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Author(s):  
D. Terranova ◽  
E. Balugani ◽  
S. Righi ◽  
D. Marazza

Abstract Purpose In this work, we study a land use impact model with the aim of obtaining spatially differentiated as opposed to default average characterisation factors. In particular, we study the application of LANCA®, a multi-indicator model with available country average characterisation factors expressing the alteration of the soil quality level of the current land use of one kind with respect to a reference situation. Method To this purpose, we use the LANCA® method documentation at a higher spatial resolution and apply all the required elemental steps. From a user perspective, we score the transparency of the method down to the basic methodological references and single out the source of errors that the user may incur when: (i) collecting the input data, (ii) selecting the appropriate soil/land classes and (iii) applying the individual calculation steps. For a greater insight, we couple the source of errors with a sensitivity analysis. Results In the comparison between a site-specific test area and the related country default values, we obtained relevant discrepancies regarding the erosion resistance and the physicochemical filtration of the soil. For example, we find that the erosion resistance potential is −1.06 * 10−3 kg m2 a−1 locally while the country default value is 13.1. We explain differences through the sensitivity analysis and having analysed in depth the underpinned soil erosion equation and the critical steps for its calibration. Together with systematic errors, we find that the method generally implies 9 scarcely guided steps out of 42, and one-third of the basic methodologies are not fully explained or accessible. These factors make the results related to Biotic Production, Mechanical Filtration, Physicochemical Filtration and Groundwater Regeneration user dependent and — in this sense — difficult to replicate. Conclusions From the analysis, we distil 7 main directions for improvement addressed to LANCA® and soil models especially in sight of a broader application of a regionalised life cycle impact assessment.


Author(s):  
Ina Garg ◽  
Deepti Arora ◽  
Himanshu Joshi ◽  
Ashutosh Kumar ◽  
Seema Awasthi

Background: Tuberculosis (TB), a communicable disease, caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis requires a simple, rapid test, which can be easily carried out in a laboratory. Unfortunately, despite a battery of investigations, no definite test is available till date. Adenosine deaminase (ADA), a biochemical marker has been proposed as a useful surrogate marker for TB as its levels can be measured in body fluids. Methods: A one-and-a-half-year prospective study of 154 cases presenting with lymphadenitis from January 2019 to June 2020 was undertaken. Using cytology, lymphadenitis subjects were divided into two groups: Tubercular (104 patients) as a case group and Reactive (50 patients) as a control group. All cases were followed by serum ADA assay by colorimetric method. Nonparametric tests were performed to compare the two groups. Results: The mean age of the participants was 28.99 ± 13.26 years with a F:M ratio of 1.81:1. Involvement of cervical lymph nodes was most frequent (89.42% cases). The mean S.ADA level for tubercular and reactive lymphadenitis was 41.71 ± 11.53 U/L and 21.16 ± 4.16 U/L, respectively (P-value < 0.05). The cut-off value calculated was 32.6 U/L. The sensitivity, specificity, PPV, NPV, and accuracy were calculated as 79.81%, 100%, 100%, 70.42%, and 86.36%, respectively. Conclusion: A statistically significant increase was found in serum ADA levels in tubercular lymphadenitis cases compared to reactive lymphadenitis. Hence, it can be used as an adjunct to FNAC and is a fairly sensitive and specific test. Since it is difficult to always demonstrate AFB in FNAC smears, ADA can be helpful in establishing a definite diagnosis despite smear negativity. Keywords: adenosine deaminase, lymphadenitis, tuberculosis


Medicina ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 57 (10) ◽  
pp. 1030
Author(s):  
Iñigo Murga Gandasegui ◽  
Larraitz Aranburu Laka ◽  
Pascual-Ángel Gargiulo ◽  
Juan-Carlos Gómez-Esteban ◽  
José-Vicente Lafuente Sánchez

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS) is a disorder of unknown physiopathology with multisystemic repercussions, framed in ICD-11 under the heading of neurology (8E49). There is no specific test to support its clinical diagnosis. Our objective is to review the evidence in neuroimaging and dysautonomia evaluation in order to support the neurological involvement and to find biomarkers serving to identify and/or monitor the pathology. The symptoms typically appear acutely, although they can develop progressively over years; an essential trait for diagnosis is “central” fatigue together with physical and/or mental exhaustion after a small effort. Neuroimaging reveals various morphological, connectivity, metabolic, and functional alterations of low specificity, which can serve to complement the neurological study of the patient. The COMPASS-31 questionnaire is a useful tool to triage patients under suspect of dysautonomia, at which point they may be redirected for deeper evaluation. Recently, alterations in heart rate variability, the Valsalva maneuver, and the tilt table test, together with the presence of serum autoantibodies against adrenergic, cholinergic, and serotonin receptors were shown in a subgroup of patients. This approach provides a way to identify patient phenotypes. Broader studies are needed to establish the level of sensitivity and specificity necessary for their validation. Neuroimaging contributes scarcely to the diagnosis, and this depends on the identification of specific changes. On the other hand, dysautonomia studies, carried out in specialized units, are highly promising in order to support the diagnosis and to identify potential biomarkers. ME/CFS orients towards a functional pathology that mainly involves the autonomic nervous system, although not exclusively.


