1,412 research outputs found

    A Comparative Accreditation Alignment Analysis of Civil Engineering and Construction Management Bachelor Degrees with the Skill Requirements for USAF Civil Engineer Officers

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    The United States Air Force Civil Engineer (CE) officer career field involves a host of duties and opportunities for technical competence and leadership excellence as the Air Force mission grows and personnel numbers shrink. Most CE officers spend their careers as a technical manager, performing a mixture of duties that require a wide variety of skills. Because of this, the use of engineering design skills have decreased and the use of project and construction management have increased. While the career field accepts a variety of architecture and engineering degrees for new accessions, technical management degrees like Construction Management have been denied. This study uses a Delphi study to rate a list of skills most needed by CE Company Grade Officers, and compares those skills with the accreditation outcomes for Civil Engineering and Construction Management undergraduate degrees. After 2 rounds of surveys, a list of 40 skills was used to compare the relative emphasis of the degrees. Construction Management was shown to emphasize higher rated skills. Civil Engineering still showed a high relation to the skills, but emphasized engineering design skills that were consistently rated lower by the Delphi panel. The research shows that accredited Construction Management display a better fit for CE officers and should not only be considered acceptable, but encouraged for new accessions

    Improving the Implementation of Home Blood Pressure Monitoring

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    Introduction: Home blood pressure monitoring (HBPM) has been shown to outperform traditional office readings in its association with cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk and ability to identify patients with white coat or masked hypertension. For these reasons, the 2017 ACC/AHA Guidelines included HBPM as part of its recommendations for hypertension management. Our project focused on improving the implementation of HBPM in an urban primary care practice with an end goal of increasing the number of patients that actively use home blood pressure cuffs and have access to them for future telemedicine visits. Methods: A patient outreach process to increase HBPM uptake and improve hypertension control was developed and evaluated using a remote PDSA cycle approach. Outreach candidates consisted of Jefferson Family Medicine Associates (JFMA) patients ages 16-85 with active hypertension diagnoses who were insured by Keystone First or Keystone VIP. Candidates received an automated blood pressure cuff that was able to transmit home readings to their electronic medical record (EMR) in real time. Outcome and process measures were calculated using demographic and blood pressure data stored in each patient’s EMR. Results: The first wave of outreach produced 54 patient recruits from 253 attempts (21.3%) with 24 patients being full participants, defined as reporting 10 or more HBPM readings. Patient recruits were predominantly black (79.6%), female (66.7%), and ages 45 – 64 (55.5%). Patient recruits aged 65 and older had the highest rate of full participation (83.3%) followed by ages 30 – 49 (63.2%), 50 – 64 (25.0%), and 16 – 29 (20.0%). Rates for non-participation, defined as no HBPM reading recorded, among men and women were 27.8% and 33.3%, respectively. Conclusion: Analysis of the first patient outreach PDSA cycle revealed differences in full-participation based on age and sex. Future PDSA cycles will focus on improving follow-up efforts with patient groups that have lower rates of full-participation. This project was limited to patients insured by Keystone First or Keystone VIP due to their eligibility for low-cost HBPM coverage

    Examining Temporal Sample Scale and Model Choice with Spatial Capture-Recapture Models in the Common Leopard \u3ci\u3ePanthera pardus\u3c/i\u3e

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    Many large carnivores occupy a wide geographic distribution, and face treats from habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching, prey depletion, and human wildlife-conflicts. Conservation requires robust techniques for estimating population densities and trends, but the elusive nature and low densities of many large carnivores make them difficult to detect. Spatial capture-recapture (SCR) models provide a means for handling imperfect detectability, while linking population estimates to individual movement patterns to provide more accurate estimates than standard approaches. Within this framework, we investigate the effect of different sample interval lengths on density estimates, using simulations and a common leopard (Panthera pardus) model system. We apply Bayesian SCR methods to 89 simulated data sets and camera-trapping data from 22 leopards captured 82 times during winter 2010-2011 in Royal Manas National Park, Bhutan. We show that sample interval length from daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly periods did not appreciably affect median abundance or density, but did influence precision. We observed the largest gains in precision when moving from quarterly to shorter intervals. We therefore recommend daily sampling intervals for monitoring rare or elusive species where practicable, but note that monthly or quarterly sample periods can have similar informative value. We further develop a novel application of Bayes factors to select models where multiple ecological factors are integrated into density estimation. Our simulations demonstrate that these methods can help identify the true explanatory mechanisms underlying the data. Using this method, we found strong evidence for sex-specific movement distributions in leopards, suggesting that sexual patterns of space-use influence density. This model estimated a density of 10.0 leopards/100 km2 (95% credibility interval: 6.25-15.93), comparable to contemporary estimates in Asia. These SCR methods provide a guide to monitor and observe the effect of management interventions on leopards and other species of conservation interest

    An Essential Mesenchymal Function for miR-143/145 in Intestinal Epithelial Regeneration

