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Sample records for functional level evaluated

  1. [Evaluation of functional adaptation level in air specialists according to biochemical indexes of saliva secretion].

    PubMed

    Soldatov, S K; Malysheva, E V; Zasiad'ko, K I; Abashev, V Iu; Gulin, A V; Ermakova, N V

    2009-09-01

    It was examined a capability of evaluation of functional condition of air staff by indexes of natrium, kalium, cortisol and glucose in saliva. There were realized 5 series of examinations with participations of 71 airplane pilot of the same level in conditions of realizing flies of different difficultness. Saliva sampling was effectuated before and after the flies not later then 10-15 minutes after landing. On pre-flight medical examination and after performance of task of air relay there was registration of systolic, diasystolic blood pressure and cardiac rate. It was posed the correlation of physiological indexes with percentage of examined ingredients in saliva in different flight loads. The results of examinations speak for capability of using of indexes of percentage of natrium, kalium, cortisol and glucose in saliva for evaluation of functional condition of airplane pilots during effectuating the flies and rating of value of flight load with account of individual peculiarities.

  2. Evaluation of Model Selection Strategies for Cross-Level Two-Way Differential Item Functioning Analysis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patarapichayatham, Chalie; Kamata, Akihito; Kanjanawasee, Sirichai

    2012-01-01

    Model specification issues on the cross-level two-way differential item functioning model were previously investigated by Patarapichayatham et al. (2009). Their study clarified that an incorrect model specification can easily lead to biased estimates of key parameters. The objective of this article is to provide further insights on the issue by…

  3. Identification of APC mutations and evaluation of their expression level using a functional screening assay

    SciTech Connect

    Varesco, L.; Gismondi, V.; Bafico, A.

    1994-09-01

    A functional screen for chain-terminating mutations in the APC gene recently has been developed. It is based on the PCR and cloning of a segment of the gene in-frame with a colorimetric marker gene (lacz) followed by screening for the level of activity of the marker polypeptide (beta-galactosidase). This method scores colony number with different blue colors that are produced by bacteria containing normal and mutant APC segments. In the present work this method was used to screen the entire APC coding region by using eight primer pairs. DNA segments with known APC mutations at different positions in the gene were used as controls and were clearly identifiable with this assay. In addition, the entire APC coding region has been examined in 21 APC patients in whom PCR-SSCP did not identify an APC mutation. Novel mutations (n=14) were identified by the blue/white assay and were all confirmed by sequence analysis. This method also was used to quantitate the expression of paternal and maternal APC alleles taking advantage of an RsaI site polymorphism at position 1458 in a small number of informative individuals. Differential expression of some known mutant APC mRNAs was observed.

  4. Effects of environmental levels of cadmium, lead and mercury on human renal function evaluated by structural equation modeling.

    PubMed

    Trzeciakowski, Jerome P; Gardiner, Lesley; Parrish, Alan R

    2014-07-01

    A relationship between exposure to heavy metals, including lead and cadmium, and renal dysfunction has long been suggested. However, modeling of the potential additive, or synergistic, impact of metals on renal dysfunction has proven to be challenging. In these studies, we used structural equation modeling (SEM), to investigate the relationship between heavy metal burden (serum and urine levels of lead, cadmium and mercury) and renal function using data from the NHANES database. We were able to generate a model with goodness of fit indices consistent with a well-fitting model. This model demonstrated that lead and cadmium had a negative relationship with renal function, while mercury did not contribute to renal dysfunction. Interestingly, a linear relationship between lead and loss of renal function was observed, while the maximal impact of cadmium occurred at or above serum cadmium levels of 0.8 μg/L. The interaction of lead and cadmium in loss of renal function was also observed in the model. These data highlight the use of SEM to model interaction between environmental contaminants and pathophysiology, which has important implications in mechanistic and regulatory toxicology.

  5. Effects of environmental levels of cadmium, lead and mercury on human renal function evaluated by structural equation modeling

    PubMed Central

    Trzeciakowski, Jerome P.; Gardiner, Lesley; Parrish, Alan R.

    2014-01-01

    A relationship between exposure to heavy metals, including lead and cadmium, and renal dysfunction has long been suggested. However, modeling of the potential additive, or synergistic, impact of metals on renal dysfunction has proven to be challenging. In these studies, we used structural equation modeling (SEM), to investigate the relationship between heavy metal burden (serum and urine levels of lead, cadmium and mercury) and renal function using data from the NHANES database. We were able to generate a model with goodness of fit indices consistent with a well-fitting model. This model demonstrated that lead and cadmium had a negative relationship with renal function, while mercury did not contribute to renal dysfunction. Interestingly, a linear relationship between lead and loss of renal function was observed, while the maximal impact of cadmium occurred at or above serum cadmium levels of 0.8 µg/L. The interaction of lead and cadmium in loss of renal function was also observed in the model. These data highlight the use of SEM to model interaction between environmental contaminants and pathophysiology, which has important implications in mechanistic and regulatory toxicology. PMID:24769258

  6. Evaluation of the saliva cortisol levels in patients under prosthetic treatment due to functional disorders of the masticatory organ.

    PubMed

    Pihut, M; Dziurkowska, E; Wisniewska, G; Szewczyk, M; Bieganska, J

    2015-02-01

    One of the main etiological factors of the stomatognathic system dysfunction is stress and psychoemotional disorders. During stressful situations, there is an increase in the level of cortisol, the so-called stress hormone. Literature data indicate the existence of a correlation between blood cortisol levels and its amount in the saliva. This spurred an inspiration to undertake open, non-randomised studies, the objective of which was to conduct a comparative assessment of the saliva cortisol levels in patients with functional disorders of the masticatory system and in healthy volunteers, as well as to compare the results of cortisol levels with the results of survey-based tests with the use of Endler and Parker's CISS survey. Cortisol level was assessed due to its association with stress present in the body as one of the primary etiological factors of the stomatognathic system dysfunction, and hence the association of elevated cortisol levels assessed in the morning with the occurrence of dysfunctions of the stomatognathic system. The subject of the study is a group of 30 patients, of both sexes, aged between 20 and 46, who reported to the Dental Prosthetic Out-Patient Clinic of the Institute of Dentistry, Jagiellonian University in Cracow, for prosthetic treatment due to the painful form of functional masticatory organ disorders. The control group consisted of 30 subjects, aged between 19 and 41, in whom dysfunctions of the stomatognathic system were excluded. Collection of saliva for testing was performed at a fixed hour (9 am) into plastic test tubes with a stopper. Immediately after collection, the saliva was frozen at the temperature of -18 °C. The assessment of the cortisol levels was conducted by the high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with UV detection at the Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Department of Laboratory Medicine of the Gdansk Medical University. Moreover, a 20-minute psychological test was conducted with the

  7. Evaluation of EIGEN-6C4 by means of various functions of the gravity potential, and by GPS/Leveling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klokocnik, Jaroslav; Kostelecky, Jan; Bucha, Blazej; Bezdek, Ales; Foerste, Christoph

    2015-04-01

    The combined gravity field model EIGEN-6C4 (Foerste et al., 2014) is the latest combined global gravity field model of GFZ Potsdam and GRGS Toulouse. EIGEN-6C4 has been generated including the satellite gravity gradiometry data of the entire GOCE mission (November 2009 till October 2013) and is of maximum spherical degree and order 2190. In this study EIGEN-6C4 has been compared with EGM 2008 to its maximum degree and order via gravity disturbancies, the Marussi tensor of the second derivatives of the disturbing potential, the invariants of the gravity field, their specific combinations, strike angles and virtual deformations over the whole world. The emphasis is put on such areas where GOCE data (complete set of gradiometry measurements after reductions) in EIGEN-6C4 obviously contributes to an improvement of the gravity field description. GNSS/Leveling geoid heights are independent data source for the evaluation of gravity field models. Therefore, we use the GNSS/Leveling data sets over the territories of several countries in Europe, Brazil, the USA, Canada and Japan for the evaluation of EIGEN-6C4 w.r.t. EGM 2008.

  8. Evaluating change in symptomatic and functional level of children and youth with emotional disorders: a naturalistic observation study.

    PubMed

    Nilsen, Toril Sørheim; Handegård, Bjørn-Helge; Eisemann, Martin; Kvernmo, Siv

    2015-10-01

    The objective of the study is to describe the changes in symptomatic and functional impairment for children and youth with emotional disorders treated at child and adolescent mental health outpatient services (CAMHS) in Norway. The study was of naturalistic observational type in which the treatment can be classified as "treatment as usual" (TAU). The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), the Health of the Nation Outcome Scale (HONOSCA) and the Children's Global Assessment Scale (CGAS) were used as measures of change. The information from multiple informants allowed the evaluation of change from different perspectives. The sample consisted of 84 children and youth with emotional disorders treated at two CAMHS in the North of Norway. The SDQ, the HONOSCA and the CGAS were administered at intake (T0), during assessment (T1) and approximately, 6 months after T1 (T2). Change was analysed by means of the Linear Mixed Models procedure. The results show that children and youth with emotional disorders experience a statistically significant improvement per month during outpatient treatment according to nearly all the measures of change. For the clinician rated scores, change rates during active assessment/treatment were larger than during the waitlist period. Evaluating change from the perspective of clinical significance showed that only a small proportion of the subjects had change scores that were statistically reliable and clinically significant. Whether an actual change has occurred is uncertain for the majority of patients.

  9. Evaluation of serum pesticide residue levels and liver function in persons exposed to dairy products contaminated with heptachlor

    SciTech Connect

    Stehr-Green, P.A.; Wohlleb, J.C.; Royce, W.; Head, S.L.

    1988-01-15

    The authors studied a group of 45 dairy farm family members who had consumed undiluted raw milk products known to be contaminated with residues of the pesticide heptachlor at concentrations as high as 89.2 ppm (fat basis). They compared results of serum pesticide assays for these exposed persons with results for an unexposed group of 94 persons from the same geographic area and the results from the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The exposed group had significantly higher mean levels of primary heptachlor metabolites-i.e., heptachlor epoxide and oxychlordane than the unexposed group. In the exposed group, 21.2% had evaluated serum concentrations of these same metabolites; this rate was significantly greater than the rates in both the unexposed farm family members (heptachlor epoxide, 3.8%; oxychlordane, 6.3%) and the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey sample (2.5% for both metabolites). However they found no evidence of related acute and/or subacute hepatic effects in these exposed persons regardless of their serum concentrations of pesticide residues.

  10. Evaluation of the toxicity of superfine materials to change the physiological functions of aquatic organisms of different trophic levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morgalev, S.; Morgaleva, T.; Gosteva, I.; Morgalev, Yu

    2015-11-01

    We assessed ecological and biological effects caused by the physical and chemical properties of nanomaterials on the basis of the laboratory researches into water test-organisms of different trophic levels. We studied the physiological functions of water organisms on adding into the environment superfine materials of various chemical nature and structural characteristics: metallic nanoparticles of nikel (nNi), argentum (nAg), platinum (nPt), aurum (nAu), binary NPs (powder of titanium dioxide - nTiO2, aluminum oxide - nAl2O3, zink oxide - nZnO, silicon nitride - nSi3N4, silicon carbide (nSiC) and carbon nanotubes (BT-50, MCD- material). We observed the dependence of developing the complex of unfavourable biological effects in water plants and entomostracans’ organisms on the physical and chemical properties of superfine materials. We determined the values of NOEC, L(E)C20 and L(E)C50 for aquatic organisms of various regular groups. We found out the most vulnerable elements of the communities’ trophic structure and the possibility of a breakdown in the water ecosystem food pyramid.

  11. Myeloperoxidase levels predict executive function.

    PubMed

    Haslacher, H; Perkmann, T; Lukas, I; Barth, A; Ponocny-Seliger, E; Michlmayr, M; Scheichenberger, V; Wagner, O; Winker, R

    2012-12-01

    The main purpose of the study was to investigate whether baseline myeloperoxidase (MPO) levels are associated with executive cognitive function in individuals with high physical activity. Baseline serum MPO levels of 56 elderly marathon runners and 58 controls were assessed by ELISA. Standardized tests were applied to survey domain-specific cognitive functions. Changes in brain morphology were visualized by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). High baseline serum MPO levels correlated with worse outcome in tests assessing executive cognitive function in athletes but not in the control group (NAI maze test p<0.05, Trail Making Test ratio p<0.01). In control participants, subcortical white matter hyperintensities were associated with higher scores on the Geriatric Depression Scale (p<0.05), whereas athletes seem to be protected from this effect. During strenuous exercising, MPO as well as its educts may be elevated due to increased oxygen intake and excretion of pro-inflammatory mediators inducing host tissue damage via oxidative stress. This outweighs the potential benefits of physical activity on cognitive function.

  12. Myeloperoxidase levels predict executive function.

    PubMed

    Haslacher, H; Perkmann, T; Lukas, I; Barth, A; Ponocny-Seliger, E; Michlmayr, M; Scheichenberger, V; Wagner, O; Winker, R

    2012-12-01

    The main purpose of the study was to investigate whether baseline myeloperoxidase (MPO) levels are associated with executive cognitive function in individuals with high physical activity. Baseline serum MPO levels of 56 elderly marathon runners and 58 controls were assessed by ELISA. Standardized tests were applied to survey domain-specific cognitive functions. Changes in brain morphology were visualized by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). High baseline serum MPO levels correlated with worse outcome in tests assessing executive cognitive function in athletes but not in the control group (NAI maze test p<0.05, Trail Making Test ratio p<0.01). In control participants, subcortical white matter hyperintensities were associated with higher scores on the Geriatric Depression Scale (p<0.05), whereas athletes seem to be protected from this effect. During strenuous exercising, MPO as well as its educts may be elevated due to increased oxygen intake and excretion of pro-inflammatory mediators inducing host tissue damage via oxidative stress. This outweighs the potential benefits of physical activity on cognitive function. PMID:22855218

  13. Functional Performance Evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Greenisen, Michael C.; Hayes, Judith C.; Siconolfi, Steven F.; Moore, Alan D.

    1999-01-01

    The Extended Duration Orbiter Medical Project (EDOMP) was established to address specific issues associated with optimizing the ability of crews to complete mission tasks deemed essential to entry, landing, and egress for spaceflights lasting up to 16 days. The main objectives of this functional performance evaluation were to investigate the physiological effects of long-duration spaceflight on skeletal muscle strength and endurance, as well as aerobic capacity and orthostatic function. Long-duration exposure to a microgravity environment may produce physiological alterations that affect crew ability to complete critical tasks such as extravehicular activity (EVA), intravehicular activity (IVA), and nominal or emergency egress. Ultimately, this information will be used to develop and verify countermeasures. The answers to three specific functional performance questions were sought: (1) What are the performance decrements resulting from missions of varying durations? (2) What are the physical requirements for successful entry, landing, and emergency egress from the Shuttle? and (3) What combination of preflight fitness training and in-flight countermeasures will minimize in-flight muscle performance decrements? To answer these questions, the Exercise Countermeasures Project looked at physiological changes associated with muscle degradation as well as orthostatic intolerance. A means of ensuring motor coordination was necessary to maintain proficiency in piloting skills, EVA, and IVA tasks. In addition, it was necessary to maintain musculoskeletal strength and function to meet the rigors associated with moderate altitude bailout and with nominal or emergency egress from the landed Orbiter. Eight investigations, referred to as Detailed Supplementary Objectives (DSOs) 475, 476, 477, 606, 608, 617, 618, and 624, were conducted to study muscle degradation and the effects of exercise on exercise capacity and orthostatic function (Table 3-1). This chapter is divided into

  14. [Evaluation of sudomotor function].

    PubMed

    Asahina, Masato

    2014-01-01

    From the aspect of physiological roles, sweating on the hairy skin is an important for thermoregulation of body, and that on glabrous skin (the palm or sole) works as an anti-skid material when gripping something or performing a delicate task using the fingertips (emotional sweating). Abnormal sweating, which can be global or localized, is classified into hyperhidrosis and hypohidrosis, and detection of abnormal sweating, such as Horner's syndrome and Harlequin syndrome, is clinically useful for regional diagnosis of neurological lesions. In addition, sudomotor function tests, where sweat secretion is induced by physiological or pharmacological stimuli, are useful for diagnosis of neurological disorders. In this manuscript, clinical evaluation of abnormal sweating from the aspect of neurological diagnosis is reviewed. PMID:25672702

  15. Bolt cutter functional evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goldstein, S.; Wong, T. E.; Frost, S. W.; Gageby, J. V.; Pan, R. B.

    1994-01-01

    The Aerospace Corporation has been implementing finite difference and finite element codes for the analysis of a variety of explosive ordnance devices. Both MESA-2D and DYNA3D have been used to evaluate the role of several design parameters on the performance of a satellite separation system bolt cutter. Due to a lack of high strain rate response data for the materials involved, the properties for the bolt cutter and the bolt were selected to achieve agreement between computer simulation and observed characteristics of the recovered test hardware. The calculations provided insight into design parameters such as the cutter blade kinetic energy, the preload on the bolt, the relative position of the anvil, and the anvil shape. Modeling of the cutting process clarifies metallographic observation of both cut and uncut bolts obtained from several tests. Understanding the physical processes involved in bolt cutter operation may suggest certain design modifications that could improve performance margin without increasing environmental shock response levels.

  16. Levels of Analysis and Levels of Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Levickij, Ju.

    1975-01-01

    Attempts a preliminary typological study of sub-languages constituting one national language. Three types of sub-languages are distinguished: natural language, language of science, and informational language. They are compared to the three levels of language analysis, speech, norm and system. (RM)

  17. Evaluation of Lower Limb Motor Function Using Wireless Motion Sensors—A Comparison of Normal Elderly Subjects and those Requiring Support Level 1

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miyoshi, Hiroaki; Numata, Takayuki; Kuwae, Yutaka; Sekine, Masaki; Tsuji, Miwa; Okabe, Ichiro; Hara, Keita; Fujimoto, Toshiro; Tamura, Toshiyo

    This study quantitatively compared lower limb motility of normal subjects and those requiring support level 1 (support_1). We developed a wireless inertia sensor with an embedded tri-axial accelerometer and angular velocity sensor. Six normal elderly subjects and ten elderly subjects who were classified as support_1 by the Japanese care insurance system participated in the study. We attached the wireless motion sensors to the center of the lower back and both thighs in the subjects. Subjects were then asked to walk 10 m and perform a stepping exercise. For the evaluation, the cadence, pitch angle, and pitch angular velocity of the thigh auto-correlation function and root mean square (RMS) on the lower back were calculated. The autocorrelation coefficient function for the support_1 subjects was smaller than in the normal subjects, while the RMS was larger in support_1. These differences indicated that the gait and balance abilities of the support_1 subjects were poorer than those of the normal subjects. This suggests that our wireless motion sensor is useful for assessing the motility of the lower limbs while walking and climbing steps.

  18. A multi-level approach of evaluating crew resource management training: a laboratory-based study examining communication skills as a function of team congruence.

    PubMed

    Sauer, J; Darioly, A; Mast, M Schmid; Schmid, P C; Bischof, N

    2010-11-01

    The article proposes a multi-level approach for evaluating communication skills training (CST) as an important element of crew resource management (CRM) training. Within this methodological framework, the present work examined the effectiveness of CST in matching or mismatching team compositions with regard to hierarchical status and competence. There is little experimental research that evaluated the effectiveness of CRM training at multiple levels (i.e. reaction, learning, behaviour) and in teams composed of members of different status and competence. An experiment with a two (CST: with vs. without) by two (competence/hierarchical status: congruent vs. incongruent) design was carried out. A total of 64 participants were trained for 2.5 h on a simulated process control environment, with the experimental group being given 45 min of training on receptiveness and influencing skills. Prior to the 1-h experimental session, participants were assigned to two-person teams. The results showed overall support for the use of such a multi-level approach of training evaluation. Stronger positive effects of CST were found for subjective measures than for objective performance measures. STATEMENT OF RELEVANCE: This work provides some guidance for the use of a multi-level evaluation of CRM training. It also emphasises the need to collect objective performance data for training evaluation in addition to subjective measures with a view to gain a more accurate picture of the benefits of such training approaches.

  19. A multi-level approach of evaluating crew resource management training: a laboratory-based study examining communication skills as a function of team congruence.

    PubMed

    Sauer, J; Darioly, A; Mast, M Schmid; Schmid, P C; Bischof, N

    2010-11-01

    The article proposes a multi-level approach for evaluating communication skills training (CST) as an important element of crew resource management (CRM) training. Within this methodological framework, the present work examined the effectiveness of CST in matching or mismatching team compositions with regard to hierarchical status and competence. There is little experimental research that evaluated the effectiveness of CRM training at multiple levels (i.e. reaction, learning, behaviour) and in teams composed of members of different status and competence. An experiment with a two (CST: with vs. without) by two (competence/hierarchical status: congruent vs. incongruent) design was carried out. A total of 64 participants were trained for 2.5 h on a simulated process control environment, with the experimental group being given 45 min of training on receptiveness and influencing skills. Prior to the 1-h experimental session, participants were assigned to two-person teams. The results showed overall support for the use of such a multi-level approach of training evaluation. Stronger positive effects of CST were found for subjective measures than for objective performance measures. STATEMENT OF RELEVANCE: This work provides some guidance for the use of a multi-level evaluation of CRM training. It also emphasises the need to collect objective performance data for training evaluation in addition to subjective measures with a view to gain a more accurate picture of the benefits of such training approaches. PMID:20967655

  20. Clinical evaluation of functional dysphonia.

    PubMed

    Monday, L A

    1983-10-01

    Functional dysphonia is a voice impairment without any organic lesion of the phonating system. It may be classified into two categories: functional dysphonia itself where no lesions are found and functional laryngopathies where vocal cord lesions may be attributed to vocal abuse or misuse. The clinical evaluation of a dysphonic patient is performed in three steps: history taking, vocal evaluation, and examination. History taking helps the diagnosis and may be considered also as a therapeutic procedure. Vocal evaluation is oriented toward the voice itself and how it is produced. Then an ENT examination is performed with special attention to the larynx. In functional dysphonia, usually, everything looks normal but there may be signs of inflammation, hyperkinetism, hypokinetism, excessive laryngeal movements, etc. Functional laryngopathies include vocal nodules, laryngitis, polyps, and contact ulcer.

  1. Transfer function-noise modeling and spatial interpolation to evaluate the risk of extreme (shallow) water-table levels in the Brazilian Cerrados

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manzione, Rodrigo L.; Knotters, Martin; Heuvelink, Gerard B. M.; von Asmuth, Jos R.; Camara, Gilberto

    2010-12-01

    Water regimes in the Brazilian Cerrados are sensitive to climatological disturbances and human intervention. The risk that critical water-table levels are exceeded over long periods of time can be estimated by applying stochastic methods in modeling the dynamic relationship between water levels and driving forces such as precipitation and evapotranspiration. In this study, a transfer function-noise model, the so called PIRFICT-model, is applied to estimate the dynamic relationship between water-table depth and precipitation surplus/deficit in a watershed with a groundwater monitoring scheme in the Brazilian Cerrados. Critical limits were defined for a period in the Cerrados agricultural calendar, the end of the rainy season, when extremely shallow levels (<0.5-m depth) can pose a risk to plant health and machinery before harvesting. By simulating time-series models, the risk of exceeding critical thresholds during a continuous period of time (e.g. 10 days) is described by probability levels. These simulated probabilities were interpolated spatially using universal kriging, incorporating information related to the drainage basin from a digital elevation model. The resulting map reduced model uncertainty. Three areas were defined as presenting potential risk at the end of the rainy season. These areas deserve attention with respect to water-management and land-use planning.

  2. A Top Level Analysis of Training Management Functions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ackerson, Jack

    1995-01-01

    Presents an approach to conducting a top-level analysis of training management functions when there are problems within a training system. Highlights include data gathering and analyses of a training system; training management functions and activities, including planning, staffing, development, and evaluation and feedback; and development of root…

  3. Functional barriers: properties and evaluation.

    PubMed

    Feigenbaum, A; Dole, P; Aucejo, S; Dainelli, D; De la Cruz Garcia, C; Hankemeier, T; N'Gono, Y; Papaspyrides, C D; Paseiro, P; Pastorelli, S; Pavlidou, S; Pennarun, P Y; Saillard, P; Vidal, L; Vitrac, O; Voulzatis, Y

    2005-10-01

    Functional barriers are multilayer structures deemed to prevent migration of some chemicals released by food-contact materials into food. In the area of plastics packaging, different migration behaviours of mono- and multilayer structures are assessed in terms of lag time and of their influence of the solubility of the migrants in food simulants. Whereas barriers to oxygen or to aromas must prevent the diffusion of these compounds under conditions of use, a functional barrier must also be efficient under processing conditions, to prevent diffusion of substances when the polymer layers are in contact at high (processing) temperatures. Diffusion in melted polymers at high temperatures is much slower for glassy polymers, than in polymers that are rubbery at ambient temperature. To evaluate the behaviour of functional barriers under conditions of use, a set of reference diffusion coefficients in the 40-60 degrees C range were determined for 14 polymers. Conditions for accelerated migration tests are proposed based on worst-case activation energy in the 40-60 degrees C range. For simulation of migration, numerical models are available. The rules derived from the models can be used both by industry (to optimize a material in terms of migration) or by risk assessors. Differences in migration behaviour between mono- and multilayer materials are discussed. PMID:16227179

  4. Functional barriers: properties and evaluation.

    PubMed

    Feigenbaum, A; Dole, P; Aucejo, S; Dainelli, D; De la Cruz Garcia, C; Hankemeier, T; N'Gono, Y; Papaspyrides, C D; Paseiro, P; Pastorelli, S; Pavlidou, S; Pennarun, P Y; Saillard, P; Vidal, L; Vitrac, O; Voulzatis, Y

    2005-10-01

    Functional barriers are multilayer structures deemed to prevent migration of some chemicals released by food-contact materials into food. In the area of plastics packaging, different migration behaviours of mono- and multilayer structures are assessed in terms of lag time and of their influence of the solubility of the migrants in food simulants. Whereas barriers to oxygen or to aromas must prevent the diffusion of these compounds under conditions of use, a functional barrier must also be efficient under processing conditions, to prevent diffusion of substances when the polymer layers are in contact at high (processing) temperatures. Diffusion in melted polymers at high temperatures is much slower for glassy polymers, than in polymers that are rubbery at ambient temperature. To evaluate the behaviour of functional barriers under conditions of use, a set of reference diffusion coefficients in the 40-60 degrees C range were determined for 14 polymers. Conditions for accelerated migration tests are proposed based on worst-case activation energy in the 40-60 degrees C range. For simulation of migration, numerical models are available. The rules derived from the models can be used both by industry (to optimize a material in terms of migration) or by risk assessors. Differences in migration behaviour between mono- and multilayer materials are discussed.

  5. [Clinical evaluation of thymic function].

    PubMed

    Castermans, E; Morrhaye, G; Marchand, S; Martens, H; Moutschen, M; Baron, F; Beguin, Y; Geenen, V

    2007-11-01

    The essential role of the thymus is to install an extremely diverse repertoire of T lymphocytes that are self-tolerant and competent against non-self, as well as to generate self-antigen specific regulatory T cells (Treg) able to inactivate in periphery self-reactive T cells having escaped the thymic censorship. Although indirect, techniques of medical imaging and phenotyping of peripheral T cells may help in the investigation of thymic function. Nowadays however, thymopoiesis is better evaluated through quantification by PCR of T-cell receptor excision circles (TREC) generated by intrathymic random recombination of the gene segments coding for the variable parts of the T-cell receptor for antigen (TCR). The TREC methodology is very valuable in the circumstances not associated with intense proliferation or apoptosis of peripheral T lymphocytes. PMID:18217644

  6. Ideal functional outcomes for amputation levels.

    PubMed

    Meier, Robert H; Melton, Danielle

    2014-02-01

    This article provides a generalized overview of amputation classifications and the idealized outcomes for upper and lower amputations at their respective levels. The following levels are discussed: above knee/transfemoral, below knee/transtibial, above elbow/transhumeral, below elbow/transradial, and bilateral for upper and lower extremities. This classification defines a framework for clinicians to share with patients so that they understand the potential for their expected functional outcomes regarding mobility and activities of daily living, both with and without a prosthesis. Moreover, it addresses some of the vocational and avocational needs of the individual regarding amputation.

  7. Development and Preliminary Psychometric Evaluation of a Brief Self-Report Questionnaire for the Assessment of the DSM-5 level of Personality Functioning Scale: The LPFS Brief Form (LPFS-BF).

    PubMed

    Hutsebaut, Joost; Feenstra, Dine J; Kamphuis, Jan H

    2016-04-01

    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) alternative model for personality disorders (PDs) introduced a new paradigm for the assessment of PDs that includes levels of personality functioning indexing the severity of personality pathology irrespective of diagnosis. In this study, we describe the development and preliminary psychometric evaluation of a newly developed brief self-report questionnaire to assess levels of personality functioning, the Level of Personality Functioning Scale-Brief Form (LPFS-BF; Bender, Morey, & Skodol, 2011). Patients (N = 240) referred to a specialized setting for the assessment and treatment of PDs completed the LPFS-BF, the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI; Derogatis, 1975), the Severity Indices of Personality Problems (SIPP-118; Verheul et al., 2008), and were administered the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Personality Disorders (SCID-I; APA, 1994; First, Spitzer, Gibbon, & Williams, 1997) and the SCID Axis II Personality Disorders (SCID-II; First, Spitzer, Gibbon, Williams, & Benjamin, 1996). When constrained to a 2-factor oblique solution, the LPFS-BF yielded a structure that corresponded well to an interpretation of Self- and Interpersonal Functioning scales. The instrument demonstrated fair to satisfactory internal consistency and promising construct validity. The LPFS-BF constitutes a short, user-friendly instrument that provides a quick impression of the severity of personality pathology, specifically oriented to the DSM-5 model. Clearly, more research is needed to test its validity and clinical utility.

  8. Hospitalized insanity acquittees' level of functioning.

    PubMed

    Shah, P J; Greenberg, W M; Convit, A

    1994-01-01

    Since 1975 in New Jersey, similar legal criteria apply to the discharge of insanity acquittees as those patients who are civilly committed. Based on contact with insanity acquittees (NGRIs) in a regional state hospital, we had the impression that they appeared to be functioning better than the general inpatient population. The purpose of this study was to assess the length of inpatient stay and the level of functioning for the NGRIs and contrast it to a comparison group selected to for variables such as age, ethnicity, Axis I diagnosis, and history of substance abuse, which could impact on our variables of interest. We obtained psychiatrist-rated clinical global impression (CGI) scores and nursing-rated specific level of functioning (SLOF) scores in a group of 62 NGRIs and in a matched group of 62 controls. The NGRIs had significantly better CGI scores, and higher "personal care skills" and "social acceptability" SLOF section scores. The social acceptability subscale includes items for aggressiveness towards others, self, and property, all of which were significantly better for the NGRIs. Thus, in our setting, inpatient NGRIs displayed some evidence of better clinical functioning, including less perceived aggressiveness, than the control inpatients. Although the NGRIs has been in the regional state hospital for a shorter period than the controls, the NGRIs had spent an average of over three continuous years in secure facilities before transfer to the regional state hospital. We discuss our findings in view of high rates of paranoid subtypes of psychotic disorders among the NGRI group, and the high prevalence of substance abuse.

  9. Making Evaluation "Operational" in Functional Literacy Programs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bhola, H. S.

    Steps to be taken to "operationalize" evaluation, i.e., to make evaluation work, are discussed and applied to the Unesco program of functional literacy. Evaluation is seen as an important social concern, as well as a field of study and an area of competence. Four types of evaluation applied to the Unesco program are context evaluation, input…

  10. Evaluation of object level change detection techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irvine, John M.; Bergeron, Stuart; Hugo, Doug; O'Brien, Michael A.

    2007-04-01

    A variety of change detection (CD) methods have been developed and employed to support imagery analysis for applications including environmental monitoring, mapping, and support to military operations. Evaluation of these methods is necessary to assess technology maturity, identify areas for improvement, and support transition to operations. This paper presents a methodology for conducting this type of evaluation, discusses the challenges, and illustrates the techniques. The evaluation of object-level change detection methods is more complicated than for automated techniques for processing a single image. We explore algorithm performance assessments, emphasizing the definition of the operating conditions (sensor, target, and environmental factors) and the development of measures of performance. Specific challenges include image registration; occlusion due to foliage, cultural clutter and terrain masking; diurnal differences; and differences in viewing geometry. Careful planning, sound experimental design, and access to suitable imagery with image truth and metadata are critical.

  11. [IGF-1 plasma levels evaluation in prolactinoma].

    PubMed

    Zylberberg, Daniela; Naliato, Erika C O; Sarmet, Alair; Sato, Eduardo; Costa, Fernando S R; Violante, Alice H D

    2006-09-01

    Prolactinomas are the most frequent pituitary tumors and may co-secrete GH (growth hormone). IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor-1) is the main responsible for GH actions and a parameter for the diagnosis of acromegaly. With the objective of identifying through a IGF-1 levels analysis, in the initial evaluation of prolactinoma patients, the existence of mixed tumors [GH and prolactin (PRL)], we studied 7 men and 27 women, aged between 19 and 72 years, confronting them with the results of basal and glucose stimulated (glucose tolerance test--GTT) GH levels, indicated when GH >0.4 ng/mL or IGF-1 levels were elevated. The prevalence of patients with GH >0.4 ng/mL and elevated IGF-1 was higher than expected; however, after GTT, no patient fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for acromegaly. However, we suggest that, they should be submitted to IGF-1 evaluation, due to the risk of GH co-secretion in prolactinomas. Special attention should be paid to those who present a significant decrease of PRL levels without concomitant tumor size reduction.

  12. Functional optical imaging at the microscopic level

    PubMed Central

    Salazar Vázquez, Beatriz Y.; Hightower, Ciel Makena; Sapuppo, Francesca; Tartakovsky, Daniel M.; Intaglietta, Marcos

    2010-01-01

    Functional microscopic imaging of in vivo tissues aims at characterizing parameters at the level of the unitary cellular components under normal conditions, in the presence of blood flow, to understand and monitor phenomena that lead to maintaining homeostatic balance. Of principal interest are the setting of shear stress on the endothelium; formation of the plasma layer, where the balance between nitric oxide production and scavenging is established; and formation of the oxygen gradients that determine the distribution of oxygen from blood into the tissue. Optical techniques that enable the analysis of functional microvascular processes are the measurement of blood vessel dimensions by image shearing, the photometric analysis of the extent of the plasma layer, the dual-slit methodology for measuring blood flow velocity, and the direct measurement of oxygen concentration in blood and tissue. Each of these technologies includes the development of paired, related mathematical approaches that enable characterizing the transport properties of the blood tissue system. While the technology has been successful in analyzing the living tissue in experimental conditions, deployment to clinical settings remains an elusive goal, due to the difficulty of obtaining optical access to the depth of the tissue. PMID:20210428

  13. Evaluation of Language Function under Awake Craniotomy

    PubMed Central

    KANNO, Aya; MIKUNI, Nobuhiro

    2015-01-01

    Awake craniotomy is the only established way to assess patients’ language functions intraoperatively and to contribute to their preservation, if necessary. Recent guidelines have enabled the approach to be used widely, effectively, and safely. Non-invasive brain functional imaging techniques, including functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging, have been used preoperatively to identify brain functional regions corresponding to language, and their accuracy has increased year by year. In addition, the use of neuronavigation that incorporates this preoperative information has made it possible to identify the positional relationships between the lesion and functional regions involved in language, conduct functional brain mapping in the awake state with electrical stimulation, and intraoperatively assess nerve function in real time when resecting the lesion. This article outlines the history of awake craniotomy, the current state of pre- and intraoperative evaluation of language function, and the clinical usefulness of such functional evaluation. When evaluating patients’ language functions during awake craniotomy, given the various intraoperative stresses involved, it is necessary to carefully select the tasks to be undertaken, quickly perform all examinations, and promptly evaluate the results. As language functions involve both input and output, they are strongly affected by patients’ preoperative cognitive function, degree of intraoperative wakefulness and fatigue, the ability to produce verbal articulations and utterances, as well as perform synergic movement. Therefore, it is essential to appropriately assess the reproducibility of language function evaluation using awake craniotomy techniques. PMID:25925758

  14. Multi-level Expression Design Language: Requirement level (MEDL-R) system evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    An evaluation of the Multi-Level Expression Design Language Requirements Level (MEDL-R) system was conducted to determine whether it would be of use in the Goddard Space Flight Center Code 580 software development environment. The evaluation is based upon a study of the MEDL-R concept of requirement languages, the functions performed by MEDL-R, and the MEDL-R language syntax. Recommendations are made for changes to MEDL-R that would make it useful in the Code 580 environment.

  15. Interpersonal Functions of EFL Teachers' Evaluative Discourse

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lai, Junming

    2010-01-01

    As an important dimension of interpersonal function in SFL, appraisal has attracted a lot of attentions from the linguists home and abroad. This thesis is an attempt to analyze the interpersonal functions of EFL teachers' evaluative discourse with in the framework of Palladian Systemic-functional Grammar (SFG) and Martin's Appraisal theory. The…

  16. Systematic evaluation of skeletal mechanical function

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Lauren; Bigelow, Erin M.R.; Jepsen, Karl J.

    2013-01-01

    Many genetic and environmental perturbations lead to measurable changes in bone morphology, matrix composition, and matrix organization. The skeletal system is highly adaptive, such that genetic and environmental perturbations affecting one trait are often accompanied by compensatory changes in other traits. This adaptation should be considered when attempting to draw meaningful conclusions about the role of a gene, for example. The challenge is to figure out which alterations can be attributed to the perturbation and which result from adaptive changes associated with establishing mechanical function. The goal of this chapter is to describe straight-forward biomechanical methods that can be used to determine whether a genetic or environmental perturbation affected bone strength. We introduce a systematic method for evaluating how bone strength was altered in the context of morphology and tissue-level mechanical properties, which are determined in large part from matrix composition, matrix organization, and porosity. We present this work as a first step toward screening mice for a phenotypic effect and for establishing the associated biomechanical mechanism by which function was altered. The outcome of these analyses generally provides insight into the next set of experiments required to further connect the cellular perturbation with the functional changes. The protocols were written to enable researchers without a background in engineering to conduct the assays or to enable researchers to better understand the outcomes of similar assays conducted by colleagues knowledgeable in engineering. PMID:24634803

  17. Functional Reading Levels: From Graded Word Lists?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Froese, Victor

    This study investigated the feasibility of using only the McCracken Word List (MWL), a subtest of the Standard Reading Inventory (SRI), rather than the entire SRI to determine functional grade placement in reading. The MWL is one of the few word lists with well-documented reliability and validity. In addition, the MWL has been shown to be highly…

  18. Efficient Credit Assignment through Evaluation Function Decomposition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Agogino, Adrian; Turner, Kagan; Mikkulainen, Risto

    2005-01-01

    Evolutionary methods are powerful tools in discovering solutions for difficult continuous tasks. When such a solution is encoded over multiple genes, a genetic algorithm faces the difficult credit assignment problem of evaluating how a single gene in a chromosome contributes to the full solution. Typically a single evaluation function is used for the entire chromosome, implicitly giving each gene in the chromosome the same evaluation. This method is inefficient because a gene will get credit for the contribution of all the other genes as well. Accurately measuring the fitness of individual genes in such a large search space requires many trials. This paper instead proposes turning this single complex search problem into a multi-agent search problem, where each agent has the simpler task of discovering a suitable gene. Gene-specific evaluation functions can then be created that have better theoretical properties than a single evaluation function over all genes. This method is tested in the difficult double-pole balancing problem, showing that agents using gene-specific evaluation functions can create a successful control policy in 20 percent fewer trials than the best existing genetic algorithms. The method is extended to more distributed problems, achieving 95 percent performance gains over tradition methods in the multi-rover domain.

  19. Biological cluster evaluation for gene function prediction.

    PubMed

    Klie, Sebastian; Nikoloski, Zoran; Selbig, Joachim

    2014-06-01

    Recent advances in high-throughput omics techniques render it possible to decode the function of genes by using the "guilt-by-association" principle on biologically meaningful clusters of gene expression data. However, the existing frameworks for biological evaluation of gene clusters are hindered by two bottleneck issues: (1) the choice for the number of clusters, and (2) the external measures which do not take in consideration the structure of the analyzed data and the ontology of the existing biological knowledge. Here, we address the identified bottlenecks by developing a novel framework that allows not only for biological evaluation of gene expression clusters based on existing structured knowledge, but also for prediction of putative gene functions. The proposed framework facilitates propagation of statistical significance at each of the following steps: (1) estimating the number of clusters, (2) evaluating the clusters in terms of novel external structural measures, (3) selecting an optimal clustering algorithm, and (4) predicting gene functions. The framework also includes a method for evaluation of gene clusters based on the structure of the employed ontology. Moreover, our method for obtaining a probabilistic range for the number of clusters is demonstrated valid on synthetic data and available gene expression profiles from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Finally, we propose a network-based approach for gene function prediction which relies on the clustering of optimal score and the employed ontology. Our approach effectively predicts gene function on the Saccharomyces cerevisiae data set and is also employed to obtain putative gene functions for an Arabidopsis thaliana data set.

  20. Serum thyrotropin (TSH) levels in patients with suppressed pituitary function

    SciTech Connect

    Vasavada, P.; Chen, I.; Maxon, H.; Barnes, E.; Sperling, M.

    1984-01-01

    The diagnosis of borderline hyperthyroidism is difficult. A sensitive radioimmunoassay capable of detecting subnormal levels of serum TSH may be of value in confirming this diagnosis because of the suppressed pituitary function in this disease state. This sensitive assay may also be useful in monitoring the suppression of pituitary function in thyroid cancer patients receiving thyroid hormone therapy. A sensitive radioimmunoassay capable of detecting serum TSH levels as low as 0.25 ..mu..U/m1 with coefficients of variation less than 17.2% was used to measure serum TSH levels in 80 healthy subjects, 44 hyperthyroid patients, and 25 athyrotic thyroid cancer patients on daily suppressive doses of thyroxine. All healthy subjects had detectable TSH levels with a mean value of 1.17 and two standard deviation ranges of 0.41 - 2.70 ..mu..U/m1 (lognormal distribution). Although the mean +-1 SEM value of 0.63 +- 0.003 ..mu..Um1 for hyperthyroid patients and 0.76 +- 0.08 ..mu..U/ml for thyroid cancer patients were significantly lower than that of healthy subjects (t-test, p<0.05), subnormal levels of serum TSH were found in only 28.6% (12/42) and 24% (6/25) of hyperthyroid and thyroid cancer patients, respectively. TSH stimulation tests performed in 6 of the cancer patients all gave suppressed responses. Because of considerable overlap, serum TSH levels alone cannot distinguish hyperthyroidsm from euthyroidism. However, a sensitive TSH radioimmunoassay such as the one described here may be of value in evaluating the extent of pituitary suppression in thyroid cancer therapy.

  1. 40 CFR 141.626 - Operational evaluation levels.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 22 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Operational evaluation levels. 141.626....626 Operational evaluation levels. (a) You have exceeded the operational evaluation level at any monitoring location where the sum of the two previous quarters' TTHM results plus twice the current...

  2. Evaluating success levels of mega-projects

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kumaraswamy, Mohan M.

    1994-01-01

    Today's mega-projects transcend the traditional trajectories traced within national and technological limitations. Powers unleashed by internationalization of initiatives, in for example space exploration and environmental protection, are arguably only temporarily suppressed by narrower national, economic, and professional disagreements as to how best they should be harnessed. While the world gets its act together there is time to develop the technologies of such supra-mega-project management that will synergize truly diverse resources and smoothly mesh their interfaces. Such mega-projects and their management need to be realistically evaluated, when implementing such improvements. This paper examines current approaches to evaluating mega-projects and questions the validity of extrapolations to the supra-mega-projects of the future. Alternatives to improve such evaluations are proposed and described.

  3. Urban noise functional stratification for estimating average annual sound level.

    PubMed

    Rey Gozalo, Guillermo; Barrigón Morillas, Juan Miguel; Prieto Gajardo, Carlos

    2015-06-01

    Road traffic noise causes many health problems and the deterioration of the quality of urban life; thus, adequate spatial noise and temporal assessment methods are required. Different methods have been proposed for the spatial evaluation of noise in cities, including the categorization method. Until now, this method has only been applied for the study of spatial variability with measurements taken over a week. In this work, continuous measurements of 1 year carried out in 21 different locations in Madrid (Spain), which has more than three million inhabitants, were analyzed. The annual average sound levels and the temporal variability were studied in the proposed categories. The results show that the three proposed categories highlight the spatial noise stratification of the studied city in each period of the day (day, evening, and night) and in the overall indicators (L(And), L(Aden), and L(A24)). Also, significant differences between the diurnal and nocturnal sound levels show functional stratification in these categories. Therefore, this functional stratification offers advantages from both spatial and temporal perspectives by reducing the sampling points and the measurement time. PMID:26093410

  4. Improving landscape-level environmental impact evaluations.

    SciTech Connect

    Walston, L.J.; LaGory, K.E.; Vinikour, W.; Van Lonkhuyzen, R.L.; Cantwell, B.

    2012-04-01

    New spatial data and advancements in GIS tools allow much more comprehensive and quantitative analyses of the large datasets required when making programmatic evaluations of the ecological effects of proposed activities that cover a large area or region. Understanding the environmental impacts of proposed human developments is critical to making appropriate siting decisions and designing mitigation strategies to reduce impacts on important resources. Impact analyses conducted under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in Environmental Impact Statements (EISs) or Environmental Assessments (EAs) are intended to determine the resource-specific impacts of proposed activities of federal agencies and their alternatives using the best available information. Impacts to ecological resources are often a primary focus of these analyses. Information used in NEPA analyses include some measure of the known or probable presence of plants and wildlife in the project area, with special emphasis placed on threatened, endangered, and other special-status species. Site-specific information pertaining to ecological resources is usually easier to obtain for small-scale activities such as a local facility, road, or transmission upgrade project, where the ability to conduct fieldwork is more often feasible. However, site-specific data is more difficult-and sometimes impossible-to obtain for proposed activities that could affect a large area or region. These types of analyses often are considered in programmatic NEPA documents, in which a federal agency evaluates the implementation of a broad program or plan. Under these programmatic evaluations, the exact location and size of developments are often not known. Because obtaining quantitative information for ecological resources at such large spatial scales is difficult, programmatic impact evaluations typically rely on sketchy or partial information such as recorded species occurrences, species ranges, and general habitat

  5. The functional basis of face evaluation

    PubMed Central

    Oosterhof, Nikolaas N.; Todorov, Alexander

    2008-01-01

    People automatically evaluate faces on multiple trait dimensions, and these evaluations predict important social outcomes, ranging from electoral success to sentencing decisions. Based on behavioral studies and computer modeling, we develop a 2D model of face evaluation. First, using a principal components analysis of trait judgments of emotionally neutral faces, we identify two orthogonal dimensions, valence and dominance, that are sufficient to describe face evaluation and show that these dimensions can be approximated by judgments of trustworthiness and dominance. Second, using a data-driven statistical model for face representation, we build and validate models for representing face trustworthiness and face dominance. Third, using these models, we show that, whereas valence evaluation is more sensitive to features resembling expressions signaling whether the person should be avoided or approached, dominance evaluation is more sensitive to features signaling physical strength/weakness. Fourth, we show that important social judgments, such as threat, can be reproduced as a function of the two orthogonal dimensions of valence and dominance. The findings suggest that face evaluation involves an overgeneralization of adaptive mechanisms for inferring harmful intentions and the ability to cause harm and can account for rapid, yet not necessarily accurate, judgments from faces. PMID:18685089

  6. Evaluation of Stress Levels of Professionals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schnorr, Janet K.; McWilliams, Jettie M.

    This study was conducted to analyze levels and areas of stress of professionals in selected service professions and to establish national norms of stress for these professions. The 60-item Tennessee Stress Scale-R (TSS-R) is a work-related stress inventory for professionals which provides a measure of stress in three areas: stress producers,…

  7. Levels of Evaluation for Computer-Based Instruction.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reeves, Thomas C.; Lent, Richard M.

    The uses and methods of four levels of evaluation which can be conducted during the development and implementation phases of computer-based instruction (CBI) programs are discussed in this paper. The levels of evaluation presented are: (1) documentation, (2) formative evaluation, (3) assessment of immediate learner effectiveness, and (4) impact…

  8. Level III Training Evaluation: Considerations for Today's Organizations.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harrell, Kathleen D.

    2001-01-01

    Discussion of the four-level model of training evaluation focuses on the need for evaluation at level III, to show that training has been effective and that trainees behave differently on the job. Suggests data collection and measurement methods, including pretraining-posttraining evaluation, action plan audits, simulations, and unobtrusive…

  9. Evaluating a Training Using the "Four Levels Model"

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Steensma, Herman; Groeneveld, Karin

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: The aims of this study are: to present a training evaluation based on the "four levels model"; to demonstrate the value of experimental designs in evaluation studies; and to take a first step in the development of an evidence-based training program. Design/methodology/approach: The Kirkpatrick four levels model was used to evaluate the…

  10. Evaluating the personnel department's internal functioning.

    PubMed

    McAfee, R B

    1980-01-01

    Much has been written of late about auditing the personnel department--particularly in terms of its cost effectiveness, the time allocated to its various functions, and the extent and nature of expanding services. R. Bruce McAfee, assistant professor of management at Old Dominion University, takes up a different kind of audit--one that evaluates the effectiveness of personnel staff members in delivering and implementing personnel policies and procedures. Logically enough, he points to those who avail themselves of such services--the other employees in the organization--as being in the best position to perform such an evaluation. Thus the first step in his "personnel internal functioning audit" is to design a questionnaire for the purpose, and he takes it from there--citing along the way the experiences of a large midwestern hospital that conducted this kind of simple, inexpensive audit.

  11. Evaluation of autonomic functions in subclinical hypothyroid and hypothyroid patients

    PubMed Central

    Mahajan, Aarti S.; Lal, Ram; Dhanwal, Dinesh K.; Jain, Ajay K.; Chowdhury, Veena

    2013-01-01

    Background: Autonomic dysfunction may contribute to cardiovascular morbidity in subclinical hypothyroid patients. It is controversial whether the abnormality exists in sympathetic or the parasympathetic function. It is also not known whether the severity of autonomic dysfunction is related to the degree of thyroid deficiency. Design of Study: Prospective case control. Materials and Methods: Autonomic functions based on heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) responses to various maneuvers were evaluated and scored in twenty two subclinical hypothyroid patients, 30-50 years and compared with twenty hypothyroid patients. Biochemical estimation of TSH, fT3, fT4, TPO antibody was done. Result: Sympathetic function abnormalities were seen in 82% subclinical hypothyroid patients and 85%hypothyroid patients when one test was abnormal. Parasympathetic dysfunction was also recorded in eight patients in both groups. When two abnormal tests were used as the selection criteria sympathetic function abnormality was observed in about 41% subclinical hypothyroid and 65% hypothyroid patients. There were no intergroup differences in autonomic functions, score and TPO levels. The TSH levels were not related to type or degree of autonomic dysfunction. Systolic BP in both groups and diastolic BP in hypothyroid patients were higher with lower thyroxine levels but the patients were normotensive. Conclusion: Autonomic dysfunction of comparable degree was seen in subclinical hypothyroid and hypothyroid patients. Sympathetic function abnormality was more common although decreased parasympathetic function reactivity was also present. These abnormalities were unrelated to TSH levels. PMID:23869303

  12. Towards a comprehensive Functional Capacity Evaluation for hand function.

    PubMed

    Hollak, N; Soer, R; van der Woude, L H; Reneman, M F

    2014-05-01

    The aim of this study was to develop a more efficient (i.e. shortened) protocol for hand function capacity evaluation and to test the agreement of the protocol compared to the original protocol. 643 Healthy subjects performed tests for hand function. Agreement between two shortened protocols was compared with an existing protocol. The original protocol was performed once and the proposed shortened protocol differed in the number of trials which were reduced by statistical elimination. Agreement was determined with Intraclass Correlation Coefficients (ICC) and Limits of Agreement (LoA). Excellent ICCs (≥0.91) were observed in all proposed protocols except for the one trial purdue pegboard test protocol. For all tests of hand function, shorter protocols are valid to determine hand function. For Tip Pinch Strength testing, Palmar Pinch Strength testing and the Purdue Pegboard test, a two-trial protocol is recommended, because the LoA were considerable, which could affect decision-making with regards to hand capacity. For the Hand Grip strength test, the Key Pinch Strength test and the Complete Minnesota Dexterity Test, a one-trial protocol is recommended, because the LoA were acceptable. It was concluded that for healthy subjects, this shorter protocol is a reliable measure. Further testing of the short form hand FCE protocols should be completed on patients with disabling conditions prior to widespread use of these protocols among clinical samples.

  13. Efficient evaluation of analytic Fukui functions.

    PubMed

    Flores-Moreno, Roberto; Melin, Junia; Ortiz, J V; Merino, Gabriel

    2008-12-14

    An efficient method for the analytic evaluation of Fukui functions is proposed. Working equations are derived and numerical results are used to validate the method on medium size set of molecules. In addition to the obvious advantages of analytic differentiation, the proposed method is efficient enough to be considered a practical alternative to the finite difference formulation used routinely. The reliability of the approximations used here is demonstrated and discussed. Problems found in other methods for prediction of electrophilic centers are corrected automatically when using the new method.

  14. A Top Level Analysis of Training Management Functions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ackerson, Jack

    1995-01-01

    Discusses how to conduct a top-level analysis of training management functions to identify problems within a training system resulting from rapid growth, the acquisition of new departments, or mergers. The data gathering process and analyses are explained, training management functions and activities are described, and root causes and solutions…

  15. Relationship between Functional Classification Levels and Anaerobic Performance of Wheelchair Basketball Athletes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Molik, Bartosz; Laskin, James J.; Kosmol, Andrzej; Skucas, Kestas; Bida, Urszula

    2010-01-01

    Wheelchair basketball athletes are classified using the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) functional classification system. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between upper extremity anaerobic performance (AnP) and all functional classification levels in wheelchair basketball. Ninety-seven male athletes…

  16. Concurrent and Predictive Relations between Hormone Levels and Social-Emotional Functioning in Early Adolescence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nottelmann, Editha D.; And Others

    Hormone levels and changes in hormone levels were evaluated three times across a 1-year period as concurrent and predictive correlates of the socio-emotional functioning of 56 boys 10- to 14-years-old and 52 girls 9- to 14-years-old who represented the five stages of Tanner's criteria of pubertal development. The hormone measures were serum levels…

  17. Maternal Evaluations of Children's Emergent Literacy Level, Maternal Mediation in Book Reading, and Children's Emergent Literacy Level: A Comparison Between SES Groups

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Korat, Ofra; Haglili, Sharon

    2007-01-01

    This study examined whether maternal evaluations of children's emergent literacy (EL) levels, maternal mediation during a book-reading activity with children, and the children's EL levels differ as a function of socioeconomic status (SES; low vs. high), and whether the relationships between these variables differ as a function of SES levels. Study…

  18. Sustainable development level evaluation based on ecosystem services welfare index

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, W.; Shi, Z.

    2015-12-01

    Rapidly economic development makes global ecosystem degradation and ecosystem services descent, which aroused people's concern increasingly. A serious of disastrous weather such as sandstorm, haze, and floods become the focus of public. Take an example of the impact on natural ecosystems, firstly, human are over-dependence on the supply services provided by ecosystem, especially the grain, fibers, forest and so on, resulting other ecosystem services decline. Secondly, the raising artificial ecosystems lead to the simplification of system structure and function. End up with environment pollution and habitat fragmentation, which endanger human well-being. Ecosystem Services Welfare Index was introduced into this study. Evaluating the sustainable development level of regional ecology and society by calculating the efficiency of per unit ecosystem services consumption contributes to the human welfare. Welfare is the degree of human satisfaction, including not only the economic level, but also the education, health, and housing. This study will select the human development index (HDI) as the representation of human welfare, and ecosystem services footprint index (ESFI) presenting the ecosystem services consumption. According the results, 31 province in China could be divided into several different type, "high development- low efficiency- high consumption", "low development - high efficiency- low consumption" and "low development- high efficiency- low consumption", which could be evidence for decision makers.

  19. [Assessment and evaluation of cardiac function].

    PubMed

    Yazaki, Y

    1993-05-01

    Assessment and evaluation of cardiac function have become commonplace in the care of cardiac patients with acute or chronic disorders, since therapy of most cardiac diseases is designed specifically to improve ventricular function. Now, various techniques are available for quantitative measurements of the size, shape and motion of the ventricle. Ventricular dysfunction is defined with two components, systolic and diastolic dysfunction, and can be described hemodynamically in terms of the ventricular pressure-volume diagram. Pure systolic dysfunction is associated with a depression in the end-systolic pressure-volume relation, using the Frank-Starling relation to restore cardiac output toward normal. In contrast, pure diastolic dysfunction is associated with preservation of the end-systolic pressure-volume relation but distortion of the diastolic relation, showing higher diastolic pressure at any given volume. However, in patients presenting clinically with heart failure, both systolic and diastolic dysfunction are usually observed. In this context, factors and disorders that influence ventricular dysfunction are described, considering extrinsic or intrinsic to the ventricular chambers.

  20. Integrated Locomotor Function Tests for Countermeasure Evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bloomberg, J. J.; Mulavara, A. P.; Peters, B. T.; Cohen, H. S.; Landsness, E. C.; Black, F. O.

    2005-01-01

    Following spaceflight crewmembers experience locomotor dysfunction due to inflight adaptive alterations in sensorimotor function. Countermeasures designed to mitigate these postflight gait alterations need to be assessed with a new generation of tests that evaluate the interaction of various sensorimotor sub-systems central to locomotor control. The goal of the present study was to develop new functional tests of locomotor control that could be used to test the efficacy of countermeasures. These tests were designed to simultaneously examine the function of multiple sensorimotor systems underlying the control of locomotion and be operationally relevant to the astronaut population. Traditionally, gaze stabilization has been studied almost exclusively in seated subjects performing target acquisition tasks requiring only the involvement of coordinated eye-head movements. However, activities like walking involve full-body movement and require coordination between lower limbs and the eye-head-trunk complex to achieve stabilized gaze during locomotion. Therefore the first goal of this study was to determine how the multiple, interdependent, full-body sensorimotor gaze stabilization subsystems are functionally coordinated during locomotion. In an earlier study we investigated how alteration in gaze tasking changes full-body locomotor control strategies. Subjects walked on a treadmill and either focused on a central point target or read numeral characters. We measured: temporal parameters of gait, full body sagittal plane segmental kinematics of the head, trunk, thigh, shank and foot, accelerations along the vertical axis at the head and the shank, and the vertical forces acting on the support surface. In comparison to the point target fixation condition, the results of the number reading task showed that compensatory head pitch movements increased, peak head acceleration was reduced and knee flexion at heel-strike was increased. In a more recent study we investigated the

  1. Orbit targeting specialist function: Level C formulation requirements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dupont, A.; Mcadoo, S.; Jones, H.; Jones, A. K.; Pearson, D.

    1978-01-01

    A definition of the level C requirements for onboard maneuver targeting software is provided. Included are revisions of the level C software requirements delineated in JSC IN 78-FM-27, Proximity Operations Software; Level C Requirements, dated May 1978. The software supports the terminal phase midcourse (TPM) maneuver, braking and close-in operations as well as supporting computation of the rendezvous corrective combination maneuver (NCC), and the terminal phase initiation (TPI). Specific formulation is contained here for the orbit targeting specialist function including the processing logic, linkage, and data base definitions for all modules. The crew interface with the software is through the keyboard and the ORBIT-TGT display.

  2. Comments on the NAE Evaluation of the NAGB Achievement Levels.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kane, Michael

    The National Academy of Education (NAE) Panel has drawn two major conclusions in its evaluation of the National Assessment Governing Board's (NAGB) efforts to set achievement levels for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). They are that the Angoff procedure is fundamentally flawed for the setting of achievement levels, and that…

  3. Evaluation of triggering functions in convective parameterization schemes using observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ettammal, S.; Zhang, G. J.

    2013-12-01

    Realistic simulation of different modes of atmospheric variability ranging from the diurnal cycle to inter-annual variability in global climate models (GCMs) depends crucially on the convection triggering criteria. In this study, using the data from constrained variational analysis by the Atmospheric System Research program for single column models (SCM), the performance of the commonly used convective triggering functions in GCMs is evaluated, based on the equitable threat score (ETS) value, a widely used forecast verification metric. From the ETS score, four consistently better performing triggering functions were identified. They are based on dilute dCAPE, parcel buoyancy at the lifting condensation level (Bechtold scheme), undilute dCAPE and dilute CAPE triggering functions. The key variables used to define these triggering functions were examined in detail. It was found that the skill score value of the dilute dCAPE triggering function does not show much variation among different data sets. Analysis of the composite fields and probability distributions of key variables of the triggering functions, based on the correct-prediction, over-prediction, under-prediction of convection and correct prediction of no convection cases for convection onset, brings to light some critical factors responsible for the performance of the trigger functions.

  4. Evaluation and selection of candidate high-level waste forms

    SciTech Connect

    Bernadzikowski, T. A.; Allender, J. S.; Butler, J. L.; Gordon, D. E.; Gould, Jr., T. H.; Stone, J. A.

    1982-03-01

    Seven candidate waste forms being developed under the direction of the Department of Energy's National High-Level Waste (HLW) Technology Program, were evaluated as potential media for the immobilization and geologic disposal of high-level nuclear wastes. The evaluation combined preliminary waste form evaluations conducted at DOE defense waste-sites and independent laboratories, peer review assessments, a product performance evaluation, and a processability analysis. Based on the combined results of these four inputs, two of the seven forms, borosilicate glass and a titanate based ceramic, SYNROC, were selected as the reference and alternative forms for continued development and evaluation in the National HLW Program. Both the glass and ceramic forms are viable candidates for use at each of the DOE defense waste-sites; they are also potential candidates for immobilization of commercial reprocessing wastes. This report describes the waste form screening process, and discusses each of the four major inputs considered in the selection of the two forms.

  5. Relationship between static postural control and the level of functional abilities in children with cerebral palsy

    PubMed Central

    Pavão, Sílvia L.; Nunes, Gabriela S.; Santos, Adriana N.; Rocha, Nelci A. C. F.

    2014-01-01

    Background: Postural control deficits can impair functional performance in children with cerebral palsy (CP) in daily living activities. Objective: To verify the relationship between standing static postural control and the functional ability level in children with CP. Method: The postural control of 10 children with CP (gross motor function levels I and II) was evaluated during static standing on a force platform for 30 seconds. The analyzed variables were the anteroposterior (AP) and mediolateral (ML) displacement of the center of pressure (CoP) and the area and velocity of the CoP oscillation. The functional abilities were evaluated using the mean Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI) scores, which evaluated self-care, mobility and social function in the domains of functional abilities and caregiver assistance. Results: Spearman's correlation test found a relationship between postural control and functional abilities. The results showed a strong negative correlation between the variables of ML displacement of CoP, the area and velocity of the CoP oscillation and the PEDI scores in the self-care and caregiver assistance domains. Additionally, a moderate negative correlation was found between the area of the CoP oscillation and the mobility scores in the caregiver assistance domain. We used a significance level of 5% (p <0.05). Conclusions: We observed that children with cerebral palsy with high CoP oscillation values had lower caregiver assistance scores for activities of daily living (ADL) and consequently higher levels of caregiver dependence. These results demonstrate the repercussions of impairments to the body structure and function in terms of the activity levels of children with CP such that postural control impairments in these children lead to higher requirements for caregiver assistance. PMID:25054383

  6. Core level binding energies of functionalized and defective graphene.

    PubMed

    Susi, Toma; Kaukonen, Markus; Havu, Paula; Ljungberg, Mathias P; Ayala, Paola; Kauppinen, Esko I

    2014-01-01

    X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) is a widely used tool for studying the chemical composition of materials and it is a standard technique in surface science and technology. XPS is particularly useful for characterizing nanostructures such as carbon nanomaterials due to their reduced dimensionality. In order to assign the measured binding energies to specific bonding environments, reference energy values need to be known. Experimental measurements of the core level signals of the elements present in novel materials such as graphene have often been compared to values measured for molecules, or calculated for finite clusters. Here we have calculated core level binding energies for variously functionalized or defected graphene by delta Kohn-Sham total energy differences in the real-space grid-based projector-augmented wave density functional theory code (GPAW). To accurately model extended systems, we applied periodic boundary conditions in large unit cells to avoid computational artifacts. In select cases, we compared the results to all-electron calculations using an ab initio molecular simulations (FHI-aims) code. We calculated the carbon and oxygen 1s core level binding energies for oxygen and hydrogen functionalities such as graphane-like hydrogenation, and epoxide, hydroxide and carboxylic functional groups. In all cases, we considered binding energy contributions arising from carbon atoms up to the third nearest neighbor from the functional group, and plotted C 1s line shapes by using experimentally realistic broadenings. Furthermore, we simulated the simplest atomic defects, namely single and double vacancies and the Stone-Thrower-Wales defect. Finally, we studied modifications of a reactive single vacancy with O and H functionalities, and compared the calculated values to data found in the literature.

  7. Evaluation of renal function in patients with psoriasis using immunobiologicals*

    PubMed Central

    Melgaço, Sarah Suyanne Carvalho; da Silva, Geraldo Bezerra; Dantas, Amanda Maria Menezes; Vasconcelos, Ana Mirella Arcanjo; de Siqueira, Verônica Riquet; Vieira, Ana Patrícia Freitas; Daher, Elizabeth de Francesco

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate renal function in patients with psoriasis using immunobiologicals. A prospective study was conducted with 15 patients with confirmed diagnosis of psoriasis who were starting to use immunobiologicals. The mean age was 41±11 years, with 60% females. The mean time of disease was 11±6.6 years. Significant changes in creatinine and creatinine clearance were not observed in the course of the study. There was an increase in transaminases and a decrease in magnesium levels. PMID:24068151

  8. Why functions are not special dispositions: an improved classification of realizables for top-level ontologies

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background The concept of function is central to both biology and technology, but neither in philosophy nor in formal ontology is there a generally accepted theory of functions. In particular, there is no consensus how to include functions into a top-level ontology or whether to include them at all. Methods We first review current conceptions of functions in philosophy and formal ontology and evaluate them against a set of criteria. These evaluation criteria are derived from a synopsis of theoretical and practical requirements that have been suggested for formal accounts of functions. In a second step, we elucidate in particular the relation between functions and dispositions. Results We argue that functions should not be taken as a subtype of dispositions. The strongest reason for this is that any view that identifies functions with certain dispositions cannot account for malfunctioning, which is having a function but lacking the matching disposition. As a result, we suggest a cross-classification of realizables with dispositions supervening on the physical structure of their bearer, whereas both functions and roles also have some external grounding. While bearers can survive the gain, loss and change of roles, functions are rigid properties that are essentially connected to their particular bearers. Therefore, Function should not be regarded as a subtype of Disposition; rather, the classes of functions and dispositions are disjoint siblings of Realizable. PMID:25009736

  9. Physiological levels of ATP Negatively Regulate Proteasome Function

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Hongbiao; Zhang, Xiaoyan; Li, Shujue; Liu, Ningning; Lian, Wen; McDowell, Emily; Zhou, Ping; Zhao, Canguo; Guo, Haiping; Zhang, Change; Yang, Changshan; Wen, Guangmei; Dong, Xiaoxian; Lu, Li; Ma, Ningfang; Dong, Weihua; Dou, Q. Ping; Wang, Xuejun; Liu, Jinbao

    2010-01-01

    Intracellular protein degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome system is ATP-dependent and the optimal ATP concentration to activate proteasome function in vitro is ~100 μM. Intracellular ATP levels are generally in the low millimolar range but ATP at a level within this range was shown to inhibit proteasome peptidase activities in vitro. Here we report new evidence that supports a hypothesis that intracellular ATP at the physiological levels bidirectionally regulates 26S proteasome proteolytic function in the cell. First, we confirmed that ATP exerted bidirectional regulation on the 26S proteasome in vitro, with the optimal ATP concentration (between 50–100 μM) stimulating proteasome chymotrypsin-like activities. Second, we found that manipulating intracellular ATP levels also led to bidirectional changes in the levels of proteasome-specific protein substrates in cultured cells. Finally, measures to increase intracellular ATP enhanced, while decreasing intracellular ATP attenuated, the ability of proteasome inhibition to induce cell death. These data strongly suggest that endogenous ATP within the physiological concentration range can exert a negative impact on proteasome activities, allowing the cell to rapidly up-regulate proteasome activity upon ATP reduction under stress conditions. PMID:20805844

  10. Distributed Evaluation Functions for Fault Tolerant Multi-Rover Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Agogino, Adrian; Turner, Kagan

    2005-01-01

    The ability to evolve fault tolerant control strategies for large collections of agents is critical to the successful application of evolutionary strategies to domains where failures are common. Furthermore, while evolutionary algorithms have been highly successful in discovering single-agent control strategies, extending such algorithms to multiagent domains has proven to be difficult. In this paper we present a method for shaping evaluation functions for agents that provide control strategies that both are tolerant to different types of failures and lead to coordinated behavior in a multi-agent setting. This method neither relies of a centralized strategy (susceptible to single point of failures) nor a distributed strategy where each agent uses a system wide evaluation function (severe credit assignment problem). In a multi-rover problem, we show that agents using our agent-specific evaluation perform up to 500% better than agents using the system evaluation. In addition we show that agents are still able to maintain a high level of performance when up to 60% of the agents fail due to actuator, communication or controller faults.

  11. Convergence in pigmentation at multiple levels: mutations, genes and function

    PubMed Central

    Manceau, Marie; Domingues, Vera S.; Linnen, Catherine R.; Rosenblum, Erica Bree; Hoekstra, Hopi E.

