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In many materials development projects, scientists and research heads make decisions to guide the project direction. For example, scientists may decide which processing steps to use, what elements to include in their material selection, or from what suppliers to source their materials. Research heads may decide whether to invest development effort in reducing the environmental impact or production cost of a material. When making these decisions, it would be helpful to know how those decisions affect the achievable performance of the materials under consideration. Often, these decisions are complicated by trade-offs in performance between competing properties. This paper presents an approach for visualizing and evaluating design spaces, where a design space is defined as the set of possible materials under consideration given specified constraints. This design space visualization approach is applied to two case studies with environmental impact motivations: one in biodegradability for solvents, and the other in sustainable materials sourcing for Li-ion batteries. The results demonstrate how this visualization approach can enable data-driven, quantitative decisions for project direction.
Prenatal adversity shapes child neurodevelopment and risk for later mental health problems. The quality of the early care environment can buffer some of the negative effects of prenatal adversity on child development. Retrospective studies, in adult samples, highlight epigenetic modifications as sentinel markers of the quality of the early care environment; however, comparable data from pediatric cohorts are lacking. Participants were drawn from the Maternal Adversity Vulnerability and Neurodevelopment (MAVAN) study, a longitudinal cohort with measures of infant attachment, infant development, and child mental health. Children provided buccal epithelial samples (mean age = 6.99, SD = 1.33 years, n = 226), which were used for analyses of genome-wide DNA methylation and genetic variation. We used a series of linear models to describe the association between infant attachment and (a) measures of child outcome and (b) DNA methylation across the genome. Paired genetic data was used to determine the genetic contribution to DNA methylation at attachment-associated sites. Infant attachment style was associated with infant cognitive development (Mental Development Index) and behavior (Behavior Rating Scale) assessed with the Bayley Scales of Infant Development at 36 months. Infant attachment style moderated the effects of prenatal adversity on Behavior Rating Scale scores at 36 months. Infant attachment was also significantly associated with a principal component that accounted for 11.9% of the variation in genome-wide DNA methylation. These effects were most apparent when comparing children with a secure versus a disorganized attachment style and most pronounced in females. The availability of paired genetic data revealed that DNA methylation at approximately half of all infant attachment-associated sites was best explained by considering both infant attachment and child genetic variation. This study provides further evidence that infant attachment can buffer some of the negative effects of early adversity on measures of infant behavior. We also highlight the interplay between infant attachment and child genotype in shaping variation in DNA methylation. Such findings provide preliminary evidence for a molecular signature of infant attachment and may help inform attachment-focused early intervention programs.
Across the globe, the implementation of quality improvement science and collaborative learning has positively affected the care and outcomes for children born with CHD. These efforts have advanced the collective expertise and performance of inter-professional healthcare teams. In this review, we highlight selected quality improvement initiatives and strategies impacting the field of cardiovascular care and describe implications for future practice and research. The continued leveraging of technology, commitment to data transparency, focus on team-based practice, and recognition of cultural norms and preferences ensure the success of sustainable models of global collaboration.
To examine knowledge and attitudes about influenza vaccination and infection prevention practices among healthcare personnel (HCP) in a long-term-care (LTC) setting.
Knowledge, attitudes, and practices (KAP) survey.
An LTC facility in St Louis, Missouri.
All HCP working at the LTC facility were eligible to participate, regardless of department or position. Of 170 full- and part-time HCP working at the facility, 73 completed the survey, a 42.9% response rate.
Most HCP agreed that respiratory viral infections were serious and that hand hygiene and face mask use were protective. However, only 46% could describe the correct transmission-based precautions for an influenza patient. Correctly answering infection prevention knowledge questions did not vary by years of experience but did vary for HCP with more direct patient contact versus less patient contact. Furthermore, 42% of respondents reported working while sick, and 56% reported that their coworkers did. In addition, 54% reported that facility policies made staying home while ill difficult. Some respondents expressed concerns about the safety (22%) and effectiveness (27%) of the influenza vaccine, and 28% of respondents stated that they would not get the influenza vaccine if it was not required.
This survey of staff in an LTC facility identified several areas for policy improvement, particularly sick leave, as well as potential targets for interventions to improve infection prevention knowledge and to address HCP concerns about influenza vaccination to improve HCP vaccination rates in LTCs.
