Increasing Levels (increasing + level)

Distribution by Scientific Domains
Distribution within Medical Sciences

Selected Abstracts

Decreasing Numbers at Increasing Levels: An Investigation of the Gender Imbalance at NHH

Joyce Falkenberg
Gender imbalance is a highly discussed topic in Norway, where equity is the norm. At the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration (NHH) the issue of gender imbalance has been on the strategic agenda of the school for the past 12 years. Because these strategies have not resulted in the reduction of the gender imbalance that was expected, it is necessary to look for further explanations. Gender imbalance can result from hiring practices, turnover, or promoting policies. In this article the focus is on retaining women in the organization, and we draw on the literature from organizational attachment to uncover additional understanding of gender imbalance. The article reports the findings from an exploratory study of organizational attachment among the faculty at NHH. Findings indicate differences between male and female faculty members and PhD students on organizational commitment, on the value and expectation of job characteristics, on the suitability of the paradigm, and on alternative job possibilities. [source]

Lifestyle risk factors for intrahepatic stone: Findings from a case,control study in an endemic area, Taiwan

Masato Momiyama
Abstract Background and Aim:, To examine associations between lifestyle risk factors and intrahepatic stone (IHS), we conducted a case,control study in Taiwan, which has the highest incidence of IHS in the world. Methods:, Study subjects were 151 patients newly diagnosed with IHS at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital between January 1999 and December 2001. Two control subjects per case were selected randomly from patients who underwent minor surgery at the same hospital and from family members or neighbors of the hospital staff. Controls were matched to each case by age and gender. Information on lifestyle factors was collected using a self-administered questionnaire. Strength of associations was assessed using odds ratios derived from conditional logistic models. Results:, Female patients were significantly shorter than female controls. Compared to subjects with two or fewer children, odds ratios for those with six or more children were 20.4 in men (95% confidence interval, 1.89,221) and 2.82 (0.97,8.22) in women. Increasing level of education lowered the risk of intrahepatic stone (trend P = 0.004 for men and < 0.0001 for women). Women who had consumed ground-surface water for a long period had a somewhat increased risk (trend P = 0.05). Conclusion:, Lower socioeconomic status and poor hygiene may be involved in the development of intrahepatic stones. [source]

Fate and effects of triclosan in activated sludge

Thomas W. Federle
Abstract Triclosan (TCS; 5-chloro-2-[2,4-dichloro-phenoxy]-phenol) is a widely used antimicrobial agent. To understand its fate during sewage treatment, the biodegradation and removal of TCS were determined in activated sludge. In addition, the effects of TCS on treatment processes were assessed. Fate was determined by examining the biodegradation and removal of TCS radiolabeled with 14C in the 2,4-dichlorphenoxy ring in laboratory batch mineralization experiments and bench-top continuous activated-sludge (CAS) systems. In batch experiments with unacclimated sludge, TCS was mineralized to 14CO2, but the total yield varied as a function of test concentration. Systems that were redosed with TCS exhibited more extensive and faster mineralization, indicating that adaptation was a critical factor determining the rate and extent of biodegradation. In a CAS study in which the influent level of TCS was incrementally increased from 40 ,g/L to 2,000 ,g/L, removal of the parent compound exceeded 98.5% and removal of total radioactivity (parent and metabolites) exceeded 85%. Between 1.5 and 4.5% of TCS in the influent was sorbed to the wasted solids, whereas >94% underwent primary biodegradation and 81 to 92% was mineralized to CO2 or incorporated in biomass. Increasing levels of TCS in the influent had no major adverse effects on any wastewater treatment process, including chemical oxygen demand, biological oxygen demand, and ammonia removal. In a subsequent experiment, a CAS system, acclimated to TCS at 35 ,g/L, received two separate 4-h shock loads of 750 ,g/L TCS. Neither removal of TCS nor treatment processes exhibited major adverse effects. An additional CAS study was conducted to examine the removal of a low level (10 ,g/L) of TCS. Removal of parent equaled 94.7%, and biodegradation remained the dominant removal mechanism. A subsequent series of CAS experiments examined removal at four influent concentrations (7.5, 11, 20, and 50 ,g/L) of TCS and demonstrated that removal of parent ranged from 98.2 to 99.3% and was independent of concentration. Although TCS removal across all experiments appeared unrelated to influent concentration, removal was significantly correlated (r2 = 0.87) with chemical oxygen demand removal, indicating that TCS removal was related to overall treatment efficiency of specific CAS units. In conclusion, the experiments show that TCS is extensively biodegraded and removed in activated-sludge systems and is unlikely to upset sewage treatment processes at levels expected in household and manufacturing wastewaters. [source]

The affective consequences of social comparison as related to professional burnout and social comparison orientation

