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The reliability study of k-out-of-n systems is of interest both from theoretical and practical points of view. Applications of such models can be seen in many real-world phenomena, including telecommunication, transmission, transportation, manufacturing, and services. A probabilistic study of a real-world k-out-of-n system often helps to develop an optimal strategy for maintaining high system-level reliability. There are many investigations devoted to the reliability-centric analysis of such systems. We consider a mathematical model of a repairable k-out-of-n system that works until k of its n components have failed. During the system's life cycle, its components are repaired with the help of a single repair facility. It is supposed that the components' lifetimes have an exponential distribution and their repair times have a general distribution. The proposed model is intended to be applied to the description of operation of unmanned rotorcraft high-altitude platforms and to be validated with the help of an experimental prototype. For the considered system, we propose an algorithm for calculation of the reliability function, and for special cases, k = 2 and k = 3, its closed-form representation is given. A numerical investigation is performed for special cases. The obtained results are a first step toward the sensitivity analysis of reliability characteristics of k-out-of-n systems to the shape of the repair time distributions of their components.
The meat quality of chicken is an important factor affecting the consumer’s health. It was hypothesized that n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid (n-3 PUFA) could be effectively deposited in chicken, by incorporating antioxidation of soybean isoflavone (SI), which led to improved quality of chicken meat for good health of human beings. Effects of partial or complete dietary substitution of lard (LA) with linseed oil (LO), with or without SI on growth performance, biochemical indicators, meat quality, fatty acid profiles, lipid-related health indicators and gene expression of breast muscle were examined in chickens. A total of 900 males were fed a corn–soybean meal diet supplemented with 4% LA, 2% LA + 2% LO and 4% LO and the latter two including 30 mg SI/kg (2% LA + 2% LO + SI and 4% LO + SI) from 29 to 66 days of age; each of the five dietary treatments included six replicates of 30 birds. Compared with the 4% LA diet, dietary 4% LO significantly increased the feed efficiency and had no negative effect on objective indices related to meat quality; LO significantly decreased plasma triglycerides and total cholesterol (TCH); abdominal fat percentage was significantly decreased in birds fed the 4% LO and 4% LO + SI diets. Chickens with LO diets resulted in higher contents of α-linolenic acid (C18:3n-3), EPA (C20:5n-3) and total n-3 PUFA, together with a lower content of palmitic acid (C16:0), lignoceric acid (C24:0), saturated fatty acids and n-6:n-3 ratio in breast muscle compared to 4% LA diet (P < 0.05); they also significantly decreased atherogenic index, thrombogenic index and increased the hypocholesterolemic to hypercholesterolemic ratio. Adding SI to the LO diets enhanced the contents of EPA and DHA (C22:6n-3), plasma total superoxide dismutase, reduced glutathione (GSH)/oxidized glutathione and muscle GSH content, while decreased plasma total triglyceride and TCH and malondialdehyde content in plasma and breast muscle compared to its absence (P < 0.05). Expression in breast muscle of fatty acid desaturase 1 (FADS1), FADS2, elongase 2 (ELOVL2) and ELOVL5 genes were significantly higher with the LO diets including SI than with the 4% LA diet. Significant interactions existed between LO level and inclusion of SI on EPA and TCH contents. These findings indicate that diet supplemented with LO combined with SI is an effective alternative when optimizing the nutritional value of chicken meat for human consumers.
