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An early economic evaluation to inform the translation into clinical practice of a spectroscopic liquid biopsy for the detection of brain cancer. Two specific aims are (1) to update an existing economic model with results from a prospective study of diagnostic accuracy and (2) to explore the potential of brain tumor-type predictions to affect patient outcomes and healthcare costs.
A cost-effectiveness analysis from a UK NHS perspective of the use of spectroscopic liquid biopsy in primary and secondary care settings, as well as a cost–consequence analysis of the addition of tumor-type predictions was conducted. Decision tree models were constructed to represent simplified diagnostic pathways. Test diagnostic accuracy parameters were based on a prospective validation study. Four price points (GBP 50-200, EUR 57-228) for the test were considered.
In both settings, the use of liquid biopsy produced QALY gains. In primary care, at test costs below GBP 100 (EUR 114), testing was cost saving. At GBP 100 (EUR 114) per test, the ICER was GBP 13,279 (EUR 15,145), whereas at GBP 200 (EUR 228), the ICER was GBP 78,300 (EUR 89,301). In secondary care, the ICER ranged from GBP 11,360 (EUR 12,956) to GBP 43,870 (EUR 50,034) across the range of test costs.
The results demonstrate the potential for the technology to be cost-effective in both primary and secondary care settings. Additional studies of test use in routine primary care practice are needed to resolve the remaining issues of uncertainty—prevalence in this patient population and referral behavior.
Here, I look at the concept of a biosignature. The presence of certain gases in a planet’s atmosphere may represent signatures of life-forms. Oxygen is of particular interest. However, while finding a high concentration of oxygen would be suggestive of life, it would not be conclusive if abiotic means of maintenance could be envisaged. Since studies of exoplanet atmospheres are in their infancy, I start in the better-known realm of our solar system, and look at the atmospheres of planets without life, to see the extent to which these vary. Both Mars and Venus have more than 95% carbon dioxide. In contrast, the only solar-system moon to have an atmosphere – Saturn’s Titan – has more than 95% nitrogen. Mercury has virtually no atmosphere. No body in our system has a significant fraction of oxygen except Earth, with about 20%. I examine the techniques of spectroscopy and show how they allow us to see the signatures of particular gases. Then I mention some recent exoplanetary results – such as detection of atmospheric sodium. Finally, I look at proposed direct-imaging space telescopes, notably NASA’s HabEx and LUVOIR, which, if approved, will be missions of extraordinary importance.
Here, I examine whether some of the exoplanets that we have already discovered might be inhabited. However, I start by cautioning against an overly optimistic stance. Although we now know of thousands of exoplanets, and although the Drake equation estimates of Chapter 12 suggest that millions of planets are inhabited, a quick calculation suggests that of the exoplanets discovered so far, only a few are likely to have microbial life and none to have animal life. Against that background, we look at four planetary systems that are reasonably promising. One of these is the Kepler-186 system, where planet f may be habitable. Another is the Alpha Centauri system, where Proxima b may be habitable. A third is TRAPPIST-1, where there are three potentially habitable planets. The final one is Kepler-452, where planet b may be habitable. Whether any of these planets are actually inhabited will only be answered by particular kinds of observation – most likely spectroscopic studies of their atmospheres. How realistic such studies are depends on the distance to the system concerned. The four systems used as examples here range from 4 to nearly 2000 light years – from doable to quasi-impossible.
The effect of plant phenology and canopy structure of four crops and four weed species on reflectance spectra were evaluated in 2016 and 2017 using in situ spectroscopy. Leaf-level and canopy-level reflectance were collected at multiple phenologic time points in each growing season. Reflectance values at 2 wk after planting (WAP) in both years indicated strong spectral differences between species across the visible (VIS; 350–700 nm), near-infrared (NIR; 701–1,300 nm), shortwave-infrared I (SWIR1; 1,301–1,900 nm), and shortwave-infrared II (SWIR2; 1,901–2,500 nm) regions. Results from this study indicate that plant spectral reflectance changes with plant phenology and is influenced by plant biophysical characteristics. Canopy-level differences were detected in both years across all dates except for 1 WAP in 2017. Species with similar canopy types (e.g., broadleaf prostrate, broadleaf erect, or grass/sedge) were more readily discriminated from species with different canopy types. Asynchronous phenology between species also resulted in spectral differences between species. SWIR1 and SWIR2 wavelengths are often not included in multispectral sensors but should be considered for species differentiation. Results from this research indicate that wavelengths in SWIR1 and SWIR2 in conjunction with VIS and NIR reflectance can provide differentiation across plant phenologies and, therefore should be considered for use in future sensor technologies for species differentiation.
