92 research outputs found

    Multi-objective Decision Analysis for Workforce Planning: A Case Study

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    The United States Department of Defense (DoD) engages in complex decision making on a daily basis, in terms of mission support and workforce management. Decision analysis tools are employed to evaluate and support the best course of action. In particular, multi-objective decision making (MODA) is a robust decision technique that evaluates objectives and measures in terms of value to select from a set of alternatives. This paper examines workforce planning at a DoD Agency through the use of MODA and examines the ratio of government employees (GOV) and contractors (CON) for an engineering related work role. MODA is used to identify influences to the assignment of a GOV or CON to an open position and to determine the appropriate ratio of GOV and CON employees for the work role. Results will be used to provide critical decision support to effectively manage budget and resources while meeting work requirements and agency mission with the best possible skill set

    Mechanical metamaterials by DLP printing

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    Mechanical metamaterials, with designs typically containing mesoscale features, are under increasing investigation due to their ready fabrication using additive manufacturing techniques such as digital light processing (DLP). However, applications with demanding weight and size limitations require material formulations with lower densities and higher moduli and which are not readily available. Here, we present an effort to fuse resin formulations, characterization, and error compensation approaches to enhance the performance of these mechanical metamaterial structures. First, a design map for mechanical metamaterial performance based on analytical and finite element models is created in order to provide directional predictions for material formulations that maximize performance. Based on these predictions, an open-source acrylatebased photopolymer resin is filled with hollow glass microspheres to reduce the formulation density and to increase the modulus. A rule of mixtures relationship between volume fraction fillers and density is verified. The volume fraction fillers is maximized to reduce density while maintaining sufficient flow for re-coating the DLP window between each layer through viscosity modification, dispersants, and agglomeration prevention. This novel formulation is able to reduce density by over 30% and increase the modulus by 85%, thereby increasing the metamaterial performance metric of modulus-to-density ratio a factor of 2.7. This metric value has not been reached in previously reported DLP resin formulations. The structures are characterized in order to validate performance and to provide a feedback loop for improved formulations and future prints. Details of defects – both geometric (i.e., feature dimensions) and – are measured by microscopy and Computed Tomography. The data are analyzed to modify the additive manufacturing process for error correction. These data will form the basis for future machine-learning efforts to identify significant processing characteristics and minimize defects. Finally, mechanical metamaterial modeling indicates multi-material printing will provide a step-change increase in performance. Initial efforts to produce these multi-material structures will be presented. Please click Additional Files below to see the full abstract

    Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Is Associated With Higher 1-year All-Cause Rehospitalization Rates in Patients Admitted for Acute Heart Failure

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    Repeat hospitalization due to acute heart failure (HF) is a global public health problem that markedly impacts on health resource use. Identifying novel predictors of rehospitalization would help physicians to determine the optimal postdischarge plan for preventing HF rehospitalization. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an emerging risk factor for many heart diseases, including HF. We assessed whether NAFLD at hospital admission predicts 1-year all-cause rehospitalization in patients with acute HF.We enrolled all patients consecutively admitted for acute HF to our General Medicine Division, from January 2013 to April 2014, after excluding patients with acute myocardial infarction, severe heart valve diseases, malignancy, known liver diseases, and those with volume overload related to extracardiac causes. NAFLD was diagnosed by ultrasonography and exclusion of competing etiologies. The primary outcome of the study was the 1-year all-cause rehospitalization rate.Among the 107 patients enrolled in the study, the cumulative rehospitalization rate was 12.1% at 1 month, 25.2% at 3 months, 29.9% at 6 months, and 38.3% at 1 year. Patients with NAFLD had markedly higher 1-year rehospitalization rates than those without NAFLD (58% vs 21% at 1 y; P\u200a<\u200a0.001 by the log-rank test). Cox regression analysis revealed that NAFLD was associated with a 5.5-fold increased risk of rehospitalization (adjusted hazard ratio 5.56, 95% confidence interval 2.46-12.1, P\u200a<\u200a0.001) after adjustment for multiple HF risk factors and potential confounders.In conclusion, NAFLD was independently associated with higher 1-year rehospitalization in patients hospitalized for acute HF

    Berkeley Supernova Ia Program I: Observations, Data Reduction, and Spectroscopic Sample of 582 Low-Redshift Type Ia Supernovae

