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Using existing data from clinical registries to support clinical trials and other prospective studies has the potential to improve research efficiency. However, little has been reported about staff experiences and lessons learned from implementation of this method in pediatric cardiology.
We describe the process of using existing registry data in the Pediatric Heart Network Residual Lesion Score Study, report stakeholders’ perspectives, and provide recommendations to guide future studies using this methodology.
The Residual Lesion Score Study, a 17-site prospective, observational study, piloted the use of existing local surgical registry data (collected for submission to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons-Congenital Heart Surgery Database) to supplement manual data collection. A survey regarding processes and perceptions was administered to study site and data coordinating center staff.
Survey response rate was 98% (54/55). Overall, 57% perceived that using registry data saved research staff time in the current study, and 74% perceived that it would save time in future studies; 55% noted significant upfront time in developing a methodology for extracting registry data. Survey recommendations included simplifying data extraction processes and tailoring to the needs of the study, understanding registry characteristics to maximise data quality and security, and involving all stakeholders in design and implementation processes.
Use of existing registry data was perceived to save time and promote efficiency. Consideration must be given to the upfront investment of time and resources needed. Ongoing efforts focussed on automating and centralising data management may aid in further optimising this methodology for future studies.
To estimate the phytate intake and molar ratio of phytate to zinc in the diet of the people in the United Kingdom.
Tables of the phytate content of foods were developed from twenty-eight published and unpublished studies. They were then applied to the nutrient databank of the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS). The study is a retrospective analysis of data on daily consumption of foods and drinks from the NDNS of children, adolescents, adults and the elderly based on 4–7 d weighed intakes.
A total of 6786 British participants aged 1·5 years and above, who participated in the NDNS, 1992–2001.
England, Scotland and Wales.
The median daily intakes of phytate for children, adolescents, adults and the elderly population were 496, 615, 809 and 629 mg/d, respectively. Although there were differences in phytate intakes between men and women, and for children, adolescents and elderly populations, after adjusting for differences in energy intake, there was no significant variation. The median phytate-to-zinc molar ratios for children, adolescents, adults and the elderly population were 11·8, 10·4, 9·7 and 8·7, respectively. Overall, the main sources of phytate were cereal and cereal products (e.g. breakfast cereals and breads), vegetables, potatoes and savoury snacks (e.g. chips and crisps), hot drinks and miscellaneous foods (e.g. commercial toddler foods and drinks, chocolate and soups), fruits and nuts.
The present study estimated the dietary intake of phytate and the phytate-to-zinc molar ratio of the diet of the UK population, which can be used for estimating the average requirement of zinc. Further research should focus on the completion and validation of the tables of phytate content of UK foods, to assess (and if necessary improve) the accuracy and precision of these findings.
To assess unfiltered drinking water as a source of cryptosporidium infection in patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) the prevalence of cryptosporidiosis among persons with AIDS in Los Angeles County was assessed by water service area. One water distributor, serving approximately 60% of the county's residents (area B), has consistently employed filtration. The other company, which serves the remainder of the county (area A), did not institute nitration until mid-December 1986. This difference provided a ‘natural experiment ’ in which to assess the effect of municipal water filtration on the level of cryptosporidiosis among persons with AIDS. The prevalence of cryptosporidiosis among AIDS patients was compared for the two water service areas for the time period (1983–6) preceding the implementation of filtration in area A. From 1983 to 1986 the age-standardized prevalence of cryptosporidiosis among AIDS patients was 32% lower in area A (4·2%), which received unfiltered water, than in area B (6·2%). Following addition of filtration in area A, the prevalence of cryptosporidiosis among AIDS patients decreased by 20%; however, a decline, of 47%, was also observed in area B. The similar baseline levels of cryptosporidiosis and the corresponding post-filtration decline in both areas suggest that filtration had no effect on levels of cryptosporidiosis among persons with AIDS. Thus it does not appear that municipal drinking water is an important risk factor for cryptosporidiosis in AIDS patients residing in Los Angeles County.
We use contingent behavior analysis to study the effects of pfiesteria-related fish kills on the demand for seafood in the Mid-Atlantic region. We estimate a set of demand difference models based on individual responses to questions about seafood consumption in the presence of fish kills and with different amounts of information provided about health risks. We use a random-effects Tobit model to control for correlation across each observation and to account for censoring. We find that (i) pfiesteria-related fish kills have a significant negative effect on the demand for seafood even though the fish kills pose no known threat to consumers through seafood consumption, (ii) seafood consumers are not responsive to expert risk information designed to reassure them that seafood is safe in the presence of a fish kill, and (iii) a mandatory seafood inspection program largely eliminates the welfare loss incurred due to misinformation.
3D fibrous scaffolds with shell-core fiber architecture offer the possibility to create multifunctional structures. In this study, a construct that combines mechanical stability with the core polymer and optimal surface properties for cell-material interactions with the shell polymer is discussed. Scaffolds were fabricated by a rapid prototyped technique known as 3D Fiber Deposition (3DF) and used for cartilage tissue engineering. Cells maintained the typical rounded morphology of cartilage in the shell-core scaffolds, while they spread into a spindle-like shape in scaffolds fabricated with the core polymer only. Extracellular matrix production and an increase in the dynamic stiffness of the engineered construct revealed a progressive maturation of the formed tissue, suggesting that shell-core 3D scaffolds could be optimal for cartilage tissue engineering.