Bats are known to be reservoirs of several medically important viruses including lyssaviruses. However, no systematic surveillance for bat rabies has been carried out in India, a canine rabies endemic country with a high burden of human rabies. Surveillance for rabies virus (RABV) infection in bats was therefore carried out in Nagaland, a north-eastern state in India at sites with intense human–bat interfaces during traditional bat harvests. Brain tissues and sera from bats were tested for evidence of infection due to RABV. Brain tissues were subjected to the fluorescent antibody test for detection of viral antigen and real-time reverse transcriptase PCR for presence of viral RNA. Bat sera were tested for the presence of rabies neutralizing antibodies by the rapid fluorescent focus inhibition test. None of the bat brains tested (n = 164) were positive for viral antigen or viral RNA. However, rabies neutralizing antibodies were detected in 4/78 (5·1%) bat sera tested, suggesting prior exposure to RABV or related lyssaviruses. The serological evidence of lyssaviral infection in Indian bats may have important implications in disease transmission and rabies control measures, and warrant extensive bat surveillance to better define the prevalence of lyssaviral infection in bats.
Medulloblastoma (MB) is the most common malignant pediatric brain tumour, and is categorized into four molecular subgroups, with Group 3 MB having the worst prognosis due to the highest rate of metastatic dissemination and relapse. In this work, we describe the epigenetic regulator Bmi1 as a novel therapeutic target for treatment of recurrent Group 3 MB. Through comparative profiling of primary and recurrent MB, we show that Bmi1 defines a treatment-refractory cell population that is uniquely targetable by a novel class of small molecule inhibitors. We have optimized an in vivo mouse-adapted therapy model that has the advantage of generating recurrent, human, treatment-refractory MBs. Our preliminary studies showed that although chemoradiotherapy administered to mice engrafted with human MB showed reduction in tumour size, Bmi1 expression was enriched in the post-treatment residual tumour. Furthermore, we found that knockdown of Bmi1 in human recurrent MB cells decreases proliferation and self-renewing capacities of MB cells in vitro as well as both tumour size and extent of spinal leptomeningeal metastases in vivo. Oral administration of a potent Bmi1 inhibitor, PTC 028, resulted in a marked reduction in tumour burden and an increased survival in treatment cohort. Bmi1 inhibitors showed high specificity for MB cells and spared normal human neural stem cells, when treated with doses relevant for MB cells. As Group 3 medulloblastoma is often metastatic and uniformly fatal at recurrence, with no current or planned trials of targeted therapy, an efficacious agent such as Bmi1 inhibitor could be rapidly transitioned to clinical trials.
To evaluate the success rate of dry and wet temporalis fascia grafts in type I underlay tympanoplasty.
A prospective, randomised study was conducted. One hundred adult patients (males and females) with chronic suppurative otitis media (mucosal type) were divided into 2 groups of 50 each: one group underwent dry graft tympanoplasty and the other underwent wet graft tympanoplasty. Fibroblast count was calculated in dry and wet grafts.
The dry graft and wet graft groups had overall surgical success rates of 82 and 90 per cent, respectively; this finding was not statistically significant. A statistically significant high fibroblast count was observed in wet grafts, but it did not correlate with surgical success.
A dry or wet temporalis fascia graft does not influence the outcome of tympanoplasty type I.
To evaluate and analyse the success rate of tympanoplasty type I in paediatric patients aged 5 to 8 years compared to a control group (patients aged over 14 years).
In this prospective study, 60 patients (of either sex) with chronic suppurative otitis media inactive mucosal disease were divided into 2 groups (30 in each): group A comprised paediatric patients aged 5–8 years and group B consisted of older individuals aged over 14 years. All patients underwent tympanoplasty type I with an underlay technique using a temporalis fascia graft.
Impressive surgical success rates of 87 and 90 per cent were recorded in groups A and B, respectively. Furthermore, audiological success rates of 69 and 78 per cent were achieved in groups A and B respectively. Statistical analysis of the data revealed that eustachian tube function had no impact on the outcome of tympanoplasty.
Tympanoplasty type I performed in children aged five to eight years gives comparable results to those of older individuals.
The idiopathic variety of chronic pancreatitis (CP) in India particularly in Kerala state was earlier called ‘tropical pancreatitis’ with peculiar features: early age of onset, severe malnutrition, diabetes and poor prognosis. A change in disease phenotype and behaviour has been observed recently.
To review the changing profile of CP in India and examine its relationship with environmental influences and socio-economic development.
Relevant studies on CP in India were reviewed along with social and economic parameters in Kerala over the past 4 decades.
