Abstract Form (abstract + form)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) and perinatal development

B Koletzko
This paper reports on the conclusions of a workshop on the role of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFA) in maternal and child health The attending investigators involved in the majority of randomized trials examining LC-PUFA status and functional outcomes summarize the current knowledge in the field and make recommendations for dietary practice. Only studies published in full or in abstract form were used as our working knowledge base. Conclusions: For healthy infants we recommend and strongly support breastfeeding as the preferred method of feeding, which supplies preformed LC-PUFA. Infant formulas for term infants should contain at least 0.2% of total fatty acids as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and 0.35% as arachidonic acid (AA). Since preterm infants are born with much less total body DHA and AA, we suggest that preterm infant formulas should include at least 0.35% DHA and 0.4% AA. Higher levels might confer additional benefits and should be further investigated because optimal dietary intakes for term and preterm infants remain to be defined. For pregnant and lactating women we consider it premature to recommend specific LC-PUFA intakes. However, it seems prudent for pregnant and lactating women to include some food sources of DHA in their diet in view of their assumed increase in LC-PUFA demand and the relationship between maternal and foetal DHA status. [source]

Illustrative White Matter Fiber Bundles

Ron Otten
Abstract Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) has made feasible the visualization of the fibrous structure of the brain white matter. In the last decades, several fiber-tracking methods have been developed to reconstruct the fiber tracts from DTI data. Usually these fiber tracts are shown individually based on some selection criteria like region of interest. However, if the white matter as a whole is being visualized clutter is generated by directly rendering the individual fiber tracts. Often users are actually interested in fiber bundles, anatomically meaningful entities that abstract from the fibers they contain. Several clustering techniques have been developed that try to group the fiber tracts in fiber bundles. However, even if clustering succeeds, the complex nature of white matter still makes it difficult to investigate. In this paper, we propose the use of illustration techniques to ease the exploration of white matter clusters. We create a technique to visualize an individual cluster as a whole. The amount of fibers visualized for the cluster is reduced to just a few hint lines, and silhouette and contours are used to improve the definition of the cluster borders. Multiple clusters can be easily visualized by a combination of the single cluster visualizations. Focus+context concepts are used to extend the multiple-cluster renderings. Exploded views ease the exploration of the focus cluster while keeping the context clusters in an abstract form. Real-time results are achieved by the GPU implementation of the presented techniques. [source]

The Art and Science of Surge: Experience from Israel and the U.S. Military

Boaz Tadmor MD
In a disaster or mass casualty incident, health care resources may be exceeded and systems may be challenged by unusual requirements. These resources may include pharmaceuticals, supplies, and equipment as well as certain types of academic and administrative expertise. New agencies and decision makers may need to work together in an unfamiliar environment. Furthermore, large numbers of casualties needing treatment, newer therapies required to care for these casualties, and increased workforce and space available for these casualties all contribute to what is often referred to as "surge." Surge capacity in emergency care can be described in technical, scientific terms that are measured by numbers and benchmarks (e.g., beds, patients, and medications) or can take on a more conceptual and abstract form (e.g., decisions, authority, and responsibility). The former may be referred to as the "science" of surge, whereas the latter, an equal if not more important component of surge systems that is more conceptual and abstract, can be considered the "art" of surge. The experiences from Israel and the U.S. military may serve to educate colleagues who may be required to respond or react to an event that taxes the current health care system. This report presents concrete examples of surge capacity strategies used by both Israel and the U.S. military and provides solutions that may be applied to other health care systems when faced with similar situations. [source]

Minocycline neuroprotects, reduces microgliosis, and inhibits caspase protease expression early after spinal cord injury

