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Agents that block the renin–angiotensin system (RAS) improve glucoregulation in the metabolic syndrome disorder. We evaluated the effects of egg white hydrolysate (EWH), previously shown to modulate the protein abundance of RAS component in vivo, on glucose homeostasis in diet-induced insulin-resistant rats. Sprague–Dawley rats were fed a high-fat diet (HFD) for 6 weeks to induce insulin resistance. They were then randomly divided into four groups receiving HFD or HFD supplemented with different concentrations of EWH (1, 2 and 4 %) for another 6 weeks in the first trial. In the second trial, insulin-resistant rats were divided into two groups receiving only HFD or HFD+4 % EWH for 6 weeks. Glucose homeostasis was assessed by oral glucose tolerance and insulin tolerance tests. Insulin signalling and protein abundance of RAS components, gluconeogenesis enzymes and PPARγ were evaluated in muscle, fat and liver. Adipocyte morphology and inflammatory markers were evaluated. In vivo administration of EWH increased insulin sensitivity, improved oral glucose tolerance (P < 0·0001) and reduced systemic inflammation (P < 0·05). EWH potentiated insulin-induced Akt phosphorylation in muscle (P = 0·0341) and adipose tissue (P = 0·0276), but minimal differences in the protein abundance of tissue RAS components between the EWH and control groups were observed. EWH treatment also reduced adipocyte size (P = 0·0383) and increased PPARγ2 protein abundance (P = 0·0237). EWH treatment yielded positive effects on the inflammatory profile, glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity and adipocyte differentiation in HFD-induced insulin resistance rats. The involvement of local RAS activity requires further investigation.
To determine whether central findings from vestibular tests predict abnormal findings on magnetic resonance imaging.
This study was a retrospective case series at a tertiary referral centre. The main outcome measure of this diagnostic intervention study was the positive predictive value of central vestibular findings in relation to magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities.
Central vestibular findings had a 50.9 per cent positive predictive value for magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities across all age groups although they varied according to age group. Optokinetic nystagmus (p < 0.05) and abnormal findings on videonystagmography tests (p < 0.05) were the main predictors of magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities. White matter lesions constituted the bulk of the central lesions on magnetic resonance imaging followed by cortical and cerebellar atrophy.
Central vestibular findings had a 50.9 per cent positive predictive value for magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities across all age groups. Magnetic resonance imaging is medically justified to further evaluate patients with central findings on vestibular studies. Therefore, it is reasonable to request magnetic resonance imaging in these patients.
All-printed electronics is the key technology to ultra-low-cost, large-area electronics. As a critical step in this direction, we demonstrate that femtosecond laser processing (sintering and ablation) of solution deposited metal nanoparticles enables direct metal patterning at low-temperature with ultra high resolution (∼300nm) to overcome the resolution limitation of the current inkjet direct writing processes.
This could be explained by the combined effects of novel properties of metal nanoparticles such as melting temperature drop, strong absorption of the incident laser beam at surface plasmon mode, lower conductive heat transfer loss, and the relatively weak bonding between nanoparticles. Local thermal control of the laser sintering process could minimize the heat-affected zone and the thermal damage to the substrate and further enhance the resolution of the process. This local nanoparticle deposition and energy coupling enable an environmentally friendly and cost-effective process as well as a low-temperature manufacturing sequence to realize large-area, flexible electronics on polymer substrates.
To assess the feasibility of non-contrast T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging as compared to T1-weighted post-contrast magnetic resonance imaging for detecting acoustic neuroma growth.
Adult patients with acoustic neuroma who underwent at least three magnetic resonance imaging scans of the internal auditory canals with and without contrast in the past nine years were identified. T1- and T2-weighted images were reviewed by three neuroradiologists, and tumour size was measured. Accuracy of the measurements on T2-weighted images was defined as a difference of less than or equal to 2 mm from the measurement on T1-weighted images.
A total of 107 magnetic resonance imaging scans of 26 patients were reviewed. Measurements on T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging scans were 88 per cent accurate. Measurements on T2-weighted images differed from measurements on T1-weighted images by an average of 1.27 mm, or 10.4 per cent of the total size. The specificity of T2-weighted images was 88.2 per cent and the sensitivity was 77.8 per cent.