Bram P. Buunk
In a study among sociotherapists, the affective consequences of social comparison were examined and related to professional burnout and to individual differences in social comparison orientation. Participants were confronted with a bogus interview with an upward versus a downward comparison target. Upward comparison generated more positive and less negative affect than did downward comparison. Increasing levels of burnout were accompanied by less positive affect in response to upward comparison. Moreover, the higher the level of burnout, the more negative affect a description of a downward comparison target evoked, but only among individuals high in social comparison orientation. Finally, the higher the level of burnout, the higher the identification with the downward target, and the lower the identification with the upward target. However, this last effect did occur only among those low in social comparison orientation. Those high in social comparison orientation kept identifying with the upward target, even when they were high in burnout. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Serum Carotenoids and Cerebral White Matter Lesions: The Rotterdam Scan Study

Tom Den Heijer MSc
OBJECTIVES: To study the relation between serum levels of carotenoids and white matter lesions (WMLs) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). DESIGN: Evaluation of cross-sectional data from a cohort study. SETTING: The Rotterdam Scan Study. PARTICIPANTS: Two hundred and three nondemented older persons, age 60 to 90, from the Rotterdam Scan Study. MEASUREMENTS: Serum levels of carotenoids were determined. WMLs on MRIs were rated separately into periventricular and subcortical WMLs. Odds ratios (ORs) for the presence of severe WMLs (upper decile) were calculated per standard deviation (SD) increase in serum carotenoid level and per SD increase in overall carotenoid serum level. Effect modification by smoking status was studied through stratified analyses. RESULTS: Increasing levels of all the separate carotenoids were associated with less severe periventricular WMLs, which reached statistical significance for the overall carotenoid serum level (OR 0.4 per SD; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.2,0.9). We found no association between carotenoid levels and the presence of severe subcortical WMLs (OR 1.2 per SD; 95% CI = 0.7,2.0). The association of carotenoid levels with severe periventricular WMLs was more marked in those who ever smoked (OR 0.1 per SD; 95% CI = 0.0,0.9) than in those who had never smoked (OR 0.9 per SD; 95% CI = 0.4,2.1). CONCLUSIONS: These findings are compatible with the view that high levels of carotenoids may protect against WMLs in the periventricular region, in particular in smokers. Longitudinal studies with repeated measurements of both carotenoids and WMLs are necessary to explore this hypothesis further. [source]

Dietary fibre level and enzyme inclusion affect nutrient digestibility and excreta characteristics in grower pigs

Adam J Moeser
Abstract An experiment was conducted with 12 grower pigs to determine the effects of (1) manipulating dietary neutral detergent fibre (NDF) level and (2) dietary inclusion of fibre-degrading enzymes on nutrient digestibility and excreta characteristics in pigs. Four diets were formulated to contain three levels of NDF: 1, 66,g,kg,1 NDF (low fibre); 2, 121,g,kg,1 NDF (moderate fibre); 3, 222,g,kg,1 NDF (high fibre); 4, diet 3 plus 2.0,g,kg,1 enzyme. Increasing levels of dietary NDF linearly decreased dry matter and energy digestibilities (r2,=,0.99, P,<,0.05). Lowering dietary NDF from 222 to 121,g,kg,1 improved nitrogen digestibility by 13% (P,<,0.01). Faecal production was decreased by 9% for each 1% decrease in dietary NDF content (r2,=,0.99, P,<,0.05). Inclusion of fibre-degrading enzymes in the high-fibre diet improved dry matter and energy digestibilities by 2 and 3% respectively, and reduced faecal production by 10% (P,<,0.01). Faecal and manure (faeces plus urine) pH values from pigs fed the high-fibre diet and the high-fibre plus enzyme diet were lower than those from pigs fed the other experimental diets (P,<,0.05). In conclusion, lowering the dietary NDF level or inclusion of fibre-degrading enzymes in high-fibre diets may offer relatively practical and easy methods for reducing waste production in pigs. © 2002 Society of Chemical Industry [source]

Calcium carbonate solubilization through H-proton release from some legumes grown in calcareous saline-sodic soils

A. R. Mubarak
Abstract Increasing levels of CO2 and H+ proton in the rhizosphere from some legumes may play an important role in calcite dissolution of calcareous salt affected soils. Soils planted with white and brown varieties of cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L.) and hyacinth bean (Dolichos lablab L.) relying on either fertilizer N (KNO3) or N-fixation were compared against soils to which gypsum was applied and a control without plants and gypsum application to study the possibility of Ca2+ release from calcite and Na+ leaching. As compared to plants relying on inorganic N, leachates from all pore volumes (0·5, 1·0, 1·5, 2·0 pore volume) in lysimeters planted with N-fixing hyacinth bean contained significantly higher concentrations of HCO with lower concentrations from lysimeters planted with white cowpea relying on N-fixation. However, the lowest concentrations of HCO were recorded in the gypsum and control treatments. In initial leaching, lysimeters planted with N-fixing plants maintained similar leachate Ca2+ and Na+ concentrations compared to gypsum amended soils. However, gypsum amended soils were found to have a prolonged positive effect on Na+ removal. It might be concluded that some legumes that are known to fix N in calcareous salt affected soils may be an alternative ameliorant to the extremely expensive gypsum through calcite solubilization and a consequent release of Ca2+. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

