929 research outputs found

    Developmental Differences in the Ability to Provide Temporal Information about Repeated Events

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    Children (n = 372) aged 4 - 8 years participated in 1 or 4 occurrences of a similar event and were interviewed 1 week later. Compared to 85% of children who participated once, less than 25% with repeated experience gave the exact number of times they participated, although all knew they participated more than once. Children with repeated experience were asked additional temporal questions and there were clear developmental differences. Older children were more able than younger children to judge relative order and temporal position of the four occurrences. They also demonstrated improved temporal memory for the first and last relative to the middle occurrences, while younger children did so only for the first. This is the first systematic demonstration of children’s memory for temporal information after a repeated event. We discuss implications for theories of temporal memory development and the practical implications of asking children to provide temporal information

    Sex Hormones and Cardiometabolic Risk

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    Cardiometabolic diseases are the leading cause of disability and death worldwide and a major public health concern. Serum levels and actions of sex hormones, in particular androgens and estrogens differ between men and women and have been indicated as important determinants of sex differences in cardiometabolic diseases. In this thesis we performed original data analyses and systematic reviews and meta-analyses to investigate the associations between endogenous and exogenous sex hormones and phytoestrogens (plant derived estrogen-like compounds) and various cardiometabolic outcomes. We showed that androgen imbalance may be as important as estrogen variations in regard of cardiometabolic risk in aging women. Higher serum estradiol can mark the increased risk of stroke in women but not in men with carotid atherosclerosis and its utility as a biomarker in predicting risk stroke should be further explored. We have summarized the existing evidence on contraceptive and hormone therapy use and cardiovascular risk. Based on findings from more than 2.5 million postmenopausal women, we present a clinical guideline on hormone therapy use, indicate the knowledge gaps and give implications for future research. Also, we shed more light on progestin-only contraceptive use in regard of cardiometabolic outcomes. Furthermore, we indicated that phytoestrogen dietary intake improves glucose homeostasis and may prevent type 2 diabetes in women, while not having an impact on body composition. These findings contribute to improve our understanding of the role of sex hormones in the pathophysiology of cardiometabolic diseases

    Numerical modelling-based damage diagnostics in cultural heritage structures

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    In this paper, a numerical modelling-based damage diagnostics methodology is proposed for cultural heritage structures (CHSs) made of masonry. Firstly, an integration of 3D documentation data (i.e. point clouds and virtual tours) is developed for the rapid numerical model generation of CHSs. This allows to directly exploit non-comprehensive point clouds (e.g., associated to outer surfaces only) for the solid finite element model generation, where the lacking information is merged with off-site interactive and immersive frameworks. Secondly, a number of nonlinear static and dynamic analyses are conducted on the generated solid model to account for various load scenarios (e.g., earthquakes, soil settlements, etc.), considering a nonlinear continuum constitutive law. Thirdly, a crack pattern matching indicator is introduced to quantitatively identify the most likely load scenario which originated the damage pattern present in the CHS, by comparing numerical and actual crack patterns. The proposed methodology allows to rapidly generate and extract the numerical model that reflects the current (damaged) state of the CHS. This also allows to identify the parts of the CHS susceptible to further damage. The effectiveness of the proposed methodology is promisingly assessed on an actual historical masonry structure, the Morris Island lighthouse in South Carolina (USA)

    Performance, intestinal histomorphology and bone composition of broiler chickens fed diets supplemented with genistein

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    The effect of dietary genistein on performance, intestinal morphology, caecal Lactobacillus spp. count, and tibia composition in broiler chickens after 21 and 37 days of feeding was investigated. A total of 360 Cobb 500 broiler chickens (21 days old) were randomly allocated to five treatments with six replicates of 12 birds each. They were fed a basal diet (C) or a basal diet supplemented with 200 (T1), 400 (T2), 600 (T3) and 800 (T4) mg genistein/kg of feed. Genistein supplementation did not affect feed intake, but improved bodyweight, weight gain and feed conversion ratio (FCR) after 21 days, while 600 mg/kg led to a significant increase in FCR after 37 days of feeding. Plasma triglyceride level decreased with dietary genistein after 21 days, while increases were found in T3 and T4 groups after prolonged supplementation. Significantly improved duodenal and jejunal villus length and width, crypt depth and villus/crypt ratio were observed after the first and the second finishing periods, respectively, while adverse effects were found in the ileum for both periods. At 42 days old, greater spleen and heart weights were measured in broilers fed diets with 800 mg/kg than in other broiler groups. The shorter genistein supplementation period (21 days) of 200 and 400 mg/kg had a positive effect on tibia wet weight, ash and calcium (Ca) content, while 37 days of the higher genistein doses administered to the T2, T3 and T4 birds significantly increased caecal lactic acid bacteria (LAB) counts. Thus, recommended doses should not exceed 400 mg/kg. Keywords: broiler performance, blood triglyceride, Lactobacillus, prolonged fattening, small intestinal morpholog

