveal a negligible effect of the KOH coating on the rate dependence of CO and H2O partial pressures. TEM studies indicate an agglomeration of the active Pt clusters during catalyst preparation; restructuring of Pt nanoparticles occurs under reaction conditions, which leads to a highly active and stable system over 240 h time on stream. Excessive pore fillings with KOH introduce a mass transfer barrier as indicated in a volcano-shaped curve of activity versus salt loading. The optimum KOH loading was found to be 7.5 wt %. PMID:26413174

  9. Effect modification of FADS2 polymorphisms on the association between breastfeeding and intelligence: protocol for a collaborative meta-analysis

    PubMed Central

    Hartwig, Fernando Pires; Davies, Neil Martin; Horta, Bernardo Lessa; Victora, Cesar Gomes; Davey Smith, George

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Evidence from observational studies and randomised controlled trials suggests that breastfeeding is positively associated with IQ, possibly because breast milk is a source of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. Different studies have detected gene-breastfeeding interactions involving FADS2 variants and intelligence. However, findings are inconsistent regarding the direction of such effect modification. Methods/design To clarify how FADS2 and breastfeeding interact in their association with IQ, we are conducting a consortium-based meta-analysis of independent studies. Results produced by each individual study using standardised analysis scripts and harmonised data will be used. Inclusion criteria: breastfeeding, IQ and either rs174575 or rs1535 polymorphisms available; and being of European ancestry. Exclusion criteria: twin studies; only poorly imputed genetic data available; or unavailability of proper ethics approval. Studies will be invited based on being known to have at least some of the required data, or suggested by participating studies as potentially eligible. This inclusive approach will favour achieving a larger sample size and be less prone to publication bias. Discussion Improving current understanding of FADS2-breastfeeding interaction may provide important biological insights regarding the importance of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids for the breastfeeding-IQ association. This meta-analysis will help to improve such knowledge by replicating earlier studies, conducting additional analysis and evaluating different sources of heterogeneity. Publishing this protocol will minimise the possibility of bias due to post hoc changes to the analysis protocol. PMID:27311901

  10. STM/STS Study of Surface Modification Effect on Bandgap Structure of Ti2C with -OH, -F, and -H

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Seong Jun; Lai, Shen; Jeong, Taehwan; Lee, Sungjoo; Song, Young Jae

    In this presentation, we present Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) and Spectroscopy (STS) study of bandgap structures of surface-modified Ti2C with -OH, -F, and -O in atomic scale. Since the discovery of new two dimensional (2D) materials like graphene, various 2D materials including transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) have been intensively investigated. There are, however, still scientific issues to apply them to the device fabrications for controlling the appropriate bandgap structure with high field effect mobility. Recently another 2D materials of transition metal carbide (TMC), Ti2CTx with modifiable surface group Tx(-OH, -F, and -O) was suggested. [S. Lai et. al, Nanoscale (2015), DOI: 10.1039/C5NR06513E]. This 2D material shows that the mobility at room temperature is less sensitive to the measured transport bandgap, which can imply that Ti2CTx can be a strong candidate of 2D TMC for application to the future electronic devices. Surface modification on the electronic structure of Ti2C by -OH, -F, and -O is, therefore, investigated by STM and STS in atomic scale. More scientific results will be further discussed in the presentation. This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Korean government (Grant Numbers: 2015R1A1A1A05027585, 2011­0030046, IBS- R011­D1, 2014M3C1A3053024 and 2015M3A7B4050455).

  11. Highly Effective Pt-Based Water-Gas Shift Catalysts by Surface Modification with Alkali Hydroxide Salts

    SciTech Connect

    Kusche, Matthias; Bustillo, Karen; Agel, Friederike; Wasserscheid, Peter

    2015-01-29

    Here, we describe an economical and convenient method to improve the performance of Pt/alumina catalysts for the water–gas shift reaction through surface modification of the catalysts with alkali hydroxides according to the solid catalyst with ionic liquid layer approach. The results are in agreement with our findings reported earlier for methanol steam reforming. This report indicates that alkali doping of the catalyst plays an important role in the observed catalyst activation. In addition, the basic and hygroscopic nature of the salt coating contributes to a significant improvement in the performance of the catalyst. During the reaction, a partly liquid film of alkali hydroxide forms on the alumina surface, which increases the availability of H2O at the catalytically active sites. Kinetic studies reveal a negligible effect of the KOH coating on the rate dependence of CO and H2O partial pressures. In conclusion, TEM studies indicate an agglomeration of the active Pt clusters during catalyst preparation; restructuring of Pt nanoparticles occurs under reaction conditions, which leads to a highly active and stable system over 240h time on stream. Excessive pore fillings with KOH introduce a mass transfer barrier as indicated in a volcano-shaped curve of activity versus salt loading. The optimum KOH loading was found to be 7.5wt%.

