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A piezoelectric biomedical microelectromechanical system (bioMEMS) cantilever device was designed and fabricated to act as either a sensing element for muscle tissue contraction or as an actuator to apply mechanical force to cells. The sensing ability of the piezoelectric cantilevers was shown by monitoring the electrical signal generated from the piezoelectric aluminum nitride in response to the contraction of iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes cultured on the piezoelectric cantilevers. Actuation was demonstrated by applying electrical pulses to the piezoelectric cantilever and observing bending via an optical detection method. This piezoelectric cantilever device was designed to be incorporated into body-on-a-chip systems.
Despite trends towards greater LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) rights in industrialized democracies, the rights of sexual minorities have become increasingly politicized and restricted throughout Africa. Recognizing religion's central role in shaping attitudes toward gays and lesbians, we hypothesize that local religious diversity could expose individuals to alternative religious perspectives, engender tolerance toward marginalized communities, and therefore dislodge dogmatic beliefs about social issues. Employing cross-national Afrobarometer survey data from 33 countries with an index of district-level religious concentration, we find that respondents living in religiously pluralistic communities are 4–5 points more likely to express tolerance of homosexual neighbors (50% increase) compared to those in homogeneous locales. This effect is not driven by outlier countries, the existence of specific religious affiliations within diverse communities, respondents' religiosity, or other observable and latent factors at the country, sub-national, district, and individual level. Further robustness checks address potential threats to validity. We conclude that religious diversity can foster inclusion of sexual minorities in Africa.
Research participants want to receive results from studies in which they participate. However, health researchers rarely share the results of their studies beyond scientific publication. Little is known about the barriers researchers face in returning study results to participants.
Using a mixed-methods design, health researchers (N = 414) from more than 40 US universities were asked about barriers to providing results to participants. Respondents were recruited from universities with Clinical and Translational Science Award programs and Prevention Research Centers.
Respondents reported the percent of their research where they experienced each of the four barriers to disseminating results to participants: logistical/methodological, financial, systems, and regulatory. A fifth barrier, investigator capacity, emerged from data analysis. Training for research faculty and staff, promotion and tenure incentives, and funding agencies supporting dissemination of results to participants were solutions offered to overcoming barriers.
Study findings add to literature on research dissemination by documenting health researchers’ perceived barriers to sharing study results with participants. Implications for policy and practice suggest that additional resources and training could help reduce dissemination barriers and increase the return of results to participants.
The electron-pro be analyzer has been developed in a period of thirteen years to a point where several different instruments are commercially available and about one hundred are already in use. At the present time it is possible to analyze volumes of about 1 μ3 at the surface of a specimen for elements above sodium in the periodic table with a concentration sensitivity of the order of 0.1-0.01%. New developments in the field include efforts to extend the range of Z to lower atomic numbers and to increase the spatial resolution of the method so that smaller volumes niay be analyzed. Progress in the analysis of the light elements centers at present mainly on the use of nondispersive detectors and. computer techniques for the resolution of overlapping pulse-height distributions. With such methods qualitative detection of elements down to beryllium has been achieved in the presence of their near neighbors. Efforts to increase the spatial resolution of the probe have led to the use of thin specimens which are partially transparent to electrons. Partly as a consequence of this approach, apparatus has been developed in which an electron microscope with facilities for selected area diffraction has been combined with an electron-probe analyser. The ever-widening range of application of the electron-pro be technique has inevitably disclosed problems in the interpretation of quantitative data, and it is clear that at the present time more information on the process of X-ray production by electrons is required before semi-empirical methods can be entirely eliminated. Examples of the use of the method in metallurgical and mineralogical studies illustrate some of the current trends in the refinement of measurement technique and interpretation of experimental data.
Fine focus X-ray tubes developed for projection X-ray microscopy can also be used for X-ray micro-analysis. Areas about 10 microns in diameter of thin sections have been analyzed by measuring differences in X-ray transmission, with particular reference to the determination of calcium in biological materials and in minerals. The high intensity of this X-ray point source has permitted micro-fluorescence analysis of similar small areas with high sensitivity and reasonable time. The same electron optical system has been used for micro-emission analysis of rock slices and mineral grains. By scanning the electron beam over the specimen surface and recording either the scattered electrons or the emitted X-rays, a two-dimensional picture can be displayed of the physical features or of the distribution of a particular element respectively. The analysis of a selected, volume of 1 cubic micron in the surface has been obtained by plotting the characteristic line emission spectrum with a crystal spectrometer and proportional counter. The sensitivity is 0. 1% or 10−1 gram. Micro-beam X-ray diffraction has also been used with a stationary X-ray source both for transmission and back reflection with a 10 minute exposure from a 10 micron diameter area.