The omega-3 index, the percentage of EPA plus DHA in erythrocytes (measured by standardised analysis), represents a human body's status in EPA and DHA. An omega-3 index is measured in many laboratories around the world; however, even small differences in analytical methods entail large differences in results. Nevertheless, results are frequently related to the target range of 8–11 %, defined for the original and scientifically validated method (HS-Omega-3 Index®), raising ethical issues, and calling for standardisation. No human subject has an omega-3 index <2 %, indicating a vital minimum. Thus, the absence of EPA and DHA cannot be tested against presence. Moreover, clinical events correlate with levels, less with the dose of EPA and DHA, and the bioavailability of EPA and DHA varies inter-individually. Therefore, the effects of EPA and DHA are difficult to demonstrate using typical drug trial methods. Recent epidemiologic data further support the relevance of the omega-3 index in the cardiovascular field, since total mortality, cardiovascular mortality, cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction or stroke, or blood pressure all correlate inversely with the omega-3 index. The omega-3 index directly correlates with complex brain functions. Compiling recent data supports the target range for the omega-3 index of 8–11 % in pregnancy. Many other potential applications have emerged. Some, but not all health issues mentioned have already been demonstrated to be improved by increasing intake of EPA and DHA. Increasing the omega-3 index into the target range of 8–11 % with individualised doses of toxin-free sources for EPA and DHA is tolerable and safe.
One hypothesis proposed to underlie formal thought disorder (FTD), the incoherent speech is seen in some patients with schizophrenia, is that it reflects impairment in frontal/executive function. While this proposal has received support in neuropsychological studies, it has been relatively little tested using functional imaging. This study aimed to examine brain activations associated with FTD, and its two main factor-analytically derived subsyndromes, during the performance of a working memory task.
Seventy patients with schizophrenia showing a full range of FTD scores and 70 matched healthy controls underwent fMRI during the performance of the 2-back version of the n-back task. Whole-brain corrected, voxel-based correlations with FTD scores were examined in the patient group.
During 2-back performance the patients showed clusters of significant inverse correlation with FTD scores in the inferior frontal cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex bilaterally, the left temporal cortex and subcortically in the basal ganglia and thalamus. Further analysis revealed that these correlations reflected an association only with ‘alogia’ (poverty of speech, poverty of content of speech and perseveration) and not with the ‘fluent disorganization’ component of FTD.
This study provides functional imaging support for the view that FTD in schizophrenia may involve impaired executive/frontal function. However, the relationship appears to be exclusively with alogia and not with the variables contributing to fluent disorganization.
Several multilingual language production models assume that language control is instigated by conflict monitoring. In turn, conflict adaptation, a control process which makes it easier to resolve interference if previously a high-interference context was detected, should also occur during multilingual production, as it is triggered by conflict monitoring. Because no evidence has been provided for conflict adaptation in the multilingual production literature, we set out to investigate this process using the n-3 effect. Our study showed that the n-3 effect can be observed during multilingual production, and thus provides evidence for conflict adaptation during multilingual production.
PUFA of the n-3 and n-6 families are present in high concentration in the brain where they are major components of cell membranes. The main forms found in the brain are DHA (22 :6, n-3) and arachidonic acid (20:4, n-6). In the past century, several studies pinpointed that modifications of n-3 and n-6 PUFA levels in the brain through dietary supply or genetic means are linked to the alterations of synaptic function. Yet, synaptopathies emerge as a common characteristic of neurodevelopmental disorders, neuropsychiatric diseases and some neurodegenerative diseases. Understanding the mechanisms of action underlying the activity of PUFA at the level of synapses is thus of high interest. In this frame, dietary supplementation in PUFA aiming at restoring or promoting the optimal function of synapses appears as a promising strategy to treat synaptopathies. This paper reviews the link between dietary PUFA, synapse formation and the role of PUFA and their metabolites in synaptic functions.
Analgesia in the prehospital setting is an extremely important, yet controversial topic. Ketamine, a N-methyl D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonist, has been commonly used in the prehospital setting, including recommendations by the US Department of Defense and by the Royal Australian College of Pain Medicine, despite the paucity of high-level evidence.
Accordingly, a review of the literature was conducted using several electronic medical literature databases from the earliest available records to the time at which the search was conducted (October 2018).
