Abstract: Obesity in children particularly draws attention, because it may threaten the individual’s future life due to many chronic diseases it may lead to. Most of these diseases including obesity itself altogether are related to inflammation. For this reason, inflammation-related parameters gain importance. Within this context, complete blood cell counts, ratios or indices derived from these counts have recently found some platform to be used as inflammatory markers. So far, mostly adipokines were investigated within the field of obesity. Metabolic inflammation is closely associated with cellular dysfunction. In this study, hematologic inflammatory markers and cytokines produced predominantly by the liver (fibroblast growth factor-21 (FGF-21) and fetuin A) were investigated in pediatric obesity. Two groups were constituted from 76 obese children based on World Health Organization criteria. Group 1 was composed of children, whose age- and sex-adjusted body mass index (BMI) percentiles were between 95 and 99. Group 2 consists of children, who are above 99th percentile. The first and the latter groups were defined as obese (OB) and morbid obese (MO). Anthropometric measurements of the children were performed. Informed consent forms and the approval of the institutional ethics committee were obtained. Blood cell counts and ratios were determined by automated hematology analyzer. The related ratios and indexes were calculated. Statistical evaluation of the data was performed by SPSS program. There was no statistically significant difference in terms of neutrophil-to lymphocyte ratio, monocyte-to-high density lipoprotein cholesterol ratio and platelet-to-lymphocyte ratio between the groups. Mean platelet volume and platelet distribution width values were decreased (p < 0.05), total platelet count, red cell distribution width (RDW) and systemic immune inflammation index values were increased (p < 0.01) in MO group. Both hepatokines were increased in the same group, however increases were not statistically significant. In this group, also a strong correlation was calculated between FGF-21 and RDW when controlled by age, hematocrit, iron and ferritin (r = 0.425; p < 0.01). In conclusion, the association between RDW, a hematologic inflammatory marker, and FGF-21, an inflammation-related hepatokine, found in MO group is an important finding discriminating between OB and MO children. This association is even more powerful when controlled by age and iron-related parameters.
Abstract: Handling life-critical systems complexity requires to be equipped with appropriate technology and the right human agents’ functions such as knowledge, experience, and competence in problem’s prevention and solving. Human agents are involved in the management and control of human-machine system’s performance. Documenting human agent’s situation awareness is crucial to support human-machine designers’ decision-making. Knowledge about risks, critical parameters and factors that can impact and threaten automation system’s performance should be collected using preventive and retrospective approaches. This paper aims to document operators’ situation awareness through the analysis of automated organizations’ feedback. The analysis of automated hospital pharmacies feedback helps identify and control critical parameters influencing human machine interaction in order to enhance system’s performance and security. Our human machine system evaluation approach has been deployed in Macon hospital center’s pharmacy which is equipped with automated drug dispensing systems since 2015. Automation’s specifications are related to technical aspects, human-machine interaction, and human aspects. The evaluation of drug delivery automation performance in Macon hospital center has shown that the performance of the automated activity depends on the performance of the automated solution chosen, and also on the control of systemic factors. In fact, 80.95% of automation specification related to the chosen Sinteco’s automated solution is met. The performance of the chosen automated solution is involved in 28.38% of automation specifications performance in Macon hospital center. The remaining systemic parameters involved in automation specifications performance need to be controlled.
Abstract: High grade ovarian epithelial cancer (OEC) is the most fatal gynecological cancer and poor prognosis of this entity is closely related to considerable intratumoral genetic heterogeneity. By examining imaging data, it is possible to assess the heterogeneity of tumorous tissue. This study presents a methodology for aligning, segmenting and finally visualizing information from various magnetic resonance imaging series, in order to construct 3D models of heterogeneity maps from the same tumor in OEC patients. The proposed system may be used as an adjunct digital tool by health professionals for personalized medicine, as it allows for an easy visual assessment of the heterogeneity of the examined tumor.