There has been a definite change in the phenotype of CP in India with onset in mid twenties, better nutritional status, and a much better prognosis compared with the reports in 1970s. Genetic susceptibility due to genetic mutations particularly in SPINK1, CFTR, CTRC, and CLDN2/MORC4 genes is the most important factor and not malnutrition or dietary toxins for idiopathic CP suggesting the term ‘tropical pancreatitis’ is a misnomer. We observed a close relationship between socio-economic development and rising income in Kerala with late onset of disease, nutritional status, and better prognosis of CP.
Changing profile of CP in India and better understanding of risk factors provide evidence for gene–environmental interactions in its pathobiology.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an independent predictor of CVD in otherwise healthy individuals. Low n-3 PUFA intake has been associated with the presence of NAFLD; however, the relationship between a biomarker of n-3 status – the Omega-3 Index – and liver fat is yet to be elucidated. A total of eighty overweight adults (fifty-six men) completed the anthropometric and biochemical measurements, including the Omega-3 Index, and underwent proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy assessment of liver fat. Bivariate correlations and multiple regression analyses were performed with reference to prediction of liver fat percentage. The mean Omega-3 Index was high in both NAFLD (intrahepatic lipid concentration≥5·5 %) and non-NAFLD groups. The Omega-3 Index, BMI, waist circumference, glucose, insulin, TAG, high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were positively correlated, and HDL and erythrocyte n-6:n-3 ratio negatively correlated with liver fat concentration. Regression analysis found that simple anthropometric and demographic variables (waist, age) accounted for 31 % of the variance in liver fat and the addition of traditional cardiometabolic blood markers (TAG, HDL, hsCRP and ALT) increased the predictive power to 43 %. The addition of the novel erythrocyte fatty acid variable (Omega-3 Index) to the model only accounted for a further 3 % of the variance (P=0·049). In conclusion, the Omega-3 Index was associated with liver fat concentration but did not improve the overall capacity of demographic, anthropometric and blood markers to predict NAFLD.
As indicated by the sporadic Japanese encephalitis (JE) cases reported from the districts of Uttar Pradesh (UP), India, the disease is endemic in the state despite the fact that a JE vaccination programme has been ongoing in the state since 2006. Hence, the present study was undertaken to study the annual trend of JE in UP during January 2011 to December 2013. CSF and/or serum samples collected from acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) cases were referred to the virology laboratory at King George's Medical University, Lucknow and were tested for anti-JEV IgM antibodies by JEV MAC-ELISA kit. The study reveals that 26·9%, 9·9% and 14·8% of AES cases were positive for anti-JEV IgM in the years 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively. Of the total JE confirmed cases, 30% were adults. Males were more commonly affected than females. A distinct peak of JE was seen in the monsoon and post-monsoon season, although sporadic cases were also reported in other months. JE vaccination by district in UP is discussed. This study reports that the proportion of JE positives in AES cases is decreasing in UP although the number of AES cases has not decreased. The study also discusses the probable causes of this decrease, including JE vaccination and natural periodicity due to herd immunity.
Large-scale population-based studies have reported a significant increase in invasive pneumococcal disease (IPD) in those with underlying haematological or solid-organ malignancy, but limited condition-specific data are available on rates of IPD in the adult population. A retrospective chart review of all patients with IPD (identified prospectively) in the province of Alberta, Canada (population ~3·3 million) was conducted from 2000 to 2004 to study the epidemiology of IPD. Rates of IPD in patients with various haematological and solid-organ malignancies were determined by obtaining the number of these patients at risk from the provincial cancer registry. Compared to the attack rate of IPD in the adult population aged ⩾18 years (11·0 cases/100 000 per year, 95% CI 10·44–11·65), there were significantly increased rates of IPD in those with lung cancer (143·6 cases/100 000 per year, OR 13·4, 95% CI 9·3–19·4, P<0·001) and multiple myeloma (673·9 cases/100 000 per year, OR 62·8, 95% CI 39·6–99·8, P<0·001). More modestly increased rates of IPD were found in those with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, acute myeloid leukaemia, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, and Hodgkin's and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. There was an increased prevalence of serotype 6A in those with these underlying malignancies, but no other serotypes predominated. Fifty-three percent (48/83) of cases were caused by serotypes in the investigational 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13), and 57/83 (69%) of the cases were caused by serotypes in the 23-valent pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (PPV23). The incidence of IPD in adults with certain haematological and solid-organ malignancies is significantly greater than the overall adult population. Such patients should be routinely given pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine; this population could also be targeted for an expanded valency conjugate vaccine.