The T2-weighted sequences are fairly accurate in measuring acoustic neuroma size and identifying growth if one keeps in mind the caveats associated with the tumour characteristics or location.
This paper introduces GLINTS, a graphical tool for exploring variant narrowing computations in Maude. The most recent version of Maude, version 2.7.1, provides quite sophisticated unification features, including order-sorted equational unification for convergent theories modulo axioms such as associativity, commutativity, and identity. This novel equational unification relies on built-in generation of the set of variants of a term t, i.e., the canonical form of tσ for a computed substitution σ. Variant generation relies on a novel narrowing strategy called folding variant narrowing that opens up new applications in formal reasoning, theorem proving, testing, protocol analysis, and model checking, especially when the theory satisfies the finite variant property, i.e., there is a finite number of most general variants for every term in the theory. However, variant narrowing computations can be extremely involved and are simply presented in text format by Maude, often being too heavy to be debugged or even understood. The GLINTS system provides support for (i) determining whether a given theory satisfies the finite variant property, (ii) thoroughly exploring variant narrowing computations, (iii) automatic checking of node embedding and closedness modulo axioms, and (iv) querying and inspecting selected parts of the variant trees.
We investigated whether convenience sampling is a suitable method to generate a sample of older drivers representative of the older-Canadian driver population. Using equivalence testing, we compared a large convenience sample of older drivers (Candrive II prospective cohort study) to a similarly aged population of older Canadian drivers. The Candrive sample consists of 928 community-dwelling older drivers from seven metropolitan areas of Canada. The population data was obtained from the Canadian Community Health Survey – Healthy Aging (CCHS-HA), which is a representative sample of older Canadians. The data for drivers aged 70 and older were extracted from the CCHS-HA database, for a total of 3,899 older Canadian drivers. Two samples were demonstrated as equivalent on socio-demographic, health, and driving variables that we compared, but not on driving frequency. We conclude that convenience sampling used in the Candrive study created a fairly representative sample of Canadian older drivers, with a few exceptions.
We hypothesized that changes over time in cognitive performance are associated with changes in driver perceptions, attitudes, and self-regulatory behaviors among older adults. Healthy older adults (n = 928) underwent cognitive assessments at baseline with two subsequent annual follow-ups, and completed scales regarding their perceptions, attitudes, and driving behaviours. Multivariate analysis showed small but statistically significant relationships between the cognitive tests and self-report measures, with the largest magnitudes between scores on the Trails B cognitive task (seconds), perceptions of driving abilities (β = –0.32), and situational driving avoidance (β = 0.55) (p < 0.05). Cognitive slowing and executive dysfunction appear to be associated with modestly lower perceived driving abilities and more avoidance of driving situations over time in this exploratory analysis.
To date, associations between psychosocial driving variables and behaviour have been examined only cross-sectionally. Using three waves of data collected annually from 928 older drivers (mean age = 76.21 years; 62% male) enrolled in the Candrive II cohort, we examined in this study whether changes in attitudes and perceptions towards driving (decisional balance and day and night driving comfort) were associated with changes in older adults’ reported restrictions in driving practices and perceived driving abilities. Multi-level models revealed that older adults who showed an increase in negative attitudes towards driving over time were more likely to report more-restricted practices (greater avoidance of challenging driving situations) and perceived declines in driving abilities compared to individuals whose attitudes towards driving remained stable across two years. This work supports previous findings and offers a new understanding of how attitudes relate to driving perceptions (e.g., comfort) and self-regulation in older adults over time.
A census of the Critically Endangered Bengal Florican Houbaropsis bengalensis was conducted between March and May 2012 on and surrounding the Tonle Sap floodplain in Cambodia, which supports the last extant population of the Indochinese subspecies blandini. We found a decline in the number of displaying males of 44–64% since a comparable estimate from the same sites in 2005 to 2007. The estimated population, including five individuals at one previously unsurveyed site, is now 216 (95% CI 156–275) displaying males, plus potential non-displaying males and an unknown number of females. If numbers continue to be lost at a similar rate, it is possible that blandini would become extinct within 10 years. Although the population faces multiple threats, this critical situation has primarily been caused by the recent, rapid conversion of the florican’s grassland habitat to intensive, industrial-scale, irrigated rice cultivation. To protect the Bengal Florican from extinction in South East Asia, existing Bengal Florican Conservation Areas (BFCAs) need expansion and improvements, including strengthened legal status by prime ministerial sub-decree and better demarcation, patrolling and management. As priorities, both irrigated rice and scrub encroachment within the BFCAs needs to be reversed, local communities better supported, and land outside the BFCAs monitored and strategically managed for florican conservation. Where possible, further BFCAs need to be established. Land purchase may also be an effective conservation measure; leasing land earmarked for cultivation would be cheaper, but less secure.
