Δευτέρα, 15 Αυγούστου 2016

Demonstration of Ultra-Fast Switching in Nanometallic Resistive Switching Memory Devices

Interdependency of switching voltage and time creates a dilemma/obstacle for most resistive switching memories, which indicates low switching voltage and ultra-fast switching time cannot be simultaneously achieved. In this paper, an ultra-fast (sub-100 ns) yet low switching voltage resistive switching memory device (“nanometallic ReRAM”) was demonstrated. Experimental switching voltage is found independent of pulse width (intrinsic device property) when the pulse is long but shows abrupt time dependence (“cliff”) as pulse width approaches characteristic time of memory device (extrinsic device property). Both experiment and simulation show that the onset of cliff behavior is dependent on physical device size and parasitic resistance, which is expected to diminish as technology nodes shrink down. We believe this study provides solid evidence that nanometallic resistive switching memory can be reliably operated at low voltage and ultra-fast regime, thus beneficial to future memory technology.

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Biosynthesized Silver Nanoparticles Used in Preservative Solutions for Chrysanthemum cv. Puma

The use of pulse solutions containing antimicrobials has been reported, but more research is necessary. To increase vase life and to study their effect on opening inflorescences, silver nanoparticles were used in vase solutions for cv. Puma Chrysanthemum stems. The nanoparticles were synthesized biologically using Chenopodium ambrosioides L. applied at concentrations of 0.01, 0.05, 0.1, 0.5, 1, and 5 mM and compared with a control. Treatments were replicated five times. The stems were cut to 50 cm and observed until the end of their vase life. Low concentrations of silver nanoparticles promoted inflorescence opening and leaf yellowing, while the control leaves remained green, but there was a lower degree of inflorescence opening. High concentrations of silver nanoparticles (0.5, 1, and 5 mM) caused senescence due to low water uptake through the stems. Statistical differences in inflorescence opening and diameter, bacterial growth (CFU mL−1) in vase solutions, fresh weight, water uptake, and vase life were found among treatments. Longer vase life and less weight loss were observed in the stems exposed to low concentrations of silver nanoparticles. Low concentrations of silver nanoparticles promoted inflorescence opening and increased vase life of Chrysanthemum cv. Puma.

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Detection of Peste des Petits Ruminants Viral RNA in Fecal Samples of Goats after an Outbreak in Punjab Province of Pakistan: A Longitudinal Study

Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) is a highly contagious viral disease of domestic and wild small ruminants and thus has serious socioeconomic implications. In Pakistan, during the year 2012-2013, estimated losses due to PPR were worth Rs. 31.51 billions. Close contact between infected and susceptible animals is an important route of transmission of PPR. Therefore, carrier animals play an important role in unnoticed transmission of PPR. The objective of the study was to investigate the detection of PPR virus in goats recovered from PPR. A suspected PPR outbreak was investigated and confirmed as PPR after analysing appropriate samples collected from infected animals using rRT-PCR. A longitudinal study was conducted over the period of 16 weeks to ascertain the detection of PPR virus (PPRV) in faecal samples of recovered goats. Ninety-six (96) faecal samples from each sampling were collected at 4, 8, 12, and 16 weeks after the outbreak. Faecal samples were analysed using rRT-PCR. Of 96 from each sampling a total of 46, 37, 29, and 25 samples were positive for PPR viral genome at 4, 8, 12, and 16 weeks, respectively, after recovery. Attempts were made for the isolation of PPR virus on Vero cells, but results were negative. These results indicated the detection of PPR viral RNA up to 16 weeks after infection. Therefore, these results may help in the future epidemiology of PPR virus shedding and possible role as source of silent infection for healthy animals especially when there is no history of any outbreak in nearby flock or area.

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The Emerging Roles of the Calcineurin-Nuclear Factor of Activated T-Lymphocytes Pathway in Nervous System Functions and Diseases

The ongoing epidemics of metabolic diseases and increase in the older population have increased the incidences of neurodegenerative diseases. Evidence from murine and cell line models has implicated calcineurin-nuclear factor of activated T-lymphocytes (NFAT) signaling pathway, a Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent major proinflammatory pathway, in the pathogenesis of these diseases. Neurotoxins such as amyloid-β, tau protein, and α-synuclein trigger abnormal calcineurin/NFAT signaling activities. Additionally increased activities of endogenous regulators of calcineurin like plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase (PMCA) and regulator of calcineurin 1 (RCAN1) also cause neuronal and glial loss and related functional alterations, in neurodegenerative diseases, psychotic disorders, epilepsy, and traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries. Treatment with calcineurin/NFAT inhibitors induces some degree of neuroprotection and decreased reactive gliosis in the central and peripheral nervous system. In this paper, we summarize and discuss the current understanding of the roles of calcineurin/NFAT signaling in physiology and pathologies of the adult and developing nervous system, with an emphasis on recent reports and cutting-edge findings. Calcineurin/NFAT signaling is known for its critical roles in the developing and adult nervous system. Its role in physiological and pathological processes is still controversial. However, available data suggest that its beneficial and detrimental effects are context-dependent. In view of recent reports calcineurin/NFAT signaling is likely to serve as a potential therapeutic target for neurodegenerative diseases and conditions. This review further highlights the need to characterize better all factors determining the outcome of calcineurin/NFAT signaling in diseases and the downstream targets mediating the beneficial and detrimental effects.

