3,440 research outputs found

    Evidence-based medicine. reviews and meta-analysis

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    Towards Interpretable Machine Reading Comprehension with Mixed Effects Regression and Exploratory Prompt Analysis

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    We investigate the properties of natural language prompts that determine their difficulty in machine reading comprehension tasks. While much work has been done benchmarking language model performance at the task level, there is considerably less literature focused on how individual task items can contribute to interpretable evaluations of natural language understanding. Such work is essential to deepening our understanding of language models and ensuring their responsible use as a key tool in human machine communication. We perform an in depth mixed effects analysis on the behavior of three major generative language models, comparing their performance on a large reading comprehension dataset, and draw some counterintuitive conclusions on the relationship between different prompt features and model accuracy and how that relationship varies between different models. Firstly, we observe a divergence in model accuracy as the prompt’s token count grows with overall stronger models increasing in accuracy and overall weaker models decreasing. Secondly, all models unexpectedly exhibit accuracy gains as they are faced with increasing syntactic complexity – a metric derived from a prompt’s constituency parse tree. Lastly, a post hoc analysis revealed that the overall most difficult prompts had the greatest ability to discriminate between different language models, suggesting their outsized usefulness in MRC evaluation methodologies. These findings raise fascinating questions about the nature of language model understanding and suggest new, more interpretable approaches to their evaluation

    Evaluation of Presumptive Normal Feline Tonsils with Low-Field Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A Preliminary Retrospective Study

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    : Palatine tonsils are lymphoid organs, whose anatomic localization gives them a role against antigens entering the body during feeding and breathing. In human medicine, MRI is used to investigate tonsillar diseases. In veterinary medicine, a recent study on healthy dogs described the MRI appearance of canine palatine tonsils, with no available reports about feline ones. Due to the similarities between animals and humans, and based on the study on canine tonsils, the authors aimed to evaluate the feasibility of low-field MRI to detect and describe presumed normal features of feline palatine tonsils, assessing the finding's reproducibility. Low-field MRI of the heads of 14 cats was reviewed, and qualitative findings (visualization, shape, margins, signal intensity, and pattern) and size of each tonsil were recorded. Each observer recorded 71% of the expected tonsils. Most of them were classified as oval, ill-defined, and hyperintense structures with both homogeneous and heterogeneous signal patterns; the overall agreement was considered good. Low-field MRI is potentially a useful imaging modality to visualize palatine tonsils in cats, and their normal appearance has been described for the first time. The authors recommend the evaluation of tonsils in the transverse plane and consider the most accurate estimation of the short axis

    Correlation between Photocatalysis and Antibacterial Responses of Cu-Doped TiO2 Films: Influence of Doping Tuning into the Oxide Matrix

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    Herein, a study on the photocatalysis and antibacterial performances of Cu-doped titania films as a function of the dopant concentration is presented. The TiO2 films are produced by sol-gel spin-coating technique, and the doping is performed by adding different quantities of copper in the form of salt (CuSO4) during the preparation of sol. The obtained films are characterized by Raman and X-ray diffraction spectroscopies, atomic force microscopy, and Rutherford backscattering spectrometry, to investigate on the chemical-physical properties, the quality, the composition, and the thickness. The photocatalytic activity of the films is studied by measuring the degradation of methylene blue (MB) under UV light, while Staphylococcus aureus is chosen for microbiological testing. The results show a correlation between photocatalysis and antibactericity with a rise of these two activities with increasing dopant concentrations in the films up to a given point, beyond which structural defects are introduced, promoting electron-hole recombination

    Proteomic Modulation in TGF-β-Treated Cholangiocytes Induced by Curcumin Nanoparticles

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    Curcumin is a natural polyphenol that exhibits a variety of beneficial effects on health, including anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and hepato-protective properties. Due to its poor water solubility and membrane permeability, in the present study, we prepared and characterized a water-stable, freely dispersible nanoformulation of curcumin. Although the potential of curcumin nanoformulations in the hepatic field has been studied, there are no investigations on their effect in fibrotic pathological conditions involving cholangiocytes. Exploiting an in vitro model of transforming growth factor-  (TGF- )-stimulated cholangiocytes, we applied the Sequential Window Acquisition of All Theoretical Mass Spectra (SWATH-MS)-based quantitative proteomic approaches to study the proteome modulation induced by curcumin nanoformulation. Our results confirmed the well-documented anti-inflammatory properties of this nutraceutic, highlighting the induction of programmed cell death as a mechanism to counteract the cellular damages induced by TGF- . Moreover, curcumin nanoformulation positively influenced the expression of several proteins involved in TGF- -mediated fibrosis. Given the crucial importance of deregulated cholangiocyte functions during cholangiopathies, our results provide the basis for a better understanding of the mechanisms associated with this pathology and could represent a rationale for the development of more targeted therapies