Coping with variability and change: Floods and droughts

Zbigniew W. Kundzewicz
Floods and droughts are natural phenomena for which the risks of occurrence are likely to continue to grow. Increasing levels of exposure and insufficient adaptive capacity are among the factors responsible for the rising vulnerability. The former is conditioned by anthropopressure (e.g., economic development of flood,prone areas) and adverse effects of climate change; scenarios for future climates indicate the possibility of amplified water,related extremes. This article presents the current situation of coping with extreme hydrological events within the pressure,state,response framework. Among promising response strategies, the role of forecast and warning, and of watershed management are reviewed. Sample success stories and lessons learnt related to hydrological extremes are given and policy implications discussed. [source]

Economic globalization and oral health

ORAL DISEASES, Issue 3 2001
MH Hobdell
OBJECTIVES: To briefly review the origins of economic globalization and examine the evidence available concerning its possible impact on oral health. DESIGN: Based on Medline searches 1966,1999 and review of Health Wrights: Politics of Health database. SPECIFIC ORAL DISEASES: Dental caries, destructive periodontal diseases, cancrum oris and oral cancer. CONCLUSIONS: The reported growing disparity between rich and poor populations, both internationally and nationally, is arguably being exacerbated by economic globalization. Increasing levels of the above specific oral diseases might be attributed, in part, to this economic phenomenon. [source]

Histone H1 and MAP Kinase Activities in Bovine Oocytes following Protein Synthesis Inhibition

B Meinecke
In vitro nuclear maturation is associated with known activity profiles of the M-phase promoting factor (MPF) and the mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases, which are two key regulators of mitotic and meiotic cell cycles. Initiation of meiotic resumption in vitro can be prevented by cycloheximide treatment and after removal of the inhibitor germinal vesicle breakdown takes place nearly twice as fast as in untreated controls. In this study experiments were conducted in order to examine the chromosome condensation status and the dynamics of MPF and MAP kinase activities after cycloheximide treatment (10 ,g/ml) of cumulus-enclosed oocytes for 17 and 24 h, respectively, and subsequent culture in inhibitor-free medium for various times. Bovine oocytes displayed variations in the degree of chromosome condensation at the end of the inhibitor treatment phase. Following removal of the inhibitor germinal vesicle breakdown occurred after 4,5 h of subsequent culture in inhibitor-free medium. MPF and MAP kinase exhibited low activities during the first 1,3 h following cycloheximide treatment. Increasing levels of enzyme activities were detected 4,7 h following cycloheximide treatment for 17 and 24 h, respectively, and subsequent culture in inhibitor-free medium. The patterns of enzyme activities corresponded with the accelerated nuclear maturation process. It can be concluded that cycloheximide treatment does not lead to a more synchronous course of nuclear maturation and that the activities of both, MPF and MAP kinase are initiated at least 2,5 h earlier in comparison with untreated oocytes. [source]

Feeding value of total mixed ration silage with spent mushroom substrate

Chuncheng XU
ABSTRACT Six wethers were used in a digestibility experiment arranged as replicated 3 × 3 Latin square to evaluate the nutritive value of total mixed ration (TMR) silages that were made from ensiling of TMR containing 0, 6.5 and 13.0% (dry matter basis) of spent mushroom substrate (SMS) for 45 days (treatments denoted as CSMS, LSMS and HSMS, respectively). The amount of SMS replaced the same amount of timothy hay in the respective TMR. All TMR were well preserved as indicated by their low pH, low ammonia-N and high lactic acid contents. Increasing levels of SMS in the TMR silage quadratically reduced (P < 0.05) nutrient digestibility with the exception of ether extract. The difference of total digestible nutrients and digestible energy contents between LSMS and CSMS TMR silage were less than those between LSMS and HSMS. Increasing concentration of SMS in the ration tended to decrease content of total volatile fatty acids in rumen fluid but increased the ratio of acetate to propionate and pH. The study suggests that a SMS level of 6.5% in the diet DM can be recommended for silage based TMR. [source]

A multivariate approach to optimization of macronutrient composition in weaning diets for cod (Gadus morhua)

