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The requirements on validity for studies in design research are very high. Therefore, this paper aims at identifying challenges that occur when setting up studies and suggests solution strategies to address them. Three different institutes combining their experience discussed several studies in a workshop. Resulting main challenges are to find a suitable task, to operationalise the variables and to deal with a high analysis effort per participant. Automation in data evaluation and a detailed practical guideline on studies in design research are considered necessary.
With an increasing demand for product individualisation leading to increased product architecture complexity and -costs, modular kits are one common measure to cope with this issue. The management of such a modular kit as well as the methodical determination of a specific product variant is key to the manufacturer's success. As multiple influence factors need to be taken into account when configuring product variants, we propose a multi-dimensional geometric optimisation algorithm, allowing for prioritising varying customer demands and thereby determining the ideally balanced product variant.
In methodical product development, numerous data are used and linked with each other, especially variant-related data. This paper presents a model-based solution for avoiding inconsistencies in the development of product families with many variants and extends it to modular lightweight design. In addition, the inconsistencies in methodical product development were classified and solution approaches were shown. Thus, inconsistencies can be avoided with the presented elaborated data model for an integrated product and process model based on the presented procedure.
In a study conducted in the database of a large commercial healthcare insurer, we previously demonstrated that use of a commercial pharmacogenetic assay for individuals with mood disorders was associated with decreased resource utilization and cost in the 6 month period following use compared to propensity-score matched controls. We conducted a post hoc analysis to understand variables associated with high cost savings.
The results and methods of the initial study have previously been described. Cases were individuals with mood and anxiety disorders who received a commercial pharmacogenetic assay (Genomind, King of Prussia PA) to inform pharmacotherapy. 817 tested individuals (cases) with mood and/or anxiety disorders were matched to 2745 controls. Overall costs were estimated to be $1,948 lower in the tested group. The differences were largely the result of lesser emergency room and inpatient utilization for cases. In the present analysis, cost difference for cases compared to their matched controls was rank ordered by decile. High cost savers were arbitrarily defined a priori as the top 20% of savers. Using multivariable modeling techniques, an ordinal logistic regression model was generated in which baseline or follow-up variables were statistically tested for independent associations with high, low, and no cost savings.
606 (74%) of cases were net cost savers compared to their controls (cost difference <0). High cost savers (n=121) saved on average $10,690 compared to their matched controls. They were statistically more likely to have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder (n=33/121) than low cost savers (n=57/485) or non-savers (n=31/211), and had a lower Charlson Comorbidity index. High cost savers had fewer mean number of antidepressants in the baseline period (mean=3.16) compared to non-savers (3.73) but more than low cost savers (2.72) (p<0.05 across groups). In a multivariable model, bipolar, count of antidepressants, outpatient visits, and inpatient visits were statistically associated with being a high cost saver; antidepressant count and all-cause inpatient and outpatient visits in the baseline period were inversely associated with cost savings.
Use of a pharmacogenetic assay was associated with cost-savings in the database of a large commercial insurer. Patients with bipolar disorder were more likely to be high cost savers than individuals with other mood and anxiety disorders.
Postoperative cognitive impairment is among the most common medical complications associated with surgical interventions – particularly in elderly patients. In our aging society, it is an urgent medical need to determine preoperative individual risk prediction to allow more accurate cost–benefit decisions prior to elective surgeries. So far, risk prediction is mainly based on clinical parameters. However, these parameters only give a rough estimate of the individual risk. At present, there are no molecular or neuroimaging biomarkers available to improve risk prediction and little is known about the etiology and pathophysiology of this clinical condition. In this short review, we summarize the current state of knowledge and briefly present the recently started BioCog project (Biomarker Development for Postoperative Cognitive Impairment in the Elderly), which is funded by the European Union. It is the goal of this research and development (R&D) project, which involves academic and industry partners throughout Europe, to deliver a multivariate algorithm based on clinical assessments as well as molecular and neuroimaging biomarkers to overcome the currently unsatisfying situation.
The patterns and drivers of late Quaternary vegetation dynamics in the southeastern United States are poorly understood due to low site density, problematic chronologies, and a paucity of independent paleoclimate proxy records. We present a well-dated (15 accelerator mass spectrometry 14C dates) 30,000-yr record from White Pond, South Carolina that consists of high-resolution analyses of fossil pollen, macroscopic charcoal, and Sporormiella spores, and an independent paleotemperature reconstruction based on branched glycerol dialkyl tetraethers. Between 30,000 and 20,000 cal yr BP, open Pinus-Picea forest grew under cold and dry conditions; elevated Quercus before 26,000 cal yr BP, however, suggest warmer conditions in the Southeast before the last glacial maximum, possibly corresponding to regionally warmer conditions associated with Heinrich event H2. Warming between 19,700 and 10,400 cal yr BP was accompanied by a transition from conifer-dominated to mesic hardwood forest. Sporormiella spores were not detected and charcoal was low during the late glacial period, suggesting megaherbivore grazers and fire were not locally important agents of vegetation change. Pinus returned to dominance during the Holocene, with step-like increases in Pinus at 10,400 and 6400 cal yr BP, while charcoal abundance increased tenfold, likely due to increased biomass burning associated with warmer conditions. Low-intensity surface fires increased after 1200 cal yr BP, possibly related to the establishment of the Mississippian culture in the Southeast.