The second order nonlinear optical (NLO) properties of two different ionic selfassembled multilayer (ISAM) films combined with Ag nanoparticles have been investigated. The plasmon resonances in the Ag particles concentrate the incident light, markedly increasing in the NLO efficiencies of the films. We find that the efficiency enhancement is significantly larger in conventional ISAM films compared to films made using a hybrid covalent ISAM technique (HCISAM), even though the intrinsic bulk second order non-linear susceptibility (χ(2)) is much larger for HCISAM films. We attribute this to the interfaces in HCISAM films being much easier to disrupt by external perturbations such as the metal deposition by which the nanoparticles are fabricated. We conclude that because the plasmon decay length is very short, the plasmonic enhancement of NLO effects primarily occurs at and near the film-particle interface. To discern the importance of the interfaces, we surrounded thin ISAM and HCISAM films with NLOinactive buffer layers, which confirmed this hypothesis, particularly in the case of HCISAM films.
Here, we report fabrication of an organic field effect transistor that can be used as a memory device. We have evaluated inorganic ferroelectric insulator manganese doped barium titanate(BTO), organic poly(vinylidene fluoride trifluoroethylene) P(VDF-TrFE), and their composite. The inorganic and organic ferroelectrics were fabricated using low cost process of spin coating followed by annealing to enhance crystallinity. The ferroelectric phase evolution is assessed by X-ray diffraction, MIM structure is used to study polarization behaviour and leakage current. Finally, OFETs are fabricated using thermal evaporation of 75 nm of pentacene. Gold electrodes of 70 nm were evaporated for the top contact devices keeping W/L=40. The OFET devices, for BTO/P(VDF-TrFE) composite insulator, showed memory effect with shift in threshold voltage of 8.5 ± 1.5V.
Here we report on the synthesis of multiferroic BiFeO3 ceramics by mechanical activation and detailed investigation into its magnetic behavior. The mechanically milled ceramic was calcined at temperatures up to 800°C. X-ray diffraction studies show only the pure BiFeO3 phase forms at 700°C. Vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) measurements were carried out up to 1.5 Tesla and the results show a weak magnetic ordering in the ceramics. The magnetic measurements were also done on the samples heat treated under various cooling conditions. VSM measurements showed pronounced effect of cooling on the Magnetization vs Field curves. Mössbauer measurements show that short range Fe2O3 ordering is still present in the sample that goes undetected by XRD. This component decreases as the calcination temperature is increased. The nature of magnetic ordering improves upon heating from 600 to 700°C, also suggested by pure BiFeO3 phase formation at 700°C. Magnetization vs Temperature measurements conducted on the sample heat treated at 700°C for 1hr followed by cooling in air show an antiferromagnetic transition at ∼370°C.
In this work, we report on the synthesis and characterization of thin films of (BiFeO3)1−x (PbTiO3)x (BFPT) solid solutions of compositions around morphotropic phase boundary (MPB) grown on platinized silicon (111) Pt/TiO2/SiO2/Si substrate by sol-gel based spin coating technique. The films were post-annealed at 700 and 750°C for 1 h in air. Morphological analysis of the films was carried out by scanning electron microscopy. Grazing incidence X-ray diffractometry revealed the perovskite structure of the films and peaks suggested the presence of rhombohedral structured pure BFPT phase in polycrystalline form. Scanning electron microscopy suggested that films annealed at 750degC had a denser microstructure as compared to those at 700°C. The room temperature dielectric constant of the films with composition of BF:PT :: 75:25 was measured to be ∼1200 at a frequency of 100 kHz.
We present the first results from our next-generation microlensing survey, the SuperMACHO project. We are using the CTIO 4m Blanco telescope and the MOSAIC imager to carry out a search for microlensing toward the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). We plan to ascertain the nature of the population responsible for the excess microlensing rate seen by the MACHO project. Our observing strategy is optimized to measure the differential microlensing rate across the face of the LMC. We find this derivative to be relatively insensitive to the details of the LMC's internal structure but a strong discriminant between Galactic halo and LMC self lensing. In December 2003 we completed our third year of survey operations. 2003 also marked the first year of real-time microlensing alerts and photometric and spectroscopic followup. We have extracted several dozen microlensing candidates, and we present some preliminary light curves and related information. Similar to the MACHO project, we find SNe behind the LMC to be a significant contaminant - this background has not been completely removed from our current single-color candidate sample. Our follow-up strategy is optimized to discriminate between SNe and true microlensing.To search for other articles by the author(s) go to: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abstract_service.html