1,353 research outputs found

    Determination of Chlorinated organic compounds in aqueous matrices

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    Thirteen pure volatile, semi-volatile and non-volatile chlorinated organic compounds of molecular weights ranging from trichloroethylene (MW = 131.39 g mole -¹) to hexachlorobenzene (MW = 284.78 g mole-¹) were determined in aqueous matrices by GC-ECD. After 10% salt addition, different extraction tests were performed using fibres whose adsorbing phase was based on microsphere carbon particles characterized by a constant size. Five experimental parameters were optimized: extraction temperature and time, position of the fibre in the GC injector port, desorption temperature and time. The optimized analytical protocol was employed to determine the efficiency of a real activated carbon adsorption plant to remove organic chlorinated pollutants from an industrial wastewater at ng l-¹ levels

    Quantitative PCR-based genome size estimation of the astigmatid mites Sarcoptes scabiei, Psoroptes ovis and Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus

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    Background: The lack of genomic data available for mites limits our understanding of their biology. Evolving high-throughput sequencing technologies promise to deliver rapid advances in this area, however, estimates of genome size are initially required to ensure sufficient coverage. Methods. Quantitative real-time PCR was used to estimate the genome sizes of the burrowing ectoparasitic mite Sarcoptes scabiei, the non-burrowing ectoparasitic mite Psoroptes ovis, and the free-living house dust mite Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus. Additionally, the chromosome number of S. scabiei was determined by chromosomal spreads of embryonic cells derived from single eggs. Results: S. scabiei cells were shown to contain 17 or 18 small (< 2 M) chromosomes, suggesting an XO sex-determination mechanism. The average estimated genome sizes of S. scabiei and P. ovis were 96 ( 7) Mb and 86 ( 2) Mb respectively, among the smallest arthropod genomes reported to date. The D. pteronyssinus genome was estimated to be larger than its parasitic counterparts, at 151 Mb in female mites and 218 Mb in male mites. Conclusions: This data provides a starting point for understanding the genetic organisation and evolution of these astigmatid mites, informing future sequencing projects. A comparitive genomic approach including these three closely related mites is likely to reveal key insights on mite biology, parasitic adaptations and immune evasion

    Physical activity and menopausal symptoms in women who have received menopause-inducing cancer treatments: results from the Women's Wellness After Cancer Program.

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    ObjectiveThis randomized controlled trial tested a digitally-delivered whole-of-lifestyle program for women previously treated for cancer. We investigated (1) associations between self-reported physical activity (PA) and menopausal symptoms and (2) if the intervention was associated with beneficial changes in PA and menopausal symptoms.MethodsWomen were randomized to intervention (n = 142) or control (n = 138). The intervention targeted lifestyle behavior including PA. Self-reported PA (International Physical Activity Questionnaire - Short Form) and menopausal symptom (Green Climacteric Scale, GCS) data were collected at baseline, with measures repeated at 12 weeks (end of intervention) and 24 weeks (to assess sustainability). Generalized estimating equation models explored associations between PA and GCS scores. Mixed-effects generalized equation models analyzed changes within and between groups in PA and GCS scores.ResultsTotal GCS scores were 1.83 (95% CI: 0.11-3.55) and 2.72 (95% CI: 1.12-4.33) points lower in women with medium and high levels of PA, respectively, than in women with low levels of PA. Total average GCS scores were 1.02 (0.21-2.26) and 1.61 (0.34-2.87) points lower in those undertaking moderate or vigorous intensity PA, respectively. Time spent walking, and performing moderate and vigorous PA were not different between intervention and control. The average GCS decrease of 0.66 points (95% CI: 0.03-1.29; p time = 0.03) over 24 weeks was not different between groups.ConclusionThis exploratory study established a stepwise association between moderate and vigorous PA and a lower total menopausal symptom score. The intervention did not appear to increase self-reported PA in women treated for early stage breast, reproductive, and blood cancers

    Discourse or dialogue? Habermas, the Bakhtin Circle, and the question of concrete utterances

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    This is the author's accepted manuscript. The final publication is available at Springer via the link below.This article argues that the Bakhtin Circle presents a more realistic theory of concrete dialogue than the theory of discourse elaborated by Habermas. The Bakhtin Circle places speech within the “concrete whole utterance” and by this phrase they mean that the study of everyday language should be analyzed through the mediations of historical social systems such as capitalism. These mediations are also characterized by a determinate set of contradictions—the capital-labor contradiction in capitalism, for example—that are reproduced in unique ways in more concrete forms of life (the state, education, religion, culture, and so on). Utterances always dialectically refract these processes and as such are internal concrete moments, or concrete social forms, of them. Moreover, new and unrepeatable dialogic events arise in these concrete social forms in order to overcome and understand the constant dialectical flux of social life. But this theory of dialogue is different from that expounded by Habermas, who tends to explore speech acts by reproducing a dualism between repeatable and universal “abstract” discursive processes (commonly known as the ideal speech situation) and empirical uses of discourse. These critical points against Habermas are developed by focusing on six main areas: sentences and utterances; the lifeworld and background language; active versus passive understandings of language; validity claims; obligation and relevance in language; and dialectical universalism

    Cardiotoxicity and cardiovascular disease risk assessment for patients receiving breast cancer treatment

