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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2022-05-26
    Description: © The Author(s), 2021. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Lagache, T., Hanson, A., Perez-Ortega, J. E., Fairhall, A., & Yuste, R. Tracking calcium dynamics from individual neurons in behaving animals. Plos Computational Biology, 17(10), (2021): e1009432, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1009432.
    Description: Measuring the activity of neuronal populations with calcium imaging can capture emergent functional properties of neuronal circuits with single cell resolution. However, the motion of freely behaving animals, together with the intermittent detectability of calcium sensors, can hinder automatic monitoring of neuronal activity and their subsequent functional characterization. We report the development and open-source implementation of a multi-step cellular tracking algorithm (Elastic Motion Correction and Concatenation or EMC2) that compensates for the intermittent disappearance of moving neurons by integrating local deformation information from detectable neurons. We demonstrate the accuracy and versatility of our algorithm using calcium imaging data from two-photon volumetric microscopy in visual cortex of awake mice, and from confocal microscopy in behaving Hydra, which experiences major body deformation during its contractions. We quantify the performance of our algorithm using ground truth manual tracking of neurons, along with synthetic time-lapse sequences, covering a wide range of particle motions and detectability parameters. As a demonstration of the utility of the algorithm, we monitor for several days calcium activity of the same neurons in layer 2/3 of mouse visual cortex in vivo, finding significant turnover within the active neurons across days, with only few neurons that remained active across days. Also, combining automatic tracking of single neuron activity with statistical clustering, we characterize and map neuronal ensembles in behaving Hydra, finding three major non-overlapping ensembles of neurons (CB, RP1 and RP2) whose activity correlates with contractions and elongations. Our results show that the EMC2 algorithm can be used as a robust and versatile platform for neuronal tracking in behaving animals.
    Description: R.Y. was supported by the NSF (CRCNS 1822550), the NEI (R01EY011787), the NIMH (R01MH115900), and Vannevar Bush Faculty Award (ONR N000142012828). T.L. was supported by the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale (https://www.frm.org/) and the Philippe Foundation (https://www.philippefoundation.org/). A.H. was supported by the NIMH (T32MH018870). J.P.-O. was supported by the CONACYT (CVU365863). ALF was supported by NSF (CRCNS 1822550), the Simons Foundation Collaboration for the Global Brain (542975SPI) and the Weill NeuroHub (https://www.weillneurohub.org/).
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2022-05-27
    Description: This paper is not subject to U.S. copyright. The definitive version was published in Castellote, M., Mooney, A., Andrews, R., Deruiter, S., Lee, W.-J., Ferguson, M., & Wade, P. Beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas) acoustic foraging behavior and applications for long term monitoring. Plos One, 16(11), (2021): e0260485, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0260485.
    Description: Cook Inlet, Alaska, is home to an endangered and declining population of 279 belugas (Delphinapterus leucas). Recovery efforts highlight a paucity of basic ecological knowledge, impeding the correct assessment of threats and the development of recovery actions. In particular, information on diet and foraging habitat is very limited for this population. Passive acoustic monitoring has proven to be an efficient approach to monitor beluga distribution and seasonal occurrence. Identifying acoustic foraging behavior could help address the current gap in information on diet and foraging habitat. To address this conservation challenge, eight belugas from a comparative, healthy population in Bristol Bay, Alaska, were instrumented with a multi-sensor tag (DTAG), a satellite tag, and a stomach temperature transmitter in August 2014 and May 2016. DTAG deployments provided 129.6 hours of data including foraging and social behavioral states. A total of 68 echolocation click trains ending in terminal buzzes were identified during successful prey chasing and capture, as well as during social interactions. Of these, 37 click trains were successfully processed to measure inter-click intervals (ICI) and ICI trend in their buzzing section. Terminal buzzes with short ICI (minimum ICI 〈8.98 ms) and consistently decreasing ICI trend (ICI increment range 〈1.49 ms) were exclusively associated with feeding behavior. This dual metric was applied to acoustic data from one acoustic mooring within the Cook Inlet beluga critical habitat as an example of the application of detecting feeding in long-term passive acoustic monitoring data. This approach allowed description of the relationship between beluga presence, feeding occurrence, and the timing of spawning runs by different species of anadromous fish. Results reflected a clear preference for the Susitna River delta during eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus), Chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), pink (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha), and coho (Oncorhynchus kisutch) salmon spawning run periods, with increased feeding occurrence at the peak of the Chinook and pink salmon runs.
    Description: Project funding was provided by Georgia Aquarium, the Marine Mammal Laboratory of the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (MML/AFSC). Tagging was funded by the NOAA Fisheries Office of Science and Technology’s Ocean Acoustics Program. DTAG data analysis was funded by the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission grant #16-239. Funding for collecting and analyzing Cook Inlet beluga acoustic data in Susitna Delta was provided by the National Marine Fisheries Service Section 6 Office to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game. This publication is partially funded by the Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean, and Ecosystem Studies (CICOES), University of Washington, under NOAA Cooperative Agreement NA15OAR4320063, Contribution No. 2021-1145.
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2022-06-06
    Description: © The Author(s), 2021. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License. The definitive version was published in Ramirez, G. A., Mara, P., Sehein, T., Wegener, G., Chambers, C. R., Joye, S. B., Peterson, R. N., Philippe, A., Burgaud, G., Edgcomb, V. P., & Teske, A. P. Environmental factors shaping bacterial, archaeal and fungal community structure in hydrothermal sediments of Guaymas Basin, Gulf of California. Plos One, 16(9), (2021): e0256321, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0256321.
    Description: The flanking regions of Guaymas Basin, a young marginal rift basin located in the Gulf of California, are covered with thick sediment layers that are hydrothermally altered due to magmatic intrusions. To explore environmental controls on microbial community structure in this complex environment, we analyzed site- and depth-related patterns of microbial community composition (bacteria, archaea, and fungi) in hydrothermally influenced sediments with different thermal conditions, geochemical regimes, and extent of microbial mats. We compared communities in hot hydrothermal sediments (75-100°C at ~40 cm depth) covered by orange-pigmented Beggiatoaceae mats in the Cathedral Hill area, temperate sediments (25-30°C at ~40 cm depth) covered by yellow sulfur precipitates and filamentous sulfur oxidizers at the Aceto Balsamico location, hot sediments (〉115°C at ~40 cm depth) with orange-pigmented mats surrounded by yellow and white mats at the Marker 14 location, and background, non-hydrothermal sediments (3.8°C at ~45 cm depth) overlain with ambient seawater. Whereas bacterial and archaeal communities are clearly structured by site-specific in-situ thermal gradients and geochemical conditions, fungal communities are generally structured by sediment depth. Unexpectedly, chytrid sequence biosignatures are ubiquitous in surficial sediments whereas deeper sediments contain diverse yeasts and filamentous fungi. In correlation analyses across different sites and sediment depths, fungal phylotypes correlate to each other to a much greater degree than Bacteria and Archaea do to each other or to fungi, further substantiating that site-specific in-situ thermal gradients and geochemical conditions that control bacteria and archaea do not extend to fungi.
    Description: This project was supported by collaborative NSF Biological Oceanography grants 1829903 and 1829680 “Hydrothermal fungi in the Guaymas Basin Hydrocarbon Ecosystem” to V. Edgcomb and A. Teske, respectively. Postdoc G. Ramirez and Graduate student C.R. Chambers were supported by NSF Molecular and Cellular Biology grant 1817381 “Next Generation Physiology” and by ARPA-E grant “Mining the Deep Sea for Microbial Ethano- and Propanogenesis”. Sampling in Guaymas Basin was supported by collaborative NSF Biological Oceanography grants 1357238 and 1357360 “Collaborative Research: Microbial carbon cycling and its interaction with sulfur and nitrogen transformations in Guaymas Basin hydrothermal sediments” to A. Teske and S. B. Joye, respectively.
    Repository Name: Woods Hole Open Access Server
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Objectives N-Terminal pro Brain Natriuretic Peptide (NT-proBNP) is a diagnostic marker for heart failure and a prognostic factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). The aim of this study was to examine the association of socioeconomic position (SEP) with NT-proBNP while assessing sex-differences and the impact of CVD risk factors and prevalent CVD on the association. Methods Baseline data of 4598 participants aged 45–75 years of the Heinz Nixdorf Recall Study were used. Income and education were used as SEP indicators. Age- and sex-adjusted linear regression models were fitted to calculate effect size estimates and 95% confidence intervals (95%-CIs) for the total effect of SEP indicators on NT-proBNP, while potential mediation was assessed by additionally accounting for traditional CVD risk factors (i.e., systolic blood pressure, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, diabetes, anti-hypertensive medication, lipid-lowering medication, BMI, current smoking). Education and income were included separately in the models. Results With an age- and sex-adjusted average change in NT-proBNP of -6.47% (95%-CI: -9.91; -2.91) per 1000€, the association between income and NT-proBNP was more pronounced compared to using education as a SEP indicator (-0.80% [95%-CI: -1.92; 0.32] per year of education). Sex-stratified results indicated stronger associations in men (-8.43% [95%-CI: -13.21; -3.38] per 1000€; -1.63% [95%-CI: -3.23; -0.001] per year of education) compared to women (-5.10% [95%-CI: -9.82; -0.01] per 1000€; -1.04% [95%-CI: -2.59; 0.50] per year of education). After adjusting for CVD risk factors some of the observed effect size estimates were attenuated, while the overall association between SEP indicators and NT-proBNP was still indicated. The exclusion of participants with prevalent coronary heart disease or stroke did not lead to a substantial change in the observed associations. Conclusions In the present study associations of education and income with NT-proBNP were observed in a population-based study sample. Only parts of the association were explained by traditional CVD risk factors, while there were substantial sex-differences in the strength of the observed association. Overt coronary heart disease or stroke did not seem to trigger the associations.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: The maned wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) is an induced ovulator. Though the mechanism of ovulation induction remains unknown, it is suspected to be urinary chemical signals excreted by males. This study assessed volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in weekly urine samples across 5 months from 13 maned wolves (6 intact males, 1 neutered male, 6 females) with the goal of identifying VOCs that are differentially expressed across sex, reproductive status, and pairing status. Solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) were used to extract and separate VOCs that were identified via spectral matching with authentic standards, with spectral libraries, or with new software that further matches molecular fragment structures with mass spectral peaks. Two VOCs were present across all 317 urine samples: 2,5-dimethyl pyrazine and 2-methyl-6-(1-propenyl)-pyrazine. Fifteen VOCs differed significantly (Adj. P 〈 0.001 and |log2 fold change| 〉2.0) between intact males and females. Using partial least squares-discriminant analysis, the compounds with the highest importance to the sex classification were delta-decalactone, delta-dodecalactone, and bis(prenyl) sulfide. Sixty-two VOCs differed between intact males and the neutered male. Important classifier compounds were 3-ethyl 2,5-dimethyl pyrazine, 2-methyl-6-(1-propenyl)-pyrazine, and tetrahydro-2-isopentyl-5-propyl furan. Several VOCs established as important here have been implicated in reproductive communication in other mammals. This study is the most robust examination of differential expression in the maned wolf thus far and provides the most comprehensive analysis of maned wolf urinary VOCs to date, increasing the sample size substantially over previous chemical communication studies in this species. New data analysis software allowed for the identification of compounds in the hormone-producing mevalonate pathway which were previously unreported in maned wolf urine. Several putative semiochemicals were identified as good candidates for behavioral bioassays to determine their role in maned wolf reproduction, and specifically in ovulation induction.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Background Patients admitted to intensive care units (ICU) are at an increased risk of developing immobility related complications. Physiotherapists are challenged to employ preventive and rehabilitative strategies to combat these effects. Passive limb range of motion (PROM) exercises- a part of early mobilization-aid in maintaining joint range of motion and functional muscle strength and forms a part of treatment for patients in ICU. However, there is a lack of evidence on practice of PROM exercises on patients admitted to ICU in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). This study aimed at exploring practices regarding the same in UAE. Methods This survey, conducted from January 2021 to February 2021 in College of Physiotherapy, Sharjah University studied practice of physiotherapists in the intensive care units. Physiotherapists currently working in ICU completed an online questionnaire composed of forty-two questions about physiotherapy service provision, assessment and intervention in the intensive care units. Results 33 physiotherapists completed the survey. 