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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2020-08-17
    Description: Kubernetes, an open-source container orchestration platform, enables high availability and scalability through diverse autoscaling mechanisms such as Horizontal Pod Autoscaler (HPA), Vertical Pod Autoscaler and Cluster Autoscaler. Amongst them, HPA helps provide seamless service by dynamically scaling up and down the number of resource units, called pods, without having to restart the whole system. Kubernetes monitors default Resource Metrics including CPU and memory usage of host machines and their pods. On the other hand, Custom Metrics, provided by external software such as Prometheus, are customizable to monitor a wide collection of metrics. In this paper, we investigate HPA through diverse experiments to provide critical knowledge on its operational behaviors. We also discuss the essential difference between Kubernetes Resource Metrics (KRM) and Prometheus Custom Metrics (PCM) and how they affect HPA’s performance. Lastly, we provide deeper insights and lessons on how to optimize the performance of HPA for researchers, developers, and system administrators working with Kubernetes in the future.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2020-08-17
    Description: A complex network as an abstraction of a language system has attracted much attention during the last decade. Linguistic typological research using quantitative measures is a current research topic based on the complex network approach. This research aims at showing the node degree, betweenness, shortest path length, clustering coefficient, and nearest neighbourhoods’ degree, as well as more complex measures such as: the fractal dimension, the complexity of a given network, the Area Under Box-covering, and the Area Under the Robustness Curve. The literary works of Mexican writers were classify according to their genre. Precisely 87% of the full word co-occurrence networks were classified as a fractal. Also, empirical evidence is presented that supports the conjecture that lemmatisation of the original text is a renormalisation process of the networks that preserve their fractal property and reveal stylistic attributes by genre.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2020-08-17
    Description: Biodiversity is vital for the stability of the planet; its ecosystem services provide essential elements for our survival and well-being. This review analyzes the national biodiversity policies and describes the main strategies for biodiversity conservation in Ecuador, one of the “mega-diverse” countries in the world with the highest species density. It deepens an analysis of in-situ and ex-situ conservation processes. Ecuador has six clear policies for biodiversity conservation. These policies strengthen biodiversity conservation through mechanisms that improve the well-being of wildlife by ensuring human, wildlife and ecosystem health. It promotes actions for the welfare of wildlife, through technical, administrative and legal tools. The National System of Protected Areas, with 60 protected areas, is the most effective in-situ conservation instrument at the country level. Several ex-situ conservation and management means for the conservation of wild species are being utilized, including nurseries, botanical gardens, zoos, germplasm banks, aquariums, species reproduction and rehabilitation centers. Ecuador is making slow progress on ex-situ conservation despite the availability of a sound policy framework, possibly due to financial, infrastructural, and/or technological challenges, and knowledge gaps. We propose fostering international research collaborations and establishing fully funded small-scale captive breeding programs at zoos, aquariums and university research facilities to help recovery of at-risk species of reptiles, amphibians, fish and species beyond Galapagos region. We recommend utilizing citizen science programs to fill the gaps of biodiversity information and increasing efforts to revive the ex-situ conservation strategies in protecting the unique biodiversity of Ecuador.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-2818
    Topics: Biology
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2020-08-17
    Description: Aging poses a big challenge in all aspects of social governance in China. A coherent and focused aging policy response that spans multiple sectors of government has been undertaken to achieve the goal of “Healthy Aging”. From an historical perspective, this paper uses a bibliometric analysis method to probe into the evolution of Chinese aging policies from 1978 to 2019, and the roles of core government agencies in policy-making. We obtained 226 Chinese aging policies from the PKULaw Database and the websites of the government departments. Co-word analyses and network analyses were applied in mapping the topics of aging policies and collaboration among the agencies. Gephi software was used to visualize the most frequently used keywords and their network graphs. Findings are as follows. Firstly, the development of the aging policy system in China has undergone two phases, from focusing on basic security to emphasizing the rights and health of the elderly. Secondly, the network structure of aging policy-making departments presents a distinct edge-core layer. More and more government agencies have become involved in the formulation of aging policies. But collaboration among the agencies is insufficient. Thirdly, pilot promotion is the main tool for implementing aging policies.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2020-08-17
    Description: With the strengthening of environmental awareness, the government pays much more attention to environmental protection and thus implements carbon trading schemes to promote the reduction of global carbon dioxide emissions. The carbon Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) is an incentive mechanism for citizens to value their energy conservation and carbon reduction. Individual travel needs to rely on various means of transportation, resulting in energy consumption. Carbon tax or subsidy can only be carried out after carbon GSP accurately measures individual carbon emissions. The big data acquired from the smart cards of passengers’ travels provide the possibility for carbon emission accounting of individual travel. This research proposes a carbon emission measurement of individual travel. Through establishing the network model of the Nanjing metro with a complex method, the shortest path of the passengers’ travels is obtained. Combined with the origination–destination (OD) records of the smart cards, the total distance of the passengers’ travels is obtained. By selecting the operation table to estimate the carbon emissions generated by the daily operation of the subway system, the carbon emissions per kilometer or per time of passenger travel are finally obtained. With the accurate tracking of carbon emissions for individual travel, the government may establish a comprehensive monitoring system so as to establish a carbon tax and carbon supplement mechanism for citizens.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2020-08-17
    Description: The paper presents the results of laboratory tests on possibilities to utilize active carbons produced in Poland (AG-5 and DTO) and clinoptilolite for removing naphthalene from a water solution in the adsorption process. The concentration of naphthalene in the model solution was 20 mg/dm3. The effects of pH, dose and adsorption time were determined under static conditions. Adsorption kinetics were consistent with the pseudo-second-order model (PSO). Among the applied models, the best fit was obtained using the Langmuir isotherms. The maximum adsorption capacity for the activated carbons (AG-5 and DTO) equaled 24.57 and 30.28 mg/g, respectively. For clinoptilolite, all the analyzed models of adsorption poorly described the adsorption process. The flow conditions were realized by filtration method. On the basis of the obtained results, the breakthrough curves, so-called isoplanes, were prepared and served in turn to determine the adsorption capacities in flow conditions. The total adsorption capacities determined under dynamic conditions of the AG-5 and DTO activated carbons were 85.63 and 94.54 mg/g, respectively, and only 2.72 mg/g for clinoptilolite. The exit curves (isoplanes) were also utilized to determine the mass penetration zone (the adsorption front height), as well as to calculate the rate of mass-exchange zone advance.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 7
    Publication Date: 2020-08-17
    Description: Internet of Things (IoT) projects are increasing in size over time, and some of them are growing to reach the whole world. Sensor arrays are deployed world-wide and their data is sent to the cloud, making use of the Internet. These huge networks can be used to improve the quality of life of the humanity by continuously monitoring many useful indicators, like the health of the users, the air quality or the population movements. Nevertheless, in this scalable context, a percentage of the sensor data readings can fail due to several reasons like sensor reliabilities, network quality of service or extreme weather conditions, among others. Moreover, sensors are not homogeneously replaced and readings from some areas can be more precise than others. In order to address this problem, in this paper we propose to use collaborative filtering techniques to predict missing readings, by making use of the whole set of collected data from the IoT network. State of the art recommender systems methods have been chosen to accomplish this task, and two real sensor array datasets and a synthetic dataset have been used to test this idea. Experiments have been carried out varying the percentage of failed sensors. Results show a good level of prediction accuracy which, as expected, decreases as the failure rate increases. Results also point out a failure rate threshold below which is better to make use of memory-based approaches, and above which is better to choose model-based methods.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 8
    Publication Date: 2020-08-17
    Description: The COVID-19 pandemic has spread very fast around the world. A few days after the first detected case in South Africa, an infection started in a large hospital outbreak in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Phylogenetic analysis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) genomes can be used to trace the path of transmission within a hospital. It can also identify the source of the outbreak and provide lessons to improve infection prevention and control strategies. This manuscript outlines the obstacles encountered in order to genotype SARS-CoV-2 in near-real time during an urgent outbreak investigation. This included problems with the length of the original genotyping protocol, unavailability of reagents, and sample degradation and storage. Despite this, three different library preparation methods for Illumina sequencing were set up, and the hands-on library preparation time was decreased from twelve to three hours, which enabled the outbreak investigation to be completed in just a few weeks. Furthermore, the new protocols increased the success rate of sequencing whole viral genomes. A simple bioinformatics workflow for the assembly of high-quality genomes in near-real time was also fine-tuned. In order to allow other laboratories to learn from our experience, all of the library preparation and bioinformatics protocols are publicly available at protocols.io and distributed to other laboratories of the Network for Genomics Surveillance in South Africa (NGS-SA) consortium.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4425
    Topics: Biology
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  • 9
    Publication Date: 2020-08-17
    Description: Signet-ring cell carcinoma (SRC) in advanced gastric cancer (GC) is often associated with more invasiveness and a worse prognosis than other cell types. The genetic alterations associated with gastric carcinogenesis in SRC are still unclear. In this study, 441 GC patients receiving curative surgery for GC between 2005 and 2013 were enrolled. The clinicopathological characteristics and genetic alterations of GC patients with and without SRC were compared. Among the 441 GC patients, 181 had SRC. For early GC, patients with SRC had more tumors located in the middle and lower stomach, more infiltrating tumors and better overall survival (OS) rates than those without SRC. For advanced GC, patients with SRC had more scirrhous type tumors, more PIK3CA amplifications, fewer microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) tumors, more peritoneal recurrences and worse 5-year OS rates than those without SRC. For advanced GC with SRC, patients with peritoneal recurrence tended to have PD-L1 expression. For advanced GC without SRC, patients with liver metastasis tended to have PD-L1 expression, PI3K/AKT pathway mutations, TP53 mutations and MSI-H tumors. For advanced GC, PD-L1 expression was associated with peritoneal recurrence in SRC tumors, while non-SRC tumors with liver metastasis were likely to have PI3K/AKT pathway mutations, TP53 mutations and PD-L1 expression; immunotherapy and targeted therapy may be beneficial for these patients.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-6694