Abstract: In the modern world, ice-hockey (and in a broader sense, team sports) is becoming an increasingly popular field of entertainment. Although the main element is most likely perceived as the show itself, winning is an inevitable part of the successful operation of any sports team. In this paper, the author creates a research design allowing to develop and validate an ice-hockey team-focused diagnostics scale, which enables researchers and practitioners to identify the problems associated with underperforming teams. The construction of the scale starts with personal interviews with experts of the field, carefully chosen from Hungarian ice-hockey sector. Based on the interviews, the author is shown to be in the position to create the categories and the relevant items for the scale. When constructed, the next step is the validation process on a Hungarian sample. Data for validation are acquired through reaching the licensed database of the Hungarian Ice-Hockey Federation involving Hungarian ice-hockey coaches and players. The Ice-Hockey Team Diagnostics Scale is to be created to orientate practitioners in understanding both effective and underperforming team work.
Abstract: After 27 years, Malaysia reported polio cases in 2019 involving the children of the undocumented migrants living in Sabah. These undocumented migrants present a significant challenge in achieving the elimination of vaccine-preventable diseases (VPD). Due to the recent polio outbreak among the undocumented migrant children in Sabah, an in-depth interview was conducted among the caregivers of undocumented migrant children to identify the barriers and drivers towards vaccinating their children. Financial barriers, legal citizenship status, language barrier, the COVID-19 pandemic, and physical barriers have been the barriers to access vaccination services by undocumented migrants. Five significant drivers for undocumented migrants to vaccinate their children are social influence, fear of disease, parental trust in healthcare providers, good support, and vaccine availability. Necessary action should be taken immediately to address the problems of vaccinating the children of undocumented migrants to prevent the re-emergence of VPD.
Abstract: Analysis of the human microbiome using metagenomic
sequencing data has demonstrated high ability in discriminating
various human diseases. Raw metagenomic sequencing data require
multiple complex and computationally heavy bioinformatics steps
prior to data analysis. Such data contain millions of short sequences
read from the fragmented DNA sequences and stored as fastq files.
Conventional processing pipelines consist in multiple steps including
quality control, filtering, alignment of sequences against genomic
catalogs (genes, species, taxonomic levels, functional pathways,
etc.). These pipelines are complex to use, time consuming and
rely on a large number of parameters that often provide variability
and impact the estimation of the microbiome elements. Training
Deep Neural Networks directly from raw sequencing data is a
promising approach to bypass some of the challenges associated with
mainstream bioinformatics pipelines. Most of these methods use the
concept of word and sentence embeddings that create a meaningful
and numerical representation of DNA sequences, while extracting
features and reducing the dimensionality of the data. In this paper
we present an end-to-end approach that classifies patients into disease
groups directly from raw metagenomic reads: metagenome2vec. This
approach is composed of four steps (i) generating a vocabulary of
k-mers and learning their numerical embeddings; (ii) learning DNA
sequence (read) embeddings; (iii) identifying the genome from which
the sequence is most likely to come and (iv) training a multiple
instance learning classifier which predicts the phenotype based on
the vector representation of the raw data. An attention mechanism
is applied in the network so that the model can be interpreted,
assigning a weight to the influence of the prediction for each genome.