66.6% of respondents routinely assessed PROM for all the patients in ICU referred for physiotherapy. 84.8% of them assessed all the joints. More than half of the respondents (57.8%) reported that they administered PROM regularly to all the patients. According to 63.6% respondents, maintaining joint range of motion was the main reason for performing PROM. Responses pertaining to sets and repetitions of PROM were variable ranging from 1–6 sets and from 3 to 30 repetitions. Personal experience, resources/financial consideration and research findings were found to have influence on the practice. Conclusions PROM was found to be one of the frequently used mobilization techniques administered by physiotherapists in the intensive care units and was mostly performed after assessment. Maintaining joint range of motion was the main aim for performing PROM. Variability was found in the sets and repetitions of PROM administered. Various factors influenced the practice of PROM.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: The role the mammary epithelial circadian clock plays in gland development and lactation is unknown. We hypothesized that mammary epithelial clocks function to regulate mammogenesis and lactogenesis, and propose the core clock transcription factor BMAL1:CLOCK regulates genes that control mammary epithelial development and milk synthesis. Our objective was to identify transcriptional targets of BMAL1 in undifferentiated (UNDIFF) and lactogen differentiated (DIFF) mammary epithelial cells (HC11) using ChIP-seq. Ensembl gene IDs with the nearest transcriptional start site to ChIP-seq peaks were explored as potential targets, and represented 846 protein coding genes common to UNDIFF and DIFF cells and 2773 unique to DIFF samples. Genes with overlapping peaks between samples (1343) enriched cell-cell adhesion, membrane transporters and lipid metabolism categories. To functionally verify targets, an HC11 line with Bmal1 gene knocked out (BMAL1-KO) using CRISPR-CAS was created. BMAL1-KO cultures had lower cell densities over an eight-day growth curve, which was associated with increased (p
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Objectives N-benzoyl-DL-arginine peptidase (trypsin-like peptidase) is specifically produced by certain strains of periodontitis-associated bacteria. We aimed to examine the effectiveness of an objectively quantified trypsin-like peptidase activity assay (TLP-AA) for detecting severe periodontitis. Methods The study population included 347 adults (108 men and 239 women; average age, 43.3 years) who underwent a full-mouth periodontal examination. Specimens for the TLP-AA were obtained using tongue swabs. Using a color reader, the TLP-AA results were obtained as a* values, with higher positive a* values indicating an increased intense enzymatic activity. The predictive validity of the TLP-AA results for severe periodontitis was assessed using receiver operating characteristic curve analysis and the periodontitis case definition provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/American Academy of Periodontology as the gold standard. Furthermore, multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed to predict severe periodontitis using the TLP-AA results and health characteristics, as the exposure variables. Results Severe periodontitis was observed in 5.2% of the participants. TLP-AA had high diagnostic accuracy for severe periodontitis, with an area under the curve of 0.83 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.75–0.92). The cut-off score for the a* value that best differentiated individuals with severe periodontitis was 0.09, with a sensitivity of 83% and specificity of 77%. Multivariable logistic regression analyses revealed that the TLP-AA results were significantly associated with severe periodontitis after adjusting for health characteristics (adjusted odds ratios: 1.90 [95% CI: 1.37–2.62] for the a* value). Conclusions Objectively quantified TLP-AA results are potentially useful for detecting severe periodontitis in epidemiological surveillance.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2021-08-10
    Description: Ultradian glucocorticoid rhythms are highly conserved across mammalian species, however, their functional significance is not yet fully understood. Here we demonstrate that pulsatile corticosterone replacement in adrenalectomised rats induces a dynamic pattern of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) binding at ~3,000 genomic sites in liver at the pulse peak, subsequently not found during the pulse nadir. In contrast, constant corticosterone replacement induced prolonged binding at the majority of these sites. Additionally, each pattern further induced markedly different transcriptional responses. During pulsatile treatment, intragenic occupancy by active RNA polymerase II exhibited pulsatile dynamics with transient changes in enrichment, either decreased or increased depending on the gene, which mostly returned to baseline during the inter-pulse interval. In contrast, constant corticosterone exposure induced prolonged effects on RNA polymerase II occupancy at the majority of gene targets, thus acting as a sustained regulatory signal for both transactivation and repression of glucocorticoid target genes. The nett effect of these differences were consequently seen in the liver transcriptome as RNA-seq analysis indicated that despite the same overall amount of corticosterone infused, twice the number of transcripts were regulated by constant corticosterone infusion, when compared to pulsatile. Target genes that were found to be differentially regulated in a pattern-dependent manner were enriched in functional pathways including carbohydrate, cholesterol, glucose and fat metabolism as well as inflammation, suggesting a functional role for dysregulated glucocorticoid rhythms in the development of metabolic dysfunction.
    Print ISSN: 1553-7390
    Electronic ISSN: 1553-7404
    Topics: Biology
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  • 10
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Introduction Suicidality is a risk of a person committing suicide often characterized by suicidal ideation, intent or attempts. Despite the high burden of suicidality among individuals living with HIV and HAIDS, there is paucity of data on the impact of suicidality on clinical (such as CD4 counts and HIV disease progression) and behavioural outcomes (such as adherence to HIV Medications). Cross-sectional investigations of these associations are often complicated by bidirectional causal relationships and hence the need for longitudinal study designs. We conducted a cohort study to determine the impact of suicidality on clinical and behavioural outcomes among adults living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda. Materials and methods We conducted the study among 1099 ART naïve adults living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda. Data were collected at three time points: baseline, 6 and 12 months. Multiple regression and discrete time survival models were used to determine the relationship between suicidality and indices of HIV outcomes. Results Majority of the participants were female and the participant mean age was 35 years. Most of them (73%) had primary or no formal education. The proportion of participants with suicidality decreased from 2.9% at baseline to roughly 1% both at month 6 and month 12. Of the investigated clinical and behavioural outcomes, baseline suicidality only had a negative impact on missing a dose of ART where the odds of missing a dose of ART were 8.25 (95% CI 2.45–27.71, p〉0.01) times higher for participants with suicidality compared to those without suicidality. The following outcomes were not significantly impacted by baseline suicidality: HIV clinical stage, CD4 count and risky sexual behaviour. Conclusions The fact that baseline suicidality significantly negatively impacted ART adherence calls for the incorporation of psychosocial interventions to target indices of psychological distress such as suicidality to improve HIV related outcomes.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 11
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Background The COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the US has been immensely successful in vaccinating those who are receptive, further increases in vaccination rates however will require more innovative approaches to reach those who remain hesitant. Developing vaccination strategies that are modelled on what people want could further increase uptake. Methods and findings To inform COVID-19 vaccine distribution strategies that are aligned with public preferences we conducted a discrete choice experiment among the US public (N = 2,895) between March 15 to March 22, 2021. We applied sampling weights, evaluated mean preferences using mixed logit models, and identified latent class preference subgroups. On average, the public prioritized ease, preferring single to two dose vaccinations (mean preference: -0.29; 95%CI: -0.37 to -0.20), vaccinating once rather than annually (mean preference: -0.79; 95%CI: -0.89 to -0.70) and reducing waiting times at vaccination sites. Vaccine enforcement reduced overall vaccine acceptance (mean preference -0.20; 95%CI: -0.30 to -0.10), with a trend of increasing resistance to enforcement with increasing vaccine hesitancy. Latent class analysis identified four distinct preference phenotypes: the first prioritized inherent “vaccine features” (46.1%), the second were concerned about vaccine “service delivery” (8.8%), a third group desired “social proof” of vaccine safety and were susceptible to enforcement (13.2%), and the fourth group were “indifferent” to vaccine and service delivery features and resisted enforcement (31.9%). Conclusions This study identifies several critical insights for the COVID-19 public health response. First, identifying preference segments is essential to ensure that vaccination services meet the needs of diverse population subgroups. Second, making vaccination easy and promoting autonomy by simplifying services and offering the public choices (where feasible) may increase uptake in those who remain deliberative. And, third vaccine mandates have the potential to increase vaccination rates in susceptible groups but may simultaneously promote control aversion and resistance in those who are most hesitant.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 12
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Introduction The single-leg heel raise test (SLHR) is commonly used in clinical settings to approximate plantar flexor strength, yet this is neither validated nor supported physiologically. The purposes of this study were to: determine (1) associations between SLHR repetitions, maximal plantar flexor strength, and reductions in strength; and (2) whether sex differences exist in performance of the SLHR. Methods Twenty-eight young, healthy participants (14 males,14 females, 19–30 years) performed repeated single-leg heel raises to task failure. Pre- and post-task measures included maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVIC), and voluntary activation and contractile properties of the plantar flexor muscles, assessed using peripheral electrical stimulation of the tibial nerve. Surface electromyography was recorded for the medial and lateral gastrocnemius, soleus, and anterior tibialis muscles. Results The SLHR resulted in 20.5% reductions in MVIC torque (p
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 13
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Stream temperature science and management is rapidly shifting from single-metric driven approaches to multi-metric, thermal regime characterizations of streamscapes. Given considerable investments in recovery of cold-water fisheries (e.g., Pacific salmon and other declining native species), understanding where cold water is likely to persist, and how cold-water thermal regimes vary, is critical for conservation. California’s unique position at the southern end of cold-water ecosystems in the northern hemisphere, variable geography and hydrology, and extensive flow regulation requires a systematic approach to thermal regime classification. We used publicly available, long-term (〉 8 years) stream temperature data from 77 sites across California to model their thermal regimes, calculate three temperature metrics, and use the metrics to classify each regime with an agglomerative nesting algorithm. Then, we assessed the variation in each class and considered underlying physical or anthropogenic factors that could explain differences between classes. Finally, we considered how different classes might fit existing criteria for cool- or cold-water thermal regimes, and how those differences complicate efforts to manage stream temperature through regulation. Our results demonstrate that cool- and cold-water thermal regimes vary spatially across California. Several salient findings emerge from this study. Groundwater-dominated streams are a ubiquitous, but as yet, poorly explored class of thermal regimes. Further, flow regulation below dams imposes serial discontinuities, including artificial thermal regimes on downstream ecosystems. Finally, and contrary to what is often assumed, California reservoirs do not contain sufficient cold-water storage to replicate desirable, reach-scale thermal regimes. While barriers to cold-water conservation are considerable and the trajectory of cold-water species towards extinction is dire, protecting reaches that demonstrate resilience to climate warming remains worthwhile.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 14
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: This paper investigated the appropriate specifications of Engel curves for non-food expenditure categories and estimated the deprivation indices of non-food needs in rural areas using a semi parametric examination of the presence of saturation points. The study used the extended partial linear model (EPLM) and adopted two estimation methods—the double residual estimator and differencing estimator—to obtain flexible shapes across different expenditure categories and estimate equivalence scales. We drew on data of the Egyptian Household Income, Expenditure, and Consumption Survey (HIEC). Our paper provides empirical evidence that the rankings of most non-food expenditure categories is of rank three at most. Rural households showed high economies of scale in non-food consumption, with child’s needs accounting for only 10% of adult’s non-food needs. Based on semi-parametrically estimated consumption behavior, the tendency of non-food expenditure categories to saturate did not emerge. While based on parametrically estimated consumption behavior, rural areas exhibited higher deprivation indices in terms of health and education expenditure categories, which indicates the need to design specific programs economically targeting such vulnerable households.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 15