The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of institutional policies and practices for the prevention of and response to gender inequities as experienced by female faculty working in the health sciences at a US research university.
Data from the institution's Faculty Campus Climate Survey (n = 260 female faculty) were coupled with qualitative interviews (n = 14) of females in leadership positions, exploring campus climate, and institutional policies and practices aimed at advancing women.
Two-thirds (59%) of the female faculty respondents indicated witnessing sexual harassment and 28% reported experiencing sexual harassment. Several organizational themes emerged to address this problem: culture, including cultural change, transparency, and accountability.
The findings reveal the ways in which university culture mimics the larger societal context. At the same time, the distinct culture of higher education processes for recruitment, career advancement – specifically tenure and promotion – are identified as important factors that require modifications in support of reductions in gender inequalities.
It has been reported that foetal death follows a seasonal pattern. Influenza virus infection has been postulated as one possible contributor to this seasonal variation. This ecological study explored the temporal association between the influenza activity and the frequency of foetal death. Time series analysis was conducted using weekly influenza-like illness consultation proportions from the Danish sentinel surveillance system and weekly proportions of spontaneous abortions and stillbirths from hospital registers from 1994 to 2009. The association was examined in an autoregressive (AR) integrated (I) moving average (MA) model and subsequently analysed with cross-correlation functions. Our findings confirmed the well-known seasonality in influenza, but also seasonality in spontaneous abortion. No clear pattern of seasonality was found for stillbirths, although the analysis exposed dependency between observations. One final AR integrated MA model was identified for the influenza-like illness (ILI) series. We found no statistically significant relationship between weekly influenza-like illness consultation proportions and weekly spontaneous abortion proportions (five lags: P = 0.52; 11 lags: P = 0.91) or weekly stillbirths (five lags: P = 0.93; 11 lags: P = 0.40). Exposure to circulating influenza during pregnancy was not associated with rates of spontaneous abortions or stillbirths. Seasonal variations in spontaneous abortion were confirmed and this phenomenon needs further investigation.
Background Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is among the most common psychiatric disorders of childhood that often persists into adulthood and old age. Yet ADHD is currently underdiagnosed and undertreated in many European countries, leading to chronicity of symptoms and impairment, due to lack of, or ineffective treatment, and higher costs of illness.
Methods The European Network Adult ADHD and the Section for Neurodevelopmental Disorders Across the Lifespan (NDAL) of the European Psychiatric Association (EPA), aim to increase awareness and knowledge of adult ADHD in and outside Europe. This Updated European Consensus Statement aims to support clinicians with research evidence and clinical experience from 63 experts of European and other countries in which ADHD in adults is recognized and treated.
Results Besides reviewing the latest research on prevalence, persistence, genetics and neurobiology of ADHD, three major questions are addressed: (1) What is the clinical picture of ADHD in adults? (2) How should ADHD be properly diagnosed in adults? (3) How should adult ADHDbe effectively treated?
Conclusions ADHD often presents as a lifelong impairing condition. The stigma surrounding ADHD, mainly due to lack of knowledge, increases the suffering of patients. Education on the lifespan perspective, diagnostic assessment, and treatment of ADHD must increase for students of general and mental health, and for psychiatry professionals. Instruments for screening and diagnosis of ADHD in adults are available, as are effective evidence-based treatments for ADHD and its negative outcomes. More research is needed on gender differences, and in older adults with ADHD.
Measurements in the infrared wavelength domain allow direct assessment of the physical state and energy balance of cool matter in space, enabling the detailed study of the processes that govern the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems in galaxies over cosmic time. Previous infrared missions revealed a great deal about the obscured Universe, but were hampered by limited sensitivity.
SPICA takes the next step in infrared observational capability by combining a large 2.5-meter diameter telescope, cooled to below 8 K, with instruments employing ultra-sensitive detectors. A combination of passive cooling and mechanical coolers will be used to cool both the telescope and the instruments. With mechanical coolers the mission lifetime is not limited by the supply of cryogen. With the combination of low telescope background and instruments with state-of-the-art detectors SPICA provides a huge advance on the capabilities of previous missions.
