Advances in digital speech processing are now supporting application and deployment of a variety of speech technologies for human/machine communication. In fact, new businesses are rapidly forming about these technologies. But these capabilities are of little use unless society can afford them. Happily, explosive advances in microelectronics over the past two decades have assured affordable access to this sophistication as well as to the underlying computing technology. The research challenges in speech processing remain in the traditionally identified areas of recognition, synthesis, and coding. These three areas have typically been addressed individually, often with significant isolation among the efforts. But they are all facets of the same fundamental issue--how to represent and quantify the information in the speech signal. This implies deeper understanding of the physics of speech production, the constraints that the conventions of language impose, and the mechanism for information processing in the auditory system. In ongoing research, therefore, we seek more accurate models of speech generation, better computational formulations of language, and realistic perceptual guides for speech processing--along with ways to coalesce the fundamental issues of recognition...
The expansion of research-based literature is one of the foremost goals of the nursing profession. Linked to this goal are the utilization and further development of nursing libraries. This paper discusses some historical factors that have influenced nursing literature. It presents a model for teaching graduate nursing students the relationship between research and library information skills.
This series of key research questions is based on the underlying congressional assumption that the rural health research agenda must be developed as an instrument equally relevant to policymakers, practitioners, and the public.
Hospitals often have rotational assignment of patients to one of several similar provider care teams. The research potential of these arrangements has gone unnoticed. By changing to random assignment of patients and physicians to provider care teams (firms) this kind of organization can be used for sequential, randomized clinical trials which are ethical and efficient. The paper describes such arrangements at three different hospitals: Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital, Brooke Army Medical Center, and University Hospitals of Cleveland. Associated methodologic issues are discussed. This is a new, more widely applicable method for medical care research.
OBJECTIVES--The study was undertaken to update a previous study of employees from a resins and plastics research and development facility and to further examine the mortality of these employees with particular emphasis on deaths due to pancreatic cancer. METHODS--This retrospective cohort study examined mortality from 1962 to 1992 for 257 men who were employed for at least one year during a 14 year period from 1962 to 1975 at a plastics and resins research and development facility. During the operative period, the primary activities involved applications and process development for polypropylene, polystyrene, epoxy resins, and to a lesser extent high density polyethylene. RESULTS--The cohort was young and was followed up for an average of 26 years. Although mortality for all causes among employees who worked at least one year at this facility was low (standardised mortality ratio (SMR) 0.74), the death rate from cancer was moderately higher than that of the general population (14 observed and 9.4 expected deaths). There were four observed and 0.5 expected deaths from pancreatic cancer among men who worked at this facility for at least one year, which resulted in a statistically increased SMR of 8.88 (95% confidence interval 2.42-22.74). All cases of pancreatic cancer had "laboratory" jobs...
This paper briefly describes important advances in personality research that have been achieved during the past 20 years in the development of a fundamental personality typology and in the determination of the heritability of personality traits. Research conducted at the University of Ottawa that has contributed to the exploration of the biological bases of the extraversion trait is summarized.
Extinction of operant behavior, which involves terminating the reinforcement contingency that maintains a response, is important to the development, generalization, and reduction of behavior in clinical settings. We review basic and applied research findings on variables that influence the direct and indirect effects of extinction and discuss the potential value of a general technology for the use of extinction. We suggest that current research findings are not sufficient for the development of a comprehensive, applied technology of extinction and provide extensive guidelines for further studies on factors that may affect the course of extinction in clinical settings.
With the advent of multicentre research ethics committees in the UK, local research ethics committees (LRECs) are required to advise only on issues relating to the local acceptability of a project. We looked at the handling of two commercially sponsored studies, one initiated before the change and one after, confining the analysis to 21 LRECs approached in both. As judged by the amount of paper per application, the new system for LRECs is simpler and should be less costly. However, there was an increasing tendency for LRECs to charge for their services (30% study 1, 47% study 2) and these charges varied by more than 400%. If such fees must be levied, a common scale is desirable.
Minorities in the US are as willing as non-Hispanic whites to participate in health research. Efforts to increase minority participation should focus on ensuring equal access to health research rather than changing minority attitudes.
The impact of applied behavior analysis on various disciplines and areas of research was assessed through two major analyses. First, the relationship of applied behavior analysis to the general area of "behavior modification" was evaluated by examining the citation characteristics of journal articles in JABA and three other behavior-modification journals. Second, the penetration of applied behavior analysis into diverse areas and disciplines, including behavior modification, psychiatry, clinical psychology, education, special education, retardation, speech and hearing, counselling, and law enforcement and correction was assessed. Twenty-five journals representing diverse research areas were evaluated from 1968 to 1974 to assess the extent to which operant techniques were applied for therapeutic, rehabilitative, and educative purposes and the degree to which methodological desiderata of applied behavior analysis were met. The analyses revealed diverse publication outlets for applied behavior analysis in various disciplines.
