292 research outputs found

    An analysis of the guest relations programs of four types of Boston hotels.

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    Thesis (M.S.)--Boston Universit

    Oxytocin levels and self-reported anxiety during interactions between humans and cows

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    Introduction: Positive social interactions with farm animals may have therapeutic benefits on humans by increasing brain oxytocin secretion, as inferred from circulating oxytocin levels. The aim of this observational study was to investigate acute changes in human plasma oxytocin levels and state anxiety associated with interactions with dairy cows. Methods: Data were collected from 18 healthy female nursing students who performed stroking and brushing of an unfamiliar cow for 15 min. Blood samples were drawn before entering the cowshed (T1, baseline), and after 5 (T2) and 15 (T3) min of interaction with a cow. At T1 and T3, the students filled out the Norwegian version of the Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory-State Subscale (STAI-SS). Results: Across participants, no significant changes in average plasma oxytocin concentration were detected between time points (p>0.05). There was, however, a modest decline in the STAI-SS scores between T1 and T3 (p=0.015) and a positive correlation between the change in individual level of state anxiety between T1 and T3 and the change in OT concentration of the same individual between T2 and T3 (p = 0.045). Discussion: The results suggest that friendly social interactions with cows are beneficial in lowering state anxiety, but any relationship with release of OT into the circulation was complex and variable across individuals. The acute reduction in state anxiety lends support to the value of interacting with farm animals in the context of Green Care for people with mental health challenges

    Mammary molecular portraits reveal lineage-specific features and progenitor cell vulnerabilities.

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    The mammary epithelium depends on specific lineages and their stem and progenitor function to accommodate hormone-triggered physiological demands in the adult female. Perturbations of these lineages underpin breast cancer risk, yet our understanding of normal mammary cell composition is incomplete. Here, we build a multimodal resource for the adult gland through comprehensive profiling of primary cell epigenomes, transcriptomes, and proteomes. We define systems-level relationships between chromatin-DNA-RNA-protein states, identify lineage-specific DNA methylation of transcription factor binding sites, and pinpoint proteins underlying progesterone responsiveness. Comparative proteomics of estrogen and progesterone receptor-positive and -negative cell populations, extensive target validation, and drug testing lead to discovery of stem and progenitor cell vulnerabilities. Top epigenetic drugs exert cytostatic effects; prevent adult mammary cell expansion, clonogenicity, and mammopoiesis; and deplete stem cell frequency. Select drugs also abrogate human breast progenitor cell activity in normal and high-risk patient samples. This integrative computational and functional study provides fundamental insight into mammary lineage and stem cell biology

    Suppression of Star Formation in the central 200 kpc of a z = 1.4 Galaxy Cluster [Erratum added]

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    We present the results of an extended narrow-band H{\alpha} study of the massive galaxy cluster XMMU J2235.3-2557 at z = 1.39. This paper represents a follow up study to our previous investigation of star-formation in the cluster centre, extending our analysis out to a projected cluster radius of 1.5 Mpc. Using the Near InfraRed Imager and Spectrograph (NIRI) on Gemini North we obtained deep H narrow-band imaging corresponding to the rest-frame wavelength of H{\alpha} at the cluster's redshift. We identify a total of 163 potential cluster members in both pointings, excluding stars based on their near-IR colours derived from VLT/HAWK-I imaging. Of these 163 objects 14 are spectroscopically confirmed cluster members, and 20% are excess line-emitters. We find no evidence of star formation activity within a radius of 200 kpc of the brightest cluster galaxy in the cluster core. Dust-corrected star formation rates (SFR) of excess emitters outside this cluster quenching radius, RQ \sim 200 kpc, are on average = 2.7 \pm 1.0 M\odot yr-1, but do not show evidence of increasing star-formation rates toward the extreme 1.5 Mpc radius of the cluster. No individual cluster galaxy exceeds an SFR of 6 M\odot yr-1 . Massive galaxies (log M\ast /M\odot > 10.75) all have low specific SFRs (SSFRs, i.e. SFR per unit stellar mass). At fixed stellar mass, galaxies in the cluster centre have lower SSFRs than the rest of the cluster galaxies, which in turn have lower SSFRs than field galaxies at the same redshift by a factor of a few to 10. For the first time we can demonstrate through measurements of individual SFRs that already at very early epochs (at an age of the Universe of \sim4.5 Gyr) the suppression of star-formation is an effect of the cluster environment which persists at fixed galaxy stellar mass. [Erratum added after the original paper]Comment: 12 pages, 6 figures, accepted for publication in MNRAS. New version: Erratum added after the original paper (2 pages, 3 corrected figures). Due to an error in the original computation the SFR values had to be increased by a factor of 5. However, the results and conclusions remain largely unchange

