84 research outputs found

    Relative performance of different exposure modeling approaches for sulfur dioxide concentrations in the air in rural western Canada

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p>Background</p> <p>The main objective of this paper is to compare different methods for predicting the levels of SO<sub>2 </sub>air pollution in oil and gas producing area of rural western Canada. Month-long average air quality measurements were collected over a two-year period (2001–2002) at multiple locations, with some side-by-side measurements, and repeated time-series at selected locations.</p> <p>Methods</p> <p>We explored how accurately location-specific mean concentrations of SO<sub>2 </sub>can be predicted for 2002 at 666 locations with multiple measurements. Means of repeated measurements on the 666 locations in 2002 were used as the alloyed gold standard (AGS). First, we considered two approaches: one that uses one measurement from each location of interest; and the other that uses context data on proximity of monitoring sites to putative sources of emission in 2002. Second, we imagined that all of the previous year's (2001's) data were also available to exposure assessors: 9,464 measurements and their context (month, proximity to sources). Exposure prediction approaches we explored with the 2001 data included regression modeling using either mixed or fixed effects models. Third, we used Bayesian methods to combine single measurements from locations in 2002 (not used to calculate AGS) with different <it>priors</it>.</p> <p>Results</p> <p>The regression method that included both fixed and random effects for prediction (Best Linear Unbiased Predictor) had the best agreement with the AGS (Pearson correlation 0.77) and the smallest mean squared error (MSE: 0.03). The second best method in terms of correlation with AGS (0.74) and MSE (0.09) was the Bayesian method that uses normal mixture <it>prior </it>derived from predictions of the 2001 mixed effects applied in the 2002 context.</p> <p>Conclusion</p> <p>It is likely that either collecting some measurements from the desired locations and time periods or predictions of a reasonable empirical mixed effects model perhaps is sufficient in most epidemiological applications. The method to be used in any specific investigation will depend on how much uncertainty can be tolerated in exposure assessment and how closely available data matches circumstances for which estimates/predictions are required.</p

    Studying Kaon-pion S-wave scattering in K-matrix formalism

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    We generalize our previous work on \pi\pi scattering to K\pi scattering, and re-analyze the experiment data of K\pi scattering below 1.6 GeV. Without any free parameter, we explain K\pi I=3/2 S-wave phase shift very well by using t-channel rho and u-channel K^* meson exchange. With the t-channel and u-channel meson exchange fixed as the background term, we fit the K\pi I=1/2 S-wave data of the LASS experiment quite well by introducing one or two s-channel resonances. It is found that there is only one s-channel resonance between K\pi threshold and 1.6 GeV, i.e., K_0^*(1430) with a mass around 1438~1486 MeV and a width about 346 MeV, while the t-channel rho exchange gives a pole at (450-480i) MeV for the amplitude.Comment: REVTeX4 file, 11 pages and 3 figure

    Prevalence, temporal course and risk factors for phantom eye symptoms in uveal melanoma

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    BACKGROUND: Phantom eye symptoms (PES), particularly phantom visual sensations (PVS) and phantom eye pain (PEP), are common in enucleated patients and can lead to psychological distress. Current cross-sectional studies cannot examine the temporal course of symptoms, nor can they identify dynamic risk factors or consequences of PES.METHODS: Cohort study of 105 enucleated uveal melanoma patients returning self-report questionnaires, within 4 weeks of diagnosis and 6-, 12- and 24-months post-treatment. Questionnaires measuring PVS and PEP symptoms in the week prior to completion, pain severity, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale scores and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy scale (FACT-G) measuring quality of life.RESULTS: PVS and PEP emerged after 6 months, were relatively stable over the study and did not remit. PVS showed 6-, 12- and 24-month prevalence rates of 44.6%, 48.2% and 30.2%, and PEP 16.1%, 18.4% and 17.5% respectively. PVS were generally elementary, with only 10–15% of the total cohort experiencing complex sensations. PEP was generally neither prolonged nor intense, except in a small proportion. PVS and PEP were showed moderate associations but did not predict each other prospectively. Anxiety within 4 weeks of diagnosis was a risk factor for the initiation of PEP. Neither PVS nor PEP prospectively predicted anxiety, depression or quality of life.CONCLUSIONS: PES were prevalent and non-remitting, beginning within 6 months of enucleation. PVS and PEP may not represent symptoms of a coherent syndrome. We discuss fndings with reference to theories of phantom sensations, and directions for clinical practise and research

    Meson-meson scattering within one loop Chiral Perturbation Theory and its unitarization

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    We present the complete one-loop calculation of all the two meson scattering amplitudes within the framework of SU(3) Chiral Perturbation Theory, which includes pions, kaons and the eta. In addition, we have unitarized these amplitudes with the coupled channel Inverse Amplitude Method, which ensures simultaneously the good low energy properties of Chiral Perturbation Theory and unitarity. We show how this method provides a remarkable description of meson-meson scattering data up to 1.2 GeV including the scattering lengths and the generation of seven light resonances, which is consistent with previous determination of the chiral parameters. Particular attention is paid to discuss the differences and similarities of this work with previous analysis in the literature.Comment: 20 pages, 5 figures. Comments on sigma, kappa and eta', as well as some references added. Final version to appear in Phys.Rev.