SPICA instruments offer spectral resolving power ranging from R ~50 through 11 000 in the 17–230 μm domain and R ~28.000 spectroscopy between 12 and 18 μm. SPICA will provide efficient 30–37 μm broad band mapping, and small field spectroscopic and polarimetric imaging at 100, 200 and 350 μm. SPICA will provide infrared spectroscopy with an unprecedented sensitivity of ~5 × 10−20 W m−2 (5σ/1 h)—over two orders of magnitude improvement over what earlier missions. This exceptional performance leap, will open entirely new domains in infrared astronomy; galaxy evolution and metal production over cosmic time, dust formation and evolution from very early epochs onwards, the formation history of planetary systems.
Diagnosing streptococcal pharyngitis in children on the basis of clinical appearance and throat culture is complicated by high colonisation rates and by the ability of other pathogens to cause clinically similar disease. To characterise the epidemiology of Lancefield Group A, C and G β-haemolytic streptococcus (GAS, GCS and GGS, respectively) in children, we conducted a 2-year prospective study of 307 school children between 7 and 11 years old. GGS and GAS were commonly identified organisms both for silent streptococcal colonisation and symptomatic sore throat, while GCS was uncommonly found. Streptococcal culture positivity at the time of clinical pharyngitis was estimated to reflect true streptococcal pharyngitis in only 26% of instances, with the frequency varying from 54% for children rarely colonised to 1% for children frequently colonised. Numerous GAS emm types were identified, including several types previously associated with severe pharyngitis (e.g. emm types 1, 3 and 28). No severe complications were seen in any child. These data suggest that the clinical diagnosis of streptococcal pharyngitis is likely to remain difficult and that treatment decisions will remain clouded by uncertainty. There remains a need for organism-specific rapid point-of-care streptococcal diagnostic tests and tests that can distinguish between streptococcal colonisation and disease.
High concentrations of indium (In) and selenium (Se) have been reported in the Neves-Corvo volcanic-hosted massive sulfide deposit, Portugal. The distribution of these ore metals in the deposit is complex as a result of the combined effects of early ore-forming processes and late tectonometamorphic remobilization. The In and Se contents are higher in Cu-rich ore types, and lower in Zn-rich ore types. At the deposit scale, both In and Se correlate positively with Cu, whereas their correlations with Zn are close to zero. This argues for a genetic connection between Cu, In and Se in terms of metal sourcing and precipitation. However, re-distribution and re-concentration of In and Se associated with tectonometamorphic deformation are also processes of major importance for the actual distribution of these metals throughout the whole deposit. Although minor roquesite and other In-bearing phases were recognized, it is clear that most In within the deposit is found incorporated within sphalerite and chalcopyrite. When chalcopyrite and sphalerite coexist, the In content in sphalerite (avg. 1400 ppm) is, on average, 2–3 times higher than in chalcopyrite (avg. 660 ppm). The In content in stannite (avg. 1.3 wt.%) is even higher than in sphalerite, but the overall abundance of stannite is subordinate to either sphalerite or chalcopyrite. Selenium is dispersed widely between many different ore minerals, but galena is the main Se-carrier. On average, the Se content in galena is ~50 times greater than in either chalcopyrite (avg. 610 ppm) or sphalerite (avg. 590 ppm). The copper concentrate produced at Neves-Corvo contains very significant In (+Se) content, well above economic values if the copper smelters recovered it. Moreover, the high In content of sphalerite from some Cu-Zn ores, or associated with shear structures, could possibly justify, in the future, a selective exploitation strategy for the production of an In-rich zinc concentrate.
In this essay, we discuss the under-representation of women in leadership positions in global health (GH) and the importance of mentorship to advance women's standing in the field. We then describe the mentorship model of GROW, Global Research for Women. We describe the theoretical origins of the model and an adapted theory of change explaining how the GROW model for mentorship advances women's careers in GH. We present testimonials from a range of mentees who participated in a pilot of the GROW model since 2015. These mentees describe the capability-enhancing benefits of their mentorship experience with GROW. Thus, preliminary findings suggest that the GROW mentorship model is a promising strategy to build women's leadership in GH. We discuss supplemental strategies under consideration and next steps to assess the impact of GROW, providing the evidence to inform best practices for curricula elsewhere to build women's leadership in GH.
In this paper, we describe the development of an International Space Station experiment, BioRock. The purpose of this experiment is to investigate biofilm formation and microbe–mineral interactions in space. The latter research has application in areas as diverse as regolith amelioration and extraterrestrial mining. We describe the design of a prototype biomining reactor for use in space experimentation and investigations on in situ Resource Use and we describe the results of pre-flight tests.