    Developing new health technologies for neglected diseases: a pipeline portfolio review and cost model [version 1; referees: 1 approved, 2 approved with reservations]

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    Background:  Funding for product development for neglected diseases fell from 2009-2015, other than a short-term injection of Ebola funding. One impediment to mobilizing resources is a lack of information on product candidates, the estimated costs to move them through the pipeline, and the likelihood of specific launches. This study aimed to help fill these information gaps. Methods: We conducted a pipeline portfolio review to identify current candidates for 35 neglected diseases. Using an adapted version of the Portfolio to Impact (P2I) financial modelling tool, we estimated the costs to move these candidates through the pipeline over the next decade and the likely launches. Since the current pipeline is unlikely to yield several critical products, we estimated the costs to develop a set of priority “missing” products. Results: We found 685 product candidates for neglected diseases as of August 31, 2017; 538 candidates met inclusion criteria for input into the model. It would cost about 16.3billion(range16.3 billion (range 13.4-19.8B) to move these candidates through the pipeline, with three-quarters of the costs incurred in the first 5 years, resulting in about 128 (89-160) expected product launches.  Based on the current pipeline, there would be very few launches of complex new chemical entities; launches of highly efficacious vaccines for HIV, tuberculosis, or malaria would be unlikely. Estimated additional costs to launch one of each of 18 key missing products range from 13.6B−13.6B-21.8B, depending on product complexity. Over the next 5 years, total estimated costs to move current candidates through the pipeline and develop these 18 missing products would be around 4.5−5.8B/year.Conclusions:Sincecurrentannualglobalspendingonproductdevelopmentisabout4.5-5.8B/year. Conclusions: Since current annual global spending on product development is about 3B, this study suggests the annual funding gap over the next 5 years is at least $1.5-2.8B, which is probably an underestimate. The current portfolio is not balanced across health needs

    Cancer Genes Hypermethylated in Human Embryonic Stem Cells

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    Developmental genes are silenced in embryonic stem cells by a bivalent histone-based chromatin mark. It has been proposed that this mark also confers a predisposition to aberrant DNA promoter hypermethylation of tumor suppressor genes (TSGs) in cancer. We report here that silencing of a significant proportion of these TSGs in human embryonic and adult stem cells is associated with promoter DNA hypermethylation. Our results indicate a role for DNA methylation in the control of gene expression in human stem cells and suggest that, for genes repressed by promoter hypermethylation in stem cells in vivo, the aberrant process in cancer could be understood as a defect in establishing an unmethylated promoter during differentiation, rather than as an anomalous process of de novo hypermethylation