    Pain in veterans of the Gulf War of 1991: a systematic review

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    BACKGROUND: Veterans of the Persian Gulf War of 1991 have reported a range of adverse health symptoms. This systematic review aims to identify all studies that have compared the prevalence of symptoms of pain in veterans of the Gulf War to that in a non-Gulf military comparison group, and to determine whether Gulf War veterans are at increased risk of reporting pain. METHODS: Studies published between January 1990 and May 2004 were identified by searching a large number of electronic databases. Reference lists and websites were also searched and key researchers were contacted. Studies were included if they reported the prevalence of any symptom or condition that included the word "pain" in Gulf War veterans and in a comparison group of non-Gulf veterans. 2401 abstracts were independently reviewed by two authors. RESULTS: Twenty studies fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Five main sites of pain were identified (muscle, joint, chest/heart, back and abdominal pain) and separate meta-analyses were performed to summarise the results related to each site. A greater proportion of Gulf veterans reported symptoms at each site of pain when compared to a non-Gulf military group. Gulf deployment was most strongly associated with abdominal pain, with Gulf veterans being more than three times more likely to report such pain than a comparison group (OR 3.23; 95%CI 2.31–4.51). Statistical heterogeneity between study estimates was significant, probably due to variation in measured periods of prevalence and symptom measurement methods. CONCLUSION: A higher proportion of veterans of the Persian Gulf War of 1991 reported symptoms of pain than military comparison groups. This is consistent with previously demonstrated increased reporting of more general symptoms (fatigue, multiple chemical sensitivity, post traumatic stress disorder) in these veterans compared with non-Gulf military groups. However, the primary studies were heterogeneous and varied greatly in quality

    Macronuclear Genome Sequence of the Ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila, a Model Eukaryote

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    The ciliate Tetrahymena thermophila is a model organism for molecular and cellular biology. Like other ciliates, this species has separate germline and soma functions that are embodied by distinct nuclei within a single cell. The germline-like micronucleus (MIC) has its genome held in reserve for sexual reproduction. The soma-like macronucleus (MAC), which possesses a genome processed from that of the MIC, is the center of gene expression and does not directly contribute DNA to sexual progeny. We report here the shotgun sequencing, assembly, and analysis of the MAC genome of T. thermophila, which is approximately 104 Mb in length and composed of approximately 225 chromosomes. Overall, the gene set is robust, with more than 27,000 predicted protein-coding genes, 15,000 of which have strong matches to genes in other organisms. The functional diversity encoded by these genes is substantial and reflects the complexity of processes required for a free-living, predatory, single-celled organism. This is highlighted by the abundance of lineage-specific duplications of genes with predicted roles in sensing and responding to environmental conditions (e.g., kinases), using diverse resources (e.g., proteases and transporters), and generating structural complexity (e.g., kinesins and dyneins). In contrast to the other lineages of alveolates (apicomplexans and dinoflagellates), no compelling evidence could be found for plastid-derived genes in the genome. UGA, the only T. thermophila stop codon, is used in some genes to encode selenocysteine, thus making this organism the first known with the potential to translate all 64 codons in nuclear genes into amino acids. We present genomic evidence supporting the hypothesis that the excision of DNA from the MIC to generate the MAC specifically targets foreign DNA as a form of genome self-defense. The combination of the genome sequence, the functional diversity encoded therein, and the presence of some pathways missing from other model organisms makes T. thermophila an ideal model for functional genomic studies to address biological, biomedical, and biotechnological questions of fundamental importance

    2019 update of the WSES guidelines for management of Clostridioides (Clostridium) difficile infection in surgical patients

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    In the last three decades, Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) has increased in incidence and severity in many countries worldwide. The increase in CDI incidence has been particularly apparent among surgical patients. Therefore, prevention of CDI and optimization of management in the surgical patient are paramount. An international multidisciplinary panel of experts from the World Society of Emergency Surgery (WSES) updated its guidelines for management of CDI in surgical patients according to the most recent available literature. The update includes recent changes introduced in the management of this infection.Peer reviewe

    GA4GH: International policies and standards for data sharing across genomic research and healthcare.

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    The Global Alliance for Genomics and Health (GA4GH) aims to accelerate biomedical advances by enabling the responsible sharing of clinical and genomic data through both harmonized data aggregation and federated approaches. The decreasing cost of genomic sequencing (along with other genome-wide molecular assays) and increasing evidence of its clinical utility will soon drive the generation of sequence data from tens of millions of humans, with increasing levels of diversity. In this perspective, we present the GA4GH strategies for addressing the major challenges of this data revolution. We describe the GA4GH organization, which is fueled by the development efforts of eight Work Streams and informed by the needs of 24 Driver Projects and other key stakeholders. We present the GA4GH suite of secure, interoperable technical standards and policy frameworks and review the current status of standards, their relevance to key domains of research and clinical care, and future plans of GA4GH. Broad international participation in building, adopting, and deploying GA4GH standards and frameworks will catalyze an unprecedented effort in data sharing that will be critical to advancing genomic medicine and ensuring that all populations can access its benefits

    Risks and benefits of consuming edible seaweeds

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