Recently, lattice-matched Zn0.46Cd0.54Se/ZnCdMgSe multiple-quantum-wells (MQWs) have been recognized as very promising materials to fabricate intersubband (ISB) devices such as quantum cascade lasers and mid-infrared photoconductors. These structures have important applications in biological and chemical detections. The ISB transition covers a wide mid-infrared wavelength range from 1.3 μm to a few tens of μm.
In this work, two heavily doped n-Zn0.46Cd0.54Se/Zn0.24Cd0.25Mg0.51Se MQW structures have been grown on InP (001) substrate by molecular beam epitaxy. Temperature dependent steady-state photoluminescence (SSPL), temperature dependent time- resolved photoluminescence (TRPL), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) were performed to characterize their interband and ISB properties. These two MQW samples have similar structures except different well widths and different number of periods. The integrated SSPL intensities and the PL decay times of the MQWs were measured as functions of temperature in the range from 77 K to 290 K. The luminescence efficiency of the sample with 28 Å well width is larger than that of the sample with 42 Å well width although both samples exhibit similar temperature dependence of PL intensity. Time-resolved PL measurements show that the PL decay times of both samples decrease with increasing temperature. From 77 K to 290 K, the decay time of the sample with 28 Å well width is in the range of 440 ps ∼ 120 ps and is much longer than that of the sample with 42 Å well width, which is in the range of 65 ps ∼ 25 ps. Strong non-radiative recombinations dominate the luminescence behavior of the wider MQWs. Intersubband absorption spectra of the samples were measured by FTIR and show peak absorption at wavelengths of 3.99 μm and 5.35 μm for the MQWs with well widths of 28 Å and 42 Å, respectively, falling within the 3-5 Åm range, which is of great interest for the infrared photodetector applications.
The present study was conducted to determine the pattern of incorporation of dietary EPA and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) into milk, and to evaluate consequent changes in milk fat composition and sensory characteristics. Fourteen multiparous cows in early lactation were divided into two groups and were offered supplements for 10 d. While individual stalls after each morning milking, one group was offered a mixture of rumen-protected tuna oil (RPTO)–soyabean supplement (2 kg; 30:70, w/w; +RPTO) and the second group was offered the basal ration without RPTO (−RPTO). Both groups grazed together on a spring pasture after supplementation. Feeding supplemental RPTO increased the concentrations of EPA and DHA in milk fat from undetectable levels in −RPTO cows to 6·9 and 10·1 g/kg milk fat respectively. Total n-3 PUFA concentration in milk fat was increased three- to fourfold by tuna-oil supplementation (8·4 to 32·0 g/kg milk fat). There were no significant effects on milk production (35·4 v. 33·9 l/d), milk protein (28·2 v. 30·1 g/kg) or milk fat (36·2 v. 40·4 g/kg for −RPTO and +RPTO respectively). The concentration of total saturated fatty acids in milk fat was significantly reduced (568 v. 520 g/kg total fatty acids) and there was a 17 % reduction in the atherosclerotic index of milk after tuna-oil supplementation. Untrained consumer panellists (n 61) rated milk from both groups of cows similarly for taste and smell. We conclude that it is possible to enrich milk with n-3 PUFA without deleterious effects on yield, milk composition or sensory characteristics.
The effects of diets high in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA; provided by fish oil), n-6 PUFA (sunflower oil) or in more-saturated fatty acids (tallow) on the distribution of subclasses of choline phospholipids (PC) and ethanolamine phospholipids (PE) from the breast muscle of broiler chickens were examined. Supplementation with the different fatty acids had no effect on the distribution of phospholipid subclasses. Feeding sunflower oil or tallow gave a molecular-species profile similar in both fatty acid subtype and proportion. In the diacyl PC phospholipids, 16: 0–18: 1n-9 and 16: 0–18: 2n-6 accounted for approximately 60 % of the total molecular species, whereas for the alkylenyl PC the predominant species were 16: 0–18: 1n-9 and 16: 0–20: 4n-6. Of the diacyl PE the dominant species was 18: 0–20: 4n-6 which accounted for 50 % of the molecular species, and of the alkylenyl PE the dominant species were 16: 0–18: 1n-9, 16: 0–20: 4n-6 and 18: 0–20: 4n-6. Supplementation with fish oil significantly increased levels of both eicosapentaenoic acid (20: 5n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (22: 6n-3) in PC and PE when compared with either sunflower oil or tallow supplementation. The increase in the n-3 PUFA incorporation was associated with a corresponding decrease in the proportion of arachidonic acid (20: 4n-6) in both PC and PE. Different dietary fats induce different patterns of fatty acid incorporation and substitution in the sn-2 position of the diacyl and alkylenyl PC and PE of avian breast muscle, and this finding is indicative of selective acyl remodelling in these two phospholipids.
