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- Preliminary Demonstration Using Localized Skin Temperature Elevation as Observed With Thermal Imaging as an Indicator of Fat-Specific Absorption During Focused-Field Radiofrequency Therapy. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Drugs Dermatol 2014 Jul 1; 13(7):864-866.
This study incorporates concurrent thermal camera imaging as a means of both safely extending the length of each treatment session within skin surface temperature tolerances and to demonstrate not only the homogeneous nature of skin surface temperature heating but the distribution of that heating pattern as a reflection of localization of subcutaneous fat distribution.<BR /> METHODS: Five subjects were selected because of a desire to reduce abdomen and flank fullness. Full treatment field thermal camera imaging was captured at 15 minute intervals, specifically at 15, 30, and 45 minutes into active treatment with the purpose of monitoring skin temperature and avoiding any patterns of skin temperature excess.<BR /> RESULTS: Peak areas of heating corresponded anatomically to the patients' areas of greatest fat excess ie, visible "pinchable" fat.<BR /> CONCLUSION: Preliminary observation of high-resolution thermal camera imaging used concurrently with focused field RF therapy show peak skin heating patterns overlying the areas of greatest fat excess.<BR /><BR /> <EM>J Drugs Dermatol.</EM> 2014;13(7):864-866.
- A tale of trade-offs: The impact of macroeconomic factors on environmental concern. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Environ Manage 2014 Jul 6.:88-93.
We test whether macroeconomic conditions affect individuals' willingness to pay for environmental quality improvements.Improvements in environmental quality, like everything, come at a cost. Individuals facing difficult economic times may be less willing to make trade-offs required for improvements in environmental quality. Using somewhat different methodologies and shorter time frames, prior investigations have generally found a direct relationship between willingness to pay for environmental improvements and macroeconomic conditions.We use a nearly 40-year span (27 periods) of the General Social Survey (1974-2012) to estimate attitudes toward environmental spending while controlling for U.S. macroeconomic conditions and respondent-specific factors such as age, gender, marital status, number of children, residential location, educational attainment, personal financial condition, political party affiliation and ideology. Macroeconomic conditions include one-year lagged controls for the unemployment rate, the rate of economic growth (percentage change in real GDP), and an indicator for whether the U.S. economy was experiencing a recession.We find that, in general, when economic conditions are unfavorable (i.e., during a recession, or with higher unemployment, or lower GDP growth), respondents are more likely to believe the U.S. is spending too much on "improving and protecting the environment". Interacting lagged macroeconomic controls with respondent's income, we find that these views are at least partially offset by the respondent's own economic condition (i.e., their own real income).Our findings are consistent with the notion that environmental quality is a normal, or procyclical good, i.e., that environmental spending should rise when the economy is expanding and fall during economic contractions.
- Serum Cytokeratin 19 Fragment, CK19-2G2, as a Newly Identified Biomarker for Lung Cancer. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- PLoS One 2014; 9(7):e101979.
CK19-2G2, a new fragment of cytokeratin 19, is a potential tumor marker for diagnosing lung cancer. The preoperative level of serum CK19-2G2 has been demonstrated to be associated with tumor metastasis and survival of breast cancer patients. This study investigated the postoperative dynamic changes in serum CK19-2G2 levels and its clinical significance in lung cancer patients.Preoperative serum CK19-2G2 levels were measured in 630 lung cancer patients and were compared with individuals with benign pulmonary diseases (n = 134) and healthy volunteers (n = 263). In 352 cases, the patients underwent surgery. In these patients, in addition to preoperative assays, serum CK19-2G2 was also monitored at 1 week and 1 month after the operation.The preoperative baseline levels of serum CK19-2G2 was significantly higher in lung cancer patients than patients with benign diseases and healthy controls (P<0.001). The postoperative levels of CK19-2G2 declined significantly within 1 week after tumor resection. Hereafter, a further decrease was observed in the patients who underwent palliative operations, while for the patients in the radical resection group, their CK19-2G2 levels stabilized.CK19-2G2 may be a candidate marker for diagnosing and monitoring a patient's response to lung cancer treatment. In addition, CK19-2G2 may be an indicator for micrometastases in lung cancer patients.
- Exploring the relative bending of a CVD graphene monolayer with gap-plasmons. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Nanoscale 2014 Jul 9.
We report a spectroscopic indicator showing the bending of a chemical vapor deposition (CVD) graphene monolayer on Cu foil or an arbitrary substrate after transfer. Using a Au nanoparticle (NP)-graphene monolayer-Au thin film (TF) junction system, the Radial Breathing-Like Mode (RBLM) Raman signal from the sandwiched graphene monolayer is evidently observed by employing a local z-polarized incident field formed at the Au NP-Au TF junction. We also utilized the RBLM intensity as a quantitative tool with a wide dynamic range (∼300%) compared to the 2D peak width (∼35%) for determining the relative degree of bending on the Au TF substrate. The RBLM signal from the CVD graphene monolayer is anticipated to be used as a valuable marker in exploring out-of-plane directional properties.