The success of central line-associated bloodstream infection (CLABSI) prevention programs in intensive care units (ICUs) has led to the expansion of surveillance at many hospitals. We sought to compare non-ICU CLABSI (nCLABSI) rates with national reports and describe methods of surveillance at several participating US institutions.
Design and Setting.
An electronic survey of several medical centers about infection surveillance practices and rate data for non-ICU Patients.
Ten tertiary care hospitals.
In March 2011, a survey was sent to 10 medical centers. The survey consisted of 12 questions regarding demographics and CLABSI surveillance methodology for non-ICU patients at each center. Participants were also asked to provide available rate and device utilization data.
Hospitals ranged in size from 238 to 1,400 total beds (median, 815). All hospitals reported using Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) definitions. Denominators were collected by different means: counting patients with central lines every day (5 hospitals), indirectly estimating on the basis of electronic orders (n = 4), or another automated method (n = 1). Rates of nCLABSI ranged from 0.2 to 4.2 infections per 1,000 catheter-days (median, 2.5). The national rate reported by the CDC using 2009 data from the National Healthcare Surveillance Network was 1.14 infections per 1,000 catheter-days.
Only 2 hospitals were below the pooled CLABSI rate for inpatient wards; all others exceeded this rate. Possible explanations include differences in average central line utilization or hospital size in the impact of certain clinical risk factors notably absent from the definition and in interpretation and reporting practices. Further investigation is necessary to determine whether the national benchmarks are low or whether the hospitals surveyed here represent a selection of outliers.
Results from photoluminescence (PL) and Zeeman effect measurements of a PL center, labeled UD-1, in 6H SiC are presented. The spectrum consists of three no phonon-lines (NPLs) at 0.9952, 1.0015 and 1.0020 eV. The luminescence starts decreasing in intensity above 40 K and is completely quenched at 80 K. The observed Zeeman splitting reveals a spin one half of the ground state of the two highest energy lines. No splitting of the 0.9952 eV line is detected. The g║-value for the 1.0015 eV and 1.0020 e║ lines are g║ = 1:4 and g║ = 1:7, respectively. For both lines, g⊥ = 0. The C3v symmetry indicates that the UD-1 center is either a substitutional defect or a complex with its constituents lying along the c-axis of the lattice.
The carbon doping properties of GaAs with carbon tetrachloride as the dopant source were examined using trimethylgallium (TMGa) or triethylgallium (TEGa) as the gallium precursors and arsine or tertiarybutylarsine (TBAs) as the arsenic precursors. Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and Hall measurements (van der Pauw method) were used to characterize the epitaxial GaAs:C layers. Very high C-doping concentrations (∼1020 cm−3) could be obtained with either TMGa and TEGa. The use of TBAs instead of AsH3 led to a significant reduction in carbon incorporation, by approximately a factor of 5–10 per mole of As precursor, over the temperature range examined (520°C - 700°C). Hydrogen at significant concentrations (0.5 – 6 × 1019 cm−3) was detected by SIMS in GaAs:C layers grown at ≤550°C utilizing all four combinations of Ga/As precursors and suggested the presence of electrically inactive C-H complexes. A post-growth anneal under helium at 550°C for 60s of these samples resulted in a 50–100% increase in hole concentration by driving out the hydrogen.