The UK Consortium on AIDS and International Development was an essential partner to the evaluation leaders in harnessing the contribution and expertise of civil society. This article describes what the partnership entailed, the additional value it brought and how civil society might use the evaluation findings both as a tool for advocacy and a means for improving its own engagement with the individuals directly affected by HIV and with those who care for them.
This “Controversies in Research” article discusses the hypothesis that protein kinase A mediated phosphorylation of the Ryanodine Receptor (RyR) at a single serine (RyRS2808) is essential for normal sympathetic regulation of cardiac myocyte contractility and is responsible for the disturbed Ca2+ regulation that underlies depressed contractility in heart failure. Studies supporting this hypothesis have associated “hyper” phosphorylation of RyRS2808 and heart failure progression in animals and humans and have shown that a phosphorylation defective RyR mutant mouse (RyRS2808A) does not respond normally to sympathetic agonists and does not exhibit heart failure symptoms after myocardial infarction (MI). Studies to confirm and extend these ideas have failed to support the original data. Experiments from many different laboratories have convincingly shown that PKA-mediated RyRS2808 phosphorylation does not play any significant role in the normal sympathetic regulation of sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ release or cardiac contractility. Hearts and myocytes from RyRS2808A mice have been shown to respond normally to sympathetic agonists, and to increase Ca2+ influx, Ca2+ transients, and Ca2+ efflux. While the RyR is involved in heart failure related Ca2+ disturbances...
The objective of this research article is to report the synthesis and evaluation of novel pentablock copolymers for controlled delivery of macromolecules in the treatment of posterior segment diseases. Novel biodegradable PB copolymers were synthesized by sequential ring-opening polymerization. Various ratios and molecular weights of each block (polyglycolic acid, polyethylene glycol, polylactic acid, and polycaprolactone) were selected for synthesis and to optimize release profile of FITC-BSA, IgG, and bevacizumab from nanoparticles (NPs) and thermosensitive gel. NPs were characterized for particle size, polydispersity, entrapment efficiency, and drug loading. In vitro release study of proteins from NPs alone and composite formulation (NPs suspended in thermosensitive gel) was performed. Composite formulations demonstrated no or negligible burst release with continuous near zero-order release in contrast to NPs alone. Hydrodynamic diameter of protein therapeutics and hydrophobicity of PB copolymer exhibited significant effect on entrapment efficiency and in vitro release profile. CD spectroscopy confirmed retention of structural conformation of released protein. Biological activity of released bevacizumab was confirmed by in vitro cell proliferation and cell migration assays. It can be concluded that novel PB polymers can serve a platform for sustained delivery of therapeutic proteins.
Diarrheal diseases constitute a major health problem in Bangladesh, where Vibrio cholerae and enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) are two most important causes of bacterial diarrhea. Prevention through vaccination is helpful to reduce the incidence and severity of diarrheal disease due to ETEC, particularly among children in low-resource settings. In this context, we collected stool and/or rectal swab (RS) specimens from patients with diarrhea between 2007 to 2012 under the 2% systematic routine surveillance system at the icddr,b hospital in Dhaka, Bangladesh and screened for ETEC infection. We tested the specimens for two major virulence factors of ETEC: toxins and colonization factors. In this research article, we have focused on changes in toxin as well as colonization factor profiles of ETEC strains isolated from diarrheal patients seeking care at the icddr,b hospital between 2007–2012 and an earlier time period of 1996–1998. We concluded that, such shift in antigenic profile of ETEC over the study period is important in designing effective ETEC vaccines with broad protective coverage.
Communities have long been concerned about the environmental health and environmental quality of their neighborhoods. Community-based exposure assessments have the potential to be an effective way to address these concerns. The success of such studies depends critically on the effective translation and communication of study results back to the study participants and the community. In this article we describe the communication approach applied as part of the South Baltimore Community Exposure Study. Specifically, in conjunction with collecting measurements, we asked the community to define questions they wanted answered and the way in which they wanted to receive study results. To meet their needs, we applied the risk assessment framework. The approach we developed helped residents interpret exposure assessment measurements and gave them the raw materials to effect change in their community. The risk-based approach to presenting participant and community results provides the means to move beyond traditional reporting of concentration values in three important ways. First, risk takes into consideration toxicity, thereby enabling a dialogue about community health concerns. Second, risk provides a common denominator so that exposure and risk can be compared and priorities identified. Third...
