24,613 research outputs found

    A microcontroller system for investigating the catch effect: Functional electrical stimulation of the common peroneal nerve

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    Correction of drop foot in hemiplegic gait is achieved by electrical stimulation of the common peroneal nerve with a series of pulses at a fixed frequency. However, during normal gait, the electromyographic signals from the tibialis anterior muscle indicate that muscle force is not constant but varies during the swing phase. The application of double pulses for the correction of drop foot may enhance the gait by generating greater torque at the ankle and thereby increase the efficiency of the stimulation with reduced fatigue. A flexible controller has been designed around the Odstock Drop Foot Stimulator to deliver different profiles of pulses implementing doublets and optimum series. A peripheral interface controller (PIC) microcontroller with some external circuits has been designed and tested to accommodate six profiles. Preliminary results of the measurements from a normal subject seated in a multi-moment chair (an isometric torque measurement device) indicate that profiles containing doublets and optimum spaced pulses look favourable for clinical use

    Observations of Cavitation on a Three-Dimensional Oscillating Hydrofoil

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    A test apparatus was designed and constructed to observe the effect of sinusoidal pitching oscillations on the cavitation of three-dimensional hydrofoils. The apparatus is capable of oscillating hydrofoils at a rate up to 50 Hz and provides for adjustments in oscillation amplitude and mean angle of attack. Observations of the effect of pitching oscillation on cavitation have been made for a NACA 64-309 (modified) hydrofoil operating at its designed mean angle of attack of 7 degrees with an oscillation amplitude of 2 degrees. Photographs illustrating the interaction between natural cavity shedding frequencies and the foil reduced frequency are included

    Evaluation of the Environmental Impact of Milk Quotas

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    The aim of this study is to examine the environmental impacts of the different systems for allocation and transfer of milk quota under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) in individual Member States of the European Union (EU). In particular, it seeks to identify the ways in which differences in the implementation of milk quota regimes can impact on various sectoral and farm management trends and the environmental implications of these

    Psychological stress and cardiovascular disease: empirical demonstration of bias in a prospective observational study of Scottish men

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    Objectives: To examine the association between self perceived psychological stress and cardiovascular disease in a population where stress was not associated with social disadvantage. Design: Prospective observational study with follow up of 21 years and repeat screening of half the cohort 5 years from baseline. Measures included perceived psychological stress, coronary risk factors, self reported angina, and ischaemia detected by electrocardiography. Setting: 27 workplaces in Scotland. Participants: 5606 men (mean age 48 years) at first screening and 2623 men at second screening with complete data on all measures Main outcome measures: Prevalence of angina and ischaemia at baseline, odds ratio for incident angina and ischaemia at second screening, rate ratios for cause specific hospital admission, and hazard ratios for cause specific mortality. Results: Both prevalence and incidence of angina increased with increasing perceived stress (fully adjusted odds ratio for incident angina, high versus low stress 2.66, 95% confidence interval 1.61 to 4.41; P for trend <0.001). Prevalence and incidence of ischaemia showed weak trends in the opposite direction. High stress was associated with a higher rate of admissions to hospital generally and for admissions related to cardiovascular disease and psychiatric disorders (fully adjusted rate ratios for any general hospital admission 1.13, 1.01 to 1.27, cardiovascular disease 1.20, 1.00 to 1.45, and psychiatric disorders 2.34, 1.41 to 3.91). High stress was not associated with increased admission for coronary heart disease (1.00, 0.76-1.32) and showed an inverse relation with all cause mortality, mortality from cardiovascular disease, and mortality from coronary heart disease, that was attenuated by adjustment for occupational class (fully adjusted hazard ratio for all cause mortality 0.94, 0.81 to 1.11, cardiovascular mortality 0.91, 0.78 to 1.06, and mortality from coronary heart disease 0.98, 0.75 to 1.27). Conclusions: The relation between higher stress, angina, and some categories of hospital admissions probably resulted from the tendency of participants reporting higher stress to also report more symptoms. The lack of a corresponding relation with objective indices of heart disease suggests that these symptoms did not reflect physical disease. The data suggest that associations between psychosocial measures and disease outcomes reported from some other studies may be spurious

    Limitations of adjustment for reporting tendency in observational studies of stress and self reported coronary heart disease

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    Recently, observational evidence has been suggested to show a causal association between various "psychosocial" exposures, including psychological stress, and heart disease. Much of this evidence derives from studies in which a self reported psychosocial exposure is related to an outcome dependent on the subjective experience of coronary heart disease (CHD) symptoms. Such outcomes may be measured using standard symptom questionnaires (like the Rose angina schedule). Alternatively they may use diagnoses of disease from medical records, which depend on an individual perceiving symptoms and reporting them to a health worker. In these situations, reporting bias may generate spurious exposure-outcome associations. For example if people who perceive and report their life as most stressful also over-report symptoms of cardiovascular disease then an artefactual association between stress and heart disease will result

    Sustainability Science: A Call to Collaborative Action

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    Sustainability science is an emerging field directed at advancing sustainable development. Informed by recent scholarship and institutional experiments, we identify key roles for economists and encourage their greater participation in this research. Our call to collaborative action comes from positive experiences with the Sustainability Solutions Initiative based at the University of Maine, where economists collaborate with other experts and diverse stakeholders on real-world problems involving interactions between natural and human systems. We articulate a mutually beneficial setting where economists’ methods, skills, and norms add value to the problem-focused, interdisciplinary research of sustainability science and where resources, opportunities, and challenges from science bolster economic research specifically and land/sea grant institutions broadly

    Loss of redundant gene expression after polyploidization in plants

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    Based on chromosomal location data of genes encoding 28 biochemical systems in allohexaploid wheat,Triticum aestivum L. (genomes AABBDD), it is concluded that the proportions of systems controlled by triplicate, duplicate, and single loci are 57%, 25%, and 18% respectively

    Directed Explicit Model Checking with HSF-SPIN

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    We present the explicit state model checker HSF-SPIN which is based on the model checker SPIN and its Promela modeling language. HSF-SPIN incorporates directed search algorithms for checking safety and a large class of LTL-specified liveness properties. We start off from the A* algorithm and define heuristics to accelerate the search into the direction of a specified failure situation. Next we propose an improved nested depth-first search algorithm that exploits the structure of Promela Never-Claims. As a result of both improvements, counterexamples will be shorter and the explored part of the state space will be smaller than with classical approaches, allowing to analyze larger state spaces. We evaluate the impact of the new heuristics and algorithms on a set of protocol models, some of which are real-world industrial protocols