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    In this first paper in a series we present 1298 low-redshift (z\leq0.2) optical spectra of 582 Type Ia supernovae (SNe Ia) observed from 1989 through 2008 as part of the Berkeley SN Ia Program (BSNIP). 584 spectra of 199 SNe Ia have well-calibrated light curves with measured distance moduli, and many of the spectra have been corrected for host-galaxy contamination. Most of the data were obtained using the Kast double spectrograph mounted on the Shane 3 m telescope at Lick Observatory and have a typical wavelength range of 3300-10,400 Ang., roughly twice as wide as spectra from most previously published datasets. We present our observing and reduction procedures, and we describe the resulting SN Database (SNDB), which will be an online, public, searchable database containing all of our fully reduced spectra and companion photometry. In addition, we discuss our spectral classification scheme (using the SuperNova IDentification code, SNID; Blondin & Tonry 2007), utilising our newly constructed set of SNID spectral templates. These templates allow us to accurately classify our entire dataset, and by doing so we are able to reclassify a handful of objects as bona fide SNe Ia and a few other objects as members of some of the peculiar SN Ia subtypes. In fact, our dataset includes spectra of nearly 90 spectroscopically peculiar SNe Ia. We also present spectroscopic host-galaxy redshifts of some SNe Ia where these values were previously unknown. [Abridged]Comment: 34 pages, 11 figures, 11 tables, revised version, re-submitted to MNRAS. Spectra will be released in January 2013. The SN Database homepage (http://hercules.berkeley.edu/database/index_public.html) contains the full tables, plots of all spectra, and our new SNID template

    Cholesterol catalyses Aβ42 aggregation through a heterogeneous nucleation pathway in the presence of lipid membranes.

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    Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder associated with the aberrant aggregation of the amyloid-β peptide. Although increasing evidence implicates cholesterol in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, the detailed mechanistic link between this lipid molecule and the disease process remains to be fully established. To address this problem, we adopt a kinetics-based strategy that reveals a specific catalytic role of cholesterol in the aggregation of Aβ42 (the 42-residue form of the amyloid-β peptide). More specifically, we demonstrate that lipid membranes containing cholesterol promote Aβ42 aggregation by enhancing its primary nucleation rate by up to 20-fold through a heterogeneous nucleation pathway. We further show that this process occurs as a result of cooperativity in the interaction of multiple cholesterol molecules with Aβ42. These results identify a specific microscopic pathway by which cholesterol dramatically enhances the onset of Aβ42 aggregation, thereby helping rationalize the link between Alzheimer's disease and the impairment of cholesterol homeostasis

    Patterns of IgE responses to multiple allergen components and clinical symptoms at age 11 years

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    BackgroundThe relationship between sensitization to allergens and disease is complex.ObjectiveWe sought to identify patterns of response to a broad range of allergen components and investigate associations with asthma, eczema, and hay fever.MethodsSerum specific IgE levels to 112 allergen components were measured by using a multiplex array (Immuno Solid-phase Allergen Chip) in a population-based birth cohort. Latent variable modeling was used to identify underlying patterns of component-specific IgE responses; these patterns were then related to asthma, eczema, and hay fever.ResultsTwo hundred twenty-one of 461 children had IgE to 1 or more components. Seventy-one of the 112 components were recognized by 3 or more children. By using latent variable modeling, 61 allergen components clustered into 3 component groups (CG1, CG2, and CG3); protein families within each CG were exclusive to that group. CG1 comprised 27 components from 8 plant protein families. CG2 comprised 7 components of mite allergens from 3 protein families. CG3 included 27 components of plant, animal, and fungal origin from 12 protein families. Each CG included components from different biological sources with structural homology and also nonhomologous proteins arising from the same biological source. Sensitization to CG3 was most strongly associated with asthma (odds ratio [OR], 8.20; 95% CI, 3.49-19.24; P < .001) and lower FEV1 (P < .001). Sensitization to CG1 was associated with hay fever (OR, 12.79; 95% CI, 6.84-23.90; P < .001). Sensitization to CG2 was associated with both asthma (OR, 3.60; 95% CI, 2.05-6.29) and hay fever (OR, 2.52; 95% CI, 1.38-4.61).ConclusionsLatent variable modeling with a large number of allergen components identified 3 patterns of IgE responses, each including different protein families. In 11-year-old children the pattern of response to components of multiple allergens appeared to be associated with current asthma and hay fever but not eczema

    Gain-of-function CEBPE mutation causes noncanonical autoinflammatory inflammasomopathy