Template-synthesized silica nanotubes offer a unique and interesting opportunity for studying fluids in confined spaces. Their versatility stems from our ability to independently vary the inside diameter and surface chemistry. In this work we investigated capillarity for binary mixtures of water and methanol in hydrophobic nanotubes with internal diameters of both 30 and 170 nm. An improved sol-gel template synthesis process was used to prepare silica nanotubes with smooth and uniform walls within the pores of alumina template membranes. The pore diameter and thickness of the template membrane determined the outer diameter and length of the nanotube, respectively. The number of deposition cycles controlled the wall thickness. An octadecylsilane coating was selectively applied to the nanotube interior while leaving the nanotube exterior unmodified. The interiors of hydrophobic nanotubes prepared in this way were then labeled with trace amounts of adsorbed dyes. The diffusion of the dye molecules inside individual immersed nanotubes was investigated using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) experiments. Dye diffusion was used to determine the wettability of the nanotube interior as a function of solvent composition. Several important observations are reported here. First, a clear transition is observed in which all nanotubes change from non-wetting to wetting when the methanol mole fraction approaches 0.5. This transition appears at the same solvent composition for both nanotube sizes. Interestingly, the Young-Laplace equation fails to accurately predict the wetting transition. The difference between the observed and predicted wetting transition may be due to reliance on macroscopic values of contact angles or surface tensions in our predictions or may be related to the presence of liquid phase instability, dry-layers or non-spherical menisci within the hydrophobic pore.
Thin films of silicon carbide have been formed on silicon field emitters by chemical reaction with ethylene (C2H4) at temperatures of 850 to 950°C using ethylene gas pressures up to 5×10-3 Torr. By controlling the reaction time and temperature, we have made SiC coatings of from ∼20 A thickness to complete transformation of tips to SiC (1-2 μm). The electron diffraction pattern of the SiC layers show the expected 20% lattice mismatch with silicon and, for those emitters completely transformed, a polycrystalline 3C-SiC polytype was identified. The small radius of curvature was maintained for both the coated and completely transformed tips, although some defects and surface roughness was introduced during the treatments.
Evidence of an oscillating thin-film oxide growth reaction was observed on silicon surfaces during low RF power (13.6 MHz, < I W/cm2) plasma oxidation. Ex-situ ellipsometric, X-ray photoelectron (XPS) and Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopic measurements show that the oscillating growth layer is silicon-rich oxide and its oscillating thickness is very sensitive to both surface preparation and plasma oxidation conditions. A simple low-energy oxygen ion-assisted plasma oxidation and sputtering mechanism is proposed to clarify and to account for the observed oscillating oxide growth reaction.
Thermosets and ceramic chars were characterized for three polymeric materials consisting of diacetylene-siloxane repeat units, DaS, diacetylene-siloxane-carborane-siloxane repeat units, DaSCS, and a 90/10 copolymerization. The goal was to incorporate the known thermo-oxidative stability of the siloxane-carborane elastomers into high performance thermosets and ceramic chars. The DaSCS thermoset has excellent thermo-oxidative stability as determined by a low weight loss and tough residue after annealing 100 hours in air at 316°C, however the glass transition is a low 94°C. DaS and 90/10 thermosets do not undergo glass transitions below 350°C and have low weight losses on thermo-oxidative aging, however the residue was quite brittle. The much higher carborane content in DaSCS also seems to help in ceramic char formation. All polymers had similar char yields to 800°C, whereas DaSCS solidified to a 15% denser ceramic.
The effects of vacuum and inert gas annealing of ultra-thin (20Å) CVD Ta2O5 films deposited on Si substrates, with and without oxynitride interface layer, on the Ta2O5/Si interface stability were examined extensively by means of in-situ X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), ex-situ Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS), and Temperature Programmed Reaction (TPR). When annealed to 680 °C for up to 50 min, changes in ∼ 20Å Ta2O5 films formed on Si(100) are negligible, but annealing to 820 °C for 10 min in vacuum, Ar or N2 produces major chemical restructuring. SiO is formed at the Ta2O5 - Si(100) interfaces and becomes incorporated into the tantalum oxide. A reduced form of Ta, attributed to TaSix, forms at the buried interface. Extending the annealing time to 20 min produces no further changes. SiO desorbs during annealing at 1000 °C. Nitriding Si prior to forming the Ta2O5 film deposition inhibits these processes.
The problem of accidental initiation of detonation in granular material has been the initial focus of the Los Alamos explosives safety program. Preexisting models of deflagration-to-detonation transition (DDT) in granular explosives, especially the Baer & Nunziato (BN) model, have been examined. The main focus of this paper is the reaction rate model. Comparison with experiments are made using the BN rate model. Many features are replicated by the simulations. However, some qualitative features, such as inert plug formation in DDT tube-test experiments and other trends, are not produced in the simulations. By modifying the reaction rate model we show inert plug formation that more closely replicates the qualitative features of experimental observations. Additional improvements to the rate modeling are suggested.