Impulsivity is a core feature of borderline personality disorder (BPD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In BPD, impulsive behavior primarily occurs under acute stress; impulse control deficits under non-stress conditions may be partly related to co-morbid ADHD. We aimed to investigate whether acute experimental stress has an impact on self-reported impulsivity, response inhibition (action withholding, action cancelation) and delay discounting in BPD compared to ADHD.
Thirty female BPD patients, 28 female ADHD patients (excluding patients with co-morbid BPD and ADHD), and 30 female healthy controls (HC) completed self-reports and behavioral measures of impulsivity (IMT, assessing action withholding; GoStop, measuring action cancelation, Delay Discounting Task) under baseline conditions and after an experimental stress induction (Mannheim Multicomponent Stress Test).
Both patient groups reported higher impulsivity than HC, ADHD reported higher trait impulsivity than BPD. On the IMT, ADHD showed significant action-withholding deficits under both conditions, while BPD performed significantly worse than HC under stress. In BPD but not ADHD and HC, action-withholding deficits (IMT) were significantly increased under stress compared to baseline, while no group/stress effects were found for action cancelation (GoStop). Delay discounting was significantly more pronounced in BPD than in HC (no stress effect was found).
In BPD, behavioral deficits in action withholding (but not in action cancelation) appear to be influenced by acute experimental stress. Delay discounting seems to be a general feature of BPD, independent of co-morbid ADHD and acute stress, possibly underlying typical expressions of behavioral impulsivity in the disorder.
We summarize work on the central parsec of the Galactic center based on imaging and spectroscopic observations at the Keck and Gemini telescopes. These observations include stellar positions in two dimension and the velocity in three dimensions. Spectroscopic observations also enables measurements of the physical properties of individual stars, such as the spectral type and in some cases the effective temperature, metallicity, and surface gravity. These observations show a complex stellar population with a young (4-6 Myr) compact star cluster in the central 0.5 pc embedded in in an older and much more massive nuclear star cluster. Surprisingly, the old late-type giants do not show a cusp profile as long been expected from theoretical work. The majority of the stars have higher than solar metallicity, with only about 6% of the stars having [M/Fe] < −0.5, which is consistent with an origin from the MW disk.
We previously reported an association between 5HTTLPR genotype and
outcome following cognitive–behavioural therapy (CBT) in child anxiety
(Cohort 1). Children homozygous for the low-expression short-allele
showed more positive outcomes. Other similar studies have produced mixed
results, with most reporting no association between genotype and CBT
To replicate the association between 5HTTLPR and CBT outcome in child
anxiety from the Genes for Treatment study (GxT Cohort 2,
n = 829).
Logistic and linear mixed effects models were used to examine the
relationship between 5HTTLPR and CBT outcomes. Mega-analyses using both
cohorts were performed.
There was no significant effect of 5HTTLPR on CBT outcomes in Cohort 2.
Mega-analyses identified a significant association between 5HTTLPR and
remission from all anxiety disorders at follow-up (odds ratio 0.45,
P = 0.014), but not primary anxiety disorder
The association between 5HTTLPR genotype and CBT outcome did not
replicate. Short-allele homozygotes showed more positive treatment
outcomes, but with small, non-significant effects. Future studies would
benefit from utilising whole genome approaches and large, homogenous
In humans, obesity before and during pregnancy is associated with both fetal macrosomia and growth restriction, and long-term cardiovascular risk in the offspring. We aimed to determine whether overweighted pregnant guinea pig sows results in an increased fetal weight at term and the effects on the vascular reactivity in fetal systemic and umbilical arteries. Pregnant guinea pigs were classified as control (n=4) or high weight (HWS, n=5) according to their pre-mating weight, and their fetuses extracted at 0.9 gestation (~60 days). Segments of fetal femoral and umbilical arteries were mounted in a wire myograph, where the contractile response to KCl (5–125 mM), and the relaxation to nitric oxide synthase-dependent agents (insulin, 10−10–10−7 and acetylcholine, 10−10–10−5) and nitric oxide [sodium nitroprusside (SNP), 10−10–10−5] were determined. Fetuses from HWS (HWSF) were grouped according to their body weight as low (<76 g) or high (>85 g) fetal weight, based on the confidence interval (76.5–84.9 g) of the control group. No HWSF were observed in the normal range. Umbilical arteries from HWSF showed a lower response to KCl and insulin compared with controls, but a comparable response with SNP. Conversely, femoral arteries from HWSF showed an increased response to KCl and acetylcholine, along with a decreased sensitivity to SNP. These data show that overweight sows have altered fetal growth along gestation. Further, large and small fetuses from obese guinea pig sows showed altered vascular reactivity at umbilical and systemic vessels, which potentially associates with long-term cardiovascular risk.