1,092 research outputs found

    An Analysis Of Using Semi-Permeable Membrane Devices To Assess Persistent Organic Pollutants In Ambient Air Of Alaska

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    Thesis (Ph.D.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2006A region of concern for persistent organic pollutants (POPS) contamination is the Arctic, because of POPs' ability to migrate long distances through the atmosphere toward cold regions, condense out of the atmosphere in those region, deposit in sensitive arctic ecosystems and bioaccumulate in Arctic species. Thus, monitoring of POP concentrations in the Arctic is necessary. However, traditional active air monitoring techniques for POPs may not be feasible in the Arctic, because of logistics and cost. While these issues may be overcome using passive air sampling devices, questions arise about the interpretation of the contaminant concentrations detected using the passive air samplers. In this dissertation semi-permeable membrane devices (SPMDs) containing triolein were characterized and evaluated for use in sampling the ambient air of Alaska for three classes of POPS (organochlorines [OCs], polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs] and polyaromatic hydrocarbons [PAHs]). In addition, a SPMD-based sampling campaign for POPS was conducted simultaneously at five sites in Alaska during a one-year period. The POP concentrations obtained from the SPMDs were examined to determine the spatial and seasonal variability at the locations. POP concentrations detected in SPMDs were influenced by exposure to sunlight, concentrations of particulate-bound contaminants and changes in temperature. PAH concentrations in a SPMD mounted in a sunlight-blocking deployment unit were higher than in a SPMD exposed to sunlight (P = 0.007). PCB concentrations in SPMD exposed to filtered and non-filtered air were significantly different (P < 0.0001). Derived PAH air concentrations measured using SPMD were within a factor of approximately 7 of those obtained from an air sampler in Barrow, Alaska. The field study showed three distinct groups of samples. Barrow was separated from the sub-Arctic samples and a Homer sample (September-December) was distinct from the sub-Arctic samples. The separations suggest different air masses are being sampled by SPMDs. Lower concentrations of total POPs were measured at the coastal sites than the Interior sites

    High Serum Estradiol Levels are not Detrimental to In Vitro Fertilization Outcome

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    SummaryObjectiveTo evaluate the impact of high estradiol (E2) levels and a high number of retrieved oocytes on the outcome of in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles.Materials and MethodsWe retrospectively reviewed 274 IVF cycles. These patients were divided into five groups according to their peak E2 levels on the human chorionic gonadotropin day: ≤ 2,000 pg/mL (130 cycles); 2,001–3,000 pg/mL (53 cycles); 3,001–4,000 pg/mL (46 cycles); 4,001–5,000 pg/mL (29 cycles); > 5,000 pg/mL (16 cycles). Fertilization, pregnancy, and implantation rates were analyzed between these groups. We also compared the outcome of IVF for high responders (> 15 retrieved oocytes) and normal responders (≤ 15 retrieved oocytes).ResultsThe oocyte fertilization and embryo cleavage rates were not significantly different among these five groups. Although decrease in pregnancy and implantation rates was observed when E2 levels were > 5,000 pg/mL compared with those having lower E2 levels, there were no statistically significant differences between these five groups. In addition, similar IVF outcome was detected for those cycles with > 15 oocytes and ≤ 15 oocytes obtained.ConclusionHigh serum E2 levels and high oocyte yield are not detrimental to IVF outcome. More studies are needed to characterize the threshold E2 levels above which implantation rates are reduced

    Investigating Knowledge Management Activities and Influential Factors of Contract Research Organizations (CRO)

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    The pharmaceutical industry is critical to a nation’s economic development and welfare. However, most pharmaceutical companies do not have the capabilities to complete clinical trials by themselves and need assistance from the contract/clinical research organization (CRO). Clinical trials are highly knowledge-intensive and include several fields, such as toxicology, statistics, production, biology, health care, pharmacology, trial protocol design, and legal regulation. In academic research, few studies have focused on studying this important area from the perspective of knowledge management. Consequently, this research aims to fill this research gap by investigating knowledge management activities and influencing factors of CRO. A holistic framework was designed for this research, with the former (knowledge management activities) including four major constructs: knowledge creation and absorption, knowledge accumulation and storage, knowledge flow and diffusion, and knowledge protection, and the latter (influencing factors) including strategy and leadership, organizational culture, people, and information technology. Four CROs in Taiwan were selected for in-depth case studies. The research results are expected to contribute to both academia and industry

    Changes in endotracheal tube cuff pressure during laparoscopic surgery in head-up or head-down position

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    BACKGROUND: The abdominal insufflation and surgical positioning in the laparoscopic surgery have been reported to result in an increase of airway pressure. However, associated effects on changes of endotracheal tube cuff pressure are not well established. METHODS: 70 patients undergoing elective laparoscopic colorectal tumor resection (head-down position, n = 38) and laparoscopic cholecystecomy (head-up position, n = 32) were enrolled and were compared to 15 patients undergoing elective open abdominal surgery. Changes of cuff and airway pressures before and after abdominal insufflation in supine position and after head-down or head-up positioning were analysed and compared. RESULTS: There was no significant cuff and airway pressure changes during the first fifteen minutes in open abdominal surgery. After insufflation, the cuff pressure increased from 26 ± 3 to 32 ± 6 and 27 ± 3 to 33 ± 5 cmH(2)O in patients receiving laparoscopic cholecystecomy and laparoscopic colorectal tumor resection respectively (both p < 0.001). The head-down tilt further increased cuff pressure from 33 ± 5 to 35 ± 5 cmH(2)O (p < 0.001). There six patients undergoing colorectal tumor resection (18.8%) and eight patients undergoing cholecystecomy (21.1%) had a total increase of cuff pressure more than 10 cm H(2)O (18.8%). There was no significant correlation between increase of cuff pressure and either the patient's body mass index or the common range of intra-abdominal pressure (10-15 mmHg) used in laparoscopic surgery. CONCLUSIONS: An increase of endotracheal tube cuff pressure may occur during laparoscopic surgery especially in the head-down position