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Cognitive Function before and during Treatment with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors in Patients with Depression or Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Objectives. Identification of adverse effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) is of great importance due to their extensive use in medicine. Some studies have reported the effects of SSRIs on cognitive functions, but the results are conflicting. This study was designed to assess the effect of these drugs on cognition of patients with depression or obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Methods. Patients with depression or OCD, naïve to therapy, and candidates of receiving one drug from SSRI class, voluntarily, entered this study. Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) test was the tool to assess their cognitive functions. MMSE scores of each patient were recorded prior to taking SSRIs and at weeks 3, 5, and 8 of drug therapy. Results. 50 patients met our inclusion criteria, with a baseline mean MMSE score of 23.94. At 3, 5, and 8 weeks of treatment, the mean scores were 22.1, 21.4, and 20.66, respectively. With a value of

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The Cognition of Maximal Reach Distance in Parkinson’s Disease

This study aimed to investigate whether the cognition of spatial distance in reaching movements was decreased in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) and whether this cognition was associated with various symptoms of PD. Estimated and actual maximal reaching distances were measured in three directions in PD patients and healthy elderly volunteers. Differences between estimated and actual measurements were compared within each group. In the PD patients, the associations between “error in cognition” of reaching distance and “clinical findings” were also examined. The results showed that no differences were observed in any values regardless of dominance of hand and severity of symptoms. The differences between the estimated and actual measurements were negatively deviated in the PD patients, indicating that they tended to underestimate reaching distance. “Error in cognition” of reaching distance correlated with the items of posture in the motor section of the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale. This suggests that, in PD patients, postural deviation and postural instability might affect the cognition of the distance from a target object.

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Cerebrovascular Accident due to Thyroid Storm: Should We Anticoagulate?

Thyroid storm is a life-threatening condition that occurs secondary to an uncontrolled hyperthyroid state. Atrial fibrillation is a cardiovascular complication occurring in up to 15% of patients experiencing thyroid storm, and if left untreated this condition could have up to a 25% mortality rate. Thyroid storm with stroke is a rare presentation. This case report details a left middle cerebral artery (MCA) stroke with global aphasia and thyroid storm in a 53-year-old Hispanic male patient. Although uncommon, this combination has been reported in multiple case series. Although it is well documented that dysfunctional thyroid levels promote a hypercoagulable state, available guidelines from multiple entities are unclear on whether anticoagulation therapy is appropriate in this situation.

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Effect of Additional Sulfide and Thiosulfate on Corrosion of Q235 Carbon Steel in Alkaline Solutions

This paper investigated the effect of additional sulfide and thiosulfate on Q235 carbon steel corrosion in alkaline solutions. Weight loss method, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) equipped with EDS, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and electrochemical measurements were used in this study to show the corrosion behavior and electrochemistry of Q235 carbon steel. Results indicate that the synergistic corrosion rate of Q235 carbon steel in alkaline solution containing sulfide and thiosulfate is larger than that of sulfide and thiosulfate alone, which could be due to redox reaction of sulfide and thiosulfate. The surface cracks and pitting characteristics of the specimens after corrosion were carefully examined and the corrosion products film is flake grains and defective. The main corrosion products of specimen induced by S2− and S2 are FeS, FeS2, Fe3O4, and FeOOH. The present study shows that the corrosion mechanism of S2− and S2 is different for the corrosion of Q235 carbon steel.

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Novel Technique of Transepithelial Corneal Cross-Linking Using Iontophoresis in Progressive Keratoconus

In this work, the authors presented the techniques and the preliminary results at 6 months of a randomized controlled trial (NCT02117999) comparing a novel transepithelial corneal cross-linking protocol using iontophoresis with the Dresden protocol for the treatment of progressive keratoconus. At 6 months, there was a significant average improvement with an average flattening of the maximum simulated keratometry reading of  D (); in addition, corrected distance visual acuity improved significantly () and spherical equivalent refraction was significantly less myopic () 6 months after transepithelial corneal cross-linking with iontophoresis. The novel protocol using iontophoresis showed comparable results with standard corneal cross-linking to halt progression of keratoconus during 6-month follow-up. Investigation of the long-term RCT outcomes are ongoing to verify the efficacy of this transepithelial corneal cross-linking protocol and to determine if it may be comparable with standard corneal cross-linking in the management of progressive keratoconus.

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IJMS, Vol. 17, Pages 1337: T315 Decreases Acute Myeloid Leukemia Cell Viability through a Combination of Apoptosis Induction and Autophagic Cell Death

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T315, an integrin-linked kinase (ILK) inhibitor, has been shown to suppress the proliferation of breast cancer, stomach cancer and chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells. Here we demonstrate that T315 decreases cell viability of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cell lines (HL-60 and THP-1) and primary leukemia cells from AML patients in a dose-responsive manner. Normal human bone marrow cells are less sensitive than leukemia cells to T315. T315 down regulates protein kinase B (Akt) and p-Akt and induces caspase activation, poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) cleavage, apoptosis and autophagy through an ILK-independent manner. Interestingly, pretreatment with autophagy inhibitors rescues cells from apoptosis and concomitant PARP cleavage, which implicates a key role of autophagic cell death in T315-mediated cytotoxicity. T315 also demonstrates efficacy in vivo, suppressing the growth of THP-1 xenograft tumors in athymic nude mice when administered intraperitoneally. This study shows that autophagic cell death and apoptosis cooperatively contribute to the anticancer activity of T315 in AML cells. In conclusion, the complementary roles of apoptotic and autophagic cell death should be considered in the future assessment of the translational value of T315 in AML therapy.

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IJERPH, Vol. 13, Pages 824: Home and Work Physical Activity Environments: Associations with Cardiorespiratory Fitness and Physical Activity Level in French Women

The influence of the physical activity environment in the home and at work on cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and objectively-measured physical activity has not been extensively studied. We recruited 147 women with a (mean ± SD) age of 54 ± 7 years and without evidence of chronic disease. The physical activity environment was assessed by self-report (Assessing Levels of PHysical Activity or ALPHA questionnaire), CRF using a submaximal step test, usual physical activity using combined heart rate and accelerometry, as well as by a validated questionnaire (Recent Physical Activity Questionnaire). Summary scores of the home environment and the work environment derived from the ALPHA questionnaire were positively correlated with CRF after adjustment for age (r = 0.18, p = 0.03 and r = 0.28, p < 0.01, respectively). Women owning a bicycle or having a garden (which may prompt physical activity) had higher CRF; those with a bicycle at home also had a higher physical activity energy expenditure. Similarly, women who had access to fitness equipment at work had higher CRF. In conclusion, these results provide new insights into potential environmental influences on physical capacity and physical activity that could inform the design of physical activity promotion strategies.

