10,492 research outputs found

    Presentation_1_Plexin B1 controls Treg numbers, limits allergic airway inflammation, and regulates mucins.pptx

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    We investigated the effect of global Plexin B1 deficiency on allergic airway responses to house dust mite (HDM) or ovalbumin (OVA). In the HDM model, there were higher Th2 cytokine levels in the BALF of Plexin B1 knock-out (KO) mice compared to wild type (WT), and tissue inflammation and mucus production were modestly enhanced. In the OVA model, Plexin B1 deficiency led to increases in lung inflammation, mucus production, and lung Th2 cytokines accompanied by dysregulated mucin gene expression without affecting anti-OVA IgE/IgG1 levels. Spleen cells from Plexin B1 KO mice proliferated more robustly than WT cells in vitro to a variety of stimuli. Plexin B1 KO CD4+ T cells from spleens expressed higher levels of Ki-67 and CD69 compared to WT cells. Spleen cells from naïve Plexin B1 KO mice secreted increased amounts of IL-4 and IL-6 when pulsed in vitro with OVA whereas in vivo OVA-primed spleen cells produced IL-4/IL-5 when subjected to in vitro OVA restimulation. The upregulated allergic inflammatory response in Plexin B1 KO mice was associated with a lower number of Tregs in the lung tissues. Moreover, these mice displayed lower numbers of Treg cells in the lymphoid tissues at the baseline. These results demonstrate a previously unrecognized link between Plexin B1, Treg cells, and mucus in allergic lung inflammation.</p

    DataSheet_1_Plexin B1 controls Treg numbers, limits allergic airway inflammation, and regulates mucins.pdf

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    We investigated the effect of global Plexin B1 deficiency on allergic airway responses to house dust mite (HDM) or ovalbumin (OVA). In the HDM model, there were higher Th2 cytokine levels in the BALF of Plexin B1 knock-out (KO) mice compared to wild type (WT), and tissue inflammation and mucus production were modestly enhanced. In the OVA model, Plexin B1 deficiency led to increases in lung inflammation, mucus production, and lung Th2 cytokines accompanied by dysregulated mucin gene expression without affecting anti-OVA IgE/IgG1 levels. Spleen cells from Plexin B1 KO mice proliferated more robustly than WT cells in vitro to a variety of stimuli. Plexin B1 KO CD4+ T cells from spleens expressed higher levels of Ki-67 and CD69 compared to WT cells. Spleen cells from naïve Plexin B1 KO mice secreted increased amounts of IL-4 and IL-6 when pulsed in vitro with OVA whereas in vivo OVA-primed spleen cells produced IL-4/IL-5 when subjected to in vitro OVA restimulation. The upregulated allergic inflammatory response in Plexin B1 KO mice was associated with a lower number of Tregs in the lung tissues. Moreover, these mice displayed lower numbers of Treg cells in the lymphoid tissues at the baseline. These results demonstrate a previously unrecognized link between Plexin B1, Treg cells, and mucus in allergic lung inflammation.</p

    Addressing the methodological issues of researching flow in elite sport: lessons from the study of European Tour golfers

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    BACKGROUND: Flow, commonly referred to as being in the zone, is an optimal psychological state which isassociated with peak performance (i.e., athletes in flow are believed to perform at the peak of their abilities).Hence these states are particularly relevant at the elite level where both demands and rewards are greatest, andthe potential implications of explaining and successfully enhancing them are very beneficial. However, despite abody of literature spanning 20 years, flow is still regarded as being elusive and unpredictable.AIM: We propose that implicit and sometimes contradictory assumptions and methods underlying existingresearch have contributed to this conception, including: (i) repeatedly describing flow in sport rather thanprogressing towards an explanation; (ii) failure to search for causality, or any underlying processes through whichflow is experienced; and (iii) ambiguous definition of the nine dimensions proposed to make up flow states(Csikszentmihalyi, 1975). Drawing on an empirical study qualitatively exploring the flow experiences of elitegolfers, we aimed to overcome these issues.METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 10 European Tour golfers, including three winnersand one who had represented Europe in the Ryder Cup three times. We developed and employed clearerdefinitions of the flow dimensions, which enabled more transparent coding of data and exploration of theunderlying processes between flow dimensions.RESULTS: The majority of emerging themes were similar to those in existing literature, while adding scientificclarification to the flow dimensions resulted in coding analysis which differed to previous studies, and alsosuggested links between these flow dimensions.DISCUSSION: Findings suggest flow may be experienced similarly in golf to other sports. The links betweendimensions allude to causal associations and were used to propose a novel model of flow in elite golf, providing atentative explanation of flow states.</p

    Flow occurrence in elite sport: a systematic review

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    The optimal psychological state of flow is being increasingly researched in sport, and the potential of controlling or inducing these experiences remains a desirable prospect, especially at the elite level. At this time however, there remains uncertainty as to exactly how and when these experiences occur. The primary aim of this study was to summarise the existing literature on flow within elite sport by conducting a systematic review examining: (i) how flow is experienced by elite athletes; (ii) the factors influencing (i.e. facilitating, preventing and disrupting) the occurrence of flow; and (iii) interventions attempting to enhance flow states. Five databases were searched comprehensively for peer reviewed primary studies, which were published up until 2009, and pertained specifically to flow in elite sport. This process identified a total of 16 included studies which were primarily qualitative, and were, therefore, analysed and discussed using methods of qualitative synthesis. Results are discussed in terms of the findings relating to each of the three questions stated above, as well as the main problems or issues identified within this existing literature. In particular, problems were found in terms of: (i) establishing causality, i.e. a lack of explanation as to how and why flow occurs; (ii) establishing temporality, i.e. the process through which flow occurs and which factors trigger the experience; and (iii) methodology, i.e. lack of consistency in the samples and methods used. These findings could be used to inform future studies in this area, and build towards a deeper understanding of flow in sport.</p