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Menzerath’s law is a quantitative linguistic law which states that, on average, the longer is a linguistic construct, the shorter are its constituents. In contrast, Menzerath-Altmann’s law (MAL) is a precise mathematical power-law-exponential formula which expresses the expected length of the linguistic construct conditioned on the number of its constituents. In this paper, we investigate the anatomy of MAL for constructs being word tokens and constituents being syllables, measuring its length in graphemes. First, we derive the exact form of MAL for texts generated by the memoryless source with three emitted symbols, which can be interpreted as a monkey typing model or a null model. We show that this null model complies with Menzerath’s law, revealing that Menzerath’s law itself can hardly be a criterion of complexity in communication. This observation does not apply to the more precise Menzerath-Altmann’s law, which predicts an inverted regime for sufficiently range constructs, i.e., the longer is a word, the longer are its syllables. To support this claim, we analyze MAL on data from 21 languages, consisting of texts from the Standardized Project Gutenberg. We show the presence of the inverted regime, not exhibited by the null model, and we demonstrate robustness of our results. We also report the complicated distribution of syllable sizes with respect to their position in the word, which might be related with the emerging MAL. Altogether, our results indicate that Menzerath’s law—in terms of correlations—is a spurious observation, while complex patterns and efficiency dynamics should be rather attributed to specific forms of Menzerath-Altmann’s law.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 16
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Temperate grassland soils store significant amounts of carbon (C). Estimating how much livestock grazing and manuring can influence grassland soil organic carbon (SOC) is key to improve greenhouse gas grassland budgets. The Rothamsted Carbon (RothC) model, although originally developed and parameterized to model the turnover of organic C in arable topsoil, has been widely used, with varied success, to estimate SOC changes in grassland under different climates, soils, and management conditions. In this paper, we hypothesise that RothC-based SOC predictions in managed grasslands under temperate moist climatic conditions can be improved by incorporating small modifications to the model based on existing field data from diverse experimental locations in Europe. For this, we described and evaluated changes at the level of: (1) the soil water function of RothC, (2) entry pools accounting for the degradability of the exogenous organic matter (EOM) applied (e.g., ruminant excreta), (3) the month-on-month change in the quality of C inputs coming from plant residues (i.e above-, below-ground plant residue and rhizodeposits), and (4) the livestock trampling effect (i.e., poaching damage) as a common problem in areas with higher annual precipitation. In order to evaluate the potential utility of these changes, we performed a simple sensitivity analysis and tested the model predictions against averaged data from four grassland experiments in Europe. Our evaluation showed that the default model’s performance was 78% and whereas some of the modifications seemed to improve RothC SOC predictions (model performance of 95% and 86% for soil water function and plant residues, respectively), others did not lead to any/or almost any improvement (model performance of 80 and 46% for the change in the C input quality and livestock trampling, respectively). We concluded that, whereas adding more complexity to the RothC model by adding the livestock trampling would actually not improve the model, adding the modified soil water function and plant residue components, and at a lesser extent residues quality, could improve predictability of the RothC in managed grasslands under temperate moist climatic conditions.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 17
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: The success of unmanned car, an emerging tool of transportation with so many advantages, depends to a large extent on its user acceptability. Potential designers are both the decision makers of driverless car design and the users of driverless cars. This study aims to explore the influencing factors of the potential designers’ intention to use unmanned cars. Based on the theory of Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), this study further expanded the TAM by incorporating perceived trust, perceived enjoyment and self-efficacy, so as to explain and predict potential designers’ intention to use unmanned cars. The questionnaire is determined through theoretical literature, pre-tests, etc., and the Structural Equation Model is used to analyze the data of 202 valid survey samples to investigate the influencing factors of the willingness to use unmanned vehicles. The results show that potential designers’ intention to use unmanned cars is positively affected by perceived trust, perceived enjoyment, perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use, and perceived trust has a positive effect on perceived ease of use, self-efficacy and perceived ease of use also have a positive effect on perceived usefulness. The findings of this study can provide designers and developers of unmanned cars, policy makers and implementers with guidance in the follow-up design, policy formulation and advertising of unmanned cars.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 18
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Global value chains are formed through value-added trade, and some regions promote economic integration by concluding regional trade agreements to promote these chains. However, it has not been established to quantitatively assess the scope and extent of economic integration involving various sectors in multiple countries. In this study, we used the World Input–Output Database to create a cross-border sector-wise network of trade in value-added (international value-added network) covering the period of 2000–2014 and evaluated them using network science methods. By applying Infomap to the international value-added network, we confirmed two regional communities: Europe and the Pacific Rim. We applied Helmholtz–Hodge decomposition to the value-added flows within the region into potential and circular flows, and clarified the annual evolution of the potential and circular relationships between countries and sectors. The circular flow component of the decomposition was used to define an economic integration index. Findings confirmed that the degree of economic integration in Europe declined sharply after the economic crisis in 2009 to a level lower than that in the Pacific Rim. The European economic integration index recovered in 2011 but again fell below that of the Pacific Rim in 2013. Moreover, sectoral economic integration indices suggest what Europe depends on Russia in natural resources makes the European economic integration index unstable. On the other hand, the indices of the Pacific Rim suggest the steady economic integration index of the Pacific Rim captures the stable global value chains from natural resources to construction and manufactures of motor vehicles and high-tech products.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 19
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Background COPD and asthma exacerbations result in many emergency department admissions. Not all treatments are successful, often leading to hospital readmissions. Aims We sought to develop predictive models for exacerbation treatment outcome in a cohort of exacerbating asthma and COPD patients presenting to the emergency department. Methods Treatment failure was defined as the need for additional systemic corticosteroids (SCS) and/or antibiotics, hospital readmissison or death within 30 days of initial emergency department visit. We performed univariate analysis comparing characteristics of patients either given or not given SCS at exacerbation and of patients who succeeded versus failed treatment. Patient demographics, medications and exacerbation symptoms, physiology and biology were available. We developed multivariate random forest models to identify predictors of SCS prescription and for predicting treatment failure. Results Data were available for 81 patients, 43 (53%) of whom failed treatment. 64 (79%) of patients were given SCS. A random forest model using presence of wheeze at exacerbation and blood eosinophil percentage predicted SCS prescription with area under receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) 0.69. An 11 variable random forest model (which included medication, previous exacerbations, symptoms and quality of life scores) could predict treatment failure with AUC 0.81. A random forest model using just the two best predictors of treatment failure, namely, visual analogue scale for breathlessness and sputum purulence, predicted treatment failure with AUC 0.68. Conclusion Prediction of exacerbation treatment outcome can be achieved via supervised machine learning combining different predictors at exacerbation. Validation of our predictive models in separate, larger patient cohorts is required.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 20
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Introduction The concept of death is abstract, complex and has a number of meanings. Thus, its understanding and the approach taken to it depend, to a large extent, on aspects such as age, culture, training and religion. Nursing students have regular contact with the process of death and so it is of great interest to understand the attitudes they have towards it. As we live in a plural society it is even more interesting to not only understand the attitudes of Spanish students but, also, those of students coming from other countries. In the present article, we seek to identify and compare the attitudes held by nursing degree students at Hekima-Santé University (Senegal) and the University of Huelva (Spain) about end of life processes. The study identifies elements that condition attitudes and coping with death, whilst considering curricular differences with regards to specific end of life training. Method A descriptive, cross-sectional and multi-center study was conducted. The overall sample (N = 142) was divided into groups: Hekima-Santé University (Dakar, Senegal) and the University of Huelva (Huelva, Spain). The measurement instruments used were an ad-hoc questionnaire and Bugen´s Coping with Death Scale. Results Statistically significant differences (p = 0.005, 95%CI) were found in relation to overall Bugen Scale scores. We can confirm that specialized end of life training (University of Huelva, Spain) did not lead to better coping when compared with a population whose academic curriculum did not provide specific training and who engaged in more religious practices (Hekima-Santé University, Senegal). Conclusions In cultures where religion not only influences the spiritual dimension of the individual, but acts in the ethical and moral system and consequently in the economic, educational and family sphere, the accompaniment at the end of life transcends the formative plane. Considering the plural society in which we live, the training that integrates the Degree in Nursing with regard to the care of the final process, must be multidimensional in which spirituality and faith are integrated, working emotional and attentional skills, as well as cultural competence strategies in this process.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 21
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Introduction Absenteeism of frontline health workers in public sector facilities is widespread in low-income countries. There is little quantitative evidence on how health worker absenteeism influences patient treatment seeking behavior, though low public sector utilization and heavy reliance on the informal sector are well documented in low-income settings. Methods Using a unique panel dataset covering health facilities and households over a 10-month period in Uganda, we investigate the extent to which health worker absenteeism (defined as zero health workers present at a health facility) impacts patient care seeking behavior, testing, and treatment. Results We find high rates of health worker absenteeism at public sector health facilities, with most of the absenteeism occurring at lower level public health clinics. On average, no health worker was present in 42% of all days monitored in lowest level public health clinics, whereas this number was less than 5% in high level public hospitals and private facilities. In our preferred empirical model with household fixed effects, we find that health worker absenteeism reduces the odds that a patient seeks care in the public sector (OR = 0.65, 95% CI = 0.44–0.95) and receives malaria testing (OR = 0.73, 95% CI = 0.53–0.99) and increases the odds of paying out-of-pocket for treatment (OR = 1.41, 95% CI = 1.10–1.80). The estimated differences in care-seeking are larger for children under-five than for the overall study population. Conclusions The impact of health worker absenteeism on the quality of care received as well as the financial burden faced by households in sub-Saharan Africa is substantial.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 22
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Malaria is still a global health problem. Plasmodium is a single-cell protozoan parasite that causes malaria and is transmitted to humans through the female Anopheles mosquito. The previous study showed that Sonchus arvensis L. callus has antiplasmodial activity. Several treatments are needed for callus quality improvement for antimalarial compound production. This study aimed to examine the effect of dolomite [CaMg(CO3)2] on growth (morpho-anatomical structure and biomass), secondary metabolite production, and in vitro antiplasmodial activity of S. arvensis L. callus. In this study, leaf explants were grown in Murashige and Skoog medium with a combination of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D, one mg/L) and 6-benzyl amino purine (BAP, 0.5 mg/L) with dolomite (50, 75, 100, 150, and 200 mg/L). The 21 days callus ethanolic and methanolic extract were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and thin-layer chromatography (TLC). The antiplasmodial test was performed on a blood culture infected with Plasmodium falciparum strain 3D7 using the Rieckmann method. The results showed that dolomite significantly affected callus growth, metabolite profile, and in vitro antiplasmodial activity. Dolomite (150 mg/L) showed the highest biomass (0.590 ± 0.136 g fresh weight and 0.074 ± 0.008 g dry weight). GC-MS analysis detected four compounds from callus ethanolic extract. Pelargonic acid, decanoic acid, and hexadecanoic acid were major compounds. One new terpenoid compound is based on TLC analysis. S. arvensis L. callus has antiplasmodial activity with the IC50 value of 5.037 μg/mL. It was three times lower than leaf methanolic extract and five times lower than leaf ethanolic extract.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 23
