7,858 research outputs found

    A global biodiversity observing system to unite monitoring and guide action

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    The rate and extent of global biodiversity change is surpassing our ability to measure, monitor and forecast trends. We propose an interconnected worldwide system of observation networks — a global biodiversity observing system (GBiOS) — to coordinate monitoring worldwide and inform action to reach international biodiversity targets

    Changes in Endocan and Dermatan Sulfate Are Associated with Biomechanical Properties of Abdominal Aortic Wall during Aneurysm Expansion and Rupture

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    Background and aims: The study aimed to assess the potential of proteoglycans (PGs) and collagens as serological biomarkers in the abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). Furthermore, we investigated the underlying mechano-biological interactions and signaling pathways. Methods: Tissue and serum samples from patients with ruptured AAA (rAAA; n = 29), elective AAA (eAAA; n = 78), and healthy individuals (n = 8) were evaluated by histology, immunohistochemistry, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and mechanical properties were assessed by tensile tests. Regulatory pathways were determined by membrane-based sandwich immunoassay. Results: In AAA samples, collagen type I and III (Col1 and Col3), chondroitin sulfate, and dermatan sulfate (DS) were significantly increased compared with controls (3.0-, 3.2-, 1.3-, and 53-fold; p < 0.01). Col1 and endocan were also elevated in the serum of AAA patients (3.6- and 6.0-fold; p < 0.01), while DS was significantly decreased (2.5-fold; p < 0.01). Histological scoring showed increased total PGs and focal accumulation in rAAA compared with eAAA. Tissue ÎČ-stiffness was higher in rAAA compared with eAAA (2.0-fold, p = 0.02). Serum Col1 correlated with maximum tensile force and failure tension (r = 0.448 and 0.333; p < 0.01, and r = 0.02), tissue endocan correlated with α-stiffness (r = 0.340; p < 0.01). Signaling pathways in AAA were associated with extracellular matrix synthesis and vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation. In particular, Src family kinases and platelet-derived growth factor- and epidermal growth factor-related proteins seem to be involved. Conclusion: Our findings reveal a structural association between collagen and PGs and their response to changes in mechanical loads in AAA. Particularly Col1 and endocan reflect the mechano-biological conditions of the aortic wall also in the patient's serum and might serve for AAA risk stratification

    The role of exercise in the rehabilitation of patients with wrist fracture

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    Submission note: A thesis submitted in total fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy to the College of Science, Health and Engineering, School of Allied Health, Discipline of Physiotherapy, La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia.Thesis with publications.This thesis was a recipient of the Nancy Millis Award for theses of exceptional merit

    Feminist Development Policy: What does the Population think?

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    The continued lack of gender equality is an urgent global challenge. Against this backdrop, the German Federal Government announced in 2021 that it would include a feminist foreign policy in its coalition agreement. The aim of this policy is to strengthen the rights, representation and resources of women and marginalised groups and to promote the recognition of diversity. However, a feminist orientation in foreign and development policy meets with diverging views in political debate and provides cause for discussion in the (social) media. But what is the attitude of the general public? Aiming to answer this question, DEval examined public opinion on feminist development policy as part of its Opinion Monitor for Development Policy 2022. This Policy Brief summarises the results of the representative survey

    Progranulin Maintains Blood Pressure and Vascular Tone Dependent on EphrinA2 and Sortilin1 Receptors and Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase Activation

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    Background The mechanisms determining vascular tone are still not completely understood, even though it is a significant factor in blood pressure management. Many circulating proteins have a significant impact on controlling vascular tone. Progranulin displays anti‐inflammatory effects and has been extensively studied in neurodegenerative illnesses. We investigated whether progranulin sustains the vascular tone that helps regulate blood pressure. Methods and Results We used male and female C57BL6/J wild type (progranulin+/+) and B6(Cg)‐Grntm1.1Aidi/J (progranulin−/−) to understand the impact of progranulin on vascular contractility and blood pressure. We found that progranulin−/− mice display elevated blood pressure followed by hypercontractility to noradrenaline in mesenteric arteries, which is restored by supplementing the mice with recombinant progranulin. In ex vivo experiments, recombinant progranulin attenuated the vascular contractility to noradrenaline in male and female progranulin+/+ arteries, which was blunted by blocking EphrinA2 or Sortilin1. To understand the mechanisms whereby progranulin evokes anticontractile effects, we inhibited endothelial factors. N(gamma)‐nitro‐L‐arginine methyl ester (nitric oxide synthase inhibitor) prevented the progranulin effects, whereas indomethacin (cyclooxygenase inhibitor) affected only the contractility in arteries incubated with vehicle, indicating that progranulin increases nitric oxide and decreases contractile prostanoids. Finally, recombinant progranulin induced endothelial nitric oxide synthase phosphorylation and nitric oxide production in isolated mesenteric endothelial cells. Conclusions Circulating progranulin regulates vascular tone and blood pressure via EphrinA2 and Sortilin1 receptors and endothelial nitric oxide synthase activation. Collectively, our data suggest that deficiency in progranulin is a cardiovascular risk factor and that progranulin might be a new therapeutic avenue to treat high blood pressure