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 10
  • 11
    Publication Date: 2020-08-17
    Description: The purpose of this study was to describe the association between psychosocial factors in patients with work-related neck or low back pain (n = 129), in order to study sickness leave, its duration, the disability reported, and to analyze the relationship of these factors with different sociodemographic variables. This was a descriptive cross-sectional study. Data on kinesiophobia, catastrophizing, disability, and pain were gathered. Sociodemographic variables analyzed included sex, age, occupational, and educational level. Other data such as location of pain, sick leave status and duration of sickness absence were also collected. Educational level (p = 0.001), occupational level (p 〈 0.001), and kinesiophobia (p 〈 0.001) were found to be associated with sickness leave; kinesiophobia (b = 1.47, p = 0.002, r = 0.35) and catastrophizing (b = 0.72, p = 0.012, r = 0.28) were associated with the duration of sickness leave. Educational level (p =0.021), kinesiophobia (b = 1.69, p 〈 0.000, r = 0.505), catastrophizing (b = 0.76, p 〈 0.000, r = 0.372), and intensity of pain (b = 4.36, p 〈 0.000, r = 0.334) were associated with the degree of disability. In the context of occupational insurance providers, educational and occupational factors, as well as kinesiophobia and catastrophizing, may have an influence on sickness leave, its duration and the degree of disability reported.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 12
    Publication Date: 2020-08-17
    Description: Pathogenic germline variants in Breast Cancer 1/2 (BRCA) genes confer increased cancer risk. Understanding BRCA status/risk can enable family cascade screening and improve cancer outcomes. However, more than half of the families do not communicate family cancer history/BRCA status, and cancer outcomes differ according to parent of origin (i.e., maternally vs. paternally inherited pathogenic variant). We aimed to explore communication patterns around family cancer history/BRCA risk according to parent of origin. We analyzed qualitative interviews (n = 97) using template analysis and employed the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) to identify interventions to improve communication. Interviews revealed sub-codes of ‘male stoicism and ‘paternal guilt’ that impede family communication (template code: gender scripting). Conversely, ‘fatherly protection’ and ‘female camaraderie’ promote communication of risk. The template code ‘dysfunctional family communication’ was contextualized by several sub-codes (‘harmful negligence’, ‘intra-family ignorance’ and ‘active withdrawal of support’) emerging from interview data. Sub-codes ‘medical misconceptions’ and ‘medical minimizing’ deepened our understanding of the template code ‘medical biases’. Importantly, sub-codes of ‘informed physicians’ and ‘trust in healthcare’ mitigated bias. Mapping findings to the TPB identified variables to tailor interventions aimed at enhancing family communication of risk and promoting cascade screening. In conclusion, these data provide empirical evidence of the human factors impeding communication of family BRCA risk. Tailored, theory-informed interventions merit consideration for overcoming blocked communication and improving cascade screening uptake.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-6694
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 13
    Publication Date: 2020-08-17
    Description: Wind tunnel tests have become one of the most effective ways to evaluate aerodynamics and aeroelasticity in bluff bodies. This paper has firstly overviewed the development of conventional wind tunnel test techniques, including high frequency base balance technique, static synchronous multi-pressure sensing system test technique and aeroelastic test, and summarized their advantages and shortcomings. Subsequently, two advanced test approaches, a forced vibration test technique and hybrid aeroelastic- force balance wind tunnel test technique have been comprehensively reviewed. Then the characteristics and calculation procedure of the conventional and advanced wind tunnel test techniques were discussed and summarized. The results indicated that the conventional wind tunnel test techniques ignored the effect of structural oscillation on the measured aerodynamics as the test model is rigid. A forced vibration test can include that effect. Unfortunately, a test model in a forced vibration test cannot respond like a structure in the real world; it only includes the effect of structural oscillation on the surrounding flow and cannot consider the feedback from the surrounding flow to the oscillation test model. A hybrid aeroelastic-pressure/force balance test technique that can observe unsteady aerodynamics of a test model during its aeroelastic oscillation completely takes the effect of structural oscillation into consideration and is, therefore, effective in evaluation of aerodynamics and aeroelasticity in bluff bodies. This paper has not only advanced our understanding for aerodynamics and aeroelasticity in bluff bodies, but also provided a new perspective for advanced wind tunnel test techniques that can be used for fundamental studies and engineering applications.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 14
    Publication Date: 2020-08-17
    Description: A finer direction-of-arrival (DOA) estimation result needs a large and dense array; it may, however, encounter the mutual coupling effect, which degrades the performance of DOA estimation. There is a new approach to mitigating this effect by using a nonuniform array to achieve DOA estimation. In this paper, we consider a priori DOA estimation, which is easily obtained from tracking results. The a priori DOA requires us to pay close attention to the high possibility of where the DOA will appear; then, a weight according to the prior probability distribution of DOA is added to each direction, which leads the sensing matrix of DOA estimation to be near low-rank. Thus, according to the low-rank matrix approximation theory, an optimal low-rank approximate matrix is obtained and an algorithm is proposed to select the elements of the original array according to right singular vectors of the approximate matrix. After that, the impacts of different weights are analyzed, and a mixed weight is presented which has flexibility for common use. Finally, a number of numerical simulations are carried out, and the results verify the effectiveness of the proposed methods.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 15
    Publication Date: 2020-08-17
    Description: This article focuses on using E-Bayesian estimation for the Weibull distribution based on adaptive type-I progressive hybrid censored competing risks (AT-I PHCS). The case of Weibull distribution for the underlying lifetimes is considered assuming a cumulative exposure model. The E-Bayesian estimation is discussed by considering three different prior distributions for the hyper-parameters. The E-Bayesian estimators as well as the corresponding E-mean square errors are obtained by using squared and LINEX loss functions. Some properties of the E-Bayesian estimators are also derived. A simulation study to compare the various estimators and real data application is applied to show the applicability of the different estimators are proposed.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 16
    Publication Date: 2020-08-17
    Description: Today, semi-structured and unstructured data are mainly collected and analyzed for data analysis applicable to various systems. Such data have a dense distribution of space and usually contain outliers and noise data. There have been ongoing research studies on clustering algorithms to classify such data (outliers and noise data). The K-means algorithm is one of the most investigated clustering algorithms. Researchers have pointed out a couple of problems such as processing clustering for the number of clusters, K, by an analyst through his or her random choices, producing biased results in data classification through the connection of nodes in dense data, and higher implementation costs and lower accuracy according to the selection models of the initial centroids. Most K-means researchers have pointed out the disadvantage of outliers belonging to external or other clusters instead of the concerned ones when K is big or small. Thus, the present study analyzed problems with the selection of initial centroids in the existing K-means algorithm and investigated a new K-means algorithm of selecting initial centroids. The present study proposed a method of cutting down clustering calculation costs by applying an initial center point approach based on space division and outliers so that no objects would be subordinate to the initial cluster center for dependence lower from the initial cluster center. Since data containing outliers could lead to inappropriate results when they are reflected in the choice of a center point of a cluster, the study proposed an algorithm to minimize the error rates of outliers based on an improved algorithm for space division and distance measurement. The performance experiment results of the proposed algorithm show that it lowered the execution costs by about 13–14% compared with those of previous studies when there was an increase in the volume of clustering data or the number of clusters. It also recorded a lower frequency of outliers, a lower effectiveness index, which assesses performance deterioration with outliers, and a reduction of outliers by about 60%.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 17
    Publication Date: 2020-08-17
    Description: Ultra-running comprises running events longer than a marathon (〉42.2 km). The prolonged duration of ultra-running leads to decrements in most or all physiological parameters and considerable energy expenditure (EE) and energy deficits. SG, 47 years, 162.5 cm, 49 kg, VO2max 4 mL/kg/min−1/2.37 L/min−1, ran continuously for 7 days on a treadmill in 3 h blocks followed by 30 min breaks and slept from 1–5 a.m. Heart rate (HR) oxygen uptake (VO2), rating of perceived exertion, weight, blood lactate (mmol·L−1), haemoglobin (g·dL), haematocrit (%) and glucose (mmol·L−1), and nutrition and hydration were recorded. SG ran for 17.5 h/day, covering ~120 km/day at ~7 km/h. Energy expenditure for each 24 h period was 6878 kcal/day and energy intake (EI) was 2701 kcal/day. EE was 382 kcal/h, with 66.6% from fat and 33.4% from carbohydrate oxidation. 7 day EI was 26,989 kcal and EE was 48,147 kcal, with a total energy deficit (ED) of 21,158 kcal. Average VO2 was 1.2 L·min−1/24.7 mL·kg·min−1, Respriatory echange ratio (RER) 0.80 ± 0.03, HR 120–125 b·min−1. Weight increased from 48.6 to 49.5 kg. Haemoglobin decreased from 13.7 to 11 g·dL and haematocrit decreased from 40% to 33%. SG ran 833.05 km. SG exhibits an enhanced fat metabolism through which she had a large daily ED. Her success can be attributed to a combination of physiological and psychological factors.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 18
    Publication Date: 2020-08-17
    Description: Bioprinting offers the opportunity to fabricate precise 3D tumor models to study tumor pathophysiology and progression. However, the choice of the bioink used is important. In this study, cell behavior was studied in three mechanically and biologically different hydrogels (alginate, alginate dialdehyde crosslinked with gelatin (ADA–GEL), and thiol-modified hyaluronan (HA-SH crosslinked with PEGDA)) with cells from breast cancer (MDA-MB-231 and MCF-7) and melanoma (Mel Im and MV3), by analyzing survival, growth, and the amount of metabolically active, living cells via WST-8 labeling. Material characteristics were analyzed by dynamic mechanical analysis. Cell lines revealed significantly increased cell numbers in low-percentage alginate and HA-SH from day 1 to 14, while only Mel Im also revealed an increase in ADA–GEL. MCF-7 showed a preference for 1% alginate. Melanoma cells tended to proliferate better in ADA–GEL and HA-SH than mammary carcinoma cells. In 1% alginate, breast cancer cells showed equally good proliferation compared to melanoma cell lines. A smaller area was colonized in high-percentage alginate-based hydrogels. Moreover, 3% alginate was the stiffest material, and 2.5% ADA–GEL was the softest material. The other hydrogels were in the same range in between. Therefore, cellular responses were not only stiffness-dependent. With 1% alginate and HA-SH, we identified matrices that enable proliferation of all tested tumor cell lines while maintaining expected tumor heterogeneity. By adapting hydrogels, differences could be accentuated. This opens up the possibility of understanding and analyzing tumor heterogeneity by biofabrication.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-6694
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 19
    Publication Date: 2020-08-17