Esophageal cancer is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, with many patients
found to have locoregional or metastatic disease at time of diagnosis. Because
of this, cure may be unlikely, leading treatment efforts to focus more on
symptom palliation and improving patient quality of life. The majority of
patients with advanced disease suffer from some degree of dysphagia. Palliative
efforts are therefore directed at relieving dysphagia, allowing patients to
manage their oropharyngeal secretions, reduce aspiration risk, and maintain
caloric intake orally. A variety of endoscopic treatment modalities have been
utilized with these objectives in mind, with options determined by the location
and size of the tumor, as well as the patient's expected prognosis. In this
article, we review the use of endoscopically-placed stents for palliation in
patients with advanced esophageal cancer. We discuss the history of stent use in
such cases, as well as more recent developments in stent technology. We give an
overview of some of the more commonly used stents in practice...
Background and Aim of the Work. Blau syndrome is an inherited granulomatous inflammatory disorder with clinical findings of uveitis, arthritis, and dermatitis. Although rare, Blau syndrome shares features with the more common diseases sarcoidosis and Crohn's disease. The clinical findings of Blau syndrome are indistinguishable from juvenile sarcoidosis; the mutations of Blau syndrome are on the same gene of chromosome 16 (CARD15) that confers susceptibility to Crohn's disease. The product of this gene is part of the innate immune system. Mycobacterium avium ss. paratuberculosis (MAP) is the putative cause of Crohn's disease and has been implicated as a causative agent of sarcoidosis. Methods. Archival tissues of individuals with Blau syndrome were tested for the presence of MAP. Results. DNA evidence of MAP was detected in all of the tissues. Conclusions. This article finds that MAP is present in Blau syndrome tissue and postulates that it has a causal role. The presence of MAP in Blau syndrome—an autosomal dominant, systemic inflammatory disease—connects genetic and environmental aspects of “autoimmune” disease.
This article presents a qualitative study following a 6-month Taiji (T'ai Chi)/Qigong (Ch'i Kung) intervention for older adults. The researchers conducted in-depth interviews of eight selected participants who elected to continue practicing Taiji after the intervention ended, in order to explore their subjective experiences of Taiji's effects and their motivations for continuing to practice. We created a Layers Model to capture the significance and meaning of the multidimensionality of their reported experiences. Participants not only reported simple benefits along five dimensions of experience (physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual) but also described complex multidimensional experiences. Overall findings indicate that participants derived a very wide variety of perceived benefits, the most meaningful being a felt sense of body-mind-spirit integration. Our results support the important role of qualitative studies in researching the effects of Taiji and Qigong.
Perinatal asphyxia is attributed to hypoxia and/or ischemia around the time of birth and may lead to multiorgan dysfunction. Aim of this research article is to investigate whether different metabolomic profiles occurred according to oxygen concentration administered at resuscitation. In order to perform the experiment, forty newborn piglets were subjected to normocapnic hypoxia and reoxygenation and were randomly allocated in 4 groups resuscitated with different oxygen concentrations, 18%, 21%, 40%, and 100%, respectively. Urine metabolic profiles at baseline and at hypoxia were analysed by 1H-NMR spectroscopy and metabolites were also identified by multivariate statistical analysis. Metabolic pathways associations were also built up by ingenuity pathway analysis (IPA). Bioinformatics analysis of metabolites characterized the effect of metabolism in the 4 groups; it showed that the 21% of oxygen is the most “physiological” and appropriate concentration to be used for resuscitation. Our data indicate that resuscitation with 21% of oxygen seems to be optimal in terms of survival, rapidity of resuscitation, and metabolic profile in the present animal model. These findings need to be confirmed with metabolomics in human and, if so...
While the experimental Alzheimer's drugs recently developed by pharmaceutical companies failed to stop the progression of Alzheimer's disease, clinicians strive to seek clues on how the patients would be when they visit back next year, based upon the patients' current clinical and neuropathologic diagnosis results. This is related to how to precisely identify the transitional patterns of Alzheimer's disease. Due to the complexities of the diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, the condition of the disease is usually characterized by multiple clinical and neuropathologic measurements, including Clinical Dementia Rating (CDRGLOB), Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), a score derived from the clinician judgement on neuropsychological tests (COGSTAT), and Functional Activities Questionnaire (FAQ). In this research article, we investigate a class of novel joint random-effects transition models that are used to simultaneously analyze the transitional patterns of multiple primary measurements of Alzheimer's disease and, at the same time, account for the association between the measurements. The proposed methodology can avoid the bias introduced by ignoring the correlation between primary measurements and can predict subject-specific transitional patterns.