367 research outputs found

    Assessment of Past and Present Sediment Quality of Stoney Creek in Burnaby, British Columbia

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    In analyzing the sediment and water quality of the Stoney Creek habitat, four key aspects were investigated: lithology, sediment/water quality, salmon spawning/incubation, and particle size distribution. The lithology found the streambed sediment layer is 3 cm in depth (over bedrock) and consists mainly of sand and some coarser material including gravels, cobbles, and boulders. The sediment of the offchannel pond is mainly mud (fine material) with a moderate amount of sand and a very small percentage of coarser material including gravels and organic matter (leaf detritus and woody debris). Chemical analysis concluded a significant concentration of iron in the pond environment, with potential for adverse effects to salmon offspring. This report further aims to assess the influences of fine sediment on the quality of salmon spawning habitat and incubation success rate. Permeability of spawning gravels and dissolved oxygen concentrations are measured to see if they support the incubation and growth of salmon eggs. Particle size distributions are found significantly different between upstream pool and pond side. And the difference of particle size distributions can influence salmon production in the off-channel site

    Risk factors for COPD exacerbations in inhaled medication users: the COPDGene study biannual longitudinal follow-up prospective cohort.

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    BackgroundDespite inhaled medications that decrease exacerbation risk, some COPD patients experience frequent exacerbations. We determined prospective risk factors for exacerbations among subjects in the COPDGene Study taking inhaled medications.Methods2113 COPD subjects were categorized into four medication use patterns: triple therapy with tiotropium (TIO) plus long-acting beta-agonist/inhaled-corticosteroid (ICS ± LABA), tiotropium alone, ICS ± LABA, and short-acting bronchodilators. Self-reported exacerbations were recorded in telephone and web-based longitudinal follow-up surveys. Associations with exacerbations were determined within each medication group using four separate logistic regression models. A head-to-head analysis compared exacerbation risk among subjects using tiotropium vs. ICS ± LABA.ResultsIn separate logistic regression models, the presence of gastroesophageal reflux, female gender, and higher scores on the St. George's Respiratory Questionnaire were significant predictors of exacerbator status within multiple medication groups (reflux: OR 1.62-2.75; female gender: OR 1.53 - OR 1.90; SGRQ: OR 1.02-1.03). Subjects taking either ICS ± LABA or tiotropium had similar baseline characteristics, allowing comparison between these two groups. In the head-to-head comparison, tiotropium users showed a trend towards lower rates of exacerbations (OR = 0.69 [95 % CI 0.45, 1.06], p = 0.09) compared with ICS ± LABA users, especially in subjects without comorbid asthma (OR = 0.56 [95% CI 0.31, 1.00], p = 0.05).ConclusionsEach common COPD medication usage group showed unique risk factor patterns associated with increased risk of exacerbations, which may help clinicians identify subjects at risk. Compared to similar subjects using ICS ± LABA, those taking tiotropium showed a trend towards reduced exacerbation risk, especially in subjects without asthma.Trial registrationClinicalTrials.gov NCT00608764, first received 1/28/2008

    Far-off-resonant wave interaction in one-dimensional photonic crystals with quadratic nonlinearity

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    We extend a recently developed Hamiltonian formalism for nonlinear wave interaction processes in spatially periodic dielectric structures to the far-off-resonant regime, and investigate numerically the three-wave resonance conditions in a one-dimensional optical medium with χ(2)\chi^{(2)} nonlinearity. In particular, we demonstrate that the cascading of nonresonant wave interaction processes generates an effective χ(3)\chi^{(3)} nonlinear response in these systems. We obtain the corresponding coupling coefficients through appropriate normal form transformations that formally lead to the Zakharov equation for spatially periodic optical media.Comment: 14 pages, 4 figure

    Chemoreflex Mediated Arrhythmia during Apnea at 5050m in Low but not High Altitude Natives