    Influence of mechanical and geometrical properties of embedded long-gauge strain sensors on the accuracy of strain measurement

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    In many civil and geotechnical applications it is of interest to monitor the strain deep inside the structure; consequently, it is necessary to embed the sensors into the structure's material. Construction and geotechnical materials, such as concrete and soil, can be affected by local defects, e.g. cracks, air pockets and inclusions. To monitor these materials at a structural level it is necessary to use long-gauge sensors. As the sensor has to be embedded in the host material, its presence causes perturbation of the strain field and influences the accuracy of the strain measurement. The aim of this research was to identify the critical parameters that influence the accuracy of the strain measurement, to study how these parameters affect the accuracy, and to give recommendations for sensor users. The study was based on finite element analysis and all involved materials were assumed to have the MöhrCoulomb elastic, perfectly plastic behavior. A suitability of the numerical model for the analysis was verified using the experimental results of two cases reported in the literature and one on-site application. The study revealed that the most important parameters that influence the accuracy of the strain measurement are the goodness of interaction (strain transfer) between the host material and the anchor pieces of the sensor, the ratio between equivalent Young's modulus of the sensor and the Young's modulus of the host material, the radius of the anchor piece and the gauge length. The numerical model and parametric study are presented in detail along with practical recommendations. © 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd.The authors would like to thank the Spanish Ministry of Education, with support received under the National Program for Mobility of Researchers (O.M. EDU/1456/2010, ref. PR2010-0293) which enabled the joint work that made this study possible. The Streicker Bridge project was realized with help of Turner Construction Co., HNTB, AG Construction Corp., Vollers Excavating & Constr., SMARTEC SA, Micron Optics, Princeton Facilities, and staff and students of CEE department of Princeton University.Calderón García, PA.; Glisic, B. (2012). Influence of mechanical and geometrical properties of embedded long-gauge strain sensors on the accuracy of strain measurement. Measurement Science and Technology. (23):1-15. https://doi.org/10.1088/0957-0233/23/6/065604S11523Glišić, B., & Inaudi, D. (2007). Fibre Optic Methods for Structural Health Monitoring. doi:10.1002/9780470517819Ansari, F. (2007). Practical Implementation of Optical Fiber Sensors in Civil Structural Health Monitoring. Journal of Intelligent Material Systems and Structures, 18(8), 879-889. doi:10.1177/1045389x06075760Li, H.-N., Zhou, G.-D., Ren, L., & Li, D.-S. (2009). Strain Transfer Coefficient Analyses for Embedded Fiber Bragg Grating Sensors in Different Host Materials. Journal of Engineering Mechanics, 135(12), 1343-1353. doi:10.1061/(asce)0733-9399(2009)135:12(1343)Torres, B., Payá-Zaforteza, I., Calderón, P. A., & Adam, J. M. (2011). Analysis of the strain transfer in a new FBG sensor for Structural Health Monitoring. Engineering Structures, 33(2), 539-548. doi:10.1016/j.engstruct.2010.11.012Kesavan, K., Ravisankar, K., Parivallal, S., Sreeshylam, P., & Sridhar, S. (2010). Experimental studies on fiber optic sensors embedded in concrete. Measurement, 43(2), 157-163. doi:10.1016/j.measurement.2009.08.010Azenha, M., Faria, R., & Ferreira, D. (2009). Identification of early-age concrete temperatures and strains: Monitoring and numerical simulation. Cement and Concrete Composites, 31(6), 369-378. doi:10.1016/j.cemconcomp.2009.03.004Glisic, B. (2011). Influence of the gauge length on the accuracy of long-gauge sensors employed in monitoring of prismatic beams. Measurement Science and Technology, 22(3), 035206. doi:10.1088/0957-0233/22/3/035206Leng, J. S., Winter, D., Barnes, R. A., Mays, G. C., & Fernando, G. F. (2006). Structural health monitoring of concrete cylinders using protected fibre optic sensors. Smart Materials and Structures, 15(2), 302-308. doi:10.1088/0964-1726/15/2/009Calderón, P. A., Adam, J. M., Ivorra, S., Pallarés, F. J., & Giménez, E. (2009). Design strength of axially loaded RC columns strengthened by steel caging. Materials & Design, 30(10), 4069-4080. doi:10.1016/j.matdes.2009.05.014Adam, J. M., Ivorra, S., Pallarés, F. J., Giménez, E., & Calderón, P. A. (2009). Axially loaded RC columns strengthened by steel caging. Finite element modelling. Construction and Building Materials, 23(6), 2265-2276. doi:10.1016/j.conbuildmat.2008.11.014Adam, J. M., Ivorra, S., Pallares, F. J., Jiménez, E., & Calderón, P. A. (2008). Column–joint assembly in RC columns strengthened by steel caging. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Structures and Buildings, 161(6), 337-348. doi:10.1680/stbu.2008.161.6.337Adam, J. M., Ivorra, S., Pallares, F. J., Giménez, E., & Calderón, P. A. (2009). Axially loaded RC columns strengthened by steel cages. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Structures and Buildings, 162(3), 199-208. doi:10.1680/stbu.2009.162.3.199Johansson, M., & Gylltoft, K. (2001). Structural behavior of slender circular steel-concrete composite columns under various means of load application. Steel and Composite Structures, 1(4), 393-410. doi:10.12989/scs.2001.1.4.393Johansson, M., & Gylltoft, K. (2002). Mechanical Behavior of Circular Steel–Concrete Composite Stub Columns. Journal of Structural Engineering, 128(8), 1073-1081. doi:10.1061/(asce)0733-9445(2002)128:8(1073