    Description: Background: Biomarkers for predicting response to immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) are scarce and often lack external validation. This study provides a comprehensive investigation of pretreatment C-reactive protein (CRP) levels as well as its longitudinal trajectories as a marker of treatment response and disease outcome in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) undergoing immunotherapy with anti PD-1 or anti PD-L1 agents. Methods: We performed a retrospective bi-center study to assess the association between baseline CRP levels and anti PD-(L)1 treatment outcomes in the discovery cohort (n = 90), confirm these findings in an external validation cohort (n = 101) and explore the longitudinal evolution of CRP during anti PD-(L)1 treatment and the potential impact of dynamic CRP changes on treatment response and disease outcome in the discovery cohort. Joint models were implemented to evaluate the association of longitudinal CRP trajectories and progression risk. Primary treatment outcomes were progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS), while the objective response rate (ORR) was a secondary outcome, respectively. Results: In the discovery cohort, elevated pretreatment CRP levels emerged as independent predictors of worse PFS (HR per doubling of baseline CRP = 1.37, 95% CI: 1.16–1.63, p 〈 0.0001), worse OS (HR per doubling of baseline CRP = 1.42, 95% CI: 1.18–1.71, p 〈 0.0001) and a lower ORR ((odds ratio (OR) of ORR per doubling of baseline CRP = 0.68, 95% CI: 0.51–0.92, p = 0.013)). In the validation cohort, pretreatment CRP could be fully confirmed as a predictor of PFS and OS, but not ORR. Elevated trajectories of CRP during anti PD-(L)1 treatment (adjusted HR per 10 mg/L increase in CRP = 1.22, 95% CI: 1.15–1.30, p 〈 0.0001), as well as a faster increases of CRP over time (HR per 10 mg/L/month faster increase in CRP levels = 13.26, 95% CI: 1.14–154.54, p = 0.039) were strong predictors of an elevated progression risk, whereas an early decline of CRP was significantly associated with a reduction in PFS risk (HR = 0.91, 95% CI: 0.83–0.99, p = 0.036), respectively. Conclusion: These findings support the concept that CRP should be further explored by future prospective studies as a simple non-invasive biomarker for assessing treatment benefit during anti PD-(L)1 treatment in advanced NSCLC.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-6694
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 20
    Publication Date: 2020-08-17
    Description: Public open spaces (POS) have an essential positive impact on cities and their residents. These spaces play a critical role in enhancing users’ physical, mental, and social wellbeing. In addition, POS improve city resilience and economic value, and act as part of the city’s visual amenities. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is taking many approaches to enhance quality of life in all its cities through initiatives such as increasing the POS area per capita. Several studies have examined the importance of the accessibility of POS in addressing users’ needs. In this study, we measured the per capita area and accessibility of POS in the three megacities Riyadh, Dammam, and Jeddah. We also collected data on user preferences for the use of POS through semi-structured interviews, observations, and an online questionnaire. This study suggests that the country needs to establish its own POS planning approach based on users’ desires and behaviors when using POS, as well as the country’s social characteristics, and to depend not only on standard international planning approaches. The paper recommends considering the possibility of increasing POS by creating typologies of these spaces based on each city’s landscape characteristics. This proposal will have a major impact on city planning and design in Saudi Arabia. In addition, it will make the Saudi cities livable and have a positive impact on the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of the population.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 21
    Publication Date: 2020-08-18
    Description: Location-Based Services (LBSs) are playing an increasingly important role in people’s daily activities nowadays. While enjoying the convenience provided by LBSs, users may lose privacy since they report their personal information to the untrusted LBS server. Although many approaches have been proposed to preserve users’ privacy, most of them just focus on the user’s location privacy, but do not consider the query privacy. Moreover, many existing approaches rely heavily on a trusted third-party (TTP) server, which may suffer from a single point of failure. To solve the problems above, in this paper we propose a Cache-Based Privacy-Preserving (CBPP) solution for users in LBSs. Different from the previous approaches, the proposed CBPP solution protects location privacy and query privacy simultaneously, while avoiding the problem of TTP server by having users collaborating with each other in a mobile peer-to-peer (P2P) environment. In the CBPP solution, each user keeps a buffer in his mobile device (e.g., smartphone) to record service data and acts as a micro TTP server. When a user needs LBSs, he sends a query to his neighbors first to seek for an answer. The user only contacts the LBS server when he cannot obtain the required service data from his neighbors. In this way, the user reduces the number of queries sent to the LBS server. We argue that the fewer queries are submitted to the LBS server, the less the user’s privacy is exposed. To users who have to send live queries to the LBS server, we employ the l-diversity, a powerful privacy protection definition that can guarantee the user’s privacy against attackers using background knowledge, to further protect their privacy. Evaluation results show that the proposed CBPP solution can effectively protect users’ location and query privacy with a lower communication cost and better quality of service.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 22
    Publication Date: 2020-08-18
    Description: Polygenic adaptation in response to selection on quantitative traits has become an important topic in evolutionary biology. Here we review the recent literature on models of polygenic adaptation. In particular, we focus on a model that includes mutation and both directional and stabilizing selection on a highly polygenic trait in a population of finite size (thus experiencing random genetic drift). Assuming that a sudden environmental shift of the fitness optimum occurs while the population is in a stochastic equilibrium, we analyze the adaptation of the trait to the new optimum. When the shift is not too large relative to the equilibrium genetic variance and this variance is determined by loci with mostly small effects, the approach of the mean phenotype to the optimum can be approximated by a rapid exponential process (whose rate is proportional to the genetic variance). During this rapid phase the underlying changes to allele frequencies, however, may depend strongly on genetic drift. While trait-increasing alleles with intermediate equilibrium frequencies are dominated by selection and contribute positively to changes of the trait mean (i.e., are aligned with the direction of the optimum shift), alleles with low or high equilibrium frequencies show more of a random dynamics, which is expected when drift is dominating. A strong effect of drift is also predicted for population size bottlenecks. Our simulations show that the presence of a bottleneck results in a larger deviation of the population mean of the trait from the fitness optimum, which suggests that more loci experience the influence of drift.
    Electronic ISSN: 1099-4300
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Physics
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  • 23
    Publication Date: 2020-08-18
    Description: High-flow oxygen through nasal cannula (HFNC) provides adequate oxygenation and can be an alternative to noninvasive ventilation (NIV) for patients with hypoxemic respiratory failure. The aim of the present study was to assess the efficacy of HFNC versus NIV in hypercapnic respiratory failure. Patients (n = 40) who were admitted to the Emergency Department of Alexandra Hospital due to hypercapnic respiratory failure (PaCO2 ≥ 45 mmHg) were randomized assigned into two groups, i.e., an intervention group (use of HFNC, n = 20) and a control group (use of NIV, n = 20). During their hospitalization in the Intensive Care Unit, vital signs (respiratory and heart rate, arterial blood pressure) and arterial blood gases (ABG) were closely monitored on admission, after 24 h and at discharge. No difference between the two groups regarding the duration of hospitalization and the use of HFNC or NIV was observed (p 〉 0.05). On admission, the two groups did not differ in terms of gender, age, body mass index, APACHE score, predicted death rate, heart rate, arterial blood pressure and arterial blood gases (p 〉 0.05). Respiratory rate in the HFNC group was lower than in the NIV group (p = 0.023). At discharge, partial carbon dioxide arterial pressure (PaCO2) in the HFNC group was lower than in the NIV group (50.8 ± 9.4 mmHg versus 59.6 ± 13.9 mmHg, p = 0.024). The lowerPaCO2 in the HFNC group than in the NIV group indicated that HFNC was superior to NIV in the management of hypercapnic respiratory failure.
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    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 24
    Publication Date: 2020-08-18
    Description: The Medication-Related Osteonecrosis of Jaws (MRONJ) diagnosis process and its prevention play a role of great and rising importance, not only on the Quality of Life (QoL) of patients, but also on the decision-making process by the majority of dentists and oral surgeons involved in MRONJ prevention (primary and secondary). The present paper reports the update of the conclusions from the Consensus Conference—held at the Symposium of the Italian Society of Oral Pathology and Medicine (SIPMO) (20 October 2018, Ancona, Italy)—after the newest recommendations (2020) on MRONJ were published by two scientific societies (Italian Societies of Maxillofacial Surgery and Oral Pathology and Medicine, SICMF and SIPMO), written on the inputs of the experts of the Italian Allied Committee on ONJ (IAC-ONJ). The conference focused on the topic of MRONJ, and in particular on the common practices at risk of inappropriateness in MRONJ diagnosis and therapy, as well as on MRONJ prevention and the dental management of patients at risk of MRONJ. It is a matter of cancer and osteometabolic patients that are at risk since being exposed to several drugs with antiresorptive (i.e., bisphosphonates and denosumab) or, more recently, antiangiogenic activities. At the same time, the Conference traced for dentists and oral surgeons some easy applicable indications and procedures to reduce MRONJ onset risk and to diagnose it early. Continuous updating on these issues, so important for the patient community, is recommended.
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    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 25
    Publication Date: 2020-08-18
    Description: Pandemics require a fast and immediate response to contain potential infectious carriers. In the recent 2020 Covid-19 worldwide pandemic, authorities all around the world have failed to identify potential carriers and contain it on time. Hence, a rapid and very sensitive testing method is required. Current diagnostic tools, reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) and real-time PCR (qPCR), have its pitfalls for quick pandemic containment such as the requirement for specialized professionals and instrumentation. Versatile electrochemical DNA/RNA sensors are a promising technological alternative for PCR based diagnosis. In an electrochemical DNA sensor, a nucleic acid hybridization event is converted into a quantifiable electrochemical signal. A critical challenge of electrochemical DNA sensors is sensitive detection of a low copy number of DNA/RNA in samples such as is the case for early onset of a disease. Signal amplification approaches are an important tool to overcome this sensitivity issue. In this review, the authors discuss the most recent signal amplification strategies employed in the electrochemical DNA/RNA diagnosis of pathogens.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 26
    Publication Date: 2020-08-18
    Description: This article aims to compare the prevalence of active transportation among children and adolescents from 49 countries at different levels of development. The data was extracted from the Report Cards on Physical Activity for Children and Youth from the 49 countries that participated in the Global Matrix 3.0 initiative. Descriptive statistics and a latent profile analysis with active transportation, Human Development Index and Gini index as latent variables were conducted. The global average grade was a “C”, indicating that countries are succeeding with about half of children and youth (47–53%). There is wide variability in the prevalence and in the definition of active transportation globally. Three different profiles of countries were identified based on active transportation grades, Human Development Index (HDI) and income inequalities. The first profile grouped very high HDI countries with low prevalence of active transport and low inequalities. The second profile grouped low and middle HDI countries with high prevalence of active transportation and higher inequalities. And the third profile was characterized by the relatively high prevalence of active transportation and more variability in the socioeconomic variables. Promising policies from countries under each profile were identified. A unified definition of active transportation and contextualized methods for its assessment are needed to advance in surveillance and practice.