  12. Highly Effective Pt-Based Water-Gas Shift Catalysts by Surface Modification with Alkali Hydroxide Salts

    DOE PAGES

    Kusche, Matthias; Bustillo, Karen; Agel, Friederike; Wasserscheid, Peter

    2015-01-29

    Here, we describe an economical and convenient method to improve the performance of Pt/alumina catalysts for the water–gas shift reaction through surface modification of the catalysts with alkali hydroxides according to the solid catalyst with ionic liquid layer approach. The results are in agreement with our findings reported earlier for methanol steam reforming. This report indicates that alkali doping of the catalyst plays an important role in the observed catalyst activation. In addition, the basic and hygroscopic nature of the salt coating contributes to a significant improvement in the performance of the catalyst. During the reaction, a partly liquid filmmore » of alkali hydroxide forms on the alumina surface, which increases the availability of H2O at the catalytically active sites. Kinetic studies reveal a negligible effect of the KOH coating on the rate dependence of CO and H2O partial pressures. In conclusion, TEM studies indicate an agglomeration of the active Pt clusters during catalyst preparation; restructuring of Pt nanoparticles occurs under reaction conditions, which leads to a highly active and stable system over 240h time on stream. Excessive pore fillings with KOH introduce a mass transfer barrier as indicated in a volcano-shaped curve of activity versus salt loading. The optimum KOH loading was found to be 7.5wt%.« less

  13. Systemic administration of tripeptidyl peptidase I in a mouse model of late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis: effect of glycan modification.

    PubMed

    Meng, Yu; Sohar, Istvan; Wang, Lingling; Sleat, David E; Lobel, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Late-infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (LINCL) is a recessive genetic disease of childhood caused by deficiencies in the lysosomal protease tripeptidyl peptidase I (TPP1). Disease is characterized by progressive and extensive neuronal death. One hurdle towards development of enzyme replacement therapy is delivery of TPP1 to the brain. In this study, we evaluated the effect of modifying N-linked glycans on recombinant human TPP1 on its pharmacokinetic properties after administration via tail vein injection to a mouse model of LINCL. Unmodified TPP1 exhibited a dose-dependent serum half-life of 12 min (0.12 mg) to 45 min (2 mg). Deglycosylation or modification using sodium metaperiodate oxidation and reduction with sodium borohydride increased the circulatory half-life but did not improve targeting to the brain compared to unmodified TPP1. Analysis of liver, brain, spleen, kidney and lung demonstrated that for all preparations, >95% of the recovered activity was in the liver. Interestingly, administration of a single 2 mg dose (80 mg/kg) of unmodified TPP1 resulted in ∼10% of wild-type activity in brain. This suggests that systemic administration of unmodified recombinant enzyme merits further exploration as a potential therapy for LINCL.

  14. Effects of prolonged ingestion of epigallocatechin gallate on diabetes type 1-induced vascular modifications in the erectile tissue of rats.

    PubMed

    Lombo, C; Morgado, C; Tavares, I; Neves, D

    2016-07-01

    Diabetes Mellitus type 1 is a metabolic disease that predisposes to erectile dysfunction, partly owing to structural and molecular changes in the corpus cavernosum (CC) vessels. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of early treatment with the antioxidant epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in cavernous diabetes-induced vascular modifications. Diabetes was induced in two groups of young Wistar rats; one group was treated with EGCG for 10 weeks. A reduction in smooth muscle content was observed in the CC of diabetic rats, which was significantly attenuated with EGCG consumption. No differences were observed among groups, neither in the expression of VEGF assayed by western blotting nor in the immunofluorescent labeling of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptors (VEGFR1 and VEGFR2). VEGFR2 was restricted to the endothelium, whereas VEGF and VEGFR1 co-localized in the smooth muscle layer. With regard to the Angiopoietin/Tie-2 system, no quantitative differences in Angiopoietin 1 were observed among the experimental groups. Ang1 localization was restricted to the smooth muscle layer, and receptor Tie2 and Angiopoietin 2 were both expressed in the endothelium. In brief, our results suggest that EGCG consumption prevented diabetes-induced loss of cavernous smooth muscle but does not affect vascular growth factor expression in young rats. PMID:27169491

  15. [Effects of applying behavior modification to improve HbA1C levels in a diabetic patient].

