Major Issues (major + issues)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Internet job hunting: A field study of applicant experiences with on-line recruiting

Daniel C. Feldman
This field study examines the experiences of managers and professionals searching for jobs via the Internet. Results suggest that facility with Internet navigation is significantly associated with the amount of general job searching, particularly for those who want to explore job options initially in private without fear of retribution from supervisors. The data also suggest that managers and professionals are more likely to use the Internet for job hunting when the geographical scope of the job hunt is wide, when a major salary increase is desired, and when both small and large firms are being considered as potential employers. Use of the Internet is perceived as a somewhat less effective job search strategy than personal networking, but far superior to searching for jobs through newspaper ads and "cold calling." Major issues found to impede the effectiveness of on-line recruiting are the degree and speed of follow-up on-line applications, lack of specific and relevant job descriptions on a company's Web site, concerns about the security of personal information, and difficulty in customizing, formatting, and downloading resumes to companies' specifications. The article concludes with recommendations for improving the effectiveness of on-line recruiting. 2002 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]

Mechanical computation in neurons

Jummi Laishram
Abstract Growth cones are the main motile structures located at the tip of neurites and are composed of a lamellipodium from which thin filopodia emerge. In this article, we analyzed the kinetics and dynamics of growth cones with the aim to understand two major issues: first, the strategy used by filopodia and lamellipodia during their exploration and navigation; second, what kind of mechanical problems neurons need to solve during their operation. In the developing nervous system and in the adult brain, neurons constantly need to solve mechanical problems. Growth cones must decide how to explore the environment and in which direction to grow; they also need to establish the appropriate contacts, to avoid obstacles and to determine how much force to exert. Here, we show that in sparse cultures, filopodia grow and retract following statistical patterns, nearly optimal for an efficient exploration of the environment. In a dense culture, filopodia exploration is still present although significantly reduced. Analysis on 1271, 6432, and 185 pairs of filopodia of DRG, PC12 and Hippocampal neurons respectively showed that the correlation coefficient |,| of the growth of more than 50% of filopodia pairs was >0.15. From a computational point of view, filopodia and lamellipodia motion can be described by a random process in which errors are corrected by efficient feedback loops. This article argues that neurons not only process sensory signals, but also solve mechanical problems throughout their entire lifespan, from the early stages of embryogenesis to adulthood. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol, 2009 [source]

A Stark Examination of Prison Culture and Prison Ministry

DIALOG, Issue 3 2008
R.N. Ristad
Abstract:, This article offers an insightful examination of prison ministry from the inside, from someone who has been involved with this ministry for over forty-five years. The author discusses four major issues that are particularly costly, both in terms of personal human costs and also financial costs. First, society's misconceptions about prison violence, and the complex, varied ways prisoners experience violence. Second, the false sense of security the current practices of institutionalization create, and the consequences they have on the inmates. Third, the risk factors that can predispose children to ending up in prison, and the lack of care and attention those children often receive. And fourth, the way in which the criminalization of drug abuse has exacerbated many problems with the current prison system. The author concludes his article with some suggestions for reforming the prison system. [source]

Vulnerability of community businesses to environmental disasters

DISASTERS, Issue 1 2009
Yang Zhang
Business plays important roles in community functioning., However, disaster research has been disproportionately focused on units of analysis such as families, households and government agencies. This paper synthesises the major findings within the business development research field and the disaster research field. It constructs a framework for evaluating business vulnerability to natural disasters. Our theoretical integration of the research conducted to date addresses five major issues. First, it defines the ways in which businesses are subject to the impacts of natural disasters. Second, it identifies the factors that determine the magnitude of business impacts after a disaster. Third, it identifies how and when businesses return to their pre-disaster level in the disaster stricken community. Fourth, it describes measures that can be taken by individual firms and community planners to reduce the impacts of environmental disasters. Fifth, it identifies needs for public policy and future research to reduce business vulnerability to environmental disasters. [source]