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IJERPH, Vol. 13, Pages 822: Role of Winter Weather Conditions and Slipperiness on Tourists’ Accidents in Finland

(1) Background: In Finland, slippery snowy or icy ground surface conditions can be quite hazardous to human health during wintertime. We focused on the impacts of the variability in weather conditions on tourists’ health via documented accidents during the winter season in the Sotkamo area. We attempted to estimate the slipping hazard in a specific context of space and time focusing on the weather and other possible parameters, responsible for fluctuations in the numbers of injuries/accidents; (2) Methods: We used statistical distributions with graphical illustrations to examine the distribution of visits to Kainuu Hospital by non-local patients and their characteristics/causes; graphs to illustrate the distribution of the different characteristics of weather conditions; questionnaires and interviews conducted among health care and safety personnel in Sotkamo and Kuusamo; (3) Results: There was a clear seasonal distribution in the numbers and types of extremity injuries of non-local patients. While the risk of slipping is emphasized, other factors leading to injuries are evaluated; and (4) Conclusions: The study highlighted the clear role of wintery weather conditions as a cause of extremity injuries even though other aspects must also be considered. Future scenarios, challenges and adaptive strategies are also discussed from the viewpoint of climate change.

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IJERPH, Vol. 13, Pages 823: Learning to Stand: The Acceptability and Feasibility of Introducing Standing Desks into College Classrooms

Prolonged sedentary behavior is an independent risk factor for multiple negative health outcomes. Evidence supports introducing standing desks into K-12 classrooms and work settings to reduce sitting time, but no studies have been conducted in the college classroom environment. The present study explored the acceptability and feasibility of introducing standing desks in college classrooms. A total of 993 students and 149 instructors completed a single online needs assessment survey. This cross-sectional study was conducted during the fall semester of 2015 at a large Midwestern University. The large majority of students (95%) reported they would prefer the option to stand in class. Most students (82.7%) reported they currently sit during their entire class time. Most students (76.6%) and instructors (86.6%) reported being in favor of introducing standing desks into college classrooms. More than half of students and instructors predicted having access to standing desks in class would improve student’s “physical health”, “attention”, and “restlessness”. Collectively, these findings support the acceptability of introducing standing desks in college classrooms. Future research is needed to test the feasibility, cost-effectiveness and efficacy of introducing standing desks in college classrooms. Such studies would be useful for informing institutional policies regarding classroom designs.

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R.E.D.E. Model of Communication

R.E.D.E. Model of Communication at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Katie Neuendorf, Medical Director of the Center for Excellence in Healthcare Communication, describes the foundational program her team developed centered on their own R.E.D.E. model of communication:



R.E.D.E stands for:

Relationship
Establishment
Development
Engagement



Posted at Clinical Cases and Images. Stay updated and subscribe, follow us on Twitter and connect on Facebook.


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Viruses, Vol. 8, Pages 222: Treatment of HEV Infection in Patients with a Solid-Organ Transplant and Chronic Hepatitis

Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection can cause hepatic and extra-hepatic manifestations. Treatment of HEV infection has been thoroughly studied in solid-organ-transplant patients who have developed a chronic HEV infection. In this review, we report on our current knowledge regarding treatment of HEV infection.

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The Stern review of the Research Excellence Framework

The United Kingdom Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a 5 to 6 yearly national ranking of all higher education institutions. Assessed by national peer panels in 36 “units of assessment,” or...
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The FDA, Juno Therapeutics, and the ethical imperative of transparency

On July 7, Juno Therapeutics announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had placed a clinical hold on the company’s phase 2 trial of its investigational immunotherapy, JCAR015, as a...
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Brain Sciences, Vol. 6, Pages 30: Medication-Overuse Headache: Differences between Daily and Near-Daily Headache Patients

Medication-overuse headache (MOH) is a challenging neurological disease, which brings frustration for sufferers and treating physicians. The patient’s lack of adherence and limited treatment evidence are frequent. The aim of this study was to compare the outcome and treatment strategies between consecutive MOH patients with daily and near-daily headache from a tertiary center. Methods: Every consecutive patient seen between January and December 2014 with the diagnosis of MOH was included. Psychiatric comorbidities, inability to inform baseline headache frequency, current or previous two-month use of preventive medications, and refusal to sign informed consent were exclusion criteria. The patients were evaluated in thorough initial consultations and divided in two groups based on their baseline headache frequency. The diagnosis and treatment strategies were clearly explained. The filling out of a detailed headache diary was requested from all patients. Endpoints compared headache frequency and adherence after two, four, and eight months between the two study groups. Results: One-hundred sixty-eight patients (31 male, 137 female) met the inclusion criteria. Nineteen patients (11.3%) were excluded. All patients had migraine or chronic migraine as primary headaches. Eighty had daily (DH), and 69 near-daily headache (NDH), at baseline consultation. Mean baseline frequency was 24.8 headache days/month (18.9 days/month for the near-daily group), average headache history was 20.6 years and mean time with >15 headache days/month was 4.8 years. Outpatient withdrawal, starting prevention, and enforcing the correct use of rescue therapy was carried out with all patients. After two months, 88% of the DH and 71% of the NDH groups adhered to treatment (p = 0.0002). The HF decreased to 12 and 9 headache days/month, respectively in DH and NDH groups (p > 0.05, non-significant) (Intention-to-treat (ITT) 14 DH; 12 NDH; p > 0.05). After four and eight months, 86.3% and 83.7% of the DH patients, and 59.4% and 55% of the NDH patients were still under treatment (p = 0.0003 and p = 0.0001). The HF decreased, respectively, to nine and nine headache days/month in the DH patients compared to 6 and 7 headache days/month in the NDH group (p > 0.05) (ITT, 12; 12; DH; 10; 11; NDH; p > 0.05). Conclusions: Although open studies provide limited conclusions, withdrawing overused medications and starting prevention may have helped the favorable outcomes. However, daily headache patients had a significantly higher adherence and lower relapse rates than near-daily headache patients, despite a considerable reduced headache frequency in both groups. Additionally, real-world patient studies are scarce and the comparison between these two subsets of patients may be useful to guide clinicians in approaching their patients. Controlled studies are necessary to confirm these observations.

