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Crowdfunding is the process of taking a project in need of investment and asking a large group of people to supply the investment. It allows organisations to sell their product before production, reducing the risk of new product development. Organisations such as Tesla and General Electric have used crowdfunding successfully but crowdfunding is yet to be explored as part of a formalised product development framework. This paper includes the business case for commercialising new products with crowdfunding and presents crowdfunding as part of a product development and commercialisation framework.
Conceptual design, as an early phase of the design process, is known to have the highest impact on determining the innovation level of design results. Although many tools exist to support designers in conceptual design, additional knowledge, especially knowledge related to emerging technologies, is still often needed. In this paper the authors aim to propose a data-driven creative concept generation and evaluation approach to support designers in incorporating emerging technologies in the new product early development stage. The approach is demonstrated by means of an illustrated example.
Lichens of the Ramalina siliquosa complex dominate seashore cliffs in Europe and South-East Asia, but their taxonomy has been vigorously debated for over a century. On many cliffs, they exhibit a bewildering zonation of chemotypes that resembles the classic zonation of organisms that occupy the littoral zone below. Do the chemotypes represent separate species, or infraspecific variation? To better understand the systematics of this group, sequences from four genetic loci (ITS, IGS, RPB1 and RPB2) were obtained for 59 samples from Denmark, France, Iceland, Norway, UK, Japan and Korea, including all major chemotypes. Maximum likelihood analysis of these sequences, together with sequences from 36 other Ramalina species, reveals that the complex comprises two distinct phylogenetic lineages, each including multiple chemotypes. These two putative species-level lineages correspond to the currently accepted taxa R. cuspidata and R. siliquosa. There is no evidence that these two taxa are phylogenetic sister species. Consequently, the explanation of this chemotype complex as an example of ‘sibling speciation’ is rejected. Specimens traditionally called ‘R. siliquosa’ from South-East Asia form a third clade, identified here as R. semicuspidata, with an additional, divaricatic acid chemotype. Other results include a robustly supported clade of Ramalina species that produce medullary depsides and depsidones; this clade includes another well-supported clade of south-eastern United States coastal plain and tropical Ramalina species. By contrast, large, strap-shaped Ramalina species that lack medullary depsides and depsidones occur in separate lineages. In addition, close relationships between the following groups of species are indicated: R. farinacea with R. subfarinacea; R. fraxinea with R. leptocarpha, R. menziesii and R. subleptocarpha; R. sinensis with R. unifolia. Furthermore, a new, variolaric acid-only chemotype is reported for R. farinacea, and a new, acid-deficient chemotype is reported for a more broadly circumscribed R. culbersoniorum.
To evaluate the upper airway morphology changes associated with ageing in adult Chinese patients with obstructive sleep apnoea.
A total of 124 male patients diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnoea by overnight polysomnography, who underwent upper airway computed tomography, were enrolled. The linear dimensions, cross-sectional area and volume of the upper airway region and the surrounding bony frame were measured. The association between ageing and upper airway morphology was analysed.
Soft palate length, minimum cross-sectional area of the retroglossal region, lateral dimensions at the minimum cross-sectional area of the retropalatal and retroglossal regions, nasopharyngeal volume, and average cross-sectional area of the nasopharyngeal region were found to significantly increase with ageing in all patients, while the upper airway shape flattened with ageing. The volume of the retropalatal region increased with ageing among the patients with a body mass index of less than 24 kg/m2. The volume of parapharyngeal fat pad increased with ageing among patients with a body mass index greater than 28 kg/m2.
A number of dimensional, cross-sectional and volumetric parameters of the pharynx increased with age, indicating that non-anatomical factors may play a more important role in the pathogenesis of obstructive sleep apnoea in aged patients.
We used a survey to characterize contemporary infection prevention and antibiotic stewardship program practices across 64 healthcare facilities, and we compared these findings to those of a similar 2013 survey. Notable findings include decreased frequency of active surveillance for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, frequent active surveillance for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, and increased support for antibiotic stewardship programs.