The search strategy yielded a total of 707 unique papers, of which 43 were short-listed for full review, and ultimately, ten papers were identified as meeting all the relevant inclusion criteria. The included studies varied significantly in the prehospital context and in the means of administering ketamine. There was only low-grade evidence that ketamine offered a safe and effective analgesia when used as the only analgesic, and only low-grade evidence that it was as effective as alternative opioid options. However, there was moderate evidence that co-administration of ketamine with morphine may improve analgesic efficacy and reduce morphine requirement.
Overall, ketamine as a prehospital analgesic may be best used in combination with opioids to reduce opioid requirement. It is suggested that future studies should use a standardized approach to measuring pain reduction. Future studies should also investigate short-term side effects and long-term complications or benefits of prehospital ketamine.
Different studies indicate that emotions can interfere with the efficacy of inhibitory control. However, understanding this impact requires considering that inhibition is not a unitary construct. Cognitive inhibition is the process responsible for attenuating and resisting the interference of thoughts, representations, and memories that are irrelevant to the task at hand. Due to the relevance of emotional stimuli for survival, different studies have indicated that the performance of cognitive inhibition can vary depending on the context, that is, whether in neutral or emotionally salient contexts. During the interval between 8 and 12 years old, the importance of this skill is rooted in the need for controlling reactions and stimuli that could be disruptive for learning. In this study, 395 children aged 8–12 years performed a 1-back visual task with emotional and neutral stimuli in order to assess cognitive inhibition in contexts with high and low emotional salience. The results support the validity of the task for the evaluation of cognitive inhibition. However, no significant differences were found, depending on the context, as expected. It is emphasised that these results constitute an approach to the problem of emotional content interference in children that considers the multidimensional approach of inhibition.
Marine n-3 PUFA exert beneficial effects that might inhibit atherosclerosis and reduce vascular disease. Previous studies have, however, reported conflicting results and here we have summarised the early history and the most recent findings from follow-up studies and randomised clinical trials investigating marine n-3 PUFA in relation to the risk of atherosclerotic CVD. Most follow-up studies have suggested that the intake of marine n-3 PUFA may be associated with a lower risk of CVD. Recent studies have also shown that it is important to focus on substitution issues and dietary patterns. Further, the use of gold standard biomarkers of fatty acid exposure such as adipose tissue should be encouraged. Findings from clinical supplemental trials have shown conflicting results and findings from previous meta-analyses and guidelines have generally not supported the use of fish oil supplements for the prevention of CVD. However, a recent meta-analysis including three recent large clinical trials with fish oil supplements reported a moderate beneficial effect on cardiovascular endpoints. Interestingly, results from a large clinical trial (REDUCE-IT) have suggested that supplementation with a high dose of purified EPA ethyl ester for 4⋅9 years significantly and markedly reduced the risk of cardiovascular events in patients with CVD and mild hypertriglyceridaemia; findings that need to be confirmed. While it seems appropriate to recommend consumption of fish, particular fatty fish for prevention of CVD, an effect of fish oil supplements is probably at best marginal perhaps apart from patients with hypertriglyceridaemia.
Heart failure (HF) is a complex clinical syndrome that represents a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Western countries. Several nutraceuticals have shown interesting clinical results in HF prevention as well as in the treatment of the early stages of the disease, alone or in combination with pharmacological therapy. The aim of the present expert opinion position paper is to summarise the available clinical evidence on the role of phytochemicals in HF prevention and/or treatment that might be considered in those patients not treated optimally as well as in those with low therapy adherence. The level of evidence and the strength of recommendation of particular HF treatment options were weighed up and graded according to predefined scales. A systematic search strategy was developed to identify trials in PubMed (January 1970 to June 2019). The terms ‘nutraceuticals’, ‘dietary supplements’, ‘herbal drug’ and ‘heart failure’ or ‘left verntricular dysfunction’ were used in the literature search. The experts discussed and agreed on the recommendation levels. Available clinical trials reported that the intake of some nutraceuticals (hawthorn, coenzyme Q10, l-carnitine, d-ribose, carnosine, vitamin D, probiotics, n-3 PUFA and beet nitrates) might be associated with improvements in self-perceived quality of life and/or functional parameters such as left ventricular ejection fraction, stroke volume and cardiac output in HF patients, with minimal or no side effects. Those benefits tended to be greater in earlier HF stages. Available clinical evidence supports the usefulness of supplementation with some nutraceuticals to improve HF management in addition to evidence-based pharmacological therapy.