Using two public real-life data-sets as well a simulated one, we
demonstrated that this original approach reaches high performance,
comparable with the state-of-the-art methods applied directly on
processed data though mainstream bioinformatics workflows. These
results are encouraging for this proof of concept work. We believe
that with further dedication, the DNN models have the potential to
surpass mainstream bioinformatics workflows in disease classification
Abstract: The ancestral relationship between humans and geographical environment has long been at the center of an interdisciplinary dialogue, which sees one of its main research nodes in the relationship between memory and places. Given its deep complexity, this symbiotic connection continues to look for a proper definition that appears increasingly negotiated by different disciplines. Numerous fields of knowledge are involved, from anthropology to semiotics of space, from photography to architecture, up to subjects traditionally far from these reasonings. This is the case of Design of Communication, a young discipline, now confident in itself and its objectives, aimed at finding and investigating original forms of visualization and representation, between sedimented knowledge and new technologies. In particular, Design of Communication for the Territory offers an alternative perspective to the debate, encouraging the reactivation and reconstruction of the memory of places. Recognizing mnemotopes as a cultural object of vertical interpretation of the memory-place relationship, design can become a real mediator of the territorial fixation of memories, making them increasingly accessible and perceptible, contributing to build a topography of memory. According to a mnemotopic vision, Communication Design can support the passage from a memory in which the observer participates only as an individual to a collective form of memory. A mnemotopic form of Communication Design can, through geolocation and content map-based systems, make chronology a topography rooted in the territory and practicable; it can be useful to understand how the perception of the memory of places changes over time, considering how to insert them in the contemporary world. Mnemotopes can be materialized in different format of translation, editing and narration and then involved in complex systems of communication. The memory of places, therefore, if stabilized by the tools offered by Communication Design, can make visible ruins and territorial stratifications, illuminating them with new communicative interests that can be shared and participated.
Abstract: During COVID-19, the depression rate has increased dramatically. Young adults are most vulnerable to the mental health effects of the pandemic. Lower-income families have a higher ratio to be diagnosed with depression than the general population, but less access to clinics. This research aims to achieve early depression detection at low cost, large scale, and high accuracy with an interdisciplinary approach by incorporating clinical practices defined by American Psychiatric Association (APA) as well as multimodal AI framework. The proposed approach detected the nine depression symptoms with Natural Language Processing sentiment analysis and a symptom-based Lexicon uniquely designed for young adults. The experiments were conducted on the multimedia survey results from adolescents and young adults and unbiased Twitter communications. The result was further aggregated with the facial emotional cues analyzed by the Convolutional Neural Network on the multimedia survey videos. Five experiments each conducted on 10k data entries reached consistent results with an average accuracy of 88.31%, higher than the existing natural language analysis models. This approach can reach 300+ million daily active Twitter users and is highly accessible by low-income populations to promote early depression detection to raise awareness in adolescents and young adults and reveal complementary cues to assist clinical depression diagnosis.
Abstract: Individuals with non-specific chronic low back pain may present altered movement patterns during functional activities. However, muscle behavior before and after performing a functional task with different load conditions is not yet fully understood. The aim of this study is to analyze lumbar muscle activity before and after performing the functional task of picking up and placing an object on the ground (with and without load) in individuals with nonspecific chronic low back pain. 20 subjects with nonspecific chronic low back pain and 20 healthy subjects participated in this study. A surface electromyography was performed in the ilio-costal, longissimus and multifidus muscles to evaluate lumbar muscle activity before and after performing the functional task of picking up and placing an object on the ground, with and without load. The symptomatic participants had greater lumbar muscle activation compared to the asymptomatic group, more evident in performing the task without load, with statistically significant difference (p = 0,033) between groups for the right multifidus muscle. This study showed that individuals with nonspecific chronic low back pain have higher muscle activation before and after performing a functional task compared to healthy participants.
Abstract: The global sanitation workforce bridges the gap between sanitation infrastructure and the provision of sanitation services through essential public service work. Manual pit emptiers often perform the work at the cost of their dignity, safety, and health as their work requires repeated heavy physical activities such as lifting, carrying, pulling, and pushing. This exposes them to occupational and environmental health hazards and risking illness, injury, and death. The study will extend the studies by presenting occupational health risks and suggestions for improvement in informal settlements of Nairobi, Kenya. This is a qualitative study conducted among sanitation stakeholders in Korogocho, Mukuru and Kibera informal settlements in Nairobi. Data were captured using digital voice recorders, transcribed and thematically analysed. The discussion notes were further supported by observational notes made during the interviews. These formed the basis for a robust picture of occupational health of manual pit emptiers; a lack or inappropriate use of protective clothing, and prolonged duration of working hours were described to contribute to the occupational health hazard. To continue working, manual pit emptiers had devised coping strategies which include working in groups, improvised protective clothing, sharing the available protective clothing, working at night and consuming alcohol drinks while at work. Many of these strategies are detrimental to their health. Occupational health hazards among pit emptiers are key for effective working and is as a result of a lack of collaboration amongst stakeholders linked to health, safety and lack of PPE of pit emptiers. Collaborations amongst sanitation stakeholders is paramount for health, safety, and in ensuring the provision and use of personal protective devices.
