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2022 ◽  
Vol 22 (1) ◽  
Nadja Könsgen ◽  
Barbara Prediger ◽  
Anna Schlimbach ◽  
Ana-Mihaela Bora ◽  
Simone Hess ◽  

Abstract Background Second medical opinions (SOs) can assist patients in making informed treatment decisions and improve the understanding of their diagnosis. In Germany, there are different approaches to obtain a structured SO procedure: SO programs by health insurers and SOs according to the SO Directive. Through a direct survey of the population, we aimed to assess how structured SOs should be provided to fulfil patients’ needs. Methods A stratified sample of 9990 adults (≥18 years) living in the federal states of Berlin and Brandenburg (Germany) were initially contacted by post in April and sent a reminder in May 2020. The survey results were analyzed descriptively. Results Among 1349 participants (response rate 14%), 56% were female and the median age was 58 years (interquartile range (IQR) 44–69). Participants wanted to be informed directly and personally about the possibility of obtaining an SO (89%; 1201/1349). They preferred to be informed by their physician (93%; 1249/1349). A majority of participants would consider it important to obtain an SO for oncological indications (78%; 1049/1349). Only a subset of the participants would seek an SO via their health insurer or via an online portal (43%; 577/1349 and 16%; 221/1349). A personally delivered SO was the preferred route of SO delivery, as 97% (1305/1349) would (tend to) consider this way of obtaining an SO. Participants were asked to imagine having moderate knee pain for years, resulting in a treatment recommendation for knee joint replacement. They were requested to rate potential qualification criteria for a physician providing the SO. The criteria rated to be most important were experience with the recommended diagnosis/treatment (criterion (very) important for 93%; 1257/1349) and knowledge of the current state of research (criterion (very) important for 86%; 1158/1349). Participants were willing to travel 60 min (median; IQR 60–120) and wait 4 weeks (median; IQR 2–4) for their SO in the hypothetical case of knee pain. Conclusion In general, SOs were viewed positively. We found that participants have clear preferences regarding SOs. We propose that these preferences should be taken into account in the future design and development of SO programs.

Molecules ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 27 (2) ◽  
pp. 546
Rudolf Holze

Intrinsically conducting polymers constituting a subclass of macromolecules, as well as a still growing family of large, conjugated molecules, oligomers, and polymers, have attracted research interest for the recent decades. Closely corresponding to the fascination of these materials, combining typical properties of organic polymers and metallic materials, numerous applications have been suggested, explored, and sometimes transferred into products. In electrochemistry, they have been used in various functions beyond the initially proposed and obvious application as active masses in devices for electrochemical energy conversion and storage. This perspective contribution wraps up basic facts that are necessary to understand the behavior and properties of the oligo and polymers and their behavior in electrochemical cells for energy conversion by electrode reactions and associated energy storage. Representative examples are presented and discussed, and an overview of the state of research and development is provided. Particular attention is paid to stability and related aspects of practical importance. Future trends and perspectives are indicated.

2022 ◽  
pp. 242-250
Fabio Bego

In the review the author analyses Ewa Mazierska’s book Polish Popular Music on Screen (2020), which investigates the mutually entangled histories of Polish politics, cinema, TV, and music. Although it focuses on the Polish context, the general and theoretical observations that emerge from Mazierska’s analysis relate also to the broader former socialist Europe. Departing from Mazierska’s work, the author tackles the question of “(in)authenticity” in relation to popular culture. The word “authenticity” often appears in the text to express the critics’ opinions of cultural products, but it is not clearly defined. The review of Mazierska’s research starts with a preliminary analysis of the concept, which enables a transversal discussion of the data presented in the text. Then the author draws some conclusions about the current state of research on Eastern European culture by highlighting the limits and the potentials of the field.