The reflectance spectroscopic characteristics of cyanobacteria-dominated microbial mats in the McMurdo Dry Valleys (MDVs) were measured using a hyperspectral point spectrometer aboard an unmanned aerial system (remotely piloted aircraft system, unmanned aerial vehicle or drone) to determine whether mat presence, type and activity could be mapped at a spatial scale sufficient to characterize inter-annual change. Mats near Howard Glacier and Canada Glacier (ASPA 131) were mapped and mat samples were collected for DNA-based microbiome analysis. Although a broadband spectral parameter (a partial normalized difference vegetation index) identified mats, it missed mats in comparatively deep (> 10 cm) water or on bouldery surfaces where mats occupied fringing moats. A hyperspectral parameter (B6) did not have these shortcomings and recorded a larger dynamic range at both sites. When linked with colour orthomosaic data, B6 band strength is shown to be capable of characterizing the presence, type and activity of cyanobacteria-dominated mats in and around MDV streams. 16S rRNA gene polymerase chain reaction amplicon sequencing analysis of the mat samples revealed that dominant cyanobacterial taxa differed between spectrally distinguishable mats, indicating that spectral differences reflect underlying biological distinctiveness. Combined rapid-repeat hyperspectral measurements can be applied in order to monitor the distribution and activity of sentinel microbial ecosystems across the terrestrial Antarctic.
The risk of perioperative neurologic injury has decreased over the years, yet it remains a significant clinical problem that may result in severe debilitation and death. Noninvasive intraoperative monitoring of regional cerebral oxygen saturation (rScO2) by near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is used in this vein to ensure an adequate balance between cerebral oxygen supply and demand. NIRS technology, already employed in cardiac surgical patients, is increasingly used in orthopedic, vascular, and neurosurgical procedures. Furthermore, NIRS usage in other clinical settings – including trauma, critical care, and cardiopulmonary resuscitation – is also being investigated. This chapter reviews the basic principles and interpretation of cerebral oximetry, research studies that examine its efficacy, and novel uses of this technology.
One challenge impeding the analysis of terabyte scale X-ray scattering data from the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) is determining the number of clusters required for the execution of traditional clustering algorithms. Here, we demonstrate that the previous work using bi-cross validation to determine the number of singular vectors directly maps to the spectral clustering problem of estimating both the number of clusters and hyperparameter values. Applying this method to LCLS X-ray scattering data enables the identification of dropped shots without manually setting boundaries on detector fluence and provides a path toward identifying rare and anomalous events.
A study of N-acetyl-aspartate (NAA) can provide data of interest about cortical alterations in psychotic illnesses. Although a decreased NAA level in the cerebral cortex is a replicated finding in chronic schizophrenia, the data are less consistent for bipolar disease. On the other hand, it is likely that NAA values in schizophrenia may differ in men and women.
We used proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H MRS) to examine NAA levels in the prefrontal cortex in two groups of male patients, one with schizophrenia (n = 11) and the other with bipolar disorder (n = 13) of similar duration, and compared them to a sample of healthy control males (n = 10). Additionally, we compared the degree of structural deviations from normal volumes of gray matter (GM) and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.
Compared to controls, schizophrenia and bipolar patients presented decreased NAA to creatine ratios, while only the schizophrenia group showed an increase in CSF in the dorsolateral prefrontal region. There were no differences in choline to creatine ratios among the groups.
These data suggest that the decrease in NAA in the prefrontal region may be similar in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, at least in the chronic state. However, cortical CSF may be markedly increased in schizophrenia patients.
This study applied 1H-MRS in the thalamus of schizophrenic patients and healthy subjects.
There were no differences in the metabolite ratios (NAA/Cr, Cho/Cr or mI/Cr) between the two groups. Relationships were noted between NAA/Cr and age in patients with a trend toward this correlation in controls, suggesting an effect of age on the metabolism of the thalamus.
Hyperspectral soft X-ray emission (SXE) and cathodoluminescence (CL) spectrometry have been used to investigate a carbonaceous-rich geological deposit to understand the crystallinity and morphology of the carbon and the associated quartz. Panchromatic CL maps show both the growth of the quartz and the evidence of recrystallization. A fitted CL map reveals the distribution of Ti4+ within the grains and shows subtle growth zoning, together with radiation halos from 238U decay. The sensitivity of the SXE spectrometer to carbon, together with the anisotropic X-ray emission from highly orientated pyrolytic graphite, has enabled the C Kα peak shape to be used to measure the crystal orientation of individual graphite regions. Mapping has revealed that most grains are predominantly of a single orientation, and a number of graphite grains have been investigated to demonstrate the application of this new SXE technique. A peak fitting approach to analyzing the SXE spectra was developed to project the C Kα 2pz and 2p(x+y) orbital components of the graphite. The shape of these two end-member components is comparable to those produced by electron density of states calculations. The angular sensitivity of the SXE spectrometer has been shown to be comparable to that of electron backscatter diffraction.
We investigate the spatial distribution, spectral properties and temporal variability of primary producers (e.g. communities of microbial mats and mosses) throughout the Fryxell basin of Taylor Valley, Antarctica, using high-resolution multispectral remote-sensing data. Our results suggest that photosynthetic communities can be readily detected throughout the Fryxell basin based on their unique near-infrared spectral signatures. Observed intra- and inter-annual variability in spectral signatures are consistent with short-term variations in mat distribution, hydration and photosynthetic activity. Spectral unmixing is also implemented in order to estimate mat abundance, with the most densely vegetated regions observed from orbit correlating spatially with some of the most productive regions of the Fryxell basin. Our work establishes remote sensing as a valuable tool in the study of these ecological communities in the McMurdo Dry Valleys and demonstrates how future scientific investigations and the management of specially protected areas could benefit from these tools and techniques.