    Safe and Pleasurable Human Machine Interfaces for Automobile

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    As a consequence of the integration of additional systems to support and entertain drivers and passengers the interactions with those systems become more and more time consuming and distracting. It is therefore a basic requirement for the design of HumanMachine-Interfaces to minimize the distraction from driving when interacting with those new assistance and entertainment systems. Whereas the safety is a Must-be for the design of HMI for automobiles the joy-of-use is an important aspect for the excitement of drivers. To fulfil the sometimes conflicting demands for safety and pleasure a human centred design approach for HMI design is needed

    Requirements for Explainability and Acceptance of Artificial Intelligence in Collaborative Work

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    The increasing prevalence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in safety-critical contexts such as air-traffic control leads to systems that are practical and efficient, and to some extent explainable to humans to be trusted and accepted. The present structured literature analysis examines n = 236 articles on the requirements for the explainability and acceptance of AI. Results include a comprehensive review of n = 48 articles on information people need to perceive an AI as explainable, the information needed to accept an AI, and representation and interaction methods promoting trust in an AI. Results indicate that the two main groups of users are developers who require information about the internal operations of the model and end users who require information about AI results or behavior. Users' information needs vary in specificity, complexity, and urgency and must consider context, domain knowledge, and the user's cognitive resources. The acceptance of AI systems depends on information about the system's functions and performance, privacy and ethical considerations, as well as goal-supporting information tailored to individual preferences and information to establish trust in the system. Information about the system's limitations and potential failures can increase acceptance and trust. Trusted interaction methods are human-like, including natural language, speech, text, and visual representations such as graphs, charts, and animations. Our results have significant implications for future human-centric AI systems being developed. Thus, they are suitable as input for further application-specific investigations of user needs

    Guideline adherence in the use of coronary angiography in patients presenting at the emergency department without myocardial infarction – results from the German ENLIGHT-KHK project

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    Background For patients with acute myocardial infarction (AMI), direct coronary angiography (CA) is recommended, while for non-AMI patients, the diagnostic work-up depends on clinical criteria. This analysis provides initial prospective German data for the degree of guideline-adherence (GL) in the use of CA on non-AMI patients presenting at the emergency department (ED) with suspected acute coronary syndrome (ACS) according to the 2015 ESC-ACS-GL. Furthermore the implications of the application of the 2020 ESC-ACS-GL recommendations were evaluated. Methods Patient symptoms were identified using a standardized questionnaire; medical history and diagnostic work-up were acquired from health records. In accordance with the 2015 ESC-ACS-GL, CA was considered GL-adherent if intermediate risk criteria (IRC) were present or non-invasive, image-guided testing (NIGT) was pathological. Results Between January 2019 and August 2021, 229 patients were recruited across seven centers. Patients presented with chest pain, dyspnea, and other symptoms in 66.7%, 16.2% and 17.1%, respectively, were in mean 66.3 ± 10.5 years old, and 36.3% were female. In accordance with the 2015 ESC-ACS-GL, the use of CA was GL-adherent for 64.0% of the patients. GL-adherent compared to non-adherent use of CA resulted in revascularization more often (44.5% vs. 17.1%, p < 0.001). Applying the 2020 ESC-ACS-GL, 20.4% of CA would remain GL-adherent. Conclusions In the majority of cases, the use of CA was adherent to the 2015 ESC-ACS-GL. With regard to the 2020 and 2023 ESC-ACS-GL, efforts to expand the utilization of NIGT are crucial, especially as GL-adherent use of CA is more likely to result in revascularization