Abstract Atlantic cod, initial weight 0.26 g, were fed diets varying in added protein from 530 to 830 g kg,1, lipid from 50 to 300 g kg,1 and carbohydrate from 0 to 150 g kg,1 of dry weight, according to a three-component mixture design. Analysed values of protein and lipid were 500,770 g kg,1 and 30,270 g kg,1, respectively. Analysed carbohydrate levels were as added. Increasing levels of both lipid and carbohydrate had a positive effect on fish growth (P < 10,3), whereas protein levels above 600 g kg,1 gave a reduction in growth (P < 10,4). The effects on growth were evident in fish less than 4 g, whereas fish growth between 4 and 6 g was unaffected by the dietary variation. It is hypothesized that the reduction in growth at high protein levels in fish of less than 4 g could be owing to incomplete utilization of protein, as the stomach of cod is not fully developed before the fish is approximately 1 g. Mortality and cannibalism were high in fish less than 4 g but low when the fish grew from 4 to 6 g. There was a significant decrease in cannibalism with increasing dietary lipid during the first half of the experiment (P < 0.05) and cannibalism was consistently high in fish fed less than 150 g kg,1 lipid. The lipid level in whole fish increased with increasing dietary levels of lipid (P < 10,6) and carbohydrate (P < 10,4), whereas the liver lipid level increased with increasing dietary lipid up to 200 g kg,1 (P < 10,6) and decreased thereafter (P < 10,4). Whole body glycogen increased slightly with increasing levels of dietary carbohydrate (P < 0.05) and was not affected by the other dietary variables. Liver glycogen increased in response to increasing dietary carbohydrate (P < 10,5) and decreasing levels of dietary lipid (P < 10,5). An abrupt increase in liver glycogen was seen with the reduction in dietary lipid from 100 to 50 g kg,1. The hepatosomatic index increased in response to both dietary lipid and carbohydrate (P < 10,6). It is concluded that the protein requirement of young cod is less than 500 g kg,1 of dry diet. Fish of less than 4 g should not be given more than 620 g kg,1 protein and should be supplemented with 150,200 g kg,1 lipid. Carbohydrate up to 150 g kg,1 of dry diet promoted growth and did not seem to affect the fish negatively. Fish above 4 g can be given diets varying in protein and carbohydrate over the wide range of concentrations used in the present study, but lipid supplementation should be restricted to between 100 and 200 g kg,1. [source]

The effect of vitamin A supplementation in broodstock feed on reproductive performance and larval quality in Penaeus chinensis

L. Mengqing
Abstract The effect of feeding four semi-purified diets A1, A2, A3, A4, containing different vitamin A acetate levels 0, 20, 40, 60 mg kg,1 diet, respectively, on fecundity, egg hatching rate, larval survival rate and vitamin A content in eggs of Chinese shrimp (Penaeus chinensis) broodstock was compared with a fresh clam diet (control) in a 60-day feeding trial. The broodstock shrimp fed the diet with 60 mg kg,1 vitamin A acetate added exhibited significantly higher fecundity (P < 0.01). Hatching rate was highest with diet A4 (P < 0.05), whereas hatching rates were similar fed diets A1, A2, A3. Increasing levels of vitamin A in broodstock diet resulted in improvement in larval quality. The vitamin A levels in shrimp eggs from broodstock fed with diet A4 were higher compared with those from broodstock fed with diet A1, A2 (P < 0.01). The fecundity and hatching percentages were positively correlated with the vitamin A content in eggs in the present study. The results of this study showed that higher level of vitamin A in broodstock diet may have positive effects on fecundity and larval quality in P. chinensis. [source]

Bone marrow cyclooxygenase-2 levels are elevated in chronic-phase chronic myeloid leukaemia and are associated with reduced survival

Francis J. Giles
Summary., Increased angiogenesis is important in the pathophysiology of haematological malignancies. Cyclooxygenase-2 (Cox-2) converts arachidonic acid to prostaglandins, which induce expression of angiogenic factors, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), basic-fibroblast growth factor, transforming growth factor-, and interleukin 6. Cox-2 may also reduce apoptosis and reduce cellular attachment to the extracellular matrix (ECM). Increased bone marrow (BM) vascularity, increased BM cellular and plasma VEGF levels, and decreased progenitor adherence to BM ECM have all been observed in chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML). We investigated the prognostic significance of levels of Cox-2 in BM cells from patients with CML. Western blot and solid-phase radioimmunoassay (RIA) were used to measure Cox-2 BM levels in 149 patients with chronic phase CML (CP CML). Results were compared with those of normal controls. Expression of Cox-2 was significantly higher in CML than in normal controls (P < 0·0001). Increasing levels of Cox-2 were significantly associated with shorter survival (P = 0·0002, Cox proportional hazard model). A multivariate model based on Cox-2 and degree of splenomegaly was developed for survival in patients with early CP CML. Agents that inhibit Cox-2 activity merit investigation in patients with CP CML. [source]

Influence of clinical status on the association between plasma total and unbound bilirubin and death or adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in extremely low birth weight infants

W Oh
Abstract Objectives:, To assess the influence of clinical status on the association between total plasma bilirubin and unbound bilirubin on death or adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes at 18,22 months corrected age in extremely low birth weight infants. Method:, Total plasma bilirubin and unbound bilirubin were measured in 1101 extremely low birth weight infants at 5 ± 1 days of age. Clinical criteria were used to classify infants as clinically stable or unstable. Survivors were examined at 18,22 months corrected age by certified examiners. Outcome variables were death or neurodevelopmental impairment, death or cerebral palsy, death or hearing loss, and death prior to follow-up. For all outcomes, the interaction between bilirubin variables and clinical status was assessed in logistic regression analyses adjusted for multiple risk factors. Results:, Regardless of clinical status, an increasing level of unbound bilirubin was associated with higher rates of death or neurodevelopmental impairment, death or cerebral palsy, death or hearing loss and death before follow-up. Total plasma bilirubin values were directly associated with death or neurodevelopmental impairment, death or cerebral palsy, death or hearing loss, and death before follow-up in unstable infants, but not in stable infants. An inverse association between total plasma bilirubin and death or cerebral palsy was found in stable infants. Conclusions:, In extremely low birth weight infants, clinical status at 5 days of age affects the association between total plasma bilirubin and death or adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes at 18,22 months of corrected age. An increasing level of UB is associated a higher risk of death or adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes regardless of clinical status. Increasing levels of total plasma bilirubin are directly associated with increasing risk of death or adverse neurodevelopmental outcomes in unstable, but not in stable infants. [source]