    PubMed

    Chen, Wen-Chun; Huang, You-Rong; Lin, Chiu-Chu

    2010-04-01

    Diabetes is a chronic disease. To prevent and delay complications, diabetic patients must adjust their lifestyle as part of a comprehensive approach to disease control. Diabetic patients must be able to self-manage their disease and establish healthy habits in their daily routine. In this study, prior to intervention, the subject was unable to control her diet, do exercise, check sugars properly or integrate disease management effectively into her daily routine. By applying self-regulation theory through the keeping of a diary for sugar and daily activity self-monitoring, she became able to self-assess the causes of poor disease control. Such further facilitated her setting goals and developing strategies to link her habits with disease management. When failing to achieve goals even after execution, she could consider the factors contributing to the failure and modify her behaviors, goals and/or strategies accordingly. We helped this patient learn behavior modification methods in order to achieve her goal of better HbA(1)C control. This case example may help clinical nursing educators move beyond the confines of the traditional one-way educational model to guide diabetic patients to achieve good sugar control. We hope our findings help many chronic disease sufferers achieve self-management objectives in order to assume greater self-care responsibilities.

  16. The effect of chemical modification on the physico-chemical characteristics of halloysite: FTIR, XRF, and XRD studies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szczepanik, Beata; Słomkiewicz, Piotr; Garnuszek, Magdalena; Czech, Kamil; Banaś, Dariusz; Kubala-Kukuś, Aldona; Stabrawa, Ilona

    2015-03-01

    The effect of chemical modification of halloysite from a Polish strip mine "Dunino" on the chemical composition and structure of this clay mineral was studied using infrared spectroscopy (ATR FT-IR), wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence (WDXRF), and X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD) methods. The results obtained by the WDXRF technique confirm that the content of silica and alumina was the highest for bleached halloysite samples and the lowest for acid-treated halloysite. A higher content of Fe2O3 in comparison to halloysite samples coming from other countries was observed for raw halloysite samples. XRPD diffraction pattern obtained for raw halloysite confirmed the presence of halloysite, kaolinite, hematite, and calcite minerals in the sample. Bleaching the halloysite removes (or significantly reduces) the content of other minerals present in the raw halloysite. The FT-IR spectra of the studied halloysite samples show in the 3700-3600 cm-1 region well-defined hydroxyl stretching bands characteristic for the kaolin-group minerals and bands associated with the vibrations of the aluminium-silicon skeleton in the 1400-1000 cm-1 region. Modifying halloysite with 4-chloro-aniline causes successive incorporation of amine into the BH sample.

  17. Effects of gestational age and surface modification on materno-fetal transfer of nanoparticles in murine pregnancy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Hui; Sun, Cuiji; Fan, Zhenlin; Tian, Xin; Yan, Liang; Du, Libo; Liu, Yang; Chen, Chunying; Liang, Xing-Jie; Anderson, Gregory J.; Keelan, Jeffrey A.; Zhao, Yuliang; Nie, Guangjun

    2012-11-01

    Nanoparticle exposure in pregnancy may result in placental damage and fetotoxicity; however, the factors that determine fetal nanoparticle exposure are unclear. Here we have assessed the effect of gestational age and nanoparticle composition on fetal accumulation of maternally-administered nanomaterials in mice. We determined the placental and fetal uptake of 13 nm gold nanoparticles with different surface modifications (ferritin, PEG and citrate) following intravenous administration at E5.5-15.5. We showed that prior to E11.5, all tested nanoparticles could be visualized and detected in fetal tissues in significant amounts; however, fetal gold levels declined dramatically post-E11.5. In contrast, Au-nanoparticle accumulation in the extraembryonic tissues (EET) increased 6-15 fold with gestational age. Fetal and EET accumulation of ferritin- and PEG-modified nanoparticles was considerably greater than citrate-capped nanoparticles. No signs of toxicity were observed. Fetal exposure to nanoparticles in murine pregnancy is, therefore, influenced by both stage of embryonic/placental maturation and nanoparticle surface composition.