Arabic sentiment analysis models have recently employed compositional paragraph or sentence embedding features to represent the informal Arabic dialectal content. These embeddings are mostly composed via ordered, syntax-aware composition functions and learned within deep neural network architectures. With the differences in the syntactic structure and words’ order among the Arabic dialects, a sentiment analysis system developed for one dialect might not be efficient for the others. Here we present syntax-ignorant, sentiment-specific n-gram embeddings for sentiment analysis of several Arabic dialects. The novelty of the proposed model is illustrated through its features and architecture. In the proposed model, the sentiment is expressed by embeddings, composed via the unordered additive composition function and learned within a shallow neural architecture. To evaluate the generated embeddings, they were compared with the state-of-the art word/paragraph embeddings. This involved investigating their efficiency, as expressive sentiment features, based on the visualisation maps constructed for our n-gram embeddings and word2vec/doc2vec. In addition, using several Eastern/Western Arabic datasets of single-dialect and multi-dialectal contents, the ability of our embeddings to recognise the sentiment was investigated against word/paragraph embeddings-based models. This comparison was performed within both shallow and deep neural network architectures and with two unordered composition functions employed. The results revealed that the introduced syntax-ignorant embeddings could represent single and combinations of different dialects efficiently, as our shallow sentiment analysis model, trained with the proposed n-gram embeddings, could outperform the word2vec/doc2vec models and rival deep neural architectures consuming, remarkably, less training time.
Marine n-3 fatty acids improve most of the biochemical alterations associated with insulin resistance (IR). Experimental models of dietary-induced IR in rodents have shown their ability (often at a very high dose) to prevent IR, but with sometimes a tissue specific effect. However, in a high sucrose diet-induced IR rat model, they are unable to reverse IR once installed; in other rodent models (dexamethasone, Zucker rats), they are inefficacious perhaps because of the severity of IR. The very low incidence of type-2 diabetes (T2D) in Inuits in the 1960s, which largely increased over the following decades in parallel to the replacement of their traditional marine food for a western diet strongly suggests a protective effect of marine n-3 towards the risk of T2D; this was confirmed by reversal of its incidence in intervention studies reintroducing their traditional food. In healthy subjects and insulin-resistant non-diabetic patients, most trials and meta-analyses conclude to an insulin-sensitising effect and to a very probable preventive or alleviating effect towards IR. Concerning the risk of T2D, concordant data allow us to conclude the protective effect of marine n-3 in Asians while suspicion exists of an aggravation of risk in Westerners, but with the possibility that it could be explained by a high heterogeneity of studies performed in this population. Some longitudinal cohorts in US/European people showed no association or a decreased risk. Further studies using more homogeneous doses, sources of n-3 and assessment of insulin sensitivity methods are required to better delineate their effects in Westerners.
In this chapter the linearized Riemann tensor correlator on a de Sitter background including one-loop corrections from conformal fields is derived. The Riemann tensor correlation function exhibits interesting features: it is gauge-invariant even when including contributions from loops of matter fields, but excluding graviton loops as it is implemented in the 1/N expansion, it is compatible with de Sitter invariance, and provides a complete characterization of the local geometry. The two-point correlator function of the Riemann tensor is computed by taking suitable derivatives of the metric correlator function found in the previous chapter, and the result is written in a manifestly de Sitter-invariant form. Moreover, given the decomposition of the Riemann tensor in terms of Weyl and Ricci tensors, we write the explicit results for the Weyl and Ricci tensors correlators as well as the Weyl–Ricci tensors correlator and study both their subhorizon and superhorizon behavior. These results are extended to general conformal field theories. We also derive the Riemann tensor correlator in Minkowski spacetime in a manifestly Lorentz-invariant form by carefully taking the flat-space limit of our result in de Sitter.