Accounting Conservatism and the Temporal Trends in Current Earnings' Ability to Predict Future Cash Flows versus Future Earnings: Evidence on the Trade-off between Relevance and Reliability

M41; C23; D21; G38 This research reports that an increasing level of accounting conservatism over the 1973,2005 period is associated with: (1) an increase in the ability of current earnings to predict future cash flows and (2) a decrease in the ability of current earnings to predict future earnings. We also find that usefulness of earnings for explaining stock prices over book values is positively related to reliability but not to relevance. Our results hold for the constant and full samples in both in-sample and out-of-sample analyses and are robust to the use of alternative measures for relevance, reliability, earnings usefulness, and conservatism. Our findings about the relations among conservatism, relevance, reliability, and usefulness suggest a trade-off between relevance and reliability and seem to indicate that the adoption of an increasing number of conservative accounting standards has a possible adverse impact on earnings usefulness through a negative effect on reliability. [source]

Witnessing invasive paediatric procedures, including resuscitation, in the emergency department: A parental perspective

Jonathon Isoardi
Abstract Objective:, To determine whether parents prefer to be present during invasive procedures performed on their children in the ED. Methods:, A prospective study using a written survey was carried out in the ED of a secondary level regional hospital in south-east Queensland. The survey conducted between August 2003 and November 2003 consisted of parental demographics, seven theoretical paediatric procedural scenarios with increasing level of procedural invasiveness (including resuscitation) and reasons for the decisions of parents to either stay with the child or leave the room. Parents of children with Australasian Triage Scale (ATS) triage category 3, 4 and 5 were surveyed. Results:, Of 573 surveys collected, 553 (96.5%) were completed correctly. The number of parents expressing a desire to be present during a procedure performed on their child was 519 (93.9%) for phlebotomy or i.v. cannulation of an extremity, 485 (87.7%) for nasogastric tube insertion, 461 (83.4%) for lumbar puncture, 464 (83.9%) for urinary catheter insertion, 430 (77.8%) for suprapubic bladder aspiration, 519 (93.4%) during procedural sedation and 470 (85%) during a resuscitation where the possibility existed that their child may die. The most common reason for wanting to be present was to provide comfort to their child (542/98%). The most common reason for not wanting to be present was a parental concern of getting in the way (181/33%). Conclusion:, Most parents surveyed would want to be present when invasive procedures are performed on their children in the ED. With increasing invasiveness, parental desire to be present decreased. However, the overwhelming majority of parents would want to be in attendance during procedural sedation or resuscitation. [source]

Relationship between presence of basidiomes, above-ground symptoms and root infection by Collybia fusipes in oaks

B. Marçis
Summary Collybia fusipes is a common cause of root rot on oak in the north of France. Collybia fusipes basidiomes can be as frequent on oaks in stands where no decline of the trees occurs compared with stands where the decline is chronic. This might be explained by differences in the amount of roots damaged by the parasite. To test that hypothesis, 430 oak trees, Quercus petraea, Quercus robur and Quercus rubra, located in six forests were selected. Half of them showed C. fusipes basidiomes at the trunk base. The association between presence of basidiomes and decline of affected trees depended on the forest. The level of infection of each tree by C. fusipes, as well as the crown appearance, the tree height : diameter at breast height ratio, age and sapwood width were determined. The presence of C. fusipes basidiomes was always associated with significant root infections. The crowns of the trees deteriorated with increasing level of root infection and the decline was severe only when the root damage was heavy. Although the decline of trees that were heavily damaged by C. fusipes was severe in some of the stands, in others, it was only mild, and so the differences in tree decline between the stands could not be attributed solely to differences in root infection severity. Trees damaged by C. fusipes seemed not to be subjected to more competition than their undamaged neighbour as reflected by a similar tree height: diameter at breast height ratio. [source]

Carbaryl exposure and incident cancer in the Agricultural Health Study

Rajeev Mahajan
Abstract Carbaryl is a carbamate insecticide with a broad spectrum of uses in agricultural, commercial and household settings. It has previously been linked with non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) but studies of cancer risk in humans are limited. We examined occupational carbaryl use and risk of all cancers in the Agricultural Health Study, a prospective study of a cohort of pesticide applicators in North Carolina and Iowa. This analysis included 21,416 subjects (1,291 cases) enrolled from 1993,1997 and followed for cancer incidence through 2003. Pesticide exposure and other data were collected using self-administered questionnaires. Poisson regression was used to calculate rate ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) while controlling for potential confounders. Carbaryl was not associated with cancer risk overall. Relative to subjects who never used carbaryl, melanoma risk was elevated with >175 lifetime exposure-days (RR = 4.11; 95%CI, 1.33,12.75; p -trend = 0.07), >10 years of use (RR = 3.19; 95%CI, 1.28,7.92; p -trend = 0.04), or ,10 days of use per year (RR = 5.50; 95%CI, 2.19,13.84; p -trend < 0.001). Risk remained after adjusting for sunlight exposure. Although not significant, there appeared to be a trend of decreasing prostate cancer risk with increasing level of exposure. A small increase in NHL risk was observed using some, but not all, exposure measures. No associations were observed with other examined cancer sites. Because the observed results were not hypothesized a priori and because of limited study of their biological plausibility, they should be interpreted with caution. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Alcohol consumption and risk of prostate cancer in middle-aged men