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Hispanic men in California need more screening for colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer incidence and mortality rates in California have decreased markedly for men and women in all major racial-ethnic groups since 1990, except for Hispanic men. Colorectal cancer rates for Hispanic men have remained relatively the same, a...

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Cancer overtakes heart disease as the main cause of death in 12 European countries

Although diseases of the heart and blood vessels (cardiovascular disease, CVD) kill more people worldwide than anything else, with 17.3 million deaths globally, cancer has now overtaken CVD as the main cause of death in 12 European countries. New data on...

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Towards real-time thermometry using simultaneous multislice MRI

MR-guided thermal therapies, such as high-intensity focused ultrasound (MRgHIFU) and laser-induced thermal therapy (MRgLITT) are increasingly being applied in oncology and neurology. MRI is used for guidance since it can measure temperature noninvasively based on the proton resonance frequency shift (PRFS). For therapy guidance using PRFS thermometry, high temporal resolution and large spatial coverage are desirable. We propose to use the parallel imaging technique simultaneous multislice (SMS) in combination with controlled aliasing (CAIPIRINHA) to accelerate the acquisition. We compare this with the sensitivity encoding (SENSE) acceleration technique. Two experiments were performed to validate that SMS can be used to increase the spatial coverage or the temporal resolution. The first was performed in agar gel using LITT heating and a gradient-echo sequence with echo-planar imaging (EPI), and the second was performed in bovine muscle using HIFU heating and a gradient-ech...

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A general framework to learn surrogate relevance criterion for atlas based image segmentation

Multi-atlas based image segmentation sees great opportunities in the big data era but also faces unprecedented challenges in identifying positive contributors from extensive heterogeneous data. To assess data relevance, image similarity criteria based on various image features widely serve as surrogates for the inaccessible geometric agreement criteria. This paper proposes a general framework to learn image based surrogate relevance criteria to better mimic the behaviors of segmentation based oracle geometric relevance. The validity of its general rationale is verified in the specific context of fusion set selection for image segmentation. More specifically, we first present a unified formulation for surrogate relevance criteria and model the neighborhood relationship among atlases based on the oracle relevance knowledge. Surrogates are then trained to be small for geometrically relevant neighbors and large for irrelevant remotes to the given targets. The proposed surrogate lear...

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The impact of breathing guidance and prospective gating during thoracic 4DCT imaging: an XCAT study utilizing lung cancer patient motion

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Two interventions to overcome the deleterious impact irregular breathing has on thoracic-abdominal 4D computed tomography (4DCT) are (1) facilitating regular breathing using audiovisual biofeedback (AVB), and (2) prospective respiratory gating of the 4DCT scan based on the real-time respiratory motion. The purpose of this study was to compare the impact of AVB and gating on 4DCT imaging using the 4D eXtended cardiac torso (XCAT) phantom driven by patient breathing patterns. We obtained simultaneous measurements of chest and abdominal walls, thoracic diaphragm, and tumor motion from 6 lung cancer patients under two breathing conditions: (1) AVB, and (2) free breathing. The XCAT phantom was used to simulate 4DCT acquisitions in cine and respiratory gated modes. 4DCT image quality was quantified by artefact detection (NCC diff ), mean square error (MSE), and Dice similarity coefficient of lung and tumor volumes (DSC lung , DSC tumor ). 4DCT acquisi...

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Atlas-guided generation of pseudo-CT images for MRI-only and hybrid PET–MRI-guided radiotherapy treatment planning

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-guided attenuation correction (AC) of positron emission tomography (PET) data and/or radiation therapy (RT) treatment planning is challenged by the lack of a direct link between MRI voxel intensities and electron density. Therefore, even if this is not a trivial task, a pseudo-computed tomography (CT) image must be predicted from MRI alone. In this work, we propose a two-step (segmentation and fusion) atlas-based algorithm focusing on bone tissue identification to create a pseudo-CT image from conventional MRI sequences and evaluate its performance against the conventional MRI segmentation technique and a recently proposed multi-atlas approach. The clinical studies consisted of pelvic CT, PET and MRI scans of 12 patients with loco-regionally advanced rectal disease. In the first step, bone segmentation of the target image is optimized through local weighted atlas voting. The obtained bone map is then used to assess the quality of deformed atlases...

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Joint PET-MR respiratory motion models for clinical PET motion correction

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Patient motion due to respiration can lead to artefacts and blurring in positron emission tomography (PET) images, in addition to quantification errors. The integration of PET with magnetic resonance (MR) imaging in PET-MR scanners provides complementary clinical information, and allows the use of high spatial resolution and high contrast MR images to monitor and correct motion-corrupted PET data. In this paper we build on previous work to form a methodology for respiratory motion correction of PET data, and show it can improve PET image quality whilst having minimal impact on clinical PET-MR protocols. We introduce a joint PET-MR motion model, using only 1 min per PET bed position of simultaneously acquired PET and MR data to provide a respiratory motion correspondence model that captures inter-cycle and intra-cycle breathing variations. In the model setup, 2D multi-slice MR provides the dynamic imaging component, and PET data, via low spatial resolution framing and prin...