- Ozone risk and foliar injury on Viburnum lantana L.: A meso-scale epidemiological study. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Sci Total Environ 2014 Jul 6.:954-960.
A stratified random sampling design was adopted to contrast sites with different ozone exposure levels (≤18,000 and >18,000μgm(-3)h) in order to define whether and to what extent a relationship exists between potential risk (estimated by exposure to ozone) and the response of Viburnum lantana L. in terms of foliar symptoms. The study was designed over a meso-scale (6200km(2)), carried out in 2010 and repeated in 2012 on a subset of sites. No difference was found between the occurrences of symptoms in relation to soil moisture or plant size. Although no direct significant exposure-response function could be identified, when data were aggregated according to ozone exposure levels the symptoms (in terms of number of symptomatic plants and symptomatic leaves per plant) were found to be significantly more frequent at sites with higher exposure (AOT40>18,000μgm(-3)h), especially at high elevations (>700ma.s.l.). The 2012 results confirmed the 2010 findings. Although ozone levels in the region were almost similar between 2010 and 2012, symptoms were significantly less frequent in 2012. This was likely due to drier conditions in 2012 (+1.1°C; -23% precipitation), a situation that may have prevented in part ozone uptake and therefore the expression of symptoms. These results are useful in several respects: (i) for identifying areas where ozone is likely to impact vegetation; (ii) for testing the appropriateness of EU standards to protect vegetation from ozone; and (iii) for designing biomonitoring surveys. We suggest that V. lantana is a suitable indicator for assessing qualitatively (but not quantitatively) the potential risk of ozone damage to vegetation over remote, large areas.
- Quality of Pharmaceutical Care in Surgical Patients. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- PLoS One 2014; 9(7):e101573.
Surgical patients are at risk for preventable adverse drug events (ADEs) during hospitalization. Usually, preventable ADEs are measured as an outcome parameter of quality of pharmaceutical care. However, process measures such as QIs are more efficient to assess the quality of care and provide more information about potential quality improvements.To assess the quality of pharmaceutical care of medication-related processes in surgical wards with quality indicators, in order to detect targets for quality improvements.For this observational cohort study, quality indicators were composed, validated, tested, and applied on a surgical cohort. Three surgical wards of an academic hospital in the Netherlands (Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam) participated. Consecutive elective surgical patients with a hospital stay longer than 48 hours were included from April until June 2009. To assess the quality of pharmaceutical care, the set of quality indicators was applied to 252 medical records of surgical patients.Thirty-four quality indicators were composed and tested on acceptability and content- and face-validity. The selected 28 candidate quality indicators were tested for feasibility and 'sensitivity to change'. This resulted in a final set of 27 quality indicators, of which inter-rater agreements were calculated (kappa 0.92 for eligibility, 0.74 for pass-rate). The quality of pharmaceutical care was assessed in 252 surgical patients. Nearly half of the surgical patients passed the quality indicators for pharmaceutical care (overall pass rate 49.8%). Improvements should be predominantly targeted to medication care related processes in surgical patients with gastro-intestinal problems (domain pass rate 29.4%).This quality indicator set can be used to measure quality of pharmaceutical care and detect targets for quality improvements. With these results medication safety in surgical patients can be enhanced.
- Contamination of water resources by pathogenic bacteria. [Journal Article]
- AMB Express 2014.:51.
Water-borne pathogen contamination in water resources and related diseases are a major water quality concern throughout the world. Increasing interest in controlling water-borne pathogens in water resources evidenced by a large number of recent publications clearly attests to the need for studies that synthesize knowledge from multiple fields covering comparative aspects of pathogen contamination, and unify them in a single place in order to present and address the problem as a whole. Providing a broader perceptive of pathogen contamination in freshwater (rivers, lakes, reservoirs, groundwater) and saline water (estuaries and coastal waters) resources, this review paper attempts to develop the first comprehensive single source of existing information on pathogen contamination in multiple types of water resources. In addition, a comprehensive discussion describes the challenges associated with using indicator organisms. Potential impacts of water resources development on pathogen contamination as well as challenges that lie ahead for addressing pathogen contamination are also discussed.
- 'Behind blue eyes'†: the association between eye colour and deep infiltrating endometriosis. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Hum Reprod 2014 Jul 8.