Rendering the World Unsafe: ,Vulnerability' as Western Discourse

DISASTERS, Issue 1 2001
Gregory Bankoff
Disasters seem destined to be major issues of academic enquiry in the new century if for no other reason than that they are inseparably linked to questions of environmental conservation, resource depletion and migration patterns in an increasingly globalised world. Unfortunately, inadequate attention has been directed at considering the historical roots of the discursive framework within which hazard is generally presented, and how that might reflect particular cultural values to do with the way in which certain regions or zones of the world are usually imagined. This paper argues that tropicality, development and vulnerability form part of one and the same essentialising and generalising cultural discourse that denigrates large regions of world as disease-ridden, poverty-stricken and disaster-prone. [source]

The meta-analysis of the Italian studies on short-term effects of air pollution (MISA): old and new issues on the interpretation of the statistical evidences

Pierantonio Bellini
Abstract The second meta-analysis of the Italian studies on short-term health effects of air pollution, known as MISA-2, was based on daily time series of indicators of both pollution and of health outcomes. It covered 15 cities during 1996,2002 for a total population of approximately nine millions. Health outcomes included mortality for natural causes, for respiratory diseases and for cardiovascular conditions, as well as hospital admissions for respiratory, cardiac and cerebrovascular diseases. Pollutants considered in univariate analyses were sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), suspended particulate matter (SPM) measuring less than 10,m diameter (PM10) and ozone (O3, limited to the summer period). Results, including risk estimates, have been largely confirmatory of findings obtained in previous large meta-analytic studies carried out in North America and in Europe. A full report in Italian is available. The present contribution summarises the results of MISA-2 and addresses three major issues regarding their interpretation: robustness of the causal inferential process, the role of specific air pollutants and the reliability of risk estimates. The former issue is stressed according to Bradford Hill's criteria and the conclusion is reached that at least for the association of air pollution with an increase in mortality the evidence for causality is strong. Assessing the role of each air pollutant is problematic: there is some evidence that the effects of PM10 are partly confounded by other pollutants, but PM10 may not be the best indicator of the role of air SPM (routine measures of PM2.5 have not been introduced in Italy). As for risk estimates, the per cent increase in risk of mortality for unit increase in PM10 concentration, measured in MISA-2, is remarkably similar to estimates in other studies and there is indication for linearity of the dose,response relationship. Copyright 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Ethical issues related to epilepsy care in the developing world

EPILEPSIA, Issue 5 2009
Chong-Tin Tan
Summary There are three major issues of ethical concern related to epilepsy care in the developing world. First, is it ethical for a developing country to channel its limited resources from direct epilepsy care to research? The main considerations in addressing this question are the particular research questions to be addressed and whether such research will bring direct benefits to the local community. Second, in a country with limited resources, when does ignoring the high treatment gap become an ethical issue? This question is of particular concern when the community has enough resources to afford treatment for its poor, yet is not providing such care because of gross wastage and misallocation of the national resources. Third, do countries with plentiful resources have an ethical responsibility to help relieve the high epilepsy treatment gap of poor countries? Indeed, we believe that reasonable health care is a basic human right, and that human rights transcend national boundaries. Although health care is usually the responsibility of the nation-state, many modern states in the developing world are arbitrary creations of colonization. There is often a long process from the establishment of a political-legal state to a mature functional nation. During the long process of nation building, help from neighboring countries is often required. [source]

Automatic and controlled processes in behavioural control: Implications for personality psychology