Abstract: Purpose: Drug gingival hyperplasia is an uncommon pathology encountered during routine work in dental units. The purpose of this paper is to present the clinical appearance of gingival hyperplasia caused by medications. There are already three classes of medications that cause hyperplasia and based on data from the literature, the clinical cases encountered and included in this study have been compared. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted in a total of 311 patients, out of which 182 patients were included in our study, meeting the inclusion criteria. After each patient's history was recorded and it was found that patients were in their knowledge of chronic illness, undergoing treatment of gingivitis hypertrophic drugs was performed with a clinical examination of oral cavity and assessment by vertical and horizontal evaluation according to the periodontal indexes. Results: Of the data collected during the study, it was observed that 97% of patients with gingival hyperplasia are treated with nifedipine. 84% of patients treated with selected medicines and gingival hyperplasia in the oral cavity has been exposed at time period for more than 1 year and 1 month. According to the GOI, in the first rank of this index are about 21% of patients, in the second rank are 52%, in the third rank are 24% and in the fourth grade are 3%. According to the horizontal growth index of gingival hyperplasia, grade 1 included about 61% of patients and grade 2 included about 39% of patients with gingival hyperplasia. Bacterial index divides patients by degrees: grading 0 - 8.2%, grading 1 - 32.4%, grading 2 - 14% and grading 3 - 45.1%. Conclusions: The highest percentage of gingival hyperplasia caused by drugs is due to dosing of nifedipine for a duration of dosing and application for systemic healing for more than 1 year.
Abstract: Isolated and confined environments (ICE) present several challenges which may adversely affect human’s psychology and physiology. Submariners in Sub-Surface Ballistic Nuclear (SSBN) mission exposed to these environmental constraints must be able to perform complex tasks as part of their normal duties, as well as during crisis periods when emergency actions are required or imminent. The operational and environmental constraints they face contribute to challenge human adaptability. The impact of such a constrained environment has yet to be explored. Establishing a knowledge framework is a determining factor, particularly in view of the next long space travels. Ensuring that the crews are maintained in optimal operational conditions is a real challenge because the success of the mission depends on them. This study focused on the evaluation of the impact of stress on mental health and sensory degradation of submariners during a mission on SSBN using cardiac biosignal (heart rate variability, HRV) clustering. This is a pragmatic exploratory study of a prospective cohort included 19 submariner volunteers. HRV was recorded at baseline to classify by clustering the submariners according to their stress level based on parasympathetic (Pa) activity. Impacts of high Pa (HPa) versus low Pa (LPa) level at baseline were assessed on emotional state and sensory perception (interoception and exteroception) as a cardiac biosignal during the patrol and at a recovery time one month after. Whatever the time, no significant difference was found in mental health between groups. There are significant differences in the interoceptive, exteroceptive and physiological functioning during the patrol and at recovery time. To sum up, compared to the LPa group, the HPa maintains a higher level in psychosensory functioning during the patrol and at recovery but exhibits a decrease in Pa level. The HPa group has less adaptable HRV characteristics, less unpredictability and flexibility of cardiac biosignals while the LPa group increases them during the patrol and at recovery time. This dissociation between psychosensory and physiological adaptation suggests two treatment modalities for ICE environments. To our best knowledge, our results are the first to highlight the impact of physiological differences in the HRV profile on the adaptability of submariners. Further studies are needed to evaluate the negative emotional and cognitive effects of ICEs based on the cardiac profile. Artificial intelligence offers a promising future for maintaining high level of operational conditions. These future perspectives will not only allow submariners to be better prepared, but also to design feasible countermeasures that will help support analog environments that bring us closer to a trip to Mars.