Is the prevalence of blue eye colour higher in women with deep endometriosis?Blue eye colour is more common in women with deep endometriosis when compared with both women with ovarian endometriomas and women without a history of endometriosis.Recent and intriguing evidence suggests that women with deep endometriosis may have particular phenotypic characteristics including a higher prevalence of a light-colour iris. Available epidemiological evidence is however weak.Case-control study performed in a large academic department specializing in the study and treatment of endometriosis. Individual iris colour was evaluated in daylight and categorized in three grades, namely blue-grey (blue), hazel-green (green) and brown. One observer assessed iris colour. In addition, the women themselves were invited to indicate the colour of their eyes according to the same classification system. Cases with discordant eye colour determinations between the observer and the woman were excluded from the final analysis.Two hundred and twenty-three women with deep endometriosis (cases), 247 with ovarian endometriomas and 301 without a history of endometriosis were enrolled.After exclusion of 52 discordant cases, the proportions of brown, blue and green eye colours were, respectively, 61, 30 and 9% in the deep endometriosis group, 74, 16 and 10% in the endometrioma group and 75, 15 and 10% in the non-endometriosis group. Women in the deep endometriosis group had a statistically significant excess of blue eyes and a reduced proportion of brown eyes compared with the two control groups (P = 0.002 and P < 0.001, respectively). The proportion of blue eyes was almost identical in the ovarian endometrioma group and the non-endometriosis group, and that of green eyes was substantially similar in all study groups. The OR (95% CI) of having blue eyes in women with deep endometriosis compared with women with ovarian endometriosis and with those without endometriosis was, respectively, 2.2 (1.4-3.6) and 2.5 (1.6-3.9).We cannot exclude that some women without a previous diagnosis of endometriosis indeed had the disease. However, this would have led to a reduction of the observed difference in proportion of blue eyes, thus to a potential underestimation of the real strength of the association. Moreover, under-ascertainment is possible with regard to peritoneal disease, but unlikely with deep endometriotic lesions and ovarian endometriomas.There are two possible explanations for our findings. Both may have intriguing implications for future research on endometriosis. Firstly, genes involved in the control of iris colour transmission may lie in a region with a strong pattern of linkage disequilibrium with genes involved in the invasiveness of endometriosis. Alternatively, blue eye colour could be considered an indicator of a photo-sensitive phenotype resulting in limited exposure to sunlight and UVB radiation. Limited sunlight exposure is associated with reduced circulating 25-hydroxyvitamin D3, an element that has recently been linked to endometriosis development.No research funding was received and none of the authors have any conflict of interests.Not applicable.
- Leaf hydraulic vulnerability to drought is linked to site water availability across a broad range of species and climates. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Ann Bot 2014 Jul 8.
Vulnerability of the leaf hydraulic pathway to water-stress-induced dysfunction is a key component of drought tolerance in plants and may be important in defining species' climatic range. However, the generality of the association between leaf hydraulic vulnerability and climate across species and sites remains to be tested.Leaf hydraulic vulnerability to drought (P50leaf, the water potential inducing 50 % loss in hydraulic function) was measured in a diverse group of 92 woody, mostly evergreen angiosperms from sites across a wide range of habitats. These new data together with some previously published were tested against key climate indices related to water availability. Differences in within-site variability in P50leaf between sites were also examined.Values of hydraulic vulnerability to drought in leaves decreased strongly (i.e. became more negative) with decreasing annual rainfall and increasing aridity across sites. The standard deviation in P50leaf values recorded within each site was positively correlated with increasing aridity. P50leaf was also a good indicator of the climatic envelope across each species' distributional range as well as their dry-end distributional limits within Australia, although this relationship was not consistently detectable within sites.The findings indicate that species sorting processes have influenced distributional patterns of P50leaf across the rainfall spectrum, but alternative strategies for dealing with water deficit exist within sites. The strong link to aridity suggests leaf hydraulic vulnerability may influence plant distributions under future climates.
- High levels of bed occupancy associated with increased inpatient and thirty-day hospital mortality in denmark. [Journal Article]
- Health Aff (Millwood) 2014 Jul 1; 33(7):1236-44.
High bed occupancy rates have been considered a matter of reduced patient comfort and privacy and an indicator of high productivity for hospitals. Hospitals with bed occupancy rates of above 85 percent are generally considered to have bed shortages. Little attention has been paid to the impact of these shortages on patients' outcomes. We analyzed all 2.65 million admissions to Danish hospitals' departments of medicine in the period 1995-2012. We found that high bed occupancy rates were associated with a significant 9 percent increase in rates of in-hospital mortality and thirty-day mortality, compared to low bed occupancy rates. Being admitted to a hospital outside of normal working hours or on a weekend or holiday was also significantly associated with increased mortality. The health risks of bed shortages, including mortality, could be better documented as a priority health issue. Resources should be allocated to researching the causes and effects of bed shortages, with the aim of creating greater interest in exploring new methods to avoid or reduce bed shortages.