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Numerical Forecasting Experiment of the Wave Energy Resource in the China Sea

The short-term forecasting of wave energy is important to provide guidance for the electric power operation and power transmission system and to enhance the efficiency of energy capture and conversion. This study produced a numerical forecasting experiment of the China Sea wave energy using WAVEWATCH-III (WW3, the latest version 4.18) wave model driven by T213 (WW3-T213) and T639 (WW3-T639) wind data separately. Then the WW3-T213 and WW3-T639 were verified and compared to build a short-term wave energy forecasting structure suited for the China Sea. Considering the value of wave power density (WPD), “wave energy rose,” daily and weekly total storage and effective storage of wave energy, this study also designed a series of short-term wave energy forecasting productions. Results show that both the WW3-T213 and WW3-T639 exhibit a good skill on the numerical forecasting of the China Sea WPD, while the result of WW3-T639 is much better. Judging from WPD and daily and weekly total storage and effective storage of wave energy, great wave energy caused by cold airs was found. As there are relatively frequent cold airs in winter, early spring, and later autumn in the China Sea and the surrounding waters, abundant wave energy ensues.

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The High Photocatalytic Activity of SnO2 Nanoparticles Synthesized by Hydrothermal Method

Tin oxide nanoparticles (SnO2 NPs) were prepared at low temperature by hydrothermal method. Synthesized SnO2 NPs were confirmed via characterization techniques such as UV-visible spectroscopy (UV-vis), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM). The synthesized nanoparticles were in the size of 3 nm and they have high photocatalytic activity. The result showed that SnO2 NPs degraded 88.88% MB solution after 30 minutes of UV illumination and reached 90.0% for 120 minutes (2 hours) of UV illumination. Moreover, they degraded 79.26% MB solution after 90 minutes (1.5 hours) under assisted sunlight illumination.

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Low-Fluence Photodynamic Therapy versus Subthreshold Micropulse Yellow Wavelength Laser in the Treatment of Chronic Central Serous Chorioretinopathy

Purpose. To compare the efficacy and safety of subthreshold micropulse yellow wavelength laser (SMYL) and low-fluence photodynamic therapy (PDT) in the treatment of chronic central serous chorioretinopathy (CSC). Methods. Thirty-three eyes of 30 patients with chronic CSC received either PDT (18 eyes) or SMYL (15 eyes) therapy. Best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), subretinal fluid (SRF) height, and central macular thickness (CMT) were evaluated at the baseline visit and one, three, six, nine, and 12 months after the therapy. Results. After 12 months, mean BCVA improved from to ETDRS letters in SMYL group and from to ETDRS letters in PDT group ( and , resp.). Mean CMT decreased from  μm to  μm in the PDT group and from  μm to  μm in the SMYL group ( and , resp.). SRF resolved completely in 72.2% and 80.0% of the eyes in the PDT and SMYL groups, respectively. Mean SRF height decreased from  μm to  μm in the PDT group and from  μm to  μm in the SMYL group ( and , resp.). Conclusions. Subthreshold micropulse yellow wavelength laser seems to be effective in the treatment of chronic CSC without any side effect and results in the resorption of SRF without causing visible retinal scarring.

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Sperm, Clinics, and Parenthood

Abstract

In this article I examine a recent approach to regulating assisted reproduction, whereby use of some kind of medical intervention ‘triggers’ laws governing legal parenthood that are more favourable to intending parents and sperm providers. I argue that although perhaps an improvement on the previous legal framework, these laws are problematic for three important reasons. First, they are prone to violating parental rights and unjustly imposing substantial burdens on individuals. Second, they are discriminatory. Third, even if we take a pragmatic approach to the question of parenthood in these cases, these laws fail to properly consider the welfare interests of children. Finally, I conclude by showing that my argument does not entail adopting a laissez-fair attitude to conception using third-party sperm.



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What can we Learn from Patients’ Ethical Thinking about the right ‘not to know’ in Genomics? Lessons from Cancer Genetic Testing for Genetic Counselling

Abstract

This article is based on a qualitative empirical project about a distinct kinship group who were among the first identified internationally as having a genetic susceptibility to cancer (Lynch Syndrome). 50 were invited to participate (42 were tested; eight declined genetic testing). 15, who had all accepted testing, were interviewed. They form a unique case study. This study aimed to explore interviewees’ experiences of genetic testing and how these influenced their family relationships. A key finding was that participants framed the decision to be tested as ‘common sense’; the idea of choice around the decision was negated and replaced by a moral imperative to be tested. Those who did not follow ‘common sense’ were judged to be imprudent. Family members who declined testing were discussed negatively by participants. The article addresses what is ethically problematic about how test decliners were discussed and whether these ethical concerns extend to others who are offered genetic testing. Discussions showed that genetic testing was viewed as both an autonomous choice and a responsibility. Yet the apparent conflict between the right to autonomy and the moral imperative of responsibility allowed participants to defend test decliners’ decisions by expressing a preference for or defending choice over responsibility. The ‘right not to know’ seemed an important moral construct to help ethically manage unpopular decisions made by close family who declined testing. In light of this research, the erosion of the ‘right not to know’ in the genomic age could have subtle yet profound consequences for family relationships.



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How does people’s generosity around the world compare?

A world poll of generosity reveals which countries are best – and worst – in the giving stakes. We pick out the most interesting – how does your nation fare?

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Emotion stimulus processing in narcolepsy with cataplexy

Summary

Reported brain abnormalities in anatomy and function in patients with narcolepsy with cataplexy led to a project based on qualitative electroencephalography examination and analysis in an attempt to find a narcolepsy with cataplexy-specific brain-derived pattern, or a sequence of brain locations involved in processing humorous stimuli. Laughter is the trigger of cataplexy in these patients, and the difference between patients and healthy controls during the laughter should therefore be notable. Twenty-six adult patients (14 male, 12 female) suffering from narcolepsy with cataplexy and 10 healthy controls (five male, five female) were examined. The experiment was performed using a 256-channel electroencephalogram and then processed using specialized software built according to the scientific research team's specifications. The software utilizes electroencephalographic data recorded during elevated emotional states in participants to calculate the sequence of brain areas involved in emotion processing using non-linear and linear algorithms. Results show significant differences in activation (pre-laughter) patterns between the patients with narcolepsy and healthy controls, as well as significant similarities within the patients and the controls. Specifically, gyrus orbitalis, rectus and occipitalis inferior are active in healthy controls, while gyrus paracentralis, cingularis and cuneus are activated solely in the patients in response to humorous audio stimulus. There are qualitative electroencephalographic-based patterns clearly discriminating between patients with narcolepsy and healthy controls during laughter processing.