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  • 27
    Publication Date: 2020-08-18
    Description: The UK is home to several major air commercial and transport hubs. As a result, there is a high demand for Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) services to ensure that fleets of aircraft are in airworthy conditions. MRO services currently involve heavy manual labor. This creates bottlenecks, low repeatability, and low productivity. Presented in this paper is an investigation to create an automation cell for the fan-blade reconditioning component of MRO. The design and prototype of the automation cell is presented. Furthermore, a digital twin of the grinding process is developed and used as a tool to explore the required grinding force parameters needed to effectively remove surface material. An integration of a 6-DoF industrial robot with an end-effector grinder and a computer vision system was undertaken. The computer vision system was used for the digitization of the fan-blade surface as well as tracking and guidance of material removal. Our findings reveal that our proposed system can perform material removal, track the state of the fan blade during the reconditioning process and do so within a closed-loop automated robotic work cell.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 28
    Publication Date: 2020-08-18
    Description: Loess–mudstone/soil-rock interfacial landslide is one of the prominent landslide hazards that occurs in soil rock contacting zones. It is necessary to develop sensors with high sensitivity to weak and low frequency vibrations for the early warning of such interfacial landslides. In this paper, a novel monitoring sensor prototype with enhanced and adaptive sensitivity is developed for this purpose. The novelty of the sensitive sensor is based on the variable capacitances and negative stiffness mechanism due to the electric filed forces on the vibrating plate. Owing to the feedback control of adjustable electrostatic field by an embedded micro controller, the sensor has adaptive amplification characteristics with high sensitivity to weak and low frequency input and low sensitivity to high input. The design and manufacture of the proposed sensor prototype by Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) with proper packaging are introduced. Post-signal processing is also presented. Some preliminary testing of the prototype and experimental monitoring of sand interfacial slide which mimics soil–rock interfacial landslide were performed to demonstrate the performance of the developed sensor prototype with adaptive amplification and enhanced sensitivity.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 29
    Publication Date: 2020-08-18
    Description: Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) is a chronic inflammatory disease that impairs patients’ physical and mental health. However, few studies have considered the consequences of HS on cohabitants. The aims of this study were to explore the impact of HS on the quality of life (QOL) of cohabitants and to assess potentially associated factors. A cross-sectional study was conducted and patients with HS and their cohabitants were invited to participate. Validated questionnaires were used to measure QOL, anxiety and depression, type D personality and sexual dysfunction. The clinical variables of patients and the demographic characteristics of cohabitants were also collected. Twenty-seven patients and 27 cohabitants were included for analysis. Patients and cohabitants presented significant QOL impairment. A direct association was found between the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) and the Familiar Dermatology Life Quality Index (FDLQI). DLQI scores were associated with the presence of negative affectivity, a trait typical of type D personality, as well as with cohabitants’ anxiety. FDLQI scores were associated with cohabitant anxiety and patient depression. Hidradenitis suppurativa damages quality of life in patients and cohabitants. Identifying potential psychological factors could help us to recognize at-risk patients and apply personalized treatments for them and their environment.
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  • 30
    Publication Date: 2020-08-18
    Description: Autonomous driving systems tightly rely on the quality of the data from sensors for tasks such as localization and navigation. In this work, we present an integrity monitoring framework that can assess the quality of multimodal data from exteroceptive sensors. The proposed multisource coherence-based integrity assessment framework is capable of handling highway as well as complex semi-urban and urban scenarios. To achieve such generalization and scalability, we employ a semantic-grid data representation, which can efficiently represent the surroundings of the vehicle. The proposed method is used to evaluate the integrity of sources in several scenarios, and the integrity markers generated are used for identifying and quantifying unreliable data. A particular focus is given to real-world complex scenarios obtained from publicly available datasets where integrity localization requirements are of high importance. Those scenarios are examined to evaluate the performance of the framework and to provide proof-of-concept. We also establish the importance of the proposed integrity assessment framework in context-based localization applications for autonomous vehicles. The proposed method applies the integrity assessment concepts in the field of aviation to ground vehicles and provides the Protection Level markers (Horizontal, Lateral, Longitudinal) for perception systems used for vehicle localization.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 31
    Publication Date: 2020-08-18
    Description: Blue steel roof is advantageous for its low cost, durability, and ease of installation. It is generally used by industrial areas. The accurate and rapid mapping of blue steel roof is important for the preliminary assessment of inefficient industrial areas and is one of the key elements for quantifying environmental issues like urban heat islands. Here, the DeeplabV3+ semantic segmentation neural network based on GaoFen-2 images was used to analyze the quantity and spatial distribution of blue steel roofs in the Nanhai district, Foshan (including the towns of Shishan, Guicheng, Dali, and Lishui), which is the important manufacturing industry base of China. We found that: (1) the DeeplabV3+ performs well with an overall accuracy of 92%, higher than the maximum likelihood classification; (2) the distribution of blue steel roofs was not even across the whole study area, but they were evenly distributed within the town scale; and (3) strong positive correlation was observed between blue steel roofs area and industrial gross output. These results not only can be used to detect the inefficient industrial areas for regional planning but also provide fundamental data for studies of urban environmental issues.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 32
    Publication Date: 2020-08-18
    Description: Nursing burnout is associated with reduced nursing performance outcomes. Positive psychological capital is known to play an important role in improving workers’ job performance. However, the association among the three variables has rarely been addressed. The purpose of this cross-sectional descriptive study was to explore the association between burnout and nursing performance outcomes among Korean nurses working at a tertiary hospital and the mediating role of psychological capital in this relationship. Recruited through convenience sampling, a total of 285 nurses provided data on their demographic characteristics and completed a structured questionnaire consisting of items from the Professional Quality of Life Scale (burnout), Nursing Performance Scale, and Psychology Capital Questionnaire. Descriptive statistics, student’s t-tests, one-way analysis of variance, Pearson’s correlation coefficients, and multiple linear regression analyses were used to analyze data. The significance of the mediation effect was obtained using a bootstrap approach with the PROCESS macro. The mean age of participants was 30.51 years, and most participants were females (94.0%) and unmarried (71.6%); more than half (57.5%) experienced a severe workload. The average (±standard deviation) scores of burnout, nursing performance outcomes, and positive psychological capital were 28.77 ± 4.93, 2.98 ± 0.32, and 3.19 ± 0.45, respectively. Burnout was associated with nursing performance among clinical nurses (β = −0.20, p 〈 0.001). Positive psychological capital mediated the association between burnout and nursing performance outcomes (β = 0.41, p 〈 0.001). These findings contribute to the understanding that burnout among nurses could be reduced by increased positive psychological capital, which results in improved performance outcomes. The findings also indicate that interventions to improve positive psychological capital should be developed and implemented for nurses’ burnout management and improvement in nursing performance outcomes.
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  • 33
    Publication Date: 2020-08-18
    Description: Porcine β-defensin 2 (PBD-2), expressed by different tissues of pigs, is a multifunctional cationic peptide with antimicrobial, immunomodulatory and growth-promoting abilities. As the latest generation of genome-editing tool, CRISPR/Cas9 system makes it possible to enhance the expression of PBD-2 in pigs by site-specific knock-in of pbd-2 gene into the pig genome. In this study, we aimed to generate marker-free pbd-2 knock-in pigs using the CRISPR/Cas9 and Cre/loxP systems. Two copies of pbd-2 gene linked by a T2A sequence were inserted into the porcine Rosa26 locus through CRISPR/Cas9-mediated homology-directed repair. The floxed selectable marker gene neoR, used for G418 screening of positive cell clones, was removed by cell-penetrating Cre recombinase with a recombination efficiency of 48.3%. Cloned piglets were produced via somatic cell nuclear transfer and correct insertion of pbd-2 genes was confirmed by PCR and Southern blot. Immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence analyses indicated that expression levels of PBD-2 in different tissues of transgenic (TG) piglets were significantly higher than those of their wild-type (WT) littermates. Bactericidal assays demonstrated that there was a significant increase in the antimicrobial properties of the cell culture supernatants of porcine ear fibroblasts from the TG pigs in comparison to those from the WT pigs. Altogether, our study improved the protein expression level of PBD-2 in pigs by site-specific integration of pbd-2 into the pig genome, which not only provided an effective pig model to study the anti-infection mechanisms of PBD-2 but also a promising genetic material for the breeding of disease-resistant pigs.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4425
    Topics: Biology
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  • 34
    Publication Date: 2020-08-18
    Description: Background: Immunotherapy has drastically changed the outlook for melanoma patients over the past decade. Specifically, the dual blockade of immune checkpoints using ipilimumab and nivolumab has shown unprecedented response rates and survival outcomes. This immense achievement, though, is at the cost of toxicity, with 60% of the patients experiencing high-grade adverse events (AEs). Our study aims to report the efficacy and toxicity outcomes of an out-of-trial, real-life population. Methods: Data on metastatic melanoma patients treated with ipilimumab and nivolumab were retrieved from our melanoma database—a single-center prospectively updated, medical-records based oncologic registry. Data included demographics, clinical and pathological information, as well as tumor responses and survival. Associations between patient or treatment characteristics and outcomes were also evaluated. Results: We identified 172 metastatic melanoma patients, of whom 64% were treatment-naïve. The median follow-up was 12 months. The response rates for treatment-naïve and previously-treated patients were 61% and 25%, respectively; median progression-free survival (PFS) were 12.2 and 2.6 months, and median overall survival (OS) were not-reached (NR) and 6.1 months, respectively. The estimated three-year OS for treatment-naïve patients was 58% (95% CI 42–65). At data cutoff, 22% were still on-treatment. Grade 3–4 adverse events (AEs) were reported in 60% of the patients, almost all of whom were exposed to steroid treatments (59%); AEs were fatal in 4 patients, and led to permanent treatment discontinuation in 31%. Factors significantly associated with outcome were cutaneous histology, low lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), low number of metastatic sites, performance status, first line of treatment and number of combinations administered during the induction phase. Conclusions: Despite the profoundly different baseline patient characteristics, the combination of ipilimumab and nivolumab is as effective in the real-world population as it was in clinical trials, including long-term outcomes. In addition to confirming the significance of baseline prognostic factors, our study reveals that the number of combinations effectively administered may also be correlated with good outcome.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-6694
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 35
    Publication Date: 2020-08-18
    Description: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) shows a wide spectrum of clinical presentations, severity, and fatality rates. The reason older patients and males show increased risk of severe disease and death remains uncertain. Sex hormones, such as estradiol, progesterone, and testosterone, might be implicated in the age-dependent and sex-specific severity of COVID-19. High testosterone levels could upregulate transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2), facilitating the entry of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) into host cells via angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Data from patients with prostate cancer treated with androgen-deprivation therapy seem to confirm this hypothesis. Clinical studies on TMPRSS2 inhibitors, such as camostat, nafamostat, and bromhexine, are ongoing. Antiandrogens, such as bicalutamide and enzalutamide, are also under investigation. Conversely, other studies suggest that the immune modulating properties of androgens could protect from the unfavorable cytokine storm, and that low testosterone levels might be associated with a worse prognosis in patients with COVID-19. Some evidence also supports the notion that estrogens and progesterone might exert a protective effect on females, through direct antiviral activity or immune-mediated mechanisms, thus explaining the higher COVID-19 severity in post-menopausal women. In this perspective, we discuss the available evidence on sex hormones and hormone therapy in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2, and we highlight the possible implications for cancer patients, who can receive hormonal therapies during their treatment plans.
