34 research outputs found

    Upper limit map of a background of gravitational waves

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    We searched for an anisotropic background of gravitational waves using data from the LIGO S4 science run and a method that is optimized for point sources. This is appropriate if, for example, the gravitational wave background is dominated by a small number of distinct astrophysical sources. No signal was seen. Upper limit maps were produced assuming two different power laws for the source strain power spectrum. For an f^-3 power law and using the 50 Hz to 1.8 kHz band the upper limits on the source strain power spectrum vary between 1.2e-48 Hz^-1 (100 Hz/f)^3 and 1.2e-47 Hz^-1 (100 Hz /f)^3, depending on the position in the sky. Similarly, in the case of constant strain power spectrum, the upper limits vary between 8.5e-49 Hz^-1 and 6.1e-48 Hz^-1. As a side product a limit on an isotropic background of gravitational waves was also obtained. All limits are at the 90% confidence level. Finally, as an application, we focused on the direction of Sco-X1, the closest low-mass X-ray binary. We compare the upper limit on strain amplitude obtained by this method to expectations based on the X-ray luminosity of Sco-X1.Comment: 11 pages, 9 figures, 2 table

    Upper limit map of a background of gravitational waves

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    We searched for an anisotropic background of gravitational waves using data from the LIGO S4 science run and a method that is optimized for point sources. This is appropriate if, for example, the gravitational wave background is dominated by a small number of distinct astrophysical sources. No signal was seen. Upper limit maps were produced assuming two different power laws for the source strain power spectrum. For an f^-3 power law and using the 50 Hz to 1.8 kHz band the upper limits on the source strain power spectrum vary between 1.2e-48 Hz^-1 (100 Hz/f)^3 and 1.2e-47 Hz^-1 (100 Hz /f)^3, depending on the position in the sky. Similarly, in the case of constant strain power spectrum, the upper limits vary between 8.5e-49 Hz^-1 and 6.1e-48 Hz^-1. As a side product a limit on an isotropic background of gravitational waves was also obtained. All limits are at the 90% confidence level. Finally, as an application, we focused on the direction of Sco-X1, the closest low-mass X-ray binary. We compare the upper limit on strain amplitude obtained by this method to expectations based on the X-ray luminosity of Sco-X1.Comment: 11 pages, 9 figures, 2 table

    Psychosocial impact of undergoing prostate cancer screening for men with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations.

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    OBJECTIVES: To report the baseline results of a longitudinal psychosocial study that forms part of the IMPACT study, a multi-national investigation of targeted prostate cancer (PCa) screening among men with a known pathogenic germline mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. PARTICPANTS AND METHODS: Men enrolled in the IMPACT study were invited to complete a questionnaire at collaborating sites prior to each annual screening visit. The questionnaire included sociodemographic characteristics and the following measures: the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), Impact of Event Scale (IES), 36-item short-form health survey (SF-36), Memorial Anxiety Scale for Prostate Cancer, Cancer Worry Scale-Revised, risk perception and knowledge. The results of the baseline questionnaire are presented. RESULTS: A total of 432 men completed questionnaires: 98 and 160 had mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, respectively, and 174 were controls (familial mutation negative). Participants' perception of PCa risk was influenced by genetic status. Knowledge levels were high and unrelated to genetic status. Mean scores for the HADS and SF-36 were within reported general population norms and mean IES scores were within normal range. IES mean intrusion and avoidance scores were significantly higher in BRCA1/BRCA2 carriers than in controls and were higher in men with increased PCa risk perception. At the multivariate level, risk perception contributed more significantly to variance in IES scores than genetic status. CONCLUSION: This is the first study to report the psychosocial profile of men with BRCA1/BRCA2 mutations undergoing PCa screening. No clinically concerning levels of general or cancer-specific distress or poor quality of life were detected in the cohort as a whole. A small subset of participants reported higher levels of distress, suggesting the need for healthcare professionals offering PCa screening to identify these risk factors and offer additional information and support to men seeking PCa screening