    Building Intelligent Systems by Combining Machine Learning and Automated Commonsense Reasoning

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    We present an approach to building systems that emulate human-like intelligence. Our approach uses machine learning technology (including generative AI systems) to extract knowledge from pictures, text, etc., and represents it as (pre-defined) predicates. Next, we use the s(CASP) automated commonsense reasoning system to check the consistency of this extracted knowledge and reason over it in a manner very similar to how a human would do it. We have used our approach for building systems for visual question answering, task-specific chatbots that can ``understand" human dialogs and interactively talk to them, and autonomous driving systems that rely on commonsense reasoning. Essentially, our approach emulates how humans process knowledge where they use sensing and pattern recognition to gain knowledge (Kahneman's System 1 thinking, akin to using a machine learning model), and then use reasoning to draw conclusions, generate response, or take actions (Kahneman's System 2 thinking, akin to automated reasoning)

    Aerial LIDAR to Prevent Wildfires

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    This project explores the usage of Aerial LIDAR data to find downed logs underneath the forest canopy. This project discusses what LIDAR is and how it can be used to find those logs and undergrowth. It also looks at the steps for processing that are done in ArcGIS software to see the logs. There are also analysis steps to find out more information on undergrowth densit

    Hospital response to Activity-Based Funding and price incentives: evidence from Ireland

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    Activity-Based Funding (ABF) is a funding policy incentivising hospitals to deliver more efficient care. ABF can be complemented by additional price incentives to further drive hospital efficiency. In 2016, ABF was introduced for public patients admitted to Irish public hospitals. Additionally, a price incentive to perform laparoscopic cholecystectomy as day-case surgery was introduced in 2018. Private patient activity in public hospitals was subject to neither ABF nor price incentive. Using national Hospital In-Patient-Enquiry activity data 2013–2019, we evaluated the impact of ABF and the price incentive for laparoscopic cholecystectomy surgery in Ireland. We exploit variation in hospital payment for public and private patients treated in public acute Irish hospitals and employ a Propensity Score Matching Difference-in-Differences approach. We estimate the funding change impacts across outcomes measuring the proportion of day-case admissions and length of stay. We found no significant impact for either outcomes linked to ABF introduction. Similarly, no impacts linked to the price incentive were observed. It appears providers of laparoscopic cholecystectomy in Irish public hospitals did not react to the new funding mechanisms. The implementation of the funding policies did not improve hospital efficiency. Further strengthening of these new funding mechanisms are required to deliver more efficient care.</p

    Tools and methods for evaluating the change to health service delivery due to pandemics or other similar emergencies: A rapid evidence review.

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    The novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 and its associated disease COVID-19, were declared a pandemic in March 2020. Countries developed rapid response activities within their health services to prevent spread of the virus and protect their populations. Evaluating health service delivery change is vital to assess how adapted practices worked, particularly during times of crisis. This review examined tools and methods that are used to evaluate health service delivery change during pandemics and similar emergencies. Five databases were searched, including PubMed, CENTRAL, Embase, CINAHL, and PsycINFO. The SPIDER tool informed the inclusion criteria for the articles. Articles in English and published from 2002 to 2020 were included. Risk of bias was assessed using the Mixed-Methods Appraisal Tool (MMAT). A narrative synthesis approach was used to analyse the studies. Eleven articles met the inclusion criteria. Many evaluation tools, methods, and frameworks were identified in the literature. Only one established tool was specific to a particular disease outbreak. Others, including rapid-cycle improvement and PDSA cycles were implemented across various disease outbreaks. Novel evaluation strategies were common across the literature and included checklists, QI frameworks, questionnaires, and surveys. Adherence practices, experience with telehealth, patient/healthcare staff safety, and clinical competencies were some areas evaluated by the tools and methods. Several domains, including patient/practitioner safety and patient/practitioner experience with telemedicine were also identified in the studies. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2023. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

    A long walk to psychological freedom: a phenomenological study of long distance walking

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    Evidence has suggested that regular walking can elicit significant physiological and psychological health benefits although few studies have examined the impact of long distance walking. Walking research has tended to ignore the subjective experiences of walkers, and instead focus upon walking as a mechanism for treating health disorders. However, the positive psychology movement has begun to shift focus from simply treating or alleviating mental illness to studying and understanding positive human functioning and flourishing. This research aimed to provide rich, detailed accounts of the experiences of long distance walkers. Phenomenological interviews were conducted with six participants (M age = 39.6 years, s = 9.0) who had completed at least a 6-day long distance footpath in the previous six months. Data was transcribed verbatim before four researchers independently analysed the transcripts. Key themes were agreed and a comprehensive member check was included to enhance the authenticity and trustworthiness of interpretation. Participants reported an immensely positive experience that was characterised by enjoyment, deep relaxation, task immersion, challenge, detachment / freedom from responsibility, reflective thought, and positive social interactions. At the end of the walk, participants experienced bittersweet feelings, subjective well-being, clarity of thought and personal growth. Participants reported a cumulative effect with feelings of well-being and relaxation increasing throughout the duration of the walk. This study is one of the first to explore the experiences of walkers who chose to walk long distances. Future researchers should be encouraged to further investigate experiences of walkers, especially with regard to age, experience, and gender.</p
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