    2010-01-01

    Convergence—the independent evolution of the same trait by two or more taxa—has long been of interest to evolutionary biologists, but only recently has the molecular basis of phenotypic convergence been identified. Here, we highlight studies of rapid evolution of cryptic coloration in vertebrates to demonstrate that phenotypic convergence can occur at multiple levels: mutations, genes and gene function. We first show that different genes can be responsible for convergent phenotypes even among closely related populations, for example, in the pale beach mice inhabiting Florida's Gulf and Atlantic coasts. By contrast, the exact same mutation can create similar phenotypes in distantly related species such as mice and mammoths. Next, we show that different mutations in the same gene need not be functionally equivalent to produce similar phenotypes. For example, separate mutations produce divergent protein function but convergent pale coloration in two lizard species. Similarly, mutations that alter the expression of a gene in different ways can, nevertheless, result in similar phenotypes, as demonstrated by sister species of deer mice. Together these studies underscore the importance of identifying not only the genes, but also the precise mutations and their effects on protein function, that contribute to adaptation and highlight how convergence can occur at different genetic levels. PMID:20643733

  12. Convergence in pigmentation at multiple levels: mutations, genes and function.

    PubMed

    Manceau, Marie; Domingues, Vera S; Linnen, Catherine R; Rosenblum, Erica Bree; Hoekstra, Hopi E

    2010-08-27

    Convergence--the independent evolution of the same trait by two or more taxa--has long been of interest to evolutionary biologists, but only recently has the molecular basis of phenotypic convergence been identified. Here, we highlight studies of rapid evolution of cryptic coloration in vertebrates to demonstrate that phenotypic convergence can occur at multiple levels: mutations, genes and gene function. We first show that different genes can be responsible for convergent phenotypes even among closely related populations, for example, in the pale beach mice inhabiting Florida's Gulf and Atlantic coasts. By contrast, the exact same mutation can create similar phenotypes in distantly related species such as mice and mammoths. Next, we show that different mutations in the same gene need not be functionally equivalent to produce similar phenotypes. For example, separate mutations produce divergent protein function but convergent pale coloration in two lizard species. Similarly, mutations that alter the expression of a gene in different ways can, nevertheless, result in similar phenotypes, as demonstrated by sister species of deer mice. Together these studies underscore the importance of identifying not only the genes, but also the precise mutations and their effects on protein function, that contribute to adaptation and highlight how convergence can occur at different genetic levels. PMID:20643733

  13. Maternal blood metal levels and fetal markers of metabolic function

    SciTech Connect

    Ashley-Martin, Jillian; Dodds, Linda; Arbuckle, Tye E.; Ettinger, Adrienne S.; Shapiro, Gabriel D.; Fisher, Mandy; Taback, Shayne; Bouchard, Maryse F.; Monnier, Patricia; Dallaire, Renee; Fraser, William D.

    2015-01-15

    Exposure to metals commonly found in the environment has been hypothesized to be associated with measures of fetal growth but the epidemiological literature is limited. The Maternal–Infant Research on Environmental Chemicals (MIREC) study recruited 2001 women during the first trimester of pregnancy from 10 Canadian sites. Our objective was to assess the association between prenatal exposure to metals (lead, arsenic, cadmium, and mercury) and fetal metabolic function. Average maternal metal concentrations in 1st and 3rd trimester blood samples were used to represent prenatal metals exposure. Leptin and adiponectin were measured in 1363 cord blood samples and served as markers of fetal metabolic function. Polytomous logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for the association between metals and both high (≥90%) and low (≤10%) fetal adiponectin and leptin levels. Leptin levels were significantly higher in female infants compared to males. A significant relationship between maternal blood cadmium and odds of high leptin was observed among males but not females in adjusted models. When adjusting for birth weight z-score, lead was associated with an increased odd of high leptin. No other significant associations were found at the top or bottom 10th percentile in either leptin or adiponectin models. This study supports the proposition that maternal levels of cadmium influence cord blood adipokine levels in a sex-dependent manner. Further investigation is required to confirm these findings and to determine how such findings at birth will translate into childhood anthropometric measures. - Highlights: • We determined relationships between maternal metal levels and cord blood adipokines. • Cord blood leptin levels were higher among female than male infants. • Maternal cadmium was associated with elevated leptin in male, not female infants. • No significant associations were observed between metals and

  14. Evaluating psychosocial function in elderly dental patients.

    PubMed

    Gironda, Melanie W

    2007-03-01

    Comprehensive dental care for older adults includes an understanding of, and sensitivity to, the psychosocial changes with age that can influence oral health care, including emotional functioning, anxiety, depression, cognitive functioning, alcohol and substance use, social support, and elder abuse and neglect. A case vignette highlights the contribution of an interdisciplinary psychosocial assessment to the oral health care of elderly patients.

  15. Investigating the Photon Strength Function to Discrete Levels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiedeking, M.; Bernstein, L. A.; Bleuel, D. L.; Burke, J. T.; Hatarik, R.; Lesher, S. R.; Scielzo, N. D.; Krtička, M.; Allmond, J. M.; Basunia, M. S.; Fallon, P.; Firestone, R. B.; Goldblum, B. L.; Lake, P. T.; Lee, I.-Y.; Paschalis, S.; Petri, M.; Phair, L.

    2015-11-01

    Over the last decade several measurements in medium mass nuclei have reported a low-energy enhancement in the photon strength function. Although, much effort has been invested in unravelling the mysteries of this effect, its physical origin is still not understood. Here, a completely model-independent experimental approach to investigate the possible existence of this enhancement is presented. The experiment was designed to study statistical feeding from the quasi-continuum (below the neutron separation energy) to individual low-lying discrete levels in 95Mo produced in the (d,p) reaction. A key aspect to successfully study gamma decay from the region of high level-density is the detection and extraction of correlated particle-gamma-gamma events which was accomplished using an array of Clover HPGe detectors and large area annular silicon detectors. The entrance channel excitation energy into the residual nucleus produced in the reaction was inferred from the detected proton energies in the silicon detectors. Gating on gamma-transitions originating from low-lying discrete levels specifies the state fed by statistical gamma-rays. Any particle-gamma-gamma event in combination with specific energy sum requirements ensures a clean and unambiguous determination of the initial and final state of the observed gamma rays. With these requirements the statistical feeding to individual discrete levels is extracted on an event-by-event basis. The latest results are presented and compared to 95Mo photon strength function data measured at the University of Oslo by Guttormsen et al. In particular, questions regarding the existence of the low-energy enhancement in the photon strength function are addressed.

  16. Quality evaluation of little millet (Panicum miliare) incorporated functional bread.

    PubMed

    Mannuramath, Mamata; Yenagi, Nirmala; Orsat, Valerie

    2015-12-01

    The study was undertaken with the objective of formulating a fiber enriched functional bread by incorporating little millet flour (LMF). Wheat flour (WF) was replaced with LMF at various proportions (10, 30 and 50%) in the bread preparation. The developed breads were evaluated for physical, sensory and nutritional characteristics. The loaf volume, weight, height and specific volume were decreased significantly with increased levels of LMF. The wheat bread (control), 10 and 30 % percent incorporation of LMF did not show significance difference in the sensory scores. Control and bread with 30 % incorporation of LMF were evaluated further for nutritional characteristics. There was an increase in the percentage of micronutrients such as Iron (94%), Zinc (29%), Copper (70%), Phosphorus (28%) and also fiber (19%) which improved the nutritional value of the wheat bread when substituted with LMF. The incorporation of LMF at 30% level in bread can be considered as a functional and nutritional food choice for the management of diet related metabolic disorders. PMID:26604415

  17. Personal Striving Level and Self-Evaluation Process.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Orias, John; Leung, Lisa; Dosanj, Shikha; McAnlis, JoAnna; Levy, Gal; Sheposh, John P.

    Three studies were conducted to determine if goal striving level was related to accurate self-knowledge. The purpose of the research was to determine if the tendency of high strivers to confront stressful stimuli extends to self-evaluation processes. Three experiments were designed to investigate whether high strivers differ from low strivers in…

  18. Low level CO2 effects on pulmonary function in humans

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sexton, J.; Mueller, K.; Elliott, A.; Gerzer, D.; Strohl, K. P.; West, J. B. (Principal Investigator)

    1998-01-01

    The purpose of the study was to determine whether chamber exposure to low levels of CO2 results in functional alterations in gas mixing and closing volume in humans. Four healthy volunteer subjects were exposed to 0.7% CO2 and to 1.2% CO2. Spirometry, lung volumes, single breath nitrogen washout, diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (DLCO) by two methods, and cardiac output were measured in triplicate. Values were obtained over two non-consecutive days during the training period (control) and on days 2 or 3, 4, 6, 10, 13, and 23 of exposure to each CO2 level. Measurements were made during the same time of day. There was one day of testing after exposure, while still in the chamber but off carbon dioxide. The order of testing, up until measurements of DLCO and cardiac output, were randomized to avoid presentation effects. The consistent findings were a reduction in diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide and a fall in cardiac output, occurring to a similar degree with both exposures. For the group as a whole, there was no indication of major effects on spirometry, lung volumes, gas mixing or dead space. We conclude that small changes may occur in the function of distal gas exchanging units; however, these effects were not associated with any adverse health effects. The likelihood of pathophysiologic changes in lung function or structure with 0.7 or 1.2% CO2 exposure for this period of time, is therefore, low.

  19. Selenium Level and Cognitive Function in Rural Elderly Chinese

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Sujuan; Jin, Yinlong; Hall, Kathleen S.; Liang, Chaoke; Unverzagt, Frederick W.; Ji, Rongdi; Murrell, Jill R.; Cao, Jingxiang; Shen, Jianzhao; Ma, Feng; Matesan, Janetta; Ying, Bo; Cheng, Yibin; Bian, Jianchao; Li, Ping; Hendrie, Hugh C.

    2009-01-01

    Selenium is a trace element associated with antioxidant activity and is considered to be a protective agent against free radicals through enhanced enzyme activity. Studies on selenium and cognitive function or Alzheimer’s disease have yielded inconsistent results. A cross-sectional survey of 2,000 rural Chinese aged 65 years or older from two provinces in the People’s Republic of China was conducted from December 2003 to May 2005 by use of the Community Screening Instrument for Dementia, the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease (CERAD) Word List Learning Test, the Indiana University Story Recall Test, the Animal Fluency Test, and the Indiana University Token Test. Over 70% of the study participants have lived in the same village since birth. Nail samples were collected and analyzed for selenium contents. Analysis-of-covariance models were used to estimate the association between quintile selenium levels measured in nail samples and cognitive test scores, with adjustment for other covariates. Lower selenium levels measured in nail samples were significantly associated with lower cognitive scores (p < 0.0087 for all tests) except the Animal Fluency Test (p = 0.4378). A dose-response effect of selenium quintiles was also seen for those significant associations. Results in this geographically stable cohort support the hypothesis that a lifelong low selenium level is associated with lower cognitive function. PMID:17272290

  20. Fast construction of voxel-level functional connectivity graphs

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Graph-based analysis of fMRI data has recently emerged as a promising approach to study brain networks. Based on the assessment of synchronous fMRI activity at separate brain sites, functional connectivity graphs are constructed and analyzed using graph-theoretical concepts. Most previous studies investigated region-level graphs, which are computationally inexpensive, but bring along the problem of choosing sensible regions and involve blurring of more detailed information. In contrast, voxel-level graphs provide the finest granularity attainable from the data, enabling analyses at superior spatial resolution. They are, however, associated with considerable computational demands, which can render high-resolution analyses infeasible. In response, many existing studies investigating functional connectivity at the voxel-level reduced the computational burden by sacrificing spatial resolution. Methods Here, a novel, time-efficient method for graph construction is presented that retains the original spatial resolution. Performance gains are instead achieved through data reduction in the temporal domain based on dichotomization of voxel time series combined with tetrachoric correlation estimation and efficient implementation. Results By comparison with graph construction based on Pearson’s r, the technique used by the majority of previous studies, we find that the novel approach produces highly similar results an order of magnitude faster. Conclusions Its demonstrated performance makes the proposed approach a sensible and efficient alternative to customary practice. An open source software package containing the created programs is freely available for download. PMID:24947161

  1. Non-functional genes repaired at the RNA level.

    PubMed

    Burger, Gertraud

    2016-01-01

    Genomes and genes continuously evolve. Gene sequences undergo substitutions, deletions or nucleotide insertions; mobile genetic elements invade genomes and interleave in genes; chromosomes break, even within genes, and pieces reseal in reshuffled order. To maintain functional gene products and assure an organism's survival, two principal strategies are used - either repair of the gene itself or of its product. I will introduce common types of gene aberrations and how gene function is restored secondarily, and then focus on systematically fragmented genes found in a poorly studied protist group, the diplonemids. Expression of their broken genes involves restitching of pieces at the RNA-level, and substantial RNA editing, to compensate for point mutations. I will conclude with thoughts on how such a grotesquely unorthodox system may have evolved, and why this group of organisms persists and thrives since tens of millions of years.

  2. Oestrogen, ocular function and low-level vision: a review.

    PubMed

    Hutchinson, Claire V; Walker, James A; Davidson, Colin

    2014-11-01

    Over the past 10 years, a literature has emerged concerning the sex steroid hormone oestrogen and its role in human vision. Herein, we review evidence that oestrogen (oestradiol) levels may significantly affect ocular function and low-level vision, particularly in older females. In doing so, we have examined a number of vision-related disorders including dry eye, cataract, increased intraocular pressure, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy. In each case, we have found oestrogen, or lack thereof, to have a role. We have also included discussion of how oestrogen-related pharmacological treatments for menopause and breast cancer can impact the pathology of the eye and a number of psychophysical aspects of vision. Finally, we have reviewed oestrogen's pharmacology and suggest potential mechanisms underlying its beneficial effects, with particular emphasis on anti-apoptotic and vascular effects.

  3. Evaluation for School Improvement: A Multi-Level, Multi-Purpose Model. Project: Multi-Level Evaluation Systems.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Herman, Joan L.

    A model for a comprehensive, multi-purpose, multi-user evaluation system is presented to facilitate educational decision making and to support school improvement and renewal. The model is school district-based but oriented to meet state-, school-, and classroom-level needs as well. The model emphasizes the usefulness of common or compatible…

  4. Training Professionals' Usage and Understanding of Kirkpatrick's Level 3 and Level 4 Evaluations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kennedy, Perri Estes; Chyung, Seung Youn; Winiecki, Donald J.; Brinkerhoff, Robert O.

    2014-01-01

    Training professionals have long acknowledged the necessity of conducting behavior-based (Level 3) and results-based (Level 4) evaluations, yet organizations do not frequently conduct such evaluations. This research examined training professionals' perceptions of the utility of Level 3 and Level 4 evaluations and the factors that facilitate…

  5. Efficient Evaluation Functions for Multi-Rover Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Agogino, Adrian; Tumer, Kagan

    2004-01-01

    Evolutionary computation can be a powerful tool in cresting a control policy for a single agent receiving local continuous input. This paper extends single-agent evolutionary computation to multi-agent systems, where a collection of agents strives to maximize a global fitness evaluation function that rates the performance of the entire system. This problem is solved in a distributed manner, where each agent evolves its own population of neural networks that are used as the control policies for the agent. Each agent evolves its population using its own agent-specific fitness evaluation function. We propose to create these agent-specific evaluation functions using the theory of collectives to avoid the coordination problem where each agent evolves a population that maximizes its own fitness function, yet the system has a whole achieves low values of the global fitness function. Instead we will ensure that each fitness evaluation function is both "aligned" with the global evaluation function and is "learnable," i.e., the agents can readily see how their behavior affects their evaluation function. We then show how these agent-specific evaluation functions outperform global evaluation methods by up to 600% in a domain where a set of rovers attempt to maximize the amount of information observed while navigating through a simulated environment.

  6. Sweat testing to evaluate autonomic function

    PubMed Central

    Illigens, Ben M.W.; Gibbons, Christopher H.

    2011-01-01

    Sudomotor dysfunction is one of the earliest detectable neurophysiologic abnormalities in distal small fiber neuropathy. Traditional neurophysiologic measurements of sudomotor function include thermoregulatory sweat testing (TST), quantitative sudomotor axon reflex testing (QSART), silicone impressions, the sympathetic skin response (SSR), and the recent addition of quantitative direct and indirect axon reflex testing (QDIRT). These testing techniques, when used in combination, can detect and localized pre- and postganglionic lesions, can provide early diagnosis of sudomotor dysfunction and can monitor disease progression or disease recovery. In this article, we review the common tests available for assessment of sudomotor function, detail the testing methodology, review the limitations and provide examples of test results. PMID:18989618

  7. Merging Traditional Evaluation and Research Functions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rose, Janet; Godin, Donn

    The Charleston County School District's efforts to increase the percentage of students meeting high school graduation requirements at the appropriate age and the percentage of students who graduate within 6 years of entry into grade 9 require a well-designed plan for monitoring their success. Evaluation of those efforts depends upon the use of…

  8. The Evaluation of Burnout Levels of Sports Sciences Faculty Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kocaeksi, Serdar

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this research is to evaluate the burnout levels of sports sciences faculty students in terms of some other variables. 46 Female (Age, M: 20.88 ± 1.86) and 107 male (Age, M: 22.15 ± 2.15) in total 153 students participated in this research. Maslach Burnout Inventory-Student Form (MBI-SF) was used for data collection. Descriptive…

  9. An Evaluation of Generalization of Mands during Functional Communication Training

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Falcomata, Terry S.; Wacker, David P.; Ringdahl, Joel E.; Vinquist, Kelly; Dutt, Anuradha

    2013-01-01

    The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the generalization of mands during functional communication training (FCT) and sign language training across functional contexts (i.e., positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement). A secondary purpose was to evaluate a training procedure based on stimulus control to teach manual signs. During…

  10. Melatonin in Plants - Diversity of Levels and Multiplicity of Functions.

    PubMed

    Hardeland, Rüdiger

    2016-01-01

    Melatonin has been detected in numerous plant species. A particularly surprising finding concerns the highly divergent levels of melatonin that vary between species, organs and environmental conditions, from a few pg/g to over 20 μg/g, reportedly up to 200 μg/g. Highest values have been determined in oily seeds and in plant organs exposed to high UV radiation. The divergency of melatonin concentrations is discussed under various functional aspects and focused on several open questions. This comprises differences in precursor availability, catabolism, the relative contribution of isoenzymes of the melatonin biosynthetic pathway, and differences in rate limitation by either serotonin N-acetyltransferase or N-acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase. Other differences are related to the remarkable pleiotropy of melatonin, which exhibits properties as a growth regulator and morphogenetic factor, actually debated in terms of auxin-like effects, and as a signaling molecule that modulates pathways of ethylene, abscisic, jasmonic and salicylic acids and is involved in stress tolerance, pathogen defense and delay of senescence. In the context of high light/UV intensities, elevated melatonin levels exceed those required for signaling via stress-related phytohormones and may comprise direct antioxidant and photoprotectant properties, perhaps with a contribution of its oxidatively formed metabolites, such as N (1)-acetyl-N (2)-formyl-5-methoxykynuramine and its secondary products. High melatonin levels in seeds may also serve antioxidative protection and have been shown to promote seed viability and germination capacity. PMID:26925091

  11. Distributed implementation of functional program evaluation

    SciTech Connect

    Fasel, J.H.; Douglass, R.J.; Michelsen, R.; Hudak, P.

    1985-01-01

    In this paper, we explore the potential of the functional model, particularly as it pertains to architecture. In Section 2, we describe the graph-reduction operational model of computation and its relation to AI problems. In Section 3, we discuss a class of architectures that implement graph reduction and a prototype implementation in this class being developed at Los Alamos. Finally, we speculate on the applicability of graph reduction to some other classes of architecture.

  12. Trust-Based Security Level Evaluation Using Bayesian Belief Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houmb, Siv Hilde; Ray, Indrakshi; Ray, Indrajit; Chakraborty, Sudip

    Security is not merely about technical solutions and patching vulnerabilities. Security is about trade-offs and adhering to realistic security needs, employed to support core business processes. Also, modern systems are subject to a highly competitive market, often demanding rapid development cycles, short life-time, short time-to-market, and small budgets. Security evaluation standards, such as ISO 14508 Common Criteria and ISO/IEC 27002, are not adequate for evaluating the security of many modern systems for resource limitations, time-to-market, and other constraints. Towards this end, we propose an alternative time and cost effective approach for evaluating the security level of a security solution, system or part thereof. Our approach relies on collecting information from different sources, who are trusted to varying degrees, and on using a trust measure to aggregate available information when deriving security level. Our approach is quantitative and implemented as a Bayesian Belief Network (BBN) topology, allowing us to reason over uncertain information and seemingly aggregating disparate information. We illustrate our approach by deriving the security level of two alternative Denial of Service (DoS) solutions. Our approach can also be used in the context of security solution trade-off analysis.

  13. Evaluation of strain levels in the IFSF rack

    SciTech Connect

    Richins, W.D.; Miller, G.K.

    1997-06-01

    An evaluation has been performed on strain levels determined for the IFSF fuel storage rack for seismic loading. The storage rack had been previously analyzed by a consulting company, Advanced Engineering Consultants (AEC), who reported significant strain levels in several members of the rack. The purpose for the study conducted herein was to refine the method for calculating strain levels, and then to assess the acceptability of the refined strain values. This was accomplished by making a modification to AEC`s model to more realistically represent plastic behavior in all locations where material yields. An analysis was performed where this modified model was subjected to the same seismic loadings as applied in AEC`s analysis. It was expected that the more realistic representation of plastic behavior in the modified model would result in reduced maximum calculated strains for the rack. Results of the analysis showed that the more realistic representation of plastic behavior in rack members did reduce the calculated maximum strains from those reported by AEC. These modified strains were evaluated for acceptability according to ductility criteria of the governing standard (i.e. ANSI/AISC N690-1994, as specified by the project Criteria Application Document). This evaluation showed that the strains meet these acceptance criteria. The analysis described herein was performed only to investigate this issue. AEC`s analysis stands as the analysis of record for the rack.

  14. Intermediate Educational Service Agency Evaluation: Levels of Program Objectives and Associated Evaluation Methods.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Drezek, Stan; Roecks, Alan L.

    How the "Levels of Program Objectives Model" (LPOM) can be used to carry out objectives-based evaluation is explained. The LPOM explains the relationship between an instructional program of a district and various programs supporting the district program. The evolution of an objective-based evaluation approach within the context of an intermediate…

  15. Retrospective analysis of medicolegal cases and evaluation for erectile function.

    PubMed

    Ozkara, H; Aşicioglu, F; Alici, B; Akkuş, E; Hattat, H

    1999-06-01

    Erectile function (EF) is an important question in lawsuits for divorce, rape, and damages. In this study, a method to evaluate medicolegal cases is defined, and the characteristics of the 265 cases screened for EF between 1989 and 1997 were analyzed. Interview, physical examination, psychometric evaluation, nocturnal penile tumescence, serum hormone levels and blood chemistry, intracavernosal drug injection, penile Doppler ultrasonography, and pharmacocavernosometry and pharmacocavernosography tests were used for diagnosis. The tests performed were selected according to the age of the subject. Of the 265 cases 128 (48.3%) were for divorce, 116 (43.7%) were for rape, and 21 (8%) were for indemnity relating to lawsuits for damages. In only 7 cases (2.7%) was the defendant <15 years of age. Organic pathology for erectile dysfunction (ED) was present in 22% of lawsuits for divorce, 40.5% of lawsuits for rape, and 33.4% of lawsuits for damages. Three men in cases of divorce and 2 men after genital trauma due to traffic accident suffered psychological ED. This study indicates that lawyers may abuse the assertion of ED in lawsuits for divorce and rape. In 128 divorce cases the defendant was accused of being impotent, but evaluation proved that 75.8% had normal EF. In lawsuits for rape, 59.5% of defendants had normal EF although the lawyers of the rapist claimed their clients were impotent. The investigation, interpretation, and characteristics of medicolegal cases may differ in countries with different cultures.

  16. Evaluation of body weight, insulin resistance, leptin and adiponectin levels in premenopausal women with hyperprolactinemia.

    PubMed

    Atmaca, Aysegul; Bilgici, Birsen; Ecemis, Gulcin Cengiz; Tuncel, Ozgur Korhan

    2013-12-01

    The effects of hyperprolactinemia on metabolic parameters are not clear and a few data evaluating adiponectin levels in prolactinoma and idiopathic hyperprolactinemia exist. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of hyperprolactinemia on body weight, insulin resistance, beta cell function, and leptin and adiponectin levels in premenopausal women with hyperprolactinemia. Forty premenopausal women with prolactinoma or idiopathic hyperprolactinemia were compared to 41 age-matched healthy premenopausal women with regard to body weight, body mass index, waist and hip circumferences, waist to hip ratio, fasting plasma glucose, insulin levels, insulin resistance measured by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA)-insulin resistance index, beta cell function measured by HOMA-β index, leptin and adiponectin levels. Plasma insulin levels and HOMA indexes (both insulin resistance and beta indexes) were significantly higher in hyperprolactinemic women. The other parameters were similar between both groups. There was a positive correlation between prolactin levels and fasting plasma glucose in hyperprolactinemic women. The results of this study showed that high prolactin levels may be associated with hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance in premenopausal women. This effect seems to be independent of body weight, leptin and adiponectin levels. High prolactin levels may directly stimulate insulin secretion from pancreas and directly cause hepatic and whole-body insulin resistance.

  17. Methodology for Prototyping Increased Levels of Automation for Spacecraft Rendezvous Functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hart, Jeremy J.; Valasek, John

    2007-01-01

    The Crew Exploration Vehicle necessitates higher levels of automation than previous NASA vehicles, due to program requirements for automation, including Automated Rendezvous and Docking. Studies of spacecraft development often point to the locus of decision-making authority between humans and computers (i.e. automation) as a prime driver for cost, safety, and mission success. Therefore, a critical component in the Crew Exploration Vehicle development is the determination of the correct level of automation. To identify the appropriate levels of automation and autonomy to design into a human space flight vehicle, NASA has created the Function-specific Level of Autonomy and Automation Tool. This paper develops a methodology for prototyping increased levels of automation for spacecraft rendezvous functions. This methodology is used to evaluate the accuracy of the Function-specific Level of Autonomy and Automation Tool specified levels of automation, via prototyping. Spacecraft rendezvous planning tasks are selected and then prototyped in Matlab using Fuzzy Logic techniques and existing Space Shuttle rendezvous trajectory algorithms.

  18. Evaluating forensic biology results given source level propositions.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Duncan; Abarno, Damien; Hicks, Tacha; Champod, Christophe

    2016-03-01

    The evaluation of forensic evidence can occur at any level within the hierarchy of propositions depending on the question being asked and the amount and type of information that is taken into account within the evaluation. Commonly DNA evidence is reported given propositions that deal with the sub-source level in the hierarchy, which deals only with the possibility that a nominated individual is a source of DNA in a trace (or contributor to the DNA in the case of a mixed DNA trace). We explore the use of information obtained from examinations, presumptive and discriminating tests for body fluids, DNA concentrations and some case circumstances within a Bayesian network in order to provide assistance to the Courts that have to consider propositions at source level. We use a scenario in which the presence of blood is of interest as an exemplar and consider how DNA profiling results and the potential for laboratory error can be taken into account. We finish with examples of how the results of these reports could be presented in court using either numerical values or verbal descriptions of the results.

  19. An evaluation of generalization of mands during functional communication training.

    PubMed

    Falcomata, Terry S; Wacker, David P; Ringdahl, Joel E; Vinquist, Kelly; Dutt, Anuradha

    2013-01-01

    The primary purpose of this study was to evaluate the generalization of mands during functional communication training (FCT) and sign language training across functional contexts (i.e., positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement). A secondary purpose was to evaluate a training procedure based on stimulus control to teach manual signs. During the treatment evaluation, we implemented sign language training in 1 functional context (e.g., positive reinforcement by attention) while continuing the functional analysis conditions in 2 other contexts (e.g., positive reinforcement by tangible item; negative reinforcement by escape). During the generalization evaluation, we tested for the generalization of trained mands across functional contexts (i.e., positive reinforcement; negative reinforcement) by implementing extinction in the 2 nontarget contexts. The results suggested that the stimulus control training procedure effectively taught manual signs and treated destructive behavior. Specific patterns of generalization of trained mands and destructive behavior also were observed.

  20. Intraoperative electrophysiological evaluations of macular function during peripheral scleral indentation

    PubMed Central

    Akiyama, Goichi; Matsumoto, Celso Soiti; Shinoda, Kei; Terauchi, Gaku; Matsumoto, Harue; Watanabe, Emiko; Iwata, Takeshi; Mizota, Atsushi; Miyake, Yozo

    2016-01-01

    Scleral indentation is widely used to examine the peripheral fundus, however it can increase the intraocular pressure (IOP) to high levels which can then affect retinal function. We evaluated the effects of scleral indentation on the macular function electrophysiologically. Intraoperative focal macular electroretinograms (iFMERGs) were recorded with and without controlling the IOP in 7 eyes. Without IOP control, the IOP increased from 21.7 ± 4.9 to 92.7 ± 20.2 mmHg significantly (P = 0.020) and the amplitudes of the b-wave (from 6.29 ± 1.160 to 3.71 ± 1.98 uV, P = 0.007), on-photopic negative response (from 2.29 ± 0.99 to 0.72 ± 0.47 uV, on-PhNR, P = 0.005), and d-wave (from 2.57 ± 0.41 to 1.64 ± 0.69 uV, P = 0.007) decreased significantly soon after beginning the indentation. All values returned to the baseline levels after releasing the indentation. In the eyes with IOP controlled, the IOP and the amplitude of all components did not change significantly during and after the indentation except the on-PhNR amplitude which was significantly reduced during the indentation. The changes in the iFMERGs and macular function caused by scleral indentation were transient and reversible. The changes can be minimized by controlling the IOP. PMID:27762313

  1. Influencing factors on the functional level of haemophilic patients assessed by FISH.

    PubMed

    Kachooei, A R; Badiei, Z; Zandinezhad, M E; Ebrahimzadeh, M H; Mazloumi, S M; Omidi-Kashani, F; Moradi, A; Mahdavian-Naghashzargar, R; Razi, S

    2014-03-01

    Joint destruction in early adulthood brings the patients to the orthopaedic clinics. If a haemophilic patient becomes disabled, it shows a number of factors such as timely diagnosis, availability of appropriate treatment depending on the country, access and affordability to treatments and equally importantly the responsibility of the patient in managing self care by remaining compliant by prescribed treatment regimen. We assessed the functional level by functional independence score in haemophilia (FISH). Overall, 104 patients with haemophilia A and 29 with haemophilia B were evaluated. We assessed the function of the patients by FISH. We divided the sum scores into weak (FISH score 8-16), moderate (17-24), and good (25-32). For evaluating the level of functional deficit in a 2 × 2 table, we categorized the weak and moderate levels into Disordered Group and the good level into Not-Disordered Group. The average age was 26.9 ± 14.24. Each 1 year increase in age can increase 1.07 fold the possibility of being placed in Disordered Function Group. Severe haemophilia can increase 7.34 fold, presence of inhibitor can increase 9.75 fold and home self-care increases 3.89 fold the possibility of being placed in Disordered Function Group. To decrease the burden of the cost on patient, family and the government, education plays the most important role. We suggest that we send a trained team of physician and nurses to the deprived villages and cities instead of waiting for the patient to refer to our Care Center.

  2. Relationship between functional classification levels and anaerobic performance of wheelchair basketball athletes.

    PubMed

    Molik, Bartosz; Laskin, James J; Kosmol, Andrzej; Skucas, Kestas; Bida, Urszula

    2010-03-01

    Wheelchair basketball athletes are classified using the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) functional classification system. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between upper extremity anaerobic performance (AnP) and all functional classification levels in wheelchair basketball. Ninety-seven male athletes from the Polish and Lithuanian national wheelchair basketball leagues took part in this study. The Wingate Anaerobic Test was used to assess four AnP indexes with an arm crank ergometer The level of AnP in wheelchair basketball athletes depends to some degree on classification level. No significant differences were found for the AnP indexes across levels 1.0-2.5 and 3.0-4.5. However the AnP level for those in classes 1.0-2.5 was significantly lower than those in classes 3. 0-4.5. The findings from this study provided some evidence that the IWBF functional classification system should be reexamined and that a consolidation of the current eight levels might be in order.

  3. Evaluation of Low-Level Laser Therapy in TMD Patients.

    PubMed

    Ayyildiz, Simel; Emir, Faruk; Sahin, Cem

    2015-01-01

    Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation (laser) is one of the most recent treatment modalities in dentistry. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is suggested to have biostimulating and analgesic effects through direct irradiation without causing thermal response. There are few studies that have investigated the efficacy of laser therapy in temporomandibular disorders (TMD), especially in reduced mouth opening. The case report here evaluates performance of LLLT with a diode laser for temporomandibular clicking and postoperative findings were evaluated in two cases of TMD patients. First patient had a history of limited mouth opening and pain in temporomandibular joint (TMJ) region since nine months. Second patient's main complaint was his restricted mouth opening, which was progressed in one year. LLLT was performed with a 685 nm red probed diode laser that has an energy density of 6.2 J/cm(2), three times a week for one month, and application time was 30 seconds (685 nm, 25 mW, 30 s, 0.02 Hz, and 6.2 J/cm(2)) (BTL-2000, Portative Laser Therapy Device). The treatment protocol was decided according to the literature. One year later patients were evaluated and there were no changes. This application suggested that LLLT is an appropriate treatment for TMD related pain and limited mouth opening and should be considered as an alternative to other methods. PMID:26587294

  4. Evaluation of Low-Level Laser Therapy in TMD Patients

    PubMed Central

    Ayyildiz, Simel; Emir, Faruk; Sahin, Cem

    2015-01-01

    Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation (laser) is one of the most recent treatment modalities in dentistry. Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is suggested to have biostimulating and analgesic effects through direct irradiation without causing thermal response. There are few studies that have investigated the efficacy of laser therapy in temporomandibular disorders (TMD), especially in reduced mouth opening. The case report here evaluates performance of LLLT with a diode laser for temporomandibular clicking and postoperative findings were evaluated in two cases of TMD patients. First patient had a history of limited mouth opening and pain in temporomandibular joint (TMJ) region since nine months. Second patient's main complaint was his restricted mouth opening, which was progressed in one year. LLLT was performed with a 685 nm red probed diode laser that has an energy density of 6.2 J/cm2, three times a week for one month, and application time was 30 seconds (685 nm, 25 mW, 30 s, 0.02 Hz, and 6.2 J/cm2) (BTL-2000, Portative Laser Therapy Device). The treatment protocol was decided according to the literature. One year later patients were evaluated and there were no changes. This application suggested that LLLT is an appropriate treatment for TMD related pain and limited mouth opening and should be considered as an alternative to other methods. PMID:26587294

  5. Evaluation of the Voigt function to arbitrary precision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boyer, W.; Lynas-Gray, A. E.

    2014-11-01

    Accurate and rapid Voigt function evaluations are an essential component of synthetic stellar spectrum calculations and the development of improved algorithms continues to be a priority. Multiprecision arithmetic was applied to obtain Voigt functions evaluated to 56 digits, which could be extended to arbitrarily high precision if required. While the technique cannot be used in practical applications, it provides results against which fast routines may be benchmarked for accuracy.

  6. ONELOOP: For the evaluation of one-loop scalar functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Hameren, A.

    2011-11-01

    ONELOOP is a program to evaluate the one-loop scalar 1-point, 2-point, 3-point and 4-point functions, for all kinematical configurations relevant for collider-physics, and for any non-positive imaginary parts of the internal squared masses. It deals with all UV and IR divergences within dimensional regularization. Furthermore, it provides routines to evaluate these functions using straightforward numerical integration. Program summaryProgram title: OneLOop Catalogue identifier: AEJO_v1_0 Program summary URL:http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/summaries/AEJO_v1_0.html Program obtainable from: CPC Program Library, Queen's University, Belfast, N. Ireland Licensing provisions: Standard CPC licence, http://cpc.cs.qub.ac.uk/licence/licence.html No. of lines in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 12 061 No. of bytes in distributed program, including test data, etc.: 74 163 Distribution format: tar.gz Programming language: Fortran Computer: Workstations Operating system: Linux, Unix RAM: Negligible Classification: 4.4, 11.1 Nature of problem: In order to reach next-to-leading order precision in the calculation of cross sections of hard scattering processes, one-loop amplitudes have to be evaluated. This is done by expressing them as linear combination of one-loop scalar functions. In a concrete calculation, these functions eventually have to be evaluated. If the scattering process involves unstable particles, consistency requires the evaluation of these functions with complex internal masses. Solution method: Expressions for the one-loop scalar functions in terms of single-variable analytic functions existing in literature have been implemented. Restrictions: The applicability is restricted to the kinematics occurring in collider-physics. Running time: The evaluation of the most general 4-point function with 4 complex masses takes about 180 μs, and the evaluation of the 4-point function with 4 real masses takes about 18 μs on a 2.80 GHz Intel Xeon processor.

  7. Above-Level Test Item Functioning across Examinee Age Groups

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Warne, Russell T.; Doty, Kristine J.; Malbica, Anne Marie; Angeles, Victor R.; Innes, Scott; Hall, Jared; Masterson-Nixon, Kelli

    2016-01-01

    "Above-level testing" (also called "above-grade testing," "out-of-level testing," and "off-level testing") is the practice of administering to a child a test that is designed for an examinee population that is older or in a more advanced grade. Above-level testing is frequently used to help educators design…

  8. Evaluation of ploidy level and endoreduplication in carnation (Dianthus spp.).

    PubMed

    Agulló-Antón, María Ángeles; Olmos, Enrique; Pérez-Pérez, José Manuel; Acosta, Manuel

    2013-03-01

    Carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L.) is one of the fifth most important ornamental species worldwide. Many desirable plant characteristics, such as big size, adaptation under stress, and intra or interspecific hybridization capability, are dependent on plant ploidy level. We optimized a quick flow cytometry method for DNA content determination in wild and cultivated carnation samples that allowed a systematic evaluation of ploidy levels in Dianthus species. The DNA content of different carnation cultivars and wild Dianthus species was determined using internal reference standards. The precise characterization of ploidy, endoreduplication and C-value of D. caryophyllus 'Master' makes it a suitable standard cultivar for ploidy level determination in other carnation cultivars. Mixoploidy was rigorously characterized in different regions of several organs from D. caryophyllus 'Master', which combined with a detailed morphological description suggested some distinctive developmental traits of this species. Both the number of endoreduplication cycles and the proportion of endopolyploid cells were highly variable in the petals among the cultivars studied, differently to the values found in leaves. Our results suggest a positive correlation between ploidy, cell size and petal size in cultivated carnation, which should be considered in breeding programs aimed to obtain new varieties with large flowers.

  9. Cardiorespiratory fitness, pulmonary function and C-reactive protein levels in nonsmoking individuals with diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Francisco, C.O.; Catai, A.M.; Moura-Tonello, S.C.G.; Lopes, S.L.B.; Benze, B.G.; Del Vale, A.M.; Leal, A.M.O.

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate cardiorespiratory fitness and pulmonary function and the relationship with metabolic variables and C-reactive protein (CRP) plasma levels in individuals with diabetes mellitus (DM). Nineteen men with diabetes and 19 age- and gender-matched control subjects were studied. All individuals were given incremental cardiopulmonary exercise and pulmonary function tests. In the exercise test, maximal workload (158.3±22.3 vs 135.1±25.2, P=0.005), peak heart rate (HRpeak: 149±12 vs 139±10, P=0.009), peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak: 24.2±3.2 vs 18.9±2.8, P<0.001), and anaerobic threshold (VO2VT: 14.1±3.4 vs 12.2±2.2, P=0.04) were significantly lower in individuals with diabetes than in control subjects. Pulmonary function test parameters, blood pressure, lipid profile (triglycerides, HDL, LDL, and total cholesterol), and CRP plasma levels were not different in control subjects and individuals with DM. No correlations were observed between hemoglobin A1C (HbA1c), CRP and pulmonary function test and cardiopulmonary exercise test performance. In conclusion, the results demonstrate that nonsmoking individuals with DM have decreased cardiorespiratory fitness that is not correlated with resting pulmonary function parameters, HbA1c, and CRP plasma levels. PMID:24760118

  10. 48 CFR 736.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 5 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 736.602-3 Section 736.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL... information specified in 736.602-3(c). (b) In evaluating architect-engineer firms, the...

  11. Group-level component analyses of EEG: validation and evaluation.

    PubMed

    Huster, Rene J; Plis, Sergey M; Calhoun, Vince D

    2015-01-01

    Multi-subject or group-level component analysis provides a data-driven approach to study properties of brain networks. Algorithms for group-level data decomposition of functional magnetic resonance imaging data have been brought forward more than a decade ago and have significantly matured since. Similar applications for electroencephalographic data are at a comparatively early stage of development though, and their sensitivity to topographic variability of the electroencephalogram or loose time-locking of neuronal responses has not yet been assessed. This study investigates the performance of independent component analysis (ICA) and second order blind source identification (SOBI) for data decomposition, and their combination with either temporal or spatial concatenation of data sets, for multi-subject analyses of electroencephalographic data. Analyses of simulated sources with different spatial, frequency, and time-locking profiles, revealed that temporal concatenation of data sets with either ICA or SOBI served well to reconstruct sources with both strict and loose time-locking, whereas performance decreased in the presence of topographical variability. The opposite pattern was found with a spatial concatenation of subject-specific data sets. This study proofs that procedures for group-level decomposition of electroencephalographic data can be considered valid and promising approaches to infer the latent structure of multi-subject data sets. Yet, specific implementations need further adaptations to optimally address sources of inter-subject and inter-trial variance commonly found in EEG recordings. PMID:26283897

  12. Group-level component analyses of EEG: validation and evaluation.

    PubMed

    Huster, Rene J; Plis, Sergey M; Calhoun, Vince D

    2015-01-01

    Multi-subject or group-level component analysis provides a data-driven approach to study properties of brain networks. Algorithms for group-level data decomposition of functional magnetic resonance imaging data have been brought forward more than a decade ago and have significantly matured since. Similar applications for electroencephalographic data are at a comparatively early stage of development though, and their sensitivity to topographic variability of the electroencephalogram or loose time-locking of neuronal responses has not yet been assessed. This study investigates the performance of independent component analysis (ICA) and second order blind source identification (SOBI) for data decomposition, and their combination with either temporal or spatial concatenation of data sets, for multi-subject analyses of electroencephalographic data. Analyses of simulated sources with different spatial, frequency, and time-locking profiles, revealed that temporal concatenation of data sets with either ICA or SOBI served well to reconstruct sources with both strict and loose time-locking, whereas performance decreased in the presence of topographical variability. The opposite pattern was found with a spatial concatenation of subject-specific data sets. This study proofs that procedures for group-level decomposition of electroencephalographic data can be considered valid and promising approaches to infer the latent structure of multi-subject data sets. Yet, specific implementations need further adaptations to optimally address sources of inter-subject and inter-trial variance commonly found in EEG recordings.

  13. Evaluating Functional Decline in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rosenblum, Sara; Weiss, Patrice L.

    2010-01-01

    Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease with a wide-ranging impact on functional status. The aim of the study was to examine the added value of simultaneously evaluating fatigue, personal ADL and handwriting performance as indicators for functional decline among patients with MS. Participants were 50 outpatients with MS and 26 matched healthy…

  14. Level 2 and level 2.5 large deviation functionals for systems with and without detailed balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoppenau, J.; Nickelsen, D.; Engel, A.

    2016-08-01

    Large deviation functions are an essential tool in the statistics of rare events. Often they can be obtained by contraction from a so-called level 2 or level 2.5 large deviation functional characterizing the empirical density and current of the underlying stochastic process. For Langevin systems obeying detailed balance, the explicit form of the level 2 functional has been known ever since the mathematical work of Donsker and Varadhan. We rederive the Donsker–Varadhan result using stochastic path-integrals. We than generalize the derivation to level 2.5 large deviation functionals for non-equilibrium steady states and elucidate the relation between the large deviation functionals and different notions of entropy production in stochastic thermodynamics. Finally, we discuss some aspects of the contractions to level 1 large deviation functions and illustrate our findings with examples.

  15. Tuning sum rules with window functions for optical constant evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez-de Marcos, Luis V.; Méndez, José A.; Larruquert, Juan I.

    2016-07-01

    Sum rules are a useful tool to evaluate the global consistency of a set of optical constants. We present a procedure to spectrally tune sum rules to evaluate the local consistency of optical constants. It enables enhancing the weight of a desired spectral range within the sum-rule integral. The procedure consists in multiplying the complex refractive index with an adapted function, which is named window function. Window functions are constructed through integration of Lorentz oscillators. The asymptotic decay of these window functions enables the derivation of a multiplicity of sum rules akin to the inertial sum rule, along with one modified version of f-sum rule. This multiplicity of sum rules combined with the free selection of the photon energy range provides a double way to tune the spectral contribution within the sum rule. Window functions were applied to reported data of SrF2 and of Al films in order to check data consistency over the spectrum. The use of window functions shows that the optical constants of SrF2 are consistent in a broad spectrum. Regarding Al, some spectral ranges are seen to present a lower consistency, even though the standard sum rules with no window function did not detect inconsistencies. Hence window functions are expected to be a helpful tool to evaluate the local consistency of optical constants.

  16. Association between Cytomegalovirus Antibody Levels and Cognitive Functioning in Non-Elderly Adults

    PubMed Central

    Dickerson, Faith; Stallings, Cassie; Origoni, Andrea; Katsafanas, Emily; Schweinfurth, Lucy A. B.; Savage, Christina L. G.; Yolken, Robert

    2014-01-01

    Background Elevated levels of antibodies to Cytomegalovirus (CMV) have been associated with cognitive impairment, but the quantitative relationship between CMV antibody levels and domains of cognitive functioning in younger adults has not been established. Methods We measured IgG class antibodies to Cytomegalovirus in 521 individuals, mean age 32.8 years. Participants were selected for the absence of psychiatric disorder and of a serious medical condition that could affect brain functioning. Cognitive functioning was measured with the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS), the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Trail Making Test part A, and the WAIS III Letter Number Sequencing subtest. Linear regression analyses were used to measure the quantitative association between cognitive scores and Cytomegalovirus IgG antibody level. Logistic regression analyses were used to measure the odds of low cognitive scores and elevated antibody levels defined as an antibody level > = 50th, 75th, and 90th percentile of the group. Results Higher levels of CMV antibodies were associated with lower performance on RBANS Total (coefficient −1.03, p<.0002), Delayed Memory (coefficient −0.94, p<.001), Visuospatial/Constructional (coefficient −1.77, p<5×10−7), and Letter Number Sequencing (coefficient −0.15, p<.03). There was an incremental relationship between the level of CMV antibody elevation and the odds of a low RBANS Total score. The odds of a low total cognitive score were 1.63 (95th % CI 1.01, 2.64; p<.045), 2.22 (95th % CI 1.33, 3.70; p<.002), and 2.46 (95th % CI 1.24, 4.86; p<.010) with a CMV antibody level greater than or equal to the 50th, 75th, and 90th percentile respectively. Conclusions Higher levels of Cytomegalovirus antibodies are associated with lower levels of cognitive functioning in non-elderly adults. Methods for the prevention and treatment of CMV infection should be evaluated to determine if they result in an

  17. Network-Level Structure-Function Relationships in Human Neocortex

    PubMed Central

    Mišić, Bratislav; Betzel, Richard F.; de Reus, Marcel A.; van den Heuvel, Martijn P.; Berman, Marc G.; McIntosh, Anthony R.; Sporns, Olaf

    2016-01-01

    The dynamics of spontaneous fluctuations in neural activity are shaped by underlying patterns of anatomical connectivity. While numerous studies have demonstrated edge-wise correspondence between structural and functional connections, much less is known about how large-scale coherent functional network patterns emerge from the topology of structural networks. In the present study, we deploy a multivariate statistical technique, partial least squares, to investigate the association between spatially extended structural networks and functional networks. We find multiple statistically robust patterns, reflecting reliable combinations of structural and functional subnetworks that are optimally associated with one another. Importantly, these patterns generally do not show a one-to-one correspondence between structural and functional edges, but are instead distributed and heterogeneous, with many functional relationships arising from nonoverlapping sets of anatomical connections. We also find that structural connections between high-degree hubs are disproportionately represented, suggesting that these connections are particularly important in establishing coherent functional networks. Altogether, these results demonstrate that the network organization of the cerebral cortex supports the emergence of diverse functional network configurations that often diverge from the underlying anatomical substrate. PMID:27102654

  18. Network-Level Structure-Function Relationships in Human Neocortex.

    PubMed

    Mišić, Bratislav; Betzel, Richard F; de Reus, Marcel A; van den Heuvel, Martijn P; Berman, Marc G; McIntosh, Anthony R; Sporns, Olaf

    2016-07-01

    The dynamics of spontaneous fluctuations in neural activity are shaped by underlying patterns of anatomical connectivity. While numerous studies have demonstrated edge-wise correspondence between structural and functional connections, much less is known about how large-scale coherent functional network patterns emerge from the topology of structural networks. In the present study, we deploy a multivariate statistical technique, partial least squares, to investigate the association between spatially extended structural networks and functional networks. We find multiple statistically robust patterns, reflecting reliable combinations of structural and functional subnetworks that are optimally associated with one another. Importantly, these patterns generally do not show a one-to-one correspondence between structural and functional edges, but are instead distributed and heterogeneous, with many functional relationships arising from nonoverlapping sets of anatomical connections. We also find that structural connections between high-degree hubs are disproportionately represented, suggesting that these connections are particularly important in establishing coherent functional networks. Altogether, these results demonstrate that the network organization of the cerebral cortex supports the emergence of diverse functional network configurations that often diverge from the underlying anatomical substrate. PMID:27102654

  19. Prostaglandin E2 levels and platelet function are different in cord blood compared to adults.

    PubMed

    Schlagenhauf, Axel; Haidl, Harald; Leschnik, Bettina; Leis, Hans-Joerg; Heinemann, Akos; Muntean, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    Neonatal platelets support primary haemostasis and thrombin generation as well as adult platelets, despite observable hypoaggregability in vitro. High prostaglandin E2 levels at accouchement could account for inhibited platelet function via the EP4 receptor. We set out to determine prostaglandin E2 plasma levels in cord blood of healthy neonates and evaluate the impact of prostaglandin E2 on platelet function in adult and cord blood samples. Prostaglandin E2 plasma levels were measured in cord blood and venous adult blood using GC-MS. Impact of prostaglandin E2 on platelet aggregation was measured by spiking cord blood and adult samples. Contributions of EP3 and EP4 receptors were evaluated using respective antagonists. Intracellular cAMP concentrations were measured using a commercial ELISA-kit. Prostaglandin E2 plasma levels were substantially higher in cord blood than in adult samples. Spiking with prostaglandin E2 resulted in a slight but consistent reduction of platelet aggregation in adult blood, but response to PGE2 was blunted in cord blood samples. Aggregation response of spiked adult samples was still higher than with non-spiked cord blood samples. Blockage of EP4 receptors resulted in improved platelet aggregation in adult platelets upon prostaglandin E2 spiking, while aggregation in cord blood samples remained unaltered. Intracellular cAMP concentrations after preincubation with prostaglandin E2 were only increased in adult samples. In conclusion, very high prostaglandin E2 concentrations in cord blood affect platelet function. This effect may partially explain neonatal platelet hypoaggregability. Peak levels of prostaglandin E2 can potentially protect against birth stress-induced platelet activation.

  20. A study on the quantitative evaluation of skin barrier function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maruyama, Tomomi; Kabetani, Yasuhiro; Kido, Michiko; Yamada, Kenji; Oikaze, Hirotoshi; Takechi, Yohei; Furuta, Tomotaka; Ishii, Shoichi; Katayama, Haruna; Jeong, Hieyong; Ohno, Yuko

    2015-03-01

    We propose a quantitative evaluation method of skin barrier function using Optical Coherence Microscopy system (OCM system) with coherency of near-infrared light. There are a lot of skin problems such as itching, irritation and so on. It has been recognized skin problems are caused by impairment of skin barrier function, which prevents damage from various external stimuli and loss of water. To evaluate skin barrier function, it is a common strategy that they observe skin surface and ask patients about their skin condition. The methods are subjective judgements and they are influenced by difference of experience of persons. Furthermore, microscopy has been used to observe inner structure of the skin in detail, and in vitro measurements like microscopy requires tissue sampling. On the other hand, it is necessary to assess objectively skin barrier function by quantitative evaluation method. In addition, non-invasive and nondestructive measuring method and examination changes over time are needed. Therefore, in vivo measurements are crucial for evaluating skin barrier function. In this study, we evaluate changes of stratum corneum structure which is important for evaluating skin barrier function by comparing water-penetrated skin with normal skin using a system with coherency of near-infrared light. Proposed method can obtain in vivo 3D images of inner structure of body tissue, which is non-invasive and non-destructive measuring method. We formulate changes of skin ultrastructure after water penetration. Finally, we evaluate the limit of performance of the OCM system in this work in order to discuss how to improve the OCM system.

  1. Implicit function-based phantoms for evaluation of registration algorithms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gopalakrishnan, Girish; Poston, Timothy; Nagaraj, Nithin; Mullick, Rakesh; Knoplioch, Jerome

    2005-04-01

    Medical image fusion is increasingly enhancing diagnostic accuracy by synergizing information from multiple images, obtained by the same modality at different times or from complementary modalities such as structural information from CT and functional from PET. An active, crucial research topic in fusion is validation of the registration (point-to-point correspondence) used. Phantoms and other simulated studies are useful in the absence of, or as a preliminary to, definitive clinical tests. Software phantoms in specific have the added advantage of robustness, repeatability and reproducibility. Our virtual-lung-phantom-based scheme can test the accuracy of any registration algorithm and is flexible enough for added levels of complexity (addition of blur/anti-alias, rotate/warp, and modality-associated noise) to help evaluate the robustness of an image registration/fusion methodology. Such a framework extends easily to different anatomies. The feature of adding software-based fiducials both within and outside simulated anatomies prove more beneficial when compared to experiments using data from external fiducials on a patient. It would help the diagnosing clinician make a prudent choice of registration algorithm.

  2. HANOIPC3: a computer program to evaluate executive functions.

    PubMed

    Guevara, M A; Rizo, L; Ruiz-Díaz, M; Hernández-González, M

    2009-08-01

    This article describes a computer program (HANOIPC3) based on the Tower of Hanoi game that, by analyzing a series of parameters during execution, allows a fast and accurate evaluation of data related to certain executive functions, especially planning, organizing and problem-solving. This computerized version has only one level of difficulty based on the use of 3 disks, but it stipulates an additional rule: only one disk may be moved at a time, and only to an adjacent peg (i.e., no peg can be skipped over). In the original version--without this stipulation--the minimum number of movements required to complete the task is 7, but under the conditions of this computerized version this increases to 26. HANOIPC3 has three important advantages: (1) it allows a researcher or clinician to modify the rules by adding or removing certain conditions, thus augmenting the utility and flexibility in test execution and the interpretation of results; (2) it allows to provide on-line feedback to subjects about their execution; and, (3) it creates a specific file to store the scores that correspond to the parameters obtained during trials. The parameters that can be measured include: latencies (time taken for each movement, measured in seconds), total test time, total number of movements, and the number of correct and incorrect movements. The efficacy and adaptability of this program has been confirmed. PMID:19303660

  3. Model Evaluation for Low-Level Cloud Feedback

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shin, S.-H.

    2012-04-01

    The purpose of this research is to address the cloud feedbacks in future climate predicted using global climate models. To understand the variability of low clouds in current climate, variations in cloud cover as well as relationship between cloud cover and other variables are examined using the adjusted International Satellite Cloud Climatology Project (ISCCP) data and Intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) models. The study focuses on the low-cloud amount, which variability is very critical in balancing earth's radiation budget. The correlations of the observed low cloud cover anomalies with a variety of variables suggest that low clouds in tropical marine areas (persistent low cloud regions) are associated with a cool sea surface, stronger stability, and higher sea level pressure, and subsidence. An increase in SST causes a reduction in lower tropospheric stability. And the reduced stability allows for more vertical motion within and around the cloud deck, leading to increased entrainment of dry air. This brings about a reduction in cloudiness and a transition from low cloud to high cloud types. Higher SLP could also produce more subsidence aloft, increasing LTS independent of SST. The understanding of the physical processes that control the cloud response to climate variability and the evaluation of some components of cloud feedbacks in current models should help to assess which of the model estimates of cloud feedback is the most reliable. Being rooted on this observed features of total and low-cloud variability, we evaluate the performance and the realism for the model simulations form various coupled GCMs, which lead the selection of reliable models, CGCM3 (from CCCMa) and HadGEM1 (from UKMO). These two models exhibit considerably good agreement in net cloud radiative forcing and produce a reduction in cloud throughout much of the Pacific in response to greenhouse gas forcing (i.e., a positive feedback). In this study

  4. Connected Functional Working Spaces: A Framework for the Teaching and Learning of Functions at Upper Secondary Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Minh, Tran Kiem; Lagrange, Jean-Baptiste

    2016-01-01

    This paper aims at contributing to remedy the narrow treatment of functions at upper secondary level. Assuming that students make sense of functions by working on functional situations in distinctive settings, we propose to consider functional working spaces inspired by geometrical working spaces. We analyse a classroom situation based on a…

  5. Evaluation of the level of nicotine dependence among adolescent smokers.

    PubMed

    Hrubá, D; Zachovalová, L; Fiala, J; Kyasová, M

    2003-09-01

    The questionnaire containing ten items evaluated the degree of dependence in students-volunteers from Brno secondary and vocational schools (ages ranging from 15 to 17 years) and the anamnestic data were compared with the specific (urinary cotinine) and non-specific (CO in the air exhaled) biological tests of exposure to smoking. The sample of 147 students examined contained 42% non-smokers, 25% occasional smokers and almost 33% of those who smoked every day. Almost 10% children smoked more than 10 cigarettes a day, and more than 20% children stated that they smoked 60 and more cigarettes a week. In accordance with the pre-developed degrees of dependence, compiled by the scores of the individual responses, 59% of the respondents (including the non-smokers) were ranked among the non-dependent. The second most frequent group contained the "strongly dependent" (almost 17% of all persons, e.g. 30% of smokers), 3.4% of examined persons (6% of smokers) were ranked in the sub-group of persons with a very high degree of dependence. Highly positive correlations were found between the evaluation of the dependence degree according to the anamnestic data and the exposure bio-markers (urinary cotinine/creatinine and CO in the air exhaled): the values of correlation coefficients were 0.615 and 0.764, resp. Both bio-markers also correlated negatively with the time of the last exposure to both active and passive smoking. The individual items in the dependence questionnaire had positive correlations with the objective exposure indicators which had statistical significance. The strongest relationship was observed in the question about the first morning cigarette--the highest correlation coefficients, being followed by signs evaluating the smoking frequency and the usual number of cigarettes smoked per day and in a week. The lowest relationships concerned the occasions for smoking and the unpleasant symptoms associated with the withdrawal. The anamnestic questionnaire could explain

  6. Estimating the level of functional ability of children identified as likely to have an intellectual disability.

    PubMed

    Murray, Aja; McKenzie, Karen; Booth, Tom; Murray, George

    2013-11-01

    Screening tools can provide an indication of whether a child may have an intellectual disability (ID). Item response theory (IRT) analyses can be used to assess whether the statistical properties of the tools are such that their utility extends beyond their use as a screen for ID. We used non-parametric IRT scaling analyses to investigate whether the Child and Adolescent Intellectual Disability Screening Questionnaire (CAIDS-Q) possessed the statistical properties that would suggest its use could be extended to estimate levels of functional ability and to estimate which (if any) features associated with intellectual impairment are consistently indicative of lower or higher levels of functional ability. The validity of the two proposed applications was assessed by evaluating whether the CAIDS-Q conformed to the properties of the Monotone Homogeneity Model (MHM), characterised by uni-dimensionality, local independence and latent monotonicity and the Double Monotone Model (DMM), characterised by the assumptions of the MHM and, in addition, of non-intersecting item response functions. We analysed these models using CAIDS-Q data from 319 people referred to child clinical services. Of these, 148 had a diagnosis of ID. The CAIDS-Q was found to conform to the properties of the MHM but not the DMM. In practice, this means that the CAIDS-Q total scores can be used to quickly estimate the level of a person's functional ability. However, items of the CAIDS-Q did not show invariant item ordering, precluding the use of individual items in isolation as accurate indices of a person's level of functional ability. PMID:24036121

  7. Estimating Ocean Surface Level using the Intrinsic Non-stationary Covariance Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dalal, C. A.; Pavlovic, V.; Kopp, R. E.

    2015-12-01

    A spatio-temporal estimation of the ocean surface level poses a challenging problem for reasons including non-stationarity, non-uniformly smooth spatial boundaries and a short range in the temporal dimension of the densely measured satellite altimeter dataset. Gaussian processes using a non-stationary covariance function have shown promise for such a task, as the covariance function adapts to the variable smoothness of the underlying distribution. We present a novel framework which employs the intrinsic non-stationary covariance function for a Gaussian process regression. The intrinsic non-stationary covariance function evaluates intrinsic statistics of the local distribution by assuming that the distribution lies on a Riemannian manifold of positive definite matrices; thereby, the non-stationarity and the non-uniformly spatial variability of the data are captured. Additionally, the framework improves the short range temporal estimates by assimilating data from a correlated process of a temporally longer range dataset. For such a data-assimilation technique, we used the dataset of tide gauge records that measure coastal sea bed levels at a geospatially sparse distribution of global sites. Experiments on satellite altimeter measurements of ocean surface level across the world from 1993 onwards demonstrate improvements in the error metrics for the regression estimates when using our novel framework. Furthermore, assimilating the tide gauge measurements from 1802 onwards gives better estimates for the long-term trends of the ocean surface level. These spatio-temporal estimates of past records of the ocean surface level will enable us to more accurately assess risks arising due to climate change.

  8. Evaluation of Climate Variability of Sea Level from the ESA CCI product and ECMWF ocean reanalyses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zuo, Hao; Balmaseda, Magdalena

    2016-07-01

    The ESA CCI initiative has provided an improved monthly averaged sea level anomalies (SLA) product (ECV1.1) in 1/4 degree resolution and from 1993 to 2014. The evaluation of ECV1.1 has been carried out by comparison with previous ECV versions, and with new ECMWF ocean and sea-ice reanalyses (ORAS5), which assimilates in-situ temperature and salinity observations, in different resolutions (1/4 of degree and 1 degree). The robustness of the sea level climate variability from ECV1.1 and its attribution to physical processes are evaluated using ocean reanalysis. Spatial distributions of uncertainties on regional sea level trends from ECV1.1 are also evaluated against ensemble spread from ORAS5. An Empirical Orthogonal Function (EOF) analysis show that the amplitude, phase, and spatial patterns of the interannual signals of sea level in the new ESA CCI SL are more consistent with the ocean reanalyses than previous SL products. The relation between the leading EOF modes of sea-level and climate variability processes is discussed, at a global and regional scale, with a special focus in the North Atlantic.

  9. Effects of ration level on immune functions in chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Alcorn, S.W.; Pascho, R.J.; Murray, A.L.; Shearer, K.D.

    2003-01-01

    The relationship between nutritional status and disease resistance in cultured salmonids can be affected by dietary manipulations. Careful attention to feeding levels may be important to avoid imbalances in nutrient levels that could ultimately impair a fish's ability to resist infectious microorganisms. In the current study, fish in three feed-level groups were fed an experimental diet either to satiation, 64% of satiation or 40% of satiation. A fourth group of fish were fed a commercial diet at the 64% of satiation level and served as controls. To evaluate certain indices of disease resistance in the test and control fish, a panel of assays was employed to measure humoral and cellular immune functions 30, 39 and 54 weeks after starting the dietary treatments. The panel included measures of blood hematocrit and leucocrit levels, plasma protein concentration and serum lysozyme and complement activity. Cellular analyses included differential blood leucocyte counts, NBT reduction and phagocytosis by pronephros macrophages and myeloperoxidase activity of pronephros neutrophils. No differences were observed in those indices between fish tested from the control-diet group (commercial diet fed at the 64% rate) and fish tested from the 64% feed-level group, except that fish fed the commercial diet had a greater concentration of plasma protein. Leucocrit values and plasma protein concentrations tended to increase among the experimental feed groups as the ration increased from 40% to satiation. More importantly, phagocytic activity by anterior kidney leucocytes was found to be inversely proportional to the feed level. Whereas the results of this study provide evidence that the salmonid immune system may be fairly robust with regard to available metabolic energy, the significant changes observed in phagocytic cell activity suggest that some cellular immune functions may be affected by the feed level.

  10. Impact of sea level rise on tide gate function.

    PubMed

    Walsh, Sean; Miskewitz, Robert

    2013-01-01

    Sea level rise resulting from climate change and land subsidence is expected to severely impact the duration and associated damage resulting from flooding events in tidal communities. These communities must continuously invest resources for the maintenance of existing structures and installation of new flood prevention infrastructure. Tide gates are a common flood prevention structure for low-lying communities in the tidal zone. Tide gates close during incoming tides to prevent inundation from downstream water propagating inland and open during outgoing tides to drain upland areas. Higher downstream mean sea level elevations reduce the effectiveness of tide gates by impacting the hydraulics of the system. This project developed a HEC-RAS and HEC-HMS model of an existing tide gate structure and its upland drainage area in the New Jersey Meadowlands to simulate the impact of rising mean sea level elevations on the tide gate's ability to prevent upstream flooding. Model predictions indicate that sea level rise will reduce the tide gate effectiveness resulting in longer lasting and deeper flood events. The results indicate that there is a critical point in the sea level elevation for this local area, beyond which flooding scenarios become dramatically worse and would have a significantly negative impact on the standard of living and ability to do business in one of the most densely populated areas of America.

  11. Serum levels of 12 renal function and injury markers in patients with glomerulonephritis.

    PubMed

    Serwin, Natalia M; Wiśniewska, Magda; Jesionowska, Anna; Skwirczyńska, Edyta; Marcinowska, Zuzanna; Dołęgowska, Barbara

    2016-08-01

    INTRODUCTION    Glomerulonephritis (GN) is a complex disease that affects the function of the whole nephron. There are few data on the serum levels of the most common biomarkers of kidney function and injury in GN, or the studies provide ambiguous results. OBJECTIVES    The aim of the study was to evaluate the levels of known kidney-specific and nonspecific markers of renal function or injury in the serum of patients with diagnosed primary or secondary GN, with or without the presence of nephrotic syndrome (NS) and arterial hypertension (AH). PATIENTS AND METHODS    The study included 58 patients with diagnosed GN and 6 patients with congenital defects (CD) of the kidney and AH (CD+AH). The serum levels of β2-microglobulin (β2M), neutrophil‑gelatinase associated lipocalin (NGAL), osteopontin, trefoil factor 3 (TFF-3), calbindin, glutathione-S‑transferase- π (GST-π), interleukin 18 (IL-18), kidney injury molecule 1 (KIM-1), and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) were measured with Kidney Toxicity Panels 1 and 2 using the Bio-Plex method. Renalase levels were measured using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. RESULTS    In the whole group and in the subgroups (GN, GN+AH, GN+NS, CD+AH), NGAL, KIM-1, TFF-3, IL-18, β2M, and calbindin levels correlated with estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). In patients with NS, this correlation for calbindin was reversed. Renalase, MCP-1, GST-π, and osteopontin levels were independent of eGFR. Increase in IL-18 levels in the group with GN was assiociated with lower odds of the kidney disease. When this group was divided according to eGFR into subgroups G1-G5, TFF-3, NGAL, and β2M levels increased with the stage of the disease. CONCLUSIONS In patients with NS, renalase and MCP-1 might regulate each other's levels. Further studies are needed to investigate associations between renalase, MCP-1, and osteopontin as factors unrelated to eGFR in GN. NS may contribute to the loss of calbindin from

  12. Effect of low level microwave radiation exposure on cognitive function and oxidative stress in rats.

    PubMed

    Deshmukh, Pravin Suryakantrao; Banerjee, Basu Dev; Abegaonkar, Mahesh Pandurang; Megha, Kanu; Ahmed, Rafat Sultana; Tripathi, Ashok Kumar; Mediratta, Pramod Kumari

    2013-04-01

    Use of wireless communicating devices is increasing at an exponential rate in present time and is raising serious concerns about possible adverse effects of microwave (MW) radiation emitted from these devices on human health. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of 900 MHz MW radiation exposure on cognitive function and oxidative stress in blood of Fischer rats. Animals were divided into two groups (6 animals/group): Group I (MW-exposed) and Group II (Sham-exposed). Animals were subjected to MW exposure (Frequency 900 MHz; specific absorption rate 8.4738 x 10(-5) W/kg) in Gigahertz transverse electromagnetic cell (GTEM) for 30 days (2 h/day, 5 days/week). Subsequently, cognitive function and oxidative stress parameters were examined for each group. Results showed significant impairment in cognitive function and increase in oxidative stress, as evidenced by the increase in levels of MDA (a marker of lipid peroxidation) and protein carbonyl (a marker of protein oxidation) and unaltered GSH content in blood. Thus, the study demonstrated that low level MW radiation had significant effect on cognitive function and was also capable of leading to oxidative stress.

  13. A Multi-Level Model of Moral Functioning Revisited

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reed, Don Collins

    2009-01-01

    The model of moral functioning scaffolded in the 2008 "JME" Special Issue is here revisited in response to three papers criticising that volume. As guest editor of that Special Issue I have formulated the main body of this response, concerning the dynamic systems approach to moral development, the problem of moral relativism and the role of…

  14. [Ecological validity and multitasking environments in the evaluation of the executive functions].

    PubMed

    Bombín-González, Igor; Cifuentes-Rodríguez, Alicia; Climent-Martínez, Gema; Luna-Lario, Pilar; Cardas-Ibáñez, Jaione; Tirapu-Ustárroz, Javier; Díaz-Orueta, Unai

    2014-07-16

    Evaluation of executive functions is a major issue of neuropsychological assessment, due to the role displayed by these on a cognitive, behavioural and emotional level, and the implication of these functions in daily life functioning. In order to perform a reliable assessment, the strategy traditionally followed for the evaluation of executive functions has been their atomization in different cognitive subprocesses, which is useful in a clinical or a research context. However, in clinical practice it is frequently artificial to disintegrate a global and complex cognitive process, such as executive functions, in a variety of related components; thus, tests designed according to these theoretical processes have low value in clinical procedures (diagnosis, rehabilitation design) due to their poor correspondence with the subject's or patient's clinical reality. The aims of the present work are to revise the concept of ecological validity applied to the evaluation of executive functions, and to perform a critical review of executive functions assessment by means of multitask paradigms as a way to increase the ecological validity and predictive value of the subject's functional performance. After a historical journey around the (low) ecological validity of single-task tests, and the bet in favour of a multitask paradigm for the evaluation of executive functions, up-to-date existing multitask tests are presented meticulously (with their respective advantages and disadvantages). Finally, concrete recommendations about how to develop multitask tests in the future are presented, attending to concrete parameters related to the context, tasks, objectives, rules and scoring.