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    Peripheral chemoreflex mediated increases in both parasympathetic and sympathetic drive under chronic hypoxia may evoke bradyarrhythmias during apneic periods. We determined whether 1) voluntary apnea unmasks arrhythmia at low (344 m) and high (5,050 m) altitude, 2) high-altitude natives (Nepalese Sherpa) exhibit similar cardiovagal responses at altitude, and 3) bradyarrhythmias at altitude are partially chemoreflex mediated. Participants were grouped as Lowlanders ( n = 14; age = 27 ± 6 yr) and Nepalese Sherpa ( n = 8; age = 32 ± 11 yr). Lowlanders were assessed at 344 and 5,050 m, whereas Sherpa were assessed at 5,050 m. Heart rate (HR) and rhythm (lead II ECG) were recorded during rest and voluntary end-expiratory apnea. Peripheral chemoreflex contributions were assessed in Lowlanders ( n = 7) at altitude after 100% oxygen. Lowlanders had higher resting HR at altitude (70 ± 15 vs. 61 ± 15 beats/min; P &lt; 0.01) that was similar to Sherpa (71 ± 5 beats/min; P = 0.94). High-altitude apnea caused arrhythmias in 11 of 14 Lowlanders [junctional rhythm ( n = 4), 3° atrioventricular block ( n = 3), sinus pause ( n = 4)] not present at low altitude and larger marked bradycardia (nadir −39 ± 18 beats/min; P &lt; 0.001). Sherpa exhibited a reduced bradycardia response during apnea compared with Lowlanders ( P &lt; 0.001) and did not develop arrhythmias. Hyperoxia blunted bradycardia (nadir −10 ± 14 beats/min; P &lt; 0.001 compared with hypoxic state) and reduced arrhythmia incidence (3 of 7 Lowlanders). Degree of bradycardia was significantly related to hypoxic ventilatory response (HVR) at altitude and predictive of arrhythmias ( P &lt; 0.05). Our data demonstrate apnea-induced bradyarrhythmias in Lowlanders at altitude but not in Sherpa (potentially through cardioprotective phenotypes). The chemoreflex is an important mechanism in genesis of bradyarrhythmias, and the HVR may be predictive for identifying individual susceptibility to events at altitude. NEW &amp; NOTEWORTHY The peripheral chemoreflex increases both parasympathetic and sympathetic drive under chronic hypoxia. We found that this evoked bradyarrhythmias when combined with apneic periods in Lowlanders at altitude, which become relieved through supplemental oxygen. In contrast, high-altitude residents (Nepalese Sherpa) do not exhibit bradyarrhythmias during apnea at altitude through potential cardioprotective adaptations. The degree of bradycardia and bradyarrhythmias was related to the hypoxic ventilatory response, demonstrating that the chemoreflex plays an important role in these findings. </jats:p

    Global REACH: Assessment of brady-arrhythmias in Andeans and Lowlanders during apnea at 4330m

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    BACKGROUND: Ascent to altitude increases the prevalence of arrhythmogenesis in low-altitude dwelling populations (Lowlanders). High altitude populations (ie. Nepalese Sherpa) may have arrhythmias resistant adaptations that prevent arrhythmogenesis at altitude, though this has not been documented in other High altitude groups, including those diagnosed with chronic mountain sickness (CMS). We investigated whether healthy (CMS-) and CMS afflicted (CMS+) Andeans exhibit cardiac arrhythmias under acute apneic stress at altitude. METHODS AND RESULTS: Electrocardiograms (lead II) were collected in CMS- (N=9), CMS+ (N=8), and Lowlanders (N= 13) following several days at 4330m (Cerro de Pasco, Peru). ECG rhythm and HR were assessed at both rest and during maximal volitional apnea (End-Expiratory [EXP]). Both CMS- and CMS+ had similar basal HR (69 ± 8 beats/min vs. 62 ± 11 beats/min), while basal HR was higher in Lowlanders (77 ± 18 beats/min; P<0.05 versus CMS+). Apnea elicited significant bradycardia (nadir -32 ± 15 beats/min; P<0.01) and the development of arrhythmias in 8/13 Lowlanders (junctional rhythm, 3° atrio-venticular block, sinus pause). HR was preserved was prior to volitional breakpoint in both CMS- (nadir -6 ± 1 beat/min) and CMS+ (1 ±12 beats/min), with 2/17 Andeans developing arrhythmias ( 1 CMS+ and 1 CMS-; both Premature Atrial Contraction) prior to breakpoint. CONCLUSIONS: Andeans showed an absence of arrhythmias and preserved HR response to volitional apnea at altitude, demonstrating that potential cardio-resistant adaptations to arrhythmogenesis exist across permanent HA populations. Acclimatized Lowlanders have further demonstrated an increased prevalence of arrhythmias at altitude

    Muscle sympathetic reactivity to apneic and exercise stress in high-altitude Sherpa