    Convergence of marine megafauna movement patterns in coastal and open oceans

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    Author Posting. © The Author(s), 2017. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 115 (2018): 3072-3077, doi:10.1073/pnas.1716137115.The extent of increasing anthropogenic impacts on large marine vertebrates partly depends on the animals’ movement patterns. Effective conservation requires identification of the key drivers of movement including intrinsic properties and extrinsic constraints associated with the dynamic nature of the environments the animals inhabit. However, the relative importance of intrinsic versus extrinsic factors remains elusive. We analyse a global dataset of 2.8 million locations from > 2,600 tracked individuals across 50 marine vertebrates evolutionarily separated by millions of years and using different locomotion modes (fly, swim, walk/paddle). Strikingly, movement patterns show a remarkable convergence, being strongly conserved across species and independent of body length and mass, despite these traits ranging over 10 orders of magnitude among the species studied. This represents a fundamental difference between marine and terrestrial vertebrates not previously identified, likely linked to the reduced costs of locomotion in water. Movement patterns were primarily explained by the interaction between species-specific traits and the habitat(s) they move through, resulting in complex movement patterns when moving close to coasts compared to more predictable patterns when moving in open oceans. This distinct difference may be associated with greater complexity within coastal micro-habitats, highlighting a critical role of preferred habitat in shaping marine vertebrate global movements. Efforts to develop understanding of the characteristics of vertebrate movement should consider the habitat(s) through which they move to identify how movement patterns will alter with forecasted severe ocean changes, such as reduced Arctic sea ice cover, sea level rise and declining oxygen content.Workshops funding granted by the UWA Oceans Institute, AIMS, and KAUST. AMMS was supported by an ARC Grant DE170100841 and an IOMRC (UWA, AIMS, CSIRO) fellowship; JPR by MEDC (FPU program, Spain); DWS by UK NERC and Save Our Seas Foundation; NQ by FCT (Portugal); MMCM by a CAPES fellowship (Ministry of Education)

    The Sloan Digital Sky Survey: Technical Summary

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    The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) will provide the data to support detailed investigations of the distribution of luminous and non- luminous matter in the Universe: a photometrically and astrometrically calibrated digital imaging survey of pi steradians above about Galactic latitude 30 degrees in five broad optical bands to a depth of g' about 23 magnitudes, and a spectroscopic survey of the approximately one million brightest galaxies and 10^5 brightest quasars found in the photometric object catalog produced by the imaging survey. This paper summarizes the observational parameters and data products of the SDSS, and serves as an introduction to extensive technical on-line documentation.Comment: 9 pages, 7 figures, AAS Latex. To appear in AJ, Sept 200

    LEARN: A multi-centre, cross-sectional evaluation of Urology teaching in UK medical schools

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    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the status of UK undergraduate urology teaching against the British Association of Urological Surgeons (BAUS) Undergraduate Syllabus for Urology. Secondary objectives included evaluating the type and quantity of teaching provided, the reported performance rate of General Medical Council (GMC)-mandated urological procedures, and the proportion of undergraduates considering urology as a career. MATERIALS AND METHODS: LEARN was a national multicentre cross-sectional study. Year 2 to Year 5 medical students and FY1 doctors were invited to complete a survey between 3rd October and 20th December 2020, retrospectively assessing the urology teaching received to date. Results are reported according to the Checklist for Reporting Results of Internet E-Surveys (CHERRIES). RESULTS: 7,063/8,346 (84.6%) responses from all 39 UK medical schools were included; 1,127/7,063 (16.0%) were from Foundation Year (FY) 1 doctors, who reported that the most frequently taught topics in undergraduate training were on urinary tract infection (96.5%), acute kidney injury (95.9%) and haematuria (94.4%). The most infrequently taught topics were male urinary incontinence (59.4%), male infertility (52.4%) and erectile dysfunction (43.8%). Male and female catheterisation on patients as undergraduates was performed by 92.1% and 73.0% of FY1 doctors respectively, and 16.9% had considered a career in urology. Theory based teaching was mainly prevalent in the early years of medical school, with clinical skills teaching, and clinical placements in the later years of medical school. 20.1% of FY1 doctors reported no undergraduate clinical attachment in urology. CONCLUSION: LEARN is the largest ever evaluation of undergraduate urology teaching. In the UK, teaching seemed satisfactory as evaluated by the BAUS undergraduate syllabus. However, many students report having no clinical attachments in Urology and some newly qualified doctors report never having inserted a catheter, which is a GMC mandated requirement. We recommend a greater emphasis on undergraduate clinical exposure to urology and stricter adherence to GMC mandated procedures