4,641 research outputs found

    Evaluating change in professional behaviour: issues in design and analysis

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    Implementing the findings of research to change the behaviour of health care professionals has become an increasingly prominent issue. However, designing valid studies to evaluate different methods of achieving changes requires considerable care and there are a number of pitfalls evident from published previous work. The various steps in the development of an implementation method and issues arising are explored in this text. Aspects include conceptualisation, essential background work, a structured development process, the relative merits of randomised and non-equivalent group designs, the unit of analysis, the role of multi-level models, block designs, economic analysis, and the content or message to be disseminated. An ongoing, large, randomised trial of educational outreach visits by trained pharmacists is used to illustrate some of the issues.behavioural change, implementation methods, economic evaluation, design of trials

    An accurate description of Aspergillus niger organic acid batch fermentation through dynamic metabolic modelling

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    Abstract Background Aspergillus niger fermentation has provided the chief source of industrial citric acid for over 50 years. Traditional strain development of this organism was achieved through random mutagenesis, but advances in genomics have enabled the development of genome-scale metabolic modelling that can be used to make predictive improvements in fermentation performance. The parent citric acid-producing strain of A. niger, ATCC 1015, has been described previously by a genome-scale metabolic model that encapsulates its response to ambient pH. Here, we report the development of a novel double optimisation modelling approach that generates time-dependent citric acid fermentation using dynamic flux balance analysis. Results The output from this model shows a good match with empirical fermentation data. Our studies suggest that citric acid production commences upon a switch to phosphate-limited growth and this is validated by fitting to empirical data, which confirms the diauxic growth behaviour and the role of phosphate storage as polyphosphate. Conclusions The calibrated time-course model reflects observed metabolic events and generates reliable in silico data for industrially relevant fermentative time series, and for the behaviour of engineered strains suggesting that our approach can be used as a powerful tool for predictive metabolic engineering

    Generation of c-MycERTAM-transduced human late-adherent olfactory mucosa cells for potential regenerative applications

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    Human olfactory mucosa cells (hOMCs) have been transplanted to the damaged spinal cord both pre-clinically and clinically. To date mainly autologous cells have been tested. However, inter-patient variability in cell recovery and quality, and the fact that the neuroprotective olfactory ensheathing cell (OEC) subset is difficult to isolate, means an allogeneic hOMC therapy would be an attractive “off-the-shelf” alternative. The aim of this study was to generate a candidate cell line from late-adherent hOMCs, thought to contain the OEC subset. Primary late-adherent hOMCs were transduced with a c-MycERTAM gene that enables cell proliferation in the presence of 4-hydroxytamoxifen (4-OHT). Two c-MycERTAM-derived polyclonal populations, PA5 and PA7, were generated and expanded. PA5 cells had a normal human karyotype (46, XY) and exhibited faster growth kinetics than PA7, and were therefore selected for further characterisation. PA5 hOMCs express glial markers (p75NTR, S100ß, GFAP and oligodendrocyte marker O4), neuronal markers (nestin and ß-III-tubulin) and fibroblast-associated markers (CD90/Thy1 and fibronectin). Co-culture of PA5 cells with a neuronal cell line (NG108-15) and with primary dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons resulted in significant neurite outgrowth after 5 days. Therefore, c-MycERTAM-derived PA5 hOMCs have potential as a regenerative therapy for neural cells

    X-ray Orbital Modulations in Intermediate Polars

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    We present an analysis of 30 archival ASCA and RXTE X-ray observations of 16 intermediate polars to investigate the nature of their orbital modulation. We show that X-ray orbital modulation is widespread amongst these systems, but not ubiquitous as indicated by previous studies that included fewer objects. Only seven of the sixteen systems show a clearly statistically significant modulation depth whose amplitude decreases with increasing X-ray energy. Interpreting this as due to photoelectric absorption in material at the edge of an accretion disc would imply that such modulations are visible for all system inclination angles in excess of 60 degrees. However, it is also apparent that the presence of an X-ray orbital modulation can appear and disappear on a timescale of ~years or months in an individual system. This may be evidence for the presence of a precessing, tilted accretion disc, as inferred in some low mass X-ray binaries.Comment: Accepted for publication in Astronomy & Astrophysics. 9 pages of text, plus 5 pages of tables, plus 33 pages of figure

    Living standards and plague in London, 1560–1665

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    This article uses individual records of 930,000 burials and 630,000 baptisms to reconstruct the spatial and temporal patterns of birth and death in London from 1560 to 1665, a period dominated by recurrent plague. The plagues of 1563, 1603, 1625, and 1665 appear of roughly equal magnitude, with deaths running at five to six times their usual rate, but the impact on wealthier central parishes falls markedly through time. Tracking the weekly spread of plague, we find no evidence that plague emerged first in the docks, and in many cases elevated mortality emerges first in the poor northern suburbs. Looking at the seasonal pattern of mortality, we find that the characteristic autumn spike associated with plague continued into the early 1700s. Natural increase improved as smaller crises disappeared after 1590, but fewer than half of those born survived childhood

    Abnormal P300 in people with high risk of developing psychosis

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    Background Individuals with an “at-risk mental state” (or “prodromal” symptoms) have a 20–40% chance of developing psychosis; however it is difficult to predict which of them will become ill on the basis of their clinical symptoms alone. We examined whether neurophysiological markers could help to identify those who are particularly vulnerable. Method 35 cases meeting PACE criteria for the at-risk mental state (ARMS) and 57 controls performed an auditory oddball task whilst their electroencephalogram was recorded. The latency and amplitude of the P300 and N100 waves were compared between groups using linear regression. Results The P300 amplitude was significantly reduced in the ARMS group [8.6 ± 6.4 microvolt] compared to controls [12.7 ± 5.8 microvolt] (p < 0.01). There were no group differences in P300 latency or in the amplitude and latency of the N100. Of the at-risk subjects that were followed up, seven (21%) developed psychosis. Conclusion Reduction in the amplitude of the P300 is associated with an increased vulnerability to psychosis. Neurophysiological and other biological markers may be of use to predict clinical outcomes in populations at high risk

    Socio-Technical Innovation Bundles for Agri-Food Systems Transformation

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    This open access book is the result of an expert panel convened by the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability and Nature Sustainability. The panel tackled the seventeen UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 head-on, with respect to the global systems that produce and distribute food. The panel’s rigorous synthesis and analysis of existing research leads compellingly to multiple actionable recommendations that, if adopted, would simultaneously lead to healthy and nutritious diets, equitable and inclusive value chains, resilience to shocks and stressors, and climate and environmental sustainability

    Bundling innovations to transform agri-food systems

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    Coupling technological advances with sociocultural and policy changes can transform agri-food systems to address pressing climate, economic, environmental, health and social challenges. An international expert panel reports on options to induce contextualized combinations of innovations that can balance multiple goals

    Socio-Technical Innovation Bundles for Agri-Food Systems Transformation

    Get PDF
    This open access book is the result of an expert panel convened by the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability and Nature Sustainability. The panel tackled the seventeen UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 head-on, with respect to the global systems that produce and distribute food. The panel’s rigorous synthesis and analysis of existing research leads compellingly to multiple actionable recommendations that, if adopted, would simultaneously lead to healthy and nutritious diets, equitable and inclusive value chains, resilience to shocks and stressors, and climate and environmental sustainability
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