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The emphasis on team science in clinical and translational research increases the importance of collaborative biostatisticians (CBs) in healthcare. Adequate training and development of CBs ensure appropriate conduct of robust and meaningful research and, therefore, should be considered as a high-priority focus for biostatistics groups. Comprehensive training enhances clinical and translational research by facilitating more productive and efficient collaborations. While many graduate programs in Biostatistics and Epidemiology include training in research collaboration, it is often limited in scope and duration. Therefore, additional training is often required once a CB is hired into a full-time position. This article presents a comprehensive CB training strategy that can be adapted to any collaborative biostatistics group. This strategy follows a roadmap of the biostatistics collaboration process, which is also presented. A TIE approach (Teach the necessary skills, monitor the Implementation of these skills, and Evaluate the proficiency of these skills) was developed to support the adoption of key principles. The training strategy also incorporates a “train the trainer” approach to enable CBs who have successfully completed training to train new staff or faculty.
A wealth of research documents the rise of affective polarization, or the increasing disdain for the out-party in American politics. In this paper, we analyze ANES data from 1988 to 2016 to investigate the contribution of core value polarization to the phenomenon of out-party enmity. We find that greater differences in fundamental principles relate significantly to emotionally intense evaluations of the opposing party and its candidates, as well as the ideological out-group, independent of issue attitude extremity and the strength of one's partisan and ideological identities. Moreover, ANES panel data from 1992 to 1996 reveal that past value extremity promotes future affective polarization. These results are important for our understanding of the nature and extent of value-based polarization in American politics.
Recent work on political divisions in the mass public has identified several manifestations of polarization linked to different types of attitudes, orientations, and behaviors. Of these, affective polarization and perceived polarization have attracted increasing attention, though we still know fairly little of the links between these variants of polarization. In this paper, we examine the association between affective and perceived polarization, with an aim toward disentangling any potential causal relationship between the two processes. Using two sets of nationally representative panel data from 1992 to 1996 and 2008 to 2009, we find evidence that affective polarization causes perceived polarization, and that perceived polarization is not related to future affective polarization. Stratifying the models by level of political information, we find that the strength and statistical significance of the relationships between past and future values of affective and perceived polarization are conditional on political sophistication: more sophisticated individuals exhibit stronger relationships.
This study examined the effectiveness of a formal postdoctoral education program designed to teach skills in clinical and translational science, using scholar publication rates as a measure of research productivity.
Participants included 70 clinical fellows who were admitted to a master’s or certificate training program in clinical and translational science from 1999 to 2015 and 70 matched control peers. The primary outcomes were the number of publications 5 years post-fellowship matriculation and time to publishing 15 peer-reviewed manuscripts post-matriculation.
Clinical and translational science program graduates published significantly more peer-reviewed manuscripts at 5 years post-matriculation (median 8 vs 5, p=0.041) and had a faster time to publication of 15 peer-reviewed manuscripts (matched hazard ratio = 2.91, p=0.002). Additionally, program graduates’ publications yielded a significantly higher average H-index (11 vs. 7, p=0.013).
These findings support the effectiveness of formal training programs in clinical and translational science by increasing academic productivity.
While research on conspiracy theories and those who believe them has recently undergone a renaissance, there still exists a great deal of uncertainty about the measurement of conspiratorial beliefs and orientations, and the consequences of a conspiratorial mindset for expressly political attitudes and behaviors. We first demonstrate, using data from the 2012 American National Election Study, that beliefs in a variety of specific conspiracy theories are simultaneously, but differentially, the product of both a general tendency toward conspiratorial thinking and left/right political orientations. Next, we employ unique data including a general measure of conspiratorial thinking to explore the predictors of specific conspiracy beliefs. We find that partisan and ideological self-identifications are more important than any other variable in predicting ‘birther’ beliefs, while conspiratorial thinking is most important in predicting conspiracy beliefs about the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The correlation between ideology and partisanship in the mass public has increased in recent decades amid a climate of persistent and growing elite polarization. Given that core values shape subsequent political predispositions, as well as the demonstrated asymmetry of elite polarization, this article hypothesizes that egalitarianism and moral traditionalism moderate the relationship between ideology and partisanship in that the latter relationship will have increased over time only among individuals who maintain conservative value orientations. An analysis of pooled American National Election Studies surveys from 1988 to 2012 supports this hypothesis. The results enhance scholarly understanding of the role of core values in shaping mass belief systems and testify to the asymmetric nature and mass public reception of elite cues among liberals and conservatives.