Philip J. Corr
Abstract This paper highlights a number of unresolved theoretical issues that, it is argued, continue to impede the construction of a viable model of behavioural control in personality psychology. It is contended that, in order to integrate motivation, emotion, cognition and conscious experience within a coherent framework, two major issues need to be recognised: (a) the relationship between automatic (reflexive) and controlled (reflective) processing and (b) the lateness of controlled processing (including the generation of conscious awareness),phenomenally, such processing seems to ,control' behaviour, but experimentally it can be shown to postdate the behaviour it represents. The implications of these two major issues are outlined, centred on the need to integrate theoretical perspectives within personality psychology, as well as the greater unification of personality psychology with general psychology. A model of behavioural control is sketched, formulated around the concept of the behavioural inhibition system (BIS), which accounts for: (a) why certain stimuli are extracted for controlled processing (i.e. those that are not ,going to plan', as detected by an error mechanism) and (b) the function of controlled processing (including conscious awareness) in terms of adjusting the cybernetic weights of automatic processes (which are always in control of immediate behaviour) which, then, influence future automatically controlled behaviour. The relevance of this model is illustrated in relation to a number of topics in personality psychology, as well related issues of free-will and difficult-to-control behaviours. Copyright 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Prioritisation of data partitioned MPEG,4 video over mobile networks,

Stewart T. Worrall
Despite much research in the field of mobile multimedia, delivery of real,time,interactive video over noisy wireless channels remains a challenging problem. Two of the major issues in providing true end,to,end mobile multimedia capability are interoperability between platforms and networks and the poor performance of video compression algorithms in error,prone environments. This paper presents a method for prioritising data partitioned MPEG,4 video in a way suitable for transmission over a mobile network. The effectiveness of the technique is demonstrated by examining the performance when transmitted using the Real,Time Transport protocol over GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) data channels under varying channel conditions. [source]

Isotope Methods for Management of Shared Aquifers in Northern Africa

GROUND WATER, Issue 5 2005
Bill Wallin
Access to fresh water is one of the major issues of northern and sub-Saharan Africa. The majority of the fresh water used for drinking and irrigation is obtained from large ground water basins where there is minor contemporary recharge and the aquifers cross national borders. These aquifers include the Nubian Aquifer System shared by Chad, Egypt, Libya, and Sudan; the Iullemeden Aquifer System, extending over Niger, Nigeria, Mali, Benin, and Algeria; and the Northwest Sahara Aquifer System shared by Algeria, Libya, and Tunisia. These resources are subject to increased exploitation and may be severely stressed if not managed properly as witnessed already by declining water levels. In order to make appropriate decisions for the sustainable management of these shared water resources, planners and managers in different countries need an improved knowledge base of hydrological information. Three technical cooperation projects related to aquifer systems will be implemented by the International Atomic Energy Agency, in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and United Nations Development Programme/Global Environmental Facility. These projects focus on isotope hydrology studies to better quantify ground water recharge and dynamics. The multiple isotope approach combining commonly used isotopes 18O and 2H together with more recently developed techniques (chlorofluorocarbons, 36Cl, noble gases) will be applied to improve the conceptual model to study stratification and ground water flows. Moreover, the isotopes will be an important indicator of changes in the aquifer due to water abstraction, and therefore they will assist in the effort to establish a sustainable ground water management. [source]

Recent Advances in White Organic Light-Emitting Materials and Devices (WOLEDs)

Kiran T. Kamtekar
Abstract WOLEDs offer new design opportunities in practical solid-state lighting and could play a significant role in reducing global energy consumption. Obtaining white light from organic LEDs is a considerable challenge. Alongside the development of new materials with improved color stability and balanced charge transport properties, major issues involve the fabrication of large-area devices and the development of low-cost manufacturing technology. This Review will describe the types of materials (small molecules and polymers) that have been used to fabricate WOLEDs. A range of device architectures are presented and appraised. [source]