2022 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Michael Buhagiar ◽  
Julien Pollack ◽  
Sharon Coyle

PurposeScholars are increasingly acknowledging the importance of conversations in the management of complex projects. Defining dialectics as “the art of purposeful conversation”, this paper aims to rationalise the somewhat disorganised field of dialectics by developing a categoreal scheme.Design/methodology/approachThe authors refer to the current state of research into the conversational aspects of complex projects, and examine the historical development of, and philosophical and scholarly commentary on, the dialectical method.FindingsThe categories the authors propose are the Socratic, Conversational, Fichtean and Peircean. They differ in relation to the subject matter of the dialectic; their vulnerability to environmental influences; the degree of structure they require for optimal performance; and the situations in which they might most profitably be applied.Research limitations/implicationsA single categoreal scheme is rarely the last word, and the authors invite other scholars to explore the field in a similar way.Practical implicationsThe scheme proposed here is intended to enhance the project manager's approach to conversations, by referring to the specific virtues and limitations of each of the categories.Social implicationsThe informed use of dialectics may help to ameliorate the significant damage done to organisations and economies around the world by failed and underperforming projects.Originality/valueThe authors present the first categorisation of the field, with the aim of equipping the practitioner to think about dialectical approaches in a more systematic way.

2022 ◽  
Niklas Schürmann

Neuroscience is facing a replication crisis. Little effort is invested in replication projects and low power in many studies indicates a potentially poor state of research. To assess replicability of EEG research, the #EEGManyLabs project aims to reproduce the most influential original EEG studies. A spin-off to the main project shall investigate the relationship between frontal alpha asymmetries and psychopathological symptoms, the predictive qualities of which have lately been considered controversial. To ensure that preprocessing of EEG data can be conducted automatically (via Automagic), we tested 47 healthy participants in an EEG resting state paradigm and collected psychopathological measures. We analyzed reliability and quality of manual and automated preprocessing and performed multiple regressions to investigate the association of frontal alpha asymmetries and depression, worry, trait anxiety and COVID-19 related worry. We hypothesized comparably good interrater reliability of preprocessing methods and higher data quality in automatically preprocessed data. We expected associations of leftward frontal alpha asymmetries and higher depression and anxiety scores and significant associations of rightward frontal alpha asymmetries and higher worrying and COVID-19- related worrying. Interrater reliability of preprocessing methods was mostly good, automatically preprocessed data achieved higher quality scores than manually preprocessed data. We uncovered an association of relative rightward lateralization of alpha power at one electrode pair and depressive symptoms. No further associations of interest emerged. We conclude that Automagic is an appropriate tool for large-scale preprocessing. Findings regarding associations of frontal alpha asymmetries and psychopathology likely stem from sample limitations and shrinking effect sizes.

Claudia F. Moratti ◽  
Colin Scott ◽  
Nicholas V. Coleman

Monooxygenases are a class of enzymes that facilitate the bacterial degradation of alkanes and alkenes. The regulatory components associated with monooxygenases are nature’s own hydrocarbon sensors, and once functionally characterised, these components can be used to create rapid, inexpensive and sensitive biosensors for use in applications such as bioremediation and metabolic engineering. Many bacterial monooxygenases have been identified, yet the regulation of only a few of these have been investigated in detail. A wealth of genetic and functional diversity of regulatory enzymes and promoter elements still remains unexplored and unexploited, both in published genome sequences and in yet-to-be-cultured bacteria. In this review we examine in detail the current state of research on monooxygenase gene regulation, and on the development of transcription-factor-based microbial biosensors for detection of alkanes and alkenes. A new framework for the systematic characterisation of the underlying genetic components and for further development of biosensors is presented, and we identify focus areas that should be targeted to enable progression of more biosensor candidates to commercialisation and deployment in industry and in the environment.