  15. Irisin levels in relation to metabolic and liver functions in Egyptian patients with metabolic syndrome.

    PubMed

    Rizk, Fatma H; Elshweikh, Samah A; Abd El-Naby, Amira Y

    2016-04-01

    Irisin is a new myokine that is suspected to influence metabolic syndrome (MetS). However, there is a great controversy with respect to its level in cases of MetS and its correlation with different metabolic parameters. The present study assesses irisin levels in MetS patients and studies its relationship to metabolic and liver functions to evaluate the possible role of the liver in regulation of this level. Sixty subjects were included in this experiment, who were divided into 3 groups: group I (normal control), group II (MetS patients with normal liver enzymes), and group III (MetS with elevated liver enzymes and fatty liver disease). Serum irisin levels showed significant increases in groups II and III compared with group I, and significant increases in group III compared with group II. Also, irisin levels were positively correlated with body mass index, serum triglycerides, homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance index (HOMA-IR), and liver enzymes. We concluded that serum irisin levels increased in patients with MetS, especially those with elevated liver enzymes, and had a positive correlation with parameters of lipid metabolism and glucose homeostasis with the possibility of hepatic clearance to irisin.

  16. 48 CFR 436.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 4 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 436.602-3 Section 436.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Service...

  17. 48 CFR 36.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 1 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 36.602-3 Section 36.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System FEDERAL ACQUISITION REGULATION SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS...

  18. 48 CFR 2936.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 7 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 2936.602-3 Section 2936.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF LABOR GENERAL CONTRACTING REQUIREMENTS CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Services...

  19. 48 CFR 1436.602-3 - Evaluation board functions.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 48 Federal Acquisition Regulations System 5 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Evaluation board functions. 1436.602-3 Section 1436.602-3 Federal Acquisition Regulations System DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR SPECIAL CATEGORIES OF CONTRACTING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECT-ENGINEER CONTRACTS Architect-Engineer Services...

  20. Multi-level methods and approximating distribution functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, D.; Baker, R. E.

    2016-07-01

    Biochemical reaction networks are often modelled using discrete-state, continuous-time Markov chains. System statistics of these Markov chains usually cannot be calculated analytically and therefore estimates must be generated via simulation techniques. There is a well documented class of simulation techniques known as exact stochastic simulation algorithms, an example of which is Gillespie's direct method. These algorithms often come with high computational costs, therefore approximate stochastic simulation algorithms such as the tau-leap method are used. However, in order to minimise the bias in the estimates generated using them, a relatively small value of tau is needed, rendering the computational costs comparable to Gillespie's direct method. The multi-level Monte Carlo method (Anderson and Higham, Multiscale Model. Simul. 10:146-179, 2012) provides a reduction in computational costs whilst minimising or even eliminating the bias in the estimates of system statistics. This is achieved by first crudely approximating required statistics with many sample paths of low accuracy. Then correction terms are added until a required level of accuracy is reached. Recent literature has primarily focussed on implementing the multi-level method efficiently to estimate a single system statistic. However, it is clearly also of interest to be able to approximate entire probability distributions of species counts. We present two novel methods that combine known techniques for distribution reconstruction with the multi-level method. We demonstrate the potential of our methods using a number of examples.

  1. The Relationship Between Hemoglobin Level and Intellectual Function.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Munro, Nancy

    In a study to learn whether or not poor nutrition, as indicated by low hemoglobin levels, affects intelligence and behavior, 113 Head Start children in Missoula, Montana took part. Group testing with the Lorge Thorndike Intelligence Test and individual testing with the Wechsler and Primary Scale of Intelligence or Wechsler Intelligence Scale for…

  2. Generalized pattern search algorithms with adaptive precision function evaluations

    SciTech Connect

    Polak, Elijah; Wetter, Michael

    2003-05-14

    In the literature on generalized pattern search algorithms, convergence to a stationary point of a once continuously differentiable cost function is established under the assumption that the cost function can be evaluated exactly. However, there is a large class of engineering problems where the numerical evaluation of the cost function involves the solution of systems of differential algebraic equations. Since the termination criteria of the numerical solvers often depend on the design parameters, computer code for solving these systems usually defines a numerical approximation to the cost function that is discontinuous with respect to the design parameters. Standard generalized pattern search algorithms have been applied heuristically to such problems, but no convergence properties have been stated. In this paper we extend a class of generalized pattern search algorithms to a form that uses adaptive precision approximations to the cost function. These numerical approximations need not define a continuous function. Our algorithms can be used for solving linearly constrained problems with cost functions that are at least locally Lipschitz continuous. Assuming that the cost function is smooth, we prove that our algorithms converge to a stationary point. Under the weaker assumption that the cost function is only locally Lipschitz continuous, we show that our algorithms converge to points at which the Clarke generalized directional derivatives are nonnegative in predefined directions. An important feature of our adaptive precision scheme is the use of coarse approximations in the early iterations, with the approximation precision controlled by a test. Such an approach leads to substantial time savings in minimizing computationally expensive functions.

  3. Dynamic testing in the evaluation of male gonadal function.

    PubMed

    De Martino, M U; Pastore, R; Caprio, M; Frajese, G; Fabbri, A

    2003-01-01

    The maturation and physiologic functions of male sexual apparatus are under the control of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. The determination of gonadotropins and testosterone as secretory products of pituitary and gonads, respectively, represents the first step in the evaluation of male sexual function and the diagnosis of disorders in male reproductive axis. However, there are several clinical situations that require a dynamic evaluation of this system and the measurement of basal gonadotropins and testosterone must be combined with specific dynamic tests. These mainly consist in GnRH stimulation, which evaluates the endocrine reserve capacity of the pituitary, and human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) stimulation, which is used in the assessment of Leydig cells activity. The paper illustrates the technical aspects, the normal/pathological responses and the role of these two tests in assessing the male HPG axis in respect to different clinical diagnostic queries.

  4. Domo-Grip: functional evaluation and rehabilitation using grip force.

    PubMed

    Hewson, David J; Li, Ke; Frerejean, Alexis; Hogrel, Jean-Yves; Duchene, Jacques

    2010-01-01

    Grip force measurement is routinely used to identify pathologies, evaluate muscular function, and as part of rehabilitation. Grip force has also been shown to be a good indicator of the capacity of elderly to live independently owing to its strong relationship with clinical tests such as the Index of Activities of Daily Living. An autonomous, communicant grip-force measurement device is presented in this paper in order to perform grip-force evaluation at home. The Domo-Grip system consists of the Grip-Ball, the Grip-Box, and Grip-Soft. The Grip-Ball measures the pressure resulting from grip force, the Grip-Box serves as the communication hub, while Grip-Soft is an interactive software suite. The Domo-Grip system can be used as part of a home-based rehabilitation, and also for functional evaluation as part of an assessment of the capacity of elderly to live autonomously.

  5. Blood lead levels in relation to cognitive function in older U.S. adults.

    PubMed

    van Wijngaarden, Edwin; Winters, Paul C; Cory-Slechta, Deborah A

    2011-01-01

    Studies suggest that cumulative exposure to lead, as measured in the bone, is associated with accelerated cognitive decline at older age. It is presently unclear, however, whether current blood lead levels (BLLs) are adversely related to cognitive functioning in older adults. We evaluated BLLs in relation to cognition in the continuous National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The current study was limited to adults age 60 and older. We examined two measures of cognitive functioning: self-reported functional limitation due to difficulty remembering or periods of confusion (NHANES 1999-2008; n=7277) and performance on the Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST; NHANES 1999-2002; n=2299). We evaluated quintiles of BLL (<1.30, 1.79-<2.30, 2.30-<3.20, and ≥3.20μg/dL) in relation to cognitive functioning using logistic (functional limitation) and linear (DSST scores) regression in SUDAAN, adjusting for age, sex, race, poverty-income ratio, education, and self-reported general health status. BLLs were not associated with self-reported confusion or memory problems in crude and adjusted analyses, with adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI) of 1.0 (ref.), 0.9 (CI=0.7-1.3), 0.8 (CI=0.6-1.2), 1.0 (CI=0.7-1.3), 1.0 (CI=0.7-1.4), respectively, in increasing quintiles. Similarly, there was no clear association between performance on the DSST and BLL after accounting for all covariates. Our findings add to the inconsistent evidence regarding the association between concurrent BLLs and cognitive function in older adults. Early-life or long-term, accumulated lead exposures may be etiologically more relevant to accelerated cognitive decline at older age. PMID:21093481

  6. Syntactic Functions in Functional Discourse Grammar and Role and Reference Grammar: An Evaluative Comparison

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Butler, Christopher S.

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this paper is to compare the treatment of syntactic functions, and more particularly those traditionally labelled as Subject and Object, in Functional Discourse Grammar and Role and Reference Grammar. Relevant aspects of the overall structure of the two theories are briefly described. The concept of alignment between levels of the…

  7. Institutionalization of Program Evaluation in Canada: The Federal Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rutman, Len; Mayne, John

    1985-01-01

    The substantial differences in program evaluation practices in Canada and the United States are discussed focussing on the historical context and the political and cultural environments. Program evaluation has developed in Canada to address the concerns of accountability of public funds in a context of economic restraint. (Author/BS)

  8. Evaluation of thyroid hormone levels in chronic kidney disease patients.

    PubMed

    Rajeev, Gandham; Chickballapur Rayappa, Wilma Delphine Silvia; Vijayalakshmi, Ravella; Swathi, Manchala; Kumar, Sunil

    2015-01-01

    We attempted in this study to determine the thyroid hormone levels in 45 adult chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients and 45 ageand sex-matched healthy subjects as controls. The serum thyroid hormone levels were measured by a radioimmunoassay. Serum concentrations of creatinine, urea, electrolytes and total proteins and albumin were measured as well. There was a significant decrease in the levels of serum total T3, total T4 and total protein and albumin levels in CKD patients when compared with the controls. There was a significant increase in the level of thyroid stimulating hormone in the CKD patients compared with the controls. Our study suggests that CKD leads to significant changes in the thyroid hormone levels, which need to be interpreted carefully in these patients.

  9. Evaluation techniques for Gutzwiller wave functions in finite dimensions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaczmarczyk, Jan; Schickling, Tobias; Bünemann, Jörg

    2015-09-01

    We give a comprehensive introduction into a diagrammatic method that allows for the evaluation of Gutzwiller wave functions in finite spatial dimensions. We discuss in detail some numerical schemes that turned out to be useful in the real-space evaluation of the diagrams. The method is applied to the problem of d-wave superconductivity in a two-dimensional single-band Hubbard model. Here, we discuss in particular the role of long-range contributions in our diagrammatic expansion. We further reconsider our previous analysis on the kinetic energy gain in the superconducting state.

  10. Efficacy of inpatient treatment for atopic dermatitis evaluated by changes in serum cortisol levels.

    PubMed

    Fukuda, Hidetsugu; Suzuki, Taku; Saotome, Atsuko; Sode, Eri; Mukai, Hideki

    2013-01-01

    When dealing with patients with severe atopic dermatitis (AD), inpatient treatment is useful for alleviating skin symptoms in short periods of time. We previously found that many severe AD patients had low serum cortisol levels at admission. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the efficacy of inpatient treatment in 29 adults with AD through comparisons of serum cortisol, plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), serum thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC), and serum lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels at admission with those at the time of discharge. Serum cortisol and plasma ACTH levels were significantly higher at discharge. On the other hand, serum TARC and serum LDH were significantly lower at discharge. We examined whether the suppression of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical function that was seen at admission was attributable to disturbed circadian rhythms due to sleep disorders by analyzing hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical function in relation to the presence/absence of sleep disorders, serum cortisol levels and daily urinary free cortisol. Of the 17 patients with low serum cortisol levels upon admission, 15 (88.2%) had sleep disorders upon admission. However, the daily urinary free cortisol increased significantly from 8.0 ± 5.5 μg/day (at admission) to 18.5 ± 17.2 μg/day (at discharge). These results suggested that the suppression of endocrine function seen at admission was not attributable to disturbed circadian rhythms due to sleep disorders but represented true suppression of the endocrine system. These results indicated that inpatient care was useful for treating patients with severe AD, enabling efficient improvement of the skin condition and recovery from suppressed endocrine function.

  11. Evaluation of neurotoxicity potential in rats: the functional observational battery.

    PubMed

    Boucard, Aurélie; Bétat, Anne-Marie; Forster, Roy; Simonnard, Alain; Froget, Guillaume

    2010-12-01

    This unit describes the functional observational battery (FOB), a behavioral screening procedure commonly used in safety pharmacology and toxicology studies to assess potentially adverse effects of test agents on the central nervous system. The battery includes general observations and the determination of reactivity to various stimuli. Also presented is the severity score index for analyzing individual measurements and evaluations over a range of endpoints. The severity score index can be used to identify, quantify, and describe the effects of compounds on neurological, autonomic, and behavioral functions.

  12. Efficient technique to evaluate the Lindhard dielectric function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ancarani, L. U.; Jouin, H.

    2016-04-01

    In this work, we consider the evaluation of the Lindhard dielectric function which is the basic ingredient of many theories in various areas of physics like Solid State Physics, Plasma Physics, Atomic Physics in plasmas and Nuclear Physics. The typical divergency of the real part is removed through a simple but efficient mathematical transformation. The remaining integral is trouble-free, and can be dealt with any standard numerical quadrature. Due to the very wide use of the Lindhard dielectric function (and its extensions) in many branches of Physics, we believe that the present work will be useful to many researchers.

  13. Xist localization and function: new insights from multiple levels.

    PubMed

    Cerase, Andrea; Pintacuda, Greta; Tattermusch, Anna; Avner, Philip

    2015-08-15

    In female mammals, one of the two X chromosomes in each cell is transcriptionally silenced in order to achieve dosage compensation between the genders in a process called X chromosome inactivation. The master regulator of this process is the long non-coding RNA Xist. During X-inactivation, Xist accumulates in cis on the future inactive X chromosome, triggering a cascade of events that provoke the stable silencing of the entire chromosome, with relatively few genes remaining active. How Xist spreads, what are its binding sites, how it recruits silencing factors and how it induces a specific topological and nuclear organization of the chromatin all remain largely unanswered questions. Recent studies have improved our understanding of Xist localization and the proteins with which it interacts, allowing a reappraisal of ideas about Xist function. We discuss recent advances in our knowledge of Xist-mediated silencing, focusing on Xist spreading, the nuclear organization of the inactive X chromosome, recruitment of the polycomb complex and the role of the nuclear matrix in the process of X chromosome inactivation.

  14. Intrinsic Functional Connectivity Patterns Predict Consciousness Level and Recovery Outcome in Acquired Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Xuehai; Zou, Qihong; Hu, Jin; Tang, Weijun; Mao, Ying; Gao, Liang; Zhu, Jianhong; Jin, Yi; Wu, Xin; Lu, Lu; Zhang, Yaojun; Zhang, Yao; Dai, Zhengjia; Gao, Jia-Hong; Weng, Xuchu; Northoff, Georg; Giacino, Joseph T.; He, Yong

    2015-01-01

    For accurate diagnosis and prognostic prediction of acquired brain injury (ABI), it is crucial to understand the neurobiological mechanisms underlying loss of consciousness. However, there is no consensus on which regions and networks act as biomarkers for consciousness level and recovery outcome in ABI. Using resting-state fMRI, we assessed intrinsic functional connectivity strength (FCS) of whole-brain networks in a large sample of 99 ABI patients with varying degrees of consciousness loss (including fully preserved consciousness state, minimally conscious state, unresponsive wakefulness syndrome/vegetative state, and coma) and 34 healthy control subjects. Consciousness level was evaluated using the Glasgow Coma Scale and Coma Recovery Scale-Revised on the day of fMRI scanning; recovery outcome was assessed using the Glasgow Outcome Scale 3 months after the fMRI scanning. One-way ANOVA of FCS, Spearman correlation analyses between FCS and the consciousness level and recovery outcome, and FCS-based multivariate pattern analysis were performed. We found decreased FCS with loss of consciousness primarily distributed in the posterior cingulate cortex/precuneus (PCC/PCU), medial prefrontal cortex, and lateral parietal cortex. The FCS values of these regions were significantly correlated with consciousness level and recovery outcome. Multivariate support vector machine discrimination analysis revealed that the FCS patterns predicted whether patients with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome/vegetative state and coma would regain consciousness with an accuracy of 81.25%, and the most discriminative region was the PCC/PCU. These findings suggest that intrinsic functional connectivity patterns of the human posteromedial cortex could serve as a potential indicator for consciousness level and recovery outcome in individuals with ABI. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Varying degrees of consciousness loss and recovery are commonly observed in acquired brain injury patients, yet the

  15. Evaluating the function of total joint replacements - biomed 2010.

    PubMed

    Jones, Lynne C; Drobisch, Justin; Tsao, Audrey; Hungerford, Marc W

    2010-01-01

    The primary function of hip and knee joints is to permit movement. The pathology of arthritic diseases leads to loss of articular surface anatomy and deformity which will impede motion. Consequently, one of the primary goals of total joint replacement is to restore mobility. The assessment of implants in the research and development phase includes the use of computer models, joint simulators and clinical trials. Clinical evaluation assesses motion, the ability of a patient to perform certain activities and the potential use of assistive devices. These assessments encompass patient examination and measurement of motion about the joint, instrumented tools (accelerometers, gait analysis), questionnaires (self-report, interview-based), and performance-based evaluations. In order to fully appreciate the functional outcome of a total joint implant, more than one type of assessment is required.

  16. Levels of personality functioning and their association with clinical features and interpersonal functioning in patients with personality disorders.

    PubMed

    Lowyck, Benedicte; Luyten, Patrick; Verhaest, Yannic; Vandeneede, Bart; Vermote, Rudi

    2013-06-01

    Recently, the DSM-5 Personality and Personality Disorders Work Group has proposed a multiple level approach toward the classification and diagnosis of personality disorders (PDs), with the first level entailing a rating of impairments in levels of personality functioning. Although a number of measures that assess levels of personality functioning have been validated, given its prominent status in the DSM-5 proposal and contemporary theories of personality pathology, the Work Group has called for more research in this area (e.g., Bender, Morey, & Skodol, 2011). In response to this call, this study investigates the relationship between two major, well-validated dimensional measures of levels of personality functioning, that is, the Differentiation-Relatedness Scale (DR-S; Diamond, Blatt, Stayner, & Kaslow, 1991), as scored on the Object Relations Inventory (ORI; Blatt, Wein, Chevron, & Quinlan, 1979), and the Inventory of Personality Organization (IPO; Lenzenweger, Clarkin, Kernberg, & Foelsch, 2001), a self-report instrument, and their relationship with different measures of clinical and interpersonal functioning in 70 patients with a PD. First, results showed that higher levels of differentiation and relatedness of descriptions of self and significant others, and of the self in particular, were negatively related to indices of personality functioning as assessed by the IPO. Lower levels of personality functioning, as measured with both the DR-S and the IPO, were positively related to severity of depression, symptomatic distress, self-harm, and interpersonal problems. Finally, results showed that the DR-S and the IPO independently predicted clinical features and interpersonal functioning. Hence, this study lends further support for the concurrent and predictive validity of the DR-S and the IPO in assessing levels of personality functioning. However, more research concerning the validity of these measures in assessing levels of personality functioning is needed

  17. Evaluation of serum immunoglobulin E levels in bronchial asthma

    PubMed Central

    Sandeep, Thirunavukkarasu; Roopakala, Mysore Subrahmanyam; Silvia, Chickballapur Rayappa Wilma Delphine; Chandrashekara, Srikantaiah; Rao, Mohan

    2010-01-01

    Background: Immunoglobulin E and associated cellular responses are responsible for allergic airway diseases. A hypersensitivity reaction initiated by immunologic mechanisms, mediated by IgE antibodies occurs in allergic asthma Aim: To estimate and compare serum IgE levels in mild, moderate, and severe asthmatics and in normal subjects and to obtain a mathematical model describing the relationship between serum IgE levels and severity of asthma. Materials and Methods: A stratified sample of 60 patients within age group of 18-60 years and 31 male and 29 female asthmatic patients and 13 healthy controls within 18-60 years were included in this study and classified according to GINA classification. Serum IgE levels were estimated by using ELISA kit. Results: Mean IgE levels ranged from 151.95 IU/ml in normal subjects to 1045.32 IU/ml in severe asthmatics. The model developed was 27% efficient. Conclusion: Serum Immunoglobulin E levels were high in asthmatics as compared to normal subjects. On an average, the levels increased as the severity of asthma increased. However, there was no statistically significant correlation since the variability in each level of asthma was very large PMID:20931031

  18. A novel objective evaluation method for trunk function

    PubMed Central

    Kinoshita, Kazuaki; Hashimoto, Masashi; Ishida, Kazunari; Yoneda, Yuki; Naka, Yuta; Kitanishi, Hideyuki; Oyagi, Hirotaka; Hoshino, Yuichi; Shibanuma, Nao

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] To investigate whether an objective evaluation method for trunk function, namely the “trunk righting test”, is reproducible and reliable by testing on different observers (from experienced to beginners) and by confirming the test-retest reliability. [Subjects] Five healthy subjects were evaluated in this correlation study. [Methods] A handheld dynamometer was used in the assessments. The motor task was a trunk righting motion by moving the part with the sensor pad 10 cm outward from the original position. During measurement, the posture was held at maximum effort for 5 s. Measurement was repeated three times. Interexaminer reproducibility was examined in two physical therapists with 1 year experience and one physical therapist with 7 years of experience. The measured values were evaluated for reliability by using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC 1.1) and interclass correlation coefficients (ICC 2.1). [Results] The test-retest reliability ICC 1.1 and ICC 2.1 were all high. The ICC 1.1 was >0.90. The ICC 2.1 was 0.93. [Conclusion] We developed the trunk righting test as a novel objective evaluation method for trunk function. As the study included inexperienced therapists, the results suggest that the trunk righting test could be used in the clinic, independent of the experience of the therapists. PMID:26157279

  19. Emergy evaluation of contrasting dairy systems at multiple levels.

    PubMed

    Vigne, Mathieu; Peyraud, Jean-Louis; Lecomte, Philippe; Corson, Michael S; Wilfart, Aurélie

    2013-11-15

    Emergy accounting (EmA) was applied to a range of dairy systems, from low-input smallholder systems in South Mali (SM), to intermediate-input systems in two regions of France, Poitou-Charentes (PC) and Bretagne (BR), to high-input systems on Reunion Island (RI). These systems were studied at three different levels: whole-farm (dairy system and cropping system), dairy-system (dairy herd and forage land), and herd (animals only). Dairy farms in SM used the lowest total emergy at all levels and was the highest user of renewable resources. Despite the low quality of resources consumed (crop residues and natural pasture), efficiency of their use was similar to that of industrialised inputs by intensive systems in RI, PC and BR. In addition, among the systems studied, SM dairy farms lay closest to environmental sustainability, contradicting the usual image of high environmental impact of cattle production in developing countries. EmA also revealed characteristics of the three intensive systems. Systems from RI and PC had lower resource transformation efficiency and higher environmental impacts than those from BR, due mainly to feeding strategies that differed due to differing socio-climatic constraints. Application of EmA at multiple levels revealed the importance of a multi-level analysis. While the whole-farm level assesses the overall contribution of the system to its environment, the dairy-system level is suitable for comparison of multi-product systems. In contrast, the herd level focuses on herd management and bypasses debates about definition of system boundaries by excluding land management. Combining all levels highlights the contribution of livestock to the global agricultural system and identifies inefficiencies and influences of system components on the environment. PMID:23792889

  20. Acute effect upon pulmonary function of low level exposure to phenol-formaldehyde-resin-coated wood.

    PubMed

    Imbus, H R; Tochilin, S J

    1988-09-01

    In order to determine whether phenol-formaldehyde-resin-coated wood particles would cause an acute decline in pulmonary function, 176 workers in 2 oriented strandboard production plants were given respiratory questionnaires and pulmonary function tests before and during their work shifts. Measurements of dust and adsorbed formaldehyde were made on the same day as the pulmonary function tests. Measured formaldehyde levels were low, and measured dust levels were low to moderate. There was no evidence of an acute effect upon pulmonary function.

  1. Functional trait diversity across trophic levels determines herbivore impact on plant community biomass.

    PubMed

    Deraison, Hélène; Badenhausser, Isabelle; Loeuille, Nicolas; Scherber, Christoph; Gross, Nicolas

    2015-12-01

    Understanding the consequences of trophic interactions for ecosystem functioning is challenging, as contrasting effects of species and functional diversity can be expected across trophic levels. We experimentally manipulated functional identity and diversity of grassland insect herbivores and tested their impact on plant community biomass. Herbivore resource acquisition traits, i.e. mandible strength and the diversity of mandibular traits, had more important effects on plant biomass than body size. Higher herbivore functional diversity increased overall impact on plant biomass due to feeding niche complementarity. Higher plant functional diversity limited biomass pre-emption by herbivores. The functional diversity within and across trophic levels therefore regulates the impact of functionally contrasting consumers on primary producers. By experimentally manipulating the functional diversity across trophic levels, our study illustrates how trait-based approaches constitute a promising way to tackle existing links between trophic interactions and ecosystem functioning.

  2. Differences of respiratory function according to level of the gross motor function classification system in children with cerebral palsy.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Yong Hyun; Lee, Hye Young

    2014-03-01

    [Purpose] The current study was designed to investigate the difference in lung capacity and muscle strengthening related to respiration depending on the level of the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) in children with cerebral palsy (CP) through tests of respiratory function and respiratory pressure. [Subjects and Methods] A total of 49 children with CP who were classified as below level III of the GMFCS were recruited for this study. They were divided into three groups (i.e., GMFCS level I, GMFCS level II, and GMFCS level III). All children took the pulmonary function test (PFT) and underwent respiratory pressure testing for assessment of respiratory function in terms of lung capacity and respiratory muscle strength. [Results] The GMFCS level III group showed significantly lower scores for all tests of the PFT (i.e., forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume at one second (FEV1), and slow vital capacity (SVC)) and testing for respiratory pressures (maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP) and maximal expiratory pressure (MEP)) compared with the other two groups. The results of post hoc analysis indicated that the GMFCS level III group differed significantly from the other two groups in terms of FVC, FEV1, MIP, and MEP. In addition, a significant difference in SVC was observed between GMFCS level II and III. [Conclusion] Children with CP who had relatively low motor function showed poor pulmonary capacity and respiratory muscle weakness. Therefore, clinical manifestations regarding lung capacity and respiratory muscle will be required in children with CP who demonstrate poor physical activity.

  3. Evaluating Adult Literacy Programs at the Community Provider Level.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Benseman, John; Sutton, Alison

    1999-01-01

    Details the design and implementation of a rolling review process for community-based adult literacy programs. Describes four steps: documentation to become "review ready," collection of feedback from participants and key informants, site visit by reviewers, and use of the evaluation report as a planning tool. (SK)

  4. Evaluating Estradiol Levels in Male Patients with Colorectal Carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Seth, Shashi; Arora, Kanchan; Verma, Monica

    2015-01-01

    Background: Globally more than 1 million people suffer from colorectal cancer (CRC) per annum, resulting in about 0.5 million deaths. The role of estrogen in CRC is being researched with great interest; expression of estrogen receptors (alfa and beta) is being explored. Aims and Objective: Our objective was to compare the serum estradiol levels in diagnosed male patients of CRC, with age-matched controls; and to study the estradiol levels across the different stages of CRC. Setting and design: A cross-sectional study was conducted from January, 2012 to March, 2013 at a tertiary care hospital in north India. Materials and Methods: Fifty one male preoperative CRC patients were enrolled along with 50 age-matched male controls. Ethical approval and informed written consent from each participant were duly obtained. CRC patients were staged as per TNM (T- Tumour, N- Node, M- Metastasis; I, II, III and IV) criteria. Serum estradiol level was measured by Chemiimmunofluroscence method (normal = 11.6 - 41.2 pg/ml). Statistical analysis used: We used student’s t test and ANOVA (analysis of variance) to analyse the data (SPSS version 17.0, SPSS, Inc., Chicago, Illinois) Result: The mean serum estradiol level among CRC patients (43.4, sd=27.1) was significantly more than that among controls (mean=24.7, sd=17.5), (p<0.0001). Across the four TNM stages of CRC patients, mean estradiol level was highest in Stage II (55.9, sd=15.5); followed by Stages III (44.1, sd=24.9), IV (36.3, sd=30.0) and I (26.4, sd=38.8). However, significant difference was obtained only between Stages I and II. Conclusion: Our study revealed increased levels of serum estradiol in Indian male CRC patients. Further research is warranted to corroborate this finding, and to understand the role of estradiol across different TNM stages of CRC. PMID:25737973

  5. Evaluation of parathyroid autograft growth and function in hemodialysis patients

    SciTech Connect

    Karsenty, G.; Petraglia, A.; Bourdeau, A.; Gambini, D.J.; Moreau, J.F.; Lecharpentier, Y.; Zingraff, J.; Bournerias, F.; Buisson, C.; Dubost, C.

    1986-07-01

    The aim of our study was to evaluate the function and growth of parathyroid tissue autografted into the forearm of hemodialysis patients using several presently available methods. In a dynamic study, the secretory function of autografted tissue was evaluated in seven patients using either zero calcium dialysate or calcium infusion. In an additional prospective study, seven patients had repeated determinations of plasma immunoreactive parathyroid hormone (iPTH) concentration on samples from both forearms, a radionuclide evaluation of autograft function using thallium-201 chloride, and real time ultrasonography. Light microscopy analysis was performed in two patients. The dynamic study demonstrated that induction of hypocalcemia was followed by an increase, and induction of hypercalcemia by a decrease in circulating iPTH in both forearms using three different radioimmunoassays similar to what has been reported for normal parathyroid tissue. A significant gradient (ie, greater than 2.0) of plasma iPTH concentration in samples from both forearms was observed in only three out of the seven patients of the prospective study. Two of these patients disclosed an increased uptake of /sup 201/TI chloride at the site of autografted tissue and had an echographically detectable mass. In both, hyperplastic parathyroid tissue was removed. At present, the remaining third patient does not have other features of recurrent hyperparathyroidism. In conclusion, autotransplanted parathyroid tissue of hemodialysis patients shows an adequate response to physiologic stimuli such as hypo- and hypercalcemia. Dynamic tests, therefore, appear to be a useful tool in the assessment of its function. In addition, radionuclide and echographic studies may be reliable adjuncts in the detection of marked parathyroid autograft hyperplasia.

  6. Effect of the transdermal low-level laser therapy on endothelial function.

    PubMed

    Szymczyszyn, Alicja; Doroszko, Adrian; Szahidewicz-Krupska, Ewa; Rola, Piotr; Gutherc, Radosław; Jasiczek, Jakub; Mazur, Grzegorz; Derkacz, Arkadiusz

    2016-09-01

    The effect of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on the cardiovascular system is not fully established. Since the endothelium is an important endocrine element, establishing the mechanisms of LLLT action is an important issue.The aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of transdermal LLLT on endothelial function.In this study, healthy volunteers (n = 40, age = 20-40 years) were enrolled. N = 30 (14 female, 16 male, mean age 30 ± 5 years) constituted the laser-irradiated group (LG). The remaining 10 subjects (6 women, 4 men, mean age 28 ± 5 years) constituted the control group (CG). Participants were subjected to LLLT once a day for three consecutive days. Blood for biochemical assessments was drawn before the first irradiation and 24 h after the last session. In the LG, transdermal illumination of radial artery was conducted (a semiconductor laser λ = 808 nm, irradiation 50 mW, energy density 1.6 W/cm(2) and a dose 20 J/day, a total dose of 60 J). Biochemical parameters (reflecting angiogenesis: vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), angiostatin; antioxidative status: glutathione (GSH) and the nitric oxide metabolic pathway: symmetric dimethylarginine (SDMA), asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) and L-arginine) were assessed. In the LG, a significant increase in GSH levels and considerable decrease in angiostatin concentration following the LLLT were observed. No significant differences in levels of the VEGF, FGF, SDMA, ADMA were observed.LLLT modifies vascular endothelial function by increasing its antioxidant and angiogenic potential. We found no significant differences in levels of the nitric oxide pathway metabolites within 24 h following the LLLT irradiation. PMID:27299570

  7. Evaluation of thyroid function in diabetes mellitus in Calabar, Nigeria.

    PubMed

    Udiong, C E J; Udoh, A E; Etukudoh, M E

    2007-09-01

    The prevalence of abnormal thyroid hormone levels in diabetes mellitus in Nigeria is not well described. To determine the incidence of abnormal thyroid hormone levels in diabetics in Calabar, Nigeria, fasting blood samples from 161 diabetic subjects and 105 non-diabetic controls were analysed. Free thyroxine (FT), thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), total triiodothyronine (T(3)) and total thyroxine (T(4)) kits obtained from Biomerica Inc. of USA were used for the analysis. TSH levels (1.80±1.62) in diabetics were significantly lower (p=0.016) than the level in non-diabetic controls (2.34±1.24). Male diabetics had lower (p<0.05) levels of TSH (1.192±0.68 miu/ml) than diabetic females (1.90±1.70 mlu/mt). The level of T(3) in diabetic males (125±97ng/ml) was higher than the level in females (98±75ng/dl). TSH (F=2.74, p=0.049), T(4)(F=56.87, p=0.001), T(3)(F=56.44, P=0.001) in diabetics and FT(4) (F=5.74, p=0.002) in controls showed significant variation with the ages of the subjects. Out of 161 diabetics subjects studies 26.6% had low plasma thyroid hormone levels (FT(4)>2.01 ng/dl). This study has shown a high incidence (46.5%) of abnormal thyroid hormone levels among the diabetics in Nigeria (hypothyroidism 26.6%, hyperthyroidism, 19.9%). The prevalence of hypothyroidism was higher in women (16.8%) than in men (9.9%), while hyperthyroidism was higher in males (11%) than in females (8%). This study has defined thyroid function status of diabetics in Calabar, Nigeria probably the first of such work in Africa. PMID:23105687

  8. Evaluation of stereoscopic display with visual function and interview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Okuyama, Fumio

    1999-05-01

    The influence of binocular stereoscopic (3D) television display on the human eye were compared with one of a 2D display, using human visual function testing and interviews. A 40- inch double lenticular display was used for 2D/3D comparison experiments. Subjects observed the display for 30 minutes at a distance 1.0 m, with a combination of 2D material and one of 3D material. The participants were twelve young adults. Main optometric test with visual function measured were visual acuity, refraction, phoria, near vision point, accommodation etc. The interview consisted of 17 questions. Testing procedures were performed just before watching, just after watching, and forty-five minutes after watching. Changes in visual function are characterized as prolongation of near vision point, decrease of accommodation and increase in phoria. 3D viewing interview results show much more visual fatigue in comparison with 2D results. The conclusions are: 1) change in visual function is larger and visual fatigue is more intense when viewing 3D images. 2) The evaluation method with visual function and interview proved to be very satisfactory for analyzing the influence of stereoscopic display on human eye.

  9. Evaluation of higher order statistics parameters for multi channel sEMG using different force levels.

    PubMed

    Naik, Ganesh R; Kumar, Dinesh K

    2011-01-01

    The electromyograpy (EMG) signal provides information about the performance of muscles and nerves. The shape of the muscle signal and motor unit action potential (MUAP) varies due to the movement of the position of the electrode or due to changes in contraction level. This research deals with evaluating the non-Gaussianity in Surface Electromyogram signal (sEMG) using higher order statistics (HOS) parameters. To achieve this, experiments were conducted for four different finger and wrist actions at different levels of Maximum Voluntary Contractions (MVCs). Our experimental analysis shows that at constant force and for non-fatiguing contractions, probability density functions (PDF) of sEMG signals were non-Gaussian. For lesser MVCs (below 30% of MVC) PDF measures tends to be Gaussian process. The above measures were verified by computing the Kurtosis values for different MVCs.

  10. Rural Electrification and Level of Living: Evaluation of Impact.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davis, J. Michael; Saunders, John

    Utilizing an ex-post-facto experimental design, all occupied households located within the rural area of Canton San Carlos in Costa Rica (La Fortuna) were studied in August of 1972 for purposes of testing the hypothesis that electricity use is positively associated with level of living. Interviews with 452 heads of households (when possible)…

  11. A Research into Evaluation of Basketball Athletes' Risk Perception Level

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karatas, Ozgur

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study is to compare the risk perception levels of Basketball athletes in Turkish League teams according to some variables. In this research the "general screening model," which is one of the descriptive screening methods, was used. While the population of the study consists of athletes actively engaged in the Turkish…

  12. Functional group based Ligand binding affinity scoring function at atomic environmental level

    PubMed Central

    Varadwaj, Pritish Kumar; Lahiri, Tapobrata

    2009-01-01

    Use of knowledge based scoring function (KBSF) for virtual screening and molecular docking has become an established method for drug discovery. Lack of a precise and reliable free energy function that describes several interactions including water-mediated atomic interaction between amino-acid residues and ligand makes distance based statistical measure as the only alternative. Till now all the distance based scoring functions in KBSF arena use atom singularity concept, which neglects the environmental effect of the atom under consideration. We have developed a novel knowledge-based statistical energy function for protein-ligand complexes which takes atomic environment in to account hence functional group as a singular entity. The proposed knowledge based scoring function is fast, simple to construct, easy to use and moreover it tackle the existing problem of handling molecular orientation in active site pocket. We have designed and used Functional group based Ligand retrieval (FBLR) system which can identify and detect the orientation of functional groups in ligand. This decoy searching was used to build the above KBSF to quantify the activity and affinity of high resolution protein-ligand complexes. We have proposed the probable use of these decoys in molecular build-up as a de-novo drug designing approach. We have also discussed the possible use of the said KSBF in pharmacophore fragment detection and pseudo center based fragment alignment procedure. PMID:19255647

  13. Sensory profile of a model energy drink with varying levels of functional ingredients-caffeine, ginseng, and taurine.

    PubMed

    Tamamoto, Lauren C; Schmidt, Shelly J; Lee, Soo-Yeun

    2010-08-01

    Energy drinks have increased in popularity in recent years due to the claimed energy boost provided by functional ingredients. A multitude of functional ingredients have been utilized; however, there is limited research on their sensory effects in energy drink formulations. A 13-member descriptive analysis panel was conducted to investigate the effects on the sensory and rheological properties of 3 common functional ingredients-caffeine, ginseng, and taurine-in a noncarbonated model energy drink solution. Combinations of these functional ingredients at 3 levels (low, medium, high) were added to create a total of 27 different solutions (3 x 3 x 3 factorial design). Analysis of variance was performed to evaluate the sensory effects of the varying concentrations of functional ingredients in solution. Principal component analysis (PCA) was performed to summarize the relationship among the attributes and solutions. In general, high levels of caffeine in solution resulted in low ratings of fruity attributes and high ratings of bitter tea and fruit bitter attributes. The high level of ginseng in solution was characterized by high ratings of bitter attributes. A horns effect was observed as the sweet, artificial lemon-lime, pear, mango, and pineapple attributes were rated lower in intensity with increased ginseng levels. Taurine levels of up to 416 mg/100 mL had no significant effect on the sensory attribute ratings of the model energy drink solutions. These findings can be utilized to predict the changes in sensory characteristics when formulating energy drinks containing these popular functional ingredients.

  14. Preoperative evaluation of activity and function in patients with paralytic scoliosis.

    PubMed

    Larsson, E L; Aaro, S; Ahlinder, P; Oberg, B

    1998-01-01

    Preoperative evaluation of patients with paralytic scoliosis should take into account the consequences of surgery on the every day life of the patient. However, the parameters that are customarily used in these operations relate only to very narrow measures such as the angle of scoliosis or kyphosis. The aim of this study was to introduce a set of instruments appropriate for measuring both function and activities in paralytic scoliosis patients. The study took as its starting point the WHO International Classification of Impairments, Disabilities and Handicaps (ICIDH), in which an activity is described at the level of the individual and function at the level of the organ. A consecutive series of 100 paralytic scoliosis patients with 18 different diagnoses were evaluated preoperatively with a set of instruments that had been specially developed at Linköping hospital, in which the variables are classified according to the system used in the ICIDH. The set of instruments included general information and evaluation of activities and function--sitting, balance, weight distribution to sitting surface, angle of scoliosis, reaching, pain estimation, activities of daily living (ADL) Barthel and ADL Klein and Bell, care given, time spent resting, and seating supports). The results showed that patients with paralytic scoliosis constitute a heterogeneous group in activities and function. Even when the patients were grouped into four subgroups according to the Scoliosis Research Society Classification, they remained very heterogeneous. However, reaching, Klein and Bell Activities of Daily Living and pain could only evaluate patients who could understand verbal instructions. In those who could not, assessment relied more heavily on measures of function and level of dependence. It was concluded that the choice of assessment must be guided by the patient's ability to understand verbal instructions irrespective of his/her disorder. It is important to use the three levels

  15. Evaluation of likelihood functions on CPU and GPU devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarp, Sverre; Lazzaro, Alfio; Leduc, Julien; Nowak, Andrzej; Sneen Lindal, Yngve

    2012-06-01

    We describe parallel implementations of an algorithm used to evaluate the likelihood function used in data analysis. The implementations run, respectively, on CPU and GPU, and both devices cooperatively (hybrid). CPU and GPU implementations are based on OpenMP and OpenCL, respectively. The hybrid implementation allows the application to run also on multi-GPU systems (not necessarily of the same type). The hybrid case uses a scheduler so that the workload needed for the evaluation of function is split and balanced in corresponding sub-workloads to be executed in parallel on each device, i. e. CPU-GPU or multi-CPUs. We present the results of the scalability when running on CPU. Then we show the comparison of the performance of the GPU implementation on different hardware systems from different vendors, and the performance when running in the hybrid case. The tests are based on likelihood functions from real data analysis carried out in the high energy physics community.

  16. Evaluation of Second-Level Inference in fMRI Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Roels, Sanne P.; Loeys, Tom; Moerkerke, Beatrijs

    2016-01-01

    We investigate the impact of decisions in the second-level (i.e., over subjects) inferential process in functional magnetic resonance imaging on (1) the balance between false positives and false negatives and on (2) the data-analytical stability, both proxies for the reproducibility of results. Second-level analysis based on a mass univariate approach typically consists of 3 phases. First, one proceeds via a general linear model for a test image that consists of pooled information from different subjects. We evaluate models that take into account first-level (within-subjects) variability and models that do not take into account this variability. Second, one proceeds via inference based on parametrical assumptions or via permutation-based inference. Third, we evaluate 3 commonly used procedures to address the multiple testing problem: familywise error rate correction, False Discovery Rate (FDR) correction, and a two-step procedure with minimal cluster size. Based on a simulation study and real data we find that the two-step procedure with minimal cluster size results in most stable results, followed by the familywise error rate correction. The FDR results in most variable results, for both permutation-based inference and parametrical inference. Modeling the subject-specific variability yields a better balance between false positives and false negatives when using parametric inference. PMID:26819578

  17. The Fusarium toxin zearalenone and deoxynivalenol affect murine splenic antioxidant functions, interferon levels, and T-cell subsets.

    PubMed

    Ren, Z H; Deng, H D; Wang, Y C; Deng, J L; Zuo, Z C; Wang, Y; Peng, X; Cui, H M; Fang, J; Yu, S M; Shen, L H; Hu, Y C

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed to evaluate the effects of the Fusarium toxin zearalenone (ZEA) and deoxynivalenol (DON) on splenic antioxidant functions, IFN levels, and T-cell subsets in mice. Herein, 360 mice were assigned to nine groups for a 12-day study. Mice were administered an intraperitoneal injection for 4 consecutive days with different concentrations of ZEA alone, DON alone, or ZEA+DON. Spleen and blood samples were collected on days 0, 3, 5, 8, and 12. Mice in each of the experimental groups showed dysreglated splenic antioxidant functions, IFN levels, and T-cell subset frequencies, suggesting that the immune system had been affected. The ZEA+DON-treated groups, especially the group that received a higher concentration of ZEA+DON (Group D2Z2), showed more obvious effects on the dysregulation of splenic antioxidant functions, IFN levels, and T-cell subsets. This finding suggested that DON and ZEA exerted synergistic effects.

  18. The Rett Syndrome Complex: Communicative Functions in Relation to Developmental Level and Autistic Features.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sandberg, Annika Dahlgren; Ehlers, Stephan; Hagberg, Bengt; Gillberg, Christopher

    2000-01-01

    Communicative functions, overall developmental level, and autistic features were studied in eight females (ages 11-36) with Rett Syndrome. Low levels of communicative abilities and overall functioning were demonstrated, and joint attention behaviors and expression of communicative intent were rare. Six subjects, however, showed clear examples of…

  19. Pediatric fibromyalgia and dizziness: evaluation of vestibular function.

    PubMed

    Rusy, L M; Harvey, S A; Beste, D J

    1999-08-01

    Twelve children with fibromyalgia and complaints of chronic dizziness were evaluated with both clinical office maneuvers of vestibular function and laboratory tests composed of electronystagmography and sinusoidal harmonic acceleration rotary chair testing. All test results were normal for spontaneous nystagmus with or without visual fixation, oculocephalic reflex, dynamic visual acuity, head-shaking nystagmus, Quix test, and Dix-Hallpike maneuver. Electronystagmography test results were essentially normal for saccades, gaze, Dix-Hallpike, pendular tracking, and caloric evaluation. Rotary chair testing was normal in all 12 patients. These findings suggest that central (brainstem) and peripheral vestibular (inner ear) mechanisms do not account for the complaints of dizziness in the pediatric patient with fibromyalgia. The common musculoskeletal abnormalities of fibromyalgia may affect their proprioceptive orientation, therefore giving them a sense of imbalance.

  20. Computer-Aided Evaluation of Liver Functional Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Lesmo, Leonardo; Saitta, Lorenza; Torasso, Piero

    1980-01-01

    This paper describes the organization of a computerized system whose purpose is to ascertain the presence of functional impairments in the liver and to evaluate their seriousness. The system is composed of categorical rules and decision procedures. The symptoms and the anamnestic data of a given patient trigger the categorical rules which constrain the set of hypothesizable impairments. This set of hypotheses acts as a focus of attention of the system by allowing the selection of the bioclinical tests more relevant to determine the seriousness of those impairments. The outcome of the selected tests are input to the decision procedures operating on the basis of fuzzy relations which allow a quantitative evaluation of the seriousness of the hypothesized impairments. Whereas the categorical rules have been built on the basis of the a-priori knowledge of the physicians, the parameters of the fuzzy relations have been learned automatically by means of a fuzzy inference procedure.

  1. Hanford high-level waste evaporator/crystallizer corrosion evaluation

    SciTech Connect

    Ohl, P.C.; Carlos, W.C.

    1993-10-01

    The US Department of Energy, Hanford Site nuclear reservation, located in Southeastern Washington State, is currently home to 61 Mgal of radioactive waste stored in 177 large underground storage tanks. As an intermediate waste volume reduction, the 242-A Evaporator/Crystallizer processes waste solutions from most of the operating laboratories and plants on the Hanford Site. The waste solutions are concentrated in the Evaporator/Crystallizer to a slurry of liquid and crystallized salts. This concentrated slurry is returned to Hanford Site waste tanks at a significantly reduced volume. The Washington State Department of Ecology Dangerous Waste Regulations, WAC 173-393 require that a tank system integrity assessment be completed and maintained on file at the facility for all dangerous waste tank systems. This corrosion evaluation was performed in support of the 242-A Evaporator/Crystallizer Tank System Integrity Assessment Report. This corrosion evaluation provided a comprehensive compatibility study of the component materials and corrosive environments. Materials used for the Evaporator components and piping include austenitic stainless steels (SS) (primarily ASTM A240, Type 304L) and low alloy carbon steels (CS) (primarily ASTM A53 and A106) with polymeric or asbestos gaskets at flanged connections. Building structure and secondary containment is made from ACI 301-72 Structural Concrete for Buildings and coated with a chemically resistant acrylic coating system.

  2. Multi-level functionality of social media in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

    PubMed

    Jung, Joo-Young; Moro, Munehito

    2014-07-01

    This study examines the multi-level functionalities of social media in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake of 11 March 2011. Based on a conceptual model of multi-level story flows of social media (Jung and Moro, 2012), the study analyses the multiple functionalities that were ascribed to social media by individuals, organisations, and macro-level social systems (government and the mass media) after the earthquake. Based on survey data, a review of Twitter timelines and secondary sources, the authors derive five functionalities of social media: interpersonal communications with others (micro level); channels for local governments; organisations and local media (meso level); channels for mass media (macro level); information sharing and gathering (cross level); and direct channels between micro-/meso- and macro-level agents. The study sheds light on the future potential of social media in disaster situations and suggests how to design an effective communication network to prepare for emergency situations.

  3. Discovery and functional evaluation of ciliary proteins in Tetrahymena thermophila

    PubMed Central

    Gaertig, Jacek; Wloga, Dorota; Vasudevan, Krishna Kumar; Guha, Mayukh; Dentler, William

    2015-01-01

    The ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila is an excellent model system for the discovery and functional studies of ciliary proteins. The power of the model is based on the ease with which cilia can be purified in large quantities for fractionation and proteomic identification, and the ability to knock out any gene by homologous DNA recombination. Here, we include methods used by our laboratories for isolation and fractionation of cilia, in vivo tagging and localization of ciliary proteins and the evaluation of ciliary mutants. PMID:23522474

  4. Functional Evaluation of Coronary Disease by CT Angiography.

    PubMed

    Gonçalves, Pedro de Araújo; Rodríguez-Granillo, Gastón A; Spitzer, Ernest; Suwannasom, Pannipa; Loewe, Christian; Nieman, Koen; Garcia-Garcia, Hector M

    2015-11-01

    In recent years, several technical developments in the field of cardiac computed tomography (CT) have made possible the extraction of functional information from an anatomy-based examination. Several different lines have been explored and will be reviewed in the present paper, namely: 1) myocardial perfusion imaging; 2) transluminal attenuation gradients and corrected coronary opacification indexes; 3) fractional flow reserve computed from CT; and 4) extrapolation from atherosclerotic plaque characteristics. In view of these developments, cardiac CT has the potential to become in the near future a truly 2-in-1 noninvasive evaluation for coronary artery disease. PMID:26563862

  5. About Essence of the Wave Function on Atomic Level and in Superconductors

    SciTech Connect

    Nikulov, A. V.

    2007-12-03

    The wave function was proposed for description of quantum phenomena on the atomic level. But now it is well known that quantum phenomena are observed not only on atomic level and the wave function is used for description of macroscopic quantum phenomena, such as superconductivity. The essence of the wave function on level elementary particles was and is the subject of heated argument among founders of quantum mechanics and other physicists. This essence seems more clear in superconductor. But impossibility of probabilistic interpretation of wave function in this case results to obvious contradiction of quantum principles with some fundamental principles of physics.

  6. A preliminary evaluation of alternatives for disposal of INEL low-level waste and low-level mixed waste

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, T.H.; Roesener, W.S.; Jorgenson-Waters, M.J.

    1993-07-01

    The Mixed and Low-Level Waste Disposal Facility (MLLWDF) project was established in 1992 by the US Department of Energy Idaho Operations Office to provide enhanced disposal capabilities for Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) low-level mixed waste and low-level waste. This Preliminary Evaluation of Alternatives for Disposal of INEL Low-Level Waste and Low-Level Mixed Waste identifies and evaluates-on a preliminary, overview basis-the alternatives for disposal of that waste. Five disposal alternatives, ranging from of no-action`` to constructing and operating the MLLWDF, are identified and evaluated. Several subalternatives are formulated within the MLLWDF alternative. The subalternatives involve various disposal technologies as well as various scenarios related to the waste volumes and waste forms to be received for disposal. The evaluations include qualitative comparisons of the projected isolation performance for each alternative, and facility, health and safety, environmental, institutional, schedule, and rough order-of-magnitude life-cycle cost comparisons. The performance of each alternative is evaluated against lists of ``musts`` and ``wants.`` Also included is a discussion of other key considerations for decisionmaking. The analysis of results indicated further study is necessary to obtain the best estimate of long-term future waste volume and characteristics from the INEL Environmental Restoration activities and the expanded INEL Decontamination and Decommissioning Program.

  7. Functional evaluation of autism-associated mutations in NHE9.

    PubMed

    Kondapalli, Kalyan C; Hack, Anniesha; Schushan, Maya; Landau, Meytal; Ben-Tal, Nir; Rao, Rajini

    2013-01-01

    NHE9 (SLC9A9) is an endosomal cation/proton antiporter with orthologues in yeast and bacteria. Rare, missense substitutions in NHE9 are genetically linked with autism but have not been functionally evaluated. Here we use evolutionary conservation analysis to build a model structure of NHE9 based on the crystal structure of bacterial NhaA and use it to screen autism-associated variants in the human population first by phenotype complementation in yeast, followed by functional analysis in primary cortical astrocytes from mouse. NHE9-GFP localizes to recycling endosomes, where it significantly alkalinizes luminal pH, elevates uptake of transferrin and the neurotransmitter glutamate, and stabilizes surface expression of transferrin receptor and GLAST transporter. In contrast, autism-associated variants L236S, S438P and V176I lack function in astrocytes. Thus, we establish a neurobiological cell model of a candidate gene in autism. Loss-of-function mutations in NHE9 may contribute to autistic phenotype by modulating synaptic membrane protein expression and neurotransmitter clearance.

  8. Evaluation of Olfactory and Gustatory Function of HIV Infected Women.

    PubMed

    Fasunla, Ayotunde James; Daniel, Adekunle; Nwankwo, Ukamaka; Kuti, Kehinde Mobolanle; Nwaorgu, Onyekwere George; Akinyinka, Olusina Olusegun

    2016-01-01

    Background. Compliance with medication requires good sense of smell and taste. Objective. To evaluate the olfactory and gustatory function of HIV infected women in Ibadan, Nigeria. Methods. A case control study of women comprising 83 HIV infected women and 79 HIV uninfected women. Subjective self-rating of taste and smell function was by visual analogue scale. Olfactory function was measured via olfactory threshold (OT), olfactory discrimination (OD), olfactory identification (OI), and TDI using "Sniffin' sticks" kits and taste function (Total Taste Strips (TTS) score) measurement was by taste strips. Results. The mean age of the HIV infected women was 43.67 years ± 10.72 and control was 41.48 years ± 10.99. There was no significant difference in the self-reported assessment of smell (p = 0.67) and taste (p = 0.84) of HIV infected and uninfected women. Although the mean OT, OD, OI, TDI, and TTS scores of HIV infected and uninfected women were within the normosmic and normogeusic values, the values were significantly higher in the controls (p < 0.05). Hyposmia was in 39.7% of subjects and 12.6% of controls while hypogeusia was in 15.7% of subjects and 1.3% of controls. Conclusions. Hyposmia and hypogeusia are commoner among the HIV infected women than the HIV uninfected women and the risk increases with an increased duration of highly active antiretroviral therapy. PMID:27047688

  9. Evaluation of Olfactory and Gustatory Function of HIV Infected Women

    PubMed Central

    Kuti, Kehinde Mobolanle; Nwaorgu, Onyekwere George; Akinyinka, Olusina Olusegun

    2016-01-01

    Background. Compliance with medication requires good sense of smell and taste. Objective. To evaluate the olfactory and gustatory function of HIV infected women in Ibadan, Nigeria. Methods. A case control study of women comprising 83 HIV infected women and 79 HIV uninfected women. Subjective self-rating of taste and smell function was by visual analogue scale. Olfactory function was measured via olfactory threshold (OT), olfactory discrimination (OD), olfactory identification (OI), and TDI using “Sniffin' sticks” kits and taste function (Total Taste Strips (TTS) score) measurement was by taste strips. Results. The mean age of the HIV infected women was 43.67 years ± 10.72 and control was 41.48 years ± 10.99. There was no significant difference in the self-reported assessment of smell (p = 0.67) and taste (p = 0.84) of HIV infected and uninfected women. Although the mean OT, OD, OI, TDI, and TTS scores of HIV infected and uninfected women were within the normosmic and normogeusic values, the values were significantly higher in the controls (p < 0.05). Hyposmia was in 39.7% of subjects and 12.6% of controls while hypogeusia was in 15.7% of subjects and 1.3% of controls. Conclusions. Hyposmia and hypogeusia are commoner among the HIV infected women than the HIV uninfected women and the risk increases with an increased duration of highly active antiretroviral therapy. PMID:27047688

  10. Terahertz spectroscopy of concrete for evaluating the critical hydration level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dash, Jyotirmayee; Ray, Shaumik; Nallappan, Kathirvel; Sasmal, Saptarshi; Pesala, Bala

    2014-03-01

    Concrete, a mixture of cement, coarse aggregate, sand and filler material (if any), is widely used in the construction industry. Cement, mainly composed of Tricalcium Silicate (C3S) and Dicalcium Silicate (C2S) reacts readily with water, a process known as hydration. The hydration process forms a solid material known as hardened cement paste which is mainly composed of Calcium Silicate Hydrate (C-S-H), Calcium Hydroxide and Calcium Carbonate. To quantify the critical hydration level, an accurate and fast technique is highly desired. However, in conventional XRD technique, the peaks of the constituents of anhydrated and hydrated cement cannot be resolved properly, where as Mid-infrared (MIR) spectroscopy has low penetration depth and hence cannot be used to determine the hydration level of thicker concrete samples easily. Further, MIR spectroscopy cannot be used to effectively track the formation of Calcium Hydroxide, a key by-product during the hydration process. This paper describes a promising approach to quantify the hydration dynamics of cement using Terahertz (THz) spectroscopy. This technique has been employed to track the time dependent reaction mechanism of the key constituents of cement that react with water and form the products in the hydrated cement, viz., C-S-H, Calcium Hydroxide and Calcium Carbonate. This study helps in providing an improved understanding on the hydration kinetics of cement and also to optimise the physio-mechanical characteristics of concrete.

  11. Advanced Inverter Functions to Support High Levels of Distributed Solar: Policy and Regulatory Considerations (Brochure)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2014-11-01

    This paper explains how advanced inverter functions (sometimes called 'smart inverters') contribute to the integration of high levels of solar PV generation onto the electrical grid and covers the contributions of advanced functions to maintaining grid stability. Policy and regulatory considerations associated with the deployment of advanced inverter functions are also introduced.

  12. Residual stress evaluation in martensitic stainless steel as a function of gas quenching pressure using thermal neutrons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Doyle, Edward D.; Wong, Yat Choy; Ripley, Maurice I.

    2006-11-01

    The distribution of bulk residual stress was evaluated for two modified grades of martensitic stainless steels. Residual stress levels generated in the two steels were evaluated as a function of quenching gas pressure in vacuum heat treatment using neutron diffraction. It was observed that the levels of residual stress increased with increasing gas pressure, with the high hardenability grade showing the greater increase. However, quenching at 6 bar gas pressure resulted in a significant drop in the levels of residual stress, an observation that is interpreted in terms of the accommodation of high levels of strain by the presence of high levels of interlath retained austenite.

  13. [Evaluation of miR-122 level in the plasma of chronically HCV infected patients].

    PubMed

    Gholami, M; Ravanshad, M; Alavian, S-M; Baesi, K; Moallemi, S

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small non-coding RNA molecules, which have an important function in regulating RNA stability and gene expression. They also can circulate in a cell-free form in the blood thatmakes them potential disease markers. The liver contains various classes of miRNAs in which miR-122 accounts for about 70% of all miRNAs and it has been proved that its level increases in case of liver damage. Here, we investigated plasma levels of miR-122 as a useful disease parameter in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) infection. Thirty five hemophilia and thalassemia patients with CHC were studied. The total RNA was extracted from plasma samples, and miR-122 levels were measured by qPCR and then compared with the specific liver markers. The plasma levels of alanine transaminase (ALT) and aspartate transaminase(AST) were correlated with plasma miR-122 level in CHC patients, and the level of circulating miR-122 in healthy individual groups were rarely lower than those of patients with CHC. In our study, miR-122 levels correlated well with markers of liver inflammatory activity. Plasma miR-122 can be assumed to be another marker in liver similar to the currently used specific markers such as ALT and AST for evaluation of liver damage in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected patients. Moreover, the correlation between miR-122 and ALT was shown to be higher than between miR-122 and AST. PMID:27239848

  14. Evaluation of Analytical Modeling Functions for the Phonation Onset Process.

    PubMed

    Petermann, Simon; Kniesburges, Stefan; Ziethe, Anke; Schützenberger, Anne; Döllinger, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The human voice originates from oscillations of the vocal folds in the larynx. The duration of the voice onset (VO), called the voice onset time (VOT), is currently under investigation as a clinical indicator for correct laryngeal functionality. Different analytical approaches for computing the VOT based on endoscopic imaging were compared to determine the most reliable method to quantify automatically the transient vocal fold oscillations during VO. Transnasal endoscopic imaging in combination with a high-speed camera (8000 fps) was applied to visualize the phonation onset process. Two different definitions of VO interval were investigated. Six analytical functions were tested that approximate the envelope of the filtered or unfiltered glottal area waveform (GAW) during phonation onset. A total of 126 recordings from nine healthy males and 210 recordings from 15 healthy females were evaluated. Three criteria were analyzed to determine the most appropriate computation approach: (1) reliability of the fit function for a correct approximation of VO; (2) consistency represented by the standard deviation of VOT; and (3) accuracy of the approximation of VO. The results suggest the computation of VOT by a fourth-order polynomial approximation in the interval between 32.2 and 67.8% of the saturation amplitude of the filtered GAW.

  15. Evaluation of Analytical Modeling Functions for the Phonation Onset Process

    PubMed Central

    Petermann, Simon; Kniesburges, Stefan; Ziethe, Anke; Schützenberger, Anne; Döllinger, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The human voice originates from oscillations of the vocal folds in the larynx. The duration of the voice onset (VO), called the voice onset time (VOT), is currently under investigation as a clinical indicator for correct laryngeal functionality. Different analytical approaches for computing the VOT based on endoscopic imaging were compared to determine the most reliable method to quantify automatically the transient vocal fold oscillations during VO. Transnasal endoscopic imaging in combination with a high-speed camera (8000 fps) was applied to visualize the phonation onset process. Two different definitions of VO interval were investigated. Six analytical functions were tested that approximate the envelope of the filtered or unfiltered glottal area waveform (GAW) during phonation onset. A total of 126 recordings from nine healthy males and 210 recordings from 15 healthy females were evaluated. Three criteria were analyzed to determine the most appropriate computation approach: (1) reliability of the fit function for a correct approximation of VO; (2) consistency represented by the standard deviation of VOT; and (3) accuracy of the approximation of VO. The results suggest the computation of VOT by a fourth-order polynomial approximation in the interval between 32.2 and 67.8% of the saturation amplitude of the filtered GAW. PMID:27066108

  16. Extensive Functional Evaluations to Monitor Aerobic Training in Becker Muscular Dystrophy: A Case Report

    PubMed Central

    Tramonti, Caterina; Rossi, Bruno; Chisari, Carmelo

    2016-01-01

    Low-intensity aerobic training seems to have positive effects on muscle strength, endurance and fatigue in Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD) patients. We describe the case of a 33-year old BMD man, who performed a four-week aerobic training. Extensive functional evaluations were executed to monitor the efficacy of the rehabilitative treatment. Results evidenced an increased force exertion and an improvement in muscle contraction during sustained exercise. An improvement of walk velocity, together with agility, endurance capacity and oxygen consumption during exercise was observed. Moreover, an enhanced metabolic efficiency was evidenced, as shown by reduced lactate blood levels after training. Interestingly, CK showed higher levels after the training protocol, revealing possible muscle damage. In conclusion, aerobic training may represent an effective method improving exercise performance, functional status and metabolic efficiency. Anyway, a careful functional assessment should be taken into account as a useful approach in the management of the disease’s rehabilitative treatment. PMID:27478558

  17. Extensive Functional Evaluations to Monitor Aerobic Training in Becker Muscular Dystrophy: A Case Report.

    PubMed

    Tramonti, Caterina; Rossi, Bruno; Chisari, Carmelo

    2016-06-13

    Low-intensity aerobic training seems to have positive effects on muscle strength, endurance and fatigue in Becker Muscular Dystrophy (BMD) patients. We describe the case of a 33-year old BMD man, who performed a four-week aerobic training. Extensive functional evaluations were executed to monitor the efficacy of the rehabilitative treatment. Results evidenced an increased force exertion and an improvement in muscle contraction during sustained exercise. An improvement of walk velocity, together with agility, endurance capacity and oxygen consumption during exercise was observed. Moreover, an enhanced metabolic efficiency was evidenced, as shown by reduced lactate blood levels after training. Interestingly, CK showed higher levels after the training protocol, revealing possible muscle damage. In conclusion, aerobic training may represent an effective method improving exercise performance, functional status and metabolic efficiency. Anyway, a careful functional assessment should be taken into account as a useful approach in the management of the disease's rehabilitative treatment. PMID:27478558

  18. The relationship between form and function level receptive prosodic abilities in autism.

    PubMed

    Järvinen-Pasley, Anna; Peppé, Susan; King-Smith, Gavin; Heaton, Pamela

    2008-08-01

    Prosody can be conceived as having form (auditory-perceptual characteristics) and function (pragmatic/linguistic meaning). No known studies have examined the relationship between form- and function-level prosodic skills in relation to the effects of stimulus length and/or complexity upon such abilities in autism. Research in this area is both insubstantial and inconclusive. Children with autism and controls completed the receptive tasks of the Profiling Elements of Prosodic Systems in Children (PEPS-C) test, which examines both form- and function-level skills, and a sentence-level task assessing the understanding of intonation. While children with autism were unimpaired in both form and function tasks at the single-word level, they showed significantly poorer performance in the corresponding sentence-level tasks than controls. Implications for future research are discussed. PMID:18172749

  19. Correlation of thiamine metabolite levels with cognitive function in the non-demented elderly.

    PubMed

    Lu, Jingwen; Pan, Xiaoli; Fei, Guoqiang; Wang, Changpeng; Zhao, Lei; Sang, Shaoming; Liu, Huimin; Liu, Meng; Wang, Hui; Wang, Zhiliang; Zhong, Chunjiu

    2015-12-01

    Thiamine metabolism is critical for glucose metabolism and also vital for brain function, which is susceptible to decline in the elderly. This study aimed to investigate whether thiamine metabolites correlate with cognitive function in the non-demented elderly and their impact factors. Volunteers >60 years old were recruited and their blood thiamine metabolites and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores were measured. The apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype, routine blood parameters, liver and kidney function, and levels of fasting blood glucose and triglycerides were also measured. The results showed that the thiamine diphosphate (TDP) level weakly correlated with MMSE score in the non-demented elderly. Participants with high TDP levels performed better in Recall and Attention and Calculation than those with low TDP. TDP levels were associated with the APOE ε2 allele, body mass index, hemoglobin level, fasting blood glucose, and triglycerides. Our results suggest that TDP, which is easily affected by many factors, impacts cognitive function in the elderly.

  20. Gene Level Meta-Analysis of Quantitative Traits by Functional Linear Models.

    PubMed

    Fan, Ruzong; Wang, Yifan; Boehnke, Michael; Chen, Wei; Li, Yun; Ren, Haobo; Lobach, Iryna; Xiong, Momiao

    2015-08-01

    Meta-analysis of genetic data must account for differences among studies including study designs, markers genotyped, and covariates. The effects of genetic variants may differ from population to population, i.e., heterogeneity. Thus, meta-analysis of combining data of multiple studies is difficult. Novel statistical methods for meta-analysis are needed. In this article, functional linear models are developed for meta-analyses that connect genetic data to quantitative traits, adjusting for covariates. The models can be used to analyze rare variants, common variants, or a combination of the two. Both likelihood-ratio test (LRT) and F-distributed statistics are introduced to test association between quantitative traits and multiple variants in one genetic region. Extensive simulations are performed to evaluate empirical type I error rates and power performance of the proposed tests. The proposed LRT and F-distributed statistics control the type I error very well and have higher power than the existing methods of the meta-analysis sequence kernel association test (MetaSKAT). We analyze four blood lipid levels in data from a meta-analysis of eight European studies. The proposed methods detect more significant associations than MetaSKAT and the P-values of the proposed LRT and F-distributed statistics are usually much smaller than those of MetaSKAT. The functional linear models and related test statistics can be useful in whole-genome and whole-exome association studies. PMID:26058849

  1. Gene Level Meta-Analysis of Quantitative Traits by Functional Linear Models.

    PubMed

    Fan, Ruzong; Wang, Yifan; Boehnke, Michael; Chen, Wei; Li, Yun; Ren, Haobo; Lobach, Iryna; Xiong, Momiao

    2015-08-01

    Meta-analysis of genetic data must account for differences among studies including study designs, markers genotyped, and covariates. The effects of genetic variants may differ from population to population, i.e., heterogeneity. Thus, meta-analysis of combining data of multiple studies is difficult. Novel statistical methods for meta-analysis are needed. In this article, functional linear models are developed for meta-analyses that connect genetic data to quantitative traits, adjusting for covariates. The models can be used to analyze rare variants, common variants, or a combination of the two. Both likelihood-ratio test (LRT) and F-distributed statistics are introduced to test association between quantitative traits and multiple variants in one genetic region. Extensive simulations are performed to evaluate empirical type I error rates and power performance of the proposed tests. The proposed LRT and F-distributed statistics control the type I error very well and have higher power than the existing methods of the meta-analysis sequence kernel association test (MetaSKAT). We analyze four blood lipid levels in data from a meta-analysis of eight European studies. The proposed methods detect more significant associations than MetaSKAT and the P-values of the proposed LRT and F-distributed statistics are usually much smaller than those of MetaSKAT. The functional linear models and related test statistics can be useful in whole-genome and whole-exome association studies.