    Recurring Trans-Atlantic Incursion of Clade H5N1 Viruses by Long Distance Migratory Birds from Northern Europe to Canada in 2022/2023

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    In December 2022 and January 2023, we isolated clade H5N1 high-pathogenicity avian influenza (HPAI) viruses from six American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos) from Prince Edward Island and a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) from Newfoundland, Canada. Using full-genome sequencing and phylogenetic analysis, these viruses were found to fall into two distinct phylogenetic clusters: one group containing H5N1 viruses that had been circulating in North and South America since late 2021, and the other one containing European H5N1 viruses reported in late 2022. The transatlantic re-introduction for the second time by pelagic/Icelandic bird migration via the same route used during the 2021 incursion of Eurasian origin H5N1 viruses into North America demonstrates that migratory birds continue to be the driving force for transcontinental dissemination of the virus. This new detection further demonstrates the continual long-term threat of H5N1 viruses for poultry and mammals and the subsequent impact on various wild bird populations wherever these viruses emerge. The continual emergence of clade H5Nx viruses requires vigilant surveillance in wild birds, particularly in areas of the Americas, which lie within the migratory corridors for long-distance migratory birds originating from Europe and Asia. Although H5Nx viruses have been detected at higher rates in North America since 2021, a bidirectional flow of H5Nx genes of American origin viruses to Europe has never been reported. In the future, coordinated and systematic surveillance programs for HPAI viruses need to be launched between European and North American agencies

    Dietary Fatty Acids Contribute to Maintaining the Balance between Pro-Inflammatory and Anti-Inflammatory Responses during Pregnancy

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    Background: During pregnancy, the balance between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses is essential for ensuring healthy outcomes. Dietary Fatty acids may modulate inflammation. Methods: We investigated the association between dietary fatty acids as profiled on red blood cells membranes and a few pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines, including the adipokines leptin and adiponectin at ~38 weeks in 250 healthy women. Results: We found a number of associations, including, but not limited to those of adiponectin with C22:3/C22:4 (coeff -1.44; p = 0.008), C18:1 c13/c14 (coeff 1.4; p = 0.02); endotoxin with C20:1 (coeff -0.9; p = 0.03), C22:0 (coeff -0.4; p = 0.05); MCP-1 with C16:0 (coeff 0.8; p = 0.04); and ICAM-1 with C14:0 (coeff -86.8; p = 0.045). Several cytokines including leptin were associated with maternal body weight (coeff 0.9; p = 2.31 × 10-5), smoking habits (i.e., ICAM-1 coeff 133.3; p = 0.09), or gestational diabetes (i.e., ICAM-1 coeff 688; p = 0.06). Conclusions: In a general cohort of pregnant women, the intake of fatty acids influenced the balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory molecules together with weight gain, smoking habits, and gestational diabetes

    Comparison between the Flapless Surgical Approach and a Novel Single Incision Access in Terms of Recovery Time and Comfort after Extraction of Impacted Inferior Third Molars: A Randomised, Blinded, Split-Mouth Controlled Clinical Trial

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    The recent attention to quality of life and oral health care procedures reflects a renewed ‘patient-based’ approach to dealing with non-life-threatening conditions. In the current study, we proposed a novel surgical approach to the extraction of impacted inferior third molars (iMs3) through a randomised, blinded, split-mouth controlled clinical trial following the CONSORT guidelines. The novel surgical procedure, hereinafter referred to as single incision access (SIA), will be compared with our previously described flapless surgical approach (FSA). The predictor variable was the novel SIA approach, involving access through a single incision without removal of soft tissue, on the impacted iMs3. The primary endpoint was the acceleration of the iMs3 extraction healing time. The secondary endpoints were the incidences of pain and oedema as well as gum health (pocket probing depth and attached gingiva). The study was carried out on 84 teeth of 42 patients with both iMs3 impacted. The cohort was composed of 42% Caucasian males and 58% Caucasian females, aged 23.8 ± 7.9 (17–49) years. We observed faster recovery/wound-healing on the SIA side (33.6 ± 4.3 days) than at the FSA side (42.1 ± 5.4 days; p < 0.05). The FSA approach confirmed the evidence previously detected concerning early post-surgery improvement in terms of attached gingiva and reduced oedema and pain, with respect to the traditional envelope flap. The novel SIA approach follows the early positive post-surgery FSA results
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