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    Background: Cardiotoxicity from anticancer therapy affects heart function and structure. Cardiotoxicity can also lead to accelerated development of chronic diseases, especially in the presence of risk factors. Methods: This study aimed to develop and pilot a combined cardiovascular disease and cardiotoxicity risk assessment questionnaire to quantify the potential extent of risk factors in breast cancer patients prior to treatment. The questionnaire underwent content and face validity evaluation by an expert panel followed by pilot testing in a sample of breast cancer patients (n = 36). Questionnaires were self-administered while attending chemotherapy clinic, in the presence of a research assistant. Results: Mean age of participants was 54.8 years (range 36–72 years). Participants reported CVD risk factors including diabetes 2.8%, hypertension 19.8%, hypercholesterolaemia 11% and sleep apnoea 5%. Lifestyle risk factors, included not eating the recommended serves of vegetables (100%) or fruit (78%) per day; smoking (13%) and regularly consuming alcohol (75%). Twenty five percent reported being physically inactive, 61%, overweight or obese, 24%, little or no social support and 30% recorded high to very high psychological distress. Participants were highly (75%) reluctant to undertake lifestyle changes; i.e. changing alcohol consumption; dietary habits; good emotional/mental health strategies; improving physical activity; quitting smoking; learning about heart-health and weight loss. Conclusion: This study is an important step towards prevention and management of treatment-associated cardiotoxicity after breast cancer diagnosis. We recommend that our questionnaire is providing important data that should be included in cancer registries so that researchers can establish the relationship between CVD risk profile and cardiotoxicity outcomes and that this study revealed important teaching opportunities that could be used to examine the impact on health literacy and help patients better understand the consequences of cancer treatment

    Improving corporate governance in state-owned corporations in China: which way forward?

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    This article discusses corporate governance in China. It outlines the basic agency problem in Chinese listed companies and questions the effectiveness of the current mechanisms employed to improve their standards of governance. Importantly, it considers alternative means through which corporate practice in China can be brought into line with international expectations and stresses the urgency with which this task must be tackled. It concludes that regulators in China must construct a corporate governance model which is compatible with its domestic setting and not rush to adopt governance initiatives modelled on those in cultures which are fundamentally different in the hope of also reproducing their success

    Protocol of trans-Tasman feasibility randomised controlled trial of the Younger Women's Wellness After Breast Cancer (YWWACP) lifestyle intervention.

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    BACKGROUND: Younger women (defined as those < 50 years who are likely pre-menopausal at time of diagnosis) with breast cancer often experience persistent treatment-related side effects that adversely affect their physical and psychological wellbeing. The Women's Wellness After Cancer Program (WWACP) was adapted and piloted in Australia to address these outcomes in younger women. The aims of this feasibility study are to determine (1) the potential to translate the Younger WWACP (YWWACP) intervention to a broader population base in Aotearoa/New Zealand and Australia, and (2) the potential for success of a larger, international, phase ΙΙΙ, randomised controlled trial. METHODS: This bi-national, randomised, single-blinded controlled trial involves two main study sites in Aotearoa/New Zealand (Kōwhai study) and Australia (EMERALD study). Young women aged 18 to 50 years who completed intensive treatment (surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiotherapy) for breast cancer in the previous 24 months are eligible. The potential to translate the YWWACP to women in these two populations will be assessed according to several feasibility outcomes. These include examining intervention accessibility, acceptability and uptake; intervention sustainability and adherence; the prevalence components of the intervention in the control group; intervention efficacy; participants' perception of measurement burden; the effectiveness of planned recruitment strategies; and trial methods and procedures. The studies collectively aim to enrol 60 participants in the intervention group and 60 participants in the control group (total = 120 participants). DISCUSSION: Ethical approval has been received from the Southern Health and Disability Ethics Committee (Kōwhai ref: 19/STH/215), and UnitingCare Human Research Ethics Committee (EMERALD ref: 202103). This study will provide important data on the feasibility of the refined YWWACP in the trans-Tasman context. This study will account for and harmonise cross-country differences to ensure the success of a proposed international grant application for a phase ΙΙΙ randomised controlled trial of this program to improve outcomes in younger women living with breast cancer. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR): Kōwhai ACTRN12620000260921 , registered on 27 February 2020. EMERALD ACTRN12621000447853 , registered on 19 April 2021

    Foot orthoses: how much customisation is necessary?

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    The relative merit of customised versus prefabricated foot orthoses continues to be the subject of passionate debate among foot health professionals. Although there is currently insufficient evidence to reach definitive conclusions, a growing body of research literature suggests that prefabricated foot orthoses may produce equivalent clinical outcomes to customised foot orthoses for some conditions. Consensus guidelines for the prescription of customised foot orthoses need to be developed so that the hypothesised benefits of these devices can be thoroughly evaluated

    Three Ways of Combining Genotyping and Resequencing in Case-Control Association Studies

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    We describe three statistical results that we have found to be useful in case-control genetic association testing. All three involve combining the discovery of novel genetic variants, usually by sequencing, with genotyping methods that recognize previously discovered variants. We first consider expanding the list of known variants by concentrating variant-discovery in cases. Although the naive inclusion of cases-only sequencing data would create a bias, we show that some sequencing data may be retained, even if controls are not sequenced. Furthermore, for alleles of intermediate frequency, cases-only sequencing with bias-correction entails little if any loss of power, compared to dividing the same sequencing effort among cases and controls. Secondly, we investigate more strongly focused variant discovery to obtain a greater enrichment for disease-related variants. We show how case status, family history, and marker sharing enrich the discovery set by increments that are multiplicative with penetrance, enabling the preferential discovery of high-penetrance variants. A third result applies when sequencing is the primary means of counting alleles in both cases and controls, but a supplementary pooled genotyping sample is used to identify the variants that are very rare. We show that this raises no validity issues, and we evaluate a less expensive and more adaptive approach to judging rarity, based on group-specific variants. We demonstrate the important and unusual caveat that this method requires equal sample sizes for validity. These three results can be used to more efficiently detect the association of rare genetic variants with disease
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