  2. System-level biomechanical approach for the evaluation of term and preterm pregnancy maintenance.

    PubMed

    Mahmoud, Hussam; Wagoner Johnson, Amy; Chien, Edward K; Poellmann, Michael J; McFarlin, Barbara

    2013-02-01

    Preterm birth is the primary contributor to perinatal morbidity and mortality, with those born prior to 32 weeks disproportionately contributing compared to those born at 32-37 weeks. Outcomes for babies born prematurely can be devastating. Parturition is recognized as a mechanical process that involves the two processes that are required to initiate labor: rhythmic myometrial contractions and cervical remodeling with subsequent dilation. Studies of parturition tend to separate these two processes rather than evaluate them as a unified system. The mechanical property characterization of the cervix has been primarily performed on isolated cervical tissue, with an implied understanding of the contribution from the uterine corpus. Few studies have evaluated the function of the uterine corpus in the absence of myometrial contractions or in relationship to retaining the fetus. Therefore, the cervical-uterine interaction has largely been neglected in the literature. We suggest that a system-level biomechanical approach is needed to understand pregnancy maintenance. To that end, this paper has two main goals. One goal is to highlight the gaps in current knowledge that need to be addressed in order to develop any comprehensive and clinically relevant models of the system. The second goal is to illustrate the utility of finite element models in understanding pregnancy maintenance of the cervical-uterine system. The paper targets an audience that includes the reproductive biologist/clinician and the engineer/physical scientist interested in biomechanics and the system level behavior of tissues.

  3. Spatiotemporal Groundwater-Level Change for the Evaluation of Groundwater Use and Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carroll, K. C.; Willman, S.; Fernald, A.; Archambault, S.

    2015-12-01

    Sustainability of water resources is a particular concern in arid and semiarid regions including the southwestern USA. With increasing water needs and diminishing supplies due to drought, surface water shortfalls are leading to increased groundwater extraction. Groundwater extraction may provide short-term resiliency of the hydrologic system at the cost of long-term resource sustainability. Proactive conjunctive use of surface and subsurface water requires research-based information. The inaccessibility and variability in groundwater data can make it challenging to examine impacts of drought, changes in agriculture, and population variability. The purpose of this study was to advance our understanding of changes in groundwater levels and how they relate to water use dynamics. We utilized both spatial and temporal methods for evaluation of changes in groundwater level data. We compiled monitoring data provided by several government agencies in New Mexico, simulated, with loess regression, the temporal trends between data collection periods, and used geographic information system software to spatially represent changes in groundwater levels for various time intervals. Wells located closer to major rivers typically had lower rates of decrease in groundwater elevation. Areas without surface water had higher rates of groundwater elevation decrease. Several regions had reversals in groundwater-change trends from increasing groundwater elevation to decreasing and vice versa. There were some anomalously increasing groundwater elevations even when overall groundwater elevations decreased in certain areas. The rate of water-level change as a function of time shows promise for evaluation of groundwater use and dynamics, thus providing the basis for improved groundwater sustainability.

  4. A preliminary evaluation of alternatives for treatment of INEL Low-Level Waste and low-level mixed waste

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, T.H.; Roesener, W.S.; Jorgensen-Waters, M.J.; Edinborough, C.R.

    1992-06-01

    The Mixed and Low-Level Waste Treatment Facility (MLLWTF) project was established in 1991 by the US Department of Energy Idaho Field Office to provide treatment capabilities for Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) low-level mixed waste and low-level waste. This report identifies and evaluates the alternatives for treating that waste. Twelve treatment alternatives, ranging from ``no-action`` to constructing and operating the MLLWTF, are identified and evaluated. Evaluations include facility performance, environmental, safety, institutional, schedule, and rough order-of-magnitude cost comparisons. The performance of each alternative is evaluated against lists of ``musts`` and ``wants.`` Also included is a discussion of other key considerations for decision making. Analysis of results indicated further study is necessary to obtain the best estimate of future waste volumes and characteristics from the expanded INEL Decontamination and Decommissioning Program. It is also recommended that conceptual design begin as scheduled on the MLLWTF, maximum treatment alternative while re-evaluating the waste volume projections.

  5. An evaluation of the influence of primary care team functioning on the health of Medicare beneficiaries.

    PubMed

    Roblin, Douglas W; Howard, David H; Junling Ren; Becker, Edmund R

    2011-04-01

    In service industries other than health care, unit employees who report a favorable service climate--characterized by commitment to a team concept and intrateam interactions that are supportive, collegial, and collaborative--have high levels of consumer satisfaction and work unit productivity. The authors evaluated whether similar primary care team (PCT) functioning influenced the short-term future health (SF-36) of elderly Medicare beneficiaries (N = 991) in a group model managed care organization (MCO). PCT functioning was assessed by surveys of practitioners and support staff on the MCO's 14 primary care practices and included measures of perceived task delegation, role collaboration, patient orientation, and team ownership. On average, patient physical and emotional health declined over 2 years. Medicare beneficiaries empanelled to relatively high functioning PCTs had significantly better physical and emotional health at 2 years following baseline assessment than those empanelled to relatively low functioning PCTs.

  6. An Evaluation of the High Level Architecture (HLA) as a Framework for NASA Modeling and Simulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reid, Michael R.; Powers, Edward I. (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    The High Level Architecture (HLA) is a current US Department of Defense and an industry (IEEE-1516) standard architecture for modeling and simulations. It provides a framework and set of functional rules and common interfaces for integrating separate and disparate simulators into a larger simulation. The goal of the HLA is to reduce software costs by facilitating the reuse of simulation components and by providing a runtime infrastructure to manage the simulations. In order to evaluate the applicability of the HLA as a technology for NASA space mission simulations, a Simulations Group at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) conducted a study of the HLA and developed a simple prototype HLA-compliant space mission simulator. This paper summarizes the prototyping effort and discusses the potential usefulness of the HLA in the design and planning of future NASA space missions with a focus on risk mitigation and cost reduction.

  7. Prospect evaluation as a function of numeracy and probability denominator.

    PubMed

    Millroth, Philip; Juslin, Peter

    2015-05-01

    This study examines how numeracy and probability denominator (a direct-ratio probability, a relative frequency with denominator 100, a relative frequency with denominator 10,000) affect the evaluation of prospects in an expected-value based pricing task. We expected that numeracy would affect the results due to differences in the linearity of number perception and the susceptibility to denominator neglect with different probability formats. An analysis with functional measurement verified that participants integrated value and probability into an expected value. However, a significant interaction between numeracy and probability format and subsequent analyses of the parameters of cumulative prospect theory showed that the manipulation of probability denominator changed participants' psychophysical response to probability and value. Standard methods in decision research may thus confound people's genuine risk attitude with their numerical capacities and the probability format used.

  8. Prospect evaluation as a function of numeracy and probability denominator.

    PubMed

    Millroth, Philip; Juslin, Peter

    2015-05-01

    This study examines how numeracy and probability denominator (a direct-ratio probability, a relative frequency with denominator 100, a relative frequency with denominator 10,000) affect the evaluation of prospects in an expected-value based pricing task. We expected that numeracy would affect the results due to differences in the linearity of number perception and the susceptibility to denominator neglect with different probability formats. An analysis with functional measurement verified that participants integrated value and probability into an expected value. However, a significant interaction between numeracy and probability format and subsequent analyses of the parameters of cumulative prospect theory showed that the manipulation of probability denominator changed participants' psychophysical response to probability and value. Standard methods in decision research may thus confound people's genuine risk attitude with their numerical capacities and the probability format used. PMID:25704578

  9. 77 FR 58416 - Comparative Environmental Evaluation of Alternatives for Handling Low-Level Radioactive Waste...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-20

    ... Spent Ion Exchange Resins From Commercial Nuclear Power Plants AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission... Environmental Evaluation of Alternatives for Handling Low-Level Radioactive Waste Spent Ion Exchange Resins from... Comparative Environmental Evaluation of Alternatives for Handling Low-Level Radioactive Waste Spent...

  10. An Analysis of Grades, Class Level and Faculty Evaluation Scores in the United Arab Emirates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Waller, Lee

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the results of a student evaluation of faculty against the grades awarded and the level of the course for a higher education institution in the United Arab Emirates. The purpose of the study was to determine if the grades awarded in the course and/or level of the course impacted the evaluation scores awarded to the faculty…

  11. Functional imaging of membrane potential at the single mitochondrion level: possible application for diagnosis of human diseases.

    PubMed

    Quarato, Giovanni; Piccoli, Claudia; Scrima, Rosella; Capitanio, Nazzareno

    2011-09-01

    Functional biochemical tests are the gold standard for the diagnosis of mitochondria-related diseases. However, the availability of the biological samples from patients' tissues represents a severe limitation to the number of screenable enzymatic activities. In this study we developed a fluorescent probe-assisted microscopy protocol enabling to assess the ΔΨ(m)-generating capacity by mitochondria immobilized on a glass surface at the single organelle resolution-level. The advantage of this assay over others is to scale-down the amount of the biological sample required to test in a short time the functional activity of all the components of the oxidative phosphorylation system without loss of accuracy. Furthermore, the distribution of a given enzymatic activity can also be evaluated within the mitochondrial population enabling to measure the level of functional heterogeneity of the respiratory chain dysfunction.

  12. Functional and behavioral metrics for evaluating laser retinal damage

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DiCarlo, Cheryl D.; Martinsen, Gary L.; Garza, Thomas; Grado, Andres; Morin, Juan; Brown, Araceli; Stolarski, David; Cain, Clarence

    2006-02-01

    The use of lasers by both the military and civilian community is rapidly expanding. Thus, the potential for and severity of laser eye injury and retinal damage is increasing. Sensitive and accurate methods to evaluate and follow laser retinal damage are needed. The multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG) has the potential to meet these criteria. In this study, the mfERG was used to evaluate changes to retinal function following laser exposure. Landolt C contrast acuity was also measured in the six behaviorally trained Rhesus monkeys. The monkeys then received Nd:YAG laser lesions (1064 nm, 9 ns pulse width) in each eye. One eye received a single foveal lesion of approximately 0.13 mJ total intraocular exposure (TIE) and the other received six parafoveal lesions which varied in TIE from 0.13 to 4 mJ. mfERGs and behavioral data were collected both pre- and post-exposure. mfERGs were recorded using stimuli that contained 103, 241, and 509 hexagons. Landolt C contrast acuity was measured with five sizes of Landolt C (0.33 to 11.15 cycles/degree) of varying contrast. mfERG response densities were sensitive to the functional retinal changes caused by the laser insult. In general, larger lesions showed greater mfERG abnormalities than smaller laser lesions. Deficits in contrast acuity were found to be more severe in the eyes with foveal injuries. Although the mfERG and contrast acuity assess different areas of the visual system, both are sensitive to laser-induced retinal damage and may be complementary tests for laser eye injury triage.

  13. Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination-USA level 1 and level 2-cognitive evaluation preparation and outcomes.

    PubMed

    Maholtz, Danielle E; Erickson, Michael J; Cymet, Tyler

    2015-04-01

    The Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensing Examination-USA (COMLEX-USA) assesses the competence of osteopathic physicians in training. It is designed to protect the public by setting minimum competence standards. All osteopathic medical students must pass COMLEX-USA Level 1, Level 2-Cognitive Evaluation, and Level 2-Performance Evaluation before being allowed to graduate from an osteopathic medical school. Residency training programs use COMLEX-USA scores as a major factor in deciding whom they will interview and admit into their programs. In addition, colleges of osteopathic medicine use student COMLEX-USA scores as an external assessment of their success in educating students. Because COMLEX-USA is a high-stakes examination series, it is important to understand predictive factors for performance. The authors review the literature on the relationship between COMLEX-USA scores and correlated student variables. Results from the Council on Osteopathic Student Government Presidents' survey on students' preparation methods and performance are also provided.

  14. [Impact on evaluation of clinical efficacy of traditional Chinese medicine for level in soft targets of processing technology].

    PubMed

    Shao, Ming-Yi; Wei, Ming; Yan, Bo-Hua

    2014-04-01

    Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is a very practical subject, which has its unique theoretical system and clinical characteristics. In the course of clinical practice, the exact clinical efficacy is the key of existence and development. But the existing evaluation system is difficult to objectively evaluate the clinical efficacy of TCM. Therefore, how to objectively evaluate the clinical efficacy and get definitive evidence is the focus of the evaluation of clinical efficacy of TCM. Relative to modern medicine, TCM is more concerned about the changes of feelings and clinical symptoms of the patient in the course of the evolution of the disease. Soft targets mainly used for the evaluation of the clinical efficacy of symptoms and functional activity of the disease. The level in soft targets of processing technology is often used methods in clinical evaluation. But it has often produced the phenomenon which the results of the evaluation is mutual contradiction, which will ultimately affect the effect of evaluation of clinical efficacy of TCM. In order to better evaluate the clinical efficacy of TCM, in the process of adoption of soft targets, it clearly identify it's role, highlighting the characteristics of interventions on disease, and as much as possibly avoid the level in soft targets of processing technology to real assess clinical efficacy of TCM.

  15. The left atrial appendage: anatomy, function, and noninvasive evaluation.

    PubMed

    Beigel, Roy; Wunderlich, Nina C; Ho, Siew Yen; Arsanjani, Reza; Siegel, Robert J

    2014-12-01

    The left atrial appendage (LAA) is a finger-like extension originating from the main body of the left atrium. Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common clinically important cardiac arrhythmia, occurring in approximately 0.4% to 1% of the general population and increasing with age to >8% in those >80 years of age. In the presence of AF thrombus, formation often occurs within the LAA because of reduced contractility and stasis; thus, attention should be given to the LAA when evaluating and assessing patients with AF to determine the risk for cardioembolic complications. It is clinically important to understand LAA anatomy and function. It is also critical to choose the optimal imaging techniques to identify or exclude LAA thrombi in the setting of AF, before cardioversion, and with current and emerging transcatheter therapies, which include mitral balloon valvuloplasty, pulmonary vein isolation, MitraClip (Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, Illinois) valve repair, and the implantation of LAA occlusion and exclusion devices. In this review, we present the current data regarding LAA anatomy, LAA function, and LAA imaging using the currently available noninvasive imaging modalities.

  16. Differences in neonatal exposure to estradiol or testosterone on ovarian function and hormonal levels.

    PubMed

    Marcondes, Rodrigo R; Carvalho, Kátia C; Duarte, Daniele C; Garcia, Natália; Amaral, Vinícius C; Simões, Manuel J; Lo Turco, Edson G; Soares, José M; Baracat, Edmund C; Maciel, Gustavo A R

    2015-02-01

    Exposure to an excess of androgen or estrogen can induce changes in reproductive function in adult animals that resemble polycystic ovary syndrome in humans. However, considerable differences exist among several types of animal models. Little is known about the molecular features of steroidogenesis and folliculogenesis in the ovaries of rats exposed to different sex steroids as neonates. Here, we evaluated the impact of androgen and estrogen exposure on the ovaries of adult female rats during their neonatal period in the gene expression of Lhr and Cyp17a1, two key players of steroidogenesis. We also assessed hormone levels, folliculogenesis and the theca-interstitial cell population. The study was performed on the second postnatal day in thirty female Wistar rats that were sorted into the following three intervention groups: testosterone, estradiol and vehicle (control group). The animals were euthanized 90 days after birth. The main outcomes were hormone serum levels, ovary histomorphometry and gene expression of Lhr and Cyp17a1 as analyzed via quantitative real-time PCR. We found that exposure to excess testosterone in early life increased the LH and testosterone serum levels, the LH/FSH ratio, ovarian theca-interstitial area and gene expression of Lhr and Cyp17a1 in adult rats. Estrogen induced an increase in the ovarian theca-interstitial area, the secondary follicle population and gene expression of Lhr and Cyp17a1. All animals exposed to the sex steroids presented with closed vaginas. Our data suggest that testosterone resulted in more pronounced reproductive changes than did estrogen exposure. Our results might provide some insight into the role of different hormones on reproductive development and on the heterogeneity of clinical manifestations of conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome.

  17. Space-Time Modelling of Groundwater Level Using Spartan Covariance Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Varouchakis, Emmanouil; Hristopulos, Dionissios

    2014-05-01

    Geostatistical models often need to handle variables that change in space and in time, such as the groundwater level of aquifers. A major advantage of space-time observations is that a higher number of data supports parameter estimation and prediction. In a statistical context, space-time data can be considered as realizations of random fields that are spatially extended and evolve in time. The combination of spatial and temporal measurements in sparsely monitored watersheds can provide very useful information by incorporating spatiotemporal correlations. Spatiotemporal interpolation is usually performed by applying the standard Kriging algorithms extended in a space-time framework. Spatiotemoral covariance functions for groundwater level modelling, however, have not been widely developed. We present a new non-separable theoretical spatiotemporal variogram function which is based on the Spartan covariance family and evaluate its performance in spatiotemporal Kriging (STRK) interpolation. The original spatial expression (Hristopulos and Elogne 2007) that has been successfully used for the spatial interpolation of groundwater level (Varouchakis and Hristopulos 2013) is modified by defining the following space-time normalized distance h = °h2r-+-α h2τ, hr=r- ξr, hτ=τ- ξτ; where r is the spatial lag vector, τ the temporal lag vector, ξr is the correlation length in position space (r) and ξτ in time (τ), h the normalized space-time lag vector, h = |h| is its Euclidean norm of the normalized space-time lag and α the coefficient that determines the relative weight of the time lag. The space-time experimental semivariogram is determined from the biannual (wet and dry period) time series of groundwater level residuals (obtained from the original series after trend removal) between the years 1981 and 2003 at ten sampling stations located in the Mires hydrological basin in the island of Crete (Greece). After the hydrological year 2002-2003 there is a significant

  18. Dominant Functional Group Effects on the Invasion Resistance at Different Resource Levels

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jiang; Ge, Yuan; Zhang, Chong B.; Bai, Yi; Du, Zhao K.

    2013-01-01

    Background Functional group composition may affect invasion in two ways the effect of abundance, i.e. dominance of functional group; and the effect of traits, i.e. identity of functional groups. However, few studies have focused on the role of abundance of functional group on invasion resistance. Moreover, how resource availability influences the role of the dominant functional group in invasion resistance is even less understood. Methodology/Principal Findings In this experiment, we established experimental pots using four different functional groups (annual grass, perennial grass, deciduous shrub or arbor and evergreen shrub or arbor), and the dominant functional group was manipulated. These experimental pots were respectively constructed at different soil nitrogen levels (control and fertilized). After one year of growth, we added seeds of 20 different species (five species per functional group) to the experimental pots. Fertilization significantly increased the overall invasion success, while dominant functional group had little effect on overall invasion success. When invaders were grouped into functional groups, invaders generally had lower success in pots dominated by the same functional group in the control pots. However, individual invaders of the same functional group exhibited different invasion patterns. Fertilization generally increased success of invaders in pots dominated by the same than by another functional group. However, fertilization led to great differences for individual invaders. Conclusions/Significance The results showed that the dominant functional group, independent of functional group identity, had a significant effect on the composition of invaders. We suggest that the limiting similarity hypothesis may be applicable at the functional group level, and limiting similarity may have a limited role for individual invaders as shown by the inconsistent effects of dominant functional group and fertilization. PMID:24167565

  19. Energy level alignment and quantum conductance of functionalized metal-molecule junctions: Density functional theory versus GW calculations

    SciTech Connect

    Jin, Chengjun; Markussen, Troels; Thygesen, Kristian S.; Strange, Mikkel; Solomon, Gemma C.

    2013-11-14

    We study the effect of functional groups (CH{sub 3}*4, OCH{sub 3}, CH{sub 3}, Cl, CN, F*4) on the electronic transport properties of 1,4-benzenediamine molecular junctions using the non-equilibrium Green function method. Exchange and correlation effects are included at various levels of theory, namely density functional theory (DFT), energy level-corrected DFT (DFT+Σ), Hartree-Fock and the many-body GW approximation. All methods reproduce the expected trends for the energy of the frontier orbitals according to the electron donating or withdrawing character of the substituent group. However, only the GW method predicts the correct ordering of the conductance amongst the molecules. The absolute GW (DFT) conductance is within a factor of two (three) of the experimental values. Correcting the DFT orbital energies by a simple physically motivated scissors operator, Σ, can bring the DFT conductances close to experiments, but does not improve on the relative ordering. We ascribe this to a too strong pinning of the molecular energy levels to the metal Fermi level by DFT which suppresses the variation in orbital energy with functional group.

  20. A biological measure of stress levels in patients with functional movement disorders

    PubMed Central

    Maurer, Carine W.; LaFaver, Kathrin; Ameli, Rezvan; Toledo, Ryan; Hallett, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Introduction While the presence of co-existing psychological stressors has historically been used as a supportive factor in the diagnosis of functional neurological disorders, many patients with functional neurological disorders deny the presence of these stressors. The stress response circuitry in these patients remains largely unexplored. Methods We performed an observational study examining biological stress levels in patients with functional movement disorders as compared with matched healthy controls. Specifically, we compared levels of circulating cortisol, the end-product of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Salivary cortisol samples were collected from patients with “clinically definite” functional movement disorders (n=33) and their age- and sex-matched controls (n=33). Collections were performed at five standardized time points, reflecting participants’ diurnal cortisol cycles. To rule out confounders, participants also underwent extensive psychological assessment including Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, and Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. Results Patients with functional movement disorders did not differ from matched controls with respect to levels of circulating cortisol. Conclusion We demonstrate that current stress levels are not altered in patients with functional movement disorders. Our results warrant careful review of current management of patients with functional neurological symptoms, and suggest that the insistence on heightened stress levels in these patients is unjustified. PMID:26117436

  1. Associations between Parents' Marital Functioning, Maternal Parenting Quality, Maternal Emotion and Child Cortisol Levels

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pendry, Patricia; Adam, Emma K.

    2007-01-01

    Associations between family functioning and children's stress hormone levels are explored, by examining how aspects of the interparental relationship (parents' marital satisfaction and parent conflict styles), the mother-child relationship (maternal involvement and warmth) and maternal emotional functioning (depression, anxiety and self-esteem)…

  2. Parental Divorce and Family Functioning: Effects on Differentiation Levels of Young Adults.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Patrick; Throngren, Jill M.; Smith, Adina J.

    2001-01-01

    Study examines the effect of parental divorce and various dimensions of functioning in the family of origin on young adult development. Results indicate that parental divorce and family functioning significantly affect differentiation levels of young adults. Implications of the results for counselors and future researchers are provided. (Contains…

  3. Physicochemical evaluation of sheep milk yogurts containing different levels of inulin.

    PubMed

    Balthazar, C F; Conte Júnior, C A; Moraes, J; Costa, M P; Raices, R S L; Franco, R M; Cruz, A G; Silva, A C O

    2016-06-01

    The present study aimed to evaluate the physicochemical parameters of sheep milk yogurt smoothies (SMY) containing inulin at different levels (0, 2, 4, and 6%). Titratable acidity and pH, yogurt bacteria counts, fatty acids profile, and healthy lipid indices were evaluated during 28 d of refrigerated storage. As expected for yogurts, Streptococcus thermophilus counts decreased 1 to 3 log cycles and Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus counts decreased 1 to 2 cycles from d 1 to 28. The protective effect of inulin on bacteria survival and viability in the food matrix was not verified in the prebiotic SMY during storage, regardless of inulin level. Although lower post-acidification was observed in prebiotic SMY due to inulin addition, no changes were verified in short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) or polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). In contrast, an increase in medium- and long-chain fatty acids (MCFA and LCFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) was observed during storage in all SMY. The most significant levels of fatty acids in SMY were oleic acid, followed by palmitic and myristic acids. A high positive correlation between conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and oleic acid (r=0.978) was observed. The cis-9,trans-11 CLA isomer represented approximately 78% of total PUFA and 2% of total fatty acids, whereas α-linoleic acid comprised about 22% PUFA and 1% of total fatty acids in SMY. The fatty acid changes during storage were associated with the metabolic activity of the starter bacteria, especially for oleic acid and cis-9,trans-11 CLA isomer. Thus, the SMY represented a great source of these compounds. We observed that inulin levels did not affect fatty acids. A nonsignificant decrease in atherogenic index was observed during storage in all SMY, and a positive correlation (r=0.973) was found between atherogenic index and thrombogenic index of SMY. High correlations were observed between lauric and myristic acids and saturated fatty acids (r=0.907 and r=0

  4. Physicochemical evaluation of sheep milk yogurts containing different levels of inulin.

    PubMed

    Balthazar, C F; Conte Júnior, C A; Moraes, J; Costa, M P; Raices, R S L; Franco, R M; Cruz, A G; Silva, A C O

    2016-06-01

    The present study aimed to evaluate the physicochemical parameters of sheep milk yogurt smoothies (SMY) containing inulin at different levels (0, 2, 4, and 6%). Titratable acidity and pH, yogurt bacteria counts, fatty acids profile, and healthy lipid indices were evaluated during 28 d of refrigerated storage. As expected for yogurts, Streptococcus thermophilus counts decreased 1 to 3 log cycles and Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus counts decreased 1 to 2 cycles from d 1 to 28. The protective effect of inulin on bacteria survival and viability in the food matrix was not verified in the prebiotic SMY during storage, regardless of inulin level. Although lower post-acidification was observed in prebiotic SMY due to inulin addition, no changes were verified in short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) or polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). In contrast, an increase in medium- and long-chain fatty acids (MCFA and LCFA) and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) was observed during storage in all SMY. The most significant levels of fatty acids in SMY were oleic acid, followed by palmitic and myristic acids. A high positive correlation between conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and oleic acid (r=0.978) was observed. The cis-9,trans-11 CLA isomer represented approximately 78% of total PUFA and 2% of total fatty acids, whereas α-linoleic acid comprised about 22% PUFA and 1% of total fatty acids in SMY. The fatty acid changes during storage were associated with the metabolic activity of the starter bacteria, especially for oleic acid and cis-9,trans-11 CLA isomer. Thus, the SMY represented a great source of these compounds. We observed that inulin levels did not affect fatty acids. A nonsignificant decrease in atherogenic index was observed during storage in all SMY, and a positive correlation (r=0.973) was found between atherogenic index and thrombogenic index of SMY. High correlations were observed between lauric and myristic acids and saturated fatty acids (r=0.907 and r=0

  5. Evaluating the performance of the quick CSF method in detecting contrast sensitivity function changes

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Fang; Lesmes, Luis Andres; Kim, Woojae; Gu, Hairong; Pitt, Mark A.; Myung, Jay I.; Lu, Zhong-Lin

    2016-01-01

    The contrast sensitivity function (CSF) has shown promise as a functional vision endpoint for monitoring the changes in functional vision that accompany eye disease or its treatment. However, detecting CSF changes with precision and efficiency at both the individual and group levels is very challenging. By exploiting the Bayesian foundation of the quick CSF method (Lesmes, Lu, Baek, & Albright, 2010), we developed and evaluated metrics for detecting CSF changes at both the individual and group levels. A 10-letter identification task was used to assess the systematic changes in the CSF measured in three luminance conditions in 112 naïve normal observers. The data from the large sample allowed us to estimate the test–retest reliability of the quick CSF procedure and evaluate its performance in detecting CSF changes at both the individual and group levels. The test–retest reliability reached 0.974 with 50 trials. In 50 trials, the quick CSF method can detect a medium 0.30 log unit area under log CSF change with 94.0% accuracy at the individual observer level. At the group level, a power analysis based on the empirical distribution of CSF changes from the large sample showed that a very small area under log CSF change (0.025 log unit) could be detected by the quick CSF method with 112 observers and 50 trials. These results make it plausible to apply the method to monitor the progression of visual diseases or treatment effects on individual patients and greatly reduce the time, sample size, and costs in clinical trials at the group level. PMID:27120074

  6. Evaluation of the Performance of Smoothing Functions in Generalized Additive Models for Spatial Variation in Disease

    PubMed Central

    Siangphoe, Umaporn; Wheeler, David C.

    2015-01-01

    Generalized additive models (GAMs) with bivariate smoothing functions have been applied to estimate spatial variation in risk for many types of cancers. Only a handful of studies have evaluated the performance of smoothing functions applied in GAMs with regard to different geographical areas of elevated risk and different risk levels. This study evaluates the ability of different smoothing functions to detect overall spatial variation of risk and elevated risk in diverse geographical areas at various risk levels using a simulation study. We created five scenarios with different true risk area shapes (circle, triangle, linear) in a square study region. We applied four different smoothing functions in the GAMs, including two types of thin plate regression splines (TPRS) and two versions of locally weighted scatterplot smoothing (loess). We tested the null hypothesis of constant risk and detected areas of elevated risk using analysis of deviance with permutation methods and assessed the performance of the smoothing methods based on the spatial detection rate, sensitivity, accuracy, precision, power, and false-positive rate. The results showed that all methods had a higher sensitivity and a consistently moderate-to-high accuracy rate when the true disease risk was higher. The models generally performed better in detecting elevated risk areas than detecting overall spatial variation. One of the loess methods had the highest precision in detecting overall spatial variation across scenarios and outperformed the other methods in detecting a linear elevated risk area. The TPRS methods outperformed loess in detecting elevated risk in two circular areas. PMID:25983545

  7. Using Bloom's Taxonomy to Evaluate the Cognitive Levels of Master Class Textbook's Questions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Assaly, Ibtihal R.; Smadi, Oqlah M.

    2015-01-01

    This study aimed at evaluating the cognitive levels of the questions following the reading texts of Master Class textbook. A checklist based on Bloom's Taxonomy was the instrument used to categorize the cognitive levels of these questions. The researchers used proper statistics to rank the cognitive levels of the comprehension questions. The…

  8. Utilization of functional near infrared spectroscopy for non-invasive evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Halim, A. A. A.; Laili, M. H.; Aziz, N. A.; Laili, A. R.; Salikin, M. S.; Rusop, M.

    2016-07-01

    The goal of this brief review is to report the techniques of functional near infrared spectroscopy for non-invasive evaluation in human study. The development of functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) technologies has advanced quantification signal using multiple wavelength and detector to solve the propagation of light inside the tissues including the absorption, scattering coefficient and to define the light penetration into tissues multilayers. There are a lot of studies that demonstrate signal from fNIRS which can be used to evaluate the changes of oxygenation level and measure the limitation of muscle performance in human brain and muscle tissues. Comprehensive reviews of diffuse reflectance based on beer lambert law theory were presented in this paper. The principle and development of fNIRS instrumentation is reported in detail.

  9. Functions and Requirements for Automated Liquid Level Gauge Instruments in SST and DST Farms

    SciTech Connect

    CARPENTER, K.E.

    1999-08-25

    This functions and requirements document defines the baseline requirements and criteria for the design, purchase, fabrication, construction, installation, and operation of automated liquid level gauge instruments in the Tank Farms. This document is intended to become the technical baseline for current and future installation, operation and maintenance of automated liquid level gauges in single-shell and double-shell tank farms.

  10. Calculating work in adiabatic two-level quantum Markovian master equations: a characteristic function method.

    PubMed

    Liu, Fei

    2014-09-01

    We present a characteristic function method to calculate the probability density functions of the inclusive work in adiabatic two-level quantum Markovian master equations. These systems are steered by some slowly varying parameters and the dissipations may depend on time. Our theory is based on the interpretation of the quantum jump for the master equations. In addition to the calculation, we also find that the fluctuation properties of the work can be described by the symmetry of the characteristic functions, which is exactly the same as in the case of isolated systems. A periodically driven two-level model is used to demonstrate the method. PMID:25314409

  11. Functional Outcome Evaluation of Septorhinoplasty for Nasal Obstruction.

    PubMed

    Zahedi, Farah Dayana; Husain, Salina; Gendeh, Balwant Singh

    2016-06-01

    A prospective single blinded interventional study was held in Otorhinolaryngology Clinic, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre in August 2010 until November 2012 to evaluate the functional outcome of septorhinoplasty objectively and subjectively. Objective assessment was done using rhinomanometry and subjective assessment using Nasal Obstruction Symptoms Evaluation (NOSE) scale and Health-Related Quality of Life Questionnaires (HRQOL) in Rhino Surgery. All measurements were taken preoperatively and 3 months postoperatively. A total of 29 patients were enrolled and completed the study. Septorhinoplasty was commonly performed in Malays and Indians and rare amongst Chinese, with age ranged from 18 to 54 years. Majority had no history of trauma. Twisted nose was the most common external nose abnormality followed by crooked and saddle nose. All patients had internal valve insufficiency. There were significant improvement of the total and of all the parameters in the NOSE scale post septorhinoplasty (p < 0.05). Furthermore, there were significant improvement in total and in all parameters in HRQOL score post septorhinoplasty (p < 0.05). There were improvements in the rhinomanometry data bilaterally during inspiration and expiration, but were not statistically significant (p > 0.05). Significant correlations were noted in the improvement between the two subjective assessments (NOSE scale and HRQOL score). However, there was no significant correlation in the improvement between the subjective (NOSE scale and HRQOL score) with objective (rhinomanometry score) assessments. Septorhinoplasty improves the nasal airflow and quality of life of patients with nasal obstruction. PMID:27340641

  12. Association of chronic pesticide exposure with serum cholinesterase levels and pulmonary functions.

    PubMed

    Sutoluk, Zeynel; Kekec, Zeynep; Daglioglu, Nebile; Hant, Ismail

    2011-01-01

    The present study focused on the analysis of serum cholinesterase levels and the pulmonary function tests in seasonal farm workers who were chronically exposed to pesticides, mostly organophosphorus, in comparison with non-farm workers in the farming areas of Cukurova region, Turkey. Serum cholinesterase levels and pulmonary function tests using spyrometer in 50 male seasonal farm workers (study group) were compared to 50 male non-farm workers (control group) in this cross-sectional study. The mean serum cholinesterase enzyme level in the farm worker group (7095.5 ± 1699.4 U/L) was significantly lower than those of the control group (9716.4 ± 1484.4 U/L) (p < .001). There was no significant difference between pulmonary function tests of 2 groups (p > .05). These results show that chronic environmental organophosphorus exposure caused a decrease in the serum cholinesterase enzyme levels in farm workers, emphasizing the importance of primary prevention. PMID:24484366

  13. Learning A Superpixel-Driven Speed Function for Level Set Tracking.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xue; Li, Xi; Hu, Weiming

    2016-07-01

    A key problem in level set tracking is to construct a discriminative speed function for effective contour evolution. In this paper, we propose a level set tracking method based on a discriminative speed function, which produces a superpixel-driven force for effective level set evolution. Based on kernel density estimation and metric learning, the speed function is capable of effectively encoding the discriminative information on object appearance within a feasible metric space. Furthermore, we introduce adaptive object shape modeling into the level set evolution process, which leads to the tracking robustness in complex scenarios. To ensure the efficiency of adaptive object shape modeling, we develop a simple but efficient weighted non-negative matrix factorization method that can online learn an object shape dictionary. Experimental results on a number of challenging video sequences demonstrate the effectiveness and robustness of the proposed tracking method. PMID:26292353

  14. Evaluation of bubbler/diaphragm techniques to measure surface level in the waste storage tanks

    SciTech Connect

    Peters, T.J.; Hickman, B.J.; Colson, J.B.

    1993-10-01

    This report describes the results of tests conducted at the Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) to determine if a bubbler technique can be used to determine the surface level in the waste tanks. Two techniques were evaluated. The first technique is a standard bubbler system in which a tube is placed below the surface of the liquid to be measured and air pressure inside a tube is increased until bubbles begin to become emitted from the tube. The air pressure then is a function of the pressure at the bottom of the tube. The second technique involves a system similar to the standard bubbler technique, but instead of bubbles being released into the material to be gauged, air pressure is increased against a diaphragm until enough pressure is applied to overcome the pressure of the liquid at the given depth, at which time the air then flows in a return loop back to a vent. The advantage of the diaphragm system is that it is a sealed system; thus no air is released into the waste tank materials, and it is not possible for the waste tank materials to get into the air flow. Based on the results of the tests conducted in this program, it appears that the bubbler and diaphragm systems that were tested could not be used for accurate measurements of the level in the waste tanks. Both exhibited deposits of simulated waste tank material at the end of the devices which affected the ability of the gauge to accurately determine changes in the surface level even though the measured value of the level was inaccurate. Further investigations into the cause of this inaccuracy may be warranted. Alternate diaphragm materials may improve the performance of this gauge.

  15. Accurate evaluation of the angular-dependent direct correlation function of water

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Shuangliang; Liu, Honglai; Ramirez, Rosa; Borgis, Daniel

    2013-07-01

    The direct correlation function (DCF) plays a pivotal role in addressing the thermodynamic properties with non-mean-field statistical theories of liquid state. This work provides an accurate yet efficient calculation procedure for evaluating the angular-dependent DCF of bulk SPC/E water. The DCF here represented in a discrete angles basis is computed with two typical steps: the first step involves solving the molecular Ornstein-Zernike equation with the input of total correlation function extracted from simulation; the resultant DCF is then polished in second step at small wavelength for all orientations in order to match correct thermodynamic properties. This function is also discussed in terms of its rotational invariant components. In particular, we show that the component c112(r) that accounts for dipolar symmetry reaches already its long-range asymptotic behavior at a short distance of 4 Å. With the knowledge of DCF, the angular-dependent bridge function of bulk water is thereafter computed and discussed in comparison with referenced hard-sphere bridge functions. We conclude that, even though such hard-sphere bridge functions may be relevant to improve the calculation of Helmholtz free energies in integral equations or density functional theory, they are doomed to fail at a structural level.

  16. Noninvasive evaluation of left ventricular function in chronic severe anemia.

    PubMed

    Singh, P I; Verma, K; Sood, S

    1989-03-01

    Left ventricular function was evaluated noninvasively in cases of chronic severe anemia (CSA) by recording systolic and diastolic time intervals (STI and DTI). These time intervals were recorded in 38 patients with CSA (hemoglobin below 7 g%), without cardiac decompensation, and in 30 control subjects. STI and DTI were measured from the simultaneous recordings of the apexcardiogram, carotid arterial pulse, electrocardiogram and phonocardiogram. The left ventricular ejection time was significantly prolonged (p less than 0.02), and associated with marked shortening of the PEP and reduction of the PEP/LVET ratio (p less than 0.001 in each case) in cases of CSA as compared to controls. Regarding the DTI, there was significant shortening of total filling time, slow filling time (p less than 0.001 in each case) and atrial systole (p less than 0.01) with no appreciable change in rapid filling time and isovolumic relaxation time. The SFT/RFT ratio and a/H ratio (the amplitude of the a-wave relative to the total height of the apexcardiogram) showed significant reductions (p less than 0.001 in each case). These changes in STI and DTI indicate enhanced left ventricular performance during diastole followed by faster and more complete relaxation during diastole in CSA.

  17. Functional and nutritional evaluation of supplementary food formulations.

    PubMed

    Khanam, Anjum; Chikkegowda, Rashmi Kumkum; Swamylingappa, Bhagya

    2013-04-01

    Two type of ready to eat supplementary food formulations were developed by roller drying based on wheat, soy protein concentrate, whey protein concentrate, and green gram flour and were fortified with vitamins and minerals to meet the one third of the Recommended daily allowance (RDA). The supplementary food formulations contained 20-21% protein, 370-390 kcal of energy and 2,300 μg of β-carotene per 100 g serving. The physico-chemical, functional and nutritional characteristics were evaluated. The chemical score indicated that sulphur containing amino acids were the first limiting in both the formulations. The calculated nutritional indices, essential amino acid index, biological value, nutritional index and C-PER were higher for formula II. Rat bioassay showed higher PER (2.3) for formula II compared to formula I (2.1). The bioaccessibility of iron was 23%. Sensory studies indicated that the products were acceptable with a shelf life of 1 year under normal storage condition. However, the formulations were nutritionally better than only cereal based supplementary food formulations available commercially. The product could be served in the form of porridge with water/milk or in the form of small laddu. PMID:24425921

  18. Evaluation of pulmonary function tests by using fuzzy logic theory.

    PubMed

    Uncü, Umit

    2010-06-01

    Pulmonary Function Tests (PFTs) are very important in the medical evaluation of patients suffering from "shortness of breath", and they are effectively used for the diagnosis of pulmonary diseases, such as COPD (i.e. chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases). Measurement of Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) and Forced Expiratory Flow in the 1st second (FEV1) are very important for controlling the treatment of COPD. During PFTs, some difficulties are encountered which complicate the comparison of produced graphs with the standards. These mainly include the reluctance of the patients to co-operate and the physicians' weaknesses to make healthy interpretations. Main tools of the diagnostic process are the symptoms, laboratory tests or measurements and the medical history of the patient. However, quite frequently, most of the medical information obtained from the patient is uncertain, exaggerated or ignored, incomplete or inconsistent. Fuzziness encountered during PFT is very important. In this study, the purpose is to use "fuzzy logic" approach to facilitate reliable and fast interpretation of PFT graphical outputs. A comparison is made between this approach and methodologies adopted in previous studies. Mathematical models and their coefficients for the spirometric plots are introduced as fuzzy numbers. Firstly, a set of rules for categorizing coefficients of mathematical models obtained. Then, a fuzzy rule-base for a medical inference engine is constructed and a diagnostic "expert system COPDes" designed. This program, COPDes helps for diagnosing the degree of COPD for the patient under test.

  19. Evaluation of strategy for testing thyroid function applied to hypothyroidism.

    PubMed Central

    Corns, C M; Miller, A L

    1986-01-01

    A strategy for testing thyroid function with discretionary assay of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) following initial measurement of total plasma thyroxine (tT4) was retrospectively evaluated in relation to the diagnosis of primary hypothyroidism. Over a two year period 14 641 tT4 assays were done and 6887 TSH assays, of which 29% were initiated in the laboratory. The percentage of raised TSH values (over 5 mU/1) was similar to those for clinician and pathologist initiated requests (23.2% and 23.6%). Some TSH requests (1620) were cancelled; when 212 of these were subsequently analysed the TSH value was raised in 5.7% The incidence of raised TSH values in 188 patients with a tT4 below 100 nmol/1 (7.8 micrograms/100 ml), in whom TSH was not requested, was 5.3% Most of these raised TSH results could be readily explained by information available to the requesting clinician but not given on the request form. PMID:3082940

  20. Evaluation of Serum Leptin Levels and Growth in Patients with β-Thalassaemia Major

    PubMed Central

    Al-Naama, Lamia Mustafa; Hassan, Meaad Kadum; Abdul Karim, Muhannad Maki

    2016-01-01

    Background. Iron deposition in the body can damage the endocrine glands of patients with β-thalassaemia major (β-TM). Leptin plays a key role in the regulation of appetite, body fat mass, and endocrine function. Objectives. This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between serum leptin and growth and pubertal development in patients with β-TM, as well as whether serum leptin can predict growth retardation and delayed puberty in these patients. Methods. Fifty β-TM patients (aged 8–20 years) and 75 age-matched healthy controls were recruited. Anthropometric data and sexual maturity ratings were assessed. Serum leptin was measured by ELISA. Results. Serum leptin levels were significantly lower in patients with β-TM than in healthy individuals (P < 0.001). Leptin levels were also significantly reduced in female patients with short stature (P < 0.002) and in patients who displayed delayed puberty (P = 0.032) compared to those with normal stature who had reached puberty. The sensitivity of leptin for predicting short stature and delayed puberty among patients was 84.6% and 92.3%, respectively. Conclusion. Low serum leptin is sensitive to predict short stature and significant in β-TM females only. This link could thus be used as a guide for further therapeutic or hormonal modulation. PMID:27088012

  1. Evaluation of adrenomedullin levels in renal parenchyma subjected to extracorporeal shockwave lithotripsy.

    PubMed

    Sarica, Kemal; Sari, Ibrahim; Balat, Ayşe; Erbağci, Ahmet; Yurtseven, Cihanser; Yağci, Faruk; Karakök, Metin

    2003-08-01

    Despite its safety and efficacy, the traumatic effects of high-energy shock waves (HESW) on renal morphology and function during long-term follow-up have yet to be elucidated. Although the main target of shock waves is the stone located in the kidney, the surrounding tissue and other organs are also subjected to trauma during this procedure. In contrast to renal blood flow evaluation after shock wave treatment, ischemic development, causing varying degrees of damage at the tissue level, has not been well evaluated. The renoprotective peptide adrenomedullin (AM) is a potent vasorelaxing, natriuretic and cell growth modulating peptide, which is thought to act as an autocrine/paracrine regulator in renal glomeruli and tubules. In this experimental study, renal parenchymal AM levels were assessed in an attempt to evaluate the effect of HESW on the tissue levels of this peptide, which may be responsible for the regulation of ischemia induced by extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy(ESWL), in a rabbit model. Thirty white New Zealand rabbits, each weighing 3-5 kg were used. The animals were divided into three main groups, and varying numbers of shock waves (1000, 1500, 2000) were applied under fluoroscopic localization to the same kidney of all animals. Ketamine HCl anesthesia was administered (15-20 mg/kg) and all of the procedures were performed with a Multimed 2000 lithotriptor. Untreated contralateral kidneys were evaluated as controls. Following HESW application, the treated and untreated kidneys of each animal were removed through bilateral flank incisions under ketamine HCl anesthesia after 24 h and 7 days, respectively. Tissue AM levels were assessed with immunohistochemistry. During the early follow-up period (24 h), both treated and untreated kidneys showed a moderate to high degree of AM positivity. The number of tubules stained with AM increased as the number of shock waves increased and the expression of this protein became evident, possibly due to a higher

  2. FORTRAN algorithms for evaluating Fourier transforms of line spread functions.

    PubMed

    Prince, J R; Wu, L C; Dawalibi, H

    1983-01-01

    FORTRAN IV algorithms are presented for calculating the modulation transfer function, the phase transfer function, the modulation transfer function area, an information transfer function, and the optimum frequency response as well as plotting the curves for these matrices. An important feature of the programs is an editing routine.

  3. Non-Euclidean basis function based level set segmentation with statistical shape prior.

    PubMed

    Ruiz, Esmeralda; Reisert, Marco; Bai, Li

    2013-01-01

    We present a new framework for image segmentation with statistical shape model enhanced level sets represented as a linear combination of non-Euclidean radial basis functions (RBFs). The shape prior for the level set is represented as a probabilistic map created from the training data and registered with the target image. The new framework has the following advantages: 1) the explicit RBF representation of the level set allows the level set evolution to be represented as ordinary differential equations and reinitialization is no longer required. 2) The non-Euclidean distance RBFs makes it possible to incorporate image information into the basis functions, which results in more accurate and topologically more flexible solutions. Experimental results are presented to demonstrate the advantages of the method, as well as critical analysis of level sets versus the combination of both methods.

  4. Treadmill exercise induced functional recovery after peripheral nerve repair is associated with increased levels of neurotrophic factors.

    PubMed

    Park, Jae-Sung; Höke, Ahmet

    2014-01-01

    Benefits of exercise on nerve regeneration and functional recovery have been reported in both central and peripheral nervous system disease models. However, underlying molecular mechanisms of enhanced regeneration and improved functional outcomes are less understood. We used a peripheral nerve regeneration model that has a good correlation between functional outcomes and number of motor axons that regenerate to evaluate the impact of treadmill exercise. In this model, the median nerve was transected and repaired while the ulnar nerve was transected and prevented from regeneration. Daily treadmill exercise resulted in faster recovery of the forelimb grip function as evaluated by grip power and inverted holding test. Daily exercise also resulted in better regeneration as evaluated by recovery of compound motor action potentials, higher number of axons in the median nerve and larger myofiber size in target muscles. Furthermore, these observations correlated with higher levels of neurotrophic factors, glial derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), in serum, nerve and muscle suggesting that increase in muscle derived neurotrophic factors may be responsible for improved regeneration. PMID:24618564

  5. High level functions for the intuitive use of an assistive robot.

    PubMed

    Lebec, Olivier; Ben Ghezala, Mohamed Walid; Leynart, Violaine; Laffont, Isabelle; Fattal, Charles; Devilliers, Laurence; Chastagnol, Clement; Martin, Jean-Claude; Mezouar, Youcef; Korrapatti, Hermanth; Dupourqué, Vincent; Leroux, Christophe

    2013-06-01

    This document presents the research project ARMEN (Assistive Robotics to Maintain Elderly People in a Natural environment), aimed at the development of a user friendly robot with advanced functions for assistance to elderly or disabled persons at home. Focus is given to the robot SAM (Smart Autonomous Majordomo) and its new features of navigation, manipulation, object recognition, and knowledge representation developed for the intuitive supervision of the robot. The results of the technical evaluations show the value and potential of these functions for practical applications. The paper also documents the details of the clinical evaluations carried out with elderly and disabled persons in a therapeutic setting to validate the project.

  6. Brain Correlates of Self-Evaluation Deficits in Schizophrenia: A Combined Functional and Structural MRI Study.

    PubMed

    Tan, Shuping; Zhao, Yanli; Fan, Fengmei; Zou, Yizhuang; Jin, Zhen; Zen, Yawei; Zhu, Xiaolin; Yang, Fude; Tan, Yunlong; Zhou, Dongfeng

    2015-01-01

    Self-evaluation plays an important role in adaptive functioning and is a process that is typically impaired in patients with schizophrenia. Underlying neural mechanisms for this dysfunction may be associated with manifested psychosis. However, the brain substrates underlying this deficit are not well known. The present study used brain blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and gray matter voxel-based morphometry to explore the functional and structural brain correlates of self-evaluation deficits in schizophrenia. Eighteen patients with schizophrenia and 17 healthy controls were recruited and asked to judge whether a set of personality-trait adjectives were appropriate for describing themselves, a familiar other, or whether the adjectives were of positive or negative valence. Patients had slower response times for negative trait attributions than controls did; responses to positive trait attributions were faster than those for negative traits among the patient group, while no differences were observed in the control group. Control subjects showed greater activation within the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dMPFC) and the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) than the patient group during the self-evaluation > semantic positivity-evaluation contrast. Patients showed greater activation mainly within the posterior cingulate gyrus (PCC) as compared to controls for the other-evaluation > semantic positivity-evaluation contrast. Furthermore, gray matter volume was reduced in the MPFC, temporal lobe, cuneus, and the dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) among the patient group when compared to controls. The present study adds to previous findings regarding self- and other-referential processing in schizophrenia, providing support for neurobiological models of self-reflection impairment. PMID:26406464

  7. Effect of sweetener and flavoring agent on oxidative indices, liver and kidney function levels in rats.

    PubMed

    Amin, Kamal A; Al-muzafar, Hessa M; Abd Elsttar, Adel H

    2016-01-01

    Food additives while attract consumers, improve quality, control weight and replace sugar, may affect seriously children and adults health. Here, we investigated the adverse effects of saccharin and methylsalicyltaes as sweetener and flavoring agent on lipid profile, blood glucose, renal, hepatic function and oxidative stress/antioxidants (lipid peroxidation, catalase and reduced glutathione in liver tissues). Saccharin and methylsalicylate were administered orally in young male albino rats at low and high dose for 30 days. Rats were divided into 5 groups, 1st control group, 2nd and 3rd (low and high saccharin-treated groups) and 4th and 5th (low and high methylsalicylate-treated group). Serum total cholesterol, triglyceride, glucose levels and body weight gain were found decreased in saccharin high dose group compared to control. Rats consumed high dose of saccharin showed a significant decrease in serum triglycerides, cholesterol and LDL levels. Low and high doses of saccharin exhibited a significant increase in liver function marker of ALT, AST, ALP activity, total proteins and albumin levels and renal function test (urea and creatinine levels) in comparison with control group. Further, saccharin at high dose induced significant decrease in liver GSH levels, catalase and SOD activity and increase in hepatic MDA level. Overall saccharin harmfully altered biochemical markers in liver and kidney at higher as well as lower doses. Whereas, methyl salicylates did not pose a risk for renal function and hepatic oxidative markers. PMID:26891553

  8. Association by Spatial Interpolation between Ozone Levels and Lung Function of Residents at an Industrial Complex in South Korea

    PubMed Central

    Jung, Soon-Won; Lee, Kyoungho; Cho, Yong-Sung; Choi, Ji-Hee; Yang, Wonho; Kang, Tack-Shin; Park, Choonghee; Kim, Geun-Bae; Yu, Seung-Do; Son, Bu-Soon

    2016-01-01

    Spatial interpolation is employed to improve exposure estimates and to assess adverse health effects associated with environmental risk factors. Since various studies have reported that high ozone (O3) concentrations can give rise to adverse effects on respiratory symptoms and lung function, we investigated the association between O3 levels and lung function using a variety of spatial interpolation techniques and evaluated how different methods for estimating exposure may influence health results for a cohort from an industrial complex (Gwangyang Bay) in South Korea in 2009. To estimate daily concentrations of O3 in each subject, four different methods were used, which include simple averaging, nearest neighbor, inverse distance weighting, and kriging. Also, to compare the association between O3 levels and lung function by age-groups, we explored ozone’s impacts on three age-related groups: children (9–14 years), adults (15–64 years), and the elderly (≥65 years). The overall change of effect size on lung function in each age group tended to show similar patterns for lag and methods for estimating exposure. A significant negative association was only observed between O3 levels and FVC and FEV1 for most of the lag and methods in children. The largest effect of O3 levels was found at the average for the lung function test day and last 2 days (0–2 days). In conclusions, the spatial interpolation methods may benefit in providing individual-level exposure with appropriate temporal resolution from ambient monitors. However, time-activity patterns of residents, monitoring site locations, methodological choices, and other factors should be considered to minimize exposure misclassification. PMID:27447653

  9. Association by Spatial Interpolation between Ozone Levels and Lung Function of Residents at an Industrial Complex in South Korea.

    PubMed

    Jung, Soon-Won; Lee, Kyoungho; Cho, Yong-Sung; Choi, Ji-Hee; Yang, Wonho; Kang, Tack-Shin; Park, Choonghee; Kim, Geun-Bae; Yu, Seung-Do; Son, Bu-Soon

    2016-01-01

    Spatial interpolation is employed to improve exposure estimates and to assess adverse health effects associated with environmental risk factors. Since various studies have reported that high ozone (O₃) concentrations can give rise to adverse effects on respiratory symptoms and lung function, we investigated the association between O₃ levels and lung function using a variety of spatial interpolation techniques and evaluated how different methods for estimating exposure may influence health results for a cohort from an industrial complex (Gwangyang Bay) in South Korea in 2009. To estimate daily concentrations of O₃ in each subject, four different methods were used, which include simple averaging, nearest neighbor, inverse distance weighting, and kriging. Also, to compare the association between O₃ levels and lung function by age-groups, we explored ozone's impacts on three age-related groups: children (9-14 years), adults (15-64 years), and the elderly (≥65 years). The overall change of effect size on lung function in each age group tended to show similar patterns for lag and methods for estimating exposure. A significant negative association was only observed between O₃ levels and FVC and FEV₁ for most of the lag and methods in children. The largest effect of O₃ levels was found at the average for the lung function test day and last 2 days (0-2 days). In conclusions, the spatial interpolation methods may benefit in providing individual-level exposure with appropriate temporal resolution from ambient monitors. However, time-activity patterns of residents, monitoring site locations, methodological choices, and other factors should be considered to minimize exposure misclassification. PMID:27447653

  10. Effects of Tape-Recording & Supervisory Evaluation on Counselor Trainee Anxiety Levels.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bowman, James T.; Roberts, Gayle T.

    1979-01-01

    Counselors, enrolled in supervised counseling practica, participated in a study to assess subjective and physiological anxiety responses to counseling under different stimulus conditions. Tape-recording and supervisory evaluation did not increase the anxiety levels of participants. (Author)

  11. Further Evaluations of Functional Communication Training and Chained Schedules of Reinforcement to Treat Multiple Functions of Challenging Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Falcomata, Terry S.; Muething, Colin S.; Gainey, Summer; Hoffman, Katherine; Fragale, Christina

    2013-01-01

    We evaluated functional communication training (FCT) combined with a chained schedule of reinforcement procedure for the treatment of challenging behavior exhibited by two individuals diagnosed with Asperger syndrome and autism. Following functional analyses that suggested that challenging behavior served multiple functions for both participants,…

  12. Aerobic Physical Exercise Improved the Cognitive Function of Elderly Males but Did Not Modify Their Blood Homocysteine Levels

    PubMed Central

    Antunes, Hanna Karen M.; De Mello, Marco Túlio; de Aquino Lemos, Valdir; Santos-Galduróz, Ruth Ferreira; Camargo Galdieri, Luciano; Amodeo Bueno, Orlando Francisco; Tufik, Sergio; D'Almeida, Vânia

    2015-01-01

    Background Physical exercise influences homocysteine (Hcy) concentrations, cognitive function and the metabolic profile. The purpose of this study was to investigate the influence of regular physical exercise on Hcy levels, the metabolic profile and cognitive function in healthy elderly males before and after an endurance exercise program. Methods Forty-five healthy and sedentary volunteers were randomized into 2 groups: (1) a control group asked not to change their normal everyday activities and not to start any regular physical exercise program and (2) an experimental group trained at a heart rate intensity corresponding to ventilatory threshold 1 (VT-1) for 60 min/day 3 times weekly on alternate days for 6 months using a cycle ergometer. All volunteers underwent cognitive evaluations, blood sample analyses and ergospirometric assessments. Results A significant improvement in cognitive function was observed in the experimental group compared with the control group (p < 0.05). No significant changes in Hcy levels were observed in the experimental group (p > 0.05), but there was a significant increase in peak oxygen consumption and workload at VT-1 as well as a significant improvement in cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, glucose, alkaline phosphatase, urea, T3, T4 and prostate-specific antigen compared with the control group (p < 0.05). Conclusion The data suggest that a physical exercise program does not reduce Hcy levels in healthy elderly males, although it improves the cardiovascular and metabolic profile as well as cognitive function. PMID:25759715

  13. Development and evaluation of a pliable biological valved conduit. Part II: Functional and hemodynamic evaluation.

    PubMed

    Sung, H W; Witzel, T H; Hata, C; Tu, R; Shen, S H; Lin, D; Noishiki, Y; Tomizawa, Y; Quijano, R C

    1993-04-01

    Many congenital cardiac malformations may require a valved conduit for the reconstruction of the right ventricular outflow tract. In spite of many endeavors made in the last 25 years, the clinical results of right ventricular outflow tract reconstruction with currently available valved conduits are still not satisfactory. Specific problems encountered clinically include suboptimal hemodynamic performance, conduit kinking or compression, and fibrous peeling from the luminal surface. To address these deficiencies, we undertook the development of a biological valved conduit: a bovine external jugular vein graft with a retained native valve cross-linked with a diglycidyl ether (DE). This study, using a canine model, was to evaluate the functional and hemodynamic performance of this newly developed valved conduit. Three 14 mm conduits, implanted as bypass grafts, right ventricle to pulmonary artery, were evaluated. The evaluation was conducted with a noninvasive color Doppler flow mapping system at pre-implantation, immediately post implantation, one- and three-months post implantation, and prior to retrieval (five-months post implantation). The two-dimensional tomographic inspection of the leaflet motion at various periods post implantation showed that the valvular leaflets in the DE treated conduit was quite pliable. No cardiac failure or valvular dysfunction was observed in any of the studied cases. The color Doppler flow mapping study demonstrated that the valve in the DE treated conduit was competent, with no conduit kinking or compression observed in any of the three cases. The spectral Doppler velocity study evidenced that the transvalvular pressure gradients of the DE treated conduit were minimal as compared to those of the currently available conduits. In conclusion, from the functional and hemodynamic performance points of view, this newly developed valved conduit is superior to those currently available. PMID:8325697

  14. Evaluation of coronary microvascular function in patients with vasospastic angina

    PubMed Central

    Teragawa, Hiroki; Mitsuba, Naoya; Ishibashi, Ken; Nishioka, Kenji; Kurisu, Satoshi; Kihara, Yasuki

    2013-01-01

    AIM: To investigate endothelium-dependent and -independent coronary microvascular functions in patients with vasospastic angina (VSA). METHODS: Thirty-six patients with VSA (30 men and 6 women; mean age, 58 years) were enrolled in this study. VSA was defined as ≥ 90% narrowing of the epicardial coronary arteries on angiography performed during a spasm provocation test, presence of chest pain, and/or ST-segment deviation on an electrocardiogram (ECG). Patients (n = 36) with negative spasm provocation test results and those matched for age and sex were enrolled as a control group (nonVSA group). Low-dose acetylcholine (ACh; 3 μg/min) was infused into the left coronary ostium for 2 min during the spasm provocation test. Following the spasm provocation test, nitroglycerin (0.2 mg) was administered intracoronally. Coronary blood flow (was calculated from quantitative angiography and Doppler flow velocity measurements, and the coronary flow reserve was calculated as the ratio of coronary flow velocity after injection of adenosine triphosphate (20 μg) to the baseline value. Changes in the coronary artery diameter in response to ACh and nitroglycerin infusion were expressed as percentage changes from baseline measurements. RESULTS: Body mass index was significantly lower in the VSA group than in the nonVSA group. The frequency of conventional coronary risk factors and the rate of statin use were similar between the 2 groups. The left ventricular ejection fraction as evaluated by echocardiography was similar between the 2 groups. The duration of angina was 9 ± 2 mo. The results of blood chemistry analysis were similar between the 2 groups. Low-dose ACh did not cause coronary spasms. The change in coronary artery diameter in response to ACh was lower in the VSA group (-1.4% ± 9.3%) than in the nonVSA group (3.1% ± 6.5%, P < 0.05), whereas nitroglycerin-induced coronary artery dilatation and coronary blood flow increase in response to ACh or coronary flow reserve did

  15. The Evaluation of Steam Generator Level Measurement Model for OPR1000 Using RETRAN-3D

    SciTech Connect

    Doo Yong Lee; Soon Joon Hong; Byung Chul Lee; Heok Soon Lim

    2006-07-01

    Steam generator level measurement is important factor for plant transient analyses using best estimate thermal hydraulic computer codes since the value of steam generator level is used for steam generator level control system and plant protection system. Because steam generator is in the saturation condition which includes steam and liquid together and is the place that heat exchange occurs from primary side to secondary side, computer codes are hard to calculate steam generator level realistically without appropriate level measurement model. In this paper, we prepare the steam generator models using RETRAN-3D that include geometry models, full range feedwater control system and five types of steam generator level measurement model. Five types of steam generator level measurement model consist of level measurement model using elevation difference in downcomer, 1D level measurement model using fluid mass, 1D level measurement model using fluid volume, 2D level measurement model using power and fluid mass, and 2D level measurement model using power and fluid volume. And we perform the evaluation of the capability of each steam generator level measurement model by simulating the real plant transient condition, the title is 'Reactor Trip by The Failure of The Deaerator Level Control Card of Ulchin Unit 3'. The comparison results between real plant data and RETRAN-3D analyses for each steam generator level measurement model show that 2D level measurement model using power and fluid mass or fluid volume has more realistic prediction capability compared with other level measurement models. (authors)

  16. Evaluation of the efficacy of yeast extract in reducing intestinal Clostridium perfringens levels in broiler chickens.

    PubMed

    Thanissery, R; McReynolds, J L; Conner, D E; Macklin, K S; Curtis, P A; Fasina, Y O

    2010-11-01

    The etiological agent of necrotic enteritis is Clostridium perfringens. Traditionally, necrotic enteritis is controlled with in-feed antibiotics. However, increasing consumer demand for drug-free poultry has fostered the search for nonantibiotic alternatives. Yeast extract contain nucleotides that are immunomodulatory and also essential for cellular functions. An experiment was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of NuPro yeast extract (Alltech Inc., Nicholasville, KY) in reducing intestinal C. perfringens levels in broiler chickens. One hundred ninety-two 1-d-old male broiler chicks were obtained and randomly assigned to 6 treatments in a battery cage trial. Treatment 1 consisted of chicks fed a corn-soybean meal basal diet (BD) without added bacitracin methylene disalicylate or NuPro. Treatment 2 consisted of chicks fed BD into which bacitracin methylene disalicylate was added at 0.055 g/kg. Treatment 3 consisted of chicks fed BD supplemented with NuPro at a 2% level for the first 10 d of the experiment. Treatments 4 (PX), 5, and 6 (PN) consisted of chicks that were challenged with 3 mL of the C. perfringens inoculum (~10(7) cfu/mL) on d 14, 15, and 16 of the experiment and fed diets similar to treatments 1, 2, and 3, respectively. On d 1 and 7 postchallenge, intestinal C. perfringens levels, lesion scores, and alkaline phosphatase activity were assessed. On d 1 postchallenge, C. perfringens level in treatment 5 (2.09 log(10) cfu/g) was lower (P < 0.05) compared with the PX treatment (4.71 log(10) cfu/g) but similar to the PN treatment (2.98 log(10) cfu/g). A similar trend was observed on d 7 postchallenge. NuPro supplementation enhanced alkaline phosphatase activity (P < 0.05) in C. perfringens-challenged chicks and appeared to reduce intestinal lesion scores. Although dietary supplementation of NuPro in the PN treatment reduced C. perfringens levels by 1.73 and 0.68 log(10) cfu/g compared with the PX treatment on d 1 and 7 postchallenge, respectively, these

  17. [Effects of silkworm pupa oil on serum lipids level and platelet function in rats].

    PubMed

    Yang, Xuefeng; Huang, Lianzhen; Hu, Jianping; Li, Tao

    2002-08-01

    To observe the effects of silkworm pupa oil on serum lipids level and platelet function in rats, according to serum TG, TC level, 40 male Wistar rats are divided into four groups (normal control group, high fat control group, silkworm pupa oil group and silkworm pupa oil + VE group). The rats are fed different diets and six weeks later, serum lipids level and platelet function are measured. The results show that (1) Compared with high fat control group, serum TC, TG, LDL-C level, AI value, Platelet aggregability, plasma TXB2 level and T/P ratio decrease significantly while HDL-C level and 6-k-PGF1 level increase in silkworm pupa oil group; (2) Serum TC, LDL-C level, T/P ratio and platelet aggregability are significantly lower in silkworm pupa oil + VE group than in silkworm pupa oil group. It is suggested that silkworm pupa oil rich in alpha-linolenic acid can reduce serum lipids level and inhibit platelet aggregation, which is more effective with the supplementation with VE.

  18. Educational Evaluation in the Light of Construal Level Theory: The Case of Cognitive Tuning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kovac, Velibor B.; Langfeldt, Gjert

    2010-01-01

    The aim of the present study is to examine the relation between stakeholders as internal evaluators and their systemic positions in light of construal level theory. The study examines the two samples of county representatives, teachers and principals who answered the questionnaire regarding evaluation of the Norwegian assessment program. In…

  19. Evaluation of Rock Mass Responses Using High Resolution Water-level Tiltmeter Arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roberts, J. S.; Wang, H. F.; Fratta, D.; Stetler, L. D.; Volk, J. T.; Geox^Tm

    2010-12-01

    External forces act on the surface of the earth and produce deformation across all spatial and temporal scales. This research study focuses on the deformation evaluation of the rock-mass subjected to tidal, earthquake and surface forces. The events are monitored over horizontal distances of over 100 meters with tilt measurement arrays with a resolution of 10-8 radians. These measurements are obtained from hydrostatic leveling system (HLS) arrays that have been installed in the LaFarge mine in North Aurora, IL by Fermilab. Each sensor in the array is equipped with a water-filled reservoir beneath a capacitor. The amount of water in the reservoir is calculated as a function of the measured capacitance. Individual sensors are connected in a closed system via a water and air line. As the host rock expands and contracts sensors are raised relative to another and water is displaced. The water level in each reservoir is sent to a computer in the mine and recorded. In order to measure the tilt of the rock between two points, the difference in water levels between adjacent sensors is computed. The difference between the end sensors is also calculated to determine the larger-scale tilt of the array. The tiltmeters in LaFarge mine are supported by concrete pedestals installed on the floor of the drift. In the Homestake mine the tiltmeters are placed on similar pedestals, as well as platforms made of artificial wood decking. These platforms are fixed to the wall of the drift with a rock bolt. Time and frequency domain analyses were performed on time series ranging from hours to six months to capture relevant time scales including the response to the 2010 Chile Earthquake (hour-long scale), the stages of the moon (month scale), Fox River floods (flooding week long scales and pressure dissipation month-long scales). By monitoring tiltmeter array responses to different forces, we aim at making predictions about the material properties of rock masses.

  20. Highest level automatisms in the nervous system: a theory of functional principles underlying the highest forms of brain function.

    PubMed

    Baev, K V

    1997-02-01

    A concept that all hierarchical levels of the nervous system are built according to the same functional principles is proposed. Each level is responsible for a discrete type or set of automatisms, is a learning system, and contains two distinct functional subdivisions: (1) a controller, a subsystem providing a governing set of rules or commands-a control law-that directs the action of the recipient of these rules-the controlled object; and (2) a model, a subsystem that generates a model of object behavior, i.e. afferent information flow expected from the controlled object. A control system such as this receives two types of afferent signals-initiating and informational. The difference between these signals is that a control system minimizes initiating signals during the realization of an automatism, i.e. a control neural network utilizes informational signals to compute the proper output that minimizes the initiating input signal. A mismatch or error signal, a type of initiating signal, is responsible for learning. Both the control law and the model can be adjusted during learning. The learning process starts when the error signal increases and stops when it is minimized. A network hierarchy is structurally and functionally organized in such a way that a lower control system in the nervous system becomes the controlled object for a higher one. This hierarchy leads to a generalization of encoded functional parameters and, consequently, the working space for each higher level control system becomes more abstracted. This is the reason why each hierarchical level within the control nervous system uses detectors specific for feature of the controlled object and the environment that match the control needs in order to obtain information about the current state of the object in the environment. Movement of information toward higher hierarchical levels also is accompanied by an increase in the duration of initiating signals within each control system. The ability to store

  1. A mixed integer bi-level DEA model for bank branch performance evaluation by Stackelberg approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shafiee, Morteza; Lotfi, Farhad Hosseinzadeh; Saleh, Hilda; Ghaderi, Mehdi

    2016-11-01

    One of the most complicated decision making problems for managers is the evaluation of bank performance, which involves various criteria. There are many studies about bank efficiency evaluation by network DEA in the literature review. These studies do not focus on multi-level network. Wu (Eur J Oper Res 207:856-864, 2010) proposed a bi-level structure for cost efficiency at the first time. In this model, multi-level programming and cost efficiency were used. He used a nonlinear programming to solve the model. In this paper, we have focused on multi-level structure and proposed a bi-level DEA model. We then used a liner programming to solve our model. In other hand, we significantly improved the way to achieve the optimum solution in comparison with the work by Wu (2010) by converting the NP-hard nonlinear programing into a mixed integer linear programming. This study uses a bi-level programming data envelopment analysis model that embodies internal structure with Stackelberg-game relationships to evaluate the performance of banking chain. The perspective of decentralized decisions is taken in this paper to cope with complex interactions in banking chain. The results derived from bi-level programming DEA can provide valuable insights and detailed information for managers to help them evaluate the performance of the banking chain as a whole using Stackelberg-game relationships. Finally, this model was applied in the Iranian bank to evaluate cost efficiency.