    Basic science232. Certolizumab pegol prevents pro-inflammatory alterations in endothelial cell function

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    Background: Cardiovascular disease is a major comorbidity of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and a leading cause of death. Chronic systemic inflammation involving tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF) could contribute to endothelial activation and atherogenesis. A number of anti-TNF therapies are in current use for the treatment of RA, including certolizumab pegol (CZP), (Cimzia ®; UCB, Belgium). Anti-TNF therapy has been associated with reduced clinical cardiovascular disease risk and ameliorated vascular function in RA patients. However, the specific effects of TNF inhibitors on endothelial cell function are largely unknown. Our aim was to investigate the mechanisms underpinning CZP effects on TNF-activated human endothelial cells. Methods: Human aortic endothelial cells (HAoECs) were cultured in vitro and exposed to a) TNF alone, b) TNF plus CZP, or c) neither agent. Microarray analysis was used to examine the transcriptional profile of cells treated for 6 hrs and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analysed gene expression at 1, 3, 6 and 24 hrs. NF-κB localization and IκB degradation were investigated using immunocytochemistry, high content analysis and western blotting. Flow cytometry was conducted to detect microparticle release from HAoECs. Results: Transcriptional profiling revealed that while TNF alone had strong effects on endothelial gene expression, TNF and CZP in combination produced a global gene expression pattern similar to untreated control. The two most highly up-regulated genes in response to TNF treatment were adhesion molecules E-selectin and VCAM-1 (q 0.2 compared to control; p > 0.05 compared to TNF alone). The NF-κB pathway was confirmed as a downstream target of TNF-induced HAoEC activation, via nuclear translocation of NF-κB and degradation of IκB, effects which were abolished by treatment with CZP. In addition, flow cytometry detected an increased production of endothelial microparticles in TNF-activated HAoECs, which was prevented by treatment with CZP. Conclusions: We have found at a cellular level that a clinically available TNF inhibitor, CZP reduces the expression of adhesion molecule expression, and prevents TNF-induced activation of the NF-κB pathway. Furthermore, CZP prevents the production of microparticles by activated endothelial cells. This could be central to the prevention of inflammatory environments underlying these conditions and measurement of microparticles has potential as a novel prognostic marker for future cardiovascular events in this patient group. Disclosure statement: Y.A. received a research grant from UCB. I.B. received a research grant from UCB. S.H. received a research grant from UCB. All other authors have declared no conflicts of interes

    BHPR research: qualitative1. Complex reasoning determines patients' perception of outcome following foot surgery in rheumatoid arhtritis

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    Background: Foot surgery is common in patients with RA but research into surgical outcomes is limited and conceptually flawed as current outcome measures lack face validity: to date no one has asked patients what is important to them. This study aimed to determine which factors are important to patients when evaluating the success of foot surgery in RA Methods: Semi structured interviews of RA patients who had undergone foot surgery were conducted and transcribed verbatim. Thematic analysis of interviews was conducted to explore issues that were important to patients. Results: 11 RA patients (9 ♂, mean age 59, dis dur = 22yrs, mean of 3 yrs post op) with mixed experiences of foot surgery were interviewed. Patients interpreted outcome in respect to a multitude of factors, frequently positive change in one aspect contrasted with negative opinions about another. Overall, four major themes emerged. Function: Functional ability & participation in valued activities were very important to patients. Walking ability was a key concern but patients interpreted levels of activity in light of other aspects of their disease, reflecting on change in functional ability more than overall level. Positive feelings of improved mobility were often moderated by negative self perception ("I mean, I still walk like a waddling duck”). Appearance: Appearance was important to almost all patients but perhaps the most complex theme of all. Physical appearance, foot shape, and footwear were closely interlinked, yet patients saw these as distinct separate concepts. Patients need to legitimize these feelings was clear and they frequently entered into a defensive repertoire ("it's not cosmetic surgery; it's something that's more important than that, you know?”). Clinician opinion: Surgeons' post operative evaluation of the procedure was very influential. The impact of this appraisal continued to affect patients' lasting impression irrespective of how the outcome compared to their initial goals ("when he'd done it ... he said that hasn't worked as good as he'd wanted to ... but the pain has gone”). Pain: Whilst pain was important to almost all patients, it appeared to be less important than the other themes. Pain was predominately raised when it influenced other themes, such as function; many still felt the need to legitimize their foot pain in order for health professionals to take it seriously ("in the end I went to my GP because it had happened a few times and I went to an orthopaedic surgeon who was quite dismissive of it, it was like what are you complaining about”). Conclusions: Patients interpret the outcome of foot surgery using a multitude of interrelated factors, particularly functional ability, appearance and surgeons' appraisal of the procedure. While pain was often noted, this appeared less important than other factors in the overall outcome of the surgery. Future research into foot surgery should incorporate the complexity of how patients determine their outcome Disclosure statement: All authors have declared no conflicts of interes