Discrete episodes of overconsumption may induce a positive energy balance and impair metabolic control. However, the effects of an ecologically relevant, single day of balanced macronutrient overfeeding are unknown. Twelve healthy men (of age 22 (sd 2) years, BMI 26·1 (sd 4·2) kg/m2) completed two 28 h, single-blind experimental trials. In a counterbalanced repeated measures design, participants either consumed their calculated daily energy requirements (energy balance trial (EB): 10 755 (sd 593) kJ) or were overfed by 50 % (overfeed trial (OF): 16 132 (sd 889) kJ) under laboratory supervision. Participants returned to the laboratory the next day, after an overnight fast, to complete a mixed-meal tolerance test (MTT). Appetite was not different between trials during day 1 (P>0·211) or during the MTT in the fasted or postprandial state (P>0·507). Accordingly, plasma acylated ghrelin, total glucagon-like peptide-1 and total peptide YY concentrations did not differ between trials during the MTT (all P>0·335). Ad libitum energy intake, assessed upon completion of the MTT, did not differ between trials (EB 6081 (sd 2260) kJ; OF 6182 (sd 1960) kJ; P=0·781). Plasma glucose and insulin concentrations were not different between trials (P>0·715). Fasted NEFA concentrations were lower in OF compared with EB (P=0·005), and TAG concentrations increased to a greater extent on OF than on EB during the MTT (P=0·009). The absence of compensatory changes in appetite-related variables after 1 d of mixed macronutrient overfeeding highlights the limited physiological response to defend against excess energy intake. This supports the concept that repeated discrete episodes of overconsumption may promote weight gain, while elevations in postprandial lipaemia may increase CVD risk.
We used pollen and high-resolution charcoal analysis of lake sediment to reconstruct a 7600 yr vegetation and fire history from Anthony Lake, located in the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon. From 7300 to 6300 cal yr BP, the forest was composed primarily of Populus, and fire was common, indicating warm, dry conditions. From 6300 to 3000 cal yr BP, Populus declined as Pinus and Picea increased in abundance and fire became less frequent, suggesting a shift to cooler, wetter conditions. From 3000 cal yr BP to present, modern-day forests composed of Pinus and Abies developed, and from 1650 cal yr BP to present, fires increased. We utilized the modern climate-analogue approach to explain the potential synoptic climatological processes associated with regional fire. The results indicate that years with high fire occurrence experience positive 500 mb height anomalies centered over the Great Basin, with anomalous southerly component of flow delivering dry air into the region and with associated sinking motions to further suppress precipitation. It is possible that such conditions became more common over the last 1650 cal yr BP, supporting an increase in fire despite the shift to more mesic conditions.
Global climate change poses significant threats to the Caribbean islands. Yet, little is known about the long-term disturbance regimes in island ecosystems. This research investigates 2000 yr of natural and anthropogenic fire disturbance through the analysis of a latitudinal transect of sediment records from coastal salt ponds in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). The two research objectives in this study are (1) to determine the fire regime history for the BVI over the last 2000 yr and (2) to explore ecological impacts from anthropogenic landscape modification pre- and post-European settlement. The magnitude of anthropogenic landscape modification, including the introduction of agriculture, was investigated through a multiproxy approach using sedimentary records of fossil pollen and charcoal. Our results suggest fire regimes from Belmont Pond, Thatch Island, and Skeleton Pond have been influenced by human activity, particularly during the postsettlement era, from 500 cal yr BP to modern. Our results suggest that fire regimes during the Medieval Climate Anomaly were responding to changes in climate via dominant atmospheric drivers. The presettlement fire regimes from these islands suggest that fires occurred every 90 to 120 yr. This research represents a significant data contribution to a region with little disturbance and vegetation data available.