2022 ◽  
Vol 15 ◽  
Niti Pawar ◽  
Odmara L. Barreto Chang

In the last decade, burst suppression has been increasingly studied by many to examine whether it is a mechanism leading to postoperative cognitive impairment. Despite a lack of consensus across trials, the current state of research suggests that electroencephalogram (EEG) burst suppression, duration and EEG emergence trajectory may predict postoperative delirium (POD). A mini literature review regarding evidence about burst suppression impact and susceptibilities was conducted, resulting in conflicting studies. Primarily, studies have used different algorithm values to replace visual burst suppression examination, although many studies have since emerged showing that algorithms underestimate burst suppression duration. As these methods may not be interchangeable with visual analysis of raw data, it is a potential factor for the current heterogeneity between data. Even though additional research trials incorporating the use of raw EEG data are necessary, the data currently show that monitoring with commercial intraoperative EEG machines that use EEG indices to estimate burst suppression may help physicians identify burst suppression and guide anesthetic titration during surgery. These modifications in anesthetics could lead to preventing unfavorable outcomes. Furthermore, some studies suggest that brain age, baseline impairment, and certain medications are risk factors for burst suppression and postoperative delirium. These patient characteristics, in conjunction with intraoperative EEG monitoring, could be used for individualized patient care. Future studies on the feasibility of raw EEG monitoring, new technologies for anesthetic monitoring and titration, and patient-associated risk factors are crucial to our continued understanding of burst suppression and postoperative delirium.

2022 ◽  
Vol 2022 ◽  
pp. 1-10
Weizhen Weng ◽  
Zuoyu Hu ◽  
Yunfeng Pan

Macrophages are an important component of the human immune system and play a key role in the immune response, which can protect the body against infection and regulate the development of tissue inflammation. Some studies found that macrophages can produce extracellular traps (ETs) under various conditions of stimulation. ETs are web-like structures that consist of proteins and DNA. ETs are thought to immobilize and kill microorganisms, as well as play an important role in tissue damage, inflammatory progression, and autoimmune diseases. In this review, the structure, identification, mechanism, and research progress of macrophage extracellular traps (METs) in related diseases are reviewed.

2022 ◽  
Vol 5 ◽  
Mariam Coulibaly ◽  
Guillaume Bodjrenou ◽  
Félicien Akohoue ◽  
Eric Etchikinto Agoyi ◽  
Fustelle Michée Merinosy Francisco ◽  

Kersting's groundnut [Macrotyloma geocarpum (Harms.) Maréchal and Baudet], Fabaceae, is an important source of protein and essential amino acids. As a grain legume species, it also contributes to improving soil fertility through symbiotic nitrogen fixation. However, the crop is characterized by a relatively low yield (≤500 kg/ha), and limited progress has been made so far, toward the development of high-yielding cultivars that can enhance and sustain its productivity. Recently, there was an increased interest in alleviating the burdens related to Kersting's groundnut (KG) cultivation through the development of improved varieties. Preliminary investigations assembled germplasms from various producing countries. In-depth ethnobotanical studies and insightful investigation on the reproductive biology of the species were undertaken alongside morphological, biochemical, and molecular characterizations. Those studies revealed a narrow genetic base for KG. In addition, the self-pollinating nature of its flowers prevents cross-hybridization and represents a major barrier limiting the broadening of the genetic basis. Therefore, the development of a research pipeline to address the bottlenecks specific to KG is a prerequisite for the successful expansion of the crop. In this paper, we offer an overview of the current state of research on KG and pinpoint the knowledge gaps; we defined and discussed the main steps of breeding for KG' cultivars development; this included (i) developing an integrated genebank, inclusive germplasm, and seed system management; (ii) assessing end-users preferences and possibility for industrial exploitation of the crop; (iii) identifying biotic and abiotic stressors and the genetic control of responsive traits to those factors; (iv) overcoming the cross-pollination challenges in KG to propel the development of hybrids; (v) developing new approaches to create variability and setting adequate cultivars and breeding approaches; (vi) karyotyping and draft genome analysis to accelerate cultivars development and increase genetic gains; and (vii) evaluating the adaptability and stability of cultivars across various ecological regions.

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