Barry W. Festoff
Abstract Minocycline, a clinically used tetracycline for over 40 years, crosses the blood,brain barrier and prevents caspase up-regulation. It reduces apoptosis in mouse models of Huntington's disease and familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and is in clinical trial for sporadic ALS. Because apoptosis also occurs after brain and spinal cord (SCI) injury, its prevention may be useful in improving recovery. We analyzed minocycline's neuroprotective effects over 28 days following contusion SCI and found significant functional recovery compared to tetracycline. Histology, immunocytochemistry, and image analysis indicated statistically significant tissue sparing, reduced apoptosis and microgliosis, and less activated caspase-3 and substrate cleavage. Since our original report in abstract form, others have published both positive and negative effects of minocycline in various rodent models of SCI and with various routes of administration. We have since found decreased tumor necrosis factor-,, as well as caspase-3 mRNA expression, as possible mechanisms of action for minocycline's ameliorative action. These results support reports that modulating apoptosis, caspases, and microglia provide promising therapeutic targets for prevention and/or limiting the degree of functional loss after CNS trauma. Minocycline, and more potent chemically synthesized tetracyclines, may find a place in the therapeutic arsenal to promote recovery early after SCI in humans. [source]

West Nile virus: lessons from the 21st century

DACVECC, DACVIM, Pamela A. Wilkins DVM
Abstract Introduction: West Nile virus (WNV) first appeared in the United States in 1999, causing illness and death in birds, horses, and humans. While the initial outbreak of this sometimes deadly viral disease was limited to the northeastern United States, the virus had an inexorable migration across the continental United States over the next 3 years, causing huge losses among the affected species. The purpose of this review is to present currently available information regarding the epi-demiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of WNV infection. Veterinarians, particularly those in an emergency practice, serve as an important source of reliable information regarding this disease for animal owners and the public in general. Data sources: Data sources used for the preparation of this review include computer-based searches of PubMed and Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux (CAB) abstracts. A search in PubMed using ,West Nile' retrieved 1468 ,hits' or references, while a similar search in CAB abstracts produced 815 references. Additional information was obtained from various meeting proceedings, particularly data presented in abstract form, and from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website dedicated to WNV. Human data synthesis: Prior to the mid-1990s, reported large-scale epidemics of WNV infection in humans predominantly presented as acute, mild, febrile disease, sometimes associated with lymphadenopathy and skin rash. The recent large epidemic in the United States, in contrast, has prominently featured encephalitis, particularly among the elderly. Additionally, polio-encephalomyelitis-like complications resulting in long-term neurologic sequelae have been reported. There are many WNV-permissive native avian and mosquito hosts in the Unites States and there appear to be few limitations to the spread of the disease in the United States. It is expected that the virus will be identified in all 48 continental states, Mexico, and Canada by the end of 2003. Veterinary data synthesis: The horse is the animal species most affected by the recent WNV epidemic in the United States, and losses to the equine industry have been large and unprecedented. A United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-approved vaccine against WNV has been in use in horses since 2001 and appears to be effective in limiting the incidence of disease in well-vaccinated populations. WNV infection has been documented in other species of mammals, including camelids (alpaca/llamas) and dogs, and veterinarians should include WNV as a differential diagnosis for animals presenting with clinical signs consistent with central nervous system infection. A large concern exists for endangered bird populations, particularly birds of prey, whether in zoos or in the wild. [source]

Proliferation of inscriptions and transformations among preservice science teachers engaged in authentic science

Eddie Lunsford
Abstract Inscriptions are central to the practice of science. Previous studies showed, however, that preservice teachers even those with undergraduate degrees in science, generally do not spontaneously produce inscriptions that economically summarize large amounts of data. This study was designed to investigate the production of inscription while a group of 15 graduate-level preservice science teachers engaged in a 15-week course of scientific observation and guided inquiry of two organisms. The course emphasized the production of inscriptions as a way of convincingly supporting claims when the students presented their results. With continuing emphasis on inscriptional representations, we observed a significant increase in the number and type of representations made as the course unfolded. The number of concrete, text-based inscriptions decreased as the number of graphs, tables and other sorts of complex inscriptions increased. As the students moved from purely observational activities to guided inquiry, they made many more transformations of their data into complex and abstract forms, such as graphs and concept maps. The participants' competencies to cross-reference ultimate transformations to initial research questions improved slightly. Our study has implications for the traditional methods by which preservice science teachers are taught in their science classes. 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 44: 538,564, 2007. [source]