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    Background: CCAAT enhancer-binding protein epsilon (C/EBP epsilon) is a transcription factor involved in late myeloid lineage differentiation and cellular function. The only previously known disorder linked to C/EBP epsilon is autosomal recessive neutrophil-specific granule deficiency leading to severely impaired neutrophil function and early mortality. Objective: The aim of this study was to molecularly characterize the effects of C/EBP epsilon transcription factor Arg219His mutation identified in a Finnish family with previously genetically uncharacterized autoinflammatory and immunodeficiency syndrome. Methods: Genetic analysis, proteomics, genome-wide transcriptional profiling by means of RNA-sequencing, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) sequencing, and assessment of the inflammasome function of primary macrophages were performed. Results: Studies revealed a novel mechanism of genome-wide gain-of-function that dysregulated transcription of 464 genes. Mechanisms involved dysregulated noncanonical inflammasome activation caused by decreased association with transcriptional repressors, leading to increased chromatin occupancy and considerable changes in transcriptional activity, including increased expression of NLR family, pyrin domain-containing 3 protein (NLRP3) and constitutively expressed caspase-5 in macrophages. Conclusion: We describe a novel autoinflammatory disease with defective neutrophil function caused by a homozygous Arg219His mutation in the transcription factor C/EBP epsilon. Mutated C/EBPe acts as a regulator of both the inflammasome and interferome, and the Arg219His mutation causes the first human monogenic neomorphic and noncanonical inflammasomopathy/immunodeficiency. The mechanism, including widely dysregulated transcription, is likely not unique for C/EBP epsilon. Similar multiomics approaches should also be used in studying other transcription factor-associated diseases.Peer reviewe

    SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility and COVID-19 disease severity are associated with genetic variants affecting gene expression in a variety of tissues

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    Variability in SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility and COVID-19 disease severity between individuals is partly due to genetic factors. Here, we identify 4 genomic loci with suggestive associations for SARS-CoV-2 susceptibility and 19 for COVID-19 disease severity. Four of these 23 loci likely have an ethnicity-specific component. Genome-wide association study (GWAS) signals in 11 loci colocalize with expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) associated with the expression of 20 genes in 62 tissues/cell types (range: 1:43 tissues/gene), including lung, brain, heart, muscle, and skin as well as the digestive system and immune system. We perform genetic fine mapping to compute 99% credible SNP sets, which identify 10 GWAS loci that have eight or fewer SNPs in the credible set, including three loci with one single likely causal SNP. Our study suggests that the diverse symptoms and disease severity of COVID-19 observed between individuals is associated with variants across the genome, affecting gene expression levels in a wide variety of tissue types

    Post-intervention Status in Patients With Refractory Myasthenia Gravis Treated With Eculizumab During REGAIN and Its Open-Label Extension

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    OBJECTIVE: To evaluate whether eculizumab helps patients with anti-acetylcholine receptor-positive (AChR+) refractory generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG) achieve the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation of America (MGFA) post-intervention status of minimal manifestations (MM), we assessed patients' status throughout REGAIN (Safety and Efficacy of Eculizumab in AChR+ Refractory Generalized Myasthenia Gravis) and its open-label extension. METHODS: Patients who completed the REGAIN randomized controlled trial and continued into the open-label extension were included in this tertiary endpoint analysis. Patients were assessed for the MGFA post-intervention status of improved, unchanged, worse, MM, and pharmacologic remission at defined time points during REGAIN and through week 130 of the open-label study. RESULTS: A total of 117 patients completed REGAIN and continued into the open-label study (eculizumab/eculizumab: 56; placebo/eculizumab: 61). At week 26 of REGAIN, more eculizumab-treated patients than placebo-treated patients achieved a status of improved (60.7% vs 41.7%) or MM (25.0% vs 13.3%; common OR: 2.3; 95% CI: 1.1-4.5). After 130 weeks of eculizumab treatment, 88.0% of patients achieved improved status and 57.3% of patients achieved MM status. The safety profile of eculizumab was consistent with its known profile and no new safety signals were detected. CONCLUSION: Eculizumab led to rapid and sustained achievement of MM in patients with AChR+ refractory gMG. These findings support the use of eculizumab in this previously difficult-to-treat patient population. CLINICALTRIALSGOV IDENTIFIER: REGAIN, NCT01997229; REGAIN open-label extension, NCT02301624. CLASSIFICATION OF EVIDENCE: This study provides Class II evidence that, after 26 weeks of eculizumab treatment, 25.0% of adults with AChR+ refractory gMG achieved MM, compared with 13.3% who received placebo

    Minimal Symptom Expression' in Patients With Acetylcholine Receptor Antibody-Positive Refractory Generalized Myasthenia Gravis Treated With Eculizumab

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    The efficacy and tolerability of eculizumab were assessed in REGAIN, a 26-week, phase 3, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in anti-acetylcholine receptor antibody-positive (AChR+) refractory generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG), and its open-label extension
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