  2. Corporate Functional Management Evaluation of the LLNL Radiation Safety Organization

    SciTech Connect

    Sygitowicz, L S

    2008-03-20

    A Corporate Assess, Improve, and Modernize review was conducted at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to evaluate the LLNL Radiation Safety Program and recommend actions to address the conditions identified in the Internal Assessment conducted July 23-25, 2007. This review confirms the findings of the Internal Assessment of the Institutional Radiation Safety Program (RSP) including the noted deficiencies and vulnerabilities to be valid. The actions recommended are a result of interviews with about 35 individuals representing senior management through the technician level. The deficiencies identified in the LLNL Internal Assessment of the Institutional Radiation Safety Program were discussed with Radiation Safety personnel team leads, customers of Radiation Safety Program, DOE Livermore site office, and senior ES&H management. There are significant issues with the RSP. LLNL RSP is not an integrated, cohesive, consistently implemented program with a single authority that has the clear roll and responsibility and authority to assure radiological operations at LLNL are conducted in a safe and compliant manner. There is no institutional commitment to address the deficiencies that are identified in the internal assessment. Some of these deficiencies have been previously identified and corrective actions have not been taken or are ineffective in addressing the issues. Serious funding and staffing issues have prevented addressing previously identified issues in the Radiation Calibration Laboratory, Internal Dosimetry, Bioassay Laboratory, and the Whole Body Counter. There is a lack of technical basis documentation for the Radiation Calibration Laboratory and an inadequate QA plan that does not specify standards of work. The Radiation Safety Program lack rigor and consistency across all supported programs. The implementation of DOE Standard 1098-99 Radiological Control can be used as a tool to establish this consistency across LLNL. The establishment of a site

  3. Performance of SEM scintillation detector evaluated by modulation transfer function and detective quantum efficiency function.

    PubMed

    Bok, Jan; Schauer, Petr

    2014-01-01

    In the paper, the SEM detector is evaluated by the modulation transfer function (MTF) which expresses the detector's influence on the SEM image contrast. This is a novel approach, since the MTF was used previously to describe only the area imaging detectors, or whole imaging systems. The measurement technique and calculation of the MTF for the SEM detector are presented. In addition, the measurement and calculation of the detective quantum efficiency (DQE) as a function of the spatial frequency for the SEM detector are described. In this technique, the time modulated e-beam is used in order to create well-defined input signal for the detector. The MTF and DQE measurements are demonstrated on the Everhart-Thornley scintillation detector. This detector was alternated using the YAG:Ce, YAP:Ce, and CRY18 single-crystal scintillators. The presented MTF and DQE characteristics show good imaging properties of the detectors with the YAP:Ce or CRY18 scintillator, especially for a specific type of the e-beam scan. The results demonstrate the great benefit of the description of SEM detectors using the MTF and DQE. In addition, point-by-point and continual-sweep e-beam scans in SEM were discussed and their influence on the image quality was revealed using the MTF. PMID:24323770

  4. Performance of SEM scintillation detector evaluated by modulation transfer function and detective quantum efficiency function.

    PubMed

    Bok, Jan; Schauer, Petr

    2014-01-01

    In the paper, the SEM detector is evaluated by the modulation transfer function (MTF) which expresses the detector's influence on the SEM image contrast. This is a novel approach, since the MTF was used previously to describe only the area imaging detectors, or whole imaging systems. The measurement technique and calculation of the MTF for the SEM detector are presented. In addition, the measurement and calculation of the detective quantum efficiency (DQE) as a function of the spatial frequency for the SEM detector are described. In this technique, the time modulated e-beam is used in order to create well-defined input signal for the detector. The MTF and DQE measurements are demonstrated on the Everhart-Thornley scintillation detector. This detector was alternated using the YAG:Ce, YAP:Ce, and CRY18 single-crystal scintillators. The presented MTF and DQE characteristics show good imaging properties of the detectors with the YAP:Ce or CRY18 scintillator, especially for a specific type of the e-beam scan. The results demonstrate the great benefit of the description of SEM detectors using the MTF and DQE. In addition, point-by-point and continual-sweep e-beam scans in SEM were discussed and their influence on the image quality was revealed using the MTF.

  5. Effect of Preoperative Vitamin D Levels on Functional Performance after Total Knee Arthroplasty

    PubMed Central

    Patil, Aniket Machindra; Maniar, Adit Rajesh; Gangaraju, Bharat; Singh, Jaivardhan

    2016-01-01

    Background Low vitamin D levels affects muscle function. Vitamin D and calcium deficiency cause osteomalacic myopathy and poor functional recovery after hip fractures. The relationship of vitamin D and functional performance after total knee arthroplasty (TKA) is not previously reported. Methods Influence of vitamin D on functional performance before and after TKA was reviewed retrospectively in 120 patients. Of these, 64 had vitamin D deficiency (25-hydroxy vitamin D < 30 ng/mL) preoperatively. All 120 patients received vitamin D oral supplementation postoperatively. Functional parameters including Western Ontario and McMaster Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), Short-Form Health Survey questionnaire, and Knee Society Score were assessed pre- and postoperatively at 3 months. Results Preoperative function was significantly lower in osteoarthritic patients with vitamin D deficiency (WOMAC score; p = 0.040), but at 3 months all functional scores were similar. Conclusions We concluded that vitamin D deficiency has a negative effect on function in knee osteoarthritic patients. However, postoperative vitamin D supplementation can lead to functional recovery in these patients. Thus, TKA should not be delayed in vitamin D deficient patients; rather supplementation in the postoperative period is preferable to achieve comparable functional outcome at 3 months to patients with vitamin D sufficiency. PMID:27247739

  6. Matching Functions and Graphs at Multiple Levels of Bloom's Revised Taxonomy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Green, Kris H.

    2010-01-01

    This article illustrates the power of Bloom's revised taxonomy for teaching, learning, and assessing in aligning our curriculum expectations and our assessment tools in multivariable calculus. The particular assessment tool considered involves a common matching problem to evaluate students' abilities to think about functions from graphical and…

  7. MODIS information, data and control system (MIDACS) level 2 functional requirements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Han, D.; Salomonson, V.; Ormsby, J.; Sharts, B.; Folta, D.; Ardanuy, P.; Mckay, A.; Hoyt, D.; Jaffin, S.; Vallette, B.

    1988-01-01

    The MODIS Information, Data and Control System (MIDACS) Level 2 Functional Requirements Document establishes the functional requirements for MIDACS and provides a basis for the mutual understanding between the users and the designers of the EosDIS, including the requirements, operating environment, external interfaces, and development plan. In defining the requirements and scope of the system, this document describes how MIDACS will operate as an element of the EOS within the EosDIS environment. This version of the Level 2 Requirements Document follows an earlier release of a preliminary draft version. The sections on functional and performance requirements do not yet fully represent the requirements of the data system needed to achieve the scientific objectives of the MODIS instruments and science teams. Indeed, the team members have not yet been selected and the team has not yet been formed; however, it has been possible to identify many relevant requirements based on the present concept of EosDIS and through interviews and meetings with key members of the scientific community. These requirements have been grouped by functional component of the data system, and by function within each component. These requirements have been merged with the complete set of Level 1 and Level 2 context diagrams, data flow diagrams, and data dictionary.

  8. Plasma ghrelin levels in association with left ventricular function and nutritional status in dialysis patients

    PubMed Central

    XU, LIBIN; YU, LEI; CHI, NING; WANG, WENHAO; LIU, GUOPING; SHI, WEI

    2016-01-01

    The present study investigated the association between ghrelin levels and the cardiac function and malnutrition of dialysis patients. The aim was to examine the conducive use of exogenous ghrelin to improve the malnutrition, protect the cardiovascular function with dialysis patients in the future. The study included 30 continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) patients and 30 hemodialysis (HD) patients undertaking treatment between March 2013 and March 2014. The control group included a total of 30 healthy physical examinees. The plasma ghrelin levels were measured by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to collect the clinical materials and biochemical parameters. The plasma ghrelin levels were 4.28±1.07, 4.63±1.08 and 2.00±0.48 ng/ml in the CAPD, HD and control groups, respectively, and statistical significance was identified between the three groups; F=75.106, P<0.0001. The plasma ghrelin levels in the CAPD group were positively correlated with left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) (r=0.506, P=0.004) and were negatively correlated with body mass index (BMI) (r=−0.556, P=0.001). The plasma ghrelin levels in the CAPD and HD groups were positively correlated with serum creatinine (Scr) and blood urea nitrogen (BUN). In conclusion, the plasma ghrelin levels of patients in the CAPD and HD groups were higher compared to those of the control group, which demonstrated that dialysis patients could not effectively remove the plasma ghrelin. The present study found that the plasma ghrelin levels were positively correlated with LVEF, and high levels of ghrelin will exhibit protective effects on the cardiovascular function of CAPD patients. Plasma ghrelin levels were positively correlated with Scr and BUN levels in CAPD and HD patients, and were negatively correlated with BMI in CAPD patients, which showed that ghrelin was correlated with malnutrition of dialysis patients. PMID:27347404

  9. Correlation of thiamine metabolite levels with cognitive function in the non-demented elderly.

    PubMed

    Lu, Jingwen; Pan, Xiaoli; Fei, Guoqiang; Wang, Changpeng; Zhao, Lei; Sang, Shaoming; Liu, Huimin; Liu, Meng; Wang, Hui; Wang, Zhiliang; Zhong, Chunjiu

    2015-12-01

    Thiamine metabolism is critical for glucose metabolism and also vital for brain function, which is susceptible to decline in the elderly. This study aimed to investigate whether thiamine metabolites correlate with cognitive function in the non-demented elderly and their impact factors. Volunteers >60 years old were recruited and their blood thiamine metabolites and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores were measured. The apolipoprotein E (APOE) genotype, routine blood parameters, liver and kidney function, and levels of fasting blood glucose and triglycerides were also measured. The results showed that the thiamine diphosphate (TDP) level weakly correlated with MMSE score in the non-demented elderly. Participants with high TDP levels performed better in Recall and Attention and Calculation than those with low TDP. TDP levels were associated with the APOE ε2 allele, body mass index, hemoglobin level, fasting blood glucose, and triglycerides. Our results suggest that TDP, which is easily affected by many factors, impacts cognitive function in the elderly. PMID:26519048

  10. Evaluation of Curriculum at the Primary Level in Light of Education Policies and Plans in Pakistan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perveen, Shahida

    2011-01-01

    The paper is based on a research conducted to evaluate the curriculum at the primary level in the light of education policies and plans in Pakistan. The article discusses the objectives of the curriculum at the primary level and analyzes different education policies and plans regarding the achievements of objectives. Results revealed that the…

  11. Tank 241-SY-101 surface level rise remediation test and evaluation plan for transfer system

    SciTech Connect

    BAUER, R.E.

    1999-07-14

    The purpose of this testing and evaluation plan (TEP) is to provide the high level guidance on testing requirements for ensuring that the equipment and systems to be implemented for remediation of the SY-101 waste level rise USQ are effective.

  12. Evaluation of noise pollution level based upon community exposure and response data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edmiston, R. D.

    1972-01-01

    The results and procedures are reported from an evaluation of noise pollution level as a predictor of annoyance, based on aircraft noise exposure and community response data. The measures of noise exposure presented include composite noise rating, noise exposure forecast, noise and number index. A proposed measure as a universal noise exposure measure for noise pollution level (L sub NP) is discussed.

  13. Using the Concept of "Population Dose" in Planning and Evaluating Community-Level Obesity Prevention Initiatives

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cheadle, Allen; Schwartz, Pamela M.; Rauzon, Suzanne; Bourcier, Emily; Senter, Sandra; Spring, Rebecca; Beery, William L.

    2013-01-01

    When planning and evaluating community-level initiatives focused on policy and environment change, it is useful to have estimates of the impact on behavioral outcomes of particular strategies (e.g., building a new walking trail to promote physical activity). We have created a measure of estimated strategy-level impact--"population dose"--based on…

  14. Homelessness Outcome Reporting Normative Framework: Systems-Level Evaluation of Progress in Ending Homelessness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Austen, Tyrone; Pauly, Bernie

    2012-01-01

    Homelessness is a serious and growing issue. Evaluations of systemic-level changes are needed to determine progress in reducing or ending homelessness. The report card methodology is one means of systems-level assessment. Rather than solely establishing an enumeration, homelessness report cards can capture pertinent information about structural…

  15. Linguistic Skills of Adult Native Speakers, as a Function of Age and Level of Education

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mulder, Kimberley; Hulstijn, Jan H.

    2011-01-01

    This study assessed, in a sample of 98 adult native speakers of Dutch, how their lexical skills and their speaking proficiency varied as a function of their age and level of education and profession (EP). Participants, categorized in terms of their age (18-35, 36-50, and 51-76 years old) and the level of their EP (low versus high), were tested on…

  16. Functional evaluation of total hip arthroplasty with five- to ten-year follow-up evaluation.

    PubMed

    Perrin, T; Dorr, L D; Perry, J; Gronley, J; Hull, D B

    1985-05-01

    Forty-seven patients with unilateral hip disease had a preoperative and postoperative gait analysis of total hip arthroplasty with a follow-up period of five to ten years. The object was to correlate the levels of function with mechanical loosening. Unilateral total hip arthroplasty in uncomplicated patients restored function to 80% of normal over a two- to four-year period. Patients followed longer than five years appeared to have an accelerated decline in function unassociated with pain. No Class C patient, regardless of age or gait velocity, developed loosening or required revision of the hip prosthesis. Survivorship studies revealed an 85%-90% incidence of loosening by the seventh postoperative year in Class A patients 55 years or younger and those walking preoperatively at more than 50% of normal gait velocity. In these same two groups of patients, the probability of revision for mechanical failure by ten years is 58% for age and 66% for fast walkers. The majority of patients in this study had a technical rating not acceptable by present standards so that these results represent most likely the worst prognosis for longevity of total hip arthroplasty. In high-risk patients, protected ambulation with crutches for six months postoperation may improve their prognosis.

  17. Serum Paraoxonase Levels are Correlated with Impaired Aortic Functions in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease

    PubMed Central

    Efe, Tolga H; Ertem, Ahmet G; Altunoglu, Alpaslan; Koseoglu, Cemal; Erayman, Ali; Bilgin, Murat; Kurmuş, Özge; Aslan, Turgay; Bilge, Mehmet

    2016-01-01

    Background The correlation between aortic functions and paraoxonase levels has been previously demonstrated by several earlier studies. In this study, we aimed to investigate the correlation between serum paraoxonase levels and aortic functions among patients with chronic kidney disease. Methods Our study enrolled 46 chronic kidney disease patients and 45 healthy controls. From these patients, serum cholesterol, creatinine, hemoglobin, and paraoxonase-1 levels were analyzed. Results Paraoxonase-1 levels were significantly lower in patients with chronic kidney disease compared to the controls (p < 0.001). Additionally, the extent of aortic stiffness index (%) was significantly higher in chronic kidney disease patients, but aortic strain and aortic distensibility were significantly higher in healthy controls (p < 0.001, p < 0.001, and p < 0.001, respectively). We further found that paraoxonase-1 levels were correlated with aortic stiffness index, aortic strain, and aortic distensibility (p < 0.001, p < 0.001, and p < 0.001, respectively). Conclusions Our study demonstrated that serum paraoxonase-1 levels were significantly correlated with impaired aortic functions. The results of this study highlight the impact of serum paraoxonase-1 activity on atherosclerosis and cardiovascular adverse events. PMID:27122934

  18. [Probiotics as functional food products: manufacture and approaches to evaluating of the effectiveness].

    PubMed

    Markova, Iu M; Sheveleva, S A

    2014-01-01

    This review concerns the issues of foodfortifications and the creation of functional foods (FF) and food supplements based on probiotics and covers an issue of approaches to the regulation of probiotic food products in various countries. The status of functional foods, optimizing GIT functions, as a separate category of FF is emphasized. Considering the strain-specificity effect of probiotics, the minimum criteria used for probiotics in food products are: 1) the need to identify a probiotics at genus, species, and strain levels, using the high-resolution techniques, 2) the viability and the presence of a sufficient amount of the probiotic in product at the end of shelf life, 3) the proof of functional characteristics inherent to probiotic strains, in the controlled experiments. The recommended by FA O/WHO three-stage evaluation procedure offunctional efficiency of FF includes: Phase I--safety assessment in in vitro and in vivo experiments, Phase II--Evaluation in the Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled trial (DBRPC) and Phase III--Post-approval monitoring. It is noted that along with the ability to obtain statistically significant results of the evaluation, there are practical difficulties of conducting DBRPC (duration, costs, difficulties in selection of target biomarkers and populations). The promising approach for assessing the functional efficacy of FF is the concept of nutrigenomics. It examines the link between the human diet and the characteristics of his genome to determine the influence of food on the expression of genes and, ultimately, to human health. Nutrigenomic approaches are promising to assess the impact of probiotics in healthy people. The focusing on the nutrigenomic response of intestinal microbial community and its individual populations (in this regard the lactobacilli can be very informative) was proposed. PMID:25549469

  19. Comparison of measured and predicted pure tone propagation levels from JAPE-1: An evaluation of the performance of ASOPRAT

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Frederickson, Carl K.; Bass, Henry E.; Raspet, Richard; Messer, John

    1993-01-01

    Joint Acoustic Propagation Experiment Phase One (JAPE-1 ) short range propagation data has been used to evaluate the performance of the Advanced Sound Propagation in the Atmosphere (ASOPRAT) prediction code. The pure tone short range data was Fourier analyzed giving the propagated pressure levels as a function of frequency. Meteorological profiles measured at the experimental site were used as input for the acoustic prediction routine ASOPRAT. Predicted and measured propagation levels are compared in decibels (dB) relative to one of the measurement positions for receivers on the line passing between the two thirty meter towers. Agreement between predicted and measured levels is very good. Source strength data was not available, hence the comparisons show good agreement as to the shape of the propagation loss curve not necessarily the propagation levels.

  20. Alongshore wind forcing of coastal sea level as a function of frequency

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ryan, H.F.; Noble, M.A.

    2006-01-01

    The amplitude of the frequency response function between coastal alongshore wind stress and adjusted sea level anomalies along the west coast of the United States increases linearly as a function of the logarithm (log10) of the period for time scales up to at least 60, and possibly 100, days. The amplitude of the frequency response function increases even more rapidly at longer periods out to at least 5 yr. At the shortest periods, the amplitude of the frequency response function is small because sea level is forced only by the local component of the wind field. The regional wind field, which controls the wind-forced response in sea level for periods between 20 and 100 days, not only has much broader spatial scales than the local wind, but also propagates along the coast in the same direction as continental shelf waves. Hence, it has a stronger coupling to and an increased frequency response for sea level. At periods of a year or more, observed coastal sea level fluctuations are not only forced by the regional winds, but also by joint correlations among the larger-scale climatic patterns associated with El Nin??o. Therefore, the amplitude of the frequency response function is large, despite the fact that the energy in the coastal wind field is relatively small. These data show that the coastal sea level response to wind stress forcing along the west coast of the United States changes in a consistent and predictable pattern over a very broad range of frequencies with time scales from a few days to several years.

  1. Evaluating the Treatment Fidelity of Parents Who Conduct In-Home Functional Communication Training with Coaching via Telehealth

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Suess, Alyssa N.; Romani, Patrick W.; Wacker, David P.; Dyson, Shannon M.; Kuhle, Jennifer L.; Lee, John F.; Lindgren, Scott D.; Kopelman, Todd G.; Pelzel, Kelly E.; Waldron, Debra B.

    2014-01-01

    We conducted a retrospective, descriptive evaluation of the fidelity with which parents of three children with autism spectrum disorders conducted functional communication training (FCT) in their homes. All training was provided to the parents via telehealth by a behavior consultant in a tertiary-level hospital setting. FCT trials coached by the…

  2. Changes in pulmonary function and airway reactivity due to prolonged exposure to typical ambient ozone (O/sub 3/) levels

    SciTech Connect

    Horstman, D.; McConnell, W.; Folinsbee, L.; Abdul-Salaam, S.; Ives, P.

    1988-05-01

    Daily ambient ozone levels between 0.08 and 0.12 ppm for periods exceeding 6 hours often occur in many urban, suburban, and rural areas of the United States and Europe. Substantial decrements in pulmonary functions, moderate to severe respiratory symptoms, and increased airway reactivity have been observed in young men performing moderate to heavy exercise. This study evaluates pulmonary responses of 22 healthy nonsmoking males, resulting from exposures to 0.08, 0.10, and 0.12 ppm ozone.

  3. Evaluation of the neural function of nonhuman primates with spinal cord injury using an evoked potential-based scoring system.

    PubMed

    Ye, Jichao; Ma, Mengjun; Xie, Zhongyu; Wang, Peng; Tang, Yong; Huang, Lin; Chen, Keng; Gao, Liangbin; Wu, Yanfeng; Shen, Huiyong; Zeng, Yuanshan

    2016-01-01

    Nonhuman primate models of spinal cord injury (SCI) have been widely used in evaluation of the efficacy and safety of experimental restorative interventions before clinical trials. However, no objective methods are currently available for the evaluation of neural function in nonhuman primates. In our long-term clinical practice, we have used evoked potential (EP) for neural function surveillance during operation and accumulated extensive experience. In the present study, a nonhuman primate model of SCI was established in 6 adult cynomologus monkeys through spinal cord contusion injury at T8-T9. The neural function before SCI and within 6 months after SCI was evaluated based on EP recording. A scoring system including somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs) and transcranial electrical stimulation-motor evoked potentials (TES-MEPs) was established for the evaluation of neural function of nonhuman primates with SCI. We compared the motor function scores of nonhuman primates before and after SCI. Our results showed that the EP below the injury level significantly changed during the 6 months after SCI. In addition, a positive correlation was identified between the EP scores and motor function. The EP-based scoring system is a reliable approach for evaluating the motor function changes in nonhuman primates with SCI. PMID:27629352

  4. Evaluation of the neural function of nonhuman primates with spinal cord injury using an evoked potential-based scoring system

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Jichao; Ma, Mengjun; Xie, Zhongyu; Wang, Peng; Tang, Yong; Huang, Lin; Chen, Keng; Gao, Liangbin; Wu, Yanfeng; Shen, Huiyong; Zeng, Yuanshan

    2016-01-01

    Nonhuman primate models of spinal cord injury (SCI) have been widely used in evaluation of the efficacy and safety of experimental restorative interventions before clinical trials. However, no objective methods are currently available for the evaluation of neural function in nonhuman primates. In our long-term clinical practice, we have used evoked potential (EP) for neural function surveillance during operation and accumulated extensive experience. In the present study, a nonhuman primate model of SCI was established in 6 adult cynomologus monkeys through spinal cord contusion injury at T8–T9. The neural function before SCI and within 6 months after SCI was evaluated based on EP recording. A scoring system including somatosensory evoked potentials (SSEPs) and transcranial electrical stimulation-motor evoked potentials (TES-MEPs) was established for the evaluation of neural function of nonhuman primates with SCI. We compared the motor function scores of nonhuman primates before and after SCI. Our results showed that the EP below the injury level significantly changed during the 6 months after SCI. In addition, a positive correlation was identified between the EP scores and motor function. The EP-based scoring system is a reliable approach for evaluating the motor function changes in nonhuman primates with SCI. PMID:27629352

  5. Tremor Frequency Profile as a Function of Level of Mental Retardation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sprague, Robert L.; Deutsch, Katherine M.; Newell, Karl M.

    2007-01-01

    The characteristic slowness of movement initiation and execution in adult individuals with mental retardation may be driven by the slower frequency profile of the dynamics of the system. To investigate this hypothesis, we examined the resting and postural finger tremor frequency profile (single and dual limb) of adults as a function of level of…

  6. Level and Inequality of Per Pupil Expenditure as a Function of Finance Centralization.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bezeau, Lawrence M.

    This paper examines the level and inequality of annual per pupil expenditure in the public school systems of the United States and Canada as a function of the centralization of financing. The effect of centralized revenue collection was tested empirically using a sample consisting of the American states and Canadian provinces, while controlling…

  7. Building-Level Administrators' Perceptions of the Roles and Functions of Professional School Counselors

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DiDomenico-Sorrento, Tara M.

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this survey research study is to describe and analyze how building-level high school administrators (BLAB) view the roles and functions of professional school counselors (PSCs), particularly as they relate to the National Model of the American Counseling Association (ASCA) that was developed from the ASCA's National Standards. Online…

  8. Adaptive Force Control in Grasping as a Function of Level of Developmental Disability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sprague, R. L.; Deutsch, K. M.; Newell, K. M.

    2009-01-01

    Background: The adaptation to the task demands of grasping (grip mode and object mass) was investigated as a function of level of developmental disability. Methods: Subjects grasped objects of different grip widths and masses that were instrumented to record grip forces. Results: Proportionally, fewer participants from the profound compared with…

  9. Students' Perceptions of Institutional Practices: The Case of Limits of Functions in College Level Calculus Courses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hardy, Nadia

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents a study of instructors' and students' perceptions of the knowledge to be learned about limits of functions in a college level Calculus course, taught in a North American college institution. I modeled these perceptions using a theoretical framework that combines elements of the Anthropological Theory of the Didactic, developed…

  10. Does Implicit Learning in Non-Demented Parkinson's Disease depend on the Level of Cognitive Functioning?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vandenbossche, Jochen; Deroost, Natacha; Soetens, Eric; Kerckhofs, Eric

    2009-01-01

    We investigated the influence of the level of cognitive functioning on sequence-specific learning in Parkinson's disease (PD). This was done by examining the relationship between the scales for outcomes in Parkinson's disease-cognition [SCOPA-COG, Marinus, J., Visser, M., Verwey, N. A., Verhey, F. R. J., Middelkoop, H. A. M.,Stiggelbout, A., et…

  11. Examining Differential Item Functions of Different Item Ordered Test Forms According to Item Difficulty Levels

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Çokluk, Ömay; Gül, Emrah; Dogan-Gül, Çilem

    2016-01-01

    The study aims to examine whether differential item function is displayed in three different test forms that have item orders of random and sequential versions (easy-to-hard and hard-to-easy), based on Classical Test Theory (CTT) and Item Response Theory (IRT) methods and bearing item difficulty levels in mind. In the correlational research, the…

  12. The Effect of Circadian Melatonin Levels on Inflammation and Neurocognitive Functions Following Coronary Bypass Surgery

    PubMed Central

    Yiğiter, Remzi; Akçalı, Aylin; Deniz, Hayati; Geyik, Abidin Murat; Elçi, Mehmet Ali; Hafız, Erhan

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: In this study, the relationship between the plasma levels of melatonin and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), which plays role in several intercellular interactions including inflammatory and immune responses, and early neurocognitive functions associated with ischaemia-reperfusion injury during open heart surgery is examined. Methods: Forty patients who were to undergo elective coronary artery bypass grafting (CABG) were divided into two groups, those who underwent their operations at 8 AM (group I; n = 20) and those who underwent their operations at 1 PM (group II; n = 20). Blood samples were collected prior to surgery (S1), when the aortic cross clamp was removed (S2) and 4 (S3) and 24 h after the surgery (S4). Neuropsychiatric assessment was conducted one day before and seven days after surgery. Results: Melatonin levels measured during and after surgery were also significantly higher in Group 1. ICAM-1 levels were significantly lower in Group 1 at S2 and S3. Significant deterioration was observed in postoperative neurocognitive function compared with preoperative functions in Group 2 more than Group 1. Conclusion: We hypothesise that the greater preservation of neurocognitive functions in the morning patients is associated with elevated melatonin levels, which reduce the damage from ischaemia-reperfusion injury. PMID:26004111

  13. Level of Functioning in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Phenotypic Congruence among Affected Siblings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Goin-Kochel, Robin P.; Mazefsky, Carla A.; Riley, Brien P.

    2008-01-01

    Little evidence supports that siblings with autism exhibit the same behaviors; however, some findings suggest that level of functioning shows familial aggregation. We tested this notion among multiplex families participating with the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE) Consortium, using scores on the "Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Third…

  14. Variability of Classification by the Matching Familiar Figures Test as a Function of Grade Level Medians

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ames, Steven G.

    1977-01-01

    This study examined the variability of classification by the Matching Familiar Figures Test (MFF) as a function of grade level medians. MFF classification was highly dependent upon which sample medians were used. Analysis revealed for the majority (65 percent) of children, change in classification was due to change in the median error cutoff.…

  15. Evaluation of a black-footed ferret resource utilization function model

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eads, D.A.; Millspaugh, J.J.; Biggins, D.E.; Jachowski, D.S.; Livieri, T.M.

    2011-01-01

    Resource utilization function (RUF) models permit evaluation of potential habitat for endangered species; ideally such models should be evaluated before use in management decision-making. We evaluated the predictive capabilities of a previously developed black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) RUF. Using the population-level RUF, generated from ferret observations at an adjacent yet distinct colony, we predicted the distribution of ferrets within a black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colony in the Conata Basin, South Dakota, USA. We evaluated model performance, using data collected during post-breeding spotlight surveys (2007-2008) by assessing model agreement via weighted compositional analysis and count-metrics. Compositional analysis of home range use and colony-level availability, and core area use and home range availability, demonstrated ferret selection of the predicted Very high and High occurrence categories in 2007 and 2008. Simple count-metrics corroborated these findings and suggested selection of the Very high category in 2007 and the Very high and High categories in 2008. Collectively, these results suggested that the RUF was useful in predicting occurrence and intensity of space use of ferrets at our study site, the 2 objectives of the RUF. Application of this validated RUF would increase the resolution of habitat evaluations, permitting prediction of the distribution of ferrets within distinct colonies. Additional model evaluation at other sites, on other black-tailed prairie dog colonies of varying resource configuration and size, would increase understanding of influences upon model performance and the general utility of the RUF. ?? 2011 The Wildlife Society.

  16. Near-future carbon dioxide levels alter fish behaviour by interfering with neurotransmitter function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nilsson, Göran E.; Dixson, Danielle L.; Domenici, Paolo; McCormick, Mark I.; Sørensen, Christina; Watson, Sue-Ann; Munday, Philip L.

    2012-03-01

    Predicted future CO2 levels have been found to alter sensory responses and behaviour of marine fishes. Changes include increased boldness and activity, loss of behavioural lateralization, altered auditory preferences and impaired olfactory function. Impaired olfactory function makes larval fish attracted to odours they normally avoid, including ones from predators and unfavourable habitats. These behavioural alterations have significant effects on mortality that may have far-reaching implications for population replenishment, community structure and ecosystem function. However, the underlying mechanism linking high CO2 to these diverse responses has been unknown. Here we show that abnormal olfactory preferences and loss of behavioural lateralization exhibited by two species of larval coral reef fish exposed to high CO2 can be rapidly and effectively reversed by treatment with an antagonist of the GABA-A receptor. GABA-A is a major neurotransmitter receptor in the vertebrate brain. Thus, our results indicate that high CO2 interferes with neurotransmitter function, a hitherto unrecognized threat to marine populations and ecosystems. Given the ubiquity and conserved function of GABA-A receptors, we predict that rising CO2 levels could cause sensory and behavioural impairment in a wide range of marine species, especially those that tightly control their acid-base balance through regulatory changes in HCO3- and Cl- levels.

  17. Higher levels of cardiovascular fitness are associated with better executive function and prefrontal oxygenation in younger and older women

    PubMed Central

    Dupuy, Olivier; Gauthier, Claudine J.; Fraser, Sarah A.; Desjardins-Crèpeau, Laurence; Desjardins, Michèle; Mekary, Said; Lesage, Frederic; Hoge, Rick D.; Pouliot, Philippe; Bherer, Louis

    2015-01-01

    Aim: Many studies have suggested that physical exercise training improves cognition and more selectively executive functions. There is a growing interest to clarify the neurophysiological mechanisms that underlie this effect. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the neurophysiological changes in cerebral oxygenation associated with physical fitness level and executive functions. Method: In this study, 22 younger and 36 older women underwent a maximal graded continuous test (i.e., V˙O2max) in order to classify them into a fitness group (higher vs. lower fit). All participants completed neuropsychological paper and pencil testing and a computerized Stroop task (which contained executive and non-executive conditions) in which the change in prefrontal cortex oxygenation was evaluated with near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). Results: Our findings revealed a Fitness × Condition interaction (p < 0.05) such that higher fit women scored better on measures of executive functions than lower fit women. In comparison to lower fit women, higher fit women had faster reaction times in the Executive condition of the computerized Stroop task. No significant effect was observed in the non-executive condition of the test and no interactions were found with age. In measures of cerebral oxygenation (ΔHbT and ΔHbO2), we found a main effect of fitness on cerebral oxygenation during the Stroop task such that only high fit women demonstrated a significant increase in the right inferior frontal gyrus. Discussion/Conclusion: Higher fit individuals who demonstrate better cardiorespiratory functions (as measured by V˙O2max) show faster reaction times and greater cerebral oxygenation in the right inferior frontal gyrus than women with lower fitness levels. The lack of interaction with age, suggests that good cardiorespiratory functions can have a positive impact on cognition, regardless of age. PMID:25741267

  18. Neurobehavioral function and low-level exposure to brominated flame retardants in adolescents: a cross-sectional study

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background Animal and in vitro studies demonstrated a neurotoxic potential of brominated flame retardants, a group of chemicals used in many household and commercial products to prevent fire. Although the first reports of detrimental neurobehavioral effects in rodents appeared more than ten years ago, human data are sparse. Methods As a part of a biomonitoring program for environmental health surveillance in Flanders, Belgium, we assessed the neurobehavioral function with the Neurobehavioral Evaluation System (NES-3), and collected blood samples in a group of high school students. Cross-sectional data on 515 adolescents (13.6-17 years of age) was available for the analysis. Multiple regression models accounting for potential confounders were used to investigate the associations between biomarkers of internal exposure to brominated flame retardants [serum levels of polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) congeners 47, 99, 100, 153, 209, hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD), and tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA)] and cognitive performance. In addition, we investigated the association between brominated flame retardants and serum levels of FT3, FT4, and TSH. Results A two-fold increase of the sum of serum PBDE’s was associated with a decrease of the number of taps with the preferred-hand in the Finger Tapping test by 5.31 (95% CI: 0.56 to 10.05, p = 0.029). The effects of the individual PBDE congeners on the motor speed were consistent. Serum levels above the level of quantification were associated with an average decrease of FT3 level by 0.18 pg/mL (95% CI: 0.03 to 0.34, p = 0.020) for PBDE-99 and by 0.15 pg/mL (95% CI: 0.004 to 0.29, p = 0.045) for PBDE-100, compared with concentrations below the level of quantification. PBDE-47 level above the level of quantification was associated with an average increase of TSH levels by 10.1% (95% CI: 0.8% to 20.2%, p = 0.033), compared with concentrations below the level of quantification. We did not observe effects of

  19. The Level of Self-Esteem and Sexual Functioning in Women with Idiopathic Scoliosis: A Preliminary Study

    PubMed Central

    Durmała, Jacek; Blicharska, Irmina; Drosdzol-Cop, Agnieszka; Skrzypulec-Plinta, Violetta

    2015-01-01

    A person’s image, which is determined through physical appearance, considerably affects self-esteem developed from early childhood. Scoliosis causes multiple trunk deformations that can affect a person’s perception of the body. The aim of the study was to analyze the impact of scoliosis dimension and the degree of trunk deformation on the level of self-esteem and sexual functioning in women with idiopathic scoliosis. Thirty-six women diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis were recruited to a prospective, double-blind, randomized controlled trial. The subjects were divided into two groups depending on the value of the Cobb angle. The level of self-esteem was determined by means of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (SES), whereas the sexual functioning was assessed via the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). The trunk deformations were specified with the Posterior Trunk Symmetry Index (POTSI). A statistically significant correlation was proved between the amount of points received in the Rosenberg scale evaluation and the POTSI index in Group A (R = −0.56, p = 0.04). Subjects with smaller deformations within the coronal plane had a higher level of self-confidence. The trunk asymmetries in the coronal plane may have a negative effect on women with scoliosis and their self-appraisal. PMID:26274967

  20. The Level of Self-Esteem and Sexual Functioning in Women with Idiopathic Scoliosis: A Preliminary Study.

    PubMed

    Durmała, Jacek; Blicharska, Irmina; Drosdzol-Cop, Agnieszka; Skrzypulec-Plinta, Violetta

    2015-08-12

    A person's image, which is determined through physical appearance, considerably affects self-esteem developed from early childhood. Scoliosis causes multiple trunk deformations that can affect a person's perception of the body. The aim of the study was to analyze the impact of scoliosis dimension and the degree of trunk deformation on the level of self-esteem and sexual functioning in women with idiopathic scoliosis. Thirty-six women diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis were recruited to a prospective, double-blind, randomized controlled trial. The subjects were divided into two groups depending on the value of the Cobb angle. The level of self-esteem was determined by means of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (SES), whereas the sexual functioning was assessed via the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). The trunk deformations were specified with the Posterior Trunk Symmetry Index (POTSI). A statistically significant correlation was proved between the amount of points received in the Rosenberg scale evaluation and the POTSI index in Group A (R = -0.56, p = 0.04). Subjects with smaller deformations within the coronal plane had a higher level of self-confidence. The trunk asymmetries in the coronal plane may have a negative effect on women with scoliosis and their self-appraisal.

  1. The Level of Self-Esteem and Sexual Functioning in Women with Idiopathic Scoliosis: A Preliminary Study.

    PubMed

    Durmała, Jacek; Blicharska, Irmina; Drosdzol-Cop, Agnieszka; Skrzypulec-Plinta, Violetta

    2015-08-01

    A person's image, which is determined through physical appearance, considerably affects self-esteem developed from early childhood. Scoliosis causes multiple trunk deformations that can affect a person's perception of the body. The aim of the study was to analyze the impact of scoliosis dimension and the degree of trunk deformation on the level of self-esteem and sexual functioning in women with idiopathic scoliosis. Thirty-six women diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis were recruited to a prospective, double-blind, randomized controlled trial. The subjects were divided into two groups depending on the value of the Cobb angle. The level of self-esteem was determined by means of the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (SES), whereas the sexual functioning was assessed via the Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI). The trunk deformations were specified with the Posterior Trunk Symmetry Index (POTSI). A statistically significant correlation was proved between the amount of points received in the Rosenberg scale evaluation and the POTSI index in Group A (R = -0.56, p = 0.04). Subjects with smaller deformations within the coronal plane had a higher level of self-confidence. The trunk asymmetries in the coronal plane may have a negative effect on women with scoliosis and their self-appraisal. PMID:26274967

  2. Using soil function evaluation in multi-criteria decision analysis for sustainability appraisal of remediation alternatives.

    PubMed

    Volchko, Yevheniya; Norrman, Jenny; Rosén, Lars; Bergknut, Magnus; Josefsson, Sarah; Söderqvist, Tore; Norberg, Tommy; Wiberg, Karin; Tysklind, Mats

    2014-07-01

    Soil contamination is one of the major threats constraining proper functioning of the soil and thus provision of ecosystem services. Remedial actions typically only address the chemical soil quality by reducing total contaminant concentrations to acceptable levels guided by land use. However, emerging regulatory requirements on soil protection demand a holistic view on soil assessment in remediation projects thus accounting for a variety of soil functions. Such a view would require not only that the contamination concentrations are assessed and attended to, but also that other aspects are taking into account, thus addressing also physical and biological as well as other chemical soil quality indicators (SQIs). This study outlines how soil function assessment can be a part of a holistic sustainability appraisal of remediation alternatives using multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA). The paper presents a method for practitioners for evaluating the effects of remediation alternatives on selected ecological soil functions using a suggested minimum data set (MDS) containing physical, biological and chemical SQIs. The measured SQIs are transformed into sub-scores by the use of scoring curves, which allows interpretation and the integration of soil quality data into the MCDA framework. The method is demonstrated at a study site (Marieberg, Sweden) and the results give an example of how soil analyses using the suggested MDS can be used for soil function assessment and subsequent input to the MCDA framework.

  3. Using soil function evaluation in multi-criteria decision analysis for sustainability appraisal of remediation alternatives.

    PubMed

    Volchko, Yevheniya; Norrman, Jenny; Rosén, Lars; Bergknut, Magnus; Josefsson, Sarah; Söderqvist, Tore; Norberg, Tommy; Wiberg, Karin; Tysklind, Mats

    2014-07-01

    Soil contamination is one of the major threats constraining proper functioning of the soil and thus provision of ecosystem services. Remedial actions typically only address the chemical soil quality by reducing total contaminant concentrations to acceptable levels guided by land use. However, emerging regulatory requirements on soil protection demand a holistic view on soil assessment in remediation projects thus accounting for a variety of soil functions. Such a view would require not only that the contamination concentrations are assessed and attended to, but also that other aspects are taking into account, thus addressing also physical and biological as well as other chemical soil quality indicators (SQIs). This study outlines how soil function assessment can be a part of a holistic sustainability appraisal of remediation alternatives using multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA). The paper presents a method for practitioners for evaluating the effects of remediation alternatives on selected ecological soil functions using a suggested minimum data set (MDS) containing physical, biological and chemical SQIs. The measured SQIs are transformed into sub-scores by the use of scoring curves, which allows interpretation and the integration of soil quality data into the MCDA framework. The method is demonstrated at a study site (Marieberg, Sweden) and the results give an example of how soil analyses using the suggested MDS can be used for soil function assessment and subsequent input to the MCDA framework. PMID:24529453

  4. [Radiological and anatomical approaches to the evaluation of blood circulation and functional state of a cardiopatient].

    PubMed

    Miliukov, V E; Zharikova, T S

    2014-01-01

    Cardiovascular diseases are ranked worldwide as the key factor of morbidity and mortality; they impair the quality of life and cause great losses to state economy. Coronary heart disease is of special significance due to the high prevalence, high risk and frequency of complications. Radiodiagnostics used to examine cardiologic patients makes possible visualization of coronary arteries and evaluation of their morphometric parameters, but it fails to provide information on the changes in hemomicrocirculation and to estimate myocardial perfusion or changes in the structural and functional changes in myocardial tissue and cardiac afferent system. It does not allow to determine severity of cardiac insuffciency resulting in hemodynamic changes at the tissue, organ, and body levels. We are unaware of publications showing correlation between morphofunctional organization ofhemocilculatory system and the functional state of cardiomyocytes. None of the anatomical or clinical-diagnostic criteria of modern radiological methods gives an answer to the question of correlation between myocardial vessel structure and structural-functional state of cardiomyocytes in subjects of different sex and age. To recall, the functional potential of the heart as a whole organ is determined by that of contractile (working, typical) and atypical (conducting) cardiomyocytes responsible for impulse conduction from the pacemaker which implies differential approach to the elucidation of correlations between angioarchitectonics of vessels in different heart regions and functional potential of typical and atypical cardiomyocytes.

  5. A noise level prediction method based on electro-mechanical frequency response function for capacitors.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Lingyu; Ji, Shengchang; Shen, Qi; Liu, Yuan; Li, Jinyu; Liu, Hao

    2013-01-01

    The capacitors in high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) converter stations radiate a lot of audible noise which can reach higher than 100 dB. The existing noise level prediction methods are not satisfying enough. In this paper, a new noise level prediction method is proposed based on a frequency response function considering both electrical and mechanical characteristics of capacitors. The electro-mechanical frequency response function (EMFRF) is defined as the frequency domain quotient of the vibration response and the squared capacitor voltage, and it is obtained from impulse current experiment. Under given excitations, the vibration response of the capacitor tank is the product of EMFRF and the square of the given capacitor voltage in frequency domain, and the radiated audible noise is calculated by structure acoustic coupling formulas. The noise level under the same excitations is also measured in laboratory, and the results are compared with the prediction. The comparison proves that the noise prediction method is effective.

  6. The biological functions of glutathione revisited in arabidopsis transgenic plants with altered glutathione levels.

    PubMed

    Xiang, C; Werner, B L; Christensen, E M; Oliver, D J

    2001-06-01

    A functional analysis of the role of glutathione in protecting plants from environmental stress was undertaken by studying Arabidopsis that had been genetically modified to have altered glutathione levels. The steady-state glutathione concentration in Arabidopsis plants was modified by expressing the cDNA for gamma-glutamyl-cysteine synthetase (GSH1) in both the sense and antisense orientation. The resulting plants had glutathione levels that ranged between 3% and 200% of the level in wild-type plants. Arabidopsis plants with low glutathione levels were hypersensitive to Cd due to the limited capacity of these plants to make phytochelatins. Plants with the lowest levels of reduced glutathione (10% of wild type) were sensitive to as little as 5 microM Cd, whereas those with 50% wild-type levels required higher Cd concentrations to inhibit growth. Elevating glutathione levels did not increase metal resistance. It is interesting that the plants with low glutathione levels were also less able to accumulate anthocyanins supporting a role for glutathione S-transferases for anthocyanin formation or for the vacuolar localization and therefore accumulation of these compounds. Plants with less than 5% of wild-type glutathione levels were smaller and more sensitive to environmental stress but otherwise grew normally. PMID:11402187

  7. Acceptance of background noise as a function of speech presentation level

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Franklin, Clifford A.; Nabelek, Anna K.; Burchfield, Samuel B.

    2003-04-01

    The acceptance of background noise while listening to speech (ANL) at different speech presentation levels was assessed. Twenty listeners (10 male) between 18-30 years with normal hearing listened to a narrative at speech presentation levels of 20, 34, 48, 62, and 76 dB HL, then adjusted the background noise to the highest intensity level that they would be willing to accept for an extended listening period. The ANL is the intensity of the speech presentation level minus the intensity level of the background noise. The group mean ANLs for presentation levels of 20, 34, 48, 62, and 76 dB HL were 10.60, 14.25, 17.10, 21.80, and 24.55 dB, respectively. The group mean ANLs differ by approximately three and one half decibels between each presentation level. This difference between adjacent speech presentation levels is representative of a linear function. The average MCL was 43 dB HL with a standard deviation of 6.7 dB. The group mean ANL for speech presented at MCL was 15.5 dB with a standard deviation of 7.27 dB. A MANOVA for repeated measures indicated a statistically significant main effect for speech presentation level (F=18.624, p=0.001). [Work partially supported by NIDCD (NIH) R01 DC 05018.

  8. Evaluating sustainability of watershed resources management through wetland functional analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Zalidis, G.C.; Gerakis, A. . Lab. of Applied Soil Science)

    1999-08-01

    Unsustainable agricultural policies and water and soil resource schemes have drained two thirds of Mediterranean wetlands since 1920. An outstanding example is Karla in Greece, a former internationally important wetland that was drained in 1962 causing environmental, social, and water and soil problems. The objective of this study was to assess the functions and values of Karla, at three periods of its history, and to relate them to major events in the management of the water and soil resources of its watershed. Information on wetland and watershed features was collected from historical records and field visits. The results showed that the wetland in its pristine state had performed five functions to a high degree, one (groundwater recharge) to a moderate degree, and one (flood storage) to a low degree. Flood-control works, uncontrolled pumping, etc., in 1936--1961 degraded all functions except microclimate modification while, the bird support function was moderately altered. Drainage works in 1962 left a very small artificially flooded wetland with only four functions performed to an insignificant degree. Value degradation followed function degradation. It was concluded that past resource management has been nonintegrated. No consideration was given to the multiple functions and values of Karla. Previous restoration proposals involved the reinstatement of one or two functions only. The appropriate restoration scheme for Karla must be multiobjective and based on the integrated resource management of its own and the neighboring watersheds.

  9. Probability Weighting Functions Derived from Hyperbolic Time Discounting: Psychophysical Models and Their Individual Level Testing

    PubMed Central

    Takemura, Kazuhisa; Murakami, Hajime

    2016-01-01

    A probability weighting function (w(p)) is considered to be a nonlinear function of probability (p) in behavioral decision theory. This study proposes a psychophysical model of probability weighting functions derived from a hyperbolic time discounting model and a geometric distribution. The aim of the study is to show probability weighting functions from the point of view of waiting time for a decision maker. Since the expected value of a geometrically distributed random variable X is 1/p, we formulized the probability weighting function of the expected value model for hyperbolic time discounting as w(p) = (1 − k log p)−1. Moreover, the probability weighting function is derived from Loewenstein and Prelec's (1992) generalized hyperbolic time discounting model. The latter model is proved to be equivalent to the hyperbolic-logarithmic weighting function considered by Prelec (1998) and Luce (2001). In this study, we derive a model from the generalized hyperbolic time discounting model assuming Fechner's (1860) psychophysical law of time and a geometric distribution of trials. In addition, we develop median models of hyperbolic time discounting and generalized hyperbolic time discounting. To illustrate the fitness of each model, a psychological experiment was conducted to assess the probability weighting and value functions at the level of the individual participant. The participants were 50 university students. The results of individual analysis indicated that the expected value model of generalized hyperbolic discounting fitted better than previous probability weighting decision-making models. The theoretical implications of this finding are discussed. PMID:27303338

  10. Probability Weighting Functions Derived from Hyperbolic Time Discounting: Psychophysical Models and Their Individual Level Testing.

    PubMed

    Takemura, Kazuhisa; Murakami, Hajime

    2016-01-01

    A probability weighting function (w(p)) is considered to be a nonlinear function of probability (p) in behavioral decision theory. This study proposes a psychophysical model of probability weighting functions derived from a hyperbolic time discounting model and a geometric distribution. The aim of the study is to show probability weighting functions from the point of view of waiting time for a decision maker. Since the expected value of a geometrically distributed random variable X is 1/p, we formulized the probability weighting function of the expected value model for hyperbolic time discounting as w(p) = (1 - k log p)(-1). Moreover, the probability weighting function is derived from Loewenstein and Prelec's (1992) generalized hyperbolic time discounting model. The latter model is proved to be equivalent to the hyperbolic-logarithmic weighting function considered by Prelec (1998) and Luce (2001). In this study, we derive a model from the generalized hyperbolic time discounting model assuming Fechner's (1860) psychophysical law of time and a geometric distribution of trials. In addition, we develop median models of hyperbolic time discounting and generalized hyperbolic time discounting. To illustrate the fitness of each model, a psychological experiment was conducted to assess the probability weighting and value functions at the level of the individual participant. The participants were 50 university students. The results of individual analysis indicated that the expected value model of generalized hyperbolic discounting fitted better than previous probability weighting decision-making models. The theoretical implications of this finding are discussed. PMID:27303338

  11. Assessment of cardiac parameters in evaluation of cardiac functions in patients with thalassemia major.

    PubMed

    Oztarhan, Kazim; Delibas, Yavuz; Salcioglu, Zafer; Kaya, Guldemet; Bakari, Suleyman; Bornaun, Helen; Aydogan, Gonul

    2012-04-01

    The aim of the study was to evaluate cardiac function and early cardiac dysfunction of patients followed as thalassemia major. In this study, the authors compared 100 patients, diagnosed as thalassemia major with mean age 11.84 ± 4.35, with 60 healthy control subjects at the same age between 2008 and 2011. Early diagnosis of iron overload that may occur after repeated transfusions is important in this patient group. To detect early iron accumulation, the authors compared ferritin with the echo findings, the 24-hour Holter, and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) T2* values in the patients of same age and sex, treated with chelators, without heart failure, nonsplenectomized, and do not differ in the presence of hepatitis C. Ferritin levels, left ventricular systolic functions (ejection fraction [EF], shortening fraction [SF]), left ventricular measurements, left ventricular diastolic functions, T2* image on cardiac magnetic resonance, heart rate variables in 24 hours, and Holter rhythm were evaluated to show the early failure of cardiac functions. In this study the authors confirmed that iron-related cardiac toxicity damages electrical activity earlier than myocardial contractility. Left ventricular diastolic diameter (LVDd), left ventricular mass (LVM), and LV systolic diameter (LVDs) levels were significantly higher in the patient group with ectopia. Patients with ectopia are the ones in whom LVM and LVDd are increased. In thalassemia major patients with ectopia, LF/HF ratio was markedly increased, QTc dispersion was clearly found higher in patients with ectopia rather than nonectopic patients. The standard deviation all normal RR interval series (SDNN) was found clearly lower in thalassemia major group with ectopia than control group because it is assumed that increase in cardiac sympathetic neuronal activity is related to exposure to chronic diastolic and systolic failure.

  12. Systematic defect donor levels in III-V and II-VI semiconductors revealed by hybrid functional density-functional theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petretto, Guido; Bruneval, Fabien

    2015-12-01

    The identification of defect levels from photoluminescence spectroscopy is a useful but challenging task. Density-functional theory (DFT) is a highly valuable tool to this aim. However, the semilocal approximations of DFT that are affected by a band gap underestimation are not reliable to evaluate defect properties, such as charge transition levels. It is now established that hybrid functional approximations to DFT improve the defect description in semiconductors. Here we demonstrate that the use of hybrid functionals systematically stabilizes donor defect states in the lower part of the band gap for many defects, impurities or vacancies, in III-V and in II-VI semiconductors, even though these defects are usually considered as acceptors. These donor defect states are a very general feature and, to the best of our knowledge, have been overlooked in previous studies. The states we identify here may challenge the older assignments to photoluminescent peaks. Though appealing to screen quickly through the possible stable charge states of a defect, semilocal approximations should not be trusted for that purpose.

  13. Levels of bone marrow microvessel density are crucial for evaluating the status of acute myeloid leukemia

    PubMed Central

    SONG, YANQIU; TAN, YAN; LIU, LIBO; WANG, QIAN; ZHU, JING; LIU, MIN

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to determine the efficacy of bone marrow microvessel density (BM-MVD) in the evaluation of the status of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The levels of serum and bone marrow vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and BM-MVD in 28 patients with AML, 10 patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, 10 patients with anemia and 14 patients with AML that achieved complete remission for six months (AML-DFS) subsequent to chemotherapy were determined by ELISA and immunohistochemistry. The levels of serum VEGF in patients with hematological disorders were significantly increased compared with the levels in the healthy controls. The levels of BM VEGF and BM-MVD in AML patients were significantly higher compared with the levels in the patients with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma or anemia. Following chemotherapy, the levels of serum VEGF significantly increased and the levels of BM VEGF decreased in the AML patients, regardless of their therapeutic responses, compared with the levels prior to treatment. By contrast, the levels of BM-MVD in the AML patients were significantly reduced in the patients that completely recovered from AML (AML-DFS group), compared with those in other groups. The present data indicate that the levels of BM-MVD are valuable for evaluating the status of AML. PMID:26171001

  14. Redox levels in aqueous solution: Effect of van der Waals interactions and hybrid functionals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ambrosio, Francesco; Miceli, Giacomo; Pasquarello, Alfredo

    2015-12-01

    We investigate redox levels in aqueous solution using a combination of ab initio molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and thermodynamic integration methods. The molecular dynamics are performed with both the semilocal Perdew-Burke-Ernzerhof functional and a nonlocal functional (rVV10) accounting for van der Waals (vdW) interactions. The band edges are determined through three different schemes, namely, from the energy of the highest occupied and of the lowest unoccupied Kohn-Sham states, from total-energy differences, and from a linear extrapolation of the density of states. It is shown that the latter does not depend on the system size while the former two are subject to significant finite-size effects. For the redox levels, we provide a formulation in analogy to the definition of charge transition levels for defects in crystalline materials. We consider the H+/H2 level defining the standard hydrogen electrode, the OH-/OH∗ level corresponding to the oxidation of the hydroxyl ion, and the H2O/OH∗ level for the dehydrogenation of water. In spite of the large structural modifications induced in liquid water, vdW interactions do not lead to any significant structural effect on the calculated band gap and band edges. The effect on the redox levels is also small since the solvation properties of ionic species are little affected by vdW interactions. Since the electronic properties are not significantly affected by the underlying structural properties, it is justified to perform hybrid functional calculations on the configurations of our MD simulations. The redox levels calculated as a function of the fraction α of Fock exchange are found to remain constant, reproducing a general behavior previously observed for charge transition levels of defects. Comparison with experimental values shows very good agreement. At variance, the band edges and the band gap evolve linearly with α. For α ≃ 0.40, we achieve a band gap, band-edge positions, and redox levels in overall

  15. Redox levels in aqueous solution: Effect of van der Waals interactions and hybrid functionals

    SciTech Connect

    Ambrosio, Francesco Miceli, Giacomo; Pasquarello, Alfredo

    2015-12-28

    We investigate redox levels in aqueous solution using a combination of ab initio molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and thermodynamic integration methods. The molecular dynamics are performed with both the semilocal Perdew-Burke-Ernzerhof functional and a nonlocal functional (rVV10) accounting for van der Waals (vdW) interactions. The band edges are determined through three different schemes, namely, from the energy of the highest occupied and of the lowest unoccupied Kohn-Sham states, from total-energy differences, and from a linear extrapolation of the density of states. It is shown that the latter does not depend on the system size while the former two are subject to significant finite-size effects. For the redox levels, we provide a formulation in analogy to the definition of charge transition levels for defects in crystalline materials. We consider the H{sup +}/H{sub 2} level defining the standard hydrogen electrode, the OH{sup −}/OH{sup ∗} level corresponding to the oxidation of the hydroxyl ion, and the H{sub 2}O/OH{sup ∗} level for the dehydrogenation of water. In spite of the large structural modifications induced in liquid water, vdW interactions do not lead to any significant structural effect on the calculated band gap and band edges. The effect on the redox levels is also small since the solvation properties of ionic species are little affected by vdW interactions. Since the electronic properties are not significantly affected by the underlying structural properties, it is justified to perform hybrid functional calculations on the configurations of our MD simulations. The redox levels calculated as a function of the fraction α of Fock exchange are found to remain constant, reproducing a general behavior previously observed for charge transition levels of defects. Comparison with experimental values shows very good agreement. At variance, the band edges and the band gap evolve linearly with α. For α ≃ 0.40, we achieve a band gap, band

  16. Redox levels in aqueous solution: Effect of van der Waals interactions and hybrid functionals.

    PubMed

    Ambrosio, Francesco; Miceli, Giacomo; Pasquarello, Alfredo

    2015-12-28

    We investigate redox levels in aqueous solution using a combination of ab initio molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and thermodynamic integration methods. The molecular dynamics are performed with both the semilocal Perdew-Burke-Ernzerhof functional and a nonlocal functional (rVV10) accounting for van der Waals (vdW) interactions. The band edges are determined through three different schemes, namely, from the energy of the highest occupied and of the lowest unoccupied Kohn-Sham states, from total-energy differences, and from a linear extrapolation of the density of states. It is shown that the latter does not depend on the system size while the former two are subject to significant finite-size effects. For the redox levels, we provide a formulation in analogy to the definition of charge transition levels for defects in crystalline materials. We consider the H(+)/H2 level defining the standard hydrogen electrode, the OH(-)/OH(∗) level corresponding to the oxidation of the hydroxyl ion, and the H2O/OH(∗) level for the dehydrogenation of water. In spite of the large structural modifications induced in liquid water, vdW interactions do not lead to any significant structural effect on the calculated band gap and band edges. The effect on the redox levels is also small since the solvation properties of ionic species are little affected by vdW interactions. Since the electronic properties are not significantly affected by the underlying structural properties, it is justified to perform hybrid functional calculations on the configurations of our MD simulations. The redox levels calculated as a function of the fraction α of Fock exchange are found to remain constant, reproducing a general behavior previously observed for charge transition levels of defects. Comparison with experimental values shows very good agreement. At variance, the band edges and the band gap evolve linearly with α. For α ≃ 0.40, we achieve a band gap, band-edge positions, and redox levels in

  17. Pain severity in diabetic peripheral neuropathy is associated with patient functioning, symptom levels of anxiety and depression, and sleep.

    PubMed

    Gore, Mugdha; Brandenburg, Nancy A; Dukes, Ellen; Hoffman, Deborah L; Tai, Kei-Sing; Stacey, Brett

    2005-10-01

    Our goal was to evaluate pain severity, pain-related interference with function, sleep impairment, symptom levels of anxiety and depression, and quality of life among patients with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN). Participants in a burden of illness survey (n = 255) completed the modified Brief Pain Inventory-DPN (BPI-DPN), MOS Sleep Scale, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Short Form Health Survey-12v2 (SF-12v2), and the EuroQoL (EQ-5D). Patients were 61 +/- 12.8 years old (51.4% female), had diabetes for 12 +/- 10.3 years and painful DPN for 6.4 +/- 6.4 years. Average and Worst Pain scores (BPI-DPN, 0-10 scales) were 5.0 +/- 2.5 and 5.6 +/- 2.8. Pain substantially interfered (>or=4 on 0-10 scales) with walking ability, normal work, sleep, enjoyment of life, mood, and general activity. Moderate to severe symptom levels of anxiety and depression (HADS-A and HADS-D scores >or=11 on 0-21 scales) occurred in 35% and 28% of patients, respectively. Patients reported greater sleep problems compared with the general U.S. population and significant impairment in both physical and mental functioning (SF-12v2) compared with subjects with diabetes. The mean EQ-5D utility score was 0.5 +/- 0.3. Greater pain levels in DPN (mild to moderate to severe) corresponded with higher symptom levels of anxiety and depression, more sleep problems, and lower utility ratings and physical and mental functioning, (all Ps < 0.01). Painful DPN is associated with decrements in many aspects of patients' lives: physical and emotional functioning, affective symptoms, and sleep problems. The negative impact is higher in patients with greater pain severity. PMID:16256902

  18. Increasing testosterone levels and effects on cognitive functions in elderly men and women: a review.

    PubMed

    Hogervorst, E; Bandelow, S; Moffat, S D

    2005-10-01

    Low testosterone (T) levels may predispose to Alzheimer disease (AD), but it is unclear whether this is a co-morbid effect due to cachexia, subclinical hyperthyroidism or other co-morbidity. The biological plausibility for potential protective effects of T on brain functions is substantial. In addition, higher levels of gonadotropins found in older cases with AD suggest that low levels of T are not due to brain degeneration and that the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis is still intact. Men genetically at risk for AD were also already found to have lower levels of T. However, despite having lower levels of T, women do not show accelerated cognitive decline with age when compared to men. In addition, castration has not necessarily shown a decline in cognitive functions; some studies even found improvement of memory recall. Age may be an important factor when assessing optimal levels of T and several studies suggest that free or bioavailable T may be a better marker than total T levels when investigating associations of androgen activity with cognitive function. Small-scale T intervention trials in elderly men with and without dementia suggest that some cognitive deficits may be reversed, at least in part, by short term T supplementation. Age and prior hypogonadism may play an important role in therapy success and these factors should be investigated in more detail in future large scale randomized controlled studies. For elderly women, T treatment does not seem to have additional benefits over estrogen treatment for postmenopausal complaints and cognitive decline and may increase cardiovascular disease.

  19. Dissociations between behavioural and functional magnetic resonance imaging-based evaluations of cognitive function after brain injury.

    PubMed

    Bardin, Jonathan C; Fins, Joseph J; Katz, Douglas I; Hersh, Jennifer; Heier, Linda A; Tabelow, Karsten; Dyke, Jonathan P; Ballon, Douglas J; Schiff, Nicholas D; Voss, Henning U

    2011-03-01

    Functional neuroimaging methods hold promise for the identification of cognitive function and communication capacity in some severely brain-injured patients who may not retain sufficient motor function to demonstrate their abilities. We studied seven severely brain-injured patients and a control group of 14 subjects using a novel hierarchical functional magnetic resonance imaging assessment utilizing mental imagery responses. Whereas the control group showed consistent and accurate (for communication) blood-oxygen-level-dependent responses without exception, the brain-injured subjects showed a wide variation in the correlation of blood-oxygen-level-dependent responses and overt behavioural responses. Specifically, the brain-injured subjects dissociated bedside and functional magnetic resonance imaging-based command following and communication capabilities. These observations reveal significant challenges in developing validated functional magnetic resonance imaging-based methods for clinical use and raise interesting questions about underlying brain function assayed using these methods in brain-injured subjects.

  20. The influence of the parents' educational level on the development of executive functions.

    PubMed

    Ardila, Alfredo; Rosselli, Monica; Matute, Esmeralda; Guajardo, Soledad

    2005-01-01

    Information about the influence of educational variables on the development of executive functions is limited. The aim of this study was to analyze the relation of the parents' educational level and the type of school the child attended (private or public school) to children's executive functioning test performance. Six hundred twenty-two participants, ages 5 to 14 years (276 boys, 346 girls) were selected from Colombia and Mexico and grouped according to three variables: age (5-6, 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, and 13-14 years), gender (boys and girls), and school type (private and public). Eight executive functioning tests taken from the Evaluacion Neuropsicologica Infantil; Matute, Rosselli, Ardila, & Ostrosky, (in press) were individually administered: Semantic Verbal Fluency, Phonemic Verbal Fluency, Semantic Graphic Fluency, Nonsemantic Graphic Fluency, Matrices, Similarities, Card Sorting, and the Mexican Pyramid. There was a significant effect of age on all the test scores and a significant effect of type of school attended on all but Semantic Verbal Fluency and Nonsemantic Graphic Fluency tests. Most children's test scores, particularly verbal test scores, significantly correlated with parents' educational level. Our results suggest that the differences in test scores between the public and private school children depended on some conditions existing outside the school, such as the parents' level of education. Implications of these findings for the understanding of the influence of environmental factors on the development of executive functions are presented.

  1. Evaluation of epididymal function through specific protein on spermatozoa.

    PubMed

    Del Río, A G; De Sánchez, L Z; Sirena, A

    1984-01-01

    Investigations were focused on the characterization of specific epididymal proteins on the human spermatozoa as a representative parameter for epididymal function. An easy and attainable method, suitable for investigators and clinical use, is proposed in this article.

  2. Evaluation of epididymal function through specific protein on spermatozoa.

    PubMed

    Del Río, A G; De Sánchez, L Z; Sirena, A

    1984-01-01

    Investigations were focused on the characterization of specific epididymal proteins on the human spermatozoa as a representative parameter for epididymal function. An easy and attainable method, suitable for investigators and clinical use, is proposed in this article. PMID:6391400

  3. Magnetic resonance imaging in the evaluation of cognitive function.

    PubMed

    Bigler, Erin D

    2014-10-01

    Image quality of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of the brain currently approximate gross anatomy as would be viewed at autopsy. During the first decade of the 21st Century incredible advances in image processing and quantification have occurred permitting more refined methods for studying brain-behavior-cognitive functioning. The current presentation overviews the current status of MRI methods for routine clinical assessment of brain pathology, how these techniques identify neuropathology and how pathological findings are quantified. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), functional MRI (fMRI), and resting state fMRI are all reviewed, emphasizing how these techniques permit an examination of brain function and connectivity. General regional relationships of brain function associated with cognitive control will be highlighted.

  4. Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM) ‐ New functionality for predicting changes in distribution of submerged aquatic vegetation in response to sea level rise

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lee II, Henry; Reusser, Deborah A.; Frazier, Melanie R; McCoy, Lee M; Clinton, Patrick J.; Clough, Jonathan S.

    2014-01-01

    The “Sea‐Level Affecting Marshes Model” (SLAMM) is a moderate resolution model used to predict the effects of sea level rise on marsh habitats (Craft et al. 2009). SLAMM has been used extensively on both the west coast (e.g., Glick et al., 2007) and east coast (e.g., Geselbracht et al., 2011) of the United States to evaluate potential changes in the distribution and extent of tidal marsh habitats. However, a limitation of the current version of SLAMM, (Version 6.2) is that it lacks the ability to model distribution changes in seagrass habitat resulting from sea level rise. Because of the ecological importance of SAV habitats, U.S. EPA, USGS, and USDA partnered with Warren Pinnacle Consulting to enhance the SLAMM modeling software to include new functionality in order to predict changes in Zostera marina distribution within Pacific Northwest estuaries in response to sea level rise. Specifically, the objective was to develop a SAV model that used generally available GIS data and parameters that were predictive and that could be customized for other estuaries that have GIS layers of existing SAV distribution. This report describes the procedure used to develop the SAV model for the Yaquina Bay Estuary, Oregon, appends a statistical script based on the open source R software to generate a similar SAV model for other estuaries that have data layers of existing SAV, and describes how to incorporate the model coefficients from the site‐specific SAV model into SLAMM to predict the effects of sea level rise on Zostera marina distributions. To demonstrate the applicability of the R tools, we utilize them to develop model coefficients for Willapa Bay, Washington using site‐specific SAV data.

  5. Evaluation of the Utility of a Discrete-Trial Functional Analysis in Early Intervention Classrooms

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2013-01-01

    We evaluated a discrete-trial functional analysis implemented by regular classroom staff in a classroom setting. The results suggest that the discrete-trial functional analysis identified a social function for each participant and may require fewer staff than standard functional analysis procedures.

  6. Functional magnetic resonance imaging blood oxygenation level-dependent signal and magnetoencephalography evoked responses yield different neural functionality in reading.