The hepatitis E virus (HEV) has been described in humans and various animal species in different regions of the world. However, the knowledge on natural HEV infection in non-human primates and the corresponding risk of zoonotic transmission is scarce. To determine whether primates in captivity are affected by HEV infection, we investigated 259 individual sera of clinically healthy non-human primates of 14 species from nine German zoos. Using a commercial double-antigen-sandwich ELISA and a commercial IgG ELISA, 10 animals (3·9%) reacted positive in at least one assay. Three ape species and one Old World monkey species were among the seropositive animals: bonobo (Pan paniscus), gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla), lar gibbon (Hylobates lar) and drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus). Testing for anti-HEV-IgM antibodies by commercial ELISA and for viral RNA by reverse-transcription real-time polymerase chain reaction resulted in negative results for all animals indicating the absence of acute HEV infections. In the past, no clinical signs of hepatitis were recorded for the seropositive animals. The results suggest that non-human primates in zoos can get naturally and subclinically infected with HEV or related hepeviruses. Future studies should evaluate potential sources and transmission routes of these infections and their impact on human health.
It is increasingly essential for medical researchers to be literate in statistics, but the requisite degree of literacy is not the same for every statistical competency in translational research. Statistical competency can range from ‘fundamental’ (necessary for all) to ‘specialized’ (necessary for only some). In this study, we determine the degree to which each competency is fundamental or specialized.
We surveyed members of 4 professional organizations, targeting doctorally trained biostatisticians and epidemiologists who taught statistics to medical research learners in the past 5 years. Respondents rated 24 educational competencies on a 5-point Likert scale anchored by ‘fundamental’ and ‘specialized.’
There were 112 responses. Nineteen of 24 competencies were fundamental. The competencies considered most fundamental were assessing sources of bias and variation (95%), recognizing one’s own limits with regard to statistics (93%), identifying the strengths, and limitations of study designs (93%). The least endorsed items were meta-analysis (34%) and stopping rules (18%).
We have identified the statistical competencies needed by all medical researchers. These competencies should be considered when designing statistical curricula for medical researchers and should inform which topics are taught in graduate programs and evidence-based medicine courses where learners need to read and understand the medical research literature.
We estimate a number of macroeconomic variables as logistic smooth transition autoregressive (LSTAR) processes with uncertainty as the transition variable. The notion is that the effects of increases in uncertainty should not be symmetrical with the effects of decreases in uncertainty. Nonlinear estimation allows us to answer several interesting questions left unanswered by a linear model. For a number of important macroeconomic variables, we show that (i) a positive shock to uncertainty has a greater effect than a negative shock and (ii) the effect of the uncertainty shock is highly dependent on the state of the economy. Hence, the usual linear estimates for the consequences of uncertainty are underestimated in circumstances such as the recent financial crisis.
Novel and more conventional boron carbides were combined with n-type silicon to make heterojunction diodes, with neutron capture signal at zero applied bias. The boron carbides were based on the cross linking of closo-1,2-dicarbadodecaborane (ortho-carborane; 1,2-B10C2H12), and cross linking based on the combination of closo-1,2-dicarbadodecaborane (ortho-carborane; 1,2- B10C2H12) and pyridine. In the latter devices, pyridine concentration was varied; samples with a closo-1,2-dicarbadodecaborane (ortho-carborane; 1,2- B10C2H12) to pyridine ratio of 1:1 (BC:Py1) and 1:3 (BC:Py3). The result is a nonvolatile robust p-type semiconductor of boron carbide (B10C2Hx):(C5NHx)y. The I(V) curves for the resulting heterojunction diodes exhibit strong rectification where the normalized reverse bias leakage currents are largely unperturbed with increasing pyridine inclusion. The devices are largely gamma insensitive and yet neutron voltaic properties of these boron carbides is demonstrated. The neutron capture generated pulses from these heterojunction diodes were obtained at zero bias voltage although without the characteristic signatures of complete charge collection from boron neutron capture generated electron-hole pair production. These results, nonetheless, suggest that modifications to boron carbide may result in better neutron voltaic materials with linking groups chosen from family of aromatic compounds that stretch between borazine (B3N3H6) and benzene that point the way to a whole family of future studies that may ultimately lead to boron carbides better suited to low power and low flux neutron detection.
Rubberlike insect cuticle is a light fibrous composite, which exhibits great deformability and long-range elasticity due to the presence of a large amount of the elastomeric protein resilin. The presence of resilin in specific locations in the insect body leads to the assumption that its main function is loss-free storage of energy. Rubberlike cuticle was identified, for the first time, in the femur base of the sand field cricket, Gryllus firmus, using fluorescence microscopy and various staining methods. Dynamic nanoindentation testing was then used to investigate the differences in the mechanical properties of rubberlike cuticle between males and females and wing morphs of this species. Significant changes in storage, loss moduli, and resilience were captured between female wing morphs. The results provide insight into the structure–function relations associated with the properties of insect joints from different morphs and genders.