Bowel cancer risk is strongly influenced by lifestyle factors including diet and physical activity. Several studies have investigated the effects of adherence to the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF)/American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) cancer prevention recommendations on outcomes such as all-cause and cancer-specific mortality, but the relationships with molecular mechanisms that underlie the effects on bowel cancer risk are unknown. This study aimed to investigate the relationships between adherence to the WCRF/AICR cancer prevention recommendations and wingless/integrated (WNT)-pathway-related markers of bowel cancer risk, including the expression of WNT pathway genes and regulatory microRNA (miRNA), secreted frizzled-related protein 1 (SFRP1) methylation and colonic crypt proliferative state in colorectal mucosal biopsies. Dietary and lifestyle data from seventy-five healthy participants recruited as part of the DISC Study were used. A scoring system was devised including seven of the cancer prevention recommendations and smoking status. The effects of total adherence score and scores for individual recommendations on the measured outcomes were assessed using Spearman’s rank correlation analysis and unpaired t tests, respectively. Total adherence score correlated negatively with expression of Myc proto-oncogene (c-MYC) (P=0·039) and WNT11 (P=0·025), and high adherers had significantly reduced expression of cyclin D1 (CCND1) (P=0·042), WNT11 (P=0·012) and c-MYC (P=0·048). Expression of axis inhibition protein 2 (AXIN2), glycogen synthase kinase (GSK3β), catenin β1 (CTNNB1) and WNT11 and of the oncogenic miRNA miR-17 and colonic crypt kinetics correlated significantly with scores for individual recommendations, including body fatness, red meat intake, plant food intake and smoking status. The findings from this study provide evidence for positive effects of adherence to the WCRF/AICR cancer prevention recommendations on WNT-pathway-related markers of bowel cancer risk.
Introduction: ex-specific diagnostic cutoffs may improve the test characteristics of high-sensitivity troponin assays for the diagnosis of myocardial infarction. Sex-specific cutoffs for ruling in MI improve the sensitivity of the assay for MI among women, and improve the specificity of diagnosis among men. We hypothesized that the use of sex-specific high-sensitivity Troponin T (hsTnT) cutoffs for ruling out MI at the time of ED arrival would improve the classification efficiency of the assay by enabling more patients to have MI ruled out at the time of ED arrival while maintaining diagnostic sensitivity. The objective of this study was to quantify the test characteristics of sex-specific cutoffs of an hsTnT assay for acute myocardial infarction (AMI) when performed at ED arrival in patients with chest pain. Methods: This retrospective study included consecutive ED patients with suspected cardiac chest pain evaluated in four urban EDs were, excluding those with ST-elevation AMI, cardiac arrest or abnormal kidney function. The primary outcomes was AMI at 7 days. Secondary outcomes included major adverse cardiac events (MACE: all-cause mortality, AMI and revascularization) and the individual MACE components. We quantified test characteristics (sensitivity, negative predictive value, likelihood ratios and proportion of patients ruled out) for multiple combinations of sex-specific rule-out cutoffs. We calculated net reclassification improvement compared to universal rule-out cutoffs of 5ng/L (the assays limit of detection) and 6ng/L (the FDA-approved limit of quantitation for US laboratories). Results: 7130 patients, including 3931 men and 3199 women, were included. The 7-day incidence of AMI was 7.38% among men and 3.78% among women. Universal cutoffs of 5 and 6 ng/L ruled out AMI with 99.7% sensitivity in 33.6 and 42.2% of patients. The best-performing combination of sex-specific cutoffs (8g/L for men and 6ng/L for men) ruled out AMI with 98.7% sensitivity in 51.9% of patients. Conclusion: Sex-specific hsTnT cutoffs for ruling out AMI at ED arrival may achieve substantial improvement in classification performance, enabling more patients to be ruled out at ED arrival, while maintaining acceptable diagnostic sensitivity for AMI. Universal and sex-specific rule-out cutoffs differ by only small changes in hsTnT concentration. Therefore, these findings should be confirmed in other datasets.