2021 ◽  
Vol 20 (5s) ◽  
pp. 1-26
Author(s):  
Kevin Weiss ◽  
Michel Rottleuthner ◽  
Thomas C. Schmidt ◽  
Matthias Wählisch

Developing an operating systems (OSs) for low-end embedded devices requires continuous adaptation to new hardware architectures and components, while serviceability of features needs to be assured for each individual platform under tight resource constraints. It is challenging to design a versatile and accurate heterogeneous test environment that is agile enough to cover a continuous evolution of the code base and platforms. This mission is even more challenging when organized in an agile open-source community process with many contributors such as for the RIOT OS. Hardware in the Loop (HiL) testing and Continuous Integration (CI) are automatable approaches to verify functionality, prevent regressions, and improve the overall quality at development speed in large community projects. In this paper, we present PHiLIP (Primitive Hardware in the Loop Integration Product), an open-source external reference device together with tools that validate the system software while it controls hardware and interprets physical signals. Instead of focusing on a specific test setting, PHiLIP takes the approach of a tool-assisted agile HiL test process, designed for continuous evolution and deployment cycles. We explain its design, describe how it supports HiL tests, evaluate performance metrics, and report on practical experiences of employing PHiLIP in an automated CI test infrastructure. Our initial deployment comprises 22 unique platforms, each of which executes 98 peripheral tests every night. PHiLIP allows for easy extension of low-cost, adaptive testing infrastructures but serves testing techniques and tools to a much wider range of applications.


Diagnostics ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (9) ◽  
pp. 1700
Author(s):  
Noemie Bricmont ◽  
Mihaela Alexandru ◽  
Bruno Louis ◽  
Jean-François Papon ◽  
Céline Kempeneers

Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) is a rare inherited ciliopathy in which respiratory cilia are stationary or dyskinetic. The clinical presentation of PCD is highly non-specific since it includes infections and disorders of the upper (otitis and rhinosinusitis) and lower (neonatal respiratory distress, bronchitis, pneumonia and bronchiectasis) airways, starting in early life. Clinical examination alone does not allow a PCD diagnosis, which relies on several concordant tests, since none are sensitive or specific enough alone. Despite being the most sensitive and specific test to diagnose PCD, digital high-speed videomicroscopy (DHSV) is not sufficiently standardized, preventing its use with complete confidence as a confirmatory diagnostic test for PCD, or its inclusion in a diagnostic algorithm. Since the 2017 ERS recommendations for PCD diagnosis, three main issues remain to be solved in order to optimize DHSV ciliary beating evaluation: the problem in defining an accurate sensitivity and specificity as there is no gold standard method to diagnose all PCD cases, a lack of standardization in the operating procedure for processing respiratory samples, and in the choice of measured parameters (self-operating or not). The development of new automated analysis approaches is promising and will require full clinical validation.


2021 ◽  
Vol 108 (Supplement_6) ◽  
Author(s):  
R Al-Habsi ◽  
G S Divya ◽  
A Hemandas

Abstract Introduction FIT is a quantitative, highly specific test to detect blood in stool for malignant and non-malignant colorectal diagnoses. Incidence of normal colonoscopy following positive FIT is not widely reported. We conducted a retrospective audit to analyse this patient cohort to evaluate diagnostic accuracy and reporting standards of colonoscopy. Method FIT-positive was defined as &gt; 10µgHb/g faeces. Using FIT value, patients were separated into Groups 1, 2 and 3: 10-99, 100-200 and &gt;200µgHb/g faeces respectively. Normal colonoscopy was defined as no neoplastic or benign findings reported. Patients referred in the 2WW-pathway after introduction of FIT-testing in October 2019 to the onset of COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 were included. Data on age, gender, comorbidities and additional investigations were collected. Results There were 1072 referrals in the study period; 405 had FIT done, 265 were FIT-positive and had colonoscopy referral. Four patients were excluded after further investigations showed diverticulosis and gastritis. FIT-stratified normal-colonoscopy rate was 13.3% (28/210) overall, and 14.1% (23/163), 16.7% (2/12) and 8.6% (3/35) for Group 1, 2 and 3 respectively. Conclusions Our study was limited by the onset of COVID-19 pandemic. In the short study period, 13.3% FIT-positive patients had normal colonoscopy. There are no comparative data in literature for this parameter. Higher FIT-values were associated with lower normal colonoscopy incidence. It is possible that some endoscopists failed to record positive, non-clinically significant findings. We are currently studying larger patient cohorts and in parallel, looking at Bowel Cancer Screening Programme (BCSP) patients.