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    SummaryDownregulation of the miR-143/145 microRNA (miRNA) cluster has been repeatedly reported in colon cancer and other epithelial tumors. In addition, overexpression of these miRNAs inhibits tumorigenesis, leading to broad consensus that they function as cell-autonomous epithelial tumor suppressors. We generated mice with deletion of miR-143/145 to investigate the functions of these miRNAs in intestinal physiology and disease in vivo. Although intestinal development proceeded normally in the absence of these miRNAs, epithelial regeneration after injury was dramatically impaired. Surprisingly, we found that miR-143/145 are expressed and function exclusively within the mesenchymal compartment of intestine. Defective epithelial regeneration in miR-143/145-deficient mice resulted from the dysfunction of smooth muscle and myofibroblasts and was associated with derepression of the miR-143 target Igfbp5, which impaired IGF signaling after epithelial injury. These results provide important insights into the regulation of epithelial wound healing and argue against a cell-autonomous tumor suppressor role for miR-143/145 in colon cancer

    Securing a just space for small-scale fisheries in the blue economy

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    The vast developmental opportunities offered by the world\u27s coasts and oceans have attracted the attention of governments, private enterprises, philanthropic organizations, and international conservation organizations. High-profile dialogue and policy decisions on the future of the ocean are informed largely by economic and ecological research. Key insights from the social sciences raise concerns for food and nutrition security, livelihoods and social justice, but these have yet to gain traction with investors and the policy discourse on transforming ocean governance. The largest group of ocean-users - women and men who service, fish and trade from small-scale fisheries (SSF) - argue that they have been marginalized from the dialogue between international environmental and economic actors that is determining strategies for the future of the ocean. Blue Economy or Blue Growth initiatives see the ocean as the new economic frontier and imply an alignment with social objectives and SSF concerns. Deeper analysis reveals fundamental differences in ideologies, priorities and approaches. We argue that SSF are being subtly and overtly squeezed for geographic, political and economic space by larger scale economic and environmental conservation interests, jeopardizing the substantial benefits SSF provide through the livelihoods of millions of women and men, for the food security of around four billion consumers globally, and in the developing world, as a key source of micro-nutrients and protein for over a billion low-income consumers. Here, we bring insights from social science and SSF to explore how ocean governance might better account for social dimensions of fisheries

    The cancer genome atlas pan-cancer analysis project

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    The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network has profiled and analyzed large numbers of human tumors to discover molecular aberrations at the DNA, RNA, protein and epigenetic levels. The resulting rich data provide a major opportunity to develop an integrated picture of commonalities, differences and emergent themes across tumor lineages. The Pan-Cancer initiative compares the first 12 tumor types profiled by TCGA. Analysis of the molecular aberrations and their functional roles across tumor types will teach us how to extend therapies effective in one cancer type to others with a similar genomic profile

    Dietary nitrate prevents progression of carotid subclinical atherosclerosis through blood pressure-independent mechanisms in patients with or at risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus

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    Aims To test if 6 months' intervention with dietary nitrate and spironolactone could affect carotid subclinical atherosclerosis and stiffness, respectively, vs. placebo/doxazosin, to control for blood pressure (BP). Methods A subgroup of participants in our double-blind, randomized-controlled, factorial VaSera trial had carotid imaging. Patients with hypertension and with/at risk of type 2 diabetes were randomized to active nitrate-containing beetroot juice or placebo nitrate-depleted juice, and spironolactone or doxazosin. Vascular ultrasound for carotid diameter (CD, mm) and intima–media thickness (CIMT, mm) was performed at baseline, 3- and 6-months. Carotid local stiffness (CS, m/s) was estimated from aortic pulse pressure (Arteriograph) and carotid lumen area. Data were analysed by modified intention to treat and using mixed-model effect, adjusted for confounders. Results In total, 93 subjects had a baseline evaluation and 86% had follow-up data. No statistical interactions occurred between the juice and drug arms and BP was similar between the juices and between the drugs. Nitrate-containing vs. placebo juice significantly lowered CIMT (−0.06 [95% confidence interval −0.12, −0.01], P = .034), an overall difference of ~8% relative to baseline; but had no effect on CD or CS. Doxazosin appeared to reduce CS from baseline (−0.34 [−0.62, −0.06]) however, no difference was detected vs. spironolactone (−0.15 [−0.46, 0.16]). No differences were detected between spironolactone or doxazosin on CIMT and CD. Conclusions Our results show that 6 months' intervention with dietary nitrate influences vascular remodelling, but not carotid stiffness or diameter. Neither spironolactone nor doxazosin had a BP-independent effect on carotid structure and function

    Attributes of climate resilience in fisheries: from theory to practice

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    In a changing climate, there is an imperative to build coupled social-ecological systems—including fisheries—that can withstand or adapt to climate stressors. Although resilience theory identifies system attributes that supposedly confer resilience, these attributes have rarely been clearly defined, mechanistically explained, nor tested and applied to inform fisheries governance. Here, we develop and apply a comprehensive resilience framework to examine fishery systems across (a) ecological, (b) socio-economic and (c) governance dimensions using five resilience domains: assets, flexibility, organization, learning and agency. We distil and define 38 attributes that confer climate resilience from a coupled literature- and expert-driven approach, describe how they apply to fisheries and provide illustrative examples of resilience attributes in action. Our synthesis highlights that the directionality and mechanism of these attributes depend on the specific context, capacities, and scale of the focal fishery system and associated stressors, and we find evidence of interdependencies among attributes. Overall, however, we find few studies that test resilience attributes in fisheries across all parts of the system, with most examples focussing on the ecological dimension. As such, meaningful quantification of the attributes’ contributions to resilience remains a challenge. Our synthesis and holistic framework represent a starting point for critical application of resilience concepts to fisheries social-ecological systems
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