2,669 research outputs found

    Cycle-centrality in complex networks

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    Networks are versatile representations of the interactions between entities in complex systems. Cycles on such networks represent feedback processes which play a central role in system dynamics. In this work, we introduce a measure of the importance of any individual cycle, as the fraction of the total information flow of the network passing through the cycle. This measure is computationally cheap, numerically well-conditioned, induces a centrality measure on arbitrary subgraphs and reduces to the eigenvector centrality on vertices. We demonstrate that this measure accurately reflects the impact of events on strategic ensembles of economic sectors, notably in the US economy. As a second example, we show that in the protein-interaction network of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana, a model based on cycle-centrality better accounts for pathogen activity than the state-of-art one. This translates into pathogen-targeted-proteins being concentrated in a small number of triads with high cycle-centrality. Algorithms for computing the centrality of cycles and subgraphs are available for download

    Counterflow dielectrophoresis for trypanosome enrichment and detection in blood

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    Human African trypanosomiasis or sleeping sickness is a deadly disease endemic in sub-Saharan Africa, caused by single-celled protozoan parasites. Although it has been targeted for elimination by 2020, this will only be realized if diagnosis can be improved to enable identification and treatment of afflicted patients. Existing techniques of detection are restricted by their limited field-applicability, sensitivity and capacity for automation. Microfluidic-based technologies offer the potential for highly sensitive automated devices that could achieve detection at the lowest levels of parasitemia and consequently help in the elimination programme. In this work we implement an electrokinetic technique for the separation of trypanosomes from both mouse and human blood. This technique utilises differences in polarisability between the blood cells and trypanosomes to achieve separation through opposed bi-directional movement (cell counterflow). We combine this enrichment technique with an automated image analysis detection algorithm, negating the need for a human operator

    Object Detection Through Exploration With A Foveated Visual Field

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    We present a foveated object detector (FOD) as a biologically-inspired alternative to the sliding window (SW) approach which is the dominant method of search in computer vision object detection. Similar to the human visual system, the FOD has higher resolution at the fovea and lower resolution at the visual periphery. Consequently, more computational resources are allocated at the fovea and relatively fewer at the periphery. The FOD processes the entire scene, uses retino-specific object detection classifiers to guide eye movements, aligns its fovea with regions of interest in the input image and integrates observations across multiple fixations. Our approach combines modern object detectors from computer vision with a recent model of peripheral pooling regions found at the V1 layer of the human visual system. We assessed various eye movement strategies on the PASCAL VOC 2007 dataset and show that the FOD performs on par with the SW detector while bringing significant computational cost savings.Comment: An extended version of this manuscript was published in PLOS Computational Biology (October 2017) at https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.100574

    Tailward Propagation of Magnetic Energy Density Variations With Respect to Substorm Onset Times

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    t During geomagnetic substorms, around 1015 J of energy is extracted from the solar wind and processed by the Earth‚Äôs magnetosphere. Prior to the onset of substorm expansion phases, this energy is thought to be largely stored as an increase in the magnetic field in the magnetotail lobes. However, how, when, and where this energy is stored and released within the magnetotail is unclear. Using data from the Cluster spacecraft and substorm onsets from Substorm Onsets and Phases from Indices of the Electrojet (SOPHIE), we examine the variation in the lobe magnetic energy density with respect to substorm onset for 541 isolated onsets. Based on a cross-correlation analysis and a simple model, we deduce the following: On average, the magnetic energy density increases approximately linearly in the hour preceding onset and decreases at a similar rate after onset. The timing and magnitude of these changes varies with downtail distance, with observations from the mid-tail (X ‚™Ö ‚ąí9 RE) showing larger changes in the magnetic energy density that occur ‚ąľ 20 min after changes in the near-tail (X ‚™Ü ‚ąí9 RE). The decrease in energy density in the near-tail region is observed before the ground onset identified by SOPHIE, implying that the substorm is driven from the magnetotail and propagates into the ionosphere. The implication of these results is that energy in the near-tail region is released first during the substorm expansion phase, with energy conversion propagating away from the Earth with time

    Climatological predictions of the auroral zone locations driven by moderate and severe space weather events

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    Auroral zones are regions where, in an average sense, aurorae due to solar activity are most likely spotted. Their shape and, similarly, the geographical locations most vulnerable to extreme space weather events (which we term ‚Äėdanger zones‚Äô) are modulated by Earth‚Äôs time-dependent internal magnetic field whose structure changes on yearly to decadal timescales. Strategies for mitigating ground-based space weather impacts over the next few decades can benefit from accurate forecasts of this evolution. Existing auroral zone forecasts use simplified assumptions of geomagnetic field variations. By harnessing the capability of modern geomagnetic field forecasts based on the dynamics of Earth‚Äôs core we estimate the evolution of the auroral zones and of the danger zones over the next 50 years. Our results predict that space-weather related risk will not change significantly in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Mid-to-high latitude cities such as Edinburgh, Copenhagen and Dunedin will remain in high-risk regions. However, northward change of the auroral and danger zones over North America will likely cause urban centres such as Edmonton and Labrador City to be exposed by 2070 to the potential impact of severe solar activity