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Linear Parameter Varying (LPV) systems and their control have gained attraction recently as they approximate nonlinear systems with higher order than ordinary linear systems. On the other hand, time delay is an inherent part of various real-life applications. A supervisory control structure is proposed in this paper for LPV systems subject to time delays. In the proposed control structure, a supervisor selects the most suitable controller from a bank of controllers; which desires to enhance the performance of closed-loop system in contrast with using a single robust controller. The analysis is based on the celebrated Smith predictor for time delay compensation and we provide a sufficient condition to assure the stability of the closed-loop switched system in terms of dwell time. Simulations on blood pressure control of hypertension patients in postoperative scenario are used to exemplify the effectiveness of the utilized technique. The operating region of the system is partitioned into five smaller operating regions to construct corresponding robust controllers and perform hysteresis switching amongst them. Simulation results witnessed that the proposed control scheme demonstrated a pressure undershoot less than the desired value of 10 mmHg while the Mean Arterial Pressure (MAP) remains within ±5 mmHg of the desired value.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 24
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Background Assessing fitness to drive and predicting driving cessation remains a challenge for primary care physicians using standard screening procedures. The objective of this study was to prospectively evaluate the properties of neuropsychological screening tests, including the Trail Making Test (TMT), Clock Drawing Test (CDT), Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), Useful Field of View (UFOV), and Timed Up and Go (TUG) test, in predicting driving cessation for health reasons in drivers older than 70 years of age. Design and methods This prospective cohort study, with a median follow-up of 4 years for drivers of 70 years old or older with an active driving license in Switzerland, included 441 participants from a driving refresher course dedicated to volunteer senior drivers. Cases were drivers reported in the national driving registry who lost their license following a health-related accident, who were reported as unfit to drive by their physician or voluntarily ceased driving for health reasons. Survival analysis was used to measure the hazard ratio of driving cessation by adjusting for age and sex and to evaluate the predictive value of combining 3 or more positive tests in predicting driving cessation during a 4-year follow-up. Results A total of 1738 person-years were followed-up in the cohort, with 19 (4.3%) having ceased driving for health reasons. We found that participants with a TMT-A 〈 54 sec and TMT-B 〈 150 sec at baseline had a significantly lower cumulative hazard of driving cessation in 4 years than those with slower performance (adjusted HR 3, 95% CI: 1.16–7.78, p = 0.023). Participants who performed a CDT ≥ 5 had a significantly lower cumulative hazard of driving cessation (adjusted HR 2.89, 95% CI: 1.01–7.71, p = 0.033). Similarly, an MoCA score ≥ 26, TUG test
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 25
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Host genetic background is a significant driver of the variability in neurological responses to viral infection. Here, we leverage the genetically diverse Collaborative Cross (CC) mouse resource to better understand how chronic infection by Theiler’s Murine Encephalomyelitis Virus (TMEV) elicits diverse clinical and morphologic changes in the central nervous system (CNS). We characterized the TMEV-induced clinical phenotype responses, and associated lesion distributions in the CNS, in six CC mouse strains over a 90 day infection period. We observed varying degrees of motor impairment in these strains, as measured by delayed righting reflex, paresis, paralysis, seizures, limb clasping, ruffling, and encephalitis phenotypes. All strains developed neuroparenchymal necrosis and mineralization in the brain, primarily localized to the hippocampal regions. Two of the six strains presented with axonal degeneration with myelin loss of the nerve roots in the lumbar spinal cord. Moreover, we statistically correlated lesion distribution with overall frequencies of clinical phenotypes and phenotype progression to better understand how and where TMEV targets the CNS, based on genetic background. Specifically, we assessed lesion distribution in relation to the clinical progression of these phenotypes from early to late TMEV disease, finding significant relationships between progression and lesion distribution. Finally, we identified quantitative trait loci associated with frequency of lesions in a particular brain region, revealing several loci of interest for future study: lysosomal trafficking regulator (Lyst) and nidogen 1 (Nid1). Together, these results indicate that the genetic background influences the type and severity of clinical phenotypes, phenotypic resilience to TMEV, and the lesion distribution across strains.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 26
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: In the field of Differential Evolution (DE), a number of measures have been used to enhance algorithm. However, most of the measures need revision for fitting ensemble of different combinations of DE operators—ensemble DE algorithm. Meanwhile, although ensemble DE algorithm may show better performance than each of its constituent algorithms, there still exists the possibility of further improvement on performance with the help of revised measures. In this paper, we manage to implement measures into Ensemble of Differential Evolution Variants (EDEV). Firstly, we extend the collecting range of optional external archive of JADE—one of the constituent algorithm in EDEV. Then, we revise and implement the Event-Triggered Impulsive (ETI) control. Finally, Linear Population Size Reduction (LPSR) is used by us. Then, we obtain Improved Ensemble of Differential Evolution Variants (IEDEV). In our experiments, good performers in the CEC competitions on real parameter single objective optimization among population-based metaheuristics, state-of-the-art DE algorithms, or up-to-date DE algorithms are involved. Experiments show that our IEDEV is very competitive.
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  • 27
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Against the background of the speed-accuracy trade-off, we explored whether the Pace of Life can be used to identify heterogeneity in the strategy to place more weight on either fast or accurate accomplishments. The Pace of Life approaches an individual’s exposure to time and is an intensively studied concept in the evolutionary biology research. Albeit overall rarely, it is increasingly used to understand human behavior and may fulfill many criteria of a personal trait. In a controlled laboratory environment, we measured the participants’ Pace of Life, as well as their performance on a real-effort task. In the real-effort task, the participants had to encode words, whereby each word encoded correctly was associated with a monetary reward. We found that individuals with a faster Pace of Life accomplished more tasks in total. At the same time, they were less accurate and made more mistakes (in absolute terms) than those with a slower Pace of Life. Thus, the Pace of Life seems to be useful to identify an individual’s stance on the speed-accuracy continuum. In our specific task, placing more weight on speed instead of accuracy paid off: Individuals with a faster Pace of Life were ultimately more successful (with regard to their monetary revenue).
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  • 28
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Predatory mites in the family Phytoseiidae (Acari: Mesostigmata) are of great importance as biological control agents of pest mites and other arthropods. Correct identification of species is crucial to implement effective biological control of target pests. Here, we provide re-descriptions of seven phytoseiid mite species collected from citrus orchards in Florida. The several important morphological features including dorsal setae lengths, dorsal solenostomes, shape of calyx of spermatheca, chelicera dentition, measurements, and shape of macrosetae on legs currently used to discriminate phytoseiid species were missing in the original descriptions and re-descriptions of these species. Additionally, we observed the presence of a previously unnoted taxonomically important character on Proprioseius meridionalis Chant. Therefore, the re-description was essential for further diagnosis of this species. Accordingly, the validity of the presence/absence of this structure as a diagnostic character to separate species groups in the genus Proprioseius should be re-considered. Furthermore, Typhlodromalus peregrinus, a species for which a series of morphological variations are reported in previous descriptions, is re-described and illustrated from Clermont, Florida, a location very close (10 km) to its type location (Minneola), and the leaves of type host citrus. The macrosetae StIV was knobbed apically in all our specimens of T. peregrinus indicating invalidity of sharp-pointed or knobbed StIV to separate this species from a closely related species, T. aripo De Leon. These re-descriptions and species are important to utilizing authentic and promising candidates for biological control.
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  • 29
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: How are eyes and head adapted to meet the demands of visual exploration in different tasks and environments? In two studies, we measured the horizontal movements of the eyes (using mobile eye tracking in Studies 1 and 2) and the head (using inertial sensors in Study 2) while participants completed a walking task and a search and retrieval task in a large, outdoor environment. We found that the spread of visual exploration was greater while searching compared with walking, and this was primarily driven by increased movement of the head as opposed to the eyes. The contributions of the head to gaze shifts of different eccentricities was greater when searching compared to when walking. Findings are discussed with respect to understanding visual exploration as a motor action with multiple degrees of freedom.
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  • 30
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Background We hypothesized that a decrease in frequency of controlled breaths during biphasic positive airway pressure (BIVENT), associated with an increase in spontaneous breaths, whether pressure support (PSV)-assisted or not, would mitigate lung and diaphragm damage in mild experimental acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Materials and methods Wistar rats received Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide intratracheally. After 24 hours, animals were randomly assigned to: 1) BIVENT-100+PSV0%: airway pressure (Phigh) adjusted to VT = 6 mL/kg and frequency of controlled breaths (f) = 100 bpm; 2) BIVENT-50+PSV0%: Phigh adjusted to VT = 6 mL/kg and f = 50 bpm; 3) BIVENT-50+PSV50% (PSV set to half the Phigh reference value, i.e., PSV50%); or 4) BIVENT-50+PSV100% (PSV equal to Phigh reference value, i.e., PSV100%). Positive end-expiratory pressure (Plow) was equal to 5 cmH2O. Nonventilated animals were used for lung and diaphragm histology and molecular biology analysis. Results BIVENT-50+PSV0%, compared to BIVENT-100+PSV0%, reduced the diffuse alveolar damage (DAD) score, the expression of amphiregulin (marker of alveolar stretch) and muscle atrophy F-box (marker of diaphragm atrophy). In BIVENT-50 groups, the increase in PSV (BIVENT-50+PSV50% versus BIVENT-50+PSV100%) yielded better lung mechanics and less alveolar collapse, interstitial edema, cumulative DAD score, as well as gene expressions associated with lung inflammation, epithelial and endothelial cell damage in lung tissue, and muscle ring finger protein 1 (marker of muscle proteolysis) in diaphragm. Transpulmonary peak pressure (Ppeak,L) and pressure–time product per minute (PTPmin) at Phigh were associated with lung damage, while increased spontaneous breathing at Plow did not promote lung injury. Conclusion In the ARDS model used herein, during BIVENT, the level of PSV and the phase of the respiratory cycle in which the inspiratory effort occurs affected lung and diaphragm damage. Partitioning of inspiratory effort and transpulmonary pressure in spontaneous breaths at Plow and Phigh is required to minimize VILI.
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  • 31
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Small RNAs (sRNAs) encompass a great variety of molecules of different kinds, such as microRNAs, small interfering RNAs, Piwi-associated RNA, among others. These sRNAs have a wide range of activities, which include gene regulation, protection against virus, transposable element silencing, and have been identified as a key actor in determining the development of the cell. Small RNA sequencing is thus routinely used to assess the expression of the diversity of sRNAs, usually in the context of differentially expression, where two conditions are compared. Tools that detect differentially expressed microRNAs are numerous, because microRNAs are well documented, and the associated genes are well defined. However, tools are lacking to detect other types of sRNAs, which are less studied, and whose precursor RNA is not well characterized. We present here a new method, called srnadiff, which finds all kinds of differentially expressed sRNAs. To the extent of our knowledge, srnadiff is the first tool that detects differentially expressed sRNAs without the use of external information, such as genomic annotation or additional sequences of sRNAs.