The Many Challenges of Pension Accounting

Thomas H. Beechy
ABSTRACT Accounting for defined benefit pension plans has long been a major issue in accounting. Standard-setters are grappling with revisions to pension accounting standards, and much change has already occurred in the United Kingdom. This paper identifies and discusses most of the major issues that standard-setters must confront in developing new approaches to financial reporting for pensions. Key issues concern how to report the impact of changes in assumptions, how to recognize pension costs on the balance sheet and income statement, and how to reconcile the differences between accountants' and actuaries' approaches to pensions. Current standards assume that accounting estimates are independent of actuarial assumptions, and yet require a direct comparison of the accounting liability with the pension plan assets, when in fact they are incompatible measures based on differing assumptions and differing methodologies. As well, accounting has been complicit in managers' wishes to hide the volatility inherent in a pension plan investment strategy that focuses on higher-risk equities to fund estimated monetary liabilities that have been discounted at low-risk interest rates. Drawing on studies and research done largely in Europe, this paper attempts to consolidate some of the current thinking on the topic and to propose some preferred approaches to dealing with the problems of pension accounting. [source]

IBD international genetics consortium: International cooperation making sense of complex disease

Juleen A. Cavanaugh Ph.D.
Abstract The Inflammatory Bowel Disease International Genetic Consortium was formed in Oxford in 1997. Since then it has grown to include twelve groups from around the world that are each actively involved in identifying the genes that are involved in susceptibility to IBD. The approach of the IBDIGC is to attempt to overcome one of the major issues in complex disease analysis,that of obtaining sufficient power to analyze successfully the inheritance of IBD,by collaboratively studying large numbers of well documented families with multiple affected individuals. This strategy has been marked by considerable success with the publication of a paper authored by the IBDIGC substantiating the localization of IBD1 to chromosome 16. This publication served to encourage researchers and eventually resulted in the identification by several groups simultaneously of risk alleles in the NOD2 gene that cosegregate with disease. The IBDIGC provides a model for studies in complex disease genetics, showing that research groups both large and small can participate equally in complex disease gene identification through the formation of large international consortia. [source]

Higher-order XFEM for curved strong and weak discontinuities

Kwok Wah Cheng
Abstract The extended finite element method (XFEM) enables the accurate approximation of solutions with jumps or kinks within elements. Optimal convergence rates have frequently been achieved for linear elements and piecewise planar interfaces. Higher-order convergence for arbitrary curved interfaces relies on two major issues: (i) an accurate quadrature of the Galerkin weak form for the cut elements and (ii) a careful formulation of the enrichment, which should preclude any problems in the blending elements. For (i), we employ a strategy of subdividing the elements into subcells with only one curved side. Reference elements that are higher-order on only one side are then used to map the integration points to the real element. For (ii), we find that enrichments for strong discontinuities are easily extended to higher-order accuracy. In contrast, problems in blending elements may hinder optimal convergence for weak discontinuities. Different formulations are investigated, including the corrected XFEM. Numerical results for several test cases involving strong or weak curved discontinuities are presented. Quadratic and cubic approximations are investigated. Optimal convergence rates are achieved using the standard XFEM for the case of a strong discontinuity. Close-to-optimal convergence rates for the case of a weak discontinuity are achieved using the corrected XFEM. Copyright 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Are men shortchanged on health?

Perspective on life expectancy, morbidity, mortality in men, women in the United States
Summary Background:, Significant gender disparities exist in life expectancy and major disease morbidity. There is an urgent need to understand the major issues related to men's health that contributes to these significant disparities. It is hypothesized that men have higher and earlier morbidities, in addition to behavioral factors that contribute to their lower life expectancy. Methods:, Data was collected from CDC: Health United States, 2007; American Heart Association, American Obesity Association, and American Cancer Society. Results:, Men have lower life expectancy than women in most countries around the world including United States. This gender disparity is consistent regardless of geography, race and ethnicity. More men die of 12 out of the 15 leading causes of death than women. In addition, men have higher morbidity and mortality in coronary heart disease (CHD), hypertension, diabetes, and cancer. Conclusions:, Men's lower life expectancy may be explained by biological and clinical factors such as the higher incidence of cardiovascular metabolic disease and cancer. In the context of public health, raising awareness of cardiovascular and metabolic health is needed to reduce the gender disparity. In addition, consideration of preventive and early detection/intervention programs may improve men's health. [source]

