4,521 research outputs found

    Structural features of early-stage OA:Keep your menisci in good shape

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    Structural features of early-stage OA:Keep your menisci in good shape

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    Effects of municipal smoke-free ordinances on secondhand smoke exposure in the Republic of Korea

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    ObjectiveTo reduce premature deaths due to secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure among non-smokers, the Republic of Korea (ROK) adopted changes to the National Health Promotion Act, which allowed local governments to enact municipal ordinances to strengthen their authority to designate smoke-free areas and levy penalty fines. In this study, we examined national trends in SHS exposure after the introduction of these municipal ordinances at the city level in 2010.MethodsWe used interrupted time series analysis to assess whether the trends of SHS exposure in the workplace and at home, and the primary cigarette smoking rate changed following the policy adjustment in the national legislation in ROK. Population-standardized data for selected variables were retrieved from a nationally representative survey dataset and used to study the policy action’s effectiveness.ResultsFollowing the change in the legislation, SHS exposure in the workplace reversed course from an increasing (18% per year) trend prior to the introduction of these smoke-free ordinances to a decreasing (−10% per year) trend after adoption and enforcement of these laws (β2 = 0.18, p-value = 0.07; β3 = −0.10, p-value = 0.02). SHS exposure at home (β2 = 0.10, p-value = 0.09; β3 = −0.03, p-value = 0.14) and the primary cigarette smoking rate (β2 = 0.03, p-value = 0.10; β3 = 0.008, p-value = 0.15) showed no significant changes in the sampled period. Although analyses stratified by sex showed that the allowance of municipal ordinances resulted in reduced SHS exposure in the workplace for both males and females, they did not affect the primary cigarette smoking rate as much, especially among females.ConclusionStrengthening the role of local governments by giving them the authority to enact and enforce penalties on SHS exposure violation helped ROK to reduce SHS exposure in the workplace. However, smoking behaviors and related activities seemed to shift to less restrictive areas such as on the streets and in apartment hallways, negating some of the effects due to these ordinances. Future studies should investigate how smoke-free policies beyond public places can further reduce the SHS exposure in ROK

    AN UNUSUAL SUSPECT IN CYTOKINESIS, DISCOIDIN I, HELPS ASSEMBLE THE CONTRACTILE MACHINERY IN THE CYTOPLASM AND IMPLICATIONS OF THIS SYSTEM IN CANCER

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    Many biological processes entail the ability of cells to sense and adapt to its physical surroundings. This ability, in turn, requires cells to exert robust cell shape changes. Processes ranging from cytokinesis and migration to more complex events such as multi-cellular development require robust and constant integration of internal and external mechanical cues to exert these physical modifications. To complete such modifications, cells need to integrate internal and external cues through a contractility machinery that includes actin filaments, myosin II (MyoII) motors, crosslinkers, and other scaffolding proteins. These proteins compose a mechanoresponsive system that allows cells to receive as well as respond to chemical and mechanical signals through accumulation to direct cell shape change events. We define this extensive network as the contractile machinery. Several key proteins of the mechanosensory system preassemble in the cytoplasm, forming mechanoresponsive and non-mechanoresponsive contractility kits (CKs). This network of proteins includes several other proteins, including the Discoidin 1 (Dsc1) proteins. Discoidin 1 belongs to the N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc)-binding lectins found in the amoeba Dictyostelium discoideum. How it functions intracellularly in vegetative cells has been elusive. Here, we find that DscI ensures robust cytokinesis through regulating intracellular components of the contractile machinery. Specifically, DscI is necessary for normal cytokinesis, cortical tension, membrane-cortex connections, and cortical distribution and mechanoresponsiveness of cortexillin I. We also find that absence of DscI weakens the interactions within the CK complex. Furthermore, the activity of DscI inside cell is tightly governed by components of the non-mechanoresponsive CKs, providing a layer of feedback regulation that ensures balance in the contractility system. Overall, this work re-emphasizes the point that many proteins contribute in multiple diverse ways to the function of the cell, and it is increasingly apparent that proteins may not be described as providing a single function for the cell. Since many important cellular processes are under the regulation of this system, elucidation of the molecular network that drives this system helps provide great insights into normal cell behaviors as well as any diseases that might stem from malfunctioning of the system