    Electronic ISSN: 2072-6694
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 36
    Publication Date: 2020-08-18
    Description: Epileptic seizure is a sudden alteration of behavior owing to a temporary change in the electrical functioning of the brain. There is an urgent demand for an automatic epilepsy detection system using electroencephalography (EEG) for clinical application. In this paper, the EEG signal is divided into short time frames. Discrete wavelet transform is used to decompose each frame into a number of subbands. Different entropies as well as a group of features with which to characterize the spike events are extracted from each subband signal of an EEG frame. The features extracted from individual subbands are concatenated, yielding a high-dimensional feature vector. A discriminative subset of features is selected from the feature vector using a graph eigen decomposition (GED)-based approach. Thus, the reduced number of features obtained is effective for differentiating the underlying characteristics of EEG signals that indicate seizure events and those that indicate nonseizure events. The GED method ranks the features according to their contribution to correct classification. The selected features are used to classify seizure and nonseizure EEG signals using a feedforward neural network (FfNN). The performance of the proposed method is evaluated by conducting various experiments with a standard dataset obtained from the University of Bonn. The experimental results show that the proposed seizure-detection scheme achieves a classification accuracy of 99.55%, which is higher than that of state-of-the-art methods. The efficiency of FfNN is compared with linear discriminant analysis and support vector machine classifiers, which have classification accuracies of 98.72% and 99.39%, respectively. Hence, the proposed method is confirmed as a potential marker for EEG-based seizure detection.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 37
    Publication Date: 2020-08-18
    Description: Proper and accurate mix proportion is deemed to be crucial for the concrete in service to implement its structural functions in a specific environment and structure. Neither existing testing methods nor previous studies have, to date, addressed the problem of real-time and full-scale monitoring of fresh concrete mix proportion during manufacturing. Green manufacturing and safety construction are hindered by such defects. In this study, a state-of-the-art method based on improved convolutional neural network multilabel image classification is presented for mix proportion monitoring. Elaborately planned, uniformly distributed, widely covered and high-quality images of concrete mixtures were collected as dataset during experiments. Four convolutional neural networks were improved or fine-tuned based on two solutions for multilabel image classification problems, since original networks are tailored for single-label multiclassification tasks, but mix proportions are determined by multiple parameters. Various metrices for effectiveness evaluation of training and testing all indicated that four improved network models showed outstanding learning and generalization ability during training and testing. The best-performing one was embedded into executable application and equipped with hardware facilities to establish fresh concrete mix proportion monitoring system. Such system was deployed to terminals and united with mechanical and weighing sensors to establish integrated intelligent sensing system. Fresh concrete mix proportion real-time and full-scale monitoring and inaccurate mix proportion sensing and warning could be achieved simply by taking pictures and feeding pictures into such sensing system instead of conducting experiments in laboratory after specimen retention.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
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  • 38
    Publication Date: 2020-08-15
    Description: Health communication offers an important means for patients to make informed decisions for illness self-management. We assessed how the level of engagement with selected health information at baseline is associated with the adoption and maintenance of lifestyle behaviours at a 5-year follow-up in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Non-engagers were compared to engagers of information delivered online and print (medium), and with engagers who additionally attended a live-in workshop (high). Engagement was assessed against lifestyle behaviours by log-binomial regression. Information engagers had higher education, and were less likely to have severe disability, clinically significant fatigue, or obesity. Medium and high baseline engagement was associated with adopting healthy behaviours for omega 3 supplementation (RR = 1.70; 95%CI: 1.02–2.84), physical activity (RR = 2.16; 95%CI: 1.03–4.55), and dairy non-consumption (RR = 3.98; 95%CI: 1.85–8.56) at 5 years; associations were stronger among high engagers. Only high baseline engagement was associated with maintaining behaviours from baseline to 5 years, specifically for omega-3 (RR = 1.26; 95%CI: 1.06–1.49) and vitamin D supplementation (RR = 1.26; 95%CI: 1.04–1.54) and dairy non-consumption (RR = 1.47; 95%CI: 1.03–2.10). Health communication that includes face-to-face information delivery and practical tools for implementation in daily living may be optimal for adopting and maintaining lifestyle behaviours in people with MS.
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  • 39
    Publication Date: 2020-08-15
    Description: Weld detection is vital to the quality of ship construction and navigation safety, and numerous detection robots have been developed and widely applied. Focusing on the current bottleneck of robot safety, efficiency, and intelligent detection, this paper developed a wall-climbing robot that integrates multiple sensors and uses fluorescent magnetic powder for nondestructive testing. We designed a moving mechanism that can safely move on a curved surface and a serial-parallel hybrid flexible detection mechanism that incorporates a force sensor to solve the robot’s safe adsorption and a flexible detection of the curved surface to complete the flaw detection operation. We optimized the system structure and improved the overall performance of the robot by establishing a unified mechanical model for different operating conditions. Based on the collected sensor information, a multi-degree of freedom component collaborative flexible detection method with a standard detecting process was developed to complete efficient, high-quality detection. Results showed that the developed wall-climbing robot can move safely and steadily on the complex facade and can complete the flaw detection of wall welds.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 40
    Publication Date: 2020-08-14
    Description: We have a limited understanding of the socioenvironmental factors associated with participation in physical activity among school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), particularly regarding how the school environment may influence their participation. Using the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) as a framework, this study examined the effect of body functions and structure, activity, and personal factors on in-school physical activity; and whether in-school physical activity, considered a socioenvironmental factor, is associated with out-of-school physical activity (i.e., participation) among elementary school-aged children (6–13 years of age) with ASD. Parents of 202 children with ASD (78.2% boys; Mage = 9.4 years) completed an online survey, as part of a larger study, to assess their child’s functioning and physical activity in- and out-of-school. Results indicated that the majority of children (85.1%) did not meet physical activity guidelines. In-school physical activities significantly predicted out-of-school physical activities including leisure-time moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (R2 = 0.27, F(10,154) = 5.67, p 〈 0.001) and meeting the physical activity guidelines (R2 = 0.23, Χ2 (10) = 31.9, p 〈 0.001). These findings underscore the importance of supporting children with ASD to be physically active in school, which may impact physical activity levels out-of-school.
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  • 41
    Publication Date: 2020-08-16
    Description: This paper describes a virtual instrument capable of the automatic and quasi-instantaneous classification of a vehicle according to category when it is driving along the road. The vehicle’s classification is based on accurate measurements of both the vehicle’s speed and its wheelbase. Our research is focused on achieving accurate speed and wheelbase measurements and then determining the category of the vehicle through the developed software. The vehicle categorization is based on the wheelbase measurements and the number of axles and metal masses of the vehicle. The system has a complementary magnetic sensor, which helps in classifying the vehicle when the wheelbase measurement could be representative of different categories, and a camera to confirm the results of the experiment. The proposed measurement system presents a novel method for classifying vehicles according to type using piezoelectric transducers (piezo sensors). In addition, no system references have been found that encompass the functionalities of the presented system based on the information of only two piezoelectric transducers. The system has important advantages over current alternatives (systems based on inductive loops, cameras, fiber optic sensors or lasers), the installation is simple and non-invasive and with a success rate of the classification greater than 90%. The system consists of a signal acquisition point on the pavement, signal conditioning hardware and a data acquisition (DAQ) module, which links the hardware and the virtual instrument developed in LabVIEW®. Finally, the system has been tested on the road with real traffic, and the experimental results are presented and discussed in this paper.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 42
    Publication Date: 2020-08-14
    Description: Background: Demographic transition is causing an increasingly aged society, which has a significant impact on public health strategies. Increases in the size of the elderly cohort create a wider stratification and pose specific challenges. Nutrition and diet are one key issue. This study aims to describe food-related practices, beliefs, and representations of non-institutionalized older adults in rural communities in Extremadura (Western Spain). Method: The ethnographic-based fieldwork was conducted from January to July 2019. Empirical material was collected through different research relationships (semi-structured interviews and informal conversations) and direct observation in various locations in Extremadura―involving a variety of agents associated with different aspects of the nutritional process. Results: Data analysis revealed four major themes: (1) Limitations on choice and quality of food available; (2) food preferences and cooking methods; (3) the role of nostalgia in the construction of taste preferences; and (4) perceptions of what “healthy” food is and how respondents relate to the advice provided by health professionals. Conclusions: Nutritional choices among the group studied presented significant differences from medical advice―which was seen as a series of “bans” that did not carry enough authority to alter the symbolic value attached to their traditions.