  18. How effective is albedo modification (solar radiation management geoengineering) in preventing sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Applegate, Patrick J.; Keller, Klaus

    2015-08-01

    Albedo modification (AM) is sometimes characterized as a potential means of avoiding climate threshold responses, including large-scale ice sheet mass loss. Previous work has investigated the effects of AM on total sea-level rise over the present century, as well as AM’s ability to reduce long-term (≫103 yr) contributions to sea-level rise from the Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS). These studies have broken new ground, but neglect important feedbacks in the GIS system, or are silent on AM’s effectiveness over the short time scales that may be most relevant for decision-making (<103 yr). Here, we assess AM’s ability to reduce GIS sea-level contributions over decades to centuries, using a simplified ice sheet model. We drive this model using a business-as-usual base temperature forcing scenario, as well as scenarios that reflect AM-induced temperature stabilization or temperature drawdown. Our model results suggest that (i) AM produces substantial near-term reductions in the rate of GIS-driven sea-level rise. However, (ii) sea-level rise contributions from the GIS continue after AM begins. These continued sea level rise contributions persist for decades to centuries after temperature stabilization and temperature drawdown begin, unless AM begins in the next few decades. Moreover, (iii) any regrowth of the GIS is delayed by decades or centuries after temperature drawdown begins, and is slow compared to pre-AM rates of mass loss. Combined with recent work that suggests AM would not prevent mass loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, our results provide a nuanced picture of AM’s possible effects on future sea-level rise.

  19. Sex-specific effects of bisphenol-A on memory and synaptic structural modification in hippocampus of adult mice.

    PubMed

    Xu, Xiaohong; Liu, Xingyi; Zhang, Qin; Zhang, Guangxia; Lu, Yingjun; Ruan, Qin; Dong, Fangni; Yang, Yanling

    2013-05-01

    Humans are routinely exposed to low levels of bisphenol A (BPA), a synthetic xenoestrogen widely used in the production of polycarbonate plastics. The effects of long-term exposure to BPA on memory and modification of synaptic structure in hippocampus of adult mice were investigated in the present study. The adult mice were exposed to BPA (0.4, 4, and 40 mg/kg/day) or arachis oil for 12 weeks. In open field test, BPA at 0.4, 4, or 40 mg/kg/day increased the frequency of rearing and time in the central area of the males, while BPA at 0.4 mg/kg/day reduced the frequency of rearing in the females. Exposure to BPA (0.4 or 40 mg/kg/day) extended the average escape pathlength to the hidden platform in Morris water maze task and shortened the step-down latency 24 h after footshock of the males, but no changes were found in the females for these measures. Meanwhile, BPA induced a reduced numeric synaptic density and a negative effect on the structural parameters of synaptic interface, including an enlarged synaptic cleft and the reduced length of active zone and PSD thickness, in the hippocampus of the male mice. Western blot analyses further indicated that BPA down-regulated expressions of synaptic proteins (synapsin I and PSD-95) and synaptic NMDA receptor subunit NR1 and AMPA receptor subunit GluR1 in the hippocampus of the males. These results suggest that long-term exposure to low levels of BPA in adulthood sex-specifically impaired spatial and passive avoidance memory of mice. These effects may be associated with the higher susceptibility of the hippocampal synaptic plasticity processes, such as remodeling of spinal synapses and the expressions of synaptic proteins (e.g. synapsin I and PSD-95) and NMDA and AMPA receptors, to BPA in the adult male mice.

  20. The effects of high temperature and roof modification on physiological responses of swamp buffalo ( Bubalus bubalis) in the tropics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khongdee, Titaporn; Sripoon, S.; Vajrabukka, C.

    2013-05-01

    The objective of the experiments reported here was to measure the effects of cooling techniques (Modified roof vs Normal roof) on the performance and physiology of 12 young male buffaloes with a similar live weight of 160 kg. The study was conducted at Chainat Agriculture and Technology College, Chainat Province, Thailand. The animals were divided randomly into two groups, each group comprising six buffaloes, and the two groups were studied to evaluate the effects of modified roofing (normal roof fitted with woven polypropylene shade cloth) on the subjects' physiological responses to heat stress under hot humid conditions. The modified roof resulted in lowered heat stress in buffaloes compared to those under a standard roof. The difference was shown by the buffaloes having a significantly lower mean rectal temperature (39.14 ± 0.07 vs 40.00 ± 0.10°C) and plasma cortisol (2.14 ± 0.24 vs 3.38 ± 0.37 ng/ml). The average daily water consumption was significantly lower in the MR group (MR, 29.71 ± 0.86 vs NR, 34.14 ± 1.06 L head -1 day-1), while there was a tendency for the roughage intake to be higher in the MR group compared to that of the NR group (MR, 5.88 ± 0.18 vs NR, 6.44 ± 0.19 kg head-1 -1 day-1; P = 0.0508). It was concluded that roof modification facilitated a reduction in heat load from roof re-radiation, and was an effective means of alleviating thermal stress in young buffaloes.