Antenna-pattern measurements obtained from a double-metal supra-terahertz-frequency (supra-THz) quantum cascade laser (QCL) are presented. The QCL is mounted within a mechanically micro-machined waveguide cavity containing dual diagonal feedhorns. Operating in continuous-wave mode at 3.5 THz, and at an ambient temperature of ~60 K, QCL emission has been directed via the feedhorns to a supra-THz detector mounted on a multi-axis linear scanner. Comparison of simulated and measured far-field antenna patterns shows an excellent degree of correlation between beamwidth (full-width-half-maximum) and sidelobe content and a very substantial improvement when compared with unmounted devices. Additionally, a single output has been used to successfully illuminate and demonstrate an optical breadboard arrangement associated with a future supra-THz Earth observation space-borne payload. Our novel device has therefore provided a valuable demonstration of the effectiveness of supra-THz diagonal feedhorns and QCL devices for future space-borne ultra-high-frequency Earth-observing heterodyne radiometers.
To ascertain opinions regarding etiology and preventability of hospital-onset bacteremia and fungemia (HOB) and perspectives on HOB as a potential outcome measure reflecting quality of infection prevention and hospital care.
Hospital epidemiologists and infection preventionist members of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) Research Network.
A web-based, multiple-choice survey was administered via the SHEA Research Network to 133 hospitals.
A total of 89 surveys were completed (67% response rate). Overall, 60% of respondents defined HOB as a positive blood culture on or after hospital day 3. Central line-associated bloodstream infections and intra-abdominal infections were perceived as the most frequent etiologies. Moreover, 61% thought that most HOB events are preventable, and 54% viewed HOB as a measure reflecting a hospital’s quality of care. Also, 29% of respondents’ hospitals already collect HOB data for internal purposes. Given a choice to publicly report central-line–associated bloodstream infections (CLABSIs) and/or HOB, 57% favored reporting either HOB alone (22%) or in addition to CLABSI (35%) and 34% favored CLABSI alone.
Among the majority of SHEA Research Network respondents, HOB is perceived as preventable, reflective of quality of care, and potentially acceptable as a publicly reported quality metric. Further studies on HOB are needed, including validation as a quality measure, assessment of risk adjustment, and formation of evidence-based bundles and toolkits to facilitate measurement and improvement of HOB rates.
To investigate whether amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) identified with visual memory tests conveys an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease (risk-AD) and if the risk-AD differs from that associated with aMCI based on verbal memory tests.
4,771 participants aged 70.76 (SD = 6.74, 45.4% females) from five community-based studies, each a member of the international COSMIC consortium and from a different country, were classified as having normal cognition (NC) or one of visual, verbal, or combined (visual and verbal) aMCI using international criteria and followed for an average of 2.48 years. Hazard ratios (HR) and individual patient data (IPD) meta-analysis analyzed the risk-AD with age, sex, education, single/multiple domain aMCI, and Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores as covariates.
All aMCI groups (n = 760) had a greater risk-AD than NC (n = 4,011; HR range = 3.66 – 9.25). The risk-AD was not different between visual (n = 208, 17 converters) and verbal aMCI (n = 449, 29 converters, HR = 1.70, 95%CI: 0.88, 3.27, p = 0.111). Combined aMCI (n = 103, 12 converters, HR = 2.34, 95%CI: 1.13, 4.84, p = 0.023) had a higher risk-AD than verbal aMCI. Age and MMSE scores were related to the risk-AD. The IPD meta-analyses replicated these results, though with slightly lower HR estimates (HR range = 3.68, 7.43) for aMCI vs. NC.
Although verbal aMCI was most common, a significant proportion of participants had visual-only or combined visual and verbal aMCI. Compared with verbal aMCI, the risk-AD was the same for visual aMCI and higher for combined aMCI. Our results highlight the importance of including both verbal and visual memory tests in neuropsychological assessments to more reliably identify aMCI.