As a short introduction to this chapter we first briefly summarize the in-in or closed-time-path (CTP) functional formalism and evaluate the CTP effective action for a scalar field in Minkowski spacetime. We then consider N quantum matter fields interacting with the gravitational field assuming an effective field theory approach to quantum gravity and consider the quantization of metric perturbations around a semiclassical background in the CTP formalism. A suitable prescription is given to select an asymptotic initial vacuum state of the interacting theory; this prescription plays an important role in calculations in later chapters. We derive expressions for the two-point metric correlations, which are conveniently written in terms of the CTP effective action that results from integrating out the matter fields by rescaling the gravitational constant and performing a 1/N expansion. These correlations include loop corrections from matter fields but no graviton loops. This is achieved consistently in the 1/N expansion, and is illustrated in a simplified model of matter–gravity interaction.
This chapter defines Frobenius endomorphisms and Frobenius roots and gives the Lang–Steinberg theorem and its consequences using Galois cohomology. Then it studies and classifies finite reductive groups and studies their (B,N)-pairs.
In this chapter we describe an important application of stochastic gravity: we derive the Einstein–Langevin equation for the metric perturbations in a Minkowski background. We solve this equation for the linearized Einstein tensor and compute the associated two-point correlation functions, as well as the two-point correlation functions for the metric perturbations. The results of this calculation show that gravitational fluctuations are negligible at length scales larger than the Planck length and predict that the fluctuations are strongly suppressed at small scales. These results also reveal an important connection between stochastic gravity and the 1/N expansion of quantum gravity. In addition, they are used to study the stability of the Minkowski metric as a solution of semiclassical gravity, which constitutes an application of the validity criterion introduced in the previous chapter. This calculation requires a discussion of the problems posed by the so-called runaway solutions and some of the methods of dealing with them.
Whereas semiclassical gravity is based on the semiclassical Einstein equation with sources given by the expectation value of the stress-energy tensor, stochastic gravity is based on the Einstein–Langevin equation, which in addition has sources due to the noise kernel. The noise kernel is a bitensor which describes the quantum stress-energy tensor fluctuations of the matter fields. In this chapter we describe the fundamentals of this theory using an axiomatic and a functional approach. In the axiomatic approach, the equation is introduced as an extension of semiclassical gravity motivated by the search for self-consistent equations describing the backreaction of the stress-energy fluctuations on the gravitational field. We then discuss the equivalence between the stochastic correlation functions for the metric perturbations and the quantum correlation functions in the 1/N expansion, and illustrate the equivalence with a simple model. Based on the stochastic formulation, a criterion for the validity of semiclassical gravity is proposed. Alternatively, stochastic gravity is formulated using the Feynman–Vernon influence functional based on the open quantum system paradigm, in which the system of interest (the gravitational field) interacts with an environment (the matter fields).
In this chapter we derive the full two-point quantum metric perturbations on a de Sitter background including one-loop corrections from conformal fields. We do the calculation using the CTP effective action with the 1/N expansion, and select an asymptotic initial state by a suitable prescription that defines the vacuum of the interacting theory. The decomposition of the metric perturbations into scalar, vector and tensor perturbations is reviewed, and the effective action is given in terms of that decomposition. We first compute the two-point function of the tensor perturbations, which are dynamical degrees of freedom. The relation with the intrinsic and induced fluctuations of stochastic gravity is discussed. We then compute the two-point metric perturbations for the scalar and vector modes, which are constrained degrees of freedom. The result for the full two-point metric perturbations is invariant under spatial rotations and translations as well as under a simultaneous rescaling of the spatial and conformal time coordinates. Finally, our results are extended to general conformal field theories, even strongly interacting ones, by deriving the effective action for a general conformal field theory.