    Learning Fine-Grained Visual Understanding for Video Question Answering via Decoupling Spatial-Temporal Modeling

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    While recent large-scale video-language pre-training made great progress in video question answering, the design of spatial modeling of video-language models is less fine-grained than that of image-language models; existing practices of temporal modeling also suffer from weak and noisy alignment between modalities. To learn fine-grained visual understanding, we decouple spatial-temporal modeling and propose a hybrid pipeline, Decoupled Spatial-Temporal Encoders, integrating an image- and a video-language encoder. The former encodes spatial semantics from larger but sparsely sampled frames independently of time, while the latter models temporal dynamics at lower spatial but higher temporal resolution. To help the video-language model learn temporal relations for video QA, we propose a novel pre-training objective, Temporal Referring Modeling, which requires the model to identify temporal positions of events in video sequences. Extensive experiments demonstrate that our model outperforms previous work pre-trained on orders of magnitude larger datasets.Comment: BMVC 2022. Code is available at https://github.com/shinying/des

    Toll-like receptor 9 agonist enhances anti-tumor immunity and inhibits tumor-associated immunosuppressive cells numbers in a mouse cervical cancer model following recombinant lipoprotein therapy

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    BACKGROUND: Although cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) play a major role in eradicating cancer cells during immunotherapy, the cancer-associated immunosuppressive microenvironment often limits the success of such therapies. Therefore, the simultaneous induction of cancer-specific CTLs and reversal of the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment may be more effectively achieved through a single therapeutic vaccine. A recombinant lipoprotein with intrinsic Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) agonist activity containing a mutant form of E7 (E7m) and a bacterial lipid moiety (rlipo-E7m) has been demonstrated to induce robust CTL responses against small tumors. This treatment in combination with other TLR agonists is able to eliminate large tumors. METHODS: Mouse bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (DCs) were employed to determine the synergistic production of pro-inflammatory cytokines upon combination of rlipo-E7m and other TLR agonists. Antigen-specific CTL responses were investigated using immunospots or in vivo cytolytic assays after immunization in mice. Mice bearing various tumor sizes were used to evaluate the anti-tumor effects of the formulation. Specific subpopulations of immunosuppressive cells in the tumor infiltrate were quantitatively determined by flow cytometry. RESULTS: We demonstrate that a TLR9 agonist (unmethylated CpG oligodeoxynucleotide, CpG ODN) enhances CTL responses and eradicates large tumors when combined with rlipo-E7m. Moreover, combined treatment with rlipo-E7m and CpG ODN effectively increases tumor infiltration by CTLs and reduces the numbers of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) and regulatory T cells (Tregs) in the tumor microenvironment. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that the dramatic anti-tumor effects of the recombinant lipoprotein together with CpG ODN may reflect the amplification of CTL responses and the repression of the immunosuppressive environment. This promising approach could be applied for the development of additional therapeutic cancer vaccines

    Tectonic Implication of the 5th March 2005, Doublet Earthquake in Ilan, Taiwan

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    The 5th March 2005 earthquake doublet focal mechanism was determined as strike-slip faulting from Harvard and BATS moment tensor inversion. However, based on first motion polarities, the first shock has a normal focal mechanism (Wu et al. 2008a). This discrepancy has caused a debate over the focal mechanism solution because different focal mechanisms have different tectonic implications. Based on the dislocation determination from Global Position System (GPS) measurements, we find this event includes both tensile and strike-slip components. This finding illustrates the reason for the differences in the determined focal mechanisms using two different types of seismic data and analyzing methods. Field mapping and microstructure examination results indicate that the ductile deformation around the study area was characterized by the evolution from transpression to transtension with a predominant strike-slip component, but present-day active structures may be dominated by normal faulting. Thus, the active tensile slip result determined from dislocation modeling strongly suggests that the back arc extension of the Okinawa trough influences the stress state in this region, and changes the major transtension from strike-slip faulting to normal faulting

    Investigation of Novel Noncontacting Measurement Method by the Design of Loop-Type Probe and Reconstruction of Radiation Modeling

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    Because the ICs’ application frequency and speed become higher and trends of system packaging and device under test request higher reliability, a novel technology combining noncontacting measurement method and reconstructing radiation model was proposed to solve signal deliveries in system packages or PCBs. In this study, a novel noncontacting method for the ICs’ measurements was investigated by the design of loop-type near-field probe and reconstructed the radiation model to substitute the traditional measurement methods, such as using probes and SMA connectors. A near-field probe was used to receive the coupling signal. The assessing circuit modeling could be completed by some synthesized theorems. According to the study’s results, frequency responses of reconstruction model developed by theorems, radiation measurements, and simulated by EM methods were highly curve fitting
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