Introduction: Patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are at high risk of cardiovascular events, and have worse outcomes following acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Cardiac troponin is often elevated in CKD, making the diagnosis of AMI challenging in this population. We sought to quantify test characteristics for AMI of a high-sensitivity troponin T (hsTnT) assay performed at emergency department (ED) arrival in CKD patients with chest pain, and to derive rule-out cutoffs specific to patient subgroups stratified by estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). We also quantified the sensitivity and classification performance of the assays limit of detection (5 ng/L) and the FDA-approved limit of quantitation (6 ng/L) for ruling out AMI at ED arrival. Methods: Consecutive patients in four urban EDs from the 2013 calendar year with suspected cardiac chest pain who had a Roche Elecsys hsTnT assay performed on arrival were included f. This analysis was restricted to patients with an eGFR< 60 ml/min/1.73m2. The primary outcome was 7-day AMI. Secondary outcomes included major adverse cardiac events (death, AMI and revascularization). Test characteristics were calculated and ROC curves were generated for eGFR subgroups. Results: 1416 patients were included. 7-day AMI incidence was 10.1%. 73% of patients had an initial hsTnT concentration greater than the assays 99th percentile (14 ng/L). TCurrently accepted cutoffs to rule out MI at ED arrival ( 5 ng/L and 6 ng/L) had 100% sensitivity for AMI, but no patients with an eGFR less than 30 ml/min/1.73M had hsTnT concentrations below these thresholds. We derived eGFR-adjusted cutoffs to rule out MI with sensitivity >98% at ED arrival, which were able to rule out 6-42% of patients, depending on eGFR category. The proportion of patients able to be accurately ruled-in with a single hsTnT assay was substantially lower among patients with an eGFR <30 ml/min/1.73m2 (6-20% vs 25-43%). We also derived eGFR-adjusted cutoffs to rule-in AMI with specificity >90%, which accurately ruled-in up to 18% of patients. Conclusion: Cutoffs achieving acceptable diagnostic performance for AMI using single hsTnT sampling on ED arrival may have limited clinical utility, particularly among patients with very low eGFR. The ideal diagnostic strategy for AMI in patients with CKD likely involves serial high-sensitivity troponin testing with diagnostic thresholds customized to different eGFR categories.
The cathodo-luminescence of minerals in thin sections of rocks has been examined with the aid of an electron-probe microanalyser and also with a simple electron source producing an unfocused beam. Experimental details of the technique are briefly described and colour photographs, taken at a primary magnification of 30 times, are included. The observed variations in colour and intensity of luminescence are interpreted in the light of electron-probe and spectrochemical determinations of trace elements. Applications of the technique are discussed.
A preliminary account is given of an optical and electron-microprobe investigation into the pyroxene relations of Hawaiian hypersthene-bearing lavas. It is shown that the clinopyroxene jackets to the phenocryst hypersthenes consist of strongly zoned augite, not pigeonite as formerly believed; the compositional range of this pyroxene is approximately the same as that of the groundmass augite phase. Groundmass pyroxene relations are complex; in one case two distinct pyroxene phases, augite and pigeonite occur, in the other all compositions lying between augite and pigeonite are encountered.
To examine the impacts of Seattle’s minimum wage ordinance on food prices by food processing category.
Supermarket food prices were collected for 106 items using a University of Washington Center for Public Health Nutrition market basket at affected and unaffected supermarket chain stores at three times: March 2015 (1-month pre-policy enactment), May 2015 (1-month post-policy enactment) and May 2016 (1-year post-policy enactment). Food items were categorized into four food processing groups, from minimally to ultra-processed. Data were analysed across time using a multilevel, linear difference-in-differences model at the store and price level stratified by level of food processing.
Six large supermarket chain stores located in Seattle (‘intervention’) affected by the policy and six same-chain but unaffected stores in King County (‘control’), Washington, USA.
One hundred and six food and beverage items.
The largest change in average price by food item was +$US 0·53 for ‘processed foods’ in King County between 1-month post-policy and 1-year post-policy enactment (P < 0·01). The smallest change was $US 0·00 for ‘unprocessed or minimally processed foods’ in Seattle between 1-month post-policy and 1-year post-policy enactment (P = 0·94). No significant changes in averaged chain prices were observed across food processing level strata in Seattle v. King County stores at 1-month or 1-year post-policy enactment.
Supermarket food prices do not appear to be differentially impacted by Seattle’s minimum wage ordinance by level of the food’s processing. These results suggest that the early implementation of a city-level minimum wage policy does not alter supermarket food prices by level of food processing.
To observe the five-year efficacy of standardised specific subcutaneous immunotherapy for house dust mite allergy in monosensitised and polysensitised children with persistent allergic rhinitis.