W. Marieke Schoonen
Abstract Alcohol consumption is a modifiable lifestyle factor that may affect prostate cancer risk. Alcohol alters the hormonal milieu and contains chemical substances such as flavonoids (red wine), which may alter tumor cell growth. Data from a population-based case-control study in King County, WA, were utilized to evaluate the association of alcohol consumption with prostate cancer in middle-aged men. A total of 753 newly diagnosed prostate cancer cases, 40,64 years of age, participated in the study. Seven hundred three control subjects, frequency matched to cases by age, were selected through random digit dialing. All participants completed an in-person interview on lifetime alcohol consumption and other risk factors for prostate cancer. Logistic regression models were used to estimate odds ratios (OR) and assess significance (95% confidence intervals [CI]). All tests of statistical significance were two-sided. No clear association with prostate cancer risk was seen for overall alcohol consumption. Each additional glass of red wine consumed per week showed a statistically significant 6% decrease in relative risk (OR = 0.94; 95% CI = 0.90,0.98), and there was evidence for a decline in risk estimates across increasing categories of red wine intake (trend p = 0.02). No clear associations were seen for consumption of beer or liquor. Our present study suggests that consumption of beer or liquor is not associated with prostate cancer. There may be, however, a reduced relative risk associated with increasing level of red wine consumption. Further research is needed to evaluate the potential negative association between red wine intake and prostate cancer risk. [source]

Modelling current trends in Northern Hemisphere temperatures

Terence C. Mills
Abstract Fitting a trend is of interest in many disciplines, but it is of particular importance in climatology, where estimating the current and recent trend in temperature is thought to provide a major indication of the presence of global warming. A range of ad hoc methods of trend fitting have been proposed, with little consensus as to the most appropriate techniques to use. The aim of this paper is to consider a range of trend extraction techniques, none of which require ,padding' out the series beyond the end of the available observations, and to use these to estimate the trend of annual mean Northern Hemisphere (NH) temperatures. A comparison of the trends estimated by these methods thus provides a robust indication of the likely range of current trend temperature increases and hence inform, in a timely quantitative fashion, arguments based on global temperature data concerning the nature and extent of global warming and climate change. For the complete sample 1856,2003, the trend is characterised as having long waves about an underlying increasing level. Since around 1970, all techniques display a pronounced warming trend. However, they also provide a range of trend functions so that extrapolation far into the future would be a hazardous exercise. Copyright © 2006 Royal Meteorological Society. [source]

Changing Patterns in Family Farming: The Case of the Pampa Region, Argentina

In the past few decades, Argentine agriculture has been significantly reorganized. Changes include the marked growth of export production, the need for an increasing level of capital investment and technological incorporation into farms and the restructuring of public intervention. This paper examines the dynamics of farm exit and the adjustments made by capitalized family farmers in the Pampa region. We suggest transformations in family farms are the result of a substantial shift in their main characteristics which historically combined the use of family labour, a certain accumulation capacity and ownership status. In particular, we will discuss the different and changing patterns of farm operations and the adjustments made with respect to work and land tenure. [source]

The importance of host spatial distribution for parasite specialization and speciation: a comparative study of bird fleas (Siphonaptera: Ceratophyllidae)

Frédéric Tripet
Summary 1The environment of parasites is determined largely by their hosts. Variation in host quality, abundance and spatial distribution affects the balance between selection within hosts and gene flow between hosts, and this should determine the evolution of a parasite's host-range and its propensity to locally adapt and speciate. 2We investigated the relationship between host spatial distribution and (1) parasite host range, (2) parasite mobility and (3) parasite geographical range, in a comparative study of a major group of avian ectoparasites, the birds fleas belonging to the Ceratophyllidae (Siphonaptera). 3Flea species parasitizing colonial birds had narrower host ranges than those infesting territorial nesters or birds with an intermediate level of nest aggregation. 4The potential mobility and geographical ranges of fleas decreased with increasing level of aggregation of their hosts and increased with the fleas' host ranges. 5Birds with aggregated nest distribution harboured more flea species mainly due to a larger number of specialists than solitarily nesting hosts. 6These results emphasize the importance of host spatial distribution for the evolution of specialization, and for local adaptation and speciation in Ceratophyllid bird fleas. [source]

Effects of variety, cropping year, location and fertilizer application on nutritive value of durum wheat straw