The effects of dietary saturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) of the n-3 and n-6 series on weight gain, body composition and substrate oxidation were investigated in broiler chickens. At 3 weeks of age three groups of chickens (n 30; ten birds per group) were fed the fat-enriched experimental diets for 5 weeks. These diets were isonitrogenous, isoenergetic and contained 208 g protein/kg and 80 g edible tallow, fish oil or sunflower oil/kg; the dietary fatty acid profiles were thus dominated by saturated fatty acids, n-3 PUFA or n-6 PUFA respectively. Resting RQ was measured in five birds from each treatment group during weeks 4 and 5 of the experiment. There were no significant differences between treatments in total feed intake or final body mass. Birds fed the PUFA diets had lower RQ and significantly reduced abdominal fat pad weights (P<0·01) compared with those fed tallow. The dietary lipid profile changes resulted in significantly greater partitioning of energy into lean tissue than into fat tissue (calculated as breast lean tissue weight:abdominal fat mass) in the PUFA groups compared with the saturated fat group (P<0·01; with no difference between the n-3 and n-6 PUFA groups). In addition, the PUFA-rich diets lowered plasma concentrations of serum triacylglycerols and cholesterol. The findings indicate that dietary fatty acid profile influences nutrient partitioning in broiler chickens.
Polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) nanocomposites were synthesized by free radical polymerization in the presence of various weight percentages of alumina (Al2O3) nanoparticles. The resulting nanocomposites show an average increase of 600% in strain-to-failure and the appearance of a well-defined yield point. Concurrently, the glass transition temperature (Tg) of the composites decreased 20°C, while the ultimate strength and the Young's modulus decreased by 20% and 15%, respectively.
Palynoflorules containing sparse but regularly occurring chitinous-walled fungal, probably ascomycete, spores have been obtained from silty limestone nodules in the Jurassic Coon Hollow Formation in the Wallowa terrane in Hells Canyon, Idaho. The fungal spores are associated with moderately abundant embryophytic spores and pollen that suggest late Early Jurassic to early Middle Jurassic age, which agrees with dating provided by marine animals stratigraphically just above. The fungal spores constitute the most diverse such assemblage of robust-walled spores described from pre-Cretaceous rocks. Two new species of the fossil fungal spore form-genus Diporicellaesporites, D. idahoensis and D. serratulus, and one new species of form-genus Fractisporonites, F. pittsburgensis, are described.
The process of photosynthesis is critical to the existence of almost all the Earth's ecosystems by providing the fundamental mechanism through which the Sun's energy is harnessed to convert carbon dioxide and water into sugars and oxygen. These sugars ultimately provide the basic source of energy (primary production) on which most life depends. In terrestrial ecosystems macroscopic land plants are responsible for virtually all primary production and therefore provide the basic sustenance that supports all land animals, either directly or indirectly. An accurate knowledge of Mesozoic plants and vegetation is therefore critical to understanding the ecology of dinosaurs and the ecosystems in which they flourished. Similarly, because large herbivorous dinosaurs must have exerted a major influence on terrestrial ecosystems some knowledge of dinosaur biology is crucial to understanding the ecological pressures to which Mesozoic plants were subjected. Because there is also a close correlation between the climate of an area and the kind of vegetation that it supports, fossil plants also provide important evidence on the paleoclimates of the dinosaur world.
The nutritive value of taro leaf (Colocasia esculenta) silage, with or without various crop or crop byproducts as additives, was evaluated in two experiments in Western Samoa in 1988 and 1989. In Experiment 1, laboratory silos were used to assess the quality of eight taro leaf silages which were either ensiled fresh or wilted overnight. Taro leaf ensiled alone was poorly preserved with a pH of 5·4 and high concentrations of ammonia-N and volatile fatty acids. In contrast, silages with crop byproduct additives rich in water soluble carbohydrates (WSC), mainly molasses, ripe banana or papaya pulp, were of high quality with pH levels of c. 4 and low concentrations of volatiles. Copra meal, although low in WSC, was able to produce a satisfactory silage when added to taro leaf through its ability to restrict fermentation.
Despite only a small increase (14·2%) in silage dry matter (DM) content, wilting of taro leaves resulted in silage of significantly higher quality than that made from fresh leaves. Most of the benefit of wilting was attributed to better fermentation conditions rather than a restricted fermentation.
Two of the better silages from Experiment 1, taro/molasses and taro/banana, were prepared on a larger scale in earth pits and fed to goats in a second experiment. Both silages were highly palatable and digestible; DM intakes of 47 and 63 g/kg W0·75 per day and organic matter digestibilities of 69·0 and 74·9% were recorded for the banana and molasses silages, respectively.
It was concluded that taro leaf is a suitable forage for ensilage, and when combined with additives rich in WSC, a forage of high nutritive value can be produced.
The use of a field portable XRF analyzer incorporating a semiconductor, mercuric iodide, energy dispersive spectrometer is described with emphasis on the benefits of high resolution x-ray detection for rapid screening of hazardous metallic wastes. Results are presented of “in-situ” and “prepared sample” soil measurement for different sites to show the potential of Fundamental Parameter analysis to obtain acceptable quality data with minimum calibration effort, obviating the need for site-specific standards.