792 research outputs found

    The Enhanced Reading Opportunities Study: Early Impact and Implementation Findings

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    This report presents early findings from a demonstration and random assignment evaluation of two supplemental literacy programs that aim to improve the reading comprehension skills and school performance of struggling ninth-grade readers. On average, the programs produced a positive, statistically significant impact on reading comprehension among students

    A Biodegradable Alternative to the Single-Use Cup

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    One hundred billion single-use cups are sent to landfills annually in the United States. Their production, usage, and disposal cause deforestation, pollution, and human health problems. Attempts have been made to produce more environmentally friendly tableware, however, these options are frequently not economically or logistically viable. This project strived to develop a single-use cup that meets the market need while remaining biodegradable and sustainably sourced. A financial and market analysis demonstrates the cup’s ability to enter the industry

    The Iddm14 gene is Tcrbv-13S1A1: Prevention of Autoimmune Diabetes in the Rat with an Allele-Specific Depleting Antibody That Recognizes the Vβ13a T Cell Receptor Beta Chain

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    To identify new intervention strategies for autoimmune type 1 diabetes (T1D), we investigated several rat models of the disorder. We dissected the powerful Iddm14 diabetes susceptibility locus in eight T1D susceptible vs. resistant rat strains by single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) haplotyping. We identified an allele of a T cell receptor (TCR) beta chain gene, Tcrb-V13S1A1 (encoding V13βa) as a candidate gene. In three separate trials, treating LEW.1WR1 rats, which are susceptible to T1D, with a depleting anti-Vβ13 monoclonal antibody reduced diabetes frequency from 75% (N=50) to 17% (N=30, p\u3c0.001. Anti-Vβ13 monoclonal antibody also prevented T1D in spontaneously diabetic BBDP rats. We then analyzed the phenotype of infiltrating T cells recovered from the cultured islets of LEW.1WR1 rats exposed to a diabetogenic trigger. Within 5 days, up to 22% of CD4+ T cells recovered from islets were V13β+, most of these CD25+FoxP3-. We also recovered Vβ13 transcripts from pre-diabetic islets and observed a limited number of Jβ variant transcripts, indicating an oligoclonal TCR response to pancreatic beta cells. These data indicate that, in susceptible rats, V13βa on diabetogenic T cells is required to recognize a critical T1D autoantigen. Interestingly, the diabetogenic and non-diabetogenic alleles of Vβ13 have non-conservative sequence differences in both CRR1 and CDR2. The data suggest that it is possible to prevent T1D in the rat with a very narrowly targeted deletional therapy. Preliminary data suggest that a specific alpha chain may preferentially pair with Vβ13a. We are currently generating rat T cell hybridoma clones with which to analyze the interaction of putative autoantigens with a diabetogenic TCR

    Chemical Toxicants in Water: A \u3ci\u3eGeoHealth\u3c/i\u3e Perspective in the Context of Climate Change

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    The editorial focuses on four major themes contextualized in a virtual GeoHealth workshop that occurred from June 14 to 16, 2021. Topics in that workshop included drinking water and chronic chemical exposure, environmental injustice, public health and drinking water policy, and the fate, transport, and human impact of aqueous contaminants in the context of climate change. The intent of the workshop was to further define the field of GeoHealth. This workshop emphasized on chemical toxicants that drive human health. The major calls for action emerged from the workshop include enhancing community engagement, advocating for equity and justice, and training the next generation

    Supporting patient-clinician interaction in chronic HIV care: Design and development of a patient-reported outcomes software application

