205 research outputs found

    Abortion on Maternal Demand: Paternal Support Liability Implications

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    Computer-assisted diagnosis in the noninvasive evaluation of patients with suspected coronary artery disease

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    A microcomputer program called CADENZA, which employs Bayes' theorem to analyze and report the results of various clinical descriptors and noninvasive tests relative to the diagnosis of coronary artery disease, was evaluated in 1,097 consecutive patients without previous myocardial infarction. With this program, each patient was characterized by a probability for coronary artery disease, based on Framingham risk factor analysis, symptom characterization, electrocardiographic stress testing, cardiokymography, cardiac fluoroscopy, thallium perfusion scintigraphy and technetium equilibrium-gated blood pool scintigraphy. A total of 11,808 probability estimates derived from various combinations of the available observations were analyzed: 2,180 in 170 patients undergoing coronary angiography and 9,628 in 969 patients who completed a 1 year follow-up for coronary events.The predicted probability of disease correlated linearly with observed angiographic prevalence in the 170 patients who subsequently had coronary angiography (prevalence = [0.001 ± 0.011] + [0.966 ± 0.019] x probability). The difference between probability and prevalence averaged 3.1%, and the magnitude of this correlation was not affected by the type or amount of data analyzed. The prevalence of multivessel disease in these patients increased as a monotonic function of disease probability. Below a probability of 25%, single vessel disease was slightly more common than multivessel disease. Above a probability of 75%, multivessel disease predominated. In the 969 patients followed up for 1 year from the date of testing, the incidence of cardiac death and nonfatal infarction increased as a cubic function of disease probability (from approximately 0 to 8% per year for each). Above a probability of 90%, however, the standard deviation for predicting these events was wide.These data indicate that Bayes' theorem in general— and CADENZA in particular—is an accurate, clinically applicable means for quantifying the prevalence of angiographic coronary artery disease, the risk of multivessel disease and the incidence of morbid coronary events in the year after testing

    Species-level functional profiling of metagenomes and metatranscriptomes.

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    Functional profiles of microbial communities are typically generated using comprehensive metagenomic or metatranscriptomic sequence read searches, which are time-consuming, prone to spurious mapping, and often limited to community-level quantification. We developed HUMAnN2, a tiered search strategy that enables fast, accurate, and species-resolved functional profiling of host-associated and environmental communities. HUMAnN2 identifies a community's known species, aligns reads to their pangenomes, performs translated search on unclassified reads, and finally quantifies gene families and pathways. Relative to pure translated search, HUMAnN2 is faster and produces more accurate gene family profiles. We applied HUMAnN2 to study clinal variation in marine metabolism, ecological contribution patterns among human microbiome pathways, variation in species' genomic versus transcriptional contributions, and strain profiling. Further, we introduce 'contributional diversity' to explain patterns of ecological assembly across different microbial community types

    On the Mysterious Propulsion of Synechococcus

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    We propose a model for the self-propulsion of the marine bacterium Synechococcus utilizing a continuous looped helical track analogous to that found in Myxobacteria [1]. In our model cargo-carrying protein motors, driven by proton-motive force, move along a continuous looped helical track. The movement of the cargo creates surface distortions in the form of small amplitude traveling ridges along the S-layer above the helical track. The resulting fluid motion adjacent to the helical ribbon provides the propulsive thrust. A variation on the helical rotor model of [1] allows the motors to be anchored to the peptidoglycan layer, where they drive rotation of the track creating traveling helical waves along the S-layer. We derive expressions relating the swimming speed to the amplitude, wavelength, and velocity of the surface waves induced by the helical rotor, and show that they fall in reasonable ranges to explain the velocity and rotation rate of swimming Synechococcus

    Conceptual and practical challenges for implementing the communities of practice model on a national scale - a Canadian cancer control initiative

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>Cancer program delivery, like the rest of health care in Canada, faces two ongoing challenges: to coordinate a pan-Canadian approach across complex provincial jurisdictions, and to facilitate the rapid translation of knowledge into clinical practice. Communities of practice, or CoPs, which have been described by Etienne Wenger as a collaborative learning platform, represent a promising solution to these challenges because they rely on bottom-up rather than top-down social structures for integrating knowledge and practice across regions and agencies. The communities of practice model has been realized in the corporate (e.g., Royal Dutch Shell, Xerox, IBM, etc) and development (e.g., World Bank) sectors, but its application to health care is relatively new. The Canadian Partnership Against Cancer (CPAC) is exploring the potential of Wenger's concept in the Canadian health care context. This paper provides an in-depth analysis of Wenger's concept with a focus on its applicability to the health care sector.</p> <p>Discussion</p> <p>Empirical studies and social science theory are used to examine the utility of Wenger's concept. Its value lies in emphasizing learning from peers and through practice in settings where innovation is valued. Yet the communities of practice concept lacks conceptual clarity because Wenger defines it so broadly and sidelines issues of decision making within CoPs. We consider the implications of his broad definition to establishing an informed nomenclature around this specific type of collaborative group. The CoP Project under CPAC and communities of practice in Canadian health care are discussed.</p> <p>Summary</p> <p>The use of communities of practice in Canadian health care has been shown in some instances to facilitate quality improvements, encourage buy in among participants, and generate high levels of satisfaction with clinical leadership and knowledge translation among participating physicians. Despite these individual success stories, more information is required on how group decisions are made and applied to the practice world in order to leverage the potential of Wenger's concept more fully, and advance the science of knowledge translation within an accountability framework.</p

    Molecular genetics of nicotine dependence and abstinence: whole genome association using 520,000 SNPs

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    BACKGROUND: Classical genetic studies indicate that nicotine dependence is a substantially heritable complex disorder. Genetic vulnerabilities to nicotine dependence largely overlap with genetic vulnerabilities to dependence on other addictive substances. Successful abstinence from nicotine displays substantial heritable components as well. Some of the heritability for the ability to quit smoking appears to overlap with the genetics of nicotine dependence and some does not. We now report genome wide association studies of nicotine dependent individuals who were successful in abstaining from cigarette smoking, nicotine dependent individuals who were not successful in abstaining and ethnically-matched control subjects free from substantial lifetime use of any addictive substance. RESULTS: These data, and their comparison with data that we have previously obtained from comparisons of four other substance dependent vs control samples support two main ideas: 1) Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) whose allele frequencies distinguish nicotine-dependent from control individuals identify a set of genes that overlaps significantly with the set of genes that contain markers whose allelic frequencies distinguish the four other substance dependent vs control groups (p < 0.018). 2) SNPs whose allelic frequencies distinguish successful vs unsuccessful abstainers cluster in small genomic regions in ways that are highly unlikely to be due to chance (Monte Carlo p < 0.00001). CONCLUSION: These clustered SNPs nominate candidate genes for successful abstinence from smoking that are implicated in interesting functions: cell adhesion, enzymes, transcriptional regulators, neurotransmitters and receptors and regulation of DNA, RNA and proteins. As these observations are replicated, they will provide an increasingly-strong basis for understanding mechanisms of successful abstinence, for identifying individuals more or less likely to succeed in smoking cessation efforts and for tailoring therapies so that genotypes can help match smokers with the treatments that are most likely to benefit them
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