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  • 43
    Publication Date: 2020-08-16
    Description: Low back pain (LBP) is a common disorder that affects the working population worldwide. LBP causes more disability than any other conditions all around the world. Most existing studies focus on the occupational physical factors in association with LBP, while few focus on individual factors, especially the lack of quantitative calculation of waist comfort in biomechanics. Based on the physical statistics of Chinese men, this research used human posture analysis (HPA) to establish the waist strength formula and analyzed the waist strength during a manual material handling. It also explored the influence of weight and height of lifting objects on the L5-S1 spinal load. On this basis, a waist comfort model was proposed in combination with the recommended weight limit (RWL) recommended by NIOSH, and the parameter selection and waist comfort value were verified by Jack simulation software. The results show that pulling force of the Erector Spinae of the waist is closely related to the weight and lifting height of the object. Parameter verification and Jack software simulation results show that the force of L5-S1 is less than 3400 N, which proves that the waist force under this posture is acceptable. The developed waist comfort model can be applied to evaluate work risk, to adjust working intensity and powered exoskeleton design, aiming to decrease the prevalence of LBP.
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  • 44
    Publication Date: 2020-08-15
    Description: Self-report questionnaires are a valuable method of physical activity measurement in public health research; however, accuracy is often lacking. Resolving the differences between self-reported and objectively measured physical activity is an important surveillance challenge currently facing population health experts. The present work aims at providing the relationship between activity energy expenditure estimated from wrist-worn accelerometers and intensity of self-reported physical activity (InCHIANTI structured interview questionnaire) in a sub-cohort of a population-based study on aging in Southern Italy. Linear regression was used to test the association between measured and reported physical activity. We found that activity energy expenditure predicted clinical average levels of PA assessed through InCHIANTI classification.
    Electronic ISSN: 1424-8220
    Topics: Chemistry and Pharmacology , Electrical Engineering, Measurement and Control Technology
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  • 45
    Publication Date: 2020-08-16
    Description: In this review article, we conceptually investigated the requirements of magnetic nanoparticles for their application in biosensing and related them to example systems of our thin-film portfolio. Analyzing intrinsic magnetic properties of different magnetic phases, the size range of the magnetic particles was determined, which is of potential interest for biosensor technology. Different e-beam lithography strategies are utilized to identify possible ways to realize small magnetic particles targeting this size range. Three different particle systems from 500 μm to 50 nm are produced for this purpose, aiming at tunable, vertically magnetized synthetic antiferromagnets, martensitic transformation in a single elliptical, disc-shaped Heusler Ni50Mn32.5Ga17.5 particle and nanocylinders of Co2MnSi-Heusler compound. Perspectively, new applications for these particle systems in combination with microfluidics are addressed. Using the concept of a magnetic on–off ratchet, the most suitable particle system of these three materials is validated with respect to magnetically-driven transport in a microfluidic channel. In addition, options are also discussed for improving the magnetic ratchet for larger particles.
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  • 46
    Publication Date: 2020-08-16
    Description: Background: Alcohol consumption is deeply integrated in people’s social- and work lives and, thus, constitutes a serious public health challenge. Attitudes toward drinking stand out as important predictors of drinking, but have to date been sparsely studied in employee populations. This study explores the association of employees’ attitudes toward drinking with their alcohol-related problems, and whether this association is moderated by gender and employment sector. Methods: Cross-sectional data were collected from a heterogeneous sample of employees (N = 4094) at 19 Norwegian companies. Drinking attitudes were assessed using the Drinking Norms Scale. The AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) scale was then used to assess any alcohol-related problems. Data were analyzed using chi-square tests, analysis of covariance (ANCOVA), and multiple logistic regression. Results: Employees with predominantly positive drinking attitudes were almost three times as likely to report alcohol-related problems compared to employees with more negative drinking attitudes (OR = 2.75; 95% CI: 2.00–3.76). Gender moderated the association between positive drinking attitudes and alcohol-related problems (OR = 3.30; 95% CI: 2.10–5.21). The association was stronger in women (OR = 5.21; 95% CI: 3.34–8.15) than in men (OR = 3.10; 95% CI: 2.11–4.55). Employment sector did not moderate the association between drinking attitudes and alcohol-related problems. Conclusions: Employee attitudes toward alcohol should be monitored to better enable early workplace health promotion interventions targeting alcohol problems. These interventions might need to be gender-specific.
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  • 47
    Publication Date: 2020-08-15
    Description: Complex characteristics of the plateau environment such as low oxygen content seriously restrict the exploitation of abundant mineral resources in plateau areas. To regulate the hypoxia environment and improve the comfort of workers engaged in intense physical labor like tunnel excavation operations in plateau mines, an individual oxygen-supply device for tunnel of plateau mine was proposed to create local oxygen enrichment in the area around the human nose. The Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) method was used to judge the application’s effect of the individual oxygen-supply device in plateau mine, revealing the oxygen diffusion law under the influence of different oxygen enrichment factors. The orthogonal design and range analysis were used to measure the degree of influence of major factors such as oxygen-supply velocity, oxygen-supply concentration, and tunnel airflow velocity. The results demonstrate that the oxygen mass fraction of the air inhaled by the human had a positive correlation exponential function, a positive correlation linear function, and a negative correlation exponential function, respectively, concerning oxygen-supply velocity, oxygen-supply concentration, and tunnel airflow velocity. The range analysis revealed that the major influencing factors of oxygen enrichment in the tunnel of the plateau mine were, in a descending sequence, as follows: oxygen-supply concentration, tunnel airflow velocity, and oxygen-supply velocity, and the corresponding ranges were 2.86, 2.63, and 1.83, respectively. The individual oxygen-supply device achieved the best oxygen enrichment effect when the oxygen-supply velocity was 5 m/s, the oxygen-supply concentration was 60%, and the tunnel airflow velocity was 0.2 m/s, which increased the oxygen mass fraction of air inhaled by the human to 30.42%. This study has a positive guiding significance for the improvement of the respiration environment in the tunnel of plateau mine.
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  • 48
    Publication Date: 2020-08-16
    Description: The container-based cloud is used in various service infrastructures as it is lighter and more portable than a virtual machine (VM)-based infrastructure and is configurable in both bare-metal and VM environments. The Internet-of-Things (IoT) cloud-computing infrastructure is also evolving from a VM-based to a container-based infrastructure. In IoT clouds, the service availability of the cloud infrastructure is more important for mission-critical IoT services, such as real-time health monitoring, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication, and industrial IoT, than for general computing services. However, in the container environment that runs on a VM, the current fault detection method only considers the container’s infra, thus limiting the level of availability necessary for the performance of mission-critical IoT cloud services. Therefore, in a container environment running on a VM, fault detection and recovery methods that consider both the VM and container levels are necessary. In this study, we analyze the fault-detection architecture in a container environment and designed and implemented a Fast Fault Detection Manager (FFDM) architecture using OpenStack and Kubernetes for realizing fast fault detection. Through performance measurements, we verified that the FFDM can improve the fault detection time by more than three times over the existing method.
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  • 49
    Publication Date: 2020-08-15
    Description: This study proposes a minimal modeling magnetic, angular rate and gravity (MARG) methodology for assessing spatiotemporal and kinematic measures of functional fitness exercises. Thirteen healthy persons performed repetitions of the squat, box squat, sandbag pickup, shuffle-walk, and bear crawl. Sagittal plane hip, knee, and ankle range of motion (ROM) and stride length, stride time, and stance time measures were compared for the MARG method and an optical motion capture (OMC) system. The root mean square error (RMSE), mean absolute percentage error (MAPE), and Bland–Altman plots and limits of agreement were used to assess agreement between methods. Hip and knee ROM showed good to excellent agreement with the OMC system during the squat, box squat, and sandbag pickup (RMSE: 4.4–9.8°), while ankle ROM agreement ranged from good to unacceptable (RMSE: 2.7–7.2°). Unacceptable hip and knee ROM agreement was observed for the shuffle-walk and bear crawl (RMSE: 3.3–8.6°). The stride length, stride time, and stance time showed good to excellent agreement between methods (MAPE: (3.2 ± 2.8)%–(8.2 ± 7.9)%). Although the proposed MARG-based method is a valid means of assessing spatiotemporal and kinematic measures during various exercises, further development is required to assess the joint kinematics of small ROM, high velocity movements.
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  • 50
    Publication Date: 2020-08-14
    Description: This paper presents trends and characteristics for 32,094 suicidal presentations to two Emergency Departments (EDs) in a large health service in Australia across a 10-year period (2009–2018). Prevalence of annual suicidal presentations and for selected groups of consumers (by sex, age groups, and ethnicity) was determined from a machine learning diagnostic algorithm developed for this purpose and a Bayesian estimation approach. A linear increase in the number of suicidal presentations over 10 years was observed, which was 2.8-times higher than the increase noted in all ED presentations and 6.1-times higher than the increase in the population size. Females had higher presentation rates than males, particularly among younger age groups. The highest rates of presentations were by persons aged 15–24. Overseas-born persons had around half the rates of suicidal presentations than Australian-born persons, and Indigenous persons had 2.9-times higher rates than non-Indigenous persons. Of all presenters, 70.6% presented once, but 5.7% had five or more presentations. Seasonal distribution of presentations showed a peak at the end of spring and a decline in winter months. These findings can inform the allocation of health resources and guide the development of suicide prevention strategies for people presenting to hospitals in suicidal crisis.
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  • 51
    Publication Date: 2020-08-14
    Description: The increasingly wide usage of smart infrastructure and location-aware terminals has helped increase the availability of trajectory data with rich spatiotemporal information. The development of data mining and analysis methods has allowed researchers to use these trajectory datasets to identify urban reality (e.g., citizens’ collective behavior) in order to solve urban problems in transportation, environment, public security, etc. However, existing studies in this field have been relatively isolated, and an integrated and comprehensive review is lacking the problems that have been tackled, methods that have been tested, and services that have been generated from existing research. In this paper, we first discuss the relationships among the prevailing trajectory mining methods and then, classify the applications of trajectory data into three major groups: social dynamics, traffic dynamics, and operational dynamics. Finally, we briefly discuss the services that can be developed from studies in this field. Practical implications are also delivered for participants in trajectory data mining. With a focus on relevance and association, our review is aimed at inspiring researchers to identify gaps among tested methods and guiding data analysts and planners to select the most suitable methods for specific problems.