Two-Photon initiated polymerization (TPIP) has shown great promise for fabrication of complex micro- and nano-structures. The method has been used to fabricate such structures over small areas (< 1 mm2) because of slow fabrication speeds and resulting long fabrication times. In order for TPIP to reach practical application in a commercial setting fabrication times need to be reduced by orders of magnitude. We report results on a highly photosensitive initiation system for photoresists based on free radical and cationic polymerization, where photosensitivity is increased 102- to 103-fold compared to previously reported photoinitiation systems. Threshold writing speeds are determined for critical exposure conditions, including laser power, type and concentration of photoinitiation system, and photoresist type. Surface roughness, a critical parameter in applications such as optics and microfluidics, for example, is also used to determine threshold writing speed. The utility of the approach is demonstrated by making a cell phone keypad light guide from a microreplication tool fabricated using the highly photosensitive photoresist.
It is investigated how figures of merits of nanocomposites are affected by structural and interaction length scales. Aside from macroscopic effects without characteristic lengths scales and atomic-scale quantum-mechanical interactions there are nanoscale interactions that reflect a competition between different energy contributions. We consider three systems, namely dielectric media, carbon-black reinforced rubbers and magnetic composites. In all cases, it is relatively easy to determine effective materials constants, which do not involve specific length scales. Nucleation and breakdown phenomena tend to occur on a nanoscale and yield a logarithmic dependence of figures of merit on the macroscopic system size. Essential system-specific differences arise because figures of merits are generally nonlinear energy integrals. Furthermore, different physical interactions yield different length scales. For example, the interaction in magnetic hard-soft composites reflects the competition between relativistic anisotropy and nonrelativistic exchange interactions, but such hierarchies of interactions are more difficult to establish in mechanical polymer composites and dielectrics.
Changes in the cardiac β-adrenergic system in early stages of Trypanosoma cruzi infection have been described. Here, we studied an early (135 days post-infection–p.i.) and a late stage (365 days p.i.) of the cardiac chronic form of the experimental infection (Tulahuen or SGO-Z12 strains), determining plasma epinephrine and norepinephrine levels, β-receptor density, affinity and function, cardiac cAMP concentration and phosphodiesterase activity, cardiac contractility, and the presence of β-receptor autoantibodies. Tulahuen-infected mice presented lower epinephrine and norepinephrine levels; lower β-receptor affinity and density; a diminished norepinephrine response and higher cAMP levels in the early stage, and a basal contractility similar to non-infected controls in the early and augmented in the late stage. The Tulahuen strain induced autoantibodies with weak β-receptor interaction. SGO-Z12-infected mice presented lower norepinephrine levels and epinephrine levels that diminished with the evolution of the infection; lower β-receptor affinity and an increased density; unchanged epinephrine and norepinephrine response in the early and a diminished response in the late stage; higher cAMP levels and unchanged basal contractility. The SGO-Z12 isolate induced β-receptor autoantibodies with strong interaction with the β-receptors. None of the antibodies, however, acted a as β-receptor agonist. The present results demonstrate that this system is seriously compromised in the cardiac chronic stage of T. cruzi infection.
This investigation was undertaken to provide detailed information on the epidemiology of human parvovirus B19 (B19) infection during pregnancy and childhood in the western part of Germany. Between 1997 and 2004, 40 517 sera from pregnant women aged 17–45 years and 6060 sera from children and young adults were tested for B19 IgG and IgM in our laboratory. In pregnant women, both the history of a ‘specific’ (OR 7·7, 95% CI 5·2–11·4) and a ‘non-specific’ rash (OR 3·3, 95% CI 1·5–7·1) was predictive for B19 IgM positivity. The B19 IgG prevalence was 69·2% (4097/5924) in a subgroup of asymptomatic pregnant women screened for B19 antibodies. In children, the age-specific IgG-positivity rate increased from 12·2% (66/541) at 2 years of age to 71·9% (396/551) in those older than 10 years. In conclusion, the prevalence of B19 IgG in pregnant women from the western part of Germany is higher then previously reported. Contact with children aged 3–10 years is a major risk factor for exposure to B19. Pregnant women with the history of a ‘non-specific’ rash should also be evaluated for acute B19 infection.
In this paper a critical comparison of different kinds of surface metrological methods like atomic force microscopy (AFM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and optical interferometric profilometry is made, as well as analytical investigations based on both Hertz and Sneddon theories of pure elastic contact, to qualify the real indenter shape function. The results obtained show the advantages and disadvantages of the respective methods by describing a rounded indenter tip.
The lattice site of H/D atoms in silicon doped with B and 111In atoms is investigated using the ion channeling and perturbed γγ angular correlation (PAC) technique. The results indicate that at 295 K the antibonding site is occupied by H/D and that this site is easily transformed into a near tetrahedral site under the influence of an analyzing ion beam. Based on PAC results, the population of a second site, possibly a bond-center site, is expected at low temperatures.
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