RV Tauri stars are luminous population II Cepheids which show a characteristic light curve of alternating deep and shallow minima. There are 126 RV Tauri variables in our Galaxy. Using WISE [3.4]-[4.6], - diagram we show that Galactic RV Tauri stars show three main types of IR properties in their SEDs; disc-type, non-IR and uncertain, which does not show a clear characteristic in the SED. We also show that there is a strong correlation between disc-type SED and binarity (Gezer et al. 2015). RV Tauri stars were linked to post AGB stars in early studies (Jura 1986), however, recent studies show that their evolutionary nature is more complex than previously thought (Kamath & Van Winckel 2014, and Manick et al. 2018). In this study, we intentionally selected two RV Tauri stars, GK Car (disc-type) and GZ Nor (uncertain), with different IR characteristics to compare their chemical and photometric properties.
We present ALMA band 7 data of the extreme OH/IR star, OH 26.5+0.6. In addition to lines of CO and its isotopologues, the circumstellar envelope also exhibits a number of emission lines due to metal-containing molecules, e.g., NaCl and KCl. A lack of C18O is expected, but a non-detection of C17O is puzzling given the strengths of H217O in Herschel spectra of the star. However, a line associated with Si17O is detected. We also report a tentative detection of a gas-phase emission line of MgS. The ALMA spectrum of this object reveals intriguing features which may be used to investigate chemical processes and dust formation during a high mass-loss phase.
Barium (Ba) stars form via mass-transfer in binary systems, and can subsequently interact with their white dwarf companion in a second stage of binary interaction. We used observations of main-sequence Ba systems as input for our evolutionary models, and try to reproduce the orbits of the Ba giants. We show that to explain short and sometimes eccentric orbits, additional interaction mechanisms are needed along the RGB.
We determine Zr and Nb elemental abundances in barium stars to probe the operation temperature of the s-process that occurred in the companion asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars. Along with Zr and Nb, we derive the abundances of a large number of heavy elements. They provide constraints on the s-process operation temperature and therefore on the s-process neutron source. The results are then compared with stellar evolution and nucleosynthesis models. We compare the nucleosynthetic profile of the present sample stars with those of CEMP-s, CEMP-rs and CEMP-r stars. One barium star of our sample is potentially identified as the highest-metallicity CEMP-rs star yet discovered.
Seed shape (SS) affects the yield and appearance of soybean seeds significantly. However, little detailed information has been reported about the quantitative trait loci (QTL) affecting SS, especially SS components such as seed length (SL), seed width (SW) and seed thickness (ST), and their mutual ratios of length-to-weight (SLW), length-to-thickness (SLT) and weight-to-thickness (SWT). The aim of the present study was to identify QTL underlying SS components using 129 recombinant inbred lines derived from a cross between Dongnong46 and L-100. Phenotypic data were collected from this population after it was grown across nine environments. A total of 213 simple sequence repeat markers were used to construct the genetic linkage map, which covered approximately 3623·39 cM, with an average distance of 17·01 cM between markers. Five QTL were identified as being associated with SL, five with SW, three with ST, four with SLW, two with SLT and three with SWT. These QTL could explain 1·46–22·16% of the phenotypic variation in SS component traits. Three QTL were identified in more than six tested environments three for SL, two for SW, one for ST, two for SLW and one for SLT. These QTL have great potential value for marker-assistant selection of SS in soybean seeds.
This study aimed to test the expression of maspin in invasive fungal rhinosinusitis and explore its value in diagnosing invasive fungal rhinosinusitis.
Forty-two fungal rhinosinusitis cases (12 invasive and 30 non-invasive) were selected as the experimental group, and 30 chronic rhinosinusitis cases comprised the control group. Maspin expression was assessed in nasal mucous membrane specimens by immunohistochemical staining.
Compared with the control group, maspin expression was down-regulated in the fungal rhinosinusitis group (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the staining score for maspin was lowest in the invasive fungal rhinosinusitis group, as compared with both the non-invasive fungal rhinosinusitis group and the control group (p < 0.05). A maspin staining score of 5.70 was the critical value for diagnosis of invasive fungal rhinosinusitis, with sensitivity and specificity of 91.7 per cent and 88.3 per cent, respectively.
The results of this study suggest that the maspin staining score may be a biomarker for effective and rapid diagnosis of invasive fungal rhinosinusitis.