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Cancer Research UK launches new trial to test drug against resistant bladder cancer

A clinical trial to test a drug which may stop bladder cancers becoming resistant to chemotherapy is being launched by Cancer Research UK’s Centre for Drug Development and the Experimental Cancer Medicines Centre (ECMC) network. The new phase I/II...

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NHS England 62 day cancer waiting times target missed for two and a half years

Emma Greenwood, Cancer Research UK’s head of policy, said: “Today’s figures represent two and a half years of failure. More than half of all Trusts in England failed to meet the 85 per cent target for patients receiving their first treatment within...

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How does people’s generosity around the world compare?

A world poll of generosity reveals which countries are best – and worst – in the giving stakes. We pick out the most interesting – how does your nation fare?

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Improving MQTT Data Delivery in Mobile Scenarios: Results from a Realistic Testbed

MQTT is being widely used for data delivery in IoT applications but its architecture does not properly handle mobility when disconnection periods tend to be large. In this paper we describe an experimental evaluation, made in a real environment, of a solution that guarantees that there is no information loss when variable length hand-offs appear due to the movement of a node. Our proposal modifies the classical publish/subscribe scheme by introducing an intermediate buffer that takes care of message transfer. Finally, we study the impact related to the connectivity of mobile devices of the use of the standard Linux Network Manager. We propose a cross-layer solution that improves the device connectivity in conjunction with the data layer management. We show that our solution improves the data delivery guaranteeing that no information is lost.

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Vaccination with Astragalus and Ginseng Polysaccharides Improves Immune Response of Chickens against H5N1 Avian Influenza Virus

To determine the effect of astragalus and ginseng polysaccharides (APS, GPS) on immune response and improvement of H5N1 vaccine, 360-day-old broilers were randomly divided into 8 groups of 45 chicks, comprising APS groups (1–3); GPS groups (4–6); vaccine group (7); and blank control (8) (without polysaccharide and vaccine). From day 12 after hatch groups 1–3 were given APS and groups 4–6 with GPS both at 100, 200, and 400 (mg/kg), respectively. At day 15 after hatch, groups 1–7 were vaccinated with 0.3 mL H5N1 vaccine subcutaneously; daily weight gain (DWG) and serum Ig antibody (by HI-test) were measured on 3, 7, 14, and 28 days after vaccination. Serum antibody titers and expression of cytokines (IL-2, IL-10, I FN-γ, and TNF) were determined by ELISA and RT-PCR. Results revealed that all the polysaccharide groups were numerically increased in antibody levels and the expression of cytokines was significant () in the APS and GPS groups compared to corresponding vaccine group and blank control. DWG was higher () in 400 mg/kg APS groups than control groups. Thus oral supplements of GPS and APS have shown their potential in the improvement of immune response and could be used as adjuvant in a formulation of H5N1 vaccine.

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Isolation and Metagenomic Identification of Avian Leukosis Virus Associated with Mortality in Broiler Chicken

Avian leukosis virus (ALV) belongs to the family Retroviridae and causes considerable economic losses to the poultry industry. Following an outbreak associated with high mortality in a broiler flock in northern part of Malaysia, kidney tissues from affected chickens were submitted for virus isolation and identification in chicken embryonated egg and MDCK cells. Evidence of virus growth was indicated by haemorrhage and embryo mortality in egg culture. While viral growth in cell culture was evidenced by the development of cytopathic effects. The isolated virus was purified by sucrose gradient and identified using negative staining transmission electron microscopy. Further confirmation was achieved through next-generation sequencing and nucleotide sequence homology search. Analysis of the viral sequences using the NCBI BLAST tool revealed 99-100% sequence homology with exogenous ALV viral envelope protein. Phylogenetic analysis based on partial envelope sequences showed the Malaysian isolate clustered with Taiwanese and Japanese ALV strains, which were closer to ALV subgroup J, ALV subgroup E, and recombinant A/E isolates. Based on these findings, ALV was concluded to be associated with the present outbreak. It was recommended that further studies should be conducted on the molecular epidemiology and pathogenicity of the identified virus isolate.

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Treatment Outcome and Associated Factors among Tuberculosis Patients in Debre Tabor, Northwestern Ethiopia: A Retrospective Study

Background. Assessing the outcomes of tuberculosis (TB) treatment is an important indicator for evaluation of the effectiveness of tuberculosis control programs. In Ethiopia, directly observed treatment short course (DOTS) was included in the national tuberculosis control program as a strategy but little is known about its effectiveness in the study area. Therefore, this study was aimed at assessing the treatment outcomes of TB patients and associated factors in Debre Tabor, northwest Ethiopia. Methods. A retrospective study was conducted among TB patients for the period from May 2008 to April 2013 at Debre Tabor Health Center, northwest Ethiopia. Data were entered and analyzed using SPSS version 20.0. Descriptive statistics were used to generate frequency tables and figures. Logistic regressions were used to identify factors associated with treatment outcomes at value ≤ 0.05. Results. Out of 339 patients (197 males and 142 females) registered for antituberculosis treatment in Debre Tabor Health Center, only 303 patients were included in the treatment outcome analysis and 87.1% had successful treatment outcome while 12.9% had unsuccessful treatment outcome. In the multivariate logistic regression analysis, the odds of successful treatment outcome were higher among patients ≥45 years of age (, 95% CI: 1.155–12.544) and lower among females (, 95% CI: 0.132–0.917), rural residents (, 95% CI: 0.118–0.986), and negative smear result at the second month of treatment (, 95% CI: 0.005–0.577) as compared to their counterparts. Conclusion. The treatment outcome of all forms of tuberculosis patients in Debre Tabor health center was satisfactory as expected from effective implementation of DOTS. Although the observed successful treatment outcome was in agreement with the national target, follow-up of patients during the course of treatment to trace the treatment outcomes of transferred-out patients and assessment of other potential sociodemographic factors that could affect the treatment outcomes of TB patients were also recommended.