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  • 32
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: In order to eliminate COVID-19, many countries provided vaccinations. However, success depends on peoples’ knowledge levels and rates of acceptance. But, previous research on this topic is currently lacking in Bangladesh. This cross-sectional study aimed at to investigate Bangladeshi peoples’ knowledge, acceptance, and perception of challenges regarding COVID-19 vaccines. Quantitative data were collected using an online survey (n = 1975) and face-to-face interviews (n = 2200) with a pre-tested structured questionnaire. In addition, seven open-ended interviews were conducted with health experts regarding challenges of vaccination. Binary logistic regression analyses were conducted to assess the association between explanatory and dependent variables. Effect size was estimated to understand the magnitude of relationship between two variables. Of 4175 respondents, 92.6% knew about COVID-19 vaccines, while only 37.4% believed vaccines to be effective in controlling COVID-19. Nearly 46% of respondents believed that COVID-19 vaccines have side-effects, and 16.4% of respondents believed that side-effects could be life-threatening. Only 60.5% of respondents indicated that they would receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Out of 1650 respondents (39.5%) who did not intend to receive the vaccine, 948 (57.4%) believed that they would be naturally protected. Regressions results indicated that men had higher rates of knowledge regarding the vaccine. In addition, rural respondents demonstrated lower knowledge regarding the vaccine. Furthermore, education had a significant association with knowledge of COVID-19 vaccines. Respondents with university education had more knowledge regarding the vaccine (Odds ratio, OR = 29.99; 95% confidence interval, CI 11.40–78.90, effect size 1.88; p = 0.01) and correct dosage (OR 27.34; 95% CI 15.25–49.00, effect size 1.83; p = 0.01). However, women (OR 1.16; 95% CI 0.96–1.40, effect size 0.08) and rural (OR 1.24; 95% CI 1.07–1.44, effect size 0.12; p = 0.01) respondents were more enthusiastic regarding receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Higher educated respondents showed higher probability of receiving the vaccine. Those who believed in the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine were 11.57 times more interested (OR 11.57; 95% CI 8.92–15.01, effect size 1.35; p = 0.01) in receiving the vaccine. Open-ended interviews identified several challenges toward successful COVID-19 vaccination. Mass awareness creation, uninterrupted supply, equitable distribution, and sectoral coordination were suggested to achieve at least 70% immunization across the country.
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  • 33
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Introduction Burnout syndrome is common among medical students, but findings about the gender differences in burnout are not consistent. The aim of this study was to assess high risk of burnout syndrome among medical students at one University in Serbia, by gender. Method A cross-sectional study was conducted at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Kragujevac in 2014. The Maslach Burnout Inventory—Student Survey was used for assessment of burnout level. A questionnaire on basic socio-demographic characteristics (age, gender, marital status, habits, etc.) and academic performance (year of study, cumulative total average grade, length of study, housing, study financing, etc.) was used. The study included a total of 760 medical students (760/836 medical students; participation rate: 90.9%). Logistic regression analysis was used to determine odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Results Significant gender differences were detected in prevalence of high risk of burnout syndrome (male students– 19.0% vs. female students– 12.8%, p = 0.024). A significant independent predictor of high risk for burnout syndrome in male medical students was study year (p for trend = 0.011), while in female medical students–study year (p for trend = 0.002) and use of sedatives (adjusted OR = 5.74, 95% CI = 1.96–16.77, p = 0.001). Conclusion Our results indicate the need to assess the risk of burnout syndrome at the very beginning of medical studies, in order to more effectively control the modifiable risk factors.
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  • 34
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Background Comorbidities are associated with increased mortality among patients receiving long-term kidney replacement therapy (KRT). However, it is not known whether primary kidney disease modifies the effect of comorbidities on KRT patients’ survival. Methods An incident cohort of all patients (n = 8696) entering chronic KRT in Finland in 2000–2017 was followed until death or end of 2017. All data were obtained from the Finnish Registry for Kidney Diseases. Information on comorbidities (coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, left ventricular hypertrophy, heart failure, cerebrovascular disease, malignancy, obesity, underweight, and hypertension) was collected at the start of KRT. The main outcome measure was relative risk of death according to comorbidities analyzed in six groups of primary kidney disease: type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes, glomerulonephritis (GN), polycystic kidney disease (PKD), nephrosclerosis, and other or unknown diagnoses. Kaplan-Meier estimates and Cox regression were used for survival analyses. Results In the multivariable model, heart failure increased the risk of death threefold among PKD and GN patients, whereas in patients with other kidney diagnoses the increased risk was less than twofold. Obesity was associated with worse survival only among GN patients. Presence of three or more comorbidities increased the age- and sex-adjusted relative risk of death 4.5-fold in GN and PKD patients, but the increase was only 2.5-fold in patients in other diagnosis groups. Conclusions Primary kidney disease should be considered when assessing the effect of comorbidities on survival of KRT patients as it varies significantly according to type of primary kidney disease.
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  • 35
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: New-generation migrant workers in Chinese cities are struggling with a lack of urban resources, such as capital, skills, and relationships. To cope with the pressure of these resource constraints, new-generation migrant workers obtain urban development opportunities through resource bricolage. Based on a questionnaire survey of 365 new-generation migrant workers, we used a multiple regression analysis to study the mechanism underlying the effects of resource bricolage on the city integration of new-generation migrant workers. There were four findings: (1) resource bricolage had a significant positive effect on career growth and city integration; (2) career growth had a mediation effect on the relationship between resource bricolage and city integration; (3) environmental dynamism had a positive moderating effect on the relationship between resource bricolage and city integration for new-generation migrant workers; and (4) resource bricolage and environmental dynamism had a moderating effect on city integration through the mediation effect of career growth. The results suggest that resource bricolage promotes the career growth of new-generation migrant workers and further promotes their city integration, and that the environmental dynamism faced by workers is the external condition for promoting integration through resource bricolage. The study emphasizes the importance of resource bricolage in new-generation migrant workers’ city integration.
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  • 36
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Vessel-based sonar systems that focus on the water column provide valuable information on the distribution of underwater marine organisms, but such data are expensive to collect and limited in their spatiotemporal coverage. Satellite data, however, are widely available across large regions and provide information on surface ocean conditions. If satellite data can be linked to subsurface sonar measurements, it may be possible to predict marine life over broader spatial regions with higher frequency using satellite observations. Here, we use random forest models to evaluate the potential for predicting a sonar-derived proxy for subsurface biomass as a function of satellite imagery in the California Current Ecosystem. We find that satellite data may be useful for prediction under some circumstances, but across a range of sonar frequencies and depths, overall model performance was low. Performance in spatial interpolation tasks exceeded performance in spatial and temporal extrapolation, suggesting that this approach is not yet reliable for forecasting or spatial extrapolation. We conclude with some potential limitations and extensions of this work.
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  • 37
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: The area of tropical secondary forests is increasing rapidly, but data on the physical and biological structure of the canopies of these forests are limited. To obtain such data and to measure the ontogeny of canopy structure during tropical rainforest succession, we studied patch-scale (5 m2) canopy structure in three areas of 18–36 year-old secondary forest in Costa Rica, and compared the results to data from old-growth forest at the same site. All stands were sampled with a stratified random design with complete harvest from ground level to the top of the canopy from a modular portable tower. All canopies were organized into distinct high- and low-leaf-density layers (strata), and multiple strata developed quickly with increasing patch height. The relation of total Leaf Area Index (LAI, leaf area per area of ground) to patch canopy height, the existence of distinct high and low leaf- density layers (strata and free air spaces), the depth and LAI of the canopy strata and free air spaces, and the relation of the number of strata to patch canopy height were remarkably constant across the entire successional gradient. Trees were the most important contributor to LAI at all stages, while contribution of palm LAI increased through succession. We hypothesize that canopy physical structure at the patch scale is driven by light competition and discuss how this hypothesis could be tested. That canopy physical structure was relatively independent of the identity of the species present suggests that canopy physical structure may be conserved even as canopy floristics shift due to changing climate.
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  • 38
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Print ISSN: 1553-734X
    Electronic ISSN: 1553-7358
    Topics: Biology , Computer Science
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  • 39
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Visual perception in football (“soccer” in the U.S.) is increasingly becoming a key area of interest for researchers and practitioners. This exploratory case study investigated a sub-set of visual perception, namely visual exploratory scanning. The aim of this study was to examine the scanning of four elite football midfield players in an 11 vs. 11 real-game environment using mobile eye-tracking technology. More specifically, we measured the duration and information (number of teammates and opponents) of the players’ scanning behavior. The results showed that the players’ scanning duration was influenced by the ball context and the action undertaken with the ball at the moment of scan initiation. Furthermore, fixations were found in only 2.3% of the scans. Additionally, the results revealed that the stop point is the most information-rich part of a scan and that the players had more opponents than teammates inside their video frame during scans. Practical applications and further research recommendations are presented.
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  • 40
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Digital mobility assessment using wearable sensor systems has the potential to capture walking performance in a patient’s natural environment. It enables monitoring of health status and disease progression and evaluation of interventions in real-world situations. In contrast to laboratory settings, real-world walking occurs in non-conventional environments and under unconstrained and uncontrolled conditions. Despite the general understanding, there is a lack of agreed definitions about what constitutes real-world walking, impeding the comparison and interpretation of the acquired data across systems and studies. The goal of this study was to obtain expert-based consensus on specific aspects of real-world walking and to provide respective definitions in a common terminological framework. An adapted Delphi method was used to obtain agreed definitions related to real-world walking. In an online survey, 162 participants from a panel of academic, clinical and industrial experts with experience in the field of gait analysis were asked for agreement on previously specified definitions. Descriptive statistics was used to evaluate whether consent (〉 75% agreement as defined a priori) was reached. Of 162 experts invited to participate, 51 completed all rounds (31.5% response rate). We obtained consensus on all definitions (“Walking” 〉 90%, “Purposeful” 〉 75%, “Real-world” 〉 90%, “Walking bout” 〉 80%, “Walking speed” 〉 75%, “Turning” 〉 90% agreement) after two rounds. The identification of a consented set of real-world walking definitions has important implications for the development of assessment and analysis protocols, as well as for the reporting and comparison of digital mobility outcomes across studies and systems. The definitions will serve as a common framework for implementing digital and mobile technologies for gait assessment and are an important link for the transition from supervised to unsupervised gait assessment.
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  • 41
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Introduction Hypertension (HT) is a major non-communicable disease worldwide and a growing global public health problem. Although several studies have investigated the independent associations of neck circumference (NC) and hypertension, no such studies have been conducted among the Thai population. Aim This study aims to identify risk factors associated with hypertension, which may be used to predict HT among asymptomatic adults residing in a remote rural community in central Thailand. Method 1,084 adults were included in this community-based cross-sectional study by a population-based total survey. The participants were included those who had been living in 6 villages in the rural community in the central area of Thailand. Anthropometric information, NC, body composition indexes such as waist circumference and blood pressure were measured. Logistic regression models were fitted to calculate the multi-variable adjusted prevalence and the association of NC with HT. Result The prevalence of HT among adults in the rural community was 27.7% (95% CI: 25.0–30.3). Of the 300 adults with HT, 164 participants (54.7%) were found within the unawareness HT category. We found that associated factors with HT were included larger neck circumference both continuous and categorical (≥ 37.5 in male, ≥ 32.5 in female), pre-existing diabetes mellitus, male, and higher body mass index. Conclusion Almost one-third of participants in the remote rural areas presented hypertension. NC was associated with HT independent from other risk factors. NC is a simple and useful anthropometric index to identify HT in rural Thai adults.