    Comparative study of nonlinear properties of EEG signals of a normal person and an epileptic patient

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    Background: Investigation of the functioning of the brain in living systems has been a major effort amongst scientists and medical practitioners. Amongst the various disorder of the brain, epilepsy has drawn the most attention because this disorder can affect the quality of life of a person. In this paper we have reinvestigated the EEGs for normal and epileptic patients using surrogate analysis, probability distribution function and Hurst exponent. Results: Using random shuffled surrogate analysis, we have obtained some of the nonlinear features that was obtained by Andrzejak \textit{et al.} [Phys Rev E 2001, 64:061907], for the epileptic patients during seizure. Probability distribution function shows that the activity of an epileptic brain is nongaussian in nature. Hurst exponent has been shown to be useful to characterize a normal and an epileptic brain and it shows that the epileptic brain is long term anticorrelated whereas, the normal brain is more or less stochastic. Among all the techniques, used here, Hurst exponent is found very useful for characterization different cases. Conclusions: In this article, differences in characteristics for normal subjects with eyes open and closed, epileptic subjects during seizure and seizure free intervals have been shown mainly using Hurst exponent. The H shows that the brain activity of a normal man is uncorrelated in nature whereas, epileptic brain activity shows long range anticorrelation.Comment: Keywords:EEG, epilepsy, Correlation dimension, Surrogate analysis, Hurst exponent. 9 page

    Marginalization of end-use technologies in energy innovation for climate protection

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    Mitigating climate change requires directed innovation efforts to develop and deploy energy technologies. Innovation activities are directed towards the outcome of climate protection by public institutions, policies and resources that in turn shape market behaviour. We analyse diverse indicators of activity throughout the innovation system to assess these efforts. We find efficient end-use technologies contribute large potential emission reductions and provide higher social returns on investment than energy-supply technologies. Yet public institutions, policies and financial resources pervasively privilege energy-supply technologies. Directed innovation efforts are strikingly misaligned with the needs of an emissions-constrained world. Significantly greater effort is needed to develop the full potential of efficient end-use technologies

    Study protocol: improving cognition in people with progressive multiple sclerosis: a multi-arm, randomized, blinded, sham-controlled trial of cognitive rehabilitation and aerobic exercise (COGEx)

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    Background: Cognitive dysfunction affects up to 70% of people with progressive MS (PMS). It can exert a deleterious effect on activities of daily living, employment and relationships. Preliminary evidence suggests that performance can improve with cognitive rehabilitation (CR) and aerobic exercise (EX), but existing data are predominantly from people with relapsing-remitting MS without cognitive impairment. There is therefore a need to investigate whether this is also the case in people with progressive forms of the disease who have objectively identified cognitive impairment. It is hypothesized that CR and EX are effective treatments for people with PMS who have cognitive impairment, in particular processing speed (PS) deficits, and that a combination of these two treatments is more effective than each individual treatment given alone. We further hypothesize that improvements in PS will be associated with modifications of functional and/or structural plasticity within specific brain networks/regions involved in PS measured with advanced MRI techniques. Methods: This study is a multisite, randomized, double-blinded, sham controlled clinical trial of CR and aerobic exercise. Three hundred and sixty subjects from 11 sites will be randomly assigned into one of four groups: CR plus aerobic exercise; CR plus sham exercise; CR sham plus aerobic exercise and CR sham plus sham exercise. Subjects will participate in the assigned treatments for 12 weeks, twice a week. All subjects will have a cognitive and physical assessment at baseline, 12 weeks and 24 weeks. In an embedded sub-study, approximately 30% of subjects will undergo structural and functional MRI to investigate the neural mechanisms underlying the behavioral response. The primary outcome is the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT) measuring PS. Secondary outcome measures include: indices of verbal and non-verbal memory, depression, walking speed and a dual cognitive-motor task and MRI. Discussion: The study is being undertaken in 6 countries (11 centres) in multiple languages (English, Italian, Danish, Dutch); with testing material validated and standardized in these languages. The rationale for this approach is to obtain a robustly powered sample size and to demonstrate that these two interventions can be given effectively in multiple countries and in different languages. Trial registration: The trial was registered on September 20th 2018 at www.clinicaltrials.gov having identifier NCT03679468. Registration was performed before recruitment was initiated
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