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Antibiotics, Vol. 5, Pages 27: Exploring Experiences of Delayed Prescribing and Symptomatic Treatment for Urinary Tract Infections among General Practitioners and Patients in Ambulatory Care: A Qualitative Study

“Delayed or back up” antibiotic prescriptions and “symptomatic” treatment may help to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing for Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) in the future. However, more research needs to be conducted in this area before these strategies can be readily promoted in practice. This study explores General Practitioner (GP) and patient attitudes and experiences regarding the use of delayed or back-up antibiotic and symptomatic treatment for UTI. Qualitative face to face interviews with General Practitioners (n = 7) from one urban and one rural practice and telephone interviews with UTI patients (n = 14) from a rural practice were undertaken. Interviews were analysed using framework analysis. GPs believe that antibiotics are necessary when treating UTI. There was little consensus amongst GPs regarding the role of delayed prescribing or symptomatic treatment for UTI. Delayed prescribing may be considered for patients with low grade symptoms and a negative dipstick test. Patients had limited experience of delayed prescribing for UTI. Half indicated they would be satisfied with a delayed prescription the other half would question it. A fear of missing a serious illness was a significant barrier to symptomatic treatment for both GP and patient. The findings of this research provide insight into antibiotic prescribing practices in general practice. It also highlights the need for further empirical research into the effectiveness of alternative treatment strategies such as symptomatic treatment of UTI before such strategies can be readily adopted in practice.

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PTH(1-34) effects on repairing experimentally drilled holes in rat femur: novel aspects – qualitative vs. quantitative improvement of osteogenesis

Abstract

The timetable of effects on bone repair of the active fraction-parathyroid hormone, PTH(1-34), was analytically investigated from the morphometric viewpoint in 3-month-old male Sprague-Dawley rats, whose femurs were drilled at mid-diaphyseal level (transcortical holes). The animals were divided into groups with/without PTH(1-34) administration, and sacrificed at different times (10, 28, 45 days after surgery). The observations reported here need to be framed in the context of our previous investigations regarding bone histogenesis (Ferretti et al. Anat Embryol. 2002; 206: 21–29) in which we demonstrated the occurrence of two successive bone-forming processes during both skeletal organogenesis and bone repair, i.e. static and dynamic osteogenesis: the former (due to stationary osteoblasts, haphazardly grouped in cords) producing preliminary bad quality trabecular bone, the latter (due to typical polarized osteoblasts organized in ordered movable laminae) producing mechanically valid bone tissue. The primary function of static osteogenesis is to provide a rigid scaffold containing osteocytes (i.e. mechano-sensors) for osteoblast laminae acting in dynamic osteogenesis. In the present work, histomorphometric analysis revealed that, already 10 days after drilling, despite the holes being temporarily filled by the same amount of newly formed trabecular bone by static osteogenesis independently of the treatment, the extent of the surface of movable osteoblast-laminae (covering the trabecular surface) was statistically higher in animals submitted to PTH(1-34) administration than in control ones; this datum strongly suggests the effect of PTH(1-34) alone in anticipating the occurrence of dynamic osteogenesis involved in the production of good quality bone (with more ordered collagen texture) more suitable for loading. This study could be crucial in further translational clinical research in humans for defining the best therapeutic strategies to be applied in recovering severe skeletal lesions, particularly as regards the time of PTH(1-34) administration.



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Identification of MicroRNAs Involved in Growth Arrest and Apoptosis in Hydrogen Peroxide-Treated Human Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cell Line HepG2

Although both oxidative stress and microRNAs (miRNAs) play vital roles in physiological and pathological processes, little is known about the interactions between them. In this study, we first described the regulation of H2O2 in cell viability, proliferation, cycle, and apoptosis of human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line HepG2. Then, miRNAs expression was profiled after H2O2 treatment. The results showed that high concentration of H2O2 (600 μM) could decrease cell viability, inhibit cell proliferation, induce cell cycle arrest, and finally promote cell apoptosis. Conversely, no significant effects could be found under treatment with low concentration (30 μM). miRNAs array analysis identified 131 differentially expressed miRNAs (125 were upregulated and 6 were downregulated) and predicted 13504 putative target genes of the deregulated miRNAs. Gene ontology (GO) analysis revealed that the putative target genes were associated with H2O2-induced cell growth arrest and apoptosis. The subsequent bioinformatics analysis indicated that H2O2-response pathways, including MAPK signaling pathway, apoptosis, and pathways in cancer and cell cycle, were significantly affected. Overall, these results provided comprehensive information on the biological function of H2O2 treatment in HepG2 cells. The identification of miRNAs and their putative targets may offer new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for liver cancer.

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Identification of Dietetically Absorbed Rapeseed (Brassica campestris L.) Bee Pollen MicroRNAs in Serum of Mice

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a class of small noncoding RNA that, through mediating posttranscriptional gene regulation, play a critical role in nearly all biological processes. Over the last decade it has become apparent that plant miRNAs may serve as a novel functional component of food with therapeutic effects including anti-influenza and antitumor. Rapeseed bee pollen has good properties in enhancing immune function as well as preventing and treating disease. In this study, we identified the exogenous miRNAs from rapeseed bee pollen in mice blood using RNA-seq technology. We found that miR-166a was the most highly enriched exogenous plant miRNAs in the blood of mice fed with rapeseed bee pollen, followed by miR-159. Subsequently, RT-qPCR results confirmed that these two miRNAs also can be detected in rapeseed bee pollen. Our results suggested that food-derived exogenous miRNAs from rapeseed bee pollen could be absorbed in mice and the abundance of exogenous miRNAs in mouse blood is dependent on their original levels in the rapeseed bee pollen.