The deficient disposition of the pruning waste, from grass (Poaceae), has been converted into a considerable environmental problem since it is discarded in common garbage dumps. As a result, gases and lixiviates are generated producing a negative impact on the environment. This project takes advantage of these residues to isolate their chloroplasts, with the aim of subsequently developing bioreactors that absorb CO2. The encapsulation of grass chloroplasts into silica monolith with a hierarchical texture, using high internal phase emulsion (HIPE) method was carried out. The isolated chloroplasts were analysed by UV-Vis spectroscopy to estimate the amount of chlorophylls a and b present in the grass. Moreover, the synthesized samples were characterized by fluorescence spectroscopy for monitoring their photosynthetic activity, having an activity up to at least 90 days.
Biosynthesized Zincite nanoparticles have been successfully demonstrated by a completely green process mediated aqueous extract of rosemary leaves acting as both reducing and stabilizing agents and zinc nitrate hexahydrate as the precursor. The synthesis was free of solvents and surfactants to adhere to green chemistry principles and the impartation of environmental benignity. To achieve our objective, structural and optical investigations of ZnO annealed at 500°C for 2hrs were carried-out using complementary techniques. High resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) revealed the self-assembled, highly agglomerated quasi-hexagonal shaped NPs and the average particle size was found to peak at 15.62 ± 0.22 nm. Selected area electron diffraction (SAED) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) exhibited several diffraction rings with clear diffraction spots confirming their polycrystallinity and the purity of ZnO NPs with a wurtzite structure. Furthermore, the energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) substantiated the presence of Zn and O in the sample and attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) illustrated the Zn-O chemical bonds. From UV-Vis-NIR, the optical band gap was amounted to 3.2 eV and photoluminescence (PL) emission spectrum to 2.9eV with high surface defects and oxygen vacancies. Through these results, the use of rosemary leaves extract is hereby shown to be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to synthesize Zincite nanoparticles (ZnO NPs).
Using palladium for hydrogen storage requires palladium (Pd) particles exhibiting specific parameters, including surface area, particle size, and particle shape, with increased interest in palladium nanoparticles (Pd NPs). In order to routinely monitor the synthesis of these particles a spectroscopic method is being developed using infrared (IR), Raman, and UV-Vis spectroscopy. By monitoring the production of Pd NPs, the growth of the NPs can be controlled to ensure quality of the product to match the desired finished particle specifications. For the reaction presented, the conversion of the intermediate tetraamminepalladium(II) chloride (PTC) to diamminepalladium(II) chloride (PDC) can influence the Pd NPs properties. This study is first being developed in lab bench scale quantities to allow ultimate control of the Pd NPs.
Multi- and hyperspectral sensors in the visible to short-wave infrared (0.4–2.5 μm) are sensitive to spectral features caused by electronic charge transfer and transition metal crystal field band as well as molecular overtone absorptions. This chapter reviews several processing techniques used to map materials on planetary surfaces based on their reflectance spectra in this spectral region. Techniques that are reviewed include spectral matching in the form of spectral angle and spectral information divergence, linear and nonlinear spectral unmixing, partial unmixing/matched filters, and machine learning approaches in the form of self-organizing maps, neural network classification, and support vector machines.
A variety of features in the visible and near-infrared regions that are observed in remote sensing applications are the result of electronic transitions, typically involving cations of transition metals, most commonly Fe and Ti, or the molecular species S. The position and intensity of these features are sensitive not only to the particular cation, but also to its oxidation state, the particular phase in which it occurs, the geometric structure of the site that it occupies, and interactions between and among neighboring cations. Often these features are diagnostic for the host mineral.
Thermal infrared data collected by the Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) and Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) instruments have significantly impacted the understanding of martian surface mineralogy. Spatial/temporal variations in igneous lithologies; the discovery of quartz, carbonates, and chlorides; and the widespread identification of amorphous, silica-enriched materials reveal a planet that has experienced a diversity of primary and secondary geo-logic processes including igneous crustal evolution, regional sedimentation, aqueous alteration, and glacial/periglacial activity.
Spectral modeling techniques have been developed for the analysis of planetary surfaces using large thermal infrared (TIR) spacecraft datasets. These techniques can be applied to three main spectral analysis problems: (1) correction for atmospheric effects for the recovery of surface emissivity; (2) isolation and separation of surface spectral endmembers for the characterization of surface mineralogy; and (3) determination of surface anisothermality for the retrieval of surface physical properties and correction for thermal emission in near-infrared spectral data. These modeling techniques have been extensively applied to martian and lunar spacecraft datasets, forming a basis for the retrieval of surface physical and compositional properties.