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    Background: The consideration of health-related quality of life (HRQL) is a hallmark of best practice in HIV care. Information technology offers an opportunity to more closely engage patients with chronic HIV infection in their long-term management and support a focus on HRQL. However, the implementation of patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures, such as HRQL in routine care, is challenged by the need to synthesize data generated by questionnaires, the complexity of collecting data between patient visits, and the integration of results into clinical decision-making processes. Objective: Our aim is to design and pilot-test a multimedia software platform to overcome these challenges and provide a vehicle to increase focus on HRQL issues in HIV management. Methods: A multidisciplinary team in France and Australia conducted the study with 120 patients and 16 doctors contributing to the design and development of the software. We used agile development principles, user-centered design, and qualitative research methods to develop and pilot the software platform. We developed a prototype application to determine the acceptability of the software and piloted the final version with 41 Australian and 19 French residents using 2 validated electronic questionnaires, the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale-21 Items, and the Patient Reported Outcomes Quality of Life-HIV. Results: Testing of the prototype demonstrated that patients wanted an application that was intuitive and without excessive instruction, so it felt effortless to use, as well as secure and discreet. Clinicians wanted the PRO data synthesized, presented clearly and succinctly, and clinically actionable. Safety concerns for patients and clinicians included confidentiality, and the potential for breakdown in communication if insufficient user training was not provided. The final product, piloted with patients from both countries, showed that most respondents found the application easy to use and comprehend. The usability testing survey administered found that older Australians had reduced scores for understanding the visual interface (P=.004) and finding the buttons organized (P=.02). Three-fourths of the respondents were concerned with confidentiality (P=.007), and this result was more prevalent in participants with higher anxiety and stress scores (P=.01), as measured by the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale-21 Items. These statistical associations were not observed in 15 French patients who completed the same questionnaire. Conclusions: Digital applications in health care should be safe and fit for purpose. Our software was acceptable to patients and shows potential to overcome some barriers to the implementation of PROs in routine care. The design of the clinicians’ interface presents a solution to the problem of voluminous data, both synthesizing and providing a snapshot of longitudinal data. The next stage is to conduct a randomized controlled trial to determine whether patients experience increased satisfaction with care and whether doctors perceive that they deliver better clinical care without compromising efficiency

    Carbon Budget of Tidal Wetlands, Estuaries, and Shelf Waters of Eastern North America

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    Carbon cycling in the coastal zone affects global carbon budgets and is critical for understanding the urgent issues of hypoxia, acidification, and tidal wetland loss. However, there are no regional carbon budgets spanning the three main ecosystems in coastal waters: tidal wetlands, estuaries, and shelf waters. Here we construct such a budget for eastern North America using historical data, empirical models, remote sensing algorithms, and process‐based models. Considering the net fluxes of total carbon at the domain boundaries, 59 ± 12% (± 2 standard errors) of the carbon entering is from rivers and 41 ± 12% is from the atmosphere, while 80 ± 9% of the carbon leaving is exported to the open ocean and 20 ± 9% is buried. Net lateral carbon transfers between the three main ecosystem types are comparable to fluxes at the domain boundaries. Each ecosystem type contributes substantially to exchange with the atmosphere, with CO2 uptake split evenly between tidal wetlands and shelf waters, and estuarine CO2 outgassing offsetting half of the uptake. Similarly, burial is about equal in tidal wetlands and shelf waters, while estuaries play a smaller but still substantial role. The importance of tidal wetlands and estuaries in the overall budget is remarkable given that they, respectively, make up only 2.4 and 8.9% of the study domain area. This study shows that coastal carbon budgets should explicitly include tidal wetlands, estuaries, shelf waters, and the linkages between them; ignoring any of them may produce a biased picture of coastal carbon cycling

    Challenges in Quantifying Air‐Water Carbon Dioxide Flux Using Estuarine Water Quality Data: Case Study for Chesapeake Bay