    PubMed

    Vartiainen, Johanna; Liljeström, Mia; Koskinen, Miika; Renvall, Hanna; Salmelin, Riitta

    2011-01-19

    It is often implicitly assumed that the neural activation patterns revealed by hemodynamic methods, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and electrophysiological methods, such as magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG), are comparable. In early sensory processing that seems to be the case, but the assumption may not be correct in high-level cognitive tasks. For example, MEG and fMRI literature of single-word reading suggests differences in cortical activation, but direct comparisons are lacking. Here, while the same human participants performed the same reading task, analysis of MEG evoked responses and fMRI blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signals revealed marked functional and spatial differences in several cortical areas outside the visual cortex. Divergent patterns of activation were observed in the frontal and temporal cortex, in accordance with previous separate MEG and fMRI studies of reading. Furthermore, opposite stimulus effects in the MEG and fMRI measures were detected in the left occipitotemporal cortex: MEG evoked responses were stronger to letter than symbol strings, whereas the fMRI BOLD signal was stronger to symbol than letter strings. The EEG recorded simultaneously during MEG and fMRI did not indicate neurophysiological differences that could explain the observed functional discrepancies between the MEG and fMRI results. Acknowledgment of the complementary nature of hemodynamic and electrophysiological measures, as reported here in a cognitive task using evoked response analysis in MEG and BOLD signal analysis in fMRI, represents an essential step toward an informed use of multimodal imaging that reaches beyond mere combination of location and timing of neural activation.

  7. Relaxed singular vectors, Jack symmetric functions and fractional level sl ˆ (2) models

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ridout, David; Wood, Simon

    2015-05-01

    The fractional level models are (logarithmic) conformal field theories associated with affine Kac-Moody (super)algebras at certain levels k ∈ Q. They are particularly noteworthy because of several longstanding difficulties that have only recently been resolved. Here, Wakimoto's free field realisation is combined with the theory of Jack symmetric functions to analyse the fractional level sl ˆ (2) models. The first main results are explicit formulae for the singular vectors of minimal grade in relaxed Wakimoto modules. These are closely related to the minimal grade singular vectors in relaxed (parabolic) Verma modules. Further results include an explicit presentation of Zhu's algebra and an elegant new proof of the classification of simple relaxed highest weight modules over the corresponding vertex operator algebra. These results suggest that generalisations to higher rank fractional level models are now within reach.

  8. Inheritance of rare functional GCKR variants and their contribution to triglyceride levels in families

    PubMed Central

    Rees, Matthew G.; Raimondo, Anne; Wang, Jian; Ban, Matthew R.; Davis, Mindy I.; Barrett, Amy; Ranft, Jessica; Jagdhuhn, David; Waterstradt, Rica; Baltrusch, Simone; Simeonov, Anton; Collins, Francis S.; Hegele, Robert A.; Gloyn, Anna L.

    2014-01-01

    Significant resources have been invested in sequencing studies to investigate the role of rare variants in complex disease etiology. However, the diagnostic interpretation of individual rare variants remains a major challenge, and may require accurate variant functional classification and the collection of large numbers of variant carriers. Utilizing sequence data from 458 individuals with hypertriglyceridemia and 333 controls with normal plasma triglyceride levels, we investigated these issues using GCKR, encoding glucokinase regulatory protein. Eighteen rare non-synonymous GCKR variants identified in these 791 individuals were comprehensively characterized by a range of biochemical and cell biological assays, including a novel high-throughput-screening-based approach capable of measuring all variant proteins simultaneously. Functionally deleterious variants were collectively associated with hypertriglyceridemia, but a range of in silico prediction algorithms showed little consistency between algorithms and poor agreement with functional data. We extended our study by obtaining sequence data on family members; however, functional variants did not co-segregate with triglyceride levels. Therefore, despite evidence for their collective functional and clinical relevance, our results emphasize the low predictive value of rare GCKR variants in individuals and the complex heritability of lipid traits. PMID:24879641

  9. The effects of strength exercise and walking on lumbar function, pain level, and body composition in chronic back pain patients

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jung-Seok; Kang, Suh-Jung

    2016-01-01

    The beneficial effects of a strength exercise program and a combined exercise program of strength training plus walking were examined in overweight with chronic back pain patients. The participants were randomly placed in the strength exercise group (SEG, n=15), combined exercise group (CEG, n=15), and control group (CG, n=6). All subjects performed exercise twice per week, 50 min per session with a professional instructors for 12 weeks. In order to evaluate exercise intervention effects, lumbar function was measured by back strength and flexibility. Roland-Morris disability questionnaire (RMDQ) and visual analogue scale (VAS) were used to evaluate pain level. Fat and muscle mass were measured to compare body composition changes. All measurements were performed before and after 12 weeks of exercise program. Lumbar function: Back strength was significantly different over time, and significant time×group differences were found between SEG and CG and, CEG and CG. Pain disorder degree: VAS showed a significant group difference, and significant time×group differences were shown between SEG and CG, and CEG and CG. Also, RMDG showed a significant difference between CEG and CG. Body composition: Fat mass was significantly different over time×group between SEG and CG. In conclusion, participating in strength and walking exercises were beneficial to improve lumbar function. Also, the combined exercise program was more effective for reducing pain levels than the strength exercise. Finally, fat mass was reduced in this study and this may play a possible role in the improvement of lumbar function and reduction in low back pain. PMID:27807526

  10. Implementation of expert systems to support the functional evaluation of stand-to-sit activity

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Functional evaluation of sit-to-stand and stand-to-sit activities is often used by physiotherapists in patients with neurological and musculoskeletal disorders. The observation of the way these activities are executed is essential in identifying kinesiological problems. There are different methodologies used to describe the stand-to-sit activity and its evaluation is not yet standardized, which makes the practical application of resources on clinical observation difficult. The objective of this study is to automate the decision making process of an evaluation protocol, developed in previous study, and facilitate its utilization by professionals in the area. Methods A decision-making system has been implemented through a computational tool, more specifically an Expert System that due its inherent characteristics emulates the decision-making process of a human expert in the domain area. A Shell called Expert Sinta was used to develop two knowledge bases, i.e. two expert systems, one for the anterior view and another for the lateral view of stand-to-sit activity. Variables, values, associated rules and confidence factors, objectives, and additional information questions were defined by the expert of domain and once implemented each expert system generates a number of questions to its user. These questions serve as a guide to physiotherapists and support the standardization of the activity evaluation. The developed systems were evaluated by physiotherapists through the application of a questionnaire that evaluates the knowledge base and the usability of the system. The physiotherapists’ answers were then evaluated through statistical estimation and percentage analysis. Results When asked about the systems’ “utility for clinical practice of the physiotherapist”, 67% of evaluators answered positively. An interesting finding was that most physiotherapists (i.e. 92%) considered that the systems are suitable for educational purposes, which was not the

  11. [Ecological function evaluation and related management strategies of river ecosystem in Taizi River basin, North China].

    PubMed

    Liu, Hong-Yan; Zhang, Yuan; Ma, Shu-Qin; Meng, Wei

    2013-10-01

    By the method of index evaluation at reach scale, this paper evaluated the ecological functions of aquatic biodiversity maintenance, habitat maintenance, water quality sustainment, and hydrological support of the river system in Taizi River basin of North China. The dominant ecological functions and the total ecological function were determined after sorting and summing. All the reaches in the basin were divided into four hierarchies of ecological functions. Overall, the total ecological function showed a spatially degrading trend from the mountainous region to the plain. Based on the evaluation results of the total function and dominant functions, six ecosystem management strategies were proposed. For the reaches with the functions of aquatic biodiversity- and habitat maintenance, the primary ecological management strategies included ecological conservation, ecological maintenance, and ecological restoration; for the reaches with the functions of water quality sustainment and hydrological support, the primary strategies of ecological management included limited development, development optimization, and exploitation.

  12. Quantitative secondary electron imaging for work function extraction at atomic level and layer identification of graphene

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Yangbo; Fox, Daniel S; Maguire, Pierce; O’Connell, Robert; Masters, Robert; Rodenburg, Cornelia; Wu, Hanchun; Dapor, Maurizio; Chen, Ying; Zhang, Hongzhou

    2016-01-01

    Two-dimensional (2D) materials usually have a layer-dependent work function, which require fast and accurate detection for the evaluation of their device performance. A detection technique with high throughput and high spatial resolution has not yet been explored. Using a scanning electron microscope, we have developed and implemented a quantitative analytical technique which allows effective extraction of the work function of graphene. This technique uses the secondary electron contrast and has nanometre-resolved layer information. The measurement of few-layer graphene flakes shows the variation of work function between graphene layers with a precision of less than 10 meV. It is expected that this technique will prove extremely useful for researchers in a broad range of fields due to its revolutionary throughput and accuracy. PMID:26878907

  13. On evaluating compliance with air pollution levels 'not to be exceeded more than once a year'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neustadter, H. E.; Sidik, S. M.

    1974-01-01

    Under a sampling program operated in conformity with EPA guidelines, calculational procedures are described for estimating the corresponding ambient pollution level. The statistical independence of the data, the commutativity of expectation and exponential operations, and the statistical variability of the calculated results are quantitatively evaluated. It is shown that the recommended sampling frequencies of every third to every sixth day are inadequate in determining conformity when the standards are expressed as levels not to be exceeded more than once a year.

  14. Evaluation of carotenoid level in schizophrenic patients using non-invasive measurement.

    PubMed

    Chow, Tze Jen; Loh, Han Chern; Tee, Shiau Foon; Tang, Pek Yee

    2010-12-01

    Free radicals are produced as part of the body immune response triggered by exogenous oxidants. In excess, they impair antioxidant defence system and cause oxidative stress. Antioxidants are hypothesised as antidotes to counteract oxidative stress and improve immune function. Carotenoids serve as a reliable indicator of overall antioxidant level in humans. This study investigated the possible relationship of carotenoid antioxidant levels in schizophrenia. A total of 351 schizophrenic subjects from Hospital Bahagia Ulu Kinta, Malaysia and 247 healthy controls were recruited. Subjects' skin carotenoid levels were measured using a non-invasive technique, Raman spectroscopy. The results showed significant (P<0.01) reduction of carotenoid level in patient compared to healthy controls, suggesting higher levels of oxidative stress in schizophrenia. Comparison between gender, age, subtypes, antipsychotic drug treatments, and duration of illness was investigated, but none was significantly associated with carotenoid score. Antipsychotics were suggested to be the possible causes of reduced antioxidant level in schizophrenia.

  15. Functional Imaging in OA: Role of Imaging in the Evaluation of Tissue Biomechanics

    PubMed Central

    Neu, Corey P.

    2014-01-01

    Functional imaging refers broadly to the visualization of organ or tissue physiology using medical image modalities. In load-bearing tissues of the body, including articular cartilage lining the bony ends of joints, changes in strain, stress, and material properties occur in osteoarthritis (OA), providing an opportunity to probe tissue function through the progression of the disease. Here, biomechanical measures in cartilage and related joint tissues are discussed as key imaging biomarkers in the evaluation of OA. Emphasis will be placed on the a) potential of radiography, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance imaging to assess early tissue pathomechanics in OA, b) relative utility of kinematic, structural, morphological, and biomechanical measures as functional imaging biomarkers, and c) improved diagnostic specificity through the combination of multiple imaging biomarkers with unique contrasts, including elastography and quantitative assessments of tissue biochemistry. In comparison to other modalities, magnetic resonance imaging provides an extensive range of functional measures at the tissue level, with conventional and emerging techniques available to potentially to assess the spectrum of preclinical to advance OA. PMID:25278049

  16. Integrative and systemic approaches for evaluating PPARβ/δ (PPARD) function

    PubMed Central

    Giordano Attianese, Greta MP

    2015-01-01

    The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are a group of nuclear receptors that function as transcription factors regulating the expression of genes involved in cellular differentiation, development, metabolism and also tumorigenesis. Three PPAR isotypes (α, β/δ and γ) have been identified, among which PPARβ/δ is the most difficult to functionally examine due to its tissue-specific diversity in cell fate determination, energy metabolism and housekeeping activities. PPARβ/δ acts both in a ligand-dependent and -independent manner. The specific type of regulation, activation or repression, is determined by many factors, among which the type of ligand, the presence/absence of PPARβ/δ-interacting corepressor or coactivator complexes and PPARβ/δ protein post-translational modifications play major roles. Recently, new global approaches to the study of nuclear receptors have made it possible to evaluate their molecular activity in a more systemic fashion, rather than deeply digging into a single pathway/function. This systemic approach is ideally suited for studying PPARβ/δ, due to its ubiquitous expression in various organs and its overlapping and tissue-specific transcriptomic signatures. The aim of the present review is to present in detail the diversity of PPARβ/δ function, focusing on the different information gained at the systemic level, and describing the global and unbiased approaches that combine a systems view with molecular understanding. PMID:25945080

  17. Integrative and systemic approaches for evaluating PPARβ/δ (PPARD) function.

    PubMed

    Giordano Attianese, Greta M P; Desvergne, Béatrice

    2015-01-01

    The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are a group of nuclear receptors that function as transcription factors regulating the expression of genes involved in cellular differentiation, development, metabolism and also tumorigenesis. Three PPAR isotypes (α, β/δ and γ) have been identified, among which PPARβ/δ is the most difficult to functionally examine due to its tissue-specific diversity in cell fate determination, energy metabolism and housekeeping activities. PPARβ/δ acts both in a ligand-dependent and -independent manner. The specific type of regulation, activation or repression, is determined by many factors, among which the type of ligand, the presence/absence of PPARβ/δ-interacting corepressor or coactivator complexes and PPARβ/δ protein post-translational modifications play major roles. Recently, new global approaches to the study of nuclear receptors have made it possible to evaluate their molecular activity in a more systemic fashion, rather than deeply digging into a single pathway/function. This systemic approach is ideally suited for studying PPARβ/δ, due to its ubiquitous expression in various organs and its overlapping and tissue-specific transcriptomic signatures. The aim of the present review is to present in detail the diversity of PPARβ/δ function, focusing on the different information gained at the systemic level, and describing the global and unbiased approaches that combine a systems view with molecular understanding.

  18. Evaluation of Thyroid Disorders During Head-and-Neck Radiotherapy by Using Functional Analysis and Ultrasonography

    SciTech Connect

    Bakhshandeh, Mohsen; Hashemi, Bijan; Mahdavi, Seyed Rabie; Nikoofar, Alireza; Edraki, Hamid Reza; Kazemnejad, Anoshirvan

    2012-05-01

    Purpose: To evaluate thyroid function and vascular changes during radiotherapy for patients with head and neck cancer. Methods and Materials: Fifty patients treated with primary or postoperative radiotherapy for various cancers in the head and neck region were prospectively evaluated. The serum samples (triiodothyronine [T3], thyroxine [T4], thyroid-stimulating hormone [TSH], free triiodothyronine [FT3], and free thyroxine [FT4]), the echo level of the thyroid gland, and color Doppler ultrasonography (CDU) parameters of the right inferior thyroid artery (RITA) of the patients were measured before and at regular intervals during radiotherapy. The thyroid gland dose-volume histograms of the patients were derived from their computed tomography-based treatment plans. Results: There was a significant fall in TSH level (p < 0.0001) but an increase in FT4 (p < 0.0001) and T4 (p < 0.022) levels during the radiotherapy course. The threshold dose required to produce significant changes was 12 Gy (Biologically Effective Dose in 2-Gy fractions, BED{sub 2}). There were significant rises in the patients' pulsatility index, resistive index, peak systolic velocity, blood volume flow levels, and RITA diameter (p < 0.0001), as detected by CDU during radiotherapy, compared to those parameters measured before the treatment. Hypoechogenicity and irregular echo patterns (p < 0.0001) were seen during radiotherapy compared to those before treatment. There was significant Pearson's correlation between the CDU parameters and T4, FT4, and TSH levels. Conclusions: Radiation-induced thyroiditis is regarded as primary damage to the thyroid gland. Thyroiditis can subsequently result in hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. Our results demonstrated that changes in thyroid vessels occur during radiotherapy delivered to patients. Vessel changes also can be attributed to the late effect of radiation on the thyroid gland. The hypoechogenicity and irregular echo patterns observed in patients may result

  19. Development, evaluation, and selection of candidate high-level waste forms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bernadzikowski, T. A.; Allender, J. S.; Gordon, D. E.; Gould, T. H., Jr.

    The seven candidate waste forms, evaluated as potential media for the immobilization and geologic disposal of high level nuclear wastes were boroslicate glass, SYNROC, tailored ceramic, high silica glass, FUETAP concrete, coated sol-gel particles, and glass marbles in a lead matrix. The evaluation, combined preliminary waste form evaluations, peer review assessments, a product performance evaluation, and a processability analysis. Based on the combined results of these four inputs, two of the seven forms, borosilicate glass and a titanate-based ceramic, SYNROC, were selected as the reference and alternative forms, respectively, for continued development and evaluation in the National HLW Program. The borosilicate glass and ceramic forms were further compared on the basis of risk assessments, cost comparisons, properties comparisons, and conformance with proposed regulatory and repository criteria.

  20. Functional constipation in children – evaluation and management

    PubMed Central

    Piątek, Jacek

    2014-01-01

    Almost 1/3 of gastrointestinal consultations are related to constipation, and over 90% of them are of functional origin. Proper diagnosis and adequate treatment (both nonpharmacological and pharmacological) may limit the number of specialist visits and can be beneficial for therapeutic effects. The treatment is long lasting and requires unique discipline of parents/guardians and coordination supervised by the referring doctor. This paper presents the most important aspects of diagnostic and therapeutic processes regarding functional constipation in neonates and toddlers. PMID:25276249

  1. [On mechanism of functional changes in the organism of teenagers at different levels of locomotor activity].

    PubMed

    Mindubaeva, F A; Shukurov, F A; Salikhova, Y Y; Niyazova, Y I; Ramazanov, A K

    2015-02-01

    Comprehensive study of the cardiovascular system functional condition of 15-16 teenagers while in normal daily locomotor activity and in the mode of regular moderate physical activity was performed. The features of cerebral circulation and myocardium functional condition of teenagers are studied depending on initial tonus of the autonomic nervous system and locomotor activity level in the process of continuous step physical activity on tredmil. The condition of regulatory mechanisms, providing adaptation of teenagers in the conditions of modern school was studied. Research results showed, that elasticity of cerebrum arterial vessels, veins tone, venous outflow for teenagers not having regular physical activity, considerably mionectic. More adequate reaction of coronary blood flow in the process of physical activity is educed for the trained teenagers with the balanced autonomic regulation of cardiac rhythm. This group showed a higher level and regulation quality of organism reserve possibilities.

  2. Teacher Evaluation as a Function of Student and Instructor Personality.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hart, James; Driver, Jackie

    1978-01-01

    Study indicates that certain personality characteristics are associated with higher instructor-student evaluations. Generally, the extraverted teacher receives higher ratings in many content areas. There was no support for the prediction that the student evalution of an instructor would be more positive if the personalities of both were similar.…

  3. Effects of dietary energy source and level and injection of tilmicosin phosphate on immune function in lipopolysaccharide-challenged beef steers.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Twenty-four Angus x Hereford crossbred steers (247 ± 2.4 kg BW) were used in a completely random design to evaluate the effect of energy source and level with or without antibiotic administration on measures of immune function. Steers were offered 1 of 3 dietary treatments: a 70% concentrate diet ad...

  4. Exposure to Organic Solvents Used in Dry Cleaning Reduces Low and High Level Visual Function

    PubMed Central

    Jiménez Barbosa, Ingrid Astrid

    2015-01-01

    Purpose To investigate whether exposure to occupational levels of organic solvents in the dry cleaning industry is associated with neurotoxic symptoms and visual deficits in the perception of basic visual features such as luminance contrast and colour, higher level processing of global motion and form (Experiment 1), and cognitive function as measured in a visual search task (Experiment 2). Methods The Q16 neurotoxic questionnaire, a commonly used measure of neurotoxicity (by the World Health Organization), was administered to assess the neurotoxic status of a group of 33 dry cleaners exposed to occupational levels of organic solvents (OS) and 35 age-matched non dry-cleaners who had never worked in the dry cleaning industry. In Experiment 1, to assess visual function, contrast sensitivity, colour/hue discrimination (Munsell Hue 100 test), global motion and form thresholds were assessed using computerised psychophysical tests. Sensitivity to global motion or form structure was quantified by varying the pattern coherence of global dot motion (GDM) and Glass pattern (oriented dot pairs) respectively (i.e., the percentage of dots/dot pairs that contribute to the perception of global structure). In Experiment 2, a letter visual-search task was used to measure reaction times (as a function of the number of elements: 4, 8, 16, 32, 64 and 100) in both parallel and serial search conditions. Results Dry cleaners exposed to organic solvents had significantly higher scores on the Q16 compared to non dry-cleaners indicating that dry cleaners experienced more neurotoxic symptoms on average. The contrast sensitivity function for dry cleaners was significantly lower at all spatial frequencies relative to non dry-cleaners, which is consistent with previous studies. Poorer colour discrimination performance was also noted in dry cleaners than non dry-cleaners, particularly along the blue/yellow axis. In a new finding, we report that global form and motion thresholds for dry cleaners

  5. Evaluation of molecular docking using polynomial empirical scoring functions.

    PubMed

    Dias, Raquel; Timmers, Luis Fernando Saraiva Macedo; Caceres, Rafael Andrade; de Azevedo, Walter Filgueira

    2008-12-01

    Molecular docking simulations are of pivotal importance for analysis of protein-ligand interactions and also an essential resource for virtual-screening initiatives. In molecular docking simulations several possible docked structures are generated, which create an ensemble of structures representing binary complexes. Therefore, it is crucial to find the best solution for the simulation. One approach to this problem is to employ empirical scoring function to identify the best docked structure. It is expected that scoring functions show a descriptive funnel-shaped energy surface without many false minima to impair the efficiency of conformational sampling. We employed this methodology against a test set with 300 docked structures. Docking simulations of these ligands against enzyme binding pocket indicated a funnel-shaped behavior of the complexation for this system. This review compares a set of recently proposed polynomial empirical scoring functions, implemented in a program called POLSCORE, with two popular scoring function programs (XSCORE and DrugScore). Overall comparison indicated that POLSCORE works better to predict the correct docked position, for the ensemble of docked structures analyzed in the present work.

  6. An Evaluation of Resurgence during Functional Communication Training

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wacker, David P.; Harding, Jay W.; Morgan, Theresa A.; Berg, Wendy K.; Schieltz, Kelly M.; Lee, John F.; Padilla, Yaniz C.

    2013-01-01

    Three children who displayed destructive behavior maintained by negative reinforcement received functional communication training (FCT). During FCT, the children were required to complete a demand and then to mand (touch a card attached to a microswitch, sign, or vocalize) to receive brief play breaks. Prior to and 1 to 3 times following the…

  7. Evaluation of Executive Functioning in People with Intellectual Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Willner, P.; Bailey, R.; Parry, R.; Dymond, S.

    2010-01-01

    Background: Executive functioning (EF) is an important concept in cognitive psychology that has rarely been studied in people with intellectual disabilities (IDs). The aim of this study was to examine the validity of two test batteries and the structure of EF in this client group. Methods: We administered the children's version of the Behavioural…

  8. An evaluation of a short questionnaire for parents about their school-aged children's global maturity level.

    PubMed

    Larsson, Jan-Olov; Nordberg, Lillemor; Fried, Ingegärd; Edbom, Tobias; Ekman, Sophie; Rydelius, Per Anders

    2002-01-01

    The aim was to evaluate a questionnaire for parents concerning their school-aged children's global maturity level. Immature children (n = 29) as reported by their parents were compared to a control group (n = 68). Immaturity was linked to a reduced general knowledge, a childish body appearance, problems with the fine motor function and problems with peers. The index group also had on average a lower test result in total score of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children and more commission errors in the Continuous Performance Test, both test results indicating a lower mental age.

  9. Salivary adiponectin levels are associated with training intensity but not with bone mass or reproductive function in elite Rhythmic Gymnasts.

    PubMed

    Roupas, Nikolaos D; Maïmoun, Laurent; Mamali, Irene; Coste, Olivier; Tsouka, Alexandra; Mahadea, Krishna Kunal; Mura, Thibault; Philibert, Pascal; Gaspari, Laura; Mariano-Goulart, Denis; Leglise, Michel; Sultan, Charles; Georgopoulos, Neoklis A

    2014-01-01

    Elite Rhythmic Gymnasts (RGs) constitute a unique metabolic model and they are prone to developing Anorexia Athletica. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of training intensity on salivary adiponectin levels and assess a possible role of salivary adiponectin levels as a predictive factor of reproductive dysfunction and bone mass acquisition in elite RGs. The study included 80 elite female RGs participating in the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship tournament held in Montpellier, France on September 2011. Anthropometric values were assessed, training data and menstrual pattern were recorded, bone mass was measured with Broadband ultrasound attenuation (dB/Mhz) and baseline salivary adiponectin levels were determined. The athletes were classified as intensely and very intensely trained, considering the mean training intensity (40.84h/week). Moreover, considering their reproductive status, they were divided into RG's with normal menstruation, primary amenorrhea and oligomenorrhea. All comparisons were adjusted to age, BMI and body fat percentage differences. Very intensely trained RGs showed higher salivary adiponectin levels (p=0.05). Moreover, salivary adiponectin levels showed significant correlation with training intensity (r=0.409, p=0.003). On the other hand, no association of salivary adiponectin levels was documented with either reproductive function or bone mass acquisition. The results of the present study suggest that, in elite RGs, salivary adiponectin levels are associated with the intensity of training, possibly reflecting the deterioration of energy balance rather than the training stress. On the other hand, a predictive role of salivary adiponectin levels in reproductive dysfunction or bone mass acquisition could not be supported.

  10. Salivary adiponectin levels are associated with training intensity but not with bone mass or reproductive function in elite Rhythmic Gymnasts.

    PubMed

    Roupas, Nikolaos D; Maïmoun, Laurent; Mamali, Irene; Coste, Olivier; Tsouka, Alexandra; Mahadea, Krishna Kunal; Mura, Thibault; Philibert, Pascal; Gaspari, Laura; Mariano-Goulart, Denis; Leglise, Michel; Sultan, Charles; Georgopoulos, Neoklis A

    2014-01-01

    Elite Rhythmic Gymnasts (RGs) constitute a unique metabolic model and they are prone to developing Anorexia Athletica. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of training intensity on salivary adiponectin levels and assess a possible role of salivary adiponectin levels as a predictive factor of reproductive dysfunction and bone mass acquisition in elite RGs. The study included 80 elite female RGs participating in the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championship tournament held in Montpellier, France on September 2011. Anthropometric values were assessed, training data and menstrual pattern were recorded, bone mass was measured with Broadband ultrasound attenuation (dB/Mhz) and baseline salivary adiponectin levels were determined. The athletes were classified as intensely and very intensely trained, considering the mean training intensity (40.84h/week). Moreover, considering their reproductive status, they were divided into RG's with normal menstruation, primary amenorrhea and oligomenorrhea. All comparisons were adjusted to age, BMI and body fat percentage differences. Very intensely trained RGs showed higher salivary adiponectin levels (p=0.05). Moreover, salivary adiponectin levels showed significant correlation with training intensity (r=0.409, p=0.003). On the other hand, no association of salivary adiponectin levels was documented with either reproductive function or bone mass acquisition. The results of the present study suggest that, in elite RGs, salivary adiponectin levels are associated with the intensity of training, possibly reflecting the deterioration of energy balance rather than the training stress. On the other hand, a predictive role of salivary adiponectin levels in reproductive dysfunction or bone mass acquisition could not be supported. PMID:24240086

  11. THE RETRIEVAL KNOWLEDGE CENTER EVALUATION OF LOW TANK LEVEL MIXING TECHNOLOGIES FOR DOE HIGH LEVEL WASTE TANK RETRIEVAL 10516

    SciTech Connect

    Fellinger, A.

    2009-12-08

    technology have proven to be difficult. Through the RKC, DOE-EM funded an evaluation of adaptable commercial technologies that could assist with the removal of the tank heels. This paper will discuss the efforts and results of developing the RKC to improve communications and discussion of tank waste retrieval through a series of meetings designed to identify technical gaps in retrieval technologies at the DOE Hanford and Savannah River Sites. This paper will also describe the results of an evaluation of commercially available technologies for low level mixing as they might apply to HLW tank heel retrievals.

  12. Increased serum interleukin-22 levels in patients with PRL-secreting and non-functioning pituitary macroadenomas.

    PubMed

    Cannavo, S; Ferrau, F; Cotta, O R; Saitta, S; Barresi, V; Cristani, M T; Saija, A; Ruggeri, R M; Trimarchi, F; Gangemi, S

    2014-02-01

    Cytokines' involvement in tumorigenesis has been hypothesized. Interleukin-22 (IL-22) is implicated in proliferative and anti-apoptotic pathways via its receptor IL-22R. Its role in pituitary adenomas has never been investigated. Twenty-seven patients with pituitary macroadenomas (PA, 21 males, mean age 53.8 ± 14.4 years) and 30 healthy controls (19 males, mean age 50.4 ± 8.4 years) were enrolled. Out of 27 PA patients, 17 had a non-functioning tumour (NFPA) and 10 a PRL-secreting adenoma (PRL-oma). Serum IL-22 levels were measured in both patients and controls. Immunohistochemical (IHC) tumoral IL-22R expression was evaluated in 10 patients with NFPA and 4 with PRL-oma. IL-22 levels were significantly higher in PA patients than in controls [32.47 (11.29-70.12) vs. 5.58 (0.19-21.46) pg/mL, p < 0.0001] but did not correlate with tumor maximum diameter and were not associated to pituitary function impairment. PRL-oma patients had significantly higher IL-22 levels than NFPA patients [37.18 (14.82-70.12) vs. 21.29 (11.29-56) pg/mL, p = 0.039]. IHC revealed a strong IL-22R staining in 100 % of PRL-omas and 60 % of NFPAs. We provide the first evidence of increased serum IL-22 levels in patients with pituitary macroadenoma, especially in PRL-omas, regardless of tumor size and/or degree of pituitary function impairment. We also demonstrated the expression of IL22R in all PRL-omas and in 60 % of NFPAs. PMID:23512698

  13. Cooperative fuzzy games approach to setting target levels of ECs in quality function deployment.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhihui; Chen, Yizeng; Yin, Yunqiang

    2014-01-01

    Quality function deployment (QFD) can provide a means of translating customer requirements (CRs) into engineering characteristics (ECs) for each stage of product development and production. The main objective of QFD-based product planning is to determine the target levels of ECs for a new product or service. QFD is a breakthrough tool which can effectively reduce the gap between CRs and a new product/service. Even though there are conflicts among some ECs, the objective of developing new product is to maximize the overall customer satisfaction. Therefore, there may be room for cooperation among ECs. A cooperative game framework combined with fuzzy set theory is developed to determine the target levels of the ECs in QFD. The key to develop the model is the formulation of the bargaining function. In the proposed methodology, the players are viewed as the membership functions of ECs to formulate the bargaining function. The solution for the proposed model is Pareto-optimal. An illustrated example is cited to demonstrate the application and performance of the proposed approach.

  14. Cooperative Fuzzy Games Approach to Setting Target Levels of ECs in Quality Function Deployment

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Zhihui; Chen, Yizeng; Yin, Yunqiang

    2014-01-01

    Quality function deployment (QFD) can provide a means of translating customer requirements (CRs) into engineering characteristics (ECs) for each stage of product development and production. The main objective of QFD-based product planning is to determine the target levels of ECs for a new product or service. QFD is a breakthrough tool which can effectively reduce the gap between CRs and a new product/service. Even though there are conflicts among some ECs, the objective of developing new product is to maximize the overall customer satisfaction. Therefore, there may be room for cooperation among ECs. A cooperative game framework combined with fuzzy set theory is developed to determine the target levels of the ECs in QFD. The key to develop the model is the formulation of the bargaining function. In the proposed methodology, the players are viewed as the membership functions of ECs to formulate the bargaining function. The solution for the proposed model is Pareto-optimal. An illustrated example is cited to demonstrate the application and performance of the proposed approach. PMID:25097884

  15. Structural architecture supports functional organization in the human aging brain at a regionwise and network level.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Joelle; Ritter, Petra; Shen, Kelly; Rothmeier, Simon; Schirner, Michael; McIntosh, Anthony R

    2016-07-01

    Functional interactions in the brain are constrained by the underlying anatomical architecture, and structural and functional networks share network features such as modularity. Accordingly, age-related changes of structural connectivity (SC) may be paralleled by changes in functional connectivity (FC). We provide a detailed qualitative and quantitative characterization of the SC-FC coupling in human aging as inferred from resting-state blood oxygen-level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion-weighted imaging in a sample of 47 adults with an age range of 18-82. We revealed that SC and FC decrease with age across most parts of the brain and there is a distinct age-dependency of regionwise SC-FC coupling and network-level SC-FC relations. A specific pattern of SC-FC coupling predicts age more reliably than does regionwise SC or FC alone (r = 0.73, 95% CI = [0.7093, 0.8522]). Hence, our data propose that regionwise SC-FC coupling can be used to characterize brain changes in aging. Hum Brain Mapp 37:2645-2661, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27041212

  16. Improving Balance Function Using Low Levels of Electrical Stimulation of the Balance Organs

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bloomberg, Jacob; Reschke, Millard; Mulavara, Ajitkumar; Wood, Scott; Serrador, Jorge; Fiedler, Matthew; Kofman, Igor; Peters, Brian T.; Cohen, Helen

    2012-01-01

    Crewmembers returning from long-duration space flight face significant challenges due to the microgravity-induced inappropriate adaptations in balance/ sensorimotor function. The Neuroscience Laboratory at JSC is developing a method based on stochastic resonance to enhance the brain s ability to detect signals from the balance organs of the inner ear and use them for rapid improvement in balance skill, especially when combined with balance training exercises. This method involves a stimulus delivery system that is wearable/portable providing imperceptible electrical stimulation to the balance organs of the human body. Stochastic resonance (SR) is a phenomenon whereby the response of a nonlinear system to a weak periodic input signal is optimized by the presence of a particular non-zero level of noise. This phenomenon of SR is based on the concept of maximizing the flow of information through a system by a non-zero level of noise. Application of imperceptible SR noise coupled with sensory input in humans has been shown to improve motor, cardiovascular, visual, hearing, and balance functions. SR increases contrast sensitivity and luminance detection; lowers the absolute threshold for tone detection in normal hearing individuals; improves homeostatic function in the human blood pressure regulatory system; improves noise-enhanced muscle spindle function; and improves detection of weak tactile stimuli using mechanical or electrical stimulation. SR noise has been shown to improve postural control when applied as mechanical noise to the soles of the feet, or when applied as electrical noise at the knee and to the back muscles.

  17. Cooperative fuzzy games approach to setting target levels of ECs in quality function deployment.

    PubMed

    Yang, Zhihui; Chen, Yizeng; Yin, Yunqiang

    2014-01-01

    Quality function deployment (QFD) can provide a means of translating customer requirements (CRs) into engineering characteristics (ECs) for each stage of product development and production. The main objective of QFD-based product planning is to determine the target levels of ECs for a new product or service. QFD is a breakthrough tool which can effectively reduce the gap between CRs and a new product/service. Even though there are conflicts among some ECs, the objective of developing new product is to maximize the overall customer satisfaction. Therefore, there may be room for cooperation among ECs. A cooperative game framework combined with fuzzy set theory is developed to determine the target levels of the ECs in QFD. The key to develop the model is the formulation of the bargaining function. In the proposed methodology, the players are viewed as the membership functions of ECs to formulate the bargaining function. The solution for the proposed model is Pareto-optimal. An illustrated example is cited to demonstrate the application and performance of the proposed approach. PMID:25097884

  18. Effects of voice style, noise level, and acoustic feedback on objective and subjective voice evaluations

    PubMed Central

    Bottalico, Pasquale; Graetzer, Simone; Hunter, Eric J.

    2015-01-01

    Speakers adjust their vocal effort when communicating in different room acoustic and noise conditions and when instructed to speak at different volumes. The present paper reports on the effects of voice style, noise level, and acoustic feedback on vocal effort, evaluated as sound pressure level, and self-reported vocal fatigue, comfort, and control. Speakers increased their level in the presence of babble and when instructed to talk in a loud style, and lowered it when acoustic feedback was increased and when talking in a soft style. Self-reported responses indicated a preference for the normal style without babble noise. PMID:26723357

  19. Effects of voice style, noise level, and acoustic feedback on objective and subjective voice evaluations.

    PubMed

    Bottalico, Pasquale; Graetzer, Simone; Hunter, Eric J

    2015-12-01

    Speakers adjust their vocal effort when communicating in different room acoustic and noise conditions and when instructed to speak at different volumes. The present paper reports on the effects of voice style, noise level, and acoustic feedback on vocal effort, evaluated as sound pressure level, and self-reported vocal fatigue, comfort, and control. Speakers increased their level in the presence of babble and when instructed to talk in a loud style, and lowered it when acoustic feedback was increased and when talking in a soft style. Self-reported responses indicated a preference for the normal style without babble noise.

  20. Construal Levels and Psychological Distance: Effects on Representation, Prediction, Evaluation, and Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Trope, Yaacov; Liberman, Nira; Wakslak, Cheryl

    2011-01-01

    Construal level theory (CLT) is an account of how psychological distance influences individuals’ thoughts and behavior. CLT assumes that people mentally construe objects that are psychologically near in terms of low-level, detailed, and contextualized features, whereas at a distance they construe the same objects or events in terms of high-level, abstract, and stable characteristics. Research has shown that different dimensions of psychological distance (time, space, social distance, and hypotheticality) affect mental construal and that these construals, in turn, guide prediction, evaluation, and behavior. The present paper reviews this research and its implications for consumer psychology. PMID:21822366

  1. Dose-effect relationship between drinking water fluoride levels and damage to liver and kidney functions in children.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Xianzhi; Liu, Junling; He, Weihong; Xia, Tao; He, Ping; Chen, Xuemin; Yang, Kedi; Wang, Aiguo

    2007-01-01

    Although a dose-effect relationship between water fluoride levels and damage to liver and kidney functions in animals has been reported, it was not demonstrated in humans. To evaluate the effects of drinking water fluoride levels on the liver and kidney functions in children with and without dental fluorosis, we identified 210 children who were divided into seven groups with 30 each based on different drinking water fluoride levels in the same residential area. We found that the fluoride levels in serum and urine of these children increased as the levels of drinking water fluoride increased. There were no significant differences in the levels of total protein (TP), albumin (ALB), aspartate transamine (AST), and alanine transamine (ALT) in serum among these groups. However, the activities of serum lactic dehydrogenase (LDH), urine N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminidase (NAG), and urine gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (gamma-GT) in children with dental fluorosis and having water fluoride of 2.15-2.96 mg/L and in children having water fluoride of 3.15-5.69 mg/L regardless of dental fluorosis were significantly higher than children exposed to water fluoride of 0.61-0.87 mg/L in a dose-response manner. In contrast to children with dental fluorosis and having water fluoride of 2.15-2.96 and 3.10-5.69 mg/L, serum LDH activity of children without dental fluorosis but exposed to the same levels of water fluoride as those with dental fluorosis were also markedly lower, but the activities of NAG and gamma-GT in their urine were not. Therefore, our results suggest that drinking water fluoride levels over 2.0mg/L can cause damage to liver and kidney functions in children and that the dental fluorosis was independent of damage to the liver but not the kidney. Further studies on the mechanisms and significance underlying damage to the liver without dental fluorosis in the exposed children are warranted.

  2. Influence of Primary Performance Instrument and Education Level on Music Performance Evaluation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hewitt, Michael P.

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the impact that education level and primary performance instrument have on the evaluation of music performances. Participants (N = 423) in the study were middle school (n = 187), high school (n = 113), and college (n = 123) musicians who performed on either a brass (n = 115) or a nonbrass (n = 301)…

  3. High-level waste-form-product performance evaluation. [Leaching; waste loading; mechanical stability

    SciTech Connect

    Bernadzikowski, T A; Allender, J S; Stone, J A; Gordon, D E; Gould, Jr, T H; Westberry, III, C F

    1982-01-01

    Seven candidate waste forms were evaluated for immobilization and geologic disposal of high-level radioactive wastes. The waste forms were compared on the basis of leach resistance, mechanical stability, and waste loading. All forms performed well at leaching temperatures of 40, 90, and 150/sup 0/C. Ceramic forms ranked highest, followed by glasses, a metal matrix form, and concrete. 11 tables.

  4. Interventions for Promoting Gender Equity at Elementary Education Level in South Kashmir: An Evaluative Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gul, Showkeen Bilal Ahmad; Khan, Zebun Nisa

    2013-01-01

    This study was conducted to evaluate the interventions for promoting gender equity at elementary education level in South Kashmir. Descriptive survey method was used in this study to obtain pertinent and precise information. The sample of this study included 120 head teachers and 90 local community members selected by using purposive sampling…

  5. 78 FR 26396 - Proposed Collection; Comments Requested: FBI National Academy Level 1 Evaluation: Student Course...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-05-06

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE Proposed Collection; Comments Requested: FBI National Academy Level 1 Evaluation: Student Course Questionnaire and FBI National Academy: General Remarks Questionnaire ACTION: 30-Day Notice. The Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Bureau of Investigation...

  6. Neutral models as a way to evaluate the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model (SLAMM)

    EPA Science Inventory

    A commonly used landscape model to simulate wetland change – the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model(SLAMM) – has rarely been explicitly assessed for its prediction accuracy. Here, we evaluated this model using recently proposed neutral models – including the random constraint matc...

  7. Self-Efficacy, Self-Evaluation, and Music Performance of Secondary-Level Band Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hewitt, Michael P.

    2015-01-01

    In the present study, relationships between two components of self-regulation (self-efficacy and self-evaluation) and gender, school level, instrument family, and music performance were examined. Participants were 340 middle and high school band students who participated in one of two summer music camps or who were members of a private middle…

  8. Use and Evaluation of Web-Based Professional Development Services across Participant Levels of Support

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Whitaker, Steve; Kinzie, Mable; Kraft-Sayre, Marcia E.; Mashburn, Andrew; Pianta, Robert C.

    2007-01-01

    When participating in a large-scale, web-based professional development program, to what degree do teachers participate? How useful do they find the program? To what degree do they feel supported in their efforts? What are the associations between participation, evaluation of services, and the level of service teachers receive? MyTeachingPartner…

  9. "On the Level" Final Report on Formative Evaluation. Research Report 77.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Agency for Instructional Television, Bloomington, IN.

    This report describes a formative evaluation and presents an overview of the background and design of an instructional television series, "On the Level," designed to encourage teenagers' personal and social development. The series includes 12 15-minute video programs, 12 audio programs, and a student workbook. The design issues discussed include…

  10. NAEP Reading Revisit: An Evaluation of the 1992 Achievement Levels Descriptions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    American Coll. Testing Program, Iowa City, IA.

    A study was designed to provide recommendations regarding the use of the achievement levels set in 1992 for reporting National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading results in 1994 and in future NAEP reading assessments. Two procedures were used: the Item Difficulty Categorization (IDC) procedure involved an evaluation of the…

  11. Evaluating the Impacts of ICT Use: A Multi-Level Analysis with Hierarchical Linear Modeling

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Song, Hae-Deok; Kang, Taehoon

    2012-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impacts of ICT use on achievements by considering not only ICT use, but also the process and background variables that influence ICT use at both the student- and school-level. This study was conducted using data from the 2010 Survey of Seoul Education Longitudinal Research. A Hierarchical Linear…

  12. Current status of functional gastrointestinal evaluation in clinical practice

    PubMed Central

    Ang, Daphne; Fock, Kwong Ming; Law, Ngai Moh; Ang, Tiing Leong

    2015-01-01

    Neurogastroenterology and motility disorders of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract encompass a broad spectrum of diseases involving the GI tract and central nervous system. They have varied pathophysiology, clinical presentation and management, and make up a substantial proportion of outpatient clinic visits. Typically, patients experience persistent symptoms referable to the GI tract despite normal endoscopic and radiologic findings. An appropriate evaluation is thus important in the patient’s care. Advances in technology and understanding of the disease pathophysiology have provided better insight into the physiological basis of disease and a more rational approach to patient management. While technological advances serve to explain patients’ persistent symptoms, they should be balanced against the costs of diagnostic tests. This review highlights the GI investigative modalities employed to evaluate patients with persistent GI symptoms in the absence of a structural lesion, with particular emphasis on investigative modalities available locally and the clinical impact of such tools. PMID:25715853

  13. Current status of functional gastrointestinal evaluation in clinical practice.

    PubMed

    Ang, Daphne; Fock, Kwong Ming; Law, Ngai Moh; Ang, Tiing Leong

    2015-02-01

    Neurogastroenterology and motility disorders of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract encompass a broad spectrum of diseases involving the GI tract and central nervous system. They have varied pathophysiology, clinical presentation and management, and make up a substantial proportion of outpatient clinic visits. Typically, patients experience persistent symptoms referable to the GI tract despite normal endoscopic and radiologic findings. An appropriate evaluation is thus important in the patient's care. Advances in technology and understanding of the disease pathophysiology have provided better insight into the physiological basis of disease and a more rational approach to patient management. While technological advances serve to explain patients' persistent symptoms, they should be balanced against the costs of diagnostic tests. This review highlights the GI investigative modalities employed to evaluate patients with persistent GI symptoms in the absence of a structural lesion, with particular emphasis on investigative modalities available locally and the clinical impact of such tools.

  14. Evaluation of potential health effects associated with serum polychlorinated biphenyl levels

    SciTech Connect

    Stehr-Green, P.A.; Welty, E.; Steele, G.; Steinberg, K.

    1986-12-01

    In late 1983, we conducted a cross-sectional epidemiologic study to evaluate persons at risk of exposure to three chemical waste sites by comparing clinical disease end points and clinical chemistry parameters with serum polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) levels. A total of 106 individuals participated in the study. The only statistically significant finding in regard to self-reported, physician-diagnosed health problems was a dose-response relationship between serum PCB levels and the occurrence of high blood pressure; however, this association failed to achieve statistical significance when we controlled for possible confounding effects of both age and smoking. Serum triglyceride and cholesterol levels were also higher in the group with elevated serum PCBs; additionally, there were isolated statistically significant correlations of serum aspartate aminotransferase (SGOT) with serum lipid fraction-adjusted PCB level and serum albumin and total bilirubin with serum PCB level. Although the ranges of serum levels reported herein from exposures to PCBs in the general environment are lower than those that have been associated with acute symptoms or illness in other studies, whether these levels are associated with long-term health risks is not known. Associations of such chronic, low-dose exposures with observable health effects as suggested by this study must be evaluated further before any final conclusions can be drawn.

  15. Evaluation of hypothalamic dopaminergic function in patients with pituitary prolactinoma.

    PubMed

    Xia, P; Shi, Y F

    1989-01-01

    This study was carried out using a dopaminergic agonist (carbidopa plus levodopa, CD + LD) and antagonist (metoclopramide, MCP) respectively for dynamic tests to observe the variations of serum prolactin (PRL), thyrotropin (TSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) levels in 7 normal women and 11 women with pituitary prolactinoma. It was shown that CD + LD resulted in minimal suppression of serum PRL (18.4 +/- 3.4%) in tumor patients, with this being significantly less than that in normal women (80.7 +/- 4.6%). However, similar degrees of TSH and LH suppression were observed after CD + LD in patients (23.8 +/- 4.2% and 28.2 +/- 2.1%, respectively) and in normal women (27.9 +/- 2.4% and 34.7 +/- 9.0%, respectively). MCP greatly increased PRL levels in the normal women as compared with the patients (892.1 +/- 195.3%, 16.4 +/- 6.5%), but increased TSH and LH levels were much higher in the patients than in the normal women (291.4 +/- 36.1% vs 19.9 +/- 3.3% and 96.9 +/- 7.4% vs 24.9 +/- 5.5%, respectively). It was also found that the levels of TSH or LH after MCP strongly correlated with basal PRL levels in the patients (r = 0.858, P less than 0.001 and r = 0.737, P less than 0.01, respectively). These results indicate that synthesis, turnover and release of hypothalamic dopamine are normal and the hypothalamic tone is relatively high in patients with PRL-secreting pituitary tumors.

  16. A survey of cognitive functioning at difference glucose levels in diabetic persons.

    PubMed

    Holmes, C S; Hayford, J T; Gonzalez, J L; Weydert, J A

    1983-01-01

    Cognitive functioning was assessed in diabetic patients during hypoglycemia (60 mg/dl), euglycemia/control (110 mg/dl), and hyperglycemia (300 mg/dl). Blood glucose levels were set and maintained to within 4% of targeted levels by an artificial insulin/glucose infusion system (Biostator). Attention and fine motor skills, assessed by visual reaction time, was slowed at altered glucose levels. Performance was less impaired during hyperglycemia than hypoglycemia when a longer interstimulus interval was used, although it was still slower than normal. The time required to solve simple addition problems was increased during hypoglycemia, although reading comprehension was not affected. The possibility that some automatic brain skills are disrupted at altered glucose concentrations is discussed, while associative or inferential skills may be less affected.

  17. Evaluating the levels of interleukin-1 family cytokines in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive motor neuron disease leading to the death of affected individuals within years. The involvement of inflammation in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, including ALS, is increasingly recognized but still not well understood. The aim of this study is to evaluate the levels of inflammation-related IL-1 family cytokines (IL-1β, IL-18, IL-33, IL-37) and their endogenous inhibitors (IL-1Ra, sIL-1R2, IL-18BP, sIL-1R4) in patients with sporadic ALS (sALS), Methods Sera were collected from 144 patients (125 patients were characterized by disease form, duration, and disability, using the revised ALS functional rating scale (ALSFRS-R) and from 40 matched controls. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was collected from 54 patients with sALS and 65 patients with other non-infectious non-oncogenic diseases as controls. Cytokines and inhibitors were measured by commercial ELISA. Results Among the IL-1 family cytokines tested total IL-18, its endogenous inhibitor IL-18BP, and the active form of the cytokine (free IL-18) were significantly higher in the sALS sera than in controls. No correlation between these soluble mediators and different clinical forms of sALS or the clinical setting of the disease was found. IL-18BP was the only mediator detectable in the CSF of patients. Conclusions Among the IL-1 family cytokines, only IL-18 correlates with this disease and may therefore have a pathological role in sALS. The increase of total IL-18 suggests the activation of IL-18-cleaving inflammasome. Whether IL-18 upregulation in circulation of sALS patients is a consequence of inflammation or one of the causes of the pathology still needs to be addressed. PMID:24884937

  18. Criteria-based evaluation of group 3 level memory telefacsimile equipment for interlibrary loan.

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, V M; Wood, M S; Malcom, D L

    1990-01-01

    The Interlibrary Loan, Document Delivery, and Union List Task Force of the Health Sciences Libraries Consortium (HSLC)--with nineteen libraries located in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Hershey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware--accepted the charge of evaluating and recommending for purchase telefacsimile hardware to further interlibrary loan among HSLC members. To allow a thorough and scientific evaluation of group 3 level telefacsimile equipment, the task force identified ninety-six hardware features, which were grouped into nine broad criteria. These features formed the basis of a weighted analysis that identified three final candidates, with one model recommended to the HSLC board. This article details each of the criteria and discusses features in terms of library applications. The evaluation grid developed in the weighted analysis process should aid librarians charged with the selection of level 3 telefacsimile equipment. PMID:2328361

  19. CMM functional software evaluation (algorithm qualification). Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Cummins, J.L.

    1995-01-01

    The mathematical algorithms for geometric features contained in proprietary coordinate measuring machine (CMM) vendor`s software were tested by standardized data set applications and results were compared with known algorithm outputs. The CMM vendor`s proprietary software requirements shield the user from visibility of the actual equations programmed into the coded software routines. All that is visible to the CMM inspector is the input data and the resulting output. Details of how those results were calculated from sample probing data would not typically be visible. Therefore, to gain rigorous confidence that the CMM inspection routines function as desired, independent testing was performed using sets of data with known results. Comparisons with the known results then verified functional algorithm acceptance. Agreement to the fifth and sixth decimal place was common.

  20. Evaluation of prosodic juncture strength using functional data analysis

    PubMed Central

    Parrell, Benjamin; Lee, Sungbok; Byrd, Dani

    2013-01-01

    Prosodic structure has large effects on the temporal realization of speech via the shaping of articulatory events. It is important for speech scientists to be able to systematically quantify these prosodic effects on articulation in a way that is capable both of differentiating between the degree of prosodic lengthening associated with varying linguistic contexts and that is generalizable across speakers. The current paper presents a novel method to automatically quantify boundary strength from articulatory speech data based on functional data analysis (FDA). In particular, a new derived variable—the Deformation Index—is proposed, which is the area under FDA time-deformation functions. First using synthetic speech produced with the TaDA task dynamics computational model, the Deformation Index is shown to be able to capture a priori known differences in boundary strengths instantiated in the π-gesture framework. Additionally, this method accurately distinguishes between types of boundaries in non-synthetic speech produced by four speakers. PMID:24244056

  1. Interrelation of resting state functional connectivity, striatal GABA levels, and cognitive control processes.

    PubMed

    Haag, Lauren; Quetscher, Clara; Dharmadhikari, Shalmali; Dydak, Ulrike; Schmidt-Wilcke, Tobias; Beste, Christian

    2015-11-01

    Important issues for cognitive control are response selection processes, known to depend on fronto-striatal networks with recent evidence suggesting that striatal gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) levels play an important role. Regional GABA concentrations have also been shown to modulate intrinsic connectivity, e.g. of the default mode network. However, the interrelation between striatal GABA levels, basal ganglia network (BGN) connectivity, and performance in cognitive control is elusive. In the current study, we measure striatal GABA levels using magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) and resting state parameters using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Resting state parameters include activity within the BGN, as determined by the low frequency power (LFP) within the network, and the functional connectivity between the BGN and somatomotor network (SMN). Specifically, we examine the interrelation between GABA, resting state parameters, and performance (i.e., accuracy) in conflict monitoring using a Simon task. Response control was affected by striatal GABA+ levels and activity within the BGN, especially when response selection was complicated by altered stimulus-response mappings. The data suggest that there are two mechanisms supporting response selection accuracy. One is related to resting state activity within the BGN and modulated by striatal GABA+ levels. The other is related to decreased cortico-striatal network connectivity, unrelated to the GABAergic system. The inclusion of all three factors (i.e., striatal GABA+ levels, activity within the BGN, and BGN-SMN network connectivity) explained a considerable amount of variance in task accuracy. Striatal neurobiochemical (GABA+) and parameters of the resting state BGN represent important modulators of response control. PMID:26354091

  2. Functional and anatomical correlates of word-, sentence-, and discourse-level integration in sign language

    PubMed Central

    Inubushi, Tomoo; Sakai, Kuniyoshi L.

    2013-01-01

    In both vocal and sign languages, we can distinguish word-, sentence-, and discourse-level integration in terms of hierarchical processes, which integrate various elements into another higher level of constructs. In the present study, we used magnetic resonance imaging and voxel-based morphometry (VBM) to test three language tasks in Japanese Sign Language (JSL): word-level (Word), sentence-level (Sent), and discourse-level (Disc) decision tasks. We analyzed cortical activity and gray matter (GM) volumes of Deaf signers, and clarified three major points. First, we found that the activated regions in the frontal language areas gradually expanded in the dorso-ventral axis, corresponding to a difference in linguistic units for the three tasks. Moreover, the activations in each region of the frontal language areas were incrementally modulated with the level of linguistic integration. These dual mechanisms of the frontal language areas may reflect a basic organization principle of hierarchically integrating linguistic information. Secondly, activations in the lateral premotor cortex and inferior frontal gyrus were left-lateralized. Direct comparisons among the language tasks exhibited more focal activation in these regions, suggesting their functional localization. Thirdly, we found significantly positive correlations between individual task performances and GM volumes in localized regions, even when the ages of acquisition (AOAs) of JSL and Japanese were factored out. More specifically, correlations with the performances of the Word and Sent tasks were found in the left precentral/postcentral gyrus and insula, respectively, while correlations with those of the Disc task were found in the left ventral inferior frontal gyrus and precuneus. The unification of functional and anatomical studies would thus be fruitful for understanding human language systems from the aspects of both universality and individuality. PMID:24155706

  3. Correlation between morphology and function of the upper lip: a longitudinal evaluation.

    PubMed

    Ambrosio, Aldrieli Regina; Trevilatto, Paula Cristina; Sakima, Tatsuko; Ignácio, Sérgio Aparecido; Shimizu, Roberto Hideo

    2009-06-01

    In order to evaluate the relationship between the morphology of the upper lip and muscle activity in a sample of 38 subjects (17 males and 21 females) with Angle Class II division 1 malocclusions, cephalometric and electromyographic analyses were conducted. The sample was subdivided into either predominantly nose or mouth breathers. The individuals were evaluated at two different periods, with a 2 year interval. At the first observation, the subjects were 11 years to 14 years 11 months of age and at the second observation, 13 years 4 months to 16 years 6 months of age. Height and thickness of the upper lip were measured on lateral cephalograms with the aid of a digital pachymeter. For each individual, electromyographic records were obtained of the orbicularis oris superior muscle at rest and in a series of 12 movements. The electromyographic data were normalized as a function of amplitude, for achievement of the percentage value of each movement. Pearson and Spearman correlation tests were applied. The results showed some correlation between morphology and muscle function (at a confidence level of 95 per cent). However, as the values of the correlation coefficient (r) were too low to establish associations between variables, it was concluded that the dimensions of the upper lip are not correlated with muscle activity.

  4. An audiotaped mental health evaluation tool for Hispanic immigrants with a range of literacy levels.

    PubMed

    Boiko, Patricia; Katon, Wayne; Guerra, Juan C; Mazzoni, Sara

    2005-01-01

    Debilitating mental illness is treatable if found. There is no validated self-administered mental illness evaluation tool for immigrant Hispanic farm workers with variable literacy levels. This study tested sensitivity and specificity of an audiotaped survey developed for low literacy levels compared with standard interview instruments. Subjects from 11 migrant camps completed a self-administered audiotaped survey in Spanish to diagnose major depression, substance abuse, panic and generalized anxiety, and domestic violence. Primary care clinics assisted in finding camps and provided follow-up treatment. For 154 men and 156 women, the audio tool was most sensitive for major depression and specific for anxiety disorder, alcohol abuse, and domestic violence. Seventy percent of those diagnosed with major depression received appropriate treatment. This study validated an inexpensive, self-administered audio tool to evaluate the mental health of immigrant Hispanic farm workers with a wide range of literacy levels. PMID:15744475

  5. Identification of high-level functional/system requirements for future civil transports

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swink, Jay R.; Goins, Richard T.

    1992-01-01

    In order to accommodate the rapid growth in commercial aviation throughout the remainder of this century, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is faced with a formidable challenge to upgrade and/or modernize the National Airspace System (NAS) without compromising safety or efficiency. A recurring theme in both the Aviation System Capital Investment Plan (CIP), which has replaced the NAS Plan, and the new FAA Plan for Research, Engineering, and Development (RE&D) rely on the application of new technologies and a greater use of automation. Identifying the high-level functional and system impacts of such modernization efforts on future civil transport operational requirements, particularly in terms of cockpit functionality and information transfer, was the primary objective of this project. The FAA planning documents for the NAS of the 2005 era and beyond were surveyed; major aircraft functional capabilities and system components required for such an operating environment were identified. A hierarchical structured analysis of the information processing and flows emanating from such functional/system components were conducted and the results documented in graphical form depicting the relationships between functions and systems.

  6. Setting Healthcare Priorities at the Macro and Meso Levels: A Framework for Evaluation

    PubMed Central

    Barasa, Edwine W.; Molyneux, Sassy; English, Mike; Cleary, Susan

    2015-01-01

    Background: Priority setting in healthcare is a key determinant of health system performance. However, there is no widely accepted priority setting evaluation framework. We reviewed literature with the aim of developing and proposing a framework for the evaluation of macro and meso level healthcare priority setting practices. Methods: We systematically searched Econlit, PubMed, CINAHL, and EBSCOhost databases and supplemented this with searches in Google Scholar, relevant websites and reference lists of relevant papers. A total of 31 papers on evaluation of priority setting were identified. These were supplemented by broader theoretical literature related to evaluation of priority setting. A conceptual review of selected papers was undertaken. Results: Based on a synthesis of the selected literature, we propose an evaluative framework that requires that priority setting practices at the macro and meso levels of the health system meet the following conditions: (1) Priority setting decisions should incorporate both efficiency and equity considerations as well as the following outcomes; (a) Stakeholder satisfaction, (b) Stakeholder understanding, (c) Shifted priorities (reallocation of resources), and (d) Implementation of decisions. (2) Priority setting processes should also meet the procedural conditions of (a) Stakeholder engagement, (b) Stakeholder empowerment, (c) Transparency, (d) Use of evidence, (e) Revisions, (f) Enforcement, and (g) Being grounded on community values. Conclusion: Available frameworks for the evaluation of priority setting are mostly grounded on procedural requirements, while few have included outcome requirements. There is, however, increasing recognition of the need to incorporate both consequential and procedural considerations in priority setting practices. In this review, we adapt an integrative approach to develop and propose a framework for the evaluation of priority setting practices at the macro and meso levels that draws from these

  7. Evaluation of sexual functions and marital adjustment of pregnant women in Turkey.

    PubMed

    Yanikkerem, E; Goker, A; Ustgorul, S; Karakus, A

    2016-09-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate pregnant women's sexual function and marital adjustment. The sample of the study included 298 women, and it was evaluated using Golombok Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction (GRISS) Scale and Marital Adjustment Scale. The most important reasons for decreasing the frequency of sexual intercourse included the fear of harming the fetus during intercourse (62.1%), fear of having miscarriage (47.8%) and decreased sexual desire (34.7%). It was found that women with sexual dysfunction had a significantly lower educational level, were living with three or more people in their home, were multiparious, had an unplanned pregnancy, reported pain during sexual intercourse and felt that their sexual life was very affected during pregnancy. The findings of the study showed that women had ⩾5 points for GRISS for the subscales as follows: infrequency (47.3%), non-communication (57.4%), dissatisfaction (15.4%), avoidance (6.4%), non-sensuality (19.1%), vaginismus (28.9%), anorgasmia (29.9%) and sexual dysfunction (17.4%). In conclusion, women who were living with three or more people at home, had lower income level, were smoking and had an unplanned pregnancy scored under 43.5 of MAS. It was found negative and there was a medium correlation between MAS score and total GRISS score. PMID:27305839

  8. Sequential measurement of peripheral blood allogeneic microchimerism levels and association with pulmonary function.

    PubMed

    McSherry, C; Jackson, A; Hertz, M I; Bolman, R M; Savik, K; Reinsmoen, N L

    1996-12-27

    We have shown in lung recipients that high levels of peripheral blood allogeneic microchimerism at 12 to 18 months posttransplant correlated with donor antigen-specific hyporeactivity (i.e., decreased proliferative response to donor antigen in MLC while response to 3rd-party cells remains unchanged); both parameters correlated with an obliterative bronchiolitis (OB)-free state. We have expanded these studies to determine any association of sequential microchimerism levels with concomitant clinical events. In this preliminary study of 7 lung recipients, we used limiting-dilution PCR to quantify peripheral blood microchimerism at serial timepoints ranging from 3 to >48 months posttransplant. These levels were compared with a variety of immunologic and clinical parameters: acute rejection, CMV infection, OB, donor antigen-specific hyporeactivity, and pulmonary function. Pulmonary function was measured per the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation: "current FEV1/ baseline FEV1" (FEV1: forced expiratory volume in 1 second). Of the clinical parameters, the association between microchimerism and pulmonary function was the most striking. We observed dynamic patterns of peripheral microchimerism, which reflected the general rise and fall of FEV1. In all 7 recipients, chimerism and FEV1 were high very early posttransplant, then dropped at various rates and to various degrees. After its initial decline, microchimerism increased with FEV1 for the 1 hyporesponsive recipient; for the other 6 recipients, both values declined. These results illustrate, for the first time, that the fluctuation of peripheral blood microchimerism levels is associated with the recipient's clinical condition. PMID:8990369

  9. Doppler echocardiographic parameters of evaluation of left ventricular systolic function.

    PubMed

    Drăgulescu, S I; Roşu, D; Abazid, J; Ionac, A

    1993-01-01

    The authors suggest a new method using Doppler echocardiography for the evaluation of cardiac performance. Doppler echocardiography permits the calculation of left ventricular (LV) ejection force (according to Newton's second law of motion). The ejection force was calculated in 36 patients with heart failure subgrouped into 3 groups based on ejection fraction (EF) (> 60%; 41-60%; < 40%) compared to 11 normal subjects. The LV ejection force showed a good linear correlation with LV ejection fraction (r = 0.86). Data of the study suggest that the LV ejection force is a valuable and accurate index for the assessment of cardiac performance, especially in early stages of disease.

  10. Caffeine alters resting-state functional connectivity measured by blood oxygenation level-dependent MRI.

    PubMed

    Wu, Wen-Chau; Lien, Shu-Hua; Chang, Jia-Horng; Yang, Shun-Chung

    2014-04-01

    This study aimed to investigate the pharmacological effect of caffeine on functional connectivity measured by resting-state blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) MRI in the motor cortex, visual cortex and default mode network (DMN). The protocols and procedures of the study were reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board of our institution. On a 3-T clinical MR system, 20 healthy volunteers underwent imaging before and after oral ingestion of a 200-mg over-the-counter caffeine pill (data from three individuals were excluded from further analysis because of excessive motion). The demographics of the remaining participants were as follows: female/male, 8/9; age, 21-35 years; non-habitual caffeine consumers over the past 6 months. Functional connectivity was calculated using the general linear model, assessed in terms of connected area (voxels) and statistical significance (Student t-values), and correlated with changes in regional cerebral blood flow as measured by arterial spin labeling MRI. Per-subject data analysis showed that caffeine decreased functional connectivity in the motor/visual cortices, but its effects on DMN varied among subjects. Correlation analysis of the changes in functional connectivity and regional blood flow suggested that the effect of caffeine on BOLD functional connectivity was predominantly neural (motor/visual cortices) and partly vascular (DMN). Group analysis showed that, after caffeine ingestion, DMN involved more attentional networks, and more extrastriate areas were integrated into the functional connectivity of the visual cortex, which may be associated with the known pharmacological effect of caffeine in elevating alertness. Caffeine consumption should thus be considered in the experimental design and data interpretation of functional connectivity studies using resting-state BOLD MRI.

  11. Cognitive function and endogenous cytokine levels in children with chronic hepatitis C.

    PubMed

    Abu Faddan, N H; Shehata, G A; Abd Elhafeez, H A; Mohamed, A O; Hassan, H S; Abd El Sameea, F

    2015-08-01

    Little is known about how hepatitis C (HCV) infection affects cognitive function in children. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of HCV infection on cognitive function of children with normal liver functions and their relationships to endogenous IFN-α, IL-6 and TNF-α. IFN-α, IL-6 and TNF-α were measured and the Arabic version of the Stanford-Binet test used to assess cognitive functions in 35 children with HCV infection and 23 controls. Serum levels of IL-6 and IFN-α were significantly higher in patients compared to controls. There was a significant effect on vocabulary, comprehension, and abstract visual reasoning, quantitative reasoning and bead memory tests, as well as total short-term memory and intelligence quotient in patients compared to controls. There was a significant positive correlation between IFN-α and IL-6. Also there were significant negative correlations between IFN-α and Abstract visual reasoning test, Quantitative reasoning test, Bead memory test, Total short-term memory and Intelligence quotient; and between IL-6 and Abstract visual reasoning test, Quantitative reasoning test and Intelligence quotient. There was no significant correlation between TNF-α and any of the cognitive functions. Cytokine levels were not related to demographic characteristics of the patients or viral load (PCR). Children with chronic hepatitis C infection in its early stages showed signs of cognitive impairment, with the memory tasks being mostly affected. There was a significant correlation between endogenous cytokines and cognitive impairment in these children. Further studies are needed to define the effect of successful antiviral treatment. PMID:25496114

  12. Evaluation of a Functional Interconnect System for SOFC's

    SciTech Connect

    Matthew Bender; James Rakowski

    2010-12-31

    The overall objective of this project was to validate the concept and application of a functional interconnect, based on a ferritic stainless steel, for a solid oxide fuel cell through manufacturing trials, laboratory testing, and field experience. The materials of construction and their surfaces were to be optimized for the particular service conditions and include low-cost ferritic stainless steels, novel postprocess treatments, and third-party coatings. This work aimed to optimize specific aspects of substrate alloy chemistry and to study the effects of long-term exposures on resistive oxide film structure and chemistry, interaction with applied surface coatings, and effectiveness of novel surface treatments.

  13. [Objective evaluation of compensation of permanent loss of vestibular function].

    PubMed

    Kugler, R; Andrzejewski, K; Szecherew, G

    1980-01-01

    The method of quantitative assessment of the dynamics of compensation of peripheral equilibrium disturbances was applied in patients with sudden permanent unilateral loss of vestibular function of different aetiology. The course of compensation was assessed by means of the test of threshold excitability during rotation for establishing the threshold of practical compensation. It was found that the rate of the compensation process was influenced by: 1) greater adaptation of the central nervous system in young subjects, 2) earlier beginning of exercises. The clinical importance of early detection of the threshold of practical compensation and its significance for expert opinion are discussed.

  14. Evaluation of mobile phone addiction level and sleep quality in university students

    PubMed Central

    Sahin, Sevil; Ozdemir, Kevser; Unsal, Alaattin; Temiz, Nazen

    2013-01-01

    Objective: To determine the mobile phone addiction level in university students, to examine several associated factors and to evaluate the relation between the addiction level and sleep quality. Methods: The study is a cross-sectional research conducted on the students of the Sakarya University between 01 November 2012 and 01 February 2013. The study group included 576 students. The Problematic Mobile Phone Use Scale was used for evaluating the mobile phone addiction level and the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index for assessing the sleep quality. Mann-Whitney U test, Kruskal-Wallis test and Spearman’s Correlation Analysis were used for analyzing the data. Results: The study group consisted of 296 (51.4%) females and 208 (48.6%) males. The mean age was 20.83 ± 1.90 years (min:17, max:28). The addiction level was determined to be higher in the second-year students, those with poor family income, those with type A personality, those whose age for first mobile phone is 13 and below and those whose duration of daily mobile phone use is above 5 hours (p < 0.05 for each). The sleep quality worsens with increasing mobile phone addiction level (p < 0.05). Conclusion: The sleep quality worsens with increasing addiction level. It was concluded that referring the students with suspected addiction to advanced healthcare facilities, performing occasional scans for early diagnosis and informing the students about controlled mobile phone use would be useful. PMID:24353658

  15. Seismic hazard of the Iberian Peninsula: evaluation with kernel functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crespo, M. J.; Martínez, F.; Martí, J.