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Adenocarcinoma of the Right Colon in a Patient with Bloom Syndrome

Introduction. Bloom syndrome (BS) is an inherited disorder due to mutation in BLM gene. The diagnosis of BS should be considered in patients with growth retardation of prenatal onset, a photosensitive rash in a butterfly distribution over the cheeks, and an increased risk of cancer at an early age. Clinical manifestations also include short stature, dolichocephaly, prominent ears, micrognathia, malar hypoplasia and a high-pitched voice, immunodeficiency, type II diabetes, and hypogonadism associated with male infertility and female subfertility. The aim of this report is to describe case of patient with BS who developed adenocarcinoma of the cecum, successfully treated by right colectomy. Case Report. A 40-year-old man underwent colonoscopy to investigate the cause of his diarrhea, weight loss, and anemia. The patient knew that he was a carrier of BS diagnosed at young age. The colonoscopy showed an expansive and vegetating mass with 5.5 cm in diameter, located within the ascending colon. Histopathological analysis of tissue fragments collected during colonoscopy confirmed the presence of tubular adenocarcinoma, and he was referred for an oncological right colectomy. The procedure was performed without complications, and the patient was discharged on the fifth postoperative day. Histopathological examination of the surgical specimen confirmed the presence of a grade II tubular adenocarcinoma (stage IIA). The patient is currently well five years after surgery, without clinical or endoscopic signs of relapse in a multidisciplinary approach for the monitoring of comorbidities related to BS. Conclusion. Despite the development of colorectal cancer to be, a possibility rarely described the present case shows the need for early screening for colorectal cancer in all patients affected by BS.

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Complementary Cycles in Irregular Multipartite Tournaments

A tournament is a directed graph obtained by assigning a direction for each edge in an undirected complete graph. A digraph is cycle complementary if there exist two vertex disjoint cycles and such that . Let be a locally almost regular -partite tournament with and such that all partite sets have the same cardinality , and let be a -cycle of . In this paper, we prove that if has no cycle factor, then contains a pair of disjoint cycles of length and , unless is isomorphic to , , , or .

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Control Problem of Nonlinear Systems with Applications



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Role of NADPH Oxidase in Metabolic Disease-Related Renal Injury: An Update

Metabolic syndrome has been linked to an increased risk of chronic kidney disease. The underlying pathogenesis of metabolic disease-related renal injury remains obscure. Accumulating evidence has shown that NADPH oxidase is a major source of intrarenal oxidative stress and is upregulated by metabolic factors leading to overproduction of ROS in podocytes, endothelial cells, and mesangial cells in glomeruli, which is closely associated with the initiation and progression of glomerular diseases. This review focuses on the role of NADPH oxidase-induced oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of metabolic disease-related renal injury. Understanding of the mechanism may help find potential therapeutic strategies.

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Assessment of Postresuscitation Volume Status by Bioimpedance Analysis in Patients with Sepsis in the Intensive Care Unit: A Pilot Observational Study

Background. Bioimpedance analysis (BIA) is a novel method of assessing a patient’s volume status. Objective. We sought to determine the feasibility of using vector length (VL), derived from bioimpedance analysis (BIA), in the assessment of postresuscitation volume status in intensive care unit (ICU) patients with sepsis. Method. This was a prospective observational single-center study. Our primary outcome was feasibility. Secondary clinical outcomes included ventilator status and acute kidney injury. Proof of concept was sought by correlating baseline VL measurements with other known measures of volume status. Results. BIA was feasible to perform in the ICU. We screened 655 patients, identified 78 eligible patients, and approached 64 for consent. We enrolled 60 patients (consent rate of 93.8%) over 12 months. For each 50-unit increase in VL, there was an associated 22% increase in the probability of not requiring invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) (). Baseline VL correlated with other measures of volume expansion including serum pro-BNP levels, peripheral edema, and central venous pressure (CVP). Conclusion. It is feasible to use BIA to predict postresuscitation volume status and patient-important outcomes in septic ICU patients. Trial Registration. This trial is registered with clinicaltrials.gov NCT01379404 registered on June 7, 2011.

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High Dimensional Variable Selection with Error Control

Background. The iterative sure independence screening (ISIS) is a popular method in selecting important variables while maintaining most of the informative variables relevant to the outcome in high throughput data. However, it not only is computationally intensive but also may cause high false discovery rate (FDR). We propose to use the FDR as a screening method to reduce the high dimension to a lower dimension as well as controlling the FDR with three popular variable selection methods: LASSO, SCAD, and MCP. Method. The three methods with the proposed screenings were applied to prostate cancer data with presence of metastasis as the outcome. Results. Simulations showed that the three variable selection methods with the proposed screenings controlled the predefined FDR and produced high area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) scores. In applying these methods to the prostate cancer example, LASSO and MCP selected 12 and 8 genes and produced AUROC scores of 0.746 and 0.764, respectively. Conclusions. We demonstrated that the variable selection methods with the sequential use of FDR and ISIS not only controlled the predefined FDR in the final models but also had relatively high AUROC scores.

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Long Term Corrosion Experiment of Steel Rebar in Fly Ash-Based Geopolymer Concrete in NaCl Solution

This research focuses on an experimental investigation to identify the effects of fly ash on the electrochemical process of concrete during the curing time. A rebar was analysed using potentiostat to measure the rest potential, polarization diagram, and corrosion rate. Water-to-cement ratio and amount of fly ash were varied. After being cured for 24 hours at a temperature of 65°C, the samples were immersed in 3.5% of NaCl solution for 365 days for electrochemical measurement. Measurements of the half-cell potential and corrosion current density indicated that the fly ash has significant effects on corrosion behaviour of concrete. Although fly ash tends to create passivity on anodic current, it increases corrosion rate. The corrosion potential of this concrete mixture decreases compared to concrete without fly ash. From the result, it can be summarized that concrete mixture with 70% of OPC (Ordinary Portland Cement) and 30% fly ash has shown the best corrosion resistance.

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