167 research outputs found

    Sensory cutaneous papillae in the sea lamprey (Petromyzonmarinus L.) : I. Neuroanatomy and physiology

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    Molecules present in an animal's environment can indicate the presence of predators,food, or sexual partners and consequently, induce migratory, reproductive, foraging,or escape behaviors. Three sensory systems, the olfactory, gustatory, and solitarychemosensory cell (SCC) systems detect chemical stimuli in vertebrates. While agreat deal of research has focused on the olfactory and gustatory system over theyears, it is only recently that significant attention has been devoted to the SCC sys-tem. The SCCs are microvillous cells that were first discovered on the skin of fish,and later in amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. Lampreys also possess SCCs that areparticularly numerous on cutaneous papillae. However, little is known regarding theirprecise distribution, innervation, and function. Here, we show that sea lampreys(Petromyzon marinus L.) have cutaneous papillae located around the oral disk, nostril,gill pores, and on the dorsal fins and that SCCs are particularly numerous on thesepapillae. Tract-tracing experiments demonstrated that the oral and nasal papillae areinnervated by the trigeminal nerve, the gill pore papillae are innervated by branchialnerves, and the dorsal fin papillae are innervated by spinal nerves. We also character-ized the response profile of gill pore papillae to some chemicals and showed thattrout-derived chemicals, amino acids, and a bile acid produced potent responses.Together with a companion study (Suntres et al., Journal of Comparative Neurology,this issue), our results provide new insights on the function and evolution of the SCCsystem in vertebrates

    Exact Bayesian curve fitting and signal segmentation.

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    We consider regression models where the underlying functional relationship between the response and the explanatory variable is modeled as independent linear regressions on disjoint segments. We present an algorithm for perfect simulation from the posterior distribution of such a model, even allowing for an unknown number of segments and an unknown model order for the linear regressions within each segment. The algorithm is simple, can scale well to large data sets, and avoids the problem of diagnosing convergence that is present with Monte Carlo Markov Chain (MCMC) approaches to this problem. We demonstrate our algorithm on standard denoising problems, on a piecewise constant AR model, and on a speech segmentation problem

    Training evaluation: a case study of training Iranian health managers

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>The Ministry of Health and Medical Education in the Islamic Republic of Iran has undertaken a reform of its health system, in which-lower level managers are given new roles and responsibilities in a decentralized system. To support these efforts, a United Kingdom-based university was contracted by the World Health Organization to design a series of courses for health managers and trainers. This process was also intended to develop the capacity of the National Public Health Management Centre in Tabriz, Iran, to enable it to organize relevant short courses in health management on a continuing basis. A total of seven short training courses were implemented, three in the United Kingdom and four in Tabriz, with 35 participants. A detailed evaluation of the courses was undertaken to guide future development of the training programmes.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>The Kirkpatrick framework for evaluation of training was used to measure participants' reactions, learning, application to the job, and to a lesser extent, organizational impact. Particular emphasis was put on application of learning to the participants' job. A structured questionnaire was administered to 23 participants, out of 35, between one and 13 months after they had attended the courses. Respondents, like the training course participants, were predominantly from provincial universities, with both health system and academic responsibilities. Interviews with key informants and ex-trainees provided supplemental information, especially on organizational impact.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>Participants' preferred interactive methods for learning about health planning and management. They found the course content to be relevant, but with an overemphasis on theory compared to practical, locally-specific information. In terms of application of learning to their jobs, participants found specific information and skills to be most useful, such as health systems research and group work/problem solving. The least useful areas were those that dealt with training and leadership. Participants reported little difficulty in applying learning deemed "useful", and had applied it often. In general, a learning area was used less when it was found difficult to apply, with a few exceptions, such as problem-solving. Four fifths of respondents claimed they could perform their jobs better because of new skills and more in-depth understanding of health systems, and one third had been asked to train their colleagues, indicating a potential for impact on their organization. Interviews with key informants indicated that job performance of trainees had improved.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>The health management training programmes in Iran, and the external university involved in capacity building, benefited from following basic principles of good training practice, which incorporated needs assessment, selection of participants and definition of appropriate learning outcomes, course content and methods, along with focused evaluation. Contracts for external assistance should include specific mention of capacity building, and allow for the collaborative development of courses and of evaluation plans, in order to build capacity of local partners throughout the training cycle. This would also help to develop training content that uses material from local health management situations to demonstrate key theories and develop locally required skills. Training evaluations should as a minimum assess participants' reactions and learning for every course. Communication of evaluation results should be designed to ensure that data informs training activities, as well as the health and human resources managers who are investing in the development of their staff.</p