Analysis of PV/wind potential in the Canadian residential sector through high-resolution building energy simulation

Ali M. Syed
Abstract Rising fuel prices and global warming are two major issues that concern people today. In this paper, the effect that the integration of the hybrid photovoltaic (PV)/wind-turbine generation can have on conservation of energy and reduction of greenhouse gases (GHGs) has been studied. Base-case energy demands were calculated using building energy simulation software and then the residential buildings were equipped with the PV/wind-turbine electricity generation devices. The results show that the integration of those equipments can reduce both cost of fuel and GHG emissions to a fair amount. Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Edge-adaptive color interpolation for complementary color filter array

Young Seok Han
Abstract Complementary color filter array (CCFA) is widely used in consumer-level digital video cameras, since it not only has high sensitivity and good signal-to-noise ratio in low-light condition but also is compatible with the interlaced scanning used in broadcast systems. However, the full-color images obtained from CCFA suffer from the color artifacts such as false color and zipper effects. These artifacts can be removed with edge-adaptive color interpolation (ECI) approaches which are generally used in primary color filter array (PCFA). Unfortunately, the unique array pattern of CCFA makes it difficult that CCFA adopts ECI approaches. Therefore, to apply ECI approaches suitable for CCFA to color interpolation is one of the major issues to reconstruct the full-color images. In this paper, we propose a new ECI algorithm for CCFA. To estimate an edge direction precisely and enhance the quality of the reconstructed image, a function of spatial variances is used as a weight, and new color conversion matrices are presented for considering various edge directions. Experimental results indicate that the proposed algorithm outperforms the conventional method with respect to both objective and subjective criteria. 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Int J Imaging Syst Technol, 16, 92,102, 2006 [source]

Administering local anaesthesia to paediatric dental patients , current status and prospects for the future

D. Ram
Summary .,Fear-related behaviours have long been recognized as the most difficult aspect of patient management and can be a barrier to good care. Anxiety is one of the major issues in the dental treatment of children, and the injection is the most anxiety-provoking procedure for both children and adults. There is a constant search for ways to avoid the invasive, and often painful, nature of the injection, and to find more comfortable and pleasant means for anaesthesia before dental procedures. Objective. The purpose of the present review is to summarize relevant data on topics connected with the administration of local anaesthesia. Methods. The review will survey the current available methods, viz. electronic anaesthesia, lidocaine patch, computerized anaesthesia (the Wand), and the syrijet as well as the conventional injection, used for paediatric patients. Conclusions. Usually new techniques for locally anaesthetizing dental patients are tested on adults. However, despite recent research in the field, the injection remains the method of choice. It is necessary to continue to conduct studies using new techniques on adults and children, so that a more acceptable technique can be found. [source]

A great leap towards liberalism?

The Hungarian welfare state
The article analyses the changing role of the Hungarian state by examining the principles and boundaries of government commitment in income maintenance. I test the hypothesis that the welfare regime is liberal and is becoming increasingly more so. The empirical analysis addresses three major issues: the reliance on universal schemes in family support, the nature of poor relief assistance, and the institutional structure of the pension system. I find that these different programs do not add up to constitute any specific type of welfare regime. Rather, the emerging, and still transitory welfare system appears ,,faceless''. I claim that a static welfare typology cannot be applied to the Hungarian welfare system and therefore reject the liberal hypothesis. [source]

The Return on Investment of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

The city of Bilbao has made use of a museum as one of the multiple means to restructure its former industrial base. However, the effectiveness of this costly formula is not always clear. Three major issues have arisen: the effects of Guggenheim Museum Bilbao on Bilbao's image, the effects on overnight stays, and the effects on the local economy. There is little debate about the first issue, and room for more evidence on the second and third issues. The aim is to quantify the museum's impact on tourism and employment and to calculate its yield (Return on Investment and Net Present Value). The approach adopted is the quantitative analysis of statistical data to try to isolate the economic contribution of the Guggenheim. [source]