2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Author(s):  
Jader Sant' Ana ◽  
Raphael Luiz Sakugawa ◽  
Fernando Diefenthaeler

This study aimed to verify the effect of a pace training session at an intensity corresponding to the kick frequency at the anaerobic threshold (KFAT) on the internal load response and motor response performance of the roundhouse kick. Twelve black belt taekwondo athletes underwent two evaluation sessions: (1) performed the progressive specific test for taekwondo (PSTT) to identify the heart rate deflection point (HRDP) and the KFAT; (2) performed three 2-min rounds with a 1-min interval. Heart rate (HR) throughout each round and motor response performance before and after sessions were measured. The Student's T-test or Wilcoxon test was used, and p &lt; 0.05 was adopted. During round 1, a lower internal load was observed (167 ± 10 bpm) compared with HRDP (179 ± 8 bpm; p = 0.035). During rounds 2 (178 ± 10 bpm; p = 0.745) and 3 (179 ± 8 bpm; p = 1), no differences were observed for an internal load and HRDP. Motor response performance showed no differences. However, a potentiation in the post countermovement jump test compared with rounds 1 (p = 0.012) and 2 (p = 0.028) was observed. The internal load (HR) observed at the intensity corresponding to KFAT can be considered in the prescription of training when the aim is to control the internal load responses without inducing fatigue.


2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Maryam Moeeni ◽  
Shiva Rahmani ◽  
Mahmood Yousefi ◽  
Shirin Nosratnejad

Abstract Background Mammography screening is the most sensitive and specific test that can be conducted along with the clinical examination for the early diagnosis of breast cancer. However, like other tests, mammography screening is not a perfect test and has some limitations. The purpose of the present study is to measure women’s willingness to pay for breast cancer screening with mammography by providing them with basic and more complete information. Method: In this study, 450 women aged 35–55 years were assigned into two groups of equal numbers. The first group was provided only with the basic information on 225 women, while the other group was provided with more complete information. The double bounded dichotomous choice method was used to extract women’s willingness to pay for mammography screening. Result The mean willingness to pay for breast cancer screening with mammography was estimated as 26.14$ in the group receiving basic information and 21.41$ in the group receiving complete information.The results of interval regression analysis reported age of woman at the time interview, her occupation status, her education status, whether or not she had complementary insurance, and her prior experience of mammography as correlates of willingness to pay for mammography screening. Conclusion The more women have knowledge about all aspects of mammography screening, the more they are ready to utilize it. The results suggest the women can balance the possible benefits of mammography screening against its demerits.


2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Maryam Moeeni ◽  
Shiva Rahmani ◽  
Mahmood Yousefi ◽  
Shirin Nosratnejad

Abstract Background: Mammography screening is the most sensitive and specific test that can be conducted along with the clinical examination for the early diagnosis of breast cancer. However, like other tests, mammography screening is not a perfect test and has some limitations. The purpose of the present study is to measure women’s willingness to pay for breast cancer screening with mammography by providing them with basic and more complete information.Method: In this study, 450 women aged 35-55 years were assigned into two groups of equal numbers. The first group was provided only with the basic information on 225 women, while the other group was provided with more complete information. The double bounded dichotomous choice method was used to extract women’s willingness to pay for mammography screening.Result: The mean willingness to pay for breast cancer screening with mammography was estimated as 26.14$ in the group receiving basic information and 21.41$ in the group receiving complete information.The results of interval regression analysis reported age of woman at the time interview, her occupation status, her education status, whether or not she had complementary insurance, and her prior experience of mammography as correlates of willingness to pay for mammography screening. Conclusion: The more women have knowledge about all aspects of mammography screening, the more they are ready to utilize it. The results suggest the women can balance the possible benefits of mammography screening against its demerits.


2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Eduardo F. Miranda ◽  
Stephan Stephany

Several of the most important high-performance computing approaches available in the Python programming environment of the LNCC Santos Dumont supercomputer, are compared using a specific test problem. Python includes specific libraries, implementations, development tools, documentation, optimization and parallelization resources. It provides a straightforward way to program using a high level of abstraction, but the parallelization features for exploring multiple cores, processors, or accelerators such as GPUs, are diverse and may not be easily chosen by the user. Serial and parallel implementations of a test problem in Fortran 90 are taken as benchmarks to compare performance. This work is a primer for the use of HPC resources in Python.


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