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  • 42
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: This is a protocol of a review paper, and there is no abstract. This review is part of a doctoral project that aims to develop a discrete event simulation model to predict how many adolescents may become hypertensive in adulthood. We will use data from the Brazilian study of cardiovascular risks in adolescents, called ERICA (Portuguese acronym). This study may help promote adherence to disease prevention protocols.
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  • 43
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infects one-quarter of the world’s population. Mtb and HIV coinfections enhance the comorbidity of tuberculosis (TB) and AIDS, accounting for one-third of all AIDS-associated mortalities. Humoral antibody to Mtb correlates with TB susceptibility, and engineering of Mtb antibodies may lead to new diagnostics and therapeutics. The characterization and validation of functional immunoglobulin (Ig) variable chain (IgV) sequences provide a necessary first step towards developing therapeutic antibodies against pathogens. The virulence-associated Mtb antigens SodA (Superoxide Dismutase), KatG (Catalase), PhoS1/PstS1 (regulatory factor), and GroES (heat shock protein) are potential therapeutic targets but lacked IgV sequence characterization. Putative IgV sequences were identified from the mRNA of hybridomas targeting these antigens and isotype-switched into a common immunoglobulin fragment crystallizable region (Fc region) backbone, subclass IgG2aκ. Antibodies were validated by demonstrating recombinant Ig assembly and secretion, followed by the determination of antigen-binding specificity using ELISA and immunoblot assay.
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  • 44
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Evidence suggests that non-binary people have poorer mental and physical health outcomes, compared with people who identify within the gender binomial (man/woman). Research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on mental health has been conducted worldwide in the last few months. It has however overlooked gender diversity. The aim of our study was to explore social and health-related factors associated with mental health (anxiety and depression) among people who do not identify with the man/woman binomial during COVID-19 lockdown in Spain. A cross-sectional study with online survey, aimed at the population residing in Spain during lockdown, was conducted. Data were collected between the 8th of April until the 28th of May 2020, the time period when lockdown was implemented in Spain. Mental health was measured using the Generalised Anxiety Disorder 7-item (GAD-7) scale for anxiety, and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) for depression. The survey included the question: Which sex do you identify with? The options “Man”, “Woman”, “Non-binary” and “I do not identify” were given. People who answered one of the last two options were selected for this study. Multivariate regression logistic models were constructed to evaluate the associations between sociodemographic, social and health-related factors, anxiety and depression. Out of the 7125 people who participated in the survey, 72 (1%) identified as non-binary or to not identify with another category. People who do not identify with the man/woman binomial (non-binary/I do not identify) presented high proportions of anxiety (41.7%) and depression (30.6%). Poorer mental health was associated with social-employment variables (e.g., not working before the pandemic) and health-related variables (e.g., poor or regular self-rated health). These findings suggest that social inequities, already experienced by non-binary communities before the pandemic, may deepen due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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  • 45
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: In everyday life, we group and subdivide time to understand the sensory environment surrounding us. Organizing time in units, such as diurnal rhythms, phrases, and beat patterns, is fundamental to behavior, speech, and music. When listening to music, our perceptual system extracts and nests rhythmic regularities to create a hierarchical metrical structure that enables us to predict the timing of the next events. Foot tapping and head bobbing to musical rhythms are observable evidence of this process. In the special case of polyrhythms, at least two metrical structures compete to become the reference for these temporal regularities, rendering several possible beats with which we can synchronize our movements. While there is general agreement that tempo, pitch, and loudness influence beat perception in polyrhythms, we focused on the yet neglected influence of beat subdivisions, i.e., the least common denominator of a polyrhythm ratio. In three online experiments, 300 participants listened to a range of polyrhythms and tapped their index fingers in time with the perceived beat. The polyrhythms consisted of two simultaneously presented isochronous pulse trains with different ratios (2:3, 2:5, 3:4, 3:5, 4:5, 5:6) and different tempi. For ratios 2:3 and 3:4, we additionally manipulated the pitch of the pulse trains. Results showed a highly robust influence of subdivision grouping on beat perception. This was manifested as a propensity towards beats that are subdivided into two or four equally spaced units, as opposed to beats with three or more complex groupings of subdivisions. Additionally, lower pitched pulse trains were more often perceived as the beat. Our findings suggest that subdivisions, not beats, are the basic unit of beat perception, and that the principle underlying the binary grouping of subdivisions reflects a propensity towards simplicity. This preference for simple grouping is widely applicable to human perception and cognition of time.
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  • 46
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Objectives Eradicated infectious diseases like smallpox can re-emerge through accident or the designs of bioterrorists, and cause heavy casualties. Presently, the populace is largely susceptible as only a small percentage is vaccinated, and their immunity is likely to have waned. And when the disease re-emerges, the susceptible individuals may be manipulated by disinformation on Social Media to refuse vaccines. Thus, a combination of countermeasures consisting of antiviral drugs and vaccines and a range of policies for their application need to be investigated. Opinions regarding whether to receive vaccines evolve over time through social exchanges via networks that overlap with but are not identical to the disease propagation networks. These couple the spread of the biological and information contagion and necessitate a joint investigation of the two. Methods We develop a computationally tractable metapopulation epidemiological model that captures the joint spatio-temporal evolution of an infectious disease (e.g., smallpox, COVID-19) and opinion dynamics. Results Considering smallpox, the computations based on the model show that opinion dynamics have a substantial impact on the fatality count. Towards understanding how perpetrators are likely to seed the infection, we identify a) the initial distribution of infected individuals that maximize the overall fatality count; and b) which habitation structures are more vulnerable to outbreaks. We assess the relative efficacy of different countermeasures and conclude that a combination of vaccines and drugs minimize the fatalities, and by itself, drugs reduce fatalities more than the vaccine. Accordingly, we assess the impact of increase in the supply of drugs and identify the most effective among a collection of policies for administering of drugs for various parameter combinations. Many of the observed patterns are stable to variations of a diverse set of parameters. Conclusions Our findings provide a quantitative foundation for various important elements of public health discourse that have largely been conducted qualitatively.
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  • 47
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Introduction Improving hypertension management is a national priority that can decrease morbidity and mortality. Evidence-based hypertension management guidelines advocate self-measured BP (SMBP), but widespread implementation of SMBP is lacking. The purpose of this study was to describe the perspective of primary care physicians (PCPs) on SMBP to identify the barriers and facilitators for implementing SMBP. Methods We collected data from PCPs from a large health system using semi-structured interviews based on the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF). Responses were recorded, transcribed, and qualitatively analyzed into three overarching TDF domains based on the Behavior Change Wheel (BCW): 1) Motivation 2) Opportunity and 3) Capabilities. The sample size was based on theme saturation. Results All 17 participating PCPs believed that SMBP is a useful, but underutilized tool. Although individual practices varied, most physicians felt that the increased data points from SMBP allowed for better hypertension management. Most felt that overcoming existing barriers would be difficult, but identified several facilitators: physician support of SMBP, the possibility of having other trained health professionals to assist with SMBP and patient education; improving patient engagement and empowerment with SMBP, and the interest of the health system in using technology to improve hypertension management. Conclusion PCPs believe that SMBP can improve hypertension management. There are numerous barriers and facilitators for implementing SMBP. Successful implementation in clinical practice will require implementation strategies targeted at increasing patient acceptability and reducing physician workload. This may need a radical change in the current methods of managing hypertension.
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  • 48
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Background The mid-life emergence of higher levels of total cholesterol (TC) for women than for men has been observed in different Western and Asian populations. The aim of this study was to investigate whether there is evidence of this in Vietnam and, if so, whether it can be explained by ageing, by body size and fatness, or by socio-demographic characteristics and behavioural factors. Methods Participants (n = 14706, 50.9% females) aged 25–64 years were selected by multi-stage stratified cluster sampling from eight provinces each representing one of the eight geographical regions of Vietnam. Measurements were made using the World Health Organization STEPS protocols. Linear regression was used to assess the independent contributions of potential explanatory factors to mean levels of TC. Data were analysed using complex survey methods. Results Men and women had similar mean levels of body mass index (BMI), and men had modestly higher mean levels of waist circumference (WC), in each 5-year age category. The mean TC of women increased more or less continuously across the age range but with a step-up at age 50 years to reach higher concentrations on average than those of their male counterparts. The estimated step-up was not eliminated by adjustment for anthropometric indices including BMI or WC, or by adjustment for socio-demographic characteristics or behavioural factors. The estimated step-up was least for women with the greatest weight. Conclusion There is a marked step-up in TC at age 50 years for Vietnamese women that cannot be explained by their age, or by their body fatness or its distribution, or by their socio-demographic characteristics or behavioural factors, and which results in greater mean levels of TC for middle-aged women than for their male counterparts in Vietnam.
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  • 49
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Corrections applied by the visual system, like size constancy, provide us with a coherent and stable perspective from ever-changing retinal images. In the present experiment we investigated how willing adults are to examine their own vision as if it were an uncorrected 2D image, much like a photograph. We showed adult participants two lines on a wall, both of which were the same length but one was closer to the participant and hence appeared visually longer. Despite the instruction to base their judgements on appearance specifically, approximately half of the participants judged the lines to appear the same. When they took a photo of the lines and were asked how long they appeared in the image their responses shifted; now the closer line appeared longer. However, when they were asked again about their own view they reverted to their original response. These results suggest that many adults are resistant to imagining their own vision as if it were a flat image. We also place these results within the context of recent views on visual perspective-taking.
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  • 50
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Purpose We sought to evaluate changes of mean peripapillary choroidal thickness (PCT) and subfoveal choroidal thickness (SFCT) over 12 months in patients with unilateral central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO). Methods Our retrospective, observational study included 19 patients with treatment-naïve, unilateral CRVO who completed at least 12 months of follow-up period. Mean PCT and mean SFCT in CRVO-affected eyes and unaffected contralateral eyes were measured at each follow-up visit, and then compared. Differences between baseline and 12 months (ΔSFCT and ΔPCT) and percentage changes (ΔSFCT or ΔPCT/baseline×100%) were determined. We also investigated the predictive factors for visual outcome in the CRVO-affected eyes. Results In the CRVO-affected eyes, mean PCT was 146.7±41.9 μm at baseline, and 106.5±24.2 μm at 12 months (P 〈 0.001). Mean PCT of the contralateral eyes was 129.8±42.6 μm at baseline and 124.6±39.7 μm at 12 months (P = 0.089). Mean SFCT of CRVO-affected eyes was 225.8±77.9 μm at baseline, and 199.4±66.6 μm at 12 months (P = 0.009). Mean SFCT of the contralateral eyes was 218.4±83.0 μm at baseline, and 208.4±78.1 μm at 12 months (P = 0.089). Δ PCT was -41.6±25.3 μm in the CRVO-affected eyes, and -5.2±5.8 μm in the contralateral eyes (P
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  • 51
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Background Right ventricular (RV) systolic strain has recently demonstrated prognostic value in various cardiovascular diseases. Despite this, the reference range including the lower limit of normal (LLN) and factors associated with RV strain measurements are not well-established. This meta-analysis aimed to determine the mean and LLN of two- (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) right ventricular global (RVGLS), free wall (RVFWLS) and interventricular septal wall (IVSLS) longitudinal strains in healthy individuals and factors that affect strain measurements. Methods In this meta-analysis, Pubmed, Embase and Cochrane databases were searched until 31 July 2020 for eligible studies reporting RVGLS, RVFWLS and/or IVSLS in at least 30 healthy subjects. We pooled the means and LLNs of RV strains by two- (2D) and three- (3D) dimensional echocardiography, and performed meta-regression analyses. Results From 788 articles screened, 45 eligible studies totaling 4439 healthy subjects were eligible for analysis. Pooled means and LLNs with 95% confidence intervals for 2D- RV strains were RVGLS -23.4% (-24.2%, -22.6%) and -16.4% (-17.3%, -15.5%) in 27 studies; RVFWLS -26.9% (-28.0%, -25.9%) and -18.0% (-19.2%, -16.9%) in 32 studies; and IVSLS –20.4% (-22.0%, -18.9%) and -11.5% (-13.6%, -9.6%) in 10 studies, and similar results for 3D- RV strains. Right ventricular fractional area change and vendor software were associated with 2D-RVGLS and RVFWLS means and LLNs. Conclusion We reported the pooled means and LLNs of RV systolic strains in healthy subjects, to define thresholds for abnormal, borderline and normal strains. Important factors associated with RV systolic strains include right ventricular fractional area change and vendor software.