An overview of environmental issues in Southern Africa

Michael Bernard Kwesi Darkoh
Abstract This paper provides an overview of some of the significant environmental problems in the Southern African region. The key problems highlighted are global warming and climate variability, loss of biodiversity, deforestation, desertification-land degradation, waste and littering, population growth, urbanization, pollution, poverty and health hazards. These problems present a challenge to governments and other players within and outside Southern Africa to seek for long-term solutions by addressing the root causes of these problems. The paper notes that although the environmental problems facing the Southern African region are being tackled at national, regional and international levels, there is more that can be done. At the national level, the different agencies and players, both within and outside government need to strengthen coordination and implementation of key interventions in different sectors in both rural and urban areas. At the African regional and international levels, there is a need to address geopolitical forces and issues that contribute to the underdevelopment of the African region. Among the major issues are poor terms of international trade, political instability, poverty, declining economic performance and international debt. [source]

Beneath the Surface: A Story of Leadership, Recruitment, and the Hidden Dimensions of Strategic Workplace Design

Sheila Danko M.I.D.
ABSTRACT The purpose of this article is to explore issues related to workplace design and corporate leadership in the 21st century, specifically the strategic leadership initiatives needed to recruit, retain, and motivate talented employees. The research design uses a qualitative research method called narrative or life stories in combination with a traditional case study approach. Cases selected had to be strategic, inspiring/aspiring, authentic, and multivocal. Both design process and design product were examined as well as the impact of design on the individual and the organization. Interview data were collected on site, audio taped, and transcribed verbatim to ensure accuracy. Focused narratives were then generated from the case study interview data. The transcripts were reviewed to identify major issues, recurring themes, and categories of analysis. The raw interview data were then sifted through Labov's six-part framework for organizing and interpreting narratives. The process of evolving the raw interview transcripts into a meaningful story followed Lieblich, Tuval-Mashiach, and Zilber's (1998) holistic-content approach. A story entitled "Beneath the Surface" forms the basis of the results and discussion section, and presents a true account of how workplace design impacted the interview process through the eyes of a young executive recruit. The story revealed that the design of space factored heavily into the new recruit's decision-making process and ultimate acceptance of the position, and that the impacts of the workplace design extended beyond the initial recruitment to have longer-term implications for corporate competitiveness. The narrative also revealed that the chief administrative officer (CAO) and new director of organizational development viewed design as a strategic tool, and that the managing partner used design elements strategically to communicate her divisions' values and social mission. The story reveals strategic implications of both design process and product for six strategic leadership initiatives thought to impact overall quality of work life, and to enhance recruitment and retention: differentiating quality of life as a competitive edge, aligning individual values with corporate values, building a sense of community, nurturing professional growth and knowledge transfer, communicating social mission, and leaving a legacy of social change. Design was shown to play a supportive role for each of the above leadership initiatives. [source]

Forensic psychiatric nursing: a literature review and thematic analysis of role tensions

T. Mason phd bsc (hons) rmn pnmh rgn
This literature review was undertaken to explore the emergent issues relating to the difficulties encountered in forensic psychiatric nursing. The rationale for the study revolved around the paucity of research undertaken to identify the constituent parts of this professional practice. The aims included both a thematic analysis of the literature and the construction of a theoretical framework to guide further research. The method was a snowballing collection of literature and a computerized database search. The results were the identification of a series of major issues, which were broadly categorized as negative and positive views, security vs. therapy, management of violence, therapeutic efficacy, training and cultural formation. From this the six binary oppositions, or domains of practice, emerged as a theoretical framework to develop further research. These were medical vs. lay knowledge, transference vs. counter-transference, win vs. lose, success vs. failure, use vs. abuse, and confidence vs. fear. Further research is currently underway. [source]