    Equivalency points: Predicting concrete compressive strength evolution in three days

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    Knowledge of the compressive strength evolution of concrete is critical for activities such as stripping formwork, construction scheduling and pre-stressing operations. Although there are several procedures for predicting concrete compressive strength, reliable methodologies involve either extensive testing or voluminous databases. This paper presents a simple and efficient procedure to predict concrete strength evolution. The procedure uses an experimentally-determined parameter called the Equivalency Point as an indicator of equivalent degree of reaction. Equivalency Points are based on early age concrete deformation and temperature variations. Test results from specimens made from seven concrete types validate the approach. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

    Predicted enhanced human propensity of current avian-like H1N1 swine influenza virus from China

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    Influenza A virus (IAV) subtypes against which little or no pre-existing immunity exists in humans represent a serious threat to global public health. Monitoring of IAV in animal hosts is essential for early and rapid detection of potential pandemic IAV strains to prevent their spread. Recently, the increased pandemic potential of the avian-like swine H1N1 IAV A/swine/Guangdong/104/2013 has been suggested. The virus is infectious in humans and the general population seems to lack neutralizing antibodies against this virus. Here we present an in silico analysis that shows a strong human propensity of this swine virus further confirming its pandemic potential. We suggest mutations which would further enhance its human propensity. We also propose conserved antigenic determinants which could serve as a component of a prepandemic vaccine. The bioinformatics tool, which can be used to further monitor the evolution of swine influenza viruses towards a pandemic virus, are described here and are made publically available (http://www.vin.bg.ac.rs/180/tools/iav-mon.php; http://www.biomedprotection.com/iav-mon.php)

    Physical Activity and Natural Anti-VIP Antibodies: Potential Role in Breast and Prostate Cancer Therapy

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    BACKGROUND: There is convincing evidence from numerous clinical and epidemiological studies that physical activity can reduce the risk for breast and prostate cancer. The biological mechanisms underlying this phenomenon remain elusive. Herein we suggest a role for naturally produced antibodies reactive with the vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) in the suppression of breast and prostate cancer, which we believe could offer a possible molecular mechanism underlying control of these cancers by physical exercise. METHODOLOGY AND RESULTS: We found that sera from individuals having breast and prostate cancers have decreased titers of VIP natural antibodies as demonstrated by a lower reactivity against peptide NTM1, having similar informational and structural properties as VIP. In contrast, sera collected from elite athletes, exhibited titers of natural NTM1-reactive antibodies that are significantly increased, suggesting that physical activity boosts production of these antibodies. SIGNIFICANCE: Presented results suggest that physical exercise stimulates production of natural anti-VIP antibodies and likely results in suppression of VIP. This, in turn, may play a protective role against breast and prostate cancers. Physical exercise should be further investigated as a potential tool in the treatment of these diseases
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