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  • 52
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: In the case of a fire, the choice of exit in the highway tunnel is strictly limited by fire location, which seriously affects the evacuation time. A spontaneous or disorderly exit choice might result in a decreased evacuation efficiency and utilization rate of exits. In this paper, we propose a strategy to obtain the optimal exit choice based on fire location during highway tunnel evacuations. In our strategy, first, the vehicle distributions and locations of evacuating occupants are determined in the traffic simulation program VISSIM. The evacuation simulation software BuildingEXODUS is employed to obtain the corresponding parameters of the evacuation process and analyze the impacts of different fire locations on the evacuation time. During the analysis, the optimal productivity statistics (OPS) is selected as the evaluation index. Then, the feature points of the crowding occupants are captured by the fuzzy c-means (FCM) cluster algorithm. Next, based on the feature points, the relationship between the location of the fire and boundary of the optimal exit choice under the optimal OPS is obtained through the polynomial regression model. It is found that the R-squared(R2) and sum of squares for error (SSE) of the polynomial regression model, reflecting the accuracy estimation, are 98.02% and 2.79×10−4, respectively. Moreover, different fire locations impact the evacuation time of tunnel entrance and evacuation passageway. This paper shows that the location of the fire and boundary of optimal exit choice have a negative linear correlation. Taking the fire 110 m away from the evacuation passageway as an example, the OPS of our strategy can be decreased by 35.6% when compared with no strategies. Our proposed strategy could be applied to determine the location of variable evacuation signs to help evacuating occupants make optimal exit choices.
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  • 53
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Background The aim of this study was to understand how physical activity and sedentary behaviour levels of pregnant women with gestational diabetes in the UK have been affected by COVID-19. Methods An online survey exploring physical activity and sedentary behaviour levels of pregnant women with gestational diabetes during COVID-19 was distributed through social media platforms. Women who had been pregnant during the COVID-19 outbreak and had gestational diabetes, were resident in the UK, were 18 years old or over and could understand written English were invited to take part. Results A total of 724 women accessed the survey, 553 of these met the eligibility criteria and took part in the survey. Sedentary time increased for 79% of the women during the pandemic. Almost half of the women (47%) were meeting the physical activity guidelines pre COVID-19 during their pregnancy, this dropped to 23% during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fear of leaving the house due to COVID-19 was the most commonly reported reason for the decline. Significant associations were found between meeting the physical activity guidelines during COVID-19 and educational attainment, fitness equipment ownership and knowledge of how to exercise safely in pregnancy. Conclusions and implications These results show the impact of COVID-19 on physical activity and sedentary behaviour levels and highlight the need for targeted public health initiatives as the pandemic continues and for future lockdowns. Women with gestational diabetes need to know how it is safe and beneficial to them to engage in physical activity and ways to do this from their homes if fear of leaving the house due to COVID-19 is a barrier for them. Online physical activity classes provided by certified trainers in physical activity for pregnant women may help them remain active when face-to-face appointments are reduced and limited additional resources are available.
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  • 54
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: It is a well-known feature of social protection systems that not all persons who are entitled to social benefits also claim these benefits. The costs people face when claiming benefits is considered an important cause of this phenomenon of non-take-up. In this paper, we developed and examined the psychometric properties of a new scale, the Claiming Cost Scale (CCS), which measures three dimensions of costs associated with claiming benefits. A multi-phase instrument development method was performed to develop the instrument. The item pool was generated based on a literature review, and presented to academic experts (n = 9) and experts by experience (n = 5) to assess content and face validity. In a second stage, centrality and dispersion, construct validity, convergent and divergent validity, and internal reliability of the instrument were tested. These analyses were based on two samples (n = 141 and n = 1265) of individuals living in low-income households in Belgium. Nine items were retained, which represent three factors (Information costs, Process costs and Stigma). The confirmatory factor analysis proved adequate model fitness. Both convergent and divergent validity were good, and internal consistency was adequate, with Cronbach’s alpha ranging between .73 and .87. The findings showed that the CCS is a valid and reliable instrument for assessing the costs potential beneficiaries face when claiming benefits. Consisting of only nine items, the scale can be easily implemented in large-scale survey research or used in day-to-day work of service providers who are interested in understanding non-take-up of their service.
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  • 55
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on professional sports, notably, forcing the National Hockey League to hold its 2020 playoffs in empty arenas. This provided an unprecedented opportunity to study how crowds may influence penalties awarded by referees in an ecological context. Using data from playoff games played during the COVID-19 pandemic and the previous 5 years (n = 547), we estimate the number of penalties called by referees depending on whether or not spectators were present. The results show an interaction between a team’s status (home; away) and the presence or absence of crowds. Post-hoc analyses reveal that referees awarded significantly more penalties to the away team compared to the home team when there is a crowd present. However, when there are no spectators, the number of penalties awarded to the away and home teams are not significantly different. In order to generalize these results, we took advantage of the extension of the pandemic and the unusual game setting it provided to observe the behavior of referees during the 2020–2021 regular season. Again, using data from the National Hockey League (n = 1639), but also expanding our sample to include Canadian Hockey League games (n = 1709), we also find that the advantage given to the home team by referees when in front of a crowd fades in the absence of spectators. These findings provide new evidence suggesting that social pressure does have an impact on referees’ decision-making, thus contributing to explain the phenomenon of home advantage in professional ice hockey.
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  • 56
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Wind power forecasting plays a key role in the design and maintenance of wind power generation which can directly help to enhance environment resilience. Offshore wind power forecasting has become more challenging due to their operation in a harsh and multi-faceted environment. In this paper, the data generated from offshore wind turbines are used for power forecasting purposes. First, fragmented data is filtered and Deep Auto-Encoding is used to select high dimensional features. Second, a mixture of the CNN and LSTM models is used to train prominent wind features and further improve forecasting accuracy. Finally, the CNN-LSTM deep learning hybrid model is fine-tuned with various parameters for reliable forecasting of wind energy on three different offshore Windfarms. A state-of-the-art comparison against existing models is presented based on root mean square error (RMSE) and mean absolute error (MAE) respectively. The forecasting analyses indicate that the proposed CNN-LSTM strategy is quite successful for offshore wind turbines by retaining the lowest RMSE and MAE along with high forecasting accuracy. The experimental findings will be helpful to design environment resilient energy transition pathways.
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  • 57
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Industrial waste salt is classified as hazardous waste to the environment. The organic impurity and its occurrence in industrial waste salt affect the salt resource utilization. In this paper, composition quantitative analysis, XRD, TG-DSC, SEM/FIB-SEM coupled with EDS, FTIR, XPS and GC-Ms were chosen to investigate the organic impurity and its occurrence in industrial waste salt. The organic impurities owe small proportion (1.77%) in the specimen and exhibit weak thermal stability within the temperature of 600°C. A clear definition of organic impurity, including 11 kinds of organic compounds, including aldehyde, benzene and its derivatives etc., were detected in the industrial waste salt. These organic impurities, owing (C-O/C-O-C, C-OH/C = O, C–C/CHx/C = C etc.)-containing function group substance, are mainly distributed both on the surface and inside of the salt particles. Meanwhile, the organic substance may combine with metal cations (Ni2+, Mg2+, Cu2+ etc.) through functional groups, such as hydroxide, carbonyl etc., which increases its stability in the industrial waste salt. These findings provide comprehensive information for the resource utilization of industrial waste salt from chemical industry etc.
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  • 58
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Background Low resting heart rate (RHR) and low systolic blood pressure (SBP) are associated with criminal behavior. However, knowledge is lacking about their predictive value for reoffending. Aim We aimed to examine associations of RHR and SBP with reoffending in a large population-based sample. Methods We conducted a cohort study of all convicted male conscripts born in Sweden 1958–1990 (N = 407,533). We obtained data by linking Swedish population-based registers. Predictor variables were RHR and SBP, measured at conscription which was mandatory until 2010 for men at age 18. The outcome variable was reoffending, defined as criminal convictions (any crime, violent crime and non-violent crime), obtained from the National Crime Register. We used survival analyses to test for associations of RHR and SBP with reoffending, adjusting for pertinent covariates such as socioeconomic status, height, weight and physical energy capacity. Results In fully adjusted Cox regression models, men with lower RHR (≤60 bpm) had higher risk of reoffending (any crime: HR = 1.17, 95% CI: 1.14, 1.19, violent crime: HR = 1.23, 95% CI: 1.17, 1.29, non-violent crime: HR = 1.16, 95% CI: 1.14, 1.19), compared to men with higher RHR (≥ 82 bpm). Men with lower SBP (≤80 mmHg) had higher risk of reoffending (any crime: HR = 1.19, 95% CI: 1.17, 1.21, violent crime: HR = 1.16, 95% CI: 1.12, 1.20, non-violent crime: HR = 1.20, 95% CI: 1.18, 1.22), compared to men with higher SBP (≥138 mmHg). Conclusions Low autonomic arousal is associated with increased risk of reoffending. RHR and SBP should be investigated further as potential predictors for reoffending as they each may have predictive value in risk assessment protocols.
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  • 59
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Background Longitudinal studies examining the life trajectories of young people after they have exited homelessness have identified concerns with persistent social and economic exclusion, struggles to shake off identities of homelessness, and housing instability. This pilot study sought to explore the feasibility of improving socioeconomic inclusion outcomes by bolstering identity capital (sense of purpose and control, self-efficacy and self-esteem) among young people who had experienced homelessness. Methods Nineteen individuals (aged 18–26) who had transitioned out of homelessness within the past three years participated in a six-week, six-session program focused on building identity capital. The study employed a mixed method prospective cohort hybrid design with an intervention group (Group One) and a delayed intervention comparison group (Group Two). Participants were interviewed every three months until nine months post-intervention. Results None of the youth who began the intervention dropped out of the program, with the exception of one participant who moved across the country and was unable to continue. Immediately after participating in the intervention, Group One had statistically significant improvements (p 〈 .05) and large to very large effect sizes in self-esteem (d = 1.16) and physical community integration (d = 1.79) compared to changes in Group Two over the same period, which had not yet begun the intervention. In the pooled analysis, small to moderate effect sizes in hopelessness, physical community integration, and self-esteem were observed at all post-intervention time points. Notably, at six- and nine-months post-intervention, statistically significant improvements (p 〈 .05) and moderate effect sizes in hopelessness (d = -0.73 and d = -0.60 respectively) and self-esteem (d = 0.71 and d = 0.53 respectively) were observed. Youth shared they appreciated the normalizing (vs. pathologizing) of strategies they needed to learn and spoke of the importance of framing new skills as something one needs “to have a better life” vs. “to get better.” Conclusions These early findings signal that targeting identity capital is feasible and may be a promising approach to incorporate into a more complex intervention that includes housing, education, and employment supports to help youth transition out of homelessness. Future research could build on these findings through a sufficiently powered randomized controlled trial.
