561 research outputs found

    Interactive 3-D Visualization: A tool for seafloor navigation, exploration, and engineering

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    Recent years have seen remarkable advances in sonar technology, positioning capabilities, and computer processing power that have revolutionized the way we image the seafloor. The massive amounts of data produced by these systems present many challenges but also offer tremendous opportunities in terms of visualization and analysis. We have developed a suite of interactive 3-D visualization and exploration tools specifically designed to facilitate the interpretation and analysis of very large (10\u27s to 100\u27s of megabytes), complex, multi-component spatial data sets. If properly georeferenced and treated, these complex data sets can be presented in a natural and intuitive manner that allows the integration of multiple components each at their inherent level of resolution and without compromising the quantitative nature of the data. Artificial sun-illumination, shading, and 3-D rendering can be used with digital bathymetric data (DTM\u27s) to form natural looking and easily interpretable, yet quantitative, landscapes. Color can be used to represent depth or other parameters (like backscatter or sediment properties) which can be draped over the DTM, or high resolution imagery can be texture mapped on bathymetric data. When combined with interactive analytical tools, this environment has facilitated the use of multibeam sonar and other data sets in a range of geologic, environmental, fisheries, and engineering applications

    Evaluation of herbal cannabis characteristics by medical users: a randomized trial

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    BACKGROUND: Cannabis, in herbal form, is widely used as self-medication by patients with diseases such as HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis suffering from symptoms including pain, muscle spasticity, stress and insomnia. Valid clinical studies of herbal cannabis require a product which is acceptable to patients in order to maximize adherence to study protocols. METHODS: We conducted a randomized controlled crossover trial of 4 different herbal cannabis preparations among 8 experienced and authorized cannabis users with chronic pain. Preparations were varied with respect to grind size, THC content and humidity. Subjects received each preparation on a separate day and prepared the drug in their usual way in a dedicated and licensed clinical facility. They were asked to evaluate the products based on appearance (smell, colour, humidity, grind size, ease of preparation and overall appearance) and smoking characteristics (burn rate, hotness, harshness and taste). Five-point Likert scores were assigned to each characteristic. Scores were compared between preparations using ANOVA. RESULTS: Seven subjects completed the study, and the product with highest THC content (12%), highest humidity (14%) and largest grind size (10 mm) was rated highest overall. Significant differences were noted between preparations on overall appearance and colour (p = 0.003). DISCUSSION: While the small size of the study precludes broad conclusions, the study shows that medical cannabis users can appreciate differences in herbal product. A more acceptable cannabis product may increase recruitment and retention in clinical studies of medical cannabis

    Frequency of cannabis and illicit opioid use among people who use drugs and report chronic pain: A longitudinal analysis.

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    BACKGROUND:Ecological research suggests that increased access to cannabis may facilitate reductions in opioid use and harms, and medical cannabis patients describe the substitution of opioids with cannabis for pain management. However, there is a lack of research using individual-level data to explore this question. We aimed to investigate the longitudinal association between frequency of cannabis use and illicit opioid use among people who use drugs (PWUD) experiencing chronic pain. METHODS AND FINDINGS:This study included data from people in 2 prospective cohorts of PWUD in Vancouver, Canada, who reported major or persistent pain from June 1, 2014, to December 1, 2017 (n = 1,152). We used descriptive statistics to examine reasons for cannabis use and a multivariable generalized linear mixed-effects model to estimate the relationship between daily (once or more per day) cannabis use and daily illicit opioid use. There were 424 (36.8%) women in the study, and the median age at baseline was 49.3 years (IQR 42.3-54.9). In total, 455 (40%) reported daily illicit opioid use, and 410 (36%) reported daily cannabis use during at least one 6-month follow-up period. The most commonly reported therapeutic reasons for cannabis use were pain (36%), sleep (35%), stress (31%), and nausea (30%). After adjusting for demographic characteristics, substance use, and health-related factors, daily cannabis use was associated with significantly lower odds of daily illicit opioid use (adjusted odds ratio 0.50, 95% CI 0.34-0.74, p < 0.001). Limitations of the study included self-reported measures of substance use and chronic pain, and a lack of data for cannabis preparations, dosages, and modes of administration. CONCLUSIONS:We observed an independent negative association between frequent cannabis use and frequent illicit opioid use among PWUD with chronic pain. These findings provide longitudinal observational evidence that cannabis may serve as an adjunct to or substitute for illicit opioid use among PWUD with chronic pain