Advances in Software Maintenance Management: Technologies and Solutions

Carolyn B. Seaman
Here is a new offering, now available both as a hardcover and as an e-book, in the much-neglected category of comprehensive texts on software maintenance. It is especially welcome for those of us struggling to provide our students with a text for learning the basics of software maintenance, in preparation for their inevitable first maintenance assignments as junior software engineers. This new book, Advances in Software Maintenance Management: Technologies and Solutions, edited by Macario Polo, Mario Piattini, and Francisco Ruiz at the University of Castilla-La Mancha in Spain, is not intended to be an academic textbook and so is lacking in some areas for that purpose. However, it has some important advantages over the few other choices in this area. It also is a useful volume for managers and others interested in getting an up-to-date understanding of some of the major issues in software maintenance. Copyright 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Efficacy of treatments for patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder: A systematic review

PMHNP (Lecturer)Article first published online: 2 APR 200, Yun-Jung Choi PhD
Abstract Purpose: This systematic review examines the efficacy of pharmacological therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), addressing two major issues: which treatment is most effective in treating the patient's symptoms and which is beneficial for maintaining remission. Data sources: Seven databases were used to acquire articles. The key words used to search for the relative topics published from 1996 to 2007 were "obsessive-compulsive disorder" and "Yale-Brown obsession-compulsion scale." Based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 25 studies were selected from 57 potentially relevant studies. Conclusions: The effects of treatment with clomipramine and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs: fluvoxamine, sertraline, fluoxetine, citalopram, and escitalopram) proved to be similar, except for the lower adherence rate in case of clomipramine because of its side effects. An adequate drug trial involves administering an effective daily dose for a minimum of 8 weeks. An augmentation strategy proven effective for individuals refractory to monotherapy with SSRI treatment alone is the use of atypical antipsychotics (risperidone, olanzapine, and quetiapine). Implications for practice: Administration of fluvoxamine or sertraline to patients for an adequate duration is recommended as the first-line prescription for OCD, and augmentation therapy with risperidone, olanzapine, or quetiapine is recommended for refractory OCD. [source]

The influence of endothelial cells on the ECM composition of 3D engineered cardiovascular constructs,

Rolf A. A. Pullens
Abstract Tissue engineering of small diameter (<5 mm) blood vessels is a promising approach to develop viable alternatives for autologous vascular grafts. Development of a functional, adherent, shear resisting endothelial cell (EC) layer is one of the major issues limiting the successful application of these tissue engineered grafts. The goal of the present study was to create a confluent EC layer on a rectangular 3D cardiovascular construct using human venous cells and to determine the influence of this layer on the extracellular matrix composition and mechanical properties of the constructs. Rectangular cardiovascular constructs were created by seeding myofibroblasts (MFs) on poly(glycolic acid) poly-4-hydroxybutyrate scaffolds using fibrin gel. After 3 or 4 weeks, ECs were seeded and co-cultured using EGM-2 medium for 2 or 1 week, respectively. A confluent EC layer could be created and maintained for up to 2 weeks. The EGM-2 medium lowered the collagen production by MFs, resulting in weaker constructs, especially in the 2 week cultured constructs. Co-culturing with ECs slightly reduced the collagen content, but had no additional affect on the mechanical performance. A confluent endothelial layer was created on 3D human cardiovascular constructs. The layer was co-cultured for 1 and 2 weeks. Although, the collagen production of the MFs was slightly lowered, co-culturing ECs for 1 week results in constructs with good mechanical properties and a confluent EC layer. Copyright 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Word Sense Disambiguation: An Overview

Diana McCarthy
Word sense disambiguation is a subfield of computational linguistics in which computer systems are designed to determine the appropriate meaning of a word as it appears in the linguistic context. This article provides a survey of what has been done in this area: the ways that word meaning can be represented in the computer, the approaches taken by systems, how performance is evaluated and an overview of the intended applications that might benefit from this technology. One of the major issues has been, and still remains, that of finding an appropriate computational representation of word meaning as this is fundamental to the performance and utility of systems. [source]