Abstract: The requirement for maintaining data integrity in laboratory operations is critical for regulatory compliance. Automation of procedures reduces incidence of human errors. Quality control laboratories located in low-income economies may face some barriers in attempts to automate their processes. Since data from quality control tests on pharmaceutical products are used in making regulatory decisions, it is important that laboratory reports are accurate and reliable. Zinc Sulphate (ZnSO4) tablets is used in treatment of diarrhea in pediatric population, and as an adjunct therapy for COVID-19 regimen. Unfortunately, zinc content in these formulations is determined titrimetrically; a manual analytical procedure. The assay for ZnSO4 tablets involves time-consuming steps that contain mathematical formulae prone to calculation errors. To achieve consistency, save costs, and improve data integrity, validated spreadsheets were developed to simplify the two critical steps in the analysis of ZnSO4 tablets: standardization of 0.1M Sodium Edetate (EDTA) solution, and the complexometric titration assay procedure. The assay method in the United States Pharmacopoeia was used to create a process flow for ZnSO4 tablets. For each step in the process, different formulae were input into two spreadsheets to automate calculations. Further checks were created within the automated system to ensure validity of replicate analysis in titrimetric procedures. Validations were conducted using five data sets of manually computed assay results. The acceptance criteria set for the protocol were met. Significant p-values (p < 0.05, α = 0.05, at 95% Confidence Interval) were obtained from students’ t-test evaluation of the mean values for manual-calculated and spreadsheet results at all levels of the analysis flow. Right-first-time analysis and principles of data integrity were enhanced by use of the validated spreadsheet calculators in titrimetric evaluations of ZnSO4 tablets. Human errors were minimized in calculations when procedures were automated in quality control laboratories. The assay procedure for the formulation was achieved in a time-efficient manner with greater level of accuracy. This project is expected to promote cost savings for laboratory business models.
Abstract: Among different droplet manipulations, controlled droplet-splitting is of great significance due to its ability to increase throughput and operational capability. Furthermore, unequal droplet-splitting can provide greater flexibility and a wider range of dilution factors. In this study, we developed two-dimensional, time-dependent complex fluid dynamics simulations to model droplet formation in a flow focusing device, followed by splitting in a Y-shaped junction with sub-channels of unequal widths. From the results obtained from the numerical study, we correlated the diameters of the droplets in the sub-channels to the Weber number, thereby demarcating the droplet splitting and non-splitting regimes.
Abstract: Human mobility exoskeletons have been in development for several years and are becoming increasingly efficient. Unfortunately, user comfort was not always a priority design criterion throughout their development. To further improve this technology, exoskeletons should operate and deliver assistance without causing discomfort to the user. For this, improvements are necessary from an ergonomic point of view. The device’s control method is important when endeavoring to enhance user comfort. Exoskeleton or rehabilitation device controllers use methods of control called interaction controls (admittance and impedance controls). This paper proposes an extended version of an admittance controller to enhance user comfort. The control method used consists of adding an inner loop that is controlled by a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) controller. This allows the interaction force to be kept as close as possible to the desired force trajectory. The force-tracking admittance controller modifies the actuation force of the system in order to follow both the desired motion trajectory and the desired relative force between the user and the exoskeleton.
Abstract: Being diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, the patients as well as their caretakers are affected physically and mentally. Although the medical systems in Thailand have been attempting to improve the quality and effectiveness of the treatment of the disease in terms of physical illness, the success of the treatment also depends on the quality of mental health. Metastatic breast cancer patients have found that social support is a key factor that helps them through this difficult time. It is recognized that social support in different dimensions, including emotional support, social network support, informational support, instrumental support and appraisal support, are contributing factors that positively affect the quality of life of patients in general, and it is undeniable that social support in various forms is important in promoting the quality of life of metastatic breast patients. However, previous studies have not been dedicated to investigating their quality of life concerning affective, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes. Therefore, this study aims to develop integrated social support through social networks to improve the quality of life of metastatic breast cancer patients in Thailand.