A. Tolera
Summary This study was carried out to assess the effects of variety, year, location and level of fertilizer application on chemical composition and in sacco dry matter (DM) degradability of durum wheat straw as well as to understand the relationship between straw quality and agronomic traits of the crop and to assess the possibilities of selecting wheat varieties that combine high grain yield with desirable straw quality. Two local (Arendeto and Tikur sinde) and two improved (Boohai and Gerardo) varieties of durum wheat (Triticum turgidum Desf.) were used in the experiment. The four varieties were grown at two locations (Akaki and Ejere) in the years 2001/2002 and 2002/2003 in 5 × 5 m plots in three replications. Diammonium phosphate and urea fertilizers were applied at four levels (0/0, 32/23, 41/23 and 64/46 kg/ha of nitrogen/phosphorus). Straw quality was assessed based on chemical composition and in sacco DM degradability. Correlation of straw quality with grain and straw yield and with other agronomic characteristics of the crop was determined. The potential utility index (a measure that integrates grain and digestible straw yield) was used for ranking of the varieties. The local varieties had higher crude protein (CP) and lower neutral detergent fibre contents and higher digestibility than the improved varieties. The cropping year and location had significant effect on CP content and degradability of the straw, which could be due to climatic variation. However, the fertilizer level did not have any significant effect on straw quality except that the CP content of the straw tended to increase with increasing level of fertilizer application. Based on the potential utility index the varieties ranked, in a decreasing order, as Tikur sinde > Arendeto > Gerardo > Boohai and the ranking was consistent across years and locations. Except the CP content, straw quality was not negatively correlated with grain and straw yield. This indicates that there is a possibility of selecting varieties of wheat that combine high grain and straw yield with desirable straw quality. [source]

Identifying trajectories of birth-related fatigue of expectant fathers

Ya-Ling Tzeng
Aims and objectives., The objectives of this prospective study were to identify birth-related fatigue trajectories in expectant fathers with the progress of labour and the physiological, psychological and situational factors related to specific trajectory patterns. Background., An increasing number of fathers participate in their partner's labour; however, their fatigue experience remains unclear. Previous studies have focused on overall groups without considering the possibility of between-subject heterogeneity. With an advanced data-analytic strategy, it is feasible to identify subgroup variation within the population over time. Design., A prospective, repeated measures design was used. Method., A convenience sample of 108 Taiwanese expectant fathers was followed throughout the labour process. Data were collected by visual analogue scales and self-administered questionnaires. The repeated measures of fatigue were analysed by using semi-parametric, group-based modelling. Results., Two distinct groups of individual trajectories among the expectant fathers were identified; the persistent low-fatigue group (49·2%) and the persistent high-fatigue group (50·8%). After birth, a moderate level of fatigue persisted in the high-fatigue group. The fastest period of increasing level in the persistent high-fatigue group was in the latent phase. The persistent high-fatigue group also experienced significantly more sleep difficulties prior to labour and more anxiety than the persistent low-fatigue group. Conclusions., Identifying and characterising meaningful clusters of trajectories could provide a better understanding of the birth-related fatigue experience of fathers and contributes to recognising the target client and timing for early intervention. Relevance to clinical practice., There are points in time at which professional caregiver actions may have an effect on the birth-related fatigue of fathers. Caregivers should prevent high levels of fatigue, which could accumulate as fathers accompany the women entering the labour phase. Fathers who present with high fatigue at onset of labour should receive early intervention, especially in the rapid-increasing fatigue period. [source]

How Often Do Subscores Have Added Value?

Results from Operational, Simulated Data
Recently, there has been an increasing level of interest in subscores for their potential diagnostic value. Haberman suggested a method based on classical test theory to determine whether subscores have added value over total scores. In this article I first provide a rich collection of results regarding when subscores were found to have added value for several operational data sets. Following that I provide results from a detailed simulation study that examines what properties subscores should possess in order to have added value. The results indicate that subscores have to satisfy strict standards of reliability and correlation to have added value. A weighted average of the subscore and the total score was found to have added value more often. [source]

Automatic guidance of a four-wheel-steering mobile robot for accurate field operations

Christophe Cariou
As world population growth requires an increasing level of farm production at the same time that environmental preservation is a priority, the development of new agricultural tools and methods is required. In this framework, the development of robotic devices can provide an attractive solution, particularly in the field of autonomous vehicles. Accurate automatic guidance of mobile robots in farming constitutes a challenging problem for researchers, mainly due to the low grip conditions usually found in such a context. From assisted-steering systems to agricultural robotics, numerous control algorithms have been studied to achieve high-precision path tracking and have reached an accuracy within ±10 cm, whatever the ground configuration and the path to be followed. However, most existing approaches consider classical two-wheel-steering vehicles. Unfortunately, by using such a steering system, only the lateral deviation with respect to the path to be followed can be satisfactorily controlled. Indeed, the heading of the vehicle remains dependent on the grip conditions, and crabwise motions, for example, are systematically observed on a slippery slope, leading to inaccurate field operations. To tackle this drawback, a four-wheel-steering (4WS) mobile robot is considered, enabling servo of both lateral and angular deviations with respect to a desired trajectory. The path tracking control is designed using an extended kinematic representation, allowing account to be taken online of wheel skidding, while a backstepping approach permits management of the 4WS structure. The result is an approach taking advantage of both rear and front steering actuations to fully compensate for sliding effects during path tracking. Moreover, a predictive algorithm is developed in order to address delays induced by steering actuators, compensating for transient overshoots in curves. Experimental results demonstrate that despite sliding phenomena, the mobile robot is able to automatically and accurately achieve a desired path, with lateral and angular errors, respectively, within ±10 cm and ±2 deg, whatever its shape and whatever the terrain conditions. This constitutes a promising result in efforts to define efficient tools with which to tackle tomorrow's agriculture challenge. © 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]