Endocannabinoid receptor CB2 in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

N. Mendez-Sanchez
Abstract Background and Aim: Fatty infiltration and fibrosis are major issues in chronic liver disease. Recent reports suggest a role for the endocannabinoid system in these processes. Aim: To characterize localization and expression of CB2 in normal liver and nonalcoholic fatty liver. Methods: We studied 64 liver biopsies: eight were considered normal; 56 had a diagnosis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD); 32 with nonalcoholic steatosis and 24 nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). CB2 immunolocalization was studied in 38 samples in paraffin blocks using immunohistochemistry, and a computerized semiquantitative analysis was carried out. CB2 mRNA expression was assessed through RT-PCR in 26 frozen liver samples and the ratio CB2/,-actin was used to evaluate differences between groups. Statistical analysis was performed with central tendency measures and the Mann,Whitney U -test. We considered as significant differences those with a P -value <0.05. Results: Neither parenchymal nor nonparenchymal cells in normal liver tissue react towards anti-CB2 antibodies. All the samples from patients with steatosis and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis showed hepatocellular immunoreactivity. Cholangiocytes were positive only in the NAFLD group. Normal liver tissue showed a normalized CB2/,-actin ratio of 0.0010.01, steatosis 6.5217.3 (P=0.05 vs normal) and NASH 6.4912.2 (P=0.06 vs normal and P=0.6 vs steatosis). Conclusion: CB2 receptors are expressed by hepatocytes in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease but not in normal liver. [source]

Molecular targets for the cancer preventive activity of tea polyphenols

Chung S. Yang
Abstract Inhibition of carcinogenesis by tea and tea polyphenols has been demonstrated in many animal models. The mechanisms of action have been extensively investigated mostly in cell culture systems with (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the most active and major polyphenolic compound from green tea. However, the mechanisms of cancer preventive activity by tea and tea polyphenols are not clearly understood. This article discusses some of the reported mechanisms and possible targets for the action of EGCG. The difficulties and major issues in extrapolating data from studies in cancer cell lines to cancer prevention mechanisms are discussed. Activities observed in cell culture with high concentrations of EGCG may not be relevant because of the limited systemic bioavailability of EGCG. In addition, possible artifacts due to the auto-oxidation of EGCG may complicate this issue. Some recent studies revealed high-affinity EGCG binding proteins as possible direct targets for the action of EGCG. Validating the related cancer preventive mechanisms found in in vitro studies in animal models and human samples would be exciting. 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Bioengineered tissues: the science, the technology, and the industry

T Ahsan
Structured Abstract Authors ,, Ahsan T, Nerem RM Objective ,, The bioengineering of tissues and organs, sometimes called tissue engineering and at other times regenerative medicine, is emerging as a science, as a technology, and as an industry. The goal is the repair, replacement, and/or the regeneration of tissues and organs. The objective of this paper is to identify and discuss the major issues that have become apparent. Results ,, One of the critical issues is that of cell source, i.e. what will be the source of the cells to be employed? Another critical issue is the development of approaches for the fabrication of substitute tissues/organs and/or vehicles for the delivery of biological active molecules for use in the repair/regeneration of tissues. A third critical issue, one very much related to cell source, is that of immune acceptance. In addition, there are technological hurdles; there are additional issues such as the scale-up of manufacturing processes and the preservation of living-cell products for off-the-shelf availability. Although the initial products have been superficially applied skin substitutes, as this fledgling industry continues to evolve, it is beginning to focus on a wider range of more invasive and complicated products. From a public health perspective, the real opportunity may be in addressing chronic diseases, as well as the transplantation crisis (i.e. the tremendous disparity between patient need for vital organs and donor availability) and, equally important is the challenge of neural repair. Conclusion ,, These are the grand challenges, and the scientific community, business/private sector, and federal government must mobilize itself together in this emerging area to translate the benchtop science to the patient bedside. [source]