    IN-CAM Outcomes Database: Its Relevance and Application in Massage Therapy Research and Practice

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    One of the most commonly used complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modalities in North America is massage therapy (MT). Research to date indicates many potential health benefits of MT, suggesting that ongoing research efforts to further elucidate and substantiate preliminary findings within the massage profession should be given high priority. Central to the development of a sound evidence base for MT are the use of valid, reliable, and relevant outcome measures in research, and practice in assessing the effectiveness of MT. The purpose of the present article is to introduce MT researchers and massage therapists interested in using outcome measures in research and clinical practice to the IN-CAM Outcomes Database website by describing the Outcomes Database and identifying its utility in MT research and practice. The IN-CAM Outcomes Database is a centralized location where information on outcome measures is collected and made accessible to users. Outcome measures are organized in the database within the Framework of Outcome Domains. The Framework includes health domains relevant to conventional medicine and CAM alike, and health domains that have been identified as important to CAM interventions. Users of the website may search for information on a specific outcome measure, plan research projects, and engage in discussions related to outcomes assessment in the CAM field with other users and with members of the CAM research community. As the MT profession continues to evolve and move toward evidence-informed practice, the IN-CAM Outcomes Database website can be a valuable resource for MT researchers and massage therapists

    Cannabis in medicine: a national educational needs assessment among Canadian physicians

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    Background: There is increasing global awareness and interest in the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes (CTP). It is clear that health care professionals need to be involved in these decisions, but often lack the education needed to engage in informed discussions with patients. This study was conducted to determine the educational needs of Canadian physicians regarding CTP. Methods: A national needs assessment survey was developed based on previous survey tools. The survey was approved by the Research Ethics Board of the McGill University Health Centre Research Institute and was provided online using LimeSurvey®. Several national physician organizations and medical education organizations informed their members of the survey. The target audience was Canadian physicians. We sought to identify and rank using 5-point Likert scales the most common factors involved in decision making about using CTP in the following categories: knowledge, experience, attitudes, and barriers. Preferred educational approaches and physician demographics were collected. Gap analysis was conducted to determine the magnitude and importance of differences between perceived and desired knowledge on all decision factors. Results: Four hundred and twenty six responses were received, and physician responses were distributed across Canada consistent with national physician distribution. The most desired knowledge concerned “potential risks of using CTP” and “safety, warning signs and precautions for patients using CTP”. The largest gap between perceived current and desired knowledge levels was “dosing” and “the development of treatment plans”. Conclusions: We have identified several key educational needs among Canadian physicians regarding CTP. These data can be used to develop resources and educational programs to support clinicians in this area, as well as to guide further research to inform these gaps

    The abuse potential of the synthetic cannabinoid nabilonea dd_2776 494..503

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    ABSTRACT Aim Nabilone is a synthetic cannabinoid prescription drug approved in Canada since 1981 to treat chemotherapyinduced nausea and vomiting. In recent years, off-label use of nabilone for chronic pain management has increased, and physicians have begun to express concerns about nabilone becoming a drug of abuse. This study evaluates the evidence for abuse of nabilone, which is currently ill-defined. Study design Scientific literature, popular press and internet databases were searched extensively for evidence of nabilone abuse. Focused interviews with medical professionals and law enforcement agencies across Canada were also conducted. Findings The scientific literature and popular press reviews found very little reference to nabilone abuse. Nabilone is perceived to produce more undesirable side effects, to have a longer onset of action and to be more expensive than smoked cannabis. The internet review revealed rare and isolated instances of recreational use of nabilone. The database review yielded little evidence of nabilone abuse, although nabilone seizures and thefts have occurred in Canada in the past few years, especially in Ontario. Most law enforcement officers reported no instances of nabilone abuse or diversion, and the drug has no known street value. Medical professionals reported that nabilone is not perceived to be a matter of concern with respect to its abuse potential. Conclusions Reports of nabilone abuse are extremely rare. However, follow-up of patients using nabilone for therapeutic purposes is prudent and should include assessment of tolerance and dependence. Prospective studies are also needed to definitively address the issue of nabilone abuse

    Sorghum mutant RG displays antithetic leaf shoot lignin accumulation resulting in improved stem saccharification properties