    2014-05-01

    The seismic hazard of the Iberian Peninsula is analysed using a nonparametric methodology based on statistical kernel functions; the activity rate is derived from the catalogue data, both its spatial dependence (without a seismogenic zonation) and its magnitude dependence (without using Gutenberg-Richter's relationship). The catalogue is that of the Instituto Geográfico Nacional, supplemented with other catalogues around the periphery; the quantification of events has been homogenised and spatially or temporally interrelated events have been suppressed to assume a Poisson process. The activity rate is determined by the kernel function, the bandwidth and the effective periods. The resulting rate is compared with that produced using Gutenberg-Richter statistics and a zoned approach. Three attenuation relationships have been employed, one for deep sources and two for shallower events, depending on whether their magnitude was above or below 5. The results are presented as seismic hazard maps for different spectral frequencies and for return periods of 475 and 2475 yr, which allows constructing uniform hazard spectra.

  16. Seismic hazards of the Iberian Peninsula - evaluation with kernel functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crespo, M. J.; Martínez, F.; Martí, J.

    2013-08-01

    The seismic hazard of the Iberian Peninsula is analysed using a nonparametric methodology based on statistical kernel functions; the activity rate is derived from the catalogue data, both its spatial dependence (without a seismogenetic zonation) and its magnitude dependence (without using Gutenberg-Richter's law). The catalogue is that of the Instituto Geográfico Nacional, supplemented with other catalogues around the periphery; the quantification of events has been homogenised and spatially or temporally interrelated events have been suppressed to assume a Poisson process. The activity rate is determined by the kernel function, the bandwidth and the effective periods. The resulting rate is compared with that produced using Gutenberg-Richter statistics and a zoned approach. Three attenuation laws have been employed, one for deep sources and two for shallower events, depending on whether their magnitude was above or below 5. The results are presented as seismic hazard maps for different spectral frequencies and for return periods of 475 and 2475 yr, which allows constructing uniform hazard spectra.

  17. Towards functional transplant donor matching by measurement of granzyme A and granzyme B production levels.

    PubMed

    Kircher, Brigitte; Hack, C Erik; Dickinson, Anne M; Wang, Xiao N; Oudshoorn, Machteld; Sachs, Annemarie; Wolbink, Angela; Niederwieser, Dietger; Eibl, Günther J; van Houwelingen, Hans C; Goulmy, Els

    2004-10-01

    Graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) can be a major complication after allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT) especially when donor and recipient are unrelated. The latter serious complication, together with the growing number of available unrelated stem cell donors, demand a simple in vitro assay for functional stem cell donor selection. Activated donor cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) and natural killer cells produce granzymes (Gr) that are involved in the pathogenesis of GvHD. We measured granzymes A and B (GrA and GrB) production levels in the supernatants of 96 h pretransplant mixed lymphocyte cultures (MLC) of 26 sibling and 31 unrelated patient/donor pairs by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In detail, the GrA and GrB production levels from a selected cohort of 37 potential patient/donor pairs were correlated with relative responses (RR) of MLC and with human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II mismatches and with the development of acute GvHD in a second, consecutive cohort of 20 sibling SCT recipients. In vitro measurement of GrA and GrB production levels significantly correlated with the RR of pretransplant MLC (r=0.492, p< or =0.01 and r=0.853, p< or =0.01, respectively) and increased with the number of HLA class II mismatches between patient and donor. Pretransplant GrA production levels were significantly associated with the in vivo development of acute GvHD grades II-IV in patients transplanted with an HLA-identical sibling donor (p< or =0.001). In conclusion, in vitro GrA and GrB production levels can be measured by a quantitative and sensitive ELISA. This novel and simple method may be used for functional selection of unrelated stem cell donors and for the identification of patients who are at risk for acute GvHD grades II-IV.

  18. Reliable Energy Level Alignment at Physisorbed Molecule–Metal Interfaces from Density Functional Theory

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    A key quantity for molecule–metal interfaces is the energy level alignment of molecular electronic states with the metallic Fermi level. We develop and apply an efficient theoretical method, based on density functional theory (DFT) that can yield quantitatively accurate energy level alignment information for physisorbed metal–molecule interfaces. The method builds on the “DFT+Σ” approach, grounded in many-body perturbation theory, which introduces an approximate electron self-energy that corrects the level alignment obtained from conventional DFT for missing exchange and correlation effects associated with the gas-phase molecule and substrate polarization. Here, we extend the DFT+Σ approach in two important ways: first, we employ optimally tuned range-separated hybrid functionals to compute the gas-phase term, rather than rely on GW or total energy differences as in prior work; second, we use a nonclassical DFT-determined image-charge plane of the metallic surface to compute the substrate polarization term, rather than the classical DFT-derived image plane used previously. We validate this new approach by a detailed comparison with experimental and theoretical reference data for several prototypical molecule–metal interfaces, where excellent agreement with experiment is achieved: benzene on graphite (0001), and 1,4-benzenediamine, Cu-phthalocyanine, and 3,4,9,10-perylene-tetracarboxylic-dianhydride on Au(111). In particular, we show that the method correctly captures level alignment trends across chemical systems and that it retains its accuracy even for molecules for which conventional DFT suffers from severe self-interaction errors. PMID:25741626

  19. Reliable energy level alignment at physisorbed molecule-metal interfaces from density functional theory.

    PubMed

    Egger, David A; Liu, Zhen-Fei; Neaton, Jeffrey B; Kronik, Leeor

    2015-04-01

    A key quantity for molecule-metal interfaces is the energy level alignment of molecular electronic states with the metallic Fermi level. We develop and apply an efficient theoretical method, based on density functional theory (DFT) that can yield quantitatively accurate energy level alignment information for physisorbed metal-molecule interfaces. The method builds on the "DFT+Σ" approach, grounded in many-body perturbation theory, which introduces an approximate electron self-energy that corrects the level alignment obtained from conventional DFT for missing exchange and correlation effects associated with the gas-phase molecule and substrate polarization. Here, we extend the DFT+Σ approach in two important ways: first, we employ optimally tuned range-separated hybrid functionals to compute the gas-phase term, rather than rely on GW or total energy differences as in prior work; second, we use a nonclassical DFT-determined image-charge plane of the metallic surface to compute the substrate polarization term, rather than the classical DFT-derived image plane used previously. We validate this new approach by a detailed comparison with experimental and theoretical reference data for several prototypical molecule-metal interfaces, where excellent agreement with experiment is achieved: benzene on graphite (0001), and 1,4-benzenediamine, Cu-phthalocyanine, and 3,4,9,10-perylene-tetracarboxylic-dianhydride on Au(111). In particular, we show that the method correctly captures level alignment trends across chemical systems and that it retains its accuracy even for molecules for which conventional DFT suffers from severe self-interaction errors. PMID:25741626

  20. Association of Fitness Level With Cardiovascular Risk and Vascular Function in Older Nonexercising Individuals.

    PubMed

    Oudegeest-Sander, Madelijn H; Thijssen, Dick H J; Smits, Paul; van Dijk, Arie P J; Olde Rikkert, Marcel G M; Hopman, Maria T E

    2015-07-01

    It is currently unknown whether differences in physical fitness in older, nonexercising individuals affect cardiovascular risk profile and vascular function. To examine this, 40 healthy older individuals (age 69 ± 4 years) who were classified as nonexercising for the past 5-10 years were allocated to a lower physical fitness (LF; VO2max 20.7 ± 2.4 mlO2/min/kg) or higher physical fitness group (HF; VO2max 29.1 ± 2.8 mlO2/ min/kg, p < .001). Cardiovascular risk profile was calculated using the Lifetime Risk Score (LRS). Vascular function was examined using the gold standard venous occlusion plethysmography to assess blood flow changes in response to intra-arterial infusion of acetylcholine, sodium nitroprusside, and L-NNMA. Daily life activity level of the HF group was higher compared with the LF group (p = .04). LRS was higher (p < .001) and blood flow ratio response to acetylcholine was lower (p = .04) in the LF group. This study shows that a higher physical fitness level is associated with better cardiovascular health and vascular function in nonexercising older individuals. PMID:25222970

  1. Level densities and gamma-ray strength functions in 170,171,172-Yb

    SciTech Connect

    Agvaanluvsan, U; Schiller, A; Becker, J; Bernstein, L; Garrett, P; Guttormsen, M; Mitchell, G; Rekstad, J; Siem, S; Voinov, A; Younes, W

    2004-07-28

    Level densities and radiative strength functions in {sup 171}Yb and {sup 170}Yb nuclei have been measured using the {sup 171}Yb({sup 3}He{sup 3}He{gamma}){sup 171}Yb and {sup 171}Yb({sup 3}He,{alpha}{gamma}){sup 170}Yb reactions. New data on {sup 171}Yb are compared to a previous measurement for {sup 171}Yb from the {sup 172}Yb({sup 3}He,{alpha}{gamma}){sup 171}Yb reaction. Systematics of level densities and radiative strength functions in {sup 170,171,172}Yb are established. The entropy excess in {sup 171}Yb relative to the even-even nuclei {sup 170,172}Yb due to the unpaired neutron quasiparticle is found to be approximately 2k{sub B}. Results for the radiative strength function from the two reactions lead to consistent parameters characterizing the ''pygmy'' resonances. Pygmy resonances in the {sup 170,172}Yb populated by the ({sup 3}He,{alpha}) reaction appear to be split into two components for both of which a complete set of resonance parameters are obtained.

  2. Immunogenicity and functional evaluation of iPSC-derived organs for transplantation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Libin; Cao, Jiani; Wang, Yukai; Lan, Tianshu; Liu, Lei; Wang, Weixu; Jin, Ning; Gong, Jiaqi; Zhang, Chao; Teng, Fei; Yan, Guoliang; Li, Chun; Li, Jiali; Wan, Haifeng; Hu, Baoyang; Li, Wei; Zhao, Xiaoyang; Qi, Zhongquan; Zhao, Tongbiao; Zhou, Qi

    2015-01-01

    Whether physiologically induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived organs are immunogenic and can be used for transplantation is unclear. Here, we generated iPSC-derived skin, islet, and heart representing three germ layers of the body through 4n complementation and evaluated their immunogenicity and therapeutic efficacy. Upon transplantation into recipient mice, iPSC-derived skin successfully survived and repaired local tissue wounds. In diabetic mouse models, explanted iPSC-derived islets effectively produced insulin and lowered blood glucose to basal levels. iPSC-derived heart grafts maintained normal beating for more than 3 months in syngeneic recipients. Importantly, no obvious immune rejection responses against iPSC-derived organs were detected long after transplantation. Our study not only demonstrates the fundamental immunogenicity and function of iPSC derivatives, but also provides preclinical evidence to support the feasibility of using iPSC-derived skin, islet, and heart for therapeutic use.

  3. A noise level prediction method based on electro-mechanical frequency response function for capacitors.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Lingyu; Ji, Shengchang; Shen, Qi; Liu, Yuan; Li, Jinyu; Liu, Hao

    2013-01-01

    The capacitors in high-voltage direct-current (HVDC) converter stations radiate a lot of audible noise which can reach higher than 100 dB. The existing noise level prediction methods are not satisfying enough. In this paper, a new noise level prediction method is proposed based on a frequency response function considering both electrical and mechanical characteristics of capacitors. The electro-mechanical frequency response function (EMFRF) is defined as the frequency domain quotient of the vibration response and the squared capacitor voltage, and it is obtained from impulse current experiment. Under given excitations, the vibration response of the capacitor tank is the product of EMFRF and the square of the given capacitor voltage in frequency domain, and the radiated audible noise is calculated by structure acoustic coupling formulas. The noise level under the same excitations is also measured in laboratory, and the results are compared with the prediction. The comparison proves that the noise prediction method is effective. PMID:24349105

  4. FBI fingerprint identification automation study: AIDS 3 evaluation report. Volume 7: Top down functional analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mulhall, B. D. L.

    1980-01-01

    The functions are identified and described in chart form as a tree in which the basic functions, to 'Provide National Identification Service,' are shown at the top. The lower levels of the tree branch out to indicate functions and sub-functions. Symbols are used to indicate whether or not a function was automated in the AIDS 1 or 2 system or is planned to be automated in the AIDS 3 system. The tree chart is shown in detail.

  5. The functional evaluation of waste yuzu (Citrus junos) seeds.

    PubMed

    Minamisawa, Mayumi; Yoshida, Shoichiro; Uzawa, Atsushi

    2014-02-01

    We have succeeded in extracting a large amount of expensive limonoids and the high total antioxidant capability yuzu seed oil from waste yuzu seed by simple methods. Yuzu seeds contain higher amounts of fat-soluble limonoid aglycone (330.6 mg g(-1) of dry seed), water-soluble limonoid glycoside (452.0 mg g(-1) of dry seed), and oil (40 mg g(-1) of green seed) than other citrus fruits. The antioxidant activities of yuzu seed aglycone, glycoside, and seed oil were evaluated in vitro. The potential antioxidant activity in oil solution, diphenylpicrylhydrazyl radical-scavenging activity, and hydrogen peroxide-scavenging activity effects of the seed extracts were also investigated. The antioxidant activity of yuzu seed oil was two times that of grapefruit seed oil, which has high activity. Yuzu glycoside produced the same high antioxidant activity as Luo Han Guo glycoside. PMID:24336775

  6. Evaluation of the appropriateness of using glucometers for measuring the blood glucose levels in mice.

    PubMed

    Togashi, Yu; Shirakawa, Jun; Okuyama, Tomoko; Yamazaki, Shunsuke; Kyohara, Mayu; Miyazawa, Ayumi; Suzuki, Takafumi; Hamada, Mari; Terauchi, Yasuo

    2016-01-01

    Glucometers are also widely used in diabetes research conducted using animal models. However, the appropriateness of measuring blood glucose levels using glucometers in animal models remains unclear. In this study, we evaluated the consistency between the blood glucose levels measured by 11 models of glucometers and plasma glucose levels measured by a laboratory biochemical test in blood samples collected by retro-orbital sinus puncture or tail-tip amputation. In both blood samples obtained by retro-orbital sinus puncture and those obtained by tail-tip amputation, 10 of the 11 models of glucometers yielded higher glucose values, while 1 yielded lower glucose values, than the plasma glucose values yielded by the laboratory test, the differences being in direct proportion to the plasma glucose values. Most glucometers recorded higher blood glucose levels after glucose loading and lower blood glucose levels after insulin loading in retro-orbital sinus blood as compared to tail vein blood. Our data suggest that the blood glucose levels measured by glucometers in mice tended to be higher than the plasma glucose levels yielded by the biochemical test under the hyperglycemic state, and that differences in the measured levels were observed according to the blood collection method depending on the glycemia status. PMID:27151424

  7. Evaluation of the appropriateness of using glucometers for measuring the blood glucose levels in mice

    PubMed Central

    Togashi, Yu; Shirakawa, Jun; Okuyama, Tomoko; Yamazaki, Shunsuke; Kyohara, Mayu; Miyazawa, Ayumi; Suzuki, Takafumi; Hamada, Mari; Terauchi, Yasuo

    2016-01-01

    Glucometers are also widely used in diabetes research conducted using animal models. However, the appropriateness of measuring blood glucose levels using glucometers in animal models remains unclear. In this study, we evaluated the consistency between the blood glucose levels measured by 11 models of glucometers and plasma glucose levels measured by a laboratory biochemical test in blood samples collected by retro-orbital sinus puncture or tail-tip amputation. In both blood samples obtained by retro-orbital sinus puncture and those obtained by tail-tip amputation, 10 of the 11 models of glucometers yielded higher glucose values, while 1 yielded lower glucose values, than the plasma glucose values yielded by the laboratory test, the differences being in direct proportion to the plasma glucose values. Most glucometers recorded higher blood glucose levels after glucose loading and lower blood glucose levels after insulin loading in retro-orbital sinus blood as compared to tail vein blood. Our data suggest that the blood glucose levels measured by glucometers in mice tended to be higher than the plasma glucose levels yielded by the biochemical test under the hyperglycemic state, and that differences in the measured levels were observed according to the blood collection method depending on the glycemia status. PMID:27151424

  8. Evaluation of circulating levels and renal clearance of natural amino acids in patients with Cushing's disease.

    PubMed

    Faggiano, A; Pivonello, R; Melis, D; Alfieri, R; Filippella, M; Spagnuolo, G; Salvatore, F; Lombardi, G; Colao, A

    2002-02-01

    Although the hypercortisolism-induced impairment of protein homeostasis is object of several studies, a detailed evaluation of the complete amino acid profile of patients with Cushing's syndrome (CS) has never been performed. The aim of the current open transversal controlled study was to evaluate serum and urinary concentrations as well as renal clearance of the complete series of natural amino acids and their relationship with glucose tolerance in patients with Cushing's disease (CD). Twenty patients with CD (10 active and 10 cured) and 20 sex- and age-matched healthy controls entered the study. Measurement of serum and urinary levels of the complete series of natural amino acids was performed in all patients analyzed by cationic exchange high performance liquid cromatography (HPLC) after 2 weeks of a standardized protein intake regimen. The renal clearance (renal excretion rate) of each amino acid was calculated on the basis of the serum and urinary concentrations of creatinine and the specific amino acid. Fasting glucose and insulin levels, glucose and insulin response to standard glucose load, insulinogenic and homeostasis model insulin resistance (Homa-R) indexes were also evaluated and correlated to the circulating levels and renal clearances of each amino acid. Significantly higher serum (p<0.01) and urinary (p<0.05) levels of alanine and cystine, lower serum and higher urinary levels of leucine, isoleucine and valine (p<0.05) and higher renal excretion rates of leucine, isoleucine and valine (p<0.01) were found in patients with active CD than in patients cured from the disease and in controls. No difference was found between cured patients and controls. Creatinine clearance was similar in active and cured patients and in controls. In patients with active CD, urinary cortisol levels were significantly correlated to urinary cystine levels (r=0.85; p<0.01) and renal excretion rate of leucine (r=-0.76; p<0.05), isoleucine (r=-0.76; p<0.05) and valine (r=-0

  9. Sonotubometry, a useful tool for the evaluation of the Eustachian tube ventilatory function

    PubMed Central

    Borangiu, A; Popescu, CR; Purcarea, VL

    2014-01-01

    From the three Eustachian tube (ET) functions: middle ear protection, secretion clearance and middle ear ventilation, the ventilatory function is unanimously considered the most important one, because proper hearing is established only when tympanic membrane compliance is normal. This requires equilibrium between the middle ear and ambient gas pressure, which makes the normal functioning of active ET opening of critical importance. There are several methods and tests that can assess such a complex and variable mechanism. Sonotubometry is one such method; despite the fact that it has been continuously improved in the last 20 years, it is not yet systematically used to evaluate the ET ventilatory function, because its measurement pattern, context mapping (patient, clinic data, medication, treatment), validation, reproducibility and value for clinic practice, have not yet been fully consolidated and integrated in a knowledge-based, service-oriented system, that can provide decision support or even diagnostic. The paper reviews the role of tubal sonometry as a non-invasive, physiologic and easy to use method in assessing the ventilatory function and investigates the validity and reproducibility of a measuring pattern and test in a group of children. The paper describes the test pattern used, and the computer-based platform based on: (1) Digital Signal Processing (DSP) for sound acquisition and low-level processing; (2) Artificial Intelligence techniques to extract significant sound features from sonotubograms and learn a manifold context database. Results are reported from test series carried out in healthy children; a similar study between tests is included in the final Discussions section. PMID:25713631

  10. Conversion of transuranic waste to low level waste by decontamination: a technical and economic evaluation

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, R.P.; Hazelton, R.F.

    1984-12-01

    A study was conducted to evaluate the technical and economic feasibility of using in-situ decontamination techniques to convert glove boxes and other large TRU-contaminated components directly into LLW. The results of the technical evaluation indicate that in-situ decontamination of these types of components to non-TRU levels is technically feasible. Applicable decontamination techniques include electropolishing, hand scrubbing, chemical washes/sprays, strippable coatings and Freon spray-cleaning. The removal of contamination from crevices and other holdup areas remains a problem, but may be solved through further advances in decontamination technology. Also, the increase in the allowable maximum TRU level from 10 nCi/g to 100 nCi/g as defined in DOE Order 5820.2 reduces the removal requirement and facilitates measurement of the remaining quantities. The major emphasis of the study was on a cost/benefit evaluation that included a review and update of previous analyses and evaluations of TRU-waste volume reduction and conversion options. The results of the economic evaluation show, for the assumptions used, that there is a definite cost incentive to size reduce large components, and that decontamination of sectioned material has become cost competitive with the size reduction options. In-situ decontamination appears to be the lowest cost option when based on routine-type operations conducted by well-trained and properly equipped personnel. 16 references, 1 figure, 7 tables.

  11. Development and evaluation of a function-oriented display system

    SciTech Connect

    Andresen, G.; Broberg, H.; Kvalem, J.

    2006-07-01

    Although no clear design philosophy for screen-based HSIs exist, Screen-based Human System Interfaces (HSI) are gradually replacing the conventional panel-based HSIs. The current paper presents a comprehensive design philosophy where a function-analysis of the plant forms the backbone of the information requirements, information presentation and display organization. The main characteristics of the concept are described as well as the development process behind the first prototype. Findings from the first usability test of the prototype are reported and potential benefits of the HSI are discussed. Ideas and problem areas for a future improved prototype are also described in the paper. The work is part of OECD Halden Reactor Project's ongoing research on innovative design for advanced NPP control-rooms and is conducted in close co-operation with Electricite de France. (authors)

  12. LANDSAT-4 Thematic Mapper Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schowengerdt, R. (Principal Investigator)

    1985-01-01

    The Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) for thematic mapping (TM) bands 3, 4, 5 and 7 is reliably estimated with the San Mateo Bridge target in the 12/31/82 scene. These results are to be compared with those from the 8/12/83 scene. Bands 1, 2 and 6 are to be analyzed with a different target possessing greater contrast. This may be possible with the underflight data comparison currently underway. The registration of this data to the TM image of 8/12/83 for a region arround the Stockton sewage pond east of San Francisco has begun. This particular approach has the advantage that the full two-dimensional MFT will be measured instead of the MFT in only one azimuth as reported.

  13. Evaluation of growth differentiation factor 11 (GDF11) levels in dogs with chronic mitral valve insufficiency

    PubMed Central

    Ahn, Sung-Taek; Suh, Sang-Il; Moon, Hyeongsun; Hyun, Changbaig

    2016-01-01

    Growth differentiation factor 11 (GDF11) regulates cell growth and differentiation in both embryonic and adult tissues. Circulating GDF11 levels have recently been reported to be significantly lower in aging mice and restoration of GDF11 reversed age-related cardiac hypertrophy in old mice. Here, we evaluated the potential of serum levels of GDF11 as a circulating biomarker in dogs at different stages of heart failure, due to chronic mitral valve insufficiency (CMVI). We found no significant differences in serum GDF11 levels between dogs at different stages of CMVI-associated heart failure. Furthermore, the circulating levels of GDF11 did not correlate with age, body weight, echocardiographic variables, and the severity of CMVI-induced heart failure in dogs. PMID:26733738

  14. Evaluation of growth differentiation factor 11 (GDF11) levels in dogs with chronic mitral valve insufficiency.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Sung-Taek; Suh, Sang-Il; Moon, Hyeongsun; Hyun, Changbaig

    2016-01-01

    Growth differentiation factor 11 (GDF11) regulates cell growth and differentiation in both embryonic and adult tissues. Circulating GDF11 levels have recently been reported to be significantly lower in aging mice and restoration of GDF11 reversed age-related cardiac hypertrophy in old mice. Here, we evaluated the potential of serum levels of GDF11 as a circulating biomarker in dogs at different stages of heart failure, due to chronic mitral valve insufficiency (CMVI). We found no significant differences in serum GDF11 levels between dogs at different stages of CMVI-associated heart failure. Furthermore, the circulating levels of GDF11 did not correlate with age, body weight, echocardiographic variables, and the severity of CMVI-induced heart failure in dogs. PMID:26733738

  15. Evaluation of growth differentiation factor 11 (GDF11) levels in dogs with chronic mitral valve insufficiency.

    PubMed

    Ahn, Sung-Taek; Suh, Sang-Il; Moon, Hyeongsun; Hyun, Changbaig

    2016-01-01

    Growth differentiation factor 11 (GDF11) regulates cell growth and differentiation in both embryonic and adult tissues. Circulating GDF11 levels have recently been reported to be significantly lower in aging mice and restoration of GDF11 reversed age-related cardiac hypertrophy in old mice. Here, we evaluated the potential of serum levels of GDF11 as a circulating biomarker in dogs at different stages of heart failure, due to chronic mitral valve insufficiency (CMVI). We found no significant differences in serum GDF11 levels between dogs at different stages of CMVI-associated heart failure. Furthermore, the circulating levels of GDF11 did not correlate with age, body weight, echocardiographic variables, and the severity of CMVI-induced heart failure in dogs.

  16. Serum osteocalcin (BGP) levels in normal men: a longitudinal evaluation reveals an age-associated increase.

    PubMed

    Orwoll, E S; Deftos, L J

    1990-03-01

    Serum levels of bone gla protein (BGP) have been reported to increase with aging and hence to reflect an age-related increase in bone remodeling activity. To evaluate the relationship between aging and serum BGP levels in a study of longitudinal design, we measured BGP concentrations in 77 normal men at 6 month intervals over a 3 year period. Mean BGP levels at the onset (4.95 +/- 1.5 ng/ml) increased significantly during the study (p = 0.004), and the mean of individual BGP slopes was positive (0.38 +/- 0.6 ng/ml per year, p = 0.0001). The rate of change in BGP was not related to serum creatinine levels or dietary calcium intake.

  17. From transcriptomic to protein level changes in TDP-43 and FUS loss-of-function cell models.

    PubMed

    Colombrita, Claudia; Onesto, Elisa; Buratti, Emanuele; de la Grange, Pierre; Gumina, Valentina; Baralle, Francisco E; Silani, Vincenzo; Ratti, Antonia

    2015-12-01

    The full definition of the physiological RNA targets regulated by TDP-43 and FUS RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) represents an important issue in understanding the pathogenic mechanisms associated to these two proteins in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. In the last few years several high-throughput screenings have generated a plethora of data, which are difficult to compare due to the different experimental designs and models explored. In this study by using the Affymetrix Exon Arrays, we were able to assess and compare the effects of both TDP-43 and FUS loss-of-function on the whole transcriptome using the same human neuronal SK-N-BE cell model. We showed that TDP-43 and FUS depletion induces splicing and gene expression changes mainly distinct for the two RBPs, although they may regulate common pathways, including neuron differentiation and cytoskeleton organization as evidenced by functional annotation analysis. In particular, TDP-43 and FUS were found to regulate splicing and expression of genes related to neuronal (SEPT6, SULT4A1, TNIK) and RNA metabolism (DICER, ELAVL3/HuC, POLDIP3). Our extended analysis at protein level revealed that these changes have also impact on the protein isoform ratio and content, not always in a direct correlation with transcriptomic data. Contrarily to a loss-of-function mechanism, we showed that mutant TDP-43 proteins maintained their splicing activity in human ALS fibroblasts and experimental cell lines. Our findings further contribute to define the biological functions of these two RBPs in physiological and disease state, strongly encouraging the evaluation of the identified transcriptomic changes at protein level in neuronal experimental models.

  18. Response and Monte Carlo evaluation of a reference ionization chamber for radioprotection level at calibration laboratories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neves, Lucio P.; Vivolo, Vitor; Perini, Ana P.; Caldas, Linda V. E.

    2015-07-01

    A special parallel plate ionization chamber, inserted in a slab phantom for the personal dose equivalent Hp(10) determination, was developed and characterized in this work. This ionization chamber has collecting electrodes and window made of graphite, and the walls and phantom made of PMMA. The tests comprise experimental evaluation following international standards and Monte Carlo simulations, employing the PENELOPE code to evaluate the design of this new dosimeter. The experimental tests were conducted employing the radioprotection level quality N-60 established at the IPEN, and all results were within the recommended standards.

  19. An evaluation of internal event level 1 PRA methods used in NUREG-1150

    SciTech Connect

    Camp, A.L.; Cramond, W.R.

    1989-01-01

    As part of the effort to support NUREG-1150, Sandia National Laboratories and its subcontractors have developed innovative techniques for efficiently performing internal event Level I probabilistic risk assessments. This methodology is one of the alternatives for industry to use in performing individual plant evaluations in the future. While this new methodology was very successful, there are some areas where improvements can be made. This paper evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the methodology and makes some important recommendations for modifications in order to provide insights to future users. 10 refs.

  20. Physiological enzymology: The next frontier in understanding protein structure and function at the cellular level.

    PubMed

    Lee, Irene; Berdis, Anthony J

    2016-01-01

    Historically, the study of proteins has relied heavily on characterizing the activity of a single purified protein isolated from other cellular components. This classic approach allowed scientists to unambiguously define the intrinsic kinetic and chemical properties of that protein. The ultimate hope was to extrapolate this information toward understanding how the enzyme or receptor behaves within its native cellular context. These types of detailed in vitro analyses were necessary to reduce the innate complexities of measuring the singular activity and biochemical properties of a specific enzyme without interference from other enzymes and potential competing substrates. However, recent developments in fields encompassing cell biology, molecular imaging, and chemical biology now provide the unique chemical tools and instrumentation to study protein structure, function, and regulation in their native cellular environment. These advancements provide the foundation for a new field, coined physiological enzymology, which quantifies the function and regulation of enzymes and proteins at the cellular level. In this Special Edition, we explore the area of Physiological Enzymology and Protein Function through a series of review articles that focus on the tools and techniques used to measure the cellular activity of proteins inside living cells. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Physiological Enzymology and Protein Functions.

  1. Membrane of Functionalized Reduced Graphene Oxide Nanoplates with Angstrom-Level Channels.

    PubMed

    Lee, Byeongho; Li, Kunzhou; Yoon, Hong Sik; Yoon, Jeyong; Mok, Yeongbong; Lee, Yan; Lee, Hong H; Kim, Yong Hyup

    2016-01-01

    Membranes with atomic level pores or constrictions are valuable for separation and catalysis. We report a graphene-based membrane with an interlayer spacing of 3.7 angstrom (Å). When graphene oxide nanoplates are functionalized and then reduced, the laminated reduced graphene oxide (rGO) nanoplates or functionalized rGO membrane is little affected by an intercalated fluid, and the interlayer spacing of 3.7 Å increases only to 4.4 Å in wetted state, in contrast to the graphene oxide (GO) membrane whose interlayer spacing increases from 9 Å to 13 Å in wetted state. When applied to ion separation, this membrane reduced the permeation rate of small ions such as K(+) and Na(+) by three orders of magnitude compared to the GO membrane. PMID:27306853

  2. Membrane of Functionalized Reduced Graphene Oxide Nanoplates with Angstrom-Level Channels

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Byeongho; Li, Kunzhou; Yoon, Hong Sik; Yoon, Jeyong; Mok, Yeongbong; Lee, Yan; Lee, Hong H.; Kim, Yong Hyup

    2016-01-01

    Membranes with atomic level pores or constrictions are valuable for separation and catalysis. We report a graphene-based membrane with an interlayer spacing of 3.7 angstrom (Å). When graphene oxide nanoplates are functionalized and then reduced, the laminated reduced graphene oxide (rGO) nanoplates or functionalized rGO membrane is little affected by an intercalated fluid, and the interlayer spacing of 3.7 Å increases only to 4.4 Å in wetted state, in contrast to the graphene oxide (GO) membrane whose interlayer spacing increases from 9 Å to 13 Å in wetted state. When applied to ion separation, this membrane reduced the permeation rate of small ions such as K+ and Na+ by three orders of magnitude compared to the GO membrane. PMID:27306853

  3. PKCε and allopregnanolone: functional cross-talk at the GABAA receptor level

    PubMed Central

    Puia, Giulia; Ravazzini, Federica; Castelnovo, Luca Franco; Magnaghi, Valerio

    2015-01-01

    Changes in GABAergic inhibition occur during physiological processes, during response to drugs and in various pathologies. These changes can be achieved through direct allosteric modifications at the γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) type A (GABAA) receptor protein level, or by altering the synthesis, trafficking and stability of the receptor. Neurosteroids (NSs) and protein kinase C (PKC) are potent modulators of GABAA receptors and their effects are presumably intermingled, even though evidence for this hypothesis is only partially explored. However, several PKC isoforms are able to phosphorylate the GABAA receptor, producing different functional effects. We focused on the ε isoform, that has been correlated to the sensitivity of the GABAA receptor to allosteric modulators and whose expression may be regulated in peripheral sensory neurons by NSs. The cross-talk between PKC-ε and NSs, leading to changes in GABAA receptor functionality, is considered and discussed in this perspective. PMID:25852476

  4. Membrane of Functionalized Reduced Graphene Oxide Nanoplates with Angstrom-Level Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Byeongho; Li, Kunzhou; Yoon, Hong Sik; Yoon, Jeyong; Mok, Yeongbong; Lee, Yan; Lee, Hong H.; Kim, Yong Hyup

    2016-06-01

    Membranes with atomic level pores or constrictions are valuable for separation and catalysis. We report a graphene-based membrane with an interlayer spacing of 3.7 angstrom (Å). When graphene oxide nanoplates are functionalized and then reduced, the laminated reduced graphene oxide (rGO) nanoplates or functionalized rGO membrane is little affected by an intercalated fluid, and the interlayer spacing of 3.7 Å increases only to 4.4 Å in wetted state, in contrast to the graphene oxide (GO) membrane whose interlayer spacing increases from 9 Å to 13 Å in wetted state. When applied to ion separation, this membrane reduced the permeation rate of small ions such as K+ and Na+ by three orders of magnitude compared to the GO membrane.

  5. High CO2 Levels Impair Alveolar Epithelial Function Independently of pH

    PubMed Central

    Briva, Arturo; Vadász, István; Lecuona, Emilia; Welch, Lynn C.; Chen, Jiwang; Dada, Laura A.; Trejo, Humberto E.; Dumasius, Vidas; Azzam, Zaher S.; Myrianthefs, Pavlos M.; Batlle, Daniel; Gruenbaum, Yosef; Sznajder, Jacob I.

    2007-01-01

    Background In patients with acute respiratory failure, gas exchange is impaired due to the accumulation of fluid in the lung airspaces. This life-threatening syndrome is treated with mechanical ventilation, which is adjusted to maintain gas exchange, but can be associated with the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the lung. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a by-product of cellular energy utilization and its elimination is affected via alveolar epithelial cells. Signaling pathways sensitive to changes in CO2 levels were described in plants and neuronal mammalian cells. However, it has not been fully elucidated whether non-neuronal cells sense and respond to CO2. The Na,K-ATPase consumes ∼40% of the cellular metabolism to maintain cell homeostasis. Our study examines the effects of increased pCO2 on the epithelial Na,K-ATPase a major contributor to alveolar fluid reabsorption which is a marker of alveolar epithelial function. Principal Findings We found that short-term increases in pCO2 impaired alveolar fluid reabsorption in rats. Also, we provide evidence that non-excitable, alveolar epithelial cells sense and respond to high levels of CO2, independently of extracellular and intracellular pH, by inhibiting Na,K-ATPase function, via activation of PKCζ which phosphorylates the Na,K-ATPase, causing it to endocytose from the plasma membrane into intracellular pools. Conclusions Our data suggest that alveolar epithelial cells, through which CO2 is eliminated in mammals, are highly sensitive to hypercapnia. Elevated CO2 levels impair alveolar epithelial function, independently of pH, which is relevant in patients with lung diseases and altered alveolar gas exchange. PMID:18043745

  6. Evaluation of children's dental anxiety levels at a kindergarten and at a dental clinic.

    PubMed

    Kilinç, Gulser; Akay, Aynur; Eden, Ece; Sevinç, Nilgün; Ellidokuz, Hülya

    2016-01-01

    This study evaluated the dental anxiety levels of preschool children at a kindergarten and at a dental clinic. The anxiety levels of ninety 4-6-year-old (4.99 ± 0.81) preschool children were evaluated according to pulse rates, the facial image scale (FIS), the Venham picture test (VPT), and the Frankl behavior rating scale. The children's mothers were asked to complete the state-trait anxiety inventory (STAI) forms 1 and 2 (STAI 2 and STAI 2). The sample t-test, Mann-Whitney U test, and Pearson's correlation test were used. A statistically significant difference was observed between the children's pulse rates when measured at the dental clinic and those when measured at the kindergarten (p < 0.001). Although the results were not statistically significant, more negative facial expressions were observed in the children at the dental clinic than in those at the kindergarten when assessed using FIS and VPT (p = 0.090 and p = 0.108, respectively). There was a statistically significant correlation between the transient anxiety levels (STAI 1) of mothers and the VPT scores of their children evaluated at the dental clinic (r = 0.506, p < 0.001). The continuous anxiety level of the mothers of males was found to be significantly higher (p = 0.033) than that of the mothers of females (STAI 2). Although the children had been informed about dentistry and were introduced to a dentist at the kindergarten, their anxiety levels seemingly increased as they arrived at the dental clinic. The significant increase observed in the children's pulse rates was a physical indicator that their anxiety levels had increased. It can be concluded that the children felt more anxious at the dental clinic that at the kindergarten. PMID:27556551

  7. Evaluation of children's dental anxiety levels at a kindergarten and at a dental clinic.

    PubMed

    Kilinç, Gulser; Akay, Aynur; Eden, Ece; Sevinç, Nilgün; Ellidokuz, Hülya

    2016-08-18

    This study evaluated the dental anxiety levels of preschool children at a kindergarten and at a dental clinic. The anxiety levels of ninety 4-6-year-old (4.99 ± 0.81) preschool children were evaluated according to pulse rates, the facial image scale (FIS), the Venham picture test (VPT), and the Frankl behavior rating scale. The children's mothers were asked to complete the state-trait anxiety inventory (STAI) forms 1 and 2 (STAI 2 and STAI 2). The sample t-test, Mann-Whitney U test, and Pearson's correlation test were used. A statistically significant difference was observed between the children's pulse rates when measured at the dental clinic and those when measured at the kindergarten (p < 0.001). Although the results were not statistically significant, more negative facial expressions were observed in the children at the dental clinic than in those at the kindergarten when assessed using FIS and VPT (p = 0.090 and p = 0.108, respectively). There was a statistically significant correlation between the transient anxiety levels (STAI 1) of mothers and the VPT scores of their children evaluated at the dental clinic (r = 0.506, p < 0.001). The continuous anxiety level of the mothers of males was found to be significantly higher (p = 0.033) than that of the mothers of females (STAI 2). Although the children had been informed about dentistry and were introduced to a dentist at the kindergarten, their anxiety levels seemingly increased as they arrived at the dental clinic. The significant increase observed in the children's pulse rates was a physical indicator that their anxiety levels had increased. It can be concluded that the children felt more anxious at the dental clinic that at the kindergarten.

  8. Alteration of cardiovascular autonomic functions by vegetarian diets in postmenopausal women is related to LDL cholesterol levels.

    PubMed

    Fu, Chin-Hua; Yang, Cheryl C H; Lin, Chin-Lon; Kuo, Terry B J

    2008-04-30

    This study was designed to test the hypothesis that alteration of cardiovascular autonomic functions by vegetarian diets in healthy postmenopausal women is related to lipid metabolism. A total of 70 healthy postmenopausal women not on hormone therapy participated in this study: 35 were vegetarians (mean age 55.0 years) and 35 were omnivores (mean age 55.1 years). Cardiovascular autonomic functions and baroreflex sensitivity were evaluated by specific frequency-domain measures of heart rate variability (HRV) and arterial blood pressure fluctuation. The vegetarians had statistically significant lowered blood pressure, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, triglyceride, and fasting glucose levels compared with the omnivores. The vegetarians exhibited a significant higher total power, low-frequency (LF; 0.04-0.15 Hz) and high-frequency (HF; 0.15-0.4 Hz) of HRV and increased baroreflex sensitivity measures [Brr(LF) and Brr(HF)] compared with the omnivores. Total power, LF and HF of HRV, Brr(LF), and Brr(HF) were significantly and negatively correlated with LDL-cholesterol concentrations (P < 0.01). We concluded that the increases of cardiac vagal activity and baroreflex sensitivity by vegetarian diets in postmenopausal women are inversely related to LDL-cholesterol levels.

  9. Potential energy functions for atomic-level simulations of water and organic and biomolecular systems.

    PubMed

    Jorgensen, William L; Tirado-Rives, Julian

    2005-05-10

    An overview is provided on the development and status of potential energy functions that are used in atomic-level statistical mechanics and molecular dynamics simulations of water and of organic and biomolecular systems. Some topics that are considered are the form of force fields, their parameterization and performance, simulations of organic liquids, computation of free energies of hydration, universal extension for organic molecules, and choice of atomic charges. The discussion of water models covers some history, performance issues, and special topics such as nuclear quantum effects.

  10. Evaluation of response to restraint stress by salivary corticosterone levels in adult male mice

    PubMed Central

    NOHARA, Masakatsu; TOHEI, Atsushi; SATO, Takumi; AMAO, Hiromi

    2016-01-01

    Saliva as a sampling method is a low invasive technique for the detection of physiologically active substances, as opposed to sampling the plasma or serum. In this study, we obtained glucocorticoids transferred from the blood to the saliva from mice treated with 2.0 mg/kg via an intraperitoneal injection of cortisol. Next, to evaluate the effect of restraint stress using mouse saliva—collected under anesthesia by mixed anesthetic agents—we measured plasma and salivary corticosterone levels at 60 min after restraint stress. Moreover, to evaluate salivary corticosterone response to stress in the same individual mouse, an adequate recovery period (1, 3 and 7 days) after anesthesia was examined. The results demonstrate that exogenous cortisol was detected in the saliva and the plasma, in mice treated with cortisol. Restraint stress significantly increased corticosterone levels in both the plasma and saliva (P<0.001). Monitoring the results of individual mice showed that restraint stress significantly increased salivary corticosterone levels in all three groups (1-, 3- and 7-day recovery). However, the statistical evidence of corticosterone increase is stronger in the 7-day recovery group (P<0.001) than in the others (P<0.05). These results suggest that the corticosterone levels in saliva reflect its levels in the plasma, and salivary corticosterone is a useful, less-invasive biomarker of physical stress in mice. The present study may contribute to concepts of Reduction and Refinement of the three Rs in small animal experiments. PMID:26852731

  11. Information content of simulated space photographs as a function of various levels of image resolution.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lauer, D. T.; Thaman, R. R.

    1971-01-01

    The results of research are reported on the information content in simulated space photographs derivable as a function of various levels of image resolution. Whenever certain resource features could not be consistently identified on simulated low-resolution imagery, attempts were made to define the required level of image resolution that would allow a skilled interpreter to discriminate one feature from another. The results of this research, conducted within a chaparral-hardwood-grassland environment in California, indicate that simulated ERTS data contain sufficient information to allow an interpreter to discriminate between woody vegetation, grassland, and water bodies. However, if more detailed information is desired, the imagery must have a ground resolution of at least 50 ft, showing shape, size, texture, and shadow characteristics within each vegetation type. Spaceborne data, therefore, often will have to be supplemented by higher resolution aircraft imagery, depending on the types of resource information being sought.

  12. Effect of altered reproductive function and lowered testosterone levels on bone density in male endurance athletes

    PubMed Central

    Bennell, Kim L; Brukner, Peter D; Malcolm, Susan A

    1996-01-01

    The effect of intense physical activity on female reproductive hormones is well recognised1–3 and there is evidence that menstrual disturbances associated with hypo-oestrogenism adversely affect bone density especially at the lumbar spine.4 5 Physical activity can also have a range of effects on male reproductive function depending upon the intensity and duration of the activity and the fitness of the individual.6 In particular, endurance training may be associated with reductions in circulating testosterone levels. Since testosterone has important anabolic roles, alterations in reproductive hormone profiles may have detrimental skeletal consequences similar to those seen in females with menstrual disturbances. The aim of this brief review is to present the limited literature on the relation between bone density and testosterone levels in male endurance athletes. PMID:8889111

  13. Effect of thiocyanate levels in milk on thyroid function in iodine deficient subjects.

    PubMed

    Dahlberg, P A; Bergmark, A; Eltom, M; Björck, L; Claesson, O

    1985-05-01

    To utilize the antibacterial effect of the lactoperoxidase system to prevent bacterial spoilage of raw milk it is necessary to increase the thiocyanate concentration of the milk. Thiocyanate has, however, a potent antithyroid effect which is enhanced by iodine deficiency. In this study the thyroid function has been studied, before and after 4 weeks daily administration of 250 ml of such treated milk, in 55 goitrous subjects living in an endemic goiter region of western Sudan. The iodine content was 0.1 mg/l and the thiocyanate content was either 3.6 mg/l (n 19) or 19 mg/l (n 36) in the milk. At the start of the experiment all subjects were iodine deficient with a urinary excretion of 40-50 micrograms/g creatinine. After 4 weeks daily intake of 4.75 mg of thiocyanate by way of milk the serum thiocyanate level increased by approximately 1.7 mg/l. Both at the beginning and at the end of the experimental period the serum levels of thyroxine, triiodothyronine and TSH were in the normal range for all subjects. After 4 weeks the TSH levels had decreased significantly, (from 2.6 +/- 0.2 to 2.1 +/- 0.2 mU/l, p less than 0.001) probably as an effect of the supplementary intake of iodine. The thyroid hormone levels remained unchanged during the experimental period. In conclusion, the intake of milk with an iodine concentration of 0.1 mg/l and a thiocyanate concentration of 19 mg/l does not have a negative effect on the thyroid function in iodine deficient subjects.

  14. Quantitative analysis of receptor tyrosine kinase-effector coupling at functionally relevant stimulus levels.

    PubMed

    Li, Simin; Bhave, Devayani; Chow, Jennifer M; Riera, Thomas V; Schlee, Sandra; Rauch, Simone; Atanasova, Mariya; Cate, Richard L; Whitty, Adrian

    2015-04-17

    A major goal of current signaling research is to develop a quantitative understanding of how receptor activation is coupled to downstream signaling events and to functional cellular responses. Here, we measure how activation of the RET receptor tyrosine kinase on mouse neuroblastoma cells by the neurotrophin artemin (ART) is quantitatively coupled to key downstream effectors. We show that the efficiency of RET coupling to ERK and Akt depends strongly on ART concentration, and it is highest at the low (∼100 pM) ART levels required for neurite outgrowth. Quantitative discrimination between ERK and Akt pathway signaling similarly is highest at this low ART concentration. Stimulation of the cells with 100 pM ART activated RET at the rate of ∼10 molecules/cell/min, leading at 5-10 min to a transient peak of ∼150 phospho-ERK (pERK) molecules and ∼50 pAkt molecules per pRET, after which time the levels of these two signaling effectors fell by 25-50% while the pRET levels continued to slowly rise. Kinetic experiments showed that signaling effectors in different pathways respond to RET activation with different lag times, such that the balance of signal flux among the different pathways evolves over time. Our results illustrate that measurements using high, super-physiological growth factor levels can be misleading about quantitative features of receptor signaling. We propose a quantitative model describing how receptor-effector coupling efficiency links signal amplification to signal sensitization between receptor and effector, thereby providing insight into design principles underlying how receptors and their associated signaling machinery decode an extracellular signal to trigger a functional cellular outcome.

  15. Blood cadmium levels are associated with a decline in lung function in males

    SciTech Connect

    Oh, Chang-Mo; Oh, In-Hwan; Lee, Jong-Keun; Park, Yoon Hyung; Choe, Bong-Keun; Yoon, Tai-Young; Choi, Joong-Myung

    2014-07-15

    Background: Cadmium exposure was found to cause a decline in lung function among the general population, but these findings were limited to smokers and gender differences were not explored. Objectives: To examine the relationship between cadmium and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) according to gender and smoking status in Korea. Methods: Cross-sectional data from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2008 to 2011 were analyzed. COPD was defined by a pre-bronchodilator forced expiratory volume in 1 s divided by forced vital capacity of <0.70. A logistic regression model was used to elucidate the association between blood cadmium levels and COPD according to gender and smoking status. Results: Among 3861 eligible participants, 3622 were included in the analysis. The prevalence of COPD demonstrated an increasing trend in males (P for trend<0.001), but not in females (P for trend=0.67). After adjusting for covariates, a higher blood cadmium level, but within the normal range, was associated with COPD in males, including those who had never-smoked (P for trend <0.001 and P for trend=0.008). However, a higher blood cadmium level was not significantly associated with COPD in females, including those who had never smoked (P for trend=0.39 and P for trend=0.43). Conclusions: A higher blood cadmium level, within the normal range, was associated with COPD in males, including those who had never smoked. However, there was no significant association between blood cadmium levels and COPD in females. - Highlights: • Elevated blood cadmium level is associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in male. • This association can be seen even in never smoked male. • However, this association is present only in male, but not in female.

  16. Fluorescence technologies for evaluating male gamete (dys)function.

    PubMed

    Petrunkina, A M; Harrison, R A P

    2013-09-01

    For many years, andrologists have sought ways of assessing sperm fertility, especially of new sires entering the breeding chain. As knowledge of the complex processes that enable sperm to fertilize eggs has increased, it has become clearer that quantitative estimation of the fertilizing potential of a sire or an ejaculate is actually unlikely ever to be fully realized. Here, we propose that a better approach is to identify substandard males and semen samples. During the past decades, the use of fluorescence technologies in biomedical science has burgeoned, with the development of very powerful instrumentation such as confocal microscopy and flow cytometers of ever-increasing capabilities together with a vast range of fluorochromes and fluorochrome conjugates. This technology has been applied to andrology but thus far in only a relatively simple way. In this review, we offer strategies for assessing a large range of sperm functions thought to be related to fertilizing ability over a temporal window rather than at a single time point. From such an assessment profile, sperm samples that over-respond or do not respond sufficiently could be identified, termed dysfunctional and rejected. We outline the rationales behind such tests, present information on new potentially useful fluorochromes and current flow cytometer models that would be suitable for the multicolour multifunctional tests we propose, and we offer suggestions as to how andrologists might design such multicolour tests for themselves.

  17. Physical Unclonable Function with Multiplexing Units and its Evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshikawa, Masaya; Asai, Toshiya; Shiozaki, Mitsuru; Fujino, Takeshi

    Recently, semiconductor counterfeiting has become an increasingly serious problem. Therefore, techniques to prevent the counterfeit by using random characteristic patterns that are difficult to control artificially have attracted attention. The physical unclonable function (PUF) is one of the techniques. It is a method to derive ID information peculiar to a device by detecting random physical features that cannot be controlled during the device's manufacture. Because information such as the ID information is difficult to replicate, PUF is used as a technique to prevent counterfeiting. Several studies have been reported on PUF. Arbiter PUF, which utilizes the difference in signal propagation delay between selectors, is the typical method of composing PUF using delay characteristics. This paper proposed a new PUF which is based on the arbiter PUF. The proposed PUF introduces new multiplexing selector units. It attempts to generate an effective response using the orders of three signal arrivals. Experiments using FPGAs verify the validity of the proposed PUF. Although Uniqueness is deteriorated, Correctness, Steadiness, Randomness and Resistance against the machine learning attacks are improved in comparison with conventional one.

  18. Development and in vivo evaluation of papain-functionalized nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Müller, Christiane; Perera, Glen; König, Verena; Bernkop-Schnürch, Andreas

    2014-05-01

    The aim of the present study was to develop a novel nanoparticulate delivery system being capable of penetrating the intestinal mucus layer by cleaving mucoglycoprotein substructures. Nanoparticles based on papain grafted polyacrylic acid (papain-g-PAA) were prepared via ionic gelation and labeled with fluorescein diacetate. In vitro, the proteolytic potential of papain modified nanoparticles was investigated by rheological measurements and diffusion studies across fresh porcine intestinal mucus. The presence of papain on the surface and inside the particles strongly decreases viscosity of the mucus leading to facilitated particle transition across the mucus layer. Results of the permeation studies revealed that enzyme grafted particles diffuse through mucus layer to a 3.0-fold higher extent than the same particles without enzyme. Furthermore, the penetration behavior of the nanocarriers along the gastrointestinal tract of Sprague Dawley rats was investigated after oral administration of nanoparticles formulated as enteric coated capsules. The majority of the papain functionalized particles was able to traverse across the mucus layer and remained in the duodenum and jejunum of the small intestine where drug absorption primarily occurs. Polymeric nanoparticles combined with mucolytic enzymes that are capable of overcoming intestinal mucus barriers offer an encouraging new attempt for mucosal drug delivery.

  19. Levels of Ycg1 Limit Condensin Function during the Cell Cycle

    PubMed Central

    Arsenault, Heather E.; Benanti, Jennifer A.

    2016-01-01

    During mitosis chromosomes are condensed to facilitate their segregation, through a process mediated by the condensin complex. Although several factors that promote maximal condensin activity during mitosis have been identified, the mechanisms that downregulate condensin activity during interphase are largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate that Ycg1, the Cap-G subunit of budding yeast condensin, is cell cycle-regulated with levels peaking in mitosis and decreasing as cells enter G1 phase. This cyclical expression pattern is established by a combination of cell cycle-regulated transcription and constitutive degradation. Interestingly, overexpression of YCG1 and mutations that stabilize Ycg1 each result in delayed cell-cycle entry and an overall proliferation defect. Overexpression of no other condensin subunit impacts the cell cycle, suggesting that Ycg1 is limiting for condensin complex formation. Consistent with this possibility, we find that levels of intact condensin complex are reduced in G1 phase compared to mitosis, and that increased Ycg1 expression leads to increases in both levels of condensin complex and binding to chromatin in G1. Together, these results demonstrate that Ycg1 levels limit condensin function in interphase cells, and suggest that the association of condensin with chromosomes must be reduced following mitosis to enable efficient progression through the cell cycle. PMID:27463097

  20. Intensity discrimination as a function of level and frequency in three species of birds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lauer, Amanda M.; Poling, Kirsten; Dooling, Robert J.

    2003-04-01

    Many studies have examined frequency discrimination in birds, but there has not been as complete a description of avian intensity discrimination abilities. Birds appear to be slightly less sensitive to changes in intensity than humans and other mammals; however, few studies have systematically looked at the effects of both frequency and presentation level on intensity discrimination in birds. Here we describe intensity discrimination as a function of frequency and sensation level in two small songbird species, the canary (Serinus canarius), the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), and a nonsongbird species, the budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus). Intensity difference limens (DLIs) for pure tones were obtained from birds using standard operant conditioning procedures and the Method of Constant Stimuli. DLIs ranged from approximately 2-6 dB, which are slightly larger than the DLIs reported in mammals. For all three species, DLIs become smaller with increasing presentation level, but show little effect across frequency for a given level. These results are consistent with previous reports in other species. [Work supported by NIH DC01372 to RJD and DC05450 to AML.

  1. Impaired respiratory function in MELAS-induced pluripotent stem cells with high heteroplasmy levels.

    PubMed

    Kodaira, Masaki; Hatakeyama, Hideyuki; Yuasa, Shinsuke; Seki, Tomohisa; Egashira, Toru; Tohyama, Shugo; Kuroda, Yusuke; Tanaka, Atsushi; Okata, Shinichiro; Hashimoto, Hisayuki; Kusumoto, Dai; Kunitomi, Akira; Takei, Makoto; Kashimura, Shin; Suzuki, Tomoyuki; Yozu, Gakuto; Shimojima, Masaya; Motoda, Chikaaki; Hayashiji, Nozomi; Saito, Yuki; Goto, Yu-Ichi; Fukuda, Keiichi

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondrial diseases are heterogeneous disorders, caused by mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondria are not regulated solely by nuclear genomic DNA but by mitochondrial DNA. It is difficult to develop effective therapies for mitochondrial disease because of the lack of mitochondrial disease models. Mitochondrial myopathy, encephalomyopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes (MELAS) is one of the major mitochondrial diseases. The aim of this study was to generate MELAS-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and to demonstrate that MELAS-iPSCs can be models for mitochondrial disease. We successfully established iPSCs from the primary MELAS-fibroblasts carrying 77.7% of m.3243A>G heteroplasmy. MELAS-iPSC lines ranged from 3.6% to 99.4% of m.3243A>G heteroplasmy levels. The enzymatic activities of mitochondrial respiratory complexes indicated that MELAS-iPSC-derived fibroblasts with high heteroplasmy levels showed a deficiency of complex I activity but MELAS-iPSC-derived fibroblasts with low heteroplasmy levels showed normal complex I activity. Our data indicate that MELAS-iPSCs can be models for MELAS but we should carefully select MELAS-iPSCs with appropriate heteroplasmy levels and respiratory functions for mitochondrial disease modeling.

  2. Evaluation of Paraoxonase, Arylesterase and Malondialdehyde Levels in Schizophrenia Patients Taking Typical, Atypical and Combined Antipsychotic Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Güneş, Mehmet; Camkurt, Mehmet Akif; Bulut, Mahmut; Demir, Süleyman; İbiloğlu, Aslıhan Okan; Kaya, Mehmet Cemal; Atlı, Abdullah; Kaplan, İbrahim; Sir, Aytekin

    2016-01-01

    Objective Human serum paraoxonase (PON1) prevents lipids from peroxidation and functions as an antioxidant mechanism. Malonyldialdehyde (MDA) is the final product of lipid peroxidation and can be used as an indicator of oxidative stress. The aim of this study was to investigate PON1, MDA, and arylesterase (ARY) levels in schizophrenic patients who are taking typical, atypical, or combined (typical and atypical) antipsychotic drug treatment, with respect to those of healthy controls. Methods We evaluated 41 patients (11 taking typical antipsychotics, 19 taking atypical antipsychotics, 11 taking combined anti-psychotics) and 43 healthy controls. Results MDA levels were higher in schizophrenic patients taking typical antipsychotics compared with healthy controls (p=0.001). ARY levels were higher in patients taking atypical antipsychotics compared with healthy controls (p=0.005). PON1 activity was similar in all groups. Conclusion Our results indicate that treatment with typical antipsychotic drugs could be related to increased MDA levels; and antipsychotic medication may increase PON1 levels in schizophrenic patients. PMID:27776386

  3. Evaluation by industrial workers of passive and level-dependent hearing protection devices.

    PubMed

    Tufts, Jennifer B; Hamilton, Mark A; Ucci, Amanda J; Rubas, James

    2011-01-01

    Level-dependent hearing protection devices (HPDs) provide protection from intense sound, while offering amplification for speech and other signals in lower levels of noise. These HPDs have been developed in response to the communication and operational needs of noise-exposed persons in industry and the military. This study was conducted to examine industrial workers' perceptions of the performance of two level-dependent HPDs (one with integrated radio communication capability and one without it) and their customary passive HPDs. This research took place at a plastic film manufacturing plant in Rhode Island, USA, following a mixed-measures design. Fifteen maintenance technicians at the plant evaluated the two level-dependent HPDs, plus their customary passive HPDs, in three separate trial periods. Data were collected via a questionnaire designed for this purpose. Mixed-model analyses of variance were performed on all dependent measures. Linear and quadratic effect sizes were assessed with eta. Results revealed that the two level-dependent HPDs offered better perceived communication and situational awareness than the workers' customary passive HPDs. However, the level-dependent HPDs were rated lower than the passive HPDs in terms of usability and comfort. To increase workers' acceptance of level-dependent HPDs, usability issues must be addressed by the HPD manufacturers. PMID:21173484

  4. Evaluation by industrial workers of passive and level-dependent hearing protection devices.

    PubMed

    Tufts, Jennifer B; Hamilton, Mark A; Ucci, Amanda J; Rubas, James

    2011-01-01

    Level-dependent hearing protection devices (HPDs) provide protection from intense sound, while offering amplification for speech and other signals in lower levels of noise. These HPDs have been developed in response to the communication and operational needs of noise-exposed persons in industry and the military. This study was conducted to examine industrial workers' perceptions of the performance of two level-dependent HPDs (one with integrated radio communication capability and one without it) and their customary passive HPDs. This research took place at a plastic film manufacturing plant in Rhode Island, USA, following a mixed-measures design. Fifteen maintenance technicians at the plant evaluated the two level-dependent HPDs, plus their customary passive HPDs, in three separate trial periods. Data were collected via a questionnaire designed for this purpose. Mixed-model analyses of variance were performed on all dependent measures. Linear and quadratic effect sizes were assessed with eta. Results revealed that the two level-dependent HPDs offered better perceived communication and situational awareness than the workers' customary passive HPDs. However, the level-dependent HPDs were rated lower than the passive HPDs in terms of usability and comfort. To increase workers' acceptance of level-dependent HPDs, usability issues must be addressed by the HPD manufacturers.

  5. Evaluating Psychometric Properties of the Spanish-version of the Pediatric Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Perceived Cognitive Function (pedsFACIT-PCF)

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Alex W. K.; Correia, Helena; Cella, David

    2015-01-01

    Purpose The pediatric Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy-Perceived Cognitive Function (pedsFACIT-PCF) is a 13-item short-form derived from the pediatric Perceived Cognitive Function item bank (pedsPCF), which was developed to measure children’s daily cognitive behaviors and was validated on the US general population and children with cancer. This study evaluated the psychometric properties of Spanish language pedsFACIT-PCF and the measurement equivalence between Spanish and English versions. Methods pedsFACIT-PCF items were translated into Spanish using a standard iterative methodology. A total of 1358 English- and 604 Spanish-speaking children aged 8–17 years who completed English and Spanish versions of pedsFACIT-PCF, respectively, were administered through an Internet survey company. Unidimensionality was evaluated using confirmatory factor analysis. Item responses were modeled using item response theory. The presence and impact of differential item functioning (DIF) were evaluated using ordinal logistic regression. Results Unidimensionality of the pedsFACIT-PCF was supported. One of the 13 items demonstrated statistically significant DIF by language; however, impacts of language DIF on both individual scores and at the test level were negligible. No Spanish items showed DIF with respect to age and gender. Conclusions The 13-item pedsFACIT-PCF demonstrated stable measurement properties on language, gender and age and can be used for future trials. PMID:25749924

  6. Evaluation of Service Level Agreement Approaches for Portfolio Management in the Financial Industry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pontz, Tobias; Grauer, Manfred; Kuebert, Roland; Tenschert, Axel; Koller, Bastian

    The idea of service-oriented Grid computing seems to have the potential for fundamental paradigm change and a new architectural alignment concerning the design of IT infrastructures. There is a wide range of technical approaches from scientific communities which describe basic infrastructures and middlewares for integrating Grid resources in order that by now Grid applications are technically realizable. Hence, Grid computing needs viable business models and enhanced infrastructures to move from academic application right up to commercial application. For a commercial usage of these evolutions service level agreements are needed. The developed approaches are primary of academic interest and mostly have not been put into practice. Based on a business use case of the financial industry, five service level agreement approaches have been evaluated in this paper. Based on the evaluation, a management architecture has been designed and implemented as a prototype.

  7. Economic evaluations of solar thermal energy systems using a levelized energy cost approach

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, T.A.; Dirks, J.A.

    1985-11-01

    This paper discusses a Levelized Energy Cost (LEC) approach to economic evaluations of solar thermal power plants. Levelized Energy Costs are life cycle costs that include a plant's capital cost, total operation and maintenance cost, taxes, interest, and return on investment. A LEC approach provides an economically correct treatment of these costs and allows an evaluation of alternative solar thermal power systems. In this paper, general economic principals relating to LEC calculations such as the time value of money, discount rate, net present value, and annualized cost are defined and explained. The use of LEC analyses in choosing between alternatives is discussed. Then the simplified approach for calculating an LEC using the standard economic assumptions for solar thermal applications is presented. Finally, a way to easily carry out the LEC calculation on a microcomputer is given.

  8. Evaluation of sexual function and quality of life in Iranian women with tubal ligation: a historical cohort study.

    PubMed

    Sadatmahalleh, Sh Jahanian; Ziaei, S; Kazemnejad, A; Mohamadi, E

    2015-01-01

    Tubal ligation (TL) is an option for contraception for women who have completed their family. The existence of sexual dysfunction and impaired quality of life (QOL) following this procedure has been the subject of debate for decades. The aim of this study was to evaluate the sexual function, QOL and other factors affecting Iranian women who underwent TL. A historical cohort study was carried out on 150 women who had undergone TL and on 150 women who had used a condom (as the control group). The sexual function of participants was evaluated and compared using Female Sexual Function Index (FSFI) questionnaire. They were also asked to fill out the Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) for evaluating their QOL. Furthermore, the effects of educational level and poststerilization regret in the women of TL group were evaluated. With regard to FSFI, all mean values were found to be lower in the TL women and the differences between the two groups were statistically significant in all domains. A significant difference was found in sexual dysfunction in orgasm (P = 0.02), satisfaction (P = 0.01), pain (P = 0.006) and total FSFI scores (P = 0.006) between the women regretting vs those not regretting their sterilization. In evaluating the relationship between FSFI and educational level, with the increase of educational level all domain scores increased significantly only in the TL group. There was a significant difference between the two groups in SF-12 scores (69.18 ± 14.05 vs 78.41 ± 12.50; P < 0.0001). Our findings reveal the adverse effects of TL on the sexual life and QOL of women. It is recommended that the awareness and knowledge of health-care professionals regarding the sexual function and QOL in women undergoing TL should be increased. PMID:26109342

  9. Pulsed LLLT improves tendon healing in rats: a biochemical, organizational, and functional evaluation.

    PubMed

    Guerra, Flávia Da Ré; Vieira, Cristiano Pedrozo; dos Santos de Almeida, Marcos; Oliveira, Letícia Prado; Claro, Ana Carolina Ferreira; Simões, Gustavo Ferreira; de Oliveira, Alexandre Leite Rodrigues; Pimentel, Edson Rosa

    2014-03-01

    In the last decades, the tendon injuries have increased substantially. Previous results suggested that low-level laser treatment (LLLT) promotes synthesis of extracellular matrix and improves the functional properties of the tendon. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of different protocols of LLLT on partially tenotomized tendons. Adult male rats were divided into the following: G1-intact, G2-injured, G3-injured + LLLT (4 J/cm(2) continuous), G4-injured + LLLT (4 J/cm(2) at 20 Hz). G2, G3, and G4 were euthanized 8 days after injury. G5-injured, G6-injured + LLLT (4 J/cm(2) continuous), and G7-injured + LLL (4 J/cm(2) at 20 Hz until the seventh day and 2 kHz from 8 to 14 days). G5, G6, and G7 were euthanized on the 15th day. Glycosaminoglycan (GAG) level was quantified by dimethylmethylene blue method and analyzed on agarose gel. Toluidine blue (TB) stain was used to observe metachromasy. CatWalk system was used to evaluate gait recovery. Collagen organization was analyzed by polarization microscopy. The GAG level increased in all transected groups, except G5. In G6 and G7, there was a significant increase in GAG in relation to G5. In G3 and G4, the presence of dermatan sulfate band was more prominent than G2. TB stains showed intense metachromasy in the treated groups. Birefringence analysis showed improvement in collagen organization in G7. The gait was significantly improved in G7. In conclusion, pulsed LLLT leads to increased organization of collagen bundles and improved gait recovery.

  10. An evaluation of mercury levels in Louisiana fish: trends and public health issues.

    PubMed

    Katner, Adrienne; Sun, Mei-Hung; Suffet, Mel

    2010-11-01

    To characterize statewide fish tissue mercury levels in edible finfish the first comprehensive analysis of Louisiana's fish tissue mercury database was conducted. Analyses were based on fifteen years of fish tissue mercury data collected from 368 waterbodies between 1994 and 2008 (n=14,344). The overall objectives of this study were to establish baseline fish tissue mercury levels; and evaluate species-specific temporal and spatial trends in fish tissue mercury levels. Fish tissue mercury levels ranged from 0.001 ppm (the detection limit) to 5.904 ppm for king mackerel; with an overall geometric mean of 0.218 ppm. Ninety-five percent of samples had mercury levels below the FDA's action level of 1.0 ppm for methylmercury in commercial food. Forty-four percent of all samples had mercury levels above the U.S. EPA's methylmercury fish tissue criterion of 0.3 ppm for sportfish. Species of potential concern include cobia, king mackerel, blackfin tuna, greater amberjack, spotted bass, bowfin, largemouth bass and freshwater drum. There was a significant but small decline in statewide length-adjusted largemouth bass mercury levels between 1994-1999 to 2003-2008 (p<0.05). The highest fish mercury levels were observed in Pearl, Calcasieu, Mermentau, Ouachita, Pontchartrain and Sabine basins. Length-adjusted largemouth bass mercury levels were significantly higher in wetlands and rivers/streams vs. lakes; and in wetlands vs. estuaries (p<0.05). Data were analyzed from a public health perspective to make recommendations for optimizing monitoring and outreach. PMID:20855108

  11. Evaluation of human sperm function after repeated freezing and thawing.

    PubMed

    Bandularatne, Enoka; Bongso, Ariff

    2002-01-01

    Sperm storage via freezing has been useful for men who have difficulty masturbating during assisted reproductive technology (ART) programs and before impotency caused by chemotherapy, vasectomy, and other procedures. Studies were undertaken to evaluate the extent of cryoinjury to sperm after repeated freezing and thawing. The results showed that normozoospermic and oligozoospermic sperm survived after 3 repeated freeze-thaw cycles. The inclusion of seminal plasma did not seem to protect human sperm during freezing and thawing. There were no significant differences in recovery percentages for motile, vital, and morphologically normal sperm between slow and rapid freezing methods in thaws 1, 2, and 3 of normozoospermic and oligozoospermic unwashed (u), washed (w), and washed + seminal plasma (ws) samples. However, there were significant percentage drops in the recovery of motile and vital sperm between each thaw (ie, first to second thaw, and second to third thaw) using both slow and rapid freezing for u, w, and ws samples (P < .01). There were also no significant differences in percentage recovery of motile, vital, and morphologically normal sperm between u, w, and ws samples during thaws 1 to 3 in the normozoospermic and oligozoospermic groups. Sperm were capable of fertilizing hamster oocytes microinjected with single sperms after 3 freeze-thaw cycles as evidenced by the formation of 2 distinct pronuclei and 2 polar bodies in 22.2% and 17.2% of normozoospermic and oligozoospermic samples, respectively. The numbers of normal vital motile sperm after 3 serial freeze-thaw cycles are adequate for bringing about fertilization via intracytoplasmic sperm injection in ART programs. Thus, leftover washed sperm in laboratories that perform in vitro fertilization can be frozen, thawed, and refrozen several times without loss of the sperms' ability to fertilize. This approach has tremendous benefits for men who have difficulty producing sperm and for those with low and

  12. Neuroendocrine function following traumatic brain injury and subsequent intensive care treatment: a prospective longitudinal evaluation.