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    Estuaries play an uncertain but potentially important role in the global carbon cycle via CO2 outgassing. The uncertainty mainly stems from the paucity of studies that document the full spatial and temporal variability of estuarine surface water partial pressure of carbon dioxide ( p CO2). Here, we explore the potential of utilizing the abundance of pH data from historical water quality monitoring programs to fill the data void via a case study of the mainstem Chesapeake Bay (eastern United States). We calculate p CO2 and the air‐water CO2 flux at monthly resolution from 1998 to 2018 from tidal fresh to polyhaline waters, paying special attention to the error estimation. The biggest error is due to the pH measurement error, and errors due to the gas transfer velocity, temporal sampling, the alkalinity mixing model, and the organic alkalinity estimation are 72%, 27%, 15%, and 5%, respectively, of the error due to pH. Seasonal, interannual, and spatial variability in the air‐water flux and surface p CO2 is high, and a correlation analysis with oxygen reveals that this variability is driven largely by biological processes. Averaged over 1998–2018, the mainstem bay is a weak net source of CO2 to the atmosphere of 1.2 (1.1, 1.4) mol m−2 yr−1 (best estimate and 95% confidence interval). Our findings suggest that the abundance of historical pH measurements in estuaries around the globe should be mined in order to constrain the large spatial and temporal variability of the CO2 exchange between estuaries and the atmosphere

    Response of the Aerodyne Aerosol Mass Spectrometer to Inorganic Sulfates and Organosulfur Compounds: Applications in Field and Laboratory Measurements

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    Organosulfur compounds are important components of secondary organic aerosols (SOA). While the Aerodyne high-resolution time-of-flight aerosol mass spectrometer (AMS) has been extensively used in aerosol studies, the response of the AMS to organosulfur compounds is not well-understood. Here, we investigated the fragmentation patterns of organosulfurs and inorganic sulfates in the AMS, developed a method to deconvolve total sulfate into components of inorganic and organic origins, and applied this method in both laboratory and field measurements. Apportionment results from laboratory isoprene photooxidation experiment showed that with inorganic sulfate seed, sulfate functionality of organic origins can contribute ∼7% of SOA mass at peak growth. Results from measurements in the Southeastern U.S. showed that 4% of measured sulfate is from organosulfur compounds. Methanesulfonic acid was estimated for measurements in the coastal and remote marine boundary layer. We explored the application of this method to unit mass-resolution data, where it performed less well due to interferences. Our apportionment results demonstrate that organosulfur compounds could be a non-negligible source of sulfate fragments in AMS laboratory and field data sets. A reevaluation of previous AMS measurements over the full range of atmospheric conditions using this method could provide a global estimate/constraint on the contribution of organosulfur compounds

    Algometry with a clothes peg compared to an electronic pressure algometer: a randomized cross-sectional study in pain patients

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Hypersensitivity of the central nervous system is widely present in pain patients and recognized as one of the determinants of chronic pain and disability. Electronic pressure algometry is often used to explore aspects of central hypersensitivity. We hypothesized that a simple pain provocation test with a clothes peg provides information on pain sensitivity that compares meaningfully to that obtained by a well-established electronic pressure algometer. "Clinically meaningful" was defined as a medium (r = 0.3-0.5) or high (r > 0.5) correlation coefficient according to Cohen's conventions.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>We tested 157 in-patients with different pain types. A calibrated clothes peg was applied for 10 seconds and patients rated the pain intensity on a 0 to 10 numerical rating scale. Pressure pain detection threshold (PPdt) and pressure pain tolerance threshold (PPtt) were measured with a standard electronic algometer. Both methods were performed on both middle fingers and ear lobes. In a subgroup of 47 patients repeatability (test-retest reliability) was calculated.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Clothes peg values correlated with PPdt values for finger testing with r = -0.54 and for earlobe testing with r = -0.55 (all p-values < 0.001). Clothes peg values also correlated with PPtt values for finger testing with r = -0.55 (p < 0.001). Test-retest reliability (repeatability) showed equally stable results for clothes peg algometry and the electronic algometer (all r-values > 0.89, all p-values < 0.001).</p> <p>Conclusions</p> <p>Information on pain sensitivity provided by a calibrated clothes peg and an established algometer correlate at a clinically meaningful level.</p
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