This study aimed to evaluate subjective symptom changes in obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome patients following nasal surgery, and to explore treatment efficacy in improving patient quality of life.
Patients with nasal blockage accompanied by habitual snoring were stratified into four groups. Their subjective symptoms were evaluated before and after nasal surgery.
There was a significant decrease in the nasal blockage symptom visual analogue scale, Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Snore Outcomes Survey, Spouse/Bed Partners Survey and Sino-Nasal Outcome Test 20 scores for all patients at six months after surgery. The visual analogue scale score for subjective olfactory function was significantly improved in the severe obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome patient group.
Nasal surgery can effectively improve the subjective symptoms of patients with simple snoring accompanied by nasal blockage and of patients with obstructive sleep apnoea hypopnea syndrome, thus improving their quality of life.
This study investigated long-term survival outcomes in surgically treated oropharyngeal cancer patients with known human papilloma virus status.
A case note review was performed of all patients undergoing primary surgery for oropharyngeal cancer in a single centre over a 10-year period. Human papilloma virus status was determined via dual modality testing. Associations between clinicopathological variables and survival were identified using a log-rank test.
Of the 107 cases in the study, 40 per cent (n = 41) were human papilloma virus positive. The positive and negative predictive values of p16 immunohistochemistry for human papilloma virus status were 57 per cent and 100 per cent, respectively. At a mean follow up of 59.5 months, 5-year overall and disease-specific survival estimates were 78 per cent and 69 per cent, respectively. Human papilloma virus status (p = 0.014), smoking status (p = 0.021) and tumour stage (p = 0.03) were significant prognostic indicators.
The long-term survival rates in surgically treated oropharyngeal cancer patients were comparable to other studies. Variables including human papilloma virus status and tumour stage were associated with survival in patients treated with primary surgery; however, nodal stage and presence of extracapsular spread were non-prognostic.
Phosphatidylinositol-3 kinases (PI3K)-Protein kinase B (Akt)-mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway plays an important role in the synthesis and secretion of triacylglycerol. However, the mechanism of PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway in regulating lipid metabolism of goose liver was poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to determine how PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway regulating lipid metabolic homeostasis in goose hepatocytes. Goose primary hepatocytes were treated with different PI3K-Akt-mTOR signal inhibitors (LY294002, rapamycin and NVP-BEZ235) for 24 h. The results showed that these inhibitors evidently inhibited PI3K-Akt-mTOR downstream signaling. Meanwhile, these PI3K-Akt-mTOR inhibitors reduced intracellular lipid accumulation, decreased the mRNA expression and protein content of genes involved in the de novo fatty acid synthesis, while increased the transcriptional and protein level of key factors involved in fatty acid oxidation and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) assembly and secretion. Conclusion: These findings suggested that the reduction of lipids accumulation induced-by inhibiting PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway was closely linked to the decrease of lipogenesis, the increase of fatty acids oxidation, and the increase of VLDL assembly and secretion in goose hepatocytes.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common, highly heritable psychiatric disorder. Additionally, environmental factors such as perinatal stress and early adversities contribute to the occurrence and severity of ADHD. Recently, DNA methylation has emerged as a mechanism that potentially mediates gene–environmental interaction effects in the aetiology and phenomenology of psychiatric disorders. Here, we investigated whether serotonin transporter gene (SLC6A4) methylation patterns were associated with clinical characteristics and regional cortical thickness in children with ADHD.
In 102 children with ADHD (age 6–15 years), the methylation status of the SLC6A4 promoter was measured. Brain magnetic resonance imaging was obtained and ADHD symptoms were evaluated.
A higher methylation status of the SLC6A4 promoter was significantly associated with worse clinical presentations (more hyperactive-impulsive symptoms and more commission errors). Additionally, a negative correlation was observed between SLC6A4 methylation levels and cortical thickness values in the right occipito-temproral regions.
Our results suggest that the SLC6A4 methylation status may be associated with certain symptoms of ADHD, such as behavioural disinhibition, and related brain changes. Future studies that use a larger sample size and a control group are required to corroborate these results.