Microbial levan in the diet of Labeo rohita Hamilton juveniles: effect on non-specific immunity and histopathological changes after challenge with Aeromonas hydrophila

S K Gupta
Abstract A 60-day feeding trial was conducted to study the immuno-protective effect of microbial levan on Labeo rohita juveniles challenged with Aeromonas hydrophila. Six purified diets were prepared with different levels of microbial levan: control (no levan), T1 (Basal + 0.25%), T2 (Basal + 0.50%), T3 (Basal + 0.75%), T4 (Basal + 1%) and T5 (Basal + 1.25%), fed to six groups of fish in triplicate. Among the treatment groups the haemoglobin content and total leucocyte count were increased with a dietary supplementation of levan at 1% or more. An increasing trend for total erythrocyte count was observed with increasing level of dietary levan. Lower levan-supplemented groups showed a higher albumin/globulin ratio. As the levan supplementation was increased, there was a gradual increase in serum lysozyme activity and respiratory burst activity [nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) assay] reduction values. The highest lysozyme activity and NBT were observed in the T5 group although this was similar to the T4 group (P > 0.05). No significant histo-architectural changes were associated with dietary levan levels. After challenge with A. hydrophila, moderately degenerated hepatocytes, oedema and leucocytic infiltration in parenchymatous tissues, and extensive haemorrhage and haemosiderosis in the kidney were observed in the control group. However, the T5 group supplemented with 1.25% levan showed infiltrating leucocytes in the liver while the kidney showed only moderate degeneration of renal tubules. The relative survival per cent of juveniles after challenge with A. hydrophila was the highest in the T5 group followed by T4. This suggests that microbial levan at 1.25% can be used as dietary immunostimulant for L. rohita juveniles. [source]

Chronic Kidney Disease, Transplantation Practices and Transplantation Law in Pakistan: Opportunity for a Global Meditation

Faheem AkhtarArticle first published online: 22 JUN 200
Abstract The majority of countries have enacted edicts to regulate organ transplantation due to mounting recognition of its intricacies and increasing level of global disquiet. Frail national economy and status of health care infrastructure restricts access of the local population to both dialysis and transplantation in Pakistan. There is a surge in kidney transplantation activities, however. I have reported the enormity of organ crime in Pakistan. The number of commercial renal transplants range from 3000 to 4500. Foreign nationals share the marketplace. There are current attempts from the government to stop organ trade by strictly enforcing a recently sanctioned law on organ transplantation. Scarcity of comprehensive reliable data has hampered plausible assessments and indispensable modifications to facilitate designs for the future health care. Alternatives to organ transplantation will augment the choice of treatment modalities for a proliferating end-stage renal disease (ESRD) population. The whole array of existing therapeutic modalities for ESRD has to be utilized. Promoting a fresh culture of organ donation by strengthening of the family institution may be another objective. [source]

Female-biased natal and breeding dispersal in an alpine lizard, Niveoscincus microlepidotus

We measured two aspects of dispersal in the alpine Australian scincid lizard, Niveoscincus micolepidotus: (1) natal dispersal, i.e. shift in home range over the lizard's first year of life, and (2) breeding dispersal, i.e. shifts of home ranges between breeding attempts as adults. On average, displacements were surprisingly small. Female neonates dispersed about twice as far as did males in the same cohort (means of 12 m vs. 6 m). A female's natal dispersal distance was not correlated with her body size or our estimate of physiological performance (sprint speed). However, larger, faster-running male neonates dispersed further than did smaller, slower males. As was the case for neonates, adult females moved significantly further between breeding seasons than did adult males (14.2 m vs. 9.6 m). Because of a female's long gestation period (more than 1 year), two groups of females occur simultaneously in the population, non-ovulated (i.e. with yolking folicles) and pregnant females (i.e. approaching parturition). Females that were not yet ovulated showed a markedly stronger dispersal in response to high reproductive effort (i.e. clutch size in relation to body condition) than did pregnant females. In adult males, body size was negatively correlated with dispersal distance, suggesting that although males have overlapping territories, they exhibit an increasing level of site tenacity with age and/or size. Thus, selection for the relatively more pronounced site tenacity in adult males may have resulted in the more marked philopatric behaviour compared to females also as neonates. © 2003 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2003, 79, 277,283. [source]