From January 2007 to August 2009, 236 children with persistent allergic rhinitis were divided into 2 groups: 1 group received standardised specific subcutaneous immunotherapy using house dust mite extract; the other received pharmacotherapy with intranasal corticosteroids and oral antihistamines. A total of 193 patients (106 in the immunotherapy group and 87 in the pharmacotherapy group) completed treatment. Scores for symptoms, total medication and quality of life were evaluated.
The subcutaneous immunotherapy group demonstrated a significant reduction in visual analogue scale scores, Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire scores and total medication scores (p < 0.05) compared with the pharmacotherapy group. No significant differences in the visual analogue scale and Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire scores were found between the polysensitised and monosensitised subgroups (p > 0.05). No serious adverse events occurred.
Standardised subcutaneous immunotherapy has long-term efficacy for children with persistent allergic rhinitis. Single-allergen subcutaneous immunotherapy was appropriate for allergic rhinitis caused by multiple allergens, including house dust mites, in the paediatric population.
We consider pressure-driven flow of an ion-carrying viscous Newtonian fluid through a non-uniformly shaped channel coated with a charged deformable porous layer, as a model for blood flow through microvessels that are lined with an endothelial glycocalyx layer (EGL). The EGL is negatively charged and electrically interacts with ions dissolved in the blood plasma. The focus here is on the interplay between electrochemical effects, and the pressure-driven flow through the microvessel. To analyse these effects we use triphasic mixture theory (TMT) which describes the coupled dynamics of the fluid phase, the elastic EGL, ion transport within the fluid and electric fields within the microvessel. The resulting equations are solved numerically using a coupled boundary–finite element method (BEM-FEM) scheme. However, in the physiological regime considered here, ion concentrations and electric potentials vary rapidly over a thin transitional region (Debye layer) that straddles the lumen–EGL interface, which is difficult to resolve numerically. Accordingly we analyse this region asymptotically, to determine effective jump conditions across the interface for BEM-FEM computations within the bulk EGL/lumen. Our results demonstrate that ion–EGL electrical interactions can influence the near-wall flow, causing it to become reversed. This alters the stresses exerted upon the vessel wall, which has implications for the hypothesised role of the EGL as a transmitter of mechanical signals from the blood flow to the endothelial vessel surface.
The effects of soluble fiber inclusion in gestation diets with varying fermentation characteristics (fermentation kinetics and short-chain fatty acids (SCFA)-profile) on lactational feed intake of sows and their piglet growth over two parities were investigated using an in vitro–in vivo methodology. After breeding, 90 multiparous Landrace sows were randomized to one of three experimental diets: the control (CON) diet, konjac flour (KF) diet or sugar beet pulp (SBP) diet. All diets had similar levels of net energy, CP, insoluble fiber and NDF, but KF and SBP diets had higher soluble fiber levels than the CON diet. During gestation, the sows were restrictively fed with three different diets, but during lactation, all the sows were similarly fed ad libitum. The three gestation diets were enzymatically hydrolyzed using pepsin and pancreatin, and enzymolyzed residues were used in in vitro fermentation. Gas and SCFA production were monitored during fermentation. After fermentation, enzymolyzed residues of KF or SBP diets resulted in higher final asymptotic gas volume than those of the CON diet. The enzymolyzed residues of KF diet were mainly part of rapidly fermented fractions, whereas those of SBP diet were mainly part of slowly fermented fractions. In addition, the acetic acid, butyric acid and total SCFA concentrations of enzymolyzed residues of KF diet were higher (P<0.01) than the control and SBP diets. In the in vivo studies, on day 90 of gestation, the KF diet sows had higher plasma SCFA concentration (P<0.05) at 4 h after feeding than the CON diet sows. Furthermore, the KF diet sows had lower plasma free fatty acid (FFA) concentration (P<0.01) at 4 h after feeding, and a lower value of homeostasis model assessment (HOMA)-insulin resistance (P<0.05), but a higher value of HOMA-insulin sensitivity (P<0.01). The KF diet sows also consumed more feed during lactation (P<0.01) and weaned significantly heavier pigs (P<0.01) than the CON diet sows. The overall results showed that the high fermentation capacity KF diet contributed to an increased lactational feed intake and improved performance of piglets in the second reproductive cycle.