    Endozoochorní šíření rostlin volně žijícími herbivory

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    Endozoochorní disperze semen je velmi častý fenomén, který můžeme pozorovat kdekoli, kde se zvířata živí rostlinami, které nesou zralá semena. Endozoochorie byla popsána jako potenciální mechanismus pro migraci na dlouhou vzdálenost, nicméně je zde velký rozdíl mezi endozoochorií frugivorními zvířaty a herbivory. Navzdory tomu, že herbivorní endozoochorie je známa již více než století, naše znalost tohoto fenoménu je stále omezena, o to více v případě volně žijících, divokých druhů herbivorů. Mimoto se ukazují velké rozdíly v endozoochorní disperzi mezi studovanými oblastmi i mezi studovanými herbivory. To naznačuje, že potřebujeme detailní znalost procesu z různých oblastí, abychom mohli dojít k jakýmkoli závěrům. Předkládaná práce si dala za cíl: (i) popsat druhové složení nalezené v trusu divokých prasat a jelenů, (ii) kvantifikovat efekt jeleního trusu na vegetaci suchých trávníků, (iii) změřit míru adaptace na průchod trávicím traktem u vybraných druhů rostlin, a (iv) rozplést jednotlivé mechanismy ovlivňující druhové složení šířené v trusu. Výsledky mého výzkumu naznačují: (i) druhové složení v trusu se do určité míry liší mezi jeleny a divokými prasaty: některé druhy jsou šířené oběma zvířaty, některé jen jedním z nich. (ii) Depozice jeleního trusu má zanedbatelný efekt na vegetaci suchých...Endozoochorous dispersal of seeds is a very common phenomenon which may occur anywhere some animals feed on plants bearing mature seeds. Endozoochory has been identified as a potential driver for long-distance migration but there is a strong discrepancy between endozoochory by frugivorous animals and herbivores. Despite the fact that the latter has been observed as early as a century ago, our understanding of the herbivorous endozoochory is still limited, even more so when it comes to the free-ranging wild species of herbivores. Furthermore, the endozoochorous dispersal shows significant differences between study areas and between herbivore species suggesting we need information about the process from various study areas to draw any conclusions. This thesis aimed to: (i) research the species composition found in dung samples of wild boars and deer, (ii) quantify the effect of deer dung deposition on vegetation of dry grasslands, (iii) establish the adaptation of plant species to the passage through digestive tract, and (iv) disentangle the drivers of species composition dispersed in dung. The results of my research indicates: (i) the species composition in dung samples differs up to a point between deer and wild boars: some species are dispersed by both dispersers while other only by one of them....Katedra botanikyDepartment of BotanyPřírodovědecká fakultaFaculty of Scienc

    Automatic detection of concrete cracks from images using Adam-SqueezeNet deep learning model

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    Cracks on concrete surface are typically clear warning signs of a potential threat to the integrity and serviceability of structure. The techniques based on image processing can effectively detect the cracks from images. These techniques, however, are generally susceptible to user-driven heuristic thresholds and extraneous distractors. Inspired by recent success of artificial intelligence, a deep learning based automated crack detection system called CrackSN was developed. An image dataset of concrete surface is collected by smartphone and carefully prepared in order to develop and train the CrackSN system. This proposed deep learning model, built on the Adam-SqueezeNet architecture, automatically learns the discriminative feature directly from the labeled and augmented patches. Hyperparameters of SqueezeNet are tuned with Adam optimization additive through the training and validation procedures. The fine-tuned CrackSN model outperforms state-of-the-art models in recent literature by correctly classifying 97.3% of the cracked patches in the image dataset. The success of CrackSN model demonstrated with light network design and outstanding performance provides a key step toward automated damage inspection and health evaluation for infrastructure. &nbsp

    Targeting a free viral fraction enhances the early alert potential of wastewater surveillance for SARS-CoV-2: a methods comparison spanning the transition between delta and omicron variants in a large urban center