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    Lowland-dwelling populations exhibit persistent sympathetic hyperactivity at altitude that may alter vascular function. High altitude populations, such as Sherpa, exhibit greater peripheral blood flow in response to acute stress, suggesting Sherpas may exhibit lower sympathetic activity and reactivity to stress than Lowlanders. Muscle sympathetic activity (MSNA; microneurography) including frequency (bursts/min), incidence (bursts/100HB), amplitude (% of max burst), was measured at rest in Lowlanders (n=14; age=27±6yrs) at 344m and following a 8- 9 days of graded ascent to 5050m. Sherpa (age=32±11yrs) were tested at 5050m (n=8). Neurovascular reactivity (i.e., change in MSNA patterns) was measured during maximal end expiratory apnea, isometric hand-grip (IHG; 30% maximal voluntary contraction for 2 minutes) and post exercise circulatory occlusion (PECO; 3 minutes). Total normalized SNA (au/min) was calculated over 10 cardiac cycles during baseline and pre-volitional apnea breakpoint. Lowlander burst frequency (11±5 bursts/min to 30±7 bursts/min; Mean±SD; p<0.001) and burst incidence (25±13 bursts/100HB to 53±15 bursts/100HB; p<0.001) increased at 5050m. In contrast, Sherpas had lower burst frequency (23±11 bursts/min; p<0.05) and incidence (30±13 bursts/100HB; p<0.05) at 5050m. MSNA increases in Lowlanders and Sherpa during apnea at 5050m were significantly lower than Lowlanders at 344m (both P<0.05), with a possible sympathetic ceiling reached in Lowlanders at 5050m. MSNA increased similarly during the IHG/PECO in Lowlanders at 334m and 5050m altitude and Sherpa at 5050m. Sherpa demonstrate overall lower sympathetic activity and reactivity during severe stress. This may be a result of improved systemic hemodynamic function associated with evolutionary adaptations to permanent residency at altitude

    Comparing gene discovery from Affymetrix GeneChip microarrays and Clontech PCR-select cDNA subtraction: a case study

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    BACKGROUND: Several high throughput technologies have been employed to identify differentially regulated genes that may be molecular targets for drug discovery. Here we compared the sets of differentially regulated genes discovered using two experimental approaches: a subtracted suppressive hybridization (SSH) cDNA library methodology and Affymetrix GeneChip(® )technology. In this "case study" we explored the transcriptional pattern changes during the in vitro differentiation of human monocytes to myeloid dendritic cells (DC), and evaluated the potential for novel gene discovery using the SSH methodology. RESULTS: The same RNA samples isolated from peripheral blood monocyte precursors and immature DC (iDC) were used for GeneChip microarray probing and SSH cDNA library construction. 10,000 clones from each of the two-way SSH libraries (iDC-monocytes and monocytes-iDC) were picked for sequencing. About 2000 transcripts were identified for each library from 8000 successful sequences. Only 70% to 75% of these transcripts were represented on the U95 series GeneChip microarrays, implying that 25% to 30% of these transcripts might not have been identified in a study based only on GeneChip microarrays. In addition, about 10% of these transcripts appeared to be "novel", although these have not yet been closely examined. Among the transcripts that are also represented on the chips, about a third were concordantly discovered as differentially regulated between iDC and monocytes by GeneChip microarray transcript profiling. The remaining two thirds were either not inferred as differentially regulated from GeneChip microarray data, or were called differentially regulated but in the opposite direction. This underscores the importance both of generating reciprocal pairs of SSH libraries, and of real-time RT-PCR confirmation of the results. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that SSH could be used as an alternative and complementary transcript profiling tool to GeneChip microarrays, especially in identifying novel genes and transcripts of low abundance

    Attitudes towards terminal sedation: an empirical survey among experts in the field of medical ethics

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    BACKGROUND: "Terminal sedation" regarded as the use of sedation in (pre-)terminal patients with treatment-refractory symptoms is controversially discussed not only within palliative medicine. While supporters consider terminal sedation as an indispensable palliative medical treatment option, opponents disapprove of it as "slow euthanasia". Against this background, we interviewed medical ethics experts by questionnaire on the term and the moral acceptance of terminal sedation in order to find out how they think about this topic. We were especially interested in whether experts with a professional medical and nursing background think differently about the topic than experts without this background. METHODS: The survey was carried out by questionnaire; beside the provided answering options free text comments were possible. As test persons we chose the 477 members of the German Academy for Ethics in Medicine, an interdisciplinary society for medical ethics. RESULTS: 281 completed questionnaires were returned (response rate = 59%). The majority of persons without medical background regarded "terminal sedation" as an intentional elimination of consciousness until the patient's death occurs; persons with a medical background generally had a broader understanding of the term, including light or intermittent forms of sedation. 98% of the respondents regarded terminal sedation in dying patients with treatment-refractory physical symptoms as acceptable. Situations in which the dying process has not yet started, in which untreatable mental symptoms are the indication for terminal sedation or in which life-sustaining measures are withdrawn during sedation were evaluated as morally difficult. CONCLUSION: The survey reveals a great need for research and discussion on the medical indication as well as on the moral evaluation of terminal sedation. Prerequisite for this is a more precise terminology which describes the circumstances of the sedation
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