    The development and validation of a scoring tool to predict the operative duration of elective laparoscopic cholecystectomy

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    Background: The ability to accurately predict operative duration has the potential to optimise theatre efficiency and utilisation, thus reducing costs and increasing staff and patient satisfaction. With laparoscopic cholecystectomy being one of the most commonly performed procedures worldwide, a tool to predict operative duration could be extremely beneficial to healthcare organisations. Methods: Data collected from the CholeS study on patients undergoing cholecystectomy in UK and Irish hospitals between 04/2014 and 05/2014 were used to study operative duration. A multivariable binary logistic regression model was produced in order to identify significant independent predictors of long (> 90 min) operations. The resulting model was converted to a risk score, which was subsequently validated on second cohort of patients using ROC curves. Results: After exclusions, data were available for 7227 patients in the derivation (CholeS) cohort. The median operative duration was 60 min (interquartile range 45–85), with 17.7% of operations lasting longer than 90 min. Ten factors were found to be significant independent predictors of operative durations > 90 min, including ASA, age, previous surgical admissions, BMI, gallbladder wall thickness and CBD diameter. A risk score was then produced from these factors, and applied to a cohort of 2405 patients from a tertiary centre for external validation. This returned an area under the ROC curve of 0.708 (SE = 0.013, p  90 min increasing more than eightfold from 5.1 to 41.8% in the extremes of the score. Conclusion: The scoring tool produced in this study was found to be significantly predictive of long operative durations on validation in an external cohort. As such, the tool may have the potential to enable organisations to better organise theatre lists and deliver greater efficiencies in care

    Mitochondrial physiology

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    As the knowledge base and importance of mitochondrial physiology to evolution, health and disease expands, the necessity for harmonizing the terminology concerning mitochondrial respiratory states and rates has become increasingly apparent. The chemiosmotic theory establishes the mechanism of energy transformation and coupling in oxidative phosphorylation. The unifying concept of the protonmotive force provides the framework for developing a consistent theoretical foundation of mitochondrial physiology and bioenergetics. We follow the latest SI guidelines and those of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) on terminology in physical chemistry, extended by considerations of open systems and thermodynamics of irreversible processes. The concept-driven constructive terminology incorporates the meaning of each quantity and aligns concepts and symbols with the nomenclature of classical bioenergetics. We endeavour to provide a balanced view of mitochondrial respiratory control and a critical discussion on reporting data of mitochondrial respiration in terms of metabolic flows and fluxes. Uniform standards for evaluation of respiratory states and rates will ultimately contribute to reproducibility between laboratories and thus support the development of data repositories of mitochondrial respiratory function in species, tissues, and cells. Clarity of concept and consistency of nomenclature facilitate effective transdisciplinary communication, education, and ultimately further discovery

    Mitochondrial physiology