    PubMed

    Kleindienst, Andrea; Brabant, Georg; Bock, Christoph; Maser-Gluth, Christiane; Buchfelder, Michael

    2009-09-01

    Neuroendocrine dysfunction following traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been described extensively. However, few studies are longitudinal and most lack subtle radiological, clinical, and repetitive endocrine assessment in the acute phase. Accordingly, we prospectively assessed neuroendocrine function in 71 patients after TBI. Injury was documented by a computed tomography (CT). During the first week, critical clinical data (Glasgow Coma Score, APACHE score), treatment variables such as duration of analgosedation for mechanical ventilation, were related to basal pituitary function. More than 2 years later, a subgroup of patients was re-evaluated using dynamic testing with ACTH and GHRH-arginine tests. The Pearson's correlation analysis and Mann-Whitney rank sum test for group differences were used for statistical analysis. None of the CT findings predicted neuroendocrine dysfunction following TBI. The adaptive response to critical illness with significantly elevated cortisol levels on admission and decreased levels thereafter in patients ventilated for more than 24 h (p < 0.05) was attenuated following severe TBI (p < 0.05). However, the coincidence of low serum cortisol and increased urinary excretion of glucocorticoid metabolites in about 80% of patients challenges the relevance of basal hormone measurements. In ventilated patients, total T3 and free T4 were decreased (p < 0.05), TSH was low on day 3 (p < 0.05), and a gonadotropic insufficiency was present (p < 0.05). The thyrotropic and gonadotropic system recovered completely within the follow-up period. With regard to the somatotropic system, neither brain injury severity nor mechanical ventilation was associated with an insufficiency during the acute phase post-injury. However, initially low GH levels predicted a persistent deficiency (r = 0.731, p < 0.001). We conclude that both severe TBI and prolonged mechanical ventilation result in hormonal disturbances early after injury, suggesting a pathophysiological

  13. Level set based vertebra segmentation for the evaluation of Ankylosing Spondylitis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Sovira; Yao, Jianhua; Ward, Michael M.; Yao, Lawrence; Summers, Ronald M.

    2006-03-01

    Ankylosing Spondylitis is a disease of the vertebra where abnormal bone structures (syndesmophytes) grow at intervertebral disk spaces. Because this growth is so slow as to be undetectable on plain radiographs taken over years, it is necessary to resort to computerized techniques to complement qualitative human judgment with precise quantitative measures on 3-D CT images. Very fine segmentation of the vertebral body is required to capture the small structures caused by the pathology. We propose a segmentation algorithm based on a cascade of three level set stages and requiring no training or prior knowledge. First, the noise inside the vertebral body that often blocks the proper evolution of level set surfaces is attenuated by a sigmoid function whose parameters are determined automatically. The 1st level set (geodesic active contour) is designed to roughly segment the interior of the vertebra despite often highly inhomogeneous and even discontinuous boundaries. The result is used as an initial contour for the 2nd level set (Laplacian level set) that closely captures the inner boundary of the cortical bone. The last level set (reversed Laplacian level set) segments the outer boundary of the cortical bone and also corrects small flaws of the previous stage. We carried out extensive tests on 30 vertebrae (5 from each of 6 patients). Two medical experts scored the results at intervertebral disk spaces focusing on end plates and syndesmophytes. Only two minor segmentation errors at vertebral end plates were reported and two syndesmophytes were considered slightly under-segmented.

  14. Functional evaluation of TNFAIP3 (A20) in rheumatoid arthritis

    PubMed Central

    Elsby, Laura M.; Orozco, Gisela; Denton, John; Worthington, Jane; Ray, David W.; Donn, Rachelle P.

    2011-01-01

    Objectives To determine the protein expression of TNFAIP3 in synovium and to show the capability of 6q23 intergenic SNPs, associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) susceptibility, to influence TNFAIP3 gene transcription. Methods Immunohistochemistry for TNFAIP3, NF-κB p65 and phosphorylated NF-κB p65 protein expression was performed in 6 RA knee joint synovium samples compared to 9 osteoarthritis (OA) samples. Luciferase reporter gene assays were used to examine the regulatory ability of RA associated SNP variants on TNFAIP3 promoter activity. Sense and antisense constructs were prepared for rs6920220 alleles, together with each of the 4 SNPs in r2=1 with it (rs6933404, rs2327832, rs6927172 and rs17264332), coupled to the TNFAIP3 promoter. Transient transfections were performed in a human T lymphoblastoid (CEMC7A) cell line. Bioinformatic software was utilised to prioritise SNPs for further investigation. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA), using CEMC7A nuclear extracts, were conducted for the rs6927172 SNP alleles. Results TNFAIP3 protein expression was seen in the synovium samples and differential TNFAIP3 protein expression between RA vs. OA synoviocytes observed. Within RA synoviocytes TNFAIP3 expression is predominately cytoplasmic, whereas in OA its expression is strongly nuclear and cytoplasmic. For 3 of the 5 SNPs investigated (rs6920220, rs6933404, rs6927172) evidence of repressor activity of TNFAIP3 transcription was seen and EMSA data showed evidence of differential transcription factor binding to rs6927172 alleles. Conclusion This is the first observation of TNFAIP3 protein expression in RA and OA synovium. In vitro analysis of 6q23 intergenic SNPs supports the possibility of the functional regulation of TNFAIP3. PMID:20822710

  15. Laboratory evaluation and analysis of advanced lead-acid load-leveling batteries

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, J. F.; Mulcahey, T. P.; Christianson, C. C.; Marr, J. J.; Smaga, J. A.

    Argonne National Laboratory has conducted an extensive evaluation of advanced lead-acid batteries developed by the Exide Corporation for load-leveling applications. This paper presents the results of performance and accelerated life tests conducted on these batteries over a five-year period. This paper describes the operational reliability and maintenance requirements for this technology, and also includes analyses of the batteries' thermal characteristics, arsine/stibine emission rates, and cell degradation modes as determined from post-test examinations.

  16. Evaluation of asbestos levels in two schools before and after asbestos removal. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Karaffa, M.A.; Chesson, J.; Russell, J.

    1989-03-01

    This report presents a statistical evaluation of airborne asbestos data collected at two schools before and after removal of asbestos-containing material (ACM). Although the monitoring data are not totally consistent with new Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA) requirements and recent EPA guidelines, the study evaluates these historical data by standard statistical methods to determine if abated work areas meet proposed clearance criteria. The objectives of this statistical analysis were to compare (1) airborne asbestos levels indoors after removal with levels outdoors, (2) airborne asbestos levels before and after removal of asbestos, and (3) static sampling and aggressive sampling of airborne asbestos. The results of this evaluation indicated the following: the effect of asbestos removal on indoor air quality is unpredictable; the variability in fiber concentrations among different sampling sites within the same building indicates the need to treat different sites as separate areas for the purpose of clearance; and aggressive sampling is appropriate for clearance testing because it captures more entrainable asbestos structures. Aggressive sampling lowers the chance of declaring a worksite clean when entrainable asbestos is still present.

  17. A watershed-level approach to evaluating ecological impacts at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland

    SciTech Connect

    Elias, M.C.; Thebeau, L.C.; Neubauer, J.; Drendel, G.; Paul, J.; Durda, J.L.

    1994-12-31

    Aberdeen Proving Ground is a US Army installation occupying approximately 32,400 hectares of relatively undeveloped coastal plain uplands, wetlands, and estuary on the upper Chesapeake Bay. The installation was established in 1917 and historically has been used for research, development, and testing of chemical warfare agents, conventional weapons, and other material. Past activities have resulted in several hundred known or suspected potential sources of contamination in numerous drainage basins of two main watersheds (the Gunpowder River watershed and the Bush River watershed) and several smaller watersheds. All of these watersheds discharge to the upper reaches of the Chesapeake Bay. Investigations are being conducted to evaluate risks to ecological resources in the drainage basins of these watersheds. Following these investigations, watershed-level risk assessments will be conducted to evaluate the individual and combined risks of these multiple sources of contamination to ecological resources within each watershed. Risks to ecological resources in the potentially affected regions of the upper Chesapeake Bay via the migration of contaminants from the watersheds will also be evaluated. The approach being used for the watershed-level ecological assessment is discussed along with the implications of applying this approach to the evaluation of hazardous waste sites.

  18. Pulmonary function in workers exposed to low levels of fuel-oil ash.

    PubMed

    Woodin, M A; Liu, Y; Hauser, R; Smith, T J; Christiani, D C

    1999-11-01

    Previously, we reported significant lung function changes after exposure to fuel-oil ash during a boiler overhaul in which median PM10 and vanadium concentrations were 2.9 mg/m3 and 11.9 micrograms/m3, respectively. In this study, we examined prospectively 18 boilermakers involved in the short-term, partial overhaul of a large, oil-fired boiler where occupational exposures to PM10 and metals were relatively low. Vanadium and PM10 exposure levels were measured before and during boiler work. For PM10, median exposure before and during boiler work was 0.5 and 0.6 mg/m3, respectively. For vanadium, median exposure before and during boiler work was 1.0 and 12.7 micrograms/m3, respectively, comparable with the results of our previous study. Spirometric (PFT) testing was done three times: first day on the job (PFT1), end of overhaul (PFT2), and 2 weeks post-overhaul (PFT3). Spirometry results were analyzed using repeated measures analysis of variance. No significant differences were found. Boilermakers working on a short-term overhaul of an oil-fired boiler exhibited no significant change in any lung function parameter comparing pre-, during, and 2 weeks post-exposure. The comparatively low levels of exposure to PM10 and vanadium observed during boiler work, the short duration of the overhaul, and the healthy worker effect are possible explanations for these results.

  19. Cyanide levels found in infected cystic fibrosis sputum inhibit airway ciliary function.

    PubMed

    Nair, Chandrika; Shoemark, Amelia; Chan, Mario; Ollosson, Sarah; Dixon, Mellissa; Hogg, Claire; Alton, Eric W F W; Davies, Jane C; Williams, Huw D

    2014-11-01

    We have previously reported cyanide at concentrations of up to 150 μM in the sputum of cystic fibrosis patients infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa and a negative correlation with lung function. Our aim was to investigate possible mechanisms for this association, focusing on the effect of pathophysiologically relevant cyanide levels on human respiratory cell function. Ciliary beat frequency measurements were performed on nasal brushings and nasal air-liquid interface (ALI) cultures obtained from healthy volunteers and cystic fibrosis patients. Potassium cyanide decreased ciliary beat frequency in healthy nasal brushings (n = 6) after 60 min (150 μM: 47% fall, p<0.0012; 75 μM: 32% fall, p<0.0001). Samples from cystic fibrosis patients (n = 3) showed similar results (150 μM: 55% fall, p = 0.001). Ciliary beat frequency inhibition was not due to loss of cell viability and was reversible. The inhibitory mechanism was independent of ATP levels. KCN also significantly inhibited ciliary beat frequency in ALI cultures, albeit to a lesser extent. Ciliary beat frequency measurements on ALI cultures treated with culture supernatants from P. aeruginosa mutants defective in virulence factor production implicated cyanide as a key component inhibiting the ciliary beat frequency. If cyanide production similarly impairs mucocilliary clearance in vivo, it could explain the link with increased disease severity observed in cystic fibrosis patients with detectable cyanide in their airway.

  20. Relationship between Intracellular Magnesium Level, Lung Function, and Level of Asthma Control in Children with Chronic Bronchial Asthma

    PubMed Central

    SEIN, Htwe Htwe; Whye Lian, CHEAH; Juan Loong, KOK; SL NG, Josephine; RAHARDJAI, Andy; SULTAN, Mohamed Ameenudeen

    2014-01-01

    Background: This study aimed to determine the intracellular (red blood cell (RBC)) magnesium levels in children with chronic bronchial asthma and to determine the relationship between the magnesium level and peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR), type of asthma treatment, and level of asthma control. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted at the Paediatric Clinic, Sarawak General Hospital. A total of 100 children, aged 6–12 years with chronic bronchial asthma, were recruited according to the study criteria. Venous blood samples were obtained to measure the intracellular (RBC) magnesium level using the GBC Avanta Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. Results: Mean age was 8.57 (SD 1.18) years, and 63% of the participants were male. Mean duration of asthma was 62.2 (SD 32.3) months. A normal intracellular magnesium level was found in 95% of the participants, with a mean of 2.27 (SD 0.33) mmol/L. Two-thirds of the participants had a normal peak flow expiratory rate (> 80% of predicted value). About 85% were using both reliever and controller. Almost half of the participants (49%) had chronic asthma that was well-controlled. No significant relationship was found between magnesium level and age (r = –0.089, P = 0.379), gender (t = 0.64, P = 0.52), duration of asthma (r = –0.03, P = 0.74), PEFR (t = 0.41, P = 0.68), current level of asthma control (t = 0.02, P = 0.97), and current treatment (t = 0.414, P = 0.680). Conclusion: There was no significant intracellular magnesium deficiency in children with chronic bronchial asthma. There was no significant relationship between therapeutic medications used for treatment of children with chronic asthma and intracellular magnesium levels. PMID:25977631

  1. Does Percutaneous Kyphoplasty Have Better Functional Outcome Than Vertebroplasty in Single Level Osteoporotic Compression Fractures? A Comparative Prospective Study

    PubMed Central

    Omidi-Kashani, F.; Samini, F.; Hasankhani, E. G.; Kachooei, A. R.; Toosi, K. Z.; Golhasani-Keshtan, F.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose. To evaluate the relative differences in surgical outcome of kyphoplasty (KP) versus vertebroplasty (VP) in the patients with single level refractory osteoporotic compression fractures (OCFs). Method. From August 2008 to May 2012, we intermittently treated 57 patients with single level OCF by PV and KP (Groups A and B, resp.). We used visual analogue scale (VAS) and short form 36 (SF36) questionnaire to measure functional recovery and followed them for six months. Independent samples t- and Kendall's tau-b tests were for statistics. Results. In terms of age, number, and bone mineral density of the patients, there were no significant differences between the two groups. In both groups, VAS and SF-36 scores improved significantly and remained relatively stable throughout the follow-up period. We had 9 and 6 asymptomatic cement extravasations and 5 and 8 new vertebral fractures in Group A and B, respectively. In comparing the two groups, the results indicated that KP almost failed to show any significant higher effect relative to VP during this period. Conclusions. In considering the high cost of KP relative to VP in the developing countries like Iran, there is no logical reason to use KP in a single level refractory OCF in these regions. PMID:23970997

  2. On the Fast Evaluation Method of Temperature and Gas Mixing Ratio Weighting Functions for Remote Sensing of Planetary Atmospheres in Thermal IR and Microwave

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ustinov, E. A.

    1999-01-01

    Evaluation of weighting functions in the atmospheric remote sensing is usually the most computer-intensive part of the inversion algorithms. We present an analytic approach to computations of temperature and mixing ratio weighting functions that is based on our previous results but the resulting expressions use the intermediate variables that are generated in computations of observable radiances themselves. Upwelling radiances at the given level in the atmosphere and atmospheric transmittances from space to the given level are combined with local values of the total absorption coefficient and its components due to absorption of atmospheric constituents under study. This makes it possible to evaluate the temperature and mixing ratio weighting functions in parallel with evaluation of radiances. This substantially decreases the computer time required for evaluation of weighting functions. Implications for the nadir and limb viewing geometries are discussed.

  3. Applied genetic evaluations for production and functional traits in dairy cattle.

    PubMed

    Mark, T

    2004-08-01

    The objective of this study was to review the current status of genetic evaluation systems for production and functional traits as practiced in different Interbull member countries and to discuss that status in relation to research results and potential improvements. Thirty-one countries provided information. Substantial variation was evident for number of traits considered per country, trait definition, genetic evaluation procedure within trait, effects included, and how these were treated in genetic evaluation models. All countries lacked genetic evaluations for one or more economically important traits. Improvement in the genetic evaluation models, especially for many functional traits, could be achieved by closing the gaps between research and practice. More detailed and up to date information about national genetic evaluation systems for traits in different countries is available at www.interbull.org. Female fertility and workability traits were considered in many countries and could be next in line for international genetic evaluations.

  4. Intensity discrimination as a function of stimulus level with electric stimulation.

    PubMed

    Nelson, D A; Schmitz, J L; Donaldson, G S; Viemeister, N F; Javel, E

    1996-10-01

    Difference limens (DLs) for changes in electric current were measured from multiple electrodes in each of eight cochlear-implanted subjects. Stimuli were 200-microseconds/phase biphasic pulse trains delivered at 125 Hz in 300-ms bursts. DLs were measured with an adaptive three-alternative forced-choice procedure. Fixed-level psychometric functions were also obtained in four subjects to validate the adaptive DLs. Relative intensity DLs, specified as Weber fractions in decibels [10 log (delta I/I)] for standards above absolute threshold, decreased as a power function of stimulus intensity relative to absolute threshold [delta I/I = beta (I/I0) alpha] in the same manner as Weber fractions for normal acoustic stimulation reported in previous studies. Exponents (alpha) of the power function for electric stimulation ranged from -0.4 to -3.2, on average, an order of magnitude larger than exponents for acoustic stimulation, which range from -0.07 to -0.11. Normalization of stimulus intensity to the dynamic range of hearing resulted in Weber functions with similar negative slopes for electric and acoustic stimulation, corresponding to an 8-dB average improvement in Weber fractions across the dynamic range. Sensitivity to intensity change ¿10 log beta¿ varied from -0.42 to -13.5 dB compared to +0.60 to -3.34 dB for acoustic stimulation, but on average was better with electric stimulation than with acoustic stimulation. Psychometric functions for intensity discrimination yielded Weber fractions consistent with adaptive procedures and d' was a linear function of delta I. Variability among repeated Weber-fraction estimates was constant across dynamic range. Relatively constant Weber fractions across all or part of the dynamic range, observed in some subjects, were traced to the intensity resolution limits of individual implanted receiver/stimulators. DLs could not be accurately described by constant amplitude changes, expressed as a percentage of dynamic range ¿delta A(% DR

  5. Perturbing the Cellular Levels of Steroid Receptor Coactivator-2 Impairs Murine Endometrial Function

    PubMed Central

    Szwarc, Maria M.; Kommagani, Ramakrishna; Jeong, Jae-Wook; Wu, San-Pin; Tsai, Sophia Y.; Tsai, Ming-Jer; O’Malley, Bert W.; DeMayo, Francesco J.; Lydon, John P.

    2014-01-01

    As pleiotropic coregulators, members of the p160/steroid receptor coactivator (SRC) family control a broad spectrum of transcriptional responses that underpin a diverse array of physiological and pathophysiological processes. Because of their potent coregulator properties, strict controls on SRC expression levels are required to maintain normal tissue functionality. Accordingly, an unwarranted increase in the cellular levels of SRC members has been causally linked to the initiation and/or progression of a number of clinical disorders. Although knockout mouse models have underscored the critical non-redundant roles for each SRC member in vivo, there are surprisingly few mouse models that have been engineered to overexpress SRCs. This deficiency is significant since SRC involvement in many of these disorders is based on unscheduled increases in the levels (rather than the absence) of SRC expression. To address this deficiency, we used recent mouse technology that allows for the targeted expression of human SRC-2 in cells which express the progesterone receptor. Through cre-loxP recombination driven by the endogenous progesterone receptor promoter, a marked elevation in expression levels of human SRC-2 was achieved in endometrial cells that are positive for the progesterone receptor. As a result of this increase in coregulator expression, female mice are severely subfertile due to a dysfunctional uterus, which exhibits a hypersensitivity to estrogen exposure. Our findings strongly support the proposal from clinical observations that increased levels of SRC-2 are causal for a number of endometrial disorders which compromise fertility. Future studies will use this mouse model to decipher the molecular mechanisms that underpin the endometrial defect. We believe such mechanistic insight may provide new molecular descriptors for diagnosis, prognosis, and/or therapy in the clinical management of female infertility. PMID:24905738

  6. Cerebrospinal Fluid Orexin A Levels and Autonomic Function in Kleine-Levin Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jing Yu; Han, Fang; Dong, Song X.; Li, Jing; An, Pei; Zhang, Xiao Zhe; Chang, Yuan; Zhao, Long; Zhang, Xue Li; Liu, Ya Nan; Yan, Han; Li, Qing Hua; Hu, Yan; Lv, Chang Jun; Gao, Zhan Cheng; Strohl, Kingman P.

    2016-01-01

    Study Objectives: Kleine-Levin syndrome (KLS) is a rare disorder of relapsing sleepiness. The hypothesis was that the syndrome is related to a change in the vigilance peptide orexin A. Methods: From 2002 to 2013, 57 patients with relapsing hypersomnolence were clinically assessed in a referral academic center in Beijing, China, and 44 (28 males and 16 females; mean age 18.3 ± 8.9 y (mean ± standard deviation, range 9–57 y) were determined to have clinical and behavioral criteria consistent with KLS. Cerebrospinal fluid orexin A levels and diurnal blood pressure were measured in relapse versus remission in a subgroup of patients. Results: Presenting symptoms included relapsing or remitting excessive sleepiness–associated parallel complaints of cognitive changes (82%), eating disorders (84%); depression (45%); irritability (36%); hypersexuality (18%); and compulsions (11%). Episodes were 8.2 ± 3.3 days in duration. In relapse, diurnal values for blood pressure and heart rate were lower (P < 0.001). In a subgroup (n = 34), cerebrospinal fluid orexin A levels were ∼31% lower in a relapse versus remission (215.7 ± 81.5 versus 319.2 ± 95.92 pg/ml, P < 0.001); in three patients a pattern of lower levels during subsequent relapses was documented. Conclusions: There are lower orexin A levels in the symptomatic phase than in remission and a fall and rise in blood pressure and heart rate, suggesting a role for orexin dysregulation in KLS pathophysiology. Citation: Wang JY, Han F, Dong SX, Li J, An P, Zhang XZ, Chang Y, Zhao L, Zhang XL, Liu YN, Yan H, Li QH, Hu Y, Lv CJ, Gao ZC, Strohl KP. Cerebrospinal fluid orexin A levels and autonomic function in Kleine-Levin syndrome. SLEEP 2016;39(4):855–860. PMID:26943469

  7. Rapid evaluation of fibrinogen levels using the CG02N whole blood coagulation analyzer.

    PubMed

    Hayakawa, Mineji; Gando, Satoshi; Ono, Yuichi; Mizugaki, Asumi; Katabami, Kenichi; Maekawa, Kunihiko; Miyamoto, Daisuke; Wada, Takeshi; Yanagida, Yuichiro; Sawamura, Atsushi

    2015-04-01

    Rapid evaluation of fibrinogen (Fbg) levels is essential for maintaining homeostasis in patients with massive bleeding during severe trauma and major surgery. This study evaluated the accuracy of fibrinogen levels measured by the CG02N whole blood coagulation analyzer (A&T Corporation, Kanagawa, Japan) using heparinized blood drawn for blood gas analysis (whole blood-Fbg). A total of 100 matched pairs of heparinized blood samples and citrated blood samples were simultaneously collected from patients in the intensive care unit. Whole blood-Fbg results were compared with those of citrated plasma (standard-Fbg). The whole blood coagulation analyzer measured fibrinogen levels within 2 minutes. Strong correlations between standard-Fbg and whole blood-Fbg were observed (ρ = 0.91, p < 0.001). Error grid analysis showed that 88% of the values were clinically acceptable, and 12% were in a range with possible effects on clinical decision-making; none were in a clinically dangerous range without appropriate treatment. Using a fibrinogen cutoff value of 1.5 g/L for standard-Fbg, the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of whole blood-Fbg was 0.980 (95% confidence interval 0.951-1.000, p < 0.001). The whole blood coagulation analyzer can rapidly measure fibrinogen levels in heparinized blood and could be useful in critical care settings where excessive bleeding is a concern.

  8. Enhanced levels of dioxins in eggs from free range hens; a fast evaluation approach.

    PubMed

    Pussemier, Luc; Mohimont, Luc; Huyghebaert, André; Goeyens, Leo

    2004-08-01

    As a consequence of an initiative of the local authorities of the city of Antwerp (Belgium), dioxin levels were determined in eggs from free range hens owned by private owners in the Northern districts of Antwerp. The reasons for this survey stem from some fears that free range eggs could be contaminated by local environmental sources (e.g. soil, grass, earthworms) as a result of the presence in this area of intensive industrial and domestic activities. The analyses revealed high levels of PCDD/F in the home-produced eggs (average = 9.9pg WHO-TEQ per g of fat; n = 15). An evaluation of the available results has been carried out by the Scientific Committee of the Belgian Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain. From this evaluation, it appeared that the analysis of congener profiles was of limited use because all profiles were dominated by the OCDD congener, independently of the level of contamination. There were not enough indications allowing a causal link to be established between high dioxin levels in eggs and soil contamination and, on the other hand, it was assumed that other factors such as feeding habits, physiological state and egg laying rhythm of the hens could not be ruled out as potential causes of aggravation. A quick risk assessment led to the conclusion that the impact of this contamination is highly relevant for the consumer's health due to the important contribution of such home-produced eggs in the estimations of total body burden.

  9. Evaluation of serum sialic acid, fucose levels and their ratio in oral squamous cell carcinoma

    PubMed Central

    Chinnannavar, Sangamesh Ningappa; Ashok, Lingappa; Vidya, Kodige Chandrashekhar; Setty, Sunil Mysore Kantharaja; Narasimha, Guru Eraiah; Garg, Ranjana

    2015-01-01

    Background: Detection of cancer at the early stage is of utmost importance to decrease the morbidity and mortality of the disease. Apart from the conventional biopsy, minimally invasive methods like serum evaluation are used for screening large populations. Thus, this study aimed to estimate serum levels of sialic acid and fucose and their ratio in oral cancer patients and in healthy control group to evaluate their role in diagnosis. Materials and Methods: Serum samples were collected from 52 healthy controls (group I) and 52 squamous cell carcinoma patients (group II). Estimation of serum levels of sialic acid and fucose and their ratio was performed. This was correlated histopathologically with the grades of carcinoma. Statistical analysis was done by using analysis of variance (ANOVA) test and unpaired “t” test. Results: Results showed that serum levels of sialic acid and fucose were significantly higher in oral cancer patients compared to normal healthy controls (P < 0.001). The sialic acid to fucose ratio was significantly lower in cancer patients than in normal controls (P < 0.01). However, comparison with histological grading, habits, gender, and age group did not show any significant result. Conclusion: The mean serum sialic acid and fucose levels showed an increasing trend from controls to malignant group and their corresponding ratio showed decreasing trend from controls to malignant group. The ratio of sialic acid to fucose can be a useful diagnostic aid for oral cancer patients. PMID:26759796

  10. Evaluation of homocysteine levels in individuals having nonsyndromic cleft lip with or without palate

    PubMed Central

    Abdulla, Riaz; Tellis, Rouchelle Charmaine; Athikari, Roshan; Kudkuli, Jagadish

    2016-01-01

    Context: Nonsyndromic cleft lip with or without palate (NSCL ± P) is a genetic predisposition involving defects in shape and makeup of the lip and palate. Elevation of homocysteine (Hcy) levels is seen in medical complications such as developmental anomalies causing neural tube defects, congenital vascular diseases, neurodegenerative and psychiatric conditions. Evaluation of serum Hcy levels forms an important feature to look further into molecular aspects. Aims: The aim of this study was to evaluate the Hcy levels in NSCL ± P cases by comparing with control cases having no orofacial deformities. Settings and Design: This study was performed with a biochemical assay in a research laboratory. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional prevalence study was done to compare the concentrations of Hcy between 25 NSCL ± P patients and 15 healthy controls. Blood samples were collected from both the patients and controls and assessed for serum Hcy level using competent chemiluminescent immunoassay technique. Statistical Analysis Used: Student's t-test was used for statistical analysis. Results: The average Hcy concentration was 9.5 μmol/L in control group. There was an increase in Hcy concentration among the NSCL ± P cases with an average value of 18.4 μmol/L. The results were found to be statistically significant using Student's t-test. Conclusions: The results of this study indicate that Hcy concentration has a significant elevation in NSCL ± P patients when compared with that of control cases. PMID:27721602

  11. c-Myc and AMPK Control Cellular Energy Levels by Cooperatively Regulating Mitochondrial Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

    Edmunds, Lia R.; Sharma, Lokendra; Wang, Huabo; Kang, Audry; d’Souza, Sonia; Lu, Jie; McLaughlin, Michael; Dolezal, James M.; Gao, Xiaoli; Weintraub, Susan T.; Ding, Ying; Zeng, Xuemei; Yates, Nathan; Prochownik, Edward V.

    2015-01-01

    The c-Myc (Myc) oncoprotein and AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) regulate glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation (Oxphos) although often for different purposes. Because Myc over-expression depletes ATP with the resultant activation of AMPK, we explored the potential co-dependency of and cross-talk between these proteins by comparing the consequences of acute Myc induction in ampk+/+ (WT) and ampk-/- (KO) murine embryo fibroblasts (MEFs). KO MEFs showed a higher basal rate of glycolysis than WT MEFs and an appropriate increase in response to activation of a Myc-estrogen receptor (MycER) fusion protein. However, KO MEFs had a diminished ability to increase Oxphos, mitochondrial mass and reactive oxygen species in response to MycER activation. Other differences between WT and KO MEFs, either in the basal state or following MycER induction, included abnormalities in electron transport chain function, levels of TCA cycle-related oxidoreductases and cytoplasmic and mitochondrial redox states. Transcriptional profiling of pathways pertinent to glycolysis, Oxphos and mitochondrial structure and function also uncovered significant differences between WT and KO MEFs and their response to MycER activation. Finally, an unbiased mass-spectrometry (MS)-based survey capable of quantifying ~40% of all mitochondrial proteins, showed about 15% of them to be AMPK- and/or Myc-dependent in their steady state. Significant differences in the activities of the rate-limiting enzymes pyruvate kinase and pyruvate dehydrogenase, which dictate pyruvate and acetyl coenzyme A abundance, were also differentially responsive to Myc and AMPK and could account for some of the differences in basal metabolite levels that were also detected by MS. Thus, Myc and AMPK are highly co-dependent and appear to engage in significant cross-talk across numerous pathways which support metabolic and ATP-generating functions. PMID:26230505

  12. High-level production of functional muscle alpha-tropomyosin in Pichia pastoris.

    PubMed

    Hilario, E; Lataro, R C; Alegria, M C; Lavarda, S C; Ferro, J A; Bertolini, M C

    2001-06-22

    Although numerous studies have reported the production of skeletal muscle alpha-tropomyosin in E. coli, the protein needs to be modified at the amino terminus in order to be active. Without these modifications the protein does not bind to actin, does not exhibit head-to-tail polymerization, and does not inhibit the actomyosin Mg(2+)-ATPase in the absence of troponin. On the other hand, the protein produced in insect cells using baculovirus as an expression vector (Urbancikova, M., and Hitchcock-DeGregori, S. E., J. Biol. Chem., 269, 24310-24315, 1994) is only partially acetylated at its amino terminal and therefore is not totally functional. In an attempt to produce an unmodified functional recombinant muscle alpha-tropomyosin for structure-function correlation studies we have expressed the chicken skeletal alpha-tropomyosin cDNA in the yeast Pichia pastoris. Recombinant protein was produced at a high level (20 mg/L) and was similar to the wild type muscle protein in its ability to polymerize, to bind to actin and to regulate the actomyosin S1 Mg(2+)-ATPase.

  13. A possible functional localizer for identifying brain regions sensitive to sentence-level prosody

    PubMed Central

    Fedorenko, Evelina; Hsieh, Po-Jang; Balewski, Zuzanna

    2013-01-01

    Investigations of how we produce and perceive prosodic patterns are not only interesting in their own right but can inform fundamental questions in language research. We here argue that functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in general – and the functional localization approach in particular (e.g., Kanwisher et al., 1997; Saxe et al., 2006; Fedorenko et al., 2010; Nieto-Castañon & Fedorenko, 2012) – has the potential to help address open research questions in prosody research and at the intersection of prosody and other domains. Critically, this approach can go beyond questions like “where in the brain does mental process x produce activation” and toward questions that probe the nature of the representations and computations that subserve different mental abilities. We describe one way to functionally define regions sensitive to sentence-level prosody in individual subjects. This or similar “localizer” contrasts can be used in future studies to test hypotheses about the precise contributions of prosody-sensitive brain regions to prosodic processing and cognition more broadly. PMID:25642425

  14. Global climate targets and future consumption level: an evaluation of the required GHG intensity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Girod, Bastien; van Vuuren, Detlef Peter; Hertwich, Edgar G.

    2013-03-01

    Discussion and analysis on international climate policy often focuses on the rather abstract level of total national and regional greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. At some point, however, emission reductions need to be translated to consumption level. In this article, we evaluate the implications of the strictest IPCC representative concentration pathway for key consumption categories (food, travel, shelter, goods, services). We use IPAT style identities to account for possible growth in global consumption levels and indicate the required change in GHG emission intensity for each category (i.e. GHG emission per calorie, person kilometer, square meter, kilogram, US dollar). The proposed concept provides guidance for product developers, consumers and policymakers. To reach the 2 °C climate target (2.1 tCO2-eq. per capita in 2050), the GHG emission intensity of consumption has to be reduced by a factor of 5 in 2050. The climate targets on consumption level allow discussion of the feasibility of this climate target at product and consumption level. In most consumption categories products in line with this climate target are available. For animal food and air travel, reaching the GHG intensity targets with product modifications alone will be challenging and therefore structural changes in consumption patterns might be needed. The concept opens up possibilities for further research on potential solutions on the consumption and product level to global climate mitigation.

  15. Evaluation of oxidant, antioxidant, and S100B levels in patients with conversion disorder

    PubMed Central

    Büyükaslan, Hasan; Kandemir, Sultan Basmacı; Asoğlu, Mehmet; Kaya, Halil; Gökdemir, Mehmet Tahir; Karababa, İbrahim Fatih; Güngörmez, Fatih; Kılıçaslan, Fethiye; Şavik, Emin

    2016-01-01

    Introduction Various psychodynamic, neurobiological, genetic, and sociocultural factors are believed to be involved in the etiology of conversion disorder (CD). Oxidative metabolism has been shown to deteriorate in association with many health problems and psychiatric disorders. We evaluated oxidative metabolism and S100B levels in the context of this multifactorial disease. Methods Thirty-seven patients with CD (25 females and 12 males) and 42 healthy volunteers (21 females and 21 males), all matched for age and sex, were included in this study. The total oxidant status, total antioxidant status, oxidative stress index, and S100B levels were compared between the two groups. Results The total oxidant status, oxidative stress index, and S100B levels were significantly higher in patients with CD than in the control group, whereas the total antioxidant status was significantly lower. Conclusion CD is associated with deterioration of oxidative metabolism and increased neuronal damage. PMID:27471386

  16. Visual privacy by context: proposal and evaluation of a level-based visualisation scheme.

    PubMed

    Padilla-López, José Ramón; Chaaraoui, Alexandros Andre; Gu, Feng; Flórez-Revuelta, Francisco

    2015-06-04

    Privacy in image and video data has become an important subject since cameras are being installed in an increasing number of public and private spaces. Specifically, in assisted living, intelligent monitoring based on computer vision can allow one to provide risk detection and support services that increase people's autonomy at home. In the present work, a level-based visualisation scheme is proposed to provide visual privacy when human intervention is necessary, such as at telerehabilitation and safety assessment applications. Visualisation levels are dynamically selected based on the previously modelled context. In this way, different levels of protection can be provided, maintaining the necessary intelligibility required for the applications. Furthermore, a case study of a living room, where a top-view camera is installed, is presented. Finally, the performed survey-based evaluation indicates the degree of protection provided by the different visualisation models, as well as the personal privacy preferences and valuations of the users.

  17. Visual Privacy by Context: Proposal and Evaluation of a Level-Based Visualisation Scheme

    PubMed Central

    Padilla-López, José Ramón; Chaaraoui, Alexandros Andre; Gu, Feng; Flórez-Revuelta, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    Privacy in image and video data has become an important subject since cameras are being installed in an increasing number of public and private spaces. Specifically, in assisted living, intelligent monitoring based on computer vision can allow one to provide risk detection and support services that increase people's autonomy at home. In the present work, a level-based visualisation scheme is proposed to provide visual privacy when human intervention is necessary, such as at telerehabilitation and safety assessment applications. Visualisation levels are dynamically selected based on the previously modelled context. In this way, different levels of protection can be provided, maintaining the necessary intelligibility required for the applications. Furthermore, a case study of a living room, where a top-view camera is installed, is presented. Finally, the performed survey-based evaluation indicates the degree of protection provided by the different visualisation models, as well as the personal privacy preferences and valuations of the users. PMID:26053746

  18. Visual privacy by context: proposal and evaluation of a level-based visualisation scheme.

    PubMed

    Padilla-López, José Ramón; Chaaraoui, Alexandros Andre; Gu, Feng; Flórez-Revuelta, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    Privacy in image and video data has become an important subject since cameras are being installed in an increasing number of public and private spaces. Specifically, in assisted living, intelligent monitoring based on computer vision can allow one to provide risk detection and support services that increase people's autonomy at home. In the present work, a level-based visualisation scheme is proposed to provide visual privacy when human intervention is necessary, such as at telerehabilitation and safety assessment applications. Visualisation levels are dynamically selected based on the previously modelled context. In this way, different levels of protection can be provided, maintaining the necessary intelligibility required for the applications. Furthermore, a case study of a living room, where a top-view camera is installed, is presented. Finally, the performed survey-based evaluation indicates the degree of protection provided by the different visualisation models, as well as the personal privacy preferences and valuations of the users. PMID:26053746

  19. Low serum magnesium levels are associated with impaired peripheral nerve function in type 2 diabetic patients

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Chen; Zhao, Weijing; Zhang, Yinan; Li, Lu; Lu, Jingyi; Jiang, Lan; Wang, Congrong; Jia, Weiping

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between serum magnesium and peripheral nerve function in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM). A total of 978 T2DM patients were included in the study. Patients were divided into tertiles according to serum magnesium concentration (low tertile: ≤0.85 mmol/L; medium tertile: 0.85 to 0.92 mmol/L; and high tertile: >0.92 mmol/L). All participants underwent nerve conduction (NC) studies. Composite z scores of conduction velocity, latency, and amplitude were constructed, respectively. The serum magnesium levels were significantly lower in patients with abnormal NC than in those with normal NC (0.87 [0.82, 0.92] vs. 0.88 [0.83, 0.93] mmol/L, P = 0.048). The composite z score of amplitude significantly increased with increasing tertiles of magnesium (−0.60 ± 0.02 vs. −0.57 ± 0.02 vs. −0.48 ± 0.03, P for trend = 0.001). After adjusting for all potential confounders, lower serum magnesium levels were still associated with lower composite z score of amplitude (β = 0.095, P = 0.014). In patients with T2DM, lower serum magnesium levels were significantly associated with lower composite z score of amplitude, indicating magnesium might affect peripheral nerve function through axonal degeneration. PMID:27601013

  20. Cardiac Function in Newborns with Congenital Hypothyroidism: Association with Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone Levels

    PubMed Central

    Öner, Taliha; Özdemir, Rahmi; Doksöz, Önder; Yozgat, Yılmaz; Karadeniz, Cem; Demirpençe, Savaş; Yılmazer, Murat Muhtar; Büyükinan, Muammer; Meşe, Timur; Tavlı, Vedide

    2015-01-01

    Objective: The aims of this study were to demonstrate ventricular function changes in patients with congenital hypothyroidism and to investigate whether there is an association between any such changes and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) levels using M-mode and Doppler electrocardiography (ECG) and tissue Doppler imaging (TDI). Methods: Twenty-seven patients 5-30 days of age with congenital hypothyroidism who were scheduled to receive L-thyroxine treatment and 20 healthy newborns were included in this study. Twelve-lead ECG and M-mode TDI recordings of the patient and healthy groups were obtained. The patient group was divided into two subgroups according to TSH level (>100 uIU/mL or <100 uIU/mL), which were then compared on all parameters. Results: Decreases were observed in the ejection fraction (EF), shortening fraction (SF), and mitral lateral annulus, mitral septal annulus, and tricuspid lateral annulus systolic velocity (Sa) on TDI, whereas left ventricular end-systolic diameter (LVESd) and corrected QT interval (QTc) dispersion were significantly increased in the patient group compared with the control group. No significant differences between the groups were found in left ventricular end-diastolic diameter (LVEDd) or heart rate. When the two patient subgroups (TSH >100 uIU/mL and <100 uIU/mL) were compared, TDI septal annulus Sa wave length and heart rate were significantly lower in the TSH >100 group. Conclusion: Impairment in left ventricular systolic function and increased risk of arrhythmia were observed in newborn infants with congenital hypothyroidism. TSH level was associated with heart rate and interventricular septum velocity. PMID:26777042

  1. Low serum magnesium levels are associated with impaired peripheral nerve function in type 2 diabetic patients.

    PubMed

    Chu, Chen; Zhao, Weijing; Zhang, Yinan; Li, Lu; Lu, Jingyi; Jiang, Lan; Wang, Congrong; Jia, Weiping

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between serum magnesium and peripheral nerve function in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2DM). A total of 978 T2DM patients were included in the study. Patients were divided into tertiles according to serum magnesium concentration (low tertile: ≤0.85 mmol/L; medium tertile: 0.85 to 0.92 mmol/L; and high tertile: >0.92 mmol/L). All participants underwent nerve conduction (NC) studies. Composite z scores of conduction velocity, latency, and amplitude were constructed, respectively. The serum magnesium levels were significantly lower in patients with abnormal NC than in those with normal NC (0.87 [0.82, 0.92] vs. 0.88 [0.83, 0.93] mmol/L, P = 0.048). The composite z score of amplitude significantly increased with increasing tertiles of magnesium (-0.60 ± 0.02 vs. -0.57 ± 0.02 vs. -0.48 ± 0.03, P for trend = 0.001). After adjusting for all potential confounders, lower serum magnesium levels were still associated with lower composite z score of amplitude (β = 0.095, P = 0.014). In patients with T2DM, lower serum magnesium levels were significantly associated with lower composite z score of amplitude, indicating magnesium might affect peripheral nerve function through axonal degeneration. PMID:27601013

  2. Lagged Associations of Metropolitan Statistical Area- and State-Level Income Inequality with Cognitive Function: The Health and Retirement Study

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Daniel; Griffin, Beth Ann; Kabeto, Mohammed; Escarce, José; Langa, Kenneth M.; Shih, Regina A.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Much variation in individual-level cognitive function in late life remains unexplained, with little exploration of area-level/contextual factors to date. Income inequality is a contextual factor that may plausibly influence cognitive function. Methods In a nationally-representative cohort of older Americans from the Health and Retirement Study, we examined state- and metropolitan statistical area (MSA)-level income inequality as predictors of individual-level cognitive function measured by the 27-point Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status (TICS-m) scale. We modeled latency periods of 8–20 years, and controlled for state-/metropolitan statistical area (MSA)-level and individual-level factors. Results Higher MSA-level income inequality predicted lower cognitive function 16–18 years later. Using a 16-year lag, living in a MSA in the highest income inequality quartile predicted a 0.9-point lower TICS-m score (β = -0.86; 95% CI = -1.41, -0.31), roughly equivalent to the magnitude associated with five years of aging. We observed no associations for state-level income inequality. The findings were robust to sensitivity analyses using propensity score methods. Conclusions Among older Americans, MSA-level income inequality appears to influence cognitive function nearly two decades later. Policies reducing income inequality levels within cities may help address the growing burden of declining cognitive function among older populations within the United States. PMID:27332986

  3. Plasma Levels of Middle Molecules to Estimate Residual Kidney Function in Haemodialysis without Urine Collection

    PubMed Central

    Vilar, Enric; Boltiador, Capella; Wong, Jonathan; Viljoen, Adie; Machado, Ashwini; Uthayakumar, Arani; Farrington, Ken

    2015-01-01

    Background Residual Kidney Function (RKF) is associated with survival benefits in haemodialysis (HD) but is difficult to measure without urine collection. Middle molecules such as Cystatin C and β2-microglobulin accumulate in renal disease and plasma levels have been used to estimate kidney function early in this condition. We investigated their use to estimate RKF in patients on HD. Design Cystatin C, β2-microglobulin, urea and creatinine levels were studied in patients on incremental high-flux HD or hemodiafiltration(HDF). Over sequential HD sessions, blood was sampled pre- and post-session 1 and pre-session 2, for estimation of these parameters. Urine was collected during the whole interdialytic interval, for estimation of residual GFR (GFRResidual = mean of urea and creatinine clearance). The relationships of plasma Cystatin C and β2-microglobulin levels to GFRResidual and urea clearance were determined. Results Of the 341 patients studied, 64% had urine output>100ml/day, 32.6% were on high-flux HD and 67.4% on HDF. Parameters most closely correlated with GFRResidual were 1/β2-micoglobulin (r2 0.67) and 1/Cystatin C (r2 0.50). Both these relationships were weaker at low GFRResidual. The best regression model for GFRResidual, explaining 67% of the variation, was: GFRResidual=160.3⋅(1β2m)−4.2 Where β2m is the pre-dialysis β2 microglobulin concentration (mg/L). This model was validated in a separate cohort of 50 patients using Bland-Altman analysis. Areas under the curve in Receiver Operating Characteristic analysis aimed at identifying subjects with urea clearance≥2ml/min/1.73m2 was 0.91 for β2-microglobulin and 0.86 for Cystatin C. A plasma β2-microglobulin cut-off of ≤19.2mg/L allowed identification of patients with urea clearance ≥2ml/min/1.73m2 with 90% specificity and 65% sensitivity. Conclusion Plasma pre-dialysis β2-microglobulin levels can provide estimates of RKF which may have clinical utility and appear superior to cystatin C. Use

  4. Effects of hippotherapy on brain function, BDNF level, and physical fitness in children with ADHD

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Namju; Park, Sok; Kim, Jongkyu

    2015-01-01

    [Purpose] The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of hippotherapy on brain function and levels of blood-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in children with attention deficit and/or hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). [Methods] The hippotherapy group (HRG) included twenty children with ADHD and the control group (CG) included 19 children. All participants’ physical fitness, fMRI brain scans, and blood BDNF levels were measured at baseline and after 32 weeks of participating in hippotherapy. [Results] After 32 weeks of participating in hippotherapy, the body fat of the HRG was significantly decreased (-1.12 ± 4.20%) and the body fat of the CG was increased (2.38 ± 6.35%) (p=0.049). There was no significant difference of physical fitness in both groups (p>0.05). Although there was a higher decrease in the activated insular area in the HRG (-1.59 ± 0.99) than in the CG (-1.14 ± 1.41), there was no significant difference between the two groups (p>0.05) Also, there was a higher increase in the activated cerebellum area in the HRG (1.97 ± 1.45) than in the CG (1.92 ± 1.81). However, there was no significant difference between the two groups (p>0.05). BDNF levels showed an increased tendency in the HRG (166.29 ± 277.52pg) compared to the CG (21.13 ± 686.33pg); otherwise, there was not any significant difference in these blood levels between the two groups (p>0.05). It can be assumed that big individual differences in the level of ADHD in the study participants might not cause any significant results, although there might be positive changes in the brain function of children with ADHD. [Conclusion] Therefore, this study suggests that hippotherapy training would need to be modified and developed to increase the efficacy of hippotherapy in children with ADHD. PMID:26244130

  5. Low-level blast raises intracranial pressure and impairs cognitive function in rats: prophylaxis with processed cereal feed.

    PubMed

    Säljö, Annette; Bolouri, Hayde; Mayorga, Maria; Svensson, Berndt; Hamberger, Anders

    2010-02-01

    There is increasing evidence that even low levels of blast cause brain injury, but little is known about their thresholds and mechanisms. Exposure of rats to 10-60 kPa blasts elevate intracranial pressure (ICP) in a dose-dependent manner and impair cognitive function. We have evaluated a prophylactic measure against these brain injuries in a rat animal model, consisting of feeding them processed cereal. This type of feed is known to ameliorate disturbances in secretion of body fluids and to have anti-inflammatory effects. In humans, intake of processed cereals is effective against intestinal diarrhea and also reduces the symptoms of Ménière's disease. Rats were given either standard laboratory feed or processed cereal feed for 2 weeks before exposure to blast in a shock tube. The ICP was monitored at different time points up to 1 week after exposure to a 60-kPa blast, and for up to 24 h after exposure to a 30-kPa blast. Maximal ICP elevation was reached at 10 h in both groups. In the group of rats on standard feed exposed to 60 kPa, an ICP increase of 145% was noted at 10 h, and the corresponding increase in the rats fed processed cereal feed was only 50%. In rats exposed to a 30-kPa blast, those fed standard feed and processed cereal feed demonstrated increases of ICP of 80% and 40%, respectively. Cognitive function as measured by the Morris water maze was assessed in other groups of rats at 2 days after exposure to 10- or 30-kPa blasts. Their performance was significantly impaired at both exposure levels in rats on standard feed, but no functional impairment was seen in rats fed processed cereal feed.

  6. Quantitative evaluation of waste prevention on the level of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).

    PubMed

    Laner, David; Rechberger, Helmut

    2009-02-01

    Waste prevention is a principle means of achieving the goals of waste management and a key element for developing sustainable economies. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) contribute substantially to environmental degradation, often not even being aware of their environmental effects. Therefore, several initiatives have been launched in Austria aimed at supporting waste prevention measures on the level of SMEs. To promote the most efficient projects, they have to be evaluated with respect to their contribution to the goals of waste management. It is the aim of this paper to develop a methodology for evaluating waste prevention measures in SMEs based on their goal orientation. At first, conceptual problems of defining and delineating waste prevention activities are briefly discussed. Then an approach to evaluate waste prevention activities with respect to their environmental performance is presented and benchmarks which allow for an efficient use of the available funds are developed. Finally the evaluation method is applied to a number of former projects and the calculated results are analysed with respect to shortcomings and limitations of the model. It is found that the developed methodology can provide a tool for a more objective and comprehensible evaluation of waste prevention measures.

  7. Development, evaluation, and selection of candidate high-level waste forms

    SciTech Connect

    Bernadzikowski, T A; Allender, J S; Gordon, D E; Gould, Jr, T H

    1982-01-01

    The seven candidate waste forms, evaluated as potential media for the immobilization and gelogic disposal of high-level nuclear wastes were borosilicate glass, SYNROC, tailored ceramic, high-silica glass, FUETAP concrete, coated sol-gel particles, and glass marbles in a lead matrix. The evaluation, completed on August 1, 1981, combined preliminary waste form evaluations conducted at Department of Energy (DOE) defense waste-sites and at independent laboratories, peer review assessments, a product performance evaluation, and a processability analysis. Based on the combined results of these four inputs, two of the seven forms, borosilicate glass and a titanate-based ceramic, SYNROC, were selected as the reference and alternative forms, respectively, for continued development and evaluation in the National HLW Program. The borosilicate glass and ceramic forms were further compared during FY-1982 on the basis of risk assessments, cost comparisons, properties comparisons, and conformance with proposed regulatory and repository criteria. Both the glass and ceramic forms are viable candidates for use at DOE defense HLW sites; they are also candidates for immobilization of commercial reprocessing wastes. This paper describes the waste form screening process, discusses each of the four major inputs considered in the selection of the two forms in 1981, and presents a brief summary of the comparisons of the two forms during 1982 and the selection process to determine the final form for SRP defense HLW.

  8. Quantitative evaluation of waste prevention on the level of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs)

    SciTech Connect

    Laner, David Rechberger, Helmut

    2009-02-15

    Waste prevention is a principle means of achieving the goals of waste management and a key element for developing sustainable economies. Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) contribute substantially to environmental degradation, often not even being aware of their environmental effects. Therefore, several initiatives have been launched in Austria aimed at supporting waste prevention measures on the level of SMEs. To promote the most efficient projects, they have to be evaluated with respect to their contribution to the goals of waste management. It is the aim of this paper to develop a methodology for evaluating waste prevention measures in SMEs based on their goal orientation. At first, conceptual problems of defining and delineating waste prevention activities are briefly discussed. Then an approach to evaluate waste prevention activities with respect to their environmental performance is presented and benchmarks which allow for an efficient use of the available funds are developed. Finally the evaluation method is applied to a number of former projects and the calculated results are analysed with respect to shortcomings and limitations of the model. It is found that the developed methodology can provide a tool for a more objective and comprehensible evaluation of waste prevention measures.

  9. Evaluation of cisplatin plasma levels in patients undergoing cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy.

    PubMed

    Fleres, Francesco; Saladino, Edoardo; Catanoso, Rosaria; Arcoraci, Vincenzo; Mandolfino, Tommaso; Cucinotta, Eugenio; Macrì, Antonio

    2016-02-01

    Introduction Peritoneal surface malignancies have long been regarded as incurable, however, they can be treated with cytoreductive surgery in addition to hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy. This approach is associated with an increase in morbidity and mortality, unless hyperhydration is provided in a timely manner. Methods Cisplatin (CDDP) is the most widely used chemotherapeutic agent. Plasma levels of cisplatin (CDDP), a widely used chemotherapeutic agent, were measured before, during, and after the procedure. This was done in order to identify the window of highest risk as a function of drug concentrations, assuming a dose-dependent effect. Results Plasma levels of CDDP peak during perfusion. The concentration remains high until the 4th post-operative day and returns to pre-operative levels by the 7th post-operative day. Conclusions Our findings suggest that ensuring hyperhydration as well as infusing albumin and fresh frozen plasma may be of particular value for at least the first 4 days after the procedure. PMID:27385136

  10. Melatonin in Plants – Diversity of Levels and Multiplicity of Functions

    PubMed Central

    Hardeland, Rüdiger

    2016-01-01

    Melatonin has been detected in numerous plant species. A particularly surprising finding concerns the highly divergent levels of melatonin that vary between species, organs and environmental conditions, from a few pg/g to over 20 μg/g, reportedly up to 200 μg/g. Highest values have been determined in oily seeds and in plant organs exposed to high UV radiation. The divergency of melatonin concentrations is discussed under various functional aspects and focused on several open questions. This comprises differences in precursor availability, catabolism, the relative contribution of isoenzymes of the melatonin biosynthetic pathway, and differences in rate limitation by either serotonin N-acetyltransferase or N-acetylserotonin O-methyltransferase. Other differences are related to the remarkable pleiotropy of melatonin, which exhibits properties as a growth regulator and morphogenetic factor, actually debated in terms of auxin-like effects, and as a signaling molecule that modulates pathways of ethylene, abscisic, jasmonic and salicylic acids and is involved in stress tolerance, pathogen defense and delay of senescence. In the context of high light/UV intensities, elevated melatonin levels exceed those required for signaling via stress-related phytohormones and may comprise direct antioxidant and photoprotectant properties, perhaps with a contribution of its oxidatively formed metabolites, such as N1-acetyl-N2-formyl-5-methoxykynuramine and its secondary products. High melatonin levels in seeds may also serve antioxidative protection and have been shown to promote seed viability and germination capacity. PMID:26925091

  11. Multi-Level Experimental and Analytical Evaluation of Two Composite Energy Absorbers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jackson, Karen E.; Littell, Justin D.; Fasanella, Edwin L.; Annett, Martin S.; Seal, Michael D., II

    2015-01-01

    Two composite energy absorbers were developed and evaluated at NASA Langley Research Center through multi-level testing and simulation performed under the Transport Rotorcraft Airframe Crash Testbed (TRACT) research program. A conical-shaped energy absorber, designated the conusoid, was evaluated that consisted of four layers of hybrid carbon-Kevlar plain weave fabric oriented at [+45 deg/-45 deg/-45 deg/+45 deg] with respect to the vertical, or crush, direction. A sinusoidal-shaped energy absorber, designated the sinusoid, was developed that consisted of hybrid carbon-Kevlar plain weave fabric face sheets, two layers for each face sheet oriented at +/-45deg with respect to the vertical direction and a closed-cell ELFOAM P200 polyisocyanurate (2.0-lb/cu ft) foam core. The design goal for the energy absorbers was to achieve average floor-level accelerations of between 25- and 40-g during the full-scale crash test of a retrofitted CH-46E helicopter airframe, designated TRACT 2. Variations in both designs were assessed through dynamic crush testing of component specimens. Once the designs were finalized, subfloor beams of each configuration were fabricated and retrofitted into a barrel section of a CH-46E helicopter. A vertical drop test of the barrel section was conducted onto concrete to evaluate the performance of the energy absorbers prior to retrofit into TRACT 2. The retrofitted airframe was crash tested under combined forward and vertical velocity conditions onto soil, which is characterized as a sand/clay mixture. Finite element models were developed of all test articles and simulations were performed using LS-DYNA, a commercial nonlinear explicit transient dynamic finite element code. Test-analysis results are presented for each energy absorber as comparisons of time-history responses, as well as predicted and experimental structural deformations and progressive damage under impact loading for each evaluation level.

  12. A systematic evaluation of the resource consumption of active pharmaceutical ingredient production at three different levels.

    PubMed

    Van der Vorst, Geert; Dewulf, Jo; Aelterman, Wim; De Witte, Bruno; Van Langenhove, Herman

    2011-04-01

    In this paper, the development and the advantages of a methodology which allows the systematic assessment of the environmental impact on the resource side of specific pharmaceutical production processes with limited data entry is presented. The quantification of the process-specific mass and energy balances over three different system boundaries (process, gate-to-gate, and cradle-to-gate) is based on the methodology explained in Van der Vorst et al. (Ind. Eng. Chem. Res.2009, 48(11), 5344-5350). These mass and energy balances are now coupled with the thermodynamic term exergy allowing the quantification of the resource efficiency at the process and gate-to-gate level and the environmental impact at the cradle-to-gate level. The advantages of such a calculation tool for the resource evaluation are illustrated with five consecutive pharmaceutical production steps which are part of the galantamine (anti-Alzheimer medication) pathway. It is shown that such a quantitative and systematic evaluation tool allows a detailed and relatively fast evaluation of the resource efficiency of active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) production processes at the three different levels. Combining thermodynamics and the systematic data inventory methodology for the quantification of the resource efficiency first allows results to be merged into a single impact value (exergy loss/mol API or CEENE/mol API) for fast benchmarking and evaluation of different API production processes. Second, it also allows results to be divided over different categories depending on the users' interest and make thorough analysis of processes in order to pinpoint process improvements and quantitatively justify the introduction of second generation production processes or production techniques. PMID:21391625

  13. Functional C1-inhibitor diagnostics in hereditary angioedema: assay evaluation and recommendations.

    PubMed

    Wagenaar-Bos, Ineke G A; Drouet, Christian; Aygören-Pursun, Emel; Bork, Konrad; Bucher, Christoph; Bygum, Anette; Farkas, Henriette; Fust, George; Gregorek, Hanna; Hack, C Erik; Hickey, Alaco; Joller-Jemelka, Helen I; Kapusta, Maria; Kreuz, Wolfhart; Longhurst, Hilary; Lopez-Trascasa, Margarita; Madalinski, Kazimierz; Naskalski, Jerzy; Nieuwenhuys, Ed; Ponard, Denise; Truedsson, Lennart; Varga, Lilian; Nielsen, Erik Waage; Wagner, Eric; Zingale, Lorenza; Cicardi, Marco; van Ham, S Marieke

    2008-09-30

    Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is an autosomal dominant disease characterized by recurrent episodes of potentially life-threatening angioedema. The most widespread underlying genetic deficiency is a heterozygous deficiency of the serine protease inhibitor C1 esterase inhibitor (C1-Inh). In addition to low C4 levels, the most important laboratory parameter for correct diagnosis of HAE or angioedema due to acquired C1-Inh deficiency is reduced C1-Inh function (fC1-Inh). No direct recommendations about the assays for fC1-Inh or sample handling conditions are available, although this would prove especially useful when a laboratory first starts to offer assays on fC1-Inh for HAE diagnosis. In the present study we evaluated the performance of fC1-Inh assays in the 15 different laboratories that are specialised in HAE diagnostics and assessed inter-laboratory variation with each laboratory using their own assays and standards. A double-blind survey was conducted using plasma/serum samples from healthy donors and HAE patients and the uniformity of HAE diagnosis was evaluated. It can be concluded that the diagnosis of fC1-Inh deficiency was made correctly in most cases in this survey. We can recommend the chromogenic assay for the determination of fC1-Inh, while the complex ELISA needs further investigation.

  14. Evaluation of functional outcomes and complications following modified Latarjet reconstruction in athletes with anterior shoulder instability

    PubMed Central

    van der Watt, Christelle; de Beer, Joe F

    2015-01-01

    Background The optimal management of anterior shoulder instability in athletes continues to be a challenge. The present study aimed to evaluate the functional outcomes of athletes with anterior shoulder instability following modified Latarjet reconstruction through assessing the timing of return to sport and complications. Methods Retrospective assessment was performed of athletes (n = 56) who presented with recurrent anterior shoulder instability and were treated with modified congruent arc Latarjet reconstruction over a 1-year period. Rugby union was the predominant sport performed. Pre-operative instability severity index scores were assessed. Postoperative complications were recorded as was the time taken for the athlete to return to sport. Results Arthroscopic evaluation revealed that 86% of patients had associated bony lesions affecting the glenohumeral joint. The overall complication rate relating to the Latarjet reconstruction was 7%. No episodes of recurrent shoulder instability were noted. Of the patients, 89% returned to competitive sport at the same level as that prior to surgery. The mean time post surgery to returning to full training was 3.2 months. Conclusions The modified congruent arc Latarjet procedure facilitates early rehabilitation and return to sport. These results support our systematic management protocol of performing modified Latarjet surgery in contact sport athletes with recurrent anterior instability. PMID:27582973

  15. Quality evaluation of functional chicken nuggets incorporated with ground carrot and mashed sweet potato.

    PubMed

    Bhosale, S S; Biswas, A K; Sahoo, J; Chatli, M K; Sharma, D K; Sikka, S S

    2011-06-01

    This study was envisaged to evaluate the effect of ground raw carrot (0%, 5%, 10% and 15%) and mashed sweet potato (0%, 5%, 10% and 15%) as functional ingredients on the quality of chicken meat nuggets. The products were evaluated for physicochemical quality, proximate composition, nutritive value, sensory quality as well as color and texture profile analyses. Additions of either raw carrot or mashed sweet potato represent an improvement in the nutritional value and have some beneficial effects due to the presence of dietary fibers and β-carotene. They were also found to be effective in sustaining the desired cooking yield and emulsion stability. Treated samples showed lower (p > 0.05) protein, fat and ash contents but higher (p < 0.05) moisture content than control. There were differences among the nugget samples with respect to sensory qualities, and control samples as well as samples with 10% added carrot/sweet potato had higher overall acceptability scores. Hunter color values (L*, a* and b* values) were higher (p < 0.05) for both the formulated products, while their textural parameters were nearly unchanged. In conclusion, carrot and sweet potato at 10% added level have greater potential as good source of dietary fibers and β-carotene and may find their way in meat industry.

  16. Randomization and resilience of brain functional networks as systems-level endophenotypes of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Lo, Chun-Yi Zac; Su, Tsung-Wei; Huang, Chu-Chung; Hung, Chia-Chun; Chen, Wei-Ling; Lan, Tsuo-Hung; Lin, Ching-Po; Bullmore, Edward T

    2015-07-21

    Schizophrenia is increasingly conceived as a disorder of brain network organization or dysconnectivity syndrome. Functional MRI (fMRI) networks in schizophrenia have been characterized by abnormally random topology. We tested the hypothesis that network randomization is an endophenotype of schizophrenia and therefore evident also in nonpsychotic relatives of patients. Head movement-corrected, resting-state fMRI data were acquired from 25 patients with schizophrenia, 25 first-degree relatives of patients, and 29 healthy volunteers. Graphs were used to model functional connectivity as a set of edges between regional nodes. We estimated the topological efficiency, clustering, degree distribution, resilience, and connection distance (in millimeters) of each functional network. The schizophrenic group demonstrated significant randomization of global network metrics (reduced clustering, greater efficiency), a shift in the degree distribution to a more homogeneous form (fewer hubs), a shift in the distance distribution (proportionally more long-distance edges), and greater resilience to targeted attack on network hubs. The networks of the relatives also demonstrated abnormal randomization and resilience compared with healthy volunteers, but they were typically less topologically abnormal than the patients' networks and did not have abnormal connection distances. We conclude that schizophrenia is associated with replicable and convergent evidence for functional network randomization, and a similar topological profile was evident also in nonpsychotic relatives, suggesting that this is a systems-level endophenotype or marker of familial risk. We speculate that the greater resilience of brain networks may confer some fitness advantages on nonpsychotic relatives that could explain persistence of this endophenotype in the population. PMID:26150519

  17. Evaluation of bone, nutrition, and physical function in Shorinji Kempo athletes

    PubMed Central

    Sumida, Sachiko; Iwamoto, Jun; Kamide, Naoto; Otani, Toshiro

    2012-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to reveal the proportion of Shorinji Kempo athletes who had suffered fractures related to sports activities, and to evaluate bone mass, bone turnover, nutritional status, and physical function in these athletes. A medical examination was carried out for 16 Shorinji Kempo collegiate athletes. Seven athletes (43.8%) had experienced a sports-related traumatic fracture during Shorinji Kempo practice. Four athletes (25.0%) had a lower speed of sound (% young adult mean < 100%), and five athletes (31.3%) had higher levels of urinary cross-linked N-terminal telopeptides of type 1 collagen (a bone turnover marker) than the age-adjusted standard values. All the athletes had a lower daily calcium intake than the adequate intake, 12 (75.0%) had a lower daily vitamin D intake, and 15 (93.8%) had a lower daily vitamin K intake. Significant positive correlations were found between the vertical jump height, and the daily energy, and protein intakes. Results suggest that fractures are a common injury in Shorinji Kempo athletes, and that some Shorinji Kempo athletes need to improve their bone mass, bone metabolism, and nutritional status in order to strengthen bone and improve physical function. PMID:24198593

  18. Ground-state properties of rare-earth metals: an evaluation of density-functional theory.

    PubMed

    Söderlind, Per; Turchi, P E A; Landa, A; Lordi, V

    2014-10-15

    The rare-earth metals have important technological applications due to their magnetic properties, but are scarce and expensive. Development of high-performance magnetic materials with less rare-earth content is desired, but theoretical modeling is hampered by complexities of the rare earths electronic structure. The existence of correlated (atomic-like) 4f electrons in the vicinity of the valence band makes any first-principles theory challenging. Here, we apply and evaluate the efficacy of density-functional theory for the series of lanthanides (rare earths), investigating the influence of the electron exchange and correlation functional, spin-orbit interaction, and orbital polarization. As a reference, the results are compared with those of the so-called 'standard model' of the lanthanides in which electrons are constrained to occupy 4f core states with no hybridization with the valence electrons. Some comparisons are also made with models designed for strong electron correlations. Our results suggest that spin-orbit coupling and orbital polarization are important, particularly for the magnitude of the magnetic moments, and that calculated equilibrium volumes, bulk moduli, and magnetic moments show correct trends overall. However, the precision of the calculated properties is not at the level of that found for simpler metals in the Periodic Table of Elements, and the electronic structures do not accurately reproduce x-ray photoemission spectra.

  19. Ground-state properties of rare-earth metals: an evaluation of density-functional theory.

    PubMed

    Söderlind, Per; Turchi, P E A; Landa, A; Lordi, V

    2014-10-15

    The rare-earth metals have important technological applications due to their magnetic properties, but are scarce and expensive. Development of high-performance magnetic materials with less rare-earth content is desired, but theoretical modeling is hampered by complexities of the rare earths electronic structure. The existence of correlated (atomic-like) 4f electrons in the vicinity of the valence band makes any first-principles theory challenging. Here, we apply and evaluate the efficacy of density-functional theory for the series of lanthanides (rare earths), investigating the influence of the electron exchange and correlation functional, spin-orbit interaction, and orbital polarization. As a reference, the results are compared with those of the so-called 'standard model' of the lanthanides in which electrons are constrained to occupy 4f core states with no hybridization with the valence electrons. Some comparisons are also made with models designed for strong electron correlations. Our results suggest that spin-orbit coupling and orbital polarization are important, particularly for the magnitude of the magnetic moments, and that calculated equilibrium volumes, bulk moduli, and magnetic moments show correct trends overall. However, the precision of the calculated properties is not at the level of that found for simpler metals in the Periodic Table of Elements, and the electronic structures do not accurately reproduce x-ray photoemission spectra. PMID:25237839

  20. Functional evaluation of arthroscopic repair of rotator cuff injuries in patients with pseudoparalysis☆☆☆

    PubMed Central

    Miyazaki, Alberto Naoki; Fregoneze, Marcelo; Santos, Pedro Doneux; da Silva, Luciana Andrade; do Val Sella, Guilherme; Neto, Douglas Lobato Lopes; Muchiuti Junior, Melvis; Checchia, Sergio Luiz

    2014-01-01

    Objective to evaluate the functional result from arthroscopic repair of rotator cuff injuries in patients with pseudoparalysis, defined as incapacity to actively raise the arm above 90°, while complete passive elevation was possible. Methods we reevaluated 38 patients with a mean follow-up of 51 months (minimum of 24). We analyzed the pseudoparalysis reversion rate and the functional result obtained. Results according to the assessment criteria of the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), 31 (82%) patients had good and excellent results, two (5%) had fair results and five (13%) had poor results. The mean active elevation went from 39° before the operation to 139° after the operation (p < 0.05); the mean active lateral rotation went from 30° to 48° (p < 0.05) and the mean active medial rotation went from level L3 to T12 (p < 0.05). Conclusion arthroscopic repair of rotator cuff injuries produced good and excellent results in 82% of the cases and a statistically significant improvement of active range of motion, with reversion of the pseudoparalysis in 97.4% of the cases. It is therefore a good treatment option. PMID:26229796