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    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: The article applies a GIS based approach to the study of the spread of the cult of Asclepius, the Greco-Roman healing god, during the Roman period. It explores the role of soldiers and physicians in the spatial dissemination of the cult along the transportation network of Roman roads in the border provinces of Britannia, Germania Superior and Inferior, Raetia, Noricum, Pannonia Superior and Inferior, Moesia Superior and Inferior, and Dacia. These provinces were selected as a suitable area for quantitative GIS exploration because they were all on the outer border of the Roman Empire, had a significant military presence, and there is a representative amount of inscriptions attested that can be used as proxies for the spatial occurrence of the three measured variables: the cult of Asclepius, Roman soldiers, and Roman physicians. After establishing by means of spatial proximity analysis that the cult of Asclepius occurred frequently in the context of the Roman army, the article proposes and quantitatively evaluates a more specific hypothesis; i.e., that the spatial occurrences of Roman physicians in inscriptions are a relevant predictor for the spatial occurrences of the worship of Asclepius in the environment of the Roman army because of the shared focus between physicians and the cult of Asclepius—health and medicine. The highly significant results of the statistical analysis reveal a positive trend in the spatial relationships between Roman physicians and the worship of Asclepius in the context of the Roman army in the majority of provinces of interest, thus supporting the proposed hypothesis. The results presented in the article demonstrate the potential of the GIS approach in testing assumptions produced by traditional scholarship and in nuancing our understanding of a specific process of cultural spread.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: The most effective method of the fruit harvesting is the mechanical harvest. The frequency spectrum of different testing positions on a Ginkgo biloba tree under the impact excitation was tested in the laboratory. The acceleration responses under the harmonic excitation were measured at the frequency of the peak and trough points in the frequency spectrum curves. Results of this research indicate that the frequency spectrum presented the consistency on the same branch but distinction among different branches. There was a correspondence between the frequency spectrum characteristics and the vibration responses. The vibration responses could be strengthened at the resonant frequency. Merely, the acceleration responses at low frequency were very weak. At higher frequency, the vibration responses were strong but presented different characteristics among different branches. The acceleration response on the trunk was always the weakest. On the same branch, the dynamic responses presented the similar characteristics and the acceleration amplitude increased gradually as the testing position was located away from the excitation point on the trunk. Among different branches, the strongest dynamic response appeared at different frequencies. Our results indicate that it was difficult to induce the strong vibration response of all the branches at the single frequency during the practical mechanical harvesting of fruits.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Background Immunization with radiation-attenuated sporozoites (RAS) by mosquito bites provides 〉90% sterile protection against Plasmodium falciparum malaria in humans. We conducted a clinical trial based on data from previous RAS clinical trials that suggested that 800–1200 infected bites should induce ~50% protective vaccine efficacy (VE) against controlled human malaria infection (CHMI) administered three weeks after the final immunization. Two cohorts were immunized separately. VE was 55% in Cohort 1 but 90% in Cohort 2, the cohort that received a higher first dose and a reduced (fractional) fifth dose. Immune responses were better boosted by the fractional fifth dose in Cohort 2 and suggested the importance of the fractional fifth dose for increased protection in Cohort 2 responses. Three protected subjects were later boosted and were protected suggesting that protection could be extended to at least 67 weeks. Methods The ex vivo FluoroSpot assay was used to measure peripheral IFN-γ, IL2, and IFN-γ+IL2 responses to PfNF54 sporozoites and malaria antigens CSP, AMA1, TRAP, and CelTOS using pools of synthetic overlapping 15mer peptides spanning each antigen. Results There was no correlation between IFN-γ, IL2, and IFN-γ+IL2 responses to sporozoites and protection, but fold-increases between post-4th and post-5th responses greater than 1.0 occurred mostly in protected subjects. IFN-γ and IL2 responses to TRAP, CelTOS and CSP occurred only in protected subjects. Peripheral IFN-γ, IL2, and IFN-γ+IL2 responses were short-lived and low by 27 weeks post-CHMI but were restored by boosting. Conclusions These studies highlight the importance of vaccine dose and schedule for vaccine efficacy, and suggest that CSP, TRAP, AMA1 and CelTOS may be targets of protective immunity. The correlation between fold-increases in responses and protection should be explored in other vaccine trials. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01994525.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Introduction Corneal transplantation is the only treatment option for corneal blindness to restore sight. However, there is a disproportionate imbalance between the demand and supply of corneal tissue in Ethiopia. This is because accessing corneal tissue is reliant on people who are willing to donate corneas after death. Objective This study aimed to assess the proportion of willingness to donate cornea and associated factors among adult patients attending at University of Gondar comprehensive and specialized hospital. Method Institutional based cross-sectional study was conducted from July 13 to July 28, 2020, through a face-to-face interview. A total of 451 samples were selected using systematic random sampling. The data were entered into Epidemiological information version 7 and exported to statistical package for social science version 20 for formal analysis. Variables with a P-value of 〈 0.20 in a bi-variable logistic regression were entered into the multivariable logistic regression and those variables with a p-value of 〈 0.05 were taken as statistically significant. The strength of association was shown using the odds ratio with a 95% confidence interval. Result A total of 408 adults participated in this study with a response rate of 90% and the proportion of willingness to donate cornea was 179(43.90%). Participants who had a religious belief in Christianity (AOR = 3.23 (95% CI: 1.09–9.57)) and good knowledge about corneal donation (AOR = 5.45(95%CI: 2.69–11.18)) were positively associated with the willingness of corneal donation. On the other side, the age group above 43 years (AOR = 0.31(95% CI: 0.11–0.89) was negatively associated with the willingness of corneal donation. Conclusion The proportion of willingness to donate cornea 43.9% among participants attending Gondar University Comprehensive and Specialized Hospital. Age group greater than 43 years, religion of Christianity and good knowledge were associated with the willingness of corneal donation.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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  • 64
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Dietary homogenization has progressed worldwide due to westernization and the globalization of food production systems. We investigated dietary heterogeneity in South Korea by examining the spatial distribution of carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and sulfur (S) isotope ratios using 264 human hair samples. Overall, variation in isotope values was small, indicating low dietary heterogeneity. We detected differences in δ13C, δ15N, and δ34S values between administrative provinces and metropolitan cities; inter-regional differences were typically 〈 1 ‰. Values of δ34S were significantly lower in hair samples from inland regions relative to those from coastal locations, and a similar pattern was observed in δ15N values. Understanding geographic variation in δ34S and δ15N values in human hair is useful for provenancing humans in South Korea.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) disperse widely during winter and are a major consumer of marine resources over the Patagonian Shelf. Magellanic penguins were equipped with geolocators at Martillo Island in late February- early March 2017 and recaptured at the beginning of the next breeding season to recover the devices and to collect blood samples for stable carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) isotope analysis. We evaluated their whole winter dispersal and their trophic niche by sex during the last month of the winter dispersal. Also, we evaluated their spatial overlap with bottom trawl and shrimp fisheries using data from satellite fisheries monitoring. Penguins dispersed northwards up to 42°S and showed latitudinal spatial segregation between sexes during May to August (females were located further north than males). In contrast, during the last month of the winter dispersal females were located more southerly and showed lower trophic position than males. Also, females did not dive as deep as males during winter. We found high overlap between both fisheries and penguin’s spatial use in regions with documented interaction. However, no sex-specific statistical differences with fisheries overlap were found. Our results highlight the importance of understanding the spatial domains of each sex and assessment of their potential conflicts with bottom trawl fishery and shrimp fishery during the winter period.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
    Topics: Medicine , Natural Sciences in General
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    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: The impacts of COVID-19 on travel demand, traffic congestion, and traffic safety are attracting heated attention. However, the influence of the pandemic on electric bike (e-bike) safety has not been investigated. This paper fills the research gap by analyzing how COVID-19 affects China’s e-bike safety based on a province-level dataset containing e-bike safety metrics, socioeconomic information, and COVID-19 cases from 2017 to 2020. Multi-output regression models are adopted to investigate the overall impact of COVID-19 on e-bike safety in China. Clustering-based regression models are used to examine the heterogeneous effects of COVID-19 and the other explanatory variables in different provinces/municipalities. This paper confirms the high relevance between COVID-19 and the e-bike safety condition in China. The number of COVID-19 cases has a significant negative effect on the number of e-bike fatalities/injuries at the country level. Moreover, two clusters of provinces/municipalities are identified: one (cluster 1) with lower and the other (cluster 2 that includes Hubei province) higher number of e-bike fatalities/injuries. In the clustering-based regressions, the absolute coefficients of the COVID-19 feature for cluster 2 are much larger than those for cluster 1, indicating that the pandemic could significantly reduce e-bike safety issues in provinces with more e-bike fatalities/injuries.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
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  • 67
    Publication Date: 2021-08-20
    Description: Background Malnutrition is highly prevalent in HIV-exposed perinatally uninfected infants (HEUs) increasing the risk of morbidity and mortality throughout the life course. We set out to compare the effect of postnatal exposure to maternal antiretroviral therapy (mART) in breastmilk versus infant Nevirapine prophylaxis (iNVP) on somatic growth of HEUs in the randomized PROMISE trial. Methods and findings We randomized 2431 mothers with HIV and their 2444 HEUs from six African countries and India 6–14 days after delivery to mART or iNVP for prevention of breastmilk HIV transmission. The mART regimen contained tenofovir/emtricitabine (99%) plus lopinavir/ritonavir. Infant growth parameters were compared at postnatal week 10, 26, 74 and 104 using World Health Organization (WHO) z-scores for length-for-age (LAZ), weight-for-age (WAZ), and head circumference-for-age (HCAZ). Week 26 LAZ was the primary endpoint measure. Student T-tests compared mean LAZ, WAZ, and HCAZ; estimated mean and 95% confidence interval (CI) are presented. Maternal and infant baseline characteristics were comparable between study arms. The estimated median breastfeeding duration was 70 weeks. After a mean follow-up of 88 weeks, mean LAZ and WAZ were below the WHO reference population mean at all timepoints, whereas mean HCAZ was not. The mART and iNVP arms did not differ for the primary outcome measure of LAZ at week 26 (p-value = 0.39; estimated mean difference (95%CI) of -0.05 (-0.18, 0.07)) or any of the other secondary growth outcome measures or timepoints (all p-values≥0.16). Secondary analyses of the primary outcome measure adjusting for week 0 LAZ and other covariates did not change these results (all p-values≥0.09). However, infants assigned to mART were more likely to have stunting compared to iNVP infants at week 26 (odds ratio (95% CI): 1.28 (1.05, 1.57)). Conclusions In HEUs, growth effects from postnatal exposure to mART compared to iNVP were comparable for measures on length, weight and head circumference with no clinically relevant differences between the groups. Despite breastfeeding into the second year of life, length and weight were below reference population means at all ages in both arms. Further investment is needed to optimize postnatal growth of infants born to women with HIV. Clinical trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov number NCT01061151.
    Electronic ISSN: 1932-6203
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