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    IntroductionWastewater surveillance has proven to be a valuable approach to monitoring the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Recognizing the benefits of wastewater surveillance as a tool to support public health in tracking SARS-CoV-2 and other respiratory pathogens, numerous wastewater virus sampling and concentration methods have been tested for appropriate applications as well as their significance for actionability by public health practices.MethodsHere, we present a 34-week long wastewater surveillance study that covers nearly 4 million residents of the Detroit (MI, United States) metropolitan area. Three primary concentration methods were compared with respect to recovery of SARS-CoV-2 from wastewater: Virus Adsorption-Elution (VIRADEL), polyethylene glycol precipitation (PEG), and polysulfone (PES) filtration. Wastewater viral concentrations were normalized using various parameters (flow rate, population, total suspended solids) to account for variations in flow. Three analytical approaches were implemented to compare wastewater viral concentrations across the three primary concentration methods to COVID-19 clinical data for both normalized and non-normalized data: Pearson and Spearman correlations, Dynamic Time Warping (DTW), and Time Lagged Cross Correlation (TLCC) and peak synchrony.ResultsIt was found that VIRADEL, which captures free and suspended virus from supernatant wastewater, was a leading indicator of COVID-19 cases within the region, whereas PEG and PES filtration, which target particle-associated virus, each lagged behind the early alert potential of VIRADEL. PEG and PES methods may potentially capture previously shed and accumulated SARS-CoV-2 resuspended from sediments in the interceptors.DiscussionThese results indicate that the VIRADEL method can be used to enhance the early-warning potential of wastewater surveillance applications although drawbacks include the need to process large volumes of wastewater to concentrate sufficiently free and suspended virus for detection. While lagging the VIRADEL method for early-alert potential, both PEG and PES filtration can be used for routine COVID-19 wastewater monitoring since they allow a large number of samples to be processed concurrently while being more cost-effective and with rapid turn-around yielding results same day as collection

    On the lichen diversity of psammophytic grass communities in the Southern Non-Chernozem zone of Russia

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    Охарактеризовано разнообразие лишайников псаммофитных травяных сообществ в Южном Нечерноземье России. На основе 106 геоботанических описаний, выполненных авторами в Брянской, Калужской и Смоленской областях, произведена оценка индикаторных и диагностических возможностей лишайников при классификации растительности методом Ж. Браун-Бланке. Травяные сообщества, описания которых использованы для анализа, относятся к 3 ассоциациям в составе 3 союзов и 2 порядков класса псаммофитной травяной растительности Европы Koelerio-Corynephoretea canescentis Klika in Klika et Novák 1941; 5 неранговым «сообществам» в составе этого же класса, представляющим разные стадии и эколого-географические варианты заселения псаммофитных местообитаний. Эпигейные лишайниковые группировки обследованных псаммофитных сообществ включают 36 видов и проявляют значительное сходство с таковыми в сосновых лесах региона. В подтаежных псаммофитных травяных сообществах видовое богатство лишайников вдвое выше, чем для выборки описаний из зоны широколиственных лесов. В плакорных псаммофитных сообществах широколиственнолесной зоны этот показатель наименьший, а отмеченные виды лишайников в основном эвритопны и широко распространены. Выявлена тенденция к большей азональности эпигейных лишайниковых группировок псаммофитных сообществ широколиственнолесной зоны, тогда как в подтайге состав лишайников таких фитоценозов имеет хорошо выраженные бореальные черты. Небольшое число лишайников проявляют высокую верность к отдельным синтаксонам, определенную на основе показателей постоянства и значений статистического φ-коэффициента. Ни один вид не характеризуется его высоким значением, несмотря на высокие показатели константности некоторых видов в отдельных ценофлорах. Поэтому, на наш взгляд, включать перечисленные виды в диагностические комбинации соответствующих синтаксонов нецелесообразно. Методом DCA-ординации продемонстрировано, что градиенты параметров изученных лишайниковых группировок имеют наиболее высокую корреляцию на статистически значимом уровне с комплексным градиентом богатства субстрата минеральным азотом и освещенности
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