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  • 52
    Publication Date: 2020-08-15
    Description: The COVID-19 health crisis has had a global effect, but the consequences in the different countries affected have been very different. In Spain, in a short period of time, health professionals went from a situation of stability to living with a working environment characterized by overcrowded hospitals, lack of individual protection equipment, non-existent or contradictory work protocols, as well as an unknown increase in mortality. Although in their professional activity health workers are closely linked to death processes, in recent months, working conditions and health emergencies have drawn an unheard of working scenario, with the stress and anxiety they may suffer when faced with the death of their patients. The present quantitative research was carried out in different hospitals in Spain on health professionals during the month of April 2020. Through the subscale of anxiety in the face of the death of others, developed by Collett–Lester, it has been verified that health professionals have had to develop their work in a context of precariousness, putting at risk both their individual and collective health, notably increasing anxiety in the face of the death of their patients. The predictive variables of this anxiety have been the absence of individual protection equipment, as well as high levels in the burnout subscales of emotional exhaustion and depersonalization.
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  • 53
    Publication Date: 2020-08-15
    Description: Background: We tested whether the tendency to worry could affect psychological responses to quarantine by capitalizing on the opportunity of having collected data before the COVID-19 outbreak on measures of worry, anxiety, and trait mindfulness in a group of university students. Methods: Twenty-five participants completed self-report measures assessing worry (Penn State Worry Questionnaire, PSWQ), anxiety (Anxiety Sensitivity Index, ASI-3), and trait mindfulness (Mindful Attention Awareness Scale, MAAS) at T0 (pre-lockdown, 4 November 2019–17 February 2020) and T1 (at the end of lockdown, 26 April–30 April 2020). We compared assessments at the two time points in the whole sample and in high and low worriers (defined at T0 by scores on PSWQ respectively above and below 1.5 SD from mean of the Italian normative sample). Outcomes: High worriers showed at T1 a significant increase of anxiety sensitivity and fear of mental health in comparison to low worriers. Moreover, in the whole sample, at T1 trait mindfulness was inversely related to worry and fear of mental health. Interpretation: A valuable approach to support individuals experiencing anxiety related to the COVID-19 outbreak could be represented by mindfulness-based interventions improving the ability to focus attention and awareness on the present moment.
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  • 54
    Publication Date: 2020-08-16
    Description: When the inverse finite element method (inverse FEM) is used to reconstruct the deformation field of a multi-element structure with strain measurements, strain measurement errors can lower the reconstruction accuracy of the deformation field. Furthermore, the calibration ability of a self-structuring fuzzy network (SSFN) is weak when few strain samples are used to train the SSFN. To solve this problem, a novel two-step calibration method for improving the reconstruction accuracy of the inverse FEM method is proposed in this paper. Initially, the errors derived from measured displacements and reconstructed displacements are distributed to the degrees of freedom (DOFs) of nodes. Then, the DOFs of nodes are used as knots, in order to produce non-uniform rational B-spline (NURBS) curves, such that the sample size employed to train the SSFN can be enriched. Next, the SSFN model is used to determine the relationship between the measured strain and the DOFs of the end nodes. A loading deformation experiment using a three-element structure demonstrates that the proposed algorithm can significantly improve the accuracy of reconstruction displacement.
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  • 55
    Publication Date: 2020-08-16
    Description: A highly effective way to improve prognosis of viral infectious diseases and to determine the outcome of infection is early, fast, simple, and efficient diagnosis of viral pathogens in biological fluids. Among a wide range of viral pathogens, Flaviviruses attract a special attention. Flavivirus genus includes more than 70 viruses, the most familiar being dengue virus (DENV), Zika virus (ZIKV), and Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV). Haemorrhagic and encephalitis diseases are the most common severe consequences of flaviviral infection. Currently, increasing attention is being paid to the development of electrochemical immunological methods for the determination of Flaviviruses. This review critically compares and evaluates recent research progress in electrochemical biosensing of DENV, ZIKV, and JEV without labelling. Specific attention is paid to comparison of detection strategies, electrode materials, and analytical characteristics. The potential of so far developed biosensors is discussed together with an outlook for further development in this field.
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  • 56
    Publication Date: 2020-08-16
    Description: Mental illness remains as one of the most stigmatizing conditions in contemporary western societies. This study sheds light on how mental health professionals and rehabilitants perceive stigmatization. The qualitative study is based on stimulated focus group interviews conducted in five Finnish mental health rehabilitation centers that follow the Clubhouse model. The findings were analyzed through inductive content analysis. Both the mental health rehabilitants and the professionals perceived stigmatization as a phenomenon that concerns the majority of rehabilitants. However, whereas the professionals viewed stigma as something that is inflicted upon the mentally ill from the outside, the rehabilitants perceived stigma as something that the mentally ill themselves can influence by advancing their own confidence, shame management, and recovery. Improvements in treatment, along with media coverage, were seen as the factors that reduce stigmatization, but the same conceptualization did not hold for serious mental illnesses. As the average Clubhouse client was thought to be a person with serious mental illness, the rehabilitation context designed to normalize attitudes toward mental health problems was paradoxically perceived to enforce the concept of inevitable stigma. Therefore, it is important for professionals in rehabilitation communities to be reflexively aware of these tensions when supporting the rehabilitants.
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  • 57
    Publication Date: 2020-08-14
    Description: Safety signs play a very important role in people’s evacuation during emergencies. In order to explore the appropriate color for subway safety signs, four safety signs of different color combinations are designed, and the virtual reality, eye-tracking technology, and physiological indicator measurement are used in a virtual subway fire escape experiment. A total of 96 participants with equal distribution in gender and four different color combination groups were recruited. Participants’ eye-tracking and physiological data (heart rate, skin conductance) were real-time recorded through ErgoLAB V3.0 in the whole experiment. The relationship between Color_of_safety_sign and escape performance, eye-tracking indicators, and physiological indicators is discussed respectively through SPSS. The results show that “Green and black” group has the best evacuation escape performance, low cognitive load, high search efficiency on safety signs, and the highest stress level and immersion and “Green and black” can be the most appropriate color for safety sign. This research is of certain significance for improving the function of subway fire-fighting infrastructure and the resilience of the metro system. Moreover, it can provide references and advice on risk management, emergency evacuation, and so on.
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  • 58
    Publication Date: 2020-08-15
    Description: In Northern European countries 13–28% of female patients seeking gynecological health care have reported abuse by health care staff (AHC). We conducted workshops with health care staff using the improvised role-play method Forum Play (FP), based on techniques developed by Boal. The study explores to what extent the intervention increased the staff’s awareness of AHC and their ability to take action against it. A total of 16 half-day FP workshops were conducted with staff from a Swedish women’s clinic over one year. Self-reported questionnaires were distributed to all staff before, during, and after the intervention. Primary outcome measures were the number of reported occasions of AHC and FP participants’ ability to act in AHC-situations. We found an increase in the participants’ self-reported ability to act in AHC-related situations. However, no change could be observed in the number of reported occasions of AHC between baseline and one year after the intervention. Health care staff’s participation in workshops using improvised role-play can increase staff’s perceived ability to take action in AHC situations. The voluntary nature of the intervention may have attracted those who were already aware of the topic, and likely explains the unchanged awareness of AHC.
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  • 59
    Publication Date: 2020-08-15
    Description: For the monitoring of bone regeneration processes, the instrumentation of the fixation is an increasingly common technique to indirectly measure the evolution of bone formation instead of ex vivo measurements or traditional in vivo techniques, such as X-ray or visual review. A versatile instrumented external fixator capable of adapting to multiple bone regeneration processes was designed, as well as a wireless acquisition system for the data collection. The design and implementation of the overall architecture of such a system is described in this work, including the hardware, firmware, and mechanical components. The measurements are conditioned and subsequently sent to a PC via wireless communication to be in vivo displayed and analyzed using a developed real-time monitoring application. Moreover, a model for the in vivo estimation of the bone callus stiffness from collected data was defined. This model was validated in vitro using elastic springs, reporting promising results with respect to previous equipment, with average errors and uncertainties below 6.7% and 14.04%. The devices were also validated in vivo performing a bone lengthening treatment on a sheep metatarsus. The resulting system allowed the in vivo mechanical characterization of the bone callus during experimentation, providing a low-cost, simple, and highly reliable solution.
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  • 60
    Publication Date: 2020-08-15
    Description: This work compares Single Shot MultiBox Detector (SSD) and You Only Look Once (YOLO) deep neural networks for the outdoor advertisement panel detection problem by handling multiple and combined variabilities in the scenes. Publicity panel detection in images offers important advantages both in the real world as well as in the virtual one. For example, applications like Google Street View can be used for Internet publicity and when detecting these ads panels in images, it could be possible to replace the publicity appearing inside the panels by another from a funding company. In our experiments, both SSD and YOLO detectors have produced acceptable results under variable sizes of panels, illumination conditions, viewing perspectives, partial occlusion of panels, complex background and multiple panels in scenes. Due to the difficulty of finding annotated images for the considered problem, we created our own dataset for conducting the experiments. The major strength of the SSD model was the almost elimination of False Positive (FP) cases, situation that is preferable when the publicity contained inside the panel is analyzed after detecting them. On the other side, YOLO produced better panel localization results detecting a higher number of True Positive (TP) panels with a higher accuracy. Finally, a comparison of the two analyzed object detection models with different types of semantic segmentation networks and using the same evaluation metrics is also included.
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  • 61
    Publication Date: 2020-08-16
    Description: Pipe elbow joints exist in almost every piping system supporting many important applications such as clean water supply. However, spatial information of the elbow joints is rarely extracted and analyzed from observations such as point cloud data obtained from laser scanning due to lack of a complete geometric model that can be applied to different types of joints. In this paper, we proposed a novel geometric model and several model adaptions for typical elbow joints including the 90° and 45° types, which facilitates the use of 3D point clouds of the elbow joints collected from laser scanning. The model comprises translational, rotational, and dimensional parameters, which can be used not only for monitoring the joints’ geometry but also other applications such as point cloud registrations. Both simulated and real datasets were used to verify the model, and two applications derived from the proposed model (point cloud registration and mounting bracket detection) were shown. The results of the geometric fitting of the simulated datasets suggest that the model can accurately recover the geometry of the joint with very low translational (0.3 mm) and rotational (0.064°) errors when ±0.02 m random errors were introduced to coordinates of a simulated 90° joint (with diameter equal to 0.2 m). The fitting of the real datasets suggests that the accuracy of the diameter estimate reaches 97.2%. The joint-based registration accuracy reaches sub-decimeter and sub-degree levels for the translational and rotational parameters, respectively.