Abstract: Background: HIV virological failure still remains a problem in HV/AIDS treatment and care. This study aimed to describe the prevalence and identify the factors associated with viral non-suppression among HIV-positive adult patients on antiretroviral therapy in Woliso Town, Oromia, Ethiopia. Methods: A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted among 424 HIV-positive patient’s attending antiretroviral therapy (ART) in Woliso Town during the period from August 25, 2020 to August 30, 2020. Data collected from patient medical records were entered into Epi Info version 220.127.116.11 and exported to SPSS version 21.0 for analysis. Logistic regression analysis was done to identify factors associated with viral load non-suppression, and statistical significance of odds ratios were declared using 95% confidence interval and p-value < 0.05. Results: A total of 424 patients were included in this study. The mean age (± SD) of the study participants was 39.88 (± 9.995) years. The prevalence of HIV viral load non-suppression was 55 (13.0%) with 95% CI (9.9-16.5). Second-line ART treatment regimen (Adjusted Odds Ratio (AOR) = 8.98, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 2.64, 30.58) and routine viral load testing (AOR = 0.01, 95% CI: 0.001, 0.02) were significantly associated with virological non-suppression. Conclusion: Virological non-suppression was high, which hinders the achievement of the third global 95 target. The second-line regimen and routine viral load testing were significantly associated with virological non-suppression. It suggests the need to assess the effectiveness of antiretroviral drugs for epidemic control. It also clearly shows the need to decentralize third-line ART treatment for those patients in need.
Abstract: E10A is a kind of replication-defective adenovirus which carries the human endostatin gene to inhibit the growth of tumors. Kringle 5(K5) has almost the same function as angiostatin to also inhibit the growth of tumors since they are all the byproduct of the proteolytic cleavage of plasminogen. Tumor size increasing can be suppressed because both of the endostatin and K5 can restrain the angiogenesis process. Therefore, in order to improve the treatment effect on tumor, 2A peptide is used to construct a fusion gene carrying both E10A and K5. Using 2A peptide is an ideal strategy when a fusion gene is expressed because it can avoid many problems during the expression of more than one kind of protein. The overlap extension PCR is also used to connect 2A peptide with E10A and K5. The final construction of fusion gene E10A-2A-K5 can provide a possible new method of the anti-angiogenesis treatment with a better expression performance.
Abstract: Objective: The objective of the study was to integrate two big databases from Swiss nutrition national survey (menuCH) and Swiss health national survey 2012 for data mining purposes. Each database has a demographic base data. An integrated Swiss database is built to later discover critical food consumption patterns linked with lifestyle diseases known to be strongly tied with food consumption. Design: Swiss nutrition national survey (menuCH) with approx. 2000 respondents from two different surveys, one by Phone and the other by questionnaire along with Swiss health national survey 2012 with 21500 respondents were pre-processed, cleaned and finally integrated to a unique relational database. Results: The result of this study is an integrated relational database from the Swiss nutritional and health databases.
Abstract: Aims: We aimed to assess the efficiency of ‘Attend Anywhere’ orthodontic clinics within a district general hospital during COVID- 19. Our secondary aim was to pilot a questionnaire to assess patient satisfaction with virtual orthodontic appointments. Design: The study design is a service evaluation including pilot questionnaire. Methods: The average number of patients seen per virtual clinic and the number of patients failing to attend was compared to face-to-face clinics. The capability of virtual appointments to be successful in preventing the need for a face-to-face appointment was assessed. Patients were invited to complete a telephone pilot questionnaire focusing on patient satisfaction and accessibility. Results: There was a small increase in the number of patients failing to attend virtual appointments, with a third of the patients who did not attend failing to receive the appointment link. 81.9% of virtual clinic appointments were successful and prevented the need for a face-to-face appointment. Overall patients were very satisfied with their virtual orthodontic appointment and the majority required no assistance to access the service. Conclusions: The use of ‘Attend Anywhere’ clinics in orthodontics offers patients and clinicians an effective and efficient alternative to face-to-face appointments that patients on average find easy to use and completely satisfactory.