    VISUAL PPINOT: A Graphical Notation for Process Performance Indicators

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    Process performance indicators (PPIs) allow the quantitative evaluation of business processes, providing essential information for decision making. It is common practice today that business processes and PPIs are usually modelled separately using graphical notations for the former and natural language for the latter. This approach makes PPI definitions simple to read and write, but it hinders maintenance consistency between business processes and PPIs. It also requires their manual translation into lower-level implementation languages for their operationalisation, which is a time-consuming, error-prone task because of the ambiguities inherent to natural language definitions. In this article, Visual ppinot, a graphical notation for defining PPIs together with business process models, is presented. Its underlying formal metamodel allows the automated processing of PPIs. Furthermore, it improves current state-of-the-art proposals in terms of expressiveness and in terms of providing an explicit visualisation of the link between PPIs and business processes, which avoids inconsistencies and promotes their co-evolution. The reference implementation, developed as a complete tool suite, has allowed its validation in a multiple-case study, in which five dimensions of Visual ppinot were studied: expressiveness, precision, automation, understandability, and traceability

    Burden of childhood-onset arthritis

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    Juvenile arthritis comprises a variety of chronic inflammatory diseases causing erosive arthritis in children, often progressing to disability. These children experience functional impairment due to joint and back pain, heel pain, swelling of joints and morning stiffness, contractures, pain, and anterior uveitis leading to blindness. As children who have juvenile arthritis reach adulthood, they face possible continuing disease activity, medication-associated morbidity, and life-long disability and risk for emotional and social dysfunction. In this article we will review the burden of juvenile arthritis for the patient and society and focus on the following areas: patient disability; visual outcome; other medical complications; physical activity; impact on HRQOL; emotional impact; pain and coping; ambulatory visits, hospitalizations and mortality; economic impact; burden on caregivers; transition issues; educational occupational outcomes, and sexuality

    Metal [100] Nanowires with Negative Poisson???s Ratio

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    When materials are under stretching, occurrence of lateral contraction of materials is commonly observed. This is because Poisson???s ratio, the quantity describes the relationship between a lateral strain and applied strain, is positive for nearly all materials. There are some reported structures and materials having negative Poisson???s ratio. However, most of them are at macroscale, and reentrant structures and rigid rotating units are the main mechanisms for their negative Poisson???s ratio behavior. Here, with numerical and theoretical evidence, we show that metal [100] nanowires with asymmetric cross-sections such as rectangle or ellipse can exhibit negative Poisson???s ratio behavior. Furthermore, the negative Poisson???s ratio behavior can be further improved by introducing a hole inside the asymmetric nanowires. We show that the surface effect inducing the asymmetric stresses inside the nanowires is a main origin of the superior property.ope

    Coincident molecular auxeticity and negative order parameter in a liquid crystal elastomer

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    Auxetic materials have negative Poisson's ratios and so expand rather than contract in one or several direction(s) perpendicular to applied extensions. The auxetics community has long sought synthetic molecular auxetics - non-porous, inherently auxetic materials which are simple to fabricate and avoid porosity-related weakening. Here, we report, synthetic molecular auxeticity for a non-porous liquid crystal elastomer. For strains above ~0.8 applied perpendicular to the liquid crystal director, the liquid crystal elastomer becomes auxetic with the maximum negative Poisson's ratio measured to date being -0.74 ± 0.03 - larger than most values seen in naturally occurring molecular auxetics. The emergence of auxeticity coincides with the liquid crystal elastomer backbone adopting a negative order parameter, QB = -0.41 ± 0.01 - further implying negative liquid crystal ordering. The reported behaviours consistently agree with theoretical predictions from Warner and Terentjev liquid crystal elastomer theory. Our results open the door for the design of synthetic molecular auxetics

    Assessing composition in modeling approaches

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    Modeling approaches are based on various paradigms, e.g., aspect-oriented, feature-oriented, object-oriented, and logic-based. Modeling approaches may cover requirements models to low-level design models, are developed for various purposes, use various means of composition, and thus are difficult to compare. However, such comparisons are critical to help practitioners know under which conditions approaches are most applicable, and how they might be successfully generalized and combined to achieve end-to-end methods. This paper reports on work done at the 2nd International Comparing Modeling Approaches (CMA) workshop towards the goal of identifying potential comprehensive modeling methodologies with a particular emphasis on composition: (i) an improved set of comparison criteria; (ii) 19 assessments of modeling approaches based on the comparison criteria and a common, focused case study
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