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  • 62
    Publication Date: 2020-08-14
    Description: The aim of this paper was to identify the characteristics of broader categories of eating disorders (ED) and help- and care-seeking among college students. An online cross-sectional study was conducted among students of the University of Rouen-Normandy, France. The Expali-validated algorithmic tool, combining SCOFF test (Sick, Control, One stone, Fat, Food) and body mass index, was used to screen eating disorders into three diagnostic categories: restrictive eating disorders, bulimic eating disorders, and hyperphagic eating disorders. A total of 1493 college students were included; mean age was 20.1 years (SD = 1.9). The prevalence of likely cases of eating disorder was 24.8% (95% CI, 22.6–27.0). Percentage distributions of bulimic eating disorders, hyperphagic eating disorders, and restrictive eating disorders were 13.3%, 8.6%, and 2.9%, respectively. The two main resources for help-seeking in emotional stress situations were friends and family, whatever the ED. Students with eating disorders consulted their general practitioner more often for stress or anxiety than students without eating disorders: hyperphagic eating disorders (44.9%), restrictive eating disorders (35.1%), bulimic eating disorders (30.2%), and no eating disorder (20.4%) (p 〈 0.0001). The prevalence of healthcare renunciation was 21.9%, with a higher risk among students with bulimic eating disorders (AOR CI 95% 1.91 (1.34–2.72). The findings show one quarter of students screened positive for an eating disorder. Stress management was not necessarily different between students with eating disorders and students without eating disorders, but the former had a greater risk of renouncing treatment, especially related to a fear of seeing a general practitioner.
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  • 63
    Publication Date: 2020-08-16
    Description: Physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyle have been linked to the occurrence of non-communicable diseases. This study’s purpose was to determine physical activity levels and sedentary behaviours among primary healthcare workers in Perak, Malaysia, as well as associated factors. A cross-sectional study was conducted at 12 health clinics in Perak, Malaysia, to determine physical activity levels, sedentary behaviours and factors associated with physical inactivity among primary healthcare workers. Each respondent completed a self-administered questionnaire relating to socio-demographic characteristics, including anthropometric measurements such as body mass index, waist circumference and body fat percentage, and the English and Malay version of the Global Physical Activity Questionnaire. A total of 261 primary healthcare workers participated in this study; 45.6% were classified as physically inactive, spending a median of five hours daily engaged in sedentary behaviours. In terms of metabolic equivalent min per week, male workers had significantly higher physical activity than females. Self-reported health status and longer sitting times were significantly associated with physical inactivity. Logistic regression showed that poor health status was 1.84 times less likely to be associated with physical activity (p = 0.036, Confidence Interval = 1.04–3.24). Due to the high prevalence of physical inactivity, action is needed to increase physical activity among healthcare workers.
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  • 64
    Publication Date: 2020-08-15
    Description: Wavelet transformation, with its markedly high time resolution, is an optimal technique for the analysis of non-stationary waveform signals, such as physiological signals. Therefore, wavelet transformation is widely applied to electrocardiographic (ECG) signal processing. However, an appropriate application method for automated QT-interval measurement has yet to be established. In this study, we developed an ECG recognition technique using wavelet transformation and assessed its efficacy and functionality. The results revealed that the difference between the values obtained using our algorithm and the visually measured QT interval was as low as 4.8 ms. Our technique achieves precise automated QT-interval measurement, as well as Te recognition, that is difficult to accomplish even by visual examination under the electromyography noise environment.
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  • 65
    Publication Date: 2020-08-16
    Description: Background: Virtual reality (VR) applied to patients with neck pain is a promising intervention to produce positive effects when used alone or combined with exercise. Therefore, the objective of this manuscript is to compare the effects of VR versus exercise treatment on pain intensity, conditioned pain modulation (CPM), temporal summation (TS) and functional and somatosensory outcomes in patients with non-specific chronic neck pain (NS-CNP). Methods: A single-blinded, randomized clinical trial was carried out. A total sample of 44 patients with NS-CNP was randomized into a VR treatment group or neck exercises group. The intervention consisted of two treatment sessions per week, for four weeks and eight sessions. Four measurement moments (at baseline, immediately, 1 month, and 3 months after intervention) were considered. Pain intensity, CPM, TS, functional and somatosensory outcomes were measured. Results: Statistically significant differences were revealed for time factor (F = 16.40, p 〈 0.01, ηp2 = 0.28) and group*time interaction for kinesiophobia (F = 3.89, p = 0.01, ηp2 = 0.08) showing post-hoc differences in favor of the VR group at 3 months (p 〈 0.05, d = 0.65). Significant effects were shown for time factor (p 〈 0.05) but not for the group*time interaction (p 〉 0.05) for pain intensity, rotation range of motion (ROM), Neck Disability Index, pain catastrophizing, fear-avoidance beliefs, left side pressure pain threshold (PPT) and anxiety. Statistically significant differences were not found for time factor (p 〉 0.05) and neither in group*time interaction (p 〉 0.05) for CPM, TS, right side PPT, flexo-extension and lateral-flexion ROM. Conclusions: Kinesiophobia was the only outcome that showed differences between VR and exercise at 3 months. Nevertheless, pain intensity, CPM, TS, ROM, neck disability, pain catastrophizing, fear-avoidance beliefs, PPT and anxiety did not show differences between both interventions.
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  • 66
    Publication Date: 2020-08-17
    Description: Underwater object identification by optical sensors is usually difficult in turbid or dark environments. The objective of this paper was to identify different underwater materials using active electrolocation technology. We proposed a bionic sensor inspired by the weakly electric fish. The material identification was completed by analyzing electric signal images, since the electric signal changes when different materials are identified. Firstly, the effective lift-off distance for identification was researched. The materials used in this paper can be effectively identified by the sensor at a lift-off distance of 10 mm. Furthermore, the performance of the sensor for identifying and locating was studied in the presence of multiple materials. The results indicated that the sensor can effectively identify and locate the objects when the distance between objects is greater than 30 mm, while the location error is less than 5% in most cases. Our research proves that the bionic sensor we made can effectively recognize different materials underwater in short-range, which is about 10 mm. Therefore, we expect that the bionic sensor we made can be utilized as a useful tool for underwater object identification.
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  • 67
    Publication Date: 2020-08-17
    Description: Human identity recognition has a wide range of application scenarios and a large number of application requirements. In recent years, the technology of collecting human biometrics through sensors for identification has become mature, but this kind of method needs additional equipment as assistance, which cannot be well applied to some scenarios. Using Wi-Fi for identity recognition has many advantages, such as no additional equipment as assistance, not affected by temperature, humidity, weather, light, and so on, so it has become a hot topic of research. The methods of individual identity recognition have been more mature; for example, gait information can be extracted as features. However, it is difficult to identify small-scale (2–5) group personnel at one time, and the tasks of fingerprint storage and classification are complex. In order to solve this problem, this paper proposed a method of using the random forest as a fingerprint database classifier. The method is divided into two stages: the offline stage trains the random forest classifier through the collected training data set. In the online phase, the real-time data collected are input into the classifier to get the results. When extracting channel state information (CSI) features, multiple people are regarded as a whole to reduce the difficulty of feature selection. The use of random forest classifier in classification can give full play to the advantages of random forest, which can deal with a large number of multi-dimensional data and is easy to generalize. Experiments showed that WiGId has good recognition performance in both LOS (line of sight) and N LOS (None line of sight) environments.
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  • 68
    Publication Date: 2020-08-16
    Description: Background: Polypharmacy (PP) and potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs) cause problematic drug-related issues in elderly patients; however, little is known about the association between medication adherence and PP and PIMs. This study evaluated the association of self-reported medication adherence with PP and PIMs in elderly patients. Methods: A cross-sectional pilot study was conducted using data collected from electronic medical records of 142 self-administering patients aged ≥65 years, excluding emergency hospitalization cases. Self-reported medication adherence was assessed using the visual analogue scale (VAS). Results: Of the 142 patients, 91 (64.1%) had PP and 80 (56.3%) used at least one PIM. In univariate analysis, patients with a VAS score of 100% had a significantly higher number of female patients and ≥1 PIM use compared to other patients. We found no association between the VAS score and PP. In multivariable analysis, the use of PIMs was significantly associated with a VAS score of 100% (odds ratio = 2.32; 95% confidence interval = 1.16–4.72; p = 0.017). Conclusions: Use of PIMs by elderly patients is significantly associated with self-reported medication adherence. Pharmacists should pay more attention to prescribed medications of self-administering elderly patients in order to improve their prescribing quality.
    Print ISSN: 1661-7827
    Electronic ISSN: 1660-4601
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering , Medicine
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  • 69
    Publication Date: 2020-08-16
    Description: Undaria pinnatifida is an annual brown kelp growing naturally in coastal areas as a major primary producer in temperate regions and is cultivated on an industrial scale. Kelps have a heteromorphic life cycle characterized by a macroscopic sporophyte and microscopic sexual gametophytes. The sex-dependent effects of different environmental factors on the growth and maturation characteristics of the gametophyte stage were investigated using response surface methodology. Gametophytes were taken from three sites in Japan: Iwate Prefecture, Tokushima Prefecture, and Kagoshima Prefecture in order to confirm the sexual differences in three independent lines. Optimum temperature and light intensity were higher for males (20.7–20.9 °C and 28.6–33.7 µmol m−2 s−1, respectively) than females (16.5–19.8 °C and 26.9–32.5 µmol m−2 s−1), and maturity progressed more quickly in males than females. Optimum wavelengths of light for growth and maturation of the gametophytes were observed for both blue (400–500 nm, λmax 453 nm) and green (500–600 nm; λmax 525 nm) lights and were sex-independent. These characteristics were consistent among the three regional lines. Slower growth optima and progress of maturation could be important for female gametophytes to restrict fertilization and sporophyte germination to the lower water temperatures of autumn and winter, and suggest that the female gametophyte may be more sensitive to temperature than the male. The sexual differences in sensitivity to environmental factors improved the synchronicity of sporeling production.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-4425
    Topics: Biology