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    BACKGROUND: Improving saccharification efficiency in bioenergy crop species remains an important challenge. Here, we report the characterization of a Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) mutant, named REDforGREEN (RG), as a bioenergy feedstock. RESULTS: It was found that RG displayed increased accumulation of lignin in leaves and depletion in the stems, antithetic to the trend observed in wild type. Consistent with these measurements, the RG leaf tissue displayed reduced saccharification efficiency whereas the stem saccharification efficiency increased relative to wild type. Reduced lignin was linked to improved saccharification in RG stems, but a chemical shift to greater S:G ratios in RG stem lignin was also observed. Similarities in cellulose content and structure by XRD-analysis support the correlation between increased saccharification properties and reduced lignin instead of changes in the cellulose composition and/or structure. CONCLUSION: Antithetic lignin accumulation was observed in the RG mutant leaf-and stem-tissue, which resulted in greater saccharification efficiency in the RG stem and differential thermochemical product yield in high lignin leaves. Thus, the red leaf coloration of the RG mutant represents a potential marker for improved conversion of stem cellulose to fermentable sugars in the C4 grass Sorghum

    Randomised controlled feasibility trial of a web-based weight management intervention with nurse support for obese patients in primary care

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    <b>Background</b><p></p> There is a need for cost-effective weight management interventions that primary care can deliver to reduce the morbidity caused by obesity. Automated web-based interventions might provide a solution, but evidence suggests that they may be ineffective without additional human support. The main aim of this study was to carry out a feasibility trial of a web-based weight management intervention in primary care, comparing different levels of nurse support, to determine the optimal combination of web-based and personal support to be tested in a full trial.<p></p> <b>Methods</b><p></p> This was an individually randomised four arm parallel non-blinded trial, recruiting obese patients in primary care. Following online registration, patients were randomly allocated by the automated intervention to either usual care, the web-based intervention only, or the web-based intervention with either basic nurse support (3 sessions in 3 months) or regular nurse support (7 sessions in 6 months). The main outcome measure (intended as the primary outcome for the main trial) was weight loss in kg at 12 months. As this was a feasibility trial no statistical analyses were carried out, but we present means, confidence intervals and effect sizes for weight loss in each group, uptake and retention, and completion of intervention components and outcome measures.<p></p> <b>Results</b><p></p> All randomised patients were included in the weight loss analyses (using Last Observation Carried Forward). At 12 months mean weight loss was: usual care group (n = 43) 2.44 kg; web-based only group (n = 45) 2.30 kg; basic nurse support group (n = 44) 4.31 kg; regular nurse support group (n = 47) 2.50 kg. Intervention effect sizes compared with usual care were: d = 0.01 web-based; d = 0.34 basic nurse support; d = 0.02 regular nurse support. Two practices deviated from protocol by providing considerable weight management support to their usual care patients.<p></p> <b>Conclusions</b><p></p> This study demonstrated the feasibility of delivering a web-based weight management intervention supported by practice nurses in primary care, and suggests that the combination of the web-based intervention with basic nurse support could provide an effective solution to weight management support in a primary care context

    Can exercise delay transition to active therapy in men with low-grade prostate cancer? A multicentre randomised controlled trial

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    Introduction Active surveillance is a strategy for managing low-risk, localised prostate cancer, where men are observed with serial prostate-specific antigen assessments to identify signs of disease progression. Currently, there are no strategies to support active surveillance compliance nor are there interventions that can prevent or slow disease progression, ultimately delaying transition to active treatment before it is clinically required. Recently, we proposed that exercise may have a therapeutic potential in delaying the need for active treatment in men on active surveillance. Methods and analysis A single-blinded, two arm, multicentre randomised controlled trial will be undertaken with 168 patients randomly allocated in a ratio of 1:1 to exercise or usual care. Exercise will consist of supervised resistance and aerobic exercise performed three times per week for the first 6 months in an exercise clinical setting, and during months 7–12, a progressive stepped down approach will be used with men transitioning to once a week supervised training. Thereafter, for months 13 to 36, the men will self-manage their exercise programme. The primary endpoint will be the time until the patients begin active therapy. Secondary endpoints include disease progression (prostate specific antigen), body composition and muscle density, quality of life, distress and anxiety and an economic analysis will be performed. Measurements will be undertaken at 6 and 12 months (postintervention) and at 24 and 36 months follow-up. The primary outcome (time to initiation of curative therapy) will be analysed using Cox proportional hazards regression. Outcomes measured repeatedly will be analysed using mixed effects models to examine between-group differences. Data will be analysed using an intention-to-treat approach
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